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COLLECTIONS 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL 
SOCIETY 

VOLUME XVII 



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MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 

Officers 
GiDEjJN S. Ives, President 
Frederic A. Fogg, First Vice-President 
William W. Folwell, Second Vice-President 
Solon J. Buck, Superintendent and Secretary 
Everett H. Bailey, Treasurer 



Executive Council 
Ex Officio 

J. A. A. BuRKQUisT Jac 

Governor 
Thomas Fbankson 

Lieutenant Goverm 

y 



Secrelary of Slate 



Jacob A, O. Phetjs 
State Auditor 

Hekby Rines 

State Treasurer 

Clifford L. Hilton 

Attorney-General 



Everett H. Bailev 
Charles Bechhoefer 
Sot,on J. Buck 
Rev. William Busch 
Frederick M, Catun 
LoRiH Cray 
Oliver Crosby 
William W. Cutler 
Frederic A. Fogg 
William W. Folwell 
Guy Stamton Ford 
Harold Harris 
Frederick G. In^gersoll 
Gideon S, Ives 

Edward I 



Victor E. Lawson 
William E. Lee 
William H. Light ker 
William A. McGonagle 
William B. Mitchell 
Charles P. Noyes 
Victor Kobebtson 

J. F. RoSENWALD 

Edward P. Sanborn 
Rev. Marion D. Shutter 
Charles Stees 
Warren Upham 
.Olin D. Wheeler 
Habry E. Whitney 



The Executive Committee consists of the president, the secretary, 
the treasurer, and two appointed members, Frederic A, Fogg and Edward 
P. Sanborm. 



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COLLECTIONS OF THE MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
VOLUME XVII 



MINNESOTA 
GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

THEIR ORIGIN AND HISTORIC SIGNIFICANCE 



WARREN UPHAM 

ARCHAEOLOGIST OF THE SOCIETY 




PUBLISHED BY THE 

MINNESOTA HISTORICAL SOCIETY 
SAtNT PAUL, 1920 



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PREFACE 

During sixteen years, from 1879 to 1894, of service for the 
geological surveys of Minnesota, the United States, and Can- 
ada, in travel over Jarge areas of this state, the Dakotas, and 
Manitoba, my attention was often attracted to the origins of 
their names of places, partly received directly from the Indian 
languages, and in many other instances translated from the 
aboriginal names. Frequently our geographic names note re- 
markable topographic features, or are derived from the fauna 
and flora. Perhaps a greater number commemorate pioneer 
white explorers, early fur traders, and agricultural settlers. 

Later work for the Minnesota Historical Society, since 
1895, has permitted and even required more detailed considera- 
tion and record in this field. Many memorials of our territorial 
and state history are preserved in geographic names, and each 
nationality contributing to the settlement has its share in this 
nomenclature. As the first immigrants of the state along the 
Atlantic and Gulf coast brought many place names from Eng- 
land, France, Holland, and Spain, so in Minnesota many geo- 
graphic names have come from beyond the sea. Here the in7 
fluence of a large proportion of immigration from Germany is 
shown by such names as New Ulm, New Trier, Hamburg, 
Cologne, and New Munich. Old Bohemia is brought to mind 
by the city of New Prague. Sweden, Norway, and Denmark 
are well represented by Stockholm, Malmo, Bergen, Trond- 
hjem, Denmark, and many other township and village names. 
In the early eastern and southern states, Plymouth, Boston, 
Portsmouth, Bangor, New York, Charleston, St. Augustine, 
and New Orleans, recalled tender memories of the Old World. 
Likewise, these German and Bohemian and Scandinavian 
names have a great meaning to the immigrants from those 
countries who have made their new homes here. 

To illustrate how this subject is like a garden of flowers, 
or like an epic poem, reference may be made to the names of 
the eighty-six Minnesota counties. Fifteen came directly, or 



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iv PREFACE 

through translation, from the Dakota or Sioux language, eight 
being retained as Sioux words, Anoka, Dakota, Isanti, Kan- 
diyohi, Wabasha, Waseca, Watonwan, and Winona. Six are 
translated into English, namely, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Cot- 
tonwood, Redwood, Traverse, and Yellow Medicine ; and one 
is received in its French translation, Lac qui Parle. Twelve 
counties bear names of Ojibway origin; but only five, Chisago, 
Kanabec, Koochiching, Mahnomen, and Wadena, are Indian 
words, and the first was made by a white man's coinage. The 
seven others are Chippewa (the anglicized form of Ojibway), 
Clearwater, Crow Wing, MiUe Lacs (a translation in French), 
Otter Tail, Red Lake, and Roseau (another French transla- 
tion). 

Fifty-two counties have received personal names, which 
may be arranged in four lists. The early explorers of this 
area are commemorated by seven counties ; the fur traders of 
the early half of the last century, by four; citizens of Minne- 
sota as a territory and state have been honored by the names 
of twenty-six counties; and citizens of other parts of the 
United States are similarly honored in fifteen counties. First 
enumerating the seven county names from explorers, we have 
Beltrami, Carver, Cass, Hennepin, Le Sueur, Nicollet, and 
Pope. The four named for early fur traders are Aitkin, Fari- 
bault, Morrison, and Renville. The twenty-six counties named 
for Minnesota citizens are Becker, Brown, Carlton, Cook, Free- 
born, Goodhue, Hubbard, Jackson, Kittson, McLeod, Marshall, 
Meeker, Mower, Murray, Nobles, Olmsted, Pennington, Ramsey, 
Rice, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Swift, Todd, and Wilkin 
counties. Among the fifteen counties named for citizens of 
this country outside of Minnesota, five are in honor of presi- 
dents of the United States, these being Washingon, Polk, Fill- 
more, Lincoln, and Grant. The ten others in this list are 
Benton, Clay, Dodge, Douglas, Houston, Lyon, Martin, Scott, 
Stevens, and Wright. 

Six of our counties have names given by white men for 
natural features, in addition to the larger number so derived 
from the Indian languages. These are Itasca, taking the name 
of the lake, formed of two Latin words; Lake county, named 
for Lake Superior; Pine county, so named for its extensive 



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PREFACE V 

pine forests; Pipestone county, for the Indian pipestone 
quarry there ; Rock county, for the very prominent rock out- 
crop near Luverne ; and St. Louis county, for its river of that 
name. One county received its name, Norman, in honor of its 
large number of immigrants from Norway. 

The eariiest systematic endeavor to trace the origins of 
Minnesota county names was published by John Fletcher Wil- 
liams, secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, as an 
article in the St. Paul Pioneer, March 13, 1870. Another con- 
tribution to this subject, by Return I. Holcombe, of St. Paul, ' 
was in the Pioneer Press Almanac, 1896. Both these lists 
have been consulted, with much advantage, for the present 
volume. 

In ascertaining derivations and meanings of Dakota and 
Ojibway names, very valuable aid has been obtained from a 
paper, "Minnesota Geographical Names derived from the Da- 
kota Language, with some that are Obsolete," by Prof. An- 
drew W. Williamson, of Augustana College, Rock Island, lU., 
published in the Thirteenth Annual Report of the Geological 
and Natural History Survey of Minnesota, for 1884, pages 104- 
112; and from another paper, in the Fifteenth Report of the 
same survey, for 1886, pages 451-477, "Minnesota Geographi- 
cal Names derived from the Chippewa Language," by Rev. 
Joseph A. GilfiUan, of White Earth, who also supplied in later 
letters many further notes of Ojibway names. These two 
papers are the most important sources of information on Min- 
nesota geographic terms of Indian origin, supplementing the 
frequent references to origins of names by Hennepin, Carver, 
Mackenzie, Thompson, Pike, Long and Keating, Beltrami, 
Schoolcraft, Allen, Featherstonhaugh, Catlin, Lea, Nicollet, and 
other explorers of the area which is now Minnesota. 

The narrations of these discoverers and explorers, and 
many later books, pamphlets, newspapers, atlases, and maps, 
have been examined in the Library of the Minnesota Histori- 
cal Society. Special acknowledgments are due to the following 
books and authors : 

Grammar and Dictionary of the Dakota Language, edited 
by Rev. Stephen R. Rig^s, published by the Smithsonian In- 
stitution, Washington, 1852; and a revised edition of the 



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vi PREFACE 

greater part, a Dakota-Englisfi Dictionary, issued in 1890 as vol- 
ume VII, "Contributions to North American Ethnology." 

An Enghsh-Dakota Dictionary, compiled by John P. Wil- 
liamson, printed by the American Tract Society, 1902. 

A Grammar of the Otchipwe [Ojibway] language, 18?8; 
a Dictionary of the Otchipwe Language, Part I, English- 
Otchipwe, 1878; and Part II, Otchipwe-English, 1880. These 
are editions published in Montreal, of volumes by Bishop Fred- 
eric Baraga, the Grammar having been first published in De- 
troit, 1850, and the Dictionary in Cincinnati, 1853. 

A Glossary of Chippewa Indian Names of Rivers, Lakes, 
and Villages, by Rev. Chrysostom Verwyst, of Bayfield, Wis., 
in Acta et Dicta ... of the Catholic Church in the 
Northwest, published in St. Paul, volume IV, pages 253-274, 
July, 1916. 

Handbook of American Indians north of Mexico, edited fay 
Frederick W, Hodge, published by the Smithsonian Institu- 
tion as Bulletin 30, Bureau of American Ethnology, two vol- 
umes, 1907, 1910. 

The Geological and Natural History Survey of Minne- 
sota, 1872-1901, by Prof, -N. H. Winchell, state geologist, and 
assistants: Annual Reports, 24 volumes; Bulletins, 10 vol- 
umes, treating partly of the mammals, birds, fishes, and the 
flora; Final Reports, 6 vojumes, having chapters for all the 
counties and for the iron ore ranges. 

Memoirs of Explorations in the Basin of the Mississippi, 
by Hon. J. V. Brower, of St. Paul, eight volumes, 1898-1905. 
Four of these volumes relate to parts of this state, being III, 
Mille Lac, 1900; IV, Kathio, 1901; V, Kakabikansing, 1902; 
and VI, Minnesota, 1903. 

Minnesota Historical Society Collections, fifteen volumes, 
1850-1915. Biogi'aphic references for places bearing names of 
personal derivation have been supplied in the greater part by 
thfe fourteenth volume, Minnesota Biographies, 1655-1912. 

The Aborigines of Minnesota, a Report based on the col- 
lections of Jacob V. Brower, and on the field surveys and 
notes of Alfred J, Hill and Theodore H. Lewis, coHated, ali- 
mented and described by N. H. Winchell; published by the 
Minnesota Historical Society, St. Paul, 1911. 



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PREFACE vii 

The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States, 
second edition, by Henry Gannett, published in 1905 as Bul- 
letin 258 of the U. S. Geological Survey. 

Complete Pronouncing Gazetteer or Geographical Dic- 
tionary of the World, published by the J. B. Lippincott Com- 
pany, 1911, two volumes. 

A History of the Origin of the Place Names connected 
with the Chicago & Northwestern and Chicago, St. Paul, Min- 
neapolis & Omaha Railways, . . . compiled by one [W. 
H. Stennett] who for more than 34 years has been an officer in 
the employ of the system ; Chicago, 190S. 

In the early progress of this research, a paper by the 
author, "Origin of Minnesota Geographic Names," including 
quite full notes for each county name, was read at a monthly 
meeting of the executive council of the Minnesota Historical 
Society, May 8, 1899; and a second address, entitled "The 
Origin and Meaning of Minnesota Names of Rivers, Lakes, 
Counties, Townships, and Cities," was presented at an annual 
meeting of this Society, January 11, 1904. These papers were 
mainly published in a series of articles in the Office Blotter, 
a Minneapolis journal issued chiefly for the interest of Minne- 
sota county officers, April to August, 1904; and they were 
again published with slight changes and additions in the Maga- 
zine of History, New York, volume VIII, September to No- 
vember, 1908. More condensed and somewhat revised, they 
were embodied in a newspaper article, "Whence came the 
Names of Minnesota's Counties," in the St. Paul Pioneer 
Press, November 19, 1911. After further revision, notes of 
origins of the county names were published in numerous Min- 
nesota daily newspapers, usually one county each day in alpha- 
betic order, in the spring and summer of 1916. 

For interviews with county officers, pioneer settlers, and 
others, twenty counties of northern Minnesota were visited by 
the author in the autumn of 1909; and in the year 1916, from 
April to October, all the eighty-six counties were visited. 
Such personal interviews, to some extent followed by corre- 
spondence, have been the chief sources of information for most 
parts of this work, except for the considerable list of counties 
having published histories. Dates of organization of town- 



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viii - PREFACE 

ships and villages are noted mainly from the county histories, 
so that comparatively few dates are given under other coun- 
ties. 

Published and personal sources consulted for each county 
are stated at the beginning- of its catalogue pi townships. To 
the many citizens who have contributed notes of the origins of 
place names, and of the names of .streets and parks in our three 
great cities, the author and- the people of Minnesota are endur- 
jngly indebted. Within the lifetime of pioneers who shared 
in the first settlement and in ail the development of this com- 
monwealth, a careful record has been made of a very signifi- 
cant portion of its history. 

The first chapter of the book treats of general features, 
as districts bearing topographic names, the state name and 
sobriquets, and the larger lakes and rivers. Eighty-six chap- 
ters treat of the place names of the counties in alphabetic 
order. The name of each county is first somewhat fully 
noticed; next the townships and villages are listed in their 
alphabetic series, preceded by the due mention of books and 
persons supplying information for the county ; and last are 
records of lakes and streams, hills, prairi«s, and, in some of the 
counties, Indian reservations, iron ore ranges, state and na- 
tional forests, state parks, glacial lakes, beaches, and moraines. 
Localities of exceptional historic interest are found in nearly 
every county. Origins of the names of streets, avenues, and 
parks, in Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Duluth, are noted in the 
final three chapters, so that the whole volume comprises ninety 
chapters. 

To find notations of any city, township, village, lake, river 
or creek, hills and prairies, iron ranges, etc., the reader will 
consult the Index, at the end of the volume, which is the key 
to all its contents. An explanation of abbreviations used in 
the Index is given on its first page. 

Warren Upham 

Minnesota H:storical Society 
St. Paul 



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MINNESOTA 
GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 



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GENEI^AL FEATURES 

The most conspicuous geographic features of this state are its larger 
rivers and lakes, including the Minnesota river, whence the state is named, 
the Mississippi, largest of this ocmtinent, wliich here has its source and a 
great part of its course, the Red river, the Rainy, St. Louis, and St. Croix 
rivers. Lake Superior, adjoining Minnesota by 150 miles of its northwest 
shore, Rainy lake and the Lake of the Woods, Red lake, Winnebagoshish 
and Leech lakes, and Mille Lacs, each requiring meTition as belonging 
partly to two or more counties. Likewise the origins and meaning ai the 
names of many smaller rivers and lakes need to be given in this chapter, 
to which reference may be made under their several counties, unless their 
names, borne by Jjounties, townships, or villages, are thus fully noticed. 

Districts bearing Topographic Names. 



Only limited areas of Minnesota have low n 
worthy hills that have received names. Such are hilly or somevrfiat 
mountainous tracts on the Vermilion and Mesahi ranges, names wliich 
designate belts having immense deposits of iron ores, noted under Itasca, 
St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties. The first of these ranges was named 
from the Vermilion lake and river in St. Louis county. The second has 
an Ojibway name, spelled "Missabay Heights" by NifloUet, translated as 
Giant mountain by Gilfillan. It is spelled Missabe, pronounced in three 
syllables, by Baraga's Dictionary, which defines it as "Giant; also, a very 
big stout man." 

The third and more southern belt of iron ores, latest discovered but 
now having many and large mines, was named the Cuyuna range by its 
discoverer, Cuyler Adams, from his own name and from his dog, Una, 
who acaompanied him in many prospecting trips. This iron range has no 
prominently hilly tract. 

From Duluth to the northeast corner of this state, the land rises gen- 
erally 500 to 800 feet or more above Lake Superior within a few miles 
back from its shore, forming the southern margin of a high wooded area 
that reaches to the international boundary and is diversified by mostly low 
ridges and hills. Seen from passing boats, the eroded front of this high- 
land for about thirty miles in Cook county, from Carlton peak to Grand 
Marais, presents a peculiarly serrate profile and is therefore commonly 
called the Sawteeth mountains, more definitely no-ted for that county. 

Morainic hills of the glacial drift, amassed along the borders of the 
continental ice-shhet, are traced in twelve successive belts across this state. 
The most noteworthy development of these bills is found in Otter Tail 
county, where the eighth and ninth moraines are merged to form the 
Leaf hills, called "mountains" by the settlers in contrast with the lower 



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2 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

hills in other parts of the state, rising in steep slopes to he^hts of 200 
to 350 feet atong an extent of about twenty miles. Their name, more 
fully considered in the county chapter, is translated from the Ojibway 
name, which was thence applied by the Ojibways to the Leaf lakes and 
river, and by the white people to Leaf Mountain township. 

An important contrast is exhibited by the vegetation in different parts 
of Minnesota. Forest covers its northeastern two-thirds, approximately, 
while about one-third, lying at the south and southwest, and reaching in 
the Red river valley to the Canadian line, as also the part of this valley 
north to Lake Winnipeg, is prairie. Half of the state, on the northeast, 
had originally extensive tracts of very valuable white pine and red pine, 
which have been mostly cut off by lumbermen. Interspersed with these 
and other evergreen species, as the spruces, balsam fir, and arbor vitae, 
were tracts of maple, elm, bass, oaks, ash, and other deciduous trees. The 
Big Woods, a translation from the early French name.. Grand Bois, oc- 
cupied a large area west of the Mississippi, including Wright, Carver, 
Scott, and Le Sueur counties, with parts of adjacent counties. Until its 
timber was cleared off for cultivation of the land in farms, tliis area was 
heavily wooded with the deciduous forest, shedding its leaves before win- 
ter, lying south of the geographic range of the pines and their allies. 

In the great prairie region of southwestern Minnesota, and extending 
northward into the northeast part of South Dakota, a large elevated dis- 
trict is inclosed by the contour line of 1,500 feet above the sea. This area 
comprises Pipestone county and the greater parts of Lincoln, Murray, 
Nobles, and Rock counties in this state, having an entire length in the 
two states of about 160 mdes. It was named by the early French voyag- 
eurs and explorers the Coteau des Prairies, as on Nicollet's map, meaning, 
in English, the Highland lof the Prairies. 

The many beautiful lakes of Alexandria and its vicinity, of the ad- 
joining country southward to Glenwood and northwest to Fergus Falls, 
and their landscapes of alternating woods and small openings of prairies, 
have given the name Park Region to that district, lying between the un- 
broken northeastern forest and the limitless prairie on the west 

Another area of many lakes and streams, having somewhat similar 
features as the foregoing, but with a mainly less rolling and diversified 
contour, excepting the valleys and inclosing bluffs of its rivers, was named 
by Nicollet the Undine Region, comprising the country of the Blue Earth 
river and its tributaries, as iloticed in the chapter of Blue Earth county. 

The Name or the State. 
Minnesota received its name from the largest river which lies wholly 
within its area, excepting only that its sources above Big Stone lake are 
in South Dakota. During a hundred and fifty years, up to the time of 
the organization of Minnesota Territory, in 1849, the name St. Pierre, Or 
St. Peter, had been generally applied to this river by French and Eng- 



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GENERAL FEATURES 3 

lish ' explorers and writers, March 6, 1852. the territorial legislature 
adc^ted a memorial to the President of the United States, requesting that 
this name should be discontinued, and that only the aboriginal name should 
be used for the river, the same as for the territory, by the different 
government departments ; and this was so decreed on June 19 of the 
same year, by an act of Congress. 

The old name, St. Peter's river, of French derivation, seems prob- 
ably to have been given in comraemo ration of its first exploration by 
Pierre Charles Le Sueur. If so, hovirever, his first journey up the Min- 
nesota river was more than ten years before his expedition upon it in 
the year 1700, when he mined what he supposed to be an ore of copper 
in the bluffs tof the Blue Earth river, near the site of Mankato; for the 
St. Peter and St. Croix rivers are mentioned by these names in Perrot's 
proclamation at his Fort St. Antoine. on Lake Pepin, taking possession 
of this region for France, dated May 8, 1689. 

The Dakota or Sioux name Minnesota means sky-tinted water 
(Minne, water, and sola, somewhat clouded), as Neill translated it on 
the authority of Rev. Gideon H. Pond. The river at its stages of flood 
becomes whitishly turbid. An illustration of the meaning of the words 
was told to the present writer by Mrs. Moses N. Adams, the widow of 
the well known missionary of the Dakotas. She stated that at various 
times the Dakota women explained it to her by dropping a little milk into 
water and calling the whitishly clouded water "Minne sota." 

Major Long in 1817 wrote that the Mississippi above the St. Croix had 
a name meaning Clear river, and Dr. Folwell in 1919 concludes that the 
Minnesota means this, contrasted with the very muddy Missouri. 

In the years 1846 to 1848, Hon. Henry H, Sibley and Hon, Morgan L. 
Martin, the delegate in Congress from Wisconsin, proposed this name 
for the new territtory, which thus followed the example of Wisconsin 
in adopting the title of a large stream within its borders. During the 
next few years, it displaced the name St. Peter as applied in common 
usage by the white people to the river, whose euphonious Dakota title 
will continue to be borne by the river and the state probably long after 
(he Dakota or Sioux language shall cease to be spoken. 

Gen. James H. Baker, in an address on the history of Lake Superior, 
before the Minnesota Historical Society at its annual meeting in 1879, 
published in the third volume of its Collections (1880, pages 333-355), 
directed attention, as follows, to a somewhat comparable Ojibway name 
for the wooded northern part of this state. 

"In one of my expeditions upon the north shore, being accompanied 
by an intelligent Chippewa chief, 1 found the shrub. Balm of Gilead, a. 
small tree of medicinal virtue, in great abundance. He gave me its 
Chippewa name as Mah-na-sa-tia, and said it was the name given by 
their people to all that country west of the great lake, because it was 
the country yielding the Mah-nu-sa-tia. In conversing with other in- 



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4 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

teiligent Chippewas, I found this statement was invariably confirmed. 
They claim it as the traditional name of the land to the west of the lake." 

This Ojibway word, however, had no influence upon the selection of 
our territorial and state name. Indeed, it was generally unknown to 
the white people here until more than twenty years after the Sioux name 
was chosen. 

The name Itasca, devised in 1832 by Schoolcraft with the aid of Rev. 
William T. Boutwell for the lake at the head of the Mississippi, was 
urged by Boutwell for the territory. Other names were suggested in 
the discussions of Congress, as Chippeway, Jackson, and Washington. 
Final choice of the name Minnesota was virtually decided in the con- 
vention held at Stillwater on August 26, 1848, which petitioned to Con- 
gress for territorial organization. 

Carver, who wintered with the Sioux on the Minnesota river in 1766- 
67, was the earliest author to record its Sioux name. He spelled it Mene- 
sotor in his Travels and Menesoter on the accompanying map. It was 
spelled Menesota by Long and Keating; Menisothe by Beltrami; Mini- 
sotah by Nicollet ; Minnay sotor by Featherstonhaugh ; Minesota by Hon. 
M, L. Martin and Hon. Stephen A, Douglas, in bills introduced by them 
respectively in the House and Senate fior organization of the territory; 
and Minnesota by Hon. H. H. Sibley at the Stillwater convention. 

Sobriquets of Minnesota. 

Like Michigan, which is frequently called the Wolverine state, and 
Wisconsin, the Badger state, Minnesota has a favorite sobriquet or nick- 
name, the Gopher state. Its origin has been given by the late Judge 
Flandrau, who, in .his "History of Minnesota," says that the beaver, as 
well as the gopher, was advocated to give such a popular title. The latter 
gained the ascendancy, soon after the admission of Minnesota to state- 
hood, on account of the famous "Gopher cartoon," published in derision 
of the Five Million Loan bill, which was passed by the first state legis- 
lature to encourage the building of railroads. The striped gopher, eom- 
mon throughout our prairie region, is the species depicted by the cartoon. 
(Minnesota, in Three Centuries, 1908, vol. I, pages 75-76.) 

Minnesota is also often called the North Star state, in allusion to the 
motto, "L' Etoile du Nord," chosen by Governor Sibley for the state 
seal in 1858. 

Another epithet for our fertile commonwealth more recently came 
into use from the Pan-American Exposition at Buffalo, N. Y., in 1901, 
where the superior exhibits of wheat, flour, and dairy products of Min- 
nesota caused her to be called "the Bread and Butter state." 

The Mississippi. 
The chief river of Minnesota, and indeed of North America, bears 
for all time the Algonquian name which it received from the Ojibways 



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GENERAL FEATURES 5 

who paddled their birch canoes on its head stream, within the area of 
this state, and on the lakes at its sources. This name, Mississippi, means 
simply the Great River. Such it is, being the second among the great 
rivers of the world, surpassed only by the Amazon, 

Jean Nicolet, the first white explorer of Wisconsin, in the winter of 
1634-35, went from Lake Michigan and Green bay to Lake Winnebago 
and the upper Fox river, and learned there from the Indians that the 
sea, as he understood them to say, was within three days' travel farther 
to the southwest. What he heard of was the Mississippi river. 

It was first made known by name bo Europeans in the Jesuit Relation 
of 1666-67, published in Paris in 1668, which mentions "the great river 
named Messipi." The Relation of 1670-71 gave a more definite descrip- 
tion as follows : 'Tt is a Southward course that is taken by the great 
river called by the natives Missisipi, which must empty somewhere in 
the region of the Florida sea. more than fiour hundred leagues hence 
(from the upper Great Lakes) » • * Some Savages have assured us 
that this is so noble a river that, at more than three hundred leagues' 
distance from its mouth, it is larger than the one flowing before Quebec ; 
for they declare that it is more than a league wide ["referring probably 
to its expansion in Lake Pepin]. They also state that all this vast stretch 
of country consists of nothing but treeless prairies," 

Earlier names had been given by the Spaniards to this river in its 
lower part, seen by their expeditions. Thus, on the map resulting from 
Pineda's exploration of the Gulf coast in 1S19, the Mississippi is named 
Rio del Espiritu Santo (River of the Holy Spirit) ; and it continued to 
be commonly or frequently mapped under that name until its present 
Algonquian designation was generally adopted. 

Father Marquette, writing of his canoe voyage on this river in !673, 
with Joliet, called it the Missisipi, but his map named it "R. de la Con- 
ception." 

Hennepin, in the first edition of his travels, published in Paris in 1683, 
called the Mississippi the River Colbert, for the great French statesman 
who died that year, and so mapped it ; but later editions named and 
mapped it as "Le Grand Fleuve Meschasipi," 

La Salle, writing August 22, 1682, designated is as "the river Colbert, 
named by the Iroquois Gastacha, and by the Ottawas the Mississipy." 
Elsewhere, however, in the same and other writings. La Salle and his 
companions more commonly used only the latter name, spelling it 
MississipL 

Perrot, after spending many years on the upper part of this river, 
in his Memoir written in 1718 or within two or three years later, spoke 
of "the Micissypy, which is now named the Louistanne;" and a French 
map published in 1718 gives the name as "the Missisipi or St. Louis." 

Carver, who traveled into the area of Minnesota in 1766, described 
and mapped this river with its present spelling, Mississippi, which was 



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6 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

followed by Pike, Cass and Schoolcraft, Long and Keating, Beltrami, 
and all later writers. Before this form became fully established, the 
name, as printed in books and maps, had many variations, which, accord- 
ing to an estimate by Dr. Elliott Coues, number probably thirty or more. 

The first part of the name, Missi, means Great, being akin to the 
modern Ojibway word, Kitchi, great, or Gitche, as it is spelled by Long- 
fellow in "The Song of Hiawatha" ; and the second part, sippi, other- 
wise spelled sipi or sebc, or zibi, is the common Algonquian or Ojibway 
word for a river. This name, received from the Ojibways and other 
Aigonquins by the earliest French missionaries and traders in the upper 
Mississippi region, though used by these Indians only for the upper part 
of the river as known to them, was extended by Marquette and Joiiet 
and by La Salle to its entire course, displacing the numerous former In- 
dian names which had been applied to its lower part. 

Rev. J. A. Gilfillan wrote: "Below the junction of Leech Lake river, 
it is called Kitchi-zibi, or Great river. I canniOt find by inquiry that the 
Chippewas have ever called it Missizibi (Mississippi) or Missazibi. But 
I consider it very probable that in remote times they did for Missa-zibi 
(Mississippi) would eicpress the same idea m their language and would 
be proper as witness Misiia sagangun (Mille Lacs) meanmg Great lake. 
It so exactly corresponds with their language that it must have been' 
taken from it " 

Endeavoring to translate more fullj the aboriginal significance of 
Missi Gannett sa^s that Mississippi means great water or gathering 
in of all the waters and an almost endless mer spread cut 

The phrase Father of Witers popularly given to this river has no 
warrant in the Algonquian name In 1854 Schoolcraft wrote "The 
prefixed word Wissi is an adjectue denoting all and when applied to 
various waters means the collected or assembled mass of them * ♦ * 
It IS only S}mibolically that it can be called the Father of American riv- 
ers unless such sense occurs in the other Indian tongues 

Red Lake and Ri\er 

Red lake is translated from its Ojibway name which like \ ermilion 
Jake refers to the red and i ermilion hues of the smooth water surface 
reflecting the color of the skv at sunset on calm eienings m summer, as 
noted m the chapters of Red Lake county and St Louia county The 
Red mer named from the lake is the boundarj of Minnesota at the 
west side of six counties flowing thence to Lake Winnipeg Its more 
distinctive name Red mer of the North was used by Nicollet to dis- 
tinguish it from the Red river tributary to the lower Mississippi. 

An exceedingh flat plain adjoins the Red ruer ha\ing an impercep- 
tible descent northward as also from each side to its central line Along 
the axial depression the mer has cut a channel tnenty to sixtj feet 
deep It is bordered by only few and narrow areas of bottomland, in- 



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GENERAL FEATURES 7 

stead of which its banks usually rise steeply on one side, and by mod- 
erate slopes on the other, to the broad valley plain which thence reaches 
nearly level ten to twenty-five miles from the river. This vast plain, 
lying half in Minnesota and half in North Dakota, with continuation 
into Manitoba and so stretching from Lake Traverse and Breckenridge 
north to Lake Winnipeg, a distance of 300 miles, is the widely famed 
Red River Valley, one of the most productive wheat-raising districts of 
the world. 

Glacial Lake Agassiz and Riveb Warren. 

The farmers and other residents of this fertile plain are well aware 
that they live on the area once occupied by a great lake; for its beaches, 
having the form of smoothly rounded ridges of gravel and sand, a few 
feet high, with a width of several rods, are observable extending hori- 
zontally long distances upon each of the slopes which rise east and west 
of the valley plain. ■ Hundreds of farmers have located their buildings 
on the beach ridges as the mcfst dry and sightly spots on their land, 
affording opportunity for perfectly drained cellars even in the most wet 
spring seasons, and also yielding to wells, dug through this sand and 
gravel, better water than is usually obtainable in wells on the adjacent 
clay areas. 

Numerous explorers of this region, from Long and Keating in 1823, 
to Gen. G. K. Warren in 1868 and Prof. N. H. Winchell in 1872, ob- 
served the lacustrine features of the valley ; and the last named geolo- 
gist first gave what is now generally accepted as the true explanation of 
the lake's existence, namely, that it was produced in the closing stage 
of the Glacial period by the dam of the continental ice-sheet at the time 
of its final melting away. As the border of the. ice-sheet retreated 
northward along the valley, drainage from It oould not flow as now 
freely to the north through Lake Winnipeg and into the ocean at Hudson 
bay, but was turned southward by the ice barrier to the lowest place on 
the watershed dividing this basin from that of the Mississippi. The 
lowest point is found at Brown's Valley, on the western boundary of 
Minnesota, where an ancient watercourse, about 125 feet deep and one 
mile to one and a half miles wide, extends from Lake Traverse, at the 
head of the Bois des Sioux, a tributary of the Red river, to Big Stone 
lake, through which the head stream of the Minnesiota river passes in 
its course to the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico. 

Detailed exploration of the shore lines and area of this lake was 
begun by the present writer for the Minnesota Geological Survey in 
the years 1879 to 1881, under the direction of Professor Winchell, the 
state geologist. In subsequent years I was employed in tracing the lake 
shores through North Dakota for the United States Geological Survey, 
and through southern Manitoba to the distance of 100 miles north from 
the international boundary to Riding mountain, for the Geological Survey 



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8 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

of Canada. For the last named survey, also, Mr. J. B. Tyrrell extended 
the exploration of the shore lines more or less completely for 200 miles 
farther north, along the Riding and Duck mountains and the Porcupine 
and Pasquia hills, west of Lakes Manitoba and Winnipegosis, to the 
SasRatchewan river. 

This glacial lake was named in the eighth annual report of the Min- 
nesota Geological Survey, for the year 1879, in honor lof Louis Agassiz, 
the first prominent advocatr of the theory of the formation of the drift 
by land ice. The outflowing river, whose channel is now occupied l^ 
Lakes Traverse and Big Stone and Brown's Valley, was named, in a 
paper read before the American Association for the Advancement of 
Science at its Minneapolis meeting in 1883, the River Warren, in com- 
memoration of General Warren's admirable work in the United Stales 
Engineering Corps, in publishing maps and reports of the Minnesota and 
Mississippi river surveys. Descriptions of Lake Agassiz and the Rivet 
Warren were partly given in the eighth and eleventh annual reports of 
the Minnesota Geological Survey, and in the first,' second, and fourth 
volumes of its final report. Monc^raph XXV of the U. S. Geological 
Survey, "The Glacial Lake Agassiz," published in 1896, treats of its en- 
tire explored extent (658 pages, with many maps). Its area exceeded 
that of the state of Minnesota, being about 110,000 square mites, or more 
than the united areas of the five Great Lakes that outfiow to the St. 
Lawrence river. 

L S H L K R 



north side is shown a= mhabited bj the Crees, In 1737 and 1754 it 
3 mapped as Lac des Eois, from which the English name is translated 



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GENERAL FEATURES 9 

La France in 1740 recorded its aboriginal names in translation as 
'Laice Da Bois or Dee Tsles" that is the Lake of the Wood-i or of 
the Islands It is entirelj surrounded bj woods though the border of 
the great prairie region is not far westward and its second name wa= 
given for the rnultitude of islands m its northern part The Ojibwav 
name ot its broad southern part adjoining Beltratni and Roseau coun 
ties as noted bv Gdfillan and Verwjst refers to the sand dunes of Oak 
point and Sable island at the mouth of Rainy ri\er whence this pari 
was frequently called '^and Hill lake by the earlj fur traders 

The St Ltiu s river is duh noticed for the oo-untv named from it with 
mention of its earlier French name as the river ot Fond du Lac so cal!ed 
because there the series of falls and rapids along its last fifteen miles 
descends to the le^el of Like Superior The Ojibwaja name it Kitchi 
gumi zibi Lake Superior ruer 

Cass lake early known as Red Cedar hke in tran:,htion from the 
Oibwa^s was renamed m honor -of General Lewis Cass who with 
Schoolcraft as historian of his expedition \isited it in 1820 regarding it 
as the chief source of the Mississippi He is also commemorated by Cass 
countj for which the names of this lake and of Yi innebagoahish and 
Leech lakes are fully noticed. 

Thief river Jying mostly m Marshall county and haung its siurce in 
Thief lake is translated from the Ojibway name which is explained for 
the city at its mouth Thief Rn er Falls m Pennington county 

Clearwater river lying m three counties one of uhich bears this 
name is again a translation from the Ojibwava like Eau CHire of the 
same meaning which designates a river a countv and it city and county 
seat in Wisconsin 

The A\ild Rice river and the hkes so named near its source arc 
translations from Manomin or Mahnomen the native grain much used 
and highly prized In the Ojibway people as a staple part of their food 
noted more m detail tor Mahnomen county 

Crow Wmg river and the countv named from it present another 
translation from these Indians for the outline of an island at the junc 
tion of this river with the Mississippi which they fancifully compared 
with the wmg of a raven Farther south on the boundari between 
Wright and Hennepin counties they applied to the Crow mer a different 
name correctls designating our American crow the marauder of newlv 
planted cornfields These names with the Ojibway words from which 
they were translated are again noticed m the chapter of Crow Wing 
county 

Sauk river in Todd and Stearns counties, Osakis lake at its source, 
lying partly in Douglas county, and the villages and cities of Osakis, Sauk 
Center, and Sauk Rapids, the last being on the east side of the Missis- 
sippi opposite to the mouth of the Sauk river, derived their names from 
a small party of Sac or Sauk Indians, who came as refugees from their 



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10 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

own country in Wisconsin and lived near Osaiiis lake, as related for the 
township and village o£ Sauk Rapids in Benton county. 

Mille Lacs, as named by the French, meaning "a thousand lakes," bore 
a Sioux name, Mde Wakan, nearly like Mini Wakan, their equivalent 
name which is translated Spirit lake in Iowa. Its Ojibway name is Minsi 
or Missi sagaigon, as spelled respectively by Nicollet in 1843 and De L' 
Isle in 1703, meaning Great lake, just as the Mississippi is the Great river. 
These names are more elaborately reviewed in the chapter for Mille Lacs 
county, which also notes the origin of the name Rum river, the outlet 
of this lake. 

Kettle river, in Carlton and Pine counties, is noticed for the latter in 
explanation of the name of Kettle River township. 

The Pine lakes and river and the Ojibway village of Chengwatana, 
meaning Pine village, gave the names of Pine county and Pine City, its 
county seat. 

Snake river is translated from the Ojibway name, Kanabec sibi, which 
has several other spellings. Kanabec, retained as the designation of a 
county, with its accent on the second syllable, is widely different in both 
pronunciation and meaning from the Kennebec river In Maine. 

St. Croix river, which, with the expansion of its lowest twetlfti tnilis 
In Lake St. Ox-ix, forms tile boundary of this stale on the east side ef 
Pine, Chisago, and Washington counties, was called tlie River du Toiri' 
beau (Tomb or Grave river) by Hennepin in 1680, "R. de la Magdeleine" 
on Franquelin's map in 1688, and the River St. Croix (Holy Cross) by 
Perrot's proclamation in 1689 and by the Relation of Penicaut in 1700. 
A cross had been set at its mouth, as noted by Penicaut, probably to 
mark the grave of some French trader or voyageur. La Harpe, writing 
of Le Sueur's expedition In 1700, which was the theme of Penicaut's 
Relation, described this stream as "a great river called St, Croix, because 
a Frenchman of that name was wrecked at its mouth." 

Lake Pepin bears this name on De L' Isle's map of Canada or New 
France, published in 1703. It may have been chosen, as stated by Gan- 
nett, in honor of Pepin le Bref, king of the Franks, who was born in 714 
and died in 768. He was a son of Charles Martel, and was the father of 
Charlemagne. Very probably the name was placed on the map by De L' 
Isle under request of his patron, the king of France. Pepin was an in- 
frequent personal surname among the French settlers of Canada, whence 
many explorers and traders came to this region, but history has failed 
to record for whom and why this large lake of the Mississippi was so 
named. Hennepin, in his narration and map, had called it Lac des 
Pleurs (Lake of Tears), because there, as he wrote, some of the Sioux 
by whom he had been taken captive, with his companions, "wept the whole 
night, to induce the others to consent to our death." Penicaut named it 
Lac Bon Secours, meaning Lake Good Help, apparently in allusion fo 
the abundance of buffaloes and other game found in its vicinity. This 



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. GENERAL FEATURES 11 

name, Bon Secours, and another Ruer dei Boeuf^ that is Ruer of 
Buffaloes, were early applied to the Chippewa river m Vi isconsin which 
was the geologic cause of Lake Pepm bj bnngins much alluvium into 
the valley of the Mississippi below the lake It'; or%in was thus like that 
of Lake St. Croix, and like Lac qui Parle on the Minnesota n\er 

Cannon river, joining the Mississippi at the head of Lake Pepin ij 
hdfm-lFh R C Coe 

aU ca 



) -06 Lo 



g th m F 

th m D 

Beside the Zumbro ra Goodhue countj, the township and village of 
Pine Island recall its Sioux name, Waii Oj'u, as the river Is called on 
Nicollet's map, signifying Pines Planted, in allusion to the grove of large 
white pines adjoining this village. 

Root river, the most southeastern large tributary to the Mississippi 
in this state, rising in Mower county and flowing through Olmsted, Fill- 



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12 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

more, and Houston counties, was called Racine river by Pike, Root river 
by Long in 1817, and botli its Sioux name, Hokah, and the English trans- 
lation, Root, are used in Keating's Narrative of Long's expedition in 
1823. With more strictly accurate spelling and pronunciation, the Sioux 
or Dakota word is Hutkan, meaning Racine in the French language and 
Root in English, while the Sioux word Hokah means a heron. Racine 
township and railway village in Mower county, and Hokah, similarly the 
name of a township and village in Houston county, were derived from 
the river. 

Tributaries of the Minnesota river to be mentioned here are the 
Pomme de Terre and Chippewa rivers, from the north ; the Lac qtii Parle 
river, having the French name of a lake through which the Minnesota 
flows, and the Yellow Medicine, Redwood, Cottonwood, and Blue Earth 
rivers, from the southwest and south ; and Watonwan and Le Sueur 
rivers, which flow into the Blue Earth. Each of these streams, except- 
. ing the first, is most fully noticed for a county bearing its name ; and 
the Pomme de Terre lake and river, translated l^ the French from the 
Sioux, are noticed for a township so named in Grant county. It is note- 
worthy that our names of all these rivers, excepting Le Sueur, which 
commemorates the early French explorer, were originally received from 
the Sioux or Dakota people, who had long inhabited this part of Min- 
nesota when the first explorers and settlers came. Only Watonwan, 
however, retains its form as a Sioux word. 

Four streams that have their sources in this state and flow into Iowa, 
namely, the Rock, Des Moines, Cedar, and Upper Iowa rivers, will com- 
plete this list 

Rock river, translated frcim its Sioux name, refers to the prominent 
rock hill, commonly now called "the Mound," which rises precipitously 
west of this river in Mound township of Rock county, the most south- 
western in Minnesota. Both tlie township and ooainty, like the river, 
were named for this high outcrop of red quartzite. The same rock for- 
mation, continuing north in Pipestone county, includes the renowned 
Pipestone Quarry, whence came the names of that county, its county 
seat, and the creek that flows past the quarry. 

The Des Moines river flows through Murray, Cottonwood, and Jack- 
son counties, thence crosses iowa, gives its name to the capital of that 
state, and joins the Mississippi at its southeast corner. Franquelin in 
1688 and De L' Isle in 1703 mapped it as "R. des Moingona,'* the name 
being taken from an Indian village, Moingona, shown by Franquelin not 
far from the site of the present village of this name in Boone county, 
near the- center of Iowa, The name was spelled by Pike as De Moyen 
and Des Moyan ; Long called it De Moyen ; and Beltrami, Le Moine and 
Monk river. It has three names on Nicollet's map : "Inyan Shasha of 
the Sioux," meaning Red Stone, in allusion to its flowing through a gorge 
of red sandstone in Marion county, Iowa; "Moingonan of the Algonkins," 



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GENERAL FEATURES 13 

from the early maps ; and "Des Moines of the French," meaning the 
River of the Monks. The third name, which has been too long in tise 
to be changed, is an erroneous translation by the early traders, based 
merely on the pronunciation of the old Algonquian name. An interesting 
paper on its origin, by Dr. Charles R. Keyes, is in the Annals of Iowa 
(third series, vol. Ill, pages 554-9, with three maps, Oct, 1898). 

Cedar river, flowing from Dodge and Mower counties in this state, 
is the longest stream of northeastern Iowa. Like the Missouri river, 
which exceeds the upper Mississippi in length, it is tributary to a shorter 
stream, the Iowa river, about twenty-five miles above the junction of the 
latter with the Mississippi. Red cedar trees, whose fragrant red wood 
is much esteemed for chests and other furniture, growing in many places 
along the bluffs of this river, supplied its aboriginal name, translated 
by Nicollet and on present maps as Red Cedar river. Its upper part, in 
this state, is more commonly called simply Cedar river; and its two 
chief cities, in Iowa, are named Cedar Rapids and Cedar Falls. The 
same name, Red Cedar, was derived in translation from the Ojibways 
for the lake of the upper Mississippi renamed as Cass lake, and for the 
present Cedar lake in Aitkin county, besides numerous other relatively 
small lakes, streams, and islands, in various parts of Minnesota. Far 
northward the full name Red Cedar was used in distinction from the 
arbor vitae, which often is called white cedar, having similarly durable 
wood of a light color. 

Upper Iowa river begins in Mower county, runs meanderingly along 
parts of the south line of Fillmore counfy, and passes southeast and east 
in Iowa to the Mississippi near the northeast corner of that state, which 
is named from the larger Iowa river flowing past Iowa Falls and Iowa 
City. The application of the name to a district west of the Mississippi, 
and later to the territory and state, as first used for the district by Lieu- 
tenant Albert M, Lea in 1836, has been well told by Prof. Benjamin F. 
Shambaugh in the volume of Annals of Iowa before cited for the Des 
Moines river (third series. Ill, 641-4, Jan., 1899), with fourteen refer- 
ences to preceding papers and books that treat of the origin of the state 
name. It was originally the name of a Siouan tribe living there, whose 
hunting grounds extended north to the Blue Earth and Minnesota rivers 
at the time of Le Sueur's expedition in 1700-01. Their tribal name, 
spelled in many ways, was translated "sleepy ones" by Riggs, being analo- 
gous with the name of the Sioux chief Sleepy Eye, who is commemo- 
rated by a city in Brown county. The Handbook of American Indians 
gives raore than seventy-five variations in the former spelling of the 
name that now is established in common use as Iowa (Part I, 1907, page 
614). 



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AITKIN COUNTY 

This county established Maj 2j 185/ and organized June 30, 1871, 
was named for William Alexander \itkin a tur trader with the Ojibway 
Indiajis He was born m Scotland in 1785; came from Edinburgh to 
America in his boyhood and about the jear 1802 came to the Northwest, 
being in the service of a trider mmed lohn Drew. Aitkin married into 
an influential Indian familj Mas soon a trader on his own account; and 
rapidly advanced until in 1831 he took charge of the Fond du Lac de- 
partment of the '\merican Fur Companj under John Jacob Astor, with 
headquarters at Sandy Lake in this county adjoining the east side of the 
Mississippi river He died September i6 18S1, and is buried on the east 
b^^k jf the Mississippi opposite to the mouth of Swan river, in Morrison 
county where he had a trading post during his last nine years, after 1842. 

The name of Aitkin county was at hrst erroneously spelled Aiken, 
with which it is identical in pronunciation and it was changed to its pres- 
ent spelling m 1872 bj an act of the legislature. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins of tiownship names was received from 
Thomas R. Foley, Jr., real estate and insurance agent, and Carl E. 
Taylor, court commissioner, both of Aitkin, during a visit there in May, 
1916. 

Aitkin township bears the same name as the county. Its village, also 
bearing this name, was founded in 1870, as a station of the Northern 
Pacific railroad, which in that year was built through the county; and the 
next year, in the county organization, it was made the county seat. 

Bain township, and its railway station of the same name, are in honor 
ot William Bain, the hotel owner, who is tme of the proprietors of the 

Ball Bluff township should be Bald Bluff, being for the conspicuous 
morainic drift Wll so named, having a bald grassy top without trees, in 
section 32 of this township, at the east side of the Mississippi. 

Balsam township is from two species of trees that are common or 
frequent in this county, the balsam fir and the balsam poplar. 

BfiAvER was named for beavers and their dania, found by the earliest 
settlers on the head streams of Split Rock river, in the south part of 
this township. 

Clark township had early settlers of this name, one being Frank 
Clark, who removed to McGregor. 

Cornish was named for Charles E. and Milo F. Cornish, settlers in 
section 34 of this township, coming from southern Minnesota. 



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AITKIN COUNTY 15 

Damdson it ioT A D Davidson senior partner m the Ddiidson and 
McRae Stock Farm Companv of Duiuth and later of \\ innipeg owners 
of numerous tracts of land in thi^ township He died in Rochester 
Minn April 1916 

Dick township was named in honor ot Mias Mildred Dick assistant 
in the office of the county auditor 

EsQo^GAMAH townahip derived its name from F^quagamah lake 
crossed bj its eait aide This is an Ojibwa-v name meaning the last 
lake given to it as the last and most western m a series ot three lakes 
bmg mainlj in Waukenabo township which ib named for the most eastern 
of these lakes 

Farm Island township is from its lake of this name having an island 
of 29 acres on which the Ojibwayi formerly had large cultivated fields 

Flemiko town'ihip ha^ Fleming lake in section 23 named for an early 
settler there 

GLbfj bears a euphonious name -ieleaed bj its settleri; at the time of 
the township organization 

H\LGEN township is named m honor of Chn'^tophLr G Haugen 
former sherifl of this countv 

Hazelton is for Cutler J Hazelton i ftrmer countv commissioner 
whose homestead wa^ on Pine lake in this township Lutler post office 
on the south side of tl is lake was also named for him 

\ichola pest office beside Mille Lacs m the southwest corner of 
Hazelton was named for Austin R Nichols its postmaster who settled 
there m 1879 \ biographic sketch is given under the citv of Austin 
Mower C3unt\ also named m his honor 

Hebron township was doubtless named b\ settlers coming from a 
town of this name in some eastern state The original Hehrtn is a \ery 
ancient town m Palestine 

Hill Lake township and its village named Hill Cifj as als its Hill 
lake are all so designated from the prominent hill of morainic drift in 
section 25 Thi= is the culminating point of a \ery knoUj and broken 
tract of the same moraine extending into the adjoining sections So which 
locality and especialh to its h ghest part the Ojibwaja applied the name 
Pikwadina (or Piquadinaw) it is hilh Hence came the common name 
'Poquodenaw mountain used by the lumbermen and guen to this hill 
on the map of Aitkin cnnnty in the Minnesota Geological Surges 

Idun township IS named for a place in Sweden. 

JcVNE township bears the surname of a Scandinavian family early 
settling there. 

Jewett township honors D. M. Jewett, a pioneer in section 20. 

KiMBERLY township was named from its station established when the 
Northern Pacific railroad was built in 1870, in honor of Moses C. Kim- 
berly, of St. Paul. He was born in Sandisfield, Mass., December 1, 184S; 
came to Minnesota in 1870, as a surveyor and engineer for this railnoad ; 
was during many years its general superintendent. 



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16 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Lakeside township is at the east side of Mtlle Lacs. 

Lee township was named in honor of Olaf Lee, a pioneer Norwegian 
farmer in section 18. 

Le May township was named for Frank Le May, one of the first set- 
tlers. 

LiBBY township is for Mark Libby, who long ago was a fur trader 
chere with the Indians, on the outlet of Sandy lake. 

Logan township was named for the long and narrow lakes, often 
shaped tike a horseshoe or ox-bow, which lie in abandoned parts of the 
(A& channels of the Mississippi, occurring frequently in this and other 
townships. For these lakes of the alluvial land adjoining the river the 
name "logans" has been in common use in Aitkin county difring the fifty 
years or more since the region was first invaded by lumbermen. (Geology 
of Minn., vol. IV, pages 26-27.) 

McGbegor township was named after the station and village of the 
Northern Pacific railroad in section 31, which also became a station and 
junction of the Soo line. 

Macville township is for pioneer Scotch settlers there named McAninch 
and McPheters. 

Malmo township is named for the large city of Malmo in southern 
Sweden, on the Sound opposite to Copenhagen. 

MiLLWARD township was named for one of its early settlers. 

Morrison township was named for Edward Morrison, one of its 
pioneer farmers. 

NoEDLAND township bears the name of a large district in northern 
Norway. 

Pliny township has the name of a celebrated naturalist of ancient 

QOADNA (each syllable having the sound of a in fall) is shortened from 
the earlier name of Piquadinaw, lirst given to this township on account 
of its tracts of knoUy and hilly drift extending eastward from the high 
hill so named by the Ojibways, as before mentioned, in HiH Lake township. 

Rice River township received its name from its being crossed by the 
head streams of the Rice river, named, like the large Rice lake, from wild 
rice (Zizania aquatica), which was harvested by the Indians as a very 
valuable natural food supply. 

Salo township was named by its Finn settlers for a town in south- 
western Finland. 

Seavey township was named for a family residing in Aitkin, one of 
whom. Frank E. Seavey, has been durii^ many years the clerk of the 
county court. 

Shamrock was named by Irish settlers for the trifoliate plant long 
agvj chosen as the national emblem of Ireland. 

Shovel Lake township and its railway station were named for Shovel 
lake, crossed by the south line of the township. 



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AITKIN COUNTY 17 

Spalding township was named in honor of John L. Spalding, former 
treasurer of this county. 

Spencer township is for William Spencer, who was a druggist in 
Aitkin, but removed to Texas. 

Tamarack is a village of the Northern Pacific railroad in Clark town- 
ship. 

TxTRNER township is for L. E. Turner, formerly a county commissioner. 

V RDo t h' d t ffi d f Verdon Wells son of 

B W 

W ffi 



Atki 

W08 
who later removed from the county. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Nicollet's map, published in 1843, gives the following names of lakes 
and streams partly or wholly within the area of Aitkin county, as they 
have since continued in use; the Mississippi river. Willow and Little 
WJlJow rivers, West and East Savanna rivers. Lake Aitkin, Sandy lake, 
jnd Mille Lacs, 

Other names which survive with slight changes from that map are 
Prairie river, tributary to the West Savanna, called Little Prairje river 
by Nicollet; Mud lake and river, tributary to the Mississippi at Aitkin, 
which were called Muddy lakes and river; and Cedar lake, Nicollet's Red 
Ce-lar lake, which Pike in 1805-06 called the Lower Red Cedar lake (to 
distinguish it from the Upper Red Cedar lake, far up the Mississippi, 
renamed in 1820 Lake Cassina, now Cass lake). 

The very elaborate "Historico-Geographical Chart of the Upper Mis- 
sissippi River," published by Dr. Elliott Coues in 1895 with his annotated 
edition of Pike's Expeditions, includes interesting notes of successive 
geographic names and their dates in Aitkin county. 



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18 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Willow river was called Alder river by Schoolcraft in 1820 and like- 
wise in 1855. It flows through a nearly level and largely swampy area, 
which bears abundant willows and alders. Its Ojibway name is translated 
Willow river by Gilfillan. 

West Savanna river was so called in 1820 by Schoolcraft. The Savanna 
rivers, West and East, retain these names as given by the early French 
voyageurs ; hut this word, nearly equivalent to prairie, was originally 
of American origin. It was a Carib word, and was introduced into Euro- 
pean languages by Spanish writers near the middle of the sixteenth 
century. By the Ojibways the East Savanna river was named Mushki- 
gonigumi sibi, "the marsh-portage river," having reference to the very 
marshy portage made on this much used canoe route in passing to the 
West Savanna river and Sandy lake. 

The early French name of Sandy lake was Lac au Sahie or du Sable. 
The French and English alike translated it from the Ojibway name, 
recorded by both Gilfilian and Verwyst as Ga-mitawangagumag Sagaiigiin, 
"the-p!ace-of -bare-sand lake." The Northwest Company established a 
trading post on the west shore of this lake in 1794, which was visited by 
David Thompson in 1798 and by Pike in January, 1806; but before the 
time of Aitkin's taking charge there in 1831 the old post had been aban- 
doned for a new site at the mouth of the outlet of Sandy lake, on the 
narrow point between the outlet and the Mississippi river. 

Rice river and its tributary Rice lake (named Lake Dodge by Nicollet, 
probably for Governor Henry Dodge of Wisconsin), also another Rice 
lake, of very irregular outline, lying close south of Sandy lake, received 
their.names, as before noted in connection with Rice River towtiship, from 
their large and valuable supplies of the excellent native grain called wild 
rice. The Ojibway name of the. wild rice, Manomin, is applied to this 
stream on Nicollet's map, in the common form of its spelling as given in 
Baraga's Dictionary. Another form is Mahnomen, given to a county of 
this state. Its French translation is Folic Avoine, meaning in our lan- 
guage "false or fool oat," nearly like the name, "Wild Oats river," used 
for this Rice river by Beltrami Jn 1823. 

White Elk brook or creek, like the township of this name, is so called, 
in the Ojibway usage, for the lake of its source. 

Moose river, tributary to Willow river, is translated from its Ojibway 
name, given by Gilfillan as Moz-oshtigwani sibi, Moosehead river. It 
receives the outflow of several small lakes, of which the most eastern, 
called Moose lake, in Macville, has been mainly drained. 

Little Willow river is named, like the larger stream that often is called 
Big Willow river, for its plentiful willows. 

Sisabagama lake (accented on the middle syllable, with the long vowel 
sound) and the outflowing creek or river of the same name, close east 
of Aitkin, have had various spellings. Gilfillan spelled and defined this 
Ojibway name as Sesabeguma lake, "Every-which-way lake, or the lake 



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A TK Y N Y 



B 48 R 



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20 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Farm Island lake gave its name to that township, iti allusion to the 
farming by Ojibways. The outflowine Mud river passes in the next two 
miles through Pine, Hickory, and Spirit lakes, which in the latest atlas 
are shown to be connected by straits, so that they might be termed a series 
of three bays continuous with the first named large lake. 

Fleming, French, Jenkins, and Wilklns lakes, in Fleming township, 
are probably named for early settlers, trappers and hunters, or lumbermen. 
A larger lake of this group, now named Gun lake, was formerly called 
Lake Manomin {i. e,. Wild Rice). 

Hanging Kettle lake, translated from its Ojibway aame, in sectiMis 
13 and 14, Farm Island township, is connected eastward by straits with 
Diamond and Mud lakes. 

Horseshoe lake, in sections 23 and 24, Shamrock, is named for its 
curved shape. 

Island lake, in sections 11 to 14, Turner, has a large central island. 

Lone lake, in sections 29 and 30, Nordland, has no visible outlet; but it 
probably supplies the water of large chalybeate springs which issue close 
south of the road near the middle of the soath side of Mud lake. 

Mallard lake, in section 2, Hazelton, formerly called Rice lake, is 
named for its mallard ducks. 

Nelson and Douglas lakes, section 23, Clark, now drained away, were 
named for M. Nelson and K Douglas, owners of adjoining lands. 

The name of Nord lake, in Nordland, is of similar origin with the 
township name, meaning north and given by Norwegian settlers. 

Pine lake, named for its pine woods, in Hazelton township, was earlier 
known as Hazelton lake or Echo lake. 

Portage lake, section 6, Davidson, was at the end of a portage on a 

Rabbit lake, in Glen township, has high shores of irregular outlines, 
an excellent hunting ground. 

Rat lake, in Workman, and Rat House lake, in sections 26 and 35, 
Cornish, ate named for their muskrats. 

Sugar lake, in Malmo, is named for its sugar maple trees, this species 
having been much used by the Ojibways for sugar-making. 

Twenty lake, in Malmo, is named from the number of its section. 

Vladimirof lake, mainly in section 10, Nordland, was formerly known 
as Section Ten lake, but has been renamed for a settler who owns lands 
close north and east of the lake. 

This county also has the following names of lakes, which are of fre- 
quent occurrence elsewhere, 

Bass lake, in section 28, Aitkin; another of this name in section 10, 
Farm Island (lately renamed as Hamraal lake) ; and a third Bass lake 
in section 19, Turner. ' 

Long lake, in Glen township. 



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AITKIN COUNTY 21 

Mud lake, in Nordland; another in thS north part of Logan; and a 
third and fourth in section 10, McGr^or, and sections 14 and 23, White 
Elt 

Otter lake, in section 34, LeMay; and another in section 9, Logan. 

Pickerel lake, in section 27, Aitkin. 

Round lake, in section 31, Hazelton ; another in Jevne ; a third, crossed 
by the line between. Haugen and Shamrock; and a fourth between Wau- 
kenabo and Esquagamah lakes. 

Glacial Lake Aitkin. 

In the village of Aitkin and westward a beach ridge of gravel and sand, 
having a height of three to five feet, marks the south shore of a glacial 
lake which existed during a geologically very short time in the broad 
aiid shallow depression of this part of the Mississippi valley. It was first 
described and mapped by the present writer in Volume IV of the Final 
Report of the Geological Survey of Minnesota, published in 1899, being 
then known to extend from the edge of Crow Wing county eastward and 
northward in Aitkin, Spencer, and Morrison townships. 

Later and more detailed examinations, by Leverett and Sardeson, show 
that this glacial lake reached northward along the Mississippi fo the mouth 
of Swan river, in the north edge of Aitkin county {Bulletin No. 13, 
Minnesota Geological Survey, published in 1917). The length of Glacial 
Lake Aitkin was about fifty miles, but it had only a slight depth of water, 
nowhere exceeding twenty feet, above the Mississippi, Willow, and Rice 
rivers, and above the Sandy river and lake. 



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ANOKA COUNTY 



D m P W W 



R N 



g -rf 

gi Bar Oct 



Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county has been gathered from the "History of 
the Upper Mississippi Valley," I88I, in which Anoka county and its civil 
divisions are treated in pages 222-293; from the "History of Anoka 
counQr and the Towns of Cliamplin and Dayton in Hennepin County," 
320 pages, 190S, by Albert M- Goodrich ; and from Charles W. Lenfest, 
county treasurer, Frank Hart, clerk of the court, and Clarence D. Green, 
real estate agent, during a visit to Anoka in October, 1916. 

Anoka was founded by Orrin W. Rice, Neal D. Shaw, and others, by 
whom its name was adopted in May, 1853, The "City of Anoka" was 
incorporated by the state legislature July 29, 18S8, and later the "Borough 



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ANOKA COUNTY 23 

of Anoka," March S, 1869, but both these acts failed of acceptance by the 
vote of the township. Finally, under a legislative act of March 2, 1878, 
this city was set off fram the township of the same name, the first city 
eitctioh being held oh Marcli ii. 

Bethel was first settled in 1836 by Quakers, and Was organized the 
next year. Its name is from ancient Palestine, meaning "House of God,'' 
and was selected for this township by Moses Twitchell, who settled here 
as an immigrant from Bethel, Maine. 

Blaine township, settled in 1862, was the east part of Ano!<a until 
18?7; when it was separately organized and was named in honor of James 
Gillespie Blaine, a prominent Republican statesman of Maine. He was 
born in Pennsylvania, Jan. 31, 1830, and died in Washington, D. C„ Jan. 
27, 1893; was a member of Congress from Maine, 1863-76, being the 
speaker in 1869-75 ; U. S. senator, 1876-81 ; and secretary of state, March 

D m 88 88 884 

H 



H R 

flo. 
the town. . , . A ferry across the Mississippi river was established about 
1854." (Goodrich, pages 162-3). This very small county continued 
nearly thirteen years, until in 1869-70 it was united with Anoka county 
as Manomin township. The name was changed to Fridley in 1879. 

Abram McCormick Fridley, in whose honor this township received its 
name, was born in Steuben county, N. Y., May I, 1817; came to Long 



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24 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Prairie, Minn., in 1851 as agent for the Winnebago Indians ; was after- 
ward a farmer in this township, and in 1B69 opened a large farm in 
Becker, Sherburne county ; was a representative in the legislature in 
1855, 1869-71, and IS;9. He died in Fridley township, IMarch, 1888. 

Grow township, settled about 1853, was organized in 1857 with the 
name Round Lake, which in 1859 was changed to Grow, in honor of 
Galusha Aaron Grow, of Pennsylvania. He was born in 1823, and died in 
1907; was a member of Congress, 1851-63, and again in 1894-1902; was 
the speaker of the House, 1801-3. "For ten years, at the beginning of 
each Congress, he introduced in the House a free homestead bill, until 
it became a law in 1862." This grand public service has caused him to be 
remembered gratefully by millions of homesteaders. 

Ham Lake township, settled in 1857, was attaclied to Grow township 
till 1871, when it was separately organized. It had been previously called 
Glengarry, a name from Scotland, which its Swedish settlers found dilS- 
cult to pronounce. The county commissioners therefore named the new 
township Ham Lake, from its lake in sections 16 and 17, which had ac- 
quired this name on account of its form. 

LiNwoOD township, first settled in I8SS and organized in 1871, received 
its name from Linwood lake, the largest and most attractive one in a 
series or chain of ten or more lakes extending from northeast to- south- 
west through this township and onward to Ham lake. The name doubt- 
less refers to the lin tree or linden. Our .A.merican species (Tilia Ameri- 
cana), usually called basswood, is abundant here, and is common or fre- 
quent through nearly all this state. 

Oak Gbiove township, settled in 1855, was organized in 1857. "The 
name is derived from the profuse growth of oak trees, which are about 
equally distributed over the township." (Upper Mississippi Valley, page 
285). 

Ramsey, first permanently settled in J850, was organized in 1857, 
being then named Watertown ; but in November, 1858, this township was 
renamed in honor of Alexander Ramsey, the first governor of Minnesota 
Territory, 1849-53, and later the second governor of this state, 1860-63. 

Itasca was the name given by Governor Ramsey and others to a town- 
site platted ill 1852 on sections 19 and 30 in this township, near an Indian 
trading post; and the first postoffice of Anoka county was established 
there and named Itasea in May of that year. The name was copied from 
Lake Itasca, at the head of the Mississippi, which had been so named 
by Schoolcraft in 1832. It was later applied during many years, after 
the building of the Northern Pacific railroad through this county, to its 
station near the former Itasca village site. Both the vili^e and the rail- 
way station have been abandoned, but a new station, named Dayton, for 
the village of Dayton at the opposite side of the Mississippi, has been 
established on the Northern Pacific and Great Northern railways about a 
mile southeast from the former Itasca station. This old village name, 



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ANOKA COUNTY 25 

which became widely known sixty years ago, is now retained here only 
by the neighboring Lake Itasca, of small size, scarcely exceeding a half 
mile in diameter. 

St. Francis township, settled in 1855 and organized in 1857, bears the 
name given by Hennepin in 1680 to the Rum river. It was transferred 
by Carver in 1766 to the Elk river, and now is borne by the chief north- 
ern tributary of that river. The name is in commemoration of St. Fran- 
cis of Assisi, in Italy, who was born in 1181 or 1182 and died in 1226, 
founder of the Franciscan order, to which Hennepin belonged. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The Mississippi has been considered in the first chapter; and the origiD 
of the name Rum river, outflowing from Mille Lacs, is noted for Mille 
Lacs county. 

A noteworthy series of lakes extends through Columbus and Cen- 
terville, including, in their order from northeast to southwest, Mud lake, 
Howard, Colurabia, Tamarack, Randeau, Peltier, Centerville, George 
Watch, Marshan, Rice (or Traverse), Reshanau, Baldwin, and Golden 
lakes. The second to the fifth of these lakes are now much lowered or 
wholly drained away. 

Peltier lake was named for early settlers, Charles, Paul, and Oliver 
Peltier, the first of whom built a sawmill. 

Rice lake probably received its name .from its wild rice, but Rice 
creek, flowing through this series of lakes, was named for Hon. Henry 
M. Rice, of St. Paul, United States senator, who was an early resident in 
Fridley township, as before noted. This Rice lake has been also known 
as Traverse lake, for F. W. Traverse, living at its northwest side. 

Golden lake, the most southwestern in the series, lying in sections 25 
and 36, Blaine, was named for John Golden, owner of land adjoining it, 
who was one of three brothers, early immigrants to this county from 
Ireland. 

Another series of lakes, tributary in its northern part to the Sunrise 
river, and at the south to Coon creek, lies in Linwood, Bethel, and Ham 
Lake townships. This series includes, fr«m northeast to southwest. Typo 
lake and Lake Martin; Island lake, named for its island; Linwood lake, 
giving its name to the township; Boot lake, named from its outline; 
Rice lake, having wild rice; Coon lake and Little Coon lake, named, like 
the creek, for raccoons, formerly much hunted here ; and Lake Netta and 
Ham lake, the latter, as before noted, being named from its form, and 
giving name also to its township. 

Cedar creek, and the adjoining Cedar station and village oi the Great 
Northern railway, are named for the white cedar or arbor vitae, grow- 
ing there in swamps. 

Seeley, Trott, and Ford brooks, on the west side of Rum river, are 
named for their early settlers. 



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26 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

In Burns township, Norris take, in section 1, was likewise named for 
Grafton Norris ; and Hare lake, in section 21, now drained, for James 
U. Hare, who was formerly postmaster of Nowthen postoffiee, lately 
discontinued, near this lake. (It is said that the name of this postoffiee 
was recommended by Mr. Hare's neighbors, from his common use of it, 
"Now then," in conversation). 

Other lakes named for pioneer settlers are Miiiard lake and Jones 
lake, in Bethel, the latter (now drained) having been also known as Lone 
Pine lake; Lake George, in Oak Grove township; Bunker lake in section 
36, Grow township, named for Kendall Bunker, a homesteader there; and 
Lake Amelia, in section 35, Centerville. 

The following lakes bear names that occur somewhat frequently in 
many other counties : 

Cedar lake in sections 33 and 34, Centerville. 

Crooked lake m section 33, Grow, and section 4, Anoka. 

Deer lake sections 15 and 22, Bethel. 

Fish lake m the north part of Bethel 

Goose lake now drained, sections 15 and 16, Burns. 

Grass lake section 11 Oak Grove. 

Mud lake m section 16, Bethel; and another in section 13, Columbus. 

Otter lake sections 35 and 36, Centerville. 

Pickerel lake mostly drained, section 22, Burns. 

The two Rice lake^ occurring in the series before noted. 

Round lake, sections 20 and 29, Grow. 

Swan lake, now drained, in section 25, Oak Grove. 

Twin lake, section 19, Burns. 



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BECKER COUNTY 

This county, established March 18, 1858, but not organized until thir- 
teen years later by a legislative act approved March 1, 1871, was named 
in honor of George Loomis Becker, of St. Paul. He was born in Locke, 
Cayuga county, N. Y., February 4, 1829; was graduated at the University 
of Michigan in 1846 ; studied law, came to Minnesota in 1849, and began 
law practice in St. Paul; was mayor of this city in 1856; was Democratic 
candidate for Governor of Minnesota in 18j9; was a state senator. 18''j8- 
71. He was commonly called General Becker, having been appointed by 
Governor Sibley on his military staff in 1858, with the rank of brigadier 
general. In 1862 he became land commissioner of the St. Paul and 
Pacific railroad, and was ever afterward occupied in advancing the rail- 
road interests of Minnesota, being a member of the state railroad and 
warehouse commission from 1885 to 1901. He died in St. Paul, January 
6, 1904, 

October 13, 1857. Mr, Becker was elected as one of three members of 
Congress, to which number it was thought that the new state would be 
entitled. It was afterward decided, however, that the state could have 
only two representatives ; and, in casting lots for these two, Becker was 
unsuccessful. His generous acquiescence was in part rewarded by this 
county name. 

Townships and Villages. 
Information has been gathered from "A Pioneer History of Becker 
County," by Alvin H. Wilcox, published in 1907, 757 pages ; from H. S. 
Dahkn, county auditor, George D. Hamilton, editor of the Detroit 
Record, and Charles G. Sturtevant, formerly county surveyor, interviewed 
during a visit at Detroit in August, 1909 ; and from maps in the office 
of J. A. Narum, county auditor, examined during a second visit in Sep- 
tember, 1916. 

Atlanta township, settled in 1871, was organized January 25, 1879, 
being then named Martin, perhaps for Martin Hanson, one of the first 
settlers. Two months afterward it was renamed Atlanta, "from tlie re- 
semblance its undulating surface bears to the Atlantic ocean." 

Audubon township was organized August 19, 1871, but was njmed 
successively Windom, Colfax, and Oak Lake, holding the last of these 
names from 1873 until 1881. The Northern Pacific station and village 
to be established here, also the small lake adjoining the village site, had 
received the name Audubon in August, 1871, in honior of John James 
Audubon (b. 1780, d. 1851), the great American ornithologist, celebrated 
for his pictures of birds. This name was proposed by his niece, a mem- 
27 



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28 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

ber of a party of tourists who "camped where the Audubon depot now 
stands." In January, 1881, the township name was changed to Audubon, 
and on February 23 of that year the village was incorporated. 

BuBLiNGION, organized August 26, 18?2, "was so named from the city 
of Burlington in the state of Vermont, by Mrs. E. L. Wright, a Ver- 
monter, whose husband took a leading part in the organization of the 
township." 

Frazee village, on the Northern Pacific railroad in this towns- o, was 
platted in 1873, but was not incorporated until 1891. It was na^ 'd in 
honor of Randolph L. France, owner of its lumber mill. He was , orn 
at Hamden Junction, Ohio, July 3, 1841 ; came to Minnesota in 1866, and 
to this place in 1872 ; was a representative in the legislature in 187S ; re- 
moved in 1890 to Pelican Rapids, and died there June 4, 1906. 

Callaway township, organized March 30, 1906, is named for William 
R. Callaway, of Minneapolis, general passenger agent of the Soo rail- ' 
way, which had previously established a station and village of this name 
in section 32. 

CAfisoNVn.LE township, organized September 20, 1831, was named by 
Alvin H. Wilcox, then county treasurer, in honor of George M. Carson, 
a prominent pioneer, who in June, 1879, took a homestead in section 18, 
Osage (the east part of Carsonville till its separate organization in 1891). 

Cormorant township, organized February 26, 1872, received this name 
from its Big Cormorant and Upper Cormorant lakes, which are translated 
from the Oj'ibway names. Our species is the double-crested cormorant, 
which nests plentifully about these lakes. 

Cuba, organized in the winter of 1871-72, was named for Cuba, Alle- 
gany county, N. Y., the native place of Charles W. Smith, who came as 
one of the first settlers of this township in 1871, 

Detroit township, settled in 1868 and organized July 29, 1871, derived 
its name from Detroit lake, which, according to the History of Becker 
" county, had been so named by a French traveler here, who was a Catho- 
lic missionary. Having camped for a night on the north shore of the 
lake in full view of the long bar which stretches nearly across it and 
leaves a strait {detroit, in French) between its two parts, he thence ap- 
plied this name to the lake. It appeared on our state maps in I860. The 
Ojibway name of this lake refers also to its strait, being translated by 
Gilfillan as "the lake in which there is crossing on the sandy place." De- 
troit has been the county seat of Becker county from its organization in 
1871 ; but during the first year some of the meetings of the county com- 
missioners were held at or near Oak lake, a few miles distant to the 
northwest. The first village election was held March 3, 1881 ; and the 
cily charter was adopted February 23, 1903. 

Erie township, first settled in 1872-3 and organized August 18, 1878, 
was named for Erie county in New York by settlers who came from the 
city of Buffalo, which is in that county. 



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BECKER COUNTY 29 

EVERCEEEN, organized January 4, 1888, was named for its abundant 
evergreen trees, including the pines, spruce, balsam fir. and the red and 
white cedars. It is estimated that in 1880 this township had "abo-jt five 
million feet of standing white pine." 

Grand Park township, organized Jaly 31, 1892, was so named fior its 
beautiful scenery of rolling and hilly woodland, interspersed with lakes 
and traversed by the head stream of the Red river. 

Green Valley, organized May 3, 1886, received this name from the 
valley of Shell river, which crosses the northeast part of this township, 

Hamden township, organized September 19, 1871, was named for Ham- 
den in one of the eastern states, this being a town or village name in 
Connecticut, New \ork, New Jersey a d Ohio. 

Height of Lawd tow i p organ zed Janiary 26, 1886, bears the name 
of the large lake e os ed by ts north boundary. The Red or Otter Tail 
river flows through tl s lake from wh cl a former canoe route led east- 
ward to the Shell lake and r ve tr butary bj the Crow Wing river to the 
Mississippi, Gilfillan translated the Oj b 'ay name, "Ajawewesitagun 
sagaiigun. the lake where the portage is across a divide separating water 
which runs different ways, or Height of Land lake." 

HoLMESviLLE township, which received its first settlers in 1871 and 
1873, was organized March 19, 1889, as East Richwood; but this was soon 
changed to the present name, in honor of Elon G. Holmes. He was bom 
in Madison county, N. Y., in I84I ; served in the 26th New York regi- 
ment in the civil war; came to Minnesota in 1865; settled in Detroit in 
1872, and was president of the First National Bank there ; was a state 
senator, 1887-9. 

Lake Eunice township, settled in J870 and organized September 3 
1872, "was named by the United States sur\e\or'i in honor of Eunice 
McClelland, who was the first white woman to settle near the lake She 
was the wife of John McClelland (He was elected the fir t clerk of 
this township, and was also the fir'it reg ster of deeda of the county 
holding the latter office six ■years) 

Lake Pakk township, settled in 1870 was organized September 19 

1871, being then named Liberti which was changed to the present name 
in 1876. Its many lakes were collectively named b\ the Oiibma'ss as 
translated by Gilfillan, "the lakes where there are stream' gro\es prai 
ries, and a beautiful diversified park country 

The name of Lake View, settled m 1870-71 and wganized March 12. 

1872, was suggested by Mrs. Charles H. Sturtevant, "as there were so 
many lakes in the township and so many pretty views from them." 

Osage, settled in 1879, was united in township government with Car- 
sonville until May 4, 1891, when it was separately organized, deriving this 
name from Osage, the county seat of Mitchell county, Iowa. It is also 
a geographic name in Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, and Oklahoma; but 
originally it was adopted for the Osage tribe of Indians, "the most im- 



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30 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

porfant southern Siouan tribe of the western division" (F. W. Hodge, 
Handbook of American Indians). 

RiCEviLLE, organized in 1912, derived its name from the South branch 
of the Wild Rice river, which flows through the northwest part of this 
township. ■ 

RicHwooB township, organized June 23, 187i, was named from Rich- 
wood in the Province of Ontario, Canada, the native town of W. W. 
McLeod, who settled on the site of Richwood village in May, 1871, being 
one of the owners of a sawmill there. 

RuNEBERG township, Settled in 1882 and organised May 24, 1887, was 
named in honor of Johan Ludwig Runeberg, the great Swedish poet. He 
was born at Jakobstad, in Finland. February S, 1804; and died at Borgi, 
near Helsingf ors, May 6, 1877. 

Savannah township, organized October 12, 1901, was named for its 
several tracts of grassy meadow land along stream courses, "made in an 
early day by the backwater from the dams of the beavers." (The Ameri- 
can origin of this word has been noted for the West Savanna river in 
Aitkin county). 

Shell Lake township, first settled in 1^1 ^nd organized December 
7, 1897, bears the name of its large lake, the source of the Shell river. 
These English names were derived probably from the shells found along 
the shore of the lake. The Ojibway name means, as translated by Gil- 
fillan, "the lake lying near the mountain," having reference to the portage 
thence across the water divide to Height of Land lake. 

Silver Leaf, settled in 1882-83, was organized March 3, 1888, receiv- 
ing its name "from the silvery appearance of the leaves of the poplar, 
with which the township abounds." 

Spring Creek township, lorganized in 1912, is named for its small ■ 
creeks and many springs, headwaters of the South branch of the Wild 
Rice river. 

Spruce Grove township, settled in 1880, was organized January 19, 
1889. "As the predominant timber in the town was evergreens, it was 
called Spruce Grove. The township was heavily timbered with pine 
(five million feet), spruce, balsam, oak, poplar, birch, elm, basswood, 
iponwood, and tamarack." 

Toad Lake township, settled in 1887 and organized January 5, 1892, 
received this name from its large lake, a translation from the Ojibway . 
name, Mukuki {or Omakaki) sagaiigiin. Thence also came the name of 
the outflowing Toad river, and of the prominent morainic drift hill in 
section 8, on the west side of this lake, called "Toad mountain," which 
commands an extensive view of the surrounding country. 

Two Inlets, settled in 1881 and organized September 20, 1898, was 
named from Two Inlets lake, in the east part of this township. It re- 
ceives two inflowing streams close together at its north end, the larger 
one being the Fish Hook river, which flows through this lake. 



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BECKER COUNTY 



tl d 1879 d g d Ap i 3 1883 w 
, n f t fi t p n f W Iw rth 

. f m th dj g T ff ty n th t 

g d M I W 1900 w d f t 

f tl U t d St t g nm nt 
wh h 1 tl un 

Th m 1 f th O) bw y 
to this reservation b g n 1858 th fi t p t ra n? t th t f the 
agency on June 14, wh h I b ted th 1 y g eat nn 



Walworth town i p 
named by Albert E. H 
county, Wisconsin. H 



White Eabth to h p g 
village of White E rth tl 1 
agency of the White E th Ind 
ties, Becker, Mahno d CI 



versary day. 
The 



t 



d f m ■W h t Earth 1 k 
i k th Ij g 

; It O] bw m g b 

th pi f h t 1 y 1 k o 

imit pi t th 1 f th 



h) 



mF I d 
i g Ik 



the most beautiful i tl 

about five miles north t f th 
GilfiUan, "Ga-wabab gu k g 

called from the whit 1 > h h 

Ogema (with ac t tl t 1 1 g g 

meaning in the Ojibw j 1 g g h f th 
township. 

Wolf Lake town h p h t ttl d 1888 by m 

was organized Apr 1 4 1896 e th m 

which was so named b th ttl t f t f M y w 1 

bears, and deer wer k 11 d I d g th fi t j f ettl t 

Lakes and Stee\M6 

The Otter Tail or Red river, fravers ng this count> receued its mme 
from the large Otter Tail lake in the next ecuntj on the south which is 
named from that lake and the river as noted m its chapter Pelican 
river, flowing through the Detroit series of lakes to Otter Tail river is 
noted in the same chapter, for Pelican township and the Milage of Peh 
can Rapids, named like this river, in translation of the Ojibway name 
for Lake Lida, which adjoins it and is tributary to it in Otter Tai! county 

The origins of the names of several lakes of Becker county are noticed 
in the foregoing list of its townships. These are the Cormorant lakes 
in the township of this name, to which may be added the Little Cor- 
morant lake in Audubon and Lake Eunice townships ; Detroit lake. Height 
of Land lake and Lake Eunice; the many little lakes in Lake Park town- 
ship ; Shell lake. Toad lake. Two Inlets lake, White Earth lake, and Wolf 
lake. 

Elbow lake, the most northern in the series through which the Red 
or Otter Tail river flows, is noted by Gilfillan as a translation of its 
Ojibway name, having reference to Its sharply bent form. The next lake 
in this series is Little Bemidji lake, a mile long, this Ojibway word sig- 
nifying a lake that is crossed by a stream. 



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32 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Many Point lake ist Itdfmth bogl m f g 

to the many bays and int gptfthh K dlklk 

wise from the Ojibway n q pi t b g f 

most common lake name ti gh t tl t t Tl Upp d L w 

E^g lakes, west of Round Ik d th til g Fgg g 

translations, referring to t dggfwtl gbd 

Flat lake is another n fid g hlphphldb 

better translated as Shall w 1 k B 1 w th j t f th Rou d Lak 
and Shallow Lake rivers tl y m d by tl Oj bw j tl R d 

river passes through as 11 Ik t 16 G dPk hhGI 

SUan translated as "the-bl kb d pi f w id Ik It 1 b 

more simply anglicized a BI kb d 1 k 

West of' Height ofLadlk P Tm k, dCtt Ik 

the last probably named f p 

Other lakes wl Ojbym t ltd IdFhHk 

lake (close west fWlt E thlkjBgRtlk BgR hlk I 
Cracking, Green Wt dP Ptlk Bwodlkjgl 

lake. Lake ofthVllySt b jlkthBg dLttlSg Bh 
lakes (so named f m p! t d tl m k g f m pi g bj th 

Indians), and T ! b} 1 k ( m d f p f h t fi h th t I 

libee), these being n tl Wl t E tl E rv t t ght lak d 

river are likewis tit 1 tl b g 1 

The Buffalo d t f m tl 1 t p pi f 

tributary having t \ A h wh h 11 d by th O] fa- 

ways, as translated, "Buff 1 f m th f t tl t b ff 1 

always found wintering th Th p B ff i 1 k tl m 

clature of these Indians, h 1 k wl t fc p rumbl g w y f m 

the gnawing of beavers ;" and they apply the same name, as stated by Gil- 
fillan, to what we call Buffalo river, flowing into the Red river. In a 
word, therefore, the Ojibway name in translation would be Beaver lake 
and river. 

Bool lake, in Savannah, and Moon lake, in sections 2 and 11, Rich- 
vfiood, are so named for their outlines. Mission lake, in White Earth, 
is named for the adjoining Catholic mission and church. 

The following lakes, in the alphabetic order of their townships, were 
named for settlers on or near them: Balke lake and Lake Tilde, in At- 
lanta; Homstad, McKinstry, Marshall, and Reep lakes in Audubon; Chil- 
ton and Pearce lakes, in Burlington ; Anderson and Fairbanks lakes, in 
Callaway; Floyd and Little Floyd lakes, in Detroit; Howe lake, in Erie; 
Collett lake, in Evergreen township; Momb's lake in HolmesviUe; Boyer 
lake, Lake Labelle, and Stakke lake, in Lake Park township ; Lake Abbey, 
Curfman, Monson, Reeves, and Sauer's lakes, in Lake View; Campbell. 
Houg, and Sands lakes, in Richwood; Bisson and Trotochaud . lakes, in 
Riceville ; Lake Clarence, in Spring Creek township ; and Du Forte and 
Morrison lakes, in White Earth, 



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BECKER COUNTY 33 

Several lakes in the southwest part of this county were named for the 
wives or daughters of pioneer settlers, as Lakes Sallie and Melissa, 
through which the Pelican river flows below Detroit lake, Lake Eunice 
(giving name to its township), Lake Maud and Lake Ida. Excepting 
Lake Eunice, before noticed as named for Mrs. John McClelland, only 
one other of these has been identified with its surname, this being for 
Melissa Swetland, one of three daughters in the family of a pioneer from 
Canada, well remembered by Miss Nellie C Childs, assistant county su- 
perintendent of schools. 

This county has other takes bearing the following names, for which 
their origin and significance have not been ascertained ; Acorn and E^e 
lakes, in Burlington; Brandy lake and St. Qair lake, in Detroit, and 
another St. Clair lake in sections 13 and 14, Callaway; Pearl lake, in 
Lake Eunice township; Lake Forget-me-not, in Lake Park; Dead lake 
and Hungry lake, in Silver Leaf township; Chippewa lake, in Grand 
Park ; and Rock lake, in Holmesville. 

Common lake names which need no explanation, iDCcurring here, are 
two Bass lakes, in the White Earth Reservation ; Long lake, in Detroit ; 
Oak lake, the locality of an early settlement, between Detroit and 
Audubon ; Loon lake, in section 24, Lake Eunice township ; Fox lake, in 
section 7, Lake View ; Pickerel lake and Perch lake, in Erie, Island lake, 
in Shell Lake township; Mud lake, close south of Toad lake, another a 
mile west bf Little Toad lake, and a third in section 2, Silver Leaf ; four 
Rice lakes, in Detroit, Erie, Grand Park, and Holmesville ; Round lake, 
before noted, in the White Earth Reservation, and another in Holmes- 
ville; Turtle lake, in section 7, Cormorant; and Twin lakes, in sections 
11 to 13, Height of Land. 

H 

moid fied 



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BELTRAMI COUNTY 

Thirty years intervened between the establishment of Beltrami county, 
February 28, 1866, and its organization, when its county seat and earliest 
settlement, Bemidji, received incorporation as a village, May 20, 1896. 

The county name was adopted in honor of Giacomo Costantino Bel- 
trami, the Italian explorer in 1823 of the most northern sources of the 
Mississippi river, near the center of the part of this county lying south 
of Red lake. Anglicized, his name vfas James Coastantine, and on the 
title-page of his published works, relating his travels, it is given by 
initials as J. C Beltrami. Except David Thompson in 1798, he was the 
first explorer to supply descriptions of Red and Turtle lakes, though 
undoubtedly they had been previously visited by roving traders and their 
canoe voyagers. 

Beltrami was born at Bergamo, Italy, in 1779. His father advised him 
to the profession of the law, and he held numerous official positions as 
a chancellor and a judge; but in 1821, being accused of implication in 
plots to establish an Italian republic, he was exiled. 

After traveling in France, Germany, and England, Beltrami sailed 
from Liverpool to Philadelphia, and arrived there February 21, 1823. 
About a month later he reached Pittsburgh, there made the acquaintance 
of Lawrence Taliaferro, the Indian agent at the new Fort St. Anthony 
(two years afterward renamed Fort Snelling), and traveled with him by 
steamboat down the Ohio and up the Mississippi, coming on May 10 to 
the fort 

From July 9 to August 7, Beltrami traveled to Pembina with the ex- 
ploring expedition of Major Long, to whom he had been commended 
by Snelling and Taliaferro. He left that expedition at Pembina, and went 
southeastward along an Indian trail, with two Ojibways and a half-breed 
interpreter, to the junction of the Thief and Red Lake rivers, whence his 
journey was by carfoe up the latter river to Red lake. From an Ojibway 
village near the mouth of the lake, Beltrami traveled with a canoe along 
its southwestern shore to the Little Rock or Grave! river, where he 
stopped at the hut of a half-breed, who became his guide. August 26 
and 27 were spent in making !ong portages with the half-breed and an 
Ojibway, leaving the siouth shore of Red lake a short distance east from 
the site of the Agency and going south, passing small lakes and coming 
at last, by a few miles of canoeing, to Lake Puposky, now also called Mud 
lake. Proceeding still southward the next morning, Beltrami soon came 
to a Jake- named by him, for a deceased friend, Lake Julia, which he 
thought to have no visible outlet, but to send its waters by filtration 
through the swampy ground both northward and southward, being thus 



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BELTRAMI COUNTY 35 

a source both of the Red Lake river, called by him Bkwdy river, and of 
the Turtle river, the most northern affluent oi the Mississippi. The nar- 
rative of Beltrami shows that he arrived at Lake Julia hy a short por- 
tage ; but on the map of the United States land surveys it is shown as 
having an outlet into Mud lake, thus belonging to the Red river basin. 

On September 4 Beltrami reached Red Cedar lake, since known as 
Cass lake ; and during the next three days he voyaged down the Mis- 
sissippi to the mouth of Leech Lake river. Thence he went up that stream 
to Leech lake, where he made the acquaintance of Qoudy Weather, a 
leader in the band of the Pillager Ojibways, by whom he was accompa- 
nied in the long canoe voyage of return to the Mississippi and down this 
river to Fort St. Anthony. 

The next winter was spent by Beltrami in New Orleans, where he 
published his narration in 1824, written in French, bearing a title which 
in English would be "The Discovery of the Sources of the Mississippi 
and of the Bloody River " In 1828 he published m London his most 
celebrated work, entitled "\ Pilgrimage m Europe and America leadmg 
to the Discovery of the Sources of the Mississippi and Bloodj Rner; 
with a Description of the Whole Course of the former and of the Ohio." 
This work of two-iolumea is cast in the form of a series of letter'; ad- 
dressed to an Italian countess Eight letters in pages 116 to 491 of Vol- 
ume II, contain the account of his travels in Minnesota 

During his later years until 1850 Beltrami resided m \arious cities 
of France, German}, Austria and Italy, and his last fi\e. jears were ^pent 
on his land estate at Filotrano near Macerata Italv where he died in 
February, IS'^S 

The citj of Bergamo his birthplace, m 1865 published a volume of 134 
pages commemorating his life and work, dedicated to the Minnesota 
Historical Societ} In translation from this book Alfred J Hill presented 
in the second volume of this society's Historical CollectwHi^ a biographic 
sketch of Be!trami together with a communication from Major Talia- 
ferro, giving reminiscences of him 

Townships -^nd ViLL\GEb 

Information was received from John Wilmann, county auditor, during 
a visit at Bemidiji in September, 1909; and from H. W. AIsop, deputy 
auditor, in a second visit there, Atigust, 1916. 

Alaska township was named by settlers who had traveled to Alaska. 

Angle township received this name from its being bounded on the 
north by the inlet (about ten miles long) of the Lake of the Woods lead- 
ing to its Northwest Angle, or "most northwestern point," as it was 
described by the treaty of 1783 and by later treaties defining the boundary 
between this country and Canada. The area thus named Angle comprises 
about 120 square miles, bounded by the lake on the south, east, and north. 
Excepting Alaska, it is the most northern tract of the United States, as 
it lies between 10 and 26 miles north of the 49th parallel. 



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36 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Arnesen is a fishing viliage on the shore of the Lake of the Woods in 
Lakewood township. Its site was formerly known as Rocky Point. The 
village was founded by Bernard A. Arnesen, who settled there in 1897. 

Battle township is named for Battle river, flowing through this town- 
ship into the east end of the south half of Red lake. The stream was so 
named by the Ojibways on account of their having fought here witb the 

Baudette township and village are named from the Baudette river, 
there tributary to the Rainy river. It is an early French name, probably 
in commemoration of a fur trader. 

Bemibji township and city were named for an Ojibway chief whose 
band of about fifty people had their homes on and near the south end 
of Lake Bemidji and around Lake Irving, including the site where white 
settlers founded this town. The chief died in April, 1904, at the age of 
eighty-five years. His name was taken from the older Ojibway name of 
this lake, crossed by the Mississippi. Gilfillan translated it as "the lake 
where the current flows directly across the water, referring to the river 
flowing squarely out of the lake on the east side, cutting it in two as it 
were, very briefly Cross lake." 

Benville township was probably named for a pioneer settler. 

Big Gkass is named from the South branch of Roseau river, which has 
its sources in the north edge of this township. This French name, Roseau, 
translated from the Ojibway name of the Roseau lake and river, means 
the very coarse grass or reed {Phragmites communis), which is common 
or frequent in "the edges of lakes and slow streams throughout this 
northwestern part of Minnesota. 

BmcH township has valuable timber of the paper or canoe birch, 
and also of the yellow or gray birch, the former species being greatly 
used by the Indians for making their birch bark canoes. 

Birch Island township, on the north side of the north half of Red 
lake, is named for its having a well wooded tract of canoe birch, elm, 
oak, ash, basswood, and other trees, along and near the lake shore between 
the Two rivers and for a mile eastward. This was a heavily timbered 
island, as it was called, rising 10 to 25 feet above the lake, in remarkable 
contrast with nearly all other parts of the north shore, which are a very 
extensive tamarack swamp only a few feet above the lake and reaching 
thence north 10 to 15 miles or more. 

Black Duck township received its name from its large Black Duck 
lake, the source of the river of the same name tributary to Red lake. The 
species popularly known by this name is, according to Dr. Thomas S. 
Roberts, the ring-necked duck (Marila collaris, Donovan), frequent or 
common throughout the state. 

Brook Lake township, the most southeastern of this county, is named 
from a small lake in section 27, Moose Lake township, adjoining this on 
the north, and a brook flows from it into section 3 of this township. 



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BELTRAMI COUNTY 



37 



BuzzLE township and 
honor of an early settler 

Chilgren township w 
scent, who is a farmer an 

Clementson, a small 
river, in Gudrid township, 
saw mill there, formerly a 

CoKMANT is shortened 
this township, named by 
for the double-crested 
The full form of the na 
Becker county, preventing 
spelling, however, it was 



Buzele lake, in its section 21, were named in 

beside the lake. 

IS named for Albert Chiigren, of Swedish de- 

1 lawyer there. 

village on Rainy river at the mouth of Rapid 
was named for Helec Clementson, owner of a 

, county commissioner, who came in May, 1S96. 
from the Comorant river which flows through 

Beltrami (in translation of the Ojibway name) 
frequent in many parts of Minnesota, 
ne had been earlier applied to a township of 
ts use elsewhere in this state ; with the abridged 
admitted again into the list of our township 



DURAND township is in honor of Charles Durand, a homesteader on the 
northeast side of Lake Puposky. 

EcKLEs township bears the name of an early iandholder interested in 
the building of its branch of the Great Northern railway. 

Eland township was named' by the early settlers, perhaps for the eland 
of South Africa, a large species of antelope or elk formerly found there 

EuGENF township was named probably for Eugene V Debs of Indiana 
tandidate of the Socialist Party for president of the United State' m 
I9U4 1908 and 1912 

Faslei a railwas station in Port Hope township was named for a 
lumberman and merchai t there who remo\ed we't several years -igo and 
has smce died 

Fkohn was named for a diiatnct of Gudbrandidalen Norway the for 
mer home of immigranti in th s township 

FuMi-LEY a railwa* tation and junLtion m Hornet township was 
named for Henry FunUev a Kwjer in Bem dji 

Grant \allb\ ttwnship and ita Grant lake m section 4 with Grant 
creek its outlet were named for an earl> settler or lumberman 

GuDRru township has a Norwegian feminine name probabli for the 
wife of an immigrant homesteader 

KIGALI was named for an earh Norwegian settler of this township 

H^MRE township derned its name from a small district m Norwiy 
whence some ot its settlers came 

HiNES a railway station in Black Duck township was named for Wil 
Iiam Hmes formerly a lumberman there 

Hornet township was origmallj named Murrai a duplicati n of an 
older Minnesota township name and the Lhan^e and selcctirn of the 
present name caused much contention 

Island L\ke a iiUage m the east part of -Miska township at the end 
of a lumber railway branch was named for the adjoming Island lake 
which has a small island close to this ullage 



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38 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Jones township was named for a pi-oneer there, who moved away many 

Keil township was probably named for a German settler. 

Kelliheb township and its village, at the end of a branch railway 
built for lumbering, were named for A. O. Kelliher, a former agent here 
for lumber companies, i 

KoNiG township was named for a settler there from Germany, 

Lakewdod township was named for its timber, and for its situation on 
the south shore of the Lake of the Woods, 

Lammers was named for the Lammers Brothers (George A, and 
Albert J.), of Stillwater, who engaged in real estate and lumber business 
in this township, 

Langoh township received its name in honor of Henry A. Langord 
(the linal letter being omitted), a settler of Norwegian descent, coming 
here from Wisconsin. 

Lee township was named for settlers from Norway, their original 
name having been changed to this spelling. 

Liberty township received this name iu accordance with the petition 
of its settlers. 

Maple Ridge township was named for its sugar maple trees, and for its 
situation at the sources of streams descending north to Red lake. Sugar 
Bush township is also named for the maple trees and sugar-making, to be 
more fully noted in a later page. 

McDoUGALD township was named for John McDougald, a member of 
the first board of county, commissioners, now engaged in real estate busi- 
ness at Black Duck. 

Meadow Land township is named for its grass lands along streams, 
open areas used for hay-making in this generally wooded region. 

Minnie township has the feminine name derived from the name of this 
state, perhaps chosen in honor of the wife or daughter of one of its 
pioneers. 

Moose Lake township is named for its Moose lake and Little Moose 
lake, which are probably translated from their Ojibway names. 

Myhke township was named for L. O. Myhre, of Norwegian descent, 
a former member of the board of county commissioners, residing near 
Bemidji, 

Nbbish township and its lake of this name are from the Ojibway word 
anibish, tea, the much relished drink alike of the white settlers and the 
Ijidians. 

NoKTHEEN township received this name because it includes the north 
part of Lake Bemidji. 

Northwodd township was named for its timber and its situation in the 
north part of this county. 

Nymore, the lumber manufacturing village near the city of Bemidji, 
was named for Martin Nye, a Bemidji pioneer, who was a veteran of the 



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BELTRAMI COUNTY 39 

O'BsiEN township was named for a lumberman there, William O'Brien, 
from Stillwater, Minn. 

Pioneer township received this name in compliment to its pioneer 
settlers. 

PoNEMAH, a village on the north shore of the southern half of Red 
lake, having a United States government school for the Ojibway children, 
bears a name used by Longfellow in "The Song of Hiawatha." Minne- 
haha in dying, and afterward Hiawatha, depart 
"To the Islands of the Blessed, 
To the Kingdom of Ponemah, 
To the Land of the Hereafter." 

Port Hope township was named by one of its first settlers. Captain 
William Wetzel, a veteran of the Mexican war and the civil war, probably 
for Port Hope, Canada, on the north shore of Lake Ontario. 

PoTAMo township has the name of a town on the east coast of the 
island of Corfu, Greece. 

Prosper township received this name of good promise in accordance 
with the petition of its settlers. 

PuPOSKY is a railway village in Durand township, on Lake Puposky, 
an Ojibway name recorded and translated by Beltrami, signifying "the 
end of the shaking lands," that is, swamps whose surface is shaken and 
sinks when walked on. It has been also translated as Mud lake, with 
Mud river outflowing from it. 

Quiring township needs further inquiry to learn why it is so named. 

Rapid River township was named for the stream crossing it, a tributary 
of the Rainy river. It was mapped and described by Keating of Major 
Long's expedition in 1823 as the River of Rapids, "so called from the fine 
rapids which it presents immediately above its mouth." 

Redby, a village on the south shore of Red lake and at the end of a 
railway branch, received its name from the lake. 

Roosevelt township, including the greater part of Clearwater lake, 
crossed by the west line of this county, and also the railway village of 
Roosevelt, 78 miles farther north near the Lake of the Woodi in the 
east edge of the adjoining Rosea t m d h of 

Theodore Roosevelt, president of th U t d St t 1901 (P 

RtjLiEN township was named fo W II m R 1 wh g g d in 

real estate business in Baudette. 

Shooks township was named f Edw d Sh k wh w mer- 

chant there at a former station of th K II 1 1 j b h 

Shotley township was probably m d f lb t Sh tley 

brook, here flowing into the north h If f R d 1 k 

SoLWAY, a railway village in L mm t w h p d th S Iway 
Lumber Company, which formerlj k d t tv w med 

after Solway Firth, the wide inlet f m th I h S b t E gland 

and Scotland, 



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40 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Spooner township is in honor of Marshall A. Spooner, of Bemidji, 
who was judge in this Fifteenth judicial district, 1903-08. 

Spruce Grove township was named for its spruce timber, abundant 
on many tracts throughout northern Minnesota. 

Steenebson township was named for Hon, Halvor Steenerson, of 
Crookston, representative in Congress since 1903. 

Sugar Bush township was named, like Maple Ridge township also in , 
this county, for its maple trees used by both the Indians and white people 
for sugar-making. Beltrami wrote of the Ojibway process of making 
maple sugar, as follows (in his "Pilgrimage," vol. 11, page 402) : "The 
whole of this territory abounds with innumerable maple or sugar trees, 
which the Indians divide into various sitgaries. The sap of the trees 
flows through incisions made in them by the Indians in spring at the foot 
of the trunk. It is received in buckets of birch bark and conveyed to the 
laboratory of each respective sugary, where it is boiled in large cauldrons 
till the watery parts are evapo-rated. The dregs descend, and the saccha- 
rine matter remains adhering to the sides of the vessel. When this process 
Is completed the sugar is made." 

Summit township has the highest land crossed by the Minnesota and 
International railway, called therefore a "summit" by its surveyors. 

Swift Water received its name, like Rapid River township before 
noted, from the Rapid river flowing through these townships. 

Taylor township was named in honor of James Taylor, an early 
homesteader there, now a merchant at Tenstrike, the village on the west 
border of this township. 

Tenstrike, a railroad village oa the line between Port Hope and 
Taylor townships, was platted and named by Almon A. White of St. Paul, 
alluding to the completely successful bowling which with the first ball 
knocks down all the ten pins. 

Turtle Lake township bears the name of its large lake, translated, 
as also the outflowing Turtle river, from the Ojibway name. Thompson, 
who traveled here in 1798, wrote of this lake that "its many small bays 
give it the rude form of a turtle." 

Turtle River township likewise is named for its Turtle River lake, 
and for the river so named flowing through this lake, the most northern 
tributary of the Mississippi. 

Wabanica township received Its name from waban, the Ojibway word 
for the east and also for the twilight or dawn of the morning. 

Walhalla township is named from Norse mythology, for the hall of 
Odin, also spelled Valhalla, into which were received the souls of war- 
riors slain in battle. 

Washkish township, at the east end of the north part of Red lake, is 
from the Ojibway word, wawashkeshi, the deer, which is 
or frequent there, though much hunted. 



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BELTRAMI COUNTY 41 

Wbeeler township, at the west side of the mouth of Rainy river, was 
named for Alonzo Wheeler, a pioneer farmer there. 

Wilton, a railway village and junction in Eckles township, was named 
for some one of the fifteen or more villages and tov^ns of tliis name in the 
eastern states, Canada, and Englandi. 

WooDRow township is in honor of the president of the United States, 
Woodrow Wilson. 

ZippK. township was named for William M. Zippel, of German de- 
scent, who through many years has been a fisherman on the Lake of the 
Woods, living in this township, at the mouth of the creek which was 
earlier named for him. The aboriginal name of this stream, which con- 
tinued until recently in use, was Sand creek. Mr, Zippel first settled at 
Rat Portage in 1884, and removed three years afterward to the mouth 
of this creek, where the fishing village bearing his name has since grown 
up. 

Lakes and Streams. 
The names of the Lake of the Woods and Rainy and ifississippi rivers 
and Cass lake have been considered in the first chapter of this work ; 
and Red lake will be later noticed in connection with Red Lake county. 
In the preceding list of townships, sufficient mention is made of several 
lakes, rivers, and creeks, these being Battle river. Lake Beraidji, Black 
Duck lake and river, Brook lake, Buzjle lake. Cormorant river. Grant 
lake and creek. Moose lake and Little Moose lake, Nebish lake, Lake 
Puposky or Mud lake and the outflowing Mud river, Rapid river, Shotley 
brook, Turtle lake and river and the Turtle River lake, and Zippel's creek. 
The longest southern tributary of Red lake on the canue route of 
Beltrami is Mud river, the outlet of I-ake Puposky or Mud lake, which 
he called "the river of Great Portage." This name, as he wrote, was gi\en 
by the Indians, "because a dreadful storm that occurred on it blew down 
a vast number of forest trees on its banks, which encumber its channel, 
and so impede its navigation as to make an extensive or great portage 
in order to reach it." In accordance with the recommendation of Bel- 
trami, it is sometimes called Red Lake river, indicating it to he the upper 
part of the river that outflows from Red lake. 

Lake Julia, before noted as the highest source of this stream, was 
thought by Beltrami to send its waters partly southward, so that it sup- 
plied to him the title of "the Julian sources of Bloody river and the 
Mississippi." 

Schoolcraft, in the Narrative of his expedition to Lake Itasca in 1832 
(published in 1834), wrote the name of Lake Bemidji as "Pamitchi 
Gumaug or Lac Travers." On Nicollet's map, 1843, it is "Pemidji L." 

Lake Irving, closely connected with Lake Bemidji by a strait and 
forming the south boundary of the city of Bemidji, was named by School- 
craft for Washington Irving, the eminent American author (1783-1859). 



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42 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

It was frequently called Little Bemidji lake by the early settlers, which 
name has passed out of use. 

Lake Marquette, in sections 29 to 31, Bemidji, was also named by 
Schoolcraft, for the zealous French missionary and explorer of the 
Mississippi (1637-75). It is on the Plantagenian or South Fork of the 
Mississippi, which Schoolcraft ascended on his way to Lake Itasca, now 
named Schoolcraft river (or Yellow Head river, for his Ojibway guide), 
more fully noticed in the chapter of Hubbard county. 

The Mississippi for about si>! miles next below Lake Bemidji has a 
series of rapids, which were ascended in 1832 by Schoolcraft and were 
described by him as follows in his "Summary Narrative" (published in 
1855). "Boulders of the geological drift period are frequently encountered 
in ascending them, and the river spreads itself over so considerable a 
surface that it became necessary for the bowsmen and steersmen to get 
out into the shallows and lead up the canoes. These canoes were but 
of two fathoms length, drew but a few inches of water, and would not 
bear more than three persons. . . . There were ten of these rapids 
encountered before we reached the summit or plateau of Lake Pemidje- 
gumaug, which is the Lac Traverse of the French. These were called 
the Metoswa rapids, from the Indian numeral for ten" (Midasswi in 
Baraga's Dictionary). 

A few miles below these rapids, the Mississippi in the southeast corner 
of Frohn township flows through Wolf lake, which was called Pamitas- 
codiac by the Ojibways. It was thought by Schoolcraft to be so named 
for a tract ot prairie adjoining it, "from pemidj, across, muscoda, a prairie, 
and acfcee, land." 

One to two miles farther east the Mississippi passes through the south 
end of Lake Andrusia, named by Schoolcraft in 1832 for Andrew Jadcson, 
who was president of the United States, 1829 to 1837. 

For the next two miles the course of this river is occupied by Allen's 
bay, which is connected with Cass lake by a short and narrow strait. This 
body of water was named also by Schoolcraft, for Lieutenant James Allen, 
a member of the expeiiition of 1832, "who, on his return down the Missis- 
sippi, was the first to explore it." Allen was bom in Ohio, 1806; was 
graduated at the U. S. Military Academy, 1829; was promoted to be 
captain, First Dragoons, J837; conducted an expedition to the sources of 
the Des Moines and Blue Earth rivers in 1844; and died at Fort Leaven- 
worth, Kansas, August 23, 1846. He was author of a report to the gov- 
ernment on each of these two Minnesota expeditions. 

David Thompson's map of the international boundary survey from 
Lake Superior to the Lake of the Woods, in 1826, shows the mouths of 
Rapid river. Riviere Baudette, andl Winter Road river, flowing into the 
Rainy river from this county. The first was named, as before noted, 
for its picturesque rapids or falls, descending about 20 feet, close above 
its mouth ; and the second is thought to be a French personal surname. 



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BELTRAMI COUNTY 43 

The third of these streams received its name, as noted by Nathan 
Butler, of Minneapolis, who during many years was engaged in survey- 
ing and land examinations in northern Minnesota, for "a winter road, or 
dog sled trail, leaving the Rainy river at the mouth of the Winter Road 
river and running about S. 20° W. fifty miles, to the middle of the north 
shore of the north Red lake. The whole distance is one continuous swa'-'n, 
tamarack and open, except where the streams have cut down into the 
ground from six to twelve feet below the surface, thus draining the land 
on either side for forty or fifty rods." (Geology of Minnesota, vol. IV, 
1899, page 150.) 

Winter Road lake, in Eugene township, is translated, like this out- 
flowing river, from their Ojibway name. 

Peppermint creek, tributary to the Winter Road river, is named for 
its native species of mint, including most notably the wild bergamot 
(Monarda fistulosa). 

The following lakes bear names of early settlers : Campbell lake. Lake 
Erick, and Peterson lake (also called Mud lake), in Liberty township; 
Myrtle lake, in sections 4 and 9, Roosevelt ; Buzzle and Funkley lakes, 
in Buzzle township; Movil lake, in Turtle Lake and Northern townships; 
Robideau and Gilsted lakes, in Birch township ; and Swenson and Grace 
lakes, in Frohn township. 

Pimushe lake, in Moose Lake township, which we receive from Nicol- 
let's map, bears an Ojibway name, but it has not been identified in 
Baraga's Dictionary. 

Kichi lake, on the south line of the same township, also mapped wiiih 
this name by Nicollet, now spelled Kitihi lake, means in the Ojibway 
language Big lake, its approved form is Kitchi, in Baraga's Dictionary, 
or Gitche, in Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha." It is thus of exactly 
the same meaning as a second Big lake, three miles distant on the west, 
in Sugar Bush township. 

Nearly all the other lakes of this county, not already noted, chieHy 
occurring only in its southern third part, have names of common or 
frequent use and evident origin, many indeed being translations of the 
aboriginal names. These include Moose and Turtle lakes, in Alaska town- 
ship; Bass lake, in Nebish, also Bass and Little Bass lakes, in Turtle River 
township ; Clearwater lake and river, to be more fully noticed for Qear- 
water county ; two White Fish lakes, in Hagali and Buzzle townships ; 
Loon lake and Medicine lake, in Hagali, the latler of Ojibway origin; 
Gu!! lake, in Hagali and Port Hope; Deer, Pony, and Long lakes, in 
Liberty township, and another Long lake in Turtle River township ; Black 
lake, Fox, Gnat, and Three Island lakes, in Turtle Lake township; Twin 
lakes, in Taylor; Grass lake, on the line between Eckles and Grrant Valley; 
Rice lake, on the east line of Sugar Bush, and another in Jones township, 
the latter more commonly known by its Ojibway name, Manomin lake, 
each referring to the luxuriant growths of wild rice; Boot and Fern 



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44 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

lakes, in Grant Valley, the- former named for its oiitiine ; and School fake, 
in Frohn, lying partly in the school section 16. 

Points and Islands, Lake of the Woods. 

The Rainy river enters the Lake of the Woods by flowing through 
Four Mile bay, so named for its length from east to west. This bay is 
separated from the main lake by Oak point, also four miles long, which is 
a narrow sand bar, bearing many bur oaks, a species that is common or 
abundant throughout Minnesota, excepting far northeastward. 

On the Canadian side, opposite Oak point, a similar wave-built sand 
bar or barrier beach, named Sable island, skirts the original lake shore 
for about six miles northeastward. Its French name, if anglicized, would 
be Sand island. The geologic origin or formation of Oak point and Sable 
island is the same with Minnesota point and Wisconsin point, which 
inclose the harbors of Duluth and Superior. 

The sand dunes of this island and of Oak point caused this large 
southwest part of the Lake of the Woods to be formerly often called 
Sand Hill lake. 

From the mouth of Rainy river, at the east end of Oak point, the in- 
ternational boundary runs nearly due north across the main southern area 
of the lake, passing close west of Big island, which belongs to Canada. 
As it approaches the Northwest Angle inlet (called "Angle river" ia the 
latest Minnesota atlas), which has been noted on a preceding page in its 
relation to ^ngle township the boundary se's off to this slate on its west 
O B 



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BELTRAMI COUNTY 45 

The site of Fort St, Charles, which was established by Verendrye in 
1732 and named by him in honor of the governor of Canada, Charles de 
Beauharnois, was discovered in 1908, on the Minnesota shore of Hie 
Northwest Angle inlet, rearly three miles distant from the bend of the 
boundary at American point, the north end of a small island, where it 
turns from its north course to run westward up the inlet. From this 
fort the eldest son of Verendrye and a Jesuit missionary named Father 
Aulneau, with nineteen French voyageurs, started in canoes June 5. 1736, 
to go to Mackinac for supplies. Early the next morning, at their first 
camping place, they were surprised and murdered by a war party of the 
Prairie Sioux. This massacre, from which not one of the Frenchmen 
escaped, was on a small island of rock, since called Massacre island, in 
the Canadian part of the Lake of the Woods, about twenty miles distant 
from the fort by the canoe route. (Rev. Francis J. Sehaefer, in Acta et 
Dicta, published by the St. Paul Catholic Historical Society, vol. II, pp. 
114-133, July, 1909, with two maps between pages 240 and 241 in the same 
volume.) 

Tributaries and Points of Red Lake. 
In September, 1885, the present writer made a canoe trip for geologic 
observations along the entire shore line of Red lake, starting east from 
the Agency. The journey, more than a hundred miles in extent and occu- 
pying six days, was wholly within the Red Lake Indian Reservation, which 
has since been greatly reduced in its area. My canoemen were two 
Ojibways, Roderick McKenzie and William Sayers, each of whom had 
received a fair education and could converse well in English. Mr. 
McKenzie, by his acquaintance with the Indians about the lake, was spe- 
cially serviceable In obtaining information of the names applied by them 
to streams and points of land along the shore, and the translations of 
these are given in my report, published by the Geological and Natural 
History Survey of Minnesota {vol. IV, 1899, pp. 155-165). A sketch map 
of Red lake and its vicinity drawn during this travel and published by 
the U, S. Geological Survey, is Plate XII in Monograph XXV, 1896, "The 
Glacial Like Agassiz " Much abridged from the report cited, the follow- 
ing are my n t f t an 1 t f the Ojibway names then in use. 

The St m t tl Ag n y P ke creek, rendered Gold Fish creek by 
dents it is more commonly called Mill 
ng ten feet head, is built on this stream 
m its mouth. Its sources, according to 
Rev. F. W S tl f three or four lakelets, the lowest of 

which, ly ng th uthw t d of the road to Cass lake, is called by the 
Indians L ttl Ik b t by tl wh te men Ten Mile lake, being about ten 
miles dist nt f m th Ag n ; The highest, named Cranberry lake, has 
quite irr gul tl I3 g m tly in sections 34 and 35, T. 150, R. 34, 

in the ea t pa t f Ala k t w h p 



Beltrami b 


t b 


th 


E 


gl h 


creek. A 


w a 


Hg 


t 


mil h 


about a q 


t 


f 


a 


1 f 



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46 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Near the chief's village, about five miles east of the Agency, is a 
slightly projecting point, called the Chief's point It rises steeply 25 to 
30 feet above the lake. Indian cornfields were seen on its top, in small 
clearings of the forest. 

Mud river, called the Red Lake river on former maps, and Great 
Portage river by Beltrami, enters the lake about a. half mile east of the 
Chief's point. This is larger than Pike creek, but smaller than Sandy 
river and Black Duck river. Its head stream passes through Lake 
Puposky, named on the township plats Mud lake, and through two lower 
small lakes called Wild Rice lakes. 

Big point, a broad swell of the shore, standing out perhaps an eighth 
, { a mile beyond the general outline westward, but little from that east- 
ward, is nearly a mile east of Mud river. 

In the distance of six miles from Big point to Black Duck river, four 
small creeks enter the lake, bordered by tracts of marsh grass along the 
lower part of their course. On these meadows we saw many stacks of 
hay which had been put up by the Indians, and the name Hay creek is 
applied to one of these streams. Hay is also cut by the Indians on the 
meadows of nearly all the streams about Red lake. 

Black Duck river flows into the most southeast part of the southern 
half of the lake. It is called Cakakisciou river on Beltrami's map, and 
Cormorant river on Nicollet's and later maps ; but it is known to the 
English-speaking residents only by the name of Black Duck river. Its 
principal tributary, coming in from the northeast, is now named the 
Cormorant river. 

Battle river, from which a township is named, enters the lake about 
four miles farther north. It is of nearly the same size as Big Rock 
creek and Mud river. 

In canoeing thence to the Narrows, only one small tributary was seen, 
called Sucker creek. About three miles west of this creek is Elm point, 
and nearly two miles beyond this we passed the more conspicuous Un- 
inhabited point, so named by the Indians because of ancient clearings 
along the shore for a mile to the east, where in some former time, pruA- 
ably a century or longer ago, the Ojibway people had a village and cul-t 
tivated fields. Their bark lodges and more permanent log-houses, with 
patches of com and potatoes, were seen here and there all along this 
shore from its most eastern portion to the Narrows. 

Beyond the Uninhabited point the shore trends west-northwest past 
Pelican, Halfway, &nd Rabbit points, successively about three fourths of 
a mile apart. About a mile northwestward from Rabbit point is Sand 
Cliff point The base of this is the usual wall of boulders, derived from 
erosion of glacial drift; but its upper part, rising steeply from near the 
lake level to a height of 7S or 80 feet, is levelly bedded sand and fine 
gravel 



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BELTRAMI COUNTY 47 

Next to the northwest a plain of sand and gravel, bearing no forest, 
and perhaps in part natural prairie, about 25 feet above the lake, extends 
two thirds of a mile or more, diminishing from a third to an eighth of 
a mile in width. On this tract, about a mile south of the Narrows, is the 
principal Ojibway village of Red lake, consisting in 1885 of forty or fifty 
lodges. This village was represented on Nicollet's map (1843), which was 
of so early date that it does not show St, Paul, Minneapolis, nor any other 
city or town in Minnesota. 

A later note should be added, that, according to Miss Frances Dens- 
more, of Red Wing, Minn., who has visited these Indians to write of their ■ 
music, this village is called by them "Wabacing {where the wind blows 
from both sides)." The name refers to the exposed situation, between 
the south and norlii parts of the lake. 

Big Sand Bar creek of 1885 is now named Shotley brook. At its mouth 
it has deposited a delta of sand and fine gravel, which projects fifteen 
rods into the lake. About three miles farther northeast is Little Sand Bar 
creek, in section 31, Washkish. 

Tamarack river, called Sturgeon or Amerikaning river on Beltrami's 
map, comes in at the extreme east end of the lake. It is 50 to !00 feet wide 
near its mouth, and is bordered by shores of alluvial sand only three -tr 
four feet high. 

Poplar creek, IS to 20 feet wide and two or three feet deep, comes 
in about ten miles from the east end of the lake; and three miles farther 
west the Two rivers, each 30 feet wide and three or four feet deep, have 
their mouths about a half of a mile apart. 

Some fifty rods west from the west one of the Two rivers is the be- 
ginning of the "winter road" to the Lake of the Woods, a trail used, as he- 
fore noted, by the Indians in winter, when the vast swamps of the inter- 
vening country are friozen. 

Wild Rice river (Manomin creek of the Ojibways) joins the lake at 
the extreme northwestern portion of this north half, where the shore 
turns in a graceful curve to the south. This is a large stream, 40 to 50 
feet wide and five to seven feet deep for a distance of at least fifty rods 
from its mouth. Wild rice grows along its banks for a width of six to ten 
feet. Abotit a mile southwest from its mouth this river flows through 
the north end of a shallow lake, called Wild Rice lake from its rank 
growth of this useful grain, which supplies a large part of the winter 
food of the Indians. 

From the West Narrows point the north shore of the south half of 
Red lake trends west and southwest about four miles to Starting point, 
so named by the Indians because they gather there for starting in com- 
pany in canoe trips to the outlet and down the Red Lake river. 

Oak creek, about ten feet wide, comes in some six miles north of the 
outlet, deriving its name from the occurrence of several large oaks on the 
beach near its mouth. A marsh, destitute of trees, but with tamarack and 



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48 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

spruce swamp beyond it westward, borders the lake thence about two 
miles to Last creek, which is of similar small size, being the last tribu- 
tary passed in approaching the outlet. 

Red Lake river receives no tributary, excepting recent drainage ditches, 
till it reaches the mouth of Thief river, 45 miles distant by a straight line 
from this lake. 

Sandy river, which comes in at the most southwestern portion of the 
lake, is about 35 feet wide and four feet deep. 

Big Rock creek, flowing into Red lake next eastward, is also called 
Shell creek for Shell lake from which it issues, where it is crossed by 
the road: from the Red Lake agency to White Earth Jt takes the for- 
m m f m tw 1 g b Id h 1 t ght f t dm 

whhlm dpttllkh hdf 

th th 1 tl t m 



Ab t f d h If 


1 f tl t p d L ttl R k 1 


d k th d f 


1 p t 11 d b f tl b h t 


Ittl b Id t tw 


f t d t wh h d ght 


1 h w f th 


th f th k It w il d G 1 


by B It m wl t d 


d m d £ ght m 111 k t b 


t t Ti Ik wl 1 


t w b tl d t fi d 1 


f th h Id f f 


ly d d t h m f d h 1 'y 


L E d F d 


-^d ! M gd 1 V g d El 



R d W t k y 11 p b bl m d tl !I t 1 

b g ftps t tl I k b t th I ttl R k 

kdtlAg \pttlk bt toth kbdth 

d t W h t E th call d G 1 k p b blj f m t fl t f 
tiflgfth dgwd 

It h b g d th t tl O] bw y t 1 t d R ! 1 k m y 

I b tkfmthRdWt k fmth flwg 

t dpghbd dddhdy How bj tl t 

1 1 b g f E It m m g t ly t 1 t d t Bl d 

Ik tt b t g t bl d 1 d Id w M I 1 1 P 

J ph A G Ihll th gh 1 m g th I d t d f 

RdLk t>l dhtlbglra fmth 1 

f th 1 k d ki fi t d t f m th h ght d I 

and g Id 1 f tl t 

Beltrami Isla>d of Lake A(,Asbiz. 
The only large island of the Glacial Lake Agassiz was between Red 
lake and the Lake of the Woods, in Beltrami and Roseau counties. The 
highest parts of that island, which was named in 1893 for Beltrami, are 
about 130 feet above Red lake and 1310 feet above the sea. When the 
glacial lake had fallen to the contour line of 1200 feet, the higher Bel- 
trami island had an area of about 1160 square miles. (Journal of Geology, 
Vol. XXIII, pages 780-4, Nov.-Dec, 191S.) 



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BENTON COUNTY 

This county, one of the first established in Minnesota Territory, Octo- 
ber 27, 1849, and organiied January 7, 1850. was named for Thomas 
Hart Benton, who was United States senator from Missouri during 
thirty yea s I82I to 1851 He was born ear H Usborough N C Marci 
14 1 &. and ded Wash ngton Ap 1 10 1*458 He nd ed law and 
was adm tted to the bar n Na h He n 1811 was an a de de canp of 
Genera! Jack on n the War of 1812 and also ra ed a reg ment of vol 
untee s removed to St Lou s n 1815 and establ shed a ew paper wh ch 
V gorousl) advfieited the adm so of M s o r to the Un on and i 
1820 he was ele ed as o e of the senate s of the new s a e In C ngres 
h s vork for the kj g nal ena tn ent of homestead land laws 18 4 28 
won the g at tude of p neer settle s thr ughout the West He s also 
ho red by Bent n town h p n Carver co ntv and by the ame f Lake 
Benton n L ncoln count> appl ed bj N col et 1 exped o o 18j8. 
Se en o her st te have o nt es na ned f o h m and t entj tates have 
ctes vUage a d po office of h nan e In 1899 I statue v.a 
placed in the Nat onal Statuarj Hal at tl e Cap toi Wash ngton as one 
of the two represent ng M sou 

Benton vas the a tho of Th ty Year V ew H story of the Amer 
can Government, 1820-1850, published in two volumes, 1854 and 1856. 
During the last two years of his life, with singular literary industry, he 
prepared the manuscript of his "Abridgment of the Debates of Congress, 
from 1789 to 1856," which was published in sixteen volumes, 1857 to 
1863. Several biographies of him have been issued, one by Theodore 
Roosevelt in 1887 being in the "American Statesmen" series. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county was gathered from the "History of 
the Upper Mississippi Valley," 1831, pages 340-369; from records in the 
office of J. E. Kastier, county auditor, at Foley, in a visit there in May, 
1916; from William H. Fletcher, of Sauk Rapids, chairman of the board 
of county commissioners ; and from Hon. Charles A. Gllman, of St. 
Cloud, who was a prominent pioneer of Benton county. 

Alberta township, organized in 1858, was named for one oE its early 
settlers, a farmer whose first name was Albert. 

DUBLM, a hamlet in section 34, St. George, was named by its German 
settlers. 

East St. Cloud, in this county, is a part of the city of St. Cloud, which 
is mainly in Stearns county, west of the Mississippi, but also reaches 
east of the river into Benton and Sherburne counties. 



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50 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

FoLEv, a railway village and the county seat, was named for John 
Foley, its founder, one of five brothers who came to this state fnm Lan- 
ark county, Ontario. When this hne of the Great Northern railway was 
built, in 1882-4, John and others of the brothers were contractors, camp- 
ing on the site of this village, and he acquired lands here. Later he 
led in the effort, 1901-02, of transferring the county seat from Sauk 
Rapids to this place. He died in St. Paul, August 11, 1908, 

GlLMANToN township, organized in 1866, was named in honor of 
Qiarles Andrew Oilman, who was born ia Gilmanton, N. H., February 
9, 1833; came to Sauk Rapids, Minn., in 1855, and removed to St. Cloud 
in 1861. He was receiver, and afterward register, of the U, S. land of- 
fice in St. Cloud for several years; was a member of the state senate, 
1868-9, and of the House, 1875-9, being speaker the last two years, and 
again was a member of the House in 1915 ; was lieutenant governor, 1880- 
7; and state librarian, 1894-9. During about thirty years he was much 
engaged in lumbering in Benton and Morrison counties, and he located 
many permanent settlers in this township. 

Glendorado township, organized September 20, 1868, received tliis 
name (partly Spanish, meaning the golden glen) by petition of its settlers. 

Granite Ledge township was named for its granite rock outcrops in 
sections l/, 18, 20, and 24, the last being on the West branch of Rum 

Graham township was named for one of its pioneer farmers. 

LangoIa township, organized July 12, 1858, has a unique name, un- 
known elsewhere, proposed by its petitioners for organization. 

Mayhew Lake township, and also its lake and creek of this name, are 
in honor of George V. Mayhew, who was born in St. Lawrence county, K. 
Y., February 18, 1824; served in the Mexican War; came to Minnesota in 
1854, and settled in the present Minden township of this county, beside the 
creek named for him; was a representative in the legislature in 1861; and 
served in the Seventh Minnesota regiment in the civil war, becoming a 
first lieutenant 

Maywood township, organized in 1867, received this euphonious name 
on the request of its settlers. New Jersey, Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, 
Missouri, and Nebraska, also have villages so named. 

Minden township, organized in 1858, received its name from an east- 
em state, or more probably it was given by immigrants from Germany, for 
the ancient city of Minden in Prussia. 

Oak Park, a railway village In Maywood, is named for the oak groves 

Parent, a small railway village in St. George township, was named for 
Auguste Parent and others of bis family there, farmers, of French de- 
scent 

Rice, a railway village in Langola, is in honor of George T. Rice, who 
kept a hotel about three fourths of a mile farther west for the stag.; travel 



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BENTON COUNTY 51 

previous to tb'. Duilding o£ this railway. His name was also given to an 
extensile prairie that includes the western two thirds of LangoU and the 
northwest part of Watab, 

RoNNEBY, another railway village, in Maywood, was named from a towH 
near 'Kariskrona in southern Sweden, on 'he River Eonneby near its mouth 
in the Baltic Sea. 

St. Geohge township, organized September li^ 1858, was nanied in com- 
pliment to three prominent early settlers of the soL,*h part of this county, 
George V. Mayhew, George Mclntyre, and another whi. had the same first 

Sartei,!., a railway village, organized in November, 1907, adjoining the 
Mississippi in Sauk Rapids township, with extension west of the river in 
Le Sauk, Stearns county, was named for Joseph B. Sartelt, who was the 
first settler of the west side, coming in 1854 as a farmer. Later he built 
and operated sawmills. He resided there, with seven sons, until his death, 
January 27, 1913, at the age of eighty-six years. 

Sauk Rapids township was organized in 1854, and the village was 
platted in that year but was not separately organized until 1881, This vil- 
lage was the county seat from the organization of the county in 1850 until 
1902, when the county offices were removed to Foley, as before noted 
Sauk Rapids derived its name from the adjoining rapids of the Mississippi, 
called Grand Rapids by Pike in 1805 and mapped by him as Big Falls, fall- 
ing about 20 feet in the first mile below the mouth of the Sauk river, 
mapped by Pike as Sack river, which comes in from Stearns county. 

The origin of the names of Sauk river and of Osakis lake and village 
at its source, in Todd and Douglas counties, as also of the Sauk lakes and 
Little Sauk township in Todd county, of Sauk Center and Le Sauk 
townships in Stearns county, of. Sauk Rajads, and of Osauka, an 
addition recently platted at the northwest edge of this village, was from 
refugee Sauk or Sac Indians, who came to Osakis lake from the home of 
this tribe,- allied with the Fox Indians, in Wisconsin. This was told in a 
historical paper by the late Judge Loren W. Collins, as follows . "Five 
Sacs, refugees from their own tribe on account of murder which they had 
committed, made thdr way up to the lake [Osakis] and settled near the 
outlet upon the east side. . . On -one of the cKcursions made by some of 
the Pillager bands of Chippewas to the asylum of the 0-zau-kees, it was 
found that all had been killed, supposedly by the Sioux." (History of 
Stearns county, 1915, vol. 1, page 24,) 

Watab township, organized in 1858, like its Indian trading post, which 
had been established ten years earlier, was named for the Watab river, 
called Little Sack river by Pike, tributary to the Mississippi from the west 
about five miles north of St. Qoud. This is the Ojibway word for the long 
and very slender roots of both the tamarack and jack pine, which were dug 
by the Indians, split and used as threads in sewing their birch bark 
canoes. Both these coniferous trees grow on or near the lower part of 
the Watab river. 



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52 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Rev. F, W. Smith, an Ojibway pastor, of Red Lake Agency, informed 
the present writer in J8S5, during my visit there, that in northern Minne- 
sota the Ojibways principally use the wjots of the jack pine as watab, al- 
though the roots of both tamarack and arbor vitae are also somewhat ured 
(Minn. Geol. and Nat, Hist. Survey, Bulletin No. 3, 1887, page 53). The 
name of this river and township doubtless refers to the jack pines there, 
this being at the southwest limit of that species, whereas the geographic 
range of the tamarack extends considerably farther south and west 

The trading post named Watab was about two miles and a half north 
from the mouth of this river and on the opposite or eastern side of the 
Mississippi. During about ten years nest following its eatablishnient in 
IS48, Watab was the most Jraportant commercial place in Minnesota Terri- 
tory northwestward from St. Paul, but later it was superseded by Sauk 
Rapids and St. Cloud, and before 1880 the village of Watab entirely dis- 
appeared. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The name of the Mississippi was fully noticed in the first chapter; 
the Elk and St Francis rivers are considered in the chapter for Sher- 
burne and Anoka counties, which respectively have the village and town- 
ship of Elk River and St. Francis township ; and a preceding page gives 
the origin of the name of Mayhew lake and creek. 

Donovan lake, in section 34, Minden, named for John Donovan, a farm- 
er near it, was formerly called Minden lake. 

Halfway brook, tributary to the Mississippi close north of Sartell, re- 
ceived this name for its being nearly midway between Sauk Rapids and 
Watab. 

The. southern two thirds of Watab township has many outcrops of 
granite and syenite, continuing from their much quarried area in Sauk 
Rapids and East St. Cloud. At each side of the river road, in the vicinity 
of the Watab railway station, small hills and knobs of these rocks rise 
about 40 feet above the road and 75 to 90 feet above the river. One of 
these hills of rough, bald rock, called by Schooicraft the Peace Rock, rises 
directly from the river's edge about a half mile south from the motilh of 
Little Rock creek, which, with its Little Rock lake, was thence so named. 
It is a translation of the Ojibway name, signifying, as more elaborately 
stated by GiKiitlan, "where the little rocky hills projeei out every once in 
a while, here and there." Pike noted the large prairie here and northward 
as favorite grazing for elk, and he therefore mapped these as Elk lake and 
Lake river. 

Peace Rock was named for its marking, with the Watab river, a part 
of the old tine of boundary between the Ojibways and the Sioux, to which 
agreement was made by their chiefs in the Treaty of 1825 at Prairie du 
Chien. 



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BIG STONE COUNTY 

This county, established February 20, 18fi2, and organized April IJ, 
1874, derived its name from Big Stone lake, through which the Mitinesota 
river flows on the west boundary of the county and state. It is a transla- 
tion of the Dakota or Sioux name, alluding to the conspicuous outcrops of 
granite and gneiss, extensively quarried, which occur in the Minnesota 
valley from a half mile to three miles below the foot of the lake. The city 
and county building in Minneapolis is constructed of rhe stone from these 
quarries, which also supplied four massive columns of the state capitol 
rotunda, on its north and south sides. The Sioux name, poorly pronounced 
and indistinctly heard, was written Eatakeka by Keating in his Narrative 
of Long's Expedition in 1823; but Prof. A. W. Williamson more correctly 
spelled it in two words, Inyan tankinyanyan, the first meaning stone, 
the second very great, as shown by the repetition of the tirst word and 
duplication of its final syllable. 

Big Stone lake extends in a somewhat crooked course from northwest 
to southeast twenty-six miles ; its width is one mile to one and a half 
miles ; and its greatest depth is reported to be from 15 to 30 feet. 

De L'Isle's map of Canada or New France in 1703 calls this ihe Lake 
of the Tintons, that is, the Prairie Sioux. The same name is given by 
the maps of Buache, 1754, and Bellin, 1755. Carver, who was on the 
Minnesota river in 1765-7, mapped this lake but left it unnamed. Long's 
expedition gave its earliest correct delineation, with its present name and 
the older equivalent Sioux and French names. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information has been gathered from "History of the Minnesota Val- 
ley," 1882, pages 973-986 ; and from Hayden French, of Ortonville, clerk 
of the court for this county, and Martin Irwin Matthews, who for many 
years was one of the county commissioners and later has been the muni- 
cipal judge in Ortonville, each being interviewed during a visit there in 
September, 1916. 

Akron township, first settled in 1872, and organized July 25, 1881, was 
named for Akron, Ohio, whence some of its pioneers came. 

Almond township, organized March 29, 1880, was named for the town- 
ship and village of this name in Allegany county, New York, or for Al- 
mond township and village in Portage county, Wisconsin. 

AsricaoKE township, whose first settler came in May, 1869, received its 
name from the former Artichoke lake, now drained, which was five miles 
long, stretching from section 11 south to section 36. This name was prob- 
ably translated from the Sioux name of the lake, referring to the edible 



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54 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

tuber roots of a species of sunflower (Helianthus tuberosus), which was 
much used by the Indians as food, called pangi by the Sioux, abundant 
here and common or frequent throughout this state. 

Babky, a railway village in Toqua township, was named in honor of 
the Barry brothers, homesteading farmers there, who came from Lowell, 

Beahdsley, the railway village of Brown's Valley township, was named 
for W. W. Beardsley, who platted it in November, 1880, He was born in 
Schuyler county. New York, in 1852; removed to Pennsylvania at the ag« 
of twenty-one years, and to Wisconsin in 1875; came to Minnesota in 
1878, homesteading the farm which included the site of this village. 

Big Stone township, organized October 4, 1879, received its name, like 
the county, from the adjoining lake. 

Brown's Valley township, first settled in )875 and organized April S, 
1880, was named by Thomas Bailey, a homesteader there who came from 
Tennessee. The name was taken from the very remarkable valley be- 
tween lakes Big Stone and Traverse, ia which a trading post and the vil- 
lage of this name had been established by Hon. Joseph R. Brown, situat- 
ed in the southwest corner of Traverse county. Brown county was named 
for him, and biographic notes are given in its chapter. 

Clinton, a railway village at the center of Almond township, was 
named probably for one of the many villages, towns, and counties bearing 
this name, which are found in our eastern and southern states. 

CoREELL, a village on the main line of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. 
Paul railway, bears a personal name given by the officers of the railway. 
Its more definite derivation has not been learned. 

FosTEK, a village of summer residences on the shore of Big Stone lake, 
in Prior township, was platted in 1880 on the pre-emption claim of M. I. 
Matthews, who settled there in 1872. It was named for Foster L. Balch, 
of Minneapolis, president of the Big Stone Lake Navigation and Im- 
provement Company. 

Graceville township and its village, which was founded by Catholic 
colonists in 1877-8, were named in honor of Thomas Langdon Grace, who 
during twenty-five years was the bishop of St. Paul, 1859 to 1884. He was 
born in. Charleston, S. C, Nov. IS, 1814, and died in St. Paul, Feb. 22. 1897. 

Malta township, organized February 14, 1880, was at first named 
Oarksville, for David K. J. Qark, its first settler, who came in June, 1876. 
It was renamed, after a town of New York and villages in Ohio and Illi- 
nois, for the island of Malta in the Mediterranean Sea. 

Moonshine township took its name from its Moonshine lake which was 
named by D. K. J. Clark, mentioned as a settler in Malta. On his first 
coming here in 1876 from Wabasha county, his first camp was beside this 
lake, which he then named, intending to call it Moon lake for the surname 
of his wife, Mrs. Mary A. (Moon) Clark; but in the evening the bright 
moonlight caused the name to be thus changed. 



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BIG STONE COUNTY 55 

Odessa township, first settled in June, 1870, was named for the eit^ of 
Odessa in southern Russia, whence seed wheat used in this vicinity was 
brought. The railway village of Odessa was platted in 1879, when this 
railway was being built. 

OitTONviLLe township received its first settlers in 1871, and. in Septem- 
ber of the next year its village was platted by Cornelius Knute Orton. for 
whom the village and township were named. He was of Norwegian de- 
scent and was born in Dane county, Wisconsin, in 1846; came to Minne- 
sota in 1857 ; settled on a land claim here in 1871 ; engaged in real estate 
business, and was a banker, merchant, and a member of the board of coun- 
ty commissioners. He died in Ortonville, December 24, 1890. This village 
was organized as a city on January 28, 1881, 

Oteby township, first settled by Thomas and William Otrey ffom Illi- 
nois in June, 1869, was organized February 14, 1880, It was then named 
Trenton, but later was renamed in honor o£ these brothers, who had served 
in the civil war. 

Prior township, settled in 1870 and organized in 1879, was named in 
honor of Charles H. Prior, of Minneapolis, superintendent of this Hastings 
and Dakota division of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railway. 
He had large land interests in this township and in Ortonville. 

TOQUA township (formerly spelled Tokua), first settled in 1877 and or- 
ganized March 16, 1880, received its name from the two Tokua lakes in 
Graceville and the similar pair of lakes in this township, which latter were 
. called by the Sioux, as translated, the Tokua Brothers lakes. This aborigi- 
nal name is spelled Ta Kara on Nicollet's map, 1843, Ta being the Sioux 
word for the moose, while Kara doubtless refers to the Kahra band of the 
Dakotas or Sioux. 

Keating, the historian of Long's expedition in 1823, wrote as follows 
(in his Volume I, page 403), describing this band. "Kahea (Wild Rice). 
These Indians dwell in very targe and fine skin lodges. The skins are well 
prepared and handsomely painted. They have no permanent residence, Itut 
frequently visit Lake Travers. Their hunting grounds are on Red river. 
They follow Tatankanaje (the Standing Buffalo), who is a chief by 
hereditary right, and who has acquired distinction as a warrior." 

Nicollet also used the word Kara as the final part of other names, Plan 
Kara and Manstitsa Kara, given on his map to two points or hillocks of 
the valley bluff east of the northern end of Lake Traverse, Riggs, how- 
ever, in his Dakota Dictionary, published in 1852, rejected al! use of the 
letter r in that language, so that the name Kahra or Kara may not be 
identifiable in that work. Tokua (or Toqua) was the white men's endeavor 
to spell the Sioux name for these pairs of lakes, which Nicollet spelled as 
Ta Kara. 

Samuel J. Brown, of the village of Brown's Valley, has stated that this 
name "was taken from a picture carved on a tree, meaning probably some 
animal so pictured." This accords well with the meaning of the name given 



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56 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

by Nicollet, as the moose of the Kara or Kahra band of Siouxj perhaps a 
family totem or their mystic patron of the clan (as we might say, a 
mascot). 

Lakes and Stkeams. 

Since the first coming of the homestead farmers, nearly fifty years 
ago, the area of this county has witnessed the drying up of many of its for- 
mer shallow lakes, partly because plowing and cultivation of the soil per- 
mit the rains and the water from the melting of the winter snows to sink 
in larger proportion into the ground, not running otf to the hollows. In 
recent years others of the lakes have been drained by ditches, the lake beds 
being allotted fractionally to the adjoining landowners. The map of Big 
Stone county published by the Minnesota Geological Survey (vol. I, 1884, 
Chapter XXI) has more than fifty lakes; but the most recent Minnesota 
atlas, in 1916, shows only four or five yet remaining, these being unnamed. 

Artichoke and Moonshine lakes, and the Tokua lakes and Tokua Broth- 
ers lakes, noted in the foregoing list of townships, have disappeared by 



Only a few streams of noteworthy size and bearing names flow here in- 
to the Minnesota river and Big Stone lake. These include Five Mile 
creek, so named for its distance west of the Pomme de Terre river and 
the village of Appleton, in the adjoining Swift county; Stony run, in Big 
Stone and Odessa townships, named for the plentiful boulders along parts 
of this stream ; and Fish creek, tributary to Big Stone lake at the north- 
west corner of Prior. 

The Glacial River Warren. 

Big Stone lake, flowing south in the Minnesota river, and Lake Trav- 
erse, flowing north in the Bois des Sioux and Red rivers, are on the oppo- 
site sides of a continental water divide, one o£ these lakes sending its out- 
flow to the Gulf of Mexico, the other to Hudson Bay. But they He 
in a continuous valley, one to two miles wide, which was evidently chan- 
neled by a great river formerly flowing southward. The part of the 
ancient watercourse between these lakes, a distance of nearly five miles, 
is widely known as Brown's Valley, As noticed in the first chapter the 
former river here outflowing from the Glacial Lake Agassiz in the Red 
river basin has been named the River Warren, in honor of General G. K. 
Warren. 

Fifteen miles below Big Stone lake, the Minnesota river flows through 
Marsh lake, on the south side of Akron, now mainly drained, which for- 
merly was four miles long and about a mile wide. It was so named from 
its being .^hallow and full of reeds and grass. 



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BLUE EARTH COUNTY 

This county was established March 5, 1853, and took its name from tlie 
Blue Earth river, for a bluish green earth that was used by the Sissetou 
Sioux as a pigment, found in a shaly layer of the rock bluff of this stream 
about three mites from its mouth. 

The blue earth was the incentive and cause of a very interesting chap- 
ter of our earliest history. LeSueur, the French explorer, before his first 
return to France in 1695, had discovered the locality whence the savages 
procured this blue and green paint, which he thought to be an ore of cop- 
per, and he then took some of it to Paris, submitted it to L'Huillier, one of 
the king's assayers, and secured the royal commission to work the mines. 
But disasters and obstacles deterred him from this project until four years 
later, when, having come from a third visit in France, with thirty miners, 
to Biloxi, near the mouth of the Mississippi, he ascended this river in the 
year 1700, using a sailing and rowing vessel and two canoes. Coming for- 
ward along the Minnesota river, he reached the mouth of the Blue Earth 
river on the last day in September or the first in October. 

LeSueur spent the ensuing year on this river, having built a camp or 
post named Fort L'Huillier, and in the spring mined a large quantity of the 
supposed copper ore. Taking a selected portion of the ore, amounting to 
two tons, and leaving a garrison at the fort, LeSueur again navigated near- 
ly the whole length of the Mississippi, and arrived at the Gulf of Mexico 
in February, 1702. Thence with Iberville, the founder and first governor of 
Louisiana, who was a cousin of LeSueur's wife, he sailed for France in 
the latter part of April, carrying the ore or blue earth, of which, however, 
nothing more is known. 

Thomas Hughes, of Mankato, historian of the city and county, identi- 
fied in 1904 the sites of Fort L'Huillier and the mine of the blue or fsreen 
earth, which are described in a paper contributed to the Minnesota Histori- 
cal Society Collections (vol. XII, pages 2S3-S). 

Penicaut's Relation of LeSueur's expedition was translated by Alfred 
J. Hill in the Minnesota Historical Society Collections (vol. HI, 1880. pages 
1-12) ; and a map showing the locations of the fort and mine, ascertained 
by Hughes, was published in 1911 by Winchell, on page 493, "The Abor- 
igines of Minnesota." From that expedition and the mine, we have the 
name of the Blue Earth river and of this county, and also of the town- 
ship and city of Blue Earth in Faribault county. 

This name was probably received by LeSueur and his party from that 
earlier given to the river by the Sioux. The Relation of Penicaut, how- 
ever, might be thought to indicate otherwise, as follows ; "We called this 
Green river, because it is of that color by reason of a green earth which, 
loosening itself from the copper mines, becomes dissolved in it and makes 



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58 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

it green." In the language of the Sioiw the same word, io, is used both 
for blue and green, and their name of the Blue Earth river is Makato 
(maka, earth, to, blue, or green). Keating wrote, in the Narrative of 
Long's expedition, 1823 : "By the Dacotas it is called MakatJ Osa Watapa, 
which signifies 'the river where blue earth is gathered.' " 

The Sioux name is retained, with slight change, by the township and 
city of Mafnkato. On the earliest map of Minnesota Territory, in 1850, it 
appeared as Mahkahta for one of its original nine counties, reaching from 
the Mississippi above the Crow Wing west to the Missouri. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins of the local names has been gathered from 
"History of the Minnesota Valley," 1882, pages 532-637; from "The Stand- 
ard Historical and Pictorial Atlas and Gazetteer of Blue Earth County," 
1895, 147 pages; from the "History of Blue Earth Coiiniy," by Thomas 
Hughes, 1909, 622 pages ; and from Evan Hughes, judge of probate, An- 
drew G. Johnson, county treasurer, Thomas Hughes, and Judge Lorin 
Cray, during my visits in Mankato in July and t b 1916 

Amboy, the railway village of Shelby t hpw plttdOt her 31, 
18:«1, and was named by Robert Richards t fi t p t t d mer- 
chant, for the town of his former home in III 

Beaufosd township was originally establ 1 d 
neshiek (the Winnebago chief for whom 
April 16, 1858, when it was in the Winneb g I ( 
organized March 13, 1865, with the pre i 

Gates, "after a town in the east, from wh h 
come." (The U. S. Postal Guide form ly i d 
name, this being in Floyd county, Virginia b t t w 
years ago. Beaufort, nearly the same, i 

Bkadlsy railway station, five miles no 
the Bradley crossing o£ the Minnesota r 
family, on whose farm this station was 1 

Butternut Valley township, establ h d Tan y 6 1857 organ- 
ized in May, 1858, was named in acco d w th th gg t on of 
Colonel Samuel D. Shaw, who had com f m th t w £ B tternuts, 
in Otsego county. New York. The butter t t mm f equent, 
especially in river valleys, through the soi tl t pa t f M ta. 

Cambria township, first settled in 18S5, organized June 3, 1867. was 
named by Robert H. Hughes, a pioneer homesteader, who had come 
from Cambria, Wisconsin. This was the ancient Latin name of Wales, 
the native land of nearly all the settlers here, or of their parents. 

CiaiEsco township, established July 8, 1857, organized May 11, 1858, 
was named by Isaac Slocum, for his former home town in Wisconsin. 

Cray, a railway station eight miles west of Mankato, was named for 
Judge Lorin Cray, who during many years was the Mankato attorney of 
this Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha railway company. 



d th 


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BLUE EARTH COUNTY 59 

Danville township, established April 6, 1858, was then named Jack- 
son; hut hecause an earlier township o£ Minnesota had that name, it was 
changed October 14, 1858, in compliment to Lucius Dyer, a settler who 
had come from Danville, Vermont. 

Decobia, township, named April 6, 1858, was in the Winnebago reser- 
vation, and it remained without organization till October 8, 1867, being 
the latest organized township of this county. The name is in comraer'- 
oration of a Winnebago chief, called "One-Eyed Dekora," having lost an 
eye. This chief and the tribe aided the whites during the Black Hawk 
war of 1832, in which he displayed great ability and courage. He lived 
through the removals of the Winneb^oes from Wisconsin to northeast- 
em Iowa in 1837-38, from Iowa to Long Prairie, Minnesota, in 1848, thence 
to Blue Earth county in 1855, next to a reservation in Dakota, 1863, and 
last to Nebraska in 1866. He was a renowned orator, and from his 
prowess in war and influence in council was known among his own peo- 
ple as Waukon Decorah, meaning in translation "Wonderful Decorah." 
Two important towns of Iowa, Waukon and Decorah, which are the 
county seats of its most northeast counties on the border of Minnesota, 
were named for ham. This name, variously spelled also as De Kaury, 
Day Kauray, Day Korah, De Corrah, etc, belonged to a Winnebago family 
of hereditary chiefs through four generations or more, who had descend- 
ed from a French array officer, Sabrevoir De Carrie. (Hodge, Hand- 
book of American Indians, vol. I, 1907, page 384 ; Sparks, History of Win- 
neshiek County, Iowa, 1877; Alexander, History of Winneshiek and Alla- 
makee Counties, Iowa, 1882.) 

Eagle Lake, a railway village in Le Ray township, was platted in 
November, 1872, and received its name from the neighboring lake, which 
had been so named by the United States land surveyors because many 
bald eagles had nests in high trees on the lake shore. 

Garden City township was established April 6, 18S8, but was then 
named Watonwan for the river. The village had been platted in June, 
18S6, being flamed Fremont for John C. Fremont, the Republican can- 
didate for president in the campaign of that year. In October, 1SS8, 
it was replatted by Simeon P. Folsom, who renamed it Garden City, hav- 
ing reference to the native floral charms of the place. Steimett wrote of 
it, "Even to this day, in the spring the surrounding country is like a gar- 
den of wild Bowers." In February, 1864, the township was changed to 
Garden City by an act of the state legislature. The, name here ante- 
dates it on Long Island, N. Y., where the only town so named in the 
eastern states was founded in 1869 by A, T. Stewart, the multimillionaire 
merchant. 

Good Thundeb, the railway village of Lyra township, platted in April, 
1871, and incorporated March 2, 1893, was named for a chief of the 
Winnebagoes, whose village was close east of this site. The ford of the 
Maple river here had been previously called Good Thunder's ford. He 



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60 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

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son was born in Maiden, Mass., August 9, 1788; and died at sea, April 
12, 1850. He went to Burma as a missionary in 1812, completed the trans- 
lation of the Bibk into Burmese in 1833, and completed a Burmese-Eng- 
lish dictionary in 1849. 

Lake Chystal, a railway village and junction, platted in May, 1869, 
incorporated by the legislature February 24, 1870, was named by Gen. 
Judson W. Bishop, of St. Paul, engineer of the survey and construction 
of this railway, for the adjoining lake, which, according to Stennett, 
"was named by John C. Fremont and J. N. Nicollet, who explored the 
country around it in 1838, because of the unusual brilliancy and crystal 
purity of its waters." (This lake and the others near are unnamed on 
Nicollet's map, 1843.) 



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BLUE EARTH COUNTY 61 

Le Ray township, first settled in I85S, organized in 1860, was at first 
named Lake and was renamed Tivoli, but on September 5, 1850, received 
its present name. The only use of this name elsewhere is for a township 
of Jefferson county, N. Y., whence probably some of the settlers here 
had come. 

Lime township, organized May U, 1858, was named by George Stan- 
nard for its extensive outcrops ol limestone, which have since been much 
quarried. 

Lincoln township, settled in 18S6, was at first named Richfield, April 
6, 18S8 ; but it remained without separate organization until September 
26, 1865, when it was renamed for the martyred War President. 

LvEA township, at first named Tecumseh, April 16, 1858, was renamed 
Winneshiek in May, 1866; but at the time of its organization, September 
22, 1866, it was finally named Lyra, as proposed by Rev. J, M. Thurston, 
"after a town he had come from in the east" (It appears in our east- 
ern states only as a post office in Scioto county, Ohio.) "It comes to us 
from ancient mythology and was originally used to designate a northern 
constellation, ... as it was supposed to represent the lyre carried by 
Apollo." 

McPheeson was at first named Rice Lake township, August 21, 1855 ; 
was renamed McClellan, for Gen. George B. McQellan, September 2, 
1863; and received its present name by an act of the state legislature in 
February, 186S, in honor of Gen. James B, McPherson. He was born in 
Sandusky, Ohio, November 14, 1828; was graduated at West Point, 
1853; was appointed a major general in 1862; served with distinction in 
the siege ad ap e f V kbug; became commander of the Army 
of the Ten e ee g of 1864; and was killed near Atlanta, Ga., 

July 22, 1864 

Madison Lake a a a ge in Jamestown, was named for the 

adjoining ake wh h 1 ad been so named by the government surveyors 
in honor of James Mad on fourt president of the United States, 1809-17. 
Mankato ownsh p w s e ab shed April 6, 1858, and was organized 
in connect on w he p e ent t of Mankato, May 11, 1858. The city 
charter wa adop ed Ma h 24 1868 and the first election of the township, 
separate from the city, was held April 7, 1868. The first settlement of 
Mankato and of this county was in February. 1852, by Parsons King John- 
son; and on the 14th of that month the Blue Earth Settlement Claim As- 
sociation was organized in St. Paul by Henry Jackson, P. K. Johnson, 
Col. D. A. Robertson, Justus C. Ramsey, brother of the governor of the 
Territory, and others. Hughes writes of their choice of the name for 
the settlement to be founded, as follows : "The honor of christening 
the new city was accorded to Mrs. P, K, Johnson and Mrs. Henry Jack- 
son, who selected the name 'Mankato,' upon the suggestion of Col. Rob- 
ertson. He had taken the name from Nicollet's book, in which the French 
explorer compared the 'Mahkato' or Blue Earth river, with all its tribu- 
taries, to the water nymphs and their uncle in the German legend of 



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62 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

'Undine.' ... No more appropriate name could be given the new city, 
than that of the noble river at whose mouth it is located" 

Mapleton, first settled in April, 1856, was named Sherman in 1858 for 
Isaac Sherman, an old settler of Danville, or perhaps for Asa P. Sher- 
man of this township. It was organized, with its first town meeting, 
April 2, 1861, taking its present name from the Maple river, which re- 
ceived this name from the government surveyors in 1854, for its plenti- 
ful maple trees. The site of the railway village of Mapleton was platted 
January 21, 1871, and it soon superseded the older village which had 
been platted in June, 1856. 

Medo, a township of the Winnebago reservation, was named by the 
county commissioners April 16, 18S8, but it was not organized unti! 
September 2, 1863. This is a Sioux word, meaning a species of plant 
(Apios tuberosa), which has roots that bear small tubers much used by 
the Indians as food. It is common or frequent through the south half 
of this state, extending north to the upper Mississippi river. Dr. Parry, 
with Owen's geological survey in 1848, wrote of it as "Pomme de Terre of 
the French voyageurs ; Mdo, or wild potato, of the Sioux Indians." It 
is also called ground-nut, and its nutlike tubers grow in a series along the 

Perth, a railway station in Lincoln township, was named in 1905 from 
the city in Scotland. It had formerly been called Iceland, for the native 
island of some of its immigrants. 

Pleasant Mound township was first named Otsego, April 6, 1858; 
b«t on October 14 of that year it was renamed Willow. Creek, "probably 
an eastern name familiar to some old settler." There is a creek of this 
name in the east part of the township, flowing northeast into the Blue 
Earth river. A post office named Pleasant Mound was established in 
1863 at the home of F. 0. Marks, near a series of hills of drift gravel, 
called kames, in section 25. The Sioux name of these hills, according to , 
Hughes, was Icbokse or Repah Kichakse, meaning "to cut in the middle, 
perhaps from the fact that the ridge is divided into, a number of mounds, 
or it may mean "thrown down or dumped in heaps,' as the spelling is un- 
certain." September 6, 1865, this township was organized and was 
given its present name, on the suggestions of Mr. Marks and John S. 
Parks, taken like that of the post office from the knolly gravel ridge. 

Rapidan township, which was in the Winnebago reservation, was Eft 
first named De Soto, April 16, 1858; but at its organization, April 15, 1865, 
it received the present name, suggested by C. P. Cook, from the civil 
war, for the Rapidan river of Virginia. This name is also given to rapids 
and a dam of the Blue Earth river in the northwest part of this town- 
ship, about two miles west of Rapidan village on the railway, 

St. Clkw., a railway terminal village in McPherson township, is on the 
site of the old Winnebago Agency, where after the removal of the In- 
dians a village named Hilton vras platted on land of Aaron Hilton in 



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BLUE EARTH COUNTY 63 

Its name was changed tn St Qair by officers o£ the Chicago Mil 



M land, 
kj 82 



K kv 92 W 



P N m 
oi the Chicago and Northwestern Railways.) 

Vesnon Centek township, settled in 1855, wa"! at first named Monte- 
video by the county commissioners, April 6, 185h but ten dav= later they 
renamed it Vernon, anid on October 14 of the same >ear they changed 
this to the present name. A village had been pUtted here m June 1857. 
by proprietors who came from Mount Vernon Ohio two of whom Lol. 
Benjamin F. Smith and Benjamin MeCracken gave to it the name Ver- 
■ non. The many villnges and cities of the United States that bear this 
name, including the home o£ Washington ic Virginia received it pnmar- 



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64 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

ily in honor of the distinguished English admiral, Edward Vernon, (1684- 
1757), the hero of the expeditions capturing Porto Bello in 1739 and at- 
tacking Cartagena in 1741. When the railway was built through this 
township in 1879, the first name given to the station here was Edgewood, 
for its being at the edge of a grove ; but it was renamed in 1885 for the 
township, although neither the township nor the station is quite centrally 
situated. 

Lakes and Steeams. 

Minneopa creek, its falls, and the State Park, are noted in a later part 
of the present chapter. 

In the foregoi:^ notes of townships and villages, other streams and 
lakes have been noticed, namely, Maple river, Willow creek in Pleasant 
Mound township, Lake Cry&tal, and Eagle and Madison lakes. 

The United States surveyors named Washington, Jefferson, and Madi- 
son lakes, in commemoration of the early presidents. These are notably 
large in a group of many lakes, the first and second being in the south edge 
of LeSueur county, adjoining Jamestown, and the third in Jamestown 
and Le Ray. Hughes records the Sioux name of Lake Washington as 
Okapah, meaning the Choke Cherry lake, and of I^ke Madison as Wakon- 
seche, that is, the Evil Spirit, or Abundant Mystery, or the Sacred Shade. 

Government surveyors also named the Maple river, which the Sioux 
called the Tewapa-Tankiyan river (meaning Big Water-Lily root), and 
the Big Cobb river, which bore a Sioux name, Tewapadan (Little Lily 
root.) The names used by the Indians, copied thus from Nicollet's map 
(1843), referred to the roots which they dug for food in the shallow 
water of these streams and their tributary lakes. On the township plats 
the Big Cobb and Little Cobb rivers were spelled without their final 
letter, though probably named for some member or acquaintance of the 
surveying party. 

Lake Lura is said to have been so designated by one of the early 
settlers, from the name "Lura" found carved on a tree upon its shore, 
and thence it was given to a neighboring township in Faribault county. 
It had two Sioux names, Tewapa (Water Lily) and Ata'kinyan or Ksan- 
ksan (crooked or irregular). 

Jackson lake, on the east line of Shelby, named for Norman L, 
Jackson, the first settler of that township, who located on its shore, had 
the Sioux name Sinkpe (Muskrat). Hughes writes: "The southern half 
of its bed, being shallow, was thickly populated by these animals, whose 
rush-built homes literally covered that portion of the lake. The spot 
was noted among both the Indians and pioneers for trapping these fur- 
bearing rats." 

Wila lake, in Lime townsbip, retains its Sio«x name, meaning Island 
lake, for its two islands. 

The aborigines are also commemorated by two Indian lakes, in Le Ray 
and South Bend townships. 



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BLUE EARTH COUNTY 65 

Names of pioneer settlers are borne by Ballantyne lake, in Jamestown, 
for James Ballantyne, a school teacher and homesteader; Gilfillin lake, 
in Jamestown and Le Ray, for Joseph Gilfillin, who left bis home near 
this lake to join the Ninth Minnesota Ri-giment, Company E, and was 
killed only two weeks later in service agai.ist the Sioux near New Ulm, 
September 3, 1862; Kilby lake, on the line of Judson and Butternut 
VaUey, for Benjamin E. Kilby; Armstrong, Dackins, Lieberg, Solberg, 
and Strom lakes, in Butternut Valley, for John Armstrong, Edward 
Dackins, Ole P. Lieberg, Olens Solberg, and Andrew Strom, the largest 
of these, Solberg lake, and also Dackins lake, having been recently drain- 
ed by ditches; Mills lake, in Garden City township, for Titus Mills, whose 
farm bordered on this lake; Morgan creek, in Cambria, for Richard Mor- 
gan, also sometimes otherwise named for others of the settlers along its 
course; Rogers lake, in sections 7 and 18, Danville, for John E., Robert 
H., and Josiah Rogers, early settlers on its shore; Albert and George 
lakes, in Jamestown ; and Lake Alice, in Le Ray, and Ida lake in Shelby, 
each probably named for the wife or daughter of a pioneer. 

Other names are of obvious significance, as Cottonwood lake, in Medo; 
Duck lake, and also Long and Mud lakes, in Jamestown ; another Mud 
lake, in Le Ray; Fox lake, in South Bend; Perch lake, and Perch creek; 
Lily and Loon lakes, adjoining Lake Crystal, the first very shallow 
and filled with lilies, water grasses, and rushes ; Rice lake in McPherson, 
named for its wild rice, like many other lakes throughout this state ; and 
Rush lake, in Judson. 

The Undine Region. 

Nicollet in 1841 gave to the area of Blue Earth county, with parts of 
other counties adjoining it, "the name of Undine Region . . . derived 
from that of an interesting and romantic German tale, the heroine of 
which belonged to the extensive race of water-spirits living in the brooks 
and rivers and lakes, whose father was a mighty prince. She was more- 
over the niece of a great brook (the Mankato), who lived in the midst of 
forests, and was beloved by all the many great streams of the surround- 
ing country." 

The author of "Undine," entitled for its heroine, published in 1811, was 
Frisdrich Fouque, who was born at Brandenburg, Prussia, in 1777, and 
died at Berlin in 1843. Her name is from the Latin unda, a wave, whence 
we derive several common words, as undulation and inundate, and speak 
of undulating prairies, where they have a broadly wavy surface. 

On Nicollet's map the Undine Region extends from the Redwood river 
east to the upper part of Cannon river, and from the Minnesota river 
south to the north edge of Iowa. 

MiNNEOPA State Park. 
The state legislature in 1905 provided for the purchase of land con- 
taining the Minneopa Falls on the creek of this name in South Bend 



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66 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

township, about four miles west of Maskato, for public use as a state 
park. Its area is about sixty acres, comprising the falls, two near to- 
gether, of 60 feet descent, with the gorge below. The railway station, 
and towcsite, named Minneopa, close to the falls, had been platted in 
September, 1870. This name is contracted from Sioux words, minne- 
hinhe-nonpa, which mean "water falling twice" or "two waterfalls," An 
early name of this stream was Lyons creek, for a pioneer. It flows from 
Strom, Lily, and Crystal lakes. 

The Winnebago Reservation. 

Green bay, of Lake Michigan, was known to the French in Radisson's 
time as the Bay of the Puants, or Winnebagoes, an outlying tribe of the 
Siouan stock, mainly surrounded by Algonquian tribes. Their name, mean- 
ing the People of the Stinking Water, that is, of the Sea, or of muddy and 
ill-smelling lakes, roiled by winds, was adopted by the French from its 
yse among the Algonquin s. In 1832 the Winnebagoes ceded their 
country south and east of the Fox and Wisconsin rivers to the United 
States, and afterward many of the tribe were removed to northeastern 
Iowa. Thence, in 1848, they were removed to Long Prairie, in the cen- 
tral part of what is now Minnesota; and in 1855 they were again removed, 
to a reservation in Blue Earth and Waseca counties of this state. In 1863, 
after the Sioux outbreak, they were removed to a reservation in Dakota; 
and in. 1866 to a more suitable reservation in Nebraska. 

The reservation that was provided here for this tribe by a treaty made 
at Washington, on February 2?, 1855, included in Blue Earth county the 
townships of Rapidan, Decoria, McPherson, Lyra, Beauford, and Medo; 
and it continued six miles east in Waseca coimty, there includii^ Alton 
and Freedom townships. By a later treaty at Washington, April IS, 1859, 
the Winnebagoes relinquished the west half of this Reservation, "to he 
sold by the United States in trust for their benefit;" and by an act of 
Congress, February 21, 1863, the east' half, comprising McPherson, Medo, 
Alton, and Freedom, was directed to he similarly sold, another reserva- 
tion having been provided in Dakota. 

Glacial Lake Minnesota. 
In the basins of the Blue Earth and Minnesota rivers, flowing nifl-tli- 
ward from the edge of Iowa to the Mississippi at Fort Snelliug, a glacial 
lake was held by the barrier of the departing continental glacier during 
its final melting. This temporary lake was mapped and named in my 
work for the United States Geological Survey (Monograph XXV, "The 
Glacial Lake Agassiz," 1896, plates III and XUI; pages 2S4 and 264). 
To the later and reduced condition of this glacial lake, when it outflowed 
to the Cannon river, Professor N. H. Winchell in 1901 gave the name of 
Lake Undine ("Glacial Lakes of Minnesota," Bulletin of tlie GeoL Society 
of America, vol. 12, pages 109-128, with a map). 



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BROWN COUNTY 

Established by legislative act February 20, 185S, and organized Febru- 
ary 11, 1858, this county was named in honor of Joseph Renshaw Brown, 
one of the most prominent pioneers of this state. He was born in Har- 
ford county, Maryland, January 5, 1805; and died in New York City, No- 
vember 9, 18?0. 

In his boyhood he ran away from an apprenticeship for tlie printing 
business at Lancaster, Pa.; enlisted in the army as a drummer boy; and at 
the age of fourteen years came to the area of Minnesota, with the troops 
who built Fort St. Anthony (in 1825 renamed Fort Snelhng). In May, 
1822, with William Joseph Srelliiig, son of the commandant, he explored 
the creek and lake since named Minnehaha and Minnetonka. 

John Fletcher WilHams, secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, 
wrote in 1871 a^ f 11 f B ' " d I'f w k d f h" p 

al qualities 

"On lea 8 h d M d 

Saint Cro an g di 

trade, lum H d 

soon made m th 

Northwest k H 

with the D fl 

(being alii m g ed d 

He held, a ff es m ffi 

he filled with credit and ability. ... He was also a leading member of tlie 
famous 'Stillwater Convention' of citizens held in August, 1848, to take 
steps to secure a Territorial organization for what is now Minnesota. 
He was the Secretary of the Territorial Councils of 1849 and 1851, and 
Chief Clerk of the House of Representatives in 1853, a member of the 
Council in 1854 and '55 and House in 1857, and Territorial Printer in 
1853 and '54. He was also a member from Sibley county in the Constitu- 
tional Convention ('Democratic Wing') of 1857, and took a very promi- 
nent part in the formation of our present State Constitutioa ... He 
shaped much of the legislation of our early territorial <3ayk, and chieHy 
dictated the policy of his party, of whose conventions he was always a 
prominent member. . . , 

"But it is as a journalist and publisher I desire principally to speak of 
him here. His first regular entrance into the printing business in Minne- 
sota was in the year 1852, though he had before written considerable for 
the press. Shortly after the death of James M. Goodhue, which occurred 
in August of that year. Major Brown purchased the 'Minnesota Pioneer,' 
and edited and published it under his own name for nearly two years. 
In the spring of 1854, he transferred the establishment to Col. E. S. 



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MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 



Goodrich. During the period of his connection with the paper, he estab- 
lished a reputation as one of the most sagacious, successful and able 
political editors in the Territory, and as a sharp, interesting and sensible 

"In 18S7 he established at Henderson, which town had been foumJed 
and laid out by him a short time before, a journal called the 'Henderson 
Democrat,' which soon became a prominent political organ, and was 
continued with much ability and success until 1860 or '61." 

Joseph A. Wheelock wrote in the St. Paul Press, November 12. 18?0: 
"A drummer boy, soldier, Indian trader, lumberman, pioneer, speculator, 
fotmder of cities, legislator, politician, editor, inventor, his career— though 
it hardly commenced till half his life had been wasted in the obscure soli- 
tudes of this far Northwestern wilderness — has been a very remarkable 
and characteristic one, not so much for what he has achieved, as for the 
extraordinary versatility and capacity which he has displayed in every 
new situation." 

The village of Brown's Valley in Traverse county, founded by Jos- 
eph, R. Brown and others, was the place of his trading post and home 
during his last four years ; and an adjoining township of Big Stone coun- 
ty also bears this name. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information has been gathered from "History of (he Minnesota Val- 
ley," 1882, pages 698-762, and "History of Brown Cotinty," L. A. Fritsche, 
M. D., Editor, two volumes, 1916, pages 519, 568; from Benedict Juni, 
Richard Pfefferle, and August Schwerdtfeger, each of New Ulm, and 
from the county offices of the register of deeds, judge of probate, and 
clerk of the court, during a visit at New Ulm in July, 1916. 

Albin, settled in 1865, was organized June 23, 1870. "The preliminary 
meeting for the organization of the town was held at the house of S. 
Rima; a name for the town could not be agreed upon, and Albin was 
suggested by Mrs. Rima." (History, Minnesota Valley, p. 758.) 

Bashaw township, organized in April, 1874, was named for Joseph 
Baschor (or Pascher), a Bohemian, who was the first settler, coming in 
the spring of 1869. He was yet living in 1916, in the village of Spring- 
field. The name was changed in spelling, to give a more easy English 
pronunciation. 

BuHNSTOwN, first settled in 1857, was named for J. F. Burns, one of the 
early settlers, who came in 1858. This township was organized October 
14, 1871. "In 1877 the village of Burns was surveyed ... on the line of 
the Winona and St. Peter railroad. . . February 21, 1881, it was incorporat- 
ed under the name of Springfield." 

CoBBEN, a railway village, was originally named North Branch, from 
its location near Sleepy Eye creek, the principal north branch of Cotton- 
wood river; but in 1886 it was changed to Cobden, for the English states- 



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BROWN COUNTY 69 

man. The village was platted February 16, 1901, and was incorporated 
in 1905. Richard Cobden was bom in Sussex, England, June 3, 1804; 
died in London, April 2, 1865. He entered Parliament in 1841 ; visited 
the United States in 1854; was especially noted as an advocate of free 
trade and of peace. During our civil war he was a supporter of the 
cause of the North. 

CoMFHEY, the railway village on the south line of Bashaw township, 
was platted in 1902, taking its name from a near postoffice, which had 
been established in 1877. That had been so named "by A. W. Pederson, 
the first postmaster, from the plant, comfrey . . . that he had met with in 
his reading." (Stennett, Origin of Place Names of the Chicago and 
Northwestern R^lways.) 

Cottonwood township, first settled in 18SS, organised October 24, 18S8, 
was named for the Cottonwood river, on its north edge, and the Little 
Cottonwood river, flowing through its center, their names being transla- 
tions from the Sioux, as noted more fully in the chapter for Cottonwood 
county. 

DoTsoN railway station, in Stately township, established in 1899, was 
named for Enoch Dotson, an early settler of the neighboring village oi 
Sanborn in Redwood county. 

Eden township, which was a part of the Sioux reservation till I8J3, 
was first settled by white immigrants in December, 1864, and was organ- 
ized April 2, 1867. Its name was chosen by the settlers because of tiie 
beauty of its scenery and fertility of the soil. Lone Tree postoffice was 
established in Eden township in 1869, being named for the neighboring 
lake, which had received this name from a large lone Cottonwood tree, 
once a famous landmark, 

EssiG, the railway village in Milford, "was named by C. C. Wheeler, 
then an officer of the Chicago and Northwestern Railway, to honor one 
of the Brothers Essig, who erected the first business building in the 
place." (Stennett,) The name is for John Essig, a farmer here since 
1882, who was born in Will county, Illinois, May 29, I85I. He came to 
Minnesota in 1866, with his parents, who settled on a farm in Milford. 
His father, John F. Essig, who was born in Germany, lived in Milford 
till 1886, and later in Sprmgfield, where he died in 1896. 

Evan, a railway village Jn section 8, Prairieville, was first platted as 
Hanson station in May, 1887, by Nels Hanson, and became an incorporat- 
ed village March 22, 1904. A postoffice had been established in 1886. 
named Evan by the first postmaster, Martin Norseth, for his wife, Eva, 
and its name was transferred to this village. 

Hanska, the railway village in the east edge of Lake Hanska town- 
ship, bears as its name, like the township, the common Sioux word mean- 
ing long or tall, which these Indians gave to the remarkably long and 
narrow lake in this township and Albin. The village was platted October 
9, 1899, and was incorporated in May, 1901. 



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70 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Home, the largest township of this county, settled in 1857, organized 
Jvioe 30, 1866, was so named in accordance with the petition of its set- 
tlers. 

Iberia, a small hamlet near the center of Stark township, bears the 
ancient name of the Spanish and Portugese peninsula. The postoHice of 
this name was established February 1, 1870, and was finally discontinued 
February 24, 1893. 

Lake Hanska township, first settled in 1857, organized June 21, 1870, 
was named for its long lake, as before noted for its village of Hanska. 

Leavenworth township, in which a village of this name was platted in 
October, 1857, was organized April 16, 1859. It was probably named in 
honor of Henry Leavenworth, commander of the troops who came in 
1819 to found the fort at first called Fort St. Anthony, renamed as Fort 
Snelling in 1825. 

Linden township, settled in 1855, organized in 1859, was named for its 
groves of the American linden, usually called basswood. The largest 
groves here bordered Lake Linden, which had been earlier so named. 

MiLFOED township, first settled in 1853, set apart by the county board 
for organization on June 28, 1858, was named from a sawmill built in 
1854-55 on a small creek, tributary to the Minnesota river, where it was 
crossed by a ford. This was the first sawmill in the upper Minnesota 

Mulligan township, settled in 1865, organized April 26, 1-871, was 
named for an early pioneer, probably from Ireland. 

New Ulm, the county seat, founded in 1854-55 by German colonists, 
coming from Chicago and Cincinnati, was named for Ufm in Germany, 
near the village of Erbach, which was, according to the late Hon. William 
Pfaender, the place of emigration of twenty in thirty-two of the first 
company of pioneer settlers, who came in the autumn of 1854. It was 
incorporated as a town by an act of the legislature, March 6, 1857; as a 
borough, February 19, 1870; and as a city, February 24, 1876. It received 
its present charter on March 1, 1887. Ulm is an important city of Wur- 
temberg, in southwestern Germany, situated on the northwest side of the 
Danube at the head of navigation. Its population in 1900 was nearly 
43,000. On the opposite Bavarian side of the Danube is Neu Ulm, which 
in 1900 had a population of 9,215. 

North Star township, first settled in 1858, set apart for organization 
on January 9, 1873, received its name in allusion to the French motto, 
"L'Etoile du Nord," on our state seal, whence Minnesota is often called 
the North Star State. 

Prairieville township, whose first settlers came in 1866, was organ- 
ized in March, 1870, taking this name because it consists almost wholly 
of prairie land. 

Searles, a railway village in Cottonwood township, was platted Octo- 
ber 10, 1899, being named by officials of the Minneapolis and St. Louis 
Railway Company. 



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BROWN COUNTY 71 

SiCEL township, settled in 1856, organized April 28, 1862, was named in 
honor of Franz Sigel, a general in the Civil War. He was born at Sins- 
heim, Baden, Germany, November 18, 1824; died in New York City, Aug- 
ust 21, 1902. He came to the United States in 1852; settled in St. Louis, 
1858, as a teacher in a German institute ; organized a regiment of U. S. 
volunteers, 1861, of which he became colonel ; won the battle of Carthage, 
Mo., July S, 1861; was promoted to the rank of major general, March, 
1862, and took command of a wing of the army of Virginia; was appoint- 
ed to the command of the army of West Virginia in February, 1864; was 
U. S. pension agent in New York City, 1885-89. About the year 1873 Gen- 
eral Sigel visited New Ulm and this township. 

Sleepy Eye, the city and railway junction in Home township, platted 
September 18, 1872, incorporated as a village February 14, 1878, and as a 
city in 1903, was named, like the adjoining lake, for a chief of the Lower 
Sisseton Sioux. His favorite home and village during some parts of many 
years were beside this lake. He was born near the site of Mankato ; be- 
came a chief between 1822 and 1825; signed the treaties of Prairie du 
Cbien, 1825 and 1830, of SL Peter's in 1836, and Traverse des Sioux, 1851. 
Doane Robinson wrote: "Sleepy Eyes died in Roberts county, South Da- 
kota, but many years after his death his remains were disinterred and re- 
moved to Sleepy Eye, Minn., where they were buried under a monument 
erected by the citizens." (Hodge, Handbook of American Indians, Part 
H, 1910.) The monument, dose to the railway station, bears this in- 
scription, beneath the portrait of the chief in bas relief sculpture: "Ish- 
tak-ha-ba. Sleepy Eye, Always a Friend of the Whites. Died 1860." 

An interesting biographic sketch of "Sleepy Eyes, or Ish-ta-hba, which 
is very literally translated," by Rev. Stephen R. Riggs, in the Minnesota 
Free Press, St Peter, Jan. 27, 1858, is reprinted in the Minnesota History 
Bulletin, vol. 2, no. 8, pp. 484-495, Nov., 1918. 

Springfield, the railway village in Burnstown, platted in 1877, was 
then named Burns, but at its incorporation, February 21, 1881, received 
its present name. This is said by Stenneft to be derived from the city of 
Springfield, Mass. ; but Juni refers its origin to a very large spring there, 
on the north side of the Cottonwood river and high above it. 

Staek township, settled in 1858, organized April 7, 1868, was named 
for August Starck, a German pioneer farmer there. 

Sr.^TELY, settled in 1873, was the last township organized in this county, 
April 7, 1879. The origin of its name has not been ascertained, but as an 
English word, of frequent use, it means "having a grand and impressive 
appearance, lofty, dignified." The west part of the south line of Stately 
crosses the highest land of this county, commanding a far prospect north- 
ward and eastward. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Cottonwood and Little Cottonwood rivers are noticed in connection with 
Cottonwood township, and most fully in the chapter on the county of 



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72 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

that name. Lone Tree lake is mentioned under Eden township, and Lakes 
Hanska and Linden with the townships so named. Sleepy Eye lake attd. 
creek received their names, like the city, from the Sioux chief. 

Only a few other names of streams remain to be noticed. Big Sprii^ 
creek, also called Spring Branch creek, in Eden and Home townships, 
takes its name from its large springs ; Mine creek, in North Star town- 
ship, refers doubtless to prospecting or mining there ; and Mound creek 
in Stately may have been named, as also this township, in allusion to the 
highland on its upper course. 

The following lakes bear names of early pioneers, whose homes were 
usually beside them or in their vicinity : George lake, named for Captain 
Sylvester A, George, and Rose lake, for Fred Rose, in Home township, 
the former having been earlier called Cross lake in allusion to its four 
bays having somewhat the outline of a cross; Kruger lake, in Prairieville, 
for Louis Kruger, a German farmer ; Lake Hummel, also named Qear 
lake, in Sigel; Lake Emerson, now drained, on the south line of Linden; 
Broome and Omsrud lakes, in Lake Hanska township ; and Lake Alter- 
matt, in Leavenworth, for John B. Altermatt, a Swiss farmer. 

Lake Juni, in section 26, Sigel, is named in honor of Benedict Juni, 
of New Ulm. He was born in Switzerland, January 12, 1852; and came 
to the United States when five years old with his parents, who settled on 
a farm in Milford. In 1862 he was a captive of the Sioux, from August 
18 to the surrender of the prisoners at Camp Release, as narrated by him 
in the "History of Brown County" (vol. I, pages 111-122). During more 
than thirty years he was a teacher in the public schools of this county. 

School lake, also in Sigel. received this name from its lying mainly in 
the school section 16. 

Dane lake, in Linden, was named for its several Dane settlers in a 
a mainly Norwegian township. 

Bachelor lake, in Stark, was named for a lone homesteader there, un- 
married ; and Rice lake, mostly in section 29 of the same township, for its 
wild rice, a name that formerly was also applied to the present Lake Al- 

The origin of the name of Boy's lake, in Leavenworth, was not learned. 

Reed lake, in section 6, Bashaw, was named for its abundant growth 
of reeds ; and Wood lake, crossed by the south line of Mulligan and lying 
mainly in Watonwan county, for its adjoining groves, the source of fire- 
wood used by the early settlers. 



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CARLTON COUNTY 

This county, established May 23, 1857, with a further legislative act 
of February 18, 1870, and organized September 26, 1870, was named 
in honor of Reuben B. Carlton, one of the first settlers of Fond du Lac. 
at the head of lake navigation on the St. Louis river, near the line be- 
tween St. Louis and Carlton counties. He was born in Onondaga county, 
New York, March 4, 1812; came to Fond du Lac in !847, as a farmer and 
blacksmith for the Ojibway Indians; was one of the proprietors of the 
townsite of Fond du Lac, being a trustee under the act of its incorpor- 
ation in 1857; and was a member of the first state senate, 1858. He owned 
about eighty acres adjoining that village and the river, on which he re- 
sided until his death, December 6, 1863. 

The village of Carlton, the county seat of this county since 1886, was 
also named for him ; and he is further commemorated by Carlton's Peak, 
near Tofte in Cook county, the most prominent point on the north shore 
of Lake Superior in Minnesota, forming the western end of the Saw- 
teeth Range. 

Fifty years after Carkon's death, James Bardon of Superior, Wis., 
wrote the following personal remembrance and estimate of him to Henry 
Oldenburg of Carlton, dated September 10, 1913. 

" 'Colonel' Carlton, as he was called, was a man of large frame, fully 
six feet in height, a strong personality, of good looks and pleasing man- 
ners, a man of much intelligence. He became associated with the bright 
and enterprising men who laid out and established Superior, Duluth, and 
other places about the head of Lake Superior. An avenue here in Supe- 
rior was named after him. . . . Colonel Carlton was more prominently 
identified with the westerly part of St. Louis county, now Carlton county, 
in the early days, than any other man; and when the new county was 
projected it is likely that all men agreed that Carlton was the appropriate 
name for it, ... a really noble character." 

Townships and Villages. 

For the origins and significance of local names in this county, infor- 
mation was gathered from F. A. Watkins, judge of probate, visited at 
Carlton in September, 1909, and again in August, 1916; and also from 
Hon. Spencer J. Searls, in the second of these visits. 

Atkinson township was named for John Atkinson, an early settler 
there, who during many years was employed as a land examiner for the 
St. Paul and Duluth railroad company. 

AuTOMBA was named after the railway station of the Soo line in 
this township, but the origin of this name remains to be ascertained. 



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74 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Baknum township received its name in honor of George G. Banium, 
now a resident of Duluth, who was paymaster of the Lake Superior and 
Mississippi railroad (later named the St Paul and Doluth), when it was 
being built. 

Besemann township was named for a former German landowner titere, 
Ernst Besemann, who removed to Chaska. 

Black Hoof was named for the creek which flows circuitously through 
this township to the Nemadji river. It is translated from the Ojihway 
name of the creek. 

GiBLTON village, the county seat, took its name, like the county, in 
honor of Reuben B. Carlton. During about fifteen years from the build- 
ing of the Northern Pacific railway, in 1870, this place was called Northern 
Pacific Junction, being at the junction of that transcontinental line with 
the older Lake Superior and Mississippi line. 

Cloquet (retaining the French pronunciation of its last syllable, as 
in bouquet and sobriquet), incorporated as a city, was named for the 
Qoquet river, from which, and from other tributaries of the Sl IjDuis 
river, came the logs of its lumber manufacturing. The map of Long's 
expedition, in 1823, shows that stream as Rapid river, and it is unnamed 
on the map by Thompson in 1826 for the proposed routes of the interna- 
tional boundary; but on Nicollet's map, published in 1843, it has the present 
title, Qoquet river. It is not used outside of Minnesota as a geographic 
name, and here was probably derived from some fur trader. It is ap- 
plied also to an island of the Mississippi in section 10, Dayton township, 
Hennepin county. 

CoBOHA, the Latin word meaning a crown, was first given to a station 
of the Northern Pacific railway, perhaps because it is near the highest 
land crossed between Lake Superior and the Mississippi ; and thence it 
was given to the township, in accordance with the petition of the settlers. 

Cromwell, a railway village in the south edge of Red Clover township, 
was organized January 17, 1891, recdving its name from the Northern 
Pacific railway company. 

Eagle township was named for its Eagle lake. Our common species 
is the bald eagle, so called for his white head, found throughout Minne- 
sota, nesting in large trees, preferably on lake shores or islands. 

HoLYOKE township, organized in 1903, received its name from the 
earlier railway station, where it was given by the Great Northern rail- 
way company. 

IvERSON station was named by the Northern Pacific railway company 
for Ole Iverson, a pioneer settler there. 

Kalevala township has many Finnish settlers, by whom it was given 
this name of the national epic poem of Finland, meaning "the abode or 
land of heroes." English translations of it have been published in 1888 
and in 1907. "The elements of the poem are ancient popular songs. . . . 
The poem owes its present cohereid form to Eiias Lonnrot (1802-1884), 



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CARLTON COUNTY 75 

who during years of assiduous labor collected the material in Finland prop- 
er, but principally in Russian Karelia eastward to the White Sea. . . . The 
Kalevala is written in eight-syllabled trochaic verse, with alliteration, but 
without rhne. The whole is divided into fifty cantos or runes. Its sub- 
ject matter is mythical, with a few Christian elements. Its central hero 
is Wainamoinen, the god of poetry and music It is the prototype, 
in form and contents, of Longfellow's 'Hiawatha.'" (Csntury Cyclopedia 
of Names.) 

Kettle River, the railway village of Silver township, is named for the 
river, a translation of its Ojibway name, Akiko sibi. 

Krifb Falls township is named for the falls of the St. Louis river, 
falling 16 feet, in the west part of section 13, close east of CIoqueL On 
the canoe route used by fur traders during a hundred years, these falls 
were passed by a portage about a mile long on the south side of the riv- 
er, of which Prof. N, H. Wincheil wrote : "It is well named Knife 
portage, because where it starts, and for some distance, the slates are 
thin, perpendicular, and sharp like knives." 

Lake View township, having Tamarack lake, nearly two mjles long, 
adjoining tamarack woods, and several other lakes of small size, received 
this name by vote of the settlers. 

MA.HT0WA township has a name formed from the Sioux mahto and 
the last syllable of the Ojibway makwa, each meaning a bear. 

Moose Lake township has reference to its Moose lake and Moose 
Head lake, each probably translated from their original Ojibway names. 

Nemadji, the Soo railway station in Barnum township, received this 
Ojibway name from the Nemadji river, meaning Left Hand river. The 
name refers to its being next on the left hand when one passes from 
Lake Superior into the St. Louis river. 

Perch Lake township is named for its Perch lake, which is somewhat 
larger than its adjacent Big lake, each being very probably translations of 
the aboriginal names. 

Progress has a euphonious and auspicious name, selected by the peti- 
tioners for the township organization. 

Reb Clover township was named similarly with the last noted. This 
beautiful and highly valued species of clover is of Old World origin, but 
it is nearly everywhere cultivated with grasses in the sowing of lands for 
hay. 

Sawyer, a railway station in Atkinson township, was named by the 
officers of the Northern Pacific railroad company, 

ScANLON, the lumber manufacturing vills^e between Cloquet and Carl- 
ton, was named for M. Joseph Scanlon, president of the B rooks -ScanI on 
Company, Minneapolis, He was born in Lyndon, Wis,, August 24, 1861 ; 
settled in Minneapolis in 1889, and has engaged in many large enterprises 
of logging, the manufacture of lumber, and building and operating rail- 
roads to supply logs. In addition to his company's very large lumber in- 



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76 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

tereats at this village, he has conducted similar lumbering and sawmills 
at Cass Lake, and also in Oregon and in Louisiana and Florida. 

Silver township has a euphonious name chosen by its settlers, for the 
Silver creek there tributary to Kettle river. 

Skelton township was named for two brothers, Joha and Harry E. 
Skelton, who lived in the village of Barnum. The former was the county 
surveyor in 1897-1901, and the latter was judge of probate for the county, 
1901-04, dying in office. 

Split Rock township was named for the small river flowing through 
it, on which ledges of slates and schists have been deeply channeled near 
its mouth, the rocks of the opposite banks appearing therefore as it split 

Thomson township received its name from the station and village 
of the St. Paul and Duluth and Northern Pacific railroads, built in 
1870. This village was the county seat from that date until 1886. The 
name was given by officers of 4;he former line, in honor of David Thomp- 
son, the Canadian explorer and geographer; but it has been generally 
spelled as if for James Thomson (1700-1748), the Scottish poet, author 
of "The Seasons." 

David Thompson was born in Westminster (now a part of London), 
England, April 30, 1770; and died in Longueuil, near Montreal, February 
10, 1857. He was in the service of the Hudson Bay Company, 1784-97, 
and of the Northwest Fur Company the next eighteen years. In the 
spring of 1798 he traveled from the mouth of the Assiniboine river, the 
site of the city of Winnipeg, to Pembina ; thence to the trading house 
of the Northwest Company on the site of Red Lake Falls ; thence by the 
Clearwater and Red Lake rivers to Red lake; thence by Turtle lake and 
river to Red Cedar lake (now Cass lake) ; thence down the Mississippi 
to the Northwest trading post on Sandy lake ; thence by the Savanna 
rivers and portage to the St. Louis river, and down this river, past the 
site of Thomson, to the trading post at Fond du Lac; and thence along 
the south shore of Lake Superior to the Sault Ste. Marie. Thompson's 
account of this journey through northern Minnesota, with descriptions 
of the rivers and lakes and the country traversed, fomfs Chapters XVI to 
XIX in his "Narrative of Explorations in Western America, 1784-1812," 
edited by J. B. Tyrrell, published in 1916 as Volume XII (pages xcyiii, 
582, with maps and sketches), Publications of the Champlain Society. 
This work is reviewed, with a biographic sketch of Thompson, in the 
"Minnesota History Bulletin" (vol. I, pages 522-7, November, 1916). 

Twin Lakes township was named for its two smalj lakes in section 
36, on the first road laid out from St. Paul, through Chisago and Pine 
counties, to the head of Lake Superior. A map of Minnesota in 1856, 
by Silas Chapman, shows this road with a small settlement named Twin 
Lakes, which was the only locality indicated as having inhabitants in Carl- 
ton county. It was nominally the county seat until Thomson was so 
designated by the legislative act of February 18, 1870. 



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CARLTON COUNTY 77 

Wrenshau- township was named from the railway station and village, 
which received this name from the Northern Pacific company. It is for C. 
C. Wrenshall, who during several years was in charge of maintenance and 
repairs of bridges for this railway, 

WflrGHT, a railway village in Lake View township, recalls the work 
of George Bur dick Wright, who during many y^ars was engaged in 
land examinations and locating new settlers in northern and western 
Minnesota. He was born in Williston, Vt., June 21, 1835; and died at 
Fergus Falls, Minn., April 29, 1882. He came to Minnesota in 1856; and 
first settled in Minneapolis ; was the principal founder of Fergus Falls, 
in 1871 ; and secured the building of a branch o£ the Northern Pacific 
railroad in 1881-2 from Wadena to Fergus Falls and Breckenridge. 

The name also had a second and equal reason for being chosen, to 
commemorate Charles Barstow Wright of Philadelphia, Pa,, who was a 
director of the Northern Pacific railroad company in 1870-74, and was its 
president from 1875 for four years, during a period of restoration of 
business credit and prosperity after the great financial panic and de- 
pression of 1873. For Minnesota, in 1877-78 he directed the construction 
of the Western railroad, a line between St. Paul and Brainerd, which 
became a part of the Northern Pacific system. 

Lakes and Streams. 
The preceding list has sufiicieiitly referred to Black Hoof creek, Qo- 
quet river (north of Carlton county). Eagle lake, Knife falls and port- 
age of the St. Louis river. Tamarack lake. Moose and Moose Head lakes, 
Nemadji river, Perch lake and Big lake, Split Rock river, and the Twin 

West and East Net rivers (or creeks) in Holyoke are probably trans- 
lated from their Ojibway names, referring to nets for catching fish. 

Skunk, Deer, Mud, and Clear creeks, flowing into Nemadji river, need 
no explanations ; and the same may be said of Otter creek, at Carlton, 
probably an Ojibway name translated, and of Midway and Hay creeks 
in Thomson, the tornier being midway between Thomson and Fond du 

Stony brook, the outlet of Perch lake, Tamarack river, flowing west 
from Tamarack lake. Moose Horn and Dead Moose rivers and Otter 
brook (now called Silver creek), each flowing from the west into the 
Kettle river, and Moose river, its tributary from the east, are likewise 
of obvious or simple derivations, some or all of them being translations of 
the Ojibway names. 

Portage river, an eastern branch of Moose river, refers to the portage 
from it to the head stream of Nemadji river, being an ancient aboriginal 
and French name. 

Gillespie brook, in Silver township, bears probably the name of an 
early lumberman or trapper. 



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78' MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

This county has two Silver creeks, one flowing to Kettle river in Sil- 
ver township, the other a smaller stream heading about a mile south of 
Carlton and flowing three miles east to the St. Louis river. 

In Ahkeek lake, Cori^a, lately called Kettle lake, we have the Ojib- 
way name and its English translation, this lake being near the most north- 
ern sources of Kettle river. 

Other names of lakes in this county, some being translations, and near- 
ly all being of evident origin or meaning, include Dead Fish lake, in sec- 
tion 12, Progress; White Fish lake (lately called Big lake), one to two 
miles south of Barnum village; Bear lake, close east of Barnum, and an- 
other Bear lake in section 4, Black Hoof ; Coffee, Echo, and Sand lakes, 
in the south part of Moose Lake township; Chub and Hay lakes, in Twin 
Lakes township; Rocky lake (now called Park lake), in Atkinson; and 
Island lake, on the Northern Pacilic railway, whence the early name of 
its station there was Island Lake, later changed to Cromwell 

Cole lake, in sections 7 and 8, Lake View, was named for James Cole, 
a civil war veteran, who was a homesteader there ; and Woodbury lake, 
section 31, Red Clover, similarly commemorates an early settler. 

Hanging Horn lake, crossed by the west line of section 7, Barnum, 
translates its Ojibway name, as also probably Horn lake in section 3, 
Atkinson. 

Moran lake, in section 8, Atkinson, was named for Henry P. Moran, 
an early Irish homesteader and trapper. 

Venoah lake (formerly called Mink lake), three miles soulh of Carl- 
ton, received its present name in compliment to the daughters, Winona 
and Marie, of Judge F. A. Watkins, who kindly supplied much informa- 
tion for this chapter. The lake name was coined from their pet names 
as children about twenty years ^o. 

Jay Cooke State Park. 

In the years 1915 and 1916, Minnesota received by donation from the 
esitate of Jay Cooke more than 2,000 acres of land, bordering each side of 
the St. Louis river through its winding course of about ten miies, from the 
Northern Pacific railway at Carlton and Thomson, along it rapids and 
falls descending 39S feet in crossing Range 16, to the east line of the 
county and state. With additional adjoining lands of equal or greater 
area, expected to be obtained by further donations and by purchases, a 
large state park is planned, to preserve these Dalles of the St. Louis for 
the enjoyment and recreation of the people. 

Jay Cooke was born in Sandusky, Ohio, August 10, 1821 ; and died at 
Ogontz, near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, February 16, 1905. In 1861 he 
founded in Philadelphia the banking house of Jay Cooke and Company, 
and during the next four years of the civil war he was the principal finan- 
cial agent of the Federal government, negotiating loans for the war ex- 
penses to a value of about $2,000,000,000. In 1873 his house failed, on 
account of too heavy investments in the Northern Pacific railroad bonds. 



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CARLTON COUNTY 79 

"Before the financial crash of 1873, Mr. Cooke regarded himself as one 
of the richest men of the country. He built in the beautiful suburbs of 
Philadelphia a palace which, for size and costliness, had scarcely an equal 
on this side of the Atlantic. In this palace, called 'Ogontz,' he dispensed 
a lavish hospitality. He had also a summer residence named 'Gibraltar,' 
on a rocky cape at the entrance of Sandusky Bay on Lake Erie. . . , After 
the crash came he lived for a long time in retirement in a little cottage, in 
the country, near Philadelphia, — to all appearances a broken man. But 
after getting through the bankruptcy courts, he reappeared in business 
circles in Philadelphia, occupied his old office on South Third street, and 
began to build up a second fortune. . . . His career offers the rare instance 
of a man losing one fortune and making another when past the meridian 
of life." (Smalley, "History of the Northern Pacific Railroad," 1883.) 

Sixteen years later than the writing here cited, his wealth "was esti- 
mated to be as large as at any period of his life." He was a generous 
patron of education, of churches, and of charities; and in his later years 
spent much of his time in the recreations of hunting and fishing. An ex- 
cellent biography, "Jay Cooke, Financier of the Civil War," by Ellis Pax- 
son Oberholtier, was published in 1907 (two vols., pages 658, 590, with 
portraits and many other illustrations). 

Fond du Lac Eeservatiok. 
The reservation for the Fond du Lac bands of the Ojibway people, 
established by a treaty at La Pointe, WisconsiI^, September 30, 1854, com- 
prises the present Knife Falls and Perch Lake townships, with the edges 
of the adjoining townships in this county, and thence reaches north to 
the St. Louis river, thus including a tract in St. Louis county equivalent 
to about two townships. The name Fond du Lac, meaning the farther end 
or liead of the lake, was applied by the early French traders and voyageurs 
to their trading post on the north side of the St. Louis river, where its 
strong current is slackened by coming nearly to the level of Lake Supe- 
rior, which, in its extension of St. Louis bay, is about two miles away. The 
same name was given also to this river, called "R, du Fond du Lac" 'on 
Franquelin's map, 1688, renamed St, Louis by Vaugondy's map in 17SS. 

Glacial Lakes St. Louis, Nemadji, and Duluth. 
Prof. N. H. WincheH, in the fourth volume (published in 1899) of the 
Final Report of the Geological Survey of Minnesota, gave the names 
St Louis and Nemadji to two early and relatively small glacial lakes in 
Carlton county, which successively outflowed to the Moose and Keitle 
rivers by channels in Mahtowa and Barnum townships, respectively about 
1125 and 1070 feet above the sea. They were followed by the slightly 
lower Glacial Lake Duluth, named by Frank B. Taylor of the United 
States Geological Survey, which in its maximum stage occupied a large 
area of the Lake Superior basin, with outlet at tlie head of the Brule 
river in Douglas county, Wisconsin, to the Upper St. Croix lake and river. 



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CARVER COUNTY 

This county, established February 20, I85S, was named for Captain 
Jonathan Carver, explorer and author, who was born in Stillwater, now 
Canterbury, Conn., in 1732, and died in London, England, January 31, 
1780. He commanded a company in the French war, and in 1763, when 
the treaty of peace was declared, he resolved to explore the newly ac- 
quired possessions of Great Britain in the Northwest In 1766 he trav- 
eled from Boston to the upper Mississippi river, and spent the ensuing 
winter with the Sioux on the Minnesota river in the vicinity of the site 
of New Ulm, On his return, according to statements published after his 
death, he negotiated a treaty, May I, 1767, at Carver's cave, in the east 
edge o£ the present city of St. Paul, by which the Sioux granted to him 
a large tract of land on the east side of the Mississippi. Carver continued 
his explorations by a canoe journey along the north and east coast of 
Lake Superior. He returned to Boston in October, 1758, -soon sailed to 
England, and spent the remainder of his life in London. 

Carver's 'Travels Through the Interior Parts of North America," a 
volume of 543 pages, with two maps, was published in London in 1778, 
and new editions were issued the next year in London and in Dublin. 
After the author's death, his friend, Dr. John C. Lettsom, contribiriied 
to the third London edition, in 1781, a biographic account of Cap- 
tain Carver, in 22 pages, including the first publication of the deed or 
grant of land obtained by Carver from the Sioux chiefs. 

Several American editions of this work, wiSi abridgment and changes, 
were published during the years 1784 to 1838 ; and translations of it into 
German, French, and Etatch, were published respectively in 1780, 1784, 
and 1796. 

The Minnesota river is noted on Carver's map of his Travels as "River 
SL Pierre, call'd by the Natives Wadapawmenesoter," this being one of 
the earliest records of the Sioux name of this river and state. At its north 
side, nearly opposite to the Bite of New Ulm, three Sioux teepees are 
pictured, with the statement that "About here the Author Winter'd in 
1766." 

Numerous endeavors made by heirs of Captain Carver and by others 
to whom their rights were assigned, for establishing their claims and own- 
ership of the large tract deeded to him by the Sioux, have been narrated 
by Rev. John Mattocks in his address at the Carver Centenary celebra- 
tion in 1867, published in Volume 11 of the Minnesota Historical Society 
Collections ; by John Fletcher Williams in his "History of the City of St, 
Paul and of the County of Ramsey," forming Volume IV in the same series, 
published in 1876; and most fully, with many documents submitted to the 
United States Congress, relating to the Carver claims, in an article by 



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" ■ CARVER COUNTY 81 

Daitie) S. Durrie, to which Lyman C Draper added important foot-notes, 
in Volume VI, pages 220-270, of the Wisconsin Historical Society Collec- 
tions, published in 1872. 

Between forty and forty-five years after Carver's death, the supposed 
rights of his heirs under the deed were denied and annuiled in Congress by 
the Committees on Public Lands and on Private Land Claims. One of 
the grounds for this decision was that no citizens, but only the state, 
whether Great Britain, as in 1767, or the United States after the treaty 
of 1783, could so receive ownership of lands from the aborigines. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of origins and meanings of geographic names in this 
county has been gathered from "History of the Minnesota Valley," 1882, 
pages 352-410; from "Compendium of History and Biography of Carver 
and Hennepin Counties," R. L Holcombe, historical editor, 1915, pages 
187-342; and from John Glaeser, judge of probate; Albert Meyer, register 
of deeds, and Hon, Frederick E. Du Toit, Sr., each of Chaska, interviewed 
during a visit there in July, 1916. 

Assumption, a hamlet in section 18, Hancock, received its name from 
that of the Catholic church there, referring to the ascent of the Virgin 
Mary into heaven and its anniversary, celebrated on August IS. 

Augusta, a railway station in section 3, Dahlgren, was named in honor 
of the wives of two settlers near, each having this name and having come 
from Augusta in Eau Claire county, Wisconsin. 

B N hfi etdM 85g dayll, 1858, 

w mdkB tj h hdghed United 

S ThHrtB w dp ervices are 

m d hptl Hdd April 10, 1858, 

mhb w ddmdXe village of 

B hhh LkB da half mile 

north of Cologne, platted in June, 1880, was mcorporated m March, 1881. 

Camden township, settled in July, 1856, had a village platted and a post- 
office .established in the same year ; but this township was not organized 
until the spring of 1859, It was named doubtless for some one of the 
eighteen villages and cities of this name in the older eastern and southern 
states, of which the largest is the city of Camden, N. J., on the Delaware 
river, opposite to Philadelphia. 

Carves, a very small fractional township bordering on the Minnesota 
river, was named, tike this county, in honor of Jonathan Carver. The 
first settlers came in 1851-52, and the township was organized May 11, 
1858. The village of Carver was platted in February, 1857, and was incor- 
porated February 17, 1877, comprising all the township. Carver creek, 
named by Captain Carver for himself, the outlet of Clearwater or Wa- 
conia lake and numerous other lakes of smaller size, here joins the Min- 
nesota river. On Nicollet's map it is "Odowan E.," which is the Sioux 
word for a song or hymn. 



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82 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Chanhassen township received its earliest settlers in June, 1852, and 
was organized May 11, 1858. The name, adopted on the suggestion of 
Rev. H. M. Nichols, means the sugar maple, being formed of two Sioux 
words, chan, tree, and hassen, (for hasan, from haza or hah-zah, the 
huckleberry or blueberry), thus signifying "the tree of sweet juice." 

Chaska township and city, the county seat, has, unlike the preceding 
name, the French sound of Ch like sh. This was the name generally 
given in a Sioux family to the first-born child, if a son, as Winona was 
the general name of a first-born daughter. The earliest permanent set- 
tlers came in 1853, and the date of the township organization was May 
11, 1858 The village was founded in June, 18S4, by the Shaska Company 
"(the name was thus misspelled in the act of incorporation of the com- 
pany)." March 6, 1871, it was incorporated as a village, and on March 
3, 1891, as a city. A small lake at the southwest side of the city is named 
Chaska lake, and a creek here tributary to the Minnesota river is likewise 
called Chaska creek. 

This word is pronounced by the Sioux, and by Riggs' Dictionary, with 
hEgrh dfh('h ) d'thtllg 1 d" 



N ty 

m ty W 

Dahlgebn township, settled m 1854, organized April 5, 1864, was nam 
ed Liberty in 1863. "May 9, 1864. the name of the town was changed . . . 
to Dahlgren, at the suggestion of the state auditor, in honor of our dis- 
tinguished admiral, because the name Liberty had already been appropri- ■ 
ated by another town in the state." (History of the Minnesota Valley.) 
John Adolphus Bernard Dahlgren, of Swedish parentage, was bom in 
Philadelphia, November 13, 1809; and died in the city of Washington, 
July 12, I8?0. He became a lieutenant in the U. S. Navy in 1837; was as- 
signed to ordnance duty in Washington, 1847, and introduced important 
improvements in the naval armament, including the Dahlgren gun, which 
he invented. He was appointed chief of the bureau of ordnance, July 
18, 1862, became rear-admiral February 7, 1863, and gained renown for 
his service through the civil war. His biography, by his widow, was pub- 
lished in 1882 (660 pages, with two portraits). 

GoTBA, a hamlet in section 1, Hancock, was named for the ancient city 
of Gotha, in central Germany. 



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CARVER COUNTY 83 

Hamburg, a railway village in sections 28 and 33, Young America, was 
named for the great German city and port of Hamburg, on the River 
Elbe, which was founded and fortified by Charlemagne about the begin- 
ning of the ninth century. 

Hancock township, settled in the spring o£ 1856, organized March 23, 
1868, was named in honor of Winfield Scott Hancock. He was bom at 
Montgomery Square, Pa., February 14, 1824; died at Governor's Island, 
N, Y., February 9, 1886. After graduation at West Point, 1844, he served 
as lieutenant in the Mexican War; was a general during the Civil War; 
and was commander of the military department of the Atlantic, 1872-86. 
In the presidential campaign of 1880, he was the unsuccessful Democratic 
candidate. 

HOLLYWOOB township, settled in 1856, organized April 3, 1860, had a. 
small village near it southeast corner, platted in the autumn of 1856 and 
named Helvetia by John Buhter, an immigrant from Switzerland, of 
which this was the ancient Latin name. Matthew Kelly, an Irish settler, 
proposed the township name, saying that he had seen the shrub named 
holly, which is common in Ireland, growing here in the woods. After the 
name had been adopted, it was ascertained that the European holly does 
not occur ia this country; but Minnesota has two species of this family, 
found rarely on bluffs of Lake Pepin, the St. Croix river, and northward. 

Laketown, so named on the suggestion of John Salter, for its ten 
small lakes and the large Qearwater lake on its west boundary, was first 
settled in April, 1853, and was organized May 11, 1858. It was at first called 
Liberty, but was renamed as now on June 12, 1858, a month after the or- 
ganization. The Swedish community on the east side of Clearwater lake 
has been often called Scandia, the ancient Roman name for the southern 
part of Sweden. 

Mayes, a railway village on the line between Camden and Waconia, 
was named by officers of the Great Northern railway company. 

MiNNEWASHTA, a village mainly of summer homes, on the northeast 
end of the largest lake in Chanhassen, recwved its name from the lake. 
It consists of two Sioux words, minne, water, and washta, good. 

New Germany, Ihe railway village in sections 4 and 5, Camden, was 
named in compliraetit to the many German settlers in its vicinity. In the 
World War, 1914-18, this name was changed to Motordale, on account of 
popular indignation against Germany. 

NoRWOODj a village and railway junction in Young America, platted in 
1872 and incorporated in 1881, is said to have been "named by Mr. S!o- 
cum, an early banker there, for an eastern relative or friend of his wife." 
Fifteen villages and postoffices in eastern and southern states have this 

PiJ^ASANT View, a village and summer resort in section 1, Chanhassen, 
at the north end of Long lake, was thus euphoniously named by its pro- 
prietors. 



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84 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

San FranciscOj a fractional township beside the Minnesota river, set- 
tled in 1854 and organized May 11, 1858, was named by William Foster, 
who in 1854 platted and so named a village site on his claim, taking this 
name from the metropolis of California. The village flourished only 
about ten years, and its site then reverted to be farming land. 

Victoria, a railway village in sections 13 and 14, Laketown, was named 
in honor of the queen of England. 

ViNLAKD, a hamlet of summer homes in section 2, Chanhassen, at the 
south end of Christmas lake, was named for the region of temporary 
Norse settlement, about the beginning of the eleventh century, on the 
northeast coast of North America. The name is Icelandic, meaning wine- 
land, bcause grapes were found there. 

Waconia township, settled in 185S, organized May 11. 1858, bears the 
Sioux name of its large lake, meaning a fountain or spring. The village 
of Waconia was platted and named by Roswell P. Russell in March, 1857. 
This lake is also called Clearwater lake. "It has about eighteen miles of 
shore, most of which is high with a gravelly beach. The water is very 
clear, hence its name, and well stocked with fish." 

WATKnov/N, first settled in 1856, organized April 13, 1858, received 
this name "because of the township's large water supply," by five or six 
lakes and the South fork of Crow river. The village of Watertown, 
platted in 1858, was incorporated February 26, 1877. 

In YouKG America a village of this name was platted in the fall of 
1856, which was incorporated March 4, 1879. The same name is also 
given to a small lake there. At the organization of the township jn 1858, it 
was first named Farmington, but later in that year was renamed Florence ; 
and ia 1863 it was again changed to the present name, like its village. 
This name is a familiar expression for the vigor and progressiveness of 
the young people of the United States. Its only use elsewhere as a geo- 
graphic name is for a village in Cass county, Indiana. 

Lakes and Streams. 

At the Little Rapids of the Minnesota river, adjoining the southeast 
quarter of section 31, Carver, a ledge of the Jordan sandstone running 
across the river bed causes a fall of two feet; and again about a quarter 
of a mile up the river its bed is similarly crossed by this sandstone, having 
there a fall of slightly more than one foot. In the stage of low water, 
these very slight falls prevent the passage of boats; but at a fuller stage 
the river wholly covers the ledges, with no perceptible rapid descent, be- 
ing then freely navigable. Fur trading posts were located there during 
many years. A lake there, close west of the river, is named Rapids lake. 

In the list of townships and villages, the origins and meanings of the 
names of several lakes and streams have been 'noted, including Lake Ben- 
ton, Carver creek, Chaska lake and creek, Clearwater or Waconia lake 
and its Coney Island, Lake Minnewashta, Long lake in Chanliassen, and 
Young America lake. 



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CARVER COUNTY 85 

Names given in honor of early settlers, mostly having taken iiorae- 
steads on or near the lake or stream so designated, include Bevins creek, 
flowing through San Francisco to the Minnesota river ; Lakes Lucy, Ann, 
and Susan, in Chanhassen, the first and second being named respectively 
for the wives of Burritt S. and William S. Judd, and the third for Susan 
Hazeltine, who taught the first school in Carver county and is also com- 
memorated here, with her father, by Hazeltine lake; Virginia lake, in 
section 6, and Bradford lake, in sections 24 and 25, Oianhassen, and 
Bavaria lake, crossed by the. west line of that township, named for the 
native .»nd of settlers near it; Pierson, Reitz, Schutz (or Goldschmidt), 
Stieger (or Herman), and Watermann's lakes, in Laketown, commemor- 
ating John Pierson, Frederick Reitz, Matthias Schueti, Carl Stieger, and 
Michael Wassermann, settlers near th«se several lakes ; Buran's lake, for 
a German farmer adjoining it, Adolph Burandt, Lake Bonders, and Hyde, 
Patterson, and Rutz lakes, in Waconia, the last three being for Ernst 
Heyd, the first county surveyor, who owned land there, WiHiam Patter- 
son, one of the earliest settlers, and Peter Rutz ; Berliner lake, in section 
12, Camden, for a German settler from Berlin; Campbell lake, section IS, 
Hollywood, for Patrick Campbell and his two brothers, Irish settlers ; 
Miller's lake, in section 8, Dahlgren, for Herman Mueller ; Gruenhagen's, 
Heyer's, Hoeffken's, Maria, and Winkler's lakes, in Benton, the first for 
H. F. Gruenhagen, the second for Louis Heyer, the third for Henry Hoeff- 
ken, and the last for Ignatz Winlder; and Barnes, Brandt and Frederick's 
lakes, in Young America, respectively for William Barnes, the earliest 
homesteader there, Leroy Brandt, and Frederick Ohland. 

Eagle lake, in section 34, Camden, was named for an eagle'; nest there, 
in a very great cottonwood tree. 

For Lake Auburn and Parley and Ziimbra lakes, in Laketown, no in- 
formation of the origin of their names has been learned. 

Swede lake, in Watertown, was named for its several Swedish settlers 
by the earliest of them, Daniel Justus, in August, 18S6. This neighbor- 
hood was known as Gotaholm (Gota, a river of southern Sweden, holm, 
a grove). The same name, Swede lake, was also formerly borne by the 
present Maria lake, section 36, Benton. 

Tiger lake, in Young America, has reference to a "mountain lion," aJso 
named the cougar or puma, seen there by the first settlers. This species, 
very rare in Minnesota, more frequent in the region of the Rocky Moun- 
tains, was mentioned by Carver in the narration of his Travels as "the 
Tyger of America," one having been seen by him on an island of the 
Chippewa river, Wisconsin. 

Several other lakes of this county have names of frequent occurrence 
and evident significance, as Rice lake on the north line of Benton, and a 
second Rice lake, section 36, Chanhassen, both named from their wild 
rice; Marsh lake, in section 26, Laketown; Mud and Oak lakes. Water- 
town; and Goose aad Swan lakes, in Waconia. 



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CASS COUNTY 

Established September 1, 1851, but having remained without organiza- 
tion till 189?, this county commemorates the distinguished statesman, 
Lewis Cass, who in 1820 commanded an exploring expedition which start- 
ed from Detroit, passed through lakes Huron and Superior, and thence 
advanced by way of Sandy lake and the upper Mississippi as far as to 
the upper Red Cedar lake. This name, a translation from the Ojibway 
name, was changed by Schoolcraft, the narrator of the expedition, to be 
Cassina or Cass lake, in honor of its commander. He was born in Exeter, 
N. H., October 9, 1782, and died in Detroit, Mich., June 1?, 1866. At the 
age of eighteen years he came to Marietta, the first town founded in 
southern Ohio, and studied law there; was admitted to the bar in 1803, 
and began practice at Zanesville, Ohio ; and was colonel and later brigadier 
general in the War of 1812. He was governor of Michigan Territory, 
1813 to 1831 ; negotiated twenty-two treaties with Indian tribes ; was sec- 
retary of war, in the cabinet of President Jackson, 1831-36, including the 
time of the Black Hawk war; minister to France, 1836^2; United States 
senator, 1845-48; Democratic candidate for the presidency in the cam- 
paign of 1848; again U. S. senator, 1849-57; and secretary of state, in the 
cabinet of President Buchanan, 1857-60. 

To voyage along the upper Mississippi river and to describe and map 
its principal source were the motives for the expedition undertaken m 
1820 by Cass. At this time Michigan Territory, of which he was governor. 
Included the northeastern third of Minnesota, east of the Mississippi ; and 
Missouri Territory extended across the present State of Iowa and west- 
ern two-thirds of Minnesota. 

The report of this expedition, published the next year, is entitled* 
"Narrative Journal of Travels from Detroit northwest through the Grejt 
Chain of American Lakes to the Sources of the Mississippi river in the 
year 1820, by Henry R. Schoolcraft. . . Albany, . . 1821" (424 pages, 
with a map and eight copper-plate engravings.) This title-page is en- 
graved and is followed by another in print, which states that the author 
was "a member of the Expedition under Governor Cass." The explora- 
tions of the upper Mississippi by Cass and Schoolcraft, of whom the lat- 
ter visited and named Lake Itasca in 1832, are related in a chapter of 
"Minnesota in Three Centuries" (1908, vol. I, pp. 347-356, with their por- 
traits.) 

Several extended biographies of General Cass were published during 
his lifetime, in 1848, 1852, and 1856, the years of successive presidential 
campaigns. In 1889 a marble statue of him was contributed by the State 
of Michigan as one of its two statues for the National Statuary Hall at 



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CASS COUNTY 87 

the Capitol in Washington; and the proceedings and addresses in Con- 
gress upon the acceptance of the statue were published in a volume of 106 
pages. Two years afterward, in 1891, a mature study of his biography, 
entitled "Lewis Cass, by Andrew C. McLaughlin, Assistant Professor of 
History in the University of Michigan" (363 pages), was published in the 
"American Statesmen" series. 

TOWNSHTPS AND VILLAGES. 

For the origins and meanings of these names, information has been 
gathered in October, 1909, from Iver P. Byhre, county auditor, and in 
September 1916, from Nathan J, Palmer, clerk of the court, Mack Ken- 
nedy, sheriff, James S. Scribner, former county attorney, and M. S, Mori- 
cal, all of Walker, the county seat, during my visits there. 

Ansel township received the name of an earlier postoffice, which was 
given by its postmaster, Myron Smith, this being the first or christening 
name of one of the pioneers there. 

Backus, the railway village in Powers township, was named in honor 
of Edward W. Backus, of Minneapolis, lumberman, president of the 
Backus-Brooks Company, and of the International Falls Lumber Com- 

Barclay township bears the surname of one of its pioneers. 

BecKEK township was named for J. A. Becker, an early settler there. 

Bena, a railway village adjoining the raost southern bay of Lake Win- 
nebagoshish, is the Ojibway word meaning a partridge, spelled bin^ in 
Baraga's Dictionary. This game bird species, formerly common through- 
out the wooded region of this state, is the ruffed grouse, called the "part- 
ridge" in New England and in Minnesota, but less correctly known as the 
"pheasant" in the middle and southern states. Longfellow used this 
word in his "Song of Hiawatha," 

"Heard the pheasant, Bena, drumming." 

Beulah township received its name in honor of Mrs. Olds, the wife 
of an early homesteader there, this being her first name, a Hebrew word 
meaning married. 

Birch Lake township was named for its lake adjoining Hackensack 
village. It is translated, as noted by Gilfillan, from the Ojibway "Ga-wig- 
wasensikag sagaiigun, the-place-of -little-birches lake." On the map of 
the Minnesota Geological Survey it is called Fourteen Mile lake, indicat- 
ing its distance by the road south from the Leech Lake Agency. 

Boy Lake and Boy River townships were named from their large lake 
and river, which are translations of the Ojibway names. Gilfillan wrote 
that Woman lake and Boy lake "are so called from women and boys, re- 
spectively, they having been killed in those lakes by the Sioux during an 
irruption made by them." The date and origin of the name of Boy lake; 
whence by Ojibway usage the outflowing river waslikewise named, are 
stated by Warren in his "History of the Ojibway Nation" (Minnesota 



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88 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Historical Society Collections, vol, V, pages 222-232), to have been about 
the year 1768, within a few years after the Ojibways had driven the ■ 
Sioux southward from Mille Lacs. A war party of Sioux invaded the up- 
per Mississippi region, by way of the Crow Wing and Gull rivers, and by 
a canoe route, with portages, through White Fish, Wabedo, and the Little 
Boy and Boy lakes, to Leech lake. At Boy lake they "killed three litde 
boys, while engaged in gathering wild rice. . . . From this circumstance, 
this large and beautiful sheet of water has derived its Ojibway name of 
Que-wis-ans (Little Boy)." Warren's narration shows that this attack 
was on the lower one of the two Boy lakes, lying partly in the township 
named for it. GilfiUan's list of Ojibway names and translations has ex- 
actly the same Ojibway name for this lake, on the lower part of Boy river, 
and for the lake about ten miles south on the upper part of the river, 
which our maps name Little Boy lake. 

Nicollet mapped the lower Boy lake under the name of Lake Hassler, 
in honor of Ferdinand Rudolph Hassler (b. in Switzerland, 1770, d. in 
Philadelphia, 1843), who was superintendent of the U. S. Coast Survey. 

Bull Moose township was named in compliment to the Progressive 
or "Bull Moose" division of the Republican party, which supported form- 
er President Roosevelt as its candidate in the presidential campaign of 
191Z 

BuNGo township was named for descendants of a negro, Jean Bonga, 
who, according to Dr. Neill, was brought from the West Indies and was 
a slave of Captain Daniel Robertson, British commandant at Mackinaw 
from 1782 to 1787. His family intermarried with the Ojibways, and the 
name became changed to Bungo. George Bonga was an interpreter for 
Governor Cass in 1820 at Fond du Lac, and he or another of this family 
was an interpreter for the Ojibway treaty in 1837 at Fort Snelling. Rev. 
Joseph A. GiifiUan wrote in 1897 (M. H. S. Collections, vol. IX, page 
56) : "About Leech lake there are perhaps a hundred descendants of the 
negro Bungo; nearly all these are very muscular, and some have been of 
unusually fine physique." This township has a Bungo brook, which was 
earlier so named, flowing out at its northeast corner. 

Byron was named for Byron Powell, the first white boy born in this 
township, son of Philo Powell, who later removed to northwestern Can- 

Cass Lake, a large railway village, received its name from the adjoin- 
ing lake, which, as before noted, was named, like this county, in honor of 
General Cass. 

Crooked Lake township took this nam^ from its Crooked lake, half 
of which extends into Crow Wing county. It is a translation of the abor- 
iginal name, Wewagigumag sagaiigun. By a resolution of the state 
legislature, March 6, 1919, this lake was renamed Lake Roosevelt, in honor 
of President Theodore Roosevelt, who two months previously, on Janu- 
ary 6, died at his home, Oyster Bay, N. Y. 



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CASS COUNTY ^ 

Cuba and Schley, stations of the Great Northern railway, c 
orate the Spanish -American war of 1898. 

Cyphers, a railway station five miles south of Walker, was nanied for 
a former resident, who removed into Huhhard county. 

Deerfielb township was named, on request of its people, for the plen- 
tiful deer there; but it also is a common geographic name, borne by town- 
ships, villages and postoffices in fourteen other states. 

East Gull Lake township was named for its comprising the greater 
part of the northeast end of Gull lake, with its continuation north to Up- 
per Gul! lake. 

Fairveew township received this euphonious name in accordance with 
the petition of its people for organization. 

Federal Dam is the railway village at the reservoir dam built by the 
United States government on Leech Lake river, 

Gould township was named for M. I. Gould, logger and farmer, who 
owned hay meadows there. 

Gull River station of the Northern Pacific railway, formerly a place 
of great importance for its lumber manufacturing, was named for the 
Gull lake and river, each a translation of the name given by the Ojibways, 
the latter, in accordance with their general rule, being supplied from the 
name of the lake. This aboriginal name is noted by Gilfillan as "Ga- 
gaiashkonzJkag sagaiigun, the-place-iof -young-gulls lake." 

Hackensack, a railway village, was named for an earlier postoflice 
there, which derived its name from the town of Hackensack In New Jer- 
sey, on the Hackensack river, givfin by James Curo, who was ihe first 
postmaster, ranchman, and merchant there. 

Hiram township was named by the petition for organization, in honor 
of Hiram Wilson, an early settler, who was yet living there in 1916, 

Home Brook township received the name of a postoffice earlier estab- 
lished, which had taken the name of the brook, given by lumbermen. 
(Brook and creek have the same meaning in this state, the latter being 
the more common, or the only term in use, through the greater part of the 
state, but lumbermen and "iettlers coming from Maine and others of the 
eastern states haie in many cases named the small streams as brooks, 
especially m the wooded northeastern third of Minnesota.) 

Incuabon\ township has a name of probably aboriginal derivation, but 
its significance has not been learned. It was given to the township from 
its lake so named. If it is of the Ojibway language, its original form and 
pronunciation may have been so changed as to be now unidentifiable. 
Gilfillan gave the name of this lake as "Manominiganjiki, or The-rice- 
field." It was called Lake Gauss on Nicollet's map, for the celebrated 
German mathematician (b. 17?7, d, 1855). 

Kego, the name of a township here, is a common Ojibway word, mean- 
ing a fish, used as a general terra for any fish species. This is spelled 
Gigo in Baraga's Dictionary. 



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90 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Leech Lake township was named for the lake, translated from the 
Ojibway name, noted by Gilfillan as "Ga-sagasquadjimekag sagaiigun, 
the-place-o£-the-leeeh-lake ; from the tradition that on first coming to it, 
the Chippeways saw an enormous leech swimming in it." Nicollet wrote 
that this aboriginal name "implies . , . that its waters contain a remark- 
able number of leeches." 

Lima township (pronounced here with the long English sound of i, 
unlike Lima in Peru) was named probably for the city of Lima in Ohio, 
where the pronunciation has been thus anglicized. Ten other states have 
towns and villages of this name. 

Loon Lake township was named for its lake in section 20. This large 
water bird was formerly frequent or common throughout this state, and 
is yet common in its wooded northeast part 

McKiNLEY township was named in honor of our third martyr presi- 
dent, William McKinley, who was born in Nifes, Ohio, January 29, 1843, 
and died in Buffalo, N. Y., September 14, 1901, assassinated by an anar- 
chist. He was president of the United States, 1897-1901. 

Maple township received this name on the petition of its people for 
organization, referring to its plentiful sugar maple trees, a species that is 
common or abundant throughout Minnesota, excepting near its west side. 
The sap is much used for sugar-making, in the early spring, both by the 
Indians and the white people. Warren wrot-e of this Ojibway work about 
Leech lake : "The shores of the lake are covered with maple which yields 
to the industry of the hunters' women, each spring, quantities of sap which 
they manufacture into sugar." 

Mav township was named in honor of May Griffith, daughter of a 
former county auditor, Charles Griffith, in whose office she was an assist- 
ajit. Lake May, formerly called Lake Frances, in the southwest edge of 
Walker village, is also named for her. 

Meadow Brook township took its name from a brook where a school- 
house was built and so named before the township was organized, 

MiLDEED, a smail railway village in Pine River township, was named 
in honor of Mrs. Mildred' Scofield, first postmistress and wife of the 
merchant there, who, with her husband, removed to the west. 

Moose Lake township was named for its small lake in sections 10 
and 15. 

Mud Lake township was named for its Mud lake, mostly shallow 
with a muddy bed and having much wild rice, through which the Leech 
Lake river flows. The Ojibway name is translated by Gilfillan, "meaning 
shaUow-mud-bottomed lake." Nicollet mapped it as Lake Bessel, in honor 
of Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel (b, 1784, d. 1846), a distinguished Prussian 
astronomer. 

NusHKA, a Great Northern railway station in the Chippewa Indian 
Reservation, is an Ojibway word of exclamation, meaning "Lookl" It 
is used by Longfellow in "The Song of Hiawatha." 



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CASS COUNTY 91 

Pike Bay township includes the large Pike bay, more properly a 
separate lake, which is connected on the north with Cass lake by a very 
narrow strait or thoroughfare. The name commemorates Zebulon Mont- 
gomery Pike, the commander of the expedition sent to the upper Mis- 
sissippi in 1805-06 by the United States War Department. Pike came 
■to Cass lake (then known as the upper Red Cedar lake) on February 
12, 1806, by a land march from Leech lake and across Pike bay; spent 
a day at the Northwe3.t Company's trading post there; and returned on 
the 14th by the same route. His biography is presented in the chapter of 
Morrison county, where he is honored by the names of a creek, a town- 
ship, and rapids of the Mississippi, beside the site of his winter stockade 
camp. 

Pillager, a village of the Northern Pacific railway, the adjoining 
Pillager creek, and the lake of this name at its source, are derived from 
the term, Pillagers, applied to the Ojibways of this vicinity and of the 
Leech Lake Reservation. According to the accounts given by School- 
craft and his associate, Dr. Douglass Houghton, in the Narrative of the 
expedition in 1832 to Itasca Lake (pages 111, 112, 254), this name, Muk- 
kundwais or Pillagers, originated in the fall of 1767 or 1758, when a 
trader named Berti, who had a trading post at the mouth of Crow Wing 
river, was robbed of his goods. 

Warren gave, in the "History of the Ojibway Nation," written in 
1852, a more detailed narration of the robbery or pillage, referring it 
erroneously to the year 1781. The name Pillagers, given to the Leech 
Lake band of the Ojibways, had come into use as early as 1775, when 
the elder Henry found some of them at the Lake of the Woods. 

Pine Lake township, bordering the most southern part of the shore 
of Leech lake, contains eight lakes, with others crossed by its boundaries. 
It had abundant white pine timber, and fhence came this name of its 
lakes, in sections 17 and 18, later given to the township. Its largest lake, 
in sections 28, 32, and 33, is called Boot lake, from its outline. 

Pine Rivek township is on the upper part of Pine river, which flows 
eastward through White Fish lake and joins the Mississippi near the cen- 
ter of Crow Wing county. This township has, near Mildred station, a 
second but smaller Boot lake, named for its having a bootlike shape. 

PoNTO Lake. township has a lak« of this name, in sections 3, 9, and 
10; and an adjoining postoffice is named Pontoria. These are unique 
names, not in use elsewhere, and their derivation and significance remain 
to be learned. 

Poplar township had an earlier postoffice of this name, referring to 
the plentiful poplar groves. 

Portage Lake, a station of the Soo line, in the Chippewa Indian 
Reservation, and the lake of this name, a half mile distant to the norlit, 
as also the neighboring Portage bay of the large north arm of Leech 
lake, refer to the canoe portage there between the waters of Leech and 



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92 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Winnebagoshish lakes. On Nicollet's map this Portage lake is named in 
honor of Duponceau (b. in France, 1760, d. in Philadelphia, 1844), author 
of a "Memoir on the Indian Languages of North America," published 
in 1835; and the Portage bay bears the name of Pickering bay on this 
map, for an American writer of another work on the same subject, pub- 
lished in 1836. 

Powers township was named in honor of Gorham Powers, of Granite 
Falls, who was a landowner there, having a summer home on Sanborn 
lake, in section 27. He was born in Pittsfield, Maine, September 14, 1840; 
served in the civil war, 1862-5 ; was graduated at the Albany law school, 
1866, and in the same year came to Minnesota, settling in Minneapolis ; 
removed in 1868 to Granite Falls ; was county attorney of Yellow Medi- 
cine county, 1872-7, and 1884-6; was a representative in the itate legis- 
lature, 1879; and was judge in the Twelfth judicial district from 1890 
until his death, at Granite Falls, April 15, 1915. 

Remer township, and the earlier Remer postoffice and railway village, 
were named in honor of E. N. and William P. Remer, brothers, of whom 
the former is treasurer and manager of the Reishus-Remer Land Com- 
pany, of Grand Rapids, and the latter was the first postmaster here. 

Rogers was named in honor of William A. Rogers, who had a home- 
stead in this township, coming, as also his brothers Nathan and Frank, 
from St, JcJin, N. B. He engaged in logging as a contractor, resided in 
Walker, and was killed by an elevator accident in Duluth. His son, 
Edward L. Rogers, has been the county attorney of Cass county since 
1913. 

SA1.EM was named by its settlers in their petition for township organ- 
ization. It is the name of townships, cities, villages, and postoffices, in 
thirty-two states of our Union. 

Schley, a Great Northern railway station, was named in honor of 
Winfield Scott Schley, rear admiral of the United States Navy. He was 
born in Frederick county, Maryland, October 9, 1839; was gratluated at 
the U. S. Naval Academy in 1860, and was an instructor there after the 
civil war ; commanded the "Flying Squadron" in the Spanish -JAmerican 
war, 1898, and directed the naval battle off Santiago, Cuba; author of 
an autobiography, "Forty-five Years under the Flag" (1904, 439 pages) ; 
died in New York City, October 2, 1911. 

Three successive stations and sidings of this railway in the north 
edge of Cass county, established in 1898-99, are commemorative of our 
short and decisive war with Spain, named Sohley, Santiago, and Cuba.. 

Shingobee township received this name from its creek, being the gen- 
eral Ojibway word for the spruce, balsam fir, and arbor vitae, species of 
evergreen trees that are common or abundant through northern Minne- 
sota, excepting the Red River valley. It is spelled jingob in Baraga's 
Dictionary. 

Sifter township was named for David H. Slater, a homestead farmer 



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CASS COUNTY 93 

Smoky Hollow was named hy Levi Morrow, a settler who came from 
Missouri, in remembrance of his former home in the state of New York, 
near a locality so named {or perhaps for Sleepy Hollow, a quiet valley 
near Tarrytown, on the Huiison, of which Irving wrote in "The Sketch 
Book"). This township has in part a surface of marginal morainic drift, 
remarkably diversified with knolls, ridges, and hollows. 

Sylvan township is named for its Sylvan lake, which refers to the 
woods or groves on its shores. The Ojibway name, noted by GilfiUan, 
means Fish Trap lake. 

Thunder Lake township is derived likewise from its lake of this 
name, which is probably a translation of the aboriginal name. 

Tmupe township (pronounced in three syllables, with accent on the 
first, and with the short sound of each) is named, with variation of spell- 
ing, for the tullibee, a very common fish in the lakes of northern Minne- 
sota, having a wide geographic range from New York to northwestern 
Canada. This species, Argyrosomus tullibee (Richardson), closely re- 
sembles the common whitefish. The word was adopted, as noted by 
Richardson, from the Cree language, Tulaby lake, crossed by the line 
between Becker and Mahnomen counties, was also named for this fish, 
supplying another way of its spelling. 

TlTBTLE Lake township is named for its two lakes in sections 22, 23, 
26, and 27, called by the Ojibways, as recorded by Gilfillan, "Mikinako- 
sagaiigunun, or Turtle lakes." 

Wabedo township (accenting the first syllable) received its name 
from its Wabedo lake. Warren, writing in 1852 in his "History of the 
Ojibway Nation" (M, H. S. Collections, vol. V, page 224), related that 
an invading war party of the Sioux, about the year 1?68, came "into 
Wab-ud-ow lake, where they spilt the first Ojibway blood, killing a 
hunter named Wab-udiow (White Gore), from which circumstance the 
lake is named' to this day by the Ojibways." The same party, advancing 
northward, killed three boy g ih ' g " whence Boy lake and river 
received their name, as not d p ding page. Gilfillan spelled 

Wabedo lake as "Wabuto g a M shroom lake." 

Wahnena (with accent th d syllable) was named for an 

Ojibway chief who died abo tth j 1895 

Wali>en township bears tl f pond near Concord, Mass., 

beside which Henry D. Tho th th built a hut and lived about 

two years, 1845-47, as told i h b k W Iden, or Life in the Woods," 
published in 1854. This is al th m f a town in northern Vermont, 
and of a large manufacturi g 11 g nge county, N. Y. 

Walker village, the countv t w med in honor of Thomas Bar- 

low Walker, who has large 1 mb g d land interests in Cass county 
and in several other count f th Minnesota. He was bom in 
Xenia, Ohio, February 1, 1840 ca t M nnesota in 18S2, and was the 
surveyor of parts of the St P 1 d D 1 th railway line ; commenced 



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94 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

in 1868 the purchase of great tracts of pine lands, and later built and 
operated, in Crookston and elsewhere, many large lumber mills. He 
resides in Minneapolis, and maintains a very valuable and choice art 
gallery to which the public are freely welcomed. An autobiographic 
paper by Mr. Walker is published in the Minnesota Historical Society 
CollectiMis (vol. XV, 1915, pages 455-478, with his portrait). 

WILKINS0^f township commemorates Major Melville Gary Wilkinson, 
who was killed in a skirmish with the Bear Island band of the Pillager 
Indians, at Sugar point on Leech lake, October 5, 1898. He was bom in 
New York, November 14, 1835; served as a volunteer in the civil war, 
and in 1866 entered the regular army. The "battle of Sugar point," and 
dealings with these Ojibways preceding and following it, are narrated in 
Flandrau's "History of Minnesota" (1900, pages 229-234), and more fully 
by Holcombe in "Minnesota in Three Centuries" (1908, vol IV, pages 
245-254). 

WooDEOw township received its name, by petition of its citizens for 
the township organization, in honor of President Woodrow Wilson. He 
was bom in Staunton, Va., December 28, 1856; was graduated at Prince- 
ton University, 1879; was professor there, of finance and political econo- 
my, 1890-1902, and president, 1902-10; author of several books on United 
States history and politics; was governor of New Jersey, 1911-13; presi- 
dent of the United States since March 4, 1913. 

BaySj PointSj and Islands of Leech Lake. 

The origin of the name of Leech lake has been noted for the township 
so named. It was translated from the Ojibway name, the French trans- 
lation being Lac Sangsue (which in English is a bloodsucker, that is, a 
leech). 

This lake has a very irregular outline, with numerous bays and pro- 
jecting points, and it contains several islands. On the east is Boy River 
bay, named for its inflowing river, with Sugar point at its west entrance, . 
named for its sugar maples, the site of the battle in 1898, when Major 
Wilkinson lost his life, as noted for the township of his name. Bear 
island stretches three miles from north to south, lying in front of this 
bay and of Rice bay at the southeast, and Pelican island lies far out in 
the southern central part of the broad lake, these names being translations 
from those given by the Ojibways. 

Big point and Otter Tail point, respectively on the southwest and 
northwest borders of the main lake, guard the entrance to the more 
irregular western part. The Peninsula juts into that part from the south, 
having itself a small Peninsula lake, and bounded on the southeast by 
Agency bay and on the west by the South arm and West bay. At the 
south end of the Peninsula, a passage called the Narrows leads from 
the South arm to Agency bay ; and on the north the Peninsula is sepa- 
rated from the main shore by the North Narrows, and it terminates 



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CASS COUNTY 95 

northeastward in Pine point. Nearly all these names are self-explana- 
tory, having an obvious significance. The Otter Tai! point, at the end of 
a tapering tract of land about live miles long, is a translation of the Ojib- 
way name, referring to its outline, which resembles an otter's tail, simi- 
larly as the large lake and county of this name have reference to a taper- 
ing point of land adjoining the eastern end of that lake. 

On the north end of the Peninsula, at the North Narrows, was the 
village of Eshkebugecoshe (Flat Mouth, b. 1?74, d. about 1860), the very 
intelligent, friendly, and respected chief of the Pillager Ojibways; and 
close east of this village, at the time of Schoolcraft's visit there in 1832, 
was the trading house of the American Fur Company. In the time of 
Pike's visit, 1806, the Northwest Company's trading post was about. two 
miles distant to the northeast from the North Narrows, being opposite 
to Goose island. 

West bay in its north part branches westward to the Northwest arm, 
entered by a very narrow and short strait, and opens northward, opposite 
to the North Narrows, into Duck bay, which is entered with Prairie point 
on the right, and with Aitkin point, succeeded westward by the small 
Aitkin bay, on the left. Proceeding five miles up the Duck bay, past 
Duck island (called in the latest atlas Mimiesota island), one comes at 
the northwest corner of this bay to the mouth of the Steamboat river, 
"fringed with extensive fields of wild rice," whence a canoe route through 
several little lakes, with portages, leads to Pike bay of Cass lake. 

Four years after the southward journey of Schoolcraft through Leech 
lake in 1832, Rev. William T. Boutwell, his companion of that travel, who 
a year later had established a mission here for the Ojibways, befriended 
Nicollet on his exploration of the tipper Mississippi country, in his rela- 
tions with these Indians. Nicollet spent a week on Leech lake in the middle 
of August, 1836, having his camping place generally on Otter Tail point. 
Boutwell's mission house was on or near the isthmus that connects the 
Peninsula with the mainland of the present Leech Lake Agency. On 
Nicollet's return from Lake Itasca, by way of the Mississippi and Cass 
lake, he again camped on Otter Tai! point during the first week of Sep- 
tember, visited with Boutwell, and had long interviews with Flat Mouth. 
Sucker bay lies west and tiorth of Otter Tail point, and receives Sucker 
brook at its north end. Flea point, called Sugar point on Schoolcraft's 
map of Leech lake, juts into the soothern part of the western side of the 
bay; and the present Sucker brook is designated on that map by the nearly 
equivalent name of Carp river. The Sucker Family of fishes, Catostomi- 
dae, includes "some !5 genera and more than 70 species," wholly limited 
in geographic range to the fresh waters of North America, excepting 
that two species occur in eastern Asia. Ulysses O. Cox, in his "Pre- 
liminary Report on the Fishes of Minnesota," published in 1897, wrote 
of this family that "five genera and eleven species" were then known in 
this state. Our most plentiful species, known as the "common sugker," 



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96 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

found in nearly al! large lakes of Minnesota, "attains a length oi 18 
inches or mote, ... a food-fish of considerable importance." 

On the northwest side of the northern part of the main lake are the 
Two points and Noon Day point ; and this part ends in the little Portage 
bay, called Rush bay on Schoolcraft's map, whence this map notes the 
"Route to L. Winnipeg" (that is, Winnebagoshish). The present name 
of the bay, refers, as before mentioned, to that canoe route and its port- 
age. Nicollet named this most northern bay of Leech lake as Pickering 
bay, in honor of John Pickering (b. 1777, d. 1846), of Massachusetts, a 
philologist, who in 1836 published "Remarks on the Indian Languages of 
North America." This is the only name connected with Leech lake as 
mapped in much crude detail by Schoolcraft and Nicollet, which they be- 
stowed otherwise than by translation of the Ojibway names. 

Islands of Cass Lake. 

Of the Ojibway name of this lake, with its translation, Giliillan wrote: 
"Cass lake is Ga-misquawakokag sagaiigun, or The-p!ace-of -red-cedars 
lake, from some red cedars growing on the island ; more briefly, Red Cedar 
lake." The same name was given also by these Indians to Cedar lake in 
Aitkin county, as noted in the chapter for that county. Until the adop- 
tion of the new name, Cassina or Cass lake, these were discrimioated 
respectively as the upper and lower Red Cedar lakes. 
■* Gilfillan further wrote: "The large island in the lake was anciently 
called Gamisquawako miniss, or the island of red cedars. It is now 
called Kitchi minissi or Great island." Schoolcraft in 1832 described 
and mapped it as "Colcaspi or Grand island," having coined the former 
word from parts of the names of its three explorers, Schoolcraft, Cass, 
and Pike. "The town of Ozawindib" (Yellow Head, who was the guide 
of Schoolcraft and his party in their expedition to Lake Itasca) was on 
this island, being a village of 157 people, with "small fields of corn and 
potatoes, cultivated by the women." It is now commonly called Star 
island, and it has a small lake, about three-fourths of a mile long, which 
is called Lake Helen, this name having been given in honor of Miss Helen 
Gould, of New York City, on the occasion of her visit here about the 
year 1900. 

Having set aside the Ojibway name of Red Cedar island for the new 
name, Colcaspi, Schoolcraft gave the name, "R. Cedar I." on his map, 
to a small island on the southeast. Garden and EIra islands of Allen's 
bay, in Beltrami county, each of very small area, are also mentioned by 
Schoolcraft, the former doubtless so named for its having been culti- 
vated by the Indians. 

Lake Winnebagoshish. 
Thompson in 1798 gave this name as Lake Winepegoos in his Narra- 
tive, published under editorial care of J. B. Tyrrell in 1916; but on 
Thompson's map, reproduced in facsimile in that work, it is Winnip^ 
Uke. 



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CASS COUNTY 97 

Schoolcraft's Narrative Journal of the Expedition in 1830 under Gen- 
eral Cass, published in 1821, called it Lake Winnipec in the text, while 
the map spelled it Lake Winnepec, An island of boulders in its western 
part, not shown on maps but probably lying off a narrow projecting point, 
had large numbers of various species of waterfowl, one of which, a 
pelican found dead, caused it to be named Pelican island. 

The map in the Narrative of Long's expedition, 1823, notes it as 
"Lit. Winnepeek L. ;" Beltrami in the same year called it Lake Winne- 
pec; and Allen, in 1832, spelled this name Lake Winnipeg, the same as the 
lake in Manitoba. Warren, writing in 1852 in his "History of the Ojibway 
Nation " called it Lake Winnepeg 

I N 11 t Rep t f m h pi t 18 p bl h d 1843 

tpp bth thtt d tlmp LkWbglhand 
tlfrmh t dfmthttm p It ptgtht 

th 1 tt h bee d bl d Th t pi d bj th wh t p pi 

th yll W ext t th 1 t w th th 1 g d 

By th O] bw y f tb t eg 1 tl 1 k g ally 

P d I k tl tym 1 g Uy g t m f th W b g I 

d dLkWmibginW (whh td th t 

b f tl fi 1 >!1 bl d h th E gl h 1 g d f th ) th 

dditi f th yll bl h h G Ifil! f II d h th g phy 
t d d t rt g pi bj N coll t d d (i d th g 

bl et b d d rtj t (W filthy b t h b d 

p ft mpt h dd t 1 p ft mpt m 

g m bl w h d) Tl wl 1 1 k h II w w th m tlj 

m ddy b d t d pth p b bly wh d g 20 25 f t. th t 

thlg ttmt pthmd d dfthlkbttm 

d h 1 g tl t p d t th f p ly q t 

11 t ea. 

SI hll dg Imdd fLkWmpgd 

W p g M t b 1 d tl m t th O] bw y 

m th f m m g m ddy w t t d by K t g 1823 

( I II p g 7) d th 1 tt m g L ttl W p g d g 

to Hinds Narratue of the Canadian Exploring Expeditions (vol. 11, 
page 42) . 

The spelling received from Nicollet, mispronounced by our white peo- 
ple, has been corrected, in accordance with the Ojibway usage, to Win- 
nebagoshish, by treaties of the United States with the Ojibways under 
dates of May 7, 1864, and March 19, 1867, and 4n an executive order of 
President Grant, May 26, 1874. Rev. S. R. Riggs, in a paper written in 
1880, spelled the name as "Lake Winnebagooshish or Winnipeg" (Minne- 
sota Historical Society Collections, VI, 157, 158). The ortjiography in - 
the treaties here cited was also used by the present writer in the U. S. 
Geological Survey Monograph XXV ("The Glacial Lake Agassiz"), 



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98 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

published in 1896, and was recommended by me in 1899 for general adop- 
tion (Final Report of the Minn, Geol. Survey, vol. IV, page 57). It still 
seems to me desirable that the corrected spelling and pronunciation be 
adopted by Minnesota writers and speakers. 

Other Lakes and Streams. 
The list of townships and villages has included sufficient mention of 
numerous lakes and streams, including Birch lake, Woman lake, the Boy 
lakes and river, Cass lake. Crooked lake. Gull river and lake. Home brook, 
Inguadona lake. Leech lake. Loon lake. Lake May, Meadow brook. Moose 
lake (in the township of this name), Mud lake and the Leech Lake river, 
Pike bay of Cass lake, Pillager creek and lake. Pine and Boot lakes (in 
Pine Lake township), Pine river, with the second Boot lake in Pine River 
township, Ponto lake, Portage lake, Shingobee creek. Sylvan lake, Thun- 
der lake, the Turtle lakes in the township named for them, and Wabedo 

On the canoe route from Cass lake and Pike bay to Leech lake, School- 
craft named the first lake, in sections 2 and 3, Wilkinson, Moss lake, for 
the mosslike water-plants seen growing in large masses on the lake bot- 
tom, which the canoemen "brought up on their paddles." Thence they 
made a portage of about two miles southwest into a lake at the center 
' of this township, which Schoolcraft named Lake Shiba, spelled by "the 
initials of the names of the five gentlemen of the party, Schoolcraft, 
Houghton, Johnston, Boutwell, Allen." About a mile farther southwest, 
they came into "a river of handsome magnitude, broad and deep but with- 
out strong current," since named Steamboat river because it is ascended 
by steamboats from Duck bay of Leech lake, some three miles distant. 
Steamboat lake, crossed by the west line of this county, lies a quarter of 
a mile west from the junction of the outlet of Lake Shiba with this river. 

Going from Leech lake southwest to the Crow Wing river, School- 
craft took a somewhat frequented canoe route, starting from West bay 
near the site of Walker and first portaging to the present Lake May 
(formerly called Lake Frances), then named the Warpool by the Ojib- 
ways, who there began their war expeditions to the country of the Sioux. 
■ Next and very near was the Little Long lake, in sections 33 and 34, May, 
and section 4, Shingobee. Thence they passed up a little inlet, through 
its four lakelets, and by portages through a series of three small lakes, 
each without outlet, coming next to the Long Water lake in Hubbard 
county, at the head of the Crow Wing, beginning its series of eleven 
lakes. Schoolcraft's Lake of the Mountain and Lake of the Island, passed 
on this route before coming to the Long Water, remain unnamed on later 

Distances of travel south from the Leech Lake Agency, on the road 
to Hackensack and Brainerd, are noted by Three Mile lake, Four Mile 
lake, Six Mile lake. Ten Mile lake, Fourteen Mile lake at Hackensack 



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CASS COUNTY 99 

(called now Birch lake, translated from its Ojibway name), with the 
outflowing Fourteen Mile creek, the head of Boj river, and Twenty-four 
Mile creek, which outflows from Pine Mountain lake, being the head 
stream of Pine river. These names are recognized as given by white 
pioneers, being unlike the majority derived by translations. 

Gilflllan wrote that the long lake of the northwest part of T. 144, R. 
27, in the Ciiippewa Reservation, between Leech Lake river and Lake 
Winnebagoshish, is named "Kitchi-bugwudjiwi sagaiigun, meaning big- 
lake-in-the-wilderness or big- wilderness lake." 

Bear river (also called Mud river), in Salem, flowing into the south 
end of Mud lake, and Grave lake at its head, in sections 10, 14, and 15, 
Slater, may be aboriginal names translated, but they are not identified in 
Gtlfiilan's list. Little Sand lake, section 28, Slater, and its larger com- 
panion. Sand lake, crossed by the south line of this township, probably 
originated as white men's names, for Gilfillan gave the Ojibway name 
of this Sand lake as "Mikinako sagaiigun, Turtle lake." Its outlet is 
noted on the map of the Minnesota Geological Survey as Swift river, 
flowing northwest through the long and very narrow Swift lake, which 
the Ojibways name "Ningitawonan sagaiigun, Sepa rating-canoe-route 
lake." 

Big and Little Vermilion lakes, the Upper Vermilion lakes, and the 
larger Sugar lake (on recent maps noted as Little Sugar lake), and Ver- 
milion river outflowing from them to the Mississippi, are translations 
from their Ojibway names. 

Willow river, Birch brook and lake in Lima township. Big Rice lake, 
Thunder, Little Thunder, and Turtle lakes, and the long and narrow 
Blind lake in Smoky Hollow township, are partly or all of Ojibway 

Lakes George and Washburn, Lawrence, Leavitt, and Morrison, in 
Crooked Lake and Beulah townships, also the Washburn brook, were 
named for lumbermen who formerly cut pine logs in these originally well 
forested townships. 

Little Norway lake, named for its red or Norway pines, lying five 
miles south of Wabedo lake, outflows westward to Ada brook and Pine 
river. This brook and Lakes Ada and Hattie, also Mitten lake and Lake 
Laura, outflowing by Laura brook to Lake Inguadona, need further in- 
quiries for the origins of their names. 

Mule lake, a mile west of Wabedo lake, is said to have been named 
by the lumbermen for its outline, resembling a mule's head. Goose lake, 
next on the west, was named for the wild geese. 

Girl lake, in sections 33 and 34, Kego, and Baby lake, in sections 13, 
14, 23, and 24, Powers, are names suggested probably by Woman and Boy 
lakes, which latter are of Ojibway origin, referring to persons of that 
tribe slain by the Sioux, as noted in the foregoing list of townships. 

Whitefish and Little Whitefish lakes, on the Fourteen Mile creek near 
Hackensack, are named, like the larger Whitefish lake on the Pine river 



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100 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

in Crow Wing county for their highly valued fish of this species, C' 
or abundant in many lakes of northern M nnesota. The Ojibway fisheries 
of Leech like are mentioned bj W irren as follows ; "The waters of 
he lake ibound i fi h of the hnest quality, its whitefish equalling in 
size T.nd flavor those of Lake 'superior and they are easily caught at all 
seasons of the jear when the lake is free of ice, in gill-nets made and 
managed aho by the women 

The Jack Pine lakes two of small size near together, in sections 28, 
32 and 33 Hiram the outfiow ng Pine Lake brook, tlie large Pine Moun- 
tain lake whi h receives th s brook and ti outlet, called Twenty-four Mile 
creek or Norway brook, flowing through Norway lake, are lumbermen's 
names of the headwaters of Pine river. . 

On the west side of section 31, Buli Moose, is Township Corner lake, 
so named from its location ; and on the west line of sections 18 and 19, 
Bungo, is Spider lake, named from its irregular and branching shape. 

Stony creek, flowing into the eastern end of Wabedo lake. Stony brook, 
tributary to the Upper Gull lake, and Mosquito brook and Swan creek, 
respectively emptying into Crow Wing river about seven and fourteen 
miles west of Pillager, are names thai need no explanations for thwr 

A few other names of lakes remain to be noted, including Lake Kil- 
Patrick, through which Home brook flows, probably named for a former 
lumberman there; War Club lake, in sections 9 and 16, Deerfield, named 
for its shape; Island lake, in section 7, Powers; Portage lake, in section 
28, Shingobee, smaller than the other Portage lake near Lake Winneba- 
goshish ; Bass lake, in sections 24 and 2S, Shingobee ; Duck or Swamp 
lake, a mile west from the north end of Duck bay o£ Leech lake; and 
Long lake, in the east half of Kego township 

PiLLSBURY State Fore 
In 1899 a tract of 1,000 acres of non- g It 1 1 d f wh h 

the pine timber had been cut, was donat dttlSt fM t 

from the estate of the late Governor John SPllbytb d 
tered by the Forestry Board as a State Fo t I 1 f tl d 

this tract, lying near the west shore of G 11 1 k h b ra d th 

Pillsbury Forest, In 1904 and later years, p t f th ot t 

ally reseeding to pine, have been planted witl wh t d N w y j k 
and Scotch pines, and with Norway and white spruce. 

Minnesota National Forest. 
By an act of Congress approved May 2i, 1908, the Minnesota National 
Forest was established, comprising an area of about fourteen government 
survey townships. It lies mainly in the north part ot Cass county, north 
of Leech lake and river, extending to Cass lake, and including Lake 
Wiimebagoshish, with about four townships at its north and northwest 



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CASS COUNTY 101 

s[des in Itasca county. This large tract covers the Chippewa, Cass Lake, 
and Winnebagoshish Indian Reservations, which had been long previously 
established. The text of the law for this national forest, fully safe- 
guarding the rights of the Indians to whom it had been reserved, is 
published in the Thirteenth Annual Report of the Forestry Commissioner 
of Minnesota, Gen. C. C. Andrews, for the year 1907. 

Indian Reservations. 

Cass county has the Chippewa Indian Reservation, as it is officially 
named, and the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. The former name is 
not clearly definitive, for all the reservations now remaining in this state 
have been set apart for bands of the Chippewas (Ojibways), excepting 
only the very small reservation, a mile square, at the red pipestone quarry 
in Pipestone county. 

The Chippewa reservation adjoins the north side of Leech lake and 
its outlet, the Leech Lake river, extending thence north to the Mississippi, 
Cass lake and Lake Winnebagoshish, and it also extends east across the 
Mississippi to include a tract equal to about four townships in Itasca 
county. It was set apart for the Ojibways of the Mississippi, in a treaty 
at Washington, March 19, 1867. 

The Leech Lake reservation, which has an earlier date, borders the 
south and east shores of this lake, between. Shingobee creek and Boy 
river. It includes the village of the Leech Lake Agency, at the east side 
of Agency bay. This reservation, and another at the north side of Lake 
Winnebagoshish, whence it is named, also a third reservation, on the 
north side of Cass lake and including all its islands, named therefore the 
Cass Lake reservation, were set apart for the Pillager and Winneba- 
goshish bands of the Ojibways by a treaty at Washington, February 22, 
1855 ; but their areas were enlarged, by executive orders of the President, 
' in IS73 and 1874. 

Boutwell wrote of the Pillager band at Leech lake in 1832, during 
the expedition with Schoolcraft to Lake Itasca : "This band is the largest 
and perhaps the most warlike in the whole Ojibway nation. It numbers 
706, exclusive of a small band, probably 100, -on Bear Island, one of the 
numerous islands in the lake" (Minn. Hist, Soc. ColJecfions, vol. V, page 
481). The national census in 1910 enumerated 1,172 Ojibways in this 
county, showing decrease of 257 from the census of 1900. 



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CHIPPEWA COUNTY 

This county, established February 20. 1862, and organized March 5, 
1868, is named for the Chippewa river, which here joins the Minnesota. 
The river was called Manya Wakan (of remarliable or wonderful bluffs) 
by the Sioux. Its present name was also given by the Sioux, because 
the country of their enemies, the Chippewa or Ojibway Indians, extended 
south we St ward- to the headwaters of this stream, at Chippewa lake in 
Douglas county. As the Chippewa river of Wisconsin received its name 
from war parties of this tribe descending it to the Mississippi, likewise 
the river in Minnesota was named for this tribe, whose warriors some- 
times made it a part of their "war road" to the Minnesota valley, com- 
ing with their canoes from Leech lake and Milie Lacs by the Crow Wing, 
Long Prairie, and Chippewa rivers. The earliest publication of the name, 
Chippewa river, was by Keating and Nicollet, though only the other 
Sioux name, Manya Wakan, is given on Nicollet's map. Ojibway is more 
accurately the aboriginal tribal title, which is anglicized as Chippewa, 
with the final vowel long. The form Ojibway has been used in nearly 
all the publications of the Minnesota Historical Sodety. It is asserted 
by Warren, the Ojibway historian, that this name means "to roast till 
puckered up," referring to the torture of prisoners taken in war. 

By the early French voyageurs and writers the Ojibways were com- 
monly called Saulteurs, from their once living in large numbers about 
the Sault Ste. Marie. Their area, however, also comprised a great part 
of the shores of lakes Huron and Superior, with the adjoining country 
to variable distances inland. During the eighteenth century they much 
extended their range south west ward, driving the Sioux from the wooded 
part of Minnesota, and also spreading across the Red river valley to the 
Turtle mountain on the boundary between North Dakota and Manitoba. 

William W. Warren, whose mother was an Ojibway, prepared, in 
1851-53, an extended and very valuable "History of the Ojibway Nation," 
chiefly relating to its part in Minnesota and Wisconsin, which was pub- 
lished in JESS as Volume V of the Minnesota Historical Society Collec- 
tions. In Volume IX of the same series, published in 1901, Rev. Joseph 
A. Gilfillan, who during twenty-five years was a very devoted missionary 
among the Ojibways in the White Earth Reservation and other large parts 
of northern Minnesota, contributed a paper of 74 pages, vividly portraying 
the habits and mode of life of this people, their customs and usages in 
intercourse with each other and with the white people, their diverse 
types of physical and mental development and characteristics, and much 
of their recent history. The next paper in the same volume, 14 pages, is 



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CHIPPEWA COUNTY 103 

by Bishop Whipple, entitled "Civilization and Christian izati on of the 
Ojibways in Minnesota." 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the derivatioos and meanings of names in this county 
has been gathered from "History of the Minnesota Valley," 1882, in 
pages 913-937; from "History of Chippewa and Lac qui Parle counties," 
by L. R. Moyer and O. G. Dale, joint editors, two volumes, 1916; and 
from Frank K. Bentley, jui^e of probate, J. J. Stennes, county auditor, 
and Elias Jacobson, clerk of the court, also much from the late Lycurgus 
R. Moyer, court commissioner and editor of the recently published county 
history, each of these being interviewed during my visit to Montevideo 
in July, 1916. 

ASBURY, a Great Northern railway station, was named, like the villages 
and postoifices of this name in nine other stated in honor of Francis 
Asbury, the first Methodist Episcopal bishop in the United States, who 
was born in England, 1745, and died in Virginia, 1815. He was sent by 
John Wesley as a missionarj' to the American Colonies in 1771. 

Eic Benb township, first settled in July, 1867, organized April 7, 1874, 
received its name for the bend of the Chippewa river in the north part of 
this township. 

Clara Qtv, a railway village on the line of Rheiderland and Stone- 
ham, founded in 1887, was named in honor of the wife o£ Theodior F. 
Koch, one of the managers for a Holland syndicate baying farm lands 
and establishing colonies here. 

Crate township was at first named Willow Lake, for the lake, now 
drained, which was crossed by its south boundary. That name, however, 
could not be accepted by the state auditor, because it had been previously 
given to another township of this state. The present name was selected 
by the citizens July 23, 1888, in compliment to Fanning L. Beasley, an 
early homesteader in section 4, this being a nickname by which he was 
generally known. It had reference to his middle name, Lucretius. 

Gkace township, first settled in October, 1869, and organized August 
9, 1880, was named in honor of Grace Whittemore, daughter of Augustus 
A. Whittemore, a homesteader in section 8, who was the contractor and 
builder of the court house in Montevideo. 

Granite Falls township, settled in 1866, set apart for organization 
March 9, 1880, received its name from the rock outcrops and falls of the 
Minnesota river here. This name is also borne by the adjoining city of 
Granite Falls, which is the county seat of Yellow Medicine county, and 
which extends across the river to include a part of section 34 in this town- 

Havelock township, settled in June, 1872, organized October 6, 1873, 
was named by John C. and Aaron J. MuUin, brothers, and other settlers 
froin the eastern provinces of Canada, in honor of the English general. Sir 
Henry Haveloek (b. 1795, d. 1857), the hero who in 1857 relieved the 
siege of Lucknow, India. 



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104 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Krageeo, first permanently settled in 1867-68, organized April 7, 1873, 
was named for Hans H. Kragero, a pioneer farmer here, whose surname 
was taken from his native town, the seaport of Kragero in southern Nor- 
way, on an inlet of the Skagerrak. He was born June 17, 1841 ; was a 
sailor, and afterward lived in Chicago, 1866-69 ; and came to Minnesota 
in 1870, settling in section 12 of the south part of this township. 

The trading post of Joseph Renville, and the early Presbyterian mis- 
sion for the Sioux conducted by Williamson and Ri^s, 1835-1854, were 
in what is now section 13 in the southern corner of Kragero, nearly 
opposite the mouth of the Lac qui Parle river and close southeast from 
the foot of the lake. The site of the old mission station is marked by a 
granite block, inscribed "Lac qui Parle Mission, 1835." 

Leenthbop township, settled in 1870, organized January 20, 1872, has 
probably a Swedish name, anglicized in spelling. 

Lone Tree township, organized August 5, 1878, received it name for 
a lone and tall Cottonwood tree near the west end of Bad Water or Lone 
Tree lake, which tree was a landmark for the first immigrants. 

LomilSTON, settled in 1867, organized September 18, 1877, was named 
in compliment for Laura Armstrong, daughter of Henry Armstrong, who 
was a homesteader on section 8, and who was elected in the first town- 
ship meeting as one of its justices and a member of its board of super- 

Mandt, first settled in 1869 and organized June 13, 1876, was named in 
honor of Engelljreth T. Mandt, an early settler in section 30, at whose 
house the first town meeting was held, in which also he taught the first 
school in the spring of 1875. 

Mavnahd, a railway village in Stoneham, was platted in 1887 by John 
M. Spicer, of Willmar, superintendent of this division of the Great 
Northern railway, and was named "in honor of his sister's husband." 

Milan, the railway village of Kragero, was platted December 1, 1880, 
and was incorporated March 15, 1893. This name of the great city in 
northern Italy is borne also by villages in twelve other states of our 

Minnesota Falls, a railway station in the southern corner of this 
county, established in 1879, bears the name of a township and former 
village in Yellow Medicine county, on the opposite side of the Minnesota 
river, where on a fall or rapids of the river a dam and a sawmill and a 
flouring milt were built in 1871-72. 

Montevideo, the county seat, was platted May 25, 1870, was incorpo- 
rated as a village March 4, 1879, and as a city June 30, 1908. This Latin 
name, signifying "from the mountain I see," or "Mount of Vision," was 
selected, according to the late L. R. Moyer, by Cornelius J. Nelson, a 
settler who came here in 1870 from the state of New York, platted addi- 
tions to the village in 1876 and 1878, and was its president in 1881 and 
IS85-7. The village and future city "was given its high-sounding appella- 



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CHIPPEWA COUNTY 105 

tion by its romantic founders, who were so delighted by the wonderftil 
view gained from the heights overlooking the intertocking valleys of the 
Minnesota and Oiippewa rivers at that point, that they translated their 
feeling into good, mouth-filling Latin." But this name, while very appro- 
priate on account of the view here, was derived by Nelson from the 
large South American city, the capital of Uruguay, whence the mayor of 
that Monfvi'lf.rt ahf,„t tI,P v^^r lOd-; nrps™t«1 th^ TTn.onavan flat. tr. thi^ 

municipal 
Anoth 
grand pri 
aborigina 
Wakan ( 
observing 

An ea 
been plal 
county se 
Montevid 

Rheid 
settlers f 

dary, wh 
RoSEV 
for a village m Utiio, whence several German settlers ot tiiis township 

Sparta, settled in 1868-9, organized March 22, 1870, was earliest called 
Chippewa, for the river; was renamed by petition of its people, several of 
whom had come from Sparta in Wisconsin. The name belonged to a 
renowned city of ancient Greece, extremely heroic in wars, and it is re- 
tained by a modern city partly on the same site, which has about 4,000 
people. This township "received the first permanent white settlement in 
the county, it being within its limits that Chippewa City was situated, and 
a little later Montevideo." 

Stoneham. organized August 9, 1880, was so named on the suggestion 
of a settler who came from the town of Stonehara, Mass., near Boston. 
A further motive for adoption of this name was to honor another of its 
citizens. Hammet Stone. 

TuNSBEHG, first settled in the spring of 1865, organized March 21, 1870, 
is thought to have been named for a locality or a farm in Norway, 

Watson, the railway village of Tunsberg, platted in August, 1879, was 
named by officers of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railway com- 
pany. 

Wegdahl, a railway village in the southeast corner of Sparta town- 
ship, was named in honor of the pioneer farmer on whose land it was 
platted. Hemming Arntzen Wegdahl, who was the first postmaster there. 



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106 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

His surname was probably derived from the farm of his native place in 
Norway. 

Woods township, settled in 1876, was organized in 1879. "Most of 
the odd sections were sold to a land syndicate headed by Judge William 
W. Woods, of Ohio. It was for him that the township was named." 
(History of Chippewa County, vol, I, page 214.) 

Streams and Lakes. 

The origin and significance of the name of the Minnesota river, 
adopted by the state, are presented in the first chapter; the lake of this 
river, named Lac qui Parle, will be considered in the chapter for the 
county of that name; and the Chippewa' river, giving its name to this, 
county, is fully noticed at the beginning of the present chapter. 

Hawk creek is translated from the Sioux name, "Chetambe R.," given 
on Nicollet's map. 

Palmer credc was named for Frank Palmer, one of the first settlers 
there in 1866, and Brofee's creek was likewise named for an early settler, 
these being tributary to the Minnesota river between Granite Falls and 
Montevideo. 

Spring creek. Dry Weather and Cottonwood creeks, flowing into the 
Chippewa river, need no explanatioa 

Shakopee creek and lake, in the north part of Louriston, flowing to 
the Chippewa river in Swift county, received their name, the Sioux word 
meaning six, from the Six Mile grove, which borders the river along that 
distance and reaches from the mouth of Shakopee creek northward into 
Six Mile Grove township at the center of that county. Another name 
of the Shakopee lake, in somewhat common use, is Buffalo lake. 

Black Oak lake, which was mostly in section 12, Sparta, four miles 
east of Montevideo, has been drained. It was mapped by Nicollet with 
its equivalent Sioux and English names, "Hutuhu Sapah, or Black Oak 
L." A grove of about forty acres bordered it, as stated by the late L. R. 
Moyer, comprising many large bur oaks, bat no black oaks, although the 
latter is generally a common or abundant species of southeastern Minne- 

Willow lake, previously mentioned in connection with Crate town- 
ship, as now drained, was named for its willows, of which eight species 
or more are found frequent or common throughout the state, ranging in 
size from low shrubs to small trees. Three shrubby willow species and 
one of tree size are listed in Chapter HI of the History of Chippewa 
County, by the late L. R. Moyer, entitled "The Prairie Flora of South- 
western Minnesota." 

Lone Tree lake, which gave its name to a township, as before noted, 
has also been known as Bad Water lake, being somewhat alkaline. 

Epple lake, in sections 20 and 29, Woods, and Norberg lake, in section 
26, Stoneham, beat the names of adjacent pioneer settlers. 



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CHISAGO COUNTY 

EsUbliahed September 1 1851 and organized October 14 of that year 
this county bedrs a name proposed bj Will am H C Folsom of Tajlor s 
Falls who wrote of its organization and the dernaton ot the name as 
follows ( Fifty Yean m the Northwest 18a8 on pages 298 9 and 306) 
The county takes tte name of lEs largest and most beautiful lake 
In Its original or rather aborigma! form it was Ki chi sigo from two 
Chippewa words meaning kichi large and saga fair or lovely For 
euph>nic considerations the first sjUable was dropped 

Th s lake is conspicuous for its size the clearness of its waters its 
winding shore and islands its bajs peninsulas cipe and promontories 
It has fully fiftv miles of meandering sh re line Its chores an J islands 
are well timbered with maple and other hard woods It has no waste 
swamps, or marsh borders 'W hen the writer first came to Taylor s Falls 
this beautiful lake was unknown to fame No one had seen it or could 
point out Its location Ind ans brought fish and majle sugar from a lake 
which thej called Kch siga sagiagan or large ^nd lu\dj lake This 
lake they said abounded with kego fisl 

The movement for the organ zat on of a new county from the north 
ern part of W ashington commenced in the winter of 1851 S2 A f ormid 
able petition to the leg slature to make such organization drawn up and 
arculated by Hon ^nsel Smith of Frantonia and the writer was duly 
forwarded presented and aciluiesced in by that bodj The writer had 
been selected to visit the capita! in the interest of tl e petitioners bone 
difficulty arose as to the name The writer had proposed Chi st ga 
Th s Indian name was nd culed and Hamilton Jackson Franklin and 
Jefferson were in turn proposed The committee of the whole finallj 
reported in favor of the name Chisaga but the legislature m passing the 
bill for our county org-mizat oQ by clerical or typographical error changed 
the last a in saga to which havi g become the law has lot been 
changed 

In Baragas Diet onar^ tl e second of the tw Ojibwaj words saga used 
by Folsom to form this name, is spelled sasega, or sasegamagad, bemg 
defined, "It is fair, it is ornamented, splendid." In pronunciation, this 
name Chisago has the English sound of Ch, and it accents the second 
syllable, preferably with a as in father (but in prevailing use taking the 
broad sound as in fall.) 

Townships and Villages. 
The sources of information for this county have been "Fifty Years In 
the Northwest," by William H. C. Folsom, 1888, pages 298-354; and 
Edward W. Stark, judge of probate, Alfred P. Stolberg, county attorney, 



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108 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

and John A. Johnson, sheriff, interviewed during my visit at Center City, 
the county seat, in May, 1916. 

Almelund, a hamlet in the south part of Amador, founded about 
1887, means, in the Swedish language, Elm Valley. The name was 
adopted in compliment to the first postmaster there, Mr. Almquist, whose 
name means an elm twig or branch. 

Amador, settled in 1846, organized in 1858, bears a name which means, 
in the Spanish language, a lover, a sweetheart. It is the name of a county 
and a village in central California, whence it was adopted here by settlers 
of this township who had previously visited California. In the same way, 
probably, came also this name as applied to small villages in Iowa, Kan- 
sas, and Michigan. 

Branch, named from the North Branch of Sunrise river flowing 
through this township, "was set off from Sunrise and organized in 1872." 

Center Citx, a village in Chisago Lake township, was platted in May, 
1857, and has been the county seat since 1875. Its name refers to its 
central position, between Chisago City and Taylor's Falls. 

Chisago City, also a vill^e m Chasago Lake township, was platted in 
1855, taking its name frpm the lake. 

Chisago Lake township, likewise named for the beautiful lake, was 
settled in 1851 and was organized in 1858. This name, given to the 
county, has been fully noticed on a preceding page. 

Fish Lake township, organiied in 1868, having "formerly been a part 
of Sunrise, is named for its lake in section 25 and the outflowing creek, 
both of which are translated from their Ojibway names. 

Fhanconia township, organized ia 1858, received its name from the 
earlier village, which was first settled and named by Ansel Smith, who 
came from Franconia, N. H., in the region of the White Mountains. The 
village was platted in 5858, and was incorporated in 1884. This is an 
ancient name of a large district in Germany. 

Harris township, first settled in 1856, and organized in 1884, received 
its name from its earlier railway village, which was platted in May, 1873, 
and was incorporated in 1882, being named in honor of Philip S. Harris, 
a prominent officer of the St, Paul and Duiuth railroad company. 

KosT, a small village in the south part of Sunrise, was named in honor 
of Ferdinand A. Kost, who built a flouring mill there in 1883. 

Lent township, organized in 1872, was named in honor of Harvey Lent, 
one of its first settlers, who came in 1855. 

LiNDSTTtoM, a village platted in 1880 on the centra! part of Chisago 
lake, including many summer homes of city residents, was named for 
Daniel Lindstrom, a pioneer farmer. He was bom in Helsingland, 
Sweden, in 1825; came to the United States, settling here; sold the 
greater part of his farm in 1878, which became the village site, and con- 
tinued to reside here until his death in 1895. 

Nessel, set off from Rushseba and organized in 1870, bears the name 
of its earliest pioneer farmer, Robert Nessel, who was born in Germany, 



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CHISAGO COUNTY 109 

1834, came to the United States an 1847 and to Minnesota in 1854, and 
settled here in 18S6. 

North Bkanch, the railway village of Branch town h p med f th 
North branch of Sunrise river, was platted in Januar 1870 

Rush City received this record by Folsom : "In 868 I n 

pletion of the St. Paul and Duluth railroad, a dep w b 1 nd 
station established at the crossing of Rush river, ar i 1 h p dl 
grew up the village of Rush City. It was surveyed a d pi d b B n 
jamin W. Brunson, surveyor, in January, 1870, . . . w m p d 

1874." 

RusHsEBA township, organized in 1858, is in its second part an Ojib- 
way name, seba or sippi, meaning a river. Both the Rush lake, in Nessel 
township, and its outflowing Rush river, are translated from the abori^nal 
name. Several species of bulrushes and other rushes are common 
throughout this state, one of which (Scirpus lacustris), abundant in the 
shallow borders of lakes, was "in common use among the Indians for 
making mats." 

St. Croix River, a railway station in the east edge of Rusheba, is 
named for the river crossed there, of which an extended notice in respect 
to the origin of the name has been given in the first chapter. 

Shafer township is noticed as follows by Folsom : "A Swedish 
colony settled here in 1853. . , The town organized first as Taylor's Falls, 
but the name was changed to Shafer in 1873, ... A railroad station . . . 
bears the name of Shafer, derived, together with the name of the town- 
ship, from Jacob Shafer, who, as eariy- as 1847, cut hay in sections 4 and 
5. He seems to have been in no sense worthy of the honor conferred upon 
him, as he was but a transient inhabitant and disappeared in 1849. No 
one knows of his subsequent career. The honor ought to have been given 
to some of the hardy Swedes, who were the first real pioneers, and the 
first to make substantial improvements." 

Stacy, a railway village established in 187S, was named in honor of 
Dr. Stacy B. Collins, an early resident. 

Stark, a small village in section 26, Fish Lake township, was named 
in honor of Lars Johan Stark, who was the first postmaster there. He 
was born in Westergotland, Sweden, July 29, 1826, and died in Harris, 
Minn., May 5. 1910. He came to the United States in 1850, and settled 
at Chisago Lake, Minn.; engaged in mercantile business and farming; was 
a representative in the state legislature in !86S and 1875. His son, Edward 
W. Stark, born in Fish Lake township, December S, 1869, was a merchant 
at Harris, 1890-1905; was a representative in the legislature in 1901-03; 
and has been judge of probate for this county since 1905, residing at 
Center City. 

Sunrise township, organized October 26, 18S8, had earlier a village 
of this name, on the Sunrise prairie, where in 1853 a hotel and store were 
built by William Holmes, The name is received from the take and river. 



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no MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

whose Ojibway name, Memokage (pronounced in four syllables), is 
translated by GilfiUan as "Sun-keep-rising." 

Taylor's Falls, a village at the head of'the Dalles of the St. Croix 
river, platted in 1850-51, incorporated in 1858, during many years the 
CoiL-ty seat, was named for Jesse Taylor, who came in 1838, and Joshua 
L. Taylor, to whom the former sold his claim in 1846. Jesse Taylor, 
pioneer, was born in Kentucky; was employed as a stone mason at Fort 
Snelling ; was the first settler here, in 1838, and owned a sawmill ; removed 
to Stillwater in 184(3, and resided there until 1853; was a representative 
in the territorial legislature, 1851-2, Joshua Lovejoy Taylor was born in 
Sanbornton, N. H., in 1816; and died in Ashland, Wis., April 27, 1901. 
He came to Minnesota in 1840, settling at Taylor's Falls; engaged in lum- 
bering; pre-empted a part of the site of this village; lived in California, 
1849-S6; returned here in 1856; removed to Ashland in 1896. 

Folsom wrote of this village and the adjacent part of the river, at 
the Interstate bridge : "Many of the later residents query as to why it 
was ever called Taylor's Falls. It takes a keen eye to discover any fall 
in the river at the point named. The falls indeed were once far more 
conspicuous than they are now, owing to the fact that a large rock rose 
above the water at the ordinary stage, around which the crowded waters 
roared and swirled. That rock, never visible in later days, was called 
Death Rock, because three hapless mariners in a skiff were hurled against 
it by the swift current and drowned." 

WvoMiNG township, organized in 1858, derived its name from the 
Wyoming Valley m Luzerne county, Pennsylvania, which is traversed by 
the North branch of the Susquehanna river. A colony from that region 
had settled in the western part of this township in 185S, and the eastern 
part had been earlier settled by Swedes. The village of Wyoming was 
platted in 1869, the next year after the completion of the St. Paul and 
Duluth railroad, and ten years later the branch from Wyoming to Tay- 
lor's Falls was built. 

This name, given also to the Territory of Wyoming, organized in 1868 
and admitted to the Union as a state in 1890, is from the language of 
the Delaware or Lenape Indians, formerly a large branch of the Algon- 
quian stock, signifying "large plains," "extensive meadows." 

Lakes and Streams. 

In the preceding pages attention has been given to the names of 
several lakes and streams, including Chisago lake, the Sunrise river and 
its North branch, Fish lake, and the Rush lake and river. The St. Croix 
river, belonging to several counties, is considered in the first chapter 
with the large rivers of this state. 

Names commemorating pioneer settlers include four in Fish Lake 
township. These are Alexis lake, in sections 5 and 8, for John P, 
Alexis; Mandall lake, in the northwest quarter of section 15, for Lars 



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CHISAGO COUNTY lU 

Mandall ; Molberg lake, in the northwest quarter of section 22, for Erick 
Molberg; and Neander lake, section II, named for Nels P. Neander, 
All of these settlers came as farmers, themselves or their parents being 
immigrants from Sweden. 

Browning creek, in Harris, was named for John W. Browning, a 
pioneer farmer from the eastern states and of English descent. 

Colby lake, about a mile northwest of Taylor's Falls, was named for 
an early farmer who likewise came from the eastern states. 

Bloom's lake, in section 7, Franconia, was named in honor of Gustaf 
Bloom, from Sweden, whose son, David Bloom, has been since 1909 the 
county register of deeds ; and Ogren's lake, in section 12 of this town- 
ship, for Andrew Ogren, who was a soldier in our civil war. 

Linn lake, adjoining the south end of the eastern body of Chisago lake, 
was named for a family living at its west side. 

Lake Comfort, in sections 22 and 27, Wyoming, bears the name of 
Dr. John W. Comfort, a physician who lived there and had a wide 
country practice. It is also very frequently called ''the Doctor's lake." 

Heim's lake, in sections 29 and 30, Wyoming, mostly drained, received 
its name for families living there, especially for Conrad Heim, the 
pioneer. 

Martha and Ellen lakes, beside the railway in sections 1 and 12, 
Wyoming, and nearly adjoining the north end of Green lake, are also 
commemorative of early pioneers, but inquiries have failed to supply 

Other lakes and creeks in this county, mostly bearing names that 
scarcely need explanations of their derivation, are Asp lake, in the north- 
west quarter of section 21, Fish Lake township, having aspen or poplar 
groves ; Pine lake, in sections 23 and 26, Nessel, for its white pines ; 
another Pine lake, about a mile south from the most southwestern arm 
of Chisago lake, situated, like the foregmng, near the southwestern limit 
of the geographic range of our pines ; Grass lake, about two miles north- 
east of Harris, shallow and having much marsh grass on its borders ; 
the Little Duck lake in section 19, Franconia; the much larger Goose 
lake, and Goose creek, flowing thence eastward to the St. Croix river; 
Spring creek, tributary to the St Croix three miles farther north ; Rock 
creek, flowing through the northeast part of Eushseba, named for the 
conspicuous rock outcrops on the St. Croix river about a half mile 
northeast from its mouth; Dry creek, in section 2, Shafer; Hay creek, 
flowing into the Sunrise river three miles from its mouth ; the Middle, 
West, and South branches of Sunrise river ; Leech lake, sections 35 and 
36, Nessel, named, like the great Leech lake in Cass county, for its 
plentiful leeches ; Horseshoe and Little Horseshoe lakes, respectively 
in sections 23 and 22, Fish Lake township, named for their form; Horse- 
shoe creek, their outlet; Chain lake, in section 6, Branch, named for its 
form or outline, and for the small lakes connected with it southward in 



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112 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

a chainlike series; Mud lake, in section 28, Lent, shallow, with muddy 
shores and bottom; School lake, in the school section 36, Lent; Spring 
lake, one to two miles west of Lindstrom; Little lake, a misnomer as it Is 
nearly a mile long, lying a mile and a half northeast from Center City; 
Ice lake, in section 30, Franconia ; Swamp lake, sections 14 and 23, Fraa- 
conia; Spider lake, named for its branched outline, in section 27, near 
the south end of Chisago Lake township ; First, Second, and Third lakes, 
consecutive in an east to west series, in sections 34 to 32, about a mile 
south and southwest of Spider lake; Green lake, after Chisago lake the 
second in size in this county, named for the clearness and beauty of its 
water, reflecting the verdure of the grass and trees on its banks ; and 
White Stone lake, in sections 11 and 14, Wyoming, named for its white 
pebbles or boulders. 

In P h D h C 

The Man M ota es 

gives th ta nt 

"In 1 tr ct 

of abou 

public p P D S DC 

An act m 

which p m 

ing a la 

of abou 



have th aji 

esque r ca D St 

river fo th 

village F 

75 to 15 

"The ot 

beauty ra H H 

of Min ta 

1893. H ea m 

merclal es 

The D 

walled W 

in Minnesota, and the Columbia river on the boundary between Oregon 
and Washington, came from a French word, dalle, meaning a fl^stone 
or slab of rock, referring in this name to the vertical and jointed rock 
cli£Es enclosing the rivers at the localities so named, where in most in- 
stances (though not in the case of the St. Croix) the river flows 
through its gorge in rapids and falls. 



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CHISAGO COUNTY 113 

In the Upper Dalles, at Taylor's Falls, and again in the Lower 
Dalles, situated two miles farther down the river and reaching a third 
of a mile, close above the village of Franconia, the rock walls of trap, 
Keweenawan diabase, rise almost or quite perpendicularly on each side 
of the river, inclosing it at each place by a very picturesque gorge. 

A paper entitled "Giants' Kettles eroded by Moulin Torrents," con- 
tributed by the present writer to the Bulletin of the Geological Society 
of America (vol. 12, 1900, pages 25-44, with a map), was partly quoted 
as follows by the Legislative Manual in 190? and 1909. 

"To nearly every visitor the most interesting and wonderful feature 
of the Interstate Park consists in many large and small waterworn 
potholes, which are also, in their large examples, often called 'wells.' 
The languages of Germany, Sweden, and Norway, give the name 'giants' 
kettles' to such cylindric or caldron- shaped holes of stream erosion, 
which are everywhere characteristic of waterfalls and rapids, especially 
in crystalline rocks. These potholes, occurring most numerously near 
the steamboat landing of Taylor's Falls, at the centra! part of the Upper 
Dalles, and within a distance of fifty rods northward, are unsurpassed 
by any other known locality in the world, in respect to their variety 
of forms and grouping, their great number, the extraordinary irregu- 
larity of contour of the much jointed diabase in which they are eroded, 
and the difficulty of explanation of the conditions of their origin." 

Like the giants' kettles of the Glacier Garden at Lucerne, Switzer- 
land, these larger and deeper potholes are ascribed "to erosion by torrents 
of water falling through crevasses and vertical tunnels, called moulins, 
of an ice-sheet during some stage of the Glacial period. In this park 
they seem referable to the stage of final melting and departure of the 
ice-sheet from this area." 



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CLAY COUNTY 

This county, established March 8, 1862, and organized April 14, 
1872, was named for the greatly admired statesman, Henry Clay, of 
Lexington, Kentucky. He was born in Hanover county, Virginia, April 
12, 1777; died in Washington, D. C, June 29, 1852. He began to study 
law in 1796, and in the next year, being admitted to practice, he removed 
to Kentucliy; was U. S. senator, 1806-7 and 1810-11; was a member of 
Congress, 1811-21 and 1823-25, serving as speaker in !811-14, 1815-20, 
and 1823-25; was peace commissioner at Ghent in 1814; was candidate 
for the presideacy in 1824; secretary of state, 1825-29; again U. S, 
senator, 183 W2 and 1849-52; was Whig candidate for the presidency 
in 1832 and 1844; was the chief designer of the "Missouri Compromise," 
1820, and of the compromise of 1850; was the author of the compromise 
tariff of 1833; said in a speech in 1850, "I would rather be right than 
be President." 

Among the numerous biographies of Henry Oay, the most extended 
is by Rev. Calvin Colton, six volumes, containing speeches and corre- 
spondence, published in 1846-57; its revised^ edition, 1864; and its repub- 
lication in 1904, ten volumes, with an introduction by Thomas B. Reed, 
and a History of Tariff Legislation, 1812-1896, by William McKinley. 

Carl Schurz, on the final page of his "Life of Henry Clay," pub- 
lished in 1887 (two volumes, in the "American Statesmen" series), 
pointed to his greatest political motive: "It was a just judgment which 
he pronounced upon himself when he wrote, 'If any one desires to know 
the leading and paramount object of my public life, the preservation of 
this Union will furnish the key.' " Near the end of the dark first year 
of our civil war, and nearly ten years after Clay had died, this county 
was named, Minnesota had then raised four regiments for the defence 
of the Union. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins and meanings of names in this county 
has been received from "History ol the Red River Valley," two volumes, 
1909, pages 798-830; from Hon. Solomon G. Comstock, of Moorhead, 
and Andrew O. Houglum, county auditor, interviewed during my visit in 
Moorhead in September, 1916; and from Nathan Butler, of Minneapolis, 
who was formerly a resident in Barnesville during twenty years, 1883- 
1903. 

Alliance township was named (or the Farmers' Alliance, a political 
party of considerable prominence in Minnesota during the campaign 
of 1890. Hon. George N. Lamphere, in a paper entitled "History of 
Wheat Raising in the Red River Valley" (Minn. Hist. Soc. Collections, 



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CLAY COUNTY 115 

vol. X, 1905, pages 1-33), stated that the agitation for lower railroad 
freight rates, which was the cause of the formation of the Farmers' 
Alliance, began in 1883-4 in Clay county, spread thence throughout the 
wheat-raising districts of this state, and developed into the People's 
or Populist party. 

AvEKiLi., a railway village on the boundary Hne of Moland and Spring 
Prairie, was named in honor of Gen. John Thomas Averili, who was 
born in Alma, Maine, March 1, 1825, and died in St. Paul, Minn., October 
3, 1889. He was graduated at Wesleyan College; settled in Lake City, 
Minn., 1857; served during the civil war in the Sixth Minnesota regi- 
ment, becoming its colonel in 1864, and was brevetted a brigadier general 
in 1865. After the war he founded and conducted a wholesale paper 
house in St. Paul, under the name of Averjll, Carpenter and Co. In 
1858-60 he was a state senator ; and in 1872-5 represented his district in 
Congress. 

Bakeb., a railway village in section 1, Alliance, was named for Lester 
H. Baker, a farmer there, who removed to the State o£ Washington. 

Barnesville township was named after its railway village, which 
was established in 1874 by George S. Barnes, a farmer and wheat 
merchant, who owned and managed a very large farm near GljTidon 
and died there about the year 1910. The village was incorporated 
November 4, 1881, and received its charter as a city April 4, 1889. 

CoMSTOCK, the railway village of Holy Cross township, was named 
in honor of Solomon Gilman Comstock, of Moorhead, for whom also 
a township in Marshall county was named. He was born in Argyle, 
Maine, May 9, 1842; came to Minnesota in 1869, settling in Moorhead; 
was admitted to the bar in 1871 ; was a representative in the state legis- 
lature, 1876-7 and 1879-81 ; a state senator, 1883-7; and a representative 
in Congress, 1889-91. 

Cromwell township, settled partly by immigrants from England, 
was named, in accordance with the petition of its citizens, for Oliver 
Cromwell (born 1599, died 1658). 

DiLWOHTH, a village and division point of the Northern Pacific railway, 
three miles east of Moorhead, was named by officers of that railway 



Douglas, a Great Northern railway station two miles south of 
Georgetown, was named in honor of James Douglas, one of the first 
settlers of Moorhead. He was bom in Scotland, March 13, 1821; came 
with his parents to the United States in 1832; came to Minnesota in 1871. 
settling in Moorhead, where he was a merchant, built the steamboats 
Manitoba and Minnesota in 1875 for the Red river trade, and secured 
the building of a flouring mill. 

Downer, the railway village of Elkton township, was named by 
officers of the Great Northern railway company. 

Eglon township bears the name of a city of ancient Palestine, also 
of postoffiees in West Virginia, Kentucky, and Washington. 



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116 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Elkton township refers to the elk formerly common or frequent 
here and in many parts of Minnesota. 

Elmwood township received this euphonious name in accordance with 
its petition for organization, alluding to its abundant elm. trees along 
the South fork of Buffalo river. 

Felton township was named, after its railway station, in honor of 
S. M. Felton, by the officers of the Great Northern railway company, 

FiNKLE, a railway station four miles south of Moorhead, was named 
in honor of Henry G. Finkle, an early pioneer, of the firm of Bruns and 
Finlde, merchants in Moorhead. 

Flowing township has chiefly Scandinavian settlers, by whom this 
name was adopted, but its significance remains to be ascertained, unless 
it refers to artesian or flowing wells. The many flowing wells in the 
Red river valley, of which Qay county and this township have a good 
number, are the subject of a chapter in "The Glacial Lake Agassiz," 
(Monograph XXV, U. S. Geological Survey, 1896, pages 523-581, with 
a map). 

Geoecetown was established as a trading post of the Hudson Bay 
Company in 1859; was abandoned in September, 1862, during the Sioux 
outbreak; and was reestablished in 1864. The township received its 
name from the trading post. 

Q,YND0K was platted as a railway village in the spring of 1872, 
being named by officers of the Northern Padlic railroad company, and 
thence the township was named. It is also the name of small villages 
in Pennsylvania and Maryland. 

Goose Phaibie township was named for the wild geese formerly 
plentiful in its lakes and sloughs. 

Hagen township commemorates an early Norwegian settler of this 
surname. A large manufacturing city in western Germany bears this 

Hawley, a railway village settled by an English colony in 1871, 
incorporated February 5, 1884, and its township, at first called Bethel, 
were renamed in honor of Gen. Joseph Roswell Hawley, of Connecti- 
cut, one of the original stockholders of the Northern Pacific railroad 
company. He was born in Ste warts ville, N. C, October 31, 1826; died 
in Washington, D. C, March 17, 1905. He was graduated at Hamilton 
College, 1847; was admitted to practice law, 1850; became editor -of the 
Evening Press, Hartford, Conn.. 1857; served as a brigade and division 
commander in the Union army during the civil war, and was brevetted 
major general in I86S; was president of the U. S. Centennial Com- 
mission, 1873-77; was member of Congress, 1872-75 and 1879-81; was 
U. S. senator, 1881-1905. 

Highland Gkove township received its name for its location on the 
high ascent eastward from the Red river valley, and for the groves 
beside its lakes and on the Buffalo river, the surface all about being mainly 



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CLAY COUNTY 117 

Hhtekdal, a railway village on the line between Goose Prairie and 
Highland Grove, is named for a vail jaidik th Nw 

Holy Cross township was named f p w d t 

on the prairie at a cemetery about half 1 t f tl Red 

in North Dakota, amid a Catholic comm tj f F h C i farm 
ers. This township on the Minnes t d w ttl d by N w g 

farmers, Lutherans, and both sides f tl w p d th 

"Holy Cross neighborhood." 

Humboldt township, settled byaGm ly rnd h 

of the celebrated German scientist t 1 ai d th \\ d 
von Humboldt, who was born xn 1769 d d d 18S9 I th y 
1799 to 1804 he traveled in South Am d M ai d 1 t h 

published many books on his observ t f t 1 h t ry 

and political affairs of this continent 

Keene township was named fo t m t d th wh w 
veteran of the civil war. 

Kbagmes was named in honor ofAOKg pm tN 

wegian farmer, one of the first s ttl f th t t 1 p h m 

from Houston county in 1872. Hewbo Nwydmt 

the United states in 1852, with his p t 1 tw j It ttl d 

in Houston county. 

KuBTz township was named for Th m C K t f m i h 

of the Merchants' Bank, Moorhead wl m dtPtldOg 

He is a son of Colonel John D. K t f th U t d Stat E g 
Corps, who served with distinction d g th I w d 1 t 

superintendent of the engineering wok fDlw by d 

Lambs, the railway station inOkprtw df Jh d 

Patrick H. Lamb, brothers from Ireland, who were early settlers and 
engaged extensively in farming, brick-making, railroad construction, 
and banking. 

MoLAND township was named by its Norwegian settlers. 
Moorhead, first settled in 1871, when the building of the Northern 
Pacific railroad reached its site, was named in honor of William G. 
Moorhead, of Pennsylvania, who was a director of that railroad com- 
pany. He was a partner of Jay Cooke, the Northern Pacific financial 
agent, and his first wife was a sister of Cooke. He was president of the 
Philadelphia and Erie railroad, and his brother, Gen. James Kennedy 
Moorhead, was likewise much interested in railway development, espe- 
cially in the Northern Pacific finances. Moorhead was incorporated as a 
city February 24, 1881, and the township also bears this name. 

The adjoining city of Fargo, in North Dakota, was named for William 
George Fargo, (b. 1818, d. 1881), of Buffalo, N. Y., founder of the 
Wells, Far^ Express Company and prominent as a Northern Pacific 
director. 

Cass county, North Dakota, adjoining Clay county, and also its city 
of CasseUou, are named for Gen. George W. Cass, of Pennsylvania, 



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118 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

who was president of the Northern Pacific railroad company in 18?2-?5. 
He was born in Ohio, and was a nephew of Governor Lewis Cass, of 
Michigan ; was graduated at the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, 
in 1832; was president during twentyTfive years of the Pittsburg, Fort 
Wayne and Chicago railroad company; purchased a large tract adjoin- 
ing the Northern Pacific line between fifteen and twenty miles west of 
Fargo, and, employing Oliver Dalrymple as farm superintendent, was the 
lirst to demonstrate in 1876 the high agricultural value of the Red riyer 
valley lands for wheat raising on a large scale. 

MoRKEN township was named in honor of T. O. Morken, its first home- 
steader, who came here from Houston county in 1875. 

MuSKODA, a former station of the Northern Pacific railway in the east 
edge of section 7, Hawley, had an Ojibway name, meaning a meadow 
or tract of grass land, a large prairie. It is spelled Muskoday in Long- 
fellow's "Song of Hiawatha," with accent on the first syllable. In 
Baraga's Dictionary it is spelled mashkode, to be pronounced in three 
syllables nearly as by Longfellow. A few miles east of Clay county, 
the traveler on the Northern Pacific line passes out from the northeast 
, forest region, and thence crosses an expanse of prairie and plain, mainly 
treeless, for eight hundred miles to the Rocky mountains. (By a 
relocation of the railroad to secure an easier grade in the next seven 
miles west of Hawley, the site of Muskoda is left now about two-thirds 
of a mile distant at the north.) 

Oakport township has many oaks in the narrow fringe of timber 
slans the navigable Red river. 

Parke township was named probably in honor of a pioneer settler. 
A county in western Indiana bears this name. 

RiVERTON township has reference to Buffalo river, which flows across 
its northern part. 

RusTAD, a railway village in Kurtz, was named in honor of Samuel 
Rustad, a Norwegian merchant there. 

RUTHRUFF, a railway station in section 36, Moorhead, was named for 
an adjoining settler. 

Sabin, a railway village in Elmwood, is in honor of Dwight May 
Sabin, who was born in Manlius, 111., April 25, 1844, and died in Chicago, 
December 23, 1902. He came to Minnesota in 1867, and the next year 
settled in Stillwater, where he engaged in the lumber business, and in 
the manufacture of machinery, engines, and cars. He was a state sena- 
tor, 1871-3, and a United States senator, 1883-9. 

Skree was named for Mikkel Sfcree, a Norwegian farmer, who was 
the first settler of this township. 

Spring Prairie township, a euphonious name selected in the petition 
for organization, refers to its springs and rivulets. 

Tansem township was named for John O. Tansem, one of its pioneer 
farmers, a highly respected citizen. He was born in Eidsvold, Norway, 



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CLAY COUNTY 119 

in 1842; came to the United States in 1861; settled here, in the most 
southeastern township of this county, in 1862. 

Ulek township was named in honor of Ok Ulen, its first settler. 
He was bom in Norway, April 18, 1818, and died in Ulen village Janu- 
ary 19, 1891. He came to the United States in 1851, and to Minnesota 
in 1853, settling in Houston county; was a farmer there until 1867; 
removed to this county in 1872. 

ViDlNG township was named for a Swedish settler there. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Buffalo river is translated from the Ojibway name of its southern 
tributary flowing from lakes in and near Audubon, in Becker county, of 
which Rev. Joseph A. Gilfillan wrote that it "is called Pijikiwi-zibi, or 
Buffalo river, from the fact that buffaloes were always found wintering 
there." Hence the while people have erroneously called the whole 
river Buffalo river. On Nicollet's map it is named "Pijihi or Buffalo R." 
The name used by the Ojibways for our Buffalo lake in Becker county, 
and for the Buffalo river, flowing thence to the Red river, would be 
correctly translated as Beaver lake and Beaver river. 

Near the middle of the west side of Kragnes township, on the Red 
river opposite to the mouth of the Sheyenne, a townsite named LaFay- 
ette was surveyed in March, 1859; and there in April of that year, "the 
first steamboat on the Red river was built . . . the materials for which 
were transported across the country from Crow Wing on the Mississippi, 
where the steamer North Star was broken up for that purpose. The 
new boat was named the Anson Northup." (Lamphere, M. H. S. Collec- 
tions, vol. X, 1905, pages 16, 17; History of the Red River Valley, 1909, 
pages 569-572.) 

The Sheyenne river (here spelled unlike the Cheyenne river of South 
Dakota and the city Cheyenne, capital of Wyoming), flowing into the 
Red river from North Dakota, received this name, given by Nicollet as 
"Shayenn-oju R.," from the Sioux, designating it as the river of the 
Cheyenne tribe, meaning "people who speak a strange language." Rev. 
T. S. Williamson wrote (M. H. S. Collections, vol. I, pages 295-301) that 
when the Sioux first came to the Falls of St. Anthony, the lowas occu- 
pied' the country about the mouth of the Minnesota river, and the Chey- 
ennes had their villages and cultivated fields "on the Minnesota between 
Blue Earth and Lac qui Parle, whence they moved to a western branch 
of Red river of the North, which still bears their name." Thompson 
recorded the narration in 1798 by an Ojibway chief, of an Ojibway 
war party who attacked and destroyed the Cheyenne village west of the 
Red river, probably about 1775 or 1780, but perhaps five or ten years 
later. (Thompson's Narrative, edited by Tyrrell, 1916, pages 236, 261-3). 
Next this tribe removed to a second Cheyenne river, west of the Missouri 
in Soutii Dakota, and yet later they migrated farther across the plains to 
the west and south. 



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120 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Wild Rice river, whose South branch runs through Ulen and Hagen, 
and the river of the same name in North Dakota, tributary to the Red 
river nine miles south of Fargo and Moorhead, are translated from the 
Ojibway names, referring (o their valued native grain, the wild rice, 
much harvested by the Indian women for food. It also gave the name 
of Mahnomen county, and is more fully roticed in the chapter for that 
county. 

No explanations seem needed for the names of Hay creek, tributary to 
the Bufialo river in section 33, Highland Grove, and a second Hay 
creek in Skree and Elkton; Spring creek, tributary to the last and join- 
ing it two miles southeast of Downer; and Stony and Willow creeks, 
flowing through Barnesville township to the South branch of Buffalo 
river. Each of the two creeks last named has been sometimes called 
Whiskey creek, in allusion to a great spree of the railway graders when 
the former railway line from Breckenridge to Barnesville was com- 
pleted. Another name for Stony creek, crossed by the railway two nwies 
north of the city of Barnesville, is Sieber's creek, for Rudolph Sieber, 
iriio had a milk farm at its north side. 

Deerhorn creek, in Alliance township, flowing northwestward from 
Wilkin county to the South brancli of Buffalo river, received its name 
from antlers shed by deer and found by the pioneer settlers. 

The east margin of Clay county, above the Glacial Lake Agassiz, has 
numerous small lakes, but only a few have received names on maps. 
These bearing names are Silver lake, in section 26, Hawley, in allusion 
to its placid and shining surface; Moe lake, in sections 2, 11, and 12, 
Eglon, for Nels R. Moe, the farmer on its west side; Sand lake, in 
the east half of section 12, Eglon, for its sandy shore ; Solum lake, in 
the southwest quarter of the same section, for H. H. Solum, whose 
farm adjoins it; Lee lake, in sections 9 and 16, and Perch lake in section 
17, Eglon; Turtle lake, crossed by the east line of section 12, Parke; 
and Grove lake, partly in section 36, Tansem, lying mostly in Otter Tail 
county. 

Buffalo Delta of Lake Agassiz. 
Where the Buffalo river enters the area of the Glacial Lake Agassiz, 
a delta of stratified gravel and sand was deposited during the earliest 
and highest stage of the ancient lake. The Herman or first beach and 
the east edge of the delta were crossed by the Northern Pacific rail- 
road at Muskoda, and the extent of the delta from north to south, on 
both Slides of the river, is seven miles, with a width from two to three 
and a half miles. (U. S. Geological Survey, Monograph XXV, 1896, 
pages 290-292, with map and section.) 



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CLEARWATER COUNTY 

This countj establi'ihed December 20 1902 reL.ened its name from 
the Clearwater rner and lake which he partly within its drea For the 
formerlj great industry of pine lumbering this was a very important 
river the logs being floated down from the head stream and its trifau 
taries into Clearwater lake and thente to the Red Lake river and the 
sawmills at Crookston. Another Clearwater river likewise flowing 
through a lake of the same name empties into the lii'sissippi at the 
town of Cledrwater in Wright oountv Both of the^e rivers with their 
lakes and also the Eau Claire or Clearwater rner in Wisconsin derive 
their names h\ tran'ilation from those given b) the Ojibwajs and other 
Indnan tribes long before the coming of white men Accordmg to Rev 
Joseph A Gilfillan the Oj lb way name of this river and the county mean 
ing Clearwater is Ga vtakomitigweia The name Clear Water river 
was used by Thompson m 1/98 and on Nicollet a map 1843 It was 
called Clear river on the map of Lungs Expedition 182^ 

The quality denoted by thi^ term Llearwater is in contrast witli the 
more or le^s muddv and siltv waters of the Missouri Minnesota and 
most other rivers especially when thej are in high flocd stages caused 
by the melting of winter snows at the return of spring or bj exception- 
ally heavy rim' the inflowmg drainage having washed diwn mi th mud 
clay and sand 

Another very remarkable contrast to clearness m river and lake 
waters i^ surpri-iingly 'ihown bv other "itreims of the northern woods 
and swamps colored dark and jellowish bv the dramage to them from 
decaying leaves fallen branches and trunk' of dead trees -ind peatv 
soil but mo&t of all where e^ctensive peat tiwamps and bogs supply 
water in any time of considerable drought long saturated with the peat 
and dec-iving vegetdtion In some cdses as the Rat Root river and 
Black or Rat Root bay i f Raanv lake in Koochiching countj seen during 
niy travel in August 391t) the very dark water nearly or quite stagnant 
although containing almost no mud or silty matter i' yet the antithesis of 
clearness -or transparency being to5 dark for one to see into it even to 
a depth of only two or three feet. From frequent acquaintance with 
similar peatnStained streams, the observant Ojiibways were wont to dis- 
tinguish other streams of opposite character by naming them for thdr 
crystal clearness. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins and meanings of names was gathered 
from F. A. Norquist, county treasurer, Frederick S. Kalberg, editor 
of the Clearwater Crystal, and Albert Kaiser, banker, of Bagley, during 



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122 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

my visit in September, 1909; from T. L, Tweite, county treastirer, in 
my second visit, September, 1916; and for the Itasca State Park, lying 
mostly in this county, from Volumes VII and XI, Minnesota Historical 
Society Collections, 1893 and 1905, by the late Hon. J. V. Brower. 

Alida (accented on the second syllable, with the long English sound 
of its vowel), a village in section 10, Bear Creek, was named by Governor 
John Lind. Indiana and Kansas also have postoffiees of this name. 

Bagley village, the county seat, was named in honor of Sumner C 
Bagley, an early lumberman of tliis part of the Clearwater river, who 
removed to Fosston in 1885 and died diere in 1915. 

Bear Creek township is named for its Bear creek, flowing into the 
Mississippi river in section 26. 

Chusnes, a former postofEce in section 35, Greenwood, was named 
for its postmaster, Alexander Churnes, a Norwegian pioneer farmer. 

Clearbeook, the railway village in Leon, took its name from the 
brook there. 

Clovek township, organized in 1914, received this name on the sug- 
gestion of James N. Vail, an early settler, 

Copley township was named in honor of Lafayette Copley, one of its 
first pioneers, who removed in 1916 to western Oregon. He came from 
Massachusetts; was the builder of five dams on the tipper Clearwater 
river, used by T. B. Walker for log-driving. 

Dudley was named in honor of Frank E. Dudley, who was a county 
commissioner of Beltrami county when this township was organized, 
before the establishment of Clearwater county. He was born in Geauga 
county, Ohio; came to Minnesota in 1881; was mayor of Bemidji, 1900-02. 

Ebho, a railway station seven miles west of Bagley, has the name of 
a river in northeastern Spain. 

Eddy township was named in honor of Frank M. Eddj', of Sauk Cen- 
ter, Minn. He was born iti Pleasant Grove, Minn, April 1, 1856; was 
a school teacher, and later a land examiner for the Northern Pacific 
railroad company; was clerk of the district court of Pope county, 1884- 
94; was a representative in Congress, 1895-1903. 

GONVICK, the railway village of Pine Lake township, was named for 
Martin O. Gkinvick, an early Norwegian settler there. 

Greenwood township was so named in its petition for organization, 
probably in allusion to the verdure of its woods, 

Hancaasb township was named for Gunder G. Hangaard, its first 
homesteader, who came from Norway. Gunder postoffice, at his home 
in section 19, was also named for him. 

Holst township received its name in honor of H. J. Hoist, a Norwe- 
gian pioneer farmer there, who was sheriff of this county in 1904-08. 

Itasca township lies next north of Itasca lake and the State Park. 

Leon township is for Leon Dickinson, the first white child born there, 
son of Daniel S. Dickinson, who later removed to Montana. 



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CLEARWATER COUNTY 123 

Leonard, the railway village of Dudley township, was named for 
Leonard French, first child of an early settler, Geoi^e H. French, who 
became a merchant of this village. 

Mallaho, a village in sections 5 and 8, Itasca, received it name for 
the adjoining lake, having many mallard ducks. 

Meadows, a former postoffice in Greenwood, now discontinued, was 
named for the wide natural meadows of the Clearwater river. 

MiNEEVA township was named for the Roman goddess of wisdom, by 
Frederick S. Kaiberg, owner of the Pinehurst farm on the southeast 
side of Lake Minerva, section 13. 

Moose Ceeek township has the small creek so named, flowing from 
section 21 t the north a t and east. 

Neving a po t fti n ar the month of Clearwater lake, in Sinclair 
township, wa na d f a lumberman and farmer there, Robert Neving, 
who remo ed to Sa kat h wan about the year 1910. 

Nora tow 1 p wa amed in honor of Knut Nora, a Norwegian 
pioneer fa m th ho was a member of the first board of county 

commissioners. He removed to North Dakota several years ago. 

Olberg, a former small village in the north edge of section 22, Leon, 
named for Anton Olberg, a pioneer from Norway, was superseded by 
Clearbrook when the railway was built there. 

Pine Lake township has the large lake of this name, outflowing by 
Pine river, a tributary of Lost river. The original wealth of this region 
consisted in its timber of the white and Norway pines, but the timber 
lands are now largely changed into farms. 

Popple township was named for its plentiful poplar woods, misspelled 
and mispronounced, by quite common usage, in this name. 

Rice township refers to the headwaters of the Wild Rice river, with 
the Rice lakes. This river flows through the northwest corner of this 
township. 

Shevlin township and railwav village were named in honor of the late 
Thomas Henrv Shevlm of Mmneapolis He was born in Albany, N. 
Y Januarv 3 18S2 died m Pasadena, Cal January IS, 1912. He came 
to Mmnesota in 1886 settlmg m Mmneapolis ; was president of several 
loggmg and lumber manufacturmg eompimes, cutting much pine timber 
m this county He was donor of the Alice A. Shevlin Hall, University 
of Mmnesota built in 1906 

Sinclair township received its name in honor of an early land sur- 

Weme (pronounced m two "lyllables) a small hamlet in section 18, 
Eddy, was named for Hans Weme a Norwegian merchant, who was its 
first postmaster 

Wn-LBORG a former postoffice in the south part of Eddy, was named 
for a Swedish farmer Mart E WiUborg who was the first postmaster 
and was the ciuntv judge of probate in the years 1904-09. 



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124 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

WiNSoB township is in honor of Hans C. Widness, a Norwegian 
farmer, who was the first postmaster there. The name of the postoffice 
(now discontinued) and township was thus changed and anglicized in 
accordance with his suggestion. 

Among names of discontinued postofEces, two of fanciful or romantic 
significance were Moonlight, in section 3, Eddy, and Starlight, in section 
21, Sinclair. 

Lakes and Streams. 

In the foregoing list of townships and villages, attention has been 
given to Bear creek. Clear brook. Mallard lake, Moose creek, and the 
Pine lake and river. 

Rice lake and the Upper Rice lake, and the Wild Rice river, have 
probably borne these names in four successive languages, the Dakota or 
Sioux, the Ojibway, French, and English. The oldest printed reference 
is in the narrative of Joseph La France, a French and Ojibway half- 
breed; who in 1740-42 traveled and hunted with the Indians of a large 
region in northwestern Minnesota and in Canada northward to Lakes 
Winnipeg and Manitoba and Hudson bay. In the story of his wandering, 
given by Dobbs in "An Account of the Countries adjoining to Hudson's 
Bay," published in London in 1744, La France described the Upper RJce 
lake, in Bear Creek and Minerva townships of this county, as follows : 
"The Lake Du Siens is but small, being not above 3 Leagues in Circuit; 
but all around its Banks, in the shallow Water and Marshes, grows a 
kind of wild Oat, of the Nature of Rice; the outward Husk is black, but 
the Grain within is white and clear like Rice; this the Indians beat off 
into their Canoes, and use it for Food." (Minnesota in Three Centuries, 
1908, vol. I, pages 299^302.) This French name, Du Siens, seems proba- 
bly to be from the Dakota word, psin, meaning wild rice. 

Giliillan gave the present Ojibway name of this Upper Rice lake as 
"Ajawewesitagun sagaiigun, meaning the lake where there is a portage 
from water running one way to waters running the opposite way, or 
briefly, Height-of-Iand lake." The portage was from the Mississippi 
river through this lake into the Wild Rice river. 

Seven miles distant westward, lying on the course of the Wild Rice 
river, is the larger Rice lake, in T. 145, R. 38, of this county, where our 
names of both the river and lake are received from the Ojibway name, 
noted by Gilfillan as "Ga-manominiganjikawi zibi. The river where wild 
rice stalk or plant is growing; so called from the last lake through 
which it flowed." According to the prevalent usage of the Ojibways, 
they gave to the river their name of the lake whence it flows. 

Nearly all the area of this lower Rice lake has only shallow water, 
one to five feet deep, so that the lake is filled with a luxuriant growth 
of wild rice. It presents in the late summer, when viewed from a 
distance, the appearance of a grassy marsh. The greater part of this 



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CLEARWATER COUNTY 125 

valuable grain gathered for food by the Indians of the White Earth 
reservation is obtained from this lake and the Upper Rice lake. 

Thompson's map, from his field notes in 1798, has Wild Rice river ; 
Long's map, 1823, has this name, and also Rice lake; and Nicollet's map, 
1843, has "Manomin R. or Wild Rice R." and "Rice L." 

Four-legged lake, in Dudley, is a translation of its Ojibway name, 
given by Gilfillan as "Nio-gade (pronounced in four syllables) . . . 
from an old Indian of that name who liyed there." Its outlet flows west 
into Ruffee creek, called by the Ojibways Four-kgged creek, which flows 
north to the Qearwater river. Our name of this creek is in honor of 
Charles A. Ruffee, of Brainerd^ who was appointed in 1874 by Governor 
Davis to make inquiries and report on "the condition of the several 
bands of Chippewa Indians of Minnesota," with recommendations for 
state legislation toward their "ultimately becoming citizens of the State." 
("Aborigines of Minnesota," 1911, pages 671-3.) 

Lost river, flowing from Hoist and Eddy northwest and west to join 
the Oearwater river in Red Lake county, received its name for its 
formerly passing in section 17, Winsor, and for several miles onward, 
beneath a floating bog in a spruce swamp; but its course has been opened 
by a state ditch, with reclamation of adjoining lands for agriculture, 

Peterson lake, in sections 4 and 5, Hoist, was named for Nels M. 
Peterson, owner of the land on its south side. 

Popple township has Minnow lake, named for its little fishes, in 
section 22, near the sources of Clearwater river; and Sabe lake, a 
name whose origin was not ascertained, on the south side of section 24. 

Lake Lomond, adjoining the north end of Bagley village, was named 
by Randolph A. Wilkinson, of St. Paul, general solicitor of the Great 
Northern railway company, for the "bonny Loch Lomond" of Scotland, 
the largest and most beautiful lake in Great Britain. 

Walker brook, flowing into the Oearwater river at the southeast corner 
of Bagley village, was named for Thomas B. Walker, of Minneapolis, 
who engaged extensively during many years in lumbering on the Clear- 
water river and its brandies. He is also honored by the name of the 
county seat of Cass county, as noted, with a biographic sketch, in its 

Nora township has Walker Brook lake, in section 1 ; Mud lake, crossed 
by the east side of sections 25 and 36; and Mosquito creek, flowing west 
and southwest, tributary to Rice lake. 

Little Mississippi river, beginning in the north part of Shevlin, on 
a nearly level tract within a mile south of the Clearwater river, runs 
south and southeast to Manomin or Rice lake and the Mississippi in 
the southeast part of Jones township, Beltrami county. It was called 
Piniddiwin river by Schoolcraft in 1832, an abbreviation of the Ojibway 
name, meaning "the place of violent deaths, in allusion to an inroad and 
murder committed at this place, in former times, by the Sioux" (that is, 
at or near the month of this stream). 



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126 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Tamarack lake, in sections 26 and 35, T. 146, R. 38, is named for 
the isclosing woods, consisting largely of the tamarack, our American 

Long lake, in section 24, Rice, extending southeast into Itasca town- 
ship, and Heart lake, in section 25, Rice, are named from their shape. 

Gill and Sucker lakes, in sections 20 and 29, Itasca, are named for 
their species of fish, caught in giH nets. 

Big La Salle lake is crossed by the east line of sections 12 and 13, 
Itasca, lying partly in Hubbard county. It is tributary, with the smaller 
La Salle lake, a mile and a half farther north in that county, to the 
Mississippi by a short stream flowing north, which was named La Salle 
rjver by Glazier in 1881. These recent names, in the latest atlas of 
Minnesota, are adopted to preserve in this region one of the historic names 
used by Schoolcraft and Nicollet, who described and mapped' a Lake Mar- 
quette and a Lake La Salle on the Schoolcraft or Yellow Head river, 
two to three miles south of the site of Bemidji Only one lake is there, 
although nearly divided into two by a strait, and both parts are now 
named together as Lake Marquette. 

Itasca State Park. 

Lake Itasca, the head of the Mississippi, and the greater part of the 
State Park inclosing this lake lie in Clearwater county. Oldest of our 
state parks, its place at the source of the greatest river of North America 
gives to it national significance and value, geographic, historic, and 
educational. 

The first expedition seeking to reach the head of the Mississippi 
was that of General Lewis Cass in 1820, penetrating the northern forest 
to Cass lake, which seems to have been regarded for some years after- 
ward as the principal source of the river, A few years later, in 1823, 
Beltrami traversed the country between the Red River valley and the 
upper Mississippi, crossing Red lake and entering the MississipiM basin 
above Cass lake by way of the Turtle lake and river, which, from his 
giving the name Lake Julia to a little lake at the water divide, are called 
the Julian sources of the Mississippi. But another stream, somewhat 
larger than the Turtle river, was known to come from the west and 
southwest, and in 1832 Schoolcraft, under instructions from the govern- 
ment, conducted an expedition up that stream, which has ever since 
been rightly considered the main Mississippi, to the lake at its head, 
which the Indians called Omushkos, that is, Elk lake. Schoolcraft 
then named it Itasca, from the Latin words Veritas, truth, and caput, 
head, supplied to him by Boutwell, the name being made by writing the 
words together and cutting off, like Procrustes, the first and last sylla- 
bles. Four years later, in 1836, Nicollet more fully explored this lake, 
and claimed that its largest tributary, the creek or brook flowing into the 
extrMnity of its southwest arm, is "truly the infant Mississippi." 



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CLEARWATER COUNTY U7 

Here the question rested until Captain Willard Glazier in 1881, six 
years after the Government sectional survey of that area, made his 
expedition to Itasca and to the lake in section 22, T. 143. R. 36, called 
by the Government survey plats Elk lake, lying close southeast of the 
southwestern arm of Itasca, and thence voyaged in a canoe to the 
mouths of the Mississippi. His ridiculous re-naming of Elk lake for 
himself, with assertion that it should be regarded as the main source of 
this river, in his subsequently pubUshed books and maps, directed the 
attention ot geographers anew to the determination of the source of 
the Great River. 

Willard Glazier was born in Fowler, N. Y., August 22, 1841 ; and 
died in Albany N 'V in 1905 He served m New 'iork regiments in 
the civil war atta ning the rank of captain and published several books 
on the history of the war His biographj ent tied ''word and Pen 
by John Algernon Owens (.written in large part by Glazier) was pub 
lished in 1884 516 pages including 80 pages on his expedition in the 
'ummer and autumn of 1881 h\ the came route from Leech lake to 
Lake Itasca and Elk Idke and thence djwn the Miss sippi with a 
map of the Kources of this n\er His later books on the Mississippi 
are Down the Creat River 1887 443 pages w th tl e map redrawn 
se\ eral names on it be ng changed and Head'waters ot the Mississippi 
1893 52? pages with iix maps induing the narrate e of Glaziers 
second expedition going again m 1891 with a large partj to the head 
of the rner for re nforcemert of the claims that Lake Glazier as 
named in 1881 is the geographic head and chief source 1 1 this expedi 
tion the ruute both i going and return ng w s b\ the lagjn road 
from Park Rapids to Lake Itasca 

On account of the clain s of Glaz er and hi= friend': f r Elk lake 
renamed Lake Glazier to be regarded as the head of the Mississippi 
Hopewell Clarke of Minneapolis and later of St Paul made in October 
1886, for Ivison, Blakeman, Tajlor and Co, publ shers, New ^ork, a 
reconnoissance of Lake Itasca and its basin. His report, which appeared 
in Science for December 24, ISS6, fully sustained the work and con- 
clusion of Nicollet, before noted. 

The Minnesota Historical Society next took up an investigation of 
the sources of this river, and the report of its committee, presented by 
Gen. James H. Baker at a meeting on February 8. 1887, repudiated 
Glazier's claims, and refused the substitution of his name for Elk lake. 
But a good result from this controversy was the great increase of 
public interest in the geography and history of the Itasca region, which 
brought within a few years the establishment of this State Park. In 
October, 1888. Hon. J. V. Brower began his explorations and surveys 
of Lake Itasca and its environs, which continued through four years, 
being commissioned in February. 1889, to this work by the Historical 
Society; and he was the chief factor in securing the establishment of 



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128 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

the Park by an act of the state legislature, April 20, 1891, followed by 
an act of Congress, August 3, 1892, which granted to the state for this 
Park ail undisposed lands of the United States within its area. 

The earliest printed proposal for the Itasca Park was a letter of 
Alfred J. Hill, in the St. Paul Dispatch, March 28, 1889. Throughout 
the work of Brower in examination and surveys of the park area, Hill 
was a colaborer with him concerning the history of the early Spanish 
and French explorers of the whole extent of the Mississippi, contribut- 
ing much of his excellent Volume VH of the Minnesota Historical 
Society Collections, entitled "The Mississippi River and its Source" 
(1893, pages xv, 360). 

The claims of Glazier are effectually, cancelled by Brower in this 
work. Emile Levasseur in France, and N. H, WincheB, state geologist 
of Minnesota, followed with papers indorsing Brower's conclusion, that 
Nicollet's "infant Mississippi ... a cradled Hercules," in the southern 
part of the State Park, above Lake Itasca, is the veritable, highest, and 
farthest source of this river (Minnesota Historical Society Collections, 
vol. VIII, Part II, pages 213-231, published December 1, 1896). 

Jacob Vradenberg Brower, archaeologist and author, was horn in 
York, Mich., January 21, 1844; and died in St, Cloud, Minn,, June 1, 
1905. He came to Long Prairie, Minn., in 1860 ; served in the First Minne- 
sota cavalry, 1862-3; served in the U. S. navy, 1864-5; studied law and 
was admitted to the bar in 1873; was a representative in the legislature, 
1873 ; was register of the U. S. land office in St. Cloud, 1874-9 ; was the 
first commissioner of Itasca Park, 1891-95; explored and mapped many 
aboriginal mounds. He was author of Volume VII, M. H. S. Collec- 
tions, before cited; Volume XI in the same series, entitled "Itasca 
State Park, an Illustrated History" (190S, 285 pages) ; "Prehistoric 
Man at the Headwater Basin of the Mississippi" (1895, 77 pages) ; "The 
Missouri River and its Utmost Source" (1896, 150 pages, and a second 
edition, 1897, 206 pages) ; Memoirs of Explorations in the Basin of the 
Mississippi, a series of eight quarto volumes : I. Quivira, 1898, 96 pages ; 
II. Harahey, 1899. 133 pages ; III. Mille Lac, 1900, 140 pages ; IV. Kathio, 
1901, 136 pages; V. Kakabikansing, I9CE, 126 pages; VI. Minnesota, 
Discovery of its Area, 1903, 127 pages; VII. Kansas, Monumental Per- 
petuation of its Earliest History, I54I-I896, 1903, 119 pages; VIII. Man- 
dan, 1904, 158 pages. Biographic sketches and portraits of Brower and 
his associates in archaeology, Alfred J. Hilt and Theodore H, Lewis, 
are given by Prof. N. H. Winchell in "The Aborigines of Minnesota," 
1911, pages vi-xiv. 

The people of this state will forever remember Brower with gratitude, 
as the founder of Itasca Park, and its defender and guardian, amidst 
many difficulties and discouragements, through his last years. His 
heavy cares and efforts for truthfulness of the river history, and to 
protect the Park and Lake against ruthless damage by lumbermen, are 



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ind departure of the continental ice-sheet. 
Nomenclature of the Park, 

Most o£ the information for this 1 
Volumes VII and XI, supplemented ■ 
sources. 

The Ojibways call Itasca lake Omushkos, as before noted, meaning 
Elk lake, which also is their name of the river thence to Lake Bemidji, 
as similarly ttiey call it Bemidji river thence to Cass lake. In translation 
of the Ojibway name, the early French fur traders called Itasca Lac 
La Biche, and Beltrarni in like manner named it "Doe lake, west source 
of the Mississippi." Boutwel! wrote in his Journal, 1832: "This is a 
small but beautiful body of water. ... Its form is exceedingly irregu- 
lar, from which the Indians gave it the name of Elk, in reference to its 
branching horns." (M. H. S. Collections, vol. I.) Brower wrote in 
Volume VII, page 119: "The topographical formation of the locality in 
its physical features,^ — the shape of an elk's head with the horns represent- 
ing the east and west arms, — no doubt gave it the name 'Elk.' " 

Gen. James H. Baker, surveyor genera! for Minnesota, transferred 
the name Elk lake on the plats of the government survey, in 1875-76, to 
the lake at the east side of the Southwest arm of Itasca, designated by 
the Ojibways, as noted by GilfiUan, "Pekegumag sagaiigun, the water 
which juts off from another water." The same name was also used by 
the Ojibways, and is retained without translation by the white people, 
for a lake and falls of the Mississippi in Itasca county, and for a lake 
and Indian battle-ground in Pine county, being for those places com- 
monly spelled Pokegama. 

This lake had been visited by Julius Chambers in 1872, who then 
called it "Dolly Varden" from the name of his canoe; and in 1881 
Captain Glazier!; party applied to it his name, which he endeavored 
strenuously but unavailingly to maintain, as related in preceding pages. 
A short time previous to Glazier's visit, Rev. Joseph A. Gilfillan, going 



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130 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

there in May, 1881, had named it "Breck lake, in honor of the distmguished 
first missionary of the American [Episcopal] church to St Paul and 
vicinity, who was afterwards first missionary of the church to the 
Chippewa Indians around the sources of the Mississippi." Although 
worthily renamed for James Lloyd Breck (b. 1818, d, 1876), the name 
Elk lake is yet more desirably retained, because it preserves in trans- 
lation the aboriginal title which was superseded by Schoolcraft's Itasca. 

The only island of Itasca was named for Schoolcraft by his party, 
1832. The three branches or arms-of Itasca are called by Brower the 
North, East, and West arms; but the latter two are also known as the 
Southeast and Southwest arms. 

The largest affluent, Nicollet's "infant Mississippi," is mapped by 
Brower as "Mississippi River" in "Nicollet Valley." This stream is 
also often called Nicollet creek, as by Winchell, in 1896, and the map of 
the Mississippi River Commission, 1900, Three lakelets noted there 
by Nicollet, 1836, are "Nicollet's Lower, Middle, and Upper lakes." The 
head stream flowing into the Upper lake rises from the "Mississippi 
Springs," above which, with underground drainage to them, is Floating 
Moss lake; and close above, and flowing into it from the south, is 
Whipple lake, at ths head of the visible surface drainage. This last 
name was given by Gilfillan in 1881, to honor Bishop Henry B. Whipple 
(b. 1822, d. 1901), renowned for his interest in missions for both the 
Ojibways and Sioux of this state. 

Southward from Whipple lake, and ensconced in hollows among 
the low hills and ridges of the Itasca moraine, are the three little Triplet 
lakes ; the much larger Morrison lake, named by Brower in honor of 
William Morrison, the early trader who was at Elk lake (since named 
Itasca) in 1804; Little Elk lake; GroseilHers and Radisson lakes, named 
by Brower for the first white men in Minnesota, whose travels here, 
in 1655-56 and again in 1660, are the theme of a paper by the present 
writer (M. H. S. Collections, vol. X, Part 11, 1905, pages 449-594, with 
a map) ; the Picard lakes, named for Anthony Auguelle, "called the 
Pickard du Gay," a companion of Hennepin, 1680; Mikenna lake, named 
by Alfred J. Hill, of imdeterminedi meaning; and the large Lake Her- 
nando de Soto, commemorating the Spanish discoverer of the Mississippi, 
1541, with its Brower island, named in honor of J. V. Brower by a com- 
mittee of the Minnesota Historical Society. These many lakes of the 
morainic belt in the southwest part of the Park, with several smaller 
lakelets there remaining unnamed, are believed to send seeping waters 
northward to springs, rivulets, and creeks, which are tributary to the 
Mississippi above the West arm of Itasca and to Elk lake. For this 
reason their area is named on Brewer's maps as "the Greater Ulti- 
mate Reservoir Bowl at the source of the Mississippi river." 

Elk lake receives four small streams. At the west is Siegfried creek, 
named by Brower for A. H. Siegfried, a representative of the Louis- 



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CLEARWATER COUNTY 131 

ville Courier- Journal, who with others made a recreational expedition 
to Itasca and Elk lakes in July, 1879. Hall lake, on the upper part of 
this creek, was also named by Brower, in honor of Edwin S. Hall, the 
U. S. surveyor in 1875 for several townships here, including the Park 
area. Tliese names displace the E^le creek and Lake Alice, names given 
in 1881 by Glazier, the latter being for his daughter, who ten years 
afterward, in 1891, was a member of the second Glazier expedition. 

The three other tributaries of Elk lake are from the south, namely, 
Elk creek, on the southwest; Clarke creek, commemorating Hopewell 
Clarke, before mentioned as a surveyor here in 1886, with its mouth 
at the head of Qiambers bay ; and Gay-gued-io-say creek, named for 
Nicollet's Ojibway guide to Itasca in 1836. Clarke lake and Deer Park 
lake flow into the last of these creeks at stages of high water. 

Qiambers bay on the south side of Elk lake, and Chambers creek, 
its short outlet to Lake Itasca, honor Julius Chambers, the journalist 
and author, whose expedition here in 1872, before noted, probably became 
a chief incentive for his publication of a historical and descriptive book 
in 1910, entitled "The Mississippi River and its Wonderful Valley" (308 
pages, with 80 illustrations and maps). 

At the south end of the East arm of Itasca, Mary creek brings the 
inflow from a series of lakes. The lowest, Mary lake, is named like the 
creek, in honor of the wife of Peter Turnbull, a land surveyor and civil 
engineer from Canada, who opened the northern part of the road from 
Park Rapids to Itasca in 1883, and resided during the next two years on 
the east side of its East arm. In 1885 they removed to Park Rapids, 
where Mrs. Turnbull died in May, 1889. 

The higher lakes of Mary Valley, in their order from north to south, 
are the small Twin lakes ; Danger lake, so named by Mr. Turnbull on 
account of water "flooding the ice surface in winter at its south shore," 
renamed Deming lake for Hon. Fortius C. Deming, of Minneapolis, a 
friend and promoter of the interests of Itasca Park, who later was the 
president of the Minneapolis Board of Park Commissioners ; Ako lake, 
named for one of Hennepin's companions, 1680, whose name is also 
spelled Accault ; and Josephine lake, in honor of a daughter of Commis- 
sioner Brower, who has been a teacher in the State Normal School at 
St Qoud, and in the public schools of Minneapolis. The upper part 
of Mary Valley, holding these lakes, was called by Brower "the Lesser 
Ultimate Resen'oir Bowl." This valley, excepiting its mouth and west 
border, lies, with all its lakes, in the edge of Hubbard county, into which 
the Itasca Park extends a mile along its east side. 

South and southwest of Josephine lake, and beyond the water divide, 
several small lakes lie in the southeast corner of the Park, mostly having 
no surface outlets but tributary by underground seepage to the basin of 
Crow Wing river. These include Sibilant lake, named for its form 
resembling the letter S; Ni-e-ma-da lake, of which Brower stated that 



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132 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

"tiie name is composite in form, not of Indian origin ;" a narrow noryiern 
arm of Little Man Trap lake, so named, like the larger Man Trap lake a 
dozen miles eastward, because many peninsulas and the tamarack swamps 
at the head of its bays bafHed the hunter, or in former times the "cruiser" 
in search for pine lands, when attempting to pass around it; Gilfillan lake, 
in honor of Rev, Joseph A. Gilfillan (b. 1838, d. 1913), Episcopal missionary 
to the Ojibways in northern Minnesota during twenty-five years; and 
Frazier lake, named for a homesteader whose cabin was beside it. 

Other streams flowing into Lake Itasca include Island creek, tributary to 
the west side of the North arm, opposite to Schoolcraft jsland ; French 
creek, between Island creek and Hill point, named for George H, French, 
of the survey for the Mississippi River Commission, 1900; Boutwell creek, 
named for Rev. William Thurston Boutwell (b. 1803, d. 1890), who accom- 
panied the ScKoolcraft expedition in 1832; Sha-wun-uk-u-mig creek, com- 
memorating the Ojibway guide of Rev. J. A. Gilfillan in his visit to the 
Itasca basin in 1881 ; and Floating Bog creek, emptying into the bay of this 
name about a half mile east of the island. 

Tributaries from the west to the Mississippi river above Lake Itasca 
are Demaray creek, named in honor of Mrs. Georgiana Demaray, daughter 
of William Morrison, Spring Ridge creek, and Howard creek, named for 
Mrs. Jane Schoolcraft Howard, daughter of the explorer and author, 
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft. 

Named points and bays of the Itasca shore, especially observed in 
canoeing, are Bear point, at the west side of Floating Bog bay ; TumbuH 
point, on the west side of the East arm, commemorating Peter Tarnbull, 
before mentioned; Comber bay and point, next on the north, for W. G. 
Comber, assistant in the survey of the Park area for the Mississippi River 
Commission, 1900; O'Nei! point, a little farther northwest, for Hon. John 
H. O'Neil, of Park Rapids ; Chaney bay and point, next south of Turnbull 
point, in honor of Josiah B. Chaney (b. 1828, d. 1908), newspaper librarian 
of the Minnesota Historical Society, who visited the Itasca Park in 190! 
and 1903; Ray's bay and point, nearly a half mile farther south, for Fred 
G. Ray, of the Mississippi River Commission survey, 1900 ; Ozawindib or 
Yellow Head point, at the entrance to the West arm, for the Ojibway 
guide of Schoolcraft's party in 1832; Tamarack point, a quarter of a mile 
southwest from the last ; Garrison point, oa the west side of the West arm, 
commemorating Oscar E. Garrison (b. 1825, d. 1886), who examined the 
Lake Itasca region and the river below in 1880, for the Forestry Depart- 
ment of the United States Census ; and Hill point, on the west side of the ■ 
North arm, named in honor of Alfred J. Hill (b. 1823, d. 1895) , the archae- 
ologist, who, as before noted, was the first to propose the establishment 
of this State Park. 

Several additional names of Jakes are to be noted : Bohall lake, for 
Henry Bohall, an assistant with Brower in 1889 ; Hays lake, for an assistant 
in 1891 ; Kirk lake, for Thomas H. Kirk, author of an "Illustrated History 



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CLEARWATER COUNTY 133 

of Minnesota" (1887, 244 pages), who visited Itasca and Elk lakes in 
188?; Lyendecker lake, for a comrade of Brower in his first visit to Itasca, 
1888; Allen lake, for Lieut. James Allen {b. 1806, d. !846), who accom- 
panied Schoolcraft's expedition in 1832, and whose very interesting report 
of it was published twenty-eight years afterward in the American State 
Papers (vol. V, Military Affairs, 1860, pages 313-344, with a map) ; Budd 
lake, "after an Ohio family name;" McKay lake, for Rev. Stanley A, 
McKay, of Owatonna, Minn., "who in the month of June, 1891, celebrated 
the ceremonies of baptism at Ifasca lake ;" Green Jake, dose west of Chaney 
bay; Iron Corner lake, near the iron post that marks the northeast corner 
of Becker county; and Augusta, Powder Horn, and Musquash lakes, 
named by the Mississippi River Commission, 1900, adJMning the southwest 
side of Morrison lake. The last of these lakes, Musqnash, has the Algon- 
quian name of the muskrat, a fur-bearer whose houses dot many of our 
shallow lakes. 

Crescent springs. Elk springs, Nicollet springs, the Mississippi springs, 
and Ocano springs, the last bearing a name "found in Schoolcraft's Nar- 
rative," are shown on Brower's maps of the Park. 

Rhodes hill was named for for D. C. Rhodes, of Verndale, Minn., 
photographer of the Brower survey ; Morrison hill, like Morrison lake, 
for the first recorded white visitor at Itasca; Morrow Heights, in honor 
of A, T- Morrow, director of the survey of the Itasca basin for the 
Mississippi River Commission, 1900 ; Ockerson Heights, for J. A. Ockerson, 
also a surveyor for that Commission ; Alton Heights, after Prof, George 
B. Alton, of Minneapolis and later of Grand Rapids, who made botanic 
examinations of the Park in 1891 ; and Comber island in Morrison lake, 
for W. G. Comber, who has thus threefold honors, of this island and 
of a point and a bay on the Itasca shore. 

The Lind Saddle Trail was named in honor of Governor John Lind, 
who visited Itasca in 1899, then ordering this trail to be cut through the 
woods, as his personal donation for the improvement of the Park. 

Close north of the Park limits, Division creek (also called Sucker 
creek) flows info the Mississippi from the heights on the west, "which 
divide the waters flowing to Hudson's Bay and the Gulf of Mexico." 

■McMuIIen lake (formerly known as Squaw lake), close outside the 
Park at the northwest, was named by Brower in honor of William 
McMullen, the first permanent settler at Itasca lake, in 1889, on the east 
side of the North arm. The former name is from the Algonquian word 
meaning a woman, anglicized as "squaw," used commonly among the 
Ojibways as the ending, qua, of feminine names, like the final syllable, 
win, of the same use among the Sioux. 

Kakabikans rapids, noted by Schoolcraft in 1855 as a name from the 
the Ojibway language, meaning Little falls or rapids, are formed by very 
abundant glacial boulders in the channel of the Mississippi a few miles 
below Itasca lake. 



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134 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Several names which had their origia from the expedition of Glazier 
in 1881 are retained by popular use in Hubbard county, but only one has 
been so retained within the limits of tlie Itasca Park, this being La Salle 
river, in the northeast corner, named, with the lakes on its course to 
the north, in honor of the renowned early French explorer. It was 
called Andrus creek by Brower in 1892, "after the treasurer of the Min- 
nesota Game and Fish Commission." Schoolcraft in 1S32 bad mapped it 
as "Cano R." and on the map of his "Summary Narrative," published 
in 1855, it was caUed "De Witt Clinton's R.," but in the text it is named 
"Chemaun or Ocano." The former word, Chemaun, is Ojibway for B 
birch canoe, as used in Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha;" and the latter 
word, Ocano, is from the French "aux canots," that is, at or of canoes, 
which was the ancient and original form that became anglicized into the 
name of Cannon river, in southeastern Minnesota. 

A glacial lake was held temporarily in the Itasca, basin by the barrier 
of the departing ice-sheet at the end of the Ice Age, with an area "several 
times tile present size of Itasca lake," named by Brower in Volume XI, 
Winchel! lake, in honor of Prof, N. H. Winchell. This may be preferably 
called Glacial Lake WincheU, to distinguish it from Winchell lake in 
Cook Cfunty. 

Newton Horace Winchell was born in Northeast, Dutchess county, 
N. Y., December 17, 1839; and died in Minneapolis, May 2, 1914, Com- 
ing to Minnesota in 1872, and residing in Minneapolis, he was state 
geologist twenty-eight years, 18?2-I900; was editor of the American 
Geologist, 1888-1905 ; and was the archaeologist of the Minnesota His- 
torical Society, 1906-14. His contribution to the Itasca Park literature, 
entitled "The Source of the Mississippi," is in the M. H. S. Volume VIH 
(pages 226-231) ; a biographic memorial of Him, in Volume XV (pages 
824-830, with a portrait) ; and a more fullmemorial. In the Bulletin of 
the Minnesota Academy of Science (Volume V, pages 73-116). 

Like the majestic progress of an epic poem or a grand drama, the 
history of the gradual discovery of the Mississippi river runs through 
four centuries. Begun when Amerigo Vespucci in 1498 mapped the delta 
and mouths of this mighty stream, on the north shore of the Gulf of 
Mexico, it continued till Brower in 1889-92 mapped the shores and islands 
of Lake Hernando de Soto, in the south edge of Itasca Park. The 
moving picture of this history is portrayed in words and in maps by the 
volumes of the M. H. S. Collections. In the nomenclature of the Park 
a good number of the great explorers of the river are recalled, De Soto, 
Groseilliers and Radisson, La Salle, Schoolcraft, Nicollet. The vain 
endeavors of Glazier to link his name with those heroes aroused the just 
indignation of geographers and the officers of the Minnesota Historical 
Society. During a decade or longer a great strife raged concerning the 
true head of the Mississippi and the rightful name of Elk lake. In 190S 
Glazier and Brower, chief opponents in the strife, died; but the Itasca 
State Park, which grew from it, "shall live forever." 



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It may well be hoped that some county, yet to be formed adjoinmg the 
north line of Minnesota, will receive the name Verendrye, in historic 
commemoration of the explorations, hardships, and sacrifices of this 
patriotic and trufy noble French explorer. He was the founder of the 
fur trade in northern Minnesota, in Manitoba, and the Saskatchewan 
region, where it greatly flourished during the next hundred years ; and 
two of his sons were the first white men to see the Rocky mountains, 
or at least some eastern range or outpost group of the great Cordilleran 
mountain belt. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins of geographic names in Cook county 
was gathered during my visit in August, 1916, at Grand Marais, the 
county seat, from Thomas I. Carter, the county auditor ; Axel E. Berg- 
lund, county surveyor; George Leng, clerk of the court; William J. 
Clinch, superintendent of schools ; and John Drourillard and George 
Mayhew, of Grand Marais. 

Each of the organized townships in this county comprises several 
government survey townships ; and Grand Marais and Rosebush are very 
irregular in their outlines, stretching from areas adjoining Lake Superior 
to areas on the international boundary, with narrow strips connecting 
their southern and northern parts. 

CoLviLLE township, organized in 1906, was named in honor of Colonel 
William Colvil!, to whose name a silent * is added for the township. He was 



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136 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

born in ForesWille, N. Y„ April 5, 1830; and died in Minneapolis, June 
12, 1905. He came to Red Wing, Mina, in 1854, and the next year 
established the Red Wing Sentinel, a Democratic newspaper. He served 
as captain and colonel of the First Minnesota regiment, 1861-4; was 
colonel of the First Minnesota Heavy Artillery, 1865, and. was brevetted 
brigadier general. He was a representative in the legislature in 1S6S, 
and again in 1878; and was attorney general of the state, 1866-8. In the 
battle of Gettysburg, 1863, he led his regiment in a famous charge, one 
of the noblest sacrifices to duty in all the annals of warfare. In his 
later years. Colonel Colvill homesteaded a claim op the Lake Superior 
shore in this township (section 9, T. 61, R. 2 E.), but his iiome previously, 
and also afterward, was near Red Wing, In 1909 his statue in bronze 
was placed in the rotunda of the state ct^itol. 

Gkand Marais townshq) received this French name, meaning a great 
marsh, in the early fur-trading times, referring to a marsh, twenty acres 
or less in area, nearly at the level of Lake Superior, situated at the head 
of the little bay and harbor whicli letd to the settlement of the village 
there. Another small bay on the east, less protected from storms is 
separated from the harbor by a slight projecting point and a short beach. 
In allusion to the two bays, the Ojibways name the bay of Grand Marais 
as "Kitchi-bitobig, the great duplicate water ; a parallel or double body 
of water like a bayou" (Gilfillan). 

Grand Portage, a village and formerly a very important trading 
place, at the head of the bay of this name, and at the southeast end of 
the Grand portage, nine miles long, to the Pigeon river above its principal 
falls, has the distinction of being the most eastern and oldest settlement 
of white men in the area of Minnesota. Probably during the period of 
Verendrye's explorations, this place became the chief point for landing 
goods from the large canoes used in the navigation of the Great Lakes, 
and for their being dispatched onward, from the end of this long portage, 
in smaller canoes to the many trading posts of all the rich fur country 
northwest of Lake Superior. In 1?67, when Carver went there in the 
hope of purchasing goods, Grand Portage was an important rendezvous 
and trading post. At the time of the Revolutionary War, as Gen. James 
H. Baker has well said, it was the "commercial emporium" of the north- 
western fur trade. 

Fort Charlotte was the name of the trading post and station of the 
Northwest Fur Company at the western end of the portage, on the Pigeon 

HovLAND, the oldest organized township of this county, is in compli- 
ment to a pioneer settler named Brunas, for his native place in Norway. 

LOTSEN township was named by its most prominent citizen, Carl A. A. 
Nelson, for a town in Prussian Saxony, made memorable by the battle 
there, 1632, in which the renowned Gustavus Adolphus, king of Sweden, 
lost his life. 



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COOK COUNTY 137 

Maple Hill tCFwnship lias extensive sugar maple woods, on the high- 
land five to ten miles back from Lake Superior. 

Rosebush township, organized in 1907, took its^^name from Rose Bush 
river, as it is popularly known, in translation of its Ojibway name. 
Oginekan, though called "Fall river" on maps, in the east edge of T. 61, 
R. 1 W. The creek a mile farther west, mapped as "Rose Bush river," 
has no recognized name among the settlers. 

ScHROEDER township and village are in honor of John Schroeder, presi- 
dent of a lumber company having offices in Ashland and Milwaukee, 
Wis., for whom pine logs have been cut and rafted away from the neigh- 
boring Temperance, Cross, and Two Island rivers. 

ToFTE, likewise the name of a township and village, founded ia 1898, 
is in honor of settlers havii^ this surname, derived from their former 
home in the district of Bergen, Norway. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Gilfillan, in his list of "Minnesota Geographical Names derived from 
the Chippewa language," wrote: "Pigeon river is Omimi-zibi, Omiini 
meaning pigeon, and zibi .... river." The accent of Omimi is on the 
second syllable, and i has the sound of the English long e. "The Song 
of Hiawatha" correctly anglicizes it, 

"Cooed the pigeon, the Omemee." 
Until 18?0 or later, the passenger pigeon was common or abundant 
throughout Minnesota, coming early in April, breeding here, and returning 
southward in October and November. During the next thirty years they 
became scarce, and about the year 1900 they perished utterly from all 
that great region, eastern North America, where from time immemorial 
they had been very abundant. The species, once represented by countless 
millions, undoubtedly is extinct 

This river, which is the boundary between the United States and 
Canada, was delineated on "the oldest map of the region west of Lake 
Superior, .... traced by a chief of the Assiniboines, named Ochagach, 
for Verendrye, in 1730," which is published in the Final Report of the 
Geology of Minnesota (vol. I, I8S4, pages 18, 19). A series of twelve 
lakes is shown by this map on the canoe route from the mouth of Pigeon 
river to "Lac Sesakinaga" (Saganaga), the fourth and eighth being 
named respectively "Lac Long" and "Lac Plat." Hence came the name 
"Long lake," given to the lower part of Pigeon river on the map of John 
Mitchell, 1755, which was used by the British and American commis- 
sioners in the Treaty of Paris, 1783, providing that the international 
boundary should run "through the middle of the said Long lake and the 
water communication between it and the Lake of the Woods, to the said 
Lake of the Woods; thence through the said lake to the most north- 
western point thereof," (M, H. S. Collections, vol. XV. 19!5, pages 379- 
392, with map.) 



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138 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

In 1?75 this stream was called "the river Aux Groseilles," that is, 
Gooseberry river, by the older Alexander Henry. 

Pigeon Falls, 70 feet high, on the Pigeon river about two miles 
from its raouth, are pictured in the "Geology of Minnesota" (vol. IV, 
1899, pJate PP, also page 509). About a mile up from these falls, the 
river has a sharp angle in its course, pointing northward, called "The 

la Split Rock Canyon, noted on the map of Cook county by Jewett 
and Son, 1911, about a half mile to one mile below (northeast from) 
the western end of the Grand Portage road. Pigeon river has "Falls, 
144 feet." These falls were called "the Great Cascades'" by Norwood in 
1852, who stated, in his report for the Owen Geological Survey, that 
the river there descends 144 feet in a distance of 400 yards, through a 
narrow gorge formed by perpendictilar walls of rock, varying from 40 
to 120 feet in height. 

Partridge falls, an upper fall 30 feet high, and a lower fall, very close 
■ below, falling 10 feet, are on this river about two miles westward, by the 
zigzag course of the stream, from the end of the Grand portage. The 
height of these falls was exaggerated by Mackenzie, in his "Voyages 
from Montreal," published in 180!, to be 120 feet, probably confounding 
the Partridge falls with the much higher falls last mentioned. Dr. 
Alexander Winchell in 1887 called these falls "the Minnehaha of the 
boundary." 

Fowl portage, and the South and North Fowl lakes, lowest in the 
series of lakes on the Pigeon river, are translated from thdr early French 
name, Outarde (a bustard, here in the usage of the voyageurs applied to 
the Canadian goose, Branta canadensis, our most common wild species), 
which was probably a translation from the aboriginal Ojibway name. 
More definitely, therefore, these would be Goose portage and lakes. 

Next are Moose portage and Moose lake, which Mackenzie called 
Elk portage and lake, but which Thompson mapped, on the survey for 
the international boundary, 1826, as "Moose lake, d'Original." Both 
the English and French names came from the Ojibway, "Mozo sagaiigun" 
(Gilfillan), 

Big Cherry portage, named for the wild cherries growing there, the 
Lower and Upper Lily lakes, "where there is plenty of water lilies," and 
the Little Cherry portage, translated from the French names used by 
Mackenzie, lead to Mountain lake, called Hj(l lake by Norwood, trans- 
lated from its Ojibway name, given by Gilfilian as "Gatchigudjiwegumag 
sagaiigun, the lake lying close by the mountain." This refers to Moose 
mountain, shown on the Jewett map, at the south side of the east end 
of this lake. 

"The small new portage" of Mackenzi*, next west of Mountain lake, 
was called Watap portage by Thompson, on account of the growth of 
jack pines, which also are referred to in the names of Watab river and 
township (previously noted in the chapter for Benton coun^). 



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COOK COUNTY 139 

Rove lake, called Watab lake by Norwood and by Dr. Coues, through 
which the canoes next passed, was called by Mackenzie "a narrow line 
of water," and it was so mapped later by Thompson, very narrow and 
somewhat crooked, whence probahly came the name, to rove or wan- 
der; but it is erroneously mapped as a rather broad lake in "Geology 
of Minnesota" (vol. IV. plates 69 and 83), which error is retained on 
the maps of Cook county in our latest atlas. The Ojibway name of 
this lake means "the lake lying in the burnt wood country." 

A very rugged and difficult portage, about a mile and a half in length, 
called by Mackenzie "the new Grande Portage" (on the Geol. Survey 
map, "Great New Portage"), leads to Rose or Mud lake, which out- 
flows eastward into Arrow lake and river in Canada, being thus tribu- 
tary to the Pigeon river. In the language of the Ojibways, "Rose lake 
is Ga-bagwadjiskiwagag sagaiigun. or the shallow lake with mud bottom." 
From Rose lake westward two short portages, named Marten and 
Perch portages, with an intervening "mud pond covered with white 
lilies." as noted by Mackenzie. lead to South lake, as it was named by 
Thompson, where, wrote Mackenzie, "the waters of the Dove or Pigeon 
river terminate, and which is one of the sources of the great St. Law- 
rence in this direction." 

North lake, the first in the series flowing west to the Lake of the 
Woods, was so named by Thompson, his South and North lakes having 
that relationship to the portage across the continental water divide. 
Mackenzie called North lake "the lake of Hauteur de Terre" (Height 
of Land), and by Norwood is was named "Mountain lake." 

Thence the canoes went down the outflowing stream into Gunflint 
lake, named from flint or chert obtained in its rocks, also occurring 
abundantly as pebbles of its beaches, sometimes used for the flintlock 
guns which long preceded the invention of percussion caps. The English 
name is translated from the earlier Ojibway and French names. 

Northward in a distance of ten miles from the mouth of Gunflint 
lake to Saganaga falls and lake, the international boundary has Mag- 
netic lake, Pine or Clove lake. Granite bay, Gneiss lake, and Maraboeuf 
lake, with intervening stretches of the stream, broken by frequent rapids 
and low falls, past which portages were made. The varying characters 
of the outcropping rocks supply a majority of these lake names. The 
most northern is a Canadian French name, used by Mackenzie, 1801, and 
on the latest maps of Cook county. 1911 and 1916, apparently for "marsh 
deer or buffalo" if it were anglicized ; but this name, Maraboeuf, is not 
found in dictionaries. Thompson in 1826 mapped it. with no name, as a 
narrow and quite irregularly branched lake, nearly four miles long from 
south to north, its jagged eastern shoreline in Canada being wholly 
unlike its representation in our Cook county maps. 

Maraboeuf lake was called Banks' Pine lake by Prof. N. H. Win- 
chell in 1880 (Ninth Annual Report, page 84), for Its forest of jack 



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140 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

pine (Pinus Banksiana) ; but in the later reports of the Minnesota 
Geological Survey it is mapped as Granite lake, for its lying within the 
area of Saganaga granite. 

Mackenzie wrote that Lake Saganaga "takes its name from its 
numerous islands." Thompson mapped it as "Kaseiganagah lake." Gilfil- 
lan wrote, "Saganaga lake is Ga-sasuganagag sagaiigun, the lake sur- 
rounded by thick forests." (The pronunciation places the principal accent 
on the first syllable, and a secondary accent on the last.) 

Winchell, from information given by the Ojibways, wrote in the 
report before cited : "The word Saganaga signifies islands, or many 
islands, and seems to be the plural of Saginaw." Verwyst, however, 
defines Saginaw in Michigan (the river, bay, city, and county), as from 
an Ojibway word, "Saging or Saginang, at the mouth of a river." Accord- 
ing to Gannett, Saginaw means "Sank place," referring to the Sauk or 
Sac Indians. The Michigan name and our Saganaga, therefore, are 
probably not alike in their origin and meaning. 

Three miles from Grand Portage village and bay, the Grand Portage 
road crosses Poplar river, tributary to Pigeon river. 

Dutchman lake lies two miles west of Grand' Portage, and Teal 
lake is two miles northeast of that village. 

"Mesqua-tawangewi zibi, or Red Sand river," as it was called by 
GilfiUan, and a lake of the same name, form the greater part of the west 
boundary of the Pigeon River Indian Reservation. This stream is also 
called Reservation river, and the lake is named Swamp lake on the 
latest maps, 1911 and 1916. In the treaty of September 30, 1854, which 
established the reservation, this stream is mentioned as "called by the 
Indians Maw-ske-gwaw-caw-maw-se-be, or Cranberry Marsh river." 

Tom lake, near the center of T. 63, R. 3 E., is at the head of Kamesh- 
keg river, meaning Swamp river, which flows north to Pigeon river. 

Devil Fish and Otter lakes outflow by the next tributary of Pigeon 
river, called Portage brook, and a mile farther northwest it receives 
Stump river. Greenwood lake, west of the Devil Fish, flows south to 
Brule river. 

West of the Fowl lakes, the northern tiers of townships in this county 
have a multitude of lakes, mostly narrow and much elongated from 
east to west, lying in eroded hollows of the bedrocks. These include 
Royal lake, John lake, McFarland lake, the East and West Pike lakes, 
Pine lake. Long lake, and Lakes Fanny and Marinda; Crocodile, East 
Bear Skin, Caribou, and Clearwater lakes, in Ts. 64 and 65, R. 1 E., lying 
south of Rove lake; Morgan lake, Misquah (Red) lake. Cross, Horse- 
shoe, and Swamp lakes \spen and Flour lakes. Hungry Jack lake, 
Leo lake, Poplar lake tributary by Poplar river to the North branch 
of Brul£ river, Daniels lake Birch or West Bear Skin lake, Duncan's, 
Moss, and Partridge lakes m Ts. 64 and 65, R. 1 W., lying south of 
Rose lake; Winchell lake Gaskan and Johnson lakes, Henson lake. 



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COOK COUNTY 141 

Pittsburg lake, Stray lake, another Caribou lake, Meeds lake. Moon 
lake, Rush, Luin, and Portage lakes, No Name or Birch lake, Dunn 
!ake, Iron and Mayhew lakes. Pope lake. Crab lake, and Lakes Emma 
and Louise, in Ts. 64 and 65, R. 2 W., lying south of the South and 
North lakes; Kiskadinna or Colby lake, Nebogigig or Onega lake, 
Davis lake. Trap and Clifi lakes, Ida, Jay, and Ash lakes, Long Island 
lake, Finn lake, Banadad or Banner lake, Ross, George, and Karl 
lakes. Tucker lake and river, and Loon lake, in Ts. 64 and 65, R, 3 W., 
being south of Gunflint lake; Frost, Irish, Don, Tuscarora, Snipe, arid 
Copper lakes, in T. 64, R, 4 W., and Ham, Round or Bear, Brant or 
Charley, Cloud, Dingoshick, Akeley, Chub, Arc, and Larch lakes, in T, 
65, R. 4 W., south of Maraboeuf lake; Hub or Mesabi, East and West, 
Crooked or Greenwood Island, BulHs or Gill's, Little Saganaga, Rattle, 
and Fern lakes, in T. 64, R. 5 W., and Gabiraichigama, Howard, Peter 
or Qothespin, French or Kakigo, Bat or Muscovado lakes, Fay or Paul- 
son lake and Chub river outflowing from it, Jap lake, Ray, Jasper or 
Frog Rock, Alpine or West Sea Gull, and Red Rock lakes, and the large 
and very irregularly outlined Sea Gull lake, with many islands, the 
largest being named Cucumber island, in T. 65, R. 5 W., south of Lake 
Saganaga. 

Many of the names of lakes in this list are of obvious derivations, as 
from the fish in them, the animals and birds and trees adjoining them, 
or from their outlines, as long, round, crooked, or having the form of 
a horseshoe, the crescent moon, or an arc. 

The origins of only a few of the personal names borne by others of 
these lakes, as next noted, have been ascertained by the present. writer. 

Hungry Jack lake refers to an assistant on the government surveys, 
Andrew Jackson Scott, a veteran of the civil war, who for some time 
at this lake was reduced to very scanty food supplies. 

Winchell lake was named for Prof. N. H. Winchell, state geologist, 
who is also honored by the Glacial Lake Winchell in the Itasca State 
Park. 

Meeds lake was named in honor of Alonzo D. Meeds, of Minne- 
apolis, who was an assistant in the Minnesota Geological Survey, 

Mayhew lake is for the late Henry Mayhew, of Grand Marais, who 
aided for this survey in Cook county. 

Charley lake and Bashitanequeb lake, the latter renamed on recent 
maps as BuUis or Gill's lake, are for an Ojibway, "Bashitanequeb 
(Charley Sucker), Indian guide, cook, and canoeman," in this survey 
{"Geology of Minnesota," Final Report, vol. IV, 1899, page 522, with 
his portrait), 

Howard lake was named for one of the Howard brothers, mining 
prospectors, of Duluth, and Paulson lake for the owner of iron mines 
near it, on the Port Arthur, Duluth and Western railroad, a branch of 
the Canadian Northern railway. 



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142 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

GilfiUan recorded the following Ojibway names for several oi these 
lakes, which have been translated to their present names used by the 
white people. 

"Pine lake, Shingwako sagaiigim . . . Shingwak h a pine ; o, a con- 
nective vowel; sagaiigun, lake." 

"Near Rove lake is Ga-wakomitigweiag sagaiigun, or Clearwater lake." 

''Iron lake is Biwabiko sagaiigun," the same with the town of Biwabik 
on the Mesabi iron range in St. Louis county. 

"Ushkakweagumag sagaiigun, or Greenwood lake." has been some- 
times called East Greenwood lake, to distinguish it from another of 
this name in Lake county. 

"Muko-waiani sagaiigun, or Bear-skin lake," 

Baraga's Dictionary has "Kishkadina . , . there is a very steep hill, 
very steep ascent." This name, with slight change of spelling, is applied 
on recent maps to a lake that was not named bj- the maps of the Minne- 
sota Geological Survey; and the lake called Kiskadinna by that survey is 
now Long Island lake. 

The two Caribou lakes have the Canadian French name of the Ameri- 
can reindeer, changed from kalibu of the Micmac Indians, meaning 
" 'pawer or scratcher,' the animal being so called from its habit of shovel- 
ing the snow with its forelegs to find the food covered by snow," The 
reindeer was formerly common in the north half of Minnesota. 

Flour lake, which received its name on account of a cache of flour 
placed there during the government surve5^, is erroneously spelled 
Flower on recent published maps. The Ojibways call this lake Pakwe- 
jigan (Bread or Flour), in allusion to this cache. 

Sea Gull lake. like the Gull lake in Cass county, is a translation from 
the Ojibway name, referring tf> the American herring gull and three 
other species, which frequent the large lakes throughout this state. 



Turning to the streams and lakes trihutary to Lake Superior from 
Cook county, in their order from southwest to northeast, we have first 
the Two Island river, named tor Gull and Bear islands, near its mouth. 

Cross river, at Schroeder, was so called by Thomas Clark, assistant 
state geologist, in 1854. but later was named Baraga's river by Whittle- 
sey in 1866. It had previously been named by the Ojibways, as GilfiUan 
relates, "Tchibaiatigo zibi, i. e., woo d-of-the-soul-or- spirit river ; they 
calling the Cross wood of the soul, or disembodied spirit." The origin 
of this name was from a cross of wood erected by Father Baraga, who, 
as Verwyst relates, "landed here after a perilous voyage in a small fish- 
ing boat, across Lake Superior. 1845-6," Whittlesey, in his report of 
explorations, published in 1866, wrote: "At the mouth of this creek 
there was in 1848 a rough, weather-beaten cross nailed to the tall stump 
of a tree, on which was written in pencil the following words; In 
commemoration of the goodness of Almighty God in granting to the ■ 
Reverend F. R. Baraga, Missionary, a safe traverse from La Pointe to 



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COOK COUNTY 143 

this place, August, 1843,' ... I have endeavored to perpetuate this inci- 
dent, and the memciry of Father Baraga, by naming the stream after 
him." Bishop Frederic Baraga was born in Austria, June 29, 179? ; and 
died in Marquette, Mich., January 19, 1868. He was a Catholic missionary 
to the Indians iri northern Michigan and Wisconsin and northeastern 
Minnesota. 1835-68; author of an Ojibway grammar and dictionary, often 
quoted in this book, and of various religious works. 

Temperance river was called Kawimbash river by Norwood, of Owen's 
geologica! survey, 1848-S2, and it retained that name, meaning "deep 
hollow," in Whittlesey's report, 1866; but it had received ifs present 
name in Clark's geological report, 1864, and was so mapped in 1871. 
Clark explained the origin of the name Temperance as follows : "Most 
of the streams entering the lake on this shore, excepting when their 
volumes are swollen by spring or heavy rain floods, are nearly or quite 
closed at their mouths by gravel, called the bar, thrown up by the 
lake's waves; this stream, nevSr having a 'bar' at its entrance, to incom- 
mode and baffle the weary voyageur in securing a safe landing, is called 
no bar or Temperance river," Its sources include Temperance lake, 
close west of Brule lake, which has two outlets, the larger flowing east 
to Brule river, and the other flowing west to Temperance lake and river ; 
Cherokee lake, as it is named on recent maps, called Ida Belle lake by 
the Minnesota Geological Survey, in honor of a daughter of Prof. 
Alexander Winchell, who became the wife of Horace V. Winchell; 
Saw Bill lake, named for a species of duck; and Alton, Kelso, and Little 
Saw Bill lakes. 

Below Temperance lake, the river of this name flows through Jack, 
Kelly, Peterson, and Baker lakes. Other lakes near its course and tributary 
to it include Vern lake, Pipe 'lake, named for its outline, Moore, Marsh, 
and Anderson lakes, on the east; and Clam lake, Odd, Java, Smoke, and 
Burnt lakes, on the west. 

Near the west side of the county, and ranging from the northern 
watershed down the general slope toward Lake Superior, are Mesabi lake. 
Dent, Bug, Poe, Wind. Duck, and Pie lakes; Grace, Ella. Beth, and 
Phoebe lakes; and Frear, Elbow, Whitefish, Twohey, Four Mile, and 
Cedar lakes. 

Gilfillan wrote that, in the Ojibway language, "Poplar river is Ga- 
manazadika zibi, i. e., place-of -poplars river." Clark in 1864 definitely 
translated it as "Balm of Gilead," a variety of the balsam poplar, common 
or frequent along rivers in northeastern Minnesota. Lakes tributary to 
this river include Gust lake, named for Gust Hagberg, a Swede home- 
steader near it; Long, Beaver, Pine, Rice, Haberstead, and Barker lakes; 
Elbow or Tait lake; and Lake Clara, Big, and Sucker lakes, the last 
recently renamed Lake Christine, in honor of the daughter of William 
J. Clinch, county superintendent of schools, who has a homestead there. 
East of Poplar river, mostly tributary to it, are the Twin lakes, Mark, 
Pike, Trout, Bigsby, and Caribou lakes, and Lake Agnes. 



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144 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Small streams next eastward, flowing into Lake Superior, are named 
False Poplar, Spruce, and Indian Camp rivers. 

Cascade river, named from jts series of beautiful waterfalls near its 
mouth, has Cascade and Little Cascade lakes. Swamp lake, Eagle and Zoo 
lakes, and the large Island lake. About six miles above its mouth, it 
receives an eastern tributary named Bally creek in honor of Samuel 
Bally, a member of the board of county commissioners, who has a home- 
stead there. 

Cut Face, Rose Bush, and Fall rivers, small streams between Cascade 
river and Grand MaraJs, have no considerable lakes. 

"Devil Track river," wrote Gilfillan, "is Manido bimadagakowini zibi, 
meaning the spirits {or God) walking-place-on-the-ice river." The Ojib- 
ways applied this name primarily to Devil Track lake, and thence, accord- 
ing to their custom, to the outflowing river. The name implies mystery 
or something supernatural about the lake and its winter covering of ice, 
but without the supremely evil idea that is given in the white men's 
translation. The wild rock gorge of the river below this lake may have 
suggested the aboriginal name, which was used by Norwood in 1851 
and Clark in 1864, Its translation, as now used, dates from the settle- 
ment of Grand Marais by Henry Mayhew and others in 18?1, 

Tributary to Devil Track lake and river are Swamp lake and creek, 
Qearwater lake, Elbow lake, named like numerous others, from its out- 
line, and Monker lake, named for Claos C. Monker, a Norwegian home- 
steader on its south side, who has been later a fisherman, living in Grand 

Next eastward are Durfee and Kimball creeks, the latter having 
Kimball and Pickerel lakes. Durfee creek was named in honor of George 
H. Durfee, judge of probate of this county. Kimball creek was named 
by Thomas Clark, in the geological exploration of 1864, for Charles G. 
Kimball, a member of the party, wiho lost his life near this stream by 
drowning in Lake Superior. 

Diarrhoea river, which receives the outflow of Trout lake, has this 
name on Norwood's map in the Owen survey, 1851, referring to illness 
thought due to drinking its water; and it is so named by Jewett's map, 
1911. The maps of the Minnesota Geological Survey call it Green- 
Brule river, called Wisacod'e by Norwood, is given by Gilfillan as 
"Wissakode zibi or Half-burnt-wood river." Its largest lake, at the 
source of its South branch, is Brule lake, which, as before mentioned, 
has another outlet to Temperance river. One of the islands of Brule 
lake is called Tamarack island, for an old Ojibway, John Tamarack, 
who lived on it (Brule, the French word meaning burnt, has two syl- 
lables, the second having the English sound of lay; but it is often printed 
without the mark of accent on the e, so that it is liable to be mispro- 
nounced in only one syllable, the e becoming silent.) 



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COOK COUNTY 145 

Juno, Homer, Axe, and Star lakes, the last probably named for its 
radiating arms, lie close south of Brule lake. 

The South branch flows through Brule bay, which P t all 

lake, Vernon, Swan, and Lower Trout lakes. It rece f m th th 

the outflow of Echo, Vance, and Little Trout lakes d th th 

are Abita, Keno, or Clubfoot. Pine, and Twin lakes Ab ta lak th 

southern slope from Brule mountain, has the distm t t b g th 

highest lake in Minnesota, 2,048 feet above the sea 

The North brandi of Brule river receives the oiitfl f P pi 

Winchell, and Meeds lakes, and a large number more tl it f I k 
before noted for the most northern townships uf the county. 

Below the junction of its South and North branches, Brule river 
flows througii Elephant lake, as it is named on our maps, more commonly 
ttnowti by the people of the region as Northern Light lake; and it 
receives Greenwood river, the outlet of Greenwood lake. 

Little Bru!^ river is tributary to Lake Superior about a mile west of 
the large Brule river. 

Between Brule and Pigeon rivers, only small streams enter Lake 
Superior, including, in order from west to east. Flute Reed river. Swamp 
river. Red Sand or Reservation river, and Hollow Rock creek. 

PoiNTSj Bays, and Islands of Lake Superior. 

Sugar Loaf point is two miles northeast from the southwest corner of 
this county. 

Gull and Bear islands gave the name of Two Island river, as before 
noted. At the mouth of this river the village of Saxton was platted by 
Commodore Saxton, Lyle Hutchins, and others, in August, 1856, but was 
abandoned two years later, as related by Robert B. McLean, of Duluth. 

Between Poplar and Devil Track rivers are Caribou point. Black 
point, Lover's point and bay, Terrace point and Guod Harbor bay, and the 
two bays at Grand Marais, 

Cow Tongue point, as named in the Minnesota Geological Survey, a 
half mile southwest of Kimbal! creek, is more commonly known as 
Scott's point, for Andrew Jackson Scott, who is commemorated also by 
Hungry Jack lake in this county, before noted. 

Fishhook point is about two miles and a half southwest of the mouth 
of Brule river. 

Chicago bay, into which the Flute Reed river flows at Hovland village, 
was called Sickle bay in the Geolc^ical Survey. 

Thence northeastward are Horseshoe and Double bays. Cannon Ball 
bay, Red Rock bay. Red point, and Deronda bay. The last was named 
by Prof N. H. Winchell in J880, from George Eliot's novel, "Daniel 
Deronda," published in 1876, read partly in camp there. 

Two small unnamed islands lie about a half mile and one mile east 
of Cannon Ball bay, and Arch island is off the southwest point inclosing 
Deronda bay. 



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146 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Between Red Rock bay and Red point, a craggy part of the shore is 
called the East Palisades, 

Grand Portage island, which lies in front of the bay of this name, is 
now often called Ganon island, for Peter Ganon, who has a supply store 
on its northern poiirt. 

Hat point, in front of Mt. Josephine, projects into the lake between 
Grand Portage bay and Waiis-wau-goning' bay. The name of the latter 
bay, considerably changed from its proper Ojibway form, was translated 
by GilfiUan as "niakjng-a-light-by torches," having reference to the 
spearing of fish at night, whence Clark in 1864 called it "Spear-fish bay," 
a more free translation. 

East of this bay, within about three miles, Clark enumerated twelve 
islands, which he compared, in beauty of scenery and attractiveness for 
sportsmen, with the Apostle Islands near La Pointe, Wisconsin. The 
largest was named Governor's island by Dr. Augustus H. Hanchett, of 
New York City, state geologist of Minnesota in 1864, in honor of Gov. 
Stephen Miller, and this name is retained by maps ; but it is more com- 
monly known as Susie island, a name used by the later state geologist. 
Prof. N. H. Winchell, in 1880. The next in size, which rises highest, 
named by Oark as High island, was called Lucille island by Winchell. 
Others of this group were named Magnet and Syenite islands by Clark, 
and Birdi, Belle Rose, Little Brick, and Porcupine islands, by Winchell. 

Northeast of these islands are Morrison and Qark bays, the latter 
named by Hanchett m honor of his assistant, Thomas Clark, author of 
valuable reports on the geology of parts of Minnesota, published in 1861 
and 186S. Clark was born in Le Ray, Jefferson County, N. Y., January 
6, 1814; removed to Ohio about 1835, settling in Maumee; removed to 
Toledo in 1851 ; was a civil engineer, and came to Superior, Wis., in 
1854; surveyed the original site of that city; later surveyed and settled 
at Beaver Bay, Minn., his home when a state senator, 1859-60; died in 
Superior, Wis., December 20, 1878. 

Pigeon point and bay, named from the river, are the most eastern 
part of this state. 

Mountains and Hills. 

In voyaging along the north side of Lake Superior, the highland in 
Cook county within one to two or three miles back from the shore is 
seen as a succession of serrate hills and low mountains, the peaks being 
generally about two miles apart for distances of many miles. The 
visible crest line thus presents a remarkable profile, resembling fte teeth 
of an immense saw. Between Temperance river and Grand Marais, 
through nearly thirty miles, a somewhat regular series of these sharp 
outlines on the verge of the interior plateau has received the name of 
Sawteeth mountains. 

The most conspicuous and highest summit of this range, at its west 
end close back from the village of Tofte, was named Carlton peak in 1848 



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COOK COUNTY 147 

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148 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Superior National Forest. 
Large tia.cts in Gxik, Lake, and St. Louis counties, exceeding: a 
million acres, deemed chiefly valuable for forestry, were set apart by the 
United States government as a public reservation and named the Supe- 
rior National Forest, in a proclamation of President Roosevelt, February 
13, 1909, to which subsequent additions through similar proclamations 
have been since made. The initial recommendation for forestry reser- 
vation of these Minnesota lands was addressed to the commissioner of 
the U. S. General Land Office by Gen. C. C. Andrews, chief forest fire 
warden of this state, in 1902; and the authority for such national reserva- 
tions had been vested in the President of the United States by an act 
of Congress in 1891. 

Pigeon River Indian Reservation. 
An area of about 65 square miles, including the trading post and 
village of Grand Portage, the portage road to Pigeon river, and the tract 
southward to. the lake shore and west to Cranberry Marsh or Red Sand 
river, now commonly known as Reservation river, was set apart in a 
treaty with the Ojibways at La Pointe, Wis., September 30, 1854, for the 
Grand Portage band of these Indians. In the national census of 1910 the 
number of Indians in Cook county, nearly all of whom have tiieir homes 
in this Reservation, was 220. 

Glacial Lakes Duluth and Omimi. 
The great glacial lake which was held by the barrier of the depart- 
ing ice-sheet in the western part of the basin of t^ke Superior, forming 
beach lines at Duluth 535 and 475 feet above Lake Superior, was named 
by the present writer in 1S93 as the "Western Superior glacial, lake." In 
1897 and 1898, respectively, this cumbersome name was changed by Frank 
S. Taylor and Arthur H. Elftman to be Glacial Lake Duluth. The heights 

f 't trand Im Mt. Josephine had been determined by leveling in 

1891 bj P f A d w C Lawson, as 607 and 587 feet above Lake Superior, 

h h 60 f b the sea. 

A wh t h gh and much smaller glacial lake, existing for a 

la 1 h m the Pigeon river basin in eastern Cook county and 

ext nd ng I gh 1 t Canada, was described and named Lake Omimi 

by Elf m f 11 (Am. Geologist, vol. XXI, p. 104, Feb. 1898) : 

B f th h d eded beyond mount Josephine it retained a lake 

fb t40q mis in area lying in the upper valley of the present 

P g Th 1 k bed has an altitude of 1,255 to 1,360 feet above 

the sea. Its lowest point is thus about SO feet higher than the upper 

stage of Lake Duluth When the ice receded from the vicinity 

6f Grand Portage, Lake Omimi disappeared. The name Omimi is taken 
from the Chippewa name for Pigeon river." 



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COTTONWOOD COUNTY 

This county, established May 23, 1857, organized July 29, 1870, de- 
rived its name from the Cottonwood river, which touches the northeast 
corner of Gerraantown in this county, and to which its northwest town- 
ships send their drainage by several small streams flowing northward. 
It is a translation of Waraju, the Dakota or Sioux name, noted by 
K t' g and b N' 11 t' p rt and map Keat'ng wrote that the river 
m d f m th b nd f th t t b k d N 11 t 

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T0\\NbHlPS AND \ ILLAgES. 

The information of origins and meanings of geographic names in this 
county was received from "History of Cottonwood and Watonwan 
Counties," John A. Brown, editor, two volumes, 1916 ; from "A History 
of the Origin of the Place Names connected with the Chicago and North- 
western and Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railways," by 
W. H. Stennett, 202 pages, 1908; from S. A. Brown, county auditor, 
S. J. Fering, register of deeds, and' A. W. Annes, judge of probate, during 
a visit in Windom, July, 1916; and from E. C. Huntington, of St. Paul, 
who for thirty-six years, 1871-1907, was editor of the Windom Reporter. 

Amboy township, organized October 10, 1872, was named by settlers 
from the eastern states. Townships or villages of this name are in Ohio, 
Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey, and New York, 

Amo township, organized March 4, 1873, was named Jq" W. H. Ben- 
bow, then clerk of court for the county, to inculcate the principle of 
friendship, the meaning of the name, in Latin, being "I love." 



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150 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Ann township, organized in 1876, was named in honor of die wife 
of Hogan Anderson, then 3 member of the board of county commission- 
ers, who was a homestead farmer in this township, wagonmaker and 
merchant. 

Bingham Lake, a railway village, platted July 28, 187S, and incor- 
porated in 1900, "was named from a nearby lake. The lake was named 
by the United States surveyor, for Senator K. S. Bingham, of Michi- 
gan," Kinsley Scott Bingham was born at Camillus, N. Y., December 
16, 1808; removed to Michigan in 1833, and engaged in farming; was a 
representative in the state legislature, 1836-40; was a member of Con- 
gress, 1847-51; governor of Michigan, 1855-59; and a U. S. senator, 1859- 
61, until his death at Oak Grove, Mich,, October 5, 1861. 

Cahson towaship, organized in July, 1871, bears the name of the 
widely known frontiersman, trapper, guide, soldier, and Indian agent, 
Christopher (commonly called Kit) Carson (b. 1809, d. 1868), for whom 
Carson City, the capital of Nevada, was named. 

Dale township was organized March 30, 1872, having a name sug- 
gested by its valley and lakes. "When first discovered, there was a beau- 
tiful chain of lakes in the central eastern portion of this township. 
These were filled in their season with wild fowls, and many fish abounded 
in their waters. With the settlement of the country, several of these 
lakes have been drained out and are now utilized for pasture and field 
purposes by the farmers who own the property. Some of the lakes are 
stiil intact and are highly prized by the citizens of the county." 

Delft, established as a railway station in 18^ and platted as a village 
June 18, 1902, "was named for the city in Holland by John Barfsch and 
Henry Wieb. Previous to adopting this name the village was called 
Wilhelmine, a female name common in Holland," 

Delton township, organized September 17, 1872, bears the same name 
with villages in Virginia, Michigan, and Wisconsin. 

Germantown, organized January 24, 1874, received its name from' its 
many German settlers, who were a large majority of the early home- 
steaders in this township. 

Great Bend township organized August 27, 1870 "derives its name 
D m M 



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COTTONWOOD COUNTY 151 

Wolf lakes, of which the third and fifth nearly adjoin the village of 
Windom. Fish lake has been renamed Willow lake, 

Midway township was organized March 16, 1895, having previously 
been a part of Mountain Lake township. Its name refers to its situation 
oa the railway, equidistant between St. Paul and Sioux City. 

Mountain Lake township, organized May 6, 1871, derived its name 
from its former large lake, in which a mountain-like island rose with 
steep shores and nearly flat top about 40 feet above the lake, having 
similar outlines to those of the surrounding bluffs and general upland. 
"The upper part of the island was covered with trees, which could be seen 
for many miles. This spot served as a landmark and a guide for many 

of the early settlers The lake, as known to pioneers, is no more; 

it has long since been drained, and grains and grasses grow in its old bed." 
Mountain Lake village, on the railway in the south edge of Midway 
township, was platted May 25, 1872. 

Rose Hill township, organized April 5, 1879, received its name tor its 
plentiful wild prairie roses and its low ridges and hilts of niorainic drift. 

Selma township, organized April 4. 1874, bears a Scandinavian fem- 
inine Christian name, given to the first child born there. 

South BROOK, the most southwestern township of this county, was 
organized in July, 1871. It is crossed by the Des Moines river, to which 
this township sends small brooks and rivulets from springs in the river 
bluffs. 

Springfield, organized August 27, 1870, was named by settlers from 
eastern states, many of which have townships, villages, and cities of this 

Stobden township, organized March 30, 1875, was first named Norsk, 
for its many Norwegian pioneers, but later was renamed in honor of its 
first settler, Neis Storden, an immigrant from Norway. Its railway 
village of the same name was platted July 8, 1903, 

Westbeook, organized September 17, 1870, was named for the west 
branch of Highwater creek, which flows across the southeast part of this 
township. The railway village of Westbrook was platted June 8, 1900. 

Windom, the county seat, was platted June 20, 1871 ; was incorporated 
as a vili^e in the spring of 1875, the first ordinance of the village council 
being passed April 15; and was re-incorporated September 9, 1884. It 
was named by Gen, Judson W. Bishop, of St, Paul, chief engineer for 
construction of the railway, in honor of the distinguished statesman, 
William Windom, of Winona. He was born in Belmont county, Ohio, 
May 10, 1827 ; and died in New York City, January 29, 1891. He received 
an academic education, and studied law ; came to Winona, Minn., in 1855 ; 
was a representative in Congress, 1859-69, and U. S. senator, 1871-81 ; was 
a member of the cabinet of President Garfield, in 188!, as secretary of 
the treasury, but retired on the accession of President Arthur; was again 
U. S. senator, 1881-83. On the inauguration of President Harrison, in 



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152 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

1889, Wihdom was re-appointed' secretary of the treasury, and held the 
office till his death, which was very sudden, from heart failure, just after 
making an address at a banquet of the New York Board of Trade. A 
volume entitled "Memorial Tributes to the Character and Public Services 
of William Windom, together with his Last Address," 161 pages, was 
printed in 1891. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Little Cottonwood river, and several streams flowing to the Cotton- 
wood, namely. Mound, Dry, and Highwater creeks, and Dutch Charley's 
creek, receive the drainage of the northern part of this county. Mound 
creek was named in allusion to the massive ridge of quartzite, mainly 
overspread with the glacial drift, whence it derives its highest springs; 
Dry creek, because it becomes very small, or is wholly dried up, in severe 
droughts; Highwater creek, as before noted, for its sudden rise after 
heavy rains; and Dutdj C3iarley's creek, for the earliest settler of Cotton- 
wood county, Charles Zierke, whom the government surveyors found 
living beside that creek when they first came; 

Several lakes have been sufficiently noticed in the foregoing list of 
townships, including Mountain lake, Bingham lake, and others in Lake- 

The former Glen and Summit lakes, about two miles east of Windom, 

Bartsch, Eagle, Long, Maiden, and Rat lakes are in Carson, the first 
named for Jacob Bartsch, a farmer there, and the last named for its 

Swan, Lenhart's, and Wilson's lakes, in Dale, have been drained. The 
latter two, named respectively for John F. Lenhart and Samuel Wilson, 
settlers adjoining them, and a third, named Harder's lake, were formerly 
called "the Three lakes." Arnold's lake, close north of these, was named 
for a settler who came from Owatonna. 

Lake Augusta was named in honor of the wife of a pioneer home- 
steader adjoining it The outlet, Harvey creek, flowing south to the 
Des Moines, commemorates Harvey Carey, like the lake to be later 
mentioned. 

Hurricane lake, now drained, had reference to a tornado whirft pros- 
trated trees on its shore. 

Bean lake was named for an early settler, Joseph F. Bean, who had 
remarkable talent of memorizing what he read. 

Double lakes, a mile south of the last, are separated' only by space 
for a road. 

Berry and Carey lakes were named for settlers near them, the latter 
for the brothers Harvey, John, and Ralph Carey. 

Long lake, a half mile west of Carey lake, was formerly called the 
Twin lakes. 



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COTTONWOOD COUNTY 153 

Oaks lake may have been so called by the early surveyors, to preserve 
the name, "Lake of the Oaks," which Allen in 1844 applied to Lake 
Shetek, sixteen miles distant up the Des Moines river. 

The two String lakes, in the southwest part of the Great Bend town- 
ship, are named for their lying in a single winding string-like course, 
scarcely separated. 

Dear lake, crossed by the south line of Southbrook, like another Clear 
lake before mentioned in Lakeside, refers to the clearness of its deep 
water, not covered by grass and water plants as many shallow lakes. 

Takott lake, through which the Des Moines river flows in Southhrook, 
is one of the names placed by Nicollet on his map, published in 1843, 
to commemorate friends and prominent men of science. His generous 
use of such names in the upper Mississippi region has been noticed in the 
chapter of Cass county. On and near the upper Des Moines river, he has 
Lakes TaJcott and Graham, of which the latter is preserved as the name 
of two lakes and a township in Nobles county. These names are in honor 
of Andrew Talcotf and James D. Graham, who, with James Renwick, 
■ were commissioners, in 1840-43, to survey the disputed northeastern 
boundary of the United States. Andrew Talcott was born in Glastonbury, 
Cona., April 20, 1797 ; and died in Richmond, Va., April 22, 1883. He was 
graduated at the U. S. Military Academy, West Point, 1818; was engineer 
on many government works ; was astronomer in surveys of the boundary 
between Ohio and Michigan, 1828-35 ; was chief engineer of railway work 
in Mexico during the civil war. 

The upper Des Moines river and adjoining region were explored in 
1844 by Captain James Allen and a company of dragoons, of which he 
presented a report and journal, published by Congress in 1846. Morainic 
drift hiils along the southwest side of the Des Moines, two to five miles 

northwest of Windom, were noted by Allen as "high bluffs, ISO 

or 200 feet above the general level of the country." These are named 
Blue Mounds in the description and map of this county by the Minnesota 
Geological Survey (vol. I, 1884, chapter XVI). 



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CROW WING COUNTY 

This county, estabJished May 23, I8S7, organized March 3, 1870, was 
named for the Crow Wing river, translated from the Ojibway name, 
spelled Kagiwigwan on Nicollet's map, and Gagagiwigwuni by Gilfillan, 
who would preferably translate it, following Schoolcraft, as "Raven 

Pike in 1805 and Schoolcraft in 1820 and 1832 used the French name 
of this river, de Corbeau, meaning of the Raven; but its more complete 
name in French was riviere a I'Aile de Corbeau, river of the Wing of the 
Raven, as translated by the vo3^geurs and traders from the Ojibway 
name. In the "Summary Narrative," published in 1855, Schoolcraft 
referred to the somewhat erroneous English translation, Crow Wing 
river, as follows : "The Indian name of this river is Kagiwegwon, or 
Raven's-wing or Quill, which is accurately translated by the term Aile 
de Corbeau, but it is improperly called Crow-wing. The Chippewa term 
for crow is andaig, and the French, corneille,— terms which are appro- 
priately applied to another stream, nearer St. Anthon3''s Falls." 

Mrs. E, Steele PeaJce, widow of an early missionary in 1856-61 to the 
Ojibways at the mission stations of Gull Lake and Crow Wing, wrote 
the Brainerd Dispatch, September 22. 
■ae of Crow Wing river: "Where the 
island in the shape of a crow's wing, 
and the town." 

frequent throughout the United 
th 



r of her 

1911, concerning the aboriginal 

river joins the Mississippi was 

which gave the name to the ri' 

The North American 



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CROW WING COUNTY 155 

The earliesi record of a trader near this site is in the list of licenses 
granted in 1826 by Lawrence Taliaferro, as Indian agent, one of these 
being for "Benjamin F. Baker, Crow Island, Upper Mississippi," in 
the service o£ the American Fur Oampany (Minnesota in Three Cen- 
turies, 1908, vol. II, p. 54). Among the traders licensed in 1833-34, 
none is mentioned for that post, which seems to have been abandoned. 

There was again a station of the fur traders at Crow Wing, facing 
the northern mouth of the Crow Wing river, "about the year 1837," 
and it became a few years later "the center of Indian trading for all 
the upper country, the general supply store being located at this place. 
... In 1866, the settlement and village contained seven families of 
whites, and about twenty-three of half-breeds and Chippewas, with a 
large transient population. . . . The entire population was, from reliable 
estimates, about six hundred. . . . Crow Wing, as a business point, has 
passed away, most of the buildings having been removed to Brainerd, 
and the remaining ones destroyed." (History of the Upper Mississippi 
Valley, 1881, pages 637-8,) 

By an act of the Legislature, February 18. 1887, which was ratified- 
by the vote of the people of the county at the next general election, the 
part of Crow Wing county west of the Mississippi river, previously 
belonging to Cass county, was annexed to this county, somewhat more 
than doubling its former area. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county was gathered from "History of the 
Upper Mississippi Valley," 1881, pages 637-659; from Anton Mahlum, 
city clerk of Brainerd, Samuel R. Adair, county treasurer, and William 
H. Andrews, during my visit in Brainerd, May, 1916; and by corre- 
spondence from John F. Smart, former county auditor, now of Fair- 
hope, Alabama, 

AiLEN township was named for its first settler, a pioneer from the 
eastern states. 

Barrows railway station and the Barrows mine, five miles southwest 
from Brainerd, are named for W. A. Barrows, Jr., of Brainerd. 

Baxter township commemorates the late Luther Loren Baxter, of 
Fergus Falls, who during many years was an attorney for the Northern 
Pacific company. He was born in Cornwall, Vt., in 1832; was admitted 
to practice law, 1854, and soon afterward settled in Minnesota; enlisted 
in the Fourth Minnesota regiment, served at first as captain, and was 
promoted to the rank of colonel; was a state senator in I86S-8 and 1870-6, 
and a representative in the legislature in 1869 and 1877-82; was judge 
in the Seventh judicial district, 1885-1911, He died at his home in Fer- 
gus Falls, May 23, 191S. 

Bay Lake township received its name from its large lake, which 
was so named for its irregular outline, with many bays, projecting 
points, and islands. Its Ojibway name, like that of another lake of 



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156 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

similar form in Aitkin county, was Sisabagama (accented on the third 
syllable), meaning, according to Giliillan, "Every-which-way lake, or 
the lake which has arms running in all directions." 

Brainerd, founded in 1870, when the Northern Pacific survey deter- 
mined that the crossing of the Mississippi should be here, was organized 
as a city March 6, 1873; but an act of the legislature, January 11, 1876, 
substituted a township government. It again became a city Noveniber 
19, 1881. "The name first suggested for this place was 'Ogemaqua,' in 
honor of Emma Beaulieu, a woman of rare personal beauty, to whom 
the Indians gave the name mentioned, meaning Queen, or Chief Woman. 
The present name was chosen in honor of the wife of J. Gregory Smith, 
first president of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, Mrs. Smith's 
family name being Brainerd." (History, Upper Mississippi Valley, p. 640.) 

Mrs. Ann Eliza (Brainerd) Smith was a daughter of Hon. Lawrence 
Brainerd, of St. Albans, Vt. Her husband, John Gregory Smith (b. 
1818, d. 189!), also a resident of St. AJbans, honored by the name of 
Gregory Park or Square in Brainerd and by Gregory station and village 
■ in Morrison county, was governor of Vermont, 1863-65 ; was president 
of the Northern Pacific company, 1866-72 ; and later was president of 
the Vermont Central railroad until his death. Mrs. Smith was author 
of novels, books of travel, and other works. Her father, Lawrence 
Brainerd (b. 1794, d. 1870), was a director of the St Albans Steamboat 
Company, a builder and officer of railroads in northern Vermont, a 
noted abolitionist, and was a United States senator, 18S4-5. 

Portraits of Mrs. Smith, for whom Brainerd was named, and her 
father, with extended biographic notices, are in "The Genealogy of the 
Brainerd-Brainard Family in America" (three volumes, published in 
1908), The biographic sketch of her is in Volume II, pages 162-3, from 
which the following is quoted ; "She was president of the board of 
managers for the Vermont woman's exhibit at the Centennial Exposi- 
tion of 1876, at Philadelphia, and was frequently chosen in similar capaci- 
ties as a representative Vermont woman. Her patriotic feeling was 
shown in the Civil War, at the rebel raid on St, All>ans and the plunder 
of the banks, Oct. 19, 1864, and a commission as Lieutenant-Colonel 
was issued to her for gallantry and efficient service on that occasion by 
Adjutant -General P. T. Washburn." She was born in St Albans, Vt, 
October 7, 1819; and died at her home there, January 6, 1905. 

The Northern Pacific railroad ran its first train to Brainerd, a special 
train, on March 11, 1871; and its regular passenger service began the 
next September. The first passenger train from the Twin Cities, by way 
of Sauk Rapids, came November 1, 1877. Crow Wing, the former trad- 
ing post, was soon superseded by Brainerd, which the Ojibways named 
"Oski-odena, New Town." 

Crosby, a mining village on the Cuyuna Iron Range branch of the 
"Soo" railway, was named in honor of George H. Crosby, of Duluth, 
manager of iron mines. 



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CROW WING COUNTY 157 

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158 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Garmson township was named in honor of Oscar E. Garrison, a land 
surveyor and civil engineer, who was born at Fort Ann, N. Y., July 21, 
1S25, and died on his farm in this township, April 2, 1886. He came to 
Minnesota in 1850; explored Lake Minnetonka, and platted the village 
of Wayzata in 1854; removed to St. Cloud in 1860; served in tlie Northern 
Rangers against the Sioiix, 1862; was agent of the United States Census, 
Department of Forestry, 1880, examining the region of the Upper Mis- 
sissippi, on which his observations were published (49 pages) in the 
Ninth Annua! Report of the Minnesota Geological Survey. He took his 
homestead claim here in 1882. 

Ideal township, a fancy name, was originally called White Fish, for 
the large lake of that name comprised almost wholly in this township. 

Ieonton is a mining and railway village of the Cuyuna Iron Range. 

Jenkins railway village and township were named for George W. 
Jenkins, a lumberman, who platted this village. 

Klondike township was named from the Klondike pfacer-gold region 
in the Yukon district, Canada, discovered in 1896, which took its name 
from the Klondike river (Indian, "Tlirondiuk, river full of fish"). This 
name was adopted inallusion to the large and valuable deposits of iron 
ore in the Cuyuna Iron Range, discovered by Cuyler Adams in 1895 as 
the result of magnetic surveys, several of the best mining locations being 
in this township. 

Lake Edward township bears the name of the largest one of its num- 
erous lakes, given at the time of the government survey, probably in honor 
of a member of the surveying party. 

Leaks, a station of the Minnesota International railway about three 
miles north of Brainerd, was named for John Leaks, a locomotive en- 
gineer of that railway. 

Little Pine township received its name for its lake and river of this 
name, tributary to the Pine river. 

Long Lake township received its name from its Long lake, through 
which the Nokay river flows. Our name of this lake is a direct transla- 
tion of its Ojibway name, "Gaginogumag sagaiigim." 

Manganese, a mining village in Wolford, has reference to its man- 
ganiferous iron ores, which have from 1 to 25 per cent of manganese. 
These mines are on the northern border of this Cuyuna district. 

Maple Grove township has groves of sugar maple, interspersed with 
the other timber of its general forest. 

Merhifield, a railway village seven miles north of Brainerd, bears 
the name of the former owner of its site. 

Mission township and its two Mission lakes were named for an early 
missionary station there for the Ojibways. 

Nokay Lake township has the lake of this name on the upper course 
and near the head of the Nokasippi or Nokay river, as it is spelled on 
Nicollet's map. This was the name of an Ojibway chief and noted 



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CROW WING COUNTY 159 

hunter, whom the "Handbook of American Indians" (Part II, 1910) 
mentions as follows : "A chief of the western Chippewa in the latter 
half of the 18th century, who attained some celebrity as a leader and 
hunter. The chief incident of his life relates to the war between the 
Mdewakanton [Sioux] and the Chippewa for possession of the banks 
of the upper Mississippi. In 1769, the year following the battle of Crow 
Wing, Minn., — where the Chippewa, though maintaining their ground, 
were hampered by inferior numbers, — they determined to renew the 
attack on the Mdewakanton with a larger force. This war party, under 
the leadership of Noka, referred to as 'Old Noka' evidently on account 
of his advanced age, attacked Shakopee's vill^e on Minnesota river, the 
result being a drawn battle, the Chippewa retiring to their own territory 
without inflicting material damage on their enemy." Warren, the his- 
torian of the Ojibways, wrote of Nokay's skill in hunting (M. H. S. 
Collections, vol. V, page 266). 

Oak Lawn township was named for its "oak openings," tracts occu- 
pied by scattered oak trees with small grassed spaces, somewhat Hke 
a prairie, interrupting the general woodland. 

Outing, a small village on the southeastern shore of Crooked lake, 
in Emily township, was platted in 1907 by William H. Andrews, as a place 
for "outings" or short visits of city people and sportsmen in summer. 

Pelican township was named for its large Pelnan hke which was 
first mapped by the United Statei; E,o\errimcnt sur\e\s about the year 
1860 The remarkably fine group of lar^e lakes m thi' count) between 
Gull and White Fish lakes was represented on earlier maps only bv several 
quite small lakes one of which is named Lake Taliaferro on Nicollet s 
map in honor of the Indian agent at Mendota As Pelican lake is the 
largest in this group it mav be thought to le the me so designated It 
IS translated from the Ojibwaj name gnen bj Gilfillan as Shede sagau 
gun Pelican lake I ongfellow s Song of Hiawatha spells this Ojibway 
word Shada which las the long a sound in both syllables The pelican 
our largest bird species of Minnesota was formerly common or frequent 
here as attested by its name given to mers lakes and islands 

Pbqiot a railwaj Milage in Siblej township bears the name of a 
former tribe of Algonquian Indians in eastern Connecticut. This village 
is the sole instance of its use as a geographic name. 

pEKEY Lake township, and its lake of this name probably commemo- 
rate an early lumberman. 

Platte Lake township received its name from the lake at its southeast 
corner, the central and largest one of a group of several lakes forming 
the headwaters of Platte river. This is a French word, meaning flat 
The translation of the Ojibway name of this lake, according to Gilfillan, 
is "Hump-as-made-by-a-man-lying-on-h is4iands-and-kn ees." 

Rabbit Lake township similarly took the name of its Rabbit lake, the 
head of Rabbit river, a short tributary of the Mississippi. The Ojibway 



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160 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

name of the lake, given by Gilfillan, is "Wabozo-wakaiiguni sagaiigun, 
Eabbit's-House lake." 

RivERTON is a mining village of the Guyana Iron Range, beside Little 
Rabbit lake, through which Rabbit river flows just before joining the 
Mississippi. 

Roosevelt township was named in honor of Theodore Roosevelt, then 
President of the United States. 

Ross Lake township and its lake of this name are in honor of a pio- 
neer lumberman there, 

St. Mathias township was named from its Catholic church, dedi- 
cated to Christ's disciple who was chosen by lot to be one of the twelve 
apostles, in the place of Judas. 

Sibley township was named from its Lake Sibley, a name given by 
Nicollet on his map, published in 1843, in honor of Henry Hastings 
Sibley, for whom also SiWey county was named. 

Smiley township, having a common English or American surname, 
remains of undetermined derivation. 

Timothy township, at first called Clover, received the popular name 
of a European species of grass, much cultivated in Europe and America 
for hay, more commonly called "herd's grass" in New England. The 
seed of this grass was carried from New England to Maryland about 
the year 1720 by Timothy Hanson, whence came its prevalent American 
name. It grows very luxuriantly under cultivation in Minnesota, and 
frequently is adventive by roadsides and about logging camps. 

Watertown has many lakes and the Pine river. In the central part 
of the west half of this township, the river flows into the west side of 
Cross lake and out from its east side, whence the lake received this 
name. It is translated from the Ojibway name, meaning the same as 
Lake Bemidji, "the lake which the river flows directly across." This 
lake was named Lake Davenport on Nicollet's map in honor of Col. 
William Davenport, of the United States Army, for whom also a town- 
ship in this county is named. 

WoLFORD township, recently organized, comprising the mining villages 
of Manganese and Iron Mountain, at the north edge of the CujTjna 
Range, was named in honor of Robert Wolford, a pioneer farmer there. 

Lakes and Steeams. 
The preceding pages have noticed a number of the lakes and streams, 
including several given by Nicollet's map. Other names thus applied 
by Nicollet are Lake Plympton, now called Eush lake, crossed by the Pine 
river between White Fish and Cross lakes, in honor of Captain Joseph 
Plympton (b. 1787, d. I860), who was commandant of Fort Snelling in 
the years 1837-4-1; Lake Gratiot now Upper Hay lake, a mile east of 
Jenkins village, named in honor of Gen. Charles Gratiot (b, 1788, d. 
1855), in charge of the V. S. engineer bureau and inspector of West 
Point ; Manido river, the Ojibway name for Spirit river, outflowing from 



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CROIV WING COUNTY 161 

Lake Gratiot to White Fish lake; Lake Stewart, in Timothy township, 
for the gallant U. S. naval officer, Charles Stewart (b. 1778, d. 1869), 
famous for his services in the War of 1812; and Lakes Enke and Oianehe, 
now respectivelv Lakes Washburn and Roosevelt the former wholly and 
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Gilfillan, is Ga-manoramiganjikag sagangun, Wild Rice lake. Gull 
lake, a translation from the Ojibways, has been more fully noticed in 
the chapter on Cass county. 

In this region of plentiful game, finny, furred, and feathered, Lake 
Hubert, and the adjoining village of this name, may well have been so 
designated in honor of St. Hubert, the patron saint of huntsmen. 

An enumeration of other lakes and streams in this county, not pre- 
viously noticed, is as follows, taking first the part southeast of the Missis- 
sippi, in the order of townships from south to north, and of ranges from 
east to west, and next, in the same order, taking the northwest part of 
the county. Personal names, applied to many of these lakes, arc nearly 
all commemorative of early settlers. 

Camp or Crooked lake, Erskine, Mud, Bass, Rock, and Bull Dog 
lakes, in Roosevelt township. 

Sebie, Mud, and Crow Wing (or Thunder) lakes, in Fort Ripley 
township. 

Clearwater, Miller, Barber, and Holt lakes, in Garrison. 

Chrysler lake, in Maple Grove township. 

Russell lake, in Long Lake township, named for T. P. Russell, a setiler 
there at its north side. 

Buffalo creek, in Crow Wing township, named for buffaloes frequent- 
ing its oak openings and small tracts of prairie. 



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162 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

A second and larger Clearwater lake, Crooked, Hanks, Portage, Rice, 
and Birch lakes, and a small Long lake in section 1, Bay Lake townsliip. 

Eagle, Pointon, Perch, and Grave lakes, in Nokay Lake township. 

Sand and Whitely creeks, and Rice or Whitely lake, in Oak Lawn 
township. 

Agate and Black lakes, Cedar c eek a d lake SI iiie or Shirt lake, and 
Hamlet, Portage, Rice, and Reno lakes Deerwood, The last was 

named in honor of Gen. Jesse Lee Reno who served in the Mexican and 
Civil wars, and was killed in the battle of Soutl Mountain, Md., Septem- 
ber 14, 1862. 

Manomin, Portage, Blackhoof, Little Rabbit, Rice, Crocker, and 
Wolf lakes, in Kiondike. 

Black Bear lake, in Wolford. 

Little Sand or Perch lake. White Sand, Red Sand, and Whipple lakes, 
in Baxter, the first township northwest ot the Mississippi. The last is 
in honor of the eminent Bishop Whipple, under whose direction and 
care were many missions for the Ojibways and Sioux in Minnesota, 
including the Ojibway mission of St. Columba, at Gull lake in the adjoin- 
ing edge of Cass cotinty. 

Long lake, Love lake, Bass, Carp (or Mud), Gilbert, and Hartley 
lakes, in Township 134, Range 28 and the east half of Range 29. 

The two Mission lakes, named for an early Ojibway mission near 
ttiem, and Perch, Silver, Bass, Fawn, Spider, and Camel lakes, in T. 
135 N., R. 27 W. 

Markee and Twin lakes, Garden, Rice, Clark, Hubert ind Little 
Hubert, Gladstone, Mollie, and Crystal lakes, in Lake Edward township 

Cullen, Fawn, Fish Trap (or Marsh), Roy, and Mud lakes m Sradev 

Nelson lake, in Dean Lake township, named for H. M. Nelson the 
first settler having a family in that township. 

Bass lake. Fool's lake, and Indian Jack lake, in Perry Lake township 

Lizard, Sandbar or Horseshoe, and Bass lakes, and the northern Mis- 
sion lake, in Mission township. 

Long Schaffer and Upper Cullen lakes, in Pelican. 

Twin lakes in Sibley 

Island, Mud, and Rogers lakes. Upper Dean lake. Twin lakes, and 
Stark lake, in Ross Lake township. 

Grass, Pickerel, and Trout lakes, Dolney's lake. Mud, Bass, and Adney 
lakes, in Fairfield 

Ox, Island Hen Rush, Daggett, Bass, Goodrich, O'Brien, Phelps, 
Big Bird and Greer lakes, in Watertown, with two Pine lakes, one in the 
northeast part ot this township, and the other in sections 32 to 34. 

Big Trout, Mud, Bertha, Pig, Star, Bass, Kimball, Long, and Clear 
lakes, in White Fish township. 

The Upper and Lower Hay lakes, and Nelson lake, in Jenkins. 

Little Pine lake, Low's, Duck, Moulton, Bass, and Birchdale lakes, 
in Little Pine township. 



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CROW WING COUNTY 163 

Papoose, Btitterfield, and Dahler lakes, in Emily township. 

Mitchell, Eagle, East Fox, West Fox, and Kego lakes, in Allen, the 
last an Ojibway name meaning Fish lake. 

Jale, Big Rice, and Swede lakes, in the east half of T. 138, R 29, the 
most northwestern in this county. 

The Mississippi has "an island in the mouth o£ Pine river, well tim- 
bered with pine, dm, and maple," as described by Schoolcraft in 1820; 
French rapids, shown on Nicollet's map, about three miles north of 
Brainerd; Whitely island, close below these rapids; three or four other 
small islands between this and the Crow Wing river ; and, at the mouth 
of that river. Crow Wing island. Another name sometimes given to 
the last is McArthur's island, as on the map accompanying the chapter 
for this county by the Minnesota Geological Survey, having leference 
to a Scotch trader, named McArthur. 

In the vicinity of the Buffalo creek and the mouth of Crow Wing 
river, as Schoolcraft wrote in 1820, "the Buffalo Plains commence and 
continue downward, on boih banks of the river, to the falls of St. An- 
thony. These plains are elevated about sixty feet above the summer 
level of the water, and consist of a sandy alluvion cove'-ed with rank 
grass and occasional clumps of the dwarf black oak." 

Ah REN s Hill. 
A remarkable series of graveJ knolls and ridges, called kames and 
eskers, borders the Mississippi on its northwest side at Brainerd and for 
a distance of about three miles up the river. Its culmination and north- 
ern end is a hill that rises about 175 feet above both the river on its 
east side and Gilbert lake on the west, being 100 feet higher than the 
mainly level sand and gravel plain of the river valley. This high and 
short esker was named Ahrens hill in the Geological Survey (vol. IV, 
1899, p. 73), for Charles Ahrens, the farmer of its southern and western 

CuvuNA Iron Range. 
The origin of the name of this belt of iron ore deposits has been 
noted for the village of Cuyuna, in the preceding list; and the date of 
discovery of these beds of ore by Cuyler Adams, in iS95, was mentioned 
in the notice of Klondike township. Mining and shipments of ore from 
the Cuyuna range were begun in the years 1910 to 1912, and its production 
in 1915 was 1,137,043 tons. The explored extent of this iron ore district, 
lying in Crow Wing and Aitkin counties, has no prominent hills or high- 
lands, and only very scanty outcrops of the bed-rocks, which, with the 
ore deposits, are deeply covered by the glacial and modified drift. 



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DAKOTA COUNTY 

This county, established October 27, 1849, was named for the Dakota 
people, meaning an alliance or league. Under this name are comprised a 
large number of allied and affiliated Indian tribes, who originally occu- 
pied large parts of Minnesota and adjoining states. The Dakotas called 
themselves collectively by this name, but they have been more frequently 
termed Sioux, this being a contraction from the appellation, Nadouesioux, 
given with various spellings by Radisson. Hennepin, and LaSalle, a term 
evidently of Algonquian origin, adopted by the early French explorers 
and traders. 

Radisson says {Voyages, p. 154) that the first part of the Algonquian 
name for the Dakotas, spelled, in the translation of his manuscript, 
Nadoneceronons, means an enemy. 

Rev. Moses N. Adams informed me that the Dakotas dislike to be 
called Sioux, and much prefer their own collective name, borne by this 
county, which implies friendship or even brotherly lo^e. 

Townships and Villages. 

For the origins and meanings of the names of townships, villages, 
post offices, lakes, creeks, etc., in this county, we are inatnly indebted to 
its three published histories ; "Dakota County, Its Past and Pres n 
Geographical, Statistical, and Historical," by W. H. Mitchell 1868 n 
162 pages; "History of Dakota County," by George E. Wa er and 
Charles M. Foote, 1881, 551 pages; and "History of Dakota and Toolhtie 
Counties," edited by Franklyn Curtis s-Wedge, 1910, two volume the 
first, in 662 pages, being for this county. Especial acknowledgment 
due to the excellent contribution by the late Judge Francis lu. Crosby, 
of Hastings, entitled "Origin of Names," in the third of these histories, 
pages 131-133. 

BoRNSViLLE township, organized May 11, 1858, was named for its 
first settlers, "William Bums and family, consisting of his wife and 
five sons, who emigrated from Canada the same year [1853], He settled 
in the northwest corner of the town, near the mouth of Credit river." 

C Roc t r g ■ d A '1 6 18"8 w m d tl 



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DAKOTA COUNTY 165 

Cannon river. Prof. N. H. Winchell's Final Report of the Geology of 
Minnesota, in Volume II, 18S8, has a good description and historical 
notice of Castle Rock, pages 76-79 in Chapter III, "The Geology of Dakota 
County," with three pictures of it from photographs. Its height was 44 
feet above the ground at is base and 70 feet aboie an adjoining hollow 
but the slender pillar 19 feet high firming its upper part has snre 
fallen, about twenty years ago 

Douglass townsh p estabh-ihed April C 1S5S was named for Stephen 
A. Douglas the statesman lis eariieat spelling bj the petitioiers and 
county comnussicners has been continued though differing from that 
of the great politician and orator He is also commemorated \>\ the name 
of Douglas county 

Eagan township established by legislatne act m 1861 waf named fir 
Patrick Eagin one of the first settlers coming in 1851 

Empire was named for Empire N Y the native place of Mrs A J 
Irving, wife of one of the early settlers Th s t mnship organized dnd 
named Maj 11 18^8 hid prei oush an early neighborhood settle nent 
which in 1854 55 was called Empire City 

EuKEKA township organized May 11 1858 h m k 

word, mean ng I have found it' This was t m m mb 

of its "Indiana settlement," when they first ar 8 4 

Greenvale, also organized May 11, 1858, ' b d me 

from the name given to a Sunday School \ h p 

township. The name was doubtless inspired b p d 

ings." 

Hampton township, established April 6, 18 8 d p 

of that name in Connecticut. This appellation w gg d b N h n 
je! Martin in honor of his birthplace." 

Hastings, the county seat, platted as a vill g 85 nd p d 

as a city in 185?, was named in drawing lot b p p 

this second name of Henry Hastings Sibley, g d g 

having been his preference. "Judge Solomo b D i 

studied law in Massachusetts with Judge H g wh m h g 
admired, and gave this name to his son." 

Before the platting and naming of Hast g h ca h d b 
known during thirty-three years as Olive G n gn n 

changed to "Olive Grove," The origin of m d b 

John H. Case in Volume XV of the Minne H S 

lections (page 377), as follows: "The site H g wa 

earlier called Oliver's Grove, after Lieut. W m G O wh vi 

ascending tiie Mississippi with one or more k b turn o 

1819, but was prevented from going farther b g g h b d 

of the river opposite to this city. The boat w p b b run 

up to the outlet of Lake Rebecca, to be out of the »aj of the ice when the 
river broke up in the spring of 1820. Lieutenant Oliver was on his way 



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166 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

from Fort Crawford at Prairie du Chien with supplies for the soldiers 
at St, Peter's camp, now Fort Snelling', among whom was the first settler 
of Hastings, Joe Brown, the drtimmer boy, then about fourteen years of 
age." 

Invek Grove township was organized May 11, 1858. "The town ivas 
named by John McGroarty, the name Inver Grove being given in recollec- 
tion of a place in Ireland from which many of the settlers came." 

Lakeville township, established April 6, 1858, was named for Prairie 
lake, which about fifteen years ago was renamed Lake Marion, as is 
further noted in the list of lakes of this county. 

Lebanon received its n^me "from Lebanon N H from whence came 
Charles and H J VerriU early settlers It was organized Ma> 11 1858 

Maeshan township was named for Michael Marsh a d 1 s wife 
\nn Previous to its organization May 11 1858 it was knoun as Bell 
wood for Joseph Bell who took a claim there m 1854 It then had a 
>imall tillage called Bellwood with the first hotel of the township and 
a Catholic church but the site soon was abandoned 

Mendota township established m April 1858 bears a Siouj. name 
meaning the mouth of a nver because here the Minneiota r!\er joms 
the Mississippi This name wa= adopted about the year 18>7 instead 
of the former name "^t Peter s taken fro n the ^t Peter ^ or Minnesota 
ruer as appl ed to the earK settlement of traders pposite ti Fort 
Snell ng 

NmiNGEE township establi'^hed ^pril 6 185S was named fron its 
earlier city of Nminger which was platted in the summer of 1856 by 
John Niniiger for whom it was named He resided in Pennsyhania 
and was a brother in law of Governor Ramsey In the winter of I'^V 8 
an act of incorporation of tl is city was passed by the leg alature In the 
sprmg of 1858 when it reached the heiaht ot its prngre= Nininger 
numbered nearlj i£ i ot quite 1 000 inhabitants and ca^t a vote of 
over 20O 

Ra*<dciph townshp estabh hed ^prd 20 18 8 was then named 
Richmond n honor of John Richmond the fir'it settler w thm its limits 
This name was rejected September 18 18''8 because there wa anot! er 
Rii-hmtnd m the state and on October 30 18S8 it was reua tied Ran 
dolph D B Hulburt an admirer of the Virginia statesman John 
Randolph sn^ested that his distinguished surname be g en to the 
town This was Randolph ot Roanoke as he was generalli known 
who was bom in 177c, and died m 1831 

Ravenna township separated from the city of Hastiiita on June S 
IBcO was named b> Albert T Norton for Ravenna Ohio where his 
wife had taught 'icho 1 

Rc^EMOONT township established April 6 1858 was named hv Andrew 
Keegan and Hugh Dtrham trun the picturesque vilhge of thit name 
in Ireland." 



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DAKOTA COUNTY 167 

SciOTA tnwnship, organized May 11, 1858, "was named from Sciota, 
Ohio," as related by Judge Loren W. Collins. 

South St. Paul and West St. Paul, recently incorporated cities, 
received their names from their situation "in reference t& tlie city of St. 
Paul." West St. Paul township was organized May 11, 1858, and by an 
act of the legislature, approved March 9, 1874, its village (as it then was) 
of this name was detached from Dakota county and annexed to Ramsey 
county, being made a part of St. Paul. 

Vermillion township, organized April 5, 1858, was named for the 
Vermillion river, which bears a translation of its Sioux nam'', as more 
fully noted on an ensuing p:^e. 

Watekfoed township, established April 20, 1858, "received its name 
from the fact that there was a ford across Cannon river within its 'imils. 
This ford was on the old trail from St. Paul to Faribault." 

The villages of this county, in alphabetic order, are as follows : 

Castle Rock, a railway station, named like its township. 

Etter, 3 railway station, named for Alexander Etter, its first merchant 

Farmington, incorporated in March, 1872, an important railway town, 
"received its name from its situation in a district e.tduaively devoted 
to farming." 

Hampton and Inver Grove railway villages are named for their town- 

Lakevtlle, named like the township, received its first settlers in 1355. 
When the Hastings and Dakota railroad was built there, in 1369, a new 
village site was chosen, at first called Fairfield. This village superseded 
the older Lakeville and adopted that name in its act of incorporation, 
March 28, 187a 

Mendota, the oldest village of this county, gave its name to a town- 

MiESViLLE was named for John Mies, by whom this little village was 
founded in 1874. 

New Trier was "named for Trier, Germany, the native place of some 
of the early settlers in this vicinity." 

NiCOLB a railway station, was named for John Nicols, of St. P.iul, 
the former owne of is «ite 

NINI^CEH once a large \ illage and mcorporated as a c t\ b rt now 
nearly deserted has been noticed for the township named fro n ir 

P ivE Bend on the Mis« ssipp river includes the site of the ^illaee of 
a Sioux chief Medicine Bottle who seceded from the Kaposia illage 
"It IS named from the fact that p ne trees stand on the banks where the 
river make= a dec ded turn or bend This is al'io the name of a station 
on tl e upland Df the new St Paul Southern electr c ra lwa\ 

Randolph a ralway j-unction is named for (s township 

Rich \ alley was named from its location in a valley of ^ery fertile 



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168 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

RosEMOUNT, Vermillion, and Watehford, railway villages, bear the 
names of their townships. 

Wescott, a railway station, usually spelled Westcott, was named for 
a prominent pioneer, James Wescott, who settled there in 1854. He served 
in the First Minnesota heavy artillery in the civil war ; was treasurer of 
this county in 1860-62; and died on his farm near this station, May 4, 1910. 

Lakes and Steeams. 
Three small lakes lying within about a mile south of the village of 
Mendota were named lakes Qiarlotte, Lucy, and Abigail, on the earliest map 
of the vicinity of Fort St. Anthony, which in 1825 was renamed Fort Snell- 
ing. These names were given respectively in honor of the wives of Lieu- 
tenant Nathan Qark, Captain George Gooding, and Colonel Josiah Snell- 
ing. None of these names is retained at the present time. The most 

wh 

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d Ch m kn 

g 
O ry m 

B D g m m M 

g ffl 

B D 



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DAKOTA COUNTY 





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h h I h lly th ty tit ti t published 

by N 11 t ro p 1843 f th S m It ^ w probably 

f m th y b ght d d g 1 d h bt d b the Sious 

m f CI mn ) R k M h m { Ilj t d n ensuing 

p g d f th t p f th St P t d t b de or near 

th fth 

Th 1 p t f th V m 11 ft t 1 Ih Mississippi 

bottomland, there flowing in two streams northwestward and southeast- 
ward to the great river, are named the Vermillion slough. Four miles 
southeast of Hastings, this slough or river is joined by the Truedell 
slough, named for a pioneer settler, by which it is connected with the Mis- 
sissippi. Thence southeastward these two rivers, the Vermillion and the 
Mississippi, inclose Prairie island, ten miles long, Is^ng mostly in Good- 
hue county, under which its name and history are again noticed. The 
name is a translation of its earliest French name, Isle Pel^e, called by 
Radisson "the first landing isle." (Minnesota Historical Society Collec- 
tions, vol. X, part II, pages 462-473, with a map of this island.) 

Dudley island, in the Mississippi between one and two miles east 
of Hastings, belonging to Ravenna township, was named, as stated by 
Irving Todd, Sr,, for John Dudley, of Prescott, Wis., owner of sawmills 
adjoining the mouth of the St. Croix river. 

Belanger island, in Nininger, south of the main channel of the Mis- 
sissippi, bears the name of the first settler in this township, a French 
Canadian, whose cabin was on the bank of Spring lake. 

Pike island, at the mouth of the Minnesota river and adjoining Men- 
dota, is named for Lieutenant (later General) Zebulon M. Pike, who in 
1805 on the west end of this island made a treaty with the Sioux for the 



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170 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

tract on which Fort St. Anthony, later named Fort Snelling, was built 
in the years 1820-24. 

Kaposia, the village of the successive hereditary Sioux chiefs, named 
Little Crow, was situated from 1837 to 1862 on a part of the site of South 
Park, a suburb of South St. Paul, Previously, in the time of the expedi- 
tions of Pike, Cass, and Long, this movable Indian village had been located 
on the eastern side of the Mississippi, as noted for Ramsey county. In 1820 
and til! 1833 or later, it was on the upper side of Dayton's bluff, within 
the area of St. Paul; but earlier, during a dozen years or more, in 1805 
and in 1817, it was at the Grand Marais. one to two miles south of that 
blutl. Concerning the name Keating wrote; "The Indians designate 
this band by the name of Kapoja, which implies that they are deemed 
lighter and more active than the rest of the nation." (Minnesota in 
Three Centuries, vol. I, pages 366-368,1 

Hills and Rucks. 

The hilly tracts or belts of Dakota county consist of morainic glacial 
drift, amassed in abundant knolls, short ridges, and small hills, of which 
only a few rise to such prominence that they are named. 

The most conspicuous hill, rising to about 1175 feet above the sea, 
being about a hundred feet above any point in the view around it, is Buck 
hill, near Crystal lake, described as follows in the History of this 
county published in 1881 ; "At the west end of the lake is a high hill, . . , 
called by the early settlers 'Buck Hill.' From the top oi this high emin- 
ence the Indians would watch the deer as they came to drink from the 
cool waters of the lake." 

Another conspicuous height, near Mendota, is commonly called Pilot 
Knob ; but on the oldest map of the vicinity of Fort Snelling, before 
mentioned, it is more properly named Pilot hill. 

In section 1, Marshan, are two prominent drift hiils, which have been 
long known as "the Mounds." 

Besides the Castle Rock, in the township so named, this county has 
several other somewhat similar castlelike or columnar rock masses. One 
of these, about ten miles north of the Castle Rock, is called Castle Hill 
on Nicollet's map, but since the settlement of the county it is named 
Lone Rock. About a mile and a half east of this is a Chimney Rock. 
Again, about eight miles distant east -southeast from the last, \here is 
another and more remarkable Chimney Rock, This is in the east edge 
of section 31, Marshan, about seven miles south of Hastings. As de- 
scribed in 1905 by the present writer (Bulletin of the Minnesota Academy 
of Sciences, vol, IV, page 302, with a view from a photograph which well 
shows the reason for its name), this Chimney Rock "is the most pictur- 
esque and perfect example of columnar rock weathering in Minnesota. 
... It is a vertical pillar, measuring M feet in height and about 6 and 
12 feet in its less and greater diameters, being no thicker near the base 
than in its upper part" 



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DODGE COUNTY 

Established February 20, 1855, this county received its name in honor 
of Henry Dodge, governor of Wisconsin, and his son, Augustus C. 
Dodge, of Iowa. 

Henry Dodge was born in Vincennes, Indiana, October 12, 1782; and 
died in Burlington, Iowa, June 19, 1867. He served in the war of !812 ; 
was a colonel of volunteers in the Black Hawk war, 1832 ; commanded 
an expedition to the Rocky mountains in 1835 ; was governor of Wiscon- 
sin territory and superintendent of Indian affairs, 1836-41 ; delegate in 
Congress for Wisconsin, 1842-6; again governor of that territory, 184S-8; 
and was one of the first U. S. senators from the state of Wisconsin, 
1848-57. 

Governor Dodge on July 29, 1837, at Fort Snelling, then in Wisconsin, 
ma.de a treaty with the Ojibways, by which they ceded to the United 
States all their pine lands and agricultural lands on the upper part of 
the St. Croix river and its tributaries, in the present states of Wis- 
consin and Minnesota. The tract ceded also reached west to include 
the upper part of the basin of Rum river, and onward to the Mississippi 
between Sauk Rapids and the mouth of Crow Wing' river. In Septem- 
ber of the same year, under direction of Governor Dodge, about twenty 
chiefs and braves of the Sioux went with the agent. Major Taliaferro, 
to the city of Washington and there made a treaty ceding all their Sands 
east of the Mississippi, together with the islands in this river. By these 
treaties a large tract of eastern Minnesota (then a part of Wisconsin), 
including the sites of St. Paul and St. Anthony, was opened to white- 
settlement. 

Augustus Caesar Dodge was born in St. Genevieve, Missouri, Janu- 
ary 12, 1812 ; and died in Burlington, Iowa, November 20, 1883. He was 
the delegate in Congress for Iowa territory, 1840-7; was one of the first 
U. S. senators of Iowa, 1848-55, his father being also a senator at the 
same time ; and was minister representing this country in Spain during 
four years, 1855-9. 

Biographies of both the father and son, with their portraits, by 
Louis Pelzer, have been published, respectively in 1911 and 1908, by the 
State Historical Society of Iowa, in its Iowa Biographical Series. 

Townships and Villages. 

For the origins and meanings of the geographic names of this county, 
information has been gathered from "An Historical Sketch of Dodge 
County," by W. H. Mitchell and U, Curtis, 1870, I2S pages ; "History of 
Winona, Olmsted, and Dodge Counties," 1884 (this county having pages 



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172 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

769 1266) Ati f Dodg C ty by R L P Ik d C 1905 I g 

p 61 129 £ t t h t ! d b g ph tl II t t d 

I m th ffi f G g L T yl tj d t d O g H 
SI m d f th Man 11 E p t d Ap 1 1916 

Ah t 1 p fi t ttl d My 1854 g n d T !S 

1858 m d f t g 1 ill g pi t 18S5 by W 11 m W d m 

Th ■Wl dD ISNt IW wthth Ehf 

th th p p t h t d th w m g t t tl y 

ftwdttadgrtp M thtyTh m 

ppl d t t h p 11 g t d t n tw Qty ix 

tl t t 1 U 

B RN f m p t fli M It t bl h d n 1858 wa named 

f th p t 1 f Sw t Id 

B H N N f 1> 11 II g h g m 11 th K 11 

M ddl b i £ th Z mb w m d h f j m 

B h 1 ct d 1856 t th p d y t tl Un t d St I 

C EO t w h p ttl d 1854 d ga iz d 1858 w m d 

b t mm e t f m Can t 11 g and t w h p 

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th f fi p! h (R b t H t 1 G tt of 

St b C tj 1891 p g 15 17) 

Cheney the post office at Eden railway station m Wasioji was named 

h f B P Ch 3 f m th 

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II 18"^ w m d f th t f U m t N H wl 1 
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CI m t 11 g w p t d 18 8 

C N t hi 1 1 d \p I 1854 g d M y II 18S8 

m d Ik f th ty f C d N H th p t I f 

th t t t Tl II g pi t d d J 7 1856 

D DC L TE tl I II g t! th dg E W ) 

f d d 1866 pi tted J ly 1869 d p t d F b 

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th 1 t t £h t f U ty Th fi t p g t ed 

lee, th -U d St P t 1 d, J Ij 13, 1866 

Eden, the railway station and village having Cheney post office, was 
named by officers of the Chicago Great Western Railway Company. 

Ellington township, settled in July, 1855, organized May II, 1858, 
had been at first named Pleasant Grove, but was renamed for the town 
of Ellington in Connecticut. Mrs. Joha Van Buren, who proposed this 
change of name, "wrote the votes by which the matter was decided." 



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DODGE COUNTY 173 

Havfield township was organized March 30, 18?2, having previously 
been a part of Vernon. Its name was adopted from a township of Craw- 
ford county in northwestern Pennsylvania. The railway village of Hav- 
field was incorporated January 7, 1896. 

Kasson, a railway village ia the south edge of Mantorville, was 
named in honor of Jabez Hyde Kasson, owner of the original town site. 
He was born in Springvilie Pa January 17 1820, and came to Minne- 
sota in 1856, settling on a farm n this townsl ip When the Winona and 
St. Peter railroad reached th s place n the fdll of 1865, this village was 
laid out by Mr. Kasson and ethers the plat be ng recorded October 13, 
1865, and in November the first passenger train came. 

MANTOEVUxe township was first settled m April, 1854; was incor- 
porated under legislative acts f 1854 and 1857 and was organized under 
the state government. May 11, 1858. The vdlage was platted March 26, 
1856, by Peter Mantor, H. A. Pratt, and others, and in 1857 it was desig- 
nated by a vote of the county to be the county seat. This name was 
adopted in honor of three brothers, Peter, Rilev, and Frank Mantor, 
who came here m 18S3 and 1834 from Lmeavdle Crawford county Pa 
Peter Mantor tte oldest of these brothers and the leader m foundmg 
this tiwn was horn m Mbany county N "i December 15 1815 settled 
on the site of the village of Mintcrville \prd 19 1854 and bu It a saw 
ml! and gristmill there was a representati\ e m the legislature 1859 60 
was captain of Company C Second Minnesota Regiment 1861 removed 
to Bismartk Dakota m 1874 where he was register of the U S land 
office until 1880 died m MantorviUe September 23 1888 

Milton township settled m Maj 1854 organized Ma> 20 1858 had 
been successnelj called W atkms Buchanan and Berne Georgia has 
a Milton counts and thirty other states have townships villages and 
aties of this name honoring the grand poet and patriot of England 
(b 1608 d 1674) 

Oslo a hamlet at the center of Vernon township was made a po=t 
office in 1879 lately discontinued This name is now borne by a village 
of the Soo railway m the southwest corner of Marshall county It was 
the name of the original city founded in 1048 by Harald Sigurdsson near 
the site of Chriatiania the capital of Norwaj O'ilo (or Opslo) became 
the chief city of Norway but it was built mamly of wood and after a 
great conflagration the cit\ was refounded on the present site by the 
king Christian IV who gave his name to it in 1524 

Rice Lake a village in the northwe';t corner of Claremont received 
Its name from the neighbor ng lake crossed bj the west line of this 
countv It refers to the growth of wild rice m this shallow lake which 
was used as an important food supply by the Indians 

RiPLE\ township first settled in September 1854 organized May 14 
4858 mav ptobably haie been named for some eastern township or \d 
lage as in Mame New York Ohio Indian-i Illinois or \\ est Virginia 
in each of which states this name is found 



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174 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Sacramento was a village platted in the fall o£ 18S5, on the Zumbro 
river in the west edge of Mantorville, against which it was a rival for 
election as the county seat, hut it was defeated by the popular vote in 
185?. Within the next decade its buildings were removed, and its site 
reverted to farm use. The name, from California, had reference to scanty 
occurrence of placer gold in the drift o£ some localities on branches of 
the Zumbro and Root rivers, as noted in reports of the Minnesota Geolog- 
ical Survey. One of the places of ill repaid gold washing by the early 
settlers was near the site occupied a few years by this "deserted village." 

Veknon township, settled in October, 1855, organized March 4, 1858, 
was named from Mount Vernon, Virginia, the home of Washington, 
for Admiral Edward Vernon (b. 1684, d. 175?), of the British navy. 

Vlasaty, a railway station in Ashland, was named by officers of the 
Chicago Great Western railway. 

Wasioja township, settled in October, 1854, organized in 1858, bears 
the Sioux name of the Zumbro river, spelled Wazi Oju on Nicollet's 
map in 1843. It is translated as "Pine river" by Nicollet, and is defined 
as meaning "pine clad." Large white pines, far west of their general 
geographic range, grow on the Zumbro bluffs in the east part of this 
township, as also in Mantorville, and at Pine Island in Goodhue county. 
The village of Wasioja was platted May 24, I8S6. 

West Concokb. a village of the Chicago Great Western railway, was 
platted June 1, 1885. 

Westiteld township, settled in 18S5, organized. March 23, 1866, proba- 
bly commemorates an eastern village or township whence some of its 
settlers had come. The name is so used in a dozen eastern states, and 
it is also borne by a river in Massachusetts. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The North Middle branch of Zumbro river, its South Middle branch, 
and its South branch, gather their head streams in this county ; and 
from Hayfield and Westfield the Cedar river, a long and large stream 
of Iowa, receives its highest sources, its East, Middle, and West forks. 

Milliken and Harkcom creeks, in Concord and Milton, flowing into the 
North Middle Zumbro, were named for pioneer settlers, as also Maston's 
branch, flowing northeastward past Kasson to the South Middle fork. 

La Due's bluff, the site of the quarries in Mantorville, was named for 
Hon. A. D. La Due, a prominent early citizen, who died at Mantorville 
on January 12, 1899. 

On the South branch of the Zumbro, in the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 12, Vernon, was the Indian Grove, named for a large number of 
Sioux who had their camp there in the winter of 135S-?. 

Hammond or Manchester lake and Prince lake, in Ripley, were named 
for adjoining farmers. 

The origins of the names of Zumbro and Cedar rivers are noticed 
in the first chapter, treating of the large rivers of this state. 



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DOUGLAS COUNTY 

This county, established March 8. 1S58, and organized June 15, 1866, 
was named in honor of Stephen Arnold Douglas, statesman and leader 
in the Democratic party, eminent in his patriotic loyalty to the Union at 
the beginning of the Civil War. He was born in Brandon, Vermont, 
April 23, 1813; and died in Chicago, June 3, 1861, He lived in Vermont 
to the age of seventeen years ; studied law, and was admitted to practice 
in Illinois in 1834; was elected to the state legislature in 1835, and won 
there the sobriquet of "the Little Gian-t," by which he was ever afterward 
well known ; was elected a judge of the slate supreme court in 1841 ; 
was a member of Congress, 1843-47; and U. S. Senator, 1847-61. On the 
application of Minnesota to be admitted as a state, in 1857-58, Douglas 
earnestly advocated it, being then chairman of the Senate Committee on 
Territories. 

In a series of debates in Illinois in 1858, with Abraham Lincoln, his 
Republican opponent, nominated for the United States senate, Douglas 
defended his view that Congress had no authority foi' exclusion of 
slavery from territories not yet received into the Union as states. Each 
of these great political leaders then aroused extraordinary interest 
throughout the nation, and two years later they were opposing candidates 
for the presidency, Lincoln was elected, the soutliern states seceded, 
and in 1861 the great Civil War began. 

Several biographies of Douglas have been published, in the presidential 
campaign of 1860, again new editions of one of these in the midst of the 
Civil War and at its close, and more complete and dispassionate studies 
in recent years. The influence of his loyalty for preservation of the 
Union was an inestimable contribution to the making of history and the 
welfare of the world. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county was gathered from the "History of 
Douglas and Grant Counties," Constant Larson, editor, 1916, two volumes, 
509, 693 pages ; "Plat Book of Douglas County," 1886, 82 pages, includ- 
ing a "Historical Sketch" in four pages; and from George P. Craig, 
judge of probate, Gustav A. Kortsch, president of the Douglas County 
Bank, R. C. Bondurant, local editor of the Alexandria Post News, Mrs. 
Charles F. Canfield, and Mrs. James H. Van Dyke, interviewed during 
a visit at Alexandria, the county seat, in May, 1915. 

Alexandria, settled in 1858, established as a township, June IS, 1866, 
was named in honor of Alexander Kinkaid, because he and his brother 
William were its first settlers, coming from Maryland. The form of 



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176 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

the name follows that of the large city in Egypt, which was founded 
in the year 332 B. C. by Alexander the Great. Fifteen other states have 
villages or cities of this name. The village of Alexandria was incorpo- 
rated February 20, 1877; arnd its charter as a city was adopted in 1908, 
The first passenger train on the railroad reached this place November 
S, 187& 

Alexander Kinkald removed to California, and additional record of 
him has not been learned. William KInkaid was bom in Elkton, Md., 
December 3, 1835; came to Minnesota in 1856; served In the Second 
Minnesota Battery, 1862-3; was afterward chief clerk in the hosirital at 
Washington for returned prisoners of war; died in St. Ooi\d, Minn., 
May 22, 1868. 

Belle River township, settled in 186S, was established March 8, 1870, 
being then named Riverdale. January 4, 1871, the present, name was 
chosen by vote of the people. Each of these names was suggested by 
the Long Prairie river, which flows meanderingly through the north half 
of this township, on its way toward the Long Prairie that borders it in 
Todd county, being what the French first word of the township name 
signilies, beautiful. 

Bbanbon, settled in I860, was established as a township September 3, 
1867, and was then called Chippewa, for Its lakes and river of that name, 
used as a "road of war" by the Ojibways in their forays to the Sioux 
country. Previously it had a station, named Chippewa, of the Burbank 
stage route from St. Cloud to the Red river, at the home and hotel of 
Ole Brandon, on a low hill about two miles north of the present railway 
village, which received his name, whence also the township was renamed. 
The village was incorporated November 22, 1881. 

Carlos, first settled in 1863, was made a township May 1, 1868. Its 
railway village was incorporated July 7, 1904. The name was adopted 
from the beautiful, large and deep Lake Carlos, which had received it 
before 1860, given by Glendy King, a homesteader adjoining Alexandria, 
who had been a student at West Point. Lakes Carlos and Le Homme 
Dieu were named by iiira for two of his friends in the eastern states. 

EvANSviLLE, permanently settled in 1865, established as a township 
January 7, 1868, commemorates the first mail carrier, named Evans, of 
the route opened in 1859 from St. Cloud to Fort Abercrombie, who had 
a log cabin here for staying over night. He was killed in the Sionx out- 
break of 1862. The village of Evansviile was platted in the fall of 1879, 
with the coming of the first railway train, and was incorporated in 1881. 

FoHADA, the railway village in Hudson, platted In July, 1903, by Cyrus 
A. Campbell, of Parker's Pralrje, Otter Tail county, incorporated April 
6, 1905, has the first name of Mrs. Campbell, Ada; but that name was 
already widely known as the county seat of Norman county, and there- 
fore it received the prefixed syllable. 

Garfielo, the railway village of Ida township, platted February 17, 
1882, incorporated September 9, 190S, was named in honor of President 



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D0UCL4^ CObNTy 177 

Garfield, who was shot July 2 1881 by th Gi t J d d t 

Elberon, N. J., our second mart> p de t ^ pt mb 19 f m th 
before this village was founded 

Genbva Beach, a village f mm h m t th th d f L k 
Geneva, received its name f m th 1 k wfi h 1 th dj g 

Lake Victoria, was named bj W It S tt Sh tw 11 Th t m m 

was derived from the lake a d h t n ty S tz I d th 1 tt 
in honor of Queen Victoria. Th p f th raw f 

Daniel Shotwei! from New J ywh hmtdlmtk 1859 

was between these lakes. Th tddmd t IdtC! 

fomia. and died many years g 

Holmes City, settled in 1858 tbild twhpOtb 4 

1866, was named in honor f Th m Ad H Im Id ft 

first group of settlers. Hewbm Bgt PM14 

1804; and died in Cullman Al T 1 2 1888 H t bl h d 
Indian trading post in 1839 t F t C ty W d 

1849 removed to Sauk Rapid M w h f th fi t t 

torial legislature: founded th t f S! k p d Ch k 1851 

Before engaging in the India trdhhdb fthf d f 

Janesville. Wis., in 1836. F 11 w g th d e f t h t t 

Montana in 1862, and ther prtptd f dgB kCt 

at an early locality of placer gldm g hhb thfit pt! 

of Montana Territory. 

Hudson township, first ttl d 1864 g d Ap I 16 I860 

was named from Hudson, W h mfml ftp 

came, including Mrs. S. B. Ch Id wh p p d th m 

Iba township, settled In 1863 g d Ap I 7 1868 d tl 

name of its large Lake Ida, ihhhdb mdbyM CI y 

one of its first settlers, for af dpbblj dg tmtt 

Inteklachen Park, a summ Ug CI twhpbdng 

the north shore of Lake LHm D dh gtwt d 

beside Lake Carlos, derived fh th 1 ght h g f p II g 

from Interlaken, Switzerland mh tdbt tbt Lk 

Thun and Brienz. It means b t tl 1 k 

Kensington, the railway II g fSlmtwhp plttdh 

Hon. Williara D. Washburn M 1 1887 d p t d T 

6, 1891. This is the name of w t ect f th tj f L d d 

it is also borne by villages dtwhp tl tt th 

farm of Olof Ohman, about th ml tl t f th 11 g th 

famous Kensington rune st w f d N mb 1898 It 
described in the Minnesota H 
pages 221-286, with illustrati 

La Geand township, first 
23, 1873, being then called W 
year it was changed to La G 
of Alexandria. 



t 


1 Soc ty C 11 t 


1 m XV 


dm 


P 




ttl d 


I860 g 


d S pt mb 


t M 


d b t D 


mb f th t 



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178 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Lake Maky township, settled in 1863, established September 3, 1867, 
was named for its large lake, which commemorates Mary A. Kinkaid, 
a homesteader of 1861 in section 24, La Grand, sister of Alexander and 
William Kinkaid, before mentioned as the first settlers in Alexandria. 
Her homestead adjoined Lake Winona, which she pr bibly i amed 

Leaf Valley, to which the first settler came in 1866 was est bl shed 
as a township November 23, 1867. Its name refers to ts s tuation at 
the southern border of the Leaf hills, commonly called mou ta n wh ch 
rise conspicuously in the adjoining edge of Otter Ta 1 co ntj 

Lund, first settled in 1866, made a township March 1 187'' s named 
for the very ancient city of Lund in southern Sweden wl ch ha a 
famous university founded in 1666. In pagan times Lund atta ned great 
importance, and during a long period of the M ddle \ges t was the 
seat of an archbishopric and was the largest city of S a d av a 

Melby, the railway village of Lund, was platted n April 19CP be ng 
named probably for a farming locality in Sweden when e so e of the 
adjoining settlers came, receiving from it their ow perso al ' mames 

MiLLERViLLE, established as a township November '3 1867 wa named 
for John Miller, an early and prominent German settler Its Uage was 
incorporated June 29, 1903. 

MiLTONA township was established December 19 1871 rece ng ts 
name from the large Lake Miltona, which occup es more than a saxth 
part of its area. The lake was named for Mrs. Flo ence M Itona Road 
ruck, wife of Benjamin Franklin Roadruck, who had a hone tead m sec 
tion 22, Leaf Valley, at the west end of this lake. In 187 the> returned 
to their former home in Indiana. (Letter from beo ge L T eat of 
Alexandria,) Tradition tells that her family wasl g vas often done on 
the lake shore. 

MoE, settled in 1863, was established as a townsh p September 3 1867 
being at first called Adkinsville in honor of Thomas Adkin one of the 
first settlers. "Later the name was changed tn Moe n memory of a 
district in Norway, from which a number of the p oneers ame 

Nelson, a railway village on the east line of Mexandr a townsi p 
founded about the year 1875, was incorporated -^ gi t 11 1905 The 
post office and village were at first named Dent n ! onor of R chard 
Dent, who settled at Alexandria in 1868, and died n Spokane Wash 
May 19, 1915. The name was changed to Nelson, after 1881 honor of 
Senator Knute Nelson, the most eminent citizen of th s county He was 
bora in Vossvangen, Norway, February 2, 1843 came to the Un ted 
States when six years old, with his mother ; served n tf e Fourth W s 
consin Kegiment. 18614; was admitted to the bar in 1867; came to Minne- 
sota in 1871, and settled on a farm near Alexandria ; practiced law in 
Alexandria after 1872; was a state senator, 1875-8; representative in 
Congress, 1883-9; governor of Minnesota, 1893-5; and resigned to accept 
the office of U. S. senator, which position he has since filled with very 
distinguished ability and grand loyalty to this state and the nation. His 



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DOUGLAS COUNTY 179 

biography is in "Lives of tlie Governors of Minnesota " by Gen James 
H Baker (M H S Collections vol XIII 1908 pp 127 j55 w ith portrait) 

Orange was settled m 1863-4 and was estabhshed as a township 
Januarj 7 1868 Eight states have counties of this name and it is borne 
in twenty states by cities villages and townehips 

OsAKi= hrst settled in 1859 was established June 15 1866 this and 
Alexandria being the oldest townships of the countv The name was 
received from OsaUis lake which as also the Sauk n\er outflowing from 
it has reference to Sauk Indians fortntrly Imiig here as narrated i*i 
connection with Sauk Rapids in the chapter of Benton countj In 1859 
the stages runmng to Fort Abercronibie had a station on the site of 
Oaakia village and the earliest settlers took claims but the Sicux out 
break in 1862 caused these claims to be abandoned The village was 
founded m 1866, and was incorporated Fcbruar> 21, 1881. The date of 
the first passenger train was November 1, 1878. 

SoLEM, settled in 1866, was established as a township March 10, 1870. 
"The township takes its name from a district in Norway, from which 
place many of the pioneers came." 

Spsuce Hill township, the latest established in this county, was organ- 
ized March 9, 1875. Its low timbered hills of raorainic drift bear the 
black spruce, balsam lir, white pine, paper or canoe birch, balsam poplar, 
and blueberries, with other trees and shrubs, the several species thus 
named reaching here the southwestern limits of their geographic range. 
This township has two hamlets, named Spruce Hill and Spruce Center. 

Urness, first settled in 1862-3, was established as a township, March 
22, 1869, to be called Red Rock, from its lake of that name, referring 
to reddish boulders on its shore, one being especially noteworthy on the 
northeast shore of the main lake. On February 7, 1871, the commission- 
ers received a petition requesting that the name of the township be 
changed to Urness, "in memory of a certain district in Norway," Two 
of its pioneer farmers, Andrew J. and Ole J. Urness, respectively in 
sections 24 and 12, coming in 1865, were immigrants from that district 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing list of the names of townships has included sufficient 
references to several rivers and lakes. 

Only a few other names of streams are to be noticed, ai Spruce and 
Stormy creeks in Spruce Hill township, and Calamus creek named for 
its growth of the calamus or sweet flag (Acorus Calamus, L.), in Osakis 
and Belle River townships. More recently the last has been named Fair- 
field creek, in honor of Edwin, George, and Lloyd D. Fairfield, early 
settlers in Osakis and Orange, having homesteads near the farthest 

But there remains a multitude of lakes, unsurpassed in beauty and 
diversity. Some of these are named for pioneers whose homes adjoined 
the lakes ; others for their outlines, as Horseshoe lake. Moon lake, two 



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180 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Crooked lakes, Lobster lake, and several Long lakes; and others for 
their trees aad animals, as Maple lake, Elk, and Turtle lakes. 

The complex and recurving series or chain of lakes, lai^e and small, 
through which the head stream of Long Prairie river takes it course, 
consists in descending order of Lake Irene, earlier called Reservation 
lake; Lakes Miltona and Ida, respectively the largest and the next in size 
in this series; Lakes Charlie and Louise, named for a son and a daughter 
of Charles Cook, who settled in Alexandria in 1858, had been a fur 
merchant in London and a member of the Hudson Bay Company, was 
the first postmaster of Alexandria, and after a few years returned to the 
eastern states and later to London, where he spent the remainder of his 
life; Union lake, where this series receives an important inflowing stream 
from another large series of lakes at the west and south; Stone and 
Lottie lakes; Lake Cowdry, named for Samuel B. Cowdry, a pioneer 
farmer in Alexandria, who removed in 1862, later attended the Seabury 
Divinity School, Faribault, and became an Episcopal rector in southern 
Minnesota; Lake Darling, commemorative of Andrew Darling, a pioaeer 
who settled on the shore of this lake in 1860, an exceptionally successful 
farmer; and Lake Carlos, lowest of this series, sounded by Rev. C. M. 
Terry and found to have in some places a depth of ISO feet, being the 
deepest lake of this state. 

Lake Irene, in sections 14, 22, and 23, Miltona, is in honor of Irene 
Roadruck, for whose mother Lake Miltona is naraed,.,as noted for this 
township. 

A second series, mentioned as tributary to Union lake of the preceding 
series, has, in like descending order, Lake Andrews, named probably in 
honor of the first physician of Alexandria; Lake Mary, largest in this 
series; Mill and l^obster lakes, the latter having numerous arms or 
daws; and Lake Mina, Berglin's lake, and Fish lake (the last formerly 
called Mill lake). Lake Mina is again noticed on page 182, 

A third series of lakes, tributary to Lake Carlos, includes another 
and smaller Union lake, covering parts of four sections in Hudson; 
Burgan's lake, named for William P. Burgau, a farmer who settled near 
its southwest shore in 1869; and Lakes Victoria, Geneva, and Le Homme 
Dieu, each having many summer homes along the shores. 

To the eastern arm of Lake Victoria a fourth series sends its out- 
flow, comprising Lover's lake, Childs lake, and Lake Jessie, the second 
being for Edwin R. Childs, who came there as a homesteader in 1867. 

Many lakes yet remain, not hereinbefore noticed. In the order of 
townships from south to north, and of ranges from east to west, these 
are listed as follows, so far as they have names on our maps and atlases. 
A goodly number having relatively small areas lack p'lblished names. 

Swims or Clifford lake, Myer's, Owings, and English Grove lakes, 
in Orange, the last named for its grove on the homestead of William 
T. English, who settled there in 1863. These lakes are shallow, and in 
the latest atlas, of 1916, they are mapped as drained. 



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DOUGLAS COUNTY 181 

Maple lake, in Hudson, 

Turtle, Long, and Mud lakes, in Lake Mary township, the last recently 
drained. 

Van Loon's lake, Grutib lake. Lake Rachel, Echo lake. Grant's and 
Blackwell lakes, Holmes City lake, Oscar lake, South Oscar lake, and 
Freeborn, Mattson, and Olaf lakes, in Holmes City township. Early 
settlers commemorated in these names include Noah Grant, who settled 
on section 2 in 18S8; George Blackwell, on section 3, 1868; Miner Van 
Loon, section 24, 1865 ; John Frerfjorn, section 30, 1868 ; and John Matt- 
son, section 32. 1868. (For the origin of the name of Lake Oscar, see 
the end of this chapter,) 

Long lake, Eng, Hegg, and Roland lakes, in Solera. Among the 
pioneer settlers in this township were Erick Pehrson Eng, Erick Hegg, 
and John Roland, for whom these lakes were named. 

Lake Smith, Bird lake, Crooked and Hanford lakes, in Osakis town- 
ship, the last two now drained 

Lakes Agnes and Henry, close north of the city of Alexandria, the 
former named for the eastern "iady love" of William Kinkaid by Mrs. 
Caroline Cook, wife of Charles Cook, the merchant pioneer from Lon- 
don, and the latter for one of their children, brother of Charlie and 
Louise Cook (for whom other small lakes,_ previously noted, are named), 
and of Fanny Cook, who became the wife of James Henry Van Dyke, 
first merchant of Alexandria; Lake Winona, at the we'^t side of Alex- 
andria, and extending into La Grand, for which lake and for this county 
the first white child born here was named Winona Douglas James, 
daughter of Joseph A. James, a settler who came from Philadelphia in 
1858; Lake Conie, at the southeast edge of the city, and Shadow lake in 
section 23, these all being in Alexandria township. 

Lake Alvin, Lake Latoka, (of origin and meaning yet to be ascer- 
tained). Nelson lake (for O. W. Nelson, an adjoining farmer), and 
Lake Cook, in Le Grand, the last being in honor of Charles Cook. 

Elk lake, Lakes Elizabeth, Gilbert, and William, Crooked lake, Lake 
Brandon (named for John Brandon, a farmer whose home is at its east 
side), Thorstad and Minister lakes, in Moe, the last being near a Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church. • 

Amos lake, for Amos Johnson, Thorson lake, Barsness lake, for Albert 
and Oscar Barsness, HoUeque lake, Quara lake, for P. J. Quam, and 
Lake Venus, with the much larger Red Rock lake, before noticed, in 
Urness. 

Mud fake, at the corner of sections 27, 28, 33, and 34, Carlos. 

Baumbach, Hunt. Stowe's, and Grassy lakes. Long and Moon lakes, 
Lakes Aldrich and Nelson. Burrows. Whiskey, and Devil's lakes, in 
Brandon. The first was named in honor of Frederick von Baumbach, who 
was born in Prussia, August 30, 1838; and died at his home in Alexandria, 
Minn., Nov. 30, 1917. He came to the United States with his father in 



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182 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

1848; served in the Fifth and Thirty-fifth Wisconsin regiments during the 
civil war, attaining the rank of major ; came to Minnesota, settling at 
Alexandria, in 1867; was auditor of this county, 18?2-78, and again in 
1889-98; secretary of State of Minnesota, 1880-87; and internal revenue 
collector for this state, 1898-1914. Lake Mina, before notedi in the second 
series tributary to Long Prairie river, was named for his mother. 

Others of these Brandon lakes were named for Joseph Hunt, home- 
steader on -section 6 in 1867; Martin Stowe, on section 18 in 1862; John 
D. Aldrich, section 23, 1868; and John Nelson, section 26, 1865. 

Another Long lake, Jennie, Erwin, Alberts, Solberg, Hubred, Davidson, 
Mahia, and Fanny lakes, in Evansville. Adjacent farmers commernorated 
by these names include George Erwin, Ole Alberts, A. H. Solberg, Oliver 
Hubred, D. J. Davidson, and M. H. Mahla. 

Vermont and Wood lakes, in Miltona, the former named by settlers 
from that state. 

Spring and Kelly's lakes, in Leaf Valley, the latter in honor of Patrick 
Kelly, an Irish homesteader at its east side in 1873. 

Lakes Moses and Aaron, Lorsung, Wilken, Stockhaven, and Stock- 
housen lakea, in Millerville. The first two were named for the great 
Hebrew lawgiver and his brother, deliverers of their nation from 
Egyptian bondage and leaders toward the promised land of Palestine. 
The third and fourth of these lakes, named for Joseph Lursung and 
John and William Wilken, have been drained, the bed of each being 
subdivided to the adjoining farms. The last was named, with change 
of spelling, in honor of Hans G. von Stackhausen, who took a home- 
stead claim there in 1870. 

Lund, the most northwestern township, has the large but shallow 
Lake Christina, the small Lakes Anka and Ina, bordering the south 
shore of that large lake, and Horseshoe lake and Lake Sina. The last, 
in section 25, bears on maps of thirty to forty years ago this name of 
Mount Sinai (called Sina in the seventh chapter of the Acts), where the 
Decalogue and other laws were received, the name being suggested by 
Lakes Moses and Aaron, a few miles distant. 

Lake Christina and its companion, the large Pelican lake in the adjoin- 
ing corner of Grant county, appear, though with inaccurate outlines, on 
an early map of this state, dated January 1, 1860, their names being given 
as Lakes Christina and EUenora. These were probably names of pioneer 
women, the first and perhaps both being from Sweden. It may be true, 
however, that the first was bestowed in honor of Queen Chri.stina, who 
was regent of Sweden in 1632-44 and queen during the next ten years. 

Similarly the name of Lake Oscar, in Holmes City township, though 
a common christening name, was quite surely not adopted to honor any 
settler there, but for Oscar I, the king of Sweden and Norway in 1844-59, 
father of Oscar H, who was the king in 1872-1907. 



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FARIBAULT COUNTY 

This countj was established February 20, 1855, being named in honor 
of Jean Baptiste Faribault, who was engaged during the greater part of 
his long life as a trader among the Sioux, at first for the Northwest 
Fur Company. He was born at Berthier, Province of Quebec, in 1774, 
and came to the Northwest in )7^, taking charge of a trading post on the 
Kankakee river near the south end of Lake Michigan. During the years 
1799 to 1802, he was stationed at the Redwood post, situated on the Des 
Moines river, "about two hundred miles above its mouth," being in what 
is now the central part of Iowa. Coming to Minnesota in 1803, he took 
charge of a post at Little Rapids, on the Minnesota river a few miles 
above the present sites of Chaska and Carver, where he remained several 
years. Afterward he was a trader on his own account at Prairie du 
Chien, Wis., whence he removed to Pike island, at the raouth of the 
Minnesota river, in the spring of 1820, having been promised military 
protection by Colonel Leavenworth, who had come there with troops in 
the preceding August for building the fort which in 1825 was named 
Fort Snelling. After 1826 Faribault and his family lived in Mendota, 
having built there a substantial stone house, the first in Minnesota, and 
in the winters during many years he traded with the Sioux at Little 
Rapids. His influence with the Indian tribes west of the Mississippi, 
from the Missouri to the Red river, was very great. He endeavored to 
teach them agriculture, and was the first white settler to cultivate the 
soil in this state. He spent his last years in the town of Faribault, in 
Rice county, founded, at first as an Indian trading post, by his eldest 
son, Alexander Faribault, for whom it was named. He died at the home 
of his daughter there, August 20, 1860, 

An appreciative memoir of him. by Gen. Henry H, Sibley, in the Min- 
nesota Historical Society Collections (vol. flL pages 168-179), closes 
with these words: "Amoag the pioneers of Minnesota, there are none 
whose memory and whose name better deserve to be respected and per- 
petuated." 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins and meanings of the geographic names in 
this county was received from "The History of Faribault County . . . 
to the close of the year 1879," by Judge J. A. Kiester, 1896, 687 pages ; 
and from John Siverson, register of deeds, and Henry P. Constans, 
proprietor of the Constans Hotel, interviewed at Blue Earth during my 
visit there in July, 1916. 

Barber township, settled in June, 1857, established September 27, 
1858, and organized June 10, 1864, was natned in honor of Chatincey 



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184 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Barber whom the commissioners supposed to be a resident of this town- 
ship He came froia Penhsyivama to Wisconsm and in. 1856 to this 
countv setthng in Minnesota Lake township was ita first hotelkcLper and 
phtted it"! railwaj vilhge on his land;, m 1866 About tnehe or fifteen 
years liter he removed to Oregon 

Blue E\rth township first settled lu May 1855 organized October 
20 1818 derived its name from its village called Blue Earth City which 
had been platted m Julj 18So and has ever since been the county seat 
The Village was named from the river which the Sioux called Mahkahto 
meanmg green or blue earth as more lullv noticed in the chapter of 
Blue Earth county Bj an act of the legishture March 1 1872 
the \iilage was inLjrporated it recened a new and improved charter by 
a second act January 27 1879 and at adopted the citj form of govern 
ment m 1900 

Bkkel^n the railwaj village in 'seeh township w^s nd.medi for 
John BriLe who owned and platted it 

Brush Cseek township settled in Mav 1856 and established Sep 
tember Z7 1858 rei-eived the name of its small creek which joins the 
Ea'Jt fork of Blue F-irth rner in section 26 The reason for the applica 
tion of this name to the creek was the thick growth of small frees 
thiLkets and brush along its banks 

Clarii. township =iett!ed in June 1862 and organized September 7 
1869 had been named Cobb hy the countj commissioners m 1858 from 
their erroneous supposition that the Cobb river (of Blue Earth countj ) 
recened a portion ot its headwaters m this township At its organiza 
tion m 1869 the name was changed to Thompstn m honor of Qark W 
Thompson the largest land owner of the town and countj Because 
that name however was already m use for another tcwnship in Minne 
sota it was renamed Clark March 24 1870 taking his first name He 
was born near Jordan Canada JuK 23 182S and died at Wells the 
railway village of this township October II 1885 He came to Mmne 
sota in 18^3 engaged in nulling in Houston county until 1861 was 
Indian agent by appointment of President Lincoln 1861 5 built the 
Southern Minnesota radroad from the Mississippi river to Winnebago 
City, and afterward owned an extensive farm at Wells ; was a repre- 
sentative in the territorial legislature, 18SS ; member of the state con- 
stitutional convention, 1857; a state senator, 1871; and president of the 
State Agricultural Society, 1880-85. 

Delavan, settled in May, 1856, organized October 20, 18S8, was at 
first named Guthrie, in honor of Sterrit Giuthrie, one of the pioneer set- 
tlers. May 1, 1872, the name was changed to Delavan, to agree with 
that of the railway village which had been platted October 11, 1870, in 
the southeast comer of this township. The proprietors of the village 
were Henry W. Holley, chief et^ineer of this Southern Minnesota rail- 
road, and Oren Delavan Browm, in whose honor the village name was 



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FARIBAULT COUNTY 185 

suggested by Mrs. Holley. He was born in Jefferson county, N. Y., in 
1837; came to Minnesota in 1856 with his father, Orviile Brown, a promi- 
nent newspaper editor; was an engineer on the surveys for the Southern 
Minnesota railroad, 186S-75, and later for the St, Paul and Sioux City 
railroad; afterward resided in Luverne, Minn. The first passenger train 
arrived here December 19, 1870. The village was incorporated February 
7, 1877. 

Dunbar, settled in 1856, organized April 3, 1866, was named Douglas 
by the county commissioners September 27, 1858, in honor of Stephen A 
Douglas, for whom also Douglas county had been earlier named in the 
same year. But this name had been previously given to another Minne- 
sota township, hence it was changed January 4, 18S9, to be in honor of 
William Franklin Dunbar, then the state auditor. He was born in 
Westerly, R. L, November 10. 1820; and died in Caledonia, Minn. He 
came to Minnesota in 1854, settling in Caledonia, and opened a farm near 
that town; was a member of the territorial legislature, 1856; and was 
the first state auditor of Minnesota, 1858-60. 

EIaston, the railway village in Lura township, platted in September, 
1873, and incorporated March 9, 1874, was named for Jason Clark Easton, 
one of the original proprietors. He was born in West Martinsburg, N. 
Y., May 12, 1823 ; and died in La Crosse, Wis., April 25, 1901. He came 
to Minnesota in 1856, and settled at Chatfield. There and in several other 
towns of southern Minnesota he had extensive interests in banking, farm 
lands, and railways. He removed to La Crosse in 1883. 

Elmore, first settled in November, 1855, and organized in J858, was 
then named Dobson, in honor of James Dobson, who carae from Indiana, 
settling here as a homesteader in April, 1856. This name was changed to 
Elmore in 1862, commemorating Andrew E. Elmore, a prominent citizen 
of Wisconsin, who numbered among his friends several early settlers of 
this township. He was born in Ulster county, N. Y., May 8, 1814; and 
died at Fort Howard, Wis., January 13, 1906. He came to Wisconsin in 
1839, settling in Mukwonago, Waukesha county, where he was a merchant 
during twenty-five years. In 1864 he removed to Green Bay, and after 
1868 he resided at Fort Howard, near Green Bay. He was a member of 
the Wisconsin territorial legislature, 1842-44; of the first constitutional 
convention, 1846; the state legislature, 1859-60; and was during many 
years president of the State Board of charities and reform. He was 
commonly called "the Sage of Mukwonago." 

EMI31AI.D, settled in 1856, organized April 3, 1866, was named by the 
county commissioners for Ireland, the "Emerald Isle," supposing erron- 
eously that it had Irish settlers. 

Foster, settled in June, 1856, organized September 24, 1864, was named 
in honor of Dr. Reuben R. Foster, one of the earliest settlers of the 
county. He was born in Jefferson county, N. Y., in 1808; came to Minne- 
sota in 1856, settling in Walnut Grove township ; removed in J858 to 



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186 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Blue Earth City, and was its first resident physician ; removed to Jack- 
son, Minn., in 1869, and to St. Paul, about 1880, where he died. 

Fkost, a railway village in the north edge of Rome, "was named for 
Charles S. Frost, an architect of Chicago." (Stennett, Place Names of 
th Ch' g d N th R 'Iw 1908) 



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w p t t th leg 1 t 1872 


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lawyer and orator, who "in the early days of Kentucky ranked with her 
most gifted and honored names." He was born in Bedford county, Vir- 
ginia, March 4, 1774; and was killed in the battle of Tippecanoe, Novem- 
ber 7, 1811. 

KiESTER township, settled in May, 1866, organized in January, 1872, 
was named Lake by the county commissioners in 1858, from their sup- 
position that it had a number of lakes. Because another Minnesota town- 
ship had previously received this name, it was changed January 4, 1859, 
in honor of Jacob Armel Kiester, who later became the historian of this 
county. He was bom at Mount Pleasant, Pa., April 29, 1832; and died 
in Blue Earth City, December 13, 1904. He was a student in Mt, Pleas- 
ant and Dickinson colleges. Pa. ; studied law, and was admitted to prac- 
tice, 1855 ; came to Minnesota in 1857, settling in Blue Earth City, which 
ever afterward was his home; was a representative in the legislature in 
1865, and during many years was an officer of this county, being succes- 
sively county surveyor, register of deeds, county attorney, and from 
1869 to 1890 was judge of probate; was a state senator, 1891-3. He col- 
lected materials during more than twenty years for "The History of Fari- 
bault County," before mentioned as the source of much information for 
this chapter; and he also wrote a continuation of that work, from 1880 
to 1904 inclusive, of which typewritten copies (717 pages) are in the 



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FARIBAULT COUNTY 187 

Etta Ross Memorial Library, Blue Earth, and the Library of the Minne- 
sota Historical Society, St. Paul. 

LuRA, settled in May, 1856, organized September 7, 1864, derived its 
name from Lake Lura, crossed by the north line of the county about a 
mile west from the northwest corner of this township. Its name is said 
to have been given "by one of the early settlers, from the name 'Lara' 
being carved on a tree upon its shore." In the chapter of Blue Earth 
county, its Sioux names are also noted. 

Minnesota Lake township, settled in 1856, was organised in 1858, 
and was then named Marples by the commissioners, in honor of Charles 
Marples, an early settler. He was an Englishman, and had served seven 
years in the British army. After long residence here, he removed to 
Missouri. This township name was changed February 23, 1866, to Minne- 
sota Lake, for the former large lake, which has been lately drained and 
apportioned to the adjoining farms. It is a name received from the 
Sioux or Dakotas, meaning slightly whitish water, which they also applied 
to the Minnesota river, thence adopted by this state. The railway village 
of Minnesota Lake was plattedi in October, 1866, and was incorporated 
February 14. 1876. 

Pilot Grove township, first settled in June, 1856, organized in Janu- 
ary, 1864, "was so named because o£ the fine grove of native timber on 
the northern boundary of the town; and this grove was named Pilot 
Grove because in the early days, before roads were established, this 
grove was a sort of landmark, on the wide prairies, by which the immi- 
grant was piloted on his way westward. It'may be added, too, that this 
grove, with its fine lake of sparkling waters and rich grasses surrounding 
it, was, in the days of immigrants, a sort of capacious inn, or caravansary, 
or camping ground." (Kiester's History.) We regret to note that Pilot 
Grove lake has in recent years been wholly drained away. 

Prescott, settled in September, 1855, organized September 16. 1851, 
received its name in 1858 for a settler who soon afterward moved away. 
"All that has been ascertained of him is, that he was a carpenter by 
trade, and that he was known by the name of 'Old Honesty.' " 

Rome township, settled in March, 1863, organized in 1868, was named 
Campbell by the commissioners in 1858, for James Campbell, one of the 
first settlors in Elmore township. At its organization, it was renamed 
Grant, in honor of General Grant, who later in that year was elected 
president of the United States. This name, however, had been earlier 
given to another Minnesota township, wherefore it was again changed 
in March, 1868, the present name being adopted, for the city of Rome, N. 
Y., on the suggestion of Fred Everton, the second settler in this town- 
ship, who during many years was chairman of its board of supervisors. 

Seely, settled in June, 1856, organized in 1858, commemorates Philan- 
der C. Seely, one of its earliest settlers. He was born in Cayuga county, 
N. Y.. in 1823; came to Minnesota and to this county in 1857; was 
elected sheriff in 1861, receiving every vote polled; served in the civil 



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188 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

war; resided several years in this township, and later in Blue Earth 
City. 

Vekona, settled in June, 18SS, organized in October, 18S8, was named 
after its post office, established in 1856 at the home of Henry T. Stod- 
dard, in the southeast quarter of section 11, the name having been pro- 
posed by A. B. Cornell, of Owatonna, for this terminus of the mail route. 
It is the name of an important province in northern Italy, and of its chief 
city, whence came the title of the Shakespeare drama, "Two Gentlemen 
of Verona." Seventeen other states of our Union have villages or town- 
ships of this name. 

Walnut Lake township, settled in June, 1856, organized in 1861, 
bears the name of its large lake, referring to its butternut trees, also 
called oil-nut and white walnut. It is translated from the Sioux name 
Tazuka. 

Walters, the railway village of Foster, was named by officers of the 
Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railway company. 

Wells, the railway village of Clark township, was founded and 
named July 1, 1869, receiving the maiden surname of Mrs. Clark W. 
Thompson. The Southern Minnesota railroad was completed to this 
place in January, 18?0, and the railroad from Mankato to Wells in 1874. 
This village was incorporated March 6, 1871. WitiiJn the next few years 
numerous flowing wells, twenty or more, were obtained in and near this 
village, hy boring through the glacial drift to depths of 110 to 120 feet, 
securing excellent water which rises from the bottom to a height of five 
to fifteen feet above the surface. These are the most remarkable wells 
of a large region in southern Minnesota, but the presence of artesian 
water here was unknown when the village was named. 

Winnebago township, settled in June, 1855, organized in October, 
1858, was then named Winnebago City, after the village of this name 
which was founded here by Andrew C. Dunn and others in September, 
1856. The townsite was platted in January, 1857, being named for the 
Winnebago tribe of Indians, whose reservation during the years 1855 to 
1863 was in the adjoining Blue Earth county. It was named "City" for 
discrimination from the Winnebago Agency near Mankato, but this part 
of the name was discontinued in 1905. 

Lakes and Streams. 

In the preceding list, sufficient mention has been made for the Blue 
Earth river. Brush creek, Cobb river (flowing through the northeast 
comer of this county), Lura lake, Minnesota lake, and Pilot Grove and 
Walnut lakes. 

Maple river, named for the maple trees along its course, ftowing 
northward' into Blue Earth county, gave the name there of Mapleton 
township and village. Eice lake, in Delavan, near the head of the west 
branch of this river, was named Maple lake on the state map of 1860, Its 
present name refers to its wild rice, like another Rice lake in Foster. 



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FARIBAULT COUNTY 189 

Bass lake, in section 9, Delavan, was named for the well known fish, 
and it gave the name of the first post ofSce in this township, Bass Lake, 
which was established about the year I8S9, but was discontinued after the 
Delavan railway village was founded. An oak grove overlooking Bass 
lake is named "Camp Comfort," much used in summers for picnics, 
reunions of the old settlers, and other meetings. 

Hart lake, in section 28, Delavan, commemorates John and George 
Hart, who were pioneer farmers there. 

Gorman's lake, now drained, in section 17, Jo Daviess, was named m 
honor of Patrick Gorman, an early Irish settler beside it. 

Goose and Swan lakes were in sections 1! and 14, Brush Creek town- 
ship, but have been drained. Another Swan lake, in section 15. Barber, 
was called Lake Kanta in 1860, a Sioux name, meaning Plum lake, for 
its wild plum trees. 

The two largest lakes of this county, Minnesota lake, before noticed, 
and Ozahtanka lake in Barber and Emerald townships, have been drained, 
their beds being now cultivated farm lands. Both these names are on 
the map of 1860, each being the Sioux language. Tanka, like tonka, means 
great, but Ozah is not defined in Riggs' Dakota Dictionary. 

The former Mud lake in section 23, Lura, is now traversed by a ditch 
and drained. 

Jones creek, in Foster, commemorates a settler or a trapper. 
Coon creek, tributary to the Blue Earth river from the east, and 
Badger creek from the west, are named for fur-bearers, the first formerly 
common here, but the latter rare in Minnesota, though common in parts 
of Wisconsin, giving its name as the sobriquet of that state. 

Elm, Center, and South creeks, in Verona, flowing to the Blue Earth 
river from Martin county, are to be noticed in the chapter for that 
county. 

The Kiestek Moraine and Glacial Lake Minnesota. 
The fourth m the series of twehe termma! and margmal morames 
formed m Minnesota b> the contmental ice sheet durmj, its wavering 
departure at the close of the Glacial period is called the kie'iter moraine 
from its prominent Kiester hills m the township of this name The.,e 
marginal dritt hills and the continuation of their moramic belt north 
westerly in this countj and onward through the =tate probably passing 
mto South Dakota in the vicimtj of Big Stone lake were noted in Volume 
I of the Final Reports of the Minnesota Geological Suney published in 
1884 

At the time of formation of the Kiester morame the Glacial Lake 
Minnesota described in the chapter of Blue Earth county overspread 
the greater lart of Faribault count\ reaching thence northwstward 
along its ice border and cutfiowing south by the Union slough m Iowa 
at the headi of the Blue Earth ri\er being thence tributary to the Des 
Moines rn er 



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FILLMORE COUNTY 

This county, established March 5, 1853, was named for Millard Fill- 
more, who was president of the United States, 18S0 to 1853, retiring from 
office on the day previous to the approval of the act creating this county. 
He was born at Summer Hill, Cayuga county, N. Y., February 7, 1800; 
and died at Buffalo, N. Y., March 8, 1874. He studied law, and was 
admitted to practice in 1823 ; was a member of Congress, 1833*35 and 
1837-43; was comptroller of the state of New York, 1847-49; was elected 
vice president on the Whig ticket headed by Zachary Taylor, 1848; and 
succeeded to the presidency by the death of Taylor, July 9, 1850. Fill- 
more visited St Paul in a large excursion of eastern people, June 8, 
1854, as noted in the Minnesota Historical Society Collections (vol. VIH, 
pages 395-400). 

Biographies of Fillmore were published in 1856, when he was nomi- 
nated as presidential candidate of the American party; and in 1915 
Rev. William Elliot Griffis published a memorial review of his life and 
character, 159 pages, entitled "Millard Fillmore, Constructive States- 
man, Defender of the Constitution, President of the United States." 
He is also commemorated by Fillmore county in Nebraska, by Millard 
county in Utah, and by villages named Fillmore in a dozen states. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of these names has been gathered from "History of Fill- 
more County," by Ellis C. Turner and others, 1882, 626 pages ; the later 
History of this county, compiled by Franklyn Curtiss -Wedge, 1912, two 
volumes (continuously paged), 1170 pages; and from Archibald D. Gray 
and Andrew W. Thompson, of Preston, and Calvin E. Huntley, of 
Spring Valley, interviewed in April, 1916. 

Amherst, settled in 1853, organize4 May II, 1858, was named by one 
of its pioneer colonists, E. P. Eddy, "in honor of the place in which his 
wife was born." This was Amherst in Lorain county, Ohio, where her 
father, Henry Onstine, leader of these colonists, formerly lived. The 
settlers of the Ohio township came from New England, where towns of 
New Hampshire and Massachusetts had been named Anilierst in honor 
of General Jeffery Amherst, the English commander and hero of the 
siege and capture of Louisburg from the French in 1758, 

Arendahl, first settled in 1854, organized April 1, 18G!', was named 
by Isaac Jackson, a Norwegian immigrant, who had lived twelve years 
in Dane county, Wisconsin, and came to this township in 1856, the name 
being for the seaport city of Arendal on the southeast coast of Nor- 
way. "He named the town in remembrance of old associations, secured 
a post office, and was the first postmaster." 



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FILLMORE COUNTY 191 

Beaver, settled in 1854, organized May 11, 1858, received its name 
from the Beaver creek (doubtless a home of beavers), which flows 
through this township, joining the Upper Iowa river in section 34. A 
former post otSce near its center, established in 1859, was called Alba, 
meaning white, because the name was "short, eastern, and ancient." 

BELLVffiLE, a former village in Newburg township, was founded in 
1853 by two brothers, Edmund and Henry Bell. 

Bloomfjeld, first settled in 1854, was organized May 11, 1858. Eighteen 
other states have villages or cities of this "spring reminding name." 

Bratsbero, a hamlet in the southeast corner of section 10, Norway, 
bears the name of a district in southern Norway, comprising an area ot 
about 5,500 square miles. 

ERrsTOL, settled in July, 1853, organized May U, 1858, has the name 
of a large city in England, near the head of the Bristol channel. It is 
also the name of counties in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and of 
villages and townships in twenty other states of our Union. 

CANFiEtD, a hamlet on the east line of section 21, York, was named 
for S. G. Cantield, who established a store there in 1876. 

Canton, first settled in March, 1851, was organized May 11, 1858. 
"There was a spirited contest over the name, and quite a number were 
suggested, but the struggle was finally narrowed down to two names, 
'Elyria,' suggested by E. P. Eddy, and that of 'Canton,' proposed by 
Fred Flor. The vote declared] in favor of Canton, but the Elyria party 

gave up reluctantly On the records up to 1860, the name Elyria 

is carried along in the town books, when it dropped out of sight," These 
are names of cities in northeastern Ohio, near the former homes of many 
settlers in this township. Canton is a large and very ancient city of 
southeastern China, and thence twenty-three states of our Union have 
given this name to villages, cities and townships. The railway village 
of Canton was incorporated April 29, 1887. 

Carimona, first settled in 1852, organized May 11, 1858, has the village 
of this name, founded in 1853-4, which was the county seat in 1855-56, 
being succeeded by Preston. During several years this village was a 
busy station of the stage route from Galena and Dubuque to SL Paul, 
as shown by the hotel register of the Carimona House, 1855-59, pre- 
sented to the Library of the Minnesota Historical Society. This was the 
name ot a prominent chief of the Winnebagoes, who signed by bis mark 
seven successive treaties of the United States with this tribe, in 1816, 
1825, '27, '28, '29, 1833, and 1837. His name, borne also by his son, had 
much variety of spellings, and is translated as "Walking Turtle." Dr. 
L. C. Draper wrote of him : "Naw-Kaw, or Car-a-raau-nee, or The 
Walking Turtle, went on a mission with Tecumseh in 1809 to the New 
York Indians, and served with that chief during the campaign of 1813, 
and was present at his death at the Thames." (See Wisconsin Historical 
Society Collections, vols. II, III, V, V!I, and VIII; Minnesota H. S. 



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192 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Collections, voJ. IV, Williams' History of St. Paul, page 256; and "Wau- 
bun, the 'Early Day' in the North-West," by Mrs. John H. Kanzie, 1856, 
page 89.) 

At a grand council held by Governor Ramsey in St. Paul, March 14, 
1850, with Winnebago chiefs who had come from their reservation at 
Long Prairie, Carimona was one of the seven chiefs whose names are 
given by Williams. This chief, doubtless a son of the older Carimona, 
removed from Wisconsin to Iowa, later to Minnesota, and died, after 
1850, on the Yellow river in Allamakee county, Iowa. For him this 
village and township were named. 

CAKROtLTON, Settled in the spring o£ 18S4, organized May II, 1858, 
received its name in honor of Charles Carroll, of CarroUton, in Maryland, 
the last survivor of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, He 
was born in Annapolis, Md., September 20, 173?; and died in Baltimore, 
November 14, 1832. 

Chatfielb, settled in 1853, organized in 1858, was named in honor of 
Judge Andrew Gould Chatfield, who presided here at the first court 
held in the county, June 27. !853. He was born in Butternuts, Otsego 
county, N. Y., January 27, 1810; and died in Belle Plaine, Minn., 
October 3, 1875. He was an associate justice of the supreme court 
of Minnesota Territory, 1853-7; was one of the founders of the town 
of Belle Plaine, and practiced law there, 1857-71; was judge of the 
Eighth judicial district, 1871-5. The village of Chatfield, platted in 
the spring of 1854 and incorporated in 1857, was the first county seal 
for two years, but was succeeded in 1855 by Carimona, and by Preston 
since 1856. This village was incorporated as a city, by the legislature, 
Februry 19, 1887. 

Clear Grit, a former hamlet on the South branch of Root river, in 
section 21, CarroUton, took the name given by John Kaerchcr to a flouring 
mill operated there fay him with much success, 1872-81, retrieving ill for- 
tune and losses that he had experienced through panics, fire, and flood, 
from 1857 onward in Preston, Chatiield, Fillmore, etc. (M. H. S. Collec- 
tions, vol. X, page 42.) 

Elliota, a former village in section 32, Canton, was laid out in 1853 
by Captain Julius W. Elliott, its earliest settler and first postmaster and 
blacksmith. He was born in. Vermont in 1S2; came to this county from 
Moline, Illinois, in 1853, bringing thence a company of the first settlers. 
In 1871 he removed to Missouri, where he died in 1876. 

Etna, a hamlet in section 25, Bloomfield, received its name, from 
several that were suggested, by drawing lots when its post office was 
established in 1856, now discontinued. This name of the lofty volcano in 
Sicily is borne by villages and post offices in sixteen other states. 

Fillmore township, settled in August, 1854, organized May 11, 1858, 
was named, like the county, in honor of President Fillmore, taking this 
name from its village, which had been founded in 1855. 



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FILLMORE COUNTY 



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; settlement of that town-. 



secretarj of the treasun of the United States, 1789 95. 

HAEMO^^ township, settled in the fall of 1852, was organized, May 
11,1858. Its village was founded in 1880. This name is borne by villages 
and townships in fifteen states of our Union. 

Henrvtown, a hamlet in Amherst, platted ir 
of Henry Onstine, who was the leader in thi 
ship, as before noted. 

Highland, a hamlet in sections 35 and 36, Holt, received the name of 
its former post office, established in 1857, referring to its elevation which 
gives broad views over the valleys on the north and south. 

Holt, settled in the spring of 1854, organized May 11, 1858, was at 
first called Douglas, in honor of the statesman, Stephen A. Douglas, for 
whom 3 county of this state is named. Because that narae had been 
applied to another Minnesota township, it was changed to Holt in 1862, 
honoring Gilbert Holt, a pioneer farmer in section 30, who "early in the 
seventies" removed to Dakota. 

IsiNOURS, a railway station in Carrollton, established about 1870, was 
named, with change of spelling, for George Isenhour, on whose land it 
was located. 

Jordan township, settled in 1853, organized May 11, 1858, was named 
for its North and South Jordan creeks, which unite and flow into the 
Middle branch of Root river. The name was given to these small streams 
by John Maine, one of the first settlers, who came from New England, 
fancifully deriving it from the River Jordan in Palestine. 

Lanesboro, the railway village in Carrollton, was platted in the spring 
of 1868. Some of its early settlers came from Lanesboro township in 



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194 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Berkshire county, Mass. and F A Lane was one of the stockholders in 
the towns ite company 

Lenora a village in sections 2 and 11 Lantnn was founded in 1855 
by Rev John L D(er It was named by him for one of his family or 
for a friend 

Mabel a railwav i llage m Newburg wgs platted by Frank Adams 
chief engneer ot this ra Iwaj giving it the nane of his little daughter 
who had died 

Newblrg first settled m 1851 was organized May 11 IS'iS taking the 
name of its ullage in aection 8 whith had leen founded and named in 
1853 by Han= Valder a natiie of Norway who w th others i,ame to this 
place from L^Salle countv Illinois Eighteen states of our Union have 
villages and post offices of this name 

Norway settled in 1854 was organized \pr I 3 1860 The name of 
the town is said to haie been suggested by John Semmen in honor of 
the native country of almost every mhahitant f the town hip 

OsTRANDER the railway ullage of Bbomfield platted in 1890 was 
named for ^^ ilham and Charles O trander who gaie to the railway 
company pirts of the tillage site William Ostrander was bom in the 
state of New 'lorV in 1819 and came to Minnesota in 1857 settling here 

Peterson a railway \illage in section 30 Rushford was founded in 
1857, when tie railwa> was built on land donated for this use bj Peter 
Peterson Haslerud who ettled here in Julj 1853 It was incorporated 
in February 1909 He was b rn m Norway July 21 1828 c^me to the 
.United States in 1843 was a representative in the legislature 1862 died 
September 23 1880 

Pilot Mound township, settled in 1854, organized May II, 1858, is 
named for a flat-topped limestone hill in the southwest part of section 
11. "It forms a prominent and striking object in the landscape, and 
formerly guided many a weary traveler as he wended his way toward 
the West." 

Preble, settled in 1853-4, organized May 11, 1858, was named in honor 
of Edward Preble (b. 1761, d. 1807), of the United States Navy, com- 
mander of the expedition against Morocco and Tripoli in 1803-4. 

Preston, first settled in 1853, organized May 11, 1858, received the name 
which had been given to its village, platted in the spring of 1855, by John 
Kaercher, its founder and mill owner, "in honor of his millwright, Luther 
Preston." In the same year a post office bearing this name was estab- 
lished, and Preston was appointed the first postmaster. This village, 
situated at the center of the county, has been the county seat since 1856. 
It was incorporated March 4, 1871. 

Prosfek is a railway village in sections 35 and 36, Canton, auspiciously 
named. 

Rushford, settled in July, 1853, organized May 11, 1858, was named 
on Christmas day, 1854, by unanimous vote of the pioneer settlers, tak- 



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FILLMORE COUNTY 195 

ing the name from Rush creek here tributary to the Root river. The 
men and women so voting numbered nine, these being all the settlers at 
that date. "Rush creek was so called on account of the tall rushes that 
grew along its banks, where cattle and ponies could obtain a subsistence 
all winter." The village of Rushford, founded in 18S4, was named at 
the same time with the township. It was incorporated as a city in 1868, 
and often was called "the Trail Gty, on account of the intersection of 
several Indian foot paths." 

Spring Valley township, settled in 1852, organized May 11, 18S8, was 
named for its several very large springs, one being about a mile east of 
the village, and two nearly as large within the townsite limits, one of 
these being walled up and used as a pumping supply for the water works. 
ThisvillE^e, founded in 1855, incorporated in 1872, has become a junction 
of railways. 

Stringiown village, begun in 1860, in section 27, Amherst, has its 
name "from the fact that all the settlers built their houses along the 
road in the ravine in which the would be village is located, thus stringing 
it out for some distance." 

SuMNEE, settled in May, 1853, organized May 11, 1858, was named 
by the earliest settlers in honor of the statesman, Charles Sumner (b. 
• 1811, d. 1874), United States senator for Massachusetts from 1851 till 
his death, an uncompromising opponent of slavery, and during and after 
the civil war chairman of the senate committee on foreign affairs, 1861-71. 
Waukopee, a former hamlet in section 25, Carimona, founded in 1853, 
derived its name "from an Indian chief, who used to have a fishing and 
hunting carap at this place." 

Whalan, the railway village in. Holt, founded in 1868, is on land 
previously owned by John Whaalahan, "but usage dropped the redundant 
a's and an h, and it became Whalan." It was incorporated in March, 1876. 
Wykoff, another railway village, in Fillmore, platted in 1871, and in- 
corporated March 8, 1876, commemorates Cyrus G. Wykoff, of LaCrosse, 
Wis., who Was the surveyor for construction o£ this railway and was one 
of the proprietors of this townsite. 

YoKK, settled in 1854, organized May 11, 1858, bears the name of a 
very ancient walled city in England, which was one of the principal seats 
of Roman dominion there. Thence came the name of the city and state 
of New York, and numerous villages, cities, and counties, in seventeen 
states of the Union are named York, this being the Saxon form derived 
from Eboracum, the Latin name. 

Rivers and Creeks. 

A large area of southeastern Minnesota, comprising Fillmore county, 

alflj Houston county on the east, Winona and Olmsted counties on the 

north, Wabasha and Goodhue counties, farther north, and Mower county 

on the west, has no lakes, being strongly contrasted with the abundance 



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196 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

of lakes in nearly all other parts of this state. The southeastern lakeless 
area includes the edge of the great Driftless Area of Wisconsin, which 
reaches into Houston and Winona counties. On its other and larger 
part, in Fillmore county and the other counties named, the formations of 
glacial and modified drift, spread by the continental ice-sheet and by 
waters from its melting, are relatively ancient and thin, not dominating 
the surface outlines. The region therefore lacks the more or less uneven 
contour of alternate swells and depressions, or sometimes more noteworthy 
ridges, hills, and hollows, which elsewhere are characteristic of the drift, 
causing it generally to have plentiful lakes. 

Root river, more fully noticed in the first chapter, is translated from 
the Dakota or Sioux name, Hokah, hoth being used on Nicollet's map in 
1843. This river may be said to be formed by the union of its North and 
Middle branches in Chatfield township. A mile and a half below Lanes- 
boro it receives the South branch. Another large southern affluent, called 
the South fork of Root river, drains southeastern Fillmore comity and 
joins the main stream in Houston county. 

On the state map published in 1860, the Middle and South branches 
and the South fork were respectively called Fillmore, Carimona, and 
Houston rivers, taking these names from the three villages. 

Tributaries of the Root river from the north in this county include ' 
Rush creek, before noted, in Rushford ; Pine creek, in the north edge of 
Arendahl, which is a branch of Rush creek; and Money and Trout creeks, 
in Pilot Mound township. 

Houston county has another Money creek, for which a township is 
named. There it originated from an incident of the early history; but 
the reason for its duplication in Fillmore county has not been ascertained, 
though the two are believed to have some relationship. 

Lost creek, tributary to the Middle branch, is so named because it 
flows underground in the creviced limestone beds for two mites, through 
sections 14 and 13, Jordan, 

The North and South Jordan creeks, before mentioned as giving the 
township name, and the Brook Kedron, flowing into the Middle branch 
in Sumner, are names from the Bible, the latter being a very small 
stream with a deep valley at the east side of Jerusalem. 

Bear, Deer, and Spring Valley creeks flow into the Middle branch 
from the southwest. 

Sugar creek, named for its sugar maples, is tributary to Root river 
in section 13, Chatfield. 

The South branch receives Watson creek near the center of Carroll- 
ton, commemorating Thomas and James Watson, pioneers of Fountain 
township; and from the south it receives Canfield, Willow, and Camp 
creeks, the first (which in two parts of its course flows underground) 
being named for S. G. Canfield, of York, and the last having been a 
favorite camping place for immigrants. A small eastern tributary of 



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FILLMORE COUNTY 



197 



Camp creek was formerly called Duxbury creek, for pioneer families 
there; but on recent maps it is named Partridge creek, for the well known 
game birds. 

Weisel creek, flowing into the South fork of Root river in Preble, 



lamed for David Weisel, who 
near its mouth. The mill was cai 
were drowned, by a flood of this stre 

Beaver creek, before noticed as 
township, was called Slough creek or 

The head stream of Upper Iowa 
tributary, flows meandering p h 

Bristol, several times cros ng h 
considered in the first chap k ha 

larger Iowa river, farther u h 
on these rivers, nearly rela d w h h 

Eagle Rc ks and 



n 1855 built a sawmill and gristmill 
ried away, and himself and family 
im, August 6, 1866. 
the source of the name of Beaver 
the map of 1860. 

a river, to which Beaver creek is 
1 u h side of Beaver, York, and 
b undary. Its name, previously 
ha the state of Iowa and of the 
m ates a Siouan tribe who lived 
1 W nnebagoes. 



UNEY Rock 



are craggily eroded and weathered forms of the limestone strata, left in 
the process of very slow channeling of the valley of the South branch 
of Root river in section 27, Forestville. The E^gle Rocks are pictured 
in the Final Report of the Minnesota Geological Survey (vol. I, 1884, page 
296) ; and on the same page the Chimney Rock is described, "on the 
side of the bluff of a ravine, . . . having a fancied resemblance to an 
oven with a low chimney." 



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FREEBORN COUNTY 

Established February 20, 1855, this county was named in honor of 
William Freeborn, member of the Council in the Territorial Legislature 
for the years 1854 to 1857. He was born in Ohio in 1816; came to SL 
Paul in 1848, and removed to Red Wing in 1853, where fie had large 
interests, as also at Cannon Falls ; emigrated in 1864 to the Rocky moun- 
tains, and spent.the next winter as a gold miner in Montana; was engaged 
three years in fruit culture in Oregon; and finally, in 1868, settled in 
California, on a ranch at Santa Margarita, in San Luis Obispo county. 
He was the second mayor of Red Wing, in 1858, but resigned before the 
end of the year. Although he had traveled much, he wrote in 1899 from 
his California home that he had never ridden on a railroad train. New- 
son, in his "Pen Pictures of St. Paul" (1884), wrote of Freeborn as fol- 
lows; "He was a man of progressive and speculative ideas, energetic, 
always scheming, and had a happy faculty of getting other parties inter- 
ested in his enterprises. He was a quietly spoken man, of rugged appear- 
ance; self-possessed, and never was afraid to venture." This county 
was organized March 4, 1857, with Albert Lea as the county seat. 

Townships and Villages, 

Notes of the origins of geographic names have been gathered from 
"History of Freeborn County," 1882, 548 pages, including the "Centen- 
nial History," fay Danie! G. Parker (forming pages 281-292); the later 
History of (his county, compiled by Franklyn Curt iss -Wedge, 1911, 883 
pages ; and from Martin Van Buren Kellar, of Albert Lea, interviewed 
in April, 1916. 

Albert Lea township, first settled in the summer of 18SS, organized in 
1857, took the name of its village, which was platted in October, 1856, 
and was incorporated as a city March 11, 1878. The name was adopted 
from the large adjoining lake on the southeast, to which Nicollet gave 
it in honor of Albert Miller Lea who in 1835 explored and mapped streams 
and lakes in ttiis county. 

Lea was born in Richland, Grainger county, Tennessee, July 23, 1808; 
was graduated at West Point in 1831; aided Major Long in 1832, in 
surveys of the Tennessee river ; was an assistant on surveys of Lake 
Michigan in 1833; was in military service on the Missouri and Mississippi 
rivers during 1834; and in the summer of 1835 was second lieutenant 
of a company on the exploring expedition here noticed, in which he was 
designated as ordnance officer and volunteered his services as topographer 
and chronicler. 

The expedition, under the command of Lieut. Col. Stephen Watts 
Kearny, traveled along the northeast side of the Des Moines river from 



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FREEBORN COUNTY 199 

the Mississippi to th m 1 f B ' th th t t th 

Mississippi at the m h Z m m E b 

Lea, because itwaenmdb dwd mh 

thence southeast to W h ag d d h 

westward to headw d d B E h d h 

westward through hp WbgdKh w 

to the Des Moine D d g th D M can 

the site of the city mh mppd d bd 

it in his journal o w w b h 

report to the Wa D d h p g 

map, published th Ph d p L 

first gave the nam w h d h 

of the Black Hawk w 83 w p h g ea 

later called Iowa as a territory and state, haimg reference to the Iowa 

Indians and the river bearing their name. 

An extended autobiographic sketch, written by Albert M. Lea for the 
Minnesota Historical Society, was published in the Freeborn County 
Standard, March 13, 1879. He resigned from the army in 1836; resided 
in Tennessee, was a civil engineer, and in 1838 was U. S. commissioner 
for the survey of the southern boundary of the Territory of Iowa ; was 
professor of mathematics in the East Tennessee University, at Knox- 
ville, 1844-51 ; removed to Texas in 1857 ; was an engineer of the Confed- 
erate service during the civil war ; lived in Galveston, 1865-74, and later 
in Corsicana, Texas, where he died, January 17, 1891. Two of his broth- 
ers were Pryor Lea, a member of Congress, and Luke Lea, who, as 
Commissioner of Indian Affairs, was associated with Governor Ramsey 
in 1851 in making the treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota. 

Further details of this expedition, and notes of the names applied by 
Lea to lakes and streams ia Freeborn county, are given in the later part 
of this chapter. 

Alden, settled in 1858, was organized April 3, 1866. The railway vil- 
lage was platted in 1869, and the track was completed to this place Janu- 
ary 1, 1870. It was incorporated in 1879. This name is borne by villages 
and townships in seven other states. 

Armstrong, a railway station in section 4, Pickerel Lake, was estab- 
lished in 1878, and was named for Hon. Thomas Henry Armstrong, 
who Jn that year erected a grain elevator there. He was born in Milan, 
Ohio, February 6, 1829; was graduated at Western Reserve College, 
1854; came to Minnesota in 1855, settling in High Forest, Olmsted county; 
ajid in 1874 removed to Albert Lea, where he died. December 29, 1891, 
He was a representative in the legislature, 1864-5, being speaker in 1865.; 
was lieutenant governor, 1866-70; and a state senator, 1877-8. 

Bancroft, first settled in July, 1855, organized May 11, 1858, had a 
temporary village of this name, platted in the fall of 1856, in sections 28 
and 29, which on March 4, 1857, was an unsuccessful candidate for the 



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200 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

county seat. The name was chosen in honor oi George Bancroft (b. 
1800, d. 1891), who was author of "History of the United States," ten 
volumes, published 1834-74; U, S. secretary of the navy, 1845-6, and 
founder of the Naval Academy, Annapolis ; minister to Great Britain, 
1846-49, and to Berlin, 1868-74. 

Bath, settled in the spring of 18S6, was organized in, January, 1858, 
under the name of Porter, but was renamed Bath, April 15, 1859, after 
the name of the county seat of Steuben county, New York, the native 
town of Frederick W. Calkins, who had setUed here in 18S7. 

GvRLSTON, first settled in August, 1855, was organized in January, 
1858, being then named Stanton, in honor of Elias Stanton, a settler on 
the shore of Freeborn lake, who had suffered amputation of his feet 
becatise of their being frozen, and who died in the spring of 1858. This 
name was earlier used for another Minnesota township, so that in Sep- 
tember, 1859, it was changed, the present name being adopted "in respect 
to the memory of a dis-tinguished Swede of tliat name, who settled in 
that town in an early day, and who was drowned in Freeborn lake." 
He was Theodore L. Carlston (or Carlson), the second settler, drowned 
in 1858. 

Clark's Gkove, the railway village in Bath, was founded in 1890, ten 
years before the railway was built. Its name had been long borne by a 
grove 3 mile east of the present village, in which grove J. Mead Clark 
settled "in the early days." 

CoNGEB, a railway village in the east edge of Alden, was named by 
officers of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific railway. 

Emmons, a railway village in the south edge of Nunda, on the State 
line, was incorporated March 14, 3899. Here Henry G. Emmons settled 
in 1856, and "in 1880 his sons started a store on the present site of the 
village." He was born in Norway. October 16, 1828; came to the United 
States in 1850, settling at first in Wisconsin; was postmaster of the State 
Line post office here fifteen years ; was a representative in the legislature, 
1877-8; died in this village, October 2, 1909. 

Freeborn township was first settled in July, 1856, and was organized 
May 11, 1858. Its village, platted in June, 1857, and the lake beside which 
it lies, were named like the county, in honor of William Freeborn, whence 
also the township received this name. 

Freeman, first settled in 1854, organized April 2, 1861, was named in 
honor of John Freeman, a native of Northampton, England, who in 1855 
"secured, under the pre-emption law, the whole of section fifteMi for 
himself and three sons." 

Geneva, settled in 1855-*, was organized May 11, 1858. Its village, 
platted in the winter of 1856-7, had been named by Edwin C. Stacy, the 
first postmaster here and the first probate judge for the county, "in 
remembrance of Geneva, N, Y.," whence the large adjoining lake and 
the township received the same name. 



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FREEBORN COUNTY 201 

Glenville, the railway village and junctiM. n Shell Rjck township 
was named by officers of the railwa> company It vva mc rpirated m 
1898 Previous to the buildup of the railway here in 1877 this had been 
the site of a smaller village platted in 1850 bearing the name Shell Rock 
for the river on which it is situated thence given alio to the township 
GoM»NSViixt a railway tillage in section 12 Shell Rock platted in 
1880 received its name from a post o£Bce that wa-; e tiblnhed about 
1860 or earlier of which T J Gordon and his son W H H Gordon 
were -iuccessively po'itmasters after 186S residing as farmers m section 
28 near the site of this \illage 

H^BTLAND settled m the spring of 1857 orgai ized Mij 11 1858 wa 
named for Hartland in Wmdsor county Vermont whence some of its 
earlj settlers came This name was propn ed h\ the w fe of Sheldon 
the first postmaster The railway village tf Hartland was platted in 
1877 and was " porated i» 1893 

H<\WARD settled m 1816 organized -^pr 1 =1 18'59 iias named in honor 
of Datid Hayward one of its earliest settler^i who came from Po'tMlle 
Iowa and returned to that state after Imng here onh two jears The 
railway \dlage founded in 1869 was rejlatted m 188f 

Itas a was a small village or hamlet m section 31 Bancroft platted in 
the w nter of 18^5 6 adjoining a lakelet wh ch ilso wis name I Itasca 
In 18^7 It was an aspirant to be desig:nated as the county seat but failing 
m that ambition it lasted only a few ye^rs The nane was derived from 
that guen bs Schookraft to the source of the Miisissipp river 

LoNiwv settled in 1855 organized in 1858 retened its name lor the 
city and countj ot New I ondon Connecticit It was proposed by William 
N. and James H. Goslee, natives of Hartford county m that state, who 
settled here respectively in 1856 and 1857, The railway village of Lon- 
don was platted in October, 1900. 

Manchester, first settled in June, 1856, organized in January, 1858, 
was then named Buckeye, but in May it was renamed Liberty. In October 
of that year it received the present name, suggested by Mathias Ander- 
son, who came here in 1857 from a township of this name in Illinois. Its 
railway village, founded in 1877-8, was platted in 1882. 

Mansfield, settled in June, 1856, was organized in January, 1866, being 
the latest township of this county. Its name, suggested by Captain George 
S, Ruble, founder of the city of Albert Lea, is borne by a city in Ohio, 
near his former home, and by villages and townships in fourteen states 
of our Union. Originally the name is from a town of >fottinghamshire 
in England, whence the first Earl of Mansfield (b. 1705, d. 1793), a dis- 
tinguished British jurist and statesman, received his title. The History 
of this county (1882) refers to him as commemorated by this township 

Moscow, iirst settled in May, 1855. was organized in January, 1858. 
"Some years previous to settlement, the heavy body of timber which 



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202 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

covered section seventeen in Moscow was set on fire in a dry season, 
creating such a conflagration as to suegest scenes in Russia under the 
great Napoleon From that time it was known as the Moscow timber, 
and thus the name of the town had its origin (History, 1882, page 
29^) The ltt!e \jllage of this name was platted m June, 1357. 

Myrtle the railroad village in section 7 London, was founded "in 
1900 when the railroad came through 

Newky -settled in 1854 organized Miv 11 1858, was named on the 
su^estion of Thomas Fitzsimmons who was the first township clerk, 
for a -ieaport and ri\er m northern Ireland whence several pioneers of 
this township came 

Nlwda settled in 1856 organized May U 1858 was named by Pat- 
nek Fitz^iramons a nat ve of Ireland who was one of the first settlers 
and a prominent citizen m honor of towns of the same name in which 
he had lived in New "iork and Illinois This name is "derived from the 
Indian word nundao meaning Tiilly or according to another authority, 
'potato ground ' " (Gannett The Origin of Certain Place Names in the 
U 90 



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FREEBORN COUNTY 203 

Twin Lakes, a railway village in section 12, Nunda, was partly platted 
in 1858, being the site of a sawmill and a fiowring mill many years previ- 
ous to the building of the railway in 187?-8. The fall of Goose creek, 
outflowing from the neighboring Twin lakes, supplies valuable water 

Lakes and Streams, with Notes of the Expedition in 1835, 
The pamphlet before mentioned as published by Lieut. Albert M. 
Lea, entitled "Notes on the Wisconsin Territory, particularly with refer- 
ence to the Iowa District or Black Hawk Purchase" (S3 pages, 1836), has 
a folded map of the country extending from northern Missouri to the 
foot of Lake Pepin and from the Mississippi to the Missouri river, com- 
prising the present southeast part o£ Minnesota and nearly all of Iowa. 
In the area of Freeborn county Lea mapped and named five lakes, each 
of which is cleariy identified on the present more accurate maps. 

Fox lake, doubtless named for a fox seen there, is the largest of these 
lakes, to which Nicollet's map in 1843 gave its present title. Lake Albert 
Lea. The outflowing Shell Rock river received this name on Lea's map, 
which Nicollet copied but called it a creek. Where Lea crossed it on the 
outward journey of the expedition, "limestone filled with petrifications 
was abundant," whence he derived the name. (Iowa Historical Record, 
vol. VI, page 548.) 

Chapeau lake, meaning in French a hat, so named by Lea for its out- 
line, which reminded him of the old-fashioned three-cornered hat, left 
unnamed by Nicollet, is now White Lake, commemorating Captain A. W. 
White, an earjy settler who lived beside it till 1861, then removing into the 
village of Albert Lea. 

Fountain lake adjoining the north side of the citv of Albert Lea 
is produced by a d m th t t d t pp Ij p 

Council lake f L p f g t p 1 j th w tl 

few straggling Id mt d h tbgphlt tth 

Mianesota Histo IS tj w F b Ik tfl w g bj tl 

Big Cobb river rthw t I t tl Bl Ea h d M t 

This lake and t t! t g thw d m pp d b N 11 t 

as Ichis^za lakes S m m g 

Trail lake, n m d p b bly f Id tip g b> t m pi d 

too large by Le p d b N 11 t b t th t m th Upp 

Twin lake, outfl wmg by L k wh h w 1 d by L w 

Goose creek. A r\ I ttl 1 k 1 t f L m p rthw t f T Ilk 
represents the L ttl Oj t Ik t 3 d 26 P k 1 Lak 

township, "so call d b f th h p 

Lake Boone, m d b L 1 f N th B pt f 

of the compani fdg th pdt wB Ik 

Nunda, which w t fi t 11 d P k Ilk 1853 bj th wh t ttl 
as noted in the History of this county (18S2, page 291). Lea mapped it 



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204 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

erroneously as the source of Boone river in Iowa, named on his map 
likewise for Captain Boone. In tliis error he was followed by Nicollet, 
whose map, however, leaves both the lake and river unnamed. Nathan 
Boone (b. 1780, d. 1857), was the youngest of the nine children of the 
renowned frontiersman. Daniel Boone, 

"Paradise Prairie," noted by Lea, northward of his Chapeau lake, 
was described in the History of the county in 1882, that it enters Ban- 
croft township "in the southwestern corner and extends northeasterly 
almost across the entire town, gradually disappearing towards Clark's 
Grove, in the northeast corner." 

In the list of townships, sufficient reference has been made to several 
lakes, besides those noted by Lea, namels', Geneva lake, Itasca lake. 
Pickerel and Rice lakes, and the Twin lakes. 

Nicollet's Ichiyaza lakes, before noticed, doubtless included Lake 
George, and Spicer and Trenton lakes, in Freeborn, named for and by 
early settlers. Another, the little Prairie lake, also named Penny lake, 
is in section 31 of this township. 

Le Sueur or Mule' lake, in the east part of Hartland, lies at the head 
of Le Sueur river. Its second name alludes to the loss of "a fine span 
of mules belonging to B. J. Boardman," drowned there in 1857. 

Lake George, in section 22, Bath, was named in honor of George W. 
Skinner, Jr., son of a prominent pioneer there. 

Newry lake derived its name from its location, in section 2, Newry 
township. 

Deer and Turtle creeks, in Newry and Moscow, Goose lake in section 
3, Albert Lea, and Elk lake, section 21, London, need no explanations. 

Spring lake, in the city of Albert Lea. and Fountain lake at its north 
side, the latter a mill pond, are named for springs on their shores. 

Bancroft creek is in the township of this name. 

Manchester had a notable group of small lakes, namely, Lake Peter- 
son, Silver, Sugar, and Spring lakes ; but the first two have been drained. 

Peter Lund creek, in Hayward, commemorates a pioneer farmer, an 
immigrant from "Norway, who came to America in 1850, settled here in 
18S6, and was the first township treasurer. 

Steward's creek, in Alden and Mansfield, was named in honor of Hiram 
J. Steward, who was born near Bangor, Maine, September 21, 1831; served 
in the civil war, 1862, being severely wounded; came west, and in 1869 
settled as a farmer in section 12, Mansfield. 

Lime creek is the outlet of Bear lake and State Line lake, flowing 
into Iowa and there tributary to Shell Rock river. It was thoi^ht by 
Lea to be the head stream of Boone river, as before noted. 

Grass lake, in sections 26 and 35, Freeman, now drained, was named 
for the grasses and sedges growing in its shallow water. 

Woodbury creek, in Oakland and London, flowing into Mower county, 
received the name of a settler there. 



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GOODHUE COUNTY 

This county, established March 5, 1853, was named in honor of James 
Madison Goodhue, who was the first printer and editor in Minnesota, 
beginning the issue of the Minnesota Pioneer on April 28, 1849. He was 
born in Hebron, N. ,H., March 31, 1810, and died in St. Paul, August 
27, 1852; was graduated at Amherst College in 1833; studied law in New 
York City, and was admitted to ttie bar about 1840; afterward was a 
farmer three years in Plainfield, 111, ; practiced law in Galesburg, III., and 
in Platteville and Lancaster, Wis. ; became editor of the Wisconsin Herald, 
published in Lancaster; removed to St. Paul in the spring of 1849, and 
m th mai 



H 
H o! 

501) and D. b. B. Johnston (X, 247-25o). His successor as editor of the 
Pioneer, Joseph R. Brown, wrote of him in an editorial tribute a year 
after he died : "James M. Goodhue was a warm and fast friend of Min- 
nesota to the day of his death. He will be remembered with the small 
band of sturdy men who labored constantly and with iron resolution to 
establish the pillars of society in our Territory upon a sound moral basis. 
His press was always found on the side of law, order, temperance, and 



Townships .^nd Villages. 

Information of origins and raeatiiiigs of these names has been gathered 
from the "Geographical and Statistical Sketch ... of Goodhue County," 
by W. H. Mitchell, 1869, 191 pages; "History of Goodhue County," 1878, 
664 pages ; "Goodhue County, Past and Present, by an Old Settler" (Rev. 
Joseph W. Hancock), 1893, 349 pages; the later History, edited by 
Franklyn Curtis s-Wedge, 1909, 1074 pages; and from Dr. William M. 
Sweney, Albert E. Rhame, city engineer, and Charles S. Dana, clerk of 
the court, interviewed at Red Wing in April, 1916. 



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206 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

BEtLE Ckeek township, settled in I8S3, organized in 1858, received 
this French name of its creek, meaning beautiful. 

Belvidere, settled in the spring of 18S5, organized May 11, 1858, was 
at first called York, and later Elmira, the present name being adopted 
December 28, 1858. Illinois has a city of this name, which also is borne 
by vill^es and townships in seven other states. 

BuRNSiDE, settled in 1854, organized in 1858, was known at first as 
Union, and in 1859-61 as Milton, but was renamed as now in March, 
1862, in honor of Ambrose Everett Burnside (b. 1824, d. 1881), a dis- 
tinguished general in the civil war, 1861-65, governor of Rhode Island, 
1866-9, and United States senator, 1875-81. 

Cannon Falls township, settled in 1854, organized Jn 1858, derived 
its name from the falls of Cannon river, as it was named by Pike in 1806, 
by Keating's Narrative of Long's expedition in 1823, and on Nicollet's 
map, 1843, erroneously changed from the early French name, Riviere 
aiuc Canots, which alluded to canoes left near its mouth by parties of 
Indians on war or hunting expeditions. Cannon Falls village, platted 
August 2?, 1855, was incorporated March 10, 1857, and adopted its city 
charter in February, 1905. 

Central Point, a township of very small area, settled about 1850, 
was organized in 1858. Its name refers to a point of land here extending 
into Lake Pepin, about midway between the head and foot of the lake. 

Cherry Grove, settled in 1854, organized in 1858, received its name 
from a cherry grove in the central part of this township, where a log 
schoolhouse was built in 1857. The wild red cherry (also called bird 
cherry) and the wild black cherry are common throughout the greater 
part of this state. 

Clay Bank, Clay Pits, and Belle Chester, in Goodhue township, 
are railway stations for supply of pottery clay, used extensively in Red 
Wing for manufacture of stoneware and sewer pipe. 

Dennison, a railway village in the west edge of Warsaw, on the 
county line, was named in honor of Morris P. Dennison, a settler near 
its site in 1856, on whose land the village was located. 

EcGLESTON, a railway station in Welch, was likewise named for an 
early settler and land owner. John E. and Joseph Eggleston settled in 
the adjoining township of Burnside in the spring of 1855, and Harlan 
P. and Ira E. Eggleston were volunteers in the civil war from that town- 
ship, which included Welch until 1864. 

Fairpoint, a small village euphoniously named, in section 33, Cherry 
Grove, was platted in 1857. 

Feathekstone, first settled in 1855, organized in 1858, "derived its name 
from William Featherstone, who with a large family settled there in 
1855." 

Florence, settled in 1854, organized 1858, was named in honor of 
Florence Graham, oldest child of Judge Christopher C. Graham, of Red 
Wing. She was married January 8, 1872, to David M. Taber, who died 



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GOODHUE COUNTY 207 

April 1, 1880. Mrs. Taber, yet living in Red Wing in 1916, "is known 
for her interest in all matters which tend toward the betterment of the 
city and county." Her father (b. 1806, d. 1891) served in the Mexican 
war ; came to Red Wing in 1854. as receiver of the U. S. land office, and 
filled that position until 1861 ; was the municipal judge after 1869. 

pRONTENAC, 3 railway village and neighboring lakeside village of 
summer homes, in Florence township, had the early Indian trading post 
of James Wells, before 1850, and was permanently settled in 18S4-57. 
The name commemorates Louis de Buade de Frontenac, who was born 
in Paris, 1622. and died in Quebec, November 28, 1698. He was the French 
colonial governor of Canada in 1672 K and 1689 98 There i^; no record 
of his traveling to the Mississippi river 

Goodhue township settled in 1854 organized September 13 I8S9 was 
then named Lime but was renamed as now in January 1860 honoring 
James M Goodhue like the county name The \illage was incorporated 
\pril 26 1897 

Hay Creek township settled in the spring of !8'J4 organized in 1SS8, 
receued its name from the stream which had naturil hay meadow^ 

HoLiffiN settled in 1854 "i organized m 1858 ha= a name that is borne 
by townships in Maine and Maa^iaehusetts and h\ a citj m Missouri 

KfiNiON settled in 1855 organized in 1858 was named for a pioneer 
merchant who m 1856 built the first store there The ullage now a 
railway (unction was alio originalK platted in 1856 

Leon settled m the fall ot 1854 organized in IS'iS bear a foreign 
name that of a medieval kingdom which was later a province of '^pain. 
It is also the name of townships in New York and Wisconsin 

MiNNEOLA settled m Maj 185^ organized December 15 I8'i9 ha« a 
name from the Dakota or Siou'^ language meaning much water 

Pine Island settled in 18'54 organised in 1858 took the name of its 
village which was platted in the winter of 1855 7 The i land proper 
IS formed bv the m ddle branch of the Zumbro which circles around 
the present ( illage enclosing a tract once thicklj studded with tall pine 
trees This spot waa one of the fa\or te resorts of the Dakota 

Indians Thej called it Vi a zee wee ta Pine Island and here m their 
skin tents they used to pass the cold winter months sheltered Irom the 
winds and storms bj the thick branches of lofty pine The chief of 
Red Wings village told the commissioners of the United ^tate'i when 
asked to sign the treatj that would require his people to relinquish their 
home on the Mississippi ruer that he was willing to sign it if he could 
have hs future home at Pine Island (Hancock page 288) Between 
the two branches of the Zumbro ri\ei which unite a short distance 
below there was quite a fore t of pine whiih Lould be seen for a long 
distance o\tr the praine giving it quite the appearance of an Island in 
the sea (Mitchell page 118) 

Red Wing the location of a mission to the Sioux in 1837 bj two 
Swiss missionaries Samuel Denton and Daniel Gavm was first settled 



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208 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

for farming and Indian trading Jn 1850-52; was ciiosen to he the county 
seat in 1853; was incorporated as a city March 4, 1857; and received new 
municipal charters on March 3, 1864, and February 21, 1887. 

D R b' r t ■ f tl S" *t ■ th "H db k f 

m an H Re 

m th Kh m 



Colonel WUIiam Colvdl m a letter to Prof N H ^A mchell wrote 
(Geology of Minnesota Fjnal Report \o\ II 1888 pjge 60) Red 
Wing's titular name was W acouta — the shooter Th s was always tie 
head chiefs title— the stme as thit of the chief who captured Henne 
p n He had tl e i ame of Red W ng Koo poo hoo sha [Khupahu wmg 
sha red] Iram the snans wing djed carlet wh ch he carried 

Pike in 1805 06 called the second of thee hereditary chiefs Talanga 
mane which should be more correctly wrtten Tatanka mam meaning 
Buffalo walking and he also gaie his titled name in French Aile Rouge 
with its direct Ei gl sh translation Red W ng 

The Siou"? name of this place was Rhemn cha or Khemn dia applied 
by Nicollet s imp to the present Hay creek as Remnicha river It means 
the Hill Water Wood place formed by three S oux words Rhe a high 
hill or ridge mini water and chan wood referring to the Barn bluiiE 
and other high ri\er blufE= and to the abundance of water and wood 
which made it an ideal camp ground 

RosLOE settled in 1854 organized m I8'i8 was named bj Charles Dana 
one of the pioneers from the township of Roscoe Illinois where he 
had previously lived 

Stanton settled in the fall of ISM organized in 1858 was named in 
honor of William Stanton who with his son of the same name and 
others immigrants from New England came in 1855 settling on Prairie 
treek Rev J W Hancock who conducted the first religious services 
of this township at his home m the winter of 1855 6 wrote The 
log house built bj Will am Stanton Sr near the road leading to Fan 
bault f roi I the nearest M ssissippi towns was for several jears the onl 
place for the entertainment of travelers between Cannon Falb and 
further west. Mr. Stanton's latch string was always hanging out, and 
every civil appearing stranger was wdcome to such accommodations as he 
had. He frequently entertained fifty persons the same night." 



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GOODHUE COUNTY 209 

Vasa, settled in 18S3, organized in 1858, "was named in honor of Gus- 
tavus Vasa, king of Sweden, more generally known as Gustavus I, the 
Christian king, and the founder of the Lutheran Church." (History, 
1878, page 428.) He was bom in Lindholmen, Upland, Sweden. May 12, 
1496, and died in Stockholm, September 29, 1S60; was king 1523-60. 

Wacouta, settled in 1850, organized 1858, was named by George W. 
Bullard, the first settler, who was an Indian trader and in 1853 platted 
a village around Iiis trading post, which was a rival of Red Wing for 
designation as the county seat. Hancock wrote as follows of the last 
chief bearing this name, commemorated by this little township. 

"The nephew of Scarlet Wing [Red Wing] was the last reigning 
chief of this band of Dakotas. His name was Wacouta, the shooter. 
It was this chief who informed the writer that his uncle, the Scarlet 
Wing, was buried on a bluff near Wabasha.. Wacouta was a man of 
peace. He was not accustomed to lead in the warpath, although his 
braves had the privilege of forming wmr parties and making raids against 
their enemies whenever they desired. 

"Wacouta was very tall, straight, and dignified in his demeanor. He 
was also a man of good judgment. His authority was not absolute. He 
rather advised his people than commanded them. He encouraged in- 
dustry and sobriety; was a friend to the missionaries, and sent his own 
children to their schools when he was at home himself." 

As before mentioned by Colvill in the notice of Red Wing, this name 
was borne as a title of chieftaincy. With slight difference, it was the 
name of the head chief of the Issati Sioux about Mille Lacs at the time 
of the captivity of Hennepin and his companions in 1680. Hennepin wrote 
of him as "Ouasicoude, that is, the Pierced-pine, the greatest of all the 
slati chiefs." 

Keating in 1823, as historian of Major Long's expedition, gave this 
name, under another spelling, "Wazekota (Shooter from the pine-top)," 
for the old Red Wing chief, Walking Buffalo, whom Pike had met 
eighteen years before. It is from two Dakota . words, wazi, pine, and 
kute, to shoot. 

Wanamingo, settled in 1854, organized in 1858, is almost wholly 
occupied by prosperous Norwegian farmers. The origin and meaning of 
the name remain to be learned. It appears to be of Indian derivation, "the 
name of a heroine of a novel popalar in those days." (History, 1910, p. 222.) 
Warsaw was first settled in June, 1855, and was organized in 1858. 
Indiana has a city of Warsaw, and twelve states of our Union have 
villages and townships that bear this name of the large capital of the 
former kingdom of Poland. 

Welch, settled in 1857, organized March 23, 1864, was then named 
Grant, in honor of General U. S. Grant; but it was renamed as now in 
January, 1872, to commemorate Abraham Edwards Welch, of Red Wing. 
He was born at Kalamazoo, Mich,, August 16, 1839; and died in the army 
at Nashville, Term., February 1, 1864. He volunteered at Lincoln's first 



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210 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Uftp dwfitlt tthFtM t gmt 

tkp pldd d ] gtthS 

in 1862 Lat h w j th F th M t g m t and d d 

fmtlfftf d dtVkbgHwth f 

WU HWlhj thwasb C ttbt 1812 w 

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GOODHUE COUNTY . 211 

Prairie creek in Stanton, Little Cannon river, Spring creek in Feather- 
stone and Burnside, and the North and South branches of the Zumbro. 

BuUard creek, in Hay Creek township and Wacouta, was named in 
honor of George W, B^liard, early trader, founder of the former village 
of Wacouta. 

Wells creek commemorates James Wells, often called "Bully" Wells, 
an early fur trader on Lake Pepin near the site of Frontenac, wtio was a 
member of the Territorial Legislature in 1849 and 1851. 

"Rest Island," at the west side of Lake Pepin near the Central Point, 
was the location of a home for reform of drunkards, founded in 1891 
under the earnest work of John G. WooHey, of Minneapolis, who in 1888 
entered the lecture field as an advocate of national prohibition. 

Prairie Island, translated from its early French name, Iste Pelee, 
visited by Groseilliers and Radisson in 165S-56, as narrated in the M. H. 
S. Collections (vol, X, part 11, pages 449-594, with maps), has Sturgeon 
lake, Buffalo slough. North lake, Clear and Goose lakes, and the Ver- 
milion river or slough, continuing from this river in Dakota county and 
being the western boundary of this large island, which forms mainly the 
northern parts of Burnside and Welch townships. Buffalo slough recalls 
the old times, long before agricultural settlements here, when buffaloes 
sometimes grazed on the extensive prairie of this island. 

Sturgeon lake was named for the shovel-nosed sturgeon, frequent in 
the Mississippi here and in this lake, a very remarkable and large species 
of fish, esteemed for food, having a projecting snout, broad and fiat, 
resembling a shovel or a canoe paddle, which was particularly described 
by Ea,disson and Hennepin, the first writers on the upper Mississippi. 

Assiniboine bluff in Burnside, nearly isolated from the general upland 
by the erosion of the Mississippi and Cannon valleys, commemorates 
the former presence of Assiniboine Indians here, of whom Col. William 
Colvill wrote in the Final Report of the Geological Survey of this state 
(vol. II, 1888, pages 57-60). 

Barn bluff at Red W ing li translated from its early French name 
La Grange meaning the Barn which refers to its prominence as a 
lone high and nearlj level crested bluff quite scpirated from the side 
bluffs of the valley and theret^re cun^ipicuously seen at a distance of 
many miies up the valle\ and jet more observable from boats passing 
along Lake Pepm Major StepI en H Long m 1817 ascended this hill 
or bluff called in his journal the Crange or Barn of which he wrote 
From the summit of the Grange the vieiv of the surrounding scenery 
IS surpassed perhaps by \er\ few if an\ of a similar character that the 
countr; and probably the world can afford. The sublime and beautiful 
are here blended in the most enchanting manner." (M. H. S. Collections, 
vol. II, page 45.) 

Other bluffs in Red Wing, adjoining the western border of the river 
valley or forming a part of it, include Sorin's bluff, named in honor of 



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212 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Eev. Matthew Sorin, who settled here in 1853, was the first treasurer of 
this county and the second president of the trustees of Hamiine Uni- 
versity, later was a pastor Jn Missouri and Colorado, and died in 1879; 
the Twin bluffs, on opposite sides of a street leading southwestward ; 
and College hill, the site of the Red Wing Seminary. 

Jordan bluff in Wacouta, and a short stream and ravine called Jordan 
creek in Red Wing, were probably named for a pioneer. 

Post bluff, next eastward in Wacouta, commemorates Abner W. and 
George Post, early settlers there. 

Waconia b!uff,_ in Florence, rising on the valley side west of Frontenae, 
bears a Sioux name meaning a fountain or spring, from a spring at 

Near this southeastward is Point No-point, "from whose summit one 
may see the whole length of the lake. . . . Persons going in boats down 
the river see this point for six or eight miles, while the boat seems all 
the time approaching it, yet none of the time getting any nearer till just 
as they arrive at Frontenae." (Mitchell, 1869, p^es 96-97.) 

Sand point, translated from the French name, Pointe au Sable, is a 
wave-built spit of sand and gravel, a narrow projection of the shoreline 
jutting half a mile into Lake Pepin, adjoining Frontenae. Wells creek, 
here flowing into the lake, was called "Sand Point R." on Nicollet's map in 
1843. 

Westward from Point No-point, the large and high area of Garrard 
bluff in the northern part of Florence, between the railway and the lake, 
was named in honor of the Garrard brothers, who founded and named 
Frontenae village. After they had first visited this place in 1854 on a 
hunting trip, they purchased large tracts of land here, several thousand 

Louis H. Garrard settled at Frontenae in 1858, and engaged in farm- 
ing and development of this estate; was a representative in the legisla- 
ture in 1859; removed to Lake City in 1870, and was for three years presi- 
dent of the First National Bank there; resided in Cincinnati, Ohio, his 
native city, after 1880; and died at Lakewood, N. Y., July, 1887, aged 
fifty-eight years. 

The older brother, Israel Garrard, was born in Lexington, Ky., Octo- 
ber 22, 1825 ; and died at his home in Frontenae, Minn,, September 21, 
1901. He was graduated at the Harvard law school ; settled here in 18S4, 
and after the completion of the land purchase, in 18S7-8, built the family 
home, St. Hubert's Lodge, named for the patron saint of huntsmen. At 
the beginning of the civil war, he raised a troop of cavalry in Cincinnati; 
served as colonel of the Seventh Ohio Cavalry regiment, and was pro- 
moted to be brigadier general; returned here in 1865, and was widely 
known for his liberality. 



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GRANT COUNTY 

This county, established March 6, 1868, and organized in 1874, was 
named in honor of Ulysses Simpson Grant, whose generalship terminated 
the Civil War, in 1865, with preservation of the Union, after which he 
was president of the United States, 1869 to 1877. He was born at Point 
Pleasant, Clermont county, Ohio, April 27, 1822; and dietj at Mount Mc- 
Gregor, near Saratoga, N. Y., July 23, 1885. Having been graduated at 
West Point in 1843, he served through the Mexican war of 1846-48; left 
the army in 1854, and settled in St. Louis; and removed to Galena, Illi- 
nois, in 18C0. He entered the Civil War in June, 1861, as a colonel, and 
on April 9, 1865, received the surrender of Lee, which ended the war. 

On the occasion of the completion of the building of the Northern 
Pacific railroad across the continent. General Grant visited Minnesota, 
and was present at the grand celebration held in St. Paul and Minne- 
apolis, September 3, 1883. 

Many excellent biographies of Grant have been published. One of his 
latest biographers, Louis A. Coolidge in 1917, writes; "His success as 
President in setting our feet firmly in the paths of peace, and in estab- 
lishing our credit with the nations of the world, is hardly less significant 
than his success in war." 

The grand courage displayed in his last severe and incurable illness, 
when during the final months of his life he diligently toiled with the 
pen in the completion of his Memoirs, to win a competence for his family, 
and to aid toward payment of creditors after great financial disaster, 
revealed heroic traits of his character which could never otherwise have 
found expression. 

In twelve states of our Union counties have been named for him. In 
New York City his Tomb, completed in 1897, has been rightly called 
"the most imposing memorial structure on the Western Continent." 

Townships akd Villages. 

Information of geographic names in this county has been gathered 
from the "Illustrated Souvenir of Grant County," by W. H, Goetzinger, 
1896, 42 pages ; "History of Douglas and Grant -Counties," Constant Lar- 
son, editor, 1916, two volumes (pages 361-509 in Volume I being descrip- 
tion and history of this county) ; and from C. M. Nelson, county auditor, 
and Hon. Ole 0. Canestorp, interviewed during a visit at Elbow Lake, 
the county seat, in May, 1916. 

AsHBY, the railway village of Pelican Lake township, platted in 1879, 
was named in honor of Gunder Ash, a pioneer farmer from Norway, 
who lived close east of the village site. 



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214 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

BASEiETT, a railway village in section 12, Lien, platted in May, 1887, 
and incorporated in 1889, and the adjoining Barrett lake, commemorate 
Gen. Theodore Harvey Barrett, who after the civil war owned and con- 
ducted an extensive farm in Grant and Stevens counties, residing near 
Moose Island station in Stevens county. He was born in Orangeville, 
Wyoming county, N. Y., August 27, 1834; and died in this county at Her- 
man, July 20. 1900. He settled in St. Qoud, Minn,, 1S5G; was a captain in 
the Ninth Minnesota regiment, 1862-3; was colonel of the 62d U. S. 
Colored Infantry, 1864-5, and was breveted brigadier general, March 
13, 1865. 

CANESTcmp, 3 railway station one mile west of Elbow Lake, platted 
in March, 1887, was named for Hon. Ole O. Canestorp, who was born 
in Sweden, May 21, 1847; came to the United States in 1862, and to Min- 
nesota in 1871, settling at Elbow Lake; was judge of probate of this 
county, 1878-82, county treasurer, 1882-89, and a state senator, 1891-3 and 
1907-09. He died at his home March 24, 1917. The place is also frequent- 
ly called West Elbow Lake. 

Delaware township, organized October 6, 1879, was named by pioneer 
settlers from that state. 

Elbow Lake township, organized April 3, 1877, received its name from 
the adjacent lake in Sanford, shaped like an arm bent at the elbow, to 
which this name had been given many years previously by early traders 
and immigrants. Major Samuel Woods and Captain John Pope, in their 
expedition in the summer of 1849, were the earliest to apply this name, 
which they each, in their official reports, derived from the shape of the 
lake. 

Elbow Lake village, on a site chosen in 1874 to be the county seat, 
in Sanford township, was also named from this lake, was platted October 
28, 1886, and was organized September 13, 1887. 

Elk Lake township, organized January 4, 1876, was named for its 
Elk lake and Lower Elk lake, tributary to the Chippewa river, where elk 
were plentiful before agricultural settlers came. The route of Woods 
and Pope in 1849 passed this Elk lake, named by the former in his report, 
writing "Here we saw an elk, . . . the first one that crossed our path." 

Erdahl, organized July 30, 1877, was "named in remembrance of a 
district in Norway, from which some of the early settlers had come." 
The same name was home also by a pioneer Lutheran pastor of this 
county, GuUik M. Erdahl, who was born in Hardanger, Norway, October 
5, 1840, and came to America at the age of seven years with his parents 
who settled in Madison, Wisconsin. He was graduated at Luther College, 
Decorah, Iowa, 1866, and at the Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, 1869; 
was 3 missionary and founder of churches in Kansas, Nebraska, and 
Iowa ; was pastor of five congregations in this county, 1875 to 1900, and 
later of two until his death at his home near Barrett on March 25, 1914. 
The railway village of Erdahl was platted in October, 1887. 



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GRANT COUNTY 215 

GoBTON, organized July 21, 1879, received the name given by officials 
of the railway to a former siding in this township, northwest of Nor- 

Herefobd, a railway village in section 1, North Ottawa, was platted in 
September, 1887. The History of the county notes the origin of this name 
as follows : "In 1886, when the railroad was about to estabUsh a station 
at this point, it was the intention to call the place Culbertson, in honor of 
the man who owned a tract of land there, but the modest man said that 
if they wished to compliment him in any way to cal! the place 'Hereford,' 
after his beautiful herd of white-faced cattle kept on his farm, 'Hereford 
Park,' near Newman, Illinois. Accordingly the place was so christened." 
The breed of cattle came from a county so named in western England. 

Heemak, the railway village in Logan, platted in September, 1875, 
was incorporated March 15, 1881, and would doubtless have been chosen 
as the county seat if its location were near the center of the county. In 
1914 it was selected by the State Municipality League, on account of its 
civic merit, as the "model town" of Minnesota. Its name was given by 
the railway officials, in honor of Herman Trott, land agent of the St. 
Paul and Pacific railroad company. He was born in Hanover, Germany, 
February 25, 1830 ; and died in St. Paul, December 29, 1903. He came to 
this state in 1856, and settled in St. Paul two years later ; removed to the 
state of Washington in 1890, but returned to reside in St. Paul after 1899. 

Hoffman, a railway village in Land township, platted in April, 1887, 
incorporated June 23, 1891, was named in honor of Robert C. Hoffman, 
of Minneapolis, who during many years has been chief engineer of the 
Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie railway. 

Land township, organized March 6, 1878, was named, on the sugges- 
tion of Erik Olson, a Norwegian farmer there, "for the town of Land, 
Wisconsin, whence some of the early settlers had come." In the Nor- 
wegian language, it is a general word meaning land or country. 

Lawrence was organized March 29, 1880. 'The first settlers . . . 
came here in 1870 from St. Lawrence county. New York. It was they who 
gave the township its name in remembrance of their former home." 

Lien, organized July 28, 1874, was named in honor of Ole E. Lien, 
who was one of its first settlers, coming in 1867 or 1868. He was born 
in Norway; came to the United States in 1861, settling in Minnesota, 
and served during the civil war in the Tenth Minnesota regiment. 

Logan, first settled in 1871, organized July 29, 1874, commemorates 
John Alexander Logan, who was born in Jackson county, Illinois, February 
9, 1826, and died jn Washington, D. C, December 26, 1886. He served in 
the Mexican war ; was a member of Congress from Illinois, 1859-61 ; was 
a general in the civil war, 1861-5; was again a representative in Congress, 
1867-71. and a senator, 1871-77 and 1879-86. In 1884 he was the Republican 
candidate for vice president. 

Macsville, organized September 23, 1878, was named in compliment 
for Francis McNabb, an early settler and chairman of the first board 



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216 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

of supervisors and for Tohn McQuillan another early 'Jettler who was 
the first towii'ihip clerk also for Col! McQellan who in 187S was chair 
man of the board uf counts commissioner'! 

NoklROSs the railwav \iliage in Gorton platted in December ]88I 
and incorporated in 1903 received its name from Henry AUyn Norton 
and Judson Newell Cross of Minneapolis proprietors of the village site. 
Norton was born in B\ron 111 October 17 1838 died rn Minneapolis 
February 3 1906 He served in the army 1861 S attaining the rank of 
major, resided in Chicago until 1882 when he remoied to Minneapolis 
Cross was born in the state of New York Januarj 16 1838 died in 
Minneapolis August 31 1901 He was a student at Oberlm College 
when the cnil war began enlisted m the Seventh Ohio regiment and 
during the farst year in service was promoted to the rank of captain in 
1864 was made adjutant general of the military district of Indiana After 
the war he studied law and m 1875 settled in Mmneapolis 

NoBTH Ott*w\ was organized Julv 24 1882 Thomas H Toombs 
from Ottawa Illinois gave the township its name The iirat township 
meeting was held at his house and he was then elected chairman of the 
supervisors 

Pelica\ Lake township organized Tinuarj 4 1876 has an extensive 
lake of this name which was noted for the large flDcka of pelicans found 
there in the early days " It was named Lake EUenora on the earliest 
state map in I860 

PoMME DE Terre township organized Julj 17 1877 took the name of 
the large lake at its southeast border whence also the Pomme de Terre 
river, flowing trom it to the Minnesota river was named It i= received 
from the earlj French loyageur' and traders meaning literally apple o£ 
the earth that is a potato but it was here applied to the edible ovoid 
shaped root of the Dakota turnip (Psoralea escuienta) called Tipsinah 
by the Dakota or Siout people This much e teemed aboriginal food 
plant, very valuable to these Ind ans formerly was common on dry and 
somewhat gravelly parts of upland prairies throughout southw estern 
Minnesota The old village of Pjmme de Terre in section 24 platted in 
1874, was the first Milage in the counts, now superseded by railway towns. 

RoSEViLLe was organized July 24, 1878. "Many names were suggested 
. . . but the settlers finally decided upon a name which would remind 
them of the appearance of the virgin prairie when they located there, 
beautiful with thousands of wild roses." (History, 1916, page 383.) 

Sanford, organized July 24, 1882, was named by the county commis- 
sioners in honor of Henry F. Sanford, who was the first settler in the 
township, coming here in 1869. He was bom in Pleasantville, Pa., June 
2, 1845; came to Minnesota, and served in Hatch's Battalion of cavalry 
against the Sioux, 1863-6; was chairman of the first board of county 
commissioners, 1873; and was county auditor in 1875-8 and 1887-91. He 
was killed by an accident in New Mexico in 1914. 



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GRANT COUNTY 217 

Stony Brook township, first settled in 1870, organized July 30, 1877, 
derived its name from the small Stony brook and lake in its north part, 
which are headwaters of Mustinka river. 

Wej(Dell, the railway village in Stony Brook, platted in July, 1889, 
and incorporated in April, 1904, received its name from the railway 
officials when the road was being built, with location of a depot here, in 
1887. It is also the name of a town in Massachusetts and a village in 
North Carolina. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing pages have noticed Barrett lake, Elbow and Elk lakes, 
Pelican lake, the Pomme de Terre river and lake, and Stony brook. 

Mustinka river has a Dakota or Sioux name, meaning a rabbit, the 
reference being to the common white rabbit, which also is called the 
"varying hare," because its fur is gray in summer and white in winter. 
The Dakota dictionaries by S. R. Riggs (1852) and John P. Williamson 
(1902) give it as Mashtincha. The farger jack rabbit or hare, also 
formerly common on the prairies of western Minnesota and on the great 
plains farther west, was called mashtintanka, which means great rabbit. 

Another stream of this county is named Rabbit river, having its sources 
in Lawrence and flowing west in Wilkin county to Bois des Sioux river. 

Two early routes or trails of traders, traveling with trains of Red 
river carts from the Selkirk and Pembina settlements, in the lower Red 
river valley, to St. Cloud and St. Paul, passed across the area of Grant 
county. Both are delineated on the state map of 1860, the more northern 
passing by Pelican lake, then called Lake EUenora, and the central route 
■ by Elbow lake. A more southwestern route led from the Red and Bois 
des Sioux rivers to the Minnesota valley and past Swan lake and 
Traverse des Sioux to St. Paul. 

Woods and Pope, in the expedition of 1849, before mentioned, took 
the middle route, passing Elk lake, the Little Pomme de Terre lake (now 
named Barrett lake), and onward northwest, having on the left hand, 
successively. Long, Worm, Elbow, and Lightning lakes. Three of these 
last have been named for their shape or outline, the most remarkable 
being Worm lake, of very irregular and wormlike form. 

Lightning lake, in Stony Brook township, and Upper Lightning lake, 
a few rniles farther northwest, in the edge of Otter Tail county, perhaps 
derived their names from an incident during the expedition of Woods and 
Pope, when they so named two lakes where they had camped, in reference 
to "a stroke of lightning, which tore in pieces one of the tents, and pros- 
trated nearly all the persons who were in the camp." (Pope's Report, 
1850, pages 18-19.) But the detailed narration of Pope shows that their 
Lightning lakes were those now named Grove lake and McCloud's lake, 
in Pope county, on a more southeastern part of the route, distant about 
two or three days' journey from these lakes. In a paper by D. S. B. 
Johnston, who went over this route in 1857, it is stated that the Light- 



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218 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

ning lake of Grant county, according to Pierre Bottineau, the famous 
guide, "took its name from a man in a former expedition being struck 
by lightning and killed." {M. H. S. Collections, vol. XV, 1915, page 
417.) In the tradition of guides, possibly the experience of the expedi- 
tion in 1849 had given origin to a misplaced Lightning lake in 1857, which 
has been permanently retained. 

A large number of other lakes are named mostly in honor of early set- 
tlers near them, or for trees, as Cottonwood lake, birds, as Cormorant lake, 
or other animals, as Turtle lake ; or for their size or outlines, as Big, Horse- 
shoe, and Eound lakes. These are noted in the following list, arranged 
in the numerical order of the townships and ranges, but omitting many 
lakes of relatively small size, for which the maps have no names. 

Patchen, Shauer, and Silver lakes, in Roseville. 

Big and Cottonwood lakes, Burr, Johnson, Olstrud, Neimackl, Bar- 
rows, Graham, and Nelson lakes, in Macsville. 

Pullman lake, adjoining Herman, named for Charles Pullman, pro- 
prietor of the first hotel there. 

Lake Katrina or Sylvan lake, (bordered by a grove), Peterson, Thomp- 
son, Torstenson, EUingson, Olson, and Retzhoff lakes, Round lake. Spring 
and Turtle lakes, Church lake (beside a church), and Island lake, in Elk 
Lake township. 

Cormorant lake, Eide, Huset, and Jones lakes, in Lien. 

Moses lake or slough, in Delaware. 

Island and Round lakes, in Sanford. 

Four Mile lake {so far from the old Pomrae de Terre stage station), 
Field, Horseshoe, and Scott's lakes, in Pomme de Terre township, of which . 
the second and fourth were named for adjacent farmers. 

Stony Brook lake, in sections 3 and 10 of Stony Brook township. 

Stony lake, in section 12, Lawrence, and Ash lake in sections 24 and 25 
of this township, the last being named for an early immigrant farmer 
from England. 

Herman and Norcross Beaches of Lake Agassiz. 
From their excellent development near Herman and at Norcross, the 
first and uppermost beach and the secotid beach, which is next lower, ot 
the Glacial Lake Agassiz, received their names as respectively the Her- 
man and Norcross beaches or shore lines. Along northern parts of this 
great ancient lake, which filled the Red river valley, as more fully noticed 
in the first chapter of this volume (pages 7, 8), each of these beaches is 
divided, on account of the northwarduplift of the land during the existence 
of the lake, into two or several beaches, distinct and separate strand lines 
at small vertical intervals, which there are distingu si ed a the upper and 
lower Herman beaches, or the first, second, third et and 1 kew se the 
upper and lower Norcross beaches. The earliest pub! hed u e of these 
names is in the Eleventh Annual Report of the Ge 1 g I Su ey ot 
Minnesota, for 1882. 



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HENNEPIN COUNTY 



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this state, with biographic sketches of these great pToneers of New France. 

Two hundred years after Hennepin visited and named the falls of 

the Mississippi at the center of the present city of Minneapolis, a great 

celebration was held there by tVie Minnesota Historical Society and the 



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220 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

people of the Twin Cities, on the grounds of the State University, within 
view of the falls, on Saturday, July 3, 1880. The description of this Hen- 
nepin Bi-Centenary celebration, and the addresses of Governor C. K. 
Davis, Governor Ramsey, General W. T. Sherman, and Archbishop Ire- 
land, with a poem by A. P. Miller, are published in the M. H. S. Collec- 
tions (vol. VI, pages 29-?4). 

The name of Hennepin, instead of Sneliing, which latter had been 
proposed by Colonel John H. Stevens in the original bill, was adopted 
for this county on request of Martin McLeod, member of the Territorial 
Council. 

Townships, Villages, and Minneapolis. 

The origins and meanings of these names have been gathered mostly 
from the "Geographical and Statistical History of the County of Henne- 
pin," by W. H. Mitchell and Col. John H. Stevens, 1868, 149 pages; 
"History of Hennepin County and the City of Minneapolis," by George 
E. Warner and Charles M. Foote, 1881, 713 pages ; "History of Minneapo- 
lis, edited by Judge Isaac Atwater, and Hennepin County, edited by 
Colonel John H. Stevens," 189S, two volumes, continuously paged, 14W 
pages; "Compendium of History and Biography of Minneapolis and Hen- 
neoin County," by Return I. Holcombe and William H. Bingham, 1914, 
584 pages; and from Hon. John B. Gilfillan, Dr. Lysander P. Foster, and 
Major Edwin Clark, each of Minneapolis, the second and third being 
respectively president and secretary of the Hennepin County Territorial 
Pioneers' Association. 

Bloomington township, first settled in 1843, organized May 11, 18S8, 
was the home of bands of the Dakotas, "those of Good Road and Man 
of the Clouds. They occupied the bluff on the river near the residence 
of Rev. G. H. Pond." The name was given by settlers from Illinois, 
who came in 18S2. Twelve other states have villages and cities of this 
name, the two largest being in Illinois and Indiana. 

Brooklvw township, settled in 1852, organized May 11, 1858, was 
named by pioneers from southern Michigan, who came in 1853, for the 
former township and present railway village of Brooklyn in that state, 
about twenty miles northwest of Adrian. 

Brooklyn Center is an incorporated village, mainly a farming area, 
adjoining the northwest corner of Minneapolis. 

CHAMEtiN, first settled in 1852, organized May II, 1858, was named 
from its village, platted in 1853, opposite to Anoka and the mouth of 
Rura river. It bears a personal surname, but why it came to be applied 
to this village and the township remains to be learned. No other place 
in the United States is so named. A farmer of Vernon Center, in Blue 
Earth county, Ezra T. ChampHn, born in Ferrisburg, Vt„ April 2, 1839, 
came to this state in 1860; served in the Third Minnesota regiment in 
the civil war, attaining the rank of captain; and was a representative in 
the legislature in 18?5, "1887, and 1891, being speaker of the House in 
1891. 



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HENNEPIN COUNTY 221 

CoRC(«[AN, settled in 18SS, organized May II, 1858, was named in honor 
of Patrick B. Corcoran, who was the first school teacher here, the first 
merchant, and first postmaster. He was highly commended as a good 
citizen by Colonel Stevens. He was born in Ireland, 182S ; came to the 
United States in 1847, and to this coimty in 1855, being one of the earliest 
settlers of this township. 

Crystal village, as it is now named, incorporated January 11, 1887, 
would be more suitably termed a small township, under which form of 
government it was organized Apr-' '. 1860, being then called Crystal 
Lake, It has the Twin lakes and the smaller Crystal lake, which boasts 
"a good depth of water and better shores." Besides the title of the town- 
ship and village, its Crystal prairie, four miles long and a mile wide, but 
dotted originally with many small groves, like islands, was also named 
from the lake. 

Dayton township, settled in 1851, organized May 11, 1858, was named, 
like its village, platted in 1855, in honor of Lyman Dayton, of St. Paul, 
one of the original proprietors. He was born in Southington, Conn., 
August 25, 1810; and died in St. Paul, October 20. 1865. He came to 
Minnesota in 1849, and invested largely in real estate; was the projector 
and president of the Lake Superior and Mississippi railroad (later named 
St. Paul and Duluth). 

Deephaven,, a village in Excelsior and Minnetonka, founded about 
1880, was named for its excellent harbor. 

Edek Prairie township, settled in 1852, organized in 1858, had a fine 
natural prairie in its southern portion. "The town was named, in 1853, 
by a Mrs. Elliot, who gave it the name Eden, in expressing her admir- 
ation of this beautiful prairie." (History, 1881, page 231.) The reference 
should be for Mrs. Elizabeth F. Ellet, an author of national reputation, 
who visited Lake Minnetonka in August, 1852, less than three months 
after it was visited and named by Governor Ramsey. Other names 
proposed by her, for bays and a point of Minnetonka are noted on a later 
page in this chapter. 

Edina, a southwestern village suburb of Minneapolis, was incorpo- 
rated December 18, 1888, havii^ been previously a part of Richfield. Its 
name was derived from the Edina flouring mil!, owned by Andrew and 
John Craik, who so named the mill in memory of their boyhood home, 
in or near Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Excelsior, organized May II, 1858, "owes its name and settlement to 
a colony, under the title of the Excelsior Pioneer Association," which 
was formed in New York City, November 12, 18S2. "They were headed 
by George M. Bertram and arrived in the summer of 1853." The colony 
adopted this name in allusion to Longfellow's world-famous short poem, 
"Excelsior," which was written September 28, I84I, and was published a 
few days later. 

Golden Valley, a western suburb of Minneapolis, euphoniously named 
for its beautiful valley inclosing a small and narrow lake, was incorpo- 



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MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 



t d D mb 17 1886 d "l 


11 g 1 t (1 gh -t ■ hi fly 


mg mtylthdb f 


1} th th f p t f y 


pit 1 p 




Green ttl d IS'!'? g 


d M y 11 1858 t k th f 


Em 11 e wh 1 p ed t b 


ty pi tt d b Tl m -^ H 1 


d f m y t w ) d th 


tl t f 1856 7 It as 


p d d by R kf d th 


W ght t^ d f th C w 


abt mlbl thG wdtyt Tl g fth 


h h m g pp 1 


th w dl^nd by th fit 


tl th lyd f mm 


(H t rj 1881 p g 311) 


H EL 1 J 11 g t 


1 M d f d d 1886 


m d f JO d W 11 m Ham 1 


n h t th 


H fi t ttl d 1854 g 


d Ap M 1860 d t m 


D k t S d h 1 


m an g h g p! t 


h t h f m h th 


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b th t h t h g 


m ! Ij w t p) C n ty 


tip d Ch h 1 


th f L k \I t k t 


d t yea ! d ga d 


1858 N t t fl t w th th t 



tl d t 

m th jU bl m g t w h m tt d 

H h rt 1 d II g pi tt d 185 t S4 d 3'? 

Eden Prairie, on 'the Minnesota river, was during several years a shipping 
point for grain. 

Hopkins, a railway village in St Louis Park. Edina, and Minnetonka, 
was named in honor of Harley H. Hopkins, its postmaster. He was born 
in 1824 ; came to this county in 1855 ; engaged in farming on a part of the 
village site ; died in Minneapolis, February 19, 1882, 

Independence, settled in 1854-S, organized May 11, 1858, bears the name 
of the largest one of its several lakes. "The lake derived its name from 
a party of Fourth of July excursionists. Kelsey Hinman, one of the 
party, named it Lake Independence, in honor of the national holiday." 
(History, 1881, page 263.) 

Long Lake, a Great Northern railway village in Orono, was named 
for the adjoining Long lake, one of our most abundant lake names. 

LoRETTO, a Soo railway village in section 6, Medina, founded in 1886, 
was named from a Roman Catholic mission for refugees of the Huron 
Indians near Quebec, Canada, called Lorette, founded and named in 1673, 
and from the village of Loretto, Kentucky, where a society of Catholic 
"Sisters of Loretto at the Foot of the Cross" was founded in 1812. Many 
schools are conducted by members of this society in the central and 
southern United States. The original source of the name is Loreto, a 
small town in Italy, which has a noted shrine of pilgrimage. (Catholic 
Encyclopedia, vol. IX, 1910, pages 360-361; vol. XIII, 1912, pages 454-6.) 

Maple Grove township, first settled in 1851, organized May 11, 1858, 
and Maple Plain, a railway village in Independence, platted in 1868, 
when the railway construction was completed to that station, were both 
named for the abundance of the hard or sugar maple in their forests. 



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HENNEPIN COUNTY 223 

Medina, settled in 1854, organized May 11, 1858, had been previously 
called Hamburg by the county commissioners, which name was then 
changed to Medina by a unanimous vote of the thirty-seven settlers 
present. This name of a city in Arabia, where Mohammed spent his 
last ten years and died, is borne by villages and townships in eight states 
of our Union, and by counties in Ohio and Texas. 

MiNNEAPOUS, founded by Col. John H. Stevens, builder of the first 
house on the west side of the Mississippi here in !849-S0, organized as a 
township May 11, 1858, was transformed in 1886 to the village organiz- 
ations of Golden Valley tiid St. Louis Park, excepting the eastern part 
of the township, which had been comprised in the city area. On the 
original site of thia city plattmg of \dlage lots '^as begun in the spring of 
1854 by Steiens to whah other plats «ere added in 1854-5 The state 
legislature m an act approved March 1 1856 authorized a town govern 
ment with a council which wa^ inaugurated Juh 20 18'i8 The city of 
Minneapolis was mcorporated under in act of March 2 1866 and its 
first elect on of ofticef; was held tehruarj 19 18ri7 It was enlarged 
through union of the former cities of Minntap 1 ^ and St \nthonj by 
a legislative act approved February 28 1872 and the new citj council 
was organized April 9 1872 

The earliest announcement ind recommendation of this name was 
brought by Charles Hoag to the editor of the St At thonj Express 
George D Bowman on the dty of its publication November 5 1852 
It was then published w thout time for editorial comment which was 
very fa\orabl} given in the next issue on November 13 Soon this new 
name compounded from Minneh-Uia and the Greek polis citi dis 
placed the v annus earlier names which had attained more or less temporarj 
acceptance, including All Saints, proposed by James M. Goodhue of the 
Minnesota Pioneer, Hennepin, Lowell, Brooklyn, Albion, and others. 

The distinguished parts borne by both Hoag and Bowman in this oppor- 
tune coinage of the name Minneapolis have been many times related with 
gratitude to Hoag for the bright idea and to Bowman for his effective 
advocacy of it by h i newspaper 

But a new claim for the origination of the name by Bowman during 
a horseback ride from St Anthony to Marine Mills on the St Croit 
river was published in the summer of 1915 b> a posthumous letter of 
Benjamin Drake Sr a cou'in of Bowman printed oi page 158j in 
Volume III of the late Captain Henrj A CasHe s Histors of Minnesota 
The circumstantial evidences of truthfulness there shown for Bowman as 
the first to receive the mspiration of uniting Minnehaha and polls 
to form this city name seem quite conclusive 

It is probable however that Bowman had ment on ed this idea to his 
friend Mr Hoag and that some dajs or weeks later when Hoag had 
entirelv forgotten this it maj have come again to his mind and been 
thoi^ht new and original vtith himself immediateh before his writing 
the short article b\ whith thi'! name was proposed m No\ ember 1852 



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i/ NNESOTA GEOGRAPH C \AMES 



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ddwhmg TdSd 

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w dTwd h tuhSAnhnEp 

h d an d P h h 



k pan m m S 

Anthony and St. Paul. An article by Goodhue in his newspaper, the 
Minnesota Pioneer, for July 1, says : "The lake was named by Governor 
Ramsey, Minnetonka, or 'Big Water,* who expressed great admiration 
of the beauties of the country surrounding." 

Minne (also spelled mini) is the common Sioux word for water, and 
tonka (also spelled tanka) is likewise their common word meaning big or 
great; but the name thus compounded seems not to have been used by the 
Sioux till Ramsey coined it for the lake. So far as we have records, in- 



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HENNEPIN COUNTY 225 

d d th S r Dakota people appear to have had no term for this 

1 g d y f atured body of water. 

JI ETO Beach is a railway village of summer hotels and homes, 

th th d of the lake, between Crystal and Lafayette bays, in 



M TR! ettled in 1854, organized in the spring of 1859, was at 

fit d G m n Home by the county commissioners, but was changed 

t th p t me by vote of the settlers at tlie date of organization, 

S 1 m were proposed and rejected. The name of Minnetrista 

fi ily p p ed and accepted; Minne (meaning waters) and trista 
( g k d) ; and from the fact that the town contained so many 

k d 1 k th name was considered as the most appropriate." (His- 
t > 1881 p g ■^.) 

T b ra d finite, this name seems to have been chosen primarily in 
allusion to the very irregular and curiously zigzag outline of Whale 
Tail lake, which thus not only suggested its own name, but also this 
name for the township. Another lake of curious crookedness, in sections 
5 and 6, is called Ox Yoke lake, from its shape. Minnetrista is partly of 
Dakota derivation, in its first half; but trista is not found in either the 
Dakota or Ojibway languages. It is another example of words coined 
by white men, as if used by Indians. The letter r, occurring in trista, is 
not employed by Riggs or Baraga itt their dictionaries of these aboriginal 
languages; nor are their words meaning crooked similar in sound with 
trista, which we may therefore think to be of Yankee invention, to signify 
twisted or twister. 

Mound, a railway village of summer homes, with other homes of per- 
manent residents, in Minnetrista, on and rear the northwestern shore of 
Lake Minnetonka, is named for its aboriginal mounds. Three groups of 
these mounds within the area of the village, mapped by Winchell, have 
respectively four, eighteen, and nine mounds; and at the distance of about 
a mile westward is a remarkable series of sixty-nine mounds, on the 
north side of Halsted's bay. (Aborigines of Minnesota, 1911, pages 224-6, 
with maps of these mound groups.) 

Around all the shores of Lake Minnetonka, and on some of its islands, 
are many mounds, mostly in groups. The aggregate number of these 
mounds mapped and described by Winchell, in the work cited (pages 224- 
242, with 36 maps or plats), is 495, in more than thirty groups, whjch 
range in their separate numbers from two or three up to 98 mounds. 

Oeono township was organized in 1889, having previously been the 
south half of Medina. The name, adopted from the township and village 
of the same name in Maine, was suggested by citizens who had come to 
Minnesota from that state. Several years before this township was organ- 
ized and named, George A. Brackett, of Minneapolis, purchased for his 
summer home a point on this part of the lake shore, before called Star- 
vation point, which he then renamed as Orono point. In an address by 
Hon. Israel Washbura, Jr., at the centennial celebration of Orono, Maine, 



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226 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

on March 3, 1874, this name is stated to have been borne by a prominent 
chief of the Penobscot Indians, who was born in 1688 and died Februarj 
S, 1801, aged 113 years. Washburn wrote: "Orono was always inclined 
to peace and good neighborhood. . . . What the f,rand and sonorous 
name he bore signified, or whence it was derived, I hi\e never heard 

OsSEO, a village in Brooklyn and Maple Grove townships platted m 
1856, occupies a part of Bottineau prairie, where P erre Bottineau the 
noted half-breed guide, took his landi claim in 1852. The \illage remained 
under the township governments . . . until the spr ng of 187^ when it 
was incorporated by act of Legislature." The source of the name is 
"The Song of Hiawatha," by Longfellow, published in 18S5 which pre 

t th t ry f O f th E g St t Id by 1 goo t I 

ddgfH th dM hi Tl m dlkw 

f m L gf II w b 1 bj II g M I g d W 

P M H fa t ttl d O t b 1853 g d M y 11 1858 t k 
th m f t II g p ly pi tted P k Ik 1856 b t 

th 11 g w ly f h t d t t t w h tl t w h p 

m hchhw fth ttl tfitwhdthgt 

M d L k L k II th m y PI ra tl f th U t d St t 

mm m t th tj f PI th t th th £ th R Plym 

D h E gl d wl th P Ig, m tl M fl I d in 

1620 t th t f Plym th M 1 d g tl b Id f w Id 

11 d Plym th R k 

E H EL ttl d 1849 5 g d M 11 1858 w tl m d 

by t f th p pi p f t R H d t p m 

Tw 1 th t t h R hfi !d t w h p II g t 

Ro b b II g d] g M p I th rtl 

wt mdf \dwBRhb hphdidth 

1887 d pi tt d tl II g wh I f I t w p t d 

RoG tl I y 11 g f H w m d b fh f th 

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S\h ptd tyMh^ 1855 d t tly g 

hh g d t hpMyll 1858 d th m 

f th dj t f II f th M pp wh h H p 1680 h 

w t II d U F 11 f bt A t! y £ P d g 1 1 d f th 

f d by tl Al gl ty tl gh th t { th t g t 

twhm hdh pt dptt fll tp 

St A tl b Lb 1195 b m F ca f t th 

gttwtjth dpthltfiy tt 

P d It. I wh h d d 1 11 

S An H F pi tt d II g 1849 d w d d d 

R m y tj 1 1 M h 4 1856 4 th pi t 1848 9 m d 

St Autl y C ty mp d th t f th St t U ty d dj 

g th tw d wh I 1 t w p p 1 ly II d Ch t w 

in honor of William A. Cheever, a pioneer who settled there in 1847, 
builder of an observatory tower. 



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HENNEPIN COUNTY 227 

An act of the Legislature, "consolidating the cities of St. Anthony 
and Minneapolis, and iacorporating the same into one city by the name 
of Minneapolis," was approved February 28, !8?2, 

St. BoNiFACiUs, a railway village in Minnetrista, was named from its 
Catholic church, consecrated to St. Boniface, the Apostie of the Germans. 
. He was born in Devonshire, England, about 680, the son of a West 
Saxon chieftain; was ordained to the priesthood in 710; went as a mis- 
sionary to Bavaria in 720, and became archbishop of Mentz ; resigned that 
position as primate of Germany at the age of seventy-four years, resumed 
his missionary work, and in the next year suffered "martyrdom at the 
hands of the pagans of Utrecht." The name Bonifacius is Latin, mean- 
ing "of good fate or fortune." 

St. Louis Park, a suburban village adjoining the west side of Minne- 
apolis, was formerly included in Minneapolis township. It was incor- 
porated October 4, 1886, being named in allusion to the Minneapolis and 
St. Louis railway. 

Tonka Bay, a summer village having a large hotel, north and west 
of Gideon bay, in Excelsior, bears a name abbreviated from Minnetonka. 

Wayzata, a village in sections 5 and 6, Minnetonka, lying on the north 
side of Wayzata bay, was platted in 1854, and was incorporated in 1884. 
This name was formed by slight change from Waziyata, a Dakota (Sioux) 
word, meaning "at the pines, the north." Wazi is defined as "a pine, 
pines"; and Wazis^, "the northern god, or god of the north; a fabled 
giant who lives at the north and blows cold out of his mouth. He draws 
near in winter and recedes in summer." The suffix ta, denotes "at, to, 
on." (Riggs, Dictionary of the Dakota Language, 1852, pages 192, 239.) 
The name Wayzata, originated by white men, refers to the location, at 
the north side of the east end of Lake Minnetonka; not to pine trees, 
which are found nearest, in very scanty numbers, on the Mississippi 
bluffs at Dayton, and on Bassett's and Minnehaha creeks in Minneapolis. 

Fort Snel F h 

The naming o 
names. First, wh g m 

with Colonel Lea th 

fall and winter, ca m 

barracks of log-ho D ty 

Minnesota river, a m 

fort. St Peter's k E 

river. It was als N H d h 

future of this out 

At the time of g g m 

pelled to remove tl m g 

upland prairie, a 
springs of clear an ff 



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228 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

that second camp ground which was mostly of tents named Camp 
Cold Water 

After three years ol ahernation in cibn and tent life at New Hope 
and Camp Cold \^ate^ the troops moved into tteir barracks within the 
mclosure of the fort in the late autumn of 1822 Its corner ^tone had 
been laid September 10 1820 soon after Colonel Snell n£[ succeeded 
Leavenworth m the Lommand and its construction was well completed 
m 1824 when General Winfield Scott Msited it in May or earh June 
on a tour of mspection of western armj posts Up to that time and til! 
the beginning of 1825 it was called Fort St Anthony in allusion to the 
ne ghbormg St Anthonj falls 

In the report of the tour of review and inspection dated at We t 
Point November 1824 Ciener-il ^cott wrote m part as follows concern 
ing Fort St Anthony I wiah to suggest to the general n-chief and 
through him to the War Department the propriety of calling this work 
Port Snellmg as a just compliment tn the meritorious officer under whom 
It has been erected The present name is foreign to all our associations 
and IS besides geographically incorrect as the work stands at the junc 
tion of the Mississippi and Saint Peter s ri ers eight miles below the 
great falls of the Mississippi called after Saint A.nthin> Some few 
years su ce the Secretary of War directed that the work at the Ciuncil 
Bluffs should be called Fort '\tkinson in compliment to the \aluahle 
services of General Atk nson on the upper Missouri The abo\e propo 
sition IS made on tke same principle 

In accordance with this recommendation it was directed in W ar 
Department General Orders No 1 dated January 7 182S that the mili 
tarj post on the Mississippi at the mouth of the Saint Peter s theretofore 
called Fort Saint Anthony, be thereafter designated and known as Fort 
Snelling." (Letter of Gen. Henry P, McCain, U S. Adjutant General, 
Sept 24, 191S.) 

Josiah Snelling was born- in Boston, Mass., 1782 ; and died in Wash- 
ington, D. C, August 20, 1828. He was commissioned first lieutenant in 
the Fourth Infantry, U. S. Army, 1808; served in the War of 1812; was 
promoted to be colonel of the Fifth Infantry, 1819; took command of 
Fort St. Anthony in 1820, and in the next three years erected its perma- 
nent buildings. In 1827 his regiment was removed to SL Louis, (Much 
history of the officers and their families at Fort St. Anthony, especially for 
Col. and Mrs. Snelling, is given in a paper contributed by the present 
writer to the Magazine of History, vol. XXI, pages 25-39, July, 1915.) 

Lakes and Streams. 



The first chapter has given attention to the origins of the names of the 
Mississippi, Minnesota, and Crow rivers, which together form two-thirds 
of the boundary inclosing this county. 

Islands of the Mississippi in the area of Minneapolis, in their descend- 
ing order, include Boom island, where log booms formerly retained the 



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HENNEPIN COUNTY 229 

lumbermen's logs until they were gradually supplied to the sawmills ; 
Nicollet island, a residential portion of the city, named, like an avenue, 
m honor of the French explorer and geographer, Joseph Nicolas Nicollet; 
Hennepin island, named also like an avenue and like this county; Catar- 
act island and Carver's island, just below the falls, the latter being named 
for Captain Jonathan Carver, who visited the falls in 1766; Spirit island, 
close below the preceding, formerly a high remnant of the rock strata, 
held in awe by the Indians ; and Meeker island, an alluvial tract between 
the Franklin Avenue bridge and the Milwaukee Railway bridge, which 
was owned by Judge Bradley B. Meeker, for whom also a county is 
named. 

In the preceding list of townships, sufficient mention has been made 
for Crystal lake and Lake Independence, Long lake in Orono, Lake Min- 
netonka, Whale Tail and Ox Yoke lakes, the Falls of St. Anthony, and 
Wayzata bay. 

The earliest detailed map of any part of this state was drafted during 
the building of the fort, in 1823, entitled "A Topographical View of the 
Site of Fort St. Anthony," as described in the historical paper before 
cited. Lakes Harriet and Calhoun and the Lake of the Isles, in the 
series at the west side of Minneapolis, are there mapped and named, with 
numerous others of the lakes, rivers and creeks, in the contiguous parts 
of Hennepin, Ramsey, and Dakota counties. The region east of the Mis- 
sissippi river was designated as Michigan, and that on the west as Mis- 
Lake Harriet was named for the wife of Colonel Leavenworth. Her 
maiden name was Harriet Lovejoy, her home being in Blenheim, Scho- 
harie county, N. V. She was born in I79I ; was married to Leavenworth 
in the winter of 1813-14; and died at Barrytown, N. Y., September 7, 
18S4. She came here with her husband and the first troops, August 24, 
1819, and was here about one year. Leavenworth received the brevet 
rank of brigadier genera! in 1824, and died at the age of fifty-one, July 
21, 1834, in an expedition against the Pawnees and Comanches. Fort 
Leavenworth, in Kansas, and a city and county there, were named in his 
honor. 

Lake Calhoun commemorates John Caldwell Calhoun (b. 1782, d. 
1850), the eminent statesman of South Carolina, who was Secretary of 
War from 1817 to 1825, He was vice president of the United States, 
1825-32; was U. S. senator, 1833-43; and was Secretary of State under 
President Tyler, 1844-5, when he was again elected to the Senate, of 
which he remained a member until his death. The Dakota or Sioux name 
of this lake is given as "Mde Medoza, Lake of the Loons," by Major T. 
M. Newson in his "Indian Legends o£ Minnesota Lakes" (No. 1, 1881, 
page 18). 

The Lake of the Isles was named for its islands {now two, but form-- 
erly four, as mapped in Andreas' Atlas, 1874) ; and Cedar lake, for the 
red cedar trees of its shores. 



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E OTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

M F ec ved the name of Brown's Falls on the Fort map 

82 b Brown, major general and commander in chief 

m ntil his death, February 24, 1828; but Minnehaha 

th e Minnetonka, which was made, as before men- 

R B wn and William J. Snelling in May, 1822, when 

ea enteeii years old, could scarcely have caused the 

m y prominent citizen of Minnesota to be so applied 

army officer. 

is cited by Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha," 

d by Mrs. Mary H. Eastman in the introduction 

D or Life and Legends of the Sioux around Fort 

849. She there wrote : "The scenery about Fort 

S g ty. The Falls of St. Anthony are familiar to 

of Indian sketches. Between the fort and these 

' 40 feet in height, on a stream that empties into 

M pp Indians call them Mine-hah-hah, or 'laughing 

waters.' " 

The common Sioux word for waterfall is "haha," which they applied 
to the falls of St. Anthony, to Minnehaha, and in general to any water- 
fall or cascade. To join the words "minne," water, and "haha," a fall, 
seems to be a suggestion of white men, which thereafter came into use 
among the Indians. 

The late Samuel W. Pond, Jr., in his admirable book, "Two Volunteer 
Missionaries," narrating the lives and work of his father and uncle, 
Samuel W. and Gideon H. Pond, wrote ; "The Indian name, 'Little 
Waterfall/ is given ... in speaking of the falls now called by white 
people 'Minnehaha.' The Indians never knew it by the latter name, be- 
stowed upon it by the whites." 

Somewhat nearly this name, however, was used in 1835 by Charles 
J. Latrobe, in his book, "The Rambler in North America," telling of his 
travels in 1832-3, in which he wrote as follows, applying it, with parts of 
the name transposed, to the larger falls o£ the Mississippi : "But the 
Falls of St. Anthony! . . . the Hahamina! 'the Laughing Water,' 
as the Indian language, rich in the poetry of nature, styles this remote 
cataract." 

Another early book of travel using the same form of the name, under 
a different spelling, is "A Summer in the Wilderness ; embracing a Canoe 
Voyage up the Mississippi and around Lake Superior," by Charles Lan- 
man, 1847 (208 pages). He described the present Minnehaha creek as 
"a small river, without a name, the parent of a most beautiful waterfall." 
Of the Falls of St. Anthony he wrote: "Their original name, in the Sioux 
language, was Owah-Menah, meaning falling water." The same spelling 
and translation had been given in Schoolcraft's Narrative, 1820. 

Soon this Sioux or Dakota name took its present form, an improve- 
ment devised by white people, probably first published in Mrs. Eastman's 



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HENNEPIN COUNTY 231 

book, in 1849, previously quoted. It was more elaborately presented by 
Rev. John A. Merrrick, in a paper describing the Falls of St. Anthony, 
contributed to the Minnesota Year Book for 1852, published by William 
G. LeDuc. Merrick wrote : "By the Dahcota or Sioux Indians they are 
called Minne-ha-hah or Minne-ra-ra (Laughing water), and aiso Minne- 
owah (Faning water), general expressions, applied to all waterfalls; but 
Par eminence Minne-ha-hah Tonk-ah (the great laughing water). By the 
Ojibways they are termed Kakah-Bikah (the broken rocks)." 

The noble American epic of Longfellow, in which he pictured Hiawa- 
tha, "skilled in ail the crafts of hunters," and 
"the ^rrow-maker's daughter, 
Mmnehaha Laughing Water, 
Handsomest of all the women," 
so well appealed to the imagination of both the United States and Great 
Britain, indeed of all where English is spoken that soon after its publi- 
cation, in 1855 this name became known around the world, the most wide- 
ly honored and lo\ed name m Minnesota history ind legends. 

The names of other streams and lakes in this county are noted in 

their order from south to north and from east to west, this being the 

Tiumerical order of the townships and ranges in the government surveys. 

Rice lake, through which Minnehaha creek flows, was named for its 

wild rice, formerly gathered for food by the Indians.- 

Lake Nokomis was called Lake Amelia by the Fort map in 1823, 
probably for the wife or daughter of Captain George Gooding, who came 
with the first troops in 1819. The name was changed to Nokorais by 
the Park Commissioners of Minneapolis in 1910, for the grandmother of 
Hiawatha. 

Next to the south and southwest are Mother lake (lately drained). 
Diamond, Pearl, Mud, and Wood lakes. 

Nine Mile creek received its name from its distance southwest from 
Fort Snelling. 

Long lake (now mostly drained). Grass lake (on a recent map named 
Terrell lake), and Rice lake (having wild rice), are on the bottomland of 
the Minnesota river in Bloomington and Eden Prairie. 

On the upland in these townships are another Long lake (also named 
Bryant's lake), Anderson, Bush, Hyland, Neil!, Staring, Red Rock, and 
Moran lakes. Lake Riley, Mitchell, Round, and Duck lakes, mostly named 
for farmers adjoining them. 

Minnetonka township has Shady Oak lake, in section 26, and Glen 
lake in section 34. 

In Excelsior are Galpin's lake, Christmas lake, and Silver lake, the 
first named for Rev. Charles Galpin, the first pastor there, and the second 
for Charles W. Christmas, of Minneapolis, the first county surveyor. 

Minnetrista, named for its two remarkably crooked lakes, has also 
Dutch lake, adjoining a German settlement; Lake Langdon, which com- 



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232 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

memorates R. V. Langdon, the first township clerk; and Long lake, in 
sections 9, IS. and 16. 

Minneapolis, in addition to its western series of lakes before noted, 
has Sandy lake, northeast of the Mississippi; Powderhorn lake, named 
for its original shape, now changed as the center of a park; and Loring 
Park lake, named in honor of Charles M. Loring, who was prominent 
during more than thirty years in the development of the Minneapolis 
system of parks and public grounds. Glenwood park, on the west border 
of this city, includes Glenwood and Brownie lakes. 

Bassett creek, flowing through the village area of Golden Valley and 
the city of Minneapolis, was named for Joel Bean Bassett, an early settler 
and lumberman, who was born in Wolfborough, N. H., March 17, 1817, 
and died in Los Angeles, Ca!., Feb. 1, 1912. He came to Minnesota in 
1849, settling in St. Paul, but soon pre-empted a tract adjoining the Mis- 
sissippi in Minneapolis, near the mouth of this creek; removed there in 
1852, and afterward engaged in lumbering and flour milling; was a mem- 
ber of the Territorial Council, 1857; was Indian agent for Minnesota 
1865-69. 

The village area of Golden Valley has Virginia lake, Sweeney lake, 
and Twin lake. 

Again Twin lakes are found three to four miles farther north, in the 
area of Crystal village, which was named, as before noted, for its Crystal 
lake. 

Shingle creek, which crosses Brooklyn township and the Brooklyn 
Center village, joining the Mississippi in the north edge of Minneapolis, 
had near its mouth the first shingle mill in this county, built in 1852. 
It flows through Palmer lake, named for a pioneer. 

Plymouth has Bass lake, Pomerleau, Smith, and Turtle lakes, in its 
northern half. The much larger Medicine lake, in its southeastern part, 
was named by the Indians after one of their number was drowned there 
by the capsizing of his canoe in a sudden storm. This name, in their use, 
means mysterious, and was given to the lake because they could not find 
his body. Parker's lake, and Gleason and Kraets lakes, in the southwest 
part of Plymouth, were named for adjoining settlers, the first being for 
six Parker brothers who came from Maine, in 1855 and later, opening 
farms around this lake. 

Medina township has Medina lake in section 2; Lake Peter in sections 
4 and 5; School lake in the school section 16; Seig and Half Moon lakes, 
and 18; Hausmann lake, in section 24; Wolsfeld lake, in 
s 22 and 27 ; and Lake Katrina, in sections 19, 20, 29, and 30. 

Orono has Lydiard lake, close east of Long lake; Classen take, a 
mile and a half west of Long Lake village; and French and Forest lakes, 
adjoining the bays and arms of Lake Minnetonka. 

Independence has Mud lake, Haughey, and Fox lakes; and Pioneer 
creek, the outlet of Lake Independence, flows southwestward across this 



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HENNEPIN COUNTY 233 

Elm creek flows through Rice lake, at the center of Maple Grove town- 
ship, and Hayden's lake,' in the southeast corner of Dayton. Midway 
between these lakes, Rush creek is tributary to it from the wesL 

Maple Grove also has Mud lake, in section 2; Weaver lake, in sections 
17 to 20; and Fish lake. Cedar Island, and Eagle lakes, the last being the 
largest in the township. 

Corcoran has only very small lakes, the largest (which alone is named 
on maps) being Jubert's lake, in sections 29 and 32. 

Lake Sarah, the largest in Greenwood, outflowing to the Crow river 
by Edgar creek, was named in 1855 for the wife or sweetheart of a pio- 
neer ; and in the same year Lake Rebecca received its name in honor of 
Mrs. Samuel Allen. Sections 23 and 24 of this township had a series of 
small lakes, recently drained, which were named Hafften, Schendel, 
Schauer, and Schnappauf lake-., for German farmers. 

Besides Hayden's lake, before mentioned, Dayton has French lake, 
named for a settlement of Frenuli families there, who came in 1853 ; Grass, 
Diamond, and Lura lakes, next northward , Goose lake, at the southeast 
corner of this township ; and Powers lake in section 34. 

Hassan has Lake Harry Syhan lake and Cowley lake. The last is 
also known as Parslow's lake, in honor of Septimus Parslow, who in 1856 
was appointed the first postmaster of Hassan, and held the office twenty- 
five years or more. 

Ba\'^ Points and IisLands or Lake Minnetcnka, 
The origin of the name of this lake and aho the story of its early 
white explorers have been told for M nnetonka townshp iihortly after 
Its exploration and i aming m 1852 it was iisited on August 11 of that 
summer by a prominent author Mri Elizabeth Frie= lllet, of New York 
City who ga>e to M nneaota and M nnetonka i early twenty pages in 
her Summer Rambles n the West Bes des her notes of the journey to 
thi lake she named Eden Prairie which gaie its t tie to a township. 

Her name for the iirst water sheet at the east end of Minnetonka, 
now named Cray s lake or baj was Lake Browning for the poet, Eliza- 
beth Barrett Brown ng The next part wider and larger which was soon 
afterward named Wajzata baj as before noted Mrs Ellet called Lake 
Brvant tor our Ameraan poet fron whom she read aloud a few lines 
appripnate to the scene 
Between her Lake Br\ant and the third large sheet of water, "an ex- 
tremely narrow headland half a mile in length runnmg out from 
the southern shore sinCe named Breezv po nt « as by her named Point 
W akon the Dakota term for anjlhmg spir tual or supernatural." There 
an o\3l stone a waterworn boulder ab ut a foot in diameter, had been 
found, which the Dakotas had painted red and covered with small yel- 
low spots, some of them faded to a brown color," around which stone the 
Dakota or Sioux, braves were accustomed, after raids against the Ojib- 
ways, to celebrate their scalp dance. 



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234 MINNESOTA- GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Cedar point projects into Wajfzata bay from the south, named for its 
red cedar trees. 

Proceeding westward along the south side of the lake, we pass Robin- 
son's bay, with Sunset point southwest of it; Carson's bay at Deephaven; 
and St Alban's bay and Gideon's bay, respectively east and west of Ex- 
Hotel Keewaydin, a name from Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha," 
meaning "the Northwest wind, the Home wind," was at Cottagewood, 
close west of Carson's bay. Keewaydin is the same name as the differ- 
ently spelled Keewatin, a former large province of northwestern Canada, 
lying west of Hudson bay. 

Gluek's point and Solberg's point are passed southwestward, before 
coming to Excelsior. 

A summer village that failed to grow, called St. Albans, was platted in 
1856 on the north shore of the bay which thence took its name. 

Gideon's bay (also called Tonka bay) commemorates Peter M. Gideon, 
the horticulturist, who there originated the renowned Wealthy apple, 
named by him in honor of his wife. He was born in Champaign cotinty, 
Ohio, February 9, 1^0; came to Minnesota in 1853, settling beside this 
bay, where later he was superintendent of the State Fruit Farm. A small 
memorial park and a tablet in his honor, at Manitou Junction, about a 
mile west of Excelsior, were dedicated June 16, 1912. 

Hull's Narrows, joining the lower and upper parts of Minnetonka, 
received this name for Rev. Stephen Hull, who settled on a farm there in 
February, 18S3. Originally a short creek, it was widened and deepened 
as a canal, and was opened to steamboat navigation in 1873. 

On the south side of the upper lake are Lock's point, Howard's point, 
and a less noteworthy projection of the shore at Zumbra Heights, west of 
Smithtown bay. 

Hard Scrabble point on the west, and Cedar point on the east, divide 
this tipper lake from Cook's and Priest's bays, at the west end of Micne- 

Yet farther west, connected by a strait with Priest's bay, is HaJsted's 
bay, named for Frank William Halsted, who was born in Newark, N. J., 
in 1833, and died here in June, 18?6. He came to Minnesota in 1855; 
served in the U. S. navy during the civil war; resided in a picturesque 
house near the shore of this bay, called the Hermitage. His older 
brother, George Blight Halsted, was born in Elizabeth town, N. J., March 
17, 1820; and died here September 6, 190L He was graduated at Princeton 
college ; studied law ; served in the navy, and later in the army, through 
the civil war; came to this State in 1876, and afterward resided in the 
home where his brother had lived. 

Phelps island (originally a peninsula) lies east of Cook's bay, and 
is indented on its southeast side by Phelps bay. These names were given 
in honor of Edmund Joseph Phelps, of Minneapolis, who was born near 
Brecksville, Ohio, January 17, 1845. He came to Minnesota in 1878, set- 



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HENNEPIN COUNTY 235 

tlii^ in Minneapolis; organized, with others, the MinneapoHs .Loan and 
Trust Company in 1883, of which he was secretary and treasurer. 

Pelican point and Casco point are respectively west and east of Spring 
Park bay, on the north side of the upper lake. ' 

Carman's bay, named for a farmer, John Carman, who settled here in 
September, 1853, and Lafayette bay, named from the Hotel Lafayette, 
are respectively west and east of the Narrows, on the north side. 

Huntington point and Starvation or Orono point jut into the tower 
lake from the north, respectively west and east of Smith's bay. 

Branching off from Smith's bay westward is Crystal bay, and con- 
nected with the latter are Maxwell and Stubbs bays, the North Arm, and 
the West Arm and Harrison's bay. 

East of Orono point is Brown's bay. and next east are Lookout point 
and an upland with fine residences, named Ferndale, which, with the 
opposite Breezi point before noted, are at the entrance of Wayzata bay. 
So we have tra\er=ed the entire shore line, with its multitude of in- 
denting bavs and projecting points, of this exceedingly attractive lake, 
of which I wrote m !917 that it may well be called the Kohinoor of Min- 
nesota s ten thou'^and lake= For the archaeologist and historian, this 
lake has great interest in ita many groups of aboriginal mounds, before 
noticed m connccticn with the \illage named Mound. For the naturalist, 
m addition to its beautiful scenery, it has treasures of the native flora 
and fauna notably its abundant species of trees and shrubs and its many 
kmds of fishes and birds. Two points, one near the east end of the iake 
and another near the west end, are named for their red cedars ; and 
islands in the upper part of the lake received names from their formerly 
plentiful cranes and more rare nests of the bald eagle. 

The islands of Minnetonka include Big island in the lower lake, which 
at first was known as Meeker's island, for Judge Bradley B. Meeker, of 
Minneapolis, who visited this lake with Governor Ramsey and others in 
1852; Gale island, near the southwest shore of Big island, named for 
Harlow A. Gale (b. 1832, d, 1901). of Minneapolis, whose summer home 
was there ; and, in the upper lake, Wild Goose island. Spray island. 
Shady, Enchanted, Wawatasso, Eagle, and Crane islands. The longest 
of these names may be akin with one in Longfellow's "Song of Hia- 

"Wah-wah-taysee, little firefly." 
"Picturesque Lake Minnetonka," published in yearly editions by S. E. 
Ellis (1906, 102 pages), referred the name of Enchanted island to its 
being long ago a favorite place of Dakota or Sioux medicine dances, 
with wierd incantations; and related that Wawatasso was a young Dako- 
ta brave who rescued the daughter of a white pioneer trapper from drown- 
ing. Other Dakota legends about Minnetonka have been written in prose 
by Thomas M. Newson, in 1881, and in poetry by Hanford L Gordon ("In- 
dian Legends and Other Poems," 1910, 406 pages). Like Hiawatha and 
Minnehaha, and like the geographic names in this county that are partly 



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236 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

of Dakota derivation, these writings present more white than red ways 
of thought and imagery. 

The Fort Snelling Military Reservation in 1839, 

A map of "Fort Snelling and Vicinity," surveyed and drafted by Lieut. 
E. K. Smith in October, 1837, comprises the near vicinity of the fort. 
Camp Cold Water, and the post of the American Fur Company, on the 
site of Mendota, having probably been made mainly to show the eaJiins 
and fields of settlers permitted to locate on the Military Reservation. 

Two years later a more extended survey and map, for the U. S. War 
Department, by Lieut. James L. Thompson, showed the boundaries estab- 
lished or adopted for the Military Reservation, "done at Fort Sndling, 
October and November, 1839, by order of Major Plympton." 

This ma[i, on the scale of two inches to a mile, is limited to the 
Reservation area, reaching west to the Lake of the Woods (now called 
Wood lake), the series of Harriet, Calhoun, and the Lake of the Isles, 
and northwest to the lower part of Nine Mile creek (now Bassett's 
creek). On the east the Reservation was bounded by the middle of the 
channel of the Mississippi to the island next below the present Meeker 
island. From the upper end of that island, the boundary on the north side 
of the part of the Reservation east and north of the Mississippi extended 
due east five miles, to a point near the present intersection of St. Peter 
and Tenth streets in the city of St. Paul. Next it extended due south 
two miles and ten chains, crossing the Mississippi very close west of the 
upper end of Harriet island, to a point near the present corner of Annapo- 
lis street and Manomin avenue in West St. Paul. Thence the south- 
eastern boundary of the Reservation ran eight miles and 42 chains south- 
westward, nearly in parallelism with the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers 
and about a. mile distant from them. Finally the most southern line of 
this area ran due west one mile and 75 chains, to the Minnesota river at 
the place of beginning, about six miles distant from the fort. 

Reserve township of Ramsey county, now included in the city of St. 
■ Paul, had its north boundary very near the north line of the Reservation, 
whence the township was named, 

The history of the opening for settlement of the greater parts of the 
Reservation, in- 3852-55, including the southwestern areas of St Paul and 
Ramsey county, and the area of Minneapolis west of the river, has 
been related by Dr. Folwell in a paper, "The Sale of Fort Snelling, 1857," 
in the M, H. S. Collections (vol. XV, 1915, pp. 393-410). 

On the Reservation map of 1839, "Land's End" is a part of the bluff 
on the northwest side of the Minnesota river, nearly two miles south- 
west from the fort, where the bluff is intersected by a tributary ravine; 
Minnehaha falls and creek were called Brown's falls and Brown's creek; 
an "Indian Village" adjoined the. southeast shore of Lake Calhoun; and 
the "Mission," with three cultivated fields, comprising probably 30 acres, 
was on the northwest side pf Lake Harriet. 



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HOUSTON COUNTY 

Established February 23, 1854, this county was named in honor of 
Samuel Houston, who was president of Texas before its annexation 
to the United State= c^i af w d f oni that state. He 

was bom near Lexington, V gi M h 2 179 and died in Hunts- 
ville, Texas. July 26, 1863. I h h h i d eral years with the 

Cherokee Indians, near his h m n T n ee; later he served 

in the Creelt war, 1813-14, w g h d n f Gen. Andrew Jack- 

son by his bravery in a battl f b ng w unded ; studied law, 

and was admitted to practic 1818-J9 v, ra mb of Congress from 

Tennessee, 1823-7; and was g f h 1 27-9. 

On account of an uncong a! m g h g d the governorship, 

retired to savage life in the Arkansas Territory, whither the Cherokees 
had been removed, and again lived with them, becoming an Indian trader. 
In December, 1832, he went to Texas under a commission from President 
Jackson, looking toward its purchase for the United States. In 183S 
he was elected commander-in-chief of the Texans, and in the battle of 
San Jacinto, April 21, 1836, he defeated the Mexicans and captured their 
general, Santa Anna, ending the war. 

Huston was president of the Texas republic 1816 8 and 1841-4 
T w d t th U t d St t 1845 h b dm tt d 

ft dHtwltd ft t llpthhld 

by 1 t f tl t y 1 1 1859 L t h g f 

T 1859-61 b pp t f 

r th y 1854 6 wl en t g m b tw th N rth d S th 



t b 1854 th g ID t ram tt i TS. H rap 1 

ea tly m d d h m t b th p pi ca d d t f th cam 
p gn 1850 H p p 1 ty W t t th t t m tt t d by 

th m f tl tj d h 1 k w mm m t d bj t 

Tnn dT dbymft dllg T M 

sissippi, Missouri, and other states. 

Several biographies of Sam Houston, as he always styled himself, 
have been published from 1846 to 1900. 

Marble statues of him and Stephen F. Austin, sculptured by Elisabet 
Ney, of Texas, and erected as the gift of that state in Statuary Hall of 
the national capitol, were accepted February 25, 1905, with memorial 
addresses by members of Congress representing Texas, Tennessee, Mis- 
souri, and Arkansas. 

237 



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238 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for the origins of geographic names in this county has 
been gathered from the "History of Houston County," 18S2, 526 pages ; , 
aud from Charles A. Dorival, judge of probate, interviewed during a 
visit at Caledonia, the county seat, in April, 1916. 

Black Hammer township, first settled in 1852, organized in April, 
1859, received this name, meaning Black Bluff, from an exclamation of 
Knud Olson Bergo, an early Norwegian settler in the adjoining township 
of Spring Grove, on seeing a prairie bluff here blackened by a fire. It 
was the name of a bluff at his birthplace in Norway. Hammer, as a 
Norwegian word, has the same spelling and meaning as in English. 
Doubtless the name was au^ested, both in Norway and here, by the 
shape of the bluff or hill. 

Bw tdN 848gdt 1858, 

m ^h dgd d8 4, by 

B b oth wh h in 848 from 

N w B g ph b m h M H. S. 

m X ' 
\LDOiA 8 dl 858kthnmeof 

g wh 1 d nd d 854- b S m Iv Phail, 

wh h mi d First 

M m ng h S 8 Th w the 

Rm m S dth hfih Cy d Forth, 

m the poetic name of Scotland. Caledonia village 

gislative act, Feb. 25, :870. 
RE nship, settled in 1852-3, organized May U, 1858, 

eek which flows through it in an exceptionally 
g a western channel of the Mississippi at Reno, 
f the railway from Reno nearly to Caledonia. 
E N Uage Tn section 32, Winnebago, was named for a place in 

G h ce some of the early settlers came. 

Freeb railway village in section 30, Crooked Creek township, 

ra d by German settlers, for the city of Freiburg in the Black 
Forest region of Germany, 

HoKAH township, settled in 1851, organized May 11, 1858, bears the 
Dakota or Sioux name of the Root river, which is its English translation. 
Hutkan is the spelling of the word by Riggs and Williamson in their Da- 
kota dictionaries, 1852 and 19(S; but it is spelled Hokah on the map by 
Nicollet, published in 1843. and on the map of Minnesota Territory in 
1850. A part of the site of the village, which was platted in March, 1855, 
had been earlier occupied by the village of a Dakota chief named Hokah. 
This railway village was incorporated March 2, 1871. 

Houston township, settled in 1852 and organized in 1858, was named, 
like the county, for General Sam Houston, of Texas, The village was 
incorporated April 7, 1874. 



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HOUSTON COUNTY 239 

Jefferson township, organized in 1858, received its name, on the sug- 
gestion of Eber D, Eaton, of Winnebago township, for Jefferson county, 
New York, whence he came to Minnesota. Jefferson village, on the west 
channel of the Mississippi, was at first called Ross's Landing for John 
and Samuel Ross, brothers, who came here as the first settlers in 1847. 

La Crescent township, seUled in 1851, organized May 11, 1858, was 

named like its village platted in June 1856 in allusion to the town of 

LC Vi hlldbp ly founded on the oppo- 

t d f th M pp Th t F h m meaning the bat used 

pi y g ball and th pp! d t th b !1 g often played by the 

Id !dl g tic p bf the settlement of the 

t b tl g d w f t p! f their meeting to play 

th g m Th g dm g f tl W nsin name, however, 

d gddfknwbythf d fL Crescent, who con- 

f d t wth L C th C R II g th ancient contests of 

thCl gttfS dTk their efforts to recap- 

ture the Holy Sepulchre, where the Cross and the Crescent were raised 
aloft in deadly strife, and being mindful of the fate that overtook those who 
struggled under the banner of La Crosse, they resolved to challenge their 
rival by raising the standard of La Crescent, and thus fight it out on that 
line." (History of Houston County, 1882, page 426.) 

Mayvillb, settled in 1S55 and organized in 1858, was named for May- 
ville, N. Y., the county seat of Chautauqua county, whence Dr. John E, 
Pope and others of the early settlers of this township came. 

Money Cheek township, settled in 18S3-4, organized May 11, 1858, 
and its village, which was platted in the autumn of 1856, received their 
names from the creek here tributary to the Root river. "Some man 
having got his pocket-hook and contents wet in the creek, and spreading 
out the bank notes on a bush to dry, a sudden gust of wind blew them 
into the water again, and some of it never was recovered, so this 
circumstance suggested the name of the stream, after which the town 
was named." (History, 3882, page 436.) 

Mound Prairie township, settled in 1853-4, was organized in April, 
1860. "The name of the town was suggested by Dr. Chase, an old resident, 
in remembrance of a remarkable rounded bluff in section four, surround- 
ed by a wide valley on all sides." 

Reno, a railway village and junction in Crooked Creek township, at 
first called Caledonia Junction, was renamed by Capt. William H. Harries, 
of Caledonia, in honor of Jesse Lee Reno. He was born at Wheeling, 
West Virginia, June 30, 1823; was graduated at West Point in 1846; 
served in the Mexican war; was a brigadier general, and later a major 
general, of United States volunteers in the civil war; was killed in the 
battle of South Mountain, Md., September 14, 1862. 

R:CEFORD, a village in section 6, Spring Grove township, platted in 
1856, was named in honor of Henry M. Rice, of St. Paul, who also is 



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240 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

commemorated bv the name of Rii-e countj He visited this place in 
ISSg following an Indian trail and fording the creek here whicli thente 
IS called Riceford creek 

Sheldon settled i\ June 1853 organized Ma; 11 1858 took the name 
of its village founded in 18S4-7 of which Tulius C Sheldon who came 
from SuSield Conn waa one of the proprietors 

Spring Ghove townsh p settled m 1852 and organized m iS'^S rece ^ed 
the name of its first post office which was established in 1854 at the 
home of James Smith the earliest settler bes de a spring and a grove 

Union township settled in 1853 was organized April 5 1859 Thirty 
other states haie fown'h ps and villages of th s name 

Wilmington first settled m June 1851 oraamzed May U 1858 has 
a name that is likewise borne in fourteen other states b\ townships 
villages and cit es 

WiKNEBACO settled m March 1851 organized May II 1858 is drau ed 
by Winnebago creek which with the township recened its nime from 
the Wmnebago Indians man\ of whom after the i.essun of tl eir Wis 
consia lands m 1832 were removed to northeastern Iowa Iheir hunting 
ground= then ej-teaded into this adjoinmg edge of Minnesota, until they 
were again remoied in 1848 to Long Prair e in central Mnnesota 

The head chief of the V, innebagoes Winneshiek for whom an 
adjacent county ii Iowa is named Ii\ed and hunted much in this county 
His principal home was about se en miles west of the village of Houston 
on the Root rner Houston county Minnesota here he lived durmg the 
wmter in a d rt wigwam (History of Winneshiek County Iowa by 
Edwin C Bailey 1913 lol 1 p 34) 

Yucatan settled probably m 1852 and organ zed in 1858 was at first 
called Utn,a but to avoid confusion with other places of that name 
which are found in sixteen states one be ng Utica township i W inona 
county it was changed to the present name of somewhat similar sound 
which is used nmhere else in the Un ted States It was taken from the 
large pen nsuli of \ucatan forming the most southeastern pirt of Mexi 
CO and from the \ u(.atan thaimel between tl at coui frj and Cuba 

Lakes, Rivers, Creeks, and Bluffs. 
Houston county lies in a large Driftless Area, exempted from glacia- 
tion and therefore having none of the glacial and modified drift for- 
mations by which it is wholly surrounded. This area also includes 
parts of several other counties of southeastern Minnesota, but its great- 
est extent is in Wisconsin, with small tracts of northeast Iowa and north- 
west Illinois. Its length is about 150 miles from north to south, with a 
maximum width of about 100 miles. It is characterized by absence of 
lakes, excepting on the bottomlands of rivers, where they fill portions of 
deserted watercourses. Such lakes occur in this county along the Mis- 
sissippi and Root rivers, one of which, two to three tniles southeast of 
La Crescent, is named Target lake, from former rifle practice there. 



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HOUSTON COUNTY 241 

The preceding pages have noted the origins of the names of Crooked 
creek, Root river, Money creek, and Riceford and Winnebago creeks. 

Pine creek, flowing through La Crescent to the Mississippi, has here 
and there a few white pines on its bluffs, this region being at the south- 
western limit of this tree. 

Tributaries of the Root river from the north are Storer, Silver, and 
Money creeks; and from the south, in similar westward order, Thomp- 
son creek (formerly also known as Indian Spring creek), Crystal creek, 
and Badger, Beaver, and Riceford creeks. Thompson creek was named 
in honor of Edward Thompson and his brother, Clark W. Thompson, 
the principal founders of Hokah, for whom biographic notices are given 
in the M. H. S. Collections, volume XIV. 

A prominent bluff of the Root river valley at Hokah is named Mt. Tom. 

Wild Cat creek flows into the Mississippi at Brownsville, and Wild 
Cat bluff is a part of the adjacent high bluffs forming the west side of the 
Mississippi valley. These names, and those of Badger and Beaver creeks, 
tell of early times, when the fauna of this region included many fur- 
bearing animals that have since disappeared or become very scarce. 



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HUBBARD COUNTY 

This county, established February 26, 1883, was named in honor of 
Lucius Frederick Hubbard, governor of Minnesota from 1882 to 1887. 
He was born in Troy, N. Y., January 26, 1836; came to Minnesota in 18S7, 
established the Red Wing Republican, and was its editor till 1861 ; enlisted 
in December, 1861, as a private in the Fifth Minnesota regiment; within 
a year was promoted to be its colonel ; and in December, 1864, was 
breveted brigadier general. In the Spanish- American war, 1898, he again 
served as brigadier general. In 1866 he engaged in the grain business at 
Red Wing, and after 1870 also in flour milling. From 1877 to 1890 he 
took a leading part in the construction and management of new railway 
lines, built to promote the business development of Red Wing and Good- 
hue county. He was a state senator, 1872-5; and was governor, 1882-7, 
his second term consisting of three years on account of the change to 
biennial sessions of the legislature. He removed to St. Paul in 1901, 
and afterward lived there, except that his home during the last two 
years was with his son in Minneapolis, where he died February 5, 1913. 

In th« Minnesota Historical Society Collections, volume XIII ("Lives 
of the Governors of Minnesota," by Gen. James H. Baker, published in 
1908), pages 251-281 give the biography and portrait of Governor Hub- 
bard, with extracts from his messages. 

By an act of the Legislature, April 16, 1889, Hubbard was appointed 
a member of a board of commissioners for preparing and publishing a 
history entitled "Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, 1861-186S." 
In this work of two volumes he contributed the "Narrative of the Fifth 
Regiment," forming pages 243-281, and followed by the roster of this regi- 
ment in pages 282-299, of volume I, published in 1890. 

Five other papers by Hubbard, relating to campaigns, expeditions, and 
battles of the Civil War, are in the M, H. S. Collections, volume XII, 
1908, pages 531-638; and the same volume has also an article by him, in 
pages 149-166, entitled "Early Days in Goodhue County." 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for these names, and for lakes and streams in this county, 
was gathered from Joseph F. Delaney, who was the county auditor from 
1907 to 1915, M. M. Nygaard, register of deeds, and Dr. Pearl D. Win- 
ship, a resident since 1887 at Park Rapids, the county seat, interviewed 
during visits there in October, 1909, and September, 1916. 

Akeley township and its railway village were named in honor of 
Healy Cady Akeley, who built large sawmills here and during many years 
engaged very extensively in logging and manufacture of lumber. He 
was born in Stowe, Vt„ March 16, 1836; and died in Minneapolis, July 



242 



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HUBBARD COUNTY 243 

30, 1913. He was admitted to practice law in 1858; served in the 
Second Michigan cavalry in the civil war ; settled in Minneapolis in 
1887, as a lumber merchant; was president of the Flour City National 
Bank, and of the Akeley Lumber Company. In 1916 these sawmills 
were closed, having exhausted the available supplies of pine timber. 

Arago township received its name from Lake Arago on Nicollet's map, 
of 1843, at the place of the present Potato lake, in the southeast part of 
this township. The name commemorates Dominique Francois Arago, 
an eminent French physicist and astronomer, who was born at Estagel, 
France, February 26, 1786, and died in Paris, October 2, 1853, 

Badoura township was named for Mrs. Mary Badoura Mow, wife 
of David M Thej ve e p eer settlers on 1 e HuHiard pra rie 

where she d ed a few jears ago after Wh ct he remo ed to southern 
Minnesota Th was the nan e of a pr ncess n \rab an N ghts 

Benedict a ra !way stat on n sect on 35 Lakeport and Be ed ct lake 
about two m les d slant to the south were named for a homestead farmer 

Clay townsh p was named for ts generdllj lajej o 1 of glac al dr ft 
in contrast w th oti er t a ts ha mg more sandy a d g a elly so I 

Clover townsh p der ed ts name from ts abundance of wh te clo er 
growing along tl e old logg ng r ad of the 1 mbe me 

Crow Wing Lake township was named tor its group of nine lake 
on and near the Crow Wing river, in its course through this township. 

Dorset, a railway village in sections 10 and II, Henrietta, was named 
by officers of the Great Northern railway company. This is the name of 
a county in southern England, a town in Vermont, and a village in Ohio. 

Farden township was named for Ole J, Farden, a Norwegian home- 
steader there, who removed to West Hope in Saskatchewan. 

Farbis is a railway village of the Great Northern and Soo lines in sec- 
tions 14 and 15, FMden. 

Fern township was named in honor of Richard Fern, who owned a 
homestead in Lake Emma township, but in 1916 removed to Park Rapids. 

Guthrie township, named after its railway village, commemorates 
Archibald Guthrie, a contractor for the building of this Minnesota and 
International railway. 

Hart Lake township was named for its heart-shaped lake in section 
17, but the names of the lake and township are misspelled. 

Helga bears the name of a daughter of John Snustad, probably the 
first white child born in that township. 

Hendbickson township commemorates John C. Hendricks on, the 
former owner of a sawmill there, who removed to Sauk Center. 

Henbistta township was named for the wife of William H. Martin, 
whose homestead adjoined the southwest end of Elbow Lake. He served 
during the civil war in an Ohio regiment, attaining the rank of lieutenant 
colonel ; was a member of the board of county commissioners when this 
township was organized; and later returned to his former home in Day- 
ton, Ohio, where he died several years ago. 



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244 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

HoRTON, a station of the Great Northern railway in section 34, 
Straight River township, was named for Edward H. Horton, a cruiser 
selecting lands for lumbering, who lived many years in Park Rapids, 
but removed to Montana in 1908, 

HoBBAHi> township, notable for its large prairie, was named, like the 
comity, for General Hubbard. 

Lake Alice township received its name from a lake which was called 
Lake Elvira by Captain Wiilard Glazier, in memory of his eldest sister, on 
the maps of his expeditions to Lake Itasca in 1881 and 1891. The lake was 
renamed by the pioneer settlers to commemorate Alice Glazier, who 
accompanied her father in the large party of his second expedition, and 
to whom his book, "Headwaters of the Mississippi" (1893, 527 pages), 
was dedicaled." 

Lake Emma township was named for a beautiful though small lake 
in the north half of section 23, which is much surpassed in size by several 
others in this township. 

Lake George township has a large lake at its center, which was thus 
named by Glazier in 1881 for his brother, a member of his first expedi- 
tion to Lake Itasca, in July of that year. 

Lake Hattie township bears the name of its largest lake, derived from 
Glazier's map in 1881. 

Lakeport township was named, with a change of spelling, for its rail- 
way village, Laporte (meaning, in French, the door or gate), which is 
the name o£ a city and county in. Indiana, and of villages in seven other 

Latona was the name of the post office, now discontinued, at Horton 
railway station. 

Mantrap township was named for the large Mantrap lake at its north- 
west corner, which, by its many bays and peninsulas, entrapped and baffled 
travelers through this wooded country in their endeavors to pass by it or 
around it. Crooked and Spider lakes, in this township, were also named 
for their similarly winding and branched outlines. 

Nary, a railway station in Helga township, was named for Thomas J. 
Nary, of Park Rapids, who during many years was a cruiser selecting 
timber lands for purchase by lumber manufacturers in Minneapolis. 

Nevis township and its railway village were probably named for Ben 
Nevis in western Scotland, the highest mountain of Great Britain. 

Park Rapids, the county seat, was named by Frank C. Rice, proprietor 
of the townsite, who came from Riceville, Iowa, a railway village which 
he had previously platted. The name was suggested by the parklike 
groves and prairies here, beside the former rapids of the Fish Hook river, 
now dammed and supplying valuable water power. 

RocKwooD township was at first named Rockwell, in honor of Charles 
H. Rockwell, a homesteader there. A lake also bears his nam. 
16 and 17, Henrietta, where likewise he had a farm. 



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HUBBARD COUNTY 245 

RosBv, a station of the Great Northern and Soo railways in the north- 
east corner of Helga township, was named for Ole Eosby, an adjoining 
Norwegian farmer. 

Schoolcraft township was named for its river, along which Henry 
Rowe Schoolcraft and his party canoed in 1832, ascending and portaging 
to Elk lake, which he then renamed Lake Itasca. He was born in Albany 
county, N. Y., March 28, 1793 ; and died in Washington, D. C, December 
10, 1864. He was educated at Middlebury college, Vt., and Union college, 
Schenectady, N. Y., giving principal attention to chemistry and mineral- 
ogy. In 1817-18 he traveled in Missouri and Arkansas ; in 1820 was in the 
expedition of General Lewis Cass to the upper Mississippi river, which 
turned *— -t; at Cass lake, regarded then as the principal source of the 
river; in 1822 was appointed the Indian agent for the tribes in the region 
of the Great Lakes, with headquarters at the Sault Ste. Marie, and after- 
ward at Mackinaw; and in 1832 he led a government expedition to the 
head of the Mississippi in Lake Itasca. He published, in 1821, 1834, and 
1855, narrative reports and maps of the two expeditions up the Mississippi, 
which supplied many geographic name* During the greater part of his 
S h d ffi al ected with Indian 

ff d 8 ted States govern- 

m -d m m orate work in six 

q 6 d d H al and Statistical 

p g h H d d Prospects of the 

d n T b d S 

SiEA H Rive m d ver flowing from 

S g B k d g h north part of this 

w hghO mwm these are trans- 

lations, the river took the name of the lake whence it flows. 

Thorpe was named for Joseph Thorpe, an early schoolteacher of Hub- 
bard county, who took a homestead claim in this township. 

Todd was named, as proposed by Frank C. Rice, of Park Rapids, which 
is situated in this township, for Smith Todd, a homesteader here. He 
served during the civil war in the Eighth Maine regiment; removed 
about 1910 to Spokane, Wash., and died there in 1915. 

White Oak township was named for this species of oak, having 
"strong, durable, and beautiful timber," which is frequent or common in 
southeastern and central Minnesota. Its geographic range continues 
northwest through this county to the upper Mississippi river and the 
White Earth reservation. 

■ Lakes and Streams, 

The foregoing pages have noted the names of Benedict lake and rail- 
way station, and of Hart lake. Lakes Alice, Emma, George, and Hattie, 
Mantrap lake, and Straight river, for each of which a township is named. 

The remarkable series or chain of lakes along the head stream of 
Crow Wing river, in the southeast part of this county, was mapped by 



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246 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Schoolcraft in 1832. On his return from the expedition to Lake Itasca, 
his party traveled by canoes from Leech lake southwest to the head of 
the Crow Wing and through its lakes, this being a route well known to 
the Ojibways and frequently used in their war raids against the Sioux. 
In the descending order, these eleven lakes on Schoolcraft's map, pub- 
lished in 1834 with his Narrative of this expedition, are Kaginogumag, 
Little Vermilion, Birch lake, Lac Pie, Ossowa lake, Lac Vieux Desert, 
Summit lake, Long Rice lake, Allen's and Johnston's lakes, and Lake 
Kaichibo Sagitowa. Two of these names were given in honor of Lieu- 
tenant James Allen and George Johnston, members of the expedition. 

On the map of Hubbard county by the Minnesota Geological Survey 
(in Volume IV, 1899), this series of names is copied, excepting that the 
first is Longwater lake, as it was translated by Schoolcraft's Narrative. 

Lac PIS (or Pel6) was named in allusion to its being partly bordered 
by a prairie. Lake Ossowa of the map is named Lake Boutwell in the 
Narrative, in honor of Rev. William T. Boutwell, of this expedition. 
Lac Vieux Desert is there translated from its French name, as "the Lake 
of the Old Wintering Ground." Summit lake was named "from its 
position," where the river turns southeastward from its previous southwest 
course. The lowest lake of the series is translated as "the lake which the 
river passes through at one end." 

In the latest atlas of Minnesota, published in 1916, these original names 
are replaced by a numerical list, which came into use by lumbermen and 
the pioneer settlers. The lowest is called First or Sibley lake, and the 
Third and Fourth lakes are also named respectively Swift and Miller 
lakes, these names being for early governors of Minnesota. The other 
lakes are designated only hy their numbers, up to the Eleventh lake, 
which, as noted by Schoolcraft, is called Kaginogumag by the Ojibways, 
meaning Longwater lake. 

The stream now named Schoolcraft river was called by him the 
"Plantagenian or South fork of the Mississippi." Lake Plantagenet, 
through which it flows in the north edge of this county, retains the name 
that he gave in 1832. These names, for a line of kings of England, who 
reigned from 1154 to 1399, were derived from the flowering broom (in 
■ Latin, planta genista), chosen as a family emblem by Geoffrey, count of 
Anjou, whose son was Henry II, the first of the Plantagenet kings. An- 
other name sometimes given to this river is Yellow Head, for School- 
craft's guide, whose Ojibway name, Oza Windib, has this meaning. It 
was called River Laplace by Nicollet's map in 1843, for the great French 
astronomer, who was born in 1749 and died in 1827. 

Hennepin lake and river. La Salle river, and its Lake La Salle, tribu- 
tary to the Mississippi from the northwest part of this county, bear names 
given in honor of these early French explorers by Glazier in his first 
expedition to Lake Itasca, in 1881. 

Other names received from Glazier's map of his route in that year, 
passing from Leech lake west to Itasca, are Garfield lake, for the presi- 



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HUBBARD COUNTY 247 

dent James Abram Gartield (b 1831 d 1881) Lake Sheridan in aec 
tions 24 and 25 Lake George township for Philip Henry Sheridan {b 
18j1 d 1888) the renuwned cavalry commander in the civil war and 
Lake Pa ne £ r Barrett Chinning Pame who accompanied Glazier in that 

"^teaiiboat nier and lake «ere mmed for their being asLcnded by 
steamboats from Leeth lake 

Fiah Hook ruer and lake are translations from their Ojibwai name 
given ly Re\ J A GilfiUan as Pugidabani 

Elbow lake named bv the wh te settlers for it sharph bent outhnes 
has an Ojibwaj nime which mean"! as translated bv Gilhllan the lake 
into which the river pitches and ceases to flow —dies there It has no 
visible outlet the inflow being discharged south to the Lrow ^^ ing 
river by springs or perhaps westward t^ tl e i orth part ot Long iake m 
Henrietta and Hubbard townships 

Kabekona the Ojibwav name of a lake and rver tr butarv to Leech 
lake IS defined bj GiltilUn a= the end of all roidi whith mav be nearh 
equivalent viith Schoolcrafts earlier translation tie rest m the path 

Many other lakes rema n to be noted as follows in the order of the 
townships from south to north and of ranges from east to west 

Badoura has ^ olf lake in sections 17 and 18 and Tripp lake on the 
south line of sect oi 20 the last being named for Oiarles Tripp an early 
settler beside it 

Crovi ^^ ing lake ti^wnship in addition to the four lower lakes of the 
Crow W ing r \ er serie'; has another W oh lake Bladder a id Ham lakes 
named f Dr the r shape Palmer Hke in section 29 and D nk lake in 
section jl 

Hubbard haa Stonv hke in secUons 1 and 2 and Little Stony lake on 
the east side of section 1 named for ice formed ridges of boulders and 
gra\el on their shures Long lake exteidng north from the village sin 
miles and Upper T«in lake partlv m section 31 hing i the \\ adena 
count! line 

Straight R ver township ha', Lake Moran nearly three m ies long and 
lerj narrow reaching from section 13 to sect on 27 named for an earh 
settler and Bass lake and Hinds lake in sect on 24 the last being named 
for Edward R Hinds of Hubbard representative of this county in the 
leg slat re in 1903 '• 1909 aid 1915 19 who about thirty years ago had 
a logging camp at this lake 

White Oak towi ship has W illian s lake in section to Haj lake in 
section 10 and Loon lake in section jO 

Ne\is has the Fifth to the Eighth lakes of the Crow Wing series 
Eibow lake before noted and Deer lake Shallow lake ai d Clausen s 
lake in sections 4 ^ and 6 

Henrietta has Bull lake named by the Ojibways for a bull moose 
killed there and Swietzer RockweO and Pe\senski lakes named for 
pioneer farmers 



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248 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Portage lake, in Todd township, was named for a portage from it 
westward on an Ojibway canoe route. 

Shingob lake, in sections 25 and 26, Akeley, and the creek flowing 
thence to Leech lake, are named, like the adjoining Shingobee township 
in Cass county, from the Ojibway word, jingob, applied as a general 
term to several species of evergreen trees, including the balsam tir, 
spruce, and arbor vitae. 

Mantrap township, with its Mantrap, Crooked, and Spider lakes, be- 
fore noticed, has Waboose lake in section 2, meaning a rabbit in the Ojib- 
way language ; and Dead lake in section 18, which, though receiving an 
inlet from Crooked lake, has no outlet. 

Lake Emma township, besides the small lake of this name, has 
Bottle lake, named for the narrow strait, like the neck of a bottle or 
hourglass, connecting its two broad areas; Stocking lake, named for its 
shape; Pickerel lake, having many fish of this species; Rice lake, having 
much wild rice; Blue lake, named for its depth and color; Big Sand 
lake, and Little Sand lake; and Gilmore and Thomas lakes, the last being 
named for the owner of a hotel there, frequented for hunting and fishing. 

Arago has Potato lake, named for the wild artichoke, a species of 
sunflower with tuberous roots, much used as food by the Indians; Eagle 
lake, named by timber cruisers for a nest in a large tree near the middle 
of its east shore; Island lake; and Sloan lake, in section 32, named for 
John Sloan, an adjacent farmer. 

Mud lake is in sections 19 and 30, Thorpe. 

Qay township has Schoolcraft lake, crossed by its north line, near the 
highest sources of Schoolcraft river ; Fawn lake, on the west side of 
section 6; Skunk lake, in sections 29, 30, and 32; and Bad Axe lake, in 
sections 26 and 35. 

Qover township has Little Mantrap lake on its west boundary, named 
for its irregularly branching bays, lying about ten miles west of the 
larger Mantrap lake. 

Lakeport, with Garfield and Kabekona lakes, before noted, has also 
Mirage lake. 

Lake Alice township, including the eastern edge of the Itasca State 
Park, which reaches one mile into this county, has Lake Alice in sections 
2 and 11, Beauty lake in section 28, and numerous other little lakes not 
yet named. 

Dow's lake, Jn section 32, Schoolcraft, was named for William Dow, 
who built a sawmill on the Schoolcraft river near this lake, taking a home- 
stead there, but later removed to Laporte. 

Farden has Midge, Grace, Wolf, Mud, and Long lakes, all lying in the 
northeast part of this township. 

Rockwood, with the large Plantagenet and Hennepin lakes, before 
noticed, has Spearhead and Little Spearhead lakes, probably named for 
their shape. 

Fern township has Diamond lake and Lake La Salle. 



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ISANTI COUNTY 

Established February 13, 1857, this county bears the fvrmer name, 
now obsolete, o£ a large division of the Dakotas or Siiux, anciently 
Izatys, now Santees, who lived two hundred years ago in the region of 
the Rum river and Mille Lacs, called by Hennepin respectively the river 
and lake of the Isantis. Under different forms of spelling, this name 
was used by DuLuth, Hennepin and La Salle, the first two seeing these 
Indians in 1679 and 1680; and the name, spelled Issati, appears on Fran- 
quelin's map of 1688. 

Prof. A, W. Williamson wrote of this word, and of its probable 
derivation from the Sioux name of Knife lake in Kanabec county: 
"Isanti (isanati or isanyati), — isan, knife; ati, dwell on or at; the Dakota 
name of the part of the nation occupying Minnesota, and comprising the 
Sissetons as well as those now known as Santees ; it is supposed the 
name was given as this lake was their chief location for a time on their 
westward journey." 

Neill's History of Minnesota (page 51) mentions the Isanti division 
of the Dakota people as follows : "From an early period, there have been 
three great divisions of this people, which have been subdivided into 
smaller bands. The first are called the Isanyati, the Issati of Hennepin, 
after one of the many lakes at the head waters of the river marked, on 
modern maps, by the unpoetic name of Rum. It is asserted by Dahkotah 
missionaries now living, that this name was given to the lake because 
the stone from which they manufactured the knife (isan) was here ob- 
tained. The principal band of the Isanti was the M'dewakantonwan. 
In the journal of Le Sueur, they are spoken of as residing on a lake east 
of the Mississippi. Tradition says that it was a day's walk from Isan- 
tamde or Knife lake." The two lakes so referred to are doubtless Mille 
Lacs {the lake of the Isantis) and Knife lake, on the Knife river, fifteen 
miles distant southeastward. 

Hon. J. V. Brower has shown that the Knife lake and the Isanti or 
Knife Sioux probably derived their name from the first acquirement o£ 
iron or steel knives there by these Indians, in the winter of 1659-60, 
through their dealings with Groseilliers and Radisson, and with the 
Hurons and Ottawas of their company. (Memoirs of Explorations in 
the Basin of the Mississippi, Volume VI, entitled "Minnesota," 1903, 
pages 119-123.), 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county was received from Hans Engberg, presi- 
dent of the First National Bank of Cambridge, who was the county audi- 
tor during the years 1878-88, from Sidney S. Bunker, an early pioneer. 



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250 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

and G. G. Goodwin, county attorney, each a resident of Cambridge, the 
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river, and in mercantde busmess at St. Anthony; was a representative in 
the territorial legislature in 1853; removed to Iowa in 1861; and returned 



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ISANTI COUNTY 251 

J Minneapolis in 1E89 which was afterward his home He contributed 
M ta H 90 



thi 

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In Spencer Brook township are Tennyson, Baxter. Blue, and Mud lakes. 

Cambridge has Skogman's lake, named for an early Swedish settler 
beside it. This township has two Long lakes, one in sections 4 and 9, anil 
another in sections 12 and 13. 

Green lake in Wjanett is mainly shallow, named for its green scum 
in summer ; and the smaller but deeper Spectacle lake is named for its 
shape, like a pair of eyeglasses. 

Troolin and Linderman lakes, in Stanchfield. were named respectivtly 
for a blacksmith and a farmer near them ; Mud lake, for its muddy 
shores ; and the Upper and Lower Rice lakes, for their wild rice. 

Lory lake, in section 5, Maple Ridge, was named for H. A. Lory, the 
former owner of the east half of that section. 



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TTASCA COUNTY 

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ITASCA COUNTY 253 

parts of the two Latin words, Veritas, Caput. Twenty years later, 
Brower's publication of his interview with Boutwell, as here cited, settled 
this very interesting question beyond any further doubt. 

The chapter of Clearwater county contains a review of the explora- 
tions of the sources of the MJssissipp', which were completed by detailed 
surveys of the Itasca State Park, lying mainly in that county. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the names in this county was received from Edward 
J. Luther, deputy county auditor, and John A. Brown, county surveyor, 
during a visit at Grand Rapids, the county seat, in September, 1909; and 
from Hugh McEwen, deputy auditor, during a second visit there in 
August, 1916. 

Alvwoob township is mainly occupied by Swedish settlers, and the 
first part of its name is probably derived from Sweden. 

Abbo township was named for an early lumberman, John Arbo, who 
settled there. 

Akdenhuest, at first called Island Lake township, was renamed by its 
settlers from England. The first part of this name refers to the ancient 
Ardennes forest, which covered a large area in northern France, Bel- 
gium, and western Germany; and hurst is an Anglo-Saxon word, mean- 
ing a grove or a wooded hill. 

Ball Club is the name of a railway village at the south end of Ball 
Club lake, which is translated from its Ojibway name, suggested by the 
form of the lake. The Indians were fond of playing ball, and their club 
or bat used in this game was called La Crosse by the French, being the 
source of the name given to a city and county in Wisconsin. 

Balsam township was named for the Balsam lake and creek, and 
for its abundance of the balsam fir, which also is common tbroughimt 
northeastern Minnesota. The bark of this tree supplies a transparent 
liquid resin or turpentine, called Canada balsam, used in mounting objects 
for the microscope and in making varnish. 

Bass Brook tnwnship and Bass Lake township were named for their 
brook and lake, having many fish of our well known bass species. The 
Ojibway name of the lake is noted by Gilfillan as Ushigunikan, "the place 
of bass," and the outflowing brook, according to the Ojibway usage, bears 

Beahville township is named for its principal stream, Bear river, flow- 
ing from Bear lake. 

Big Fork township and its railway village are named from their loca- 
tion on the Big fork of Rainy river. 

Blackbekry township and its railway station are similarly named for 
the Blackberry lake and brook. 

Bowstring township adjoins the east side of Bowstring lake, which is 
a translation of its Ojibway name, noted as Atchabani or Busatchabani 



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254 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

by Gilfillan. This name Is also applied by the Ojibways to the Big fork, 
because the Bowstring lake is its source. 

BusTicOGAN, a township name, is probably of OJibway derivation. 

Calumet, a mining railway village of the Mesabi iron range, bears 
the French name (from the Latin calamus, a reed) of the ceremonial 
pipe used by the Indians in making treaties or other solemn engagements. 
Assent was expressed by smoking the calumet, which, from treaties pre- 
venting or terminating wars, was often called the peace pipe. 

Carpenter township was named in honor of Seth Carpenter, an aged 
homesteader, who in 1906 headed the petition for its organization. 

CoHASSET, the railway village of Bass Brook township, received its 
name from the town of Cohasset on the east coast of Massachusetts. It 
is an Indian word, meaning, as noted by Gannett, "fishing promontory," 
"place of pines," or "young pine trees." 

CoLERAiNE, a mining railway village at the west end of the Mesabi 
range, bears the name of a township in western Massachusetts. It was 
chosen in honor of Thomas F. Cole, who was prominent in the early 
development of these iron mines, but later removed to Arizona, becoming 
president of a copper raining company there. 

Deer Lake township and Deer River township and railway village 
are named for this lake and river, which are translated from the Ojib- 
way name, Wawashkeshiwi, as noted by GilfiUan. 

Dewey township was named in honor of George Dewey, victor in the- 
battle of Manila Bay, May 1, 1898. He was born in Montpelier, Vt., 
December 26, 1837; was graduated at the United States Naval Academy, 
I8S8; served in the civil war; was promoted as lieutenant commander 
in 1865, captain in 1884. commodore in 1895, and admiral in 1899. 

Etfie, a station of the Minneapolis and Rainy River railway, was 
named for Effie Wenaus, daughter of the postmaster there. 

Fairview township has the euphonious name chosen by its settlers in 
their petition for organization. 

Feelev township was named for Thomas J. Feeley, of Aitkin, who had 
logging camps there during several years. He has Jived in this to^ynship 



Franklin township, like the counties of this name in twenty-four 
states of the Union, and townships, villages, or cities, in thirty states, 
commemorates Benjamin Franklin, philosopher, statesman, and diplo- 
matist, who was born in Boston, January 17, 1706, and died in Phila- 
delphia, April 17, 1790. 

Good Hope, named by the settlers of this township, is also the name 
of villages in eight other states. 

GooDLANB township has another auspicious name, found likewise in 
Indiana, Michigan, and Kansas. 

Gran township was named for an early settler. 

Grand Rapids township received its name from the location of its vil- 
lage, the county seat, beside rapids of the Mississippi, having a fall of 



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ITASCA COUNTY 255 

five feet in a third of a mile. The river is ascended to this place by 
steamers from Aitkin. 

GrAttan township was named for the Irish orator and statesman, 
Henry Grattan (b. 1746, d. 1820). 

Greenway township was named for Jolin C. Greenwaj, who formerly 

had charge of iron mining at Coleraine for the Oliver Mining Company, 

but removed to be a superintendent of copper mining in Bisbee, Arizona. 

Harris township was named for Duncan Harris, who took a homestead 

claim there, on which he has a fruit farm. 

Ingeh township was named for one of its pioneer settlers. 
Iron Range township contains the iron mining railway villages of 
Colerane, Bovey, and Holman, which have the most western mines of 
the Mesabi range, 

Keewatin, an iron mining town in the east edge of this county, has 
an Ojibway name, spelled giwedin by Baraga's Dictionary, meaning north, 
also the north wind. It was the name of a former large district of Can- 
ada, at the west side of Hudson bay. This word is spelled Keewaydin, 
as it should be pronounced, in Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha," with 
translation as "the Northwest wind, the Home wind." 

KtKGHUBST township, formerly called Popple (a mispronunciation of 
the popJar tree, very abundant here), was renamed in honor of Cyrus M. 
King, of Deer River, who during many years was a member of the board 
of county commissioners. (See also Ardenhurst, before noted in this 
list.) 

Lake Jessie township has a lake of this name, and another called 
Little Jessie lake, probably in commemoration of the wife or daughter 
of one of the early lumbermen. 

La Prairie, a railway village and junction, is near the raouth of 
Prairie river, which flows through Prairie lake. 

Lowe Lake township is similarly named for one of its lakes, this 
name and also Round lake being of very frequent occurrence among the 
almost countless lakes of Minnesota. 

McCoRMtcK and McLeod townships, and McVeigh railway station, 
were named for pioneers. 

Marcell township was named in honor of Andrew Marcell, the first 
conductor of trains on the Minneapolis and Rainy River railway, which 
was originally built for transportation of logs to sawmills. 

Moose Park township received this name by the suggestion of C. H. 
Harper, a pioneer farmer there, who was one of the petitioners for its 
organization. 

Nashwauk township has an Algonquin name, from Nashwaak river 
and village, near Fredericton, New Brunswick. It is probably allied in 
meaning with Nashua, "land between," the name of a river and a city 
, in New Hampshire. 

NoKE township was named for Kittil S. and Syver K. Nohre, immigrant 
settlers from Norway. 



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256 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Orth is a railway village of Nore, in the north edge of this county. 

Oteneagen was named by William Hulbert, a farmer and lumberman 
of this township, who came from Michigan. In a different spelling, 
Ontonagon, it is the name of a river in northern Michigan, tributary to 
Lake Superior, and of its village and county. Gannett has defined jhe 
Michigan nanie as an Ojibway word, meaning "fishing place," or, in 
another account of its origin, adopted because an Indian maiden lost a 
dish in the stream and exclaimed "nindonogan," which in her dialect 
meant "away goes my dish." 

PoKEGAMA township derived this Ojibway name from the Pokegama 
lake, translated by Gilfillan as "the water which juts off from another 
water," and "the lake with hays branching out." This large lake, having 
a very irregularly branched shape, nearly adjoins the Mississippi river. 

The Pokegama fails o£ the Mississippi, named from this lake, about 
three miles above Grand Rapids, had a descent of fifteen feet in a sixth 
of a mile ; but the dam built there in the Upper Mississippi reservoir sys- 
tem increases the fall to twenty-one feet, raising also the level of the 
lake. Schoolcraft, in his Narrative of the expedition with Governor Cass 
in 1820, wrote; "The Mississippi at this fall is compressed to eighty feet 
in width and precipitated over a rugged bed of sand stone, highly inclined 
towards the northeast. There is no perpendicular pitch, but the river 
rushes down a rocky channel." 

Round Lake township and railway station are named for the central 
and smallest one of the three Round lakes in the north half of this county. 
The next in size closely adjoins Long lake, and the largest is at the east 
side of Good Hope. 

Sago township received this name after several others had been suc- 
cessively chosen but found inadmissible, being previously used elsewhere 
in Minnesota. It was suggested by one of the county commissioners be- 
cause sago pudding was served at their dinner. 

Sand Lake township bears the name of its large lake, through which 
the Big fork flows, next below Bowstring lake. 

Spang township was named in honor of Matthew A. Spang, a Inm- 
ber manufacturer at Grand Rapids, who was' the county auditor when 
this township was organized. 

Split Hand township received the i 
creek, translated from the Ojibway nam 
map. 

Swan River, a railway village and junction, is named for the river 
near it, which flows from Swan lake. This is a translation of the Ojib- 
way name, Wabiziwi, noted by Gilfillan. 

Thibd River township is crossed by the river of this name, the third 
in the order from east to west, tributary to the north side of Lake Winne- 
bago shish. 



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ITASCA COUNTY 257 

Trout Lake township is named for its latest lake, translated from 
Namegoss or Namegosi, as the Ojibway word is spelled respectively by 
Baraga and Gillillan. 

Warba, a railway village in Feeley township, was formerly called 
Verna, but was renamed by officers of the Great Northern railway com- 
pany, probably for Waiba, the Ojibway word meaning soon. 

Wawina, the most southeastern township of this county, received the 
name of its earlier railway village, an Ojibway word, meaning "I name 
him often, . . . mention him frequently," as defined in Baraga's Diction- 
ary. 

Welleb's Spur is a railway village five miles southeast of Deer River. 

WiNNEBAOosHisn is a township of the Indian Reservation at the north 
side of the large lake of this name, which has been fully noticed in the 
chapter for Cass county. 

Wirt township was named by 0. E. Walley, its first settler, probably 
for a toviTiship iu New York or a county in West Virginia, where the 
name was given in honor of William Wirt (b. 1772. d. 1834), who was the 
attorney general of the United States in 1817-29. 

Z&MPLE village needs further inquiry for the origin of its name. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The preceding pages have given sufficient mention of Ball Club lake, 
Balsam' lake and creek, Bass brook and lake, Bear river and lake, the Big 
fork of Rainy river. Blackberry lake and brook, Bowstring lake, a name 
that is also given to the Big fork by the Ojibways, Deer lake and river, 
Lake Jessie and Little Jessie lake, Prairie river and lake. Long lake, 
Pokegama lake and falls, the three Round lakes. Sand lake. Split Hand 
lake and creek, Swan river and lake. Third river, and Trout lake. 

Lake Winnebago shish, as it should be spelled in accordance with its 
Ojibway pronunciation, lies in the course of the Mississippi on the boun- 
dary between Cass and Itasca counties, so that it has previously received 
attention. 

In addition to the southern Deer lake and river, which gave their 
names to townships and a large village, this county has a second lake 
and river of this name, tributary to the Big fork. 

The following lakes remain to be mentioned, in their order from south 
to north, and from east to west. 

Cowhorn lake is named for its shape. 

Lake Siseebakwet, as spelled on recent maps, but given by Gilfillan 
as Sinzi-ba-quat, is a name received from the Ojibways, meaning Sugar 
lake, having reference to their making maple sugar. 

Rice Jake, in Bass Brook township, is named for wild rice. 

Southeast of Swan lake are Hart, Helen, and Beauty lakes. 

Trout Lake township has Mud take, one of our most frequent lake 



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258 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Grand Rapids township has Horseshoe lalce, Lily, Haie, and Crystal 
lakes. The third was named in honor of James T. Hale, a member of 
the State Tax Commission, who formerly lived here. 

White Oak point on the Mississippi, a lake of the same name, and the 
ittl Wh't O k I d' 1 Reservation, are translated from the Ojibway 
f tl p t N ijimijikan, as noted by Gilfillan. 

N th t d t of Swan lake are Ox Hide, Snowball, and Panasa 
Ik Th 1 t Ojibway name, meaning a young bird. 

Sh 1 I k 1 b t en Prairie and Bass lakes, 

Ch 1 k th west end of Deer lake, was named for Jonathan 

Ch wl bo Sebec, Maine, Dec. 31, 1818, and died at his home 

M p 1 F b J 1, 1904. He came to Minnesota in 1854, engaged 

1 mb g W 11 Lacs county, and later owned an interest in the 
i g w 11 ton River, Cass county. 

C k d 1 k 1 ry irregularly branched outlines. 

L w I k w laraed for Hugh Lawrence, a Minneapolis lum- 

b m h h d I gg ng camp there. 

W b Ik d tl Little Wabano lake are nearly like an Ojibway 
w d w b th t tiie morning twilight. Wabiin is its spelling in 

Tl g f H w th " and Waupun as the name of a city in Wiscon- 

Lo gt 11 1 ed another word, wabeno, a magician or juggler, 
p II d W b w bj Eiraga, which is more directly the source of the 
n m f th Ik Wabeno Is a village name in northeastern Wis- 
d fi d by G tt as "men of the dawn" or "eastern men." 

N t t d Blue lake, Johnson, Moose, and Island lakes. 

B fc 1 k m d for a male deer, 

P lb or their forest cruisers who selected tracts of 

timber for purchase, are commemorated by Lake Buckman, King, Gunn, 
Dick, and Smith lakes. 

A further list of lakes, with those last named and westward, com- 
prises another Island lake, Ruby, Spider, and Little Long lakes ; Wolf 
lake, Carriboo lake (more correctly spelled Caribou), Dead Horse and 
Grave Jakes, Little Bowstring lake, and Potato lake; and Portage lake, 
lying between Bowstring and Sand lakes. 

Northward are Eagle, Coon, and Fox lakes ; Turtle and Little Turtle 
lakes ; Cameron and Sandwick lakes, the second named for John A. Sand- 
wick, a pioneer farmer ; Bustle's lake and Shine lake, close north of the 
most eastern bend of the Big fork; Lakes Bella and Dora; Spring, 
East, and White Fish lakes ; and Four Towns lake, of small area, named 
for its lying in the corner of four townships. 

Cut Foot Sioux lake is translated from its Ojibway name, referring 
to a maimed Sioux who was killed there in a battle in 1748. (Warren, 
"History of the Ojibway Nation," M. H. S. Collections, vo!. V, p. 184; 
Winchell, "The Aborigines of Minnesota," 1911, p. S34.) The outlet of 
this lake is the first stream found flowing into the north side of Lake 



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ITASCA COUNTY 259 

Winnebagoshish, in the order from east to west. Next are Pigeon river 
and Third river, the last giving Us name to a township. 

Downes creek, flowing into the west part of Round lake, is the most 
western stream of the Big Fork basin. 

Island lake in Ardenhurst, the third so named in this county, has Elm- 
wood island, which is more than a mile long, but very narrow, indicating 
by its mapped outline that it is an esker gravel ridge of the glacial drift 

^ E R DGE 

Th hgh m G nd 

R P d P B g of 

P k g m k w mm ly 

cdM Rg SgT Rdg 



t been named. 



h ght. 



Indian Reservations. 

In a treaty made at Washington, February 22, 1855, a delegation of the 
Ojibways of the upper Mississippi ceded to the United States large ^reas 
of their lands, but reserved other tracts. The Winnebagoshish reserva- 
tion, lying at the north side of the lake of this name, was set apart by 
this treaty for Pill^er and Lake Winnebagoshish bands of these Indians. 
Its boundaries reached from the mouth of the lake north to the head of 
the first river tributary to it, thence west to the Third river, down this 
river to the lake, and thence in a direct line across the lake to the place 
of beginning. 

Another reservation for these bands, on the north side of Cass lake, 
also made in the same treaty, was later extended eastward to the west 
side of Lake Winnebagoshish and to Third river, including about fifty 
square miles in the present Itasca county. 

Again in a treaty at Washington, March 19, 1867, a large tract at the 
south side of these lakes and reaching to the Leech lake and river, was 
reserved to the Ojibways. This reservation, lying mainly in Cass county, 
continues east across the Mississippi to include an area in Itasca county 
nearly equal to four townships. 

The Winnebagoshish reservation, enlarged under executive orders by 
the President in 1873 and 1674, is wholly in Itasca county. The other 
two areas, known as the Cass Lake and Chippewa reservations, extend 
partly into this county, so that the three together reach from its western 
border past Winnebagoshish and Bail Club lakes to Deer River village. 

Adjoining the southeast corner of the Chippewa reservation, an execu- 
tive order of October 29, 1873, reserved a small area of about sixteen 
square miles, through which the Mississippi flows, including White Oak 
point and the lake of this name, whence "it is known as the White Oak 
reservation. This lies in Itasca county, excepting about a quarter part in 
Cass county, on the southwest side of the river. 



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\: 



JACKSON COUNTY 

This county, established May 23, 18S7, is stated by its best iDformed 
old citizens, as also by J. Fletcher Williams, who from 1867 to 1893 was 
secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, and by Return I. Hol- 
combe, writing in the Pioneer Press Almanac of 1896, to be named "for 
Hon, Henry Jackson, the first merchant in St, Paul." He was born in 
Abingdon, Virginia, February 1, 1811; came to St. Paul in June, 1842; 
was appointed the first justice of the peace, 1843; was the first postmaster, 
1846-49; was a member of the first Territorial Legislature, and a charter 
member of the Historical Society; removed to Mankato ia 1853, where 
he was one of the first settlers; and died there, July 31, 1857. In tKe 
sumnx^r of 1842 he opened the first store at St. Paul, in a cabin built of 
tamarack logs on the river bank near Jackson street, which was named 

The late William P. Murray, who was a member of the legislature 
in 1857, at the time of formation of Jackson cotinty, dissented from this 
derivation of the name, asserting that according to his recollection it was 
their intention to commemorate Andrew Jackson, the seventh president 
of the United States. 

The county seat also has this name, with which its site was christened 
a few weeks before the legislative act forming the county was passed. 
So it appears that the name was first adopted by pioneers on the ground, 
but whether they meant to honor Andrew Jackson, the military hero and 
statesman, or Henry Jackson, a founder of St. Paul and Mankato, on 
their route from the east to this area, is not certainly determined. 

Counties in twenty other states of the Union are named Jackson, which 
with only one exception, are noted by Gannett as in honor of the presi- 
dent Twenty-four states have townships, villages, or cities of this name. 
Pennsylvania, the previous home of some of the pioneers of this county 
and of Jackson, its county seat, has seventeen townships thus named, in 
so many different counties, surpassing any other state in such expression 
of admiration of Andrew Jackson. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county was gathered, from "An Illustrated His- 
tory of Jackson County, Minnesota," by Arthur P. Rose, 586 pages, 1910; 
and from I. W. Mahoney, county abstractor, at the oiBce of the register 
of deeds, and Alexander Fiddes, an early settler, who was the postmaster 
many years at Jackson, interviewed during a visit there in July, 1916. 



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JACKSON COUNTY 261 

AiBA township, brganiiied September 21, 1872, has a Latin name, 
meaning white, which is also the name of villages in Pennsylvania, 
Michigan, Missouri, Texas, and Oregon. 

Alpha, a railway village in Wiscnns'n townsh'p platted in 1S°S and 
incorporated July 25, 1899, bears the name of our letter \ in the Greek 
alphabet, which word is formed from the first and second Greek letters. 
It is also the name of villages m Maryland Indiana Illmois and other 
states. 

Belmont township was organized January 5 1867 receiving it' nane 
from a settlement of Norwegian immigrant' who cime here in 1860 One 
of their leaders, Anders Olson Slaabaken was al o often called Anders 
Belmont, probably for a locality in Norway Thi' i' also n frequent 
English name of villages and township's in many otl er state'; 

Christiania township, organized March 4, 1871, was named by its 
settlers for the capital city and' chief seaport of Norway. This name was 
given to the city in honor of Christian IV, king of Denmark and Norway, 
by whom it was founded in 1624. 

Delafield township, finally so named March 4, 1871, was organized 
.October 11, 1870, being then called Pleasant Prairie and afterward Orwell 
and Bergen, which names were not accepted because they had been earlier 
given to townships elsewhere in Minnesota, This name is borne by vil- 
lages in Illinois and Wisconsin. 

Des Moines township, organized April 2, 1866, was at first called 
Jackson, for the county seat thus named in the eastern part of this town- 
ship. About six weeks later, on May !6, it was renamed as now by the 
county commissioners, for the river which flows through the township 
and county. The very interesting origin of this name has been noted in 
the first chapter. 

Enterprise, organized March 4, !87i, was named in accordance with the 
suggestion of Samuel D, Lockwood and Anders Eoe, early settlers of 
this township. 

EwiNGTON, organized March 28, 1873, was named in honor of Thomas 
C. Ewing and family, who were its first settlers. 

Heron Lake township, organized September 7, 1870, was named for 
the large lake on its west side, which, as noted by Prof. A. W. Williamson, 
is translated from its Sioux or Dakota name. Okabena, (hokah, heron; 
be, nests ; na, diminutive suffix) , meaning the nesting place of herons. Min- 
nesota has three common species, the great blue heron or crane, from 
which Crane island of Lake Minnetonka was named, the green heron, and 
the black-crowned night heron. The last, found by Dr. Thomas S. Roberts 
in considerable numbers at Heron lake, was formerly plentiful or fre- 
quent through the greater part of this state. 

Hunter, organized February 13, 1872, was named in honor of James 
Wilson Hunter, a pioneer merchant of Jackson, who at that time was the 
county auditor. He was born in Scotland, August 16, 1837; came to the 



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262 ML E 

United States in 8 
1868, where he 
state legislature 

Jackson villa 
settlement within 
field in the summ 
west side of the D 
the east de S 
maraud ng band 
f ron the r n a 
ward the s te of 
year t was de Etn 
CO ntj But th 
war f Uowed a 
was ncorpor^te 
adopted for the 

Kimball tow 
V, lb r S K mb 
tor n Chelsea 
one yea s enga 
Fourth M n eso 
m 1867 and wa 
salesman and d 

La Ceosse to 
city of La Cros 

the stick or club 
by the French. 
Lakefield, a 
the railway to 
was incorporate 

MiDDLETOWN, 

May 10, 1869. 
older organized 
MiLDMA, the 
railways, has a m 
first three letter 
about twenty-fi\ 

MlNNEOTA to 

small lakes, bu 
Okoboji in the 

ed in Septembe 
as before noted 



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JACKSON COUNTY 263 

Petersbukc, organized April 2, 1866, received its name in honor of Rev. 
Peter Baker, a pioneer Methodist minister, who settled in this township 
in 1860 and was its first postmaster. 

Rosr township, organized February 3, 1874, was named in honor of 
Frederick Rost, an early settler who came there in 1869. It was at lirst 
erroneously spelled Rust in the record of the county commissioners and 

Round Lake township, organized in October, 1369, was named for the 
beautiful lake in its western part. 

Sroux Valley township, organized February 2?, 1874, the latest in 
this county, was named for the Little Sioux river, which flows through 
it and continues south across northwestern Iowa to the Missouri river. 
The Little and Big Sioux rivers, the latter forming the northwest bound- 
ary of Iowa, were named for the Dakota or Sioux Indians, who inhabited 
this region. The name Sioux is the terminal part of Nadouesioux, a 
term of hatred, meaning snakes, enemies, which was applied by the 
Ojibways and other Algonquins to this people. 

Weimer, organized May 27, 1871, was then named Eden, which was 
changed to the present name October 20, 1871. "Charles Winzer, the 
township's first settler, selected the name in honor of his home town in 
Germany, Saxe-Weimar." It was correctly spelled in the petition for its 
adoption, but was copied erroneously in the county recotids. 

West Heron Lake township was organized January 7, 1874, "its geo- 
graphical location suggesting the name." 

Wilder, a railway station in Delafield, was located and named in 
November, I87I. in honor of Amherst Holcomb Wilder, of St. Paul. 
He was born in Lewis, N. Y., July 7, 1828; and died in St. Paul, Novem- 
ber 11, 1894. He came to Minnesota in 1859, and engaged in mercantile 
business and also in stage and steamboat transportation. Later he was 
interested in building numerous railways in Minnesota and adjoining 
states. By his will, and by the later wills of his widow and daughter, 
the Amherst H. Wilder Charity was founded, providing a fund of about 
$3,000,000, of which the income is used to aid the worthy poor of St. 
Paul. The building of this village was begun in 1885 It was platted 
December 7, 1886, and was incorporated March 28. 1899 

WrsoDNSiN township, organized April 10, 1869, was named in honor of 
the state from which a majority of its settlers came. This nime gnen 
to the state from its large river, is noted by Gannett as a Sauk Indnn 
word having reference to holes in the banks of a stream m which b rds 

[Lakes and Streams. 

The preceding pages have noticed the Des Moines river, Heron lake, 
Round lake, and the Little Sioux river. 

Elm creek, draining the northeastern part of this county, flows east 
across Martin county to the Blue Earth river. 



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264 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Independence lake, on the south line of Christiania, was named by 
the United States surveyors, who came to it on the fourth of July- Long 
lake and Fish lake are crossed respectively by the east and north bound- 
aries of this township. Lower's lake, in sections IS and 22, has been 
drained. 

The east part of Wisconsin township has small creeks flowing into 
Martin county, which are sources of the East fork of Des Moines river. 

Minneota has Loon lake, Pearl, Rush, and Little Spirit lakes. The 
last is named in contrast with the much larger Spirit lake in Iowa, which 
is translated from its Sioux name, Mini wakan, noted by Nicollet. In 
its most northern part. Spirit lake touches the boundary of the state and 
of this township at the south side of section 36. 

Tributary to the West fork of the Little Sioux river are Skunk and 
Rush lakes in Spring Valley, Round lake in the township bearing its name, 
and also Illinois lake. Plum Island lake, named for the grove of native 
plum trees on its island, and Iowa or State Line lake, crossed by the 
Iowa boundary at the southwest comer of this county. 

Des Moines township has Qear lake at the middle of its west side, 
remarkable for the depth and purity of its Water. 

Heron Lake township has Lake Flaherty, an early name, but for whom 
it was given remains to be ascertained. 

Timber lake, named for its lone grove in this broad prairie region, 
adjoins the south side of Wilder village. It has been also called Lake 
Minneseka, a Sioux name meaning "bad water." 

Lake Carroll, formerly mapped in section 4, Delafield, h^s been drained. 

Jack and Okabena creeks flow into the west side of Heron Jake, the 
former being probably named from jack rabbits, and the latter bearing 
the Sioux name for Heron lake. 



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KANABEC COUNTY 

Established March 13, 1858, and organized in 1882, this county bears 
a name proposed by William H. C. Folsom, of Taylor's Falls, who, as a 
member of the state senate in 1858, introduced the legislative bill for the 
formation of the county. Kanabec is the usual word for a snake in the 
language of the Ojibways, given by them to the Snake river flowing 
through Kanabec and Pine counties to the St. Croix. It has a heavy 
accent on the second syllable, with the English long sound of the vowel, 
being thus pronounced quite unlike the name of the Kennebec river in 
Maine. The latter name, accented on the first syllable, is of different 
etymology, meaning "long lake, — a name of Moosehead lake transferred 
to the river." 

This Ojibway word is variously spelled, but has only slight difference 
of prontindation. On Nicollet's map it is Kinebik; in Wilson's Manual 
of this- language, kenabig; and in Baraga's Dictionary, which is followed 
by Gilfillan and Verwyst in their lists of Ojibway names, it is ginebig, 
but this is pronounced, in French style, nearly like our English form of 
the word in the county name. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of geographic names in this county has been received 
from "Fifty Years in the Northwest,", by W. H. C. Folsom, 763 pages, 
1888 ; and from A. V. Sander, county auditor, A. M. Anderson, register 
of deeds, Olof P. Victorien, judge of probate, and Hon. J. C. Pope, 
each of Mora, the county seat, interviewed during a visit there in May, 
1916. 

Ann Lake township, its lake of this name, and the outflowing Ann 
river, tributary to the Snake river, commemorate an Ojibway woman 
who lived beside the lake. ("Kathio," by J. V. Brower, 1901, page 114.) 

Arthur township, organized in 1883, was named by Charles E. Wil- 
liams, of Mora, in honor of Chester Alan Arthur, the twenty-first Presi- 
dent of the United States, who was born in Fairfield, Vt., October S, 
1830, and died in New York city, November 18, 1886. He was graduated 
at Union College in 1848; practiced law in New York city; was inspector 
general of state troops during the civil war; was collector of the port of 
New York, 18?l-78; was elected Vice-President in 1880, and succeeded 
Garfield, who died September 19, 1881. His term as President extended 
to March 4, 1885. 

Brunswick township, organized in 1883, received its name from Bruns- 
wick village and township in Maine, at the head of navigation on the 
Androscoggin river, whence many pioneer lumbermen came to the pin- 



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266 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

eries of the St. Croix and Snake rivers. A village of this name, platted in 
1856 in section 1 of this township, was the first county seat. 

Comfort township bears a surname of early settlers. 

FoED township, organized in 1916, the latest in this county, was former- 
ly included in Peace township. It was named for Henry Ford, of Detroit, 
Mich., a wealthy manufacturer of automobiles, who conducted a large 
delegation from this country to Europe in December, 1915, to confer 
with the nations at war and to intercede for restoration of peace. 

Geass Lajse township, organized in 1883, formerly had a small lake 
of this name, now drained, in sections 13 and 24, which was mostly filled 
with tall marsh grass, the water being very shallow. From this lake was 
also derived the name of Grasston, the railway village in section 12. 

Hay Brook township was named for the brook flowing through it, 
having meadows which supplied hay for winter logging camps. 

HiLLMAN township was named in honor of William F. Hiilman, a 
pioneer farmer there. 

Kanabec township, like the county, bears the Ojibway name of the 

Knife Lake township received its name from the Knife lake and 
river, which are translated from their Sioux and Ojibway names. The 
first knives of iron or steel obtained by the Sioux, in the winter of 1659- 
60, were brought here by Groseilliers and Radisson and the Huron and 
Ottawa Indians who accompanied them, as noted for Isanti county. 

Kboschel township was named in honor of Herman Kroschel, one 
of its first settlers. 

MoKA, a village on the railway in Arthur township, was platted in 
1882, when by popular vote it succeeded Brunswick as the county seat. 
It was named by Myron R. Kent, owner of its site, for the city ot Mora 
at the northwest end of Siljan lake in central Sweden. 

Ogilvie, the railway village of Kanabec township, commemorates Oric 
Ogilvie Whited, for whom also Whited township was named. 

Peace township was named by vote of its people, this name being sug- 
gested in contrast with its village of Warman, 

PoMKOY township was named, as also Pomroy lake, crossed by its west 
line, in honor of John Pomroy, a pioneer lumberman who had a loggitig 
camp beside the lake. 

QuAMBA,, a railway village in Whited, was named by oflicers of the 
Great Northern railway company. 

South Fork township is crossed by the Soath branch or fork of the 
Ground House river. 

Warman, a village in sections 5 and 6, Peace, having granite quarries, 
was named in honor of S. M. Warman, a quarry owner there, who was 
killed by the fall of a derrick. 

Whftei) township, like Ogilvie village, was named in honor of Oric 
Ogilvie Whited, of Minneapolis. He was born in Fitchville, Ohio, Janu- 
ary 20, 1854 ; was graduated at the State Normal School, Winona, Minn., 



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KANABEC COUNTY 267 

1872; taught school several years in Olmsted county, and later was the 
county superintendent of schools; was admitted to practice law, 1884; 
settled in Minneapolis in 1890, engaged in real estate business and law 
practice, and owned numerous tracts of land in this county. He died in 
Minneapolis, August 6, 1912. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing pages have noted the Snake river, Ann lake and river. 
Grass lake, Hay brook. Knife lake and river, Pomroy lake, aod the South 
fork of Ground House river. 

A tradition among the Sioui and Ojibways cited by Wincheil in "The 
Abongines of Minnesota {page 67) told of Hidalsa Indians a branch 
of the great Dakotan stock anciently living in Minnesota who were 
drnen westnard to the Missouri river bi the coming of the bioux These 
Indians lived m wooden hut« covered with earth whence probablj came 
the aboriginal name that we retain m translation as the Ground House 
river draining the southwest part of this countv It s called Earth Fort 
river on the map of Owens Geological Reptrt puUisbed ii 1852 

Tributaries of the Snake river in their order from wuth to north in 
this countv include on \t^ east side Mud creek flowing through Mud 
lake Chesley brook also called Lttle Snake mer and Cowans brook 
the second and third being named fcr pioneer lumbermen and on the 
weat side Rice creek, named for ita wild rice Ground House Ann and 
Knife rivers prefiouslj noticed Moccasin brook into which Snow Shoe 
brook flows Hay brook and Bergman s brook near the north line of the 
county The last bears the name of a lumberman whoie logging camp 
was on this brook 

The picturesque Upper falls and Lower falls of the Snake rner are 
respectnel} about two milei and three miles south ol the nirth boundary 
of thi'i countv 

Among the few lakes that remain to be mentioned Brunswu-k has 
Devils lake m section 4 Pennington lake in section 13 now dra ned 
named lor Jame'' Pennington who near it opened the firsit farm in the 
county and Lewis lake in the southwest corner of this town hip named 
for a pioneer settler beside it 

'Arthur township has Spring lake m sections I and 12 Lake Mora m 
the village of this name Kent lake in sections lo and 21 commemorating 
Mvron E. Kent who platted and named this village and Fish lake 
through which Ann river flows in sections 33 and 34 

K lake beside Snake river m sections 10 and 15 Peace is mapped 
as Full of Fi^ih lake a translation from its Ojibwaj name 

Kroschel has Bass lake m section 1 Loon lake in sections 3 and 4 
Long lake and Bland lake in sections 4 and 5 Beauty lake in section 10 
Lake Eleven, in the section having this number , Pike lake, in section 13 , 
Feathery lake and Muskrat lake, in section 24 ; and White Lily lake, in 
section 27, named for its abundance of the fragrant white water-lily. 



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-t KANDIYOHI COUNTY 

This county, established March 20, 1858, bears the Dakota or Sioux 
name of one or several of its lakes, meaning "where the buffalo fish 
come." Williamson states that it is from "kandi, buffalo fish; y, euphonic; 
ohi, arrive in," Our three species of buffalo fish, Ictiobus cjprinella, 
I. iirus, and I. babalus, at their spawning season in May and June 
leave the large rivers, in which fhey live the greater part of the year, and 
come, sometimes in immense numbers, to the lakes at the head of the 
small streams. The first named species, when mature, often attains the 
weight of 30 to 40 pounds ; and the second and third are about two thirds 
as large. 

Lawson, the historian of the county, writes : 

"It is believed that in early times the Indians applied this name to the 
entire group of lakes which form the sources of the Crow river. Until 
very, recent years buffalo fish and other kindred species came up the 
rivers and small streams every spring to find spawning places in these 

"The name Kandiyohi was first made known to white men by Joseph 
Nicholas Nicollet, who in 1836-41 explored the region now comprising 
Minnesota. . . . He did not personally visit this section, but secured his 
information about the sources of the Crow from Indians. ... It was 
not until I8S6 that white men acquired any definite knowledge as to the 
extent and character of these lakes. In that year four different parties 
of townsite promoters visited the region now embraced within the boun- 
daries of our county and gave separate names to the different lakes which 
attracted their attention. The name Kandiyohi was appropriated by one 
of these companies, and two of the lakes in the southern group were by 
them named Big and Little Kandiyohi. When a new county was organ- 
ized the historic Indian name was adopted." 

In the accepted pronunciation, which differs somewhat from the Dako- 
ta usage, this name accents its first and last syllables, the last having the 
English long sound of the vowel. 

At first the area of this county was divided under legislative acts of 
March 8 and 20, 1858, in two counties, each comprising twelve congres- 
sional townships. The north half was named Monongalia county, and 
during twelve years Kandiyohi county .had only the south half of its 
present area, until in 1870 they were united. The name Monongalia was 
derived from the county so named in Virginia (now in West Virginia), 
being Latinized from the Delaware Indian word, Monongahela, "river 
with the sliding banks," given to the stream which unites with the 
Allegheny at Pittsburg, forming the Ohio river. 

Z6S 



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KANDIYOHI COUNTY 269 

Townships and Villages. 

The origins and meanings of the geographic names in this county have 
been learned from the "Dlustrated History and Descriptive and Biograph- 
ical Review of Kandiyohi County," by Victor E. Lawson and Martin E. 
Tew, 446 pages, 1905 ; and from interviews with Samuel Nelson, county 
auditor, and Mr. Lawson, editor of the Willmar Tribune and principal 
author of the admirable folio History here cited, during a visit at Will- 
mar, the county seat, in May, 1916. 

Arctander township, organized April 4, 1879, was named in honor of 
John W. Arctander, who during ten years, 1876-86, was a resident of this 
county, being an attorney in Willmar, and thence removed to Minneapolis. 
He was born in Stockholm, Sweden, October 2, 1849; was graduated at 
the Royal University of Norway, 1870, and the same year came to the 
United States; came to Minnesota in 1874, and soon afterward was ad- 
mitted to practice law. In 1875 he published a handbook of the laws of 
Minnesota in the Norwegian language. 

Atwater, the railway village in Gennessee, founded in 1869, was named 
in honor of E. D. Atwater, secretary of the land department of the St. 
Paul and Pacific railway. It was incorporated February 17, 1876. 

BuRBANK township, organized in August, 1866, was named in honor 
of Henry Clay Burbank, a well known merchant in St. Paul and St. Cloud 
"held in high esteem by the early settlers for favors extended." He was 
born in Lewis, N. Y., May 4, 1835 ; and died in Rochester, Minn., February 
23, 1905. At the age of eighteen years he came to St, Paul, and with his 
brother, James C. Burbank, engaged in forwarding and commission busi- 
ness and wholesale grocery trade. The firm transported supplies and furs 
for the Hudson Bay Company, and owned wagon trains and steamboats 
on the Red river. He was a state senator in 1873. 

Colfax township, organized June 24, 1871, was at first called I.^ke 
Prairie, but in September of the same year it was renamed in honor of 
Schuyler Colfax (b, 1823, d, 1885), who in 1869-73 was Vice-President 
of the United States. 

DovRs township, organized April 6, 1869, received its name from its 
prominent morainic hills in sections 20 and 21, which the early Norwegian 
settlers called the Dovre hills, in remembrance of the Dovrefjeld moun- 
tains and high plateau on the boundary between Norway and Sweden. 

East Lake Lillian township, organized March 6, 1893, had been since 
1872 the east half of Lake Lillian, named for the lake crossed by the 
boundary between these townships. 

Edwards township, established September 7, 1871, was named in honor 
of S. S. Edwards, a pioneer settler who was the leader for its organisa- 

Fahlun, established March 20, 1877, bears "the popular name of the 
home county in Sweden of a number of the early settlers." The chief 



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270 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

city o£ that district, also named Falilun or Falun, is sometimes called 
"the Treasury of Sweden," having mines o£ copper, silver, and gold. 

Gennessee, organized in 1858, was named (with changed spelling) 
for the Genesee river in New York, whence several of its first pioneers 
had come in 18S7. This name means, according to Gannett, "shining 
valley" or "beautiful valley," in its native Indian language of New York; 
but the too liberal spelling here used, yet v^ithout change in pronunciation, 
came from Tennessee. 

Green Lake township, established in January, 1868, received its name 
from the large lake on its nortli boundary, which was named August 10, 
1856, by the first party of settlers. On that day they selected a town- 
site on the southwestern shore of this lake, now occupied by the village 
of Spicer, in sections 3 and 4 of this township. "They were enraptured 
by the beautiful sheet of water, and from its peculiar shade of bottle 
green christened it Green lake. To their future city they gave the name 
of Columbia." 

Harhison township, established April 25, 1858, was named in honor 
of Joseph D. Harris, who settled here in August, 1857, and was the first 
postmaster and the first town clerk. He was bom in Nova Scotia in 
May, 1834, and died May 7, 187a 

Holland township was established July 23, 1888. Its settlers "were 
principally Hollanders, or of Holland descent, but with a sprinkling of 
Swedes and Germans." 

Irving township, organized March 27, 1868, took its name from a 
townsite platted on the east side of Green lake in 1856 by Eugene M. 
Wilson, of Minneapolis, who later was a congressman, and others. This 
name was probably selected in honor of the distinguished American 
author, Washington Irving (b. 1783. d. 1859). 

Kandiyohi township was established March 1, 1868, then including 
also the present townships of Fahlun, Whitefield, and Willraar. It was 
named, like the county, for the Kandiyohi lakes. The railway village, 
named for the township, was founded when the railway was built, in 
1869, and was incorporated May 7, 1904. 

An earlier townsite of this name, platted in October, 1856, in section 
25 of this township and the adjoining section 30 of Gennessee, at the 
north side of Lakes Kasota and Minnetaga, aspired to become the capital 
of Minnesota, for which purpose a bill was passed by the legislature in 
March, 1869, but was vetoed by Governor Marshall. This project was 
again brought to the attention of the legislature in 1871, and also in I89I 
and 1893, but received no favorable action. In 1901 the "capitol lands," 
which, had been acquired here by the state in 1858, were sold for use in 
farming. 

Lake Andrew township, organized March 19, 1872, received the name 
given to this lake in the summer of 1857 by Andrew Holes, one of the 
first two settlers, being carved by him "in large, plain letters upon one of 
the Cottonwood trees" of its south shore. 



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KANDIYOHI COUNTY 271 

Lake Elizabeth township, organized April 16, 1869, bears the name 
of the lake crossed hy its nnrth boundary, given "in honor of the wife of 
A. C. Smith, the early lawyer and receiver at the United States land 
office at Forest City." Lakes Elia and Carrie, closely adjoining the north 
side of this lake, in Gennessee, were named for her daughters. 

Lake Lilliam township was organized January 23. 1872. The lake 
was named in honor of the wife of an artist and author, Edwin White- 
field, who accompanied the iirst exploring party to the Kandiyohi lakes 
in the summer of 1856. 

Mamhe township, organized April 6, 1870, took the name given in 1866 
to the lake in sections II, 12, and 14, by one of the first three settlers, 
John Rodman, whose homestead claim was on the southwest arm of this 
lake. "He gave the name Mamre to his new home locality, from the 
Biblical reference to the home of Abram in the Promised Land." 

New London township, organized August 25, 1866, derived its name 
from the village, which was founded in 186S, by building a sawmill, and 
was incorporated April 8, 1889. The name was chosen by Louis Larson, 
"from a similarity he saw with the location of New London, Wis., a 
prospering village of his old home county." 

NORWAV Lake township, organized in August, 1866, at first included 
also (he present townships of Arctander, Lake Andrew, Mamre, and 
Dovre. It was named for the largest lake of its original area, lying main- 
ly in Lake Andrew township, around which many Norwegian immigrants 
settled. 

Pennqtk. the railway village of St. John's township, founded in 1870- 
71, with the building of this railway, at first bore the township name. In 
the fall of 1891 it was renamed in honor of George Pennock, of Willmar, 
superintendent of this division of the Great Northern railway. 

Prinsburq, a hamlet at the center of Holland township, platted in 
1886, commemorates. Martin Prins, member of a land firm in Holland, 
who came here and Jn 1884 acquired about 35,000 acres of railroad lands, 
mostly in this county. He died in 1887. 

Raymond, a railway village in Edwards, platted in 1887, was named 
for Raymond Spicer, a son of John M. Spicer, of Willmar, who was the 
founder of Spicer villj^e. 

RoSELAND township was organized March 16, 1889, its name being 
chosen by Peter Lindquist, the first settler, who same in the spring of 
1869. ''In Swedish the name is the usual designation for a flower gar- 

RoSEViLLE township, organized August 25. 1866. was named as sug- 
gested by Joseph Cox. "on account of the profusion of wild roses growing 
and in bloom upon the prairie." 

St. John's township, first settled in 1868, was established by a special 
act of the legislature, February 27, 1872, and was organized a month 
later. It bears a name given to a locality on its north line by an early 



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272 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

map of the state, published in 1860, probably noting a proposed site for a 
Catholic colony, whence the lake in sections 1 and 2 became known as 
St John's lake. 

Spicer, a railway villagt in the north edge of Green Lake township, 
was platted in 1886, on the aeserted early townsite of Columbia, and was 
named in honor of J;'.n M. Spicer, its founder and owner of the site, 
who was the president of the company building this railway line. Ray- 
mond village was named for his son, as before noted. 

Whitefjeld township was established June 6, 1870. Its name is from 
a proposed townsife selected by an exploring party in the early autumn 
of 1856, on the northwest shore of Lake Wagonga, in sections 1 and 11, 
named in honor of Edwin Whitefield, a landscape artist, who was a 
member of the party. Lake Lillian, named for his wife, is the source of 
another township name, as before noted. 

Wu-LMAR township, established January 4, 1870, took the name of its 
village, platted in 1869 when the railroad here was built The townsite 
was selected and named by George F. Becker, president of the railroad. 
"Leon Willmav, a native of Belgium, at that time residing in London, 
was the agent for the European bondholders of the St. Paul and Pacific 
railroad company, and it was in his honor that the town was named. He 
afiterwards secured several hundred acres of land around the northeast- 
ern shores of Foot lake, and presented the same to his son, Paul Willmar, 
who a few years before had served as a soldier of fortune under Maxi- 
milian, the adventurous invader of Mexico." Expensive buildings were 
erected in 1871 for the Willmar farm, on section 1 of this township, 
where during ten years Paul Willmar conducted operations on an ex- 
tensive scale. In 1881 he sold this large farm and returned to Belgium, 
his native land. Willmar village was incorporated January 16, 1874; and 
its city charter was adopted November 19, 1901. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing pages have noted the names of the Kandiyohi lakes, 
Green lake, Lakes Andrew, Elizabeth, and Lillian, Lakes Ella and Carrie, 
Lake Marare, Norway lake, and St. John's lake. 

Shakopee creek, flowing west to the lake of this name in Chippewa 
county, is noticed in the chapter for that county ; and Hawk and Chetamba 
creeks, having their sources here, are noticed under Renville county. 

Many lakes remain to be mentioned, but a considerable number have 
names that require no explanation, and others of small size are unnamed. 
The list follows the numerical order of the townships from south to 
north, and of the ranges from east to west 

Dog lake, in East Lake Lillian township, and others smaller and with- 
out names, have been drained and are now farm lands. 

Fox lake, crossed by the south line of Lake Lillian township, and 
Grove lake on its west side, named for the grove on its island, have been 
drained. 



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KANDIYOHI COUNTY 273 

Lake Elizabeth township has Johnson lake in sections 10 and 11, and 
Otter lake in sections 10 and IS. Lakes Charlotte and Mary, now drained, 
were "in its southwest part. 

Fahlun has Lake Fanny and Wagonga lake, which was formerly called 
Grass lake, in translation of this Dakota or Sioux name. The latter, 
reaching west into Whitefield, is erroneously spelled Waconda by some 

Lake Milton was in sections 7 and 18, Whitefield, and Stevens lake in 
section 20, but both are drained. 

Edwards has Bad Water lake, through which Hawk creek flows at . 
Raymond; Olson lake, in sednon 26; and Vick lake, drained, in sections 
29 and 30. 

Gennessee has Summit lake, in sections 9 and 10, referring to the 
building of the railroad, which very near the west line of this township 
crosses its highest land between St. Paul and Breckenridge ; Pay lake, 
of smaller size, in section 10, where the paymaster in that work had his 
camp ; Lakes Ella and Carrie, before noticed in their relationship with 
Lake Elizabeth ■ and L^ke Mi inetiga compounded of Dakota words 
minne water and laai froth foam 

In Kandijohi township are Lake Kasota a Dakota name meanmg a 
cleared place and Swan lake each Ijmg close to the north i de of Little 
Kandijohi lake witl which Lake Kasota is connected h) a 'Jtrait 

WiUmar has Foot lake adjom ng the citj named in honor of the first 
settler 1 ere W llmar lake which adjoms the former \\illmar farm be 
mg a northeaster baj of Foot lake c nnected theicwith by a narrow 
p^ss^ge and Griss like which was shall w ani mostly tilled ^ith 
marsh grass hut s nuw drained 

Solnmon R Fcot commen orated bj the lake beinng his name was 
born in Do\er Oho Ma\ jO 182'^ came to M nnesota in 1857 and m 
June took a hon estead claim on the 'hore of this lake being the first 
settler of W ill mar townshp remo\ed about six years later to Melrose 
in Stearns countj where he built a hotel and was the first pcitmaster 
removed to Mmot N D in 1888 spent lis last few jears n Cahfomia 
w th his children a d died March 15 1903 A other lake n Dovre is 
also named for hin 

The largest lake n Harrison was ■vis ted n September 1R5& l\ a 
part\ of explorers ndio came from St Peter The crystal brightness 
of the lake impressed them and they named t D amond lake Other 
lakes m this township are Jessie lake crossed h\ the north 1 ne of section 
6 RieS and Swens n lakes drained in secti n IS Sperrj lake section 
16, Taits lake, section 19, Thomas lake, drained, m sections 21 and 22, 
Schultz lake, in sections 23 and 26; and Wheeler lake, in sections 26, 27. 

Green Lake township has Henderson lake in section 6 ; Twin lakes, 
sections 7 and 8 ; Elk Horn lake, sections 9 and 16, where a pair of very 



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274 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

large elk antlers were found n 18S7 E gl 1 k d bj th w t T 

ftht hp dBOklk t 3t 

hasRiglkFldSlgllk dLog Ndlk 



ach f 1 g t th 


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farm dSltn Ik tth tlwt md 


lk F t 1 k 


Wllm f =; 1 m R F t 


h ft t d h 


! k h t 


and t pp 






1 W m t 1 p b d 


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d 10 d Ch 1 


d L dgr 1 k 


pect ly t 23 d 


6 wh h 1 11 w 


d E y 


Irv g h C 11 Ik 


d f ly ttl 


1 d ttl 


tl Ott 1 k y m 11 


t 4 d Sh 


k I k d 


byth thi f t Obthd d dLog 


Ik th rth 


p t f t 6 t d g t 


R U 




N wL d h B Ik 


t 7 C d 11 


dl k t 


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28 d 29 


m k hi f th f b d 


f t f d b 


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ant m ly I! d bl k ] 


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p t 1 ect 


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tend g th t G L k t 


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b Sw d h ttl 


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Lk Ad wtw hpwth 


t 1 k m d h 


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t w 1 p Lak Fid dCklkfhItbg dfmt 

kdtl LkFld dth b fit dgntd 

by th 1> ttl f N y Lak t f t 1 t t th 

th 

A t d h Sw 1 k t 24 d 2S W t d Sand 

1 k t 16 1 17 h b d m d 

BbkhLkT ty th t mbd dMdlk 

th th 1 f th t h p 

C If h P d St ff 1 k 1 II m t m dry 

t tl t p t T mb I k Sk 11 d S Ik d b mes I k 

t th thw t d S d Th mp d H t d I k t th 

hlfthltb g mdf \dwOHytdan lyfm th 

IN yLktwlp LtRth dE Gl lk 

near its center ; and Deer lake, Lake OIc, Lake of Hefta, and Brenner 
lake in its north part, with Crook lake on its north line. Glesne lake was 
named for Even O. Glesne, a pioneer farmer beside it, and Lake Bertha 
for his daughter. "Lake of Hefta was so called in honor of Mrs. Marie 
Hefta, . . . who was born on a place of that name in Norway;" and 



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KANDIYOHI COUNTY 275 

Brenner lake was named for Andreas Hanson "Brenner," the added 
surname having reference to "his vocation in Norway as manufacturer 
of tar." 

When the first pioneers came, their settlements or small neighborhoods 
preceding the organization of townships were designated by. the adjoining 
lakes, as the Diamond Lake, Eagle Lake, and Nest Lake settlements. 
Finally nine townships, among them being Kandiyohi, Mamre, and St. 
John's, were thus named for their lakes. 

Hills of the Waconia and Dovre Moraines. 

The north half of this county is crossed by two belts of morainic 
drift hills, very irregular in contour and attaining heights of 100 to 200 
feet above the lowlands and lakes. Names applied to parts of these 
hilly tracts, and to some of the more conspicuous separate elevations, are 
Cape Bad Luck and Sugarloaf, in the south edge of Roseville; the Blue 
hills, culminating in Mount Tom, about a mile north of Lake Andrew; 
the hills before noted as giving their name to Dovre township; and 
Ostlutid's hill, in section 22, Mamre, named for Lars Ostlund, a farmer 
at its west side. 

Derived from the hills in Dovre, this name is extended to the seventh 
or Dovre moraine in the series of twelve marginal moraine belts formed 
successively along the receding border of the continental ice-slieet during 
its final melting in Minnesota. 

Eastward in New London, Irving, and the edge of Roseville, the drift 
hills are referred to a somewhat earlier stage of the glacial retreat, being 
a part of the sixth or Waconia moraine, named from Waconia in Carver 
county. At Mount Tom, and thence northwest for about twenty-five 
miles, the Waconia and Dovre moraines are merged in a single belt of 
drift hills, knolls, and short ridges. 

Sibley State Park. 

Adjoining Lake Andrew with a shore line of one and a half miles, 
this park, named in honor of Governor Henry Hastings Sibley, was pro- 
vided through purchase by the state in July, !919. It is a tract of 3S6 
acres, consisting of high morainic hills, short ridges, and hollows, sprinkled 
with drift boulders and covered with hardwood timber. Its acquirement 
as a state park was advocated by Victor E. Lawson, of Willmar, and 
Peter' Broberg, of New London ; and its supervision and development 
are to be directed by Carlos Avery, state game and fish c 



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KITTSON COUNTY 

Forming the northwest corner of this state, Kittson county was estab- 
lished by being thus renamed, March 9, 1878, and by reduction from its 
area, making Marshall county, February 25, 1879. Previously it had been 
a part of Pembina county, one of the nine large counties into which the 
new Minnesota Territory was originally divided, October 27, 1849. It 
was named in honor of Norman Wolfred Kittson, one of the leading 
pioneers of the territory and state. He was born in Sorel, Canada, March 
5, 1814; came to the area that afterward was Minnesota in 1834, and dur- 
ing four years was engaged in the sutler's department at Fort Snelling; 
was later a fur trader on his own account, and became manager for the 
American Fur Company in northern Minnesota ; engaged in transporta- 
tion business, at Fort Snelling, Pembina, and SL Paul ; was a member 
of the territorial legislature, 1851 -SS, and mayor of St. Paul, 1858; be- 
came director of steamboat traffic on the Red river for the Hudson Bay 
Company, in 1864; and established a line of steamers and barges known as 
the Red River Transportation Company, whence he was often called 
"Commodore." He died suddenly. May 11, 1888, on 3 railway train in 
his journey of return to Minnesota from the east. The Catholic Cathe- 
dral in St. Paul is built on the site of his home. 

With the adoption of the present name of Kittson county, the former 
Pembina county ceased to exist in Minnesota, but it is still represented 
by a North Dakota county bearing that name, on the opposite side of the 
Red river. It was first the name of a river there, was thence applied to 
an early fur trading post at the junction of this stream with the Red river, 
was given in 1849 to the great Pembina county, and later to the town 
that became the county seat of its part in Dakota Territory, near the site 
of the old trading post. Keating wrote, in his Narrative of Long's expedi- 
tion in 1823, that it was derived from the Ojibway word for the fruit 
of the bush cranberry, "anepeminan, which name has been shortened 
and corrupted into Pembina." This tall bush (Viburnum Opulus, L.) is 
common along the Pembina and Red rivers, as also through the north half 
of Minnesota, and its fruit is much used for sauce by the Ojibways and the 
white people. Neill translated the name as follows (History of Minne- 
sota, p. 868) : "The Pembina river, called by Thompson 'Summer Berry,' 
was named after a red berry which the Chippeways call Nepin (summer) 
Minan (berry), and this by the voyageurs has been abbreviated to Pem- 
bina, which is more euphonious." 



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KITTSON COUNTY 277 

Townships and Villages. 

Information has been gaUiered from "History of the Red River Val- 
ley." two volumes, 1909, the chapter for this county, by Edward Nelson, 
former register of deeds, being pages 923-966; and from interviews with 
Mr. Nelson and Axel Lindegard, a merchant in Hallock, the county seat, 
during a visit there in August, 1909, and Edward A. Johnson, clerk of 
court, and again with Mr. Lindegard, in a second visit there, September, 
1916. 

Abveeon township, organized July 14, 1902. was named in honor ot 
Arve Arveson, a settler in Davis, who was then chairman of the county 



Bronsok, a railway village in Percy, was named for Giles Bronson, an 
early farmer in section 32 of that township, well known for entertaining 
sportsmen at his home. 

Cannon township, organized July 11, 1904, was named for Thomas 
Cannon, a merchant in Northcote, who was one of the county commis- 
sioners. 

Cakibou township, organized January 8, 1908, had a few reindeer, of 
geographic limitation jn the wooded and partly swampy region of northern 
Minnesota and Canada, named Rangifer caribou. The second word of the 
name is of Algonquin Indian origin, meaning a pawer or scratcher, in 
allusion to the habit of this animal in winter, pawing in the snow to eat 
the reindeer moss beneath. 

Clow township commemorates several brothers of that name, early 
settlers there, who came from Prince Edward Island, 

Davis township, organized July 24, 1882, was named in honor of Ed- 
ward N. Davis a settler in section 30, who was a county commissioner, 
but removed to Georgia. 

Deehwood was organized July 23, 1888, receiving this name from its 
deer and its tracts of woodland. 

Donaldson, the railway village of Davis township, was named for 
Captain Hugh W. Donaldson, a veteran of the civil war, manager of an 
adjoining farm of several thousand acres, owned by the Kennedy Land 
Company. 

Gkanville township, organized July 27, 1885, took a name that is home 
by villages and townships in twelve other states. 

Hallock township, which includes the county seat, was organized 
August 2, 1880, and was named in honor of one of the founders of its 
village, Charles Hallock, the widely known sportsman, journalist, and 
author. He was born in New York city, March 13, 1834; was graduated 
at Amherst college, 1854; was during many years editor of "Forest and 
Stream," which he founded in 1873; erected a large hotel here in 1890, 
which was a noted resort of sportsmen until it was burned in 1892; is 
author of many magazine articles and books on hunting, fishing, travel 



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278 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

in Alaska, Florida, etc. ; now resides in Washington, D. C. Hallock vil- 
lage, platted in lS?9-80, was incorporated June 11, 1887. 

Halma is the railway village of Norway township. 

Hampden township was the earliest organized in this county, July 28, 
1879. It was named on the suggestion of officers of its railway, for John 
Hampden (b, 1594, d. 1643), the celebrated statesman and patriot of Eng- 

Hazelton township, organized July 23, 1888, was probably named for 
its plentiful growth of wild hazelnut bushes. Minnesota has two species, 
each being common through its northern part. 

Hill township, organized January 11, 1901, is named in honor of the 
distinguishd railway builder and president, James Jerome Hill, who owned 
and farmed large tracts in and adjoining this township. He was born 
near Guelph, Ontario, September 16, 1838; and died at his home in St. 
Paul, May 29, 1916. He came to Minnesota in 1856, and engaged in 
steamboat and railway transportation. In 1871 he consolidated the trans- 
portation business, of Norman W. Kittson in the Red river region with liis 
own; and Donald A. Smith (since Lord Strathcona) managed the com- 
pany jointly with himself. He was the prime mover in the effort to secure 
the bonds of the St. Paul and Pacific railroad, successfully accomplishing 
this in 1878, with reorganization under the name of the St. Paul, Minne- 
apolis and Manitoba Railway Co., of which he was general manager, 1879- 
82; and president, 1883-90. This railway and its new branches were again 
changed in name in 1890 to be the Great Northern railway system, of which 
Mr. Hill continued as president till 1907, becoming then chairman of its 
board of directors. His biography, by Joseph G. Pyle, in two volumes, 
with portraits, was published in 1917. The extensive Hill farm, compris- 
ing about 15,000 acres in Hill and St. Vincent townships, was sold during 
the summer of 1917, in 127 parts, to make small farms for settlers. 

HuMBOLErr is a Great Northern railway village in the southeast part of 
St. Vincent township. This name, borne by counties in Iowa, Nevada, 
and California, and by villages or small cities in seven states, i 
orates Baron. Alexander von Humboldt (b. 1769, d. 1859), a 
German scientist and author, who in 1799 to 1804 traveled in South Ameri- 
ca and Mexico. 

Jupiter township, organized November 10, 1883, was named for the 
planet Jupiter by Nels Hultgren, an early Norwegian settler there, who 
had been a sea captain. 

Karlstad, a Soo railway village in the east edge of Deerwood, was 
named for the city of Karlstad Jn Sweden. 

Kenneby, a Great Northern railway village, was named in honor of 
John Stewart Kennedy (b. 1830, d. 1909). From his former home in Scot- 
land he came to America in 1856, settled in New York city, and was an 
iron merchant, banker, and railway director. He was a generous donor to 
many public charities, and for educational and religious work. 



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KITTSON COUNTY 279 

Lancaster is a Soo railway village in the east edge of Granville. 
Eighteen states have villages, cities, or townships of this name, derived 
from a city and county of England. 

McKiNLEY township, organized July 14, 1902, was named in honor of 
William McKinley (b. 1843, d, 1901), who was a member of Congress from 
Ohio, 1877-91; governor of Ohio, 1892-^; and president of the United 
States, 1897-1901. 

No&THcOTE, the railway village in Hampden, was named in honor of Sir 
Stafford Henry Northcote (b, 1818, d. 1887), an eminent English statesman 
and financier. He was a commissioner at the treaty of Washington in 
1871, which referred the Alabama claims of the United States against 
England to an international tribunal of arbitration. 

NoswAY township, organized January 9, 1901, was named for the coun- 
try from which nearly all its settlers came. 

NoYES, a station of the Great Northern and Soo railways adjoining 
the international boundary, was named in honor of J. A. Noyes, the U. S. 
customs collector there. 

Orleans, a Soo railway village in the east edge of Clow, was named 
by officers of that railway. Derived from the city of Orleans in France, 
this name is borne by counties in Vermont and New York, and by town- 
ships and villages in Massachusetts and seven other states. 

PixAN township, organized April 20, 1900, was named for Charles H, 
Peian, a pioneer settler there. 

Percy township, organized July 9, 1900, was named for Howard Percy, 
an early trapper and hunter. 

PoppLETONj organized April 8, 1893, received its name, by a common 
mispronunciation, for the plentiful poplar trees and groves in this town- 

Re5> River township, organized January 5, 1881, having a length of 
twelve miles from- south to north, is named for the river that is its 
western boundary. 

RicHAHDViLLE township, organized January 8, 1895, was named for 
George Richards, one of its first settlers, whose homestead claim is the 
southwest quarter of section 30. 

St. Joseph township, organized January 9, 1901, was named by its set- 
tlers, including Catholic, immigrants from Poland, for St. Joseph, hus- 
band of the Virgin Mary, The north part sends its drainage west to the 
Joe river, a small stream so named by the early fur traders and voyageurs. 

Sr. Vincent township, organized March 19, 1880, is opposite to Pem- 
bina, N, D. Its name had been earlier given, before 1860, to a post of 
fur traders here, in honor of the renowned St. Vincent de Paul, founder 
of missions and hospitals in Paris, who died September 27, 1660, at the 
age of eighty years. 

Skane township, organized May 10, 1887, was named for the old 
province of Scania, the most southern part of Sweden. 



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280 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Spkinc Brook township, organized January 2, 1884, received the name 
of a brook flowing through its southern part. 

SvEA township, organized February IS, 1884, bears a name given in 
poetry to Sweden, the native country of many of its settlers. 

TEOtfEn, organized July 24, 1882, was named in honor of Esaias Teg- 
ner (b. 1782, d. 1846), a famous Swedish poet. In 1811 he was awarded 
the prize of the Academy of Sweden for a long poem entitled "Svea;" 
and in 1^5 he published his most celebrated work, "Frithjofs Saga," 
based on the old Norse saga of this name. 

Teien, organized April 5, 1882, was named for Andrew C. Teien, an 
early Norwegian homesteader in section 4. 

Thompson, organized July 24, 1882, was named for William, Robert, 
and George Thompson, brothers, who took homestead claims in this town- 
ship as pioneer farmers. 

Townships 161 and 162, in Range 45, are yet unorganized. 

Lakes and Steeams. 

This county, lying wholly within the great area of the Glacial Lake 
Agassii, has now only very few and very small lakes. These are the 
Twin lakes in Arveson, Scull lake in section 22, St. Joseph, and Lake 
Stella (a star), adjoining the village of St Vincent. The last was called 
"Lac du Nord Ouest" on the map of Minnesota in 1860, meaning, in its 
use by the French voyageurs, "Lake of the Northwest" corner of this 
North Star State. 

Spring brook, giving its name to a township, is one of the sources 
of Tamarack river, (a translation of the Ojibway name), which, after 
flowing through large swamps, joins the Red river in the southern half 
of Red River township. 

The South branch of Two fivers receives the Middle branch at Hal- 
lock, and it unites with the North branch about two miles above the 
mouth of the united stream. The Ojibway name, given by Gilfillan, 
"is Ga-nijoshino zibi, or the river that lies two together as in a bed; no 
doubt, from its two branches rimning parallel." 

Joe river, before noted, deriving its headwaters from St. Joseph town- 
ship, and flowing through Richardville, Clow, and the northeast part of 
St. Vincent, reaches the Red river about three miles north of the inter- 
national boundary. In Clow the channel is lost for several miles in a 
wide swamp. 



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KOOCHICHING COUNTY 

This county, established December 19, 1906, bears the Cree name 
applied by the Ojibways to Rainy lake, and also to the Rainy river and to 
its great falls and rapids at International Falls. It is translated by Rev. 
J. A. Gilfillan as Neighbor lake and river, or, under another interpretation, 
a lake and river somewhere. He remarked that this word is of difficult 
or uncertain meaning, and that, although in common Ojibway use, it does 
not strictly belong to that language. 

Jacques de Noyon, a French Canadian vojageur, who was probably 
the first white man to traverse any part of the northern boundary of Min- 
nesota, about the year 1688, found this name used in the Cree language 
for the Rainy river. As narrated by an official report of the Intendant 
Begon, written at Quebec, November 12, 1716, published in the Margry 
Papers (vol. VI, pages 49S-8), DeNoyon, about twenty-eight years pre- 
vious to that date, had set out from Lake Superior by the canoe route of 
the Karainistiquia river, under the guidance of a party of Assiniboine 
Indians, in the hope of coming to the Sea of the West. He passed 
through Rainy lake, called the Lake of the Crees, and wintered on its 
outflowing river, the Takamaniouen, "otherwise called Ouchichiq by the 
Crees," evidently the Koochiching or Rainy river and falls, from which 
this county is named. 

Another early narrative of travel, 1740-42, by a French and Ojibway 
half-breed named Joseph la France, containing a description of the Rainy 
lake and river, is given in a book published by Arthur Dobbs in London 
in 1744, entitled "An Account of the Countries adjoining to Hudson's 
Bay." La France passed through Rainy lake in the later part of April 
and early May, 1740, and staid ten days at the Koochiching falls on the 
Rainy river near the outlet of this lake. For the purpose of fishing, the 
Moose band of Ojibways had "two great Villages, one on the North 
Side, and the other on the South Side of the Fall," being respectively on 
or near the sites of Fort Frances and International Falls. The narra- 
tive tells the origin of the French name, Lac de la Pluie (Lake of the 
Rain), which in English is Rainy lake, that it "is so called from a per- 
pendicular Water-fall, by which the Water falls into a River South-west 
of it, which raises a Mist-like Rain." This refers to the outflowing 
Rainy river, in its formerly mist-covered falls, since 1908 dammed and 
supplying water-power in the city of International Falls for the largest 
paper-making mills in the world. 

The original meanings of Ouchichiq (for Koochiching,) the Cree 
name of Rainy river two hundred years ago, and Takamaniouen, vari- 
ously spelled, an equally ancient Indian name of the Rainy river and lake. 



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282 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

are uncertain ; but it may be true that one or both gave in translation the 
French and English names, which refer to the mists of the falls, resemb- 
ling rain. 

Takamaniouen, as written by Begon in 1716, placed in another spelling 
on the map drawn by Ochagach for Verendrye in 1728, was received 
from the Assiniboines. It is thought by Horace V. Winchell and U. S. 
Grant (Geology of Minnesota, vol. IV, p. 192), that this name was trans- 
lated to 'Lac de la Pluie. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information for this county was gathered from Louis A. Ogaard, 
county surveyor, during a visit at International Falls, the county seat, in 
September, 1909; and from L. H. Slocum, county auditor, during a second 
visit there in August, 1916. 

Baldus is a recently organized township, probably named for a pioneer 
settler. 

Bannock township received thds Gaelic name from Scotland by vote 
of its bachelor settlers, for their bannock bread, "in shape flat and round- 
ish, . . . baked on an iron plate or griddle." 

Bear River township is crossed by a little river of this name, flowing 
north to the Big fork. 

Beaveb township had formerly many beaver dams on its Beaver brook, 
a tributary of the Little fork 

Big Falls township includes the railway village of this name near its 
northeast corner, at the Grand falls of the Big fork. Its north side 
adjoins Grand Falls township. 

Bhidgie township was named for a girl, Bridgie Moore, the first white 
child born there. 

Caldwell township and the Caldwell brook, flowing to the Big fork, 
were named for an early pioneer. 

CiNGMARS township was named for E, F. Cingmars, a French settler 
there, who removed to the west. 

Cross River township was named for this small stream, flowing north- 
eastward through it to the Little fork. 

Dentavbow township uniquely honors three of its homestead farmers, 
named Densmore, Taylor, and Bowman, each represented by a syllable in 
the name. 

Dinner Creek township is crossed by a creek so named, where timber 
cruisers and estimators had a meeting place for dinner, tributary north- 
westward to the Sturgeon river. 

Engelwood township received its name in compliment to its numerous 
settlers named Engelking, who came from the vicinity of Fort Ridgely, 
Nicollet county. 

Eeicsburo, a railway village on the Rat Root river, was named in 
honor of the late Eric Franson, of International Falls, a real estate 
dealer, by whom it was platted. 



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KOOCHICHING COUNTY 283 

EvEROREEN township has a general forest of the evergreen trees, in- 
cluding black and white spruce, balsam fir, arbor vitae or white cedar, 
and our three species of pines. 

Fblbman a township organized in 1916 is named for one of its'tirst 



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steader on the site of the villj^e of Little Fork in this township. He 
from Northfield, Minn.; founded the first newspaper of Koochichi 
{now International Falls) ; is editor of the Little Fork Time 

Kltne township, recently organized, was named for a pioneer settler. 

Koochiching township, like the county, took this name from the fal!s 
of Rainy river. 



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284 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

LiNDFOED township was named in honor of L. A. Lindwall, a Swedish 
farmer beside the Big fork in section 13, wlio also owned a store and 
was the Lindford postmaster. 

Little Fork, the railway village of Jameson, is named for its location 
on the Little fork of the Rainy river. 

MANiTOtJ received its Ojibway name, meaning a spirit, from the Mani- 
tou rapids of Rainy river, which forms the north boundary of this town- 
ship. The river falls about three feet in these rapids, "a short pitch over 
solid rock on the bottom and in both banks." 

Meaiww Brook township has a small stream of this name, tributary to 
the Bear river. 

Medikg township was named for Paul Meding, an early German farm- 

MizpAH, the name of a railway village in Engelwood, is the Hebrew 
word for a watchtower. It is used as a parting salutation, meaning "The 
Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another" 
(Genesis, xxxi, 49). 

MuHPHv township was named in honor of an Irish pioneer, whose 
homestead farm here nearly adjoined the Rainy river. 

Net Lake township and Net River township border on the Bois Fort 
or Net Lake Indian Reservation, which is more fully noticed, with the 
origin of these names, at the end of this chapter, 

NoRDEisf township and its earlier Norden post office were named for 
Norwegian settlers. 

NORTHOME, a railway village near the southwest corner of the county, 
was named North Home by Harris Richardson, of St. Paul, who with 
others platted this village. The name was clianged to its present form 
by request of the U, S. Post Oflice Department. 

Pelland, a hamlet at tile mouth of the Little fork, was named for 
Joseph Pelland, a French farmer, who was its postmaster. 

Pine Top township was named for an exceptionally tall white pine, 
which had at its top a peculiar cluster of small branches. 

Plum Cheek township has a little stream so named for its wild plum 

"Rainy Lake Crrv" was a gold mining station, during a few years, at 
the east side of the strait between Rainy lake and Black bay (also called 
Rat Root lake). A stamp mill was built there in 1894 for crushing the 
ore mined on the southwest end of Dryweed island, less than a mile dis- 
tant; but the work failed to repay its expenses, and about fifteen years 
later the proposed city site was abandoned. 

Ranier is a village of the Duluth, Winnipeg and Pacific railway at the 
mouth of Rainy lake, named by officers of this railway. 

Rapid Rivm township contains the sources of the East fork of the 
river so named, flowing thence north to the Rapid and Rainy rivers. 

Rat Root township is crossed by the circuitous course of the river so 
named, tributary to Rat Root lake, which also is very commonly called 



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KOOCHICHING COUNTY 



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R. f h p m d f Edw R.L ,fG dRpd,h 

was a land surveyor and timber cruiser, often tra\ ■'•ng this region. 

Reedy township commemorates David Reedy, its . -ettler, an immi- 
grant from Ireland, who took a land claim at the west ; of the mouth. 
of the Big fork. 

Saitlt township received its name, the French word for a leap or 
jump, from the Long Sault rapids of Rainy river, which is its north 
boundary. The rapids are about a mile long, falling about seven feet. 
Scarlett and Steffes townships were named in honor of pioneers. 
Sturgeon River township is traversed in its south part by this river, 
flowing east fo the Big fork. The name, probably translated from the 
Ojibways, refers to the ascent of the lake or rock sturgeon to this stream. 
SUMMERViLLE township was named by vote of its people. There are 
villages or townships of this name in Pennsylvania, North and South 
Carolina, Georgia, and other states of the Union, and also in Nova Scotia 
and Ontario. 

Wakren township, organized in 1916, has a name that is borne by 
counties in fourteen states, and by townships, villages and cities in twenty- 
four states, a large majority being in commemoration of Joseph Warren, 
who fell in the battle of Bunker Hill. 

Watrous township was named for Charles B. Watrous, from Pennsyl- 
vania, who was a farmer here and owned a large sawmill on the Rainy 
river near the east line of this township. 

White Birch township has an abundance of the paper or canoe bircli, 
used by the Indians fo make their birch bark canoes. 

Wicker township was named for Harry Wicker, a homesteader in its 
sections 10 and 11, on the Big fork. 

WiLDWooD township received this name in the petition of its people 
for organization, 

Williams lownship was named in honor of James Williams, well 
known for his operating a portable sawmill, whose homestead farm on tfie 
Rainy river is in sections 6 and 7, at the northwest corner of this town- 
ship and of the county. 



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286 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Lakes and Streams, 

Foregoing pages have sufficiently noted the names of the Rainy lake 
and river, the Koochiching or International falls, the Big and Little forks 
of Rainy river, Bear river, Beaver brook, Caldwell brook, Cross river, 
Dinner creek, the Grand falls of the Big fork, the Manitou and Long 
Sault rapids of Rainy river. Meadow brook, Plum creek, the East fork 
of Rapid river, the Rat Root river and lake (this lake, united to Rainy 
lake by a strait, being also named Black bay), and the Sturgeon river. 

Names of islands, bays, and points of the part of Rainy lake belonging 
to this county, in their order from east to west, are Dryweed island before 
mentioned for its gold mining, Sha Sha point and Black bay. Grindstone 
island. Gi'assy island and Grassy narrows separating it from the south 
shore. Red Sucker island, Jackfish island and bay. Stop island, Kingston 
island, and Sand bay and Pither's point at the mouth of the lake. 

The Big fork is known by the Ojibways as Bowstring river, from its 
source in the large Bowstring lake, which is translated from the name 
Atchabani or Busatchabani, given by them to the lake and its outflowing 
stream, before noticed in the chapter for Itasca -county. 

The Little fork bears a peculiarly descriptive Ojibway name, recorded 
by Gilfilfan as Ningtawonani zibi, "the river separating canoe routes," 
which name is also applied, with a slight change, to the Net river. In the 
tiiought of these Indians, expressed by the name, canoe voyageurs ascend- 
ing the Little fork may go forward to its source or may turn aside and go 
up Net river, having thus the choice of separate routes. 

The Ojibway name of Net lake was written Asubikone by GilfiUan, 
meaning "taken or entangled in the net." Its origin, as told by the Bois 
Fort Ojjbways, is presented in the notice of their reservation. 

Only a few other names of streams and lakes in this county remaiD 
to be listed. 

South of Net lake, Prairie creek and Willow creek flow into the 
Little fork from the east ; Reilly creek is a small eastern tributary of the 
Big fork, about ten miles south of Big Falls ; Black river, named for its 
peat-stained water, joins Rainy river about three miles west of the Big 
fork; Tamarack river flows from Gemmell northwestward to the north 
part of Red lake; and the headstream of Battle river, (formerly mapped 
here as Armstrong creek), tributary to the south part of that lake, crosses 
Bridgie township, in the southwest corner of this county. 

Among the few and little lakes, limited to tiie south edge of the county 
above the highest shoreline of Lake Agassiz, only Bartlett lake, at North- 
ome, and Battle lake, through which the Battle river flows, are named on 



Bois FoBT OR Net Lake Indian Reservation. 
This small Ojibway reservation, comprising the whole or parts of nine 
surveyed townships and inclosing Net lake, lies in Koochiching and St. 



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KOOCHICHING COUNTY 287 

Louis counties. By a census in 1909 the number of the Bois Fort band 
was 641. They call themselves Sugwaundugah wininewug, meaning "Men 
of the thick fir woods ;" but the early French traders named them Bois 
Forts, "Hard Wood Indians." 

In the treaty at Washington, April 7, 1866, providing this reservation, 
the name given to Net lake by the Ojibways was spelled As-sab-a-co-na. 
Albert B. Reagan, who was the United States agent here in 1909-14, writes 
the traditional origin of this name, received as a myth of the Bois Fort 
medicine men. The Ojibways, coming first by the route of Vermilion and 
Pelican lakes, are said to have found on the little island of Net lake many 
strange beasts, "half sea-Hon and half fish," who fled westward by swim- 
ming and wading thjugh the shallow and mostly rice-filied lake. "On 
coming to -the island the canoemen paddled around it, and by the track of 
the muddied water pursued the beasts aLro^s the lake and up a creek 
till they found where the earth had swallowed them, as if they had been 
caught jn a net." The mvth is thought to refer to the flight and escape 
of a party of their enemie'! the Sioux whom the Ojibways by many raids 
and battles drove awa} from the wooded north part of Minnesota. 

The northeast side of t! is island which is named Picture island by 
the white people but Drum island b> the Ojibways, has a smoothly 
glaciated rock surface as described by Reagan, "covered with crudely 
made pictngraphs of human bemgs dance scenes, and outlines or the 
animal gods worshipped by the men making the pictures. . . . Ihe draw- 
ings seem to be similar to those at Pipestone, Minnesota, which are 
known to be Siouan Furthermore, the Ojibways say that their people 
did not make the rock pictures." 

COUTCHICHING RoCK FORMATION. 
Reports on the geology of the parts of Canada and Minnesota sur- 
rounding Rainy lake, published in 1889-1901, give the name Coutchidiing 
to a large series of Archaean mica schists, outcropping in this county on 
Rainy lake, around Black bay, and southward on the Little and Big forks 
and at and near Net lake. (Geology of Minnesota, Final Report, vol. 
IV, 1899, chapter VIII, pages 166-211, with maps and sections; vol. VI, 
1901, plate LXV.) This name is a variant form of the Cree and Ojib- 
way name of Rainy lake and river, which is applied to this county and a 
township, the pronunciation in the two forms being alike. 



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LAC QUI PARLE COUNTY 

This county was established March 6, 18?1. Nine years earlier a county 
bearing this name, but of entirely different area, situated north of the 
Minnesota river, had been authorized by a -legislative act, February 20, 
1862, but it was not ratified by the people. This French name, meaning 
"the Lake that Talks," is translated from the Dakota or Sioux name, 
Mde lyedan {mde, lake; iye, speaks; dan, a diminutive suffix), applied 
to the adjacent lake, which is an expansion of the Minnesota river. The 
lake, nearly ten miles long with a maximum width of one mile and a 
maximum depth of twelve feet, owes its existence to the deposition of 
alluvium from the Lac qui Parle river, which enters the Minnesota valley 
near the foot of the lake. Its name most probably was suggested to the 
Indians by echoes thrown back from its bordering bluffs. Prof. Andrew 
W. Williamson wrote: "It is very uncertain how it received the name; 
one tradition says from an echo on its shores, but it is doubtful if any 
such existed; another tradition is that when the Dakotas first came to the 
lake voices were heard, but they found no speakers; some think the word 
has changed its form." The Q«* Appelle river in Saskatchewan, also a 
French translation of its Indian name, having nearly the same significance, 
"the River that Calls," is similarly inclosed by somewhat high bluffs, 
likely to reply to a loud speaker by echoes. 

Rev. Moses N. Adams, who during our territorial period resided aS a 
missionary at Lac qui Parle, told of a very remarkable creaking, groan- -" 
ing, and whistling of the ice on the lake in winter and spring, due to 
fluctuations of the water level allowing the ice to rise and fall, grating 
upon the abundant boulders of the shores. At the same time these 
strange sounds are echoed and reverberate from the inclosing bluffs. To 
these "voices" he ascribed the Dakota and French name. 

.In the History of the county (1916, page 99), a different explanation 
is offered, "that at times when the wind was from the right quarter the 
breaking of waves against the stones on the shore gave off a distinct 
musical note, or sound, which accounted for the giving of the name to 
the lake by the early voyageurs." 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins and meanings of these names has been gath- 
ered from "History of the Minnesota Valley" (1882, 1016 pages), in which 
pages 937-9SS relate to this county; "History of Chippewa and Lac qui 
Parle Counties" (1916, two volumes, 605 and 821 pages), edited by Lycur- 
gus R. Moyer and Hon. Ole G. Dale; and from interviews with these 



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LAC QUI PARLE COUNTY 289 

editors and Hon. J. F. Rosenwald, of Madison, the county seat, during a 
visit there in July, 1916. 

Agassiz township, settled in 1870, organized April 12, 1887, was named 
for the Glacial Lake Agassiz, in the basin of the Red river and of I^ke 
Winnipeg, which outflowed by the River Wa.rren along the Minnesota 
valley at the north side of this township. Jean Louis Rudolphe Agassiz, 
in whose honor that ancient lake received its name, was born in Motier, 
Switzerland, May 28, 1807, and died in Cambridge, Mass., December 
14, 1873. His observations of the Swiss glaciers and his prindpal writings 
concerning them and the glacial origin of the drift were during the years 
1836 to 1846. In the autumn of 1846 Agassiz came to the United States, 
and the remainder of his life was mostly spent here in zoological researches 
and in teaching in Harvard College, where he founded the Museum of 
Comparative Zoology. 

Arena, a Latin word meaning sand, is the name of a township settled 
in 1878, organized January 3, 1880. Its earliest pioneers came from south- 
ern Wisconsin, where this name was earlier given to a township and vil- 
lage on the Wisconsin river in Iowa county. 

Augusta township, organized February 5, 1880, was named for Augus- 
ta in Eau Claire county, Wisconsin, the former home of its first settlers, 
a party of eleven families, who came in April, 1879. 

Baxter township, settled in the summer of 1870 and organized Sep- 
tember 30, 1871, was named in honor of Hiram A. Baxter, at whose 
home the township meeting for organization was held. 

Bellingham, a Great Northern railway village, platted September 12, 
1887, was named for Robert Bellingham, one of the original owners of its 
site, who came from Dane county, Wisconsin. 

Boyd, a railway village in Ten Mile Lake township, platted in 1884 
and incorporated in 1893, was named by officers of the Minneapolis and 
St. Louis railway company. 

Camp Release- township, first settled in 1868, organized April 5, 1871, 
has the site of Camp Release, marked by a monument, where the captives . 
taken by the Sioux in the outbreak of 1862 were surrendered on Sep- 
tember 26 to Genera! Sibley. 

Cebro Gokdo township, settled in the spring of 1868, organized April 
7, 1871, received this Spanish name, meaning "Big Mountain," in accord- 
ance with the suggestion of Colonel Samuel McPhail, who participated 
in the battle of Cerro Gordo in the Mexican war, April 18, 1847, 

Dawson, a railway city near the center oi Riverside township, platted 
in 1884, incorporated as a village in 1885 and as a city in 1911, was named 
in honor of William Dawson, a banker of St. Paul, who was one of the 
proprietors of its site. He was born in County Cavan, Ireland, October 
1, 1825; came to America in 1846; settled in St Paul in 1861, was its 
mayor, 1878-81, and died there February 19, 1901. 

Freeland was settled in 1877 and organized in March, 1880. The peti- 
tioners at first requested that the name Freedom be given to the new town- 



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290 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

ship, in compliment to J. P. Free, one of its pioneers; but this was chang- 
ed, because another township of the state was earlier so named. 

Garfield township, settled in 1873, organized January 24, 1881, was 
named in honor of James Abram Garfield, President of the United States. 
He was born at Orange, Ohio, November 19, 1831 ; was an instructor and 
later president of Hiram College, Ohio, 1856-61; served in the civil war, 
and was promoted major general in 1863; was a member of Congress 
from Ohio, 1863-1880; was elected President in 1880, and was inaugurated 
March 4, 1881; was shot at Washington by Guiteau, July 2, and died at 
Elberon, N. J., September 19, 1881. 

Hamlin township, settled in April, 1874, and organized September 10, 
1879, commemorates its first settler, Jo'hn R. Hamlin, who died in 1876. 
Hantho township, organized NovenJier 4, 1878, was also named for its 
first settler, Halvor H. Hantho, an immigrant from Norway, who took a 
homestead on section 15 in 1872. Later in the same year his brothers, 
Nels and Ole, located on section 13. 

Hayoenville, a railway station in section 20, Arena, platted October 
10, 1910, was named in honor of rferbert L. Hayden, owner of the site. 
He was born in Onondaga county, N. Y., March 23, 1850; and died in 
Madison, Minn., November 20, 1911. He came to Minnesota in 1875; 
settled at Lac qui Parle in 1878; was admitted to practice law, 1881; re- 
moved to Madison in 1884, was secretary and treasurer of the towasite 
company, and engaged in banking and farming; was county attorney, 
1891-2 and 189S-6. 

Lac qui Pam-e township, first settled by homesteaders in 1868, organ- 
ized January 12, 1873, took its name, like the county, from the lake on its 
northern boundary Its village was the county seat until May, 1889, when 
the county offices were permanently located in Madison. 

Lake Sbohs township, settled in 1874, organized March 11, !879, re- 
ceived this name because it borders on Marsh lake, four miles long, 
through which the Minnesota river flows, a body of shallow water, or 
more generally in the summer a grassy marsh. 

LnuisBURO. a Great Northern railway village, platted September 12, 
1887, was named by officers of that railway company, 

Madison township, first settled in 1877, organized in October, 1879, 
was named on the suggestion of C. P. Moe, "in memory of his former 
home at Madison, Wisconsin." Its railway village, which became the 
county seat in 1889, was platted in October, 1884, was incorporated in 
1886, and adopted its city charter March 12, 1902. 

Manfred township, settled in 1876, was organized March 11, 1879, 
being then named Custer, in honor of General George A. Custer (b. 1839, 
d. 187fi). The name was changed to Manfred in 1884. for the principal 
character in a wild and weird dramatic poem by Byron, having its scenes 
in the Alps of Switzerland. 

Marietta, a railway village in Augusta, platted in 1884 and incorpo- 
rated in 1899, was named by oificers of the Minneapolis and St. Louis rail- 



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LAC QUI PARLE COUNTY 291 

way company. This name is borne by cities in Ohio and Georgia, and by 
villages in eleven otlier states. Pioneers from Marietta, Ohio, had settled 

Maxwell township, settled in 18?I and organized in 1878, was named 
in honor of Joseph Henry Maxwell, one of its earliest pioneers. He was 
born in West Virginia, March 5, 1840; servecl in a West Virginia regiment 
during the civil war; came to Minnesota in 1871, taking a homestead claim 
in this township; died in Minneapolis, January 27, 1916. 

Mehurin township, organized Octc*er 14, 1879, was named in honor 
of hs first homesteader, Liicretia S. Mehurin, and her father, Amasa 
Mehurin, who each came to this township in 1877. He was born in Rut- 
land county, Vermont, June 28. 1808; lived in Iowa twenty-one years, 
1833-54, and later in Freeborn county, Minn. ; came to Lac qui Parle county 
in 1873, being the first settler in Garfield. 

Nassau, a Great Northern railway village in the west edge of this 
county, was platted in December, 1893, This name, received from Ger- 
many, is borne by counties of New York and Florida. 

Peery township was settled in 1878 and organized in 1880, Tts name 
is borne by counties of ten states of our Union, and by townships and 
villages or cities in nineteen states, mostly in honor of Oliver Hazard 
Perry (b. 1785, d. 1819), victor in the celebrated battle of Lake Erie, 
September 10, 1813. Some of the first settlers here had come from a 
township of this name in Dane county, Wisconsin. 

Peovipence township, settled in 1877, organized October 31, 187S, re- 
ceived its name from the large city and capital of Rhode Island, founded 
by Roger Williams in 1636. Villages and townships in twelve other 
states also bear this name. 

Riverside, settled in 1868 and organized September 21, 1872, took its 
name from Lac qui Parle river, which traverses this township, being 
formed here by the union of its West and East branches. 

Ten Mile Lake township, first settled in 1876, organized November 
4, 1878, was named for its former lake, now drained, which was ten miles 
distant from the Lac qui Parle mission and trading post. The lake out- 
flowed by Three Mile creek, so named because it joins Lac qui Parle 
river about three miles south of the mission site. 

Walter township, settled in 1878 and organized October 18, 1884, was 
named in honor of Henry Walter, who was its first settler, served as a 
county commissioner, and after living here about thirty years removed 
to the state of Washington and died there. 

Yellow Bank township, organized January 28, 1878, received the name 
of Yellow Bank river, referring to the yellowish glacial drift seen in its 
newly eroded bluffs. This stream, having its sources on the high Coteau 
^es Prairies, was called by Keating the Spirit Mountain creek, trans- 
lated from its Sioux name, in the narrative and map of Long's expedi- 
tion in 1823. It is Yellow Earth river on the map of Minnesota published 
in 1860. 



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292 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Lakes and Streams. 

Keating- mapped Lac qui Parle river as Beaver creek, adopting this 
name from tlie fur traders. His narrative adds tliat the Sioux called it 
Watapan intapa, 'the river at the head," because they considered Lac qui 
Parle as the head of the Minnesota river, probably referring rather to 
the limit of favorable canoe travel during the usually low stage of water 
in the summer. Its name on Nicollet's map, published in 1843, is Intpah 
river; and this is repeated on maps of Minnesota in I8S0 and 1860. 

Canby or Lazarus creek, which flows past Canby in Yellow Medicine 
county, crosses several sections in Freeland and Providence, thence being 
tributary southeastward to the East branch of the Lac qui Parle river; 
and Cobb or Florida creek, from sources in Florida township. Yellow 
Medicine county, flows north to the West branch. 

Salt lake, also called Rosabel lake, is crossed by the state boundary at 
the west side of sections 5 and 8, Mehurin. 

Emily creek, in Hantho township, flows to Lac qui Parle. 

Yellow Bank river has South and North forks. 

Whetstone river flows from South Dakota through the northmost 
comer of this county, being tributary to the Minnesota at Ortonville. It 
is a translation of the Sioux name, given as Izuzah river by Nicollet. 

Antelope Hills and Moraines. 

Through the west border of this county runs a narrow belt of low 
morainic bills, knolls, and irregular short ridges. In Freeland the most 
prominent of these glacial drift accumulations are named the Antelope 
hills. Northward in Mehurin and Augusta the belt is called Stony Ridge, 
one of its knolls or hillocks at the north side of tiie West branch of Lac 
qui Parle river being styled Mt. Wickham. Farther north it is known as 
Yellow Bank hills, cut through by the river of that name. 

It is a part of the Antelope or Third moraine of the continental ice- 
sheet, in the series of twelve mapped in Minnesota. At its west side in 
this county a wider tract of lowlands is known as the Antelope Valley, 
named, like this moraine, for their once frequent antelope herds. 

The only American species of these graceful deerlike animals is 
Antilocapra americana, the prong-horn antelope, proverbially timid and 
fleet in escape from pursuers. Prof, Qarence L. Herrick wrote of their 
geographic range as follows, in his "Mammals of Minnesota," published 
in 1892. "The habitat is limited to the temperate parts of North America 
west of the Mississippi river. Formerly their range included all of the 
territory between the tropics and about fifty-four north latitude and from 
the Mississippi to the coast, except in the wooded and mountainous por- 
tions. At the. present time they are restricted to the less accessible and 
arid regions between the Missouri river and the Mountains and south- 
ward. Southwestern Minnesota once furnished them congenial pastur- 
age, but they have long since retired beyond the Missouri." 



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LAKE COUNTY 

This county, established March I, 1856, received its name from its 
being bounded on the southeast by Lake Superior, which the Ojibways 
call "Kitchigumi, meaning great water," as spelled by Gilfillan, or "Gitche 
Gumee, tlie Big- Sea- Water," of Longfellow in "The Song of Hiawatha." 
Its very early French name, Lac Siiperieur, used by Marquette, Henne- 
pin, and Franquelin, denotes its situation as the highest in the series of 
five great lakes tributary to the St. Lawrence river, which are named 
collectively the Laurentian lakes. This largest body of fresh water in 
the world has a mean level 602 feet above the sea, and a maximum 
depth of 1,026 feet. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of ongms and mean ngs of the geographic names was 
gathered! from John P Paulson counts auditor and A E HolHday, 
assistant superintendent of the Duluth and Iron Range railroad, each be- 
ing interviewed dun g a ^is t at Two Harbors tl e county seat in August, 
1916 

4.LGER i railroad tation and junction nine mile' north of Two Har- 
bors was named for Hon Russell A Mger senior member of a lumber- 
ing firm in Sagnaw Mich formerly owning much p ne t mber in this 
countj and large sawmills in Duluth He was born in Med na county, 
Ohio, February 27, 1836; served m the Union array during the civil war, 
and was breveted major general in 186S; was governor of Michigan, 1885- 
87; was secretary of war, 1897-9, and United States senator from Michi- 
gan, 1902-07; and died in Washington, D. C, January 24, 1907. 

Beaver Bay township, the first organized in this county, before 
1885, received its name from Beaver Bay village, platted in 1856 by 
Thomas Clark, on the west side of the small bay bearing this name, 
where the Beaver river flows into Lake Superior. The Ojibway name 
of this bay is noted by Gilfillan and Verwyst alike, "Ga-gijikensikag, the 
place of little cedars." The village was the first county seat until 1888, 
when it was succeeded by Two Harbors. 

Britton, a railroad junction eight miles northwest of Two Harbors, 
was named for a superintendent of logging in its vicinity. 

CsAMER township, organized July 14, 1913, and its railway village, 
were named in honor of J. N, Cramer, a homesteader and later a 
merchant in the village, who removed to Pennsylvania. 

Crystal Bay township, organized April 26, 1904, received this name 
from a very little bay of Lake Superior, having such crystalline rocks as 
were formerly worked at two localities farther southwest on the lake 



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294 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

shore in this county to supply emery, a variety of corundum, used for 
grinding and polishing. 

Dkummond, a railroad station twelve miles northwest of Two Har- 
bors, was named for the owner of adjacent logging camps. 

Fall Lake township, organized April 4, 1899, comprising the northern 
quarter of this county, received its name from Fait lake, in the southwest 
part of the towns'hip area. The Ojibways apply the name Kawasachong 
to this lake, meaning mist or foam lake, referring to the mist and spray 
rising from rapids and falls of the Kawishiwi river, which descends 
about ?0 feet in a short distance between Garden lake and Fall lake. 
This aboriginal name of the falls and lake, noted by Prof. N. 11. Win- 
chell (Geology of Minnesota, vol, IV, p. 408), is in origin and meaning 
like the French and English names of Rainy lake and river, and in form 
it is somewhat like Koochiching, their Cree and Ojibway name. 

Finland, a railroad village in Crystal Bay township, was named for 
the native country of many of its settlers, including some whose parents 
came there from Sweden. 

HiGGiNS, a railroad station in Two Harbors township, was named for 
a former owner of an adjacent tract of pine timber. 

Highland, a Duluth and Iron Range railroad station, is near the highest 
land crossed between Lake Superior and the Cloquet river. 

Knife River, a railroad village in the southwest corner of this county, 
incorporated October 2, 1909, is at the mouth of the river of this name, 
which is translated from Mokomani zibi of the Ojibways. 

Larsmost, a railroad station between Knife River and Two Harbors, 
was named for an adjoining settler, who is a farmer and fisherman. 

Lax Lake, a railroad station in Beaver Bay township, and its lake of 
this name, commemorate John Waxlax, a Swedish immigrant from Fin- 
land, whose homestead farm adjoined the lake. 

Little Marais, a small village port of Lake Superior, in Cramer town- 
ship, was named by the early French voyageurs for its little marsh, in 
contrast with the larger marsh of Grand Marais, in Cook county. 

Silver Creek township, organized May 3, 1905, received the name of 
a creek flowing into Lake Superior four miles northeast of Two Harbors, 
translated from the Ojibway name. 

Two Harbors township, organized February 20, 1894, was named after 
the lake port of the Duluth and Iron Range railroad, bearing the same 
name, which was incorporafed as a village March 9, 1888, and as a city 
Fd>ruary 26, 1907. The city lies on two little bays, natural harbors, named 
Agate and Burlington bays, the ore docks being on the western Agate 
bay. Beach sand and gravel here contains frequent pebbles of banded 
chalcedony, called agate. 

Waldo township, organized August 3, 1909, took its name from an 
earlier Duluth and Iron Range railroad station. This is also the name of 
a county in Maine, and of villages and townships in nine other states. 



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LAKE COUNTY 295 

Lakes and Streams. 
Much aid for the following pages has been received from the de- 
scriptions and maps of the Minnesota Geological Survey, which in the 
fourth volume of its Final Report has a long chapter on Lake county 
and three other chapters on its parts of the Vermilion and Mesabi iron 

The coast of Lake Superior in this county has the following islands, 
points, bays, and tributary streams bearing names, in their order from 
southwest to northeast: Knife island and Granite point, near the mouth 
of Knife river; Agate and Burlington bays, before mentioned, at Two 
Harbors ; Burlington point, at the east side of the latter bay, which re- 
ceived its name from a townsite platted on its shore in 1856; Flood bay, 
named for a man who took a land claim there in the same year ; Stewart 
river, where likewise in 1856 John Stewart and others took claims; Silver 
creek, which gave its name to a township ; Encampment river, and an 
island of this name, about a mile and a half farther east, named in Nor- 
wood's geological report, as assistant with Owen, published in 1852; 
Goosd^erry river, a name given on the map of Long's expedition in 1K3, 
noted by Gilfillan as a translation of the Ojibway name; Split Rock river 
and point, named from the rock gorge of the stream near its mouth; Two 
Harbor bay (not to be confounded with the bays at the city of Two Har- 
bors) ; Beaver river and bay, whence the village and township of Beaver 
Bay are named ; the Great Palisades, turretlike rock cliffs, rising verti- 
cally 20O to 300 feet at the lake shore; Baptism river, named Baptist river 
on Long's map; Cathedral bay, bordered by rock towers and pinnacles; 
Crystal bay, source of the name of a township ; an unnamed bay and 
point at Little Marais; Manitou river, retaining its Ojibway name, which 
means a spirit; and Pork bay, in notable contrast with the grandeur and 
awe of some of the preceding names. 

Lakes tributary to Lake Superior include Stewart lake and Twin 
lakes, sources of Stewart river; Highland lake, close west of Highland 
station; Thomas, Christeiisen, Amberger, Clark, Kane, and Spruce lakes, 
mostly named for cruisers selecting tracts of timber, or for lumbermen 
in charge of logging camps ; Bear lake, three miles northwest of Beaver 
Bay; Lax lake (formerly called Sohaff's lake), for which a railroad 
station is named, as before noted ; Nicado, Micmac, and Niplssiquit lakes, 
having aboriginal names ; Moose, Nine Mile, and Echo lakes, outflowing 
south to Manitou river ; Long lake, Shoepack, Crooked, Artlip, and East 
lakes; and, farther north, Harriet lake, Wilson lake and Little Wilson 
lake, Windy lake. Elbow, Lost, and Frear lakes, the last three being 
crossed by the east line of the county. 

On the north, the basin of Rainy lake comprises about three fifths of 
Lake county. Its chief streams, sending their wafers to the series of 
lakes on the international boundary, are Isabella river, Stony and Birch 



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296 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

rivers, and Kawishiwi river. The last is an Ojibway name, meaning, 
as defined by Gilfillan, "the river full of beavers' houses, or, according to 
some, muskrats' houses also." 

The abundant lakes of this northern district include Bellissima or 
Island lake, Parent and Syenite lakes, Lake Isabella, Gull, Bald Eagle, 
and Gabbro lakes, the last being named from the rock formation of its 
shores ; Copeland's lake, Clearwater, Pickerel and Friday lakes ; Green- 
wood lake, named for George C. Greenwood, who was a. hardware 
merchant in Duluth, often called West Greenwood lake, in distinction 
from a lake of this name in Cook county; Sand, Slate, Birch, White Iron, 
Farm, and Garden lakes, the last two noting that the Ojibways had culti- 
vated ground adjoining them; Fall lake, called Kawasachong lake by 
the Ojibways, noticed on a preceding page for the township named from 
it; Boulder lake. Lake Polly, Lake Alice, and Wilder lake; Fraser and 
Thomas lakes, named for John Fraser and Maurice Thomas, who selected 
timber lands and engaged in lumbering near these lakes ; Gabimichigama 
and Agamok lakes, each extending into Cook county; Ogishke Muncie 
lake, somewhat changed from its Ojibway name, meaning a kingfisher, 
spelled ogishkimanissi by Baraga's Dictionary; Cacaquabic or Kekequabic 
lake, translated by Gilfillan as "Hawk-iron lake;" Marble lake, Cherry, 
Currant, Doughnut, Spoon, Pickle, and Plum lakes ; Lake Vira and Ima 
lake, the latter named in honor of the eldest daughter of Prof. N. H, 
Winchel!, the state geologist ; Illusion lake, Jordan, Aiworth, Disappoint- 
ment, and Round lakes ; Ensign lake, named in honor of Josiah D, En- 
sign, of Duluth, judge in this district since 1889; Snowbank lake, a 
translation of its Ojibway name, which means, as Gilfillan defined it, 
"snow blown up in heaps lying about here and there;" Newfound lake. 
Moose, Jasper, Northwestern, and Crab lakes ; Manomiti lake, meaning 
wild rice ; Wood or Wind lake. Pine, Sucker, Oak Point, and Satur- 
day lakes ; Triangle and Urn lakes, whose names were suggested by 
their outlines; Newton, lake, named by Dr. Alexander Winchell in 
honor of his brother, Newton H. Winchell; and, near the northwest 
corner of the county. Horse lake and Jackfish lake. 

Snowbank lake has Boot and Birch islands, the first being named for 
its siiape; and a small lake between Ensign and Snowbank lakes is for 
a like reason named Boot lake. 

During the examination of this region for the Minnesota Geological 
Survey, much care was taken to secure correctly the Ojibway names of 
the streams and lakes. Their translations were commonly used in 
that survey, as also by the earlier explorers and fur traders, govern- 
ment surveyors, and lumbermen. But nearly all the lakes of relatively 
small size lacked aboriginal names, and in many instances they yet 
are unnamed. The need for definite description and location of geo- 
logic observations led frequently to arbitrary adoption of names, where 



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LAKE COUNTY 



297 



none before existing could be ascertained. For example, Dr. Alexan- 
■ der Winehell in 1886 gave to six little lakes on the canoe route between 
Kekequabic and Ogishke Muncie lakes, occurring within that distance 
of less than two miles, the names of the first six letters of the Greek 
alphabet, the series being Alpha, Beta, Gamma, Delta, Epsilon, and 
Zeta lakes. When farmers and other permanent settlers come, new 
names will doubtless replace some that have been thus used or pro- 
posed without local or historical significance. 

The lakes on the north side of this county were surveyed and mapped, 
with full details of their shores and islands, by David Thompson in 
1822-3, for determination of the course of the international boundary, 
following a canoe route that had been long used by the fur traders. 
An excellent description of this route, from Grand Portage to the 
Lake of the Woods, was published in 1801 by Sir Alexander Mackenzie 
in his "General History of the Fur Trade from Canada to the North- 



Cypress or 


Otter Track lake 


dering La 




plentiful ( 




Otter Tn 





kawed sag 




of an ottt 


th 


four time; 


M 


slides wh. 




bank of ! 


m 


of Minne; 


29 


Next V 




lated fron 


m g 


in 1880 w 




rock forn 




flint in h; 




edges; so 




gave nami 


Ki 


ridges." 




The 01 




Alexander 


cJ 8t 


Melon lal 


N 


and Birch 


m 


ward by 1 


g m 


limit of t 




th rough ou 




For thi 


M 


bass wood, 


B B 


ly so calko, : 


»s the natives nam 


Berries." This Ojibway name w 



i the r 



1 this series bor- 



G N 



it the Lake Pa sea u Minac, or Dry 
i spelled Bassimenan by Prof. N. H. 



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298 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Winchell, and Bassemenani by Gilfillan, whose translation of it is "Dried 
blueberry lake." Although the first syllable may have su^ested the 
English name, Basswood, which is a translation from that given by the 
early French voyageurs, the Indians had no reference to the tree, but 
only to their gathering and drying berries here for winter use. 

Adjoining the northwest part of Lake county, the river flowing from 
Basswood lake along the boundary enters Crooked lake, translated from 
its old French name, with reference to its very irregularly crooking and 
branching outlines. 

Hunter's Island. 
Nicollet's map, published in 1843, shows a more northern route of 
canoe travel from Saganaga lake west to Lac la Croix, which follows 
the stream and series of lakes outflowing from Saganaga, whereas the 
international boundary crosses a water divide between Saganaga and 
Cypress or Otter Track lake, thence passing westward along a continuous 
stream and its lakes. The tract between that northern route of water- 
flow and the southern or boundary route, bordering the north side of 
Lake county, is named Hunter's Island by Nicollet's and later maps. It 
is estimated by Dr. U. S. Grant to have an area of about 800 square miles. 
(M. H. S. Collections, vol. VIII, 1898, pages MO.) 

Greenwood Mountain and other Hills. 

This county is traversed from southwest to northeast by the con- 
tinuations of the Vermilion and Mesabi iron ranges, belts of rock for- 
mations more fully noticed in the chapter for St. Louis county, where 
they contain vast deposits of iron ores. These belts are not marked by 
ridges or hills along large parts of their course, and they nowhere attain 
heights worthy to be called mountains. 

The general highland rises about 1,000 feet above Lake Superior, or 
1,600 feet above the sea, within eight or ten miles north from the lake 
shore. Onward this average height, much diversified by valleys, low ridges, 
and hills, reaches nearly to the international boundary, on which Otter 
Track and Crooked lakes are respectively 1,387 feet and 1,245 feet above 
the sea. Names have been given to only a few of the highest hills. 
Though these vary in their altitude to about 500 feet above the adjoin- 
ing lowlands and lakes, they are unduly dignified by being called moun- 
tains and peaks. 

Greenwood mountain is only 145 feet above the lake of this name at 
its north side. 

Disappointment hill, a mile east of the lake so named, has a height 
of 350 feet above it 

Mallmann's peak, named for John Mallmann, employed by the Min- 
nesota Geological Survey, situated close north of the east end of Keke- 
quabic lake, rises steeply to the height of 230 feet. 



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LAKE COUNTY 299 

About two miles southeast from the last are the Twin peaks, and 
nearly two miles farther east is Mount Northrop, named in honor of 
Cyrus Northrop, president of the University of Minnesota from 1884 
to 1911, attaining altitudes about 2,000 feet above the sea, or 500 feet 
above Kekequabic lake. 

Superior National Forest. 
A great part of the north half of Lake county is included in this 
National Forest, which also comprises considerable areas in Cook and 
St. Louis counties. The date of its estabiishment, in 1909, and the steps 
taken by an act of Congress and by a special recommendation from Min- 
nesota, leading to the designation of these lands as a public reservation 
for forestry uses, have been, noted in the chapter for Cook county. 

Glacial Lake Elftman. 
When the continental ice-sheet of the Glacial period was finally 
melting away from this area, its northwardly receding border held tem- 
porarily an ice-dammed lake in the basin of Kawishiwi river, with out- 
flow southward and westward. This ancient lake, first described by 
Arthur H. Elftman, an assistant of the Minnesota Geological Survey, 
was named in bis honor by Prof. N. H. Winchell in the Bulletin of the 
Geolc^ical Society of America (vol. XII, I90I, page 125). "It had an 
area of about 100 square miles at the time of its greatest extent and an 
elevation of about 1,700 feet above the sea." 



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LE SUEUR COUNTY 



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the return \oyage from France, after his 
the green or blue earth, supposed to be an c 
on the Blue Earth river. 

Townships and Villagks. 

Information for these names was gathered from "History of the Min- 
nesota Valle/' {1882, 1016 pages), iiaving pages 47?-532 for this county, 
and "History of Nicollet and Le Sueur Counties" (1916, two volumes, 
544 and 538 pages, edited by Hon, William G. Gresham ; and from Ed- 
ward Solberg, register of deeds, who has made many land surveys 
throughout the county, Frank Moudry, former register of deeds, and 



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LE SUEUR COUNTY 301 

Patrick G. Galagan, former judge of probate, each being interviewed 
during a visit at LeSueur Center, the county seat, in July, 1916. 

Cleveland township, organized in 1858, was named for the city of 
Cleveland, Ohio, several of the first settlers here, in 18S5-6, having 
come from that state. The village, founded and thus named in 1857, 
was the county seat during one year, 187S-6, being succeeded by Le 
Sueur Center. In Ohio this name refers to General Moses Qeaveland 
(b. 1?S4, d. 1806), agent of the Connecticut company that colonized 
the Western Reserve, under whose direction the site of the city named 
in his honor was surveyed in 1796. 

Cordova township, settled in 1856 and organized in 1858, bears the 
name of an ancient city of Spain, renowned for its Moorish antiquities, 
which in the middle ages was "the most splendid seat of the arts, 
sciences, and literature in the world." The village of this township 
was platted -September -28, 1867. 

Derrynane township, organized in 1858, was settled partly hy immi- 
grants from Ireland. Its name was derived from Derrynane Abbey 
beside the little bay of this name on the southwest coast of Ireland. 
It is also borne by a village in the province of Ontario, Canada. 

East Henderson, platted December 22, 1877, and East St, PETEm, 
platted October I, I8S6, are small villages with railway stations at the 
east side of the Minnesota river, opposite to Henderson in Sibley 
county and St. Peter in Nicollet county. 

Elyslan township, organized in 1858, received this name from its 
village which had been platted September 20, 1856, and was incorporated 
in January, 1884, It was adopted from Greek names, Elysium and the 
Elysian Fields, "the dwelling place of the happy souls after death, 
placed by Homer on the western margin of the earth, by Hesiod and 
Pindar in the Isles of the Blessed in the Western Ocean." The village 
adjoins the northeast end of Lake Elysian, called Okaman lake on 
Nicollet's map in 1843, which is crossed by the county line and lies al- 
most wholly in Waseca county. 

Heidelbehc, platted December 4, 1878, is a hamlet four miles south- 
west of New Prague, named by its German people for the city of Heidel- 
berg in Germany, widely known for its great university which was 
founded in 1386. " 

Kasota township, settled in 1851, organized May 11, 1858, took the 
Sioux name of its village, which was platted March 23, 1855, and was 
incorporated in April, 1890. It means, as noted by Prof. A. W. Wil- 
liamson, "clear, or cleared off; the name sometimes applied by the 
Dakotas to the naked ridge or prairie plateau south of the village." 
This Kasota terrace of the valley drift.three miles long from north to 
south and averaging a half mile wide, is about ISO feet above the river 
and 75 feet lower than the general upland. 

Kilkenny township, settled in 1856, was named by its Irish people 
for a city and county of southeastern Ireland. Its village on the Min- 



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302 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

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LE SUEUR COUNTY 303 

and Scott counties. It was named for the ancient city of Prague, the 
capital of Bohemia, from which part of Austria many imnup-'-i.iits came 

Okaman, at the east side of the northern end of Lake Elysian, was 
an early village, platted March 30, 18S7, lying '■ in Waseca county. 

Its site was vacated in 1867 and reverted ti, m uses. The name 
Okaman, supplied by the Sioux, was given to this lake by Nicollet, de- 
rived, according to Williamson, from kokah, heron, man, nests. It thus 
had the same meaning as the Okabena creek and lakes iti Jackson and 
Nobies counties. 

Ottawa township was settled in 1853 and organized in 1858. Its 
village, platted April 4, 1855, was then named Minnewashta, from Sioux 
words meaning water and good, in allusion to its excellent springs. 
Jure 20, 1856, it was surveyed anew and renamed Ottawa, for a tribe 
of the great Algonquian family, nearly related to the Ojibways. Their 
name, originally meaning traders, is given to the Ottawa river and the 
capital of Canada, to cities in Illinois and Kansas, a village in Ohio, and 
a township in Wisconsin. 

Sharon township was settled in 1854 and organized in 1858. Its 
name, derived from the fertile plain of Sharon in Palestine, is borne 
also by villages and townships in nineteen other states of the Union. 

Tyrone township, settled in 1^5-6 and organized in 1858, was named, 
on the suggestion of Irish immigrants, for a county in northern Ire- 
land. New York and Pennsylvania have townships of this name. 

Washinctok, first settled in 1858 and in the same year designated 
as a township, has two large lakes which the government surveyors 
had named in honor of Washington and Jefferson, presidents of the 
United States. 

Watervh-le township, settled in 1855 and organized in 1858, received 
this name from its village platted December 5, 1856, which was incor- 
porated as a village in 1878 and as a city in 1898. It is also the name 
of a city in Maine, and of villages and townships in ten other states. 
The choice of the name had reference chiefly to the adjoining Lakes 
Tetonka and Sakata (Sioux names, used by Nicollet), through which 
the Cannon river flows, and to White Wafer creek, here tributary to 
Lake Sakata. 

Lakes and Streams. 

Lakes Elysian, Washington, Jefferson, Tetonka, and Sakata, Le Sueur 
creek or river, the Little Le Sueur cieek, and White Water creek, are 
noted in the preceding list of townships. 

Other lakes and creeks of this county are as follows, in the order 
of the townships and ranges, from south to north and from east to 

Horseshoe lake is crossed by the east line of Waterville, and Goose 
lake is in its section 2. 



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304 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Elysian has Lake Francis, Ray's lake '(named for George E. Ray, a 
pioneer farmer there), and Lake Tustin (partly drained), at the north 
side of the village; Rice lake, in section 3, named for its wild rice; 
German lake, mostly in sections 4 and S, bordered by farms of German 
settlers ; Sasse lake, in section 10, named for early German homesteaders, 
William and Frederick Sasse; Silver fake, in section 20; Steele lake, on 
the north line of section 22; Fish Jake, in sections 23 and 24; and Round 
lake in sections 29 and 30. 

Kasota is crossed by Qiankaska creek (a Sioux came, used by Nicol- 
let, meaning forest-inclosed), the outlet of Lake Washington; Spring 
creek, about three miles farther north ; and Cherry creek at the north 
end of this township, flowing into the Minnesota river near Ottawa vil- 
lage. Lake Williams or Plaza, and Long lake, each very small, are in 
the southern part of Kasota, and the larger Lake Emily near its center. 
Another Lake Emily is mapped in section 31, Cleveland, only two miles 
southeast from the last. 

Kilkenny has Sunfish, Saber, and Diamond lakes, in its south half, 
which is crossed by Little Cannon creek or river; and its north half 
has Lakes Dora, Mabel (recently drained), and Volney, the last being 
named for Volney J. Brockway, a pioneer farmer in section 31, Mont- 
gomery, at its north side. 

Cordova township has Lake Gorman, named in honor of Willis Ar- 
nold Gorman (b. 1816, d. 18?6), who was governor of Minnesota Ter- 
ritory, 1853-?, and served in the civil war as colonel of the First Min- 
nesota regiment in 1861, and later as a brigadier general ; Sleepy Eye 
lake, in section IS, named for the Dakota or Sioux chief who is also 
commemorated by a lake and village of Brown county; Goose lake, in 
section 28; and Bossuot lake, in sections 29 and 32. 

Scotch lake in Qeveland received its name for pioneers from Scot- 
land; Lake Henry, Decker lake (also called Silver lake), and Savidge 
and Goldsmith lakes, were likewise named for adjacent settlers ; and 
this township also has a little Rice lake in sections 7 and 8, Dog lake in 
sections 32 and 33, and no less than three Mud lakes, in sections 24, 25, 
and 33. 

Montgomery has another Rice lake, named for the wild rice (but 
also called Hunt lake), in section 1; another Mud lake, in section 27; 
Kuzel lake, in section 16 ; Borer lake, in section 19, commemorating 
Felix A. Borer, formerly county auditor; and Green Leaf lake, named 
from the foliage of the surrounding woods, in sections 19, 20, 29, and 30. 

Beside Hockridge lake, in the northeast corner of Lexington, a farm 
claim was taken by Granville Hockridge in October, 1860, and a second 
claim was taken by his brother in 1863 ; Gear lake and Lake Mary ad- 
join Lexington village; and farther south in this township are Tyler 
lake, named for William L, Tyler, who settled there in 1858, and Mud 
lake in sections 24 and 25. 



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LB SUBUR COUNTY 305 

Sharoa has a large Rice lake, shallow in wet seasons and filled with 
wild rice, but only a marsh in the summer, this being the fourth Rice 
lake noted in Le Sueur county. 

In the northwest part of Lanesburg are Graham lake and yet another 
Mud lake, the sixth so named on a recent map of this county ; and in 
its southern part, outflowing east and north into Scott county by Sand 
creek, are Eggert lake, Lake Pepin, named for some reason after the 
large Lake Pepin of the Mississippi river, and Lake Sanborn, the last 
being in honor of Edwin Sanborn, who took a homestead here in April, 
1857. 

In Derrynane are Shea's lake, named for Timothy Shea, an early 
settler whose farm adjoined it, and School lake, in the school section 36. 

Elysian Moraine. 
Le Sueur county is crossed at and near its southern border by a belt 
of low morainic drift hills, ridges, and small knolls, much strewn with 
boulders, occups^ng a width of three to four miles, reaching from Water- 
ville and Elysian northwesterly by Lake Jefferson and the two Lakes 
Emily to the wide Minnesota valley at St. Peter and Traverse des Sioux. 
In Nicollet county this belt continues, but is less clearly developed, 
passing westward by the north side of Swan lake. It is named the Ely- 
sian moraine by the chapters on these counties in the Final Report of the 
Minnesota Geological Survey, being the fifth in a series of twelve mar- 
ginal moraines partly mapped in their courses through this state. 



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LINCOLN COUNTY 

This county, established March 6, 187J, was named in honor of 
Abraham Lincoln, president of the United States during the civil war, who 
was born February 12, 1809, near Hodgenville, Kentucky, and died in 
Washington, April 15, 1865. In his youth and early manhood he was 
a farm laborer, a salesman, a merchant, and a surveyor. He served in 
the Black Hawk war, 18J2; was a member of the Illinois legislature, 
1834-42; began practice of law at Springfield, Illinois, in 1837; was a 
member of Congress, 1847-49; was Republican candidate for United 
States senator .in 1858, and held a series of debates throughout Illinois 
with the Democratic candidate, Stephen A. Douglas, on questions of 
national legislation against slavery; was president from 1861 until his 
death, and was assassinated five days after the surrender oi Lee, 
which had ende<l the war. 

Born of humble but worthy parents in their small log cabin on the 
lonely frontier, Lincoln became the foremost statesman of our Ameri- 
can republic, its preserver in the direful war of secession, emancipator 
of the millions o£ slaves, and his life was crowned by martyrdom for 
the sacred cause of justice, liberty, and law. 

The patriotic legislature of Minnesota in the year 1861 desired to 
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p bl h d 1906 



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LINCOLN COUNTY 307 

Townships and Villages. 

Information was received from Leroy P. Sisson, register of deeds, 
and George Graff, clerk of the court, during a visit at Ivanhoe, the 
county seat, in July, 1916. 

Alta Vista township, meaning "high view," was named by Colonel 
Samuel McPhail, whose home as a farmer during several years was in 
the southeast quarter of its section 12. This area is 300 to 600 feet 
above the Minnesota river, about 30 miles distant to the northeast, in 
which direction it has a very extensive view. 

Asco, a railway village in Lake Stay township, platted in 1900, was 
named by the Chicago and Northwestern railway officials for the ancient 
city of Areola in Italy, the last syllable being omitted to avoid con- 
fusion with a railway station named Areola in Washington county. 

Ash Lake township received the name of its lake in section 17, 
which was bordered by a grove of white ash trees, a species that is 
frequent or common throughout Minnesota, excepting far northward. 

Diamond Lake township was named from its lake of diamond shapf 
in sections 23 and 24, adjoining the north side of Lake Benton. 

Drammen township was named by its Norwegian settlers for the 
seaport, river, and fjord in Norway, bearing this name, about twenty- 
five ntiles southwest of Christiania. 

Hansonville, the most northwestern township and the last organized 
in this county, was named in honor of one of its earliest settlers, John 
Hanson, who was a representative in the state legislature in 1887, Dur- 
ing recent years he has been the historian of the Lincoln county Old 
Settlers Association, 

Hentiricks township and railway village received their name from 
Lake Hendricks, crossed by the state boundary at the west side of this 
township. The lake has this name on the map of Minnesota published 
by Sewall and Iddings in 1860, which shows the boundary line and its 
relation to Lakes Hendricks, Shaokatan, and Benton. Such delineation 
was derived from a survey after the passage in 1857-58 of the acts of 
Congress defining the western limits of Minnesota for its admission as 
a state. The name Hendricks was given to the lake during that survey, 
in honor of Thomas Andrews Hendricks, commissioner of the Gen- 
era! Land Office from 1855 to 1859, who was born near Zanesville, Ohio, 
September 7, 1819, and died in Indianapolis, Ind., November 25, 1885. 
He was a member of Congress from Indiana, 1851-55; United States 
senator, 1863-69; governor of Indiana, 1873-77; and was vice-president 
of the United States in 1885. 

Hope township was named by vote of its settlers. Fourteen other 
states have villages and townships of this auspicious name. 

Ivanhoe village, platted in 1900, was named by officers of the Chi- 
cago and Northwestern railway, for the hero of the novel thus entitled, 
written by Sir Walter Scott. It succeeded Lake Benfon as the county 
seat in 1902. 



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308 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Lake Benton township the first organized in the area of Lincoln 

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Marshfield township received the name of its village, previously platted 
in 1873 in the northeast quarter of section 30, which was the first county 
seat until 1882, being then succeeded by Lake Benton. It was named in 
honor of Charles Marsh and Ira Field, pioneer settlers. The former.who 
came here in 1871, was the owner of its site, and was appointed the first 
auditor of the county in January, 1874. The village site is now farming 
land. 

Royal township was so named, signifying kingly, to express the satis- 
faction and pride and loyalty of its people for their new homes here. 

Shaokatan township has the Sioux name of its Jake, found on an 
early map of this state, before mentioned for Lake Hendricks, published 
January 1, 1860. Its origin and meaning remain to be learned. 



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LINCOLN COUNTY 309 

Tyler, a railway village platted in 1879, was named in honor of C. 
B. Tyler, who was born in Montrose, Pa., September 2, 1835 ; came to 
Minnesota in 1857; was register of the United States land office in New 
Ulm after 1873; owned and edited the New Ulm Herald, 1875-8; removed 
to Tracy in 1880 and later to Marshall, where he engaged in banking. 

Vebdi township was named for the renowtied Italian operatic compos- 
er. Giuseppe Verdi (b. 1813, d. 1901). This name means verdant or 
verdure, descriptive of the greenness of the township, which in all its 
extent is during the spring and summer a far-reaching green prairie. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The preceding pages have noticed Ash and Diamond lakes ; three lakes 
of special geological interest, named Benton, Shaokatan, and Hetldricks, 
which will be again noticed at the end of this chapter ; and Lake Stay, 
which in dry seasons is represented by two lakelets. 

Other lakes bearing names to be listed are Swan lake, a mile south 
of Tyler ; Cottonwood lake, which has been drained, close north of Tyler ; 
Lake Nova or Dead Cooa lake, in the northeast corner of Marshfield; 
Blackman and Rush lakes, in sections 9 and 16 of Diamond Lake town- 
ship; Perch lake in section 17, Royal, and Eagle lake in sections 25 and 
36, which are the only lakes named among the several of that township, 
most of them, however, being marshes or mainly dry in years of deficient 
rainfall; and the Twin lakes, in sections 28 and 29, Hansonvilie. 

The streams of this county are named only as branches of the Red- 
wood, Yellow Medicine, and Lac qui Parle rivers. 

Altamont and Gary Moraines, 
The description and map of Lincoln county in the Final Report of 
the Minnesota Geological Survey (vol. I, 1884, chapter XX, pages 589- 
612) direct attention to its two well developed belts of marginal drift 
hills and short low ridges and knolls, abundantly sprinkled with boulders. 
The western or outer moraine, lying on the crest of the great highland 
called the Gateau des Prairies, extends north -northwestward through the 
southwestern part of the county, past the western ends of Lakes Benton, 
Shaokatan, and Hendricks ; and thence it continues in South Dakota, to 
cross the Chicago and Northwestern railway at Altamont, a dozen miles 
west of the interstate boundary. Parallel with this and about fifteen miles 
distant to the northeast, the similar but broader second moraine passes 
across the northeast part of this county, where its profusion of limestone 
boulders gave the names of Limestone and Marble townships. It crosses 
the same railway at and west of Gary, in the east edlge of South Dakota. 
From these localities, described by the Minnesota reports, these first 
and second marginal moraines of the continental ice-sheet, in a successive 
series of twelve traced partly in this state, were named in 1883 by Prof. 
T. C Chamberlm as the Altamont and Gary moraines. Next north- 



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310 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

eastward, being also parallel with these, is the Antelope or Third moraine, 
also named by hira in 1883, noted in the chapter for Lac qui Parle county. 

The Hole in the Mountain. 
The outer or AlJamont moraine belt, and the thick sheet of till that 
■descends thence westward, are cut in the west part of Lake Benton town- 
ship by a deep channel or valley, which is called, translating the Sioux 
name, the "Hole in the Mountain," The railroad between Lake Benton and 
Verdi village goes south-southwest four miles through this gap, bounded 
on each side by picturesque bluffs. Its depth, wholly in the glacial drift, 
is from ISO to 200 feet below the knolly surface of the moraine, and its 
highest point is about ten feet above Lake Benton, which has its outlet 
eastward into the Redwood river. This valley, from an eighth to a fourth 
of a mile wide, was evidently excavated by a river that flowed from north- 

000 th M 



w La H ca B 

H ca 

La B 

P 
ly overspread all the country northward, rising high above the Gjteau 
des Prairies, streams loiitflowed from its melting border in the courses of 
these channels, at the same time with the accumulation of the Altamont 
moraine. Much glacial drift was borne away by the streams from the 
lower part of the ice in which it had been held, producing hollows when 
that drift was deposited, in which lie the Lakes Benton, Shaokatan, and 
Hendricks, respectively about 10, 15, and 20 feet in depth. The general 
surface of the drift is about 10 feet above these lakes, showing that the 
drift inclosed in the basal part of the ice-sheet adjoining the outermost 
moraine, measured by the action of the glacial rivers and the resulting 
hollows of the three lakes, was equal to a thickness of 20 to 30 feet. 



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LYON COUNTY 

This county, established by two legislative acts, March 6, ]868, and 
March 2, 1869, was named in honor of General Nathaniel Lyon, who was 
bom in Ashford, Conn., July 14, 1818, and was killed in the battle of 
Wilson's Creek, Mo., August 10, J861. He was graduated at the United 
States Military Academy in 1841 ; served in Florida during the later part 
of the Seminole war, 1841-2, and also served in the Mexican war, 1846-7 ; 
was promoted captain in 1851, and was on frontier duty during the 
years 1853-61 in Kansas, Dakota, Minnesota, and Nebraska. At the be- 
ginning of the civil war he took a prominent part in the contest against 
secession in Missouri, rendered efficient aid to the national govemmeat 
as commander of the United States arsenal in St. Louis, and was appointed 
general of the Department of Missouri in June, 1861. 

A series of his letters in I860, in wtiich he advocated the election of 
Lincoln as president, entitled "The Las-t Political Writings of Gen. Nathan- 
iel Lyon," was published in 1861, soon after his death (275 pages, includ- 
ing a memoir of his lite and military services). His biography was more 
fully written by Dr. Ashbel Woodward (360 pages, 1862) ; and his devo- 
tion to the Union, for which he gave his life, is the theme of a volume 
by James Peckham, "Gen. Nathaniel Lyon and Missouri in 1861, a Mono- 
grapb of the Great Rebellion" (447 pages, 1866). He is also commemo- 
rated by the names of counties in Iowa, Kansas, and Nevada. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins of names was gathered from "History of 
the Minnesota Valley" (1882, 1016 pages), having pages 848-882 for this 
county, "History and Description of Lyon County," by C. F. Case, (I8S4, 
98 pages), and "An Illustrated History of Lyon County," by Arthur P. 
Rose (1912, 616 pages) ; and from interviews with Mr. Rose, author of 
the later work, and Richard R. Bumford, former register of deeds, visited 
at Marshall, the county seat, in September, 1916. 

Amihet township, settled in 1868 and organized Mardi 17, 1874, was at 
first called Madison, which was changed in 1879 to the present name, taken 
from its railway village. The name was chosen in honor of Amiretta 
Sykes, wife of M. L. Sykes, vice president of the Chicago and Northwest- 
ern railway company. The first townsite in the area of Lyon county had 
been platted in 1857 about three miles southwest from the site of this vil- 
lage and was named Saratoga, which name was given in 1874 to the rail- 
way village then platted. When the railway was being built, in !8r'2, a 
post office had been established here and named Coburg, in honor of Wil- 



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312 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

liam Cobum, the pioneer merchant and first postmaster. In 1879 the 
name Amiret was chosen, superseding both these names and the former 
township name of Madison. 

Balaton, the railway village of Rock Lake township, platted in July, 
1879, and incorporated in 1892, was named for the large and picturesque 
Lake Balaton in western Hungary. 

Bdrchakd, a railway station in Shelbume, received this name in 1886, 
in honor of H. M. Burchard, a Chicago and Northwestern land agent at 
Marshall 

Clifton township, settled in 1872 and organized October 7, 1876, bears 
a name proposed by Christopher Dillman, which is also borne by villages 
and townships in twenty-one other states. 

Coon Creek township, organized August 4, 1883, has a creek so named 
from Dead Coon lake near its source, in Lincoln county, to which that 
name was given by the early government surveyors because they found a 
dead raccoon there. 

Cottonwood, a Great Northern r^lway village in Lucas township, 
platted in July, 1888, received its name from the adjacent lake, which has 
Cottonwood trees on its shore. 

Custer township, settled in 1868 and organized October 14, 1876, was 
named in honor of George Armstrong Custer, who was bom in Ohio, 
December S, 1839; was graduated at the United States Military Academy 
in 1861 ; served through the civil war ; was brevetted a major general in 
1866; commanded an exploring expedition to the Black Hills in 1874; and 
was killed with all his attacking troops, by the Sioux in Montana, June 
25, 1876. 

DvTiLEV, a railway station in Clifton, platted December 20, 1901, was 
named for Dudley village and township in Massachusetts. 

EiDBVoLD township, first settled in June, 1871, and organized September 
20, 1873, was named by vote of its. Norwegian settlers for a parish in Nor- 
way, noted as the meeting place of the National Assembly in 1814. 

Faieview, settled in June, 1870, organized April 1, 1873, was described 
by Case in 1884, "as its name implies, a beautiful prairie township, which, 
especially in early summer, spreads out a landscape of loveliness nowhere 
else equalled but on the green, rolling prairies, and under the clear atmo- 
sphere of Minnesota." 

Florence, a Great Northern railway village in Shelbume, platted Octo- 
ber 9, 1888, was named for Florence Sherman, daughter of its founder, 

Garvin, a Chicago and Northwestern railway village In Custer, plaited 
April 30, 1886, was at first called Terry and afterward Kent, which was 
changed to the present name in July, 1891, in honor of H. C. Garvin, trav- 
eling freight agent of this railway. 

Ghent, the railway village of Grandview, platted in June, 1878, and 
incorporated May 15, 1899, at first bore the name of the township, biit 
was renamed in September, 1881, for the ancient city of Ghent in Bel- 



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M 8 

I^ AS 



N 
p, 86 

received its name from that of the county, with an added letter which gives 
to it the English form of the name of the ancient and large city of Lyon 

Marshall, the county seat, platted in August. 1872, with the building of 
the Chicago and Northwestern railway, incorporated as a village March 
18, 1876, and as a city February 20, 1901, was named for Governor Mar- 
shall, like Lake Marshall township, in which it is situated. 

MiNNEOTA, a railway village in Eidsvold, platted in 1881, has a Sioux 
name, meaning "much water." Prof. A. W. Williamson wrote of its origin, 
that it is "said to be so named by an early settler on account of an abun- 
dance of water flowing into his well." 



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314 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

MoNKOE township, first settled in 1871, organized January 5, 1874, 
was named by Louis and Ole Rialson, pioneers who came from Monroe, 
the county seat of Green county in southern Wisconsin. Seventeen states 
of the Union have counties of this name, and a larger number have town- 
ships and villages or cities, including eight townships in Pennsylvania, all 
being named in honor of James Monroe (b. 1758, d. 1831), who was the 
fifth president of the United States, 1817-25. 

NoHDLANO township, settled in 1870, organized May 9, 1873, has the 
name of a northern district of Norway, crossed by the Arctic circle. 
Nearly ail its settlers came from that country. 

Rock Lake township, organized October 26, 1875, took its name from 
the lake in its northwest corner, which refers to the abundance of boul- 
ders around the shore, pushed up in some places by the lake ice to form 
a rock wall. 

Russell, a Great Northern village in Lyons, founded in May, 1888, 
and incorporated August 30, 1898, was named for Russell Spicer, son of 
a promoter of the building of this branch railway. 

Shelburne township, settled in 1871, organized September 6, 1879, has 
a name that is borne also by townships and villages in New Hampshire, 
Vermont, and Massachusetts, and by a county and its county seat in Nova 

SODUS township, first settled in the spring of 1871, organized October 
27, 1876, was named for Sodus township and village in Wayne county, N. 
Y., adjoining Sodus bay of Lake Ontario. This name is of Indian origin, 
birt its meaning is uncertain. 

Stanley township, settled in 1867, was organized in March, 1877- 
A city in Wisconsin, villages and post offices in a dozen other states, and 
3 county in South Dakota, bear this name. 

Taunton, a Chicago and Northwestern railway village in Eidsvold, 
platted in April, 1886, and incorporated June 5, 1900, was named by C. 
C. Wheeler, an officer of this railway company, for the city of Taunton 
in Massachusetts. 

Tkacy, a village and junction of the Chicago and Northwestern rail- 
way, platted in 1875, incorporated as a village February 5, 1881, and as a 
city August 3, 1893, was named in honor of John F. Tracy, a former 
president of this railway company. 

Vallers township, organized October 7, 1876, was named by Ole O. 
Brenna, a pioneer settler from Norway. "His desire was to name it 
Valla, a Norwegian word, meaning valley, but because of incorrect spell- 
ing in the petition or illegibility the couftty commissioners made the name 
read Vallers." (History of Lyon County, by Rose, p. 57.) 

Westehheim township, first settled in June, 1871, and organized May 
9, 1876. received this Norwegian name, meaning western home, by vote of 
its people, mostly immigrants from Norway. 



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LYON COUNTY 315 

Lakes and Streams. 

Coon creek, Cottonwood lake, Island lake, Lake Marshall, and Rock 
lake, giving their names to townships, a city, and a village, have been duly 
noticed in the foregoing list. 

Meadow creek is a name given on a recent map to the stream flowing 
from Lake Marshall to the Cottonwood river. 

Three Mle c eek ' a norther tr'butary of the Redwood r' er w'th 
wh h t s nearly paral el and three to five n les d stant alu g all ts 

Munroe has Lake S gel and he si allow or s n et mes dry Tun lakes, 
the former be ng named n honor of General Franz S gel {b 1824 d. 
1902) d St ngu si ed for 1 er ce n the c v 1 war 

The Lake of the H lU often dry n sect o s 20 and 21 C ter. 

Long lake o the south 1 ne of th s townsh p and Lake \a kt n named 
for a di o of the S oux or Dakota people adjo n g Balat outflow 
so thea tward to Lake Shetek and the Des Hones r er 

Black Rush lake, .recently dramed, was m Lyons ; Marguerite or Wood 
lake is in Coon Creek township ; and Goose lake lies about a mile west of 
Island lake. 

Swan lake is on the east side of section 12, Stanley. 

School Grove lake was in the school section 36 of Lucas ; Lady Slipper 
and Lady Shoe lakes were in the south half of this township, having 
species of the Minnesota state flower, commonly known by these names, 
also called moccasin flower ; and Sham lake was in section 3. These 
former lakes, however, have lately been drained. Only Cottonwood 
lake, beside the village named from it, and Lone Tree lake, in sections 5 
and 6, remain in Li t w h'p 

Beitween the lake f '-t 1 y d Lucas, in the northeast corner of this 
county, and the num 1 k b fore mentioned, in its higher south- 

west part, a wide t t t nd g from southeast to northwest through 
its center is destitut f 1 k x epting Lake Marshall, named for a 
governor of this st t nd g ng h s name to the county seat. 



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McLEOD COUNTY 

Established March 1, 1856, this county was named in honor of Martin 
McLeod, a pioneer fur trader of Minnesota, who was born in Montreal, 
August 30, 1813, of Scotch parentage, and there received a good education. 
In 1836 he came to the Northwest, voyaging in an open boat on J^ake 
Superior from its mouth to La Pointe, Wisconsin, and thence walking 
more than six hundred miles to the Pembina settlement on the Red river, 
where he arrived in December. The next March, having set out with two 
companions, young British officers, and Pierre Bottineau as guide, he 
came to the trading post of Joseph R, Brown at Lake Traverse, arriving 
March 21, after a journey of nineteen days and a most perilous experi- 
ence of hunger and cold due to successive blizzards, by one of which the 
two officers perished. Coming forward to Fort Snelling in April, 1837, 
he was afterward during many years engaged as a iur trader for Chou- 
teau and Company, under the direction of General Sibley, being in charge 
of trading posts successively on the St. Croix river, at Traverse des Sioux, 
Big Stone lake, Lac qui Parle, and Yellow Medicine. 

McLeod was a member of the Council in the Territorial legislature, 
1849-53, being president of the Council in 1853. With Colonel John H. 
Stevens and others, lie was one of the founders of Glencoe in 1855. He 
died November 20, 1860, on his farm to which he had removed his family 
in 1849, at Oak Grove, in Bloomington, Hennepin county. He was a 
charter member of the Minnesota Historical Society, and was one of its 
two vice presidents elected at the time of its organization, November 15, 
1849. (The name is pronounced as if spelled McLoud, with English sound 
of the diphthong.) 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins of geographic names has been received from 
an address by R. H. McClelland at the fiftieth anniversary of the found- 
ing of Hutchinson, October 4, 190S ; "History of McLeod County," 862 
pages, 1917, edited by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge and Return I. Holcombe; 
and interviews with Captain Axel H. Reed, Henry L. Simons, and Henry 
Wadsworth, each of Glencoe, the county seat, during a visit there in 
July, 1916. 

AcoMA township was named by Dr. Vincent P. Kennedy, for the In- 
dian pueblo village of Acoma in western New Mexico, about fifty miles 
west of Albuquerque. 

Behgen township was named by its Norwegian settlers, for the large 
city and seaport of Bergen in southwestern Norway. 



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MCLEOD COUNTY 317 

BiSCAY, a railway village in Hassan Valley township, received its name 
from the large Bay of Biscay adjoining Spain and France. 

Brownton, a railway village in Sumter, platted October 15, 1877, in- 
corporated February 12, 1886, was named in honor of Alonzo L, Brown, 
whose farm included this townsite. He was born in Auburn, N. Y., 
November 8, 1838; and died at his home in Brownton, October 11, 1904. 
He came to Minnesota in 1857, settling here ; served in the Fourth Minne- 
sota regiment in the civil war, and became captain in a colored regiment ; 
was author of the History of the Fourth Regiment, Minnesota, 594 pages, 
published in 1892. 

Collins township was named in honor of one of its early settlers. 
This name is borne by a township in New York, and by villages in ten 
other states. 

Glen COE township received the name of its village, founded in June 11, 
1855. It was chosen by Martin McLeod, for whom this county was named, 
and who was a member of the townsite company, in commemoration of the 
historic valley called Glencoe in Scotland, where tlie MacDonaMs were 
massacred in February, 1692. This village was incorporated in 1873 and 
adopted its charter as a city March 4, 1909. From the beginning of the 
county, it has been continuously the county seat. 

Hale township "was named either for an early settler or for John P. 
Hale, of New Hampshire, a distinguished American statesman and the 
Free Soil candidate for president in 1852. It is said that the Hutchin- 
sons and other anti-slavery men of the county induced the county board 
to name the township for the eminent New England Free Soiler." {His- 
tory of this county, page 264.) John Parker Hale was born in Rochester, 
N. H., March 31, 1806; and died in Dover, N. H., November 19, 1873. He 
was a member of Congress from New Hampshire, 1843-45 ; United States 
senator, 1847-53 and 1855-65 ; and was minister to Spain in I86S-69. 

Hassan Valley township, the last organized in this county, is crossed 
by the Hassan river, as it was named on maps of Minnesota in 1860 and 
1869, but on later maps called the South fork of Crow river. This Sioux 
word, hassan, is derived from haza or hah-zah, the huckleberry or blue- 
berry. With another Sioux word, chan, tree, it supplied the name of the 
sugar maple, chanhassan, "the tree of sweet juice." whence came the came 
of Chanhassen township in Carver county, and Hassan township in Hen- 
nepin county. 

Helen township was named in honor of Mrs. Helen Armstrong, its 
first white woman resident, whose husband, J. R. Armstrong, was sheriff 
of the county. 

Hutchinson township took the name of its village, founded November 
19, 18SS, by the brothers, Asa, Judson, and John Hutchinson, with others. 
These brothers were members of the famous family of many singers, born 
in Milford, N. H., who gave concerts of popular and patriotic songs 
throughout the United States after 1841 until the close of the civil war. 



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318 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Hutchinson was incorporated as a village February 9, 1881, and as a 
city in 1904. 

Asa Burnham Hutchinson, youngest of the brothers founding Hutchin- 
son, where he afterward lived, was born March 14, 1823, and died at his 
home here November 35, 1884. Adoniram Judson Joseph Hutchinson, 
commemorated by the name of Judson lake, recently drained, about a mile 
north of this city, was born March 14, 1817, and died in Lynn, Mass., 
^'January 10, 1859. John Wallace Hutchinson, born January 4, 1821, re- 
sided many years in Lynn, Mass., and was author of the "Story of the 
Hutchinsons," two volumes, 495 and 416 pages, published in 1896. 

KoNiSKA, a village platted in 1856 on the South fork of Crow river, 
for utilization of its water-power, has been mainly superseded by the vil- 
lages and cities on railways. 

I^STER PRAIME, a railway village in Bergen, platted in 1886 and incor- 
porated in 1888, was named in honor of John N. Lester and his wife, 
Maria Lester, whose homestead farm included a part of its site. 

Lynk township was named probably , by recommendation of the 
Hutchinson brothers, for the city of Lynn in Mas sadiu setts. 

pENK township, settled largely by Germans from Pennsylvania, was 
named for William Penn, the founder of that state. 

Plato, a railway village of Helen township, bears the nanie of a re- 
nowned Greek philosopher (d. 347 B. C), who was a disciple of Socrates 
and the teacher of Aristotle. This is also the name of small villages in 
New York, Illinois, Kentucky, and Missouri. 

Rich Valley was named on the suggestion of A. B. White, an early 
settler at its village of KonJska, for the fertility of its soil and for the 
South fork of Crow river flowing through this township. 

Round Gkove township was named for the large grove in the north- 
west quarter of its section 6, adjoining the east side of Round Grove 
lake, less than a mile southwest from Stewart village. 

St. George is a hamlet on the South fork of Crow river In the east 
edge of Rich Valley. 

. Silver Lake, a village platted in 1881 and incorporated in 1889, is situ- 
ated at the north side of Silver lake, in sections 33 and 34, Hale, about a 
mile north of its Great Northern railway station. 

Stewart, a village on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railway in 
section 31, Collins, platted in 1878 and incorporated in 1888, was named in 
honor of its founder, Dr. D. A. Stewart, of Winona. 

Sumter township was named for Fort Sumter, built on a small arti- 
ficial island three miles southeast of Charleston, S. C, as a defence of its 
harbor. The bombardment of this fort by the Confederates, April 12 and 
13, 1861, with its evacuation by Major Anderson on April 14, began the 

WiNSTED township, its village, and the adjoining Winsted lake, received 
their name from Winsted in Connecticut, one of the county seats of 



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MCLEOD COUNTY 319 

Litchfield county, the native place of E^i F. Lewis, founder of this village. 
The lake was originally named by him Lake Eleanor, in honor of his wife. 

Lakes and Streams. 
Crow river, belonging to several counties, has been considered in the 
first chapter. McLeod county lies mostly in the basin of its South fork, 
which in early years of the county was called Hassan river, as before 
noted. That name, received from the Sioux and meaning sugar maple, * 
is applied to a township, Hassan Valley; and the next township on this 
stream, also named from it, is Rich Valley. Its chief tributary, flowing 
across the south half of the county, is Buffalo creek, named for abundant - 



buffalo bones found throughot 
brought under cultivation. 

Silver creek, in Bergen township, 
the South fork; and from th 
creeks, the last being the outle B 

High Island creek, crossing 
eastward through Sibley cou 
Island lake, whence came its m 

The list of townships and 
near Hutchinson, Round Gro^ k S 

It is noteworthy that the g 
the course of the South fork H 
east edge of Col!ins, Lake A B 

by High Island creek in Penn 
series, extending seventeen m 
which is water. This series 
three very remarkable series 
scribed and named in its chap 

Lakes ^ddie and Marion were nat 
H 



I when it was first settled and 



i smaller southern tributary of 



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320 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

is named, was born in Switzerlaad, September 28, 183?; served through 
the civil war in the Second Minnesota regiment, rising to the rank of 
captain ; was a merchant in Glencoe, 1865-70, auditor of this county in 1873- 
83, and afterward was cashier of the First National Bank of Glencoe 
during thirty years. 

Sumter, with Lake Addie before noted, has Lake Mary in section 17, 
Clear lake in section 13, and Nobles lake adjoining Sumter village. The 
last was named for tliree brothers, Alexander, Daniel, and Jeremiah 
Nobles, whose homesteads were on or near this lake. 

In Collins, with Lake Marion, are Eagle lake and Lake Whitney, the 
last being named for a pioneer farmer. 

Lake Barber, similarly named, is in sections 26 and 27, Lynn ; but Lake 
Allen, formerly in its sections 22 and 23, and another shallow lake, un- 
named, in section 34, have been drained, 

Winsted has South lake, lying a half mile south of Winsted lake; 
Roach and Higgins lakes, each recently drained, on the east edge of this 
township; Grass lake in sections 3 and 10; Coon lake, crossed fay the 
north line of section 5; and Cloustier lake, in section 31. Crane and Otter 
creeks, in the south half of Winsted, flow southeastward to the South 
fork of Crow river. 

With Silver lake, beside the village of this name in Hale township, 
are Mud lake, on the east, and Swan lake, about a mile distant northwest- 
ward. Another Mud lake, in sections 23, 24, and 26, Hale, has been 
drained, as also the former Bullhead lake, in section 21, named for its 
small species of catfish, called the bullhead or horned pout. 

Hutchinson township has Lake Byron, in section 3, and a group of a 
dozen other lakes in its northern half. Including Bear and Little Bear 
,-Iakes, Emily and Echo lakes. Lakes Harrington, Hook, and Todd, and 
Loughnan's lake, with others unnamed. 

Lewis Harrington, honored by one of these lakes, was born in Greene, 
Ohio, November 22, 1830; was surveyor of the townsite of Hutchinson, 
1855-56, and its first postmaster; was captain of a company defending 
this place against the Sioux in 1862; was a representative in the state legis- 
lature, 1866-68; and died by an accidental fall, August 14, 1884, while en- 
gaged on government surveys in the state of Washington. 

Lake Hook was named for Isaac Hook, who came' in the spring of 
1856 and lived beside this lake many years as a recluse. 

Lake Todd commemorates Daniel S. Todd, a pioneer farmer. 

Walker's lake, two miles northeast from the city of Hutchinson, and 
Judson lake, before noticed, have been drained for use of thetr beds as 
farming land. 

In the north half of Acoma are Cedar and Belle lakes, crossed by the 
north line of the township and county, and Stahl's lake, in sections 10 and 
11, named for Charles StaM, a German farmer, who settled there in June, 
1857. Ferrel lake, formerly in sections 16 and 17, is drained. 



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MAHNOMEN COUNTY 

This county, established December 27, 1906, was previously the east 
part of Norman county. It comprises half the area of the White Earth 
Indian Reservation, which also extends south into Becker county and east 
into Clearwater county, the name of the reservation as noted in the chap- 
ter for Becker county, being derived from White Earth lake. The south 
line of Mahnomen county crosses the north end of this lake, and tts out- 
let, the White Earth river, flows through the south half of this county 
to the Wild Rice river. 

Mahnomen is one of the various spellings of the Ojibway word for 
th w Id F m th 11 t t g m w tl E gl* h m 

th gh t an i t f th W Id R ! k CI w t ty d f 

th W Id R wfi h h t tl 1 k d fl 

Mhm dNm ttthRd Tl mwdh 

b m mm ly w tt M m B g D ti j f th 

Oj b iang g d th p 11 g t w th m f f ra j 

m 11 unty th t t b t ^ ka d St A th y (th t p t 

f M p 1 ) ex t ng f m 1857 t 1869 W tl th th g ph 

t tg th m fhMm tbfid M 

ty d ty M h g d M m w 11 

th t wns f M m F 11 and Af W 

Th ty t f M h unty h th m wl 1 

gu t th 1 > 11 g b f th t t bl 1 d It p 11 

g h d pt d m 1 t M 1 m w tt b L gf 11 

th S g f H w th 
IthDkt S Igg dgttDt ybjRgg 

w M 11 d p F tl t d p b bly m th 1 t p b 

1 h d ra D S f th ^\ Id R I k d g I th 

t ii f J ph 1 F an 1 44 t d th h pt f CI 

w t ty H d b d tl pi t k d t w Id O f f th N t 

t R It w m b ki w by th Ij F h t d d 

g f 11 g f 1 t f 1 t d t! th 

f th M m t b 1 g tl th p t f ■U d 

MlgwFUA dthtg f jlk dtm 

h g bund f wild w m d th F II 4 try 

D D gl H gl t w t g 18J m mb f S 1 1 ft 

p d t t Lak It deh d tl t t p th t t f 

t y lying b tw th h ghl d thw ttmLkSp d 

th M sipp 

A. y t t g g ph t tl d Tl W Id R G tl f 

th Upp L k w t b ted bj P f All t E J k th N 

t th ^ 1 R p rt f th B £ Am Etl 1 g f 1897 98 



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322 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

published in 1900, forming its pages 1013-1137, illustrated with thirteen 
platfis." Derive'', .nainly from that elaborate work, a summary notice of the 
wild rice and its use by the Ojibways was given by Prof. N. H. Winchell, 
in part as follows. "The plant is an annual, springing from seed every 
year, growing in lakes and slow-flowing streams which have a mud-alluvial 
bottom. The grain is from about a half an inch to nearly an inch in 
length, cylindrical, dark slate color wheni'ipe, and is embraced in glumes, 
or husks, arranged in an appressed panicle at the top of the long stem. . . . 
Its leaves are broad (for a grass) and numerous. Its botanical name 
in Zizania aquatica. The fruit is ripe in September. While it is per- 
petual when once established in favorable situations, it becomes necessary 
to sow it artificially when it is destructively gathered either by wild fowl 
or by Indians. ... In August the green, standing, rice stalks are tied 
into bunches by the women. This is for protecting the grain from injury 
and loss by water-fowl as well as by winds, and also to facilitate the sub- 
sequent harvesting. The twine used is the pliable inner bark of the bass- 
wood. . . , Much rice is gathered, however, without previous tying. 
When it is ripe it is gathered in canoes which are pushed through the 
rice-field, one woman acting as canoeman and the other as haryester. The 
stalks, whether tied in bundles or not, are bent over the gunwale and beat- 
en with a stick so as to dislodge the grain. As the faiit is easily^loosened, 
whether by the wind or by birds, as well as by handling, it is neces- 
sary to gather it jus't before maturity, and subsequently subject it to a 
process of drying and ripening." (The Aborigines of Minnesota, 1911, 
pages 592-4.) 

About 10,000 bushels of wild rice were formerly harvested yearly Jiy . 
the Ojibways in northern Minnesota, being an. average of a bushel or more 
for each of the population. Since many have adopted in later years the 
ways of civilization, making farms and permanent homes on the White 
Earth reservation, the amount of wild rice used is much diminished. Its;, 
salable value, as partly purchased by white people, is five to ten cents per 
pound, or from three to six dollars per bushel. 

Rev. Joseph A. Gilfillan, in his paper on "The Ojibways in Minnesota" 
(M. H. S. Collections, vol. IX, 1901, pp. 55-128), presented a vivid de- 
scription of the gathering of wild rice, as seen at alarge rice lake in the 
north part of this reservation. 

Townships and Villages^. 

Information of the origins and meanings of names in this county was 
received from Alfred Aamoth, auditor, and Arthur J. Andersen, treasurer, 
during a visit at Mahnomen, the county seat, in September, 1909 ; and from 
John W. Carl, auditor, and Martin M. Bowman, clerk of the court, in a 
second visit there in September, 1916. ^ 

Beaulieu township and village were named for Henry and John 
Beaulleu, who served in the civil war and afterward owned farms here. 



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MAHNOMEN COUNTY 323 

John Beaulieu was during many y«irs the village postmaster. Records 
of the Beaulieu family and allied faittiJies, prominent in the history of the 
Ojibways in this state, descendants of a French fur trader, Bazille Beau- 
lieu, and his Ojibway wife, "Queen of the Skies," are given by WJnoheU . 
in "The Aborigines of Minnesota," page 722. 

Bejou township and its railway village received this name, changed 
in pronunciation and spelling, from the French words, Bon jour ("Good 
day"), of the former fur traders and voyageurs. It is the common 
Ojibway salutation on meeting friends or even strangers, used like the 
familiar English and American greeting, "How do you do?" 

Chief township was named in honor of May-sha-ke-ge-shig (also 
spelled Me-sha-ki-gi-zhig) , the princll)al chief of the Ojibways on the 
White Earth Reservation, described by Winchell as "a man revered for 
many noble qualities and for his distinguished presence." He died "nearly 
100 years old," August 29, 1919, at the Old Folks Home in Beaulieu; had 
lived as a farmer on this reservation since 1868. 

Geegoey was named for Joseph Gregory, an early farmer here, who was 
one of the first taking an allotment of land In this township, 

Heier township commemorates Frank Heier, who was teacher of an 
Ojibway school in this township, and later was superintendent of the 
government school at Pine Point, Becker county, near the southeast cor- 
ner of the White E^rth Reservation. 

Island Lake township has a large lake of tliisname, containing an 
island of many acres. 

, Lagaiibe township was named for Moses L^arde, who served in the 
civil war, received a^"farm allotment here, and was owner of a hotel in 
Beaulieu village. 

Lake Grove township is mostly a broadly undulating and rolling prairie, 
but has several small lakes bordered with groves. 

Mahnomen, the county seat, is a railway village close north of the 
■ Wild Rice river, whence came tihiis Ojibway name, later given to the 
county. 

Marsh Creek township bears the name of the creek flowing across it. 

Pembina township, like Pembina river and county in North Dakota, is 

named from the buslw^ranfeerry, excellent for making sauce and pies, called 

by the Ojibways nepin ninan, summer berry. The Ojibway words were 

transformed into this.name by-the French voyageurs and traders. 

Popple Grove towtiship has mainly a prairie surface, interspersed with 
occasional groves ofthe common small poplar, often mispronounced as in 
this nan^e. 

RoSEDALE township, consisting, partly of prairie and partly of wood- 
land, was named for its plentiful wild roses. 

Schneider Lake township has a lake of this name, beside which Frank 
Schneider, a German marri^ to an Ojibway, formerly lived as a farmer, 
hut later removed to Waubun village. 

Twin Lakes township is named for its two lakes, separated by a nar- 
row strip of land with a road. , 



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324 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Waubun, a railway village, has an Ojibway name, meaning the east, 
the morning, and the twilight of dawn. It is spelled waban in Baraga's 
Dictionary, and wabun by Longfellow in "The Song of Hiawatha," with 
definition as the east wind. Another spelling of this iiarae is borne by 
Watipun, a city in eastern Wisconsin. 

Lakes, and Streams. 

The foregoing pages have sufficiently noticed the White Earth and 
Wild Rice rivers. Island lake. Marsh creek, Schneider lake, and the Twin 

The origins of the names of White Earth and Tulabjfc lakes, crossed by 
the south line of this county, are given in the chapter for Beaker county. 

Numerous other lakes are to be here listed, in the order of townships 
from south to north and of ranges from east to west; but many lakes of 
relatively small size are yet unnamed. 

Big Bass lake was named for its fish, and Little Elbow lake for its bent 

Simon lake, crossed by the middle part of the east boundary of the 
county, commemorates Simon Roy, who had a cattle farm there and died_^ 
many years ago, leaving several sons yet living in the "White Earth Reser- 

Lake Erie is in section 7, Lagardc Why it received this name re-_ 
mains to be learned. 

Rosedale has (^rdner, Sandy, and Fisli lakes. The first was named" 
for Charles Gardner, who was a log driver on the Snake and Pine rivers 
and later was a successful farmer at this lake. 

Lone lake is two miles north of Simon lake, and Washington lake Mes- 
f-our miles northwest of Lone lake, being close north of Wild Rice-riv^" 

Aspinwall, Vanoss, and Warren lakes, in Chief township, were aam^A 
respectively for Henry Aspinwall, a farmer beside the lake of his n&ffle, 
Francis Vanoss, of Canadian French and Ojibway descent, who in his.oSl 
age took a land allotment, and Budd Warren, a nephew of William W."- 
Warren, Wie historian of the Ojibways. This tovmship also has Chief 
lake, named, like the township, for the Ojibway chief. * 

Sugar Bush lake, in section 7, Island Lake township, received its name 
from its maple trees used for sugar-making. 

Gregory township has Lake Beaulieu and Church lake. The first was 
named for Alexander H. BeaulJeu, who long ago was allotted land there, 
which he farmed until 1916, then removing to Fosston. Church lake was 
named for Charles Church, an American farmer there, having an Ojibway 
wife. 

Tamarack lake, in section 29, Bejou, is partly bordered by tamaraek 
woods. Sand Hill river, flowing through the northwest part of this town- 
ship, is named from the dunes or wind-blown sand hills of its delta, in ' 
Polk county, which was deposited at the highest stage of the Glacial Lake 
Agassiz. 



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MAHNOMEN COUNTY 325 

White Earth Reservation. 

Because Mahnomen county is wholly included within this Reservation, 
special attention should be here directed to the concise notice of its name 
and date before given for Becker county, in which are the Reservation 
Agency, at White Earth, and the lake whence the name is taken. It is 
the largest of the several Ojihway reservations that remain in this state, 
having an area of thirty-two townships. Aside from its many lakes, most- 
ly of small size, it has space for about 4,000 farms like the usual home- 
stead of white settlers, measuring 160 acres or a quarter of a section in 
the govemment^survey. 

The Ojihway name of the White Earth lake, which is retained in its 
translation, being given also to the Reservation, is noted on page 31 o£ 
the Becker ■ county chapter. 

The White Earth reservation was established by a treaty at Washing- 
ton, March 19, 1867. In the summer of the next year many Ojibways 
of the Mississippi and Gull Lake bands, led respectively by their chiefs, 
Wa-bon-a-quot (White Cloud) and Na-bun-ash-kong, removed there. 
June 14, 1868, was the day of arrival of the pioneers in the removal, and 
its anniversary is celebrated at White Earth each year. Twelve town- 
ships in Becker county, the entire sixteen townships of Mahnomen county, 
'and the next four of Range 38 in Clearwater county, are included in the 
reservation area, being as fertile farming land as is found in any part of 
Minnesota. 



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MARSHALL COUNTY 

This county, established February 25, 1879, was naftied in honor of 
William Rainey Marshall, governor of Minnesota. He was bom near 
Columbia, Missouri, October'17, 1825; but his boyhood wi spent 
Quinq-, Illinois, to which p4ace his parents removed in 1830. At the age 
of fifteen years, in conyiany with his older brother 'Joseph he went to 
thftjead mines o* Galena, where he worked several years ^nd learned 
land surveying. 

In 1847 he earae to St. Croix Falls, Wisconsin, and in 1849 to Maine 
sota, settling at St. Anthony Falls and opening a general hard vare bti 
ness, with his brother Joseph. For Franklin Steele and others he sur 
veyed the St. Anthony Falls townsite, his plat being dated October 9 
1849. Two years later he removed to St. Paul, which thencetor vard was 
his home, and became its pioneer hardware merchant In 1855 he founded 
a banking business, which failed in the financial panic of 1857; and sub- 
sequently he engaged in farming and stock-raising, and brought to Minne- 
sota its earliest high-bred cattle. 

Marshall was commissioned in August, 1862, as lieutenant colonel of 
flie Seventh Minnesota regiment; aided in the suppression of the Sioux 
outbreak, and in the expedition of 1863 against the Sioux in North Dako- 
ta; and afterward served through the civil war in the South, being pro- 
moted colonel of his regiment in November, 1863, and brevetted briga- 
dier general March 13, 1865. He was governor of Minnesota during two 
terms, 1866-70, being "one of the best chief magistrates the state has ever 
had." In 1876-S2 he served as the state railroad commissioner. 

In 1893 he was elected secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, 
of which he had been president in 1868; but he resigned in 1894, on ac- 
count of il! health, and went in hope of recovery to Pasadena, California, 
where he died January 8, 1896. An obituary sketch, by Rev. Edward C. 
Mitchell, was published in the eighth volume of this society's Historical 
Coliections {1898, pages S06-S10, with a portrait) ; and the thirteenth 
volume of this series, "Lives of the Governors of Minnesota," by General 
James H. Baker, published in 1908, has a more extended biography (pages 
145-165, with a portrait), including extracts from his addresses and mes- 
sages as governor. ■ 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins of names was received from "History of 

the Red River Valley," two volumes, 1909, having pages 831-859 for this 

county; from August G, Lundgren, county auditor, and Peter Holan, 

deputy auditor, John P. Mattson, editor of the. Warren Sheaf, and~Hon. 



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MARSHALL COUNTY 327 

Andrew Grindeland, district judge, each being interviewed during a visit 
at Warren, the county seat, in August, 1909; and again from Mr. Lund- 
gren, also from Alfred C. Swandby, clerk of the court, R. C. Mathwig, 
Albert P. Mclntyre, and Charles L. Stevens, editor oi the Warren Regis- 
ter, during a seccmd visit there in September, 1916. 

Agder township, organized in 1902, has the name of a district in south- 
ern Norway, southwest of Christiania. 

Alma, organized in 1882, was named for. Alma Dahlgren, the first 
child born in this township, daughter of Peter O. Dahlgren, who during 
several years was the county treasurer. , 

Alvakado, a railway village in Vega township, has the name of a sea- 
port and river in Mexico, about forty miles southeast of Vera Cniz. It 
is also the name of a small city in Texas, and of villages in Indiana and 
California. 

Aecvle, a large railway village in Middle River township, bears the 
name of a county in western Scotland, which is borne also by a township 
in Maine and by villages in nine other states. This name was proposed by 
Hon. S. G. Comstock, for whom a township of this county is named. 

Augsburg township, organized in 1884, was named by its Lutheran 
people for the ancient city of Augsburg in Bavaria, Germany. The chief 
Lutheran creed, called the Augsburg confession, was submitted to the 
Diet of Augsbtirg in 1530 ; and a treaty was made there between the 
Lutheran and Catholic states of Germany, September 25, 15SS, which 
secured the triumph of the Reformation by granting autfiority for the 
separate states to prescribe the form of worship within their limits. 

Bio Woods township, organized in 1882, has a wide border of timber 
along the Red river. 

Bloomer township, also organized in 1882, received its name from the 
village of Bloomer in Chippewa county, Wisconsin, whence some of its 
settlers came. 

BoxviLLE township, organized in 1884, was named for William N. 
Box, an early homesteader there, who removed to Northtield, Minn., and 
later to the Pacific coast. 

Cedab township, organized in 1892, has groves of the arbor vitae, more 
often called white cedar. 

CoMO township, organized in 1900, received its name from Lake Como 
in St. Paul, as probably proposed by George F. Whitcomb, a land owner 
here who lived in that city. Seven states of the Union have villages of 
this name, derived from the Italian city and province and their moun- 
tain-bordered lake so nam.ed at the south side of the Alps. 

Comstock township, organized in 1881, was named in honor of Solomon 
G. Comstock, an attorney for the Great Northern railway company, who 
named the village of Argyle. He was born in Argyle, Maine, May 9, 
1842;,came to Minnesota in 1869, settling in Moorhead; was admitted to 
practice law in 1871; was'a representative in the state legislature, 18?6-7 



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328 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

and 1879-81; a state senator. 1883-7 and a reprebentatn e in Congress,' ■■ 
1889-?1. 

DoNNELLV township, organized in 1895 commemorates Ignatius Doii; " 
nelly, who was born in Philadelphia, November 3 1831, and died in Min-" 
neapolis, January 1, 1901. He was admitted to practice law in his native 4 
city; came to Minnesota in 1857; was lieutenant governor 1860-3, and a 
representative in Congress, 1863-9, later served several terms in the 
state legislature, and was a national leader in the Farmers' Alliance * 
movement, and in the Populist partj , author of manv published speeches 
and addresses, and of numerous books He Ined manv years 3X Nininger, ■ ^ 
a few miles west of Hastings, and was often called "the Sage of Nin».-. . 
inger." 

Eagle Point, organized in 1890, was named from an eagle's nest near * 
the center of this township, at a point of the woods which reached east- 
ward from the Red. river. 

East Park, organized in 1899, 1= the second township east of Nelson 
Park, previously organized, whence this name was si'ggested. 

East Valley township, organized in 1896 crossed bv the Thief river, 
had settlers from the earlier West Valley township on the Middle river. ' 

EcKVOLL township, organized in 1901, received this Norwegian name, 
meaning "Oak Vale," in allusion to its abundant oak groves. It was 
proposed by Nels K. Nelson, previously a resident of Warren, being taken . 
from a former E^kvoll post office in Oak Park township 

EspELEE township, organized in 1903, is likewise named from Norwegian 
words, meaning "Poplar Slope," for its many groves of poplars. .. ' 

Excel township, organized in 1884, was named from the village and 
township of Excelsior in Hennepin comity, being shortened to avoid exact 
repetition of that name, which was taken from the well known poem en- 
titled "Excelsior," written by Longfellow in 1841. 

FoLDAHL, organized in 1883, is named for a locality in Norway, the 
country from which most of the settlers in this township came. 

Fork township, organized in 1896, was so named because the Red 
river receives the Snake river at its west side. Boatmen ascending 
the Red river may here take either <ine of two routes, like prongs or tines 
of a fork. 

Grand Plain township, organized in 1898, is in the nearly level and 
plainlike east part of the county 

Holt township, organized 1890 d t Iw 1! g w m d n 

honor of a pioneer Norw g ttl Th t A gl Sax 

and Scandinavian word, mangg ddhli 

Huntley township, org d 1902 h b t d h t g 

ground for moose, was atfitlldHtU hhw hgdb 
cause an earlier township P Ik ty h d d th t m 

Lincoln township, org d 189 w m d h f th 

martyr president of the U t d St t a th 1 war 



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■ MARSHALL COUNTY 329 

LiNSELL, the most northeastern township of this county and one of the 
latest organized, in i908, was named by its Swedish people for the town 
of Linsell in central Sweden. 

McCbea township, organized in 1882, was named for Hon. Andrew 
McCrea, farmer and lumberman, who had land interests in this county, 
and whose sons were residents of Warren during many years, thence 
removii^ to the west. He was born in New Brunswick in 1831 : came to 
St. Paul in 1854; afterward lived in Colorado and other states, but in 
1870 settled in Perham, Minn.; was a representative in the legislature in 
1877, and a state senator in 1879- 

Marsh Gkove township, organized in 1884, formerly had numerous 
" fcarshes and poplar groves, now mostly changed to well cultivated farms. 
Middle River township, the earliest organized in this county, Octo- 
ber 14, 1879, and the railway village of tliis name, in Spruce Valley town- 
ship, are on the Stream so named, which flows through the central and 
, western part of ihis county, being tributary to the Snake rii'cr near its 
mouth. 

Moose River township, organized in 1904, took the name of its river, 
flowing into Thief lake. 

MoYLAN township, organized in 1902, was named for Patrick Moj-lan, 
an Irish settler, who removed to Oregon or Washington. 

Mud Lake township, organized in 1914, includes the east half of the 
area of Mud lake, tributary to Thief river, now mainly drained. 

Nelson Park township, organized in 1884, was named for James Nel- 
son, a Yankee hunter and trapper, who was its earliest homesteader, 
^nd for several other settlers named Nelson, immigrants from Sweden 
and Norway. 
, . New Folden township, organized in 1884, and its railway village, re- 
ceived their name from a seaport in northern Norway, on the south branch 
of the Folden fjord. 

New Maine township, organized in 1900, was named in compliment to 
settlers from the state of Nfaine, 

New Solum township organized in 1884, is named for a district in 
Norway. 

Oak Park township, organized in 1883, has many oaks in its woods 
bordering the Red river. The name of a discontinued post office of this 
township, Eckvoll, meaning "Oak V^le," was transferred, as before noted, 
to a township in the east part of this county. 

Oslo, the railway village of Oak Park, bears the name of a large medie- 
val city which occupied the site of Christiania, Norway. The old city 
was mostly burned in 1547 and again in 1624, and the new city was 
founded and name^ at the later date by Christian iV, king of Denmark 
and Norway. • 

Pakeer tovniship, organized in 1884, was named for George L. Parker, 
a pioneer settler there, who after several years moved away. 



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330 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Radium is a small village of the Soo railway in Comstock township, 
named for the very wonderful metallic element, radium, discovered in 
1902; and Rosewood is another station of the Soo railway, in New Solum. 

RotLis, organized in 1899, was named for Otto RoUis, formerly of 
Warren, who became a storekeeper in this township, but later removed to 
Colorado. 

SiNNOTT township, organized in 1883, had two settlers of this name, 
J. P. Sinnott in section 8 and P. J. Sinnott in section 20. 

Spkuce Valley township, organized in 1888, is named tor its spruce 
trees along the Middle river, which are common or abundant throughout 
northeastern Minnesota, but here reach their southwestern limit. 

Stephen, a, village of the Great Northern railway in Tamarac town- 
ship and close north of Tamarac river, was named in honor of George 
Stephen, a prominent financial associate of James J. Hill in the building 
of this railway system. He was born at Dufftown, in Banffshire, Scot- 
land, June S, 1829; came to Canada in 1850, settling in Montreal, and en- 
gaged in dry goods business and manufacturing cloth ; was president of 
the Bank of Montreal, 1876-81, and president of the Canadian Pacific 
railway company, 1881-87; was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1886; was 
a founder in 1887, with Sir Donald Smith, of the Rojal Victoria Hos- 
pital, Montreal ; removed to England in 1888, and has since resided in 
London. In 1891 he received the title of Baron Mount Stephen, referring 
to a peak of the Rocky mountains named for him during the construction 
of the Canadian Pacific railway. 

STRANi>Qursr, a Soo railway village in Lincoln township, was named in 
honor of J. E. Strandquist, a merchant there, who was born in Sweden 
in 1870 and settled in, this county in 1892. • 

Tamarac township, organized in 1879, received its name from the 
Tamarac river, here crossed by the Great Northern railway. » ■ 

Thief Lake township, organized in 1896, is named for its large lake, 
the source of the Thief river. The origin of these names, related by War- 
ren in the "History of the Ojibways," is given in the chapter for Pen.- 
nington county, which has its county seat at Thief River Falls. 

Valley township, organized in 1900, is crossed by Mud river or 
creek, tributary to Mud lake by a valley scarcely below the general level. 

Vega township, organized in 1883, hears the' name of the ship in which 
Baron Nordenskjold, the Swedish explorer, in 1878-9 traversed the Arctic 
ocean along the north coast of Russia and Siberia, passed through Bering 
Strait to the Pacific, and returned around Asia and through the Suez canal. 

Veldt township, organized in 1902, was at first .called Roosevelt, for 
the president of the United States. Because that' name had been earlier 
given to another township of Minnesota, it was changed to this Dutch 
word, used in South Africa, meaning "a prairie or a thinly wooded tract." 

Viking township, organized in 1884, was named by Rev. Hans P. Han- 
sen, a Norw^an Lutheran pastor in Warren. This Scandinavian word, 
often translated as a sea king, more correctly denoted any member of thS 



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MARSHALL COUNTY 331 

early medieval pirate crews of Northmen who during several centuries 
ravj^ed the coasts of western and southern Europe. 

Wanger township, organized in 1883, was named for a German hunter 
and trapper who lived there before the coming of agricultural settlers. 

WarreNj the county seat, platted in 1879-80, incorporated as a vill^e 
in 1883, and as a city April 3, 1891, was named in honor of Charles H. 
Warren, general passenger agent of the St. Paul, Minneapolis and Mani- 
toba railway company, which in 1890 was renamed the Great Northern 
company. The railway was built to' the site of Warren in the swmmer 
of 1878, and in November of that year trains ran through to Winnipeg. 

Warkenton township, organized in 1879, has a name of the same ori- 
gin as the city of Warren, which is at its southeast corner. 

West Vallev township, organized in 1884, is named from the Middle 
river which here is inclosed by low bluffs 

W EFKOtwhp g d 1910 has a name that isborne also 

by mall 11 g Myld dMhg. 

Wat h p g d 1884 p obably received this name in 
1 f f t f t ttl 

S REAM AN Lakes. 

M ddl w d h tl f t ders, whose trains of Red river 

t d t th Id P mb 1 1 bout halfway between Pembina 

and th e f tl R d L k 



T ma a 1 t d bj 1 m similar translation, from Ga- 

m hkigw t g k b T ra k 1 where the common spelling for 
th t and g g pi m d d f m it. 

In th pi f th th t ly one is found on the map of 

L g ped t 1823 m d Sw mp reek, where the present Tam- 

arac ditch in Donnelly and E^gle Point townships carries to the Red river 
■ the drainage of a large swamp area, in which Tamarac river was formerly 
lost, thence emerging northward and joining the Red river in the south- 
west iiart of Kittson county. Swamp creek, translated from the Ojib- 
way name of Tamarac river, was copied on Nicollet's map in 1843 and on . 
the map of Minnesota Territory in 18S0; but the state map of 1860 has 
the present Tamarac, Middle, and Snake rivers, although their courses 
are erroneously drawn. 

Preceding pages have noticed Moose river. Thief lake and river, and 
Mud river and lake, whence three townships are named. 

Green Stump lake and Elm lake, each shallow and drained for use as 
farm lands, were respectively about one mile and three miles southwest 
of Mud lake, which, as before noted, is also mainly drained 

Whiteford has two little lakes, about midway between Thief and Mud 
lakes, of whiJh the eastern one is named Olson lake. 

Marshal! county is wholly in the area of the Glacial Lake Agassiz. 



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MARTIN COUNTY 

This county was established May 23, 1857, being named, according to 
the concurrent testimony of its best informed early citizens yet living, 
in honor of Henry Martin, of Wallii^ford, Conn., who then was a resi- 
dent oi Mankato, having land interests here and probably expecting to 
live permanently in Minnesota. He was .born in Meriden, Conn., Febru- 
ary 14,_ 1829; went to California in 1849, and engaged in auction business 
in San Francisco until 1851 ; returned to Connecticut, and was state bank 
commissioner, 1854-56; came to Minnesota in 1856, and selected and 
purchased, for eastern associates and himself, about 2,000 acres of lands 
in Mower, Fillmore, and other counties, includ&g the area, then in Brown 
county, which in 1857 was set apart as Martin county; resided temporarily 
in .Mankato, and visited the chains of lakes in this county for hunting 
and fishing, one of which, Martin lake in the northwest corner of Rut-"" 
land township, was named for him. Beside this lake he built a hoase, and 
partly planned to settle here. Within about one year he returned .to Wal- 
lingford, Conn., where his family had continuously resided, and that 
town was ever afterward his home. He engaged in manufactucing there, 
was deputy sheriff of New "Haven county, 1884-87, and after 1^95 was- 
assistant town clerk. (These biographic notes are. in a letter and personal 
sketch received from him in 1905.) He died ii 
1908, in the home to which he brought his bride ii 

Members of the Territorial legislature, who passed the act. establishing 
Martin county, may have been partly influenced in favor of this name by 
remembering that Morgan Lewis Martin, of Green Bay, Wis., as delegate 
in Congress from Wisconsm Territory, on December 23, 1846, introduced 
the bill for the organization of the Territory of Minnesota. He was bom 
in Martinsburg, Lewis county, N. Y., March 21,. 1805; was graduated at 
Hamilton College, 1824; came to Green Bay in 1827, and during his long 
life resided there, being, as a lawyer and judge, prominently identified with 
the history of his state, He died December 10, 1887. An autobiographic 
narrative by him, with notes by R. G. Thwaites, was published in the Wis- 
consin Historical Society Collections, vol. XI, 1888, pages 380-415; and 
his portrait is given in vol, IX of that series, facing page 397. 

The honor of the county name, ascribed to Henry Martin by William 
H. Budd (History, page 114), was again so stated, with historical details 
given by George S. Fowler, in an article published by the Martin County 
Sentinel, July 15, 1904. Two weeks later, a second article on this subject, 
by A. N. Fancher, presented the rival claim tKat the honor belongs'in an 
equal or larger degree to Morgan L. Martin, 



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MARTIN COUNTY 333 

Townships and Villages. 

Inforitiafion of geographic names has been gathered from "History of 
Martin County," by William H, Budd, published in 1897, 124 pages ; from 
George S. Fowler and Qiristian N. Peterson, interviewed during a visit 
at Fairmont, the county seat, in October, 1910; and from R. M. Tyler, 
clerk of the probate court, Hon. Albert L, Ward, state senator, Hon. 
Frank A. Day, and Miss Minnie Bird, librarian, during a second visit at 
Fairmont, in July, 1916. 

Cedar township, established January 2, 1872, was named for Cedar lake, 
at its east side, which has red cedar trees on its shores. 

Center Creek township bears the name of the creek flowing through it 
from the Central Chain of lakes. 

Ceylon, a railway village in Lake Belt township, has the name of a 
large island adjoining India. It is also the name of villages in Pennsyl- 
vania and Ohio. 

DuNNELL, the railway village of Lake Fremont township, was named 
in honor of Mark H. Bunnell, congressman, who was bom in Buxton, 
Maine, July 2, 1823, an^ died in Owatonna, Minn,, August 9, 1904. He 
was gradviated at Waterville college in 1849, and was admitted to prac- 
- tice law in 1856; was appointed United States consul to Vera Cruz in 
1861 ; came to Minnesota in 1865, settling at Winona, and later removed to 
Owatonna; was a representative in the legislature in 1867; state superin- 
tendent of public instruction, 1868-71; and a member of Congress, 1871- 
■ 83, and agam in 1889 91 

East Chmn township was named for the Fast Chain of lakes, described 
*in the later part of this chapter 

, Elm Creek tovmship, established in March 1867 is crossed by the 
creek of this name which flows through the north half of the county, 
having manj elms in the woods along it' course 

Faibmont the county seat platted as a tillage in October, 1857, from 

which the township also took this name was incorporated February 28, 

^. 1878, and adopted its city charter in 1902 It was at first called Fair 

Mount, referring to its situation beside and above the Centra! Chain of 

lakes, having a fine outlook across the lakes and the adjoining county. 

Fox Lake township establi^ed January 2, 1872, is named for the long 
and narrow lake at its south side which also gave this name to the railway 
village at its east end platted in 1899. 

Fkaser township was named m honor of Abraham N. Fraaer, who took 
one of its first homestead claims on Elm creek. 

Galena town-hip was named by settlers from the city of Galena in 
Illinois, which received this name from mines of galena, a lead ore. 

GraiJadi. the railway village of Center Creek township, bears the 
name of a renowned medieval Moorish city and kingdom in Spain. 

Imogen a railwaj village in Pleasant Prairie township, platted in 1900, 
has the name of the daughter of Cjmbeline, in one of the Shakespearean 



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334 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Jay township, established January 2, 18?2. !■ ^ the name of a county in 
Indiana, and of villages and township;- .,ne, Vermont, and New York, 

commemorating John Jay (b. 1745, d ^J), who was an eminent states- 
man of the American Revolution, first chief Jtistice of the United States 
supreme court, 1789-95, and governor of New York, 1795-1801. 

Lake Belt township, established in March, 1867, was named for its 
series of three lakes, to be again noticed in the later part of this chapter. 

Lake Fremont township, established January 2, 1872, formerly had a 
small lake, now drained, in the west part cif section 34, which was named 
in honor of John C Fremont (b. 1813, d. 1890), assistant with Nicollet in 
his expedition through this region in 1838. He was later called "the 
Pathfinder," from explorations of the Rocky mountains and the Pacific 
slope in 1842-45, and was the Republican candidate for the presidency of 
the United States in 1856. 

Matjyaska township bears a Sioux name, given to lakes of this vicin- 
ity on Nicollet's map, probably meaning white.bank or bluff, but to be then 
more correctly spelled mayaska. It lias been otherwise translated as 
"white iron" or silver, from maza, iron, ska, white. This name is also 
borne by a lake in section 19, and by a railway station. 

Monterey, a railway village on the south line of Galena, has a Spanish 
naine, meaning "king mountain," from the city of Monterey in Mexico, 
captured September 24, 1846, after severe fighting, by the United States 
army under General Zachary Taylor. Thence a city and county in Cali- 
fornia are also named, and villages in fifteen other states. 

Nashville was named in honor of A. M. Nash, a pioneer farmer, at 
whose home this township was organized. May 3, 1864. 

Northrop, a railway village in Rutland, platted in 1899, was named in 
honor of Cyrus Northrop, who was born in Ridgefield, Conn., Sept. 30, 
1834; was professor of rhetoric and English literature in Yale University, 
1863-84; and was president of die University of Minnesota, 1884-1911. 

Ormsby is a railway village on the north line of Galena. 

Pleasant Prairie township, organized March 7, 1865, has a euphoni- 
ously descriptive name, chosen by its settlers. 

Rolling Green township bears a name similarly chosen, for its undulat- 
ing and rolling contour of the green and far-viewing prairie. 

Rutland township was named, on the suggestion of one of its early 
settlers, Amasa Bowen, register of deeds, for the city and county of Rut- 
land in Vermont. 

Sherburn, a railway village and junction, was named in honor of the 
wife of an officer of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railway com- 
pany, living in McGregor, Iowa, 

Silver Lake township has the South and North Silver lakes in the 
Central Chain. 

Tenhassen township, established March 7, 1865, received this Sioux 
name, changed in form, from the "Tchan Hassan lakes," mapped in this 
vicinity by Nicollet. More correctly spelled, it is' the name of Chan- 



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MARTIN COUNTY 335 

hassen township in Carver county, meaning the sugar maple, from chan, 
tree, and hassen, related to haza, huckleberry or blueberry, thus denoting 
"the tree of sweet juice." 

Triumph, a railway village platted in 1899, on the line between Galena 
and Fox Lake townships, was named by John Stein, in compliment for 
the Triumph Creamery company. 

Truman, a railway village in Westford, platted in 1899, was named for 
Truman Oark, a son of J. T. Qark, who was then the second vice presi- 
dent of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha railway company. 
Several families named True live near this village, 

WAVEatY township was named by a pioneer settler, from the large vil- 
lage of Waverly in Tioga county. New York. 

Welcome, a railway village eight miles west of Fairmont, was named 
in honor of Alfred M. Welcome, whose farm lies at its southwest side. 

Westford township has a name that is borne also by villages and 
townships in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Pennsyl- 

Chains of Lakes. 

Three remarkable series of lakes in this county, named the East, Cen- 
tral, and West chains, are of great interest in glacial geology, because they 
give evidence of a prolonged warm or temperate int gl 1 t ge o 
epoch, preceded and followed by long stages of sev e Id wh n the 
continental ice-sheet covered this area and extended f t th outh 

The East chain extends in a somewhat irregular n th ly u fo 
12 miles from the Iowa line, with outflow northeastwa d b b uth k 

This chain comprises eight lakes, varying from a half 1 t t ml 
in length, with a half to two-thirds as great widths. Tl 1 k b 

dered by rolling areas of till, to which their shores d ^0-40 f t 

mostly by quite steep slopes. Between the lakes are, in m a I 

as wide as the narrower parts of the lakes; but som f tl ad] n ng 
lakes are connected by contracted channels, such as may ha b en ut by 
the outflowing stream. Thus the series does not oc upy dp n 

any well-marked continuous valley. 

About 20 lakes form the Central chain, which ext nd ml n n 
almost perfectly straight course from south to north Ij g tf t -^ 
miles west of the East chain. Its outlets are South, Cent Kim nd P h 
creeks, all flowing eastward. The shores and the country on both sides 
consist of fill, which rises to a moderately undulating expanse 30 to 40 
or 50 feet above the lakes. Though forming a very distinct, straight series, 
these lakes do not occupy a well-deiined vailey, for its width varies from 
one mile or more to less than an eighth of a mile, and it is interrupted in 
three places by water-divides, their lowest points being 10 to 15 feet above 
the adjoining lakes. 

The West chain is less distinctly connected than the East and Central 
chains, from which it also differs in having the longer axes of some of 



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336 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

its lakes transverse to the course of the chain, and in having shorter series 
of lakes joined with it as branches Tuttle lake at the suuth end of the 
chain lies on-the state line, about four miles west of Iowa lake, the south 
end of the Central chain. Thence the West chain reaches 20 miles north- 
westerly, then nine miles northerly, and then northwest and west for eight 
miles to Mountain lake in Cottonwood county, its whole extent being 37 
miles. Its successive portions from south to north are tributary to the 
East fork of Des Moines river, to Center and Elm creeks, and to the 
South fork of Watonwan river. This West chain comprises about 25 
lakes, extending through a region of 'undulating till, the direct deposit 
of the ice-sheet, with no notewor^y areas nor unusually thick included 
layers of water-deposited grave! and sand, as is true of all this county 

A series of three lakes in Lake Belt township lies somewhat west of 
the direct course of the West chain, and may be regarded as a branch of 
it; and three miles east of this lake belt, another series of seven lakes, 
very plainly a branch of the West chain, diverges from it, and reaches 
almost due north 12 miles from Tuttle and Alton lakes. To these, as a 
continuation of the same branch, ought perhaps to be added four other 
lakes, which are situated four to nine miles farther north. 

The explanation of these series of lakes which appears most probable 
is that they mark interglacial avenues of southward drainage and occupy 
portions of valleys that were exca\ated in the till after ice had long 
covered this region and had deposited most of the drift sheet, but before 
the later Glacial stage or epoch again enveloped this area beneath a lobe 
of the continental glacier, partially refilling these valleys, and leaving 
along their courses the present chains of lakes 

In the order from north to south, the East chain includes Lone Tree 
lake, named for a tall cottonwood tree beside it, which was a landmark 
for travelers ; Lake Imogene, whence the neighboring railway village 
was named; Rose lake, having many roses along its shores; Sager lake, 
named for a pioneer settler; and Clear lake and East Chain lake. This 
chain also has two lakes of small size that are mapped without names. 

In the same order, the Central chain has Perch lake, outflowing north- 
ward by Perch creek; Murphj lake, named for John Murphy, an early 
Irish homesteader ; Martin lake, named for Henry Martin, as before 
noted; High lake, Lake Charlotte, Twin lakes, Canright lake, ahd Buffalo 
lake, in Rutland, the last being named for its buffalo fish ; Lake George, 
named for George Tanner, a settler there in the north edge of the present 
city of Fairmont; Lake Sisseton, bearing the name of a tribal division of 
the Sioux, this region being noted on Nicollet's map as the "Sissiton ' 
Country;" Budd lake, named in honor of William H. Budd, historian 
of the county, who took a land claim here in July, 1856; Hall lake, com- 
memorating E. Banks Hall, who also came in the summer of 1856; Amber 
lake. Mud lake, and Bardwell and Wilmert lakes ; North and South Sil- 
ver lakes, iJie former also called Sumrliit lake; and Iowa lake, crossed by 
the Iowa line. 



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MARTIN COUNTY 337 

The West chain comprises in this county, besides several nameless 
small lakes, Fish, Buffalo, and North lakes, the second named for the 
buffalo, fish; Cedar lake, which gave the name of a township; Big Twin 
lakes, the smaller one of which has been drained ; Seymour and McGowan 
lakes, the latter now dry, named respectively for W. S. Seymour and 
Daniel McGowan, pioneers ; Fox lake, naming a township ; Temperance 
lake, Munger lake, now drained, named for Perry Munger. an early 
farmer, and Manyaska and Prairie lakes, the latter lately drained, in 
Manyaska township; Smith lake, formerly called Goose lake, and 
Holmes lake, each recently drained, on the north line of Lake Belt ; 
and Alton or Inlet lake and Tuttle lake, in Tenhassen. The last, crossed 
by the state line, is named in honor of Calvin Tuttle, one of the earliest 
settlers in Martin coanty, who came in March, 18S6. This lake was called 
Okamanpidan lake on Nicollet's map, a Sioux name referring to its nests 
of herons. 

A western branch of the West chain, before noted, giving the name 
of Lake Belt township, consists of Susan, Fish, and Clear lakes. 

Between the Central and West chains, a longer but less continuous 
branch of the latter includes, with several small lakes unnamed and sev- 
eral lately drained. Long and Round lakes in Waverly; Patten lake in 
section 25, Galena, and Creek lake on Elra creek, crossed by the south 
line of section 36; Eagle and Swan lakes, in Fraser; Pierce and Mud 
lakes, in Rolling Green ; anid a second Mud lake or Rice lake, Babcock 
or Bright lake, and Gayton lake, in Tenhassen. 

Other Lakes and Streams. 

Only a few lakes and fewer streams remain to be noted, in addition 
to the chains of lakes and the" streams outflowing from them. 

Burnt Out lake, adjoining a burned peat bed, in sections 21 and 28, East 
Chain, was formerly called Calkins lake, for pioneer farmers of this 
name at its east side. Ash lake, shown by early maps in sections 25 and 
27 of this township, has been drained. 

Timber lake or marsh, mostly in section 2, Rolling Green, is named 
for its grove. 

The head stream of the East fork of the Des Moines, flowing across 
Jay and- Lake Belt townships, and through Alton, lake to Tuttle lake, has 
given to the former of these lakes a second name, Inlet lake. 

Lily creek, having water lilies, is the outlet of Fox lake, flowing east 
into Swan and Eagle lakes. 

Qam lake is in sections IS and 16, Fox Lake township. 

Badger lake, shallow and to be drained, in sections 17 to 20, Galena, 
now crossed by a road, was named for its badgers, formerly frequent 
here, but more common in Wisconsin, "the Badger State." 

Duck lake, once noted for its wild ducks, in sections 2 and H, Elm 
Creek township, and Watkms laka, in sections 8, 9, aiwi 16, have been 
drained. 



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MEEKER COUMTY 

Established February 23, 18S6, this counfy-rt^s named in honor of 
Bradley B. Meeker, of Minneapolis, who was ap- associate justice of the 
Minnesota supreme court from 1849 to 1853. He was born in Fairfield, 
Conn., March 13, 1813; studied at Yale. College; .practiced law in Rich- 
mond, Ky., 1838 to 1845, and later in Flemingsburg, Ky. ; was appointed 
judge in the new territory of Minnesota in 1849, and presided at the first 
term of court on the site of Minneapolis, which .was held in the old 
government grist mill on the west side of. the river below the falls, August 
20, 1849. Judge Meeker was a charter member of the Minnesota Histori- 
cal Society, 1849; and was one of the first Board of Regents of the 
University of Minnesota, elected by the Territorial Legislature in 1851. 
After leaving the bench, he engaged in real estate business and was a 
member of the constitutional convention. 1857. He purchased a large 
tract of land on the Mississippi below St. Anthony, including Meeker 
island and extending eastward ; and he foresaw and often spoke of the 
coming great prosperity of Minneapolis. He died very suddenly in Mil- 
waukee, where he had halted on a journey to the east, February 30, \S73. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origin and meaning of names has been gathered 
from "A Random Historical Sketch of Meeker County," by A. C. Smith, 
1877, m pages; "Album of History and Biography of Meeker County,'' 
1888, &10 pages; and from Norris Y. Taylor, who during many years was 
county surveyor, J. W. Wright, who was county superintendent of schools, 
J879-87, and a state senator, 1907-09, and William H. Greenleaf, for whom 
a village and township are named, each being interviewed during a visit at 
Litchfield, the county seat, in May, 1916. 

AcTOtf, organized in April, 1858, was named for the village of Acton 
in Ontario, Canada, whence the Ritchie family came to settle in this 
township in 1857. 

Cedar Mills township, organized January 25, 1870, received the name 
of its village founded in 1860, which was named from the large Cedar 
lake, about two miles distant to the east. This lake has many red cedars 
on its shores and islands, as noted by its name on Nicollet's map, Rantesha 
Wita or Red Cedar Island lake. 

CoLUNwooD, organized May 8, 18S6, bears the name (changed in spell- 
ing) of Collingwood, a port on the southern part of Georgian bay in 
Ontario. This township was at first called New Virginia, but was re- 
named as now in 1868, taking the name of the village platted in its north- 



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MEEKER COUNTY 339 

east corner by Canadian settlers in 1866, beside Lake GiUinwood, which 
is crossed by its east liae. 

Cosmos township, orgajwzed January 25, 1870, has a name proposed 
by Daniel Hoyt, one of its first settlers, who came in 18i>', y.-as a sur- 
veyor, and was elected the'first township clerk. It is an ancient Greek 
word, meaning order, fiarmbny, and thence the universe as an orderly and 
harmonious system. 

■ Danielson, settled in 1857, organized March 112, 1872, was named for 
Daniel Danielson, its first township clerk and assessor, and for Ne!s 
DanielsoD, an immigrant from Norway, who took a land claim here in 
1861 and died in 1870. 

Darwid township, organized April S, 1858, was then called Rice City, 
which was changed in 1869 to ttie name of its railway village, platted in 
October of that year. It was chosen in honor of E. Darwin Litchfield, 
of London, England, a principal stockholder and promoter of the St 
Paul and Pacific (now the Great Northern) railroad, for whom also, as 
well as for his wife and his brothers, the village and township of Litch- 
field were named, 

Dassel township, first settled in 1856, was organized in the fall of 
1866 under the name of Swan Lake, from the Big Swan lake in its north- 
east part; but it was renamed in 1871 for its railway village, platted in 
1869, which was incorporated March 4, 1878. The village and township 
thus commemorate Bernard Dassel, who in 1869 was secretary of the 
St. Paul and Paciiic railroad company. 

Eden Valley, a railway village in the north edge of Manannah, platted 
in 1886, was euphoniously named by officers of the St. Paul, Minneapolis 
and Sault Ste. Marie railway company. 

EJ-LswoRTH township, first settled in June, 1856, organized September 
1, 1868, was named at the suggestion of Jesse V. Branham, Jr., in honor of 
Ephraim Elmer Ellsworth, colonel of a Zouave regiment from New 
York city, who soon after the beginning of the civil war was killed in 
' Alexandria, Va., May 24, 1861. 

Forest City township, on the west border of the Big Woods, organ- 
ized April 5, 1858, received the name of its village, platted in the summer 
of 1857, which was the county seat until the autumn of 1869, being then 
succeeded by Litchfield. 

Forest Praisie township, consisting mainly of woodland but having 
a small prairie nearly a mile long in its northwest corner, was organized 
in the summer of 1867. 

Gbeenleat township, settled in 1836 and organized August 27, 1859, 
was named, like the village on its east border, in section 30, Ellsworth, 
platted in 1859, in honor of William Henry Greenleaf, one of the founders 
of the village. He was born in Nunda, N, Y., December 7, 1834; came to 
Minnesota in I8S8, settling here; was county treasurer, 1860-2; county 
surveyor, 1864-70; and a representative in the legislature, 1871-3. He 
removed to Litchfield in 1872, where he has since lived, excepting several 



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340 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

years, next after 1878, of absence as receiver of the United States land 
office in Benson. 

Grove City, a railway village in the north edge of Acton and adjoin- 
ing Swede Grove township, was platted in the summer of 1870 and was 
incorporated February 14, 1878.' 

Harvey township, settled in tne spring of 1856, organized in 1867, was 
named for James Harvey, who tcok a homestead claim here in 1860. 

Kingston, settled in 1856 ai , organized April ^ '858, took the name'- 
of its village, plaited in the fall of 1857, proposed jj ueorge A. Nourse, ■ 
a lawyer of St. Anthony. Twenty-iive other states, and also the Canadian 
pr ■ f O t ■ d N w Brti w' k h illages or cities and 

t w h p f th m 

h p g d \p 1 5 1858 at first named Ness, 

1 N f t g 1 party of Norwegian 

J ly 1856 It t d t b ar that name until its • 
1869 th St P 1 d P f C railroad, then being 
tt tj thtwnhp ved the village name, - 

f f mily wh p m tlj ded in the construe- - 
f th Iw y ! din th brothers, Egbert S,, 
Ed C d E D L t 1 fi Id Th y the contractors by 

wh th 1 f ra St F 1 t St CI d d V\ t b was built in 1862 to 
180+ dlt tlj ddtp dthra fr building this more 

tl 1 1 gl M k ty t B k dge, (Life of James 

I H 11 by J G Pjl 1917 t 1 ) P rtb n appreciation of the 

h f tl m g t th dl g and t w h p, generous donatiiJhs 

tthEp plhhh w dfm Mrs. R Darwin Litch- ■ 

fa Id L d A th f th f liy Wll B. Litchfield, was-in 
1869 the general manager of this railroad; and his son, Electus D. Litch- 
field, was the architect, in 19I5-I7, of tie new building of the St. Paul Pub- 
lic Library and the Hill Reference Library. Litchfield village succeeded 
Forest City as the county seat in the fall of 1869, and was incorporated 
February 29, 1872. 

Manannah township, organized October 13, 1857, took,the name .of 
its early village, which was platted and named by Ziba Caswell arid J. W. 
Walker in December, 1856. "Search in an old Scottish history gave them 
the name of Manannah." (Album of History, 1888, p. 554.) The present 
village of this name was platted in 1871, 

Swede Grove township, organized March 15, 1868, bears the name of 
a post office established there in 1864, referring to its many Swedish set- 
tlers and the frequent tracts of woodland. 

Union Grove township, settled in 1856 and organized April 18, 1866, 
received its name from the grove where a union church had been built, tWis 
name for the settlement being proposed by Lyman Allen, one of its pioneer 
farmers, who came from Massachusetts in 1856 and returned there in 1860. 

Watkins, a railway village in Forest Prairie township, was named by 
officers of the Soo railway company. 



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MEEKER COUNTY 341 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing pages have noticed Cedar lake, crossed by the south 
line of Ellsworth, which gave a part of the name of Cedar Mills town- 
ship; Collinwood lake, adjoining the township of this name; and Big 
Swan lake, whence Dassel township was originally named. 

Crow river, having its North, Middle, and South fo-'^s in Meeker 
, county, is considered in the first chapter, treating of rivers and lakes that 
bel6ng partly to several counties. 

In the order of the townships from south to north, and of the ranges 
from.*ast to west, this county has the f<rflowing many lakes and creeks. 

The north line of Cedar Miiis crosses Harding, Coombs, and Atkinson 
lakes, named for pioneers, extending also into Greenleaf, the first being 
indionor of Rev, W. C. Harding, who later was a Presbyterian pastor in 
l,itchfield. Vincent Coombs and John Atkinson were farmers beside the 
Takes bearing their names. Hoff lake is in sectioii 1, and Pipe lake, named 
for its shape, was in sections 16 and 21, but has been drained. Mud lake, 
also drained, was crossed by the west line of this township. 
. " Cosmos has Thompson lake, named for an early homesteader, and the 
. greater part of the dry bed of Mud lake. 

Collinwood has Butternut lake, named for Its trees, in section 3 ; Wash- 
ington lake, on the northwest, named for the first president of the United 
States, extending into Dassel, -Darwin, and Ellsworth ; Pigeon or Todd 

■ lake and Spencer lake, each lately drained; Maple, Long, and Wolf lakes, 
and J_akes Byron and Jennie. Silver creek flows into Collinwood lake 
from this township. 

Belle lake and Cedar lake, named for its red cedars, as before noted, 
are crossed by the south line of Elllsworth, continuing into McLeod 
■ county. Fallon lake, mostly drained, a small Long lake, in section 23, Lake 
-Erie, Sioux lake, and Greenleaf and Willie lakes are in the south half of 
the township, the last two being named for William H. Greenleaf, like the 
next township, and for U. S, Willie (or Wiley), a young lawyer, a mem- 
ber of the legislature in 1859, who lived a year or two at Forest City and 
died there. In*the north half are Birch, Hurley, Benton, and Manuella 

■ lakes ; and Stella lake is on the north line, reaching into Darwin. 

In Greenleaf, besides the three lakes on its south side, lying partly in 
-Cedar Mills township, are Goose and Mud lakes, the second now drained. 
Lake Minnie Belle, Evenson lake, Hoosier lake, and Star lake, the last, 
extending into Litchfield, being named for its arms like rays of a star. 

Danielson has King lake, beside which Hon. William S. King, of Min- 
neapolis, had a large stock farm, raising Durham cattle, later called March 
lake for a subsequent owner of this farm, with King creek outflowing 
to the South fork of Crow river ; and Bell lake and creek, similarly named 
for another farmer. 

In Dassel township are Spring and Little Spring lakes, Long lake, 
Sellards lake, named for Thomas Sellards, a settler from Kentucky, Big 



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342 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Swan lake, before noted, Lake Arvilla, and Maynard lake, with Washing- 
ton creek, outflowing from W"ashington lake tn the North fork. 

Darwin township has Lake Darwin, Stevens and Casey lakes, Rush 
lake. Mud lake (drained), and Round lake, the last being crossed by the 
west line of sections 30 and 31. 

Adjoining Litchfield village is Lake Ripley, which commemorates Dr., 
Frederick N, Ripley, frozen to death there in the winter of I85S-6. The 
township has also Stone lake, in section 3, and Lake Harold, in sections 
19 and 30, with five or six other small lakes mapped and named, which 
are merely marshes or dry lake beds, excepting m the spring or in very 
rainy summers. 

Acton has a large Long lake, most frequent of our geographic names; 
Hoop lake (mapped wrongly as Lake Hope), named because its water, 
like a hoop, surrounds a centra! islanid; and fully a dozen marshes that 
sometimes become shallow lakes, including Kelly, Butter, and Lund lakes. 

Lake Francis, outflowing by Eagle creek to the North fork, and Lake 
Betty, on the Clearwater river, are in Kingston. 

Powers, Duiin, Richardson, Plum, Rice, and Mud lakes, are in Forest 
City township, besides the Mill pond, formed by a dam on the North fork 
of Crow river. Michael Powers,* Timothy Dunn, and William Richard- 
son, were pioneer farmers adjoining the lakes named for them. 

Harvey has Sehiiiti lake. Lake Mary, Half Moon lake, named for its 
shape, and Tower lake. The first was named for three brothers, German 
farmers, and the last for an early homesteader who was killed by the 
Sioux in 1862. Jewett and Battle creeks here flow to the North fork of 
Crow river, the second being translated from Its Indian name. 

In Swede Grove township are Hdga lake or marsh, Peterson lake, and 
Wilcox, Miller, and Mud lakes, the last two being shallow and mainly 
drained, Peterson lake was named for Hans Peterson, an adjoinitig set- 
tler, father of the late Hon. Peter E. Hanson, of Litchfield, who was a 
state senator, 1895-7, and secretary of this state, 1901-07. 

Clear lake, named for its deep and clear water, situated in the center 
of Forest Prairie township, is the chief source of Clearwater river, which 
flows thence eastward to the Mississippi, This is a translation from the 
Ojibways, who named the river for the lake at its source, their name of 
each being Kawakomik, as spelled on Nicollet's map, Ga-wakomitjgweia 
in the lists of GilfiUan and Verwyst. It was a frequent Ojihway name, 
being retained in Wisconsin by the equivalent French name of the Eau 
Claire lakes, river, city, and county. 

Manannah has Swift's lake, in section 33, and Pigeon lake, crossed by 
its west line. Stag creek runs south in this township to the North fork. 
Horseshoe lake, formerly in section 23, nearly adjoining the north side 
of Tyrone prairie, has been drained. 

Union Grove township comprises a part of Pigeon lake, on its east side; 
Lake Emma and Mud lake, mostly in section 10; and a part of the large 
Lake Koronis on the north, which lies mainly in Paynesville, Stearns 
county. 



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MILLE LACS COUNTY 

This county, established May 23, 185?. was named for the large lake, 
called Mille Lacs, meaning a thousand lakes, which is crossed by the north 
boundary of the county. It was named Lac Buade by Hennepin in 3680, 
for the family name of Count Frontenac. By the Sioux it was called 
Mde Wakan, that is. Wonderful lake or Spirit lake. Le Sueur's journal, 
written in 1700 and 1701 and transcribed by La Harpe, states that the large 
part of the Sioux who lived there received from this lake their distinctive 
trihal name, spelled, by La Harpe, Mendeouacantons, The same name, 
with better spelling, was given by Keating in 1823, and the lake, on the 
map accompanying his Narrative, is named Spirit lake ; but this group of 
the Sioux, the Mdewakantons, had before that time been driven, from the 
Mille Lacs region by the Ojibways, and then lived along the Mississippi. 

Wakan island, noted on a following page for the present village of 
Wahkon, was the source of the name Mde Wakan, given to the lake aod 
to this great subtribe of the Siouan people, and was also accountable, by 
a punning translation, for the Rum river, the outlet of this lake. 

The Ojibway name of the lake, as given by Nicollet, is Minsi-s^aigon, 
which is also applied to the adjoining country, "from minsi, all sorts, or 
everywhere, etc., sagaigon, lake." He adds that the first is an obsolete 
word, "pronounced mist or mid." Gilfillan gave the meaning of the 
Ojibway name as "Everywhere lake or Great lake." This name, spelled 
Mississacaigan, appeared on Delisle's map in 1703. It is evidently of the 
same etymology as Mississippi (great river). 

The French voy^eurs and traders, as Nicollet states, following their 
usual practice of translating the Indian name, called the country, having 
"all sorts of lakes," the Mille Lacs [Thousand Lakesjregion; whence this 
name came to be applied more particularly to this largest lake of the 
region. It was used by Pike, in application to the lake, being well known 
at the time of his expedition in 180S ; and Carver learned much earlier, 
in 1766, of the name, but supposed it to refer to "a great number of small 
lakes, none of which are more than ten miles in circumference, that are 
called the Thousand Lakes." 

Dr. Elliott Coues discussed this name somewhat lengthily in his edi- 
tion of Pike (vol. I, pp. 311-314). 

Mille Lacs has an area of about 200 square miles, slightly exceeding 
Leech and Winnehagoshiah lakes, hut much surpassed by Red lake. It is 
shallow near the shore, and there it is often made mudd)- by the waves 
of storms ; but its large central part is always clear water, varying mainly 
from 20 to 50 feet in depth, with a maximum depth of 84 feet. 



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344 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of geographic names has been received from "History of 
tiie Upper Mississippi Valley," 1881, having pages 663-680 for Mille Lacs 
county; "Memoirs of Explorations in the Basin of the Mississippi," by 
Hon. J. V. Brower, vol. Ill, Mille Lac, 1900, pages 140, and vol. IV, 
Kathio, 1901, pages 136, each having maps and many other illustrations ; 
and from Hon. Robert C, Dunn, Judge Charles Keith, and Joseph C. 
Borden, deputy county treasurer, each being interviewed during a visit 
at Princeton, the county seat, in October, 1916. 

■ Bock, the railway village of BorghoJm, was named by oiBcers of the 
Great Northern railway company. 

Bogus Brook township bears the name of its large eastern tributary 
of Rum river, derived from the early Maine lumbermen ; but the reason 
for the adoption of this name, meaning spurious and originally referring 
to counterfeit money, remains to be learned. 

BoRGHOLM township has the name of a seaport of Sweden, on the island 
of Oeland, whence some if its settlers came. 

Brickton, a railway village about two miles north of Princeton, has 
several brickyards, making excellent creara-colored bricks. 

Daiu^y township was named in honor of Asa R. Dailey, an early settler 
there, who removed to Montana, 

East Sriffi township adjoins the east shore of Mille Lacs. 

FoKESTON, a railway village about three miles west of Milaca, is partly 
surrounded by a hardwood forest. 

Greenbush township, settled in 1856, organized in 1869, was named for 
the township of Greenbush adjoinii^ the east side of Penobscot river in 
Maine. Many of the settlers in this county, both for its pine lumbering 
and for farming, came from that "Pine Tree State," being therefore com- 
monly called "Mainites," 

Havland township was named for the natural meadows on its several 
brooks, supplying hay for oxen and horses of winter logging camps. 

Isle, a railway village and port of Mille Lacs, and its Isle Harbor 
township, are named from their excellent harbor, partly inclosed and 
sheltered in storms by Great or Big island. 

IZATYS, a lakeside village of summer homes in South Harbor town- 
ship, has the name given by Du Luth in the report of his service to France, 
writing of his first visit to the Sioux at Mille Lacs : "On the 2d of July, 
1679, I had the honor to plant his Majesty's arms in the great village of 
the Nadouecioux, called Izatys, where never had a Frenchman been." It 
is a variation of Issati or Isanti, noting this division of the Sioux. 

Kathio township, adjoining the southwest shore of Mille Lacs and 
including its outlet. Rum river, here flowing through three small lakes, 
bears an erroneously transcribed form of the foregoing name, Izatys, 
published by Brodhead in 1855 (Documents relating to the Gilonial His- 
tory of New York, vol. IX, page 795). In the original manuscript of 



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MILLE LACS COUNTY 345 

Du Luth's report, before cited, Brodhead copied Is of Isatys as "K," and 
ys as "hio," giving to that name a quite new form, Kathio, which error 
was followed by Neill, Winchell, Hill, Brower, Coues, and others. It has 
been so much' used, indeed, that it will be always retained as a synonym 
of Izatys or Isanti. (Minnesota Historical Society Collections, vol, X, 
Part II, 1905, page 531.) 

Long Siding, a railway village about four tniles north of Princeton, 
was named for Edgar C. Long, a lumberman and landowner. 

MiLACA village artd railway junction, at first called Oak City, and 
MiLACA township, organized after the village was platted, have a shortened 
and changed name derived from Mille Lacs, 

MiLo township, settled in 1856 and organized in 1869, received its 
name from a township and its manufacturing village in the central part 
of Maine, on the Sebec river. 

MuDGETT township, organized in 1916, was named in honor of Isaiah 
S. Mudgett, who was born in Penobscot county, Maine, June 7, 1839, came 
to Minnesota in 1858, settled at Princeton in 1865, and was during several 
years the county auditor. His son, Harold Mudgett, is a farmer in section 
30 of this township. 

Onamia township bears the name given on the government survey 
plats by Oscar E. Garrison, surveyor, to the third and largest of the three 
lakes through which Rum river flows next below the mouth of Mille Lacs. 
A railway village on the south side of Onamia lake also has this name. 
It was received from the Ojibways, but its meaning is uncertain, unless 
it be like Onamani, noted in Baraga's Dictionary, whence Vermilion lake 
in St. Louis county is a translation, 

Opsteab is the name of a post office and a hamlet of Swedish settlers 
in East Side township. 

Page township was named in honor of Charles H. and Edwin S. Page, 
lumbermen there, who came from Maine. 

Pease, a railway village in section 13, Milo, was named by officers of 
the Great Northern railway company. 

Princeton village, the county seat, which received its first permanent 
settlers in 1854, was named in honor of John S. Prince, of St, Paul, who 
with others platted this village in the fall or winter of 18S5, the plat being 
recorded April 19, 1856. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, May 7, 1821 ; 
came to St. Paul in 1854 as agent of the Chouteau Fur Company ; after- 
ward engaged in insurance, real estate, and banking; was a member of 
the constitutional convention of Minnesota, 1857; mayor of St. Paul, 
1860-2 and 1865-6; was president of the Savings Bank of St. Paul for 
many years ; and died in that city, September 4, 1895. Princeton township 
was organized in 1857, and the village was incorporated March 3, 1877. 

South HAKEoa township was named for its good harbor on the south 
side of Mille Lacs. 

ViNRLAND, a village and port of Mille Lacs near its outlet, in Kathio, 
was named for the early Norse settlement on the northeast coast of North 



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346 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

America in the year 1000, visited by numerous later voyages, which was 
called in the Icelandic language Vin]and, meaning Wineland, from grapes 
found there. 

Wahkon, a railway village and port in Isle Harbor township, bears the 
Sioux or Dakota name of Mille Lacs, spelled wakan in the Dakota Dic- 
tionary by Eiggs, defined as "spiritual, sacred, consecrated, wonderful, in- 
comprehensible." The Sioux applied this name especially to a very re- 
markable but small island far out in the lake, about seven miles northwest 
from Wahkon, consisting of rock, granitic boulders piled by the ice of 
the lake to a height of nearly 20 feet, a noted resort of gulls and pelicans, 
called on maps Spirit island or Pelican island. Only one or two feet below 
the lake level, and visible tinder the water for 100 feet or more to the north 
and east, ia a ledge of the bedrock, described by David I. Bushnell in 
Brower's memoir of Mille Lac (page 121, with a picture, on page 118, 
of the heaped rock masses forming the island.) Wonderful as the island 
is, it was the origin of the Sioux name of the lake, of this village, and, by 
a punning perversion noted on a later page, the name of Riim river. 

Bays, Points, and Islands of M:lle Lacs. 

From the map and descriptive notes of this lake by Hon. J. V. Brower, 
in his memoirs entitled "Mille Lac" and "Kathio," the following names 
are copied for its south half in Mille Lacs county, with their derivations 
or significance, and with notes of more recent names. 

Halfway point now called Hunter's point ii in the north edge of Mille 
Lacs county, ae tl mdil fU t 1 

Accault bay t th m d f 1 tJ t F hm ho 

were at Mille La whHnpnn K80 

Big point and C d p t tl tl w t ai d utl t 1 t of 

Radisson bay, n df thealtwt ft Inth eaf 
Minnesota, who m th G 11 t P 1 nd I 5=5 d t 

the region of Kanabec county, not far southeast of Mille Lacs, in the mid- 
winter of 1659-60. 

Next in order southward are Cedar bay and island, Ojibway point, 
North and South Courage bays, now renamed Twin bays, with Courage 
point between them, Boulder point, now named Hawk Bill point, Big 
island, and Gim-i-nis-sing bay. The Courage bays and point were liamed 
for an Ojibway, "A-ya-shintang, He-is-encouraged ;" and the bay last 
named, now called Isle Harbor, bears on Brower's map the Ojibway name 
which is translated for Big island. On a recent map this island is named 
Malone island, for Charles Malone, a resident of Isle village. 

West of Isle Harbor are Be-dud, Na-gwa-na-be, and Wadena points, 
named for Ojibways of Mille Lacs, the second a medicine chief, and the 
third a chief who was severely wounded in their last battle against the 
Sioux, near Shakopee, May 27, 1858. 

Wahkon bay, adjoining the village of this name, was mapped by Browet 
as Sa-ga-wa-mick bay, meaning a long shoal or sand bar, which in this 



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MILLE LACS COUNTY 347 

bay extends from its shore to Mulvey islani^, named for a lumberman of 
the Snake river and Stillwater. Other islands farther north in this bay, 
named by Brower as Sumac and Pelican islands, are on a later map called 
Half Moon island, for its shape, and Wilson island, for its owner, Guy 
G. Wilson, of Mora. Northeast from the last is Pine or Spider island. 

Between Wahkon bay and Cove bay or South Harbor, called South 
End bay by Brower, are Coming-in-sight point, translated from its Ojib- 
way name, Carnelian beach, named from its carnelian pebbles. Maple 
point, and Mo-zo-ma-na point, named for a former Mille Lacs chief, 
signer of treaties in 1863 and 1889. 

Portage bay, next westward, was the usual starting place for canoe 
journeys down the Rum river, making first a portage about a mile long 
from the south side of Mille Lacs to the east end of Lake Onamia. 

Anderson point, next west of Portage -bay, is named for a recent 
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2S Kath mIedbyRra tl ttlwt ptfThd 

O m lak tl tl d w rap th w t d th 



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348 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

In a Sioux village there the chief Aquipagitetin lived, who adopted Hen- 
nepin as his son and befriended him during his enforced stay in the vicin- 
ity of Mille Lacs from May to September in 1680, excepting their mid- 
summer absence on a great hunting expedition far down the Mississippi. 
Brower mapped twenty-two ancient village sites, scattered around the 
entire circuit of Mille Lacs, which were probably all occupied for some 
time by the Sioux or Dakota people. They are most frequent about the 
southwestern third of the lake, from Wahkon to Aquipaguetin island, 
Vineland, and the west side of WigTvam bay, thirteen sites of the former 
villages being found in that distance of about twenty miles. "The great 
village," called Izatys by Du Luth, misread "Kathio" by Brodhead, is 
thought to have been near the present Vineland. 

Other Lakes and Streams. 

The name of Rum river, which Carver in 1766 and Pike in I80S found 
in use by English-speaking fur traders, was indirectly derived from the 
Sioux. Their name of Mille Lacs, Mde Wakan, translated Spirit lake, 
was given to its river, but was changed by the white men to the most 
common spirituous liquor brought into the Northwest, rum, which brought 
misery and ruin, as Du Luth observed of brandy, to many of the Indians. 
The map of Long's expedition in 1823 has these names, Spirit lake and 
Rum river. Nicollet's map, published in 1843, has "Iskode Wabo or Rum 
R.," this name given by the Ojibways, but derived by them from the white 
men's perversion of the ancient Sioux name Wakan, being in more exact 
translation "Fire Water." More frequently, as noted by Gilfiilan, the 
Ojibway name for Rum river was taken from their name for the lake and 
meant simply the Great Lake river. 

Three lakes on the course of the Rum river in its first eight miles 
from the mouth of the Mille Lacs were called Rice lakes by Daniel 
Stanchfield in the autumn of 1847, for their abundance of wild rice then 
being harvested by the Ojibway women. On a map of Minnesota pub- 
lished in 1850 they are Roberts' lakes. In the government survey, by 
Oscar E. Garrison, they were named Ogechie, Nessawae, and Onamia 
lakes. The first was from the Ojibway word for an intestinal worm, re- 
ferring to its long, narrow, and curved shape ; but its more common name 
used by the Ojibways, as noted by Gilfiilan, is "Netumigumag, meaning 
First lake." In the Ojibway Dictionary the second name is spelled Nas- 
sawaii, meaning "in the middle;" but on recent maps this is called Shako- 
pee lake. The third name, Onamia, meaning Vermilion lake, given to a 
township and village, probably referred, like the larger Vermilion lake and 
Red lake in northern Minnesota, to the vermilion and red hues of the 
western sky and of the lake at sunset, as seen from the eastern shore. 
According to Gilfiilan, however, the Ojibwaj^ commonly call this "Esh- 
quegumag, the Last lake." 

Whitefish lake is a half mile west of Wigwam bay, to which it out- 



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MILLE LACS COUNTY 349 

Chase brook, named for Jonathan Chase, of Minneapolis, who had 
a logging camp there, flows into Mille Lacs from East Side township. 
He was born in Sebec, Maine, December 31, 1818; came to Minnesota in 
the spring of 1854, and engaged in lumbering on Rum river; later owned 
an interest in the large sawmills at Gull River in Cass county; died in 
Minneapolis, February 1, 1904. 

Tributaries to Rum river from the east include, in their order from 
north to south. Black brook, darkly colored by peat swamps ; Whitney, 
Mike Drew, O'Neill, and Vondel brooks, named for early lumbermen ; and 
Bogus brook, before noticed for its naming a township. 

From the west, Rum river receives Bradbury brook, having North and 
South forks; Hanson brook, named for Gilbert S. Hanson, a lumberman 
from Maine ; Burnt Land, Whiskey, and Tibbetts brooks, the last being 
named for two brothers, lumbermen, who lived in Princeton ; Chase 
brook, named for Nehemiah Chase (a brother of Jonathau, before men- 
tioned), killed by an accident when breaking a log jam on the Rum river 
at the mouth of this brook. 

The West branch of Rum river receives Stony brook, Estes brook, 
named for Jonathan Estes, of St. Anthony, and Prairie brook. 

Battle brook, in Greenbush, named from a fight there between em- 
ployees of Sumner W. Farnham, a Minneapolis lumberman, flows through 
Rice lake, named for its wild rice, and thence is tributary southward to 
the St. Francis and Elk rivers in Sherburne county. 

Mud lake is crossed by the north line of section I, Princeton; Fogg 
lake is at the southeast corner of section 17, named for Frederick A. 
Fogg, an early homesteader, who removed to Sauk Rapids ; and Silver 
lake is a mile east of Princeton village. 

Branches of the Ground House river, and of Ann and Knife rivers, 
drain eastern parts of this county, being tributary to Snake river. 

MiLLE Lacs Indian Reservation. 

By a treaty in Washington, February 22, 185S, the three surveyed 
townships adjoining the south side of Mille Lacs, with their islands, and 
the small fractional township at its west side, all lying in the later area 
of this county, were reserved to the Ojibways living on this excellent hunt- 
ing ground, with its abundant wild rice and fine fishing in the great lake. 

Nine years afterward, in another treaty at Washington, May 7, 1864, 
this tract was conditionally ceded to the United States, except one section 
granted to Sha-bosh-kung, for whom a bay and point on the west side of 
Milie Lacs are named, as before noted. But according to article 12 of 
this treaty the Ojibway people were accorded the right to occupy the 
reservation so long as they would not molest the persons and property of 
adjoining white settlers. Under this condition they continued here dur- 
ing thirty-six years, and were reluctantly persuaded in the year 1901 and 
later to remove to the White Earth reservation. 



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MORRISON COUNTY 

This county, established February 25, 18S6, was named in honor of 
William and Allan Morrison. The older of these brothers, William, was 
born in Montreal, March 7, 1785, atid died on Morrison's Island, near 
Sorel, Canada, August 7, 1866. He entered the service of the XV fur 
company in 1802, coming to Grand Portage, Leech lake, and the head- 
waters of Crow Wing river. From. 1805 to 1816 he was engaged here for 
a new company formed by the coalition of the XY and Northwest com- 
panies. Later, through ten years, he was in service of the American Fur 
Company, under John Jacob Astor, and established a series of trading 
posts on or near the northern boundary of Minnesota from Grand Portage 
west to the I-ake of the Woods. In 1826 he retired, and afterward lived 
in Canada. During his journeys as a fur trader he explored a large 
region of northern Minnesota. In 1804 he visited Lake Itasca, then called 
Lac La Biche or Elk lake, thus long preceding Schoolcraft in the dis- 
covery of the source of the Mississippi, as is related by Hon, J. V. 
Brower in Volume VII of the Minnesota Historical Society Collections, 
with publication of the full text of a letter on this subject, which William 
Morrison wrote to his brother Allan, January 9, 1856. This letter was 
forwarded to Governor Ramsey, then president of the Historical Society, 
a few days before the act was passed establishing this county. 

Allan Morrison, who is also commemorated by this name, was born 
at Terrebonne, near Montreal, June 3, 1803, and died 'at White Eartli, 
Minn., November 21, 1877. He came to Fond du Lac and northern Minne- 
sota, in the fur trade, associated with his brother William, in 1820; 
had charge of trading posts at Sandy lake. Leech lake. Red lake, and 
Mille Lacs ; was the first trader at Crow Wing, continuing there many 
years ; and finally removed in 1874 to the White Earth reservation. He 
was a representative in the first territorial legislature. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information has been gathered from "History of the Upper Mississippi 
Valley," 1881, having pages 586-636 for this county; "The History of 
Morrison County," by Nathan Richardson, a series of weekly articles in 
the Little Falls Transcript during 1876, collected in a scrap-book in the 
Public Library of Little Falls ; "History of Morrison and Todd Counties," 
by Clara K Fuller, 1915, two volumes, 708 pages ; and from Edward F. 
Shaw, judge of probate, interviewed during a visit at Little Falls, the 
county seat, in May, 1916. 

AcRAM township received this name by request of its settlers, in July, 
1886, for the city of Agram in Austria-Hungary, the capital of Croatia 
and Slavoitia. 

3S0 



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.. MORRISON COUNTY 351 

Belle Prairie township, first settled in 1849, organized April 6, 18S8, 
adopted this name, meaning "beautiful prairie," from the French fur 
traders and voyageurs, for its tract of grassland five miles long and 
averaging about a mile in width, nearly adjoining the Mississippi river. 

BaiEVUE township, setded in 1852, organized in the spring of 1858, 
has another French name, meaning "beautiful view," in reference to the 
outlook from its prairie beside the Mississippi, which reaches south into 
Benton county. 

BowLus, a railway village in Two Rivers township, platted in July, 
1907, was named by officers of the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. 
Marie railway corapans 

Buct-MAN township organized m 1874, was named in honor of Clar- 
ence B Buckman one of its first settlers. He was bom in Bucks county, 
Pa. April 1 ISSO came to Mmnesota in 1872, settling here as a farmer 
and lumberman removed to Little Falls in 1880; was a representative 
m the ieg slature 1881 and a state senator in 1889 and 1899-1901 ; was 
a member of Congress n 1903-07 and died in a sanitarium at Battle 
Creek, Mich March 1 1917 

BuH township organized in Julj 189S, was named in bonor of Joseph 
Francis Buh a Catholic priest who was born in Austria, March 17, 1833; 
came to the United '^tate'i m I'<64 was a missionary in Minnesota during 
eighteen years until 1882 and later through more than twenty years was 
a pastor at lariou"; places in th s state, 

Clolch town=h p organized in October, 1890, was named in honor of 
David Marston Clough who engaged extensively in lumbering here, with 
sawmills and manufactur ng m M nneapolis. He was born in Lyme, N. 
H December 27 1846 came to Minnesota in 1857 with his father's fami- 
I3 who settled at Spencer Brook Isanti county; removed to Minneapolis 
m 1866 was a state senat r 1886-90; lieutenant governor, 1893-5, and 
gmernor of Minnesota 189'i W renoved in 1899 to Everett, Washington, 
and there al o engaged n a larf,e lumber business. 

CuLDKTjM township ofgau zed Time 2, 1870, was named by John Work- 
man who had pre; ously In ed at Little Falls and settled here soon after 
the en il war this being the name of his birthplace in Ireland. 

CcieiNG townsh p organ zed October 30, 1891, and its railway village, 
platted m December 1907 probably were named for an eminent jurist, 
congressman and d plomatist Caleb Gushing (b. !800. d. 1879), of Massa- 
chusetts who in 1847 was financ alh associated with Franklin Steele and 
otl ers in founding St Anthem and beginning the great lumber industries 
of the upper Mississippi 

Darlikg township established January 7, 1891, at first called Randall, 
wh ch continues as the name of its railway village, in section 7, was re- 
named in October 1907 for William L. Darling, of St. Paul. He was 
born m Oxford, Mass., March 24, 1856; was graduated at Worcester 
Polytechnic Institute, 1877; settled in St. Paul, engaged in railway engin- 



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352 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

eering, and since 1905 has been chief engineer of the Northern Pacific 
railway. This is also the name of a railway station in section 35, 

Elm Dale township, settled in 1865, organi?ed April 11, 1881, has 
abundant elms in its woods, and its western part has many low morainic 
hills and dales. 

Flensbubg, a railway village in Culdrum, platted in March, 1890, was 
named for a seaport and fjord of Sehleswig, a province of Prussia, ad- 
joining Denmark 

Genola is a railway village lin Pierz township, platted in August, 1908, 
ait first called New Pierz, but in 1915 taking this name of a village in 
Piedmont, Italy 

Gramite township organized in Julj 1902, has in its section 21 many 
outcrops of a granitic rock ccarse graj gneiss, adjoining the Skunk river 
for a half mile or more where a vdlage named "Granite City" was found- 
ed hy Tallmadge Elwel! in I8'i8 It had a sawmill, hotel, and other build- 
ings, which were deserted m 1861-62 on account of the civil war and the 
Sioux war, the site being permanently abandoned. 

Gkavelville, a former village on the Platte river in the southeast cor- 
ner of Belle Prairie township wa founded in 1876 by Charles Gravel, 
who, with his older brother Iv 5ri.is e built a sawmill and gristmill here 
and also engaged m mercantile business 

GBeen Prairie township orgamzed in the spring of 1868, was named in 
honor of its first settler Charles H Green, a native of Glens Falls, N. 
Y., who came here in 18'i5 enlisted in the Third Minnesota regiment, 1861, 
and was killed in the battle of Murfreesboro, July 13. 1862. The prairie 
in this township bordering the Mississippi, was about three miles long 
and nearly a mile wide 

Gebgory is a staticn and smill village of the Northern Pacific railway 
in the north edge of Belleiue named for John Gregory Smith, of Ver- 
mont, president of the Northern Pacific company in 1866-72, more fully 
noticed in the chapter for Crow Wmg county, where the city of Brainerd 
was named in honor of his wife. 

HiLLMAN township, organized July 7, 1902, the railway village of this 
name in Leigh township, platted in July, 1908, and the brook much earlier 
so named, with its southern tributary, Little Hillnian brook, commemo- 
rate a pioneer of the county. 

Lakin township, organized July 6, 1903, was named for Fred H. Lakin, 
a settler from Maine, who during many years was one of the county com- 
missioners, living in Royalton. 

Leigh township, organized February IS, 1908, was named in honor of 
Joseph P. Leigh, a pioneer farmer there, who came from Maine. 

Lincoln, a railway village in Scandia Valley township, platted in Sep- 
tember, 1893, having numerous summer homes beside Fish Trap lake, was 
named for the martyr president of the United States in the civil war. 

Little Falls, the county seat, first settled in 1848 and platted in 1855, 
was incorporated as a village February 25, 1879, and as a city in July, 



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MORRISON COUNTY 353 

1890, The city area mainly belonged to Little Falls township, which was 
organized May 11, 1858; but it extends also into the adjoining Belle 
Prairie township, and its part west of the Mississippi is in Pike Creek 
township. Pike in 180S-06 called the rapids or falls of the river here 
"Painted Rock or Little Falls," the first of these names being translated 
from the French traders. Mill island, a slate outcrop a quarter of a mile 
long, divides the river into east and west channels ; and the original descent 
of the rapids at this island and southward was Jl feet in three-fourths of 
a mile. About the year 1890 a dam was built, which raises the river nine 
feet above the former head of the rapids, giving thus a total fall of 20 
feet and holding the river as a mill pond for about three miles to the 
middle of the Little Elk rapids, which previously had a descent of seven 

During an exceptionally high flood stage of the Mississippi in June, 
1858, the steamboat North Star from Minneapolis passed over the Sauk 
rapids and the Little falls, and made a pleasure trip to the Grand rapids 
in Itasca county. (M. H. S. Collections, vol IX, page 48.) 

The discovery in 18?8 by Miss Frances E. Babbitt, a school teacher at 
Little Falls, of artificially flaked quartz fragments in the Mississippi val- 
ley drift, gave evidence of the presence of primitive men here during the 
closing part of the Ice Age. "Kakabikansing," the Ojibway name of Little 
Falls, meaning "the place of the little squarely cut-oS rock," is the title 
of a memoir on this subject, by Hon. J. V. Brower, published in 1902 
(126 pages, with maps and many illustrations from photographs). 

MoRRiLi. township, settled in 1874, organized April 11, 1881, was at first 
called Oakwood, but after a few years was renamed in honor of Ashby 
C. Morrill, a member of the board of county commissioners. He was 
born in Canterbury, N. H., January 9, 1830; was graduated in the law 
school of Harvard College ; came to Minnesota in 1857, settling in Minne- 
apolis ; engaged after 1868 in milling and lumbering, and had a farm in 
Buckman township; resided after 1884 at Little Falls, where he erected 
the Little Elk mills ; and died in Minneapolis, May 5, 1904. 

Motley township, organized in the spring of 1879, took the name of 
its railway vill^e, founded in 1874, which was named by officers of the 
Northern Pacific railway company. 

Mount Mobbis township, organized March 17, 1897, was named by 
Dunkard settlers who came from Pennsylvania and Ohio. This name is 
borne also by townships and villages in New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, 
Michigan, and Wisconsin. 

North Prairie, a small village in Two Rivers township, platted in the 
summer of 1885, is in the oldest Polish settlement of this county, founded 
by its pioneer immigrants in 1868-70. 

Parker township, organized in the spring of 1880, was named in honor 
of George F. Parker, its first settler. He was born in Bridgewater, Mass., 
December 26, 1846; served during the civil war in Massachusetts regi- 
ments; and came here as a homesteader, April 17, 1879. 



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354 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC. NAMES 

PiEBZ township, organized March 9, 1869, was named in honor of 
Francis Xavier Pierz (or Pirec), a Catholic missionary. He was born 
in Godic, Carniola, Austria, November 20, 1785 ; was ordained a priest in 
1813; came to the United States in 1835- was a missionary to the Ottawa 
Indians in Michigan, and from 1852 to 1873 labored mainly among the 
Ojibways in northern Minnesota; was a leader in forming the Bene- 
dictine community of St. John's, Collegevilk, and in bringing German 
colonists to Stearns and Morrison counties returned to Austria in 1873, 
and died in Laibach, Carniola, Januars 22 1880 The village of Pierz was 
platted in 1891, and was incorporated in January 1892. The railway vil- 
lage, formerly New Pierz, has been renamed Genola, as before noted. 

Pike Cheek township, organized m 1880 with its creek of this name, 
commemorates Zebulon Montgomery Pike explorer of the upper Missis- 
sippi, whose stockade camp in the winter of 1805-0O was on its west bank 
in Swan River township, about a quarter of a mile south, from the mouth 
of Swan river. He was born in Lamingfeon, N. J., January 5, 1779; entered 
the United States army in 1799, and became a captain in 1806; conducted 
an expedition to the headwaters of the Mississippi in 1805-06, being over- 
taken by an early snow and cold on October 16, so that his party then made 
their winter encampment, as noted, at the west side of Pike rapids ; ad- 
vanced thence afoot in the midwinter, with a few of his men, to Sandy, 
Leech, and Cass lakes; discovered Pike's peak of the Rocky mountains in 
the next year, on an expedition to the headwaters of the Arkansas and 
Red rivers; was promoted in the War of 1812 to the rank, of brigadier 
general, and was killed April 27, !813, while commanding an attack 
at York (now Toronto), Canada. In 1807 and 1810 he published accounts 
of his explorations in Mimiesota and in the Southwest, His journals and 
reports of these expeditions were more fully published in 189S, edited and 
annotated by Dr. Elliott Coues, in three volumes. A paper in the Somer- 
set County (N. J.) Historical Quarterly, October, 1919 (vol. VIII, pp. 
241-251) h h P*k ■ V h 1 w L ■ gt ■ h 

Platte 899 P 

river, wh T earn g P 

lake on fl w g P 

or Rice tt F h m g b 

the earl F g fi h w b 

by a rem w h gh g N k 

PuLA g 899 m h 

the Pol g P k w g d W gt 

the Revo WH PdMh48 d 

the American service in 1777; formed a corps called "Pulaski's Legion" 
in 1778; defended Charleston in 1779; was mortally wounded near Savan- 
nah, Ga., October 9, 1779, and died two days later. 

Rail Pkairie township, organized January 27, 1890, was named in 
honor of Case Rail, a pioneer farmer in section 18, beside the Mississippi, 
whose homestead was mostly a prairie. 



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MORRISON COUNTY 355 

Randall, a railway village in Darling township, platted in March, 
1890, and incorporated in July, 1900, was named in honor of John H. 
Randall, of St. Paul. He was born in Roxbury, Mass., in 1831 ; came to 
Minnesota in 1856; engaged in official service for the St. Paul and Pacific 
railway company, and from 1887 to 1907 for the Northern Pacific company; 
and died in St. Paul, March 11, 1916. This township was originally named 
Randall in 1891, after the village, and received its present name in 1907, 
as before noted. 

Richardson township, organized January 7, 1903, was named in honor 
of Nathan Richardson, who was the author of a newspaper history of this 
county in 1876, He was born in Qyde, N. Y., February 24, 1829; came to 
Minnesota in 1854, and in the next year settled at Little Falls ; was during 
many years register of deeds for the county, and later was judge of pro- 
bate; was postmaster of Little Falls for about ten years; was a repre- 
sentative in the legislature in 1867, 1872, and 1878; and died at his home 
in Little Falls, January 9, 1908. 

Ripley township received its name from Fort Ripley, built in 1849-50 
or the west bank of the Mississippi in the eastern section 7 of Clough 
township, opposite to the raouth of Nokasippi river, which continued in 
use as a military post of the United States until July, 1878. It was at first 
named Fort Gaines, in honor of Edmund Pendleton Gaines (b. 1777, d. 
1849), who served in the War of 1812 as a colonel and later as a brigadier 
general. Eleazar Wheelock Ripley, for whom this fort was renamed 
November 4, 1850, was bom in Hanover, N. H., April 15, 1782; served in 
the War of 1812, being promoted to the rank of brigadier general, and 
was brevetted major general; was a member of Congress from Louisi- 
ana, 183S-9; and died in Louisiana, March 2, 1839. 

Rosing township, organized Ju!y 7, 1902, was named in honor of Leo- 
nard August Rosing, who in that year was the Democratic candidate for 
governor of Minnesota. He was born in Malmo, Sweden. August 29, 
1861; came to the United States in 1869 with his parents, who settled in 
Goodhue county, Minn. ; resided in Cannon Falls after 1881, being a mer- 
chant there; was private secretary of Governor Lind, 1899-1901: was a 
member of the State Board of Control, 1905-09; and died in St. Paul, 
April 14, 1909. 

RoVALTON, a railway village in B el lev ue, platted in 1878 and incorporated 
in October, 1887, was named by settlers from the township and village of 
Royalton in Vermont. 

ScAHDiA Valley township, organized in October, 1893, was nanied by 
its Scandinavian settlers. In ancient times the name Scandia designated 
what was supposed to be a large island north of the Baltic sea, before 
exploration made it known as the south part of the peninsula of Sweden 
and Norway. 

Swan River township, organized in December, 1874, bears the name of 
the stream flowing through its northern part to the Mississippi. Its source 



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356 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

is Swan lake in Todd county, the name of both the lake and river being 
received by translation from their Ojibway name, spelled Wabisi by Bar- 
aga and Wabizi by GilfiUan. When the first settlers came, Minnesota 
had two species of swans, the whistling swan, which is yet rarely seen 
here, and the trumpeter swan, believed now to be extinct, like the passen- 
ger pigeon. 

SwANvlLLE township, organized October 12, 1892, likewise crossed by 
the Swan river, took the name of its railway village, platted in November, 
1882, and incorporated May 24, 1893. 

Two Rivers township, first settled in 1855 and organized in Septem- 
ber, 1865, received the name of its streams tributary to the Mississippi, 
a translation from the Ojibways, as noted by Gilfillan. The larger one of 
the Two rivers is formed by the South and North Two rivers, which unite 
about three miles above its mouth, the former being the outlet of Two 
River lake Jn Stearns eoiinty. Little Two river flows into the Mississippi 
a third of a mile north from the mouth of the larger stream. 

Upsala is a hamlet in Elm Dale township, named from the ancient city 
of Upsala in Sweden, renowned for its university founded in 1477. 

Vawtek, a small village of the Soo railway in the north edge of Belle- 
vue, was platted in the summer of 1908. 



Crow Potato and High islands It outflows to Fish Trap lake, and 
thn byFhTpb kt the Long Prairie and Crow Wing rivers, 
"^h m Ik b t tw m 1 f ther north, has this spelling on the map 
d ording to Giliillan, "from an old Indian 
1 d there long ago ;" but on the most recent 

French form of this Ojibway name. 

d \ Iky are Stanchfield lake, named for a 

h 1 f ections I and 2; Duck lake, in sections 

t 13; McDonald lake, section 17; Lena lake, 

k n m d for its shape, adjoining the northeast 

M d 1 k t 36 R ng. 

T m k d A tt 1 k respectively in section II and 34, Rail 

P Th 1 tt , 1. printed Mott lake on a recent map, was 

named for F, Aiott, a pioneer farmer there. 



f M 


rni 


ta 1860 d 


nam d 


SI 


wh 


m p 


t 


p 11 d Sh m 


S 


11 


Ik S 


1 mb 


rra 


th t1 


9 and 


10 I 
18 


i dl k 


t 


d H m 1 


1 


f F 


hT pi k 



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MORRISON COUNTY 357 

Clough township has Round lake in section 27, and Goose and Ciough 
I^es in sections 26 and 3S. 

Lake Madaline is in sections 5 and 8, Gushing. 
Fish lake is on the east line of Darling township. 

In the northwest part of Elm Dale are Long, Pine, and Cedar lakes. 
Little Elk river, translated from its Ojibway name, is tributary to 
the Mississippi from the west, giving name to Little Elk rapids of the 
great river, between two and three miles north of Little Falls. Hay 
creek, named from its meadows which supplied hay for winter logging 
teams, flows into the North fork of Little Elk river; and the South fork 
receives Tidd, Shingle, and Stiirgis brooks. 

Another Hay creek flows to the Mississippi from the south part of 
Swan River township. 

Below the Little Elk river and rapids, the Mississippi has Big island, 
a mile north of Mill island at Little Falls ; Newton and Hobart islands, 
about a mile north of Pike rapids ; and between three and five miles south 
of Swan river are Cash's, Muncy's, and Blanchard's rapids. 

On its east side the Mississippi receives Fletcher Boundary creek from 
Ripley and Belle Prairie. 

At the head of Platte river are Platte lake, before noted, and Sullivan 
lake, the latter crossed by the east line of Pulaski. Skunk river, the large 
eastern tributary of the Platte, was called Little Platte river on the map 
of Minnesota in 1860. Nicollet mapped the Platte as "Pekushino river;" 
it was named "Flat river" on the map of Minnesota territory in 1850; 
and Norwood's map in Owen's geological report, published in 1852, first 
presented its French name, PJatte river. 

Four small lakes are tributary to the lower part of this river, namely. 
Fish lake, in sections 13 and 14, Agram ; Pelkey lake, bearing the name of 
pioneer farmers beside it, in sections 34 and 35, Belle Prairie; Rice lake, 
formerly mapped as Platte lake, having much wild rice, through which 
the river flows Jn Little Falls township; and Skunk lake, closely adjoin- 
ing this Rice lake and also very near the mouth of Skunk river. 
Little Rock creek flows into Benton countj'. 

Mount Morris and Lakin townships are drained to the Rum river by its 
West Branch and Tibbetts brook. 

Prairies and Hills. 
Four townships of this county. Belle Prairie, Bellevue, Green Prairie, 
and Rail Prairie, are named for small natural prairies on the valley drift 
bordering the Mississippi. A larger area, called Rich prairie, consisting 
mainly of similar valley drift, adjoins the Platte and Skunk rivers in Buh. 
Pierz, Agram, and the southeast part of Little Fails township. With the 
exception of these and some other such limited grasslands, Morrison 
county originally was well wooded, and amidst its principally hardwood 
forests it had numerous extensive tracts of valuable white pine timber. 



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358 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Considerable parts of this county are occupied by belts of low morainic 
drift hills, but only two hills are named on maps. One is widely known 
as "HoIe-in-the-Day's bluff," because the second hereditary Ojibway 
chief of this name was buried on its top. He was born in 1828, and died 
at Crow Wing, June 27, 1868, being assassinated by three of his own peo- 
ple, members of the Pillager band. This hill is on the south edge of Belle 
Prairie, about a mile and a half northeast of Little Falls. It rises 40 
feet above the average height of neighboring hillocks in the same belt, 
being about ISO feet above the Mississippi, but even this slight elevation 
commands a wide prospect of tiie adjoining valley plain, 

The second morainic hill distinguished by a name is in the eastern 
section 26 of Belle Prairie, known as Tanner's hill, wbich has a height 
of only about 100 feet above the country around it. 

Pike's Wintering Place. 

The site of log houses and a stockade built by Pike and his soldiers 
as their winter quarters, in 1805-06, on the west bank of the Mississippi at 
Pike rapids, before noticed for Pike Creek township, is marked by a 
bronze memorial tablet, upon a cairn of stones, given by the Daughters 
of the American Revolution and unveiled September 27, 1919, with an 
address by Mrs. James T. Morris, of Minneapolis, state regent. 

The Mississippi at its stage of low water falls three feet by its rapids 
in tte distance between about a quarter and an eighth of a mile north of 
this site. Its bed, strewn with boulders, has many low outcrops of 
staurolite-bearing mica schist. 



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MOWER COUNTY 

Established February 20, 1855, this county was named in honor of 
John E. Mower, who was bom in Bangor, Maine, September 15, 1815, and 
died in Areola, Minn., June 11, 1879. He came to St. Croix Falls, Wis,, 
in 1842; removed to Stillwater, Minn., in 1844; and settled at Areola, 
near Stillwater, in 1847, where he afterward resided, being chiefly en- 
gaged in lumbering. He was a member of the council of the territorial 
legislature, 1854-5, and a representative in tlie state legislature, 1874-S. 
His brother, Martin Mower, born in Starlc, Maine, in 1819, came to Still- 
water in 1843; had large business interests of building, manufactures, 
and lumbering, in Stillwater and Areola ; selected the latter place as his 
home in 1846; and died there in July. 1890. 

The family name Irere has been pronounced with the long sound of a, 
as for one mowing grass, not like a mow of hay in a barn : but the county 
title, by coramon usage, is divergently spoken in both ways. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origin and meaning of names has been gathered 
from "History of Mower County," 1884, 610 pages ; the later History of 
this county, edited by Franklyn Curtiss- Wedge, 191J. 1(106 pages ; and from 
Henry Weber, Jr., judge of probate, Eugene Wood, register of deeds, and 
Mrs. Flora Crane Conner, librarian, each interviewed during a visit at 
Austin, the county seat, in April, 1916. 

AoAMS township was organized in May, 1858. Its railway village of the 
same name was platted Jaiiuary 30, 1868, and was incorporated March 
2, 1887. This name is borne by counties in nine states of the Union, and 
by villages and townships in fourteen states, mostly in honor of John 
Adams, the second president of the United States in 1797-1801, and his 
son, John Quincy Adams, the sixth president, 1825-29. 

Austin, the county seat, platted in the spring of 1856, incorporated as 
a village in 1868 and as a city in 1873, and also Austin township, organized 
in 1858, were named for Austin R. Nichols, their first settler. He was born , 
in Lawrence county, N. V, June 13, 1814; came to Minnesota in 1851, 
and took a land claim in 1853 on the site of this city ; built a sawmill here 
in 1854, but sold this claim later m the same year; was a pioneer farmer 
subsequently at several other places in this state; removed to Minneapolis 
in 1865, and to the northwest shore of Mille Lacs in 1879, where Nichols 
post office, named in his honor, was established at his home, in the west 
edge of Aitkin county. He died there, almost a century old, April 5, 1914. 
Bennington township, at lirst named Andover by the county commis- 
sioners in 1858, was organized in the autumn of 1860, then receiving its 
present name from Bennington, Vermont, renowned for a battle of the 



J59 



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360 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Revolutionary War, August 16, 1777, in which the British were defeated 
by the Americans. 

Brownsdale, the village of Red Rock township, was platted in the 
summer of 1856 by Andrew D. and Hosmer A. Brown, and was incorpo- 
rated in February, 1876, Andrew D. Brown was born in North Stoning- 
ton, Conn., in 1818; came to Minnesota in 1856, settling here, and engaged 
in lumber business and milling; died in Minneapolis in May, 1911. Hosmer 
A. Brown was born in North Stonington, Conn., September 30, 1830; 
came to this state in 1855, settling on the site of Brownsdale as a farmer 
and carpenter; was a representative in the legislature in 1870 and 1877. 

Clayton township, originally named Providence in 1858, was organ- 
ized June 20, 1873. being then renamed in. honor of William Z. Qayton, 
owner of a large tract of land in this township. He was born in Free- 
man, Maine, in 1837; came to Minnesota about 1857; served in the First 
Minnesota Battery of Light Artillery, 1861-5, becoming its captain ; later 
resided in Winona county, and during several summers in this township, 
being a farmer and dealer in real estate; removed to Bangor, Maine. 

Dexter township, organized June 6, 1870, was named for Dexter Par- 
ritt, who came from Obio with his father, Mahlon Parritt, in 1857, these 
being the first settlers. Dexter railway village was platted in 1874, and 
was incorporated February 28, 1878. 

Elkton, a village of the Chicago Great Western railway in Marshall, 
platted January 25, 1887, has a name of .villages in eleven other states. 

Frankfohd township was organized May 11, 1858, taking the name of 
its village which had been platted in 1856. It is the name of a township 
in New Jersey, and of villages in Delaware, West Virginia, and other 
states, and in Ontario, Canada. 

Grand Meadow township, named fay the county commissioners in 1858, 
in allusion to its being an extensive prairie, was organized April 20, 18ffi. 
Its village of this name, on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railway, 
was platted in 1870, when this railway line was built through the county. 

Hamilton, a former village on the east line of Racine, lying mainly 
in Fillmore county, was platted in 1855, as noted for that county. 

Lansing township, organized May 11, 1858, received this name from 
the capital of Michigan, in compliment to Alanson B. Vaughan, a pioneer 
settler, on account of its similarity in sound with his first name. Lans- 
ii^ village, of which he was the first proprietor, was also platted in 1858. 
He was bom in Clinton county, N. Y., June 6, 1806; removed to Rock 
county, Wisconsin, in 1843; came to Minnesota in 1854, and settled in this 
township, with his five sons, in 1855; was the first merchant and first 
post master in the adjoining village of Austin; was a member of the 
state constitutional convention in 18S7, and the first judge of probate in 
this county; died October 3, 1876. 

Le Roy township was organized May il, 1858. Its railway village, 
bearing the same name, was platted in 1867, when this Iowa and Minne- 



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MOWER COUNTY 361 

sota division of the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railway was being 
built. Fourteen other states have villages and townships of this name. 

LoDi township, organized in February, 1874, had received this name 
from the county commissioners in 18S8. It is borne by villages and town- 
ships in New York, New Jersey, Wisconsin, and several other states, being 
derived from a medieval city ot Lombardy in Italy, made famous by a 
victory won at the bridge of Lodi, by Napoleon against the Austriana, 
May 10, 1796. 

Lyle township, organized in 1858, was named in honor of Robert Lyle, 
a native of Ohio, who settled here in November, 1856, was judge of pro- 
bate for the county, and in 1868 removed to Missouri. Lyle railway village, 
platted in 1870. was incorporated March 9, 1875. 

Marshall township, which had been called York by the county com- 
missioners in 1858, was organized June 6, !870, being named in honor of 
William Rainey Marshall, who was governor of this state from 1866 to 
1870. 

Nevada township, first settled in 1854, was organized in May, 1858, re- 
ceiving this name from the Sierra Nevada, meaning "Snowy Range," 
which forms the eastern border of the great valley of California. Nevada 
Territory was organized three years later, in 1861, and was admitted to the 
Union as a state in 1864. 

Pleasant Valley township, organized May 11, 1858, was named by 
Sylvester Hills, its pioneer settler, who came here in 1854 from the vil- 
lage and township of Pleasant Valley in Dutchess county. New York. 

Racine township, organized May 11, 1858, bears the French name, 
meaning root, of the Hokah or Root river, which receives tributaries from 
this township. Racine railway village was platted October 3, 1890. 

Ramsey, a railway junction and small village three miles north of Aus- 
tin, was named in honor of Governor Ramsey, for whom a biographic 
sketch is presented in the chapter of Ramsey county. 

Red Rock township, organized in 1858, was named by its first settler, 
John L, Johnson, who came from Rock county, Wisconsin, in October, 
1855. His first home here was in Red Rock grove in section 4, this name 
being suggested "by a large red rock in the grove, the only one of the 
kind to be found for miles around." 

RenovAj a little village of the Chicago Great Western railway in Dex- 
ter, was platted March 30, 1900. 

Rose Cheek:, a railway village in Windom, founded as a flag station in 
1868, was incorporated February 14, 1899. It is situated beside the creek 
of this name, which is the largest eastern tributary of Cedar river in this 
county. 

Sargeant township, organized September 16, 1873, was named in honor 
of Harry N. Sargeant, one of its pioneer farmers. He was born in the 
Province of Quebec, June 19, 1817; came to Wisconsin in 1858, and to 
this county in 1865, settling in section II of this township; was elected 



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362 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

the first township clerk- died January 25 1884 Sargeant railway village 
was platted September 7 J894 this ra Iway ha^inj, been built in 1887, 

Taopi, a railway Milage and junct on in Lodi town';hip platted in 1875, 
incorporated in 1909 was named n hnnor of Taopi (Wounded Man), 
chief of the Farmer band of the Santee Sioux who died in March, 1869. 
He was one of the first converts to Chr st anity at the Redwood mission 
on the Minnesota ri\er and at the time of the Sioux outbreak, 1862, was 
friendly to tlie whites and aided in the restue of many He is commem- 
orated in a book Taopi and Hia Friend'; cr the Indians Wrongs and 
Rights," by Rev S D Hinman Bishcp ^^ hippie and others, 125 pages, 
with his portrait, published in 1869. 

Udolpho township, organized in 1858, was named by one of its pioneers, 
Col. Henry C, Rogers, frorn his having read "The Mysteries of Udolpho," 
by Mrs. Ann Ward Radcliffe of England, published in 1794. This is a 
highly fanciful and weird romance of Italy in the seventeenth century, 
representing Udolpho as a medieval castle in the Apennines. 

Vahco, a railway station four miles south of Austin, was platted 
November 17, 1875, on the farm of Thomas Varco, in whose honor it 
was named. He was born in England, came to Minnesota in. 1856, set- 
tling here, and died February !2, 1893. 

Waltham township, organized June 4, 1866, had been named April 16, 
1858, at a meeting of the county commissioners, one of whom, Charles F. 
Hardy, of Red Rock, was a native of Waltham in Massachusetts. Wal- 
tham railway village was platted September 8, 1885. 

Window township, organized May 11, 1858, at first called Brooklyn' 
and later Canton, was renamed in May, 1862, in honor of William Win- 
dora, of Winona, who then was a member of Congress. His name is 
borne also by the county seat of Cottonwood county, for which a bio- 
graphic notice of him is presented. 

Rivers and Creeks. 
Mower county, with a large adjoining tract of southeastern Minne- 
sota, differs from nearly all other parts of this state by the absence of 

The North and South branches of Root river, and Bear and Deer 
creeks, head streams of its Middle branch, drain the northeast part of the 
county, the French name of this river, Racine, being given to its most 
northeastern township. 

Upper Iowa river flows eastward from Lodi, receives the Little Iowa 
river in Le Roy, and crosses the state line at the southeast corner of this 
county. 

Cedar river, called Red Cedar river on Nicollet's map in 1843, flows 
through the west part of this county. Its tributaries here received from 
the east, in the order from north to south, are Wolf creek, Dobbin's 
creek. Rose creek, before noted as giving its name to a railway village. 



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MOWER COUNTY 363 

and Otter creek. Little Cedar river, another of its eastern tributaries, 
which joins the Cedar river much farther south in Iowa, has its sources 
in Marshall, Clayton, and Adams townships. From the west, Cedar river 
in this county receives Turtle, Orchard, and Woodbury creeks. 

Horace Austin State Park, 

In the northern part o£ the city of Austin a.tract of fifty acres, includ- 
ing "water of the Red Cedar river and a number of deeply wooded 
islands," was acquired by the state in 1914 as a public park, named in honor 
of the sixtK governor of this state. An expedition of three companies 
of the First United States Dragoons, under Lt. Col. Stephen W. Kearny, 
whose route was sketched by Albert M. Lea, camped here in 183S. Later 
the site of this park was a camping ground of parties of hunters and 
trappers m 1836 1841 and !846 mcludma Major Taliaferro, Henry H. 
Sibley, Alexander Faribault William H Forbes, and others prominent in 
the history of Fort Snelhng and of the fur trade within the area that 
afterward was Minnesota 

Horace Austin was born m Canterburj Conn., October 15, 1831, and 
died in Minneapolis November 7 1905 He settled in St. Peter, Minn., 
in 1854; 'served m the Indian war 18&J a^ captain of cavalry; was judge 
of the Sixth jadicial district, 1K5-9 goiernor of Minnesota, 1870-4; later 
was third auditor of the U S Treaturj and afterward was connected 
with the Department of the Interior se\en jears. In 1887-9 he was chair- 
man of the railroad commissioners of Minnesota. He resided at Lake 
Minnetonka, and durmg his last jears engaged in mining in California. 



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MURRAY COUNTY 

This county, established May 23, 18S7, and organized June 17, 1872, 
was named in honor of William Pitt Murray, who was born in Hamilton, 
Ohio, June 21, 1825, and died in St. Paul, June 20, 1910. He studied at 
Miami University, Oxford, Ohio; was graduated in law at the State Uni- 
versity of Indiana, 1849, and came to Minnesota the same year, settling in 
»St. Paul; was a member of the territorial legislature in 1852-3 and in 
1857, and of the council, 1854-S, being its president in 18SS ; was a mem- 
ber of the state constitutional convention, 1857; a representative in the 
state legislature in 1863 and 1868; and a state senator, 1866-7 and 1875-6. 
He was a member of the St. Paul city council, 1861-8 and 1870-79, being 
six years its president; and for thirteen years was the city attorney, 1876- 
89. He contributed a paper, "Recollections o£ Early Territorial Days 
and Legislation," in the Minnesota Historical Society Collections (vol. 
XII, 1908, pages 103-130, with his portrait) ; and was a member of the 
board of editors of "Minnesota in Three Centuries," four volumes, pub- 
lished in 1908. During more than sixty years he was an eminently use- 
ful and greatly beloved citizen of the capital of this state. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of geographic «ames in Murriy countj was received 
from Altred Terry of Slaytcn during many jears a dealer in real estate 
here, E V Brien county auditor, W J McMh^ter judge of probate 
and Robert Hjslop clerk of the court each being mteriiewed durmg a 
visit at Slayton the county seit in Julv 1916 and from Ned Currie, 
interviewed several times in St Paul m 1918 

AvocA, a riilway village m Lime Lake township was named in 1879 by 
Archbishop Ireland who founded near it a Catholic colony of immigrant 
farmers The name is taken from a rner in County Wn,klow Ireland 
about forty miles south of Dublin noted for the picturesque beauty of its 
valley, called ' Sweet Vale of ^voca in a poem by Thoma-i Moore 
From the tame given bj the poet s praise, this name also has been chosen 
for villages in thirteen other states of the Union, 

Belfast township, organized July 19 and September 3, 1878, bears the 
name of a large seaport city in northern Ireland, whence the city of Bel- 
fast in Maine, on -Penobscot bay, was named, as also villages of eight 
other states and townships in New York and Pennslyvania. 

BoNDiN township, organized November 2, 1874, received the name of 
a post office previously established at the home of William M. Davis, a 
pioneer farmer in the northwest quarter of its section 24, 



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MURRAY COUNTY 365 

Cameron township, organized September 10, 1878, has a name that is 
borne also by villages or cities or townships in fourteen other states. It 
was selected here in compliment for Charles Cameron Cole, an early 
settler. 

Chakarambie township, organized July 25, 1879, is drained by the 
head streams of "Hidden Wood creek or Tchan Narambe creek," as it 
is named on Nicollet's map, published in 1843. This Sioux name referred 
to trees or a grove in its valley concealed from any distant view, called 
"Lost Timber" by the early settlers. 

Chandler, a railway village in the northeast corner of Moulton, was- 
named in honor of John Alonzo Chandler, who was in official service of 
the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul railway company more than forty 
years, beginning this service in !855. He was born in West Randolph, 
Vt., January 18, 1831 ; was captain in the Nineteenth Wisconsin regi- 
ment, 1861-2, and a state senator in Wisconsin, 1864-5; came to Minne- 
sota in 1870, settling in St Paul, where he died March 31, 1902. 

CURSIE, the village of Murray township, was founded in 1872, when 
Neil Currie and his father, Archibald Currie, built a flour mill here, using 
water power of the Des Moines river about a mile below the mouth of 
Lake Shetek. Archibald Currie was born in Argyllshire, Scotland, 
November 13, 1816; came with his parents to America when five years 
old, and to Minnesota in 1862; was a merchant in Winona county until 
1874; then removed to Currie, where he engaged in merchandising and 
milling; was treasurer of this county, 1879-8.5; died July IS, 1904. This 
village, which was the first county seat, from 1872 to 1889, being succeeded 
ty Slayton, was named in honor of him and of Neil Currie, who was born 
in Canada, December 15, 1842. He built the first store here in 1872, and 
aided in organizing the Murray County Bank in 1874; was postmaster 
of Currie, 1872-90, and clerk of the court, 1874-87; resided here as a 
merchant until 1905, when he removed to St. Paul. 

Des Moines River township, organized May 31, 1878, is crossed by the 
river of this name, which has its sources in the west edge of this county. 

DovBAY township, organized March 18 and April 22, 1879, was named 
for Dovre, a village in Norway, and for the Dovrefjeld, a high moun- 
tainous plateau of that country, this name being given by Nels' S. Taarud, 
the county treasurer. Ten years earlier, in 1869, a township of Kandi- 
yohi county received the name Dovre, having the same derivation, for 
which reason the spelling was changed here, while retaining nearly the 
original pronunciation. Dovray railway village was platted in 1904. 

ELLSBOTioUGH township, organized March 21, 1874, has an unusual 
name, unknown elsewhere either as a place name or a surname, whith was 
adopted in honor of Knut Ellingson, one of its first settlers. 

Fenton township, the latest organized in this county, March 19, 1886, 
was named in honor of P. H. Fenton, a pioneer farmer, who removed to 
the state of Washington. 



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MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 



abbey, i dd 744 dtb tfl Idlbl 104 k 

Hadl lyllg Ldh mtltb 

lages and t w h p M 1 tt N \ k P yl 

other St t 

Hou. tl m £ f th 

izedjun 17 !87 w h 
pioneers I ft f > 

loNA, t I P g d 
village, pi tt d 1878 b R 
Catholic d t 1 1 1 t 
on the w t t f S tl 
by St. C 1 b th th 
was fou d d tl tl t tl 

Lake S sah t w h p 
largest 1 k d btl mm t g 1 k th p L k M 

the wif d ght f f th g m t 1 d r\ y f 

pioneer ttl b t m f tl Ik em t b lea ed 

Lake Wil 1 1 j U g Ch mb pi tt d 1883 w 

named by J th E W 1 f m Ij t Lh g Hi wb 1 

named th by I k f h m If H w d t t t 

thousand fid th ty (W H St tt PI N m 

of the Chicago and Northwestern and the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis 
and Omaha Railways, 1908, p. 180.) 

Leeds township, organized March U, 1873, received its name from 
Leeds township and village in Columbia county, Wisconsin. It is near 
Lowvilte in that county, whence the Low brothers came to Murray county. 

Lime Cheek, a little railway village in Belfast, and Lime Lake town- 
ship, organized September 24, 1873, are named from this creek and lake, 
which have plentiful boulders of limestone, especially abundant around 
the lake and pushed isp by its ice into ridges along parts of its shore. 

LowviLLE township, organized September 2. 1873, was named for John 
H. and Bartlett M. Low, brothers, who came here from New York and 
Wisconsin. Each of these states has a township named Lowville in honor 
of their family. John H. Low came first in the winter of 1855-6, for 
trapping in the vicinity of the Bear lakes. In 1866 the brothers took land 
claims in and adjoining "the Great Oasis" of timber, as the extensive 
grove beside these lakes was named on Nicollet's map, in allusion to the 
surrounding region of treeless prairie. John H. Ixiw was the county 
auditor in 1881-84; continued as a farmer on his homestead forty-eight 
years ; and removed to Slayton in 1914. Bartlett Marshall Low was bom 
in Poughkeepsie, N. Y., in 1839; served in the 42d Wisconsin regiment 
during the civil war ; came to Minnesota in 186S, and settled here a year 
later; was a representative in the legislature, 188?-89. (The family and 
township names here have an exceptional pronunciation, like how, now.) 



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MURRAY COUNTY 367 

Mason township, organized July 20, 1872, was at first called Okclieeda. 
but in 1879 was renamed in honor of Milo D. Mason, one of its pioneer 
settlers, who was a mail carrier between Currie and Pipestone. 

MouLTON township, organized October 28 and November 18, 1879, was 
named in honor of Justin P. Moiilton, of Worthington. He was born in 
Gilbertsville, N. Y., July 4, 1828; came to Minnesota in 18SS; kept a hotel 
in Saratoga, Winona county, and later engaged in mercantile business in 
Rochester; was a representative in the legislature, 1862-3; was receiver 
of the United States land office in Worthington, 1875-81, 

Murray township, organized July 2U, 1872, was named, like this county, 
for William Pitt Murray, of St. Paul. 

OwANKA, a Sioux or Dakota word, meaning a camping place, is the 
name of grounds platted for summer homes in Shetek township, on and 
near the northeastern shore of Lake Shetek. A part in the southwest 
quarter of section 29 had been earlier named Tepeeota, meaning a place 
of Sioux tents or tepees. About a mile southward, in the center and south- 
west part of section 32, the high shore is called "Ball's bluff," for Ezra 
Ball, a pioneer settler there, on whose land a party of state cavalrymen 
camped as rangers through this region after the Sioux massacre in 1862. 
Shetek township, at first called Lake Shetek, organized July 20, 1872, 
was named for its large lake, of which the broadest expanse is in the 
southwest part of this township, and which also reaches south into Mason 
and Murray. Nicollet wrote o£ his visit here in the summer of 1838: 
"I pitched my tents, during three days, about the group of Shetek or Peli- 
can lakes, that occupy a portion of the space forming the Coteau dea 
Prairies. This name belongi! to the language of the Chippewas and has 
been given to them by the voyageurs. The Sioux call this group o£ lakes 
the Rabechy, meaning the place where the pelicans nestle" [have nests). 

(Report, 1843, page 13.) Shetek is thus noted as an Ojibway word, 
meaning a pelican, but it differs somewhat from its original form. It is 
spelled Shada in Longfellow's "Song of Hiawatha," Shede (each vowel 
being pronounced like long a) by Gilfillan, and jede (nearly the same as 
each of the preceding in pronunciation) by Verwyst. 

Six years after Nicollet was here, Captain James Allen, with a com- 
pany of dragoons, explored the Des Moines valley in August and Sep- 
tember, 1844, from its junction with the Mississippi to Lake Shetek, which, 
not having Nicollet's report and map, he called "the Lake of the Oaks, 

. . . the highest source of the Des Mioines that is worth noticing as 

Skandia township, first settled in 1870 and organized January 7, 1873, 
bears the ancient name of southern Sweden, whence a longer form of the 
same name, Scandinavia, is used to designate the great peninsula of 
Sweden and Norway, or. in a wider sense, to include also Denmark and 
Iceland. 

Slavtom townsiiip, organized July 20, 1872, was then called Center, for 
its central position in the county ; but in 1882, a year after Slayton rail- 



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368 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

way village was platted, the township was thus renamed, in honor of 
Charles W. Slayton, its founder and chief proprietor. He was a real 
estate dealer, lived in this village about two years, 1881-2, removed after- 
ward to New Mexico, but returned to Minnesota and lived in St. Paul 
several years. The county seat was removed from Currie to Slayton, by 
a vote of the county, June II, 1889. 

Charles Wesley Slayton was born at West Potsdam, N. Y., August 
24, 1835; came to Wisconsin, with his parents, In 1855; was a farmer, and 
after 1868^ a manufacturer of furniture in Berlin, Wis., and a traveling 
salesman ; removed to Minnesota in 1878, settling in St. Paul as a land agent 
of the St. Paul and Sioux City railroad company; platted Slayton village 
in 1881 ; went to England early in 1882, and returned in April with 67 colo- 
nists, most of whom settled in or near this village; was a partner after 
1882 in gold and silver mining in New Mexico, but thereby in failure of 
his associates he lost his entire property; removed in 1892 to Phoeuix, 
Arizona, tliere engaging again in real estate business and in mining. 
(History of the Slayton Family, 1898, pages 123-124, with his portrait.) 
On account of failing health, he went in hope of recovery to Little Rock. 
Arkansas, and died there, June 5, 1906. 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing pages, have noticed the Des Moines river, Chanarambie 
creek, Lakes Sarah and Maria, Lake Wilson, Lime lake and creek, and 
Lake Shetek. 

Okshida creek, as named on Nicollet's map, called also Oksida or 
Beaver creek on later maps, being the head stream of Des Moines river, 
gave its name in the early years to Okeheeda township, from 1872 to 1879, 
since called Mason. This is evidently the same Sioux word that in Nobles 
county is applied to Lake Ocheeda and Och^edan creek or river, south 
of Worthington. Its meaning is indicated by Nicollet on his map, which, 
in the belt of morainic drift hills that is intersected b this lake and its 
outflow! g mhOedHki gGd 

the Dak D rv b Ei^ 8 h d k h b 



with th m d N b d 

spelled, M H h m n: 

ing for twb kdb wpty m 

The h p M d d I 

flowing hw d N b d R k 

name, g b N w h T 

Thorny od w d d m h n 

Curra h w S d 

t-ownship ea h fl g rth h Cot nw 

names from their wdd currants and wild plum tt 

Skandia also has Iron lake and Lake Oscar. 



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MURRAY COUNTY 369 

Hawk or Rush lake, crossed by the south line of Skandia, was the 
most northeastern of the group of Bear lakes, four in number, lying mainly 
in Lowville, the others heing Crooked and Bear lakes and Tibbetts or 
Great Oasis lake. The first and third are now represented by dry lake 
beds, haying become valuable farming lands. The fourth is called Great 
Oasis lake on recent maps, from this name applied by Nicollet to the 
adjoining grove, which had an area of more than 300 acres, before noted 
for Lowville township. 

Lake Wilson, close east of the railway village so named, was earlier 
called Sand lake. It is shallow and becomes dry in seasons of scanty 
rainfall. '■ 

Summit lake adjoins Ha<iley village, whence the railway descends 
both to the east and west. 

Lake Elsie, now drained and in cultivation, in the east part of Slay- 
ton village, was named for a daughter of Arthur Simpson, a settler 
beside it, who came from England, was the first owner of the Park hotel, 
and removed to southern California. 

Lake Cora Belle, in lona, and Lake Iva Delle, (spelled Ivedalle on 
recent maps), in EUsborough, were named by the United States surveyors, 
in honoc of daughters of the proprietor of the principal hotel in Worth- 
ington. 

The Badger lakes, in the northeast corner of lona, named for badgers 
formerly found here, are expected soon to be drained. 

In the southeast part of Mason are Lake Beauty, so called by Henry 
Edwards, a settler near it, and Mud and Qear lakes, which are described 
by their names. 

Another Clear lake, now dry, was crossed by the west line of section 

6, Shetek ; and James lake, named for James P. Corbin and James 
W. Matthews, early settlers beside it, is in the east half of section 4, 
outflowing eastward to Plum creek. ' 

"The Inlet" is a long and narrow northwestern arra or branch of Lake 
Shetek, receiving a tributary creek from Long lake, which is crossed by 
the north line of this county. 

Several small lakes adjoin the northeast end of Lake Shetek, named 
Bloody lake, for victims of the Sioux massacre in 1852, Fox lake, Isabella 
or Round lake, and Lake Fremont. The last commemorates John C. 
Fremont (b. 1813, d. 1890), who was here with Nicollet in 1838, renowned 
later as an explorer, and as the Republican candidate in 1856 for the 
presidency of the United States. 

Smith lake, named for Henry Watson Smith, a pioneer farmer, at its 
west side, is near the southeast shore of Lake Shetek, in sections 6 and 

7, Murray. He settled here before the Sioux massacre, left his claim at 
that time, and never returned. 

In Dovray are Skow lake, in section I ; Long lake, on the west side 
of sections 3 and !0; Rush lake, in section IS; Lake Buffalo, in section 18; 



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370 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Duck lake, a half raik southeast of Dovray village ; and Star lake, at the 
middle of the south Uite of this township. 

Lake Louisa (earlier mapped as Lake Eliza) is in sections 11 and 12, 
Des Moines River. 

Seven Mile lake, close south of Fulda, was named for its distance on an 
old trail from the Graham lakes in Nobles county. 

Center lake, also called Central lake, is at the center of Belfast. Tal- 
cott lake, on the east line of its sections 24 and 25, was named by Nicollet 
in honor of Andrew Talcott (b. 179?, d. 1883), as noted in the chapter of 
Cottonwood county. 

Buffalo Ridge. 

The highest land in this county, extending about two miles along the 
crest of the Coteau des Prairies in the central part of Chanararobie.is called 
Buffalo Ridge, in translation of its Sioux name. It rises 100 to 200 feet 
above the lowest adjoining valleys. On its highest knoll the Sioux had 
delineated various animals by "a series of boulder outlines, mostly formed 
of small stones. The best preserved of these figures apparently represents 
a buffalo. ... It heads to the northeast, and its greatest length is nearly 
12 feet." (T. H. Lewis, in the American Anthropologist, July, 1890, quot- 
ed in "The Aborigines of Minnesota," 1911, pages 106-108, with a diagram 
of the buffalo outline.) 



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NICOLLET COUNTY 

Established March 5, !853, this county was named in honor of Joseph 
Nicolas Nicollet, geographer arid explorer, whose admirable map and re- 
port of the region that now comprises Minnesota and the eastern parts 
of North and South Dakota were published in 1843, soon after his death. 
His name is also commemorated by an island of the Mississippi at Minne- 
apolis, and by a principal avenue of that city. (In pronunciation the 
name is anglicized, with accent on the first syllable, and sounding the 
final letter,) 

Nicollet was born July 24, 1786, at Cluses, in Savoy; completed his 
studies in Paris, where in 1817 he was appointed an officer of the astro- 
nomical observatory; in 1819 he became a citi2en of France, and in 1825, 
or earlier, he received the Cross of the Legion of Honor. He was finan- 
cially ruined by results of the Revolution of 1830, and came to the United 
States in 1832, to travel in unsettled parts of the South and West. Under 
the direction of the U. S. War Department and Bureau of Topographical 
Engineers, he made a canoe journey in 1836, from Fort Snelling up the 
Mississippi to Itasca lake, and in 1838 a trip up the Minnesota river 
and past Lake Shetek to the red pipestone quarry. He died in Washing- 
ton, D. C, September II, 1843. 

In the United States government reports and maps of his work, his 
name appears varyingly as I. N. or J. N. Nicollet ; and it is given as 
Jean N. by General Sibley, Dr. Neill, Prof. N. H. Windiell, and other 
writers of Minnesota history. Researches by Horace V. Wincheil, how- 
ever, in 1893, published in the American Geologist (vol. XIII, pages 126- 
128, for February, 1894), show that his name was Joseph Nicolas Nicollet. 
A biographic sketch of him, with a portrait, was given by N. H. Wincheil 
in the American Geologist (vol. VHI, pages 343-352, December, 1891) ; 
and additional details were given by H. V. Wincheil in the article before 
cited. 

The error of this name, during half a century so generally mistaken, 
may have come from its being confounded with that of the much earlier 
French explorer, Jean Nicolet (also spelled Nicollet), who came to Cana- 
da in 1618, and who was a most energetic and honored agent of the pro- 
prietors of Canada for the promotion of the fur trade. In 1634 this 
Nicolet visited the Sault Ste. Marie, and thence came to Green bay in 
eastern Wisconsin, being the first white man known to explore any part 
of that state. He died on the last day of October, 1642, being drowned 
by shipwreck on the St. Lawrence river near Quebec. 
371 



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372 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of geographic names has been gathered from "History 
of the Minnesota Valley," 1882, having pages 637-697 on this county; 
"History of Nicollet and Le Sueur Counties," edited hy Hon. William G. 
Gresham, two volumes, pages 544 and 538, 1916; and from Judge Gresham, 
the editor here cited; Z. S. Gault, cashier of the Nicollet County Bank. 
Henry Moll, judge of probate, and Mrs." Mary Briggs Ai ton, widow of 
Rev. John F. Aiton, each being interviewed during a visit at St. Peter, 
the county seat, in July, 1916. 

Belgrade township, first settled in 18S4 and organized in 18S8, was 
named from a township and village in Kennebec county, Maine, and 
from the ancient city of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, on the River 
Danube, 

Bernadotte township, settled in 1859, organized January 23, 1869, re- 
ceived this name at the suggestion of John Miller, one of its pioneer set- 
tlers, in honor of Charles XV (b. 1826, d. 1872), king of Sweden and 
Norway. He was the son of Oscar I, and was the grandson of a French 
general, Jean Baptiste Jules Bernadotte (b. 1764, d. 1844), who was elected 
crown prince of Sweden in 1810 and became the king in 1818, with the 
title Charles XIV. A township and village in Illinois also bear this name. 

Brighton, settled in 1855, but the latest township organized in this 
county, October 16, 1877, had several families who came from Brighton 
township in Kenosha, county, Wisconsin. 

CouRTLAND towuship, Organized in 1858, was then called Hilo, from its 
post office established in 1856, which received that name from a bay and 
town in Hawaii. It was renamed in 1865, for Cortland county and its 
county seat in New York, whence some of its settlers came. The vil- 
lage of this township, having the same name, designafed as a railway sta- 
tion in 1872, was platted February 14, 1882. 

Granby township, settled in May, 1855, organized May 11, 1853, has 
the name of townships and villages in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecti- 
cut, New York, and the Province of Quebec. 

Klossner, a railway village in Lafayette, platted in October, 1897, was 
named for Jacob Klossner, proprietor of its site. He was bom in Switzer- 
land, December 23, 1846; came with his parents to the United States 
when three years old, and to Minnesota in 1856; served against the Sioux, 
with the First Minnesota Mounted Rangers, 1862-3 ; owned a farm in 
New Ulm ; was a representative in the legislature in 1878. 

Lafayette township, settled in 1853 and organized May 11, 1858, was 
named, like townships and villages or cities of twenty other states of the 
Union, with counties of six states, in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette 
(b. 1757, d, 1834), of France, who came to America and greatly aided 
Washington in the Revolutionary War, and later was an eminent French 
statesman and general. The railway village of this name, in the northeast 
corner of the township, was platted in 1897. 



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NICOLLET COUNTY 373 

Lake Prairie township, settled in the summer of 18S3, organized in 
185S. was mainly an extensive prairie, with numerous small lakes, some of 
which liave been drained. 

New Sweden township, organized January 25, 1864, has many Swedish' 
settlers; but its earliest settlement, in 1855-57, was by immigrants from 
Norway, taking homesteads near a grove in its north part, which there- 
fore was named Norwegian Grove. 

Nicollet township, named after the county, was first settled Jn the 
spring of 1854 and was organized May 11, 1858. An early village of this 
name, in section 17, was platted in 1857, but lasted only three years. The 
present Nicollet railway village was incorporated November 17, 1881. 

North Mankato, in Belgrade township, is a village on the Minnesota 
river, opposite to the city of Mankato, Blue Earth county. 

OsHAWA township, first settled in 1852, organized in 1858, received its 
name from the Canadian town of Oshawa on the northwest shore of 
Lake Ontario, noted by Gannett as an Indian word, meaning "ferry him 
over," or "across the river." 

Redstone, a village site platted in 1856, on sections 34 and 35 in the 
west part of the present Courtland township, was named for adjacent 
outcrops of red quartzite beside the Minnesota river, A few years later 
this site was mostly vacated by removal of its settlers to New Ulm, Brown 
county. 

RiDCELY township, organized September 26, 1871, was named for Fort 
Ridgely, in its section 6, built in 1853-54, which was used as a United 
States military post until the spring of 1867. The fort was named in 
1854 by Jefferson Davis, then secretary of war, in honor of three army 
officers from Maryland who died in the Mexican war, Lieut. Henderson 
Ridgely, Captain Randolph Ridgely, and Captain Thomas P. Ridgely. 
During thirteen years before its organization, from 1858 to 1871, this 
township was a part of West Newton, which was named from the steam- 
boat that brought the first troops and supplies to build Fort Ridgely. as 
noted for that township. 

St. Peter, the county seat, first settled in the fall of 1853 by Captain 
William E. Dodd, platted in June. 1854. was incorporated as a borough 
March 2, 1865, and as a city January 7, 1873. It was named for the St. 
Pierre or St. Peter river, as the Minnesota river was called by the early 
French and English explorers and fur traders, probably in honor of 
Pierre Charles Le Sueur, whose surname is borne by the adjoining county 
on the east side of this river. ■ 

Traverse township, organized May 11, 1858. took the name of its vil- 
lage, platted in 1852, commonly called Traverse des Sioux, "Crossing of 
the Sioux," because the Minnesota river was crossed here on a much used 
trail from St. Paul and Fort Snelling to the upper Minnesota valley and 
the Red river valley. In 1833 this place was named "the Crescent" by 
Long's expedition, referring to a bend of the river ; but before 1838, when 
Nicollet was here, it had received this French name, Traverse des Sioux. 



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374 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

The Dakota Dictionary, published in 1852, notes its Sioux name as Oiyu- 
wege, meaning "the place of crossing, a ford." 

West Newton township, settled in the spring of 1856 and organized 
May 11, 1858, originally included Fort Ridgely and the present Ridgely 
township. It was named partly in compliment to James Newton, one of 
its first settlers, who was born in Kentucky in 1829, took a homestead 
claim here in 1856, and served in the Second Minnesota regiment in the 
civil war. A further and principal reason for the choice of this township 
name was the steamboat named West Newton, under command of Captain 
D. S. Harris, which made the trip from Fort Snelling to the site of Fort 
Ridgely in the last four days of April, 1853, bringing two companies of 
the Sixth regiment, with lumber and supplies for building the fort. "This 
was the first steamer that had ascended the Minnesota river any distance 
ahove the mouth of the Blue Earth," as Major Benjamin H. Randall 
wrote in a paper on the history of Fort Ridgely, especially narrating its 
defence against the Sioux, August 18-22, 1862, published in the Winona 
Republican, 1892. 

The steamboat, West Newton, 150 feet long and of 300 tons burden, 
was built for Captain Harris in 1852, for the Mississippi river traffic be- 
, tween Galena and St. Paul. It was the earliest boat arriving at St. Paul 
in the spring of 1853, on April U, and during that season it made twenty- 
seven trips to and from St. Paul, until in September it was sunk near 
Alma, Wisconsin. {George B. Merrick, "Old Times on the Upper Missis- 
sippi," 1909, page 293.) 

Lakes and Streams. 

The Sioux name. Mini Sotah, borne with changed spelling by the river 
which borders this county and by the state, is also applied on Nicollet's 
map to the lake crossed by the county line on the north side of West New- 
ton, translated as Clear lake. The outlet of Gear lake is Eight Mile 
creek, crossed eight miles from Fort Ridgely on the road to Traverse des 
Sioux. 

Little Rock creek or river, also called Mud creek, joins the Minnesota 
river near the east line of Ridgely. About three miles northwest from 
its mouth is an outcrop of gneiss and granite in the Minnesota valley, 
adjoining the site of a former Indian trading post, called Little Rock in 
translation of the French name. Petite Roche, given to it by the early 
. traders and voyageurs. 

Fort creek, flowing past the east side of the site of Fort Ridgely, is the 
most western tributary of the Minnesota river in this county. 

Nicollet creek, flowing south through Nicollet township to the Minne- 
sota, is (he outlet of the large Swan lake, which Nicollet mapped as 
Marrah Tanka (for maga, goose, tanka, great), the Sioux name of the 
swan. Keating, in the Narrative of Long's expedition in 1823, wrote of 
this lake, "The Indian name is Manha tanka otamenda, which signifies the 



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NICOLLET COUNTY 375 

lake of the many large birds." Two species, the trumpeter swan and the 
whistling swan, were formerly found in Minnesota, The first, which now 
is extinct, nested here; but the second, which yet is rarely seen in this 
state, has its breeding grounds far north of our region. 

Eastward from Swan lake are Middle lake, Little lake. Horseshoe 
lake, named for its shape. Timber lake, having trees and groves on its 
shores and on its large island. Fox lake, and Rogers lake, the last, in 
section 3, Traverse, being named for a pioneer farmer. 

Oak Leaf lake, formerly called Cowan's lake, in section 25, Oshawa, 
received its present name in honor of H, J. EcklotI, an adjoining Swedish 
farmer, whose name has this meaning. 

Goose lake, named for its wild geese, on the line between Traverse and 
Oshawa, has been drained. 

Several small creeks flowing to the Minnesota river, mostly in the 
east part of the county, remain unnamed on maps. 



f the Minnesota river called the Traverse des Siou-M 


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h d b d 1841 by C 


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t> w th th W hp t 


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th Id d d t 


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t p t t th land 


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pt d by th S d t ficat b th S t d t was 

proclaimed by President Fillmore on February 2'i. 1853, (See the account 
of these Treaties, by Thomas Hughes, M. H. S. Collections, vol. X, 1905, 
pages 101-129.) 

The site of the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux in 1851 was appropriately 
marked June 17, 1914, by a brass tablet on a granite boulder, unveiled by 
Mrs. Mary B. Alton. This historic memorial was presented to the state, 
from the Captain Richard Soraers Chapter of the Daughters of the 
American Revolution, St. Peter, by Mrs. H. L Stark, regent. {St. Peter 
Herald, June !9, 1914.) 



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NOBLES COUNTY 

Established Miy 23 1857 and organized October 2? 18?0 this county 
was named for William H Nobles who was a member of the Minnesota 
territorial legislature in 1854 ^nd 1856 In the autumn of the latter year 
he began the construction of a wagon road for the United States govern 
ment, crossing southwe tern Minnesota and this county to etitend from 
Fort Ridgely to the So ith pass m the Rocky mountains This work was 
continued in 1857 but was not completed 

Nobles was born m New York state in 1816 was s. machinist by trade 
and came to St. Croix Falls Wisconsin in 1841 to assist in building the 
first mill there, but soon removed to Hudson Wis then called Willow 
River; in 1843 he began his residence in Minnesota at Stillwater and m 

1848 came to'St Paul where he commented wagm makmg and black- 
smithing, buildinj, for Henry H Sibley the fir=t wagon made here In 

1849 he went to California and Ined there in Shasta county until May 
1852, when he led a party of citizens to inspect a piss which he had dis 
covered, crossing the Sierra Nevada since bearing his name Returnmg 
to Minnesota, he earnestly advocated the buiidmg of -in immigrant road 
(and ultimately a railroad) from St Paul by way of the South pass and 
Nobles pass, to San Fr-mcisco He served as lieutenant colonel in the 
79th New York regiment during a part of the cm! war and afterward 
held several government positions A few jeara of ill health ensued 
and he died in St Paul December 28 1876 having returned a few das^ 
previous from seeking in vam for recovers 

The United States steamship Noble? named in honor of this county s 
Liberty Loan record m the World War was launched August 23 1919 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of geographic names has been received from "An Illus- 
trated History of Nobles County," by Arthur P. Rose, 637 pages, 1908; 
and from Dr. George O. Moore, president of the State Bank of Worth- 
ington, and Julius A. Town, attorney, who came here as pioneer settlers 
in 1872, interviewed at Worthington, the county seat, in July. 1916. 

Abiuan, a village in Olney and West Side townships, platted in May, 
1876, and incorporated November 17, 1881, was named in honor of Adrian 
Iselin, who was the mother of Adrian C. Iselin, one of the directors of the 
St. Paul and Sioux City railroad company. In the vicinity of Adrian a 
Catholic colony of immigrant farmers was founded by Archbishop Ire- 
land in 1879. 

BiGEUDw township, organized May 20, 1872, and its railway village, 
platted in the same year, were named in honor of Charles Henry Bige- 
low, who was born in Easton, N. Y., June 4, 1835, and died in St. Paul, 



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NOBLES COUNTY 377 

Minn,, Ju!y 31, 1911. He settled at St. Paul in 1864. engaged in lumber 
business and in.surance, and was president of the St, Paul Fire and Marine 
Insurance Company, 187t>-191!. This village was incorporated March 14, 
1900. 

Bloom township, organized in April, 1879, was named in honor of Peter 
Bloom and his family, including three sons, who were its first settlers, 
locating on section 22 in 1874. 

Brewstek. the railway village of Hersey township, platted April 22, 
1872, was called Hersey until .August, 1880, being then renamed for the 
village and township of Brewster in Barnstable county, Mass. William 
Brewster, honored in the name of that township, was born in Scrooby, 
England, about 1560, was one of the founders of the Plymouth colony in 
Massachusetts, coming on the Mayflower in 1620, and died in Plymouth, 
Mass., April 10, 1644. 

Dewalb township, organized September 20, 1872, was named in honor 
of Amos and Hiram Dewald, pioneer settlers, who came in April, 1872. 

Dundee, a railway village in the northeast corner of Graham Lakes 
township, platted in 1879 and incorporated February IS, 1898, has the 
name of a city in Scotland, which is also borne by villages in twelve other 

Elk township, established September 16, 1872, took the name given by 
early trappers to the creek which has its sources here, flowing eastward. 
A lone elk was seen in this township ten days before the petition for its 
organization was granted by the county commissioners. 

Ellsworth, the railway village and jimction in Grand Prairie town- 
ship, platted in September, 1884, and incorporated January 13, 1887, was 
named in honor of Eugene Ellsworth, of Cedar Falls, Iowa. 

Graham Lakes township, organized April 21, 1871, received this name 
from its East and West Graham lakes, mapped as Lake Graham by Nicol- 
let, James Duncan Graham and Andrew Talcott, for whom Nicollet named 
Lake Talcott in the southwest corner of Cottonwood county, were com- 
missioners in 1840-43, with James Renwick, for the survey of the north- 
eastern part of the international boundary between the United States and 
Canada. Graham was born in Virginia, April 4, 1799; and died in Boston, 
Mass., December 28, 1865. He was graduated at the United States Mili- 
tary Academy in S817, served in the corps of topographical engineers 
after 1829, and was brevetted lieutenant colonel for his valuable work on 
the northeastern boundary survey. 

Grand Prairie township, organized October 30, 1873, is in a very ex- 
tensive prairie region, which has mostly an undulating or rolling surface, 
but the greater part of this township is nearly level. 

Hersey township, organized June 11, 1872, took the early name of its 
railway village, which was changed to Brewster in 1880, as before noted. 
The township name commemorates Samuel Freeman Hersey, of Bangor, 
Maine, who was a director of the St. Paul and Sioux City railroad com- 
pany. He was born in Sumner, Maine, April 12, J812; engaged in lumber 



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378 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

business and banking in Maine, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, and established 
large sawmills in Stillwater, Minn.; was a member of Congress from 
Maine, 1873-75; and died in Bangor, February 3, 1875. 

Indian Lake township, established April 22, 1871, bears the name of 
its lake in sections 27 and 34, where the first white settlers, coming in 
1869, found tlie camp of a considerable band of Sioux who remained in 
this vicinity during several years. 

KiNBRAE village, in Graham Lakes township, founded in 1879 by the 
Dundee Land Company of Scotland, was at first called Airlie and later 
De Forest, but received the present Scottish name in August, 1883. It 
was incorporated February 17, 1896. 

Larkin township, the latest organized in this county, March 27, 1883, 
was named in honor of John Larkin, of New York city, a prominent 
worker in the Catholic colonization association which brotight many set- 
tiers to southwestern Minnesota. 

Leota township was organized April 5, 1879. "The name was sug- 
gested by W. G. Barnard, one of the township's earliest settlers. It is 
the only township, village or physical feature in Nobles county named in 
honor of an Indian. Leota was an Indian maiden who figured in a story 
of Indian adventure." (History of this county by Rose, p. 102.) 

LiSMOSE township, organized August 9, 1880, to which many Irish 
Catholic settlers came during that year, was named after a village of 
County Waterford in Ireland, noted for a fine baronial castle. Lismore 
railway village was platted in the summer of 1900, and was incorporated 
May 27, 1902. 

Little Rock township, organized September 20, 1872, is crossed by the 
Little Rock river, which here receives its West branch. Thence it flows 
southwestward through Lyon county in Iowa to the Rock river, which 
is named, like Rock county of Minnesota, from the Mound, a precipitous 
hill of red quartz ite near Luverne in that county. 

LoHAiN township was organized September 20, 1872, being then named 
Fairview, from its beautiful panoramic outlook over this great prairie 
region, but was renamed June 15, 1874, "after the town of Loraine, Adams 
county. III., the superfluous 'e' being dropped." This name in Ohio and 
Illinois came from the ancient large district of Lorraine in France and 
Germany. 

Olney township, established July 10, 1873, was at first called Hebbard 
in honor of William F. Hebbard, an early settler. June IS, 1874, it 
received the present name, after the county seat of Richland county, 
Illinois, which was namd for Nathan Olney of Lawrenceville in that state. 

Org, a railway station and junction about four miles southwest of 
Worthington, was formerly Sioux Falls Junction, but received this name, 
of unknown derivation, in 1890, the change being ordered by W. A. Scott, 
then general manager of the Chicago and Northwestern railway. 

Ransom township, organized September 20, 1872, was at first named 
Grant, for General and President Grant, but was changed because he had 



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NOBLES COUNTY 379 

been thus honored earlier by another Minnesota township. July 10, 1873, 
the present name was given by the county commissioners, in honor of 
Ransom F. Humiston, the founder of Worthington. He was horn in 
Great Barrington, Mass., July 3, 1822; was educated in the Western 
Reserve College, Ohio, and was principal of a classical school which he 
established in Cleveland, Ohio; organized the National Colony Company 
in 187!, and brought many settlers to Worthington and other parts of this 
county ; returned to live in the east, and died in April, 1889. 

Reading, the railway village of Summit Lake township, platted in June, 
1900, was named in honor of a pioneer farmer, Henry H. Read, the orig- 
inal owner of a part of the village site. 

Round Lake village, on the railway in Indian Lake township, founded 
in 1882, was named for the adjoining Round lake, in Jackson county, on 
request of O. H. Roche, who owned a ranch of nearly 2,000 acres sur- 
rounding that lake. It was incorporated August 10, 1898. 

RusHMOHE village, platted in July, 1878, on the Sioux Falls branch of 
the Omaha railway, bears the name of its pioneer merchant, S. M. Rush- 
more. It was incorporated March 27, 1900. 

Sewakd township, organized October 30, 1872, commemorates William 
Henry Seward, the noted statesman, who was born in Florida, N. Y., 
May 16, 1801, and died in Auburn, N. Y., October 10, 1872. He was 
governor of New York, 1839-42, and a United States senator, 1849-^1 ; was 
secretary of state, 1861-69, and concluded the purchase of Alaska from 
Russia in 1867. 

Summit Lake township, organiied June 5, 1873, was first called Wil- 
son, later Akin, and received its present name July 27, 1874, from its for- 
mer lake in section 11, whence the general surface descends in very gentle 
slopes both eastward and westward. 

West Side township, organized February 24, 1877, is at the west side 
of the county. 

WiLLMONT township was organized December 12, 1878. "One faction 
wanted the township named Willumet, the other Lamont When the 
commissioners, on November 22, provided for the organization, they 
named the township Willmont, a combination of parts of the names sug- 
gested by the two factions." (History by Rose, p. 100.) 

WiLMONT railway village, platted in December, 1899, omitting one 
letter of the township name, was incorporated May 29, 1900. 

Worthington, the county seat, platted in the summer of 1871, was 
incorporated as a village March 8, 1873, and as a city in 1912. Its site 
had been called Okabena during the grading of the railway in 1871, for 
the two adjoining lakes, meaning the nesting place of herons, a Sioux 
name from hokah, heron, be, nests, and na, a diminutive suffix, as noted 
by Prof. A. W. Wiiliaroson, In the autumn of 1871 that name was 
changed to Worthington, in honor of the mother of Mrs. Mary Dorman 
Miller, wife of Dr. A. P. Miller, who was intimately associated with 
Ransom F. Humiston in forming the National Colony Company and found- 



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380 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

ing Worthington, before noticed because Ransom township was named for 
him. Mrs. Miller in 1888 wrote of the origin of this name: "My moth- 
er's maiden name was Worthington. Her father was Robert Worthington, 
of Chillkothe, Ohio, who was the brother of Thomas Worthington, gover- 
nor of Ohio; and the now beautiful, prosperous town of Worthington, 
Minn., was named for the Chillfcothe family." Worthington township 
was organized May 20, 1872. 

Dr. A. P. Miller, whose wife and her family were thus honored, came 
from Ohio to Minnesota in 1871 ; was editor and owner of the Worthing- 
ton Advance, 1872-87; removed to California, and in 1908 was in tiews- 
.paper business at Los Angeles. He is author of an excellent poem read 
at the Hennepin Bi-Centenary celebration in Minneapolis, 1880 (M. H, S. 
Collections, vol. VI, pages 55-61). 

Lakes and Streams. 

The foregoing pages have noticed Elk creek, from which Elk town- 
ship is named, the Graham lakes, Indian lake, Little Rock river, and Sum- 
mit lake, all of which likewise give their names to townships. The rail- 
way village of Round Lake is for a lake and township of Jackson county. 

Another Elk creek, formed by small streams from Lismore and West 
Side townships, flows southwest into Rock county, to the Rock river, 

Okabena creek, flowing east from Worthington to Heron lake in 
Jackson county, is the outlet of the West Okabena lake, whence the site 
of Worthington was at first named Okabena, as before noted. From this 
name, given to Heron lake on Nicollet's map in 1843, the present name of 
that lake was translated, while the Sioux name, referring to these lakes 
and the creek as "the nesting place of herons," was retained for the creek 
and for two lakes at Worthington, of which the east one has been drained. 

Jack creek, in the northeast part of this county, probably named for its 
jack rabbits, also flows into Heron lake. 

Lake Ocheeda (or Ocheda lake), its outflowing Ocheyedan creek, and 
Okshida creek in Murray county, are names received by Nicollet from 
the Sioux, having reference to thexr mourning for the dead, as before 
noted in the chapter of Murray county. 

Kanaranzi creek, which gathers its head streams from the central part 
of Nobles county, running southwest to the Rock river and giving its 
name to a township in Rock county, was mapped by Nicollet as "Karanzi 
R., or R. where the Kansas were killed," referring to Kansas or Kaw 
Indians who had ventured thus far into the Dakota or Sioux country. 

Champepadan creek, crossing the northwest corner of this county, is 
likewise a Sioux name given by Nicollet, somewhat transformed in spell- 
ing, which his map translates as "Thorny Wood river," from its having 
thorn bushes and trees. 

Eagle lake, formerly in sections 4 and 9, Graham Lakes township, has 
been recently drained. Dear lake adjoins Kinbrae village in this town- 
ship, and State Line lake is at the southeast comer of this county. 



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NORMAN COUNTY 

This county, established February 17, 1881, has been thoi^ht by R. I. 
Holconibe and others to be named, like Kittson county three years before, 
in honor of Norman W. Kittson, who accomplished much for the exten- 
sion of commerce and immigration to the Red River valley. The actual 
choice of this name, however, as better known by residents of the county 
and by surviving members of the convention held at Ada for securing 
its establishment by the state legislature, was for commemoration of the 
great number of Norwegian (Norseman or Norman) immigrants who 
had settled there. Norse delegates were a majority in the convention, and 
the name was selected on account of patriotic love and memories of their 
former homes across the sea. Similarly a township organized in March, 
1874, in Yellow Medicine county, had been named Norman ; and another 
township there in the same year received the name Normania. "In 
Norway a native is referred to as a Norsk or Norman." 

By the census of 1910, in a tota! population of 13,446 in Norman county, 
2,957 were born in Norway ; and both parents of 4,651 others, among those 
bom in America, were Norwegian. No other county of Minnesota has so 
large a proportion of Norwegian people. 

Townships and Villages. 

Information of the origins and meanings of names has been gathered 
from "History of the Red River Valley," two volumes, 1909, having pages 
967-972 for Norman county; and from David E. Fulton, county auditor, 
historian for the Norman County Old Settlers' Association, and Con- 
rad K. Semling, clerk of the court, interviewed during visits at 
Ada, the cotinty seat, in September, 1909, and again in September, 1916. 
Additional notes were also received In 1916 from Alexander Holden, of 
Ada, and Anund K. Strand, of Lake Ida township, pioneers who came 
respectively in 1872 and 1880. 

Ada, the county seat, founded in 1874, and incorporated as a village 
February 9, 1881, was named in honor of a daughter of William H. 
Fisher, of St Paul, then attorney and superintendent of the St. Paul 
and Pacific railroad, under whose superintendency this line of the Red 
river valley was constructed. A biographic notice of hijn is given in the 
chapter of Polk county, where his name is borne by Fisher township and 
village. Ada Nelson Fisher died at the age of six years, in 1880, but this 
prosperous and beautiful village and the county perpetuate her name and 
memory, 

Anthony township, organized in 1879, was named for Anthony Scheie, 

one of its first settlers, who came here in 1872. His father, Andreas A, 

38i 



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382 MINNESOTA GEOGRAPHIC NAMES 

Scheie, the first pastor in this cot:ijty, was born in Vigedal, Norway, 
February 17, 1818; came to the United States in 1840; was ordained to 
the ministry in 1855; was pastor in Fillmore county, Minn., 1857-76, and 
afterward in Ada; died in 1885. 

Bear Park township, organized in 1881, received this name in accord- 
ance with the request of its settlers in the petition for organization. 

BoRUP, a railway village in Winchester township, was named in honor 
of Charles William Wulff Borup, who was born in Copenhagen, Den- 
mark, December 20, 1806. and died in St. Paul, July 6, 1859. He came to 
the United States in 1828, and to St, Paul in 1848, where in 1854 he 
established the banking house of Borup and Oakes, the first in Minne- 
sota. His sons, Gustav J. and Theodore Borup, were also prominent 
business men in St. Paul. 

Flaming is a Northern Pacific railway village in Sundahl. 

Flom township, at first called Springfield, organized in 1881, was named 
for Erik Flora, a native of Norway, who came here as a pioneer farmer 
in 1871. 

FossuM township, settled in 1872 and organized in 1881, was named 
for a village in southern Norway. 

Gary, the railway village of Strand township, founded in 1833, re- 
ceived this name in compliment to Garrett L. Thorpe, its first merchant, 
who came here from Manchester, Iowa, became an extensive land owner 
in this county, and settled at Ada. 

Goon Hope township was the latest organized, in 1892, its auspicious 
name being chosen by vote of its people. 

Green Mkapow township, organized in 1880, bears a name that was 
likewise chosen by its people, having reference to the summer verdure 
of its prairie surface. 

Kapler, a railway village in Pleasant View township, was named for 
Jacob Hadler. an early settler there, who in 1909-15 was a member of 
the board of county commissioners. 

Halstad township, organized in 1879, and its railway village, were 
named for Ole Halstad, a pioneer farmer,