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Full text of "History of Cottonwood and Watonwan counties, Minnesota : their people, industries, and institutions"

I 






NYPL 



RESEARCH 



UBRAR| ES 



33433 08192330 



HISTORY 



OF 



Cottonwood and Watonwan Counties 

Minnesota 

THEIR PEOPLE, INDUSTRIES AND INSTITUTIONS 



JOHN A. BROWN 

Editor-in-Chief 



With Biographical Sketches of Representative Citizens and 
Genealogical Records of Many of the Old Families 



VOLUME I 



ILLUSTRATED 



1916 

B. F. BOWEN & COMPANY, Inc. 

Indianapolis, Indiana 



THE Nj 



DEDICATION 

To those whose hands planted the first homes in Cottonwood and 
Watonwan counties; whose love of religion and education established the 
first churches and schools; whose desire for good government led to th< 
organization of civil townships and the selection of worthy public official'-; 
whose wish for material prosperity has caused the building of mills and 
factories and the opening of virgin tracts of land to cultivation — to those 
who are gone, as well as to the many pioneers still living, is this record 
of their achievements dedicated. 



PUBLISHERS' PREFACE 



All life and achievement is evolution; present wisdom comes from past 
experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from past exer- 
tion and sacrifice. The deeds and motives of the men who have gone before 
have been instrumental in shaping the destinies of later communities and 
states. The development of a new country was at once a task and a privi- 
lege. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the pres- 
ent conditions of the people of Cottonwood and Watonwan counties, Minne- 
sota, with what they were five decades ago. From a trackless wilderness 
and virgin land, they have come to be centers of prosperity and civilization, 
with millions of wealth, systems of railways, educational and religious insti- 
tutions, varied industries and immense agricultural and dairy interests. I 
any thinking person be insensible to the fascination of the study which dis- 
closes the aspirations and efforts of the early pioneers who so strongly laid 
the foundation upon which has been reared the magnificent prosperity of 
later davs? To perpetuate the story of these people and to trace and record 
the social, religious, educational, political and industrial progress of the com- 
munity from its first inception, is the function of the local historian. \ 
sincere purpose to preserve facts and personal memoirs that are deserving 
of perpetuation, and which unite the present to the past, is the motive for 
the present publication. The publishers desire to extend their thanks to 
those who have so faithfully labored to this end. Thanks are also due to 
the citizens of Cottonwood and Watonwan counties for the uniform kind- 
ness with which they have regarded this undertaking, and for their many 
services rendered in the gaining of necessary information. 

In placing the "History of Cottonwood and Watonwan Counl 
Minnesota," before the citizens, the publishers can conscientiously claim that 
they have carried out the plan as outlined in the prospectus. Every bio- 
graphical sketch in the work has been submitted to the party interested, for 
correction, and therefore any error of fact, if there be any, is solely due to 
the person for whom the sketch was prepared. Confident that our effort to 
please will fully meet the approbation of the public, we are, 

Respectfully, 

HE PUBLISH! R 



CONTENTS 

VOLUME I 



COTTONWOOD COUNTY 

CHAPTER I— RELATED STATE HISTORY ii 

A portion of Minnesota Originally Included in Louisiana Purchase — Indian 

Cessions and Treaties — Territorial Government Established — I s — 

Governor Alexander Ramsey — First Territorial Legislature— The Historic 
Council with the Indians at Traverse des Sioux — The Treaty — Indian 
Hunters Cause Trouble — Townsite Speculation — Constitutional Convention — 
First State Legislature — Admission of Minnesota as a State — Aid to Rail- 
roads — Financial Stringency — Unrest Among the Indians — Massacre of 
1862 — Punishment of the Indians — Subsequent Treaties — A Period of Rapid 
Development — Trouble Because of the Stair Issue of Railroad Bonds- Settle- 
ment of the Question and Activity in Railroad Building — I ' rul- 
ing Interests — Population Statistics — Military Record— Nami G ihy — 
Area — Rivers — Lakes — Elevations — Climate — Chronological History of the 
State. 

CHAPTER II— GEOLOGY, TOPOGRAPHY AND NATURAL FEATURES.. 59 

Situation — Area — Natural Drainage — Streams — Lakes — Topography — Dis- 
tances — Altitudes — Soil — Timber — Geological Structure — Water Falls and 
Cascades — Drift and Contour — Moraines — Boulders and Pebbles— Peat. 

CHAPTER III— PIONEER SETTLEMENT — 79 

"Dutch Charlie" — First Settlers — Struggles of the Pioneers V\ 
73 — Old Settlers' Association — Early Hardships of a Mail Carrier. 

CHAPTER IV— ORGANIZATION OF O IfOOD O - 90 

Creation of — Area — Lakes — Soil — The Two "Sto nty 

Government — Xo Hard County-seat Contests — County's Condition in 1884 — 
Organization of the County — Fir —Assessed Valuation 
Commissioners' Proceedings — First I i miums— 
Grasshopper Appropriations— Taxes in 1877 — Court House Buildini 

Locations for County Offices— County Jail— Caring for th( P< ian 

Thistle Pest— County Officers' Fees in 1909— Tax Levy for 1916 -ity 
Finances, July 1, 1916— County Officials, 1916— County an.! 



CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER V— COUNTY AND STATE REPRESENTATION 110 

Presidential Vote in Cottonwood County — State Senators — State Repre- 
sentatives — County Auditors — County Treasurers — Sheriffs — Registers of 
Deeds — Probate Judges — County Commissioners. 

CHAPTER VI— TOWNSHIPS OF COTTONWOOD COUNTY 114 

Civil Subdivisions — The Townships of Germantown, Amboy, Amo, Ann, 
Carson, Dale, Delton, Great Bend, Highwater, Lakeside, Midway, Mountain 
Lake, Rose Hill, Selma, Springfield, Southbrook, Storden, Westbrook— 
Villages of Jeffers, Delft, Bingham Lake, Mountain Lake, Storden and 
Westbrook. 

CHAPTER VII— AGRICULTURAL INTERESTS 194 

Fortunate Situation of Minnesota — Crop Failures Rare in Cottonwood 
County — Poultry Show — Early and Present Stock Farms — The Creamery 
Industry — Agricultural Societies — Farm Names — Agricultural Statistics — 
Columbian Exposition Premium — Stock Men of 1908. 

CHAPTER VIII— SECRET AND BENEVOLENT SOCIETIES 205 

Ancient ^ree and Accepted Masons — Royal Arch Masons — Order of the 
Eastern Star — Independent Order of Odd Fellows — Daughters of Rebekah — 
Ancient Order of United Workmen — Modern Woodmen of America — Royal 
Neighbors of America — Modern Brotherhood of America — Sons of Norway — 
Daughters of Norway — Knights of Columbus — -Patrons of Husbandry. 

CHAPTER IX— PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS 218 

First Physician in Cottonwood County— Past and Present Physicians — 
Silas D. Allen. 

CHAPTER X— NEWSPAPERS 223 

Papers, Past and Present, Published at Windom, Westbrook, Jeffers and 
Mountain Lake. 

CHAPTER XI— RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS 226 

Methodist Episcopal Churches — Presbyterian Churches — Baptist Churches — 
Danish Baptist Churches — Mission Band — Evangelical Lutheran Churches — 
Dowie Zionists — Lutheran Churches — Mennon-ite Church — Catholic 
Churches — Episcopal Church. 

CHAPTER XII— BENCH AND BAR 241 

Pioneer Lawyers — Others of a Later Day — Members of the Bar in 1916 — 
Court Officers. 

CHAPTER XIII— EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS.. 244 

Sterling Type of Pioneer Settlers — Early Educational Conditions and the 
Improvements Which Have Followed Through the Years — The Great 
Bend School House and Its Destruction — Early School Districts — An Early 
School — Early School Teachers — First School House in the County — Schools 
at Bingham Lake, Storden, Jeffers, Westbrook, Windom City and Mountain 



CONTENTS. 

Lake — Rural School Commencements — Salaries Paid County Superintendents 
— School Lands — County Superintendent's Report for 1915 — An Early School 
Superintendent. 

CHAPTER XIV— BANKS AXD BANKING 267 

Little Demand for Banks in Pioneer Days — Poverty of Marly Days Changed 
to Prosperity and Full Bank Accounts — Banks at Windom, Jeffers, Storden, 
Mountain Lake, Westbrook, Bingham Lake and Delft — Recapitulation. 

CHAPTER XV— RAILROADS AND TRANSPORTATION 277 

Railroads in Cottonwood County Early in Its History — The "Currie" 
and Other Lines Which Have Been Constructed in the County. 

CHAPTER XVI— MILITARY MATTERS 280 

Grand Army of the Republic— Woman's Relief Corps— Helped in Capture of 
Jeff Davis— "We Are Growing Old, John" -Soldiers Who Pledged Their 
Votes to Grant and Wilson — Spanish-American War Soldiers. 

CHAPTER XVII— CITY OF WINDOM 287 

Name — Population — Windom as Viewed in 1893 — First Events — Commercial 
Interests, 1S72 and 1882 — Postofhce — Municipal History— Waterworks — 
Library — Ferry — First Elevator — Ruse Hospital — Industries — Removal oi 

Old Landmark — The Old "Lock-up" — Commercial Interests in 191 m- 

mercialt Clubs — The Tourist Club— Woman's Literary Club— Win. I 
Pioneers — Windom's Greatest Fire. 

CHAPTER XVIII— REMINISCENCES - 305 

Pioneer Days in Great Bend —Blizzard of 1873. 

CHAPTER XIX— MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS AND INCIDENTS 311 

Immigration Association — Population Statistics — Nationality of Population — 
Village Plats — Platted Cemeteries — Altitudes — Market Q Grass- 

hopper Plague — Storm of 1873 — The Cyclones of 1903 and 1908 — Snow Storm 
of iggl — Hay Burned — A Prairie Blizzard of 1873 — Fivc-Y. ai ( ,i assln.ppi-r 
Scourge — Burning Hay for Fuel — Railroad Wreck at Windom Mountain 
Lake Wreck— "The Old Ox Team." 



WATONWAN COUNTY 

CHAPTER I— GEOLOGY OF WATONWAN COUNTY 

Situation— Area— Surface Features— Natural Draii raphy— Ele- 

vations— Soil— Timber— Geological Structure— Lakes— Boulders and Gravel- 
Building Stone— Peat. 

CHAPTER II— INDIAN HISTORY AND TREATIES 

Treaty of Traverse des Sioux— Indian Characters— Captivity 

Juni— Causes Leading to the Indian Massacre of 1862— First Art of \ 



CONTENTS. 

lence — Reminiscences of the Little Crow Uprising — The Government Not 
Guiltless — Punishment of the Sioux — Pensioners of the Sioux Uprising — 
Story of the Xew Ulm Massacre — Indians' Last Raid in This Section — In- 
dians and Their Peculiar Customs — The Versatile Indian — Incidents Con- 
nected With the Indian War. 

CHAPTER III— THE FIRST SETTLEMENTS 376 

The Pioneer Band — Early Deeds and Land Transfers — Timber Claims- 
School Lands — Early Miscellaneous Deeds — Settlement Notes — First Set- 
tlers in the County. 

CHAPTER IV— ORGANIZATION AND COUNTY GOVERNMENT 381 

Creation and Organization — Name — Area — County Commissioners' Proceed- 
ings — First Militia Officers — Troubles of a Treasurer — County Finances, 
1870 — County Expenses, 1877 — Aid to Farmers Who Suffered From the 
Grasshopper Scourge — Relocating the County Seat — County Official Paper — 
Salaries and Bonds of County Officers, 188-1 — Court House History — Jail — 
Caring for the Poor — County Finances, 1897 and 1915 — Assessed Valuation, 
1880, 1890 and 1916— Number of Buildings Assessed in 1894 — Treasury 
Burglarized — Drainage. 

CHAPTER V— COUNTY AND STATE REPRESENTATION 410 

Presidential Vote — State Senators — State Representatives — County Com- 
missioners — County Auditors — County Treasurers — -Registers of Deeds — 
Sheriffs — Clerks of the District Court — County Attorneys — Court Commis- 
sioners — Coroners — Probate Judges — School Examiners and County Super- 
intendent — County Surveyors. 

(II \i'TKR VI— TOWNSHIPS OF WATONWAN COUNTY 419 

Townships of Adrian, Antrim, Butterfield, Fieldon, Long Lake. Madelia, 
Nelson, Odin, Riverside. Rosendale. South Branch. St. James— Villages of 
Darfur, Lewisville, Butterfield, Ormsby, Madelia, Odin, LaSalle and Grogan. 

(II U'TLR VII— CITY OF ST. JAMES 467 

Name — Platted — Early Conditions — First Events — Winter of 1870-1 — St. 
James in 1885-6 — Municipal History — Fire Department — Societies — Commer- 
cial Club — Public Library — Business Men's Association — Sanitarium — Long 
Lake Park — Industries — Commercial Interests. 1 ( >1(> — Miscellaneous Items 

CHAPTER VIII— CHURCHES 480 

Methodist Episcopal Churches — Evangelical Lutheran Churches — Presby- 
terian Churches — Christian Church — Church of Christ — Episcopal Churches — 
Norwegian Lutheran Churches— Swedish Lutheran Churches — Mennonite 
Churches — Baptist Churches — Catholic Churches. 

CHAPTER IX— EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS 503 

Present School System of the State— School Lands — Schools of 1875— First 
Schools in Watonwan County— St. James Public Schools — Rosendale Town- 
ship Schools and the Schools at Odin, Darfur, Lewisville, Ormsby and Butter- 



CONTENTS. 

field— Present School Statistics— High and Graded Schools— School lions,' 
Locations — Early School Scandal. 

CHAPTER X— THE BENCH AXD BAR 513 

Requirements for Admission to Practice Law in Minnesota — List of Attor- 
neys in This County — Present Members of the Bar. 

CHAPTER XI— PHYSICIANS 01 THE COUNTY 516 

Hardships and Poor Recompense of Early Doctors — List of Registered 
Physicians — Other Doctors Who Have- Practiced in the County — Watonwan 
County Medical Society — Early Physicians' Fees. 

CHAPTER XII— NEWSPAPERS 521 

Power of the Press — First Paper in the County — Papers, Last and Presi 
at Madelia, St. James, Butterfield. 

CHAPTER XIII— BANKS AND BANKING 525 

Character of Banks — First Bank in Watonwan County — Banks at Madelia, 
St. James, Odin, Lewisville, Butterfield, Ormsby, LaSalle and Darfur. 

CHAPTER XIV— FRATERNAL AXD CIVIC ORGANIZATIONS 532 

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons — Order of the I asti rti Mar — Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows — Daughters of Rcbekah — Knights of Pythias — Modern 
Woodmen of America — Royal Neighbors of America — Modern brother- 
hood of America — Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen — Catholic Order "i 
Foresters — Grand Army of the Republic. 

CHAPTER XV— RAILROADS AXD TRANSPORTATION 541 

Transformation in Local Conditions Through Advent of Railroads — Brief 
.Description of the Various Railroads Which Have Entered Watonwan 

County. 

CHAPTER XVI— MILITARY HISTORY . 546 

Many Veterans of the < i\il War in This County — The Spanish-American 

War. 

CHAPTER XVII— AGRICULTURE, STOCK-RAISING, ETC. 

Watonwan, Purely an -Agricultural District — Creami ck Farms — 

Improvement in Stock-raising Methods — Farm Nami ' Elgin 

Colony — County Eair Societies— An Early llorsr and Cattli Fair— Dairy 
Statistics — Creamery Companies. 

CHAPTER XVIII— Ml I'M RS AXD OUT! 1 - 

Murder of Lais Johnson— Thi Goblinski Quadruple Murder— Killing of ; 
Jacobson— Suicide— The Younger Brothers and the Northfield Bi 

Robbery. 

CHAPTER XIX— SIDELIGHTS 

Population of the County— Population by Townships— Altitudes of 



CONTENTS. 

County — Village Plattings — Spelling School in Pioneer Days — Old Settlers' 
Reunion at Madelia, 1875 — "Song for the Old Settlers" — Great Storms — 
Advantages of Watonwan County — Court House Corner-stone Laying — 
Growth of Watonwan County — Grasshoppers — Birds and Wild Animals. 

CHAPTER XX— REMINISCENCES 583 

Interesting Review of Early Events and Conditions by Alexander Swanson — 
The First House in Adrian Township — Transportation Troubles — Privations 
of Pioneers — How the Children Helped — Tribute to Pioneer Heroes — The 
Grasshopper Plague — Lack of Amusements in Early Days — Early Market 
Prices — Tools and Machinery. 

CHAPTER XXI— MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS 392 

Market Quotations — Anti-Horse Thief Association — The Prohibition Ques- 
tion — Local Option Vote in 1915 — Russian Thistle Day. 



HISTORICAL INDEX 

VOLUME I 



COTTONWOOD COUNTY 



A 

Agricultural Interests 194 

Agricultural Societies 19S 

Allen, Silas D. 221 

Altitudes in the County 63 

Altitudes in the State 49 

Amboy Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 117 

Character of Citizens 118 

Drainage 59 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Land Entries 118 

Organization 118 

Population 117, 312 

Settlement 118 

Topography 62 

Amo Township — ■ 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Groves 123 

Lakes 60 

Land Entries 123 

Location 122 

Xante Changed 123 

Organization 123 

Peat 77 

Population 122, 312 

Settlers 123 

Topography 

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons 205 



\.ncien1 Order of United Workmen 210 
Ann Township — 

Altitude 64 

a 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 126 

Drainage 59 

Grasshopper I oss 315 

drives , 127 

Land Entries 127 

Organization 

Population 127. 312 

Settlement 127 

Topography 

Ana of the County 59 

\.-r.i of the State 47 

Assessed Valuation of ' ounty 96 

Attorneys 241 

Auditors, County HI 

B 

iks 

< hurches 230 



Bench and Bar 241 

B lenl Societies 

Bingham Lake — 

Altitude 

97 

B ks 2P 

I ; '' 

rches 

Creamery 198 

ttion 154 

Lodges 213 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Bingham Lake — Com. 

Pioneer Business Men 155 

Platted 313 

Population 312 

Postoffice 154 

Schools 247 

Tile Factory 155 

Blizzard of 1873 305 

Boulders 76 

Boundaries of County 91 

C 

Carson Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Lakes 60 

Land Entries 130 

Land Values 130 

Location 1.50 

Organization 130 

Population 130, 312 

Settlement 130 

Topography 62 

Catholic Churches 238 

Cattle 202 

Cattle Breeding 196 

Cemetery Plats 313 

Chronological History of Minnesota 50 

Churches 226 

Climate of Minnesota 49 

Commissioners, County 112 

Commissioners' Districts, First 97 

Constitution of State 39 

Corn 202 

County Auditors 111 

County Commissioners 112 

County Commissioners' Proceedings 97 

County Finances, 1916 107 

County Government 93 

County Offices 103 

County Officers' Fees, 1909 ... _ 107 

County Officials, hirst 95 

County Officials, 1916 108 

County Representation 110 

County Roads 108 

County-seat Contests 94 

County Scats 103 



County Superintendents' Salaries 260 

County Treasurers 111 

Court, First Term of 95 

Court House History 102 

Court Officers, 1916 243 

Creameries 197, 202, 203, 204 

Creation of County 90 

Cyclones 316 



H 



Dairy Interests . . 197, 202, 


203, 


204 


Dale Township — 






Altitude 




64 






114 


Assessed Valuation _ _ - . 




96 


Lakes _ _ . 


60, 


101 


Land Entries 




134 


Location _ _ _ 




1 11 


Organization . . 




1 14 


Population _ _ 


134 


312 


Settlement 




114 






6? 


Danish Baptist Church 




232 


Daughters of Norway 




215 






209 


Delft- 






Bank 




?75 


Fire . 




111 




130, 

133, 


131 


Platted .. . 


111 


Delton Township — 




Altitude _ 




(.4 


Area ... _ . 




114 


Assessed Valuation _ . 




96 






117 






1 17 


Land Entries 




137 


< Irganization — . 




137 


Population 


117 


312 


Settlement - 




1.17 






6? 


District Appointments, First — 




98 


Diversified Farming Interests- . 




46 






218 


Dowie Zionists 




235 






S9 


Drift Glacial - 




71 




..79, 


145 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



E 

Early School Districts 245 

Eastern Star, Order of the 206 

Education 244 

Educational Statistics 261 

Episcopal Church 239 

Evangelical Lutheran Churches 233 

F 

Fair Associations 198 

Farm Animals 202 

Farm Xames 200 

Farm Statistics 202 

Farming Interests, Diversified 46 

Farming Methods 104 

First Physicians 218 

Fraternal Orders 205 

G 

Geography of the State 47 

Geology of the County 59 

Georgetown Township 123 

German Evan. Luth. Trinity Church 235 
Germantown Township — 

Altitude o4 

Area 1 14 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 114 

Drainage 59 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Land Entries 115 

Natural Features il4 

Organization 115 

Population 115, 312 

Settlement 115 

Soil - 114 

Topography 62 

Glacial Drift - 71 

Grains, Production of 202 

Grand Army of the Republic 280 

Granges 217 

Grant and Wilson Voters 284 

Grasshopper Appropriations 101 

Grasshopper Plague 314, 323 

Great Bend School House 244, 265 

Great Bend Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 



liroat Bend Township— font. 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 140 

Land Kntries 141 

Organization 140 

Peat 77 

Pioneer Days 305 

Poor Farm 105 

Population 140, 312 

Schools — 244 

Settlement 141 

Topography 62 

Growth of the State 44 

H 

Hardships of a Mail Carrier 88 

Hay 2H2 

Hay Burned 321 

Highwater Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

^ssi ssed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 145 

Drainage 59 

"Dutch Charlie" 145 

Lakes 60 

I and Entries 14d 

Natural Features 145 

Organization 1 -4' • 

Population 140. 312 

Settlement 146 

Topography 62 

Horse Breeding 195 

Horses 

I 

Immigration Association 311 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows 

Indian Hunters. Trouble with 37 

an Treaties 33 

Indian t'nrrst - - 

J 

Jail 

Jeffers — 

in 97 

Banks 

Business Interests 1-1 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Jeffers — Cont. 

Churches 229. 234, 239 

Early Growth 119 

Fires 120 

Creamery — . 121 

Location 119, 121 

Lodges 212, 214 

Municipal History 120 

Newspapers 223 

Officials 120 

Platted 313 

Population 312 

Postoffice 120 

Schools 248 

K 

Knights of Columbus 216 

L 

Lakes of Minnesota 48 

Lakes of the County 60, 90 

Lakeside- Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 150 

Lakes 60, 150 

Land Entries ISO 

Organization ISO 

Peat 150, 312 

Schools 245 

Settlement 245 

Topography '62 

Lawyers 241 

Live Stock Statistics 202 

Lodges 205 

Lutheran Churches 236 

M 

Market Quotations 314 

Masonic Order 205 

Massacre of 1862 42 

Medical Profession 218 

Mennonite Church 236 

Methodist Episcopal Churches 227 

Midway Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 



Midway Township — Cont. 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Land Entries 157 

Location 156 

Population 157, 312 

Schools 246 

Settlement 157 

Topography 62 

Military Matters 280 

Military Record of State 46 

Miscellaneous Topics 311 

Mission Band 233 

Modern Brotherhood of America 2i4" 

Modern Woodmen of America 211 

Moraines 74 

Mountain Lake — 

Altitude 63 

Assessed Valuation 97 

Banks 272, 275 

Business Interests 167 

Business Men 159 

Churches 229, 235, 236 

Commercial Club 161 

Early Growth 159 

Fire Department 162 

Fires 163 

Grange 217 

Industries 162 

Lighting System 162 

Lodges 210, 212, 217 

Mennonite Hospital 161 

Municipal History 160 

Name 159 

Newspapers 225 

Officials 160 

Peat 76 

Musicians ' 160 

Platted 159, 313 

Population 312 

Postoffice 160 

Schools 246, 258 

Settlement 160 

Railroad Wreck 326 

Mountain Lake Township — 

Utitude 64 

\rra •_ 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 164 

I and Entries 164 

Location 163 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Mountain Lake Township — Cont. 

Name 163 

Organization 164 

Population 164, 312 

Schools 245 

Settlement 164 

Soil 163 

Topography 62 

N 

Name of the State 47 

Nationality of Population 312 

Natural Drainage 59 

Newspapers -, 223 

Norwegian Evan. Luth. Church 233 

Norwegian United Evan. Luth. Ch._ 235 

O 

Oats 202 

Odd Fellows 208 

Officials from the County 110 

Old Settlers' Association 83 

Order of the Eastern Star 206 

Organization of County 90, 95 

P 

Patrons of Husbandry 21" 

Peat 76 

Physicians 218 

Pioneer Settlement 79 

Pioneers, Struggles of 80 

Plats 313 

Poor, Caring for the 105 

Population of the State 46 

Population Statistics 311 

Potatoes 202 

Poultry Show 195 

Prairie Blizzard 321 

Prentiss, William 264 

Presbyterian Churches ^29 

Presidential Vote 110 

Press, the 223 

Probate Judges 112 

R 

Railroad Bonds 39 

Railroad Wrecks 325 



Railroads 277 

Rebekahs 209 

Registers of Deeds 112 

R< lated State History 33 

Religious Societies 226 

Reminiscences 305 

Representatives 111 

Rivers of the County 59 

Rivers of the State 48 

Roads 108 

Rose Hill Township — 

Altitude 63 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 168 

Churches 236 

Drainage 59 

Lakes 60, 168 

Land Entries 169 

Location ">8 

Organization 169 

Population 169, 312 

Settlement "'9 

Topography 62 

Royal Arch Masons 

Royal Neighbors of America 213 

Rural School Commencements 

Russian Thistle 106 

Rye 202 

S 

Scandinavian Evan. Luth. Church. 

School Districts -'45 

School House, First in Countj 247 

School Lands 261 

ool Statistics 261 

Schools 244 

Secret Societies 205 

Selma Township — 

Altitude o4 

Area ---- 1 14 

sseil Valuation 

Land Entries 171 

Location 170 

mization — 170 

lation 170. 312 

Settlement 171 

phy 

Senators, State HO 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Sheep 202 

Sheriffs H2 

Sioux Indians, Murders by 43 

Situation of the County 59 

Soil 64, 90 

Soldiers' Monument 281 

Sons of Norway 215 

Southbrook Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 176 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Lakes 61 

Land Entries 176 

Location 176 

Natural Features 176 

Organization 176 

Peat 78 

Population 176, 312 

Settlement 176 

Topography 62 

Spanish-American War 286 

Springfield Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area -- 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Grasshopper Loss 315 

Land Entries 173 

Location 172 

Natural Features 172 

Organization 173 

Peat : 78 

Population 173, 312 

Schools 245 

Settlement 173 

Topography 63 

State Constitution 39 

State Representatives 111 

State Roads 108 

State Senators 110 

Stock Farms 195 

"Stolen" Townships 91 

Storden — 

Banks 271, 275 

Business Interests 183 

Business Men, Early 183 

Creamery 198 

First Events 182 

Land Values 183 



Storden — Cont. 

Location 182 

Lodges 212 

Platted 182, 313 

Postoflke 183 

Schools 247 

Storden Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 114 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Boundaries 179 

Drainage 59 

Lakes 60 

Land Entries ISO 

Location 179 

Natural Features 180 

Organization 180 

Population 180, 312 

Settlement '- 180 

Topography 62 

Storm of 1873 316 

Swine 202 



T 

Tax Levy, 1916-17 107 

Taxes in 1877 101 

Teachers, Early School 246 

Territorial Government 34 

"The Old Ox Team" 326 

Timber 64, 65 

Topography of the County 61 

Town-site Speculation 38 

Townships of the County 114 

Transportation 277 

Traverse des Sioux Treaty 35 

Treasurers, County HI 

Treaties with Indians 33 

Tree Premiums 101 

Trees 65 



U 



United Workmen, Order of 210 



Village Plats 313 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



W 

Water-falls 69 

"We Are Growing Old, John" 283 

Wcstbrook — 

Assessed Valuation 97, 193 

Banks 273, 276 

Beginning of 1S7 

Business Interests 191 

Churches 231, 233, 236, 238 

Early Business Men 187 

Fair, Street 191 

Improvements 190 

Incorporation 189 

Location 193 

Lodges 207, 211, 213, 214 

Newspapers 223 

Officials, First 189 

Officials, Present 191 

Old Settlement 1S7 

Park 193 

Platted 187, 313 

Population 312 

Postoffice 191 

Public Improvements 191 

Railroad Interests 188, 190 

Schools 248 

Street Fairs 191 

Waterworks 190 

Westbrook Township — 

Altitude 64 

Area 1 14 

Assessed Valuation 96 

Drainage 59 

Lakes 60, 184 

Land Entries 185 

Location 184 

Xatural Features 184 

Organization 185 

Population 184, 312 

Schools 245 

Settlement 185 

Topography 62 



\\ heat 202 

Windom — 
Altitude 63, 314 

Assessed Valuation 97 

Banks 267, 275 

Business Interests, 1872 290 

Business Interests, 1882 290 

Business Interests, 1916 299 

Lodges 205, 208, 211, 213, -'15. 280 

Churches 227, 220, 230, 233, 235, 

-'38, 239 

Commercial Clubs 301 

County Seat 287 

Creamery 203 

Fair Grounds 199 

. Ferry 295 

Fires 302 

First Buildings 287 

First Events 289 

Hospital 296 

In 1893 287 

Industries 296 

Library 294 

Lodges 205, 208, 211, 213, 215. 280 

Municipal History 292 

Name 297 

Newspapers 223 

Physicians 218 

Pioneers 302 

Platted 313 

Population 287. 312 

Postoffice 291 

Poultry Show I" 

Railroad Wreck 325 

Schools 

Sii nation 90 

Tourist Club 301 

Waterworks 

Woman's Literary Club 302 

Winter of 1872-3 81 

Woman's Relief Corps 21 1 

Woodmen <>f America, Modern 211 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



WATONWAN COUNTY 



Adrian Township — 

Altitude 329, 

Assessed Valuation 

Boundaries 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 

Created 

Lakes 

Land Entries 

Location 

Organization 

Population 

School Houses 

Settlement 

Vote on Bond Issue 

Agricultural Societies 

Agriculture 

Aid to Farmers 

Altitudes 

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons 

Anti-Horse Thief Association 

Antrim Township — 

Altitude 329, 

Assessed Valuation 

Boundaries ~ . 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 

Creation of 

Lakes 

Land Entries 

Location 

Name 

Organization 

Population 423, 

School Houses 

Settlement 

Vote on Bond Issue 

Area of the County 327 

Assessed Valuation Rates, 1875 

Assessed Valuations 

Attorneys 

Auditors, County 



572 

406 

419 

406 

389 

419 

420 

419 

419 
570 
510 
420 
403 
551 
548 
392 
571 
532 
592 

571 
406 
423 
406 
386 
32S 
423 
423 
423 
423 
570 
. 510 
. 423 
. 403 
381 
390 
406 
513 
414 



Benevolent Societies 532 

Birds 582 

Bond Issues 40- 

Boulders __ 33- 

Bounty to Soldiers 385 

Brotherhood of Railway Trainmen.. 538 

Building Stone 333 

Buildings Assessed in 1894 406 

Butterfield — 

Altitude 328, 571 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Banks 529 

Business Interests 428 

Churches 483, 491 

Commercial Club 4_9 

Fires 4«-9 

Improvements 429 

Incorporation 4-9 

Lodges •" 1 3-"' 

Municipal History 429 

Newspapers 5-4 

Officials, First 429 

Platted 428, 572 

Population 428 

Postoffice 428 

Presidents of 4-9 

Schools 509 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Butterfield Township — 

Altitude 320, 572 

\„,i 4 - 7 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Churches 487, 491 

Creation of 

Land Entries 

Location 

Organ i /at ion 

Population 427. 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 4 _\ 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 



427 

426 
427 



B 

Banks 525 

Baptist Churches .__■ 492 

Bench and Bar 513 



Captivity of Benedict Juni 336 

Catholic Churches 493 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Catholic Order of Foresters 539 

Christian Church 4S6 

Church of Christ 486 

Churches 480 

Clerks of the District Court 415 

Commissioners, County, List of 412 

Coroners 416 

Count}- Attorneys 416 

County Auditors 414 

County Commissioners, List of 412 

County Commissioners, Proceedings 381 

County Fairs 551 

County Finances, 1868 386 

County Finances, 1870 388 

County Finances, 1874 390 

County Finances, 1897 404 

County Finances, 1915 405 

County Government 381 

County Medical Society 519 

County Officers' Salaries and Bonds 398 

County Officials, First 381 

County Representation 410 

County Seat, Locating the 394 

County Superintendents 417 

County Surveyors 417 

County Treasurers 414 

County Treasury Robbed 407 

Court Commissioners 416 

Court House Corner-stone Laying — 577 

Court House History 399 

Creameries 548, 553 

Customs of Indians 370 

D 

Dairy Statistics 553 

Darfur — 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Bank 531 

Business Interests 422 

Churches 484, 491 

Improvements 422 

Incorporation 422 

Officials, First 422 

Platted 422. S72 

President of 422 

Schools 508 

Daughters of Rebekah 534 

Deeds, Early 376 

Dexter Township 389 



Doctors 516 

Doctors' Fees 520 

Dodd, Captain, Death of 359 

Drainage 407 

Drainage of the County 327 

Drewsville Township 388 

Drift 330 

E 

Early Conditions 43(> 

Early Transportation Troubles 584 

Eastern Star, Order of 533 

Echols 572 

Education 503 

Elgin Colony 551 

Episcopal Church 487 

Evangelical Lutheran Churches 482 

Execution of Indian Murders 364 

F 

Farm Names 550 

Farmers Mutual Fire Ins. Co 

Farming Interests 548 

Ferry-boat Fees 388 

Million Township — 

Altitude 329, 571 

430 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

lion of 386 

Lakes 328 

Land Entries 430 

Organization 430 

Population 430, 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 430 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

First County Officers 381 

Firsl House, the 583 

Firsl Settlements 376, 380 

Foresters, Catholic Order of 539 

Fraternal Orders 532 

G 

Geology ^-' 

Glacial Drift — 

Graded Schools - - 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Grand Army of the Republic 539 

Grasshopper Plague 580, 589 

Grasshopper Relief 392 

Gravel 332 

Grogan 462, 572 

Growth of Watonwan County 579 

H 

High Schools 509 

House, the First 583 

I 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows- 533 
Indian Character 334 

Indian History 334 

Indian Massacre of 1862, Causes of 344 

Indian Traders, Schemes of 347 

Indian Treaties 334 

Indian Violence 351 

Indians, Last Raid of 370 

Indians, Their Peculiar Customs 370 

J 

Jail 403 

Juni, Benedict, Captivity of 336 

K 
Knights of Pythias 534 

L 

Lakes 327, 331 

Land Transfers, Early 376 

LaSalle — 

Bank 529 

Business Interests 459 

Lodge 537 

Platted 459, 572 

Postoffice 460 

Lawyers 513 

Lewisvillc — 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Banks S29 

Business Interests 426 

Churches 486 

Improvements 425 

Incorporation 425 



Lewisville — Cont. 

Lawyers 515 

Location 425 

Lodges 3 36 

Officials, First 425 

Platted 425, 572 

Population 426 

Postoffice 425 

Presidents of 425 

Schools s08 

Libraries 504 

Little Crow Uprising 353 

Local Option Vote, 1915 594 

Lodges 532 

Long Lake Township — * 

Altitude 329, 572 

Area 431 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Boundaries 431 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Churches 488. 490 

Creation of 386 

Indian Atrocities 433 

Johnson Murder 556 

Lakes 328, 431 

Land Entries 432 

Norwegian Settlement 437 

Organization 431 

Population 431, 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 432 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

M 
Madelia — ■ 

Altitude 328, 571 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Banks 525 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Business Interests, 1885 447 

Business Interests, 1916 449 

Business Men's Association 451 

Churches 480, 483, 485, 486, 487, 492 

Commercial Club 450 

County Seat 394 

Creamery 553 

Early Business Interests 444 

Fires 449 

Incorporation 448 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Madclia — Cont. 

Indian Scare 444 

Lawyers 515 

Location 443 

Lodges 533, 535, 536, 539 

Mill 448 

Municipal History 448 

Name 443 

Newspapers 521 

Officials 448 

Platted 443, 572 

Population 570 

Postoffice 444 

Schools 505 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Madelia Township — 

Altitude 329, 571 

Area 439 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Lakes 327, 440 

Land Entries 440 

Location 439 

Population 440, 570 

Railroad Interests 440 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 440 

Streams 440 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Markets, Early 591, 592 

Masonic Order 532 

Massacre at New L T lm 369 

Medical History 516 

Medical Society ?19 

Mennonite Churches 491' 

Methodist Episcopal Churches 480 

Military History 546 

Militia, First Officers 384 

Modern Brotherhood of America 537 

Modern Woodmen of America 535 

Murders 556 

N 

Name of the County 381 

Nationality of Population 571 

Natural Drainage 327 

Nelson Township — 

Altitude . 329, 572 

Area 451 



Nelson Township — Cont. 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Land Entries 452 

Location 451 

Name 452 

Organization 452 

Population 451. 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 452 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

New Ulm, Defense of 355 

New Ulm Massacre 369 

Newspapers 521 

North Branch Township 389 

Northfield Bank Robbery 560 

Norwegian Lutheran Churches 487 

Norwegian Settlers 437 

O 

Odd Fellows 533 

Odin- 
Assessed Valuation 406 

Banks 528 

Business Interests 457 

Creamery 457 

Improvements 456 

Location I 6 

Lodges ^17 

Officials 456 

Platted 456, ?71 

I'd]. illation 456 

Postoffice 

Schools ' 

Odin Township — 

Altitude 32'*. 572 

--sed Valuation 

Boundaries 453 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Creation of - 389 

Lakes 328, 453 

Land Kntries — 454 

Location 45.1 

( Organization 453 

Population 453. 570 

School Houses 51" 

lament 454 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Wild Birds - 45.5 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



Officials, First County 381 

Old Settlers' Reunion 573 

Order of the Eastern Star 533 

Organization of the County 381 

Ormsby — 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Banks 529 

Business Interests 439 

Fire Protection 439 

Location 439 

Municipal History 439 

Name 439 

Officials, First 439 

Platted 439, 572 

Presidents of 439 

Schools 508 

Outrages 556 

P 

Peat 333 

Pensioners of Sioux Uprising 369 

Physicians 516 

Pioneer Days, Story of 461 

Pioneer Heroes 588 

Pioneers, Privations of 586 

Plattings 572 

Poor, Care for the 403 

Population of the County 570 

Presbyterian Churches 485 

Presidential Vote - 410 

Press, the 521 

Prices, Early Market 592 

Privations of Pioneers 586 

Probate Judges 416 

Prohibition Candidates 418 

Prohibition Question 593 

R 

Railroads 541 

Rebekahs 534 

Registers of Deeds 415 

Religious Societies 480 

Reminiscences 583 

Representatives 411 

Riverdale Township — 

Altitude 329, 571 

Area 458 

Assessed Valuation 406 



Riverdale Township — Cont. 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Creation of 388 

Land Entries 458 

Location 458 

Organization 458 

Population 458, 570 

Railroad Interests 458 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 458 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Rivers 327 

Rosendale Township — 

Altitude 329, 572 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Churches 4S8 

Creation of 389 

Lakes 460 

Location 460 

Organization 400 

Pioneer Days 461 

Population 460, 570 

Railroad Interests 460 

Schools 507, 510 

Settlement 461 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

Royal Neighbors of America 536 

Russian Thistle 594 



St. James — 

Altitude 328, 571 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Banks 525 

Buildings Assessed, 1S94 406 

Business Interests, 1870 468 

Business Interests, 1885 468 

Business Interests, 1916 477 

Business Men's Association 473 

Churches 480, 485, 487, 489, 492 

Commercial Club 472 

County Seat 396 

Creamery 555 

Fire Department 471 

First Events 468 

First Settlers 468 

Firsl Store 380 

Home-coming 478 



HISTORICAL INDEX. 



St. James — Cont. 

Horse and Cattle Fair 552 

Hospital 474 

Improvements 470 

Incorporation 470 

Industries 475, 479 

Lawyers 515 

Library 473 

Lodges— .472, 532, 534, 535, 537, 539 

Municipal History 470 

Name 467 

Newspapers 522 

Officials, First 470 

Officials, Present 470 

Park 474 

Platted 467, 572 

Population 570 

Railroad Interests 467, 543 

Sanitarium 474 

Schools 505 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

St. James Township — 

Altitude 329, 572 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Boundaries 464 

Buildings Assessed, 1894 406 

Creation of 388 

Lakes 328, 464 

Land Entries 465 

Location 464 

Organization 464 

Pioneers 464 

Population 464. 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 464 

Vote on Bond Issue 403 

School Examiners 417 

School Lands 379, 504 

School Statistics 509 

Schools — 503 

Schools in 1875 505 

Secret Societies 532 

Senators, State 411 

Settlements, First 376, 380 

Sheriffs 415 

Sioux, Punishment of the 362 

Situation of the County i-7, 381 

Soil 329 

Soldiers' Bounty 385 

Soldiers Lodge 350 



"Song for the Old Settlers" 575 

South Branch Township — 

Altitude 329, 572 

Assessed Valuation 406 

Boundaries 

Building's Assessed, 1894 406 

Churches 484 

Creation of 388 

Goblinski Murder 557 

Lakes 463 

Land Entries 463 

Location 462 

Organization 463 

Population 463. 570 

School Houses 510 

Settlement 463 

Vote on Bond Issue 10 

Spanish-American War 547 

Spelling School 573 

Springfield Township 389 

State Representatives 411 

State Senators 411 

Stock Raising 548 

Storms 576 

Streams 327 

Surface of the County 327 

Surveyors, County 417 

Swedish Lutheran Churches 489 

T 

Timber 329 

Timber Claims 376 

Topography 328 

Townships of the County -II" 

Traverse des Sioux, Treaty of 334 

Treasurers, County 414 

Treaties with Indians 334 

V 
Village Plattings 572 

W 

Wakefield Township - 

Wild Animals 

Woman's Relief Corps 540 

Woodmen of America, Modern 

Y 

York Township 

Younger Brothers 



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX 



VOLUME II 



A 

Abel, Frederick 449 

Adrian, John 189 

Albrecht. Richard 311 

Anderson, Albert 180 

Anderson, Amund 345 

Anderson, Andrew H 395 

Anderson, Bertel A 267 

Anderson, C. H 171 

Anderson, Carl C, D. V. S 46 

Anderson, Charles 483 

Anderson, Christian 367 

Anderson, John A. 399 

Anderson, Nels 55 

Anderson, Ole 237 

Anton, Frank T 105 

Armstrong, Moses K 275 

Arneson, Theodore J. 99 

B 

Balzer, Frank 318 

Balzer, Jacob J 144 

Balzer, Solomon 95 

Beise. Henry C, D. M. D 146 

Biel, Albert F. 390 

Bill, James J. 316 

Bisbee. John 400 

Bishop, Carl R. 414 

Bjoin, O. A. 429 

Bolin, Amel 188 

Bolin, Charles W 254 

Bondhus, Thomas 155 

Bonin, Ferdinand 370 

Braathun, C. O. 219 

Bradley, George P. 174 

Brogger, Eivind 204 



Brog.u;er, Jacob 283 

Brown, John A. 440 

Burley, Fred 233 

Burton, William C. 383 

C 

Cadwell, Mason N. 62 

Carpenter, Frederick J 107 

Cassem, T. P. 456 

Christensen, Fred T. 183 

Christenson, Ole L 387 

Churchill, Leroy C. 369 

Clark, Willis J. 70 

Clement, Berton F 200 

Collins, Thomas C. i3 

Comnick, Gottlieb 249 

Cook. William A. 4JJ 

Cooley, Charles H 448 

Crowley, Charley T. 123 

Curtis. Will 64 

D 

Dammann, C. W. 366 

Davies, James T. 158 

l)a\ eph 290 

DeGonda, Anthony I'. 

Dempsey, Gerald 426 

Dewar, Frank 375 

1 ,.ir. John, Sr 438 

DeWolf, Milo T. - 43 

Doerksen, Jacob P 

Drake. George 

Dryden, T. X. -. - 

Dummett, William H. l-'l 

Dyer, Francis M. 



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX. 



E 

Eichstad, Emil H. 455 

Ellingsberg, Anton 135 

Engeswick, John A. 464 

Englin, John S. 285 

Englin, Theo. 225 

Englund, A. W 327 

Erickson, Elof 346 

.Erickson, Nils 365 

Ewert, David 45 

F 

Fast, Herman J. 187 

Fast, Jacob J. 320 

Fast, John H. 356 

Fast, Peter P. 427 

Fering, Severt J. 67 

Fester, E. O. 358 

Fisch, Michael L. 119 

Flaig, Arthur J. 293 

Flitter, H. C. 403 

Flogstad, Martin H. 245 

Flogstad, Paul 228 

Foss, Julius E. 201 

Foss Mercantile Company 201 

Foss, William H. 201 

Franz, Martin 317 

Franz, Peter J. 211 

Fredrickson, August :__ 353 

Friesen, Abraham B. 140 

Fuller, Walter A. 185 

G 

Gall, Frank 222 

Gertner, Gottlieb 203 

Gibbs, Edson A. 461 

Gilbertson, Gustav E. 71 

Gillam, Charles W. 88 

Gillis, Rev. Benjamin C 209 

Gjertson, John 194 

Glasier, Jacob M 347 

Goertzen, Cornelius 354 

Goostii, Peter F. 460 

Graff, Adolph 465 

Grant, George W. 192 

Grant, John G. 360 

Grunenwald, Albert 361 

Gushman, Leo A. 118 



Gustafson, Charles A. 310 

Gustafson, John F. 176 

. H 

Hage, Siver 4gi 

Haislet, Herman W. 125 

Hale, Walter M. 137 

Halvorsen, Ole A. 167 

Hammerstad, Ole 73 

Hammond, Milton H. 42 

Hammond, Hon. Winfield S 35 

Hamre, Andrew C. 394 

Hansen, Jens C. 260 

Hansen, Severt 74 

Hanson, Andrew M. 51 

Hanson, Henry E. 120 

Hanson, Jens 195 

Harbitz, Monrad 326 

Harper. Arthur 251 

Hartmann, Rev. M. K 232 

Hasenheyer, Gottlieb 132 

Haugen. Hans A. 453 

Haycraft. Emery 205 

Hedquist. Olaf 58 

Heggerston, E. E 166 

Henderson, John 128 

Henderson, Martin 388 

Hengtgen, Jacob 131 

Heppner, John 475 

Hiebert, Jacob G. 86 

Hofstad, Rudolf 350 

Hofstrom, Charles O. 371 

Hohenstem, Otto E. 76 

Holen, Soren 208 

Holte. Even O. 13S 

Hovden, Ben 395 

Hoyt. OK- I". 551 

Huffman, John C. 450 

Hunter, William \V. 304 

I 
Iverson, Iver O. 234 

J 

Jackson, Samuel 431 

Jacobsen, Lars O. 4(>'> 

Jacobson, Abraham 256 



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX. 



Jacobson, Gunder 436 

Janzen, Abraham 54 

Janzen, David C. 480 

Jencks. Perry M. 382 

Jensen, Jens C 321 

Jensen. Soren P. 181 

Johnson, Albert E. 134 

Johnson, Gunder 314 

Johnson, Hon. J. E. 52 

Johnson. John F. 148 

Judd. Frank E., D. V. S 197 

Juhnke, William 337 

K 

Kabrick, O. A., M. D 410 

Kintzi. Theodore 90 

Klaras. Fred H. 385 

Kleven, Helge O. -- ;,) 

Klocovv, Frank D 1'3 

Knudson. Carl S. 392 

Knudson, Elmer E. 179 

Kobs, Johann W. 217 

Kopperud, John E. 266 

Krause. Herman C. 443 

Krueger, Kumbert 63 

L 

Laingcn, Thorsten P. 298 

Lande, O. C. 

Langley, David P. n - 

Lantz, John A. 

Larkin, Charles 

Larson. Lauritz 446 

Leffler, Lorenz 288 

Leonard. E. I 

Leonard, H. P. 252 

Le Tourneau, George 87 

Lewis. James 20/ 

Lewis. Roy W. 477 

Lien. Charles A. 103 

Lindquist, August E. -'} 

Lindquist. Gustav 

Linscheid. Jacob J. 

Lobben, Jens L. ^- 

Loewen, Henry F. 

Loewen, Nic F. 4 

Loughran, Barney 424 



Ludemann, Johann D. 471 

Lun.lhol.il. Rev. Algot T 



Mc 

rthy, W. J., M. D 280 

McCaule'y, Edward 151 

Md lean, Mired J. -158 

McLaughlin, William W -'74 



M 



Madson, Mabel S. 

.Martin. Henry A. 330 

ler, James S. 333 

Mathisen, George W. 

M ttison, X. C. 323 

Mead. Wallace E. 65 

Melheim, Claus 428 

Mertens, August W, 

Messenbrink, Fred C. 

Meyer, A. 1'". ' ,, • , ■' , 

ers, Rev. John 

Miller, Michael P. 

Milligan, Bert 419 

Minder. Emil F. 68 

Minion. Nathaniel I'. 272 

ling, Gustav — 409 

Mitchell. Harris 4 '3 

Mooi Ellison D 213 

Moore, John E. 421 

- 4H 

Muller, Gustav _- 

Mis " W7 

N 

Nai ' ■ I 

Natl 

Nelson, Christian N. 

Nelson, John - -- - 

Nelson, John E. "' 

Neufeld 

Nil 

Noble, David A "•' 

. Frantz I 



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX. 



O 

Offerdal, Thomas 130 

Olson, Hilmer J. 380 

Olson, Knut 235 

Olson, Mathias 364 

Olson, Ole A. 338 

Olson. Oluf T. 247 

Osland, Ole 363 

Otesa, O. A. 193 

Ottum, Chris L 442 

P 

Palmer, U. H. 384 

Pankow, Rev. Erdman A 216 

Parr, M. W. 413 

Paulson, Samuel 379 

Pedersen, Christ 97 

Pederson, George 244 

Pederson, Iver I 377 

Pederson, Lars P. 264 

Pederson, Torvel 231 

Pedvin, John 286 

Perkins, Judge Alfred D. 37 

Peters, Dietrich D. 238 

Peters. Henry D. 296 

Peterson, August E. 398 

Peterson, Chester R. 77 

Peterson, Laurits 268 

Peterson, William A. 152 

Pierce, Charles B. 142 

Pietz, H. R. 294 

Porter, Matthew S. 91 

Potter, Edward C. 308 

Potter, William A. 100 

Prokes, Rev. Francis J 50 

Purrington, Lewin M 417 

Q 

Quade, August 306 

Qucvli, Andrew A. 82 

R 

Radtke, John F. 240 

Rand, Alvin 312 

Randall, John S. 258 

Rank, Elmer E. 175 

Rasche, Gustav T. 162 



Rasey, Elwin Z. 160 

Ratzlaff, Benjamin J. 420 

Reinert, Ole 303 

Reisdorph, John A. 372 

Reisdorph, Robert 141 

Rolf. Johan. D. D. S 224 

Rossing, Anton 165 

Rossing, William L. 255 

Roxin, John 215 

Ruhberg, Carl H. 404 

Ruhberg, Peter A, 212 

Running, Amel 78 

Rupp, Jacob 229 

Rupp, John E. 241 

Rydeen, John 253 

S 

Sanborn. Benjamin C. 437 

Sartorius. William 124 

Savage, Donald R. 139 

Savage, Rev. Edward 115 

Schaffer, Arthur L. 376 

Schmotzer, Edward F. 352 

Schroeder, Frank 106 

Schroeder, Heinrich 416 

Schroeder, Louis E. 4S4 

Schulte, William 307 

Schultz, David D. 324 

Schultz, Isaac D. 402 

Schwandt, George 248 

Scribner, B. J. 289 

Seely, Whalen D. 56 

Seines, O. E. 83 

Senst, Herman A. 457 

Senst, Otto 223 

Shaner, Charles H. 199 

Siem, Nels 407 

Sivertson, George P. 127 

Sizcr, Michael 467 

Skjedser, Niels 445 

Skrabeck, Halvor T. 243 

Sletta, Alfred 433 

Slctta. Ole E. 343 

Smestad. Edward E. 191 

Smestad, Hans P. 98 

Smith, Willard C. 454 

Solete. Fred 435 

Somers, John W. 332 

Sonnesyn, C. N. 80 



BIOGRAPHICAL INDEX. 



Sonnesyn, J. K. 111 

Sorensen, Neal C. 153 

Stark, Arthur O. 261 

Sterrie, Peter N. 75 

Stoess, Dietrich 270 

Story, Lincoln L. 341 

Strunk, Arthur F. 93 

Sucker, Adolph 412 

Sulem, S. J. 430 

Sullivan, Edd T. 118 

Sundt, Ole E. 336 

Swain. W. S 349 

Swanson, Alex 168 

Swartz. Arthur L. 164 

Swenson, Gilbert 236 

Swenson, Henning L. 263 

Swenson, Swen L. 466 

Syverson. Olans 42.5 

T 

Tackels. LaMont H. 279 

Takle, Jens 474 

Thompson, Albert L. 149 

Thompson, Jesse O. 57 

Thompson, Knut S. 344 

Thompson, Oscar J. 157 

Thorkveen, Rev. Lars P 72 

Thome, James P. 441 

Thornton. Col. John J 66 

Tibbedeaux, Tuffiel 40 

Tonnesson. Thomas 94 



U 
Uhlhorn. Felix F. 102 

V 

Va -tad. Hans M. 434 

Villa, John E. 96 

Void, M. C. 284 

Voshage, Henry 190 

Voth, D. J. 47 

Vought, Andrew P. 

W 

Wall. Jacob H. 

Walsh, James J 265 

Ware. Mark C. 169 

Warner, Andrew W. !92 

Wenstrom, Carl J. 109 

Wenstrom, Otto 92 

West, Mrs. Elizabeth R 408 

West, John C. 393 

Whiting, Solomon D. 184 

\\ icklund, Alfred J. 85 

Wog, Daniel E. 

Woodruff, Amelias E. 406 

Y 
Yargi r, T. M. 374 

Z 

Zender, John 59 

Zi rider, John J. • 60 




o 

Q 



H 
CO 

O 

a 

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5 



o 
o 

7. 

O 

H 

O 

o 



COTTONWOOD COUNTY 

MINNESOTA 



CHAPTER I. 



RELATED STATE HISTORY. 



The greater part, or about two-thirds, of the territory embraced within 
the boundaries of Minnesota was included in the Louisiana Purchase, ceded 
to the United States by France in 1803. The remainder of this state, com- 
prising the northeastern third part, lying east of the Mississippi river, was 
included in the country surrendered from Great Britain by the treaty of 
1783, at the end of the Revolutionary War. In 1805 a grant of land nine 
miles square, at the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Peter (now Min- 
nesota ) rivers, was obtained from the Sioux Indians. A military post was 
established on the grant in 1819, and in 1820 arrangements were made for 
the erection of a fort, which was completed in 1822 and named Ft. Snelling, 
after the commanding officer, and the grant has ever since been known 
the Ft. Snelling Reservation. In 1823 the first steamboat ascended the 
Mississippi as far as Ft. Snelling; and annually thereafter one or two trips 
of steamboats were made to this isolated post for a number of years. 

This territory was held by the Chippewa or Ojibway and the Dakota 
or Sioux Indians, but adventurous pioneers had penetrated into the coun- 
try along the streams tributary to the Mississippi river, and in 1836 Wis- 
consin territory was organized, comprising all the territory west of Lake 
Michigan, and including within its limits all the country west of the Great 
Lakes and north of Illinois, the west boundary of the territory being the 
Mississippi river. 

INDIAN TREATIES. 

In 1837 two important treaties were made with the native tribes of 
Indians. The first one was made by Gov. Henry Dodge, of Wisconsin, with 
the Ojibwavs, at Ft. Snelling, on the 29th of July, of that year, whereby 

(3)' 



34 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

they ceded to the United States all their pine or agricultural lands on the St. 
Croix river and its tributaries. 

On the 29th of September, of the same year, at the city of Washing- 
ton, a treaty with the Sioux was made by Joel R. Poinsett, a special com- 
missioner representing the United States, and about twenty chiefs, accom- 
panied by Major Taliaferro, their agent, and Scott Campbell, an interpreter. 
Through the influence and by the direction of Governor Dodge, this delega- 
tion of chiefs had proceeded to Washington for the purpose of making this 
treaty, by which the Dakotas, or Sioux, ceded to the United States all their 
lands east of the Mississippi river and all its islands. The Indians were to 
receive as consideration for the same $110,000 in cash, to be divided among 
the mixed bloods, $90,000 in payment of debts owing by the tribes, and 
$300,000 to be invested in five per cent, stocks, the interest of which should 
be paid to them annually. 

In 1848 Wisconsin adopted a state constitution, but ignored the enab- 
ling act, and made the northern part of the western boundary of the state 
along the line of the St. Louis and Rum rivers, which was not accepted by 
the United States government, and the boundary line from the Mississippi 
river to Lake Superior became fixed, as in the enabling act, on the line of 
the St. Croix river and in a direct line to the mouth of the St. Louis river. 

After the acceptance of the Wisconsin constitution, in May, 1848, the 
territory north and west of the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers being prac- 
tical}' without a government, the Hon. John Catlin, 'claiming to be still 
secretary and acting governor of Wisconsin territory, issued a proclama- 
tion for a special election, to elect a delegate to Congress. The election 
was held on October 30. and Hon. H. H. Sibley was chosen delegate, and 
after some delay was admitted as such into the Congress of the United 
States. 

TERRITORIAL GOVERNMENT ESTABLISHED. 

On March 3, 1S49, Congress passed an act to establish (he territorial 
government of Minnesota. It fixed the seat of government at St. Paul, 
and established the southern boundary of the territory along the north and 
west boundary line of the state of Iowa, from the Mississippi river to the 
Missouri river, the western boundary through the middle of the channel 
of the Missouri river to the mouth of the White Earth river, and up the 
middle of the channel of the White Earth river to the boundarv line between 
the United States and Great Britain, the northern boundary running thence 
easterly and southeasterly on the international boundary line to Lake Super- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. Jtj 

ior, and the eastern boundary running- thence in a straight line to the north- 
ermost point of the state of Wisconsin, and following the north and west 
boundary of said state down the St. Croix and Mississippi rivers to the 
place of beginning. At this time the population of the territory was mainly 
in the section east of the Mississippi river, and the settlers were almost 
entirely engaged in lumbering. The territorial government was declared 
fully organized, June i. 1849. by Hon. Alexander Ramsey, who had been 
appointed first territorial governor. The year 1848 was noted as the year 
of excitement from the discovery of gold in California, and the eyes of 
many thousands of people throughout the east were turned westward, where 
opportunities were opening for the growth of new states. Although at the 
organization of the territory there was scarcely a thousand people, within a 
year the census of 1850 gave to the territory a population of 6,077. Of this 
number, however, 1,134 residents were credited to the northernmost part of 
the territory on the Red River of the North, many of these being lialf- 
breds, and the early pioneers engaged in the fur trade, brought there 
through the influence of the Hudson Bay Company. 

The first territorial election was held on August 1, 1849. 

The first session of the territorial Legislature commenced in St. Paul, 
September 3, 1849, during which counties were established and a code of 
laws enacted. The second session was commenced in January. 1X51, at 
which time the capitol was located at St. Paul, the university at St. Anthony, 
and the state prison at Stillwater. 

THE COUNCIL AT TRAVERSE I MUX. 

In 1851 three treaties were made with the Sioux and with the Ojibway 
bands of Indians, whereby large tracts of lands were relinquished to the 
United States. In view of the great extent of country desired, ami the 
importance of the transaction, and the long continued friend-hip of the 
Dakota nation. President Fillmore departed from the usual mode of appoint- 
ing commissioners, and deputed the Flon. Luke Lea, the commissioner of 
Indian affairs, and Gov. Alexander Ramsey to meet the representatives -1 
the Dakotas, and to conclude with them a treaty Eoi Mich lands as they 
might be willing to sell. 

On the 27th of June, 1851, Commissioner Lea arrived in St. Paul on 
the steamboat "Excelsior," and on the 29th he, in company with Governor 
Ramsey, landed at Traverse des Sioux, where the great council was to 
held and the treaty consummated with the Sisseton and Wahpeton ban 



36 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

of Sioux. Great delay in the proceedings was caused by the non-arrival of 
certain Sioux chiefs from the upper country, and it was not until the 18th 
of July that the council convened and the preliminaries to the treaty com- 
menced. During this interval of about twenty days they all entertained 
themselves as best they could with races, dances, suppers, sham fights, and 
all sorts of fun. 

On the 1 8th of July, all the chiefs having arrived, proclamation was 
made, and being convened in grand council and the pipe of peace having 
"been passed around, the council was opened by an address from Governor 
Ramsey. On the 23rd of July the treaty was concluded and signed by the 
chiefs, by which they ceded to the United States all the lands claimed by 
these bands east of the Sioux Wood (or Bois des Sioux), and Big Sioux 
rivers and Lake Traverse to the Mississippi, excepting a reservation one 
hundred miles long by twenty miles wide, on the upper part of the Minne- 
sota river. By this treaty the Indians were to remove within two years to 
the reservation; to receive from the government, after removal $275,000, 
to enable them to settle up their affairs and to become established in their 
new home ; and $30,000 was to be expended in breaking land, erecting mills 
and establishing a manual training school. They were also to receive for 
fifty years from that time, an annuity of $68,000, payable as follows: Cash, 
$40,000; civilization fund, $12,000; goods and provisions, $10,000; educa- 
tion fund, $6,000. 

About a week later, on the 29th of July, Governor Ramsey and Com- 
missioner Lea met the chiefs and leading men of the Med-ay-wakanton and 
Wah-pay-koo-tay bands of Sioux at a grand council at Mendota, to nego- 
tiate another treaty for the sale of other lands, which was concluded on the 
5th of August, being signed by sixty-four chiefs, head men and warriors. 
In the treaty these bands of Indians ceded and relinquished all their lands in 
territory of Minnesota and state of Iowa, and in consideration thereof the 
United States was to reserve for them a tract of the average width of ten 
miles on either side of the Minnesota river, and bounded on the west by the 
Tehay-tam-bay and Yellow Medicine rivers, on the east by the Little Rock 
river, and a line running due south from the mouth to the Waraju river; 
and to pay them the following sums of money: For settling debts and aid 
in removal, $220,000; for erection of buildings and opening farms, $30,000; 
civilization fund, to be paid annually, $12,000; educational fund, paid 
annually, $6,000; goods and provisions, annually, $10,000; cash, $30,000. 
The annuities were to continue for fifty years from the date of the treaty. 
These two treaties of 1851 at Traverse des Sioux and Mendota acquired 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 37 

for white settlement nearly 24,000,000 acres of the finest lands in the 
world. The cessions were mostly in Minnesota, but included about an eighth 
part, or nearly 3,000,000 acres, in the state of Iowa, between the line of the 
old "neutral ground'' and the northern anil western boundaries of the state. 
That tract of country, and generally all lands in Iowa, claimed by the Sioux, 
were therefore embraced in the articles of cession of both treaties. 

The Senate of the United States, on the 23rd of June, 1852, rati lie 1 the 
treaties, with amendments to each, which amendments were subsequently 
accepted by the Indians, and on the 24th of February, 1853, President Mil- 
lard Fillmore issued his proclamation accepting, ratifying and confirming 
each of the said treaties as amended. The total lands in the present state of 
Minnesota relinquished to the government by these treaties exceeded 
19,000,000 acres; and they also ceded about 1,750,000 acres in South Dakota, 
besides the tract described in Iowa. 

The third treaty of 1S51 was effected by Governor Ramsey with the 
Red Lake and Pembina bands of Ojibways at Pembina, by which they 
ceded certain territory, sixty-five miles in width by one hundred and fifty 
miles in length, intersected by the Red River of the North. This treaty 
was not ratified by the government. 

After the ratification of the treaties with the Sioux, a great wave of 
immigration set in from all the eastern states, and an era of speculation 
started which probably has never been excelled in any portion of the west. 
A census, taken in 1857. gave a population of 150,037. 

INDIAN HUNTERS CAUSE TROUBLE. 

Notwithstanding there was an abundant supply of good land outside of 
the limits of the land ceded under these treaties, the adventurous spirit 
of the pioneers led many of them to settle on the extreme limits of the 
grant, and in immediate proximity to the Indian settlements. In the south- 
western portion of the state, particularly, settlements were made close to 
the boundary line of Iowa and north and west of Spirit lake. Some were 
in Iowa and some were in Minnesota, and all were within the jurisdiction 
of the Indian agent resident in the territory of Minnesota. Although tin- 
Indians were living on the reservation lands west of these settlements, in 
their hunting expeditions they were accustomed to return to the ceded 
lands. In a general way the Indians were civil, and committed only petty 
depredations; but their visits were at times annoying. Among the Indians 
there was a single band, under the leadership of Ink-pa-du-ta, or the S< 



38 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

let Point, of about fifteen lodges, which had been for many years an inde- 
pendent band and of a thieving, vagabondish character (really outlaws from 
the Sioux nation, and not represented in the treaties of 1851), who had 
taken possession of a strip of land running on both sides of the boundary 
lines of Iowa and Minnesota, and extending to the Missouri river. In 
March, 1857, a few of these Indians were hunting in the neighborhood of 
Rock river and one of them was bitten by a dog belonging to a white man. 
The dog was killed by the Indian, and in return the owner of the dog made 
an assault upon the Indian, and afterward gathered his neighbors, and they 
went to the Indian camp and disarmed them. The arms were afterward 
returned to them, and the party moved northeast, arriving at the Spirit Lake 
settlement about the 6th of March, where they massacred the men and took 
four women into captivity. Other settlements were attacked, and alto- 
gether forty-two settlers were killed. Two of the women were afterward 
rescued through the efforts of Hon. Charles E. Flandreau. then the Indian 
agent An effort was made to punish this band of savages, but all escaped 
except the eldest son of Ink-pa-du-ta, who had ventured into the camp of 
other Sioux, near the agency, and was killed in an attempt to capture him. 

TOWN-SITE SPECULATION. 

In 1855 and 1856 town-site speculation became the absorbing thought, 
and when the panic of 1S57 set in, Minnesota was soon in a deplorable 
condition. The demand for an extensive railroad system and a state gov- 
ernment had originated in the flush times of 1856 and 1S57, and on Febru- 
ary 26, 1857, Congress passed an act authorizing a constitutional conven- 
tion, and granting a large amount of lands in aid of public schools. On 
March 3, 1857, an act °f Congress was approved making a large grant of 
lands in aid of railroads. 

The election of members of the Constitutional Convention was held on 
June 1, 1857, and the result was an almost equal division representing the 
Democratic and Republican parties. So close was this division, and there 
being some contested seats, when the convention assembled, on July 13, 
two distinct organizations were made, each proceeding to frame a Con- 
stitute m, but finally, by conference committees, they united in one docu- 
ment, which was submitted to a vote of the people on October 13, and was 
adopted almost unanimously. By this Constitution the boundaries of the 
state were changed on the west, making the Red River of the North the 
line, up the I'.uis des Sioux, and thence extending along that river and 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 39 

through Lake Traverse and Big Stone lake, and by a direct south line to the 
north boundary of Iowa. 

This Constitution provided for an election of state officers at the same 
time of voting upon the adoption of the Constitution, resulting, bj a close 
vote, in the election of the Democratic nominees. The first stale Legisla- 
ture was convened on the 2nd of December, 1857, and continued in session 
until March 25, 1858, when a recess was taken until after the state should 
be admitted. Some doubts were raised as to the legality of the acts of 
the Legislature previous to admission by Congress. The act of admission 
was passed and approved. May 11, 1858. The Legislature again assembled 
in June, and finally adjourned, August 12, 1858. During this prolonged 
session the embryo state was without funds, and a loan of $250,000 was 
authorized; but as the acts of the Legislature before admission were some- 
what irregular, the loan could not be readily negotiated. To tide over the 
difficulty state warrants were issued in the form of bank notes, and passed 
current, with more or less discount, until the summer of 1N5N, when tin 
were redeemed from the proceeds of the loan consummated after the admis- 
sion of the state. 

RAILROAD BONDS ISSUED. 

The first Legislature worked diligently in what they considered the 
best interest of the state, and as the grant of lands by the United State 
in aid of railroads within the state had to be turned over to companies, a 
large part of the session was devoted to railroad legislation. The scheme 
of further aid to companies who might be willing to undertake the build- 
ing of railroads was originated, and was commonly denominated the "Five 
Million Loan Bill," contemplating the loan of the credit of the state, to 
that amount, in such sums as would be paid upon the grading and final 
completion of certain miles of road. On a submission of this law to the 
people it was adopted by a large majority. The opposition at the time of 
the vote upon this measure was very bitter, and continued after bonds « 
being issued, and with the dissatisfaction arising from the small I of 

work completed and the large amount of bonds issued, threatenings of repu- 
diation advocated by leading men in the state caused a in financial 
circles and a final collap 1 oi the whole scheme, with the foi the 
mortgages taken by the state upon the railroad lands and Ira; ind 
the abandonment of all railroad construction for the tim The total 
amount of bonds issued under this provision of the constitution v 75,- 
000. By the foreclosure proceedings the state acquired about 250 miles of 



40 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

graded road, the franchises of the companies and the lands, amounting to 
five million of acres, as indemnity for this issue of bonds. Notwithstanding 
the state had acquired all the rights, including the improvements of the rail- 
road companies, the feeling against any settlement of the bonds was strong 
enough to secure an amendment to the constitution in i860, prohibiting the 
passage of any law levying a tax or making other provision for the pay- 
ment of the principal or interest of these bonds without having the same 
submitted to a vote of the people and adopted. 

The two years following the crash of 1857 were replete with financial 
disaster and a shrinkage of inflated .values in town-sites; but the country 
was filling up with farmers, and the rich soil of the state was giving 
abundant harvests. The political contest of 1859 was bitter, and resulted in 
the Republican party carrying the state, both for state officers and the Legis- 
lature 

The census of i860 gave the state a population of 172,023. During 
this year there was great hope of a largely increased immigration into the 
county; but the political situation in the Union, starting with the opening 
of the presidential campaign of that year, soon indicated a disturbing ele- 
ment throughout the country, and distrust and depression were manifest 
on all sides which was not allayed by the result of the presidential election. 
The war period, commencing with the time of the President's proclamation 
in April, 1861, to the final close of the rebellion in 1865, did not permit any 
material growth in the state. About twenty-two thousand of her able- 
bodied citizens volunteered and were enlisted in the Union army. 

UNREST AMONG THE INDIANS. 

The Indian reservation set apart by the treaties of 185 1, a tract twenty 
miles wide on the upper part of the Minnesota river, embracing some of 
the finest lands in the state, was becoming a barrier to settlements in 
the upper Minnesota valley. Settlers had taken lands close up to the reserva- 
tion, and there was considerable complaint that Indians were coming off 
the reservation and committing petty depredations, and the Indians had 
more or less complaints to make regarding the extortions practiced by the 
post traders. The encroachments of the whites were viewed with suspicion 
by the Indians, and sooner or later, from these causes alone, a conflict would 
probably have occurred. The War of the Rebellion, calling away so many 
of the able-bodied men of the state, left the frontier settlements almost 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 4 I 

defenseless, and doubtless caused the younger portion of the tribes to become 
more offensive to the settlers and more exacting in their demands. 

The lands embraced within the reservation under the treaties of 1S51 
were in the very heart of Minnesota, and, considering- the forests and 
streams, were the choicest of farming lands. The settlers on the boi 
were anxiously coveting this "Garden of Eden." A sentiment was created 
throughout the state that the Indians should abandon the tribal relations 
and become civilized. To this end the head men of the Dakota nation 
were induced, in 1858, to go to Washington, under the charge of Hon. 
Joseph R. Brown, in whom they had great confidence, for the purpose of 
negotiating for the whole or a part of this reservation. Treaties were 
signed ceding the ten-mile strip on the north side of the river, upon the 
payment of $140,000, and the government provided that every head of a 
family or single person over the age of twenty-one adopting a civilized 
life should secure in fee eighty acres of land. From some cause the pay- 
ments of $140,000 were never made, and there was great dissatisfaction 
on account of this treat} - , among those of the tribes who were adverse to 
accepting the condition of civilization; and from the fact that there v 
no money divided among them on account of this relinquishment a bitter 
dissension arose between the older chiefs and the younger members, the 
latter claiming that they had been robbed either by the chiefs or by the 
government, and they proposed to have the settlement, peaceful or other- 
wise. 

This internal strife was augmented from year to year by the withdrawal 
of families who were willing to accept the civilization fund, the number in 
three years succeeding the treaty amounting to one hundred and sixty | 
sons. They were, however, still annuity Indians, and claimed thi right to 
be heard in the councils. The annuity Indians, all told, numbered about six 
thousand two hundred, and the annual cash payment to each pi 1 
amounted to about fifteen dollars. The Indians were treated as wards of 
the United States. Two agencies were established, around which v, 
gathered storekeepers to sell the Indians goods in anticipation of the annuity 
payments; and, usually, the annual payment was simply a settlement of 
the claims of the traders, who took the risk of furnishing th in 

advance. That there was injustice practiced upon the Indiai '.uhtless 

true; probably not so great as the disaffected Indians imagined. There 
was enough, however, to make the time of the annual payment an anxi 
period, for fear of an outbreak. The failure of the governmenl in 
attempt to punish the Spirit Lake murderers had a tendency I 



42 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

ing among the leaders of the rebellious spirit that if they could only unite 
the whole body of Sioux in an uprising they could make a successful attack 
upon the settlers, and perhaps regain the lands formerly held by the Indians. 
The War of the Rebellion, starting in 1861, gave renewed energy to the 
discontent. The Indians were well aware of the reverses of the Union 
forces during the first year of the war. The calls for troops were taking the 
able-bodied men from the farms, and many of the half-breeds had volun- 
teered for the army. All these conditions had a disquieting effect, and, 
added to this, in 1862 the June payment was not made; and as there was no 
satisfactory answer for the delay, the traders took advantage of the neces- 
sities of the Indians and insinuated that perhaps the government would go 
to pieces, and there would be no further payments. The missionaries endeav- 
ored to counteract these evil influences, and. with the aid of the civilized 
Indians, succeeded in averting deliberate outbreak. The delay in payment 
of annuities, however, tended to keep up the discontent, particularly among 
the younger braves, who were the hunters. Their vagabond life brought 
them into the settlements, and in contact with the whites; and their worth- 
less, lazy habits made them offensive to the families, as beggars of meals or 
money, or anything that took their fancy. 

MASSACRE OF 1862. 

These are, in brief, the circumstances which led up to the great mas- 
sacre of 1862, which for a short time threatened the lives of all the settlers 
on the western boundary of the state. There was no concerted action for 
the massacre, and to some extent there is an uncertainty as to why the first 
murders were committed. Four young men or boys are believed to have 
commenced the massacre, in a spirit of bravado, making a threatening 
attack first upon a family, driving them from their home, and afterward 
following them to a neighbor's house, where, after an altercation with the 
families, they killed three men and two women. These occurrences took 
place on the 17th of August, in the township of Acton, twelve miles west 
of Litchfield Realizing that if they remained in the vicinity punishment 
would soon overtake their murderous acts, they lost no time in going back 
to camp, relating what they had done, and asking protection. A hasty 
consultation was had between two of the chiefs; they realized that the mur- 
derers must be given up, or the annuities would be stopped, and a war of 
extermination would be inaugurated. They chose to stand by the murder- 
ers, ami immediately following there was a general uprising of the entire 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 4} 

Sioux bands. So swift were their movements, before any effective resistance 
could be brought against them, that about eight hundred of the settlers, 
men, women and children were murdered within a few days. The prompt 
action of the state authorities, aided by the national government, resulted 
in the capture of about 2,000 of the belligerent Indians and the withdrawal 
of the remainder beyond the boundaries of the state, into the wilds of 
Dakota. Of the captured Indians, 303 were found guilty of murder and 
rape, and were condemned to death by a military court-martial. Of this 
number 265 were reprieved by President Lincoln, and the remainder, thirty- 
eight of the most prominent engaged in the massacre, were hung in Mankato 
on the 26th of December, 1862. The next year the general government 
authorized an expedition against the Indians who had escaped to the Dakota 
plains, because of their constant raids in small squads on the frontiers of 
the state for the purpose of horse-stealing and marauding upon adven- 
turous settlers who might risk going back to their abandoned farms. \.fter 
two decisive encounters, the Indians retreated beyond the Missouri river, 
and in 1864 another expedition was sent forward and a final settlemenl 
of the Sioux outbreak was accomplished, by a confiscation and surrender 
of the ponies and arms of most of the bands hostile to the government. 

The several tribes of Sioux Indians were engaged in this massacre, and 
were the representatives of the tribes that had made the cession of lands 
in 1851, under the first and second treaties of that year. Under these 
treaties the government had set aside trust funds of 82,520,000. from which 
there was paid annually the sum of Suo.ooo. Settlers who had lost prop- 
erty urged their claims for indemnity, and Congress promptly established a 
commission to receive all claims and investigate the fact-,. The commis- 
sion was duly organized and established headquarters in the city of St. Paul, 
and carefully examined all the claims presented. The total number filed 
was 2,940, with damages amounting to $2,458,795.16. The commission 
allowed 2.635 claims, and cut down the damages t.. $1,370,374. By . 
Congress these claims were paid, and the annuities and all furtl 
ments to the tribi were stopped. The state was also reimbursed for extra- 
ordinary expenses incurred duriri riod of insurrecl 

On the 2nd of Octob r, [863, a treaty was concluded at the old cro 
ing of Red Lake river, about twelve miles east of the present m 
Crookston by Alexander Ramsey and Morrill, ai chiefs 

and head men of the Red Lake and Pembina bai bway Ind 

for the cession of a large tract of country, being the 
in one of the treaties of 1851, but not ratified at that lime, of which the 



44 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

boundaries are as follow: Commencing at the intersection of the national 
boundary with the Lake of the Woods; thence in a southwest direction to 
the head of Thief river; thence following that stream to its mouth; thence 
southeasterly in a direct line toward the head of Wild Rice river; and thence 
following the boundary of the Pillager cession of 1855 to the mouth of said 
river; thence up the channel of the Red river to the mouth of the Cheyenne; 
thence up said river to Stump lake, near the eastern extremity of Devil's 
lake; thence north to the international boundary; and thence east on 
said boundary to the place of beginning. It embraced all of the Red River 
valley in Minnesota and Dakota, except a small portion previously ceded, 
and was estimated to contain 11,000,000 acres. This treaty was ratified by 
the Senate, with amendments, March 1, 1864. The Indians, on the 12th of 
April, 1864, assented to the amendments, and President Lincoln, by his 
proclamation of the 5th of May, 1864, confirmed the treaty. 

A PERIOD OF RAPID DEVELOPMENT. 

The close of the Civil War in the spring of 1S65, and the return of the 
soldiers, and the assurance of no further depredations from the Sioux 
Indians, started a new era of prosperity and rapid growth. The Legislature, 
in the meantime, had granted charters on the foreclosed roadbeds and lands 
to new railroad companies, and the construction of roads was furnishing 
abundant labor to all who were coming to the state. The population at 
this time was 250,099, and in 1870 the ppoulation had increased to 439,706, 
nearly doubling in five years. The railroad companies had within the same 
period constructed nearly 1,000 miles of railroad, and continued their build- 
ing with even greater vigor until the financial crisis of 1873 brought all pub- 
lic enterprises again to a stand, and produced stagnation in all the growing 
towns. The farmers had been active in developing the country, and were 
adding largely to the productions of the state when the grasshopper raids, 
for the time being, destroyed the growing crops, and caused great financial 
distress for two or three years. 

The census of 1875 gave the state a population of 597,407, still showing 
a fair increase, but small in comparison with the live years following the 
close of the rebellion. By 1878 the state had fairly recovered from the 
financial crash of 1873, but speculation has at no time since 1878 been so 
reckless as during the two periods ending in 1857 and 1873. 

Along with the prosperity of the state, caused so largely by the rapid 
railroad building, the state pride began to assert itself with more force, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 45 

and the prominent citizens continued to urge an adjustment of the dis- 
honored railroad bonds. In 1877 a proposition setting aside the proceeds 
of 500,000 acres for internal improvement lands in settlement was by act 
of the Legislature submitted to a vote at a special election called for the 
12th of June, and was voted down by the decisive vote of 59,176 against 
to 17,324 votes for, the proposition. This vote was largely owing to the 
fact that the state at that time had almost an entire new population that 
had come into the state long after the bonds were issued and had no definite 
knowledge of the history of the original indebtedness. 

In 1881 the Legislature enacted a law providing for the adjustment of 
these bonds and designating the judges of the supreme court as a com- 
mission to make the settlement. The constitutionality of this law was 
questioned, a writ of injunction was served, and the final determination of 
the supreme bench was that the law was unconstitutional, as also the 
amendment of i860, prohibiting any settlement without a vote of the people. 
This latter act had previously been determined unconstitutional by the 
supreme court of the United States. An extra session of the Legislature 
was called in October of the same year, when the final adjustment was 
authorized by act of the Legislature, on a basis of fifty per cent, of the 
amount nominally due, and, after a careful examination of all the claims 
presented, the bond question was forever set at rest by the issue of adjust- 
ment bonds, to the amount of $4,282,000, to parties entitled to receive 
them. For the payment of these bonds the proposition of setting aside 
the proceeds of the 500,000 acres of internal improvement lands was again 
submitted to the general election in 1881, and by a vote of 82,435 votes in 
favor, and 24,526 votes against, the action of the Legislature was rati 
and the stigma of repudiation removed, which had been fastened upon the 
state by the popular vote of 1877. 

In 1880 the national census gave the state a population of 780,773. 
the state census of 1885 swelled these figures to 1,117,798, indicating the 
extraordinary growth of forty-three per cent.; but an examination of the 
figures shows that the growth was mainly confined to the citi< ; nearly 

eighty per cent, of increase, while in the farming community and small 
towns the percentage of inn vas only twenty per cent. 

During the ten years between 1880 and 1890 there w period oi 

great activity in the railroad building, and 2,310 miles of road were pul in 
operation. This alone gave great energy to the business of the state, 
caused a large increase in the population of the cities, and gradually cul- 
minated in a most extravagant real estate boom, and an era of the wild 



46 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

speculation. In the country the growth was normal over the entire state, 
although large numbers of farmers in the southern half of the state were 
attracted to the plains of Dakota, where great activity was being developed 
by the pushing of railroads into different sections of the territory. 

DIVERSIFIED FARMING INTERESTS. 

The settlement of the Dakotas and the consequent breaking up of the 
virgin land, after the year 1885, almost doubled the wheat yield of the north- 
western states, so that the farmers of Minnesota were soon confronted 
with the question whether wheat should continue to be their leading staple. 
In the southern part of the state the wheat return was not enough per acre 
to yield any profit to the farmer at the reduced prices ; and gradually meth- 
ods have changed, so that the leading agricultural industries now include 
dairying, stock raising, and general diversified farming. It seems probable 
that Minnesota will hold her place as the greatest wheat-producing state, 
and will also earn a greater reputation as the best all-round farming state 
in the Union. 

The national census of 1890 gave the state a population of 1,301,826, 
an increase of 184,028 in five years, of which amount about 70,000 increase 
went to the cities and 114,000 to the country districts, showing eighteen per 
cent, increase in the cities and fifteen per cent, increase in the country. The 
state census of 1895 showed an increase of 272,793, or 21.95 per cent, in the 
preceding five years, giving a total population of 1,574,619. 

According to the census of 1910 the population of Minnesota was 
2,075,708, showing an increase of 17.8 per cent, during the preceding 
decade. The population of the five largest cities was as follow: Minnea- 
polis, 301,408; St. Paul, 214,744; Duluth, 78,466; Winona, 18,583; and 
Stiliwater. 10.19S. 

.Minnesota was the first state of the Union to respond to the call of 
the President for volunteers at the beginning of the war with Spain, in 
April, 1898. Three regiments, designated as the Twelfth, Thirteenth and 
Fourteenth Regiments of Minnesota Volunteers, were mobilized at St. Paul, 
April 20, and were mustered into the United State service on May 7 and 8. 
The Fifteenth Regiment was mustered into service on July 18. In total 
this state furnished 5.315 officers and enlisted men for the volunteer army. 
At the close of the war the Twelfth and Fourteenth Regiments returned to 
Minnesota, and were mustered out of service in November. The Fifteenth 
Regiment continued in service until March 27, 1899; and the Thirteenth 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 47 

Regiment, after more than a year of service in the Philippine Islands, was 
mustered out on October 3, 1899. 

NAME. 

Minnesota derives its name from the river which was named "Minisota" 
by the Dakotas, pronounced "Min-nee-sotah," applied to the stream, in its 
natural state in the summer season, after the waters were cleared from the 
roiling caused by the spring floods. Mini, water; sotah, sky-colored. 
Apparently to secure the correct pronunciation in English letters, the con- 
vention called at Stillwater, in 1848. for the purpose of procuring a terri- 
torial organization, instructed their delegates to see that the name of the 
territory should be written Min-ne-sota. 

GEOGRAPHY. 

Geographically, Minnesota occupies the exact center of the continent 
of North America, midway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, and also 
midway between Hudson bay and the Gulf of Mexico. This state is bounded 
on the south by Iowa, on the west by South and North Dakota, on the north 
by Manitoba and Ontario, and on the east by Wisconsin. It extends from 
latitude 43 degrees 30 minutes, to 49 degrees 24 minutes, and from 89 
degrees 29 minutes, to 97 degrees 15 minutes, west longitude. From its 
southern boundary to the northern is about 400 miles, and from its most 
eastern to the extreme western point about 354 miles. 

AREA. 

Minnesota is. in area, the tenth state of the Union. It contains 84,287 
square miles, or about 53,943,379 acres, of which 3.608,012 acres are water. 
In altitude it appears to be one of the highest portions of the continent, as 
the headwaters of three great river systems are found in its limits, those 
of streams flowing northward to Hudson tward to the Atlantic ocean, 

and southward to the Gulf of Mexico. 

About half of this surface, on the south and west, consists of rollii 
prairie, interspersed with frequent groves, oak openings and belts of hard- 
wood timber, watered by numberless lakes and streams, and covered with a 
warm, dark soil of great fertility. The rest, embracing the elevated distrii 1 
immediately west and north of Lake Superi ists mainly of rich min- 



48 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

eral ranges and of the pine forests which clothe the headwaters of the Mis- 
sissippi, affording extensive supplies of lumber. There is but a very small 
percentage of broken, rocky or worthless land in the state. Nearly all is 
arable. 

RIVERS. 

Numerous rivers and watercourses give the state excellent drainage. 
But few states are so well watered as Minnesota. Its navigable rivers are 
the Mississippi, the Minnesota, the St. Croix, the St. Louis, the Red River 
of the North, and the Red Lake river, all of which, near their sources, have 
extensive water powers; while a number of smaller streams such as Rum 
river and Snake river, both valuable for lumbering, the Cannon and Zumbro 
rivers, the Vermilion, Crow, Blue Earth, Des Moines, Cottonwood, Chip- 
pewa, LeSueur, Root, Elk and Sauk rivers, also furnish line water powers. 
These with their tributaries and a host of lesser streams penetrate every por- 
tion of the state. Some of the water powers furnished by these streams 
are among the finest in America, and many of them have been utilized for 
manufacturing purposes. 

LAKES. 

The lakes of Minnesota are more numerous and varied in form than in 
any other state in the Union. Bordering on the northeast corner of tin- 
state for one hundred and fifty miles, the waters of the great Lake Superior 
wash its shores. Within the state there are about ten thousand lakes, the 
largest of which is Red lake, in the central northern part of the state, bor- 
dering partly by dense pine forests, with its overflow through Red Lake 
river, by a devious course, into the Red River of the North. On the same 
northern slope, in St. Louis county, is the beautiful Vermilion lake, with its 
tributaries, at the edge of the great Vermilion iron range, and flowing into 
Rainy lake, on the northern boundary, and then through Rainy Lake river 
into the Lake of the Woods, and thence into Lake Winnipeg, and finally 
into Hudson bay. On the southern slope of the state is Itasca lake, the 
source of tin- Mississippi, with Cass lake, Lake Winnibigoshish, Leech lake, 
and other innumerable lakes, all adding volume to the water of the Mississippi, 
eventually flowing into the Gulf of Mexico. Then there is Mille Lacs, the 
source of Rum river, and the picturesque Lake Minnetonka. These are the 
largest lakes in the state. Of these, however, only Minnetonka, White Bear, 
Bald Eagle and Chisago lakes have so far been much utilized as summer 
resorts. The incomparable park region, traversed by the Great Northern 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 49 

and Northern Pacific railroads, is the paradise of summer idlers, of hunters 
and fishermen; but it is not in this portion alone that all the beautiful lakes 
are found. The northeastern and the southwestern sections each have 
numerous lakes to attract the summer visitor. 

There is an undoubted modification of the climate of the state, caused 
by these numerous bodies of water, giving a most delightful summer tem- 
perature. 

Fine varieties of fish are abundant in all these lakes; and the state 
expends annually thousands of dollars, through a game and fish commission, 
to improve the varieties and to prevent their wanton destruction. 

ELEVATION. 

Surveys with leveling from the sea show that the shore of Lake Supe- 
rior is the lowest land in the state, 602 feet above sea level. The waters 
of the northeastern part of the state south of the Mesabi iron range flow 
into Lake Superior, and are carried to the Atlantic ocean. The Mississippi 
river, having its chief source in Lake Itasca, at 1,466 feet elevation, runs in 
a southerly direction, leaving the state at 620 feet above sea level. 

The Red River of the North, rising in the north, near Itasca lake, at 
a height of 1,600 feet above the ocean, after a circuitous route south and 
west to Breckenridge, in Wilkin count}-, and then flowing north along its 
great valley, leaves the state at an elevation of 750 feet. The average 
elevation of the state is given at about 1,275 Ieet The highest elevation is 
the Misquah hills, in Cook county, 2,230 feet. 

CLIMATE. 

The elevation of Minnesota above the sea, its fine drainage, and the 
dryness of the atmosphere give it a climate of unusual salubrity and pleas- 
antness. It has an annual mean temperature of 44 degrees, while its mean 
summer temperature is 70 degrees, the same as that of middle Illinois and 
Ohio, southern Pennsylvania, etc. The excessive heats of summer often fell 
in other states are here tempered by the cooling breezes. Its high latitude 
gives it correspondingly longer days in summer than states further south. 
and during the growing season there are two and one-half I ire sun- 

shine than in the latitude of Cincinnati. This, taken in 1 
the abundant rainfall of early summer, accounts for the rapid and vigoi 

(4) 



50 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

growth of crops in Minnesota, and their early maturity. The cool hreezes 
and cool nights in summer prevent the debilitating effects of heat often felt 
in low latitudes. The winter climate is one of the attractive features of the 
state. Its uniformity, and prevailing freedom from thaws and excessive 
spells of cold, severe weather or heavy snow storms, and its dryness, together 
with the bright sunshine and electrical condition of the air, all tend to enhance 
the personal comfort of the resident, and make outdoor life and labor a 
pleasure. 

These features tend to make this climate the healthiest in the Union. 
It gives life and briskness to those performing manual labor, enabling them 
to do more work than in a damper or duller climate. 

CHRONOLOGICAL. 

In the following list some of the more important events in the state, 
from the earliest explorations to the present time, are set forth in chronolo- 
gical order : 

I 635- J ean Nicollet, an explorer from France, who had wintered in the 
neighborhood of Green Bay, brought to Montreal the first 
mention of the aborigines of Minnesota. 
1659-60. Grosseilliers and Radisson wintered among the Sioux of the Mille 
Lacs region, Minnesota, being its first white explorers. In a 
previous expedition, four years earlier, they are thought to 
have come to Prairie Island, west of the main channel of the 
Mississippi, between Red Wing and Hastings. 
1661 Father Rene Menard left Kewennaw, on Lake Superior, to visit the 
Hurons, then in northern Wisconsin, and was lost near the 
sources of the Black and Chippewa rivers. His breviary and 
cassock were said to have been found among the Sioux. 
1679. July 2, Daniel Greyselon Du Lhut (Duluth) held a council with the 
Sioux at their principal settlement on the shore of Mille Lacs. 
Du Lhut, in June, 16S0, by way of the St. Croix river, reached 
the Mississippi and met Hennepin. 
1680 Louis Hennepin, after captivity in the village of Mille Lacs Sioux, 

first saw the Falls of St. Anthony. 
1689 May 8, Nicholas Perrot, at his Ft., St. Antoine, on the Wisconsin 
shore of Lake Pepin, laid formal claim to the surrounding 
country for France. He built a fort also on the Minnesota 
shore of this lake, near its outlet. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 51 

1695. LeSueur built a fort or trailing post on Isle Pelee, now called Prairie 
Island, above Lake Pepin. 

1700. LeSueur established Ft. L'Huillier, on the Blue Earth river (near 
the mouth of the LeSueur), and first supplied the Sioux with 
firearms. 

1727 The French established a third fort on Lake Pepin, with Sieur de 
La Perriere as commander. 

172S. Great flood in the Mississippi. 

1763 By the treaty of Versailles, fiance ceded Minnesota, east of the 
Mississippi, to England, and west of it to Spain. 

1766 Capt. Jonathan Carver visited St. Anthony falls and Minnesota 
river. Lie claimed to have made a treaty with the Indians 
the following spring, in a cave afterward called "Carver's 
Cave," within the present limits of St. Paul, at which he said 
they ceded to him an immense tract of land, long known as 
"Carver's Claim," but never recognized by the government. 

1796. Laws of the Ordinance of 1787 extended over the Northwest terri- 
tory, including the northeastern third of Minnesota, east of 
the Mississippi river. 

1798-99. The Northwestern Fur Company established itself in Minnesota. 

1800. May 7, that part of Minnesota east of the Mississippi became a part 
of Indiana by the division of Ohio. 

1803. April 30, that part of Minnesota west of the Mississippi, for the 
preceding forty years to possession of Spain as a part of Louis- 
iana, was ceded to the United States by Napoleon Bonaparte, 
who had just obtained it from Spain. 

1803-04. William Morrison, the first known white man to discover the 
source of the Mississippi river, visited Elk lake and explored 
the streams entering into the lake forming the head of the 
river. 

1805. Lieut. Z. M. Pike visited Minnesota to establish government rela- 
tions there, and obtained the Ft. Snelling reservation from 
the Dakotas. 

1812. The Dakotas. Ojibways and Winnebagoes, under the lead of hostile 
traders, joined the British during the war. Red river colony 
established by Lord Selkirk. 

1819. Minnesota, east of the Mississippi river, became a part of Crav 

county, Michigan. Ft. Snelling established, and a po t al 
Mendota occupied by troops, under command of Col. 



52 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Leavenworth. Maj. L. Taliaferro appointed Indian agent, 
arriving on April 19. 

1820. Corner stone of Ft. Snelling laid on September 10. Governor Cass 
visits Minnesota and makes a treaty of peace between the 
Sioux and Ojibways at Ft. Snelling. Col. Josiah Snelling 
appointed to the command of the latter post. 

1823. The first steamboat arrived at Mendota, May 10, Major Taliaferro 
and Beltrami being passengers. Maj. Stephen H. Long 
explored Minnesota river, the Red river valley, and the north- 
ern frontier. Beltrami explored sources of the Mississippi. 

1826 Great flood on the Red river; a part of the colony driven to Minne- 
sota, settling near Ft. Snelling. 

1832. Schoolcraft explored sources of Mississippi river, and named Lake 
Itasca (formerly called Elk lake). 

1833 First mission established at Leech lake by Rev. W. T. Boutwell. 

1834. The portion of Minnesota west of the Mississippi attached to Michi- 

gan. Gen. H. H. Sibley settled at Mendota. 

1835. Catlin and Featherstonhaugh visited Minnesota. 

1836. The territory of Wisconsin organized, embracing the part of Minne- 

sota east of the Mississippi, the part on the west being attached 
to Iowa. Nicollet visited Minnesota. 
1837 Governor Dodge, of Wisconsin, made a treaty at Ft. Snelling with 
the Ojibways, by which the latter ceded all their pine lands 
on the St. Croix and its tributaries ; a treaty was also effected 
at Washington with a deputation of Dakotas for their lands 
east of the Mississippi. These treaties led the way to the first 
actual settlements within the area of Minnesota. 

1838. The treaty ratified by Congress. Franklin Steele makes a claim at 

St. Anthony falls. Pierre Parrant makes a claim and builds 
a shanty on the present site of St. Paul. 

1839. St. Croix county established. 
1843. Stillwater settled. 

1846. August 6, the Wisconsin enabling act. 

1847. The Wisconsin Constitutional Convention meets. The town of St. 

Paul surveyed, platted and recorded in St. Croix county regis- 
ter of deeds' office. First improvement of the water power 
at tin- Falls of St. Anthony. 

1848. May 29, Wisconsin admitted, leaving the area of Minnesota without 

a government. August 26, the "Stillwater Convention" held, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. C } 

taking measures for a separate territorial organization, and 
asking that the new territory be named Minnesota. October 
30, H. H. Sibley elected delegate to Congress. 

1849. January 15, H. H. Sibley admitted to a seat. March 3, the bill 

organizing Minnesota passed. March 19, its territorial officers 
appointed. June 1, Governor Ramsey declared, by proclama- 
tion, the territory organized. September 3, the first terri- 
torial Legislature assembled. 

1850. Great flood this year; highest water ever known. Minnesota river 

first navigated by steamboats. Census shows 6,077 inhabi- 
tants. 

1851. Location of the capitol, university and penitentiary; another flood. 

July 23, treaty of Traverse des Sioux completed and August 
5 the treaty of Mendota, opening the territory west of the 
Mississippi to settlers. 

1852. June 23, the treaties ratified by the United States Senate. 

1853. Pierce's administration. \V. A. Gorman appointed governor. The 

capitol building completed. 

1854. Celebration of the opening of the Rock Island railroad, the first road 

to the Mississippi river, by a mammoth excursion, reaching 
St. Paul, June 8. Large immigration this season and the 
three succeeding ones, and the real estate mania commences. 

1857. Enabling act passes Congress, February 26. Gov. Samuel Medary 

(appointed by Buchanan), arrives on April 22. Legislature 
passes a bill to remove the capital to St. Peter, but it fails to 
accomplish the object. Ink-pa-du-to massacre, April. Land 
grant passes Congress. April 27. extra session of the Legis- 
lature to apportion land grant. July_ 13, Constitutional Con- 
vention assembles. Real estate speculation reaches its height, 
and is checked by the financial panic, August 27. < i 
revulsions and hard times. Census shows 150,037 population. 
October 13, Constitution adopted and state officii- elected. 

1858. State loan of $250,000 negotiated. Five million loan bill passed bj 

the Legislature. March 9; ratified by vote of the people, \pril 
1;. Great stringency in money market. State admitted, May 
11. State officers sworn in. May 24. 

1859. Hard times continue to intensify. "Wright County War." "Glen- 

coe" and "Owatonna" money issued. Work on the land 
grant road ceases. Collapse of the five million scheme. 



54 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

export of grain this fall. Hard political struggle; the Repub- 
licans triumph. 
i860. Another warm political canvass. Federal census, 172,023. 

1 861. April 15, President proclamation for troops received; the first regi- 

ment recruits at once; June 22, it embarks at Ft. Snelling for 
the seat of war. 

1862. Call for 600,000 men. August 17, massacre at Acton; August 18, 

outbreak at Lower Sioux Agency, eight miles east of Red- 
wood Falls; 19th. New Ulm attacked; 20th, Fort Ridgely 
attacked; 25th, second attack on New Ulm; 30th, Fort Aber- 
crombie besieged; September 2d, the bloody attack at Birch 
Coulee. September 19, first railroad in Minnesota in opera- 
tion, between St. Paul and Minneapolis. September 23, bat- 
tle of Wood Lake; 26th. captives surrendered at Camp 
Release; military commission tries 321 Indians for murder, 
rape, etc. ; 303 condemned to die ; December 26, 38 hung at 
Nankato. 

1863. General Sibley's expedition to the Missouri river; July 3, Little 

Crow killed; July 24, battle of Big Mound; July 26, battle of 
Dead Buffalo Lake; July 28, battle of Stony Lake. 

1864. Large levies for troops. Expedition to Missouri river, under Sully. 

Inflation of money market. Occasional Indian raids. 

1865. Peace returns. Minnesota regiments return and are disbanded. In 

all 22,016 troops furnished by the state. Census shows 
250,099 inhabitants. 

1866-72 Rapid railroad building everywhere; immigration heavy; "good 
times" prevail, and the real, estate inflated. 

1873. January 7, 8 and 9, polar wave sweeps over the state; seventy per- 
sons perish. September, the Jay Cook failure creates another 
panic. Grasshopper raid begins and continues five seasons. 

1876. September 7, attack on bank at Northlield by a gang of armed 

outlaws from Missouri; three of the latter killed and three 
captured. 

1877. Biennial session amendment adopted. 

1878. May 2, three flouring-mills at Minneapolis explode; eighteen lives 

lost. 
1880. November 15, portion of the hospital for the insane at St. Peter 
destroyed by fire; eighteen inmates burned to death, seven 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, .MINX. 55 

died subsequently of injuries and fright, and six missing; total 

loss, $150,000. 
1881. March i. the state capitol destroyed by fire. 
1884. January 25. state prison partially burned. 
1886 April 14, a tornado strikes the cities of St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids, 

demolishing scores of buildings and killing about sc\ 

people. 
1887. Important legislation regarding the liquor traffic, common carriers, 

and elections. 

1889. The Legislature enacts the Australian system of voting in cities of 

10,000 and over. The first electric street railway started in 
the state at Stillwater. 

1890. United States census shows a population of 1,301,826. July 13, an 

excursion steamboat returning from Lake City encampment 
foundered on Lake Pepin, and 100 people drowned. July 
13, tornado swept across Lake Gervias, in Ramsey county, 
demolishing several buildings and killing six people. 
1891 June 15, a series of tornadoes started in Jackson county, near the 
town of Jackson, traversing Martin, Faribault, Freeborn, 
Mower and Fillmore counties, on a line nearly parallel with, 
but from five to fifteen miles ninth of, the Southern Minnesota 
division of the Milwaukee & St. Paul railway, doing a large 
amount of damage to farms and farm buildings, and causing 
the death to about fifty people along the track of the storm. 

1892. Tune 7, Republican national convention held at Minneapolis. The 

Australian system of voting used at the November g< 
election. 

1893. The Legislature authorizes the appointment of a capitol commission 

to select a site for a new capitol, and providing a tax of two- 
tenths of a mill for ten years to pay for the site and the 
erection of a building. A great financial crisis causes the 
failure of several banks and many mercantile and manufactur- 
ing establishments in the larger cities of the tate 

1894. September I. forest fires start in the neighborhood of Hincl ley, in 

Pine county, carrying death and destruction over nearl) 
hundred square miles of territory, destroying the towns of 
Hinckley and Sandstone, causing the death of 417 people, 
rendering homeless and destitute 2,200 men, women and 
dren, and entailing a property loss of about $1,000,000. 



56 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

1895. A census of the state was taken during the month of June, and the 

total population of the state was found to be 1,574,619. 

1896. The Red Lake Indian reservation was diminished to about a quarter 

part of its former area, and on May 15 a large tract of agri- 
cultural and timber lands formerly belonging to that reserva- 
tion was opened for settlement. 

1897. July 2, the monument at Gettysburg to the First Minnesota Regi- 

ment was dedicated. 

1898. July 27, the corner stone of the new capitol was laid. Minnesota 

supplied four regiments for service in the Spanish-American 
War, being the first state, May 7, to respond to the president's 
call. October 5, the Pillager Indians attacked United States 
troops near Sugar Point, Leech lake. 

1899. Semi-centennial of the territory and state celebrated by the Old Set- 

tlers' Association, June 1, and by the Historical Society, 
November 15. 

1900. Population of Minnesota, shown by the national census, 1,751,394. 

Death of Senator C. K. Davis, November 27. 

1 90 1. In the Pan-American Exposition, at Buffalo, New York, the superior 

exhibits of wheat, flour, and dairy products of Minnesota 
caused her to be called "the Bread and Butter State." 

1902. August 23, the fortieth anniversary of the Sioux War celebrated at 

New Ulm. Monuments and tablets erected there and at other 
places in the Minnesota valley. 

1903. Tide of immigration into Minnesota, particularly in northern and 

western sections. April 22, death of Alexander Ramsey, first 
territorial governor, later governor of the state, United States 
senator, and secretary of war. 

1904. Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Minnesota exhibits win many first 

prizes for flour, butter, fruits, iron ores, work of pupils in 
schools, etc. 

1905. January 3, Legislature convenes in the new capitol. The population, 

according to the state census, June 1, was 1.079.912. 

1906. September 3, live stock amphitheater on the state fair ground dedi- 

cated, with address by James J. Hill. Attendance at the fair 
on that day, 93,199; during the week, 295,000. 

1907. Folwell Hall, the new main building for the College of Science, 

Literature and Arts, of the University of Minnesota, com- 
pleted at cost of $410,000 for the building and its equipment. 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 57 

The total number of students of this University enrolled in 
all departments for the year was 4,145. 
190S. The fiftieth anniversary of the admission of Minnesota to statehood 
was celebrated in connection with the state fair, its attendance 
during the week being 326,753. 

1909. Death of Gov. John A. Johnson as the result of an operation, at 

Rochester, Minnesota, September 21, 1909. Lieut.-Gov. 
Adolph O. Eberhart sworn in as governor by Chief Justice 
Start, in the Supreme Court retiring room, at 11 o'clock the 
same day. 

1910. Population of Minnesota, shown by the national census, 2,075,708. 

Death of State Treasurer Clarence C. Dinehart, June 8. E. 
S. Petti John appointed to succeed, June 11. Forest fires in 
northern Minnesota during the second and third week in Octo- 
ber, results in death to about thirty people and the destruc- 
tion of about $20,000,000 of property. Spooner and Baudette 
wiped out. 

191 1. The Legislature ratified the proposed amendment to the United States 

Constitution for election of United States senators by popular 
vote. October 18, George E. Vincent was inaugurated presi- 
dent of the University of Minnesota. 

1912. The Legislature in special session enacted a new primary election 

law and "corrupt practices" act. October 19, the statue of 
Governor Johnson on the capitol ground was unveiled. 

1913. June 16-20, the American Medical \ssociation held its sixty-fourth 

annual session in Minneapolis United States postal savings 
bank and parcel post inaugurated in Minnesota. Practical reforms 
in state road laws enacted. Work begun on the new building 
of the St. Paul Public Library ami Hill Reference Library. New 
postoffice and new railroad depot building in Minneapolis. 
November 5, the historic Carver's cave, all trace of which had 
been lost for forty years or more, was definitely located. 

1914. March, Minneapolis made the reserve city in the Northwest for the 

system of regional national banks. Remarkable impetu 
building operations in Minnesota cities. April 4, Frederick 
Weyerhauser, extensive lumber operator, died in his winter home 
at Pasadena, California. April 15. plans adopted for St. Paul's 
new terminals and union depot. May 0. a bronze statue of Gen. 
James Shields, tendered by the Loyal Legion and the Grand Army 



58 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 

of the Republic to the state of Minnesota, for a niche in the 
capitol. Unveiled in November; formally presented to the state 
by Commander Samuel Appleton, of the Loyal Legion; accepted 
by Governor A. O. Everhart; eloquent memorial address by 
Comrade and Companion John Ireland, archbishop. July 4-1 1, 
the National Educational Association held its annual convention 
in St. Paul. November, Winfield Scott Hammond, Democrat, 
elected governor of Minnesota, defeating William E. Lee, Repub- 
lican nominee. 

19 1 5. January 2, session of the thirty-ninth Legislature opened at the state 

capitol ; Hon. J. A. A. Burnquist, lieutenant-governor, president 
of the Senate; H. H. Flower, speaker of the House of Repre- 
sentatives. January 3, Winfield Scott Hammond inaugurated 
governor of Minnesota. February 12, birthday of Abraham 
Lincoln observed by Minnesota Commandery of the Loyal Leg- 
ion by a banquet at the West hotel. Minneapolis. Oration by 
Bishop William A. Quayle, of the Methodist Episcopal church. 
February 19-20, forty-ninth annual convention of the Minnesota 
Editorial Association assembled at the St. Paul hotel, St. Paul, 
President H. C. Hotaling, presiding. December 30, death of 
Governor Hammond. December 31, Lieutenant-Governor Burn- 
quist assumed the office of governor. 

1916. February, discovery of discrepancies in the office of Walter J. Smith 

treasurer of the state, and his subsequent resignation. 



CHAPTER IT. 

GEOLOGY. TOPOGRAPHY AND NATURAL FEATURES. 

Situation and Area. Cottonwood is one of the second tier of counties 
north of the Iowa line, from which it is separated by Jackson county. From 
St. Paul and Minneapolis southwest to Windom is about one hundred and 
thirty miles. From La Crosse and the Mississippi river west to the eastern 
boundary of this county is one hundred and eighty miles. It is thirty mil* 
long from east to west, and from its west line onward to the east line of 
Dakota, is fifty miles. 

Cottonwood county has a length of the townships, and a width from 
north to south of four; except that on the northeast line, two of the townships 
that would he included in this county if it were a complete rectangle, belong 
to Brown county- With this reduction, Cottonwood county ha- eighteen- 
townships, each six miles square. The main towns and villages of the 
county are situated in the southeast part, on the line of the St. Paul & Sioux 
City railroad. These are Windom. the county seat, situated in Greal Bend 

township; Bingham Lake, in Lakeside, and Mountain Lake. Cottonw I 

county has an area of 650.39 square mile-, or 416,250 acres, of which about 
eight thousand acres are covered with water. 

Natural Drainage. The northwest part of Cottonw I county, includ- 
ing Germantown, Highwater, Ann, Westbrook, Storden, northwestern Amboy, 
and most of Rose Hill, is drained to the Cottonwood river, which flows 
through southern Redwood county, only a few miles farther north, and 
enters this county for a short distance in the northeast part of Germantown 
township. Its tributaries from Cottonwood county, in their order from \ 
to east, are Dutch Charley's. Highwater. Dry and Mound creeks. 
largest of these is Highwater creek, whose sources are several lake- in I' 
Hill township, only three to seven miles from the Des Moines river. It- 
course in this county is east-northeast, about eighteen miles. 

The little Cottonwood river, tributary to the Minnesota, a few miles 
below the Cottonwood river, rises nearly at the center of Cottonw inty, 

and its first ten miles, flowing northeast, are in Vmboy and Delton town- 
ships. Its farther extent of aboul thirty miles eastward thro \\n 
countv is approximately parallel with the Big Cottonwood, and mainly il 



60 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

to six miles distant to the south from that river. A tract in the east part of 
Cottonwood county, reaching west to its center, including Selma, Mountain 
Lake, Carson, the south half of Delton, and the northeast part of Dale, is 
drained by the headstreams of the Watonwan river, tributary to the Blue 
Earth, and. by that, to the Minnesota. The area in Cottonwood county, in- 
cluded within the basin of the Minnesota river, is approximately four hun- 
dred and fifty square miles. 

The remainder of this county, including its southwestern townships, an 
area of about two hundred miles, is drained by the Des Moines river, which 
flows in a zigzag course, crossing South Brook, Springfield, diagonally, hav- 
ing a general southeast direction in South Brook and Great Bend, but mak- 
ing an offset in Springfield by running eight miles northeasterly. Harvey 
creek, the outlet of Lake Augusta in northeastern Amo township, entering 
the Des Moines at its big bend in the southwest corner of Dale township, is 
its largest tributary from the north in this county; from the south it receives 
the outlet of a string of lakes, which lie in the southwest part of Great Bend, 
and the outlet of Heron lake. 

Among the lakes of Cottonwood county, in the reports of 1882, the fol- 
lowing merited enumeration : Mountain lake, two miles long and from a 
half mile to one mile wide, two miles southeast from the depot and town of 
this name, has long since been drained and farmed ; Bingham lake, one mile 
long from northeast to southwest, close north of the town to which its name 
is given ; Clear, Cottonwood, Wolf, Summit and Glen lakes, one-third to two- 
thirds of a mile long, in the west and southwest portions of Lakeside town- 
ship, one to three miles eastward from Windom, beautiful lakes of clear 
water, divided by irregular, hilly or rolling areas of prairie, and skirted by 
narrow woods; Fish lake, nearly two miles long from northeast to south- 
west, and one-fourth to two-thirds of a mile wide, crossed by the south line 
of Lakeside township, and having about half its area in Jackson county; the 
String lakes, reaching two and one-half miles from north to south, four 
miles west of Windom; the Three lakes, and Swan lake, each about one mile 
long, in Dale; Rat, Long, Eagle and Maiden lakes, from one-third to one mile 
long, in the south half of Carson township; Lake Augusta, about one and 
one-half miles long and a half mile wide, in Amo township; Hurricane lake, 
more than a mile long from north to south, lying in section 31, Highwater 
township, and section 6, Storden township; Double lake, of similar extent 
and trend, in sections 23 and 26, Westbrook township; Berry and Twin lakes, 
with others, varying from a quarter of a mile to about one and a half miles in 
length, trending to the south or southeast, in Rose Hill township; Oaks lake, 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 6 1 

one and a half miles long from north to south, but narrow, lying in section 
32, Rose Hill, and sections 5 and 8, Southbrook; and Talcott lake, in sec- 
tions 19 and 30, South Brook, a mile long from north to south, with the Des 
Moines river flowing through its northern end. 

Topography. In northern Cottonwood county a massive ridge of the 
red Potsdam quartzyte extends twenty-five miles from west to east through 
Storden, Amboy, Delton and Selma, terminating in the west edge of Adrian, 
the northwest township of Watonwan county. This highland is mostly cov- 
ered by a smooth surface of till, but has frequent exposures of the rock. Its 
altitude increases from one hundred feet at its east end to three hundred feet 
westward, above the broad, slightly undulating sheet of till, which, excepting 
a morainic tract, is stately, covers the region toward the north. The height 
reached at the top of this quartzyte ridge, thirteen hundred to fifteen hundred 
feet above the sea, is a permanent rise of the land, which to the south and 
southwest holds nearly this average elevation, with a general ascent west- 
ward. 

This ridge was probably considered by the early French explorers as the 
northeast border of the Coteau des Prairies, which name, meaning the High- 
land of the prairies, they gave to an elevated tract, extending about two hun- 
dred miles from north-northwest to south-southwest in eastern Dakota and 
southwestern Minnesota. Of this highland in Cottonwood county, Nicollet 
says: "Under the forty-fourth degree of latitude, the breadth of the coteau 
is about forty miles, and its mean elevation is here reduced to fourteen hun- 
dred and fifty feet above the sea. Within this space its two slopes are rather 
abrupt, crowned with verdure and scalloped by deep ravines thickly shaded 
with bushes, forming the beds of rivulets that water the adjacent plains." 
It is not continuously recognizable as a great topographic feature smith of 
this quartzyte ridge. 

The Little Cottonwood river and the north branch of the north fork of 
the Watonwan river flow northeasterly through gaps in the range of quartzyte 
a hundred feet or more below its crest, the former finding its passage at the 
middle of the north half of Delton township, and the latter about a mile 
west from the center of Selma township. Excepting at these points, the 
ridge is unbroken and uplifts a broad, smoothly-rounded top, covered with 
till, through which the quartzyte has occasional outcrops. It extends in its 
course a little to the north of west twelve miles from the north part oi 
tion 25, Selma township; to the north part of sections 9, 8 and 7, Delton 
township, and thence a little to the south of west ten miles to Highwater 
creek at the middle of Storden town-hip. In its east half, through Selma 



62 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

and Delton, this ridge has a width that increases toward the west from a half 
mile to one or two miles, elevated fifty to one hundred feet above the aver- 
age of the land for the next five or six miles to the south, and twice this 
height above the country which it overlooks northward to the horizon. Both 
slopes of the range have a gentle descent, that to the north occupying a width 
of one to two miles, and reaching from section 7, Delton, to the falls formed 
by this quartzyte on the headstreams of Mound creek, in the southwest cor- 
ner of Brown county, and in the northeast quarter of section 36, German- 
town township. In the central and southwest part of Amboy township and 
the east half of Storden, this highland, besides slowly increasing in elevation 
westward, expands to a greater width, and forms an approximately level 
plateau of till, one to three miles wide, with outcrops of the quartzyte only 
upon the slope which descend from it. The most southern exposures of this 
rock in Cottonwood county are in the west part of sections 6 and 7, Dale, 
and in section 12, Amo, on the western descent from the most southern part 
of this plateau, which here in northwestern Dale is seventy-five or one hun- 
dred feet above the remainder of this township and its Three lakes, and 
about one hundred and fifty feet above Lake Augusta on the west. 

This area of Potsdam quartzyte is the only part of Cottonwood countv 
which has exposures of the bed-rocks, the remainder being moderately undu- 
lating or rolling and sometimes hilly glacial drift. The general slope, as al- 
ready stated, rises from east to west, and at the west side of Amo and in 
Rose Hill, this drift attains as great an altitude as the quartzyte range eight 
miles northeast in Amboy and Storden. 

The townships of Westbrook, Ann, Highwater and Germantown, lying 
ninth of this height of land in Rose Hill, Amo and the ridge of (|uartzyte, 
have mostly a smoothly rolling contour, with the crests of swells fifteen to 
thirty feet above the depressions. The creeks which drain this district north- 
ward to the Cottonwood river, flow in valleys that they have eroded twenty 
to forty feet below the average surface. 

The valley of the Des Moines river in South Brook township, the most 
southwest township of Cottonwood county, is less distinct in its outlines, and 
it> depth is less, than in any other part of its extent below Lake Shetek. 
South Brook has mostjy a rolling contour of massive swells, variable in their 
forms, trends and extent, rising twenty to fifty feet above the Des Moines 
river, which flows among them in an irregular course, generally without any 
well-defined valley of bottomland and bluffs, hut turned here and there by 
small undulations. In section ig it passes through the north end of Talcott 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COl -. MINN. 63 

lake, which lies in a shallow basin of the drift-sheet, covering nearly a square 
mile, but only five to eight feet deep. 

In Springfield township, where the Des Moines flows northeast, at right 
angles to its course both above and below, it again occupies a definite valley, 
channeled fifty to seventy-five feet below the average heighl of the rolling 
surface on either side. At the northeasl corner of this township is the greal 
bend of the Des Moines. Here it enters a valley transverse to its course 
through the last eight miles, and is earned j n it thence to the southeast. This 
valley has a nearly flat alluvial bottom-land, a third to a half of a mile wide. 
enclosed by bluffs fifty to sixty feet high. It continues two or three miles 
northerly from the great bend, with the same width and depth; and is less 
distinctly marked three or four miles further, along the upper part of Harvey 
creek to Lake Augusta. The excavations of this channel were probably ef- 
fected by floods discharged from glacial melting, while the receding ice-sheet 
still covered the county farther east. In the central part of Great Bend town- 
ship the river is bordered on the west by morainic knolls and small ridges of 
rocky till, which rise successively one above another to the top of the Blue 
mounds, one to one and a half miles distant, and in the vicinity of Windom 
the ascent from the river eastward has a similar contour. 

Distances along the Des Moines river, measured in direct lines between 
its principal bends, are as follow: From its source to the foot of Lake 
Shetek (this portion being commonly called Beaver creek), twenty-four miles; 

to a point on the south line of Cottonw 1 county, two miles north to the 

north end of Heron lake, in Jackson township, forty-eight miles; to its ^reat 
bend, fifty-six miles; to Windom, sixty-three miles; to the state line, ninety- 
one mile; and to its mouth at Keokuk, Iowa, aboul three hundred and eighty- 
five miles. Thus, a little less than one-fourth of it-, length lies in Minnesota. 
Elevations, St. Paul & Sioux City railway, from profiles in office of T. 
P. Gere, former superintendent, St. Paul: 

Feet. 

Mountain lake, depot .1 1.300 

Bingham lake, depot 1,420 

Summit, grade r >437 

Windom '_ 1.353 

Des Moines river, water l -?>?, ] 

Bluff siding 1,425 

The highest portions of Cottonwood county, about fifteen hundred feet 
above the sea, are in Pose Hill township, in western Amo, and the plati 



64 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

upon the west part of the quartzyte ridge in southeastern Storden and south- 
western Amboy, and the tops of the Blue mounds, which are fourteen hundred 
and fifty to fifteen hundred and twenty-five feet above the sea. The lowest 
land of this county, nearly five hundred feet below these tracts, is where the 
Cottonwood river enters the northeast corner of Germantown township, at 
a height of about ten hundred and thirty feet above the sea. The elevation 
of the Little Cottonwood river where it leaves the county, is estimated to be 
eleven hundred and fifty feet; and of the most northern tributary to the 
Watonwan river, at the east line of Selma township, eleven hundred feet. 
The Des Moines river descends into this county approximately from fourteen 
hundred to thirteen hundred and thirty feet above the sea. 

Estimates of the average height of the townships of Cottonwood 
county are as follows : Selma, twelve hundred and twenty-five feet above 
the sea; Mountain Lake, including two governmental townships, thirteen 
hundred feet; Delton, thirteen hundred and twenty-five; Carson, thirteen hun- 
dred and seventy-five ; Lakeside, fourteen hundred and ten ; Germantown, 
twelve hundred ; Amboy, fourteen hundred ; Dale, fourteen hundred and 
fifty; Great Bend, fourteen hundred and ten; Highwater, twelve hundred and 
twenty-five; Storden, fourteen hundred; Amo, fourteen hundred and fifty; 
Springfield, fourteen hundred and thirty; Ann, thirteen hundred; Westbrook, 
fourteen hundred and twenty; Rose Hill, fourteen hundred and fifty; and 
South Brook, fourteen hundred and twenty-five. The mean elevation of Cot- 
tonwood county, derived from these figures, is thirteen hundred and sixty 
feet. 

Soil and Timber. The soil of Cottonwood county has the same nearly 
uniform fertility that characterizes all southern and western Minnesota. A 
black, sandy clay, with some intermixture of gravel, and containing occa- 
sional boulders, forms the soil, which has been colored to a depth of about 
two feet below the surface by decaying vegetation. Unmodified glacial drift 
or till, the same as the soil, excepting that it is not enriched and blackened 
by organic decay, continues below, being yellowish-gray to a depth of ten 
or twenty feet, but darker and bluish beyond, as seen in wells. This deposit 
contains many fragments of magnesian limestone, red quartzyte, granites and 
crystalline schists; and its tine detritus is a mixture of these rocks pulverized, 
presenting in the most advantageous proportions the mineral elements needed 
by growing plants. Wheat has been the principal crop, but stock-raising 
has also received much attention during several years past. A large variety 
of crops is profitably cultivated in this region, including wheat, oats, corn, 
garden fruits and vegetables, potatoes and hay. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 65 

From 1873 to 1876 Cottonwood county, in company with all south- 
western Minnesota, was distressed by the ravages of the Rockv Mountain 
locust. To many the work of plowing and sowing, and the wheat sown, were 
total losses during those years. In 1880 frequent groves were noticeable in 
the county, which had been set out to shield farm houses from the wind, 
and still remained, though the buildings were gone, and the farms deserted, 
telling where in this struggle the grasshoppers had conquered. Though the 
wheat was nearly everywhere eaten by them so that no harvest could be 
saved, the prairie grass suffered only slightly, and from this epoch herding 
has taken an important place in the agriculture of the county. 

This county is natural prairie, affording rich pasturage, and ready for 
the plow. Less than a hundredth part of their area was wooded, including 
small groves and narrow skirts of timber and brushwood about the shores of 
the lakes, along the large creeks, and especially along the whole extent of 
the Des Moines river. The following species of trees and shrubs are found: 
American or white elm, bur-oak, white ash, box-elder, black walnut, willows, 
prickly ash, smooth sumach, frost grape, Virginia creeper, climbing bitter- 
sweet, wild plum, choke-berry, black raspberry, rose, thorn, smooth wild 
gooseberry and wolfberry, common red or slippery elm, cottonwood, hack- 
berry, waahoo, and black currant, less frequent, also basswood, sugar 
maple, etc. 

GEOLOGICAL STRUCTURE. 

Potsdam Quartsyte. The only exposures of bed-rock in this district are 
the red quartzyte, which < forms a prominent ridge in the north part of Cot- 
tonwood county, reaching into the edge of Brown and Watonwan counties. 
From the most eastern to the most western outcrop of this rock is a length 
of twenty-three miles, and the width upon which it is occasionally exposed 
increases from a half mile or less at the east to six miles at the west. The 
contour of this area is a massive highland of rock, mostly covered by a 
smooth sheet of till, with gracefully rounded top and moderate slopes. The 
general character of this formation, and the location, extent, and special fea- 
tures of its outcropping ledges are to be noted here. 

About thirty miles east-northeast from this ridge in northern Cott< 
wood county, the same rock formation has extensive exposures, and it con- 
tinues westward into Dakota to Dell Rapids and Sioux Falls on the Big 
Sioux river, and to Rockport on the James river, seventy miles west of Min- 
nesota, and about one hundred and eighty miles westward from New Ulm, 
(5) 



66 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

in Brown county. All these outcrops are mainly very hard, fine-grained 
quartzyte, differing in color from pinkish gray to dark dull red, always hav- 
ing some red tint; and varying in the thickness of its beds from a few inches, 
or sometimes only a half inch or less, to one or two feet. It is usually per- 
ceptibly tilted, with considerable variability in the direction of its tips, which 
vary in amount from one or two to fifteen or twenty degrees, and rarely attain 
an inclination of forty-five degrees. This quartzyte is a metamorphosed sand- 
stone. At a few places it occurs in an imperfectly indurated condition, being 
a more or less crumbling sandrock, composed of water-rounded grains. Some- 
times, too, it is a conglomerate, enclosing abundant water-worn pebbles up 
to an inch in diameter, which was originally an ordinary fine gravel, having 
become so cemented as to form a very compact and hard, tough rock, and 
by diminution in the number of pebbles scattered through it, the formation 
exhibits all grades between this pudding-stone and its typical condition as 
a quartzyte. Again, it occasionally contains layers, from less than an inch 
to several feet thick, of argillaceous rock, so fine-grained and even in its 
texture as to appear microscopically homogeneous, doubtless metamorphosed 
from deposits of fine silt or clay in the midst of beds of sand; commonly 
dull red, but often mottled with pale spots, or striped by the same lighter tints 
in parallelism with its stratification; soft enough to be easily carved and pol- 
ished, and its best varities entirely free from grit. This has been named 
catlinite, and its finest layer is that which has been worked by the Indians, 
at the celebrated Red Pipestone quarry. 

The planes of bedding of this quartzyte frequently show very distinct 
and beautiful ripple marks, such as are made by waves upon the sandy shores 
and bottom of lakes or of the sea. No fossils have been detected in this 
formation, as here described in southwestern Minnesota and southeastern 
Dakota; and fucoid impressions, rarely observed, are the only remains of 
life yet found in the probably equivalent Cupriferous series of red quartzytes 
and sandstones interstratified with thick balsatic overflows developed about 
Lake Superior. The quartzyte from New Ulm to the James river is closely 
like the sandstone and quartzyte associated with trap rocks in northeastern 
Minnesota, in northern Wisconsin and northern Michigan, hut its deposition 
was not similarly accompanied by outflows of igneous rock, nor has this 
formation in southern Minnesota been intersected by trap dikes. Foster and 
Whitney referred these rocks in the region of Lake Superior to the Potsdam 
age, considering them the western equivalent and representative of the Pots- 
dam sandstone in Xew Ynrk, and the explorations by this survey of their 
continuation into northeastern Minnesota sustain this conclusion, while the 



C0TT0XW00D AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, .MINX. 6j 

observations of this quartzyte outcropping in the southwest part of the state 
and farther west indicate that it belongs to the same epoch. This formation 
underlies the Caliciferous or Lower Magnesian scries, which outcrops along 
the lower part of the Minnesota river from a point fourteen miles east-- 
southeast of Xew Ulm, in Brown county, and along the St. Croix and 
Mississippi rivers. 

In the northeast quarter of section 25, Sclma township, this red quartzyte 
is exposed upon an eastward slope of till, with an area three rods long from 
northwest to southeast, and about a rod wide, rising some two feet above 
the general surface. In the southeast quarter of section 23, Selma township, 
this rock outcrops on a southward slope along a distance of about twenty- 
rive rods from the east to west, with a width of two or three rods and a 
height of only one to two feet. It dips about ten degrees southward. Both 
these ledges have been slightly quarried. They are the ordinary, very hard 
quartzyte, intersected by systems of joints which give it a rhomboidal frac- 
ture. Other outcrops of the same stone, which have not been visited in this 
survey, occur northwestward at numerous places in this township and in the 
northwest part of Delton, upon the high ridge and in the hollow where the 
north branch of the Xorth fork of Watonwan river crosses it. 

The quartzyte also has frequent exposures in Delton along nearly the 
whole extent of the Little Cottonwood river through this township, and in 
its tributary ravines. In the east part of the southeast quarter of section 8, 
it has been much quarried in the banks and channel of this stream, sup- 
plying rough stone used for foundations, cellar walls, well curbing and cul- 
verts, or by the Russian immigrants, for chimneys, being sometimes teamed 
fifteen miles. It occurs in layers of all thicknesses up to two and one-half 
feet, the thinly bedded portions, as usually, being much divided by joints 
into rhombodial fragments a foot or less in length. The bedding planes 
are often ripple-marked over several square rods together, in parallel undula- 
tions about a quarter of an inch high and two to four inches apart from crest 
to crest. This dip is about 5 degrees south, 20 degrees west. This is some 
twenty rods east of the Little Cottonwood falls, where the same rock in 
its upper portion forms layers three to six feet thick, dipping about six- 
degrees to the south, but only a few feet lower, near the level of the stream, 
is thin-bedded and somewhat contorted and irregular in stratification, 

Quartzyte outcropping in the north part of the southwest quarter of 
section 18, Delton township, occurs in layers up to six inches thick, dipping 
about three degrees south, seventy degrees east. Twenty rods farther smith 
it has a dip of the same amount but changed in direction to south forty 



68 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

degrees east, all these bearings being referred to the true meridian. Its only 
exposures observed in the south half of this township are in the southeast 
quarter of section 30, where it is visible at numerous places along an extent 
of about an eighth of a mile in a ravine tributary to the Watonwan river. 
A ledge of this rock, very remarkably striated, and bearing rude Indian 
inscriptions, is found on the ridge about a mile northeast from the Little 
Cottonwood falls and quarry, being in the north part of the northwest quarter 
of section 9, Delton township. It has an area of about twenty rods long 
from east to west, and four to eight rods wide. The dip of its stratification 
is distinctly seen, but is believed to be about five degrees southward, which 
is the slope of the surface. Numerous figures are pecked on this rock, rep- 
resenting animals, arrows, etc., similar to those inscribed by the Indians on 
the quartzyte beside the boulders called the Three Maidens, near the Pipe- 
stone quarry. From this ledge westward the same typical quartzyte fre- 
quently outcrops upon the higher part of this ridge and on its northern slope 
through the northwest part of Delton, northern Amboy, and northeastern 
Storden. 

In the southwest quarter of section 2, Amboy township, a ravine ten 
to fifteen feet deep extends east-northeast in a straight course about fortv 
rods, varying from two to three rods in width, bordered by vertical walls, 
ten to fifteen feet high, of rough, thick-bedded quartzyte, of red or reddish 
gray color, nearly level in stratification, mostly much divided by joints. 
The eastern half of this ravine holds a long pool, ten to twenty feet wide, 
and five to eight feet deep. At the top of the wall of rock south of the 
west part of this pool, the much jointed, deep red, striated surface is in 
many places soft and like pipestone to the depth of an eighth of an inch: 
but within, there small jointed masses are gritty and hard, the pipestone 
being only a thin coating at the bedding planes. At the western end of this 
ravine, on its north side, eight feet above the rivulet that flows east in to 
this pool, this rock encloses a layer, nearly level, varying from four inches 
to a foot in thickness, somewhat like the pipestone of the famous quarry 
in Pipestone county, having nearly the same very fine texture and dark red 
color, but not so hard, ami al this place, through its extent of twenty feet 
exposed to view, easily divisible into small flakes and fragments because of 
joints, and therefore not seen in any solid mass. The edge of this layer 
has been mostly removed by weathering to a depth of two to six feet into the 
wall of tough, reddish gray quartzyte. which overhangs and underlies it. 
The divisions of this very fine-grained bed from the coarse quartzyte are 
not definite lines, but these unlike sediments are more or less blended and 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 6>) 

interstratified through one to six inches. Both above and below, the quartz) te 
in some portions contains pebbles up to a third or half of an inch in diameter, 
and is quite variable in texture, hut is nowhere finely laminated. At a tew 
places the pipestone also is found to contain these small gravel stones; and a 
few fragments of pipestone up to three inches in diameter are seen enclosed 
in the quartzyte within one to two feet above the pipestone layer. 

WATER-FALLS AND CASCADES. 

Picturesque falls are produced by this formation in the northeast quarter 
of section 36, Germantown township. The rock here is mostly a very coarse- 
grained, thick-bedded sandstone, slightly iron rusty or reddish in color. 
Xearly all of it is somewhat friable, being thus unlike the other exposures 
of this formation in this county. In some portions, however, it is here very 
hard and compact, and then usually has a deeper red hue. Its dip is about 
five degrees, ten degrees east. Besides this general dip, the beds often show 
oblique lamination. This rock is in some places slightly conglomerate, hold- 
ing pebbles of white quartz, and less frequently of red felsyte, or, possibly, 
jasper, the largest seen being an inch long. These falls are about two miles 
northeast from the gorge last described, being on the lower portion of the 
same stream, which is one of the sources of Mound creek. Along its inter- 
vening course and within short distances from it on each side, this forma- 
tion has frequent outcrops, notably for a quarter of a mile south and south- 
west of the falls. The stream descends thirty feet in a little succession of 
cascades, within a distance of twenty rods; next below which is a basin some 
six rods' long and four rods wide, bordered by vertical or overhanging 
walls of rock, about thirty feet high. At its east end 1 1 1 i s- basin is so con- 
tracted that for a distance of about twenty feet these walls of rock are only 
eight to fifteen feet apart. Below, fur the next twenty-five rods, the gorge 
is four to six rods wide, bordered by vertical walls of reddish sandstone or 
quartzyte, which decline from thirty to twenty and ten feet high. The same 
rock is seen thence nearly all the way for a half mile east, mostly forming 
cliffs fifteen to twenty feet high at the south side of this creek, to the junc- 
tion of another stream from the south in section 31, Stately. Brown county, 
which also has an interesting fall formed by the quartzyte. 

The most western exposure of tin- rock learned of in Cottonwood county 
is in the northwest quarter of section 28, Stofden. Typical quai 
compact and tough, varying in color from dull red to slightly reddish gray, 
is here exposed in the bed of a stream tributary to Highwater creek. al( 



JO COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

a distance of fifteen rods or more from north to south, with a width of two 
to four rods. Its dip is about five degrees to the southeast or south sixty 
degrees east. It is much divided by joints and is thereby somewhat fractured 
into rhomboidal pieces. Ripple-marks were seen in several places, the undu- 
lations being two to three inches wide. Fragments of red pipestone one to 
two inches in diameter occur rarely in this rock. Another outcrop is reported 
one mile northeast from the last, on the the northeast quarter of section 21, 
Storden, in a ravine; and others occur a half-mile southeast of Carlson's, 
near the center of section 27. in the bed of small ponds through which the 
brook flows. The west part of the southwest quarter of section 6, Dale, 
has considerable exposure of quartzyte, scarcely rising, however, about the 
general surface of the till, along a distance of twenty rods and more from 
north to south, on a westward slope, about a mile east from the east end of 
Lake Augusta. The stone varies in color from yellowish gray to a dull red, 
is much jointed, and has a dip at the quarry of about five degrees northeast. 
Laminae of pipestone from a fourth to a third of an inch thick, deep red, 
traversed by whitish veins, in their predominant red color and soft slaty tex- 
ture, closely like the pipestone of Pipestone county, were noted here upon 
the surface about fifteen feet east of the quarried excavations, occurring at 
bedding planes along an extent of about two rods. Here, also, fragments of 
this deep red pipestone, up to one or two inches in diameter, are enclosed 
in the quartzyte, which is mostly of a more grayish red color. 

Several other outcrops of this rock, similar in extent and character, 
occur within a distance of a mile to the south and southeast through section 
7, Dale, and in the east edge of section 12, and perhaps also of section 1, 
Amo. These most southern exposures of this area of quartzyte were exam- 
ined by Professor Winchell in 1873. The stone is very hard, but banded 
with light and red beds, evident on the planed surface and on the fractured 
side. 

The observations of dip recorded in the foregoing pages indicate that 
these Potsdam strata in Selma, Helton, Stately and Germantown are mono- 
clinal, dipping generally about five degrees southward: and that probably 
farther wesl in Germantown, Amboy, Storden. Dale and Amo, where a greater 
width is exposed, they are sunclinal on the north, dipping about five degrees 
toward the south, and on the southwest dipping an equal amount toward the 
northeast and north. From the Little Cottonwood falls in Delton along the 
distance of three miles northerly to the falls in section 36, Germantown. 
Professor Winchell in a recent reconnoissance found numerous outcrops of 
the rock with a nearly uniform southward dip of about five degrees, from 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. Jl 

which he computes the thickness of the formation exposed between those 
points to be approximately one thousand three hundred and eighty feet. 
Stratigraphically, the lowest of the beds thus observed are at the falls on 
Mound creek in Germantown, where outcrops extending twelve hundred 
feet from north to south, with a dip of five degrees toward the south, give 
a thickness of one hundred feet for the friable sandstone seen at that place. 
This forms the base of the strata measured, being below beds of very hard 
and compact quartzyte, which are almost a quarter of a mile thick. 

DRIFT AND CONTOUR. 

The surface of the Potsdam quartzyte in many places shows distinct 
glacial markings, notes of which are presented in the following table. These 
bearings are referred to the true meridian, from which the magnetic needle 
here has a variation of about ten degrees to the east. 

Course of glacial striae in Cottonwood county: Selma, northeast quar- 
ter of section 25, south twenty degrees east; Selma, southeast quarter of 
section 23, south twenty degrees east; Delton, southeast quarter of section 
30, south fifteen degrees east; Delton, southwest quarter of section 18, south 
fifteen degrees east; Delton, northwest quarter of section 18, south twenty-five 
degrees east; Delton, northwest quarter of section 9, south twenty-five degrees 
east; Arnboy, south part of section 2, mostly south forty degrees east; 
Amboy, southwest quarter of section 2, south 35 degrees to 50 degrees ea>t. 
Germantown, northeast quarter of section 36, south thirty degrees east, 
and south seventy degrees east; Dale southwest quarter of section 6, south 
twenty degrees to twenty-five degrees east; Dale, south part of section 7, 
south thirty-four degrees east; Amo, east part of section 12, south thirty 
degrees to three hundred and twenty degrees east. 

Near the Little Cottonwood falls, in the S. E. quarter of section 8, 
Delton, and at points on the north side of the quartzyte ridge in the north- 
west part of this township, the angles of projecting ledges of this rock were 
observed to be rounded off by glaciation. 

Remarkable deflections and intercrossing of glacial striae were found 
at the locality mentioned in the N. W. quarter of section 9, Delton. It is 
on the southern slope of the ridge formed by this quartzyte, as already 
described. This ridge is elevated about 300 feet above the lowland, which, 
from its base two or three miles farther north, extends northward more 
than fifty miles, across the basin of the Minnesota river; but its height above 
the average surface to the south and southwest is slight, probably not exceed- 



72 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

ing 50 feet. Its length is about twenty-five miles, extending from east to 
west; and this locality is near the middle of its extent. Very distinct glacial 
markings occur here promiscuously, crossing each other in all directions 
between north to south and south sixty degrees east, and very rarely, south 
eighty degrees east, but a great majority are between south twenty-five 
degrees east and forty degrees east. Many are from ten to thirty feet or 
more in length, and from an eighth to a half of an inch deep ; others are 
very delicate lines. Cumed striae were observed at one place; two or three 
parallel furrows, covering a width of several inches and extending about ten 
feet to the southeast, were gradually deflected nine inches southerly from 
their direct course in the last four feet. All the other very abundant inter- 
crossed striae observed here are straight, or deviate only slightly from 
straight courses. The outcrop containing pipestone in section 2, Amboy, 
furnished the only similar instance seen in these counties. Here several 
parallel glacial scratches bend twenty or thirty degrees in a length of about 
eight inches. The curvature of these ice-marks, where no obstacle existed 
to cause deflection, indicate that they were engraved during the final melting 
and recession of the ice-sheet, when it had become thin, and that its margin 
at the date of this curved striation was within a few rods. In such a situa- 
tion the unequal melting of the edge of the ice must produce changes, such 
as are thus recorded, in the direction of its motion. The prominence of the 
quartzyte ridge doubtless gave unusual irregularity to the outlines of the 
retreating ice-border in northern Cottonwood county, which, by the result- 
ing deflections of the glacial current, appears to have been the cause of the 
singularly varying and intercrossed striation of this region. 

During the greater part of the last glacial epoch the ice-fields here 
appear to have flowed in a nearly south-southeast course; but when they 
were being melted away, the direction of movement close to the ice-border 
would be often deflected because it must flow toward the nearest part of 
this irregular and changing boundary, which here and there became indented 
by bays of small or large extent. The intercoursing striae on the ledge in 
section 9, Delton, record very changeable glacial currents, now deflected to 
a due south course, twenty degrees to the right from the direction which 
they had previously held through this glacial epoch, but presently diverging 
as much or twice or three times to the left, attaining a southeast or even a 
nearly east course. The medial moraine directly south of this locality, in' 
Carson and Lakeside, suggests that, when the ice retreated, probably two 
glacial currents converged here, pushing against each other, and that the 
striae bearing south were made by the current on the east, and those bear- 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 73 

ing south sixty degrees to eighty degrees cast by the current on the w< I 
Divergences to the east from the prevailing direction of glaciation w 
noted also four miles farther northwest, in Amboy and Germantown, u 
the northern slope and at the north base of this massive ridge. In German- 
town a surface about a yard square was observed, on half of which the striae 
bear uniformly south thirty degrees east, and on the other half seventy 
degree- east, these portions meeting at a slightly beveled angle from which 
each side slopes clown two or three degrees. The former of these courses 
of striation is probably that which prevailed till the departure of the ice- 
sheet, when the great quartzyte ridge and the irregularity of the glacial melt- 
ing caused a deflection of forty degrees toward the east. The later ice- 
current was steadily maintained during a considerable time, sufficient for 
planing off a part of this surface of very hard quartzyte. but not touching 
the adjoining part, which could only escape by having a thin covering of 
drift. 

DRIFT. 

The drift spread over Cottonwood county is principally till, in part 
morainic, being accumulated in knolls and hills, or with a prominently roll- 
ing surface in massive, smoothly sloping swells, hut for the greater part it 
is only gently undulating in contour. Its thickness on the quartzyte ridge 
varies from one inch to probably fifty feet or mure, and in other portions of 
this county it probably varies from one hundred to two hundred feet in depth. 
The moraines to be described were formed at the west border of the ice- 
sheet of the last glacial epoch, the first when this ice covered its maximum 
area, and the second after it had receded considerably from it- farthest lim- 
its, when its retreat was interrupted by a halt and perhaps even by some 
readvance. 

In the southwest part of Cottonwood county, this belt of notably roll- 
ing and hilly drift occupies the west half of Great Bend, the north part of 
Springfield, northeastern South Brook, southwestern Amo, and nearly all 
of Rose Hill. Its width in these townships varies from two to five mile-. 
To the northeast, from the offset of the Des Moines river which crosses 
this formation in Springfield, it lies a few miles northeast of this river and 
parallel with it, having within its limits of this county, and especially in Rose 
Hill town-hip. a prominently rolling contour in smooth swell-, twenty to forty 
feet above the intervening hollows and frequent lakes. To the south fn 
this offset and the great bend of the Des Moines, the second terminal moraine 
lies west of this river and approximately parallel with it, their distance 



74 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

apart being from one to ten or twelve miles, along an extent of a hundred 
and forty miles, through Jackson county and onward in a nearly south- 
southeast course to Pilot mound and Mineral ridge in northern Boone 
county, near the center of Towa. 

The most conspicuous portion and most roughly broken contour of this 
morainic belt in Cottonwood county are in the west part of Grant bend, 
where a group or range of hills, known as the Blue mounds, begins three 
miles west of Windom and thence extends three or four miles in a north- 
west course, with a width varying from a half mile to one and a half miles, 
lying between the Des Moines river on the northeast and Spring lakes on 
the southwest. These hills are composed of till with frequent boulders, and 
rise in very irregular slopes to heights of one hundred to one hundred and 
seventy-five feet above the river and twenty-five to seventy-five feet above 
the general level at their west side. The most elevated of these mounds, 
in sections 17 and 20. are visible from the southeast part of Murray county, 
fifteen miles to the west; but from the east they can only be seen within 
a distance of six or eight miles. 

Medial Moraine. Across the Des Moines river, the land ascending 
from it east of Windom, opposite to the Blue mounds, has similar but less 
prominent morainic features. It consists of irregular knolls, hillocks, and 
low ridges of till, which enclose hollows and lakes, occupying a width of 
two or three miles, and gradually rising in this distance about one hundred 
feet above the Des Moines river. This tract seems to be part of a medial 
moraine (so called because formed between opposing ice-currents), con- 
nected with the second terminal moraine as a branch from its northeast side, 
and extending north through the two western ranges of sections in Lake- 
side and Carson. Its most broken portion is found in sections 17, 8 and 5, 
Carson, which have many small hills and ridges forty to seventy-five feet 
high, mostly trending from north to south, composed of till with abundant 
boulders. Ten miles north from these hills in Carson is the morainic tract 
through which Mound creek flows in Stately, but the interesting area, across 
which the quartzyte ridge extends from east to west, is destitute of such 
knolly drift deposits.' 

Beyond the knolly and broken ascent east from the Des Moines river 
in the vicinity of Windom, the contour changes to a smooth and nearly flat 
expanse of till, which thence extends seventy-five miles eastward, descend- 
ing with an imperceptible slope to the Blue F.arth river, and beyond this 
rising in the same manner to the belts of drift hills at the sources of the 
LeSueur and Cannon rixers. The eastern two-thirds of Lakeside and Car- 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 75 

son, and all of Mountain Lake township, included in the vast area of intra- 
morainic till, are slightly undulating and differ only live to ten feet in broad 
swells and depressions from being a perfect plain. This expanse, stretching 
on all sides to the horizon, would be commonly called level, but the survey 
of the St. Paul & Sioux City railroad shows that its descent eastward is 
uniformly about twenty feet per mile through these townships, or some two 
hundred feet in the ten miles from the railroad summit, a mile west of Bing- 
ham Lake to the east line of this county. Tf the same slope were continued 
westward it would pass over the summit of the Blue mounds ; hence they 
cannot be seen east of Bingham Lake. Mountain Lake, which has given 
its name to a railroad station and township, is so called because it contains 
an island that rises about thirty-five or forty feet in steep bluffs, attaining the 
same height with the bluffs that surround the lake, even with the average 
surface of its vicinity. 

An exception to the generally smooth contour of the drift-sheet north 
of the quartzyte ridge is found in a quite roughly hilly morainic area, 
apparently isolated, which lies mainly in the north half of Stately, the most 
southwest township of Brown county, and extends into Germantown to the 
west side of section 12. Its abrupt mounds and ridges of stony till are 
twenty-five to seventy-five feet high, having their greatest prominence in 
Stately along the lower part of Mound creek. This tract appears to belong 
to a third terminal moraine. Through the middle of Germantown a notable 
valley, having a flat bottom of stratified gravel and sand, enclosed by mod- 
erately steep slopes which rise abnut forty feet to the undulating surface of 
the till on each side, was observed, extending five or six miles in an east- 
southeast course from near Dry creek at the north side of section 17 in this 
township, to Mound creek at the east side of section 30, Stately. Another 
valley of similar character was noted three-fourths of a mile farther south, 
running parallel with the last through the north part of sections 25 and 26, 
Germantown township. These deserted water-courses were probably formed 
during the departure of the last ice-sheet. Upon this region its border, 
doubtless, retreated to the north and northeast, and while it still lay as a 
barrier upon the north part of Germantown and was accumulating the 
morainic hills that lie a few miles to the north-easl in Stately, the draina 
from its melting was carried by these valleys southeasterly, Farther north- 
west, the land for a considerable distance, along the probable course of the 
ice-margin in this stage of its retreat is lower than where these valleys occur, 
and therefore would be occupied by a lake, and again southeastward, from 



j6 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

the south part of Stately to Silver Lake -in Martin county, a narrow glacial 
lake probably extended along the border of the ice-sheet, having a height of 
about twelve hundred feet above the sea, and overflowing south of Iowa 
lake to the east fork of the Des Moines river. 

Boulders and Pebbles. The boulders of the drift in this county are 
mainly granite, and syenite, crystalline schists, quartzyte and limestone. 
The ciuartzyte ridge in northern Cottonwood county has supplied from a 
tenth to a half of the large rock-fragments in the drift south of it. Among 
the large boulders, over one foot in diameter, in this county, it may be that 
a twentieth part are limestone. At Windom limestone containing recepta- 
culites was found in the drift in digging cellars. 

Agriculture must be the chief industry and source of wealth in Cot- 
tonwood county. The soil, the narrow belts of timber beside rivers and 
lakes, the natural pasturage and plough-land of its broad expanses of prairie, 
are peculiarly fitted for farming operations. 

The Potsdam quartzyte of northern Cottonwood county has been quar- 
ried to some extent, as already mentioned, in sections 23 and 25, Selma 
township, in section 8, Delton township, and in section 6, Dale township. 
Owing to the very hard and gritty nature of this rock and its tendency to 
rhomboiclal fracture, it supplies only rough blocks, seldom of large dimen- 
sions, yet quite suitable for common foundations and walls, and for the 
masonry of culverts and small bridges. 

Peat. An exploration of the peat of southern Minnesota was made 
in 1873 by Professor Winchell, whose descriptions embrace the following 
notes pertaining to Cottonwood county: 

Mountain Lake. Near Mountain Lake station, a coarse turf-peat 
covers the surface of a dry slough to the depth of ten to eighteen inches. 
Near a spring, along the side of this slough, which is tributary to Mountain 
Lake, the surface quakes and the peat is thickest. Around Mountain Lake 
the land is low and is flooded in the wet season. This low land contains 
considerable peat for some distance out toward the lake. The surface 
shales under the tread. It is covered in summer with a tall grass, which 
much resembles the wild rice, yet the softest places, where the peat occurs 
purest, are furnished with a short grass. Peat here is two or more feet 
thick. This peat, taken two feet below the surface, was found to contain, 
when air-dried, 8.69 per cent, of hygrometric water; 31.90 of organic 
matter, and 50.41 of ash. A hundred pounds of it is estimated to be 
equivalent to forty-two pounds of oakwood. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. JJ 

Lakeside. Section 24. In a dry slough, covering many acres, the 
surface consists of a turf-peat, to the depth of about a foot, passing into a 
black mud and sand. The very top is fibrous and even spongy. The 
analysis of this gave 10.80 per cent, of hygrometric water: 6.33 of organic 
matter, and 72.87 of ash ; a hundred pounds being equivalent to twenty-one 
pounds of oak-wood. Peat is again found farther west in the same town- 
ship, and also on land five miles east of Windom. In a narrow spring 
ravine, where water stands or slowly runs throughout the year, and near its 
head, a thickness of a foot or more of turf-peat may be taken out over a 
space of a few rods square. It is thicker and better near the head of the 
ravine than at any other point, owing to the more constant protection of 
the grass and roots from the prairie fires. 

Great Bend. The northeast quarter of section 36, in Great Bend town- 
ship contains peat. In a turfed ravine, where water stands or oozes through 
the turf, sloping gently toward the Des Moines river, a turf-peat may be 
taken out to the depth of a foot or twenty inches. The belt containing peat 
is from ten to twenty feet wide, and similar in its situation to that in Lake- 
side township, but more extensive. Tt shakes under the feet for three or 
four feet about, but a horse can walk safely over it in most places in the 
dry season. Indeed, it is mown for hay each year. An irony scum lies on 
the ground and on the grass stalks. The peat itself is a turf, but contains 
shells and some grit. Another similar ravine is on the same claim. Numer- 
ous others might be located along the ravines that cross the Des Moines 
bluffs. 

Amo. Section 12. A slough that shakes is in a valley that forms the 
prolongation of the Des Moines valley northwestward above the great bend 
a few miles above Windom. and lias a spongy peat about two feet in thick- 
ness, with black mud below. It covers six or ten acres. This peat, taken 
two feet below the surface, was found to contain, when air-dried, 9.85 per 
cent, water; 42.63 of organic matter, and 47.52 of ash; a hundred pounds 
of it being equivalent to fifty-six pounds of oakwood. In the same pro- 
longation of the Des Moines valley, two miles abo 1 die bend of the Des 
Moines, is a thickness of two or three feel of |>cat. This valley seems to 
hold about two feet of peat along a considerable area through the middle, 
and would supply a great quantity. It is not of a superior quality, but 
might be very useful. An analysis of peat taken here shows 13.58 per d 
of hygrometric water; 53.28 of organic matter, and 33.14 of ash; a bundled 
pounds of this air-dried peat being consid. ual in value to seventy 



Jb COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

pounds of oak wood. Peat from this place three feet below the surface 
yielded 11.03 P er cent - °f water; 41.67 of organic matter, and 47.30 of ash; 
a hundred pounds of it being equal to fifty-five pounds of oak-wood. 

Springfield. In a dry slough in section 6, there is a peaty turf near 
the mouth of a ravine in considerable abundance. 

South Brook. Section 2. Side-hill peat occurs on a gentle slope over 
the space of a few rods, having a thickness of a foot and a half or two feet. 
Such peaty patches appear also on the opposite side of the main valley, 
arising from the issuing of springs that keep the surface moist, while the 
lower land in the same slough is dry and hard. This peat is not free from 
sand. It also smells strongly of sulphuretted hydrogen. 



CHAPTER III. 

PIONEER SETTLEMENT OF COTTONWOOD COUNTY. 

The following are stanzas from a lengthy poem written hy Thomas 
Campbell, a resident of the county, and seem appropriate in introducing this 
chapter : 

The dreamer was worn, old and gray, 

As he dozed in his chair in the closing day. 

And the crimson sun sinking low. 

While his dreams went back to long ago. 

And he slept on the porch of the bo stead there, 

The neat farm-house, on the landscape fair; 
On the blooming prairie spreading wide, 
And crossing the flow of the Des Moines tide, 

By the loosened waves of imprisoned thought, 

The ways of Time's backward trail were sought; 
Then a mental vision soon appeared, 
Of Cottonwood hack some forty years. 

Of a country fertile and fair to rtew, 

'inly trod by the moccasined fool of the Sioux, 

Or the hoof of his pony in reckless pace, 

In the onward rush of the buffalo chase, 

P.ut the scene is shifting to later years. 
Progressive times and white men's ways. 
And the plain is dulled left and righl 
Willi wagon tops of canvas white; 

Ami later on. in the seasons' train, 
Tin' yellow patches of waving grain. 
Ami I he many pictures of peaceful toil . 
• if settled life on a grateful soil. 

This county was surveyed in 1858-9; the surveyors found a few Ger- 
mans including Charles Zierke, known as "Dutch Charlie." No one knew 
where he came from here. It was reported that he was mas acred in the 
Indian outbreak of 1862. He resided in the northwest part of Cottonwood 
county, where there is a creek named after his nickname. "Dutch Charlie 
Creek." About a dozen persons had effected settlement in what is Cotton- 
wood countv now, prior to 1862, when the Indian n ■■: I in, the fust 
actual settler in the county was a homesteader named Joseph F. Bean ; the 



80 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

second was George B. Walker. Then a few families came to the West- 
brook settlement; early in 1868 came J. W. Benjamin, Simon Greenfield, 
and others locating in the present township of Lakeside. The settlement 
increased, but with no marked degree of rapidity until the railroad came 
through the county. The first settlers marketed their crops at Xew Ulm, 
where they also purchased their supplies. On June 1, 1871, the railroad 
grading was completed through Cottonwood count}- ; this was the old St. 
Paul & Sioux City line, now the Chicago, St. Paul. Minneapolis & Omaha 
system. On June 1 that year the rails were completely laid as far as Win- 
dom on the Des Moines river. 

STRUGGLES OF PIONEER SETTLERS. 

The early settlers of this county had anything but a promising outlook. 
Prairie fires and terrible hail storms swept away much of the property of 
the settlers in their destructive pathways, but these hardy sons and daugh- 
ters felt determined to fight their way through these obstacles and advers- 
ities. The crop of 1872 was an average crop and the people felt encour- 
aged. In the spring of 1873 a large crop was planted, and the immigrants 
of previous years, not only of this but of adjoining counties, had expended 
every resource in preparing the ground and providing seed. A promising 
harvest was apparent; and all felt that the reward for their severe priva- 
tions would soon be at hand. But alas, early in June of that year the entire 
part of southwestern Minnesota was visited by grasshoppers, and nearly 
all of the growing crops were destroyed and grasshopper eggs laid and 
buried in the soil, only to curse the country the next season. Great desola- 
tion was among the farmers. Appeals made to the charitable throughout 
the better favored sections of the country brought considerable immediate 
relief. In the Legislature in January. 1874, an appropriation of five thou- 
sand dollars was made for relief of the devastated regions and, later, twenty- 
five thousand dollars was appropriated for the purchase of seed grain. 
Wheat was sown from this seed, it came up nicely, but the grasshopper 
eggs, likewise, hatched out in all their teeming millions. When old enough 
to eat, they set to work and destroyed all of the growing crops again. The 
hatching commenced in May and in June their wings had developed enough 
to enable them to lly frisky. After eating up much of the crops they 
migrated, filling the heavens at noon-day so as to almost darken the sun 
and give the sky the appearance of a snow-storm in winter season. They 
continued to fly and to leave for the south until in July, when having joined 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. Si 

the older grasshoppers, their venerable ancestors, they all disappeared from 
the county, leaving hundreds and thousands of acres barren and desolate. 
Year after year they kept this up, aid coming from the state to tide over 
the brave, never-give-up kind of people found among the county's first 
pioneer band. 

WINTER OF 1872-3. 

The winter of 1872-3 was a long, cold one, never to be forgotten by 
those living in southwestern Minnesota and Iowa. In January, 1872, soon 
after the building of the railroad through the county, a severe snow and 
wind storm — now called "blizzard" — swept this county in all of its fury. 
The railroad was completely blocked from January until April 10. the next 
spring. 

In a storm of three days duration in February, 1872. two sons of a 
Mr. Lader. of Mountain Lake perished in the snow. The next winter was 
as bad, and at times worse, and only a few trains of cars run to bring in 
supplies and fuel for the settlers. It was in the three days storm of 1873 
that William Morris was frozen to death within eighty rods of his own 
house, in Springfield township. 

George B. Walker was an early settler of Cottonwood county and was 
the first man to do any plowing in the county after the Indian massacre of 
1862. He died April 13, 1887. On February 10. 1871, he was married 
to Sarah Greenfield, and this was the first marriage ceremony performed in 
Cottonwood county. 

A more detailed account of the settlement of the county is found in 
the various town-hip histories of the work. But the following gives quite 
a number of well-known citizens who made up the pioneer band: 

Mr. A. A. Soule settled about one mile southeasl of Mountain Lake in 
1869. He purchased a pre-emption right of a trapper named Mason and his 
equity in an adjoining piece of land heavily timbered with oak and other fi iresl 
trees, consisting of about forty acre-. There was also forty acre- of artificial 
timber which consisted of spruce, balsam fir, white cedar, American and Euro- 
pean larch, willow, hard and soft maple, ash, cottonwood, coffeenut, black 
walnut, basewood, whitewood, honey locust, elm, mountain ash, and otl 
varieties. 

During 1869 and 1870. Mr. Soule gave mosl of his time and energy to 
the planting and growing of trees. At that time he was vice-presidenf of the 
State Forestry Association. Few men take as much interest in forestry as did 
(6) 



82 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

this man. The attractiveness alone of Mr. Soule's farm was ample reward for 
his diligent work, as it was generally known throughout southern Minnesota 
that this farm was one of the most attractive in this section of the state. 

Ira E. Pierce, Sr., came from New Bedford, Massachusetts, and settled 
on a farm near Clear lake in 1 87 1 . He died in February, 1908, at the age of 
eighty-seven. 

Paul Pederson came from Jefferson county, Wisconsin, and settled in 
Amo township in 1873. He died on March 28, 1908. 

Myron Barr was one of the first settlers in Cottonwood county, settling in 
Lakeside township in 1870 or 1871. He located on a small farm one mile 
from the station of Bingham lake. During the construction of the railroad 
Mr. and Mrs. Barr conducted the railroad boarding house, while the men were 
working between St. James and Sheldon. At various times they boarded as 
many as one hundred men at a time. With the coming of the grasshoppers 
Mr. Barr lost all that he had in the way of crops and finally left the country. 
He died in August, 1908. 

J. N. McGregor was born in Belmont, Ohio, 1847, and came to YYindom 
in 1871, where he formed a partnership with D. Patten in the general mer- 
chandising business. Later he became county treasurer and president of the 
First National Bank. He was a man interested in many public enterprises 
and one who added to the life and spirit of the community. He died on July 
22, 1912. 

J. A. Billings, an old soldier, settled in Mountain Lake in 1872. He died 
in May, 1909. 

J. H. Reisdorph, known as "Uncle John," was bom in New York in 1826 
and came to Cottonwood county in 1870. He was an old soldier and died on 
February 18, 191 1. 

Thomas S. Brown was born in Scotland and imigrated to this country at 
an early age. He joined the ranks of the Union army and when the war was 

over came to Cottonw 1 county and settled in Springfield township. He wa-~ 

fairly well read in law and finally became judge of probate. He died in 
August, 191 1. 

William Barnes, born in Maine, 1801, settled in Mountain Lake township 
in 187-'. He died on September 30, 1881. 

1!. W. May came to Windom in [872 and For a time was the only imple- 
ment dealer in the village. He died in December, to 12. 

Talior C. Richmond was horn in Vermont, C844, and came to Lakeside 
township in 1871. He was an old soldier and died in March, [913. 

Aaron Schofield was born in England, [8^1. lie came to this country 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 83 

and settled in Carson township, section 28, on a tree claim, lie died 1 11 
February 14. i<)i6. 

P. B. Crosby came to Windom in [872 and erected one of the first tene- 
ment houses in the village. He died in February, 1874. 

COTTONWOOD COUNTY OLD SETTLERS' ASSOCIATION. 

In every intelligent, thinking community the pioneer settlers have always 
organized Old Settlers' Reunion Societies of one sort or another, and Cotton- 
wood county is no exception to the rule. The idea obtains in a special degri 
in the counties west of the Alleghany mountains in states that have been 
settled a hundred years or less. These associations have done, and are still 
doing, much to preserve the local history and promote a friendly feeling 
among both the pioneers and their sons and daughters. The true fires of 
patriotism and love of country or of home are strengthened by a narration of 
such important events as tend to stir the blood and quicken to life those divine 
affections of man. The love of home and parents and kindred has thus been 
strengthened by oft-told tales of aged fathers or mothers, especially of those 
pioneer fathers and mothers who toiled early and late, hard and long, in 
order to give their descendants the priceless boon of a home and plenty; of 
refinement and love of God and humanity. 

The pioneers in gathering in these annual reunions, seem to live over 
again those early days and years. Their eyes sparkle and they grow young 
as the fading reminiscences of other days are recalled. As was well stated 
by a pioneer in a nearby community, at a meeting of the ( )ld Settlers' Society : 
"You come together with varied emotions. Some of you, almost at the foot 
of life's hill, look hack and upward at the path you have trod, while others 
who have just reached life's summit, gaze down into the valley of tears with 
many a hope and fear. You gray-headed fathers, have done your work; you 
have done it well; ami now as the sunset of life is closing around you, you 
are given the rare boon of enjoying the fruit of your labor. You can see the 
land won by your own right arm from its wilderness state and from a savage 
foe, passed to your children and your children'- children, literally 'flow ing with 
milk and honey;' a land over which hover the white-winged, white-robed 
angels of religion and peace; a land fairer and brighter and more glori 
than any other land beneath the blue arch of heaven. You have done yi 
work well, and when the time of resl shall have come, you will sink to 
dreamless repose with the calm conscioi f dutj d 

"In this hour let memory take her strongest -way ; tear aside the thin veil 



84 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

that shrouds the misty past in gloom ; call up before you the long-forgotten 
scenes of years ago; live over once again the toils and struggles, the hopes and 
fears of other days. Let this day be a day sacred to the memory of the olden 
time. In that olden time there are no doubt scenes of sadness as well as of 
joy. Perhaps you remember standing by the bedside of a loved and cherished 
dying wife — one who in the days of her youth and beauty when you proposed 
to her to seek a home in a new wild land, took your hand in hers and spoke 
words like these : 'Wither thou goest I will go, and where thou lodgest I will 
lodge ; thy people shall be my people and thy God my God : when thou diest I 
will die, and there will I be buried; the Lord do so to me and also if aught 
but death part me and thee.' Or, perhaps, some brave boy stricken down in 
the pride of his young manhood; or some gentle daughter fading away in her 
glorious beauty; or some little prattling babe folding its weary eyes in the 
dreamless sleep. If there are memories like these, and the unbidden tears well 
up in the eye, let them come, and today one and all shed a tear or two to the 
memory of the loved and lost." 

The pioneer comes to dig and delve, to plant and to sow, to hew and to 
build, the crooked path to make straight, the rough to make smooth. Neither 
the river, the lake nor the sea, nor the mountain-chain, nor the vast wilderness 
have obstacles for them. 

Pursuant to a call issued for a meeting to be held on October 19, 1901, a 
large number of old settlers and their families met at the court house and 
proceeded to organize an old settlers association. Committees were appointed 
to perfect the organization and to prepare a constitution and set of by-laws, 
which were adopted on December 14, that year. The first set of officers was 
as follows: F. M. Dyer, president; Matt Miller, secretary; Mrs. George E. 
Le Tourneau, treasurer. The vice-presidents were as follow: First commis- 
sioner's district, H. A. Nelson, town of Ann; second commissioners district, 
M. N. Caldwell, town of A1110 ; third commissioner's district, Orrin Nason, 
Windom; fourth commissioner's district, I. F. Pierce, town of Lakeside; fifth 
commissioner's district, L. P. Richardson, town of Selma. Jackson county 
territory to he represented by A. J. Frost, town of Delafield. 

CONSTITUTION. 

We, the old settlors (if Cottonwood county, in order t" preserve the traditions 

and history of its early settlers, in pi lote social Intercourse between ourselves 

and our families, and in keep thai acquaintance and friendship which was so dear 
to ns during the trying years of our early history, do ordain and establish this con- 
stitution for ihi' <>iil Settlers' Association of Cottonwood County, Minnesota. 

Article 1. The territory embraced under iiiis constitution shall be Cottonwood 
county and thr northern tier of townships in Jackson c ity, state of Minnesota, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 85 

Article II. Any person, after having resided in the territory described in Article 
I for twenty years, may become a member of this association by signing this coi 
stitution. 

Article III. Section 1. The officers of this association shall be a president and 
one vice-president for each commissioner district In Cottonwood county, and one 
for the northern tier of townships in Jackson county; a secretary and Treasurer, 
who shall hold their offices for one year, or until their successors arc elected. 

Section 2. It shall be the duty of the president to preside at all meetings, to 
appoint standing committees, unless otherwise provided, to call special meetings, to 
provide a place for holding all meetings of the association, and till by appointment 
any office that may become vacant, except that of president. 

In case of a vacancy in the office of president, the oldest rice-president shall fill the 
unexpired term. 

Section .'!. it shall he the duty of the secretary to keep the minutes of the associa 
tion and a record of its membership in a book provided lor that purpose. 

Section 4. It shall lie the duty of tin 1 treasurer to receive all moneys of the asso 

ciatiou and to pay out the san 1 an order .it the secretary, signed by the president, 

and to take a voluntary contribution at any regular or special meeting. 

Section 5. It shall he the duties of the vice-presidents to preside in the absence of 
the president, in the order of seniority, to solicit membership and to inform the secre- 
tary of any deaths that may occur in the association. 

Article IV. Section 1. This association shall meet semi-annually in Windom, Cot- 
tonwood county. Minnesota, on the first Saturday in June and on the second Saturday 
in October of each year. 

Section 2. The officers of the association shall he elected by ballot at the semi- 
annual meeting, held on the first Saturday in June of each year. 

Article V. This constitution may he changed or amended by a two -thirds vote Oi 
the members present at any regular meeting. 

A regular meeting was held on June 7, 1902. at which a bountiful dinner 
was enjoyed, after which came the election of officers and then a short pro- 
gram. Mr. E. Savage related some reminiscences and E. C. Huntington gave 
a talk on "The South." 

On October 11, 1902, the association met at the court house, where ati 
enjoyable program was rendered. Experiences of the early days were told 
by Doctor Allen, Dewain Conk. I. E. Pierce and J. G. Redding. Music for the 
occasion was furnished by Mrs. Perkins and Mrs. Stedman and Messrs. 
Churchill and Gillam. October, 190^. marked another happy meeting of the 
old settlers in the court house. The old and familiar song, "Home, Sv 
Home," was sung with great spirit and enthusiasm by everyone. Such men as 
Arthur Johnson, Mr. Lewis, E. C. Huntington, M. T. DeWolf and II. M. 
Goss delighted the audience with their reminiscences of tin- early days. Mrs. 
Fred Weld read a very interesting story. 

At the regular meeting held on June 3, 1905, an elegant dinner was 
served after which a splendid program was rendered. The three <>ldc-t per- 
sons, each above eighty-two years of age, led the way out to the dinner table. 



86 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 

These were S. Hanson, S. S. Gillam and Mrs. E. M. Peterson. Short talks 
were made by E. D. Mooers and S. S. Gillam, the former speaking on the first 
postoffice and mail route established in Cottonwood county, and the latter 
giving his experiences in building a claim shanty. The meeting closed by 
singing "America." 

One of the enjoyable features of the meeting held on October 12, 1907, 
was the song, "The Old Red Cradle," and also another song by the old settlers 
quartette entitled, "A Home on the Prairie." Talks were made by I. E. Pierce 
on his travels; by F. M. Dyer on the prairie fires, and Ole J. Finstad on the 
grasshoppers. 

On October 10, 1908, and also on October 9, 1909, the old settlers were 
given a rare treat in having with them the Hon. W. S. Hammond, who de- 
livered two stirring addresses. His address on the "Legacy," was especially 
well received. At the regular June meeting Mr. R. H. Jefferson related many 
experiences of the early settlers and at the close of his remarks suggested that 
a fund be started to build an old settlers monument. This idea was well 
received. 

Mr. F. F. Ellsworth, of Mankato, addressed the meeting in October. 
Mr. Ellsworth's mother formerly lived in Windom during the early days and 
was a daughter of Nelson Manning, the first representee in the state Legisla- 
ture from Cottonwood county. Mrs. C. W. Gillam read an original poem 
"Up and Down the Old Des Moines," that touched the minds and hearts 
of the pioneers as few things ever have. In her closing remarks she also 
suggested that a monument be erected in memory of the old settlers and 
that a very fitting place to erect such a monument would be in the city park 
overlooking the Des Moines river. This idea met with the hearty approval 
of all and committees were appointed to investigate the matter and report 
later. 

An old settlers' picnic was held at Cadwell's grove in Amo township, 
in tin- summer of [913. At the noon hour a bountiful dinner was served 
by the old settlers' wives and daughters in the good old country style, with- 
out any frills or decorations or any foreign names attached to the victuals. 
This meeting was conceded by all to be one of the best ever held and every- 
one anxiously looked forward to the next annual picnic. 

The old settlers' choir opened the October meeting of 1915 by the 
singing of " America." Reverend Norman gave a very interesting and stir- 
ring address that delighted the hearts of the pioneers. Mr. E. D. Mooers 
made some very appropriate remarks. 

The following is a list of the presidents of the Old Settlers Association 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 87 

in the order of serving: F. M. Dyer, J. G. Redding, D. C. Davis, W. A. 

Peterson, D. A. Noble, W. W. Hunter. Mrs. LeTourneau, E. D. Mooers. 

Among the numerous "memorials" found recorded in the books of 

the Old Settlers Association of Cottonwood county, the following is a fair 

sample of the tributes paid to the departed dead of the Association: 

MEMORIAL. 

A memorial to J. H. Clark, as prepared by Jens J. Jackson, for the Old 
Settlers Association: 

James H. Clark was born on the 24th of April, 1830, in the town of 
Hollowed, Maine. His boyhood days were spent with his father in the 
lumber industry, Inn when the young man l^ecame of age he packed his be- 
longings into a little bundle and walked to the city of Bath, where he 
secured work in a ship yard. He remained at this place until 1850. when 
he left and started for the state of Minnesota and landed in Taylor's Falls 
the same year. After staying there for several years he became acquainted 
with Miss Carrie Jeelosen, to whom he became engaged to marry. When 
the time came for them to be joined in wedlock, Air. Clark suggested that 
they go before a justice of the peace as there was no minister in the place, 
but Carrie said: "No, James, I want a minister of the gospel to communi- 
cate to us the blessing of God that may accompany us on the journey of our 
married life." So they drove thirty miles to the city of Stillwater, where 
they found a minister, who pronounced them to be lawful man and wife, 
on the 16th of April, 1864. 

They resided at Taylor's Falls for a period of fourteen years and then 
came to Windom in 1878, where Mr. (lark engaged in the lumber business 
and occupied the lumber yard for a short lime where the Struck-Sherwin 
firm now holds forth. Trade was scarce over there, he said, ami many a 
lonesome day did he spend in that hovel as lie called his office, for want of 
anything to do, for he was an industrious man and longed for the time when 
trade would call him to manual labor as well as mental activity, lie was a 
fearless man and he would never shrink from responsibility so long a „ ne 
entertained an idea of being in the right. An incident, thai some may 
remember, occurred in the winter of 1X81, will show that he feared nol 
even the consequences of a lawsuit when his merciful heart dictated to him 
to alleviate the suffering of humanity. Many may remember the lot 
! ' ckade of 1881, but the road was open once, when a car of coal that I 
longed to the railroad company was shipped in and found Windom destitute 



88 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

of fuel. On Sunday morning Mr. Clark shouldered a shovel, marched to 
the car. which was quickly opened and he assumed the authority of dealing 
out the contents to those in need. He also assumed the responsibility of 
being prosecuted for the act. 

Mr. Clark was not generally known to have been a philanthropist, yet 
there are many who remember his philanthropic deeds. An instance was 
when Christmas eve dawned upon the village of Windom, he sat at his desk 
with a little notebook in his hand and he would say that Christmas was near 
at hand and God have mercy upon the poor. He would write a few names 
and hand the book to me and say, "John," as he was in the habit of calling 
me, "do you know of any other poor widow that may be in need?" When 
the list was complete the names were copied on a slip of paper and handed 
to a drayman, with instructions to deliver to each lady one-half of a ton of 
coal. He furnished the fuel, paid the drayage and the matter was kept 
quiet. He did not publish such facts to the world at large, he would not 
tell the recipients, because such acts he considered a part of his duty. Noth- 
ing gave him more satisfaction than to offer a little comfort to the lonely 
widow and others in distress. 

The love of kindness that he exhibited toward his family was note- 
worthy of example. His watchful care for their comfort unlimited. He 
truly complied with God's ordinance in performing the duty of husband 
and father and the perfect confidence that existed between himself and 
wife was due to the amiable nature of both. 

Mr. Clark left Windom in the fall of 1895 and settled in Minneapolis. 
He disposed of his business interests in the winter of 1896 and short Iv 
after moved to the city of Los Angeles, California. Here he engaged in 
the wholesale paper business, but only for a short time as his health was 
failing and with it his ambition for active life. 

His life had not been one of leisure. His holdings were acquired 
through constant labor and study and he relinquished his hold upon manual 
exertion, only when the tooth of time exerted its influence upon that mortal 
structure that had withstood the tempests of time for more than three score 
years and ten. He died on the 5th of February, 1904. at the age of seventv- 
three years, nine months, and twelve days, leaving a wido\v*and two daugh- 
ters to mourn his death. 

EARLY HARDSHIPS OF A MAIL CARRIER. 

Among other interesting reminiscences related at the first meeting held 
by the Old Settlers' Association at Windom, was the following: 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 8l) 

Orris Nason, known as "Tip," was called upon and gave some inci- 
dents of real pioneer life. He came to Minnesota in [856 and worked near 
Mankato. Mr. Nason carried the mail — he literally carried it as he had to 
walk much of the time — from Mankato to Sioux City, Iowa, for four years. 
The first round trip, a distance of four hundred and fifty miles, was made 
in fourteen days. Probably the howling of the wolves urged Mr. Nason to 
make the trip in so short a time, as those wild beasts were plentiful and 
ferocious in the days from 1856 to 1861. Mr. Xason took a claim near 
String lake. He and his wife, "Lib," managed to get along in some small 
quarters, a tent answering for a dwelling. At one time a room about seven 
by nine feet, answered for parlor, bedroom and kitchen. An ox team 
furnished motive power for traveling and breaking up the prairie sod. Air. 
and Mrs. Nason had many hardships to endure with storms and grass- 
hoppers, but they now enjoy the well-earned fruits of their labors. 



CHAPTER IV. 

ORGANIZATION OF COTTONWOOD COUNTY. 

Cottonwood county, Minnesota, was created, May 23, 1857, with the 
county seat at Windom, and is one of second tier of counties north of the 
Iowa state line, and the third county from the state of South Dakota. This 
county has a length of five townships, and a width from north to south of 
four, except that on the northeast corner, two of the townships which would 
be included in this county if it were a complete rectangle, belong to Brown 
county, Minnesota. 

This leaves the county eighteen townships, each six miles square, an 
area of six hundred and fifty and thirty-nine one hundredths square miles, 
or equivalent to 416.250 acres, of which some eight thousand acres are 
covered with water. In 1914 the county had fifteen hundred and eighty 
farms. The villages of the county are : Windom, Mountain Lake, Bing- 
ham Lake, Delft. Jeffers. Storden and Westbrook. Windom, the county 
seat, is situated in Great Bend township on the banks of the Des Mi lines 
river. 

The county has numerous lakes within its borders, the chief of which 
are: Bingham lake, one mile long; Bean lake. Augusta, Three, Swan, 
Clear, Long and Willow or Fish lakes, ranging from one-third of a mile 
to over one mile long, and some more scattered over the county. The sur- 
face of the county is made up of really beautiful rolling prairie, diversified 
by the lakes and numerous streams, while health groves planted by the bands 
of the sturdy pioneers, enhance the beauty and value of the domain of the 
entire county. Some of these artificial groves now tower from twenty to 
fifty feet in height and afford a splendid, cooling shade for man and beast 
in summer-time and a perfect wind-break during the roaring blasts and occa- 
sional blizzards of the long severe winter months. These groves include 
soft maple, Cottonwood, willow, ash. box elder, elm and other varieties 
common to this climate. 

SOIL. 

The soil of Cottonwood county has been treated in the chapter on geol- 
ogy and hence need not be here enlarged upon, more than to add that it is 
of a rich make-up and produces corn and grain, with all the common grasses 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 91 

of Minnesota. It withstands great drought as well as excessive rainfall. 
The grasses of the county make it an ideal location for the dairymen and 
st( ick growers. 

The total assessed valuation of Cottonwood county in 1912 was $8,523,- 
570. of which S1.Ji5._74 was personal property. The county has. of late 
years, come to be known as among the "corn counties" of the commonwealth 
"i Minnesota. The farmer now calls corn his staple crop. 

Cottonwood county is bounded on the north by Redwood and Brown 
counties; on the east by Brown and Watonwan counties; on the south by 
Jackson county and on the west by Murray county. 

THE TWO "STOLEN" TOWNSHIPS. 

Much has been said and written in times pasl concerning the two civil 
townships that should have been left as a part of Cottonwood county, but 
which, through trickery, were stolen and added to Brown county. The 
younger generation knows nothing of this, and in fact few know that town- 
ship 108, ranges 34 and 35 ever belonged to Cottonwood county. To make 
tins clear to the reader of this history the following able article from the pen 
of Attorney Emory Clark, the pioneer attorney of Windom and Cotton- 
wood county, will be given, as copied from the Windom Reporter, in which 
paper it appeared in 1873: 

At the request of the county auditor of this county 1 haw investigated 
the matter of county lines between Cottonwood and Brown counties, and 
will gladly give to the public the facts as 1 have discovered them by this 
research. 

The legislative assembly of the Territory of Minnesota, February 20, 
1855, passed an act entitled "An act to define the boundaries of certain 
counties," and in and by section 19 of --aid act provided "that so much .,1 
the territory as was formerly included within the county of Blue Earth, ami 
has not been included within the boundaries of any other county, as herein 
established, shall be known a- the county of Brown." 

By tin- act all the territor) wesl of range 28 ami south of township [09, 
which embraced what is now the counties of Martin. Jack on, Nobles, Rock, 
Pipestone, .Murray, Cottonwood and Watonwan, the south tier .if townships 
in Brown county, and the west tier of townships of Blue Earth county, \ 
established as the county of Brown. 

On February 11, 1856, the legislative assembly passed an act entitl 
"An Act to organize the county of Brown, section 1, of which read-: I i 



92 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

the county of Brown is declared to be an organized county, and is entitled 
to all the privileges and immunities, and subject to all liabilities of other 
organized counties of this territory." 

Section 2 locates the county seat at New Ulm. On May 29, 1857, the 
legislative assembly passed an act entitled : "A bill to establish certain coun- 
ties, and for other purposes." 

Section 7 of this act reads: "That so much of the Territory of Min- 
nesota as lies within the following boundaries be, and the same is hereby 
established as the county of Cottonwood; beginning at the southeast corner 
of township 105, north of range 34 west; thence due north to the north 
line of township 108, north of range 38, east; thence due south to the south- 
west corner of township 105, north of range 38, west; thence due east to 
place of beginning." 

This description would embrace twenty townships, and include the two 
Congressional townships in township 108, ranges 34 and 35 which have here- 
tofore been deemed a part of Brown county. 

Previous to the year 1857, when our state Constitution was adopted, 
county lines were subject to change at the will of the Legislature, but section 
1, article 2, of the Constitution requires that "all laws changing county 
lines already in counties already organized, shall before taking effect be 
submitted to the elections of the county or counties to be effected thereby, 
and be adopted by a majority vote of such electors." 

In 1864 the Legislature passed an act entitled: "An act to change the 
boundary line of Brown county," by which those two congressional town- 
ships theretofore in the northeast corner of Cottonwood county, would 
become a part of Brown county, and in the same act changing the county 
line between Brown and Redwood counties. 

The proposition was submitted to the electors of the three counties at 
the annual election of 1864, but as Cottonwood county was not vet organ- 
ized no vote was cast by her, and Redwood only cast fourteen votes in all. 
that being her first election. Brown county cast two hundred and eighty- 
seven votes in favor of the change ami none against it. 

Now it is contended by some, that as the act provided for a vote of the 
three counties on the proposition and one of these counties was then unor- 
ganized, the result of the election in 1864 did not effect a change of the 
county lines: and moreover that the law itself was unconstitutional, as it 
endorsed more than one subject which was not expressed in the title. Be 
this as it may, we still find in the General Statutes of 1866, chapter 8. sec- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 93 

tion 16, that the boundary line of Cottonwood county is the same as estab- 
lished on May 29, 1857. 

The interests of Cottonwood county requires an early determination 
of this state of doubt as to the county line. The assessed valuation of the 
lands alone in these two townships amounted to $15,000, besides it embraces 
one-tenth of the whole territory of the county. The tax and benefit of these 
townships are now being enjoyed by Brown county. The authorities of 
Cottonwood county should be as vigilant of the county lines as a farmer is 
of his farm boundary lines. 

(Signed > E. Clark. 
May. 1873. 

It appears that the good advice given by the above writer was not 
properly heeded, for Brown county still retains the two townships in ques- 
tion. It will be remembered that the vote was taken on this question in 
1864 — a time when Cottonwood county had been depopulated by the Indian 
uprising of 1862. and many of the settlers in Redwood and Cottonwood 
counties had not yet returned to their claims. 

COUNTY GOVERNMENT. 

Counties, like states and nations, have their own peculiar form of gov- 
ernment. While each county has its own local laws and rules, and no other 
county can dictate as to the management of affairs, yet all county govern- 
ments are in perfect harmony with the general state laws under one common 
constitution. Then, the townships in a county have still other rules that its 
people make and abide by, which may or may not be like any other township 
in the county; yet, in a general sense, all townships must be governed so as 
not to interfere with the laws of the county in which they may be situated. 

In Cottonwood county the offices in both township and county govern- 
ment have been held generally by representative citizens who have sought 
only to do the will of the people in a lawful manner, as they have understood 
the laws. There have been a \v\v exceptions to this rule, but nol more so 
here than in any other township or county in Minni 50ta, 

It has been the general policy of this county (and was so from the very 
beginning) to live within its means, and while bonds have at certain tii 
been issued, it was in order that the small warrants against the county mi] 
be paid in full when presented. However, such bonds have usually 1« 
issued for the purpose of making internal improvements from which the 



94 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

succeeding generations, possibly, may reap the greatest benefits; hence, it is 
no more than right that they should pay a share of the amount called for in 
these bond issues, whether it be for county buildings, roads, drainage or 
other improvements which are demanded by a progressive people. All of the 
later improvements made in Cottonwood county have been made with a 
view to the future — the bridges and public buildings, etc., having all been 
constructed of the best materials and by skillful workmen, who have not been 
allowed to slight their contract in the least. 

NO HARD COUNTY-SEAT CONTESTS. 

At first the seat of county government was at a point about four miles 
above present Windom, on the Des Moines river, and was known as Big 
Bend. There the first county business was transacted, but in November, 
1872, the entire set of county officials were removed to quarters provided at 
the new village of Windom, which, being on a railroad, was the logical place 
for the county seat to be located. Here it has remained ever since, although 
there was a time when the people in and about the village of Jeffers thought 
they were entitled to the county seat. They were very near the exact geo- 
graphical center of the county and had secured a branch railroad, which 
made their argument all the stronger, but the seat of justice was not moved 
and the fine, expensive court house that stands in Windom today will no 
doubt house the county offices for many li ing years to come. 

So sure were the good citizens of Jeffers that they could induce the 
voters to remove the county seat to their place, they donated what is known 
as the "court house square," hut the ground has always stood unoccupied. 
I lad the center of the county had a railroad at the date of its organization, it 
would doubtless have secured the county seat, hut at that early day the 
settlements were far from the center of the county and the nearest railroad 
point was naturally taken. 

county's condition in 1884. 

The following article was taken from the Windom Reporter, June 12, 
1884: "The tax collection of Cottonwood county at the settlement of the 
auditor and treasurer, June 1, [884, amounted to $14,51)1. 58. leaving a less 
amount of unpaid taxes on the hooks than ever shown before. The court 
house is paid for and Cottonwood county is entirely out of debt. We doubt 
if there is another county in the state with such a clean record. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, SIINN. 95 

"These are facts for the homeseekers and land buyers to consider. It 
you locate in Cottonwood county you have no old taxes to pay, no court 
house to build and you have the finest land the sun shines on and as low taxes 
as are to be found in any civilized country." 

ORGANIZATION. 

Cottonwood county was organized in 1S70. The first meeting of the 
county commissioners was held on July 29, 1870, and the members of the 
board were Allen Gardner. J. W. Benjamin and I. L. Miner. They ap 
pointed the first set of county officials and their selection were as follows: 
Charles Chamberlain, auditor; H. M. McGaughey, treasurer; Ezra Winslow, 
register of deeds; E. B. Sheldon, sheriff; T. C. Imus, judge of probate; J. 
W. Shofer, county attorney; L. L. Miner, court commissioner; Orren Nason, 
surveyor; J. A. Harvey, coroner. 

At the August meeting in 1870 Great Bend was organized, and the first 
election for township officers was held at the residence of Charles Chamber- 
lain, August 27. 

Originally the county offices were kept at Great Bend, but in 1872, by 
vote, it was decided to remove them to \\ indom. 

Cottonwood county was attached to Watonwan county for judicial pur- 
poses, June 15, 1871, but, by an act of the Legislature in [873 it was de- 
tached from Watonwan county and Murray and Pipestone counties wen 
attached for judicial purposes. 

The first term of court was held in Windom, commencing November 
11. 1873, with Hon. Franklin H. White, judge; J. G. Redding, clerk- 
Charles White, sheriff. Three criminal cases were docketed and there wen 
twenty-four civil cases on the docket. The first legal clerk of the courts was 
H. M. McGaughey, though early in the organization of the county one was 
appointed, but without authority. Judge White appointed Mr. McGaughey 
in July, 1873, and he held the position until the fall election, that year, when 
he was succeeded by J. G. Redding. 

The first representative from the county was Hon. Nelson II. Manning, 
who was seated in January, 1874. 

The first Fourth of July celebration in Cottonwood county was held in 
i860, in J. W. Benjamin's grove in Lake-id hip. The orator on that 

occasion was George Gray. 

The first birth in the county was probably a child born to I B. Sheldon 



96 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES. MINN. 

and wife, in an immigrant wagon, on the hanks of Cottonwood lake, in either 
1868 or 1869. 

School district No. 1 was organized in 1870 in the southwest part of 
Big Bend township. The district was three miles square. A school house 
was erected in that district in 1871, the school being taught by Miss Nettie 
Sackett at Great Bend in 1871. 

Th earliest marriage in the county was that of George B. Walker to 
Sarah J. Greenfield. February 18, 1871. 

The first store in Cottonwood county was in Big Bend, John T. Smith 
being the proprietor, and he was also postmaster. 

ASSESSED VALUATION. 

In 1871 the assessed valuation of the county was $99,817; taxes assessed 
on the same that year amounted to $1,585.14. The number of acres of land 
assessed was $6,043 ! value of real estate was about $24,000, and of personal 
property, $75,550. The first tax was paid by George F. Robison in January, 
1872. 

In 1895 the county's assessed valuation was $3,380,000 in realty and 
personal property. The total taxes that year amounted to $73,847.88. 

In 1878 the assessed valuation of lands in Cottonwood county was as 
follows: Dale township, $3.50 per acre; Amboy township, $3.50 per acre; 
Southbrook township, $3.50 per acre; Ann township, $3.50 per acre; Spring- 
'field township. $4.00 per acre; Amo and Delton townships, $3.50 per acre; 
Highwater and Germantown townships, $3.75 per acre; Carson township, 
$4.00 per acre; Selma township, $3.50 per acre. 

In 1905 the total assessed valuation of all real estate in Cottonwood 
county was $6,171,632; of personal property, $863,684. 

By townships and villages, the assessed valuation of Cottonwood county 
in 1916 was as follows, this representing about one-third of the actual value 
of the realty named and about forty per cent, of the personal property held 
in the county: 

Township or Village. Realty. Personal. 

Amboy township $ 514.190 $ 55.!90 

\mo township 528.969 67,724 

Ann township 5 1-9,286 61, 152 

Carson township 5;A'.744 83,189 

Dale township 534.420 68,257 






- 
o 



z 

a 



- 
o 




COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 97 

Township or Village. Realty. Personal. 

Delton township 530,379 52,914 

Germantown township SS4.967 6=5,858 

Great Bend township 518,945 65,447 

Lake side township 517,622 61,532 

Midway township 551.850 60,264 

Mountain Lake township =522,869 54.717 

Highwater township 530.660 70,675 

Rose Hill township 524,838 57,250 

Selma township 522,043 57.677 

Southbrook township 474,732 48,614 

Springfield township 523,197 66,127 

Storden township ' 567,507 105,616 

Westbrook township 537-388 68,ro4 

Bingham Lake village 33-954 18,701 

Jeffers village 77-937 52,372 

Mountain Lake village 248,189 119,471 

Westbrook village 112,710 78,189 

Windoni village 471,534 248,148 

Totals $10,498,597 $1,687,388 

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS' PROCEEDINGS. 

The following is a transcript and general account of the more important 
and historic facts connected with Cottonwood county, as shown by the min- 
ute books kept by the commissioners in the county auditor's office at Win- 
doni : 

The first meeting of the county commissioners was held on July 27, 
1870. the commissioners being .Allen Gardner, Jr., Joel W. Benjamin and 
Lewis C. Miner. Mr. Gardner was elected chairman of the board and 
Charles Chamberlin was appointed clerk. 

The first regular act of this, the first law-making body of Cottonwood 
county, was to divide the county into commission! 1 districts as follow: Dis- 
trict No. 1 was made up of ranges 34 and 35; district No. 2 consisted of 
range Xo. 36; district No. 3 consisted of ranges 37 and 38. 

On motion of Commissioner Allen Gardner, Charles Chamberlin • 
appointed countv auditor; on motion of Joel W. Benjamin, IT. M. Me- 
(7) 



98 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Gaughey was appointed county treasurer : on motion of Allen Gardner, Ezra 
Winslow was appointed register of deeds; on motion of Joel W. Benjamin, 
Ezekeil B. Sheldon was appointed sheriff; on motion of Lewis Miner, John 
W. Shafer was appointed county attorney; on motion of Joel W. Benjamin, 
Tabor Tmus was appointed judge of probate; on motion of Allen Gardner, 
Lewis L. Miner was appointed court commissioner; on motion of Allen Gard- 
ner, Orrin Nason was appointed county surveyor; on motion of Joel W. Ben- 
jamin, John A. Harvey was appointed coroner; on motion of Allen Gardner, 
Charles Chamberlin was appointed clerk of the district court. 

DISTRICT APPOINTMENTS. 

David Mooers and S. P. Stedman were appointed justice of - the peace 
for district No. 2; John Wilford and Rev. John Cropsey, for district No. 
3; Charles Robison and Frank Pones for district No. 1. 

The first constables appointed by the county commissioners were P. 
Thomas and O B. Bryant, for district No. 2: R. A. Nichols and Mr. Oaks, 
for district No. 3: Kirk Sheldon and I. F. Grant, for district No. 1. 

David Mooers was appointed assessor for district No. 2; John Wil- 
ford. for district No. 3; Simeon Greenfield, for district No. 1. 

On motion of Allen Gardner, Hosea Eastgate was appointed overseer 
of the poor. 

SECOND MEETING OF THE COMMISSIONERS. 

The second session of the county commissioners was held at Great 
Bend, August 15, 1870. The object of this meeting was to organize civil 
townships in the county. A petition having been presented by the legal voters 
of township 105, range 35 west, asking that a township be organized, it was 
done. The board named the new township "Lakeside," and ordered that 
the first township meeting and election lie held at the house of Joel W. Ben- 
jamin on Saturday, August 27, 1870. O. M. Benhaus, Tabor Tmus and 
Simeon Greenfield were appointed judges of the election, and R. I'. Mathews 
was appointed clerk. Several other townships were organized (see township 

histories). 

lanuary 3, iHyi, was the date for the next meeting of the county board, 
it also being held at the first county seat, Great Bend. The members present 
were S. B. Stedman and Hogan Anderson. H. M. McGaughey was ap- 
pointed county school superintendent. The board resolved to levy a tax of 



COTTOXWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES. MI \X. go 

three hundred dollars "for the purpose of defraying the expenses already in- 
curred and to be incurred during the present year." 

At the April 22, 1871, meeting, the county officers were ordered to hold 
their respective offices at the building of the auditor, "who will furnish ample 
room for the keeping of all books belonging to the county. The clerk is 
instructed to notify each officer of this order." 

At the January 2, 1872, commissioners' meeting, the first held at W'in- 
dom, seventy-two men were drawn for grand jurymen and seventy-two for 
trial jurymen. The district court was held at Madelia, Watonwan county, 
as this county was then attached to that for judicial purposes. 

At the last-named meeting, it was resolved to lease the offices then being 
occupied by the count}' auditor for the next year at one hundred dollars per 
year, payable quarterly, the owner to light and heat the building. Emory 
Clark was declared elected county attorney and gave his official bonds to the 
commissioners. The board at that session decided to grant licenses to sell 
intoxicating liquors to any who might make out the proper application papers 
and the amount to be charged was seventy-live dollars. 

On March 4, 1872. the commissioners met again and at that time they 
declared the office of county treasurer a acant, the sureties to be discharged 
from further obligations. On motion of member Hogan Anderson, Eli V 
Stedman was appointed county treasurer to fill the agency, and he forthwith 
furnished bonds in the sum of five thousand dollars. L. L. Miner, previous 
county treasurer, was requested to pay over all the county money and the 
papers and books belonging to Cottonwood county. 

On January 7, 1873, the members present at the board meeting were 
George A. Purdy, George F. Robison and Hogan Anderson, Mr. Purdy being 
chairman. Official bonds were furnished a- follow: Eli A. Stedman. treas- 
urer; T. G. Redding, court commissioner; S. M. Espey, county auditor; 
Charles White, sheriff; A. D. Perkins, judge of probate. 

At this session H. M. McGaughey was allowed fifty dollars for services 
as county superintendent of schools for that year. The liquor license was in- 
creased to ninety dollars per year. 

On Tanuarv 9, 1873, the county treasurer's bond for ten thousand dol 
lars wa^ furnished by the newly-elected o unty treasurer, M. E. Donohue. 
At this session of the board they accepted the donation from the Si. Paul & 
Sioux City Railroad Company for block No. 23, in the village of Windom, 
to be used to erect a court house and county buildings upon, and that S. M. 
Espev be requested to notify the company to send on the <\r^:\ for the same. 

On January 11, 1873, the commissioners first let a contract for pub! 



tffO* 90 



100 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

ing the proceedings of the county board to the JVindom Reporter at fifty 
cents a folio. 

On February 4. 1873, the following resolution was passed: "Be it re- 
solved by the board of county commissioners of Cottonwood county that M. 

E. Donohue, of said county, having failed to furnish an additional bond as 
treasurer of said county and that the ten days having elapsed since he was 
notified; therefore, be it resolved, that the said Donohue is hereby removed 
from said office of county treasurer. Members George A. Purdy and George 

F. Robison voted in the affirmative and Hogan Anderson in the negative. 
Another resolution the same day was as follows : "Be is resolved by the 
board of county commissioners of Cottonwood county that Eli B. Stedman 
be declared appointed to fill the vacancy in the office of county treasurer 
caused by the removal of M. E. Donohue." 

It appears of record that Treasurer Donohue furnished bonds, but the 
list of bondsmen contained three who were not considered financially good, 
hence the commissioners demanded further security, which the treasurer 
failed to furnish and refused to do so. 

The board of commissioners provided for the construction of the first 
wagon bridge over the Des Moines river at Windom during the year 1873 ; 
it was built by Contractor N. H. Manning and cost the county seven hundred 
dollars for the structure and about three hundred dollars for building ap- 
proaches to it. 

Nothing special transpired, as shown by the records, until the meeting 
held on June 6, 1874. when County Treasurer Stedman resigned and the 
commissioners appointed C. H. Smith to fille the vacancy. 

In January, 1875, the county attorney had his salary fixed at two hun- 
dred dollars per year. 

On July 26, 1875, the county commissioners requested His Honor, Judge 
Dickinson, if it was consistent with good business policy, not to call a special 
term of the district court in this county that summer or fall, on account of 
the total destruction of the crops and the inability of the county to secure the 
necessary expenses for the same. 

In 1876 the county issued its first bond. Bond No. 1, for twelve hun- 
dred dollars, was issued to H. D. Winters, August 1, 1876, for five years at 
ten per cent, interest per annum. This bond was issued for the purpose of 
paying off the floating debt of the county. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. JOI 

TREE PREMI1 

In 1S76 the commissioners allowed George F. Robison nine dollars 
premium, or bounty, on the three and sixty-eight hundredths acres of limber 
he had growing and also the one hundred and eighty rods of hedge about his 
farm premises. Aaron Schofield was allowed two dollars premium on his 
one acre of planted timber; \Y. T. Richardson, on his three and thirty-six 
hundredths acres of timber, received a credit of six dollars and seventy-two 
cents. 

GRASSHOPPER APPROPRIATIONS. 

In 1877 the county commissioners had plenty of work trying to adjust 
the losses sustained by the farmers of Cottonwood county by reason of the 
seventeen-year locusts (commonly called grasshoppers). An agenl was 
appointed in this county to measure and destroy all grasshoppers brough.1 to 
his notice within the county. On motion, the commissioners ordered that the 
compensation for measuring and killing these pests and their eggs should be 
one and a half dollars a day for actual time employed in measuring, killing 
and making out proper reports and accounts of the same. 

On March 28. 1877, S. B. Stedman was appointed superintendent of 
burning prairie grass for Cottonwood county for the year commencing April, 
1877; his compensation was fixed at one dollar and fifty cents a day and ten 
cents a mile for use of team when necessary to use a team in his work. 

taxes in 1877. 

In 1877 the county revenue was $3.5117. and the taxes levied were to 
cover the following items of county expenses: Officers' salaries, $2,320; 
interest, $270; court house expenses, $500; incidental expenses, $250, with 
five per cent, for losses. Ordered that $500 he raised for caring for the poor 
and $250 for bridge purposes. 

In 1879 the commissioners offered a bounty on gophers to the amount 
of five cents for each head or pelt broughl to the court house and vouched 
for as being killed within Cottonw I county. 

In 1881 the commissioners ordered constructed a new combination 
bridge of two spans crossing the Des Moines river at Windom. The King 
Bridge Company obtained the contract at $2,1 

On January 2, 1883, the commissioners ordered a bridge in Springl 



102 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

township, over the waters of the Des Moines river in section 21, the same 
to cost not in excess of nine hundred dollars. 

At the January, 1883, meeting of the board a committee was appointed 
to "arrange the office room now occupied by the register of deeds and audi- 
tor at an expense of not more than fifty dollars." 

COURT HOUSE BUILDING. 

The first mention made in the records of the county of providing a court 
house was made at the March meeting in 1883, in a motion made by M. T. 
DeWolf. H. M. Goss and Joel Clark were appointed a committee, to report 
at the next meeting with plans and specifications for a court house not to 
exceed in cost three thousand dollars, and said committee was to also report 
on the feasibility of building at once. On March 16, 1883, on motion, it was 
resolved to build a court house as soon "as it can be practically done at a 
cost not in excess of three thousand dollars." 

On another motion, the plans and specifications by J. Clark for the court 
house, which was to be thirty-six by fifty feet, were adopted. The building 
was to be two stories high. John Clark was appointed building committee, 
with full power to act in every particular, as his judgment might dictate, and 
that it should be erected as soon as it could be. The commissioners were at 
that time John Clark, C. Mead. T. Ellison, M. T. DeWolf and H. M. Goss. 
This court house really cost $2,916.62. It had been opposed by the farmers, 
who felt too poor to think of paying for a court house The county had long 
been renting of Mr. Klock his building, which was also used for school room 
purposes, and when court time came school had to be dismissed, for the teach- 
ers had no other room; however, their pay as teacher went on just the same 
as thought they were teaching. 

County Commissioner Clark was appointed a committee to lease or rent 
the hall or court room for dances, shows and was to get seven dollars a night 
and three dollars for free lectures. It was resolved to tender the use of the 
court house to the county agricultural society for fair purposes free of 
charge. The village of Windom was ,<;iven free use of an extra room in the 
court house by furnishing the same. The court bouse was insured for $2,- 
500 at a $_'.-'5 per hundred rate for live years. On motion, Windom village 
was granted the right to put their calaboose on the southwest corner of the 
court house square, where the park and jail now stand. The old court house 
now serves as a barn in Lakeside township. 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 103 

OTHER LOCATIONS B"OR COUNTY OFFICES. 

The following is the chain of places at which the county seat of gov- 
ernment has been held at one time or another: First, the offices were held 
up the river at Big Bend, at private houses. Second, the offices, at least a 
part of them, were kept in the "Billy Wilson" small frame store building 
that stood on the east lot of the present Foss Mercantile building property. 
This had been erected by Air. Wilson for a store, but finding it too small, 
he erected a second building, then leased the first one to the county for its 
offices. Third, the county commissioners leased of Harvey Klock a two- 
story frame building, about thirty by forty feet in size. It stood on lots 14 
and 15, of block 19, original plat of the village of Windom, and was later 
used as a residence and then as a drug store by Nels Quevli. It then was 
occupied as a hardware store by George Miller and the present Earl Marshall 
& Son hardware store occupies the same lot. The railroad company sold 
this lot originally to David Patten and lie, in turn, to Harvey Klock, who 
erected the building above referred to. The lot was purchased by Klock 
for one hundred dollars in 1872. At first the village school was kept on 
the first floor and the court house offices above. 

The first court house built by the county — the one erected in 1883, 
above mentioned — served well its purpose until the present magnificent tem- 
ple of justice was provided in 1905. 

In November 1893, the county board ordered steel shelving for the old 
court house, the same to cost $267. 

The question of a new court house was agitated and finally, on October 
13. 1903, the count)- board of commissioners decided, by resolution, to con- 
struct a new building on block No. 13. and not on the old county grounds, 
where the jail now stand-. The citizen- of Windom were very anxious t" 
have the new court house erected down in the business portion of the city. 
so. on January 5, 1904, the county authorities exchanged the old courl house 
square in block Xo. 23, for the present courl house square in block No. 13. 
The city of Windom owned the block and simply exchanged it for the grounds 
contained in block 23, except that the county reserved eighty feet, including 
the ground where the jail was built and where it 'ill stands. 

In 1904 the county sold bonds to the amounl of fifty thousand dollars 
to the First National Bank of St. Paul, the bonds to draw four per rent, 
interest. Later, it was found necessar thirty-fi liars 

more in bonds with which to finish paying for the curt house, making the 



104 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN, 

cost of the structure about eighty-five thousand dollars, besides the grading 
and other exterior improvements about the public square. 

A contract was awarded to J. B. Nelson & Company, of Mankato, to 
build the structure for $59,949.00, the contract being dated March 22, 1904. 
Thomas Walsh, of Albert Lea, was employed by the county as superintendent 
of construction. The record shows that August 11. 1905, the building was 
completed and the last payment made to contractors Nelson & Company and 
to the architects, Omeyer & Thori. 

On April 25, 1906, the commissioners let the contract for grading the 
grounds about the court house to J. G. Redding, at his bid price of $5,200. 
On October 29, 1907, the commissioners resolved to designate the east side 
of the court house as its front. 

Concerning the material, the architecture and dedication of this, Cot- 
tonwood's present court hou<=e, it may be added that the building is one of 
the best planned and constructed in southern Minnesota. Its corner-stone 
was laid, with ceremonies, on July 12, 1901, at one o'clock in the afternoon, 
under direction of the Masonic fraternity. Senator Clapp made the ora- 
tion. Judge Brown, who had served as judge fourteen years, also spoke. 
There was a picnic dinner, a ball game and excellent music. The corner- 
stone bears the following inscription : "Commissioners, David Ewert, 
Daniel C. Davis, Whalon Seeley, Peter Wiens, Engbert Heggerstrom, John 
A. Brown, auditor; David A. Stewart, attorney." The box in the stone 
contained a copy of the Bible, Masonic papers, a copy of each local county 
newspaper, a history of the county by D. A. Stuart, lists of county and vil- 
lage officials. 

On November 3, 1905, the new court bouse was dedicated, in the midst 
of a large assembly, Governor Johnson uttering the dedicatorv words in a 
masterly manner. The entire structure cost one hundred thousand dollars, 
including all interior finishings, with the marble wainscoating, beautifully 
decorated dome and court room. 

COUNTY JAIL. 

In July, t Si; r , it was resolved at a meeting of the county commissioners 
to provide the county with a suitable jail and sheriff's house, but the matter 
dragged along until January 6, 1898, when it was again ordered that plans 
and specifications for a jail and sheriff's residence, said jail to have a separate 
cell for women prisoners, be procured. They were submitted to and accepted 
by the commissioners at a later date. The specifications called for Kasota 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. [05 

pink stone and Menominee sand-moulded brick as the material from which 
the main building should be constructed. Fred C. Molander was awarded 

the contract for doing the structural work for $5,875. The cell work was 
let to an Ohio firm at $2,147; tne heating plant cost $445 and was let to 
Pond & Hasey Company. H. M. Goss was appointed as superintendent of 
construction of this building, which is the one still standing at the south 
side of the park overlooking the Des Moines river, which flows just beneath 
the abrupt bluff at that point. 

The county leased one cell in the new jail to the village of Windom at 
fifty dollars per year, and the village was to keep the bedding, etc., in a 
good and sanitary condition. 

CARING FOR THE POOR. 

Up to 1887 Cottonwood count} owned no county farm or house at 
which the unfortunate poor might be cared for, but these people were cared 
for at county and township expense, in the various townships of the county, 
the county hiring some one to keep and look after them at a fixed price 
per week or month. But, on February 15, 1887, the county commissioners 
purchased of M. Milford, land in section 10. township 105, range 36 west, 
for the sum of $1,700. On April 24, 1SS7, a committee was appointed to 
secure plans and specifications for building a poor house on the land just 
mentioned. It was not to cost in excess of $1,800. On February 17, 1888. 
it was ordered to make an addition of a one-story wing, sixteen by twenty 
feet in size. After this, the county's poor were cared for on this farm, 
which is in Great Bend township. The auditor's record of the institution 
in December, 1S90, gives the following items: Number of inmates in poor 
house January 1. 1890, six; three were on hand the year before and thl 
came that year; loss of inmates in two years lasl past, two; number remain- 
ing in the institution. December 31. 1890, four. Acres of land in 1 r 

farm, one hundred and sixty; net expenses of poor farm. $1,080. It was 
not found a self-sustaining proposition and. as the number of pauper- was 
very small in the county, it was decided by the county commissioners at 
their meeting held in February, i8qi, to rent out the farm, which was done, 
and the county paid a stipulated price for keeping the paupers. 

Under a recent law of the state of Minnesota, any count) has the ri 
to submit to a vote of the people whether or not the poor shall be kept by 
the county at large or on the township plan. This was left to the voter 
Cottonwood county at the general election in the autumn of igoo. when the 



106 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

vote stood, five hundred and thirty-eight in favor of changing to the "town- 
ship plan" and three hundred and forty-two votes in favor of continuing 
the old count}- plan. The petition which brought this matter before the 
people at that 1906 election was filed on September 25, 1906, and was largely 
circulated by Silas Reisdorph, of Springfield township. It works well in 
this county and the expense has not been over one-half the amount it was 
under the old county plan of caring for the paupers. There is also a wise 
provision in the statute by which the county at large pays all bills over three 
hundred dollars contracted in keeping the poor in any one township or 
village. 

The poor farm was sold on March 11, 1903. to John S. Schillinger, of 
Jackson county, for the sum of $7,500 — a high figure then, but not half its 
present value; yet, it only cost the county $1,700 when it was first purchased 
in 1887. 

RUSSIAN THISTLE PEST. 

Cottonwood county, in common with many of the western counties in 
Minnesota, was wonderfully cursed in the nineties with the Russian thistle, 
which drifted down with the winds from the northwest part of the state 
and especially from the Dakotas, where in some instances this weed almost 
depopulated the county in which it had gotten so strong a foothold. It is 
said these weeds gut into this country by the Russian immigrants bringing the 
seed here to sow for sheep-feeding purposes, as it is used to quite an extent 
for that purpose in Russia. It has proven as bad a curse as the English 
sparrow has to the cities and villages of the United States. 

So thick had the growth of the thistles become in this county in July, 
1896, that the board of county commissioners, on resolution, ordered, "That 
after the expiration of the first day of September all Russian thistles stand- 
ing or growing in the county of Cottonwood are required to be destroved 
by public authority in accordance to law." Later, a tax was added to cover 
the expense of a "weed agent," whose duty was to enforce the law and see 
that all weeds were cut and the expense charged up to the landowner, if 
not previously seen to :is directed. 

At the session of the hoard in July, 1897, the following was the record: 
"Whereas, the well-known Russian thistle has made its appearance again 
and is to he found growing in Cottonwood comity. Therefore, pursuant 
to the statutes in such cases made and provided, and at a meeting of the 
board of county commissioners of said county held on the 13th day of July, 
[897, it is resolved, by said board >'! county commissioners, that sixty-four 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. IO7 

days from and after this date be the time fixed in which all persons, com- 
panies or corporations owning or occupying land within said county are 
required to destroy all Russian thistles found growing or standing on the 
said lands according to the statutes in such cases made and provided." 

MISCELLANEOUS PROCEEDINGS. 

In July, 1901, the county commissioners ordered that a bounty of fifteen 
dollars be paid for each male wolf killed within this county; also that the 
sum of twenty dollars should be allowed for each female wolf that should 
be killed in the county. 

In 1902 the bond required to be put up by the county treasurer was 
forty thousand dollars, the county to pay the fees exacted by the bonding 
or surity companies. If the bonds were of a personal nature, then sixty 
thousand dollars were required at the hands of the treasurer as his bond. 
In 19 1 3 the bond was fixed at fifty thousand dollars. 

COUNTY OFFICERS' FEES IN I9O9. 

In 1909 the fees of the various county officials were as follows : 
Sheriff. Si. 579; clerk of the court, $1,434: court commissioner, $10.00; 
coroner, S5.60; register of deeds, $2,346.06; superintendent of schools, 
$1,091. 15; auditor, $2,117 75; judge of probate, $1,062; treasurer, $2,] 18.83; 
surveyor, $51.51; county attorney, $1,200. 



TAX LEVY FOR IQ[6-[ 



7- 



The tax levy for 1916-17 is as follows: County revenue. S30.000; 
county road and bridge, 830,000; county bond and interest, $2,000; county 
sinking fund, $3,000; tubercular sanitarium. $1,900; total, $66,900 

COUNTY FINANCES, JULY I, [916. 

According to the county auditor's books, on the first day of July, i" 
after an examination of the books of the county treasurer, D. C. Davis, the 
following showing was made : 

Cash in drawer $45-37 

Cash items, checks, etc. • 207.6] 

Deposited with Farmers State Bank, Windom 9-604 



IOS COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MIXX. 

Deposited First National Bank, Windom 16,198.01 

Deposited Windom National Bank 13,693.56 

Deposited First State Bank, Mountain Lake 10,996.53 

Deposited First National Bank, Mountain Lake__ 7,146.31 

Deposited State Bank of Jeffers 7,176.08 

Deposited State Bank of Storden 5-7°9-59 

Deposited First National Bank, Westbrook 5.566.99 

Deposited Citizens State Bank, Westbrook 7,194.21 

Deposited State Bank, Bingham Lake 3,207.22 

Deposited Farmers Bank, Jeffers 4,663.79 

Deposited Farmers State Bank, Storden 1,383.20 

Time certificates 80,741.30 

Total $173,534.38 

COUNTY OFFICIALS IN I916. 

S. A. Brown, auditor; D. C. Davis, treasurer; S. J. Fering, register 
of deeds; P. G. Neufeld, clerk of court; A. W. Annes, judge of probate; 
O. G. Peterson, sheriff; O. J. Finstad, county attorney; A. R. Iverson, 
superintendent of schools; L C. Churchill, court commissioner; Dr. L. L. 
Sogge, coroner; A. S. Gove, surveyor; Ole Osland, H. R. Pietz, J. A. Brown. 
N. P. Minion, J. I. Bargen, county commissioner. 

COUNTY AND STATE ROADS. 

During the last few years the "good roads" problem in Minnesota lias 
absorbed the minds of many interested in such internal improvements and 
now this state is not behind her sister commonwealths in the building of 
good wagon roads within her borders, much money and time having of late 
years being judiciously expended for such needful improvements. 

In [912 the state made provisions for aiding in the construction of 
what it terms "state roads." In this county one such road is already laid 
out and partly worked, from Comfrey, on the north line, to Mountain Lake 
village, thence to Bingham Lake, on to Windom, from which point it goes 
to Jeffers, Storden and Westbrook. Another, known as the Walnut Grove 
and Dundee road, is laid partly within this county. Some of this state road 
system has already been graveled, and much is being accomplished in the way 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. IOQ 

of making suitable, permanent culverts and bringing the road to a good 
grade. 

The state appropriates from twelve to fifteen thousand dollars annually 
for these roads in Cottonwood county, while the county itself aids materially 
in the laudable enterprise. Ere long the county will have excellent high- 
ways in all of its townships, and be possessed of many miles of state read 
besides. 



CHAPTER V. 



COUNTY AND STATE REPRESENTATION. 



PRESIDENTIAL VOTE IN COTTONWOOD COUNTY. 

r- 
u 

The first presidential campaign in which Cottonwood county took part 
was that of 1872, when U. S. Grant and Horace Greeley were opposing 
candidates. The following is the vote in this county for that and every 
subsequent election to the present date : 

1872 — U. S. Grant (Rep.), 437; Horace Greeley (Liberal-Dem.), 47. 

1876 — Rutherford B. Hayes (Rep.), 387; Samuel J. Tilden (Dem.), 76. 

1880— James A. Garfield (Rep.), 717; W. S. Hancock (Dem.), 128. 

1884— James G. Blaine (Rep.), 599; Grover Cleveland (Dem.), 137; 
John P. St. John (Prohib.). 34: B. F. Butler (Greenback), 26. 

1888 — Benjamin Harrison (Rep.), 760; Grover Cleveland (Dem.), 
273; Fisk (Prohib.), 90. 

1892 — Benjamin Harrison (Rep.), 727; Grover Cleveland (Dem.), 
201; James B. Weaver (Pop.), 769. 

1896 — William McKinley (Rep.), 1,242; W. J. Bryan (Dem.), Sio; 
Joshua Levering (Prohib.), 43. 

1900 — William McKinley (Rep.), 1,368; W. J. Bryan (Dem.), 547; 
J. G. Woolley (Prohib.), 73. 

[904 — Theodore Roosevelt (Rep.), 1.541; Alton B. Parker (Dem.), 
214. 

[908— William H. Taft (Rep.), 1,240; W. J. Bryan (Dem.). 526; 
E. W. Chafin (Prohib.), 98. 

1912 — William H. Taft (Rep.). 325; Theodore Roosevelt (Prog.), 
i,07<j; Woodrow Wilson (Dem.), 511. 

STATE SENATORS. 

The following have served as state senators from the districts in which 

Cottonw 1 county has been situated since the organization of the county: 

J. A. Latimer, 1870; C. W. Thompson, 1871 ; (apportionment of 1871) 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. Ill 

William D. Rice, 1872; William D. Rice, 1873; E. P. Freeman. 1874; E. P. 
Freeman, 1S75 ; l - p - Durfee. 1876; I. P. Durfee. 1877; C. H. Smith. [878; 
A. D. Perkins, 1879; A. D. Perkins, 1881; (apportionment of 1881 ) George 
Knudson, 1883; George Knudson, 1S85; John Clark, 1887; John Clark, 
1889; (apportionment of 1889) Erick Sevatson, 1891 ; Erick Sevatson, 1893; 
Frick Sevatson, 1895; Erick Sevatson, 1897; (apportionment of 1S97) 
E. J. Meilicke, 1899; E. J. Meilicke, 1901 ; \Y. A. Smith, 1903: W. A. Smith, 
1905; H. E. Hanson, 1907; H. E. Hanson, 1909; A. C. Olson, 191 1; A. C. 
Olson, 1913; (apportionment of 1913) C. W. Gillam, 1915. 

STATE REPRESENTATIVES. 

The members of the Lower Hou.se representing Cottonwood county 
have been: (Apportionment of 1871 ) E. Berry, 1S7J; J. W. Seager, 1873; 
J. F. Daniels, 1874; Charles F. Crosby, E. Berry, 1875; J. A. Everett, Lee 
Hesley. W. H. Mellen, 1876; Dr. H. X. Rice. Lee Hensley, C. H. Smith, 
1877; Frank A. Day, L. H. Bishop. Alex. Fi'ddes, 1878; M. F. L. Shanks, 
T. Lambert, P. J. Kniss, 1879; J. A. Armstrong, \Y. D. Rice, I'. Kniss, 
1881 ; (apportionment of 1881) S. Blackmail. 1883; S. Blackman, 1885; W. 
R. Estea, 1887; W. R. Estea, 1889; (apportionment of 1889) Henry F. 
Tucker, 1891 ; John Paulson, 1893; E. J. Meilicke, 1895; George M. Laing, 
1S97; (apportionment of 1897) D. L. Riley, John E. Johnson, 1899; D. L. 
Riley, W. A. Potter, 1901 ; A. M. Schroeder, J. D. Schroeder, 1003; L. O. 
Tiegen, A. D. Palmer, 1905; Charles Winzer, R. H. Jefferson, 1907; John 
Baldwin, D. A. Stuart, 1909; Henry Gntiedt, Elias Warner, 191 1 ; I), ('raw- 
ford, Elias Warner, 191 3; (apportionment of 1913) George W. Grant and 
Lars Tiegen, 191 5. 

COUNTY AUDITORS. 

The fir>t county auditor of Cottonwood county was Charles Chamber- 
lain, who served until 1879; then followed S. M. Espey, 1879 to [889; 
George F. Robison, 1889 to 1891 ; John \. Brown, (891 to [893; Herman 
Tiechroew, 1893 to [899; Matt Miller, [899 to \,,,,\ : John A. Brown, [901 
to 1911; E. H. Klock, 1 n 1 1 to 1915; S. A. Brown. 1015 and still serving 

COUNTY TREASURERS. 

The first county treasurer was L. L. Miner, succeeded by Eli V Sted- 

man, who served until [879; C. H. Smith, 1879 to [881 ; J. X. McGregor, 



112 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

1881 to 18S7; H. A. Cone, 1887 to 1895; Matthias Miller, 1895 to 1897; 
James S. Kibbey, 1897 to 1905; Matthias Mill'er, 1905 to 191 1; D. C. Davis. 
191 1 to present date. 

SHERIFFS. 

The first sheriff of the county was Hosea Eastgate, followed by Charles 
White, who served until the election of S. B. Stedman, who served from 
1S79 to 1883: W. W. Barlow, 1883 to 1891 ; Frank White. 1891 to 1893; 
W. W. Barlow, 1893 to 1895; John H. Ness, 1895 to 1903; Ed. J. Severson, 
1903 to 1911; D. A. Lahart, 1911 to 1913; O. G. Peterson, 1913 and still 
in office. 

REGISTER OF DEEDS. 

The first register of deeds for this county was Ezra Winslow, followed 
by H. A. Cone in 1879; F. Riis, 1879 to 1883; C. H. Anderson, 1883 to 
1889; Henry E. Hanson, 1889 to 1907; S. J. Fering, 1907 to present date. 

PROBATE JUDGES. 

Tabor Imus was the first judge of probate, succeeded by Emory Clark 
and A. D. Perkins; J. G. Redding. 1879 to 1883; G. M. Laing, 1883 to 1897; 
Thomas S. Brown, 1897 to 1913: A. W. Annes, 1913 to present date. 

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. 

1870 — S. B. Stedman, L. L. Miner, Hogan Anderson. 

1871 — S. B. Stedman, R. P. Mathews, Hogan Anderson. 

1872 — S. B. Stedman, Hogan Anderson, George F. Robison. 

1873 — George A. Purdy, George F. Robison, Hogan Anderson. 

1874 — George A. Purdy, F. Riis, George F. Robison. 

1875 — George A. Purdy, F. Riis, A. A. Soulc. 

1876— David Goss, F. Riis, A. A. Soule. 

1877 — David Goss, W. L. Taylor, H. Anderson. 

1878 — David Goss, D. C. Davis, Hogan Anderson. 

1879 — David H. Anderson, H. M. McGaugbey, D. C. Davis. 

1880— H. M. McGaugbey, T. Ellingson, D. C. Davis. 

[881- II. M. McGaughey, T. Ellingson, H. M. Goss. 

!882— John Clark, H. M. Goss, C. Mead. M. T. DeWolf. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. II3 

1883— John Clark, H. M. F. Gk>ss, T. Ellingson, C. Mead, M. T. 
DeWolf. 

1884— M. T. DeWolf, C. Mead, T. Ellington, Charles Chadderdon. 

1885 — Charles Chadderdon, T. Ellingson, A. Wigton, J. S. Naramore. 

1886 — J. S. Naramore, Charles Chadderdon, C. Mead, A. Wigton. 

1887— Charles Chadderdon. C. Mead. A. Wigton, M. T. DeWolf. Chris. 
Brand. 

! 888— Charles Chadderdon, A. Wigton, C. Mead, C. Brand, M. T. 
DeWolf. 

1889— M. T. DeWolf, Charles Chadderdon, C. Mead, A. Wigton, C. 
Brand. 

1890 — Ole Christophson, C. Mead, R. Jenness, J. F. Grant, H. Dickman. 

1891 — D. C. Davis, Lars Swenson, C. Mead, R. Jenness, H. Dickman. 

1892 — D. C. Davis, Lars Swenson, E. D. Mooers, Lars Swenson, C. 
Mead. 

1893 — D. C. Davis, H. M. Goss, E. D. Mooers, Lars Swenson. C. 
Mead. 

1894 — E. D. Mooers, H. M. Goss, Lars Swenson, W. D. Seely, D. P. 
Langley. 

1895 — E. D. Mooers, H. M. Goss, Lars Swenson, W. D. Seely, D. P. 
Langley. 

1897 — Lars Swenson. W. D. Seely, D. C. Davis, D. P. Langley and 
H. M. Goss. 

1899— Lars Swenson, W. D. Seely. D. C. Davis, D. P. Langley, D. 
Ewert. 

1 90 1 — Lars Swenson, W. D. Seely, D. C. Davis, D. P. Langley, David 
Ewert. 

1903 — W. D. Seely, D. C. Davis. Peter Wiens, David Ewert. 

IQ05 — E. E. Heggerston, W. D. Seely, J. F. French, Peter Wiens. 
David Ewert. 

1907 — E. E. Heggerston. B. Johnson, J. F. French, N. P. Minion. 

1909 — Ole Osland, Bernt Johnson, J. F French, N. P. Minion and 
Jacob I. Bargen. 

191 1 — Ole Osland. H. R. Pietz, J. F. French. X. P. Minion and Jacob 
Larson. 

1913— Ole Osland, H. R. Pietz, J. \. Brown, N. P. Minion and T. I. 
Bergen. 

(8) 



CHAPTER VI. 

TOWNSHIPS OF COTTONWOOD COUNTY. 

Cottonwood county is sub-divided into eighteen civil township, each 
having a local government of its own, but all working in harmony with the 
general county government plan. 

Germantown comprises congressional township 108, range 36, west. 
Highwater comprises congressional township 108, range 37, west. 
Ann comprises congressional township 108, range t,8, west. 
Selma comprises congressional township 107, range 34, west. 
Delton comprises congressional township 107, range 35, west. 
Amboy comprises congressional township 107, range 36, west. 
Storden comprises congressional township 107, range 37, west. 
Westbrook comprises congressional township 107, range 38, west. 
Midway comprises congressional township 106, range 34, west. 
Carson comprises congressional township 106, range 35, west. 
Dale comprises congressional township 106, range 36, west. 
Amo comprises congressional township 106, range t,j, west. 
Rose Hill comprises congressional township 106, range 38, west. 
Mountain Lake comprises congressional township 105, range 34, west. 
Lakeside comprises congressional township 105, range 35, west. 
Great Bend comprises congressional township 105, range 36, west. 
Springfield comprises congressional township 105, range t,"/, west. 
Southbrook comprises congressional township 105, range 38, west. 

GERMANTOWN TOWNSHIP. 

This is the eastern township of the three northern townships of the 
county, being described as township 108, range 36, west. It is bounded on 
the north by Redwood county, on the east by Brown county, on the south 
by Amboy township, Cottonwood county, and on the west by Highwater 
township. Its surface is somewhat cut up by numerous prairie creeks or 
runs, which afford splendid drainage, and at the same time make the gen- 
eral scenery one of rare beauty. The soil in common with other parts of 
this county is not lacking in the features and elements which yield abundant 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 15 

harvests. The chapter on Geology treats in detail of the soil, surface and 
minerals of this township. 

The population at various periods is as follows: In 1895 it had 488; 
in 1900 it had 51 J and in 1910 it was placed at 522 by the United States 
census returns. 

ORGANIZATION. 

Germantown was organized into a separate civil township in January, 
1874, by a petition presented by a majority of the voters in township 108, 
range 36. The first township meeting and election for officers was fixed 
at the house of August Brand on January 24. 1874. 

EARLY SETTLEMENT. 

To have been an early settler in Germantown township was to Ik.- counted 
among the heroic band of men and women who braved many hardships and 
saw the real "rough side of life," in Cottonwood county. Many of the 
pioneers have passed from earth. In many cases the lands they entered 
under either pre-emption or homestead act, have long since passed into the 
hands of strangers. Those who came later knew not of the privations and 
sacrifices made by the original settlers. 

The following will give a brief record transcript of many who claimed 
land and actually settled in this township: 

Wesley D. Sprague homesteaded, June 3, 1878, at the Xew I'lm land 
office the northwest quarter of section 2. U. S. Grant, President, signed his 
patent papers. 

Gottleib Scheef, claimed a homestead, May 7, 1879. the southeast quar- 
ter of section 30, and his patent wa- signed by President R. B. I laves. 

Caroline Retz claimed as her homestead right, land in the wesl half of 
the northwest quarter of section 6, this township. It was entered at the 
land office at Xew Ulm and the patent is dated March 13, 187a and i- signed 
by President Hayes. 

Henry finding homesteaded land in the northwest quarter of section 30. 
The patent bears date of February 6, 1881, and i- signed by President I lave-,. 
The entry was effected at the land office at Xew Ulm. 

August Block claimed land as a homestead right in the wesl half oi the 
southwest quarter of section 8; the patent is dated February i<». [881, and 
is signed by President Hayes. The entry was made at the land office at 
Xew Ulm. 



Il6 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

John F. Borsach homesteaded land in the south half of the southwest 
quarter of section 6. It was entered at the land office at New Ulm, and the 
patent is signed by President Hayes and bears date of December 30, 1879. 

Henry Moll homesteaded land in the southeast quarter of section 24. His 
patent is dated September 10, 1880, and was signed by President Hayes, but 
the entry was made at the land office at New Ulm. 

Ferdinand Heller homesteaded land in the southeast quarter of section 
34. The date of his patent is February 10, 1881; and is signed by President 
Hayes ; the land was secured at the New Ulm land office. 

Herman Luck homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 34 at the 
land office at New Ulm, his patent being issued by President Hayes and bears 
the date of June 15, 1880. 

Christine Werner homesteaded the west half of the northeast quarter of 
section 4, at the land office at New Ulm; her patent was issued and signed 
by President Hayes, February 10, 1881. 

George Werner homesteaded the west half of the northeast quarter of 
section 6; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm and patented to him 
by President Hayes, December 30, 1879. 

Daniel Werner homesteaded the east half of the northwest quarter of 
section 6; the same being entered at the land office at New Ulm and patented 
by President Hayes, December 30, 1879. 

Frederick Juhnke, at the New Ulm land office entered as a homestead 
the south half of the southeast quarter of section 8, the same was patented 
by President Hayes, February 10, 1881. 

Herman Ohme homesteaded the west half of the northeast quarter of 
section 8, the same being entered at the land office at New Ulm ,and patented 
by President Hayes, January 20, 1881. 

Charles Tesmer at the land office at New Ulm entered as a homestead 
the southwest quarter of section 4; it was patented by President Hayes, 
February 10, 1881. 

John Surratt homesteaded the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter 
of section 32, at the land office at Worthington and the same was patented to 
him by President Chester A. Arthur, July 10. 1885. 

Daniel Raddatz at the Tracy land office entered as his homestead the 
southeast quarter of section 22; it was patented by President Chester A. 
Arthur, November 1, 1881. 

William R. Divine homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 12 at 
the land office at New Ulm and had the same patented to him by President 
James A. Garfield, June jo, 1881. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 117 

Frederick Schroter claimed a homestead in the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 20, the same being entered at the land office at Tracy and patented by 
President Chester A. Arthur, February 10, 1883. 

Christian Xerget entered the southeast quarter of section 20, at the 
land office at New Ulm, and later obtained his patent from President Hayes, 
who signed same on February 10, 1881. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Isaac Davis, at the Xew Ulm land office entered the east half of the 
southwest quarter of section 10. The patent was signed by President U. S. 
Crant, May 12, 1874. 

George Werner entered the southeast quarter of section 32, at the Tracy 
land office, and his papers were signed by President Chester A. Arthur, May 
15, 1884. 

Valentine Bott entered the east half of the northwest quarter of section 
10, at the Tracy land office and his final papers were signed by President 
Grover Cleveland. July 27, 1885. 

Henry Essig entered the northwest quarter of section 24, at the Marshall 
land office and his papers were signed by President Harrison. November 15, 
1892. 



AMBOY TOWNSHIP. 

Amboy township is one of the central townships in the county, being 
composed of congressional township 107, range 36, west. It is made up 
of thirty-six full sections, and is bounded on its north by Germantown, on 
the east by Delton, on the south by Dale and on the west by Storden town- 
ship. Its surface, lakes and streams have already been covered in the chap- 
ter on Geology, hence need not be referred to here. Of its schools and 
churches special chapters will treat, in general. To one who has recently 
visited this part of Cottonwood county, il v 1 without saying, that this has 
come to be a veritable garden spot, where com and cream are king and 
queen. The branch line of the Chicago, St. Paul, .Minneapolis & Omaha 
railroad traverses the southern portion of the township, with a station at the 
sprightly village of Jeffers. 

The population of Amboy township in [895 was 443; in 1900 it was 
placed at 489 and according to the 1910 United States census it had decreased 



Il8 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

to 437. The inhabitants are a sturdy, painstaking class of good citizens, 
many of whom are foreigners who came to our shores many years ago 
without much means, save strong bodies and determined wills, and with 
these they have forged to the front and today are among the most inde- 
pendent, prosperous and contented people within southern Minnesota. 

ORGANIZATION. 

This township was formed by act of the county commissioners at their 
meeting held on October 10, 1872, when township 107, range 36 west, was 
declared to be organized and the first election called to meet at the house of 
C. M. Bywater, and the judges of such election were, John H. Nelson, Peter 
A. Wheeler, Milo T. DeWolf, and Charles M. Bywater was named clerk. 

FIRST SETTLERS. 

The records show the following to have been the early homesteaders 
and also holders of pre-emption claims : 

Moses DeWolf claimed as a homestead the southwest half of section 
34, at the New Ulm land office, April 8, 1878, and the papers were signed 
by President U. S. Grant, the land being in what is now Amboy township. 

Emery Cook, at the New Ulm land office, entered a homestead in the 
southwest quarter of section 36, May 29, 1878, the patent being signed by 
President R. B. Hayes. 

Henry C. McLean claimed land in the southeast of section 2, at the 
New Ulm land office, and his patent was signed by President U. S. Grant, 
February 27, 1879. 

David W. Potter homesteaded land in the southwest quarter of section 
10; his patent is dated February 20, 1881, and was signed by President 
Chester A. Arthur. It was entered at the New Ulm land office. 

George W. Tones homesteaded land in the southwest quarter of section 
32, and his patent is dated March 13, 1879, and is signed by President 
Hayes; this homestead was entered at the land office at New Ulm. 

John A. Kelley homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 26; his 
patent for same bears date June 24, 1878. and is signed by President Have-. 
The land was secured through the land office at New Ulm. 

Peter A. Wheeler homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 14, at 
the land office at New Ulm, and had the same patented by President U. S. 
Grant, December 20, 1875. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. II9 

Adolph M. Scott homesteaded the northeast quarter of section iS, at 
the land office at Tracy, and had the same patented to him by President 
Grover Cleveland. January 9, 1886. 

John Wright homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 26, at the 
New Ulm land office and the same was patented by President U. S. Grant 
June 20, 1874. 

Wilber Potter homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 10, at the 
land office at Tracy, and had the same patented to him by President Chester 
A. Arthur. February 10. 1883. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Agnes E. Safley entered land in the north half of the southeast quarter 
of section 12, and the patent was signed by President Benjamin Harrison, 
March 1, 1892; the land office was at Marshall. 

John Knowles, at the Tracy land office, entered the northeast quarter 
of section 20, and signed by President Grover Cleveland, June 5, 1888. 

Esther Dickerson, at the Marshall land office, entered the north half 
of the northeast quarter of section 2, and the final papers were signed by 
President Benjamin Harrison, April 24, 1891. 

VILLAGE OF JEFFERS. 

Jeffers is situated in section 20, township 107, range 36, west, and was 
platted by the Inter-State Land Company, September 19, 1899. In so far 
as the earlv history of Jeffers is concerned, there is not a great deal to be 
said. The site that is now occupied by the village was homesteaded by 
George Jeffers and Wesley Stoddard over forty years ago. When the 
Currie branch of the Omaha railroad was surveyed through the county, 
Mr. Whited. representing a townsite company, saw great possibilities in 
locating a village at this place. So the beautiful farms or parts of, belong- 
ing to the men mentioned above, were transformed into town lots and sold 
at auction. The village sprung up like a mushroom over night ami soon 
there were mechanics and tradesmen of all kinds on the ground. 

Among the first on the ground to put up houses and open up for busi- 
ness were Mr. Loomis and A. A. Faust: Mr. Faust's building was where tbe 
co-operative store now stands. J. J. Duroe put up a building and started a 
bank in the lumber yard. In the spring of 1900 Cowan & Castledine built 
a business house on the site of the restaurant and Louie Dustin starts I a 



120 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES. MINN. 

drug store the same spring. L. P. Dolliff and Company installed their 
lumber yard in the spring of 1899, as did the Hayes-Lucas Lumber Com- 
pany. The Peary elevator was also put up in 1899. The early professional 
men were Dr. W. N. Theissen and Attorney E. M. Duroe. 

Jeffers has experienced two fires, each of which was rather serious. 
The more destructive one occurred in May, 191 1, destroying four large 
buildings and causing an unusually heavy loss. The first fire happened in 
August, 1902, starting in the hotel which was consumed as were the build- 
ings owned by A. A. Faust and Nels Anderson. The total loss was about 
twenty-one thousand dollars. 

The first postoffice in Amboy township was known as the Red Rock 
postoffice and was located on the farm of D. M. Fairbairn, who was also 
the postmaster. After Jeffers became a village the Red Rock office was dis- 
continued and the postoffice took on the name of the village. The first post- 
master appointed to the Jeffers office was A. A. Faust. He died before his 
term expired and J. O. Ouerna was chosen to fill out the unexpired term. 
Miss Ida Faust, the daughter of A. A. Faust, received the next appoint- 
ment and as Mrs. Ida Mertens succeeded herself. The present postmaster 
is Mr. J. H. Tofflemire. Through attention to business and with the help 
of appreciative patrons, he has brought the receipts of the office up to the 
point where it will soon graduate to the third class. The postal receipts 
for the last fiscal year amounted to two thousand one hundred and eleven 
dollars and seventy-four cents, exclusive of money orders. The money 
orders for June, iqi6, amounted to one thousand and six dollars and ninety- 
six cents. A rural route, with Bert A. Crist, was established on October 
15, 1904; he is still serving in that capacity. 

MUNICIPAL HISTORY. 

Jeffers became an incorporated village on September 28, 1899. The 
first election placed in office the following men. President, L. P. Dustin; 
recorder, Lewis E. Streater; trustees, C. G. Fredricson, V W. Binger, A. 
A. Faust. The present officers include the following: President, William 
A. Potter; trustees, E. F. Schmotzer, II. C. Schoper and J. M. Jackson; 
treasurer, C. O. Castledine; clerk, Charles Grabert; justice, E. D. Helder. 
The following is a list of all the presidents who have served to date: L. G. 
Dustin, A. A. Faust (pro tern), H. H. Potter, L. A. Duroe. W. Gleason, 
S. M. Pratt, M. C. Void, E. J. Viall, A. W. Mertens and W. A. Potter. 

At present the village is lighted with gas lanterns, but there is a move- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 121 

ment on foot to install an electric system. The village is also badly in need 
of water-works, as now they have no ample means of fire protection except 
chemical engines. With these things added, the village would be as modern 
as any in the county. The village has about three miles of cement walks 
and building more all the time. The present indebtedness is about one thou- 
sand five hundred dollars. 

Jeffers. the hub of Cottonwood county, is a beautiful, hustling little 
town of six hundred population, located on the Currie branch of the Omaha 
railroad, one hundred and fifty miles from the Twin Cities and sixteen miles 
from Windom, the county seat. It is one of the busiest trading centers in 
the state, according to size. It is located in the heart of die beautiful, roll- 
ing plains of southern Minnesota. Its business people are up-to-date, pro- 
gressive, courteous and accommodating. The farmers of the community are 
up to the times in their farming methods, and rank high in the citizenship 
of the community. Five years ago. good land could be procured in this 
community at sixty dollars per acre, while most land is now worth around 
one hundred and twenty-five dollars per acre. Jeffers has a modern system 
of schools, fine churches and strong secret societies, all of which will be 
treated in their respective chapters. 

CREAMERY. 

Jeffers is supplied with a prosperous and enterprising creamery under 
the management of H. E. Nimtz. It is regarded as the most important 
enterprise of the town and it is doubted if any one business concern turns 
over as much money to the farmers as the creamery. The creamery has 
about one hundred and forty patrons, with an average monthly output of 
three thousand pounds of butter-fat per month. They supply the local mar- 
ket with butter and ship the remainder to the markets in Chicago and New 
York. 

COMMERCIAL FACTORS IX lQl6. 

In 1916 the business interests of Jeffers were represented by the fol- 
lowing : 

Auto garage — Iverson & Harrison. 

Banks — State Bank, Farmers State Bank. 

Barber — Charles Grabert. 

Blacksmiths— Krame M. Michiel, George J. Koess. 

Creamery — H. E. Nimtz. 



122 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Confectionery — L. J. Bastian. 

Druggist — F. J. Armantrout. 

Elevator — Benson Grain Company, Farmers Co-operative Elevator 
Company. 

General dealers — Jeffers Co-operative Company, Thorne & Dustin, 
Malachi Void. 

Harness dealer — John AT. Jackson. 

Hotel — The Jeffers, The Leader. 

Hardware dealer — L. A. Duroe. 

Ice dealer — Charles Burmeister & Son. 

Jeweler — F. J. Armantrout. 

Livery — David E. Noble. 

Lumber dealer — L. P. Dolliff and Company, Haynes-Lucas Lumber 
Company. 

Milliner — Olga B. Grenwatz. 

Meat market — H. C. Schoper. 

Moving picture show — M. B. Fish. 

Newspaper — The Review, E. F. Schmotzer, proprietor. 

Physician — George P. Panzer. 

Produce dealer — City Produce Market. 

Restaurant — W. A. Sargent, L. J. Bastian. 

Real estate dealer — The Jeffers Land Company. W. H. Dhabolt. 

Shoemaker — Edward D. Helder. 

Undertaker — Peter Anne. 



AMO TOWNSHIP. 

Amo township comprises all of congressional township 106, range t>7< 
west. It is situated south of Storden township, west of Dale, north of 
Springfield and east of Ruse IT ill township. Its thirty-six sections contain 
some of fehe finest land in southern Minnesota. It is settled by an indus- 
trious class of citizens, mostly of foreign birth, who have made a prairie 
wilderness blossom like the rose. The principal lake within the township is 
Lake Augusta. With the passing of years much of the former swampy 
land has been transformed into beautiful pastures. The schools and churches 
of the township arc mentioned at length in other chapters of this volume. 

The population in [895 was 296; in 1900 it was 385, and according 
to the census taken by the United States in 1910, the township contained a 
population of 395. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I23 

There are no towns or villages within this township and it is purely an 
agricultural and dairy section, where the people vie one with another in 
making substantial improvements and beautifying their places. Many of 
the old homesteads of the county were located in Amo and have long years 
since come to be valuable farms. The hundreds of artificial groves seen 
here and there over this township, lend a charm once seen never to be for- 
gotten. It was the wisdom and foresight of the pioneer band of settlers, 
which caused to be planted out the cottonwood, the elm, the ash, the willow 
and the maple trees, which today weave in the winds with their branches 
extending far and wide, as so many living, growing monuments to those 
hardy pioneers who set them out. These groves have for years provided 
fire-wood for the farmer and made an excellent wind-break in winter time, 
as well as a cooling retreat in the hot summer months. 

ORGANIZATION. 

Amo was formed as a civil township of Cottonwood county in February, 
1873, at a special meeting of the board of county commissioners. It was 
effected through a petition signed by the legal voters of township 108, ranges 
37 and 38, asking that they be set off as a separate civil township, to be 
known as Amo, the territory formerly being included in Westbrook town- 
ship. The first election was held March 4, 1873, at the school house in 
district No. 4. in township 108, range 37, west. 

The record shows that it was first named "Georgetown,"' but soon 
changed. It is believed that W. H. Benbow named it "Amo," which in 
Latin means "I love." 

FIRST SETTLERS AND LAND ENTRIES. 

The books of the register of deeds at the court house at Windom, show 
the following facts concerning the original land entries, homesteads and pre- 
emptions, in Amo township: 

Jemima Benbow obtained a homestead in the west half of the north- 
west quarter of section 34; it was filed at the land office at Tracy and finally 
patented by President Chester A. Arthur, February to, 1883. 

John Wilford, an early pioneer in Minnesota, had patented to him a 
homestead in the west half of the southwest quarter of section 26, from the 
Worthington land office and it bore the signature of President U. S. Grant. 



124 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

William G. Shafer homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 26, at 
the Jackson land office, the papers heing signed by President Grant. 

Gilman S. Redding patented at the Worthington land office, February 
22, 1879, the east half of the northeast quarter of section 25, the same bears 
the name of President Rutherford B. Hayes. 

Presbury W. Moore homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 34, 
May 11, 1879, under the signature of President Rutherford B. Hayes. 

Tames A. Moore claimed the northwest quarter of section 26, at the 
Worthington land office. April 15, 1879, signed by President U. S. Grant. 

Elias N. Peterson homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 12, on 
December 18, 1879, at the Worthington land office, the same being signed 
by President Grant. 

David Pratt claimed, as a homestead, the north half of the southeast 
quarter of section 8, township 106, range 37, west. The date was October 
14, 1879, and the patent was signed by President Hayes. 

Hiram S. Ellis homesteaded the east half of the southeast quarter of 
section 10, and the same was patented to him by President Chester A. 
Arthur; the entry was effected at the land office at New TJlm, and the date 
of patent was June 20, 1882. 

Francis T. Seely homesteaded the south half of the northeast quarter 
of section 32; it was filed at the land office at Tracy and patented March 1, 
1883, with the signature of President Chester A. Arthur attached. 

Alonzo K. Peck claimed as his homestead the west half of the north- 
west quarter of section 24 and the west half of the southwest quarter of the 
same section. The patent was signed by President U. S. Grant September 

5. i874- 

Philip Zorn homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 18; it was 

filed at the land office in Tracy and was patented to him by President Chester 

A. Arthur. March 10, 1883. 

Martin Bales homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 26; it was 
originally filed at the land office at Tracy and patented to him by President 
Chester A. Arthur March 10, 1883. 

William W. Barlow homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 26; 
his filing was made at the land office at New Ulm, while his patent was 
issued by President Chester A. Arthur, April 10. 1882. 

Leslie Anderson claimed as his homestead right the northeast quarter 
of section 20. His filing was made at the land office at New Ulm, and his 
patent was signed by President Hayes, March 13, 1879. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 125 

Warren Hunt homesteaded the west half of the southwest quarter and 
north half of the southwest quarter of section 32; it was filed at the laud 
office located at Xew Ulm and was patented to him by President Chester A. 
Arthur. February 13, 1882. 

Orrin Silliman homesteaded the east half of the southwest quarter of 
section 14: also the north half of the southwest quarter of same section; he 
made his filing at the land office at Tracy and received his patent from 
President Chester A. Arthur, March 3, 1884. 

William H. Bigalow homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 30, 
making his filing at the land office at New Ulm, receiving his final patent 
from President Chester A. Arthur. January 2, 1882. 

Lewis L. Bigalow homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 30; his 
filing was made at the land office at Tracy and his patent was obtained from 
President Chester A. Arthur, February 10, 1883. 

Daniel C. Ashley homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 14, mak- 
ing his filing on same at the land office at New Ulm and receiving his patent 
from the hands of President Chester A. Arthur, June 20, 1882. 

Ransom Bigalow claimed as his homestead right the southeast quarter 
of section 30, and received his patent from President Chester A. Arthur, 
March 10, 1883. The entry was made at the land office at Tracy. 

Orrin Polk Moore, at the Tracy land office entered a homestead situated 
in the east half of the southwest quarter and the south half of the north- 
west quarter of section 28, and had the same patented to him by President 
Chester A. Arthur, May 24, 1884. 

David Pratt at the land office located at Tracy entered the south half 
of the southwest quarter of section 8, and had the same finally patented to 
him by President James A. Garfield, June 20, 1881. 

John C. Sprague, at the New Ulm land office, entered as his homestead 
the southwest of the northwest quarter of section 6, and the same was pat- 
ented to him by President Hayes, February 20, 1880. 

John F. Tabbert homesteaded the north half of the northeast quarter 
of section 6, the same was patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, 
January 15, 1885. 

Ebenezer Rice homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 8, at the 
land office located at Tracy and had the same patented to him by President 
Chester A. Arthur, March 10, 1883. 

Elbert D. Cole homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 4, at the 
land office then located at Tracy, and the same was later patented to him by 
President Chester A. Arthur, October 1, 1883. 



126 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Feder C. Jensen homesteacled at Tracy, the south half of the northeast 
quarter of section 28, the same being patented to him by President Grover 
C. Cleveland, May 20, 1885. 

O. Scott Mead, at the land office at Tracy, entered the northwest quarter 
of section 34, and had it patented by President Chester A. Arthur, March 
10, 1883. 

George Chapman at the New Ulm land office entered as a homestead 
the east half of the northeast quarter of section 26, and had it patented June 
20. 1882, by President Chester A. Arthur. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Orrin P. Moore at the New Ulm land office, entered a tract of land 
described as the west half of the southeast quarter of section 28; the final 
papers were issued to him by President Hayes, who signed the same, Janu- 
ary 10, 1879. 

John W. Rice pre-empted land in this township in the northwest quarter 
of section 4; the final papers were signed by President Benjamin Harrison, 
January 5, 1892. 

James E. Reynolds entered land in the New Ulm land office, described 
as the south half of the southeast quarter and the south half of the south- 
west quarter of section 22, the same being finally patented to him by Presi- 
dent Hayes who signed the instrument, January 10, 1879. 

John Robertson, at the land office at Marshall, entered the southeast 
quarter of section 8, the final papers were signed by President Roosevelt 
December 12, 1901. 



ANN TOWNSHIP. 

Ann civil township is the extreme northwestern township in Cotton- 
wood county; it is six miles square, comprising congressional township 108, 
range 38 west. It is bounded on the north by Redwood county, on the east 
by Highwater township, this county, on the south by Westbrook township 
and on the west by Murray county. 

It was originally a pure prairie country, hut through the foresight and 
unrelenting toil of the settlers who first made settlemenl here, groves of elm, 
maple, Cottonwood and other varieties of forest and shade trees were early 
planted out, and now they wave in all their growing beauty, affording a 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES., MINN. 127 

beautiful cooling shade in mid-summer and in winter are appreciated by 
both man and beast for the wind-break they afford. These groves, here 
and there over the township, give it a look resembling a forest land, when in 
fact not a native tree was found growing by the first corners, but all have 
been planted as seed, seedlings or cuttings shipped in from abroad. Many 
of these trees now measure sixteen inches in diameter and tower up thirty 
and forty feet. 

This township, as well as most all of the northern tier of townships, 
is settled largely by foreigners, who have made a fine agricultural section 
out of what in the seventies was but a prairie wilderness. The various 
census enumerations for this township show the following: In 1895 ^ had 
a population of 402; in iqoo there was 500 and according to the United 
States census returns in 1910, there was a population of 433. 

ORGANIZATION. 

Ann township was organized by the board of county commissioners at 
one of their regular meetings during the year 1876, as it does not appear 
of record in January, 1876, but does appear in the list of townships January 
1, 1877. 

EARLY LAND ENTRIES. 

The records of the countv show the following to have made homestead 
or other land entries, at some one of the various land offices in this state, 
and these men and women constituted the first settlers of Ann township : 

Engbert E. Heggerston, at the Xew Uhn land office, entered as his 
homestead claim the northeast quarter of section 18; he received his patent 
from President James A. Garfield. June 20, 1881. 

Peder Pederson claimed as a homestead right the east half of the north- 
east quarter of section 8; it was filed at the land office at Tracy and was 
finally patented by President Chester A. Arthur, August 1, 188^. 

Nels Knudson Dalen homesteaded the east half of the southwest quarter 
of section 14; it was filed at the land office at New Ulm and patented by 
President Hayes, September 10, 1880. 

Rasmus Hanson homesteaded the north half of the southeast quartef 
of section 22 of this township; the filing was at the land office at Tracy, and 
the patent was secured from President Chester A. Arthur, October 5. 1881. 

John J. Alfson homesteaded the east half of the southeast quarter of 



128 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

section 14; he filed at the land office at Tracy and secured his patent from 
President James A. Garfield, June 20, 1881. 

Kesta K. Helgerson, at the New Ulm land office filed on the west half 
of the southwest quarter of section 14, and as a homestead it was patented 
to him by President Hayes, September 10, 1880. 

John J. Alfson homesteaded the west half of the southeast quarter of 
section 14, the same being filed at the land office at Tracy and his final papers 
were signed by President Chester A. Arthur, October 1, 1883. 

Johannes Petersen homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 8; it 
was filed at the land office at New Ulm and patented by President Hayes, 
February 6, 1881. 

Ole O. Knudson homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 24, the 
entry being made at the land office at Tracy and the patent was issued by 
President Chester A. Arthur, July 5, 1885. 

Ole Larson claimed a homestead from the land office at New Ulm, the 
same being the west half of the northwest quarter of section 6; it was pat- 
ented to him by President James A. Garfield, May 3, 1881. 

Ole John Anderson homesteaded the east half of the northeast quarter 
of section 12; it was filed on at the land office at New Ulm and patented by 
President Chester A. Arthur. June 20, 1882. 

Hans Ola Olsen, at the New Ulm land office, entered as a homestead 
the southwest quarter of section 6, and had it patented to him by President 
Hayes, February 10. 1881. 

John T. Holly claimed, as a homestead right, the northeast quarter of 
section 20, September 18, 1879, the patent issued by President Hayes, and 
the entry effected at the land office at New Ulm. 

Mervin Waight homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 4, at the 
New Ulm office. December 7, 1878, the patent 1 icing signed by President 
I laves. 

Kittle Sanderson homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 14. the 
date of his •patent being January 5, 1875. and is signed by President U. S. 
Grant, the entry being made at the land office at New Ulm. 

Thomas Halvorson homesteaded the west half of the southwest quarter 
of section 12. the date of the patent being January 20, 1881, and was signed 
by President I laves, the papers coming through the land office at New Ulm. 

Rasmus Hanson homesteaded at the Tracy land office, the south half 
of the southeast quarter of section 2, the patent being signed May 3, 1881, 
by Presidenl James A. Garfield. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 120. 

John M. Hanson homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 26, at 
the New Ulm land office, the patent being signed by President Chester A. 
Arthur, March 15. 1882. 

Hogan Anderson homesteaded the west half of the southeast quarter 
of section 24. the patent being signed by President Hayes, March 20, 1878. 

Andrew O. Anderson homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 24; 
it was filed at the land office at New Ulm and patented by President Hayes, 
February 10, 1881. 

Hans A. Nelson homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 26; his 
filing was made through the land office at New Ulm and he received his 
patent from President Chester A. Arthur, signed on November 1, 1881. 

Thomas Hansen claimed, as his homestead right, the south half of the 
southeast quarter of section 2 ; his filing was made at the land office located 
then at New Ulm. His patent was received from President Hayes, January 
20. 1881. 

Thomas Pool homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 24; it was 
filed at the land office at New Ulm and patented by President Chester A. 
Arthur. June 25, 1882. 

Apollos S. Yale homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 30; it 
was entered at the land office at New Ulm and patented by President Chester 
A. Arthur, June 20, 1882. 

Gilbert Oleson homesteaded the north half of the southwest quarter of 
section 10, at the land office at Tracy and had the same patented to him by 
President Chester A. Arthur, August 1, 1883. 

T. B. Steen homesteaded the east half of the northeast quarter of sec- 
tion 6, at the land office at New Ulm, and the same was patented to him by 
President Hayes, December 30, 1879. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Gilbert A. Olson, at the New Ulm land office, had issued to him a pre- 
emption claim for the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 
10, President U. S. Grant issuing the papers on May 20, 1874. 

Ole John Anderson, at the land office at New Ulm, pre-empted the west 
half of the northeast quarter of section 28, the same being certified by 
President Hayes, June 24, 1878. 

Ole Olson, at the Tracy land office, entered the south half of the south- 
west quarter of section 18, this township, and his papers were signed by I 'resi- 
dent Chester A. Arthur, April 20, 1883. 
(9) 



I30 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Ingebret I. Toker, at the land office at New Ulm, pre-empted land in 
the west half of the northeast quarter of section 28, and the papers were 
signed by President Hayes, January 20, 1881. 

Iver Xielson Moen, at the land office at Xew Ulm, pre-empted land in 
the west half of the southwest quarter of section 28, the papers being certi- 
fied by President Hayes, January 20, 1881. 



CARSON TOWNSHIP. 

Carson is one of the southeastern townships in Cottonwood county, and 
comprises all of congressional township 106, range 35, west, hence is six 
miles square. The chapter on geology in this volume treats of the soil, lakes 
and streams of this township. There were originally numerous ponds and 
prairie lakes, but for the most part these have been drained and their former 
beds are cultivated or used as pasture lands, the soil being very rich and 
deep — almost inexhaustible. Delft is a small hamlet in this township, a sta- 
tion point on the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha Railroad, which 
runs through the southwestern part of the township, en route from Jeffers 
to Bingham lake. 

The population of Carson township in 1895 was 655; in 1900 it was 
623 and the United States census in 1910 gave it as having 672. 

With the passing of years the land within this part of the county has 
materially improved, and since tiling and ditching have been so successfully 
carried out, the territory is almost all reclaimed from its former wet state to 
one of cultivation. The hundreds of prosperous homes observed on every 
hand are but an index as to what intelligent management and hard toil will 
do for a country. Lands have risen in value, until today there are few parts 
of Cottonwood county more sought after by home-seekers than Carson town- 
ship. 

ORGANIZATION. 

This civil township was organized by the board of county commission- 
ers at their meeting in July, 1S71, when township 106, range 35, west was 
declared to be the civil township of Carson. 

EARLY SETTLEMENT. 

The records show the following persons to have entered lands, either 
under the homestead or pre-emption acts in this township: 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I}I 

William B. Walker claimed a homestead under the act of 1862, for the 
northwest quarter of section 2, the land was entered at the New Ulm laud 
office, and the date was January 18, 1875; signed by President U. S. Grant. 
Joseph McMurtrey claimed land at the New Ulm land office, in the south 
half of the northwest quarter and the north half of the southwest quarter of 
section 30. The patent was signed on January 18, 1879, by President Hayes. 
Michael O. Keefe homesteaded land in the northeast quarter of section 
2; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm and was patented by Presi- 
dent Hayes; signed on February 10, 1881. 

William G. Furman homesteaded land in the northwest quarter of the 
southwest quarter of section 34 also in the southwest quarter of the north- 
west quarter of the same section. It was patented by President Hayes on 
March 13, 1S79; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm. 

Frederick Carpenter homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 8; 
it was patented by President Hayes on February 10, 1881 ; it was entered 
at the land office at New Ulm. 

Nathaniel P. Hoag homesteaded land in the southeast quarter of section 
12, and the patent was signed by President Hayes, December 30, 1879; the 
entry was effected at the land office at New Ulm. 

Marshal Chase claimed a homestead in the east half of the northeast 
quarter and in the west half of the northeast quarter of section 10. It was 
patented by President Hayes and by him signed on January 20, 188 1. It 
was entered in the land office located at New Ulm. 

Charles A. Gardner homesteaded land in the west half of the south- 
west quarter of section 1,2; it was patented by President Chester A. Arthur 
on June 12, 1882. It was secured at the land office located at New Ulm. 

Daniel Griffin homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 12, at the 
land office at New Ulm; his patent was obtained at the hands of President 
Hayes and signed by him on February 10, 1882. 

Klaas Dick homesteaded the east half of the southwest quarter and the 
northwest of the southwest of section 22. at the land office at Tracy, and 
received his patent from President Chester A. Arthur, March 10, [883. 

Edwin Maxon at the New Ulm land office entered the south half of the 
southwest quarter of section 28 and received his patent on same from Presi- 
dent Hayes, April 9, 1878. 

Aaron Schofield homesteaded the north half of the southwesl quarter ol 
section 28; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm and was patented 
by President Chester A. Arthur, June 20, 1882. 

George S. Maxon homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 28 at 



I32 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

the Tracy land office and had the same patented to him by President Chester 
A. Arthur, February 20, 1882. 

Peter Wien homesteaded the east half of the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 28, at the land office at Tracy, and had the same patented to him by 
President Chester A. Arthur, February 10, 1883. 

Cornelius Hubert claimed the homestead situated in the west half of 
the northeast quarter of section 26, at the land office and had his patent finally 
issued to him for the same. 

Jacob S. Neal homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 2, at the 
land office at Tracy, and had his patent granted him by President Chester A. 
Arthur, March 10, 1883. 

Henerich Quiring, at the Tracy land office entered a homestead in the 
east half of the northwest quarter of section 10; it was patented by Presi- 
dent Chester A. Arthur, January 15, 1885. 

Frank C. Mason homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 24, at 
the land office at New Ulm, and his patent was issued by President U. S.' 
Grant, October 1, 1875. 

William H. Leighton homesteaded the south half of the southwest quarter 
of section 34, at the land office at Tracy, and his patent was granted by 
President Chester A. Arthur, March 10, 1883. 

George H. Smyth, at ihe New Ulm land office entered the southeast 
quarter of section 32, and his patent was granted by President Hayes, March 
20, 1878. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Elizabeth Smith entered at the New Ulm land office, lot No. 3 in section 
26, and received her patent from President U. S. Grant, May 20, 1874. 

Arthur Minnion selected south half of the northeast quarter of section 
4, this township, and the same was patented to him by President Hayes, 
January 10, 187a 

William Minion pre-empted the north half of the southeast quarter of 
section 4, this township; his entry was made at Xew Ulm and his final papers 
were issued by President Hayes, January 20, 1881. 

Edgar Hazen entered the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of 
section 10, President U. S. Grant signing the final papers, April to. 1875. 

Robert Minion, at the Xew Ulm land office, entered the southeast quar- 
ter of section 4, and had the same patented to him by President Hayes, May 
15, 1880. 

Peter C. Hiebert, at the Marshall land office, entered land in the north- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I33 

west quarter of the northwest quarter of section 34; the same was finally 
patented to him by President Benjamin Harrison, February 24, 1893. 

Henry E. Fast entered land in the southeast quarter of section 28; it was 
entered at the land office at Marshall and his final papers were signed by 
President William McKinley, March 20, 1897. 

Thomas J. Warren entered land in the north half of the northeast 
quarter of setcion 10; the entry was effected at the land office at Tracy and 
the final papers were signed by President Benjamin Harrison, January 18, 
1890. 

Oella P. Mason, at the New Ulm land office entered land in the tract 
known as lot Xo. 3, in section 24. President U. S. Grant signed the patent 
on May 15, 1876. 

VILLAGE OF DELFT. 

Delft is situated in the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of 
section 18, township 106, range 35, west, and was platted by the Inter-State 
Land Company June 18, 1902. 

Town plats of the village of Delft were filed in the office of the register 
of deeds on June 25, 1902, by the Inter-State Land Company, of which O. O. 
Whited was vice-president. The plat consisted of eleven blocks in the town- 
ship of Delton. This was the place where the railroad and warehouse com- 
mission ordered the railroad company to put in a sidetrack, in response to the 
petition of the farmers, in order that they might put in an elevator. Not 
so very long after the elevator had been built the village had its first fire, 
which burned the farmers' elevator, the coal sheds and the railroad company's 
stockyards. All were rebuilt immediately after. At present the business of 
the village is chiefly in the hands of Jacob Rupp, who conducts a general store ; 
John Rupp, who conducts a hardware store ; and the Farmers Elevator Com- 
pany, who buy and sell grain, have charge of the coal sheds and do a gen- 
eral implement business. 



DALE TOWNSHIP. 

Dale is one of the central townships in the county, and comprises all of 
congressional township 106, range 36, west, hence has thirty-six sections of 
land within its borders. It is south of Amboy township, west of Carson, 
north of Great Bend and east of Amo township. 

When first discovered there was a beautiful chain of lakes in the central 



134 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 

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 still intact and are highly prized by the citizens of the county. 
The educational interests of the township, as well as the churches, are ail 
treated in special chapters relating to such subjects. 

The population of Dale in 1895 was 367; in 1900 it was 455 and the 
census reports of the United States enumeration for 1910 showed a population 
of 483. 

ORGANIZATION. 

Dale became a separate civil township by act of the county board in 
March, 1872, from township 106, range 36, west and was to be bounded as 
follows: "Commencing at the northeast comer of township 106, range 36. 
thence south to the southeast corner of said township; thence west to the 
southwest corner of said township; thence north to the northwest corner of 
said township; thence east to the northeast corner of said township and place 
of beginning." The first election was held at the house of George W. Purdy. 
Saturday, March 30, 1872; the judges were: George W. Purdy, Charles 
White and L. E. Mace, with John A. Harvey, clerk. 

SETTLEMENT. 

Perhaps no better way of showing who the pioneer settlers in this 
township were, can be shown than to give a brief transcript of the original 
land entries, which is as follows : 

Henry C. Cornell homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 2, 
March 12, 1878. at the New Ulm land office, the patent being signed by 
President U. S. Grant. 

James H. Sharp claimed as a homestead the southeast quarter of sec- 
tion 14, in this township, March 21, 1878, the patent being signed by Presi- 
dent Grant, and theentry was made at the New Ulm land office. 

lames I'.. Mace claimed as a homestead land in the west half of the 
southwest quarter and the northeast quarter 01 the southwest quarter of 
section 12, at the Xew Ulm land office : the patent was signed by President 
Hayes, April 27. 1878. 

Ahram L. Miles homesteaded at the New Ulm land office, the north- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I35 

west quarter of section 24. President R. B. Hayes signing the patent, July 

12, 1S78. 

James C. Brown homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 26, July 
12, 1878, the same being signed by President Hayes; the entry was made 
at the Xew Ulm land office. 

S. Alexander homesteaded land located in the west half of the southeast 
quarter of section 10; it was patented to him on February 20, 1880, and was 
signed by President Hayes and secured through the land office at New Ulm. 

James B. Rhoades homesteaded land in the west half of the southwest 
quarter of section 32. It was patented on October 20, 1880, and signed by 
President Hayes, being secured through the New Ulm land office. 

Edwin S. Streator claimed land under the homestead act of 1862, in 
the west half of the southwest quarter of section 34; it was patented to him 
on November 3, 1876, and signed by President U. S. Grant; it was secured 
through the land office at Worthington. 

Alfred Mosher homesteaded land in the west half of the southwest 
quarter of section 14; it was patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur 
and dated June 20, 1882 ; it was secured through the land office at New Ulm. 

David Goss homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 12, at the 
Xew Ulm land office, and received his patent from President Chester A. 
Arthur, June 20, 1882. 

John Schnotyen, at the land office at Tracy, entered a homestead in the 
north half of the northeast quarter and the south half of the northeast 
quarter of section 6 : it was patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, 
February 10. 1883. 

Peter Schmith homestead the southwest quarter of section 6, at the 
Tracy land office and had the same patented to him by President Chester 
A. Arthur. May 31, 1884. 

William G. Douglass claimed, as his homestead, the north half of the 
southwest quarter of section 28, the date of patent filing is April 7, 1874, 
and it bears the signature of President U. S. Grant. 

Joel R. Clark claimed, as a homestead, the northwest quarter of the 
northwest quarter of section 34, the patent being signed by President U. S. 
Grant, October 22, 1878. 

Joseph O. Miles, claimed a homestead in section 24, and his patent 
was filed on February 18, 1870, signed by President U. S. Grant. 

Joseph R. Cornwell, homesteaded at the New Ulm land office, the north- 
east quarter of section 8, the patent being issued on September 17, 1879, 
and was signed by President Hayes. 



136 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

College land was claimed at the land office at Washington by William 
Prentiss, the same being the southeast quarter of section 20. The date of 
filing was March 6, 1875, signed by President U. S. Grant. 

Homer L. Jewitt homesteaded land in the south half of the southwest 
quarter of section 28 ; it was patented by President Hayes and signed on 
March 13, 1879; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm. 

Daniel F. Rogers homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 34 at 
the Tracy land office and had the patent to the same issued to him by Presi- 
dent Chester A. Arthur, May 10, 1883. 

Valentine Pfremmer homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 6, 
at the land office at Tracy and had his patent granted him by President 
Chester A. Arthur, May 31, 1884. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

George A. Purdy, at the New Ulm land office, pre-empted the odd lots 
in section 28, at the land office at New Ulm, and had his papers signed by 
President U. S. Grant, May 26, 1874. 

Peter O. Arvold at the Worthington land office pre-empted the north- 
west quarter of section 8, the papers being signed by President U. S. Grant, 
January 6, 1876. 

Jacob P. Epp. at the Marshall land office, claimed the northwest quarter 
of the southwest quarter of section 24; the same was signed by President 
William McKinley. March 20, 1897. 

Aaron G. Laing. at the New Ulm land office, pre-empted the south half 
of the northwest quarter of section 2, the papers 1 icing signed by President 
Hayes, January 20, 1881. 

George P. Jeffers pre-empted the lot known as No. 6 in section 2^, 
at the Tracy land office, the papers being signed by President Benjamin 
Harrison, January 18, tSqo. 

Frank C. Bell pre-empted the northwest quarter of section 20, at the 
New Ulm office, the papers being finally issued by President Hayes. 

James II. Wilson pre-empted the part of section 22. known as lot No. 
3. at the land office at Marshall, under President Cleveland's administration, 
and he signed the same June 9, 1894. 

Wolph Graumann, at the Marshall land office, entered the west half of 
the southwest quarter of section 30, the papers being signed finally by Presi- 
dent Grover Cleveland. November 6, 1893. 

Henry E. Wall, at the land office at Marshall, entered the southwest 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. [37 

quarter of the southwest quarter of section 24, President Grover Cleveland 
signing his papers on March 12, 1896. 

William W. Barlow pre-empted land in the north half of the north- 
west quarter of section ,^o, at the Marshall land office, the papers being certi- 
fied to by President Benjamin Harrison on February 14, 1893. 

Lars Anderson entered under the pre-emption act, at the land office at 
Marshall, the north half of the southeast quarter of section 26. President 
Grover Cleveland signed the papers on October 22, 1895. 

Abram L. Miles entered the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter 
of section 26, at the New Ulm land office, and had his final papers signed 
by President Chester A. Arthur, lune 1, 1882. 



DELTON TOWNSHIP. 

Delton is composed of congressional township 107, range 35 west, 
hence is six miles square and contains thirty-six sections of land. It is 
bounded on the north by Brown county, on the east by Selma township, 
on the south by Carson and on the west by Amboy township. Its principal 
stream is the Little Cottonwood river and its many small branches, all of 
which are merely prairie runs or creeks, which in dry times have but little 
water in them, but in rainy reasons are full to overflowing. 

What in an early day was but a wild prairie wilderness, without shrub 
or tree, has now come to be one of the finest farming sections in all this 
part of the state. The farmers have labored long and hard and have finally 
reclaimed the low, waste places and kept cultivating, annually the higher, 
better land until until the scene is now one of real rural beauty, and the 
contented owners of these lands have come to enjoy a life little dreamed 
of by the homesteaders of the early seventies. It is, of course, a pure farm- 
ing section, with no other industry to enrich the resident, but here farming 
and dairying certainly pay good returns for the labor expended. 

The farmers of this part of Cottonwood county are well favored by 
having market towns on every hand — Jeffers at the west, Delft at the south 
and Comfrey to the northeast — all being railroad points, where the products 
of the farm may be exchanged for the smaller necessities of the farm- 
house. 

The population of the township in 1895 was 350; in 1900 it had 
reached 360, and by the census of [910 it was placed at 371. 



I38 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 

FIRST TRACTS OF LAND ENTERED. 

The records show the following original land entries in Delton town- 
ship: 

At the New Ulm land office James Coy claimed land in the southwest 
quarter of section 2, the patent being filed on May 13, 1878, by President 
Hayes. 

John C. Gent homesteaded at the New Ulm land office the southwest 
quarter of section 20, and the filing was made on January 17, 1878, signed 
by President U. S. Grant. 

John W. Bangle homesteaded at the New Ulm land office the southeast 
quarter of section 12, the date of filing being May 10, 1878, signed by 
President U. S. Grant. 

George M. Mayberry homesteaded land at the New Ulm land office 
in section 26, of range 31, and also in the east half of the northeast quarter 
of section 12, township 107, range 35 west. The filing was made on Jan- 
uary 9, 1878, and bore the signature of President U. S. Grant. 

Morgan C. Young claimed land in the west half of the southwest quar- 
ter of section 14, the filing being dated at New Ulm land office, January 5. 
1880, and signed by President Hayes. 

Ayres Hall homesteaded land in the east half of the northeast quarter 
of section 34 and the west half of the northwest quarter of section 4. in 
this township. It was patented to him by President U. S. Grant and by 
him signed on December 1, 1873; it was entered at the land office at New 
Ulm. ' 

Andrew A. Nickerson homesteaded land in the southeast quarter of 
section 18, the same being patented by President U. S. Grant and signed by 
him on February 20, 1877. It was entered at the land office at New Ulm. 

Nicholas Burger homesteaded the south half of the northeast quarter 
of section 22, also the north half of the southeast quarter of that section. 
It was entered at the land office at New Ulm and was patented by Presi- 
dent Chester A. Arthur .and signed on June 20, 1882. 

Smith Cottrel claimed, as his homestead, the south half of the north- 
east quarter of section [8; it was filed on at the land office at New Ulm. 
and patented by 1 'resident Hayes on March 13, 1S79. 

John R. Baldwin homesteaded the north half of the southwest quarter 
of section 30 and the west half of the northeast quarter of section [2, town- 
ship 107. range 35, This was effected at the land- office at New Ulm, and 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. [39 

the patent to same was issued by President Chester A. Arthur, December 
1. 1882. 

Charles S. Xaramore homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 
12; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm and finally patented to 
him by President James A. Garfield, January 20, 1881. 

George Lent homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 8; his filing 
was made at the land office at Tracy, and his final papers were signed by 
President Chester A. Arthur, March 10, 1883. 

Abraham Triesen, at the Tracy land office, entered as a homestead the 
northeast quarter of section 34; it was patented to him by President Chester 
A. Arthur, May 31, 1884. 

George L. Kendall homesteaded the southeast of the northwest; the 
east half of the southwest and the southwest of the southeast quarter of 
section 22. at the land office located at New Ulm, and had same patented to 
him by President Chester A. Arthur, June 20, 1882. 

John Calkin homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 6, at the 
land office at Tracy, and on February 10, 1883, it was patented to him by 
President Chester A. Arthur. 

PRE-EMPTION OF CLAIMS. 

Lyman Parsons, at the land office at Tracy, entered a pre-emption claim 
to the northwest quarter of section 2, and had the same patented to him on 
June 1, 1882, by President Chester A. Arthur. 

Titus F. Mills, at the land office at New Ulm, entered land in the east 
half of the northwest quarter of section 32; I 'resident U. S. Grant signed 
the papers on May 12, 1874. 

Albert Gowin entered, at the land office at Marshall, the southeast 
quarter of section 6, the same being patented by President Harrison on 
November 15, 1892. 

Edson R. Fry, at the Marshall land office, entered the northwest quar- 
ter of section 14, and the final papers were signed by President Grover 
Cleveland. June 5, 1894. 

Carl Schneider, at the Marshall land office, entered the northeast of the 
southeast quarter of section 18, and President Grover Cleveland signed the 
papers June 9, 1894. 

Charles Schneider took land in the north half of the northeasl quarter 
of the above section and had his papers signed by President Cleveland, 
June 4, 1895. 



I-+0 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

John O'Connor entered the northwest quarter of section 26, at the land 
office at Marshall, President Benjamin Harrison signing the final papers on 
February 21, 1893. 

Ed H. Crumlett, the Tracy land office, entered the southeast quarter 
of section 4. and his papers were finally signed by Presdient Chester A. 
Arthur, October 10, 1882. 

ORGANIZATION. 

Delton township was organied by the county commissioners from con- 
gressional township 107, range 35 west, on September 17, 1872. The first 
township meeting was held at the house of J. J. Edwards, September 27, 
1872. The judges of such election were appointed as follow : J. J. Ed- 
wards, Lyman Parsons, George W. Bailey, and the clerk was P. \V. Oakley. 



GREAT BEND TOWNSHIP. 

Great Bend township, which derives its name from the big bend in the 
Des Moines river within its borders, is situated centrally east and west, on 
the southern line of Cottonwood county, with Jackson county at the south, 
Springfield township on the west, Dale township at the north and Lakeside 
township at the east. It is comprised of congressional township 105, range 
36 west. Windom, the county seat of Cottonwood county, is located within 
this township, of which later account is given. 

This township had some of the very earliest settlers in the county, 
owing to the fact that the river courses through this part of the county. 
Streams and lakes are always sought out by the pioneer, and this settlement 
was no exception to the rule. 

The population of this township in 1805 was 320. exclusive of the city 
of Windom, which then had a population of 1,523. In 1900 the township's 
population was 435, and the United States census returns in 1910 gave it 
444, with the city of Windom as having 1.749. 

ORGANIZATION. 

This township was formed by the county commissioners in 1870, and 
was the original civil township organized in the county. It was described 
thus : Commencing at the southwest corner of township 106, range 35, or 
the northeast corner of township 105. range 35 to the southeast corner of 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I4I 

township 105, range 36, thence west along the line of township 104, town- 
ship 36, to the southwest corner of township 105, range 36, thence along 
the east line of township 105, range 37. to the northwest corner of town- 
ship 105, range 36; from thence east and along the south line of township 
106. range 36 and on to the place of beginning. 

It was resolved to have the first township meeting held at the house 
of Charles Chamberlin, August 27, 1870. S. B. Stedman, Paul Hamilton 
and Hosea Eastgate were appointed judges of election. 

EARLY LAND ENTRIES AND SETTLERS. 

The record shows the following to have been the land entries in Great 
Bend township : 

William Feehan, at the Jackson land office, filed in the east half of 
the southwest quarter of section 10, December 30, 1873. the papers being 
signed by President U. S. Grant. 

Mary Feehan filed on the west half of the southwest quarter of section 
10. December 30, 1873, and it bears the signature of President U. S. Grant. 

Reuben X. Sackett filed on the south half of the northwest quarter of 
section 6, September 13, 1878, the patent being signed by President U. S. 
Grant. 

George W. Russell filed on January 18, 1878, on the north half of the 
northwest quarter of section 24, at the Worthington land office, the same 
being signed by President Rutherford B. Hayes. 

lohn F. Hamilton claimed a homestead in the southeast quarter of sec- 
tion 10. February 10, 1879: this was also signed by President Hayes. 

Addison G. Hall claimed as a homestead the southeast quarter of section 
28; it was patented from the Worthington land office on December 12, 
1879, and signed by President U. S. Grant. 

John E. Teed homesteaded laud in the northeast quarter of section 18. 
It was patented to him on August 15, 1070, and signed by President U. S. 
Grant; it was secured at the land office at Worthington. 

Elisha B. Owen homesteaded land in the southwest quarter of the 
northeast quarter and the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter of 
section 10; it was patented by President Haves. November 5, 1878, and 
was entered at the land office at Worthington. 

Samuel S. Gillam claimed a homestead under the act of 1862, the same 
being situated in the west half of the southeast quarter of section 24. This 
land was patented to him by President Hayes and dated June 10, 1871. It 
was secured at the land office at Worthington. 



I-M COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

George L. Macomber homesteaded land described as being in the east half 
of the southwest quarter and the west half of the southeast quarter of sec- 
tion 34. It was patented to him on June 10, 1879, by President Hayes and 
entered at the land office in Worthington. 

Arthur Johnston homesteaded land in the southwest quarter of the 
northeast quarter of section 30; it was patented to him by President James 
A. Garfield, and signed on April 9, 1881. 

Amos Rank homesteaded land in the south half of the southeast quar- 
ter of section 30; also in the east half of the northeast quarter of the same 
section, in this township. It was patented by President James A. Garfield 
and signed by him on April 9, 1881. 

Oliver S. Bryant homesteaded land in the southeast quarter of the 
northwest quarter of section 8; also the northwest quarter of the southwest 
quarter of the same section. It was patented to him by President Hayes 
and dated June 5, 1880; it was entered at the land office at Worthington. 

James Thompson homesteaded land in the north half of the northwest 
quarter of section 6; it was patented to him on November 5, 1878, and was 
signed by President Hayes and entered at the land office at Worthington. 

Daniel Gallagher claimed land under the homestead act in the north- 
west quarter of the northeast quarter of section 6, township 104. range 36, 
and also in the same range, but in township 105, he entered land known as 
lot six. This was patented by President Chester A. Arthur and dated De- 
cember 20, 1881, and entered at the land office at Worthington. 

Calvin Rank homesteaded land in the north half of the southwest quar- 
ter and the north half of the southeast quarter of section 30. It was pat- 
ented to him by President Hayes, and signed on December 30, 1880; it was 
entered at the land office at Worthington. 

\skel K. Trefol homesteaded land in the east half of the northeast 
quarter of section 8; it was patented to him by President Hayes through 
the land office at New Ulm, February 10, 1881. 

Allen Gardner, Jr., homesteaded land in the east half of of the south- 
east quarter and the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter and in the 
southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 8. It was patented by 
President Hayes, and signed on December 30, 1880. It was entered at the 
land office at Worthington. 

Lucius A. Knight homesteaded land in the east half of of the north- 
west quarter of section 4; it was patented to him by President Chester A. 
Arthur, and signed on April it. 1882; it was entered at the Worthington 
land office. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I43 

Ethan Allen homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 6, and had 
same patented to him by President James A. Garfield, April 9, 1881. 

James E. Fitch homesteaded the northeast quarter of the northeasl 
quarter of section 22. making the entry at the land office at Worthington, 
and having the patent finally issued by President Hayes, June 15, 1880. 

Charles F. Warren, at the Worthington land office, entered as his home- 
stead the northeast quarter of section 14; the same was entered at the land 
office at Worthington, and the final patent was signed by President Chester 
A. Arthur, August 3, 883. 

Arthur Johnston homesteaded the old lot in section 30, township 105, 
range 36, and his filing was made at the land office at Worthington, and his 
final patent was signed by President Chester A. Arthur, June 5, 1884. 

Thomas Faucett homesteaded the west half of the southeast quarter of 
section 20, his filing being at the land office at Worthington, and his patent 
was signed by President Chester A. Arthur, June 5, 1884. 

William Tryon homesteaded in the west half of the northeast quarter 
of section 34; his entry was made at the land office at Worthington, and his 
patent was issued and signed by President Chester A. Arthur, March 15, 
1882. 

Silas D. Allen claimed a homestead right to the north half of the north- 
east quarter of section 26, the same being entered at the land office at Worth- 
ington, and the final papers signed by President Chester A. Arthur, April 
5- 1883. 

Augustus Halmer homesteaded the south half of the northwest quarter 
of section 26; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and was 
patented by the signature of President Hayes, November 5, 1878. 

Frank L. Jones homesteaded in the east half of the southeast quarter 
of section 18; the entry was made at the land office at Worthington, and 
his final patent was issued under signature of President Chester A. Arthur. 
January IO. 1885. 

Ellison D. Mooers claimed under the homestead act of 1862 the north- 
west quarter of section 8; it was entered at Worthington land office and 
finally patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur. March 10, [883. 

Charles C. Purdy claimed his homestead right to the southwest quarter 
of section 12, and his Tiling was at the land office at Jackson, while his final 
patent was signed by President Hayes, April 5, 1877. 

Peter Devlin homesteaded the south half of the southwest quarter of 
section 2; it was filed at the land office at Worthington, and the patent was 
issued by President Chester A. Arthur, October 1, 1883. 



144 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Diantha Clark, at the Worthington land office, filed on the West half 
of the northwest quarter of section 10; it was patented on August 25, 1882, 
by President Chester A. Arthur. 

Ed Savage homesteaded the south half of the northwest quarter of 
section 24, at the land office at Worthington, and it was patented by Presi- 
dent Chester A. Arthur, May 10, 1882. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Squire P. Stedman pre-empted the south half of the* southeast quarter 
of section 26, at the land office at Jackson, his papers being signed by Presi- 
dent U. S. Grant, May 20, 1874. 

George H. Young pre-empted at the Worthington land office, in this 
township and range, his papers being signed by President Hayes, September 

4, 1879. 

William Gray pre-empted land at the Jackson land office, the same being 
the south half of the northeast quarter of section 26; President U. S. Grant 
signed his papers on May 20, 1874. 

David Evans. Jr., at the Jackson land office, pre-empted the north half 
of the northwest quarter of section 18, and his papers were signed by Presi- 
dent U. S. Grant, September 12, 1872. 

Collins A. Ludden pre-empted the south half of the southwest quarter 
of section 24 at the land office at Worthington. and his final papers were 
signed by President Chester A. Arthur, March 30, 1882. 

llosea Eastgate pre-empted land in section S, at the Worthington land 
office, and his final papers were signed by President Hayes, November 10. 

1877. 

Arthur Miller, at the Marshall land office, pre-empted the northeast 
quarter of the northwest quarter of section 20, and his final papers were 
signed by President Benjamin Harrison, January 5, 1892. 

[ohn T. Smith, at the Jackson land office, pre-empted the southeast 
quarter of section 6. and his papers were signed by President U. S. Grant, 
May 20, 1874. 

|oseph Devlin, at the land office at Marshall, pre-empted the north half 
of the southeast quarter of section 2, his papers being signed by President 
Grover Cleveland. June 4, 1895. 

Richard K. Johnson pre-empted land at the land office at Marshall, in 
section 22, the same being signed by President Grover Cleveland. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I45 

Robert Devlin entered the north half of the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 2. the same being patented by President Hayes, April 20, 1883. 

Charles W. Hamilton, at the Worthington land office, entered the north- 
east quarter of the northeast quarter of section 26, and it was patented to 
him by President U. S. Grant, May 10, 1875. 

John T. Smith came to Cottonwood county in 1870 or 1871 and built 
a store at Big Bend, where it was supposed that the railroad would cross 
the river and the county seat finally located. He had about five or six hun- 
dred dollars and began business with a very small stock of goods. The rail- 
road did not cross at the bend, where Charles Chamberlin had induced a 
preliminary survey and located the capital of the county. Windom "was 
born" in 187 1 and with it the bright prospects and fond hopes of Big Bend 
were blighted. Mr. Smith's store was soon removed and no trace of Cham- 
berlin's citv nor his papers remains. Mr. Smith built a modest little store 
at Heron Lake about the time the railroad reached Worthington and began 
business there. Possessing good business tact, he entered upon a very suc- 
cessful era, gradually increasing his trade. Later, he opened stores in other 
towns, where he was quite successful and gained considerable wealth. 



HIGHWATER TOWNSHIP. 

Congressional township 108. range 37 west, is styled Highwater town- 
ship, and of which name further mention will be made. In this connection 
it may be stated that when the government surveyors came here to do their 
work, they found a white man named Charles Zierke, but known as "Dutch 
Charlie," living with an Indian woman in this township, and he is supposed 
to have been the first white man in the limits of the count}'. 

Highwater township is bounded at the north by Redwood county, on 
the east by Germantown township, on the south by Storden township, and 
at its west is Ann township. Tts surface is a beautiful, undulating prairie 
country, with frequent small prairie creeks, some of which, with the settle- 
ment of the country, have dried up. This has come t<> be one of the wealthy 
agricultural sections of Cottonwood county, and the land has long since all 
been taken up and well improved. The present owners are a prosperous 
people, who are enjoying life, as but few of the first settlers could do. on 
account of the early-day drawbacks — prairie fires, drought, grasshoppers, 
etc. There are no villages or railroads within the northern tier of town- 
(10) 



I46 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

ships, including Highwater. General farming- and stock raising are the chief 
pursuits of the landowners of this portion of the county. 

In 1895 trie township had a population of 569; in 1900 it had 512 and, 
according to the 19 10 United States census returns, there were 591 inhabi- 
tants in the township. 

ORGANIZATION. 

Highwater was organized by the board of county commissioners at the 
session of January, 1874, when township 108, range 37, was declared a 
civil township of Cottonwood county. The county commissioners called the 
first election to be held in the new township for January 24, 1874, the same 
to be held at the school bouse in district Xo. 3. The name was fixed as 
"Highwater," after the creek of the same name, which was thus called at an 
early day on account of its quick rising after a rain storm. This territory 
was detached from Amo township of former days. 

PIONEER SETTLEMENT. 

Some of the earliest land entries in the county were effected within 
Highwater township. Without regard to who might have been first, second 
or third, the following brief transcript from the public records show many 
of the early land entries. Most all of the persons who thus homesteaded or 
pre-empted land in this township in the seventies and eighties became per- 
manent settlers and reared families, and much of the land originally entered 
is still held by members of the family, while not a few of the settlers are 
still residing in the places in which they located more than a third of a 
century ago. 

Andrew Larson claimed, as a homestead, land in the north half of the 
southwest quarter and the south half of the northwest quarter of section 
26, of this township, at the New Ulm land office, under President U. S. 
Grant's administration and signed by him on January 10. 1878. 

John Larson claimed land under the homestead act of 1862, in the 
north half of the southwest quarter and the southwest quarter of the north- 
west quarter of section 2, September 14, 1878, signed by 1 "resident U. S. 
Grant, and the entry was effected at the Xew Ulm land office. 

Jeremiah Lott homesteaded land in the east half of the southwest quar- 
ter of section 14; it was patented to him by President U. S. Grant and dated 
August 20, 1875; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm. 

Francis M. Smith claimed, under his homestead rights, land situated 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN' COUNTIES, MINN. I47 

in the southeast quarter of section 24. and it was patented to him by Presi- 
dent U. S. Grant, dated September 15. 1874: it was entered at the land 
office at Jackson. 

Halvor Knudtson homesteaded land in the west half of the southeast 
quarter of section iS; it was patented to him on January 20. 1881, and the 
instrument was signed by President Hayes, the entry being made at the land 
office at New Ulm. 

Knud Olson homesteaded land in the west half of the northwest quar- 
ter of section 28. and it was patented to him by President James A. Gar- 
field, dated June 20, 1881. This land was entered at the land office at 
Tracy. 

Elias Warner homesteaded land in the south half of the southwest 
quarter of section 18; it was patented to him on February 20, 1882. by 
President Chester A. Arthur ; the land was entered at the land office at New 
Ulm. 

Frederick Jauck homesteaded land in the north half of the southwest 
quarter of section 10; it was patented to him by President Hayes and dated 
February 10, t88i ; it was entered through the land office at New Ulm. 

Ole Esteson located a homestead in the west half of the southeast quar- 
ter of section 18, and it was patented to him by President James A. Garfield 
and signed on June 20, 1881 : it was entered at the land office at Tracy. 

Frithjof Riis selected a homestead in the east half of the northeast 
quarter of section 28. and it was patented to him by President Hayes and 
dated January 20, 1881 ; it was entered at the land office at Xew Ulm. 

John Olson lv>me>teaded land in the west half of the southwest quarter 
and the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of section 24. It was 
patented by President James A. Garfield and signed by him on .May 3, 1881; 
it was entered in the land office at New Ulm. 

George 1!. Walker homesteaded the south half of the northwest quarter 
of section 30, and it was patented to him by President Hayes and was 
signed by him on June 24, 1878. 

Alse H. Ophime homesteaded land in the north half of the southeast 
quarter of section 28; it was entered at the land office at Tracy and was 
patented by President Chester A. Arthur, who signed it on November 1, 
1 881. 

Wilhelm Jeick homesteaded land in the south half of the northeast 
quarter of section 10, and it was patented by President James A. Garfield, 
who signed same June 20, 1881. 



I4§ COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Hartman Loomis homesteaded land in the southwest quarter of section 
6; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm and was patented by Presi- 
dent Chester A. Arthur, signed by him on June 20, 1882. 

Svend S. Loeny had patented to him a homestead, signed by President 
U. S. Grant, March 1, 1876, the entry being made at the land office at Xew 
Ulm. This land is situated in the north half of the northwest quarter of 
section 32. 

Lars Halvorson homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 14, the 
patent was signed by President Hayes. February ip, 1881, and the land 
entry was at the land office at Worthington. 

Christian Oleson claimed, under the homestead act of 1862, the south 
half of the northeast quarter and the northeast quarter of the southwest 
quarter of section 24; it was signed by President James A. Garfield, June 
20, 1 88 1. and was entered at the Tracy land office. 

Andrew Overson homesteaded the north half of the southeast quarter 
of section 30 ; it was patented by President James A. Garfield and signed 
by him on June 20. 1881. 

Ole Nelson Beck had patented to him the east half of the southeast 
quarter of section 26, the land was entered at the land office at New Ulm 
during President Hayes' administration and was signed by him on January 
20, 1881. 

Peter Pettersen, at the Tracy land office, secured land under the home- 
stead act, the same was described as being the south half of the northeast 
quarter of section 34. This homestead was signed by President James A. 
Garfield on June 20. 188 1. 

Aslask Torgerson, at the land office at Tracy, had patented to him by 
President James \. Garfield, the west half of the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 18; the instrument was signed by President Garfield on June 20, 1881. 

William < reik, at the New Ulm land office, claimed under the homestead 
act, land in the south half of the southeast quarter and the south half of the 
southwest quarter of section to; the patent was signed by the hand of Presi- 
dent U. S. Grant, October 5, 1873. 

John Roth homesteaded land in the northeast quarter of section 22. 
and had it patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur and signed on 
February 10. 1883. 

Andreas 11. Rongstad, at the Xew Ulm land office, secured his right 
to a homestead in the east half of tin' northeasl quarter of section 34; the 
patent was signed by President James A. Garfield, May 3. [881. 

Andrew Pederson homesteaded the north half of the northeast quarter 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I49 

of section 34, at the Tracy land office and had his patent finally issued hy 
President James A. Garfield on June 20, 1881. 

Ole A. Thollongbakken. at the Tracy land office, entered as his home- 
stead the north half of the northeast quarter of section 6, and he had the 
same patented to him by President Grover Cleveland, who signed it April 
25, 1885. 

Ollare Hanson, at the Tracy land office, entered his homestead in the 
north half of the southwest cjuarter of section 34, and had his patent issued 
to him by President James A. Garfield, June 20, 1881. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Jens Jacobson pre-empted the land in section 2, of this township, the 
entry being filed at the land office at New Ulm, and the papers were signed 
by President U. S. Grant, May 20, 1874. 

Lowitz Larson Tatdal, at the Xew Ulm land office, pre-empted the 
south half of the southwest quarter of section 32, and his papers were signed 
by President U. S. Grant, in May, 1874. 

John A. Monson, at the land office at New Ulm. pre-empted the north- 
east quarter of the northwest quarter and the northwest of the northeast 
of section 8, his final papers being signed by President U. S. Grant, X« mem- 
ber 10, 1875. 

Martin Erickson claimed land under the pre-emption act at the land 
office at New Ulm, and his papers were signed by President U. S. Grant, 
May 20. 1874. 

A. Torgerson, at the New Ulm land office, pre-empted the south half 
of the southwest quarter of section 18, the same being issued to him by 
President U. S. Grant, May 20, 1874. 

Henry A. Piredli, at the New Ulm land office, pre-empted the land in 
this township and his papers were signed by President Hayes, January 20, 
1881. 

A. G. Quale pre-empted land in the west half of the southeast quarter 
of section 8, the papers being signed by President Hayes on January 10, 

1879. 

Christian Olen, at the land office at New Ulm, pre-empted land in the 
south half of the northwest quarter of section 22, the papers being signed 
by President Hayes on May 24, 187a 

Lars Larson Evanger, at the land office at New Ulm, pre-empted the 



I50 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 

east half of the southeast quarter of section 24, and had his papers verified 
by President U. S. Grant, April 10, 1875. 

Ingeborg Erickson pre-empted land at the land office at New Ulm, the 
same being the west half of the southeast quarter of section 20; the papers 
were signed by President U. S. Grant, May 20, 1874. 



LAKESIDE TOWNSHIP. 

Lakeside township is the second township from the eastern line of 
Cottonwood county, and is on the south line, comprising all of congressional 
township 105, range 35 west. It is bounded on the north by Carson town- 
ship, on the east by Mountain Lake, on the south by Jackson county and 
on the west by Great Bend township. In this section some of the earliest 
settlements in the county were effected. The village of Bingham Lake is 
situated within Lakeside township, the history of which appears further on 
in this chapter. The township is traversed by the Chicago, St. Paul, Min- 
neapolis & Omaha railroad. The township once had a large number of 
lakes, some of which have long since disappeared through drainage systems, 
but there are others still in existence — Bingham lake, near the village; Fish 
lake, in the south part of the township; Cottonwood lake. Clear lake. etc. 
This is an ideal farming township — good soil, near to good market towns, 
close to the county seat and a population of intelligent citizens, whose aim 
in life is to thrive and do all they can for the advancement of churches and 
public schools. 

The population of Lakeside township in 1S95 was 547; in T 9°° it was 
592 and according to the census returns in 1910 it had 449 population. 

ORGANIZATION. 

This township became a separate civil township by an act of the board 
of county commissioners at their meeting in the month of August. 1870, 
as comprising all of congressional township 105. range 35 west. 

FIRST SETTLERS AND LAND ENTRIES. 

The best evidence of names and dates concerning the settlement of this 
township is the record shown at the court house at Windom, which discloses 
the following entries of homesteads and pre-emption claims : 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 5 1 

August L. Brown had patented to him a homestead in the southwest 
quarter of section 22; the filing was dated at the Worthington land office 
and bore the signature of President U. S. Grant. 

Charles F. Sheldon claimed the east half of the southwest quarter of 
section 32, of this township, as a homestead, the same being patented on 
December 24, 1877, and signed by President U. S. Grant. 

Charles Breech claimed the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter 
of section 32 for a homestead on December 24, 1877, the papers bearing the 
signature of President U. S. Grant. 

Osgood H. Dinnell. on May 23, 1878, homesteaded the northwest quar- 
ter of section 2, at the Jackson land office, with the signature of President 
U. S. Grant attached thereto. 

M. Mathews homesteaded the northeast quarter of the northeast quar- 
ter of section 4, May 29, 1878; the patent was signed by President U. S. 
Grant; the transaction was made at the Worthington land office. 

Samuel C. Taggert homesteaded the northeast of section 22, June 5, 
187; the patent was signed by President U. S. Grant, from the Worthington 
land office. 

Ebenezer A. Hatch homesteaded, at the Worthington land office, the 
north half of the southeast quarter of section 10, the papers being signed 
August 26, 1878, by President U. S. Grant. 

Kirk W. Sheldon claimed the northwest quarter of section 28 and had 
it patented to him by President U. S. Grant, who signed it July 1, T875. 
The entry was made through the land office at Worthington. 

Henrv W. Burbank homesteaded land in the west half of the northeast 
quarter of section 34, the patent being issued by President Hayes on De- 
cember 13, 1870. through the Worthington land office. 

David P. Jaqua claimed a homestead under the act of E862, in the 
southeast quarter of the nordieast quarter of section 4, the patent being 
signed by President Hayes, through the Worthington land office, December 
12, 1877. 

Myron Parr homesteaded the south half of the southeast quarter of 
section 10, President Hayes signing the patent on December 13, 1879. 

Eber Morton claimed a homestead in the south half of the southeasl 
quarter of section 18, the patent being signed by I 'resident Hayes, June 15, 
1880, through the Worthington land office. 

Jacob W. Grant homesteaded the east half of the southeasl quarter of 
section 28, the patent being signed by President Hayes on December 13. 
1880, the entry being made at the land office at Worthington. 



I5 2 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Frank Parso homesteaded land in the northwest quarter of the south- 
west quarter and the south half of the southeast quarter of section 32. His 
patent was signed by President Hayes on June 10, 1879, and the entry was 
made at the Worthington land office. 

Henry C. Barr homesteaded land in the east half of the northeast quar- 
ter of section 20, and had his patent signed by President Hayes on January 
20, 1 88 1, the entry being effected through the land office at New Ulm. 

Chester X. Lewis homesteaded land in the south half of the southwest 
quarter of section 20. His patent was issued under the signature of Presi- 
dent Hayes and was dated June 15, 1880; the entry was made at the land 
office at Worthington. 

William C. Banks homesteaded land in the southeast quarter of section 
28, and it was patented to him by President Hayes, signed on August 5, 
1877, the entry being made at the land office at Worthington. 

William J. Leisure claimed a homestead under the act of 1862, in the 
southeast quarter of section 14; it was patented to him by President U. S. 
Grant and signed on February 1, 1873; tne entry was effected at the land 
office at Jackson. 

John W. Mathews homesteaded land in the west half of the northeast 
quarter of section 10. It was patented to him by President Hayes, through 
the land office at Worthington, December 30. 1879. 

Judson F. Pearson homesteaded land in the southwest quarter of the 
southwest quarter of section 4, and his patent was signed by President 
Hayes on December 30. 1880; the entry was made at the land office at 
Worthington. 

John Edwin Hemme homesteaded land in the north half of the south- 
east quarter of section 20; it was patented to him by President Hayes, 
signed by him on December 20, 1877; the entry was effected at the land 
office at Worthington. 

Simeon Greenfield claimed a homestead under the act of March 20, 
1862, in the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter and lot No. 1. in 
section 28.. It was patented to him by President Hayes and signed by him 
Decemher 3c, [880, and entered at the land office at Worthington. 

James C. Porter claimed a homestead in the east half of the southeast 
quarter of section 30; also in the west half of the southeast quarter. His 
patent was signed by President Chester A. Arthur, ami was dated Decem- 
ber 20. 1 88' 1. 

Charles Maxon homesteaded land in the west half of the northeast 
quarter of section 20; it was patented to him by President Hayes and signed 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 53 

by him on November 5, 1N7S; it was secured at the land office at Worth- 
ington. 

Elizabeth P. Carpenter homesteaded the northwest quarter of the 
northeast quarter and lot No. 2, in section 4. The patent was issued by 
President Hayes, and signed by him on December 20, 1S77; the entry was 
made at the land office at Worthington. 

Polly R. Young homesteaded the west half of the southwest quarter 
of section 2. and had the same patented to her by President Haves, June 15, 
1881. This entry was at the Worthington land office. 

Seth S. Johnson homesteaded, April 9. 1881, at the Worthington land 
office, the south half of the southeast quarter of section 18, this township. 
The patent was signed by President James A. Garfield, and the entry was 
made at the land office at Worthington. 

Albert C. Innes homesteaded, at the Worthington land office, the east 
half of the southeast quarter of section 12, the patent being signed on 
March 15, 1882, by President Chester A. Arthur. 

John J. Young homesteaded the land in lot 4, in the southeast quarter 
of the southwest quarter of section 4. It was patented by President Chester 
A. Arthur, and signed on October 1, 1883, the entry being effected through 
the land office at Worthington. 

Elizabeth Moffatt homesteaded land in the southwest quarter of section 
24, the same beiiiL;" filed at the land office at Worthington, and finally pat- 
ented by President Chester A. Arthur on October 26, 1883. 

Andrew Greenlee homesteaded land under the act of 1862 at the land 
office located at Worthington, and had same patented to him on June 5, 
1884. by President Chester A. Arthur. Tt was situated in the east half of 
the southeast quarter of section 30. 

Andrew L. Ely homesteaded land by entry at the land office at Worth- 
ington. the same being the northwest quarter of section 22; it was patented 
by President Hayes "ti December 13, 1879. 

David Fast claimed a homestead in the north half of the northeast 
quarter of section 2; it was entered at the land office at Worthington, and 
patented by President Cleveland, January 9, [886. 

Montgomery Milford homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 20, 
at the land office at Worthington, and the patent was issued by President 
Chester A. Arthur, June 5, 1884. 

Israel Burbank homesteaded lot No. 3. in section 34, at the land office 
at Jackson; the same was patented by President U. S. Grant. May 26, 1873. 



154 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

John D. Cook, at the Worthington land office, pre-empted the west half 
of the northeast quarter of section 14, and on September 10, 1880, it was 
patented to him by President Hayes. 

Joseph A. Hoople, at the Worthington land office, entered the west 
half of the northwest quarter and the west half of the southwest quarter of 
section 12, and his papers were signed by President Chester A. Arthur. 
January 20, 1885. 

John Button entered the west half of the northeast quarter of section 
26, this township, and had his papers signed by President U. S. Grant, 
April 1. 1875. 

Phillip Linscheid, at the Marshall land office, entered the northeast 
quarter of the southeast quarter of section 10. the final papers being signed 
by President Grover Cleveland, June 4, 1895. 

Marcellus H. Better, at the Jackson land office, entered the west half of 
the northeast quarter and the southeast quarter of the northeast quarter and 
the northwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 8. President U. S. 
Grant signed his patent papers. 

Henry Clark filed on the southwest quarter of section 10 at the Jackson 
land office, and the same was patented to him by President U. S. Grant. 
September 2, 1872. 

Tames W. Thorn entered land in this township, in the north half of the 
northwest quarter of section 34: it was entered at the land office at Jackson, 
and finally patented by President U S. Grant, May 15. 1873. 



VILLAGE OF BINGHAM LAKE. 

This sprightly little village is situated in Lakeside township, in section 
9, township 105, range 35 west, and was platted by the officers of the St. 
Paul & Siimx City Railroad Company. July 28, 1S75. 

The village of Bingham Lake was made a separate corporation from 
Lakeside township in 1900, Its municipal improvements have not as yet 
materialized to any great extent; it has no water or lighting system. 

The postomce at Bingham Lake was established in 1872 and the first 
postmaster was Daniel Davis, who held the office until 1886. Among the 
postmasters who have served since that time are Samuel Taggert. John J. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 155 

Goertzen and C. F. Hiebert. The present postmaster is John J. Gaertzen. 
The postal receipts for the last fiscal year, exclusive of money orders, 
amounted to one thousand two hundred and four dollars and twenty-nine 
cents. The money order department yielded one thousand five hundred 
dollars. Two rural routes serve the country communities. 

TILE FACTORY. 

The tile factory at Bingham Lake has in the past been operated with 
various degrees of success. However, not until the business management 
of the concern came under the direction of John Henderson, has the plant 
attained a perfect success. At the present time the plant is running at its 
full capacity, employing eleven men and making six to eight thousand tile a 
day. 

PIONEER BUSINESS MEN. 

Daniel C. Davis was the first permanent settler in the village of Bing- 
ham Lake and, in company with R. P. Mathews, established all the corners 
of the townsites. Upon coming to the village, Mr. Davis opened a general 
store and continued to operate it for three years. He was appointed post- 
master in 1S72, and served until 1886/ It is rather of an interesting fact 
that at the end of the first three months, after taking out his own salary 
and office expenses, the government's share of the receipts was three cents. 

Mr. Davis bought his first stock of goods, amounting to three thousand 
•six hundred dollars, in Xew York, as goods could be bought much cheaper 
in the East than at St. Paul or Minneapolis. However, he greatly over- 
estimated the needs of the people and bad to dispose of a great amount of 
his stock to Windom merchants. During the grasshopper days he supplied 
many needy people with provisions, trusting that when they were able he 
would receive payment, but in many cases his accommodations and sacrifices 
were lost sight of and the money was never forthcoming. 

In 1R72 the plat of ground set aside for a park was broken up by Mr. 
Davis and planted with trees. They were not taken as good care of as they 
should have been, with the result that the prairie fires destroyed most of 
them. A few of the original trees are still standing, but the majority have 
been planted within the last thirty years. 

Among the early business-men, besides Mr. Davis, were, Mr. ("lines, 
who came from Lake City. He sold bis business to Mr. Young, who was 
burned out. A. J. Bueller was another one of the early merchant-. He 



I56 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

remained in the village for a while and finally sold out and went to Mon- 
tana. D. J. Hiehert was also one of the early business-men and did a large 
and profitable business for many years. 

One of the early landmarks of the village is still standing, and that is 
the first house erected in the village by Mr. Davis and now occupied by 
William Evans. It is in a good state of preservation and looks better than 
many of the houses erected in the last few years. 

By noticing the present business directory one can see that there has 
been a great change since the early settlement of the village. Almost every 
line of business is now represented, and although the village is destined to 
never become a large town, yet it is growing because the merchants are 
wideawake and prosperous and the village is located in the midst of a fine 
farming community, which is the chief basis for all growth. 

COMMERCIAL INTERESTS IN I916. 

The business interests of Bingham Lake were represented by the fol- 
lowing people in 1916: 

Bank — First State Bank. 

Barber — Frank E. Hyde. 

Blacksmith— W. J. Butler. 

Brick Plant — John Henderson. 

Creamery — Bingham Lake Creamery. 

Elevator — St. John Grain Company, The Liem Elevator. 

General Dealer — Holt & Wickland. 

Harness Shop — Erickson & Anderson. 

Implement Dealer — Charles A. Liem. 

Meat Market— Henry Wessel. 

Livery — Joseph Morton. 

Lumber Dealer — S. L. Rogers Lumber Company. 

Restaurant — J. J. Soltau. 

Stock Buyer — C. S. Cain. X. P. Minion. 

Telephone — Windom Mutual, Northwestern. 



MIDWAY TOWNSHIP. 



Midway township is the central sub-division of the county, on the 
eastern border, and comprises all of congressional township 106, range 34 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 157 

west. It is south of Selma township, west of the line between Cottonwood 
and Watonwan counties, and north of Mountain Lake township. The village 
of Mountain Lake is within this township and was named "Midway,'' but 
latter changed on petition of the citizens. Originally, this township had 
numerous swamps and lakelets, but with the flight of years they have nearly 
all been reclaimed, and now growing crops wave over their surface. The 
soil is of unexcelled fertility in these old lake and pond beds. Hundreds of 
miles of private farm tiling have made this one of the best sections in the 
county, and still the work is going on. 

This township, as are others adjoining it, is largely settled by Russians, 
who came in to this part of the county in great colonies about 1870 and 
later. They still retain many of their foreign notions, but are thorough 
farmers and good citizens. If they have any special hobby it is that of 
supporting an almost endless number of different kinds of Mennonite 
churches, which practically are the same, only for some special feature. 

The population in 1895 was 5 2 &: H1 '9°° it had reached 607, and ac- 
cording to the United States census reports of 1910 it was placed at 658. 

TOWNSHIP ORGANIZATION. 

This township was organized by the count}- commissioners board in 
.March. 1895, from territory once included in Mountain Lake township, the 
new town-hip taking in township 100, range 34, west. The first meeting and 
township election were called by the board to meet at the house of Cor- 
nelius Janzen, March 16. 1895. 

EARLY SETTLERS. 

The records show the following land entries in this township: 

Joseph A. Belling homesteaded, March [8, [878, at the New Ulm land 
office, the northeast quarter of section 4, the patent being signed by Presi- 
dent U. S. Grant. 

William Seeger homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 2, at the 
Xew Ulm land office, the patent being signed by President Haves. March 1 }. 
1879. 

F. Tow- homesteaded the south half of the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 28, at the land office located at Tracy and it was patented t<> him by 
President ('buster A. Arthur. March 10, 1883. 

Apollos S. Yale, on February to. [883, had patented to him by Presi- 



I58 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

dent Chester A. Arthur, a homestead in the northeast quarter of section 30, 
the same haying heen entered in the land office at Tracy. 

* Thomas Curley, at the Tracy land office, had a homestead which was situ- 
ated in the south half of the southeast quarter of section 2, the same was 
patented by President Chester A. Arthur, May 10, 1883. 

Asa L. Warren homesteaded the south half of the southwest quarter of 
section 34, at the land office at New Ulm, and had the same patented to him by 
President U. S. Grant, February 20, 1877. 

Morris Dunn homesteaded the west half of the southeast quarter of 
section 10 and the south half of the northeast quarter of the same section, all 
within township 106, range 34, west. It was patented to him by President 
Chester A. Arthur, May 3, 1884. 

Martin Carty homesteaded the northeast half of the southeast quarter 
of section 2, the entry being made at the New Ulm land office; the patent 
was issued to him by President Hayes, January 20, 1881. 

Henry Goosen, at the Tracy land office, entered as his homestead the 
west half of the southwest quarter of section 12; the same was patented by 
President .Arthur, March 10, 1883. 

Henry F. Billings homesteaded at the New Ulm land office the east half 
of the northeast quarter of section 34; it was patented by President U. S. 
Grant, December 1, 1873. 

Paul Seeger homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 20; it was 
entered at the land office at New Ulm and patented by President U. S. Grant, 
May 20, 1873. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Alonzo R. Phillips, at the New Ulm land office, pre-empted the south- 
west quarter of the southwest quarter of section 8; President Haves signed 
the papers on May 24, 1879. 

I lenry M. Kroeker, at the land office at Marshall, entered the southeast 
quarter of the southeast quarter of section 30, the final papers being certi- 
fied to by I'resident Benjamin Harrison, March 9, 1893. 

Ruth M. Chandler, at the land office at New Ulm. entered the north half 
of the southwest quarter of section 34, President U. S. Grant signing the 
final papers on May 15, 1876. 

Caroline Quiring, at the New Ulm land office, entered the south half of 
the southeast quarter of section 4. President Hayes signing the papers on 
January 20, 1881. 

Albert Wigton entered at the New Ulm land office, the west half of the 



rONWOOD AND WATOXWAX COUNTIES, MINN. 159 

southeast quarter of section 6, President Hayes issuing the papers on July 
24. [879. 

MOUNTAIN LAKE VILLAGE. 

The village of Mountain Lake received its name from the lake of the 
same name, located about two miles southeast of the village. In the center 
of the lake was an island almost circular in form, flat on top and rising out 
of the water about forty feet. The upper part of the island was covered 
with trees which could be seen for many miles. This spot served as a land- 
mark and a guide for many of the early settlers. 

Xear this lake and island the railroad station was first located. In time 
the station was moved to the present site and the name of the village was 
changed to Midway, but the name proving unsatisfactory, was changed back 
t< ' Mountain Lake. 

The village was platted in 1870, but made little progress until after the 
building of the railroad in 1873. In this year, three general stores were 
doing business in the village and were owned by S. J. Soule, J. Lynch and 
Paul Seeger. The store owned by Seeger was probably the first and was 
located on the site of the State Bank. The store room was very small, but 
was quite adequate to the needs of the times. Mr. Seeger came from Curnea, 
Russia, in 1873. and settled on the first claim in the vicinity of .Mountain 
Lake. He was also among the first postmasters. The first blacksmith was 
Carl Penner, who later moved away and died in California. Among other 
earlv business men in the village were Howard Soule, Jacob Reiner, John 
Janzen and Abraham Penner. 

With the coming of the railroad, immigration set in rapidly and the 
village grew by leaps and bounds. In 1886 the village was incorporated 
with a population of three hundred people, mostly Mennonites from south- 
ern Russia. 

Among other business factors in the village have been the following: 

Jacob Heier. who began the furniture business in 1878 south of the 
railroad track, settled in Mountain Lake in 1874 and began work as a car- 
penter. David Ewert, who in 1880 opened a lumber yard and store in 
partnership with H. P. Goertz, came to the village in 1878. P. II. Goosen, 
the blacksmith, who came into the village in 1875. H. P. Goertz, one of 
the very earliest settlers and among the very few living in the town, started 
business with David Ewert and in 1882 started in the lumber business for 
himself. He also settled in the village in 1875. Henry Hammer located 
in the village in 1883 and opened up a harness shop in 1877. Mr. Hammer 



ibO COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

first settled on a tree claim, eight miles north of the village. Frank Balzer 
entered into the lumber business in 1886 and still operates his place of busi- 
ness. Balzer & Hiebert opened a general store in 1888. Mr. Balzer, the 
druggist, began the drug business in 1889. John C. Hiebert became a dealer 
in general merchandise in 1891. Abraham Nickel, the harness man, began 
business in 1891. Edward Rupp, merchant, began business in 1892. A. E. 
Woodruff opened a large merchandise store in- 1894. Thiessen Brothers 
began their implement business in 1895 . In 1896 Julien Glasman opened a 
new meat market. John Jungas began the operation of a shoe store in 
1897. In 1898 P. P. Goertzen a jewelry store and was cptite successful. 

One of the early physicians to locate in the village was Dr. John Wat- 
son, a graduate of Bellone Medical College, New York City. He began the 
practice of medicine in Mountain Lake in 1901. 

Among other men who have contributed to the business welfare of the 
town are, J. D. Schroeder, J. J. Unruh, Theo. Nickel and G. D. Schroeder. 

Among other early settlers have been the following: Abraham Funk, 
1875; H. Goosen and G. Gerdes in the early seventies; Abraham J. Fa-t, 
[875; Henry J. Fast, 1875; Gerhard Neufeld, 1878; Jacob P. Harder. 1873: 
John Janzen, 1873; Henry Dickman and Peter Dick (Krim). 

MUNICIPAL. 

The village of Mountain Lake became separated from the township in 
1886. A Penner was the first president of the town council and John Jan- 
zen, the first recorder. The present officers are inclusive of the following: 
President, J. H. Dickman; treasurer, F. F. Schroeder; recorder. M. S. Han- 
son; trustees, John Jungas, D. Heppner and A. Janzen; marshal, William 
Burk; justices, Herman -Teichroew and John P. Rempel ; constables, J. J. 
Brown and W. Burk ; assessor, Herman Teichroew. 

Tlie town is very active in the way of improvements. Twenty thousand 
dollars have been spent in installing a water-works system. The town is 
furnished with water from a drilled well four hundred and fifty feet deep. 
three hundred feet of which is drilled through solid rock. 

POSTOFFICE. 

The postoffice at Mountain Lake was one of the first government offices 
established in the county and at the present time its receipts are the second 
largest in the county, amounting to four thousand three hundred dollars. 




BETHEL CHURCH, MOUNTAIN' LAKE. 




FARM VIEW NEAR MOUNTAIN LAKE. 




GERMAN SCHOOL, MOUNTAIN LAKE. 




HICH SCHOOL, MOUNTAIN LAKE. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. l6l 

exclusive of money orders, for the last fiscal year. Four rural routes serve 
the country people from this office. Among the postmasters who have held 
the office are the following: Howard Sonler, John Janzen, Abraham Siem- 
ens, Joe Wigton, J. D. Schroeder and I. I. Rargen. Mr. Bargen, the present 
postmaster, has served in the capacity continuously for the last fourteen 
years and although a Republican, received his last appointment under a 
Democratic administration. 

THE COMMERCIAL CLUB. 

The Mountain Lake Commercial Club began its existence on March i, 
1915. In the beginning the membership numbered nearly one hundred, but 
since the number has decreased until there are only about eighty members. 
The club is composed of business and professional men in Mountain Lake 
and neighboring communities. A great many public questions have been 
brought up and discussed at the meetings with the result that a great deal 
of good has been accomplished. Among the questions have been those of 
sewerage, roads, a public rest room, etc. The officers who were first elected 
still retain their offices. They include the following: President, Frank 
Balzer; vice-president, Henry P. Goertz; secretary, D. G. Hiebert; treas- 
urer, F. F. Schroeder; executive committee, Dr. W. A. Piper, D. C. Balzer 
and A. A. Penner. 

The purpose of the club is to bring into one organization, the business 
and professional men of Mountain Lake and vicinity, so that by frequent 
meetings and the full interchange of views, they may secure an intelligent 
unity and harmony of action, that shall result to their own benefit, as well 
as the future development of the community in which they live. 

MENNONITE HOSPITAL. 

The Mennonite hospital of Mountain Lake began its existence about 
1905. The organization included only local men, among whom were, H. P. 
Goertz, D. Ewert, J. D. Hiebert, F. Balzer, J. H. Dickman, J. G. Hiebert. 
For a few years the institution was run without much success. Finally, 
in 1912. the company was reorganized and the institution sold to the Bethel 
Deaconess Home, of Newton, Kansas, and is now considered as a branch 
of it. The hospital is managed by a local board consisting of one member 
from each of the five Mennonite churches. H. P. Goertz is president of 
the board ; D. P. Eitzen, secretary ; Aaron Peters, treasurer. 



1 62 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

The physicians in charge are Doctor Piper, of Mountain Lake, and 
Doctor Sogge, of Windom, who are assisted by three sisters and two or three 
helpers. In 19 15 the institution had sixty-four patients and thirty-two 
operations were performed. 

ELECTRIC LIGHT AND FIRE COMPANY. 

Ill 1913 the Mountain Lake Milling Company installed an electric light 
plant which furnishes the town with electricity. However, arrangements 
have been made whereby connections are to be made with the Rapidan sys- 
tem and hereafter light will be furnished by that concern. 

The rire company is composed of fourteen men, well supplied with a 
fire engine, hose, ladders, chemical tanks and other necessary fire equip- 
ment. The present indebtedness of the town is about thirteen thousand 
dollars. 

INDUSTRIES. 

David Hiebert, who came from Russia, started the Mountain Lake 
flour-mill in 1875. He conducted the business for a period of ten years of 
time. He sold to Neuheld & Friesen, who after two or three years sold to 
Abraham Penner. Mr. Penner was not a miller and therefore was not very 
successful. He soon sold out to Diedricks & Hiebert, the present owners, who 
after running the business for four years, formed an incorporated company 
known as the Mountain Lake Roller Milling Company. The officers at 
present are : President, J. J. Diedricks ; vice-president, J. J. Hiebert ; sec- 
retary-treasurer, D. G. Hiebert. The company is incorporated for forty 
thousand dollars. The capacity of the mill is one hundred and twenty bar- 
rels per day. Their special brands of flour are "White Rose," a first-grade 
flour, and "Natural Patent," a second-grade flour. Besides they make rye, 
graham, wheat graham, corn meal and rye flour. An elevator is run in con- 
nection with the mill which has a capacity of ten thousand bushels. 

At the time of incorporation, an electric plant was installed in connec- 
tion with the mill and was very successful. Recently, however, an oppor- 
tunity presented itself of securing better service by connecting with the Con- 
sumers Power Company. The Milling' Company has just entered into a 
ten-year contract with the above company, service to begin on October 1, 
1916. The Milling Company continues to distribute light and power. 

The Farmers' Co-operative Creamery at Mountain Lake was organized 
about June 1, 1908. The company owns their own building, which was 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 163 

built especially for the purpose and is doubtless the best and most completely 
equipped of any in the county. The plant has a capacity of about ten thou- 
sand pounds of butter per week, but the amount turned out at the present time 
amounts to about four thousand pounds per week, all of which has a ready 
market in the local community and Chicago. During the month of July, 
1916, the creamery had one hundred and ten patrons. 

SMALL CONFLAGRATIONS. 

Mountain Lake has been very fortunate in not having many destructive 
fires. In 1897 tne elevators belonging to H. P. Goertz and E. G. Ter- 
williger were burned, causing a loss of six thousand dollars. It was the 
general belief at the time that the fire was of incendiary origin, but it was 
never proven. 

In 1900 the creamery owned by P. C. Hiebert burned, causing a loss of 
four thousand dollars, covered by insurance to the extent of two thousand 
dollars. 

On April 13, 1898, the Hubbard & Palmer elevator burned, causing a 
loss of six thousand dollars. Seven thousand bushels of wheat were 
destroyed. 

Hiebert Brothers' elevator was burned on January 30, 1899. At the 
same time an attempt was made to burn the elevator belonging to Hubbard 
& Palmer. All the losses were covered bv insurance. 



MOUNTAIN LAKE TOWNSHIP. 

The southeastern corner township in Cottonwood is Mountain Lake. 
It comprises all of congressional township 105, range 34, west, and is a 
full thirty-six section township. It is situated south of Midway township, 
west of the Watonwan county line, north from Jackson county and east of 
Lakewood township. It derives its name from the lake of that name within 
its borders, of which further mention will be made. The lake, as known 
to pioneers, is no more; it has long since been drained and grains and gras^ :s 
grow in its old bed. There are a few small prairie creeks in the township, 
but none of any considerable size. Except the southern suburbs of the 
village of Mountain Lake, which is in Midway township, there are no 
villages within Mountain Lake township, ft is excellent land and produces 
immense crops of all grains and grasses common to this latitude. It is set- 



164 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

tied very largely by Russians, who make first-class agriculturists, though 
many have methods peculiar to themselves. 

The population of the township in 1895 was 612; in 1900 it was 561 
and the United States census for 1900 gave it as having only 512. 

ORGANIZATION. 

Mountain Lake township was organized at a board meeting in 187 1, 
by a petition presented the board by Daniel D. Bates and many more, ask- 
ing that township 105, range 34 be set off and called Mountain Lake town- 
ship. The prayer was answered and the township organized by calling the 
first election at the house of A. A. Soule, Saturday, May 6, 1871. Daniel 
D. Bates, A. A. Soule and M. Jacobson were appointed judges of such elec- 
tion, and S. H. Soule was appointed clerk. The legal description of the 
new townships was: "Commencing at the northeast corner of township 105, 
range 34, thence south to the southeast corner of said township and range; 
thence west to the southwest corner of said township, thence east to the 
northeast corner of said township and to the northeast corner of said town- 
ship, thence to the place of beginning." 

PIONEER AND LATER LAND ENTRIES. 

The subjoined list of homesteads and pre-emption claims has been tran- 
scribed from the books in the register of deeds in the court house at Win- 
dom, and shows many entries, name of land office and by whom patented. 

A homestead claim was filed on August 25, 1873, by William H. Drake 
in the northwest quarter of section 4, township 105, range 34, west, at the 
Jackson land office, and signed by President U. S. Grant. 

Under the Soldiers Bounty Act of 1820, Abraham Mace, a private in 
Captain Wooster's company, Vermont militia, at the invasion of Plattsburg, 
during the War of 1812. was entitled to land, and his heirs laid claim to 
the southwest quarter of section 30, township [05, range 34, at the Jackson 
laud office: the same contains one hundred and fifty-six acres. 

1 'resident U. S. Grant signed the patent for a homestead on November 
4, 1874, for Julia T. Knowlton, from the Worthington land office, the same 
being land in the southeast quarter of section 30, township 105. range 34. 

Alfred ,\. Smile lmmcstcadcd, at the Jackson land office, the east half 
of the northwest quarter and the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter 
of section 2, in 1872. the same being signed by President U. S. Grant. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 165 

Ed. O. Zimmerman homesteaded at die Worthington land office die 
southwest quarter of section 20, the patent being signed by President Hayes, 
July 23, 1S78. 

James Cooney claimed, as a homestead, July 23, 1878, the east half of 
the northeast quarter of section 4, the patent was signed by President U. S. 
Grant: the papers came through the land office at Worthington. 

James B. Jones claimed a homestead in the southeast quarter of section 
14. and had it patented to him by President Hayes and signed on February 
10, 1881 ; it was secured at the Worthington land office. 

Eliza C. Huntington homesteaded the east half of the northeast quarter 
of section 30; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and was 
patented by President Hayes and by him signed on December 13, 1880. 

Simon Huntington homesteaded land in the west half of the northeast 
quarter of section 30; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and 
patented by President Hayes, who signed it on June 15, 1880. 

Cornelius Quiring homesteaded land in the west half of the southwest 
quarter of section 28; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and 
patented by President Chester A. Arthur and signed by him on April 5, 1883. 

Ole Christensen homesteaded the east half of the southeast quarter of 
section 12. at the land office at Worthington and had same patented to him 
by President U. S. Grant, who signed it on November 3, 1876. 

Peder Christensen claimed, as his homestead, the east half of the north- 
east quarter of section 12, and the same was patented to him by President 
U. S. Grant, and signed on December 1, 1876; the entry was made at Worth- 
ington land office. 

John Oglesby at the land office located at Worthington, claimed as his 
homestead the west half of the southeast quarter of' section 34 and his patent 
was issued by President Hayes, June 15, 1880. 

George Baumann. at the Worthington land office homesteaded the west 
half of the southeast quarter of section 18, and had same patented to him 
by President Hayes, who signed the papers on December 30, 1879. 

Joseph Meixell claimed as a homestead at the land office at Worthing- 
ton, the northwest quarter of section 28, and same was patented by President 
Have-. November 5, 1878. 

William Weibe homesteaded the north half of the northeast quarter of 
section 22, the entry being made at the land office at Worthington and pat- 
ented by President Chester A. Arthur, April 5, 1883. 

Christian Reinert homesteaded the northeast quarter of the southea 1 
quarter of section 22; also the northeast of the southwest of same section, 



1 66 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

the entry being made at the land office at Worthington and the final patent 
issued to him by President Chester A. Arthur, March 10, 1883. 

Charles F. Barnes homesteaded the west half of the northwest quarter 
of section 34, the entry being made at the land office at Worthington; the 
patent was issued by President Chester A. Arthur, March 15, 1884. 

Samuel E. Ford homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 18, and 
it was patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, April 5, 1883; the 
land was entered at the land office at Worthington. 

Heinrich Regehr, at the Worthington land office filed on the east half 
of the southwest quarter of section 34, and the same was patented to him 
by President Chester A. Arthur, June 5, 1884. 

Henry H. Winter homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 26. 
The entry was effected at the land office at Worthington and was finally pat- 
ented to him by President U. S. Grant, November 5, 1874. 

Thomas S. Potter homesteaded the north half of the northwest quarter 
of section 18, and the same was patented to him by President Grover Cleve- 
land, April 20, 1885. 

Martin Pepper homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 14 and 
his patent was signed by President Hayes, November 5, 1878; the entry was 
made at the land office at Worthington. 

Andreas Pleiler, at the land office, Worthington, filed on a homestead 
in northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 10, this township; 
it was patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, January 10, 1885. 

Jacob Dickson homesteaded the east half of the southeast quarter of 
section 28 and had the same patented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, 
April 5, 1883. ft was filed on at the land office in Worthington. 

Wilhelm Holzrichter had patented to him a homestead by President 
Chester A. Arthur, October 26, 1883, the same being the south half of the 
southwest quarter of section 18. It was filed on at the Worthington land 
office. 

David Wade homesteaded the south half of the northeast quarter of 
section 22, the same being entered at the land office at Worthington and 
finally patented by President Chester A. Arthur. March 10, 1883. 

Jacob Neufeld entered as a homestead at the land office at Worthing- 
ton, the northeast quarter of section 20, and had the same patented to him 
by President Grover Cleveland, August 10, 1S86. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 6/ 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Paul Seeger, at the Jackson land office, pre-empted the northeast quarter 
of section 4, President U. S. Grant signing his final papers. 

Martin Henderson pre-empted two quarters in this township at the 
land office at Jackson and the final papers were signed by President Chester 
A. Arthur. May 20, 1884. 

William H. Race, at the Worthington land office, pre-empted west half 
of the southwest quarter of section 12, the papers finally being verified hy 
President Hayes. March 20, 1877. 

D. D. Olfert pre-empted at the land office at Marshall, the southwest 
quarter of the southeast quarter of section 20, the papers being issued by 
President Benjamin Harrison, November 15, 1893. 

William Leder, at the land office at Marshall, pre-empted the south half 
of the northwest quarter of section 6, the papers being signed by President 
William McKinley, September 9, 1897. 

Frederick Maker pre-empted the east half of the southeast quarter of 
section 6, the papers being signed lay President U. S. Grant, May 20, 1874. 

Keziah M. Tingley, at the Jackson land office, entered the north half 
of the northeast quarter of section 34; President U. S. Grant signed his 
papers on April 1, 1875. 

Peter K. Voth entered land at the land office at Marshall, the same 
being described as the north half of the southeast quarter, and the south- 
east quarter of the southeast quarter of section 20; the final papers were 
signed by President Benjamin Harrison, March 1, 1892. 

The business interests and professions of Mountain Lake were repre- 
sented by the following in 1916: 

Auto garage — H. P. Goertz Auto Company, Peter Stoesz. 

Banks — First National, First State. 

Barber shop — Rempel & Harder. 

Blacksmith shops — Peter Go<>sen, Herman Kremin. 

Confectionery— J. J. Yogt, "The Pleasant Comer." 

Clothing — Janzen Brothers, J. N. Fast. 

Creamery — Farmers Co-operative Association. 

Creamerv station — Fairmount Creamery Company, Worthington 
Creamery Company, Hansford Creamery Company. 

Drug store— S. Balzer. 

Dray lines— J. P. F. Derksen, Dick & Heppner. 



l68 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Dentist — E. A. Rieke. 

Elevator — F. Schroeder, Hubbard & Palmer, Farmers Elevator Com- 
pany, Schaefer Brothers. 

Furniture dealer — Jacob Heir, J. J. Janzen. 

Feed store — D. D. Enns. 

General dealers — Balzer, Hiebert and Company, David Ewert, P. Geyer- 
man & Sons, Ed. Rupp. 

Hotel — The Commercial. 

Harness shop — Mens S. Hanson. 

Hardware dealers — J. J. Janzen, John Jungas. 

Implement dealers — Schroeder & Becker, Thiessen Brothers, Mountain 
Lake Implement Company. 

Jeweler — W. A. Nickel. 

Lumber dealers — H. P. Goertz, Frank Balzer and Company. 

Livery — George Hutgler. 

Mill — Mountain Lake Roller Milling Company. 

Milliners — Hiebert Sisters. 

Meat markets — George P. Derkson, T. J. Eickholt. 

Merchant tailor — Phil Nerstheimer. 

Newspaper — Mountain Lake Viczv and Unscr Beuucher. 

Physicians— Dr. P. W. Pauls, Dr. W. A. Piper. 

Photograph gallery — Cornelius J. Brown. 

Produce dealers — Han ford Produce Company, Worthington Produce 
Company. 

Real estate dealers — Aug Buche Land Company, J. C. Koehn, D. A. 
Lahart Land Company. 

Shoemaker — Henry Fiel. 

Tin shop — J. V. Dueck. 

Telephone — North Star Telephone Company. Tri-State. 

Veterinary — Sidney Meyers. 



ROSE HILL TOWNSHIP. 

Rose Plill township is situated on the western line of Cottonwood 
county and is the second from the southern line. It comprises all of con- 
gressional township 1 06, range 38 west. It is bounded on the north by 
Westbrook township, on the east by Amu, on the south by Southbrook and 
on the west is the county line between Cottonwood and Murray counties. 
Originally, there were numerous lakes and prairie ponds within the limits 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 169 

of this township, and there are still a few, but many of the lakes have been 
drained and their beds are utilized for pasture and field purposes. Among 
the lakes are Berry, Long and Carey lakes. 

This is an excellent agricultural and dairy section and the farmers are 
rapidly becoming forehanded and wealthy. They have the modern con- 
veniences of life, and are reaping the reward for the long years of struggle 
they had as homesteaders, against prairie fires and grasshoppers. 

The population of the township in 1895 was 4^o; in 1900 it was 535 
but by 1910, according to the United States census returns it had decreased 
to 510. 

ORGANIZATION. 

By an act of the board of county commissioners in the month of March, 
1S79, Rose Hill township was organized, and the board ordered the first 
township meeting and election of officers to take place on April 5, 1879, at 
the house of John Carey. 

SOME EARLY LAND ENTRIES. 

Maria Carey homesteaded land in the south half of the northwest 
quarter of section 24. at the land office at New Ulm, and had her patent 
issued to her from President Hayes, September 10, 1880. 

Samuel Hoveland, at the Tracy land office, had a homestead entry on 
the northeast quarter of section 2, and had the same patented to him by 
President Chester A. Arthur, May 15, 1884. 

William Johnson homesteaded the south half of the northwest quarter 
of section 22, and had the entry made at the land office at Tracy and his 
patent was issued him by President Chester A. Arthur. January 15, 1885. 

Henry Olsen homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 14, in the 
land office at Tracy and the same was patented to him by President Grover 
Cleveland, April 27, 1885. 

Frank White, at the land office at Tracy, was- given his homestead 
right in the southwest quarter of section 14, and the same was patented to 
him by President Grover Cleveland, January 9, 1886. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Clark W. Seeley, at the land office at Xew Ulm, entered the southw 
quarter of section 4, this township; his final papers were signed by Pn 
dent Hayes, January 20, 188 1. 



1JO COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Martin Kauchbauns, entered land at the land office at Marshall, described 
as lot No. 3, in section 26. President Benjamin Harrison signed the final 
papers, granting the patent. 

George F. Robison, at the Marshall land office, entered the land known 
as lot No. 1, in section 12, the same having been signed by President Theo- 
dore Roosevelt, September 2, 1902. 



SELMA TOWNSHIP. 

The extreme northeastern congressional township in Cottonwood 
county is known as Selma; it comprises township 107, range 34 west, and is 
situated directly south of Brown county, west of Watonwan county, north 
of Midway township, Cottonwood county, and east of Delton township, this 
county. 

A branch of the Chicago & Northwestern railway crosses this town- 
ship, entering in section 3, running directly southeast, leaving the township 
and county from section 13. The Watonwan river and small tributaries 
are found flowing through this township. The soil is excellent and all the 
tillable land is now under a high state of cultivation. The village of Com- 
frey, Brown county, extends over into this township to a certain extent. 
Of the churches and schools of the township other separate chapters will 
treat. The population of the township in 1895 was 405; in 1900 it was 
placed at 427 and the United States census returns for 1910 gave it as hav- 
ing 530. There are no towns or villages within Selma. 

ORGANIZATION. 

Selma township was organized by the board of county commissioners 
at their regular meeting in March, 1874, and was then named Clinton town- 
ship and why changed, or when, the records seem silent. Tt comprises town- 
ship 107, range 34 west. The first election was called to be held at the 
house of D. T. Woodward, April 4. 1874. 

"Ripley" township was organized at the same time and comprised town- 
ship 108, range 34 west, which civil township has no history in this county, 
as it was immediately taken over by Brown county with another con- 
gressional township. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 171 

HOMESTEADS AND PRE-EMPTIONS. 

Just who was the first white man to set stakes and make for himself 
a permanent home in this township is not now well established, even by 
tradition. But a careful search through the books of the register of deeds 
of the county, shows that the following were the original land entry per- 
sons, either as homesteaders or pre-emptors : 

John W. Golden, homesteaded at the New Ulm land office, the south 
half of the southeast quarter of section 18, January 18, 1878, and his patent 
was signed by President U. S. Grant, and the entry was effected at New 
Ulm land office. 

Lewis Coville entered, as a homestead at the New Ulm land office, July 
12, 1878, the south half of the northeast quarter and the north half of the 
southwest quarter in section 32, his patent being signed by President U. S. 
Grant. 

David .Archibald claimed a homestead in the northeast quarter of sec- 
tion 12, October 6, 1878, and the patent was signed by President U. S. 
Grant. 

Mathias Stoffel homesteaded on May 22, 1879, the south half of the 
southeast quarter of section 26, the patent being signed by President Hayes. 
The entry was made at the New Ulm land office. 

Charles Anderson homesteaded land under the Homestead Act of 1862, 
in the west half of the southeast quarter of section 10. It was entered at 
the land office in Xew Ulm and was patented by President Hayes and signed 
by him on January 20, 1881. 

Thomas Cullen claimed his homestead rights in the west half of the 
northeast quarter of section 6; it was entered through the land office at 
New Ulm and was patented by President Hayes and signed on March 13, 
1879. 

Caroline Knudson homesteaded the west half of the northeast quarter 
of section 34; it was entered at the land office at Xew Ulm. and was pat- 
ented by President James A. Garfield, June 20, 1881. 

Thomas Coen homesteaded land in the ea>( half of the southeast quarter 
of section 6, and had the same patented t<i him by President Hayes, who 
signed it on March 13, 1879; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm. 

Greta Jones Dater homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 14, 
at the land office at Tracy; the patent lor this land was issued by President 
Chester A. Arthur, February 20, 1882. 



1/2 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

01 f Peterson homesteaded the north half of the southeast quarter of 
section 26; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm and patented by 
President Hayes. 

John Cullen homesteaded the east half of the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 6; it was entered at the land office at New Ulm and patented by Presi- 
dent Hayes, March 13, 1879. 

Christian Anaker homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 24 at 
the land office at Tracy, and had the same patented to him by President 
Grover Cleveland, January 9, 1886. 

Theodore P. Eickholt homesteaded the south half of the southeast 
quarter of section 26, at the land office at New Ulm, and received his patent 
from President Hayes, January 20, 1881. 

Howard M. Goss homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 34, at 
the land office at New Ulm, and received a patent signed by President U. S. 
Grant, September 15, 1874. 

Ogden D. Warner homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 34, 
at the land office at New Ulm, and received his patent from President U. S. 
Grant, March 20, 1876. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Theodore J. Brandt, at the Marshall land office, entered under the Pre- 
emption Act, the northeast quarter of section 20, and his final papers were 
signed by President Grover Cleveland, January 3, 1894. 

Lemuel Randall, at the New Ulm land office, pre-empted the north half 
of the southwest quarter of section 8, and April 10, 1875; President U. S. 
Grant certified to his papers and signed the same. 



SPRINGFIELD TOWNSHIP. 

Springfield township is the second from the western line of the county 
and is on the south line, with Southbrook township at its west, Anio town- 
ship at its north. Great Bend township at its east and Jackson county at the 
south. It comprises all of congressional township 105, range 37 west. The 
main stream and south branch of the Des Moines river flow from the south- 
east to the northeast of this township, forming the great bend, after leaving 
and entering Great I 'end township. This is an excellent township and the 
farming interests are good. The people are of the thrifty type, who always 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 73 

succeed in accumulating wealth. Once a barren prairie domain, it has, 
under the touch and labor of its settlers, come to be known as one of the 
finest in the county. Its groves, which were planted out by the thoughtful 
settlers, have come to be of great beauty and utility, both for the fuel and 
shelter thev afford against the severe elements. 

The population of Springfield township in 1895 was 35 r • > n 1900 it 
was 361 and in the United States census reports for 1910 its population was 
given as only 332. 

ORGANIZATION. 

Springfield became a separate civil township by an act of the board of 
county commissioners in 1870, when Great Bend and a few more townships 
were organized. By a petition of a majority of the legal voters within 
township 105, range ^~, west, the county commissioners decided to form 
this township, and fixed the day for the first township election for August 

27. 1870, and appointed John Wilford, George W. McGaughey and R. A. 
Nichols as judges of the election. This was done at the county commis- 
sioners' meeting at Great Bend, before Windom had been made the seat of 
justice, the exact date being August 15, 1870. 

PIONEERS AND LAND ENTRIES. 

The following is a transcript of the homestead and pre-emption entries 
in this township : 

Charles L. Hecox claimed the west half of the southeast quarter and 
the east half of the southwest quarter of section 34, of this township, March 

28, 1878; signed by President U. S. Grant, and entered at the Worthington 
land office. 

Cyrus N. Peterson homesteaded land in the south half of the north- 
east quarter of section 12, this township. His patent bears the date of July 
20, 1877, and is signed by President Hayes. The land office issuing the 
papers was at Worthington. 

Legrand B. Rolph homesteaded at the land office at Worthington, land 
in the east half of the northeast quarter of section 4; it was patented on 
November 5, 1878, and was signed by President Hayes. 

Augustus McNeely claimed a homestead in the west half of the south- 
east quarter of section 32, also in the east half of the southwest quarter of 
the same section. His entry was effected at the land office at Jackson, and 



174 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

the patent was signed by President U. S. Grant, the date being February 
i, 1873. 

Marshall C. Cummings homesteaded land in the west half of the south- 
west quarter of section 14; his patent bears the date of December 30, 1880, 
and is signed by President Hayes. The land was secured through the Jack- 
son land office. 

Freeman Trowbridge claimed land in the northwest quarter of section 
4; his patent was dated June 15, 1880, and is signed by President Hayes; 
it was issued from the land office located at Worthington. 

William W. Frost homesteaded land in the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 22 ; the patent was signed by President Chester A. Arthur and dated 
March 15, 1882; it was secured at the land office at Worthington. 

Abigail J. Green located a homestead in the east half of the southeast 
quarter of section 4. The patent was issued on November 5, 1878, and was 
signed by President Hayes. This was secured through the land office at 
Worthington. 

William B. Williams homesteaded land in the southeast quarter of sec- 
tion 2. It was patented on June 15, 1880, and was signed by President 
Hayes; it was secured through the land office at Worthington. 

Delia R. Norris homestead land in the southwest quarter of section 30. 
It was patented on June 15, 1879, and signed by President Hayes; the land 
was granted to the widow of William Norris and was secured at the land 
office at Worthington. 

John W. Cummings homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 8, 
at the land office at Worthington, and his patent was signed by President 
Chester A. Arthur, April 5, 1883. 

William Kane claimed as his homestead the south half of the north- 
east quarter of section 30, the entry being made at the Worthington land 
office and the final patent papers were signed by President Hayes on Decem- 
ber 15, 1880. 

Thomas R. Brown homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 12; 
it was entered at the land office at Worthington and the patent was furnished 
and signed by President U. S. Grant. July 5, 1876. 

Ploratio M. McGatighey homesteaded at the Jackson land office, the 
north half of the northeast quarter and the west half of the northeast quarter 
of section 24; it was patented to him by President U. S. Grant, April 15, 

1874. 

James E. Williams homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 20, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1 75 

at the land office at New Ulm ; the patent was granted to him by President 
U. S. Grant and signed on June 13, 1876. 

John Surratt homesteaded the east half of the northeast quarter of 
section 32; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and patented by 
President Hayes, June 15, 1880. 

John H. Reisdorph had patented to him on November 22, 1877, a home- 
stead instrument signed by President U. S. Grant. 

Charles F. Morley homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 30; 
it was entered at the land office at Worthington and patented to him by 
President Hayes, December 30, 1879. 

Vinzing Fried homesteaded the southwest quarter of the southwest 
quarter of section 7,2; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and 
his patent was signed by President Chester A. Arthur. March 10, 1883. 

Orrin Nasson, at the Worthington land office, entered as a homestead 
the west half of the northeast quarter and the north half of the northeast 
quarter of section 12; it was patented to him by President U. S. Grant, 
January 12, 1875. 

Zadock Day homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 8, at the 
land office at Worthington, and had same patented to him by President 
Grover Cleveland, April 10, 1886. 

Josef Neufeld homesteaded the south half of the northeast quarter of 
section 7,2. at the land office at Worthington and had the same patented to 
him by President Chester A. Arthur. March 10, 1883. 

George H. Aubrey, at the Worthington land office, entered a home- 
stead in the north half of the southwest quarter of section 28, and had the 
same patented to him by President Hayes December 30, 1879. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Charles I.. Hecox entered as a pre-emption claim at the land office at 
Jackson, the south half of the northwest quarter and the west half of the 
northeast quarter of section 34. His patent was granted him by President 
{'. S. Grant, December 15, 1870. 

Lewis L. Miner, at the Jackson land office, claimed under the Pre- 
emption Act of 1820, the north half of the northeast quarter of section 31, 
the same was patented to him by President U. S. Grant, September 17, 187J. 

Jason Foss pre-empted the south half of tin- northeast quarter of sec- 
tion 28, at the Worthington land office, tin- same being patented by President 
U. S. Grant, November 3, 1876. 



1/6 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Polly Cone, at the Jackson land office, pre-empted the northeast quarter 
of section 10, the same being signed by President U. S. Grant, May 20, 1874. 

Mary L. Briggs pre-empted the southwest quarter of section 24, at the 
Jackson land office, the instrument was signed by President U. S. Grant and 
signed February 1, 1872. 

Orrin Nason pre-empted the southwest quarter of section 4, the trans- 
action was made at the land office at Marshall, and it was under President 
Grover Cleveland's administration and by him signed April 12, 1893. 



SOUTHBROOK TOWNSHIP. 

Southbrook township is the southwestern civil sub-division of Cotton- 
wood county and comprises congressional township 105, range 38 west. It 
is bounded on the west by Murray county, on the north by Rose Hill town- 
ship, on the east by Springfield township and on the south by the county 
line between Cottonwood and Jackson counties. 

Besides two good sized lakes in the southwestern part of this township, 
the Des Moines river flows from the west out of Murray county, entering 
this township in section 6 and flows through the southern portion, leaving 
the township from section 31, entering Springfield township. 

This township has neither village nor railroad station, but is settled by 
a thrifty class of people, who are fast becoming independent. Many of the 
early homestead and pre-emption claims of the county were selected from 
parts of this township. 

The population in 1895 was 318; in 1900 it was 350, but in 1910 it had 
decreased, on account of removals, to 303. 

ORGANIZATION. 

This township was organized by the county commissioners at their meet- 
ing in July, 1871, as comprising all of congressional township 105, range 
38, west. 

EARLY SETTLERS. 

The records show the following persons to have been among the first 
to claim lands within this township : 

Francis II. Moon, homesteaded the east half of the southwest quarter 
and the west h.di of the southeast quarter of section 32, of this township, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I " 

December 7, 1877, ihe patent being signed by President U. S. Grant; the 
transaction was at the Jackson land office. 

Manley T. White claimed the south half of the southeast quarter of 
section 26, on March 1. 187S. under President Grant's administration, the 
papers being issued from the Worthington land office. 

Joseph Kane claimed a homestead in the northeast quarter of section 6, 
at the Jackson land office, the same being signed by President U. S. Grant, 
September 9, 1878. 

Peter Olson homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 20, at the 
land office at Worthington. and his patent is signed by President Hayes, 
June 10, 1879. 

Ole Rued claimed, as his homestead, at the land office at Worthington, 
the east half of the southwest quarter and the northwest quarter of the 
southwest quarter of section 20, also land in the southwest quarter of the 
northwest quarter of section 26, same township. The patent was signed 
by President Hayes and dated November 5, 1878. 

Lyman W. Oaks claimed as his homestead right land in lots 2 and 3 
of section 8; he secured it at the land office at Worthington and the patent 
was signed by President Hayes, December 13, 1880. 

"William Mcl'heeters homesteaded land in the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 30, at the Xew Ulm land office; the patent was signed by President 
U. S. Grant, October 5, 1875. 

Thomas A. Jones secured a homestead in the east half of the northeast 
quarter of section 22, the patent was signed by President Hayes, June 15, 
1880; the entry was made at the Worthington land office. 

John Crapsey homesteaded, at the Worthington land office, the south- 
east quarter of the northeast quarter of section 30 and the lot known as 
No. 2, of the same section, all being within section 30. The date of the 
patent was November 20, 1880, and the papers were signed by President 
Hayes. 

Norman Freeman homesteaded land in section 32, the entry was made 
at the land office in Worthington and the patent was signed by President 
Chester A. Arthur, April 5, 1883. 

Josef Lerk homesteaded land in the north half of the northeast quarter 
and the north half of the northwest quarter of section 18, the date of the 
patent being April 5, 1883, signed by Presidenl I Chester A. Arthur; the same 
was secured through the Worthington land office. 

Charles Robbins homesteaded land in the east half of the southeast 
(12) 



1/8 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

quarter of section 30, this township. It was entered at the land office at 
Worthington and the patent is signed by President Hayes, December 30, 
1880. 

Roswell Dunsmore homesteaded land in the south half of the northeast 
quarter of section 26; it was entered at the land office at Worthington and 
was patented by President U. S. Grant, March 1, 1876. 

John Erickson claimed the southwest quarter of section 34 this town- 
ship and his patent for his homestead was issued June 5, 1884, and signed 
by President Chester A. Arthur; the entry was effected at the Worthington 
land office. 

Watkin H. Jones homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 22, 
his patent being signed by President Chester A. Arthur. June' 5, 1884; the 
entry was made at the land office at Worthington. 

Charles W. Aldrich homesteaded land in the west half of the southwest 
quarter of section 32 ; it was patented to him by Persident Chester A. Arthur 
and entered at the Worthington land office and signed on June 5, 1884. 

Charles B. Handy. June 5, 1884, had patent issued to him for a home- 
stead in the lots numbered 3, 4 and 5 of the section 30, the same being issued 
by President Hayes. 

Annie K. Jentjen, at the Worthington land office, had issued to her 
as a homestead the land contained in the west half of the southwest quarter 
of section 2. The papers were signed by President Hayes, February 10, 
1 881. 

Stephen Miranowski homesteaded land in the north half of the south- 
east quarter of section 10, the same being patented by President Hayes and 
signed on February 10, 1884; it was entered through the land office at 
Worthington. 

James M. King homesteaded the land in northwest quarter of section 
12, this township and same was patented to him by President Hayes and 
signed on June 10, 1879; the entry was made at the land office at Worth- 
ington. 

John Kane homesteaded the east half of the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 6, at the land office at Worthington, the same being patented by Presi- 
dent Chester A. Arthur, April 10, 1880. 

Thomas A. Jones homesteaded the west half of the northeast quarter 
of section 22, at the land office at Worthington, and had his patent issued 
by President Hayes, February 10, 1881. 

Anton Reidl homesteaded the south half of the northwest quarter of 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 179 

section 10. at the land office at Worthington, and had the same patented to 
him by President Chester A. Arthur. April 10, 1882. 

Tohn Mathias entered as a homestead at the land office at Worthington 
the east half of the southeast quarter of section 2, and the tract was pat- 
ented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, August 1, 1883. 

John Schneider, at the Worthington land office, entered as a homestead 
the west half of the northeast quarter of section 10. and had the same pat- 
ented to him by President Chester A. Arthur, March 10, 1883. 

Florian Liepold entered, as a homestead at the land office at Worth- 
ington, the west half of the southwest quarter of section 12. and it was 
later patented to him by President Grover Cleveland, April 10, 1886. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Henry G. Conrad pre-empted land at the land office at Worthington, 
described as the south half of the southeast quarter and the northwest quarter 
of the southeast quarter of section 28, the papers being signed by President 
Hayes, September 4. 1879. . 

Bertha M. Johnson pre-empted the land known as lot No. 7 in section 
30. The entry was effected at the land office at Worthington and the final 
papers were executed by President U. S. Grant, May 10, 1875. 

Peter Jentzen, at the Worthington land office, entered under the pre- 
emption act, the northwest quarter of section 14; the final papers were 
signed by President Hayes, November 1, 1880. 

Adam Fahe, at the Marshall land office, entered lot No. 1 in section 8, 
the papers being signed by President Benjamin Harrison, March 1, 1892. 

Andrew J. Streeter, at the Jackson land office, pre-empted the cast half 
of the northwest quarter of section 26, the papers being executed and signed 
by President U. S. Grant, May 20, 1874. 



STORDEN TOWNSHIP. 

Storden is situated in the northwestern part of Cottonwood county, it 
being the second from the north and the second from the western line of 
the county, with Highwater at the north, Amboy at the east, Amo at the 
south and Westbrook township at the west. It comprises all of congressional 
township 107, range ^7' west - The Scandinavian people are the largest 



ISO COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

landowners in this part of the county. The village of Storden is within 
this township. 

Like many parts of the county, Storden originally had many low tracts 
of land, and small lakes abounded, but the}- were really little more than 
prairie swamps or sloughs, which, with the advent of the settlers, soon van- 
ished by draining, until today the waste land in this township is quite small. 
The soil is of a rich quality and the grains and grasses grow in great luxuri- 
ance. 

The population of the township in 1895 was 439; in 1900 it was 548 but 
by the taking of the Federal census in 1910 it was placed at. 659. 

ORGANIZATION. 

This township was set apart as a separate civil township at the meet- 
ing of the county commissioners in March, 1875, and was first named Norsk, 
but subsequently changed to Storden. It comprises township 107, range 37, 
west, and was detached from Westbrook township. The first election was 
held at the house of Martin Hallan, March 30, 1875. 

ORIGINAL SETTLERS. 

The county records show the following to have entered land either as 
homesteaders or pre-emption claimants : 

Jorgen Jensen homesteaded land in the lots known as Nos. 1 and 2, 
of section 21, the same being entered at the land office at New Ulm and 
patented by President Hayes, February 10, 1881. 

Soren Sorenson claimed a homestead in the northwest quarter of the 
northwest quarter of section 30; it was patented to him by President Hayes, 
February 10, 1881. 

Christian A. Kaihor homesteaded in the north half of the northeast 
quarter of section 30, the same being entered at the land office at New Ulm; 
it was patented to him by President Hayes, February 10, 1881. 

Halver E. Lohre homesteaded land in the east half of the southeast 
quarter of section 6; it was patented to him by 1 'resident James A. Garfield, 
June 20, 1 88 1. 

C. Swenson claimed a homestead in the southeast quarter of the north- 
cast quarter and the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 
4. It was patented by President Hayes, February 10, 1881 ; it was entered 
at the land office at New Ulm. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. l8l 

Eston Erikson, claimed his homestead rights under the act of 1S62, in 
the west half of the northeast quarter of section 6. It was entered at the 
land office at New Ulm and was patented by President Hayes, January 
zo, 1881. 

Xels Gunderson homesteaded the southeast quarter of section 2, at the 
land office located at Tracy, and hail the same patented to him by President 
Chester A. Arthur, March 10, 1883. 

Samuel S. Wheeler claimed as a homestead the southwest quarter of 
section 24 at the land office at Tracy and had the same patented by Presi- 
dent Chester A. Arthur, February 10, 1883. 

John Nelson homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 20, at the 
land office at Tracy and the same was finally patented to him by President 
Chester A. Arthur. May 31, 1884. 

Ole Christopherson homesteaded the north half of the northeast quarter 
at the land office at Tracy, and the patent was issued to him by President 
James A. Garfield, June 21, 1881. 

Hans Anderson homesteaded the north half of the southeast quarter of 
section 18, at the land office located at Tracy, and had his patent granted 
him by President James A. Garfield, June 20, 1881. 

Leopold Hansen homesteaded land in the west half of the southwest 
quarter of section 2, and had the entry made in the land office at New Ulm, 
while his patent was granted by President Hayes, Decemljer 30, 1879. 

Julia A. Khurd homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 28, at 
the land office located at Tracy and her patent was issued and signed by 
President Chester A. Arthur, January 15, 1885. 

Albert X. Jeffers, at the Tracy land office, entered a homestead in the 
south half of the northeast quarter and the north half of the southeast quar- 
ter of section 12, and had the same patented to him by President Chester A. 
Arthur, May 5, 18S4. 

Christian O. Mikkelson claimed as his homestead the northwest quarter 
of section 18, at the land office at New Ulm; President Hayes signed his 
patent on February 10. 1881. 

Charles H. Reipke homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 
the entry being made at the land office at Tracy and the patent was signed 
by President Grover Cleveland. May _'i>, (885. 

George Downs homesteaded the southwest quarter of section 10. the 
entry being effected at the land office at Tracy and his patent was issued by 
President Chester A. Arthur and by him signed on January 15, [885. 



l82 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Peter M. Paulson homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 34; the 
patent was issued by President James A. Garfield, June 20, 1881. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Charles Dietz, at the New Ulm land office entered the west half of the 
northwest quarter of section 24, the papers being signed by President Hayes, 
January 20, 1881. 

Rasmus Anderson, at the land office at New Ulm, entered the south- 
west quarter of the southwest quarter of section 8, this township; his final 
papers were signed by President U. S. Grant, April 10, 1875. 

Andrew P. Fortstrom, at the land office at Marshall, entered the land 
described as lot No. 9 in section 20, and had the same patented to him by 
President Benjamin Harrison, August 24, 1891. 

August Pufahl, at the land office at Tracy entered the southwest quar- 
ter of section 12; the final papers were signed by President Grover Cleveland, 
January 20, 1886. 

VILLAGE OF STORDEN. 

Storden was platted by the Inter-state Land Company, July 8, 1903, 
and is situated in the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 
29, township 107, range ^J, west. It is on the Curry branch of the Chicago, 
St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha railroad. Among the first historic events 
of this village were the following: 

The auction sale of lots in what is now the village of Storden took 
place on July 9, 1903. The village is located in the southwest quarter of 
the southwest quarter of section 29. The village, although quite young, 
shows great signs of growth and prosperity, new and modern buildings 
being erected as fast as workmen can put them up. 

The first man on the ground to do business was Mr. C. H. Shaner, who 
conducted a general store, where the confectionery store now stands. Nelson 
& Redding came next and occupied the store room now used by Mr. A. 11. 
Anderson. 

The first school teacher to teach in the village was Laura Person, who 
taught in the school building moved in from the Kahoi Anderson farm, 
about three-fourths of a mile north of the town. 

John Sorenson built the fust residence in the village, the one now occu- 
pied by the postmaster, James Morris. The house now occupied by Andrew 
Skobv was built about the same time. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 183 

The first brick building was erected by the Farmers' State Bank in 
the summer of 1916. 

The first concrete building in the village was constructed in the spring 
of 1916 and is now occupied by XcNmi & Christopherson as a garage, the 
first of its kind. 

Anions: the very first business men and mechanics of the village were: 
C. H. Shaner, grocer; A. P. Frederickson, hotel; Roy Egger, blacksmith; 
John Skovley & Son. livery; A. M. Clark & Son. hardware; Henry Peter- 
son, drayman; L. Dolliff, lumber company; St. John, elevator. 

The depot at Storden was erected in 1904. The first business was 
that of C. H. Shaner; the first residence was erected by John N. Sorenson. 

John Sorenson formerly owned the land now occupied by the village. 
The town was platted by the Inter-state Land Company, of Minneapolis, to 
whom Mr. Sorenson gave a one-half interest in the lots. 

The plat of Storen is high, dry and sightly and not a finer and more 
natural business site exists on the Curry branch. The village is surrounded 
by hardy and industrious farmers, whose land is under a high state of 
cultivation. The main products of the farms are corn and oats, although 
an abundance of wheat, rye and barley are marketed each year. Five 
years ago, land could be procured in the community at sixty dollars per 
acre, while most of the land is now worth around one hundred and twenty- 
five dollars per acre. 

POSTOFFICE. 

The Storden postoffice was established in 1903, with John Sorenson as 
tlie first postmaster. He served until December 1, 1905, when James Morris. 
the present postmaster, was appointed. The large postal receipts, which 
are larger than towns several times its size, bespeak credit for the post- 
master and the community. For the past year they amounted to four thou- 
sand five hundred and eighty-seven dollars and twenty-six cents. One rural 
route serves the rural community. 

BUSINESS INTERESTS. 

Iii 19 16 the business interests of Storden were in the hands of the 
following : 

Auto garage — Nelson & Christopher 

Bank — First State, Farmers' State. 

Blacksmith — Andrew Jorgenson, Edward Smestad. 



184 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Barber — Roy Smestad. 

Creamery — Storden Creamery Association. 

Confectionery — John Rongstad. 

Dray line — Adolph Olson. 

Elevator — Farmers' Elevator, Olaf Lande. 

Grocer — Farmers' Coo-perative Store. 

General dealers — A. H. Anderson, Storden Co-operative Company. 

Hardware dealer — Storden Hardware Company. 

Harness dealer — A. H. Nacarinus. 

Hotel — Prime Hotel. 

Implement dealer — Saleen & Jenson Company. 

Lumber dealer — L. P. Dolliff & Company. 

Livery — Adolph Olson. 

Meat market — John Spiecker. 

Newspaper — Storden Times. 

Produce dealer — C. H. Shaner. 



WESTBROOK TOWNSHIP. 

Tbe second township from the county line on the north is Westbrook, 
which comprises all of congressional township 107, range 38, west. It is 
bounded on the north by Ann township, on the east by Storden, on the 
south by Rose Hill township and on the west by Murray county. Westbrook 
village is within this civil township and is mentioned at length in this 
chapter. Originally, the township had many lakes and ponds, with several 
creeks, most of which water-courses have disappeared from the surface of 
the county as time has changed the conditions; ditches have been cut, til- 
ing carried on for a number of years and, today, the waste land within the 
territory is small. The soil is very fertile and produces all the grain and 
grasses common to this latitude. 

The school and churches have ever been prominent factors in the town- 
ship and those are treated with others of the county in special chapters in 
this volume. 

The population of the township in 1895 was 509: in iQoo it was placed 
at 688 and in the United States census returns for 1910 it is given as 579. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 1N5 

ORGANIZATION. 

Westbrook township was organized at the meeting of the county board, 

September 6, 1870, upon the petition of thirty legal voters in township 107, 
range 30, west, and township 108, ranges 37 and 38, west, they asking that 
four congressional townships be organized into one civil township and that 
it be named Westbrook, and the board of county commissioners ordered 
it done and called the first election for the township to be held at the house 
of Morton Engebriztson, Saturday, September 17. 1S70, with election judges 
as follow : John Hanson, John Rotte and Hogan Anderson ; the clerk was 
George \Y. Walker. 

PIONEER SETTLEMENT. 

The first comers to this township were very largely homesteaders and 
pre-emption claim men and women, who selected at some one of the Minne- 
sota land offices such lands as they wanted on which to locate and build 
homes. Among such land entries the following is a complete list, as shown 
in the records at the Cottonwood court house : 

Xels Engebretson, homesteaded the east half of the northwest quarter 
of section 12, July 9, 1878, and the patent for the same was signed by 
President U. S. Grant. 

Hernt Johnson homesteaded the north half of the southeast quarter of 
section 20, at the Xew Ulm land office, November 7, 1879, and his patent 
was signed by President R. B. Hayes. 

Erick Anderson claimed a homestead in the southeast quarter of sec- 
tion 18, this township, the same being secured at the land office at Tracy, 
and the patent is signed by President James \. ( iarlield. June 20, 1881. 

Ole Sorenson homesteaded land in the northeast quarter of section 24, 
and the patent is dated February to, 1881, and signed by President R. B. 
Hayes. 

Olof Johnson homesteaded land in the east hall' of the northeast quar- 
ter of section 12; also in the southwest quarter of the northeast quarter of 
section 12. This was entered at the land office at Tracy, and hears date of 
June 20, 1881, and is signed by President James \. (iarlield. 

Ole Anderson homesteaded land in the west half of the southeast quar- 
ter of section 10, and it was secured at the land office at Xew I'lm and 
the patent is signed by President Hayes, February [O, [881, 

Syver Xielson homesteaded land in the west half of the northwest 



j85 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

quarter of section 12, the patent being signed by President James A. Gar- 
field, June 20, 1 88 1 ; the entry was effected at the Tracy land office. 

Jacob Hansen homesteaded land in the west half of the northwest quarter 
of section 10; it was entered at the land office at Xew Ulm and was pat- 
ented by President Hayes, January 20, 1881. 

Forjus T. Einertson homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 2, 
at the Tracy land office, and the same was patented by President Grover 
Cleveland, August 5, 1884. 

Bernt Johnson homesteaded the south half of the northeast quarter 
of section 20, at the land office located at Tracy; his patent was granted by 
President Chester A. Arthur, February 10, 1883. 

Edward Erickson homesteaded the west half of the northwest quarter, 
of section 8, at the land office at Tracy, the same being patented by Presi- 
dent Chester A. Arthur, January 15, 1885. 

Peter G. Lundman homesteaded the northwest quarter of section 18, at 
the land office at Tracy, the patent being granted by President Chester A. 
Arthur, May 15, 1884. 

PRE-EMPTION CLAIMS. 

Albert Olson pre-empted, at the St. Peter land office, the northwest 
quarter of the northwest quarter of section 1, this township, President U. S. 
Grant signing the papers, April 1, 1872. 

Jacob A. Anderson, at the land office at New Ulm, pre-empted the 
northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 2, President U. S. 
Grant signing the papers, May 20, 1874. 

Ole Andreas Pederson, at the land office at New Ulm, entered the east 
half of the southeast quarter of section 8, the papers being signed by Presi- 
dent Hayes, .May 24, 1S79. 

Olf Jonsson, at the land office at New Ulm. entered land in the north- 
west quarter of the northeast quarter of section 12. President U. S. Grant 
signing the papers. May 20, 1874. 

John Christenson entered the south half of the northeast quarter of 
section 2, the papers being signed by President Haves. November io, [877. 

Xels Engebretson entered land in the southwest quarter of section 12. 
at the Xew Ulm land office and his papers were certified by President Hayes, 
January 20, 1881. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 1 S7 

THE VILLAGE OF WESTBROOK. 

Westbrook was platted June 8, 1900, by the Inter-Slate Land Com- 
pany, in section 29, township 107, range 38 west. 

Westbrook township contained the first settlers of the county, one 
authority stating that the first settler after the Indian massacre of 1862 was 
Joseph F. Bean and next, George B. Walker, followed by other families 
settling in Westbrook township. Thus it was that when the Currie branch 
of Omaha railroad was built through here in iqoo, it tapped a magnificent 
farming region, well settled, rich and productive, the trade of which for 
many years was far from market. On nth of July, 1900, the sale of lots 
was held for the now prosperous town of Westbrook, the buyers wading 
around in an oats field, which yielded forty bushels per acre, looking for 
corner stakes. This was the beginning of Westbrook. Previous to this 
time there had been an effort made to have the town started on what is 
now known as the west side, and for a while there was a restaurant, store 
and several "blind pigs." The present site of the town was the result of a 
disagreement between the townsite company and Adolph Peterson. 

At the lot sale the highest price paid was six hundred dollars for the 
corner lot, now occupied by the First National Bank. The first people on 
the ground to do business was the L. P. Dolliff Lumber Company, with 
G. F. Streates as manager, and the Laird-Norton yards, with H. E. Daffer 
as manager. Sivert Norum had moved a shed from Storden in which he 
started a boarding house for the workmen, until he got up the building 
known as the Commercial Hotel, later occupied by the saloon of John 
Stitz. This was the first building in town and in addition to keeping board- 
ers, .Mr. Norum also sold the first groceries of the town in one room and 
was also the first postmaster. At that time, before the railroad was built, 
he carried the mail three times a week from Storden. 

The next building was that of J. E. Nelson, the harness man, and about 
this time the town got busy and was a veritable beehive of all kinds of 
mechanics. 

Schippel & Malschke started their large two-story brick block, twenty- 
five by one hundred feet, and the State Bank, later the First National, rushed 
to completion the finest two-story brick and stone building in the town, at 
a cost of five thousand five hundred and eighty dollars. This hank \ 
organized. December 1, 1900, with an authorized capital of two hundred 
thousand dollars, twenty-live thousand of which was paid up. The first 



l8S COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN; 

officers were: President, J. W. Benson, of Heron lake; vice-president, B. 
N. Bodelson, of Dundee; cashier, J. O. Pearson, of Heron lake. Farmers 
and business men took an active interest in the bank and very soon it was 
among the strongest in the county. 

St. John Brothers were the first in the field with a first-class store 
building, forty-six by seventy-two feet, with a storage house thirty by forty 
feet, all of which was opened for business on September 30. The post- 
office was moved into this building, January 7, 1901, and M. A. Tohnson 
was appointed postmaster, Mr. Norum having resigned. 

Wild & Spaulding built a large two-story frame building, together with 
a large warehouse for buggies and farm machinery. Other improvements 
made during the fall of 1900 were the Erickson two-story building, the 
Theo. Miller building, later occupied by J. E. Villa; the Dick Needhaus city 
meat market building, John Holland's saloon, Dorster & Fritsche's two- 
story implement house, later owned by Peterson & Norum; Silliman Brothers' 
big store and hall building, J. J. Hubin's furniture store and residence, the 
building occupied by O'Neill & McCormick's saloon and the building occu- 
pied by Rehnelt's pool hall. The city drug store and building was moved 
here from Dundee by E. F. Fricke. 

The Kane-Slice Implement Company was the first to engage in the 
implement business. They constructed a large two-story warehouse, twenty- 
four by sixty feet, just west of the First National Bank. 

Peter Anderson conducted the first livery in the bam to the rear of the 
hotel. Very soon afterwards Frank G. Myres put in the Westbrook livery 
and early on the ground with a well equipped blacksmith shop was John 
Bendixen. 

Brown & Roberts had the barber shop, Getty & Green conducted a real 
estate office, W. G. Owens, attorney, and Dr. C. P. Nelson were the pro- 
fessional men. 

At this time Dolliff & Company and Laird-Norton Company erected 
mammoth lumber sheds which were necessar) in order to keep a sufficient 
supply nf lumber on hands for the numerous buildings that were being con- 
structed. Four large and first-class elevators were put up to meet the 
demands of the farmers, they being the ones of the St. John Brothers, Hub- 
bard & Palmer, Renke Brothers and K. Krueger. 

Evidently anticipating the rush <>!' business the railroad company put 
in commodious yards and sidings connecting with the elevator and stock- 
yards, dug a deep well and installed a large water tank and just west of 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. l8o 

town opened a gravel pit from which they ballasted the line from Currie 
to Bingham Lake. 

Schueller & Welter, of Morgan, bought the Commercial Hotel, which 
was conducted by Frank Scheffert until April, 1002, after which time the 
town was several months without a hotel. 

The west side continued to make show for business and J. D. Bevier 
and family hail a restaurant and boarding house, a small general store and 
blacksmith shop. There was also a full fledged "reading room" besides 
several "restaurants." The county attorney closed the last named places 
and business on the west side declined until nothing is left except some of 
the buildings and the Krueger elevator. The west side is now one of the 
fine resident districts of the town and no longer is there any feeling of 
separation or distinction from the rest of the town. 

Two large ice houses were built, one operated by Chris Hanson for 
the Westbrook Ice Company and one by Peterson & Carlson. 

Up to May. 1 901, some sixteen or eighteen residences had been built. 
B. E. Low was the first to move to town to live as a retired farmer, he 
coming from his farm near Lake Eliza. Johnson Brothers built and occu- 
pied the first good residence, later the property of Walter Larson. The 
homes of J. A. Pearson, Chris Hanson, George Spooner, S. Norum, P. D. 
Peterson, J. J. Christy. I. C. Freeman, Frank Meyers, W. F. Wenholz, B. E. 
Low. K. Krueger and Gustav Grams were among the principal residence 
improvements of the fall and winter of 1900. 

INCORPORATION, ETC. 

Previous to March, 1001, the village had no officers, and every man 
was a law unto himself, but at this time incorporation was made, an election 
held and the first set of officers chosen. They were as follow: Mayor, 
M. A. Johnson; councilmen, Augusl Wild, W. II. Wenholz, G. A. Schippel; 
recorder, G. F. Streater; treasurer. J, A. Pearson; justices of peace, George 
Spooner and D. Needham; constable, D. J. Green; assessor, S. B. Stockwell; 
I. C. Freeman, marshal; attorney, W. D. Owen. The work of the first 
council for the good of the town will ever stand as a monument to their 
business sagacity and wise administration. At this time three saloons were 
licensed, at one thousand dollars each. 

About May 1, I'. II. Rupp built a shoe -tore. F. II. Fricke also put up 
a small shoe store. Among other improvements was the completion of 



IQO COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 

Doctor Nelson's corner drug store at a cost of two thousand dollars; Schip- 
pel's two-story brick block, adjoining the First National Bank, in the fall, 
at a cost of three thousand dollars; Sampson's restaurant, twenty by thirty- 
six feet, at a cost of five hundred dollars. D. H. Flynn bought and finished 
the two-story frame building started by John Kaeding. The Sentinel built 
a home, twenty by forty-eight feet, at a cost of nine hundred dollars. Lin- 
schied's two-story building, used as a photograph gallery, constituted the 
business improvements of the year. The Standard Brewing Company put 
up a large cold storage house the same year. 

In 1902 the Commercial Club was formed and as a result of their hustle 
the town secured a splendid one hundred barrel flour-mill, costing sixteen 
thousand dollars. Land for the mill was secured between Hubbard & 
Palmer's and Krueger's elevators and the first active work was begun on 
May 8, by Bert Milligan, who started the mill. Mr. Gress. of the Sleepy 
Eye Milling Company, was at the head of the new enterprise. The mill 
was later destroyed by fire, and never rebuilt. 

The following is a record of the tons of freight and car-load lots 
received and forwarded from January 1, 1902, to May 1, 1902. When 
these figures are compared with those of the same period of time today, it 
may be seen how great has been the growth of trade. 

Freight forwarded. Car loads. 

Total tonnage, merchandise, 5,981,125 pounds 160 

Live stock 45 

Total 205 

Freight received. Car loads. 
Total tonnage, merchandise, 4,861,033 pounds 115 

A glance at the village will show that it has been quite active in the 
way of improvements. In 1902 the town installed a complete water-works 
system, at a cost of seven thousand dollars. The water is furnished by a 
well sixty-three feet deep, resting in lake sand. At one time a test was 
made tn ascertain the strength of the well. Water was pumped out at the 
rate of Forty-five gallons per minute, with the result that the water in the 
well was lowered only twelve feet, after which it was impossible to lower 
the supply. Water is pumped into a tank holding thirty-five thousand gal- 
lons and thereby the town is furnished with an abundance of water by 
means of strong pressure. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Tn January. 1915. an electric plant was put in at a cost of eight thou- 
sand dollars. The plant runs from about dusk in the evening until mid- 
night. In the way of fire protection, they have an organized fire company 
of twenty-six men and an ample supply of fire equipment, such as hose, 
ladders, etc. The town has five miles of cement walks and each year more 
are added. The order in the town must be pretty good, because no marshal 
or policeman is on the pay roll and the "lock up" has a deserted appearance. 

The president- that have served the village are herein given in their 
order of service: M. A. "Johnson, C. A. Zieske, D. H. Flynn, T. D. Annis, 
V. T. Miller, R. C. Soil, O. C. Anderson, J. E. Villa and W. F. Mead. 

The present officers are inclusive of the following: President, \Y. E. 
Mead; trustees. M. J. Breen, Reinhold Ewy and A. L. N. Christianson; 
recorder, Jos Budish. 

POSTOFFICE. 

The Westbrook postoffice was established at about the same time the 
town was incorporated, Mr. Si vert Norum being appointed the first post- 
master. Other men who have served in the same capacity are Andrew Lorsi >n, 
M. A. Johnson, Clark \Y. Seely and John L. Sammons. The receipts for 
this office are the largest in the county, with the exception of Windom. 
Three rural routes distribute mail through the rural districts from this office. 
The receipts for the last fiscal year, exclusive of the money department, 
amounted to three thousand three hundred and sixty dollars. 

WESTBROOK STREET FAIR. 

On October 1, igoi, a meeting was held in Ancient Order of United 
Workmen hall for the purpose of organizing a street fair association. Will- 
iam G. Owens was made the temporary chairman. The meeting proceeded 
to elect officers and the following were chosen: President, William G. 
Owens; vice-president, M. A. Johnson; secretary, \Y. B. Leo; treasurer, 
J. A. Pearson; executive committee, J. E. Villa, Ed. Loomis and J. J. 
Christy. Six hundred dollars were offered in premiums. The first fair 
was a success, as were those which followed. It was estimated that live 
thousand people attended and enjoyed the features usually found at a county 
fair, such as the baby -how, wild west, merry-go-round, vaudeville, etc. 

BUSINESS DIRECTORY FOR IQl6. 

The business interests of Westbrook in July. 1916, were in charge of 
the following: 



I92 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Auto garage — Pederson & Ludwickson, E. Paetznick, Grant Ross. 

Attorney — John L. Sammons. 

Banks — First National, Citizens State. 

Barber — Edward Dietchman. 

Blacksmith — E. A. Paetznick, James Sorenson. 

Clothing — Cohrs & Ewy. 

Dray line — John Simning. 

Drugs — Walter E. Mead. 

Dentist— F. M. Miller. 

Elevator — John J. Christy, Farmers Elevator Company, C. Krueger, 
F. Romke. 

Furniture — Hans J. Christianson. 

General dealer — George Woodward, Westbrook Co-operative Company. 

Grocer — G. A. Scheppel. 

Hotel — The Westbrook. 

Harness — J. E. Nelson. 

Hardware — Footh Brothers, Bengton & Sons. 

Ice dealer — John Simning. 

Implement dealer — Westbrook Implement Company, R. Ewy. 

Jeweler — Theo. J. Arneson. 

Lumber dealer — Botsford Lumber Company, L. P. Dolliff & Company. 

Livery — John E. Anderson. 

Milliner — Anastacia Travel. 

Meat market — Falk Brothers. 

Motion picture show — The Dixie. 

Newspaper — The Sentinel. 

Physician — H. A. Schmidt. 

Produce dealer — Hansford Produce Company. 

Photograph gallery — T. F. Leavitt. 

Restaurant — T. P. Anderson. 

Real estate — R. L. Eckert Land Company. 

Stock dealer — Westbrook Stock Buyers Association, Charles Pasmore. 

Veterinary — E. R. Tillisch. 

Telephone — Windom Mutual and Northwestern. 

Westbrook, although in its infancy, impresses a stranger as being the 
most city-like village in the county. It has wide and well-improved streets, 
which are clean and unusually well lighted with electric lights. It is one 
of the very few towns of its size in southern .Minnesota that owns its own 




HIGH SCHOOL. WESTBROOK. 



. 1 




MAIN STREET, WESTBROOK. 





%N^i^ 



FARM SCENE NEAR WESTBROOK. 




DOUBLE LAKES DRIVE NEAR WESTBROOK. 



COTTOXWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. [93 

power and water plant. It can boast of a newspaper that has a wide circu- 
lation, a model of its kind and one which does credit to the town and the 
community. 

Westbrook is a town of beautiful homes and well-kept lawns; a place 
especially well suited and inviting to the homeseeker, because there is found 
almost any religious denomination one may seek and a school system that 
would do credit to a town many times its size. 

In the western part of town is a park that the town board bought of 
Whited, the townsite man, a short time after the town was laid out, for the 
nominal sum of one thousand dollars. The park is not merely a square 
lot With a few trees scattered here and there, but, instead, one sees trees 
of various species, symetrically placed and of a uniform size. The park- 
is well supplied with inviting ^eats and chairs and is thoroughly lighted with 
electric lights. Westbrook's first annual chautauqua, held July 9 to 14, 
1916. was held in the park, which made an ideal location. Up to this time 
there were many people in the village and vicinity who did not realize what 
a fine place for such a gathering the town has. The chautauqua was a 
success in every detail. 

It has been stated upon good authority that Westbrook has as much 
business as the other towns on the Currie branch combined, which, if true, 
we predict that in the next decade she will be second to none in the county 
as a business center. At the time the townsite was laid out, it was con- 
sidered the best on the Currie branch, as it was surrounded by a magnificent 
territory of rich farming lands, which had been settled for many years 
by thrifty and progressive farmers, many of whom were homesteaders 
twenty-five to thirty years ago. The location of Westbrook is an admir- 
able one from a business standpoint, speaking geographically. It is on the 
west side of Cottonwood county, a little over a mile from the Murray 
county line and is about the center of the county on a north and south line. 
twenty-eight miles from Windom and ha- a wide trade territory in every 
direction. 

As an index of the growth and improvements in the town from July 
11, 1900, to May 1. 1901. one need notice only the assessed valuations. 
The assessed value of building improvements was forty-four thousand dol- 
lars. On May 1, the personal property valuation was seventy-four thousand 
five hundred and twenty-two dollars. These values did not include real 
estate. 

(13) ■ 



CHAPTER VII. 

AGRICULTURAL INTERESTS OF COTTONWOOD COUNTY. 

Agriculture in all ages of the world's history has been man's chief 
industry and substantial support. There is only a comparatively small per- 
centage of the earth's surface on which good crops can be produced. The 
grains and grasses and fruits and vegetables can only be found growing 
in limited portions of the globe, and the man who lives in a crop belt and 
owns a farm, be it small or large, is the most independent being on earth. 
When all other industries fail, he still is called upon to provide food for the 
earth's population. There are certain localities where the great harvests of 
wheat, corn and other bread-stuff products can be seen in their annual 
beauty and wealth. This section of the United States is confined largely 
to the great Mississippi and Missouri valleys. Hence, he who is fortunate 
enough to have his farm located in any one of the central western states, in- 
cluding Minnesota, is indeed fortunate. Among the counties where corn, 
wheat, oats, grasses, fruits and vegetables grow in abundance, and a crop 
failure is seldom recorded, we find Cottonwood classed among the foremost. 

The manner of farming and the class of products have changed 
materially in the last third of a century. Then it was wheat ami oats and 
flax almost entirely; now the successful farmer is a believer in and grower 
of corn and the feeding of stock and butter-making. Not alone have the 
crops changed, but the machinery with which all farm work is now clone 
is vastly different from that employed when Cottonwood county was organ- 
ized forty-six years ago. True, they had harvesters and mowers, but not 
such as we use today. We had to wait years for a successful self-binder; 
first, the Walter A. Wood wire binder; then the real "binder." the Appleby, 
invented by a Minnesota man, came into universal use. The harvesting 
peril id has been shortened. The hay-making machinery is another innova- 
tion of the farm. The old "bull" rakes with wooden teeth are no more 
known. This generation never operated one. 

The hav-rakes, the hav-forks and all stacking machinery are built on a 
different plan than those our fathers used. We can put up twenty times as 
much hay in a given time as they could. The corn-planter, cultivator, walk- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I95 

ing and riding plows, and disks and a hundred and one machines, including 
the thresher and the corn harvesters, have all come into use long since the 
homesteader plodded over this county, content to use what machinery his 
time afforded. He worked longer days and rode in nothing like an auto- 
mobile, yet to him we owe the present prosperity of Cottonwood county. 
He remained here through all sorts of adversities, until the sun of better 
days began to light up the former gloom. 

A day's drive through any one of the townships of this county will 
present to the tourist a scene at once charming and one which is ever a feast 
to the eye of one who has an eye for beauty and an appreciation of the great 
agricultural interests of southern Minnesota. Here one sees the well-tilled 
farms, the tame grasses, the fattening stock, the well-built, well-painted 
farm houses, and the surrounding barns and shedding, with silos towering 
up to show what modern agriculture really has accomplished. With the 
farm, the stock, the dairy, the poultry, the fruit orchard and excellent 
garden, no one can question the statement that these people are a favored 
people. 

POULTRY SHOW. 

Windom' first annual poultry show took place in December, 1907, and 
was one of the best and biggest this part of the state ever saw. Birds were 
brought from many parts of Minnesota and Iowa, and a great interest was 
manifested. It was organized with the intent inn of making it a permanent 
institution and of doing lasting good to the county and community. 

. EARLY AND PRESENT STOCK FARMS. 

Among the first great horse-breeding farms of Cottonwood county 
was that established in the spring of 1892 by Charles Thompson. It was 
known as the "Riverside Stock Farm," and is situated just opposite Win- 
dom, across the Des Moines river and comes down to the water's edge. 
Here more than one hundred thousand dollars was expended for stock anil 
building, including a twelve-thousand-dollar imported stallion. Both the 
barns and residence were constructed on modern plans. The grounds were 
laid out by landscape gardeners and the lawn was viewed by hundreds, who 
pronounced it among the finest in Minnesota. Mr. Thompson buill a tine 
race track, a half-mile in length, the whole being enclosed by a high tight 
board fence, so that neither animals nor drivers could in any possible main 
be injured. A large pasture was fenced in with boards, the enclosure hav- 



Iq6 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 

ing about three hundred acres within it. This pasture has the Des Moines 
river running through it for at least a distance of one mile, and it was 
skirted with sufficient timber to insure shelter and shade from the sun's hot 
rays. It was divided into large paddocks where the brood mares were safely 
kept on the finest growth of blue grass. In his barns and pastures there 
were kept some of the most valuable and handsome horses to be found in 
the United States, some of which were closely related to "Nancy Hanks," 
which animal in 1892 broke all records for speed in trotting races in this 
country. The superintendent in 1892-3 was W. D. Wright and the fore- 
man was James Hanton, together with trained horsemen from the Kentucky 
horse farms. 

After the death of Mr. Thompson, the enterprise went down and 
gradually the place was subdivided and allowed to go out of the horse 
breeding business and is now used for general farming purposes, but not 
particularly devoted to blooded horses. Mr. Thompson was a mute and the 
son of a wealthy land-owner of St. Paul ; both father and son are now de- 
ceased, and the vast landed estate includes the largest farm land acreage in 
Minnesota by any one family. It is cared for now by Air. Kendall, for- 
merly of Windom. 

In the nineties, the following appeared in the local newspaper: 
"One of the wide-awake progressive stock men of the county is John 
Paulson, who is the owner and proprietor of the "Three Lake Stock Farm." 
He makes a specialty of Shorthorn cattle, Poland China hugs and Shrop- 
shire sheep. He has quite a reputation as a breeder of thoroughbred stock 
and his blooded animals are found throughout the state of Minnesota." 

The present blooded-stock raisers include the following: Ole O. Knut- 
son, Ann township; Helga Johnson, Ann township: Hanson & Nackerund, 
Ann township: Peter Nelson (Shorthorn cattle). Westbrook township; O. 
H. Smeby, Westbrook township, fancy hogs, etc.; J. A. Christiansen (Hol- 
stein cattle), Westbrook township; .\ T . J. Henkels, Southbrook township; 
J. P.. Savage, Delton township; X. P. Minion. Delton township: Charles W. 
Stark, Selma township; John J. Quiring, Midway township; Emil Paulson, 
Dale township; 1''.. J. Gove, Lakeside township; D. W. Weld. Windoin; 
Henrv D. Peters, Dale township; T. V. & Lula Fisk, Selma township. Be- 
sides the foregoing there are many more smaller farms where line stock- 
breeding is carried on to quite an extent. The county has prospered more 
since the line stock and dairy business has been established than in all the 
previous years in the history of Cottonwood county. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. l()J 

THE CREAMERY INDUSTRY. 

Men and women still living in Cottonwood county, remember, when 
children and youths, the old dash churn and what a tedious task it was to 
get butter "to come" by the constant plying of the old upright dasher. In 
winter the cream was said to be too cold and hot water was turned into the 
stoneware churn, and in summer it was said to be too hot, so the housewife 
placed cold water in the churn. Sometimes it never did come as first-class 
butter, but usually the patience of the good housekeeper was rewarded with 
a crock of butter which had to be worked and packed in tubs or jars and 
finally sold or exchanged for groceries, at from seven to twelve cents per 
pound. 

A little later the system was changed and what was known as the "sub- 
merged can" was brought into use. Deep cans holding several gallons of 
milk were placed in tanks filled with water and kept cool, till the cream was 
fully raised to the top when it was skimmed out and sold to the butter 
dealer, who sometimes collected and at other times demanded it be brought 
to the butter factory. 

Then, again, the dealer preferred to have the farmer bring him "un- 
salted" butter, and the butter-maker would then take all grades of unsalted 
butter and mix them together and usually add plenty of Wells-Richardson's 
butter color, which was the staple article from ocean to ocean, for making 
the otherwise white butter an even yellow color. Times have changed; 
now the pure food laws will not admit of colored butter in many states of 
the Union. 

Then came the modern creamery with the improved Danish separator, 
which in a few moments extracts every particle of the butter-fat from the 
milk. This was a great change and the system has spread throughout the 
entire dairy section of the country. Creameries have been established in 
almost every township of the counties. Some are private, some corporation 
and many are farmer's co-operative concerns, but of whatever character 
they may be, they have proven of great financial l>enefit to the community 
in which they are operated. Cottonwood, with many of her sister counties 
i- by nature a good dairy section. The farmer who in the last two decades 
has paid strict attention to keeping and caring for good milk cows, has come 
to be the most successful of any of the agriculturists in the country. The 
bank accounts have constantly increased and the farmer's family have been 
able to indulge in many of the luxuries which the early wheat-growing 
farmer knew nothing of. 



198 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

It is to be regretted that the statistics of the dairy and creamery in- 
dustry of this county have not been collected and made a matter of record, 
save in a few instances. The raising of fine stock and the production of 
butter are important factors in the wealth of the county. The creamery, 
especially, is what has made Minnesota famous. The immense crops of 
wheat for flour-making purposes, together with these creameries, have given 
the state the name of the "bread and butter state." Cottonwood county, so 
long ago as the World's Fair at Chicago, in 1893, was styled the "Blue Grass 
county" of Minnesota. 

During 1907 the Dovary Creamery Company, of this county, issued 
the following statement: Total number of patrons, one hundred and 
seventy-five; pounds of butter-fat, one hundred and sixty-two thousand; 
total number of pounds of butter, one hundred and eighty-seven thousand; 
per cent of over-run, fourteen and nine-tenths; average price per pound for 
butter-fat, twenty-five and one-half cents; total amount paid patrons, forty- 
one thousand four hundred and thirty dollars and sixty-one cents. 

The present Farmers' Co-operative Creamery at Storden began its 
operations in the month of May, 1916, under the management of Anton 
Madson. The old creamery burned and was replaced by the present one in 
[915. This plant has a capacity of six thousand pounds of butter fat per 
week, but the present output is averaging about three thousand five hundred 
pounds per week. The entire products are marketed in New York City. 

At Bingham Lake the creamery is a private concern and is now the 
property of George O. Fisher, who recently purchased it of H. E. Hakes. 
now of Windom. This is one of the few creameries that calls for and 
delivers milk and cream. At this date the owner has two delivery routes. 
Aboul cue hundred and fifty patrons are served by this plant, which is 
turning out on an average of three thousand five hundred pounds of butter- 
fat per week, all of which finds a ready sale at a fair price in the markets 
of New York City. 

AGRICULTURAL SOCIETIES. 

The first fair association, or agricultural society, organized in this county 
was the one formed al a meeting at the school house in Windom, July 15. 
1882, at which date the following officers were elected: President, C. F. 
Warner, and about twenty vice-presidents from the various townships and 
villages in the county. On July 29, [882, a constitution and by-laws were 
adopted and the membership Fee fixed at fifty cents per member. About one 
hundred joined the society in the county and two hundred fair premium lists 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. I < j< ) 

were printed and distributed. At the first annual fair the marshal of the 
day was Paul Seeger. In 18S6 the society purchased forty acres of land, 
including the present line fair grounds at Windom. They paid one thousand 
two hundred dollars for this tract of land and in 1889 sold sixteen acres of it 
for the same sum 

In autumn, 1916, Cottonwood county held its thirty-fifth annual county 
fair on the grounds located in Windom, and which are provided with the 
best improvements to. be found in any county in the state, outside the large 
cities like St. Paul and Minneapolis. The county now draws from two to 
four hundred dollars per year from the state fund, per legislative enactment 
of several years ago. 

Cottonwood has had several organizations for agricultural fair pur- 
poses, but they all come within the period since 1874. The following is 
gleaned from the Windom Reporter, connecting the first organization of a 
county agricultural society : 

"The first agricultural society in Cottonwood county was organized in 
Windom, Fehruarv 1, 1874, with thirty or forty members. The first offi- 
cers included the following: A. A. Soule, president; S. B. Stedman, vice- 
president; William Prentiss, secretary; S. O. Taggart. treasurer; executive 
committee, S. E. Ford, George Haigh and J. F. Bean. J. W. Benjamin 
and D. C. Davis were elected delegates to attend the meeting of the State 
Agricultural Society, Fehruarv 4, T874." 

In July, 1882, a meeting was held at the school building for the pur- 
pose of reviving the Agricultural Society. C. F. Warren called the meeting 
to order. After stating the purpose of the meeting, the subject of a county 
fair for the coming fall was discussed and it was unanimously decided to 
hold one. A new election of officers took place, with the following result: 
C. I'". Warren, president; Fred Carpenter, vice-president; I'". M. Dyer, secre- 
tarv; executive committee. John (lark, J. F. French, A. E. Woodruff and J. 
Cutler. Vice-presidents were chosen according to townships. S. H. Soule, 
Mountain Pake; S. Blackman, Selma; J. S. Narmore, Delton; M. T. Dewolf, 
Lakeside; S. M. Espey, Great Bend; A. A. Start. Dale; II. H. Potter, 
Amboy; Chris Brand, Germantown; ' ieorge Quevli, Highwater; Rasmus 
Anderson. Storden; D. < '. Ashley, \mo; (i. S. Redding, Springfield; W. J. 
Jones, Southbrook; Henry Trautfether, Rose Hill; A. L. Larson, West- 
brook; Chris Anderson, Amo. Tin- old constitution was adopted, subjed 
to amendment. The management was to be almost entirely in the hands 
of the farmers. 

Officers: W I". Sanger, president; L. C. Churchill, secretary; T. A. 



200 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES. MINX. 

Perkins, treasurer ; C. E. Ware, C. C. Morey and W. W. Hunter, vice-presi- 
dents; P. G. Neufeld, Gus Miller, Fred Moser and Dr. F. E. Judd, directors. 

Superintendents: Horses — Dr. F. . Judd; cattle — D. A. Noble; sheep 
and swine, C. E. Ware; grain, seeds, vegetables and fruits — \Y. \Y. Hunter; 
floral, domestic, fancy work — P. G. Neufeld; machinery and automobiles — 
F. Moser; rural and graded schools — Alf R. Person; races and privileges — 
W. F. Sanger. 

Cottonwood county has long been noted for its excellent county fairs. 
This bespeaks much for the intelligence as well as enterprise of its farmers 
and business men, all doing their full share to make these annual exhibits a 
success. This year is its thirty-fifth fair. 

PRIZES FOR FARM EXHIBITS. 

The customary amount of $80 will be offered for farm exhibits again 
this year. This feature has become so popular that other fairs have adopted 
it, and we want to still retain the lead by having some splendid exhibits. 
The prizes will be divided as follow: $30. $20, $15 and $5. This exhibit, 
which must be grown during 1916, and the points upon which they will be 
marked when judging is done, shall consist of threshed grain, 100 plants; 
sheaf grain, 100 points; corn 200; native grass, 50; tame grass, 100; for- 
age, 100; potatoes, 100; stock, vegetables, 50; miscellaneous, 100. Every 
article exhibited must be raised by the exhibitor. A space will be allotted 
to each exhibitor, if they will notify the secretary, L. C. Churchill, that they 
intend to enter the contest. This space can be fixed up as tastily as the 
exhibitor may desire, and the booth decorations will count in the awarding 
of the prizes, 100 points. 

FARM NAMES. 

By a wise provision of the state of Minnesota law-makers, each register 
of deeds is provided with a book in which may be recorded the name, loca- 
tion and owner's name of farms within the county. A fee of fifty cents is 
all that is charged for such recording, and all who value a name and are 
landowners in a county should have pride enough to so record a name for 
their farm. The following have so far taken advantage of this opportunity 
in Cottonwood county since the law became effective: 

The "New Leland Farm," by E. C. Morck, June 21, 1910, in section 9, 
township 107, range 37 west. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 201 

"Willow Glen," March n, 191 1. in the northeast quarter of section 28, 
township 107, range 36 west, by John A. Kees, Jr. 

"Valley Dale Stock Farm," March 12, 1912, by Alvin Rand, in the 
northwest quarter and the north half of the southwest quarter of section 35, 
township 106, range 36 west. 

"Eureka Farm," in the north half of the northeast quarter of section 30, 
and the east half of the southwest quarter of section 19, township 108, range 
3~ west, by I. O. Iverson. 

"Greenwood Farm," March 22, 1913, by H. J. Fast, in the east half of 
the southeast quarter and the south half of the northeast quarter of section 
12. township 105, range 34 west, and the west half of the southwest quarter 
of section 6, township 105, range t,^ west. 

"Highcroft," November 8, 1913, by C. W. Gove, in the south half of 
the northwest quarter of section 24. township T05, range 36 west. 

"Momingside." Xovmeber 8. 1913, by C. \\\ Gove, in the north half 
of the southwest quarter of section 24. township 105, range 36 west. 

"Sunnyside." by D. U. Weld, in section 35, township 105, range 36. 
Date. January 20, 19 14. 

"Springvale Stock Farm," February 18, [913, by Henrv D. Peters, in 
the northeast quarter of section 36, township 106, range 36. 

"Fairview Farm," February 24, 1914, l.ars M. Olson, in the northeast 
quarter of section 5. township 106, range 37 west. 

"Germantown Stock Farm," March 21, k; 14. by Emil Pankomis, in the 
northeast quarter of section 1,2. township 108, range 36 west. 

"Wild Wood harm." May 8, 1914, by 15. W. Gove, in the southeast 
quarter of section 2, township 106, range 38 west, and the west half of the 
southeast quarter of the same town and range. 

"Clover Brook Farm," August 18, 1914, Mr. Mathisson, in the west 
half of the southwest quarter of section 22, township 108, range 38 west. 

"Fairhurst Farm," by A. G. Mareness, in the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 11, township 103, range 36 west, February n, 1915. 

"Lakeside Stock Farm," by F. J. Gove, in the northeast quarter of the 
northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of section 10, township 105, range 
35 west. March 24, 1915. 

"Bonanza Stock Farm," March 26, 1013, by IT. F. Hanson, in the 
southwest quarter of section 17, township 108, range 38, and the northwi 
quarter of section 20, same town and range. 

"Grand View Farm," April 7. [915, by John Malady, in the northeast 
quarter of section 26, township 105, range 35 west. 



202 COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

"Lake Shore Farm." June 2$, 191 5, by August H. Steigelmeyer, in the 
northwest quarter of section 10, township 105, range 35 west. 

"Maplehurst Farm," February 14, 1916, by Christop A. Goring, in the 
southwest quarter of section 24, township 107, range 34 west. 

"Clover Leaf Farm." March 21, 1916. by H. P. McElroy, in the south- 
west quarter of the northeast quarter of section 9, township 107, range 37 
west. 

"American Stock Farm," by T. A', and Lula Fisk, June 19, 1916, all 
of the southwest quarter of section 8, township 107, range 34 west, and the 
west half of the northeast quarter of the same town and range. 

AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS. 

The state reports show that in 191 3 Cottonwood county had in opera- 
tion seven creameries, with an output of 671.317 pounds of butter. The 
live stock of the county at that date was as follow: Horses, 11. 761; cattle, 
29,510; sheep, 5.547; swine. 17.532. Land was sold at from eighty-five 
dollars to one hundred and fifty dollars per acre. 

The crop average was as follows in 1913 : Corn, 62,069; oats, 57,498; 
wheat. 13.937; barley, 26,854; rye, 5.662; flax, 2,000; potatoes, 950; hay, 
63,830. 

In 1895 the agricultural reports for the state by counties gave the fol- 
lowing for Cottonwood county: 

X umber of farms improved — 1,700; creameries, 6; forest trees planted 
and growing, 3,920 acres; rods of trees along highways. 10,420; total of 
bearing apple trees. 3.563; apple trees growing. 14.400; grape vines bearing, 

3.595- 

Live -lock: Cows, 5,880; sheep, 7,310; cattle under three years old, 
4.(132: horse three years and over, 5,632: hogs, '',621; sheep (sheared), 
7.310: sheep raised, 0,211. 

Field crops: Acres of wheat, 57,000; oats. 36,000; corn. 19,167; bar- 
ley, 10.701; rye. 288; buskv beat, 46; potatoes, 935; sugar cane, 60; tame 
hay. 1.1 i.'o; flax, 9,000. 

Going back to [890, it is found by the agricultural reports that there 
were raised: Wheat. 409,000 bushels; oats, 70S. 000 bushels: corn, 149,000 
bushels; barley. 31.000 bushels; potatoes, 32.000 bushels; flax seed. 133.000 
I Lishels; tons of tame bay. 4,425; prairie bay, 43.000 tons. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 203 

CORN ADVANCING YEARLY. 

In 1880 the growth of Indian corn in this county was looked upon by 
the farmer and landowner as among the doubtful problems, and not con- 
sidered at all practical. That year there were planted 4,000 acres of corn 
and 8.000 acres in oats and barley. But the reports of 18Q3 show that there 
were raised 644,000 bushels of wheat: 587,000 bushels of oats and 349,000 
bushels of corn; barley, 272,000 bushels. The same year the county pro- 
duced 545,000 pounds of butter for shipment. 

NUMBER OF FARMS, ETC. 

In 18S0 there were 867 farms in Cottonwood county: in 1893 the num- 
ber was 1,515, and on these there were 7,000 horses and mules; 10,200 head 
of cattle ; 24,000 sheep, and 4,000 hogs. 

COLUMBIAN EXPOSITION PREMIUM. 

At the Chicago World's Fair in 1893 a Windom man took the prize for 
the gold medal offered on butter from a dairy plant. In 1908 it was said: 
"There are numerous creameries in this county and those adjoining it. These 
are mostly on the co-operative plan, and their product sells in the Xew York 
city markets at the top prices, having often brought more than the famous 
Elgin, Illinois, butter. The Windom Creamery has just captured the second 
prize at the International Butter Makers' Association contest at Minneapo- 
lis. These two counties — Jackson and Cottonwood — arc capable, of easily 
sustaining a hundred creameries." 

The Windom Creamery Company, organized in 1894, had a capital of 
four thousand dollars and was a co-operative concern, made up of the busi- 
ness men and farmers of this county, in the vicinity of Windom. In 1900 
its books show they sold twenty-five thousand d< .liars' worth of butter in 
the markets of the Fast. It had the largest number of band separators of 
any creamerv in Minnesota and its equipment was the best t'i be bad at that 
date. I. A. Hanson, a native of Brown county, was the butter-maker — and 
there was none better in Minesota then. 



204 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN* COUNTIES, MINN. 

STOCK MEN OF I908. 

A local paper printed in 1908 speaks thus of the fine stock men of this 
county: "Some of the finest stock in the state is raised in the vicinity of 
Windom. Mr. Van Xest's Shorthorn drove, headed by a thousand-dollar 
bull; Mr. Waters' famous herd of thoroughbred and grade Shorthorns; Mr. 
Converse's splendid herd of the same breed; Grant Brothers' Polled Angus; 
Mr. Weld's beautiful herd of Galloways; Lars Anderson's Galloways; Ole 
Knudson's Shorthorns; Mr. Einertson's Holsteins; H. Sherman's Jerseys, 
and Silliman Brothers' Polled Angus have proven the adaptability of this 
county for the raising of fine stock. Cottonwood county ships many head 
of blooded cattle to other states." 

In 1910 there were in Cottonwood county twelve creameries, the output 
of which was 566,405 pounds of butter. Live stock — Horses, 9.806; cattle, 
23,543; sheep, 9,067; swine, 12,312. The assessment books at the auditor's 
office show that the acreage in 1912 for this county was as follows: Corn, 
50,891; oats, 62.175: wheat, 17,707; barley. 23,222; flax. 65,191; potatoes, 
58,028. 



CHAPTER VIII. 



SECRET AND BENEVOLENT SOCIETIES. 



In all civilized portions of the globe today there are found various civic 
and secret orders — men banded together to work for each other's good. 
There was a time when many of the religious sects would not tolerate con- 
nection with such societies by members of their denominations. Especially 
did the Masonic and Odd Fellow fraternities have a struggle to establish 
themselves in many parts of this country and in Europe. The feeling was 
hitter, no doubt, on account of their ignorance on the workings and aims of 
these ancient orders. But with the passing of years and a better understand- 
ing of such orders and the many good, benevolent deeds seeirin the com- 
munity, as a result of such lodges, many of the broader churches favored 
such organizations, and the pastors and rectors of the churches were num- 
bered among the "brightest Masons," and the same was true, at a later date. 
of the Odd Fellow order. There are still some religious sects who do not 
believe it right to have secret societies, but they are in a small minority. 

In the settlement of every new county there have been found a few 
Free Masons and Odd Fellows who, as soon as a sufficient number had made 
settlement near to one another, organized themselves into lodges. This was 
true in Cottonwood county. tor the Masonic lodge at Windom was organ- 
ized two years after the county was organized. 

MASONIC LODGES. 

Masonry is the oldest secrel order that is now known to have existed 
in the world. It is well represented in America, as well as all other en- 
lightened parts of the globe. With almost every hand of sturdy pioneers 
there are found members of this order, and a- soon as any considerable 
tlement has been effected a lodge is instituted. 

Prudence Lodge Xo. 97, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, at Win- 
dom, was formed in April, 1872, when they worked undei di pensation, 
which continued until February 1, [873, when a Iodg( a organized. The 
first officers to serve under dispensation wen- a- follow: C. C. Purdy, wi 1 
shipful master; C. L. Hubbs, senior warden; W. II. Wilson, junior warden; 



206 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

S. M. Espy, secretary; C. H. Smith, treasurer; R. R. Jenness, senior dea- 
con; S. S. Johnson, junior deacon; H. Klock, tyler. The charter of this 
lodge is dated January 15, 1873. The total present membership is one hun- 
dred and twenty-two. 

The elective officers in 1916 were as follows: Jens Anderson, worshipful 
master; Earl Marshall, senior warden; S. L. Rogers, junior warden; J. O. 
Thompson, senior deacon; T. E. Dickey, junior deacon; E. A. Sims, treas- 
urer; Andrew Elness, senior steward; F. J. Carpenter, junior steward; Nels 
Anderson, chaplain; George E. LeTourneau, tyler, and John J. Rupp, secre- 
tary. 

The lodge owns the Masonic Temple, built in 1903, at an expense of 
about fifteen thousand dollars. It is a brick and stone structure of strictly 
modern style throughout. Before this was erected the lodge had a frame 
hall for many years. 

There is no other Masonic lodge within Cottonwood county, only the one 
located at Westbrook. 

Windom Chapter No. 48, of Royal Arch Masons, at Windotn, the only 
one in Cottonwood county, was organized on December 3, 1886, by deputy 
grand high priest, I. P. Durfee. The date of the charter granted this chap- 
ter was October 12, 1886. The first officers were: R. R. Jenness, most 
eminent high priest; W. B. Cook, king; Orrin Nason, scribe; T. C. Collins, 
captain of host; C. A. Ludden, royal arch captain; J. S. Kibbey, master of 
third veil; S. S. Johnson, master of second veil; T. J. Hunter, master of 
first veil; A. D. Perkins, treasurer; R. M. Priest, secretary; George Miller, 
sentinel; George E. LeTourneau, principal sojourner. 

The chapter now enjoys a membership of fifty-five, a number of whom 
do in a reside in Windom, as the chapter is made up of those from surround- 
ing towns in Minnesota. 

The officers in [916 were as follow: E. A. Sims, most eminent high 
priest; G. E. LeTourneau, king; F. J. Carpenter, scribe; Nels Anderson, 
captain of host; R, | ). Collins, principal sojourner; T. F. Dickey, royal 
arch captain; John Anderson, master of third veil; Ani. Elness, master of 
second veil; J. ( ). Thompson, master of first veil; A. F. Strunk, treasurer; 
John J. Rupp, secretary; J. B. Benson, sentinel. 

OKI IKK OF EASTERN STAR. 

Arbutus Chapter Mo i6g, Order of Eastern Star, at Windom, was or- 
ganized February t6, [904, by \V. D. Haycock, worthy grand patron of the 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 20J 

grand lodge of Minnesota, and received its charter on June 2j, the same 
year, from Mrs. Elizabeth Thomas, worthy grand matron of the Minnesota 
grand lodge. The charter members were as follow : 

Mrs. Georgia M. Carpenter, Mrs. Florence A. Perkins, Mrs. Jennie M. 
Priest, Mrs. Ellen S. Anderson, Mrs. Ellen E. French, Airs. Violet P. Kibbey, 
Mr. James S. Kibbey, Mrs. Jeannette S. Weiser, Mrs. Lucinda Clark, Mr. 
John F. French, Mrs. Hattie G. Perry. Mrs. Julia H. Ouevli. Mr Edward 

A. Sime, Mr. Reuben M. Priest, Mr. George E. LeTourneau, Mrs. Mary B. 
LeTourneau. Mrs. Priscilla A. Cone, Mr. Frederick J. Carpenter, Mrs. La- 
gertha \Y. Mann, Mr. Milo T. DeWolf, Mrs. Eouise E. DeWolfe, Mr. Will- 
iam P.. Cook, Mrs. Mabelle Stuart, Mrs. Ada Bejle Collins, Mr. Thomas C. 
Collins. Mrs. Elizabeth A. Nason, Mr. Orrin Nason, Mrs. Emma L. Van 
Xest, Mrs. Mary E. Robison, Miss Marie Ouevli, Mrs. Alice S. Kellev. 

The total number of members is now eighty-five. The first elective 
officers were: Mrs. Georgia M. Carpenter, worthy matron; Mrs. J. S. Kib- 
bey, worthy patron: Mrs. Florence A. Perkins, associate matron; Mrs. Ellen 
E. French, secretary; Mrs. Louise E. DeWolf, treasurer; Mrs. Lagertha 
W. Mann, chief conductress; Mrs. Jeannette S. Weiser, associate conduc- 
tress. 

The present elective officers are : Mrs. Mattie T. Sanger, worthy 
matron; Mr. A. F. Strunk, worthy patron; Mrs. Agnes Marshall, associate 
matron ; Mrs. Florence A. Perkins, secreary ; Mrs. Georgia A. Carpenter, 
treasurer; Mrs. Geneva I. Brown, conductress; Mrs. May Jenness, associate 
conductress. 

A school of instruction was held in Windom, April 5, iqio, with fean- 
nette S. Weiser as district deputy. Delegates were present from Jackson, 
Lakefield. Worthington, Heron Lake and St. James. 

The Onyx Lodge No. 266. of the Ancient Free and Accepted Masons, 
was organized in Westbrook, 1005, with the following officers: Worship- 
ful master, G. W. McFarland; senior warden, V. I. Miller; junior warden. 

B. C. Offins; treasurer, I'. I!. Herman; senior deacon, ( ). 1'. Schmidt; junior 
deacon. Frank Stewart; senior steward, J. A. Becker; junior steward, fohn 
O. Bondhus; secretary, J. A. Purson; tyler, J. I). Bevier. 

The present elective officers are as follow: Worshipful master, John 
E. Villa ; senior warden, E. I!. Neilson; junior warden. A. ( ). fverson; sec- 
retary, R. S. 1'eterson; senior deacon, Arndt E. Anderson; junior deacon, 
J. J. Christy; tyler, L. P. Pederson; treasurer, John E. Villa. The member- 
ship numbers thirty-five. 



208 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

INDEPENDENT ORDER OF ODD FELLOWS. 

This fraternity is represented in Cottonwood county at Windom only. 
Windom Lodge No. 108 was organized on January 15, 1886, by A. L. 
Bolton, with charter members as follow : Samuel M. Espey, Charles H. 
Reipke, Orrin P. Moore, Daniel C. Davis, Frank M. Tripp, J. H. Tilford, 
Paul Seeger. DeWitt A. Day. The total number in this lodge in June, 
1916, was two hundred and thirty-six. 

The first elective officers were as follow: S. M. Espey, noble grand; 
J. H. Tilford, vice-grand; A. F. Strunk, secretary. 

The present elective officers are: O. G. Peterson, noble grand; O. J. 
Einstad, vice-grand; M. C. Langley, recording secretary; Jacob Heijn, finan- 
cial secretary; H. E. Hanson, treasurer; C. A. Liem, C. W. Gillam, O. 
Hammerstad, trustees. This lodge owns a hall erected in 19 15, at a cost of 
twenty thousand dollars. 

Des Moines Valley Encampment No. 18, Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, at Windom, was organized on March 30, 1904, by Brigadier-Gen- 
eral August Hohenstein, of St. Paul. The charter members were as follow : 
II E. Hanson, W. A. Peterson, C. W. Gillam. A. P.. Daywitt, W. B. Cook, 
G. A. Petersen. O. E. Seines, P. G. Neufeld, A. W. Annes, H. G. Hawkins. 
J. F. French. E. F. Hewitt, A. J. Rogers, Nels Simonson, F. T. Anton, A. 
Bassette, J. T. Johnson, Thomas Hawkins. H. C. Beise, H. L. White, Edgar 
Scott. S. A. Brown, S. L. Rogers, A. J. DeWolf, D. Rasmussen, W. S. 
French, J. E. Dolan, C. H. Reipke, H. J. Unruh, Carl Reipke. W. M. Teed, 
E. J. Severson, E. ( ). Morton, J. Hinklev, F. J. Carpenter, L. C. Churchell. 
C. C. Minor. A. F. Strunk and E. E. Rank. 

The encampment in [916 had a membership of sixty-three. 

The first elective officers were as follow: C. W. Gillam, chief priest; 
II. E. Hanson, high priest; \. W. Amies, senior warden: W. A. Peterson, 
scribe; ( ',. A. Peterson, treasurer; O. E. Seines, junior warden. 

The present elective officers are as follow: L. Sogge, chief priest; W. 
L. Silliman, senior warden; P. G. Neufeld, high priest; Howard Yerkes, 
scribe; II. E. Hanson, treasurer; E. O. Morton, junior warden. 

Canton No. _'^. Independent Order of Odd fellows, at Windom. was 
instituted on April 1 S, i<)i_\ by Brigadier-General August Hohenstein, as- 
sisted by Majoi Henry Reimer. The charter members were as follow: 
A. W. Annes. P. G. Neufeld, C. W. Gilliam, W. L. Silliman, Philip J. Parks, 
Ole M. Peterson, H. C. Hamilton, L. L. Sogge, Carl Reipke, E. H. Klock, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 20Q 

J. O. Thompson, S. A. Brown, H. E. Hanson, Gustav Mueller, F. E. Silli- 
man, O. E. Seines, F. J. Carpenter, Ed Westgard, J. G. Hinkley, W. J. 
Clark, Howard Yerkes, Thomas 1 [awkins, Edward Olson, Eben O. Morton, 
Andrew Olson, Albert H. Hanson, Walter P. Cowan, K. S. Hocker, J. F. 
French, J. F. Johns, Charles O. Hopstrom. 

The first elective officers were as follow: C. W. Gilliam, commandant; 
H. C. Hamilton, lieutenant; S. A. Brown, ensign; Gustav Mueller, clerk; 
H. E. Hanson, accountant. 

Present officers (1916) : H. C. Hamilton, commandant; Gustav Muel- 
ler, lieutenant; Howard Yerkes, ensign; P. G Neufeld, clerk; H. E. Hanson, 
accountant. There are now about thirty members in this canton. 

REBEKAHS. 

Fidelity Lodge No. 140, Rebekahs, was organized on March 13, 1896, by 
Helen K. Fowler, with charter members as follow : Kittie M. Jeffries, 
Elizabeth Xason, Almina Dolan, Phylinda Hudson, Bertha J. Banks, Jennie 
Teed, Xora Jones, Sarah Swain, Martha Sherwood, Ida Rogers, Carrie C. 
Williams. Lucy A. Williams, Mary Erwin, J. J. Kendall, F. A. Blanchard, 
A. B. Daywitt, W". C. Banks, C. W. Click, E. O. Morton, Frank Peabody, 
P. G. Fullerton, Arthur Gibson, John E. Morrison, William M. Teed, D. I. 
Hudson, James F. Dolen, John J. Hupp. 

The present total membership is one hundred and sixty-eight. The first 
set of elective officers were as follow: Bertha Banks, noble grand; Kittie 
Jeffers, vice-grand; Almina L. Dolan, secretary; Lucy A. Williams, finan- 
cier; Xora Jones, treasurer. 

The officers serving in 19 16 were: Margaret Neufeld, noble grand; 
X<Ta Savage, vice-grand; Emma B. Hohenstein, recording secretary; Mat- 
tie Scott, financial secretary; Anna Mueller, treasurer. 

The ceremonies connected with the laying of the corner-stone of the 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows building, May 25, 1915, were inspiring 
and impressive and conducted according to the customs and practices of the 
order. Parts of the by-laws and records of the lodge, together with a gold 
coin, were placed in the corner stone. Grand .Waster Palmer conducted the 
ceremony, which ended with a prayer by Chaplain Gellis. 

The dedication of the building was held on December 14, 1915. The 
ceremonv in itself, with its solemn and sacred meaning, was well rendered 
and the officers of the local order are to be congratulated upon the manner 
(14) 



2IO COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

in which it was carried out. The ceremony connected with the building of 
the altar, with the principles of the order founded on purity and finished 
with faith, hope and crowned with the greatest of virtues, charity, was very 
impressive. During the work a male quartette sang very appropriate verses 
to further illustrate the work. After the forming of the altar, members of 
the Rebekahs formed in a circle around it and sang the meaningful and re- 
joicing song of Meriam, which she sang on the banks of the Red Sea at the 
triumph of Jehovah over Pharaoh and his horsemen. Addresses were made 
by Grand Master F. M. Payne, of Pipestone, and other state officials. 

ANCIENT ORDER OF UNITED WORKMEN. 

Windom Lodge No. 83, Ancient Order of United Workmen, was organ- 
ized at Windom, June 23, 1883, by William Cheney and C. H. Roberts, 
officers of the grand lodge of Minnesota. The charter members were as fol- 
low : George M. Laing. past master workman; Samuel M. Espey, master 
workman; Benjamin W. May, foreman; Milo DeWolf, overseer; E. C. 
Huntington, secretary; John G. Redding, financier; Herman A. Cone, recor- 
der; C. A. Van Duzee, guard; William W. Barlow, inside watch; B. L. 
Sherwood, outside watch. 

The present total membership is one hundred and fiftv-one. The lodge 
meets at Clark's Hall every first and third Saturday of each month. There 
are lodges of this order in this county at Mountain Lake and at Westbrook. 

The present elective officers are as follow : Nels Sheets, past master 
workman, Henry P. Goetz ; master workman, Arthur L. Cook; foreman, 
\\ . A. Cook, overseer; O. G. Peterson, recorder; Homer Rogers, financier; 
H. E. Hanson, receiver; Thomas Solem, guide; Fred Moser, inside watch; 
A. E. Kilgore, outside watch; Daniel C. Davis, J. Severson, George Grant, 
trustees. 

Mountain Lake Lodge No. 129, of the Ancient Order of United Work- 
men, was organized October 23, 1890. Ann mg the charter members were 
the following: William Dirks, Henry P. Goertz, Arthur L. Cook, Henry 
M. Goss, Henry Hammer, Frank Balzer, J. L. Hanson. M. Wigton, Peter 
H. Dickman, Herman Teichrow. Of these, William Dirks is the only living 
charter member. The first officers include the following: Past master 
workman, Henry 1'. Goertz; master workman, Arthur L. Cook; foreman 
Henry M. Coss; overseer, Henry Hammer; recorder, Solomon Balzer; finan- 
cier, Herman Teichrow; receiver, Frank Balzer; guide, J. L. Hanson; inside 
watch, M. Wigton; outside watch. Peter H. Dickman. The present officers 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. J II 

are as follow: Master workman, G. Ulrick; foreman, Aug Schimnoeski; 
overseer, John Kieli ; recorder, J. J. Adrian; financier, A. P. Ratzlaff; re- 
ceiver. Frank Schimnoski; guide, Louie Glazer; inside watch, P. P. Teich- 
row; outside watch, Aug Buche. The present membership is eighteen. 

The Ancient Order of United Workmen, Lodge No. 267, was organized 
at Westbrook, April 23, 1904. by Deputy Grand Master Gillespie. The 
charter members were the following : W. F. Wenholz, H. R. Pritz, T. T. 
Emertson, S. Rupp, J. P. Johnson, W. Spaulding and L. Anderson. The 
first elective officers were inclusive of the following: W. F. Wenholz, past 
master workman; H. R. Pritz, master workman; T. T. Emertson, foreman; 
S. Rupp. overseer; J. P. Johnson, recorder; W. Spaulding, financier; Ole 
Emertson, guide ; Henry Steinhoff, inside watch. 

The present elective officers are as follow: Master workman, J. Lindly; 
foreman, Edward Myers; overseer, O. J. Seely; recorder, C. W. Seely; 
financier, J. Bauer. The present membership is thirty-two. 

MODERN WOODMEN OF AMERICA. 

Cottonwood Camp No. 2,013, Modern Woodmen of America, at Win- 
dom, was organized in 1893. It now has a total membership of three hun- 
dred. They occupy a leased hall. The charter members of this lodge were 
as follow: Richard Beeching, H. E. Hanson, L. R. Rolph, J. J. Bel?, O. A. 
Heineman, J. W. Rice, C. E. Bosse, W. R. Jeffers, C. G. Schroeder, A. L. 
Bradbury, A. K Moehn, J. A. Crane, O. G. Peterson, T. E. Sime, C. Glick, 
J. M. Railsback, H. Teichrow. 

First elective officers were: H. F. Hanson, venerable consul; E. J. Sev- 
erson, worthy advisor; T. E. Sime, banker; H. Teichroew, clerk; C. E. Bosse, 
escort; Frank Siliman, watchman; A. K. Moehn, sentry; W. R. Jeffers, 
manager; J. W. Rice, manager; C. J. Schroeder, manager. Present elective 
officers: Andrew Elness, E. H. Klock, F. A. Moser, managers; C. F. Love- 
land, venerable consul; W. F. Walker, worthy advisor; E. J. Severson, 
banker; E. A. Sime, clerk; L. G. Christianson, escort; J. A. Morris, watch- 
man; L. W. Crane, sentry; Drs. J. H. Dudley and L. Sogge, physicians. 

Camp Xo. 9396, of the Modern Woodmen of America, was among the 
first lodges started in Westbrook. The order has always been quite active 
and among its members are some of the most prominent business men of the 
town and community. The present officers include the following: Venerable 
consul, E. A. Paetznick; worthy advisor, Albert Bean; banker, John E. 



212 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Villa; clerk, John L. Sammons; sentry, Earl Peterson; watchman. Adolph 
Peterson ; manager, C. J. Seelv ; escort, Arndt E. Anderson. 

Jeffers Camp No. 8302, Modern Woodmen of America, was organized 
on the 25th of June, 1902, with the following charter members: Lewis 
Ahlness, C. P. Baker. A. H. Cook, H. C. Busse, Jed Crawford, G. S. Gil- 
more, Adolph Graff, W. J. Green. Lewis P. Graff, \Y. \Y. Harris, Thomas 
Kelley, Paul Man, Adna C. Mullinex, David E. Noble, Thomas M. Pickett, 
M. Polgene, H. P. Simmons, George Scheppy, W. H. Thrssem. Social mem- 
bers, W. Warner and A. Heinomsty. 

The present elective officers are as follows: Venerable consul, W. A. Sar- 
gent; banker, John M. Johnson; advisor, John Knott; escort, William Witt: 
clerk, A. A. Schimnoski ; outside watch, Henry Shaw ; inside watch, Tames 
Downs. The present membership is thirty-three. 

Cooks Camp No. 2014, Modern Woodmen of America, was organized 
at Mountain Lake on June 15, 1893, with the following charter members: 
John J. Bremen, Arthur L. Cook, Henry J. Dickman, D. D. Enns. Frank 
D. Enns, James L. Greer, Nelson A. Jasperson, Magnus J. Kilde, Herman 
Kremin, Charlie O. Lovejoy, Edward Linschied, Add. J. Myers, George H. 
Regier, James M. Smith, Peter Siemund, Gustav F. Thun, A. L. Thompson, 
Arthur D. Warner, Gust Minke and Peter Wieme. 

The present elective officers are inclusive of the following: Consul, 
George P. Goosen ; banker. W. C. Warner; clerk. Fred Steinhauser. The 
present membership is thirty-five. This order is one among the few lodges 
of the county that own their own building. When the old depot was of- 
fered for sale it was bought by the lodge at a cost of about seven thousand 
dollars and completely remodeled. It well serves the purpose of a town hall. 
as it is supplied with a stage and curtains, a small balcony and electric lights. 

Storden ('amp No. 6318, Modern Woodmen of America, was organized 
in Storden on April 7, 1898, with the following charter members: II. \. 
Andersen, A. G. Andersen. W. W. Bean, S. S. Redman. D. Hedman, P. J. 
Halversen, Anton Madsen, H. J. Olsen, Henry Petersen, Knute Sivertsen 
and 1'". M. Fripp. 

The present elective officers include the following: Consul, Henry 
Andersen; advisor. Petef Hansen: banker, C. F. Petersen: clerk, X. J. 
Klarup; escort, I'. Jensen; watchman, O. Jensen: sentry. Soren Sorensen; 
managers, W. Larsen, Soren Jensen and H. Ruhlierg. The present mem- 
bership of the order is thirtv-five. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. _> 1 } 

ROYAL NEIGHBORS OF AMERICA. 

White Oak Camp No. 482, Royal Neighbors of America, at Windom, 
was organized on December 18. 1896. by Mrs. Mary Abbott, of Austin, 
Minnesota. The charter members were as follow: H. Teichroew, A. Mac- 
kay, Mrs. Jessie Mackay, Mrs. J. E. Johnson, Mrs. J. A. Hanson, J. A. 
Hanson, Mrs. E. H. Klock, Mrs. E. J. Meilicke, Mrs. M. R. Billings, Mrs. 
M. Sherwood, Mrs. Mary H. Fry, A. M. Baldwin, Frank Dickman, Mrs. 
Lagertha W. Mann, Mrs. J. Brubacher, Mrs. E. Jane Schroeder, Mrs. Ma- 
lissa Rolph, Mrs. Julia Peterson, Dr. F. R. Weiser, Carl Schroeder. 

The first elective officers were: Minnie Klock, oracle; E. Jane 
Schroeder, vice oracle; Etta Brubacher, past oracle; Mary Sherwood, re- 
corder; Bertha Billings, receiver; Malissa Rolph, chancellor; Mrs. Meilicke, 
marshal: Mrs. Julia Peterson, inside sentinel; Mary Fry, outside sentinel; 
Mrs. Lagertha W. Mann, Louise Johnson, Alex Mackay, managers. Pres- 
ent elective officers: Isabelle S. Reipke, oracle; Carrie Mitchell, vice oracle; 
Maude Smestad, chancellor; Lagertha \V. Mann, recorder; Hannah Spen- 
cer, receiver ; Bessie Severson, marshal ; Ora B. Reese, past oracle ; Anna 
Freeby, inside sentinel ; Annie Ligsblad, outside sentinel ; E. A. Sime, Caro- 
line Grotte, managers. 

Dora Camp, No. 2101, Royal Neighbors of America, located at Bing- 
ham Lake, was organized on April 6, 1900, by Mrs. Dora Abbey, of Pipe- 
stone, Minnesota. The charter members were as follow: John Younbeck, 
Emma Knospe, Martha Wernicke, Mrs. W. Williams, Minnie Stephenson, 
Elizabeth Jackson, May E. Wilson, Mrs. P. Stephenson, Mrs. L. Sheldon, 
Mrs. Emma Rittenhouse, Mrs. Lena Hart, Mrs. N. Groen, N. Groen, W. S. 
Jackson, A. Wernicke, John J. Geortzen, Henry Hyde, Betty Brubacher, 
Emma Bailey and Charles Cogley. The presenl total membership is forty. 
The camp meets at the Holt & Wicklunds hall. 

The first elective officers of this camp were: Mrs. Mary E. Wilson, 
oracle; Mrs. W. Williams, vice-oracle; Miss Emma Knospe, recorder; Mrs. 
Minnie Stephenson, receiver; Miss Betty Brubacher, chancellor. The 1916 
officers are as follow: Mrs. W. Williams, oracle; Jesse McGladrey, vice- 
oracle; Mrs. Minnie Stephenson, recorder; Emma Rittenhouse, receiver; 
Carrie Deemer, chancellor. 

Fern Camp No. 3440, Royal Neighbors, was organized in Westbrook 
in 1907 by Mary Watt, the district deputy, with the following charter mem- 
bers: Walter Larson, Mrs. Walter Larson, O. C. Anderson, Mrs. O. C. 



214 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Anderson, Adulph Peterson, Hild Peterson, John Villa, Inga Villa, Meri- 
man Peterson, Bert Milligan, Esther Milligan, Phil Johanson, Mrs. Phil 
Johanson, Kate Busswitz, Alma Busswitz, Jessie Beach, Arndt Anderson, 
Enga Anderson, Maud Lamkin, Gertie Seely and Lena Granman. 

The first elective officers are inclusive of the following: Oracle, Inga 
Villa; vice-oracle, Lena Granman; recorder, Anna Johanson; receiver, 
Sophia Anderson; chancellor, Maud Lampkin; past oracle, Emma Larson; 
marshals, Jessie Beach and Gertie Seely; inner sentinel, Esther Milligan; 
outer sentinel, Kate Busswitz; managers, Bert Milligan, Meriman Peterson, 
Alma Busswitz; physician, Dr. Miller. The present elective officers are: 
Oracle, Belle Peterson; past oracle, Hild Peterson; vice-oracle, Anna Moel- 
ler; chancellor, Levina Greenman; recorder, Esther Milligan; receiver, Inga 
Villa; inner sentinel, Rosa Bauer; outer sentinel, Inga Anderson; marshals, 
Edna Greenman. Mattie Pasmore; managers, Mattie Pasmore, Anna Peter- 
son and Bert Milligan. The lodge at the present time numhers fifty. The 
meetings are held in the Villa hall. 



MODERN BROTHERHOOD OF AMERICA. 



The Jeffers order of the Modern Brotherhood of America had its birth 
on July 6, 1906. The following were charter members: F. R. Gramman, 
Lula Gramman, D. E. Ridenour, Fannie Ridenour, E. J. Viall, Ella Viall, 
Lawrence Shaw, Jacob Shaw, Orrin Warner, Amel Sharper, Howard 
Ridenour, Hester Lundgreen, Lizzie Swartz, Burt Hosmer, William Bigbee, 
Nellie Jackson, Dena Querna, Anton Dehrnes, John Jackson, Bert A. Crist, 
Bert Viall, C. A. Herring and A. J. Bushey. The first officers were inclu- 
sive of the following: President, E. J. Viall; vice-president, Hester Lund- 
green; treasurer, John Jackson; secretary, Bert A. Crist; chaplain, Ella 
Viall : physician, Dr. II. E. Harmon; conductor, Burt Viall; watchman, 
Amd Sharper; sentry, Lawrence Shaw; trustees, C. A. Herring, A. [. 
Bushey and William Bigbee. At one time the membership reached the 
high mark of one hundred and twenty-three, but at the present time it is 
only forty-eight. The present officers include the following: President, 
W. S. Swain; vice-president, William L. Long; secretary', Burt A. Crist: 
conductor, Sarah Swain; chaplain, Minnie Potter; treasurer, W. S. Swain; 
sentry, Roy Hosmer; watchman, Frank Hart; trustees, S. H. Crist, C. S. 
Soule, C. \. Herring. 

Westbrook Lodge No. 341, Modern Brotherhood of America, is one 
of the prosperous and active orders of the village, as is indicated by the 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 215 

membership, which at the present time numbers sixty. The present elective 
officers include the following: President, Charles Passmore; vice-president, 
Mrs. G. A. Schippel ;' treasurer. J. J. Christy; secretary, T. J. Arneson; 
conductor, Mrs. J. J. Christy; watchman, R. Peterson; sentry, Mrs. W. E. 
Mead. 

SONS CF NORWAY. 

Nea Lodge No. 60, Sons of Norway, began its existence on April 20, 
1906. with fifty charter members, among whom were the following: John 
Eiden, P. Pederson. Ole H. Solem, Oden S. Skillingstad, Thorsten Kring- 
hang, Sam Salien, A. A. Ouevli. John Paulson, Selmar Solem, L. Sogge, 
Ole A. FJness, Louis Smog)-, Ed. J. Severson, Calmer Elness, G. B. Olson, 
J. K. Moen, H. E. Hanson, Bede Anderson, J. M. Slind, Anton Nelson, 
Andrew Elness, Jens Anderson, J. J. Jasaas, E. A. Sime, J. A. Johnson, P. 
H. Grotte, J. B. Severson, Martin Pederson, O. S. Thompson, Olaf Ron- 
ning. Thomas Solem, Hans Smestad, S. J. Fering, S. B. Grotte, P. A. Peter- 
son, Ole Hammerstad, O. Jasaas, J. T. Kulseth, Abbet Jacobson, C. Jasaas, 
S. O. Haalstad, Bcndick Fredrickson. T. O. Haalstad, Pie Finstad, John 
Hammer, Ole Magnusen, Ole Elvrum, Halver Solem. The first officers 
were : Judge, Halver Solem ; president, H. E. Hanson ; vice-president, John 
Paulson ; physicians, Dr. L. Sogge and Dr. J. K. Moens ; secretary, O. O. 
Solem; financial secretary, E. A. Sime; cashier, Ole Elvrum; regent, P. 
Peterson; marshal, Olaf Ronning; inside watch, Thorsten Kringhang; out- 
side watch, Anton Nelson; trustees. Andrew Elness, J. J. Jasaas, Jens Ander- 
son. 

The present officers are as follow: Judge, Julius Severson; president, 
John Paulson; vice-president, P. Solem; secretary, Sam Salien; cashier, 
Torsten Kringhang; financial secretary, Sivert Fering; assistant secretarv, 
Ole Elvrum; regent, Anton Nelson; marshal, John Hetarp; inside watch, 
John Arntson : outside watch. E. Severson; physicians, Dr. L. Sogge and V 
J. Moen; trustee-. Jens Anderson, Sivert Grotte, Sivert Haarstad. The 
membership at one time reached the high mark of ninety-one, but the present 
membership is about sixty. The society meets regularly on the first and 
third Mondavs in each month in the Sons of Norway hall. 

DAfGHTERS OF NORWAY. 

The Meduatsolen Lodge No. 24, Daughters of Norway, was organized 
in Windom, May 3, 1907. with the following charter members: Elsie 



2l6 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Anderson, Serena Kinghug, Carolina Grotte. Sophia Thompson, Jorgina 
Nelson, Johanna Smestad, Kerste Moen, Hannah Jacobson. Hannah Elness, 
Karen Borseth, Gina Hanson, Kristina Thompson, K. Elvrum, Pedrika 
Solem, Betsy Elness, Anna Paulson, Paulina Paulson, Bergitha Magnuson, 
Leni Miller, Moni Solem, Anna Anderson, Minnie Olson, Juditha Ronning, 
Signe Swenson, Bryneld Paulson, Rena Paulson, Emma Paulson, Ida Pat- 
terson, Hannah Saxhong, Dr. L. Sogge, A. Ouevli. Martha Skillingstad, 
Gina Larson, Bessie Severson, Sarah Growe, Thea Westgard, Clara Chester. 
The first elective officers included the following: President, Mrs. Elisa 
Anderson: vice-president, Seine Kringhang; secretary, Sophie Thompson; 
financial secretary, Jorgine Nelson; cashier, Mrs. Johanna Smestad; singer, 
Kersti Moen; marshal, Marie Solem; inside watch, Hannah Elness; outside 
watch, Mrs. Karen Borseth; assistant secretary, Gina Hanson; assistant mar- 
shal, Christine Thompson; trustees, K. Elvrum, Pedrika Solem, Betsy El- 
ness. 

The present officers are as follow : President, Karoline Grotte ; vice- 
president, Brynoheld Paulson: judge, Soinnare Smogv; singer, Bertha Ben- 
son; cashier. Carrie Elness; financial secretary, Serene Kinghug; secretarv, 
Anna Bell; assistant secretary, Mrs. Peter Solem; marshal, Betsy Severson; 
captain, Sarah Growe; inside watch, Sophie Thompson; trustees, Johanna 
Smestad, Lizzie Anderson. The present membership is about eighty-six, 
although at one time the order numbered one hundred and one. The decrease 
has been caused by many families moving away. 

KNIGHTS OF COLUMBUS. 

An important incident in the history of the Catholic church occurred on 
March 3, 1912, on which date Windom Council No. t(x)8, Knights of Q> 
lumbus, was instituted, with a charter membership of fifty-six. The degree 
work was in charge id' the grand officers. The officers elected at the time 
include the following: Grand knight, M. L. Fisch ; deputy grand knight, 
Michael McGlen: recorder, James J. Devlin; financial secretarv, Charles 
Koob; treasurer, Henry Keffeler; chancellor, John Rampa; advocate, Frank 
Pribyl; warden, Lawrence Shaw; inside watch, Louie Fanclicr; outside 
watch, Jeremiah Harrington; chaplain. Rev. Anthony llennekes; trustees, 
Charles Gallagher, Charles Hartman and Nicholaus Keffeler, Sr. The pur- 
pose of the society is to develop a practical Catholicism among its members, 
to promote Catholic education am! charity and, through its insurance depart- 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 2\J 

merit, to furnish at least temporary financial aid to families of deceased 
members. 

PATRONS OF HUSBANDRY. 

The organization of Patrons of Husbandry, commonly styled 
"Granges," had a great run from 1870 on for many years and in Cotton- 
wood county numerous lodges of this farmers' society were formed and 
much interest taken in them. The first account we have here is of the Moun- 
tain Take Grange Xo. 109, organized in [874. Its first officers were as 
follow: Robert Brown, master; Louis Dunn, overseer; S. H. Soule, lec- 
turer; S. E. Ford, chaplain; D. E. Vale, secretary; A. L. Yale, treasurer; 
M. T. Fall, steward; W. A. Joy. assistant steward; Mattie E. Yale, lady 
assistant steward; Miss M. Yale, Ceres; Mrs. Mason, Flora; Mrs. Fall, 
Pomona: A. Wigton, gatekeeper. Yearly every township had these granges 
and both men and women took an active part in the deliberations of the 
order. 



CHAPTER IX. 

PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS. 

Among the honorable and useful professions is the medical doctor. 
Ever since Galen, the founder of medical science lived, there have been 
doctors and surgeons in all parts of the civilized globe, while every known 
tribe of civilized people on the face of the earth have, as far back as tradi- 
tion and history trace, always had their own peculiar medicine men or 
doctors. In our full strength and complete health we sometimes spurn the 
profession, but when the fevered brow and coated tongue of a patient are 
found, he is anxious to see and consult the "family doctor," that he may 
again be strong and well. 

The science of both medicine and surgery has made very rapid strides 
in the last half century; even in the last quarter of a century, many new 
methods of treatment have come into practice. Especially in surgery the 
advancement has been very striking, and operations once believed impossible, 
are now easily performed. 

The advent of the pioneer doctor in Cottonwood county is a story 
of all the hardships and self-denial of the early settlers, together with the 
hardships, fatigue and exposure at all hours of day and night, resulting 
from riding over trackless prairies and fording unbridged streams. As a 
rule, those doctors were men of ability and had a high sense of honor and 
many a pioneer placed his life or some dear one of his family in the doctor's 
hands, having faith that the best that could be done would be accomplished. 

FIRST PHYSICIAN. 

It is believed that the first physician to practice in Cottonwood county 
was Dr. Allen Smith, who located here on October 10, 1871. After a few 
years of successful practice here, he returned to Ohio, from which state he 
had emigrated, and there died. 

Dr. John II. Tilford was at one time one of the leading and most 
successful physicians and surgeons in Windom. lie was born in [efferson 
county, Indiana, November 28, iN|i. At eighteen he went to the North- 
western Christian College, in Indianapolis, and attended there for some 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 219 

years. He then engaged in the study of medicine in Indianapolis with 
Doctors Jamison and Funkhouser, with whom he continued for three years. 
In 1862 he was commissioned as assistant surgeon of the Seventy-ninth 
Indiana Infantry. He served in that capacity for three years and was 
mustered out in 1865. In 1865-66 he attended a course of lectures at Belle- 
vue Medical College, in New York City, and in 1878 attended Butler Medical 
College. He practiced in Indianapolis for one year and then moved to 
another part of Indiana, where he remained for nine years. In 1879 he 
came to Windom, where he was eminently successful. He died September 
18, 1899. 

PAST AND PRESENT PHYSICIANS. 

The subjoined have registered in Minnesota and Cottonwood county 
as medical doctors, under some one of the numerous state laws concerning 
such matters : 

J. H. Til ford, graduate of the Indianapolis Medical College, 1873, 
registered in Cottonwood county in 1883. He died in Windom in 1899. 

Joseph B. Noble, Rush Medical College, Chicago, 1886; came to this 
county the same year. After practicing here two or three years he re- 
moved to the Iron Range, Minnesota, and there resumed his practice. 

LeRoy Brown. University of Michigan, 1885, came here a year later, 
subsequently moved to St. Paul, Minnesota. 

Noah Diomontenberg, St. Paul Medical College, 1886; located in Cot- 
tonwood county the same year. 

Charles Wilber Ray, Bennett Eclectic Medical College, Illinois, located 
here in 1887 anc l ' ater died in California. 

Thomas A. Beach registered in Minnesota in 1887 and here in 1893. 
He was a homeopathic doctor. 

J. K. Moen registered in Minnesota in 1887 and here in 1893. He was 
here many years, but is now practicing in Minnesota. 

F. R. Weiser registered under the act of 1887 and here in Windom in 
1894; he still practices and is considered a leader in his profession. Ik- 
graduated at Jefferson Medical College, Pennsylvania, in 1891. 

J. F. Scott, under act of 1887, and in this county registered in [899; 
he is now in Yakima, Washington. He was a graduate of McGill Univer- 
sity. 

Theodore Beck, registered in Minnesota under the act of 1887 and 
here in 1896; later he moved to Ohio. 

William T. DeCoster, under act of 1887, and here in 1897; he came to 



220 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Minnesota about 1896. He has gained reputation as a surgeon and divides 
his time between Windom and several nearby villages and cities. 

C. P. Nelson, under act of 1887, came here in 1901, moved to West- 
brook and is now practicing in Minneapolis. 

William N. Theissen, under act of 1887, came here in 1901, moved to 
Jeffers and now practices at Le Sueur, Minnesota. 

William D. Beadie, under act of 1887, came here in 1902, but is now 
practicing in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was a graduate of McGill Univer- 
sity, Canada. 

M. J. Johnson, under act of 1895, came to this county in 1902, now 
located in Minneapolis. 

Victor I. Miller, under act of 1887, came here in 1906, finally removed 
to Mankato, where he is still practicing medicine. 

William D. Rea, under act of 1887, came to this county in 1907; prac- 
ticed at Mountain Lake, this county, but is now deceased. 

Joseph A. Dudley, Windom, under act of 1887, came here in 1909, a 
graduate of Rush Medical College, Chicago. 

P. H. Bennion, registered in Minnesota in 1902, here in 1903, is now 
practicing medicine in St. Paul, Minnesota. 

William F. Coon, of Eau Claire, Wisconsin, came to Minnesota in 
1903 and to this county a year later. 

Ludwig L. Sogge, registered in the state in 1905, here at Windom in 
[906; still practicing here; he is a graduate of Minnesota University, medi- 
cal department. 

H. W. Coulter, under act of 1905, came to this county in 1910 and 
moved to Mountain Lake, this county. 

W. Edwin Patterson, under act of 1905, here in 1911; moved to Lake 
Shetck, Minnesota. 

Charles Daniel Richmond, of North Dakota, under act of 1905; that 
year came to Minnesota and in 191 1 to Jeffers, this county, and is still here. 

John W. ECurz, of Wright county, Minnesota, registered here in 1912. 

I. inns Ira Aklrich, Sioux county, Iowa, under act of 1905, in Minne- 
sota, came to Cottonwood county in 1913. He practiced at Jeffers. 

William Albert Piper, under act of 1905, came from Milwaukee, 1914, 
and now practices at Mountain Lake, this county. 

George Ulrich Panzer, under act of 1905, came here in July, 1911, and 
practiced at Storden and Jeffers. 

Henry Albert Schmidt, under act of 1895, came here in 1915; admitted 
to state in 1909; practiced at Westbrook. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 221 

In 1905 the record shows that the county commissioners appointed the 
following physicians as county doctors: Dr. C. P. Nelson, Doctor Miller. 
Doctor Rea, Doctor Weiser and Doctor Harmon, at Jeffers, a number of 
years located there and there died. Also, Doctor Noen and Doctor Meridith 
of Windom. The last named was of the homeopathic school of medicine. 

It is said that prior to 1887, and soon after the pioneer, Doctor Smith 
located, came in Doctor Sacket, who homesteaded land in Great Bend town- 
ship and practiced locally, but never was known as a regular practitioner of 
this county, outside his own farm neighborhood. 

The next to practice in the county were two doctors named Brown, 
who, however, were in no way related by kinship. 

Dr. Charles A. Greene, a physician of large experience and very well 
read in the science of medicine, was bom in Rhode Island, but went to 
Buffalo. Xew York, to obtain a knowledge of medicine, having taken a 
thorough course at the Buffalo University. From Buffalo the doctor went 
to his native state and practiced two years and then moved to eastern Minne- 
sota, practiced three years, coming to Windom in 1878. He died in YYindom 
about 191 1. a highly-respected citizen. 

Doctors Breck and Graham located in the Cone block in 190 1, formed 
a partnership in 1900 and carried on a large practice for some time. Doctor 
Breck was from Ohio; graduated from Wooster and Cleveland .Medical 
schools; he was of the osteopathy school. Doctor Graham was of Pennsyl- 
vania, a graduate of Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. 1870; also 
from Hahnemann Homeopathic School, Chicago; he was a member of sev- 
eral medical societies. 

Dr. J. F. Scott, of Montreal, Canada, graduated at McGill University, 
1899: came direct to Windom and was a member of the American Medical 
Association. 

SILAS D. ALLEN. 

Silas D. .Mien was born in Bradford county, Pennsylvania, December 
ir, 1826. He taught school and studied medicine at Ann Arbor, Michigan. 
Fie married Lucy A. .Allen, also of Bradford county. Deciding to go to 
California and try his fortune as a gold miner, he left home May 29, 1854, 
and took boat at Xew York, sailing by way of Panama and up the Pacific 
coast to San Francisco. He remained in California until November 14, 
1855, and was reasonably well paid for the hardships and experiences he 
passed through. 

In 1856 he settled in northeast Iowa, near Lansing, and farmed and 



222 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

practiced medicine for a number of years, later moving to Carroll county, 
Missouri, where he stayed with his family until 1874, when he moved to 
Cottonwood county, Minnesota, and settled on a farm about a mile from 
Windom, on the Valley road. There he farmed and practiced medicine for 
a number of years, living in a log house until 1880, when he erected a good 
frame house, which still stands. 

He loved farming and especially stock raising. Calls for his profes- 
sional services were numerous, and he never failed to respond day or night, 
generally going horseback, which was the most practical and quickest way 
in those days. He was a skillful physician and his services as counsel were 
much sought for by other doceors in serious cases, they having full confi- 
dence in his skill and advice. The Doctor was a very conscientious man, of 
strong convictions, broad-minded and would not tolerate hypocrisy or graft 
of any nature. He was a great reader, having a splendid library of the best 
works, and in his later years devoted much of his time to his favorite 
authors. In 1901 he sold his farm and retired from active life, moving to 
Windom. The following year his wife died and he lived alone to a large 
extent until January, 1907, when he was stricken with an illness which 
lasted until his death, March 4, 1907. 

The Doctor, by his generous and sympathetic disposition, made a great 
number of friends, and is remembered by many as one who never seemed to 
think of his professional services except as a means of helping suffering 
humanity. His account books showed thousands of dollars for services, 
which he never endeavored to collect. 



CHAPTER X. 

NEWSPAPERS OF COTTONWOOD COUNTY. 



THE WINDOM REPORTER. 

The Windom Reporter at the city of Windom was established in Sep- 
tember, 1873, by E. C. Huntington, who continued its publication until 
March, 1908, when he sold to Warren Brothers Company. In December, 
1902. the old Windom Free-Press was consolidated with the Reporter. The 
Reporter is a Republican paper; eight-page, six-column in form and size, 
and has a yearly subscription rate of one dollar and fifty cents. In the 
summer of 1916 the owners constructed a new brick building for a perma- 
nent office home. The paper is all home-print and is run from a press pro- 
pelled by electric motors. It circulates mostly in Cottonwood and fackson 
counties. Its job department is complete in all appointments. The office 
has among its appliances, a cylinder press, three jobbers, paper cutter, stapler, 
type-setting machine, etc. The local columns are filled with local reading 
matter each issue and its editorials are strong and comprehensive. 

THE COTTONWOOD COUNTY CITIZEN. 

The Cottonzvood County Citizen, published at Windom, was estab- 
lished in 1882 by C. F. Warren, as a farmer'- paper, and subsequently sold 
to a co-operative company, and at different times was owned by A. M. 
.Morrison, of Mankato, W. C. Benbow, C. F. Warren & Sons, and later by 
Churchill & DuniclifY, which firm was succeeded by L. C. Churchill. The 
Citizen is a Republican organ of no uncertain sound. It circulates in Cot- 
tonwood and Jackson counties mostly. Its subscription rate per year is one 
dollar and fifty cents; in form and size it is a six-column, eight-page paper, 
all home print. The owner of the paper owns a building, but owing to a 
long-term lease the paper is published in a leased building. The office equip- 
ment includes linotype, cylinder press, all sizes, of jobbers, perforators, 
staplers, paper cutting machine, punches, and a large assortment of type. 
These various machines are all propelled by electric motors. As a news- 



224 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

paper and up-to-date job office, there are few, if any excelling it in towns 
of much larger size than Windom. The County Citizen is welcome at the 
firesides of many homes in the surrounding country, is clean and full of read- 
able news of the community. 

THE WESTBROOK SENTINEL. 

The Westbrook Sentinel was established on May 8, igoi, by O. M. 
Ouigley and was subsequently owned and conducted by Hoagland Brothers; 
R. S. Peterson is the present owner. It is published weekly and has a sub- 
scription rate of one dollar and fifty cents per year. In form and size it is 
eight pages of seven columns each. It circulates in Cottonwood and sur- 
rounding country. Politically, it is an independent journal, seeking the 
best good for all the people at all times in all things. The equipment of 
the office in which the Sentinel is printed is up-to-date and includes a Prouty 
cylinder newspaper press — two pages of seven columns; a Standard jobber, 
ten by fifteen inches; a Chandler & Price, eight-by-twelve jobber; paper 
cutter; a good assortment and full supply of latest styles of type. A gaso- 
line engine runs the machinery in the printing office. The paper is part 
home and part patent print. It works for the interests of Westbrook and 
Cottonwood county and is a believer in home enterprise and home trade. 

THE JEFFERS REVIEW. 

The Review, at the village of Jeffers, was established by Harry Max- 
field in March, 1900. It was sold in 1901 to A. E. Karst and he in 1907 
sold to M. B. Fish, who in October, 1913, sold to E. F. Schmotzer. It is 
now run from a power press propelled by a gasoline engine, and is published 
each week, at a subscription rate of one dollar and twenty-live cents per 
year. It circulates in the county of Cottonwood and the village of Jeffers, 
being a favorite in the homes of the surrounding farmers. It is a six- 
column, quarto sheet and in politics is independent. The building in which 
the office is now situated is the property of the Modern Brotherhood of 
America lodge. Four pages are home print and Four arc "patent" print 
of choice selection. The equipment of the office includes a Simplex Diamond 
cylinder press, paper cutter, gas engine and a good assortment of both news 
and job type. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 225 

MOUNTAIN LAKE NEWSPAPERS. 

At present there are two newspapers published at the village of Moun- 
tain Lake — The View, in English and the Unscr Bcsucher, printed in the 
German language. They are now both owned and edited by W. J. Toews. 
The Mountain Lake View was established in 1894 by D. C. Benjamin, and 
was owned and conducted in turn as follows: E. E. Lane, I. I. Bargen, W. 
J. Toews. It is a six-column, eight-page publication; is printed on a Drum 
cylinder press, and the office is well equipped with a standard linotype 
machine, a folder and much type material. The plant is just at this time 
(August, 1916) changing from gasoline to electric motor power. It is a 
Republican organ. From twelve to fifteen columns of home print are run 
each issue. The rate per year is one dollar and twenty-five cents. Two 
men are employed in the publication of the paper. Excellent job work is 
executed on a twelve-by-eighteen Chandler & Price jobber. 

The Unser Besucher at Mountain Lake, was founded in 1901 by I. I. 
Bargen, who conducted it until he sold to its present owner, W. J. Toews. 
It is a six-column, four-page paper, printed in the German language. It 
has the same rate as The View and is run from the same presses. In poli- 
tics it is Republican. 

For a number of years there was a monthly paper issued here, known 
as the " Evangelisations-Bote ," also two weekly papers. 



(15) 



CHAPTER XL 

RELIGIOUS DENOMINATIONS OF THE COUNTY. 

While the early settlers were largely made up of returned Civil War 
soldiers and immigrants from lands beyond the seas, yet they did not forget 
their religious vows and early training in their native state or country, for 
it is found that in every community in the county, as soon as there were 
a sufficient number of any one religious faith to organize a church, it was 
done, though sometimes there were but a few charter members in such 
societies. Private houses were used for many of the first religious services. 
Later, school houses were used for meetings and usually all denominations 
of the Protestant faith would hold union meetings. Eventually, each of 
the regular denominations found ways to raise money and build neat churches, 
in villages and rural districts, and since then have maintained regular 
services. In fact, the minister was about as early as any of the settlers, 
and in some instances he, too, was a "homesteader." While he tilled his 
land, he also married people, christened the infants and buried the dead of 
the pioneer community. 

It was the sentiment and every-day exemplary life of the church-going 
people of Cottonwood county that founded her institutions on a religious 
basis, and this, coupled with the school system of the county, has made it a 
community where law and order and a high degree of intelligence are found 
today — nearly half a century after the first white settlers came here to 
make homes for themselves. 

Now nearly all of the evangelical Prole-taut and Catholic churches 
common in this country, are found in Cottonwood county. There are but 
few, if any, villages in Minnesota where there are more churches for the 
number of inhabitants than there are in Windom, the seat of justice. 

Possibly there may he a few small churches within the county which 
have in it furnished the historian with proper data, but nearly all of the 
churches in the county are represented in this chapter, by a brief but reliable 
account of their organization, present strength, etc. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 227 



METHODIST EPISCOPAL CHURCHES. 

The first religious service in the village of Windom was conducted by 
the Rev. J. E. Fitch in the summer of 1871, in the unfinished hardware 
store which stood on the present site of the First National Bank. Rev. 
Peter Baker, local preacher, living at Jackson, was the first on this circuit 
and had a preaching appointment at Big Bend before the village of Windom 
was started. In September, 1871, a union Sunday school was organized and 
in December the first quarterly meeting of the church was held. A class 
meeting had been organized and had met at the home of Mr. Laird. Rev- 
erend Baker was in charge of the congregation until September, 1872, when 
J. W. Lewis was sent here. He came to the village on a sled, as the rail- 
road was snowbound, and preached his first sermon at Swan Lake in a 
private house. On December 8 he preached at Big Bend. 

The only place of w'orship at this time was a small private school house 
pre-empted by the Presbyterian and Baptist congregations. In order to 
avoid all conflicts, it was decided not to use the school house, so the min- 
ister rented a hall over Hutton's store. A stove and some fuel were secured, 
also lumber for seats, and the first quarterly meeting was held on December 
15, 1872. 

In 1873, twenty-seven members and five probationers composed the 
congregation at Windom : twenty members and eleven probationers at Big 
Bend and ten members at Swan Lake, a total of sixty-five members and 
sixteen probationers in the county. 

During the summer and fall of 1873, lots were secured and a few 
subscriptions and donations received through Bishops Ames and Merrill 
from parties in Baltimore, amounting to two hundred and fifty dollars. 
Lumber was bought and stacked on the lots and all work suspended for the 
winter. The frame work was put up in 1874 and in the fall of 1875 the 
house was enclosed and plastered by the Rev. Lewis. 

ANOTHER ACCOUNT OF Till', FIRST CHURCH. 

The oldest class-book of the Methodist people in Cottonwood county 
contains the following names, and dales from July. 1871 : D. W. Work- 
ing, class-leader. A. J. Gessell, M. R. Gessell, Martha Gessell, P. NT. Sackett, 
J. A. Sackett, L. I. Sackett, S. Chapman, Cyrus Finch, Martha Finch, Mrs. 
Jones, Mrs. Thompson, E. L. Working, William Peterson, William Teed. 



228 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Later that same year, the following names were added : G. A. Purdy, B. C. 
Purdy, Alary Purdy, Lavern Purdy Clark, G. A. Chapman, Allen Gardner, 
Lovina Estgste, D. E. Teed, D. B. Jones and wife. Other very early mem- 
bers were: Mr. and Mrs. James Greenfield, Mr. and Mrs. A. Laird, Mr. 
and Mrs. A. Holmes, Mrs. Belle Smith (now Mrs. George Le Tourneaux), 
Eben Morton, Mrs. Lorinda Greenfield and Mrs. Abigail C. Gillam. 

The First Methodist Episcopal Church of Windom was organized in 
the autumn of 1871, by Rev. Peter Baker. The first quarterly conference 
was held in December, 1871. The total membership in May, 1916, was 
about five hundred. The first church building, a frame structure, costing 
about two thousand and fifty dollars, was dedicated on January 30, 1876. 
The present edifice and parsonage were erected in 1901, of brick veneer, 
and cost about seventeen thousand dollars, but it would cost much more to 
build the same today. It was dedicated on April 27, 1902, Bishop John W. 
Hamilton delivering the dedicatory sermon. A large and flourishing Sun- 
day school is connected with the other church and society work. 

The following have served as faithful pastors of the church at Windom : 
Revs. Peter Baker, 1871-72; J. W. Lewis, November, 1872, to March, 1874; 
J. E. Fitch, March, 1874, to September, 1875; J. W. Lewis, September, 
1875, to September, 1876; E. O. Stoddard, September, 1876, to 1877; T. H. 
Kinsman, 1877-78; Nelson Sutton, 1878-79; E. J. Foster, 1879 to July, 
1880; W. E. King, July, 1880, to September, 1882; Levi Gleason. Septem- 
ber, 1882-83; William Copp, 1883-84; B. Y. Coffin, 1884-87; F. A. Arnold. 
1887-88; A. J. Williams, 1888-91; G. S. Perry, 1891-92; E. Vaughn. 1892- 
93; J. H. Buttleman, 1893-96; W. C. Sage, 1896-98; J. A. Sutton, 1898- 
1900; Charles H. Stevenson, 1900, to January. 1902; supplied by President 
Cooper and others from January, 1902, to June, 1902; S. Arthur Cook, 
from June, 1902, to October, 1907; B. C. Gillis, from October, 1907, to the 
present time. 

AT BINGHAM LAKE. 

The First Methodist Episcopal church of Bingham Lake was organized 
in 1000 by Rev. G. H. Way, a presiding elder, and the first pastor, Rev. 11. 
11. Wallace. The charter members were J. W. Cogley and wife, G. J. John- 
son, Bertha Johnson. N. J. Langley, Susann Cogley, Jessie L. McGladray. 
The first church building — a brick and frame — cost at first fifteen hundred 
dollars, and later a frame addition cost seven hundred dollars. The pastors 
who have served here have been as follow: Rev. II. H. Wallace, 1900; 
William Young, 1901 ; S. A. Smith, 1903; P. G. Wager, 1904; S. S. Smith, 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 229 

1905; H. H. Hawley, 1906: S. J. Wallace, 1907; B. Campbell, 1908; A. V 
Rowshausen, 1909; J. R. Stephen. 1910; L. G. Davis, 1911; Rev. McKibben, 
1913; W. E. Thompson, 1914-15; \Y. \V. Smith, the present pastor. The 
present membership of this church is sixty-three. There had been church 
services held here before the organization of this church, by traveling min- 
isters of both the Methodist and Presbyterian faith. 

AT JEFFERS. 

The Methodist Episcopal church at Jeffers was organized by Rev. J. J. 
Lutz in 1900 and now has a membership of fifty-five. The pastors in 
order have been as follow: Revs. J. J. Lutz, A. B. Blades, B. T. Russell, 
J. P. Rawson, F. O. Krause. W. H. Stone, G. W. Root, Teho S. Mondale 
and F. P. Hannaman, the present pastor. The corner-stone of the church 
edifice was laid in August, 1900, and dedicated on February 10, 1901, by 
Bishop Joyce. It is a frame building, costing twenty-two hundred dollars. 

While this is not a large congregation, it well represents Methodism in 
the section in which it is located. Those of this belief, though not affiliated 
with the church as members, attend services here and the faith of this denom- 
ination is kept alive in and surrounding the village. Methodists are pioneers 
in all new countries and it was so in this county. The Sabbath school and 
other societies of the church are here in active operation and doing much 
good in the community. 

AT MOUNTAIN LAKE. 

The Methodist church- of Mountain Lake began its existence as an 
organization in 1893. It was not until 1897, however, that the church 
building was constructed. Mr. Goss, although not a member of the church, 
seemed to think that there should be a Methodist church in the community 
and it was largely his efforts and financial aid that made possible the exist- 
ence of the church. At the present time there are very few memliers and 
no regular pastor is employed. Sunday school is the only service conducted 
in the church and this is under the direction of John P. Rempel, the superin- 
tendent. Among the pastors who served the congregation was TI. H. 
Wallace. 

PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES. 

The First Presbyterian church of Windom was organized, October i". 
1871, by a committee of the Mankato presbytery, appointed for the purpose, 
consisting of Rev. David C. Lyon, synodical missionary of the state, and 
Rev>. Aaron II. Kerr and Edward Savage. The eight charter members 



23O COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

were as follow: Isaac M. Moss, Mrs. Amanda C. Moss, Mrs. Deborah 
Pierce, Mrs. Jenneth Smith, Mrs. D^Loss Smith; Mrs. Margaret A. Savage, 
Abram Frisbie and Melinda Gray. The present membership of this church 
is one hundred and thirty-two. 

During the early years in the history of this church all services were 
held in the school house. Later, the Methodist Episcopal church was used, 
alternating services with the Methodist people, but on Sunday, July 12, 
1885, the Presbyterians dedicated their new church home, a modest frame 
structure, built at a cost of a little less than two thousand dollars. This 
building still stands on the corner of Third avenue and Eleventh street, but 
is altogether too small for the present congregation and Bible school. Plans 
are now maturing for the erection of a new, modern building on the old 
site. John A. Brown hauled the first stone for this church foundation and 
many donated material and work. 

The Windom church owes a very large debt to Rev. Edward Savage for 
his untiring efforts during the early years of this organization. The first 
communion set was donated by a young lady in the East. The individual 
communion service now in use was given by Elder J. F. French just before 
his death, two years ago. The beautiful offering plates now used were 
donated by Mrs. John Hutton, and the sweet-toned piano, by the Orpheus 
Club of the church in IQ15. 

On dedication morning, Pastor La Grange announced that there remained 
but one hundred and twelve dollars to raise in order to dedicate the church 
free of debt and that sum was very quickly and easily raised. A large 
amount of labor was donated, but the details have not been recorded. 

The following is a list of the various pastors of this church : Revs. 
Edward Savage, Samuel W. La Grange, Herbert McHenry, Arthur M. 
Smith, II. P. Barnes, W. H. Sloane, J. C. Gourlev, Walter H. Reynolds. C. 
M. Junkin, Philip A. Swartz, Jr., G. A. Ffolzinger. W. J. Bell, L. F. Badger, 
II I Softly and Rev. Charles C. Brown, the present pastor. 

I lie church organization at Bingham Lake having recently disbanded, 
leaves the Windom church the only one of this denomination in Cottonwood 
county. 

BAPTIST CHURCH 1 - 

The Firsl Baptist church of Windom was organized on July 6. 1890, 
by Rev. J. M. Thurston, a retired minister living at Windom. The charter 
members of this societ) were as follow: Rev. Jesse M. Thurston and wife. 
Polly. Lucius M. Thurston. Irving J. Thurston (sons of Rev. J. M. Thurs- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 23 1 

ton), Sarah J. Thurston (adopted daughter of Rev. Thurston), Etta L. 
Dyer. Hattie X. Dyer, .Mrs. ( G. L.) Annie E. Macomber, Mrs. (C. F.) 
Henrietta Warren. Peter A. Ruhberg and wife, Metta, Mrs. Sarah Rich- 
mond, Mrs. (T. C.) Elmira Richmond, Mrs. Sarah J. Root, Mrs. Anna 
Stark. The present membership of this Baptist church is one hundred and 
fifty-four. There have been three hundred and seventy-six belonging to 
this church, of which number two hundred and twenty-two are not now on 
the church rolls. 

A frame building, located on the comer of Fourth avenue and Eleventh 
street, was erected in 1S91, costing five thousand dollars. This denomina- 
tion has another strong church at Westbrook and a Danish Baptist church 
at Storden, this county. 

The pastors who have served at Windom are as follow: Revs. J. C. 
Mower, July 1, 1890, to July, 1891 ; C. D. Belden, November 1, 1891, to 
November, 1892; W. S. Black, July 1, 1893, to July 1, 1894; G. W. Stone, 
November 1. 1894, to March, 1900; H. A. Erickson, May 13, 1900, to 
August 1, 1902; J. M. Pegelly, June 1, 1903. to October 15, 1905; H. A. 
Stoughton, November 1, 1905, to April 15, 1912; F. E. lams, May 15, 1912, 
to August 31. 1914; William Phillips, March 31, 1915, to March 21, 1916. 
Rev. F. D. Holden is the present pastor. 

Prior to the formation of this church there had been an organization, 
but, owing to removals at the time of the grasshopper scourge, it disbanded. 
some of its members later uniting with the present church. The old "First" 
church was organized in 1872. by its first and only pastor, M. C. Cummins, 
in the village school house where services were afterward held. 

Much of the early prosperity of the present church was due to the 
efforts of the Rev. J. M. Thurston in assisting the pastors. The church 
grew in nine years to one hundred and fifty-three members, but soon there 
was a great migration of members westward, which so weakened the church 
that it did not again reach it-- former numbers for about fifteen years, or 
following the Smith-Gilmore evangelistic campaign in the winter of 1914-15. 
The author is indebted to the church clerk. H. A. Stoughton, for the above 
facts. 

AT WESTBROOK. 

[mmanuel Baptist church, at Westbrook, was organized in 1909 by 
Revs. August Brohlm, C. Henningscn, I!. Jacobson and X. L. Christiansen. 
The charter members were inclusive of the following: P. W. Ludnigsen, 
Mrs. Annie Ludnigsen, Mrs. Ida Ludnigsen, William A. Ludnigsen, Mrs. 



232 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Sine Ludnigsen, Mrs. Laura Nelson, Ole Christiansen. Mrs. Ole Christiansen, 
Jens C. Christiansen, Mrs. Jens C. Christiansen, Carl Petersen, Mrs. Carl 
Petersen, Hans C. Hansen. Mrs. Hans C. Hansen, Mr. and Mrs. Axel Carl- 
sen, N. C. Christensen, Walter Larsen, Mrs. Walter Larsen, F. G. Davis. 
Mrs. F, G. Davis. The present Sunday school superintendent is F. W. 
Ludnigsen and the enrollment is one hundred and thirty scholars. In 1902 
a twenty-five hundred-dollar church was erected. The first pastor was Rev. 
C. A. Ehrhardt. 

DANISH BAPTIST DENOMINATION. 

In January, 1899, Rev. M. A. Summers, the district missionarv, in 
company with the pastor of the Windom Baptist church, visited a few fam- 
ilies in the Westbrook vicinity. Later on, the Rev. Byers. of the Danish 
Baptist church, held meetings in the various homes. The first direct work 
looking toward the formation of a Danish Baptist church was begun by Mis- 
sionary Summers in the school house west of town in August, 1900, which, 
after some interruption, was resumed on December 16, 1900. 

On one occasion Mr. Summers went to the school house, only to find 
it occupied by another minister, both having made appointments for the 
same time and place without being aware of such circumstance. Rev. Sum- 
mers and his people withdrew to the railroad depot, where, through the 
kindness of agent Bell, the first service inside the town proper was held. 
For some time sendees were held in the Silliman hall. The desire for a 
church began to take root and found expression in the efforts put forth to 
secure that end. During the summer months Rev. R. O. Farel, the pulpit 
supply, gave much time to the securing of pledges for the building. Much 
credit is due W. Hubbell for his timely and munificent gift which made pos- 
sible the early construction of the church. In December the church extended 
a call to Rev. C. A. Ehrhardt to become its first pastor and he accepted. 

The Danish lluptists here purchased a good building from the Calvary 
Baptists of Westbrook, who carried on this work for about one year, when 
they sold the building, which was enlarged and a basement put beneath it. 
These changes and improvements cost the society about $4,374. The build- 
ing is a good frame structure, with cement basement under the entire build- 
ing. It is the largest public audience room in Westbrook. The services 
are all in the English language, except twice a month. 

The fir-t prior was Rev. N. H. Byers, from May, iqio. to September, 
1914, since which time Rev. Amandus L. N. Sornsen has been the pastor in 
charge. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 233 

"MISSION BAND." 

The Mission Band church, located at Windom, the only one in the 
county, was organized by Charles E. Croft. July 25, 19 13, but was the out- 
growth of the prayers and labors of many persons in and near Windom for 
many years before that date. Rev. G. L. Morgan was possibly the first one 
to start a full gospel here ; others have been interested in the movement and 
for several years there has been a "full gospel'' convention held annually in 
Windom, and at last they have a place of worship of their own. 

The charter members of this society, or band, were as follow : Rev. 
G. L. Morgan. Mrs. Lura Morgan, Rev. Charles E. Croft, Mrs. Flora E. 
Kettlewell. Arthur Mead, Mrs. Sarah Croft, Mrs. Anna Croft, William J. 
Croft, Benjamin Molten, Mrs. O. Hammerstad, Alma Skewis, Mrs. Bertha 
Kettlewell. Mrs. Edna Croft. Russell Moulton, Gail Morgan, Lewis Hanson 
\rthur Johnson, Mrs. Ethel Freeman. The actual membership in June, 
1916. was thirty. 

A building was purchased of R. H. Kettlewell in 19 13. It is a frame 
structure, which formerly was a Methodist Episcopal church and later was 
used as a lodge room. 

The pastors serving this society have been as follow: Revs. John W. 
Croft, Charles E. Croft, A. W. Mead and the present pastor. Rev. G. A. 
Wooden, who, in giving an account of the work here, said : "This is a full 
gospel movement. We stand for the verbal inspiration of the whole Bible 
and we preach it, live it and teach it as God gives us light upon it. We are 
not trying to build up a denomination, but we are trying to build up the 
Kingdom of Christ in the hearts of men and women." 

NORWEGIAN EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCHES. 

The Westbrook Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran church is ten miles 
to the northeast of the village of Westbrook and was organized by Rev. 
J. Chr. Jacobson in 1886. It has a present total membership of five hun- 
dred and thirteen souls. There are five church organizations, all under one 
pastor, as follows: Westbrook, already named; Higlnvater church, eight 
miles southwest of Lamberton, organized by Rev. J. Chr. Jacobson, with a 
membership of two hundred and four -mil,; Amo church, four miles south 
of Storden, with two hundred and twenty souls, organized by the minister 
just named; Trinity church, organized by the same minister, having a present 
total membership of one hundred and ninety-three souls, and Bethany 



234 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

church, an English Lutheran church in Westbrook town, organized by Rev. 
J. Lewis, who has served as pastor almost five years. The total member- 
ship of Bethany is eighty-five souls. 

Each of these church organizations has a neat frame edifice of its own. 
The pastors who have been faithful over these five flocks are as follow: 
Rev. J. Chr. Jacobson, thirty years; Rev. L. Lund, three years; Rev. L. O. 
Pederson, three years, and Rev. J. Lewis, about five years. 

By these five churches scattered over the western portion of Cotton- 
wood county the Lutheran faith is taught and practiced among a large num- 
ber of people, mostly of the Norwegian nationality. Be it said to the credit 
of these people, that schools and churches have ever been liberally supported 
by them. 

EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH. 

The Evangelical Lutheran church at Jeffers began its existence on May 
18, 1902. The ones who signed up for the first organization include the 
following: Christian Schaper, Garrett Krupher, W. Krahn, Aug. YVolter, 
Fred Palzin, Henry Schoper. The first meetings were held in the various 
homes, in the lumber yard and, in fact, almost anywhere that a gathering 
could be secured. The first pastor was Rev. W. L. Keller; the second, Rev. 
Raul Cornils, who accepted the call of the church May 23, 1904. The third 
ami present pastor, the Rev. E. Michaelis, has served the congregation since 
March 1, 1 9 14. 

On the 12th of February, 1911, a meeting was called and it was agreed 
to build a church building. Those who signed up and shouldered the responsi- 
bility of construction were II. Schoper, J. A. Gerke, Amel Folgel, Herman 
Peltz, V Gruenwald, George Krupke, R. R. Ohls, Peter Hoick and Fred 
l'olzin. Various materials and a great amount of labor were donated by 
the different families and, by hard work and constant effort, the church 
was dedicated on the 28th of August, 1011. with a total cash expenditure 
of one thousand live hundred and eighty-two dollars and fifty-two cents. 
At the present time there are about ten families in the congregation. 

The following article was taken from the Windom Reporter of Decem- 
ber [8, [884: "Dedication services will he held at the German Evangelical 
church in Germantown, commencing Friday, December 10. and on Sunday 
21, in the forenoon, the church will be dedicated. The following clergymen 
will be present : Rev. II. Ihmce, of Mankato, presiding elder: Rev. J. Smith, 
of St. Peter; Rev. I'-. Simon, of Redwood Falls; Rev. M. Gastetter, the 
resident pastor. \ general invitation is given to the public to be present. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 235 

The church building has just been completed at a cost of two thousand dol- 
lars. The building is twenty-eight by forty-eight feet and is furnished in 
good style." 

NORWEGIAN UNITED EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH. 

This denomination at YVindom was organized in either 1881 or 1882 
and now has a membership of sixty-five families or about five hundred 
members. The church edifice was built in 1896 and the parsonage in 1897. 
The pastors have included these : Revs. Andrew O. Hagen, O. C. Mhyre, 
H. H. Holte and F. C. Norman, present pastor. Among the charter and 
early members may be recalled these: A. Quevli, F. Reese, Tolef Stener- 
son, Gabriel Olson, Hans O. Solem, Robertine Pederson, Ole P. Grotte, 
Peder P. Grotte, Ole Komprud, Guilder Pederson, Olaf Selness, Andrew J. 
Sandmell, Oluf Brixelien, Iver Olson and Halvor Solem. 

A Scandinavian Evangelical Lutheran church was formed in YVindom 
in 1888. Rev. K. J. Wang was pastor in 1901, when there was a mem- 
bership of thirty families. It is still doing its work in an humble manner 
and has a small frame church building. 

DOWIE ZIONISTS. 

In 1901 local papers show that YVindom was the seat of a branch of 
the Dowie Zionist society so famous near Chicago. They held services at 
the hall in the Cone business house. 

The German Evangelical Lutheran Trinity congregation was organized 
at Mountain Lake in 1898 by Rev. J. Porisch. Among the charter mem- 
bers were the following: John Oeltjenbrnus, Herman Kremin, John Ehlere, 
John DeWall. John Poppe, Ed. Radtke, William Nibbe, II. .Markwart. J. 
Kunkel, F. Xeuman, II. Dietz, E. Kremin, David Meier, A. .Meier, fohn 
Langeman, John Steinhauser, George Feil, Gottfried Feil, W. Dierks, C. 
Roesner, George Heinitz, G. Heinitz, D. D. Heinitz, I). Heinitz, Carl Jase, 
William Mueller. D. I). Steinle, G. Steinle, Gottfried Schmiers, H. .Ruddat, 
R. Feil, George Schnivck. E. Bag, ami Gust. Ott. The pastors and their 
order of servinj;' have been as follow: Rev. J. Porisch, [898 to 1900; Rev. 
A. Ziehlsdorff, 1900 to 1904; Rev. J. Porisch, 1904 to 1910; Rev. W. C. 
Rumsch. 1910 to the present time. 

The church building was erected the same year the congregation v 
organized, at a cosl of nine hundred and sixty-live dollars. The parochial 



236 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

school was started, September 6, IQ14, in a school building owned by the 
church. The teachers were Rev. W. C. Ruxnsch, student Lindenmeyer, 
student Kohlhoff and Miss F. Winter. Between fifty and sixty scholars 
attend. The present membership of the church is forty. 

LUTHERAN CHURCHES. 

Immanuel's Lutheran congregation, of Rose Hill township, was organ- 
ized in 1880 by Rev. C. H. Schuttler and six charter members. It now has 
a membership of forty. A church building was erected in 1880, costing 
two thousand dollars, and it was rebuilt in 1907 at a cost of three thousand 
dollars. Children of the congregation are taught in a parochial school three 
days in each week alternate years, the pastor being the instructor. The 
following have served as pastors of this congregation : Rev. William 
Priggie, after the founder, Rev. Schuttler, had been in charge from 1880 
to 1890; in 1893 came Rev. Ferd Selme, who served to 1896; next came 
Rev. George Stamm, who served to 1902 ; then came Rev. Christian Heuer, 
serving till 1905; Rev. Jacob Dachsteiner, from 1905 to 1908, when Rev. 
O. J. Wolff, the present pastor, came. 

Trinity Lutheran congregation, of Westbrook, was organized in 1901, 
by Rev. Christian Heuer, with fourteen members. The congregation now 
has a membership of thirty-five. A frame building was erected in 1901, 
costing one thousand dollars, and in 1910 a parsonage was provided costing 
twenty-five hundred dollars. A parochial school is conducted by the pastor 
Saturdays and Mondays about five months each year. This denomination 
has a hcarge and a church at a point in Rose Hill township above mentioned, 
cared for by the pastor of the Westbrook church. The following have 
served as pastors of the Westbrook congregation: Revs. Christian Heuer, 
1901 to 1905; Rev. Jacob Dagchsteiner, 1905-08; Rev. F. Burgley, 1908-09; 
Rev. ( ). J. Wolf, 1909-16. 

MENNONITE CHURCH. 

This denomination, with its various branches, is represented only among 
the Russians in the eastern part of the county, in and near the village of 
Mountain Lake. 

The First Mennonite church at Mountain Lake was organized in 1878 
by Henry Schultz and David Loewen. The first building was erected in 
1882, at a cost of fifteen hundred dollars and the present church was erected 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 237 

in 191 1 at a cost of five thousand dollars. The following have served as 
pastors of this church: Revs. David Loewen, John Schultz. Gerhard Neu- 
feld, Peter Yoth, Gerhard Fast, Jacob Friesen, Jacob Stoesz, A. Friesen, 
D. D. Harder, J. Niessen, I. J. Dick. At present the ministers are, Elder 
Jacob Stoesz, D. D. Harder, Revs. Dick and John Niessen. 

The Mennonite Bergfelder church, which dates its beginning to about 
1886, is located north of Mountain Lake and not very far from town. The 
church was rebuilt in 1913 under the pastorship of Rev. D. P. Eitzen, who 
is now the present pastor. There is a branch church at Delft, of which 
Rev. Eitzen is the pastor. The membership of the church near Mountain 
Lake is one hundred and seventy-five. 

The Mennonite Bruderthaler church began its existence in 1888 and 
was organized by Aaron Wall. Among the charter members were the fol- 
lowing: Henry Fast, Gerhard Fast, Henry Warkerten, Dieter Warkerten, 
John J. Dick, Peter Nickel, John Regier, Gerhard Buhler. The leaders in 
the church at the present time include some of the most prominent men in 
the church and community. Among them are, Henry Fast, Heinrick Fast, 
Jacob A. Wall, H. I. Dick and Aaron Wall. 

The church owns about seven and one-half acres of land two and one- 
half miles north of Mountain Lake, on which the church buildings are 
located. The first building, constructed in 1888, was twenty-six feet wide 
by forty-four feet long, but the church grew so rapidly that this building 
soon became too small, thus necessitating a new one. In 1893 a new edifice 
was constructed at a cost of five thousand dollars. The dimensions of 
this building are twenty-eight feet wide and seventy feet long. The old 
building was then used as a school building and a home for the pupils who 
attend school. During the winter twenty-five to thirty pupils attend this 
school under the guidance and leadership of Abraham J. P>ecker. The 
present membership is about one hundred and fifty, not as large as at one 
date. l>efore so many removed from the county. 

Mennonite Bethel church, at Mountain Lake, was organized in the year 
1889. by H. H. Reiger and about twenty-four others. The first secretary 
was John Tanzen: the chairman, II. II. Reiger; trustees, N. F. Toews, II. 
Goertz. H. H. Regier, H. Schroeder, Jacob J. Balzer and John Tanzen. 
The present membership is two hundred and seventy-three. In 1890 a 
frame church was erected and enlarged in 1895. The cost of the first 
building was sixteen hundred dollars and, as enlarged, the total cost was 
six thousand dollars. The following ministers have faithfully served this 



238 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

congregation: Revs. H. H. Reiger, J. J. Balzer, N. F. Toews and Peter J. 
Friesen. 

This church, in conjunction with four others, has a parochial school — ■ 
a German school of the union type. Three instructors are engaged and the 
pupils now number about one hundred. A two-year course is maintained. 
The school building, a frame structure, cost about four thousand dollars 
and the accompanying boarding hall cost about twenty-five hundred dollars. 
The pupils are given a chance to board at six dollars a month. 

CATHOLIC CHURCHES OF THE COUNTY. 

While this denomination is not strong in Cottonwood county, there are 
good churches at a few points, including Windom, Jeffers and Westbrook. 
It is doubtful if any church in southern Minnesota has ever been organized 
under conditions similar to the Catholic church at Westbrook. It was the 
agitation and assistance of the non-catholics that made the church possible. 
After much solicitation and persuasion, M. J. Breen took up the task of 
securing money to build the church and in only three instances was he 
refused. Of all those who subscribed, only one man refused to pay. Lots 
for the church building were donated by John Sammons. 

In February, 1914, ground was broken for the foundation and in April 
the masonry was completed. On the 7th of June. 191 5. the church was 
dedicated, at a total cost of two thousand three hundred dollars. However, 
much work and material were donated. Recently an improvement, costing 
two hundred dollars, has been made. At the time the church was dedicated 
there were onlv eleven families connected with the church and since that 
time very few have been added. At present the congregation is served once 
a month by Father Prokes, of Windom, but arrangements have been made 
whereby the church is in a circuit with Dundee and now the congregation 
will have services semi-monthly. 

! ighteen virus ago the Catholic families in Windom could be counted 
on the fingers of the two hands. As immigration continued to increase, a 
few Catholic families moved into the town and community and the need 
of a church where they could assemble and worship according to the tenets 
of their faith was sorely felt The little church on the east side of the rail- 
mad track, owned by the Lutheran congregation, was procured and moved 
onto tin' two lots donated by the president of the Cottonwood County Bank. 
This church was used about three years when it became quite inadequate 
to the needs of the congregation. An agitation for a new building was 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 239 

started, which resulted in the up-to-date and modern structure located in 
the northeast part of town. This building was dedicated, November 24-27, 
1902, at a cost of twelve thousand dollars. Among the pastors who have 
served the congregation have been the following: Father Sande. Father 
Yandeniker, Father Schneider, Father Hennekes, Father Prokes. This 
congregation now has about sixty families. 

On January 17, 191 1, the Catholics in Jeffers and immediate vicinity 
met at the call of the pastor. Rev. Anthony Hennekes, at the chapel for the 
purpose of raising funds for a church building. One thousand six hun- 
dred dollars were subscribed in actual money; one hundred and forty dol- 
lars in subscriptions, and four village lots were donated by August Paufhal. 

On February 7, 191 1, announcement was made to the people that Right 
Rev. P. R. Heftron had given his permission for the erection of the church. 
Permission was also given to the Reverend pastor to conduct the Sunday 
services; to conduct high mass on the first Sunday of, each month; to hold 
vespers on the fourth Sunday of each month and mass the following morn- 
ing. Albert Schneider and Theophilus Tibbedeaux were presented to the 
elective board as the first trustees and their names were ratified. 

On June 20, 191 1, a meeting was called for the purpose of letting the 
contract for the building of St. Augustine's church. The contract was 
awarded to Louis Faucher, of Windom, at a cost of one thousand eight 
hundred and twenty dollars. 

On August 20, the church was ready fur divine service and the church 
was dedicated. It was impossible for the Right Reverend Bishop to be 
present, so the regular pastor conducted the ceremonies. The day was ideal 
and man}- of the same faith came from neighboring towns and communities 
for the occasion. The services began at ten o'clock in the morning, the 
dedicatory services being followed by high mass. The choir from Sand- 
born, assisted by local talent, furnished the mu<ic for the occasion. The 
parish of Sandborn also donated the altar for the church. 

The first child baptised in this parish was Helen McShea, the daughter 
of John and Mary McShea. This church now has a membership of aboul 
thirty families. 

EPISCOPAL CHURCH. 

The Church of the Good Shepherd, at Windom, v, a organized, Tune 
15, [880, by the Rev. I). Griffin Gunn. The original members of this parish 
were as follow: Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Collin-. Mrs. George I Mr. 

and Mrs*. Paul Seeger, Mr. and Mrs. Dunnicliff, Mr. and Mrs. F. L. Jones 



24O COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

and others. The membership in the spring of 1916 was thirty-eight. A 
church building was erected in 1881, the first church services being held on 
June 24. 

The following pastors have faithfully served this church since its organ- 
ization, thirty-six years ago: The Revs. D. Griffin Gunn, Charles S. Ware, 
C. H. Beaulieu, F. W. White. S. Currie, Elmer E. Lof Strom, Robert C. Ten 
Broeck, William A. Dennis and the present pastor, Rev. William M. Kearons. 
the Church of the Good Shepherd: "In his address to the Council of 1872, 

The subjoined is found in a written history of the parish register of 
Bishop Whipple recommended that the clergy on the line of each railway 
system organize informally and accept the trust of the vacant mission stations. 
* * * In his annual report for 1874 the Rev. Edward Livermore names 
Windom among the places where he has held services during the year. On 
January 21, 1874, Bishop Whipple made a visit to Windom and preached." 



CHAPTER XII. 

BENCH AND BAR OF COTTONWOOD COUNTY. 

■While Cottonwood county may not have had many illustrious legal 
lights, there have been several lawyers of more than ordinary ability, who 
have practiced at the Windom bar since the county was organized. It is 
to be regretted that no bar association has been kept up, with data from 
which to write a more creditable chapter on this profession, but from old 
citizens and the few attorneys who are in practice today, of the older class, 
the following facts have been gleaned. 

The pioneer lawyer of the county was doubtless Emory Clark, who 
came to Windom soon after the county was organized. It may be said of 
him that he was an excellent man and a good attorney. He died at Worth- 
ington, Minnesota, April 2, 1884. 

Attorney A. D. Perkins was a native of Erie county, New York, where 
he was born on March 24, 1847. He took a three-year course in the Griffith 
Business College, at Springfield, New York. He studied law at home and 
in law offices and finally opened an office in Alma, Buffalo county, Wiscon- 
sin. His next location was at Madelia. He was not successful there and, 
in March, 1872, came to Windom. The first office to which he was elected 
was county attorney in 1872, at the same time being elected to the office 
of probate judge. In 1897 he was elected a member of the upper house of 
the state Legislature, serving in that capacity for four years. He was 
appointed district judge of the thirteenth judicial district of Minnesota in 
[885, and was elected to that office in 1886. After he retired from the 
bench he entered church and Sunday school work, in which he was highly 
successful. 

\. W. Amies, attorncv, graduated from Michigan University in 1885. 
He returned to Windom and became principal of the schools. Later he 
became the law partner of J. S. Tngalls. He is now the present judge of 
the probate court of Cottonwood county. Mr. Ingalls removed to other 
parts a number of years ago. It may be added that Mr. Annes taught 
(16) 



242 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

school at Madelia, Watonwan county, three years; at Morristown, one year, 
and Windom two years. He graduated in law at Michigan University ; he 
was county attorney of Cottonwood county three terms; mayor of the city 
and member of the school board. He is a Mason, an Odd Fellow and a 
Republican. 

George N. Laing was born in Ontario, Canada, November 16, 1850. 
He studied law in the office of Professor Carpenter at Madison, Wisconsin ; 
graduated from the law school at that place in 18S1 and shortly afterward 
came to Minnesota and located in Windom. He was elected judge of pro- 
bate in 1S82, 1884, 1886 and 1888. In 1887 he was appointed as one of 
three to revise the probate laws of Minnesota, the revision of which was 
adopted by the Legislature at the session of 1889. 

Judge J. G. Redding, who, until his death, was one of the leading law- 
yers of Windom, was born at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, in 1849. At seven- 
teen years of age he became a student of Hamline University, where he pur- 
sued his studies for three years. He then engaged in teaching school and later 
studied law for two years, being admitted to the bar in 1871. He came 
to tbe village of Windom in 1872. He was elected clerk of the court in 
1882 and, on completion of that term, became judge of probate. He was 
also county attorney and otherwise prominently assisted in the affairs of 
local government. He died on May 10, 1916. 

W. C. Benbow, attorney at law, Windom, was born in Indiana in 1S63. 
He taught school six terms. Graduating at Ann Arbor Law School in 1890, 
he at once identified himself with this people and was elected county attorney, 
serving two years. He was editor of the Citizen for two years and engaged 
in the brick and tile business here. 

Wilson Borst, attorney at Windom, was born in New York. He was 
admitted to the bar in New York in 1880 and in 1881 he located in law 
practice at Fulda, Minnesota. He was soon afterward appointed attorney 
for the Chicago, St. Paul & Milwaukee Railroad Company, establishing a 
large practice. Pie came to Windom in 1894 and served as city attorney. 
Politically, he has ever been influential. He has long been known as one 
of the keenest, best posted lawyers in southern Minnesota and had for many 
years one side of almost every case tried in the courts of the county. In 
the supreme court he has also been signally successful. He has one of the 
finest libraries found in a private home or law office in the state. 



COTTONWOOD .VXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 243 

MEMBERS OF THE BAR IN IQl6. 

The following are the practicing attorneys of Cottonwood county : 
O. J. Finstad, county attorney, Windom; Wilson Borst, Windoni; Paul S. 
Redding, Windom; N. L. Glover, Windom; A. W. Annes, Windom; J. L. 
Sammons, Westbrook. 

COURT OFFICERS, 1916. 

Hon. L. S. Nelson, presiding judge; P. G. Neufeld, clerk; O. J. Fin- 
stad, comity attorney; O. G. Peterson, sheriff; J. J. Harper, reporter. 



CHAPTER XIII. 

EDUCATIONAL INTERESTS OF COTTONWOOD COUNTY. 

The pioneer settlers of this county were of the sterling type of Amer- 
ican and naturalized foreign citizens who believed in education and in the 
free school system of this country. Hence we find that as soon as there 
were the required number of scholars in any given part of the county, a 
school district was organized, a school house erected and a competent teacher 
employed to instruct the young. While, between the dry weather and the 
grasshoppers of the seventies, the first settlers were having a hard struggle 
to gain a livelihood, yet they managed to maintain a school, which their 
children might attend at least a part of the time. The early school houses 
were neat, though quite plain, small frame structures, which, in time, were 
succeeded by more spacious, better planned and more comfortably furnished 
buildings. Many of the officials of the county and the leading business 
men and sturdy fanners of Cottonwood county received their early lessons 
in these pioneer school buildings, away back in the seventies and early 
eighties. They well recall, and frequently refer to, the dreary winter days, 
when the thoughts of both teacher and pupil were centered more on the 
clouds and the drifting, sifting snows of a genuine Minnesota blizzard than 
on the lessons found in the text books. In many instances schools had to 
be closed for part of the winter term on account of the deep snows and 
fearful storms. 

But with the advent of better times, and the increase in population and 
wealth, the various townships in this counts' provided splendid country and 
village school houses, in which modern conveniences were to be found, and 
such a state of affairs has gradually developed until now the present build- 
ings, their sites and furnishings are as good as the commonwealth affords. 

LANDMARK GONE. 

The Greal Bend school house, built in September, 1871, was destroyed 
by lire in January, 1916. Although built primarily for a school house, it 
was always used for religious purposes. It was one of the old landmarks 
of the county and about the first school house built in the county. 



C0TT0XW00D AND WATONWAN COUNTIES. MINN. 245 

EARLY SCHOOL DISTRICTS. 

The first public school district formed in this county was district No. 
2. organized by the board at the first county seat, Great Bend, November 

25, 1870. It was on petition of James Thompson and others, who organ- 
ized, under direction of the county board, sections 4, 5. 6, 7, 8, 9, 17 and 18, 
of township 105, range 36 west, into a school district in Great Bend civil 
township. 

School district No. 1 seems to have been the one organized under the 
petition of Bernard Caughlin and others, the same being composed of sec- 
tions 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33, of township 105, range 36 west. 

District No. 4 was organized by the county commissioners through a 
well-signed petition presented by the citizens of Westbrook township, and 
the territory included in the district was sections 7, 8, 17, 18, 20, 29, 30, 31 
and 32, of township 108, range ^7 west, and sections 11, 12, 13, 14, 23, 24, 

26, 35 and 36. in township 108, range 38, in Westbrook township. 

At the same meeting of the board, school district No. 5 was formed 
in Springfield township, from sections 26, 2J, 28, 33, 34 and 35, in town- 
ship 105, range 37. 

District No. 7 was organized at a special meeting of the county com- 
missioners, February 4, 1871, the same being in Springfield township and 
composed of sections 1, 2, 3, 12, 13, 14, 10, 11 and 15, in township 105, 
range 37 west. 

School district No. 8, in Lakeside township, was organized February 
25, 1871, of sections from 1 to 18 inclusive. 

Another very early district was that in Mountain Lake township, organ- 
ized at a special meeting of the county commissioners, May 13, 1871, the 
territory comprising all of the north half of the township of Mountain 
Lake. 

At a meeting of the commissioners in \pril, 1871, upon a petition of 
Daniel D. Bates, a school district was formed from the south half of Moun- 
tain Lake township. 

The same day, on petition of Simeon Greenfield and others, a school 
district was formed from sections 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 and 33, in 
Lakeside township. 

School district Xo. 11 was organized on March T2, 1872. and comprised 
sections 7, 8, 17. 18, 19 and 20. in township 106, range 35 west, and sec- 
tions 12, 13, 18, 19 and 20, in township 106, range 36. 



246 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

EARLY SCHOOL IN DISTRICT NO. 35. 

The following is a description of one of the old school houses of school 
district No. 35, Midway township: The school house was perhaps the 
only one of its kind in the county. It was a two-story building of eight 
rooms, two of which were for school purposes, four for family use and 
two for sleeping rooms. Scholars living at a distance came on Monday 
morning and remained until Friday night. Patrons furnished the victuals, 
which were prepared at the school house. At one time this was the largest 
school in the county, having over forty pupils enrolled, fifteen of whom 
stayed during the week. Thus a district school and a boarding school 
were obtained, with none of the disadvantages of either. Mr. Raildbeck 
served as the teacher for a number of years. 

The German school at Mountain Lake began its existence in Septem- 
ber, 1898, with Miss Mary Yanka as teacher. At first the school was held 
in the H. P. Goertz building. There were many people who were unfavor- 
able to this school because they thought the public schools well supplied 
the needs of the town and community. However, the school progressed 
with much success and as an educational factor has played an important 
part in the community. 

EARLY SCHOOL TEACHERS. 

Among the teachers in the county in 1873 were the following: Alice 
( '. Flint, Alice L. Fitch, Alice J. Brown, Nettie Mathews, Emma A. Young. 
Mary C. Nourse, Nellie C. Imus, Edgar A. Holmes, Orrin P. Moore and 
G. S. Redding. 

Among the teachers in 1874, in addition to several of those mentioend 
in [873, were the following: Pars O. Flage, Eva Cook, Orrill Wolcott, 
Nettie Sacket, Mrs. Bell Sheldon, Kittie M. Tingley, Edith M. Taylor, Mary 
Yale, Melissa Seeley, Maggie Morrison, William A. Peterson, Mary Bates, 
Mrs. Oella P. Mason, Mary E. Chapel, Mrs. Rilla Redding and Alva B. 
Swayne. 

In [875 the needs of the schools were growing and several more teachers 
entered the profession, among whom were: Delia Clark. Matiie Under- 
wood, Lillie J. Smith. Alice R. Jones, Lucy E. Vanbuskirk, Flora L. Oakes, 
Kittie Tingley, Katie Lamoreau, Belle Graham, Belle Smith, Mrs. Sophie 
Hayden, Mrs. M. E, Jackson, Clara E. Greenfield, Fannie Herrick, Lann Pat- 
rick, Maggie McGaughey, Emma B. Chapel, George Libby, Edith C. Allen, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. J47 

Minnie Fitch, Naomi Haycraft, Laura Merrill, Abbie Greenfield, Ida I. 
! [oople and Jessie Underwood. 

In these early days of education the school terms were very short, not 
more than four months and more often two or three. It was no uncommon 
thing for a teacher to instruct twenty or thirty days and then resign, some- 
times voluntarily and other times upon request. A rather unique feature 
in connection with the educational system, if it can be said that one really 
existed, was the custom of bonding teachers, especially young lady teachers. 
It has been hinted to the author that this was on account of the many young 
ladies who were picked out as being suitable to grace the household of some 
industrious farmer or business man in need of a helpmate. 

FIRST SCHOOL HOUSE IN THE COUNTY. 

The first school house in Cottonwood county was erected in 1871 in 
district Xo. 1, Great Bend township, and its first term of school was taught 
by Miss Xettie Sackett. 

BINGHAM LAKE SCHOOLS. 

The school and village history of Bingham Lake began about the same 
time. The village now owns a four-room school building and, although not 
modern in every sense, it is perfectly adequate and sanitary. It is provided 
with excellent fire escapes, so that the building can easily be emptied in thirty 
seconds. Ten grades are taught by four teachers, with Jesse Hustob as 
principal. During the past year one hundred and thirty pupils were enrolled. 

STORDEN SCHOOLS. 

The school history of Storden is nol very old. for it was only twelve 
years ago when the school building on the Kahoi Anderson farm was moved 
into town in order that a central location might be secured. Since then an 
addition has become necessary to accommodate the need's of the school. Dur- 
ing the school year of 1915-1916 ninety-six pupils were enrolled. There is 
much agitation for a consolidated school, which is certainly commendable 
and which, if secured, will mean a new building, a high school and a better 
community interest. The school board i> composed of the following: Chair- 
man, J. C. Hanson; treasurer, A. II. Anderson; clerk, S. Anderson. 



24S COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

SCHOOL AT JEFFERS. 

A school for the village of Jeffers became a reality on March 31, 1902, 
when, at a special school meeting, eight thousand dollars worth of bonds were 
voted for the purpose of buying a school site and the erection of a building. 
This amount was seen to be insufficient, therefore, on the 12th of May, 
1902, two thousand dollars more was voted. 

The school is enjoying a very steady growth, the enrollment having 
increased until at the present time the number is one hundred and sixty-seven. 
Five teachers are employed and two years of high school work are given. 
The principal for the school year of 1916 and 191 7 is Prof. O. E. Olson. 

WESTBROOK SCHOOLS. 

No records are at hand on- the first organization of common school 
township No. 57, but the early settlers of this vicinity promptly provided for 
the educational welfare of their children. The little frame school house 
that stood at the intersection of the cross-roads on the northwest edge of town 
will be remembered by many as the seat of learning and social betterment 
of the earlv years. In 1899 the building was moved to the location where 
the imposing brick structure now stands. The teachers at this period were 
Clara M. Jaeger and Anna M. Amundson, both of whom held second-grade 
certificates and received the munificent sum of thirty dollars per month. 
On the 4th of August, 1900, a meeting was held for the purpose of voting 
on an application for a state loan of two thousand dollars for the purpose 
of erecting a new building. The meeting was presided over by Adolph 
Peterson, and Henry Peterson acted as clerk. Judging from the number of 
votes cast, fourteen, all in favor of the resolution, the number of legal 
voters in Westbrook at that time was not large. A two-story frame building 
was erected, but in less than two years it was found inadequate and it was 
proposed to build an addition. The more conservative citizens thought it 
would he heller and cheaper in the end to build a modern school building 
for tin- future a^ well as the present, so arrangements were made for renting 
additional room and plans made for the present commodious structure. 

The teachers of the early Westbrook history were Carrie Seely. Mrs. 
Cone, of Windom, Winnie [sham, Myrtle Stillings, Alice Seely, Mrs. Roberts 
and Sadie Wheeler. Tin- last to instruct in the old frame building were G. 
A. foster. Bertha Byington, Eleanor Reese, and Alice Seely, who taught the 
first and second grades in the rented cottages. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 249 

The village grew apace and the needs of the school required that it 
be organized as an independent school district. For that purpose a meeting 
was held on January 19, 1903, at which C. A. Zieska was chairman and M. A. 
Johnson, clerk. When the vote was counted, the result showed fifty-two 
for the resolution and three against. 

On February 2 a board of six members was chosen, which included the 
following men: J. N. Rivers, J. B. Langum, H. W. Footh, J. J. Christy, 
J. A. Pearson and M. A. Johnson. Upon these men devolved the burden 
of erecting the new building and directing the destiny of the school. 

Early in 1903 steps were taken toward the actual construction of the 
new building. The one that was first proposed consisted of an eight-roi mi 
building and a full basement. These plans were accepted and seventeen thou- 
sand dollars worth of bonds voted, the vote standing sixty-three to one in 
favor of the bond issue. As evidence of the district's sound credit, it may 
be mentioned that the five per cent, bonds were disposed of at a lively scram- 
ble by Eastern investors to Winona capitalists at a premium of seventy-five 
dollars for the issue. Tbe building was constructed the same year and now 
stands as a monument to those who contended so earnestly for higher edu- 
cation. 

At present eight teachers are employed and they have charge of an 
enrollment of about two hundred and twenty-five. Prof. J. B. Wright is 
the superintendent, he having served in the capacity for several years, a fact 
which bespeaks high credit for him, as he has labored honestly and faithfully 
for the betterment and growth of the school and surely he has been rewarded. 
However, his success is due in a great measure to the strong support and 
hearty co-operation of the school board, which at the present time is composed 
of the following citizens: President, II. \\ . Footh; treasurer. J. !•'.. Villa; 
secretary, W. E. Mead; J. E. Nelson, Rev. ( ). J. Wolff and .Mrs. E. P. 
Pederson. 

The school is one of the few in the state to own a school farm. It 
was acquired under the old Putnam system, bin failed l>ecause of the usual 
reasons. In fact, there is only one in the state that can be said to be a sui 
cess and this one is at ( 'okato. The farm at Westbrook is at present leased 
to renters and consists of six and three-fourths acres on the northwesl side 
of the town. 

The pupils have many of the advantages of the city school, in that agri- 
culture, domestic science and manual training are offered to those who may 
desire special courses. 



25O COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 

WINDOM CITY SCHOOLS. 
By Hon. C. W. Gillam. 

The history of Windom's public school is so closely connected with the 
progress of Windom itself that it is almost impossible to give one without 
giving the other. 

Windom was located on the present site in the summer of 1871, and the 
first school was held in the early fall in the upper room of Loop & Wood's 
lumber office, with Miss Lawton as teacher. This was sort of a select school, 
but in October and November of that same year Harvey Klock erected a 
building where the Redding building (formerly occupied by the Odd Fellows 
hall) now stands, the upper floor being used for the Masonic hall. The 
lower floor was rented by the school officers for a public school, and on 
Monday, December 18, 1871, the first public school in Windom was opened, 
with O. Phelps as teacher. Mr. Phelps, I believe, taught through the winter 
term of 1872 and the summer term was taught by Miss Clark, who after- 
wards became Mrs. Loop, daughter of Lyman Clark. 

In October, 1872, an eight-mill tax was levied for teacher's wages and 
an eight-mill tax for rent and fuel. School opened this year on November 
11, with Miss Imus as teacher, followed a little later in the season by Miss 
Alice Flint (now Mrs. C. A. Ludden, of Pomono, California), who taught 
during the spring and summer of 1873 with an enrollment of forty pupils. 

Windom had grown so rapidly that our people saw that it would be 
necessary to provide more room to accommodate our school and, to that end, 
a meeting was called for March, 1873, to vote on the proposition of bonding 
our school district for four thousand dollars to build a new school house. 
The proposition carried, and in May, 1873. the contract was let to Samuel 
Wilson, father of Scott Wilson, to erect a two-story school building on the 
ground occupied by the present building (two lots having been donated for 
that purpose by the townsite company). The contract was let for the sum 
of two thousand nine hundred and ninety-five dollars, and thus was started, 
forty years ago, Windom's first school building, which was practically com- 
pleted in December of the same year. 

On October 9, [873, our school officers voted to have eight months 
school and William Prentiss, who was then county superintendent (now a 
prominent lawyer in Chicago), was elected to have charge of the school. 
School opened in the new building on December 3, 1873, aUl ' '"'"'Mil that time 
on Windom began to be in the front rank as a school town. With as fine 
a school building as any town of its size in the state and with a people who 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 25 1 

were determined to make this school the best possible, people began to settle 
in and around our village to avail themselves of our school privileges as early 
as the seventies. 

Mr. Prentiss was again elected for the year 1875-76 and another depart- 
ment was added, with Miss Chapel as teacher. Probably no teacher that has 
ever occupied our school room had a greater influence over the eighty to 
one hundred pupils then enrolled than did Mr. Prentiss. He was a friend 
to everyone, a social, lovable man, and under his administration, during 
those hard, trying grasshopper times, our school prospered. The social 
life of our town centered around our school. We had a literary society, 
debating society, spelling school and so forth, participated in by people of 
the town as well as pupils of the school. Mr. Prentiss left us when the 
winter term closed in the spring of 1876 and returned to Macomb, Illinois, 
to study law. Mrs. Jackson, of Bingham Lake, and Miss Redding were 
elected to teach for the year of 1876-77 and in the fall of 1877 the board, 
deciding to have three departments for the winter and two for the summer, 
voted the sum of one thousand dollars for the school expenses, so you see 
our teachers did not get rich in those days. 

In the fall and winter of 1877-78 L. C. Jones, of Bingham Lake, was 
elected principal, with two assistant teachers. Miss Taylor and Miss Francis 
Cooke, and the same line of work was adhered to as the previous year. In 
the fall of 1878 Mr. Ingalls. Miss Delia Clark and Miss Bell Smith (now 
Mrs. T. C. Collins) were elected to teach fur the fall and winter term. It 
seemed that the people had not been taking the interest in the school that 
they should and Mr. Ingalls opened his school with an appeal to tin- people 
to visit the school more often and co-operate with the teachers to improve it 
and to help make it a success. 

In the fall of 1879 L. J. Robinson, of New York, was elected principal 
and Mr. Moore and Miss Underwood, assistants. Under Mr. Robinson's 
supervision our school took on new life and did good work. After completing 
his school year .Mr. Robinson joined the ranks M Windom's business men 
and thereafter took a prominent part in the upbuilding and improvement of 
our school. In the fall of 1880. at tin- school meeting held in September, 
the ladies of the town decided to take a hand in the election of school offi- 
cers. In speaking of the meeting the Wmdom Reporter said: "This is tin- 
first time the ladies have taken a part in our school meetings and we ju 
from the interest taken by them that they will hoop 'er up to the ugl) 
hereafter." They did a great deal of talking hack, showing that the fellow-, 
who think the ladies don't know how to vote were very badly in error. They 



252 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

behaved well, did not smoke, nor buttonhole, nor treat, nor do anything to 
corrupt the meeting (but they elected, if I am not mistaken, Mrs. E. C. Hunt- 
ington a member of the school board). This, I believe, was the first time 
the ladies of our town had taken an active part in the business part of our 
school management. 

In the fall and winter of 1880 and 1881 school opened with Mr. Graves 
as principal and Misses Delia Clark and Florence Holmes as teachers in the 
two departments. There was a total enrollment during the winter term of 
one hundred and twenty-one and, in connection with the other work, the 
social literary department of our school was especially active. Debating 
societies were organized in which the people of our town took an active part 
with the pupils of our school. Spelling schools were held, dramatic enter- 
tainments were given and a general co-operation of students, parents and 
teachers along these lines added much to the success of the school during 
the term. At the school meeting held in September, 188 1, a nine-months 
school was voted ami one thousand one hundred and fifty dollars was levied 
for school purposes and one hundred and fifty dollars to build a wood shed. 
School opened on September 19 with A. W. Amies, of Madelia (later a 
judge of probate), who had just finished a three-year term at Madelia, as 
principal, and Miss Delia Clark and Miss Florence Holmes as teachers of 
the primary and intermediate departments. Mr. Amies had a very success- 
ful term and was re-engaged for the year 1882-83 with the same assistants 
in the other departments. 

After completing his term, Air. Amies returned to finish his law course 
at Michigan University, and 11. J. Keith was elected as principal for the 
year [883-84, with .Miss Delia Clark and Miss Nettie Goss for the primary 
and intermediate departments. Our school had increased in number and 
when Mr. Keith took charge he found a total enrollment of one hundred 
and forty. Under .Mr. Keith's administration our school began to plan some 
improvements. Cp to this time it had been sailing along under the old 
common school law. with no apparent end in view except to give our young 
people tlie same advantages they might gel in any district school of the 
county, but Mr. Keith, will) the assistance of Mr. Robinson, who bad now 
become our county superintendent, planned an eight-year course of stud} : 
high school studies to be introduced as rapidly as the needs of the school 
demanded, and a definite plan of action for future progress was mapped 
out and a regular course of study was planned for each grade. Cp to this 
time one thousand three hundred dollars bad been the most that was levied 
in any oik- year for school purposes, but at the school meeting held Sep- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 253 

tember 5, 1884, our people began to show signs of breaking ties that up 
to this time had held them to the old common school system and began to 
agitate the question of organizing an independent school district. The seeds 
of progress had been sown and had begun to grow, a public sentiment had 
been created by the progressive men of our town who were determined to 
make our school the best possible, and so a tax of one thousand six hundred 
dollars was levied and a nine-months school in all departments decided upon. 
T. J. Hunter was elected principal, with Miss Johnson and Miss Delia 
Clark as teachers for the year 1884-85. School opened September 15 and 
had an enrollment of about one hundred and seventy before the term ended. 
At the annual school meeting held in July, 1885, the report showed that two 
thousand dollars had been expended for the year and a nine-months school 
was voted. A. W. Amies, who had finished his law course at the University 
of Michigan and returned to Windom, was again selected as principal of our 
school, with Miss Delia Clark and Miss Johnson as teachers in the primary 
and intermediate departments. School was opened in September and before 
the term closed had an enrollment of one hundred and seventy-five. Up 
to this time Mr. Annes was the only man to be given a second term as 
principal, with the possible exception of Mr. Prentiss in the seventies. Is it 
any wonder we made slow progress? Under Mr. Amies' second administra- 
tion the seed of progress had been '-own nearly two years before it began 
to mature and the result was that in May, 1886, independent school district 
Xo. 6 was organized and the first board of education was elected, consisting 
of I-'.. C. Huntington, J. H. Tilford, J. S. Kibbey, A. W. Amies. J. S. Ingalls 
anil L. J. Robinson. Our school started on the road with living colors that 
was eventually to lead to a high school. < )ur district had already been bonded 
for four thousand dollars, a portion of which was already due and still unpaid, 
and a special meeting was called for June 7, [886, to vote on the proposition 
to rebond the said district and also to secure additional grounds for school 
purposes. This meeting was adjourned to the regular meeting to be held 
July 17. It was given out by the board that was elected in May that their 
policy would be to establish a system of grading of study as nearly as pos- 
sible to the one laid down by the state high school board, intending to start a 
class at the opening of the fall term on the high school course. Their policy 
also included the rebonding of the district, taking up the old bonds, that 
were drawing eight per cent, interest, and, with the con enl -1 the people, 
rebonding at a lower rate of interest. But, alas for the plans of mire and 
men. When the regular meeting was over it was found that nearly all of 
this board bad been defeated and practically a new board elected. Windom 



254 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

up to this time, with a population of one thousand people and two hundred 
scholars, had nothing much better to offer in the way of school privileges 
than the poorest district in the county : but progress was in the air, and in 
the minds of many of our people it was believed that we must provide better 
school advantages, or our young people would soon leave home to attend 
school elsewhere. So, in the spring of 1887, our board purchased two lots 
north of the old school building for additional grounds. 

In July, 1887, our school board elected James Ruane, later editor of 
the Slayton Gazette, as principal, and Miss Silver and Miss Delia Clark as 
teachers for the intermediate and primary departments, and voted nine 
months school. At the annual school meeting held in July, 18S7, the report 
showed an enrollment of two hundred and eighteen for the year, with three 
departments. Think of three teachers doing justice to two hundred and 
eighteen pupils! A tax levy of two thousand one hundred dollars was voted 
for school purposes for the coming year. At this meeting John Clark, who 
built and owned the Park Hotel, and who was a progressive man from the 
East and very public spirited, made a strong speech in favor of building 
a new school building and urged the establishing of the high school, but 
nothing farther was done at this time. Our school board decided to employ 
four teachers for the coming year. James Ruane, who had been taken sick 
soon after school opened, was obliged to resign, and M. H. Manuel was 
secured to take his place, after a three weeks' adjournment of the depart- 
ment. Our school made good progress under Professor Manuel's adminis- 
tration and the board re-elected him for the year 1888-89 and also decided 
to add another department and build an addition to the school house. 

HIGH SCHOOL DEPARTMENT ADDED. 

In June. jX88, a special meeting was held, at which it was voted to build 
a two-story addition on the north side of the old school building on the lot 
purchased the previous year, and the board was voted permission to borrow 
three thousand five hundred dollars for the purpose. School opened Septem- 
ber 10 that fall with four departments. Professor Manuel as principal. Miss 
Helen Hunt for the grammar department. Miss Silver for the intermediate, 
and Miss Delia (lark for the primary. During this term all of our teachers 
put forth every effort in their power to prepare a class for the high school 
work and to carry out the graded plan. They also prepared classes for the 
first state examination and the result was that the following year the upper 
room of the new addition was finished and a high school department added. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 255 

In December, 1890, the state high school board placed the Windom high 
school on the map as a full-fledged state high school. 

THE PASSING OF AN EXCELLENT TEACHER. 

There is one event in connection with our school that happened about 
this time that I feel I ought to call your attention to just now and that 
was the passing of Miss Delia Clark from the teaching force of our school. 
For nearly fifteen years she had devoted her entire time, her talents, and 
practically her life, to the primary department of our school, with always a 
very large enrollment in her department, running as high as seventy-five 
to eighty some years. You teachers who have handled small children can 
realize something of the responsibility that was upon her shoulders. She was 
not only a teacher to these children, but practically a mother, as well, always 
looking after their welfare in school and out, visiting them in sickness, and 
encouraging them in every way she could. No mother has ever watched over 
her children closer than did this little woman over her flock of children 
that was placed in her charge. It was no uncommon sight to see her com- 
ing down the street from school house with a dozen or more of her little 
folks as close to her as they could get. Her services to our sch ■< il and to 
the mothers of Windom cannot be estimated, and no amount of money could 
ever repay her for the sacrifice she ha- made for the children of our com- 
munity during those fifteen years. 

P. G. Fullerton had now been elected principal, with four other teachers 
to assist in the other departments, and our school continued to grow. We 
graduated our first class in the summer of 1892 as follows: Miss Jennie 
Warren, Miss Nellie Scott. Miss Ada Ellis, Miss Edna Jefferson and Miss 
Cora Smith. 

Mr. Fullerton was re-elected for the year [892-93, and more improve- 
ments and new apparatus were constantly 1 icing a' Med to increase the effi- 
ciency of our school. 

In the fall of 1893 A. X. Farmer was elected superintendent for the 
school year of 1893-94 with a good cor])- of teachers and that year a class 
of three was graduated. Our school was now growing by leaps ami bounds, 
more teachers were being added, and it was very evident that more room 
would have to he provided. In July of this year our board voted to have 
free text books and also to secure another room for school pur|X)ses. Such 
a room was fitted up in the temple for a temporary school room, and torn- 
thousand dollars was voted tor the support of the school for the ensuing 



256 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

year. Our board, as well as the people of the town, now saw that the time 
had come when we must build a larger building and as a step in that direction 
a meeting was called for July 11, 1894, for the purpose of voting upon the 
proposition of building a new school building upon the present site, and 
bonding the district for twenty thousand dollars to cover the cost. The 
result was that the proposition carried, the bonds were sold, and the contract 
for the new school was let to Donehue & Hoffman, of St. Paul, for sixteen 
thousand six hundred dollars. Another lot was bought of J. C. Christy and 
added to the school ground and six thousand dollars was voted for school 
purposes the coming year. 

Professor Farmer was re-elected as superintendent for the year 1894-95 
with practically the same corps of teachers, and later the school moved into 
the new building. Our school continued to increase in the number of pupils 
enrolled, a large number of them coming from the country to attend. Pro- 
fessor Farmer was again elected for the year 1895-96. For the year 1896- 
97 Mr. Blanche, who had been filling the place as assistant superintendent, 
was elected superintendent. 

For the year 1897-98 A. F. Armstrong was elected superintendent and 
at the annual meeting, held in July, the report showed a total expenditure of 
twelve thousand nine hundred and twenty-five dollars for the year and a 
cash balance on hand of three thousand three hundred and seven dollars. 
In 1898 and 1899 Mr. Armstrong was re-elected with an able corps of 
teachers to assist him, and this year a class of three graduated. 

( )n April 7, 1899, J- M. Rhodes was elected superintendent for the 
year 1899-1900. He was a man equipped in every way for the position and 
under his directions our school progressed very rapidly. In the spring a 
class of nine was graduated and from this time on to the present I believe 
our school continued to graduate a class each year. Mr. Rhodes was re-elected 
for the year 1900-01. and at the meeting he showed our school to he in a 
very prosperous condition, with a large enrollment and a cash balance in the 
treasury of seven thousand one hundred and ninety-six dollars and twenty- 
seven cents. 

MORE IMPROVEMENTS MADE. 

It was beginning to become a problem to provide room to accommodate 
the pupils that wanted to attend our school and our hoard saw that it would 
onl) he a short time when something would have t<> he done. So they called 
a special meeting of the district for October _-'. looo. for the purpose of 
voting on the proposition of buying the Stedman property, adjoining the 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 257 

school grounds, and also purchasing a site for a school building on the east 
side of town. The result was the purchase of the Stedman property for 
one thousand six hundred dollars, and of block 3 on the east side, for one 
thousand dollars, and it was voted by the board to elect fifteen teachers for 
the ensuing year. 

In July, 1901, Mr. Rhodes tendered his resignation and Mr. Conger, of 
Minneapolis, was elected for the year 1901-02. 

In the summer of 1902, A. M. Locker was elected superintendent for 
the year 1902-03 and music was added to our school in connection with the 
library. 

Our board now saw that we would have to have more room the comine 
year to care properly for the increased attendance and they called a special 
meeting on June 20, 1903, for the purpose of voting on the question of build- 
ing a school house and raising funds for the same and deciding on a site. 
The result was our board was instructed to build a four-room building on 
block 3, on the east side of the town, and on July 8, 1903, the contract was 
let to J. B. Nelson, of Mankato, for six thousand seven hundred and twenty- 
two dollars, all of which was afterwards paid for from funds on hand with- 
out an additional bond issue, and at the annual school meeting held in July, 
1904, the report showed that the school house had been completed and paid 
for and a balance on hand of two thousand four hundred and nineteen dol- 
lars and fifty-nine cents. 

In 191 1 the construction of a new school building was begun, at a cost 
of forty thousand dollars, for high school and grade purposes, commodious 
and well arranged. The aim of the school board was to make it as near per- 
fect as possible in respect to its light, heat and ventilation. This building 
was dedicated in January, 1912, with the usual dedicatory ceremonies. Among 
the notable visitors present were President Vincent, of the State University, 
and Hon. George B. Aiton, state high school inspector. In the hitter's 
remarks he said that as a preparatory school Windom's was second to none 
in the state of Minnesota. 

The basement of the building contains a gymnasium, sixty-five by thirty- 
five feet, a domestic science room, and lavatories furnished with lockers and 
shower baths. The first floor contains quarters for four grade rooms, a 
normal department and an ungraded room. The second floor provide 
high school assembly room, sixty by forty-eight feet, a library, double office, 
a teachers' room, two class rooms and a place for supplies. The old assem- 
bly hall is divided into class rooms for the sciences and languages. 
(17) 



258 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

On March 19, 1914, the board had a meeting and selected E. T. Ches- 
nut as superintendent for the year 1914-15 and his work has been so satis- 
factory that he is still serving in that capacity. 

The school year of 1915-16 was perhaps the most successful and pros- 
perous in the history of the school, due in greater part to the untiring efforts 
of Superintendent Chesnut, assisted by an accommodating and appreciative 
school board. The board of education at the time this is written consists 
of the following: President, D. U. Weld; secretary, Dr. F. R. Weiser; treas- 
urer, A. D. Nelson; Jene Anderson, T. A. Perkins and Dr. H. C. Beise. 
The exact amount paid out by the board for the school maintenance for the 
school year of 1915-16 was twenty-four thousand three hundred and thirty 
dollars and eighty-six cents. 

The high school offers everything in its course of study that is found 
in our city schools, including domestic science, manual training, a complete 
commercial course, agriculture, mechanical drawing and three different lan- 
guages. 

MOUNTAIN LAKE PUBLIC SCHOOL. 

There is nothing of a public nature for which the people of Mountain 
Lake have more reason to feel grateful than their public school. In order 
to give a brief history of the school it is necessary to begin with the organ- 
ization of the school district in 1871. At that time there was erected a little 
"box house," fourteen feet by twenty feet, and which, in the modern sense, 
would be called a cheap shanty. The weather boarding was of boards 
placed edge to edge, perpendicular to the foundation. It was through these 
cracks that the cold winter winds whistled and shrieked and, with other 
things, caused the big boys to snigger out loud and finally to stand on the 
floor with their noses in a ring. The school benches were of sawed boards 
and were placed around the wall, and the teacher's desk, if it may be called 
such, was near the center of the room. About sixteen or eighteen pupils 
was the total enrollment. 

In 1872 the school district comprised nearly all of what is now Midway 
and Mountain Lake townships, but, considering this broad area, only thirty- 
six pupils were in attendance. After 1874, the boundaries of the district 
contracted from year to year and in 1S87 the district comprised only six 
and three-quarter sections. In 1888, the village formed an independent 
school district. 

Tn 1875 the one-room school house was situated on the present site of 
the Mennonite hospital. This building was used for about live years, hut 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 259 

as immigrants were coming in fast, it was necessary to erect a more com- 
modious building. A two-story, two-room building was erected and used 
for about -ten years. Additions were made, until the building consisted of 
four rooms. The need for a more improved and modern building became 
imminent, which led to the sale of the building to a hospital corporation 
and the final construction of the present modern structure in about 1908, 
at a cost of thirty-two thousand dollars. Already the building has become 
too small to accommodate the needs of the school and a fifteen-thousand- 
dollar addition is to be built within the next two years. 

Among the early teachers who will be recalled by many of the old 
settlers are : O. P. Moore, who will always be remembered on account of 
his spelling reforms; Mr. Sharp, Mrs. Kennedy, J. J. Balzer, I. I. Bargen, 
Mr. Miller, Miss Rice, Miss Dredge, Miss Yanke and others. 

The present school system has at its head Superintendent H. A. Falk, 
who has been weighed in the balance and found equal to every occasion and 
emergency. He is assisted by an able corps of sixteen teachers and an 
appreciative and helping school board consisting of the following men: 
President. H. P. Goertz; clerk, J. H. Dickman; treasurer, Frank Balzer; 
A. A. Penner, J. I. Bargen and D. Ewert. In the person of H. P. Goertz, 
Mountain Lake has a public spirited citizen of whom it may well be proud. 
When a lad of fifteen years he came to Mountain Lake in 1875 and ever 
since has been a man of public and business affairs, working tirelessly for 
the growth and betterment of his community. He has served for twenty- 
seven years continuously as president of the school board, a fact which 
alone speaks of the high esteem of his fellow citizens. 

The total enrollment for the past school year was three hundred and 
eighty-five, of which number the high school contributed about one hundred. 

In several respects Mountain Lake may not excel other villages of its 
class in the state, but when educational interests are considered it would be 
a difficult matter to find another village of the same size that can offer such 
educational advantages. Besides a German academy, the village has a public 
school building that might do honor to a town of a much greater population 
and superior business advantages. The brick edifice is situated on a hillock 
in the north central part of town, surrounded by a gently sloping lawn inter- 
spersed with flowers, trees and shrubbery. The village owns a two-acre 
tract devoted entirely to agricultural purposes. Individual plats arc given 
to students for the growing of crops and garden products, which, when ready 
to market, are sold and the proceeds placed in the agricultural fund. 



26o COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

In the way of athletics the high school has always been among the lead- 
ers, especially in basket ball. Several times they have been champions of 
their district and on one or two occasions have been the final contenders for 
the state championship. 

RURAL SCHOOL COMMENCEMENTS. 

The third annual rural school graduating exercises occurred in the 
Wonderland theater July I, 191 6. The theater was packed with an inter- 
esting audience which enjoyed the splendid program prepared by Superin- 
tendent Iverson. 

The rural school graduation has come to be an important event in the 
county. It means as much to the pupils of rural schools to receive a diploma 
of work well done as it does to the city pupil. The first event of this kind 
did not attract much attention. The one held in 191 5 was not very well 
attended, while the one in 1916 was a success in every detail. Future events 
of this character will doubtless grow in magnitude. State Superintendent 
Shultz gave the principal address to the forty-five graduates. His address 
carried with it the idea of preparedness, not for war, but for life. 

In the afternoon the school officers held a meeting for the promulgation 
of ideas pertaining to the betterment of school affairs. Superintendent 
Shultz sp<>ke, as also did Senator Gillam. Before adjournment an organ- 
ization was formed known as "Rural School Officers Association," which is 
intended to be a permanent affair and to take up matters of general benefit 
in school affairs. The first officers include the following: C. W. Stark, 
Selma, president ; R. C. Asquith, secretary ; John Gustafson, Dale, treasurer. 

SALARIES PAID COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS. 

Many changes in the salary and plan of remunerating the county school 
superintendents of Cottonwood county have obtained. The following 
changes arc noted in the commissioners records: In 1872 the salary was 
fixed at $20 per year: in 1879 it was increased to $350 per year; in 1880 it 
was changed to $450 per year: in 1882 it was increased to $520; in 1887 it 
was fixed al $600 per year: in 1889 it was changed to $650; in 1802 the 
plan was changed and the superintendent received eleven dollars per school 
district in the county. In 1912 it is shown that the salary was $1,500 and 
the officer paid all of his own expenses. In 1014 the wages were changed 
to $1,200. The record reads: "On motion, the salary of the county school 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 



26l 



superintendent, A. R. Iverson, is fixed at $1,200 a year, with $500 addi- 
tional for clerk hire and expenses, the same to be paid monthly. In 1915 
another change was made by the commissioners and the salary of the county 
superintendent was placed at $1,450, he to pay his own expenses; also $250 
for clerk hire was allowed him. 

LAST SCHOOL LANDS SOLD IN 1891. 

Of the vast acreage of school lands sold in this county, the last sales 
were made in the month of May, 1891, when three thousand acres were dis- 
posed of — all there was left at that date. 

COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT FOR I915. 



School 


Male 


Female 


Average Salary, 


Auiak'e Salary 


Total 


Months 


District 


Teachers 


Teachers 


Female 


Male 


Enrollment 


Selioo. 


I 





I 


$55 





16 


8 


2 





I 


55 





15 


8 


3 





I 


60 





43 


8 


4 





I 


50 





18 


7 


5 





I 


55 





15 


8 


7 (S. E.) 


-- 


I 


50 





3 


8 


7 (N. W.) 





I 


52 





16 


8 


10 





I 


18 





18 


9 


11 (semi-gr.) 


__ 


2 


108 





47 


8 


12 


I 





_- 


$65 


20 


7 


13 





I 


40 





21 


7 


14 





I 


50 





22 


8 


15 pupils trans 


ferred to 


Mountain Lake. 








16 (south) 


1 


— 


— 


68 


23 


7 


16 (south) 





1 


60 





20 


7 


16 (north) 


1 





— 


65 


22 


7 


16 (north) 





1 


60 





34 


8 


16 (central) 





1 


68 





24 


7 


17 





1 


55 





9 


8 


18 





1 


40 





23 


8 


19 





T 


55 





22 


8 


20 


__ 


I 


53 





13 


9 


21 


__ 


I 


50 





37 


8 



262 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 



School 


Male 


Female Average Salary, 


Average Salary, 


Total 


Months 


District 


Teachers 


Teachers Female 


Male 


Enrollment 


School 


22 







I 60 





25 


8 


23 







I 50 





II 


8 


24 







I 50 





15 


7 


25 







I DO 





25 


9 


26 







I 50 





28 


7 


2/ 







I 50 





42 


8 


28 







1 55 





42 


8 


29 







1 55 





51 


8 


30 







1 56 





19 


7 


31 







1 60 





31 


8 


32 




I 


— 


75 


17 


6 


33 




I 


— 


70 


20 


6 


34 







1 60 





41 


8 


35 




-- 


1 55 





34 


8 


36 







1 50 





2S 


8 


37 




I 


— 


75 


33 


7 


38 







1 . 55 





36 


8 


39 







1 55 





27 


7 


40 







1 50 





24 


8 


4i 







1 55 





23 


7 


42 







1 60 





28 


7 


43 







1 50 





29 


7 


44 







1 60 





42 


8 


45 







1 50 





3i 


7 


46 


(south) 


-- 


1 55 





15 


7 


46 


(north) 


-- 


1 55 





28 


8 


47 







1 50 





16 


8 


48 







1 60 





48 


8 


49 







1 50 





36 


8 


5o 


(semi-gr.) 





2 120 





92 


9 


5i 







1 50 





3i 


7 


52 




-- 


1 55 





29 


7 


53 







1 55 





19 


8 


54 







1 50 





12 


8 


55 




-- 


1 55 





24 


8 


56 




-- 


1 45 





24 


8 


58 




-- 


1 60 





30 


8 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 



263 



School 


Male 


IVliiiilr 


Average Salary 


Average Salary, 


Total 


Months 


District 


Teachers 


Teachers 


Female 


Male 


Enrollment 


School 


59 


-- 




55 





23 


8 


60 


-- 




50 





27 


7 


61 







60 





35 


8 


62 


— 




67 





35 


6 


63 


— 




50 





23 


7 


64 


— 




60 





27 


8 


65 


-- 




67.50 





32 


6 


66 







48 





20 


8 


67 


— 




52 





4 


6 


68 


-- 




55 





38 


7 


69 


I 





— 


55 


33 


6 


/o 


— 




70 





3i 


7 


72 


-- 




50 





23 


8 


73 


-- 




53 





36 


8 


75 


-- 




50 





21 


8 


76 


— 




55 





23 


8 


77 


I 





-- 


55 


29 


7 


78 


-- 




50 





26 


8 


79 


— 




50 





21 


7 


80 (east) 


I 


-- 


— 


52.50 


7 


6 


80 (central) 


I 





-- 


65 


22 


7 


80 (west) 


I 


-- 


-- 


67.50 


3i 


7 


Total 


12 


71 






2,152 




Average 


-- 





$54-3o 


$64.40 





150 
Days 




HIGH SCHOOL AND GRADED 


SCHOOL DISTRICTS 






School 


Hale 


Female 


Average Salary, 


Average Salary, 


Total 


Months 


District 


T<-.'!< l"T- 


Teachers 


1 ' male 


Male 


Dnrollmenl 


S.'l 1 


6 


3 


19 


$67 


$143 


651 


9 


8 


1 


3 


55 


95 


147 


9 


57 


3 


12 


64 


95 


348 


9 


74 


2 


6 


62.50 


106 


221 


9 


7i 


1 

10 


4 

44 


52.50 


100 


167 


9 


Total 


S60 


$108 


1.534 


9 


Grand total 


22 


US 


57-15 


86.20 


3.686 





264 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

A grand state spelling contest is held each year at the state fair in the 
Institute building. Each county in the state is allowed to send two repre- 
sentatives to this contest, the same to be winners of county spelling contests. 

In Cottonwood county, township contests were held during the past 
school year and the winners selected from the various townships. The town- 
ship winners met at Windom, June 30, 1916, to compete for the county 
championship. Rosie Peterson of Westbrook township, and Almira Riffle, 
of Mountain Lake, won in die contest, Miss Peterson winning in the oral 
test and Miss Riffle, the written. Separate contests are held at the state 
fair, and premiums amounting to forty-five dollars are given in each division. 

In 1910 the enrollment in the semi-graded and rural schools of the 
county was 2,243; number of male teachers, 12; number of female teachers, 
J2; average wage of male teachers, $48.33; average wage of female teach- 
ers, $40.36; total number of libraries, 68; volumes in libraries, 5,646; value 
of libraries, $3,388.88; number of school districts, 79. 

In the high school and graded school districts the enrollment was 878; 
number of male teachers, 8; number of female teachers, 36; average wage 
for males, $105; average wage for females, $58. Officers at that time were 
Mr. Hale, president; Mr. Hubbell, vice-president; Mr. Nelson, secretary- 
treasurer. 

AN EARLY SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT. 

William Prentiss, now an attorney praticing in Chicago, served as countv 
school superintendent of this county from his appointment in the spring of 
1873 to 1877. He left the old farm home in McDonough county, Illinois, 
in April, 1869, going to Minnesota in search of health, as he had symptoms 
of pulmonary trouble, which compelled him to quit his college course at Knox 
College, Illinois. He succeeded in regaining his health. In the spring of 
1871 he drove a pair of horses, with covered wagon, from his old home in 
Illinois, over the stales of Illinois and Iowa and landed at Mankato, Minne- 
sota, from which point he went direct to Three Lakes, Cottonwo.nl countv. 
He had pre-empted land and taken a homestead and on a portion of this he 
put in oats; broke prairie during the early part of the season; worked dur- 
ing harvest time in P>lue Earth county, where he remained during the follow- 
ing winter. In 1872 he again broke prairie on his Cottonwood claims; 
harvested near Madelia, Watonwan county, binding the half of one hundred 
and sixty acres of wheat and oats on a Marsh harvester. Late in that autumn 
he returned to Illinois and on Christmas day married Elizabeth Helen 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 265 

McCaughey and brought her to Cottonwood county the following spring, 

[873- 

He became an active member of the Patrons of Husbandry and was 
lecturer, secretary and master of a grange. 

In 1873, the first year of the grasshoppers in this county, he lost all save 
his wheat and oats crop. He was appointed county school superintendent 
of schools in this county in the spring of 1873, as above mentioned. He 
went through the entire grasshopper scourge in this county, losing everything 
he had except the pre-empted quarter section, and left Cottonwood county 
heavily in debt in the spring of 1876. He had taught school in Windom 
in the winter of 1873-4 and 1875-6. He left this county simply because 
the grasshoppers would not let him stay. He re-settled in Macomb county, 
Illinois, and began the study of law, being admitted to the bar in June. 1878. 
The following November he was elected state's attorney of McDonough 
county and was re-elected in 1880. In August, 1891, he moved to Evanston 
and in 1897 to Chicago, where he is still practicing law successfully. He also 
kept up an interest in agriculture and owned, a few years since, a farm in 
Illinois and a fruit farm in Allegan county, Michigan. He served as one 
of the three civil service commissioners for Chicago at one time. 

BURNING OF THE BIG BEND SCHOOL HOUSE. 

When the Big Bend school house, the second in the county, was burned 
a few years since, William A. Peterson wrote an article on its passing. As 
the historic facts therein are too good to be lost, excerpts from the article 
are here incorporated in the annals of Cottonwood county: 

"When the old 'Bend' school house was destroyed by fire an old land- 
mark in the history of this county was destroyed. The building was the 
second built in the county and was erected in the fall of 1872 — forty-three 
years ago. The first term of school held in this county was taught by Miss 
Xettie Sackett, a girl of fifteen years of age, during the summer of 1871, 
in a sod claim shanty erected by Isaac Vansky alx>ut three-quarters of a mile 
to the northwest of the site on which this school house was later built. 

•'During the winter of 1871-72, a term of school was taught in the sod 
shanty by Cyrus M. Finch and in the winter of 1X72-73 John E. Teed, 
brother of William M. Teed and Mrs. I). B. Jones, taught the first school 
in the new school building above referred to. 'fhc building was not then 
as large as it was later. 

"The old school house has been the social center of a large neighborh 1 



266 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

since it was first built and many notable gatherings have been held there 
and many quite famous speakers have addressed audiences in it. The Bend 
neighborhood has always been a religious community, since its first settle- 
ment. The first sermon I heard preached in the county, and it was doubtless 
the first ever heard here, was preached by Rev. Edward Savage, then a young 
unmarried man, just out of college. It was preached in a claim shanty on 
the Dave Evans farm of eighty acres, in the summer of 1870. Somewhere 
about the same time, Rev. Peter Baker, an itinerant Methodist Episcopal 
preacher, began preaching in the neighborhood occasionally. During the same 
year, 1871, preaching services were held in the sod school house above 
referred to, and a Sunday school was organized. After the Bend school 
house was erected, in the fall of 1872, divine services and Sunday school 
were held there and were continued regularly for the last forty-three years. 
"The first Methodist church in this county, I think, was organized there; 
Rev. J. W. Lewis was the first pastor. 

"The Des Moines Valley Patrons of Husbandry (Grange) was organized 
and held its meetings and social gatherings in this building for a number of 
years. Hon. William Prentiss, now of Chicago, a former county school 
superintendent, was one of the officers and lecturers for this society. 

"Political meetings, farmers' clubs and, in fact, gatherings of all kinds 
have been held there. It has been a central place of meeting for a large com- 
munity for all these long years. 

"Many of the younger generation of the valley and old settlers have 
a very warm spot in their hearts, and many a fond recollection of this old 
school house has been the pleasure of these people. But it is gone. The 
fiery elements have licked it up and we fondly hope to see a modern and more 
pretentious edifice erected on the very spot where it stood for so many years. 
Nothing can ever take its place in our hearts and memories, nor quench our 
love for dear old 'Bend school house.' " 



CHAPTER XIV. 

BANKS AND BANKING. 

Prior to the spring of 1881 Cottonwood county had no bank within its 
borders — in fact, there had not been much demand for such a business insti- 
tution up to within a few years of that date. The men who first came to 
locate in this county had been for the most part soldiers of the Civil War and 
immigrants from beyond the big seas, and neither class had much money 
to deposit, even had there been such an institution here. Much of the money 
borrowed by the people of Cottonwood county, in order to get established 
here, was obtained from some of the Eastern loan companies who usually 
exacted two per cent commission for securing a loan and then the borrower 
had to pay ten per cent, and even higher interest for the use of the money. 

But as the farmers and business men in various sections of the county 
commenced to thrive and "get a few dollars ahead," the demand for a bank 
was keenly felt, as the people had to go to Mankato or New Ulm to do their 
banking business. Every city and village within the county now has one 
or more banks and all do a good, safe business. The amount of their 
deposits, as shown in their detailed history in this chapter, shows that the 
poverty of thirty and forty years ago has all been changed into good bank 
accounts. 

THE BANK OF WINDOM. 

The Bank of Windom, the pioneer banking house of Cottonwood county, 
was established in 1881. Among the presidents were John Hutton and J. N. 
McGregor. \V. J. Clark was its assistant cashier. It was reorganized into a 
state bank in 1885, with a paid-up capital of forty thousand dollars. In May, 
1892, the capital was increased to one hundred thousand dollars (authorized 
amount), of which sixty-five thousand dollars was paid up. Its directors 
were, in 1893, John Hutton, A. Queveli, W. J. Clark, C. A. Ludden, J. N. 
McGregor, E. C. Huntington and J. II. (lark. 

THE FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF WINDOM. 

The First National Bank of Windom was organized as the successor of 
the oldest banking house in the county — the Bank of Windom, organized 



268 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

in March, 1881. The First National was organized on April 26, 1897, on 
a capital of fifty thousand dollars, same as it carries today. It was estab- 
lished by John Hutton, A. D. Perkins, J. N. McGregor, W. J. Clark, E. C. 
Huntington, T. A. Perkins and others. The first officers were: A. D. Per- 
kins, president; John Hutton, vice-president; W. J. Clark, cashier; T. A. 
Perkins, assistant cashier. The officers in June, 1916, are: \Y. J. Clark, 
president; E. C. Huntington, vice-president; Carl Nelson, vice-president; 
T. A. Perkins, cashier; N. M. Nelson, assistant cashier. The present board 
of directors are, Jens Anderson, W. J. Clark, E. C. Huntington, Carl Nelson 
and T. A. Perkins. 

The recent statements show deposits amounting to one million dollars. 
The resources and liabilities are one million, two hundred and fifty thousand 
dollars; surplus one hundred and fifty thousand dollars. The magnificent 
bank building is constructed of buff Bedford sandstone, erected in 191 1 at 
a cost of thirty-two thousand dollars. The citizens of Cottonwood county 
and the county seat town may well feel a pride in having so splendid a bank- 
ing house as that of the First National Bank. Its management has always 
given satisfaction to the hundreds of patrons who have trusted their funds 
to it. 

Of its predecessor, the old Bank of Windom, it may be stated that it was 
founded by P. C. Kniss, of Lu Verne, who conducted it less than one year, 
when lie sold to Erick Sevatson and A. D. Perkins, who conducted it as a 
private bank for sometime thereafter. Finally, A. D. Perkins and others 
established what was known as the "People's Bank." which was the most 
successful bank in the place. Seeing that this was true, the owners of the 
old Windom Bank desired to merge with the People's Bank, which was con- 
sumated, Mr. Perkins was elected president of the new bank and the officers 
m|' tin- Firsl National included the officers of the old bank in part, as will 
be observed above. Hence the First National is the direct successor to the 
first bank in Cottonwood county, which was established in March, 1881. 

THE WINDOM NATIONAL BANK. 

The Windom National Bank was established August 6, [902, by D. U. 
Weld, C. \V. Gillam, Dr. 11. C. Beise, H. M. Goss, C. B. Pierce, M. L. 
Fisch, M. T. DeWolf, F. Z. Weld, F. J. Carpenter, Jens Anderson, John 
J. Rupp and others. Its first and presenl capital is thirty-five thousand dol- 
lars. This banking institution opened its doors for business, December 10, 
1902. In January, 1903, it bad resources of more than seventy thousand 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 269 

dollars; in 1905 it reached seventy-eight thousand aad more; in [909 it was 
almost three hundred and fourteen thousand; in 191 1 it had reached almost 
five hundred thousand dollars and, March 7, 1916, its statements show about 
seven hundred thousand dollars in total resources. On the date last named 
the following is a copy of their statement of resources and liabilities: 
Resources — Loans and discounts, $458,976.66; overdrafts, $519.39; United 
States bonds, $35,000; banking house, $17,800; cash and due from banks, 
Si 13,435.29; total resources, $623,731.34. Liabilities — Capital stock, 
$35,000; surplus fund (earned), $35,000; undivided profits, $11,736.59; 
circulation, $35,000; deposits, $506,994.75; total liabilities, $623,731.34. 

A general commercial banking business is transacted by this concern, 
and in the fourteen years of its history it has built up a splendid business 
and earned a surplus equal to its capital after paying dividends every year 
since its organization to its stockholders. The resources and liabilities at 
the last call amounted to $627,493.14; deposits, $510,476.99. 

The banking corporation own their own hank building, a solid pressed 
brick structure, trimmed with blue Bedford stone, erected in 1902, at a cost 
of seventeen thousand five hundred dollars. 

The officers of the bank from its organization have been: D. U. Weld. 
president ; C. W. Gillam, vice-president : John J. Rupp, cashier. J. B. Bens. >n 
is at present the assistant cashier and M. C. Langley, teller. The present 
directors are, D. U. Weld, C. W. Gillam, M. T. De Wolf, C. B. Pierce. M. 
L. Fish, H. S. Kellom and John J. Rupp. But few banks in Minnesota can 
show a better record during the years of its history than this one at Windom. 

FARMERS STATE BANK, WINDOM. 

The Farmers State Bank, at Windom, was organized on August i, 
1907, by T. C. Collins, B. Klassen, E. D. Mooers, II. E. Hanson, Andrew 
C. Olson, J. F. French. John Paulson, C. A. Baxter and I). A. Noble. The 
original capital stock was thirty-live thousand dollar-, same as today. 1 
first officers were, T. C. Collins, president; ( '. A. Baxter, vice-president; H. 
E. Hanson, cashier; E. A. Sime, assistant cashier. The officers in 1916 
are, H. E. Hanson, president; Dr. L. Sogge. vice-president; \1 T. Anderson, 
cashier; E. A. Sime, assistant cashier. 

A good brick bank building was erected in 1895, which cost the builder- 
eight thousand dollars. It should be understood that this bank succeeded 
to the business of the old Cottonwood County Bank, with which T. C. 
Collins and others were connected. 



2/0 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

The directors of the Farmers Savings Bank are now (1916), Dr. L. 
Sogge, H. E. Hanson, R. D. Collins, E. D. Mooers, John Paulson, D. A. 
Noble, Andrew C. Olson, W. I. Silliman and E. H. Klock. At the close of 
business, June 30, 1916, their statement shows that the institution had 
resources and liabilities amounting to $412,925.72. The resources were 
divided as follows: Loans and discounts, $379,141.04; overdrafts, 
$1,667.27; banking house, $10,500; cash and due from banks, $21,685.41. 
Their deposits are as follows : Time deposits, $283,920.22 ; demand deposits, 
$78,327.61, making a total of $362,247.83. 

people's bank of windom. 

This bank was established on December 18, 1892. Its popular president 

was Senator E. Sevatson. J. E. Foss was the active manager and cashier. 

This bank was finally succeeded by the Farmers State Bank of Windom. 

THE COTTONWOOD COUNTY BANK. 

This bank was established on July 1, 1889, and its early officers were 
as follows: T. C. Collins, president; A. E. Woodruff, vice-president, and 
William A. Smith, cashier. It had a capital of one hundred thousand dol- 
lars, of which fifty thousand dollars was paid up. The board of directors 
consisted of T. C. Collins, A. E. Woodruff, William A. Smith, H. Traut- 
fether, L. J. Robinson, S. Huntington, M. T. De Wolf, A. S. Collins and 
C. W. Gillam. 

THE STATE BANK OF JEFFERS. 

The State Bank of Jeffers was established at the village of Jeffers in 
1909 by J. J. Duroe and sons, on a capital of twenty-five thousand dollars. 
The first, as well as the present, officers of this banking house are, F. E. 
Duroe, president; E. M. Duroe and L. A. Duroe. vice-presidents; C. R. Duroe, 
cashier, and C. O. Castledine, assistant cashier. 

The statement put out June 30, 1916, shows resources and liabilities 
amounting to $245,948.32. Of this, there was a surplus fund of $5,000 dol- 
lars and undivided profits of $5, 135.59- The 'I*-''";'" 1 ' deposits amounted at 
that dale to $03,324.02 and the time certificates of deposit were $117,478.71. 
The latest figures given show that this bank's deposits amount to about 
$210,000. 

A tine brick and cement banking building was constructed in 191 1, the 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 2"J1 

cost of which was seven thousand five hundred dollars. It was during that 
year that the old hank building was burned, at a loss of over two thousand 
dollars over and above the insurance received. This bank is doing a splendid 
business and certainly merits the full confidence of the wealthy community 
in which it is located. 

THE FARMERS STATE BANK OF JEFFERS. 

The Farmers State Bank of Jeffers commenced business, May 3, 191 5, 
on a capital stock of fifteen thousand dollars and with the following officers, 
which are also the present ones: President, J. H. Dickman; vice-presidents, 
D. A. Lahart and A. W. Mertens; cashier, C. E. Perkins; assistant cashier, 
F. J. ^Yerner. 

In the beginning of the bank's history a modern brick building was 
erected at a cost of five thousand dollars. A person need only notice the 
weekly statement issued June 30, 1916, to prove how prosperous the bank 
has been. Their own expression, "We are young, but we are growing," is 
certainly true. The resources and liabilities show a sum amounting to 
SS5.345.83. Of this there was a surplus fund of $3,000, and undivided 
profits amounting to $1,731.25. The deposits amounted to $58,614.58. 

THE FIRST STATE BANK OF STORDEN. 

The First State Bank of Storden was established, January 8, 1904, by 
W. J. Clark, T. A. Perkins and C. H. Huhberg and on a capital of fifteen 
thousand dollars. The first officers were the following: President, \Y. J. 
Clark; vice-president, Dan Hedman ; cashier, C. H. Ruhberg. The present 
officers are, president, W. J. Clark; vice-president, H. H. Peterson ; cashier, 
C. H. Ruhberg; assistant cashier, Sophus Anderson; teller, George Ruhberg. 

The bank started business in its own building, which is a frame struc- 
ture, costing over four thousand dollars. The bank, although only a little 
over twelve years "Id, has enjoyed a period -1' great prosperity. The bank 
statement issued at the close of the month's business for June, [916, -liowed 
resources and liabilities amounting to $246,179. < >i tin-, there was a surplus 
fund of $15,000.00 and undivided profits to the amount of $7 .07 i.y-,. 

The increased deposits from year to year is one of tin- strongest recom- 
mendations a bank can have. For instance on June t, 1914, the depi 
amounted to $156,433.08; June 1, 1915. % 6.80; June 1. [916, $198,321. 

This bank is absolutely controlled by home people and home capital and 
merits the full confidence of business people. 



272 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

THE FARMERS STATE BANK OF STORDEN. 

One of the infant banks of the county in so far as age is concerned 
is the Farmers State Bank of Storden. This bank was organized December 
10, 1915, by P. G. Hiebert and commenced business January 10, 1916, on a 
capital of ten thousand dollars. The first as well as the present officers of 
this banking institution are : D. G. Hiebert, president ; A. H. Anderson, 
vice-president ; P. G. Hiebert, cashier. The directors are, D. G. Hiebert. 
A. H. Anderson, H, P. Goertz, J. E. Youngck, J. E. Nelson, A. O. Stark 
and P. G. Hiebert. 

The bank has under construction a modern brick building that is to 
cost five thousand dollars and which, when completed, will be a pride and 
ornament to the town. 

The monthly statement issued June 30, 1916, shows resources and lia- 
bilities amounting to $47,659.11. Of this amount, was a surplus of $^,000 
and deposits amounting to $35,659.11. These facts show that the people of 
the community have great confidence in the well-known business ability of 
the men at the head of the institution. 

FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF MOUNTAIN LAKE. 

The First National Bank of Mountain Lake was organized in 1908 on 
a capital of twenty-five thousand dollars, with John J. Rupp as president and 
C. C. Mertens as cashier. The present officers include the following: John 
J. Rupp, president; John Jungas, vice-president; Abraham Janzen, cashier, 
and F. F. Sehroeder, assistant cashier. In 191 1 the bank moved into its 
new and modern brick building, which cost in the neighborhood of seven 
thousand dollars. 

At the end of the month's business, June 30, 1916, the resources and 
liabilities were $225,000, ami the deposits Si 05.000. Concerning the fact 
that the present capital is only twenty-five thousand dollars, these figure- 
indicate an excellent showing and unlimited confidence in the business abil- 
ity and integrity of the bank's officer-. 

1111. FIRST STATE BANK OF MOUNTAIN LAKE. 

The First State Bank of .Mountain Lake was established in I089, on 
a capital stock of SjN.ooo.oo, with the following officers: David Ewert, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 273 

president; John Janzen, vice-president; H. P. Gortz, cashier. In 1907 
this hank was consolidated with the State Bank of Mountain Lake. 

According to the monthly statement issued June 30, 1916, the hank's 
resources and liabilities amounted to $460,634.00. Of this, was a surplus 
fund of $10,000.00, and undivided profits of $1,881.94. The individual 
deposits amounted to $140,853.68, and the time deposits $257,898.38, mak- 
ing a total of $398,752.06. 

In 1902 the directors decided upon a bank and office building, which 
was erected at a cost of $12,000. 

The capital stock has been raised to $50,000 and there have been several 
changes in the personnel of the officers since the beginning. The present 
officers include the following: David Ewert, president; H. P. Goertz and 
Frank Balzer, vice-presidents; J. H. Dickman, cashier; D. G. Hiebert, assist- 
ant cashier; D. J. Schroeder, teller. The present board of directors are as 
follows : David Ewert, C. Penner, J. H. Dickman, W. J. Janssen, H. P. 
Goertz, Frank Balzer, J. G. Hiebert. D. G. Hiebert and A. C. Dick. 

The bank's motto, "Stability and Service," is not an idle expression and 
carries with it everything the name implies. The officers are accommo- 
dating and obliging to strangers as well as home folks and certainly merit the 
large amount of business that they receive. 

CITIZENS STATE BANK OF WESTBROOK. 

The Citizens State Bank of Westbrook was organized in 1902 by Dr. 
C. P. Nelson, John E. Villa, W. B. Leo, T. Torjuson, W. C. Brown and 
others. The first officers of the bank were: President, T. Torjuson; vice- 
president, C. P. Xelson ; cashier, C. A. Zieske. The officers have all changed 
since the beginning and now they are as follows: John E. Villa, president; 
H. W. Footh, vice-president; A. O. Person, cashier; L. L. Footh, assistant 
cashier. 

The statement put out on June 30, 1916, shows resources and liabilities 
amounting to $188,393.11. Of this, there was a capital stock and surplus 
fund of $32,000.00 and undivided profits amounting to $1,716.83. The 
deposits reached the high mark of $154,676.28. 

In 1902 the directors saw fit to construct a brick building for their own 
use, costing $4,500.00. The name of John E. Villa, one of the earliest set- 
tlers in the village of Westbrook, connected with an institution of this kind. 
is alone enough to inspire confidence and warrants the growing business of 
the concern. 
(18) 



2/4 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

FIRST NATIONAL BANK OF WESTBROOK. 

This banking concern was organized in 1900 as a state bank, but changed 
its name to the First National Bank in 1902. It was established by J. W. 
Benson, president, of Heron Lake. 'The first capital stock was $25,000, but 
in July, 1916, this was increased to $30,000, at which time the total deposits 
were $270,000. The total amount of resources and corresponding liabilities 
of this bank is $350,000. A good two-story, brick bank building was built 
in 1900, at a cost of $6,500. 

The original officers of the bank were : J. W. Benson, president ; John 
E. Nelson, vice-president, Westbrook; J. A. Pearson, cashier, Westbrook. 
The 1916 officers are as follows: J. W. Benson, president; John E. Nelson, 
and John J. Christy, vice-presidents; A. F. Meyer, cashier; Joseph Budish, 
assistant cashier. 

FIRST STATE BANK OF BINGHAM LAKE. 

The First State Bank of Bingham Lake was organized on August 5, 
1904, by John Henderson, P. K. McMurtry, John J. Rupp, S. L. Rogers, A. 
L. Holt, D. U. Weld, C. W. Gillam, A. j. Wicklund, E. J. Gove, John J. 
Goertzen, C. K. Hakes, F. L. Langley, C. A. Liem, F. H. Bland, A. J. 
Goertzen, Henry Goertzen and N. P. Minion. 

The first capital was ten thousand dollars, the same as today. The first 
officers were as follow: Board of directors, John Henderson, P. K. McMur- 
try, John J. Rupp, E. J. Gove, D. U. Weld, Henry Goertzen and N. P. Min- 
ion ; E. J. Gove, president; John J. Rupp, vice-president, and P. K. McMur- 
try, cashier. The present (1916) officers are: J. A. Redding, president; 
N. P. Minion, vice-president; D. J. Voth, cashier. The 1916 board of direct- 
ors are as follow: N. P. Minion, A. J. Wicklund. V. E. Rogers, J. A. Red- 
ding, A. J. Goertzen, J. J. Rupp and Earl Marshall. 

The motto of this bank is "Active, Alert, Alive." This concern owns 
its own bank building. It was robbed on June 15, 1907, by Chester and 
White, who were tried and sentenced to Stillwater prison for nine and ten 
years respectively. 

The deposits have grown as follow: 1905, $10,280.30; 1906. $15.- 
506.82; 1907, $19,504.39; 1908, $20,966.31; 1909, $27,531.11; 1910, $29,- 
045.61; [911, $36,965.51; 1912, $36,634.50; 1913, $40,562.57; 1914, $46,- 
743.82; 1915, $65,875.88; January 1, 1916, $74,609.93; August I, 1916, 
$88,261.34. On June 30, 1916, the resources and liabilities amounted to 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 275 

$99,363.77. On that date the surplus was $1,650; notes rediscounted and 
bills payable, $8,000; deposits, $79,686.77; banking house and fixtures, 
$2,792.90, overdrafts, $271.43. The policy of this bank is conservative 
management, ample resources, courteous treatment and superior facilities. 

STATE BANK OF DELFT. 

This bank — the last established in Cottonwood county — was given a 
corporate existence on July 1, 1916, and was chartered to continue for thir- 
teen years. The first board of directors are T. A. Perkins, W. J. Clark, 
H. D. Peters, Cornelius Goetzen, Jacob Rupp, Henry Hokanson, C. Blier. 
The capital is ten thousand dollars, fully paid up. The president is T. A. 
Perkins; vice-president, H. D. Peters; cashier, Henry Hokanson. 

RECAPITULATION OF BANKS. 

The following shows the number of banks, the date of establishment, 
capital and present deposits of each one in Cottonwood county: 

Bank of W'indom — Organized in 1881 ; authorized capital, $100,000; 
out of business. 

First National Bank of Windom — Organized in 1897; capital, $150,000; 
deposits, $1,000,000. 

W'indom National Bank— Organized in 1902; capital, $35,000; deposits, 

$507,000. 

Farmers State Bank of Windom— Organized in 1907; capital, $35,000; 
deposits, $362,247.83. 

Peoples Bank of W'indom — Organized in 1892; out of business now. 

Cottonwood County Bank — Organized in 1889; capital, $100,000; suc- 
ceeded by the Farmers State Bank of W'indom. 

State Bank of Jeffers— Organized in 1900; capital, $25,000; deposits, 
$210,000. 

Farmers Bank of Jeffers— Organized in 191 5 ; capital, $15,000; deposits, 

$58,614.58. 

First State Bank of Storden— Organized in 1904; capital, $15,000; de- 
posits, $198,321. 

Farmers State Bank of Storden — Organized in 1916; capital, $10,000; 

deposits, $35,659.11. 

First National Bank of Mountain Lake — Organized in 1908; capital, 
$25,000; deposits, $165,000. 



276 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

First State Bank of Mountain Lake — Organized in 1889; capital, $28,- 
000; deposits, $398,752.06. 

Citizens State Bank of Westbrook — Organized in 1902; capital, $32,000; 
deposits, $154,676.28. 

First National Bank of Westbrook — Organized in 1900; capital, $30,- 
000; deposits, $270,000. 

First National Bank of Bingham Lake — Organized in 1904; capital, 
$10,000; deposits, $88,261.34. 

The State Bank of Delft — Organized July 1, 1916; capital and surplus, 
$12,000. 

Total amount of present capital in all banks, $422,000; total amount of 
present (1916) deposits, $3,448,532.20; total number of banks in county, 
August, 19 1 6, thirteen. 



CHAPTER XV. 

RAILROADS AND TRANSPORTATION. 

Cottonwood county was fortunate in one particular in its settlement in 
that it did not have to wait long for railroad facilities after the first settlers 
made their advent. In many localities the pioneer band went into the wilder- 
ness ten and twenty years before the sound of the locomotive's shrill whistle 
was heard there. Hence they had to haul supplies from fifty to one hundred 
and more miles and also had no market where they could dispose of the stock 
and crops which they raised, except at faraway cities on some stream or rail- 
road line. 

About 1870 the railway now known as the Chicago, St. Paul, Minne- 
apolis & Omaha (then the Sioux City & St. Paul) was constructed through 
this county en route from Sioux City at the southwest to St. Paul at the 
northeast. This was Cottonwood's first steam rail thoroughfare. It soon 
established stations at the villages of Mountain Lake, now in Midway town- 
ship; Bingham Lake, in Lakeside township, and Windom, the county seat, in 
Great Bend township. Thus the first railway facilities were in the extreme 
southeastern portion of the county. There was but little settlement made in 
this county until late in the sixties, so that even the earliest band of pioneers 
had to wait but a very few years for the arrival of a railroad. In the re- 
mainder of the county — the real homestead and pre-emption section — many 
years longer elapsed before they had a railroad near at hand. 

"the currie branch.'" 

What is styled the Currie branch of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis 
& Omaha road extends from Bingham Lake, Cottonwood county, north and 
west to Currie, in central Murray county, Minnesota. It was constructed in 
1900 and during that and the succeeding three years the company established 
town plats and built stations at the now sprightly villages of Delft, situated 
in Carson township; Jeffers, in Amboy township; Storden, in Storden town- 
ship, and Westbrook in Westbrook township, near the western line of this 
county. This railroad line has greatly enhanced the value of the central and 
western part of the territory, and has caused these four villages to spring up 



2/8 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

as if by magic, while the junction with the main line at Bingham Lake has 
added greatly to the importance of that village. 

THE CHICAGO & NORTHWESTERN LINE. 

The extreme northeastern corner of this county — sections 3, 11 and 
13, of Selma township, is traversed by a branch of the great Northwestern 
system extending from a point in northern Redwood county to central Iowa. 
In Brown county, just to the north of Cottonwood county, is a station on this 
road, on the county line, known as Comfrey, the major part of which is 
situated in Brown county, while some of the residences, etc., are in Cotton- 
wood county. This affords the people of this county who reside in the north-' 
eastern portion an opportunity to trade and do marketing there. So, strictly 
speaking, there are only eight out of the eighteen civil townships of Cotton- 
wood county which have a railroad station. But there are small villages in 
the several adjoining counties to Cottonwood which accommodate its citizens. 

By reason of these railroads having been constructed through the coun- 
ty at about the time the heaviest settlement was effected, a majority of the 
lumber for residence building, the wire for fencing and other heavy freight 
did not have to be drawn by teams scores of miles, as was the case in many 
another western county. 

While the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha road is but a part 
of the Chicago & Northwestern system and the Currie branch also belongs to 
this road, it may be said that every mile of railroad within the borders of 
Cottonwood county is under the control of the Chicago & Northwestern 
system, one of the best railway properties in all the great northwestern 
country. 

HOW CONSTRUCTED. 

Iii many counties of the West the people have been obliged to put up 
large subsidies in way of taxes and subscriptions in order to obtain a road, 
but the first road here was built under the old land grant system, granted 
by ( ■ mil; res-; in 1857 and later. By the terms of this grant, every other secti< m 
of land within certain limits of the road was given to the construction com- 
panies. While, as a matter of fact, it was an expensive proposition in the 
end and placed a large amount of the eminent domain in the hands of rail- 
road corporations, yet the actual settler was not obliged to be taxed directly 
for such internal improvement of the country. 

Of more recent years the railroads of the West have had to build their 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 279 

feeders and branches without public aid and were glad to do so, for it was 
and ever will be a paying investment, as the vast harvest field products of the 
territory through which they run are annually shipped over each line to the 
markets of the East. 

By these various lines of steam railroad in Cottonwood county the lum- 
ber of the northern country, the coal from the southeast and the general 
merchandise of manufactured goods, farm implements, furniture and hard 
coal from the faraway mines of Pennsylvania, are brought hither to the very 
door of the farmer and townsmen of this county, making it a prosperous 
country. The "homesteader" and the "steam horse" have made the prairie 
wilderness of forty-five years ago to blossom like the rose. 



CHAPTER XVI. 



MILITARY MATTERS. 



GRAND ARMY OF THE REPUBLIC. 

The great military organization, the Grand Army of the Republic, is 
represented in Cottonwood county at only one place, Windom, where the 
only post the county has ever had exists. The first post here was known as 
Stephen Miller Post No. 38, organized December 3, 1874, and which existed 
a few years and then disbanded. It had a membership of fifty soldiers. 

The present post is LaGrange Post No. 79, organized March 15, 1884, 
with a charter membership of forty-nine comrades of the Civil War, as 
follow: S. M. Espey, deceased; Charles Winzer, deceased; W. W. Barlow, 
C. F. Warren, deceased; Freeman Trowbridge, deceased; James W. Hayes, 
deceasd; Thomas S. Potter, deceased; John Malmstein, deceased; David P. 
Langley, W. B. Williams, W. W. Frost, deceased; A. J. Hall, deceased; D. 
C. Ashley, deceased ; T. S. Brown, deceased ; Zed. Day. deceased ; M. Chase, 
deceased; Jerome Cutler, deceased; J. A. Brown, C. A. Chandler, deceased; 
William Copp, H. A. Cone, deceased ; Z. B. Chatfield, W. B. Fry, deceased ; 
Allen Gardner, deceased; J. F. French, deceased; J. F. Force, H. S. Ellis, A. 
J. Frost, deceased; S. S. Gillam, A. Ingalls. deceased; E. Leonard. A. W. 
Johnson, deceased; John Tilford, deceased; E. M. Peterson. Orrin Nason, 
deceased; J. E. Mace, deceased; W. A. Potter. A. A. Miles, deceased; R. R. 
Janness, S. O. Taggart, deceased, A. A. Start, deceased; J. M. Root, de- 
ceased; C. W. Seely. Paul Seegar, deceased; W. W. Zuel, deceased; Ezra 
Winslow, E. W. Vanhorn, deceased; C. A. Wood, S. J. Woodward, de- 
ceased; J. W. Cogley, deceased. 

The total present membership of the post is seventeen. About a year 
ago it was as low a- six members, but the plucky commander. W. H. Jones, 
kept it alive, got members re-instated and new members until the present 
seventeen were secured. Mr. Jones has been commander for sixteen years in 
succession. The post meets twice each month at the post moms in the court 
house (the jury room being allotted to the Grand Army 1. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 28l 

The first commander was S. M. Espey and the first adjutant was J. J. 
Kendall. The 1916 officers are: W. H. Jones, commander; C. W. Seely, 
senior vice-commander; W. A. Potter, junior vice-commander; William S. 
Skellie, chaplain ; J. A. Brown, adjutant and quartermaster. The post has 
had enrolled on its books one hundred and twenty-two names. 

woman's relief corps. 

As a very helpful auxiliary to the Grand Army post at Windom is the 
Woman's Relief Corps No. 36, organized August 2j, 1887, with eighteen 
charter members. It now has a meml)ership of only thirteen. Its president 
is Mrs. H. M. Goss; secretary, Mary Robison ; treasurer, Mrs. A. P. Jones, 
wife of the present commander of the post. 

soldiers' monument. 

In the city cemetery stands a very imposing granite shaft about eighteen 
feet high, surmounted by a bronze American eagle with outstretched wings. 
This was erected about 1910 and the cost was twelve hundred dollars, seven 
hundred dollars being donated by the post; three hundred dollars by the 
Woman's Relief Corps; one hundred dollars by the First National Bank and 
one hundred dollars by the Cemetery Association of the city of Windom. 
It is situated in what is known as "Soldier's Square" at the cemetery. 

HELPED CAPTURE JEFF DAVIS. 

In a recent issue of the Westbrook Sentinel the following article was 
contributed by C. W. Seely, a Civil War veteran, who aided in the capture 
of the Confederate president, Jefferson C. Davis: 

On Sunday, April 2, 1865, at ten o'clock in the morning, General Lee, 
commander of the Rebel army around Petersberg and Richmond, Virginia, 
sent Davis a dispatch containing very nearly these words: "My lines are 
broken in three places: Richmond must he evacuted this evening." That 
message found Mr. Davis in church at eleven o'clock in the morning where it 
was handed to him amid an awful hush, and he immediately went quietly, 
soberly out, never to return as president of the ( bnfederacy. No word was 
-p. ken. hut the whole assemblage felt that the message he had so hastily 
perused bore word- of doom. Though the handwriting was nol blazoned on 
the wall, it needed no Daniel to declare its import, hut no one. at this 'late. 
can understand what that message meant to those in the doomed city. Men, 



282 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

women and children rushed from the church, word passing from lip to lip the 
news of the impending fall of Richmond and it was difficult to believe it. It 
was late in the afternoon when signs of evacuation became apparent to the 
incredulous. Wagons on the streets were being hastily loaded at the rebel 
capital with boxes and trunks and driven to the Danville depot. Vehicles sud- 
denly rose to a value that was astonishing; as high as one hundred dollars in 
gold was offered for a conveyance and all over the city it was the same. Night 
came and all was confusion. There was no sleep in Richmond that night. 
Morning broke upon a scene such as those who saw it can never forget. 
Jefferson Davis left Richmond, Virginia, at ten o'clock at night for Danville, 
Virginia, where he halted and where he hoped Lee to follow with the remnant 
of his army and form a junction with General Johnson. Mr. Davis, with his 
staff, halted at Danville and set up government, issuing orders and so forth. 
Here he waited several days in hopes of Lee's approach, but, instead, re- 
ceived word of the surrender of Lee's army. 

The Confederacy thereupon took to wheels again and retreated by rail 
to Greensborough, North Carolina, where another considerable halt was 
made, the days and nights being spent mostly in the cars by the president and 
his cabinet and followers. Since very few of the citizens saw fit to throw 
open the doors to him, when Johnson talked of surrendering, he was com- 
pelled to make another flight, this time in wagons and on horseback (the rail- 
roads having been torn up) by way of Salisbury to Charlotte, North Carolina. 
where his ark again rested for a few days and where he was received with 
great hospitality. Reports of Stoneman's cavalry coming that way caused 
another flight, via Vorkville and Abbeyville, South Carolina. 

Being now compelled to take entirely to horse and escorted by two 
thousand cavalry, who, as well as the presidential cortege, gradually dwindled 
away, they reached Washington, Georgia, where the formal dissolution of a 
government was dispensed with, most of the cabinet itself having by this 
time abandoned the sinking craft, leaving Davis, attended by Regan, his late 
postmaster-general, and his military staff and the remaining fugitives, with 
a small but selected escort of mounted men who took their way southward, 
hoping to make some small port on the coast and thence out of the country. 

Mr. Davis had separated from his family for greater safety, but on an 
alarm of peril to which they were said to be exposed from a conspiracy to 
rob them of the gold they were supposed to be carrying, had rejoined them 
over night at Doublin, Georgia, this being the place where the First Wiscon- 
sin Cavalry struck his trail some twenty-four hours later. From here Davis 
went to Hawkinsville, Georgia, and on the same side of the river, thence 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 283 

south about twenty-five miles to Evansville, Georgia. There he was cap- 
tured on May 10, 1865, and was taken back to Macon, whence he was taken, 
via Savannah and the ocean, to Fortress Monroe, where he was long closely 
and rigorously imprisoned, while his family was returned by water to Savan- 
nah and there set at liberty. 

Davis was finally released on bail, Horace Greeley and others going on 
his bond. He then went to England, finally returning to the United States 
for trial and was let go as a disfranchised citizen. He then went to Missis- 
sippi and there spent the remainder of his life. 

WE ARE GROWING OLD, JOHN. 

The following poem was written in 1908 by J. S. McDaniel, late first 
lieutenant of Company B, Second Wisconsin Cavalry, and dedicated to the 
author of this history, John A. Brown, his comrade during the days of the 
Civil War. The names used are well-known in Windom ; for example, the 
name "Dave" refers to D. A. Noble, who enlisted the same day Mr. Brown 
did and fought on the same fields, and is among the few survivors of that 
great conflict : 

We're growing old and gray, John, 

We're growing old and gray; 
I've passed the three score and ten, 
And you're far on the way. 

Some are in advance, John, 

And some are close behind ; 
Many have fallen by the way — 

Life's battles they've resigned. 

But still I see you all, John, 

As in the long ago — 
As in the days of "sixty-one," 

Ere we had met the foe. 

I see you young and strong, John,, 

"With heart for any fate," 
Resolved, our fathers' Starry flag 

Shall wave o'er every state. 

I see you on the march, John, 

Through swamp and through bayou; 
I see you in the Vicksburg siege, 

And near the dread Yazoo. 



284 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 



I see your men at Big Black, 

Holding Johnson there at bay; 

Now I see you crossing over, 
And see Johnson run away. 

Then you follow him to Jackson, 

"Here," he says, "I'll make a stay." 

But he did not like the Yankees, 
So, he ■•rights and runs away." 

I called the roll today, John, 

As I called it long ago, 
But the names forever silent 

It would pain your heart to know. 

Called Bishop, Whytock and La Flesh, 
Called Reppy, Stone and Scott, 

Called Tom and Sam and Brad and Lon- 
Called, but they answered not. 

Of all the four or five score men 
Who once stood up in line; 

Save you and Dave and me, John, 
The roll call shows but nine. 

Nor is it strange; you know, John 
Long years have passed away — 

It is not strange so few are left, 
Left till this later day. 

A few more months or years, John, 

A roll call then will tell 
That those who answered "Here" today, 

Have said their last "farewell." 

Then why, why shed a tear, John 
O'er comrades now no more, 

When we soon will meet them, 
On Canaan's happy shore. 



Sixty-One. 



SOLDIERS WHO PLEDGED THEIR VOTE TO GRANT AND WILSON. 

When LT. S. Grant ran for J 'resident the second time (1872) the follow- 
ing veterans of the Civil War pledged themselves, by a notice in the Window 
Reporter, to support him for President at the election that fall, and as it will 
serve the double purpose of recording the names of many of the returned 
veterans who had settled in Cottonwood county, as well as what regiment 
they were in, besides showing how they voted at that day, it is here inserted 
in list form: 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 285 

D. \Y. Working, Fourth Minnesota Infantry. 
Samuel M. Espey, First Ohio Light Artillery. 
George P. Johnston, United States Reserve Marines. 

C. L. Hubbs, First Minnesota Infantry. 

N. H. Manning, Seventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. 

Paul Seeger, Ninth Minnesota Infantry. 

W. J. Leisure, Twenty-eighth Vermont Volunteer Infantry, Illinois. 

L. M. Wilson, Second Vermont Volunteer Infantry. 

T. C. Richmond. Third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. 

L. L. Ordwell, Thirteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. 

W. C. Banks, Second Ohio Heavy Artillery. 

J. W. Benjamin, Eleventh Volunteer Minnesota Infantry. 

Addison Hall, Ninth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. 

W. W. Frost, Third Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. 

D. M. Sheldon, Nineteenth Wisconsin Infantry. 

K. W. Sheldon, Nineteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. 
Asa A. Start, Tenth Vermont Volunteer Infantry. 
J. Cutler, Second Vermont Volunteer Infantry. 
J. K. McLain, Sixth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. 
Frank Parso, Twenty-first Wisconsin Volunteer Cavalry. 
Lamont Gilbert, First Minnesota Heavy Artillery. 
Joel A. Clark, Fifth Ohio Volunteer Cavalry. 
A. Anderson, First Iowa Volunteer ( avalry. 
George A. Greenfield, First Minnesota Battery. 
Jacob Isaacson, Sixth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry. 
Karl Oleson, Thirty-first Volunteer Iowa Infantry. 
J. H. Ewing, Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteer Veteran Infantry. 
George L. Loope, Ninth New York Volunteer Cavalry. 
A. J. Frost, Eighteenth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. 
C. Nixon, First M. M. Brigade. 

Leonard Aldrich, Eighth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. 
F. M. Byran, One Tundred and Twenty-second Illinois Volunteer In- 
fantry. 

0. C. Ant' in, Forty-second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. 

1. H. Reisdorf. Eighty-eighth Illinois Volunteer Infantry. 
J. E. Mace, Twelfth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. 
Thomas S. Brown, Fifth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. 
W. B. Williams, Second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. 



286 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

M. DeWolf, Tenth New York Volunteer Cavalry. 

James C. Brown, Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry. 

George Hubbs, First Wisconsin Volunteer Cavalry. 

Ezra Winslow, Second Maine Cavalry. 

Peter W. Oakley, Ninth Iowa Volunteer Cavalry. 

SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR SOLDIERS. 

At the time of the Spanish- American War in 1898 there was no regular 
militia company organized in Cottonwood county, and it was from such that 
the troops were largely made up for that short but truly decisive conflict, 
hence those who went from this country enlisted in other Minnesota com- 
mands. 

The list of soldiers serving in this war from here was as follows: P. G. 
Redding, G. Redding, the former in Company H, Twelfth Minnesota Regi- 
ment, at New Ulm, and the latter in Company B; Ernest Dow, Company PI, 
two Quiring brothers, John Savage, son of the late Reverend Savage. All 
but Dow were discharged from camps in the South and never saw service 
out of the United States, while he re-enlisted and was sent to the Phillipine 
islands. All served in the Twelfth Minnesota save Mr. Savage, who was in 
the Fifteenth Minnesota. He enlisted at Worthington. 



CHAPTER XVII. 

CITY OF WINDOM. 

Windom, named in honor of United States Senator William VVindom, a 
native of Ohio, but long an honored resident of Minnesota, is situated on the 
banks of the Des Moines river, one hundred and fifty miles southwest of St. 
Paul and one hundred and twenty-two miles northeast from Sioux City, 
Iowa. Windom was declared the county seat of Cottonwood county in the 
autumn of 1872, the county officers having maintained their offices at a point 
a few miles up the river at what was known as Great Bend, for a short 
period after the county was organized. 

The population of Windom, according to the United States reports 
for 1890, 1900 and 1910 was as follow: In 1890 it was 835; in 1900 it had 
reached 1,944, but in 1910 had fallen to 1,749. It is now supposed to have 
about two thousand — possibly twenty-one hundred. 

The first building really worth mentioning on the plat was the one 
erected on lot 8, block 18, about the middle of June, 1871, by S. M. Espey, 
which was used by Espey & Lukens as a hardware store. Among the early 
buildings, one of importance was the Windom hotel, erected on the corner of 
Third avenue and Ninth street by (lark & Bell. E. C. Huntington estab- 
lished the Reporter as the first newspaper of Windom and Cottonwood 
county, issuing volume 1, number 1, on September 7, 1871. 

Perhaps the description of Windom given by Editor Huntington in his 
paper will give a clearer understanding of the surroundings and first events 
than any other account that can be now reproduced. 

WINDOM AS VIEWED IN 1893. 

Editor Huntington, of the Window. Reporter, in his paper in April, 1893, 
speaks of Windom and its prospects after the following fashion: 

"The history of Windom is not one of the precious relics of the ancient 
world, which the capricious centuries have let drift to us, nor is it one of 
the precious treasures which lies buried beyond recovery under the 'tide whose 
waves are years.' There is no spirit of Attica breathing through the recoi 
telling of the valor of barbarian founders; no pre-historic ruin> or relics of 



288 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

dead ages encumber the site of the growing city. The city and surrounding 
country are but a chapter of American life, with its push and energy. The 
pioneers, many of whom are still living happily in the retrospect of labor 
well done, were not the 'sons of holy gods, culling the fruits of illustrious 
wisdom from unharried land,' but were the sons of the unconquerable Anglo- 
Saxon, who gave to the world the Magna Charta, political and religious 
liberty, and whose onward march has planted civilization and the Cross 
wherever its sturdy sons have gone. There is but little romance connected 
with the early days of this prosperous town and county. Its lowly history 
deals more largely in the modest yet manly experiences of the ones who 
toiled and laid the foundations of a prosperity that has continued and 
widened, and will continue to grow until the brightest dreams of the most 
hopeful have been realized. 

"Its shipping embraces grain, stock and flour and a large local trade 
has built up an aggregate of many large, thriving establishments creditable 
to the little city. Her school building is a model structure of modern con- 
venience and architecture. Her schools are on a par with any of the country, 
being taught by competent and skilled instructors. She has six churches; 
three solid banking institutions; a flour-milling capacity of one hundred and 
twenty-five barrels daily; four large elevators, a tow mill and a splendid 
stock market. Windom now has a population of nearly fifteen hundred as 
cultured and refined people as can be found in our great state of Minnesota. 
The streets are wide and well kept, and the business portion of the place com- 
pletely surrounds a beautiful park which is nicely grown up to large shade 
trees and is laid out in beautiful driveways; some of the beautiful dwellings 
are nestled beneath the side of a towering hill, while others are on the banks 
of the historic Des Moines river, which carves its way to the great Missis- 
sippi, thence to the ocean. Then, in closing, we may be pardoned for men- 
tioning the two weekly newspapers." 

It was in the early spring of 1871 that S. M. Espey first came to Win- 
dom, after having traveled over the territories from the Pacific slope in 
search of a home. He came to Windom before the railroad came through, 
hauled lumber from St. James to erect his store and, in company with A. P. 
Lukens, set up an establishment on the southeast corner of block iS. They 
engaged in the hardware business for a year or two and then the firm sold 
to Stark & Williams. .Mr. Kspey, soon after the opening of his store, was 
appointed postmaster and served in that capacity for ten war-. 

In 1N71 John Hutton and W. II. Wilson began business together. In a 
short time Wilson sold bis interests and, moving to LuVerne, engaged in 




BRIDGE ACROSS DES MOINES RIVER, WIXDOM. 




THE DAM AT W1NDOM. 




BUILDING OF POSS MERCANTILE CO., WINDOM. 




HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING. WINDOM. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 289 

business there. During the several years of grasshopper devastation, Mr. 
Hutton gave immense credit to the farmers, with little prospect of payment, 
but, strong in the faith that the country must in the future outgrow its then 
bad record, he did much toward holding settlers on their claims, for without 
indulgence on the part of the- business men depopulation would have become 
complete. The country rallied from the distress, the farmers began to pros- 
per, and Mr. Hutton, with the rest of the business men, were finally rewarded 
with the payment of old claims. 

FIRST EVENTS. 

The village of Windom was platted June 20, 1871, by A. L. Beach, of 
the St. Paul & Sioux City Railroad Company. One week before its platting, 
A. P. Lukens, S. C. Highly and others arrived with lumber and commenced 
the erection of buildings. Early in June of that year S. Hunddleston & 
Sons erected a bakery on lot No. 8, of block No. 8, and dug the first well 
in the village plat. They built an oven with blue clay obtained in the digging 
of the well. In this oven was baked Windom's first loaf of bread. 

Among the first events in the young village may be mentioned the fol- 
lowing : The first sermon in Windom was by Rev. J. E. Fitch in Espey & 
Lukens' hardware building. The first dance in town was in the same 
building. The first attempt at organizing a lodge in Windom was in Octol>er, 
1871, when the Masonic fraternity commenced its work here. The first at- 
torney in the place was Emory Clark. The first physician was Dr. Allen 
Smith, who commenced his practice in October, 1871. He returned to Ohio, 
from which state he had emigrated, and there died. The first death was that 
of P. A. Ruhberg, on March 13, 1873. The first school was taught as a 
"select" school by Miss Hellen F. Lawton, in the winter of 1871-2. The fir>t 
train of cars to enter the village was early in July, 1871. The first post- 
master was S. M. Espey. The Presbyterian church was organized on 
October 15, 1871, with eight member- and Rev. E. Savage as it- pastor. 
The first Methodist Episcopal church quarterly conference was held at Win- 
dom in December, 1871. In September and October, 1871, ten thousand 
dollars were paid out in the village for wheat. In 1N74 Windom had three 
churches — Baptist, Presbyterian and Methodisl Episcopal. Prudence 
Masonic Lodge was also then in operation. In 1S73 a large two-story school 
house was erected at a cost of four thousand dollars. The first term ol 
school was taught there in the winter of 1873-4. In the spring of 1873 
(19) 



29O COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

large quantities of lumber were rafted to Jackson and to points in Iowa, on 
the Des Moines river. That year the wagon bridge was constructed by 
N. H. Manning. 

COMMERCIAL INTERESTS, lSj2 AND 1882. 

Upon the first anniversary of the village of Windom, the following 
business interests were represented : 

Attorneys — E. Clark, J. G. Redding and A. D. Perkins. 

Furniture dealer — McMurtrey & Freeman. 

Flour dealer — L. Clark. 

General dealers — D. Patten & Co., M. E. Donohue, Hutton & Wilson. 

Harness shop — J. Hoople. 

Hardware and implements — Espey & Lukens. 

Hotel — The Windom, the Hyatt House. 

Implement dealer — Graves & Co. 

Jeweler — C. A. Ludden. 

Lumber dealer — G. L. Loope, St. Paul Lumber Co., T. W. Gilleland, 
agent. j 

Meat market — H. M. Clark. 

Newspaper — The Windom Reporter, S. and E. C. Huntington, editors. 

Xursery — E. B. Jordan, agent. 

Physician — Dr. A. Smith. 

Wagonmaker — E. Morton. 

In a period of ten years the village grew considerably, as is evidenced 
by the business directory of 1882: 

Attorneys — A. D. Perkins, Redding & Laing. 

Agricultural implements — B. W. May, S. S. & A. W. Johnson. 

Blacksmith shops — P. A. Ruhberg, John Svenson, Sherwood & Hubbel, 
J. McCurtrey. 

Bank I 'auk of Windom. 

Druggists— D. Patten & Co., Tilford & Klock, A. Quevli. 

Flour and feed dealers — S. S. & A. W. Johnson, LeTourneau & Gillam. 

Furniture dealers — Mrs. L. D. Smith, Jenness Bros. 

I ,< mini dr.ilers — John Hutton, R. R. Jenness, P. Seeger, A. Quevli, E. 
& S. Sevaton. 

Harness shop — J. A. Hoople. 

Hotels— The Clark House, owned by J. Clark; Windom Hotel, M. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 291 

Grimes, proprietor ; The Hyatt House, W. W. Barlow, proprietor ; City Hotel, 
John Nolan, proprietor. 

Hardware dealers — R. E. McGregor, William Besser. 

Hay pressers — J. H. Clark, Paul Seeger, J. G. Redding, Clark & May. 

Jeweler — C. A. Ludden. 

Lime and fuel dealer — George Besser. 

Livery — James Hanton, Gabriel Oleson. 

Lumber dealer — J. H. Clark. 

Meat Markets— H. M. Clark, Nason & Halter. 

Millinery shops — Mrs. H. S. Ellis, Mrs. LeTourneau. 

Mills — Windom Mill, owners Collins & Drake; Seeker's Custom Mill. 

Machine shop — Novelty works, owned by L. Clark. 

Physicians — C. A. Greene, J. H. Til ford, S. D. Allen. 

Repair shop — H. C. Gillam. 

Restaurant — Mrs. A. H. Bosworth. 

Real estate dealers — Huntington & Perkins, Redding & Laing. 

Sorghum refinery — B. W. May. 

Wagon shop — YV. B. Cook. 

In 1882 the village had seven hundred inhabitants, two neat little 
churches, Methodist and Episcopal, and a Presbyterian church under con- 
struction. 

WINDOM POSTOFFICE. 

Windom postoffice was established in 1871 and up to this date there 
have been no irregularities or robberies in the postoffice here. The receipts of 
the office, not including money order transactions, during the last fiscal year 
ending July 1, 19 16, were $10,282.27. 

Live rural free delivery routes extend out from Windom into the sur- 
rounding country. The following is a list of the postmasters who have 
served since the establishment of the Windom postoffice: S. M. Espey, H. A. 
Cone, S. B. Stedman, Joseph McMurtrey, George E. LeTourneau, M. T. 
DeWolf, A. J. DeWolf, H. E. Hanson, G. E. LeTourneau, present postmaster. 
These names are given in the order in which the postmasters have served, 
nine in all, making the average term held by the several postmasters, five 
years. These men have been fairly representative citizens of the place and 
have sought to serve the patrons faithfully and well. 



292 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

MUNICIPAL HISTORY. 

Windom was separated from Great Bend township and incorporated as 
a village in the spring of 1875. Emory Clark, attorney, was elected the first 
president and C. H. Smith, recorder; the trustees were, M. Grimes, L. D. 
Smith, J. N. McGregor. The first ordinance was passed by the council on 
April 15, 1875, and related to the selling and bartering of intoxicating 
liquors within the village. 

Among the presidents who have served the village have been : Emory 
Clark, John Clark. S. M. Espey, A. W. Annes, John Hutton, M. T. DeYYolf, 
C. W. Gillam, W. A. Smith, E. H. Klock, Jens Anderson, L. Sogge and 
Gustav Miller. 

RE-INCORPORATION. 

On September 9, 1884, an election was held to determine whether the 
village should remain under the original charter or reorganize under the 
provisions of the law of 1883. The reasons for this action on the part of 
the council were the doubts in regard to the construction of the charter, 
which had been amended and so mutilated by the insertion of an amendment 
in the wrong place as to make it almost impossible to construe it at all, thus 
leaving the city with a form of a charter which might have been good, but 
under which it was unsafe to proceed further. The trouble was discovered 
at the time of the YVoolstencroft prosecution in 1882, but it was not until 
1884 that the charter began to show lack of value in the prosecution then 
pending. It was thought by able counsel that the village had no right to 
prosecute for an offense against the ordinances and the opinion involved so 
much doubt that the council thought it wise to incorporate under the general 
laws rathei than take a chance of testing the old charter in the courts, with 
little hope of success. The result of the election uphold the opinion of the 
council, the proposition carrying by a vote of sixty-six to thirty-nine. The 
first officers under the new incorporation were: A. D. Perkins, president: 
C. I ; . Warren, recorder; trustees. C. A. Ludden, A. W. Johnson and John 
Hutton. 

In mil) the town was again re-incorporated and this time with the fol- 
lowing officers: Gustav Mullcr, president; O. E. Elness, J. O. Thompson 
and T. A. Perkins, trustees; P. S. Redding, clerk. 

The present indebtedness of the town is forty-live thousand dollars. 
An electric light system was installed in 1915 and 1916 at a cost of twenty- 




s 
o 



>- 
a 

a 

HI 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. J.)} 

six thousand dollars and a great amount of money has been expended on 
street improvement, for which the town has every reason to be proud. In the 
way of fire protection, the city depends upon direct pressure ami is equipped 
with two hose carts, one hook and ladder wagon, one thousand feet of fire 
hose and a volunteer fire company of twenty-five men. 

In the way of parks, the town has two, well provided with shade trees 
and nicely kept. 

THE WATERWORKS. 

The water suply for the town of Windom up to early in the year 1913 
was from a well, generally supposed to be two hundred and eighty feet deep. 
In addition to this deep well, were a couple of small points feeding into the 
bottom of a large pumping reservoir from a sixty-five-foot vein. 

The deep well pumping outfit had become stopped up in some manner 
and all efforts to dislodge the obstruction or get hold of it failed. It was 
decided to procure a deep well drilling outfit and put down a twelve-inch 
pipe and point in the reservoir where the small points were feeding into the 
bottom. A contract was entered into with the J. F. McCarthy Company, of 
Minneapolis, to do the work. A twelve-inch pipe and a point or strainer was 
put down to the sixty-five foot vein, with the result that an additional supply 
"i water was secured, but not enough to supply the demands. 

While the well outfit was still on the grounds, it was decided to try and 
remove the obstruction in the deep well. When the obstruction was en- 
countered the drillers could not drill through it faster than six to eight inches 
in two days and they could not pull the old pipe and get to the strainer. The 
deep well was abandoned. 

The supposition prevailed that another twelve-inch pipe to the sixty-five 
foot water vein might supply enough water to make another storage reser- 
voir and thus get a sufficient supply without going to the expense of another 
deep well. The drilling machine was moved to the west side of the power 
house and a twelve-inch pipe put down. The water vein was very shallow 
and so full of fine sand that its use was almost out of the question. A test 
was made and, at the very best, the flow was only eighty-five to ninety gal- 
lons per minute. The old deep well pump was set up over this well and 
pumped occasionally to help out the reservoir supply on the easl side. 

On the 8th of June, 1914, the council decided to put down another deep 
well and advertised for bids. The J. F. McCarthy Company were the suc- 
cessful bidders, the price being six dollars per foot, tin- town to furnish the 
fuel for the engine and they to pay all other expenses. Work was com- 



294 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

menced on July 13, 1914. The well when completed consisted of a twelve- 
inch hole to the depth of two hundred and ninety-one feet from the surface 
of the ground. 

The pipe used was standard well pipe, forty-nine pounds to the foot. 
The well is equipped with twenty feet of No. 12 Johnson strainer in two 
pieces, six and fourteen feet long respectively. This screen sets in about a 
foot of clay on the bottom of the well; a course of gravel strata of nearly 
nine feet above that and another strata of gravel about six feet above that. 
This gives the well about fifteen feet of gravel on the strainer. As a test, 
the well was pumped twenty-three hours continuously, from ten o'clock in the 
morning, September 4, to nine o'clock in the morning, September 5. This 
test developed over two hundred and twenty gallons per minute and seemed 
to improve as the pumping continued. 

WINDOM LIBRARY. 

The Windom Library Association was organized in November, 1883. 
At the first meeting, which was held in the school house, G. M. Laing was 
chosen temporary chairman and H. J. Keith, secretary. The meeting pro- 
ceeded to perfect an organization which resulted as follow: Doctor Tilford, 
president; Mrs. LeTourneau. vice-president; Mrs. Huntington, secretary; 
Mr. Perkins, treasurer; Mr. Espey. librarian. The object of the organization 
was t<> advance the mental and moral, interests of Windom and the surround- 
ing community. Any person could become a member of the organization 
upon the payment of two dollars or the contributing of five dollars worth of 
books. A ticket of membership could be used by any member of the family. 
For non-subscribers a nominal fee of ten cents was charged for the use of a 
book. 

The state of Minnesota has made it possible for all towns and communi- 
ties that cannot support a library to make use of the traveling state library. 
It was really by this means that the present library was started. 

The Tourist Club first made it possible to secure the traveling library of 
fifty volumes and had their headquarters in the directors' room of what is 
now the Farmers State Bank. After two or three years of successful opera- 
tion, it was requested of the club that they should take over the subscription 
library of the town, consisting of three hundred and fifty volumes. This 
was accomplished and a room was given them in the basement of the court 
house. 

At present the library consists of one thousand one hundred volumes and 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 295 

two traveling state libraries, one of which is the juvenile. Seventy-five books 
of general literature belonging to the state are in the library all the time. 
Three thousand five hundred books are loaned annually. In the way of maga- 
zines and papers nothing is taken but the Book Review. 

The means of support is the one big question in connection with an 
institution of this kind. As the books are loaned free of charge to anyone 
in the county, little is derived from this source except in the way of fines, 
which amounts to about fifteen dollars per year. In order that expenses may 
be kept at a minimum, members of the Tourist Club act as librarian, serving 
in alphabetical order. The city council appropriates the small sum of fifty 
dollars annually and the club a sum equal to about half the amount. The 
library is kept open only on Saturday afternoons. 

True, it can readily be seen that the library is being kept alive with the 
fond hope that in the near future it may receive the support from the town 
and county to which it is rightfully entitled. 

FERRY. 

In April. 1881, rain and melting snow occasioned a rapid rise in all the 
rivers with the result that the railroad and wagon bridges in Windom were 
washed out. The loss of the wagon bridge made immediate action necessary 
for a means of crossing the river until a new bridge could be built. Private 
boats were put into use for a day or two and twenty-five cents charged for 
the carrying of passengers across. The village council deeming that suitable 
means and safety should be provided for the convenience of the public, at 
once decided to operate a rope ferry, together with a small boat, first as a 
matter of convenience to the public and, second, to protect them from im- 
position. Failing to find private parties ready to engage in the enterprise, 
council began work upon the boats. In a day or two a skiff was put on for 
immediate use, which served well for the removal of freight and passengers 
until a larger boat could be built. But the large boat could not be used until 
eight hundred feet of one and one-half inch rope was secured. About t\\<> 
hundred dollars were expended, besides paying a man two dollars per day 
for operating the ferry. 

To meet the outlay, the council established the following schedule of 
rates: Footmen, ten cents for round trip: man and horse, ten cents each way, 
fifteen cents a round trip; cattle, five cents each; teams, one way, twenty 
cent>; both ways, twenty-five cents; single horse and carriage, fifteen and 
twenty cents; school children, free; tickets for foot passengers, in pa 
of twenty-five and upwards, half price. 



296 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

THE FIRST ELEVATOR. 

In August, 1873, D. Patten & Co. began the erection of a grain elevator, 
the first one to be built on the Sioux City & St. Paul railroad, with a capacity 
of fifteen thousand bushels. The firm commenced buying grain in 1871 in a 
little warehouse on the side track between Eighth and Ninth streets. Soon 
the capacity of this structure became too small and in 1872 the firm con- 
structed another warehouse between Ninth and Tenth streets, and finally the 
increased amount of business led to the construction of the elevator. 

THE RUSE HOSPITAL. 

The Ruse hospital was started by Mrs. A. Ruse in 1906 and has earned 
quite a reputation as a place of exact medical science and courteous treat- 
ment. All kinds of surgical operations and medical treatments are con- 
ducted by the physicians in charge, namely, Doctors Sogge, Dudley and 
Weiser. Most of the time three nurses are employed who have in their care 
about two hundred patients annually. 

CIGAR FACTORY. 

The cigar factory No. 194, owned and operated by O. S. Skillingstad, 
was started in 1905 by the present owner and since that time has enjoyed a 
most profitable business. Mr. Skillingstad manufactures several different 
brands. The high quality and satisfaction of his goods is evidenced by the 
fact that the smokers of the town of Windom consume nearly his entire out- 
put, which averages about one hundred thousand annually. 

WINDOM ICE CREAM FACTORY. 

Probably but few Windom people realize that they have a most flourish- 
ing little manufacturing plant in their midst in the Windom Tee Cream Fac- 
tory. 11. I-'.. Makes, the owner and proprietor of the ice cream factory and 
the creamery in connection, removed here from Bingham Lake in the fall of 
1915, and his coming brought with it the removal of the ice cream plant from 
that place. Mr. Hakes has a most enviable reputation as a producer of pure 
ice cream, and the high quality of goods he puts out keeps spreading the 
sale of his products. He has the most improved machinery for the manu- 
facturing of ice cream and he is able to turn out several hundred gallons of 




NINTH STREET. WINDOM. 




SOLDIERS' MONUMENT, WINDOM. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 297 

the cooling cream a day. Every train out of Windom carries it in large 
quantities. Besides Windom, he supplies every town on the Currie branch, 
as well as supplying dealers at Mountain Lake, St. James. Heron Lake, 
Sibley, Iowa; Slayton. Lake Nelson, Brewster, Adrian and other places. At 
the present time Mr. Hakes employs four people in the ice cream factory 
and on the milk and cream routes which he also owns. 

THE FLOURING MILLS. 

The flouring mill is one of Windom's prides. The mill was built by 
E. F. Drake and Samuel Collins in 1878. The first mill dam was con- 
structed in 1878 just opposite the mill. For some reason or other this dam 
proved very inadequate and was constantly washing out and in need of re- 
pair. The present dam was constructed in the summer and fall of 1885. The 
dam is one hundred and twenty-five feet long and forty feet wide at the tup, 
giving a fall of ten feet. It was constructed of brush, hay and gravel and is 
known as Bell's patent. The system was successfully used by Captain Eads 
in his jetty work at the mouth of the Mississippi river. This dam is located 
about eighty rods below the wagon bridge and about twenty rods below the 
bridge is the mill race which leads to the Hume, which is seventy feet long ami 
fourteen feet square. 

Water power alone was employed until 1882, when steam power was 
added, to be used when the water in the Des Moines river was too low to 
furnish the power required. In 1882 Drake became the sole owner and con- 
tinued to operate the mill until 1902, when T. C. Collins acquired the plant 
and continued to run it until his death, in October, 1914. In 1906 the firm 
became known as T. C. Collins & Son and since the father's death the son 
has had control and management of the concern. Thus three generations of 
Collins have had to do with the flour-making industry of Windom. 

The daily capacity of the mill is <>ne hundred and fifty barrels and their 
well-known brands of flour have ready sale within a radius of one hundred 
miles. Another article of merit that is here manufactured is a breakfast 
food. 

The Windom Wagon Factory was organized January 10, 1899, with a 
capital stock of live thousand dollars. The officers in 1901 were, W. \. 
Smith, president; C. W. Cillam, secretary and treasurer; ( ). S. Thompson, 
general manager. During the tir^t two year- <>f operation this company 
built and placed on the market fifty splendid wagons. 



298 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 



TILE FACTORY. 

The tile factory owned by Walter Cowan lias been in existence for 
many years, but the exact date of its beginning cannot be obtained. Air. 
Cowan has owned the factory for several years and has manufactured many 
thousands of tile. Since the farmers are beginning to realize the necessity of 
tiling, Mr. Cowan can hardly supply the demand. During the summer 
months he gives employment to several men and it may be said that through 
the influence of the factory much business is brought to Windom that other- 
wise would go elsewhere. 

THE WINDOM MANUFACTURING COMPANY. 

The Windom Manufacturing Company was one of the early industries 
of Windom. It served well its day of usefulness, when flax was raised on 
the broad prairies of southwestern Minnesota. About 1892-3 W. A. Turner 
established a large tow-mill at Windom. He had a large building and dry 
rooms in which the raw material was dried before entering further into the 
mill. He had a fifty-eight-horse-power engine to propel his machinery. He 
had to run the flax straw through his mill twice after it was taken from the 
dry room, which was kept at a temperature of two hundred and twenty 
degrees, with a drying capacity of one ton per hour. His mill had a capacity 
of six tons a day. 

This concern also started in to manufacture a new kind of self-feeders 
for threshing machines, flax breaks and rice machines. After the growth of 
flax was discontinued in this section of the country, this factory had to 
abandon its enterprise, but, while running, paid out eight thousand dollars a 
year lor tlax straw to the surrounding farmers. 

LANDMARK REMOVED. 

The folowing item is taken from the Window, Reporter of October 28, 
[884: "One by one the old landmarks are being replaced by better and 
more substantial buildings. The old house on the corner of Third and Tenth 
streets, erected in 1871 by A. Huddleson and sou, and occupied as a bakery 
and residence, was one of the first buildings in Windom and the one in which 
the first child was born in the village and named William Wind, mi Huddle- 
son. The building soon after completion was vacated by Mr. Huddleson, 
who removed to Wisconsin, and was occupied through the winter of 1871- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 299 

1872 by E. Clark. In the spring of 1872 the house and lot was bought by 
S. S. Johnson, who resided there for several years using the lower tloor for 
flour, feed and pumps." 

THE OLD "LOCK-UP." 

In 1885 the village of Windom had a "lock-up," twelve by fourteen feet, 
built of two-by-four dimension stuff and painted on the outside. It contained 
two cells, seven by twelve feet, and two iron-barred windows, twelve by 
thirty inches, six feet from the floor. At that date it was very poorly kept, 
inhabited by many rats and mice and naturally very unsanitary. For a time 
it was used by both county and village, but subsequently it was condemned 
by the authorities. 

windom's commercial interests in 1916. 

In the summer of 1916 the business and professional interests of the city 
of Windom were as follow : 

Auto-garage— John Moore, Silliman Brothers, Frank Pope. 

Attorneys — Wilson Borst, Newton L. Glover, P. S. Redding. 

Banks — Farmers State, First National and Windom National banks. 

Barber shops — Newell P. Freeman, Ff. C. Hamilton and Richard S. 
Reese. 

Blacksmith shops — John Loken & Son, Smestad & Grotte and Ole S. 
Thompson. 

Bakeries — J. M. Eibright and the Wind.. m Bakery. 

Clothing stores— Gustav Mueller and < i. A. Peterson. 

Cigar manufacturer — O. S. Skillingstad. 

Creamery — Windom Creamery Company. 

Creamery stations — J. E. Jenness and E. E. Berry & Son. 

Confectioneries — John F. Hinkley, Nick llules, Thomas Hules, Charles 
J. Koob. 

Draftsman — William A. Peterson. 

Druggists — Andrew A. Quevli, Frank Stedman. 

Ditch contractors — Samogge & Redding. 

Dray lines— William Belton, W. E. Bates. 

Dentists— John A. Adamson, Henry Beise and C. II. Vroman. 

Elevators — Co-operative Elevator < ompany, St. John'-, Elevator Com- 
pany and G. W. Gillam. 

Furniture dealers — James A. Crane, E. E. Berry & Son. 



300 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Feed store — John Loken. 

Feed Barns — Thomas Chatham, Miller Brothers. 

Fuel dealers — Walter J. Johnson, Ole Grotte and the lumber companies 

Grocers— J. M. Ebright & Son, Headley & Miller. 

General contractors — Christopherson & Westgard, Carl Peterson. 

General dealers — Michael L. Fisch, Foss Mercantile Company, A. Quevli 
&Co. 

Hotels — The Park, Commercial. 

Harness shops — James Devlin and A. D. Nelson. 

Hardware dealers — Earl Marshall & Son, C. Nelson & Co., Albert 
Wynne. 

Implement dealers — Jens Anderson, Ole Elvrum. 

Ice dealer — Yerkee Brothers. 

Jewelers — Arthur B. Cone, Charles W. Lowery. 

Lumber dealers — Grosjean & Lampert Lumber Company, Struck-Sher- 
win Lumber Company, and the Tuthill Lumber Company. 

Liveries (horse) — L. T. Chatham, J. C. Church. 

Mill— Richard Collins. 

Music store — Edward E. Gillam. 

Moving picture show — "The Wonderland." 

Milliners — T. Kittleson, Mrs. Josephine Lowery. 

Meat markets— M. S. Potter, Wieks & Burrill. 

Merchant tailors — Xels Anderson, John Hoffman. 

Newspapers — The Cottonwood County Citizen, The Windom Reporter. 

Notions — Orris M. Garrett, Windom Variety Store, S. L. Rogers. 

Physicians — Dr. William T. DeCnater. Dr. Joseph H. Dudley, Dr. 
Ludwig Sogge, Dr. Frank R. Weiser, Dr. F. C. Griffith, Doctor Tegland. 

Photographer — Jesse O. Thompson. 

Produce dealers — John F. Jenness, Windom Produce Company, T- F. 
Reide. 

Restaurants — Minute Cafe, Frank R. Shaub, J. G. Hinkley. 

Real estate dealers — Kettlewell & Jeffers, Silliman Brothers Land Com- 
pany, Ringkob-Peterson, Sanger Land Company. Marshall Land Company, 
Benjamin A. lone, Andrew Cowan, George F. Robison, Robinson & Potter, 
J. T. Johnson Land Company. 

Shoe store — Ed. Larson. 

Stock buyers— (bis Swanholm, Miller Brothers, M. T. DeWolf. 

Tile works — W. P. Cowan. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 3OI 

Telephones — Windom .Mutual, X< >rthwestern. 
Veterinaries — F. E. Judd. John Tyas. 

COMMERCIAL CLUBS. 

In February, 1908, there was formed in Windom a Commercial Club, 
with officers as follow: President, W. F. Savage; vice-president, C. W. 
Gillam; secretary, F. G. Dunnicliff; treasurer, John T. Johnson; directors, 
W. J. Clark, T. C. Collins, M. L. Fisch. Rooms were kept open over the 
First National Bank until that structure was burned. The membership fee 
was thirty dollars. 

The present Commercial Club was organized on March 4, 1914. All 
phases of business were represented at the meeting, which was held at the 
o >urt house. It started out w : ith seventy members. The first officers were : 
President, C. W. Gillam; vice-president, J. O. Thompson; secretary. L. S. 
Churchill; treasurer, M. L. Fisch. The club has already secured main- ad- 
vantages for the city of Windom. The present month — August, 1916 — it 
has secured a great band tournament, representing bands from St. James, 
Currie, Heron Lake and other neighboring towns, six in all. 

THE TOURIST CLUB. 

The Tourist Club was organized in October, 1896. with Mrs. T. C. 
Collins as president; Mrs. Wellington, vice-president; Mrs. C. A. Greene, 
secretary; Mrs. Force, treasurer. The club derived its name from the fact 
that the club members took up the study of things beyond their own imme- 
diate realm for the purpose of self -improvement. The membership is limited 
to twenty-five. The club carries an associate membership, members of 
which are taken from the active list. To become an honorary member one 
must have been an active member fur a period of five years. At present there 
there are eleven associate members and four honorary members. The club 
meets every Monday evening. For the coming year the club begins the study 
of the "Romance Cities of America" and "Problems of the May." 

The officers for the coming year are as follows, among whom are .Mi 
Collins and Mrs. Greene, who are holding the same offices as at the time 
of organization: President, Mrs. T. C. Collins; first vice-president, Mi 
George Robison; second vice-president, Mr-, (iilli.-; corresponding secretary. 
Mrs. Harriet Hunter; recording secretary. Mis. Greene; treasurer, Mi 
Strunk; critic, Mrs. Chestnut; assistant critic. Mrs. Emor Smestad. 



3<d2 cottonwood and watonwan counties, minn. 

woman's literary club. 

The Woman's Literary Club of Windom was organized on June 27, 
1903, with Mrs. C. W. Gillam as president. The club has studied the works 
and literature of many of the best writers, including Shakespeare, Marlowe 
and many others. But the efforts of the club are not confined wholly to 
the study of classic art and literature, but also home problems and home 
economics. 

The officers elected for the year 1916 are as follow: Mrs. Carpenter, 
president; Mrs. J. T. Johnson, vice-president; Mrs. Scurr, recording secre- 
tary; Mrs. A. D. Perkins, corresponding secretary; Marie Quevli, treasurer; 
Mrs. A. D. Perkins, chairman of program committee. The Mayview course 
of study has been selected for the coming year's work. 

WINDOM PIONEERS. 

The following is a list of the pioneers who helped to lay well the founda- 
tion stones of the sprightly little city of Windom: W. A. Smith, George 
F. Robison, William Besser, George Miller, O. Elvrum, D. C. Davis. C. A. 
Lowe, C. H. Rupke, H. A. Cone, John Hutton, E. Gillam, James Dolan, 
Frank Stedman, W. B. Williams, George E. LeTourman, C. W. Gillam, 
L. J. Robinson, J. F. French, Charles B. Pierce, R. H. Reese. W. A. Cook, 
E. L. Leonard. M. T. De Wolf, E. C. Huntington, T. C. Collins, H. M. 
Clark, E. Sevatson, R. R. Jenness, Will Gillam, S. S. Gillam, J. N. McGregor, 
H. Bosworth. 

windom's greatest fire. 

A fifty-thousand-dollar lire visited Windom in July, 1900. It com- 
menced about noon, with a high northwest wind. There was but little water 
in the tank and the hose owned by the town was rotten and soon found to 
be useless. Not an ax nor any implement for lire-lighting was to be found 
for the use of the firemen. It was believed the lire bad its origin in the 
old .Mason barn hay-loft, back of the Quevli store. When it was known 
that the tire laddies could do nothing, St. James and 1 leron Lake were appealed 
to for aid. The railroad gave special trains to bring the tire companies 
from these places. In a short time men and hose came from St. James and 
in less than thirty minutes from the time of call, the Heron Lake fire com- 
pany was landed in Windom. Dick Gage, the engineer that hurled the com- 
pany up from Heron Lake, made the run in an incredibly short time. On 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 3O3 

authority, never disputed, he made the twelve-mile run in twelve minutes 
and unloaded his freight at the Windom depot. The St. James company 
made their run in thirty-one minutes, including a stop at Bingham Lake. 
After the water supply was found giving out, the Heron Lake engine run 
to the Des Moines river, but it was found they could not force the water 
up that far, so when the Luverne company arrived a line of hose was estab- 
lished between the wagon bridge and town, but again it was found that the 
engines were not making steam sufficient. Then a steam threshing engine 
belonging to Matt Miller was fired and run to the scene and greatly aided 
the other engines in pumping water sufficient to check the flames somewhat. 
Coal ran out and a special was sent to Heron Lake for a supply from the 
railroad vards. A passenger train brought a hundred laboring railroaders 
from Bingham Lake, and more were tendered if needed. These were sta- 
tioned all over the southeast part of Windom with pails of water ready to 
quench any fire that might be set from flying cinders, etc. As a matter of 
fact, had the home fire company been encouraged and the supply of water, 
so near at hand, been looked after before the day of fire, nearly all this 
heavy loss might have been saved Windom. The thanks of the people of 
the place to the kindness of the railroad company, the fire companies at St. 
James, Heron Lake and Luverne, are even to this late day being expressed 
by the citizens of the place. 

A. Ouevli was the heaviest loser, $17,000; he had $2,000 insurance. 
Thurston Bros, had $8,000 insurance and estimated their stock at $16,000. 
M. D. Gates had on stock about $1,500 insurance and, all told, lost about 
S5,ooo. Johnson & Foss had $800 insurance and lost about as much more. 
Fish Brothers had an insurance of $2,500. and saved most of their stock. 
A. Opperud lost the building in which Arthur Cone was doing business; 
this was worth about $2,000. O. Nason had $1,500 insurance and lost 
$2,000. Olf Erickson had some loss in hi- restaurant. Dr. Moen lost his 
library and many valuable surgical instruments, at a loss of $2,000. George 
F. Robison, L. J. Robinson and Dr. De Coater, all occupants of the Robi- 
son & Robinson building, Inst about $2,000. The above named losses only 
include the business places and there was, besides these losses, several small 
buildings and barns, easily totalling a thousand dollars more. 

OTHER CONFLAGRATIONS. 

On March 1. 1885, a fire destroyed the store of R. R. Jenness, occupied 
by X. Freeman as a general store. Loss, $8,000; insured for part of the 
amount. 



304 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 

On February 1, 1910, the First National Bank building, with most of 
its contents, was destroyed by fire, which originated in the basement. The 
first floor was occupied by the bank and the large store of M. L. Fisch. 
Mr. Fisch was the heaviest loser, with a loss of $25,000; insured for $15,000. 
The bank lost $16,000 on building and $3,500 on fixtures; insured for 
$10,000. 

In November, 1910, another fire burned the Farmers' Elevator, built 
in 1S85, at a cost of $5,000, and owned by E. Sevatson. It was insured 
for $4,000. Four thousand bushels of wheat was lost. 



CHAPTER XVIII. 



REMINISCENCES. 



PIONEER DAYS IN GREAT BEND BLIZZARD OF 1873. 

By W. A. Peterson. 

During the summer of 1872 the officers of school district of Great 
Bend township, erected a school house at the southeast corner of section 6, 
the second school house built in the county. It was a wooden building con- 
structed of pine lumber, quite a pretentious one for those early days; the 
frame, boards or "sheeting" had been nailed; over this was a covering of 
building paper and over that the half inch siding; the roof had been sheeted, 
papered and shingled, and there they had stopped for want of funds to pur- 
chase more material and the building was not finished on the inside at all. 
Shutters had been constructed of pine flooring, but had not yet been hung 
nil the windows, but were artistically piled in one corner of the room. The 
school house was calculated to be located in the geographical center of the 
"district" and was. consequently, as is often the case, just a mile from 
everybody. 

During the long and memorable winter of 1872-3, the school was being 
taught by John E. Teed, one of the young homesteaders and pioneers of 
the "far west." The school consisted of about twenty scholars of all ages, 
from the five-year-old — -just mastering the intricacies of A, B, C, — to young- 
men and women of sixteen to eighteen years of age. They had no patent 
individual desks and seats fastened to the floor, no elegant blackboard, smooth 
as glass, all around the four walls of the room; no steam or furnace heal : 
no elegant and comfortable lavatories, nor in fact any of the modern improve- 
ment- and conveniences of even the country school houses of nowadays. 

The young seekers after knowledge .if that generation of a half century 
ago had to be, and were, content with the plain pine benches and desks; a 
very small wood-burning stove in the ('enter of the room, around which they 
huddled on a cold day, burning one side and freezing the other at the same 
time. They had to walk at least a mile in the keen, biting cold and through 
(20) 



306 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

the deep snow to attend school, yet there were very few cases of tardiness 
or absence that winter when the weather was so that the youngsters could 
get out at all, and there was no ironclad rule compelling pupils to return 
home and lose a half day in case they were a few minutes late, to act as an 
incentive to make them prompt. 

They were away out upon the wild prairies of the frontier and some of 
them were well aware that they were getting to an age where if they did 
not improve the opportunity their, education would most likely stop short. 
They were very glad of an opportunity to attend a school that, primitive as 
the accommodations were, was as far ahead of the opportunities enjoyed 
by most parents in their youth, as their school house was behind the modern 
school building, with all its paraphernalia, and many of the middle aged 
men and women of today "graduated" from just such a school as is above 
described, that were among the boy and girl pioneers of the great West. 

The morning of January 7, 1873, was a wild, warm, damp, foggy morn- 
ing; such a mist hung over the prairie that it was almost a rain. They 
started for school that morning without any cold weather wraps; there was 
but one overcoat in the house that day; and that belonged to the teacher, 
who had brought it from necessity rather than choice, because he was "board- 
ing around" and intended going to a new place that night. 

The pupils assembled at the school house as merry and thoughtless as 
any children, who, if they only knew it, are then spending the happiest hours 
of their lives, and went through the usual routine of the morning lessons 
and recitations. The lunch pails were emptied at noon and they were play- 
ing some games in the west end of the room, when a commotion was noted 
about the door, and that three or four children were apparently hastily pre- 
paring to go away. On inquiry it was found that Mr. I). \Y. Working had 
come with his team and was hurriedly urging his children to get ready to 
go home. 

"What is the matter, Mr. Working?" someone asked. 

"We are going to have a bad storm and 1 am going to got my children 
home as soon as possible," was his reply, as he hustled them into the sled 
and drove rapidly away. 

Air. VV. had hardly got away from the school house door when there 
came from the northwest such a gale of wind as none had ever beheld before, 
and I'll take my oath they never want to see it again. 

Il struck the building with a rush and roar, with such violence that it 
rocked, shook and trembled like a distressed ship in a hurricane, and seemed 
as though determined to wrench it from its foundation, rend the slender frame 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 307 

asunder and hurl the building with its living human freight into eternity. 
The air was completely filled with fine, drifting, whirling particles of snow, as 
fine as the minutest particles of sand in a Sahara desert sand storm, render- 
ing it impossible to see a foot toward the storm, and only a few feet in any 
direction. Those who have ever witnessed a northwestern blizzard can form 
no idea of it, and it is not to be wondered that they regard the description 
given by the westerners of such storms as exaggerations, as "fish stories," 
but any old plainsman will sustain the statement that they cannot be exag- 
gerated; that the half of the truth has not. and never will, he told regarding 
them. 

The storm began about half past twelve o'clock Tuesday afternoon, and 
lasted without cessation until Thursday night at midnight. Oh. how that 
terrible wind did shriek and howl, whistle, and roar, all day and night Wed- 
nesday and all day and half the night Thursday, like the unchained demons 
of the bottomless pit turned loose, howling in insane demonical rage upon 
the bleak prairie, and at last moaning itself to sleep — its fury spent — as 
though singing a sad requiem for the victims of the elements whose bodies 
lay stark and stiff at intervals over the plain, frozen to death. 

The scholars huddled together, seemingly stupified by the giant power 
of the fearful element raging without; gazing speechless with terror into 
the blanched faces of their companions, whose bloodless lips and wild eyes 
told of the thoughts of the older ones, inspired by the perilous predicament 
they were in. The wind was screeching and screaming around the building, 
which creaked and groaned like a living thing, searching out every little crack, 
nail or knot hole, and sifting the fine particles of snow into the room; on one 
pane of glass, in the northwest window, near the center of the pane, a hunch 
of snow formed in a fantastic wreath, forced through a hole made by some 
flaw in the glass, so tiny that it could not be detected with the naked eye. 

The diminutive stove had never been large enough to furnish sufficient 
heat for that great shell of a room even in fair and comparatively warm 
weather, and as night approached the room began to grow cold and green 
willow wood, the largest of the sticks being as small as a man's forearm, 
and now it was discovered that there was hut a quarter of a cord left; not 
near enough to last through the night, even of that miserable fuel. There 
was nothing within a mile of the school house, and the situation was indeed 
perilous; it was fully realized by the teacher and the older scholars. As 
night approached and it became colder it also l>ecame more lonesome and 
dreary. They took the shutters and placed them on a couple of benches as 
near the stove as possible, without setting fire to them; placed all the coats, 



308 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

shawls and wraps that were available on them, and made a bed in which 
were placed the ten or dozen little children, who, childlike, soon forgot their 
homesickness and fright in the blessed balm of the sweet sleep of childhood. 

The older ones employed every means that fertile minds could suggest 
to keep sluggish blood in motion and bodies warm, and also to keep their 
minds diverted from the gloomy contemplation of the peril. They were 
huddled together around that wretched little stove and sung songs and told 
stories by the twilight of the fire shining through the open front door of 
the stove. This was all the light, but by its uncertain flicker I thought I 
discovered some of the boys and girls sitting so close together that I sus- 
picioned that the boys were gallantly trying to keep the girls warm, and 
cheer and support them by putting their arms around them. 

The long, dismal night passed away at last, and with the coming of 
daylight came renewed action; the youngsters yawned, stretched and awoke, 
gazing stupidly around the room at first, trying to recall where they were. 
Ellison D. Moers, who was the oldest and largest boy in school, announced 
his intention of trying to go to the house of Dr. R. N. Sackett, which stood 
just about a mile to the northwest of the school house, and right in the teeth 
of the gale, to get some relief for the now half famished little ones. It was 
a hazardous undertaking; one requiring a clear head, a steady nerve, and 
physical endurance, but as Ellison possessed these requisites and was deter- 
mined to go, he was bundled up in all the wraps they had, accompanied him 
to the door and bid him good-bye and God-speed, doubting if he would ever 
l>e seen alive again. 

They whiled away the long, lonesome, tedious hours until some time 
about noon, when they heard a pounding at the door, and upon opening. 
two "tosled" snow images tumbled into the room. They were so bundled 
up and covered with snow that it was not known who they were at first, hut 
soon found that they were the schoolmate returned, accompanied by the 
doctor. 

They had brought a plentiful supply of fond, a buttle of strong tea and 
a sharp ax. They fell ravenously upon that grub and slaked their thirst with 
the strong tea. After resting and warming the doctor decided to go back 
home and try to get his team to the school house and take the stormbound 
scholar^ over t<> his house; and so he set out. facing the terrific wind, accom- 
panied by the teacher, and about four o'clock p. m., they returned with the 
team and packed the little ones in the bottom of the sleigh box and covered 
them up "head and ears" with the blankets and robes. Ellison 1). Mooers 
and the teacher did not go, but went to Ellison's home, which was something 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 309 

over a mile southeast of the school house, and as they went with the gale 
they did not have serious trouble in reaching the house. 

I then lived about a mile and a quarter to the southwest of the school 
house and thought I could go home all right, but the teacher and the doctor 
refused to let me try it, and so I went with the other scholars to the doctor's 
house. Harvey Thompson and myself, being the two eldest boys in the 
party, had curled down in the rear end of the sled box to keep out of the 
drifting snow and cutting sleet as much as possible, as we were both very 
lightly clothed for braving such a blizzard. 

\\ e had gone but a few rods when the team was stopped and the doctor, 
turning to us, said in a frightful tone: "My God, boys, I've lost the track." 
Imagine, if you can, the feeling that came over us at this information. Drop- 
ping ice down your back on a warm day is luxury compared to it. We 
made the doctor promise to keep just where he was and we got out and went 
down on our knees on either side of the sled, calling to each other inces- 
santly, so as not to lose each other or the sled, for we could not see two 
feet from our faces, and by so doing one of us found the track and got the 
team into it. From that time on Harvey and myself kept our faces out over 
the side of the sled and within eighteen inches of the ground, watching that 
faint track as intensely as a cat would watch a mouse. The team left it 
several times before we finally reached the house, but one of us would imme- 
diately call in the wind. 

We got to the house and as soon as Mrs. Sacket could get a warm meal 
— the first we had since Tuesday morning — we all went to bed, "three in 
the bed and two in the middle," and made up for the sleeplessness of the 
night before. On Thursday morning the wind was blowing a severe gale, but 
it had stopped snowing and as the doctor had t<< make a professional visit, 
we started out at about ten o'clock a. m. and I got home all right. Just as 
we left the school house I went back to the blackboard and scribbled a message 
on it, telling anyone who might come to the school house what had become 
of the pupils. 

Such an emergency always called out heroes and shows the stuff men 
are made of. This was no exception to the rule. In addition to. tin- peril- 
ous and heroic journeys of Ellison D. Mooers', I >r. R. X. Sackett and John !•'. 
Teed, one more that was entirely disintei I d \\;i the -poutancous act 

of a true man with a heart as big as an ox, who could nol rest while he 
knew that human beings and especially children, were in peril, deserves more 
than passing mention. 

Orrin Xason, familiarly known to many as "Tip," lived ju i about a 



3IO COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

mile directly west of the school house. My brother and Tip had been caught 
in Windom on Tuesday afternoon when the storm began, and as my brother's 
wife lay almost at the point of death they knew that they must go home if 
possible. They succeeded after a perilous journey that nearly cost them 
their lives, and Tip had been up to my house and found that I had not got 
home. He, of course, at once surmised that the school children were storm- 
bound in the school house and had nothing to eat. This troubled his big 
heart so much that he had his good wife pack a pail of provisions and he 
started out and brought it to the school house, arriving there just about 
half an hour after we had gone. He had not a chick nor a child in the world; 
no one in school nearer than his nephew, yet he risked his life and braved 
that awful storm to get relief to us, when a dozen fathers, having children 
in the school, did not dare to try to get them. 



CHAPTER XIX. 



MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS AND INCIDENTS. 



IMMIGRATION ASSOCIATION. 

The Cottonwood County Immigration Society was formed in Windom 
in May, 1882, with John Clark as president and the following men as vice- 
presidents, chosen according to townships : Lakeside, S. O. Taggart ; Moun- 
tain Lake, John Janzen; Selma, H. M. Goss; Delton, C. S. Narmoer; Carson, 
Fred Carpenter; Great Bend, C. Warren; Dale, J. Cutler; Amboy, Wilbur 
Potter ; Germantown, Chris Brand ; Highwater, Geo. Quale ; Sorden, Chas. 
Reipka; Amo, Corlis Mead; Springfield, T. S. Brown; Southbrook, W. H. 
Jones; Rose Hill, Henry Trantfether; Ann, C. H. Anderson; secretary, E. C. 
Huntington; treasurer, J. N. McGregor; executive committee: A. D. Perkins, 
J. S. Redding, John Hutton, E. C. Huntington, Paul Seeger, S. M. Espy 
and A. Ouevli. The object of the association was the dissemination and 
accumulation of information concerning Cottonwood county, its climate, 
its resources, its prospects, and the promotion of its settlement. 

It was the duty of the vice-presidents to collect information and facts 
relating to the character and resources of townships represented by them; 
also to furnish the same to the executive committee and to co-operate with 
the officers of the association in securing a judicious distribution of such 
publications as may be issued by the organization and to perform such 
duties as may be assigned them by the president. The membership fee 
was one dollar. 

POPULATION STATISTICS. 

The various census reports of this county show the following facts: 
In i860 the county contained only twelve people — six men and six women; 
in 1870 it had increased to 534; in 1875 to 2,870; in 1880 it had reached 
5,553; in 1885 it was 5,894; in 1890 it was 7,412; in 1900 it was 12,00./: 
in 1910 it was [2,651. 



31 = 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 



POPULATION IN 1895 BY PRECINCTS. 



Amboy 343 

Amo 296 

Ann 402 

Carson 655 

Dale 367 

Delton 350 

Germantown 488 

Great Bend 320 

Highwater 569 

Lakeside 547 

Midway 528 



Mountain Lake 612 

Mountain Lake Village 595 

Rose Hill 480 

Selma 405 

Southbrook 318 

Springfield 351 

Storden 439 

Westbrook 599 

Windom Village T -5 2 3 



Total io.it 



CENSUS OF I9OO AND I9IO. 



1910 

Amboy 437 

Amo 395 

Ann 433 

Bingham Lake Vil- 
lage 285 

Carson 672 

Dale 483 

Delton 371 

Germantown 522 

Great Bend 444 

Highwater 591 

Jeffers Village 227 

Lakeside 449 



1900 1910 1900 

489 Midway 658 607 

358 Mountain Lake 512 561 

500 Mountain Lake Mi- 
lage 1,081 959 

311 Rose Hill 510 535 

623 Selma 530 427 

455 Southbrook 303 350 

360 Springfield 332 361 

512 Storden 659 548 

435 Westbrook 571) nNS 

627 Westbrook Village- 429 

Windom Village 1-749 r .944 

392 

Total 12.651 12,069 



NATIONALITY OF rOrl'LATTON. 



According to the United States census in tqio the following national- 
ities were lure represented: 0.7S7 were native-born Americans: Germans. 
624; Swedes. 185; Norwegians. JJ_V. English and Irish, 61; Danish, 207; 
Austrians, 112: Russians, 821; other countries. 131. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 313 

VILLAGE PLATS. 

The following are the village plats of Cottonwood county : 

Bingham Lake, situated in section 9, township 105, range 35, west, 
was platted by the officers of the St. Paul & Sioux City Railroad Com- 
pany, July 28, 1S75. 

Delft, in the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter and the south- 
west quarter of section 18, township 106, range 35, was platted by the 
Inter-State Land Company, June 18, 1902. 

Jeffers was platted by the Inter-State Land Company, September 19, 

1899, in section 20, township 107, range 36, west. 

Mountain Lake was platted by the officers of the St. Paul & Sioux City 
Railroad Company, May 25, 1872, in section t,^,, township 106, range 34, 
west. 

Westbrook was platted by the Inter-State Land Company, June 8, 

1900, in section 29, township 107, range 38. 

Windom was platted by the St. Paul & Sioux City Railroad Company, 
May 25, 1872, in the southwest quarter of section 25, and parts of sec- 
tions 26 and 36, township 105, range 36 west. The president of the com- 
pany was then Elias Drake. 

Storden was platted by the Inter-State Land Company, July 8, 1903, 
comprising all of the southwest quarter of the southwest quarter of section 
29, township 107, range 37 west. 

PLATTED CEMETERIES. 

Besides several private or family burying grounds in this county, there 
are the following public cemeteries : 

Amo cemetery, platted March 2, 1899, in the northeast corner of 
section 21, town-hip 106, range t,~, west. This was platted by the trus- 
tees of the Methodist Episcopal church of the township. 

Delton cemetery, in the north half of the southeast quarter of section 
22, township 107, range 35, west; filed on November 11, 1 886. 

Windom cemetery, platted by the Win-!. in Cemetery Association, by 
\Y. B. Cook, president. F.. L. Leonard, treasurer, July 20, [890. This is 
situated on a part of the south half of tin- southeast quarter of the south- 
east quarter of section 25, town-hip 105. range 36, we I 

St. Francis cemetery, platted. February 4. [901, in the southeast quar- 
ter of the northeast quarter of section 36, town-hip 105, range 36. 

Carson church and cemetery grounds, platted on December 8, 1900, by 



314 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

the trustees of the Mennonite church, in section 15, township 106, range 
35, west. 

Mountain Lake cemetery was platted by the . Mountain Lake Cemetery 
Association, David Ewert, president ; John Janzen, secretary, and Henry 
P. Goertz, treasurer, March 18, 1893, m section 33, township 106, range 
34, west. 

Westbrook cemetery was platted in the northeast quarter of the north- 
east quarter of section 29, township 107, range 38, west, by the village 
authorities of Westbrook, February 19, 1913. 

ALTITUDES. 

According to the government surveys made several years since, the 
altitude above the sea at Windom was thirteen hundred and thirty- four 
feet and at Heron Lake it is fourteen hundred and six feet. 

MARKET QUOTATIONS. 

In 1872 these prices obtained in Cottonwood county: Wheat. 90 cents; 
flour, per hundred weight, $3.10; eggs, 12 cents per dozen; butter, per pound, 
10 cents; corn, per bushel, 40 cents; oats, 20 cents; hay (wild), $5.00 
per ton. 

In 1880 the prices ranged as follows: Wheat, 90 cents; flour, $3.00; 
oats, 20 cents; corn, 20 cents; barley, 25 cents; potatoes, 25 cents; butter, 12 
cents; eggs, 16 cents: fresh pork, per hundred, $3.50. 

In 1890 these prices are found in the Windom Reporter: Wheat, 
75 cents; oats, 29 cents; butter, 10 cents; eggs, 14 cents. 

In the month of August, 1916, the following prices obtained in this 
locality and at Mankato : Wheat, $1.50; corn. 86 cents; oats. 43 cents; 
hugs, $9.63; cattle, top prices, $10.95; eggs, 21 cents; heavy hens, 14 cents 
a pound; potatoes, $1.00; dairy butter. 30 cents a pound; hand separated 
butter, 33 cents per pound; creamery butter, 35 cents per pound. 

GRASSHOPPEP. PLAGUE. 

hi 1873 all of southwestern Minnesota came under the devastating 
influences of the grasshoppers, which continued until 1878. In the way 
of relief to the destitute settlers may be mentioned the following: 

Gen. |. \Y. Bishop, general manager of the Sioux City Railroad, issued 
an order donating all the timber owned by the road situated more than a 
mile from the track to destitute settlers. Besides, the eastern stockholders 
donated the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars each to those whose only 
dependence was in the hands of charity. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 315 

The state Legislature passed a seed wheat bill, to aid destitute settlers 
on the frontier, the substance of which is given as follows: "Section i. 
That the sum of twenty-five thousand dollars or so much thereof as may 
be necessary is hereby appropriated out of any money in the state treasury, 
belonging to the general revenue funds, not otherwise appropriated, for the 
relief of destitute settlers on the frontier counties of the state, for the pur- 
chase of grain. 

"Section 2. Provided, that no more than thirty dollars shall be paid 
to one family." 

As a result of the above bill, Cottonwood county received about four 
thousand five hundred bushels of grain, which cost one dollar and eight 
cents a bushel. 

In February, 1874, many of the settlers held a meeting for the purpose 
of asking an extension of time for the payment of personal taxes. The 
state came to their aid and passed a bill extending the time until the follow- 
ing November, provided no taxes were in arrears. 

GRASSHOPPER CONVENTION. 

In May, 1874, a grasshopper convention was held in Windom, about 
two hundred attending. A general opinion prevailed that the destruction 
of crops for the year was inevitable and that aid was necessary. The con- 
vention passed a resolution requesting Governor Davis to appoint ex-Gover- 
nor Miller as a commissioner to go to Washington and lay facts before 
Congress and ask relief. A motion also prevailed to grant settlers the right 
to leave their claims until the grasshopper raid was over and they were 
able to procure the necessary seed for another year. A committee of one 
from each county afflicted was appointed to canvass their respective coun- 
ties and ascertain the amount of relief necessary and report to the gov- 
ernor at once. 

In July, 1874, the county auditor received returns from the townships 
showing the per cent of grain destroyed. 

Wheat. Oats. Corn. Flax. 

Amboy 75 ''5 25 100 

Southbrook 95 60 70 [00 

Springfield i°° "» 75 95 

Germantown 9° IO ° 55 

Carson 80 7? 55 60 

Amo 8 5 8o r, o 

Ann 6° 55 65 100 

Clinton 90 70 43 



316 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

STORM OF 1873. 

On January 7, 1873, in that terrible storm mentioned elsewhere in this 
volume, William Norris lost his life in Springfield township within eighty rods 
of his own house. The farm is now owned by George Morley, in section 30. 
About half of the men were in Windom that day trading and of course stayed 
all night there. This was the same storm Mr. Peterson writes about when 
the scholars all had to remain in the Big Bend school house for nearly two 
days. 

THE CYCLONE OF I9O3. 

The first severe cyclone to visit these parts after the county's settlement 
was the one which devastated things in general early in June, 1903. Eight 
persons were killed, as follow : Daniel Galligher and two daughters, Mrs. 
Joe Fritcher and baby, a daughter of Mrs. Joe Fritcher, the father of Mr. 
Fritcher and Joseph Mathias. Aside from two sons this wiped out the Gal- 
ligher family of this county. 

The local papers said (Windom, July 1, 1903) : "Leaving death and 
destruction in its pathway, a cyclone passed over this county four miles 
south of this city last evening. It was about seven o'clock when the storm 
was at its worst. Many houses, barns and outbuildings were torn asunder 
and in one of the houses three people were killed. The house of Daniel 
Galligher stood on the edge of an embankment overlooking String lake. The 
storm swept the building into the lake, killing Mr. Galligher and his two 
grown-up daughters. At a late hour this morning but one of the bodies — that 
of one of the two daughters — has been found. Her clothing was entirely 
torn away, the bones of the body were broken and she presented an awful 
appearance. Mr. Galligher's granary was blown away; his horses and cat- 
tle all killed and a vast amount of other damage done on the premises. The 
daughters of Mr. Galligher, Nettie and Ella, were well known in Windom. 

"In Windom a fearful gale blew, but no damage resulted further than 
trees being torn up by the roots and signs dislocated." 

On the Crowell farm a piece of a fork was found driven through the 
trunk of ;i tree. Spears of straw and hay were literally driven through the 
bark of growing trees. On E. H. Klock's farm a most wonderful thing 
occurred and which no one can account for. Within a grove and near his 
holier stood a farm wagon with a heavy box hay rack on it. There was a 
grove of willows and other artificial trees, many of which were thirty feet 
high. These at the point named stood on the highway and after the storm 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 317 

had passed (Mr. Klock and family being in Windom at the time of the storm) 
the wagon was found headed as before, only it had been picked up and carried 
over these thirty-foot trees and set down in a direct line where it had stood 
in the yard the hour of the storm. The wagon and rack were not in the 
least broken and the tongue was pointed in the same direction as before, only 
out in the highway several rods from its former position and beyond these 
trees. 

Just before the storm struck, all the cattle on D. U. Weld's farm seemed 
to divine what was coming and made a stampede for the stock barn. 

It was flying timbers of the destroyed Hager school house that killed 
Joseph Mathias. 

D. A. Xoble was returning from his farm near Windom and saw the 
storm. Xot knowing which way it was going, he halted a moment, watched 
its course and acted accordingly. He was near its edge and easily saw the 
storm cross the Des Moines river and on up a slope to where Dr. Silas Allen's 
old landmark, the red granary, stood. The latter was picked up and carried 
high in the air. when, all of a sudden it seemed to explode and disappeared 
in splinters; no piece was ever found of this building except a door to it. 

CYCLONE OF 1908. 

The presence of cellars probably saved many lives of Cottonwood county 
citizens on Monday evening, June _>_>, 190N, when a terrible cyclone swept 
through to the north and east of Windom. The loss of property amounted 
to hundreds of thousands of dollars, but the growing crops were practically 
uninjured. 

The cyclone formed somewhere in the lies Moines river valley three or 
four miles from Windom, and first struck the home of Frank Shottle, on 
section 15, in Great Bend township, destroying his barn, killing several 
horses and other stock; then went marly east t<> Paul I b» ike's, where some 
small buildings were destroyed, but no serious damage dune. From there the 
storm -wept over section 14, striking the home of Ross Nichols, the Mrs. 
Warren farm, where the barn was completely destroyed and the prairie for 
half a mile or more strewn with the debris. The house was partially un- 
shingled, and within about fifteen feel some large silver maples, nearly thirty 
years old, were uprooted, while south of the house other tree- were destroyed, 
but the house, otherwise than as mentioned, was uninjured. The family saw 
the storm coming and -tarted for the cellar, but the storm bad passed. Jusl 
east of this place about ten yard-, the storm encountered the telephone v 



318 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MIXX. 

of the Northwestern and the Tri-State and Windom Mutual, tearing up poles 
and entangling the wires badly. The telephone lines for forty or fifty rods 
wer entirely destroyed. 

The storm continued over section 15, striking the barn of John Carlson, 
moving: it several feet from its foundation, and unroofed the house. Five 
horses in the barn were unhurt. Also in the Nichols barn were three horses 
and a few cattle and all escaped injury. Mr. Carlson was standing near the 
house when he first saw the storm approaching. He said that there were two 
funnel-shaped clouds that came together, one from the southeast and one 
from the northeast and that they united just west of Shottle's grove, sweep- 
ing down upon it with utter destruction. From here it proceeded to the east 
side of section 12, where it demolished the barn belonging to a lady in Iowa 
and badly damaged the house. Proceeding to the east, it struck the wind- 
mill of M. F. Frickie, doing slight injury, but on the northeast quarter of 
section 6, in Lakeside township, just north of the Frickie home, it struck 
the home of Jacob Fast, tearing off chimneys, blowing in windows of the 
house and destroying several buildings. This was the third cyclone to hit 
Mr. Fast in recent years, causing him great losses. 

George Potter's barn, on the southwest quarter of section 5 in Lakeside 
township, was next hit and was completely destroyed. Isaac Foth's home 
was next in the path on the southwest quarter of section 32. Here peculiar 
freaks of the cyclone were noticed. It is customary for the Mennonif.es 
generally to build houses and barns in conjunction with each other and in 
this case Mr. Foth's house and barn cornered. The house was practically 
untouched while the barn was ruined. The beautiful grove was torn and 
twisted beyond recognition, great trees being uprooted, while others were 
peeled and twisted off at different distances from the ground. Isaac Foth 
said that when the storm struck him, there were two funnel shaped clouds 
in sight, one of which struck his house and the other he thought struck the 
Fast and Peter places, from which it would seem that the two cyclones which 
united at the Shottle place, separated between Carlson's and Foth's. 

The next place in the path of destruction was that of A. L. Thompson, 
in Carson township, where the barn was moved. The barn contained five 
horses, none of which were injured. The machine shed and several out- 
buildings were destroyed and the grove twisted, uprooted and denuded of 
all foliage. 

Continuing northward from the home of Mr. Thompson, the dwelling 
of Henry Loewen was completely wiped off the earth and nothing but a hole 
remained, together with some debris, to mark the spot. This was on the 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. Jig 

northeast half of section 33, Carson township. On the section south and 
eighty rods distant was the home of A. J. Wiebe, one of the most prosperous 
and wealth}- of the Mennonite farmers, and the scene of the most terrible 
solation. His grove was planted in [868 by George Robinson and was one 
of the first planted on the prairies of Cottonwood county. The place was one 
of the most delightful in this part of Minnesota, embracing a splendid 
orchard and excellent buildings, all of which except a small part of the house 
were completely destroyed. One horse was killed and two buried in the 
debris of the barn, but taken out alive. On the prairie east of the house 
several cattle were killed. Here trees forty years old were uprooted, broken 
off and twisted into all shapes and the grove practically ruined. The farm 
was hedged with long rows of willows and these were twisted into an almost 
solid mass and interwoven with wire fencing. No one was at home except 
the children, who sought safety in the cellar, but they were so frightened 
that they were unable to give any definite account of what happened. When 
asked how long the storm lasted one replied, "long time." but in reality it was 
not longer than one minute. Mr. Wiebe's buildings were all new ami modern. 
But after the storm had passed nothing remained except a few jars of fruit 
in the cellar and a yard covered with boards and building material. ft was 
here that they were trying to get into the cellar. All but John Eitzen, a man 
of about seventy years, succeeded. He, together witli a horse, was carried 
a quarter of a mile and dropped in a slough, where lie was afterwards found, 
the old gentleman being somewhat dazed but otherwise uninjured. The 
slough was covered with debris from the ruins, while the prairie all the way 
to the pond was covered with kindling wood. On the northeast quarter of 
the same section were the homes of Henry and Peter Wiems. Henry's barn 
was completely destroyed, with a number of cattle, while the house escaped 
injury. Peter's home was a few rods east of the barn and outbuildings, 
which were completely destroyed, while the house was somewhat damaged. 
Two steel water tanks were carried away and no trace of them ever found. 
A team of horses was carried one half a mile and dropped and when found 
were grazing as if nothing of importance had happened. 

The storm then jumped about two miles northea 1 and struck the home 
of Klaas Boltd, killing a horse and destroying all the buildings. On the 
northeast quarter of section 23 in Carson township. George Klaasin lost all ol 
his buildings except the house, those destroyed including barns, granary and 
a number of -mall structures, such as machine sheds, etc. II: toel 
scattered over the prairie east of the buildings, three cow- and one hoi 
being among the dead. 



.; '•' CO m\. i AND WATONWAN < <m \ riKS, MINN 

r G Ki.i.is,'ii lived m section i - ol the same township He lost .ill of 
his building from fivi en ih.Mi-.uul dollars He was not at 

home at the tune, but his \\ - tried to save hei children bj going into the 
cellar Hie) were caught in the wreck and .ill ban \ i iped with r 
e child, who w.is killed, 
David Hamm, on section t8, Midwaj township, lost .ill of bis buildings, 
J.iv ' I - ei lost lii< home as well .is .1 large amount ol 

I'll,- i.inuK sought safety in the cellar, in which there was about 
.1 foot ol watei \\ hen the house left the foundation the suction was so great 
as to drench the people in the celUu bj drawing watei up and over them, 
rhts seems to have been the end ol the storm, which was followed bj .1 heavj 
b Epps was ii-imii:;!:; from Mountain Lake and was caught in 
the path ol tht cycl ■ .'■> neighborhood of Quirings, being KulK injured 
and hen coop being blown against him 
tni 1 Q and Hamm pastures the stock n ented a mauled appeal 

ance \ v> • ■ was pulled from one ol Dick's horses, as was 

ek which had ■ 1 ed the neck hi ei three inches Chickens 

wi 1 d ■ clean as though pn ed for the ■ 1 pot 

Dan ■ « »a\ ed the Kill rolling foi aid to ilu- destitute, incli 

. Henrv 1 avan family, \\li>> lost all the} had bj the fearful windstorm. 
ri\e\ were n n an towa nun's farm Immei wagon 

. ,m,l clothes were collected and Mi Davis took 

; and othi 
. ■■ bad handy, rhis was an act of kindness not soon to 

SNOW 

r\ t, iSSi. snow began flying from the southeast and 1 

u was 

. . elov ero Hiis storm \> e in the 1 

e experience! 

1 
h \ crew ' men were put to w 

ween M .. V 1 until the 1 

■ 



cotton woon ' II ,i 

III I'll i I in' n Cl'l ' 'i I ii" in I 111 'Ml IM .11 I'.iir'li.iin 

I a! i cli 'nr' i in (ii- 1 ol hi ii 1 1 1 1 ... n •. I I.M I .in cngim and no 

ii' ii .ii hand to aid in tin vorl wl in 1 1 thai tin 

■ ii M Ii.mI ' ii 'I' i i" 1 1 .. 1 1 ■ i m mi iiltcmpl to ■•'! through ih' 'h 1 1 1 

ii" working in ll I eri wholly urn iou of an) dun 

until thi ' n ■ i uIiuohI upon them and il i vo too lati I \n 

I I M. n ■ -.I . .iM-hi I, \ il •■ | . t ■ . • and thrown quit* u distance, brcal 

ing in H' 'i and I Ming hi lanll) itgu i Bin mi i»tei va throv n undi i 

Mm i. ml .mi. I go ■ 'I'" 'I mi il that it tool il .ii i o houi to dig him 

..Mi I :. hi. i '.iii in' i i> i , i in ■ ■ othci workmen wcr< injured 

ill ■ 

i h. .m .mi. I. ■ .I i. .ii . .i |.i ,i n i> iii i ' ■ I .hi mi . I .m hum ii ■, i . , prairii 
in < i.i ,i i ii ii ni,' i ' . i . .! i ,i 1 1< i ih. ■ n 1 1 mi mi ■ .i i in count) in 1871 A. A. 

..mI. 1 ! ton of 1 ph tidid hay and Mi I'etci on lout all hi had stacked, 

also in grain and stabling Thi lin va een -< j -j < • Imm;. thi • "I 

untain 1 al 1 , hul timi I) woi 1 prevented i I from getting into thi placi 

a t»B MRU in 1// I'' 1 

1 1. ml 1 ■■ i' 1 on, I > 1 < , ... 11 1 ih. .mi in '.limn ota in 1 hun h 

ted in thi neighborhod ol Worthington in tin early icvcntie*, and 

In m 1 in ... . ..i.ni .,1 thi gn ..1 [j 73 blizzard, 10 fr< qui 1 fcrrcd to by 

[inm ota piom • 1 'J hii »ton on lanuai / 7, 1873 fori ,■ threi 

Doctoi 1 '• 1. 1 on a) 
"'lin afternoon ol that day was mild and clcai Many had taken ad 

vantagi ol thi and had gon< to 1 hljoi 01 to town to do > ! 

trading, '.1 po iblj to thi ncai by laki to fi h fn thi early afternoon, 

I di n ' hani ■ notii • d in thi atmoi phi re and in thi 

All who In 1 1 1 ii .I to g< I homi , and ' i aughl 

I,, the ■ torm th luding [ai '■ on and < otton vood 

counl 

,. ghtening roai wai heard in the northwc»l and, loo ould 

, , a .... ... 1 the < loudi to the 1 g at th< 

..I i.ii. mill an houi il blizzard, filling the ail with fn 

< ) 



3 22 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

snow and driving it forward with the fierceness of a gigantic sandblast. No 
man or beast can face it. One turns instinctively from it, and once turned and 
started there is no such thing as stopping. One is driven onward, while un- 
mercifully whipped by the frozen snow until, in sheer exhaustion, the ill- 
fated traveler sinks into the drift. Tired out, he becomes drowsy, then a 
numbness sets in, and then a sleep fom which there is no waking this side of 
the resurrection morn. About seventy people perished who were in the path 
of this never-to-be-forgotten storm. 

"A friend of mine, Mr. Blixt, had gone out on the lake to fish. He 
had built a small shanty on the ice for protection. The storm coming on, 
he did not start for home, but very prudently remained within his shelter. 
His wife, however, had for some reason felt constrained to venture out. No 
sooner had she gotten out of the door before she was snatched by the grip 
of the storm and forced onward and onward until she had gone seven miles 
away from home, when her strength failed her and she sank down into her 
last sleep. She was not found until spring, when the drifts of snow began 
to drift away. Her hand was seen sticking out of the snow and her gold 
ring glittered in the bright moonlight. It was discovered later, by tracing 
her tracks, that she had passed the box where her husband sat a prisoner in 
the grip of the cruel storm. 

"When her husband returned, two days afterward, he found the door of 
his home blown open and his little boy, three years old, standing in the bed, 
where he had been alone two days and nights. The little fellow had cried 
so that he could now scarcely sob. That boy is now a man, a prosperous 
farmer, but the traces of that terrible experience of two seeminglv endless 
days and nights of loneliness, of fear, of cold and of suffering are left with 
him. His long crying brought on stuttering. 

"In the same storm a mail carrier, going from Worthington to Indian 
Lake, was driven out of his course to Okaboji, Iowa, twenty-five miles away, 
where later his body was found. 

"The lessons learned from such storms were many: Better protection 
for man and beast, a goodly supply of fuel and fodder near at hand, and 
guide ropes from the house to the stable so that one could pass safely be- 
tween the two without losing their way. 

"The winter bad passed, though never to be forgotten. The smiling 
Spring, with its green verdure and lnvely wild (lowers, bad again come to 
give cheer and hope for a better future." 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 323 

A FIVE-YEAR GRASSHOPPER SCOURGE. 

The same minister who wrote the above on the 1873 blizzard also wrote 
graphically, as an eye witness, of the grasshopper days between 1873 and 
1878, which years devastated all southern Minnesota and northwest Iowa. 
Dr. Peterson said : 

"I had frequently read from Exodus, tenth chapter, the following: 
'When it was morning the east wind brought the locusts, and the locusts 
went up over all the land of Egypt and rested in all the coasts of Egypt 
Very grievous were they; for they covered the face of the earth so that the 
land was darkened; and they did eat every herb of the land, and all the 
fruit of the trees which the hail had left; and there remained not any green 
thing in the trees or in the herbs of the field.' But I never expected to see 
anything like it myself. Those who were in southwestern Minnesota during 
the grasshopper years find no difficulty in believing the story of Moses. Their 
invasion of Egypt was but for a season, but with us they remained five 
years. 

"I remember quite distinctly the morning in June, 1873, when the ad- 
vance troop arrived. I had just started to go to Worthington and, crossing 
the cornfield, I was surprised at seeing what at first seemed snow fall. I 
looked up and saw millions of hoppers, with their outstretched wings, sailing 
down upon the field. As I stood and looked the air grew thicker. I re- 
turned to the house and asked my mother and sister, who were home, to 
come out and see what I jokingly called the 'snow-fall.' They were too 
astonished to speak. We could guess what this would mean. We went out 
to the cornfield, which only a few minutes ago looked so fine and gave 
promise of a good crop. It was now all bare. The succulent plants were 
eaten down to the ground. The garden had fared the same way. For a 
moment we stood dumb. The cloud of hoppers increased in density. They 
were now lighting down on the wheat field. We saw that the prospects of 
the year's crop had been snatched nut of our hands in almost an hour. I 
looked at poor mother. She wiped away a tear with her apron, while she 
quoted the words of Job. 'The Lord gave; the Lord hath taken away.' 

"This was but the beginning of a scourge which was to last live yeai 
It was a blessing that we did not know what was ahead. Our hopes soon 
rose, and our courage was braced a- we cheered ourselves with the thought 
that this was but for one year. We still had our stock and the hoppers had 
left the grass untouched. We soon di ■ ed, however, that after they 



324 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

had finished the destruction of the crops they were busy depositing their 
eggs. This boded no good for the coming year. 

"The following summer proved that our suspicions were correct. When 
the ground became sufficiently warm, millions of little hoppers made their 
appearance, until the ground was literally alive with them. This army of 
home-bred hoppers received tremendous accessions from the mountain re- 
gions of the west until they not only covered the ground, but lay in places 
several inches deep, and as you walked along they would fly up and you 
would find yourself moving along in a deafening buzz of a continuous 
swarm. Trains were even stopped by them. They would lie upon the track 
so thick that, when crushed, the wheels could not grip the surface of the 
rails. 

"Their voracity was quite remarkable. Garden stuff and the growing 
grain were their choicest diet, but they would not spurn such things as 
clothes, tool-handles, tobacco, etc. We soon learned to know that it was 
not safe to lay aside a garment in the field exposed to their attack, for in an 
incredibly short time it would be perforated with holes. 

"A Mr. Attick had, incautiously, left his tobacco and pipe in the field, 
while at work, and on his return for a smoke found to his surprise that the 
hoppers had devoured his tobacco, but had been gracious enough to leave the 
paper pouch for him. In his disgust he said, 'We have now reached the 
limit; it is high time we leave; if the hoppers will not stop at tobacco there 
is no telling what they will devour next.' 

"This state of things continued for five years. The settlers were 
driven to the last ditch. The governor of the state was concerned about the 
situation. He issued a proclamation setting aside April 26, 1877, as a day of 
prayer and fasting. Some scoffed, but many observed the day. The deliv- 
erance came the first week in June, when the grasshoppers arose in a body. 
The scourge was gone, let us hope never to return again." 

BURNING HAY FOR FUEL. 

The fuel question in those early grasshopper, poverty-stricken years in 
this section of the country was no small problem to solve. The use of wood 
ami coal was out of the question. These were entirely beyond the reach of 
those living back from the small groves along the Des Moines river. \t 
first, stalks of tall weeds that grew along the edges of the sloughs were 
gathered and used, but these did not last long. When the keen blasts of the 
prairie winter came out of the northwest, something more was needed. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 325 

"Necessity being the mother of invention," it was soon discovered that 
prairie hay could be burned in stoves, by taking- a swab of it and twisting 
up in a stove-wood length and fastening its ends to securely hold the wad 
together until it was needed in the stove. Of course it was mussy and the 
housewife did not like it, as white ashes would puff out every time the stove 
lid was lifted to replenish the fire with more hay. This fuel also clogged up 
the stove-pipe and chimney, so that it would not "draw" and hence every 
few days the pipe had to be cleaned out, which in a cold winter day was 
anvthing but a pleasing task. But this was better than going cold, so many 
were forced to depend upon prairie hay for fuel in the heating of their claim 
shack or sod shanty. 

DREADFUL RAILROAD WRECK AT WINDOM. 

About the 20th of September, 1899, occurred a terrible wreck on the 
Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha railroad, at the bridge crossing die 
Des Moines river, at the edge of the town, coming from the southwest. To- 
wards midnight a rear-end collision took place on the railroad bridge. A 
train of thirty-five heavily loaded cars, drawn by two powerful engines, 
crashed into the rear of another freight train standing on the bridge. Four 
men were killed: Engineer Carl Rasmussen; fireman T. M. Roberts; fire- 
man Hugh Stratton; John Roberts, merchant, St. James. Many more 
were seriously injured in the wreck. 

It was the same old story of wrong and not plainly understood orders. 
One engine was standing on the bridge and could not get out, after seeing 
the heavy train coming from the west. A red light was put out over the 
track by the engineer on the bridge, but too late — the speed of the train was 
too great and the awful crash very soon came. The double-header collided 
with the engine on the steel bridge, which could not withstand such a shock 
and went down, the three engines and thirty cars going to the bottom and 
into the Des Moines river. The cars were loaded mostly with grain and the 
whole made a huge, unsightly pile, reaching nearly to the top of the bridge. 
The space was almost, if not quite, one hundred and fifty feet between the 
two north piers, this being the length of the span that went down; the other 
span of the railroad bridge remained in position. 

To add to the horror of the midnight scene, the derailed, overturned 
locomotives set fire to the wreckage and it burned fiercely for a long time. 
Somewhere between eighteen and twenty-live thousand bushels of grain were 
wrecked, causing a loss to the company of sixty-five thousand dollars. The 



326 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

damaged grain was sold by the company to a St. Paul man for four hundred 
and fifty dollars. The cars were smashed to fine kindling wood — the worst 
wreck ever seen by the superintendent, as he stated. It took days to clear 
away the wreckage. A huge derrick was sent from the Northwestern road 
at Baraboo, Wisconsin, its lifting power being fifty tons. 

Who was guilty? Superintendent Spencer said "The accident was 
caused by the gross carelessness of Williams, who in backing onto the main 
line, disobeyed the first rule a conductor learns." At first Williams disap- 
peared, but finally returned and went to his home in St. James. He was 
there arrested Friday following the wreck. He was placed on trial, at which 
County Attorney Annes and Wilson Borst appeared for the state and W. S. 
Hammond, of St. James, for Williams, who was acquitted. 

MOUNTAIN LAKE WRECK. 

On March 3, 1916, occurred a disastrous wreck at Mountain Lake, in 
which three were instantly killed and many injured. A special train, in 
which were a number of movables, was on the track. The engine was switch- 
ing out a couple of cars for men who were to move on farms near Moun- 
tain Lake. The engine had just spotted the cars at the loading chute and 
was backing out to couple up the train, when the through train came on at a 
high rate of speed. 

THE OLD OX TEAM. 

A. B. Irving wrote the following song and it was recited or sung at one 

of the Old Settlers' Association meetings in Windom : 

We're living today in a very fast age; 

We go rushing along, to gain is the rage; 

We hustle and hurry and draw things by steam, 

All forgetting the days when we drove an ox team. 

We live at high pressure and cut a great dash, 
Swell up like bubble and burst with a crash. 
Never thinking of turning and pulling up stream, 
As we did in the days we had an ox team. 

We labored together in the days of "Lang Syne"; 
We stood by each other, we cleared up the land; 
We fallowed the ground, 'twas as new as cream. 
We dragged in the bright seed with the ox team. 

How often we heard il, "Buck," "Haw Buck" and "Bright," 
The ox team lias vanished; it's auto and bike; 
It's a forty-mile gait, by trolley or steam, 
The day has passed by for tin- old ox train. 

wen- Hearing the border land, o'ei the way; 

But nu ui(ii> will linger 'round tile days passed away, 

w heii sleep drops Hie curtain, in manj s di 1 
We're hallowing once more to the old ox team. 




WATONWAN COUNTS COURT HOUSE, ST. JAMES. 



WATONWAN COUNTY 

MINNESOTA 



CHAPTER I. 



GEOLOGY OF WATONWAN COUNTY. 



Situation and 'Area. Watonwan county lies in the southern part of 
Minnesota, bordering on Iowa. It is a little west of the central meridian 
of the state. St. James, the county seat, is situated southwest from St. 
Paul and Minneapolis, about one hundred and twenty miles. From the 
west line of this county to the line between Minnesota and Dakota is eighty 
miles. The county is a rectangle, extending twenty-four miles from east 
to west, and eighteen miles from north to south. The area of the county is 
435.45 square miles, or 278,689.92 acres, of which about sixteen hundred 
acres are covered by water. 

SURFACE FEATURES. 

Natural Drainage. Watonwan county is wholly drained by the river 
of the same name, which empties into the Blue Earth river about three miles 
below Garden City in Pine Earth county. The north and south forks of 
the Watonwan river, having their sources in Cottonwood county, traverse 
respectively the northern and southwestern parts of Watonwan county, each 
receiving several tributary creeks, and are united in one stream two miles 
west of Madelia, and about twenty miles, following the course of the river. 
above its mouth. Antrim, the most southeast township of tin's county, is 
drained by Perch creek, which has its source a few miles farther south in 
Martin county, and flows northeast to the Watonwan river. 

Among the original lakes of Watonwan county the following are worthy 
of mention: Emerson Lake, at the north side of Madelia. two miles long 
from ea-t to west, and one and a half miles wide, with about half its area in 
Linden township, Brown county; this lake ha been drained and used for 
farm purposes. Five or six smaller lakes in Madelia township within a fi 
miles to the southeast from Emerson Lake; a dozen smaller lakes, probably 



328 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

some of them dry in the summer season, lying in Fieldon and Antrim town- 
ships; three lakes in St. James, the largest a mile or more in length, close 
southwest of the town; Long Lake two and a half miles long from east to 
west and half a mile wide and Kansas Lake one and one-half east and west 
by one mile in width, in Long Lake township; four unnamed lakes in Odin 
township, the largest in sections 5 and 6 being about a mile long and a half 
mile wide, nearly gone now except in wet seasons, and Wood Lake in 
Antrim township, three and a half miles long and from a quarter to a half 
mile wide. 

Topography. Watonwan county descends toward the east and north- 
east, but in a broad view its slightly undulating expanse seems nearly level. 
Generally its surface is in very gentle slopes, which soon conduct the sur- 
plus waters of rains and snow-melting into depressions, which merge 
into ravines and lead to small water-courses, and by them to the larger 
permanent streams. Here and there, however, are depressions which have 
no such free drainage, and contain sloughs or lakes. 

In Watonwan county the south fork of the Watonwan river lies in 
a valley which it has cut forty feet below the general level along all its 
course from Mountain Lake to Madelia ; and the north fork and its tribu- 
taries have similarly channeled their part of the drift-sheet. Below the 
junction of these branches the Watonwan valley increases to fifty or sixty 
feet in depth before leaving the county at the southeast corner of Madelia 
township. 

Adrian, the most northwesterly township of Watonwan county, has the 
only outcrop of the bed-rock in the county, this being the eastern extremity 
of a prominent ridge of the red Potsdam quartzyte. It is seen at the sur- 
face in the northwest quarter of section 29, and gives to this and the con- 
tiguous sections 30 and 19 an elevation of fifty to one hundred feet above 
the rest of the township; but this ridge here, and through its whole extent 
of nearly twenty-live miles westward, where it rises much higher, is mainly 
covered by a smooth sheet of till. 

Elevations, taken from profiles in the office of T. P. Gere, superin- 
tendent of St. Paul & Sioux City division, Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis 
& Omaha Railway, are: 

Madelia 1.021 

Watonwan river, water 979 

St. James 1.073 

Butterfield 1,184 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 329 

The highest land of Watonwan county is either the east part of the 
quartzyte ridge in sections ig and 30, A.Irian township, or the southwest 
corner of the county, both of which are nearly thirteen hundred feet above 
the sea. Its lowest land is where the Watonwan river passes out from this 
into Blue Earth count}-, at a height of about nine hundred and sixty feet 
above the sea. The mean heights of the townships of this county are 
approximately as follow : Madelia, ten hundred and twenty-five feet above 
the sea; Fieldon, ten hundred and fifty; Antrim, eleven hundred feet; River 
Dale, ten hundred and forty; Rosendale, ten hundred and si\tv; South 
Branch, eleven hundred and twenty; Nelson, ten hundred and seventy-five; 
St. James, eleven hundred and twenty: Long Lake, eleven hundred and fifty; 
Adrian, eleven hundred and fifty; Butterlield, twelve hundred; and Odin, 
twelve hundred and forty. From these estimates the mean elevation of 
Watonwan county is found to be eleven hundred and ten feet. 

Soil and Timber. The soil of Watonwan county, like that of a vast 
region extending from them on all sides, is very fertile, easily worked, and 
well adapted for the cultivation of all the staple agricultural products of 
this latitude. A black, clayey, and slightly sandy and gravelly loam, from 
one to three feet thick, forms the surface, which is nearly every where 
sufficiently undulating to carry away the waters of heavy rains and snow- 
melting. Boulders are scattered very sparingly over the entire area of this 
county, but scarcely anywhere are objectionably numerous. This soil and 
the subsoil of yellowish gravelly clay are the till, or unmodified drift of the 
glacial period. They are somewhat porous on account of the considerable 
proportion of sand intermixed, causing them to absorb much moisture from 
rains and give it up readily to vegetation. The principal crop of Watonwan 
county, at first, generally northward through this state, was wheat, but corn, 
live stock, and dairying now predominate. 

The county is principally prairie, being naturally grassland, without 
tree or shrub excepting narrow skirt-- of timber, which generally surround 
the lakes and extend along the principal streams, sometimes widening to 
form groves. Probably the aggregate area of these belts of timber is less 
than one hundredth part of the county. The following species of trees, 
arranged in their estimated order of abundance, were noted as occurring 
along the South Fork of the Watonwan river: American or white elm, 
white ash, box-elder, ironwood, cottonwood, bur-oak. slippery or red elm, 
hackberry, bass, soft maple, black walnut, willows, the American aspen, or 
poplar, and the wild plum. 



330 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 

GEOLOGICAL STRUCTURE. 

The only exposure of bed-rock in Watonwan county is found, as already 
stated, in the northwest quarter of section 29, Adrian township. A smooth 
and flat surface of the very compact and hard, red Potsdam quartzyte is 
seen here along an extent of five rods from northwest to southeast, with a 
width varying from five to twenty feet. This is on an eastward slope, in 
a slight depression of drainage. The quartzyte does not project out of the 
drift, and cannot be seen at a distance. It is undoubtedly the bed-rock 
beneath all the southwest quarter of Adrian township, but is elsewhere cov- 
ered within the limits of this township and county by the smoother sheet 
of glacial drift, which rises in a broadly rounded ridge because of the prom- 
inence of this underlying rock. Through the north half of section 30, 
Adrian township, it lies at no great depth, and has been encountered in 
ploughing and digging at several places. This ridge, having here and there 
outdrops of the same red quartzyte, continues more than twenty miles to the 
west, in northern Cottonwood county. 

The strike of the limestone and sandstone formations of the Lower 
Magnesian series, in their exposures along the valley of the Minnesota river 
and in Blue Earth county, indicates that their continuation underlies the 
greater part of Watonwan county, but here they are doubtless covered in 
part and perhaps mainly, by Cretaceous strata. 

DRIFT AND CONTOUR. 

Glacial striae are very distinct on the quartzye ledge exposed in section 
29. Adrian township, mostly bearing south 30 east, referred to the 
true meridian, but in one place, on its southeast portion, bearing south 20 
east. 

The contour of Watonwan county is like that which prevails generally 
in the basin of the Minnesota river, and is formed by a slightly undulating, 
or in some portions a moderately rolling, sheet of till, with massive swells 
rising in long, smooth slopes ten to twenty to thirty feet above the depres- 
sions. The gently undulating, smoothed surface of most of this region 
appears to mark areas over which the ice-sheet moved in a continuous cur- 
rent, ami from which it disappeared by melting that was extended at the 
same time over a wide field. Compared with the thickness ,.f the drift, its 
inequalities of contour in this county are small, and in an extensive view 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 35 1 

it seems approximately flat. It is a part on the inclined plain which rises 
by an imperceptible slope from the Minnesota river to the Coteau des 
Prairies. Its rate of ascent toward the southwest, or increase in average 
height, varies from five to fifteen or twenty feet per mile. This gradual 
change in altitude is doubtless produced by increase in height of the bed- 
rocks upon which the drift lies as a sheet of somewhat uniform depth, prob- 
ably varying in this county from fifty to one hundred and fifty feet; but 
the numerous small elevations and depressions of the surface appear to be 
due to the accumulation of different amounts of till by adjoining portions of 
the moving ice-sheet, without any corresponding unevenness of the under- 
lying rocks. 

For one or two miles southeast and south of Madelia, and for one mile 
southeast of St. James, the surface has frequent swells twenty to thirty 
feet above the depressions, being more rolling than most other parts of 
Watonwan county, which is generally very gently undulating in smooth 
prolonged slopes, with occasional lakes and here and there sloughs ten to 
twenty feet below the highest portions of the adjoining country. 

LAKE AREA. 

Chains of Lakes. It has been frequently noted that the lakes which 
abound upon areas overspread by the glacial drift, have their prevailing 
trend, or average direction of their longer axes, parallel with the course 
that was taken by the ice-sheet. The swells and undulations of the till have 
their greatest extent in this direction, and the lakes fill the hollows that are 
formed by its unequal accumulation. Among the hills of the terminal 
moraines, however, the longer axes of the lakes are apt to be transverses to 
the course in which the ice came, but parallel with its border. In each 
case, such lakes are due to variable glacial erosion and deposition; and the 
basins in which they lie are not mure remarkable features of the contour 
than are its swells, hills and areas of highland. The deepest lakes contained 
in depressions of the till in this state arc from fifty to one hundred and fifty 
feet in depth, reaching as far below the average level of the drifl sheet as 
its most elevated portions rise higher; but a great majority of the e la 
especially upon regions of only slightly undulating surface withoul promi- 
nent elevations, are shallow, ranging from five to twenty five feel in depth. 

They mainly have very gently ascending shores, bul sometime 01 or 

11 ire sides are partially bounded bj five, twenty and thirty feet 

high, formed by the wear of waves which have eaten away projecting por- 



332 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

tions of their margin of till, leaving its boulders, but strewing its finer 
detritus over the lake-bed. 

In regions of modified drift, consisting of stratified gravel and sand 
that were supplied from the dissolving ice-sheet, the lakes, from ten to fifty 
feet or more in depth, and often bordered by level or undulating tracts of 
modified drift, from twenty-five to one hundred feet or more above them, 
lie in depressions which at the time of the fluvial deposition of this drift, 
were probably still occupied by unmelted masses of ice, preventing sedi- 
mentation where they lay and consequently leaving hollows enclosed by 
steep and high banks, whose top is the margin of plateaus or plains of gravel 
and sand. No examples of lake basins thus surrounded by modified drift 
were found in Watonwan county, neither of which have any noteworthy 
deposits of this class, nor any such rough morainic areas as to influence 
the distribution and trend of their lakes. 

Most of the lakes- of Minnesota, and of all glacial regions, present only 
such forms and arrangements as are readily explained thus by the modes of 
excavation and accumulation, and the diverse deposits of the ice-sheets. 
The first described and most common type of lakes found upon the surface 
of the drift, trending in parallelism with the course in which the ice moved, 
finds illustration in Watonwan county by the lakes of Madelia. Fieldon, 
Long Lake and Adrian. Here the glacial current passed southeastward, 
this region being near the axis of the great lobe of the continental glacier 
which stretched from the Leaf hills and the head of the Coteau des Prairies, 
southeast and then south to the center of Iowa. 

It seems difficult to explain the origin of these remarkable lake-basins 
in the drift, for, so far as they extend, they have the aspect of eroded valleys, 
such as have been commonly formed by the rivers of this region, but they 
sometimes are separated by divides of till as high as the country around. 
Thus they no longer form continuous channels, which must have been their 
original condition, if they are parts, as thus indicated, of ancient water- 
courses. 

Boulders and Gravel, though always present, are nowhere abundant 
in the till of Watonwan county, and boulders larger than five feet in diameter 
are very rare. The frequency of limestone fragments is nearly the same as 
is usual through all western Minnesota. This rock often makes one-third 
or one-half of the gravel in the till and on the beaches of the lakes; but it 
supplies a much less proportion, perhaps not exceeding one-twentieth, of the 
boulders larger than a foot in diameter. The other large boulders are 



C0TTOXWO0D AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MI XX. 333 

granite, syenite, and crystalline schists. The red Potsdam quartzyte is 
scantily represented in the drift along the west border of the county. It 
is almost entirely wanting farther east; but west of the Des Moines river, 
in Jackson county, and through Dickinson county and southward in Iowa, 
this quartzyte is a principal ingredient of the drift, making from one-tenth 
to one half of its rock-fragments. At Clear Lake in Lake Belt township. 
thirty-five miles south-southeast from the east end of the ridge of Potsdam 
quartzyte in Adrian township, scarcely one pebble in a thousand is from 
this source; while a quarter of the stones over three inches in diameter 
and two-thirds of the smaller gravel are limestone. 

The fitness of Watonwan county for farming and herding is their 
chief source of wealth; and by this they are capable of supporting a large 
and prosperous population, mainly agricultural, with towns and villages as 
required for manufacturing and centers of trade. As late as 1885 some 
water-power mills in Watonwan county, chief among which is that of the 
Madelia mill, on the Watonwan river about a mile west of the town; head, 
eleven feet. Other water powers could be utilized on the main stream and 
on both its north and south branches. 

Building Stone. No stone-working has been done in these counties, 
except the use of boulders, chiefly granite, syenite, and gneiss, with occa- 
sionally slabs of limestone, and in one instance a large mass of probably 
Cretaceous sandstone. These erratics of the drift, though dissimilar, make 
substantial, rough foundations, cellar walls, and curbing in wells. 

Peat occurred in numerous places in this county at an early date and in 
a few instances was utilized for fuel purposes by the Russians. 



CHAPTER II. 



INDIAN HISTORY AND TREATIES. 



When Spain ceded the territory now including Minnesota to the United 
States, it was subject, of course, to all the former rights of the Indian tribes 
found herein. It was left to the United States to subdue, or drive away 
the Indians, or better still to make treaties and purchase the lands from 
them, as they might from time to time be needed. This latter was carried 
out in a large degree, along legitimate lines and in a business way which, 
at least, was satisfactory to the tribes at the date of making such treaties. 

The treaty that mostly interests the citizens of Cottonwood and Waton- 
wan counties, was that made at Traverse des Sioux in July, 185 1, with the 
Sioux tribes. This ceded to the white man all the Sioux Indians' holdings 
except a strip of ten miles in width along either side of the Minnesota river. 
This tract of now very valuable land, running from New Ulm to Lake Tra- 
verse, would have been held by the Indians had they not made war against 
the whites in 1862; by doing this they lost all title to such lands and were 
driven from the state of Minnesota, as a tribe. Hence, this was the first 
and last treaty with the Indians in this state that has had to do with the 
people of Cottonwood and Watonwan counties. The treaty is described 
more fully in Chapter I, on Related State History. 

INDIAN CHARACTERS. 

The Dakota or Sioux Indians were divided into four great tribes: 
Medawakonton, Wahpekuta, Wahpeton and Sisseton, who held a large ter- 
ritor) west of the Mississippi; from the borders of Iowa along the Missis- 
sippi, up to the Minnesota, and stretching far into Dakota. They had great 
bodil) strength, a slim and pleasing stature, and were remarkable for their 
shrewdness and deceit. Their features are rather long, and they have a 
dark, though not repulsive complexion. The subjoined account was written 
of them long years before they bad caused the pioneers of the Northwesl 
so much trouble in their warfare: 

"They arc continually wandering about and consequently use for means 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 335 

of subsistence whatever Nature affords them. Fishing and hunting are 
their principal sources of support, hi the spring of the year they often 
make sugar and syrup from the juice of the maple, and during the summer 
they gather wild rice and berries. This work is done by the squaws. The 
Indian regards his wife as a slave, and he thinks it below his dignity to do 
hard work. When they travel, the women not only carry the papooses and 
baggage, but also lead the beasts of burden, which in the absence of a 
wagon or sled, carry the tepee upon their backs. He often compels her, 
although weighed down under a heavy burden, to carry even his gun so 
that he can trot along with greater ease. When they find a place where 
fuel and water are convenient, or where hunting and fishing are good, the 
women will have to go to work and set up the tepees and bring in what- 
ever is necessary, except the game, which he provides. A few so-called 
civilized Indians till the soil, but they seldom raise anything except corn and 
potatoes. These dress like the whites, and they were formerly supplied by 
the government with farming implements, horses, cattle, etc. They are 
very proud of their dress, which consists merely of a high hat and a shirt. 
These Indians are usually despised by the real Indians who treat every kind 
of a head dress with a contempt, except their own peculiar one, and whose 
only covering consists of a woolen blanket or a buffalo robe; and they live 
in tents or, tepees. These prefer to dress gaily, cover themselves with all 
manner of trumpery, and fold the skin of an animal around their body so 
as to look as much as possible like the animal itself. 

"In summer months they appear mostly in the garb of tbe old original 
Adam, witlt tbe addition of a gun and a smoking pipe. Their arms are 
bows and arrow-, guns, knives, and a sort of hatchet called a tomahawk. 
Their necessaries of life are few and very simple. They never wash their 
meat, and seem to have a dislike fur water except 'lire-water' (whisky). 
Still they very much like a clean white shirt. A kettle, a few pots and the 
skins of animals compose all their furniture, and they eat their food, e 
ciallv their meats half raw. and devour even the entrails raw. Their 
appetite i- prodigious. Whenever they obtain anything palatable they 
and cat without regard to their real needs or tin- coming day. Hence ii nol 
unfrequently happens that they are compelled I" fasl for day- at a time. 
Thev are noi much troubled with any disease, excepl the small-pox, and 
their medicine-men have in vain tried by all manner of sorceries and strai 
appliances to banish that dreaded complaint. A cripple, lame or deaf and 
dumb, is seldom found. They love their ponies, and keep as mar a 



33*5 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

possible. But during the winter they lose a great many, because they are 
too lazy to provide hay for them. With no barns and little food they die 
off before spring comes. They believe in a Great Spirit Manitou, think 
much of ceremonies over their dead, but hang them up on posts to be ex- 
posed to the elements until they are dried up. Their romantic life, their 
fidelity, their friendship and strength of character, which some writers tell 
us about, is pleasant sentimental reading — that's all. 

"The Indian is always serious, seldom laughs or jokes, and is an 
uncomfortable and mistrusted companion. He understands begging above 
all things. He never forgets an offense, but is quite apt to forget acts of 
kindness. With the Indian revenge is a virtue and they practice polyganiv. 
Their hospitality, however, is worthy of all praise. The stranger receives 
the best pelts for his bed, and the host keeps up a warm fire with his own 
hands if the pale-face happens to remain in his tent over night during the 
winter. They are skilful in the use of arms, keen in the chase and relent- 
less in pursuing an enemy; they love noisy musical instruments and dance 
after their own peculiar fashion. Their natural senses are sharp and more 
fully developed than those of the whites. They are very cruel in war, and 
prefer deceit and stratagem to an open battle. After a fight they scalp their 
dead enemies before they think of carrying off the booty; for they take 
great pride in possessing a large number of scalps, because this indicates the 
number of enemies slain by them. They ornament their heads with feath- 
ers, which they consider "wakan" (holy). They can endure more hard- 
ships than the white race and are wonderful runners, many of them being 
able to overtake a swift horse. In biding their feelings and in self-control 
they can do wonders. They suffer pain with stolid indifference, and their 
wounds heal quickly. To leave one of their dead in the hands of the enemy 
is looked upon as a foreboding evil and the greatest ignominy that could 
possibly happen to them." 

SEVEN WEEKS' CAPTIVITY OF BENEDICT JUNE 

Benedict Juni, who is now a resident of New Ulm, tells the story of 
bis capture by the Indians when only eleven years of age. It shows that 
there were some kind Indians and that the milk of human kindness was 
exhibited For nearly two months to a mere lad, and that during the awful 
outbreak in .Minnesota in the summer of 1862. At that date his father was 
on a farm between Beaver Falls and Morton, five miles north of the Lower 
Agency. The story is as follows: 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 337 

On August 18, 1862, while seated at the breakfast table, a noise so 
unusual that it caused comment, was at intervals heard by us in the direction 
of the Lower Agency. My father said it was the beating of drums an- 
nouncing the arrival of soldiers. In reality it was the first volleys fired by 
the Indians at the defenseless whites. The previous day having been a Sun- 
day, our working oxen had been left out at large. I mounted our only 
horse and brought them in. My father was just hitching up to the wagon 
when our nearest neighbors, John and Mike Hayden, and the latter's wife, 
approached our place in great haste and told us that the Indians were on 
the warpath. My father was disinclined to take it seriously, but yielding 
to the pleadings of the women, took the hayrack off and replaced the box, 
hurriedly threw in some clothing, bedding and provisions, and put the 
women and children in also. A Mr. Zimmerman and his eldest son took 
charge of the wagon. They had two guns and an old sword with which 
Mr. Zimmerman declared he would defend the occupants. On the way 
down the valley he picked up the rest of the family, consisting of his wife 
and two sons and two daughters. 

ATTACKED RV REDSKINS. 

His progress was unobstructed until he reached Faribault's place, where 
he and two of his sons were killed before they had a chance to make any 
use of their weapons. The women and children were imprisoned in the 
house, and the Indians had a hot debate about what to do with them. Some 
wanted to set the house on lire, but finally milder counsel prevailed and the 
women and children were allowed to pursue their way to Ft. Ridgely on 
foot. 

My father, about the time the women and children started off from 
our place in the wagon with the Zimmermans, ordered me to run up our 
milch cows and young stock and take them t<> a place now occupied by the 
village of Morton. 1 was then t<> proceed down the valley to alarm the 
.settlers, while he and my younger brother guarded the herd. But T was 
not fated to call on many settlers that morning. The Indians interfered 
with our program. First they came upon my father, who was guarding the 
cattle, and drove him off into the open prairie. Their guns were significant 
and he took their advice to decamp, reaching Ft. Ridj ely l"-fore any of the 
rest of the family. 

I 22) 



33§ COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 



WARNS NEIGHBORS. 

Meanwhile I had taken the path laid out for me. I called at two places, 
Mr. Bureau's and Mr. Kumrows. Both families had already been told of 
the danger and were making ready to escape. They asked me to go with 
them but I declined, as that would have interfered with carrying out my 
instructions. My road led me through a gap in the high rocks. I had 
gotten within a hundred yards of this spot when I saw three Indians com- 
ing out of the pass. I obligingly turned my horse, intending to go around 
the bluff and avoid meeting them. But almost immediately three guns were 
leveled on me, and just as obligingly I came to a halt, having a high regard 
for the redmen's marksmanship. 

DEPRIVED OF HIS HORSE. 

One of the Indians now took the horse by the bit and asked me if I 
intended to resist. I answered only with a smile at the thought of an 
unarmed boy only eleven years old resisting three armed men. At that he 
turned the horse around and started in the direction I had come. The 
thought struck me that perhaps he thought more of the horse than he did 
of me, so I slipped off. He swung himself on and trotted away without 
deigning to notice me further. His companions, seemingly well pleased with 
the performance, followed their leader. I was free again. Thus far I had 
know no fear at all. But I thought it prudent to give the road a wide 
berth by going around the bluff rather than through it. Before again 
reaching the road I saw the first dead lying in the grass. It was the body 
of a Frenchman, one of two brothers who were operating the ferry at 
which Captain Marsh and his command were annihilated a few hours later. 

DOG GUARDS DEAD MASTER. 

I can never forget the appealing look the murdered man's little dog 
gave me as he sat beside his master licking the clotted blood from his face. 
Thenceforth my movements were guided by more caution. Indians, wagons 
and oxen, among them our own, passed me while I lav in the grass a few 
rods away. Whenever the Indians had disappeared I would run until I 
saw new signs of danger, when I would hide again. In this manner I 
reached Faribault's place about noon. 

I saw a group of Indians outside the house, the same group as I 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MI XX. 339 

afterwards learned, which was deciding the fate of my people. One look 
was enough. I dashed into the cornfield on the opposite side of the road 
and made a detour around the usual fording place and thus missed seeing 
what happened at Faribault's place. 

On the east side of the stream the road left the valley and wound up 
the hill toward Manger's place. The underbrush now impeded my progress 
and I again ventured into the road. When half way up the hill I was sud- 
denly confronted with two young warriors who came round a sharp turn. 
One carried a double barreled shotgun and the other a bow. The one with 
the bow got ready instantly to send an arrow through me. but his compan- 
ion quickly thrust the Ixiw aside with the butt of his gun. 

CAPTURED BY FOEMEN. 

"Where go?" he asked me. I answered that I was bound for "Tepee 
tauke,'' or "Big House," as the Indians called the fort. He shook his head 
to indicate that I was mistaken, and ordered me to face about and precede 
them down the hill. This was the beginning of my seven weeks' captivity. 

The trip down the hill to the ford occupied but a few minutes. Here 
we came suddenly on evidence of the brutal work of the Indians that day. 
The body of John Zimmerman lay by the stream. Tt was stretched as 
naturally as though it was taking a noonday nap. This was what I thought 
until I tried to rouse him. Then I discovered that John would wake no 
more. The body of his brother, Gotfried, lay in the water, he having been 
shot while trying to escape on a log. The father of the boys lay on the 
west side of the stream. My captors must have suspected that he was still 
living, for they rolled him over and crushed his skull with blows from the 
butt of the gun. Scattered about were a few household goods that had 
been thrown on the wagon at home. I picked up some article of clothing, 
but was ordered to drop it. A couple of books were there. We had only 
two at our house. Webster's speller and tin- Bible. I tucked the latter under 
my arm, but was compelled to drop that, too. 

WHIPPED BY CAPTORS. 

It appeared that my captors had been on a reconnoitering expedition 
toward the fori and were in a hurry to get back and report. The party in 
the house, including my mother, one brother and two sisters, must have 
gone before this, for all was quiet in and about the place. The Indians all 



34-0 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES. MINN. 

had vanished. My captors and I started on again. I had my trousers rolled 
up and one of the Indians having a blacksnake whip, gave me an occasional 
cut across the bare calves. The object was two-fold. It afforded him great 
amusement to see me jump and it considerably accelerated my speed. 

On arriving at the ferry I noticed a great congestion of traffic. Four 
or five wagons drawn by oxen were awaiting transfer. There was great 
confusion. The Indians had managed pretty well so far, but coaxing the 
oxen onto the ferry was another matter. I stepped up the foremost team 
and soon it followed me onto the boat. This act brought hand-clappings 
and calls of "Hocksheta washtav" (good boy). 

It was not long till all had passed to the south or agency side of the 
river. Here I was allowed to rest a quarter of an hour or more. Seated 
on the high bank, I watched the gun practice of the Indians, who had 
many new guns taken from the stores, and some taken from their victims 
but a few hours before, and with which they wanted to get acquainted 
before Captain Marsh and his men should arrive on the scene. You would 
never guess the target. They were moving targets. Stacks of milk pans 
had been taken from the stores. Each marksman took one and hurled it 
with a spinning motion out into the stream, allowed it to right itself and 
float some distance with the current, and taking good aim, fired. There was 
no need of a scorer. The bright pan would tell the story. The conditions 
in the battle fought some hours later were quite similar. It was an easy 
change from floating pans to the heads of swimming soldiers. 

MENACED BY DRUNKEN RED. 

One of my captors remained at the ferry to be on hand when the 
enemy appeared. The others took me up the hill to the agency. Here 
some of the buildings were burned, others were just plundered. I saw the 
Indians carry a man out of one. Whether he was dead or alive I could 
not tell. Some of tbe Indians had taken too much lire-water and were 
turned into demons. One brandished a butcher knife, made a lunge at me, 
but a thrust from the butt of the gun of my captor and protector sent him 
reeling. It was my third escape from death in the day and perhaps tin- 
closest. When Hearing the edge of the agency, an Indian drove by with 
my father's wagon and oxen. Delighted at seeing something from home. I 
exclaimed, "< Hi. there is our team." 

My captor replied, "Well, if it is yours, let's take a ride." He hailed 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 34 1 

the driver, who took us on. I immediately assumed control of the team of 
oxen. 

UNWILLING AID OF INDIANS. 

On arriving- at an Indian village my captor left me at the hut of his 
future mother-in-law. a widow with two grown daughters. Here several 
squaws were squatted around an open fire on the ground. They had bags 
of shot which they poured into a ladle and then melted over the fire and 
poured into bullet molds. There was a heap of bullets on the ground, with 
the nipple made by the hole in the mold still on them. One of the squaws 
ordered me to get busy with a knife cutting off these projecting nipples. 
The bullets were then placed in the empty shot bags and sent to the ferry 
by Indians lads. Thus I became unwillingly an instrument in killing some 
of Captain Marsh's men. 

Like most boys, I had great faith in the prowess of soldiers and be- 
lieved them invincible if pitted against Indians. Repeatedly I told the 
squaws that they would "get their pay," meaning their punishment, for 
what they had done, but conveyed no meaning thus, so that if they showed 
displeasure I could explain that I meant their annual payment from the 
government. 

WHEN HOPE ALMOST DIED. 

About four o'clock in the afternoon a flag came in view in the direc- 
tion of the agency. Soon after was seen the glitter of bayonets and swords. 
What I had firmly believed all day was now to come true. The soldiers 
were coming to mete out punishment and release the captives. I could 
contain myself no longer, and having no hat T picked up an old rag. clam- 
bered on the roof of an old hut. waved it and shouted several lusty hur- 
rahs. Then I jumped down and ran toward the procession. Alas, the ap- 
proaching parade was a mob of wild Indians arrayed in the garb of soldiers 
they had slain at the ferry. This disillusionment was the worsl shock of 
the day for me. \ then and there gave up all hope of seeing white people 
again. Had not the invincible soldiers been annihilated? 

DRESSED \S I XI il AN. 

On the second or third day of my captivity several squaws assisted my 
mistress in making a regular Indian outfit for me. It consisted of a pair 
of leggings, a calico shirt, a breechcloth and a belt. In dress I was now 



342 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

like an Indian, but my complexion was fair and my hair silvery white. This 
naturally made me conspicuous in a group of Indian boys and I was soon 
known all over the camp as "Paw Skaw" (whitehead). At first I did not 
mind it. but it finally affected my temper to a point where the squaw de- 
manded to know what was the matter. I told her. She found a remedy. 
Thereafter when she had mopped my face with a wet rag as she did every 
morning, she scattered dried powder over my head, smeared my face with 
paint, made a few streaks and dots in it with her finger nails. This worked 
like a charm and I was no longer annoyed. 

CHANGES EMPLOYERS. 

The Indian who had captured our teams and wagons remembered how 
well the oxen had obeyed me. He soon found me again and asked me to 
help* him haul some forage. Having accompanied him two or three times, 
the squaw, on my last return, said to me that if I worked for others I must 
board and lodge there too. The next time my Indian friend came I told 
him what the squaw had said. "So much the better," he replied, "come 
right along. Hereafter you are a member of my family." 

In my new home I found a trunk that had belonged to an uncle of 
mine who was a soldier in the federal army in the South. In it I found a 
few copies of Harper's Weekly with pictures, mostly war scenes, and these 
interested me much. My master had two sons and one daughter. The 
eldest boy was of my age and proved to be a good companion and true 
friend to me. Nor was I entirely forgotten by the family that had first 
sheltered me. 

WELL LIKED BY CAPTORS. 

The two daughters called one afternoon and got permission to take me 
back with them for a day. Every attention was paid me. I was feasted 
and entertained with pleasant chat by the two girls. 

For fear I may be considered a pampered drone in the hive I ought to 
make mention of the duties I was expected to perform. I had to provide 
all the wood and water for the cooking, whether the supply was far or 
near. I had to see to the feeding of the oxen and horses. I had to assist 
in pitching cam]), loading and unloading and when on the move had charge 
of the ox-team. 

The food of the Indians was good. Our rations were liberal. Green 
corn, potatoes and beans, fresh mutton or beef were the staple articles. 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUXTIES, MINX. 343 

Vegetables and meats were served without salt and the coffee was black 
and very sweet. I protested a little and to please me a little bag of sugar 
and salt was put to my place and T was told to use both to suit my taste. 
Sometimes when strolling through the camp after a meal I would be invited 
to partake and never refused. One time it was the white porcelain dishes 
and at another the regular plantation molasses that attracted me. 

REGARDED AS A PRODIGY. 

Sometimes when visitors came I was the subject of conversation. I 
had learned to read but not to use a pen, but my master would point to me 
as a prodigy who could read and write. T was able to understand and 
answer questions about ordinary affairs. But at times I was asked ques- 
tions by my Indian captors and their friends touching astronomy and relig- 
ion, which were, of course, beyond my depth. 

At the time the battle of Birch Coulee was raging there was great 
excitement in the camp. My mistress feared for my safety. Toward even- 
ing she took me into the woods skirting the bluffs south of the Minnesota 
river, placed me in a hollow basswood tree and told me to remain until she 
came the next morning. The position was cramped and uncomfortable and 
when it was dark I crept out and ran home to camp where I went to sleep 
in my usual place. On seeing me the next morning she was greatly sur- 
prised, but did not seem displeased. There were disturbances at other times 
wdien my master was at home. On these occasions he was accustomed to 
roll me in a buffalo robe and sit on me, calmly smoking until the danger, 
whatever it was. was over. 

On the night that the Indians lay around General Sibley's camp at 
Wood lake. 1 slept in the powder tent on a heap of powder, which made a 
better mattress than one would suppose. I slept soundly. 

SURRENDERED To S0UDIERS. 

On his return from the Wood lake battle, my master told me to get 
ready to return to my parents, as arrangements had been made for a sur- 
render. On the next morning I put on my white man'- garb, such as could 
be found. It consisted of a pair of man's trousers with the legs cut off at 
the knee, a long linen duster and a stove-pipe hat. 

In this garb I was surrendered to the soldiers, and confined in a sort 
of enclosure with other surrendered prisoners whose names were taken and 



344 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

sent to the Pioneer at St. Paul. In this way my father came to learn that 
his boy was still in the land of the living. But the end of my adventures 
had not yet come. Two other boys and myself — Louis Kitzmann and 
August Gluth — being tired of this confinement, escaped from the white 
soldiers, and I was captured again by the Indians and again surrendered 
when some of the Indians decided to quit the warpath and come in. My 
companions got away entirely and reached Ft. Ridgely before I did. In 
the camp of the Indians I waited upon women and messed with three little 
girls. One tin dish and one tin spoon constituted our outfit and rice and 
sugar the only food except some wormy crackers. My two companions, 
Kitzmann and Gluth, left Camp Release on the first opportunity and reached 
Ft. Ridgely on the same day that my father and Mr. Gluth had come to 
look for us. Kitzmann's father was not there. He had been killed at the 
outbreak of the massacre. My experiences at the fort were not of the most 
pleasing character. I now realized fully that to be a captive among the 
Sioux was not the worst lot that could have befallen me. Within a few 
days of my arrival at the fort my father took me to LeSueur, where I had 
a home until the autumn of 1865. 



CAUSES LEADING TO THE INDIAN MASSACRE, 1862. 

The chief cause for the Indian outbreak of 1862 was the dishonesty of 
the "Indian Agents" sent out by the government to look after the disburse- 
ments of funds due the Indians, who, in many cases, worked in connection 
with the traders at the posts or agencies, to greatly defraud the Indian. 
While the general government usually sought to live up to its treaties, it 
was thwarted in its attempt to fulfill its treaty promises by its agents. 

In 1858 the government purchased that portion of the reservation lying 
north of the Minnesota river, so that the Indians retained only a strip of 
land ten miles wide and one hundred and fifty miles long. For the portion 
thus ceded, costing the government about one cent an acre, two hundred and 
seventy-five thousand dollars were to be paid annually to the chiefs of the 
Sissetons and Waphetons, and also thirty thousand dollars for the education 
of their tribes. The Medawakontons and Wahpekutas were also to receive 
two hundred thousand dollars annually, payable to their chiefs, and thirty 
thousand dollars for their education, the government promising the Indians 
at that time to do all in its power for their education, elevation and civiliza- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 345 

tion. The whole sum was to be paid annually for fifty years; about live 
hundred and fifty-five thousand dollars. 

This honest debt contracted by the government, was, with the excep- 
tion of an insignificant portion of it, never paid: and this was the principal 
cause of the dissatisfaction and revolt of the Indians. The government did, 
indeed, pay the stipulated sum regularly, but the superintendents, agents, 
etc., to whom the money was entrusted for distribution and payment, man- 
aged to keep the greater portion of it for themselves. 

The following extracts, which, alas, contain neither slander nor exag- 
geration, nor misrepresentation of the real facts, will give the reader an 
idea of how the Indians were treated. A prominent officer. Major Kitzing 
Pritchette, being sent from Washington to investigate the numerous com- 
plaints of gigantic swindles raised by the Indians, in his official report says: 

"The complaints which are made at all their meetings refer to the im- 
perfect fulfillment or non-compliance with the conditions of the treaty." 

Tag-ma-na, a chief of the assembled Indians, said in his presence: 

"'The Indians sold their land in Traverse des Sioux. I say what they 
tell us. For fifty years we were to receive fifty thousand dollars annually, 
and we were promised three hundred thousand dollars. We have seen 
nothing of it." 

At the same meeting, Mahpya Wicasta ( Man-of-the-Ooud ), the sec- 
ond chief of the assembled Indians, said: 

"In the treaty of Traverse des Sioux we were to receive two hundred 
and seventy-five thousand dollars as soon as we had entered upon the land 
pointed out by the government. Tell us what was done with it? Every 
paleface knows that we are for the past live year-, on the territory named 
in the treat}', and as yet we have received none of the money." 

A principal cause of these swindles was the acts of the so called trad- 
ers, who were consequently also the cause of tin- dissatisfaction of the 
Indians. These trader- were merchants licensed to sell goods to the In- 
dians, or to trade with them. Since, a- a rule, the Indians had 110 money 
to pay for goods they bought, the trader would bring his bills to the pay- 
master at the time payment was to be made to the Indians, if such a time 
ever came, and the Indians, being neither able to read or write, these hills 
were shamefully and unmercifully changed and increased. The sums thus 
deducted from the amounts due the Indians was a transaction as cruel as 
it was unjust, but the poor red man was helpless. His complainl could be 
lodged only through the powerful influence of the traders t.i conceal the 



346 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

truth as much as possible. Others, though commanding both languages, 
were not listened to by the agents. The Indians were often so much 
cheated that they had as little pay after a payment which would amount to 
hundreds of thousands of dollars as they had before. 

COMPLAINTS AGAINST THE AGENTS. 

Judge Young, sent from Washington to investigate the complaints 
against Alexander Ramsey, at that time superintendent of Indian affairs, 
and later governor of Minnesota, says in his report : 

"Alexander Ramsey was principally accused of having, in spite of the 
protests of the Indians, in violation of the laws of the treaties, and in utter 
disregard of the solemn promises upon the part of the government, paid the 
greater portion of the money to a man named Hugh Tyler for payment or 
distribution among the Indians or half-breeds. According to the treaties the 
money was to be paid to the chiefs." 

And thus of the two hundred and seventy-rive thousand dollars which 
should have been paid to the Indians, according to article IV of the treaty 
of Traverse des Sioux, Ramsey gave two hundred and fifty thousand to 
Hugh Tyler under the pretext that the money belonged to traders and half- 
breeds. Mr. Tyler also received seventy thousand of the one hundred and 
ten thousand dollars, which, according to the treaty of August 5, 185 1, 
should have been paid to the Medawakontons. Altogether, of the three 
hundred and eighty-five thousand dollars belonging to the Indians, Tyler 
received three hundred and twenty thousand as a recompense for his labors 
in the Senate in behalf of the treaties, and also to reimburse him for his 
expenses in securing the consent of the chiefs. Such were his claims. 

During the year 1857 a number of Indians were induced by a trader 
to sign a paper, the object of which, he said, was to cause a portion of the 
money they owed to the traders to be returned to them. But it was in 
reality a simple order in his favor, and the Indians were again cheated out 
of twelve thousand dollars. Wherever there was stealing the Indians had 
to pay for it, the amount being simply deducted from money due them. 
'I 1ms a trader received four thousand five hundred dollars for goods which 
he claimed had been stolen from him, and a man in Sioux City, Iowa, re- 
ceived live thousand dollars for horses, also claimed to have been stolen by 
the Indians, although it was known that the Indian seldom steals anything 
of which he is not in need. When at peace with the whites it was ever 
their rule, if they found any property belonging to the whites to at once 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 347 

return the same to its owner. Such actions on the part of the white men had 
a tendency to fill the minds of the sons of the wilderness with a loathing 
and disregard for "civilization." The government had also promised the 
Indians to confer upon them the true blessings of civilized life, for which 
purpose there were at the agencies crowds of employees who were to teach 
them the principles of agriculture, mechanics, architecture, etc. As a rule. 
the United States government intended to do well ami lie honorable with 
the Indians, and provided them with horses and cattle, farming tools, seed, 
etc.. and sent teachers and missionaries among them to educate them. 

But the officers appointed by the government to deal with the Indians 
managed to secure the benefits of the treaties for themselves. From the 
first to the last they were united for the one purpose of deceiving the In- 
dians. How the Indians received their stipulated provisions, clothing, etc., 
may be illustrated by one example. It was in the year 1865. A large 
number of barrels of flour and meat were to be sent from 1 lenderson, 
Sibley county, Minnesota, to Ft. Abercrombie. The contractors, in order 
to obtain the necessary conveyances at the lowest possible figure, deferred 
the delivery of these provisions so long that the whole train was snowed 
in over a hundred miles from the fort. The barrels were simply put "ii 
the open prairie and the teamsters came back. When the poor, half-starved 
Sioux were informed of this some time after, they started out to get the 
provisions, but, instead of good flour they found bran and shorts, and flour 
made from spoiled wheat, which could not hr used for bread; and yet the 
contractors received nearly fifteen dollars a barrel for the lot. 

SCHEMES OF THE TRADERS. 

The principal agent divided the money allotted to the Indian- among 
sub-officers and traders, who. at the time of payment, received enormous 
sums of money for pretended services rendered and good old to the In- 
dians. Contractors whose business it was to procure whatever was needed 
at the agency, such as provisions, horses, rattle farming implements, etc. all 
charged enormously for their services. The Indian- were to be supplied 
with good horses and cattle, but they received the worst and poorest, for 
which they had to pay five times the ordinary value. Not knowing the real 
value of such articles the Indian was constantly swindled. \ valuabli 
buffalo hide was frequently given for a pound of sugar. Many paid from 
three to live dollars for a single drink of whisky. A certain quantity of 
fuel was to be delivered to them annually. This was. despite their protests, 



34-8 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

cut from their own lands, after which they had to pay half price for it. A 
large mill was built of funds belonging to the Indians, and still they had to 
pay a high price for what milling products they bought there. House after 
house was erected for the Indians solely to give some contractor a chance 
to do the work. Many Indians had fine large brick residences erected but 
lived in tepees, and the agents knew they preferred the wild way of living, 
but built the structures to give men work who spent the money received 
at the traders' stores — a real graft game. One very interesting feature was 
how they were taught the different arts and sciences. Some employees were 
continually building fences only to be used for fuel by the Indians. They 
would plow and sow at all seasons of the year simply to show the Indian 
how it was done. One Randall, employed as a teacher, used to drive his 
pupils away from the school with a whip, but drew his salary amounting 
to several thousand dollars regularly." 

THE INDIAN PROTEST. 

Every question, it is said, has two sides, and before passing on to a 
description of the massacre of 1862, let the reader hear what was contended 
by old chief Red Iron, as early as 1S52 — ten years before this outbreak. 
It was in December, 1852, that the chief of the Sisseton, Ma-zas-ha (Red 
Iron), was, on account of his bad behavior, to be deprived of his dignity 
as chief by Ramsey, the superintendent of Indian affairs. 

Red Iron was the real type of an Indian chief, some six feet high, 
strongly built, had a finely shaped head, a prominent nose and piercing eyes. 
He was clad in the costume of a Dakota chief; about forty years old, shrewd, 
proud and determined, and answered boldly and promptly the questions and 
objections raised by Ramsey. As an orator he had much talent. When 
Ramsey insisted upon getting his signature for the purpose of retaining a 
considerable sum of money from funds belonging to the Indians in order 
to pay some old debts due the traders, Red [ron, raising himself to his full 
height, pressing his hand firmly upon his scalping knife, with a firm deter- 
mined look at the agent, said : 

"We want our pay, and we will sign no paper except a receipt for the 
money. The snow covers the ground, and we are still waiting for our 
money. We are very poor; you have plenty. Your fires burn well; your 
tents are well closed against the cold. We have nothing to eat. We wait 
a long time for our money. Many of our people are sick from hunger. 
\\ e will have to die, because you do not pay us. We may die, and if so we 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 349 

will leave onr bones unburied, so that our Great Father may see how his 
Dakota children died. We have sold our hunting grounds and no less the 
graves of our lathers. We also sold our own graves. We do not know 
where we shall bury our dead, and you will not pay the money for that 
land." 

After this well-delivered speech was made he was taken a prisoner. 
The air began to tremble before the hideous yells of the Dakota warriors, 
and armed Indians hurried from all sides to a place upon which the bones 
of dead warriors were strewn about. Lean Bear, a favorite among the 
warriors of Red Iron's hand, a determined and powerful Indian, dropped 
his blanket and grasped the scalping knife with his right band and re- 
counted all the great deeds of their imprisoned chief, whereupon they cried 
"Ho! ho!" After that he said to them: 

"Dakotas! the great men are among us; they hold Ma-zas-ha impris- 
oned like a wolf; they want to kill him because he prevents the white men 
to cheat us of our land and the money which the Great Father has sent us." 

He was interrupted by a thundering "Ho! ho!" but continued: 

"Dakotas! shall we starve in the snow like buffaloes? Shall we permit 
our blood to freeze like the waters of a brook, or shall we paint the snow 
with the blood of white warriors?" 

"Ho! ho!" answered the savages, and the war cry resounded in the 
whole assembly. 

"Dakotas !" he continued, "the blood of your fathers cries to you from 
their graves; their spirits embrace us and make us strong. I am glad of it. 
Even this very night shall the blood of the pale-faces flow like water in a 
shower, and Ma-zas-ha shall fight with his people. Dakotas! as soon as the 
moon hides behind the hills prepare yourselves, and I will lead you against 
the long knives (bayonets and swords 1 of the white men who have come to 
swindle us, to rob us of our land, and to imprison us. because we do not 
assist them to rob our wives and children. Dakotas! be without fear; we 
have more warrior- than the whites. Bi n idy! When the moon sinks I 
will lead you to their tents." 

ORGANIZATION OF YOUNG WARRIO 

Time went on and December. [861, the Indians, some fifteen hun- 
dred of them, had to he cared for in order to keep them from starvation. 
Crops had been poor several years, bugs had ruined the crops only the 
summer before. A fearful snow storm came during the month of Febru- 



350 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

ary. 1862, and this frustrated their hopes of soon being able to supply them- 
selves with game. Under these circumstances they anxiously waited for 
the payday of 1862. They knew all about the great Civil War which was 
then in progress, and this increased their fears that the government might 
not be able to pay them. They also desired to see the North whipped, so 
that they might be enabled to complete the work. There are those who 
think that some who were in sympathy with the South did all they could to 
induce the Indians into mischief. Misled by unfavorable reports the In- 
dians imagined that they had to fight only with old men, women and chil- 
dren, and that they had reason to fear that they never would receive any 
more money. 

The different tribes went to the agency early to demand their pay. 
The agents told them they would receive their money, but did not know 
when, which caused great dissatisfaction among the Indians. In the course 
of time from five to six thousand were gathered there. All were full of 
fear and mistrust lest they might not receive their money. Their want was 
so great that many died of hunger, others lived on roots and raw corn. 
Reports were circulated by some of the whites that the government was 
becoming weaker day by day, and messengers began to go from one tribe 
to another planning the possibility and success of a revolt. The older and 
nn ire intelligent among them were opposed to it ; but the hot-headed, and 
especially the younger warriors, formed themselves into a secret society 
called "Soldiers' Lodge." 

This secret society, established early in July, had for its object to 
oppose the traders and to prevent them from getting their money, and in 
case of necessity to defend their rights by force. The chiefs, although 
informed of this organization, did not dare oppose it. They well under- 
stood the dangers connected with it, since these young warriors numbered 
from live to six thousand; and the chiefs were even suspected of being in 
league with the officers of the government for suppressing and swindling 
their people. The traders soon learned about the Soldiers' Lodge and its 
object, and when the Indians wanted to buy something from them on credit, 
they were told to go to the Soldiers' Lodge. The Indians, compelled to ask 
for credit on account of their extreme need, would answer the traders: "If 
we could, like our women, give ourselves up to you, we could get all the 
credit we ask fur; but since we are men we cannot." 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 351 

FIRST ACT OF VIOLENCE. 

And thus did bitterness increase during 1862; Those who were sus- 
pected of informing the traders and others of the doings of the society were 
severely persecuted, and some of them killed. Their first act of violence 
was committed on August 4, 1862. The time for payment was up in July. 
The want among the assembled tribes was alarmingly on the increase. Some 
of them had already devoured their own ponies and dogs. Six children 
had died of starvation within three days. Agent Galbraith traveled from 
one agency to another in order to pacify them; and sometimes distributed 
provisions, tobacco, powder and lead. But that was not sufficient to quiet 
the uneasiness caused by the delay of their pay. Early in the morning of the 
4th of August, some five hundred and fifty young warriors, mostly mem- 
bers of Soldiers' Lodge, forced an entrance into the warehouse, tore down 
the American flag and took over one hundred and fifty sacks of flour before 
any resistance was offered, which could have been done, since there were 
one hundred well-armed soldiers with two heavy cannons near by. The 
soldiers entered the warehouse and took possession of it whilst the Indians 
stood around with loaded rifles. But when the agent promised to furnish 
them with pork, rice and flour the following day. they did not attempt any 
further disturbance. 

The fact that not one of the warriors was punished for this serious 
breach of the peace made them bold and daring; and the more so when 
they saw the able men among the whiles leave fur the South at their coun- 
try's call on the 13th. 14th and 15th of August. On the 18th of August, 
at eight "'clock a. m.. they left New Ulm under Lieutenant Culver and Ser- 
geant McGrew, as "Keyville Rangers." and on the same day the Indians 
broke out. 

The time was now at hand which was to give the two German- who 
had been murdered some time before numerous companions. A man named 

Brand had been put to death on the banks of the Little Cottonw 1. six 

miles south of Xew Ulm, in the spring of 1857, and his body was found 
in the brush near seme Indian tepees. John I'.. Schmitz wanted to settle on 
the reservation ten miles west of New Ulm, but on the 27th of April. 1860, 
while digging a cellar, he was treacherously shot and killed. 

The murderer, a Sioux, was imprisoned at Xew Ulm. During the trial 
in the curt room a heavy chain was attached to his feet, and he was well 
guarded. At a necessary call he desired to leave the room. Constable 



352 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Charles Seeler obtained the assistance of his deputy. Doctor Blecken, a re- 
nowned physician, who was at one time a Lutheran minister, but later a 
preacher at a free church ; he was also one of the founders of New Ulm. 
To guard against any possible accident, a third deputy was called into serv- 
ice. But man proposed, and, in this instance, the Indian disposed. So soon 
as he was in the open air he managed to shake off his fetters, and with the 
swiftness of a deer the stalwart form of the Indian disappeared from before 
their astonished gaze. The three officers of the law, on account of the 
sudden and unexpected disappearance of their prisoner, were so stunned 
that they did not as much as remember their revolvers, which were left 
untouched in the official pockets. It was just at dusk and the Indian did. not 
return. The trial was over. Such murders and the escape of the guilty 
ones caused much alarm in the country. 

About the middle of August, 1862, Mail-carrier Miles was met by the 
Indians some two miles south of the Lower Agency and led out of his way 
across the prairie, because they were holding a secret meeting in a ravine on 
the bank of the river, where he would have observed them. A few days 
previous to this Miles noticed some newly-cut signs on the trees, apparently 
of great importance. About the same time friendly Indians warned the 
settlers of the approaching dangers, saying: "Pakat-shif" (go away) and 
"Nippo" (to kill). They also made signs with their hands which the whites 
did not want to understand or believe. A week or so before the outbreak, a 
number of gaudily dressed and decorated Indians held in the town of New 
Ulm those wild dances, which are always forebodings of evil. Their toma- 
hawks and scalping knives were sharpened. The cause of the outbreak was 
c\ idently the neglect of a prompt fulfillment of duty on the part of the gov- 
ernment officials, the extreme need of the Indians and delay of their annual 
pay. They were to receive their money in gold coin. The government sent 
the money promptly to St. Paul, where it remained for a long time; but the 
officials in whose hands it had been placed, exchanged it for paper money 
at a great premium, in opposition to the loud protests of the chiefs of the 
Sioux tribe. The Indians, not being accustomed to handle paper money, 
became greatly enraged so that the agents finally concluded to re-exchange 
it for gold. This, of course, caused a great loss, the premium being then 
very high, lint they were little concerned about this, for they intended to 
make tlie Indians pay the discount. They soon found out. however, that 
fliev had been calculating without consulting the party most deeply interested 
in the transaction. 



COTTOXWOOD AND WATONWAN" COUNTIES, MINN. 353 

REMINISCENCES OF Till'. LITTLE CROW UPRISING. 

[By Dr. Asa W. Daniels, in a paper read before the .executive council. 
Novmeber 14. 1910, and now forming a part of the records of the Minne- 
sota Historical Society Collections, volume XV, 1915.] 

Considering the two thousand lives involved, largely women and chil- 
dren, the successful defense of New Ulm was the most momentous event 
in the Indian War of 1862-63. From that defeat the Indians turned west- 
ward and abandoned further combined raids upon the settlements. The 
active part taken by the people of St. Peter will ever be an impressive chap- 
ter in the eventful history of that city. Her immediate and generous re- 
sponse with volunteers, and their long and hurried march, enabled them to 
join in defending New Ulm in the afternoon, and later to participate in the 
uncertain issue of battle that held the besieged in its grasp for a whole day. 
The command of General Sibley would have reached the city too late to 
save it from savage fury, and had not the response been immediate from 
St. Peter LeSueur and Mankato, its fate must have been horrible to con- 
template. 

Some of the events of that battle have never been fully stated in the 
official reports, and others not mentioned came under the observation of the 
writer. Therefore it will be of interest to learn, from one who had superior 
opportunities, the particulars of the battle as seen by him. 

The news of the Indian outbreak reached St. Peter during the night 
of Monday, the [8th of August, 1862, it having commenced at the lower 
Sioux agency at seven o'clock that morning. Major Galbraith, who had 
reached St. Peter in the evening before, on his way to Ft. Snclling with a 
company of recruits, learning of the situation, at daylight started on his 
return to Ft. Ridgely, which he reached in time to participate in its defense. 

At four o'clock in the morning of Tuesday the writer was notified of 
the outbreak and was asked by Captain Dodd to go to Rounsevillc and 
Briggs neighborhood, six miles to the northwest, and notify the settlers, 
and he informed me at that time thai < > - had already been dis- 

patched in other directions. I was soon on the way, going from house to 
house, spreading the alarm, and sending others to more di-tant locations. 
On my return the refugees were already pouring in, and by noon the villi 
became crowded with men, women and children. Some had I 
the way, and bore their wounded with them. All were in a most pitiable 

'(23) 



354 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

condition, having in their fright and haste taken little clothing and no pro- 
visions, reaching their destination completely destitute. Every house was 
sympathetically thrown open to the refugees, and was soon filled from cellar 
to garret. The vacant Ewing House, a hotel of fifty rooms or more, and 
an unoccupied store building, were soon filled, and being of stone afforded 
safety and comparative comfort; but man}- were compelled to resort to 
sheds and barns, or to remain unsheltered for some nights, until better pro- 
vided. 

A YEAR BEFORE THE OUTBREAK. 

A little more than a year before the outbreak I had located in St. 
Peter, having left the government service at the Lower Agencv, as phvsician 
and surgeon to the Sioux Indians, after a service of more than seven years. 
I had visited them a month before and heard from them many complaints, 
principally against their physician, Doctor Humphrey. My long service 
among them had been satisfactory to myself and the Indians, and I had 
many warm friends in every band, among them being Little Crow, and I 
may say most of the chiefs. Therefore, when the news of the outbreak 
came, I was in great doubt in regard to its being general, but I thought it 
confined to a single band, and that the outrages had occurred when they 
were under the influence of whisky sold them by the whites. But within 
twenty-four hours my confidence in my old friends was rudely shattered, 
and I came to realize, on seeing the dead and wounded, that the outbreak 
was general and of the most barbarous character. 

As a government officer, I had observed for more than two years the 
close intimacy that was growing up between the Sioux and Winnehagoes. 
This was apparent from frequent visits of large parties of Winnehagoes to 
the agency, intermarriages that took place, uniting in games, and tribal 
pledges of friendship. No doubt some of the Winnebagoes participated in 
the battle that took place, but were too discreet to have it known. Had 
success attended the Sioux at Ft. Ridgely and New Ulm, there is little doubt 
there would have been a union of the tribes against the whites. 

At St. Peter, to which we return after a slight digression. Captain 
Dodd and Major Flandrau had enlisted about one hundred and forty men 
to march at once in defense of New Ulm. Many of these volunteers fled 
from their country homes in the morning, hurriedly disposed of their famil- 
ies, and bravely responded to the call for a thirty-mile march before the 
close of their eventful day. 



COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MTXX. 355 

I joined them as a surgeon of the command, and we were on our way 
about midday. The men were armed with double-barreled .shotguns, a few 
rifles, and some other arms of uncertain efficiency. Some were on horse- 
back and a few in buggies; having to carry my surgical and medical cases, 
1 availed myself of the latter conveyance. On reaching Courtland, twenty 
miles, a heavy shower drenched the command, but the march was continued, 
all being enthusiastic to reach New [Jim, where refugees informed me, 
there was a little battle going on and much of the town burned. We 
reached Redstone, two miles from the village, just as it was getting dark, and 
from that distance it did look as if the whole town was on fire; but crossing 
the ferry, we rushed on and reached the vicinity of the Dakota House about 
ten o'clock at night. 

As we were leaving St. Peter we were joined by the command under 
Captain Tousley, of LeSueur, of nearly one hundred men, who continued 
with us on the march to Xew Ulm. With them, as surgeons, were Dr. Otis 
Avers and Dr. William W. Mayo, father of the two distinguished surgeons 
of Rochester. It was midnight before we found quarters for the night, and 
then I shared my bed with Doctor Avers, passing a comfortable night after 
a long and strenuous day. 

SITUATION' AT NEW ULM. 

Early in the morning of Wednesday we were looking over the situa- 
tion as left from the engagement the aftern<»>n before. On a vacant lot 
near the center of the town lay six dead, brought in from the -cine of the 
engagement, and others had been cared fur by their families. The physi- 
cians then visited the wounded and cared for them, and for some of the 
refugees who were ill from fright and anxiety. 

During the forenoon of Wednesday, Captain Bierbauer came in with 
nearly one hundred men from Mankato, and a few men came from Nicollet, 
under the command of Capt. Samuel Coffin. \n organization was formed 
on that day by the military, who selected Major Flandrau as commander, 
Captain Dodd as lieutenant, and S. A. Buell as provost marshal. Pickets 
were established on the outskirts of the town, and guard duty for the night. 
During the day quarters and the commissary department- were established 
for the different commands. 

A company of sixteen mounted men from Si Peter, among them Henry 
A. Swift and Horace Austin, afterward governor of the state, had started 



356 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

to the front some hours hefore the command of Flandrau was ready to 
leave, and had reached New Ulm in time to participate in the hattle of 
Tuesday afternoon. 

Thursday morning, after guard mount and after a company had heen 
selected to dig rifle pits, a company of a hundred men, under the command 
of Captain Dodd, was ordered to go to Little Cottonwood settlement, six 
miles south, to bury the dead and rescue any that might be hiding or 
wounded. Doctor Avers and myself were detailed to accompany the com- 
mand. The doctor invited me to have a seat with him in his buckboard. 
which I thankfully accepted. The command had hardly made half the dis- 
tance to the settlement before they were fired upon from ambush, but none 
was wounded, and, after returning the volley, we continued our march. 
Three mounted Indians soon showed themselves, but at a safe distance, 
observing our course, and in derision waving their blankets, keeping in sight 
most of the time during the march. 

On reaching the settlement, the saddest scene presented itself that 
humanity is ever called upon to witness. The massacre had probably taken 
place on Monday before, and the dead were lying in all directions about the 
farm houses — in bed, in different rooms of the house, in the yard, near the 
grain stacks, and on the lawn. During the three days that the remains 
had been exposed the flies had done their work, and as a result the faces of 
the dead presented a revolting spectacle. Trenches were dug. and the bodies 
were gathered together and laid within, blankets were spread over them, and 
a prayer was offered: then earth to earth, ashes to ashes, and the command 
turned sadly away, having witnessed a burial scene that could never be 
forgotten. 

Bv the military the day had been passed in strengthening the defenses 
of the town, providing themselves with ammunition, and fixing upon posi- 
tions of advantage in case of an attack. News came in during the day of 
righting at Ft. Ridgely, and of Captain Marsh's defeat at the agency, and 
many other alarming accounts from refugees 

A LONG AND USELESS MARCH. 

The principal event of Friday was the detailing of one hundred and 
forty men, under command of Captain Tousley, to go to Leavenworth, west 
and south of Ft. Ridgely, expecting to find persons there unable to escape 
and that might be rescued, but nothing definite was known in regard to the 
situation there. Doctors Avers. Mayo and myself joined the command — 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 357 

I again having a scat with Doctor Avers. The route was across an open 
prairie, and we had not proceeded far before we discovered three mounted 
Indian scouts to the north keeping in line with us and watching our course. 
Late in the afternoon we reached the vicinity of Ft. Ridgely and for the 
first time heard cannonading going on there, the sounds reaching us at 
short intervals. After its .significance had fully impressed me. I said to 
Doctor Ayers that the Indians had attacked the fort in great force, and that 
as scouts had been watching onr course, in cast- we continued onr march to 
Leavenworth they would certainly withdraw from the fort during the after- 
noon or in the morning and cut us off. We had expected to remain at 
Leavenworth over night, returning the next day. Doctor Avers agreed 
with me fully, and rode forward and consulted with Captain Tousley, who 
called a halt and gave his reasons for so doing, asking of the command to 
express their wishes by a showing of hands. It was carried by those in 
favor of going forward by two or three votes. 

We continued our march for another hour, the warning notes of cannon 
coming to us regularly; the sun was nearly down, night was coming on. and 
fatigue was telling upon the command, when a second halt was called and 
another vote was taken, which resulted in an order to return to New Uhn. 
We reached our return destination after midnight, thoroughly worn out and 
disgusted from this long and useless march, which might have resulted not 
only in the destruction of the command, hut perhaps in the capture of Xew 
I'lni. 

The morning of Saturday was warm and fair, and at first we hopefully 
looked forward to an uneventful day. Much time had been taken in pre- 
paring for an attack, by burning outer buildings, digging rifle-pits, and loop- 
holing such walls as might lie made serviceable. On that morning Colonel 
Flandrau gave me a dozen men and I barricaded the avenue a little wesl of 
the Gross hotel. From the roof of the Erd building, a central business 
block, with a glass an extensive view was had of the surrounding country, 
and at tin- point of observation a watchman was on duty during the day. 

THE ATTACK BEGINS. 

The first surprise and alarm of the morning came when at guard mount, 
west of the town, Lieutenant Edwards was instantly killed bj an Indian so 
concealed in the grass that danger was unsuspected. About eighl o'clock 
a. m., the watchman from the roof saw Indian- collecting -our- two miles 
west of town, and signal smokes from the northwest. II rvations 



35§ COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

were confirmed by officers and others. The certainty of a deadly conflict 
with a barbarous foe, when no quarter is expected is a most trying test of 
courage, but, with few exceptions, the situation was heroically accepted. 
The women and children were hurried to places of safety, the command was 
got under arms, and the physicians selected rooms for receiving the wounded, 
Doctors Mayo and McMahon in the Dakota House, and Doctor Avers and 
myself in a store room on the opposite side of the avenue. 

Within one hour the large body of Indians who had been forming on 
the west, were seen to be rapidly moving upon the town. The signals indi- 
cated a like approach from the north. When aware of this approach, 
Colonel Flandrau posted his men upon the slope of one of the terraces on 
the west with a line of skirmishes in front. Little Crow was mounted and 
led his warriors, who were on foot. In a long line with flanks curved for- 
ward, they approached in silence within a quarter of a mile of the defend- 
ers, when they gave a terrific war-cry and rushed forward upon a run, 
holding their fire until they had received that of our men, and then deliver- 
ing an effective volley at close range. The defenders fell back in a panic 
and the whole line retreated to the barricades. The assault was well exe- 
cuted, and had it been pushed to its limit might have resulted in the capture 
oi the town by the Indians. But our men soon rallied behind the barricades 
and buildings, which arrested the onward rush of the Indians and compelled 
them to seek protection of the outer buildings. 

I .ieutenant ! Kiev, with seventy-five men. was ordered to the ferry to 
prevent the Indians from crossing from the north side. Either from a 
misunderstanding or over-confidence, he crossed his command to the north 
side of the river, there meeting a large body of the enemy, retreated to 
Nicollet, and was not seen again until the next day. This unfortunate event 
was a serious loss to the defense. The firing from both sides became rapid. 
harp and general, the Indians gradually pushing their way in surrounding 
the town, which they accomplished before midday. They fought with the 
utmost boldness and ferocity, and with the utmost skill and caution from 
even hollow and grass patch, and from behind every house and hillock or 
log. The crisis came a1 two p. m., when the Indians fired buildings on both 
sides of the avenue in the lower part of town. A strong wind was blowing 
from the east, and the conflagration threatened the destruction of our only 
defense. Colonel Flandrau rallied a sufficient force, and charging down 
the street, drove the enemy from the avenue. Bui just at this critical time 
the wind changed to the opposite direction, and clouds, which had been gath- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 359 

ering for hours, shed upon our threatened locality a sufficient shower of rain 
to prevent the further extending of the flames. 

DEATH OF CAPTAIN DODD. 

The unfortunate incident of the day's battle that led to the death of 
Captain Dodd has never been correctly reported. In justice to the brave 
men that participated in that critical movement, a correct understanding 
should be had of the reasons that, at the time, seemed to make the under- 
taking imperative. 

It will be remembered that Lieutenant Huey had retreated toward 
Nicollet in the morning, and all through the day we looked for his return 
with reinforcements, which really took place the following day. 

About five o'clock there appeared beyond the Indian outer line, at the 
east, some forty or fifty men, marching in single file, under the command 
of an officer, carrying the American Hag. They were dressed in citizens' 
clothes, and all had the appearance of the reinforcements so anxiously 
expected. 

The Indians had again gained possession of the buildings on the avenue 
east, perhaps five blocks from the Dakota House, and from that position 
were delivering a galling fire upon our line. 

Immediately, on discovering what all thought to be our reinforcements, 
Captain Dodd, in a short speech, volunteered to lead any that would follow 
to the clearing of the avenue of the Indians and joining our reinforcements 
beyond. Rev. Father Sunrisen and Doctor Mayo both made speeches urging 
all to unite in support of Dodd. Some twenty men responded, Dodd and 
Shoemaker being mounted, and proceeded down the avenue. It was a move- 
ment of only a few moments consideration, and seemed to promise an 
important result. Dodd rushed forward with a cheer, hardly coming within 
the Indian lines before receiving a deadly volley, which hurriedly sent them 
back to positions of safety. Captain Dodd wheeled his horse and reached a 
log blacksmith's shop, when the horse plunged forward and fell. Partially 
supporting himself and being assisted by others, the fatally-wounded leader 
was taken to the building, a cot prepared and there within an hour he died. 
lie had received three mortal wound-, two other slight wounds, and the 
horses ridden by Dodd and Shoemaker were both killed. The writer had 
witnessed from our hospital the whole movement, saw Dodd fall and hur- 
ried to bis assistance. There was little that could be done, as he was in a 
dying condition. He appreciated his condition and met it courageously, 



360 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

giving a message to his wife and to Bishop Whipple, with the utmost cool- 
in-- and consideration. 

AN INDIAN STRATAGEM. 

The party we had supposed to be reinforcements, upon the volley from 
the Indian- and our men falling hack, suddenly disappeared, and it proved 
to be a stratagem to draw out some of our men and cut them off. Had the 
Indians in the buildings held their lire until they had advanced a half block 
farther, it would have been successful. Jn explanation of how the Indians 
became possessed of so many suits of citizens' clothes, it may be said that 
twenty-two months before one hundred and fifty suits were issued to them 
by the government, under the pledge of becoming farmers, much of this 
clothing having never been worn more than a few days. 

The assault commencing in the morning at 9:30, was kept up without 
interruption until dark, when the Indians withdrew in the direction of Ft. 
Ridgely. During the evening all buildings outside of our barricades were 
burned. By ourselves and the Indians one hundred and ninety buildings 
were destroyed. We lost ten killed and forty wounded, the small loss being 
accounted for by the fact that we were righting from the loop-holes of build- 
ings and barricades. The Indians loss has never been known. Both hos- 
pitals received and dressed the wounded, providing temporary cots for them. 
Some that were only slightly wounded returned and continued in the fight 
during the day. 

Saturday night was anxious and disturbed with desultory firing by our 
guards, and perhaps by the Indians. Sunday morning it seemed from heavy 
firing that the assault was to be renewed; but it gradually lessened and by 
noon ceased entirely. About noon ("apt. I'".. St. Julien Cox arrived with 
about liti\ men, accompanied by Lieutenant Iluey with part of his detach- 
ment which had been cut off the day before. During Sunday afternoon 
search was made for the recovery of the dead. Three or four were found 
that had fallen so far out as to be exposed to any indignity that the Indians 
might offer, but none was scalped or otherwise mutilated. Jerry Quane, a 
St. Petei volunteer, had the totem of Little Crow attached to the clothing 
1 hi- breast. The totem was the skin of a crow, preserved in its natural 
form, symbolic of the family name. The parting with such a treasured 
emblem was to boastfully inform us from whom the brave defender had 
met his death. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 361 

RETREAT TO MANKATO. 

Early on Monday morning the order was issued for the evacuation of 
the village. Colonel Flandrau must have been wholly responsible for this 
move, as I am sure the medical officers were not consulted and were entirely 
ignorant of it until a short time before the movement was commenced. We 
had received reinforcements the day before, our position was stronger than 
ever, the sanitary conditions did not necessitate great urgency in moving, 
and the volunteers would have loyally remained. General Sibley was at 
St. Peter, and would have arrived within a few days, therefore it was a mis- 
take to retreat from Xew Ulm until relieved by him. The route was part 
of the way through a dense forest, and had a few Indians attacked a panic 
and massacre would have ensued. It is an ungracious and unwelcome task 
to criticise the Colonel, but a truthful statement seems to demand that it 
should be done, in this respect at least. Nearly two thousand men, women 
and children took up the march for Mankato, thirty miles distant, bearing 
the wounded in conveyances. Fortunately the long march was uneventful, 
and we reached our destination late in the evening, where we received a 
generous reception. 

On Tuesday the volunteers from St. Peter reached home and disbanded. 
The writer brought with him the Rev. Air. Saunders, severely wounded, who 
had volunteered with the LeSueur company. Some of the wounded were 
left at Mankato, but most of them came to St. Peter, and their care became 
most urgent. My brother, assistant surgeon with General Sibley's com- 
mand, assisting, we established a hospital in the court room at the court 
house. The room was large, well ventilated and afforded space for twenty 
beds, sufficient for the most serious cases. The care of the hospital devolved 
upon me, as my brother left with his command two or three days later. 

Of the cases that came under my care, the most serious were as follows : 
Mr. Summers, of Nicollet, shot through the spinal column, died; Rufus 
Huggins was shot through the mouth, severing his tongue, recovered; a 
Sibley county volunteer, with a compound fracture of the arm bone near 
the shoulder joint, had amputation and recovered; Rev. Mr. Saunders, with 
an abdominal wound, recovered; Mr. Bean, a St. Peter volunteer, with a 
shot through the face, fracturing his lower jaw, recovered ; a St. Paul volun- 
teer, with a penetrating gunshot wound (if the brain, lived two or three days 
and died insane at St. Peter. 

From the time the news of the outbreak was received, the citizens of 



.■''-' COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

St. Peter were active in providing for the refugees and the protection of 
the city. They organized committees for the various duties, as care for the 
sick, supplying food and clothing and fortifying. Xight and day guard 
duty was kept up, earth-works were thrown up, rifle-pits dug and barri- 
cades erected. 

THE GOVERNMENT NOT GUILTLESS. 

In closing this paper the writer, who was so long and intimately asso- 
ciated with the Indians as a government official, desires to say that he found 
this people possessed of many of the virtues common to the human family, 
and that socially and morally their lives were of a standard quite as high as 
among civilized races. The outbreak was induced by long-continued viola- 
tion of treaty obligations on the part of the government, inflicting upon 
these unfortunate wards untold want and suffering. Like violent acts of 
mobs among civilized communities, the massacre was a barbarous and unrea- 
soning protest against injustice. Had the government faithfully carried 
out the treaty obligations and dealt with the Sioux justly and humanely, 
the outbreak would not have occurred. 



PUNISHMENT OF THE SIOUX. 

The Indians were defeated — they lost all the twenty-mile-wide and one- 
hundred-mile long strip of land reserved for them along the Minnesota river 
above New Ulm to the headquarters, having it abrogated by the United 
States government on accounl of this war. which was contrary to the treaty 
term- made at Traverse des Sioux in [851. They also had thirty-eight of 
their leaders in the bloody massacre hanged at Mankato, December jo. 
[862. And they were as a people driven from the state forever. 

This execution was brought about in the following manner: After 
the campaign of [862, and the guilty parties were confined at Camp Lincoln, 
near Mendota, the idea of executing capitally three hundred Indians aroused 
the sympathj of those far removed from these scenes of butchery. Presi- 
dent Abraham Lincoln was importuned, principally by the people of the 
1 and the Quakers in Pennsylvania. The voice of the blood of inno- 
cence crying from tl ground, the wailing of mothers bereft of their chil- 
dren were hushed in the tender cry of sympath) for the condemned. Even 
the Christian ministers, stern in the belief that "Whosoever sheddeth man's 
blood by man shall his blood he shed," seemed now the most zealous for the 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 363 

pardon of these merciless outlaws who had shed the blood of innocent 
women and children in the time of peace. 

Senators Wilkinson and William Windom made eloquent, urging 
appeals to the President for the proper execution of sentence in the case of 
these Indians. One quotation from one of these distinguished statesmen's 
address is sufficient to show the trend of sentiment in Minnesota at that time : 

"The people of Minnesota, Mr. President, have stood firmly by you 
and your administration. They have given both you and it their cordial 
support. They have not violated any law. They have borne their suffer- 
ings with patience, such as few people have ever exhibited under extreme 
trials. These Indians are now at their mercy; but our people have not risen 
to slaughter because they believed the President would deal with them justly. 
We protest against the pardon because if they are not executed the people 
of Minnesota will dispose of these wretches without law. These two peoples 
cannot live together. We do not wish to see mob law inaugurated in Minne- 
sota, as it certainly will be if you force the people to it. We tremble at 
the approach of such a condition of things in our state. 

"You can give us peace or you can give us lawless violence. We pray 
vou, sir. as in view of all we have suffered, and the danger that still awaits 
us. let the law be executed. Let justice be done to our people." 

Earlv in December, iS6j, while the final decision of the President was 
delayed, the valley towns of Minnesota, led off by the city of St. Paul, held 
meetings addressed by the most intelligent speakers of various locations. 
Among other speakers was United States District Attorney George A. 
Nouse, of Minnesota, who framed a petition as follows: 

"To the President of the United States — We, the citizens of St. Paul, 
in the state of Minnesota, respectfully represent that we have heard with 
regret the reports of an intention on the part of the United States govern- 
ment to dismiss without punishment the Sioux warriors captured by our 
soldiers; and further allow the several tribes of Indians lately located upon 
reservations within the state to remain upon the reservations. 

"Against any such policy we respectfully protest in all firmness. The 
history of this continent presents no event that can compare with the late 
Sioux massacre outbreak in wanton, unprovoked and fiendish cruelty. All 
that we have heard of the Indian warfare in tin- early history of this country 
is tame in contrast with the atrocities of this late massacre. Without warn- 
ing, in cold blood, beginning with the murder of their best friends, the whole 
body <>f the annuity Sioux Indians commenced a deliberate ;cheme to 



364 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

exterminate every white person upon the land once occupied by them ami 
by them long ago sold to the United States. In carrying out this bloody 
scheme they have spared neither age nor sex, only reserving, for the gratifica- 
tion of their brutal lust, the few white women whom the rifle, tomahawk 
and the scalping knife spared. Nor did their fiendish barbarities cease with 
death, as the mutilated corpses of their victims, disemboweled, cut limb from 
limb, or chopped into fragments, will testify. These cruelties, too, were in 
many cases preceded by a pretense of friendship; and in many instances the 
victim- 1.1 mure than murderers were shot down in cold blood as soon as 
their hacks were turned, after a cordial shaking of the hand and loud pro- 
fess), ms 1 if friend-hip on the part of the murderers. 

"We ask that the same judgment should be passed and executed upon 
these deliberate murderers, these ravishers, these mutilators of their mur- 
dered victims, that would be passed upon white men guilty of the same 
offense. We ask this not alone for vengeance, but much more as a matter 
of future safety for our border settlers. 

"We further ask that these savages be removed from close proximity 
to our settlements, to such a distance and such isolation as shall make the 
people 'if this state safe from their future atacks." 

The final decision of the President, on the 17th of December, 1862, 
ordering the execution of thirty-nine of the three hundred condemned mur- 
derers, disappointed the people of Minnesota. The thirty-nine were to be 
hung at Mankato on the 26th of December — on Friday. 

In pursuance to an act of Congress on the 2.2nd of April, 1863, and 
for the purpose of carrying it into execution, the remaining Indians were 
first taken from the state, on board the steamer "Favorite," carried down 
the Mississippi, and confined at Davenport, towa, where they remained, with 
only such privileges as are allowed to emu ids in the penitentiary. In May, 
tlie same year, about two thousand Indians were sent to their reservations 
in the- "land of the Dakotas." Then the [863 military expedition removed 
the scattering hands from the borders of Minnesota. 

FACTS CONCERNING THE FINAL EXECUTION. 

Pictures of the execution of the- thirty-eight Indians at Mankato in 
December, 1862, adorn the shops, public halls and residences of manv hun- 
dred towns and cities in the great Northwest -almost as well known and 
often seen as "( luster's Last Fight. 

Perhaps no better account of the execution and the crimes for which 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 365 

the Indians executed were charged with can now be obtained than the 
account narrated by the editor of the St. Peter Tribune, he being present. 
He writes as follows : 

Having been ordered to Mankato on business, we were included among 
witnesses of an execution, the most extensive which has ever been known 
in the United States, and in punishment of crimes the most atrocious and 
revolting. Our account must necessarily be brief, and we shall therefore 
only give such particulars as will prove of interest to our readers and for 
many of these we are indebted to the Mankato Record. 

The day was remarkably pleasant for this season of the year, and at 
early dawn people began to arrive at Mankato on a new and — so far as 
Minnesota is concerned — unprecedented errand. The streets were already 
resounding to the tread of the soldiery and citizens, and both were evidently 
preparing for an event which will always be an important chapter in our 
history. The great square gallows, standing on the river bluff, showed 
readiness for the work it was to execute at a later hour of the day. At nine 
o'clock the militarv formed a girdle of bayonets around the gallows, and 
no citizen was permitted inside the enclosure. Captain Burt's company of 
the Seventh regiment conducted the execution of the following Indians 
found guilt of crimes charged by the military commission : 

The-he-hdo-ne-cha (One who Forbids his House). — Engaged in the 
massacre; took a white woman prisoner and ravished her. 

To-zoo, alias Plan-doo-ta (Red Otter). — Convicted of participating in 
the murder of Mr. Patwell, and of ravishing a young girl. 

Wy-a-tah-ta-wa (His People). — Confessed to have participated in the 
murder of Mr. Patwell. and to have taken part in three battles. 

Hin-han-shoon-ko-yag-ma-ne (One who walks clothed with an Owl's 
Tail). --Convicted of murder of Alexander Hunter, and having taken and 
had Mrs. Hunter as a prisoner until she was rescued from him by another 
Indian. 

Ma-za-boon-doo (Iron Blowker). — Convicted of the murder of an old 
man and two children. 

Wan-pa-doo-ta (Red Leaf). — Confessed that he was engaged in the 
massacre, and that he shot a white man. 

Wa-he-kna (meaning unknown). — Convicted of murder. 

Rwa-ma-ne (Tinkling Water). — Convicted of two murders. 

Rda-in-yan-ka (Rattling Rounder). — Took a prominent part in all the 
battles, including the attack at New Ulm. leading and urging the Indians 
forward. 



.;<><> COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Do-wan-za (The Singer). — Convicted of the murder of a white woman, 
and of the design to ravish her daughter, who was wounded by him and 
killed by another Indian, before he carried his design into execution. 

I la-pan (Second Child). — Confessed that he was in all the battles and 
at the murder of Air. Patwell, and that he aided in taking a white woman 
(Miss Williams) prisoner. 

Shoon-ka-ska (White Dog). — Was the leader of the party that attacked 
Captain Marsh's company and was the man who detained Captain Marsh in 
conversation until the Indians crossed the river and surrounded the com- 
mand and then gave them the signal to fire. 

Toon-kan-e-chah-tah-ma-ne (One who walks by his Grandfather). — ■ 
Said in presence of witnesses that he shot a man in an ox wagon, and was 
in several battles. 

E-tay-doo-ta (Red Face). — Told witness that he killed Divoll and 
seven white persons across the river; that the second day after crossing the 
river he killed a man and a woman. 

Am-da-cha (Broken to Pieces). — Took witness David Faribault prisoner. 
who says Am-da-cha shot two persons at his house. 

Hay-pe-dan (The Third Child). — Cut Mrs. Thieler with a hatchet after 
she had been shot by another Indian, and fired many shots at the fort. 

Mah-pe-o-ke-ne-jin (Who Stands on the Cloud). — Convicted of the 
murder of Antoine Young, and of participating in the murder of a white 
man and woman. 

Henry Milord (A half-breed). — Convicted of participating in the mur- 
der of a white man and woman. 

Chas-ka-dan (The First Born if a Son). — Convicted of shooting and 
cutting a woman who was with child. 

Baptiste Campbell (A half-breed). — Confessed thai he was one of the 
party who murdered a man and woman, and that he shot first. 

Ta-tay-ka-gay (Wind Maker). — Convicted of murdering or of partici- 
pating in the murder of Amos W. Eiuggins. 

Ha-pin-kpa (The Tip of the Horn). — Convicted of the murder of 
Garvie. 

I I 1 olite ^nge I A half breed I. Confesses that be was one of the party 
tli.u murdered a white man, and that he fired at him. 

No-Pay-Skin (One who does not Flee).- Convicted of participating 
in the massacre and bosted that be had killed nineteen persons. 

Wa-kan-tan-ka (Great Spirit). — Convicted of the murder of a white 
man not named. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 367 

Toon-kan-ko-yag-ena-gin (One who stands clothed with his Grand- 
father). — Convicted of participating in the murder of a white man at the 
Big Woods. 

Ma-ka-ta-e-ne-jin (One who Stands on the Earth). — Convicted of par- 
ticipating in the massacre near Xew Ulm, and encouraging the red men to 
do so. 

Paza-koo-tay-wa-ne (One who walks prepared to Shoot). — Convicted 
of participating in the murder of eight white men. 

To-tay-hde-dan (Wind comes Home). — Convicted of participating in 
the massacre at Beaver Creek, and of taking captive a white woman. 

Wa-she-choon (Frenchman). — Convicted of the murder of Le Butt's 
son. 

Aeche-ga (To Grow Upon). — Convicted of the murder of an old man 
and two girls. 

Ho-tan-in-koo (Voice that Appears Coming). — Convicted of the mur- 
der of a man at Green Lake, admits that he struck him with an ax after 
he had been shot by others of the party. 

Chav-tan-hoon-ka (The Parent Hawk). — Proved to have been one of 
the party that committed the massacre at Beaver Creek. 

Chan-ka-hda ( Xear the Woods). — Is proven to have been one of the 
partv and was present when Patwell was killed, and to have saved Mary 
Anderson, who had been wounded, from being killed and to have taken her 
prisi >ner. 

O-ya-tay-a-koo (The Coming People). — Convicted of the murder of 
Cat well. 

Ma-hoo-way-wa (He comes for Me). — Convicted of participating in 
the massacres at Travelers Home and of murdering a man on the road near 
there. 

Wa-kin-yan-ne (Little Thunder). — Convicted of participating in the 
murder, near the Travelers Home, of an old man and two young girls and 
two boys. 

Shas-ka. 

THE EXECUTION. 

At ten o'clock the prisoners ascended the steps of the gallows, as uncon- 
cerned as if they were going to a feast, and after reaching the platform 
commenced chanting one of their peculiar "he-ahs". Several were smoking, 
and continued to do so until the rope was cut and they were launched into 
eternity. One (Shas-ka) manifested his indifference or contempt by expos- 



368 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

ing his person to the soldiers, and another by throwing his cigar at them and 
uttering some words which were not understood by those standing near 
him. The singing was kept up until the platform dropped, and the singular 
"thug" of the ropes furnished another style of music, and stilled their voices 
which seemed bold even in the very face of death. 

A few showed signs of emotion after the rope had been adjusted, but 
a majority hardly noticed this part of the execution. Some even fixed the 
ropes around their own necks and persistently raised their caps from their 
faces, until their arms were paralyzed by the fatal plunge. 

It was a strange, pitiful sight, but the conduct of the prisoners was 
enough to remove all feelings of pity in their behalf, and not one of the 
multitude of spectators expressed regret at the terrible death of these men 
win) had been savages in life and remained apparently defiant or careless to 
the end. 

THE FINAL SCENE. 

When all was ready, Major Brown, signal officer, beat three distinct 
taps upon the drum. At the third stroke, William J. Duly, of the mounted 
scouts (who lost three children during the massacre) cut the rope, the drop 
fell and thirty-eight savage murderers were launched into eternity. 

Some fears had been entertained as to the working of the drop, but it 
was successful. In a second all but one were suspended by the neck. The 
rope broke with >>ne, and he fell to the ground, but his neck had been broken 
in the jerk and fall, lie was instantly strung up again. The majority died 
easily, with scarcely a struggle. A few kicked savagely. We noticed two 
with clasped hands, remaining in the same position until cut down. Another 
old man nervously clutched fur the hand of the one adjoining, just before 
the drop fell. As the drop fell a loud huzza went up from the soldiers 
and spectators. 

Doctor- Seignorette and Finch were detailed to examine the bodies, and 
.ii'tc-r all signs of lite had disappeared, communicated the death of the 
prisoner- to the officer id' the day. The bodies were then taken down. 

Four teams were driven to the scaffold. The bodies were deposited in 
the wagons and an escort conveyed them to the place of burial. Companv 
K. under Captain Burk, without arms, acting as a burial party. The place 
of burial was the low Hat between Front street and the river, which was 
overgrown by swamp willows. The burial escort ami guard were under 
command of l.ieutenant-Colonel Marshall. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 369 

It was generally understood that the prisoners had made a confession 
to the Rev. Air. Riggs (the old Presbyterian missionary among the Indians). 
That gentleman has furnished reports of the conversation with them, but 
they are simply denials of the charges made at the trial before the military 
commission. Most of them acknowledged either to have been at the battles 
or present at some massacre, but said they only used tomahawks on those 
who had been killed by others, or they shot wide of the mark when com- 
pelled to shoot. They all seemed to indorse this sentiment : "Do not think 
that I killed anyone." But few Indians were present at the execution and 
not many half-breeds either. Among the number was one Winnebago chief 
(Baptiste), dressed in white men's clothes. He appeared deeply interested 
in all the proceedings, and hardly one movement escaped his notice. 

PENSIONERS OF THE SIOUX UPRISING. 

About 1902 the state of Minnesota passed an act by which all defend- 
ers at the time of the Indian massacre who were in any way injured or 
became afflicted by bodily ailment as a result of that war, subsequently, 
should receive a pension, which was fixed at twelve dollars per month. In 
many instances this small pension from the state has materially aided those 
who fought for their homes and families in 1862. 

DR. B. H. HAYNES' CONTRIBUTION. 

The files of the Plaindealer, published at St. James, has the following 
from the pen of Dr. Haynes, touching on the New Ulm massacre: 

John Kasberger tells of seeing his father shot by a skulking band of 
Indians on the afternoon of August 16, 1862, near New Ulm. A neighbor 
named Hanley had ridden by shortly before and gave the warning that the 
Indians were coming. The elder Air. Kasberger with a hired man and a 
yoke of oxen were engaged in stacking wheat. The warning was thought 
to be an idle rumor. A party of Indian'- approached the woods and fired 
a volley, killing Mr. Kasberger. They then fled. As they went they killed 
two hogs in a pen near the ambush. Mrs. Kasberger took her son of twelve 
years and a daughter of five, and securing some valuables hurried to New 
Ulm, two miles away. On their way to town they passed the still warm 
bodies of two people who had just been killed by the same band of Indians 
that had killed Mr. Kasberger. The Indians began their attack that even- 
(24) 



370 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MI. XX. 

ing on New Ulm. At the end of three days, soldiers arrived from Ft. 
Snelling and the Indians withdrew. 

The relator of this story, it is said, was the first white child born in 
the present limits of Brown county. His sister, now Airs. Edman Rice, 
resides at St. Paul. An Indian named White Pigeon, warned Airs. Kas- 
berger several days before the massacre; she supposed the warning was false 
and only the result of too much "firewater." The same warning was given 
to another white woman by the Indians and with the same results. White 
Pigeon fought with the Indians against the whites and was finally killed in 
battle. 

INDIANS' LAST RAID HERE. 

In the spring of 1864 the Indians made another raid into this section 
and it was during this raid that Ole Boxrud was killed. There were some 
troops stationed at Ole Jorgenson's house, and Boxrud undertook to go there 
one evening to notify them that there were signs of the presence of Indians 
in the neighborhood. On the way he was attacked by Indians and shot in 
the back with an arrow which lodged between the joints of the vertebrae, 
causing his death. This was the last visit of the Indians in Watonwan 
county. The settlers who had fled before the tomahawk and the torch 
returned to their homes, and others soon came in to join them in the work 
of building up the country by peaceful industry, undisturbed by the war- 
whoop of the red man. 

[NDIANS AXD THEIR PECULIAR CUSTOMS. 

before the whites took possession of this part of Minnesota, it was the 
home of the Indian. More especially will the reader of this volume lie 
interested in knowing something concerning the tribes which lived here and 
took part in the great uprising of 1862. Those Indians all belonged to the 
Sioux or Dakota tribe. Those were divided into four great sub-divisions — 
Medawakonton, Wahpekuta, Wnhpeton and Sisseton, and occupied a large 
territory wesl of the Mississippi; from the borders of Iowa along the Missis- 
sippi, up to the Minnesota, and stretching into the "Land of the Dakotas." 
One well posted ill the customs and habits of these particular Indians 
wrote of them before Watonwan county was ever visited by its first settlers 
in this fashion: 

They are. like most of the Indian tribes, of great bodily strength, a 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 37I 

slim and pleasing stature, and remarkable for their shrewdness and deceit. 
Their features are rather long, and the)- have dark, but not repulsive, com- 
plexions. They are continually wandering about, and consequently use for 
means of subsistence whatever Nature affords them. Fishing and hunting 
are their principal means of support. In the spring of the year they often 
make sugar and syrup from the juice of the maple and other trees, and dur- 
ing the summer they gather wild rice and berries. This work is done by 
the squaws. The Indian regards his wife as a slave, and he thinks it beneath 
his dignity to do hard work. When they travel, the women not only carry 
the papooses and baggage, but also lead the beasts of burden, which in the 
absence of a wagon or sled, carry the tepee, etc., upon their backs. He often 
compels her, though weighed down under a heavy burden, to carry even his 
gun, so that he can trot along with greater ease. When they find a place 
where fuel and water are convenient, or where hunting is good, the women 
will have to go to work and set up the tepee and bring in whatever is neces- 
sarv except the game which he provides. A few so-called civilized Indians 
till the soil, but they seldom raise anything except corn and potatoes. These 
dress like the whites and they were formerly supplied by the government 
with farming implements, horses and cattle, etc. They are very proud of 
the dress of the whites, which in their case often consists of merely a high 
hat and a shirt. They are generally despised, however, by the real Indians, 
who treat every kind of head-dress with contempt except their own peculiar 
one, and whose only covering consists of a woolen blanket or a buffalo robe; 
and thev live in tents or tepees. These prefer to dress gaylv, cover them- 
selves with all manner of trumpery and fold the skin of an animal around 
their body so as to look as much as possible like the animal itself. In sum- 
mer thev appear mostly in Adam's costume, with the additional gun and 
a pipe 

THE VERSATILE INDIAN. 

Their arms are bows and arrows, guns, knives and a sort of hatchet 
called a tomahawk. Their necessaries of life are very few and simple. 
They never wash their meat and seem to have a dislike for all water except 
fire-water (whisky). Still, they admire a clean white shirt very much. A 
kettle, a few pots and the skins of animals compose all their furniture, and 
thev eat their food, especially meat, half raw and devour even the entrails 
raw. Their appetite is prodigious. Whenever they obtain anything palat- 



3J2 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

able they eat, and eat without regard to their real needs or the coming day. 
Hence, it not un frequently happens that they are compelled to fast for days 
at a time. They are not much troubled with any disease except small-pox 
and their medicine men have in vain tried by all manner of sorceries and 
star-gazing exorcisms to banish the dreadful visitor. A cripple, lame, or 
deaf and dumb is seldom found. They love their ponies and keep a large 
number, if at all possible. But during the winter they lose a good many 
because in their improvidence they do not save any hay and having no barns 
or shelter for them the ]K>or creatures perish from cold and starvation. 
They believe in a Great Spirit, Manitou, and hold a great deal of ceremony 
over their dead, but hang them up on a post exposed to the sun until they 
are dried up. Their romantic life, their fidelity, their friendship and strength 
of character, which some writers tell us about, make very pleasant senti- 
mental reading — that is all. The Indian is always serious, seldom laughs 
or jokes and is an uncomfortable and mistrustful companion. He under- 
stands begging above all things. He never forgets an offense, but is very 
apt to forget acts of kindness, for which the year 1862 furnished ample 
proof. With the Indians revenge is a virtue. They practice polygamy. 
Their hospitality, however, is worthy of all praise. The stranger receives 
the best pelt for his bed and the host keeps up a warm fire with his own 
hands if the paleface happens to remain in his tent over night, during winter. 
If you have never had an opportunity to see an Indian you may look 
at a gipsy; there is a great similarity between them; many of them show 
real .artistic taste in the making of trinkets. They are skillful in the use of 
arms, keen in the chase and relentless in pursuing an enemy; love noisy 
musical instruments and they dance after their own fashion. Their natural 
senses are sharp and more fully developed than those of the whites. They 
are cruel in war and prefer deceit and strategem to an open battle. After 
.1 fight they scalp their dead enemies before they think of carrying off their 
booty; for they take great pride in taking a large number of scalps, because 
tin \ indicate the number id enemies they have killed; they ornament their 
heads with feathers which they consider "wakan" (holy). They can endure 
more hardships than the whites and are wonderful runners, many of them 
being able to overtake a swift horse. In hiding their feelings and in self- 
control they can do wonders. 'They suffer pain with stolid indifference and 
their wounds heal quickly. To leave one of their dead in the hands of the 
enemy is looked upon as foreboding evil and the greatest ignominy that could 
happen to them, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 373 

INCIDENTS CONNECTED WITH THE INDIAN WAR. 

In September or October, 1862, a war party of Sioux Indians attacked 
the white settlements north of Grogan, near Ft. Wilkin. Here they killed a 
woman named Peterson and captured two of her children, a small boy and 
a girl of eighteen years. They also killed a man named Person and cap- 
tured his little boy. The three children were afterward traded to friendly 
Indians for ammunition. They were later returned to their friends by 
soldiers who had captured the Indians. News of the presence of Indians 
was soon brought to the Rosendale settlement. A messenger went from the 
Jorgenson farm to Madelia, to give the alarm. The Rosendale settlement 
lay along the river east of St. James, and comprised the following families: 
.Mrs. Mariah Torsen, Herman Madson, Knute Larson, Halvar Knudson, 
Mads Boxrude, Hans Peterson, Otto Jenson and Ole Jorgenson. 

After sending the warning to Madelia, Mr. Jorgenson mounted a horse 
and went to warn the settlers. At the William Knaak farm, then occupied 
by the Torson family, he completed his round, and in company with Knute 
Knudson, then fourteen years of age, recrossed the river on foot, going 
northeast about forty rods to catch three loose horses belonging to Mr. 
Larson. He had seen the horses at this point when he came to warn the 
family. On his return the horses were gone. He and Knute were walking 
in a cow-path down the east side of the river when they heard two shots in 
the direction of the Torson house. Knute looked about and saw an Indian 
running toward them from down the river. He warned Mr. Jorgenson 
and ran eastward into the tall grass and lay down. The Indian quickly 
fired, striking Mr. Jorgenson in the head. He fell unconscious. Another 
Indian came up and shot a bullet through the muscles of the left shoulder. 
This brought back consciousness. Mr. Jorgenson saw two Indians near, 
loading their guns. He got to his feet and walked away as rapidly as he 
could. The Indians slowly followed, stopping to look for the boy, Knute. 
They walked on either side of him. The face of one was painted red, and 
could be plainly seen as they passed. Knute heard them talking as they 
searched for him. Mr. Jorgenson walked up the river bluff, which is quite 
steep and about thirty feet high. When at the top and perhaps fifty yards 
from the Indians and Knute. he ran for a slough that was forty rods north. 
reached it and hid before the Indians knew that he was gone. They spent 
the remainder of the day trying to find him. He lay in the water with his 



374 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

head exposed. Toward midnight he left the water because of the cold and 
cut grass to cover himself. 

At the house the Indians made an attack, and the inmates, Mrs. Tor- 
son, her brother, Mr. Haroldson and George Knudson, ran to corn fields, 
George receiving a slight bullet wound in the flesh of one arm. While hid- 
ing from the Indians, Mrs. Torson had a good view of one of them. He 
was mounted on Mr. Jorgenson's horse and was riding about looking for 
their hiding place. He was an old acquaintance of the people of the settle- 
ment, who called him the "Beggar."' The Indians took what they wished 
from the house, including a double-barreled gun. They also captured four 
horses, but left a team of oxen attached to a rack wagon, untouched. This 
was the last seen of them. They, with their prisoners and an ox team, 
made a rapid march to the neighborhood of Granite Falls. 

At daybreak next morning Mr. Jorgenson started to go to Madelia. On 
the way he met soldiers. They surrounded him and prevented an attempt 
on his part to run away. They took him to a deserted house and found 
him food, then took him to Madelia. There his neighbor's daughter, Mary 
Larson, dressed his wounds and in a few weeks he was well, though both 
of his wounds were severe. 

While the Indians were wading about in an attempt to find Mr. Jor- 
genson in the slough, Knute crawled half a mile and there lay in the grass. 
Alter dark he traveled a mile farther, but then stopped for fear of becom- 
ing lost. At daybreak he again started for Madelia, where he soon arrived 
and was surprised to see Mr. Jorgenson still alive, brought in by the sol- 
diers. The others from the Torson farm arrived before he did. All the 
Rosendale settlers got safely to Madelia. 

Some time after this raid, at the request of Mr. Jorgenson, a squad 
ol from five to seven soldiers were quartered at his farm during the remain- 
der of the Indian trouble. This gave the Rosendale settlers a place of 
refuge near at hand. They lived most of the time at the Jorgenson farm 
for the next two or three years. There were frequent alarms, but the 
settlers stayed and held, this extreme frontier settlement to the end of the 
Indian trouble. Those now living in this county, who then lived in the 
Rosendale settlement are: Mice and ECnute Knudson and sister. Mrs. K. 
Heling; George Jorgenson and sisters; Mrs. A. O. Strommen, Mrs. Lewis 
Christopherson, Mrs. Tver Olson, Mrs. Hans Thompson, also John and 
Henry Madson, with their mother now over eighty years of age. 

Many of the old settlers will remember the Indian outbreak that took 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 375 

place in the Rosendale settlement in the spring of 1863. As has been men- 
tioned, the settlers had all moved into a house on the farm of Ole Jorgen- 
son, father of Mrs. A. O. Strommen, for mutual protection. The soldiers 
slept in a house not far from that of the settlers. The settlers were awak- 
ened about twelve o'clock at night by the barking of the dogs and upon 
rising and looking out the windows saw that the Indians had surrounded 
the house. A young man by the name of Ole Burkerude volunteered to go 
to die camp to wake the soldiers. He was advised not to attempt such a 
risk, but considering it best he started. The next morning his body was 
found horribly mutilated. Two rifle and two arrow wounds were found on 
the bodv. The remains were placed in a rude wooden box and buried on the 
Ole Jorgenson farm. It is thought that the soldiers were scared and did 
not come out to help the young man and that he was killed on his way back 
to the settlement. After ten or twelve years of almost constant searching 
the body was finally unearthed and was taken up by Knute Jorgenson, 
Henrv Motson and A. O. Strommen and placed in the Riverdale cemetery. 
Two arrow tips of steel were found lodged in his bones, one in the breast 
and one in the backbone. The young man was eighteen years of age at the 
time of his death and must be given credit for having great courage to go 
out alone and face such danger. 



CHAPTER III. 

THE FIRST SETTLEMENTS. 

The first settlement by white men in this county was in 1855, when 
H. B. Sherman, T. Fitch and J. N. Barker settled in the territory now 
known as Watonwan county. They each staked oft" a claim and made the 
first permanent settlement in the county. 

In 1856 the above pioneer band was added to by the arrival of C. M. 
Pomeroy, Elizabeth Olds, Ed. Taylor, Stephen P. Benjamin, John C. 
Sprague, James M. Hudson and Thomas Rutledge. (See township histories, 

EARLY DEEDS AND LAND TRANSFERS. 

The records of the register of deeds show the following early land 
transfers in Watonwan county : 

William Griffith to Thomas P. Thomas, June 12, 1S63, consideration, 
seven hundred dollars, for the southwest of the southeast quarter of section 
21, township 107, range 30, Madelia civil township. 

Theodore Leich to David Eeddor, for consideration of forty dollars, 
lot No. 5 in the southwest quarter of section 13, Madelia township, between 
the lakes and consisted of three acres. 

Henry Scholoman and wife to Luther E. Gove, July 1, 1864, land in 
section 9, Madelia township. 

Daniel Ruck and wife to Stephen G. Benjamin. June 6, 1864. south- 
east quarter of section 21, .Madelia township. 

D. Muck and wife, ('. W. Taylor, June 2, [864, in Madelia township. 
the northeasl quarter of section 21, 107, range 30, Madelia township. 

July H), [859, R. I. Sibley, executor of the will of the late Pan. Ion 
\\ . Sheppard, of Madelia, to John Travis, block Xo. 71, in the village of 
Madelia; consideration, six dollars. 



TIMBER CLAIMS. 



Under a wise provision of a Congressional act passed many years ago, 
there has come to stand in all of their beauty and value, many fine artificial 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MI XX. 377 

groves of timber within this county. "Tree claims," for a time, were more 
sought after out of the public domain here than were homesteads. The 
government gave the land, providing a certain number of trees were planted 
and found to be living at the end of five and eight years. Here the vari- 
eties were mostly confined to the rapid growing trees, such as willow, Cot- 
tonwood, soft maple, box elder ami walnut. The records of such timber 
culture tracts in this county, as shown in the register of deeds office, give 
the following list of such claims : 

United States to John McCarthy, claim Xo. 156, at the Worthington 
land office, granted for the northeast quarter of section 12. Antrim town- 
ship, March 12. 1886, signed by President Grover Cleveland. 

United States to John Weager, fn >m the Worthington land office, claim 
Xo. 236, for land in lots 9, 10 and 15. in section 6, Long Lake township — 
one hundred and sixty acres — granted by President Benjamin Harrison; 
signed April 17, 1890. 

The United States to Sylvester S. Sulem, tree claim Xo. 63, from the 
Worthington land office, was granted by President Benjamin Harrison, 
July 30. 1880, and was laid on the northwest of the northwest quarter of 
section 6. in Odin township. 

The United States to Paul Schneller. claim Xo. 176, at the land office 
at Marshall, the same being on the southwest quarter of section 2, South 
Branch township. It was signed by President Benjamin Harrison, Xovem- 
ber 24. 1890. 

The United States to Merrell M. Clark, claim Xo. 306, at the Marshall 
land office, for land in the northwest of section 30, township 106, range 32 
west. It was signed by Benjamin Harrison, December 30, 1890. 

United States to E. R. West, claim Xo. 263, at the Worthington land 
office, for land in the southwest quarter >.\ section 12, township 105, range 
31. It wa- -igned by President Benjamin Harrison, July 15, [890. 

The United State- to William Koenig, claim No. }^J. al the Marshall 
land office, and called for land in the north half of the northeast quarter of 
section 6, town-hip 105. range 32. It was signed by President Benjamin 
Harrison, December t 5, 1890. 

The United States to heir- George W. Cory, deceased, at the Marshall 
land office, to a claim on the southeast quarter of the southeast quarter of 
section 34. township 105. range 31. the same being issued and signed by 
President Benjamin Harrison. December 13, 1890. 

The United State- to George H. Herrick. a claim to the southeast 



378 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

quarter of the southwest quarter of section 20, township 10G, range 31 
west, from the land office at .Marshall, and issued by President Grover 
Cleveland, August 8, 1893. This claim is No. 0,03. 

The United States to Albert D. King, at the Marshall land office, 
claim to the west half of the southwest quarter of section 32, township 
10O, range 32 west, issued and signed by President Grover Cleveland, De- 
cember 15, [894, and bearing No. 1,147. 

The United States to Gerhard Penner, a claim to the southwest quar- 
ter of section 4. township 106, range 433 west, issued from the land office 
at Marshall, and signed by President Benjamin Harrison; No. 608, and 
date of issue. April 17. 1892. 

The United States to John Johnson, claim No. 739, at the Marshall 
land office, issued by President Benjamin Harrison, and signed on Septem- 
ber 2, (892, the timber claim being situated in lot 5, township 107. range 

33 we st 

The United Slates to Frank Fowler, from the Tracy land office, claim 
No. 143, to the south half of the northwest quarter of section 8, township 
106, range 31 west, was signed by President Benjamin Harrison, and dated 
March 25, 1890. 

The United States to Jens Olson 1 lereid for claim No. 89, to lands in 
the south half of the southeast quarter of section 8, township 105, range 
32 west, issued by President Chester A. Arthur, and signed November 13, 
1884, the same being entered at the Worthington land office. 

The United States to Daniel I. Hudson, a claim numbered 1,264. for 
the southeast quarter of section 26, township 105, range 31 west, at the 
Marshall land office. It was issued and signed by President William Mc- 
Kinley, May 3, iS<)7- 

The United States to Mark II. McDonough, for claim No. 1,319, at 
the Marshall land office, for the south halt of the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 32. township 107, range 33 west. This was issued and signed by 
President William McKinley, April 6, [893, 

The United States to John P.isbee, claim No. 784. for the north half 
of the southeast quarter of section 14, township 106, range 30 west. This 
was issued b\ President Benjamin Harrison, December 20. 1892. 

The lulled Slate- to John ('. West, claim No. 1,368, at the Marshall 
land office, for the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 
10. township 105, range 31 west, issued by President William McKinlev, 
and signed by him June 22, 1899. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 379 

SCHOOL LANDS PURCHASED. 

Many of the later settlers in Watonwan county took advantage of the 
state school lands, which had been set apart by the government when Min- 
nesota was yet a territory, for school purposes, and held to be parceled out 
by the territory and state of Minnesota, at will. These lands usually sold 
for about five to seven dollars an acre and the purchaser was given as long 
as twenty years in which to pay for the same. Hundreds of such tracts 
were taken up in this county, the money when paid in going to the school 
fund. These lands, according to the provision of Congress, included every 
sixteenth and thirty-sixth section in the townships of the state. The books 
of the register of deeds in this county disclose the fact that one hundred 
and sixty-three tracts of school lands, of greater or less acreage, were sold, 
the record of such transactions being found in the record book in which 
such transactions are usually kept. These patents are all signed by the gov- 
ernor of the state. 

EARLY MISCELLANEOUS DEEDS. 

Among the earlier deeds made in this county may be found recorded 
these: John Kirk to Bernard O. Hempffer, June 4, 1861, sections 18 and 
19, of township 105, range 31 west. 

Anion K. Dohl and wife to S. N. Oleson, November 1, 1861, the north- 
west half of the northwest quarter of section 29, township 107, range 30 
west, for seventy dollars consideration. 

Archibald Armstrong to John Armstrong, December 28, 1861, for four 
hundred and fifty dollars, the south half of the southeast quarter of section 
1, and the north half of the northeast quarter of section 12, township 107, 
range 31 west. 

G. W. Lamberton to C. M. Pomeroy, April 10, 1861, section 26, town- 
ship 107, range 30 west. 

John C. Sprague and wife to It. I'. Gilbert, April 23, 1862, the south- 
east quarter of section 28, township 107, range 30 west. 

SETTLEMENT NOTES. 

The early settlement of this county was effected, as has been observed 
by the foregoing statements, first in and around the village of Madelia, the 
first seat of justice in the county, where there was a good stream and water 



3S0 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

power, timber, etc., to begin development with. First, lands were entered 
at government prices ; next came the chance to secure homesteads and tree 
claims of the government; then the state school lands came into market, as 
did the thousands of acres of railroad land. Not until the advent of the 
railroad did the county settle up thickly in all townships, but it was confined 
to lands near the eastern part, around streams and lakes. 

The Scandinavian people were the first foreigners to come in great 
numbers for the purpose of settlement. 

FIRST SETTLERS IN WATONWAN COUNTY. 

The northern part of Watonwan county was first settled by Germans, 
Norwegians and Swedes; the central part by Americans, coming from In- 
diana and Wisconsin, and the Irish. The Scandinavians at this time were 
newcomer- to this country. There were no schools or churches, but as soon 
as the new settlers got started, especially the Scandinavians, they estab- 
lished schools and churches of their own. The first settlers in St. James 
were the Norwegians and Catholics. The township of Adrian was first 
settled by the Germans. When a school was established in these townships 
the building was usually a sod shanty and the school term ran three months. 
The first teachers were all men, as the hardships and the responsibilities were 
too much tor women. Air. H. H. Higgins was one of the first school teach- 
ers in the count}-. Me taught in Adrian for two years, after which he was 
elected sheriff of Watonwan county. George Knutzen was one of the first 
teachers at Madelia. Afterwards he was elected county auditor and served 
in this capacity for twent} years. Thomas Thurston had charge of the 
schools in Riverdale and Olsendale townships for several years, after which 
he was elected to the office of county recorder and served for twenty years. 
After serving their times in the county offices, both Knutzen and Thurston 
wire elected to the state Legislature. The reason these men could not stay 
in the teaching profession was because of the low wages. The salary was 
onl) about twenty-live dollars per month. Hoard and room cost them one 
di illar per wei k, 

The lir-i store in St. James was owned by E. K. McLean. lie hauled 

his first load of g 1- from Madelia with an ox team. The first hotel was 

the St. fames. The building stood where the Boston Motel stands today. 
and was owned b) the railroad and run by Captain Meyer. About ten years 
aftei the building was sold to Air. Gibbs, who added to and remodeled the 
structure into its present form. 



CHAPTER IV 

ORGANIZATION AXD COUNTY GOVERNMENT. 

Watonwan county was organized in April, 1S61, but it had really 
been created by act of the Minnesota Legislature, dated February 25, i860, 
which act also fixed the county seat at Madelia. It is situated in the center 
of the second tier of counties north of the Iowa line. The first county 
commissioners were: J. F. Ferber, C. M. Pomeroy and Ole Jargenson; 
these were by appointment, and at the election held in the fall of 1861, the 
following officers were duly elected, the election being held at Madelia : 
John Travis, probate judge; John Chase, sheriff; Charles G. Mullen, audi- 
tor; C. M. Pomeroy, treasurer; Joseph Flanders, recorder of deeds; Daniel 
Bush, county attorney; Notts Jenson, coroner; Salvor Torgenson, Lewis 
Varwick and Thomas Rutledge, county commissioners. 

The county derived its name from a civil township by that name, in 
Blue Earth county, when that county and Watonwan were all in one, thus, 
"'Watonwan township, Blue Earth county, Minnesota," became Watonwan 
county, Minnesota. This whole territory at one time belonged to Brown 
county, and extended as far south as the mouth of the Big Sioux river, at 
Sioux City, Iowa, and west bounds without limit, almost. But with the 
settling of southern Minnesota, count}- after county was cut off and made 
separate sub-divisions of the state. The name Watonwan is Indian dialect. 
The Watonwan river was perhaps the first natural object within this county 
that was known by the word. 

The area of the county is four hundred and thirty-five and forty-five 
one hundredths square miles, or two hundred and seventy-eight thousand 
six hundred and eighty-nine acres, of which two hundred and seventy-seven 
thousand are land and sixteen hundred and thirty-eight acres are water. 
The land surface is divided into twelve hundred and sixty-nine farms. 

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS' PROCEEDINGS. 

On February 13, 1861, appears the first entry in Book "A" of commis- 
sioner's records for Watonwan county: "The commissioners met at the 
house of J. F. Furber at ten o'clock in the forenoon the thirteenth day of 



382 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

February, 186 1, for the purpose of electing county officers for Watonwan 
county, whereupon J. F. Furber was elected chairman and N. Jensen, clerk, 
pro tem; after being duly qualified they proceeded to ballot for county 
auditor. H. P. Gilbert received a majority and was declared elected auditor. 

"For recorder of deeds J. L. Taylor received a majority and was de- 
clared elected. For county treasurer, B. O. Rampfer received a rhajority 
and was declared elected treasurer. For judge of probate, J. Flanders, 
•having received a majority of the votes, was duly declared elected. For 
sheriff, C. G. Mullen, receiving the largest number of votes, was declared 
elected. For coroner, Caleb Leavitt received a majority of the votes cast 
and was declared elected. For county surveyor, J. Leavitt having received 
a majority of the votes cast, was declared elected. 

"( )n motion of C. M. Pomeroy the board adjourned to meet at the 
house of H. P. Gilbert, on Saturday, the 16th day of February, 1861. 

"(Signed) Notto Jensen, Clerk, pro tem. 

"I hereby certify that this is an exact copy of the original minutes. 

"C. G. Mult. f.n. County Auditor." 

The commissioners failed to meet on the 16th of February, but did 
assemble on March 26th at the house of H. P. Gilbert. The first act in a 
business sense was t< > fix the salary of the county auditor, the same being 
placed at thirty-five dollars per year. 

il. P. Gilbert was called in pursuance of his appointment and qualified 
as county auditor. At the afternoon session Joseph Flanders and B. O. 
Rempfer failing to appear and qualify, the hoard proceeded to fill the va- 
cancies for the offices of probate judge and county treasurer, respectively. 
The first ballot for county treasurer resulted unanimously in the choice of 
C. G. Mullen, and Ins appointment for the office of sheriff was then changed 
for that of treasurer of the county and he duly qualified according to law. 
Notto Jensen was then balloted for as judge of probate and received 
1 > vote of the commissioners, and was declared elected that office. He 
then came in and was qualified according to law. 

Jonathan Leavitt was ballotted for as sheriff and received a unanimous 
vote "i tin- commissioners present and was declared elected and immediately 
qualified acci irding to law. 

These minutes were taken down on loose slips of paper, but were cer- 
tified I- later in book form and signed as follows: 

"1 hereb) certify that this is an exact copy of the original as recorded 
by Auditor ( lilberl of that date. 

"(Signed) C. G. Mullen, County Auditor." 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 7,8^ 

Session of September 3, 1861 : On motion of J. T. Furber, C. M. 
Pomeroy was chosen chairman of the commissioner's board. The follow- 
ing oaths were then administered by the clerk of the hoard, H. P. Gilbert: 
"To J. T. Furber. C". M. Pomeroy and Ole Jorgensen, you solemnly swear 
that you will faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the hoard 
of equalization of taxes in and for the county of Watonwan county, accord- 
ing to the best of your ability — so help you, God." 

The above oath was then administered to the clerk (H. P. Gilbert) by 
C. M. Pomeroy (justice of the peace), whereupon the hoard then pro- 
ceeded to regular business. 

FIRST BUSINESS OF COUNTY COMMISIONERs. 

The first business of the county commissioners, after having fully per- 
fected the organization of the board, was to look into the merits of an 
application of C. Leavitt & Company, who wanted the assessment on their 
mill property cut from nineteen hundred to twelve hundred dollars, and 
this was finally allowed. It was at this meeting that David Wilcox was 
appointed county attorney. Also in the matter of tax levy the board, on 
motion of C. M. Pomeroy, voted to raise three mills on the dollar to defray 
county expenses. On motion of Ole Jorgensen, a mill and three-fourths on 
the dollar was levied for township purposes. 

In January, 1862, the chairman of the commissioners' board was 
Thomas Rutledge. who was nominated by Louis Yorweek. The county 
auditor was ordered to send for all the books belonging to Watonwan 
county. It will be observed that the county had a small business to trans- 
act at that early date, for at the January meeting that year the commis- 
sioners issued an order to pay the county's expenses, which only amounted 
to thirty-five dollars and twenty-four cent-. The auditor's salary was then 
to pay for the needed books in which to record the business transactions, the 
fixed for the ensuing year at thirty-five dollars. It was resolved to appro- 
priate the first twenty-five dollars that came into the treasury of the county 
register of deeds needing the most of the books required. This became nec- 
essary, as the records of this county had to be transcribed from the books 
in Brown county, of which this county had formerly l>een a part. It ap- 
pears from the record that in January, 1862. the board authorized the 
county auditor to purchase two hundred dollars worth of record books for 
use of the auditor and treasurer. At the meeting held on January 15. [862, 
the auditor was ordered to purchase a seal for the county. Up to this time 



384 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

the proceedings of the county commissioner had been kept on loose sheets 
of paper for want of record books, but when the new books arrived these 
commissioners' records were carefully recorded as sworn to, being trans- 
cripts from such loose sheets. 

May, 1863. — The members of the board present were, H. P. Gilbert, 
H. Schwarble, Jens Torsen, with C. M. Mullen, clerk. Mr. Gilbert was 
chosen chairman. They proceeded to appoint a school superintendent for 
Madelia township in the person of C. G. Mullen. John Flanders was ap- 
pointed probate judge in place of J. Travis, who failed to qualify after he 
had been elected. The county auditor was authorized to write to the county 
auditor of Brown count}- to come and settle, as there was money belonging 
to Brown county here. 

MILITIA OFFICERS APPOINTED. 

On May 19, 1863, the county commissioners met for the purpose of 
appointing officers for the state militia. In balloting for captain, P. D. 
Rutledge received a majority of the votes. For first lieutenant, W. C. 
Farnesworth received the entire vote and was declared elected. For second 
lieutenant, Jens Torson was elected. Jens Torson and H. P. Gilbert were 
authorized to go after the guns, ammunition and accouterments for the 
military company. The day fixed for the meeting of the company was 
Thursday, June 4, 1863. 

October 5, [863. — At the meeting of the county commissioners on this 
date, there was a large amount of business relating to school and road 
districts; much of these items were in a tangled and unsatisfactory condi- 
tion and had to be adjusted as best they could be by the board. The pay- 
menl for county record books was brought Up but laid over for the reason 
that no taxes had been levied for that special purpose and the record says 
it wa deferred until "a more convenient season." 

At the same meeting claims against the county were audited as fol- 
lows: May 5, [863, Jens Torson, services as county commissioner, $2; 
Ma) 29, iN<'.^. one-half day organizing Watonwan county, $1; May 30, 
63, going after anus for state militia. $4; May 31, 1863, team for carry- 
ing arms. $2; June [9, one-half day presiding at election. Si; total. $10. 

Similar bills were presented and allowed to Henry Schwrables, C. G. 
Mullen and II. I'. Gilbert. At this session the county auditor handed in his 
resignation, but it was not accepted by the county commissioners. 

February 25, [864 This seem- to have been the next board meeting 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 385' 

after the one noted above. This time they met at the house of John 
Travis. J. L. Stark was appointed to till the vacancy occasioned by the 
resignation of the county auditor, and II. P. Gilbert was elected chairman 
of the commissioners. . 

A motion was made to allow a bounty of fifty dollars be paid to vol- 
unteers who had enlisted in the services of the United States since the 15th 
of December, 1863, in Watonwan county. Another motion was made to 
give a bounty of seventy-five dollars to volunteers who may enlist in the 
services of the United States and be credited to Watonwan county, Minne- 
sota, on or before March 5, 1864. 

Josiah L. Stark was appointed school examiner for that year at this 
session of the board of commissioners. The resignation of County Com- 
missioner Joseph Flanders was accepted and it was ordered that he be ap- 
pointed as county auditor until the next annual election. 

On August 13, 1864, a motion was made and passed as follows: "That 
provided enough would enlist to the credit of Watonwan county to free 
the county from the draft to be made on September 5, 1864, that a bounty 
of one hundred and fifty dollars be given." 

August 25. 1864 — Present, H. P. Gilbert and William Busser, and they 
passed an act striking out the conditions in an act passed August 13th and 
amending the act so as to read as follows : "That a bounty of one hundred 
and fifty dollars be paid anyone entering the service credited to Watonwan 
county." 

September, 1864 — Commissioners met at office of county auditor. 
Members present, H. P. Gilbert, J. T. Furber. At this session it was or- 
dered that the salary of the county auditor be fixed at fifty dollars per year. 
Ordered that a mill and a half tax be levied to pay for books purchased for 
the use of the county. Ordered to raise $650 to pay the county orders 
issued to the United States volunteers. 

February, 1865 — Members of the board present, H. P. Gilbert, J. T. 
Furber and Chandler Farnsworth. Not having the funds with which to pay 
for the county record books purchased in 1862, the bill had run until 1865 
at ten per cent, interest, making the bill when paid $99.19 instead of $77. 25, 
as originally invoiced at. The county auditor's salary was raised at this 
meeting to Si 75 per year, he to furnish his own stationery and postage. 

May 6, 1865 — Hoard of commissioners met and consisted of the fol- 
lowing members: Gilbert, Furber and Farnsworth. At this session Hart 
Montgomery was elected judge of probate. 
(25) 



3&6 COTTONWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

September, 1865 — At this session E. M. Sprague was appointed school 
examiner. A two-mill tax was levied at this meeting for county school pur- 
puses. Also a tax sufficient to raise $200 was levied with which to pur- 
chase bloodhounds for the county's use. 

January, 1866 — Members present: Bernard O. Kempfer (chairman), 
John C. Sprague and Torson C. Levey. Bonds were furnished by P. D. 
Rutledge, county surveyor. Hart Montgomery furnished his bonds as judge 
of probate and one from E. M. Sprague, as sheriff. Ordered that the 
bloodhounds belonging to the county be sold for whatever they will bring 
and the proceeds applied to the special dog tax. Ordered that the auditor's 
salary be raised to $200 per year, he to find all postage and stationery. 

June 26, 1866 — The countv commissioners were still meeting; at Ma- 
delia. Members present : Bernard O. Kempfer and John C. Sprague. They 
appointed Chancelor Farnsworth and A. J. Nicholson as appraisers of the 
school lands for and on behalf of the people of the county of Watonwan. 
January, 1S67 — The commissioners resolved to look into the poor ques- 
tion of the county, and finally appointed the county auditor as a committee 
to handle the relief for this class of citizens. 

At another meeting that month the members present were : Commis- 
sioners Kempfer, Levey and J. K. Webster. A petition was presented the 
board for the organization of a new civil township; also a remonstrance 
against such new organization. It was asked that such proposed town- 
ship be named Bloomington. The board agreed to leave this to Joseph 
Flanders and B. O. Kempfer. The township was ordered organized and 
the name was fixed as "York." This subsequently became Antrim town- 
ship. 

January, [868 — The commissioners who met were A. ]. Nicholson, 
Ole Howe and John K. Webster. Bonds of the various county officials 
were presented and accepted by the commissioners at this session. 

March, [868 — The board met and gave out the following financial 
Statement of Watonwan county as follows: Total amount of county fund, 
$214,12; special comity fund, $88.69; county poor fund, $131.63; total, 
$434.44. Liabilities, $232.25. Balance in favor of county, $202.19. 

In March, [868, township 105, ranges 32 and 33, was created into 
Long Lake civil township; also township 106, range 30, was created into 
\\ akefuld township. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 387 

TROUBLES OF A TREASURER. 

March, 1868 — In session the commissioners passed this resolution: 
"Resolved that the interests of the county require that the office of county 
treasurer shall be removed to the Yates building. Therefore, be it resolved 
that the county treasurer be instructed to remove his said office to the above 
mentioned place, and that the auditor serve a copy of the above resolution 
on the said county treasurer." At this meeting of the board it was ordered 
that eight copies of the Minnesota code be purchased for the use of Waton- 
wan county. 

April 15, 1868 — The proceedings show that County Treasurer G. W. 
Yates, who had been elected, failed to qualify in the legal time limit pro- 
vided, so the old county treasurer, Thomas Rutledge, refused to give up the 
office. The minutes show the following concerning this affair : "Resolved, 
that the interests of the county require that Thomas Rutledge, county 
treasurer, should give additional bonds and that the auditor be instructed 
to serve a copy of these resolutions on said county treasurer." On motion 
this resolution was adopted at a special session on April 15, 186S: "Be it 
resolved that we recognize George W. Yates as the rightful and legally 
qualified treasurer of Watonwan county. And furthermore, that we de- 
nounce and disapprove of the willful attempt of Thomas Rutledge, late 
treasurer, to retain possession of the books and papers and moneys pertain- 
ing to said office, against the express will of the people of Watonwan 
county, and the manifest injury of said George W. Yates and in opposition 
to law and justice. And furthermore, to save time and expenses convening 
another special session of the hoard to appoint to fill vacancy, be it resolved, 
that if, by any technical construction of law, the said G. W. Yates be not 
entitled to such office of county treasurer — then the office is vacant and to 
fill such vacancy we do hereby by the power vested in us by the statutes in 
such cases provided, as board of county commissioners of Watonwan 
county, appoint G. W. Yates to fill such vacancy and that Thomas Rutledge 
be requested to immediately transfer to him all books, papers and moneys, 
etc., belonging to this county of Watonwan as pertaining to the office of 
county treasurer." 

September, 1868 — At the session of the board of county commission- 
ers, the name of "Wakefield" township be changed to "Fieldon." At this 
meeting, under a new state law, the county commissioners organized three 
commissioners' districts in this county. Madelia township was to be dis- 



388 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

trict No. 1 : Antrim and Fieldon in district No. 2; and Long Lake township 
in district No. 3. 

January, [869 — A new civil township, known as "Drewsville," was 
created out of congressional township 105, range 31. This was later changed 
to South Branch. At this session of the board the commissioners ordered 
the construction of a home-wood ferry-boat for the Watonwan river at the 
village of Madelia. The same was not to exceed in cost two hundred dol- 
lars. A seven-mill tax was levied at this time, to be payable in 1870, for 
the purpose of building county offices. 

November, 1869 — The board organized a new civil township out of 
congressional township 107, range 33, and on petition of George A. Brad- 
ford it was called "Riverdale." Bonds of the various county officers were 
approved at this session. 

January. 1870 — The commissioners fixed the ferry-boat fees at Ma- 
delia at: Passengers on foot, five cents each way; teams, ten cents each 
way, if living in the county; teams outside the county to be charged twenty- 
five cents. 

.March, 1870 — The board of commissioners created the civil township 
of "St. James." It constituted congressional township 106, ranges 32 and 
33. At the same session of the board of commissioners, the register of 
deeds was authorized to procure of the St. Paul Pioneer Press Company, a 
deed record hook at a cost not exceeding twenty dollars. The county 
auditor was also given authority by the commissioners to procure a fire- 
proo! safe for the county, providing the expense did not exceed four hun- 
dred and fifty dollars. At this session the board made the following public 
statemenl of the county's linnace- : 

RESOURCES. 

Cadi on hand March S, 1869 $ 223.73 

Amount collected for year 920.09 

Total $1,143.82 

DISBTRSKMENTS. 

Abatements of tax collections $ 1.60 

Redeemed county orders 79 1 -/ 2 

1 ount) treasurer's fees 41.88 

Tax receipts : 2.50 

Total $ 837.70 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 389 

ASSETS. 

Cash on hand $ 306.12 

Amount due on duplicates of 1869 631.68 

Amount due on duplicates of 1868 I2 9-57 

Amount due on duplicates of 1867 i5-° 2 

Amount due on duplicates of 1866 2.60 

Total $ 984-99 

Liabilities in outstanding orders 794-9 2 

Assets over liabilities $ 190.07 

At the August term in 1870, the bill of Doctor Stoddard for medical 
fees for the month of July was twenty dollars and it was ordered paid from 
the poor fund. 

Septeml>er, 1870 — The commissioners created the civil township of 
North Branch, out of congressional township 107, ranges 32 and 5^, from 
the west portion of Riverdale township. Later in the same month the name 
was changed by the commissioners to "Dexter." It was at this meeting 
that the official bonds of the various newly elected county officers were ap- 
proved by the board. 

March, 1871 — The board present consisted of the following mem- 
bers: H. Morrill, William S. Addsmond and Morris Bradford. At this 
session the commissioners made a new civil township, "Springfield," out of 
congressional township 106, range 31, and in April, that year, it was changed 
to "Rosendale." 

June, 1871 — The commissioners made Adrian township out of con- 
gressional township 107, range 33, and the first election was to be held on 
Julv 13, 1871, at the house of Volney DeWitt. County officers' bonds that 
had not already been approved by the county board, were attended to at this 
session. 

Tanuarv, 1872 — Other county officers' bonds were approved by the 
board at this meeting and a new township created out of congressional 
township 106, range t,t„ the same being named Butterfield. Also another 
made out of town-hip 105, range 33, and styled Odin. 

The commissioners that year were Messrs. Morrill, Bradford and Pick- 
ler. The records disclose hut little of general interest in the business trans- 
acted that year, outside the usual routine of school and road affairs. The 
same was true of the year 1873. 



39° COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

January, 1874 — With the meeting of the county board in 1874 we find 
Commissioners Morrill, Lambert, Toothaker, Marvin and Pona present. 
They proceeded to approve of the bonds furnished by the various newly 
elected county officers. A resolution regarding mixing in the "county seat 
fight" reads as follows: "Resolved, We will not defend the county seat 
contest at the expense of the county." They also ordered a supply of wood 
for county use, not to exceed twenty-five dollars in value. The exhibit 
made at that date of the county's financial condition showed cash on hand, 
February 28. 1S73, $55.51; county orders redeemed during the year ending 
March 1, 1874, $2,662.01; cash on hand, February 28, 1874, $14.76; assets 
for that date, $5,174.61; liabilities, at that date, over assets, $3,065.74. 

In 1874 the valuation of assessed property was given out by the board 
td amount to $582,518. The total number of persons assessed in the county 
was eight hundred and forty-five. Six mills on the dollar on all property 
was levied for general county purposes. In the autumn of 1874 the board 
of county commissioners appropriated money with which to purchase two 
hundred bushels of corn, or its equivalent in corn meal, for the unfortunate 
poor of Watonwan county. 

January, 1875 — At the commissioners' meeting in the first week of 
this year, the commissioners were Messrs. Morrill, Lambert, Toothaker, 
( orbin, Mellgren. The county treasurer gave bonds amounting to twelve 
thousand dollars. Another resolution of this month's session was as fol- 
lows: "Whereas, we have reason to believe that there will be a small 
amount of business liable to come before the district court at the term to 
be held in Watonwan county next February; therefore, in view of the 
destitution of the people by reason of the grasshopper raid, be it resolved 
that the judge of the said court adjourn the term for one year. 

"(Signed) Joseph Flanders, County Auditor." 

March, 1875 — The minute book of the commissioners and county audi-. 
tor has tin- entry about the date just given: "The annual session of the 
board of county commissioners, which should have been held this day, went 
by default in consequence of a fearful snow storm, so much so that there 
was no one of the commissioners present." 

Jul\. [875- The commissioners sitting as a board of equalization in 
tins session gave out the following as the assessed valuations to obtain dur- 
ing that year: Class N T 0. 1 — Horses under three years of age. twenty dol- 
lars; horse- ovet three years of age, fifty dollars. Class No. 2— Cattle 
under two years of age, five dollars; cow- over two years of age. twelve 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 39I 

dollars: other cattle, eighteen dollars. Class No. 3 — Mules, fifty dollars. 
Class No. 4 — Sheep, per head, one dollar. Class No. 5 — Hogs, per head, 
two dollars and sixty cents. Class No. 6 — Wagons and carriages, twenty 
dollars. Class No. 7 — Sewing or knitting machines, twenty-five dollars. 
Class No. 8 — Watches and clocks, three and a halt dollars. Class No. 9 — 
Organs and melodians, fifty dollars. Class No. 10 — Pianos, one hundred 
dollars. Class No. 30 — "Homestead property." in Long Lake, South Branch, 
St. James. Riverdale, Rosendale, Antrim and Fieldon, at $1.75 per acre; in 
Odin, Butterfield, Adrian and Nelson, at $1.50 per acre. 

At a further meeting, July, 1875, the board of county commissioners 
offered a reward of fifty dollars for the detection and final conviction of 
any person who should set a prairie fire between July, 1875, an ^ July, 1876. 

January, 1876 — At a meeting of the board at this date the members 
were as follow : Messrs. Corbin, Toothaker, Mellgren, John Burns and 
Theodore Lambert. They approved the bonds of newly-elected county 
officials and selected a "county paper," in which contest the Record was 
successful. But it is found that in June this act was rescinded and the 
Madelia Times was made the official newspaper of Watonwan county. That 
vear the delinquent tax list was published in the Madelia Times at five 
cents a description, and this made the amount of fifty-three dollars for the 
year. 

The general county fund called for four thousand dollars in 1876; 
also one mill per dollar for general school fund purposes. The proceedings 
show that there was a balance on hand December 25, 1876, of $1,303.07, 
and assets and liabilities amounting to $8,320.97. 

March. 1877 — This was the period in which state and county aid had 
to be rendered those who lost everything by reason of the grasshopper 
scourge. The minutes of the commissioners show that seventy-odd persons 
received seed grain under a special act of the .Minnesota Legislature. 

COUNTY EXPENSES. 

The published list of county expenses in this county in 1877 was as 
follows: Salaries, $2,400; fees. $'.0; grand jury, $88; petit jury, $250; 
justice of peace expense, $50; report of births and deaths, $48; blank 
books and blanks, $200; miscellaneous items, $364. The total was $4,000. 
The general school fund was covered by a one-mill tax on the dollar, levied 
that year. 

That year this county received from the state, under the act of Febru- 



392 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 



ary, 1877, cash for the purchase of seed grain for the grasshopper sufferers 
to the amount of $798. The bill reads: "Bought five hundred and fifty- 
five bushels of wheat at $1.35 per bushel, equal to $749.25; freight on same 
to St. James, $16.65; loading car, $1.50; cash on hand not used, $3.00. The 
fees collected by the clerk of the district court in 1877 was $719; by the 
register of deeds, $424; by the sheriff, $426. 

MORE AID TO FARMERS. 



Jn February, 1878, the Minnesota Legislature passed an act for the 
immediate relief of farmers who were unable to secure seed grain in con- 
sequence of the grasshopper raid of 1877 through this section of the state. 
On March 5 the county commissioners of Watonwan county met to appor- 
tion out the seed grain purchased by the state for the farmers in this county. 
They each had to personally make a formal application and show their 
absolute needs before they could receive the coveted seed grain. This list 
of persons receiving seed is here inserted in the annals of the county, showing, 
as it does, to what straits the early settlers were put in the seventies. 
Many of the men and their descendants still live within the county and large 
numbers became well circumstanced after the county had settled up, after 
railroads had made their advent and after drought and grasshopper raids 
were things of the past. It should be understood that both wheat and oats 
were provided in amounts agreed upon by the destitute and the county 
board : 



Applicants. 

J. B. Backes - 25 

Martha Halvorson 30 

Ole Hanson 50 

John Carlson 25 

T. A. Johnson 15 

Nels Halvorson 30 

Cal. Halvorson 30 

Paul Halvorson 25 

John Olson 25 

John Paulson 20 

Martin Jargenson 15 

John Cole 22 

S. Johnson 10 

John Sjoi|uest 15 

John Swanson 15 

Jonas Lindquiat 30 

Hans Oleson 60 



Bushels 
Wheat. Oats. 
25 
5 
15 



1(1 
10 

5 
15 
20 



Applicants. 

John Johnson 

Peter Peterson, Sr. . 40 

Lewis Nelson 25 

Thorston Thorston 30 

Andrew Anderson 20 

August Carlson 16 

A. P. Anderson 10 

Erick Calson 30 

Andrew Erickson 30 

Martin Halvorson 

Peter Freeman 15 

Casper Anderson 20 

Swan Martin 20 

Swan Anderson 20 

Siver Oleson 30 

Andrew Knudson 10 

Christ Hanson 10 



Bushels 
Wheat. Oats. 

.. 20 



50 

5 

50 



16 

50 



10 
2 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 



393 



Bushels 
Applicants. Wheat. Oats. 

Chaney Beal 25 

Andrew Larson 30 6 

D. H. Forsyth 45 37 

Nels Anderson 10 

Andrew Johnson 15 

J. M. Swanson - 30 15 

Joel Parker 24 14 

W. H. Jenkins 18 

Conrad Shafer 15 

William Arnd 30 

P. A. Gustavson 15 15 

E. Lofgren 15 

P. A. Kinney 30 20 

Swan Englin 30 15 

John Herneman 120 40 

Charles Warner 10 

J. A. Peterson 20 

Jonas Nelson 15 

M. B. Foster 40 15 

Hans Anderson 20 

Pat Currey 45 

Fred Shumas 25 30 

Swan Nelson 20 

Lewis Nelson 18 5 

Martin Peterson 20 

Andrew Currey 28 

Andrew Swanson 15 

Rasmus Johnson 20 

A. E. Loper 37 

J. A. Lee 15 

James Hammil 50 

Tim Tirney 45 

P. D. Rutledge 45 45 

Elif Ebror 15 

N. A. Melick 30 35 

Andrew Anderson 40 20 

Nels Nelson 75 30 

Andrew Ordson 30 

Daniel Pedoin 20 25 

Martin Cain 25 

H. J. Juveland 25 

•John Skarpohl 30 10 

O. F. Birchard 40 

William Birchard 60 

Thomas McNamara 40 

C. C. Fisher 40 12 

Stephen Carney 25 

William Hackney 20 



Bushels 
Applicants. Wheat. Oats. 

J. D. Johnston 25 25 

L. S. Lewis 20 

Allen Rice 6 30 

J. Davison 25 15 

Joseph Rice 15 

C. C. Waste 25 

F. Peits 30 

James Gelaspie 75 

J. M. Travis 50 

William McMullen 20 

E. D. Miller 20 20 

Tim Larkins 30 

John Sullivan 20 

William S. James 20 

Henry Struss 40 40 

Robert Duvar 10 25 

William Sloan 20 

J. B. Rhoades 22 22 

B. A. Town 15 15 

Herman Halvorson 13 

Mike Gall 15 

John Folley 15 

Peter Rock 15 

H. H. Thompson 10 

Thor Thorson 20 zu 

Ed Hewitt 20 40 

John Colman 25 10 

Myron Curtis — 30 

William Barge 35 

Abner Denman 37 30 

Arthur Hart 20 25 

Hans Johnson 40 

Andrew Peterson 18 

A. A. Hovde 15 15 

H. J. Halvorson 15 10 

J. P. Anderson 15 10 

Swan Anderson 25 

J. F. Oleson 20 

N. T. Wethal 25 

H. L. Rud 10 is 

Peter Carlson 20 12 

A. A. Nass 13 

Fred Peterson 30 10 

O. S. Stenburg 20 

M. M. Munson 12 

C. O. Wagner 15 10 

Haivor Halvorson 18 

J. G. Butterfield 225 90 



394 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

The amount appropriated by the state of Minnesota for this county 
was $2,453.50, and this purchased 2,067 bushels of wheat and 860 bushels 
of oats. The average paid for wheat was $1.05, and for oats, 35' cents. 
The seed grain was all delivered at either St. James or Madelia stations. 

This donation on the part of the commonwealth enabled the farmers 
to sow and reap an abundant harvest in most cases. 

In 1895 this county donated grain, goods and cash to the sufferers in 
the Dakotas, Nebraska and Kansas, thus reciprocating for favors as above 
mentioned — they were only too glad to thus donate. 

RELOCATING THE COUNTY SEAT. 

Alter enjoying the county seat for thirteen years, Madelia commenced 
to fear that the seat of justice was to be taken from them to St. James. 
The following is a copy of the legislative bill enacted in 1874: 

Be it enacted by the Legislature of Minnesota: 

Section 1. That the county seat of the county of Watonwan, in the 
state of Minnesota, lie and the same is hereby removed from the village and 
town of Madelia, where it is now located in said county, to the village of 
St. James, in said county. 

Section 2. At the time of giving notice of the next general election it 
shall he the duty of the officers of said county of Watonwan required by 
law to give notice of said election, to give notice in like manner that at 
said election a vote will be taken on the question of adopting this act re- 
moving the county seat from the village and town of .Madelia to the said 
village of St. James, as provided in section 1 of this act; hut no failure or 
irregularity in such notice or in giving of such notice shall in any way 
vitiate the vote on such question. 

Section 3. At said election the electors of said county in favor of the 
removal of said county seat, as provided in the act shall have distinctly 
written or printed, <>r partly written and partly printed, on their ballots, 
"for removal of county seal," and those opposed to such removal, "Against 
removal oi county seal." and such ballots shall be received by the judges of 
election and canvassed at the same time ami in the same manner and re- 
turned i" the same office as votes for county officers. 

Section 4. The county canvassing hoard of said county to whom said 
election returns are made, shall canvass the votes on said question at the 

same time and in the same manner as returns of votes for count v officers, 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 395 

and if upon such canvass being made it shall appear that a majority of the 
electors of said county of Watonwan voted in favor of the adoption of this 
act and the removal of said county seat, an abstract of the canvass of said 
votes shall be made on one sheet signed and certified in the same manner 
as in case of abstracts of votes for the county officers and shall be deposited 
in the office of the county auditor of said county and said county auditor 
shall immediately thereafter transmit to the secretary of state a copy of said 
abstracts duly certified by said auditor. 

Section 5. If the act shall he adopted by a majority of the electors of 
said county of Watonwan, the governor shall forthwith make proclamation 
as provided by law in such cases and it is hereby made the duty of all 
officers who are required by law to hold their offices at the county seat to 
remove their offices, books and records to the new county seat at St. James 
within thirty days after the removal of said county seat as in this act pro- 
vided, without further notice, and any failure to remove said office shall 
operate as a forfeiture of their said offices. 

Section 6. Chapter 193 of special laws of 1873 and all acts or parts 
of acts inconsistent with this act are hereby repealed. 

Section 7. It shall lie lawful for the village authorities of said Madelia 
and St. James, and they are respectively hereby authorized, to appoint by 
certificate under their hand a proper person to attend such of the township 
and village boards and judges of election thereof in said county as they may 
deem necessary, who shall have authority and whose duty it shall be to 
witness the action of >ai<l township ami village hoards or judges of election 
in receiving and preparing the register of legal voters in either of the elec- 
tion districts of said county for the next general election and in concluding 
the next general election in either of said election districts, said person or 
persons appointed shall he sworn, and it shall he their duty to see that none 
but legal voters of said county are registered and allowed to vote at any of 
the several election districts of said county, and to use all lawful means in 
their power to prevent fraud or deceit thereat and cause to be prosecuted 
any and all persons found guilty of any fraud or deceit at any of the elec- 
tion districts; and it is hereby made the duty of the officers or judges of 
election of said election district to allow such persons so appointed to be 
present at the making of such registration lists or holding of such elections 
and to afford to them proper facilities to freely witness the same, and the 
canvass of the votes cast thereat ami the preparation and sealing of the 
official returns thereof and to make an abstract of the same it so desired, 
and the fact that any said persons so appointed shall he refused the rights 



396 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

and privileges herein granted by any board or judges of election shall be 
deemed prima facia evidence that the votes cast thereat upon the removal of 
said county seat are fraudulent and void. 

Section 8. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after 
it-- pa-sage, except as to section 1, which is to take effect from and after 
adoption of the same as provided herein. 

The following is a record of the votes cast by townships at the general 
election held in 1873 for the removal of the county seat: 

For. Against. For. Against. 

Adrian 42 Riverdale 19 39 

I'.ntterlield ^^ Rosendale $7 2 

Fieldon 2 153 St. James 312 1 

Long Lake 86 South Branch 5 

Madelia 795 

( Mm 7_' Total 603 995 

VOTE ON THE SAME QUESTION, 1 878. 

For. Against. For. Against. 

Adrian 56 Odin 78 

Antrim 4 65 Riverdale II 22 

Butterfield 23 Rosendale 27 1 

Fieldon 3 57 St. James 172 

Long Lake 78 South Branch 48 1 

Madelia 11 214 



6/ 



Nelson 83 11 Total 594 

At the board meeting of the county commissioners in October, 1878, 
the following proceedings were dealt with: 

"Whereas, the St. Paul & Sioux City Railroad Company has given a 
warranty tkt'<] in fee simple to the county commissioners of Watonwan 
county. Minnesota, of lots Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7. 8 and 9, in block 25, in the village 
"i St. James, for the use and purpose of said county, whenever the county 
seal is removed to St. James. Therefore, be it resolved that said deed be 
and is hereb) accepted and the sum of one dollar hereby appropriated out 
of the county fund t<> pay said railroad company as a consideration of said 
deed : 

"And. whereas, the trustees of the village <>f St James have executed 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 3Q7 

and delivered to the county commissioners of Watonwan county, Minne- 
sota, a lease of a certain building, situate on lots 5 and 6, in block 2^,, in the 
village of St. James, known as the "court house," for the use of the county 
for county purposes for the term of ninety-nine years, or as long as used 
by the county for the amount of one dollar, as rent for the same; 

''Therefore, be it resolved, that said lease be accepted and ratified, and 
the sum of one dollar is hereby appropriated out of the general fund, to be 
paid to the trustees of the village of St. James, as a consideration for said 
lease." 

THE COUNTY OFFICIAL PAPER. 

January session of 1879 — At this session of the board of county com- 
missioners they selected the Madelia Times as the official paper of Waton- 
wan county for the ensuing year. At the same meeting the commissioners 
appointed William R. Marvin as a committeeman to prepare plans and make 
estimates for a vault at the court house and report same at the next meeting 
of the board. The forty-first school district was set off at this meeting. 
The county auditor was instructed to insure the court house in the sum of 
one thousand dollars for one year. 

Parties at Madelia were granted a saloon license for twenty-five dollars 
at the same meeting. The school superintendent's salary was fixed at four 
hundred dollars a year. The St. James Journal and Madelia Times put in 
their bids for the county printing for the ensuing year. Sheriff James 
Glispin was allowed his bill for extra expense incurred in the capture of the 
famous bandits, the Younger brothers, of the Northfield bank robbery epi- 
sode. The bill was $54.55, and was vouched for by the county attorney. 
The official fees collected in this county in 1879 were: Clerk of the district 
court, $763; register of deeds, $613; sheriff, $722. 

March, 1881, session — The county commissioners appointed a commit- 
tee to superintend the construction of a tire-proof vault for the county's 
use. It was also ordered at that session that the block containing the court 
house in St. James be fenced; that the contract be awarded to James 
Faren at sixty dollars, he to furnish all material. 

County Treasurer M. K. Armstrong was on hand and gave bond in the 
sum of fifteen thousand dollars. lie was appointed to fill the vacancy 
created by the death of former Treasurer James Torson. 

Nothing of much note transpired during the year 1882. In 1883 the 
county board was composed of these gentlemen: Shillitto, Gove, Olson, 
Stenburg and Uhlhom. in July, 1883, County Treasurer M. E. Dunn was 



39§ COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

suspended by the order of the governor of Minnesota, after which the 
county commissioners appointed Andrew S. Mellgren as county treasurer. 
Treasurer Dunn was a defaulter and was exposed by the public examination 
of his records. The story of the record is about as follows: The bondsmen 
of M. E. Dunn, by their attorney, J. \Y. Seager, appeared before the board 
and offered to pay fifty per cent, of the actual defalcation of the said Dunn 
as county treasurer. 

The following resolution was offered : "Whereas, it appears that 
M. I*'.. Dunn, late treasurer of Watonwan county, is a defaulter on the 
general bond as treasurer to the amount of $5,889.37. and, whereas, the 
sureties on such bond have made a proposition to pay fifty per cent, of the 
actual defalcation, in consideration of being released from further liability 
on said bond; 

"Therefore, be it resolved, that such proposition be accepted and said 
bondsmen released from said bond on the payment of such fifty per cent. 
into the treasury of said county within thirty days from date, but such re- 
lease is not to prevent in any manner, the collection of the balance of such 
defalcation from said M. E. Dunn as such principal." 

The following resolution was then passed by the board: 

"Whereas, it appears that Martin E. Dunn, late treasurer of Waton- 
wan county, is charged with the sum of $5,889.37 in funds collected by him, 
as taxes as such treasurer, and that he has failed to make return and settle 
therefor as provided by law, and that he has absconded with said money 
so collected ; 

"Therefore, it is hereby ordered that the county auditor shall cause 
action to be instituted against said Martin E. Dunn, on the bond as such 
treasurer, to recover any sum that may be due thereon to said county." 
This resolution was unanimously adopted by the members of the board of 
c< mntj a >mmissi< mers. 

SALARIES AND BONDS. 

\t the meeting of the county commissioners, January 2, 1884, the 
members were: Messrs. Sbillitto, Olson, Stenburg, Uhlhorn and Fanning. 
At this meeting the following record appears concerning salaries and bonds 
For the several count) officers of Watonwan county: The county treasurer 
was to give binid^ in the sum of fifteen thousand dollars; the auditor of the 
county in the sum of five thousand dollars; the register of deeds in the sum 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 399 

of five thousand dollars ; the county attorney in the sum of one thousand 
dollars; clerk of the district court bonds in the sum of one thousand dollars; 
the coroner in the sum of one thousand dollars. 

The county attorney was to have a salary of three hundred dollars a 
year and the county superintendent of schools was to have four hundred 
and ten dollars, but this was changed in 1885 to ten dollars per school dis- 
trict in the county. 

In 1 88') the commissioners raised the liquor license in this county to 
seventy-five dollars. 

\t the board meeting. March, 1887, the county commissioners ap- 
pointed a committee to re-shingle the court house and to make needed re- 
pairs about the buildings. Thad. Kirk was appointed coroner by the board, 
July, 1887, and at his death, in July, the same year, they appointed Dr. 
James M. Smith to till the vacancy caused by his death. 

Nothing of general public interest transpired on the board of county 
commissioners during the years intervening between 1887 and 1891. 

HISTORY OF THE COURT HOUSES. 

The first court house in Watonwan county was located in the village of 
Madelia, on the lot just east of the Mutual Insurance building. The build- 
ing was a frame structure and rather pretentious for that time. The local 
attorneys had their offices in this building. Fire destroyed this building. 
Xo sooner had the building burned than the citizens of Madelia were plan- 
ning for another, because already they had fears lest in the near future the 
question of removal might come up. Joseph Flanders came to the rescue 
and built the brick building, now occupied by C. J. Fide, Lodes' Ideal Res- 
taurant. McGovern's electrical shop and the Independent Order of Odd 
Fellows, t" he used fur court house purposes. The text of the lease given 
by Mr. Flanders to the county commissioners is here produced in part: "I 
do hereby certify that on the 14th day of October, 1873, J. Flanders and 
Mary, his wife, made and executed and delivered to the commissioners of 
Watonwan county, Minnesota, a lease, in due and proper form wherein and 
whereby the said Flanders and wife conveyed to said commissioners and to 
their successors in office for the use of said county, the following described 
premises: One room on the lower floor of the brick building, now owned 
by said lessors and situated on lot 5, in block 3, in Flanders' Addition, town 
of Madelia, together with fireproof vault adjacent to and connected with 



400 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

said room; also the main hall in second story of said building, together with 
approaches, fixtures and privileges thereunto belonging, or in any wise ap- 
pertaining; to have and to hold the same unto the said commissioners and 
their successors in office for and during the full term of ten (10) years from 
and after the first day of November, 1873, or so long as the same may be 
needed for county purposes, not exceeding said term of ten year-." 

An editorial that appeared in the Madelia Times, 1875, says: "One 
of the evidences of the dictatorial spirit with which J. Flanders attempts to 
run this county, subservient to his arbitrary will, is evidenced by the manner 
in which he put the county offices out of possession of the rooms, whose use 
belongs to the count}-, and to no one else, for county purposes under a lease 
of ten years, or so long as it may be needed for said purposes, by the county 
seat remaining at this place. It is a shame and a disgrace that our county 
officers should lie even asked to vacate the apartments provided for them 
by the said lease, which was accepted by the county board and put on 
record, and be moved into another room, which is not well lighted, to suit 
the caprice of one dictating official, simply that he may use the room which 
rightfully belongs to the county, to accomplish selfish ends. Still worse 
than this, however, a part of the officers were not even requested to move, 
but without being consulted and in their absence, their desks, books and 
papers were removed." 

THE PRESENT COURT HOUSE. 

• On February 2, 1891, the first mention in the records of the county, 
concerning a new court house was made when the following resolution was 
passed by the county board : 

"Whereas, the building now used as a court house is inadequate and 
unsuitable for the transaction of the county's business and the safe keeping 
oi the county records; Therefore, Resolved, by the board of county commis- 
sioners of Watonwan county, Minnesota, that by virtue of the power con- 
ferred upon us by sections 86 and 1 10, chapter 8, of the General Assembly 
-1 [878, we proceed to build a new court house for said Watonwan count v. 

"Resolved, that our members in the Legislature are hereby requested to 
secure the passage of a law authorizing the issue of bonds of said county in 
the snni of thirty thousand dollars for the purpose of building a new court 
bouse. The question of such bonds t,, be submitted to a vote of the quali- 
fied iiect,,i. oi aid county at the annual election of the towns and villages 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 401 

to be held March 10th, 1891. The first of said bonds to become due five 
years after its issue aud to be paid at the rate of three thousand dollars per 
annum until all said bonds are paid off." 

The county commissioners in 1895 were as follow: Messrs. Crowley, 
Busser, Lindley, Swanson and Melheim. On March 4, 1895, this board of 
commissioners advertised for bids for the sale of thirty thousand dollars 
worth of county bonds for the erection of the new court house and ordered 
bonds, the same inserted in the newspapers, said bids to be opened on April 
15. that year. 

At the April session of the board in 1895, the following resolution was 
passed: Resolved, that we issue bonds as commissioners of Watonwan 
county in the sum of thirty thousand dollars, bearing five per cent, interest, 
payable as follows: Ten thousand dollars, five years from date of issue; 
ten thousand, ten years from date of issue; and ten thousand, fifteen 
years from date of issue. Bonds to be issued in denominations of one thou- 
sand dollars each and for the purpose of erecting and finishing a court 
house for the said county of Watonwan, Minnesota, under authority of 
chapter 476, of the special laws of the state of Minnesota, for the year 
1891. 

The board then proceeded to open and consider bids, as secured for the 
purchase of thirty thousand dollars in court house bonds, to be issued July 
I, 1895. Bids came in from all quarters of the country, as will be seen by 
the list of bidders given: Marion Lewis & Company, Chicago, $30,463; 
\\ . J. Hayes & Son, Cleveland, Ohio, $29,705 ; Campbell, Wild & Com- 
pany, Anderson, Indiana, $30,000: E. W. Peet & Company, St. Paul, 
$30,000: Z. T. Lewis, Dayton, Ohio, $30,325; Seymour Barto & Company, 
New York City, $30,431.51; George H. Marsh, Mankato, Minnesota, $10,- 
210, for the fifteen-year bonds, $10,150 for the ten-year bonds; Farson 
Leach & Company, Chicago, $30,150; Farmers' and Merchants' Savings 
Bank, Minneapolis, $31,261: J. 1 >. (leghorn & Company, Minneapolis, 
$30,947: X. \V. Harris & Company, Chicago, $30,790; First National Bank, 
St. Paul. $30,000; First National Bank, Chicago, $30,790; Trobridge & 
Company, < Chicago, $30,456. The board accepted the bid of the Farmers' 
and Merchants' Bank of Minneapolis, at $31,261. They then began the erec- 
tion of the new court house, as presented by fifteen or more architects and 
building firms. 

April r6, r 895 — The hoard met again to go over the plans and hear 
(26) 



402 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

from various architects their explanation of specifications. They continued 
meeting and adjourning until April 19, when it was moved and carried 
unanimously that the plans and specifications of H. C. Gerlock, of Mankato, 
be accepted, and that he he engaged to draw complete plans and specifica- 
tions for the new court house. About this date the commissioners selected 
five banks in the county as depositories for the county's funds. 

May 22, 1895 — Bids for building the court house opened. There were 
five firms from Mankato, one at St. James, seven from St. Paul and Min- 
nesota, one from Blue Earth City, one from Stillwater. These fifteen bids 
ranged from $30,700 to $43,700. 

May 23, 1805. — Resolved, That we, as the board of county commis- 
sioners of Watonwan county, do and hereby accept the bid of Klemschmidt 
Brothers, of Mankato. Minnesota, in the sum of $30,700, for the erection 
and construction of the new court house to be erected in the village of St. 
James, according to plans and specifications prepared by H. C. Gerlock, 
architect. The same day the county commissioners viewed the nineteen 
bids for furnishing the steam-heating plant, and finally selected the bid of 
the Pond and Hasey Company, of Minneapolis, which firm agreed to execute 
the work for the sum of $2,390. At the same session the board instructed 
the county auditor to notify different manufacturers that contracts would 
be let for the vault and steel work of the court house to be built, and that 
the bids would he viewed at the July session of the board, at St. James. 

July 11. 1805. — The board of commissioners let the contract for vaults 
to the new court house. They had four bidders and accepted the one made 
by the Specialty Manufacturing Company, of Rochester, Xew York, in the 
sum of $1,218.65, and this was to include all metal and steel fixtures, as 
per plans and specifications submitted. The bids for all office furniture and 
fixtures were opened from many companies. The board of commissioners 
took the bid at $2,029 of a Minneapolis firm, known as the Office and School 
Furniture Company. Thus far the contracts let for the building and fix- 
tures amounted to ^^C<.},,i,J, and early in 1896 the commissioners provided 
electric lights for the court house at an expense of S500. 

Von ON ' 01 i;i 1101 si: BOND [SSUE IX l8()_\ 

When the people of this county voted for the issuing of bonds with 
which to erect a new court house in i8o_, the sentiment was against such 
measure, as is -ecu by the following vote in the several townships: 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 



403 



Township. For. 

Rosendale — 

Antrim — 

Fieldon 

Madelia 

Riverdale 2 

Nelson 6 

Odin 6 



Against. 
4i 
85 
5i 
56 
43 
58 
58 



Township. For. 

Adrian 5 

Long Lake 25 

South Branch 44 

St. James 35 

Butterfield 10 

St. James village 236 



Against. 
32 
35 
9 
L5 
49 
02 



Totals 396 



5i6 



COURT HOUSE BOND ISSUE, 1895. 

By townships the vote on the bond issue which resulted in the erection 
of the present magnificent temple of justice, was as follows, the same being 
voted on at the March election, 1895: 

For. 

St. James village 414 

St. James township 60 

Madelia village 56 

Madelia township __ 3 

1 Mm t' iwnship 8 

South Branch town- 
ship 51 

Riverdale township— 72 



Against. 


For. A 


Lgai-nst. 





Adrian township 34 


17 


12 


Butterfield village n 


16 


241 


Butterfield township 18 


32 


63 


Rosendale township 44 


14 


43 


Nelson township 43 


19 




Long Lake township- 39 


20 


3 


Antrim township 


54 


12 


Majority for bonds_222 





THE JAIL AND CARING FOR THE POOR. 

Formerly this county used the city jail for keeping its few prisoners 
in, but when the present court house was built a few cells or steel cages 
were constructed in the basement of the building, for county jail purposes, 
but long ago this arrangement was declared unsanitary and by the author- 
ities condemned, since which time this has not been used, but prisoners have 
been taken to Mankato for safe keeping, until tried. It is thought now that 
the county commissioners made a mistake when building the present court 
house that they did not seek to purchase some of the adjoining property 
on which a suitable jail and sheriff's house could have been erected at some 
later date. Now the property is materially advanced in value. 

Watonwan county has never had a "poor farm" or poor house, as so 



404 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

many of the sister counties have. It being a smaller county, the authorities 
have believed it less expensive to care for the few unfortunate poor in other 
ways, each township, in a way paying for this item. A few of the poor 
are kept at the St. James hospital, as they are ailing bodily and can be better 
cared for there than in private homes. 

FINANCES IN JULY, 1897. 

The following appears of record in the minutes of the proceedings of 
the count} - commissioners in July, 1897: 

County Treasurer Dr. 

To balance shown by auditor's books, July 10, 1897 $18,399.43 

To taxes collected since July, 1897 6.81 

Total $18,406.24 

County Treasurer Cr. 

By deposits in First National Bank, St. James $ 3,774.61 

By deposits in Old Rank, St. James 3,810.64 

By deposits in Citizens Bank, St. James 2,575.28 

By deposits in State Watonwan County Bank, Madelia 4,165.62 

By school warrants paid 96.98 

B) school warrants on hand 63.50 

By town warrants on hand 75-5° 

By cash on hand 6.82 

Total $18,406.24 

In July. 1902. the commissioners caused cement sidewalks to be laid 
around tin- court house, at sixteen and one-third cents per square foot. This 
com rart was awarded to Joseph Schmidt. 

In 1903 the county school superintendent's salary was raised to twelve 
dollar- for each school district within, the county; prior to that date the 
salary had been only ten dollars per school district. 

June, [907. -Al a meeting of the county commissioners they voted to 
borrow thirty-five thousand dollars of the state of Minnesota by giving five 
bonds of seven thousand dollars each, drawing three per cent. This loan 
was tor the purpose of constructing "Ditch No. )." of Watonwan county. 

The salary of the county superintendent of schools was raised again in 
1013 to fifteen dollars per school district, payable monthly. 



COTTOXWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 405 

At the January meeting in 1913 the board passed the following resolu- 
tion: "Moved and seconded, that the board of county commissioners of 
Watonwan county extend to George Busser a vote of thanks for his faithful 
services as county commissioner for the last twenty years. 

LAST FINAXCIAL STATEMENT. 

The county auditor's financial statement for July, 191 5, is as follows: 
Cash in treasury, $26,352.98, and in bridge and road fund, $5,669.12. 
Total resources, $32,022.10, is divided in following funds: 

Tax collection fund $ 2,179.12 

County revenue fund 3-775- 2 5 

County poor fund 1,695.25 

County ditch fund 18,383.34 

School district fund 1,088.11 

Town and village fund 3. 241. 13 

State lands fund 40.80 

State loan fund 1,068.93 

Contingent fund 298.84 

State revenue and school fund U3-48 

Sundries i37- 8 5 

Total $32,022.10 

CASH DEPOSITS. 

The county had cash deposited in July, 191 5, in banks as follows: 

In the First National Bank of St. James $2,902.31 

In the Security Bank of St. James 1,469.10 

In Citizens National Bank, St. James 1,563.44 

In Citizens National Bank (time deposits) 4,000.00 

In First National Bank, Madelia 1,761.71 

In State Bank of Butterfield 1,367.15 

In State Bank of Butterfield (time deposits) 3,000.00 

In Peoples State Bank, Butterfield 837.97 

In State Bank of Darfur 7 6 4-3° 

In Merchants State Bank, Lewisville 1.303.79 

In State Bank, Madelia 1,778.23 

In Odin State Bank 1,031.38 

In Odin State Bank (time deposits) 3,000.00 

In State Bank of La Salle MH-74 



406 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

ASSESSED VALUATIONS IN l88o AND 189O. 

The assessed valuation of real estate in Watonwan county in 1880 was 
$756,000; in 1890 it was $1,715,000. 

The personal property valuation was in 1880, $362,000 and in 1890 it 
was $449,000. 

NUMBER OF BUILDINGS ASSESSED IN 1894. 

The number of buildings assessed in 1894 in the various precincts of 
this county were as follows: In Madelia township ninety-nine; Fieldon 
township, ninety-eight; Antrim township, one hundred and six; South Branch, 
township, ninety-nine; Rosendale township, ninety-seven; Riverdale town- 
ship, one hundred and twenty-five; Nelson, one hundred and twenty-four; St. 
James, eighty-seven; Long Lake township, ninety-nine; Odin township, 
ninety-four; Butterfield township, sixty-eight; Adrian township, ninety; 
Madelia village, two hundred and twenty-five; St. James village, three hun- 
dred and twenty-seven. This was a total of seventeen hundred and sixty- 
nine buildings assessed in this county at the date named above. 

ASSESSED VALUATIONS IN I915-16. 

The records in the county auditor's office show the assessed valuations 
in Watonwan county in 1915-16 to have been as follows by townships and 
corporations : 

Madelia township $ 592,863 Adrian township 600,767 

Fieldon township 584,207 Madelia village 461,494 

Antrim township 607,726 Lewisville village 7 J . I /6 

South Branch township 655,516 Ormsby village 25,803 

Rosendale township 672,131 Buterfield village 88,141 

Riverdale township 704,297 Odin village ^4.203 

Nelson township 628,181 Darfus village 28,579 

St. James township 581,068 St. lames City 73>5- l &9 

Long Lake township 597-797 

Odin township 544,660 Total $8,863,968 

Butterfield township 630,170 

Out "i the above total valuation, a- per assessment, $1,282,845 was for 
personal property. Land is usually assessed at about one-third of its actual 
value in this county. Cash is taxed at three dollars on a thousand dollars. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 407 

In comparison the following is appended: In 1881 the total valuation 
of the county was Si, 134.000; in 1885 it was $1,406,000; in 1890 it was 
$2,349,000; in 1804 it had reached $-'.979,000; and in 1900 it was placed 
at $3,719,000. 

TREASURY BURGLARIZED. 

The countv treasury was broken into in November, 1893, when the safe 
was kept in the old frame court house, and the sum of five dollars in small 
change was all that was obtained by the thief. This was under County 
Treasurer Mellgren's administration. 

BONDS PAID OFF. 

The last of the county's bonds were paid off in July, 1910, the amount 
being ten thousand dollars. 

DRAINAGE. 

Watonwan county, for the most part, is quite flat and has much wet, 
swampy land within its borders. This land is composed of the richest, most 
fertile soil of almost any in the world, when once properly drained of its 
surplus surface water. The soil is deep, black loam which has no superior 
fur production of crops of any grain or grass plant that is known to this 
country. It is only since 1905 that much attention has been paid to the 
proper drainage of these lands. Owing to the thousands of lakes and hun- 
dreds of thousands of marshes found in the state of Minnesota, a system 
of state-wide systematic drainage was set on foot a few years ago by both 
state and county authorities. As it now stands, boards of county commis- 
sioners and district courts have the power to construct ditches for the pur- 
pose of draining swamps, or for the changing the course of any natural or 
other water course. In certain cases they may also drain meandered lakes 
and in all cases may drain the overflow water from any meandered lake. 
Petition is made to the board of county commissioners and district court, 
which together with a bond is bled with auditor of clerk of the district 
court, whereupon the board through the auditor of the county and the dis- 
trict court through the clerk thereof gives notice of the filing of a petition 
and of a time and a place where a bearing may lie had thereon. The board 
or district court also appoints an engineer who gives a bond and who makes 
a survey of the proposed ditch and reports the same to the board. Such 
engineer makes an estimate of the cost of such ditch ; the board or district 



408 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 

court appoints three disinterested freeholders who view the same and deter- 
mine benefits and damages to each person whose land is affected thereby. 
Notice of the same is given to all parties interested and on the hearing of 
the board of county commissioners or district court, determine whether such 
ditch shall be established. An appeal lies only by an order of the board 
determining the amount of benefits to any tract of land, or the amount of 
damages or refusing to establish such ditch. On appeal, the question of 
damages or benefits is tried in the district court of the county wherein the 
ditch lies, as actions for the recovery of money. Upon the filing of the 
order to establish the ditch the county auditor is required to let a contract 
for the construction thereof. Such contractor is required to give a bond 
and the cost of such ditch and expenses is assessed against the lands bene- 
fited thereby. In order to defray the cost of constructing the same in 
counties not financially able to pay for the same, each county in the state is 
authorized to issue bonds therefor at a rate of interest not exceeding six 
per cent, and which become due and payable not later than twenty years 
from the date of their issue. A statement of benefits assessed made by 
the auditor is filed in the office of the register of deeds and thereby a lien 
is filed against each tract of land mentioned therein. Payments may be 
made in ten equal annual installments with six per cent, added on those 
deferred. 

The lands of the state may be drained, and an appropriation has been 
made by the Legislature for paying the benefits assessed against the state 
thereunder, 

Where a ditch will affect lauds in more than one county a judicial 
ditch may be established. The same may be done on order of the district 
court after procedure similar to that provided fur the establishment of county 
ditches. The law also provides for the establishment of town ditches in cer- 
tain cases. 

Municipal incorporations may be assessed for drainage, but not railroad 
corporations, Tin- state of Minnesota is authorized to purchase the bonds 
to counties issued For the construction of ditches and when sold to the state 
Mich bonds bear four per cent, interest. A board composed of the governor, 
secretar) of state and the auditor constitute a state drainage board. This 
has charge of state lands. Under the law of [915 the county commissioners 
are authorized t<> construct bridges across state ditches where thev cross 
town wards. 

There are now many large ditches in operation within this county, all 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 409 

having been constructed on some one or other of the plans above described. 
When all parts of the county are drained by this system of ditches and 
properly tiled by the land-owners, this county will certainly present a beau- 
tiful appearance as one views the rural landscape. Large amounts of county 
and township drainage are being done at this time and miles of heavy 
cement tiles are taking the place of the old-fashioned wooden culverts and 
plank bridges. 



CHAPTER V. 



COUNTY AND STATE REPRESENTATION. 



PRESIDENTIAL VOTE FOR WATONWAN COUNTY. 

When President Lincoln ran the first time, i860, this county had no 
votes, but in 1864 the county took part in the campaign, and with that elec- 
tion the results have been to the present time as follows, as shown by the 
state records : 

1864 — Abraham Lincoln, Republican, 38 ballots; Gen. George B. Mc- 
Clellan, Democrat, 5 ballots. 

1868 — U. S. Grant, Republican, 199; Horatio Seymour, Democrat. $y. 

1 872 — U. S. Grant, Republican, 573 ; Horace Greeley, Liberal Demo- 
crat. 233. 

1876 — Rutherford B. Hayes, Republican, 549; Samuel J. Tilden. Demo- 
crat, 195. 

[880 — (No record). 

1884 — James G. Blaine, Republican, 626; Grover Cleveland, Democrat. 
192 : St. John, Prohibition, 8. 

[888 — Benjamin Harrison. Republican, 928; Grover Cleveland, Demo- 
crat, 326. 

[892 Benjamin Harrison, Republican. 934; Grover Cleveland, Demo- 
crat. 388; James B. Weaver, Populist, 410. 

1896— William McKinley, Republican, 1,622; W. J. Bryan. Democrat. 
586; Joshua Levering, Prohibition, 33. 

[900 — William McKinley, Republican, 1.509; W. J. Bryan. Democrat. 
51 i'i; John ( r. Woollev, 1 Yohibiti. .11. (.0, 

10.4 -Theodore Roosevelt, Progressive, 1.115; Alton R. Parker, 
1 )cmocrat, 31 >(.. 

[908 — William II. Taft. Republican, 1,411; W. J. Bryan, Democrat. 
^^j ; I . ( harm, I 'n ihibitii >n, 45. 

Kiu William 11. Taft, Republican, 524; Woodrow Wilson. Demo- 
crat, 618; Theodore Roosevelt, Progressive, 1,139. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 4II 

GOVERNOR W. S. HAMMOND. 

Watonwan county lias furnished a governor for Minnesota, in the person 
of Winfield Scott Hammond, who was elected on the Democratic ticket and 
assumed office on January 5, 1915, and died in office the next year. His 
home was St. James. A biographical sketch of him appears in this work. 

STATE SENATORS. 

Under the apportionment of 1866 — (Seventeenth district) — Lewis Por- 
ter, 1867; E. P. Freeman. 1868; E. P. Freeman, 1869; B. F. Smith, 1870; 
B. F. Smith, 187 1. 

Under apportionment of 1871 — (Twenty-eighth district) — Jonas Lin- 
dall, 1872; J. Lindall. 1873: B. K. Burrows, 1874: W. H. C. Folsom, 1875; 
W. H. C. Folsom. 1876; F. C. Folsom. 1877; John Shaken, 1878: John 
Shaleen, 1879; John Shaleen, 1881. 

Under the apportionment of 1881 — (Eighth district) — George Knud- 
son, 1883; George Knudson, 1885; John Clark, 1887; John Clark, 1889. 

Under the apportionment of 1889 — (Sixth district) — Frank A. Day, 
1891; Frank A. Day, 1893: Frank A. Day. 1895; H. H. Duncan, 1897. 

Under apportionment of 1897 — (Thirteenth district) — William Vissel- 
man, 1899: William Visselman, 1901 ; Thomas Thorson, 1903; Thomas 
Thorson, 1905; W. A. Hinton, 1907; W. A. Hinton, 1909; Julius F. Hay- 
craft. 191 1 ; Julius Haycraft, 1913. 

Under apportionment of 1913 — (Ninth district) — Albert L. Ward, 

IN- 
STATES REPRESENTATIVES. 

J. A. Reed. Brown Yates, 1867; John A. Reed, O. O. Pitcher, 1868; 
O. O. Pitcher. W. ( '. Rhodes, 1869; R. Crandall, John F. Meagher, 1870; 
J. F. Meagher, fames B. Hubbell, 1872; Adolph Munch. Joel (i. Ryder, 
1873: F. H. Pratt, 1874; L. J. Stark. 1873; M. A. Brawley, 1876; \\'. A. 
Bentley, 1877; F. S. Christensen, [878; John Dean. 1879; John Dean. [881; 
S. Blackman, 1883; Silas Blackmail. [885; W. R. Estes, [887; William R. 
Estes, 1889; Frederick Church. 1891 ; Daniel C. Hopkins, 1893; Thomas 
Thorsen, 1895: Thomas Thorsen, [897; Thomas Thorsen and Peter Olson, 
1899; Thomas Torson, 190 1 ; W. A. Hinton and A. D. Palmer, 1903; W. 
A. Hinton and A. D. Palmer, 1905; C. J. Swendsen and John Schrooten, 



412 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

1907; C. J. Swendsen and Joseph Davies, 1909; Joseph Davies, H. A. 
Saggau, 1 9 1 1 ; H. A. Saggau and W. W. Brown, 1913; John Schrooten, 
H. W. Haislet, 1915. 

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS. 

As nearly as can now be determined by the records, the following is a 
list of those who have held the office of county commissioner in and for 
Watonwan county from its organization to the present date, 1916: 

By appointment by the governor — J. F. Furber, C. M. Pomeroy and 
Ole Jorgensun. These were appointed in April, 1861, and held their first 
meeting that month. 

1861 — Salvor Torgenson, Lewis Varwick and Thomas Rutledge. 

[863 — H. P. Gilbert, H. Schwarble and Jens Torsen. 

1864— H. P. Gilbert, William Busser, J. T. Furber. 

1865 — H. P. Gilbert, J. F. Furber, Chandler Farnsworth. 

1866 — B. O. Kempfer (chairman), John C. Sprague, T. C. Levey. 

1867— B. O. Kempfer, C. T. Levey, J. K. Webster. 

1868— A. J. Xickerson, Ole Howe, J. K. Webster. 

1869 — A. J. Nickerson, Samuel V. Haycroft, W. S. Addsmond. 

1870 — Samuel V. Haycroft, W. S. Addmond, Morris Bradford. 

1871 — H. Morrill, William S. Addsmond, Morris Bradford. 

[872 — H. Morrill, Morris Bradford, Frank Pickler. 

1873 — J. N. Cheney, O. H. Howe, H. Morrill. 

1874 — Morrill, Lambert, Toothaker, Marvin and Pona. 

1875— H. Morrill, Theo. Lambert, William Toothaker, A. S. Mellgren. 

1876— S. W. Corbin, W. M. Toothaker, A. S. Mellgren, John Burns, 
Theo. Lambert. 

1877 — S. W. Corbin, George Busser, A. S. Mellgren, M. Yrooman. 

1878— John Burns. M. E. Dun, A. S. Mellgren, M. Yrooman. 

1879 — A. S. Mellgren, M. Vrooman, H. Halvorson, John Shilletto, 
William R. Marvin. 

1880 — William C. Gleason, John Shilletto, H. Halvorson, L. O. 
Clvestad, A. S. Mellgren. 

[881 — John Shilletto, H. H. Higgins, Xewcomb, Charles Gove, 

Ulvestad. 

[883— John Shilletto. Charles Cove, Hans Olson, Stenberg, 

Ulvestad. 

1 NX) John Shilletto, Hans Olson, Steinberg, 1*'. W. Uhlhorn. 

G. W. Fanning. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 413 

1885 — Daniel Bohan, ■ Stenberg, G. W. Fanning, Hans Olson. 

1886-- Hans Olson, F. W. Uhlhorn. - - Stenberg, G. W. Fanning, 
Daniel Bohan. 

1887— Daniel Bohan, S. W. Corbin. J. \Y. Somers, J. H. Cheney, A. A. 
Xass. 

1888— J. H. Cheney, Daniel Bohan, S. W. Corbin, J..YY. Somers, A. A. 
Xass. 

1889— Daniel Bohan, J. H. Cheney, S. \Y. Corbin, J. W. Somers, A. A. 
Nass. 

1890 — J. W. Somers, Daniel Bohan, A. A. Nass, Theodore P. Podvin. 

1 89 1 — J. W. Somers, John Hammond, J. H. Cheney, Swan Beck, A. A. 
Nass. 

1892 — J. W. Somers, Charles Gove, John Hammond, A. A. Nass, Swan 
Beck. 

I &93 — W. S. Crowley, Swan Beck, George Busser, Claus Melheim. 

1894 — W. S. Crowley, Swan Beck, John Hammond, George Busser, 
Claus Melheim. 

1895 — W. S. Crowley, George Busser. I. C. Lindley, Alex. Swanson, 
Charles Milheim. 

1876— W. S. Crowley, T. N. Marsden, Alex. Swanson, Charles Mil- 
heim. 

1897— \Y. S. Crowley, George Busser, T. N. Marsden. Helge Boen. 

1898 — George Busser. T. N. Marsden, W. S. Crowley, Alex. Swanson, 
Helge Boen. 

1899 — George Busser, J. G. Bachellor, \V. S. Crowley, E. O. Haug, 
Helge Boen. 

1900 — George Busser. J. G. Bachellor. W. S. Crowley, E. O. Haug, 
Helge Boen. 

190 1 — W. S. Crowley, George Busser, E. O. Haug, T. N. Marsden, 
John Heppner. 

1902— George Busser. W. S. Crowley, E. O. Haug, John Heppner, 
T. X. Marsden. 

IQ04 — George Busser, T. X. Marsden, W. S. Crowley, John Heppner, 
Ole Kolstad. 

1905 — W. S. Crowley, George Busser, Ole Kolstad. T. X. Marsden, 
F. O. Anderson. 

1906 — W. S. Crowley, George Busser, T. X'. Marsden, Ole Kolstad. 
F. O. Anderson. 



414 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

1907 — T. N. Marsden, George Busser, W. S. Crowley, Charles G. Rask, 
F. O. Anderson. 

1908 — George Busser, T. N. Marsden, W. S. Crowley, Charles Rask, 
F. O. Anderson. 

1909 — George Busser, T. N. Marsden, W. S. Crowley, Charles Rask, 
John B. Erickson. 

1910 — George Busser, J. B. Erickson. W. S. Crowley", Charles G. Rask, 
T. N. Marsden. 

191 1 — George Busser, T. N. Marsden, W. S. Crowley, Fred E. Wiborg, 
J. E. Erickson. 

1 gu — W. S. Crowley, George Busser, T. N. Marsden, J. O. Erickson, 
F. E. Wiborg. 

1913— W. S. Crowley, T. N. Marsden, F. E. Wiborg, C. D. Brackels- 
berg, H. F. Horselbring. 

1014— F. E. Wiborg, T. N. Marsden, C. D. Brackelsberg, W. Somers, 
Jacob Bragger. 

IQI 5 — J- W. Somers, C. D. Brackelsberg, Frank Dewar, A. D. Peter- 
son. 

\<n6 — C. D. Brackelsberg, Fraud Dewar, J. W. Somers, A. D. Peter- 
son, J. Brogger. 

COUNTY AUDITORS. 

This is one of the most important offices in the county, and has usually 
been filled by men of good ability as accountants and who have kept in 
close tmich with the action of the board of county commissioners, of which 
they are the ex-officio clerks. The first auditor in Watonwan county was 
appointed by the county commissioners in the person of H. F. Gilbert. This 
was in the Spring of [861, and since then the list of auditors is: C. G. 
.Mullen, [862-3; J. E. Stark, Joseph Flanders, 1864 to 1876: George Knud- 
son, 1X70 to [893; T. Sonsteby, (89310 1901; M. ( 1. Fossum, io<m to [911; 
John ( '. Jensen, toil and still serving as auditor in 1916. 

COUNTY TREASURERS. 

B. O. Rempffer, who bad been appointed as treasurer of the newlv- 
organized county, failing to appear and legally qualify, the county com- 
missioners proceeded to elect one in his place. This resulted in the choice 
of C. G. Mullen, win, had just been appointed sheriff, but he vacated this 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 415 

office and took that of county treasurer. In the fall Thomas Rutledge was 
elected, and since then the list has been: 1861, Thomas Rutledge; G. \Y. 
Yates, from 1868 to 1875; Jens Torsen, 1875 to 1881 ; M. K. Armstrong, 
1881 to 1882; M. E. Dunn. 1882 to 1883: A. S. Mellgren, appointed after 
the governor had suspended Dunn, served from 1883 to 1905; A. M. Han- 
son, 1905 to 19 1 5. when the present treasurer, Samuel Jackson, took his seat. 

REGISTER OF DEEDS. 

With the passage of years it is seen that none but competent men should 
be allowed to handle the records of a county, wherein are recorded the deeds 
and mortgages of immense quantities of property. The first register of 
deeds in this county was L. C. Taylor. From 1868 on this office has been 
presided over by the following men: Charles G. Muller, 1868; Charles M. 
Pomeroy. 1869; C. Teigum. 1872 to 1876; Thomas Torsen. 1876 to 1896; 
S. M. Seekland, 1896 to 1905: Edward Bolin. 1905 to 1909; Albert Run- 
ning, 1909 to 1 9 1 3 ; Frederick Church, 1913 to 1916. 

SHERIFFS OF THE COUNTY. 

The first sheriff selected by the county authorities in 1861 was C. G. 
.Mullen, who was immediately chosen as treasurer, hence never held the 
office of sheriff. The first active sheriff of this county was Jonathan 
Leavitt. who had been first selected as surveyor, but the failing of other 
county officers as above noted to qualify, he was chosen as sheriff. Then 
followed these: Oscar F. Winnerstrand, 1864-5; E, M. Sprague, 1866; 
Jens Torsen, 1868 to 1870; A. B. Stone, 1870 to 1874; James Glispen, 
1S74 to 1880; H. H. Higgins. 1880 to 1882: J. P. Stemper, 1882 to 1891; 
George W. Forsyth. 1891 to 1909; August E. Lindquist, [909 to [916. 

CLERKS OF TIIK DISTRICT COURT. 

The record is not found for the election of the first clerks of the dis- 
trict court, but possibly .Martin E. Mullen was the lir^t. Martin F. Mullen, 
[868 to 1870; Thomas Mullen, a part of 1870; I). R. Bill, by appointment 
{aw mouth-, of 1870 and by election till 1875: \Y. Frizzell, J875 to 1876; 
George P. Johnston, 1876 to 1894; George A. Bradford, [894 to [913; 
K. S. Thompson, 1913 to present date. [916, 



416 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

COUNTY ATTORNEYS. 

In 1861-2 Daniel Bush was the first county attorney. Since 1871 the 
countv attorneys have been: H. S. Wilson, appointed by the county com- 
missioners and paid a salary of one hundred dollars per year; Thomas Rut- 
ledge. 1874 to 1876; J. J. Johnston, 1876 to 1882; Frank L. James, 1882 
to 1884; J. \Y. Seager, 1884 to 1891 ; J. J. Thornton, 1891 to 1893; William 
E. Allen, 1893 to 1896; Ashley Cofrman. 1896 to 1903; W. I. Hammond, 
1903 to 1905; F. F. Ellsworth, 1905 to 1909; Ed. C. Farmer, 1909 to 1915 ; 
Albert Running, 1915 and still holding the office. 

COURT COMMISSIONERS. 

Not until about 1874 did this office have much importance attached to 
it. Since then those holding the position in this county have been: Charles 
M. Pomeroy, 1874 to 1879; G. R. McLean, 1S79 to 1889; J. H. Roberts, 
[889 to 1901 ; M. W. Sandquist, 1901 to 191 1; Fred H. Schweppe, 191 1 to 
[916 

CORONERS. 

Caleb Leavitt was the county's first coroner, he being appointed by the 
board of county commissioners. The record of those who followed him, if, 
indeed, there were any others, does nut appear until 1874, when George H. 
Overholt was elected; in 1878 came C. R. Bacon, who served until 1887; 
nexl was Thad. Kirk, who died and the commissioners appointed James M. 
Smith in succeed him; from 1891 to 1005 the office was held by Dr. W. II. 
Rowe; from [905 to [909 the coroner was W. J. McCarthy, and from 1909 
tn 1916, Dr. Albert Thompson has tilled the office. 

PROBATE .1 ODGES. 

The first tn serve as judge was Notto Jansen 1>\ appointment. John 
Travis was the first probate judge elected in this county, and served while 
the county seat was yet at Madelia. lie was elected in [861. The next 
was John Flanders, who held until 1865, when Hart Montgomery was 
■ iicd and served until 1N70, and was followed by Thomas Rutledge, who 
ill .1 In Ht time under an appointment ami was succceeded by II. S. 
Wilson, wlm served from 1870 to [873; from [873 to [875 S. C. Clark was 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 417 

probate judge; from 1877 to 1S91 came M. E. Mullen, who served until 
succeeded by F. W. Uhlhorn and he served as probate judge until 1903; the 
next came Fred H. Schweppe, who is still in office. 

SCHOOL EXAMINERS AND COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTS. 

In the early history of this county and state an official existed known 
as a "school examiner."' whose duties were similar to those of the present 
county school superintendent. It was in 1862 that this office was first filled 
by C. G. Mullen, and in 1864 by J. L. Stark. The first county school super- 
intendent was inducted into office in 1869, in the person of George W. 
Yates, whose salary was only one hundred dollars a year. The next super- 
intendent was C. A. Barton, who left the office and the board appointed 
Thomas Rutledge in his place at one hundred and fifty dollars a year. In 
1876 came Superintendent G. H. Overholt, ami he was preceded by Miss 
Sargent (now Mrs. E. Z. Rasey), who was the first woman in Minnesota 
to hold such an office, serving two years; from 1879 to 1881 served F. D. 
Joy; then came George M. Johnson, from 1881 to 1887; W. E. Allen, from 
1887 to 1891 ; C. A. Boston, 1891 to 1901 ; Joseph Davies, 1901 to 1909; 
YY. \Y. Brown, 1909 to 1913; Mabel S. Madson, 1913 to 1916. 

COUNTY SURVEYORS. 

P. D. Rutledge was county surveyor from 1866 to 1868 and was suc- 
ceeded by the following: M. E. Mullen. 1868 to 1878; S. C. Clark, 1878 
to 1879; M. E. Mullen, 1879 to 1891 ; C. C. Milloid, 1891 to 1893; ° tt0 
Klose, 1893 to 1899; S. B. Lynch, 1899 to 1900; Otto Klose, 1900 to 1903; 
E. E. Nichols, 1903 to 1916. 

ANOTHER WHO REPRESENTED THIS COUNTY. 

Among the men who have represented this county in honorable and 
important positions may be recalled the name of Hon. William Estes, of 
Madelia, who in the spring of [890, was appointed to represent this govern- 
ment at Jamaica. He filled the office of consul to that country with credit 
to himself and his country. 

(27) 



4l8 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

PROHIBITION CANDIDATES. 

In the campaign of 1890, the first year that the Prohibition party had 
a full ticket in the field, the following were the candidates on the ticket in 
Watonwan county: C. N. Webb, auditor; L. A. Ulvestad, treasurer; S. W. 
Corbin, sheriff; H. D. Mathews, register of deeds; F. E. Sylvester, clerk of 
the district court; C. A. Boston, judge of probate; J. W. Seager, county 
attorney; W. D. Fanning, school superintendent; C. R. Pew, surveyor; M. 
Bradford, coroner. All were defeated, but they have this record, that they 
bravely stood for what they deemed right. 



CHAPTER VI. 



TOWNSHIPS OF WATONWAN COUNTY. 



ADRIAN TOWNSHIP. 

Adrian township is the extreme northwestern sub-division in Waton- 
wan county, and comprises congressional township No. 107, range 33 west. 
It is bounded on the north by Brown county, on the east by Nelson town- 
ship, Watonwan county, on the south by Butterfield township and on the 
west by Cottonwood county. A branch of the Chicago & Northwestern sys- 
tem of railway enters the township in section 18 and leaves it. going south- 
ward from section 33. On this is situated the village and station point of 
Darfur, in section 20. Adrian has several good-sized lakes, including 
Wood Lake, in the northeastern corner of the territory, and Cottonwood 
Lake, along the eastern line in section 25. The north fork of the Watonwan 
river courses through the township from west to east, entering from the 
west in section 7 and leaving it from section 12 on the east line. Another 
branch of the same stream flows almost parallel with the one just named, 
but through the lower tier of sections of the township. 

ORGANIZATION. 

In June. 1871, the county commissioners created the civil township 
known as Adrian, the same being designated as the whole of the territory 
embraced in congressional township 107, range 33 west, and the first elec- 
tion was ordered to be held at the house of Yolney DeWitt. The township 
has always been well governed by its local officers, and is today one of the 
well-improved sections of the county. With railroad, market town, schools 
and churches the people are a happy and contented lot of good citizens. The 
United States census for 1910 gave the population as four hundred and 
eighty-one. which was a decrease from the census of 1900, which gave it as 
having five hundred and fifty-nine. 



420 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

SETTLEMENT. 

The settlement in this township was effected in about the following 
order: In section 2, Jonas Samuelson, Jonas Gustafson, John Wanerstrom, 
J'. O. Swanson. In section 4, John P. Prahl, William Prahl, John Rathman 
and F. W. Uhlhorn. In section 6, William Arndt, Conrad Schaper, Mar- 
tius Rathman and John Bratchner. In section 8, Frank Rathman, Charles 
Krueger, August Selzman, John Krieser and Rudolph Steinke. In section 
10, Swan Englin, Charles Warner, John Johnson, D. Heppner and A. Eng- 
Iin. In section 12, Alex. Swanson. Swan Nelson, C. G. Samuelson. In 
section 14, P. Heppner, John Stoez and E. Lofgaren. In section 18, S. W. 
Burns, Gust Hagglund and Christian Hanson. In section 20. Fred Kline, 
Fred Schuman and John Rask. In section 22, J. L. Parker, W. Jenkins. In 
section 24, M. B. Foster, Jonas Nelson, P. Malm, John Hernaman. In sec- 
tion 26, E. Davis, Swen Swensen, V. Lebarre and Adrian Davis. In sec- 
tion 28, H. Jenzen, William Stalk, D. C. Atwell, D. Simmons. In section 
30, George Irving, R. Haulse, Jerry Barrett and P. Fleming. In section 32, 
James McDonough, D. Anns and Ed. Sweeney. In section 34, David Ennis 
and M. Tarball. 

HOMESTEAD ENTRIES IX ADRIAN TOWNSHIP. 

Under the Homestead act, approved by Congress on May 20, 1862, the 
following homesteads were taken up in what is now Adrian township: 

P. A. Gustafson, on certificate No. 4,237, at the land office at Tracy, 
lot No. 4. in section 2, township 107, range 33 west; issued by President 
Chester .\. Arthur. November 1, 1881.. 

\1 Heppner, certificate No. 5,081, at Tracy land office, on the south- 
east quarter of section 22. township 107, range 33 west: issued by President 
Chester V Arthur, May 15, 1884, 

Ellen Bohman, certificate No. 2.(>(>j. at the New Ulm land office, the 
northeast half of the southeast quarter of section 12, township 107, range 
33 west; \ 1 'resident U. S. Grant. 

Certificate Xo. 5.568, to Gustaf Ilaglund, at the Tracy land office, the 
southeast quarter of section iS. township 107, range 33 west, by President 
Grover < leveland, April 10, iKN<>. 

Margarita Swanson, at the Tracy land nff\cc. the north half of the 
northwesl quarter of section to, township 107, range 33 west, by Grover 
Cleveland, President of the United States, signed January 9, 1886. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 421 

S. J. Wannerstram, on certificate Xo. 3,756, at the New Ulm land 
office, the north half of the northeast quarter of section 2, township 107, 
range 33 west, was homesteaded by President Rutherford B. Hayes, and by 
him signed on January 20, 1881. 

Charles Hull, certificate No. 2,428, at the New Ulm land office, the 
southeast quarter of section 10, township 107, range 33 west, by President 
Chester A. Arthur, signed on June 20, 1882. 

Gotleib Schade, certificate No. 4,469. at the Tracy land office, the south- 
west quarter of section 8, township 107, range 33 west, by President Chester 
A. Arthur, signed on February 10, 1883. 

Jacob Jacobson, by certificate No. 2,405, at the New Ulm land office, 
the southwest half of. the northwest quarter of section 34, township 107, 
range 33 west; issued by President Rutherford B. Hayes, signed by him on 
February 20, 1880. 

Hans Alarquirson, certificate No. 2,404. on the north half of the 
northwest quarter of section 34, range 33 west; issued by President Ruther- 
ford B. Haves, signed on February 12, 1880. 

Peter Newfeldt, No. 348, Tracy land office, the east half of the south- 
west quarter of section 20, township 107, range 33 west: issued by Presi- 
dent Chester A. Arthur, November 1, 1881. 

Joel Parker, certificate No. 3,929, at the New Ulm land office; issued 
by President Rutherford B. Hayes, signed on February 10, 1881 ; land in 
section 26, township 107, range 33 west. 

Peter Falk. certificate No. 5,133, at the Tracy land office; issued by 
President Chester A. Arthur, signed on January 15, 1885; land in section 6, 
township 107, range 33 west. 

l-'.ugen Salzman, certificate No. 3,776, at the New Ulm land office; 
issued by President Rutherford B. Hayes, signed on January 20, 1881; 
land — the south half of the northwest quarter of section 8, township 107, 
range 33 west. 

P. F. Malm, certificate Xo. 2,501, at the New Ulm land office, the 
south half of the southeast quarter of section 24, township 107, range 33 
west; issued by President U. S. Grant, signed November 23. 1S75. 

Wesley D. Pond, south half of the southeast quarter, section 26. town- 
ship 107, range 33 west; issued by President U. S. Grant, signed on October 
15. 1873. 

ferry Barrett, the south half of the southeast quarter of section 30, 
township 107, range 33 west; issued by President Rutherford B. Hayes, 
signed September 10, 1880. 



422 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Ephraim Lofgren, New Ulm land office, east half of the northeast 
quarter of section 14, township 107, range 33 west; issued by President 
James A. Garfield, signed on May 3, 1881. 

August Schade, New Ulm land office, the north half of the northwest 
quatre of section 14, township 107, range 33 west; issued by President 
Arthur, signed February 10, 1883. 

THE VILLAGE OF DARFUR. 

This village was platted in section 20, township 107, range 33 west, 
by the officers of the Chicago & Northwestern Railroad Company, April 20, 
1899. The platting was signed by Marvin Huhgett, president of the rail- 
road company. 

INCORPORATION. 

Darfur was incorporated as a village in 1904. Its first village officers 
were: E. J. Wilson, president; C. F. Klein, treasurer; W. H. Hochert, 
recorder. The officers now serving are as follow : Thomas Englin, presi- 
dent ; John A. Gustafson, Ed. A. Goring and A. J. Samuelson, trustees; W. 
Schulte, clerk. 

The village now has a half mile of cement sidewalks; a fire engine and 
a volunteer tire company of eighteen men. So far it has needed no jail or 
police. The corporation has debts only to the amount of three hundred 
dollars. The following have served as presidents of die village: E. J. 
Wilson, 1904 to 1907; Theo. Kintzi, 1907 to 1910; A. Jaeger, 1910 to 1914: 
O. F. Langhoff, 1014-15; Theo. Englin, 1915. and present president of 
Darfur village. 

PRESENT BUSINESS INTERESTS. 

\ ery little can be said of the postoffice history of the village. The 
amount "i business is about the average of all fourth-class offices. To date 
there have been only two postmasters, Jacob Heppner and A. A. Jaeger, the 
present incumbent. 

The following business interests were represented in 1916: 

Auto garage Mm Gustafson. 

Bank State Bank. 

Barber 1.. Stoutenberg. 

Blacksmith— W. Buche. 

1 reamery — Darfur Co-operative Creamery Company, 



COTTOXWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 423 

Dray — S. Weast. 

Elevator — Farmers' Co-operative Elevator Company. 

General Dealer — Edward Goring. A. Jaeger. 

Hardware and Implements — Englin & Samnelson. 

Hotel Darfur — S. Weast, proprietor. 

Lumber — C. M. Youngman Lumber Company. 

Livery — S. Weast. 

Stock Buyer — Darfur Stock Buyers' Association. 



ANTRIM TOWNSHIP. 

Antrim township is the southeastern civil township of Watonwan county. 
At its north is Fieldon township, at the east is Blue Earth county, at its 
south is Martin county and at the west is South Branch township. It is a 
full congressional township and hence is six miles square with thirty-six full 
sections. There are a few small streams, or prairie "runs" and very few 
lakes or ponds as compared to other sub-divisions of this county. The Min- 
neapolis & St. Louis railroad runs on the half-section line from section 33 
to section 4, and has for a station point in the township the little hamlet of 
Lewisville. located in section 4. 

The population of the township in 1890 was 573; in 1900 it was 591, 
and in 19 10 it was 582. 

Ti IWXSIIIP'S ORGANIZATION. 

Antrim township was formed by the county commissioners in January, 
1867. when the commissioners were Messrs. Kempfer, Levey and Webster. 
There was a petition and also a remonstrance presented the board — one 
asking that a new township be formed and the other in opposition thereto. 
It was asked in the petition for the new township that it be named "Bloom- 
ington." It was finally agreed to form the new township and the matter of 
naming it was left to Joseph Flanders and B. O. Kempfer, who called it 
"York," but the records show that in the spring of 1868 it was being called 
Antrim. 

FIRST SETTLEMENT. 

There were several settlers in this part of the county before the days 
of "homesteaders." Some remained, and many more left at the date of the 



4-4 CQTTQNWOOD AXD WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Indian troubles in August, 1862, never to return. The following is a true 
transcript of many of the early land entries: 

William S. Jones, certificate No. 4.985. at the Worthington land office, 
was laid on the northwest quarter of section 6, township 195, range 30 
west: issued by President Rutherford B. Hayes, signed on June 15. 1880. 

Aha Curtis, certificate No. 2,992, at the Jackson land office, was for a 
homestead in the smith half of the northeast quarter of section 14, town- 
ship 105, range 30 west; issued by President U. S. Grant, signed on April 
15, 1S74. 

David Davies, certificate No. 7,272, at the Worthington land office, on 
the northeast quarter of section 14, township 105, range 30 west; issued by 
President U. S. Grant, signed on September 20. 1870. 

Abbie Paine, certificate No. 6,187, at tne Worthington land office, on 
the north half of the southwest quarter and the north half of the southeast 
quarter of section 4, township 105, range 30 west; issued by President 
Chester A. Arthur, signed on March 10, 1883. 

A. 1). ('.-unwell, certificate No. 7.427, at the Jackson land office, on the 
south half of the northwest quarter of section 20, township 105, range 30 
west; issued by President U. S. Grant, signed on February 1, 1872. 

G. A. Manston, certificate No. 4,867, at the Worthington land office, on 
the north half of the southeast quarter of section 6, township 105, range 30 
west; issued by I 'resident Rutherford P. Haves, signed on November 5, 
1878. 

W. Zinke, certificate No. 5,611, at the Worthingon land office, on the 
west half of the northwest quarter of section 34, township 105, range 30 
west; issued by President Chester \. Arthur, signed on December 20. [881. 

W. Davis, certificate No. 2.205, at the Jackson land office, on the north- 
west quarter of section 14. township 105. range 30 west; issued by Presi- 
dent II. S. Grant, signed on February 1, 1X73. 

Karl Sexaner, certificate Xo. 5,616, at the Worthington land office, on 
the north half of the northeast quarter of section j, township [05, range 30 
west: issued b) President Chester A. Arthur, signed on December 12, 1881. 

K. Comstock, certificate Xo. 3,008. at the Worthington land office, on 
the wesl half of the northwest quarter of section 22. township 105, range 30 
issued by President U, S. Grant, signed on March 12, [876. 

Stephen I. Comstock. certificate Xo. 7.781. at the Worthington land 
office, on the southwest quarter of section 22, township 105. range 50 west; 
ted by President Chester V Arthur, signed on January 12. [885. 

Charles ( \ Waste, certificate No. 1.33°. at the Worthington land office, 




■■ If ■ 



SEjy^lgii .fit, 






C, ST. P., M. & O. DEPOT, LEWIS VI LLE. 




ITIil.ir SCHOOL, LEWISVILLE. 



COTTOXWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 425 

on the south half of the southeast quarter of section 6. township 105, range 
30 west; issued by President U. S. Grant, signed on March 1, 1877. 

Carl Brasinske, certificate No. 4,620, at the Worthington land office, 
on the south half of the southeast quarter of section 28, township 105, 
range 30 west; issued by President Rutherford B. Hayes, signed on Decem- 
ber 12, 1877. 

Eli H. Richwood, No. 6,109, at the Worthington land office, the south 
half of the northeast quarter of section 6, township 105, range 30 west; 
issued by President Chester A. Arthur, signed on March 15. 1882. 

Marshall Donley, certificate No. 6.202, at the Worthington land office, 
the northeast quarter of the northwest quarter and the northwest of the 
northeast quarter of section 18, township 105, range 30 west; issued by 
President Chester A. Arthur, signed on June 5, 1884. 

Tobert Dewars. certificate No. 6,965, on the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 10. township 105, range 30 west; issued by President Grover Cleveland, 
signed on June 31, 1885. 

VILLAGE OF LEWISVILLE. 

Lewisville was platted by the Interstate Land Company, May 3, 1899, 
in section 4, township 105, range 30 west, through the company's president, 
P. H. Peavey. It is situated on the north and south branch of the Omaha 
railroad, and is among the later villages within the county. Lewisville be- 
came an incorporated village in 1902. The presidents of the village, in order 
of serving, are as follow: C. O. Nicholson, Adolph Sucker, John Mutsch, 
John E. Moore and C. E. Anderson. 

The first officers were as follow: President. C. Q. Nicholson; trustees, 
R. Lewis, Charles Johns, A. J. McLain; recorder, S. Taylor; treasurer, 
Adolph Sucker. The present officers are: President, C. Anderson; trustees, 
Gustav Bethke, E. G. Bethke, A. R. Griegcr; recorder. A. W. Alb; treas- 
ure r. Adolph Sucker. 

The town has about twenty-three blocks of cement sidewalks, a small 
fire engine and hose, a small jail, which is seldom used. In laying out the 
town an eight-acre park was arranged for, but little use has ever been 
made of it. 

The receipts of this postoffice are double and even treble those of some 
other postoffices of the county, wbere the population of the village is ap- 
proximately the same. The past year's business amounted to one thousand 
one hundred fifty-five dollars and eighty-two cents, exclusive of money 



426 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

orders. The postmasters to date are as follow : Richard Lewis, Ethel H. 
Moore and John E. Moore. There is one rural free delivery route. 

In the summer of 1916 the business interests were represented by the 
following : 

Auto Garage — Henry Ikier. 

Bank — Merchants' State Bank. 

Blacksmith — A. Albaugh, Robert Schoneck. 

Barber — Elmer Olson. 

Clothing — Hodapp-Nelson. 

Drugs and Jewelry — John E. Moore, Lewisville Drug & Jewelry Com- 
pany. 

Elevator — Farmers' Elevator Company. 

Furniture — Gust Bethke. 

Grocer — E. E. Anderson. 

General Dealer — Hillesheim & Company. 

Hardware and Implements — H. C. Flitter, Greiger & Reiter. 

Harness — Lewis Nagel. 

Hotel— Airs. B. Mueller. 

Livery — August Sonnabend. 

Lumber — Weyerhaeuser & Company. 

Meat Market — Henry Keehn. 

Millinery — May E. Ross Dewar. 

Restaurant — Mrs. R. Albaugh. 

Stock Dealers — Lewis & Dewar. 

Telephone — Tri-State. 

Variety Store — F. B. Mellen. 

Lewisville has a population of only three hundred and fifty and is one 
of (he real progressive towns of the county. Every citizen is in the true 
sense of the word a "booster." There is complete harmony among its busi- 
ness men and all work to make Lewisville a real commercial center. The 
town is perhaps the only one in the entire county that is free from debt, a 
fact which does credit to the town officers. 



BUTTERFIELD TOWNSHIP. 



Butterfield township is on the west line of Watonwan county and is the 
second from the northern line of the county, with Adrian at the north, St. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 427 

James at the east and Odin township at the south. It comprises congres- 
sional township 106, range 33 west. It is a well-settled township and in it is 
the sprightly village of Butterfield, a station on the main line of the Omaha 
line and the crossing of that road and the branch of the Chicago & North- 
western line. The township is an even congressional township of thirty-six 
sections of land, of most excellent quality. The central branch of the 
Watonwan river flows to the eastward through this township, and there are 
a few pretty little lakes within the township, notably the ones in section 1, 
the one in section 28, and one in section 7. There are many beautiful farms 
in Butterfield township and stockraising and other branches of farming are 
carried on extensively. 

The population of the township, exclusive of the village of Butterfield, 
in 1890 was 366; in 1000 it was 489 and in 1910 it was 602, according to 
the United States census returns. 

ORGANIZATION. 

Butterfield township was formed by the county commissioners at their 
regular meeting held in January, 1872, out of congressional township 106, 
range 33, and another on the same date called Odin, formed to the south of 
Butterfield township. 

EARLY SETTLEMENT. 

Many of the early settlers of the central-west part of Watonwan county 
located on government and railroad lands in what is now Butterfield town- 
ship. No memorandum has been left of the first few who claimed land in 
this township, but the following will give the reader a partial account of the 
homesteaders there : 

Abraham Friesen, on the north half of the northeast quarter of section 
2. township 106, range 33 west; the certificate was signed by President 
Chester A. Arthur. January 15, 1885. 

George Bland homesteaded by certificate No. 2.310 at the New Ulm 
land office, the northwest of section 6, township 106, range 33 west, the 
same being signed by President U. S. Grant, September 15, 1874. 

From the land office at Tracy the easl hall" of the northeast quarter of 
section 10. township inf., range 33 west, was homesteaded on March [o, 
[883, signed by President Chester A. Arthur. 

Certificate No, 4,558, to Henry Bartel, was homesteaded for the south- 



428 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

east quarter of section 8, township 106, range 33 west, was signed by Presi- 
dent Chester A. Arthur. February 10, 1883. 

Peter Rempel, on his certificate No. 5,392. homesteaded at the Tracy 
land office, the southeast half of the northeast quarter of section 2, township 
106, range 33 west. It was issued by President Grover Cleveland, April 27, 
1885. 

VILLAGE OF BUTTERFIELD. 

Butterfield was platted in section 27, township 106. range 33 west, on 
September 13, 1880. by E. F. Drake, president of the railroad company, then 
styled the St. Paul & Sioux City, now the Omaha system. 

The postoffi.ee at Butterfield is the third largest in the county. The 
postal receipts for the last fiscal year amounted to two thousand dollars. 
Four rural routes serve the community from this office. The following 
is a list of all postmasters to date: John Remple, Ed. Woenike, John F. 
Enns, Alice M. Anderson and J. P. Anderson. 

COMMERCIAL INTERESTS IN IO,l6. 

The business interests of Butterfield at June, 1916, were in the hands 
of the following: 

Auto Garage — Butterfield Auto Company. 

Banks Peoples State Bank, State Bank. 

Barber — John O. Ness. 

Blacksmith— Ole A. Ulvestad. 

Creamery— Butterfield Creamery Company, N. C. Norensen, manager. 

I >rugs — J. W. Hollenitsch. 

Dentist— V. V. Rele.' 

Elevator— Hubbard & Palmer Company, Farmers Elevator Company. 

Furniture — ECintzi & Ewy. 

General Dealers— Gust Miller, S. J. Sulen, 1'. W. Rempel. 

Hotel Butterfield. 

I l.ii ness frank Loews. 

Hardware— Kintzi & Ewy, Friesen & Holte, W. W. Rempel. 

Implements Clans Melheim, Farmers Elevator Company. 

Jeweler J. \\ . I [ollenitsch. 

I umber J. II. Queal and Company. 

I iver) I Lin-- E. Staaling, Carl Kramer. 

MilR -St. James Milling Company. Halherson & Skjie. 




STATE BANK. BUTTERFIELD. 




SCENES IN BITTERFIELD. 



PUBLIC ! : 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 429 

.Millinery— Mrs. P. W. Rempel. 

Meat Market — Otto F. Langhoff. 

Newspaper — The Butterfield Advocate, John W. Hubin, proprietor. 

Opera House — The Butterfield. 

Physician — Dr. Ole E. Hagen. 

Produce Dealer — Butterfield Mercantile Company. 

Restaurants — S. C. Johnston. Mrs. \Y. Abel. 

Wagonmaker — Aug. B. Schwietert. 

Although Butterfield has a population of only four hundred and twenty- 
five, vet her progress and volume of husiness are equal to that of towns 
several times her size. Credit for these things belong almost entirely to the 
Commercial Club, organized in 1907 for civic and industrial purposes. Per- 
haps one of the most important things accomplished by the club is the secur- 
ing of electric lights for the town. The present officers of the Commercial 
Club are as follow: President. D. E. Raney; vice-president, J. Brogger; 
secretarv. J. O. Ness; treasurer, S. J. Sulem. 

In November. 1903. Butterfield had a fire which destroyed over twenty 
thousand dollars worth of village property. 

In 1004 there was a fire in the village which destroyed a hardware and 
furniture store belonging to Kintzi Brothers, and a confectionery belonging 
to Edw. Bergthold. 

In 1916 the house of E. Brogger was partly burned and the loss was 
assessed at seven hundred dollars. 

INCORPORATION HISTORY. 

Butterfield was incorporated as a village on April 5. 1895. The follow- 
ing have served as presidents of the board: I'.. Rempel, G. A. Kintzi, J. J. 
Harder, A. Syverson, R. M. Kintzi, ( >. A. Ulvestad. S. J. Sulem. 

The first village officers were as follow: B. Rempel, president; G. A. 
Kintzi. recorder. Those of 1916 are: S. J. Sulem. president; J. W. Hubin, 
recorder; E. Brogger, Frank Toews and 1'. W. Rempel, trustees; John 
Kintzi. treasurer. 

The village has four miles of cement walk-, two lire engines, two hose 
cars, a volunteer lire company of nineteen men. two cells for jail purposes 
in village hall, which building was erected in 1005. In [916 there was 
in-tailed by the Northern States Power Company, under a twenty-five year 
franchise, a complete electric lighting system for both light and power. 



430 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

FIELDON TOWNSHIP. 

Fieldon civil township is comprised of congressional township 106, 
range 30 west, and is on, the eastern line of the county with Madelia town- 
ship at the north, Blue Earth county at the east, Antrim township at the 
south and Rosendale township at the west. There are no towns or hamlets 
within its borders. The Fairmont and Madelia branch of the Chicago, St. 
Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha railroad runs through sections 4, 9, 15, 21, 28 
and 33, the same running directly on the half section line from north to 
south. The surface is mostly a level prairie plane, with a few small streams, 
but void of any lakes of any considerable size. 

This township had a population in 1890 of 487; in 1900 it had 547 and 
according to the census in 1910 it had a population of 535. 

ORGANIZATION HISTORY. 

In September, 1868, at the meeting of the board of county commission- 
ers that body changed the name of Wakefield township to that of Fieldon. 
Wakefield had been organized by the commissioners at the March, 1868, 
meeting from township 106, range 30 west, but for some reason was in 
September of that year changed to Fieldon, by which it is still known. 

FIRST SETTLERS. 

Among the very earliest settlers in this township were these: Nick 
McNamara, Dan Griffen, Charles McLaughlin, Martin Burk, Herman Mad- 
son, John Madson, Thomas Yeagen, who was burned to death in a prairie 
fire. 

HOMESTEAD ENTRIES IN FIELDON TOWNSHIP. 

Charles (lawman, by certificate held by him and presented at the land 
office in New (Jim, homesteaded the northeast quarter of section 28, town- 
ship Kid. range 30 west, the same being signed by President U. S. Grant 
July to, [871. 

[oseph Lehner, at the New Ulm land office, homesteaded the east half 
of the southwest quarter of section 8, township 106, range 30 west, the 
same being issued by I". S. Grant. President of the United States, March 1, 
1N76. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 431 

Peter Hoft'elt, by certificate No. 1,932, at the New Ulm land office, 
secured a homestead right to the west half of the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 4, township 106, range 30 west, the same being signed by President 
Grover Cleveland, April 27, 1885. 

Under the same act of Congress, warrant Xo. 94,881, for a quarter of 
section 14. township 106, range 30, was received at St. Peter land office and 
signed by President Abraham Lincoln. It was issued to Josephus Weter, 
private in Captain Davis's company. New York militiamen, in the War of 
[812. This land is in Fieldon township. 



LONG LAKE TOWNSHIP. 

Long Lake township is comprised of congressional township 105, range 
32 west. It is on the southern border line of the county, with Odin town- 
ship at the west, St. James at the north and South Branch township at the 
east. It is six miles square and contains thirty-six full sections. It is a 
prairie township, but has three good-sized lakes and several smaller water 
sheets, or prairie ponds, which, with the cultivation and improvement of the 
country, are fast disappearing from view. The lakes referred to are Kansas 
Lake, Long Lake. Alary Lake. These are all in the northern half of the 
township, the former being situated in the northwest part, while the other 
two are in the northeastern portion. These prairie lakes abound in fish and 
have considerable improvement around their shores and afford a nice sum- 
mer resort for the citizens of St. James and surrounding country. In the 
exact center of the township is found a good town hall. The villages of the 
township are Echols and Ormsby, the former in the northern part and the 
latter on the county line south and extends over into Martin county. 

The population of the township in 1890 was 538; in 1900 it was 650 
and in the United States census reports for [910 it was given as 583. 

The Minneapolis & St. Louis railroad traverses the township from north 
to south, through sections 3, 9, 10, 16, 21, 28 and 33, with stations at Ormsby 
and Echols. 

ORGANIZATION. 

Long Lake township was organized in March, t868, from township 105, 
ranges 32 and ^^ west. At the same meeting old "Wakefield" township was 
created at the same meeting, but is now known as Fieldon. 



43 2 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

FIRST SETTLEMENT. 

The first settlement here was effected by Hans Johnson, who was born 
in 1821 in Norway, and settled in this township in 1858. Another very early 
settler was George Johnson. 

In 1S57 Gabriel Ellingson and Iver Sole settled in Long Lake. Hans 
Olson Hegg also took a claim, but left soon after, selling to Hans Thompson. 
Air. Hegg returned after the close of the Indian troubles. 

In 1857 arrived Jacob Tharal and wife, Jens and Thor Torsen, with 
their mother, Marie Torsen Overig; Hans Pedersen and wife, Rand; Sivert 
Nicolai and Nils Fjelstad. Salra Torgenson and wife; Lars Havlorson 
Longmeyer came in 1861 ; John and Simon Poland came in 1862. 

HOMESTEAD ENTRIES IN LONG LAKE TOWNSHIP. 

Under the act of congress approved on May 20, 1862, the following 
homesteads were taken up and proved up on at the end of the five years 
required by that act : 

I'eter P. Moe, certificate No. 6,974, at the Worthington land office, 
was laid on the west half of the northwest quarter of section 12, township 
105, range 32 west, issued by President Grover Cleveland, and signed on 
July 2-, 1S85. 

Xels Gunderson, certificate No. 2,600 at the Jackson land office, was 
laid on the northeasl quarter of section 20. township 105, range 32, west, 
issued by President Chester A. Arthur, signed mi June 5, T8S4. 

I'eter Lee, certificate No. 6,718. at the Worthington land office, on the 
east half of the southeast quarter of section 2, township 105, range 7,2 west, 
issued by President Chester A. Arthur, signed on June 5, 1884. 

John Turton, certificate No. 4,832, at the Worthington land office was 
land "ii tlie west half of the northeast quarter of section 12, township 105, 
range 32 west, issued by President Rutherford B. Hayes, signed on Novem- 
ber 5. 1S7S. 

[NDIAN ATROCITIES. 

Sinn hi Poland was wounded and his step-son, Christian, killed by the 
Indians in [863. His wife and son Tosten were also severely wounded and 
left for dead. Imt recovered and fled with other settlers to Butternut Valley. 
Others who settled here in the early sixties were Mad- Olson Boxrud, Her- 
man Madson, John and Haakon Martin and Ole l'alune. To give an idea 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 433 

of the hardships which the settlers of that time had to endure, it is only 
necessary to say that there was not a foot of railroad in Minnesota in the 
early fifties. The nearest flouring-mills were at Kasota. Mankato and 
South Bend were the nearest trading points. When it was necessary to 
make a long journey, several would go together so that when any bad place 
had to be crossed, three or four ox teams could be hitched to one wagon and 
thus pull it through. There were no bridges over the Blue Earth or Waton- 
wan rivers, and scarcely a ford ; and as for roads, the people chose the lines 
of least resistance. There was a mail route between Mankato and Sioux 
City, and a postoffice was established in the Rosendale settlement, Nils Tor- 
sen being the first postmaster. Jens Torsen was the first mail carrier; after- 
wards Hans Johnson Berdell and Jacob Thorvaldson acted in the same 
capacity. In the summer time the mail carrier rode a pony. When the 
water was too deep to wade, he fastened the mail sack over his head, drove 
the horse into the water, clinging to his neck with one hand and paddling 
with the other, and thus swimming across. In winter the carriers generally 
used snow shoes or skis, for the weather was too uncertain to permit the use 
of horses, and there were long stretches of country where no shelter was to 
be found. When the mail carrier was overtaken by a snowstorm he bur- 
rowed in a snow bank and stayed there until the storm was over. There 
was a settlement at Jackson and another at Spirit Lake. At these two 
stations the carriers stopped to leave and to receive mail. Between stations 
they stopped at Indian encampments for food and rest. 

In the spring of 1857 news came from Spirit Lake and Jackson that 
the Indians bad risen and killed many people. A great many people living 
in the vicinity of Long Lake lied to Isaac Slocum's place and took refuge 
in his log house. However, no Indians appeared at this time. This was 
called the Impadutahs war, as that chief led the Indians. In the fall of 
1862 came the time of trial for the settlers, as the Indians under the leader- 
ship of Little Crow began to attack the frontier settlements in .Minnesota and 
Lowa, murdering and plundering and committing frightful outrages. News 
of the attack on Xew I'lm reached the settlers and their thoughts were turned 
to defense or flight. The [ndians were sulking in the woods and in the tall 
prairie grass, ready t<> -hoot down any defen eless settlers whom they might 
see. At Xils Tor-en's place there were gathered Jacob Thorvaldsen, George 
Knudson and Maria Torsen Overig. Two Indians emerged from the woods 
nearby and opened lire, wounding Knudson in the arm. While the Indians 
were reloading, Knudson and Mrs. Overig ran for a cornfield and hid tC 
(28) ' 



434 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

until it became dark. Under cover of the night they made their way to 
Madelia and took refuge with Ole Jorgenson. Thorvaldsen ran for the 
timber and followed the river to Madelia expecting to be shot by the Indians 
at any moment. Ole Jorgenson and Knud Knudson went to Knud Larson's 
after horses and on the way were shot at by two Indians, Jorgenson receiv- 
ing a bullet in his left shoulder and a slight wound in the left cheek. 

While the Indians were reloading Ole and Knud ran behind a knoll and 
succeeded in concealing themselves so that the savages passed by without 
seeing them. Jorgenson ran to a slough where there was tall grass and lay 
on his back in the water with only bis head sticking out. Knudson hid in 
another patch of grass and reached Madelia the next day. Jorgenson 
remained longer in hiding and was picked up by some soldiers on their way 
to Madelia to aid the settlers in defense against the Indians. When he hrst 
saw the soldiers he took them for Indians and fled, but, perceiving his mistake, 
returned and went with them to Madelia. The Indians stole four horses 
from Knud Larsen and one from Ole Jorgenson. 

STOCKADES ERECTED. 

Afterwards more soldiers were sent and more stockades were built at 
Madelia, Lake Hanska, North Branch; Ole Jorgenson's house was used as 
a fort by the soldiers and another stockade was built in Long Lake, on the 
south side of the river. The troops having established posts and patrols 
through the country, the settlers took courage and returned to their homes, 
believing that the Indians would not venture to renew their attack in the face 
of so formidable a force. This was, however, a mistaken notion; for quite 
unexpectedly the redskins made a raid on Long Lake in 1863, killing five 
men and wounding several others and taking whatever property was of value 
to them. Ole Palme and Gabriel Ellingson bad ventured to Mink Lake to 
trap and fish and on their return were attacked by the Indians, near Kansas 
Lake and slain. Ole Palme's head was severed from his body and set on a 
pole. Troops afterwards found the head and buried it with the mangled 
body, (luldorand T'almeson was killed near Long Lake. He bad a fish 
spear with him at the time and the savages took it and ran it through his 
body. Mis wife took their three children and lied to the stockades. In 
order to reach it she was obliged to cross the river on a fallen log. carrying 
a child under each arm and one clinging about her neck and shoulders. The 
Indians saw her, but forbore to pursue. They laughed at the sight and let 
the Fugitives go unharmed. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 435! 

Ole Palme's children, Petera, Taar and four-year-old Inga came crying 
to Lars Halvorson Langemyers earl}- one morning and reported that the 
Indians were coming. Lars ran to the stable for a horse, but found that all 
his horses had been taken. He with his wife and the Palme children then 
started on foot for the fort. The Indians met them on the way, but did not 
harm them, although they plundered the house and destroyed all the prop- 
erty. 

Salve Torgenson had gone, away from home, but left two soldiers, one 
of whom was named Monson, to protect his family. Some Indians came 
to the place early on the morning of April 19, before anyone was out of bed 
and fired through the windows, severely wounding Mrs. Torgenson. The 
soldiers sprang from their beds to get their weapons, but before they could 
make any resistance Monson was shot dead and the other man wounded. 
The wounded soldier, however, got his musket and succeeded in frightening 
the skulking redskins away. Mrs. Torgerson's wound was dangerous and 
she came near bleeding to death before she could reach the fort, a quarter of 
a mile away. With the aid of the soldier, himself wounded, she succeeded 
in reaching the fort, and it was not long before she was strong and well 
again. 

EARLY CONDITIONS DESCRIBED. 
By George M. Johnson. 

Away back in the years of 1857 and 1858, while the territory now 
included in Watonwan county was still a part of Brown county, these beau- 
tiful prairies lay waving with green grass and wild flowers, without a human 
habitation, save an occasional Indian tepee. There was nothing to indicate 
the advent of the white man except the stakes and mounds erected by the 
government surveyors to mark the divisions of the land, which was then 
being divided into sections and quarter sections by a party of men among 
whom was M. K. Armstrong. 

The state had just been admitted to the union and there was at that 
time a prevailing spirit of adventure and speculation. Early in 1858 there 
came to these parts a colony of young Englishmen who claimed all the tim- 
bered lands and proposed to found a great city at the end of Long Lake 
and call it Xew London, or New Glory, or some other high-sounding name, 
to attract more settlers. They proposed to build a canal from the lake to 
the river and provide it with locks to conserve the water and use the lake 
as a huge dam to run a saw-mill, a grist-mill and other machinery. 

There were at this time a few settlers around the present site of Madelia 



436 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

and also along the river in Rosendale and Riverdale townships. The rest of 
the territory was practically a wilderness. And as the Indians only made 
periodic visits each spring and fall for the purpose of hunting and fishing, 
the colonists were for the most part "monarchs of all they surveyed." One 
of these colonists, whose name was John Kensie, was a scholarly gentleman 
and of a well-to-do family in England. He had a wife and three or four 
children and built a log hut on the south side of the grove, by the lake, which 
still bears his name, though in a distorted form, "Kansas Lake." The orig- 
inal and historic name is Kensie's Lake. 

The other English colonists, who were nearly all unmarried men, with- 
out property and quite unwilling to work, were soon reduced to the necessity 
of subsisting on corn bread and gopher soup, and as these substances became 
luxuries, the colonists were soon compelled to seek "other fields and pastures 
green" and the contemplated city — which was never built — with its high 
sounding name, fell flat. 

John Kensie, who remained at Kensie's Lake long enough to make many 
friends among the sturdy Norwegian settlers, who soon occupied the lands 
vacated by his English comrades, was the last to vacate his claim — about 
i860. During the winter of 1850 and i860 this venerable gentleman was 
employed as teacher among the settlers, and was the first teacher in this 
part of the county. 

NORWEGIAN SETTLERS. 

The Norwegian settlers did not come, in a colony, but in families, one 
at a time. Mans Johnson's family being the first, in 1858. was permitted 
by the colonists to settle on section 21, where there was timber enough for 
one family. Other settlers soon moved in and took up the vacated claims 
ni the colonists along the river. They brought with them a yoke of oxen, 
a cow or two, a wagon and some household goods. They built log huts and 
log stables and proceeded to till the soil on a small scale, as best they could. 
They raised sod corn and potatoes, and in later years wheat and garden 
truck, including the famous "homestead tobacco." whose flavor was only to 
be experienced to be remembered. The settlers had no knowledge of the 
method of curing the tobacco leaves and although they grew both long and 
broad and looked very fine, they had a raw, pungenl flavor that was abomin- 
able. 

Fish and wild game such as gee e, ducks and prairie chickens were more 
abundant than now, and formed a considerable pan of the food supply for 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 437 

the settlers. The rabbit which is now so common, was entirely unknown. 
Lack of ammunition was a great drawback. The settlers had nothing to sell 
except a few raw furs. Mankato was the nearest place where supplies could 
be bought, and it took from five to seven days with an ox team to make the 
round trip. These trips had to be limited to about two in a year and the 
strictest economy had to be practiced in everything. Tea was substituted by 
native herbs and coffee by roasted wheat, rye, corn, etc. Twenty-five cents 
worth of sugar was often a year's supply for a family. 

Tallow dips for candles and a cotton wick with a little lard in a shallow 
dish for a lamp, were the only means of lighting. The men wore home- 
made shoes, shirts and pantaloons, while calico dresses were "all in style" 
among the women. Yet. the settlers, under these conditions, were quite 
happv, for they were all equal and free. They visited and loved one another, 
as good neighbors should. They had no rent to pay, no burdensome taxes 
and no mortgages to worry over. They were not held up by the coal trust 
and had no high tariff to pay on anything. They certainly had good reasons 
for being happy, which the present generation does not possess. 

In i860 the settlers caught the spirit of the national campaign and 
songs of "Old Abe - ' and Stephen A. Douglas were heard in every hut. 
"Old Abe" was the hero and Stephen A. Douglas was the butt of all the 
jokes. 

Lincoln was elected President, the Southern states seceded and the Civil 
War broke out. At the first call for troops John Peterson, a young bachelor, 
who had settled on section 28. enlisted and went south never to return. But 
the great disaster of the little settlement came in 1862. when the Indian 
massacre broke out at Xew L T lm. One August morning, at six o'clock, a 
messenger brought the news of the Indian outbreak. As there was no means 
of defense against a possible attack of the Indians, the settlers moved in a 
bodv to the settlement in Rosendale township. Here they scattered; some 
families moved eastward to get settled for the winter, while others remained 
to await developments. 

After a few weeks there was a lull in the Indian trouble. A company 
of soldiers was stationed in this town-hip and proceeded to build a fort and 
a stockade on section 23. Relying on the protection of the fort and its sol- 
diers, some of the settlers moved back to their homes in the fall of r862. 
But in the spring of 1863, early in April, they were surprised by a band of 
Indians who raided the settlement from east to west, killing five persons, 
including one of the soldiers, and wounding six persons. \fter this tragedy 
the settlement was wholly abandoned until [866, when peace and safety were 



438 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

completely restored. Only two families of the original settlers ever returned 
to make their homes in this township after the restoration of peace — Hans 
Johnson with his family in August, 1866, and R. Danielson, in the spring 
of 1868. 

DR. HAYNES' RECOLLECTIONS. 

A few years since. Dr. Haynes, of St. James, wrote as follows: Ras- 
mus Danielson, one of the early settlers of Long Lake, had some interesting 
experiences in the Indian outbreak in 1862. He lived on a farm near the 
river and says that one evening in August, 1862, two men came to his house 
and told him to leave as soon as he could, as the Indians were on the war- 
path. His wagon was standing in the yard with some hay on it. He got 
his team out and started off in a northerly direction, toward Ole Jorgenson's 
place. When the}' got there, everyone was gone. There was nothing to 
stop for, so Mr. Danielson drove cross country to Shelbyville. They stayed 
there about two weeks, along with other refugees, who had fled from the 
wrath of the red men. They afterwards went to Iowa, remained about a 
year. 

In the spring a stockade was constructed by the soldiers on the spot 
where Cereal postofnce afterward stood, and the house and buildings in the 
surrounding country were taken by the troops for material for the "fort." 
When Mr. Danielson returned from the army in which he entered in 1863, 
he brought in a claim against the state of Minnesota for the loss of bis prop- 
erty, but it was not paid until the last session of the Legislature, when 
attorney J. L. Lobben presented it and got six hundred dollars by a special 
act for Mr. I )anielson. 

THE VILLAGE OF 0RMSBY. 

This village is partly in .Martin and partly in Watonwan counties. It 
is an incorporated village of about one hundred and fifty people. It was 
platted in section 32, township 105, range 32 west, by Harry L. and Anna 
L Jenkins, t Ictober 14, [899. It is a station on the Minneapolis & St. Louis 
railroad and was probably named after Colonel Ormsby, of Emmetsburg, 
Iowa. 

In [916 the following business interest- were represented: 

Hank Farmers State. 

Barber \\ . V Urhback. 

Elevator -Stockdale and Dietz Elevator Company. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 439 

General Dealer — Christian Jensen. 

Hardware — A. G. Dushinske. 

Implements — Hans M. Vagstad. 

Telephone — Tri-state. 

The above includes only those doing business in Watonwan county. 

One of the commendable organizations of this village and community 
is the Farmers Club, of which Mr. S. P. Staffer is president. The club 
meets every two weeks in the village, usually at the school building. A 
definite program is usually given by members of the club, followed by a lunch 
and social hour. 

MUNICIPAL HISTORY. 

Ormsbv became an incorporated town in 1902. The first elective 
officers were as follow: President, Sam. Farver; trustees, H. M. Vagstad, 
1. 1". Northdurft, A. Ingold; recorder, F. H. Clark. 

The present elective officers are as follow: President, R. H. Mueller; 
trustees. T. A. Parsons. C. Jensen, W. F. Leniberg; recorder, H. M. Vag- 
ctad. 

A pressing need of fire protection caused the town to seek an unlimited 
supply of water. Consequently in 1902 a well was driven just north of 
town to a depth of three hundred feet at which point an unlimited flow of 
water was found. The cost was about four hundred dollars. Reservoirs, 
five in number, were placed beneath the surface of the ground at various 
places in the town and connected by pipes. Each reservoir contains one 
hundred gallons. A hand engine and five hundred feet of fire hose were 
bought at a cost of five hundred dollars. The fire company is composed of 
men who volunteer their services. The town has about six blocks of well 
improved cement sidewalks. 



M XDF.I.IA TOWNSHIP. 

This is one of the original civil townships of Watonwan county, and 
now comprises congressional township No. 107. range 30 west. It is the 
northeast township in the county and is -ix miles s(|iinrc in extent, ft is 
the seat of the old county seat, the village by the same name having been 
chosen such by the state authorities in organizing this comity in i860. At 
first it embraced all the territory in Watonwan county, but year after year, 
as the county was settled up, other sub-divisions were cut out of its territory, 



440 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

until at last it came to embrace only its present thirty-six sections, same as 
all others of the county. From section 30, to section 13. runs the main line 
of the old St. Paul & Sioux City railroad, now the property of the Chicago, 
St. Paul, Minneapolis & Omaha railroad. The station point on this road, 
within this township, as now described, is the village of Madelia, in sections 
22 and 27. Among the numerous lakes and lakelets in Madelia township 
are School Lake, in sections 9, 16 and 17: Hopkins Lake, in sections 13 and 
14; Lau Lake, in sections 13 and 25, and Bedje Lake, in sections 12, 13 
and 14. 

The principal stream of the township is Watonwan river, flowing from 
west to east, entering section 19 and leaving the township and county from 
section 36. This has smaller streams as its tributaries, and this causes the 
topography of the township to he somewhat more broken than other parts 
of Watonwan county. 

Of ••ecent years the township has a small mileage of a branch of the 
railroad system above mentioned, which is a feeder running from the village 
of Madelia to Fairmont, which line is almost an air line running north and 
south. It leaves the main line at the west of Madelia and runs directly 
south and out of the township from section 33 over into Fieldon township. 
Between two and three miles of this railroad are in Madelia township. 

In 1890 this township had a population of 541 ; in [900 it had 651, and 
in 1910 the last United States census gave it as having a population of 574, 
exclusive of the village of Madelia. 

EARLY SETTLEMENT. 

The following list of the very earliest settlers at Madelia and in 
Madelia township is as follows, as recalled by Mr. Estes: S. B. Estes. 
William Estes, J. Flanders, Janus Glispen, C. N. Pomeroy, section 2, Ma- 
delia: Messrs. Hartshorn, Sheppard and Haire, Jonathan and Caleb Leavitt, 
William Gilbert, II. Hoge, M. <)ls.m. John C. Sprague, C. I. Ash, D. R. 
Bill, J. S. Benear, J. X. Cheney, J. A. Clark. James II. Cornwell, J. T. 
Furber, II. I. Gilbert, J. A. Gicriet, \Y. Colden. William II. Witham, James 
Hopkins, II. 1). Joy, II. C. King, B. O, Kempfer, section 28; A. Kinzzell, 
M. E. Mullen, Charles Mullen, I lelge I'olmeson, section 19; John M. Robb, 
Thomas Rutledge, B, C. Sanborn, T. ('. Serving, section 2; T. L. Vought 
(Flanders Hotel), II. I'. Wadsworth, A. J. Xickolson, O. F. Winnestrand, 
John Chase 1 an army veteran I. J. T. Mitchell, Samuel Driggers, J. Travis. 
James I'. Haycrafl ami Siver N. Fjelsta. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 44 1 

LANDS ENTERED RY WARRANTS. 

\mong the interesting land entries found in the books of the register 
of deeds in the court house at St. James are the following: 

Patent Xo. i is issued on a soldier's script warrant to Lvdia Russell, 
widow of Stephen Russell, seaman gunboat No. i_'8, flotilla service, War of 
1812. and is warrant Xo. 70,036, and was laid on the northwest quarter of 
section 28, township 107, range 30 west, at the St. Peter land office. It 
was by her assigned to Bernard O. Kempffer, and the document is signed 
by President James Buchanan, who caused the seal of the general land office 
to be attached to the same, and states that it was given at the City of Wash- 
ington, D. C, November 10, 1859. This appears as the first warrant for 
lands taken up in Watonwan county. 

Land warrant No. 80,708 — Bounty lands to soldiers of the United 
States military service, for one hundred and sixty acres in the west half of 
the northwest quarter of section 26, township 107, range 30, on account of 
services had in the Seminole Indian War. It was issued to H. P. Gilbert 
by Abraham Lincoln, President. June 1st, 1861, and signed by him, as well 
as by secretary. W. F. Stoddard. Mr. Gilbert secured it from the guardian 
of an Indian girl, whose father was a loyal warrior in war in Florida. This 
is in Madelia township. 

Land warrant No. 93.147. for a quarter of section 22, township 107, 
range 30, in favor of Joseph B. Brown, a private in Captain Candee's com- 
pany. Xew York militia, in the War of 1812, was patented by President 
Abraham Lincoln, June 1, 1861. This is within Madelia township. 

Patent Xo. 49,011. for a quarter of sections 20 and 21, township 107, 
range 30, was granted to Richard Russel, a private in Captain Jeffry's com- 
pany, Ohio militia, in the War of 1812, ami i< signed by President A. Lin- 
coln, June 1, 1 86 1. 

A pre-emption claim was filed as Xo. 6,175, by James II. I layer, at the 
St. Peter land office, and is described as being the southwesl quarter of the 
southwest quarter of section 14, township 107. range 30, ami is signed by 
President Andrew Johnson. This i- situated in Madelia township. 

Land patent Xo. 55,455, for a hundred and sixty acres, was in favor of 
Elizabeth F. Cummings, widow of Stephen Murphet, private in Captain 
Holt's company. Massachusetts militia, in the War of iNij. It was laid on 
the northwest quarter of section 32, township 107. range 30 west, and issue, 1 
from the St. I'eter land office and signed by President James Buchanan. 



44- COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Military warrant, under the act of Congress approved in 1855, giving 
land warrant to soldiers and sailors in the various wars of this country, and 
bearing the number of 69,664. is on a quarter section, granted to John Eng- 
land, teamster in the quartermaster's department, War of 1812. and is 
described as lots one, two and seven in section 11, township 107, range 30, 
in Madelia township, the same being signed by President Abraham Lincoln 
in 1862. 

Another warrant, under the above act, was laid on a hundred acres in 
the northwest quarter of the northeast quarter of section 25, township 107, 
range 30 west, and is numbered 49,216, and signed by President James 
Buchanan, March 15. i860. It was in favor of Thomas Piatt, ensign in 
Captain McComb's company of Pennsylvania militiamen, in the War of 18 12. 

Mexican War scrip was held by Sarah McKenzie. mother of George 
McKenzie, private in Captain Duff's company. Third regiment. United 
States dragoons, and was in shape of a warrant No. 80,168, and bears date 
of ( >ctober, 1847, an( l me land was secured in this county. 

Another warrant for a quarter section of land was laid on the north- 
west quarter of section 27, township 107. range 30, Madelia township, in 
favor of Henry G. Hammond, private in Captain Vaughn's company, Mas- 
sachusetts militia, in the War of 181 2. It is signed by President Tames 
Buchanan and is numbered 36,573. 

HOMESTEAD ENTRIES. 

By an act of Congress in May, [862, any citizen of this country upon 
the payment of a filing fee of fourteen dollars, might obtain free of charge 
a quarter section of land outside railroad limits and eight)' acres inside, by 
residing on it five years and making the common farm improvements on 
same. In this township the following, with possibly a few such homestead 
entries were made, and today the tracts id' land thus secured are among the 
i valuable in the county. 

No. 1 was made by llalvor Erickson, at the land office at St. Peter, 
March 1, 1X70, and was signed by President V. S. (Irani, and it was for the 
southeasl half of the northeast quarter of section 10, township 107, range 

30 West. 

One granted to Wilson Winters, a certificate No. 1,614, for the west 

half of the southeasl quarter of section ro, township 107, range ^o west. 

This was signed t>) President U. S. Grant, August 10, 1872. 

The easl half of the southeast quarter of section 6, township 107, range 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINX. 443 

30 west, was homesteaded to Flse Nilsson by President U. S. Grant, May 
20, 1874. 

Certificate No. 7,369, at the New Ulm land office, was granted to Jacob 
B. K. McCurdy, on the northwest quarter of section 30, township 107, 
range 30. This was signed by President U. S. Grant. November 1, 1875. 

Certificate No. 5.387. at the Tracy land office, was issued to J. Saw- 
artzky, on the north half of the southwest quarter of section 30, township 
107, range 30 west, and was signed by Grover Cleveland, President of the 
United States, April 27, 1885. 

On February 22, 1865, application No. 1,957, for a homestead in this 
county, was filed by William H. Pickett, after paying the filing fee of four- 
teen dollars, for the southeast quarter of the northwest quarter and the north- 
east quarter of the southwest quarter of section 18, township 107, range 30 
west. This was effected at the St. Peter land office. 

On February 1. 1865, a homestead claim was filed by Thomas Clark in 
the northwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 14, township 107, 
range 30 west, and its number was 1,918. This was in Madelia township. 

On February 22, 1865, at St. Peter land office, a homestead was laid 
on the west half of the southeast quarter of section 10, township 107, range 
30 west, by Robert M. Gist. 

Wilson Winters homesteaded at the St. Peter land office, August 13, 
1866. the west half of the southeast quarter of section 10. township 107, 
range 30 west. 

Daniel Winters took, on May 20, [862, pre-emption claim No. 3,198, 
in the northwest of the northeast of section t8, township 107, range 30, in 
Madelia township. 

United States to Ole W. Martin, from the Xew Ulm land office, patent 
filed on September 23, 1885, on the northwest quarter of the southwest 
quarter, section 2, township 107, range 30 west, including eighty acres. This 
homestead entry was made and signed by President U. S. Grant, January 

2J. 1873. 

VILLAGE OF M XDKI.IA. 

Madelia was platted in 1857 in the northeast portion of the county. It 
is one hundred and ten miles from St. Paul and one hundred and fifty-nine 
miles from Sioux City. Iowa. It is on the Watonwan river, in sections 22 
and 27, township 107, range 30 west. Its proprietors were Messrs. Harts- 
horn, Shepard and Ilaire, and it derived its name from thai of the daughter 
"Madelia" of General Hartshorn and wife. Here, three log and one small 



444 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

frame house were erected ; also a steam saw-mill by Jonathan and Caleb 
Leavitt. 

In 1862, during the Sioux uprising, all of the settlers fled to Mankato 
for refuge and some never returned to be permanent settlers again. But 
after the massacre was ended and quiet was again restored in southern Min- 
nesota, many returned and went to work. These families who returned 
were for a time protected by a company of cavalry under Captain E. St. 
Julian Cox, whose men built an improvised fort for the settlement's protec- 
tion. 

POSTOFFICE. 

This office is one among the first to be established in this section of the 
state. At the present time it is a second-class office, with five rural routes. 
Among the postmasters that have served are the following: G. Yates, C. 
VV. Kendall. Carl Scot, C. W. Mullen. T. F. Goor, J. E. Haycraft, Julia 
Holly and E. L. Goor. 

EARLY BUSINESS FACTORS. 

There were two or three efforts to establish stores in Madelia previous 
to the one opened by Yates Brothers. Of one of these Mr. Louis Roberts, 
of St. Paul, was the proprietor. These were temporary efforts, however, 
and did not last even by succession. 

In the fall of 1867 Mr. C. L. Richardson erected a store building and 
put in a stock of goods. This he continued to occupy until the summer of 
1870, when Boy ton & Cheney, who were in business at Garden City, pur- 
chased his stock and established a branch store. This firm continued in 
business until the spring of 187J. when it was dissolved, Mr. Cheney tak- 
ing the -tore and moved his family to Madelia. At the same time he 
enlarged his building ami put in an excellent assortment of general mer- 
chandise. 

Mr. Ransom, who was engaged in blacksmithing, remodeled his shop 
into a store m the summer of [868 and put in a small stock of hardware 
and other goods. In March, [869, he sold to Kstes & Hopkins, who con- 
tinued in the business until the next September, when Hopkins sold his 
interesl to Christian Heigum. The firm continued under this name until 
the spring of 1872, when Christian disposed of his interests to H. C. King 
and John M. Robb, forming the firm of Kstes, King & Company. This firm 





VIEWS ON MAIN STREET, MAD] I i' 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 445 

removed their stock to Mr. Estes' building in the fall ami in the following 
spring Estes retired, leaving the firm as King & Robb. 

With the approach of the railroad the prospects of the town began to 
improve fast and when the iron horse reached there in the summer of 1870 
the town was all astir putting up places for business. One of those who 
came at this time was M. E. Dunn, from Lake Crystal. He opened a store, 
consisting of general merchandise, in the block just erected by H. S. Willson, 
where he soon built up a good trade, part of the time having two clerks 
besides himself. In connection with his store he received the appointment 
of local agent for the express company, a position that he held for a long 
time. He was also a grain buyer, but this business did not keep him very 
busy because there was very little grain grown at that date. He identified 
himself fully with the town by purchasing the store building and stock of 
Howes & Lamper, corner of Alain and St. Paul streets. This was about 
the same time that Eckstorm Brothers & Brown removed their business 
from South Bend to Madelia. They erected a building on Main street and 
kept it well filled with a stock of merchandise. At the same time came 
O. H. Davis, who had formerly been in business at Mankato, and built his 
store for hardware on the corner of Main and Willson streets. 

The first regular drug store in Madelia was opened by Bill & Barton, 
who came from Garden City and purchased a building on Main street, near 
St. Paul street, which place they fitted up for tin- purpose. Later, the firm 
became known as Bill & Moore. 

Dr. G. H. Overholt had a good stock of drills and medicines next door 
to the "Pioneer" store. His store was established by the firm of Adams & 
Langdon about 1856. 

[n 1870 Jerome Patterson came from Mankato to open a jewelry store. 
T I i — store was on the corner of Main and St. Paul streets. Xext door to 
him was the first harness shop, started by William Seeger, who came from 
Lake Crystal, lie -old his interests in a few years to (',. A. Gieriet. 

Mrs. Frizzell opened a millinery store, first occupying rooms in the 
building of Mr. Wickersham used as a drug store. In a few years she 
became so prosperous that she purchased tin- building and continued in the 
same business on a more extensive scale. 

In 1873 Mr-. 1).' Brayton opened a -hop of the same kind, adding dress- 
making as a side line. Almost at the same time. Mrs. Scoville opened a 
dressmaking shop, but was soon succeeded by the Missc- Williams and 
Hamill. 

The first restaurant was opened by J. (i. lefts in 1870. It was not 



446 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

many months until he sold out to A. S. Davis, he in turn selling to S. P. 
Driggers. 

Among the larger mercantile firms of the early period was that of 
Bisbee & Olson. Because of the fact that both men were so well and favor- 
ably known they built up a trade that extended far and wide, thus becoming 
one of the most stable and prosperous firms in this section of the state. The 
firm remained intact for several years, until Air. Bisbee retired from busi- 
ness. 

With the increase in population and in the number of homes came a 
demand for house furnishings, which led to the establishment of a furniture 
-ion- 1>_\ James Smith, who sold to W. R. Marvin. 

At an early date Joseph Flanders erected a hotel and in 1870 improved 
and enlarged it. In 1873 he sold the building to T. L. Yought, who con- 
tinued the business. In 1870 a company built the Northern Hotel, which 
was purchased in 1872 by H. Delling, who changed the name to the Delling 
House. 

The early implement dealers were George Yates, A. Frizzell and H. T. 
Odegaid. The first shoe shop was conducted by A. Knudson. The first 
tailor was A. M. Anderson. 

The first lumber yard was that of J. Dean & Company, established about 
1S74. About the same time a grain elevator was built with a capacity of 
thirty thousand bushels. T. C. Peart was the manager. 

In [888 Warren Golden erected a Hour-mill on the river and for many 
years this mill supplied not only Watonwan county, but many surrounding 
counties with Hour and corn meal. 

In the early days there was great need of a blacksmith shop, and in the 
fall of [865 J. Flanders gave a lot to S. 1'. Driggers, who at once erected a 
shop sixteen feet square and rented it to I''.. I). Miller for one year. The 
time expiring, .Mr. Driggers sold the property to G. R. Ransom, who built 
a small addition for a wagon shop and continued in that business about a 
year, when he decided to start a hardware store. He enlarged the building 
to sixteen by thirty and added a story above, lie started business under the 
name of < ;. R. Ransom & Company, and continued until 1869, when the 
ds and premises were sold to William Estes and J. Hopkins. This firm 
continued until the following September, when Mr. Hopkins retired and C. 
Tergum boughl his interest, finally, Tergum sold bis interest to H. C. 
King and John Ri ibb. 

Vmong the early physicians were Dr. Overholt, Dr. W. II. Woods and 
Dr. < hrist< ipherson. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 447 

The early lawyers were T. Rutledge. E. S. W'illson, F. D. Jay and \V. 
H. H. Johnson. 

The first resident clergy were Rev. N. A. Trobridge, of the Meth- 
odist church. Rev. I. VV. Van Eman, of the Presbyterian church, and Father 
Cunningham, of the Catholic church. 

In 1871 the amount of improvements for the year amounted to ten 
thousand dollars; in 1872 to twenty-one thousand seven hundred and five 
dollars, thus showing how rapidly the town improved in its infancy. 

The first Indian fort was down in the "flat," but this was soon dis- 
carded and another built on the lot just north of where the Methodist church 
now stands, so that the occupants might have a better view of the prairie 
and thereby ward off attacks from the Indians. These forts, built of logs, 
were small and acted merely as a refuge for the settlers. The main fort 
was known as Fort Hill, and was located near Hanska, on the farm now 
owned by Ole Sonsteby. Government troops were stationed in and around 
the forts for nearly two years, but fortunately very little trouble took place 
with the Indians. 

VILLAGE OF MADELIA IN 1885-6. 



From an old directory it is learned that the following were in trade 
and professional life at Madelia in 1885-6: 

Ash, George H. — Capitalist. 

Bank of Madelia — Joseph Flanke. banker; transacted a general banking 
and exchange business. 

Benton. A. H. — Dealer in general merchandise and farm machinery of 
all kinds. 

Bill, Brothers — Dealers in drugs, medicine-, bonks and fancy goods. 

Bisbee, Olson & Boynton — Dealers in general merchandise and farm 
implements, and buyers of all kinds of grain. 

Brenneis, I'. A. — Proprietor of Madelia Brewery. 

Cheney, J. X. — Dealer in general merchandise, groceries, crockery, dry 
goods, clothing, etc, and breeder of short-horn cattle. Norman horses and 
Berkshire hogs. 

Cook & Holmes — Contractors and builders. 

Cooley, Dr. C. O. — Physician and surgeon. 

Cooley, Charles — Attorney-at-law ; loans, insurance and real estate. 

Delling, George W. — Photographer. 

Estes Brothers — Dealers in farm machinery, wagons, etc.; also Short- 
horn cattle and Berkshire swine. 



448 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Evenson, C. — Dealer in wines, liquors and cigars. 

Flanders Hotel — A. E. Fisher, proprietor. 

Gieriet, J. A. — Manufacturer of and dealer in harness, collars, whips, 
trunks and buffalo robes. 

Gilbert, H. P. — Proprietor to Gilbert's Addition to Madelia. 

Gleason, F. C. — Assistant railroad agent and operator. 

Gove & Kendrick — Lumber, sash, doors, etc. ; also wood, coal, lime and 
farm implements. 

Hage, Siver — Dealer in lumber, sash, doors, coal and wood. 

Ilavcraft, S. P. — Dray line. 

Hopkins, D. C. — Attorney-at-law ; real estate. 

Mitchell Prothers — Proprietors of the Madelia flouring-mills. 

Mullen, C. G. — Dealer in stationery, confectionery, etc. 

Rohe. Adolph — Dealer in wines, liquors, beer, etc. 

Sidler, H. C. — Dealer in watches, clocks, jewelry and plated ware. 

Times, Madelia — D. C. Sanborn, proprietor and publisher. 

Wadsworth, H. B.— Capitalist. 

Witham, \V. H. — Dealer in furniture and undertakers' goods. 

LARGE FLOURING-MILL. 

Madelia can easily boast of having the largest flour-mill in the county. 
The mill was founded by its present owner, Mr. C. S. Christensen, and under 
bis management "Madelia's Best"' has become known far and wide. The 
products are marketed throughout Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa and 
the central stales. The daily capacity of the mill is seven hundred barrels 
<>f flour. Seven grain elevators, scattered throughout the country, belong to 
the same firm. In all, thirty-five people are given employment. 

MUNCIPAL HISTORY. 

Madelia was incorporated early in the seventies, and in 1873 the officers 
were as follow: William R. Marvin, president of the board of trustees; 
Joseph Flanders, Henry ('. King, trustees; Jens Thorson, treasurer; F. D. 
Jay, clerk. 

The toil) municipal officers were: William Schaloben, president; J. P. 
G; ' ,;i . Nils Fjelsta, Theodore A. Tollerson, trustees; M. S. Dossett, treas- 
urer: F. 11. Ilillesheim. clerk. 

Tlie village has an indebtedness of sixteen thousand dollars and has 




-1T1!! - j£f T TTT 



m ill 

HI 111 

TFTT 





CATHOLIC SCHOOL, MADELIA. 




IMI1LIC SCHOOL. MADELIA. 




PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, MADELIA. 




FARM HOME NEAR MADELIA. 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 449 

made many substantial improvements in the last few years to show for this 
indebtedness. They have a line water-works system, costing nine thousand 
dollars ; two deep wells : water is pumped by electricity to a ninety-thousand- 
gallon steel tank. The electric lighting is had by a private corporation, 
known as the Madelia Electric Company. The volunteer fire department 
consists of thirt) volunteers. The public park is a full block of ground cov- 
ered with line artificial trees. The village jail is twenty foot square and has 
two cells. 

BIG CONFLAGRATION. 

Probably one of the worst fires that Madelia ever experienced occurred 
on the night of October 31, 1877. The fire had its origin in the rear of 
Eskstorm Brothers & Brown's store, and was thought by some to be of 
incendiarv origin. The fire destroyed the building occupied by the milliner, 
Mrs. Frizzell, the building west of Eckstrom's owned by Mr. Brayton, the 
H. S. Willson block and with it the valuable library of Attorney Willson; 
the building occupied by George P. Johnson and the store of M. E. Mullen. 
The loss was estimated at five to six thousand dollars, with no insurance. 
All those who were burned out were fortunate enough to secure places in 
which to continue their business. 

COMMERCIAL INTERESTS IN I916. 

Auto Garage — Forster Brothers, Madelia Motor Company, W. W. 
Cole & Son. 

Attorney — C. J. Eide. 

Banks — State Bank, First National Bank. 

Barber Shops — Howard L. Driggers, ['"rank Kitchen. 

Blacksmith Shops — Axel Hanson, R. H. Thomas, Toffef Paterson. 

Bakery— Hale & Son-. 

Brick and Tile Plant — Madelia Cement and Tile Company. 

Clothing — Hodapp-Nelson Company. 

Creamery — Madelia Creamery Company, 

Druggist — Madelia Drug and Jewelry Company. 

Dray— L. L. Hall, V. E. Tate. 

Dentist — L. T. Austin, Edwin A. Ilagaman, W. II. Shaver. 

Elevator — C. S. Christenscn Company, Hubbard & Palmer. 

Electric Light Plant — T. J. McGovern. 

(29) 



450 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

Furniture Dealers — McDowell & Company, Schuletz Brothers. 

Feed Store — C. S. Christensen Company. 

Grocers— J. P. Hale & Sons, W. A. Mullen. 

General Dealers — Sever Larson. Mathias Olson, Frank Mullen. 

Hotels — The Noonan, The Madelia. 

Hardware — Charles B. Cooley, Charles R. Klatt, Parr & Bork Hard- 
ware Company. 

Harness — J. A. Gierist, H. Joerg & Son. 

Ice Dealers — Rockwood & Austin. 

Implements — Parr & Bork Hardware Company. Charles R. Klatt, 
Charles H. Cooley. 

Lumber Dealers — S. Hage Lumber Company, Henry Simmons Lumber 
Company. 

Livery — William U. Montgomery. 

Mill — C. S. Christensen Company. 

Millinery — Marie A. Hillesheim. 

Meat Markets — C. J. Hammond, Hodapp & Lamm. 

Marble Works — James J. Tighe. 

Merchant Tailor — Cornelius Blomenkamper. 

Newspapers — Madelia Times-Messenger, Madelia News. 

Notions — George A. Kline. 

Physicians — William J. McCarthy, Henry B. Grimes. 

Picture Show — The Wonderland. 

Photographic Gallery — Wilson Sisters. 

Produce Dealers — E. England, George Rohe. 

Restaurants — A. F. Lodes, Hale & Sons. 

Real Estate Dealers — M. C. Solensten, C. E. Brown Laud Company. 
William Schaleben & Companv. 

Shoe Store — August Simonett. 

Stuck Buyers — F. Moses, Madelia Farmers' Shipping Association, C. 
J. I [ammond. 

Telephones — Tri-Statc. Madelia Telephone Company, North Western 
Telephone ( Company. 

Veterinary — Francis P. Burke, Clayton Butler, Homer C. Butler. 

Madelia is one of the few towns in the county that is really on a boom. 
\'"t a dwelling or store building in the town is vacant and new buildings of 
all kinds are being constructed as fasl a- carpenters can get them up. The 
best 1 ster of the town i> the Commercial Club, composed of all the enter- 
prising and wide awake business men. The officers are as follow: Presi- 



COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 45 1 

dent, Henry Hillesheim; vice-president, L. T. Austin: secretary, F. Morris; 
treasurer, C. T. Dahl. There is also a Business Men's Association, the pur- 
pose of which is the safeguarding and protecting of the merchants' inter- 
est-. Madelia is the only town in the county that has an annual chautauqua 
for its citizens and the surrounding community. 

BUSINESS MEN'S ASSOCIATION. 

The Business Men's Association of Madelia was organized on Novem- 
ber 2. IQ15. with the following officers: C. S. Christensen. president; 
Frank Hodapp, vice-president: George Hage, treasurer; C. J. Eide, secre- 
tary. The motive that led to the organization was the desire to meet in a 
satisfactory way the destructful competition of mail order houses, to make 
fairer prices for the consumer, to overcome ruinous competition, to welcome 
all newcomers, to investigate the financial standing of people, for the purpose 
of extending credit when necessary. 

MADELIA FARMERS' MUTUAL FIRE INSURANCE COMPANY. 

This insurance company was organized on June 14, 1887, and its pres- 
ent officers are as follows : George Busser, president ; Charles Tiegren, vice- 
president : James T. Reynolds, secretary ; O. M. Howe, treasurer. The com- 
pany now carries risks to the total amount of five million dollars. There 
are at present two thousand policy-holders. The territory covered by the 
company is all of Watonwan county and twenty-seven townships in the sur- 
rounding counties. The rate per thousand dollars of insured property is two 
dollars. This company is operated purely on the mutual plan. Only farm 
risk- are taken, and the farmers in five counties take great interest in it. 



NELSON TOWNS I II P. 



On the north line of the county and second from the western border 
is Xelson township, which comprises all of congressional township 107, 
range 32 west. It is situated south of Brown county, west of Riverdale 
town-hip, north of St. James township and east of Adrian township. It is 
six miles square and contains thirty-six full sections of beautiful prairie 
land, well watered and drained by numerous small prairie streams. These 
watercourses include tributaries to the main stream known as the Waton- 



452 COTTONWOOD AND WATONWAN COUNTIES, MINN. 

wan river, which courses from west to east through this part of the county. 
There are no villages or railroads within this township, but public school 
buildings are found in sections 8, 12, 20 and 26. 

The population of this township in 1900 was eight hundred and six, 
but the census of 1910 gives it at six hundred and eighty-four, owing to 
great migration to other parts during that decade. 

ORGANIZATION. 

Nelson township was organized by the board of county commissioners 
in September, 1870, out of t