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Morrison and Todd Counties 



BY ^ 


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





Indianapolis, Indiana 


f Fi;^'- ■ 1 


This work is respectfully dedicated to 


long since departed. May the memory of those who laid down their burdens 

by the wayside ever be fragrant as the breath of summer flowers, 

for their toils and sacrifices have made Morrison and 

Todd Counties a garden of sunshine and delights. 


All life and achievement is evolution; present wisdom comes from past 
experience, and present commercial prosperity has come only from past ex- 
ertion 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 
privilege. It required great courage, sacrifice and privation. Compare the 
present conditions of the people of Morrison and Todd counties, Minnesota, 
with what they were sixty years 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, grand educational institutions, 
splendid industries and valuable agricultural and mineral productions. Can 
any thinking person be insensible to the fascination of the study which 
discloses the aspirations and efforts of the early pioneers who so strongly 
laid the foundation upon which has been reared the magnificent prosperity 
of later days? To perpetuate the story of these people and to trace and 
record the social, political and industrial progress of the community from 
its first inception is the function of the local historian. A 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 publi- 
cation. A specially valuable and interesting department is that one devoted 
to the sketches of representative citizens of these counties, whose records 
deserve preservation because of their worth, effort and accomplishment. 
The publishers desire to extend their thanks to the persons who have so 
faithfully labored to this end. Thanks are also due to the citizens of Mor- 
rison and Todd counties for the uniform kindness with which they have 
regarded this undertaking, and for their many services rendered in the 
gaining of necessary information. 

In placing the "History of Morrison and Todd Counties, Minnesota," 
before the citizens, the publishers can conscientiously claim that they have 
carried out the plan as outlined in the prospectus. Every biographical 
sketch in the work has been submitted for corrections to the party inter- 
ested, and therefore any error of fact, if there be any, is solely due to the 
|)erson for whom the sketch was prepared. Confident that our effort to 
please will fully meet the approbation of the ]>ublic, we are, 






Organization of State of Wisconsin — Congressional Bill for Organization 
of Minnesota Territory — Adjustment of the Boundary Lines Between Wis- 
consin and Minnesota — Naming of the New Territory — Question as to 
Territorial Jurisdiction — Territorial Organization — Henry H. Sibley, First 
Congressional Delegate — The Name, Minnesota — The Territory from 1849 
to 1854 — Early Trading Posts and Settlements — St. Paul — First Newspaper — 
Formal Organization of the New Territory — Governor's Proclamation, 
Dividing the Territory into Districts for Judicial and Legislative Purposes 
— Early Newspapers — First Court — First Legislative Assembly — An Inter- 
esting Event — Noteworthy First Events — Treaty with the Indians — Events 
of 1852 and 1853 — Events Just Prior to Minnesota's Admission as a State — 
The Years 1856-7 — Admission of Minnesota to Statehood. 

State and County Surveys — Area of Morrison County — Surface Features — 
Streams — Lakes — Topography — Altitudes — Soil and Timber — Prairies — 
Geological Structure — Wells — Material Resources — Water Power — Mills — 
Building Stone — Bricks — Archaeology — Peculiar Earthworks — Nathan Rich- 
■ ardson's Account of Mounds — Hole-in-the-Day's Bluff. 


Early Indian Tribes in Northern Minnesota — The Sioux Indians — The Dako- 
tahs — Indian Villages — The Winnebagoes — Ojibway or Chippewa Nation — 
Treaties with the Indians — Early Church Missions — Religious Efforts at 
Mackinaw — The Chippewa Mission at Pokeguma — A Dictionary of the Sioux 
Language — Rapid Increase in Mission Work — Final Disposition of the 


Location and Area of the County — Surface Features — Population — Points of 
Historic Interest in the County — Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike — Early Settlements 
— Early Movements of the Traders — First Missionary in Morrison County — 
Some of the First Settlers — Father Pierz — His Successful Efforts to Maintain 
Peace with the Indians — Oldest Living Settler — William Nicholson — A Half- 
breed Settler — Swedish Settlers in Morrison County — Norwegian Settlers — 
The German Population — The French in Morrison County — French Settlers 


of the Fifties — Martin Bisson and Other French Settlers of the Sixties, Seven- 
ties and Eighties — Early French Priests — French Settlers of Todd County. 


Organization of Morrison County — Legislative Act Creating the County — 
How Named — First Officers — Changes in Civil Divisions — Present Town- 
ships — Court House History — First Voting Precincts — Court House Bonds 
— Tlie First Temple of Justice — The Present Court House — County Jail His- 
tory — Caring for the Poor— Tax Levies of 1857 and 1876 — Property \'alua- 
tion in 1914 — Financial Statement, 1915 — Bank Deposits of County. 

Governors of Minnesota — Congressmen — State Senators — State Representa- 
tives — County Officers — Auditors — Treasurers — Sheriffs — Registers of Deeds 
— Judges of Probate — County .'\ttorneys — County Surveyors — Coroners — 
Clerks of the Court — Court Commissioners — Superintendents of Schools 
— -County Commissioners — Presidential Vote. 

Favorable Conditions for Productive Agriculture — Direct Communication 
to the Great Markets — Grain — Potatoes and Vegetables — Fruits — Live 
Stock — Dairying — Farm Lands^Grasses — Agricultural Societies — The Pio- 
neer hair of Morrison County — Farm Names. 


A Creditable Financial History — Banks at Little Falls, Pierz, Genola, L'p- 
sala, Randall, Royalton, Swanville, Motley and Bowlus — Little halls Bank 
Deposits — Benefits of Modern Methods in Farm Life. 


Educational Methods Have Kept Pace with the Times — A Report in 1881 
— First School in Morrison County — First Schools in Various Sections of 
the County — Organization of School Districts — Buildings — Teachers — 
Pupils — Expenses and Valuation — Modern Educational Methods — Special 
State Aid — Little I'alls llish Scliool. 


The h'irst Newspaper in Morrison County — H. C. Stivers, the First Success- 
ful Editor and Journalist — Wheaton M. Fuller — Newspapers at Little Falls, 
Pierz, Swam ille. Royalton and Motley. 


Interest of the Early Settlers in Religious and Moral Matters — Church of 
the Holy Family, One of the Oldest Churches in Northern Minnesota — The 
Convent — Other Catholic Churches — Methodist Episcopal Churches — Bap- 
tist Church — German Evangelical Lutheran Zion Church — Episcopal 
Churches — Presbyterian Cluirches — Congregational Churches — ( )thcr Reli- 
gious Societies. 



The Masonic Order — Independent Order of Odd Fellows — Grand Army of 
the Republic — Woman's Relief Corps — Other Fraternities Scattered Over 
the County. 


The Pioneer Attorney and Other Early Members of the Bar — Brief Per- 
sonal Mention of Some of the Prominent Attorneys Who Have Practiced 
Here — Attorneys of 1915 — The Bar Association. 



The County's Part in the Civil War and in the Spanish-American Con- 
flict—The Indian Outbreak of 1862— The Massacre at New Ulm— The 
Federal and State Governments Unprepared for the Emergency — Quick 
Work by Colonel Sibley and His Troops — Danger of a Chippewa War — 
The Indian Depredations — Siege of Fort Abercrombie — Mounted Rangers 
— Battle of Birch Coolie — Relief for the Refugees — Creation of Military 
Department — Battle of Wood Lake — Release of the Captives — Close of the 
Indian War — Execution of Thirty-eight Indian Murderers. 


Rapid Strides in Medicine and Surgery — Early Physicians in Morrison 
County — Physicians in the Eighties and Nineties — List of Registered Physi- 
cians — Present Physicians. 


Effect of Railroads on the Advancement of the State of Minnesota — Land 
Grants and Construction of the Roads — Railroads in Morrison County — 


Belle Prairie Township — Gravelville — Belle Prairie — Motley Township — 
Motley Village — Bellevue Township — Royalton — Buckman Township — 
Buckman Village — Little Falls Township — Pierz Township — Town of Pierz 
— Genola (New Pierz) — Two Rivers Township) — Bowlus — Swan River 
Township — Parker Township — Scandia Valley Township — Elmdale Town- 
ship — L'psala — Greene Prairie Township — Culdrum Township — Ripley 
Township — Old Ft. Ripley — Agram Township — Rails Prairie Township — 
Clough Township — Darling Township — Cushing Township — Mount Morris 
Township — Pulaski Township — Platte Township — Granite Township — Ros- 
ing Township — Hilman Township — Lakin Township — Richardson Town- 
ship — Leigh Township — Morrill Township — Pike Creek Township — Buh 
Township — Lastrip — Swanville Township — Village of Swanville. 


Made Seat of Justice — Location — Early Settlement and Development — Sur- 
veys — Water Power — Mills — Sale of Town Lots — Murder of a German 
Peddler — Sioux Massacre at Little Falls — Little Falls War — Municipal His- 


tory — Incorporation — First Election — Presidents and Mayors — Present City 
Officers — Fire Department and Water Supply — Postoffice History — The 
"White Way" — Pine Grove Park — Public Library — Little Falls Water Power 
Company — Pine Tree Lumber Company — Flour-mill Industries — Hennepin 
Paper-mills Company — Little Falls Iron Works — Jacob Kiewel Brewing 
Company — The Brick Industry — Manufacturing Statistics, 1913 — Business 
College — Catholic Hospital and Orphanage. 


Origin of the Polish People — Oppression and Persecutions in Europe^ 
Emigrations to the United States — First Polish Emigrant to Morrison 
County — North Prairie Settlement and Other Polish Colonies in this County 
— Their Prominent Part in the Development of the County — Prosperous and 
Progressive Citizens. 


Population of Morrison County at Dififerent Periods — Incorporated Towns 
and Villages — Postoffices in 1915 — Recorded Village Plats — Town Plats — 
Grasshopper Ravages — Only Legal Hanging in the County — Discovery of 
Iron Ore — Worthy Pioneer — Little Falls Granite Quarries. 



Area of Todd County — Surface Features — Streams and Drainage — Lakes — 
Topography — Elevations — Soil — Timber — Geological Structure — Mater- 
ial Resources. 


Fine Advantages for Home Huililing — Attractive Side of Frontier Life — The 
Indian Problem — Disputes Between the Sioux and Chippewa Indians — 
Old Indian Agency at Long Prairie — Early Settlers — An Old- 
Fashioned Pole Raising — The Sioux Outbreak — A Courageous Pioneer — 
Original Boundaries of Todd County — Rapid Settlement After Peace was 
Secured with the Indians — Old Long Prairie and Mississippi Road — Round 
and Long Prairie Settlements — Settlers in the Whiteville Neighborhood — 
Other Pioneers of 1865 and Later — F'irst Polish Colony — Coming of the 
Railroad — Town of Staples — Reward of Industry — Mills — Attempts at River 


Organization of the County — Division into Districts, and. Later, into Town- 
ships — I'irst Election — First Officers — Acts of the Board of Commissioners — 
First Court House — Early I-'inances — Court House and Jail History — Poor 
Farm Experiment — Assessed Valuations, 1914-15 — Officials and Employees of 
the County — County Financial Statement, 1915. 


Congressmen — State Senators — State Representatives — County Auditors — 
Treasurers — Sheriffs — Register of Deeds — -Judges of Probate — County At- 
torneys — County Surveyors — Coroners — Clerks of the Court — Court Com- 
missioners — School Superintendents — County Commissioners — Presidential 
Vote of Todd County. 


Agriculture the Prime Base of all Wealth — Original Condition of Todd 
County — Influence of the Railroads on the Development of the County — 
Water Supply — Farm Products — Dairying Interests — A Creamery Report — 
Todd County Agricultural Society. 


Early Interest of the Pioneers in Religious Matters — First Church Build- 
ing — The Pioneer Missionaries — Denominations Now Represented in the 
County — Methodist Episcopal Churches — An Interesting Account of Early 
Church Life in Todd County — A Versatile Pioneer Pastor — First Sunday 
School Organized — Rural Churches — Long Prairie Methodism — Polish 
Parish of St. Joseph at Browerville — Early Polish Immigrants — Organization 
of the First Church — Donations for the Church — Erection and Dedication 
of the Building — Pastors of St. Joseph's — School of Holy Angels — New 
Customs Learned in America — Troublous Times — Division of the Congre- 
gation — Agreement — Polish Members Assume Debt — Instructors in the 
School — The Parish House — Rev. John St. Guzdek — Erection of the New 
Church — Blessing of the Cornerstone — Dedication of the New Church — 
Rev. Guzdek's Pastoral Work — Trustees of the Congregation — Greek Cath- 
olic Church — Poles as American Citizens — Present Membership of the Par- 


Brief Mention of the Various Newspapers Which Have Existed in Todd 
County — Officers All Have Good Equipment — Local Papers Managed by 
Able Men. 


High Rank of Todd County in the Matter of Schools — The First School — 
Summary of the Annual Report of the County School Superintendent — 
Other Statistics — A Review of the County Educational System by the Pres- 
ent Superintendent. 


Prosperity of County Accompanied by Corresponding Growth in Bank De- 
posits — Bank Reports of March, 1915 — Brief Mention of the Banks at Grey 
Eagle, Staples, Long Prairie, Burtrum, Eagle Bend, Browerville, Clarissa 
and Bertha. 


Division of the County into Townships — Long Prairie Township and the 


Townships of Hartford, West Union, Gordon, Birch Dale, Kandota, Little 
Sauk, Grey EagJe, Leslie, Moran, Stowe Prairie, Ward, Bertha, Wykeham, 
Germania, Eagle Valley, lona. Fawn Lake, Staples. Villard, Bartlett, Bur- 
leene, Reynolds, Little Elk, Bruce. Round Prairie, Turtle Creek and Hurn- 


City of Staples — Location — First Mill — Public Improvements — Population — 
Business Interests — Churches— Eagle Bend — Long Prairie — Round Prairie— 
Hewitt— West Union— Clarissa— Burtrum— Grey Eagle— Bertha— Brower- 
ville — Little Sauk. 


Population by Townships, Cities and Villages, According to the Census 
Reports of 1890, 1900 and 1910— Prospective Iron Ore, Wealth— Lake and 
Summer Resorts- Village Plats. 



Agram Township 7i, 77. 173, 204 

Agricultural Societies 88 

Altitudes 47 

American Fur Company 57 

Ancient Earthworks 52 

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons 121 

Archaeology 52 

Area of Morrison County 45 60 

Assembly, First Legislative 38 

Attorneys, County 82 

Attorney, First in the County 125 

Auditors, County 82 

Ayer, Frederick 63, 98, 151 


Banks and Banking 78, 93 

Baptist Church 117 

Bar Association 128 

Battle of Birch Coolie 135 

Battle of Wood Lake 139 

Belle Prairie 69, 98, 108, 119, 143, 151 

Belle Prairie Township 47, 73, 77 

150, 204, 208 
Bellevue Township 47, 7i, 77, 98 

154, 204, 208 

Bench and Bar 125 

Big Bend 205 

Birch Coolie, Battle of 135 

Bisson, Martin 69 

Bowlus 96, 164, 202, 205, 206 

Brick-making 51, 196 

Brotherhood of American Yeomen — 124 

Buckfield 205 

Buckman 110, 157, 205, 206 

Buckman Township 47, 73, 77 

99, 157, 204 
Buh Township 73, 77, 179, 204 

Building Stone 51 

Business College 197 


Catholic Churches— 57, 63, 108, 156, 179 

Chippewa Mission 57 

Chippewa War, Danger of 132 

Chippewas 54, 56, 63, 132 

Church History 108 

Church Missions, Early 56 

Church of the Holy Family 108 

Civic Societies 121 

Clerks of the Court 83 

Clough Township 73, 77, 174, 204 

Commissioners, County 83 

Commissioners, Court 83 

Congregational Churches 119 

Congressmen 79 

Convent at Belle Prairie 109 

Corn 8S 

Coroners 83 

County Attorneys 82 

County Auditors 82 

County Commissioners 83 

County Election, First 72i 

County Finances 77 

County Government 7i 

County Officers 81 

County Superintendents 83 

County Surveyors 83 

County Treasurers 82 

County's Bank Deposits 78 

Court Commissioners 83 

Court House History 74 

Court House, Present 75 

Creameries 87 

Culdrum Township 47, 73, 77, 171, 204 

Gushing 174, 20S, 206 

Gushing Township 7i, 77, 174, 204 



Dairying 86 

Dakotah Language 58 

Dakotahs 40, 54 

Dakotahs, Treaty with 40 

Darling 67, 174 

Darling Township 11. 174, 204 

Daughters of Rebekah 122 

Districts, School 99 

Doctors of Morrison County 142 

Drainage, Natural 45 

Eagles, Fraternal Order of 124 

Early Missions 56 

Early Settlement 60 

Earthworks, Ancient 52 

Eastern Star, Order of 121 

Education 98, 167, 171 

Election, First County 73 

Elevations 47 

Elks, Benevolent and Protective 

Order 124 

Elmdale Township 47, 73, 11, 99 

168, 202, 204 

Episcopal Churches 118, 156 

Events, First Noteworthy 39 

Events of 1852-3 41 

Execution, First Public, in State— 43 
E.xecution of Indian Murderers 14(1 

Freedhem 67 

French in Morrison County 68 

French Priests 71 

F'ruits 86 

Genola 94, 162, 205, 206 

Geology 49 

German Evan. Luth. Zion's Church-- 118 

German Population 68 

Governors of Minnesota 79 

Grain So 

Grand .Army of the Republic 123 

Granite City 205 

Granite Township 73, 77, 176, 204 

Grasses 88 

Grasshopper Ravages 207 

Gravelville 151 

Green Prairie Township li, 11. 99 

169, 204 


Half-breed Settler 65 

Hennepin Paper Mills Company 195 

Hillman 177, 205. 206 

Hillman Township 73, 11, 176, 204 

Historic Points 60 

Historical Society of Minnesota 38 

Holdingford 202 

Hole-in-the-Day's Bluff 53 

Holy Cross Church 114 

Fair, the First 89 

I'arm Lands 87 

Farm Names 89 

Farm Products 85 

Ferries, Early 159 

Finances of County H 

First County F'lection 73 

I'irst Events, Noteworthy 39 

First Fair 89 

F'irst Pul)lic Execution in State 43 

Flensburg 202, 205, 206 

Flour-mill Industries 194 

Foresters 124 

Ft. Abercrombie, Siege of 134 

Ft. Ripley 171 




Improved Order of Red Men 124 

Incorporated Towns and Villages 205 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows-- 122 

Indian Depredations 43, 130 

Indian Missionaries 58 

Indian Outbreak 130 

Indian Tribes.- 35, 40, 54, 58 

Indians Executed 140 

ln<lians, I'inal Disposition of 58 

Iron Ore, Discovery of 208 

Jail History 75 

JanesviUc 205 

Judges of Probate 82 



Knights of Columbus 124 

Lakes 46, 

Lakin Township 73, 77, 176, 

Land Grants to Railroads 

Lands, Farm 


Lawyer, First in the County 

Lawyers, Present 


Legal Hanging, Only, in County 

Legislative Assembly, First 

Leigh Township 72, 77, \77, 

Lincoln 205, 

Little Elk 

Little Falls— 67, 70, 74, 77. 88, 

96, 98, 102, 103, 110, 

117, 118, 119, 121, 123, 

142, 14S. 181, 202, 205, 

Little Falls Township 47, 73, 


Little Falls War 

Little Falls Water Power Co. 

Live Stock 


Long Prairie 















Maccabees, Knights of the 124 

Manufactures, Little Falls 197 

Masonic Order 121 

Massacre at New Ulm 130 

Material Resources 51 

Methodist Episcopal Churches.- 58, 62 

115, 156 

Military Afifairs 129 

Mills 51, 63, 153, 156, 161. 181, 193 

Minnesota, the Name 35 

Minnesota Territory, 1849-1854 35 

Minnesota Territory Organized ?)3 

Miscellaneous Subjects 203 

Missionaries to Indians 58 

Missionary, First 62 

Missions, Early Church 56 

Modern Brotherhood of America 124 

Modern School Methods 101 

Modern Woodmen of America 124 

Morainic Areas 45, 46 

Morrill Township- 47, 7i, 77, \77 , 204 

Motley 88, 96, 99, 106, 116, 123 

145, 152, 205, 206 

Motley Township 47, 7i. 77. 152. 204 

Mounds 52 

Mt. Morris Township— 73. 77. 175. 204 

Mounted Rangers 135 

Murder of a German Readier 183 


Naming of Morrison County 7Ji 

Navigation of Minnesota River 39 

New Pierz 94, 162, 205, 206 

Newspaper, First in Territory 36, 37 

Newspaper History 36, 40, 103 

New LHm Massacre 130 

Nicholson, William 62, 64 

North Prairie 165, 201, 206 

Norwegian Settlers 67 


Oakwood Township 7}!. 99 

Odd Fellows 122 

Oldest Living Settler 64 

Olean 205 

Organization of Morrison County 72> 

Organization of School Districts 99 

Organization of Territory 2)7 

Otto's Orphanage 199 

Parker Township. .47. 73. 77. 99, 166, 204 

Physicians of Morrison County 142 

Physicians, Present 145 

Pierz 94, 106, 113, 145. 162, 205, 206 

Pierz, Father Francis 63, 71, 108 

113, 161 

Pierz Township 47, 73, 77, 98, 160, 204 

Pike Creek Township.47, 73. 77. 178, 204 
Pike, Lieut. Zebulon M. 61 


Pike's Fort 60 

Pine Tree Lumber Company 193 

Platte Township 73, 11, 175, 202, 204 

Polish People 200 

Poor, Caring for the 76 

Population of Morrison County--60, 203 

Potatoes 86 

Prairies 49 

Presbyterian Church 57, 119 

Present Court House 75 

Presidential Vote 84 

Probate Judges 82 

Property Valuations 76 

Pulaski Township 73, 11. 175, 204 

Pupils, Public School 100 


Quarries 50, 209 


Railroad History 146 

Railroad Land Grants 146 

Railroad Mileage in the County 149 

Rails Prairie Township— 73, 77, 173, 204 

Ramey 205 

Randall 11, 95, 174, 205, 206, 208 

Rebekah, Daughters of 122 

Recorded Village Plats 205 

Red Men 124 

Registered Physicians 144 

Registers of Deeds 82 

Related State History 33 

Representatives 81 

Richardson, Nathan 209 

Richardson Township 73, 11. Ml, 204 

Ripley Township 47, 73, 11. 171, 204 

Rock Outcroppings 49 

Rosing Township 73, 11, 176, 204 

Royal Arch Masons 121 

Koyalton 77,95, 106, 114, 116, 118, 121 

124, 145, 155, 205, 206 
Ruckcr 205 

Sacred Heart Church 111 

St. Adalbert Church 112 

St. Francis Xavier Church 110 

St.Gabriel's Hospital 198 

St. Joseph's Benevolent Society 124 

St. Joseph's Church 113 

St. Michael's Church 110 

St. Stanislaus Kostka Church 112 

Scandia Valley Township-73, 11, 167, 204 

Scandinavian Evangelical Church 66 

School Districts 99 

School Houses 100 

School Methods, Modern 101 

School Statistics 100 

Schools of Morrison County 98 

Seal of the State 39 

Secret Societies 121 

Senators, State 80 

Settlements 60, 65, 67, 69, 150 

155, 157, 159, 160, 163 
165, 168. 170, 171, 178 

Settler, Oldest Living 64 

Sheriflfs 82 

Sibley, Henry H. 33, 34, 37, 130, 135 

Sioux Indians 35, 54, 63, 132 

Sioux Massacre at Little Falls 184 

Sioux Villages 55 

Soil 48 

Spanish-American War 129, 141 

State Aid for Schools 101 

State History, Related 33 

State Organic Act 44 

State Representatives 81 

State Seal 39 

State Senators 80 

Stone Quarries 50, 209 

Streams 45 

Superintendents of School 83 

Surface Features 45, 85 

Surveyors, County 83 

Swan River Township 47, 73, 11, 165 

202, 204 

Swanville .-72, 11. 96, 106, 118, 121, 124 

145, 180. 205. 206 

Swanville Town.ship 73, 180. 204 

Swedish Baptist Church 120 

Swedish Congregational Church 67 

Swedish Free Church 67 

Swedish Lutheran Church-66. 67, 120, 169 

Swedish Mctliodist Church 67 

Swedish Mission Church 66, 120, 169 

Swedish Settlements 65 



Tax Levies 76 

Teachers 100 

Territorial Boundaries 33 

Territorial Officers i7, 42 

Territory, Organization of 37 

Timber 48 

Topography 46 

Townships of Morrison County ISO 

Trading Posts 62 

Treasurers, County 82 

Treaty with Dakotahs 40 

Trees 48 

Two Rivers Township 47, 73. 77 

163, 201, 204 


United Workmen, Ancient Order of- 124 

Upsala 67, 94, 120, 169 


Valuations, Property 76 

Vawter 206 

Vegetables - 86 

Village Plats 205 


Water Power 51 

Wells 51 

Winnebagoes 54, 58, 132 

Woman's Relief Corps 123 

Wood Lake, Battle of 139 

Woodmen, Modern 124 


Yeomen 124 


Adventist Churches 250 

Agricultural Society 247 

Agriculture 244 

Altitudes 213 

Area of County 211 

Assessed Valuation 237 

Attractions of Pioneer Life 215 

Auditors, County 240 

Brick-making 214 

Browerville __228, 237, 250, 255, 274, 276 
280, 282, 284, 301, 303, 306 

Bruce Township 237, 293, 303 

Burgstrom 306 

Burleene Township 228, 237, 292, 303 

BurnharaviUe 227, 249, 306 

Burnhaniville Township 237, 294, 303 

Burtrum 237, 250, 276, 280, 282 

294, 299, 303, 306 


Banks 280 

Baptist Churches 250 

Bartlett Township 237, 292, 303 

Beautiful Vistas 215 

Bertha 228, 237, 250, 275, 276, 280 

284, 290, 300, 303, 306 

Bertha Township 229, 237, 290, 303 

Birch Lake 287, 306 

Birchdale 223 

Birchdale Township 237, 287, 303 

Bohemian Settlers 229 

Boundaries, Original County 221 

Catholic Churches 250, 255 

Cattle 245 

Chippewas 216, 219, 222 

Christian Church 250 

Church, the First 249 

Churches of Todd County 249 

Clarissa 228, 237, 250, 275, 276, 280, 

282, 290, 298, 303, 306 

Clerks of the Court 242 

Climate, Attractive 244 

Cogel 294 

Commissioners' Districts 232 


Commissioners, County 242 

Commissioners, Court 242 

Commissioners, Early Acts of 233, 235 

Congregational Churches 250 

Congressmen 239 

Coroners 242 

County Attorneys 241 

County Auditors 240 

County Boundaries, Original 221 

County Commissioners 242 

County Finances, Present 238 

County Government 232 

County Officers, First 232 

County Officers' Salaries 237 

County Official Roster 239 

County Surveyors 241 

County Treasurers 240 

Courageous Pioneer 220 

Court Commissioners 242 

Court House History 234, 235 

Creameries 245 


Dairying Interests 245 

Depredations by Indians 219 

Dower Lake 306 

Drainage, Natural 211 


Eagle Bend 228, 237, 250, 273. 280 

282, 290, 296, 303 
Eagle Valley Township.226, 237, 290, 303 

Early Days 215 

Early Farming Difficulties 231 

Early Finances 235 

Early Religious Worship 249 

Early Roads 223 

Early Settlers Now Living 222 

Educational Interests 276 

Election, First County 233 

Elevations 213 

Episcopal Churches 250 


i'air, the First 247 

Fair Grounds 247 

Fawn Lake Township 237, 291, 303 

Finances, Early 235 

Finances, Present Count)' 238 

First Church Building 249 

First County Officers 232 

First Court House 234 

First Election 233 

Free Methodist Church 250 

French Settlers 224 

Geology 213 

German Lutheran Church 250 

German Settlers 224, 226, 229 

Germania Township 228, 229, 237 

290, 303 

Gordon Township 237, 287, 303 

Grain 245 

Grasses 245 

Greek Catholic Church 270 

Grey Eagle 223, 237, 250, 274, 276 

280, 281, 300. 303, 306 

Grey Eagle Township 237, 288, 303 

Guzdek, Rev. John St. 264 


Hartford 225 

Hartford Township 217, 226, 229, 232 

237, 257, 286, 303 

Hausen 306 

Hewitt 237, 250, 273, 280 

289, 296, 303, 306 

Holy Angels School 259 

Indian Agency 217 

Indian Camps 216 

Indian Outbreak 219 

Indian Problem 216 

Indians 216, 219, 222 

lona Township 226, 237, 291, 303 

Iron Ore, Prospective 304 

Jail History 235 

Judges of Probate 241 



Kandota 223 

Kandota Township 233, 237, 287, 303 

Lake Osakis 212, 217, 227, 287, 305 

Lakes 212, 305 

Land in Cultivation 244 

Leevilla 306 

Leslie 307 

Leslie township 237, 288, 303 

Lincoln 291 

Little Elk Township__217, 237, 293, 303 

Little Sauk 251, 288, 301 

Little Sauk Township 237, 288, 304 

Living Early Settlers 222 

Long Prairie— 211, 217, 218, 221, 224, 237 
250, 254, 256, 273, 280, 281 
282, 285, 286, 296, 304, 306 

Long Prairie-Mississippi Road 223 

Long Prairie Township 229, 232, 237 

286, 304 
Lutheran Churches 250, 254 


Material Resources 214 

Methodist Episcopal Churches 250, 251 

Mills 230 

Missionaries, Pioneer 250 

Moran Township..226, 229, 237, 289, 304 


Navigation, River 231 

New England Settlers 229 

Newspapers 233, 273 

Norwegian Lutheran Church 250 

Norwegian Synod 250 


Oak Hill 288 

Officers, First County 232 

Official Roster 239 

Organization of the County 232 

Osakis 237, 287, 304 

Osakis Lake- 212, 217, 227. 287, 305 


Philbrook 229, 292, 306 

Pillsbury 227, 250, 293 

Pioneer Attractions 215 

Pioneer Church History 251 

Pioneer Conditions 215 

Pioneer Missionaries 250 

Pioneers of 1865 225 

Pioneer Privations 221 

Pole-raising, Old Fashioned 218 

Poles as American Citizens 271 

Poles, Cliaracter of 271 

Polish Church at Browerville 255 

Polish Settlers 226, 256 

Polish Sisters of St. Benedict 263 

Poor-farm Experiment 236 

Poor Relief 234 

Population of Todd County 303 

Prairies 213 

Presbyterian Churches 250 

Presidential Vote 242 

Privations of Pioneers 221 

Probate Judges 241 


Railroad, Coming of the 227 

Registers of Deeds 241 

Relief for the Poor 234 

Report of Schools 276 

Representatives 239 

Reynolds Township 236, 233, 237 

292, 304 
Rivers 211 

Roads, Early 223 

Rock Exposures 213 

Roster of County Officials 239 

Round Prairie 224, 250, 276 

293, 296, 306 
Round Prairie Township 232, 237 

249, 293, 304 
Rural Churches 254 


St. Joseph's Church 255 

Salaries of County Officers 237 

Scandinavian Settlers — ( 229 


School Districts 

School Examiner 

School of Holy Angels 

School Statistics 

School Superintendents 234, 235, 

Schools, the 

Senators, State 

Settlement, Permanent 

Settlers, Living Early 


Sioux Indians 216, 

Sisters of St. Benedict 

Sliters Beach 

Social Life, Pioneer 


Staples 228, 237, 250, 274, 

281, 284, 291, 295, 304, 

Staples Mill 

Staples Township 237. 291, 

State Representatives 

State Senators 

Stowe Prairie Township 228, 



Sunday School, the First 

Superintendents of School— 234, 235 

Surface Features 

Surveyors, County 

Swedish Episcopal Church 

Swedish Lutheran Churches 

Swedish Mission Church 


. 250 


Timber 213 

Todd County Agricultural Society— 247 

Topography of County 212 

Townships of Todd County 286 

Trading with the Indians 216 

Transportation Problems, Early 231 

Treasurers, County 240 

Turtle Creek Township 237, 293, 304 

United Brethren Church 250. 253 


Valuations, Assessed 237 

Van Cleve, General 218, 220 

Versatile Pastor 251 

Villard Township 237, 292, 304 

Ward Township-226. 229, 237, 289, 304 

Wards Springs 287, 306 

Water Supply 244 

Wells 213, 244 

West Union 237, 250, 280, 287 

298, 304, 306 

West Union Township 232, 237 

287, 304 

Whiteville 225 

Winnebagoes 217, 219 

Wykeham Township— 228. 237, 290, 304 



Adams, E. P. 505 

Andersen, Hans C. 479 

Anderson. Alex 653 

Anderson, Frank 641 

Andre, Camille H. D. M 471 

Andwood, John A. 564 

Ayer, Lyman W. 661 


Balcom, Kyle H. 685 

Barnes. Prof. Martin E 356 

Bastien. Frank X. 499 

Bates, Benjamin B. 706 

Bennett, Silas T. 610 

Bergheim. Nels Nelson 448 

Berglund. John 654 

Bergman, Axel 422 

Biteman, Isaac 379 

Blom, Sven M. 626 

Boehm, Frank 371 

Bolander, Carl 498 

Borgstrom. Ax<:l M. 404 

Borgstrom. Rasmus 4/6 

Bottemiller, Charles 517 

Bouck, Hon. Charles W 372 

Brick, Otto J. 657 

Brick, Simon P. 376 

Brockway, William C. 378 

Brooks, Warren W. 527 

Brown, Charles H. 432 

Brown. Otis J., M. D 511 

Bujalski, Rev. Stephen 592 

Burton, Barney 489 


Calhoun, George 444 

Callahan, Thomas F. 679 

Cameron, Donald M. 521 

Chapman. Clinton E. 440 

Chirhart. George N. 436 

Chirhart. Joseph J. 415 

Cochran. Survetus C. 587 

Corbin. Dura 507 

Cox, Bennett B. 393 

Cox. William H. 381 

Crossfield. John W. 502 


Dally. Willis C. 424 

Dalquist, Carl O. 537 

Davies, Frank P. 656 

Dobbyn, Prof. Frank W. 375 

Docken, John H. 496 

Dubbels, George 649 

Dvorak, Peter 627 


Eckblad, Axel 525 

Edden, William 634 

Edeburn, George 705 

Ehr, Ethel M. 435 

Erickson, Carl J. 607 

Erickson. Rubin 403 

Erlandson, Erick 580 

Etzell, George A. 637 


Falk. James W. 389 

Farrow. Franklin P. 481 

Featherston. James W. 454 

Fenn, Andrew J. 495 

Flood, Edward A. 395 

Fortier, George M. A., M. D 490 

Franzen, Gust 698 

Freeman, Fred 531 



Gassert, Henry 426 

Gendreau, Paul 528 

Gordon, Thomas C. 509 

Gothman, Henry 703 

Gravel, Charles, Sr. 401 

Gravel, Charles E. 383 

Groover, Leslie A. 559 

Gunderson, Mark J. i 684 

Glitches, Merton E. 704 


Hall, Elmer £., M. D 360 

Hanson, John \V. 538 

Hanson, Willie 623 

Hart, James 652 

Hartmann, Joseph B. 398 

Hartmann, Philip A. 387 

Haymaker, Ernest G. 460 

Hedin, Henry 411 

Hedin, John 640 

Hegg, John 659 

Hennen, Nicholas J. 560 

Herum, Andrew 590 

Herrmann, Chris 524 

Hitzemann, Otto H. 385 

Hokenson, Henry E. 408 

Holmgren, Pear A. 550 

Honstrom, Andrew W. 437 

Houn, Joseph 555 

iloystrom, Peter O. 677 

Husmann, John H. 691 

Hutchinson. Wilber E. 672 


Isaacson. Hans 600 


Jacobs, Sherman W. 462 

Janski, Rev. Joseph C. 419 

Jaschkc, Paul 540 

Johnson, James P. 681 

Johnson, John O. 467 

Johnson, Ole A. 598 

Jones. John David 368 

Kalis, Frank 674 

Kasparek, Valentine E. 669 

Keehr, Fred 683 

Kempenich, John 552 

Kerkhoff, Edward H. 430 

Kiewel, Jacob 595 

Kjeldergaard, Ole O. 473 

Knapp, Perry 701 

Koslosky, Austin F. 400 

Kroll, Rev. Peter J 670 

LaFond, Edward M. 585 

Lambert, James M. 622 

Lamothe, Rev. Arthur 384 

Landahl, Henning 353 

Lee, Rudolph 519 

Lee, William E. 468 

Lisle, John W. 358 

Lockwood, Vernie 589 

Loegering, August 696 

Logan, Frank B. 611 

Logan, Harry M. 603 

Lyon. Frank W. 477 


McDougall, Thomas 621 

McGivern, Frank C. 458 

McNairy, Bartlett Y. 515 

McRae, John J. 361 


Malm, Olaf 443 

Marlin, John D., Jr 647 

Martin. J. Kenneth 416 

Massy, Gerald W. 464 

Metcalf, Joseph L. 363 

Millspaugh, Joseph G., M. D 504 

Molde, Christian 533 

Monson, Mathias T. 605 

Morcy, William N. 693 

Muelkr. John P. 616 

Muncy, Leslie 513 



NagI, Rt. Rev. Mgr. Edward 480 

Nelson. Albert O. 446 

Nelson, Frank A. 488 

Nelson, George O. 439 

Nelson, Hans 618 

Nelson, Hoken 663 

Nelson, Louis 632 

Newman, J. H., D. V. S 483 

Nichols, Jerry C. 549 

Nutter, Hugh A. 624 

Nygaard, Bernard 690 

Nygaard, Ole 535 

Nylen, Peter 688 


Odor, Francis T. 636 

Olson, Maurice 593 


Palm, Jones 571 

Parker, George F. 576 

Pedley. William 512 

Pehrson, Alfred 412 

Perkins, John C. 671 

Perry, Tim 428 

Person, Nels 617 

Person, Ola 619 

Peterson, John H. 406 


Ragan, George 680 

Randall, Phil S. 493 

Rekosiak, Rev. Theodore J 544 

Remillard, Cyprien A. 456 

Renick, Frank 565 

Rennie, John 675 

Rhode, Otto A. 365 

Riedner, George M. 569 

Roberts, Lemuel M., M. D 392 

Rodman, William 643 

Roese, Alfred E. 530 

Rosenberg, Edward M. 484 

Runquist, Carl W. 562 

Rydholm, Andrew 567 


Samuelson, Olof 575 

Sandahl, August 573 

Schallern, Victor 486 

Scherer, Rev. Michael 602 

Schermerhorn, George 354 

Schmolke, John 566 

Schult:^, George 399 

Schvvanke, August 638 

Sears, Fred P. 463 

Seely, Charles E. 466 

Shaw, Hon. Edward F 367 

Shutt. Sylvester J. 582 

Signer. Edwin 628 

Sjodin, Ole 614 

Smith, Alfred P. 547 

Snow, Heman D. 584 

Sparrow, William 396 

Stenholm, Charles 687 

Stephenson, John W. 522 

Stoll, Alfred M. 413 

Suszczynski, Rev. Sigismond 608 

Swanson, Henry 546 

Swanson, Oscar E. 545 

Swedback, Charles J. 409 

Tanner, Leigh V. 501 

Tedford. Samuel 599 

Thelander, John A. 557 

Thorsen, Richard 630 


Vasaly, Peter J. 658 

Vasaly, Dr. Spirit J. 474 

Vasaly, Stephen C. 650 

Vernon, Archibald H. 516 

Vertin, John 520 

Viehauser, Peter 417 


Waage, Nels O. 442 

Wait, John 541 

Waldron, Herbert L. 699 


Waller, John C 695 Wilson, George E. 391 

Warnberg, Seth 554 Winscher, Charles 667 

Wermerskirchen, Melchior 433 Wise, Elwin H. 615 

Werner, Charles H. 420 


Wetzel, John 449 

Wilson, Alfred 451 

\\'ilson, Byron R. 423 Zitur. Rev. Francis 459 





Three years elapsed from the time that the territory of Minnesota was 
proposed in Congress, to the final passage of the organic act. On August 6, 
1846, an act was passed by Congress authorizing the citizens of Wisconsin 
territory to frame a constitution and form a state government. The act 
fixed the St. Louis river to the rapids, from thence south to the St. Croix, 
and thence down that river to its junction with the Mississippi, as the west- 
ern boundary. 

On December 23, 1846, the delegate from Wisconsin, Morgan L. Mar- 
tin, introduced the bill in Congress for the organization of the territory of 
Minnesota. This bill made its western boundary the Sioux and Red river 
of the North. On March 3, 1847, permission was granted to Wisconsin to 
change her boundary, so that the western limit would proceed due south from 
the rapids of the St. Louis river, and fifteen miles east of the most easterly 
point of Lake St. Croix, thence to the Mississippi. 

Several members of the constitutional convention of Wisconsin were 
anxious that Rum river should be a part of her western boundary, while 
citizens of the valley of the St. Croix were desirous that the Chippewa river 
should be the limit of Wisconsin. The citizens of Wisconsin territory, in 
the valley of the St. Croix and about Ft. Snelling, wished to be included in 
the projected new territory, and on March 28, 1848, a memorial, signed by 
H. H. Sibley, Henry M. Rice, Franklin Steele, William R. Marshall and 
others, was presented to Congress, remonstrating against the proposition 
before the convention to make Rum river a part of the boundary line of the 
contemplated state of Wisconsin. 

On May 29, 1848, the act to admit Wisconsin changed the boundary to 



the present lines, and as first defined in the enabhng act of 1846. After the 
bill written by Mr. Martin was introduced into the House of Representatives 
in 1846, it was referred to the committee on territories, of which Mr. Doug- 
las was chairman. On January 2, 1847, he reported in favor of the proposed 
territory, with the name of Itasca. On February 17, before the bill passed 
the House, a decision arose in relation to the proposed name. Mr. \\'in- 
throp, of Massachusetts, proposed Chippewa as a substitute, alleging that this 
tribe was the principal one in the proposed territory, which was not correct. 
J. Thompson, of Mississippi, disliked all Indian names, and hoped the terri- 
tory would be called Jackson. Mr. Houston, of Delaware, thought that there 
ought to be a territory named after the "Father of his Country," and pro- 
posed the name Washington. All of the names proposed were rejected and 
the name as proposed in the original bill was inserted. On the last day of 
the session, March 3, the bill was called up in the Senate and laid on the table. 
When Wisconsin became a state the query arose whether the old terri- 
torial government did not continue in force west of the St. Croix ri\er. The 
first meeting on the subject of claiming territorial privileges was held in the 
building at St. Paul, known as Jackson's store, near the corner of Bench and 
Jackson streets, on the bluf¥. This meeting was held in July, and a conven- 
tion was proposed to consider their position. The public meeting was 
held at Stillwater, August 4, and Messrs. Steele and Sibley were the only 
persons present from the west side of the Mississippi. This meeting issued 
a call for a, general convention to take steps to secure an early territorial 
organization, to assemble on the 26th of the month at the same place. Si.xty- 
two delegates answered the call. A letter was presented to the convention 
from Mr. Catlin, who claimed to be acting governor, giving his opinion that 
the Wisconsin territorial organization was still in force. The meeting also 
appointed Mr. Sibley to visit Washington and represent their views; Init the 
Hon. John H. Tweedy having resigned his office as delegate to Congress, 
September 18, 1848, Mr. Catlin, who had made Stillwater a temporary resi- 
dence issued a proclamation on October 9, ordering a special election at 
Stillwater on the 30th to fill a vacancy occasioned by the resignation. At 
this election, Henry H. Sibley was elected as delegate of the citizens of the 
remaining portion of Wi.sconsin territory. His credentials were presented to 
the House of Repre.sentatives, and the committee to whom the matter was 
referred jiresented a majority and a minority report; but tiie resolution intro- 
duced by the majority passed and Mr. Sililey took his seat as a delegate from 
Wisconsin territory, January 15, 1849. 


In an interesting communication to the Minnesota Historical Society, 
Mr. Sibley wrote : "When my credentials as delegate were presented by Hon. 
James Wilson, of New Hampshire, to the House of Representatives, there 
was some curiosity manifested among the members, to see what kind of a 
person had been elected to represent the distant and wild territory claiming 
a representation in Congress. I was told by a New England member with 
whom I became subsequently quite intimate, that there was some disappoint- 
ment when I made my appearance, for it was expected that the delegate from 
this remote region would make his debut, if not in full Indian costume, at 
least with some peculiarities of dress and manners characteristic of the rude 
dress and manners of semi-civilized people, who had sent him to the capitol." 


The territory of Minnesota was named after the largest tributary of the 
Mississippi within its limits. The Sioux called the Missouri, "Minne-sho- 
shay" (muddy water), but the stream after which this region is named, 
"Minne-sota." Some say "sota" means clear; others turbid; Schoolcraft, 
bluish green. Nicolett wrote: "The adjective 'sotah' is of difficult transla- 
tion. The Canadians translated it by a pretty equivalent word, 'brouille,' 
perhaps more properly rendered into English by 'blear.' But after all these 
tangled-up explanations of the meaning of the word 'Minnesota,' it may be 
stated that its true meaning is found in the Sioux expression 'Ishtah-sota' 
(blear-eyed)." From the fact that the word signifies neither blue nor white, 
but the peculiar appearance of the sky at certain times, Minnesota has, by 
some, been defined to mean the tinted water, which is certainly poetic and 
believed by well-versed scholars to be nearly correct. 

Extracts from Works in Historical Society. 

On March 3, 1849, by act of Congress, Minnesota became a territory, 
whose boundary on the west extended to the Missouri river. At this time the 
region was little less than a wilderness. The west bank of the Mississippi 
from the Iowa line to Lake Itasca, was unceded by the Indians. At Wapa- 
shaw was a trading post, in charge of Alexis Bailly, and here also resided 
the ancient voyageur, of four score years, A. Rocque. At the foot of Lake 
Pepin was a storehouse, kept by F. S. Richards. On the west shore of the 


lake lived an eccentric man named Wells, whose wife was a bois brule, a 
daughter of the deceased trader, Diuican Graham. 

The two unfinished buildings of stone, on the beautiful bank opposite 
the renowned Maiden's Rock, and the surrounding skin of lodges of his 
wife's relatives and friends, presented a rude, but picturesque, scene. Above 
the lake was a cluster of bark wigwams, the Dakotah village of what came 
to be later known as Red Wing city. At that place there was also a Presby- 
terian mission. 

At Red Rock, the site of the former Methodist mission station, there 
were but few farmers. St. Paul was just emerging from a collection of 
Indian whisky shops and birch-roofed cabins of half-breed voyageurs. Here 
and there a frame tenement was erected, and, under the auspices of Hon. 
H. M. Rice, who had obtained an interest in the town, some warehouses were 
constructed, and the foundations of the American house, a frame hotel, stood 
at Third and Exchange streets. In 1849, the population had increased to 
between two hundred and fifty and three hundred, for rumors had gone 
abroad that it might be mentioned in the act of creating the territory, as the 
capital of Minnesota. More than a month after the adjournment of Con- 
gress, just at the eve of April 9, amid peals of thunder and torrents of rain, 
the weekly steampacket, the first to force its way through the icy barrier 
of Lake Pepin, rounded the rocky point, whistling loud and long, as if the 
bearer of glad tidings. Before she was safely moored to the landing, the 
shouts of the excited villagers were heard announcing that there was a ter- 
ritory of Alinnesota. and that St. Paul was the seat of government. Every 
successive steamboat arrival poured out on the landing men big with hope, 
and anxious to do something to mould the future of the new state. 

Nine days after the news of the existence of the territory of Minnesota 
was received, there arrived James W. Goodhue with press, type and printing 
apparatus. A graduate of Amherst College, and a lawyer by profession, he 
wielded a sharp pen, and wrote editorials which, more than anything else, 
perhaps, induced immigration. Though a man of some faults, one of the 
counties properly bears his name. On Ajiril 28 he issued from his press the 
first number of the "Pioneer." 

On May 27, Alexander Ramsey, the governor, and family, arrived at 
St. Paul, but, owing to the crowded state of the public houses, immediately 
proceeded in the steamer to the establishment of the fur company, known as 
Mcndota, at the junction of the Minnesota and Mississippi, and there became 
the guest of Hon. Henry H. Sibley. 



By proclamation on June ist. Governor Ramsey declared the territory 
duly opened and organized, with the following officers : Alexander Ramsey, 
of Pennsylvania, governor; C. K. Smith, of Ohio, secretary; A. Goodrich, of 
Tennessee, chief justice; D. Cooper, of Pennsylvania, and B. B. Meeker, of 
Kentucky, associate judges; Joshua L. Taylor, marshal; H. L. Moss, attorney 
of the United States. 

On June ii, 1849, a second proclamation was issued, dividing the terri- 
tory into three judicial districts. The first comprised the county of St. Croix; 
the county of La Pointe and the region north and west of the Mississippi 
and north of the Minnesota and of a line running due west from the head- 
waters of the Minnesota to the Missouri river, constituted the second district, 
and the country west of the Mississippi river and south of the Minnesota 
formed the third district. A court was ordered to be held at Stillwater on 
the second Monday, at St. Anthony Falls, on the third Monday, and at 
Mendota on the fourth Monday in August. 

Until June 26 Governor Ramsey and family were guests at Hon. H. H. 
Sibley's at Mendota, but on the afternoon of that day they arrived in a 
birch-bark canoe and became permanent residents of the capital. 

On July I a land office was located at Stillwater, and A. Van Vorhes 
became register, after a few weeks. 

On July 7, 1849, a proclamation was issued, dividing the territory into 
seven council districts, and ordering an election to be held on August i 
for one delegate to represent the people in the House of Representatives 
of the United States, for nine councillors and eighteen representatives, to 
constitute the Legislative Assembly of Minnesota. The same month, Hon. 
H. M. Rice dispatched a boat loaded with Indian goods, from the falls of 
St. Anthony to Crow Wing, it being towed by horses after the manner of a 
canal boat. 

At the election H. H. Sibley was elected, without opposition, as dele- 
gate to Congress. 

Soon after the territory was organized there were three newspai>ers 
established in the territory now known as the state of Minnesota. The first 
was the Pioneer, April 28, 1849, which was started under most trying cir- 
cumstances. It was at first the intention of the witty and reckless editor 
to have called his paper "The Epistle of St. Paul." About the same time 
there was issued in Cincinnati, under the management of Dr. Randall, the 


first number of the Register. The second number of the paper was pubhshed 
in St. Paul, in July. About June i James Hughes, afterwards of Hudson, 
Wisconsin, arrived with a printing outfit, and established the Minnesota 
Chronicle. After two or three months, two of these three papers went down, 
and in their place was issued the Chronicle and Register, edited by Nathaniel 
McLean and John P. Owens. 

The first court was opened at Stillwater in August, as per proclamation 
issued by the governor. Judge Goodrich presided. The old government 
mill at Minneapolis was used for court purposes for the second district. 
Judge B. B. Meeker persiding as judge. In the third district, the same 
month, court was held in a large stone warehouse, belonging to the fur com- 
pany at Mendota, with David Cooper as presiding judge. 

On September 3, the first Legislative Assembly convened in the Central 
house (hotel) at St. Paul. On the first floor of the main building were ihe 
secretary's office and representatives' chamber ; in the second story was the 
library and council chamber. A flag was run up the staff in front of the 
house. A number of Indians sat on a rocky bluff in the vicinity and gazed 
at what to them was a novel and perhaps saddening scene, for, if the tide 
of immigration sweeps in from the Pacific as it has from the Atlantic coast, 
they must soon be crowded out. The first session of the Legislature ad- 
journed November i. During that session there were created the following 
counties : Itasca, Wapashaw, Dakotah, Wahnahth, Mahkahto, Pembina, 
Washington, Ramsey and Benton. The three latter counties comprised the 
country that up to that time had been ceded l)y the Indians, on the east side 
of the Mississippi. Stillwater was declared the county seat of Washington; 
St. Paul, of Ramsey, and "the seat of justice of the county of Benton was 
to be within one-quarter of a mile of a point on the east side of the Missis- 
sippi, directly opposite the mouth of Sauk river." 

Through the exertions of the first secretary of the territory, C. K. 
Smith, the Historical Society of Minnesota was formed and incorporated at 
the very opening session of the Territorial Legislature. 


On the evening of New Year's day, at Ft. Snelling. there was an assem- 
blage wiiich is only seen in the outposts of civilization. Outside llic wall, in 
one of the stone edifices belonging to the United States, there resided a gen- 
tleman who had dwelt in Minnesota since tlie year 1819, and who for many 


years had been in the employ of the government as Indian interpreter. In 
his youth he had been a member of the Columbia Fur Company and, con- 
forming to the habits of traders, had purchased a Dakotah wife who was 
wholly ignorant of the English language. As a family of children gathered 
around him, he recognized the relation of husband and father and consci- 
entiously discharged his duties as parent. His daughter, at a proper age, was 
sent to a boarding school of some celebrity, and on the night referred to was 
married to an intelligent young American farmer. Among the guests pres- 
ent were the officers of the garrison in full dress uniform, with their wives, 
the United States agent for the Dahkotahs, and family, the bois brules of 
the neighborhood, and the Indian relatives of the mother. The mother did 
not make her appearance, but, as the minister proceeded with the ceremony, 
the Dahkotah relatives, wrapped in their gay blankets, gathered in the hall 
and looked in through the door. This marriage feast was worthy of the 
occasion. In consequence of the numbers, the officers and those of European 
extraction partook first; then the bois brules of Ojibway and Dahkotah 
descent, and then the native Americans, who did ample justice to the plenti- 
ful supply spread before them. 


Governor Ramsey and Hon. H. H. Sibley, at Washington, in the winter 
(January) of 1850, devised a seal for the territory of Minnesota. The 
design was a representation of St. Anthony falls in the distance; an immi- 
grant plowing the land on the borders of the Indian country, full of hope and 
looking forward to the possession of the hunting grounds beyond; an Indian 
amazed at the sight of .the plow, and fleeing toward the setting sun. 

The summer of 1850 was the commencement of navigation of the Min- 
nesota river by steamboats. With the exception of a steamer that made 
pleasure trips as far as Shokpay, in 1841, no large vessels had ever dis- 
turbed the waters of this river. In June of 1850 the "Anthony Wayne," 
which a few weeks before had ascended to the falls of St. Anthony, made 
a trip. On July 18 it made another trip, going almost to Mahkahto. The 
"Nominee," also, navigated the Minnesota river that season. 

The first proclamation for Thanksgiving day in Minnesota was issued 
in the autumn of 1850 by the governor, and the 26th day of December was 
the day appointed and generally observed. *" 

In 185 1 the penitentiary was located by the Legislature at Stillwater, 


which greatly displeased some of the citizens at St. Paul. By the etlorts of 
J. W. North the University of Minnesota was established at or near the 
falls of St. Anthony. By the provisions of the state Constitution it is now 
called the State University. 

The first newspaper published above St. Paul was at St. Anthony, and 
was known as the St. Anthony Express, which made its appearance in April, 

The most important event of 1851 in Minnesota was the treaty with 
the Dakotahs, by which the west side of the Mississippi and the valley of the 
Minnesota river were opened to the hardy immigrant. This treaty was held 
for the upper bands at Traverse des Sioux. The commission arrived there 
the last days of June, but were obliged to wait many days for the congre- 
gating of the several tribes of Indians interested. The treaty was finally 
concluded on July 23, 1851, after the usual speeches, f eastings, etc. The 
pipe having been smoked by Commissioners Lea and Ramsey, it was passed 
to the chiefs. The paper containing the treaty was then read in English 
and translated into the Dakotah by Rev. S. R. Riggs, Presbyterian mission- 
ary among the Indian people. This finished, the chiefs came up to the 
secretary's table and touched the pen ; the white men present then witnessed 
the document, and nothing remained but the document's ratification by the 
United States Senate to open that vast country for the residence of white 

During the first week in August, 1851, a treaty was also concluded 
beneath an oak bower on Pilot Knob, Mendota, with the M'dewakantonwan 
and Wahpaykootay bands of the Dakotahs. About sixty of the chiefs and 
principal men touched the pen, and Little Crow, who had been in the mis- 
sion school at Lac qui Parle, signed his own name. Before they separated. 
Colonel Lea and Governor Ramsey gave them a few words of advice on 
various subjects connected with their future welfare, but especially upt)n 
the subject of education and temperance. The treaty was interpreted to 
them by Rev. G. H. Pond, a gentleman who was conceded to be a most cor- 
rect speaker of the Dakotah language. 

The day after the treaty, these lower bands received thirty thousand 
dollars, which, by the treaty of 1837, was set apart tor education: but. by 
the misrepresentations of interested half-breeds, the Indians were made to 
believe that it ought to be given to them to be employed as they pleased. 
The next week, with their sacks filled with money, they thronged the streets 
of St. I'aul, purchasing whatever pleased their fancy. 


EVENTS OF 1852 AND 1853. 

During the summer of 1852, Elijah Terry, a young man who had left 
St. Paul the previous March and gone to Pembina, to act as a teacher to 
the mixed-bloods in that vicinity, was murdered under distressing circum- 
stances. With a bois brule, he had started to the woods on the morning of 
his death, to hew timber. While there he was fired upon by a small party 
of Dakotahs ; a ball broke his arm and he was pierced with arrows. His 
scalp was wrenched from his head, and was afterward seen among Sisseton 
Dakotahs, near Big Stone lake. At the November term of the United States 
district court, of Ramsey county, a Dakotah, named Yu-ha-zee, was tried 
for the murder of a German woman. With others, she was traveling above 
Shokpay, when they met a party of Indians, of whom the prisoner was one, 
who gathered about the wagon and were much excited. The prisoner punched 
the woman with his gun and, being threatened by one of the party, loaded 
and fired, killing the woman and wounding one of the men. On the day 
of the trial he was escorted from Vt. Snelling by a company of mounted 
dragoons in full dress. It was an impressive scene to witness the poor 
Indian in his blanket, in a buggy, with a civil officer, surrounded with all 
the pomp and circumstance of war. The jury found him guilty. On being 
asked if he had anything to say why death sentence should not be passed, 
he replied, through the interpreter, that the band to which he belonged 
would remit their annuities if he could be released. To this Judge Hayner 
replied that he had no authority to release him, and, ordering him to arise, 
he, after some impressive remarks, pronounced the first sentence of death 
ever delivered by a judicial officer in Minnesota. The prisoner trembled 
when the judge spoke and was a piteous spectacle. At that time, by the 
statutes of Minnesota, one convicted of murder could not be executed for 
twelve months, and he was confined until the governor of the territory 
should by warrant order his execution. 

On April 9, 1853, a party of Ojibways killed a Dakotah at the village 
of Shokpay. A war party from Kaposia then proceeded up the valley of 
the St. Croix and killed an Ojibway. On the 27th of the same month a 
band of Ojibway warriors, naked, decked, and fiercely gesticulating, made 
their appearance on the busiest street of the capital, in search of their ene- 
mies. Just at that time a small party of women, and one man, who ha'd 
lost his leg in the battle of Stillwater, arrived in a canoe from Kaposia, at 
the Jackson street landing. Perceiving the Ojibways, they retreated to the 


building then known as the Pioneer office, and the Ojibways discharged a 
volley through the windows, wounded a Dakotah woman, who soon died. 
For a short time, the new capital city presented a sight similar to that wit- 
nessed in earlier days in Hadley and Deerfield, Massachusetts. Messen- 
gers were dispatched to Ft. Snelling for the dragoons and a party of citi- 
zens, mounted on horseback, were quickly in pursuit of those who, with 
such boldness, had sought the streets of St. Paul as a place to avenge their 
wrongs. The dragoons soon followed, with Indian guides scenting the 
track of the Ojibways, like bloodhounds. The next day they discovered the 
transgressors, near the falls of St. Croi.x. The Ojibways manifesting what 
was supposed to be an insolent spirit, the order was given by the lieutenan^ 
in command to tire, and he whose scalp was afterwards daguerrotyped and 
engraved for Graha)ii's Magazine, paid the penalty for his misdeeds. 

During the summer a passenger, as he stood on the hurricane deck of 
any of the steamboats, might have seen, on a scaffold on the bluffs in the 
rear of Kaposia, a square box covered with red cloth. Above it was sus- 
pended a piece of the scalp of the Ojibway whose death had caused the 
affray in the streets of St. Paul. Within was the body of the woman who 
had been shot in the Pioneer building, while seeking refuge. A scalp sus- 
pended over the corpse is supposed to be consolation to the soul and a great 
protection in the journey to the spirit land. 

On the accession of Franklin Pierce to the Presidency of the United 
States the officers appointed under the Taylor and Fillmore administrations 
were removed, and the following apjxjinted in their places : Governor, 
W. A. Gorman, of Indiana; secretary, J. T. Rosser, of ^'irginia; chief jus- 
tice, W. H. Welch, of Minnesota; associates, Moses Sherburne, of Maine, 
and A. G. Chatfield, of Wisconsin. One of the first official acts of the sec- 
ond governor was the making of a treaty with the Winnebago Indians at 
Watal), Benton county, for an exchange of country. 


The fifth session of the Territorial Legislature convened in the build- 
ing just completed as the state capitol, January 4, 1S54. The president of 
the council was S. B. Olmstead and tlie si)cakt>r of the House was N. C. D. 

The most e.xciting event of this session was the passage of the act 
incorporating the Minnesota & Northwestern Railroad Company. It was 


passed after the hour of midnight on the last day of the session, and con- 
trary to the expectation of the people, it was signed by the governor and 
became a law. 

On December 27, 1854. the first public execution in Minnesota took 
place, that of Yu-ha-zee, the Indian who had killed the woman previously 
referred to. The scafifold was erected on the open space between an inn 
called the Franklin house and the rear of J. W. Selby's enclosure in St. Paul. 
About two o'clock, the prisoner, dressed in a white shroud, left the old log 
prison, near the court house, and entered a carriage with the officers of the 
law. Being assisted up the steps that led to the scaffold, he made a few 
remarks in his own language, and was then executed. Numerous ladies 
sent in a petition to the governor, asking the pardon of the Indian, to which 
that officer, in declining, made an appropriate reply. 

The Legislature, in the winter of 1855, adjourned one day, to attend 
the exercises occasioned by the opening of the first bridge of its kind over 
the Mississippi river. It was the well-remembered wire suspension bridge 
at St. Anthony falls. At the date of its opening to the public the land on 
the west shore of the stream had not yet been patented by the government, 
which shows the reader how wonderfully the Twin Cities have grown in 
so short a period of time. 

THE YEARS 1856-57. 

On June 12, 1856, several Ojibways entered the farm house of a Mr. 
Whallon, of Hennepin county, on the banks of the Minnesota river, a mile 
below the Bloomington ferry. The wife of the farmer, a friend and three 
children, besides a little Dakotah girl, who had been brought up in a mis- 
sion house at Kaposia, and so changed in manners that her origin was 
scarcely perceptible, were sitting in the room when the Indians came in. 
Instantly seizing the little Indian maiden, they threw her out of the door, 
killed and scalped her, and fled before the men in the field nearby could 
reach the house. 

During the session of the Legislature in 1857 the chief issue was the 
grant of lands for railroad purposes. Also a bill calling for the removal 
of the state capital from St. Paul to St. Peter caused much stir and no little 
excitement. After a long and heated contest, the decision was finally 
reached that St. Paul should be the permanent seat of state government, 
since which date no effort has been made to change the capital of Minne- 


On February 23, 1857, an act passed the United States Senate to 
authorize the people of Minnesota to form a constitution preparatory to 
their admission into the Union on an equal footing with the original states. 

On January 29, 1858, Senator Douglas, of the United States Senate, 
submitted the bill for the admission of Minnesota territory as a state into 
the Union. On February i a discussion arose on the bill, in which Senators 
Douglas, Wilson, Gwin, Hale, Mason, Green, Brown and Crittenden par- 
ticipated. Brown, of Mississippi, was opposed to the admission of Minne- 
sota until the question was settled about Kansas. Mr. Crittenden, a Southern 
man, could not endorse all that was said by the senator from Mississippi, 
and his words of wisdom and moderation are worthy of historic mention. 
On April 7, 1858, the bill finally passed the Senate, with only three dis- 
senting votes, and in a short time the House of Representatives concurred; 
on Mav 1 1 the President approved the bill, and Minnesota was fully recog- 
nized as one of the United States of America. 



In 1888, State Geologist Winchell and Warren Upham made a survey 
of the topography and geology of the part of Minnesota embracing Morri- 
son county and their research was published in a large volume by the author- 
ity of the commonwealth. Professor Upham, now at the head of one of 
the departments of the State Historical Society at St. Paul, made the sur- 
vey in both Morrison and Todd counties, and from this exhaustive work 
the author has largely drawn for the material found within this chapter, 
which serves for both counties, in a way, with certain variations, owing to 
the locality treated upon. 

Morrison county is about forty miles long from west to east, and its 
greatest width, on its western boundary, is thirty-nine and a half miles, but 
east of the Mississippi river its width is only twenty-three miles. Morrison 
county's area is 1,154.82 square miles, or 739,088.97 acres, of which 
8,171.77 acres are covered by water. 


The Mississippi river flows south from Crow Wing county, dividing; 
the domain of Morrison into two sections, of almost equal parts. From 
its eastern portion comes in several tributaries, such as Rabbit river. Sand 
creek, Noka Sebe (commonly called Nokasippi) river, Fletcher creek and 
Platte river. Platte, the largest stream, has its source in Platte lakes, on 
the northern county line, and flows thirty miles southwesterly into the Mis- 
sissippi in Benton county. Skunk river is an important tributary of the 
Platte from the east. From the west, the affluents of the Mississippi are 
the Crow Wing river, which forms a part of the northern boundary of 
Morrison county, the Little Elk river. Pike creek, Swan river, Little Two 
rivers, the main Two Rivers and Skunk brook. 

Lake Alexander and Fish Trap lake, in northwestern Morrison 


county, are the sources of the Fish Trap brook, which flows over into 
Todd county. The east borders of these counties from Mille Lacs south- 
ward belong to the basin of Rum river, which is a tributary of the Missis- 
sippi at Anoka. 


Platte lakes, above mentioned, and others in their vicinity, are alwut 
all the lakes within Morrison county. The most noteworthy lakes of the 
countw perhaps, may be considered Rice lakes, the Southern Platte and 
Fish lake, lying between Little Falls and Rich Prairie. In western l\Iorri- 
son countv only a few small lakelets occur south of Lake Alexander, Fish 
Trap and Shaminaeu lakes, with others of a small size, make up the inter- 
esting group in the northwest part of the county, beautiful for their hilly 
shores, numerous points, bays and islands, and abounding in fish and water- 
fowl, while deer and other game live in the surrounding forests. 


Morrison and Crow Wing counties present about the same topography. 
A rough, hilly belt of morainic drift, chiefly till, with scanty kame-like 
deposits of gravel and sand, borders the west side of Morrison county — 
especially is this seen in Elmdale, Culdrum and the south half of Parker 
township. North from the south fork of Little Elk river it reaches two 
or three miles into Morrison county, in the northwest part of Parker 
township, as well as the next township to the northward. It then turns 
eastward in a strip two miles south of Fish Trap lake and Lake Alexan- 
der, above which these morainic hills rise from one to one hundred and 
fifty feet in height. Its highest portions more than one hundred feet 
above Lake Alexander, or two hundred to two hundred and fift\- feet 
above the Crow Wing and Mississippi rivers. 

Green Prairie, adjoining the Mississippi, and most of the tract west 
to Fish lake, is flat or only slightly luidulating. From the west end of 
Fish lake are kames or knolls, small plateaus and short ridges of gravel 
and sand, having cobbles up to one foot in diameter, but no larger bowl- 
ders, rising thirty to fifty feet above the smoothly undulating gravel and 
sand on each side, extending thrci.- miles west, with a width of about one 


Southward from the morainic area and this tract of modified drift, 
most of the southwestern part of Morrison county is moderately undulat- 
ing, rising in gentle swells twenty to forty feet above the water courses. 
In southeastern Elmdale, south of the north branch of Two rivers and 
Little Two rivers, a belt of le\'el till is found, continuing over into Stearns 

East of the Mississippi river, a morainic belt from one to three miles 
wide extends from north to south through Mooreville, Belle Prairie and 
Little Falls, nearly parallel with the Mississippi river, from which it is sep- 
arated by a plain modified drift, one to three miles wide and from twenty- 
five to fifty feet above the river. Where this belt crosses the roadway from 
Little Falls to Rich Prairie it attains its greatest height, and its material is 
almost wholly till or bowlder-clay. The same modified drift forms Hole- 
in-the Day's bluff, a notable conical hill, forty feet above the average height 
of the range and about one hundred and fifty feet above the Mississippi 
river, situated in the south edge of Belle Prairie, one and one-half miles 
northeast of Little Falls. 


Little Falls is 1,115 ^^^t above sea level. Summit cut, seventeen miles 
from Little Falls, is 1,192 feet. 

The descent of the Mississippi river within the limits of Morrison 
county is about one hundred and fifty-nine feet. Crow Wing river, at Mot- 
lev, is 1,206 feet above sea level, descending nearly sixty feet thence to its 
mouth. Lake Alexander is 1,275 ^^^t above sea level. 

The highest land in Morrison county consists of morainic hills in the 
vicinitv of Lake Alexander; the tops are about 1,400 feet above sea level 
and its lowest land is the shores of the Mississippi river in Two Rivers 
township, 1,029 feet. The mean elevation of the county is about 1,220 
feet. By townships, the sea level runs approximately thus : Township No. 
42, range 28, 1,275 feet; township 41, range 28, 1,300; township 40, range 

28, 1.275; Morrill, 1,225; township 42. range 29, 1,260; township 41, range 

29, 1,275; Ripley, 1,260; Pierz. 1,220; Buckman, 1,180; Belle Prairie, 
1,230; Pike Creek, 1,170; Little Falls, 1,160; Bellevue, 1,100; Motley, 
1,275; Swan River, 1,140; Two Rivers, 1,100; Parker, 1,260; Culdrum, 
1,240, and Elmdale, 1,200. 



The bowlder-clay or till is good farming land, except limited portions 
of the morainic belts, which are too hilly and stony for cultivation, and 
such lands are valuable for pasture purposes. The soils of gravel and 
sand belonging to the modified drift have less fertility and are more quickly 
exhausted by cropping; but from Motley to Crow Wing, and thence south 
through Morrison county, they are fairly productive, and have to a large 
extent been brought under cultivation successfully, because they were prai- 
rie, or only covered by brush and small trees, so that the land was easil)'' 
prei>ared for the plow. 

Heavy timber covers the areas of the till and some portions of the 
modified drift. On the latter, Jack pines, red or Norway pines, black and 
burr oaks, aspen and other species grow. Much jack pine also grows on a 
belt next east of the morainic belt in Crow Wing, Mooreville, Belle Prairie 
and Little Falls, and much red pine is found on the tract of modified 
drift in Green Prairie north of the Little Elk river. 

The general southwestern limit of the pines, spruce and fir, crosses 
Buckman township, Bellevue and the south part of Swan River, thence con- 
tinuing northwestward through Culdrum into Todd county. Much white 
pine has been cut, and much remained in Parker township and northward 
in Green Prairie and Motley, about the head of West branch of Rum river, 
on Hillman brook, and the u]>per portions of Skunk, Platte and Nokasippi 

Among the many species of tree and shrub growth of this county there 
may be named, as common, the white pine, white, burr and black oaks, 
ironwood, white, reel and rock elms, hackberry, basswood, sugar and soft 
maple, box elder, black and green ash, canoe and yellow birch, poplars, but- 
ternut, bitter hickory, wild plum, red and black cherry and Juneberry. Of 
the shrulxs are the hazelnut, prickly ash, choke cherry, red and black rasp- 
berry, high blackberry, wild rose, thorn, prickly and smooth gooseberry, 
black currant, wolfbcrry, staghorn and smooth sumach, frost grape, Vir- 
ginia creepers, climbing bittersweet. New Jersey tea or red-root, honey- 
suckle and arrowwood, the high-bush cranberry, alder and willows. Tama- 
rack is plentiful in the swamps. Red cedar rarely occurs on bluffy shores 
of rivers and lakes. 



Prairies of grass, with scarcely any shrubbery or plants, occupied orig- 
inally a considerable part of the modified drift plain bordering the east 
side of the Mississippi river, southward through Belle Prairie and part of 
Little Falls; also a tract of two or three square miles in the southwest part 
of Bellevue, and another, three miles long from north to south and a mile 
wide, in Crow Wing. Green Prairie, three miles long from north to south 
and a mile wide; North Prairie, in Two Rivers, and Rich Prairie, which is 
about four miles wide and reaches eleven or twelve miles from the middle 
of Pierz, south through the west part of Buckman and the east edge of 
Bellevue, continuing on into Benton county. These are mostly "brush prai- 
rie," having much hazel and oak brush, prairie willow, red root and sand 


In Morrison county many outcrops of bed-rocks occur. East of the 
Mississippi river the prevailing types are granite, cyanite and gneiss. Along 
the river and farther west they are slate, staurolite-bearing mica, schist and 

Of the geological formation at and near Granite City, in part of sec- 
tion 21, township 41, range 29, on the northwest side of Skunk river, it 
may be stated that that is where the steam saw-mill and a considerable town 
existed during several years ne.xt preceding the Indian outbreak of 1862. 
Its buildings remained empty from that date on and were gradually removed 
or decayed into ruins. The nearest farming immigrants after that time 
settled a half-mile down the river. The rock outcropping at Granite City, 
from which the name was derived, is coarse gray gneiss, containing much 
black mica. Its strike is from northeast to southwest, and its dip is ver- 
tical, or within a few degrees of it. This rock forms numerous bare hill- 
ocks and ridges, ten to thirty feet above Skunk river, for a fourth of a mile 
along its northwestern side, and in less amount on its southeast side. It 
is also seen on the southeast side in an exposure of a few acres, rising 
ten to twenty feet above the river at a fourth of a mile farther to the east. 
Here the Skunk river is from ten to twenty feet wide, and flows in a mean- 
dering course among the ledges. 

About six miles above Granite City, on the northwest side of Skunk 


river, a little beyond where this stream is crossed by the road used for 
carrying the supplies distributed yearly to the Mille Lacs Indians, rock 
exposures are reported to cover as large an area as at Granite City, but to 
have less height above the adjoining surface of the drift. This is near the 
northwest corner of township 41, range 28. 

The rocks found in Morrison county, along the Mississippi river and 
west of it, belong to a group lithologically different from the foregoing, 
and doubtless newer in age. The first exposure is on the Little Elk river 
near its mouth, two and half miles north of Little Falls. It continues 
northwest above the dam, and is also visible in low exposures at the bridge, 
twenty rods above the dam. This slate contains occasional veins of quartz 
from a quarter of an inch to three inches in width, and from one to twenty 
feet in length. 

At the rapids at Little Falls on the Mississippi, beside the town of this 
name, this dark slate, varying from mica schist to argillyte, has extensive 
outcrops in each shore and forms the north end of Mill island, on the west 
side of which it makes a perpendicular cliff twenty feet high. The princi- 
pal rapid extends a fifth of a mile from alxiut six hundred feet above the 
island to five hundred feet below its north end, the descent being five feet. 
The stone was slightly quarried here prior to 1888, nearly opposite the 
north end of Mill island, for use in foundations, but no massive blocks nor 
any of regular form are obtainable. In this slate, veins of white quartz 
occur, varying from an eighth of an inch to one inch in thickness and 
extending out as far as seventy feet in places. The thickest of these veins 
is situated in the channel of the river, where it is about one foot wide. In 
the eastern part of Little Falls this slate is encountered at a depth of ten 
feet in digging wells, but it is not found thus in the west part, between 
this and its exix)sure at the river. 

This same geological formation is found outcropping at other points, 
as for example at Cash's rapids, below Pike's rapids, at the niitldle of Nun- 
cy's rai)ids, and at other points within Morrison county. 

Of the cretaceous beds of tiie county it should be said that at the 
mouth of main Two rivers these beds outcrop in the west bank of the Mis- 
sissippi along a distance of a quarter of a mile and in the banks of Two 
rivers it is overlaid by from ten to thirty feet of drift. A perfect shark's 
tooth was found about thirty years ago by Eddie Young on a sandbar of 
Two rivers, a fourth of a mile aliove its month. Other shark's teeth have 
been discovered since that date, all indicating that marine cretaceous beds 
probably underly the drift somewhere within the basin of the stream, though 


possibly they are eroded by the ice, their fossils being now contained in the 

The modified drift of the Mississippi river valley discloses that at Hay 
creek, where the river-road crosses, near the south line of Swan River town- 
ship, out of every one hundred pebbles found, about two are limestone; a 
hundredth part are red sandstone; the remainder, nearly ninety-nine per 
cent., are dark greenish or brown trap, redish and gray granite, cyanite and 
other crystalline rocks. 

The wells in Morrison county have a depth ranging from fifteen to 
fifty-five feet; usually about thirty feet from the surface good drinking 
water is obtained by digging for it. 


In 1 88 1, when a geological survey was made of Morrison county by 
Warren Upham, now of the Historical Society of Minnesota, he found 
water-powers in use and dams for lumbering purposes as follow : 

On Skunk river, at Kasper's grist-mill, two miles northeast of Pierz, 
with an eight-foot head, as well as another in way of a saw-mill in section 
30, with a seven-foot head. On Hillman brook and its branches, dams to 
supply water for log driving and other purposes, amounting in all to a half 
dozen or more. On Platte river two dams were in existence for lumbering 
and had a head of six feet. On Skunk brook, the Northern Pacific flouring- 
mills, in section 27, had a sixteen-foot head and run a three run of stones. 
On Two rivers there was a flouring-mill, with a twenty-foot head and numer- 
ous saw-mills. On Swan river, in the east edge of section 12, a third of a 
mile from its mouth, the Swan River flouring-mills, with a head of eleven 
feet. On the Little Elk river, Hill's grist-mill and saw-mill had a twelve- 
feet head, besides a large shingle-mill in the west part of section 8. Other 
good water powers, said Mr. Upham, waited to be employed on these streams, 
and on the Nokasippi, and especially on the Mississippi river at Little Falls 
and Pike rapids. 

Building Stone. — The outcrops of rock in Morrison county have been 
but slightly quarried at several localities. The most promising seems to be 
the granite seen a short distance south of Fish lake, three miles southwest 
of Rich Prairie. Drift builders are considerably used for rough masonry. 

Bricks. When Fort Ripley was built the bricks used were made on 
the west side of the Mississippi, near the site of the fort. They were red 


and of excellent quality. In 1879 brick-making was begun by William 
Schwartz on the east side of the Mississippi a mile northeast from 


Without entering deep into the mysteries of this interesting subject, it 
should be stated, in brief, that this county affords a wonderland for scien- 
tific investigation along these lines. Peculiar earthworks are found less 
than a mile north of Little Falls, near the present. town plat. Professor 
Winchell described these in his work in the eighties in the following lan- 
guage : 

"Low circular ridges, from eight to twelve feet across, rising but two 
to three feet above the common level, are scattered over a small distance. 
They may have been designed for human habitation, having been formed 
at first by slightly excavating the surface of the ground, and then building 
rude, arched coverings, supported by wooden branches and enclosed by 
earth. If all these decayed and fell in, the resulting forms would be exactly 
what are now seen. Beyond the limits of the village, farther north, is an 
interesting ridge, nearly straight, running obliquely back from the river 
and one hundred and eight paces in length. It has two low spots, or oj)en- 
ings, through it, which separate it into three main parts. It does not extend 
to the immediate river bank, but is separated from it by several rods. The 
design of this ridge is not evident, but it must have sustained some relation 
to other works in the neighborhood. It may not, however, have the same 
age as the smaller circling ridges." 


That well-posted gentleman, Nathan Richardson, one of the first 
county ofiicials and a man of learning and much local research, wrote on the 
subject of mounds over a c|uarter of a century ago as follows: 

"On section 35, townshii) 4}, range 31, in the south edge of Belle 
Prairie, six miles east of Little Falls, nearly forty mounds are 'found 
around the shore of a lake, which by the Indians was called 'the lake 
between the hills'. A mile east from this lake is a group of about a dozen 
mounds, two of which were dug into a few years ago, a skeleton being 
found in each. Going from these nearly south about two miles, on the 
point of dry land running down to the thoroughfare between the two Rice 


lakes, there are three mounds near together, much larger than these I have 
mentioned. Then, by crossing the stream connecting the two lakes and 
following down the strip of dry land between them about a half-mile, one 
comes to the largest mound known in Morrison county. It is about twelve 
feet in height. Passing on about one mile, on the southwest bank of East 
Rice lake, eight or ten more of the smaller size are found. Occasionally 
one or two small ones are met with in other parts of the county." 

HOLE-IN-T he-day's BLUFF. 

Hole-in-the-Day's Bluff is one and one-half miles northeast from Lit- 
tle Falls. It received its name from that of a famous Chippewa Indian 
slayer of Sioux (Dakotahs) in the terrible conflicts between these two 
tribes, and who was buried, in accordance with his wishes, at the top of the 
hill. The prospect from it is beautiful, overlooking a wide extent of coun- 
try in every direction, with the smooth Belle prairie and the Mississippi 
river at its foot on the west. 



Before entering into the modern history of Morrison and Todd coun- 
ties it will be well to consider some of the conditions found in this domain, 
while Minnesota was yet a territory, and trace briefly some of historic 
events which led up to its final development by the white race. To begin 
with, it should l)e stated that three separate Indian tribes were present in 
northern Minnesota at the time the state was admitted into the Union in 
1858. These tribes were the Sioux, or Dakotahs; the Chippewas, or Ojib- 
ways, and the Winnebagoes, or Ho-tchungraws. 


The Sioux tribe was an entirely different group from the Algonquin 
and Iroquois, who were found by the early settlers of the Atlantic states 
on the banks of the Connecticut, Mohawk and Susquehanna rivers. When 
the Dakotahs were first noticed by the European adventurers large num- 
bers were occupying the Mille Lacs region of the country, and appropriately 
called by the voyageur "People of the Lac," "Gens du Lac." Tradition 
states that here, in ancient times, was the center of this tribe. Though we 
have traces of their warring and hunting on the shores of Lake Superior, 
there is no satisfactory evidence of their residence east of the Mille Lacs 
region, as they have no name for Lake Superior. The word Dakotah, by 
which they love best to be designated, signifies allied or joined together in 
friendly compact, and is equivalent to "E pluribus ununi," the motto of the 
United States. 

More than two hundred years ago, it was written by La Pointe Mis- 
sion authors in Wisconsin thus: "For sixty leagues from the extremity of 
the Upper lake, toward sunset, and, as it were, in the center of the western 
nations, they have all united their force by a general league." 

Historians all know that from the earliest documents the Dakotahs 


have been called the Sioux, Scioiix or Soos. The name originated with the 
early voyageurs. For centuries the O jib ways of Lake Superior waged war 
against the Dakotahs and, whenever they spoke of them, called them Nado- 
waysioux, signifying enemies. To avoid exciting the attention of Indians, 
while conversing in their presence, the French traders called them by names 
which they could not understand. The Dakotahs were nicknamed Sioux, a 
word composed of the last two syllables of the Ojibway word for foes. 

Under the influence of the early French traders the eastern Sioux 
began to wander from the Mills Lacs region. A trading post at 0-ton-we- 
kpadan, or Rice creek, above the falls of St. Anthony, induced some to erect 
there their summer dwellings and plant corn, which took the place of wild 
rice. Those who dwelt here were called Wa-kpa-a-ton-we-dan, or, those 
who dwell on the creek. Another division was styled the Ma-tan-ton-wan. 
About 1790, or a little later, the eastern Sioux, pressed by the Chippewas, 
and influenced by traders, moved seven miles above Ft. Snelling on the Min- 
nesota river. 

In 1849, only sixty-six years ago, there were seven villages of Med- 
day-kawn-twawn Sioux — one below Lake Pepin, where now stands the city 
of Winona, known as Wapashaw, and of whom Bounding Wind was chief; 
one at the head of Lake Pepin, where, under the lofty blufif, was the Red 
Wing village, of which Shooter was the big chief; one, styled Kaposia, oppo- 
site Pigs Eye Marsh, of which the chief was Little Crow, who became 
notorious as the wicked leader of the 1862 massacre; Black Dog Village, 
on the Minnesota river a few miles above Ft. Snelling, inhabited by 
Ma-ga-yu-tay-shnee, of whom Gray Iron was chief; at Oak Grove, on the 
north side of the river, eight miles above the fort, was Hay-ya-ta-o-ton-wan 
(Inland Village, because they formerly lived at Lake Calhoun) ; the sixth 
branch of this tribe of Dakotahs was the "Bad People," or O-ya-tay-shee-ka, 
and the seventh band was styled Tin-ta-ton-wan (Prairie Village); Shok- 
pay, or Six, was the chief, and it is now the site of the town of Shakopee. 

West of this division of the Sioux were the Leaf Shooters (War-pay- 
ku-ray), who occupied the region south of the Minnesota river, near the 
headwaters of the Blue Earth and Cannon rivers; north and west of this 
band were the War-pay-twawns (people of the leaf), who numbered about 
fifteen hundred and lived in a village known as Lac qui Parle; still to the 
west of these were the Se-see-twawns (Sissetoans), or Swamp Dwellers. 
This band claimed the land west of the Blue Earth to James river. They 
it was who held title and sacredly guarded the famous sacred red pipestone 


quarry. Their principal village was at Traverse, and they numbered fully 
four thousand. 

Finally, the Ho-tchun-graws, or Winnebagoes, who also belong to the 
Dakotah family of aborigines, perhaps the dirtiest and most unattractive 
band of all Indian tribes, were, by a treaty in 1837, removed to Iowa, and 
by another treaty, in October, 1846, they came to Minnesota, in the spring 
of 1848, to the country between the Long Prairie and Crow Wing rivers. 
Their agency was located on Long Prairie river, forty miles from the Mis- 
sissippi river, and in 1849 the tribe numbered twenty-five hundred souls. 
In February, 1855, another treaty was effected with them, and that spring 
they removed to lands on the Blue Earth river. Owing to the panic caused 
by the outbreak of the Sioux in 1862, Congress, by a special act. in 1863, 
without consulting them, removed them from their fields in Minnesota to 
the Missouri river, and, in the words of a missionary, "they were, like the 
Sioux, dumped in the desert, one htmdred miles above Ft. Randall." 


This tribe of Indians, when the French first came to Lake Superior, 
had their chief setlement at Sault St. Marie. They were called by the 
French, Saulteurs, and by the Sioux, Hah-ha-tonwan, "Dwellers at the 
Falls of Leaping Waters." When Duluth erected his trading post at the 
western extremity of Lake Superior, they had not obtained a foothold in 
Minnesota and were constantly at war with their hereditary enemies, the 
Nadouaysioux. But by the middle of the eighteenth century they had 
pushed in and occupied Sandy, Leech, Mille Lacs and other points between 
Lake Superior and the Mississippi, which had been the dwelling places of 
the Sioux. In 1820 the main villages of the Ojibways in Minnesota were 
at Fond du Lac. Leech lake and Sandy lake. In 1837 they ceded most of 
their lands. Since then other treaties have been made, until by 1880 they 
were confined to a few reservations, in northern Minnesota and vicinity. 


As Morrison county once had a large Indian school and a religious 
mission within its borders, it is well to give a brief account of the various 
missions established by Catholics, Methodist Episcopal and other denomi- 
nations, in this portion of the great Northwest. 


After the American Fur Company was formed, the island of Macki- 
naw became the residence of the principal agent for the Northwest, Robert 
Stuart, a Scotchman and devoted Presbyterian. In June, 1820, the Rev. 
Dr. Morse, father of the world-famous inventor of the telegraph, visited 
and preached at Mackinaw, and later, at his suggestion the Presbyterian 
Missionary Society sent a graduate of Union College, Rev. W. M. Ferry, 
father of the man who was later United States senator from Michigan, to 
explore the field. In 1823 he established a large boarding school, com- 
posed of children of various tribes, and here some were educated and became 
wives of men of intelligence and influence at St. Paul. Later this plan of a 
central school was changed and there were sent teachers to the various 
tribes. Rev. Alvin Coe and J. D. Stevens arrived at Ft. Snelling in Sep- 
tember, 1829. The Historical Society has in its possession the journal of 
Major Lawrence Taliaferro, in which this entry appears: "The Rev. Mr. 
Coe and Stevens reported to be on their way to this post; members of the 
Presbyterian church looking for suitable places to make missionary estab- 
lishments for the .Sioux and Chippewas, found schools, and instruct in the 
arts of agriculture." 

During this visit the government agent offered for a Presbyterian mis- 
sion the mill which stood on the present site of Minneapolis, that had been 
erected by the government, as well as the farm at Lake Calhoun, which was 
established to teach the Sioux agriculture. 

In 1830 Frederick Ayer, one of the teachers at Mackinaw, made an 
exploration as far as La Pointe, and returned, and in about one year a mis- 
sion was established by the church at La Pointe. In 1833 Rev. Ayer opened 
a school at Yellow Lake, Wisconsin, and F. F. Ely became a teachef at 
Aitkins trading post at Sandy lake. In 1834-35 a mission was formed as 
well as a Presbyterian church organized at Ft. Snelling. 

In tlie autumn of 1841 the Roman Catholic church attempted to estab- 
lish a mission at Mendota, which, however, did not remain long in the work. 

The Chippewa mission was at Pokeguma, one of the "mille lacs", or 
thousand beautiful lakes for which Minnesota is remarkable. It is twenty 
miles above the junction of Snake river and St. Croix river and was estab- 
lished in 1836, among the Ojibways and Pokeguma, to promote their spir- 
itual and temporal welfare. The mission house was erected on the east 
side of the lake, but the Indian village was on the island, not far from 
shore. A vear later, 1837, a journal says: "The young women and girls 
now make, mend, wash and iron after our manner. The men have learned 


to build log houses, drive team, plow, hoe and handle an American axe with 
skill in cutting large trees, the size of which, two years ago, would have 
afforded them sufficient reason why they should not meddle with them." 

In 1837 Rev. A. Brunson commenced a Methodist mission at Kaposia, 
four miles below and opposite St. Paul. It was subsequently removed to 
the west side at Red Rock. The Rev. Spates and a few others also labored 
among the Ojibways for a brief period. 

At the stations the Dakotah language was diligently studied. Rev. S. W. 
Pond had prepared a dictionary of three thousand words, and also a small 
grammar. The Rev. S. R. Riggs, who had joined the mission in 1837, in 
a letter dated February 24, 1841, writes: "Last summer, after returning 
from Ft. Snelling, I spent five weeks in copying again the Sioux vocabu- 
lary which we had collected and arranged at this station. It contained then 
about five thousand five hundred words, not including the various forms of 
the verbs. Since that time the words collected by myself and Doctor \\'ill- 
iamson have, I presume, increased the number to fully six thousand. Mrs. 
Riggs and others wrote a vocabulary of about three thousand words." 

Steadily the number of Indian missionaries increased, and in 185 1, 
before the lands of the Dakotahs west of the Mississippi river were ceded 
to the whites, they were disposed of as follows by the Dakotah presbytery : 
Lac-qui-parle, Rev. S. R. Riggs, Rev. M. N. Adams and assistants; Trav- 
erses des Sioux, Rev. Robert Hopkins, missionary, and assistants; Shack- 
pay, Rev. Samuel W. Pond, missionary, and assistants; Oak Grove, Rev. 
Gideon H. Pond and wife; Kaposia, Rev. Thomas Williamson, M. D., mis- 
sionary and physician, and assistants ; Red Wing, Rev. James F. Alton, 
Rev. Joseph W. Hancock, missionaries, with their devoted wives and assist- 

An account of the Indian school and church established in Morrison 
county by Rev. Frederick Ayer, a Congregational minister of Massachu- 
setts, will be found in the county chapters of this work. His son is still an 
honored resident and business factor at Little Falls. Thus the heralds of 
the Cross endured the i^rivations and sacrifices of a wilderness, away back 
in the thirties, forties and fifties, that the pioneer and red man might l)e 
taught the way of truth and goodness. 


The Winnebagoes were for some years located within the bounds of 
Todd and Morrison counties. In 1848 General Fletcher removed them 


from Ft. Atkinson, Iowa, to Long Prairie, west side of the Mississippi 
river; but, although the agency was located at Long Prairie, the Indians 
occupied the Swan river valley, within the present limits of Morrison 
county for a period of seven years, where they engaged partly in hunting 
and partly in farming, having about two hundred acres under cultivation, 
but they became dissatisfied and were removed to the Blue Earth country. 
When the Winnebago Indians were brought to Long Prairie and Swan 
river valley, in 1848, the government built Ft. Ripley on the west bank of 
the Mississippi river, about twenty miles above the mouth of Swan river. 
During the outbreak of Indians in 1862 it became necessary to station a 
large force of soldiers here to overawe the redskins — to hold back the Chip- 
pewas, who were then suspected of an intention to make common cause 
with the hostile Sioux in warfare against the whites. The Seventh United 
States Regulars were there stationed for quite a period until the Indian war 
had subsided. 



Morrison is one of the central counties of Minnesota ; it is about forty 
by forty-two miles, respectively, east and west and north and south, and 
has an area of one thousand one hundred and thirty-nine square miles, 
equal to almost seven hundred and twenty-nine thousand acres. That por- 
tion lying east of the Mississippi river was originally included in Benton 
county, while that to the west of that river was a part of Todd county. Cass 
and Crow Wing counties are at the north of Morrison; Crow Wing and 
Mille Lacs on the east; Benton and Stearns on the south and Todd county 
at the west. 

The surface is rolling and originally well timbered, but interspersed 
with lakes and beautiful prairies. Ten townships in the eastern portion 
were, as late as 1882, noted for their heavy pine and maple timber. In 
the northwestern part of the county five other congressional townships had 
the same kind of native forest lands. At that date, from the pine region 
north on the west side of the Mississippi river, south to the county line, 
an unbroken forest e.xisted. The soil in this particular portion is excep- 
tionally fine. For ten miles south of the pine region extensive natural 
meadows existed. On the east side of the Mississippi river the country not 
included in the pine belt has but little timber of any sort, Init is made up 
largely of brush land, marsh and meadowland, with some good prairie 
land. The soil is generally good for this section of Minnesota. 

The population of Morrison county, according to the census of 1910, 
was twenty-four thousand and fifty-three; Little Falls, its seat of justice, 
having at that date six thousand and seventy-eight. 

Among the points of historic interest in this county is that where 
Pike's fort was situated, on the west side of the Mississippi below the rap- 
ids south of Little I'alls. At this place the bank rises fifteen feet, on the 
summit of which the stockade was built. Measurements taken in 1879 
showed it to have been thirty-eight feet square. In Pike's own official 


account it is stated that his fleet consisted of two long boats, one of which 
was put upon either side of the passage-way from the stockade to the river. 
The distance from the water's edge being not over sixty feet in low water, 
there is no inconsistency in the statement. 

This was Lieut. Zebulon M. Pike, the first United States Army officer 
sent to the upper Mississippi. He was later made famous by his explora- 
tions in the Rocky Mountain country, where a celebrated mountain peak 
was named for him — Pike's Peak. After building the stockade near Swan 
river, he passed a month in hunting and exploring the vicinity, but toward 
the close of November he began to make plans to visit the trading posts of 
British traders. On December lo he left his little stockade near Little 
Falls. The party took with them prairie sleds and a preoque, towed by 
three men. On December 14, just after leaving the encampment, the fore- 
most sled, carrying his baggage and powder, fell into the river. But suffi- 
cient was saved to continue the journey. On December 31, 1805, he passed 
the mouth of Pine river. On January 2, 1806, just as he was encamping, 
four Chippewas, Grant, an Englishman, and a Frenchman of the North- 
west Company arrived. The next day Pike returned with Grant to one of 
the posts on the Red Cedar lake and found the British flag flying. That 
night he came back to his men. On January 8 he reached Sandy lake. 
Grant's residence, and was received with hospitality. After a visit of twelve 
days, he left on the 20th, and on February i he crossed Leach lake, twelve 
miles from the establishment of the Northwest Compan^^ where he arrived 
at three o'clock in the afternoon. The gates were locked, but, upon knock- 
ing, he was admitted and cordially greeted by Hugh McGillis, the principal 
trader of the Northwest Company west of Lake Superior, being the director 
of the Fond du Lac department. 


The early movements of the traders in Morrison county were some- 
what complicated, and difficult to trace out at this late date. In 1826 Charles 
Larose and Charles Chawboile had a trading post for at least two winters 
on a small flatboat on the east side of the Mississippi near Big Bend. In 
1837, when Wadena came down from the north country, he found two 
trading posts near together on the west side of the Mississippi, just below 
where later the ferry crossed at Swan river. The buildings then appeared 
quite old. 


An Indian trading post was established at a very early day in the east 
side of the Mississippi, in what was later known as Bellevue township. Of 
this post, Duncan McDougal, a former resident, said when he was at the 
place, in the spring of 1849, the logs of the building were fully half decayed; 
also stated that the post had been run by August Ballangier and Baptiste 
Roy for Allen Morrison. 

Previous to 1835 all goods were brought across from Lake Superior, 
but after that date from points below on the Mississippi. About 1844, Mr. 
Ewing, of Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in company with others, established a trad- 
ing post at Swan river on the east side of the Mississippi. Philip Beaupre 
and Lewis Morrow were employed by this company in 1846. The firm 
was superseded by Peter Chonteau & Company. 

The earliest missionary in Morrison county, aside from the Catholics 
in 1838, was the Rev. Samuel Spates, a native of Kentucky, born in 1815, 
and sent by the Methodist Episcopal church into the Northwest. He estab- 
lished a mission near the mouth of Little Elk river in October, 1839. He 
was assisted by Revs. Allen Huddleston, George Copway and John John- 
son, the latter being a converted Ojibway Indian. Subsequently Rev. Spates 
removed to Sandy lake, then to Fond du Lac, and, in 1856, returned to 
Little Falls, Minnesota. Two years later he moved to Cannon Falls, Minne- 
sota. John Johnson, the converted Indian, later located at White Earth 
mission and was ordained as an Episcopal clergyman. 

In 1881 the oldest inhabitant of this county was a Little Falls man 
named William Nicholson. He came to Swan river in the summer of 1847, 
in company with ten other men. They forded the Mississippi just below 
the Swan river ferry, and there made a raft of hewed timbers from pine 
trees growing on the river bank, for use in the construction of the first dam 
at St. Anthony Falls. They ran the raft only a few miles, then abandoned 
it on account of low water. Nicholson went below and returned, in the 
s])ring (if 1848, crossed the Mississippi at the same place, in company with 
twenty-two other men, and cut a roadway through to Long Prairie. He 
returned after completing the road, and found William Aitken, who had 
made a claim and was building a hotel and store building on the east bank 
of the Mississippi at the crossing. William Aitkin located at Swan river 
and in 1848 conducted the Indian trading post. Aitkin had an eventful life, 
and hr died in 185 1, aged sixty-five years. He had two Indian wives. They 
quarreled and fought savagely at the funeral as to who should have the 
remains and be chief mourner; wife number one came off victorious. 


James Green made a "squatter's" claim in 1848, and built a saw-mill 
on the east side of the Mississippi river by the island at the falls. Will- 
iam Knowles located at the mouth of Rabbit river in 1849. John Stillwell, 
who came to Swan river in 1849, was by trade a carpenter and worked at 
his trade until 1856, when he embarked in the hotel business. In 1888 he 
and pioneer William Nicholson were the only old settlers of Swan river 
remaining in this county. 

Historian Nathan Richardson said in 1876, in his letters, that the 
Chippewas were seldom hostile toward the whites, while the Sioux would 
kill stock to supply their needs, and never thought of paying for the same. 

Father Pierz, a Catholic missionary, came to Mimiesota, among the 
Chippewa Indians, in 1852, and. finding the country well adapted to agri- 
culture, he wrote letters describing the beauty of the country and the fer- 
tility of the soil, and sent them to several of the leading newspapers of 
both Germany and America, which soon caused a large emigration, a part 
of which finally located in Morrison county. In this connection it will be 
well to give a brief account of the work of this faithful old missionary, at 
the date of the Indian outbreak, showing as it does his bravery and true 
missionary character. 

In the autumn of 1862, during that never-to-be-forgotten Indian war- 
fare, the Chippewa Indians, under their chief, Hole-in-the-Day, were 
assembled at Gull lake, threatening an attack on the whites. Father Pierz 
was in the vicinity of St. Paul at the time and hearing of the hostile atti- 
tude of the Indians, immediately set out alone to go to Gull lake, traveling 
day and night. On his way he met the Indian guards, who positively 
refused to let him pass. He insisted and, unable to longer withstand his 
importuning, the guards picked him up and carried him over the dead-line, 
across which they were ordered to let no white man pass alive. He pro- 
ceeded to their camp and saw their chief. What effect this interview with 
Hole-in-the-Day had is not definitely known, but the Indians did not attack 
the whites as contemplated. It is certain the white people had in Father 
Pierz a true friend who would not desert them in times of great danger. 
He labored in the mission until 1874, when he retired on account of old age, 
going to Germany to spend the remainder of his days. He died in Ger- 
many in January, 1880, having attained the ripe age of ninety-two years. 

Another faithful missionary of the Cross, of the Protestant faith, was 
Frederick Aver, whose son still resides at Little Falls, respected and hon- 
ored by all within this section of Minnesota. Rev. Frederick Ayer, a 


native of Stockbridge, Massachusetts, was sent out by the American Board 
of Foreign Missions, and came to Sandy lake, Minnesota, in 183 1, and to 
Red lake in 1842, and finally to Belle prairie, Morrison county, in 1848. 
Here he soon oijened up an extensive farm, doing the first breaking in the 
county in the summer of 1849, using oxen borrowed from Hon. Henry M. 
Rice. Desiring to work in a religious way among the Indians as well as 
among the white settlers, he erected a large dwelling in 1850 and a commo- 
dious school house, which also served as a church for a number of years. 
The house was still standing in the eighties, a fit and suitable reminder or 
memorial of those early sacrifices by one who spent his whole life in the 
cause of religion and education. 

Rev. A. B. Adams, a inissionary, who went to Red Cedar, or Cass 
lake, about 1845, settled in Morrison county in the Platte river vicinity, 
and preached several years, then removed to Michigan. 

O. A. Coe came to Minnesota in 1838, working on the St. Croix and 
Snake rivers. He visited Belle prairie in 1849, and came to this place in 
1853, engaging in farming pursuits. 

Of the numerous earlv settlers in this county, additional to these tew 
above named, the reader is referred to the various township histories. 


In the publication known as '"Upper Mississippi Valley," published in 
1881, the following is said concerning pioneer William Nicholson: "Will- 
iam Nicholson, the oldest living settler in Morrison county at this date, was 
born in X'enango county, l-'ennsylvania, in 1828. In childhood his parents 
removed to Ohio, where his mother died in 1844. The following year 
William left home, and came with friends to I'lalte Mounds, Wisconsin. 
In Sejitemijcr, 1847, h^ came to Minnesota with a survc\ing party, and 
engaged at surveying north of St. Paul. In that autumn he joined a crew 
who came u]) the river, near this vicinity, for limber for the dam about to 
be constructed at St. Anthony falls. Returning to St. Paul, he spent the 
winter on the survey and returned to Wisconsin in March. In July, 184S, 
on the removal of the Winnebago Indians from Wisconsin and Iowa, he 
engaged as government teamster at Watal) and I.nng Prairie. In the lat- 
ter place he found the Indian agent, Fletcher, and remained in his employ 
until October, putting up a building for a trading post. The winter of 
1849-50 was spent in the pineries. The following August he came to 


Swan river, remaining until 1858. After the Indian outbreak, at the time 
of the treaty with the Chippewas, he was taken prisoner, not being held 
long, however. During the period of fear and anxiety he was of great 
sen-ice to the garrison and settlers, making several secret trips, and once, 
at a great risk, guiding James Whitehead and Lafiferty, the former bearer 
of an important dispatch, to Crow Wing agency. In the fall of 1862 Mr. 
Nicholson went on a trapping expedition and then settled in Little Falls. 
After seven years he moved to his farm and lived in peace and retirement, 
the remainder of his days. 


Hon. Peter Roy, born 1828, in what is now Itasca county, Minnesota, 
was the son of two half breeds. He came to Morrison county in 1855, 
remained until 1857, moved to Crow Wing and there opened a store. In 
1862 he returned to this county, settling in 1866 in Little Falls village. He 
engaged in the hotel business, which he followed until his sudden death, in 
June, 1 88 1, dropping from his chair when apparently in excellent health. 
He was three times elected to a seat in the Minnesota Legislature from 
Morrison county, and was town clerk at the date of his death. In 1853 he 
married, at the Chippewa agency, Miss Philomon Chouinard, part Indian, 
by whom fourteen children were bom. 


The climate of Minnesota is very similar to that of Sweden, more so 
than that of any other state in the Union. The soil and the vegetation is 
also about the same here as in their old home and it is therefore but natural 
that the Swedes should have settled in Minnesota in large numbers and that 
Morrison county, located as it is in the very center of the state, should have 
attracted a good many of these intelligent and industrious settlers. 

In comparison, however, with the oldest Swedish settlements in the 
state, those in Morrison county are of a recent date. Already, fifty years 
ago, there were large, prosperous Swedish settlements in the southern part 
of the state, while the oldest one in Morrison county, that of Upsala, twen- 
ty miles southwest of Little Falls, dates back only since the year 1880. 
During that decade a number of Swedes came in to join their friends and 



acquaintances in that settlement, but it was not until the year 1890 that 
any particular influx of Swedes to Morrison county took place. 

Since that year, however, systemized efforts directed from Little Falls 
were made, and hundreds of settlers of that nationality were brought in to 
take up vacant lands. The erroneous impression frequently prevails that 
a good many of these people came direct from the old country. As a mat- 
ter of fact, not one in a hundred of the Swedes that leave the old country 
has on his arrival here money enough to buy a piece of land. He must 
first earn money for this purpose and the Swedes who settled in Morrison 
county came from the cities, the mines or the railroad or lumber camps — 
from anywhere where wages were good. 

Brought up on farms where dairying and diversified farming have been 
carried on for generations, these new settlers were experienced farmers and, 
besides that, they were now broadened and educated by travel. They very 
quickly adapted themselves to the new conditions and surroundings and 
they were able and willing to work and work hard. 

This was, to be sure, also required as the lands that were taken up by 
them were, while undoubtedly the Ijest and most productive in the county, 
also the most difficult to bring under cultivation. The growth of these 
Swedish settlements for the first few years was accordingly slow. Perse- 
verance and ability won, however, and that these settlers were amply 
rewarded for their labors can be seen by anyone visiting their settlements 

Take the neighborhood a few miles northwest of Little Falls, for 
instance. Twenty-five years ago it was about as uninviting a country as 
could possibly be imagined. The road followed the "hogsl)ack," a jackpine- 
covered ridge, and the travelers' first impression would be that, between 
swamp and sand, there was little choice. Travel that same road today and 
you will see fertile fields, well-kept farm houses, roomy barns, large silos 
and herds of blooded cattle grazing on the hill sides. 

This is the Darling Swedish .settlement, where .some two hundred 
Swedes — or Swedish-.Vmericans, to he correct, as nearlv all the people of 
the Swedish nationality in Morrison county are naturalized Americans — 
now enjoy genuine and well-earned prosperity, supixirting two churches, 
the Swedish Lutheran, Imilt in i8()7 and the Swedish Mission cluircli. built 
in 1913. 

About ten miles southwest of this settlement, nurth of Flenslnirg and 
Swanville, on the Little F'alls & Dakota railroad, a number of Swedes have 
also settled, but while the}' have their own church, the .Scan<lina\ian K\an- 


gelical, built in 1896, this Swedish settlement is not as cohesive as those of 
Upsala, Darling and Freedhem. 

This latter Swedish settlement, one of the agricultural gems of Morri- 
son county, commences about six miles northeast of Little Falls and takes 
in parts of Belle Prairie, Ripley and Buh townships. Here we find a large 
farmers' co-operative creamery, a store, two Swedish churches — the Swed- 
ish Lutheran, built in 1901, and the Swedish Free church, built in 1902 — 
and a large number of thrifty, prosperous and up-to-date farmers. 

Besides, in these distinctly Swedish settlements a large number of 
Swedes, estimated at about one thousand five hundred, live in Little Falls, 
where thev are well represented in business, in politics, in the professions, 
or on farms and five- and ten-acre tracts in the immediate vicinity of this 
city. With hardly any exception, they own their own homes and while, 
as a matter of course, supporting their own churches — the Swedish Luth- 
eran, Swedish Methodist and the Swedish Congregational — and affiliated 
societies, the people of the Swedish nationality, here as wherever they settle, 
are not in the least clannish or narrow-minded, but, on the contrary, as 
enlightened and law-abiding, as successful and worthy, as public-spirited 
and progressive as the people of any other nationality, barring none. 


Although the Norwegians are very numerous in the state of Minne- 
sota, they are very few and far between in Morrison county. There are 
approximately one hundred families in the county, of which sixty reside in 
Little F'alls, the balance being scattered in the country districts. They are 
so few and scattered that no effort has been made to organize and maintain 
churches anywhere in the county except in the city of Little Falls, where 
one small congregation is maintained. 

The first Norwegians came here in 1883 and from that time on kept 
coming in single file and settled singly here and there. No effort was made 
to get together for the purpose of organizing schools and churches until in 
1 89 1, when a congregation was organized in Little Falls, which has since 
been maintained. But less than half of the Norwegians who live in Little 
Falls belong to this church. The other half either do not belong to any or 
have joined the reformed churches. The congregation in Little Falls has 
been served since its organization by five pastors from the general Norwe- 
gian Lutheran synod in the order named: Rorvick, Grove, Thallehaug, 
Hallanger and Mortenson. 


Although numerically few, the Norwegians are quite an important 
element of the population of the county. They are here, as elsewhere, in 
the state, industrious and prosperous, and take an effective and intelligent 
interest in public affairs. There are no paupers or illiterates among. them, 
and they give the peace officers no trouble. In the country districts they 
own some of the largest and best cultivated farms, while in the city of Little 
Falls they include several of the business men, two of the professional men, 
the superintendent of the big saw-mill and some of its foremen. 


All through the county the German people are found in goodly num- 
bers and, as their biographies appear in the second volume of this work, 
and mention having also been made of their settlement in the various town- 
ship and village histories, it is unnecessary to go into detail about their first 
and subsequent settlement in Morrison county. It will suffice to remark 
that some of the best citizens and captains of industry found in the county 
today are of the German nationality. They are always frugal, honest and 
loyal to the flag of this country and are sure to become allied with our peo- 
ple by becoming naturalized at the first opportunity offered. 

By Arthur Lamonthe. 

The French of the province of Quebec were to Morrison county what 
they had been to the whole state of Minnesota among its pioneers. What 
could have enticed them from the beautiful valley of the St. Lawrence to 
wander to the then little known valley of the Mississippi no one familiar 
with the adventurous dispositions of the race will be at a loss to know. 
Was it not their forefathers who were the first explorers of the American 
Northwest? The names of some are linked with famous discoveries, like 
that of the Father of Waters, Lake Superior, the Rocky Mountains and 
other important points in the vast country. But how many obscure explorers 
started from Canada, some with the noble ambition to bring to the pagan 
natives the light of the Gospel, others spurred by the patriotic motive of 
adding new p(^ssession to France, and finally, the majority seeking fortune 
in the profital)le fur trade, .'\fter the English conquest of 1759 many of 
those adventurous "couriers des Bois" returned to France, but the odd 


sixty thousand "habitants"' who submitted to the conqueror furnished a good 
number of recruits to the fur companies and the lumber kings. They were 
for the most part young men from the farm whose imagination was fired 
by the stories of returning adventurers; the far away, the unknown, fas- 
cinated them also, and they started west, dreaming of fortune and adventure. 
Their inborn love of the soil induced them finally to settle on a farm and 
found a home. 

That part of the state of Minnesota which is now Morrison county 
offered advantages to the early settlers. Crossed by the Mississippi, a much 
traveled road connecting the northern regions to St. Paul, passed through 
it following the river. The soil along the river was not the best, but it 
was easy to break and its settlers were saved from the isolation so much 
dreaded by a sociable race. 

As it is difficult to give accurate dates as to the coming and settling of 
the French pioneers of Morrison county, I will divide them in decades, 
starting with 1850. 


After the short span of sixty odd years, it is almost impossible to finc^ 
out who was really the first French settler. That honor is claimed for 
Peter Chouinard, a blacksmith, whose shop stood on the old fair grounds, 
north of Little Falls. I have not been able to ascertain where he came 
from and the date of his death. He was the father of Mrs. Peter Roy and 
Mrs. Narcisse Gravel. 

Martin Bisson is looked upon as the pioneer of the French race in 
Morrison county. He was a man universally respected for his honesty and 
much sought after for his generous hospitality. I am told that his modest 
home was crowded by travelers or prospective settlers whom he had induced 
to settle in his neighborhood. Mr. Bisson was born in Maskinonge, Quebec, 
about 1790. As a young man he had been engaged in the fur trade in the 
Northwest, had married a sister of the Beaulieu, a people closely associated 
with the early history of Minnesota, had returned to his native home, where 
he purchased a fine farm. But the fascination of the West was too great to 
permit him to enjoy the peaceful life of a farmer in a quiet rural commun- 
ity. He sold out and came to Belle Prairie, bringing with him two of his 
neighbors, John Branchaud and Theodore Bellefeuille, who eventually 
became his sons-in-law. He must have lived about thirty years in Belle 


Prairie, to which he was really a benefactor, giving forty acres of his farm 
for the church. In his old days he followed his children to White Earth, 
where he died. 

The other early settlers of Belle Prairie and Little Falls came in this 
order : 

Peter Picotte, born at Louisville, Quebec, in 1832, came in the fifties 
to Belle Prairie, after trying to reach California by the way of the o.x road 
over the plains. He turned his steps to Minnesota to join his former neigh- 
bor, Martin Bisson, and made his home in Belle Prairie. He married a 
daughter of Charles Chartier, another pioneer of Belle Prairie, who was 
born in the Canadian Northwest. 

William Butler, a prominent figure among the French pioneers of Mor- 
rison county, was born at Chateauguay, Quebec, about 1829. In his early 
youth he had lived in Glens Falls, New York, where he learned the tanner's 
trade. He came to Morrison county in the year 1855, worked for a time as 
clerk for the Little Falls Manufacturing Company and started a store in 
company with F. X. Gravel, whose share he bought out later. He married 
Mary Holmes, a lady much esteemed for her many good qualities. Mr. 
Butler died in 1887, leaving quite an estate. Mrs. Butler survived him 
twenty-eight years. 

Moses Laford was a native of Maskinonge county and a settler in the 
fifties. He was for a time a butcher, a lumber man, a merchant and a hotel 
keeper. He was elected as a representative of Morrison county to the state 
Legislature. He died at Little Falls in 1905, at the age of sixty-nine. 

Another French settler, who was a member of the state Legislature, 
was Peter Roy, familiarly called Periche Roy. To him is attributed the fact 
that St. Paul remained the capital of the state when a hill was drafted to 
transfer it to St. Peter. Roy disappeared with the bill till the end of the 
session. The ruse saved the day for St. Paul. If the world was not so 
forgetful of its benefactors, Periche Roy would have his statue in the marble 
capitol of Minnesota instead of a marble slab in Calvary cemetery of Little 
Falls, where the forgotten legislator sleeps his last sleep since 1882. 

Joseph Doucetee, also a settler of the fifties, was a native of Gentilly, 


Other French settlers of the same decade were: Michel Heroux. Sr. 
He returned to Canada. His son, Michel, married a daughter of Michel 
Ledoux. who moved to Minnesota from Illinois. The Houde family came 
also from the same state. Wilfrid and Ludger Dugas came with Oliver 


Brousseau, who afterwards settled on the farm of Charles Lamontagne, who 
was drowned at Sauk Rapids with a certain Chanette. Felix Bastien and 
his brother, Simon. Narcisse Gravel, a native of Yamachiche, Quebec. He 
was later followed by his parents, his brothers, Charles, Honore and James. 
Louis Hamlin, his stepfather, Joseph Fournier, David Morin;, Cyriaque 
Dufort, Czias Roy, Alec Riendeau, William and Alfred Racicot, Elie Paquin, 
Eusebe Monchamp, a nephew of Martin Bisson, Cali.xte Vallee, Frank 
Thiebault, Joseph Dugal, Antoine, Leo and Joseph Boisjoli. 


Paschal Doucette, Hector Doucette, F. X. Goulet, Odilon Duclos, 
Nazaire Morin, George Morrison, Doctor Braun, a former army surgeon, 
David Lachance, Arius Rochelean, Henry Racicot. 


Elzear Doucette, Felix Rocheleau, Desire Branchaud; the three broth- 
ers, David Sinai and Gedan Doucette; Guenard Bisson, a nephew of Martin 
Bisson; Edmund Richard, Sr., Francis Richard, Sr., L. E. Richard, J. B. 
Richard, Joseph Gendron. 


Gedeon Laford, Delphis Laford, Isadore Laford, Napoleon Laford, 
Alfred Germain, Joseph Foisy, William Foisy, and Dr. G. M. A. Fortir. 


The spiritual needs of the early French settlers were attended by 
Father Pierz, who was working among the Indians. Father Buh joined him 
later and made himself all to all. In the late seventies they secured a priest 
of their own language in Father Chandonnet. Father Carufel worked a 
number of years in Belle Prairie and Little Falls, where he was succeeded 
by Father Fortier, who was the first residing pastor of the Catholics of 
Little Falls. 



Some French people were induced to settle in the neighborhood of Long 
Prairie by the quality of the soil. Among them Delphis Paquin, who first 
lived in Belle Prairie with his father, Elie Paquin. His nephew, Louis St. 
Antoine, who had served four years in the Civil War, took a homestead 
near him. Maxime Pepin settled near Swanville. The two brothers, J. B. 
Blais and Nazaire Blais, established themselves there also. 

.MdKUISOX COrXTV CIHIM' IKM Si:. I.l'l Tl.i: I'Al.I.S 





Morrison county was organized by an act of the territorial Legisla- 
ture, approved February 25, 1856. It was named in honor of Hon. Allen 
W. Morrison, who came to Minnesota in the twenties and was prominent 
in the early history of the territory of Minnesota. The first election was 
held on April 14, 1856, when the following officers were elected: William 
Trask, Elliott J. Kidder and W. W. Stebbins, county commissioners; 
Nathan Richardson, register of deeds; James Fergus, judge of probate; 
Jonathan Pugh, sheriff; W. B. Fairbanks, district attorney; W. W. Tuttle 
and John Fry, assessors. 

The territory comprising Morrison county has been divided, and sub- 
divided, into many civil townships or precincts. Among these changes 
may be named, in brief, the following: First it was divided into three 
townships, Little Falls, Platte River and Swan River. In the spring of 
1858, the county commissioners organized the county into four civil town- 
ships. Belle Prairie, Granite, Little Falls and Bellevue. In 188 1 the county 
had townships as follows: Belle Prairie, Bellevue, Buckman, Culdrum, 
Elmdale, Green Prairie, Little Falls. Motley, Oakwood, Parker, Pierz, 
Swan River and Two Rivers. By 1888 the townships were increased by 
four more sub-divisions, Agram, Morrill, Pike Creek and Ripley. 

As now constituted (1915) the civil townships are as follows: Agram, 
Buh, Belle Prairie, Bellevue, Buckman, Clough, Gushing, Culdrum, Dar- 
ling, Elmdale, Granite, Green Prairie, Hillman, Leigh, Little Falls, Lakin, 
Mt. Morris, Morrill, Motley, Pulaski, Platte, Pike Creek, Ripley, Rosing, 
Rail Prairie, Swanville, Swan River, Scandia Valley, Two Rivers, Rich- 
ardson, Pierz and Parker. 

Originally, that portion of Morrison county to the west of the Mississ- 


ippi river, belonged to Todd county, but by a popular vote of twenty to 
eighteen, in 1864, it was attached to Morrison county. 


Unlike many other counties in Minnesota, Morrison county has never 
had any difficulty over locating its county seat. The act providing for the 
organization of the county also stipulated that Little Falls should be the seat 
of justice, and it has never been removed. At the first meeting of the 
board of county commissioners, in May, 1856, they divided the county into 
three separate voting precincts, Little Falls, Swan River and Platte River. 
At the November meeting, that year, the commissioners voted to pay Will- 
iam Sturgis eight thousand dollars, to erect a court house, and on the 24th 
of the same month bonds were issued and delivered to said Sturgis. These 
bonds were eight in number, each calling for the sum of one thousand dol- 
lars, the first falling due in tliree years, and each subsequent year one fell 
due. The rate of interest was twelve per cent, per annum. Sturgis pro- 
ceeded to erect the court house and, after having it roofed and enclosed, 
but far from completion, failed, leaving the structure in an unfinished con- 
dition. He had disposed of the bonds to a banker in Washington, D. C, 
who demanded payment as the bonds became due, but was refused by the 
county commissioners, because the building had not been completed as called 
for in the contract. The matter engaged the attention of commissioners 
and the courts for a number of years, and finally, in July, 1869, a compro- 
mise was effected by which, under the administration of Commissioners 
William Butler, William fiarrison and Richard L. Trask, the old bonds 
were taken up and new ones issued to the amount of eight thousand dollars, 
bearing seven per cent, one thousand dollars falling due each year until all 
should be paid for. It was in this manner that the first court house in this 
county was secured and paid for. It was a frame structure, which stood on 
the site of the present temple of justice. When the new building was to be 
built, the old frame building was moved to another place and now stands 
facing the south on First avenue south, nearly opjx^site the Buckman hotel, 
a little to the east. It was a well-constructed Iniilding, for now, after all 
these eventful years and exposure to the elements, it is still in good repair 
and is u.sed for private business enterprises. The front only has been 
changed ; it had large columns in front when used as a court house, but this 
has lieen changed and the old portico has been enclosed, giving more floor 
space within the Iniilding. It is now owned by the Maurin estate. 



About 1890 it was found wise and necessary, in order to preserve the 
county records and furnish a place in keeping with the growth of the coun- 
ty, to erect a new, larger and more satisfactory place in which the county 
officers and courts could be accommodated in the performance of their sev- 
eral duties. Consequently the county bonded itself in the sum of forty 
thousand dollars, issuing bonds running as long as thirty years and none 
payable within ten years. They drew five per cent, per annum and were, 
by bidding, struck off to the First National Bank of Little Falls at forty 
thousand one hundred and six dollars, on July 14, 1890. In July, 1891, 
another set of bonds were issued for fifteen thousand dollars, with which 
to furnish and equip the new court house and its various offices, making the 
total cost of the present structure about sixty-five thousand dollars. The 
county commissioners, at the time of the letting of the contract for this 
building, were, John Stump f, Peter Medved, N. Gravel and Dennis Sheedy. 

In July, 1898, the commissioners ordered a United States flag to be 
erected on the court house and ai>pointed a committee to procure a suitable 
staff and flag, which provision was soon carried out and "Old Glory" was 
unfurled to the breeze. 

In October, 1891, the court house was first lighted by electric lights, 
the contract being that the county should pay the sum of three hundred dol- 
lars per year for lighting both the court house and county jail. 

This court house is an ornament to the county and a monument to the 
wisdom and good sense of the officers and taxpayers of Morrison county. 
It is a yellow brick structure, with a tall tower surmounting the superstruc- 
ture, in which there is soon to be placed a handsome clock, the same having 
been provided for in the will of the late Josiah Page, who left for such pur- 
pose the sum of two thousand dollars. 

The court house has ample rooms for all the officials and a spacious 
court room and jury rooms. It is both heated and lighted by modern 
methods — steam and electricity. 


The first regular jail in Morrison county was the one situated on the 
public square, built of square timbers; it was sixteen by twenty- four feet. 


two Stories high. It still stands opposite the court house, being clapboard- 
ed, however. 

The present jail is situated on the southeast corner of the court house 
square. It is a yellow brick building, erected in 1888, at a cost of seven 
thousand five hundred dollars (original contracts) and was improved in 
1897, by the addition of three new steel cages, which were thought to be 
safe as against the escape of prisoners. However, several prisoners have 
been able to make good their escape since then. For various reasons, the 
building has been condemned by general public opinion and will doubtless 
ere long be replaced by a more attractive and up-to-date building. Prior 
to the building of the old log or timber jail mentioned, all prisoners were 
kept at St. Cloud, or guarded at Little Falls by the sheriff. 


Every county has to contend with and provide for the maintenance of 
her unfortunate poor. Some counties in Minnesota have their poor farms 
and find that to be the most economical method by which the poor can be 
cared for. Morrison county has tried both plans and neither is without 
fault. Up to 1887, no attempt had been made to have a county farm, but 
in August of that year the commissioners leased a farm of one hundred and 
si.xty acres at two hundred and fifty dollars per year, and apppointed Mar- 
tin Wenzel and wife as keepers of the same. This was in the neighbor- 
hood of Belle Prairie, but, after experimenting with such a plan until the 
autumn of 1889, it was abolished. It was not until June, 1890, that the 
commissioners changed from the county to the township plan of caring for 
the paupers of the county. The vote by the board on this question stood, 
four for the townshi]) and one for the county plan. Since then the \arious 
townshi])s have looked after and maintained their own poor. 

TAX LEVY OF 1857 AND 1876. 

It may be of interest to note what taxes were levied more than a half 
century ago in Morrison county, when it had only been organized a short 
time. The total tax levy that year (in 1857) was on $466,487 worth of 
property. The annual tax levy amounted to $3,965.15, only eight anti one- 
half mills on the dollar. Property then consisted mostly of wild land that 
had been entered at three dollars per acre. 

In 1876, the total valuation was placed at $800,222 and a levy of eleven 


mills was made, two mills being for state tax, and one mill for special 
school tax. The average value of wild land was then three dollars per acre. 


According to the county auditor's statement for 19 14 the following 
were the assessed valuations of property in Morrison county at that time: 

Agram township, $158,859; Belle Prairie township, $314,115; Buh 
township, $315,351; Buckman township, $468,085; Bellevue township, $314,- 
891; Clough township, $161,922; Gushing township, $142,502; Culdrum 
township, $296,486; Darling township, $200,286; Elm Dale township, $499,- 
326; Granite township, $211,496; Green Prairie township, $79,440; Hillman 
township, $113,276; Lakin township, $154,461 ; Little Falls township, $240,- 
955; Leigh township, $165,242; Mt. Morris township, $119,417; Morrill 
township, $155,065; Motley township, $132,277; Pierz township, $345,655; 
Pike Creek township, $278,863 ; Pulaski township, $141,357; Platte township, 
$161,794; Parker township, $231,298; Rail Prairie township, $173,287; 
Rosing township, $73,434; Richardson township, $143,703; Ripley town- 
ship, $324,697; Village of Swanville, $79,347; Scandia Valley township, 
$272,419; Swan River township, $311,740; Two Rivers township, $308,727; 
Royalton village, $122,119; City of Little Falls, $1,677,597; Village of Ran- 
dall, $46,309. Total, $9,025,108. 


The following is a copy of a part of the financial statement made by the 
county auditor of Morrison county, for the period between November i, 
1914, and March i, 1915: 


Balance in treasury $168,262 

From tax collections 91.044 

Collected on public lands S.065 

Collected on fines and licenses 8,278 

School apportionment and state aid 24,276 

Hunting and fishing licenses 255 

Other items disbursed 2,976 

Total - $300,156 



Orders on reserve funds $9,237 

Road and Bridge fund 18,625 

Interest fund 4'48i 

Town fund 23,150 

School district fund 66,618 

State tax 10,242 

Wolf bounty 750 

Other items 169.053 

Total $300,156 


The following is a list of banks and amounts of the county's funds 
deposited for the year 1914-15: 

First National Bank, of Little Falls $46,545 

German-American Bank, of Little Falls 43.404 

Merchants State Bank, of Little Falls 43.334 

German State Bank of Pierz 1,090 

First National Bank of Royalton 3-I2I 

State Bank of Randall 1.032 

Peoples State of Swanville 1.039 

Farmers and Merchants of Royalton 1,037 

Morrison County Bank of Bowlus 4.8/5 

First State Bank of New Pierz (Genola) 1,037 

First State Bank of Swanville 1.034 

Total funds deposited by county $163,211 



The following is a list of the various persons who have served as repre- 
sentatives of Morrison county, either in county, state or national positions : 



-Henry H. Sibley. 

1888— W. R. Merriam 


-Alexander Ramsey 

1890— W. R. Merriam 


-Alexander Ramsey 

1892 — Knute Nelson 


-Stephen Miller 

1894 — Knute Nelson 


-W. R. Marshall 

i89^David M. Clough 


-W. R. Marshall 

1898— William H. Eustis 


-Horace Austin 

1900 — Samuel R. Van Sant 


-Horace Austin 

1902 — Samuel R. \'"an Sant 


-C. K. Davis 

1904 — John A. Johnson 


-J. S. Pillsbury 

1906 — John A. Johnson 


-J. S. Pillsbury 

1908 — John A. Johnson 


-J. S. Pillsbury 

19 10 — Adolph 0. Eberhart 


-L. F. Hubbard 

1912 — Adolph 0. Eberhart 


-L. F. Hubbard 

1914 — Winfield S. Hammond 


-A. R. McGill 



The congressmen who have served the people of Morrison county since 
the 1872 apportionment are as follow: 

Apportionment of 1872 (Third District) — John T. Averill, Repub- 
lican. IMarch. 1872, to March, 1875; William F. King, Republican, 1875- 
1877; Jacob H. Stewart, Republican, March, 1877, to Alarch, 1879; William 
D. Washburn, Republican, March. 1879, to March, 1883; Henry Poehler, 


Democrat, March, 1879, to March, 1881 ; H. B. Strait, Republican, March, 
1881, to March, 1887; John L. McDonald, Democrat, March, 1887, to 
March, 1889; Darwin S. Hall, Republican, March, 1889, to March, 1891 ; 
O. M. Hall, Democrat, March, 1891, to March, 1895; Joel P. Heatwole, 
Republican, March, 1895, to March, 1903; Charles R. Davis, Republican, 
March, 1903, to March, 1907. 

Apportionment of 1881 {Fifth District) — Knute Nelson, Republican, 
March, 1883, to March, 1889; S. G. Comstock, Republican, March, 1889, 
to March, 1891; Kittel Holverson, Alliance, March, 1891, to March, 1893; 
Loren Fletcher, Republican, March, 1893, to March, 1903; John Lind, 
Democrat, March, 1903, to March, 1905; Loren Fletcher, Republican, March, 
1905, to March, 1907; Frank M. Nye, March, 1907, to March, 1913; George 
R. Smith, March, 1913. to March, 191 7. 

Apportionment of 1891 (Sixth District) — M. R. Baldwin, Democrat, 
March, 1893, to March, 1895; Charles A. Towne, Republican, March, 1895, 
to March, 1903; Page Morris, Republican, March. 1897, to March, 1903; 
C. B. Buckman, Republican, March. 1897, to March, 1907; Charles A. Lind- 
bergh, March, 1907, to March, 19 17. 


Since i860 the state senators representing Morrison county have been 
as given below. The year noted indicates the session of the Legislature in 
which serving: 1861, Seth Gibbs; 1862, S. B. Lowry; 1864, J. P. Wilson; 
1865, J. P. Wilson; 1866, R. M. Richardson; 1867, Louis A. Evans; 1868, 
C. A. Gilman; 1869, C. A. Gilman; 1870, H. C. Wait; 1871, H. C. Wait; 
1872, R. J. Chewning; 1873, R. J. Chewning; 1874, Ignatius Donnelly; 1875, 
Ignatius Donnelly; 1876, Ignatius Donnelly; 1877, Ignatius Donnelly; 1878, 
Ignatius Donnelly; 1879, C. P. Adams; 1881, C. P. Adams; 1883, C. A. 
Pillsbury; 1885, C. A. Pillsbury; 1887, L. Swenson; 1889, L. Swenson; 1891, 
George Geisel; 1893, George Geisel ; 1895, W. M. Fuller; 1897, W. M. 
Fuller; 1899, C. B. Buckman; 1901, C. B. Buckman; 1903, A. F. Ferris; 
1905, John T. Frater; 1907, S. F. Alderman; 1909, S. F. Alderman; 1911, 
C. D. Johnson; 1913, C. D. Johnson; 1915, George H. Gardner. 



Since i860 the men who have represented the district in which Morrison 
county has been situated have been as follows (years given are sessions) : 
1861, Thomas Cathcart, Levi Wheeler, P. S. Gregory; 1862, R. M. Richard- 
son, Peter Roy, John Whipple; 1864, R. M. Richardson, W. T. Rigby, C. A. 
Rufifee; 1864, Oscar Taylor, Louis A. Evans, W. T. Rigbee; 1866, N. F. 
Barns, Thomas Cathcart, B. Overpeck; 1867, H. N. Miller, N. Richardson; 
1868, N. H. Miller, D. G. Pettijohn; 1869, Ludwig Robbers, William H. 
Hicks; 1870, John L. Wilson, Isaac Thorson; 1871, W. S. Moore, Luke 
Marvin; 1872, N. Richardson; 1873, John O. Haven; 1874, Moses Lafond; 
1875, C. H. Chadbourne; 1876, F. X. Goulet; 1877, John Stumpf; 1878, 
Nathan Richardson; 1879, A. M. Fridley; 1881, C. B. Buckman; 1883, A. J. 
Demeules, G. G. Hartley, J. T. D. Sadley; 1885, J. B. HoWes, J. T. D. Sad- 
ley; 1887, L. E. Lum, J. C. Flynn, W. E. Lee; 1889, R. C. Dunn, J C. Flynn, 
W. A. Fleming; 1891, H. C. Stivers, Werner Hemsted, J. H. Sheets, E. E. 
Price; 1893, W. M. Fuller, Robert C. Dunn, W. A. Fleming, William E. 
Lee; 1895, J- D. Jones, B. F. Hartshorn, H. R. Mallette; 1897, A. F. Fer- 
ris, J. D. Jones, B. F. Hartshorn, H. C. Head; 1899, A. F. Ferris, H. C. 
Stivers; 1901, A. F. Ferris, Werner Hemsted; 1903, L W. Bouck, H. A. 
Rider; 1905, I. W. Bouck, H. A. Rider; 1907, L W. Bouck, M. N. Young; 
1909, Elmer A. King, L. D. Brown; 191 1, L. D. Brown, C. W. Bouck; 1913, 
C. W. Bouck, Louis W. Vasaly; 191 5, C. W. Bouck, Louis W. Vasaly, 
Edward R. Syverson. 


Only one reason can be given for the following list of officers who have 
served Morrison county not being complete, namely, the fact that for more 
than a dozen years after the organization of this county the election returns 
were not turned over to the secretary of state, as prescribed by law, or not 
preserved by the county officers. It is to be regretted that the counties of 
Minnesota are not required to make a permanent record of the elections, as 
do nearly all other states in the Union. Aided somewhat by the Historical 
Society at St. Paul, the author has been able to compile the following list, 
which is as complete as it can now be made from records : 



J. D. Lachance, 1876 to 1885; Frank Ellenbecker, 1885 to 1895; V. E. 
Kasparek, 1895 to 1897; James A. Nichols, 1897 to 1901 ; H. N. Harding, 
1901 to 1903; William A. Butler, 1903 to 191 1; B. Y. McNairy, 1911 to 


Jonathan Taylor, 1876; W. T. Lambert, 1879 to 1885; S. Stoll, 1885 to 
1893; Joseph L. Meyer, 1893 to 1901 ; Lyman Signor, 1903 to 1907; Frank 
Renick, 1907 to 19 19. 


T. J. Hayes, 1876 to 1883; Henry Rasicot, 1883 to 1891 ; Leon Houde, 
1891 to 1895; H- A. Rider, 1895 to 1901 ; E. S. Tanner, 1901 to 1907; 
Frank Long, 1907 to 1909; Frank Armstrong, 1909 to 1913; Paul Felix, 
1913 to 1919. 


L. Signor, 1876 to 1889; Henry Goulet, 1889 to 1897; L. Gaudet, 1897 
to 1901 ; W. H. Hall, 1901 to 1907; Charles E. Vasaly, 1907 to 191 1 ; F. X. 
Bastien, 191 1 to 1919. 


G. G. Kimball, 1876 to 1879; Peter Neuman, 1879 to 1881 ; A. F. Story, 
1 88 1 to 1885; Nathan Richardson, 1885 to 1893; Donat Trettel, 1893 to 
1895; N. Richardson, 1895 to 1903; E. F. Shaw. 1905 to 1917. 


A. J. Clark, 1879 to 1881 ; Nathan Richardson, 1881 to 1883; D. T. 
Calhoun, 1883 to 1885; R. M. Worthington, 1885 to 1887; E. B. Breble, 
1887 to 1889; Frank W. Lyon. 1889 to 1891 ; C. A. Lindbergh. 1891 to 
1893; Frank W. Lyon, 1893 to 1895; J. H. Rhodes, 1895 to 1897; Frank 
W. Lyon, 1897 to 1901 ; F. A. Lindbergh, 1901 to 1907; Don M. Cameron, 
1907 to 1913; C. Rosenmier, 1913 to 1919. 



Nathan Richardson, 1876 to 1879; W. L. Dow, 1879 to 1883; R. J. 
Batzer, 1883 to 1885; W. L. Dow, 1885 to 1887; H. S. Clyde, 1887 to 1895; 
Nels Peterson, 1895 to 1897; H. S. Clyde, 1897 to 1899; Nels Peterson, 
1899 to 1901 ; A. J. Fenn, 1901 to 1913; P. S. Randall, 1913 to 1915; Nels 
Peterson, 191 5 to 19 19. 


Henry Armstrong, 1876 to 1879; J. O. Simmons, 18^9 to 1881 ; A. J. 
McMannus, 1881 to 1887; G. M. A. Fortier, 1887 to 1895; O. C. Trace, 
1895 to 1897; N. Dumont, 1897 to 1899; O. C. Trace, 1899 to 1903 ;.N. W. 
Chance, 1903 to 1909; P. H. Brown, 1909 to 191 1; N. W. Chance, 1911 to 


Leon Houde, 1876 to 1887; I. E. Staples, 1887 to 1895; Lyman Signor, 
1895 to 1899; S. P. Brick, 1899 to 1913; A. M. Stoll, 1913 to 1919. 


W. Rasicot, 1876 to 1879; C. Hayes, 1879 to 1883; R. M. Worthing- 
ton, 1883 to 1885; I. J. Wright, 1885 to 1889; S. P. Fuller, 1889 to 1893; 
E. F. Shaw, 1893 to 1901 ; E. W. Collins, 1901 to 1905; E. A. King, 1905 to 
1909; Lud Gaudet, 190910 1913; Nels N. Bergheim, 1913 to 1917. 


A. Guernon, 1879 to 1887; John McDonald, 1887 to 1889; J. H. Seal, 
1889 to 1905 ; Crawford Sheldon, 1905 to 1907; M. E. Barnes, 1907 to 1919. 


Since the Australian ballot has been established and the record is kept 
better, it shows the election of the following county commissioners : John 
Stumpf (chairman), W. M. Jones, George La Fond, Marcus Kobe, D. 
Sheedy, 1893; N. Hennen, J. J. Jacobson, W. M. Jones, George La Fond, 


D. Sheedy, 1895; Martin Enke, George La Fonde, J. J. Gross, N. Hennen, 
J. J. Jacobson, 1897; Martin Enke, George La Fonde, J. J. Gross, F. H. 
Lakin, J. J. Jacobson, 1899; E. W. Sullivan, R. Tedford, J. J. Gross, F. H. 
Lakin, J. J. Jacobson, 1901 ; E. S. Sullivan, R. C. Tedford, J. J. Gross, F. 
H. Lakin, C. P. Smith, 1903; Ole L. Wahl, Andrew Johnson, Peter Virnig, 
F. H. Lakin, C. P. Smith, 1905 ; Ole L. Wahl, Andrew Johnson, Peter Ver- 
"ig' J- J- Jacobson, 1907; A. Herun, D. Rocheleau, Peter Virnig, J. J. Jacob- 
son, F. H. Lakin, 1909; A. Hennen, D. Rocheleau, H. Gassert, F. H. Lakin, 
M. Viechoek, 1911 ; the present board is composed of the following mem- 
bers: First district, Andrew Herum; second district, D. Rocheleau, Henry 
Gassert, F. H. Lakin, Herman Vanselow. The first three named go out of 
office in 19 17 and the others in 19 19. 


i860 — Lincoln, 53; Douglas, 93. 1864 — Lincoln, 25; McClellan, 50. 
1868 — Grant. 68; Seymour, 139. 1872 — Grant, 161; Greeley, 240. 1876 — 
Tilden, 383; Hayes, 216. 1880 — Hancock, 667; Garfield, 459. 1884 — 
Blaine, 687; Cleveland, 1,010. 1888 — Harrison, 1,042; Cleveland, 1,404. 
1892 — Harrison, 1,135 ; Cleveland, 1.310; Weaver, 1,257. 1896 — McKinley, 
1,960; Bryan, 1,734. 1900 — McKinley, 1880; Bryan, 1,081. 1904 — Roose- 
velt, 2,498; Parker, 1,129. 1908 — William H. Taft, 1,936; W. J. Bryan, 
1,511; Prohibition candidate, 64. 1912 — Taft, 699; Wilson. 1,341; Roose- 
velt, 1,327. 



Morrison county is located near the geographical center of the state, the 
Mississippi river flowing through it from north to south, dividing it into 
nearly equal parts. Two lines of railroad pass through the county, the main 
line of the Northern Pacific from north to south, and the Soo line from 
west to east. 

The surface is rolling and partly timbered, the soil in some parts being 
dark sandy loam, while in other parts it runs to a heavy clay loam, both of 
which are rich and productive. Morrison county lays claim to being the ideal 
locality for diversified farming on account of the productive nature of its 
soil, ample supply of pure water, sufficient rainfall, good market, and the 
fact that a crop failure has never been known. With its great natural advan- 
tages, and located, as it is, on two direct lines of railroad leading to the great 
markets of the Northwest, the Twin Cities and Duluth, Morrison county, 
ofifers unparallelled inducements to those seeking a home. 


Wheat, oats, rye, barley, flax, etc., yield bountiful crops, and nearness 
to the great milling center of the world insures a price above those localities 
less fortunately situated. That Morrison county stands at the head as a 
grain-producing county there can be no question when the fact is known that, 
in competition with counties from all parts of the state, at the Minnesota 
state fairs of 1908 and 1909, Morrison scored highest on grains, with one 
hundred and forty-nine points out of a possible one hundred and fifty. 

Corn is coming into its own as a profitable commodity in central Min- 
nesota, and is today one of the important crops grown in Morrison county. 
Both white and yellow Dent are grown, and a crop failure is not known in 
this section. No other proof of this need be given than the statement that 
Morrison scored ninety-six per cent, in the county competition at the state 
fair of 1909. 



Potatoes are one of the leading and most profitable crops produced by 
the Morrison county farmer, the nature of the soil being particularly adapted 
to the production of potatoes of superior quality. The jield is heavy, and a 
ready market is always found for this crop, a considerable portion of which 
is purchased by the buyers and shipped to other states for seed purposes. 

All kinds of garden vegetables are grown with success, and the crop is of 
superior quality. As an illustration of this we might mention that a Mor- 
rison county grower has taken first prize on celery each year he has exhibited 
at the state fair, in competition with the entire state. 


Do not get the idea that central Minnesota is outside the fruit belt, for 
many kinds of apples, plums, grapes and crabs are successfully grown, and 
Morrison county can show many fine orchards. At the county exhibit of 
1909, thirty-six varieties of apples alone were shown. All kinds of small 
fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, currants, etc., yield abundant crops. 
Wild fruit and berries are very plentiful in the timbered sections of the 


Stock raising has in the past few years become one of the leading indus- 
tries of this section. An abundance of wild grass, with immense crops of 
clover, timothy and other grasses, makes this branch very profitable to the 
farmer. Hogs do especially well, epidemics being unknown. Carried on 
with diversified farming, or as a business of itself, Morrison county oflfers 
superior inducements to the stock raiser. 


Morrison is known as the Bread and Butter county of the Bread and 
Butter state, and well it deserves the title when the development of the 
dairying industry in recent years is considered. Today, nearly every town- 
ship has its creamery, some of them more than one. No industry has 
advanced more rapidly in volume ui Imsiness, or been more profitable than 
dairying. This section is particularly adapted to this line. 


The latest obtainable figures on Morrison county's creameries are a por- 
tion of the report made to the state in the autumn of 1913 and runs as fol- 
lows: Number of co-operative creameries, seven; independent creameries, 
eight; number of patrons, 1,975; number of cows, 19,401; pounds of milk 
received, 263,000; pounds of cream received, 6,446,000; butter fat in pounds, 
2,100,000; average price paid patrons per pound for butter fat, thirty-three 
cents; total amount paid patrons for butter fat in year, $523,719.47. The 
running expenses for all this business in Morrison county was $41,938.33. 
Out of eight hundred and three creameries in this state, Morrison county, in 
1912, stood eighteenth in rank. The creameries that did this immense busi- 
ness were as follow : Buckman, Pierz, Clover Leaf, Bowlus, Cushing's 
Farmers Creamery, Bell Prairie, Motley, Lastrup, Morrill, Pierz Farmers 
Creamery, Randall Co-operative, Swanville, Upsala and Little Falls cream- 
eries. It will be observed that a creamery is as important to a community 
as a large industrial plant, the only difference being that the money is paid 
to the farmer instead of to factory employes in town or city. 


Morrison is among the most fertile counties in all Minnesota as regards 
the production and maturing of profitable crops. It ranges from a black 
alluvial mould and sandy marl loam, mixed with clay, with sub-soil of clay, 
one-fourth of which is prairie and the balance originally covered with mixed 
hard woods and pines. About one-half of the land area is now occupied 
by two thousand six hundred and twenty-two farms ; the balance, three hun- 
dred and fivty-seven thousand acres, is yet unimproved. The unimproved 
land is selling at from fifteen to thirty dollars per acre, while the improved 
is selling at from thirty to seventy-five dollars per acre. 

It should be remembered that, not many years ago, it was believed that 
this far-north corn could not be successfully produced, and all farming was 
along the line of small grain, wheat, oats, barley and rye, which is still the 
chief crop, but by no means all that is grown. After a score of years of 
experimenting and selecting proper varieties of northern-grown corn, the 
scene is all changed and now it is common to see mixed farming including 
corn on the better class of farms, and that with much profit. Considering 
the high-priced lands of the real Mississippi valley corn belt, there is more 
money in raising corn, one year with another, in Morrison and adjoining 
counties than there is in the belt. 


Timothy and clover, as well as alfalfa, are revolutionizing the farming 
systems of Minnesota, including this county. The growth of these grasses 
is simply wonderful. The potato and other vegetable crops are also astonish- 
ing many who are unacquainted with the nature and rare warmth and fer- 
tility of the soil in Morrison county. Three hundred bushels of potatoes is 
not a rare growth per acre in this county. 


Morrison county has two agricultural societies, one organized and oper- 
ating at Little Falls and one at the village of Motley, in the northwestern part 
of the county. Through the liberal aid of the state, it has been possible to 
maintain both of these societies, and for the last four years both have had 
county fairs. The society at Motley held its first fair in 1910. It was very 
small and unskill fully managed, but the ofificers have now gotten down to a 
thorough understanding of the nature and purpose of such a society and they 
are now conducting a fair on business principles 

The present society at Little Falls was organized in 191 1 and succeeded 
the street fairs, which had been conducted for about five years. This was 
not the first county society to be organized in Little Falls. There was one 
organized as early as 1884, which held fairs and continued a troublesome 
existence for about ten years, when it finally fell into the hands of one man 
and became extinct. Some years thereafter, or about 1905, the business men 
of Little Falls attempted to resurrect the old county fair society and for five 
years conducted fairs in the streets of Little Falls. This way of conducting 
fairs was unsatisfactory to all concerned and when a new society was organ- 
ized the purpose was to get away from the streets, secure independent grounds 
and conduct county fairs along modern lines. The society finally succeeded 
in buying ten acres of land within the city limits of Little Falls and in 1913 
the fair was held within enclosed grounds and was a tremendous success. 
The attendance in 1913, as shown by the gate receipts, was four thousand, 
and in 1914 .seven thousand, and there were no special attractions, not even 
races. The grounds are not quite large enough for a race track, but there 
is more land near by that can be secured, which, if added to the present 
amount of land, will give the society a half-mile track. The chief interest, 
however, in the annual county fairs is the exhibit of farm products. The 
entries in the agricultural line, especially, have been phenomenal and it looks 
as though the people woukl come to the fair if there were no amusements 


of any kind. In 19 14 there were nearly two thousand entries for premiums 
and the prospects are that this will be almost doubled in the year 1915. The 
society is in excellent financial condition, having property of an estimated 
value of ten thousand dollars and an indelrtedness of only one thousand five 
hundred dollars. The present officers of the society are: T. C. Gordon, 
president; N. M. Bergheim, secretary, and W. H. Ryan, treasurer. The 
success of this society is due in a large measure to the splendid financial sup- 
port it has received from the business men of Little Falls and the excellent 
exhibits furnished by the farmers. It is expected, however, from this time 
on the society will be self-sustaining and that special contributions will not 
be needed except for the construction o fnew buildings. There are four 
buildings at the present time, which take care of all exhibits except h\e stock 
and these are housed in sheds put along the fence. There is a baseball dia- 
mond on the grounds and a splendid grand stand with a seating capacity of 
one thousand. 

The pioneer fair of Morrison county was held by the first organized 
society, which was formed in 1882 and held a county fair in the autumn of 
that year. The officers were, Jonathan Simmons, president ; John Denny, 
vice-president; O. A. Churchill, secretary, and William Butler, treasurer. 
One of the directors was Lyman W. Ayer, who is still residing at Little 


Under an act passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 1909, effective at 
once, the following farms have been named by the owners and recorded in 
the office of the register of deeds at Little Falls. A nominal fee is charged 
for this recording and it should obtain to a greater extent than it has, 
although the more sentimental and enterprising farm owners have taken 
advantage of what has come to be a very excellent habit and has been recog- 
nized in many state legislatures. Blank record books have been provided for 
this special purpose, same as will be found in Morrison county. The farms 
thus named and recorded here are as follow (the numbers refer to section, 
township and range) : "Willow Grove," September 17, 1909, was the first 
recorded. It was by I. H. Misfeldt, in section 13, township 127, range 31, 
in Elm Dale township; "Lake View," 14-132-31, Scandia Valley township, 
Fred M. Trogstad; "Brookside Farm," 24-129-30, Pike Creek township, 
Mary Brunet; "Maple Top," 8-127-30, Elm Dale township, Frank Kopka; 
"Bloomington Park," 33-130-31, Darling township, August Bloomquist; 


"Pine Grove," 5-39-30, August Dehler; "West Pleasant Grove," 33-130-30, 
Darling township, Frank Rendahl; "Golden Grove," 32-130-30, Darling 
township, Aaron Engstrom; "Rich Park," 34-130-30, Darling township, G. 
E. Johnson; "Meadow Grove," 34-130-30, Charles Anderson; "Golden Park," 
28-130-30, Darling township, Louis Anderson; "Park Grove," 29-130-30, 
Fred Nelson; "Elm Park," 28-130-30, Darling township, John Regnell; 
"Bloomington Grove," 23-130-30, Darling township, Ida Blomquist; "High- 
land Park," 2-129-30, August Anderson; "Rich Valley," 2-129-30, Oscar 
Anderson; "Oakdale Dairy," 36-41-32, Olof Malm; "Popple Park," 4-129-30, 
Abraham Knudson; "Meadow View," 13-129-30, M. M. Williams; "Blossom 
View," 25-130-30, Anna C. Johnson; "Evergreen Park," 3-129-30, Pike 
Creek township; "Prospect Grove," 34-130-30, Darling township, August 
Lindahl; "Elm Hult," 33-130-30, John A. Thelander, Darling township; 
"Oak Wood," 29-130-30. Darling township. Miss Maud Freeman; "Rose- 
wood Grove," 34-130-30, Darling township, Emil Ohon; "The Goldfield, 
4-129-30, Charles J. Nelson, Pike Creek township; "Elm Grove," 27-130-30, 
Darling township. Nils Emil Nelson; "Cherry Valley," 27-130-30, Darling 
township, Lars Johnson; "Beautiful Grove," 27-130-30, Darling township, 
Frank Skogberg; "Rice Lake," 19-40-31, John C. Rennie; "Oak Park," 
33-130-30, Andrew Hedin; "Gottenberg Dairy," 17-129-30, Leonard Lar- 
son; "The Queensdale," 27-130-30, Mrs. Hilda Anderson, Darling township; 
"Pleasant View," 3-129-30, Pike Creek township, Anton Knudson; "Birch- 
wood," 29-130-30, Charles A. Swanner, Darling township; "Streetville," 29- 
130-30, John V. Malm, Darling township; "Flower Grove," 29-130-30, Dar- 
ling township, Tom McCarty; "Beautiful Point," 20-130-30, Axum G. Nel- 
son; "Hillside Grove," 32-130-30, Darling township, Lars A. Peterson; 
"Silver Grove," 32-130-30, Darling township, Charles P. Nordstrom; "Rich- 
field," 4-129-30, Pike Creek township, August Peterson; "Cloverdale," 14- 
41-31, Victor Beckman; "Highland Grove," 33-130-30, Darling township, 
Carl Emil Taberman; "Sobieks Palace," 4-127-30, William .\. Butler; "Cot- 
tage Grove," 12-41-31, S. M. Blom; "Fair View," 11-129-30, Peter O. Mel- 
berg; "Riverside Dairy Farm," 9-41-30, Charles Beckman; "Stoney Park." 
32-130-30, Darling township, Fred Cook; "Beautiful Park," 27-130-30. Dar- 
ling township, John Mathers; "Platte River Valley," 30-41-30, H. Wieland; 
"Homewood," 9-129-30, John A. Larson; "Red Cedar," 31-131-29, Clistie 
A. Rudolph; "Oak Hill," 31-130-30, P. A. Holmgren; "Two Rivers Stock 
Farm," 3-127-30, George M. Schneider; "Sunnyside." 1-127-31. J. J. Jacob- 
son; "Fairfield," 22-127-31, J. H. Peterson; "River \'ie\v," sections 8 and 


17, township 127, range 30, C. G. Mokros; "Pine Knoll," 18-127-30, N. P. 
Thompson; "Oakland Farm," 5-129-30, Gustof Swanson; "Lake Park," 
25-132-31, Rasmus Borgstrom; "River Grove," 10-130-30, John Liljeblad, 
Darling township; "Elfdale," 35-130-30, John A. Schelin; "River Park," 
15-130-30, August Gustafson; "Coon Lake," 31-128-31, Charles Palm; 
"Plainiield," 9-127-31, John Jacobson; "Waldeborg," 8-127-31, C. G. Peter- 
son; "Arlington Hill," 9-127-31, Andrew Rydholm; "Lake Side," 6-127-31, 
August Anderson; "Linden Hill," 16-127-31, J. S. Borgstrom; "Hay Creek," 
31-131-30, Erm Edbourg; "Spring Garden," 32-130-30, Darling township, 
Herman Hamon; "Shamrock and the Rose," 20-128-30, Dennis Sheedy; 
"Meadowlands," 5-39-32, Mary M. Kay; "Mamre," 8-127-31, John Hocka- 
mon; "Appleton," 3-127-31, C. A. Carlson; "Pleasant Home Stock Farm," 
15-40-32, J. L. Metcalf; "Four Leaf Clover," Ernest Eckstrom, 9-127-31; 
"Evergreen," 26-40-31, Frank Boehm; "Ferndell," 14-131-30, A. B. Nichols; 
"Clovernook," 5-127-31, Adam Jacobson; "Spring Creek Dairy," 24-127-31, 
Peter Peterson; "Lindale," 9-127-31, J. P. Eckstrom; "Elm Tree," 15-127- 
31, C. J. Lunden; "Prospect," 10-41-30, Theodore Thielen, 10-39-30; "Or- 
chard Grov.e," 17-39-30, Nick H. Mueller; "Rockfield," 19-130-29, Carl E. 
Peterson; "Cedar Hill," 21-127-31, Frederick Anderson; "Silver Lake," 
14-131-31, Albert Kleman; "Clover Leaf Stock Farm," 36-41-32, Olof Malm; 
"Ash Cove," 30-129-30, Laurence Gregerson; "Pine Shade," 7-127-31, C. J. 
Peterson; "Jersey Home Farm," 8-131-30, Hugh Pugh; "Lakemont," 6-131- 
31, John H. Dubbels; "Valhalla Farm," 31-42-30, Carl L. Erickson; "Fair 
Oaks," 2-129-30, C. A. Matherson; "Sunny Home," 2-129-30, William 
Evans; "Oak Grove," 7-39-30, John L. Dehler; "Black Walnut Grove," 25- 
128-31, Herman C. Getzkow; "Rosendahl," 5-127-31, Alfred Holmen; "The 
Frederick Farm," 26-130-30, Darling township, Edward W. Frederickson ; 
"Cedar Grove," 30-127-31, Fred W. Getzkow; "Spring Valley Home," 24- 
131-31, A. K. Johnson; "Spring Hill Stock," 9-132-30, B. P. Swanson; 
"Paradise Farm," Clara K. Fuller, 18-129-29; "Oak Dale Stock," 22-133-31, 
W. N. Morey; "Inland Dairy," Ed B. Martinson, 9-129-31 ; "Long Meadow 
Stock Farm," 29-42-28, H. H. Sanborn; "Clover Leaf," 17-40-32, R. L. 
Cochrane; "Parker-Muir," 12-13G-31, George T. Parker; "Meadow Brook 
Stock," 33-129-31, Mrs. Lizzie Stroschein; "The O. K, Farm," 11-129-30. 
C. H. and A. G. Olson; "Big Pine," 10-42-32, Robert C. Tedford; "Breezy- 
Point-On-Lake Alexander," 32-132-31, Mrs. Lena Wheeler; "Swan Valley," 
26-128-31, O. S. Swanson; "Spruce Knoll," 23-128-31, Andrew Melbeg; 
"Helendale," 34-132-30. Albert R. Longfellow; "Pleasant Brook," 8-39-30, 


Angus D. Dehler; "Spruce Grove," 25-133-31, Peter Smedberg; "Spring 
Valley Dairy," 4-132-30, F. L. Swanson, Rail Prairie township; "Spring 
Grove Stock Farm," 7-129-31, B. H. Fellbaun; "Clover Dale Stock Farm," 
28-133-31, John Berglund; "Little Elk," 6-129-29, Mary A. Kemp; "Happy 
Hollow," 24-128-30, Peter L. Lempke; "Meadow Lawn Stock Farm," 10-39- 
32, George M. Reidnet; "Alfalfa Stock Farm," 29-128-30, Peter J. Greger- 
sen; "Granite City Stock," 21-41-29, Peter J. Gan; "North Star," 23-42-31, 
Zexn Nielsen; "Fletcher Creek," 6-41-31, Louis Valley; "Spruce Grove Dairy 
and Stock Farm," 4-41-31, M. Olson; "Meadow Brook," 9-130-30, E. G. C. 
Amy; "Triplet Spring," 18-129-31, O. R. Koenig. 



The financial history of Morrison county has been a creditable one, on 
the whole, and the banks of this county have ever stood as conservators of the 
business interests of their respective communities. The following is a brief 
record of the banks, past and present, in Morrison county : 

The First National Bank of Little Falls was organized in 1888, and the 
latest state bank directory gives the officers and other items concerning its 
history as follows : Capital, $50,000 ; surplus, $20,000 ; deposits, $600,000. 
Officers : A. R. Davidson, president ; J. K. Martin, cashier. It is one of the 
solid financial institutions of central Minnesota. It has its own bank build- 
ing, fifty by one hundred feet in size, a two-story cream brick building, with 
basement. It is steam heated and lighted by electricity and cost $50,000. 

The Merchants State Bank of Little Falls was organized in 1902, by 
G. F. Kirscher, who was its president ; H. A. Warner, cashier, and Jerome 
McCusker, vice-president. Today the officers are, G. F. Kirscher, president ; 
Joseph Moeglin, cashier, and Charles Sprandel, vice-president. The first 
and present capital is $50,000. The present surplus and undivided profits 
are $16,500. A general banking business is transacted. The recent report 
gives the amount of deposits to be $400,000. The bank's charter is dated 
October, 1902. This is a safe and well-conducted banking house, whose 
business has materially increased from the very opening month. 

The German-American National Bank of Little Falls was organized 
in December, 1891, by Harold Thorson and James D. Anderson, succeeding 
the old Morrison County Bank. That bank was a private concern owned by 
J. D. Maxwell, and was the first to do banking business in the county. This 
bank finally quit and its regular successor was the German-American bank, 
which was established about ten years later than the first attempt at bank- 
ing here. The first officers of this bank were : Harold Thorson, president ; 
C. A. Weyerhauser, vice-president; J. D. Anderson, cashier; S. A. Smerts, 
assistant cashier. The original and present capital is $50,000; present sur- 


plus and undivided profits, $25,000; deposits, $800,000. A general banking 
business is carried on after modern methods. The present (191 5) officers 
are: C. A. Weyerhauser, president; J. W. Berg and John Wetzel, vice- 
presidents; E. J. Richie, cashier; N. J. Peterson, assistant cashier. This 
banking house has always been on the same lot it now occupies, on Broadway 
and First street in the center of the city. The June, 191 5, statement issued 
gives the liabilities and resources at $918,035.37 and general deposits 
amounting to $291,403.37. It stands for all that is safe and sound in 
Minnesota banking circles. 

The German State Bank of Pierz was organized in 1902 by A. R. David- 
son, of Little Falls, and Col. A. D. Davidson, of Duluth. It was chartered 
in 1908. Its first and present capital is $10,000. The first officers were: A. 
D. Davidson, president ; H. R. Davidson, vice-president ; L. O. Kirby, cash- 
ier. Its present officers are: A. R. Davidson, president; P. A. Hartman, 
vice-president; A. P. StoU, cashier; R. M. Stoll, assistant cashier. 

The deposits in August, 1915, were $180,000 and the surplus at that date 
was $2,000. A general banking business is transacted by this concern, which 
has the confidence of the entire community. A. R. Davidson is a man of 
well-known banking ability and financial strength. A. P. Stoll became asso- 
ciated with this bank in 1903. since which time he has been ever at his desk, 
filling well the position he holds. The June statement of this bank in 1915 
shows liabilities and resources amounting to $200,668.82. 

The First National Bank of Genola (formerly called New Pierz) was 
organized January i, 1912, by G. F. Kirscher, president; Charles Sprandel, 
vice-president ; John Schmolke, Herman J. Vierk. and N. P. Fichtinger, 
cashier. The capital is $10,000; the present surplus and profits are $2,000; 
recent statements show deposits amounting to $60,000. Besides a general 
banking business, this concern also does an extensive real estate and insur- 
ance business. The date of this bank's charter was December 28, 191 1. It 
occupies a modern, up-to-date bank building, erected in 191 1. The present 
officers are : G. F. Kirscher, president ; Simon P. Brick, vice-president ; Otto 
J. Brick, cashier; U. M. Bussen, assistant cashier. 

The I'armers State Bank of Upsala, was organized May 11. 1914, hence 
is a new concern in banking circles of Minnesota. It was formed by J. W. 
Falk, J. S. Borgstrom, A. M. Borgstrom, Gust Lindgren and P. Viehouser, 
with a capital of $10,000, the same as it carries today. Its original officers 
were : J. W. Falk, president ; J. S. Borgstrom, vice-president : Gust Lind- 
gren, cashier; A. M. Borgstrom, assistant cashier. The present cashier is 


A. M. Borgstrom. The undivided profits in June, 1915, were $519.25; 
recent amount on deposit was $58,566.77. A general banking business is 
transacted in this bank. On June 23, 191 5, a statement was pubHshed show- 
ing the Habihties and resources to have been $58,556. Considering the size of 
the village, this statement is a wonderful showing to have made in so brief 
a time after establishing a bank. 

The Randall State Bank, at the village of Randall, was established on 
April 7, 1908, by S. C. Cochran, P. F. Hosch, R. Drysdale, B. B. Bates and 
C. E. Chapman. The first capital stock was same as today, $10,000; the 
surplus is $4,500; deposits are $70,000. A general commercial banking 
business is transacted. The original officers were : S. C. Cochran, president ; 
R. Drysdale, vice-president; C. E. Chapman, cashier; S. C. Cochran, B. B. 
Bates, R. Drysdale, P. F. Hosch, C. E. Chapman, directors. At first this 
bank occupied a small brick building, which was torn down to make room 
for the present handsome bank structure on lot 12. It is a pressed brick, 
erected in 1911, at a cost of $3,500. The vault and all connected with the 
institution are safe and modern. The officers at present are : W. E. Parker, 
president; Matti Karhula, vice-president; C. E. Chapman, cashier; Mrs. C. E. 
Chapman, assistant cashier; W. E. Parker, Matt Karhula, H. L. Decker, 
Isaac Hazelett, F. B. Coon, J. J. Meyers and C. E. Chapman, directors. A 
recent statement shows the resources and liabilities of this excellent institu- 
tion to be $83,466.87. 

The Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Royalton was organized in 
November, 191 1, by R. K. Carnes, J. H. Russell, A. A. Fitch, A. R. David- 
son and J. K. Martin, with a capital stock of $15,000, same as is carried 
today. The present surplus and undivided profits are $1,600. The deposits 
in the month of July were $61,000. General commercial banking is car- 
ried on by this concern. The first officers were : : A. R. Davidson, presi- 
dent; J. K. Martin, vice-president; A. A. Fitch, cashier. Those serving 
today (1915) are: August Plachta, president; R. Y. Watson, vice-presi- 
dent; A. A. Fitch, cashier. They occupy a fine brick block, erected in 1901. 
The June statement of this bank shows it had resources and liabilities amount- 
ing to $82,320.97, with loans and discounts amounting to $72,198.58; total 
cash assets, $7,315.36. This is looked upon as among the well-managed 
financial institutions of Morrison county. 

The First National Bank of Royalton is a strong financial institution, 
with. S. Henenlotter as its president and Charles R. Rhoda, cashier. In 
August, 1915, the amount on deposit was $160,000. The bank's capital is 
$25,000 paid-up stock. 


At Swanville there are now two banks, the First State Bank and the 
People's State Bank. The former is now being converted into a national 
bank. W. E. Lee, of Long Prairie, is president of the First State Bank and 
O. H. Kolhe, cashier. 

The First National Bank, at Motley, was established and chartered as 
bank No. 7764. in 1905, with first officers as follows: Isaac Hazlett, presi- 
dent; William A. Lancaster, vice-president; D. L. Case, cashier; S. W. 
Jacobs, assistant cashier. The capital stock was then, as today, $25,000, but 
there is now a surplus of $5,000. The 1915 officers of this bank are: Isaac 
Hazlett, president; D. L. Case, vice-president; S. \V. Jacobs, cashier; R. L. 
Benedict, assistant cashier. The directors of this concern are the above- 
named officers, together with Mr. Parker. The bank building was erected in 
1903, on Main street, at a cost of $4,500, including lot. In July, 191 5, the 
statement made shows that the bank had resources and liabilities amounting 
to $155,720.95; deposits, $97,823.81; loans and discounts, $93,154.49. In 
1906 burglars drilled through the outer walls of the vault and secured $65 
in cash found in a common till, but left before they blew up the safe, which 
had been planned, as fuses were found about the place in the morning. This 
bank succeeded a private bank conducted by Messrs. Hazlett and L. D. Chase, 
who started in banking here in 1902. 

The Morrison County State Bank, of Bowlus, was established on March 
27, 191 1, by Vincent Schwientek, Aubrey A. Read, M. K. Knauff and John 
Barton. Its charter was dated May 22, 191 1; its first and present capital 
is $12,000. Its first officers were: John A. Barton, president; Vincent 
Schwientek, vice-president ; .\rthur Erickson, cashier. The same officers still 
hold over, except that the cashier is Albert A. Barton, who has as his assist- 
ant, G. A. Schaefer. The surplus in August, 1915, was $1,000. Recent 
reports show its deposits to be $67,000. The bank building was erected in 
the spring of 191 1 and is valued at $6,700. This institution meets with 
public favor and is just what was needed in the connnunity in which it is 


In 1913. the Minneapolis Journal priiUed the following: "At Little 
Falls, the bank deposits were as follow : Based upon its population. Little 
i''alls leads all other cities in the state, as shown by the deposits of the First 
National Bank, Merchants State Bank and German-.Vmerican National Bank, 
of $1,641,757.97. This proves conclusively that the Little Falls banks have 



„ «* 




plenty of idle capital, and that its people per capita rank equal in wealth to 
any in the Northwest." 


It may seem surprising to some to note the number of banks in the vari- 
ous towns of both this and Todd county, as compared to other counties, even 
in districts where agriculture and manufacturing are carried on to a much 
greater extent than they are in these two counties. This was not so much the 
case a few years ago, but the introduction of modern methods of farm life, 
especially the creamery industry, which sprang up here less than twenty 
years ago, has advanced the cash receipts of the farms and put many in good 
financial circumstances, who in years gone by were "poor farmers" in several 
senses of the term. The "cream and milk checks" have enriched these two 
counties to a wonderful extent in the last ten years. Again, farmers and 
townspeople, too, have come to understand that the safest manner to proceed 
to accumulate is to start a bank account. The modern banking laws of both 
Minnesota and the general government have been so changed that the average 
every-day citizen, who never felt safe in making deposits in small banks, has 
come to believe that these institutions are the safest place to deposit their 
earnings and profits, hence the bank accounts have rapidly increased. These 
banks allow all the interest that the times will permit of and the patrons, 
knowing that they are dealing with excellent business men, who are also 
watched by careful bank inspectors, feel that they are safe in making deposits. 




That the matter of education has not been neglected in Morrison county, 
will be seen by the early schools, both private and public and the later insti- 
tutions, which have from time to time been improved to meet the require- 
ments of the times and changes in educational methods. 

It was written in the state history, covering the upper Mississippi valley, 
published in 1881, as follows: "Of the thirty-eight schools in Morrison 
county, the leading one is the independent school of Little Falls. Three 
teachers are employed in this school, and the number enrolled is one hun- 
dred and seventy-three, nearly one-seventh of the enrollment of the entire 
county. The school property in the village is now valued at three thousand 
two hundred dollars." 

The first public school taught within the limits of this county was at the 
village of Little Falls, in the summer of 1855, by Miss Ellen Nichols. In 
Two Rivers township, the first school was taught in the dwelling of John 
Betzoldt, in the fall of 1866, the ne.xt was in a log school house in section 20. 

Really, the first school of any sort taught in Morrison county was at 
Belle Prairie, by Rev. Frederick Ayer, in 1849, but that was for Indian 
children largely, though some whites attended it. Mrs. Ayer was among its 
first instructors. The first school district was organized in 1835. and a 
school was held that year in the old Mission building, with Miss Cunning- 
ham as teacher. A school house was erected near this spot in 1865, and a 
larger one ten years later. In 1880 there were several schools within Belle 

In Bellevue townshi]), the first scIkio! was taught at the luuise of Jasper 
Hill, in section 22, in 1857. Mrs. Hill was the teacher. .\ small frame 
school house was erected in 1858 in section 21, and in 1870 another was 
built in section 2"]. There were two districts and buildings in the township 
in 1882. 

The first school taught in Pierz township was in 1868, by Frank Koncn, 
in a cluircii then just completed. A school district was ordered set olT that 



year and a building erected in 1870. District 19 was organized and a school 
house erected in 1877. District 28 was formed in 1880. A good frame 
house was built previously, and in it the first school there was taught. 

In Green Prairie, the first school was taught by Miss Mary Denny in 
the summer of 1867. It was in a rude frame building, built by subscription, 
in section 17. It served all purposes, however, until a better building was 
erected in 1880. 

In Elmdale, the first school was taught by Miss Amanda Roach, later 
Mrs. Henry Coe, of Swan River, in 1869. In 1880 the township had two 
schools in operation. 

In Buckman township, the first school was taught by Mrs. Randall, in 
1S74. In 1881 there were two school houses in this township. 

The first school in what was once styled Oakwood township, was taught 
in 1877, in J. Soudie's house. The next year a school house was erected in 
the southwest corner of section 29. 

In Parker township, as then constituted, the first school was held in 
the spring of 1881, when a school district was organized. It was in section 
22 and the school was taught by Mrs. Aaron Boyce. 

At Motley, in 1909, there was erected a two-story brick school building 
at a cost of twelve thousand dollars. The district was bonded for this for 
fifteen years, the bonds drawing four per cent per annum. 


In the summer of 19 15 there were one hundred and thirty-nine school 
districts in Morrison county. These school districts were organized as fol- 
lows : District No. i, in 1855, in township 41, range 32. Between 1856 
and 1861 districts Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 5 were organized, and district No. 6 in 
1861. The remainder of these districts were organized by years as follows: 
No. 7, 1899; No. 8, 1881 ; No. 9, 1870; No. 10, 1870; No. 11, 1870; No. 
12, 1868; No. 13, 1892; No. 14, 1877; No. 15, 1869; No. 16, 1874; No. 17, 

1881; No. 18, 1877; No. 19, 1886 
1878; No. 23, 1878; No. 24, 1878 
1879; No. 28, 1880; No. 29, 1880 
1880; No. :is, 1880; No. 34, 1 88 1 
1881 ; No. 38, 1881 ; No. 39, 1881 
1883; No. 43. 1884; No. 44, 1885 
1886; No. 48, 1887; No. 49, 1887 

No. 20, 1884 
No. 25, 1879 
No. 30, 1880 
No. 35, 1881 
No. 40, 1 88 1 
No. 45. 1885 
No. 50, 1887 

No. 21, 1903; No. 22, 
No. 26, 1879; No. 27, 
No. 31, 1880; No. 32, 
No. 36, 1881; No. 37, 
No. 41, 1882; No. 42, 
No. 46, 1886; No. 47, 
No. 51, 1887; No. 52, 







107, 1901 
No. 112, 
1903 ; No. 
121, 1906 
No. 126, 
1909; No, 
135. 1911 

■ 53. 1887; 

58, 1890; 

63, 1890; 

68, 1892; 

71>, 1893; 

78. 1895; 

83, 1897; 

88, 1898; 

93. 1899; 

98. 1899; 

103, 1900 
; No. 108, 
1903; No. 

117, 1904 
; No. 122, 
1908; No. 

131, 1910 
; No. 136, 

No. 54, 1887; No. 55, 1888; 

No. 59, 1890; No. 60, 1890; 

No. 64, 1892; No. 65, 1892; 

No. 69, 1892; No. 70, 1893; 

No. 74, 1894; No. 75, 1894; 

No. 79, 1895; No. 80, 1895; 

No. 84. 1897; No. 85, 1897; 

No. 89, 1898; No. 90, 1898; 

No. 94, 1899; No. 95, 1899; 
No. 99, 100; No. 100, 1900; No. loi. 1900; No. 102, 
; No. 104, 1901 ; No. 105. 1901 ; No. 106, 1901 ; No. 
1902; No. 109, 1902; No. no, 1902; No. Ill, 1902; 
113, 1903; No. 114, 1903; No. 115, 1903; No. 116, 
; No. 1x8, 1904; No. 119, 1905: No. 120, 1905; No. 
1906; No. 123, 1907; No. 124, 1908; No. 125, 1908; 
127, 1909; No. 128, 1909; No. 129, 1909; No. 130, 
; No. 132, 1910; No. 133, 1910: No. 134, 1910; No. 
1911 ; No. 137, 191 1 ; No. 138, 1914; No. 139, 1914. 















































In 191 5 there were one hundred and fifty-one school houses in the 
county — one hundred and twelve frame buildings, thirty-five brick, two 
cement ; and two log houses, sided over and plastered inside after a modern 


There are now 191 female teachers and 21 males. The average wages 
paid to women is $53 per month and for men $88. Of these teachers, there 
are seventy-seven graduates of normal schools and fifteen college graduates. 


The last enrollment of the county shows 6,259 pupils. Of these there 
are 3,079 girls and 3,180 boys. The daily average attendance is 128 days 
per pupil; cost per pupil in rural schools, $20.04; of village schools, $34.82; 
average daily attendance in county entire territory, 4,367; total attendance 
in days, 742,436. 



The total amount expended for all public schools in the county in 1914 
was $153,425.82. The total value of all school property in the county in 
1914 is $387,167. Number of school libraries, 124. Apparatus value at 


Here in Morrison county, under the present county school superintend- 
ent's wise administration, modern methods are obtaining in all the schools 
under his charge. This was one, if not the first, of the counties in the state 
to require the study of agriculture in the schools for completion in the 
eighth-grade rural schools. This was first attempted in 1907; also sewing 
and other industrial work are carried on, having first been introduced in 
191 1, by County Superintendent Barnes, who is working along most approved 
methods and logical lines to bring the standard of the rural schools up to 
that of the village and graded schools of the larger corporations. 

In 19 14 elementary bookkeeping and farm accounts were introduced 
in all of the Morrison county rural schools, while virtually the same is 
obtained in the high-school course in towns and villages. It is, indeed, won- 
derful what has been accomplished in this matter during the short period it 
has been in practice in the schools of the county. It is said that the "old 
folks" are taking a hint and procuring account books in which they are try- 
ing to keep an account of the receipts and expenditures of the farm. 


Wisely, the state of Minnesota has adopted the rule of paying a premium 
on good school houses and care for school house property, in that they allow 
the districts having certain improvements of a more recent origin, such as* 
proper water-closets, outbuildings of other kinds, shade trees, improved 
maps, charts, globes, etc., together with small and larger up-to-date diction- 
aries for the use of the pupils, a certain sum from the state school funds,, 
which is reducing the tax levies in many of Morrison county's school dis- 
tricts. For example, last year the amount paid back to these districts, where 
the requirements were lived up to. was the handsome sum of $13,975. 

All in all, it may be truthfully said that the citizens of Morrison county 
have no need to be ashamed in comparing their public schools with those of 


other sections of the commonwealth. The work of the schools is annuallyj 
brought before the general public through the attendance of the school chil- 
dren on the county agricultural fair. Here the wisdom of teaching agri- 
culture and domestic science, etc., is brought vividly to mind. 


It is doubtful whether any county in Minnesota has a superior high 
school to that of Little Falls. The home of this school is modern in every 
particular. It was first occupied on January i, 1914. It has a frontage of 
one hundred and sixty- four feet and is one hundred feet deep, three stories 
in height, above the ground floor. The cost of this structure was in excess 
of ninety-thousand dollars. It is constructed of sand-mould brick, trimmed 
with that celebrated Bedford (Indiana) stone. Its architecture is a type of 
modified Gothic with English origin. Sanitary drinking fountains are pro- 
vided here and there in the various rooms and halls. It is beautifully lighted 
by electricity, heated by the Johnson system, regulating the atmosphere per- 
fectly according to scientific methods. It seats three hundred and fifty 
pupils in its auditorium. Each item of convenience and comfort was care- 
fully planned in the l)uilding of this monument to the good sense of the 
school board and taxpayers of the district. 

Other school buildings are the old Central high school built at a cost 
of thirty-seven thousand dollars. This is a three-story, twelve-room brick 
structure, and is now used as a ward school. Then there is the Columbia, a 
six-room building; the Hawthorne and Lincoln, six-and eight-room build- 
ings, all of which comprise the school facilities for Little Falls. 

The latest published reports of these schools in Little Falls shows the 
following: With the opening of the school this fall (September, 191 5) the 
enrollment in the different buildings was: High school, 255; Lincoln 
school, 241; Hawthorne school, 231; Columbia school, 119; Central school, 
319; normal department, 22. The high school enrollment has increased 
about forty per cent over former years, while the enrollment in the grades 
has increased forty-five per cent. The normal had only nine in attendance 
in 1914, as against twenty-two this year. 



The Northern Herald was the first newspaper pubhshed in Morrison 
county. It was established by Colonel French at Little Falls, who printed his 
first issue in the autumn of 1856. After a few months the Colonel, being 
disgusted with the hardships of a frontier life, sold his paper to the Little 
Falls Manufacturing Company. He went south with the late birds of pass- 
age and was never heard of but once afterward, and that through the pages 
of Harper's Weekly, which showed him as being in custody of a United 
States marshal, having been detected in some act of treason against the gen- 
eral government. 

The next newspaper was the Herald, at Little Falls, by C. E. Church, 
who purchased the outfit left by Colonel French and the manufacturing Com- 
pany and established a paper, which he continued to publish for two years, 
when, on account of "much strong drink," he discontinued his labors. From 
that date to 1874 Morrison county was without a newspaper. During that 
year the Little Falls Courier was started by A. De Lacy Wood, who operated 
two years and then moved to Reedsburg, Wisconsin. 

The first successful editor and all-round journalist was H. C. Stivers, 
who began the publication of the Little Falls Transcript after the departure 
of Wood, issuing his first number on September 7, 1876. On August 16, 
1880, he began the publication of a small daily paper, The Daily Transcript. 
In May, 1881, the Transcript was leased to J. F. Pearson, who discontinued 
the daily and put his whole energy into the weekly paper. From his hands 
the property passed, in 1889, to Wheaton M. Fuller, then a young man of 
nineteen years, who was born in the city of Little Falls and who had served 
a faithful apprenticeship under Mr. Stivers. From that time on up to the 
date of his death, in October, 1908, he was personally associated with and at 
the head of this newspaper venture. In the spring of 1892, with that rare 
courage and optimism which ever characterized him, and actuated by the 
desire to keep pace with the forward march of the city of Little Falls, Mr. 
Fuller was chiefly instrumental in the organization of the Transcript Pub- 


lishing Company, whose object was, in addition to continuing the pubHcation 
of the IVeckly Transcript, to launch the Daily Transcript, the first copy of 
which appeared on April of the year specified. Associated with Mr. Fuller 
in the newly-formed company were several representative citizens of Mor- 
rison county and one from outside the county. The names and addresses 
of all incorporators were, W. M. Fuller, A. R. Davidson, M. M. Williams, 
Edmund Rothwell, Drew Musser and C. A. Lindbergh, all of Little Falls; C. 
B. Buckman, of Buckman, Morrison county, and John A. Berkey, of St. 
Paul, Minnesota. The first officers of the company were John A. Berkey, 
president; C. A. Lindbergh, vice-president; W. M. Fuller, secretary and 
treasurer. The last-named continued in control of the two publications as 
editor and majority stockholder. Later on, beginning in 1908, changes in 
stockholdings were effected from time to time until at present all the stock of 
the Transcript Publishing Company, other than a few minor holdings, is 
owned by Mrs. Clara Kingsley Fuller, widow of W. M. Fuller, and Ed. M. 
LaFond, the first-named being editor of the two Transcript editions and the 
last-named being the business manager of the company. Officially. Mrs. 
Fuller is president of the company and Mr. LaFond, treasurer. 

From the office of the Transcript Publishing Company, located on East 
Broadway, Little Falls, two newspaper editions are issued, a daily edition, 
published every week-day afternoon under the name of The Little Falls 
Daily Transcript, and a weekly edition issued every Friday, The Little Falls 
Weekly Transcript. Politically, these newspapers are Republican, but 
always progressive. The motto of the company is and always has been: 
"Print the news when it is news." In size and form, the Daily Transcript is 
a seven-column quarto and the IVeckly Transcript, a six-column folio. The 
two editions of the Transcript circulate extensively throughout the city of 
Little Falls and Morrison county. The daily is delivered by the company's 
efficient carrier .service about the city near .six o'clock in the evening and lx)th 
daily and weekly editions reach rural patrons, by means of good postal 
service, to nearly all county subscribers by noon of the day following publica- 
tion. Both the daily and weekly have valuable subscription lists and a large 
exchange roll. A manufacturing department is run in connection with the 
newspaper plant and it is the claim of the Transcript Publishing Company 
that it maintains the "biggest little print shop in the .state." In this depart- 
ment the turning out of good work with scrupulous attention and care to 
details and the prompt delivery of all orders entered against the department 
are firmly insisted upon. Throughout the Transcript Publishing Company's 


plant will be found only the most modern equipment, the motive power for 
all machinery used being electricity. An automobile devoted entirely to 
soliciting and delivery work throughout Morrison county is the latest addi- 
tion to its equipment. Through the company's care and foresight in safe- 
guarding its employes by properly protecting all machinery, a serious acci- 
dent has never occurred in the history of the plant and a fire is a thing 
unknown. A minimum force at the Transcript Publishing Company's plant 
is eighteen, of whom six are employed in the daily carrier service. In busy 
times during the year the number of employes is even larger. When H. C. 
Stivers founded the Little Falls Weekly Transcript in 1875 he demonstrated 
his faith in the future of the then small village of Little Falls. 

The Little Falls Herald was established in March, 1889, by Seal & 
Cross. It changed owners as follows, down to its present ownership: Seal 
& Workman, W. H. H. Workman, Haines & Stone, the Little Falls Printing 
Company, under three different managements, until a majority of the stock 
w^as purchased by Stephen C, Charles E. and Peter J. Vasaly in August, 
1895, the style of the corporation being a little later changed to the Herald 
Printing Company. At present (1915) the stock is all owned by Peter J., 
Stephen C. and L. F. Vasaly, with Stephen C. Vasaly as president, L. F. 
Vasaly, vice-president, and Peter J. Vasaly, editor and manager. 

The Herald has a large circulation, mostly in Morrison and adjoining 
counties. Politically, it is a Democratic paper of no uncertain sound. It is 
an eight-page, six-column, all-home-print journal, of general and local news. 
The equipment employed in running this publication includes, with the large 
jobbing department, a linotype, two-revolution seven-column four-page Pot- 
ter newspaper press, pony cylinder job press, Colt's Armory job press, 
Ciiandler & Price Gordon press, power paper-cutter, perforator, stapler, 
punching machine, numbering machine, etc. 

The office is operated in a building owned by the stockholders of the 
corporation and is one of the finest offices for executing all kinds of printing 
to be found in the county. The Herald is now in its twenty-sixth year of 

The Little Falls Sun was established in September, 1882, by the Sun 
Publishing Company. Its eventful career was marked with numerous 
changes in owners and editors. The chain runs about thus : First by the 
Sun Publishing Company; then A. F. Storey; C. D. Auyer, who conducted 
it till November, 1886, when it suspended and, in the spring of 1887, it was 
sold to the proprietor of the Transcript, W. M. Fuller. Politically, it always 
stood out clearly for Democracy. It was started by use of a Washington 


hand-press, but one day its part owner, Cyrus D. Auyer, determined no 
longer to pull the lever of that ancient relic of the art preservative, and 
ordered a new press unbeknown to the company; but all ended well, for the 
partners all agreed after a time that it was money well expended. The old 
press was traded in for part payment on the new press. 

The circulation of the Sun reached about seven hundred and wras an 
influence in the county in which it was published. Auyer made the paper 
what it was by his skill and energy as well as brain power. He switched 
from an undesirable partnership over to a new publication, the Morrison 
County Democrat. 

The Morrison County Democrat was established in September, 1886, 
by C. D. Auyer, who conducted it until 1908, when he sold to Owen Konchal 
and John Hoblett. It was suspended in 191 1 and the material with which it 
had been printed was sold to the owners of the Little Falls Herald, who pur- 
chased the "good will" also. It was a six-column quarto of the eight-page 
type. Its subscription rate was one dollar per year. Politically, it was a 
Democratic organ of no uncertain sound. It succeeded the Sun and was run 
on a Campbell's book-job press. It always occupied leased office rooms and 
had many changes in its day. First it was published on Broadway, then 
moved from the south to the north side, where now stands the Candy Kitchen 
store ; third, it was on First street and was housed at other points, finally had 
quarters under the First National Bank. For a time it was in the old court 
house building, then removed to the Merchants State Bank building. 

The Pier:: Journal, of Pierz, was established July i, 1909, by H. C. 
Bailey; later it was owned and edited by the present proprietor, E. H. Kerk- 
hofif. It is an independent newspaper, printed in a building owned by the 
editor and owner, who does his press work on one large press and his job 
work on a jol)ber, and also has a modern paper-cutter. The Journal is a 
seven-column, four-page sheet. The power employed to run his machinery 
is electricity. It is a newsy local paper with all that tends to aid the better- 
ment of the community. Indeed, it may be staled that Mr. Kerkhot? is a 
"live wire" at newspaper making. 

The Szvam'ille Nezi'S. located at the \illage of Swan\ ille, was founded 
in the autumn of 1899, by A. J. Hunt. He sold to Perry Stith, and he in 
turn to A. Frost, who sold to C. P. Eastman. Eastman moved the plant to 
Pequot six years ago — 1909. Upon the removal to Pequot the Swanville 
Publishing Company was organized. consi.sting of William Seims, J. J. 
McRae, Sr.. and 1>. P>. Cox. This company purchased a new oultit and 
has continued llie iniblication of the paper. The present form and size is an 


eight page, six column paper, printed on a hand-press. The subscription 
rate is one dollar per year. Politically, it is an independent paper. It circu- 
lates in Morrison and Todd counties mostly. The present publisher is R. N. 

The Royalton Banner, located at the village of Royalton, was estab- 
lished in January, 1887, by parties now unknown to the present management 
of the paper. The files were taken away from the place by Mr. Swanson, 
when he removed to California. It succeeded the Royalton Record, which 
had been established in 1885. The present form of the paper is a six-column 
octavo, run on an electrically-propelled press. It circulates mostly in southern 
Morrison county, and its subscription price is one dollar per year. Politically, 
it is progressive Republican. It is occupying a leased building. 

The Motley Mercury was established at Motley on September i, 1901, 
by E. S. Holman, who sold to the present owner, E. G. Haymaker, on 
September i, 1906. It is independent in its political bearings; circulates in 
Morrison, Todd and Cass counties largely; subscription rate is one dollar 
per year. The office building was erected by the present owner in 191 2. 
The paper is printed as a five-column sheet of the quarto form. The presses 
employed in this office are the Vaughn Acme and a ten-by-fifteen Gordon 
iobber. A thirty-inch paper cutter adds to the efficiency of the excellent job 
department attached to the newspaper ; also a power stapling machine. The 
editor of this paper is the present postmaster at Motley and is a good local 
and editorial writer. As a booster for village, county and state, Mr. Hay- 
maker has few equals. 



The early settlers of Morrison county, whose primary object was, of 
course, the creation of homes and the acquisition of material wealth, never- 
theless realized the obligation resting upon them of caring for the spiritual 
and moral interests of the people. They early evinced a healthy interest in 
the organization and perpetuation of church organizations. As an historical 
fact, the Catholic and Methodist Episcopal churches were the pioneers in the 
religious activities of Morrison county. 


The Church of the Holy Family, at Belle Prairie, Morrison county, is 
the oldest, except the Catholic church in Crow Wing county, of any in all 
northern Minnesota. It has a record dating back to 1838, when that beloved 
bishop. Father Lafleche, of Three Rivers, Michigan, during his tour through- 
out the Northwest, stopped in the vicinity of Belle Prairie, this county, and 
established a mission among the scattered Cathohc pioneers. Not long after- 
ward a log building was erected for church purposes. This stood on the site 
of the present Catholic cemetery at Belle Prairie. It was called Lacroix at 
that time. The priests who dared the privations and hardships of those early 
times, together with those of recent years, include the following, in about 
the order here given: Father Pierz (for whom the township and village of 
Pierz were named) came to the field in 1852 and remained faithful to his 
sacred trust until 1876; other priests, however, were here as supplies for a 
short time during these eventful years in the history of the church. Then 
came l'"ather Buh (for whom Buh township was named); then Father J. 
Trobcc, who became bishop at St. Cloud, and had previously been pastor of 
one of the Minneapolis churches; he was bishop at St. Cloud from Septem- 
l>er, 1897. to 1915, when, on account of age and infirmities, he resigned 
his ])ositi()n as bisho]). Next came leather 1. Tomazin, Father John Pavlin, 
Jose])h Vill, O. S. B., and b'ather Chandonet. The last named was later 
made chaplain of the Sisters school at Paron, Minnesota. Following him 


came Father Lemay, who buih the first convent at Belle Prairie for the 
Franciscan Sisters. In 1882 came, as priest, C. A. S. de Carrufen, suc- 
ceeded by Father Jouax, now residing in Rome. The next to serve at Belle 
Prairie was Father Garraud, who died in 1913, and who was a professor in 
an Austrian province. Next was Father M. Barras, who served faithfully 
for a period of eight years. Father Gouin served from 1892 to January 7, 
1895, ^nd ^^^^ followed by Father L. J. Fournier, who continued from April, 

1895, to April, 1896, and was followed by Father Jouax, from October, 

1896, to June, 1902. Then came Father Garraud, who continued until 
1906 and gave way to Father Barras, whose term here was from January, 
1907, to 191 5. The present faithful and vigorous worker. Rev. Father A. 
Beyne, came in April, 1915, and is doing the work and performing well the 
duties of pastor of this church and congregation. At present there are 
about ninety families in this congregation. The parish covers all the north- 
west part of Morrison county, including that at Gravelville. 

After the log chapel erected about 1855, had served its mission as a 
meeting house for the devout followers of the pioneer Catholic church at 
Belle Prairie (the first services having been held at the house of Anton 
Bisson). Father Pierz held mass in 1853 at that house, and served faithfully 
in the offices of priest. Father Buh was first to preside in the little chapel 
built in 1855 and in 1877 a neat chapel was erected, being dedicated on 
October 10, 1880. At the last date mentioned. Father Fortier was in charge. 
The church building is of solid cement work ; its walls show excellent work- 
manship and the interior of the building has long been noted for its fine 
furnishings. In recent years modern equipments have been added. The 
church property now includes thirty-six acres of fine land, on which are 
located the convent, church and cemetery. Aside from the convent building, 
the church property is estimated to be worth about fifteen thoiisand dollars. 
About ten years ago, a new parsonage was provided under the pastorate of 
Father Garraud. 

Another priest whose name should never be forgotten in the work 
accomplished at Belle Prairie was Father D. Laurentius Zntischrvedze, who 
was born in Austria at the Apostolic mission. He was drowned in crossing 
Red lake, Minnesota, and was buried at St. Francis cemetery. Crow Wing 
county, by Father Pierz. 


Connected with the church at Belle Prairie is the convent, which was 
established here many years ago. Its first building was a frame structure. 


which was burned about 1894, and the present fine edifice was erected from 
superior yellow brick in 191 1. It is a three-story and basement building 
and is modern in all particulars. It is heated by hot water, and illuminated 
by electric lights, the current being obtained from the plant at Little Falls. 
There are eight Sisters in charge, with Mother Superior Columbia at the 
head. She was born in Belle Prairie more than forty-five years ago and has 
been associated with this work since fifteen years of age. There are now 
about forty-five pupils in attendance. Pupils are taught as high as the 
eighth grade and have music, sewing and drawing given them among other 

ST. Michael's church, buckman. 

St. Michael's Catholic church, at Buckman, was organized in 1879, and 
the year following they completed a church building. It was formed by Rev. 
Joseph Vill, O. S. B., and among the more prominent members were: 
Michael Loud, Joseph Mishko, August Dehler, John Dehler, Frank Keeder- 
the Otrembas, John Jonson, Peter Kinny and a few other families. The 
first church building was commenced in the fall of 1879 and completed in 
1880. Owing to the steady growth of the congregation, in 1902 it was 
found necessary to erect a new, larger and more modern house of worship. 
The church property is now valued at forty-five thousand dollars. In con- 
nection with this congregation, there is now a parochial school building, seat- 
ing one hundred and fifty pupils, in charge of four Sisters of St. Benedict. 
The following pastors have faithfully served this congregation: Revs, 
Joseph Vill, 1884 to 1891 ; Joseph Mayrhofer, 1891 to 1899; Rev. Lazee, 
1899 to 1900; Nicholas Beck, 1900 to 1901 ; William Lange, 1901 to 1910; 
John P.. Brcnder, 1910 to 1915; Rev. Michael Schier, the present pastor, 
who came to St. Michael's church on February 23, 1915. 


St. Francis Xavier (formerly San Salvador) Catholic church is situated 
in Little Falls, in block No. 57, Fourth street, northeast. It was organized 
in 1867 by Rev. Ignatius Tomazin, a Croatian i)ricst working among the 
Indians with l'"athcr I'uh, residing generally at Belle Prairie. Aninng the 
first membership may be recalled these : William Butler, Peter Roy. Louis 
Hamlin. Joseph Fournicr. David Lachance, Nazaire Morin, Patrick Hayes, 
Thninas Hayes, Mrs. Nathan Richardson, Mrs. Joseph Lemieux (Batters) 


and others. The membership of this congregation in August, 1915, was 
about one hundred and sixty families. The following have served as pas- 
tors : Rev. Fathers Pierz, Tomazin, Buh, Chandonnet, Richard, Carufel, 
Fortier and the present priest, Father Lamothe. 

Of the buildings, it may be recorded that the first building owned by the 
Catholics of Little Falls was the former office of the Little Falls Manufac- 
turing Company, located on First street. In 1870 they bought of Calvin A. 
Tuttle a frame building which had been built by the Methodists. This 
church was used until Christmas of 1892, when the present brick edifice was 
dedicated to St. Francis Xavier and was then used for the first time. This 
was erected under the pastorate of Rev. Arthur Lamothe, at a cost around 
twenty-five thousand dollars. This is one of the influential Catholic 
churches of Little Falls and Morrison county, and is well cared for by the 
present pastor, who has every qualification for leadership in Catholic circles. 
He is greatly beloved and honored, not alone by those of his own flock, but 
also by all other denominations. 


Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, at Little Falls, was built on 
block 52, Fourth street, southeast, in 1886, before which time services were 
held in the court house. The congregation was organized by Rev. William 
Lange and prominent among the first members may be recalled, Philip 
Gross, Frank Ellenbecker, Donat Trettel, Peter Medved, J. J. Gross, P. J. 
Tomelty. P. W. Blake, William Butler, John Kerich. The present number 
of families in the congregation is one hundred and fifty-two. 

The first house of worship was erected in 1887 of veneered brick, but 
in 191 2 a solid brick structure was provided and an addition made costing 
six thousand dollars. In 1890 a veneered brick jiarish house was built, and in 
1914 it was enlarged at a cost of two thousand dollars, by a fine solid brick 
addition. In 1896 a solid brick school house was erected near the church. The 
public high school building of Little Falls burned down in 1896 and the city 
schools used the Catholic school until the city school was rebuilt. The pres- 
ent condition of this school is good. Five Benedictine Sisters are the teach- 
ers and the number of pupils is one hundred and seventy-eight. The esti- 
mated value of the church property, including church, .school, parish house 
and cemetery, is thirty thousand dollars. 

The pastors who have faithfully cared for this congregation are, Revs. 


William Lange, J. F. Buh, A. Lamothe, Aloys Raster from April. 1890, to 
November, 1899; William Lange until Jul}', 1901, when came the present 
pastor, Rev. J. P. Altendorf, who is greatly beloved by his people and the 
community in general. 

At first, the Catholics of Little Falls — all nationalities — worshipped in 
one congregation, but as the years went by the Polish and German elements 
separated from the mother church of the city, and had their own organiza- 
tion. This was the beginning of the Sacred Heart church. Then, in 1900. 
the Polish people separated themselves from the German portion of the 
congregation and built a church edifice. This separation caused quite a 
decrease in the Sacred Heart congregation, but it is now increasing and is 
a strong congregation. Thus Little Falls has three Catholic congregations, 
the French, the German and the Polish, all of which are flourishing. 


St. Adalbert church, of Little Falls, located on Seventh street, southeast, 
was organized on May 28, 1900, by Rt. Rev. James Trobec, Fr. Edward 
Nagl, V. G., Rev. Ignatius Wyppich, vice-president, Frank Zeman and Jacob 
Nowotny. Prominent among the original membership may be recalled Frank 
Zeman, Frank Sobolewicki, John Trafas, Joseph Knuth, Frank Kopacz, 
Frank Wyrwicki, John Marcinkiewicz, Joseph Wyrwicki and Paul Posch. 

The present (191 5) membership of this Catholic church is ten hundred 
and forty-five souls. They have a large brick edifice and good residence. 
The total estimated value of all church property is thirteen thousand dollars. 
A parochial school of the Germans is attended by children from this parish, 
while two hundred and twenty-one attend the public schools of the city. The 
pastors of this church have been as follow: Rev. John Guzdek, from April, 
1901, to April, 1902; Rev. Simon Dabrowski, from April, 1902, to Novem- 
ber, 1902; Rev. Theodore J. Rekosiak, from December. 1902, to the present 


The St. Stanislaus Kostka church, located in the village of Bowlus, had 
its origin about two years later than the village itself. The Soo railroad, 
through its obliging management, donated one block of land to the Catholic 
church, and in 1909 alxnit seventy-five families of this faith separated them- 
selves frum the North Prairie church and decided to erect a new church in 

i:i;\'. i'A'i'iii;i: i'ii;i;z 

Aftci' wlmiii I III' iiiwii 111' I'iriv. wMs iiniuod 


(;i:k.\ia.\ r.vriioi.ic ciii'itcH i'i;!:.\cii cATiiorJC church 


the village of Bowlus. This work was commenced in July, 1909, and the 
structure was completed on May i, 1910. 

The corporate name of the society is "St. Stanislaus Kostka Church." 
The building referred to was dedicated on May 8, 1910, and was assigned as 
a mission to North Prairie. From May 8, 1910, until October of that year 
the parish was attended from North Prairie by Rev. J. C. Janski. In Octo- 
ber, 1910, Rev. V. Wodzka took charge of the place and one year later Rev. 
J. Kromolicki took his place. He resigned in two months and Rev. P. Wol- 
nick, O. S. B., was appointed to take charge. He remained about three 
years, and during his administration the society erected a parish house. The 
present pastor, Rev. J. C. Janski, then took charge of the place. The con- 
gregation has increased to one hundred and five families. It now has a large, 
fine church and parish house, also a large cemetery. The total estimated 
value of the property held by this church is twenty-eight thousand dollars. 

ST. Joseph's church, pierz. 

St. Joseph's church, at the historic village of Pierz, Morrison county, 
has a history dating back as far as 1865, when there were no more than five 
Catholic families at Rich Prairie, as the territory was then called. The 
spiritual needs of the first settlers were alternately ministered to by the 
Revs. Francis Pierz, Joseph F. Busch, Ignatius Tomazin and James Trobec 
until 1869. It was in the autumn of that year when the first log church, 
was erected by these few early pioneers, as the county hereabouts was begin- 
ning to settle up rapidly with Catholics. In 1871 the zealous Indian mission- 
ary. Rev. Francis Pierz, took up his abode as resident pastor at Rich Prairie, 
or Pierz (as it was later named in honor of his memory and good works), 
after it had been incorporated into a village. He remained there until his 
retirement from the active ministry, when he returned home to the land of his 
nativity, Austria, on September 3, 1873. There he spent the remainder of 
his days with the friends of his youth, there to rest from his ardent labors 
in the missionary cause, and died at Laibach, Austria, on January 22, 1880, 
in his ninety-fourth year. For thirty-eight years he had labored midst con- 
stant hardship, enduring privations among the Ottawas and Chippewas of 
the Northwest. Considering that all this amazing labor was done by a man 
fifty years of age when entering upon his labors or in his apostolic career in 
the Indian missionary field, and that he continued therein uninterruptedly 



until his eighty-eighth year, we must conclude that his case can scarcely find 
a parallel in the missionary records of either ancient or modern times. 

After the departure of the venerable Father Pierz for Europe, the Rev. 
Joseph Vill, of the Order of St. Benedict, had charge of the congregation 
for three months. He was succeeded by the Rev. Francis Koering, who 
remained pastor till March, 1878, when he, in turn, was succeeded by the Rev. 
Ignatius Wesseling, O. S. B., who held the pastorate till Januarj- i, 1884. 
During his administration the present parochial residence was built in the 
year 1882. After his resignation the parish was temporarily attended by 
the Revs. Placidus Wingerter, Ignatius Wesseling and Joseph Vill until the 
appointment of Rev. Paneratins Maebren, O. S. B., who was pastor from 
February 22,, 1884, to September i, 1893. During his charge, on May 12, 
1886, the cornerstone of the present church was laid and, on December 25, 
1888, the solemn dedication of the sacred edifice took place. From that 
date the administration of the parish passed from the religious to the diocesan 
clergy altogether. Rev. Maebren. O. S. B., was succeeded by Rev. Edward 
J. Nagl, who remained pastor from September, 1893, to September, 1898, 
and under whose charge the first parochial school was erected and dedicated 
in 1897. His successor in ofiice became the Rev. Joseph A. Stephen, from 
September, 1898, to December, 1900. The next in charge was Rew Charles 
Pfeiffer, from December, 1910, to November, 1903, and he was followed 
by Rev. John G. Seigler. During the latter's administration of almost 
twelve years, the church edifice, owing to the growing needs of the congrega- 
tion, was considerably enlarged by the addition of a sanctuary; also he made 
an excavation for a roomy winter chapel in the fall of 1909. In 1913 the 
church was generally repaired and beautified by decorations and frescoing. 
On February 10, 1914, a calamity befell the congregation, when, from an 
unknown cause, their parochial school burned to the ground. Owing to the 
united efforts of pastor and people, the present magnificent school building 
was erected, at a cost of thirty-five thousand dollars, which, in the beauty of 
its architecture and modern arrangement, is 'a source of pride to the whole 
community. Since October, 191 1, the pastor has been assisted in the work, 
successively, by the Revs. John Fuss, from October 18, 1911, to June 19, 
1913, and Victor V. Seigler, from June, 1913, to the present time. 


Holy Cross Catholic church, near Royalton, Morrison county, in Two 
Rivers township, was organized in 1864 and incorporated in 1895. It was 


formed by Revs. Pierz, Biih, Trobec and others, who were missionary priests. 
The present membership of this congregation is six hundred. The pastors 
have included Revs. E. J. Nogle, who served from 1876 to 1893; A. J. 
Gospodar, 1893 to 1909; J. C. Janske, 1909 to 191 1; S. Suszczynski, present 

The present estimated vakie of this church property is: Forty acres 
of land, valued at three thousand dollars; church, with improvements and 
other buildings, amounting to twenty-two thousand dollars, making a total 
of twenty-five thousand dollars. The first building was a log house erected 
free of cost by the people, in 1864; the second church was an addition to 
the log structure made of frame, in 1879, at a cost of about four hundred 
dollars; the third was a brick veneered building, forty-six by ninety-six feet 
in size, costing twelve thousand dollars, built in 1886 and seating five hun- 
dred people. The first parsonage was built in 1877, at a cost of eight hun- 
dred dollars and a new parsonage was erected in 1897, costing two thousand 
four hundred dollars — a brick veneered building. The Benedictine Sisters 
conducted a school from 1888 to 1913, but secular teachers are now employed 
by the school trustees. 

This parish at first consisted of fourteen families of Germans, but in 
1875 the Polish people commenced coming in and greatly added to the num- 
bers. At one date there were one hundred and ninety families. There 
are at present ninety families, seventy-four Polish and sixteen German. The 
parish extended into several surrounding townships, including Two Rivers, 
Elmdale, Buckman and now there are six other churches which have owed 
their origin to this mother church. 


Early in the forties several Methodist families settled temporarily in and 
near Little Falls, and it is certain that a local Methodist preacher visited;' 
them and preached for them. The first Protestant sermon preached in Little 
Falls was by a Methodist minister. The society worshipped with the Congre- 
gational people for some years after the sale of their church, which Meth- 
odist building had been erected in 1857, the same year in which the first 
Methodist class was formed here. The society being weak and unable to 
meet its indebtedness, the building was mortgaged, and the debt was unpaid 
until 1870, when the building was sold to the Catholic people. However, 
long before any of these transactions occurred — about 1854 — meetings were 
held jointly by the Methodists and Congregational people at the Indian mis- 


sion established at Belle Prairie, by Rev. Frederick Ayer, missionary, who 
had located there about 1848 or 1849. The Methodists for a time had an 
interest in the missionary work of the Indian school at that point. 

It was not until 1885 that the Methodists again began efforts to secure 
a church edifice at Little Falls, and finally the building was dedicated by Rev. 
Thomas McClary. Since that date the society has held regular services. 
Rev. M. O. Stockland, pastor for four years, 1902-06, built a new parsonage, 
containing nine rooms, and at present the old church is being rebuilt, under 
the direction of Rev. John Watson, which, when completed, will, with other 
church property in Little Falls, be worth fully twelve thousand dollars. The 
present number of communicants is one hundred and forty. 

It is quite clear that Rev. A. J. Nelson was the pastor under whose care 
the original church was formed and the building erected in 1857, but, unfor- 
tunately, many of the valuable records of the work of this church at Little 
Falls have been lost or destroyed with the passing of years. 

As early as 1856, at the house of J. B. Bearing, at Royalton, a Meth- 
odist church was formed, by Reverend Hoople, says Nathan Richardson, in 
his notes on Morrison county history, written in 1876. The present mem- 
bership is seventy. 

At Motley, another church was formed by this denomination about 
1879, by Rev. A. S. Guerut and this is still in existence and doing good work. 
The 19 1 4 conference reports show a membership of one hundred and four- 
teen. Besides the Methodist churches already named, there are a few small 
country charges in this county. 


The First Methodist Episcopal church at Motley was organized in 1882 
by Rev. H. W. Troy. The charter memljers were as follow: Mrs. Alfred 
Wilson, Mary H. Ward, Mrs. M. M. Hodge, Mr. and Mrs. John McMilHn, 
Mr. and Mrs. Samuel Ward. The two surviving charter members are Mrs. 
Samuel Ward and Mrs. Alfred Wilson. 

The first meetings were in the village school house. In 1889 a church 
building was erected at a cost of one thousand dollars. It was a veneered 
brick building and is still in use. Rev. J. M. Brown was pastor when this 
house was erected. When it was dedicated there were only seventeen mem- 
bers. Today the meml)ership is one hundred and si.xty-two. The property 
is valued at four thousand dollars. This includes the parsonage, which cost 
one thousand five hundred dollars. 


The church has grown rapidly since 1891, when it had sixty-one enrolled. 
Under pastor Rev. W. A. Conden a great revival increased the membership; 
again under the pastorate of Rev. George C. Fenscke, one hundred and nine 
were added to the church. 

The pastors here have been as follow : Revs. H. W. Troy, W. J. Haner, 
Walton, J. M. Brown, Frank Parr, J. H. Cudlipp, E. H. Nicholson, 
George E. Tindall, J. D. Manley, Andrew Bond, James Clevlow, Robert P. 
Cummings, W. H. Robinson, W. A. Conden, Leon S. Koch, W. G. Follons- 
bee, M. M. S. Perry, Joseph P. Adair, Charles H. Blake, George C. Fenscke 


The First Baptist church of Little Falls commenced holding regular 
services early in the year 1892. Services were held in the chapel car 
"Evangel," which car is a part of the missionary work of the American 
Baptist Publication Society, stationed at Little Falls for some time. The 
car was in charge of Rev. J. Malcom Sawyer, who organized the First Bap- 
tist church, located at West Fourth and Broadway streets. The organization 
meeting was held on August 18, and six members made up its charter. 
Thereafter meetings were held in one of the public halls of the town. At 
the second meeting fourteen members were received, making the total of 
twenty. These charter members were: C. W. Brown, Robert Brown, J. R. 
Collins, J. T. Bryant, Mr. and Mrs. M. H. Craig, Mr. and Mrs. John Gray, 
Mrs. F. Terry, Eleanor Terry, Mrs. J. H. Burrall, O. Thoen, C. Erickson, A. 
Blomberg, P. Ostlund, P. E. Wickstrom, Mr. and Mrs. Frankel, Anna Wick- 
strom, and M. Jacobson. The present number enrolled is seventy. 

This church was incorporated on November 16, 1892, and was publicly 
received into the fellowship of the Baptist denomination September 6, 1893. 
The various pastors have been as follows : Revs. W. H. Davenport, Charles 
Moss, R. Poole, John Festerson, W. G. Towner, A. H. Cameron, E. M. 
Atwood, B. Milne, J. W. Hagerty. B. R. Croft, J. H. Davies, John Selander, 
and the present pastor. Rev. O. F. Felth. 

The present and original building was dedicated on November 8, 1895. 
It is a veneered brick structure, the original of which has been added to by a 
good-sized portiop to the east, in the shape of a wing. Its present value is 
three thousand five hundred dollars. A Bible school is held for five weeks 
during the summer months and now has a membership of eighteen. This is 
known as the Vacation Bible School. Besides the work of this church at 


Little Falls, there is a work carried on by this church at Green Prairie, once 
a week. 


The German Evangelical Lutheran Zion's church, at Little Falls, was 
organized in 1890, by Rev. K. Renter, with membership as follows: F. 
Woehlert, F. Hobz, Robert Diedrich, John Schulz. of Little Falls, and R. 
Kriefall, Herman Kuschel, Carl Kuschel, of Buckman; at Randall, there 
were August Schwanke, Emil Rebischke, Adolph Fregin, Herman Lemnitz. 
These constituted the memlsers at first in each of these places, Little Falls 
being the parent church. The same pastors have served all and are as fol- 
lows : Revs. August Kollmann, K. Renter, A. Englert, Paul Beck and pres- 
ent pastor. Rev. F. J. Oehlert. There are now forty-five members and 
church property valued at si.x thousand dollars. Parochial schools are con- 
ducted in behalf of these societies. 


There are three Episcopal churches in Morrison county — one at Little 
Falls, one at Royalton and another at Swanville. The oldest of these 
churches is at Little Falls, where the church was organized on December 19, 
1858, by Rev. E. S. Peake, appointed by Right Re\-. J. Kemper, missionary 
bishop of the Northwest. The charter members were : Mrs. Catherine Jan- 
ner, Mrs. Lydia Cash, Mrs. Nancy Stillwell and Mrs. Proctor. The mem- 
bership in August, 191 5, is one hundred and four. 

The first building, in 1879, cost seven hundred dollars; it was sold in 
1903 to the Swedish Methodist congregation. The present church building 
had its corner-stone laid on September 15, 1903, costing ten thousand dollars 
and was dedicated on January 24, 1904. The present church property is 
valued at fourteen thousand dollars. 

The following have served as rectors: Rev. E. S. Peake, from date of 
organization until November i, 1862, at which time he became a chaplain in 
the Civil War; Rev. John Elwell. December 19, 1862, to February 22, 1869; 
Rev. S. N. Stewart, October 22, 1869, to December 11, 1871 ; Rev. J. T. 
Chambers, December 11, 1871, to June. 1872; Rev. J. A. Gilfillan, June, 
1872, to .\ugust. 1876; Rev. G. H. Davis and Herbert Root. August 14, 
1876, to August 26, 1881 ; Rev. F. Hawley, D. D.. 1881 to May. 1883, and 
from Septemlier, 1884 to May, 1886; Rev. J. F. Tassell, May, 1883, to 


August, 1884; Rev. Lewis Birch, May 2, 1886, to September, 1887; Rev. 
Andrevif Harper, April 5, 1888, to June i, 1889; Rev. A. A. Joss, July i, 
1889, to June I, 1889; Rev. William Walton, September i, 1889, to July 20, 
1902; Rev. Francis Alleyne, October 12, 1902, to May 25, 1905; Rev. R. S. 
Hannah, 1906, to September, 1907; Rev. George Piatt, December, 1907, to 
1912; Rev. A. O. Worthing, December, 1912, to December, 1914. The 
present edifice is among the finest in this county. 

At Royalton, a Protestant Episcopal church was formed and a church 
edifice built in 1880. It was then attended by the rector from St. Cloud. 


There are a few small Presbyterian congregations in this county — one 
at Little Falls, with a good building, and one at Royalton, erected in 1880. 


At Belle Prairie, Rev. Frederick Ayer formed a Congregational church, 
in connection with his Indian school. The mission or school was founded 
in about 1849 ^"d the church in 1854. Services were held in the Green 
Prairie settlement as early as 1870, by Rev. William Cutler, a Congrega- 
tionalist minister, but no church was organized. 

The Little Falls church of this denomination was organized on June 6, 
1859, by Rev. E. Newton, F. J. Farrand and Ezra Hicks were chosen trustees. 
Rev. W. B. Dada succeeded Mr. Newton in i860, remaining until the fall of 
1862, when rumors of an Indian outbreak caused a sudden and final departure 
of the reverend gentleman. The church was then without a pastor until 
1870, when the Rev. W. A. Cutler assumed the charge of this and the 
church at Belle Prairie, remaining until 1875. He was followed by Rev. D. 
W. Rosencranz in January, 1876. During the first year of his ministry 
here, a good church building (for those days) was erected. Rev. J. S. Hull 
succeeded Rev. Rosencranz in January, 1881. The membership at the date 
last named was thirty-seven. 

The old church building is said to have been the first Protestant edifice 
in Little Falls and also in Morrison county. It was later sold for other 
uses. The present church on Fourth street was erected in 1893. A gym- 
nasium, completely equipped, was completed in 19 12 and at present a large, 
modern parsonage, to cost five thousand five hundred dollars, is being erected 


near the church building. All Congregational church property in Little 
Falls is estimated at twenty-six thousand dollars valuation. The present 
membership is two hundred and nineteen. 

The pastors since those already mentioned have been, in order, as fol- 
lows : Revs. M. K. Pasco, J. S. Hull, O. O. Rundell, D. Donovan, W. Moore, 
F. A. Sumner, W. A. Waller, C. Billig, W. North, F. Atkinson and the 
present pastor. Rev. Philip Gregory. 


At the village of Upsala are found three churches, Swedish Lutheran, 
Swedish Mission and Swedish Baptist churches. 

At Little Falls there are the Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran, St. John's 
Evangelical Lutheran and the Swedish Congregational churches. 





Wherever civilized men live, there are found fraternities, churches and 
schools. There was a time, not many decades ago, when secret societies 
were not in universal favor with the people, especially with the strict denom- 
inational workers of both the Catholic and Protestant religious faiths; but 
these ideas have become modified and today the great fraternal orders are 
looked upon as benefactors to the human race. In the most enlightened parts 
of the globe we find the greatest number of lodges and associations of men 
and women, all working together for one another's uplifting. 

Morrison county being largely of the Rohian Catholic faith, it would 
not be supposed that the number of secret societies here would be as great 
as in other communities, for Catholics, as a rule, are not in sympathy with 
such orders, especially outside the societies of their own congregations. How- 
ever, their own denomination favors and fosters a very large society which 
has its secret work — that of the Knights of Columbus. 


In Morrison county the first fraternal lodges to be formed was the 
Masonic. It was Little Falls Lodge No. 140, Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons, organized under dispensation in the summer of 1879, and which 
received its working charter in January, 1880. The charter members were 
eleven in number and included these officers : J- H. Rhodes, worshipful 
master ; A. Tanner, senior warden ; L. Segnor, junior warden ; L. G. Worth- 
ington, secretary, and J. Root, treasurer. In 1882 the lodge had a member- 
ship of only fifteen. Year by year it has steadily increased and today it 
has a membership of seventy or more and is in a healthy, growing condition. 
The order leases a hall, as do all the civic societies of the city. There is also 
a chapter of Royal Arch Masons in Little Falls, and a chapter of the Order of 
the Eastern Star. 



Royalton Lodge No. 224, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, at Royal- 
ton, Morrison county, was organized on November i, 1907. The charter 
members included the following : M. Bouck, A. Halvorsen, George Muncy, 
W. A. Trask and A. W. Holliday. Its present membership is forty-one. 
The degrees here worked are the initiatory, first, second and third. A hall 
is rented. The officers in July, 1915, were: J. P. Jensen, noble grand; 
Andrew Thoen, vice-grand; A. C. Bouck, secretary; Charles R. Rhoda, 
treasurer. The following have served as presiding officers since the institu- 
tion of the lodge : M. Bouck, A. C. Bouck, A. Halvorsen, A. Hingum, J. P. 
Jensen, H. M. Logan, C. Rosenmeer and A. M. Watson. 

Swanville Lodge No. 258, at Swanville, Morrison county, was organ- 
ized March 14, 1903, with twenty-two charter members, as follows: C. J. 
Saunders, B. B. Cox. W. H. Cox, John Stroman. J. D. Stith, S. F. Campbell, 
J. Pearson, C. E. Sanford, C. D. Barber, A. W. Zarnes, R. E. Moore, A. 
Pretzel, M. Pillen, E. D. Smith, A. J. Showen, C. A. Smith, Fred Garling, 
G. Stromen, D. H. Campbell, J. Perkins, H. Haskett and J. S. Borgstrom. 
The total membership today is sixty-one. The officers were given in August, 
1915, as follows: Otto Kreusey, noble grand; Nick Treug, vice-grand; Dr. 
I. C. Wiltrout, secretary; J. D. Stith, financial secretary. The presiding 
officers have been: C. J. Saunders, B. B. Cox, W. H. Cox, John Stroman, 
J. D. Stith, S. F. Campbell, J. Pearson, C. E. Sanford, C. D. Barber, A. W. 
Zarnes, F. Kreutzer, E. Stergeon, J. Ware, A. J. Gibson and \\'. Anderson. 
A hall is leased from J. D. Stith, over his store on ]\Iain street, in the cen- 
ter of town. Four degrees are worked here. 

Rebekah Lodge No. 126 was organized in 1906, with a membership of 
fifteen, but has increased to fifty-seven members. 

Little Falls Lodge No. iii. Independent Order of Odd Fellows, was 
organized in March, 1886, and now has a membership of eighty with elective 
officers as follows: J. L. Metcalf, noble grand; Albery Eue, vice-grand; 
Andrew Johnson, secretary, and N. N. Bergheim, treasurer. This order 
meets in a leased hall, which they have occupied twehe years and sul>rent 
to almost all other orders in the city. Four degrees of Odd Fellowship are 
worked at Little Falls. 



Morrison county has had a number of active posts of this order of Civil 
War soldiers, but time has made sad work with most of them. But few, 
of the brave, daring and loyal men who went to the Southland in the days 
of that terrible conflict are left. There are a few posts in the county whicl^ 
are still keeping up their meetings, aided by the loyal spirits possessed by the 
ladies of the auxiliary order, the Woman's Relief Corps. 

At Motley, Stannard Post No. i6i was organized on April 15, 1887, but 
has now only six comrades left as members. The charter members were as 
follows : C. H. Hodge, lieutenant Ninth Vermont Volunteers ; Owens Davis, 
Signal Corps; H. O. Francisco, First Wisconsin Cavalry, A. J. Compton, 
Eighty-seventh Wisconsin Infantry; E. P. Jones, I. F. Weston, Company, 
A, Thirtieth Wisconsin Volunteers; F. N. Lawhead, Company A, Third 
Ohio; F. A. Cliffad, Eighth Minnesota; W. H. Hardy, Company C. First 
Minnesota Heavy Artillery; A. N. Summer, Company A, Sixth Illinois 
Infantry; J. L. Critchlow, Eighty-third Pennsylvania Volunteers; A. Hull, 
Company E, Seventh Minnesota; James Pashee, Company A, Twenty- 
seventh Wisconsin Volunteers; Dillon Asher, Company F, Fortieth Wiscon- 
sin; L. Scott, Company F, Eighth Minnesota; C. Taylor, I. H. Dawers, Third 
Minnesota; George Lewis, Company T. Sixth Illinois Volunteers; Charles 
W. Seaton. First Wisconsin Infantry; A. B. Seaman, E. E. Reinachl, W. B. 
Senfif, C. W. Baker, W. H. Wagner, S. W. Reezer, W. S. Graves, E. R. 
Luttley, Samuel Marten, R. W. Sipes, W. McLead, Barney Tully, Ninth 
Vermont Volunteers; E. H. Hunter, J. E. Davenport, Company K, Wis- 
consin Volunteers. 

The officers of this post in the autumn of 1915 are: George Lewis, 
commander; Isaac F. Weston, quartermaster; R. Penfield, chaplain; C. 
Richardson, adjutant; E. J. Barnett, junior vice-commander; J. La Ears, 
senior vice-commander. 

Of the Womans Relief Corps, the quartermaster of the post writes the 
author that, "Corps No. 18 is made up of a very fine set of women and are 
doing all they can for the good of the Grand Army of the Republic and the 
post at Motley. They also send a good lot of fruit and other things that 
please the old comrades at the Minnesota Soldiers' Home." 

Workman Post No. 31, Grand Army of the Republic, at Little Falls, 
was organized on June 8, 1883, with fifty members. The original officers 
were: H. B. Tuttle, commander; Jonathan Taylor, senior vice-commander; 


Lyman W. Ayer, junior vice-commander; E. H. Farnham, adjutant; W L. 
Dow, quartermaster ; Wilson Kunney, chaplain ; O. L. Clyde, officer of the 
day; F. Ward, officer of the guard; W. O. Hardy, surgeon; Robert Jones, 
sergeant major; Fordis Averill, quartermaster sergeant. This post now 
has a membership of thirty in good standing. The comrades meet in 
Maurin hall, on First street, on the first and third Saturdays of each month, 
at 3 P. M. The officers of Workman post in September. 1915, were as 
follow: James C. Burrall, commander; George W. Keeler, senior 
vice-commander; Paul Noe, junior vice-commander; Dura Corbin, adjutant; 
John J. Clark, quartermaster: John Docken, chaplain; Charles Friend, officer 
of the day; A. St. Antoine. officer of the guard. 

The Woman's Relief Corps, of Little Falls, is a fine auxiliary to Work- 
man post, and has about forty active members. 

There are now posts at Royalton, Motley and Swanxille. in this county, 
the Woman's Relief Corps at Swanville is now very active and strong. 

Several of the fraternities in the county failed to respond to a call made 
for data on their local lodges. In the city of Little Falls the following soci- 
eties were in working order in September, 1915: Masonic, Odd Fellows, 
Elks, Moose, Red Men, Modern Woodmen of America, Yeomen, Foresters, 
United Order of Foresters, Grand Army of the Republic, Eagles, Macca- 
bees, Modern Brotherhood of America, Ancient Order of United Work- 
men, St. Joseph's Benevolent Society and Knights of Columbus. 



From members of the present bar and from notes left in scrap-book form, 
as the result of Hon. Nathan Richardson's thoughtfulness in 1876, the author 
has been able to collect the following concerning the bar of Morrison county : 

The pioneer attorney was James Hall, who came to Little Falls in 1856. 
He practiced until 1863, when he caught the Pike's Peak fever and went to 
that famous spot in the Rocky mountains, where it is related he became quite 
wealthy from his gold mining and other operations. He returned to St. Cloud. 
Minnesota, and again entered the practice of his chosen profession. Again 
in 1871, having property interests in the vicinity of Pike's Peak, he went there 
and on his return trip died at Cheyenne. At the first state election he was 
elected as district judge, but soon thereafter resigned in favor of Hon. E. O. 

In 1857 came William Moore, who remained at Little Falls two years, 
but, finding legal business "poor picking," removed to St. Cloud, where he 
built up a lucrative legal practice and after three or four years removed to St. 
Paul, where he was in practice many years. Up. to 1871 there was little legal 
business in Little Falls or Morrison county. During that year came E. S. 
Smith, a young and promising attorney, full of vigor and young manhood's 
energy and ambition. He remained four years. He went away, but returned 
later and engaged in practice until his death, in about 1902. Next came W. 
G. Woodruff, a young attorney from Crookston. He was appointed county 
attorney and then became a candidate for that office, but was defeated at the 
polls. In 1875 he returned to his former home in Crookston and there took 
up his practice as a lawyer. 

In 1876 there was only one lawyer in Morrison county, A. J. Clark, of 
Little Falls. In 1879, during the month of July, came Alfred F. Storey. In 
a short time he was appointed county attorney and in 1880 was a candidate for 
the office of probate judge and was elected. He left Little Falls sometime 
previous to 1887. In the eighties came D. T. Calhoun, one of the best lawyers 


that ever graced the Morrison county bar. He moved to St. Cloud and died at 
that city about 1907 or 1908. 

Hon. C. A. Lindliergh, present congressman, came to Little Falls to prac- 
tice law about 18S4. His record is well known and is mentioned at length 
elsewhere in this work. He purchased the business built up by Mr. Lamb, 
which left only two lawyers in the county, Lindbergh and E. S. Smith. 

In March, 1887, came A. P. Blanchard. He had been admitted to the 
bar in Illinois, and practiced here until his death in 1910. He was a good 
attorney. He was in partnership in law with C. A. Lindbergh from 1904 to 
1907, when Lindbergh was elected to his seat in Congress. He served twice 
as county attorney of Morrison county. Crawford Sheldon came here about 
the same date of Mr. Blanchard's coming. After two years he was elected 
justice of the peace; for several terms he held this office, then abandoned law 
and was elected county superintendent of schools, after which he retired to his 
excellent farm home in Belle Prairie township, where he still follows the less 
harassing occupation of agriculture. In the summer of 1887 came Frank 
Lyon, who is still engaged in legal practice at Little Falls. He has ser^-ed as 
county attorney for a number of terms. His former home was Illinois. 

It was about this date when I, H. Rhodes came to Little Falls and engaged 
in the drug trade in company with John Wetzel for a number of years. He 
possessed a large farm near Little Falls. He went to St. Cloud, read law a 
few months, was admitted to the Morrison county bar, in about 1889, and then 
was made county attorney here in place of "Roll" Worthington. He served 
as county attorney by election for two terms and died in 1900. He had a 
large rice plantation in one of the Southern states. 

Hon. Nathan Richardson was admitted to the bar of this county long 
after he had held county office and been counted an "old settler" many years; 
he was not a well-read attorney, as the term now im|ilies. but managed to 
transact much legal business. His admission was in 1885. Donald Trettel. 
born in Poland, but reared in this county, read law with Hon. C. A. Lind- 
bergh. He was educated at the Catholic schools, had a fine education and 
practiced law in Little Falls until his death a few years since. At one time 
he was judge of probate court here. .\. Grcthen was in practice at Little Falls 
two years about 1900. As the jiartncr of Judge Baxter, of Fergus Falls, he 
had received a good understanding of the law. He finally reuKucd to Dakota 
and there formed a partnership with his son in the law business and was, at 
last accounts, still living. 

K. .\. Kling came from Wadena, Minnesota, in 1899 and is still in prac- 


tice. He has held a term in the Minnesota Legislature and was clerk of the 
courts in Morrison county by appointment a few years ago. About 1900 
came Don N. Cameron and Nels N. Bergheim, both graduates of the Iowa 
University law school. Cameron was county attorney three terms here, and 
both he and Mr. Bergheim are still actively engaged in their chosen profession 
at Little Falls. 

C. Rosenmeier came from some one of the southern counties of Minne- 
sota to Royalton about 1906, and was elected county attorney of Morrison 
county in 1913, being the present incumbent of that office. E. F. Shaw came 
here about 1891, from Baltimore, Maryland, and practiced for a time being 
now judge of probate court. 

Louis W. Vasaly and brother, Stephen C. Vasaly, were admitted to the 
Morrison county bar about 1896. They were born in this county. Louis W. 
has served two terms in the state Legislature and been county attorney of 
Morrison county. The latest addition to the Morrison county bar is A. H. 
Vernon, from St. Paul, who arrived here in 1910. He has been city attorney 
several terms. 

Last, but not least, in the honorable role of attorneys in Little Falls, is E. 
P. Adams, to whom we are indebted for many points in this list of lawyers 
in Morrison county. He came here in the month of April, 1887, from Illinois, 
in which state he was reared. He was educated at the University and Law 
School, graduating from the former in 1875 ^"<^ from the latter in 1878. He 
has practiced alone, except from 1889 to 1892, when he was the partner of 
Hon. C. A. Lindbergh. He has held the office of city attorney for Little Falls. 
He is a well trained, able counselor and has won the esteem of the county of 
his adoption and has a paying clientage. 

J. N. True practiced in Little Falls from about 1900 to 1905, then moved 
to Oregon, but is now again practicing in the courts of this state. He was an 
excellent lawyer and a good citizen. Clarence Yetter practiced here about 
1907-8 for a short period. E. B. Prebble came here in 1887 and practiced 
law until 1890. He was county attorney three months, but resigned his 
office and located in St. Paul, where for a time he practiced. He then removed 
to Washington state, where he amassed a handsome fortune and has been 
judge of the superior court for about a dozen years. 

There have doubtless been a few more who sought to practice law in 
this county, from time to time, but not for any considerable time, and these 
names have slipped from the memory with the flight of years. These named 
above, however, are the principal attorneys who have made a record worth 
remembering at the Morrison county bar — past and present. 



At present the members of the bar practicing in Morrison county are as 
follows : E. P. Adams, Nels N. Bergheim, E. A. Kling, Don M. Cameron, 
Louis W. Vasaly, S. C. Vasaly, F. W. Lyon, E. F. Shaw, A. H. \'ernon, C. 


In the spring of 19 15 there was formed a Bar Association for Morrison 
county to which all attorneys subscribed their names. Its officers are : 
President, E. P. Adams ; vice-president. F. W. Lyons ; treasurer, Stephen 
Vasaly; secretary, Nels N. Bergheim. If well attended and fostered, this 
association will be of great mutual good to members of the Morrison county 
bar. Its history, however, is yet to be made and written by some future 
county historian. 



It will be remembered that, while Minnesota was the first of all the 
loyal states to forward men to the front, after President Lincoln's call for 
troops to suppress the Rebellion at the South, in April. 1861, the part of the 
state in which Morrison and Todd counties are situated was but thinly set- 
tled, hence did not furnish many soldiers for that conflict. There were, 
however, a few here who went at their country's call, including Lyman W. 
Ayer, who is still a resident of the city of Little Falls. The exact number 
who enlisted from this county is unknown, owing to the fact that the state's 
military reports do not give soldiers' names by counties, but by commands 
in which they served. But after the end of that war many soldiers came 
here and took claims and homesteads, and became prominent in the first 
events of the two counties. This is certain, from the fact that numerous 
Grand Army posts were organized all over the territory of the counties 
named, some few of which are still active, while others have gone down, 
as the comrades have nearly all passed to the other shore. 

At the time of the breaking out of the Spanish-American War, because 
of the fact that so few were needed to make up the quota in Minnesota and 
that those sections where National Guards were stationed furnished most of 
the men needed for the state, Morrison county did not send many to that 
short, though decisive conflict. A few, however, enlisted from this county. 
As Minnesota failed to publish a full report of its part in that war, we are 
unable to give details concerning the enlistment of the few who did serve 
from here. 

The most interesting chapter on military affairs in this section was made 
by the Indian outbreak of 1862, commencing at New Ulm and winding up 
at the North, with the final execution of thirty-eight Indians at Mankato in 
December, 1863, by order of President Lincoln. The following is an 
account of such warfare, and will interest every Morrison and Todd county 




After the fearful massacre at New Ulm, Minnesota, in August, 1862, 
the mihtary department of Minnesota and the general government were busy 
at organizing and equipping a military force to proceed against and if pos- 
sible punish the savage Sioux for the awful crimes they had committed upon 
the innocent citizens of Minnesota. The suddenness of the outbreak found 
them totally unprepared for any emergency. The Sixth Regiment was in 
barracks at Ft. Snelling. nearly full and partially organized, but its field 
officers had not yet been appointed nor had the men received their arms. 
The Se\enth, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Regiments were also partly recruited, 
but not mustered in. Skeleton companies were at Ft. Snelling, but none had 
been organized, and all the men were undisciplined. Large numbers had 
been let off on furlough, to complete harvesting their crops. All the arm$ 
due the state had been drawn and issued to the old regiments. The general 
government was so hard pushed that even the blankets and tents could not 
be furnished to the new troops. Immediately on receiving the news. Gov-, 
ernor Ramsey appointed Hon. H. H. Sibley, of Mendota, to the command of 
such forces at Ft. Snelling as the commandant there. Col. B. F. Smith, could 
organize on the instant. Colonel Sibley was admirably qualified for such a 
responsible position. His long and intimate acquaintance with the Indians 
and their character and habits (and especially was this true of the bands now 
in rebellion), together with his knowledge of military matters and his 
familiarity with the topography of the country, enabled him to either meet 
the savages in the field successfully, or to treat with them to advantage. 

Four companies of troops, about three hundred in all, armed with Bel- 
gian rifles and nineteen thousand cartridges, were furnished to him. and 
they at once started on a small steamer for Shakopee. arriving there on the 
20th. From thence they marched to St. Peter, f^n the Jist the six remain- 
ing companies of the Sixth Regiment were filled by consolidation and trans- 
fers, and sent forward as rapidly as possible. On the 21st. Go\ernor Ram- 
sey issued a proclamation, reciting the news of the oulhreak, and calling on 
such citizens as had and arms to start at once and join the expedition 
moving up the river. Considerable numbers did so. Companies of horse- 
men were formed in St. Paul and several other i)laces, and rode forward 
night .-ind day. Small comp;uiies of infantry also organized in various towns 
in the central and eastern part of the .state, and made forced marches to the 
relief of the frontier. By the end of the "first week of blood" (a verv short 


period considering how unprepared the state was for such a war) several 
parties of armed men were pressing forward on different routes to meet and 
drive back the savages. These companies were mostly distributed at stock- 
ades and garrisoned towns along the frontier, where they remained for 
several weeks, until the worst danger was over. On September 9th, Gov- 
ernor Ramsey's message reports, there were twenty-two militia companies, 
with two thousand eight hundred men under arms, and volunteer troops 
enough to make five thousand five hundred men in all. 

On Friday, the 22nd, says the report, Colonel Sibley arrived at St. Peter, 
and remained them some three days, getting his troops in hand and properly 
armed. The latter was a work of difficulty. Most of the Sixth Regiment 
were armed with Belgian rifles, many of them almost worthless and none 
of them very reliable. But a small part of the cartridges furnished were of 
the right calibre, and much time was lost in "swedging" bullets. Governor 
Ramsey had, on the 20th, telegraphed to the governor of Wisconsin to "bor- 
row" one hundred thousand cartridges. They were promptly sent, and 
reached Colonel Sibley at Ft. Ridgley. Provisions had to be collected and 
transportation secured. Meantime, the people of the state were nervous 
with anxiety, and blamed the commander and state authorities for not throw- 
ing the half -armed men and unorganized troops at once on the several hun- 
dred well-armed and desperate savages, at New Ulm or Ft. Ridgley. Had 
this been done, a Custer massacre would have resulted, and another rout and 
panic ensued, many-fold worse than that of the previous week. 

On August 25, Col. B. F. Smith was ordered to organize a force of one 
thousand men, out of detachments of the Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth 
Regiments, at Ft. Snelling, and dispatch said force at once, to join Colonel 
Sibley. This force was placed under the command of Lieut. -Col. William 
R. Marshall, of the Seventh Regiment, and moved forward as soon as it 
could be properly equipped, reaching the expedition on September i. 

The difficulty in securing transportation for these expeditions was a 
serious drawback to celerity of movements. Finally, a general order was 
issued by the adjutant-general, authorizing the commanding officers of 
detachments in actual service to seize and impress citizens' teams whenever 
needed. This was done, and enough transportation secured in that way, 
resulting in many cases of individual hardship, but this is one of the inexor- 
able "necessities of war." Good rifles were few. Many of the troops were 
very poorly armed and of even these inferior guns enough could not be 
procured. The general government was telegraphed to, but could supply 


none in season to do any good. The authorities then seized all the gun- 
shops in the states and confiscated their serviceable rifles, muskets and ammu- 
nition. All of the powder and lead in the hands of the dealers everywhere 
were seized, yielding three thousand one hundred and seventy-five pounds of 
powder and one thousand two hundred pounds of lead. Even this was 
insufficient. A lead pipe some three thousand feet long, which had been 
laid in one of the streets of St. Paul, but was just then unused, was dug up 
and melted into bullets. A force of young women were working day and 
night making cartridges. Finally, however, all the troops were supplied and 
equipped and no further trouble was felt. It must be remembered that there 
were then no railroads in the state (except between St. Paul and Minne- 
apolis) and no telegraph, but one from St. Paul to La Crosse, Wisconsin. 
All military messages and dispatches to the frontier, had to be sent by 
special carriers on horseback. 


Meantime, a new danger threatened the people of the state. In addi- 
tion to the powerful Sioux nation, there were in Minnesota the W'innebagoes, 
comprising four hundred warriors, and in the northern half of the state the 
Chippewas, who could muster two thousand five hundred or three thousand 
warriors. There were good grounds for believing that these tribes had 
been in consultation with the Sioux, and that if the latter were successful, 
they also would rise. It has been proved that several Winnebagoes partici- 
pated in the earlier murders near the Upper and Lower agencies, while on 
the same day of the outbreak at Redwood, the Chippewas commenced 
plundering their agency at Crow Wing on the upper ^lississippi, and 
assembling armed warriors. They acted very turbulent and defiant, and an 
outbreak between them and the whites was imminent. Indeed, on one occa- 
sion, shots were exchanged. The possibility of an outbreak by them 
weighed so on the mind of Major L. C. Walker, their agent, that he com- 
mitted suicide near Monticello, on the 23rd of August. Companies of 
cavalry were authorized by the authority of the state to protect the country 
north of St. Paul, and performed patrol duty for some days. Had the 
Chippewas risen also, nearly the whole state would have been laid waste. 
Even the cities of St. Paul, Minneapolis, etc.. would have been captured, as 
there were not arms enough in those places to defend them. A company of 
Home Guards was organized in St. Paul as a precautionary measure. For 


some days the situation was very critical and full of danger. Finally, Hon. 
William P. Dole, the commissioner of Indian affairs, Hon. H. M. Rice, 
Major E. A. C. Hatch, Clark W. Thompson, and the other men who had 
influence with the Ojibways, calmed them down and averted what might 
have proved an awful disaster. 

While the Indian outbreak did not invade Morrison county to any great 
extent, its surrounding counties were badly harassed and great excitement 
existed in Morrison itself, men being rushed from its borders in defense of 
the people in adjoining counties and to preclude any chance of trouble here. 

Wright county does not seem to have suffered by Indian invasions. 
Fortifications were erected by the people at various points, but no deprada- 
tions occurred in that locality. 

Western and southern Stearns county suffered severely from the depre- 
dations of the red-skins. About August 2^, 1862, they committed murders 
and other unmentionable crimes near Paynesville. The people of that town 
erected a strong stockade, and the citizens and refugees from other points 
further west sheltered themselves therein. A portion of the little town was 
burned, but no attack was made on the post. At Maine Prairie, St. Josephs, 
Sauk Center, Clearwater, Little Falls, and other places similar stockades 
were constructed and held by a few determined men. At St. Cloud, which 
was filled with refugees, strong fortifications were built and preparations 
made to defend the place to the utmost, but, fortunately no foe appeared. 
A number of persons were murdered by the savages in the southern part of 
Stearns county and many houses burned to ashes. 

The southwestern portion of Minnesota was also overrun and numerous 
murders committed. This district was soon afterward placed in command 
of Colonel Flandrau and about five hundred militia gathered in garrisons at 
different points, who soon rid the country of the Indian tribes. 

The Third Regiment, which had been paroled, after its surrender at 
Murfreesboro, was now at Benton Barracks, Missouri. Governor Ramsey 
telegraphed to have them sent to Minnesota at once, and the request was 
complied with. The regiment received its exchange on August 24th, and 
they arrived in St. Paul September 4th. All their officers were still prison- 
ers in the hands of the rebels at the South, and the companies were com- 
manded by non-commissioned officers. Major Welch, who was not with 
the regiment at its surrender (having been taken prisoner at Bull Run), was 
in command of the regiment. Three hundred men were at once sent 
to the frontier, where they did good service, being the only veteran troops 
engaged during the war. 


On August 23, 1862, Governor Ramsey called for an extra session of 
the Legislature, to meet on September 9. It was in session until September 
29 and gave its attention mainly to Indian war matters. A board of auditors 
was created to adjust claims growing out of the massacre, and seventy-five 
thousand dollars were appropriated to settle such claims. Congress was 
memorialized to reimburse the state for its outlay. A board of commission- 
ers was created to collect the names of the slain and the facts connected with 
their death. [This provision was never carried out.] The sum of twenty- 
five thousand dollars was voted for the relief of indigent refugees. Con- 
gress was also asked by this Legislature to remove the Winnebagoes from 
Minnesota, which was done. 


In order to show just how this Indian war terminated, the following 
paragraphs, though not concerning any special Morrison county history, are 
here appended : 

On August 23, the Indians commenced hostilities in the valley of the 
Red River of the North. Lt. .Abercrombie was then garrisoned by com- 
pany D, Fifth Regiment, but about one-half of the company was enlisted 
from Georgetown, protecting the transportation company's goods at that 
place. Early on the 23rd a band of five hundred Sissetons and Yanktons 
crossed the Otter Tail river, with the intention of capturing a train of goods 
and drove of cattle en route for Red lake, where a treaty was to be made 
with the Chippewas. The train was at once ordered to take refuge in Ft. 
yVbercrombie and did so. Most of the citizens in the surrounding region 
also repaired to that post for safety, but many were killed or taken prisoners. 
The town of Dayton was totally destroyed. 

Reinforcements were ordered to Ft. Abercrombie as soon as its daneer* 
was learned, but the troops sent out were detained en route to protect and aid 
threatened places in Stearns and Meeker counties, and did ncit reach the fort 
until too late. Meantime, it was in great danger, being quite surrounded 
by the enemy. A number of hot skirmishes had taken place near by, between 
detachments of the troops and the Indians. On August 30th the latter 
ai)peared in large numljers before the fort. .\ large herd of the treatv cattle 
(one hundred and se\enty-two head) and about one hundred horses and 
mules were grazing on the prairie near by. The Indians drove these off, and 
the small garrison could make no resistance. On September 3. at daybreak, 


the Indians attacked the post. A fight was kept up for two or three hours, 
but they were repulsed, with some loss on both sides. Active measures were 
then taken to strengthen the post by a stockade of timber. On September 
6th a second attack was made by the Indians and a sharp battle raged lontil 
near noon. A number of the Indians were killed and others wounded, but 
only one of the defenders was killed and one mortally wounded. The 
Indians hung around the fort, occasionally attacking a messenger or a water- 
ing party, until September 2^1, when reinforcements arrived via St. Cloud, 
to the great joy of the besieged men at the garrison, who had been under 
fire and suspense for three weeks. No further demonstrations, of any force, 
were made by the Indians. But for the brave resistance made by a mere 
handful of soldiers, aided by a few good citizens, the post must have fallen 
into the hands of the savage foe. 


The want of a mounted force to pursue the Indians was severely felt 
by Colonel Sibley. His small number of irregular mounted militiamen were 
leaving for their homes. He several times urged Governor Ramsey to pro- 
vide cavalry, and that ofificial. in turn, asked of the war department the proper 
authority. This was granted on September i, and a regiment of mounted 
rangers at once called for, for three months' service, which was subsequently 
changed to one year. The regiment was soon recruited, and Col. S. McPhaill 
appointed colonel. 


While waiting at Ft. Ridgley for proper supplies and equipments, and 
before undertaking any offensive campaign against the Indians, Colonel 
Sibley sent out, on August 31, a detachment to bury the dead bodies, rescue 
any fugitives that might be found, and make a reconnoissance. This detach- 
ment consisted of part of company A, Sixth Regiment, Capt. H. G. Grant, 
about seventy mounted men under Capt. Joseph Anderson, and a fatigue 
party — about one hundred and fifty men in all, accompanied by seventeen 
teams. The whole force was in command of Major Joseph R. Brown, who 
was perfectly familiar with the country and with Indian warfare. On the 
first day's march, sixteen dead bodies were found and buried. September 
I (the next day), the force separated into two detachments. During this 
day, fiftv-five mutilated bodies were buried. In the evening the whole force 


went into camp at Birch Coolie, in a spot selected by Major Brown. Not an 
Indian had been seen that day. 

Just before daybreak on the 2nd, the camp was aroused by a volley of 
firearms and the yells of Indians, who had crawled unperceived within a few 
yards of the encampment. For a few minutes terrific volleys were poured 
into the tents, cutting them into shreds and killing or wounding a number 
of men and horses. As soon as they could seize their arms, those soldiers 
who were unhurt crawled out and, sheltering themselves as well as they 
could behind wagons, dead horses, etc., returned fire. Shortly after day- 
light the men began excavating, with such implements as were at hand, a 
Hne of rifle pits, and in a short time had about two hundred feet dug. 

The firing in the still of the morning was heard by the sentinels at Ft. 
Ridgley, fifteen miles away, and a detachment of troops, under Colonel 
McPhaill, at once pushed off to their relief. When within three miles of 
Birch Coolie, they were met by such a large force of Indians they could 
not advance, and sent a courier back for reinforcemetns. Meantime, the 
troops of Major Brown's command lay all day in their rifle pits, keeping the 
savages at bay. The wounded were cared for as well as possible, but a num- 
ber died before the end of the day. 

As soon as McPhaill's courier reached Ft. Ridgley, a large force, with 
some artillery, was sent to the relief of his and Major Brown's troops. They 
came up about daylight and the whole column then pushed on to Birch 
Coolie, dislodging and driving the Indians from their position, after the 
latter had kept the white men under fire for thirty-si.x hours, without food 
or drink. 

The camp was an awful scene, when relieved. Twenty-three men had 
been killed outright or mortally wounded, forty-five badly wounded, and 
seventy horses killed. The dead were buried on the spot and the wounded 
were carried back to Ft. Ridgley in wagons. Thus terminated the most 
bloody battle of the war, and one which spread gloom over the entire state. 
It is not creditable to Minnesota that this iiattle ground should have been so 
long neglected and allowed to pass into private hands, after which it was 
cut up by the plow share. A suitable monument should have there been 
erected to the sacred memory of those fallen heroes. 



One historian wrote of this subject in the following words : "The con- 
dition of the poor refugees from the ravaged districts was deplorable in the 
extreme. In St. Peter alone, there were in September as many as six thou- 
sand or seven thousand people for some days, and at one time fully eight 
thousand. In St. Paul there were one thousand and at Minneapolis an equal 
number, while all the smaller towns had as many in proportion. They were 
all destitute of money, clothing, employment, etc., and many were sick, while 
not a few were actually insane from grief and trouble. The active exertions 
of citizens of St. Peter alone prevented great suffering there, but their 
means were soon exhausted. Then they appealed through the papers for 
aid. Governor Ramsey appointed commissioners to receive and disburse 
supplies. About twenty thousand dollars in money was contributed, half 
of which came from Eastern cities, while large quantities of clothing came 
through local relief committee work, in St. Paul and other places. The 
Legislature, when it met, voted twenty-five thousand dollars more. These 
amounts relieved the worst cases of need. In October most of those whose 
homes had not been destroyed returned to them, and the number of destitute 
rapidly decreased. Several hundred, however, had to be supported all 
winter. Fortunately, laborers had now become scarce, and wages enhanced, 
so that all able to work could get positions. The building of railroads went 
along unchecked in the midst of this terrible calamity. The Winoa & St. 
Peter railroad completed about ten miles of its road that autumn." 


Before leaving the bloody battlefield of Birch Coolie, Colonel Sibley 
left the following note attached to a stake: 

"If Little Crow has any proposition to make to me, let him send a half- 
breed to me, and he shall be protected in and out of camp. 

"H. H. Sibley, 
"Col. Com'g Mil. Expedn." 

Colonel Sibley had reason to believe that their repeated defeats had 
discouraged the foe, and that negotiations could be made with the disaffected 


Indians and those tired of fighting, for the release of their prisoners. The 
note thus thoughtfully left soon bore good fruit. 

It was now evident that all the marauding bands from the interior had 
been called in and that the Indians would, with all their combined forces, 
oppose the column on its march. Colonel Sibley ordered the Third Regi- 
ment, then at Glencoe, to join his command, and it reached Ft. Ridgley on 
September 13. Meantime, Colonel Sibley's note had been shown Little 
Crow on his return from the raid on the Big Woods settlers, and A. J. 
Campbell, a half breed, who acted as secretary, read it to him. Crow at 
once dictated a reply, blaming Galbraith and the traders for wronging them, 
and enumerated some grievances which had caused the war. He requested 
an answer. This note reached Colonel Sibley at Ft. Ridgley on September 
7. Colonel Sibley at once replied, demanding that Little Crow should release 
the prisoners and he would then treat with him. On September 12 a reply 
was received from Crow, saying that the Medwakanantons had one hundred 
and fifty prisoners, and other bands some more. He said, "I want to know 
from you, as a friend, what way I can make peace for my people." Colonel 
Sibley at once replied, urging Crow to give up the prisoners, and complain- 
ing that he had allowed his young men to kill nine more whites since he sent 
the first letter. The same courier who brought Little Crow's letter, also 
brought one privately from the chief Wabasha, and Taopi, a Christian 
Indian. They asserted they were forced into the war and were now anxious 
to make peace, and if a chance offered they would come in and give them- 
selves up, with all their prisoners. Colonel Sibley replied to this message, 
urging them to do so and promising them protection, adding that he was now 
strong enough to crush all the Indians wIk) held out. When this letter was 
received by Wabasha and his friends who wished to separate from the other 
Indians, a great dispute arose among all the bands. Indeed, disaffection 
and jealousy had been Ijrewing ever since the outbreak. The prisoners were 
in great peril and might have been murdered. lUu at last all worked well 
and the friendly and repentant Indians carried the day. 

'ilie war departnu'nt had nicuitime created Minnesota and Dakota into 
a military department, and ai)pointed Gen. John I'ope to the command. He 
reached St. Paul Sci)tcml)er 12, and established his headquarters there. New 
regiments, made up of the Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth ;ind Tenth, had 
been hurried off to the western frontier, h.ilf organized, and were hv tliis 
time being completely organized and mustered in. 



Colonel Sibley, after the arrival of the Third Regiment and the -sup- 
plies and ammunition he had needed, broke camp, September i8, and started 
in pursuit of the Indians at or near Yellow Medicine. On the morning of 
September 23, while encamped near Wood lake, the Indians suddenly 
attacked the force. The Renville Rangers were thrown out and met the 
enemy bravely. Major Welch soon had the Third regiment in line, and they 
poured steady volleys into the advancing line of Indians, as did also the 
Sixth Regiment, under Major McLaren. The fight then became general. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall charged the enemy with three companies of the 
Seventh and A of the Sixth, and put them to rout. The battle had lasted 
an hour and a half. Our loss was four killed and fifty wounded — among 
the latter. Major Welch. The Indians lost quite a number — thirty it is 
said — fifteen being found dead on the field. After burying the dead, Colonel 
Sibley marched toward Lac qui Parle, near which place Wabasha had noti- 
fied him he would meet him and deliver up the prisoners. 


On September 26, the column arrived at the camp where the friendly 
Indians had the prisoners, and made their camp near by. It was opposite 
the mouth of the Chippewa river, and was named by our men "Camp 
Release." Without delay, Colonel Sibley visited the Indians and demanded 
the captives. They were at once produced, nearly two hundred and fifty in 
number. Many wept with joy at their release ; others had grown almost 
indifi^erent. These poor people — mostly women and children — were sent as 
soon as possible to their friends, if the latter were still living. The Indians 
who had given themselves up were at once placed under guard until they 
could be examined as to their guilt. During the next few days a number 
came in and gave themselves up. and some smaller parties were captured 
soon after, by our troops under Lieut. -Colonel Marshall, so that soon our 
force had over two thousand Indian warriors in their hands. Colonel Sib- 
ley at once organized a military commission, composed of Colonel Crooks, 
Lieutenant-Colonel Marshall and Captain Grant, with I. V. D. Heard as 
judge advocates, to examine the Indians and indicate the guilty ones. 
Another commission of five officers was appointed to try accused persons. 


These commissions continued their work until November 5, by which 
time they had found three hundred and twenty guilty of murder, ravishing 
and other crimes, and sentenced three hundred and three to death. These 
were at once removed to South Bend, there to await the orders of the Pres- 
ident — Abraham Lincoln — while the other Indians and their families were 
taken to Ft. Snelling and confined all winter in the stockade. 


Meantime Little Crow and the still hostile Indians had retreated into 
Dakota and before winter had reached Devil's lake, where they remained 
until the following spring. As the war in this state was now practically 
over, most of the settlers whose homes had not been destroyed returned to 
them. The Third Minnesota Regiment, the Twenty-fifth Wisconsin and 
the Twenty-seventh Iowa were sent south before winter, but the Sixth, 
Seventh, Eighth, Ninth and Tenth Minnesota, with the Mounted Rangers, 
were retained for home service, and were stationed in detachments in a 
cordon of posts reaching from the south line of the state across the frontier 
to St. Cloud. The country between these garrisons was carefully scouted 
and patrolled, so that no hostile Indians could pass the line. On Novemlier 
25, General Pope moved his headquarters to Milwaukee, and Brigadier-Gen- 
eral Sibley (for such he had been made after the battle of Wood Lake) 
remained in command at St. Paul. That winter passed without any hostilities. 


The three hundred and three Indian murderers were kept in confine- 
ment at South Bend a short time and then removed to Mankato, where they 
were confined in a stone warehouse, strongly guarded. Meantime, some 
so-called "philanthropists," principally Quakers, at Philadelphia and other 
Eastern cities, interfered in the matter, and got up a strong petition and 
l)ressure to bear upon President Lincoln to pardon the guilty wretches. This 
was resisted bv the prominent men and officials in Minnesota, the people of 
the state almost unanimously demanding their execution, and threatening, 
if it were not done, to apply lynch law to them. President Lincoln selected 
thirty-nine of the murderers, and on December 6 ordered General Sibley to 
execute them. This was carried into effect on Dccenilier 26. at Mankato 
(one meantime dying of heart disease). Tims thirt\'-eight of the savages 


were swung off of one scafifold, in the presence of a large concourse of 
people. The rest of the murderers were imprisoned until spring, then taken 
to Davenport, Iowa, where they were confined a few months, after which 
they were removed to a reservation on the Missouri river and set at liberty. 
Thus ended the last Indian outbreak in Minnesota, and settlers then com- 
menced coming back to all of the counties that had been deserted, including 
parts of Morrison and all of Todd county. 


Concerning those who were residents of Morrison county at the break- 
ing out of the Spanish-American War in April, 1898, who enlisted at their 
country's call, there is but little information now to be had. Indeed there 
were only a few who were finally mustered into the United States service. 
As near as can be learned, the list included these : Otto Varner, Will Lamay, 
Harry W. Donovan, Chris Christiansen, Antt, Matt and Leo Fishback, and 
Young Virnig. But few of these are still residing in the county at this 
time, and several are deceased, including young Christiansen. 



In times of health and bodily vigor, we sometimes speak lightly of the 
■'family doctor"; but not so in times of sickness, when the cheek is hectic 
with Inirning fever, and life is held as if by a slender thread. Ever since 
the days of Galen, in all civilized portions of the world men and women 
have believed in medicine and doctors. Some give them too much credit 
and otliers do not give them enough. The fact is, medicine is a science, 
and he or she who is best educated and has had most experience in the 
science is best fitted to treat diseases. The profession is alongside the 
other honorable callings among men. With the advance of other sciences, 
the medical fraternity is keeping pace with the world of new and more 
rational thought. There are excellent, skilful physicians in all parts of 
the land, and though in this fraternity, as in all others, there are those 
practicing who are not qualified and should not be allowed to take the life 
of human-kind into their care and keeping. Yet, on the whole, the physi- 
cians of today rank equally with their fellow-workers in any of the other 
spheres of human activities. Especially in surgery has the world moved on 
rapidly in its recent strides. Operations once called impossible are now 
easily i)erformed. The world is now filling up with splendid hospitals, 
wherein thousands of lives are saved, and where many bodily deformities 
and ailments are remedied. 

It goes without saying that in Morrison county the people have had 
their share of good and bad physicians, but they have averaged with their 
profession elsewhere. There are "old schools" and "new schools" in med- 
ical practice, as well as in religious sects, but all are greatly improved, in 
later decades, over the old saddle-bag practice of fifty and eighty years ago. 

Among the earliest physicians who practiced in Morrison county were 
Doctors Smith, Jordon and Melcalf. who were in Little Falls as resident 
physicians in 1856. Tt is .said that all were quite eminent in their profes- 
sion, but all left within three years after arriving, probably on account of 


not having sufficient practice to keep them here longer. The county had 
but few residents at that date and people, as a general rule, were young, 
■ strong and seldom ill. Their habits of life, the fresh air and non-heated 
sleeping and living rooms, had something to do with the case. But when 
"civilized life" really set in, Morrison county needed its share of doctors, 
and then it was that they made their appearance. 

After the three physicians named above had left the county, those need- 
ing medical attention had to go to Ft. Ripley, up in the edge of Crow Wing 
county, for a doctor. Dr. E. E. Braun, who had served as army physician 
and surgeon at Ft. Ripley up to 1866, his time having then expired, located 
at Little Falls, from which place he had quite a practice, even while con- 
nected with the military post at the old fort. He was a good, careful, 
tender and well-read physician. He died of a tumor on the right thigh, 
which growth weighed fifty-two pounds. 

The next physician in Little Falls was Dr. E. Fletcher, who remained 
three years. He was succeeded by Dr. A. Guernon, who came here from 
St. Paul. He married a daughter of Doctor Braun and continued in med- 
ical practice here from 1872, being still an honored physician in 1876, as 
will be seen by reference to some historic items found among the writings 
of County Historian Nathan Richardson. 

It was in 1875 when Dr. J. O. Simmons, the first homeopathic physi- 
cian, entered this county. One of the first physicians in the county (some 
authorities say he practiced first of all) was Doctor Lewis, who came in 
with Rev. Frederick Ayer and located at Belle Prairie. He died and was 
first buried there, but was subsequently reinterred at Little Falls. 

In an interview with an old resident of Little Falls, it is learned that 
since 1882 the physicians who practiced here in the eighties and nineties 
were as follow : Doctor Simmons ; Doctor Guernon ; Dr. J. A. Macmannis, 
of Ohio, who died at a St. Cloud hospital in April, 1886; Dr. G. M. A. 
Fortier, who arrived from Canada in 1884 and is still practicing; Dr. J. C. 
Buchanan, of Montreal, Canada, was here two or three years, about 1885, 
and located at Wadena, Minnesota; Dr. O. C. Trace, who came in 1890, 
moved to Clear Lake, Minnesota, in 1909; Dr. Will Tupper came in about 
1885, remained until 1888 and located at Minneapolis, where, at last 
accounts, he was still practicing the profession; Dr. Paquin (eclectic school) 
came about 1889 and in 1896 moved away and died, having practiced at 
Minneapolis for a time ; he was buried at Little Falls. He was a soldier 
of the Civil War and highly respected both as physician and citizen. 



The subjoined is a list of the various physicians who have from time 
to time registered as being competent, under the board of state medical 
examiners, to practice, and did practice in Morrison county since such law 
went into effect early in the eighties: C. Johnson, 1883; George C. Buch- 
anan, of Stearns county, 1883; William C. Cuff, St. Paul, 1887; Wilham 
Davidson Rea, of Hennepin county, 1898; T. S. Schweiger, of Morrison 
county, 1904; Alexander McLean Watson, 1905; Martin A. Nelson, 1894; 
A. J. McMannis, of Ohio, 1883; G. M. A. F'ortier, of Canada, 1883; 
A. Guemon, Canada, 1884; James W. Barnard, of Todd county, graduate 
of Michigan University, 1883; James Lonsdale, Rush Medical Collegt, 
here in 1884; William G. Tupper, Goodhue county, University of Minne- 
sota, here in 1886; John H. Kinney, Miami Medical College, 1876, came 
here in 1883; E. Boek, University of New York City, 1869, came here in 
1887; H. W. Wells (homeopath), Redwood, Minnesota, 1887; J. G. Hous- 
ton, Anoka, Western Reserve Medical College, Ohio. 1874, and here in 
1884; Cyril O. Paquin, Grant county, medical department Iowa University, 
1872; here in 1883; Noe Dumont, Steams county, came from Canada and 
registered here in 1887; Joseph C. R. Charest, of Canada. University of 
Victory. 1884, and here in 1885; J. G. Millspaugh, here in 1893; A. A. 
Noyes, Keokuk Medical College, Iowa, 1850. here in 1883; S. Harvey Cor- 
rigan, Cerro Gordo county, Iowa, here in the nineties; Edward Seqin. 
Ramsey county, here 1900; Erastus Y. Arnold, Polk county, of Rush Med- 
ical College, Chicago, 1879. here 1883; John Edmund Darrow (homeo- 
pathic), here in 1898; Henry P. Richard, here in 1900; Elmer E. Hall, 
Washington, Maine, here in 1902; Norman W. Chance, 1898; Edward 
Charles Beer, province of Ontario, 1903; John B. Hoist, Goodhue county, 
here 1895; Claude F. Hoist, Hennepin county, here 1901 ; Charles E. Bry- 
ant, of Cleveland, Minnesota, here 1902; E. E. Schafer. Grey Eagle, 1902; 
Otis J. Brown, Goodhue county, Minnesota, medical department of West- 
ern Reserve College, Ohio, 1882, registered here in 1886; George McCol- 
lough, Ramsey county, here in 1904; Lemuel M. Roberts, Crow Wing 
county, Minnesota, Hahnemann Medical College, Philadelphia, 1883, here 
in 1885; Orville C. Trace, Benton county, University of Michigan, here in 
1884; John ].. Landry. Crow Wing county, came from Canada, located 
here 1884; William J. Warren, Hennepin county, here in 1897; Clement 
A. Westhoelter, Wright county, here in 1896; Robert Wilson Campbell, 


Hennepin county, 1905; Edward Louis Fortier, of Morrison county, 
admitted here 1908; Samuel Graham Knight, of Delaware, 19 10; James 
Davidson, here in 1892; Arthur M. Wooster, 191 1; Raymond T. Healy, 
1909; S. B. Newell, here in 1883; Eugene W. Young, Hennepin county, 
1896; Joseph Gumper, Nebraska, here in 1909; C. L. Hughes, here in 1910; 
Irving George Wiltrout, St. Croix county, Wisconsin, here in 19 12. 


The following is a list of the physicians practicing in the county at the 
present time — 191 5 — with ix)ssibly a few more in some of the small vil- 
lages: At Motley, George McCollough; at Royalton, A. W. Watson; at 
Pierz, E. H. Kerkhoff and R. T. Healey; at Swanville, I. G. Wiltrout; at 
Little Falls, Doctors G. M. A. Fortier and son, E. L. Fortier (the elder 
came to Little Falls about 1880), O. J. Brown, L. M. Roberts (homeo- 
pathic), J. B. and C. F. Hoist, N. Dumont, N. W. Chance and J. G. Mills- 




Perhaps no state in the Union has been more advanced by the construc- 
tion of steam railways than Minnesota. In May, 1857, Congress gave 
Minnesota, then still a territory, a magnificent grant of about nine million 
acres of land, to aid in the construction of several projected trunk lines 
through her bounds. The roads specified were : From Stillwater, via St. 
Paul and St. Anthony Falls, to Big Stone lake, with a branch via St. Cloud 
and Crow Wing, to the navigable waters of the Red River of the North; 
from St. Paul and St. Anthony, via Minneapolis, to a point on Big Stone 
lake, and other lesser lines. An e.xtra session of the legislature was con- 
vened in June, 1857, to accept the land grant and devise some means of 
constructing these railroads. 

The idea of a railroad from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans was 
openly discussed as early as 1837, by Dr. Hartwell Carver, who memorial- 
ized Congress on the subject. In 1845 ^'^sa W^hitney evolved a plan for 
the northern route. He was called a visionary swindler, but he went ahead 
for all that, and made a preliminary survey from Prairie du Chien as far 
west as the Rocky Mountains. Josiah Perham, afterward first president 
of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, in 1857 projected a line from 
Maine to Puget Sound, to be known as the People's Pacific Railroad, and 
obtained a charter from the Maine Legislature, but Thaddeus Stevens 
talked him out of the scheme, though he agreed to aid him in securing a 
bill for the construction of what is now known as the Northern Pacific 
route. This bill passed both houses of Congress and was signed by Presi- 
dent Lincoln, July 2, 1864. The first permanent ofiicers were: Josiah Per- 
ham, president; Willard Sear, vice-president; Abiel Abbott, secretary: J. S. 
Withington, treasurer. 

The first land grant gave si.x sections to the mile, but in 1864 the 
grant was extended to ten sections per mile, taking the lukl-nunibcred sec- 
tions for ten miles on each side of the right-of-way, and reserving the odd 
sections in the next ten miles to make up the deficiency where the odd sec- 


tions of land on the first ten miles had previously been sold. By this con- 
dition nearly all the odd sections in Morrison county were held to fill the 
railroad grant. 

After the Minnesota & Pacific Railroad Company had forfeited their 
rights to this grant, the Legislature of Minnesota, by an act approved in 
March, 1862, turned it over to the St. Paul & Pacific Company. This com- 
pany completed the line of road from St. Paul to Sauk Rapids, where it 
stopped for several years. In 1871 the company commenced this line to 
Brainerd, to connect with the Northern Pacific, continuing the effort into 
1872, when the grading was nearly completed and about three miles of 
track laid south from Brainerd. On the failure of Jay Cooke & Company, 
of New York, the work was stopped, and was never resumed by the same 
company. After failing to fulfill a number of promises looking to a com- 
pletion of the road, the Legislature, by an act approved March i, 1877, 
declared the right of the St. Paul & Pacific Company to build the line from 
Sauk Rapids to Brainerd forfeited, with all aid appointed for its construc- 
tion. The same act specified the conditions on which any other company 
might build the road and enjoy the emoluments arising from the land grant. 
One section of that act provided that persons who had settled uix)n any 
portion of the land of the grant, and who resided upon the same at the 
time of the passage of the bill, should have the right to enter their claims 
under the homestead act or pre-emption laws. Under this provision, two 
hundred and twenty-five claims were filed in the governor's office in St. 
Paul, one hundred and fifty-eight of which were allowed; and those who 
for any cause were not entitled to enter lands they claimed, and had 
improved them, were allowed to purchase them of the railroad company at 
government price. On May 2, 1877, the Western Railroad of Minnesota 
informed the governor of the state that it was ready to construct the road 
in accordance with the terms named in the act of March i, 1877, and, on 
receiving his approval, commenced work and completed the road in the 
month of November of that year, establishing three stations in this county, 
one at Royalton, one at Little Falls and one at Belle Prairie, since which 
time the road has been in active operation. 

The Little Falls & Dakota railroad, a line leading from Little Falls 
westward, by the way of Sauk Center, Glenwood and Morrison, to Brown's 
Valley, on the western border of the state, was projected in 1872. The 
Legislature of the state passed an act in the latter part of that year, author- 
izing the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company to construct this line of 
road as a branch line. It failed to build the road in the specified time, and 



no further action was taken until in the autumn of 1878, when a conven- 
tion was called to meet at Sauk Center on January 22, 1879. On the day 
following a company, called the Little Falls & Dakota Railroad Company, 
was organized, with J. G. Whittemore, of Glenwood, president; N. Rich- 
ardson, of Little Falls, vice-president; E. P. Barnum, of Sauk Center, sec- 
retary, and J. M. Moore, of Morrison, treasurer. By special legislation, 
all the towns and counties along the line, except Morrison county, submitted 
the proposition for aid in construction, at the fall election, in Xovemljer, 

1879, which election authorized the issuing of bonds. The amount asked 
was two hundred thousand dollars. The amount to be raised by Morrison 
county was thirty-five thousand dollars. The following spring Morrison 
county decided to issue bonds by a majority vote of seventy-five. A par- 
tial survey of the line was effected during the fall of 1879. The same com- 
pany reorganized on September 17, 1879, at which time Hon. William 
Crooks, of St. Paul, was chosen president; Charles A. De Graff, of Janes- 
ville, vice-president; E. P. Barnum, of Sauk Center, secretary, and L. E. 
Reed, of St. Paul, treasurer. By the energy of the president, arrangements 
were made with capitalists whereby the building of the road was assured. 
In accordance with the contract, work must be commenced prior to July i, 

1880. In obedience to this requirement ground was broken on this road, 
at Little Falls, June 25, 1880. 

The above lines of railroad are now all included within the Northern 
Pacific system, and are the only railroads within Morrison county, except 
the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie line, which runs from 
Duluth southwest, through the counties between there and Morrison county. 
It enters the last named in the central eastern portion and continues to its 
Dakota line, forming junction at Brooten. It crosses the Mississippi between 
Royalton and Little Falls. Its title is abbreviated to the "Soo" railroad. 
The original idea of such a railway system was conceived by the brain of 
State Senator W. H. C. Folsom, of the Minnesota Legislature, who intro- 
duced a bill in the Legislature in 1877; the same was pas.sed and sent on 
to Washington in way of a memorial to Congress, which body was asked 
to make a right-of-way and land grant for the purpose of constructing such 
a railroad, the same to run from St. Paul and Minneapolis to Sault Ste. 
Marie falls. Its object was to shorten the route by rail from Minnesota, 
Dakota and Wisconsin to the seaboard of the Atlantic ocean, thus giving 
greater and better facilities for shipping grain, coal and lumber. It really 
shortened the route to the Atlantic alx)ut three hundred miles. Congress 
looked with much favor on the projKisition, but nothing was eft'ected in the 


matter, practically, until September 12, 1883, when the road was incorpo- 
rated in both A'linnesota and Wisconsin by W. D. Washburn and others at 
Minneapolis, the title being Minneapolis, Sault Ste. Marie & Atlantic Rail- 
road Company. 

The road was completed to the "Soo" in December. 1887, and there 
connected with the Canadian Pacific. Its total length between points named 
is about two hundred and twenty-five miles. By using this route, six hun- 
dred and twenty-six miles transportation is saved in shipping to Liverpool 
via Montreal, instead of by the former route via Chicago and New York. 


The present mileage of railroads within Morrison county is about as 
follows: The main line and branches of the Northern Pacific railroad have 
sixty miles and the "Soo" line has thirty-six miles, making a total of main 
line tracks within Morrison county of ninety-six miles. 




As now constituted, Belle Prairie township comprises all of township 
41, range 31, and all that part of range 32 east of the Mississippi river in 
Morrison county. Originally it extended from the river through to Mille 
Lacs county, and then contained more than 153,000 acres. It took on its 
present boundaries prior to 1886, in which, in 1910, there was a population 
of eight hundred and eighty-six. In 1880 it was described thus: ".\ strip 
of prairie, varying from one and a half to two and a half miles in width. 
skirts the river, back of which the surface is more rolling, and in places 
quite broken. Progressing eastward, heavy timber appears, mostly of the 
hardwood varieties, except in the north and eastern parts, where there is 
considerable timber." 

A portion of this township was included in the Ft. Ripley reservation 
until the spring of 1878, when it was thrown open to settlers. Frank How- 
ard obtained permission from the war department to open a farm on sec- 
tion 3, in 1858, and availed himself of the privilege that year. This was 
but a short distance from the fort, and there he remained until 1862. 


Belle Prairie township was settled first by that faithful Congregaticnal 
missionary, Rev. Frederick Ayer, a native of Stockbridge, Massachusetts. 
He immigrated to this jxjint in 1848 and established an Indian school, which 
was also attended for a time by white chililren. The Indians there at that 
time were of the Winnebago tribe, a high class of Indians, who soon dressed 
and followed other customs of the white race. 

Harri.son Fletcher made a claim in .section 6, of township 41, range 31, 


remained a number of years and moved to Minneapolis. In 1851 Asher 
Adams settled in section i and died there in 1864. Dr. William Lewis 
settled near the men above named in 1851 and remained several years. 
Prominent among those who followed those mentioned were O. A. Coe, 
F. J. Farrand and T. Hamilton. Anton Bisson came in 1853, being the first 
French Canadian to locate in the township. He was soon followed by 
others of his countrymen, who made up the principal settlement in the 
eighties and even later. 

The first death in this township was a son of Frederick Ayer, who died 
on August 6, 1849. The first marriage was Benjamin Fletcher and Miss 
Jane Forbes, in either 1852 or 1853. 


Belle Prairie was organized by the county commissioners on March 25, 
1859, and the first officers appointed were as follow: F. Ayer, supervisor; 
S. T. Hamilton, justice of the peace; E. Taylor, clerk. The first election 
was held on April 5, when the following officers were elected : Supervisors, 
J. E. x^imot, chairman; F. Ayer and T. Belief eialle ; justices of the peace, 
William Lewis and J. E. Aimot; clerk, E. Taylor; assessor, D. Mason; 
collector, S. T. Hamilton; constables, D. Mason and H. Houde; road over- 
seer, O. A. Coe. 


Belle Prairie township has had two hamlets within its borders, Gravel- 
ville and Belle Prairie. The former was effected by the claim taken in 1876 
by Charles Gravel, on Platte river, in the southeastern portion of the town- 
ship, where a grist and saw-mill was soon put in operation. There had 
also been a saw-mill at the old mission as early as 1855, operated by a mill- 
ing company, who later sold to F. Ayer, but it was later removed. A gen- 
eral store was opened at Gravelville in the seventies and was doing a good 
business in the eighties. 

Belle Prairie, the seat of the Catholic school and church, is also a good 
small trading place, with a population of about twenty-five persons. Among 
the persons who had lived, or were living, within the township in 1881 
may be recalled : Frederick Ayer, Lyman W. Ayer, Michael Aroux, Albert 
Barbeau, G. Bisson, John W. Ball, Anton Bisson, Felix Baistien, O. A. Coe, 
A. B. Coe, Moses E. Coe, Onesimus Chandonnet, John Clark, Joseph 


Doucet, John Demars, Cyriac Du Fort, Rev. J. Fortier, F. J. Ferrand, 
N. Gravel, Charles Gravel, F. X. Goulet, William Harrison, O. King, George 
G. Kimball, James F. Kimball, Michael Ladoux, Joseph Ladoux, John B. 
La fond, Edward W. Malburn, David Morin, Charles Pelkey, Samuel 
Trebby and Thomas M. Wilcox. 


Motley is the extreme northwestern township in Morrison county and 
is one of its smallest subdivisions. It comprises only about sixteen sec- 
tions of land, on the south and west side of the Mississippi, in township 133, 
range 31 west. Originally it belonged to Green Prairie, but was detached 
and then extended north from the north line of township 131, but in 1895 
was cut down to its present limits. It was organized in 1879, in the spring 
of which year an election was held and the first officers chosen as follow : 
H. B. Morrison, chairman; Frank Weston and J. A. McMillen, supervisors; 
H. Hawkins, clerk; J. R. McMillen, assessor, and H. B. Morrison, treas- 
urer. The township was given its present boundaries in 1893. 

But little is now to be learned of its early settlers, most of whom have 
passed away. The list that is on record includes many who settled in what 
was originally Motley, but now within Scanda X^alley and adjoining town- 
ships, but will be here inserted, for their names should not be lost sight of 
in the annals of the county. They included these: Walter H. Benson, of 
Vermont; Owen Davis, of Ohio; Henry Hawkins, of Canada; Peter Knud- 
son, of Danish parentage; Henry B. Morrison, of Vermont; S. A. Mc- 
Millen, of Ohio; David J. Wilson, of New York state; Franklin L. Wilson, 
of Illinois, and Frank Weston, of Maine. 


This sprightly village is in the extreme northwest comer of the town- 
ship and is a station point on the Northern Pacific railroad. It was, when 
first established, the only station in Morrison county on this division, and 
enjoyed a large trade, although there were few settlers within several miles 
of it. The position was most favorable for distributing lumber and iuinlicr 
camp su])plies. A station and large freight house were immediately erected. 
Grain was bought here and shipped as soon as the station was ready to 


receive it. It was hauled many miles and dumped into the freight cars, 
before the building of elevators. The first elevator was completed in 1874, 
by Chandler, Fisher & Waite, of Long Prairie. Another was erected in 
1879 by Barnes & McGill. 

Motley village was platted, originally, by the Lake Superior & Puget 
Sound Company. The oldest settler here was Calvin Priestly, who came 
for the railroad company in the autumn of 1872. No extended settlement 
was effected until the advent of H. B. Morrison. A postofifice was estab- 
lished in 1874, with William Johnson as postmaster. 

In the spring of 1878 H. B. Morrison built a large lumber-mill here, 
which gave employment to many workmen. During the same summer a 
school was opened and a term was taught by Mrs. Frank Severance. It 
was only a subscription school. The following year a district was formed 
and better advantages were then had. In all matters of public interest 
Pioneer Morrison was a leader and captain in all industries and enterprises. 
He, however, met with discouragement and reverses, in that his first mill 
was burned a few months after it was in operation, and one of his faithful 
workmen lost his life in the angry flames. But he went ahead, rebuilt and 
put in steam power instead of water. He was enabled with his last mill to 
cut forty thousand feet of lumber in a ten-hour run. He made lumber, lath 
and pickets, and employed from ninety to one hundred workmen. In 1881 
he opened a brick yard, in which twenty men found employment during the 
brick-making season. 

About one mile from the village another lumber-mill was established 
in 1881 by Curtis & Lawrence, with a daily cut of twenty-five thousand 
feet, including shingles and lath. In 1881 Motley had three large general 
stores and two hotels, with corresponding shops. Its population was then 
about three hundred. Its population in 1910 was four hundred and twentv- 
five. Its business interests are now as follow: Auto garage, Charles W. 
Aiken, James H. Francisco; blacksmith, Harry Nogan; Central Minnesota 
Farmers' Co-operative Shipping Association, stock and potatoes, John 
Schmit, secretary; creamery. Farmers' Co-operative Creamery Company, 
Homer Lawhead, secretary; drugs, the Defenbaugh Drug Company, D. D. 
Defenbaugh, manager; dray line, Clinton Mosher; elevators, the Monarch 
Company, with Eugene Seely as manager; furniture, hardware and imple- 
ments, V. Lockwood; general dealers, O. O. Torgerson, Motley Store Com- 
pany, John O. John.son, B. F. Cale; hotel, by James H. Francisco; lumber 
dealers. Dower Lumber Company, Charles Beirwatger. manager; mills, 
(feed), Fred Sears; millinery, Motley Store Company; newspaper, The 


Mercury, by E. G. Haymaker ; meats, Watzha Bros. ; shoe and harness 
repairs, Ole Olson and D. Palmer; restaurant, George Davenport; real 
estate dealers, Thompson Land Company, Clement Thompson, manager; 
Timber Land Company, D. A. Robinson and Charles Watering; Hennepin 
Lumber Company has a saw-mill, though idle now; planing mill, with saw- 
mill, Alfred Wilson; photographs, A. L. Linquist; the Motley Telephone 
Company, organized 1907, V. Lockwood, president; S. W. Jacobs, secretary 
and treasurer; postmaster, E. G. Haymaker, who has been in charge since 
1909, and was preceded by George Mosher, Emma Daily and Frank New- 
kirk; stock dealer, George Palmer; Exchange Store — little of everything — 
J. R. Webster, who also sells feed, groceries, etc. ; physician. Dr. George 


About thirty years ago Motley village was incorporated, but, for some 
reason unknown, it was never legally recorded in the county records. The 
present officers are as follow : President, Fred Sears ; recorder, R. L. Bene- 
dict ; trustees, John O. Johnson, George Palmer, Louis Brower ; constables, 
Ralph Lyon and C. W. Aiken; justice of the peace, G. B. Gregory. The 
village has street and private wells for their only water supply. ]\Iounted 
hand pumps and a hook-and-ladder apparatus, with a volunteer fire com- 
pany, protect the buildings fairly well from fires. The streets and business 
places are illuminated by use of gasoline, through the medium of the appli- 
ances provided by the American Gas Light Company. 

The churches of the village are the Methodist Episcopal, Free Meth- 
odist, Norwegian Lutheran, German Lutheran and Catholic. The lodges 
are the Odd Fellows, Modern Woodmen of America, Modern Brotherhood 
and Grand Army of the Republic. A twelve thousand-dollar school build- 
ing was erected in 1909, by borrowing from the state funds, in way of 
issuing bonds drawing four per cent, i>ayable in fifteen years. 


Bellevue is the southeastern township in the county, on the east bank 
of the Mississippi, and constitutes township 39, range 31 and a part of 
range 32. It is bounded by the Mississippi on the west, by Buckman town- 
ship on the east. Little Falls and Pierz on the north and Benton county on 


the south. It formerly ran east to the county line and contained at one time 
twenty-eight thousand acres. It was organized in the spring of 1858, when 
it was six miles wide from north to south, and extended to the east a dis- 
tance of twenty-eight miles. A tract eighteen miles long was detached in 
1874 and formed into Buckman township, and in 1881 eighteen sections 
were taken from the east side and added to the latter township, thus reduc- 
ing Bellevue to its present limits. Among the first township officers were: 
R. Lambert, chairman of the board of supervisors; D. McDougal, clerk; 
Wilham Trask, treasurer; J. H. Hill, constable; John McGilles, justice of 
the peace; and John Frye, assessor. The population of Bellevue tovraship 
in 1910 was eight hundred and thirty-two. 

The first settlement was effected by John McGilles, a Scotchman, who 
made a claim in 1852, but soon sold to John B. Bearing and moved to 
Crow Wing. Duncan McDougal and Hugh Patterson made claims in sec- 
tions 20 and 21 about the same date, but removed to other parts subsequently. 
Rev. R. D. Kenney was for many years a missionary among the Indians, 
and settled in section 35 about 1853. He was a Vermonter. P. A. Green, 
of New York, came in the fall of 1854, taking a claim in section 35, on part 
of which the village of Royalton is now situated. Other pioneer settlers 
were : Richard Lambert. Daniel Lambert, William Trask and Stephen Hill. 
These all located near the Mississippi river, but within a few years the 
settlement extended toward the interior and the township was finally well 
settled up. 

The first school was at the house of Jasper Hill, in section 22, in 1857. 


This is the only village in the township, and is situated on the south 
line of the township and county. Its population in 1910 was six hundred 
and seventy-six. It dates its history from 1878, when it was platted by 
P. A. Green on his land in section 35. It was named Royalton, but seems 
not to have been recorded. In 1879 J. D. Logan purchased a part of section 
35 and had it surveyed and platted into a village called Royalton. Subse- 
quently, Green recorded his plat, and although it was the original place, it 
bears the position of an addition. It is located on the Platte river, on the 
Hne of the Northern Pacific railroad, near the south line of Morrison county. 
In 1 88 1 it is said to have had a postoffice, two churches, shops, grain ware- 
house and other business factors, .^t present it has six hundred and thirty- 
six population. 


The saw-mill of J. D. Logan & Company was built in 1879, and had a 
daily capacity of fifteen thousand feet. It also had one run of stones by 
which feed was ground. The mills and other interests of the village have 
been of material value to the neighborhood. 

Among the persons residing in this enterprising hamlet in the eighties 
were James Borden, James Chapman, Eugene Bowers, Robert Brown, Ira 
W. Bouck. Charles A. Green, Jasper Hill, Sylvester Henenlotter, a Prussian 
born in 1801 and the oldest living settler at one time; also Henry S. Hill, 
Mark Kobe, R. L. Lambert, Isaac P. Lambert and Stephen H. Muncy. 

Royalton was incorporated in 1888 and its present officers are: L. J. 
Dassow, president; J. J. Chirhart, E. A. Russell, F. G. Noggle, trustees; N. 
E. Pettitt, recorder. The village is supplied with electric lights by a current 
from Little Falls. 

The following are the business and professional factors of Royalton 
at the present date : Automobile agents, Logan & Wilson ; attorney-at-law, 
Byron R. Wilson ; banks, Farmers and Merchants State Bank, First National 
Bank; blacksmiths, D. L. .\llison, E. A. Stein; confectionery. \\". H. Gilmer, 
J. F. Ziegler, Ed Lakin, H. M. Logan; clothing, Joseph Garber; creamery, 
Royalton Farmers Co-operative .\ssociation ; drugs, A. O. Heiberg; dry 
goods, Joseph Garber; dray, Herman Meyer; elevators. Powers Elevator 
Company, J. G. Bargabos & Son ; farm implements, C. D. Bourke, George 
N. Chirhart, F. H. Lakin; flour-mills, Daniel Fussy; furniture, C. C. Lisle; 
general dealers, J. H. Russell, R. Wilde, John Welna; grocer, Fred Galley; 
hotels, Ole Isaksen, Matt Newman, Joseph Orth ; harness, John Schwartz ; 
hardware, Albert C. Bouck. Barney Fietsam ; ice dealer, B. H. Cornell ; 
jewelry, F. B. Logan; lumber, Rudd Lumber Company; livery. .A.. L. .Arm- 
strong, Joseph Newman; millinery. Mrs. Harris Noggle; meat markets, Will- 
iam Sparrow, C. H. Werner; photographer, William Getzkow; painter and 
paper hangers, H. T. Gilbert, George Miller ; Royalton Power and Light Com- 
]iany ; ncwsjiaper. The Banner; notary public, George E. Wilson; physician 
and surgeon. Dr. A. M. Watson; real estate, Frank T. Johnson, M. Dunlap, 
R. K. Carnes; shoe store, Gustav Kern; saloons, George Armstrong, M. K. 
Shroch, W. J. Broker, J. A. Hemberger; postmaster, W. L. McGonagle; 
tailor, A. Halverson ; barber. I'.d La^in ; veterinary, Dr. A. M. Broiling; 
well drillers. C. H. Dawley, J. H. Miller. 

The churches are Methodist Episcopal, Episcopal and Catholic. 



Buckman township, which formerly inchided Lakin and Morrill town- 
ships, is in range 30 and half of range 31 and embraces fifty-four sections 
of land within its present borders. It is south of Agram and Pierz town- 
ships, west of Morrill, north of the Benton county line and west of Bellevue 
township. The surface of most of this territory is undulating, the greater 
portion being made up of prairie and oak groves. The soil varies from a 
light sandy to a dark loam with a gravel sub-soil. 

In igio, the population was eight hundred and forty-eight. This sub- 
division of Morrison county was organized into a civil township in 1874, 
and derived its name from Hon. C. B. Buckman, one of the early settlers. 
At first it contained three congressional townships, but in 1881 it was reduced 
by the formation of other townships to its present limits, and is now six 
miles by nine miles in extent. The first election was held in August, 1874, 
when the following officers were elected : C. B. Buckman, chairman ; A. 
Skinner and William H. Young, supervisors; J. C. Johnson, clerk; G. W. 
Harvey and E. J. Verback, justices of the peace; J. H. Docken, treasurer; 
William H. Young, assessor; G. F. Geer and Henry Love, constables. 

The first child born in Buckman township was Charles H. Johnson, 
on November 28, 1872. John Ebert was first to die in the township, in 
1874. A postofiice was established called Buckman, in 1879, with Ed. 
Arnold as postmaster. 


The original settler in the township as now constituted was Joseph 
Mishkee. a Polander, who located in section 4 in 1871. William H. Young, 
a native of Maine, settled in section 22 the same autumn, but moved to Mis- 
souri in 1877. About the same date (1877) came John L. Finch a New 
Yorker, who located in section 22. Norway sent its settlers here in the per- 
sons of J. C. Johnson and J. H. Docken, both coming in 1872, and these 
were soon followed by C. B. Buckman, Michael Sand, A. B. Skinner and 
Edmund Geer. Also later came James H. Morton. A. B. Skinner and 
Andrew McCutcheon. 

The churches and schools are treated in separate chapters, hence not 
mentioned in this connection. 

The village of Buckman, in section 4, range 30, has a population of 


about one hundred and forty, and has the usual number of shops and stores 
for a place of its size. 

Among the present business and social interests may be mentioned : The 
fine new Catholic church built of brick, erected in 1903; its basement is of 
solid granite walls six to eight feet thick. The general merchandise store 
is kept by John Schmolke, who also deals in real estate. Another substantial 
business firm is that of Brande Brothers, John and Joseph, who carry harness 
goods, shoes, etc. A saloon is operated by Lawrence Billig. Mueller 
Brothers carry a general merchandise stock and run a saloon. Joseph A. 
Janson is village blacksmith and recorder. Implements are sold by James 
A. Dengel, and implements and hardware by Mrs. Frank Mischke. A racket 
store is operated by John Hesch. In 1913 the Buckman Farmers Creamery 
was organized, with first officers as follow : John Kelzenberg, president ; 
John Poster, Peter J. Mueller, George Docken, directors; Joseph Hortsch, 
treasurer, and .August B. Dehler, secretary. 

The 1910 census gave Buckman as having one hundred and thirtv-se\-en 


Little Falls is one of the central townships in Morrison county and at 
one time had a vast extent of domain. West of the Mississippi it included 
one entire township and a fraction of another, in all alx)ut forty-one miles, 
while on the east side of the stream it extended to the eastern line of the 
county, but after Pierz was cut off it left it twelve miles to its eastern border 
on that side of the Mississippi. Its north line is a correction line by govern- 
ment surveys, which leaves the territory about one mile less in width than a 
regular congressional township. Through an error when laying out the 
township of Pierz, twelve sections of Little Falls were left where now is 
situated Hillman and Mt. Morris townships, hence Little Falls was really in 
two parts of the county for a time, with Pierz township between them. 

That part of this townshi]) lying west of the Mississippi is level timber 
land and meadow land, and possesses a soil seldom e.xcellcd for its richness. 


The township was organized in 1858, and an election was held on May 
n. when these officers were elected: P. B. Thompson (chairman); J. R. 


Perkins, Nathan Bates, board of supervisors; William Morse, clerk; T. M. 
Smith, assessor; F. X. Gravel, treasurer. The meeting was held at John 
Ault's hotel, later styled the \'asaly House, and the number of votes cast 
was eighty-two. 

Outside of the city of Little Falls, the 19 lo census returns gave the 
township's population as three hundred and fifty-six. 


The early settlement on the east side of the river is treated in the city 
history. The first to locate on the west side of the river, was Milo Porter, 
who moved from the village on the east side, in 1868. 

The main stream on the west side of the Mississippi in this township is 
Pike creek, which flows eastward through the central part. Little Elk river 
crosses the extreme northeastern portion of the township and afifords a fine 
water power. To the east of the ^Mississippi river, in the township, the 
surface is quite level, or gently rolling, save along' the streams east, where it 
is quite broken. The soil is sandy loam — both light and dark loam — with 
here and there streaks of clay. 


A ferry was started just above the village of Little Falls in 1857, by 
William Sturgis, which was in use three years, then abandoned. One was 
also established at Swan river by William Aitkin, soon after his location in 
1848. and was continued until 1863. 

The suspension of the ferry above mentioned caused much trouble in 
crossing and recrossing the Mississippi at this point. There was no crossing 
within the county limits below Ft. Ripley, where a ferry was established by 
the United States government in 1849-50. For several years the principal 
means of crossing the stream was by fording near Swan river, which, how- 
ever, was not unattended by danger, and could only be accomplished during 
low water. April i, 1868, the board of county commissioners of Morrison 
count}- passed a resolution appropriating six hundred dollars for the estab- 
lishment of three ferries in the county, the points designated being Belle 
Prairie. Little Falls and Bellevue, each to have one-third of the amount 
named. Little Falls and Belle Prairie united their funds and secured the 
establishment of a ferry at the former place, just above the town site. This 


remedied what had come to be a great draw-back to trade and travel to and 
from the county seat. 


Pierz is one of the central-eastern civil townships in Morrison county, 
and is made up of congressional township 40. range 30 and part of range 31, 
and has fifty sections of land. When first formed it had much more terri- 
tory within its limits. That portion now known as Rich Prairie was what 
attracted settlers to this portion of Morrison county. This lies in the south- 
western part and is ajjout three miles wide from east to west and from seven 
to eight miles long. The soil is a rich, dark loam and very productive. 
Aside from this tract the township is, or was. mostly all timber of the 
heaviest pine forest type. It was not improved until in the nineties. 


T. Elwell, later of Minneapolis, was the first man to locate within this 
township as now bounded. He undertook to build a city near the southwest 
corner of this township — 41 north, range 29 west — on the banks of Skunk 
river, in 1858. There he constructed a large saw-mill and a commodious 
hotel. He sold a goodly number of town lots. He named his place "Granite 
City," for granite rock were scattered here and there near his cherished loca- 
tion, and he designed to use his material with which to build a city. He 
failed in his enterprise and not a vestige of a town remained in the eighties 
— not even his mill iinproxements. Many claims were selected at that date 
and many contemplated building for themselves homes in this wonderland. 
The land was well calculated for successful agricultural purposes; but the 
Civil War came on and checked immigration. 

It was in the autumn of 1S65 when Herman J. Billing, a German, went 
in with his family and spent the winter at Granite City in the old hotel build- 
ing. The spring following he took a claim in section 8, township 40, range 
30, but did not remain long, moving to Otter Tail county. Chris Verning, 
William Bergenhausen. hVank Yeager, John Roch, Nicholas Meyer, Rein- 
hart Stumpf, Frank Konen, and others all settled in the township in the 
spring and summer of 1866. Rich Prairie was their choice. In iS8ti the 
United States census gave this township a population of almost one thou- 
sand people. The iqio enumeration gi\es it as six hundred and thirty-one. 



Morrison county, noted for its numerous and very large civil sub-divi- 
sions, had as one illustration of vast civil territory, Pierz township. The 
records show that when it was organized in 1868 it contained townships 40 
and 41, range 30; I)ut in 1874, townships 40 and 41, range 29, were added, 
and this continued to be its domain until Hilman and Mt. Morris were created 
from a part of its territory. Its present territory is about one half its 
former extent. The Soo line of railroad runs through the township from 
northeast to southwest. It was cut down to its present boundaries in 1902. 
It was named in honor of that famous, faithful old Catholic priest. Father 
Pierz, who was instrumental in inducing Germans to settle there. The first 
election was held at the house of Nicholas Meyer, where the following were 
elected to township offices : Herman J. Billings, John Roch and Frank 
Yeager, supervisors ; Frank Konen, clerk ; Christ Virning, treasurer ; R. 
Stumpf, assessor; William Bergenhausen, constable; Nicholas Meyer and 
Frank Konen, justices of the peace. 


Father Pierz held the first religious services, and built a church in 1868. 
The same season a school was taught by Frank Konen. In 1880 the town- 
ship had two general stores — one by Blake & Bent felt, and the other by 
Frank Yeager. 

A saw-mill was constructed in 1874 by T. Casper on the Skunk river. 
Its daily cutting capacity was two thousand feet of lumber. In 1876 grain 
grinding machinery was added and in 1881 steam power was furnished. 

The Pierz postoffice was established in 1873, at the house of Frank 
Konen, who was postmaster three years, when James Hall was appointed. 
Following him came George Whitney in 1876, when the name was changed 
to Rich Prairie. In 1878 the office was moved to the house of Peter W. 
Blake, who was merchant and postmaster in 1881 and possibly much later. 


By reason of the establishment of a postoffice called Pierz, there sprung 
up a hamlet by that name on the north line of the township in section 8. 


Upon the building of the Soo railroad in later years, a station was estab- 
lished al)out the center of the township, known as New Pierz or Pierz sta- 
tion. Another change is being effected this season (1915), the name New 
Pierz having been changed to Gcnola. The station on the railroad and the 
bank both made this change in the month of Jnlv- 


Pierz, a town of five hundred and forty-five population in 191 > was 
platted in section 8, of Pierz township, in October, 1887. but what is now 
known as Pierz was platted in 1891 by forty-three persons. It is situated in 
the north half of the south half of section 8, township 40, range 30, and in 
sections 34 and 35, of township 41. range 30. It was re-surveyed and cor- 
rected to date in 1903. Its present commercial interests are as follow: 
Physicians, Drs. E. H. KerkholT, R. T. Healy; Model Clothing Company, 
Joe Ries, proprietor; real estate, Joseph H. Grell; hardware, etc., J. H. Grell; 
garage and automobiles, Henry Gau : jeweler, F. J. Gilbride ; harness goods. 
William Eller; shoes and furnishing goods, Herm Koering; blacksmithing, 
John Dombovy; Columbia Hotel, "SI. Werniskirchen, proprietor; general 
dealer, Frank Grell ; general merchandise, P. A. Hartman ; opera house, 
Frank Faust; Pierz Hotel. H. Bares, proprietor; clothing and furnishing, 
Barney Burton ; German .State Bank, A. R. Davidson, president ; "Golden 
Rule" dry goods store. F. X. \iring & Company; hardware and groceries, 
Pierz Mercantile Company; groceries, Faust Brothers; Rich Prairie Milling 
Company; meat market, John Gassert, proprietor; millinery, Clara Xohmer, 
Mrs. Anna X'anderhoor ; blacksmithing, Meyers Brothers ; saloon, Hoheil & 
Gross, John (Jrell; barber, Frank l^roudc. Ji>hn C. Boebme ; hardware and 
groceries. Jacob Neisius; drugs, R. M. Duncon; general merchandise. I. P.. 
Hartman. The newspaper is the Journal. F. H. Kerkhoff, publisher. 

Pierz was incorporated in January, 1892; water mains were put in 
some time in 1895; electric lights and power transmitted {von\ Little b'alls 
first operated in 1912. Ten cents per kilowat is charged by the council, but 
they obtain a rate in its purchase amounting to only four cents. 


Genola was platted in 1908 and is a railway station on the Soo railroad 
in Pierz township, two miles from the northern line of the township, in sec- 


tion 18. It is a good small trading point — a hamlet of good promise. Its 
present business interests are as follow : First State Bank ; Peter Bekka, 
blacksmith ; Handy Litke, saloon ; Harsch & Grell, hardware and groceries ; 
Peter Kelgenberg, hardware and groceries ; F. O. Bolster, general merchan- 
dise; New Pierz Grain Company, Peter Solinger, manager; J. M. McGentry, 
of St. Cloud, operates a potato warehouse. 


On the west side of the Mississippi river and in what is described by 
government survey as parts of township 127 in ranges 29 and 30, is Two 
Rivers township. The surface of the land is undulating and the soil is light 
near the river but darker as one goes farther back. The eastern part is 
prairie land and originally had light brush growing on it. The central and 
western portions are hea\ily timbered and the soil varies from light to dark, 
rich loam. 

Two Rivers township had a population of eight hundred and twelve 
in 1910. It derived its name from the stream Two Rivers, which flows 
through its limits and mingles its waters with those of the Mississippi. 


The organization of this subdivision of Morrison county was author- 
ized by the county commissioners, September 5, 1865. The first officers 
were: George Borman f chairman), Charles Austin and John Betzoldt, 
supervisors; Aaron Canfield, clerk; William Trask. Sr., treasurer; Alexander 
D. Cash and Nicholas Kinzer, justices of the peace; Allen Blanchard and 
Jacob Thramer, constables. 

Originally the township included two and one-half congressional town- 
ships, but was reduced to its present size by the formation of Elmdale in the 
spring of 1881, by which over half of the original territory was detached. 


The pioneer settler is believed to have been William Trask, a native of 
Kennebec county, Maine, who settled here in 1861, and died at the old home- 


stead in section 5, in 1876, and was buried in Bellevue cemetery. Jacob 
Thramer, a German, located in section 17, in 1865, and was still a resident 
of that location in the eighties. Nicholas Kinzer, another German, came in 
1864. locating in section 20. John and Jacob Betzoldt, Germans, also came 
in 1864. Calvin A. Tuttle, born in Connecticut in 181 1, settled here in 
1867, in section 8. He came to Minnesota in 1838 and was intimately 
associated with all the early history of !\Iinncsota Territory. 


The first marriage in this township was performed in February, 1867. 
and John Bocknech and Susan Simon were the contracting parties. The 
husband died on June 26 that year, being among the first to die in the town- 
ship. The first white child born was John Thramer, July 2-j. 1865. The 
earliest school taught was in the dwelling of John Betzoldt in the autumn 
of 1866, and the next in a log school house in section 20. Rev. Father 
Buch, a Catholic, preached the first sermon in the same building. The first 
saw-mills here were owned and operated by C. A. and C. J. Tuttle. About 
1880 a flouring-mill was erected by Capt. Robert B. Young and son. 

Among the residents of this township in 1881 may be recalled the fol- 
lowing: Henry Armstrong, of Holland; George Borman, of Ohio; Frank- 
lin P. Farrow, a native of Minneapolis; I. L. Foster, of New Brunswick; 
John George Greissel, of Germany; Michael F. Gessner, of Baden, Germany; 
Elijah D. Goodwin, of Nova Scotia; Calhoun Hays, of West Virginia; 
Samuel W. Muncy, of Maine; Alexander McLeod, of Scotland; Paul Noe, 
of Bavaria; Silas S. Parmeter, of New York state; Henry A. Rhoda, a Ger- 
man; James Stanley, of Iowa; Richard L., Samuel W. and Daniel Trask, all 
•of Maine; Calvin A. Tuttle, of Connecticut; Capt. Robert B. Young, of 
Pennsyhania. Thus it will be obserxed that all sections of this country and 
many foreign lands were rc])resentc(l in the first settlement of Two Ri\-ers 


Bowlus is one of two \illages within Twn I\i\ers townslii]). Its popula- 
tion in 19 1 5 was reported as being one hundred and sixty-five. It is a .station 
point on the Soo railroad and is situated in section 1 2. Its business interests 
serve well the immediate needs of the farming community surrounding it. 


It still retains a postoffice, notwithstanding the numerous rural free delivery 
routes which have in recent years been established. 

The other hamlet is North Prairie in section 20, which is smaller than 


Swan River township is in the southwestern part of Morrison county, 
north from Two Rivers and Elmdale townships, and comprises township 128, 
range 30 and a fraction of 29, along the west bank of the Mississippi river. 
It at one date included the present domain of Two Rivers, except a strip two 
miles wide at the north which was detached from Little Falls. It took its 
name from a stream of that name within its borders, which stream is the out- 
let of Swan Lake, which water sheet was named by the Chippewas, "Wabazu 
Zagiagun," the first word meaning "Swan" in Indian dialect. The United 
States census gave the population in 1910 as being one thousand two hundred 
and twenty-five. 

Legallv the township dates its history from December, 1874, when the 
countv commissioners, in response to a petition of the qualified voters of the 
district, ordered a township set off and an election held the January following, 
at which officers were chosen as follow : F. X. Ladoux, Hans C. Hanson 
and ]\Iilton Cahorn, supervisors ; H. S. Clyde, clerk ; F. S. Flint and J. Mason, 
justices of the peace; an assessor was not elected until later in the year in the 
person of F. S. Flint; and also a treasurer, which position was first held by 
Henry Coe. 


Swan River had for its first settler, George Rice, who located in section 
2, in 1856, and Hiram Sanders took a claim in section 8, in the same year. 
In 1857 came Samuel Lee, later of Little Falls, who located in section 8. It 
is thought there were several transient settlers prior to any of these dates, but 
none who made permanent homes for themselves. The opposite side of the 
Mississippi had been settled as early as 1849. It was stated in 1881 that the 
oldest living settler was James Green, a native of Somersetshire, England, 
who came to 'Minnesota in 1855, locating at Little Falls, but removing to Swan 
River township in 1858. He served in the Union cause during the Civil War. 

Henry Meyers located here in 1865, taking a homestead in section 8. He 
was a native of New York, born in 181 1, served in the Seminole War, came 


to Minnesota in 1838, and for three years was a soldier in the Civil War. 
Robert Lewis, of Pennsylvania, born in 1822, arrived in Minnesota in 1855. 
and came to Swan River township in the autum of 1865. Charles Gilpatrick, 
born in Maine, came to Minnesota in 1865, having served in the Civil War 
three years. 

The first birth here was in the family of Samuel Lee, on July 2. 1859. 
The child was named George Silas Lee. He was later in company with his 
father in the milling enterprise at the old Village of Swan River, near Little 

Among those owning lands and residing in this township in the early 
eighties were these: Oscar L. Clyde, of Mercer county, Pennsylvania; Henry 
S. Clyde, of the same place; Dura Corbin, of Chautauqua, New York; James 
Green, of English birth; John Hamlin, one of the organizers of the township; 
Robert Lewis, of Beaver county, Pennsylvania ; Charles W. Lakin and George 
W. Muncy, of Maine; N. M. O'Donnell, of Ireland; Levi T. Smith, of Johnson 
county, Iowa ; Henry Vanzile, of New York state. 

Being so near to Little Falls city there are no villages within Swan River 
township, except the hamlet of Ledoux, in the north part. Its interests are 
identical with that of Little Falls township. 


The central township in Morrison county, along the western line, is 
known as Parker. It constitutes congressional township 130, range 31. It 
was detached from old Grand Prairie township in 1880. It was named for 
its settler, G. F. Parker. Its population in 1910 was four hundred and 
seventy-nine. The surface is gently rolling, and was originally covered with 
a dense growth of excellent timber, mostly of the hardwood varieties, yet a 
fair growth of stately pine trees. The soil is clay and lilack loam. It is 
drained and watered by the South fork of Little Elk river, along which stream 
and branches may be found extensive tracts of marsh lands or wild meadow. 
There are numerous small lakes within the territory, most of which are stocked 
with excellent fish. In 1880 there were alreadx^ tjiirty homesteads taken ui> 
and being ini])roved by sturdy husbandmen. 



Parker was organized in the spring of 1880, when a town meeting was 
held at the cabin home of J. W. Manbeck, in section 26, at which time and 
place the following were elected township officers: R. W. Jones (chairman), 
H. A. McCrary, and a Mr, Snow, superxisors ; J- W. Manbeck, clerk ; J. W. 
Jones, assessor; G. F. Parker ( for whom the township was named), treasurer. 

The gentlemen just named constituted about all the settlers at the time 
of the organization of the township. The founder, George F. Parker, was 
a native of Bridgewater, Massachusetts, where he was born in 1846. He 
served as a soldier in the Civil War, one year in the Forty-second Regiment 
Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, and nineteen months in the Second Massa- 
chusetts Cavalry, five months of which he spent in Andersonville prison, 

Other prominent and early pioneers here were : Windsor L. Boyce, of 
York state; D. M. Brooks, of Kentucky; James W. Manbeck, one of the 
organizers of the township, from Harrison county, Ohio ; and Henry A. 
McCrary, of Gibson county, Indiana. 

The first school district was formed in the spring of 1881, when a small 
school house was erected in section 22, in which Mrs. Aaron Boyce had the 
distinction of being the first teacher. A postoffice was established in 1880, 
in section 14, with D. M. Brooks as postmaster. Mail was received via 
Little Falls. The earliest birth here was Hattie Jones, April 14, 1880. 


Scandia Valley township was organized as the result of a petition pre- 
sented the commissioners and granted by that body in October, 1893. ^rid 
constitutes township 132, range 31. Its population in 1910 was one hundred 
and fifty-eight. Its early settlers were included in the list given for Motley 
and adjoining townships, at present constituted. There are no towns or vil- 
lages within this township, except the hamlet of Lincoln, near Fish Trap lake. 


The surface of Scandia Valley township is undulating, mostly timbered 
and has excellent pine land. There is also some of the finest hardwood timber 


to be found in Minnesota. Wild meadow, light brush land — almost prairie — • 
make up the balance. The soil is mi.xed and varied owing to location. On 
the uplands, the several grades of sandy loam, with occasional tracts of clay 
loam, are found. It is an e.xcellent agricultural district for Morrison county^ 
Lake Alexander is in the south-central portion, and it is a beautiful sheet 
of water; among the most charming of all the many thousands of lakes within 
the borders of Minnesota. It is six miles long, and from one to three miles 
wide. Its shores and timber skirts have long attracted the hunter and fisher, 
for here they get game and fish to their heart's content. Northwest of this 
is Fish Trap lake, a smaller body of water, and north of this is still another 
lakelet known as Black Bass lake, but known to the Indians as Lost .\lexander. 


Elmdale township is the extreme southwestern township in Morrison 
county. It comprises all of congressional township 127, range 31, and half of 
range 30. The surface of this portion of Morrison county was originally, and 
is yet to a large extent, covered with excellent timber, with an occasional patch 
of brush and prairie land. The soil is of a rich, dark loam. Two Rivers, that 
beautiful stream, meanders through this section of the county on its way to the 
great Father of Waters. Along the stream are found many fine native 


Elmdale was a part of Two Rivers township until 1881, when it became a 
separate ci\il division of the county. The organization was effected on A])ril 
II, when these were elected township officers: Joseph Thomas, Benedict 
Thompson and Andrew Ferrell, supervisors ; J- J- Jacobson, clerk ; J. H. 
.Mitchell, treasurer; M. P. Hansen, asses.sor; F. F. Thornberry and J. N. 
Ferrell, justices of the peace. The schools and churches arc mentioned in 
special chapters on these topics. 

The "settlement" is not fully known to present residents — many are the 
changes wrought out in forty or fifty years in this ])ortion of the county. It 
is known that a few had settled here before the Civil War. but just who they 
were and where they located it is not easy today to ascertain. In 1880 the 
oldest living settler was known to be William Bovie, who made his claim in 


1865, in section S, but later removed to section 17. Peter Flansen came in 
the same season, locating in section 8. Andrew Ferrell located in section 24 
in 1870, and was succeeded by John Buckley and J. J. Jacobson. Other set- 
tlers were those already mentioned as having been elected as township officers 
when the organization was completed in 1881. Another hardy pioneer here 
was Knud Hans Gunderson, a Danish settler, born in 1841, located at St. 
Cloud in 1867 and in Elmdale township in 1871. He bought a farm in sec- 
tion 8, and in 1878 put a stock of goods on sale in his residence and later in a 
store building. 

The population of Elmdale township in 19 10 was, according to the 
United States census returns, one thousand fi\'e hundred and seventy-four. 
There is a small trading point known as Elmdale in this township. It is situ- 
ated in the northeast corner of the township. The village of Upsala is in 
section 18, and is a convenient trading point. 



The following business and professional interests obtained at the village 
of Upsala in the month of .\ugust, 1915: Farmers State Bank, A. M. Borg- 
strom, cashier; creamery, Peter Viehouser, butter-maker; Elmdale Telephone 
Company, Mrs. A. M. Borgstrom, operator ; lumber and furniture dealers, 
J. S. Borgstrom; dry goods stores, Charles Swedback, Reuben Erickson; 
grocery, Henry Hedin, C. J- Erickson, Alf Pehrson ; confectionery and 
millinery, Mrs. A. M. Borgstrom ; blacksmithing, Alexander Bergman ; feed 
mill, Alex Schultz; meat market, George Schultz ; garage, Erick C. Anderson; 
implement and harness shop, .Anderson & Erickson. 

The present churches at Upsala are the Swedish Lutheran, with Rev. P. S. 
Miller, pastor; the Swedish Mission, with Rev. John Peterson in charge; and 
the Baptist church, which has no pastor at this time. 


Green Prairie township comprises a part of township 130, in range 29, 
and at one time contained three full and a fractional congressional townships, 
but at present contains only about fifteen sections of land along the west bank 
of the Mississippi ri\'er, north from Little Falls city. It was named for its 


first settler, Charles H. Green, a native of Glens Falls, New York, who came 
here in 1855, settling in section 5. At the time of the breaking out of the 
Civil War, he enlisted in the Third Regiment -Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. 
In the awful fight at Murfreesboro, while defending the colors, after the sur- 
render of his regiment, he \\as struck by si.xteen Rebel bullets and pierced by 
a bayonet. 

In June, 1855, George G. Kimball became the second settler; he located 
near Green's place. He was from Maine and was also a soldier in the Rebel- 
lion, enlisting in 1861. He never returned to his claim, but located in Belle 
Prairie township. 

William Rasicot settled in section 32, of what was then Green Prairie, 
in May, 1857. He went to the war and served as a gallant soldier, returned 
and took up a homestead in the autumn of 1865. There were se\eral other 
settlers, but all went to the war or removed about war days and never returned. 
The cabins they deserted were found and some of them occupied by newer 

The first school was taught in this township in 1867 by Miss Mary Denny; 
this was in a rude, frame building, built by subscription, in section 17. 


Green Prairie township was organized in the spring of 1868, and then 
embraced all of Morrison county lying west of the Mississippi river and north 
of township 129. It had formerly been a part of Belle Prairie township. In 
1879 all that part lying north of township 131 was organized as Motley town- 
ship, and in the spring of 1880 Green Prairie was reduced to its present limits. 
Parker township being the last territory taken from it. The churches and 
.schools of this territory are treated in separate chapters. 

(irecn Prairie postoftice was established about 1869, with .Martin Hall 
as postmaster. Mail was obtained once a week from I't. Ripley, and after the 
abandonment of that military post, mail was received from Little Falls office 

In the present and former territory of this township quite early settlers 
included these: Ephraim Bates, of New York; John Denny, of England; 
August II. Dorman, a German; ex-Sergeant Edward Davis, of South Wales; 
James Finney, Martin Hall, of New York; Rufus Henderson, of Canada; 
Moses Miner, of Michigan; John Pennock, of Bradford, Pennsylvania; Will- 
iairi Rasicot, a Canadian; George Swindell, an iMiglishman ; and Gilbert T. 
Smith, of New York state. 


The present township of Green Prairie had a population in 1910 of two 
hundred and twenty-six. It is well developed, and while its territory is small 
it has many beautiful farm homes and a contented, happy people. 


The third township from the south and the fourth from the north line 
of Morrison county is known as Culdrum. It was cut off from Little Falls 
township in 1870 and then extended to the county line on the west, but since 
then Pike Creek has been taken from its eastern portion. As now constituted 
it comprises simply congressionail township 129, range 31 west, hence is six 
miles square. Its first township election was held on June 2, 1870, when 
officers were elected as follow : Daniel Campbell, W. W. Bain, and William 
Krueger, supervisors ; VV. W. Bain, clerk ; John Workman, treasurer ; Will- 
iam Rhoda, assessor ; W. W. Bain, justice of the peace. 

The first school was taught in 1868, by Mrs. Edna A. Barnard in a 
small log building. 

Early settlers included these : William W. Bain ; Nazair Blais, a Can- 
adian ; Fred Henry Billings, of Wisconsin; Daniel H. Campbell, of Ireland; 
Martin Kinney, an Irishman ; John Kinney, an Irishman ; Frederick Muskey, 
a native of Germany; William Rhoda, a native of Berlin, Germany; and 
John Wendt. The first settler was J. C. Stebbins, in 1859. The next year 
came John Shanks. The war caused the settlement to be suspended. 

The population of Culdrum township in 19 10 was eight hundred and 

The southwestern branch of the Northern Pacific railroad runs through 
the southern part of the township, with a station point named Flensburg, 
situated in sections 31 and 36 and sections 23 and 24. It is merely a hamlet 
station point, having less than fifty inhabitants. 

It may be added that after the Civil War ended a new settlement sprung 
up in which William Rhoda was first, and he was followed by D. H. Camp- 
bell, John Workman and W. W. Bain. 


The name of Ft. Ripley was originally Ft. Gaines, and it was located 
on the Mississippi river, in the northern part of what is now Crow Wing 


county, but because of its nearness to Ripley township and its intimate asso- 
ciations in days gone by, it will here be mentioned as a part of the annals of 
Alorrison county. In fact, a part of the government reservation was within 
Ripley township, and consisted of over fifteen hundred acres of land and two 
miles of river front. It was established in 1849, and used as a military post 
of the United States government until July, 1878. Just above the fort, 
proper, a ferry was established, by the government with eight hundred feet 
of strong cable, at a cost of two thousand five hundred dollars. When the 
fort was abandoned, this was sold to D. S. Moore, and was subsequently 
operated by him. The original barracks were built of logs, many of which 
were in existence in the nineties, and possibly some are still to be found, 
though greatly decayed by age and exposure to the elements. 

The later buildings, those in use until its abandonment, were three 
double sets of officers' quarters, one large hospital erected at a cost of four 
thousand five hundred dollars, barracks to accommodate two full companies, 
a bakery, powder magazine, three blockhouses with the necessary portholes 
for cannon and musketry, bathhouses, carpenter and blacksmiths shops, 
guardhouse, warehouses, two sets of laundress quarters, wagon shed and 
stables for thirty mules, twelve horses, four oxen, and officers" horses. 
Several buildings were destroyed by fire in 1876. Another fire occurred in 
June, 1868, when Ordnance Sergeant Frantzkee with his four children per- 
ished in the flames. His wife escaped only to live a hopeless lunatic. 

A cemetery was laid out an early date and enclosed with a high picket 
fence. Private Burns was the first to be laid to rest in that sacred enclosure. 
In all, up to 1880, there had been buried there fifty-two bodies, including 
soldiers and members of their families. Many of these were subsequently 
removed to the National cemetery at Rock Island. Illinois, with those of other 
abandoned military posts. 

\\'hen the post was finally abandoned ex-Sergeant I)a\is was given 
charge of the place, to prevent pillage of |)roperty. In the "olden days," 
there were many hap])y gatherings at the fort, citizens from other points 
joining with officers and soldiers in social dances and general merrymaking. 
A library was akso maintained, and theatres held frequently, and thus manj' 
a long winter night was spent on the wild frontier. 



At present there are thirty-one civil townships in Morrison county, many 
of whicli are not very well settled and have hut little routine history, such as 
their organization and a few points worthy of preservation in the present- 
day annals of the county. Others have been treated as being settled and as 
a part of some one or more of the older townships in the county, hence will 
necessarily be much shorter than those heretofore mentioned. The sub- 
joined include such townships. 


Agram township is just to the east of Little Falls, and is a part of 
congressional township 40. range 31. The Soo railroad line runs in a diag- 
onal course through its territory from southwest to northeast. It has no 
towns or villages and trades at both Pierz and the city of Little Falls. It 
was originally a part of Little Falls township, also of Pierz. It was first 
known as Fish Lake township, but in July, 1886, the county commissioners 
changed its name to Agram. It had a population in 1910 of two hundred 
and n.inety-two. Its surface is somewhat broken. Farming is the chief 
occupation and is carried on to a very high state. 


Rails Prairie township was created by the commissioners on January S, 
1890, when its territory had only twenty-three voters. Its domain consist^ 
of township 132, range 30 — thirty-six sections of land. The first election, 
was held at the house of Case Rails, for whom the township was named. 
He resided on section 18, and this election was held on January 27, 1890., 
It is in the northwestern part of the county, with the Mississippi river for itS' 
eastern boundary, and is south of Rosing township, east of Scandia and north 
of Clough township. Its population in igio was two hundred and ninety- 
six. At one time it belonged to Motley township. It is without villages 
and is a fairly good agricultural section, with much rough land and timber. 



Clough township, is situated on the western bank of the Mississippi 
river and comprises forty-two sections of land, in both ranges 29 and 30J 
in township 131. Motley once embraced this territory. Its population by 
the 1910 census was two hundred and seventy-two. It is void of towns, 
villages or railroads; is south of Rails Prairie township, north of Darling 
and east of Gushing township. It was organized in October, 1890. Its 
northern part, being close to old Ft. Ripley, in Crow Wing county, was set- 
tled quite early, but the pioneers were driven off or scared off by the Indian 
outljreak in 1862 and .settlers did not come in then till long after the Civil 
War period. 


Darling township is congressional township 130, range 30, and was, 
until October, 1907, known as Randall townshij). It was originallv made 
a township for civil and election purposes on January 7, 1891. In 1910 
its population was five hundred and thirty-six. It is situated south of 
Clough, west of Green Prairie, north of Pike Greek and east of Parker 
township. The village of Darling in section 35, and Randall in section 4, 
are both station points on the Northern Pacific railroad. The latter has a 
population of two hundred. Elk river flows meanderingly through this 
town.ship, emptying into the Mississippi just above Little Falls city. Just 
who first located within this part of Morrison county is now a disputed 
question, hence the historian will not undertake to decide. 


Gushing township was created by act of the board of county commis- 
sioners on October 12, 1891. It comprises township 131, range 31. The 
first election was held at the house of G. W. Wilson, October 30, 1891. It 
is situated on the west border line of the county, with Todd county at the 
west, Clough township at the east, Scandia townshij) on the north and 
Parker township at the south. The population in 1910 was three hundred 
and thirteen. The Northern Pacific railroad runs through this township 
diagonally from southeast t<j northwest, with a station at Gushing. The 
villages of Lincoln and Randall are the nearest trading places for its people. 
Its territory was once embraced in Motley township. 



Mount Morris township was created by act of the board of county 
commissioners in March. 1897. ^^ originally belonged to Little Falls or 
Pierz township. It is not yet well developed, has no towns or railroad 
facilities, and is not well located for profitable farming. It is situated in 
township 40, range 28 and contains thirty sections. The first township 
meeting was held at the house of G. W. Sisler, March 17, 1897. In 19 10 
its population was only fifty-four. It is bounded on the east by Mille Lacs 
county, on the south by Lakin township, on the west by Hillman township 
and on the north by Mille Lacs county and Leigh township of Morrison 


Pulaski township comprises congressional township 42, range 28, and 
was originally a part of Ripley township, when that was a very large civil 
subdivision of this county. As now bounded, it is south of Crow Wing 
county, west of Richardson township, north of Granite township, and east 
of Platte township. The Platte river strikes its extreme northwestern cor- 
ner. There are no towns within its borders, neither railroads. It was set 
off from Ripley in January, 1899, and the first township meeting was held 
at the home of John Harmoschinski. The population of the township in 
1910 was one hundred and twent\-nine. Of its early settlement but little 
can now be learned. 


Platte township was organized by act of the county commissioners in 
January, 1899, and comprises all of congressional township 42, range 30. 
On January 24, 1899, the first town meeting was held at the house of 
Charles Richner when township officers were elected. Platte is south from 
Crow Wing county line, west from Pulaski, north from Buh and east from 
Ripley township, and is six miles square. Platte river runs diagonally from 
northeast to southwest through its territory. There are no towns or rail- 
roads within the township. Its population in 1910 was two hundred and 
nine. The territory once belonged to that of Ripley. 



Granite township was formed in July, 1902, and is congressional town- 
ship 41, range 29, and contains thirty-six sections. It is south of Pulaski, 
west from Leigh, north from Hillman and Pierz and east from Buh town- 
ship. Its population in 1910 was four hundred and seventy-eight. It is a 
well-settled farming district, with many good homes and a prosperous, con- 
tented population. Belle Prairie township once emhraced this territory-. 


Rosing township of Morrison county once belonged to the territory 
of what was styled Crow Wing township, which had been cut from Motley 
township, and organized on July 7, 1902. Its name was changed from 
Crow Wing to Rosing in September, 1902. Its population in 19 10 was 
one hundred and forty-three. It is one of the smallest townships in Morri- 
son county and is bounded on the north by the Mississippi river and the 
county line. It is a part of township 132, ranges 29 and 30, and contains 
about nineteen sections of land, with Rails Prairie township at its south 
and Motley township on its west. It is fairly well settled and improved by 
an industrious class of agriculturists. It is without towns or villages. 


llilman t(n\nship comprises congressiorial townshi]) 40, range 29, and 
is Ijounded on the north by Granite and Leigh townships, on the east by 
Mt. Morris, on the south by Morrill and on the west by Pierz township. 
Its population in 1910 was only si.xty-six, but has somewhat increased at 
this date. The Soo railroad line touches its northwest corner, but there is 
no station point within its territory. Pierz townshi]) formerly embraced 
this territory. It was organized into a separate township on July 7. 1902. 
h received the name of a pioneer of the county. 


Lakin township was organized from part of the territory formerly 
embraced in Morrill township, and consists of the soutiieastern congres- 
sional township in Morrison county, township 39, range 28, and is six miles 


square. The date of its organization was July 6, 1903. Its population in 
1910 was only fifty-five, and is but little greater at this date. Buckman 
township once included its domain. 


Richardson township was named for Pioneer Nathaniel Richardson, 
but was once known as Peavy township after the great grain king and ele- 
vator man. It was organized on January 7, 1903. In 1910 its population 
was sixty. It is in the extreme northeast corner of Morrison county, and 
comprises all of congressional township 42. range 28. It has two small 
streams. There are no villages within its territory. Pulaski township is 
at its west, Leigh at its south. 


Leigh township was organized on January 29, 1908, the last of any in the 
county. It is situated on the east line of the county, south of Richardson, 
east of Granite and north of Mt. Morris and Hillman townships. The Soo 
railroad line runs through its southeastern part. In 1910 it had a population 
of fifty-four. Belle Prairie originally ran through to the east line of the 
county and included this domain. It comprises congressional township 41, 
range 28. The first township meeting was held on February 15, 1908, at 
Joseph Leigh's house and it derived its name from this family name. Hill- 
man village is within this township, in section 28, on the Soo railroad line. 


Prior to 1888 Morrill township was organized from territory formerly 
belonging to Buckman township, but later was known as a part of what was 
then styled Oakwood township. It was cut off as Oakwood township by act 
of the board of county commissioners in the spring of 1881, and the town 
meeting was held at the school house in section 29, on April 1 1 of that year. 
The following officers were duly elected for the newly-made township of 
Oakwood: T. D. Miller, A. T. Sandy and C. D. Hunter, supervisors; John 
F. Hunter, clerk ; J. Miller, assessor ; G«orge Ferguson, treasurer ; Henry 
McNeal, justice of the peace ; A. Miller, constable. 


The first settler in this township was John Roach, who came in Septem- 
ber, 1874, locating in section 32, and there remained until 1881, then removed 
to Benton county. H. Soudie. of Pennsylvania, settled in section 32 in 
1876, and was still here in 1882. Other pioneers here were T. D. Miller, C. 
D. Hunter, J. Miller. L. and J. Soudie. 

The first school district was established in 1877, and a building erected 
the year following in section 29. A Sabbath school was formed in Septem- 
ber, 1879, by J. Stewart. The first death was Maud Racliff, July 7, 1881. 
The first marriage was on May 22, 1881, when John Hunter married Louella 

This civil township became known as Morrill township about 1885, and 
extended to the east line of the county, embracing what is now Lakin town- 
ship, in the southeastern corner of the county, but in 1903 it was divided 
again and Lakin township was cut off to the east, leaving Morrill township 
to constitute its present bounds — township 39, range 29. It is hence cut 
to six miles square and contains thirty-six sections. It is south of Hillman, 
east of Buckman, and west of Lakin townships. 

Its population in 1910 was three hundred and fifty. It is without town, 
village or railroad station. In the last few years it has increased in farms 
and is fast coming to the front as one of the subdivisions of Morrison 


In the beginning of the county's history (1856) what is now styled Pike 
Creek township, was a part of Little Falls township, running to the Mis- 
sissippi river from the west line of the county. In 1870 it was divided and 
that portion to the east of the line between ranges 30 and 31 was made into 
a new township known as Culdrum. and this obtained until the new town-' 
ship of Pike Creek was formed about 1880, since which time another slight 
change was made when the city of Little Falls was about to be incorporated. 
Pike Creek now comj^rises township 129, range 30, and is six miles square. 
It is south of Darling, west of Little Falls, north of Swan River and east of 
Culdrum townships. Its population in 1890 was eight hundred and nine: 
in 1900 it was one thousand three hundred and sixty-diic and in loio had 
increased only to one thousand three hundred and ninety-five. 



Buh township is one of the central townships of Morrison county, and 
is bounded on the north by Platte, on the east by Granite, on the south by 
Pierz and Agram and on the west by Belle Prairie townships. It comprises 
Congressional township 41, range 30, and is six miles square. Platte river 
runs through its territory from north to south, bearing to the west. A small 
portion of the village of Pierz is along the southern border line. Its popula- 
tion in 19 10 was seven hundred and thirteen. It contains many beautiful 
and valuable farm homes. It was named in honor of a saintly old Catholic 
priest of former days in this county. It was organized as a separate town- 
ship in July, 1895, having belonged to Belle Prairie at one time. 


Lastrup is a postoffice point established in 1898 in Buh township, on the 
line of Granite. The first postmaster was William Hoheisel. The first 
mail carrier was Archie Decent. The office was kept at the Henry Stroeing 
farm house. In 1900 Theodore Ortmann became postmaster and the office 
was moved to where the blacksmith shop was located. In the autumn of 

1900 the Lastrup Catholic church was formed with Rev. J. J. Meyer as its 
first pastor. Services were held in what is now the Kingen residence. In 

1901 work was begun on the present church and the outside work was com- 
pleted by Christmas day. In 1902 the present priest's house was erected. 
In 1903 Vincent Dombovy built the first blacksmith shop. In 1908 the first 
licensed saloon was opened by F. X. Steger, Sr. In 1909 the co-operative 
creamery building was built. At present the place is assuming considerable 
enterprise. This village is situated six miles to the northeast of the village 
of Pierz. The Lastrup Farmers' Creamery Company was organized in 
March, 1915. The first officers were Joseph Partner, president; Mike 
Braun, vice-president ; Joseph Schubut, Peter Weidenbach, S. D. Wood, 
directors ; Ed. Stuckmeyer, treasurer, and Theodore Ortmann, secretary. 
The first general store was opened by Brinkman Brothers in 190 1 ; they sold 
to Joseph Blake three years later, who in turn sold to Gross Brothers in 191 2. 
The village blacksmith is now Casper Thomme. 



The second township from the southern Hne of the county and on the 
west Hne is Swanville, originally a part of Swan River township. It was 
formed into a separate civil precinct of the county on October 12, 1892, and 
comprises all of congressional township 128, range 31. Its population in 
1910 was eight hundred and twenty-six. It is north of Elmdale and west 
of Swan River townships. This township, with Elmdale and part of Culd- 
rum townships, constitute one of the finest agricultural sections in Morrison 
county. The lands have long since been taken up and utilized after modem 
methods in farming industries. This si.x-mile-square tract is indeed a garden 
spot in many ways. The village of Swanville is in section 7 and is a station 
point on the branch or division of the Northern Pacific which runs southwest 
from Little Falls. Swanville has a population of about four hundred and is 
well represented by almost all branches of town business enterprises. 


Swanville was incorporated in 1893 and now has electric lights furnished 
by a private corporation, giving both day and night service. The plant con- 
sists of a small dynamo run by a gasoline engine, and storage batteries are 
employed in the production of electricity. 

The business interests of Swanville in the summer of 191 5 are as fol- 
low : There are two State banks. The First State Bank and the Peoples 
State Bank. There are five general merchandise stores, Lee Biteman & 
Company, J. B. Stith & Sons, B. B. Co.x, Fred Muske, and J. P. Galles ; drug 
store, E. L. Kaliher; one physician, Dr. I. G. Wiltiont; meat market, B. H. 
Milhath ; two restaurants, Mrs. J. Cofield, Lee Biteman & Company ; imple- 
ment dealers, William Trampe; garage, Albert Milke & Son; hotel, \V. H. 
Cox; three saloons; two hardware stores, Swanville Hardware Company. 
E. A. Villerock ; livery, Henry Hall; feed and flour-mills, also saw-mill. 
Koenig & Meschke; elevators. Monarch Elevator Company and Farmers' Co- 
operative Company; two blacksmiths, H. Kennke and Otto Kreuger; two 
cream stations ; one feed store, F. E. VVilmot ; two barber shops ; a shoe shop 
and jewelry repair shop, William Raffensparger ; billiard hall. 1".. C. Mcm- 
rell ; two dray lines, John Kasper and Harry Hall. 



Little Falls was made the seat of justice of Morrison county by the 
organizing act approved on February 25, 1856. It is situated on both sides 
of the Mississippi river in range 32 and townships 40 and 41. It is about 
six miles to the west of the center of the county, and is on the Northern 
Pacific railroad, which was completed through the city in the autumn of 
1877, from St. Paul to Motley, where it intersects the main line from Duluth 
to the Pacific coast, which line was built as far as Motley in 1872. Another 
division of the system extends from the city to Brainerd ; this line was com- 
])leted in 1880-81 ; another from Little Falls west, known as the old Little 
Falls & Dakota, was completed in 1880, the first dirt being thrown on June 
25, 1880. Thus it will be observed that railway facilities are excellent in 
Little Falls. 

Little I-'alls is known far and near as a great pine lumber manufacturing 
city — indeed, this is its principal industry. 

The town was surveyed in 1855, by S. M. Putnam, but not incorpo- 


It appears from all that can be learned by the historian of today that 
James Green was the first permanent settler in this township. He took a 
squatter's claim on the east bank of the Mississippi river, at the site of the 
present city, in 1848 — sixty-seven years ago. He built a saw-mill and 
secured water-power by building a wing dam to the island above, making 
a "head" of something o\'er three feet, which was sufficient to propel his mill 
machinery. He also constructed a boom by fastening one end to the west 
bank of the river, near Little Falls ferry landing, and the other at the head 
of the island below, and thus managed to run most of the logs into the mill 
pond. This was in the fall of 1849. Soon after this Green died, when H. M. 
Rice and Captain Todd purchased the mill. They sold to William Sturgis 
in 1850, or thereabouts. He ran the mill until 1854, then sold a two-thirds 


interest to James Fergus (for whom Fergus Falls was later named), and 
Calvin A. Tuttle, who formed a company known as the Little Falls Com- 

The lands on the east side of the river were surveyed in 1852. Prior 
to this, John M. Kidder, father-in-law of Sturgis, had filed a pre-emption 
claim covering that portion of the east bank of the Mississippi river, includ- 
ing the water-power. The Little Falls Company purchased the land included 
in the said Kidder claim, of Mr. Sturgis, he having bought it from the heirs 
of John M. Kidder, deceased, who died before the land came into market, 
so that the Little Falls Company purchased the land from the government 
at the first land sale, in November, 1855. This purchase included the Kid- 
der claim and the land adjoining the village of Little Falls and that upon 
which it was located later, amounting in all to about two thousand acres. 
This company continued but a short time, then merged into a joint-stock 
company, in the autumn of 1855, known as the Little Falls IManufacturing 
Company. The newly formed corporation issued stock to the amount of 
one hundred thousand dollars, Fergus, Sturgis and Tuttle taking a half inter- 
est and the remainder readily sold for fifty thousand dollars cash. This 
stock rapidly advanced, until it reached two hundred and fifty per cent., at 
which price most of the shares changed hands. About seventy-five thousand 
dollars was expended in improvements of the water-power kind, and in 
building a dam, bridge and mills. While the manufacturing company had 
plenty of money they spent it freely and indiscriminately. 

It is said that in constructing the dam on the east side of the island, 
the water was first shut off by a "horse dam," and sand and gravel were 
hauled in to the depth of from two to three feet, to make a level bed on 
which to place the frame of the principal dam. The bed of the river was 
rocky and uneven, well fitted to hold the foot of a substantial dam, but some 
of its constructors thought a smooth sand bed preferable, and hence it was 
so constructed. In connection with this dam, this company built a fine Howe 
truss bridge. It was made in the winter of 1857-38. and the main portion 
stood for many years. After about nine years it was found to l)c rotting, 
when the board of county commissioners had it repaired, but soon after this 
it was blown down and never rebuilt. It was later used in constructing the 
bridge at Sauk Rapids. 

This company also constructed a large saw-mill and a large two-and- 
one-half-story cabinet shop. Mr. Fletcher built a commodious flouring-mill. 
which was also run by water-power. The dam was broken in 1859, and no 
one had the courage to rebuild it, and Mr. Fletcher removed his flouring- 


mill plant to Sauk river. The dam was, however, repaired in the winter of 
1859-60, but during the following summer a sudden rise in the Mississippi 
destroyed dam and saw-mill, as well as the large cabinet shop, so there was 
nothing to show for the large investment. Hence it was that the stock once 
so high priced depreciated until in i860 it was practically worthless, and 
the company's property was insufficient to meet their obligations and it 
failed. Thus the water-power and first milling industry at Little Falls com- 
menced its eventful history. Taking up other parts of the city's history for 
a time, later on the reader will see what has been accomplished by modern 
methods and modern minds, backed with capital. 


Immediately after the town was platted, in 1855, a few lots were given 
away, after which lots sold rapidly, some in the best locations bringing as 
high as one thousand dollars each, while land near town brought one hun- 
dred dollars an acre. But with the advent of the year i860, and the milling 
company's failure, the population soon decreased, and the stock of the mill- 
ing company went down very low. What was known as Mill Island, at the 
date of the construction of the dam, was cut across by a ditch, and the annual 
high water and floods of the Mississippi plowed its way through, making a 
wide channel. With the passage of about a decade, property began looking 
up again, and at no time since about 1875 has there been a decline, but, on 
the contrary, things have kept abreast with the times, and today there is no 
better business and manufacturing point than Little Falls, Minnesota, with 
its great lumbering and paper-mill industries. 


Three Indians under arrest in 1857 for the murder of an innocent Ger- 
man peddler, on the road near Gull Lake, were taken from the sheriff — Mr. 
Pugh — while en route for St. Paul, and summarily disposed of by a party 
under the leadership of Anson Northrup and Benjamin Brown, both of 
whom then resided in this section. The sheriff's party was overtaken near 
the site of the present Royalton, and the Indians, taken back to the southern 
border of the prairie south from Little Falls village and still chained together, 
hung to a pole supported by two trees. They had on the way back con- 
fessed their crime, and made no attempt to resist. Considerable alarm was 


created among tlie white settlers, in fear that there might be an Indian upris- 
ing over the affair, but the excitement soon died away and nothing ever 
came of the matter. 

It was this Anson Northrup who buik a saw-mill at Swan river in 
1856, and operated it two years. 


Pioneer Nicholson, already mentioned, is the authority for the state- 
ment that during the first settlement of Little Falls, a small party of friendly 
Chippewas was camping on the island near the village, and not anticipating 
any evil, were enjoying their repose, when a band of Sioux noiselessly 
crossed the river channel under cover of darkness, stole in upon the sleepers 
and killed and scalped the entire party, except a young Indian girl, who 
swam the river and secreted herself in a stable, where she was found the 
next morning, pierced through with an arrow. She was well know n to the 
villagers and a universal favorite, but refused the hospitality offered, as well 
as the medical attendance urged, saying she did not want to live, as her 
friends were all dead. She bore her pain with that silent stoicism character- 
istic of her race, until death sealed her passport to the happy hunting 
grounds of her kindred. 


In the first years of the settlement of Little l'"alls and Morrison count}', 
this section became the stopping ])lace or retreat of a lawless set of persons 
— genuine renegades — who, in hard times, finding gambling uni)rotitable. re- 
sorted to robbery and other criminal acts. They finally, having become 
enraged at repeated arrests and severe punishments, attempted the life of 
Iv. L. liarnum, the faithful old justice of the peace, whom thev had learned 
to dread. One night in October, 1858, a part of this outlaw band \isited 
the old man's cabin home, dragged him out, and, after violent treatment 
and- abuse, left him for dead, lie recovered, howe\er, but this crowning 
outrage led to a general uprising among the loyal, true citizens of the county, 
and resulted in the banishment from the community of this nnich-to-be- 
drcaded gang. This diflicult}- was in later years, and even to this date, 
alluded to b\- manv as "The Little l-'alls War." 



Little Falls was incorporated by a bill approved on February 25, 1879, 
with the following described boundaries: "Sections 7 and 8 and the north 
half of sections 17 and 18, township 40, range 32, and lot 3, in section 34, 
township 41, range 2,2', and lots i, 2 and 3, in section 17, and the east half 
of the northeast quarter of section 18, and the east half of section 19, town- 
ship 29, range 29." 

The first election was held at the court house on March 18, 1879, when 
the following ofhcers were elected: President, Leon Houde; trustee, Peter 
Medved; recorder, A. O. Churchill; treasurer, John Wetzel; justice of the 
peace, James McCauley. On March 21 the officers held their first meeting, 
several ordinances were passed, and Jerry Root was appointed marshal. 

The presidents of the village of Little Falls from the date of its 
urganization to date of its becoming a city were as follow : Leon Houde, 
1879; \V. T. Lambert, 1880: Leon Houde, 1881 to 1883; Peter Medvel, 
from 1883 to 1886; L. E. Richard, 1886; J. Simmons, 1887-1888; Fred 
Hoffman, 1889; Dr. G. M. A. Fortier, from March, 1889, to July, 1890, 
when the city was incorporated and the presiding official became known as 

The mayors of Little Falls have been as follow : Nathan Richardson, 
1890 to 1894; Isaac E. Staples, 1894; Andrew D. Davidson, 1895; Nathan 
Richardson, 1896; Alfred Tanner, 1897; Charles E. Vasaly, 1898 to 1900; 
J. .\. Nichols, 1900; Nathan Richardson, 1901 ; C. E. Vasalay, 1902 to 1906; 
N. W. Chance, 1906 to 1907; George Moeglein, 1907 to 1912; Simon P. 
Brick, 1912: F. C. Johnson, 1913; Dr. G. M. A. Fortier, 1914 and still in 
office in August, 191 5. 

The city officers at present (1915) are as follow: Ma3^or, Dr. G. M. 
A. Fortier ; clerk, Victor Schallern ; treasurer, John Vertin : assessor, Frank 
Ellenbecker ; municipal judge, F. W. Lyon ; justices of the peace, Phil S. 
Randall and William C. Turner. Aldermen : First ward, F. E. Hall, presi- 
dent of council; M. B. Blake, second ward; H. W. Venners and J. S. Mur- 
phy, third ward ; George H. Johnson and Henry Peterson, fourth ward ; 
D. J. Bell and H. J. Lafond, aldermen-at-large; G. F. Moeglein, vice-presi- 
dent; city attorney, D. M. Cameron; street commissioner, Lsaac Lafond; 
health officer, C. F. Hoist, M. D. ; chief of the fire department, G. W. Emder; 
chief of police, William Hang; board of public works, S. C. Vasaly, G. H. 
Enke and Joseph Masog. 

A city building was erected in 1890, on First avenue south, and it con- 


tains all city oi'tices and the fire department, with that of police. The police 
department consists of five members, including a chief, for seven months of 
the year, and four for five months. 

The city obtains its supply of water from the Little Falls Water Power 
Company. They have eighty-two hydrants, costing the city for water four 
hundred and seventy-nine dollars per month. The city also purchases its 
street lights from the same company and pays at present four hundred and 
eighty-seven dollars for the eighty-six one-hundred-watt street lamps and 
ninety ornamental lighting posts, per month. 

The fire department is a \olunteer company and has only two paid 
members. They have ample hook-and-ladder and other equipments, includ- 
ing a modern automobile fire apparatus, all of which makes the city com- 
paratively secure from the fire fiend's work. 

Till.- city has a l)onded debt of one hundred and sixteen thousand dol- 
lars, running in twenty-year bonds and drawing four and one-half and five 
per cent, interest. 


The history of the Little Falls postofiSce for the first two decades is not 
well preserved, and the author was unable to secure proper data from the 
department at Washington, hence it cannot be inserted here. The present 
obliging postmaster, Simon P. Brick, furnishes the following facts concern- 
ing the office since 1883 — near a third of a century ago. 

The ixjstoffice has been in its present quarters since July 20, 1909, and 
previous to that it was kept by postmaster Nathan Richardson in a building 
near the comer of First street and First avenue, northeast (in the eighties), 
in a building known as the "Old Fort" and later at the Richardson build- 
ing. The building was later burned. Then it was kept in a small wooden 
building on ground now occupied by the present office, during wliich time 
L. G. \Vorthington was postmaster. It was moved by Postmaster John 
Wetzel to the op])osite side of the street into a small frame building prepared 
I)y him and I\)stmaster h'uller moved the same to a small frame building on 
Broadway and soon thereafter to the one-story solid brick building built 
alongside the frame structure. The frame building was destroyed by fire 
and the brick building was but recently torn down to make room for the 
new brick Iniilding now being erected by the German-American Bank and 
Jiihu \ irtin. Postmaster Medved moved the oftice to a room in the Buck- 
man 1 lotel, next to the City Hall, but later it was removed to the Rhodes' 
building adjoining the building on the north. Owing to the establishing of 


the rural delivery system, it was moved to the building on the north which 
was larger and much needed owing to the growth of the office service at 
Little Falls. The next location was in July, 1909, when it moved into the 
present quarters. 

A site has already been purchased and survey made and plans for a 
new government postoffice are being prepared by the department at Wash- 
ington, D. C. The contract will likely be let so the construction can begin 
during this autumn or early next spring. 

Since 1883 the postmasters have been as follow: 

Nathan Richardson held the office many years prior to 1883. 
Lewis G. Worthington, April i, 1883, to September 5, 1885. 
John Wetzel, September 6, 1885, to October 31, 1889. 
Wheaton M. Fuller, November i, 1889, to October 31, 1893. 
Peter Medved, November i, 1893, to October 31, 1897. 
Dura Corbin, November i, 1897, to February 9, 1902. 
Wheaton M. Fuller, February 10, 1902, to September 30, 1908. 
Clara K. Fuller, October i, 1908, to August i, 1913. 
Simon P. Brick, September i, 1913, to present date. 

Free delivery in the city was secured on May i, 1904. The office 
became a second-class office on July i, 1898. The last fiscal year the busi- 
ness (not including money orders) amounted to sixteen thousand eight hun- 
dred and eleven dollars and twenty- four cents, the year ending July i, 191 5. 
The present amount of deposits in the savings department is two thousand 
eight hundred and ninety-one dollars. 

The city carriers are Byron G. Bradley, Constantine T. Droskowaski, 
Benjamin F. Griffith and Lloyd M. Kay. There are eight rural carriers, 
Preston J. Manbeek, Everett A. Savage, Samuel Longfellow, John E. Richey, 
Peter H. Holum, Howard Hovey, Reuben S. Beymer and John F. McNally. 
The present office force is as follows : Postmaster, Simon P. Brick ; assist- 
ant postmaster, Ethen S. Brown; clerks, George F. Cornwell, Irvin E. Corn- 
well, Olaf E. Peterson and Christian P. Vernig; substitute clerk, Ernest 
L. Gatchell. 


"The White Way" is the name given to that portion of the city illumi- 
nated brilliantly by a cluster of five lights, two hundred and eighty-watt 
Mazda lamps, eight in a block, for fifteen blocks. These lights are attached 
to ornamental iron standards. This system turns night into day and gives 


the city a most beautiful appearance at night time. When this system was 
completed on October 25, 1913, the occasion was celebrated with red lights, 
marching clubs, eight bands of music, floats, industrial displays, visiting 
quests in automobiles ; while Governor Eberhart and other noted men of the 
state delivered orations on the progressiveness of Little Falls. 


This is one of Nature's wonder spots and handsome retreats for the 
citizens and visitors of Little Falls. It is a fifty-seven-acre tract of white 
l)ine timber, only three-fourths of a mile out of the city, on the west side of 
the Mississippi river. This grove has been left as it was handed down by 
the Creator of all native forests, in all of its beauty and sublimity. Rustic 
seats of iron and wood are found here and there throughout the park. 
There is already quite a collection of wild animals within a wire enclosure. 
This park was the generous gift of C. A. Weyerhauser. M. M. Williams, 
A. R. Davidson, R. D. Musser and others, and will ever remain a monument 
to these gentlemen. It cannot fail of being appreciated as the years roll by, 
and Minnesota forests have all disappeared. 


One of the indexes of prosperity and intelligence among the citizens 
of Little Falls is its interest in literary matters and the organization and 
maintenance of a public librar_\-. The history of this institution dates back 
to February, 189J, when Mrs. M. M. Williams, realizing the great need of 
a library, conceived and carried out the plan of raising a sufficient amount of 
money for the purchasing of the same by jxipular subscription. She set 
about by first heading the paper with a liberal amount herself, then visited 
the business men and others of the cit\- and was gladK' aiiknl b\' most all of 
them in her laudable untlertaking; one thousand one hundred and twenty- 
tive dollars and fifty cents being the sum pledged, the same to be forthcom- 
ing as soon as one thousand dollars was raised, or rather subscribed, at 
which time all sui)scriptions were made payable. Subscribers were notified 
through the local newspapers to meet for the purpose of forming a library 
association, and for the preliminary steps toward securing and opening a 
l)nl>lic library. 

The first meeting was held on .\ugust 15, 1892. in the rooms of the 


Itasca Club. Committees were chosen for the purpose of selecting books 
and a place for keeping the same. A motion was made by W. M. Fuller, 
seconded by A. R. Davidson, that Rev. A. A. Joss act as chairman of the 
meeting, which was carried and he took his seat. The secretary for the 
meeting was G. W. Massey. M. M. Williams moved that the chair appoint 
a committee of seven, of which Mrs. A. A. Joss should be one, who should 
be authorized to act for the subscribers in organizing an association. The 
chair then appointed the following as such committee : A. R. Davidson, 
Mrs. M. M. Williams, Mrs. Joss, Miss Sadie Fuller, C. A. Lindbergh, J. H. 
Rhodes and John A. Burkey. 

The next meeting was on August 22, 1892, at ten o'clock in the fore- 
noon, at the directors' room of the First National Bank. This was called 
for the purpose of electing permanent officers of the association. Mrs. M. 
M. Williams was elected as president and Miss Sadie Fuller as secretary 
and treasurer. The city was then divided into three districts and a commit- 
tee of two appointed (one lady on each committee) whose duty should be 
to solicit from house to house and get lists of books. Another committee 
was selected to prepare by-laws for the newly-formed association. This 
committee was composed of C. A. Lindbergh, A. R. Davidson and J. H. 
Rhodes, while J. A. Burkey was appointed a committee to secure proper 
rooms in which to keep the library. 

At the third meeting, which was held August 29 (no time was allowed 
to go to waste), C. A. Lindbergh and J. H. Rhodes were appointed to draft 
an ordinance relative to the establishment of a city library, and present the 
same to the city council, and after such was accomplished the same was. 
presented to the city authorities by Mr. Burkey, Mrs. Williams, Mrs. Joss 
and Miss Sadie Fuller. 

At the meeting held in October, the same year, the list of books was' 
completed and accepted by the association and ordered purchased. 

The next meeting was on January 7, 1893, ^t the library rooms in the 
Butler block, at which Mr. Davidson was called to the chair. At this meet- 
ing the report of the committee was made and it was adopted that the two 
rooms in the Butler block should be used at a rental of nine dollars per 
month, including janitor's services. It was later known that the city coun- 
cil would levy a tax of one-half mill to support the city library. The com- 
mittee on books also reported that they had procured books amounting to 
eight hundred and twenty-six dollars and forty-seven cents. Another matter 
that was settled at that date was that books might be secured from the library 
on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays of each week, between the hours 


of two and five in the afternoon, as well as on Sunday evenings between 
seven and nine o'clock. 

February 12, 1893, it was reported to the meeting of stockholders that 
the services of Mrs. L. F. Benton had been secured as librarian, at three 
dollars per week. 

At a meeting in July, of that year, the report was made that the city of 
Little Falls had concluded to establish a city library and had appointed a 
board. The resolution read as follows : "Whereas, The city council of the 
city of Little Falls, Minnesota, having passed an ordinance creating and 
estal)lishing a free public library, levied a tax for that purpose, for the sup- 
port of said library, and whereas, the statute of the state of Minnesota 
provides that any city in the above named state wherein the city council 
shall have passed an ordinance establishing a public library, and in which 
city there shall be already existing a public library, the same may be turned 
over and transferred to said city by the trustees of said library duly passing 
and adopting a resolution, so turning over and transferring such library to 
such city, upon the appointment by the mayor of such city, by and with 
the consent of the city council of such city, of a board of nine trustees to 
be selected from the citizens of such city, with reference to their fitness 
for the same, and that not more than one thereof shall be a member of the 
city council. 

"Whereas, The mayor and city council of the city of Little Falls, ]\Iin- 
nesota, having complied with all said requirements, and there now being a 
public library in said city, known as the Little Falls Public Library Asso- 
ciation, and it being the duty of the officers and members of said association 
to so transfer said library to the city of Little Falls aforesaid, it is hereby 

"Resolved, by the board of tru.stees of said association, that in consider- 
ation of said library being secured and kept u]i by the said citv as a free 
public lijjrary, and u]K)n the city paying the sum of one hundred and ten 
dollars, the present indebtedness of the association, said library and all 
proi>erty connected therewith is hereby turned over and transferred to the 
city of Little Falls. Minnesota, to be and remain henceforth the sole property 
of said city." On motion this was adopted. 


Mayor Richardson appointed the following board of trustees: Mrs. 
M. !•:. Duller, Mrs. John Dennis, Mrs. A. A. Joss, Miss Sadie Fuller, Messrs. 
A. R. Davidson. J. L. Meyers. John A. Burkey. J. H. Rhodes and W. A. 


Bushey. Their first meeting was on July 27, 1893. At this meeting, Miss 
Sadie Fuller was appointed president of the library board, and W. A. Bushey 
was made secretary. It was then determined that the library should be open 
on Tuesday and Saturday afternoons and evenings of each week. Miss 
Laura Guernon was employed as librarian, at two dollars per week. By- 
laws and regulations for the library were ordered printed, with a catalog. 

The first mention in the records of a proposition to or from Andrew 
Carnegie, concerning a donation to the city of the present splendid public 
library building was at the meeting of February i, 1902, when Mrs. C. H. 
Brown made a motion that the president appoint a committee of three to 
confer with the city council about the proposition to obtain ten thousand 
dollars from Mr. Carnegie for a library building, providing the city appro- 
priate ten per cent, of that amount, or one thousand dollars annually, for the 
library's support. The committee then appointed for that purpose consisted 
of Messrs. M. M. Williams, C. A. Lindbergh and Charles E. Vasaly. 

Mr. Carnegie was heard from in due time, and at the meeting of the 
board in March, 1902, at which this fact was made known, Mr. Carnegie 
agreed to give ten thousand dollars providing the city would pledge its sup- 
port in maintaining the library at a cost of not less than one thousand dol- 
lars per year and also to provide a suitable site for the building. A com- 
mittee was appointed to make this olYer known to the city council. Such 
committee was as follows : Messrs. M. M. Williams, C. A. Lindbergh and 
Charles E. Vasaly. The committee was also empowered to look after a 
library site. 

After much discussion and investigation of many sites, the one now 
occupied by the library building was selected, the same being known at that 
time as the F. A. Lindbergh lots. 

On July 15, 1904, the library board opened the bids for erecting the 
library. Those present were: A. R. Davidson, A. P. Blanchard, L. E. 
Richard, Mrs. C. H. Brown, Mrs. C. H. Weyerhauser and Stephen Vasaly, 
as well as Architect F. D. Orff; Stephen Vasaly acting as secretary in the 
absence of Miss Sadie Fuller. There were bids for the superstructure from 
five firms, whose bids ranged from nine thousand four hundred and four- 
teen dollars down to eight thousand one hundred and ten dollars. The last 
named was bv Harrison & Mecusker, and was accepted by the board. The 
style of building, material, etc., need not be here mentioned, as the completed 
structure stands, and doubtless will remain a monument that tells its own 
story, of both beauty and usefulness. 

Quite remarkable was the contest for the first janitorship of the new 


library. The time set for opening the bids was on January 5. 1905, and 
there were no less than twenty-seven applicants for the position and the bids 
ranged from eighteen dollars up to forty-live dollars per month. That of 
Jerry Blair at twenty dollars per month was accepted by the board. 

The library was completed in the spring of 1905 and dedicated in the 
month of February, with appropriate ceremonies. The records of the 
library board have been faithfully kept all these years by Miss Sadie Fuller, 
whose book entries are plain, clear and concise, recording the various pro- 
ceedings of the board's meetings to date. The present number of books in 
this library (1915) is five thousand three hundred volumes; fifty periodicals, 
and three daily and one weekly newspapers. Not over thirty per cent, of 
the books in this library are fiction, which is far less than many other city 
libraries have. 

The present officers of the board are as follow : S. C. Vasaly, presi- 
dent; Mrs. L. D. Brown, vice-president; Miss Sadie Fuller, secretary; Mrs. 
Jenny Lind Blanchard, librarian. Other librarians have been Laura Guer- 
non,' Grace Hill (Mrs. E. M. LaFond), Miss Cora Tanner (Mrs. W. H. 


The early history of this enterprise has already been treated, hence it 
need not here be repeated, but it will be well to show its importance in later 
years, as bearing on the business of the city. Really, the old company was a 
dismal failure in its operations, but in 1887 a new company was formed 
known as the Little Falls Water Power Company, capitalized at six hundred 
thousand dollars, distrilnited among both eastern and western capitalists. 
The year 1888 saw active strides toward making substantial improvements. 
It was fountl that by proper construction a "head" or "fall" of more than 
twenty feet could be secured, thus making it the largest water power (next 
to Minneapolis) to be found in the state or the whole Northwest region. 
The dam, c()mi)lcted in 1S88, cost in round figures about two hundred thou- 
sand dollars. 

Upon the completion of this great dam, the citizen property holders 
voted l)onds to the sum of one hundred thousand dollars, as a bonus to aid 
the im])rovcinent. At the election voting these bonds the result was a vote 
of two to one in favor of bonding the county. The village of Little Falls 
also entered into a contract with the com])any, agreeing to pay annually a 
sum cijual to the taxes imix>sed upon that corporation, and to exempt any 


;j I iiBw^ii*^ 


l)A.\: I, Lri'l'LK FALLS 


corporation or company who might engage in manufacturing using this com- 
pany's water power for a period of five years. Of the improvements named 
as in course of construction in 1888, a former state history speaks as follows: 

"First the dam across the entire river, resting, however, against the 
head of Alill Island ; second, a canal on the west side, starting from a point 
opposite the head of Mill Island, and extending one thousand feet down 
stream. This canal is eighty feet wide and thirteen feet deep, is lined with 
a retaining wall, and provided with head-gates at the upper end and with a 
waste-way at the lower end; third a wheel-house, races, and, if found desir- 
able, a wire rope tower for transmitting power to Mill Island and to the east 
shore. Basing the rental of this power on that of water power at Lowell, 
Massachusetts, it would be worth one hundred and fifty thousand dollars 
per annum. The officers of the company are: W. H. Breyfogle, of Louis- 
ville, Kentucky, president; M. M. Williams, of Little Falls, secretary and 
treasurer." (The above paragraph was written in 1888.) 

Another paragraph by the same writer — W. H. C. Folsom — says : "A 
bridge, built at a cost of twenty-four thousand dollars, crosses the Missis- 
sippi at this point. The bridge is four hundred feet long. The Little Falls 
& Dakota railroad, a branch of the Northern Pacific, is finished from Little 
Falls to Morris in Stevens county, a distance of eighty-five miles. In addi- 
tion to the mills connected with the water power there is also a steam saw- 

The dam of this company is now one thousand four hundred and fifty 
feet long and twenty-two feet high. The power generated is ten thousand 
hydro-electric horse-power. 


The Pine Tree Lumber Company is the largest enterprise found in the 
city of Little Falls today. This company was established at Little Falls in 
1891-92, by a number of lumber kings throughout Wisconsin and Minnesota 
— the lumbering section of the middle West. Here more than sixty million 
feet of northern pine is cut into lumber annually, besides ten million laths. 
This mill is what is termed the three bands and horizontal re-saw, modernly 
equipped throughout. The planing mills are equipped with fourteen mills, 
of a capacity of three hundred thousand feet per day. The saw and planing 
mills, lumber sheds and yards cover over fifty acres. The lumber yards are 
divided into allevs with tail alleys between them which are from twelve to 


eighteen feet wide, giving plenty of light and air, which insures perfect dry- 
ing of the lumber stock. Two years ago this great mill gave constant 
employment to four hundred men during the sawing season. The season 
usually lasts for seven months. The logs are harvested from Aitkin, Cass 
and Hubbard counties and are hauled by rail to Little Falls, where they 
are dunijjed into the spillway, holding twenty-five million feet. One of the 
specialties of this mill is its bo.x lumber, used in all box factories throughout 
the country. The short mill-wood has a local sale, while the four-foot edg- 
ings and slabs find ready sale to industrial plants and brick factories, where 
they are used for fuel. 

This mill is run by steam power, and the present officers of the com- 
pany are : President C. A. Weyerhaeuser ; vice-president, F. S. Bell ; secre- 
tary and treasurer, R. D. Musser; general manager, C. A. Weyerhaeuser. 

Besides holdings at Little Falls, this company and some of its stock- 
holders have other extensive saw-mills in the far West in Washington, Ore- 
gon and other points. The list of organizers of this gigantic milling project 
included the \Veyerhaeusers and JMussers, whose estates are still included 
in the stock of the company, and represented by sons and other relatives. 


Among the early pioneers was A. Tanner, who engaged in mercantile 
pursuits at Little Falls, and was early interested in the possibilities to be 
derived from water-power in several nearby streams. He l)uilt and devel- 
oped a llduring-niill plant un the Swan river, five miles below Little Falls, 
the same being a "run of stones." by which a fair grade of flour was manu- 
factured after the old methods. The wheat came in bv team for a radius 
of tiiirty miles. Later he leased the Little Elk mills, a water-power plant 
with a fifty-barrel daily capacity, three miles northwest of Little I'^alls, and 
thus supplied the demand for flour in this conimunitv for many vears. Upon 
the develoiiment of the water-power at Little 1-alls. Mr. Tanner leased a 
site in the manufacturing district of the city, moved a part of the Little 
Elk plant down to Little Falls, and, under the name of the Little Falls Mill- 
ing Company, continued the milling business, but on a much larger scale. 
The old machinery was discarded and replaced with new, improved machin- 
ery and tlie l)est methods then known for making flour were adopted. A 
grain market was thus established at Little Falls that drew wheat for many 
miles around. From that date Little Falls has been a thriving flour center 
and bears an envial)le reputation as a market city. 


L. V. Tanner, second son of pioneer A. Tanner, took up the mill busi- 
ness with his father soon after he finished in the high school. Later he was 
joined by his elder brother, H. H. Tanner. The two sons assumed the 
business in 1903, at which time the father, A. Tanner, retired from active 
business. This partnership continued until 1909, when H. H. Tanner sold 
his interests to L. V. Tanner, who has assumed the management ever since. 

It may be stated that these mills were established at Little Falls in 
1880, by A. Tanner. They are now run by electric current from the water- 
power of the Mississippi river. Fifty horse-power is used in running eight 
double stands of rolls, producing one hundred and twenty-five barrels of 
flour daily. It is largely sold in central and northern Minnesota, and includes 
the favorite brands of "Gold Bar," "Sunrise Select Patent" and "SunrLse 

Specialties of this mill are flour, feed, cereals, in mixed car shipments; 
also rye, graham, buckwheat breakfast food flour. They also make buck- 
wheat flour and cornmeal. This mill in 191 3 made forty thousand barrels 
of flour, twelve thousand tons of ground feed and employed twelve men. 
Two elevators were being operated, and a farmers' feed mill was in opera- 
tion. Many days one thousand dollars was paid out for wheat by this firm. 

Another immense milling plant is that of the Northwestern Milling 
Company, one of the oldest concerns in northern Minnesota. It was estab- 
lished in 1893, ^"d has a daily capacity of six hundred barrels, doing an 
annual business of one million dollars. "Gold Dust" and "King of Minne- 
sota" are among its fancy brands. It is sold as far away as West Virginia 
and New Jersey, Massachusetts and other New England places. The ele- 
vator has a capacity of thirty-five thousand bushels, and is combined with the 
four-story milling plant. Twenty-seven men are constantly employed. The 
master hand and expert miller of this concern, as noted by reference made 
in 1913, was John W. Stephenson. 


Another of the big industries in Little Falls is the Hennepin Paper 
Mills Company, makers of news-print paper from spruce pulp. It has a 
daily output of about thirty tons. The equipment contains a one-hundred- 
and-twenty-inch machine, six pulp grinders. The mill is operated by water, 
electricity and steam power. The plant and yards cover over five acres of 
ground. Annually, almost one-half a million dollars' worth of paper is 
made. This industry was established in 1891, by B. F. Nelson and T. B. 


Walker. The material comes from northern Minnesota. About ninety men 
are constantly employed. The product of these mills is sold largely in the 
southwestern territory. The officers in 191 5 are: B. F. Nelson, president; 
G. W. Walker, vice-president ; W. Ed. Nelson, secretary, and W. J- Walker, 


The Little Falls Iron Works is another industry of goodly proportions 
in Little Falls. It is the property of John Denis and S. B. Brick, both prac- 
tical machinists. The shops are built of solid brick masonry, fifty by one 
hundred feet floor space, and additional warehouse rooms. It is modern 
in its equipment and produces all grades of castings and machine work. 
From ten to thirty men were employed there in 1914. They ship work to 
the far-away Pacific coast region, showing the superiority of workmanship. 


The Jacob Kiewel Brewing Company owes its establishment and suc- 
cessful operation to Jacob Kiewel, who arrived here in 1894 from Fergus 
Falls, Minnesota. He purchased a small brewing concern that had been 
established in 1880. He soon removed the shacks of buildings and erected 
modem structures and rapidly forged to the front as among the foremost 
brewers of the state. He has made an independent fortune in the brew- 
ing business in this city. The brewery, malt and bottling houses occupy a 
whole block of grounil in the extreme northeast part of the city. Here the 
annual output in 19 13 was placed at fifteen thousand barrels of lager 
beer and three thousand barrels of bottled goods, each bottle bearing the 
label "White Rose," this being the trademark of the company. In the malt- 
ing department there is a capacity of fifteen thousand bushels of barley malt. 
About twenty skilled men find steady employment in this brewery. 


I.itUe l'"alls has become (|uite well known through her excellent and 
superior brick. Two miles to the west of the city may be found the extensive 
brick-making ]ilant of P. O. Duclos. Here thirty men find employment 
during the brick-making season, which is about seven months out of each 
year. The new plant is a wonder in the art of making builders' brick. It 


is operated by means of electricity, which current cost the owner more than 
twenty-two thousand dollars. The brick-making building is eighty-seven 
by one hundred and fifty-seven feet, with two floors, each chamber holding 
three hundred thousand cream, wire-cut bricks. The daily capacity is about 
forty-five thousand. It employs the Klose continuous kiln process. The 
output in 19 14 was not far from eight million brick. They are mostly used 
for facing brick in expensive structures. 


The following will show the business derived at Little Falls from the 
various manufacturing plants in 1913 — a twelve months' record: 

No. Men. Wages Paid. Value Prod. 

Pine Tree Manufacturing Company 400 $240,000 $1,000,000 

Northwestern Milling Company 26 32,864 1,000,000 

Little Falls Milling Company 10 12,640 300,000 

Hennepin Paper Company 90 85.360 300,000 

Kiewel Brewing Company 16 20,000 150,000 

Sylvester & Nichols 13 16.432 100,000 

P. O. Duclos Brick Manufacturing 30 16,000 100,000 

Little Falls Iron Works 10 9,480 100,000 

Little Falls Creamery 5 5,000 100,000 

Little Falls Plumbing and Cycle Company.- 8 10,000 75,ooo 

Little Falls Power Company 12 11,060 70,000 

Cigar industry 4 4,800 14,000 

Total 622 $463,648 $3,238,000 

The abo\'e figures tell the story of Little Falls' industrial prosperity 
and why it is forging ahead so fast. All of these industries are money-mak- 
ers, proving that central Minnesota is the ideal location for establishing new 
industries, and that Little Falls is a chosen spot owing to its central position, 
free factory sites, cheap hydro-electric power and the best of railroad trans- 
portation facilities. 


Since 1905 Little Falls has boasted of one of the best commercial schools 
in the great Northwest. It was founded that year by its present proprietor, 


R. B. Millard. It is well equipped with all modern appliances, with a full 
line of departments, headed by competent instructors in banking, bookkeep- 
ing, typewriting, shorthand, accounting, commercial law, penmanship, com- 
mercial arithmetic and general business office education. Here one finds 
five dictaphones, adding machines, twenty-five typewriters of one make and 
many other styles. The attendance is from one hundred to two hundred per 
term. This college is the pride of the city and is sending out into the walks 
of commercial life many scores of competent young men and women. It 
occupies the entire third floor of the Realty block, in the very heart and 
center of the city. 


Little Falls is the seat of one of the finest hospitals and Catholic orphan- 
ages to be seen in all the great Northwest. Its origin and present conditions 
are here related by one in authority : 

"Rev. Mother Mary Ignatius was the youngest daughter of a noble 
English Protestant family by the name of Hayes, and was born in Guern- 
sey, an island belonging to Great Britain. Her conversion in the Catholic 
church was brought about by reading the 'Lives of the Saints.' She was 
admitted to the sacraments in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, in 
London. In 1847, Mother M. Ignatius entered the Order of St. Francis 
and soon afterward she joined Mother Veronica of the same order in open- 
ing a house in the West Indies. After some years of great fatigue and 
exhaustion under the tropical sun of the Indies, M. M. Ignatius obtained 
necessary letters of obedience, and was sent to the United States to make a 
foundation. In St. Paul, Minnesota, she was graciously received by Rt. 
Rev. Bishop Grace, and under his assistance and auspices, determined upon 
a work of an industrial school for poor French Canadian settlers at Belle 
Prairie, Minnesota. 

"Three years later Mother Mary Ignatius opened an industrial school for 
poor Negro children in Augusta, Georgia. In 18S0, Reverend Ignatius went 
to Rome, Italy, and in 1883. she returned to the United States to seek to be 
released from the burden of the government of her communities in America. 
In about 1887 the Sisters from the Negro mission returned to Belle Prairie, 
and in the same year the convent of Belle Prairie was completely destroyed 
by fire. The Ut. Rev. Bishop Seidenbush being dead, the Sisters were 
obliged to live three months in a barn, waiting and hoping that Rt. Rev. 
Bishop Zardetti would come to take charge of the diocese of St. Cloud, 


Minnesota. His Lordship not being willing that the Sisters should try to 
rebuild their convent without having obtained a separation from their Mother 
house in Rome, Italy, advised them to go to Rome for that purpose. Very 
Rev. Father Ferdinand. O. S. F., Provincial of Province of St. Louis, Mis- 
souri, having furnished the necessary documents, signed by Rt. Rev. Bishop 
Zardetti, St. Cloud. Two Sisters went to Rome in order to obtain the 
desired separation. Sixteen Sisters remained in America for the new 

In 1 89 1 the Sisters had erected St. Gabriels Hospital, costing fifty 
thousand dollars. In 1895 they built Otto's Orphanage, costing twenty-five 
thousand dollars. In 1897 they erected St. Francis Hospital, Breckenridge, 
costing sixty thousand dollars. In 1902 St. James Hospital was erected at 
a cost of thirty-five thousand dollars, at Perham, Minnesota. In 1913 a new 
hospital was built by them at Dodgeville, Wisconsin, costing forty thousand 
dollars. These worthy Sisters are now building another hospital in Little 
Falls, costing about seventy thousand dollars. 

At present (1915) there are fifty-four professed Sisters in the com- 
munity, ten novices and five postulants. The work of these faithful Sisters 
is remarkable and far-reaching in its holy and benevolent influences. 


By A. F. Koslosky. 

In writing the history of our Pohsh citizens in Morrison county it is 
iinperati\e that we know something of their native land, whence they have 
emigrated, and of the freedom and privileges they have enjoyed there, so 
as to better enable us to judge the progress and achievements they have made 
since they landed here in this land of freedom and opportunities. 

The Polish people came from the great Slavonic race : we liear about 
them as early as 550 A. D. ; they inhabited the country surrounding the 
ancient Polish cities of Posen and Gnezen (Prussian Poland), the latter city 
being their capital. Their first king was Mieczislav I, crowned in 962 A. D., 
under whose reign they became christianized. They weathered the politi- 
cal storms and numerous Asiatic raids. In the fifteenth and si.xteenth cen- 
turies they reached a high stage of culture and civilization, with many fine 
schools and churches ; a fine constitutional government, as well as a literature 
not excelled by any other nation. 

Between 1772 and 1795 their beautiful country of two hundred and 
eighty-two thousand stpiare miles was divided between her three jealous 
neighbors — Russia, Prussia and Austria. Since then the Polish people have 
undergone untold sufferings. In Russian Poland they were permitted to use 
the Polish language, but the persecution of the religious and educational 
institutions was simply intolerable; any display of Polish nationalism was 
dealt with severely, but since 1905 conditii)ns have changed for the better, 
and. strange to say, the percentage of illiterates is very small. Economically, 
tlie Prussian Pole was more fortunate than his brother in Russian and .\us- 
trian Poland, but even there did the cruel grip of oppression tighten on the 
unfortunate Pole. The Polish language was barred from all schools, from 
public meetings, even from the streets. .Ml literature with a sem!)lance of 
a Polish national character was at once confiscated, and at last came the 
criu'l Dispossession ilill. wliereby the government (ifhcial can at any time 


dispossess any Polish real estate owner on his making the slightest show of 

The Galician (as the Austrian Pole is called), prior to i860, was even 
more oppressed than the Pole of Russian or Prussian Poland. In i860 
Galicia was granted partial autonomy. This was not freedom as we Amer- 
icans understand freedom; still the Galician had a fighting chance, and he 
progressed with such rapidity that he even excelled his oppressors. Op- 
pressed at home, persecuted on the street, at school, at church, in the army, 
ruled by three monarchs, they still were sons of one mother — Poland. They 
wept for each other, yet suffered alike; even their very soul was not their 
own. Still the hardy Pole clung tenaciously to the Polish soil, and up to 
i860 the Polish emigration was very light, but since 1870 and 1872 each 
succeeding year doubled or trebled the number of Polish emigrants. On they 
came, first from Silesia, West Prussia and Great Poland. On they came 
from Galicia and on they came from Russian Poland, some with money and 
others with just enough money to bring them over the ocean. Some came 
on passes furnished them by relatives or friends. Some came with families, 
others just the head of the family, or some single members of the house- 
hold, but on they came over the briny deep until now their number has 
almost reached the five million mark. 

Each immigrant carries with him his own scars of hardship. Xone 
knew the language of Americans ; none knew the customs of the country or 
its laws. The few who had money suffered but little inconvenience, but 
those who had only the price of a loaf of bread, with their family across 
the ocean, in poverty and misery, took the first job that Providence threw 
in their way and stuck to it and saved their earnings. After getting their 
family across to this country they at once commenced opening up homes, 
purchasing land on the installment plan. The Polish emigrant who settled 
in Morrison county was no exception ; on him also are visible scars of 


The first and oldest Polish settlement in this county is North Prairie 
in Two Rivers township, and the first to face the Morrison county wilder- 
ness were John and Simon Schwintek, about 1868. Then John Mucha and 
Carl Thomalla in about 1870. John Kasparek, Sr., came about 1872. Leav- 
ing St. Cloud, they followed the Mississippi river, and rough roads and 
corduroy bridges were their only means of transportation. The slow, 
steady but sure ox-team and lumber wagon carried their earthly possessions. 


At last they landed on their little claim, and the only clear space was the 
sky above them. They were then in the midst of oaks, elms and basswood 
trees hundreds of year old. Here they built their log houses and with the 
courage of a Cjesar or a Napoleon, they started to clear up the land. Soon 
others of their kind came; family, kindred and friends were soon added to 
the little colonies, mostly from Silesia, Prussian Poland. Soon all avail- 
able land was taken up, forests and sloughs were transformed into produc- 
tive fields and meadows. Log houses disappeared and neat frame residences 
took their places. Straw sheds went down and fine, large barns went up. 
Spacious granaries were built and paths and trails were changed to graded 

What is true of North Prairie is also true of Swan River, Flensburg, 
Elm Dale, Bowlus, Holdingford, Little Falls and Platte. There is some 
doubt as to who really was the first Polish settler in the above named settle- 
ments, but whoever they were, they arrived about the year 1876, and each 
settlement bears evidence of the same energy and progress. The Polish 
immigrant is very successful at farming, but he has also liberally contrib- 
uted to the county, city and village population as well. He now has to his 
credit nine beautiful churches, and there is hardly an industry or business 
in which he is not well represented. 

The Polish immigrant has prospered in Morrison county. Yes, he has 
prospered in spite of thousands of obstacles. God grant that he prosper in 
the future, ever mindful i;)f his duties and obligations to this great American 
nation that has so kindly adopted him one of her sons. 

If ever there was a time when the Americans had a prejudice as against 
the Pole, that day has long since passed, for they have proved themselves 
to be worthy the confidence and esteem of all other good citizens. While 
at times we bear people speak of their being "clannish," it is an unjust asser- 
tion, for it will be remembered that all foreigners upon coming to our shores 
naturally mingle with those of their own fellow countrymen, those who 
speak the same language and attend the same church and school. The Yan- 
kees, should any consideral)Ie uunilier of them form a colony in any one 
of the foreign countries, would do the same thing, as it is but human to do 
so. But today this line is not so marked as in former years. Today the 
Pole stands for all that is good and excellent in our governme'it. and even 
more highly prizes and respects the flag of his adopted country than many 
native-born citizens, and if need be will fight for it as liravely. 




At certain periods the population of this county has been as follows : 
In i860 its total population was six hundred and eighteen. Of this number 
all but about one hundred resided on the east side of the Mississippi river. 
In 1870 the population had increased to 1,681, and in 1875 had reached 


By townships, the population in 1875 ran as follows. Two Rivers 
township, 753; Pierz township, 404; Green Prairie township, 94; Belle 
Prairie township, 419; Little Falls township, 389; Culdrum township, 146; 
Swan River township, 2^2; Buckman township, 119; Bellevue township, 79. 
Total, 2,375. This showed an increase during the period from 1870 to 
1875, of 1,054. 



Agram township 292 

Belle Prairie township 686 

Bellevue township 632 

Bowlus village 164 

Buckman township 848 

Buckman village 137 

Buh township 713 

Clough township 272 

Culdrum township 868 

Cushing township 313 

Darling township 536 

Elmdale township i,574 1.425 932 













— — _ 







Granite township 478 

Green Prairie township 226 299 834 

HiUman township 66 

Lakin township 55 

Leigh township 54 

Little Falls township 356 427 217 

Little Falls City : 

Ward I 1,941 

Ward 2 1,340 

Ward 3 1,591 

Ward 4 1,206 

Total in City 6,078 5,774 2,354 

Morrill township 350 345 132 

Motley township 88 226 365 

Motley village 428 404 525 

Mount Morris township 54 13 

Parker township 479 516 25 

Pierz township 631 1,049 1.387 

Pierz village 545 358 

Pike Creek township 1.394 1.361 809 

Platte township 209 206 — 

Pulaski township 129 121 

Rails Prairie township 206 285 

Randall village 195 — — 

Richardson township 60 

Ripley township 610 716 614 

Rosing township 143 

Royalton village 676 664 

Scandia Valley township 158 260 

Swan River township 1,225 1,229 983 

Swanville township 826 686 

Swanville village 397 244 

Two Rivers township 812 911 857 

Totals 24,053 22, 891 13.325 

The reports show that Morrison county had 616 inliahitants in i860; 
in 1865 it had 796: in 1870 it had reached 1,681; in 1S75 it was 2.722; in 

1890 it was 13.325 ; in 1900 it was 22.891 ; in 1910 it had reached 24,053. 



In 191 5 there are the following incorporated villages and cities within 
Morrison county : Buckman, incorporated in May, 1903. Little Falls (city), 
incorporated on February 7, 1902. Village of Pierz, incorporated on August 
17, 1894. Village of Swanville, incorporated on May 24, 1893. Royalton 
was incorporated in October, 1887. Randall village was incorporated in July, 
1900. Other incorporated villages are Bowlus, Genola ( formerly New 
Pierz), Flensberg and Motley. 


The postofifices in operation in this county in 191 5 are as follow: Little 
Falls, Hillman, Motley, New Pierz (now Genola), Pierz, Ramey, Randall, 
Royalton, Rucker, Swanville, Lincoln, Gushing, Flensburg, Bowlus — a total 
of fourteen. Formerly there were many more, but on account of the many 
free rural delivery routes established in the last decade many have been dis- 


Morrison county, like most Minnesota counties, had its full share of 
town sites. Twenty-four town plats were recorded in Little Falls, by the 
register of deeds, from 1855 to 1858, many of which, however, were not 
located within what is the present county, but were platted on unsurveyed 
government lands. Except Fergus Falls and Little Falls, none ever attained 
any considerable historic fame. Fergus Falls was so named for its founder, 
James Fergus, who was a pioneer at Little Falls and went with a company 
of men to Otter Tail county and there located Fergvis Falls in the autumn of 
1856. The same company also platted towns in many other western Minne- 
sota sections, none of which ever materialized to any extent; in fact were only 
sprung on the public as "paper towns'" for the purpose of exciting the spirit 
of speculation which was rife throughout all of the Western states at that 
period. In several cases lots were sold in the cities of Boston, New York and 
Philadelphia, to parties who had no idea of the wilderness condition of the 
country in which the towns were platted by their designing founders. Of 
such towns in Morrison countyj none succeeded in keeping up any semblance 
of villages save possibly Swan River, Belle Prairie and Granite City. Of the 
lesser plattings may be recalled Lulo, Buckfield, Big Bend, Little Elk, Janes- 


vilie and Olean, names only recalled by the memory of the very earliest set- 
tlers who chance now to have survived the storms of many decades and are 

still with us. 


Of the town or village plattings within Morrison county, the register 
of deeds' ofifice now has an account of the following: 

Gushing, in the southwest quarter of section 21, township 131, range 
31 ; platted December 18, 1907, by Oscar Carlson for an estate. 

Bowlus, in the southwest quarter of section 127, range 30; by the Tri- 
State Land Company, July 7, 1907. 

Buckman, in sections 5, 8 and 9, township 39, range 30; July 18, 1903, 
by a townsite company with many local names attached. 

Flensburg, in section 25, township 129, range 31; March 18, 1890, by 
Olaf O. and Dagmar Searle. 

Hillman, in the west half of section 28, township 41, range 28; July 8, 
1908, by the Tri-State Land Company. 

Lincoln, in section 31, township 132, range 31; September 12, 1893, 
by Elizabeth Bauman. 

Motley, in section 18, township 133, range 31 ; by the Lake Superior 
and Puget Sound Land Company, April 7, 1879. 

North Prairie, in section 20, township 127, range 29; July 3, 1885, by 
George Gissel. 

AicKinley, in section 30, township 132, range 31 : by William B. Hash 
and wife, Sarah, May 31. 1899. 

Town of I'ierz, in section 8, township 40, range 30, and in sections 34 
and 35, township 41, range 30; October, 1887. 

X'illage of Pierz, in 1891, by forty-three persons whose names are at- 
tached to the platting. It is situated in the north half of the south half of 
section 8, township 40, range 30, also in sections 34 and 35 of township 41, 
range 30. This was re-surveyed and corrected by 1\. J. Batzer, county sur- 
veyor, in 1903. 

New Pierz, in the .southeast (|uarter of section 18. township 40, range 
30; August 29, 190S, by John Stumpf and wife. 

Randall, in the northwest (juartcr of the northwest cjuarter of section 7, 
township 30, range 30; 2\Iarch 10, 1890, by Daniel and Alice K. Merrill. 

Royalton (Bradford's addition), in the northeast quarter of the north- 
west quarter of section 35, townshi]) 39, range ^2; December, 1882, by Mary 


Little Falls (original plat), surveyed in 1856, by S. M. Putnam, sur- 
veyor, in Minnesota Territory; by the Little Falls Manufacturing Company. 

Svvanville, in section 7. township 28, range 31; November, 1882; by 
John N. Williams, Jr., and Albert and Mathilda Rhoda. 

Vawter, in parts of sections 6 and 31, in townships 39 and 40, range 
31 ; July 3, 1908, by the Tri-State Land Company. 


While Morrison county has never suffered by grasshoppers to the extent 
that other portions of the country have, yet it has had its scourge by these 
winged pests. In the latter part of July, 1856, the grasshoppers made their 
appearance and sudden descent upon the county. They came in from the 
northwest. Their ravages extended to nearly all parts of the county. Grain 
was ripening and nearly ready for the harvest, yet about two-thirds of the 
crop was destroyed. That autumn they deposited large quantities of eggs, 
from which the following spring there appeared an immense army of grass- 
hoppers. These devoured almost every living, green bit of vegetable 
substance to be found on the surface of the land. But the settlers endured 
this loss without much complaint, for all the ablebodied men were busy at 
teaming and other paying labor by which they were enabled to care and 
supply their families with food. 

Since the departing of grasshoppers, in 1857, no serious trouble has 
been met with on account of the pests. About 1873 a few appeared in the 
western part of this county, doing much damage to growing crops and gar- 
dens, but not since that year have farmers experienced much trouble on ac- 
count of grasshoppers, which in Iowa and Dakota caused so much distress 
and devastation in the later seventies. 


Morrison county has never had but one legal execution, and that was 
for cold-blooded murder. It occurred in July, 1889, in the court house 
square, just to the north of the present brick jail, after midnight, as pre- 
scribed by law. 

The circumstances were as follow: A man calling himseil Albert 
Buelow had been stealing horses and running them from Wisconsin and 
Minnesota up into North Dakota. Several teams were thus stolen and in 


July, 1889, he stayed all night at a farm house nine miles out from Little 
Falls, and the following day just before dusk, he asked a farmer residing in 
Buckman township for permission to ride with him, which was granted, and 
after riding to a point about a mile and a half out of Royalton, in Bellevue 
township, he shot the farmer, whose name was Eich, in the head and killed 
him. He then hid the lifeless body in the brush and weeds alongside the 
road, after which he took the farmer's team and made his way from the 

He was pursued by the sheriff of Morrison county, Henry Rasicot, as 
far as Verndale, where he was captured, placed in jail and at the March term 
of court pleaded guilty to the murder of Eich. The judge sentenced him to 
be hanged. This was the first and last hanging within the limits of Morrison 
county. From later evidence it appears that had the plans of Buelow worked 
out he would have been liberated by the wife of a deputy sheriff, who secured 
the keys and liberated all the remaining prisoners in the county jail. Fear- 
ing something might happen, and having suspicions of the woman. Sheriff 
Rasicot did not leave the jail, but kept close watch the last few days prior 
to the execution. There was no question as to the man's guilt. 


In 1913 there were shipped a million tons of ore from the mines that 
had but recently been discovered. This was from an extension of the famous 
Cuyuna iron range which extends at least as far as the northwestern portion 
of Morrison county. The first drilling was done on this the south extension 
of the Cuyuna, in section 31, township 131, range 30, in 1905. Drilling here 
and at other points in the vicinity continued two years, by parties sent out as 
explorers from Duluth. In 1907 the first explored mineral property was 
deeded to Marshall II. Alworth, of Duluth. In 1912 mineral land leases 
were executed to parties in St. Cloud and drilliiig was continued with happy 
results. At Randall, Morrison county, in 1913, there were companies drill- 
ing, and near there many lands changed hands and speculation was rife. 
Among the largest owners and holders of mineral land leases in Morrison 
county were John \'ertin, Little b'alls : Congressman l.indlicrgh and Judge 
J. T. Hale. 

In iielle I'rairic tuwnship, on another entirely different iron ore range, 
known as the Mille Lacs range, other discoveries were made a year or two 
ago. Some of the points where drilling was carried on were in section 8, 
township 41, range 31, on Mr. Moran's land, and in section 10. townshiji 41, 


range 31, and at other points. Among the men of Little Falls interested 
especially in these mines (prospective fortunes) are S. J. Vasaly, the jeweler, 
and C. B. Buckman. Just what these explorations will finally bring forth 
remains to be seen by a further development. 


Nathan Richarilson, a most worthy, capable man, was born in Wayne 
countv, New York, in 1829. He was reared on the farm and obtained a 
common-school education at Romeo, Michigan, coming to Little Falls, Min- 
nesota, in 1855. He served as register of deeds for Morrison county eight 
years and was postmaster at Little Falls eleven years. He also served as 
county surveyor and county attorney, having been admitted to the bar in 
1877. For a quarter of a century he was a notary public. From 1867 to 
1878 he was states representative. During his first term he represented nine- 
teen counties, nearly half of the territory of Minnesota. For two years he 
was judge of the probate court. At the request of the county commissioners 
in the eighties he collected and published in the local newspapers a history 
of JMorrison county, which has come to be of great historic value. He 
married Mary A. Roof by whom were born three sons and two daughters. 
He passed from earth about 1907. 


Fourteen miles to the east of the city of Little Falls are located the 
famous granite quarries known as the "Vermont Quarries." This granite 
is a dark gray, dark red and tinted color which is susceptible of a high polish, 
and is equal to the best on the continent. The only thing in the way of fur- 
ther developing these wonderful quarries of granite is the lack of railroad 
facilities. This stone is in great demand for monuments and other beauti- 
ful works in building and the finer arts. A line of railway has been pro- 
jected from Little Falls to Pierz which would easily connect with the Soo 
line and give an excellent outlet for this valuable granite. 


■i(ii>i> corNTV ('(HK'i' iiorsi;, i.(i.\(; 1'i;aii;ik 

llicii sciiiiiM. i;i ii.iiiMi. i.()N(; i'i;\ii:ii; 






The author is indebted largely to Warren Upham, secretary of the 
Minnesota Historical Society, for much contained in this chapter, as he made 
a survey and had to do with the latest investigations regarding the geological 
formation, topography and other matters which entered into his report, which 
was made a section in the large volume issued by the state in 1888, which 
included the surveys of 1881. 

Long Prairie, the county seat of Todd county and in 1888 the largest 
town within its borders, is one hundred and fifteen miles from St. Paul. 
The county's area is 1,008.34 square miles, or 645,336.72 acres, of which 
27,111.58 acres are covered with water. 


The natural drainage of the county is wholly within the Mississippi basin. 
From Todd county the Crow Wing river receives its largest tributary, the 
Long Prairie river, which drains about one-half of the county of Todd, 
besides one-quarter of Douglas county. Red Eye river from the north and 
Wing river from the south are large tributaries of Leaf river; and Long 
Prairie river receives Moran brook and Eagle creek from the west, and Fish 
Trap brook and Turtle creek from the east side, besides numerous lesser 

In southeastern Todd county the Swan river gathers its head waters in 
Burnhamville and portions of adjoining townships, flowing east thence 
through Morrison county to the Mississippi river. 



The largest lake in Todd countv is Osakis. which is seven miles lone 
and from one-half to two or three miles wide. North and west of Lon^ 
Prairie river Todd county has only a few small lakes, the greatest being 
Staples lake, in section 9. The half of the county south and east of the 
river, however, has many lakes, the largest of which, after Osakis. are Henry 
(Maple), Little Sauk and Fairy lakes toward the southwest, and the Birch 
Bark lakes, Swan, Latimer, Charlotte, Cold, Two Island, Thunder. Rice, 
Long and Fawn lakes toward the east. 


The topography of Todd county is more diversified than that in Wadena 
county. Such modified drift occupies only a small portion of its area, being 
confined chiefly to belts one to two miles wide next to the line between this 
and Wadena county, on the Crow Wing river, on Long Prairie river, and 
through the western third of Round Prairie. The remainder of this county,, 
excepting se\eral other smaller tracts of modified drift, is covered by the 
unmodified glacial drift, called till or boulder-clay. For the greater part this 
has a smoothly undulating or rolling surface, with elevations twenty to forty 
feet above the depressions; but on considerable tracts it is more prominently 
rolling and hilly, constituting terminal moraines. To the latter class belong 
the drift hills fifty to one hundred feet high north and east of Osakis lake 
and reaching thence southeast to Sauk and Birch Bark lakes ; hills one hun- 
dred to even two hundred feet high, occupying most of Gray I'Lagle and 
Burnhamvillc townships; and their continu.ition northward, fifty to one 
hundred feet high alimg the east border of the county to the east i)art of 
Fawn Lake township. Mt. Nebo is also a culminating point in this series of 

.Along the greater part of its northward from Long Prairie 
village, the valley of Long Prairie river has -a width of aljout one mile and is 
bounded by moderate slopes which rise gradually to an average of fifty-five 
feet — in cases seventy-five feet — above the stream, seldom forming the steep 
bluffs which indicate undermining erosion bv the river: but in the west edee 
of Long Prairie and through Reynolds this valley is only one-fourth to one-i 
third of a mile wide and is enclosed by bluffs from sixty to .scventv-live feet 


high, with steep slopes, while in Leslie it is bordered by irregular morainic 


Motley is 1,227 ^^^^ above sea level; Dower Lake Station, 1,293 feet; 
Staples Mills, 1,276 feet, while Wadena is 1,350 feet. At Eagle Bend the 
altitude reaches 1,383 — the highest point in the county. At Long Prairie 
the altitude from sea-level reaches 1.274 feet, while at Birch Bark lake it is 
only 1. 1 75. The highest point of land in Todd county in the morainic hill 
sections is 1,500 feet, near Stowe Prairie. 


For the most part Todd county has a very productive clayey soil, which, 
bears a heavy growth of timber, usually with much underbrush, the list of. 
trees being about the same as found in adjoining counties and will be found 
in the ISIorrison county section of this work. In Stowe township prairies 
are found, and on the south side of Shell river a prairie extends eight miles 
northward from Shell river township into Hubbard county. Long Prairie 
and Round Prairie are valuable possessions of Todd county. The northeast 
boundary of the great prairie region of southwestern Minnesota crosses the 
southwest corner of Todd county, and includes sections 31 and 32 and parts 
of adjoining sections in Gordon, nearly all of West Union, and the south 
edge of Kandota. 


At only two points in Todd county is the bed-rock exposed. The places: 
are in Ward and Moran townships. The average thickness of the drift in. 
Todd county is about one hundred to one hundred and fifty feet. From 
twenty to thirty per cent, of this drift deposit is gravel. Many petrifactionsr 
are found within Todd county — beautiful and large specimens. 

The alluvium — the first tract of gravel, sand and fine silt or clay — 
borders on Long Prairie river most of the way from the village of Long 
Prairie to its mouth, with a width varying from half a mile to one mile. Out- 
side the alluvial tract, a considerable part of the belt called the Long Prairie 
is modified drift, undulating ten to twenty feet in long smooth slopes as high 
as forty feet above the river bed. 

Good wells are to be had at from fifteen to sixty feet all over Todd county, 


and the quality of water is excellent. Most all the thousands of wells are pro- 
ductive of fine water found in either sand or gravel — Nature's own perfect 
filtering system. 


Agriculture is the leading industry of this section of Minnesota. Its 
good supply of timber places the production of lumber and wooden manufac- 
tories next in rank to farming industries. Water power is found at many 
points within this county. 

No special stone quarries for the production of building stone ha\e ever 
been developed in this county. Boulders are, or rather were, much used for 
rough masonry in days gone by, but cement has come in to take the place of 
stone in most instances both in town and country. 

In 1881, H. B. Morrison, of Motley, opened a brick-yard three-fourths 
of a mile east on the north side of the railroad near the middle of section 18, 
Moran township, five miles west of Motley, producing red bricks of bright 
color and of excellent quality as to strength and durability. His product in 
1 88 1 was about 450,000, selling at from eight to ten dollars per thousand 
loaded on cars. Wood fuel cost at that date two dollars per cord. In section 
35, Eagle Valley township, brick-making commenced in 1880, and 80,000 in 
1880, and 125,000 in 1881 were produced. The maker, George G. Howe, also 
made curved brick for well curbing purposes which sold readily at ten dollars 
per thousand. 

Other brick-kilns were established in this county, after modern methods, 
about 1878, and in a few years it had come to be a large, profitable industry. 


By John H. Sheets, In 1911. 

Todd county is located in central Minnesota within what is known as the 
Park region of the state — a beautiful stretch of country comprising fertile 
prairies, noble forests, ranges of verdure covered hills, with hundreds of sky- 
'tinted lakes and streams of limpid waters. 

No country ever offered better advantages for home building than this 
section. The first settler could choose at his will from a vast environment, 
taking such land as he pleased. The prairies and brush openings made it 
easy for one to break and subdue the soil and farms could be opened with 
much less labor than the dense forests of middle-west sections afforded, such 
as had been the case in Ohio, Indianal and Kentucky. Nor did the first set- 
tlers here suffer the exposure and endure the hardships encountered by those 
early pioneers in other sections. The forest gave them fuel and building 
materials and the maple trees provided them with plenty of sugar. Natural 
meadows abounded along the streams, and in the marshes there was an 
abundance of grass and other forage for stock; wild fruits grew in abundance 
and game of all kinds ranged in the forests, while the lakes and streams 
had plenty of excellent fish. It is true that many of the refinements of life 
were, for a time wanting, but all were healthy and happy and lived in a lively 
hope of a better near-at-hand future which soon crowned their efforts. 


The so-called poverty of the frontier settler is not the squalid poverty 
of the city slum ; it does not dwarf the body and mind of the growing child, 
but stimulates to healthy eff'ort and contributes to growth and independence. 
Nor must it be inferred that the life of the early settler was dull and unat- 
tractive. They had their social functions, their society meetings, their 
churches and schools, and on the whole, their life was as full and satisfying 


and useful — if not even more so — than the more de\eloped and more elegant 
social circle of the present day. 

But whether frontier life is more wholesome or attractive than that 
which comes later, like youth to the indi\-idual, it comes to the conimunitv 
but once. The conditions of that golden day are gone. The wild game of 
the forest is nearly a thing of the past. The deer and the elk and some 
other s])ecies of game are vanished, and the prairie chicken and the partridge 
are less plentiful than when the first settlers came upon the scene. But the 
clear liracing atmosphere, the bright sunshine and waters of crystal purity 
still give life and vigor to our people and the fertile soil yields abundant 
harvests to the industrious husbandman. 


During the early years of the nineteenth century this territorv was the 
disputed ground between the Siou.x and Chippewa Indians. It was at one 
time in possession of the Siou.x, but they were gradually dispossessed by 
their more powerful foes and about 1840 the go\ernment established a 
boundary line between the two hostile tribes; aiming to confine the Sioux 
to the great ])lains from the forest lands of the Missouri river, while the 
Chippewas were given possession eastward to Lake Superior. But this did 
not end the ho.stilities between them and ro\ing bands of Sioux and Chippe- 
was often met in deadly battle, .\mong the Chippewas who came up the 
river to trade with the white settlers about sixty-five years ago, there was 
a tradition that at some time in the past a bloody and decisive battle was 
fought between these two tribes in the vicinity of Coal Lake, near the wester^ 
edge of the town of Little Elk, in which the Chippewas were victorious. 

Were it possible to write the history of these two powerful tribes, as 
they \\aged deadly warfare for possession of the land, it would rival in 
interest the most fascinating tales of chivalry. But this region was generally 
occupiefl by the Chip|>ewa tribe when the first settlers came here and many 
citizens still resident frequently recall visits by old chief "Bad Boy" and his 
tribesmen to this section for several years after Todd Cdunty was organized. 
The chief and his followers were friendly to the white men during the Sioux 
outbreak in 1862, and they were not strictly confined to their reservation by 
the government and state authorities. As late as the early seventies these 
Indians came up the long Prairie ri\er to trade the iirdduots of their indus- 
tries with the peo])le of the white race and e\en in 1877 there were occasicMial 
Indian camps in the northern ])art of Todd countv. 


The history of the settlement of Todd county would be comprised almost 
wholly within the history of Long Prairie village, when the present site of 
the county seat was selected by the government as the location of the Indian 
agency. This agency was established in 1845 and the Winnebago Indians, 
brought here from somewhere in Illinois, made this their home. This tribe 
had joined with the Sacs and Foxes and Pottawattomies in the Black Hawk 
War in 1838, and when the outbreak was suppressed, the Winnebagos were 
sent to this agency. The expedition which brought these Indians to their 
new home came up the Mississippi by boats as far as St. Paul, and from 
there by pack train and on foot coming into the present limits of Todd county 
by way of Osakis and along the south shore of Osakis lake. There was 
then no trail by which to travel and the party had to cut a road as they 
moved through the primeval forests of that day. 


The establishment of the agency brought a large number of white people, 
many being government officials and other employees, while others came as 
Indian traders and adventurers. There were erected one hundred and fifty 
buildings and about a thousand acres of land was broken and fenced into 
forty-acre lots to be farmed by the Indians. The first residents of the 
present \allage can remember the marks of the plow and the hollows where 
the cellars of the houses had been along the old road down the prairie towards 
the north beyond the farm now owned by the Thiegs brothers, and as late as 
1880 or 1881 the site of the old stockade could be traced in the western part 
of the village. The lumber used in building the town at that time was sawed 
by a mill run by horse power somewhere in eastern Hartford or Little Elk. 
Some of these buildings were comparatively fine structures costing as much 
as three thousand dollars. The agency was maintained until about 1854 
when disturbances between the Winnebagoes and the Chippewas became fre- 
quent and the former tribe \yas removed to a new agency not far from the 
present site of Mankato. 

The government property, it seems, was purchased shortly after by 
Anson Northrup and sold by him to the Long Prairie Land Company. The 
headquarters of this company was at Cincinnati, Ohio, and all the town lots 
of the original site of Long Prairie village as well as many farms in the 
vicinity were purchased of this company. Major Clark, one of this com- 
pany, was the first resident agent and brought in cattle and ponies from the 


Red River country. General Van Cleve was afterward the resident agent 
and his wife, Charlotte Van Cleve, was prominent in charitable and public 
movements in the state until recent years. Lake Charlotte to the south of 
town, was named for her. But white settlers could not be drawn to this 
section in that early day and at the close of the year 1859, ^^ • ^^ • Tuttle, 
James Martin and General Van Cleve, with their families were the only 
inhabitants of the once populous and bustling town. Many of the inhabitants 
went to other parts of the state, while a few settled in other parts of the 
county. Among the later were H. C. Hewes, who settled on Round Prairie; 
C. E. Buss, who went to West Union, and A. H. Gibson, who took land on 
Bear Head creek in what is now the town of Bruce. These three residents 
of the first town of Long Prairie later became permanent residents of the 
county, Mr. Gibson and Mr. Buss remaining until death called them hence, 
while Mr. Hewes occupied his farm until some twenty-five years ago when 
he remoN'ed with his family to the state of Washington. Mr. Buss was for 
many years county treasurer. 


In the spring of i860 A. D. Brower came into the county along with a 
few others and on the 4th of July of that year, the total population of the 
county to the numljer of twenty-seven souls, gathered at Long Prairie to 
celebrate the nation's birthday. On that date a pole was erected on the 
present court house site, \\hich was known for man\- years as "libertv pole," 
giving its name largely to the town. Many of the older settlers knew of the 
town under this name, rather than lh;il of Long Prairie. This pole was 
damaged by fire and on the 4th of July, iSog. at a celebratidu in the village, 
a new "liberty pole" was raised and dedicated by Rev. John Jones to the 
memory of George Russell, Richard D. Brower and Abraham I). Brower, Jr., 
who had given their lives in the War of the Rebellion. This pole remained 
standing until about the time the present court house was Iniilt in 1883. 

In the summer of i860. Samuel Lee, father of Wm. E. Lee, moved to 
Long Prairie with his family, from a few miles west of the Mississippi. He 
had started for West Union, where he exjiected to locate permanontlv, but 
on reaching Long Prairie, he was persuaded by General \"an ( "k'\e to stop 
here, as there were many houses empty which he could occupy and land in 
abundance for farming, free of rent. He remained in Long Prairie for 
alx)ut two years when he went b.ick and located on the east bank of the 
Mississippi. From lli;it place he enlisted in the arniv during the Civil \\';tr. 



Along in the latter part of the summer of i860, a company of soldiers 
in command of Lieutenant Latimer, after whom Lake Latimer was named, 
was sent to Long Prairie to guard the few settlers against danger from the 
Indians. Roving bands of Sioux led by Winnebagos roamed through this 
section in their forays against the Chippewas, their hereditary enemies, and 
it was feared they might attack the whites. During the stay of this com- 
pany of soldiers, a young girl, the daughter of one of the officers, whose 
name is now unknown, died and was buried on the northern declivity of the 
hill east of town. All the older inhabitants of Long Prairie and vicinity 
well remember the old lichen-covered picket fence that for many years 
marked the grave. This company of soldiers must have been withdrawn 
before the year 1862 at the time of the Sioux Indian outbreak, as no one 
remained in the village at that time except James Martin and family and the 
resident agent, one Mr. Weakly — General Van Cleve having gone to the 
front in command of the Second Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. 

When the outbreak occurred and news of its horrors reached Long 
Prairie, the inhabitants of the county fled to protected points, and Todd 
county reverted to its former state of an uninhabited wilderness. A. D. 
Brower and family alone remained on his farm in the southwestern extremity 
of Round Prairie surrounded and guarded by a band of friendly Chippewas. 
Thus Mr. Brower took rank as the oldest continuous resident. After the 
Civil War, immigrants began to locate within the borders of Todd county 
and commenced to build up permanent homes. Many will remember Mr. 
Brower as a conspicuous figure at all public gatherings — a somewhat under- 
sized but well-built figure, erect as a soldier, clad in buckskin, with long, 
flowing white hair and beard and with keen, twinkling blue eyes. It was 
reported that the town was burned by the Indians after all the inhabitants 
had fled, but Mr. Brower always contended that in this matter the red man 
was slandered — that the buildings were torn down and carried away by white 
settlers to the south and west, the materials being used to build new houses. 
Among the buildings destroyed were a Catholic church near where the depot 
now stands and a convent near the present site of the Baptist church. This 
may be said to have ended the first twenty years of the history of Todd 



It is impossible now to chronicle much of the history of that period, but 
several interesting incidents have been handed down. General Van Cleve, 
who has been mentioned as a resident agent of the Long Prairie Land Com- 
pany, was a West Point graduate, but how he came to quit the army and 
enter civil life is not known. He was well qualified for military life, especi- 
ally on the frontier, and it could not have been for lack of courage or love 
of ease, as he spent his early years on the frontier or in the Civil War. He 
entered the War of the Rebellion as a colonel and was breveted general for 
brave conduct at the battle of Wilson's Creek. He was a trained athelete 
and could jump nimbly over a pole held as high as his chin and he knew no 
such thing as fear. While agent here, at one time a party of Siou.x Indians 
chased a Chippewa girl named Susie Roy, who was employed as a domestic 
in his family — several of them following her into his house — where she 
sought his protection. He was alone, but by his boldness, cowed the Indians 
so they left the girl and family unmolested. The same party, on going down 
the prairie, met a lone Chippewa near the old school house site whom they 
shot, and placed his body in an upright i)osilion in a pile of rails. \'an 
Cleve's boys noticed a gun protruding from the rails and on examination 
found the Indian's body decapitated and the head scalped. 

A man named John Bailey opened a saloon outside the agency, across 
east of the hill near the present site of the Hilger farm house and whisky 
was sold to the Indians in \iolation of the law. Van Cleve, with others of 
the agency, went out to suppress the traffic by force — the only way possible 
at the time. In the fracas that occurred a Mr. Barnum, from Little Falls. 
was stabbed and the tradition is that the wound was inflicted by H. C. Hewes. 
It was not serious, however, and Barnum soon recovered. He was iustice 
of the peace in Little Falls and was afterward moblx;d by a party of toughs, 
who resented some decision of his as justice of the peace. A short time after 
the trouble here, \^an Cleve was at a hotel in Little Falls and o\erheard a 
])arty upstairs jilanning to go to Long Prairie and mob the men who had 
interfered with the whisky deal. He was a stranger to the men and could 
have escaped, but instead, he walked in among the crowd and told "his name 
saying they could settle the trouble with him then and there without going 
to Long Prairie. He was able by his undaunted bearing to defy the whole 
crowd and they left off their proposed raid on Long Prairie. 

Mrs. \'an Cleve \isited Long Prairie some twenty-five years ago and 


in a public address told of one winter spent here when their stock of pro- 
visions was exhausted except for a supply of wheat. By accident, some 
broken glass got mixed with the grain and the family had to pick over the 
wheat a kernel at a time, to separate from it the particles of glass. This 
wheat they boiled and ate as their sole article of diet, the roads being blocked 
with snow pre\enting communication with the outside world. During the 
time the Van Cleve family resided in Long Prairie, their youngest son was 

During the early days, James Martin carried the mail to the agency from 
Little Falls. He afterward settled on a farm three miles east of Pillsbury 
in what is now Morrison county. About the year 1872 a murder occurred 
near his house, the result of a quarrel over a game of cards, and as a result 
of the tragedy he became insane and committed suicide. 

The last company agent in Long Prairie was a Mr. Weakly, who was 
city bred and in no way fitted for the place. Probably as a result of his 
incompetence as well as the breaking out of the Civil War, the Long Prairie 
Land Company aljandoned the place and let the town go to destruction. 
David Olmstead was an early resident of the town, being an Indian trader, 
and was elected to the state Senate in 1848. He got lost in the woods 
between the town and the Mississippi at one time and wandered about a 
whole week, finding his way out of the wilderness by following down the 
stream of Two Rivers. David Day was a resident of Long Prairie in the 
early fifties and was elected to the Legislature in 1852, and was made speaker 
when the house organized. 


In the foregoing sketch wherever Todd county is mentioned, it has 
reference to the present boundaries. Originally the county extended east 
to the Mississippi river and the division occurred in 1864 when a vote was 
taken on the proposition to take two tiers of townships from Todd and add 
them to Morrison county. Since the larger number of voters lived along the 
Mississippi river the vote was in favor of division. A. D. Brower was 
appointed by Governor Miller to hold the election and he went with Henry 
Ellingson, William Overman and James Brower to West Union, where the 
ballots were deposited in a cigar box. There were eighteen votes there against 
division, but the settlers in the eastern district cast twenty ballots in favor of 


After the Indians had been conquered, and all danger from that source 
was ended, the permanent settlement of the county began. A few families 
who had fled from their homes at the uprising of the savages returned and 
became permanent residents of the county. Among these were A. H. Gib- 
son, of Bear Head; Peter Losey and H. C. Hewes, of Round Prairie, and 
C. E. Buss and perhaps others in the southwestern part of the county. At 
the outbreak some families sought safety in the stockade at Sauk Centre, 
which was guarded by three or four companies of soldiers under command 
of Capt. Oscar Tayler, afterward a prominent lawyer of St. Cloud, while 
others, mainly from Round Prairie, took flight to the settlements along the 
Mississippi river, which were protected by a military force at Ft. Ripley. 

Of all the men and women who lived here before the outbreak and 
passed through the terrors of that brief period, none are now living, except 
it may be H. C. Hewes and wife. A few of the younger generation who 
were then children are still residents of Todd county. Among such may be 
named Mrs. William E. Lee, formerly Miss Eva Gibson ; Mrs. L. B. Branch 
of Round Prairie, formerly Miss Carrie Losey, and Charles Losey, a brother, 
and possibly a few others. The writer cannot say what became of W. W. 
Tuttle and family, but it is known that he lived several years in Little Sauk, 
and that his daughter. Bertha, was one of the first white children born in 
the county, Mary Hewes being the other. They were born on the same day 
in Long Prairie, June 14, 1858. 

Philo Farnum and family had settled on what many years ago was 
known as the Lawson farm, on the road from Long Prairie to Round Prairie, 
and this family was among those who had to flee for their lives. It cnnnot 
here be stated how long Mr. Farnum was a resident of the county, but at 
one time a band of predatory Chippewa Indians broke into his house and 
robbed it of such articles as they could make use of, presumably during the 
time the family were absent on account of the Sioux hostilities. 

New settlers were few and far between until the close of the Ci\il War, 
when the energies of the nation were turned from destructive warfare of 
brother against brother and the armies of peace began conquest of the great 
West. The formation of school districts may throw some light on where the 
settlements were first effected. District No. i is located in the southern part 
(if Rdund Prairie townshi]) in the vicinitv of the Sergeants and it is here that 
probably the first neighborhood was formed. Possibly the next settlements 
were made in the southern and southwestern parts of the county around 
Fairy Lake, in the townships of West Union and Gordon. 



Like the flow of water, the currents of new settlements are influenced 
by the lay of the land and the natural obstructions that may Stand in the 
way. At this time there was a wagon road from Long Prairie to the Missis- 
sippi, which had been opened by the government, after the agency had been 
establislied, at a cost of thirty thousand dollars ; and there was also a wagon 
road from Round Prairie to Sauk Center, following in a general way, the 
old Indian trail. It was easy also for teams to travel down the prairie on 
the east side of Long Prairie river, as far as the mouth of Turtle creek and 
also up the south side. The old stage road from St. Cloud to Ft. Aber- 
crombie, passed through the southwestern portion of the county, near the 
line between the forest lands and the big prairies, and open lands along the 
streams determined the first settlements. The data concerning the new set- 
tlements are somewhat conflicting. W. W. Tuttle, who figures in the early 
history of Long Prairie village, removed to West Union in 1839 or i860 
and found living there George Gurney, C. E. Buss, George Smith, Joseph 
Jordan, John Kerr, Jesse Dapper, Jerry Stone, and a Mrs. Gordon, with 
their families. This being before the outbreak, it is not known how many 
of these first settlers returned after hostilities ceased, but it is certain that 
Buss, Smith, Kerr and Stone lived in the vicinity many years later. C. F. 
Bohall, H. F. Lashier and S. M. Herbert, old timers in public affairs of the 
county, are named as pioneers of West Union, and Byron King and George 
Herberger were prominent names in that town in an early day. 

Settlements also sprung up in the region of Fairy Lake in the town of 
Kandota between i860 and 1865, and among the first inhabitants are the 
names of Rev. John Jones — father of J. D. Jones — A. D. Hale, A. B. Stinch- 
field and Theodore Belden. J. O. Milne was an early resident of Kandota 
and represented the old Forty-first district in the Senate of Minnesota from 
1870 to 1872. East of Sauk Lake a few settlers came in 1865 and five years 
later the town of Birchdale was comparatively well settled. Among the 
first in this section were John Dimon, Charles Finkley, Joseph Rowell, Royal 
Smith, L. S. Bishop, William Hartung, Martin Peters, L. L. Matterson, A. 
P. Fuller and Edmund Finney. Further east in what is now Grey Eagle, 
settlement was somewhat later, but sometime between 1865 and 1870 there 
came in John A. Robins, Alexander Young, Ferdinand Trace, J. M. and J. 
A. Huffman, Rev. Thompson and son, S. S. Thompson, Alonzo Clark, and 
Edmond Callahan. 



The early settlements in the vicinity of Round Prairie and Long Prairie' 
are better known, however, than those along the southern border of this 
county. In 1863 Peter Losey returned to his farm on Round Prairie and 
by 1865 several families had located in that section. Henry Elingson and 
William Overman took claims in sections 7 antl 8 and these two were the first 
homestead entries made at the St. Cloud land office. They were both sol- 
diers in the Civil War. Samuel Sergeant and family came in 1865 to be 
followed soon by William Russell, David Matthews, William McCarrahan, 
E. B. Rice, William DeLuryea, William May, Daniel Harsh, A. T. Tracy, 
H. H. Scott, and Charles Hamlin, all familiar names in the early days of 
that section. 

Later on the timber lands of east Round Prairie were taken up largely 
by French and German emigrants among which were Oliver Peltier, J. B. 
Monnier and Mr. Brooks of the former nationality, and Paul Hansmann, 
Ferdinand Kaercher and the Fausts of the latter. 

About 1864 Dan Bosworth, a typical frontiersman, settled about a mile 
west of Long Prairie village and soon after came H. Venewitz, who built a 
house on the block which now is occupied by L. M. Davis. This house is 
still standing, but not on its original site. \^enewitz put up a saw-mill and 
a flouring-mill on the stream west of the sidetracks and near where the 
elevators now stand. His son Philip is still a resident of this county, oper- 
ating a meat shop at Browers\ille. Bosworth later took a homestead in 
Hartford where he remained until his death some thirty years ago. 

In 1865 came to this vicinity Michael and George Dinkel, H. Strum, 
Samuel and Benjamin Meyer, C. Haaser and Henry Stevens, all Germans, 
who took farms near the village, most all becoming permanent residents. 
After Venewitz, in 1867, .S. P. Chandler and Jacob Fisher opened a general 
.store on the present site of Kulstad's laundry and this firm — John Wait after- 
ward becoming a partner — was for many }ears the leading business firm of 
the town and county. Ignatius Reichart opened a hotel, in i86<), in a 
small lug building on the site of the present Hotel Reichert and about the 
same time Charles Harkens started another general store where hundreds of 
old timers in the county bought their sup]i!ies. For some three or four 
years these three business concerns were the only ones in the \illage. Settlers 
then commenced to come in too fast to be of interest to enumerate here. 

.Ml'.TlIOIUSl' ClirKCIi. I.ilNi; I'KAIKIK 




In 1865 began the settlements up the river west of Long Bridge and 
also down towards the north, L. S. Hoadley, Albert Madison and Garret 
Butler took up land five miles west of the village, Mr. Madison having 
become acquainted with the country during his service as a soldier. Horace 
Pierce and Gardner McClafling came in with Hoadley and Madison to look 
at the country and they also settled the next year. This was the original 
"Whiteville" settlement so named for Mrs. Hoadley, Mrs. Madison and 
Mrs. Pierce, who were sisters and whose maiden name was White. 

In July, 1866, Benjamin Maynard came on foot from Elk river, the 
end of the railroad at that time, and filed on land up the river beyond White- 
ville and built a cabin to be occupied by his family later in the season. May- 
nard was a soldier in the Union army and being a native of Kentucky, he 
concluded that he could not live among his old neighbors, most of whom 
were in sympathy with the Southern cause. He was mustered out of service 
at Louisville and came up here without going home. About the same time, 
Elijah, Joseph and Samuel Porter, also Kentuckians, settled in that locality. 
For about three years newcomers poured into that section and took up land 
mostly along the river, as far up as the western border of the county. Among 
these were William McGuire, I. N. Ely, James Davis and others from Ken- 
tucky. Albert and Dan Allee, Linus and A. M. Doty, Thomas Simmonds, 
J. Newville, C. H. Taylor, Jonas and Z. V. Booth, J. S. McCay, William 
Freeman, William Beach. John B. Leslie and far up the river John Bail. 
Of all these first settlers in that section not one is now living on his home- 
stead, except A. M. Doty, but several of the families are represented by the 
younger generation. 


In June, 1865, John Bassett came with his family and with a well- 
equipped outfit of horses and other stock and took land in Hartford, he 
being' the first settler there, and four days later came James Landphere and 
W. H. Redfield. In August John Wait and George Case located on land 
near what is now called old Hartford. They built a bridge across the river, 
which was known as the Wait bridge for many years. Mr. Case soon 
abandoned his claim. William Powell came in a little later and settled on 



the now well-known Charles Drill farm. The following season came George 
Pearmine, who was for years on the outskirts of civilization on his farm 
near present Clarissa. None came in there till in the seventies. Running 
down the east side of Long Prairie river from Long Prairie village, we find 
along in 1870-71, besides those named, Nicholas Rectenwald, Peter Pontius, 
D. Sdomy, Joseph Moore, R. H. Losey, L. W. Nickerson, Francis Pickins, 
William Neil, Thomas I>aidlow, Henry Weitmeyer, Schuyler Closon, Airs. 
Hermes, widow, William Shubert, Daniel Sanborn, Truman Tyrrell. 

To the east of these along Turtle creek were N. Irsfeld, Thomas Alun- 
dry, S. J. Davis, William George, F. Cleveland, J. H. Scott, E. N. Perry. 
On the west bank of the river were Nicholas Pontius (still occupying his 
old homestead) Fred, Jacob and John Holler, Phillip Petrie, Otis Lanphere, 
Thomas Rambo, J. P. Weeks and two grown sons, Warren and Clark ( whose 
original claims are a part of the farm afterward owned by Levi Whitesell), 
Richard Phillips, Fred Knarr, Louis Piepenburg, Charles O. and Carl Martin. 
In 1870 and 187 1. came the seven Sarfif brothers, Solomon Shull, John Gray, 
Joseph and E. J. Sutton and Lewis Sheets, all locating in a bunch to the 
north of the present site of Browerville and long known as the Hoosier set- 
tlement. Others came from Indiana later on, among them Barnhill Polly, 
A. Murphy, A. Cherry, John D. Nickey. Of these Indiana people. Joseph 
Sutton alone occupies the original homestead on which he first settled. 

After that date, this section of the county was rapidly settled, largely by 
Germans and Americans of German parentage, Louis and Joseph Woell, 
Joseph Gruber, Ben and J. C. Borgert, John and Henry Becker, John and 
Ed. Host, Henry Speaker, William Disselbritt, William Smith. August and 
Carl Drawz and Frederick Zachow being familiar names. 


A few settled along the river as far north as northern Moran, among 
them J. H. Gates, who kept a wayside inn in Moran, John Senti, Wallace and 
Lucian Wolff and Theodore and Philo Powell. All that portion of the 
ct)unty, comprising fourteen congressional townships, were included in the 
township organization of Hartford, and with the exception of the present 
two towns of Llartford and Ward, and the few settlers along the ri\er road 
to Motley, that whole region was practically unsettled. George Pearmine 
was the only resident of the present town of Eagle Valley and R. Y. Harris, 
of the present town of lona, which was then a jiart of Reynolds. It was 


about the year 1871 or 1872 when the first Polish settlers began to take up 
land in Hartford and within a few years along the Turtle Creek was a 
flourishing colony of these people. John Morzenzek, Joseph Zigan, Thomas 
Feist and Joseph Buhl were among the first of the Polish settlers. 

On the eastern edge of the county no settlements were made except 
along the government road from Swan River to Long Prairie. Besides A. 
H. Gibson, mentioned previously as the first to settle in that vicinity, Albert 
Rhoda settled on the farm which he still owns in the year 1866, and George 
Balmer settled on his farm near the present site of Pillsbury soon after. 
David Burnham built a mill at the outlet of Swan Lake on the site of the 
present village of IMllsljury, which was then named Burnhamville and later 
this became a flourishing little hamlet, and the center of a thriving farming 

A general store was established in 1875 by William E. Lee and R. H. 
Harkens and later when this store was moved to Long Prairie, Dr. J. Frank 
Locke carried on a general store business there, and also operated a flouring- 
mill. A woolen-mill also was in operation in the village for several years 
in the eighties and the early nineties. The Lee & Harkens store after being 
moved to Long Prairie, was run under the firm name of William E. Lee 
Company, and Doctor Locke also some years later came to Long Prairie 
where he has since resided. Both these individuals have been prominent 
in the public affairs of the county. For many years Charles Smith also oper- 
ated a general store in the village. Among the early settlers in that section 
were Charles D. Krousey, Jabez Merrill, Duncan McCrae, John StoU, Maxim 
Pepin, H. W. Twitchell and Charles Perley. 

Further to the west in that section Jeremiah Adams, C. D. and E. 
Batchelor were early settlers on Bear Head creek, the Batchelors operating a 
saw- and shingle-mill for several years. 

Another little community must have sprung up at an early date along 
the northwestern shore of Lake Osakis, as a school district was organized 
there, being a joint district with the territory partly in Douglas county. Seth 
Curtis was an old-time resident in that locahty and his son, Oliver Curtis still 
resides on the old farm which is devoted largely to fruit culture. 


The settlement of the northwestern towns is of comparatively recent 
date. About the years 1875 James, Isaac and Amos Stowe left the Ken- 


tucky settlement west of Long Prairie and took up land along \\'ing river in 
what is now Stowe Prairie. In 1877 there was quite a settlement in that 
section, among the pioneers being C. H. Ward, Chancy Wilcox, David Ben- 
nett, George Penny, M. L. Hinman, John Kelly, C. C. Lane, "Pap" Powell 
and Hy. Hewitt. Further up the Wing river, Henry Bottemiller opened a 
large farm and also John Riggs and family settled near the present site of 
the village of Bertha. S. H. Hamilton and Paul Steinbach were the pioneers 
of the present town of Germania and for several years there were no settlers 
living between Steinbach's farm in northern Germania and the Pearmine 
place on Eagle Creek. The present town of Wykeham and Burleene were 
unsettled except by J. H. Thompson and J. B. Leslie in the south of the 
latter and a Mr. R. Barnum, a single man, who lived in solitude on a claim 
in western Wykeham. Eagle Bend was only a bend in the stream. About 
1880 or 1881, Manassas Sarff with his family, moved from Ward township 
to the Eagle Bend vicinity and about the same time, B. F. Abbott and family 
settled on the land now the town site of the village. When the railroad was 
built to that point there soon sprang up a flourishing village and the land 
was rapidly taken in that section and settled by permanent residents. 

The building of the railroad resulted also in the location of Browersville 
and Clarissa and the rapid settlement of the lands all along the line. B. F. 
Abbott, J. H. Thompson and C. G. Odell opened stores in Eagle Bend, which 
were among the first business institutions. A. H. Odell, F. Nutting & 
Son and J. V. Glann were among the pioneer business men of Clarissa, the 
former doing a large business in shipping cordwood for several years. In 
Browerville, Perry & Scott opened the first store, moving it from old Hart- 
ford when Browerville was platted in 1882 and this firm is still in business 
there. D. C. Davis also established a general store, but soon went out of 
business, R. H. Harkens and afterward C. E. Harkens succeeding him. 
William Kahlert opened a general store in 1883 or 1884, which is still run- 
ning under the management of the Kahlert Brothers. When C. E. Harkens 
closed his business in Browerville, Sutton & Hart established a general store 
on the same site in 1887 and this business grew to the present establishment 
of the Hart Brothers. 


The largest town in the county is Staples, although one of the youngest, 
on the Northern Pacific railroad. This town grew up as a result of the 
Northern Pacific cut-off being built in 1883 from Little Falls in order to 


shorten the run from St. Paul to the coast. It is almost wholly dependent 
on the business incident to the railroad traffic, the population being largely 
made up of railroad employees. Staples furnishes a good market for vege- 
tables and small fruits as well as eggs, poultry and dairy products, and many 
farms in the north end of the county are devoted largely to this line of pro- 
duction. This cut-off also brought into existence the village of Philbrook, 
which was laid out by B. F. Hartshorn, an early settler of Motley. Joseph 
Smith and Mr. Phelps were among the first business men of this town. It is 
the trading place of a rather sparsely settled farming country, but being well 
within the Cuyuna iron district it has a fine prospect of being a prominent 
business center of the future. 

The people who now make up the population of the county are typical 
of the American people, generally. They represent many of the older states, 
as well as European countries. There are the New Englanders or descendants 
from the old Pilgrim stock and people from New York and other eastern 
states, as well as large numbers from the great middle west. A large per- 
centage of the people are Germans or Americans of German parentage and 
this nationality is more numerously represented in the towns of Long Prairie, 
Hartford, Ward, Moran, Germania and Bertha. The Scandinavians (often 
called the Yankees of Europe), began to settle in Little Sauk, Gordon and 
Kandota about 1870. although a few came at an earlier date. Peter Peter- 
son, John Peterson, Mons Anderson, Jens Johnson, Andrew Johnson and 
John Olson are names of old settlers in Little Sauk and Gordon. Later a 
large number of this nationality settled in lona. Eagle Valley, Wykeham, 
Ward and other towns of the central portion of the county. The Polish 
settlers have already been mentioned. In northern Ward and southern 
Moran there is a large settlement of Bohemians and these people have built 
a hall in which to meet and observe the customs of their native land and to 
celebrate the holidays of their adopted country. There are also quite a 
sprinkling of French settlers near Clarissa and in Round Prairie. The Irish 
are also in evidence in Todd county, as in every new country. It is notice- 
able that the children of all these various races show a marked tendency to 
amalgamate — to \x, in fact, one race. 


In all sections of the county the energies of the first settlers were directed 
to the opening of farms and the cultivation of the soil, and those who were 


reasonably industrious and prudent were eminently successful. In every 
neighborhood among those who commenced to build homes in an early day, 
can be found many well-to-do fanners and it is also equally true that many 
who have bought lands more recently, have been quite successful. But other 
industries were not neglected. There were numerous saw-mills. A mill 
was built near the mouth of Turtle creek about the year 1875, by John 
Barnes, which was afterward purchased by James Hart. After operating 
the mill for several years, Mr. Hart sold out to C. A. and Eben Jones, who 
run the mill until the pine timber within reach of it was used up. A large 
section of central Todd county was supplied with lumber from this mill and 
back in the later seventies it was the chief source of lumber supply for Long 

About the year 1880 F. LaHatte built a mill on Lake Beauty in the town 
of Bruce and J. M. Harrington at Coal Lake, six miles east of Browerville, 
and these two mills cut from a half million to a million feet of lumber a year 
for about ten years. In 1874, Getchell, Hayford & Teller built a saw-mill 
two miles west of the village, which was afterward purchased by Chandler, 
Fisher & Wait, who also erected a flouring-mill which was known, for many 
years as Wait's mill. The mill was destroyed by fire along in the nineties 
and was never rebuilt. Alexander Moore, of Sauk Centre, built a grist-mill 
at Little Sauk about 1868 or 1869, which afterward came into possession of 
W. and John McNeice and most of the farmers of Todd county for ten 
or fifteen years, got their milling done at this mill. 

In 1882 or 1883 F. Nutting & Son built a saw-mill and grist-mill at 
Clarissa where an immense amount of timber was manufactured into ties 
and bridge timber for railroad building. There are at present several modern 
flouring-mills in the county located at Long Prairie, Browerville, Clarissa, 
Eaele Bend, Bertha and Hewitt. 


Todd county was without railroad facilities of any consequence during 
all its early history, which retarded growth and settlements in much of its 
territory. Previous to 1873, St. Cloud was the nearest railroad station and 
from that town all immigrants had to move by teams. In 1872 the Northern 
Pacific was built from Duluth to Fargo and cut through the northeastern cor- 
ner of the county and the village of Motley, just across the county line in 


IMorrison county, became the shipping station for the grain and some other 
products of the farm from Long Prairie and all settlements to the north. 

As most farms were devoted exclusively to wheat culture, it was tedious 
and expensive work to market the crop by wagons. About the year 1874, 
John Bassett built a boat by means of which he carried his grain down Long 
Prairie river to a landing near Motley, the capacity being about three hun- 
dred bushels. The boat floated down the current with the load, and was 
brought back by means of poles. Four men with long poles, pushed the boat 
up stream by walking from prow to stern, two at a time, one on each side, 
while the other two walked forward to take their turn when the two poling 
the boat reached the stern. A fifth man at the tiller held the boat in her 
course. The round trip was made in three days, from the Bassett farm on 
the river east of Browerville. 

In 1875 Chandler, Fisher & W'ait built a steamboat, which was operated 
two or three years in carrying produce from Long Prairie to Motley. The 
capacity was little more than that of the Bassett boat, as the machinery made 
up a considerable portion of the displacement, but during the spring and 
summer floods, the boat was quite a convenience. The boat was built and 
fitted up at Motley by John Wait, H. H. Morrell and David Burnham. Mr. 
Wait, who represented the forty-first legislative district in the Legislature, 
secured an appropriation of two thousand five hundred dollars to clear the 
channel of the river from rocks and other obstructions. But dry seasons 
came and the river was no longer navigable and in 1877 the boat was dis- 
mantled. If this steamboat was not a financial success it gave the people 
some agreeable excitement for the time and forms an interesting incident in 
the history of the county. 




Prior to 1864 that portion of Morrison county now lying west of the 
Mississippi river belonged to Todd county, and was set off by a \ote of twenty 
to eighteen, the same being decided at a general election. 

Todd county was organized in 1867, Governor Marshall having 
appointed A. D. Brower, William H. Redfield. and J. M. Gordon, commis- 
sioners. These gentlemen met at Long Prairie on January i, 1867. and 
adjourned to meet the same day at the residence of A. D. Brower on Round 
Prairie. S. P. Fuller, clerk of the court of Morrison county, was present 
and administered the oath of office, Todd county having been attached to 
Morrison county for judicial purposes, in 1857. A. D. Brower was appointed 
chairman and the board proceeded to appoint county officers to hold until 
the following fall election. The appointments were J. \'. Brower, auditor, 
whose compensation was fixed at three hundred dollars per year ; Charles H. 
Hamlin, treasurer; H. H. Scott, sheriiif; Henry Elingson, register of deeds; 
William H. Redfield, judge of probate; and James S. Brower, sur\eyor. 

At that date the office of county school superintendent had not yet been 
created, hence each town had its own "school examiner." 

The county was divided into three commissioner's districts — No. i, 
included the northern sixteen townships in the county ; No. 2. the southeastern 
nine townships, except the territory west from Sauk Lake, which was put in 
district No. 3, along with the southwestern three townships. 

March 12. 1867, districts were organized into three townships (civil). 
No. I being Hartsford, No. 2, Long Prairie, and No. 3, W'est Union. In 
a short time township elections were ordered and were held in these three 
sub-divisions of the county. Eight school districts were at the same meet- 
ing set off. No. I being Round Prairie; No. 2, 3. 4, and 3, in the south- 


western section, where West Union and Gordon are now situated ; No. 6 was 
in the present township of Kandota; No. 7, was west of Long Prairie on 
the river, in what is now Re3aioIds township, and No. 8 in Hartford. This 
practically organized Todd county into a working fomi of civil, local govern- 
ment. The lands were nearly all government property, hence the office of 
township assessor was not burdened with cumbersome cares and his duties 
not in the least hard to perform. 


At the first annual election in Todd county not all officers were elected 
but as far as the record shows the following were elected : J. V. Brower, 
auditor; C. E. Buss, treasurer; E. S. Fancher, sherifif; J. J. Grouse, judge 
of probate ; and L. D. Fonda, clerk of the court. It is supposed that E. E. 
Abbott was chosen first register of deeds. 

The record shows that the first officers were appointed at the January 
meeting of the commissioners in 1867 and were as follow: Henry Elingson, 
register of deeds; G. S. Hamlin, treasurer; H. H. Scott, sherifif; J. S. Brower, 

The first auditor received $300 per year salary. It was ordered by the 
county board that all offices in the county should be kept at the homes of the 
officers, until such times as they could be provided with suitable quarters. 
It is found by record that the auditor kept his office at the house of A. D. 

The minutes of the board of commissioners show the first bills allowed 
were as follow : S. P. Fuller, for services in organizing Todd county, $25 ; 
for horse hire for Fuller. $5.00; incidentals for Fuller, $3.00; A. D. Brower 
for services as county commissioner, $9.00; mileage, $0.96; for money fur- 
nished, $1.60; incidentals, $2.00; W. H. Redfield, for affecting organization 
of Todd county, $13.20; as commissioner, $9.00; for his mileage. $1.80; J. 
M. Gordon, services as commissioner, $9.00 ; mileage, $3.48. 

At the January, 1868, meeting of the board, the St. Cloud Journal was 
declared the official paper for Todd county. In January, 1869, the board peti- 
tioned the Legislature to allow the county officers to hold their respective 
offices at their own homes until a date not later than January i, 1870. It 
also asked the Legislature to allow bonds issued by the Todd county com- 
missioners with which to secure necessary blank books for the county to the 
sum of $400. 


September, 1869, the board voted to meet next time at Long Prairie 
at a place to be decided upon later. On September 11, 1869, the first county 
school superintendent was appointed in the person of John Kerr, of Gordon 
township; his salar}- was $50 per year. On January i, 1870. a fire-proof safe 
was ordered for the county at an expense of $250. 


The county was given a court house at the February meeting of the 
board and the following was the tender made: "W'e the undersigned here- 
by agree to tender to the board of county commissioners for the use of this 
county forever, the building standing upon the tract of land occupied by the 
liberty pole which house is owned by citizens of Long Prairie, which it is 
understood will be conveyed to the county as soon as practicable. (Signed) 
Building Committee. July 5, 1870." 

This building proposition was at once accepted by the county board. 
In the spring of 1870 all county officers were ordered to take the effects of 
their several offices to Long Prairie, the designated county seat. On Janu- 
ary 5, 1870, the county contracted with Chandler & Fisher for $10 to paint 
with lime mortar the inside of the building known as the "County Building"' 
at Long Prairie, to the ceilings and also to bank up same, the amount to be 
paid in Todd county warrants. 

On January 5, 1870, a $30 heating stove was ordered purchased, the 
same to take in three-foot cordwood sticks. Two cords of hard maple wood 
were also contracted for at $2 per cord. At the same board meeting L. D. 
I'onda was appointed from Hartford township to act as school superintend- 
ent, he to take his office April i. 1870. In June, 1870. the board ordered 
the roof repaired to the county l)uiiding; also some record books for the 
various officers were provided for. It appears that Mr. Fonda declined to 
serve as school superintendent and the board tlicn a]ipointed John Jones. 

The first mention of relief for the unfortunate ])oor within the newly 
organized county was at the April meeting of the board, in 1870, when 
$50 was appropriated for such humane purposes. At the March. 1870, meet- 
ing the commissioners appropriated $150 for the making of proper plats and 
field notes for the countv. 



In September, 1870, the county treasurer was "examined" and he made 

the following showing of the finances of Todd county: 

Legal tender notes on hand $1,618.88 

County orders on revenue funds 678.20 

County orders on bridge fund 250.00 

County orders for poor 41-35 

Town orders 136-58 

Total $2,725.01 

In 1871, H. F. Lashier was appointed school superintendent. At the 
board meeting, January 6, 1875, it was ordered that the Todd County Acad- 
emy lie allowed free use of the old court house till they might procure better 
quarters. The same meeting the board ordered a safe for the register of 
deeds, the same costing $240. In 1884 the board bought thirty cords of 
maple wood (green) at $2 per cord, four- foot length. In 1890 the com- 
missioners purchased for $100 enough iron marking posts to mark the corner 
of each congressional township in the county. In 1897 the minutes show 
the board ordered a retaining wall erected about the court house square. 

Among the early-day items found in the minute-books of the com- 
missioners are the following: In 1875 the board offered a bounty of three 
cents a quart for all grasshoppers that might be caught and killed within this 
county. William Neil, of Hartford township, was appointed to act in con- 
junction with the various township clerks, as measurers of the little winged 
pests, then doing damage in many sections of this state. This was paid 
from what the books show to be the "Grasshopper Fund." Again in 1879, 
at the meeting of the board, it was decided that no penalty or interest should 
be collected on the taxes which had not been paid in 1875 and 1876, on 
account of the ravages of the grasshoppers in Todd county. 

In 1908 the county bonded itself for $50,000 — ten-year, five per cent, 
bonds — for drainage purposes. 


As has already been stated the first court house accommodations were 
provided in Todd county by a donation of a building at Long Prairie in 


' 1870. The next move made is shown by the minute books of the county 
commissioners, dated March 21, 1873, when bids were advertised for the 
building of a court house, which was to be a substantial frame structure two 
stories high and thirty- four by forty feet in size. It was to be completed 
not later than November i, 1873, and not to cost in excess of $2,500. Pay- 
ment was to be made in county warrants. It was stipulated that the building 
should be erected on block No. 13 in Long Prairie; $800 was payable on 
October 10, 1873; $500 by March i, 1874; and $700 by July i, 1874. 

The bidders were as follow: Charles Herkens, $3,280; Joseph Poquin, 
$2,700; and G. V. B. Williams, $2,499. Williams was awarded the contract 
and he finished the work and it was approved and legally accepted on Septem- 
ber 15, 1873. This building served well the purpose for which it was 
intended until 1883, when more talk was heard of needing better court house 
facilities. At the January session of that 3ear, a building committee was 
appointed, with Thomas Ward as chairman of the board of county commis- 
sioners. M. J. Martin was then serving as county auditor. 

May 2, 1883, bonds were issued for $25,000 with which to erect the 
present court house. It was erected and accepted from' the hands of the 
builders on November 17, 1883. Samuel Lee was made superintendent of 
the work of construction. A bid was had for building the structure for 
$20,000 and this was accepted. It is a fine brick building, with all necessary 
office rooms and well heated and lighted by modern equipments. 

The present county jail was built, with the apartments for the jailor. 
from plans sulmiitted in July, 1900. It is also a modern building with a 
slate roof and all needed iiiterior fixtures to meet the modern-day req-rire- 
ments as to safety and health. 


Todd county used to care for her poor people who needed aid b)- a gen- 
eral county fund for that purpose, but alxjut 1880-81 it was deemed best 
to secure land and improve it with buildings and keep all paui)ers thereon. 
This was tried for a number of years, but without success. In 1893 the 
property was sold ;nid the county plan nl)tained again and so continued until 
January i. 1015. when it was decided to let each town.ship in the county care 
for its own paupers, which is now being done in a satisfactory maimer. 



The various townships in Todd county had at the last assessment, valua- 
tions as follow: Bartlet. $320,225; Bertha, $359,981; Birchdale, $225,321; 
Bruce, $204,789; Burnhamville, $242,zJ43 ; Burleene, $274,306; Eagle Valley, 
$362,573; Fawn Lake, $145,344; Germania, $277,600; Gordon, $284,421; 
Grey Eagle, $144,175; Hartford, $323,116; lona, $317,410; Kandota, 
$174,692; Leshe, $308,085; Little Elk, $161,896; Little Sauk, $298,780; 
Long Prairie, $370,148; Moran, $250,045; Reynolds, $352,234; Round 
Prairie, $307,836; Staples, $223,500; Stowe Prairie, $318,407; Turtle 
Creek, $138,385; Villard, $289,986; Ward, $322,367; West Union, $267,- 
647; Wykeham, $325,901. Total, $7,578,613. 

The various villages, towns and cities of the county had the following 
valuations at the last assessment — 1914: Bertha village, $128,185; Brower- 
ville, $122,401; Burtrum, $36,326; Clarissa, $83,411; Eagle Bend, $11,422; 
Grey Eagle, $56,818; Hewitt, $85,182; Long Prairie, $450,333; Osakis, that 
portion within Todd county, $14,737; West Union. $60,571; Staples city, 

The grand total of township and villages, in assessed valuations, is 
according to the above footings, $9,196,855. 


E. M. Berg, auditor, receives a salary of $2,000 per year. August 
Stephan, treasurer, receives a salary of $2,000 per year. Peter O. Scow, 
clerk of the court, receives a salary of $1,000 per year. E. A. Lewis, judge 
of probate, receives a salary of $1,800 per year. Anton Johnson, sheriff, 
receives a salary of $1,200 per year. A. B. Church, county attorney, receives 
a salary of $1,400 per year. Victor S. Knutson, school superintendent, 
receives a salary of $2,850 per year. John S. Long, jailor, receives a salary 
of $900 per year. The three court reporters receive $490 for services 
rendered. County commissioners, salary and mileage. $1,500 per year. 
Janitor at court house, $540 per year. 


The last statement issued by the county auditor of Todd county con- 
tains as items the following: 



Balance on hand January i, 1914 $17,191 

Taxes collected -^6,549 

Interest from funds in banks 3-562 

Interest and funds in banks 3062 

Auctioneers' licenses 70 

Peddlers' licenses 30 

Ten per cent derived from liquor licenses 75 

Fines collected by both courts 1-564 

Wolf bounties from state treasurer 337 

• Rental of jury room 45 

Filing fees 366 

Sundries to make total __-, 


Total $51,997.00 


Salaries of county officers $12,200 

Clerk hire for county officials 2.i6j 

Jailor's salary 900 

Janitor's salary 540 

.\11 court reporters' wages 490 

Salary and mileage county commissioners 1.502 

District court expenses 3-463 

Boarding prisoners 248 

Record books and supplies at courthouse 2.227 

Legal printing 1,011 

Water, lights and fuel 1,064 

Election expenses 874 

Balance to credit 25.316 

Total $51,997.00 

The total school apportionment for 1914 amounted to $155,468. 




The list of congressmen who have represented Todd county since the 
apportionment of 1872 will be found under the representative chapter of the 
Morrison county section of this history, as the two counties have been in 
the same congressional district. 


Since i860 the state senators representing Todd county have been as 
follow: (The figures denote the session of the Legislature served in.) i860, 
Seth Gibbs; 1862, William S. Moore; 1864, J. P. Wilson; 1865, J. P. Wil- 
son; 1866, R. M. Richardson; 1867, Louis A. Evans; 1868, C. A. Gilman; 
1869, C. A. Gilman; 1870, H. C. Wait; 1871, H. C. Wait; 1872, John O. 
Miline; 1873, J. G. Nelson; 1874, J. G. Nelson; 1875. H. G. Page; 1876, H. 
G. Gage; 1877, H. G. Gage; 1878, H. G. Gage; 1879, Andrew McCrea; 
1881, Andrew McCrea; 1883, C. B. Buckman; 1885, C. B. Buckman; 1887, 
C. B. Buckman; 1889, C. B. Buckman; 1891, George Geissel; 1893, George 
Geissel; 1895, W. M. Fuller; 1897, W. M. Fuller; 1899, J. D. Jones; 1901, 
J. D. Jones; 1903, E. B. Wood; 1905, O. N. Mausten; 1907, James John- 
son; 1909. James Johnson; 191 1, James Johnson; 1913, James Johnson, 
19 1 5, James Johnson. 


Since i860 the representatives for Todd county have been: i860, 
Thomas Cathcart, Levi Wheeler, P. S. Gregory; 1862, R. M. Richardson, 
Peter Roy, John Whipple; 1862. L. R. Bently, R. M. Richardson, H. C. 
Wait; 1864, R. M. Richardson, W. T. Rigby, C. A. Ruffee; 1865, Oscar 


Taylor, Louis A. Evans, W. T. Rigby; 1866, N. F. Barnes, Thomas Cath- 
cart, B. Overpeck; 1867, N. H. Miner, N. Richardson; 1869, Ludwig Rob- 
bers, WilHam E. Hicks; 1868, D. G. Pettijohn. N. H. Miller; 1869, Ludwig 
Robbers, William E. Hicks; 1870, John L. Wilson, Isaac Thorson; 1871, 
W. S. Moore, Luke Marvin; 1872, E. E. Corliss, L. S. Cravath; 1873, J. V. 
Brower, William Felton; 1874, J. W. Mason, C. B. Jordan; 1875, Soren 
Listoe, R. L. Frazee; 1876, S. D. Comstock, John Wait; 1877, S. G. Corn- 
stock, A. McCrea; 1878, Andrew McCrea, Theodore Holton; 1879, S. G. 
Comstock, Michael Anderson; 1881, S. G. Comstock, B. Sampson; 1883, A. 
J. Demkules, G. G. Hartley, J. T. D. Sadley; 1885, J. R. Howes, J. T. D. 
Sadley, William E. Lee; 1887, W. E. Lee. J. C. Flynn, L. E. Lum; 1889, 
J. C. Flynn, W. A. Fleming, R. C. Dunn; 1891, H. C. Stivers, Werner Hem- 
sted, J. H. Sheets, E. E. Price; 1893, Robert C. Dunn, W. A. Fleming, 
William E. Lee, W. M. Fuller; 1895, J. D. Jones, B. F. Hartshorn, H. R. 
Mallette, A. F. Ferris; 1897; A. F. Ferris, J. D. Jones, B. F. Hartshorn, 
H. C. Head; 1899, L. W. Babcock, Harry Hazlett; 1901, L. W. Babcock, 
J. H. O'Neil; 1903, L. W. Babcock, Edward R. Hines; 1905, Asher Murray, 
Edward R. Hinds; 1907, L. W. Bills, William Dower; 1909, William Dower, 
E. R. Hinds; 1911, L. H. Rice, W. T. Stone; 1913, W. T. Stone, John 
Anderson; 191 5, Levi M. Davis, Charles S. Wilkins. 


Owing to the absence of "election returns the list of county officials is 
not complete from about 1879 back to the early days, when records seem to 
have been made for the time being only. I<"rom the secretary of state and 
from the Historical Society the following is all that can be learned along 
the line of Todd county officials: 


In 1879, H. F. Lashier was in office and held it until 1883; M. J. 
Martin, 1883 to 1885; Albert Rhoda, 1883 to 1899; J. J. Reichart, 1899 to 
1901 ; Walter Peltier, 1901 to 1909; E. M. Berg. 1909 to 1919. 


In 1879 C. E. Burr was in office and held it till 1883; F. C. Chase, 1883 
to 1885; C. E. Burr, 1885 to 1891 ; John Peterson, 1891 to 1899; W. I. 


Paine, 1899 to 1907; Henry Froelich, 1907 to 1913; August Stephan, 1913 
and is the present treasurer, term expires in 1919. 


In 1879 F. C. Chase was sheriff and was succeeded by J. F. Bassett, 
1881 to 1885; S. J. Davis, 1885 to 1887; George W. Maynard. 1887 to 1899; 
Joseph G. Harmes, 1899 to 1903; Charles Hamilton, 1903 to 1909; Anton 
Johnson, 1909 to present date, term expires in 1919. 


In 1879 W. E. Lee was in office and was followed by J. I. Bell, who 
served till 1885; C. H. Ward, 1885 to 1893; Charles Harkins, 1893 to 1895; 
John Wait, 1895 to 1901 : William J. Gutches, 1901 to 1909; H. C. Maynard, 
1909 to present date, term expires in 1919. 


In 1879 William O'Bryan was serving and was followed, in 1881, by 
L. S. Hoadley, who served till 1891; D. A. Tufts, 1891 to 1895; J. Frank 
Locke, 1895 to 1899; W. F. Callahan, 1899 to 1909; B. A. Lewis, 1909 to 
present date, term expires in 19 17. 


In 1879 the county attorney was A. W. Crowell, who served till 1881 ; 
J. D. Jobes, 1881 to 1883; E. B. Wood, 1885 to 1891; R. E. Davis, 1891 to 
1899; George W. Peterson, 1899 to 1909; Arthur L. Church, 1909 to 
present incumbent, William M. Wood, whose term expires in 1919. 


In 1879 J. H. Sheets was in office; C. H. Ward, 1881 to 1885; S. S. 
Sergent, 1885 to 1887; G. E. Keyes, 1887 to 1897; S. S. Sergent, 1897 to 
present, term expires in 1919. 



In 1879 the coroner was M. Nessline; he served till 1881 ; J. H. Gates, 
1881 to 1893; John Nutting, 1893 to 1895; C. E. Harkens, 1895 to 1897; 
M. L. Murphy, 1897 to 1899; B. W. Parrott, 1899 to 1905; C. E. Reeves, 
1905 to 1907; P. O. Scow, 1907 to 1909; E. P. Story, 191 1 to 1913; John 
Markuson, 1913 to present, term expires in 1919. 


Charles Harkens was succeeded in 1883, by Jacob Fisher from 1883 to 
1891 ; C. E. Harkins, 1891 to 1895; M. L. Smith, 1895 to 1897; C. E. Hark- 
ens, 1897 to 1899; P. O. Scow, 1899 to 1907; J. E. Withers, 1907 to 1909; 
N. Irsfeld, 1909 to 191 1; P. O. Scow, 191 1 to present date, tenn expires in 


M. L. Smith was holding this position in 1879 and in 1895 was fol- 
lowed by W. M. Barber; J. E. Withers, 1907 to 1909; N. Insfeld, 1909 to 
191 1 ; W. M. Barber, 191 1; N. Irsfield, present incumbent, term expires 
in 1919. 


In 1879 A. Rhoda was superintendent, held till 1883; John Barnes, 
1883 to 1887; W. M. Barber, 1887 to 1891; J. G. Mock, 1891 to 1895; 
Rudolph Dettler, 1895 to 1897; O. B. De Laurier, 1897 to 1901 ; George 
Peterson, 1901 to 1907; Bertha F. Roddis, 1907 to 191 1; Victor S. Knut- 
son, 191 1 to present date, term expires in 1919. 


1893, Eli Woodman, Sid S. Taylor, M. Sarff, Henry Froelich; 1895, 
John W. Swanson, Sid S. Taylor, Henry Froelich, Louis Anderson; 1897, 
E. E. Greeno, J. W. Swanson, Ben Brever, Eli Woodman, Lx)uis Anderson; 
1899, E. E. Greeno, Henry Fraunt, Ben Brever, John Long, Louis Ander- 
son; 1901, E. E. Greeno, Henry Fraunt, Fred Kemphenkel, John Long, 
Chris Heen; 1903, E. E. Greeno, E. A. Perkins, Fred Kemphenkel, J. C. A. 
Long; 1905, J. D. Marlin, E. A. Perkins, F". Kemphenkel, John Long, Chris 


Heen; 1907, J. D. Marlin, Ed Paulson, F. Kemphenkel, Chris Herrman, Jr., 
Chris Heen; 1909, Ed H. Thiel, Ed Paulson, F. Kemphenkel, Chris Harrman, 
George E. Curtis; 191 1, E. A. Thiel, Ed Paulson, F. Kemphenkel, J. J. 
Grimes, G. E. Curtis; 1913, C. A. Remillard, Ed Paulson, Charles J. Speiker, 
J. J. Grimes, G. E. Curtis. The board in 1915 is composed as follows: C. 
A. Remillard, runs to 1917; William F. Wieseke, to 1919; Charles J. 
Speiker, to 1917; Chris Hermann, to 1919; G. E. Curtis, to 1917. 


1868, Grant. 161; Seymour, 35. 1872, Grant 399; Greeley, 201. 1876, 
Hayes, 446; Tilden, 297. 1880, Hancock, 361; Garfield, 664. 1884, 
Blaine, 758; Cleveland, 549; St. John (Prohi.), 57; Butler, 76. 1896, 
McKinley, 2,043; Bryan, 1,739. 1900, McKinley 2,212; Bryan, 1,487. 1904, 
Roosevelt, 2,961 ; Bryan, 741. 1908, Taft, 2,334; Bryan, 1,305; Prohibition, 
163. 1912, Taft, 1,038; Wilson, 1,068. 



Agriculture is the prime base for all earthly wealth. The state or county 
where farming and stock-raising pay is the wealthiest and best in which to 
reside and be a contented, happy person. 

Five years ago there was only twenty-six per cent, of the land in Todd 
county under cultivation, and more than sixty per cent, of its agricultural 
resources remained undeveloped. Today there are thousands of broad acres 
of valuable, cheap land waiting the hand of enterprising men to develop its 
potential wealth. 

Todd county was originally nearly all covered with a good growth of 
timber, save a narrow strip about two miles in width along Long Prairie 
river north into Moran township; a prairie in the northwest corner known 
as Stowe Prairie, and a prairie covering a portion of Gordon, West Union, 
and Kandota, with a small prairie in the west part of Round Prairie town- 
ship. A great part of the once fine timber has been cut off and sawed into 
lumber, yet there are still many thousands acres of fairly good timber still 
standing, and a few mills are still operating in a small way. It was really the 
building of the railroads that made this section of Minnesota to blossom like 
the rose, in a commercial sense. Not until the Great Northern railroad went 
through, which was due to the large tract of timber lands held by that great 
railroad king — J. J. Hill — did this county possess advantages suitable to 
attract settlers. 


The climate, soil, water and other advantages here found will ever attract 
men of means and brains to become partakers of blessings not found in many 
other sections of Minnesota. The small lakes of the county are valuable to 
the stock-farmer and dairyman. There are a few flowing wells within the 
county and water can l)e had at a shallow depth almost anywhere needed. 


There are over twenty-seven thousand acres of water-covered area and at 
ah points in the county water may be had at a depth of from twelve to fifty 
feet. It is of an excellent quality and relished by both man and beast. 

Wheat, barley, oats, rye, flax, corn and all kinds of vegetables are pro- 
duced with profit in Todd county. The potato and root crops are something 
wonderful. Clover and alfalfa are surprisingly large. To see clover standing 
nine feet high, as it does in many sections of Todd county, is indeed a sight 
once seen never to be forgotten. Again, there have frequently been made 
exhibits of mammoth red wheat standing nine feet high; Alsike clover, six 
and one-half feet; timothy, six feet, and corn eleven feet high — mark these 
figures on Todd county grains, corn and grasses. 

The following is taken from a recent fair catalog: "A representative of 
the Sioux City (Iowa) Seed and Nursery Company was in Long Prairie yes- 
terday looking for clover seed. He said his firm, which is one of the largest 
in the country, had bought their entire supply of clover seed from Todd 
county. He has shipped sixteen carloads from this county since last fall 
( 1914). He says Todd county is a wonderful clover seed region, not only 
for the yield but for the superior quality. He said that nowhere in the 
United States did his firm know of a locality where they could buy such 
clover seed as in this part of Minnesota." 


About twenty years ago there was not a single creamery in operation 
in Todd county, but today there are seventeen drawing patronage from the 
farms of the county. Twelve are situated within the limits of the county — 
these are at Long Prairie, Eagle Valley, Bertha, Browerville, Grey Eagle, 
Staples. Burleen township, Reynolds township. Round Prairie, West Union, 
Hewitt and Burtrum. None paid less four years ago than one hundred dol- 
lars per month to their patrons for milk and cream, while many patrons 
received as high as two hundred dollars per month. 

The business has proven profitable to all concerned and yearly other 
creameries are starting. Some of these creameries are co-operative con- 
cerns, while others are independent and private concerns. The largest of 
these is found at Long Prairie. Holstein, Guernsey and Shorthorn cattle 
are usually used in this creamery system in Todd county. The best market 
for the immense tonnage of butter from these plants is the city of New 
York, where excellent prices obtain the year round. 



Five years ago this last June the following report was made officially 
for the Todd County Creamery — the single institution : Whole number of 
milk patrons, 199; number of hand separator patrons, 64; pounds milk 
received, 714,330; pounds cream received, 35,190; average test of milk, 3.78; 
average test of cream, 27.29; butter fat in milk, 27,114.5; butter fat in cream, 
9,606.4; pounds of butter made, 44,785; butter sold to patrons, 1,297; P^^*^ 
for butter fat, net, $0.31 ; per cent, overrun, .22. Receipts from butter sold, 
$12,361.32; receipts for buttermilk sold, $13.00. Total, $12,374.32. Run- 
ning expenses, $655.65; sinking fund, $366.20. Total paid patrons, $11,- 
352.47. This is one of the greatest industries ever launched in Todd county. 

In 191 5 the creameries of Minnesota have paid the farmers $44,000,000 
for their butter fat. In the annual contest Minnesota won six out of eight 
championships. This would indicate that the present farmer is getting 
wiser than those who continually persisted in raising grain. Former State 
Dairy Commissioner White said, "No county in Minnesota has shown the 
development along creamery and dairy lines the past few years that Todd 
county has." 

Up to ten years ago the chief agricultural occupation of the people was 
the raising of small grain. Immense quantities of wheat, oats, barley and 
rye were raised. However, about a decade ago, new settlers coming in from 
the southern part of Minnesota and from Iowa realized the possibilities in 
the dairy industry here and established the first co-operative creamery plant. 
Since that date the industry has grown by leaps and bounds and really revo- 
lutionized the farming business hereabout. Local papers publish, free of 
charge, monthly statements of these creameries, together with a list of the 
larger patrons; so that it is no uncommon sight to find two and three col- 
umns of the papers filled with the names of farmers who during the month 
have been paid checks exceeding fifty dollars. Many are receiving one hun- 
dred dollars and not a few as high as two hundred dollars per month. 

The following is the name' of the creamery and the sum each paid out 
in 1914: 

Creamery. Amount. 

Long Prairie $119,866.28 

Bertha "3. 537-53 

Clarissa 107,932.38 

Rose 54.550-82 


Creamery. Amount. 

Grey Eagle $44,838.22 

Round Prairie 38,533-54 

Osakis 102,349.35 

Sauk Centre 59.596.22 

Wadena 86,889.91 

Browerville 41.926.04 

Eagle Bend 80,541.75 

Hewitt 54.820.64 

Swanville 63,461.85 

Reynolds 47.032-93 

Clothe 21,529.15 

Verndale 68,924.10 

West Union 45, 320.10 

Burtrum i 12,832.03 

Motlev 47.526.13 

Total , $1,208,008.97 


Todd county may well boast of its agricultural society and its annual 
"county fair;" the thirty-third meeting of which was held in September, 
1915, at Long Prairie. 

The Todd County Agricultural Society was organized in 1883 with 
officers as follow: John Wait, president; M. Rodman, vice-president; J. I. 
Belt, secretary; W. E. Lee, treasurer. . The board of directors were as fol- 
low: J. F. Locke, Burnhamville township; A. H. Hendrickson, Kandota 
township; W. W. Powell, Long Prairie township; A. Murphy, Ward town- 
ship; Thomas Ward, Stowe Prairie township; P. W. Fuller, lona township; 
A. W. Sheets, Long Prairie. 

The first fair offered and paid out premiums to the extent of only 
$106.50; on horses they allowed premiums to the amount of $8.50; on cat- 
tle, $12.00, and on house plants, $9.50. 

The present grounds contain nineteen acres just at the village limits. 
A portion of this land was purchased by the society in 1884 and about 1909 
the remainder was secured. The present value of grounds and improve- 
ments is ten thousand dollars. Fairs are always held early in September 
and are universally well attended, especially since horse-racing was placed 


in its proper sphere and not allowed to predominate over other, larger and 
more valuable interests to farmer and business men. The state also has 
an exhibit annually and all counties in the state may compete; but other 
premiums are reserved for the toiling men and women of Todd county who 
most generously patronize and maintain the society. 

The improvements on these grounds at Long Prairie include a good 
enclosure about the premises; a cement-block building for school exhibits — 
and here let it be said that the children of the public schools of Todd county 
have, by the interest taken in such things, revolutionized the county fair 
and when it was almost to go down, reached forth and restored it to strength 
and practical workings. Then there is a rest room, twenty feet square; a 
woman's building, forty feet square; two barns for cattle, thirty by one 
hundred feet; a barn for horses, thirty by one hundred feet; an agricultural 
hall, with dome sixty feet high, built in a cross shape, thirty-six by seventy- 
six feet from wing to wing. All these buildings except the woman's room 
and rest room are constructed of galvanized sheet-metal. There is also a 
good half-mile track and a base-ball diamond. 

The receipts of the fair in 1914 were $5,228; premiums paid, $1,142. 
The present year's premiums are to be $1,500. There has been expended 
in improvements in 191 5, the sum of $2,500. One full cattle barn is pledged 
to be tilled with Holstein cattle of Todd county growth. This society is 
and always has been on the stock-company plant, two thousand dollars being 
the present amount of capital stock subscribed. It is free of debts. Fifty 
cents is the single adult admission to the grounds at fair time ; children at 
twenty-five cents — free to all the first day. One dollar is the price for season 
tickets and twenty-five cents e.xtra in the grand-stand. Teachers and school 
children are free on "school day." 

Mr. Holmquist is the first paid secretary the society has ever had and 
it is believed that the move was a wise one, for he is doing excellent work 
and the recent fair bids fair to be one of the best in all the history nf the 

'f»r?»ifff(i^ i^. 


i ^ 




In Todd county, as in nearly all new counties, the school house was the 
first place for holding public worship by those religiously inclined. Prior to 
this, however, there had been prayer meetings held at the homes of Samuel 
Sergeant, C. S. Hamlin and Peter Losey, which was before the erection 
of a school house in Round Prairie township, which was the first in Todd 
county. It was built in the summer of 1866 — a small log structure with 
board roof. It was here in the autumn of 1866 that was held the first pub- 
lic religious service by an ordained minister, Rev. Buck, of the Covenanter 
denomination, the leading sect at first in this county. Beyond doubt this 
people had a regular church society in 1867, and by this people the trend of 
religious thought was governed for many years. 

In this school house was the first baptism in Todd county, and the per- 
son baptized was John R. Mathews. Between 1866 and 1870 several min- 
isters occasionally visited this section of the country. Among them are 
recalled Reverends Cutler, Presbyterian; Peter Losey, Methodist exhorter, 
and other Godly men. In 1868 a larger school house was erected in Round 
Prairie and for a number of years church services were held there. 


Up to 1872 Todd county had no dedicated house of worship. It was 
during that year that a union church was built in what is now the village 
of Long Prairie. Later this building fell into the hands of the Baptists, who 
are still using it. For a number of years this was the only church building 
in the county. 

In the early months of 1877, Rev. Dr. J. F. Locke, coming from New 
England on account of his health, settled in Burnhamville. After about 
a year his child died and there being no church building in the township, 
nor any minister aside from himself, he, in the open air on the lake shore 
conducted the funeral services. 


At that date east from Pillsbury the nearest church was at Little Falls 
— twenty-five miles away. North, it was sixty miles; south, thirty miles; 
west, ten miles. Mr. Locke decided there must be a Congregational church 
formed at Pillsbury, Swanville, Burtrum, Grey Eagle, Round Prairie, Clar- 
issa, Bertha and Staples, and in five years each place had a church built, dedi- 
cated and out of debt. Thus the seed was first sowed and in 1910 it was 
said there was not a township, and practically not a village in Todd county 
that was without a church building. Catholic, Congregational, Presbyterian, 
Baptist, Methodist, Christian, United Brethren, Episcopal, Lutheran, Free 
Methodist, Adventists and Christian all being thus represented. Not less 
than three hundred thousand dollars was expended by that date for church 
edifices. No county in Minnesota has a better church record than Todd. It 
has been remarked that the pioneer minister here was worth more to this 
county than all the politicians it ever produced. 

Among the pioneer missionaries such names as John Jones, L N. Eng- 
lish, Peter Scott, C. W. Woodruff, George F. Morton, John Norris, J. F. 
Oherstein, Father Brender, D. H. Mason, W. G. Palmer, B. F. Kephart, 
J. F. Woodward, E. N. Ruddick, William Hitzmann and others were con- 
spicuous for their good works. 

In 1910 it was found that there were more than two thousand five 
hundred Sunday school scholars in Todd county, aside from Catholic and 
Lutheran denominations. 


The county had churches in 191 1 as follow. At Long Prairie — Catho- 
lic, Methodist Episcopal, Baptist, Lutheran and Presbyterian. 

Staples — Methodist, Congregational, Catholic, Adventists, Baptist and 

Eagle Bend — Swedish Lutheran, Swedish Mission, Swedish Episcopal, 
Norwegian Lutheran and an English Methodist Episcopal. 

Bertha — Congregational, Methodist Episcopal and German Lutheran. 

Grey Eagle — United Brethren, German Lutheran, Congregational. 

Browerville — Two Catholic, United Brethren and Christian. 

Burtrum — Congregational and Free Methodist. 

Clarissa — Catholic, Congregational. Norwegian Lutheran, Swedish 
Lutheran and Norwegian Synod. 

West Union — Methodist and Roman Catholic. 


Hewitt — Methodist Episcopal, United Brethren and Seventh Day 

Little Sauk — Swedish Lutheran. 

Long Prairie — Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic and Presbyterian. 

Also churches at the original starting point as before stated, at Round 


Since 191 1 there have been other churches added to the already long 
list; hence it will be seen that Todd county is well equipped with churches 
of various denominations. 


Concerning the work of one single denomination, the minutes of the 
Methodist Episcopal Conference for 1914 show the following for Todd 
county: There were churches of this denomination in Todd county as 
follow : Eagle Bend, Hewitt and Bertha, Long Prairie, Staples and Clarissa. 

At Long Prairie the church had a membership of seventy-eight; esti- 
mated value of church property, eight thousand dollars; Sunday school 
membership, one hundred and forty-six. 

At Eagle Bend the membership was twenty-eight; estimated value of 
church property, two thousand nine hundred and fifty dollars; number in 
Sunday school, three hundred and thirty-six. 

At Hewitt and Bertha charge the membership was one hundred and 
nine; estimated value of church property, six thousand five hundred dollars; 
number in Sunday school, two hundred and three. 

At Staples the membership was two hundred and seventy-five; esti- 
mated value of church property, fifteen thousand dollars; number enrolled 
in Sunday school, three hundred and seventy. 


The subjoined account of church life in Todd county is from the pen 
of an old settler and newspaper man, Mr. Sheets, who wrote in 191 1 as fol- 

"In the development of the county from its earliest settlement, the peo- 
ple did not devote all their attention to material progress alone, but the 
educational and religious interests kept even pace with that of industry. 
What was done on these lines previous to the Indian outbreak can only be 


conjectured, but it is known that there was a Catholic church in Long 
Prairie early in the fifties and no doubt there were other religious organiza- 
tions in the village. With the later and permanent settlement of the coun- 
ty, there is more certainty. So far as known, the first regular religious 
services were held in the new store building of Chandler & Fisher in the 
year 1868, conducted by Rev. John Jones, a Baptist minister living in what 
is now the town of Kandota. Services were held once a month until Febru- 
ary, 1872, when death put an end to his lalwrs. The Baptist church was 
organized in August, 1872, under the supervision of Rev. J. E. Wood, state 
missionary, and soon after — perhaps the following year — Rev. P. W. Fuller, 
of Maine, became resident pastor. He lived on a homestead in North 

"The Catholics a little later got into the field. The first services were 
held in May, 1869. conducted by Father Buh, in the home of ]\lr. \'enewitz. 
In the fall of the same year a log church was built and soon after, in 1871, 
a frame church building was erected on the site of the present imposing 
structure. Rev. John Schenk was the first resident priest, beginning his 
work in the year 1874. He was a true type of the frontier priest, living 
contented in a plain, rough building with rude furniture. Many will remem- 
l>er him as a man of austere bearing and little inclined to social life, but 
known to those who became acquainted with him to be quite companionable. 
He was studious and well educated. In 1876 the church numbered about 
one hundred and fifty families and was the place of worship for many Catho- 
lics living down the prairie towards the north as far as Moran brook. Many 
years ago the attendance was so large that on occasions of special interest, 
the members could not all be accommodated at one time in the church build- 
ing. There are now two Catholic churches in Browerville. one maintained 
by the Germans, the other by the Polish people of that vicinity. The Polish 
church edifice in that town, erected last year, is the finest structure of the 
kind in the county, with the Catholic church building in Long Prairie, second. 


"The Methodists were also early in evidence and it is probable they were 
the first in the field, although there are no records to prove this. Reverend 
Barkaloo preached about once a month in the Whiteville settlement, west of 
Long Prairie, as early as 1868 and jx^haps earlier. He lived on a home- 
stead in Pope county, and held services in several places, traveling long dis- 
tances to meet his appointments. The Methodists of the county organized 


in 1870 and A. H. Reed was the first pastor. He then Hved on a homestead 
in South Reynolds or Little Sauk and was also county surveyor for a time. 
He was followed by Rev. W. A. Putnam and afterward by A. A. Sutton, 
who held services not only in Long Prairie, but at different points up the 
river to the west. Rev. W. P. Fenlason came in 1875 ^^^^l did pioneer 
religious work for two or three years, sometimes rustling his living at out- 
side work. He was on the log drive one spring on Partridge river and 
having been trained to the work as a boy in Maine, he surprised the -lumber 
jacks when they put him in a perilous place to break a jam. When the 
boys found out he was no tenderfoot preacher, they made up a purse for 
him and sent him home. 

"The United Brethren denomination was among the later of the pioneer 
churches, there being regular appointments in Hartford and in Grey Eagle 
in an early day. It may be said that this organization began in 1870, when 
the Sarff Brothers settled in Hartford and began to hold regular religious 
services before they had their houses built, holding meetings under the trees. 
They organized a class of a denomination known as Christian Union, an 
off-shoot of the Methodist Episcopal church, which is now extinct. When 
the eloquent Elder Tibbetts, of the United Brethren denomination, came up 
from Southern Minnesota he secured the merging of this class into one of 
the church he represented and the United Brethren denomination now has 
organized societies at Browerville, Hewitt, Grey Eagle, Clotho and Moran. 
In the early days Revs. Jacob and William Sarff preached regularly and 
worked on their farms at the same time. Among the pioneers of the United 
Brethren society were E. J. Reed, I. N. English, Reverend Cook and Rever- 
end Hankins. 


"Not connected with any denomination, but of equal importance, D. H. 
Mason deserves a place in the history of pioneer religious work. He was 
at the head of the organized Sunday school work. He was indefatigable 
in his work of organizing Sunday schools in all northern Minnesota, his 
first work in Todd county being done in the early seventies. Through his 
efforts, many Sunday schools of all denominations owe their inception. He 
continued his chosen work, always on the frontier, until a few years ago 
when his health gave way and he became insane. It is a curious fact that 
Rev. A. A. Sutton, who was, perhaps, Mr. Mason's most intimate friend at 
one time, also became insane about the year 1876. 


"The Lutherans probably have more organized churches in the county 
than any other denomination and very hkely the largest membership. The 
writer cannot say when this society first made its appearance in the county, 
but perhaps it had its beginning in the Scandinavian settlements in Little 
Sauk, Gordon and Kandota. The German Lutherans had a church organiza- 
tion east of the village in 1875, when the genial Rev. W. F. Hitzmann first 
commenced his work. He remained in charge of the local church for about 
thirty-two years, until his health gave way and he removed to the southern 
part of the state in 1906. Rev. O. P. Ojen was also a pioneer Lutheran, 
having charge of the work in the town of Gordon and elsewhere in the 
Scandinavian settlements. 


"The Free Methodist society has become a prominent factor as a relig- 
ious body in some parts of the county. Although it is not among the pioneer 
churches, it is doing work very similar to that of the first religious bodies. 
Its church buildings are all in the country districts and it is a part of the 
tenets of the church to avoid the influences of wealthy surroundings and 
worldly vanities. Among the evangelical churches the Free Methodists seem 
to be the most potent in keeping up religious interest in the sparsely settled 
country districts. 

"Among the later post-pioneer churches might be mentioned what are 
known popularly as the German Methodists. They have flourishing churches 
at several points in Germania, Bertha and lona. Like the Free Methodist this 
society is almost wholly in the country districts. 

"The Christian church, or Disciples, have organized societies in Brower- 
ville and at Batavia, with preaching services about once each month, although 
in past years they have had resident pastors. They have church buildings 
at both points and have a zealous membership, which keeps up an interest in 
the Sunday school and church work." 


St. Peter's Methodist Episcopal church of Long Prairie. Todd countv. 
was organized in the latter weeks of 1S71, at a cpiarterly conference for the 
Long Prairie mission, Sauk Center district, when Peter Losey, Henry Reid, 
Horace Pierce, Alvah Sutton and Jacob Crouse, "trustees of the parsonage 
on said mission" were elected. This meeting was held at the Round Prairie 


school house and David Brooks was minister, with the presiding elder as 
chairman. On June 9, 1883, at a quarterly conference held at the Reynolds 
church, trustees were elected for the "First Methodist Episcopal church of 
Long Prairie" and for the "Methodist Episcopal church at Maple Hill." 

But another record shows that prior to this a church had been organized, 
for at the Minnesota conference held on March 20, 1876, it is found that 
"Albert Allee, J. S. McKay, Jeremiah Adams, Alonzo B. Curtis, and Thomas 
H. Shinneburger were elected to take charge of the estate and property of 
the Methodist Episcopal church at Long Prairie under the corporate name 
of the St. Peter's Methodist Episcopal church of Long Prairie. (Signed) 
E. R. Lathrop, presiding elder, and W. P. Fenlason (pastor), secretary." 

On Monday, May 23, 1876, lot 9 in block 2, original town site was 
deeded to these trustees. On June 18, 1883, lot 10 in block 2, was deeded 
to the "board of trustees on condition that they agree to build a church during 
the summer and fall and to hold the same as a church lot." 

The following have served as pastors at Long Prairie in this church : 
Revs. Alva Sutton, W. P. Fenlason, F. L. Post, J. S. Bouck, O. Barnett, J. 
S. Bean, H. C. Klingel. E. G. P. Sanderson, Doctor Williams, L H. Snell, 
J. D. Deets, B. F. Kephart, E. H. Nicholson, George E. Tindall, C. W. 
Stark, Charles R. Oaten, E. R. Stevenson, H. A. Cleveland, F. J. Bryan, 
M. E. Hedding. The present pastor is Blaine Lambert. 

The membership of the church in September, 1915, was about one hun- 
dred. The estimated value of church property was eight thousand dollars. 
The present building was remodeled from the former church and was doubled 
in its size in 1905, making a very neat bungalow style building, with leaded- 
glass windows and all finely furnished within. 

It should be added concerning the interesting history of this church that 
its first building was the parsonage. The early preacher resided at Long 
Prairie and preached at five points, three of which were Bear Head, Long 
Prairie and Whiteville, the latter so called from the pioneer family name 
White, and the church was six miles to the west of Long Prairie. Rev. O. 
Burnett probably erected the church at Long Prairie in 1883 as well as one 
at Whiteville. The Methodist church at Reynolds was also a pioneer 


The following account of St. Joseph's parish is based on inquiries from 
old parishioners and church documents written by Rev. J. Guzdek, while 


the history of the development of the parisli is written by Sister Avellina 

Soon after 1872 the Poles began to arrive from Europe, especially 
Silesia, and colonize the forest regions about the then little settlement of Long 
Prairie, at present the county seat of Todd county. 

It is probable th,e deceased Joseph Wieszalla was the first settler in 
the locality of Long Prairie. The life of the pioneers was very similar to 
that of the primitive. The immigrants brought with them only the most 
necessary household articles and thus were forced to seek their livelihood 
amid the then vast and wild forest of America. 


Between the years 1874 and 1880 the number of Polish immigrants 
increased when the following families arrived : Jon, Marcinczyk, Galus, 
Miodek, Dudek, Baron, Feist, Gurzenda, Hosalla, Lamuzga, Bartylla, 
Berczyk, Wrobel, Buhl, Stach, Ulik, Lyson, Cygan, Mocko, Poplinski, Mun- 
dry, Kulig and Gonsior. 

Soon after came : Kurtz, Goligowski, Janibor, Kubica, Hennek, Swoda, 
Golla, Pietron, Kotula, Konieczko, Kaluza, Jakubik, Sowa, Jaglo, Gersten- 
berger, Adamiec, Worzecha, Lisowski, Janikula, Janiecki, Boruszewski, Jarosz, 
Rogalski, Kolodziej, Drong, Knosalla, Maj Marzke, Murgas, Gafifka, Giza, 
Wodarz, Nanik, Ostrowski, Przybytta, Smialek, Twardowski, Wierzgata, 
Gwozdz and others who are still living here today. Many of these have 
died and are survived by their children. 

The Polish people are strongly attached to the faith of their forefa- 
thers; hence on finding themselves to be quite a communit)- deprived of 
religious consolations they, with the aid of some German Catholic settlers, 
resolved to build a small church so as to have a place of worship. 

At that time the diocese of St. Cloud was only vicar apostolic of north- 
ern Minnesota under the spiritual guidance of Bishop Rupert Seidenbusch, 
O. S. B., who died in 1895. To him a Polish-German delegation had 
recourse petitioning for advice and permission regarding the erection of the 


The bishop gave his consent, promising to send a priest as soon as 
they completed the church. A meeting was called on INLirch 5, 1883, in 

ST. Ji.SKl'H-S .Uri:" H .<).,i,. KU. .WKKVII.I.F. 


t » * - 


ST. josErirs catholic cnrRCH (Xewi. browektiixe. 


Whitesel's school house, in Hardford township, for the purpose of plan- 
ning the erection of the building and electing a board of officers. 

They elected John Marcinczyk, John Bartylla, Peter Lamuzga, Thomas 
Feist, Ignatius Baron, John Stevens, with Joseph Cygan and John Becker 
as advisors. The building committee consisted of Joseph Luke, John Stev- 
ens, Peter Hermes, Thomas Feist, John Bartylla, Ignatius Baron, Peter 
Lamuzga, and John Becker. 

Furthermore they decided to, form a church society which was to be 
the foundation of the newly organized parish. This society was to provide 
lumber and other building materials of which each member was to bring 
three loads. These resolutions were signed by the following: John Becker, 
Peter Lamuzga, Joseph Jon, Ignatius Baron, Thomas Feist, John Stevens, 
Frank Lamuzga, John Schneider, Mathias Hager, Joseph Gonsior, Francis 
Bartylla, John Bartylla, Martin Usobel, Thomas Mocko, Joseph Poplinski, 
Albert Lyson, Joseph Cygan, Joseph Luke, Francis Miodek, and Peter 


Apart from the German members, who numbered about thirty, among 
whom were Joseph Luke, Matthias Hager, Joseph Hermes, Peter Hermes, 
J. C. Borgert, William Disselbrett, Henry Dreimann, Barney Brever, Peter 
Fischer, John Schneider, J. B. Benning, Thomas Laidlaw, Joseph Woell, 
Henry Spieker, Lorence Shower, the Poles gave their first offerings for 
the building of the church and may justly be reckoned the founders of the 
parish of St. Joseph. 

They donated as follows: John Marcinczyk, $30; Thomas Feist, $31; 
Martin Wrobel $20; Rochus Czech, $30; Francis Miodek, $20; Francis 
Buhl, $15; Stanley Kulig, $30; Frederic Poplinski, $20; Joseph Cygan, $30; 
Thomas Mundry, $10; Joseph Gonsior, $30; Albert Lyson, $25; Peter La- 
muzga, $25; Joseph Jon, $30; Thomas Mocko, $30; Norbert Mocko, $30; 
Francis Bartylla, $30; Stanely Stach, $20; Rochus Kolodziej, $10; John 
Bartylla, $30; John Cygan, $10; Ignatius Baron, $30; Joseph Poplinski. 
$20; John Warzecha, $10; Louis Pollak, $10; Michael Ulik, $10. 

This netted $600. The Germans offered an equal sum, and together 
with about $100 donated by individuals of other denominations made a 
total of $1,304.35. D. R. Jackson made the plan at the cost of $22.50. The 
building thus erected was a common frame building without a steeple, cost- 
ing about $1,500. 


The people rejoiced on seeing the structure completed. Taking into 
consideration the financial circumstances of those days the offerings made 
for God's honor were very liberal. 


The church, though not then completed, was dedicated and given under 
the patronage of St. Joseph, patron saint of Joseph Cygan, then a trustee. 
The following year, March 5, 1884, the parishioners again held a meeting 
in the Whitesel's school house at which they elected a standing church com- 
mittee in the persons of Joseph Cygan, John Marcinczyk, John F. Becker 
and Joseph Luke. Further it was resolved that no pew rent be paid but 
all pay equally; those not having money were to give notes in order to pay 
the remaining church debt. The meeting was attended by eighteen Poles 
and four Germans, while the entire parish consisted of fifty-seven families, 
thirty Folish and twenty-seven German families. 

PASTORS OF ST. JOSEPH'S. of the lack of Polish clergy Bishop Siedenbush appointed Rev. 
Ignatius Tomazin, a Slavonian, who began to conduct regular services in 
1884; however, being a Slavonian, he could not satisfy the demands of the 
Polish speaking people, consequently the bishop removed him. During the 
year 1885 the parish was only a mission, attended monthly by Re\-. Urban 
Fischer, O. S. B., of Collegeville. 

In 1886 Rev. Clement Grucnholtz, a Pole, was made permanent pas- 
tor. His pastorate was of short duration and in 1887 the parish again 
became a mission, alternately attended by Rev. John Sroka, Rev. C. A. 
Gunkcl, Rev. John Studnicki, Rev. P. Chowaniec, Rev. Vincent Schiffers. 
O. S. B., Rev. Gregory Stcil, O. S. B., when in 1887 Rev. J. Studnicki 
became pastor and remained until his death in May, 1887. 


The vacancy was filled by the valiant Rev. Methodius Slatinski, who 
though a Bohemian, knew enough Polish to administer to the people. His 
pastorate was of most notable importance to the history of the church of 
.St. Josepii at r>()wcr\illc. It was due to his energy that the first Polish paro- 


chial school was built in the St. Cloud diocese. He fully understood the 
harmful influence of the American religious indifference on the Catholic 
young generation. In his great undertaking he was morally supported by 
the noble Rt. Rev. Otto Zardetti, who was consecrated and nominated bishop 
of the newly organized diocese of St. Cloud. 

It was during Rev. M. Slatinski's administration that the parish began 
to flourish. The church was equipped with richer vestments, chalices, statu- 
ary, etc. John Marcinczyk was the donor of a chalice costing thirty-five 
dollars and forty-five cents. A. Lukas, Martin Wrobel, Frank Buhl and 
John Marcinczyk donated a fifty-dollar canopy. 


The school cjuestion was first seriously considered in the year 1890. 
Two committees were appointed ; one committee, consisting of Henry Becker, 
William Disselbrett, James Bake, John Lucas, John Marcinczyk and Martin 
Wrobel, was enjoined with the duty of collecting due bills and defraying 
the church debt; the other committee, consisting of Peter Hermes, Thomas 
Feist, Francis Miodek and Frederic Poplinski, was to raise a fund for the 
purpose of erecting a school. 

Rev. M. Slatinski encouraged his parishioners to take interest in the 
noble work. The erection of the school building would have been an easy 
task had it not been for certain individuals whose aim in life is always to 
play the cockle in a field of grain. The parish was composed mostly of 
European immigrants, used to a different school and church supporting 
system, where the government has under its protection and care the financial 
church and school affairs. 


The people seemed not aware of the fact that the "fides" and school 
tithes formed a part of the taxes they paid in the old country. Here in 
America the direct contribution towards the support of church and school 
was new, a blow on purses they thought. The more learned and honest men 
admitted the theory, as it was explained, namely, that the financial affairs: 
of the church had nothing in common with the government, and, therefore, 
the church must, of necessity, support itself. 

These unfavorable circumstances served the ignorant and malicious 
kickers as good pretext for sowing strife and discord, and as a natural result 


great agitation was stirred up the moment Rev. M. Slatinski began to build. 
Work on tiie building was rushed and the school completed in 1891. The 
money raised by voluntary contributions was insufficient and the pastor was 
forced to demand of his parishioners to sign notes against their will. This 
act created great dissatisfaction, which resulted in the division of the parish 
into two parties. 


Among the parishioners those of good understanding saw there was no 
other way but to pay cash or sign a note in order not to undermine the 
parish's solid foundation. Others, being dissatisfied and overcome by inimi- 
cal hatred for all authority, turned away from the church. The uproar 
became so manifest that Rt. Rev. Bishop Zardetti felt himself in conscience 
bound to close both institutions — the church and the school. Such punish- 
ment was unendurable for all who deemed themselves possessed of sound 
character. They, therefore, humbly submitted and sent, on March 7, 1894, 
a petition to the bishop signed by ninety-two, together with a promised 
guarantee for the fund those families intended to raise. The petition was 
granted them and the parish restored to its original good feeling, having 
the guaranteed fund necessary for its maintenance. 


The second episode during Rev. M. Slatinski's administration was the 
separation of the Catholic people into two parishes. Dissensions brought 
about by the building began again to ferment to such a degree as to cause 
great disorder in the parish ; a non-paying party existed whose debt remained 
impaid year after year. 

The cost of the school building was four thousand dollars; besides that 
there was a debt on the church of alxjut one thousand dollars. The small 
parish could not flourish under such heavy debt, reigning discord and indif- 
ference in paying dues. Moreover, a natural antagonism sprang into exist- 
ence between the Poles and the Germans; one party would upbraid the other 
for existing disorders. The controversy ended when the nationalities were 
separated into two distinct parishes. 

Alx)ut this time Rt. Rev. Bishop Zardetti was promoted to the dignity 
of archbishop and transferred to Bukarest, Roumania, in 1894. Rt. Rev. 
Bishop Marty, O. S. B., bishop of Sioux Falls, filled the vacancy the same 


year. On April 7, 1895, he came to Browerville to adjust the affair. By 
this time the number of Polish families outnumbered the German. 

The pastor called a meeting, at which the bishop presided. The main 
point for consideration was the debt which was to decide about the further 
and sounder foundation of the parish. Both sides favored separation. Here 
arose the question as to who would undertake the burden of the debt. Both 
sides hesitated until Rev. M. Slatinski, by words of encouragement, per- 
suaded the Poles to take it upon themselves. The following agreement was 
drawn up : 

"Browerville, Minnesota. April 21, 1895. 

"At a meeting of the Polish Catholics with those speaking other lan- 
guages the following points were unanimously agreed upon : 

"I. The Polish Catholics will keep the church property as it now 
stands and will pay the debts contracted on the same. 

"11. The one thousand, five hundred dollars principal and interest 
which are due now and three hundred dollars salary of the Benedictine Sis- 
ters will be paid on November i, 1895, and whatever money will be needed 
over and above the pew rent and notes due by the members of the congrega- 
tion which will be paid thru, shall be furnished by the fifteen men, each of 
whom has become responsible for one hundred dollars. The names are : 
Stephen Berczyk, Francis Bieniek, Rochus Czech, Thomas Feist, Paul Gon- 
sior, Blasius Kiszelewski, Rochus Kotodziej, Stanislaus Kulig, Charles 
Lamuzga, Peter Lamuzga, John Lukas, Thomas Lisowski, Thomas JMocko, 
John Marcinczyk, Martin Wrobel. 

"HI. The Catholics hitherto members of St. Joseph's congregation, 
but not Polish, will pay to the treasurer the pew rent and school money due 
up to the present time. 

'TV. The same will form a congregation by themselves and as soon 
as possible go to work to build a church of their own. They will also have 
their own school. For ten years they will have the use of one school room 
in the school house of the Holy Angels, but will buy their own furniture and 
pay their teacher. 

"V. For one year they will have the use of the chapel in the school 

"VI. Should they be in need of these rooms longer than the time 
mentioned they will pay a rent to be determined by the Polish congregation 
with the approval of the bishop." 



Notwithstanding the foregoing agreement the German CathoHcs wished 
to be released from all claim on the St. Joseph's parish, provided they would 
be freed from their standing dues, and use the money for their own parish • 
in consideration of which there was a general understanding on July 7, 1895. 
The agreement then read as follows : 

"Browerville, Minnesota, July 7, 1895. 

"At a meeting of the Polish Catholics of Browerville, Minnesota, the; 
following proposition was placed before the people to act upon: 

" 'Let the Germans separate themselves completely from St. Joseph's 
church 1)\' withdrawing from the Holy Angels school building, which they 
are allowed to use for either church or school purposes for a period men- 
tioned in the contract between the Rt. Rev. Bishop and the two congre- 
gations, leaving the premises from this date. The St. Joseph's congrega- 
tion leaves it to the honor and conscience of individual members of the new 
congregation to pay what they owe to St. Joseph's church at the latest by 
November i, 1895. Moreover, let the Polish congregation not have any 
recourse to any other means of collecting or enforcing their claim against 
the members of the congregation except that of honor and conscience." 

"The above proposition was accepted by the Polish congregation as 
the most expedient under the circumstances and the result is hereby sub- 
mitted to the German congregation, to take note of and act upon. — M. C. 
Slatinski, pastor; Charles Lamuzga, Martin Wrobel, Bernard Brever. J. C. 

"On motion of the German parly it was agreed to put Novemlier i, 
1895, as limit to settlements from the German side after which date all 
notes and other liook accounts held by the St. Joseph congregation against 
the new congregation shall be, if yet unsettled, declared as cancelled and 
destroyed. — Charles Lamuzga, Martin Wrol)el, Bernard Brever, J. C. Bor- 


In this way the parish of St. Joseph devolved with all property on the 
Polish side, and the Poles obligated themselves to pay all standing debts of 
the German side. The Germans then formed a congregation of their own. 

The cemetery grounds were donated by Joseph Buhl, a Pole; conse- 


quently they also became the PoHsh parish's property; however, the bishop 
recommended that the Germans be allowed to bury their dead in the same 
cemetery until they had provided for one. 

From that date the former parish was divided into an entirely Polish 
congregation under the same title of St. Joseph, and the newly organized 
German congregation of St. Peter. Regarding the act of separation it will 
be in place to publish the letter of the bishop to Rev. M. Slatinski, dated on 
July 12, 1895: 

"St. Cloud, Minnesota, July 12, 1805. 

"Rev. Dear Sir: After hearing Mr. Heid, I understand that it is the 
free proposal of St. Joseph's congregation to dismiss the German Catholics 
of the new congregation without demanding payment of the indebtedness, on 
condition that they leave the school house and give up all claim to the old 
property. The Germans are willing to accept this offer. The settlement is 
not such as I would have desired, but if it will promote brotherly feeling 
between the Catholics of Browerville I will approve of it ; and hope that 
God's honor and the honor of the Catholic people will then Ije practised. 

"With best wishes, your humble servant, 

"t M. Marty, O. S. B. 
"Rev. C. M. Browerville." 

Beginning with August, 1895, the newly organized German congrega- 
tion, in charge of Rev. J. B. Brender, then pastor of Long Prairie, rented 
the second story of Kahlert's store, where services were held until the year 
1896, when they built a church. 

The two facts achieved by Rev. M. .Slatinski will perpetuate his name 
as the founder of the well-established parish of St. Joseph at Browerville. 

The school building is equipped with three class rooms and a number 
of apartments, living rooms for the Sisters. The school called Holy Angels 
is a two-story, brick-veneered building, adding grace and completeness to 
the church premises. 


The Polish Sisters of St. Benedict have charge of the instructions. The 
present staff consists of: Sister Armella, superior and music teacher; Sister 
Avellina, teacher of grammar grades and organist; Sister Jadwiga, teacher 
of intermediate grades ; Sister Augusta, primary teacher ; Sister Simplicia, 


cook ; Sister Renata, general housekeeper. For the first school semester the 
following Sisters were employed : Sisters Seraphica, Casimir, Adela and 
Sebastian, respectively, succeeded by Sisters Kastka, Candida, Isabella, Con- 
stantia, Mildred, Victoria, Caroline, Zitta, Opportuna, Canisia, Rufina, 
Adalberta, Edith, Hedwig, Oswalda, Emma, Albina and Victorine. 

With the end of 1895 ^^^- M. Slatinski left the diocese and went to 
Pennsylvania, where he has been ever since, pastor of St. Michael's parish 
at Homestead. The vacancy at Browerville was filled by the newly ordained 
Rev. Simon Dabrowski, who shortly after, in May, 1896, exchanged par- 
ishes with Rev. J. A. Dudek, pastor of Perham, Minnesota. 


A few months after Rev. J. A. Dudek became pastor of St. Joseph's 
parish he was commissioned to care also for the German parish. Previous 
to his coming to Browerville the foundation for the St. Peter's church had 
been laid and the superstructure was completed through the supervision of 
Rev. J. A. Dudek. 

Rev. J. A. Dudek was born at Popielowo, Upper Silesia, Poland's por- 
tion taken by Germany. Having almost completed his classical course he 
left his native country and came to America, a youth of sixteen. He 
entered St. Francis Seminary, Wisconsin, where, after having completed the 
courses of philosophy and theolog\-, he was ordained for the St. Cloud dio- 
cese, and in 1894 was appointed pastor of Perham and Browerville. succes- 
sively. In igo2 he built a fine parsonage, one among the finest residences of 
Browerville, at the cost of four thousand dollars. In 1906 he was trans- 
ferred to (Oilman, Minnesota, and his place taken by Rev. J. S. Guzdek, pas- 
tor of Opole, Minnesota, who is, up to the present time, administering the 
government of the parish. 


'i"hc following history of the progress and development of St. Joseph's 
Ijarisli is fin-nishetl by Sister Avellina Mrozla : 

Rev. John St. Guzdek was born on November 4. 1876, at Chocznia, Gali- 
cia, Poland's part taken by Austria. He was the son of Albert Guzdek and 
Mary Sordyl, proprietors of the real estate called "Gurdkowka." He attended 
the elementary parochial school of the parish at the early age of six. When 
eleven years old he passed examinations, and the following year he took up 

i:i:\. .KIlIN ST. CI/.Dl.K 


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ruiiosT's KKSinKXci;. r.i;()\vi':K\ii.i,i-: 


the classical course at Wladowice, county seat, adjoining "Gurdkowka." 
Having completed the classical course it was his intention to study medicine, 
but having felt himself called to the priesthood he went to Cracow to finish 
philosophy. Next he served in the Austrian army; a year later, in 1897, he 
went to Italy with the intention of taking the theological course. While 
there he changed his mind and came to America, landing in New York 
on July 28, 1898. His half-brother informed him of the lack of Polish 
clergy in the diocese of St. Cloud. 

He was admitted into the diocese and, in 1898, took up the continuation 
of study of theology at St. John's University, Collegeville, and finished in 
St. Paul Seminary. Having passed examinations he was elevated to the 
dignity of priesthood and ordained by Rt. Rev. Bishop J. Trobec, bishop of 
St. Cloud, on March 25, 1901. 

He read his first mass on March 2"], at St. Anna, Minnesota, where his 
half-brother. Rev. S. Dabrowski, was pastor. After Easter of the same year 
he was appointed pastor of the Polish-German parish of Duelm, and 
entrusted with the Polish mission at Little Falls, where he completed the 
work on the St. Adalbert's church, then in progress. In 1902 he was trans- 
ferred to Opole, Minnesota, where he built a fine parsonage at the cost of 
four thousand dollars. 


On June 27, 1906, he was transferred to Browerville, St. Joseph's par- 
ish. One year later Rev. Guzdek began preparations for the erection of a 
new church to be built in place of the small frame building which no longer 
could accommodate the increased number of families. The parish then num- 
bered over two hundred families. The following year it came to action, as 
may be seen from the minutes here quoted : 

"Sunday, May 26, 1907. 

"Special meeting was called to order in the parochial school building 
by Rev. J. S. Guzdek, vice-president of the St. Joseph's congregation of 
Browerville, Minnesota. 

"The object of the meeting is to decide whether or not to build a new 
church building for our parish, the St. Joseph congregation of Browerville, 

"Motion made and seconded that Robert Holig act as secretary of the 
meeting. Motion carried unanimously. 


"Almost all the members of said congregation were present. 

"Motion made by Rev. Guzdek that a vote shall be taken whether or 
not to build a church. Being seconded. 

"The motion being carried unanimously that a new church shall be 
built. A question by Rev. Guzdek, when shall the new church be started 
and built? 

"After longer discussion it was decided that the starting of the new 
building, in legal form, shall be commenced immediately after this meeting. 

"Motion made and majority in favor, only contrarv V. Maj and V. 
Brenny to the above question. 

"Motion made and seconded that the question arises. How much shall 
the new church cost? 

"Motion carried unanimously that the said church building shall cost 
between the sums of $25,000 and about $30,000. This sum shall be only 
for building without fixtures and painting. 

"Plans and specifications of the new church are to be selected by the 
building committee; and said building committee shall have the absolute 
right to let the contract or contracts and act in every respect in the building 
of the new church: furthermore, shall have the full right and power to buy 
and sell all material, etc., necessary for the said building in behalf of the 
congregation and for them. 

"Motion to the above was made and carried by acclamation. 

"The building committee of nine men were named bv the cono-reration. 
then voted on and carried by acclamation ; and that those said nine men vote 
among themselves for seven men, and the seven men shall compose the legal 
building committee of said congregation. 

"The following nine men were named by the congregation : Re\-. j. S. 
Guzdek, Martin \\rol)el, Robert Holig, John Sobota, \'incent Maj. \'alen- 
tine Brenny, Stephen Berczyk, Simon Kaluza and Peter Wodarz. 

"The next question was about personal assessment of each of the mem- 
bers. All were in favor of assessments on each member and of electing 
assessors for said purjuisc and those asses.sors shall assess all members of 
said congregation into four classes as follow: I-'irst class, $200; second 
class, $150; third class, $125: fourth class, $100. The assessments are made 
payable, half on January i, IQ08, second half on January i, 1909. 

"Assessors being selected as follows: Peter I'.uhl, Charles Hadash, 
Martin Hudalla, Theodore John, Frank Jambor. Mike IMotzka, John Mor- 


cinczyk, Paul Painpuch, Casper Pietron, Joseph Schenk, Jacob Spychata, 
John Salawa, Paul Waleczka. 

"Motion made and carried that the classes of assessment be changed 
and have been changed to five classes: First class, $300; second class, $200; 
third class, $150; fourth class, $125; fifth class, $100. It shall be allowed 
to the assessors when necessary to use one-half classes between the highest 
and lowest amount. 

"Members agree to do all hauling of material necessary for the build- 
ing of the new church and furnish all stone and sand necessary. If a mem- 
ber is not able to haul or furnish the same he is to pay the regvilar cost of 
such stone and sand and team work. 

"In giving the building contract the committee is bound to buy the 
brick, cement and lime necessary for said building, the rest to be furnished 
by the contractor. 

"The vote of the nine on the building committee to elect seven mem- 
bers was as follows : Elected, John Sabota, Martin Wrobel, Simon Kaluza, 
Robert Holig, Peter Wodarz, Stephen Berczyk. Rev. J. S. Guzdek. 

"The building committee will now have legal authority to take the build- 
ing transactions in their charge. 

"No other business, therefore the meeting adjourned. 

"Robert Holig, Secretary of the Meeting. 
"Rev. J. S. Guzdek, 

"Vice-President of St. Joseph's Church, of Browerville, Minnesota." 

beautiful DESIGN. 

The church plan was made in the modern renaissance style, dimensions 
one hundred and fifty-one by seventy feet, by Boehme & Cordelia, of Min- 
neapolis. The interior of the church presents a beautiful architectural dec- 
oration, with a golden light piercing through the amber-stained windows. 
Two rows of pillars with their capitals give it a splendid appearance. The 
structure is made of grayish-white Lime Belt brick. In planning the sketch 
Re\-. T. S. Guzdek was governed by the thought that it was time to put an 
end to the primitive style of building bo.x churches. Rev. J. Guzdek, in 
working out his ideas, found a great co-operative factor in his countryman, 
Victor Cordelia, architect and artist. They achieved a great work, and justly 
deserve a prominent place on the pages of Todd county's history. 



The building committee accepted the plans with great enthusiasm. The 
majority, fearing the big cost, asked to lessen the dimensions, to which pro- 
position the pastor was much opposed, knowing that such change would spoil 
the architectural symmetry and proportion. \'ictor Cordelia changed the 
dimensions as far as it could be done, being most careful not to spoil the 

In May, 1908, work was begun. Four bids were opened. Hirr & 
Zierton, a firm of St. Cloud, was the lowest, and to it the contract was 
given for the building at the cost of $24,350. 

The parish supplied bricks, excavation, stones and sand, the rest belonged 
to the contractor. The stones and brick cost $4,100; plan, $1,086; freight, 
$235; steam-heating plant. $2,842; pews, pulpit and railing, $2,207; stained 
windows, $1,879; stations, $350: holy water fonts, $50: bells, $930; statues 
for the steeple, $500; chandelier and carpet. $550; other minor articles, 
$400. In this way the church was erected at the cost of $40,000, to the 
surprise of all. It is a puzzle at the present day to all who at sight estimate 
it at $70,000.00. 


On July 23, 1908, Rt. Rev. Bishop James Trobec blessed the corner 
stone, in which ceremony a number of diocesan clergy participated. Rev. 
A. Gospodar, of Swan River, preached an appropriate Polish sermon lor 
the occasion and Rt. Rev. Bishop delivered an English sermon. 

The church was completed for Easter in 1909. Bv strange coincidence 
the first services in the new church were held on the same date as the last 
services a year before in the old church. 

The old church was razed and during the time the new one was being 
Ijuill services were held in the school chapel. 

Everybody was most lil)cral toward the church: during the .same year 
Rev. J. Guzdek collected thirty-seven thousand dollars. Within a year the 
church was fully equipped, having a debt of twelve thousand dollars, which 
since then has been brought down to three thousand, eight hundred dollars. 
Rev. J. Guzdek's i)lan is to pay off all debt this year and by next fall have the 
church consecrated. 



On April 21, 1909, on Wednesday following Whitsunday, the parish 
celebrated the best feast of its history — the silver jubilee of its existence. 
The new church was blessed the same day. Rt. Rev. Bishop Trobec, of St. 
Cloud, and at the time the only Polish bishop; Paul Rhode, auxiliary bishop, 
of Chicago ; Rev. St. Nawrocki, of Chicago ; Rev. B. Goral, of Milwaukee, 
and a number of other diocesan clergy were present at the double solemnity. 

On account of Rt. Rev. Bishop Trobec leaving on that afternoon for 
Europe to go to Rome "ad limina" the parish tendered him a hearty fare- 
well. After his departure, Rt. Rev. Bishop Rhode proceeded to bless the four 
new bells, which he named Joseph, John, Mary and Paul, respectively. It 
was a day of general rejoicing. Pleasing memories, no doubt, will abide 
for years with all who participated in the celebration. 

Shortly after the church was blessed Rev. J. Guzdek made a trip to 
Europe for an extended vacation, which he deserved for his arduous labor. 
While thete he visited his native country and practically all of Europe, and 
also settled his military affairs with the Emperor Francis Joseph, of Aus- 
tria, who freed him from further military obligations which he was under, 
giving him the title, "reserved military chaplain," in the rank of captain. 


On his return from Europe Rev. Guzdek resumed work on improve- 
ment as follows: Made basement of the church into a large hall equipped 
with stage; inclosed premises with original fence and cemetery with iron 
fence; laid cement platform before the church and cement sidewalks; put 
waterworks and electric lights in the three parish buildings; built new stair 
into the school; renovated the altars; donated to the church a large oil 
painting of St. Ann, masterpiece of his genius, valued at five hundred dol- 
lars; built a grotto and beautified the premises to such an extent as to make 
them the main feature of the town of Browerville, estimated in value at 
seventy-five thousand dollars. 

He caused societies to organize. The Rosary Society has three hun- 
dred members, with post-mortem rights by which the society pays the funeral 
expenses. At present Mrs. St. Berczyk is president of the society. The 
Rosary Society of young ladies has one hundred and fifty members, with 
Mary Bartylla, president; Anna Cygan, vice-president; Gertrude Berczyk, 


treasurer, and Julia Gerstenberger, secretary. St. Aloysius Young Men's 
Society has eighty members, of whom Rev. J. Guzdek is president; Peter 
Arbeiter. treasurer, and John Hudalla, secretary. The .\rch-confraternity 
of the Sacred Heart has a membership of three hundred with Rev. J. Guz- 
dek as president; .Alex Wodarz, secretary, and Mrs. Frank Votzka, treas- 
urer. St. Joseph's Society, the Polish Union, Group of America, has Greg- 
ory Gertenberger, president; Joseph Schenk, secretary, and Casper Gmyrek, 
treasurer. Third Order of St. Francis Society, a local committee of the 
Polish National Council of America, has Rev. J. Guzdek, president; Simon 
Kaluza, secretary; IMartin Wrobel, treasurer; with Alex \\'odarz, Michael 
Czoch, John Sobota, Peter Wodarz as advisors. 

The present board of directors of the St. Joseph's parish consists of Rt. 
Rev. Joseph Bush, president; Rt. Rev. Edward Xagl, vicar-general; Rev. J. 
Guzdek. vice-president; Vincent Hudalla, treasurer, and Xorbert Bartyla. 


The office of trustees, from the founding of the parish, was performed 
by the following members : Joseph Cygan, John ^Nlarcinczyk, John Becker 
and Joseph Luke. These constituted only a church committee because the 
real trustees, as members of the board of directors, acted as such only after 
the year 1895, when the parish was incorporated according to the regulations 
of the plenary council of Baltimore and the state of Minnesota. From that 
time on the office of proper trustees was held by Martin Wrobel and Charles 
Lamuzga until 1899; Frank Lukas, Peter Wodarz, Joseph Schenk, Simon 
Bartylla, Theodore Jon, Peter Drong. Frank Goligowski, .\lex Wodarz and 
Francis Kubica until 1906; Frank Buhl and Francis Berczyk, 1906 to 1909; 
Robert Holig and Michael Czock, 1909 to 1912; Robert Bartylla and \"m- 
cent Hudalla at the present time. 


Two-thirds of the citizens of Browerville arc Polish and German Cath- 
olics and one-third Americans. The latter belong to either the United Breth- 
ren or the Christian church. 

In 1913 the Slavonians from the surrounding country built a Greek 
Catholic church cast of town on a little hill near the Pong Prairie river. A 


Greek Catholic clergyman of Minneapolis holds yearly services for them. 
They number about twenty families. 

The old folks adhere to the Polish church, for in it their children were 
brought up. Members belonging to the Polish parish are all Silesians, with 
the exception of a few Bohemian and Slavonian families. 

A real Bohemian settlement is in the neighborhood of Browerville, but 
religiously is unorganized. 


The Poles are strongly attached to religion, as can be inferred from the 
great sacrifices they make for church and religious purposes. 


The Polish nation, in spite of the great tragedies which in its history it 
has gone through, and the sufferings caused by the present European War, 
shows a steel character of perseverance. United by Kasciuszko and Pulaski, 
great in x^merican history, they form a class of faithful citizens of America, 
Being accustomed to work, and to bear misery, poverty, suffering and per- 
secutions in German, Austrian and Russian servitude, they became an 
important element in America. Expression can be given to the fact that 
any hard labor, considered by other nationalities as too dangerous or too 
menial, will be done by Poles, for they well understand that it is not the 
work but the character that degrades a man. As emigrants from Polish 
soil they took a liking to the farms in America. These they cultivated most 
carefully, improving them from year to year. In attaching themselves to 
American soil they have also become its most devoted citizens, and in time of 
need no doubt will stand as its most zealous defenders. 

The members of St. Joseph's congregation are mostly farmers, with a 
small number who are engaged in commerce and town industry. 


The parish numbers two hundred and fifty-six families, about one thou- 
sand four hundred and fifty souls and one hundred and fifty school children. 
It prides itself in possessing a good choir of twenty-eight members under the, 


direction of Sister Avellina, organist ; a dramatic club, and stringed orchestra 
under the direction of Sister Armella. music teacher. 

The yearly income for the maintenance of the parish is nearly four 
thousand dollars, pew and rent donations. There is a monthly collection, 
for the purpose of adorning the church and altars. 

Further calculations are that the school building will undergo a remod- 
eling and a residence be built for the Sisters as soon as the parish is freed 
of debt. 



The Hewitt Banner was established in 1904, by Jesse M. and John J. 
Goar, who conducted the same until January 27, 1906. From then until 
January i, 1914, it was run by W. C. Dally, and from then until February, 
1914, by J. V. Barstow; from then on till July, 1915, by V. E. Joslin and 
it is now the property of L. A. Groover, who runs a lively five-column octavo 
sheet. In its politics is is a Republican paper and is a good news-letter each 

The Todd County Argus, of Long Prairie, Todd county, was established 
by J. H. and J. E. Sheets in 1872, and it passed into the hands of its present 
owner on September 21, 1914. A. E. Roese, the present man at the helm, 
is making a first-class paper, or rather is keeping it to the high standard to 
which it had been built by the Sheets family who are all thorough newspaper 
men. Long years has the Argus been issued as a welcome caller at the 
homes of Todd and surrounding counties. It is now a six column paper; 
subscription rate one dollar and fifty cents per year and it goes to many sec- 
tions of the Union aside from Todd county. It was formerly a Republican 
paper. It is printed on an up-to-date power press and is a well-edited, finely- 
printed newspaper. It has ever sought to build up the county and state of 
Minnesota by each issue saying true and good things concerning the country. 
Would there were more such boosters as the Argus has been for all these 
forty-three years. 

The Eagle Bend Nczvs, of Eagle P>end, Minnesota, was established in 
the fall of 1893, l^y W. E. Hutchinson, who is still owner and editor. It is a 
neatly-printed, eight-page newspaper having six columns to the page. Its 
subscription rate is one dollar a year. It is run on a power press — two- 
revolution Cottrell — by a gas engine. It circulates mostly in Todd and Otter 
Tail counties, and is a Republican journal of no uncertain sound. This 
paper is published in a building owned by Mr. Hutchinson, erected in 1900. 
It has all the latest equipment and does job work to the satisfaction of all 
who patronize the establishment. 



The Grey Eagle Gazette was established on October 17, 1900, by Fred 
D. Sherman, now the commissioner of immigration at St. Paul. Its other- 
owners have been M. J. Walburn and Will Wilke. Politically, the Gaz-ette 
is Republican. It has a good circulation in Todd county. It is printed from 
a power press propelled by a gas engine, and in form and size is an eight- 
page, six-column paper of the quarto form. Grey Eagle is indeed fortunate 
in having so good a local newspaper within her borders. 

The Long Prairie Leader was established at Long Prairie on November 
14, 1883, by Frank B. Simmons, who came from Little Falls where he had 
been associated with the newspapers of that city. Simmons sold to Harvey 
Fisher and Bert Rodman, and they to W. G. Graham and in 1892 he sold to 
a stock company headed by Rudolph Lee, present editor of the paper. The 
present form and size of the Leader is a six-column quarto, all home print. 
It is eight, ten or twelve pages as necessity requires from issue to issue. 
Subscription price is one dollar and fifty cents per year. The office was 
erected in 191 4 exclusively for the publication of the paper and has two 
floors. Circulation is largely in Todd county. The machinery used in the 
production of this journal includes a linotype, news press, two-revolution 
Babcock press for large job work, job presses, power cutter, power stitcher 
and all other machinery used in up-to-date plants doing job and newspaper 

The Browerville Blade was established at Browerville, Minnesota, May 
4, 1905, by Mrs. Del M. Wright, but is now the property of K. H. Balcom. 
It is an eight page folio, printed on a power press. It circulates in the 
vicinity of Browerville and has a yearly rate of one dollar. The plant in 
which it is printed has two jobbing presses, a newspaper press, cutter, perfor- 
ator, stapler, etc. It is independent in its politics and pays strict attention 
to the best needs of the community in which it is published, always stri\ing 
to get the news, the whole news and print it fresh and in decent English 
language, hence it is a home newspaper and welcome in hundreds of Todd 
county homes. 


The Staples World was established in 1890 by John T. Drawz, who was 
sole owner until October i, 191 4, when the paper passed into the hands of 


its present owner, J. W. Featherston. Mr. Drawz is now running a job 
office at St. Paul, Minnesota. The present owner came from Sisseton, South 
Dakota, where he had conducted the Standard for two years, he being its 
owner. For one year prior to that he had owned the Sentinel at Sauk 
Rapids. He has been in the newspaper business twenty-eight years, nearly 
all of this time in Minnesota. He conducts an independent paper but is 
Republican in his politics. It is an eight-page, six-column paper, all home 
print. It circulates in Staples, Todd and adjoining counties. It is run from 
presses propelled by an electric motor. 

The Bertha Headlight was established in January, 1899, by William 
Young, who soon after sold to I. J. Courtright, who continued until May i, 
1909, when it was leased to W. H. Hansen, and at that time the name was 
changed to the Herald. In March, 1910, Mr. Hansen purchased the plant. 

The Clarissa Independent was established on July 27, 1900, by P. S. 
Dorsey. who continued to conduct the paper until July 22, 1902, when George 
A. Etzell became the owner. This has been, in a way, one of the most suc- 
cessful newspapers in Todd county. It has always been independent in its 
politics. It has a well-equipped printing establishment. 



Todd county easily ranks with the foremost counties in the state in the 
matter of its public schools. Not alone is this true of the common public 
school system but also of the parochial, or church schools. The Catholic and 
Lutheran schools at Long Prairie and the Catholic (English and Polish) 
schools at Browerville are excellent examples of thorough organizations of 
their class. The co-operation between these institutions and the board in 
charge of public instruction has ever been for the highest good to the greatest 

Round Prairie had the first school in Todd county and that was more 
than forty years ago. In 1911 the records show the county had one hundred 
and fifty-one schools in operation. The buildings have improved in char- 
acter as the years have passed, until today no county has more e.xcellent 
buildings and better cared for grounds, as a rule, than Todd county. Here 
one finds many of the best types of rural schools to be found in all ^Minnesota. 
With improved roads, the country school is fast forging to the front. Five 
years ago there were sixty schools in Todd county drawing special state aid. 
More than seven months constitutes a school year here. In 1910 there were 
five graded schools, three semi-graded schools and three high schools. New 
and improved buildings are the order of the day in all parts of the county — 
when one is needed it is immediately erected. The five graded schools 
already mentioned are located at Bertha, Clarissa, Brower\-ille, Grey Eagle 
and Rurtrum. Gutches Grove, Hewitt and West Union had semi-graded 
schools. Other county school superintendents ha\e been excellent, but none 
superior to the present one. 


From the last annual rejjort made by the county school superintendent 
the following showing was made for this county : 

iii(;ii sciKKiL I';. statlks 



Number of pupils entitled to apportionment 5-542 

Number not entitled to apportionment 963 

Total enrollment 6,505 

Average number of days each pupil attended 232 

Number of women teachers during the year 191 4- 15 247 

Number of men teachers during the year 1914-15 39 

Number teachers graduates of Normals 49 

Number teachers graduates from high schools 108 

Number districts loaning text-books free 152 

Number districts selling text-books at cost 2 

Number of frame school houses erected during the year i 

Number of brick school houses erected during the year 3 

Value of brick school houses erected during the year__ $34,000 

Value of all school buildings erected during the year_ $46,650 

Total number books in libraries 12,640 

Total number of libraries in county 124 

Number school houses having no trees about them q 

Number standing in natural groves 139 

Aggregate indebtedness of all districts $126,400 

Average length of school in months 8 


The total receipts for high and graded schools was $82,844; for rural 
schools, $119,845; total, $202,690. The amount disbursed was just equal 
to the above amounts. 

It cost for the 1914 school year in Todd county, $13.41 for the educa- 
tion of each pupil sent to the rural schools. It cost $35.45 per pupil for each 
attending the city or village schools, which calls forth the question whether 
the country boy or girl is considered worth only one-third as much to the 
world as those living in town. 

In 1910 there were only fifty-eight schools drawing special state aid, but 
in 1914-15 the number was increased to one hundred and twelve, by which 
fact the revenue was increased in Todd county from state to local funds 
available to the amount of $6,400. 

Five years ago there were only about five and one-half months of 
school per year here, but now the term is nearly eight months. 

The matter of consolidated schools is just beginning to engage the 


attention of Todd county school patrons. Already two such schools are 
under course of erection — one near Grey Eagle and another near Staples. 

Industrial work, where the hand is taught as well as the head, is fast 
coming into fashion in this county. The articles made by both boys and 
girls show considerable skill. 

In brief, it may be stated that Todd county in 1914 had nearly nine 
thousand scholars and four thousand parents; two hundred and sixty teach- 
ers ; four hundred and seyenty school officers ; and these were all to be looked 
after by the worthy school superintendent, Victor S. Knutson, who in making 
his three hundred and fifteen visits traveled over four thousand miles. 


The following is a page of a report issued by the county superintendent, 
Mr. Knutson, to the school patrons and officers in Todd county in 19 15, and 
will serve as a permanent record of school matters here. 

"We can have well-equipped school buildings, excellent school boards, 
splendid school spirit in the district, and still have a very poor school. Such 
could be the results only when we have a poor teacher. Fortunately, the 
year just passed had very few of those kind of teachers, and there were but 
a few failures and those were given passports before the year was out. We 
trust that there will be no failures this coming year. It seems impossible to 
keep our good teachers in this county for any length of time. The increased 
salary they are paying in other states and other parts of this state take away 
some of our very best teachers. We are glad to report, however, that many 
of our school boards are beginning to realize that fact, and are paying suffi- 
cient wages to old teachers that have made good. The girl who works but 
six, seven or eight months a year and then has to attend summer school and 
prepare herself for teaching almost all the time during vacation, at from 
forty to fifty dollars per month has not much left at the end of the year. 

"During the past year several of our teachers have taken an active part 
in the social life of the community. They have taken an acti\e part in the 
preparation of farmer club programs, in school entertainments and various 
social activities in the community. We should urge upon our teachers to do 
even more of this work the coming year. 

"We hope that the patrons of our schools will show the teacher the same 
1<ind of consideration that they would their own son and daughter were they 
awav from homo under the same conditions. There is nothine: that will 


make teachers do better work than to be happily received and well taken 
care of in the district. It will cheer them on to do better work. On the 
other hand we shall insist that the teachers do all in their power to make it 
pleasant for the people with whom they come in contact, and with whom they 
must work. We shall urge them to make life easy for the people with whom 
they board and to make it a pleasure rather than a burden for patrons of our 
schools to board the teacher. With this splendid co-operation which we are 
pleading for between the patrons and the teacher we know our teachers will 
make a success this coming year." 



I'odd county is prosperous and hence her banking business is e.xcellent., 
At an early day there was no use for bankers here, but long since that branch 
of business has verily become a necessity. The great growth of bank 
deposits has accompanied the de\'elopment of the dairying and hog raising 
business, so that, inasmuch as these industries are just getting fairly estab- 
lished, what the production of wealth in the county is to be in the next few 
years can be realized. The following is a statement of bank deposits in this 
county as made public to the bank examiners and comptroller of currency 
upon date given below. 


Bank of Long Prairie $265,000 

First National of Eagle Bend 157,000 

City National, Staples 115,000 

First State, Hewitt 77,000 

First National, Grey Eagle 118,000 

First State, Burtrum 39-300 

First National, Sta])les 210,000 

First National, Long Prairie 150,000 

West Union, State Bank 55-000 

Peoples National, Long Prairie 145,000 

First State Bank, Eagle Bend 125,000 

Farmers Bank, Bertha 110,000 

First National, Bertha 150.000 

First State, Browcrville 9.S.500 

First State, Clarissa 175,000 

Total deposits $2,195,600 



The First National Bank of Grey Eagle was organized in 1902. It 
was started as the Farmers and Merchants Bank of Grey Eagle, in 1902, as 
a private banking firm then composed of R. F. Wilke, C. S. Wilke and Will 
Wilke. It was incorporated as a national bank in 1907. with a capital of 
$10,000. The original officers were: R. F. Wilke, president; Will Wilke, 
cashier; C. S. Wilke, assistant cashier. A bank building was erected in 1903 
and with fixtures was valued at $12,450. 

The First State Bank of Grey Eagle consolidated with the First National 
Bank in 1908. Its present capital is $25,000; surplus and profits, $6,000; 
the recent statement shows deposits amounting to $150,000; present resources 
and liabilities $205,000. Its officers in August, 1915, were: R. F. Wilke, 
president ; Will Wilke, vice-president ; C. S. Wilke, cashier. 


The First National Bank of Staples was organized in August, 1900, suc- 
ceeding the private bank of J. D. Marlin, Jr. It had a capital of $25,000; 
it still carries the same amount in its capital. Its first officers were : Isaac 
Hazlett, president; S. L. Frazier, vice-president; E. K. Nichols, cashier; W. 
J. Kiester, assistant cashier. The officers are now (1915), Isaac Hazlett, 
president ; E. K. Nichols, vice-president ; J. R. Nims, cashier ; L. M. Blanchett, 
assistant cashier. .A. bank building was erected in 1900 costing $7,500. The 
bank now has deposits amounting to $220,000, showing the confidence reposed 
in the ability and honor of the officers of the concern. 

From tlie published public statement June, 1915, it is learned that the 
concern carried at that date: Loans and discounts amounting to $175,546; 
United States bonds deposited as security $25,000; total amount of 
resources, $282,98.1.03 ; liabilities for last named amount. The surplus fund 
was on that date $7,000; individual deposits subject to check. $72,591. The 
amount in deposits subject to be paid in thirty days or more was $107,893 ; 
deposits subject to thirty or less days notice, $34,778. The serial number of 
this national bank is 5568. 


The First National Bank of Long Prairie was organized as the Mer- 
chants State Bank in 1889 and re-organized as the First National Bank in 


1902. It was formed by Albert Rhoda, C. \V. Faust, Willard Gutches, Carl 
Buttke and Clara L. Paine. As a national bank it was organized with a 
capital of $25,000, the same as today, except it is now carrying $6,500 sur- 
plus. A general banking business is transacted after modern banking 

The first officers ' were : Albert Rhoda, president ; Carl Buttke, vice- 
president; R. H. Harkens, cashier. A bank building was erected in 1909 
costing $7,600. The present (August, 1915) deposits were $139,000, while 
the resources and liabilities of the concern were $185,000. The last official 
statement shows $130,026 of loans and discounts; lawful money reserve in 
bank, $8,260; overdrafts unsecured, $13.82; individual deposits subject to 
check, $43,635; certificates of deposit due after thirty days, $85,035. 

Interest is paid on deposits in both time and savings departments. The 
bank is well provided with safety deposit boxes which rent at from one to 
two dollars per year. Every department of this bank is equipped to give 
the best service to customers. The present officers are : C. W. F'aust, presi- 
dent; A. L. Linderud, vice-president; Charles Koonze, cashier; A. J. Rhoda, 
assistant cashier. 


The latest bank in this county is the Farmers State Bank, opened August 
20, 191 5, at Clarissa, with Ole K. Forburge, president; J- A. Johnson, vice- 
president; J. A. Vetterman, cashier. The capital is $12,000, with a $3,000 


The First State Bank of Burtrum was organized on ]\Iarch 10, 1908, as 
the Bank of Burtrum, on a $5,000 capital, which has been increased to 
$10,000. The original officers were: \V. E. Lee, president; J. D. Jones, 
vice-president; E. N. Scott, cashier. The officers at this date are: W. E.^ 
Lee, president; Ra)mond Lee, vice-president; J. H. Mertz, cashier. The; 
building occupied by this bank cost them $1,800. The recent deposits carried 
by this concern, were $38,676; while the resources and liabilities were $57.280., 
The serial number of this bank is 756 and its June, 191 5, statement shows 
loans and discounts, $46,348; cash assets, $4,187; deposits, $37,880. Amount, 
reserve on hand, $4,187: amount required by law, $1,013. 



The Peoples National Bank of Long Prairie was established in 1903, 
and in 1911 was rated as the third in strength in the county. The deposits 
in 1905 were $37,000; in 1907, $65,000; in 1909, $117,362, showing a 
marked growth. It also carries a savings department, which has become 
very popular. The gentlemen who have been at the head of this bank include 
M. C. Tift, president; C. F. Miller, vice-president; John C. Reichert, cashier. 
Since then a few changes may have been made in officers. It still stands out 
as a safe, strong and growing financial institution. 


The First State Bank of Eagle Bend was established in 1905 by Henry 
Danger and others. A controlling interest was later sold to Merickel Broth- 
ers. The capital stock was then $20,000. It has materially advanced since 
its organization and now stands high among the banks of the county. 


The Browerville State Bank was established in December, 1905. In 
191 1 the officers were : Thomas Held, president; John J. Reichert, vice-pres- 
ident ; L. S. Sersen, cashier. 


The Clarissa State Bank was established on May 12, 1903, and in 191 1 
made the following report: Loans and discounts, $58,295; bank building 
and fixtures, $6,705; total resources, $80,935. The capital stock was then 
$12,000, with surplus of $7,000; time deposit certificates, $33,019. At 
that date Charles Bradford was president and L. D. Thayer, cashier. 

A building was erected for the bank in 1903 at an expense of $3,000. 
Its present capital is $20,000, with a surplus of $4,000. General banking 
and farm loan business is transacted. The responsibility of stockholders is 
$1,000,000. The deposits in August, 1915, were $150,000. The; pres- 
ent officers are: Charles Bradford, president; L. Langeson, vice-president; 
L. D. Thayer, cashier; E. N. Erickson, assistant cashier. 



The First National Bank of Browerville was organized in 1890, by 
H. J. Haskamp, of St. Cloud, and was chartered in 1904 as a national bank. 
It was originally a private l)anking house, but in 1904 was reorganized as a 
national bank by William E. Lee, of Long Prairie, with a capital of $10,000, 
which has been increased to $25,000. The first president was H. J. Has- 
kamp, when still a private bank, and Henry Thien was cashier. The officers 
today are : William E. Lee. president : Harry Lee, cashier. They now have 
a surplus of $5,000. The August. 191 5, report gives the amount of deposits 
as $215,000. A handsome building was erected in 1900; its cost was $5,000. 
In 1900 the deposits were only $10,000, showing a wonderful increase in 
business. The 1915 directors are: William E. Lee, George R. Christie, 
Raymond A. Lee, Robert J. Holig and Harry Lee. The June, 1915, state- 
ment shows liabilities and resources to the amount of $269,203.58. The 
same report shows loans and discounts of $174,843.64. 


The City National Bank of Staples was organized first as the Citizens 
State Bank in 1907, but changed to a national bank. It was organized by 
E. E. Greeno, John Dawer and others. The first officers were: E. E. 
Greeno. cashier, and John Dawer, president. The jiresent officers are: W. 
J. Lewis, president, and E. E. Greeno, cashier. The capital stock is $25,000, 
with surplus and undivided profits amounting to $5,000. The value of the 
bank building is $5,000. 


The National Bank of Bertha was organized in 1898 l)v |. G. 
Gelihard. J. C. Miller and !•". 1). Sleight, being cashier, president and vice- 
president, respectively. It was first styled the Bank of Bertha. In 1902 
that l)ank was incorporated as the State Bank of Bertha, with B. F. Heins, 
president: H. Schroeder, vice-president; J. C. Miller, cashier. The first 
capital was $10,000, hut it was increased to $25,000, with a present .surplus 
of $5,000. The present officers are: F. B. Coon, president; Isaac Hazlett 
an<l Herman Schroeder. vice-presidents; J. C. Miller, cashier; Edward 
Thompson, assistant cashier. 


The statement issued June 29. 1915, shows liabilities and resources 
amounting to $211,762.30; also time certificates payable in thirty days, 
$10,500; certificates of regular deposits, $86,646.76. 


The Farmers State Bank of Bertha was organized at Bertha in June, 
1911. by J. G. Gebhard, Fred Leyh, W. W. Will, Robert Olson, E. A. Per- 
kins, M. L. Whitesell, L. H. Bottemiller, George F. Freeman and E. W. 
Smith. It was started on a capital of $10,000, but is now increased to 
$15,000, with a $3,000 surplus. The original officers were: W. W. Will, 
president ; J. G. Gebhard, cashier. The present officers are : W. W. Will, 
president ; George F. Freeman, vice-president ; L. A. Mason, cashier ; E. M. 
Rosenburg, assistant cashier. This concern owns its bank building, valued 
at $3,000. Its last statement shows deposits amounting to $101,902.09; 
capital and surplus, $18,000; earnings, $4,116.74; loans, $108,319.34; over- 
drafts, $115.81 ; due from other banks and cash on hand, $7,823.66. 


The Bank of Long Prairie was organized in 1881. As a state bank 
it was incorporated in 1890. This was the pioneer banking house in Todd 
county and is the largest one today. It was established by Andrew J. Smith 
and William E. Lee as a private bank ; incorporated by William E. Lee, 
Lucas Kells, J. D. Jones and George R. Christie, with a capital stock of 
$10,000. As a private bank it was incorporated with a capital of $25,000. 
Its present capital is $50,000, with surplus and undivided profits amounting 
to $20,250. The deposits in August, 191 5, ran as high as $250,000. The 
original officers were : Lucas Kells, president ; William E. Lee, cashier. At 
present the officers are ; George R. Christie, president ; Raymond A. Lee, 
vice-president ; William E. Lee, cashier ; Peter J. Peterdon, assistant cashier. 

This bank was opened in "Harkens' old store building," corner of Pine 
and Osakis streets ; then moved to a building built by Walter C. Brower 
for a printing office. Later it changed to a small veneered brick building 
on Osakis street, and is now ino ne of the best country bank buildings in 
Minnesota, equipped with all modern impro\ements. The building is forty 
by eighty feet, browaistone and granite front, erected in 1903, at a cost of 
$20,000, of brick and stone material. 



Todd county commenced with three civil townships and has been divided 
and subdivided, until today it has twenty-eight civil townships. Long Prairie, 
Hartford and West Union townships were made by act of the board of 
county commissioners on March 12, 1867. 


Without entering into the uninteresting process of cutting down the 
once larger townships to their present limits, it is deemed best to locate the 
townships as they now stand and probably will ever remain on the map of 
the county. Long Prairie township is now congressional township 129, 
range 33; is south of Hartford, west of Bruce, north of Round Prairie and 
east of Reynolds township. In this the seat of justice for Todd county has 
always been situated. It is on the south bank of Long Prairie river, and is 
a station point on the Great Northern railway. Its population in iQio, 
including the town of the same name, was two thousand two hundred and 
ninety-five. It is within a very fertile farming section and has one of the 
largest creameries in the state. 


Hartford township is congressional township 130. range ^t,. It was 
organized on March 12, 1867; now has a population of one thousand four 
lunidied and forty-nine, inclusive of the village of Browerville, the only 
village within its borders. It is bounded on the east by Little Elk township, 
on the south by Long Prairie, on the west by lona township and on the 
north by Ward township. Long Prairie river courses through its western 
sections, as docs the Great Northern railway, making a station point at the 
village of Browerxilie. 



West Union is the extreme southwestern township of the county and 
comprises congressional township 127, range 35. It was organized on 
March 12, 1867, at the same date of Hartford and Long Prairie. It had a 
population in 1910 of five hundred and eighty-five, including the village oi^ 
West Union, the only village in its territory. The main line of the Great 
Northern railway traverses the township diagonally from southeast to north- 
west. There are three small lakes in the southern part and one in the eastern 
portion of this township. 


Gordon township was organized by the county commissioners at their 
session in January, 1869, and was then township 128, range 35, but in Jan- 
uary, 1 87 1, to it was added township 129, range 35. Subsequently it 
assumed its present boundary — township 128, range 35. It was bounded by 
the county line on the west, on the north by Leslie township, on the east by 
Little Sauk township, and on the south by West Union township. Lake 
Osakis, the largest lake within the county, is situated in this township, cov- 
ering much of the northwestern portion of the township. The population in 
1910 was si.x hundred and forty-eight, with eighty-nine in that part of the 
village of Osakis in Todd county. Its railroad facilities are obtained by the 
Great Northern system, whose main line runs through the village of Osakis, 
on the county line. 


Birch Dale township was organized on March 24, 1869, and now com- 
prises congressional township 127, range 33. It is situated on the southern 
line of Todd county, east of Kandota, south of Round Prairie and west of 
Grey Eagle township. Its population in 19 10 was four hundred and forty- 
four. Its villages are Wards Springs and Birch Lake. The Northern Pacific 
railway, Little Falls and Morris division, runs through the southeastern part 
of this township. There are numerous small lakes within its borders. 


Kandota is one of the southern line of townships of the county. It is 
east of West Union, south of Little Sauk and west of Birch Dale township. 


It is cut up considerably by beautiful clear lakes, and through it runs the 
Great Northern railway. It has no towns or villages. Its population in 1910 
was three hundred and thirty-three. It dates its organization as a civil 
township from April, 1870, and now comprises congressional township 127, 
range 34. 


Little Sauk township was organized by the county board at its session 
in the spring of 1870. It constitutes congressional township 128, range 34. 
It is north from Kandota, west from Round Prairie, south from Reynolds 
and east of Gordon township. Its population in 1910 was six hundred and 
forty-seven. The village of Little Sauk is within its borders, and there are 
several handsome lakelets. The Great Northern railway runs through the 
southeast corner of it, making a station stop at the village of Little Sauk. 


This is the southeastern township in Todd county and constitutes con- 
gressional township 127, range 32. It was organized by the county commis- 
sioners at their September 15 meeting, in 1873, '^"'J the record says it is to 
be known as "Gray" Eagle, but for some reason custom saw tit to have it 
known as "Grey."' The Little Falls & Morris branch of the Northern 
Pacific railroad runs through its northwestern corner, with a village station 
point known as Grey Eagle, in section 7. This township has a number of 
lakes. Its population in 1910 was placed at five hundred and sixteen, and 
the village of the same name at three hundred and seventy-eight. It is 
bounded on the east and south by the county line, on the west by Birch Dale 
townshi]), on the north by ilurnliainville township. 


Leslie townshi]) is on the west line of the count}-, the third from the 
south and the I'll'lh from tlie north line of Todd count)'. It now comprises 
congressional township 129, range 35. Long Prairie ri\-er courses through 
its territory. There are no railway lines here and only one hamlet — Oak 
Hill. .\ portion of Lake Osakis extends up iiUo the southeastern portion of 
the townshi]). It was organized in September, 1876, and at that date inchuled 


what is now Burleene township (township 130, range 35). It had a popu- 
lation in 1910 of six hundred and one. It is purely an agricultural section 
and contains many e.xcellent farms. 


Congressional township 132, range ^^, is what is known as Moran civil 
township. It is south of Staples township, west of Fawn Lake, north of 
Ward and east from Germania township. It was organized on March 27, 
1877, and included at that date congressional townships 132 and 133, range 
33- In 19 10 it had a population of four hundred and ninety-eight. Long 
Prairie river runs through the southeastern sections of the territory. There 
are no villages. As an agricultural section it has but few equals in the 


Stowe Prairie township is in the extreme northwestern part of Todd 
county and is west of Bartlett township, north of Bertha and has the county 
line for its north and west boundaries. It is congressional township 133, 
range 35, and dates its organization from March 27, 1877, when it com- 
prised also township 132, range 35, which is now Bertha township. It had 
a population in 1910 of six hundred and eleven. In its exact center is the 
village of Hewitt, a station point on the Great Northern railway. The cor- 
rection line of government surveys is on its south line. 


Ward is congressional township 131, range ^;i. It was organized with 
township 34 (now Eagle Valley civil township), but later cut down to its 
present limits. The date of its formation was in July, 1877. The Long 
Prairie river runs through this township from north to south. It has no 
towns or villages, and the Great Northern railway line touches its extreme 
southwestern corner. In 1910 it contained a population of eight hundred 
and one. It is a rich, fertile farming section, with prosperity on every hand. 
To its north is Moran township, to its east Turtle Creek, to its south Hart- 
ford and to its west is Eagle Valley township. 



The .sub-division of Todd county now known as Bertha township was 
organized on January 4, 1878, by the board of county commissioners. As 
then constituted, it contained also township 34, range 132, that which now 
comprises Germania townsliip. The Great Northern railway runs through 
the township from north to south along the eastern portion. Its only village 
is Bertha. It is bounded by the count}' line at the west, Stowe Prairie at 
the north. Germania at the east, and Wykeham at the south. In 1910 it had 
a population of seven hundred and fourteen, besides the village of Bertha, 
which then liad two hundred and ninety-si.x. 


Wykeham township was originally called Eden township and was organ- 
ized on January to, 1880, from congressional township 131. range 35. 
Eagle Bend is its only village. The township is bounded on the west by 
the county line, on the north by Bertha township, on the east by Eagle Val- 
ley and on the south by Burleene. Its population in 1910 was six hundred 
and sixty-four. The Great Northern railway runs through the northeastern 
sections, passing through the village of Eagle Bend. 


Germania township as now constituted is congressional township 132, 
range 34. It was organized on March 17, 1880. It is the second from the 
west and the second township from the north in Todd county. .At its west 
is Bertha; at the north Bartlett : ot its east, Moran, and at its south is Eagle 
Valley township. It had a population in 1910 of five hundred and ten. It 
is without village or railroad lines. 


Eagle Valley townshij) now constitutes congressional township 131. 
range 34. It was organized by the county commissioners on March 17. 1880. 
It had a jKipulation of nine hundred and thirteen in 1910. Its only village 
is Clarissa in section 2"]. This village is a station on the Great Northern 


railway. The township is bounded on the north by Germania, on the east 
by Ward, on the south by lona and on the west by Wykeham township. 


Originally lona township was called Odessa. It was organized on Janu- 
ary 6, 1881, and now comprises congressional township 130, range 34. It 
is south of Eagle Valley, west of Hartford, north of Reynolds and east of 
Burleene township. Its population in 19 10 was placed at eight hundred and 
ninety-nine. It is without village or railroad facilities. 


Fawn Lake was organized July 28, 1881, and comprises congressional 
township 132, range 32. Both in the southern and northern parts are found 
pretty lakes. The Northern Pacific railroad runs through this township en 
route from Staples to Little Falls, with a small station at Lincoln, a part of 
which village is within Morrison county. Sections 5, 6 and 7 are touched 
by the waters of Long Prairie river. In 19 10 the census returns show a 
population of two hundred and ninety-one. It is bounded on the north by 
Villard township, on the east by Morrison county, on the south by Turtle 
Creek township and on the west by Moran township. 


Staples township is on the north line of Todd county, west of Villard 
township, north of Moran, and west of Bartlett township. The central por- 
tion has a chain of pretty lakelets. The only place within its borders for 
trading is at the city of Staples located on sections i, 2, 12 and 13. The 
township in 1910 had a rural population of six hundred and nineteen with 
two thousand two hundred and fifty-eight in Staples city. It was organized 
on January 5, 1882, and is an excellent farming section. Its railroads are 
the main line of the Northern Pacific from Duluth to the coast, and the St. 
Paul and Little Falls division which forms junction at the city of Staples, 
which is a modern railway town, having shops' and offices, together with the 
most extensive yards and side-tracks of any place on the entire route. 



Named for a former resident of the Northern Pacific Company, Villard 
township was organized on July 28, 1882, and comprises congressional town- 
ship 133, range 32. It is the extreme northeastern township in the county. 
It had a population of three hundred and forty-one in 1910. At its east is 
the county line ; at its south, Fawn Lake township ; at its west. Staples town- 
ship. Its southeastern portion is traversed by the Long Prairie river, and 
its railroad lines are both branches of Northern Pacific. The Crow Wing 
river cuts into the northeastern part of the congressional township from 
which this civil township is made up, hence the territory does not contain 
more than thirty-one and one-half sections. Its only hamlet is Philbrook, a 
station 011 the Northern Pacific, on the south line. 


Bartlett comprises congressional township 133, range 34. It was organ- 
ized by the county board of commissioners on March 22, 1883. Its popula- 
tion in 19 10 was six hundred and twenty-one. It is without railroad or 
village, but is an excellent agricultural section. It is west of Staples town- 
ship, north of Germania and east of Stowes Prairie township. It has numer- 
ous small streams. 


Burleene township was organized some time just prior to 1889, and now 
comprises congressional township 130, range 35. It has no village or rail- 
way lines within its borders. It had a population in 1910 of four hundred 
and sixteen. It is bounded on the west by the county line, on the north by 
Wyeham township, on the east by lona township, and on the south by Leslie 


Reynolds comprises congressional township 129, range 34, and was 
organized prior to 1890. It is south of lona township, west of Long Prairie, 
north of Little Sauk township and east of Leslie. Its population in 1910 was 
seven hundred and thirty-three. Long Prairie river flows through the terri- 
tory from section 6 to 13. In the southern part are found several small lake- 
lets. There are no towns or railroads within its bounds. 



Little Elk township comprises congressional township 130, range 32, and 
was organized prior to 1890. It had a population in 1910 of three hundred 
and ten. It is bounded on the north by Turtle Creek township, on the east 
by the Morrison county line, on the south by Bruce township, and on the 
west by Hartford township. In the western portion are found a number of 
beautiful lakes. There are no villages or railroads within this township. 


Bruce was made a separate township some time previous to 1901, and 
comprises all of congressional township 129, range 32. It has two fine, 
small lakes. Small streams course here and there throughout the township. 
It is bounded on the north by Little Elk, on the east by Morrison county, on 
the south by Burnhamville township and on the west by Long Prairie town- 
ship. Its population in 1910 was five hundred and nineteen. It is without 
a railroad line and has a portion of the hamlet of Pillsbury on its south line. 


Round Prairie was originally a part of Long Prairie township. It now 
comprises congressional township 128, range 33. It is south of Long Prairie 
township, west of Burnhamville, north of Birch Dale and east of Little Sauk 
township. In the central and north portions are found several of the fine 
lakes for which Todd county is so famous. The Great Northern railway 
runs through sections 6, 7, 18 and 19, with a station at Round Prairie vil- 
lage. It had a population in 1910 of six hundred and ninety-eight. 


Turtle Creek is one of the latest townships organized in the county, the 
date being in July, 1890. It comprises congressional township 131, range 
32. It is south of Fawn Lake, west of the Morrison county line, north of 
Little Elk township and east of Ward township. In 1910 its population 
was two hundred and twenty-five. Its surface is cut up by numerous pretty 
lakes, including the larger one. Rice Lake. There are no villages or railway 
lines within the township hmits. 



Burnville township was organized on September 8, 1870, and consti- 
tutes congressional township 128, range 32; is bounded on the east by Morri- 
son county, on the south by Grey Eagle township, on the west by Round 
Prairie and on the north by Bruce township. Its population in 1910 was 
seven hundred and thirty-one. At first it included township 129. It is cut 
up with many lakes; has the villages of Cogel, Burtrum and a part of Swan- 
ville, Morrison county. Its railroad is the Little Falls and Morris branch 
of the Northern Pacific. 




Staples is the largest place within Todd county. It is situated on the 
main line of the Northern Pacific railroad, which company has large financial 
interests at this point, including its division concerns. It is the terminal 
point for three divisions. The city is one hundred and forty-two miles from 
St. Paul and one hundred and forty-nine miles from Duluth, one hundred 
and nine miles from Fargo and thirty-five miles from Long Prairie. It is 
nicely situated in the famous Crow Wing river valley, noted for its produc- 
tive agricultural qualities. Long Prairie, Leaf and Partridge rivers flow 
through this section of the country, making it an ideal spot in which to 
locate a city. From the date of its platting. Staples was destined to become 
a place of importance on the Northern Pacific system. It is almost exactly 
in the geographical center of the state of Minnesota and started its boom 
with the lumbering interest, being at the time surrounded by some of Minne- 
sota's best pine forests. Its first mill was erected by the Staples lumbering 
interests, and so at first it was styled "Staple Mills." It was not incorpo- 
rated as a city until 1906, since which date the improvements have steadily 
forged forward. They own a municipal electric light plant, have first- 
class sewerage, a most excellent water system and good fire protection. The 
principal business streets are paved with creosote blocks. 

The United States census for 19 10 placed Staples as having a popula- 
tion of two thousand five hundred and fifty-eight, but now it far exceeds 
these figures. 

The city has the advantage of a fine modern opera house seating more 
than seven hundred persons, and the very highest grade of plays come hither 
annually. They have both local and long-distance telephone systems. 

About five years ago the Northern Pacific Company erected a spacious 
three-story ofifice and depot structure, made of solid pressed brick. They 


also maintain a large round-house and repair machine shop, with the most 
extensive yards on the entire system. Stock from the west is here unloaded 
and fed and watered at the large stockyards, before shipping on to Eastern 
markets. More than five years ago the company's payroll here was one hun- 
dred thousand dollars per month, which means a brisk retail trade when pay- 
day rolls around. 

Among the factories may be named the large silo-making factory. All 
business interests are backed and fostered by a live set of members in the 
Commercial Club of Staples. 

Of the religious element, let it be stated that Staples is up-to-date in 
church work. Here are found Methodist, Congregational, Adventist, Catho- 
lic, Baptist and Episcopal denominations, with large organizations and fine 
church edifices. More than a thousand school children attend the public 
schools, which are of the best class. 

The business also has represented such industries as mills, a wood-pulp 
plant, a creamery and other valuable adjuncts to the commercial interests of 
the city. 


Eagle Bend is another progressive, substantial village of about six hun- 
dred population — at least it had oyer five hundred and fifty in 1910. It is 
located on the Park Rapids branch of the Great Northern railway, a little 
to the north of the center of Todd county. It is not noted for any special 
enterprise or boom, but keeps along in the even tenor of its ways. There 
are several good stores and the usual number of shops, a good newspaper, 
the News, two strong banks, a one-hundred-and-twenty-five-barrel-capacity 
flouring mill, a creamery, five churches. The .following fraternal societies 
have been represented by lodge homes at this point : The Masons, Odd Fel- 
lows, Yeomen, Ancient Order of United Workmen. 


Long Prairie is the county seat of Todd county — the only one it ever 
had — no spirited contest here. It is a beautiful town of homes and churches 
and good business interests well cared for by a public-spirited class of people. 
Its population in igio was about one thousand tliree hundred, but is much 
more today. It is on the Great Northern railway line, and is situated on the 
Long Prairie river in the central part of the township of Long Prairie, about 
one mile from its western border. It was platted in 1867, on section 20, 




township 129, range 33. It w^as incorporated in 1883, since which date it 
has forged well to the forefront among the other towns of the county. It 
is within a very fertile, well-cultivated portion of the finest farming section 
in this county. Its schools, churches and other advantages are mentioned in 
other chapters. Long Prairie has municipal water and lighting plants, the 
former established in 1897 and the latter in 1900. There are two beautiful 
public parks — Lee's Park and Locke's Park. The streets are well graded 
and cement sidewalks have been constructed along the principal streets. In 
19 10 a sewer system was installed at an expense of three thousand four hun- 
dred dollars, largely for the business part of the place. It is here that one 
of the largest creamery plants in the entire state is located. The daily sight 
of scores of farm teams, bringing in cream and milk to this concern, indicates 
the prosperity of this region. 

Long Prairie ranks well as a small manufacturing town, having the 
milling company, the silo factory, the brewing industry and the Hansmann 
Manufacturing Company and brick yards. The celebrated corn-husking 
machine is made here by the Hansmann Manufacturing Company. It does 
the work of a whole family in corn-husking season, and is selling in all parts 
of the corn belt. 


Round Prairie is situated on the line of the Great Northern railway, 
five miles south of Long Prairie, in one of the very earliest settlements in 
Todd county. The first school house in the county was erected here and the 
first religious services in the county were held in this section. The early 
settlement chapter dwells on this at length, so it need not here be repeated. 
The retail trade is all well represented here for a village of its size. The 
population in 19 10 was one hundred. 


Hewitt, an incorporated village of Todd county, is of the modern and 
progressive type. It has a good street lighting system, cement walks, and 
is otherwise well improved. Its population is something between three and 
four hundred. The Hewitt roller mill has a capacity of seventy-five barrels 
a day, and the stockyards frequently ship out fifty or sixty cars of live 
stock annually. It also has a paying, well managed creamery, feed mill, 
general stores and the usual number of shops. The three churches are men- 
tioned in the church chapter. A ten-thousand-dollar school building was 


erected in 1910-11. The thing that tells for Hewitt's prosperity is the fact 
of its heing located in such a productive farm district. It is no uncommon 
thing to harvest as high as three tons of clover from the first cutting, per 
acre, after which a crop bearing seed is secured from the same field amount- 
ing to five bushels per acre. It is also in the very heart of the famous cream- 
ery belt of Minnesota. 


In West Union township is also located another excellent trading mart 
— the village of West Union — on the main line of the Great Northern rail- 
way, twenty miles southwest of the county seat. This is one of Todd coun- 
ty's oldest places and has connected with its history many of the important 
and interesting events of the pioneer days. The first store was erected by 
Tony Poplinski about 1880. The original townsite was owned by Joel 
Myers. It was incorporated in 1900 and is within township 127, range 35. 
It is in one of the county's richest agricultural sections. While towns out- 
side this county somewhat cut into its trade, West L'nion does her share in 
an honorable competitive manner, year by year. It has a population of 
something in excess of two hundred and fifty. In 191 1 a new school house 
was erected costing about four thousand dollars. The creamery, general 
stores, shops, grain and coal warehouses constitute its present business fac- 
tors. The churches are the Methodist and Roman Catholic denominations. 
There is a small but very beautiful lake within a few blocks of the business 
district of the village. 

CLARISSA., an incorporated village of Todd county, is situated in Eagle 
Valley township, a little north of the geographical center of the countv. on 
the (ireat Northern railway. The original site was i)latted in i^jy by Lewis 
Bischoffsheim and wife, of London, England. The place was named in 
honor of the wife of Mr. Bischoffsheim. When the settlement was first 
attempted here there was a wonderful growth of jioplar, and the thicket was 
hard to subdue and make suitable for village-site The railroad did not 
mrd<e its advent here until 1883, and all supplies before that date had to l^e 
hauled from Sauk Center. One of the first to locate here was George W. 
Pearmine, and George G. Howe came in second. In 1881 I'Vank Xutting 
conducted the only store of the village. In 1883 a mill was erected hv IVank 


Nutting, Sr., on a land grant of three hundred and twenty acres. In 1885 
a county seat talk was had for the removal from Long Prairie, but this 
scheme "flashed in the pan." In 1890 a creamery was established at a cost 
of five thousand dollars and a co-operati\'e company formed to operate it. 
This, however, proved a failure, and in 1894 the property was sold for three 
thousand dollars to private parties. In 1894 a new plant was opened, and 
has proved a great financial success to all interested. The farmers nearby 
are receiving over one hundred thousand dollars annually for the cream and 
milk sold at this place. In 1897 the place was incorporated as a village. In 
1906 internal improvements commenced to be made in dead earnest — side- 
walks, street lights, a sewerage system, a volunteer fire company and other 
items were at once added for the good of the citizens. 

The postoffice statement made as long ago as 191 1 showed money order 
business amounting to over one thousand seven hundred and twenty-two 
dollars for the year ending October, 1910. The lodges include the Wood- 
men, Royal Neighbors and Yeoman. The church life is represented by the 
Catholic, Norwegian Lutheran. Swedish Lutheran and the Norwegian Synod. 
The population of this village in 1910 was about four hundred. It is one of 
Todd county's excellent places and is on the constant upgrade in its business 
affairs and general improvement. 


Burtrum village owes its existence to the construction of the Morris and 
Little Falls branch of the Northern Pacific railway, and now has about three 
hundred population. Its situation is favorable and is within Burnhamville 
civil township in the heart of a rich farming district. In April, 1901, it was 
incorporated as a village, and now has its village hall, its fire department, 
gas street lamps, good sidewalks, a four- room graded school, a Congrega- 
tional, Methodist and Lutheran society. All general merchandise business is 
carried on, also various shops and warehouses go toward making up the 
commercial interests of the village, and "a square deal" is the motto of the 
business men of the place. The nearby lakes lay in all their beauty and 
already a number of desirable summer homes have been there established. 
At Mound lake, two miles distant, there were three fine cottages in 1910. 
At Long lake, two miles away, fine fishing attracts many. Swan lake, three 
miles out, is the largest of the lakes. 



Eighteen miles southeast of Long Prairie, in Grey township, is the 
sprightly village of Grey Eagle, on the Northern Pacific road. Its popula- 
tion is now about six hundred. Civic improvements include an eight-room 
grade school, a town hall, cement walks, street lights, a German Lutheran, 
Congregational and a United Brethren church, and a weekly newspaper, the 
Gazette. It was written five years ago that Grey Eagle was the best village 
of its size in all Minnesota. Ever since the railroad was completed, about 
a third of a century ago, the place has always been on the up-grade list of 
places in north-central Minnesota. It has had its misfortunes in the way of 
fires and in 1907 it had one that swept through its streets and business was 
greatly demoralized for a time, but soon rose to the emergency and rebuilt; 
and better than before. A word must be said concerning its surrounding 
lakes. Big Birch and Swan lakes are near by and add much to the value and 
comforts of life and business at this point. These lakes have charming, 
wooded shores, a sandy beach and afford excellent fishing. Camping here is 
frefjuent and many come hundreds of miles to enjoy the summer seasons at 
Grey Eagle and its environments. 


Bertha township and village received their name from Mrs. Bertha Ris- 
tan, the first white woman residing in the vicinity. The village was platted 
by C. A. Germond and M. Riggs. It became an incorporated place in 1897, 
when the following officers were elected: Fred Steinkraus. president; E. G. 
Craig. Herbert Livingston, Mark Maynard, trustees ; Richard Willie, 
recorder. M. P. Westergreen, treasurer; A. N. Soule, Grant Tower, justices 
of the peace. 

This place is one of the desirable small places of Todd county and one 
-where lirains and business tact have worked hand in hand until it has a name 
of unusual note in this section of the state. Her schools and churches are 
of the most elevating and up-to-date in any small place to be found. The 
agricultural surroundings arc of the best and the soil never fails or disap- 
points the tillers, but with the return of season ever lavishes her bountiful 
harvest. .All legitimate business houses are here represented and all seem 
prosperous. The village improvements consist in part, of the fine sidewalks, 
volunteer fire department and their equipment, graded streets, a lighting sys- 

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(lui-li'd the iiioiiccr slmc niiil ;ilsii ilu' first posriiiiisirr .iiul town clork. 

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tern and all that tends to make life worth living in a small place. Mills and 
creameries, with other money-getting propositions, have made the people in 
town and country as of one family, and all seem contented in that they own 
homes within as good a farming section as the state affords. The population 
of Bertha in 19 lo was placed at three hundred, to which many have since 
been added. 


Browerville was platted in 1882 by J. V. Brower, when the Sauk Center 
branch of the Great Northern railway was built. No place within Todd 
county is situated so close to the richest farm sections for which this county 
is famous. The first business houses were the general stores of Perry & 
Scott and D. C. Davis ; also the drug business of Dr. M. L. Murphy. A. M. 
Jaques started the pioneer hardware store. The Perry & Scott store is still 
in operation. The village stood still, so to speak, for a number of years, but 
finally took on a more hopeful outlook and has now come to be known as a 
fine place with over eight hundred inhabitants. The improvements include 
several fine, modern business blocks and many tasty residences. Mills and 
grain warehouses are equal to the great farm interests of the immediate 
surrounding agricultural district. 

The modern improvements obtain to a very large extent in this place. 
The creamery, the newspaper, the garages, banks, telephone exchange, rural 
free delivery of mail, the excellent public schools, the water works, graded 
streets and fine cement walks, all bespeak of a humming, busy place, where 
intellect and money abound in goodly proportion. The churches are the 
Catholic denomination, which has two separate organizations, the United 
Brethren and other religious interests. The Polish Catholic church edifice 
is second to none in the county for beauty and cost. This was dedicated in 
1910. By carefully reading the chapters on banks and newspapers elsewhere 
in this volume much additional information concerning Browerville may be 


Little Sauk village, in the township of the same name, is one of the 
pioneer settlements in Todd county, and a third of a century and more ago, 
was a distributing point and base of supplies for all early settlers in the 
southern part of the county. Mail came here to be sent out o\er a wide scope 
of territory. It is just eight and one-half miles to the south of Long Prai- 


rie, on Sauk river, and on the line of the Great Northern railway system. 
There are less than one hundred people residing in the place, approximately. 
Mills, stores and small shops are there prospering in the midst of the farm 
and lake resort region. Churches of the Swedish Lutheran faith and a good 
school are maintained. One store there dates back forty-four years ago, "The 
Pioneer" is its name. A new store building was erected in 1900. All lines 
of retail trade are here represented. 




The census returns of the government give these figures on Todd county 
and may be rehed upon. The census returns for 1890, 1900 and 19 10 are 
as follow : 

1890 1900 1910 

Bartlett township 586 621 

Bertha township 456 816 714 

Bertha Village 2-j-] 296 

Birchdale township 385 446 444 

Browerville Village 86 466 633 

Bruce township 448 519 

Burleene township 117 426 416 

Burnhamville township 729 1.015 731 

Burtrum Village 217 

Clarissa Village 223 364 

Eagle Bend Village 306 547 306 

Eagle Valley township 696 835 913 

Fawn Lake township 128 254 291 

Germania township 256 485 510 

Gordon township 725 820 648 

Grey Eagle township 408 443 516 

Grey Eagle Village 313 378 

Hartford township 1.051 1.025 816 

Hewitt Village 311 322 

Zona township 456 918 899 

Kandota township 298 426 333 

Leslie township 520 651 601 

Little Elk township 310 


1890 1900 I9IO 

Little Sauk township 594 783 647 

Long Prairie township 796 1,045 

Long Prairie Village I'S^S 1.250 

Moran township 273 526 498 

Osakis Village (part of) 102 89 

Reynolds township 433 892 733 

Round Prairie township 503 742 698 

Staples City 585 1,504 2,258 

Staples township 257 483 619 

Stowe Prairie township 608 611 

Turtle Creek township 269 225 

Villard township 225 384 341 

. Ward township 634 813 801 

West Union township 537 592 424 

West Union Village 161 

Wykeham township 346 594 664 

Totals 12,930 22,214 23,407 

The various villages and cities within Todd county in 1910 had a popula- 
tion of six thousand two hundred and thirty-four. 


W. H. Poore, of Staples, is authority for a large part of the facts stated 
within this article, the same having been published some four years ago in 
what was styled "The Book of Todd County." 

The fact that Totld county was within the belt of Minnesota country 
where iron ore e.xisted was first made known through a circumstance in and 
of itself rather small, but it told the story of a hidden treasure w-hich will ere 
long make the county a wealthy mining district. When Mr. Poore was sur- 
veying in section 32 of \'illard township, and in section 5 of l-'awn Lake town- 
ship, in the spring of 1901, it was observed that the compass needle deflected 
or "dipped" forty-five and more degrees from the true north standard of such 
an instrument. During that autumn a party made up of Mr. Poore, N. A. 
Kcllum, O. W. Underwood, R. D. Kilts and possibly another, commenced to 
explore the same by test-pitting. This was, however, discontinued when it 


was learned that the glacial drift overlaid the Huronian formation in Todd 
county by over one hundred and fifty feet. 

There the matter rested until the spring of 1906, when Orrin Kipp, of 
St. Paul, and Cuyler Adams, of Deerwood, Minnesota, were induced by 
Mr. Poore to make an examination of the premises, resulting in the organi- 
zation of the Kipp Mining Company. They went down with diamond 
drills at about twenty different points, resulting in finding merchantable 
ore. Other explorations have been made from time to time and at present 
all that is known to .the general public about the iron mines of Todd county 
is that prospecting still goes forward. 


The scenery of this county is ever a feast to the eye. The hundreds 
of beautiful spots situated within the bounds of Todd county afford a field 
of promise and enjoyment to all who chance to dwell within its borders. 
Being situate in the far-famed "park region" of Minnesota, Todd county 
naturally possesses charms and allurements to the lover of nature and 
sportsmen not found in any other locality. Thousands of acres of unbroken 
forest land and many large and smaller lakes and lakelets adorn the county. 
For the camper at all the lakes, supplies may be had close at hand. Thou- 
sands of persons from the great Twin Cities, Canada, Missouri, Arkansas, 
Texas, Nebraska, Kentucky, Tennessee and other parts of the Union" make 
their annual tours to these beautiful lakes. One of the most popular of 
these resorts is Osakis lake, having over thirty miles of shore front; this 
is in the southwest corner of the county. Of a truth it may be stated that 
for the smaller game, fish, etc., no better resort can be found in the entire 
Northwest. Ducks are found in endless numbers at all of these lakes. A 
few deer and gray wolves are yet to be seen. Coons, mink, muskrats, jack 
rabbits,, hares, and gray and black squirrels are also plentiful. 

Among these many lakes that make glad the heart of the beholder, 
may be listed the following: Birch lake, All Happy lake. West Union lake. 
Dower lake, Long lake, Osakis lake, Sauk lake and Charlotte lake. 

As the years come and go, man has greatly beautified and improved the 
environments of these northern beauty spots. Future generations will here 
find resorts not now dreamed of, for as the country settles up and is more 
universally known abroad, tens of thousands of sightseers and summer 
tourists will visit this county. 



The county plat books show the following village plattings to have been 
made at one time or another within Todd county : 

Bertha — By G. E. Keys, August 8, 1891 ; in the southwest quarter of 
the southwest quarter of section 2, township 132, range 35. 

Birch Lake — By Elihu Mullew, September, 1882; in the southwest quar- 
ter of section 2;^, township 127, range 33. 

Burgstrom — By Washington McNeice, April, 1884; in the southeast 
quarter of section 26, township 128, range 34. 

Burnhamville — By Nathan E. Barber, February 17, 1883: in the south- 
west quarter of section 35, township 129, range 32. 

Clarissa — By George G. Howe, July 29, 1879: in the southeast quarter 
of the northwest quarter of section 27, township 131, range 34. 

Dower Lake — By Lewis D. French and twelve other persons, November 
26. 1884; in section 4, township 133, range 33. This was on Dower Lake. 

Grey Eagle — By Eli Woodman and Jacob Bovee, September, 1882; in 
the northeast quarter of section 7, township 127, range ;^2. 

Sliters Beach — By R. H. Sliter and wife, October, 1912; in the south- 
west quarter of section 17, township 127, range 32. 

Hansen (now Burtrum) — By W. T. Hansen, February 15. 1889; in 
section 27, township 128, range 32. 

Hewitt — By William R. Baumbech, April 3, 1891 : in section 15. town- 
ship 133, range 35. 

Philbrook — By Nancy Hartshorn, Benjamin Hartshorn, Mary V. Cop- 
penoll and P. Coppenoll, November 10, 1889; in sections 34 and 33, town- 
ship 133, range 32. 

West Union — By Joel Meyers, June 17, 1881 ; in the northwest c|uar- 
ter of the northeast quarter of section 21, township 127, range 35. 

Round Pr.-iirie — By Elnora McKellip, October 5, 1903; in tlie north 
half of the northwest (|uarter of section 18, township 128, range 1,^,. 

Ward Springs — By J. W. and Martha J. Ward; in Birch Dale town- 
ship, congressional township 127, range 33. 

Leevilla— On l-ittle Swan Lake, .\pril, 1915: in section 3, township 128. 
range 32. 

Long Prairie — By John R. Tweed (for estate). May, 1867: in the north- 
east quarter of section 20, township 129, range 33. 


Broweiville — By Walter C. Brewer, December ii, 1882; in the south- 
east quarter of the northwest quarter of section 8, township 130, range 33. 

Staples Mill (now Staples) — By William Lawson, June 4, 1889: in the 
south half of the southwest quarter of section i, township 133, range t,^. 

Leslie — May 10, 1898; in section 26, township 129, range 35. 



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