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Full text of "The history of Redwood County, Minnesota"

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977.601 M.U 

R24c 

v.l 

1198433 



GENEALOGY COLLECTION 



3 1833 01080 7474 




JL 



THE HISTORY 

OF 

Redwood County 



MINNESOTA 



COMPILED BY 

FRANKLY N CURTISS-WEDGE 

Member of the Minnesota Historical Society, Member of the National Historical 

Society, Member of the Wisconsin Archaeological Society; Editor 

of the Histories of Goodhue, Dakato, Rice, Steele, 

Mower, Freeborn, Fillmore, Winona, Wright 

and Renville Counties, Minnesota. 



REVIEWED BY 

JULIUS A. SCHMAHL 

Secretary of State 



ILLUSTRATED 



VOLUME I 



CHICAGO 

H. C. COOPER JR. & CO. 

1916 



±198433 

PREFACE 

The aim of this work is to present in an available form, the 
facts which the average citizen should know about those events 
of the past which have been important in making the county 
what it is today. To the recital of these events have been added 
the biographies of present and former residents, that the reader 
may judge of the kind of men who have had their part in the life 
of the county, where they came from, under what conditions their 
youth was spent, what preparation they had for existence in 
this county, at what period of the county's progress they arrived 
here, and what they did toward its future progress. For the sake 
of future generations, these biographical sketches have also been 
made to include genealogical and family records. 

The patrons of this history are almost exclusively the people 
of the county itself. It has, therefore, seemed wise to gather 
from various printed sources the story of the county before the 
arrival of the first settlers. In this way the reader will find in 
these two volumes, in accessible form, the material which other- 
wise could be made available in the average home only by the 
possesion of a large library. 

The census reports of the United States government are ac- 
cessible to all, and it has not therefore seemed best to reprint 
from those reports extensive statistics regarding nationality and 
agriculture. The subjects, have, however, been treated in a 
general way. without reprinting the routine figures from the cen- 
sus reports. 

County, village and township records, as well as various re- 
ports of state offiicals bearing on Redwood county have been 
searched with care. The Northwestern Gazetteer, published every 
two years, beginning with 1876, has also proven a valuable source 
of information. The newspaper files have also been closely ex- 
amined. The source of the information contained in each chap- 
ter is given at the close of the chapters. 

The records in Redwood county have been unusually well kept. 
But a handicap in the preparation of the history has been the 
neglect of many of the people of the county to respond to re- 
quests for information. In reply to more than 500 letters sent 
out requesting reminiscences from people who have lived in the 
county for more than thirty-five years, less than ten replies have 
been received. Hundreds of letters asking for information re- 
garding churches, postoffices, early settlers, and official events 
have likewise remained unanswered. 



iv PREFACE 

Our representatives have, however, met with unfailing courtesy 
in their personal interviews with the people, and many thanks are 
due to all citizens of the county who, by their assistance, have 
helpod to make the publication what it is. 

The proof sheets of the historical part of the work have been 
read with care by Hon. Julius A. Schmahl, Secretary of State. 
Mr. Schmahl has also been frequently consulted during the prog- 
ress of the work, and has made many valuable suggestions. 

Our association with the people of the county has been a 
pleasant one. We have conscientiously performed our task, and 
in placing the history in the hands of those whom it most con- 
cerns, our hope is that it will increase the interest that all should 
feel in the history of the state and county. 

H. C. COOPER, JR., & CO. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

CHAPTER I 
GEOGRAPHICAL CONDITIONS 



PAGE 



Location — Natural Drainage — Lakes — Surface — Soil — Natu- 
ral Resources — Railroads — Trading Centers — Occupations 
— Population — Nationality — Townships — Original Surveys 
— Original Timber — Education 1 



CHAPTER II 

ERAS AND PERIODS 

Geologic Era — Prehistoric Era — Period of Exploration — 
Agency Period — Massacre Period — Mission Period — Agri- 
cultural Era — Pioneer Period — Grasshopper Period — 
Period of Rapid Growth — Modern Period 7 



CHAPTER III 
PHYSICAL FEATURES 

Topography — Soil — Timber — Geological Structure — Gneiss 
and Granite — Decomposed Gneiss and Granite — Cretacious 
Beds — Lignite — Glacial and Modified Drift — Terminal Mo- 
raines — Modified Drift of the Last Glacial Epoch 10 

CHAPTER P7 
PREHISTORIC INHABITANTS 

The First Men — Mound Builders — Purpose of the Mounds — 
Life and Habits of the Mound Builders — Location of the 
Mounds 26 

CHAPTER V 
INDIAN OCCUPANCY AND TREATD3S 

The Dakota Indians — Wapeton Dakotas — Indian Treaties — 
Visit to Washington — Prairie du Chien Treaty of 1825 — 
Second Treaty of Prairie du Chien — The Doty Treaty — 
Preliminaries to the Final Session — Treaty of Traverse des 
Sioux — The Ramsey Investigation of 1853 — Treaty of 
1858 — Agencies and Forts 32 



vi CONTENTS 

CHAPTER VI 
CLAIM OF TITLE 

PAGE 

Redwood County Under the Domain of Spain, France and 
England — Redwood County as a Part of Louisiana Dis- 
trict, Louisiana Territory, Missouri Territory, Michigan 
Territory, Iowa Territory and Wisconsin Territory — Min- 
nesota Territory Created — Minnesota State 58 



CHAPTER VII 

EXPLORERS, TRADERS, MISSIONARIES 

Grosseiliers and Radisson — Hennepin and DuLuth — Le Sueur 
— Lahontan — Carver — Port Snelling Established — Long, 
Keating, Beltrami — The Pembina Refugees — Peatherstone 
and Mather — Catlin— Nicollet and Fremont — Allen — Fur 
Traders — The Missionaries — Chronology 70 



CHAPTER VIII 

THE LOWER SIOUX AGENCY 

The Agency Established — Efforts at Civilization — Adminis- 
tration of Affairs — Agriculture— Houses Erected for the 
Indians — Conditions Before the Outbreak 88 

CHAPTER IX 

CAUSES OP THE OUTBREAK 

Indians Defrauded by the Treaty — Stupidity and Injustice of 
the Officials — Dishonesty of the Traders — Indians in Piti- 
ful Condition — Indians Demand their Rightful Annuities 
— Refused — Soldiers Enforce Stipulations of Officials .... 94 

CHAPTER X 
THE SIOUX OUTBREAK 

Murders at Acton — Aid of Little Crow Enlisted — Massacre 
Begins — Ruin Spreads on Both Sides of the Minnesota — 
Fort Ridgely — New Ulm — Pursuit and Punishment 118 

CHAPTER XI 
THE MASSACRE IN REDWOOD COUNTY 

Agency Officials Alarmed at Manifestations of Trouble — 
First Shot Fired — Many Whites Murdered — Stories of 
Narrow Escapes — Events in the Southern Part of the 
County 135 



CONTENTS vii 

CHAPTER XII 
EEDWOOD FERRY AMBUSCADE 

PAGE 

News of Massacre Reaches Fort Ridgely — Captain Marsh 
Starts With His Men to Punish the Indians— Parley at the 
Ferry — Indians Open Fire — Many Soldiers Killed — Cap- 
tain Marsh Drowned — Thrilling Escapes 142 

CHAPTER XIII 

MASSACRE EXPERIENCES 

Experiences of Mrs. Mary E. Schwandt Schmidt — Experiences 
of George H. Spencer, Jr. — Experiences of John Ames 
Humphrey — Hinman's Flight — Experiences of Miss West 
— Fenske's Escape — Mrs. De Camp's Experience — Escape 
of the Reynolds Family 149 

CHAPTER XF? 
MONUMENTS AND MARKERS 

Colonel Henry H. Sibley Establishes His Rendezvous Near 
Present Site of North Redwood, and Starts on His Expedi- 
tion Against the Indians — Historic Sites in Redwood 
County Marked by Permanent Memorials — Work of the 
Minnesota Valley Historical Society 164 



CHAPTER XV 

COUNTY ORGANIZATION 

Original Counties — Wabashaw — Dakotah — Blue Earth — Ren- 
ville — Redwood — McPhail — Lyon, Lincoln, Yellow Medi- 
cine and Lac qui Parle Cut Off 168 

CHAPTER XVI 

COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THEDt MEETINGS 

Work of the County Board Since 1865— Affairs of the County 
Admirably Managed Through Many Trying Periods — 
Financial Matters — Salaries of Officials — Roads, Bridges 
and Ditches 175 

CHAPTER XVII 
COUNTY OFFICERS AND BUILDINGS 

Lists of County Officers — County Court House — Alms House 
and Poor Farm — County Jail 191 



viii CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XVIII 
LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATION 

PAGE 

Districts Established — List of the Men Who Have Represented 
Redwood County at St. Paul — Constitutional Convention 
— Dates of the Legislative Sessions — Congressional Repre- 
sentation 195 



CHAPTER XIX 

RIVER TRANSPORTATION 

Story of the Minnesota River — -Steamboat Traffic — River 
Shrinks and Traffic is Suspended 208 



CHAPTER XX 
HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES 

Government Roads — -Early County Roads — Early Bridges — 
State Roads — Development of Present System 219 



CHAPTER XXI 
RAILROADS 

Story of the Building of the Various Lines Which Now Cross 
Redwood County 232 



CHAPTER XXII 
EDUCATION 

Growth of the System in Redwood County as Shown by the 
Official Reports — Story of the Individual Districts — 
Present Status — Future Prospects — Biographies of Super : 
intendents 235 



CHAPTER XXIII 
LIVE STOCK 

Statistics of Live Stock in Redwood County at Various 
Periods as Shown by the Assessment Rolls 265 



CONTENTS ix 

CHAPTER XXIV 
DITCHING 

PAGE 

Need of Artificial Drainage in Redwood County — Ditching 
Inaugurated — Location and Style of the Present Ditches- 
Plans for the Future 274 



CHAPTER XXV 
PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS 

Ideals of the Profession — Pioneer Physicians in Redwood 
County — Names of Redwood County Physicians from the 
Various Issues of the Gazetteer — Records of Physicians 
Registered at the Court House 283 

CHAPTER XXVI 
NEWSPAPERS OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

The First Newspaper — Col. McPhail and the Patriot — Red- 
wood Falls Mail — Redwood Gazette — Lamberton Commer- 
cial — Lamberton Leader — Lamberton Star — Redwood Re- 
veille — Redwood Falls Sun — Morgan Messenger — Walnut 
Grove Tribune — Sanborn Sentinel — Belview Independent 
— Revere Record — Wabasso Standard — Vesta Bright 
Eyes — Vesta Censor — Milroy Echo — Wanda Pioneer Press 
— Seaforth Item— Other Papers 294 



CHAPTER XXVII 
REDWOOD COUNTY TOWNSHIPS 

Growth in Population — Swedes Forest — Kintire — Delhi — Hon- 
ner — Underwood — Vesta — Sheridan — Redwood Falls — 
Paxton — Sherman — Westline— Granite Rock — Vail — New 
Avon — Three Lakes — Morgan — Gales — Johnsonville — Wa- 
terbury — Willow Lake — Sundown — Brookville — Spring- 
dale — North Hero — Lamberton — Charlestown 315 



CHAPTER XXVIII 
REDWOOD COUNTY CHURCHES 

Distribution of Nationalities and Its Effect on the Establish- 
ment of Churches — Influence of the Churches on the Set- 
tlement of the County — Lists of the Churches of the 
County— Story of a Few Typical Churches Briefly Told. . 365 



x CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XXIX 
BUTTER AND CHEESE MAKING 

PAGE 

Slow Growth of Dairying in Redwood County — Butter Made 
in the Homes — Statistics — Establishment of Creameries — 
Present Status 396 



CHAPTER XXX 

AGRICULTURE OF TODAY 

Agricultural Conditions — Soil Survey — Modern Methods — 
Climatic Conditions — Rotation of Crops — -Alfalfa — Live- 
stock — Dairying— Work of the County Agent — Latest 
Developments — Wild and Tame Grasses — Farm Names — 
County Fairs 401 



CHAPTER XXXI 

THE BISHOP WHTPPLE MISSION 

Mission Established at The Agency Before the Massacre — 
Work of Bishop Whipple — The Massacre — Indians Return 
— Modern Mission Established — Lace Making — Biog- 
raphies 421 



CHAPTER XXXII 

MATERIAL RESOURCES 

Springs— Mineral Paint — Water Power — Clay Products — 
Gold— Gravel— Wells— Surface Wells— Cretaceous Wells— 
Archaen Wells — Public Water Supplies — Farm Water 
Supplies 432 



CHAPTER XXXIH 

PIONEER EXPERIENCES 

McPhail, His Life, Times and Cabin— The Frederick Holt 
Family — Marion Johnson's Experiences — James Aitken's 
Reminiscences — John Mooer Killed — E. G. Pomroy's 
Reminiscences — J. S. Johnson's Experiences— Early Days 
Near Walnut Grove — Mrs. Roset A. Sehmahl — The Days 
that Tried Men's Souls 442 



CONTENTS xi 

CHAPTER XXXIV 
COURTS, CASES AND ATTORNEYS 

PAGE 

Territorial Courts — District Courts in Redwood County — 
Judges — First Cases — The Bar — Murders — Civil Cases — 
— Justice Courts — Municipal Court — Probate Courts — 
Appealed Cases 465 

CHAPTER XXXV 
REDWOOD COUNTY VILLAGES 

Population — Redwood Falls — Belview — Clements — Delhi — 
Gilfillan— Lamberton — Lucan— Morgan — North Redwood 
— Revere — Rowena — Sanborn — Seaforth — Vesta — Wa- 
basso — Wayburne — Walnut Grove — Wanda — Abandoned 
Villages 489 

CHAPTER XXXVI 

OLD SETTLERS ASSOCIATION 

Early Settlers of the Southeastern Part of the County Form 
Society — Interesting Meetings — List of Officers — Roll of 
Members, Giving Place of Birth and Date of Arrival in 
This County 560 

CHAPTER XXXVII 

THE REDWOOD HOLSTEIN FARM 

Rise in Land Values and Change in Redwood County Agricul- 
ture Encouraged by the Sears-Gold Activities — The Fa- 
mous Holstein Herd Established — Methods and Results. . 563 



CHAPTER XXXVIII 
DHTICULTLES OVERCOME 

Large Tracts of Land Not Open to Settlement — Rush to the 
Dakotas — The Grasshopper Years — Blizzards and Storms 
—Prairie Fires 566 

CHAPTER XXXIX 
BANKS AND BANKING 

Beginning of Banking in Redwood County-— The Present 
Banks — Organization — Growth — Officials — Financial 
Statements 570 



xii CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XL 
POSTAL SERVICE 

PAGE 

Early Stage Routes — Early Postal Service — The Story of the 
Present Offices — Postmasters and Locations — Discontinued 
Offices 584 



CHAPTER XLI 

THE PIONEER PERIOD 

McPhail Settles at Redwood Falls— Story of the Stockade- 
Names of First Land Owners — Names of Early Tax 
Payers — Type of Settlers — Early Homes — Nationality — 
Early Population — Land Office Opened — First Land Sale. 596 



XLII 

REDWOOD FALLS PARKS 

Natural Conditions — Lake Redwood Park — Redwood Falls 
Park — Alexander Ramsey State Park — Easy Access to 
Parks — Indian Legend of the Origin of the Name 608 

CHAPTER XLIII 

MERCANTILE AND CIVIC IMPROVEMENT 

Early Business Houses — Growth of the Mercantile Interests — 
Shifting of the Business Center— Redwood Falls in 1880— 
Redwood Falls Today 614 



CHAPTER XLTV 

REDWOOD FALLS CEMETERY 

Early Burial Places — First Deaths — Present Cemetery Started 
— Ladies Take Charge — Splendid Work of the Redwood 
Falls Cemetery Association 



CHAPTER XLV 

MILITARY COMPANY 

Militia Organized — Armory Erected — Officers — Call to Mexi- 
can Service — Embark for the Border — Now in Texas — 

of the Company 622 



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COTrONWOOO CO. 

38 37 36 35 34 



CHAPTER I. 
GEOGRAPHICAL CONDITIONS. 

Redwood county is situated in the southwestern part of Min- 
nesota, within the basin of the Minnesota river which is its 
boundary on the northeast. Two tier of counties (forty -eight 
miles) intervene between it and the Iowa line, due south, and two 
tier of counties (forty -two miles) intervene between it and the 
South Dakota line, due west. 

The lines of the Congressional survey which bound Redwood 
county are as follows : Beginning at a point on the Minnesota 
where that river is crossed by the range line between ranges 33 
and 34, following that range line, to the township line between 
townships 109 and 110; thence running west on said township 
line to the range line between ranges 35 and 36 ; thence south on 
said range line to the township line between townships 108 and 
109 ; thence west on said township line to the range line between 
sections 39 and 40; thence north on said range line to the town- 
ship line (the Third Standard Parallel) between townships 112 
and 113; thence east on said township line to the range line 
between ranges 37 and 38; thence north on said range line to 
the Minnesota river. The boundary is completed by the diagonal 
course of the Minnesota river. 

The counties surrounding Redwood do not differ materially 
from it in general physical conditions. Across the Minnesota 
to the northward is Renville county. To the east and south lies 
Brown county. Cottonwood county is to the south as is also 
a part of Murray county. Westward lies Lyon county. Yellow 
Medicine county lies to the north and west. 

The area of Redwood county is about 893.83 square miles or 
572,052.87 acres. Of this some 14,930.13 acres are covered with 



Natural Drainage. The Minnesota river, at the north side, in 
this region, receives two large tributaries: the Redwood (called 
by the Sioux the Tchanshaypi) river, which flows east across 
the north part of Redwood county and enters the Minnesota 
about two miles northeast of Redwood Palls; and the Cotton- 
wood (called by the Sioux the Waraju) river, which also runs 
easterly, crossing southern Redwood county, and dividing Brown 
county into nearly equal parts on its north and south sides, unit- 
ing with the Minnesota about one and a half miles southeast of 
New Ulm. While commonly called the Cottonwood and thus 
1 



2 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

designated in this book, it is also sometimes called the Big Cot- 
tonwood, to distinguish it from the Little Cottonwood, which 
rises in Jackson county, flows through Brown county, and joins 
the Minnesota in the northwest corner of Blue Earth county. 

The Minnesota river receives from Redwood county several 
small creeks, from one to five miles in length, the longest being 
Crow Creek, five miles east of Redwood Falls, and Wabashaw 
creek, in Sherman, the most northeast township of Redwood 
county. 

The most important of the small creeks that empty into the 
Redwood river in the county of this name is Ramsey creek, five 
miles long, in the south part of Delhi, the outlet of Ramsey lake. 
Its junction with the Redwood is about a half mile north of Red- 
wood Falls. 

Numerous creeks of considerable size join the Cottonwood 
river from the south in southern Redwood county, including 
Plum creek, which flows by Walnut Grove; Pell creek, in the 
west part of Lamberton; Dutch Charley's creek, which flows 
within a mile south of Lamberton, after receiving Highwater 
creek, a large tributary, unites with the Cottonwood about two 
miles east of this station ; and Dry creek, which joins this river 
in the southeast corner of Charlestown. Through this distance 
of twenty-five miles, the Cottonwood river has no affluent from 
the north. Sleepy Eye creek, the largest branch of the Cotton- 
wood, joins it from the north, but not in this county. It flows 
through the south central part of Redwood county, and unites 
with the Cottonwood in the eastern part of Leavenworth town- 
ship in Brown county. 

Lakes. Redwood county has frequent small bodies of water, 
and also sloughs, or marshy tracts, many of which are covered 
by water during the wet portions of the year. In Redwood 
county the most notable lakes are Ramsey lake, one mile long 
from east to west, in Delhi ; Goose and Swan lakes, at the north- 
west side of Underwood township, each about a mile long; two 
lakes, three-quarters and a half a mile in length, in Kintire 
Horseshoe lake, curved, more than a mile long, in Westline 
Hall lake, a mile in length from northwest to southeast, in Gales 
Willow and Rush lakes, each a half mile or more in length, in 
Willow Lake township; the Three Lakes, which give this name 
to the township in which they are situated ; and Hackberry lake, 
three-fourths of a mile long, in the north part of Brookville. 
Lake Redwood at Redwood Falls is an artificial lake, the water 
being held back by a dam. 

Surface. Most of Redwood county consists of a plain that 
rises imperceptibly southwestward. This plain is intermediate 
in altitude between the valley of the Minnesota river, on the 
northeast, and the Corteau des Prairies on the southwest. With 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 3 

reference to the Minnesota valley, which is 150 to 200 feet deep, 
it constitutes a plateau, but in relation to the Corteau which lies 
500 feet higher, it is a lowland tract. The ascent to the Corteau 
begins in the southwestern extremity of the county, where the 
upward grade is greatly augmented. 

The county has almost universally a smooth, gently or moder- 
ately undulating surface of unmodified glacial drift or till. Some 
portions are nearly flat, and the whole county has this appearance 
when overlooked in any broad, far-reaching view; but mostly 
the contour is in broad swells of various extent, height and 
direction, generally without any uniformity in trend and some- 
times oval or nearly round. Between these swells and in many 
low places are swamps and set lands. This condition is however 
being eliminated by tiling and ditching. 

The Minnesota river flows through a valley from a few rods 
to a mile and a half in width, rising somewhat abruptly to the 
rich swelling country some 150 to 200 feet higher. In the 
valley are many farms admirably adapted to stock raising. The 
bluffs between the lowland and the general level of the county 
are for the most part heavily wooded. 

Redwood and Cottonwood rivers, flowing eastward across the 
county, occupy rather shallow valleys until they approach the 
Minnesota, into which they discharge, they descend into deep 
and picturesque gorges. This is especially true of the Redwood 
river which cascades over granite ledges at Redwood Palls. Until 
the principal streams have cut their valleys down to accord with 
the Minnesota river, most of the county will have insufficient 
natural relief for an adequate drainage, though this deficiency 
as already noted is being supplied by an elaborate system of 
ditching and tiling. Near the southwestern part of the county, 
however, where the descent from the Corteau is relatively steep, 
many ravines have been cut, some of which extend down to 
the ground-water level and have permanent streams fed by 
springs. That is why so many of the affluents of the Cottonwood 
river come from the south. 

Soil. The soil is a rich black loam, from two to four feet 
deep, with "a clay subsoil. The only light soil is on the tops of 
the bluffs. The soil is most admirably adapted to the production 
of all the common cereals, garden vegetables and small fruits 
of this latitude. 

Natural Resources. Redwood county being an agricultural 
county its greatest resources consist of its soil, climate and drain- 
age. It has some natural timber, but the timber for the most 
part has been planted and cultivated. There is a plentiful water 
supply in wells and springs, and many excellent waterpowers. 
The clay of the county in times past has been utilized for brick. 
The gravel of the county is used for roads and for cement tiles 



4 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

and bricks. Mineral paint has also been produced, and quarry- 
ing is conducted to a minor extent. Boulders are used for foun- 
dations and fences. Coal explorations have produced little re- 
sults. The soil, location, climate, contour, drainage, water sup- 
ply, and waterpowers are the only natural features which have 
exerted any important economic influence on the development 
of the county. For a time a gold mine was exploited and an 
extensive plant erected but without producing gold in paying 
quantities. "Soapstone" has also been secured near Redwood 
Falls. 

Railroads. Railroad service is provided Redwood by one 
division of the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad Co. and by four 
divisions of the Chicago & North Western Railway Co. The 
Watertown division of the Minneapolis & St. Louis was built 
across the northern part of the county in 1884. The Winona- 
Tracy branch of the Winona & St. Peter, now a part of the 
North Western system, was built through the southern part of 
the county in 1872. The Sleepy Eye-Redwood Falls division was 
built to Redwood Falls in 1878. The Sanborn-Vesta division was 
built between those points in 1899. The Evan-Marshall branch 
was built through the central part of the county in 1902. 

Trading Centers. The majority of the people of Redwood 
county do their trading within the limits of the county. Spring- 
field, Tracy, Morton. Cottonwood, Echo. Marshall and possibly 
Wood Lake are trading points for people in this county. Lam- 
berton and Sanborn get quite a little trade from outside the 
county, and some from outside the county also comes to Walnut 
Grove, Revere, Morgan, Milroy, Vesta, Belview, Delhi and North 
Redwood. Redwood Falls also receives a considerable portion 
of its trade from the people of Renville county. The catalogue 
houses do a good business in this county, but somewhat less than 
is usual in the average Minnesota rural community. Especially 
in the Redwood Falls vicinity, the excellent service and numerous 
sales given by the stores keeps the business at home. The im- 
portant trading centers within the county are Redwood Falls, 
Lamberton, Morgan, Walnut Grove, Revere, Sanborn, Wanda, 
Wabasso, Lucan, Milroy, Seaforth, Vesta, Clements, Belview, 
Delhi and North Redwood. Shipping facilities are also provided 
at Rowena, Wayburne and Gilfillan. 

Occupations. The county is entirely an agricultural one. 
Aside from a small quarry and a few marble dressing establish- 
ments, and a few cement block plants, the people are all en- 
gaged in tilling the land and raising stock, except in the vil- 
lages, and in the villages the people are dependent entirely on 
the rural population for support. 

Population. The population of Redwood county in 1900, was 
18,425. In 1870, it was 1,829, but this is not a basis of compari- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 5 

son, as the county then extended to the state line. In 1875 the 
population was 2,982 ; in 1880 it was 5,375 ; in 1885 it was 6,488 ; 
in 1890 it was 9,386 ; in 1895 it was 13,533 ; in 1900 it was 17,261 ; 
in 1905 it was 19,034, and in 1910 it decreased to 18,425. 

Nationality. The German nationality predominates, with the 
Danish and the Norwegians as the next in numbers. The latest 
official returns are for 1910. There are eleven negroes, of whom 
five are black and six mulatto. There are 167 Indians. There 
are 5,361 native whites of native parentage. There are 9,428 of 
foreign and mixed parentage, of whom 5,981 are of foreign par- 
entage and 3,448 of mixed parentage. The foreign born whites 
number 3,457, or nearly nineteen per cent of the total population. 
The foreign born whites are divided as follows. Germany, 1,527 ; 
Denmark, 458 ; Norway, 449 ; Sweden, 268 ; Austria, 247 ; Canada 
(not French, mostly Scotch), 184; England, 85; Ireland, 62; 
Switzerland, 59; Scotland, 57; Russia, 21; Belgium, 13; Canada 
(French), 7; Holland, 2; other foreign countries, 14. The native 
whites with both parents born in the respective countries men- 
tioned are : Germany, 3,029 ; Norway, 694 ; Denmark, 577 ; Aus- 
tria, 363; Sweden, 307; Ireland, 178; Canada (not French), 118; 
England, 72; Scotland, 63; Switzerland, 62; Canada (French), 
20; Russia, 14; France, 9; "Wales, 7; Holland, 1; Hungary, 1; 
all others of foreign parentage (both parents born in countries 
other than above, and parents of foreign birth but of different 
countries), 466. 

Townships. The townships of Redwood county are : Swedes 
Forest township 114, range 37 (fractional) ; Kintire, 113, 37 ; 
Delhi, 113, 36 (fractional, and 114, 36 fractional) ; Honner, 113, 35 
(fractional), 113, 34 (fractional); Underwood, 112, 39; Vesta, 
112, 38 ; Sheridan, 112, 37 ; Redwood Falls, 112, 36 ; Paxton, 112, 
35; Sherman, 112, 34 (fractional); Westline, 111, 39; Granite 
Rock, 111, 38; Vail, 111, 37; New Avon, 111, 36; Three Lakes, 
111, 35; Morgan, 111, 34; Gales, 110, 39; Johnsonville, 110, 38; 
Waterbury, 110, 37; Willow Lake, 110, 36; Sundown, 110, 35; 
Brookville, 110, 34; Springdale, 109, 39; North Hero, 109, 38; 
Lamberton, 109, 37; Charlestown, 109, 36. 

Original Surveys. Brookville, Morgan, Sherman, Sundown, 
Three Lakes, Paxton, Honner, Charlestown, Willow Lake, New 
Avon, Redwood Falls and Delhi were surveyed by government 
officials in 1858. North Hero, Johnsonville, Vesta, Granite Rock, 
Lamberton, Waterbury and Vail were surveyed in 1859. Sheri- 
dan and Kintire were surveyed in 1864. Swedes Forest was sur- 
veyed in 1866. Springdale, Gales, Westline and Underwood were 
surveyed in 1867. 

Original Timber. With the elimination of the prairie fires, 
the river courses have become quite heavily wooded, while groves 
have been planted on nearly every quarter section. Originally 



6 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

the valley of the Minnesota was timbered, as well as the valleys 
of the Minnesota and the Cottonwood. These trees on the Red- 
wood and Cottonwood gradually diminished as their sources were 
approached. The survey of 1858 found Charlestown plentifully 
supplied with timber, but further up the Cottonwood there were 
only isolated groups of trees with the exception of the walnut 
grove in Springdale. 

Education. The number of school houses in use in Redwood 
county in 1915 and 1916 was 116, with 110 districts. There are 
four consolidated schools, in the villages of "Wanda, Lamberton, 
Redwood Falls, Walnut Grove. Delhi has voted to be a consoli- 
dated school after Sept., 1917. School districts No. 91 and No. 
41 consolidated with No. 31, now known as consolidated district 
No. 31 in the village of Lamberton; school district No. 93 con- 
solidated with No. 30, now known as consolidated district No. 30 
in the village of Wanda. There are seven state graded schools, 
and two state high schools, the latter in Redwood Falls and 
Lamberton. The state graded schools are in Belview, Wabasso, 
Morgan, Sanborn, Walnut Grove, Delhi, and Wanda. School 
districts No. 109 in Morgan township, and No. 64 in Waterbury 
township, receive no state aid. Of the graded schools all except 
Wabasso, Delhi and Wanda do four years of high school work; 
Wanda and Wabasso do two years of high school work. The 
Lamberton and Redwood Falls schools have several special de- 
partments, including manual training, domestic art, domestic sci- 
ence, agricultural and commercial work. Walnut Grove, Wanda, 
Morgan and Belview do manual training work. Walnut Grove 
and Morgan do domestic science and agriculture. There were 
enrolled in the graded and high schools for 1915 and 1916, 2,313 
pupils. There are 13 semi-graded schools in the county which 
means schools employing from 2 to 4 teachers. These are lo- 
cated in Clements, Revere, Milroy, Vesta, Seaforth, Lucan, dis- 
trict No. 7, New Avon township; district No. 19, North Hero 
township; district No. 27, Sundown township; district No. 49, 
Brookville township; district No. 67, Willow Lake township; 
district No. 70, Sheridan township, and district No. 78, Water- 
bury township. District No. 73, known as the Gilfillan school, 
will be a semi-graded school after Sept., 1917. There are 80 
class A, one room rural schools and 10 class B one room rural 
schools. Four districts have seven months of school; none have 
less; all the rest have either eight or nine months. In the rural 
and semi-graded schools there were for 1915-1916, 3,239 pupils 
enrolled, making a total enrollment for that year of 5,552 pupils 
in the schools of the county. One hundred ninety-eight teachers 
were employed. The average wages for all the schools in the 
county, paid for men teachers was $88.75; for women, $60.09. 
The average number of days each pupil attended was 126.9. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 7 

All districts loan the text books free. We find improved heat- 
ing and ventilating systems in every school building, except two. 
The highest price paid for rural school teachers in 1916 was $70 
(in four schools), and the lowest price paid was $45 (in one 
school) ; the rest ranging from $50 to $65. There were 76 teach- 
ers, rural and semi-graded, in 1916, who were graduates of the 
Normal training department in high schools; there were seven 
State Normal school graduates of the advanced course, and one 
college graduate. 

References. Vol. I, "The Geological and Natural History 
Survey of Minnesota," 1872-1882. 

Reports of the State and Federal Census, 1870-1910. 

"Atlas of Redwood County," Webb Publishing Co., St. Paul, 
1914. 



CHAPTER II. 
ERAS AND PERIODS. 

For purposes of consistent study, the story of Redwood county 
has been divided into eras and periods. 

I — Geologic Eras. During these Eras the world was made 
fit for human habitation. The study of this subject lies in 
the realm of the trained geologist, and will not be considered at 
length in this work. For the purposes of this history, however, 
it is necessary to study the effect that the physical conditions 
have had on the occupation of this region by man, the changes 
that mankind has wrought in the physical conditions of the 
county and the influence that the physical conditions of the 
county have had upon mankind. It must be borne in mind that 
the Geologic Eras have not passed, and that mankind is merely 
living in the latest, not the last of these Eras. 

II — Prehistoric Era. During the Prehistoric Era, mankind 
in some form took up his habitation in Redwood county. Possi- 
bly this occupation took place in Interglacial times. There have 
been discovered no evidences of Interglacial man in Redwood 
county. The only pre-historic evidences left in the county are 
the mounds constructed by the Mound Builders, so-called. These 
Mound Builders are believed to have been the ancestors of the 
present day Indians, and differing from them in no important 
aspects. 

m — Indian Era. The Indian Era is divided into four periods : 
(a) The Period of the Explorers; (b) The Period of the Agency; 
(c) The Period of the Massacre ; (d) The Post-Massacre and Mis- 
sion Period. 

The Period of the Explorers. The testimony as to what 



8 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Indians were living in Redwood county when the white explorers 
came to this region is somewhat vague, and the subject worthy of 
extended study far beyond the limits of this publication. In 
1834, Pond describes the Minnesota river above Shakopee as 
Wapeton country. However, the Sissetons and Yanktons were 
not far to the westward, and the Sisseton country was not far 
to the southward, while Sleepy Eye's band of the Sissetons, ap- 
pear, for a time at least, to have ranged the region of the Cot- 
tonwood, and even to have located at the mouth of the Little 
Rock, in Nicollet county. Le Sueur, in 1700, reached the present 
site of Mankato. Carver, in 1766 camped not far from the pres- 
ent site of New Ulm, and possibly visited Redwood county. Pol- 
lowing him came a long list of explorers, trappers, fur traders, 
and missionaries. This period closed with the signing of the 
Indian treaties of 1851. During the period of the explorers the 
national and territorial sovereignty of Redwood county under- 
went many changes. 

The Period of the Agency. In 1853, Ft. Ridgely was started, 
and in 1854 the Lower Sioux Agency, in what is now Sherman 
township, Redwood county was established. The various Sioux 
Indian tribes designated as the "Lower Tribes," settled about 
the Agency. There they lived in more or less discontent until 
the massacre. Many became reconciled, in a degree, to the ways 
of the white men, moved into log or brick houses erected by the 
government, and started farming under the supervision of the 
government farmers. The establishment of the Agency had an 
important economic influence on the future of Redwood county; 
it kept the county from being settled before the massacre; it 
caused a sawmill to be built in 1855 at Redwood Falls, which was 
restored by the settlers in 1865 and used to finish lumber for 
many of the pioneer homes; it caused the military road to be 
built from Ft. Ridgely, via the Lower Agency to the Upper 
Agency, thus providing a route of travel for the pioneers who 
came after the massacre; it caused a considerable acreage of 
land to be broken, thus providing many of the pioneers after the 
massacre with wheat fields the first year they came, and it pro- 
vided many of the pioneers, after the massacre, with homes of 
brick and logs which the Indians had abandoned. Then too, 
the setting aside of the land as an Indian reservation kept it 
from entry by the pioneers under the homestead law, even after 
the Indians had departed. It was placed on sale at an appraised 
price in 1867, fell into the hands of speculators, and greatly re- 
tarded the growth of the county. In Redwood county this reser- 
vation embraced a strip ten miles wide, following the course of 
the Minnesota. 

The Period of the Massacre. The Sioux Indians, suffering 
under the memory of many wrongs, arose on Aug. 18, 1862, 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 9 

slaughtered the whites at the Lower Agency, and spread their 
devastation up and down the Minnesota. During the campaign 
which followed, military headquarters for the punitive expedi- 
tion was established at Camp Pope, not far from the present vil- 
lage of North Redwood. For the next two years, Redwood 
county was deserted, except for the soldiers, scouts and trappers. 

Period of the Mission. The Mission period overlaps the Agri- 
cultural Era. In Paxton township, just above the hill from Mor- 
ton, is a group of buildings, consisting of an Indian church and 
school, and here, in the center of a small Indian community, the 
descendants of the "Friendly Indians" of the massacre days, 
are given educational, religious and vocational instruction. 

IV — The Agricultural Era. The Agricultural Era marks the 
time from 1864 to the present day, the era of white occupancy. 
This era may be divided into four periods: (a) The Pioneer 
Period, 1864-1872; (b) The Grasshopper Period, 1873-1877; (c) 
The Period of Rapid Growth, 1878-1905; and (d) The Modern 
Period, 1906-1916. 

The Pioneer Period. Col. Sam. McPhail, an Indian fighter, 
erected a stockade at Redwood Falls in 1864, and attracted by 
the waterpower, fixed upon that location as the site of a village. 
A few families lived in the stockade that winter, and one fam- 
ily lived on the shores of Tiger lake. With the spring of 1865 
settlers began to spread out along the Redwood and up and 
down the Minnesota. Not long afterward a settlement was made 
in the walnut grove, not far from the present village of that 
name, and along Dutch Charley creek in Lamberton and Charles- 
town. Gradually the settlers scattered southward on the prairie 
from Redwood Falls. However, the reservation was not subject 
to homestead entry, and vast tracts in the central part of the 
county were railroad, school and internal improvement lands, 
and were likewise not subject to entry. Thus the settlements of 
the county formed a shell, with unoccupied land in the center 
for many years. Times, however, with the exception of the year 
1867, when the long cold winter, and the wet late spring caused 
much suffering, were prosperous until 1873. The Pioneer Period 
may therefore be considered as extending from 1864 to 1872. In 
1872 the railroad was built through the southern part of the 
county. 

The Grasshopper Period. In 1873 the crops were ravaged 
by the grasshoppers who continued their devastations until 1877. 
Redwood Falls was incorporated during this period, and stores 
established at Lamberton and Walnut Grove. 

The Period of Rapid Growth. In 1878 the railroad came to 
Redwood Falls, and in 1884 one was built through the northern 
part of the county. Gradually farmers came in, and settled up 
the county, the population increased rapidly, more railroads were 



10 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

built in 1899 and 1902, modern inventions took the place of the 
crude appliances of pioneer days, and the county became one 
of the leading agricultural regions of the state. During this 
period the other villages of the county were established. 

The Modern Period. The modern period begins with 1906, in 
which year modern ditching and tiling was extensively in- 
augurated, preliminary work having been done in 1905. This 
period, inaugurated by the wet years which caused a severe set- 
back to the county, has been characterized by the automobile 
which has made communication easier and quicker, by the ditch- 
ing which has drained the land to some extent, and by the mak- 
ing of state roads which now net-work the county in all direc- 
tions. It has also been characterized by the rapid rise in land 
values, and by the incoming of many intelligent farmers from 
Iowa and Illinois. 



CHAPTER III. 

PHYSICAL FEATURES. 

Geologic Eras. During the Geologic Eras, in one of which we 
are still living, the earth has assumed its present physical aspect. 
The study of these successive changes, except those which have 
been brought about by the occupation of modern man, and those 
which are still taking place and may thus exert an influence on 
the economic life of mankind, is beyond the scope of this work. 
A consideration of the physical characteristics and geologic phe- 
nomena observed in this county is, however, appropriate. 



Topography. The surface of the county is, with the excep- 
tions of the valleys of the streams, a series of broad swells. The 
highest portions of the adjoining undulations vary from a few* 
rods to a half mile or more apart; and their elevation is some- 
times 5 to 15 feet, and again 20 to 30 feet, or rarely more, above 
the depressions, to which the descent is usually by very gentle 
slopes. These hollows have a form that is like that of the swells 
inverted, being mostly wide, and either in long and often crooked 
courses of unequal length, variously branched and connected one 
with another, or in basins from one to one hundred acres or 
more in extent, which have no outlet but are surrounded by land 
5 feet or perhaps 10, 20 or 30 feet higher upon all sides. The 
small swamps, which often fill the depressions, are called sloughs 
or marshes, the former name being the most common in this 
prairie region, while the latter is applied to them in wooded parts 
of the state. 



HISTORY OP EEDWOOD COUNTY 11 

Many others of these depressions contain bodies of water, 
which vary from a few rods or a hundred feet to five or ten 
miles in length. All these are called lakes, and the term pond, 
which would be applied to them in the northeastern United 
States, is here restricted to reservoirs made by dams. The lakes 
of this and surrounding counties usually lie in shallow basins, 
bounded by gently ascending shores, which, however, are here 
and there steep to the height of 10 to 15, and rarely 20 to 25 
feet. These higher banks are mostly at projecting points of the 
shore, and they have been formed by the undermining action of 
the waves. The foot of such banks is plentifully strewn with 
boulders that had been contained in the till, all the fine parts of 
which have been thus washed away. Other parts of the lake 
shore, adjoining tracts of lowland or marsh, are frequently bor- 
dered by a flattened ridge of gravel and sand, often with inter- 
mixed boulders, heaped up by the action of ice in winters, in 
its ordinary freezing, thawing, and drifting, when broken up, 
before the wind. These ice-formed lake-ridges rise only from 
three to six feet above the line of high water of the lake, and 
are from two or three to five or six rods wide. They occur most 
frequently in situations where they separate the lake from a 
bordering marsh, whose area evidently was at first a part of the 
lake. 

The most notable features of the topography of this region 
are the valleys or channels that have been 'eroded in its broadly 
smoothed and approximately flat expanse by creeks and rivers. 
The smaller streams generally flow 15 to 30 feet below the gen- 
eral level, with valleys from a few rods to a quarter of a mile 
wide. The valley of the Redwood river is of small depth, 25 to 
50 feet, along its course above Redwood Falls. At and below 
this town, within a distance of one mile, this river descends a 
hundred feet in a succession of picturesque cascades and rapids, 
over granite and gneiss, decomposing portions of which form 
towering cliffs, 100 to 150 feet high, on each side, from an eighth 
to a quarter of a mile apart. This gorge, extending one and a 
half miles before it opens into the broader bottomland of the 
Minnesota river, is quite unique in its grand and beautiful scen- 
ery, with dense woods along its bottom through which the river 
flows, but crowned above by the verge of prairies whose vast 
expanse, slightly undulating but almost level in this extensive 
view, stretches away farther than the eye can reach. 

In Redwood county the Cottonwood river lies in a depression 
from a third to a half of a mile wide, composed of level alluvial 
bottomland, 40 feet below the average surface. 

The valley of the Minnesota river on the north side of this 
and Brown county is from 165 to 180, and in some portions 200 
feet deep, having a bottom land of alluvium 5 to 20 feet above 



12 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

low water and from three-fourths of a mile to one and a half 
miles wide, bordered by steep bluffs which rise to the general 
level of the country. Within this valley at numerous places are 
jutting knobs and small ridges of gneiss and granite, exposures 
of Cretaceous strata, and terraces of modified drift, which are 
described farther on in treating of geological structure. From 
the top of the bluffs the vast prairie stretches away beyond the 
horizon, having a smoothly undulating surface of till, which ap- 
pears to be in general approximately level, though a considerable 
ascent, varying in amount from 75 to 150 feet, is made imper- 
ceptibly in a distance of twenty to twenty-five miles southwest- 
ward across these counties. 

Here and there this sheet of unmodified glacial drift or boul- 
der-clay, the direct deposit of the ice-sheet, is sprinkled with 
knolls, small and short ridges, or mounds, of gravel and sand, 
which rise sometimes by steep, but again by moderate or gentle 
slopes, 10 to 15 or 20 feet above the general level. The distribu- 
tion and origin of these kame-like deposits of modified drift are 
more fully noticed on a following page. 

In the southwest corner of Redwood county, its even con- 
tour, which to this distance from the Minnesota river may be 
called in general a vast plain, is changed; and a gradual rise 
of 200 or 300 feet takes place within a distance of a few miles, 
along a massive terrace which extends from northwest to south- 
east and east-southeast. This line of highland forms the north- 
eastern border and first prominent ascent of the Coteau des 
Prairies, which farther west rises gradually and at length steeply 
again, to the much higher watershed between the Mississippi and 
Missouri rivers. In southwestern Redwood county a gradual 
rise begins a few miles south from the Cottonwood river, and in 
six or eight miles southwestward to the corner of this county 
amounts to about 250 feet, beyond which a slower rate of ascent 
continues in the same direction to the belt of swelling and some- 
what hilly till at the northeast side of lakes Shetek and Sarah, 
in Murray county. On the Northwestern railroad, which makes 
this rise obliquely running from east to west, the ascent from 
Lamberton to Walnut Grove, in ten miles, is 79 feet; and in its 
next eight miles, to Tracy, is 180 feet. 

Elevations. In the early eighties, John E. Blunt, engineer, 
of Winona, prepared a list of the elevations along the line of the 
Chicago, Northwestern Railway in this region, selections from 
which are here given, the miles indicated being the distance from 
Winona, and the feet given being the elevation above the sea 
level. 

' Minnesota river, bridge (near New Ulm) 162.50 miles, 821 
feet. Minnesota river, high water (near New Ulm) 162.50 miles, 
807 feet. New Ulm, 165.31 miles, 837 feet. Siding, 169.00 miles, 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 13 

990 feet. Sleepy Eye, 179.72 miles, 1,034 feet. Redwood Palls, 
205.00 miles, 1,028 feet. Springfield, 193.18 miles, 1,025 feet. San- 
born, 201.56 miles, 1,089 feet. Lamberton, 208.77 miles, 1,144 
feet. Walnut Grove, 218.98 miles, 1,223 feet. 

The elevation of the Minnesota river along the north side in 
this region at its ordinary stage of water, 20 to 25 feet below 
its high floods, is approximately as follows: At the northwest 
corner of Redwood county, 845 feet above the sea ; below Patter- 
son's rapids, at the east side of Swede's Forest, 820 feet; at the 
mouth of the Redwood river, 810 feet ; at the line between Brown 
and Redwood counties, 789 feet; at Ft. Ridgely, 793 feet; at 
New Ulm, 784 feet; at the mouth of the Big Cottonwood river, 
782 feet. 

The Redwood river enters Redwood county at a height of 
nearly 1,100 feet above the sea, and its descent in twenty-four 
miles to Redwood Falls is some 150 feet. Thence to its mouth, 
in three miles, it falls about 140 feet, the greater part of this de- 
scent being in less than a half mile at Redwood Falls. 

At the west line of Redwood county the Cottonwood river 
is about 1,120 feet above the sea, and it leaves this county and 
enters Brown county at an elevation of about 1,030 feet. Its 
height at Iberia is estimated to be 900 feet, and at its mouth, as 
already stated, approximately 782 feet. 

The highest land of Redwood county is the southwest part 
of Springdale, its most southwestern township, about 1,400 feet 
above the sea, being some 300 feet above the Cottonwood river, 
ten miles distance to the north, and about 600 feet above the 
lowest land of this county, the shore of the Minnesota river at 
its northeast corner. Estimates of the mean elevation of its 
townships are as follows: Sherman, 990 feet; Morgan, 1,030; 
Brookville, 1,040; Honner, 900; Paxton, 1,025; Three Lakes, 
1,060 ; Sundown, 1,070 ; Delhi, 1,000 ; Redwood Falls, 1,050 ; New 
Avon, 1,080; Willow Lake, 1,100; Charlestown, 1,120; Swede's 
Forest, 940; Kintire, 1,050; Sheridan, 1,070; Vail, 1,100; Water- 
bury, 1,125; Lamberton, 1,140; Vesta, 1,080; Granite Rock, 1,120; 
Johnsonville, 1,125 ; North Hero, 1,175 ; Underwood, 1,120 ; West- 
line, 1,150; Gales, 1,175; Springdale, 1,275. The mean elevation 
of Redwood county, derived from these figures, is 1,090 feet 
above the sea. 

Soil. The black soil, everywhere from one to two feet thick, 
and often reaching to a depth of three or four feet in the depres- 
sions, forms the surface, being glacial drift or till, colored by a 
small proportion of humic acid derived from the decaying vege- 
tation. This drift is principally clay, with which is an inter- 
mixture of sand and gravel, with occasional but not frequent 
boulders. The composition of this clay makes it quite unfit for 
brick-making, but gives it a porous character, so that rain and 



14 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

the water from snow melting are, to a certain extent, absorbed 
by it, excepting the large part which is drained away by the 
gentle slopes and the numerous water-courses, and some which 
stands in the swamps and lowlands. Below the soil cellars and 
wells find a continuation of this till, yellow in color and com- 
monly soft enough to be dug with a spade, to a depth of ten to 
twenty feet or sometimes more, and then dark bluish and usually 
harder to a great depth beyond, which is seldom passed through. 

The valley of the Minnesota river, 160 to 200 feet deep, has 
cut through this mantle of till. Along this valley, and in the last 
two miles of the Redwood valley before it joins the Minnesota, 
irregular knobs and ridges of gneiss and granite are exposed 
to view; and in some places these occupy nearly the whole width 
between the bluffs of the Minnesota river. Generally, however, 
the bottomland of the Minnesota river, as also of its large tribu- 
taries, are flat tracts of very fertile fine alluvium, or interbedded 
sand and gravel, covered by a rich soil of fine silt. These bot- 
toms, which would be called intervals in New England, are ele- 
vated five to fifteen feet above the streams, being thus mostly 
within the reach of their highest floods in spring, but are very 
rarely overflowed during the season of growing crops. 

Redwood county was originally mainly prairie or natural 
grass land, without tree or shrub, consisting of a continuous 
green sweep, often reaching in gentle undulations and swells, 
five to twenty feet high, as far as the view extended. 

Timber. A nearly continuous though often very narrow strip 
of timber is found immediately bordering the Minnesota river 
through almost its entire course ; but generally much of the bot- 
tomland is treeless. The bluffs on the northeast side of the Min- 
nesota have, for the most part, only thin and scanty groves. The 
southwestern bluffs are, for the most part, heavily wooded. The 
greater abundance of timber on the southern bluffs of this and 
other rivers in this region appears to be due to their being less 
exposed to the sun, and therefore more moist than the bluffs on 
the opposite side. 

Along the Redwood river, and the Cottonwood river through 
Redwood county and in western Brown county, and along the 
upper part of the Little Cottonwood river, the width of wood- 
land, excepting occasional interruptions, usually varies from a 
few rods to an eighth of a mile ; but along the last twenty miles 
of the. Cottonwod river and the last eight miles of the Little 
Cottonwood, the timber generally fills their valleys, from a fourth 
of a mile to one mile wide. 

The lakes of Redwood county and of western Brown county 
have only narrow margins of timber. 

The farm groves which are now so conspicuous a feature of 
the Redwood county landscape, have all been planted. 



HISTORY OF .REDWOOD COUNTY 15 

In northwestern Redwood county, Malcom McNiven has 
enumerated the following species of trees and shrubs occurring 
at Swan Lake, on the west line of Underwood : white elm, white 
ash, box-elder, cottonwood, wild plum, willows, Virginia creeper, 
climbing bitter-sweet, frost grape, prickly ash, choke-cherry, 
black currant, and prickly and smooth wild gooseberries, and 
wild rose, less frequent. Species not found at Swan Lake, but 
common or frequently on the Redwood river, are bass, red or 
slippery elm, iron-wood and sugar maple. Red cedars grow on 
the cliffs of this river at Redwood Falls, and from them has arisen 
one of the traditions of the name of this river and thence of 
the county. 

The Cottonwood river is said to have its name, which also 
has been given to a county, from a very large, lone cottonwood, 
beside this stream, in the south part of Redwood county, about 
seven miles northwest of Lamberton ; but thjis tree has also a 
luxuriant growth throughout the timbered bottomlands of this 
river. 

The northern limit of the black walnut appears to be at the 
Walnut Grove, of about a hundred acres, from which comes the 
name of the neighboring station and village on the railroad, the 
grove itself being on Plum creek in sections 25 and 36, Spring- 
dale, close to the south line of Redwood county, and one to two 
miles southwest from Walnut Grove village. 

Geological Structure. The foundation of Brown and Redwood 
counties, northwest from New Ulm, consists of metamorphic 
gneiss and granite, belonging to the great series denominated 
Eozoic or Archaean, which embraces the most ancient rocks 
known to geology. This is overlain by various shales, sandstones, 
limestones and clays, the latter sometimes holding beds of lig- 
nite, which are regarded together as of Cretaceous age. Creta- 
teous strata, including lignite, outcrop in the bluffs of the Red- 
wood river close north of Redwood Falls; in the bluffs of Fort 
Creek near Fort Ridgely, in the west extremity of Nicollet county 
and close to the Minnesota valley, about sixteen miles below the 
last, and on the Cottonwod river in western Brown county. 

Fossiliferous and sometimes lignitic clays of Cretaceous age 
are occasionally encountered in the wells through this region, 
especially at Walnut Grove and northward in western Redwood 
county, and in Lyon county, adjoining this on the west. The 
sheet of drift which forms the surface is thus often separated 
by unconsolidated Cretaceous beds from the underlying floor of 
crystalline rocks. Within the area here reported this gneissie 
and granitic floor outcrops, away from the valley of the Minne- 
sota river and Redwood, at only one or two points, which are 
in Granite Rock township. These formations will be described 
in the order of their age, beginning with the oldest. 



16 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Gneiss and Granite. These rocks have the same composition, 
being made up of quartz, feldspar and mica. Gneiss differs from 
granite in having these minerals laminated, or arranged more 
or less distinctly in layers. Nearly all of the metamorphic rocks 
to be described here are varieties of gneiss, with which masses 
of granite, syenite and mica and hornblendeschists occur rarely. 

In the N. E. % of Section 12, Granite Rock, an exposure 
of rock extends ten rods in length, from northwest to south- 
east, with half as great a width, rising five to ten feet above 
the surface of the undulating prairie. It is light grain gneiss, 
much contorted, with its strike and dip obscure ; intersected 
by few joints, which in some portions are absent across an 
extent of three or four rods, enclosing in the southeast two 
or three masses of nearly black mica schist, each two or three 
feet long. 

About five miles further west, in N. E. 14 of the S. E. % 
of section 6, in the same township, is said to have an exposure 
of the same rock about three rods in extent, with a larger 
space around it where the rock lies only a few feet beneath the 
surface. 

The depth of these rocks in this region is generally from 100 
to 200 feet or more, so that they are not reached by wells nor 
by the channels of most of the rivers. Their only other outcrops 
in Redwood and Brown counties are within the Minnesota valley 
and are in the gorge of the Redwood river at and below Red- 
wood Falls. 

, The Minnesota valley, in the northwest corner of Swedes 
Forest and in the edge of Yellow Medicine county, contains 
abundant ledges for two miles, reaching 40 to 75 feet above the 
river. A lone school house is situated among them, about a 
mile east of the county line. Half a mile west from this school 
house the rock is reddish gray gneiss, dipping 15 N. N. W. A 
third of a mile west from this school house are massive granite 
cliffs, probably rising 75 feet above the river, divided by joints 
into nearly square blocks ten to fifteen feet in dimension. An 
eighth of a mile east from the last it is obscurely laminated 
gneiss, much intersected by joints, the principal system of which 
dips 15 S. At the east side of the school house it is also gneiss, 
somewhat water-worn, dipping about 5 S. 

Within the next few miles following down the river, similar 
ledges are seen on its northeast side, in the N. E. ^4 of section 
16, in Sacred Heart, Renville county, rising about 50 feet above 
the river; in the southeast part of section 17, Swedes Forest, 
rising at several points 25 to 40 feet ; at south side of Big Spring 
creek, in section 20 and the west edge of section 21, Swedes 
Forest, about 50 feet above the river, and near the north line 
of section 27, small in area and only about 20 feet high. 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 17 

From the small creek a mile farther east in section 26, 
Swedes Forest, ledges of gneiss and granite abound in this valley- 
through a distance of twelve miles, to the mouth of Redwood 
river and Beaver creek. They often quite fill the bottomland, 
occurring on each side of the river and rising from 50 to 125 
feet above it. Between Redwood river and Beaver creek fre- 
quent small ledges rise along the bottom of the Minnesota valley, 
in knobs 40 to 60 feet above the river, but yet leave much open 
tillable land. Between Beaver and Birch Cooley creeks out- 
crops are mainly on the north side of the river, rising 100 feet 
in their highest portions. Below the mouth of Birch Cooley they 
are mostly on the south side, occurring in great abundance for 
two miles above and three miles below the mouth of Wabashaw 
creek. The highest of these are a mile above this creek, rising 
75 to 125 or perhaps 140 feet above the river. 

It will be remembered that the bluffs along this part of the 
valley are about 175 feet high, so that none of these ledges were 
visible until the surface of the drift-sheet had been considerably 
channeled. 

On the Redwood river where it enters the Minnesota valley, 
one and a half miles northeast of Redwood Falls, the rock is 
greenish, being apparently a "talcose quartzite," or protogine 
gneiss, dipping 25 S. E. It forms cliffs 50 to 75 feet high, which 
are continuous on the west side of the river a quarter of a mile 
more. The picturesque gorge of the Redwood river at and below 
Redwood Falls is principally cut through a similar gneiss, partly 
decomposed, and sometimes almost completely kaolinized, over- 
lain by Cretaceous strata, which in turn are capped with glacial 
drift. The largest cascade, having a fall of about 25 feet, is 
over a ledge of this protogine gneiss, much contorted and jointed, 
often obscure in its lamination. 

The dip of the principal system of joints, which appears to 
coincide nearly with the lamination, is 20 to 30 N. At a cut 
which has been made through the rock two rods east of this cas- 
cade, it contains a nearly vertical trap dike, seen along an extent 
of some thirty or forty feet, bearing N. 40 E., about two feet 
wide, composed of dark greenish, compact rock, which weathers 
to a reddish color, much joined in planes parallel with its walls. 
Ten feet above the bottom of this cut, and higher, the cliff of 
gneiss is much decayed and changed to impure kaolin. 

Decomposed Gneiss and Granite. Very remarkable chemical 
changes have taken place in the upper portions of many of the 
exposures of gneiss and granite near Redwood Falls. The rock 
is transformed to a soft, earthy or clayey mass, resembling 
kaolin. It has a blue or greenish color, when freshly exposed; 
but when weathered, assumes a yellowish ash color, and finally 
becomes white and glistening. Laminae of quartz are generally 



18 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

contained in this material, and have the same arrangement as 
in gneiss, so that the dip can he distinctly seen. Veins of quartz 
or feldspar, the latter completely decomposed, and the lines of 
joints, are also noticeable, just as in granite or gneiss ; making it 
evident that this substance is the result of a decay of rocks in 
their original place. 

Because of the enclosed quartzose laminae, grains and parti- 
cles of more or less gritty character, throughout these kaolin- 
like rocks, they appear to be unsuited for the manufacture of 
porcelain or any kind of ware. So far as can be judged from 
stream channels and other exposures, this decomposition reaches 
in some places to a depth of 20 or 30 feet, perhaps more. All 
grades of change may be found, from ledges where only here and 
there a few spots have been attacked and slightly decomposed, 
to portions where nearly every indication of the original struc- 
ture has been obliterated. 

Of these decomposed rocks on the Redwood river, Prof. N. H. 
"Winchell wrote in the second annual report of the Geological 
and Natural History Survey of Minnesota: "At Redwood Falls 
the granite is overlain by the kaolin, which has been mentioned, 
presenting, in connection with this substance, a very interesting 
series of exposures, suggesting very interesting questions both 
economical and scientific. About a mile below the village, on the 
left bank of the river and at the northwest of the bend, is a con- 
spicuous white bluff (probably that seen by Keating, and pro- 
nounced white sandstone), composed of white kaolin clay. Near 
the top of this bluff, where the rains wash it, it is silvery white, 
and that color is spread over much of the lower portions, though 
the mass of the lower part is more stained with iron, having also 
a dull greenish tinge. 

The white glossy coating which appears like the result of 
washing by rains is spread over the perpendicular sides. On 
breaking off this glossy coating, which is sometimes half an inch 
thick, the mass appears indistinctly bedded horizontally, but con- 
tains hard lumps and irony deposits. Further down, the iron 
becomes more frequent, and gritty particles like quartz impede 
the edge of a knife. The bedding is also lost, and the closest 
inspection reveals no bedding. Yet there is, even then, a sloping 
striation of arrangement of lines visible in some places on the 
fresh surface that corresponds in direction with the direction of 
the principal cleavage plane of the talcose and quartzitic slate 
already described. In other places this arrangement is not seen, 
but the mass crumbles out in angular pieces which are super- 
ficially stained with iron. 

The profile of the bluffs here presents a singular isolated knob 
or buttress that rises boldly almost from the river. On either 
side of this bold promontory are retreating angles in the bluff. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 19 

A careful inspection of these ravines and of the adjoining bluffs 
affords indubitable proof that this material, white and impal- 
pable as it is, results from a change in the underlying granite 
rocks. 

"Just above this point is another exposure. It here supplies 
what is locally known as the 'paint rock,' from an enterprise 
started several years ago in the manufacture of mineral paint 
from this material. The decomposed granite here has very much 
the same appearance as the kaolin at Birch Cooley, but contains 
more quartz, and is more stained with iron. It is a rusty brown 
color, but within might be green or blue. It passes upward into 
the greenish, and then white, kaolin clay already described, but 
it stands out in a crumbling rusty buttress, exposed to the 
weather, and has quartzitic grains and concretions, iron-coated, 
and often an impure iron ore in considerable quantities. It shows 
silvery or shining talcose flakes, the same as seen in the so-called 
building rock, near the point where the railroad bridge crosses 
the Redwood river at North Redwood. 

"A short distance above this, nearly opposite Redwood Falls, 
is situated the rock which was quarried for the manufacture of 
paint. This has in every respect the same character and com- 
position as that last described. It consists of a perpendicular 
bluff or point, standing out from a lower talus that rises about 
75 feet above the river, to the hight of 75 feet more. On the 
top of this is the drift-clay hardpan, covered by four or five 
feet of sand and gravel, the whole bluff being about 150 feet 
above the river. This bold bluff, or promontory, stands between 
re-entrant angles, its face falling down sheer thirty or forty 
feet. There is here visible an irregular slatey or cleavage struc- 
ture in the rock, that at a distance has the appearance of dip 
toward the S. E. 30. 

"This also contains quartz veins and deposits, accompanied by 
iron, in some places too abundantly to allow of being cut with a 
knife, though very much of it can be easily shaped with a knife. 
It shows ' slickensides, ' or surfaces that seem to have been rubbed 
violently against each other, causing a scratched and smoothed 
appearance, even within the body of the bluff. These surfaces 
are concave or curving, like putty hardened after being pressed 
through a crevice." 

Before the extensive denudation of the glacial period, it is 
probable that all the granite and gneiss of this region were 
covered by a similarly decayed surface. Upon the areas where 
decomposed rocks still exist, the glacial plowing was shallower 
than elsewhere. These kaolinized strata are exposed in a ravine 
north of the Minnesota river, opposite to Minnesota Falls; in 
the gorge of the Redwood river, below Redwood Falls; in many 
of the ledges of the Minnesota valley for several miles next 



20 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

below, especially in excavations made by roads at the foot of the 
bluffs; in the valley of Birch Cooley near its mouth; and occa- 
sionally for eight or ten miles farther southeast. They have been 
found also in well-digging at considerable distance from the 
Minnesota valley. 

Cretaceous Beds. In western Redwood county wells occa- 
sionally have gone through the drift and passed into clay or 
shale below, apparently of cretaceous age, and sometimes proved 
so by enclosed fossils. Such sections are reported at Walnut 
Grove in North Hero township, and in Granite Rock. 

Cretaceous strata doubtless lie next below the drift upon the 
greater part of this district; but their only outcrops, excepting 
within the Minnesota valley and the gorge of the Redwood river, 
occur on the Cottonwood river in Brown county. 

In Sherman, in Redwood county, Prof. Winchell records an 
exposure of cretaceous beds of sandy marl, horizontally strati- 
fied, seen in the road that descends from the Lower Sioux Agency 
to the old ferry. At this place in 1860 Prof. A. W. Williamson 
found in a cut for the road about thirty feet above the Minne- 
sota river a large coiled shell, since lost, which agreed nearly 
with the figure of Ammonites monilis seen in an English text- 
book of geology. 

Lignite. About four miles farther northwest, or half way from 
the Lower Sioux Agency to Redwood Falls, a cretaceous out- 
crop, including a thin layer of lignite, occurs in the south bluff 
of the Minnesota valley, above Tiger lake, being in the southwest 
corner of section 35, Honner, some three-quarters of a mile west 
from the mouth of Crow creek. Mining for the exploration of 
the lignite, which is an imperfectly formed coal, of inferior 
quality, yet valuable for fuel, was undertaken here, on the land 
of George Johnson, in 1871, by William H. Grant and others, a 
horizontal drift, or adit, being excavated into the bluff to a dis- 
tance of about 260 feet from its face southward. This followed 
the same lignite, which, or at least, a black lignite shale, was 
found continuous along all this distance, being level in the direc- 
tion of the adit, but dipping to the west about three degrees, or 
five feet in a hundred. 

The adit is about a third of the way up from the foot to the 
top of the bluff, or some sixty feet above the river. Several tons 
of coal, sometimes quite clear for a thickness of six to nine 
inches, were obtained from the mine, and were used as fuel. The 
cost of the work, however, was about $2,000, without discovering 
any portion of the bed that could be profitably mined. 

Prof. Winchell describes the formation here explored, and the 
similar lignite layer in the bluffs of the Redwood river, as fol- 
lows: "This coal is from one of those layers in the Cretaceous 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 21 

that are usually known as lignites. It is earthy, passing some- 
times into a good eannel coal, or into a bituminous clay. The 
compact cannal coal is in detached lumps, and occurs throughout 
a band of about four feet in thickness. This lignite band was 
followed in drifting into the bank at Crow creek, and was found 
to divide by interstratification with black clay, showing some 
leafy impressions and pieces of charcoal. 

"The 'coal' here is said to overlie a bed of lumpy marl. 
. . . In some of the concretions are small shining balls of 
pyrites. . . . Over the 'coal' is a blue clay, requiring a tim- 
bered roof in the tunnel. This clay is likewise Cretaceous. The 
underlying lumpy or concretionary white marl becomes siliceous, 
or even arenaceous, the concretions appearing more like chert. 
Some of it is also pebbly, showing the action of water currents. 

The same lignite coal also occurs elsewhere in the same region, 
the exposures being kept fresh by the freshet waters. More or 
less exploring and drilling, besides that done by Mr. Grant, has 
been engaged in, in this vicinity, but never with any better 



"Near Redwood Falls, on land of Birney Flynn, is another 
outcrop of carbonaceous deposit in the Cretaceous. This is seen 
in the left bank of the Redwood river. It is in the form of a 
back bedded clay or shale, five or six feet thick, more or less 
mingled with charcoal and ashes, the whole passing below into 
charcoal fragments mixed with the same ash-like substance. In 
the latter are sometimes large pieces of fine, black, very compact 
coal, the same as that already spoken of at Crow creek as eannel 
coal. These masses show sometimes what appears to the eye 
to be fine woody fiber, as if they, too, were simply charred wood. 
Further examination will be needed to determine their origin 
and nature. They constitute the only really valuable portions 
of the bed, the light charcoal, which everywhere shows the dis- 
tinct woody fiber, being generally mixed with the light ashy sub- 
stance, and in a state of fine subdivision. 

"A short distance above Mr. Flynn 's land is that of George 
Houghton, where the Redwood Falls' coal mine was opened. 
This mine consists of a drift into the bluff, forty feet, following 
a lignite, or charcoal bed in the Cretaceous. The bed here is 
seven feet thick, the greater part of it being made up of black, 
bedded shale or clay, though Mr. Flynn is authority for the 
statement that it showed a great deal more of the real charcoal 
than any other point discovered. Some fragments that lay near 
the opening, contained about nine parts of charcoal to one of 
ash, the whole very slightly cemented, and so frail as to hardly 
endure transportation. In this drift were also numerous pieces 
of what is described by the owners both here and at Crow creek, 
as 'stone coal.' It is the same as that mentioned as probably a 



22 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

cannel coal, occurring at Crow creek. It is these harder lumps 
that are found scattered in the drift throughout the southwestern 
part of the state." 

This mining was done in 1868 or 1869, on the northwest or 
left side of the Redwood river, about one and a quarter miles 
north from Redwood Falls, on the south part of the S. W. %, 
of section 30, Honner, the height of the drift being some 75 feet 
above the river, and about the same amount below the top of 
the bluffs and general surface of the country. The lignitic bed 
is reported to dip slightly toward the southwest, and to be over- 
lain conformably by shale, above which the upper part of the 
bluff is till. Next below the black coaly layer is said to have 
been a marl, varying from reddish to white, six inches to two 
feet in thickness, underlain by yellow and blue clay. No expo- 
sure of gneiss or granite is visible at this locality. 

It appears nearly certain that no workable deposits of coal 
exist in this region. Prof. Winchell summarizes his observations 
and conclusions upon this subject as follows: 

"First. The rocks that have been explored for coal, on the 
Cottonwood and Redwood rivers, belong to the Cretaceous sys- 
tem, and do not promise to be productive of coal in valuable 
quantities. 

"Second. The coal there taken out is of an inferior grade, 
though varying from cannal coal to charcoal." . . . The 
charcoal, "while it is the more abundant, is of less value for use 
as fuel. It is light, and quickly ignites. ... It lies in irregular 
sheets, generally not more than half an inch thick when pure, 
but may be disseminated through a thickness of six or eight 
feet. It is very fragile, hardly bearing transportation." 

The cannel coal "is black, or brown black, lustrous, compact, 
rather hard, and presents every aspect of a valuable coal. It 
occurs in isolated lumps or pockets, in the same beds as the 
charcoal, but less abundantly. It readily burns, making a hot 
fire. In the air, when it has become dry, it cracks and crumbles 
something like quicklime, but not to a powder." 

"Third. As the rocks of the Cretaceous period are believed 
to have existed throughout the most of this state, the only prob- 
able exception being in the southeastern portion, including half 
a dozen counties, such coal is likely to occur at a great many 
places. 

"Fourth. The 'float' coal which has so often attracted the 
attention of the people, is derived, so far as yet known, from 
the disruption of the Cretaceous rocks by the glaciers of the 
ice period. It is scattered through the drift, and is met with in 
wells and other excavations, and may be often picked up along 
the beds of streams." 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 23 

Glacial and Modified Drift. Glacial striae are plainly seen 
upon the ledge of gneiss in section 12, Granite Rock, bearing 
S. 50 to 60 E. 

The surface of Redwood county is principally till, or the mix- 
ture of clay with smaller proportions of sand and gravel and 
occasional enclosed boulders, which was thus deposited in a 
mingled unstratified mass by the ice sheets of the glacial period. 
Its thickness in this county is generally from 100 to 200 feet. 
Within the till are found occasional layers of sand or gravel, 
which often yield large supplies of water in wells. Many of these 
veins of modified drift were probably formed by small glacial 
streams, and they ean not be regarded as marking important 
divisions of the ice age. It is shown, however, by shells, remains 
of vegetation and trees, found evidently in the place where they 
were living, underlain and overlain by till, that this very cold 
period was not one unbroken reign of ice, but that this re-treated 
and re-advanced, or possibly at sometimes was nearly all melted 
and then accumulated anew. 

Two principal glacial epochs can be distinguished, in the first 
of which all of Minnesota except its southeast corner was deeply 
covered by the continental ice sheet, and its border was several 
hundred miles south of this district, in Nebraska, Kansas, Mis- 
souri and southern Illinois; whereas in the later very severely 
cold epoch, the ice fields were of less extent, and terminated from 
50 to 300 miles within their earlier limit, covering all the basin 
of the Minnesota river, but not enveloping a large tract in the 
southwest corner of Minnesota and leaving uncovered a much 
larger area than before in the southeast part of the state. Be- 
tween these glacial epochs the ice sheet was melted away within 
the basins of the Minnesota and Red rivers, and probably from 
the entire state. 

The greater part of the till appears to have been deposited 
by this earlier ice sheet; and during the retreat of the ice this 
till was overspread in some places, especially along the avenues 
of drainage, by the beds of modified drift, or stratified gravel, 
sand and clay, washed from the material which had been con- 
tained in the ice and snow and now became exposed upon its 
surface to the multitude of rills, rivulets and rivers that were 
formed by its melting. 

In the ensuing interglacial epoch, this drift sheet was chan- 
neled by water-courses till its valleys were apparently as numer- 
ous and deep as those of our present streams. The interglacial 
drainage sometimes went in a different direction from that now 
taken by the creeks and rivers; and the valleys then excavated 
in the drift, though partly refilled with till during the last 
glacial epoch, are still, in some instances, clearly marked by 
series of lakes. More commonly the interglacial water-courses 



24 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

must have occupied nearly the same place with the valleys of 
the present time; and there seems to be conclusive proof that 
this was true of the valley of the Minnesota river. 

A long period intervened between the great glacial epochs; 
the earlier ice sheet gradually retreated northward; a lake was 
formed in the Red river valley by the receding ice barrier on 
the north; the outflow from this lake, and the drainage of the 
Minnesota basin itself, appear to have excavated the valley of 
the Minnesota river nearly as it now is; and the further reces- 
sion of the ice sheet probably even allowed the drainage of the 
Red river basin to take its course northward, as now, to Hudson 
bay, this being indicated by fossiliferous beds enclosed between 
deposits of till within the area that had been covered by this 
interglacial lake and was afterward occupied by lake Agassiz at 
the close of the last glacial epoch. 

Again a severely cold climate prevailed, accumulating a vast 
sheet of ice upon British America and the greater part of Min- 
nesota. By this glacial sheet the valley of the Minnesota river 
was partly refilled with till, but it evidently remained an impor- 
tant feature in the contour of the land surface. During the final 
melting of this ice sheet, its waters, discharged in this channel, 
quickly removed whatever obstructing deposits of drift it had 
received, and undermined its bluffs, giving them again the steep 
slopes produced by fluvial erosion. This partial re-excavation 
and sculpture were then followed immediately, during the retreat 
of the ice sheet, by the deposition of the stratified gravel, sand 
and clay, 75 to 150 feet deep, remnants of which occur as ter- 
races on the sides of this valley, from its mouth to New Ulm, 
and less distinctly beyond. 

Had not the great valley existed nearly in its present form 
through the last glacial epoch, it could not have become filled 
with this modified drift, which must belong to the era of melting 
of the last ice sheet. After the departure of the ice, the supply 
of both water and sediment was so diminished that the river 
could no longer overspread the former flood plain of modified 
drift and add to its depth, but has been occupied mainly in slow 
excavation and removal of these deposits, leaving remnants of 
them as elevated plains or terraces. 

Terminal Moraines. In Redwood county the morainic tract is 
not prominent, and its course, which is believed to coincide 
approximately with that of the Cottonwood river, has not been 
traced. Close south of the valley of this river in the N. W. % 
of section 14, Gales, numerous small hillocks and ridges, ten to 
twenty feet high, rough with abundant boulders, were observed 
to occupy a width from a few rods to an eighth of a mile or 
more, reaching a half a mile or more in length from east to west ; 
and from a bridge in section 10, Gales, a noteworthy hill, perhaps 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 25 

sixty feet high, is seen in the view westward, situated not far 
from where the Cottonwood river crosses the county line. Far- 
ther northwest, this moranic belt is clearly traced across Yellow 
Medicine and Lac Qui Parle counties, its most conspicuous ac- 
cumulations being the Antelope hills. 

During the later stages in the recession of this ice sheet, 
when the fourth and fifth terminal moraines of its Minnesota 
lobe were formed, its southern extremity was successively at 
Kiester in Faribault county and at Elysian in Le Sueur county, 
and its southwest boundary doubtless crossed Brown and Red- 
wood counties, but the marginal accumulations of drift belonging 
to these stages have not been traced here. A shallow lake 
extended along the edge of the ice sheet across these counties 
and acted to partially level down and smooth the morainic 
deposits. It seems likely, however, that they are still recogniz- 
able, and by careful observation might be mapped approximately. 
At the time of the fourth or Kiester moraine, the ice margin 
probably extended through the central part of Brown and Red- 
wood counties; and the kame-like deposits near Sleepy Eye and 
in Granite Rock and the northwest part of Vesta, may in part 
represent this moraine. The fifth or Elysian moraine is probably 
indicated similarly in section 33, Swedes Forest. 

Modified Drift of the Last Glacial Epoch. Upon the sheet of 
till which covers Redwood county are frequently noticed mounds 
and knolls or short ridges of gravel and sand, 10 to 20 feet, or 
rarely 30 feet or more, in height, which in any excavation are 
seen to be irregularly interstratified and obliquely bedded. These 
deposits appear to have been formed by streams that flowed from 
the drift-strown surface of the departing ice fields of the last 
glacial epoch ; having a similar origin with the eskers or kames, 
which form prolonged ridges, or series of interlocking ridges 
and mounds, in Ireland and Scotland, in Sweden, and in New 
England. Conspicuous kame-like deposits of modified drift in 
Redwood county were observed in the N. E. 14 of section 33, 
Swedes Forest, where a mound of this class rises some 30 feet 
above the general level; in the northwest part of Vesta, which 
has numerous hillocks and short ridges of gravel and sand, 10 to 
40 feet in height, trending from north to south more commonly 
than in other directions; and in Granite Rock and thence south- 
westward to the Cottonwood river. 

Authority. "The Geology of Brown and Redwood Counties," 
by Warren Upham, contained in pages 562-558 of "The Geology 
of Minnesota," published in 1884, the whole volume being Vol. I, 
of the Final Report of the Geological and Natural History Survey 
of Minnesota, 1872-1882. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 



CHAPTER IV. 
PREHISTORIC INHABITANTS. 

Scientists declare that in the Glacial period, this region was 
several times covered with a great ice sheet at recurrent inter- 
vals. When for the last time the glacier receded, and its melting 
waters subsidide, it left behind an area that in a few years 
became a wonderfully diversified and beautiful region. Verdure 
took the place of glaring ice and swirling waters. The smiling 
expanses of gently rolling prairie, beautiful and virgin, dipping 
here and there into swales and pools, or even into sparkling lakes, 
covered in the summer with luxuriant grass and spangled with 
flowers, were caressed by perfumed breezes, untrod by human 
foot, and unmarred by human handiwork. In the ravines and 
along the watercourses were forest trees and tangled under- 
brush. And this varied landscape fairly quivered with animal 
life. The American bison, commonly called the buffalo, ranged 
the prairies, countless birds of all kinds flew over its surface, 
great flocks of waterfowl lived in its marshes and pools. In the 
edges of the wooded ravines, antlered animals such as the deer 
and the elk, and the larger fur-bearing animals such as the bear, 
were found in greatest profusion. All the smaller animals com- 
mon to this climate found a home here. Prairie and woodland 
presented a scene of teeming life and ceaseless animal activity. 

A country so bountiful and inviting to man, whether primitive 
or civilized, would remain uninhabited only while undiscovered. 
At some period of the earth's history, mankind in some form took 
up its abode in what is now Redwood county. How many ages 
distant that period was no one can tell. It is evident that man 
followed very closely the receding of the last glacier, if indeed 
he had not existed here previous to that time. A discussion of the 
possibilities of the existence of man in Minnesota during Glacial, 
Inter-Glacial and Pre-Glacial ages is beyond the scope of this 
work. It has been made a special subject of study by several 
Minnesota savants, and many notable articles have been written 
concerning evidences that have been discovered. 

Many scholars are of the opinion that in all probability the 
first inhabitants of the northern part of the United States were, 
or were closely related to the Eskimo. While the data are very 
meagre, they all point that way. The Eskimos seem to have 
remained on the Atlantic seaboard as late as the arrival of the 
Scandinavian discoverers of the eleventh century, for their de- 
scription of the aborigines whom they call "skralingar" (a term 
of contempt about equivalent to "runts") is much more conso- 
nant with the assumption that these were Eskimos than Indians. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 27 

So possibly it is permissible to picture the first human inhabi- 
tants of Redwood county as a small yellowish-brown skin-clad 
race, identical with the quartz workers of Little Falls, slipping 
around nimbly and quietly in the woods and dells, subsisting 
mainly on fish, but also partly on the chase. Their homes were 
doubtless of the simplest descriptions, and their culture not above 
absolute savagery. 

The Eskimos seem to have followed more or less closely the 
edge of the last receding glacier. Whether they were forced out 
by a stronger race or whether they found the bleak shores of the 
Arctic seas more suited to their physical make-up than the fertile 
regions further south is only a matter of conjecture. 

Scholars are of the opinion that the next inhabitants of Min- 
nesota were tribes of the Siouan stock, in other words the ances- 
tors of the present Sioux (Dakota) Indians. These peoples of 
the Siouan stock appear to have built the mounds of southern 
Minnesota. Possibly they lived in Redwood county. These Siouan 
people were possibly driven out by the people of the Algonquin 
stock, whereupon they eventually took up their homes in the 
neighborhood of the upper valley of the Ohio river and possibly 
elsewhere. How many centuries they lived there it is impossible 
even to estimate. In the meantime the Algonquin peoples prob- 
ably occupied the Minnesota region, and possibly Redwood 
county. They did not make mounds. Some five hundred years 
ago the Siouan Mound Builders were driven out from their homes 
in the upper Ohio region where they had erected the mounds that 
are now the wonder of the world, and a part of them found their 
way to the homes of their ancestors in the upper Mississippi and 
the Minnesota river region. The mounds built here by these 
peoples were inferior to the ones built by their ancestors. In 
coming up the valley it is possible that these Mound Builders 
drove from the Minnesota regions the intruding Algonquins. 

The Siouan Mound Builders, returning some five hundred 
years ago from the Ohio region were doubtless the builders of 
the mounds in Redwood county, though there are possibly some 
mounds in this county built by the Siouan people during their 
previous occupancy of the region. 

The Mound Builders. Not so many years ago there was a 
widespread belief that the Mound Builders were a mysterious 
people of high culture resembling the Aztecs, and differing from 
the Indian in race, habits and customs. Now, scholars are unani- 
mous in their belief that the Mound Builders were merely the 
ancestors of the Indians, doubtless, as already related, of the 
Sioux Indians, and not characteristically differing from them. 
These Mound Builders are the earliest race of whose actual resi- 
dence in Redwood county we have absolute evidence. While 
Redwood can not boast of mounds of such gigantic proportions as 



28 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

some other parts of the United States, nor of such grotesque 
formations as the serpent mound of Ohio, yet the mounds of 
the county are sufficient in number, kind and distribution, to 
present a rich field for archaeological inquiry, as well as supply- 
ing evidence that Redwood county was populated by this ancient 
people. 

The larger groups are invariably situated near the water- 
courses and usually on the lofty terraces that give a commanding 
view of magnificent prospects. Such a distribution of the mounds 
finds its explanation in the fact that the river banks afford excel- 
lent sites for habitations, and the rivers afford routes of travel 
in times of peace and war. Above all the streams furnish two 
substances absolutely necessary for the maintenance of life, 
namely water and food. The Mound Builder was not slow in 
picking out picturesque places as a location for his village sites. 
The distribution of the mounds bears ample proof of this. Any 
one who visits the groups can not fail to be convinced that the 
Mound Builders were certainly guided in the selection of the 
location for the mounds by an unerring sense of beautiful scenery 
and a high appreciation and instinctive love of nature as well 
as by other factors. 

Purpose of the Mounds. The mounds of Redwood county are 
both oblong and round, varying from a swell of land to several 
feet in height. Other varieties have also been found. The ar- 
rangement of mounds in the various groups does not seem to 
depend on any definite rule of order, but seems to result from a 
process of mound building, extending over a considerable period 
of time, each site for a mound being selected by the builders 
according to the space, material, or topography of the locality. 

Undoubtedly each mound was placed for some definite pur- 
pose on the spot where it is found today, but what the purpose 
of any particular mound was may be difficult to say. The spade 
often partially tells us what we want to know, but sometimes it 
leaves us as much as ever in the dark. When the interior of a 
mound reveals human bones, then the inference is that the mound 
served as a tomb, but intrusive burials, that is burials made long 
after the mounds were built, complicate the problem. But when 
a mound can be opened without revealing any trace of human 
remains or of artificial articles, it seems safe to conclude that not 
all the mounds were built for burial purposes. The erection of 
such a large number of mounds as exist along the Mississippi and 
its tributaries in Minnesota must have required an enormous 
expenditure of time and labor. The tools with which all the work 
was done were probably wooden spades rudely shaped, stone 
hoes and similar implements which indicate a low degree of 
industrial culture. Where the whole village population turned 
out for a holiday or funeral, a large mound could be built in a 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 29 

much shorter time than if the work was performed by only a few 
individuals. The surface of the land adjoining the mounds in 
Redwood county, and in fact all the mounds of this vicinity, fre- 
quently shows plain evidences of where the material was obtained 
for the construction of the mound. All in all, the regularity, sym- 
metry and even mathematical exactness with which the mounds 
are built show considerable skill and taste. The reader can pic- 
ture to himself the funeral scenes, the wailings of the sorrowing 
survivors, and the flames of the funeral pyres which were some- 
times built. Or one can picture the mourning relatives waiting 
beneath the tree in which the body has been suspended on a 
scaffold while the elements are stripping the bones of flesh prepa- 
ratory to their interment. 

Life and Habits of the Mound Builders. Modern scientists 
unite in the belief that the Mound Builders were Indians, the 
ancestors of the Indians that the early settlers found here. The 
old theory of a race of Mound Builders superior in intellect and 
intelligence to the Indian has been exploded by archaeological 
research, though a few of the older text books advance the now 
obsolete theory. 

The evidences that the race of Mound Builders was a race of 
genuine Indians are many. Indians are known to have built 
mounds. The articles found in the mounds are the same as the 
articles found on the Indian village sites nearby. Invariably a 
large group of mounds has nearby evidences of such a village. 
The articles found in the mounds and on the village sites are 
such as the Indians used. 

Tomahawks, battle clubs, spearheads and arrows signify war 
and the chase. The entire absence of great architectural remains 
show that the Mound Builders lived in frail homes. The dearth 
of agricultural implements speaks of the absence of any but the 
most primitive farming. Ash-pits and fireplaces mark the bare 
ground as the aboriginal stove. Net-sinkers imply the use of 
nets; ice axes the chopping of holes in the ice to procure water; 
stone axes, a clumsy device for splitting wood ; stone knives were 
used for scalping, cutting meat and leather and twigs ; countless 
flakes mark the ancient arrow maker's workshop; cracked bones 
show the savages' love for marrow; shell beads, charms and orna- 
ments in the shape of fish and other designs reveal a primitive 
desire for ornamentation; chisels and gouges recall the making 
of canoes; sun-dried pottery made of clay mixed with coarse 
sand, clamshells or powdered granite and marked with rows of 
dots made with a stick, thumbnail or other objects, or else marked 
with lines, V-shaped figures or chevrons, all are an index of rather 
a crude state of pottery making. The hand supplied the lathe 
and the wheel. 

All of these things tell us something of the habits and condi- 



30 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

tion of the Mound Builders and are further evidence that the 
Mound Builders differed in no important manner from the Indians 
found here hy the early explorers. 

The people were rude, semi-agricultural, warlike, ignorant of 
all metals except copper, hunters with stone arrow and spear, 
naked in warm weather and clothed with the skins of the huffalo 
and hear in winter. Their skill in art was confined to the making 
of such domestic utensils and such weapons of war and of the 
chase as were demanded for the personal comforts and physical 
necessities. They have left no literature, and these heaps of earth 
and a few rude pictures scraped in soft stones, together with a 
few crude relics, are our only source of information regarding 
this once powerful people. 

Location of Mounds. The artificial mounds of Redwood 
county have never heen adequately surveyed or excavated, 
though many interesting studies have been made of them. A 
volume entitled ' ' The Aborigines of Minnesota, ' ' published by the 
Minnesota State Historical Society in 1911, contains a valuable 
resume of these explorations and studies as follows: 

Mounds below Redwood Falls, S. E. y±, section 30, township 
113-35, group of thirteen mounds, about 150 feet above the Min- 
nesota river, of which seven are elongated and one is angled 
twice in opposite directions in equal amounts, so that its parts, 
at the extremities, are still parallel with each other. Redwood 
river is 900 feet toward the west. The largest tumulus is 75 feet 
by 5y 2 feet, and has been excavated. Surveyed Sept. 29, 1884. 

In 1867 the largest of these tumuli was opened by David 
Watson by sinking a shaft from the center downward. He found 
some very much decayed human bones at the depth of four feet. 
From four feet to eight feet from the surface he found iron rust, 
indicating, as he judged, that some tool had been oxidized and 
lost. He also found in the immediate vicinity, glass beads of 
many different shapes, sizes, colors and varieties, and more 
human bones that were not so much decomposed, indicating 
burial at two dates. 

He also reported "rifle pits" in section 31, a little north of 
the center, and gives a statement by an "intelligent Indian' 
that that was the scene of a hard-fought battle of several days 
duration. Similar pits were reported by Mr. Watson in 1868 
on the north side of the Redwood river, on section 8, town 
ship 112-36," similar to those near the mouth of the same river 
— (Hill record). 

Mounds a mile and a half below the Lower Agency (a) S. E, 
i/4, N. W. Y4, section 9, township 112, 34; three tumuli about 
100 feet above the bottomland. Surveyed Oct. 31, 1887; (b) S. W 
!/4, N. E. %, section 9, township 112, 34. Lone mound about 100 
feet above the bottomland. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 31 

Mounds about one and three-quarters miles east-southeast of 
the Lower Agency (a) S. y%, N. E. y 4 , section 9, township 112, 34; 
a lone mound 100 feet above the bottomland. Surveyed Oct. 31, 
1887. (b) N. E. %, S. E. y 4 , section 9, township 112, 34; three 
tumuli about 100 feet above the bottomland. Surveyed Oct. 31, 
1887. (c) S. E. y 4 , S. E. y 4 , section 9, township 112, 34; a lone 
mound about 100 feet above the bottomland. Surveyed Oct. 31, 
1887. 

Mounds four and a half miles east of Redwood Falls, N. E. y 4 , 
N. E. 14, section 3, township 112, 35; about 125 feet above the 
river, on a ridge; three tumuli, about 30 feet in diameter, on 
cultivated land. Surveyed Oct. 31, 1887. 

There is a lone mound two and a half miles below Patterson's 
Rapids, S. E. y 4 , N. E. y 4 , section 9, township 113, 36, 30 feet in 
diameter, 10 feet high ; about 100 feet above the bottomland. 

Mounds five and a half miles east of Redwood Falls, S. %, 
N. E. y 4 , section 2, township 112, 35; about 125 feet above the 
river. No. 5 is 30 feet by 2y 2 feet, with an exterior ditch of 
eight feet by one foot. The group embraces 10 mounds, of which 
two are elongated. 

There is a lone mound, S. E. y 4 , S. E. y 4 , section 6, town- 
ship 112, 34, at the Lower Agency, immediately opposite Birch 
Cooley creek, about 110 feet above the bottomland, 30 feet by 
one foot. 

On the Cottonwood river, somewhere not far from the South 
Pass wagon roads, there are some mounds of small size. — (Hill 
record). 

A trapper reported one N. E. y 4 , S. E. y 4 , section 32, town- 
ship 109, 35, on the right bank of a stream emptying into the 
Cottonwood. — (Hill record). 

Authority and References. P. M. Magnusson in the "History 
of Stearns County," H. C. Cooper, Jr., & Co., 1915. 

Edward W. Schmidt in the "History of Goodhue County," 
H. C. Cooper, Jr., & Co., 1910. 

"The Aborigines of Minnesota," 1906-1911, a Report Based 
on the Collections of Jacob V. Brower, and on the Field Surveys 
and Notes of Alfred J. Hill and Theodore H. Lewis, Collated, 
Augmented and Described by N. H. Winchel, published by the 
Minnesota Historical Society, 1911. 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 



CHAPTER V. 
INDIAN OCCUPANCY AND TREATD3S. 

The archeology and anthropology of the American Indian is 
still in its infancy. But a few fundamental facts stand out in 
bold relief. We are told by scientists that man is of great 
antiquity in America; and that though the aborigines' blood is 
doubtless mixed with later arrivals in many localities and tribes, 
still, barring the Eskimo, the fundamental race characteristics 
are the same from Hudson Bay to Patagonia. Hence a common 
American ancestry of good antiquity must be predicated of the 
whole Indian race. 

If an imaginary line is drawn east and west through the south- 
ern boundary of Virginia, then except for the northwest corner 
of British America, the Red Men in the territory north of this 
line and east of the Rocky mountains, including the larger part 
of the United States and British America, are and have been for 
centuries almost exclusively of just three linguistic stocks: Iro- 
quoian, Siouan and Algonquian. The one reason for classing 
these Indians into three ethnic stocks is that the vocabularies of 
their languages do not seem to have a common origin. Otherwise 
these Indians are so familiar physically and psychically that even 
an expert will at times find it hard to tell from appearance to 
which stock an individual belongs. These three stocks are in 
mental, moral and physical endowment the peers of any American 
aborigines, though in culture they were far behind the Peruvians, 
Mexicans and the nations in the southwestern United States. 
But their native culture is not so insignificant as is the popular 
impression. Except the far western bands who subsisted on the 
buffalo, they practiced agriculture; and in many, if not in most 
tribes, the products of the chase and fishing supplied less than 
half their sustenance ; their moccasins, tanned skin clothing, bows 
and arrows, canoes, pottery and personal ornaments evinced a 
great amount of skill and not a little artistic taste. Their houses 
were not always the conical tipi of bark or skins, but were often 
very durable and comparatively comfortable and constructed of 
timber or earth or even stone. 

The Dakotas. As to how these stocks came originally into 
this territory there is no certain knowledge but much uncertain 
speculation. Here we shall be content to start with the relatively 
late and tolerably probable event of their living together, in the 
eastern part of the United States, some five centuries ago. Algon- 
quians lived on the Atlantic slope, the Iroquois perhaps south of 
Lake Erie and Ontario, and the Siouans in the upper Ohio valley. 
These Siouan peoples had possibly previously occupied the upper 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 33 

Mississippi region, but for some reason had left there. At any 
rate, a century or so before the arrival of Columbus, found them 
for the most part in the upper Ohio valley. What peoples, if any, 
were in the meantime living on the plains of the upper Mississippi 
is not definitely known. Of the Siouan peoples we are interested 
in the main division of the Sioux, more properly the Dakotas. 
Probably because of the pressure of the fierce and well organized 
Iroquois, the Sioux, perhaps about 1400 A. D., began slowly to 
descend the Ohio valley. Kentucky and the adjacent parts of 
Ohio, Indiana and Illinois were certainly at that time a primitive 
man's paradise, and the anabasis begun under compulsion was 
enthusiastically continued from choice. They reached the con- 
fluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi. Probably here they first 
encountered the buffalo, or bison, in large numbers. The spirit 
of adventure and the pressure of an increasing population sent 
large bands up the Mississippi. When the Missouri was reached 
no doubt some followed that stream. Those who kept to the 
Mississippi were rewarded as they ascended the stream by coming 
into what was from the viewpoint of primitive man a richer coun- 
try. Coming up into Minnesota a forest region was encountered 
soon after passing through beautiful Lake Pepin. Soon a roar- 
ing cataract blocked the way of the Dakota canoes. St. Anthony 
Falls, of which now scarce a remnant is left, thundered over its 
ledge among the leafy boskage of banks and islands. Slowly 
but surely up the stream pushed the Dakotas. Rum river was 
reached, and its friendly banks were doubtless for many seasons 
dotted with the Dakota's tipis. But when the hunter-explorer's 
eyes first rested on the wide expanse of Mille Lacs, he rightly 
felt he had found a primitive paradise. M'dewakan, the Spirit 
lake, the lake of spiritual spell, soon became the site of perhaps 
the largest permanent encampment or headquarters of the Sioux. 
From there they scattered wide. Some of the bands discovered 
the upper Minnesota river region and here settled. These return- 
ing Sioux, it is believed, were the builders of all or nearly all of 
the Redwood county mounds, though some may have been built 
by their ancestors before they were expelled many centuries 
earlier. The Redwood county mounds, though less in size and 
smaller in number, have the same interest as those found in Ohio, 
and which this same people are believed to have constructed. 

The name "Dakota," which these Indians applied to them- 
selves, means, "joined together in friendly compact." "Sioux" 
is a contraction of the word Nadowessioux (variously spelled), 
the French version of the Chippewa word meaning "Little 
Adders," or figuratively, "enemies." 

The Sioux were in many ways the highest type of the North 
American Indian, and were physically, perhaps, among the high- 
est types that mankind has reached. Living free lives close to the 



34 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

democracy of nature, they saw no advantages in organized gov- 
ernment; living on the boundless sweeps of the prairies and in 
the limitless forests, they saw no virtue in that civilization which 
shackles mankind to a daily routine of petty duties and circum- 
scribes life to the confinement of crowded cities and villages. 

There was no written code of law. Tradition and custom 
alone dictated the conduct and morals of the Sioux. The spirit 
of this traditional law was as stern as the Mosaic law of the Holy 
Scriptures, "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth." A favor 
was never forgotten, neither was a wrong. Possibly no race has 
ever been so true to its standards as was the Sioux. Punishment 
swift and sure was meted out to those who departed from these 
precepts. 

Just as Jehovah revealed himself to the Hebrews as a spirit, 
permeating all space and all matter, the great Creator who 
breathed in and through all things, so had the Great Spirit 
revealed himself to the Sioux. The Sioux found God everywhere. 
The waterfalls, the winds, the heat, the cold, the rains and the 
snows, the trees and the birds, the animals and the reptiles, all 
were "wakon," spiritual mysteries in which God spoke to them. 

In an age when civilized Europeans were having their blood 
drawn from their veins by a barber as a panacea for all diseases, 
and believing implicitly in the curing powers of witches' brews, 
made of such ingredients as snake's eyes and rabbit's claws, the 
Sioux was bringing the ailing back to health by the use of sweat 
baths and simple herbs. 

But with the coming of the white man a great change took 
place. Outspoken, absolutely truthful, the Sioux was no match 
for the lying tongue of the white, by which he was robbed of 
much more than by the white man's gun and powder. He was 
no match against the insidious vices of alcohol and lust which the 
white man introduced. 

The life of the red man before he came in contact with our 
so-called civilization, and even later when he had secured nothing 
more than his gun, knife and kettle, was, though primitive and 
coarse, not mean nor base. The Indian was healthy and sound 
in mind and body, wholesome as the woods through which he 
hunted. 

He was poor and improvident, it is true, living from hand to 
mouth, and taking little thought of the morrow. But this was 
not moral nor physical shiftlessness, it was a part of his religion. 
His creed pledged him to poverty; with God's boundless riches 
spread around about him, his faith forbade his taking more than 
was necessary for his immediate needs. No one was richer than 
another. All food was shared. A friend was always welcome 
to help himself at any time. 

The chief was usually the man who by force of personality 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 35 

could command sufficient respect to hold the position. While 
there is no evidence that the office of chief was hereditary, never- 
theless from the coming of the white man each trihe seems to 
have had its royal dynasty, handing the ruling power of chief 
from father to son through several generations. War and hunt- 
ing parties, however, were led by any brave who could gather a 
sufficient number of friends about him. One brave might be 
chief of one expedition and another brave of a succeeding expe- 
dition, while the permanent chief of the band seems to have 
occupied more of a civil position, deciding disputes and giving 
counsel. 11S8133 

Wabasha, living at Ke-ox-ah (Winona), seems fu nave been 
the great overlord of the Medawakanton Sioux, and he likewise 
seems to have been recognized as ruler by many of the other 
branches of the Sioux. Each band likewise had a permanent 
chief, and as noted each expedition that was made had a tem- 
porary chief. 

All in all, the Indian as he was before the coming of the white 
man, is deserving of all honor and respect. And horrible though 
the warfare was that he later waged on the whites who had 
secured his lands, terrible and wanton as was the revenge he 
took on defenseless men, women and children, occupying his 
ancient domains, bitter though the feeling against him must of 
necessity be by those whose loved ones were ravished, mutilated 
and murdered, nevertheless the methods of the most civilized and 
modern warfare have taught the world that between the motives 
of the wildest savage and the most cultured soldier there is little 
difference when a man finds himself fighting for existence against 
those whom he believes to have wronged him. The Indian's 
method was to torture and mutilate, to strike such terror that 
the enemy would forever after fear him. The civilized method 
likewise mutilates, terrorizes and strikes sudden death against 
those equally defenseless and inoffensive as were those the Indian 
massacred. The Indian, regarded and treated by the whites as a 
little lower than an animal, with even his treaty rights disre- 
garded, struck, in the only way he knew, in behalf of the con- 
tinued existence of himself and of his wife and babes, against a 
race whose desire for broad acres was ever driving the Red Man 
and his family further and further from the sweeps over which 
his forefathers had ranged. 

Evil days indeed came for the simple child of the forest, when 
as scum on the advancing frontier wave of civilization came the 
firewater, the vices and the diseases of civilized man. Neither his 
physical nor his spiritual organization is prepared to withstand 
these powerful evils of a stronger race, and the primitive red man 
has often, perhaps generally, been reduced to a pitiful parasite 
on the civilized community, infested with the diseases, the vermin 



36 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

and the vices of the white man and living in a degradation and 
squalor that only civilization can furnish. 

The white man took from the Indian all his primitive virtues, 
and gave him none of the virtues of the white man in return. 
He taught the red man all of the evils of civilization before he 
was advanced enough to accept its advantages, and tried to make 
him conform suddenly with those habits of life which with the 
white race have been the development of ages. Thus burdened 
with the white man's vices, his own natural mode of living sud- 
denly made impossible, driven here and there by the onrush of 
civilization, cheated and defrauded by traders and government 
officials alike, the Indian has degenerated until he is only a 
travesty on the noble kings of the forest who once held sway 
in the upper Mississippi and the Minnesota valleys. But a change 
is now coming with an awakened public conscience. And the 
results are encouraging. The census seems to indicate that the 
Indian is no longer a vanishing race. Steady and considerable 
progress is made in his civilization, and his physical condition is 
improving. 

Wapeton Dakotas. Information as to the occupancy of the 
Minnesota valley during the era of the early explorers is some- 
what vague. After the Dakotas in prehistoric times came up the 
Mississippi river, and in the upper reaches of that river estab- 
lished their homes, the Medewakanton and several subsidiary of 
the Sioux made their headquarters about Mille Lacs, ranging 
the rivers and forests and prairies from that point to unknown 
distances. Probably some bands became permanently separated 
from the main band. In the days of the early French explorers, 
the Medewakantons were still living at Mille Lacs. The Warpe- 
tonwans, apparently closely allied to the Medewakantons, were 
ranging the territory west of the upper Mississippi river, between 
the Crow and the Crow Wing rivers. 

The Chippewas drove the Sioux from the Mille Lacs region, 
and the deposed tribes established themselves at various points. 

The location of the several bands inhabiting Southern Minne- 
sota in 1834 has been told by the missionary, S. W. Pond, who 
came to Minnesota that year. He has written : 

"The villages of the Medewakantonwan were on the Minne- 
sota and Mississippi rivers, extending from Winona to Shakapee. 
Most of the Indians living on the Minnesota river above Shakopee 
were Warpetonwan. At Big Stone lake there were both Warpe- 
tonwan and Sissetonwan, and at Lake Traverse, Bianktonwan 
(Yankton), Sissetonwan and Warpetonwan. Part of the Warpe- 
kute lived on Cannon river and part at Traverse des Sioux. 
There were frequent intermarriages between these divisions of 
the Dakotas, and they were more or less intermingled at all their 
villages. Though the manners, language and dress of the differ- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 37 

ent divisions were not all precisely alike, they were essentially 
one people." 

Thus, at that time, Redwood county was Wapeton (spelled 
Warpetonwan, Wahpeton and Warpeton) country, though the 
Sissetons, the Yanktons and the Medawakantons were not far 
away. 

Nicollet in his map of the state placed the "Wapetons along 
the Minnesota river in this part of the state, and the Sissetons in 
the southwestern part of the state. 

However, Sleepy Eye's village of Sissetons appears to have 
been located for a time at least in the vicinity of the mouth of 
the Little Rock, not far from the present area of Redwood 
county, and Sleepy Eye and his people also appear at times to 
have been located in the Cottonwood valley, at various points. 



INDIAN TREATIES. 

From prehistoric days up to the time of the treaties signed at 
Traverse des Sioux, July 23, 1851, and at Mendota, August 5, 

1851, ratified and amended by the United States Senate, June 23, 

1852, and proclaimed by President Millard Fillmore February 
24, 1853, the land now embraced in Redwood county remained 
in the nominal possession of the Indians. Before this treaty, 
however, several agreements were made between the Indians 
of this vicinity and the United States government, regarding 
mutual relations and the ceding of lands. The first of these was 
the treaty with Pike in 1805, by which land at the mouths of the 
Minnesota and St. Croix rivers was ceded to the government 
for military purposes. 

Visit to Washington. In 1816, the War of 1812 having been 
brought to a close, the Indians of this vicinity made peace with 
the United States and signed treaties placing the Sioux of this 
neighborhood "in all things and in every respect on the same 
footing upon which they stood before the late war." Perpetual 
peace was promised, and it was agreed that "every injury or act 
of hostility committed by one or the other of the contracting 
parties against the other shall be mutually forgiven and forgot- 
ten." The tribes recognized the absolute authority of the United 
States. After Ft. Snelling was established, the officers at various 
times engineered peace pacts between various tribes, but these 
were usually quickly broken. 

In the spring of 1824 the first delegation of Sioux Indians 
went to Washington to see their "Great Father," the president. 
A delegation of Chippewas accompanied, and both were in charge 
of Major Lawrence Taliaferro. Wabasha, then properly called 
Wa-paJaa-sha or Wah-pahJ^ah-sha, the head chief of the band at 



38 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Winona; and Little Crow, head of the Kaposia band; and Wah- 
natah, were the principal members of the Sioux delegation. When 
the delegation had gone as far as Prairie du Chien, Wabasha and 
Wahnatah, who had been influenced by traders, desired to turn 
back, but Little Crow persuaded them to continue. The object of 
the visit was to secure a convocation of all of the upper Missis- 
sippi Indians at Prairie du Chien, to define the boundary line of 
the lands claimed by the separate tribes and to establish general 
and permanently friendly relations among them. The party made 
the trip in keel boats from Fort Snelling to Prairie du Chien, and 
from there to Pittsburgh by steamboat, thence to Washington 
and other eastern cities by land. 

Prairie du Chien Treaty of 1825. This treaty, signed August 
19, was of importance to the Indians who ranged Redwood county 
in that it fixed certain general boundaries, and confirmed the fact 
that the present county lay entirely in Sioux territory. The 
treaty was participated in by the Chippewa, Sauk (Sac) and Fox; 
Menominee, Iowa, Sioux, Winnebago; and a portion of the 
Ottawa, Chippewa and Potawatomi tribes living on the Illinois. 

The line between the Sioux and the confederated Sauks and 
Foxes extended across a part of northern Iowa. It was declared 
in the treaty to run up the upper Iowa (now the Oneota) river 
to its left fork, and up that fork to its source; thence crossing 
the Cedar river to the second or upper fork of the Des Moines, 
and in a direct line to the lower fork of the Calumet (Big Sioux) 
river, and down that river to the Missouri river. On both sides 
of this line extended a tract which came to be known as the 
"Neutral Strip," into which the Winnebagoes were later moved 
as a buffer between the Sioux and their enemies to the South. 

The eastern boundary of the Sioux territory was to commence 
on the east bank of the Mississippi river opposite the mouth of 
the "Ioway" river, running back to the bluffs and along the 
bluffs to the Bad Axe river, thence to the mouth of the Black 
river, and thence to half a day's march, below the falls of the 
Chippewa. East of this line, generally speaking, was the Winne- 
bago country, though the Menominee country lay about Green 
Bay, Lake Michigan and the Milwaukee river, and the Menom- 
inees claimed as far west as the Black river. The Chippewa 
country was to be to the north of the Winnebagoes and Menom- 
inees, and east of the northern line of the Sioux country, the line 
between the Chippewa and the Sioux beginning at a point a half 
a day's march below the falls of the Chippewa, thence to the Red 
Cedar river immediately below the falls, thence to a point on the 
St. Croix river, a day's paddle above the lake at the mouth of 
that river, and thence northwestward across the present state 
of Minnesota. The line crossed the Mississippi at the mouth of 
the Watab river just above St. Cloud. Thus both sides of the 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 39 

Mississippi during its course along Renville county was included 
in Sioux territory. 

The boundary lines were certainly, in many respects, quite 
indefinite, and whether this was the trouble or not, in any event, 
it was but a few months after the treaty when it was evident 
that none of the signers were willing to be governed by the lines 
established, and hardly by any others. The first article of the 
treaty provided: "There shall be a firm and perpetual peace be- 
tween the Sioux and the Chippewas; between the Sioux and the 
confederated tribes of Sacs and Foxes; and between the 'Io- 
ways' and the Sioux." But this provision was more honored 
in the breach than the observance, and in a little time the tribes 
named were flying at one another's throats and engaged in their 
old-time hostilities. 

Second Treaty of Prairie du Chien. In 1830 a second treaty 
with the Northwest Indian tribes was held at Prairie du Chien. 
A few weeks previous to the convocation, which was begun July 
15, a party of Wabasha's band of Sioux and some Menominees 
ambushed a party of Fox Indians some twelve or fifteen miles 
below Prairie du Chien and killed eight of them, including a sub- 
chief called the Kettle. 

The Foxes had their village near Dubuque and were on their 
way to Prairie du Chien to visit the Indian agent, whom they 
had apprised of their coming. They were in canoes on the Mis- 
sissippi. As they reached the lower end of Prairie du Pierreaux 
they paddled up a narrow channel which ran near the eastern 
shore, where their concealed enemies opened fire. The Foxes 
returned to their village, bearing their dead, while the Sioux and 
Menominees went home and danced over their victory. A few 
weeks previously the Foxes had killed some of Wabasha's band 
on the Red Cedar river, in Iowa, and the Sioux claimed that their 
part in the Prairie du Pierreaux affair was taken in retaliation 
for the Red Cedar affair. In June of the following year a large 
number of Menominees were camped on an island in the Missis- 
sippi, less than a half a mile from Fort Crawford and Prairie du 
Chien. One night they were all drunk, "men, women and chil- 
dren." Two hours before daylight the Dubuque Foxes took 
dreadful reprisal for the killing of their brethren at Prairie du 
Pierreaux. Though but a small band, they crept into the Menom- 
inee encampment, fell upon inmates, and in a few minutes put 
a number of them to the gun, the tomahawk and the scalping 
knife. Thirty Menominees were killed. When the entire Menom- 
inee band had been aroused the Foxes, without having lost a man, 
retired, crying out in great exultation that the cowardly killing 
of their comrades at Prairie du Pierreaux had been avenged. 

Because of the Prairie du Pierreaux affair the Foxes at first 
refused to be present at the treaty of Prairie du Chien, but finally 



40 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

came. Delegates were present from four bands of the Sioux, the 
Medawakantons, the Wapakootas, the Wahpatons and the Sisse- 
tons, and also from the Sacs, Foxes and Iowas, and even from the 
Omahas, Otoes and Missouris, the homes of the last three tribes 
being on the Missouri river. 

At this treaty the Indian tribes represented ceded all of their 
claims to the land in western Iowa, northwestern Missouri and 
especially the country of the Des Moines river valley. 

The Medawakanton, Sioux, "Wabasha's band, had a special 
article (numbered 9) inserted in the treaty for the benefit of their 
half-breed relatives. 

The Sioux also ceded a tract of land twenty miles wide along 
the northern boundary of Iowa from the Mississippi to the Des 
Moines; consideration $2,000 in cash and $1,200 in merchandise. 

The Doty Treaty. The Doty Treaty, made at Traverse des 
Sioux (St. Peter), in July, 1841, failed to be ratified by the 
United States Senate. This treaty embodied a Utopian dream 
that a territory of Indians could be established, in which the red 
men would reside on farms and in villages, living their lives after 
the style of the whites, having a constitutional form of govern- 
ment, with a legislature of their own people elected by them- 
selves, the governor to be appointed by the president of the 
United States. They were to be taught the arts of peace, to be 
paid annuities, and to be protected by the armies of the United 
States from their Indian enemies on the west. In return for 
these benefits to be conferred upon the Indians, the United States 
was to receive all the lands in what is now Minnesota, the Da- 
kotas and northwestern Iowa. This ceded land was not to be 
opened to the settlement of the whites, and the plan was to 
have some of it reserved for Indian tribes from other parts of 
the country who should sell their lands to the United States, and 
who, in being moved here, were to enjoy all the privileges which 
had been so beautifully planned for the native Indians. But 
no one can tell what would have been the result of this experi- 
ment, for the Senate, for political reasons, refused to ratify the 
treaty, and it failed of going into effect. This treaty was signed 
by the Sisseton, Wahpeton and Wahpakoota bands at Traverse 
des Sioux, July 31, 1841, and by the Medawakanton bands at 
Mendota, August 11 of the same year. 

Preliminaries to Final Session. No other events or incidents 
in all time have been of more importance in their influence upon 
the character and destiny of Minnesota than the negotiations 
with the Sioux Indians in the summer of 1851, commonly known 
as the Treaties of Traverse des Sioux and Mendota. As a result 
of these treaties a vast region of country large enough and nat- 
urally rich enough for a kingdom was released from the sway of 
its owners and opened to white settlement. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 41 

Prior to these events only the lands in Minnesota east of the 
Mississippi river were open to white occupation. The fine, fer- 
tile expanse to the westward was forbidden ground. The waves 
of immigration were steadily rolling in and beating against the 
legal barrier in increasing volume and growing forces; and as 
opposed to the demand of the whites for land and power the 
rights and necessities of the Indians were of little weight. A 
decent regard for the opinions of mankind and also a fear of the 
revenge that the Indians might take, demanded, however, that 
the government go through the form of a purchase, and that 
some sort of price, even if ridiculously small, be paid for the 
relinquished land. 

In his message to the first Territorial Legislature Governor 
Ramsey recommended that a memorial to Congress be prepared 
and adopted praying for the purchase by treaty of a large extent 
of the Sioux country west of the Mississippi. Accordingly a 
lengthy petition, very earnest and eloquent in its terms, was, 
after considerable deliberation, drawn up, finally adopted by 
both houses and duly presented to Congress. This was in Octo- 
ber, but already the national authorities had taken action. 

In June, 1849, Orlando Brown, commissioner of Indian affairs, 
addressed an official letter to Thomas Ewing, then secretary of 
the interior, recommending negotiations with the Sioux, "for 
the purpose of purchasing their title to a large tract of country 
west of the Mississippi river." The commissioner said that the 
object of the purchase was, "in order to make room for the 
immigrants now going in large numbers to the new territory of 
Minnesota, as the Indian title has been extinguished to but a com- 
paratively small extent of the country within its limits." Sec- 
retary Ewing approved the report and selected Governor Ramsey 
and John Chambers, the latter a former territorial governor of 
Iowa, as commissioners to make the proposed treaty. 

In his annual report for 1848 Commissioner Brown had recom- 
mended an appropriation to defray the expenses of a Sioux 
treaty, but Congress failed to make it. So desirous was he for 
the treaty in 1849 that he was willing to pay the attendant 
expense out of the "small current appropriations" for his office, 
and so he warned Ramsey and Chambers that "the strictest econ- 
omy in all your expenditures will be necessary." He said if 
they waited for a special appropriation from the next Congress 
the treaty in its complete form would be postponed for two 
years, and in the meanwhile there would be increasing trouble 
between the Indian owners of the land and trespassing settlers. 

In August, 1849, Commissioner Brown addressed a lengthy 
letter to Governors Ramsey and Chambers informing them of 
their appointment as commissioners to make the treaty and 
instructing them particularly as to their duties in the premises. 



42 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

The instructions were not only clear, but very elaborate and 
comprehensive, and so far as they could be given the commis- 
sioners were told just what to do and just how to do it. The fact 
that some of the directions were unwise and unwarranted was 
due to the misinformation on the subject which the commissioner 
had received, and his consequent lack of knowledge as to the 
situation. For example, in describing the territory which the 
commissioners were to acquire, Commissioner Brown expressed 
the opinion that it contained "some 20,000,000 of acres," and 
that "some of it," no doubt, contained "lands of excellent qual- 
ity." With respect to the probable worth of the country to the 
United States the commissioner expressed the opinion that, "from 
its nature, a great part of it can never be more than very 
trifling, if of any, value to the government." The country was 
more valuable for the purpose of a location for homeseekers than 
for any other purpose, and Commissioner Brown realized that 
"only a small part of it is now actually necessary for that 
object." 

The contemplated and directed treaty with the Sioux in the 
fall of 1849 was not held as contemplated. On repairing to 
Traverse des Sioux in October, Commissioners Ramsey and Cham- 
bers found that a large majority of the Upper Indians were 
absent on their fall hunts. Coming down to Mendota, they found 
the greater part of the Lower bands were absent gathering wild 
rice, hunting in the Big Woods and elsewhere, and those still in 
the villages were, under the circumstances, unwilling to engage 
in any important negotiations. 

At Mendota, however, a treaty was made with some of the 
chiefs of the Medawakanton and Wapakooto bands providing for 
the purchase, on reasonable terms, of what was known as the 
"Half -Breed Tract," lying west of Lake Pepin, and which had 
been set apart for the Sioux mixed bloods by the treaty of July 
15, 1830. The tract comprised about 384,000 acres of now well 
known and valuable country. The purchase was to be completed 
as soon as possible, and the money given to the mixed blood bene- 
ficiaries in lieu of the lands. The treaty was duly forwarded to 
Washington, but never ratified by the Senate. In 1850 the agita- 
tion for a more comprehensive treaty resulted in the important 
negotiations of the summer of 1851, and the subject of the Lake 
Pepin Half Breed Tract was put aside and soon forgotten. 

At last, in the spring of 1851, President Fillmore directed that 
a treaty with the Sioux be made, and appointed commissioners to 
that end. The pressure upon him could no longer be resisted. 
The Territorial Legislature had repeatedly memorialized Con- 
gress, Ramsey had written, Sibley and Rice had reasoned and 
pleaded, and Goodhue and the other Minnesota editors had well 
nigh heated their types in their fervid exhortations to the na- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 43 

tional authorities to tear down the barriers and allow the eager 
and restless whites to grasp the wealth of the great inland 
empire now furnishing home and sustenance to its rightful own- 
ers. Already many settlers, as reckless of their own lives as they 
were regardless of the laws of their country, were squatting with- 
in the forbidden area. 

The traders were especially desirous that a treaty be made. 
It was the practice in such negotiations to insert a provision in 
the treaty that the "just debts" of the Indians should be paid 
out of the amounts allowed them. The American Fur Company — 
then Pierre Chouteau, Jr., & Company — represented by Sibley 
and the various sub-traders claimed that the Sioux of Minnesota 
owed them in the aggregate nearly $500,000 for goods they had 
received in past times; the accounts, in some instances, were 
dated twenty years previously. If a treaty were made, all of the 
accounts, both real and fictitious, and augmented to suit the 
traders' fancy, would probably be declared as "just debts" and 
paid out of such funds as might be allotted the Indians. That 
the traders, including the firm of Choteau, Jr., & Company, did 
all they could to have a treaty made may readily be believed. 

Under a paragraph in the Indian appropriation bill of 1851, 
approved February 27, all Indian treaties thereafter were to be 
negotiated by "officers and agents" connected with the Indian 
department and selected by the president. The appointees were 
not to receive for their service in such cases any compensation 
in addition to their regular salaries. Previously treaties had 
been negotiated on the part of the government by special agents, 
who were generally not connected with the public service and 
who were paid particularly and liberally for these services. 

In consideration of the great extent of country to be possibly 
acquired, and the importance of the treaty generally, President 
Fillmore appointed to conduct it, on the part of the government, 
two prominent officials of the Indian department. These were 
Governor Alexander Ramsey, ex-officio Indian commissioner for 
Minnesota, and Luke Lea, the national commissioner of Indian 
affairs. The instructions given them were in the main those of 
Commissioner Brown, two years before, to Ramsey and Chambers 
when it was designed that the treaty should then be made. 

Treaty of Traverse des Sioux. Commissioner Lea arrived at 
St. Paul, on the steamboat Excelsior, June 27. On the twenty- 
ninth he and Governor Ramsey left Fort Snelling on the boat for 
Traverse des Sioux, the site of the council ground selected for 
the treaty with the two upper bands of Sioux, the Wahpetons 
and Sissetons, who occupied the country of the upper Minnesota 
valley. On board of the Excelsior were some beef cattle and 
other supplies, to be furnished the Indians during the negotia- 
tions. There were also on board about twenty-five white persons 



44 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

who went up as excursionists and as sightseers and witnesses 
of the proceedings. 

The Excelsior landed at Traverse des Sioux early on the morn- 
ing of Monday, June 30. This was a well known locality. Here 
the Sioux, in early days, were wont to cross the Minnesota, on 
their way between the Cannon river country and Swan lake, and 
the ford bore the French equivalent for the "crossing of the 
Sioux." From the earliest days there had been a trading post 
here and in 1843 Reverend Riggs and his associates had estab- 
lished a mission at the site. In the summer of 1849 this station 
was in charge of Reverend Messrs. Robert Hopkins and Alex- 
ander G. Huggins. The missionaries had comfortable residences, 
and there was a frame mission house neatly painted and well 
furnished. 

There was also at "The Traverse," as it was often called, 
the trading houses of Alexander Graham and Oliver Faribault, 
with residence cabins and other log outbuildings; there was also 
the old log warehouse in which the Doty treaty of 1841 had been 
made and signed, while scattered along the ridge to the rear were 
thirty or more buffalo skin tepees, occupied by Indian families 
belonging to Chief Red Iron's band of Sissetons. Ten miles to 
the northwest was the village of Chief Sleepy Eye's Little Rock 
band of Sissetons, numbering two hundred and fifty. The site 
of the Traverse, where the town was afterwards laid out, is two 
miles east of St. Peter, or seventy miles southwest of St. Paul. 

Word had been sent to all of the Sisseton and Wahpeton 
bands — the Upper bands, as they were often called — that a treaty 
was to be held at the Traverse early in July. They were notified 
to be present; not only the chiefs, but the head men — the war 
leaders and principal orators of the band — were to participate 
in the deliberations. A large brush arbor was erected, under the 
supervision of Alexis Failly, and beneath this comfortable shade 
the treaty negotiations were to be held. A number of beeves 
were slaughtered and boxes of hard-tack opened to feed the 
expected visitors, while baskets of champagne and other refresh- 
ments were offered for the entertainment of the white visitors. 
But the arrival of the reluctant Indians was long delayed, and it 
was not until July 18 that the representatives of the last bands 
came in, very tired, very hungry and not favorable to the purpose 
for which the council was called. They were heartily welcomed 
by the designing whites and bountifully fed on fresh beef, pork 
and hard-tack, but were refused whisky or other spirits, the 
whites desiring all that for themselves. 

There were present on the part of the Indians the two head 
chiefs and the principal sub-chiefs of the bands, as well as their 
head soldiers, chief speakers and prominent men of all classes. 
On the part of the whites were Commissioners Lea and Ramsey ; 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 45 

Dr. Thomas Foster, the secretary; and Alexander Faribault and 
Reverend S. R. Riggs, interpreters. Other prominent white spec- 
tators, some of whom acted as witnesses to the treaty, were: 
James M. Goodhue, editor of the Minnesota Pioneer, who made 
and published a daily report of the proceedings ; Frank B. Mayer, 
a noted artist from Baltimore ; Major Nathaniel McLean, Sioux 
Indian agent at Fort Snelling ; Doctor Thomas S. Williamson, the 
missionary at Kaposia ; Judge James H. Lockwood, of Prairie du 
Chien, who had ascended the Minnesota far above Patterson's 
Rapids in 1816 ; Richard Chute and wife, then a newly married 
couple from Indiana; H. H. Sibley, Colonel C. Henderson, Joseph 
R. Brown, W. H. Forbes, Hugh Tyler, Reverend Alexander G. 
Huggins, Martin McLeod, Henry Jackson, A. S. H. White, Wal- 
lace B. White, Alexis Bailly, Kenneth McKenzie, Hercules L. 
Dousman, Franklin Steele, F. Brown, William Hartshorn, William 
G. Le Due, Joseph La Frambois, Sr., James McC. Boal, and sundry 
French voyageurs, traders' employes and retainers, all of whom 
were entertained sumptuously with delicious viands, and many 
with fiery spirits and rare wines at the government's expense. 

While waiting for the Indians the whites diverted themselves 
in various ways, but chiefly in observing the Indian dances and 
their other customs. It was intended to formally observe the 
Fourth of July. Reverend Robert Hopkins, one of the local 
missionaries, was drowned while bathing in the Minnesota, and 
the intention was abandoned. 

July 11 occurred the marriage of two mixed blood people, 
David Faribault and Nancy Winona McClure. They were a fine 
looking couple, attracted general admiration, and the whites gave 
them a pretentious wedding reception. The groom was a son 
of John B. Faribault, the pioneer trader, and the bride was the 
natural daughter of Lieutenant James McClure of the regular 
army, who was at one time stationed at Fort Snelling and died 
in Florida during the Seminole War of 1837 ; she had been reared 
by her Indian grandmother and educated and Christianized by 
Reverend Messrs. Riggs and Williamson. 

The ceremony was performed by Alexis Bailly, the trader, 
who had been commissioned a justice of the peace. The wedding 
reception was followed by an elaborate banquet prepared by the 
whites, and at which there were a number of toasts presented and 
responses made. Referring to her marriage reception years 
afterwards Mrs. Faribault wrote : "I have often wondered how 
so much champagne got so far out on the frontier." After the 
wedding festivities the Sioux girls, to the number of twenty or 
more, had a "virgin feast," in which none but vestals of un- 
doubted purity were allowed to participate. 

The Indians, as noted, came in from time to time in no haste 
and evidently much opposed to parting with their lands. Nearly 



46 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

all of the women and children were brought along. Chief Sha- 
kopee, of the Lower bands of the Sioux, was in attendance a 
great part of the time. On the tenth a band of twenty Chippewas 
attacked a party of six Sisseton Sioux forty miles above Lac Qui 
Parle and killed and scalped five of them; the sixth, a boy, 
escaped by running. The Sioux went out and found their tribes- 
men blackening in the sun; the bodies had been beheaded and 
loathsomely mangled. The father of two of the murdered chil- 
dren came into the Traverse July 15, bringing the tragic news. 
He took part in the treaty, but sat with his face blackened, be- 
cause of his bereavement. 

July 18 the council opened under the brush arbor. Governor 
Ramsey opened the proceedings with a short speech and was fol- 
lowed by Commissioner Lea, who in explanation of the desires of 
the white authorities made a lengthy address, with much in it 
about the ineffable goodness and gigantic greatness of the ' ' Great 
Father" of the Indians (the President) and his unselfish desire 
that they sell to him all of their lands as far west at least as 
Lake Traverse and the Big Sioux river down to the western 
border of Iowa, retaining only enough land for their actual resi- 
dence. The Sissetons and Wahpatons claimed the country from 
Traverse des Sioux westward to the line indicated and the com- 
missioners wanted all of it. After the speeches of the commis- 
sioners, in order that their words might "sink deep into the 
hearts" of the Indians, the council adjourned. 

The following day, Saturday, the nineteenth, the council was 
opened with a speech from Star Face (or "The Orphan," as the 
whites called him) after a long silence and apparently much 
reluctance to speak, and when he spoke he said simply that all 
his young men had not arrived, and he was very sorry that the 
council had opened without their presence, or that, as he ex- 
pressed himself, the commissioners were "not willing to shake 
hands with those that are behind." He said he understood that 
some one had been sent to meet them on the road and turn them 
back, and this made him feel very bad. 

Then Sleepy Eye, the old Sisseton chief, who had been one of 
the signers of the Prairie du Chien treaty of 1825, had visited 
Washington, and had his portrait painted, in 1824, rose and said : 

"Fathers: Your coming and asking me for my country makes 
me sad ; your saying that I am not able to do anything with my 
country makes me still more sad. The young men who are com- 
ing (of whom Star Face had spoken) are my near relatives, and 
I expect certainly to see them here. That is all I have to say. 
I am going to leave and that is the reason I spoke." 

Then, turning to the other Sissetons he said : ' ' Come ; let us 
go away from here." Instantly there was great confusion. The 
Indians left the arbor and were greeted with shouts by their 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 47 

brethren. There were indications that the council was at an 
end, and there was much excitement. 

Governor Ramsey, however, knew the circumstances and 
necessities of the Indians who had assembled. Calmly he said to 
the interpreter: "Tell them that as our stock of provisions is 
short, and they seem indisposed to talk, there will be no further 
issue of provisions to them." Commissioner Lea added: "Tell 
them they must let us know by this evening if they really wish to 
treat. If we do not hear from them by that time we will go 
below early tomorrow morning." The council then adjourned 
and orders were given to get boats ready and to prepare to move 
in the morning. 

The word that they were to be given nothing more to eat pro- 
duced great consternation among the Indians. Coming, as they 
had, far from their homes, and solely for the benefit of the whites, 
they had supposed that at least they were to be furnished pro- 
visions while attending the conference, especially in view of the 
riotous good times that the whites were enjoying out of the 
expense fund. Hunger faced the Indians and their families on 
their long journey back to their villages. The white men were 
clearly saying : ' ' Give us your land at our own terms or we 
will get it anyhow without a pretense of terms. We are in a 
hurry, do not delay us, do not wait until all your men get here; 
enter into this treaty as we have arranged for you to do, or take 
your wives and children and go hungry until you can get back 
home and get something to eat. It matters not to us that at our 
request you have come here and given up gathering food for 
weeks, do as we want you to or starve." Foreseeing the inevita- 
ble the Indians agreed to again go into council on the following 
Monday, and the officials knowing that the cause of the white 
man was already won ordered that food should be distributed. 

On Monday, the twenty-first, the council opened at noon. The 
first speaker was Sleepy Eye, who sought to explain his view- 
point of the events which had transpired. He said : "On the day 
before yesterday, when we convened together, you were offended, 
I hear, at what was said. No offense or disrespect was intended. 
We only wanted more time to consider. The young men who 
made a noise were waiting to have a ball play, and not under- 
standing English thought the council was over, and as they did 
so made the disturbance, for which we are very sorry." 

Chief Extends-His-Head-Dress — or Big Curly Head, as the 
whites called him — a Sisseton sub-chief, said: "I am not speak- 
ing for myself, but for all that are here. We wish to understand 
what we are about before we act — to know exactly the proposi- 
tion made to us by the commissioners. The other chiefs and all 
our people desire that you will make out for us in writing the 
particulars of your offer for our lands, and when we have this 



48 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

paper fully made out we will sit down on the hill back there 
(indicating), consult among ourselves, come to a conclusion, and 
let you know what it is." 

Commissioner Lea then quickly prepared on paper the terms 
desired by the United States, which had been declared verbally 
at a previous meeting, and which were as follows : 

"The Indians will cede to the United States all their lands in 
the State of Iowa, as well as their lands east of a line from the 
Red river to Lake Traverse, and thence to the northwestern cor- 
ner of Iowa. The United States will (1) set apart a suitable 
country for the Indians on the upper waters of the Minnesota 
river for their future support; will (2) pay, say, $125,000 or 
$130,000 to them to enable them to arrange their affairs prepara- 
tory to removal, to pay the expense of removal, and to subsist 
themselves for a year after removal — part of the above sum to be 
paid in money and the other part to be paid in goods and pro- 
visions; will (3) pay the Indians an annuity of $25,000 or $30,000 
for many years — say thirty or forty years — part in money, part 
in goods and provisions, and part to be applied to such other 
beneficial objects as may be agreed upon." 

The Indians deliberated over the words of these provisions 
and let them "sink into their hearts" for two days and nights. 
There was great divergence of opinion among them, the inter- 
preters said. The majority seemed to realize that their lands 
were of great value to the United States. But they had no 
proper conception of the actual value in dollars and cents of the 
great domain which they were about to sell. Their idea of num- 
bers was limited, and they seemed to think that one hundred and 
forty-five thousand dollars and seventy-five cents was far more 
money than a million dollars, because the latter was the shorter 
phrase and did not sound so imposing and formidable. When, 
therefore, the commissioners made an offer, the poor unlettered 
Indians did not know whether it was a fair one or not. Of course 
they appealed to their traders and missionaries, who understood 
the Dakota language, but the explanations offered hardly ex- 
plained. Missionaries, traders and officials alike were deter- 
mined that the land should be opened to white settlement. The 
work of these traders and missionaries in finally effecting the 
treaty was constant and very valuable to the whites. The serv- 
ices rendered by Reverend Riggs, one of the official interpreters, 
were most important. While the Indians were considering the 
white men's proposition, Riggs, Sibley, McLeod, Brown and Fari- 
bault were sent for at all hours of the day and night to explain 
to the various bands the provisions of the treaty and their 
application. The Indians, justly suspicious, would not be satisfied 
with the meaning of any provision until at least three white men, 
acting singly, had read it and interpreted it fully. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 49 

July 22, the Indians, after much deliberation, proposed cer- 
tain amendments, which they said they would insist upon as a 
part of their treaty. These amendments were practically unim- 
portant and the commissioners readily accepted. The treaty 
was then prepared and on the following day was signed by the 
contracting parties by Commissioners Lea and Ramsey and the 
chiefs and the head men of the Sisseton and Wahpaton bands 
of the Sioux. The ceremony of signing was somewhat impressive. 
After the white commissioners had affixed their names the In- 
dians selected the one of their number who should sign first. 
This was Chief Eeen-yang Man-nie, or Running Walker (some- 
times called "Big Gun"), chief of the Lake Traverse band of 
Sissetons. Boldly he stepped upon the platform and touched 
the goose quill pen in the hands of Dr. Foster. Next came Chief 
Star Face, or "The Orphan." The commissioners tried to hasten 
matters and to conclude the signing as soon as possible, but at 
one time there was a hitch in the proceedings. 

Old Sleepy Eye, who had said at the outset that he was sad 
at heart because he had to sell his country, now arose, to the 
great apprehension of the whites, and begged to say a few words. 
He said that many of the Indians, young men and soldiers, had 
without consulting their chiefs, concluded that the country which 
they were asked to sell was worth $3,500,000, but that the com- 
missioners were trying to get it for a less sum. The young men 
had a right to be made satisfied. He also demanded other con- 
ditions : 

"You will take this treaty paper home and show it to the 
Great Father," said Sleepy Eye, "but we want to keep a copy 
here so that we may look at it and see whether you tell us the 
truth or not — see whether you have changed it. As to paying 
our debts to our traders I want to pay them what is right, but I 
would like to know how much I owe them. If they have charged 
me ten dollars for a gun I want them to tell me, and if they have 
charged me ten dollars for a shirt I want them to tell me that. 
I am a poor man and have difficulty in maintaining myself, but 
these traders have good coats on. The prairie country in which 
I live has not much wood j I live along with the traders, and they 
are also poor, but I do not want to have to provide for them. I 
think it will be very hard upon us when the year becomes white, 
and I would like to have some provisions given me for the winter. 
I would like to have what is mine laid on one side ; then when 
we have finished this business I will know how many of my rela- 
tives I can have mercy upon." 

Colonel Lea assured Sleepy Eye that the money which the 
United States would pay for the Indian land would amount to 
more than the young men desired — to more than $3,500,000. He 
sharply reproved Sleepy Eye and said: "We think it fortunate 



50 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

for our red brothers that they have not entrusted the entire 
treaty to Sleepy Eye, because they would not have made so 
good a bargain for themselves as they have." As a matter of 
fact the amount named in the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux was 
less than half of the amount Sleepy Eye requested. Out of the 
sum named in the treaty the traders and cost of removal were 
to be paid. Of what remained the Indians were not to receive 
one cent — merely the interest for a certain number of years. 
Even some of this interest was to be used to pay white teachers 
and white farmers. And as a climax the payment of that part of 
the interest which remained was, just before the massacre, with- 
held and delayed under various pretenses. Even were the amount 
named in the Treaty of Mendota added to the amount named 
in the Treaty of Traverse des Sioux the total still falls far short 
of $3,500,000. 

Then Thunder Face, or "Limping Devil," a sub-chief of the 
Sissetons, whose village was on the present site of the late Gil- 
fillan farm, in Redwood county, came forward and signed. He 
was followed by Sleepy Eye, who came gravely forward and 
touched the pen. "Big Curly" was next, but after reaching the 
platform he said: "Before I sign I want to say that you think 
the sum you will give for our land is a great deal of money, but 
you must well understand that the money will all go back to the 
whites again, and the country will remain theirs." The Blunt- 
Headed-Arrow, or "The Walnut," the Handsome Man, the Gray 
Thunder, the Good Boy, and other noted warriors and head 
men signed in order. Face-in-the-Middle was introduced by his 
father, "Big Curly," who said: "This is my son; I would like 
you to invest him with the medal which you have given to me 
by my right as chief. He is to succeed me and will keep the 
medal for you." Red Day next signed and was followed by 
Young Sleepy Eye, nephew of and successor to the old chief upon 
the latter 's death in 1859. They were followed by old Rattling 
Moccasin, chief of a small band which generally lived in the 
neighborhood of the great bend of the Minnesota. Old Red Iron 
was the first Wahpaton chief to sign. , 

The treaty was signed by the following Sisseton and Wah- 
paton chiefs, head men and chief soldiers : 

Chiefs — Running Walker, or "The Gun;" Star Face, or "The 
Orphan;" Thunder Face, or the "Lame Devil;" Sleepy Eye, 
Extends the Train of His Head Dress, Walking Spirit, Red Iron 
and Rattling (or Sounding) Moccasin. 

Head Men — Blunt-Headed-Arrow, or "The Walnut;" Sound- 
ing Iron, the Flute, Flies Twice, Mildly Good, Gray Thunder, 
Iron Frenchman, Good Boy, Face in the Middle, Iron Horn, Red 
Day, Young Sleepy Eye, Goes Galloping On, Cloud Man, the 
Upper End, the Standard or Flag, Red Face (2) (there were two 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 51 

Red Faces), Makes Elks, Big Fire, Moving Cloud, the Pursuer, 
the Shaking Walker, Iron Lightning, Reappearing Cloud, the 
Walking Harp that Sounds, the Iron that Shoots Walking and 
Standing Soldier. 

Of the Indian signers Red Iron and Sleepy Eye were the most 
prominent of the chiefs. The head-man, "Goes Galloping On" 
(or Anah-wang Manne in Sioux), was a Christian Indian and a 
member of Reverend Riggs' Hazelwood Republic. He had been 
baptized under the name of Simon Anahwangmanne, and was 
commonly called Simon by the whites. He distinguished himself 
by his fidelity to and services for the whites during the outbreak 
in 1862. The Iron-That-Shoots-Walking was a Christian comrade 
of Simou and called by his white brethren Paul Mazah-koo-te- 
manne, but commonly Paul or Little Paul. He well nigh immor- 
talized himself during the outbreak by his efforts in behalf of 
the white prisoners. 

As soon as the signing was completed a considerable quantity 
of provisions and other presents, including silver medals, were 
presented to the Indians. These presents, which had been fur- 
nished by the government, had been piled up and displayed some- 
what ostentatiously, under guard, while the treaty was under 
discussion. The commissioners announced that the presents 
would be distributed "just as soon as the treaty is signed," and 
the announcement was sufficient to hasten the signing, and even 
to remove many objections to the terms of the treaty. The mem- 
bers of the rank and file of the great Indian host present kept 
constantly calling out: "Sign! sign! and let the presents be 
given out." 

July 23, the next morning after the treaty had been signed, 
Chief Star Face, or "The Orphan," and his band in their fullest 
and richest dress and decoration, with all the animation they 
could create, gave the buffalo dance and other dances and diver- 
sions for the entertainment of the white visitors. A delegation 
accompanied the commissioners to the river when they embarked 
for Fort Snelling that evening and gave them a hearty goodbye. 

A similar treaty was signed at Mendota, August 5, by the 
lower bands of the Sioux, the Medawakantons and the Wah- 
pakootas. 

When the ceremony of signing the treaty was completed, both 
at Traverse des Sioux and Mendota, each Indian signer stepped 
to another table, where lay another paper, which he signed. 
This was called the traders' paper and was an agreement to 
pay the "just debts" of the Indians, including those present 
and absent, alive and dead, owing to the traders and the trading 
company. Some of the accounts were nearly thirty years' stand- 
ing and the Indians who contracted them were dead. It was 
afterward claimed that the Indians in signing the "traders' 



52 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

paper" thought they were merely signing a third duplicate of 
the treaty. The matter of payment had been discussed, but 
Sleepy Eye had justly demanded an itemized account, and the 
Indians had supposed that this request was to be complied with 
before they agreed to pay. 

The entire territory ceded by the Sioux Indians was declared 
to be: "All their lands in the State of Iowa and also all their 
lands in the Territory of Minnesota lying east of the following 
line to-wit : Beginning at the junction of the Buffalo river with 
the Red river of the North (about twelve miles north of Moor- 
head, at Georgetown station, in Clay county) ; thence along the 
western bank of said Red river of the North, to the mouth of 
the Sioux Wood river; thence along the western bank of said 
Sioux Wood river to Lake Traverse; thence along the western 
shore of said lake to the southern extremity thereof; thence, in 
a direct line, to the juncture of Kampeska lake with the Tehan- 
Ka-sna-duta, or Sioux river; thence along the western bank of 
said river to its point of intersection with the northern line of 
the State of Iowa, including all islands in said rivers and lakes." 

The consideration to the Upper bands was the reservation 
twenty miles wide — ten miles on each side of the Minnesota — 
and extending from the western boundary to the mouth of the 
Yellow Medicine and Hawk creek, and $1,665,000, payable as 
follows : To enable them to settle their affairs and comply with 
their present just engagements, and to enable them to remove 
to their new reservation and subsist themselves for the first year, 
$275,000. To be expended under the direction of the President, 
in the erection and establishment of manual labor schools, mills 
and blacksmith shops, opening farms, etc., $30,000. The balance 
($1,360,000) to remain in trust with the United States and five 
per cent interest thereon, or $68,000 to be paid annually for fifty 
years from July 1, 1852. This annuity was to be paid as follows : 
In cash, $40,000; for general agricultural improvement and civil- 
ization fund, $12,000; for goods and provisions, $10,000, and for 
education, $6,000. 

The written copies of the Traverse des Sioux and the Mendota 
treaties, duly signed and attested, were forwarded to Washing- 
ton to be acted upon by the Senate at the ensuing session of Con- 
gress. An unreasonably long delay resulted. Final action was 
not had until the following summer, when, on June 23, the Senate 
ratified both treaties with important amendments. The provi- 
sions for reservations for both the Upper and Lower bands were 
stricken out, and substitutes adopted, agreeing to pay 10 cents 
an acre for both reservations, and authorizing the President, 
with the assent of the Indians, to cause to be set apart other reser- 
vations, which were to be within the limits of the original great 
cession. The provision to pay $150,000 to the half-bloods of the 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 53 

Lower bands was also stricken out. The treaties, with the changes, 
came back to the Indians for final ratification and agreement to 
the alterations. The chiefs of the Lower bands at first objected 
very strenuously, but finally, on Saturday, September 4, 1852, at 
Governor Ramsey's residence in St. Paul, they signed the 
amended articles, and the following Monday the chiefs and head 
men of the upper bands affixed their marks. As amended, the 
treaties were proclaimed by President Fillmore, February 24, 
1853. The Indians were allowed to remain in their old villages, 
or, if they preferred, to occupy their reservations as originally 
designated, until the President selected their new homes. That 
selection was never made, and the original reservations were 
finally allowed them, Congress on July 31, 1854, having passed an 
act by which the original provisions remained in force. 

The Ramsey Investigation of 1853. During the greater part 
of the year 1853 public attention in Minnesota and elsewhere 
in the country was directed to an official investigation of the con- 
duct of ex-Governor Ramsey in connection with the payment to 
the representative of the traders of money to which the Indians 
supposed themselves entitled under the treaties of 1851. The 
Indians protested against paying any of their money in discharge 
of their debts to the traders. They had at both treaties signed 
a paper providing for the payment of these debts, but subse- 
quently claimed that the nature of the "traders' paper" they 
had signed was misrepresented to them as merely another copy 
of the treaty. 

At Traverse des Sioux the Indians' protest against paying 
the traders took the form of menace and violence on the part of 
Chief Red Iron and his band, and quiet was secured only by the 
soldiers present through the seizing and imprisoning of Red Iron. 
But Governor Ramsey was firm in his purpose that the traders 
should be paid. At Traverse des Sioux he paid a representative 
of the traders $210,000 which, he said, "paid $431,735.78 of Indian 
indebtedness;" at Mendota he paid a representative of the trad- 
ers $70,000, which, he said, "according to the traders' books of 
account paid $129,885.10 of indebtedness." 

In December, 1852, charges of conspiracy with H. H. Sibley, 
Franklin Steele and others to defraud the Indians; that he had 
made unlawful use of the public funds by depositing them in a 
private bank and exchanging government gold for the bills of 
that bank ; that he had been guilty of tyrannical conduct toward 
the Indians in connection with the payment of the sums due 
them, were made against Governor Ramsey. The authors of the 
charges were Madison Sweetzer, of Traverse des Sioux, and 
Colonel D. A. Robertson, of St. Paul. Sweetzer was a trader, 
who had rather recently located at Traverse des Sioux, and was 
connected with a rival company to that of Pierre Choteau, Jr., & 



54 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

Company, the corporation to which Sibley, Steele and the others 
charged with conspiracy belonged. Colonel Robertson was the 
editor of the Minnesota Democrat, which was the organ of the 
faction controlled by H. M. Rice, then the opponent of Sibley 
and Ramsey. 

The allegations against Governor Ramsey were, that he had 
paid the traders various sums of money without the right to do 
so, and that for so doing he had been paid by the beneficiaries, 
and thus, in effect, had been bribed to violate the law and his 
duty. 

At the request of Mr. Sibley, then the delegate in Congress, 
Senator Gwin of California, secured the passage of a Senate 
resolution (April 5, 1853), ordering the investigation of the 
charges against the ex-governor. At the same time the gov- 
ernor's accounts as paymaster under the treaties were held up 
until the investigation should be concluded. President Pierce 
appointed Richard M. Young, of Ohio, and Governor Willis A. 
Gorman, of Minnesota, commissioners to investigate, during 
which testimoney was given by Madison Sweetzer, Dr. Charles 
Wolf Borup and Joseph A. Sire. 

The investigation and the taking of testimony began at St. 
Paul July 6, and was concluded October 7, 1853. A large num- 
ber of witnesses were examined — whites, Indians and mixed 
bloods. Some of the most prominent citizens of the Territory 
testified — Sibley, Brown, McLeod. Steele, Forbes and Alexander 
Faribault, the traders; Reverends Riggs and Williamson, of the 
missionaries; Dr. Thomas Foster, Captain W. B. Dodd, Henry 
Jackson and David Olmsted, of the citizens; Wabasha, Little 
Crow, Wacouta, Red Iron, Grey Iron, Shakopee, the Star and 
Cloud Man, of the Indians ; Captain James Monroe, of the army ; 
Indian Agent Nathaniel McLean, and many others. 

Commissioner Young made an official report of the investiga- 
tion to the commissioner of Indian affairs, which bears date 
December 20, 1853. This report criticised the conduct of Gov- 
ernor Ramsey in depositing the government funds in a private 
bank and in paying out large amounts in bills and drafts on that 
bank to beneficiaries under the treaty. It also contained some 
strictures on various other features of the governor's conduct. 
It did not, however, find him guilty of conspiring with the trad- 
ers, nor of being paid by the traders for the part he took in 
bringing about the signing of the treaties. February 24, 1854, 
Senator James Cooper, of Pennsylvania, a member of the com- 
mittee on Indian affairs, presented a report to the effect that 
Governor Ramsey had been acquitted by the committee of all im- 
propriety of conduct, and that one of the complainants, Colonel 
D. A. Robertson, had retracted his charges. The resolution was 
considered by unanimous consent and the committee discharged. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 55 

As a matter of fact, the guilt, if guilt there was, was shared 
by all. The whites desired that Minnesota be opened to settle- 
ment, the traders demanded vast sums for the goods which they 
had already sold to the Indians on credit, the only way the 
Indians could be persuaded to sign the treaties was through the 
influence of the traders, and the traders would not consent to 
serve unless the Indians were compelled to sign the "traders' 
paper." Probably the Indians had no idea what they were doing 
when they signed the paper, and even of the treaty which they 
knowingly signed they had no adequate conception, and the 
white men who negotiated it were well aware that if the Indians 
realized the truth about what they were doing they would never 
sign even the treaty, to say nothing of the "traders' paper." It 
was not a crime of individuals, it was merely one of the steps by 
which one race through guile, trickery and force of numbers 
and superiority of war equipment, was supplanting another and 
more primitive people. 

Treaty of 1858. June 19, 1858, the government made a treaty 
with certain selected chiefs and braves of the Medawakanton, 
"Wahpakoota, Sisseton and Wahpaton bands of Sioux for the 
cession of their reservation, ten miles in width, on the north 
side of the Minnesota, and extending from the west line of the 
State to Little Rock creek, four miles east of Fort Ridgely. The 
area purchased amounted to about 8,000,000 acres, and the price 
to be paid was subsequently (but not until June 27, 1860) fixed 
by the Senate at thirty cents an acre. The Indians agreed that, 
in the aggregate for the four bands, the sum of $140,000 might 
be taken from the purchase price to pay their debts owing to 
the traders, or, as the treaty expressed it, "to satisfy their just 
debts and obligations." 

The influx of white settlers into the country of the Minnesota 
valley, where were some of the finest lands in the State, had been 
very large after the Indian title to the greater part of the coun- 
try had been extinguished. The magnificent domain comprising 
a great part of what are now the southern portions of Ren- 
ville, Chippewa, Swift and Big Stone counties was looked upon 
with covetous eyes by the homeseekers. The waves of immigra- 
tion beat against the legal barrier which surrounded this fine 
fertile expanse, and there was a great clamor that the barriers 
be removed. "The country is too good for the Indian," said 
the whites. The Indians themselves had not to any consider- 
able extent occupied the north half of their reservation. Their 
villages and nearly all of their tepees— except about Big Stone 
lake — were situated in the south half. But a majority of the 
Indians, owing to their previous experiences, were opposed to 
selling any portion of their reserve. Some of the head chiefs 
and the headmen, however, were willing to sell the north side 



56 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

strip if they could get a good price for it. Major Joseph R. 
Brown, then the Sioux agent, consulted with them and at last a 
number of them agreed to accompany him to Washington to 
make a treaty. Not all of the sub-chiefs nor all of the head-men 
could be induced to go; some of them were opposed to the sale 
of the land, and others were afraid of the results of a hostile 
public sentiment. It required all of Major Brown's great influ- 
ence with the Sioux to effect the important negotiations. The 
Indians went to Washington in something like imposing array. 
Major Brown gave high silk hats and other articles of the white 
man's adornment to those who would wear them, and there 
accompanied the party a retinue of whites and mixed bloods 
from Minnesota. A. J. Campbell (commonly called "Joe" Camp- 
bell) was the official interpreter, but assisting him was the shrewd 
old Scotchman, Andrew Robertson, and his mixed blood son, 
Thomas A. Robertson. Other members of the party were: 
Nathaniel R. Brown, John Dowling, Charlie Crawford and James 
R. Roche. 

On behalf of the United States the treaty was signed by 
Charles E. Mix, then commissioner of Indian affairs. Sisseton 
and Wahpaton Indians who signed it were these : 

Sissetons and Wahpatons — Chiefs, Red Iron, Scarlet Plume, 
and Extends His Train. Headmen : Stumpy Horn, The Planter, 
Walks On Iron, Paul Mah-zah-koo-te-Manne, John Other Day, 
and Strong Voiced Pipe. 

The small number of dignitaries named assumed to act for the 
entire Sioux of Minnesota. It is not a matter of surprise that 
there was dissatisfaction among the bands on account of the 
limited list of their representatives on so important an occasion. 

After the treaty had been signed the Indians were sumptu- 
ously entertained, given broadcloth suits, high hats, and patent 
leather shoes to wear, and had a grand good time, all at the ex- 
pense of the Government. They were photographed and taken 
to the theatres, and allowed to return home by way of Balti- 
more, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago. When they re- 
turned to Minnesota their tales of the magnificence and strength 
of the whites were listened to by their people with interest and 
in some measure reconciled them to what had been done. 

The opening of the "north ten -mile strip," as the land was 
called, was of great benefit to the development of Minnesota, 
at least for a time. Settlers came in considerable numbers and 
the country was improving rapidly when the Civil War inter- 
rupted the peaceful course of events. Then in 1862 came the 
Sioux outbreak and all of the civilization on the ten-mile strip 
was pushed off by a great wave of blood and fire. 

Agencies and Forts. The reservations as outlined in the 
treaties, embraced a tract of land twenty miles wide, ten miles 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 57 

on each side of the Minnesota, extending from the mouth of the 
Little Rock (Mud creek) westward to Lake Traverse. The divid- 
ing line between the Upper and Lower reservations was a line 
drawn north and south through the mouth of Hawk creek. Thus 
Redwood county for a ten-mile strip along the Minnesota, was in 
the Lower reservation. 

The removal of the Indians to their reservations was inter- 
mittent, interrupted and extended over a period of several years. 

With the establishment of the new Indian reserve and the 
removal of the Indians thereto, came the necessity of a new 
military post in Minnesota. The concentration of so many In- 
dians upon an area really small in comparison with the country, 
a part of which they had occupied, and all of which they claimed 
to own, rendered the situation important and worthy of atten- 
tion. A military post was necessary to preserve order should 
the Indians become dissatisfied. There were to be two Indian 
agencies for the Indians on the reservations. The Upper agency, 
for the Sissetons and Wahpatons, was established near the mouth 
of the Yellow Medicine and the Lower, for the Medawanton and 
Wahpakoota bands, was placed about six miles east of the mouth 
of the Redwood. Both agencies were on the south bank of the 
Minnesota river. 

The matter of the new military post was called to the atten- 
tion of C. M. Conrad, then secretary of war, and General Win- 
field Scott, then commanding the regular army, by Delegate 
Henry H. Sibley. 

General Scott concurred in Sibley's recommendation, and 
the secretary of war approved it, and issued the necessary or- 
der. In the fall of 1852 Captain Napoleon Jackson Tecumseh 
Dana, then of the quartermaster's department, and Colonel 
Francis Lee, then in command at Fort Snelling, were ordered 
to select a suitable site for the new fort, "on the St. Peter's 
river, above the mouth of the Blue Earth." 

In the latter part of November, with an escort of dragoons 
from Fort Snelling and after a three-days' march in the snow, 
the officers reached Laframboise 's trading post, at the Little 
Rock. Five miles above the Rock, on the crest of the high bluff 
on the north side of the Minnesota, the site was fixed. 

The new post was named Fort Ridgely, in honor of Major 
Randolph Ridgely, a gallant officer of the regular army from 
Maryland, who died of injuries received at the battle of 
Monterey. 

When Fort Ridgely was established Fort Riley, Kansas, was 
ordered built. At the same time Fort Dodge, Iowa, and Fort 
Scott, Kansas, were ordered discontinued and broken up. 

Fort Ridgely took the place of Fort Dodge, and Fort Riley 
was substituted for Fort Scott. The first garrison at Ridgely 



58 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

was composed of Companies C and K of the Sixth Infantry, and 
the first commander was Captain James Monroe, of Company K. 
Companies C and K went up on the steamboat West Newton 
from Fort Snelling, but later were joined by Company E, which 
marched across the country from Fort Dodge, and arrived in 
June, 1853, when work on the buildings was begun. When Com- 
pany E arrived its captain, Brevet Major Samuel Woods, previ- 
ously well identified with Minnesota history, took command by 
virtue of his rank. The work of constructing the fort was in 
charge of Captain Dana. The story of the Lower Agency is told 
elsewhere. 

Authority and References. This chapter is a somewhat free 
compilation from articles by Return I. Holcombe in "Minnesota 
in Three Centuries," and by P. M. Magnusson in the "History 
of Stearns County." These articles were in turn compiled from 
other sources. To this material, the editor of this work has added 
numerous notes and facts, gathered chiefly from ' ' The Aborigines 
of Minnesota," and from Part 2, of the "Eighteenth Annual Re- 
port of the Bureau of American Ethnology," 1896-97. Informa- 
tion has also been gathered from the "History of the Sioux 
Massacre," by Charles S. Bryant, and contained in the History 
of the Minnesota Valley, 1882. The article in Minnesota Valley 
book was in turn compiled from the "History of the Minnesota 
Indian Massacre," by Charles S. Bryant and Abel B. Murch, 
1863. 



CHAPTER VI. 
CLAIM OF TITLE. 

The history of the early governmental jurisdiction of the 
valley of the Minnesota river is formulated with some difficulty, 
as, prior to the nineteenth century, the interior of the country 
was so little known and the maps upon which claims and grants 
were founded were so meager, as well as incorrect and unre- 
liable, that descriptions of boundaries and locations as given 
in the early treaties are vague in the extreme, and very difficult 
of identification with present-day lines and locations. 

The Hon. J. V. Brower, a scholarly authority upon this sub- 
ject, says ("The Mississippi River and Its Sources") : "Spain, 
by virtue of the discoveries of Columbus and others, confirmed 
to her by papal grant (that of Alexander VI, May 4, 1493), may 
be said to have been the first European owner of the entire valley 
of the Mississippi, but she never used this claim as a ground 
for taking formal possession of this part of her domains other 
than incidentally involved in De Soto's doings. The feeble ob- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 59 

jections which she made in the next two centuries after the 
discovery to other nations exploring and settling North America 
were successfully overcome by the force of accomplished facts. 
The name of Florida, now so limited in its application, was first 
applied by the Spaniards to the greater part of the eastern half 
of North America, commencing at the Gulf of Mexico and pro- 
ceeding northward indefinitely. This expansiveness of geograph- 
ical view was paralleled later by the definition of a New France 
of still greater extent, which practically included all the conti- 
nent. 

"L'Escarbot, in his history of New France, written iu 1617, 
says, in reference to this : ' Thus our Canada has for its limits on 
the west side all the lands as far as the sea called the Pacific, 
on this side of the Tropic of Cancer; on the south the islands of 
the Atlantic sea in the direction of Cuba and the Spanish land; 
on the east and the northern sea which bathes New France ; and 
on the north the land said to be unknown, toward the icy sea as 
far as the arctic pole.' 

"Judging also by the various grants to individuals, noble and 
otherwise, and 'companies,' which gave away the country in 
latitudinal strips extending from the Atlantic westward, the 
English were not far behind the Spaniards and French in this 
kind of effrontery. As English colonists never settled on the 
Mississippi in pursuance of such grants, and never performed 
any acts of authority there, such shadowy sovereignties may be 
disregarded here, in spite of the fact that it was considered neces- 
sary, many years later, for various states concerned to convey 
to the United States their more or less conflicting claims to ter- 
ritory which lay far to the westward of their own actual borders. 

"Thus, in the most arbitrary manner, did the Mississippi 
river, though yet unknown, become the property, successively, 
of the Iberian, Gaulish and Anglo-Saxon races — of three peo- 
ples who, in later times, by diplomacy and force of arms, strug- 
gled for an actual occupancy. Practically, however, the upper 
Mississippi valley may be considered as having been in the first 
place Canadian soil, for it was Frenchmen from Canada who 
first visited it and traded with its various native inhabitants. 
The further prosecution of his discoveries by La Salle, in 1682, 
extended Canada as a French possession to the Gulf of Mexico, 
though he did not use the name of Canada nor yet that of New 
France. He preferred to call the entire country watered by 
the Mississippi river and its tributaries, from its uttermost source 
to its mouth, by the new name he had already invented for the 
purpose — Louisiana. The names of Canada and New France 
had been indifferently used to express about the same extent of 
territory, but the name of Louisiana now came to supersede them 
in being applied to the conjectural regions of the "West. Al- 



60 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

though La Salle has applied the latter expression to the entire 
valley of the Mississippi, it was not generally used in that sense 
after his time; the upper part of the region was called Canada, 
and the lower Louisiana; hut the actual dividing line between 
the two provinces was not absolutely established, and their names 
and boundaries were variously indicated on published maps. 
Speaking generally, the Canada of the eighteenth century in- 
cluded the Great Lakes and the country drained by their tribu- 
taries; the northern one-fourth of the present state of Illinois — 
that is, as much as lies north of the mouth of the Rock river; 
all the regions lying north of the northern watershed of the 
Missouri, and finally the valley of the upper Missouri itself." 
This would include Redwood county. 

But it is now necessary to go back two centuries previous 
and consider the various explorations of the Mississippi upon 
which were based the claims of the European monarchs. Pos- 
sibly the mouth of the Mississippi had been reached by Spaniards 
previous to 1541, possibly Hibernian missionaries as early as 
the middle of the sixth century, or Welsh emigrants (Madoc), 
about 1170, discovered North America by way of the Gulf of 
Mexico, but historians gave to Fernando de Soto and his band of 
adventurers the credit of having been the first white men to 
actually view the Mississippi on its course through the interior 
of the continent and of being the first ones to actually traverse 
its waters. De Soto sighted the Mississippi in May, 1541, at the 
head of an expedition in search of gold and precious stones. In 
the following spring, weary, with hope long deferred, and worn 
out with his adventures, De Soto fell a victim to disease and 
died May 21, 1541. His followers, greatly reduced in number by 
sickness, after wandering about in a vain searching, built three 
small vessels and descended to the mouth of the Mississippi, 
being the first white men to reach the outlet of that great river 
from the interior. However, they were too weary and discour- 
aged to lay claim to the country, and took no notes of the region 
through which they passed. 

In 1554 James Cartier, a Frenchman, discovered the St. Law- 
rence, and explored it as far as the present site of Quebec. The 
next year he ascended the river to Mont Real, the lofty hill for 
which Montreal was named. Thereafter all the country drained 
by the St. Lawrence was claimed by the French. Many years 
later the King of France granted the ' ' basin of the St. Lawrence 
and all the rivers flowing through it to the sea," to a company, 
whose leader was Champlain, the founder of Quebec, which be- 
came the capital of New France, whose then unexplored territory 
stretched westward to well within the bouudaries of what is now 
Minnesota. In 1613-15 Champlain explored the Ottawa river, 
and the Georgian bay to Lake Huron, and missions were estab- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 61 

lished in the Huron country. Missionaries and fur traders were 
the most active explorers of the new possessions. They followed 
the shores of the Great Lakes and then penetrated further and 
further into the wilderness. As they went they tried to make 
friends of the red men, established trading posts and raised the 
Christian cross. In 1641 Jogues and Raymbault, Jesuits, after a 
long and perilous voyage in frail canoes and bateaux, reached 
the Sault Ste. Marie, where they heard of a large river, the Mish- 
is-ip-e, flowing southward to the sea, and of a powerful Indian 
tribe dwelling near its headwaters. Stories of vast fertile plains, 
of numberless streams, of herds of buffalo, and of many people, 
in regions far to the west and south, roused missionaries and 
traders anew, and the voyages and trips of the explorers became 
more frequent. 

In 1659-60 Radisson and Grosseilliers, proceeding westward 
from Lake Superior, possibly entered what is now Minnesota. 
They spent some time in the "forty villages of the Dakotas, " 
possibly in the vicinity of Mille Lacs, and were, it has been con- 
tended, the first white men to set foot on the soil of this state. 
The contention that these adventurers spent a part of the years 
1655-56 on Prairie Island, in the Mississippi just above Red "Wing 
is disputed by some historians, but still forms an interesting 
subject for study and conjecture. 

Some writers also claim that the Frenchman, Sieur Nicollet, 
who should not be confused with the Nicollet of a later date, 
reached the Mississippi in 1639. 

Rene Menard, a Jesuit missionary, reached the Mississippi in 
1661 by way of Wisconsin. This was twelve years prior to its 
discovery by Marquette and Joliet, and to Menard historians in 
general give the honor of the discovery of the upper waters of 
the great river. Menard ascended the Mississippi to the mouth 
of the Black river, Wisconsin, and was lost in a forest near the 
source of that stream while attempting to carry the gospel to 
the Hurons. His sole companion "called him and sought him, 
but he made no reply and could not be found." Some years 
later his camp kettle, robe and prayer book were seen in the 
possession of the Indians. 

In the summer of 1663 the intelligence of the fate of Menard 
reached Quebec, and on August 8, 1665, Father Claude Allouez, 
who had anxiously waited two years for the means of convey- 
ance, embarked for Lake Superior with a party of French trad- 
ers and Indians. He visited the Minnesota shores of Lake Supe- 
rior in the fall of 1665, established the Mission of the Holy Spirit 
at La Pointe, now in Wisconsin, and it is said "was the first to 
write 'Messipi,' the name of the great river of the Sioux coun- 
try," as he heard it pronounced by the Chippewas, or rather as it 
sounded to his ears. 



62 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

May 13, 1673, Jaques Marquette and Louis Joliet, the former 
a priest and the latter the commander of the expedition, set out 
with five assistants, and on June 17 of the same year reached the 
Mississippi at the present site of Prairie du Chien, thence con- 
tinuing down the river as far as the mouth of the Illinois, which 
they ascended, subsequently reaching the lakes. 

In 1678, the Sieur De Luth, Daniel Graysolon, under commis- 
sion from the governor of Canada, set out from Quebec, to ex- 
plore the country west of the Lake Superior region. He was to 
take possession of it in the name of the king of France, and 
secure the trade of the native tribes. De Luth entered Minne- 
sota in 1679, reaching the great Sioux village of Kathio at Mille 
Lacs, on July 2. "On that day," he says, "I had the honor to 
plant His Majesty's arms where a Frenchman never before had 
been." 

In 1680 Accault planted the French royal arms near the 
source of the Mississippi. 

La Salle, however, was the first to lay claim to the entire 
valley in the name of his sovereign. After achieving perpetual 
fame by the discovery of the Ohio river (1670-71), he conceived 
the plan of reaching the Pacific by way of the Northern Missis- 
sippi, at that time unexplored and supposed to be a waterway 
connecting the two oceans. Frontenac, then governor-general 
of Canada, favored the plan, as did the king of France. Accord- 
ingly, gathering a company of Frenchmen, he pursued his way 
through the lakes, made a portage to the Illinois river, and, Jan- 
uary 4, 1680, reached what is now Lake Peoria, in Illinois. From 
there, in February, he sent Hennepin and two companions to ex- 
plore the upper Mississippi. During this voyage Hennepin and 
the men accompanying him were taken by the Indians as far 
north as Mille Lacs. He also discovered St. Anthony Falls. 
Needing reinforcements, La Salle again returned to Canada. In 
January, 1682, with a band of followers, he started on his third 
and greatest expedition. February 6 they reached the Missis- 
sippi by way of Lake Michigan and the Illinois river, and March 
6 discovered the three great passages by which the river dis- 
charges its waters into the Gulf. Two days later they re- 
ascended the river a short distance, to find a high spot out of the 
reach of inundations, and there erected a column and planted a 
cross, proclaiming with due ceremony the authority of the king 
of France. Thus did the whole Mississippi valley pass under the 
nominal sovereignty of the French monarchs. 

The first definite claim to the upper Mississippi is embodied 
in a paper, still preserved, in the colonial archives of France, 
entitled "The record of the taking possession, iu his majesty's 
name, of the Bay des Puants (Green bay), of the lake and rivers 
of the Outagamis and Maskoutins (Fox river and Lake Winne- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 63 

bago), of the river Ouiskonche (Wisconsin), and that of the 
Mississippi, the country of the Nadouesioux (the Sioux or Da- 
kota Indians), the rivers St. Croix and St. Pierre (Minnesota), 
and other places more remote, May 8, 1689." (P. B. 'Calla- 
han's translation in 1855, published in Vol. 9, page 418, "Docu- 
ments Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New 
York.") This claim was made by Perrot, and the proclamation 
is supposed to have been issued from Fort St. Antonie on the 
northeastern shore of Lake Pepin, about six miles from its mouth. 

The previous proclamations of St. Lusson in 1671 at the out- 
let of Lake Superior, of De Luth, in 1679, at the west end of the 
same lake and at Mille Lacs, strengthened the French claims of 
sovereignty. 

For over eight decades thereafter, the claims of France were, 
tacitly at least, recognized in Europe. In 1763 there came a 
change. Of this change A. N. Winchell (in Vol. 10, "Minnesota 
Historical Society Collections") writes: "The present eastern 
boundary of Minnesota, in part (that is so far as the Mississippi 
now forms its eastern boundary), has a history beginning at a 
very early date. In 1763, at the end of that long struggle during 
which England passed many a mile post in her race for world 
empire, while France lost nearly as much as Britain gained — 
that struggle, called in America, the French and Indian War— 
the Mississippi river became an international boundary. The 
articles of the definite treaty of peace were signed at Paris, on 
February 10, 1763. The seventh article made the Mississippi, 
from its source to about the 31st degree of north latitude, the 
boundary between the English colonies on this continent and the 
French Louisiana. The text of the article is as follows (Pub- 
lished in the "Gentleman's Magazine," Vol. 33, pages 121-126, 
March, 1763) : 

"VII. In order to re-establish peace on solid and durable 
foundations, and to remove forever all subjects of dispute to 
the limits of the British and French Territories on the continent 
of America; that for the future the confines between the do- 
mains of his Britannic majesty and those of his most Christian 
majesty (the king of France) in that part of the world, shall be 
fixed irrevocably by a line drawn down the middle of the river 
Mississippi, from its source to the river Iberville, and from 
thence, by a line drawn along the middle of this river, and the 
Lake Maurepas and Pontchartrain, to the sea." The boundary 
from the source of the river farther north, or west, or in any 
direction, was not given ; it was evidently supposed that it would 
be of no importance for many centuries at least. 

This seventh article of the definite treaty was identical with 
the sixth article in the preliminary treaty of peace signed by 
England, Spain and France, at Fontainebleau, November 3, 1762. 



64 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

On that same day, November 3, 1762, the French and Spanish 
representatives had signed another act by which the French 
king "ceded to his cousin of Spain, and his successors forever 
* * * all the country known by the name of Louisiana, including 
New Orleans and the island on which that city is situated. ' ' This 
agreement was kept secret, but when the definite treaty was 
signed at Paris the following year, this secret pact went into 
effect, and Spain at once became the possessor of the area 
described. 

At the close of the Revolutionary War, the territory east of 
the Mississippi and north of the 31st parallel passed under the 
jurisdiction of the United States. By the definite treaty of 
peace between the United States and Great Britain, ratified at 
Paris, September 3, 1783, a part of the northern boundary of 
the United States, and the western boundary thereof was estab- 
lished as follows: Commencing at the most northwestern point 
of the Lake of the Woods, and from thence on a due course west 
to the Mississippi river (the Mississippi at that time was thought 
to extend into what is now Canada), thence by a line to be 
drawn along the middle of said Mississippi river until it shall 
intersect the northernmost part of the 31st degree of north lati- 
tude. (U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 8, page 82.) 

In 1800, by the secret treaty of San (or Saint) Udefonso 
(signed October 1), Spain receded the indefinite tract west of 
the Mississippi to France, which nation did not, however, take 
formal possession until three years later, when the formality was 
made necessary in order that the tract might be ceded to the 
United States. Napoleon, for France, sold the tract to the United 
States, April 30, 1803. The region comprehended in the "Loui- 
siana Purchase," as this area was called, included all the country 
west of the Mississippi, except those portions west of the Rocky 
mountains actually occupied by Spain, and extended as far north 
as the British territory. 

By an act of congress, approved October 31, 1803, the presi- 
dent of the United States was authorized to take possession of 
this territory, the act providing that "all the military, civil, and 
judicial powers exercised by the officers of the existing govern- 
ment, shall be vested in such person or persons, and shall be 
exercised in such manner as the President of the United States 
shall direct." (United States Statutes at Large, Vol. 2, page 
245.) 

December 20, 1803, Louisiana was formally turned over to 
the United States at New Orleans, by M. Laussat, the civil agent 
of France, who a few days previous (November 30) had received 
a formal transfer from the representatives of Spain. Redwood 
county was included in the Louisiana purchase. 

It will therefore be seen that the territorial claim of title 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 65 

to Redwood county was first embraced in the paper grant to 
Spain, May 4, 1493. It was subsequently included in the indefi- 
nite claims made by Spain to lands north and northwest of her 
settlements in Mexico, Florida and the West Indies; by the 
English to lands west of their Atlantic coast settlements, and 
by the French to lands south, west and southwest of their Cana- 
dian settlements. The first definite claim to territory now em- 
bracing Redwood county was made by La Salle at the mouth of 
the Mississippi, March 8, 1682, in the name of the king of 
France, and the second (still more definite) by Perrot, nor far 
from the present site of Winona, May 8, 1689. This was also a 
French claim. France remained in tacit authority until Febru- 
ary 10, 1763, when, upon England's acknowledging the French 
authority to lands west of the Mississippi, France, by a previous 
secret agreement, turned her authority over to Spain. Octo- 
ber 1, 1800, Spain ceded the tract to France, but France did not 
take formal possession until November 30, 1803, and almost im- 
mediately, December 20, 1803, turned it over to the United States, 
the Americans having purchased it from Napoleon April 30 of 
that year. 

March 26, 1804, the area that is now Redwood county was 
included in the widely spreading area of the Louisiana district, 
and so remained until March 3, 1805. From March 3, 1805, to 
June 4, 1812, it was a part of Louisiana territory. From June 4, 
1812, until August 10, 1820, it was a part of Missouri territory. 
From August 10, 1821, until June 28, 1834, it was outside the pale 
of all organized government, except that congress had general 
jurisdiction. From June 28, 1834, to April 20, 1836, it was a part of 
Michigan territory. From April 20, 1836, to June 12, 1838, it 
was a part of Wisconsin territory. From June 12, 1838, to De- 
cember 28, 1846, it was a part of the territory of Iowa. The 
admission of Iowa as a state left what is now Redwood county 
without territorial affiliation until March 3, 1849, when Minne- 
sota was admitted as a territory. In the meantime, however, im- 
portant events were transpiring. 

December 18, 1846, Morgan L. Martin, delegate for Wiscon- 
sin territory, gave notice to the house of representatives that at 
an early day he would ask leave to introduce a bill establishing a 
territorial government of Minnesota. The name which was the 
Sioux term for what was then the river St. Peter (Pierre) and 
has now become the official designation was, it is believed, ap- 
plied to the proposed territory at the suggestion of Joseph R. 
Brown. It is a composite word and while there is some differ- 
ence of opinion as to the exact meaning, the most generally 
accepted is "sky tinted water," which is a very satisfactory and 
poetical even if not accurate interpretation. The real meaning 
is blear water or cloudy water or milky water, the river at cer- 



66 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

tain stages in the early days having the appearance of what 
we now call a "mackerel sky." The bill was introduced in the 
lower house on December 23, 1846, by Mr. Martin. This bill was 
left to the committee on territories of which Stephen A. Doug- 
las of Illinois was the chairman. During its consideration by 
congress, the bill underwent various changes. After reported 
back to the house the name Minnesota had been changed by 
Mr. Douglas to Itasca! a word formed by taking syllables from 
the Latin words Veritas caput, meaning the true head. Mr. 
Martin immediately moved that the name Minnesota be placed in 
the bill in place of Itasca. Congressman Winthrop proposed the 
name Chippewa, another from the word Ojibway, a tribe of 
Indians then inhabiting the northern part of Wisconsin and 
Minnesota. Congressman Thompson of Mississippi was opposed 
to all Indian names and wished the new territory named for 
Andrew Jackson. Congressman Houston of Delaware spoke 
strongly in favor of giving to the new territory the name of 
Washington. Of these proposed names only one, Washington, 
has been preserved as the name of a state or territory. After 
many months, counter motions and amendments, Minnesota was 
retained in the bill which with a minor change passed the house. 
In the senate it was rejected. 

A second attempt was made two years later. January 10, 
1848, Stephen A. Douglas, who having in the meantime been 
elected to the United States Senate from Illinois, became chair- 
man of the committee on territories in that body as he had previ- 
ously been in the house, gave due notice to the senate that "at a 
future day" he would introduce a bill to establish the territory 
of Minnesota. He brought in the bill February 23. It was sev- 
eral times read, was amended, referred to committee and dis- 
cussed, but congress adjourned August 14 without taking ulti- 
mate action on the proposition. 

In the meantime Wisconsin was admitted to the Union May 
29, 1848, and the western half of what was then St. Croix county 
was left outside the new state. The settled portions of the area 
thus cut off from Wisconsin by its admission to statehood privi- 
leges were in the southern part of the peninsula of land lying 
between the Mississippi and the St. Croix. 

The people of this area were now confronted with a serious 
problem. As residents of the territory of Wisconsin they had 
enjoyed the privileges of citizenship in the United States. By 
the creation of the state of Wisconsin they were disfranchised 
and left without the benefits of organized government. Thus, 
Stillwater, which had been the governmental seat of a growing 
county (St. Croix), was left outside the pale of organized law. 
Legal minds disagreed on the question of whether the minor 
civil officers, such as justices of the peace, created under the 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 67 

territorial organization, were still qualified to exercise the au- 
thority of their positions. At a meeting held at St. Paul, in 
July, 1848, the citizens of that (then) village considered the ques- 
tion of the formation of a new territory. August 5 a meet- 
ing of citizens of the area west of the St. Croix was held at 
Stillwater, and it was decided to call a general convention at that 
place, August 26, 1848, for a three-fold purpose: 1 — To elect 
a territorial delegate to congress. 2 — To organize a territory 
with a name other than Wisconsin. 3 — To determine whether 
the laws and organization of the old territory of Wisconsin were 
still in effect now that a part of that territory was organized as 
a state. In the call for this meeting, the signers called them- 
selves, "We, the undersigned citizens of Minnesota territory." 
The meeting was held pursuant to the call. Action was taken in 
regard to the first proposition by the election of H. H. Sibley, 
who was authorized to proceed to Washington and use such ef- 
forts as were in his power to secure the organization of the ter- 
ritory of Minnesota. In regard to the second proposition, a 
memorial was addresstd to the President of the United States, 
stating the reasons why the organization of Minnesota territory 
was necessary. The third proposition presented technical points 
worthy of the attention of the wisest legal minds. The state of 
Wisconsin had been organized, but the territory of Wisconsin 
had not been abolished. Was not, therefore, the territory still 
in existence, and did not its organization and its laws still prevail 
in the part of the territory that had not been included in the 
state? A letter from James Buchanan, then secretary of state 
of the United States, expressed this view in a letter. If the terri- 
torial government was in existence would it not give the resi- 
dents thereof a better standing before the nation in their de- 
sire to become Minnesota territory? Might not this technicality 
give the delegate a seat in congress when otherwise he must, 
as simply the representative of an unorganized area, make his 
requests in the lobby and to the individual members? John 
Catlin, who had been secretary of the territory of Wisconsin 
before the organization of that state, declared that the territory 
still existed in the area not included in the organized state and 
that he was the acting governor, Territorial Governor Henry 
Dodge having been elected United States Senator. Accordingly, 
the people of the cut-off portion organized as the "Territory 
of Wisconsin," and named a day for the election of a delegate, 
John H. Tweedy, the territorial delegate from Wisconsin, having 
gone through the form of resigning in order to make the new 
move possible. In the closely contested election held October 
30, 1848, Sibley won out against Henry M. Rice and accordingly 
made his way to Washington, technically from the "Territory of 
Wisconsin," actually as a representative of the proposed terri- 



68 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

tory of Minnesota. As a matter of fact, indeed, Sibley, living 
at Mendota, had ceased to be a citizen of the territory of Wis- 
consin in 1838, when Iowa territory was created, and was a 
resident of the part of Iowa territory which the organization of 
the state of Iowa had left without a government, rather than of 
that territory in question (between the Mississippi and the St. 
Croix) which the admission of Wisconsin as a state had left with- 
out a government. Sibley was, however, after much opposition, 
admitted to congress and given a seat January 15, 1849, but not 
without much discussion as to whether excluded territory was 
entitled to continued political existence and representation, after 
a state has been created out of part of a territory. 

Mr. Sibley devoted himself assiduously to securing the passage 
in the United States senate of the bill for the creation of the ter- 
ritory of Minnesota which had been introduced at the previous 
session and met with gratifying success. His efforts in the house 
of representatives were less satisfactory, political questions enter- 
ing largely into the matter, and it was not until March 3, 1849, 
the very last day of the session — and then only through the 
strenuous work of Senator Stephen A. Douglas, that "he suc- 
ceeded in securing the passage of the bill. This was finally done 
under suspension of the rules, the previous opposition having 
been unexpectedly withdrawn. 

As passed the act read as follows: "Be it enacted, * * * 
That from and after the passage of this act, all that part of the 
territory of the United States which lies within the following 
limits, to-wit: Beginning in the Mississippi river at a point 
where the line of 43° and 30' of north latitude crosses the same, 
thence running due west on said line, which is the northern 
boundary of the state of Iowa, to the northwest corner of the 
said state of Iowa; thence southerly along the western boundary 
of said state to the point where said boundary strikes the Mis- 
souri river; thence up the middle of the main channel of the 
Missouri river to the mouth of the White Earth river; thence 
up the middle of the main channel of the White Earth river to 
the boundary line between the possessions of the United States 
and Great Britain; thence east and south of east along the boun- 
dary line and between the possession of the United States and 
Great Britain to Lake Superior; thence in a straight line to the 
northernmost point of the state of Wisconsin, in Lake Superior; 
thence along the western boundary of the state of Wisconsin to 
the Mississippi river; thence down the main channel of said 
river to the place of beginning, and the same is hereby erected 
into a temporary government by the name of the territory of 
Minnesota." 

This being before the days of railroads and telegraphs in the 
West, the good news did not reach St. Paul until thirty-seven 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 69 

days afterwards, when it was brought by the first steamer com- 
ing from the lower river. 

At the time of the organization of Minnesota as a territory 
the country was described as being "little more than a wilder- 
ness." That which lay west of the Mississippi river, from the 
Iowa line to Lake Itasca, had not yet been ceded by the Indians 
and was unoccupied by the whites save in a very few instances. 
On the east side, in this more immediate vicinity, were trading 
posts with the cabins of a few employes at Sauk Rapids and 
Crow Wing. Away up at Pembina was the largest town or settle- 
ment within the boundaries of the new territory, where were 
nearly a thousand people, a large majority of whom were 
"Metis" or mixed bloods, French Crees or French Chippewas. 

In "Minnesota in Three Centuries" attention is called to the 
fact that at this time the east side of the Mississippi, as far 
north as Crow Wing, was being settled here and there by people 
who had come to the country when it had been announced that 
the territory was organized. The settlers were almost entirely 
from the Northern States, many being from New England. The 
fact that the state which would succeed the territory would be 
a free state, without slavery in any form, made it certain that 
the first settlers would be non-slaveholders, with but few people 
from the Southern States interested or in sympathy with South- 
ern ideas. 

The people of the territory of Minnesota were not long con- 
tent with a territorial government. In the words of A. N. 
Winchell, "December 24, 1856, the delegate from the territory 
of Minnesota introduced a bill to authorize the people of that 
territory to form a constitution and state government. The 
bill limited the proposed state on the west by the Red River of 
the North and the Big Sioux river. It was referred to the com- 
mittee on territories, of which Mr. Grow, of Pennsylvania, was 
then chairman. January 31, 1867, the chairman reported a sub- 
stitute, which differed from the original bill in no essential re- 
spect except in regard to the western boundary. The change 
there consisted in adopting a line through Traverse and Big 
Stone lakes, due south from the latter to the Iowa line. The 
altered boundary cut off a narrow strip of territory, estimated 
by Mr. Grow to contain between five and six hundred square 
miles. Today the strip contains such towns as Sioux Falls, 
Watertown and Brookings. The substitute had a stormy voyage 
through congress, especially in the senate, but finally completed 
the trip on February 25, 1857." 

The enabling act, as passed and approved February 26, 1857, 
defined the boundaries of Minnesota as follows: "Be it enacted 
• • * That the inhabitants of that portion of the territory of 
Minnesota which is embraced within the following limits, to-wit: 



70 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

Beginning at the point in the center of the main channel of the 
Red River of the North, where the boundary line between the 
United States and the British possessions crosses the same; 
thence up the main channel of said river to that of Bois des 
Sioux river; thence (up) the main channel of said river to Lake 
Travers ; then up the center of said lake to the southern extrem- 
ity thereof ; thence in a direct line to the head of Big Stone lake ; 
thence through its center to its outlet ; thence by a due south line 
to the north line of the state of Iowa ; thence east along the north- 
ern boundary of said state to the main channel of the Mississippi 
river; thence up the main channel of said river and following 
the boundary line of the state of Wisconsin, until the same inter- 
sects the St. Louis river; thence down said river to and through 
Lake Superior, on the boundary line of Wisconsin and Michi- 
gan, until it intersects the dividing line between the United 
States and the British possessions; thence up Pigeon river and 
following said dividing line to the place of beginning; be and 
the same are thereby authorized to form for themselves a consti- 
tution and state government, by the name of the state of Min- 
nesota, and to come into the Union on an equal footing with the 
original states, according to the federal constitution." 

These boundaries were accepted without change and are the 
boundaries of the state at the present time. The state was ad- 
mitted May 11, 1858. 

Authority and Authorship. The principal portions of this 
article were compiled by Hon. Francis M. Crosby and the editor 
of this work, from the sources mentioned in the text, and also 
from the United States Statutes at Large, and the "Charters and 
Constitutions of the United States," for publication in the "His- 
tory of Dakota and Goodhue Counties," H. C. Cooper, Jr., & Co., 
1910. To this has been added material compiled from various 
sources by Return I. Holcombe. for "Minnesota in Three Cen- 
turies." 



CHAPTER VII. 
EXPLORERS, TRADERS, MISSIONARIES. 

The French explorers from the settlements in Canada and 
about the Great Lakes gradually began to penetrate toward Min- 
nesota. At various times traders, adventurers and priests disap- 
peared from these settlements. What deaths they met or what 
experiences they underwent will never be known. What places 
they visited in the wilderness of the upper Mississippi is lost to 
human knowledge. With the seventeenth century, however, the 
area that is now Minnesota began to be known to the civilized 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 71 

world. But it was not until the closing months of that century 
that any recorded exploration was made of the Minnesota river. 

To understand Pierre Charles Le Sueur's trip up a portion of 
that river in the fall of 1700 it is necessary that a few of the 
earlier Mississippi river explorers should be considered. 

Grosseiliers and Radisson. The meager accounts which these 
two explorers have left of their two expeditions which are sup- 
posed to have penetrated into Minnesota, are capable of more 
than one interpretation. Dr. Warren Upham believes that Gros- 
seilliers and Radisson, the first known white explorers of Minne- 
sota, entered it near the southeast corner, and proceeded up the 
Mississippi through Lake Pepin to Prairie Island, just above 
Red Wing. Here the French explorers and the Indians that ac- 
companied them, together with other Indians, spent the year 
1655-1656. Thus when Cromwell ruled Great Britain and Ire- 
land, when the Puritan theocracy was at the height of its glory 
in New England, and when the great emigration of Cavaliers 
was still going on to Virginia, Minnesota saw its first white man 
— unless indeed the Scandinavians visited this region centuries 
before, as the Kensington Stone avers. 

About New Years, 1660, if we may trust Radisson 's narra- 
tion and its interpretation, our "two Frenchmen" are again in 
Minnesota. Traveling with a big band of Indians, they passed 
a severe January and February, with attendant famine, prob- 
ably (according to Prof. Winchell) at Knife lake, Kanabec coun- 
ty. According to Hon. J. V. Brower (in his monograph "Kathio," 
1901) the lake was called Knife lake and the Dakota tribe of 
this region the Knife tribe (Issanti) because early that spring 
deputations of Dakotas came to the encampment and here for 
the first time procured steel knives from the white men and 
from the Indian band that was with them. Until this time the 
Stone Age had ruled supreme in the realm of Renville, but 
now we may well suppose that within a short time many an enter- 
prising brave cherished as his most precious possession one of 
these magic knives that cut like a stroke of lightning. Very soon 
after meeting these Dakotas at Knife lake, Grosseilliers and 
Radisson went to the great Dakota village at Mille Lacs, and 
were there received with every mark of friendship and respect. 

Now follows the story of a seven days' trip to the prairie 
home of the "nation of the Boefe" (buffalo), that is to say, the 
Dakotas living farther west and south. This story seems likely 
to be fiction, but if it is true, there is a fair chance that it was 
to the region between the Big Bend of the Mississippi river and 
the prairie region of the Minnesota valley. This was possibly 
the nearest and most accessible buffalo country from Mille Lacs. 
So it is possible that these two Frenchmen were the first white 
men to approach Renville county. But the supposition favored 



72 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

by Winchell is that they went due south. However that may be, 
it is certain that with Grosseilliers and Radisson the first glim- 
mer of European civilization reached Redwood county. 

Hennepin and Du Luth. Robert Cavelier, better known in 
history as the Sieur de la Salle, who had built a fort near Lake 
Peoria, Illinois, decided in February, 1680, to send from there an 
expedition up the Mississippi. For this task he selected three of 
his associates. Accordingly, on February 29, 1680, Father Hen- 
nepin, with two companions, Picard du Gay (Anthony Auguelle) 
and Michael Accault (also rendered dAccault, Ako, dAko and 
Dacan), the latter of whom was in military command of the 
party, set out in a canoe. They paddled down the Illinois to 
its mouth, where they were detained by floating ice in the Mis- 
sissippi until March 12. On the afternoon of April 11, while 
on their way up the Mississippi, they were met by a band of 
Sioux on the warpath against the Illinois and Miami nation. 
Being informed, however, that the Miamis had crossed the river, 
and were beyond their reach, the Indians turned northward, 
taking the Frenchmen with them as captives. The journey up 
the river occupied nineteen days. 

At the end of the nineteen days, the party landed near the 
present site of St. Paul, and then continued by land five days 
until they reached the Mille Lacs region. There Aquipaguetin, 
the chief, who had previously been unfriendly to a certain extent, 
adopted Hennepin in place of the son he had lost. The other two 
Frenchmen were adopted by other families. After several months 
in the Mille Lacs region, Hennepin and Pickard were given per- 
mission in July, 1680, to go down the Mississippi to the mouth of 
the Wisconsin, where they expected that La Salle would send 
them supplies. 

On their southward journey, accompanied by a Sioux chief, 
Ouasicoude (Wacoota) and a band of Indians, the Frenchmen 
descended the Rum river, and camped on an eminence opposite 
what is now the city of Anoka. Accault was left as a hostage. 
Continuing down the river with the Indians, Hennepin and Pick- 
ard came to St. Anthony Falls, which Hennepin named in honor 
of his patron saint. On July 11, 1680, while hunting for the 
mouth of the Wisconsin river, the party was overtaken by Hen- 
nepin's savage adopted father, Aquipaguetin, with ten warriors. 
The two Frenchmen and the Indians then spent some time in 
the vicinity of Winona, hiding their meat near the mouth of the 
Chippewa, and then hunting on the prairies further down the 
river, the old men of the tribe watching on the river bluffs for 
enemies while the warriors killed buffaloes. 

July 25, 1680, the party encountered Daniel Graysolon, Du 
Luth and five French soldiers. There is some doubt about the 
exact spot where this meeting took place, but it was probably 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 73 

near the southeast corner of Minnesota, or possibly a little further 
south. After the meeting, the eight white men, accompanied by 
the Indians, went up the river. Du Luth had been exploring the 
country of the Sioux and the Assiniboines, west of Lake Superior, 
for two years, and had secured the friendship of these very 
Indians who had captured Hennepin. Consequently, when he 
learned what had happened since he last saw them, he rebuked 
them for their treatment of the priest, saying that Hennepin was 
his brother. The party reached the Issanti villages (the Mille 
Lacs region) August 14, 1680. No mention is made of the route 
which they took. 

Toward the end of September the Frenchmen left the Indians 
to return to the French settlements. A chart of the route was 
given them by Ouasicoude, the great chief. The eight Frenchmen 
then set out. Hennepin gives the number as eight, though it 
would seem that the number was nine, for Hennepin and Pickard 
had met Du Luth with five soldiers, and when reaching the Issanti 
villages they must have been rejoined by Accault, though pos- 
sibly the last named stayed with the Indians and pursued his 
explorations. The party passed down the Rum river in the fall 
of 1860, and started the descent of the Mississippi. After reach- 
ing the Wisconsin they went up that river to the portage, thence 
up the Fox river, thence to Green Bay, and thence to the settle- 
ments in Canada. 

Accault, one of Hennepin's companions, had been left with 
the Indians near the present site of Anoka, when Hennepin and 
Arguille took the memorable down-the-river trip on which they 
met Du Luth. Accault took many journeys with the Indians, 
even visiting the Itasca region, and it is not improbable that he 
may have been taken to the region which lies north of the upper 
Minnesota river and southwest of the Big Bend of the Missis- 
sippi river. 

Le Sueur. From 1681 to 1699, Nicolas Perrot made numer- 
ous trips to the country of the upper Mississippi river. Several 
of his posts were located in the vicinity of the lower end of Lake 
Pepin, which is an enlargement of the Mississippi river extending 
generally speaking from a short distance above Winona to a short 
distance below Red Wing. One of these expeditions was prob- 
ably that of Charville and Pierre Charles Le Sueur, taken up 
the Mississippi above the Falls of St. Anthony, about 1690. They 
probably went as far as the outlet of Sandy Lake. 

Le Sueur wrote an account of this trip to refute certain ficti- 
tious narrations by Mathien Sagean. Of this, in his excellent and 
monumental work, "Minnesota in Three Centuries," in Vol. I, 
pp. 253-4, Dr. Warren Upham says: "Brower and Hill come to 
the conclusion that on the Mississippi at the outlet of sandy lake, 
a village of Sioux doubtless then existed, as it has also been dur- 



74 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

ing the last century or longer the site of an Ojibway village. The 
estimates noted, that the distance traveled above the Falls of 
St. Anthony was about a hundred French leagues, and that an 
equal distance of the river's course still separated the voyageurs 
from its sources, agree very closely with the accurate measure- 
ments now made by exact surveys, if Le Sueur's journey ended 
at Sandy lake. 

"Very probably Charleville, whose narration of a similar 
early expedition of a hundred leagues on the part of the Missis- 
sippi above these falls is preserved by Du Pratz in his ' History of 
Louisiana, ' was a companion of Le Sueur, so that the two accounts 
relate to the same canoe trip. Charleville said that he was ac- 
companied by two Canadian Frenchmen and two Indians ; and it 
is remarkable that Charleville, like Le Sueur, was a relative of the 
brothers Iberville and Bienville, who afterwards were governors 
of Louisiana." As in Le Sueur's description of the sources of 
the great river, Charleville also states that the Indians spoke of 
the Mississippi as having many sources. 

In the spring of 1695 Le Sueur and his followers erected a 
trading post or fort on Isle Pelee, now Prairie Island, just above 
Red Wing. Early in the summer of 1695 he returned to Mon- 
treal with some Indians, among whom was a Sioux chief named 
Tioscate, the latter being the first Sioux chief to visit Canada. 
Tioscate died while in Montreal. 

In his journeys to the Northwest, Le Sueur received reports 
from the Indians which led him to believe that copper was to be 
found near the place where the Minnesota river turns from its 
southwest to its northeast course. Therefore he received a com- 
mission to examine this mine and obtain from it some ores. In 
April, 1700, he set out with a party of men from the lower Mis- 
sissippi settlements in a sailing and rowing vessel and two canoes. 
September 19 he reached the mouth of the Minnesota, and on the 
last day of the month, having reached the mouth of the Blue 
Earth river near the present site of the city of Mankato, he 
ascended that river about a league, and erected a fort which he 
named Fort L'Huillier, named for a prominent officer in the 
service of the King of France. A short distance from the fort 
they located their "mine." They spent the ensuing winter at 
this fort, and in the spring of 1701 Le Sueur started down the 
river with a part of his followers and with a load of green earth 
which he believed to be copper. In due time he reached the 
Gulf of Mexico. The party whom he had left at the garrison on 
the Blue Earth followed him down the river at a later date. The 
fact that seven French traders who had been stripped naked by 
the Sioux, took refuge in Le Sueur's fort on the Blue Earth, and 
the further fact that those whom he left at the fort, encountered 
while going down the Mississippi a party of thirty-six Frenchmen 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 75 

from Canada at the mouth of the Wisconsin, shows that aside 
from the explorers recorded in history, various Frenchmen, now 
unknown, penetrated the upper Mississippi region from time to 
time even at that early day. 

The data secured by Le Sueur were used in the preparation 
of a map of the Northwest country by William De L'isle, royal 
geographer of France, in 1703. Several of the larger and more 
important physical features of southwestern Minnesota were 
more or less accurately located. The Minnesota river appeared 
upon this map, being labeled R. St. Pierre, or Mini-Sota. Its 
course is somewhat accurately drawn. The Des Moines river 
also has a place on the map, being marked Des Moines, or le 
Moingona R., and its source was definitely located. There is 
nothing in the writings of Le Sueur, however, to lead to the belief 
that he extended his exploration much farther up the Minnesota 
river than the mouth of the Blue Earth. 

Lahontan. Early historians have endeavored to identify the 
"Long River" of Lahontan with the Minnesota river of the pres- 
ent day. In case this identification were correct then a French- 
man sighted the fair area of Renville county only three years 
after Hennepin made his memorable voyage up the Mississippi. 
Modern historians, however, entirely discredit the writings of 
this adventurer. 

Baron de Lahontan is now regarded as the Baron Munchausen 
of America. His explorations and journeys to the upper Missis- 
sippi region were probably entirely fictitious and "Long River" 
merely a creation of his own imagination. 

Lahontan was born in France in 1666, and as a soldier of the 
French empire came to America in 1683 as a boy of seventeen 
years. The next ten years he spent in various parts of Canada, 
and there doubtless heard the stories upon which he based his 
pretended journeys. In 1693 he deserted his post of duty in New 
Foundland and thereafter until his death, probably in 1715, he 
spent his life as an exile, homeless and friendless, in Holland, 
Denmark, Spain, the German provinces and England. 

In 1703 at The Hague in Netherlands, Lahontan had narra- 
tives of his pretended travels published in three volumes, written 
in his native French language. Later in the same year a revised 
edition of the work, entitled "New Voyages to North America," 
was issued in London. At present there are several other English 
and French editions. A translation was made into German in 
1711 and into the language of Holland in 1739. In this publica- 
tion Lahontan pretended to have ascended the Missisippi river 
and to have discovered a tributary called "Long River" flowing 
into this river from the west. He gives in detail his many adven- 
tures on this "Long River." Before he was discredited historians 
had many arguments as to whether Lahontan ascended the Root 



76 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

river or the Minnesota river, but we now know that he was never 
within many hundred miles of either. 

Carver. During the next sixty-six years after Le Sueur vis- 
ited the Minnesota river country no white man was in South- 
western Minnesota, so far as we know. Then, in November, 1766, 
Jonathan Carver ascended the Minnesota. Carver was a Con- 
necticut Yankee and explored the upper Mississippi in the inter- 
ests of the British government. 

Of his trip to this point Carver wrote : "On the twenty-fifth 
of November, 1766, I returned to my canoe, which I had left at 
the mouth of the River St. Pierre (Minnesota), and here I parted 
with regret from my young friend, the prince of the Winne- 
bagoes. The river being clear of ice by reason of its southern 
situation, I found nothing to obstruct my passage. On the twenty- 
eighth, being advanced about forty miles, I arrived at a small 
branch that fell into it from the north, to which, as it had no 
name that I could distinguish it by, I gave my own, and the 
reader will find it in the plan of my travels denominated Carver's 
river. About forty miles higher up I came to the forks of the 
Verd (Blue Earth) and Red Marble (Watonwan) rivers, which 
join at some little distance before they enter the St. Pierre. 

"The River St. Pierre at its junction with the Mississippi is 
about a hundred yards broad and continues that breadth nearly 
all the way I sailed upon it. It has a great depth of water and 
in some places runs very swiftly. About fifteen miles from its 
mouth are some rapids and much higher .up are many others. 

"I proceeded up this river about 200 miles, to the country of 
the Nadowessies (Sioux) of the plains, which lies a little above 
the fork formed by the Verd and Red Marble rivers just men- 
tioned, where a branch from the south (the Cottonwood) nearly 
joins the Messorie (Missouri) river." (The sources of the Cot- 
tonwood river are near those of Rock river, the latter being a 
tributary of the Missouri.) 

On the seventh of December he arrived at the most westerly 
limit of his travels, and as he could proceed no further that 
season, spent the winter, a period of seven months, among a band 
of Nadowessies (Sioux), encamped near what is now New Ulm. 
In his map he draws three tepees opposite the present city of 
New Ulm on the north side of the Minnesota river and makes 
the statement, "About here the Author winter 'd in 1766." In 
his hunting and exploration he doubtless penetrated Redwood 
county. He says he learned the Sioux language so as to converse 
with them intelligibly, and was treated by them with great hos- 
pitality. In the spring he returned to the mouth of the Minnesota. 

His account of this is as follows: "I left the habitations of 
these hospitable Indians the latter end of April, 1767, but did not 
part from them for several days, as I was accompanied on my 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 77 

journey by near three hundred of them, among whom were 
many chiefs, to the mouth of the River St. Pierre. At this season 
these bands annually go to the great cave (now called Carver's 
cave) before mentioned, to hold a grand council with all the 
other bands, wherein they settle their operations for the ensuing 
year. At the same time they carry with them their dead for 
interment, bound up in buffalo skins." 

As already stated, Carver hunted with the Indians over some 
of the great plains of Southwestern Minnesota which, "accord- 
ing to their (the Indians') account, are unbounded and probably 
terminate on the coast of the Pacific ocean." 

From information received from the Indians Carver made 
some wonderful deductions as to the physical features of the 
country. In his narrative of the trip he wrote : "By the accounts 
I received from the Indians I have reason to believe that the 
River St. Pierre (Minnesota) and the Messorie (Missouri), though 
they enter the Mississippi twelve hundred miles from each other, 
take their rise in the same neighborhood, and this within the 
space of a mile. The River St. Pierre's northern branch (that is, 
the main river) rises from a number of lakes (Big Stone lake) 
near the Shining mountains (the Coteau des Prairies), and it is 
from some of these also that a capital branch (Red River of the 
North) of the River Bourbon (Nelson river), which runs into 
Hudson's bay, has its sources. * * * I have learned that the 
four most capital rivers of North America, viz., the St. Lawrence, 
the Mississippi, the River Bourbon (Nelson) and the Oregon 
(Columbia), or River of the West, have their sources in the same 
neighborhood. The waters of the three former are within thirty 
miles of each other; the latter, however, is rather farther west. 

"This shows that these parts are the highest lands of North 
America; and it is an instance not to be paralleled on the other 
three-quarters of the globe, that four rivers of such magnitude 
should take their rise together and each, after running separate 
courses, discharge their waters into different oceans at the dis- 
tance of 2,000 miles from their source. ' ' 

Of the country through which he traveled Carver wrote : 
"The River St. Pierre, which runs through the territory of the 
Nadowessies, flows through a most delightful country, abound- 
ing with all the necessaries of life that grow spontaneously, and 
with a little cultivation it might be made to produce even the 
luxuries of life. Wild rice grows here in great abundance; and 
every part is filled with trees bending under their loads of fruit, 
such as plums, grapes and apples ; the meadows are covered with 
hops and many sorts of vegetables ; whilst the ground is stored 
with useful roots, with angelica, spikenard and ground nuts as 
large as hen's egges. At a little distance from the sides of the 
river are eminences from which you have views that cannot be 



78 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

exceeded by even the most beautiful of those I have already de- 
scribed. Amid these are delightful groves and such amazing 
quantities of maples that they would produce sugar sufficient for 
any number of inhabitants." 

Ft. Snelling Established. With the establishment of Ft. 
Snelling, the area of Redwood county became more widely known, 
as the soldiers, traders and visitors there made many trips up 
the river past the county. 

February 10, 1819, the Fifth Regiment United States Infantry 
was ordered to concentrate at Detroit preparatory to a trip which 
was to result in the maintaining of a post at the mouth of the 
St. Peter's (now Minnesota) river. After establishing various 
garrisons at different places, the troops started up the river 
from Prairie du Chien, Sunday, August 8, 1819. The troops num- 
bered ninety-eight, rank and file. They were accompanied by 
twenty hired boatmen. There were fourteen keel boats for the 
troops, two large boats for stores, and a barge for Lieut-Col. 
Harry Leavenworth, the commander, and Maj. Thomas Forsyth, 
the Indian agent. This expedition established at Mendota the 
military post now moved across the river and now known as 
Ft. Snelling. 

May 10, 1823, the "Virginia," the first steamboat to navigate 
the upper Mississippi, arrived at Ft. Snelling, and thus what is 
now Redwood county was placed in still closer communication 
with the outside world. On board, among others, were Maj. 
Lawrence Taliaferro and James Constance Beltrami, the Italian 
explorer. 

Long, Keating, Beltrami. Undoubtedly white men, engaged 
in trade with the natives or trapping and hunting for the fur 
companies or for themselves, visited that part of south-central 
Minnesota which is now designated Redwood county in the early 
part of the nineteenth century. But such men left few records of 
their operations, and our information concerning the exploration 
of the country is obtained almost wholly from expeditions sent 
out by the government. 

An early visitor to south-central Minnesota was Major Stephen 
H. Long. 

In accordance with orders from the War Department, an expe- 
dition under the command of Major Long, with a corps of scien- 
tists for observations of the geographic features, geology, zoology 
and botany of the Northwest, traversed the area of Minnesota in 
1823, passing from Ft. Snelling up the Minnesota valley, down 
the valley of the Red river to Lake Winnipeg, thence up the 
Winnipeg river to the Lake of the Woods, and thence eastward 
along the international boundary and partly in Canada to Lake 
Superior. Prof. William H. Keating, of the University of Penn- 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 79 

sylvania, was the geologist and historian of this expedition. One 
of its members or its guest in the travel from the fort to Pembina 
was Constantino Beltrami, a political exile from Italy, but becom- 
ing offended, he left the expedition at Pembina and returned to 
the fort by the way of Red lake and the most northern sources 
of the Mississippi, traveling alone or with Indian companions. 

The boat party entered the mouth of the Minnesota river, then 
called the St. Peter, late in the night of July 2, and a stay of a 
week was made there, for rest and to visit the Falls of St. 
Anthony. 

Provided by Colonel Snelling at the fort with a new and more 
efficient escort of twenty-one soldiers, with Joseph Renville as 
their Dakota interpreter, and with Joseph Snelling, a son of the 
colonel, as assistant guide and interpreter, the expedition set 
forward on July 9 up the Minnesota valley. A part traveled on 
horseback, including Say and Colhoun, while the others, includ- 
ing Long, Keating, Seymour and Renville went in four canoes, 
which also carried the bulk of their stores and provisions. It 
was planned that the land and river parties "should, as far as 
practicable, keep company together, and encamp every night, if 
possible, at the same place." 

On July 13 they reached the vicinity of Traverse des Sioux 
(St. Peter), and encamped at a beautiful bend of the river, called 
the Crescent. Here the expedition left the canoes, reduced the 
escort, and on July 15 moved westward by the route of Swan 
lake. They now numbered in total twenty-four men, with twenty- 
one horses. The most southern part of the course of the Minne- 
sota having been cut off by the journey past Swan lake, this 
stream was again reached and crossed a short distance below the 
mouth of the Cottonwood river. Thence the expedition passed 
along the southwestern side of the valley, and across the con- 
tiguous upland prairies, to Lac qui Parle and Big Stone lake. The 
latter lake was reached on July 22, and the Columbia Fur Com- 
pany's trading post, at the southern end of Lake Traverse, the 
next day. Joseph Snelling returned to Ft. Snelling from Pem- 
bina by way of the Red and Minnesota rivers, thus passing Red- 
wood county. 

Of the Redwood river, Prof. Keating makes the statement that 
its banks "are formed of a fine white sandstone." In this ob- 
servation he was in error, having mistaken the conspicuous white 
kaolin bluffs, which occur at this point, derived from the decom- 
position of the granite "in situ" for sandstone. The red pipe- 
stone was said to exist on the banks of the river three days' 
journey from its source. 

He notes a "very interesting fragment of rock" at the place 
where the Redwood joins the Minnesota, said to be forty or fifty 
feet in circumference, evidently out of place, of an enormous 



80 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

mass, and irregular hemispherical form, cleft by lightning. This 
mass was said to be granitic, presenting "very distinctly the ap- 
pearance of a formation of concentric shales. The rock at 
Patterson's rapids (section 29, township 114, range 36, northern 
Delhi), was considered as primitive, but was not carefully ex- 
amined. 

Of the mouth of the Redwood river, Beltrami wrote: "We 
now reached a valley of the most lovely and interesting character. 
Never did a more striking illusion transport my imagination 
back to the classic lands of Latium and Magna Graecia. Rocks 
scattered, as if by art, over the plain, or plateau, and on the hills, 
were, at a little distance, perfect representations of every varied 
form of the ruins of antiquity. In one place you might think 
you saw thermal substructures, or those of an amphitheater, a 
circus, or a forum; in another, the remains of a temple, a 
cenotaph, a basilicon, or a triumphant arch. I took advantage 
of the time which chance procured me, to survey this enchanted 
ground ; but I went alone, that the delicious reverie it threw me 
into, might not be broken by cold heartedness or presumption. 
My eyes continually met new images; at length they rested on a 
sort of tomb, which for some time held me motionless. A thou- 
sand afflicting recollections rushed to my heart ; I thought I be- 
held the tomb of virtue and friendship; I rested my head upon 
it, and tears filled my eyes. The spot was of a kind to soften and 
embellish grief, and I should have long given myself up to its 
sweet influence had I not been with people who had no idea of 
stopping for anything but a broken saddle, or some such impor- 
tant incident. 

The rocks are granitic, and of so beautiful and varied a qual- 
ity, that the tricking dealers of the Piazza Navona, at Rome, 
would sell them for the most enthusiastic and, — in their own 
opinion — the most learned antiquarians, as oriental and Egyptian 
porphyry or basalt, which are now generally admitted to be 
merely granite more elaborated by time and water. 

The Pembina Refugees. The members of the Pembina colony 
in the Red river valley were among the people who passed Red- 
wood county during the era of exploration. In the early winter 
of 1820 the Pembina colony sent a delegation to Prairie du Chien 
for seed wheat, which could not be found nearer home. The men 
set out on snow shoes and reached their destination in three 
months. The route was by the way of the Red river to Lake 
Traverse, then down the Minnesota, past Fort Snelling, and 
thence down the Mississippi. At Prairie du Chien 250 bushels of 
wheat was purchased at ten shillings ($2.50) per bushel. It was 
loaded into flat boats, which were, with much hard labor, pro- 
pelled up the Mississippi to the St. Peter, thence up that river 
to the portage near Lake Traverse. The boats and cargo were 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 81 

then transported across to the Red river and floated down that 
stream to Pembina. 

In 1827 a number of Swiss families left the Red river colony 
to make new homes for themselves within the United States. 
They were accompanied by several families of French Cana- 
dians who had become "Selkirkers," that is, members of the 
Selkirk colony. The refugees came down the valley on the Red 
river — or up that stream — to Lake Traverse, and thence down 
the Minnesota (or St. Peter's) to Fort Snelling. Alexis Bailly 
and others who had visited the colonists in their Red river homes 
had informed them of the superiority of the Minnesota country 
over the Assiniboine region, and assured them that they would 
be heartily welcome if they removed to the big, free, hospitable 
and favored company of the Stars and Stripes. 

Colonel Snelling gave the refugees a kindly reception and 
allowed them to settle on the military reservation, west of the 
Mississippi and north of the fort. The colonists at once set to 
work and built houses, opened farms, engaged in work at the 
fort, and were soon comfortable, contented and hopeful. All of 
the refugees spoke French. The French Swiss and the French 
Canadians seemed like kinsmen and dwelt together like brethren 
in unity. It is of record that among these people were Abraham 
Perry, a watchmaker, and Louis Massie, both Switzers, but the 
names of the other heads of families have not been preserved. 

July 25, 1831, twenty more Red river colonists arrived at 
Fort Snelling. Up to the year 1836 nearly 500 more had come, 
and by the year 1840 nearly 200 more, while from time to time, 
for many years, frost-bitten and famine-stricken fugitives from 
the Red river country found rest for their feet, food for their 
bodies and comfort generally in Minnesota. But only about one- 
half of these people remained here permanently. The others 
went further south — to Prairie du Chien, to Illinois, to Missouri, 
and some families journeyed to Vevay, Indiana, the site of a Swiss 
settlement 

Nearly all of the early residents of St. Paul were Red river 
refugees and their children. Many of the descendants of good 
old Abraham Perry were born in Minnesota and are yet citizens 
of the state. 

Featherstonhaugh and Mather. Another exploration of south- 
western Minnesota was made in the summer of 1835 by G. W. 
Featherstonhaugh, an English gentleman. He bore the title of 
United States geologist and was commissioned by Colonel J. J. 
Abert, of the Bureau of Topographical Engineers. Featherston- 
haugh proceeded up the Minnesota river to lakes Big Stone and 
Traverse, and to the high sources of the Minnesota on the Coteau 
des Prairies west of these lakes. Featherstonhaugh was accom- 
panied by William Williams Mather. 



82 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

From Featherstonhaugh's expedition resulted two works, one 
entitled "Report of geological reconnaisance made in 1835 from 
the seat of government by the way of Green Bay and the Wis- 
consin Territory to the Coteau des Prairies, an elevated ridge 
dividing the Missouri from the St. Peter's (Minnesota) river," 
printed by the order of the Senate in 1836, and the other "A 
Canoe Voyage up the Minnay Sotar," published in London in 
1847. 

Catlin. It was in 1837 that George Catlin, the famous traveler 
and Indian delineator, passed near this county on his way to visit 
the Pipestone quarries. 

He organized the expedition at the Falls of St. Anthony and 
was accompanied only by Robert Serril Wood, "a young gentle- 
man from England of fine taste and education," and an Indian 
guide, O-kup-kee by name. 

This little party traveled horseback and followed the usual 
route up the Minnesota. At Traverse des Sioux, near the present 
site of St. Peter, Mr. Catlin and his companion halted at the 
cabin of a trader, where they were threatened by a band of 
savages and warned not to persist in their determination to visit 
the quarries. They continued on their way, however, crossed to 
the north side of the river at Traverse des Sioux, proceeded in a 
westerly direction, and crossed the Minnesota to the south bank 
near the mouth of the Waraju (Cottonwood), close to the present 
city of New Ulm. 

There Messrs. Catlin and Wood left the river and journeyed 
"a little north of west" for the Coteau des Prairies. They trav- 
eled through the present counties of Brown, Redwood and Lyon 
and passed several Indian villages at several of which they were 
notified that they must go back ; but, undaunted, they continued 
their journey. Catlin states in one place that he traveled one 
hundred miles or more from the mouth of the Cottonwood, and 
in another place "for a distance of one hundred and twenty or 
thirty miles" before reaching the base of the coteau, when he 
was still "forty or fifty miles from the Pipestone quarries." He 
declared that part of the journey was over one of the most beau- 
tiful prairie countries in the world. 

Most of Catlin 's distances were overestimated. The distance 
from the mouth of the Cottonwood to the base of the coteau 
where he came upon it is only about seventy-two miles in a direct 
line ; then he was about thirty-six miles from the quarries. 

Nicollet and Fremont. From 1836 to 1843, most of the time 
assisted by John C. Fremont, afterward candidate for the presi- 
dency of the United States on the Republican ticket, Joseph 
Nicolas Nicollet prosecuted a geographical survey of the upper 
Mississippi country. He explored nearly all portions of Minne- 
sota and many other parts of the country theretofore unvisited. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 83 

His operations in south-central Minnesota were quite extensive. 
In 1838 Nicollet and Fremont made a trip to the vicinity of what 
is now Renville county. In the party were six men, the others 
being Charles A. Geyer, the botanist of the expedition ; J. Eugene 
Flandin and James Renville. 

Nicollet and Fremont traveled from Washington to St. Louis 
and thence up the Mississippi river to H. H. Sibley's trading post, 
near the mouth of the Minnesota river. Thence they journeyed 
over the general route of travel up the east side of the Minne- 
sota river, crossing at Traverse des Sioux. They proceeded west 
across the "ox-bow," stopping at Big Swan lake in Nicollet 
county, and crossed the Minnesota again at the mouth of the 
Cottonwood. They proceeded up the valley of the Cottonwood, 
on the north side of the river, to a point near the present site of 
Lamberton, and then crossed to the south side of the river and 
struck across country to the Pipestone quarries. 

On Nicollet's map, issued in 1843, his route to the quarries 
is indicated by a fine dotted line. This map at the time it was 
issued was the most complete and correct one of the upper Mis- 
sissippi country. It covered all of Minnesota and Iowa, about 
one-half of Missouri, and much of the Dakotas, Wisconsin and 
Illinois. The author gave names to many streams and lakes and 
gave the first representation of the striking topographical fea- 
tures of the western and northern parts of Minnesota. He 
located, by astronomical observations, the numerous streams and 
lakes and the main geographical features of the state, filling in 
by eye-sketching and by pacing the intermediate objects. On his 
map the country along the Minnesota river is labeled Warpeton 
country and that further south Sisseton country. The Tclian- 
shayapi or Redwood river, Waraju or Cottonwood river, and 
Patterson's rapids all appear on the map. 

After spending three days at the Pipestone quarries, where 
is now situated the city of Pipestone, the Nicollet party visited 
and named Lake Benton (for Mr. Fremont's father-in-law, Sena- 
tor Benton) and then proceeded westward into Dakota, visiting 
and naming Lakes Preston (for Senator Preston) ; Poinsett (for 
J. R. Poinsett, secretary of war), Albert, Thompson, Tetonkoha, 
Kampeska and Hendricks. Before returning to civilization Nicol- 
let visited Big Stone lake and other places to the north. He 
returned to the Falls of St. Anthony by way of Joseph Ren- 
ville's camp on the Lac qui Parle. 

Allen. The next recorded visit of white men was in 1844, 
when an expedition in charge of Captain J. Allen came up the 
Des Moines river, operating chiefly to chart that and other 
streams. He passed through Jackson, Cottonwood and Murray 
counties and came to Lake Shetek, which he decided was the 
source of the Des Moines river. He gave that body of water the 



84 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

jiarae Lake of the Oaks and described it as remarkable for a 
singular arrangement of the peninsulas running into it from all 
sides and for a heavy growth of timber that covered the penin- 
sulas and the borders of the lake. 

With Lake Shetek as temporary headquarters, Captain Allen 
extended his explorations in several directions. He proceeded 
due north from the lake and crossed the Cottonwood and later 
the Redwood near the present site of Marshall. When thirty- 
seven miles north of Lake Shetek he turned east and crossed the 
Redwood again near the site of Redwood Falls. From the mouth 
of the Redwood he explored the south shore of the Minnesota 
river several miles up and down and returned to Lake Shetek. 
The expedition then set out for the west and went down the Big 
Sioux river to its mouth. 

"From Lizard creek of the Des Moines to the source of the 
Des Moines, and thence east to the St. Peter's is a range for elk 
and common deer, but principally elk," wrote Captain Allen. 
"We saw a great many of the elk on our route and killed many 
of them; they were sometimes seen in droves of hundreds, but 
were always difficult to approach and very difficult to overtake 
in chase, except with a fleet horse and over good ground. No 
dependence could be placed in this country for the subsistence 
of troops marching through it." 

Fur Traders. These explorers, Le Sueur, Carver, Long, Keat- 
ing and Beltrami, Featherstonhaugh and Mather, Catlin, Nicollet 
and Fvemont and Allen were men who gave their knowledge to 
the world, and their journeys in the Minnesota river region 
marked distinct epochs in its development. It should be under- 
stood, however, that even before 1700 white men were probably 
passing Renville county with more or less frequency. The fact 
that several Frenchmen took refuge in Le Sueur's fort after being 
stripped naked by the Indians, shows that white men visited this 
region even at that early date. 

Lac qui Parle, Big Stone lake and Lake Traverse made excel- 
lent fur trading points, and were probably locations of such from 
early in the eighteenth century. The furs from these posts were 
brought down the Minnesota and past Renville county in canoes. 

Of the several traders in the Minnesota valley toward the 
close of the eighteenth century one of the principal ones was 
Murdoch Cameron, a Scotchman. 

As early as 1783, Charles Patterson had a trading post in Red- 
wood county. He was located in what is now section 29, township 
114, range 36 (Delhi township), at the place long known as Pat- 
terson's rapids. It is not, however, definitely known on which 
side of the rapids Patterson located. He may have been over 
the river in Renville county. 

Charles Le Page, a Canadian, made a trip from the Yellow- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 85 

stone region in 1803. He reached the headwaters of the Minne- 
sota, May 15, and with a band of Yanktons and Sissetons went 
on to Mendota. 

James H. Loekwood, the first white native of the United States 
to trade with the Indians of this locality, came up the Minnesota 
river in 1816, and maintained a trading post at Lac qui Parle 
for a little over two years. 

After Ft. Snelling was established, an Indian agency opened, 
where the traders were required to obtain licenses from the agent. 
In 1826 the records of the agent show that Joseph Renville was 
at Lac qui Parle, and John Campbell at the mouth of the Chip- 
pewa, both of which locations were not far from Renville county. 
William Dickson and Hazen P. Mooers were at Lake Traverse. 
Mooers was especially successful. It is recorded that in the sum- 
mer of 1829 "the dry year," he made a trip from Lake Traverse 
to Ft. Snelling with 126 packs of furs, valued at $12,000. 

In 1833-23 Moers and Renville were at the same stations as 
in 1826. Joseph R. Brown, afterward a pioneer of Renville 
county, was on the Minnesota at the mouth of the Chippewa. 
Joseph Renville, Jr., was at the Little Rock on the Minnesota, at 
the mouth of the Little Rock (Mud) creek, which flows for a 
part of its course in what is now Renville county. Joseph La 
Framboise established himself at the mouth of the Little Roek 
in 1834. He also had various other locations and was in Lyon 
county when Catlin passed in 1837. 

The Missionaries. In 1835 Thomas S. Williamson established 
a mission at Lac qui Parle. In coming up the river as a mission- 
ary for the American Board of Foreign Missions, Williamson had 
met Joseph Renville. After surveying the situation carefully, the 
missionary concluded to accompany Mr. Renville to the latter 's 
home and store at Lac qui Parle and establish a mission station 
there. On June 23 his party embarked on the Fur Company's 
Mackinaw boat, which was laden with traders' goods and sup- 
plies, and set out on a voyage up the Minnesota, then at a good 
stage of water. The boat was propelled by poles, oars, a sail, 
and by pulling the willows along the abrupt shores. Progress was 
very slow and eight days were required to reach Traverse des 
Sioux. From the Traverse the remainder of the journey was 
made in wagons and Lac qui Parle was reached July 9 — seven- 
teen days out from Fort Snelling. At Lac qui Parle Dr. William- 
son and his companions established themselves as religious teach- 
ers of the Wahpeton and Sisseton Sioux. 

Dr. Williamson was accompanied by his wife and child, Alex- 
ander G. Huggins and family, and Sarah Poage, a sister of Mrs. 
Williamson. 

In 1852 another mission was established a few miles above the 
mouth of the Yellow Medicine river. In the summer of 1854, a 



86 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

new section, New Hope (Hazelwood) was built two miles from 
the Yellow Medicine station. 

These mission stations brought to the region of Redwood 
county nearly all the early Protestant missionaries of Minnesota. 

Chronology. Following is a summary of the history of Minne- 
sota during the period of exploration: 

1635. Jean Nicollet, an explorer from France, who had win- 
tered in the neighborhood of Green Bay, brought to Montreal the 
first mention of the aborigines of Minnesota. 

1659-60. Grosseilliers and Radisson wintered among the Sioux 
of the Mille Lacs region, Minnesota, being its first white explorers. 
In a previous expedition, four years earlier, they are thought by 
some to have come to Prairie island, west of the main channel of 
the Mississippi, between Red Wing and Hastings. 

1661. Father Rene Menard left Kewennaw, on Lake Supe- 
rior, to visit the Hurons, then in northern Wisconsin, and was 
lost near the sources of the Black and Chippewa rivers. His 
breviary and cassock were said to have been found among the 
Sioux. 

1679. July 2, Daniel Greyselon Du Lhut (Duluth) held a 
council with the Sioux at their principal settlement on the shore 
of Mille Lacs. Du Lhut, in June, 1680, by way of the St. Croix 
river, reached the Mississippi and met Hennepin. 

1680. Louis Hennepin, after captivity in the village of the 
Mille Lacs Sioux, first saw the Falls of St. Anthony. 

1689. May 8, Nicolas Perrot, at his Fort St. Antoine, on the 
Wisconsin shore of Lake Pepin, laid formal claim to the sur- 
rounding country for France. He built a fort also on the Minne- 
sota shore of this lake, near its outlet, as well as other posts. 

1690. (?) Le Sueur and Charleville ascended the Mississippi 
above St. Anthony falls. 

1695. Le Sueur built a fort or trading post on Isle Pelee, 
now called Prairie island, above Lake Pepin. 

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

1727. The French established a fort on the present site of 
Frontenac on Lake Pepin. Forts were also erected on nearly 
the same site in 1727 and 1750. 

1728. Great flood in the Mississippi. 

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

1766. Captain Jonathan Carver visited St. Anthony falls and 
Minnesota river. He claimed to have made a treaty with the 
Indians the following spring, in a cave, afterward called "Carv- 
er's Cave," within the present limits of St. Paul, at which he said 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 87 

they ceded to him an immense tract of land, long known as 
"Carver's Claim," but never recognized by government. 

1796. Laws of the Ordinance of 1787 extended over the 
Northwest territory, including the northeastern third of Minne- 
sota, east of the Mississippi river. 

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

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

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

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

1805. Lieut. Z. M. Pike visited Minnesota to establish gov- 
ernment relations there, and obtained the Fort Snelling reserva- 
tion from the Dakotas. 

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

1819. Minnesota, east of the Mississippi river, became a part 
of Crawford county, Michigan. Fort Snelling established and a 
post at Mendota occupied by troops, under command of Colonel 
Leavenworth. Maj. L. Taliaferro appointed Indian agent, arriv- 
ing April 19. 

1820. Cornerstone of Fort Snelling laid September 10. Gov- 
ernor Cass visited Minnesota and made a treaty of peace between 
the Sioux and Ojibways at Fort Snelling. Col. Josiah Snelling 
appointed to the command of the latter post. 

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

1826. Great flood on the Red river; a part of the colony 
driven to Minnesota, settling near Fort Snelling. 

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

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

1834. The portion of Minnesota west of the Mississippi 
attached to Michigan. Gen. H. H. Sibley settled at Mendota. 

1835. Catlin and Featherstonhaugh visited Minnesota. 

1836. The territory of Wisconsin organized, embracing the 



88 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

part of Minnesota east of the Mississippi, the part on the west 
being attached to Iowa. Nicollet visited Minnesota. 

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

Authority. This article has been compiled by the editor from 
many available sources regarding the early Minnesota explorers. 
The chronology is from the Minnesota Legislative Manual. 

References. "History of Minnesota," by Edward D. Neill. 

"Minnesota in Three Centuries," by Warren H. Upham and 
Return I. Holcombe. 

Vol. I, "The Geological and Natural History Survey of Min- 
nesota," 1872-1882. 

"History of Lyon County, Minnesota," by Arthur P. Rose, 
1912. 

The Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society (fifteen 
volumes). 

See catalogue of the Minnesota Historical Society Library for 
volumes dealing with the trips of the various explorers. 



CHAPTER VIII. 
THE LOWER SIOUX AGENCY. 

The Sioux Indian Reservation as established by the treaties 
of 1851, embraced a strip of land, twenty miles wide, ten miles 
on each side of the Minnesota, extending from the mouth of the 
Little Rock (Mud creek) a few miles west of New Ulm, to the 
western boundary of the state. A reservation was divided into 
the Upper and Lower reservations by a line a few miles west 
of Redwood county. The strip on the northern side of the river 
was little used by the Indians, and was by them relinquished in 
1858. 

The work of removing the Indians of the Mississippi and 
lower Minnesota river country to the lower reservation was a 
long and difficult task, and stretched over a period of several 
years. Ft. Ridgely, a few miles east of Redwood county, was 
started in 1853, but there were at that time no considerable 
number of Indians living in the Lower reservation. In 1854, the 
Lower Redwood agency was established in Sherman township, 
Redwood county. A building was erected for agency headquar- 
ters, and in time other structures for the officials, teachers, gov- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 89 

eminent farmers, mechanics, laborers, missionaries, and even for 
the Indians themselves were erected. Several stores were also 
put up. In 1855 a sawmill was constructed at the falls within 
what is now the city of Redwood Falls. 

Gradually the Indians settled about the agency, and here, too, 
gathered quite a colony of white people, and a few half-breeds 
also settled near by. 

The events in the life of the agency, will be related in the 
following chapter under the head of "Causes of the Outbreak," 
and in that chapter also will be found the location of the differ- 
ent tribes. 

Splendid communication existed between the Lower agency 
and the outside world. The ferry connected it with the govern- 
ment military road to Ft. Ridgely, and from Ft. Ridgely there 
were roads to St. Peter, and to Henderson, as well as trails 
to many other pioneer points. From the Lower agency the mili- 
tary road led to the Upper agency on the Yellow Medicine, while 
across the river was the road westward from Ft. Ridgely to Ft. 
Abercrombie. Another road from the Lower agency led south 
to Col. Nobles' Government Wagon road from Ft. Ridgely to the 
South Pass of the Rocky mountains. Many boats were plying the 
Minnesota, bringing both supplies and passengers. 

With the building of the Lower agency, the Government un- 
dertook the difficult task of making white men out of the Indians. 
The civilization and habits which the white race had acquired 
through countless generations of development was to be thrust 
upon a people whom Nature had designated for a wholly different 
life. The race which had lived on the boundless sweeps, sleeping 
in God's fresh air, and getting their livelihood by the chase, 
were to be confined in houses and made to till the soil, while 
proud warriors at whose command had been the unlimited wealth 
of river and lake, of forest and stream, of hill and prairie, were 
to be made into common laborers, splitters of wood, and delvers 
of the earth. 

Many of the white men concerned in this purpose were high 
minded men of sincere convictions, but many were mere parasites, 
preying upon the Indian, debauching his womankind, cheating 
him in trade, and securing his funds and substance through trick- 
ery and fraud. 

In September, 1857, Joseph R. Brown was appointed agent 
for the Sioux agency, succeeding Charles E. Flandrau. He im- 
mediately began important reforms and his influence was vastly 
more powerful than that of all his predecessors in the aggregate. 
The Indians were nearly all blanketed and wild when Major 
Brown took charge, but shortly he had influenced scores of them 
to wear the garb of the white man, to have their hair cut short, 
to cast their ancient adornments aside and instead to carry hoes 



90 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

or spades or axes in their hands. They began to live in houses, 
to cook their food on stoves, and to sleep on four-post bedsteads. 
Numbers of them professed to be Christians. The Indian farming 
operations, the work of building houses, and the other improve- 
ments were superintended by white men in the employ of the 
Government, but in some instances a full-blood Indian was in- 
structor in farming for the other members of a band; such a 
character was called a "farmer Indian." Oxen for teams, 
wagons, plows, and other implements were issued by the Gov- 
ernment, and distributed among the bands. The annual pay- 
ments and issues of other supplies were made, for a time, regu- 
larly, and a skilled physician was in attendance at each agency 
to minister to the Indians in case of sickness, the medicines be- 
ing furnished by the Government. The majority of the Indians, 
however, continued the repose and trust of their faith in the 
"medicine man" of the olden times. 

The change in the administration of the Government in 1861, 
resulting, as it did, in a general change in the minor offices 
throughout the country, carried into retirement Major William 
J. Cullen, superintendent of Indian affairs for the northern super- 
intendency, and Major Joseph R. Brown, agent for the Sioux, 
whose places were filled respectively by Colonel Clark W. Thomp- 
son and Major Thomas J. Galbraith. Colonel Thompson entered 
upon the duties of his office in May of that year, and Major Gal- 
braith on the first day of June. In that month the new agent 
and many of the new employes, with their families, took up their 
residence on the reservations. 

These employes, save a few young men who were employed 
as laborers, were, with the two exceptions, men of families, it 
being the policy of the agent to employ among the Indians as few 
uumarried men as possible. 

The new agent endorsed the policy and adopted the methods 
of his predecessor almost entirely. Especially, did he endeavor 
to make the Indians self-supporting. Those who were already 
"farmers" or "breeches Indians," were favored and encouraged 
in many ways, and those who were still barbaric and blanketed 
were remonstrated with, and entreated to enter upon the new 
life. 

The autumn of 1861 closed upon the affairs of the farmer- 
Indians quite unsatisfactorily ; their crops were light— the Upper 
Sioux raised little or nothing. The cutworms and blackbirds had 
destroyed or damaged almost all the crops. Under the direction 
of Missionary Riggs, who lived among them, Agent Galbraith 
fed one thousand five hundred of the Indians, with supplies 
bought on credit, from the middle of December, 1861, to April 
1, 1862, when they were able to go off on their spring hunt. He 
also fed and cared for a number of old and infirm Indians, who, 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 91 

but for the assistance of the Government, must have starved 
during that hard winter of 1861-1862. 

The "farmer" Indians were kept at work during the winter, 
making fence rails, cutting and hauling saw logs to the saw mills 
at the Upper and Lower agency, and other work, and in payment 
received regular issues of supplies for themselves and families. 

In August, 1861, the agent hired the farmer of the Lower 
agency to plow 500 acres of fallow land, in what was called 
the public land, or the land cultivated by the Indians in common. 
The price of plowing was from $1.50 to $2 per acre. At the same 
time, 475 acres of similar land were plowed for the Upper Sioux ; 
later the Lower farmers plowed 250 acres and the Upper farm- 
ers. 325 acres for their individual use. The plowing was done 
at this time to kill the eggs of the cutworms. In November, 1861, 
the fine stone warehouse, the walls of which are still standing, 
was completed at the Lower agency. At this time there was a 
good steam sawmill, with a corn grinding mill attached, oper- 
ated by Government employes, at each of the agencies. In the 
winter of 1861-62, the Indians delivered at the Redwood saw- 
mill 650,000 feet of saw logs and 128 cords of shingle blocks, and 
the Upper mill received from the same class 178,000 feet of logs. 
The tree tops and other fallen wood from the log timber, was 
cut into cord wood by the Indians, who were paid $2.55 a cord 
at the Lower and $1.25 at the Upper agency ; this wood was used 
for burning brick. The sawmill supplied the carpenter shops 
with lumber for repairing sheds and wagons, and other imple- 
ments, and even for building lumber. The "farmer" Indians 
built stables and pens for their cattle. 

In the early winter of 1862, Agent Galbraith had the plans 
prepared for fifty new dwelling houses for Indian families, the 
buildings to cost an average of $300 each, and the "farmer" 
Indians were promised thirty more houses. In March, he pur- 
chased and had shipped to the reservation 472 plows of various 
sues, shovels, scythes, grain cradles and other implements; four 
farm wagons and forty-five ox carts; for sowing and planting 
20 bushels of beans and peas, 285 bushels of corn, thirty bushels 
of wheat, 3,690 bushels of potatoes and proportionate quantities 
of turnip, pumpkin and other vegetable seeds. The wheat, corn, 
and potatoes were purchased from the "farmer" Indians, and 
paid for in goods and extra provisions from the Government 
warehouse. A large number of live stock was also furnished for 
the Indians. In the spring, Major Galbraith purchased in St. 
Paul a large quantity of builders' hardware, several hundred 
suits of ready-made clothing, a set of blacksmith's and two sets 
of carpenter's tools, a great quantity of wooden ware, furniture, 
etc., and had them shipped to the Lower agency. During the 
winter, 1861-62, the "farmer" Indians at the Lower agency made 



92 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

18,000 good rails and posts. Over 200,000 brick had been burned 
in the fall of 1861. 

In the spring of 1862, there were planted for and by the Meda- 
wakantons and Wahpakootas, on the Lower reservation, 1,025 
acres of corn, 260 acres of potatoes, 60 acres of turnips and ruta- 
bages (twelve acres of experimental spring wheat, and large 
areas of beans, peas, and other field and garden vegetables. These 
crops were all well cultivated, plowed, hoed and weeded, and 
when the outbreak came were in much better condition than the 
fields of many of their white neighbors, only a few miles away. 

The amount of transportation over the road from the Lower 
to the Upper agency was very large, and traversing this road 
were numerous sloughs, coulies, brooks, and creeks difficult* of 
passage. In the spring and summer of 1862, Agent Galbraith 
built no less than eighteen substantial and permanent bridges 
over the water courses on the agency road. The bridges were not 
all completed until August 1, and were not much used prior to 
the outbreak, but they were of great service to General Sibley's 
army, when it invaded the Indian country. 

In June, 1862, Agent Galbraith promised to build for Little 
Crow, a good brick house, with all the then modern improve- 
ments, if he would aid in bringing around his young men to habits 
of industry and civilization, and would himself become a "farm- 
er" Indian. The chief made the required promise of reforma- 
tion and agreed to do part of the work himself. The site has 
been marked by a granite tablet, put up by the late Charles D. 
Gilfillan. A part of the cellar was finished, at the time of the 
outbreak, in August, 1862. 

By the second week in August, 1862, the Indian crops were in 
fine condition, and everything looked prosperous for a bountiful 
harvest. The worst trouble was with the crows and blackbirds; 
vast swarms and flocks of these birds attacked the cornfields. 
The grains were in the milk or soft stage, and the strong-billed 
pests could easily tear open the husk and ruin an ear of corn 
in a few minutes. The Indian women and children went to the 
cornfields at dawn and remained until night-fall, busily engaged 
all day in keeping off the little black-feathered creatures. All 
the Indian cornfields at both agencies were strongly fenced to 
keep out the stock, which was allowed to graze at large. 

On the fifteenth of August the agent made a careful and con- 
servative estimate of the crops his Indians would harvest that 
fall. The lowest estimates were that the Lower Sioux would 
gather and store 25,625 bushels of corn, 32,500 bushels of pota- 
toes, 13,500 bushels of turnips, 240 bushels of wheat, a large quan- 
tity of beans, pumpkins, etc. It was believed that all of this 
great supply would be available for human food, as the Indians 
had cut and stacked enough prairie hay to winter their stock, and 



HISTORY OF EEDWOOD COUNTY 93 

many of them were still at work cutting grass, when the terrible 
outbreak began. 

In 1862, the agency was a flourishing community, assuming 
almost the aspect of a city. With its warehouse and other Gov- 
ernment buildings, a nearly completed Episcopal church, some 
traders' stores, a boarding house, and many dwelling houses, both 
Indians and of whites. The steep road which had been graded 
down the bank to the ferry, was constantly thronged with In- 
dians, half-breeds, government employes, and the German set- 
tlers, who had located in large numbers just across the river in 
Renville county. 

In the near neighborhood of the agency were the Indian vil- 
lages of Little Crow, Blue Earth, Traveling Hail, Big Eagle, 
Yacouta, Wabasha and Hushasha. 

The four trading houses at the Redwood agency in 1862 
were those of Capt. Louis Robert, William H. Forbes, Nathan 
Myriek & Co., and Francois La Bathe, the latter a mixed blood 
Sioux. All of these stood west of the principal agency buildings, 
La Bathe's coming first, and then Myriek 's just east of the big 
ravine. Across the ravine to the northward, near the crest of 
the bluff, was Forbes' store, and to the west of Forbes', about 
150 yards, was Robert's. Myriek 's was the largest in capacity. 

Captain Robert was a prominent early settler and trader of 
Minnesota. One of the principal streets in St. Paul is named in 
his honor. He was a steamboat owner and captain, and also the 
owner of many posts and stores. After the massacre, in 1865, he 
opened the first store in Redwood Falls. 

Authorities and References. This article is based upon ma- 
terial by Return I. Holcombe, appearing in "Minnesota in Three 
Centuries," and a pamphlet "Monuments and Tablets Erected 
by the Minnesota Valley Historical Society." Major Holcombe 's 
articles were based upon the report of Major Thomas J. Gal- 
braith, for 1861-62, upon various published accounts of the massa- 
cre, upon personal observations of the region, and upon the 
personal testimony of Indians and whites, who lived at the 
agency prior to the massacre, or who participated in some of its 
stirring events. 



94 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 



CHAPTER IX. 
CAUSES OF THE OUTBREAK. 

The Sioux outbreak was the culmination of a long series of 
injustices toward the Indians on the part of the whites. De- 
bauched, defrauded, degraded; forced by fear of the strength of 
the whites, and by misrepresentations, to dispose of their lands; 
herded together on reservations; treated by the whites as half- 
witted children, cheated by the traders and starved by the stu- 
pidity of high officials at Washington, who, in addition to the 
unfair provisions of unjust treaties, imposed additional condi- 
tions; the Indians, knowing the revenge that the whites would 
take for a murder already committed by some renegade braves, 
arose in their might, and for a time nearly succeeded in regain- 
ing their hereditary holdings. 

The relations of the Sioux Indians to the white trespassers 
on their lands were of a friendly nature from the time of the 
arrival of the first white explorer. Adventurers and traders 
came and went at will. The French, true to their policy, made 
friends with the Sioux, and the English followed their example. 
So deep was the friendship existing between the Sioux and the 
British that they fought side by side in the Revolutionary War 
and in the War of 1812. 

With the people of the United States the Sioux were no less 
tolerant, and until the great outbreak they remained faithful 
to the obligations of the treaty they made with Zebulon M. Pike, 
in 1805, with the exception already mentioned of a short period 
during the War of 1812, when the Sioux, knowing little of the 
Americans, and remembering their many obligations to the Eng- 
lish, took up arms in behalf of the British king. Even during 
that period Red Wing's band remained loyal to the Stars and 
Stripes. 

There were, of course, isolated cases in which individual Sioux 
warriors wrought revenge for injuries received, just as there 
are illegal acts committed in civilized white communities. The 
despoiling of the French adventurers who, naked and bruised, 
sought shelter in LeSueur's fort near Mankato in the winter of 
1700-01; the murder of Pagonta, "The Mallard Duck," at Men- 
dota by Ix-ka-tapay in 1761 ; the murder of the two cattle drovers 
by a few wild Sisseton near Big Stone lake in 1846 ; the killing 
of Elijah S. Terry by men of the same tribe near Pembina in 
1852; the shooting in October of the latter year of Mrs. Keener 
by Zv-yah-se were offenses in which the Sioux as a nation had 
no part, for which the perpetrators only were responsible. In 
fact, the Sioux boasted up to the time of the outbreak that never 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 95 

in all history had a white man been injured in the Sioux country 
with the approval of the Sioux as a people. 

Gradually, however, discontent grew up between the Indians 
and the whites, though an outward friendliness was maintained. 
The real causes of the final outbreak were the treaties of 1851. 
The Sioux did not want to give up their land. They desired to 
live as they had lived through the countless centuries. In sign- 
ing the treaties which relinquished their lands and condemned 
themselves to a practical imprisonment on a reservation, the 
Sioux were bowing to the inevitable. 

Probably if the treaties had merely provided for the transfer 
of their lands to the whites for a certain amount and the amount 
had been paid, the Indians would have made the best of a bad 
bargain, and on their reservations they might, as time progressed, 
have worked out their own problem. But there were many other 
provisions in the treaties. 

By the treaty of Traverse des Sioux, dated July 23, 1851, 
between the United States and the Sissetons and Wapetons, 
$275,000 were to be paid their chiefs, and a further sum of $30,- 
000 was to be expended for their benefit in Indian improvements. 
By the treaty of Mendota, dated August 5. 1851, the Medawakan- 
tons and Wapakutas were to receive the sum of $200,000, to be 
paid to their chief, and for an improvement fund the further sum 
of $80,000. Annuities were also to be paid for a certain number 
of years. The several sums, which were to become payable when 
the Indians reached their reservations, amounting in the aggre- 
gate to $555,000, these Indians, to whom they were payable, 
claimed they were never paid, except, perhaps, a small portion 
expended in improvements on the reservations. They became 
dissatisfied, and expressed their views in council freely with the 
agent of the government. 

In 1857, the Indian department at Washington sent out Major 
Kintzing Prichette, a man of great experience, to inquire into 
the cause of this disaffection towards the government. In his 
report of that year, made to the Indian department, Major Prich- 
ette says: 

"The complaint which runs through all their councils points 
to the imperfect performance, or non-fulfillment of treaty stipu- 
lations. Whether these were well or ill founded it is not my 
province to discuss. That such a belief prevails among them, 
impairing their confidence and good faith in the government, 
cannot be questioned." 

In one of these councils Jagmani said : "The Indians sold their 
lands at Traverse des Sioux. I say what we were told. For 
fifty years they were to be paid $50,000 per annum. We were 
also promised $305,000, and that we have not seen." Mapipa 
Wicasta (Cloud Man), second chief of Jagmani 's band, said: "At 



96 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

the treaty of Traverse des Sioux, $275,000 were to be paid them 
when they came upon their reservation; they desired to know 
what had become of it. Every white man knows that they have 
been five years upon their reservation, and have yet heard nothing 
of it." 

"When the treatment of the Indians became widely known the 
government could no longer cover up the matter and decided to 
appoint Judge Young to investigate the charges made against 
the governor, of the then Minnesota territory, then acting, ex- 
officio, as superintendent of Indian affairs for that locality. Some 
short extracts from Judge Young's report are here presented: 

"The governor is next charged with having paid over the 
greater part of the money, appropriated under the fourth article 
of the treaty of July 23 and August 5, 1851, to one Hugh Tyler, 
for payment or distribution to the 'traders' and 'half-breeds,' 
contrary to the wishes and remonstrances of the Indians, and in 
violation of law and the stipulations contained in said treaties; 
and also in violation of his own solemn pledges, personally made 
to them, in regard to said payments. 

"Of $375,000 stipulated to be paid under the first clause of 
the fourth article of the treaty of Traverse des Sioux, of July 
24, 1851, the sum of $250,000 was delivered over to Hugh Tyler, 
by the governor, for distribution among the 'traders' and 'half- 
breeds, ' according to the arrangement made by the schedule of 
the Traders' Paper, dated at Traverse des Sioux, July 23, 1851," 
(This was the paper which the Indians declared they were told 
was merely another copy of the treaty. — Ed.) 

"For this large sum of money, Hugh Tyler executed two 
receipts to the governor, as the attorney for the 'traders' and 
'half-breeds;' the one for $210,000 on account of the 'traders,' 
and the other for $40,000 on account of the ' half-breeds ; ' the 
first dated at St. Paul, December 8, 1852, and the second at Men- 
dota, December 11, 1852. 

"And of the sum of $110,000, stipulated to be paid to the 
Medawakantons, under the fourth article of the treaty of August 
5, 1851, the sum of $70,000 was in like manner paid over to the 
said Tyler, on a power of attorney executed to him by the traders 
and claimants, under the said treaty, on December 11, 1852. The 
receipts of the said Tyler to the governor for this money, $70,000, 
is dated at St. Paul, December 13, 1852, making together the sum 
of $320,000. This has been shown to have been contrary to the 
wishes and remonstrances of a large majority of the Indians." 
And Judge Young adds: "It is also believed to be in violation 
of the treaty stipulations, as well as the law making the appro- 
priations under them." 

These several sums of money were to be paid to these Indians 
in open council, and soon after they were on their reservations 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 97 

provided for them by the treaties. In these matters the report 
shows they were not consulted at all, in open council ; but on the 
contrary, that arbitrary divisions and distributions were made 
of the entire fund, and their right denied to direct the manner 
in which they should be appropriated. (See Acts of Congress, 
August 30, 1852.) 

The Indians claimed, also, that the third section of the act 
was violated, as by that section the appropriations therein re- 
ferred to, should, in every instance, be paid directly to the In- 
dians themselves, to whom it should be due, or to the tribe, or 
part of the tribe, per capital, "unless otherwise the imperious in- 
terests of the Indians or some treaty stipulation should require 
the payment to be made otherwise, under the direction of the 
president." This money was never so paid. The report further 
states that a large sum, "$55,000, was deducted by Hugh Tyler 
by way of discount and percentage on gross amount of payments, 
and that these exactions were made both from traders and half- 
breeds, without any previous agreement, in many instances, and 
in such a way, in some, as to make the impression that unless 
they were submitted to, no payments would be made to such 
claimants at all." 

And, finally the report says, that from the testimony it was 
evident that the money was not paid to the chiefs, either to the 
Sisseton, Wapaton or Medawakanton bands, as they in open 
council requested ; but that they were compelled to submit to this 
mode of payment to the traders, otherwise no payment would be 
made, and the money would be returned to Washington ; so that 
in violation of law they were compelled to comply with the gov- 
ernor's terms of payment, according to Hugh Tyler's power of 
attorney. 

The examination of this complaint, on the part of the Indians, 
by the Senate of the United States, resulted in "whitewashing" 
the governor of Minnesota (Governor Alexander Ramsey), yet 
the Indians were not satisfied with the treatment they had 
received in this matter by the accredited agents of the govern- 
ment. 

Neither were the Indians satisfied with the annual payments. 
They had desired that they receive the money promptly and in 
cash. Instead they received part of it in provisions, which gave 
the whites many opportunities for taking advantages of them, 
the market value of the provisions never being equal to the 
amount which was taken out of the Indian fund to pay for them. 
The Indians rightfully felt that they should be given the money 
and allowed to do the purchasing themselves. 

Then, too, a certain amount of the money due the Indians 
each year was devoted to a "civilization fund," that is, for 
agency expenses, erecting agency buildings, paying agents, teach- 



98 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

ers, farmers, missionaries and the like, thus making another drain 
on an already small sum. The Indian could not view with calm- 
ness the luxury in which the whites were living on money which 
rightfully belonged to the Indian, while the Indian himself was 
living in poverty, shut off from the rich sweeps of land where he 
had formerly received his sustenance and condemned to a man- 
ner of life and work for which he had no aptitude 

The action of the government in regard to the Inkpadoota 
massacre, so called, added force to the smouldering dissatisfac- 
tion. The Indians guilty of this tragedy were formerly members 
of Sioux bands, but their own acts, in many cases murder of com- 
panions and relatives, had shut them off from their own people, 
so at the time of the 1857 outrage they were renegades, outlaws, 
whose crimes against their own kinsmen had been such that the 
Sioux had driven them forth to wander the prairies like savage 
wolves, hated alike by Indian and Caucasian. 

For many years they were in constant trouble with the whites, 
their outlaw acts being many and black, though the authorities 
took no action against them. Sometimes, however, an outraged 
white settler visited summary punishment on his own account 
without waiting for the authorities. 

Early in March, 1857, Inkpadoota 's band of outlaws stole 
some horses and sleds from some settlers on the Little Sioux river, 
and on March 8 commenced their awful slaughter on Lake 
Okoboji, in Dickinson county, Iowa. Spirit lake is connected 
with this lake by open straits, and though only one man was 
actually murdered on the banks of Spirit lake the affair is usually 
called the Spirit lake massacre. 

March 26 came the massacre at Springfield, in what is now 
Brown county, this state. Inkpadoota, whose force consisted of 
but twelve fighting men, in addition to women and children, was 
pursued by several companies of soldiers. Many innocent Indians 
were fired upon and maltreated, but Inkpadoota was not cap- 
tured. 

In June came the time for the annual payments to the Indians 
at the agency. "When the Indians gathered there to receive their 
money they were told that no payments would be made unless 
they (the Indians) should go out and capture Inkpadoota. This 
command was made on the order of Indian Commissioner J. W. 
Denver. 

To the stupidity and stubbornness of this man Denver, Minne- 
sota owes its Indian massacre of 1862. "Wise men in the territory 
suggested that the people of the territory be allowed to raise a 
troop of soldiers and go after Inkpadoota, supported by a detach- 
ment of cavalry. But these men were promptly told by Secretary 
of "War Floyd and Commissioner Denver that no suggestions were 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 99 

desired and that the officials at Washington would handle the 
affair as they saw fit. 

Thus the weeks passed while the Indians endured untold suf- 
ferings of illness and starvation. They saw their wives and chil- 
dren hunger and sicken and die. The grasshoppers were eating 
up their garden produce and their corn fields and truck fields 
were spoiling of neglect while they waited at the agency for the 
money that a great government owed them. And this great gov- 
ernment, whose own well-armed and well-equipped troops had 
failed to capture a small band of twelve men, though at one time 
only a few miles away from them, demanded that the starving 
Sioux awaiting their payments arm and equip themselves and 
capture these outlaws, in whose doings they had no part and no 
interest. 

"Give us our annunities first, so that we can eat, and we will 
go after Inkpadoota," said many of the Indians. "The treaty 
I signed at Traverse des Sioux said our money would be paid us 
regularly, and nothing was said about our having to go out and 
bring in those who had killed white people. Ne-manka-Ha-yu- 
sha" (skin your own skunk). Thus spoke Chief Red Iron. Super- 
intendent Cullen and Agent Plandrau could only reply that they 
were acting under orders from Commissioner Denver and must 
obey him. But Cullen 's heart was not in the work; he sent an 
agent, a Mr. Bowes, down to Dunleith, Illinois, then the nearest 
telegraph station to Minnesota, so that speedy communication 
could be had with Washington, and he telegraphed Denver, 
repeatedly urging a repeal, or at least a modification of the 
obnoxious order, which Cullen and Flandrau were as loth to 
enforce as the Indians were unwilling to execute. But Denver 
was obdurate, and Secretary Floyd was haughtily indifferent. At 
last Ciulen and Flandrau appealed to Little Crow to help them. 
They assured him that their superiors were determined that 
before the annunities were paid the peaceable Indians must pursue 
and destroy, or capture, Inkpadoota and all his band. If the 
Indians persisted in their refusal to do what was required there 
was the greatest danger of a bloody war between them and the 
whites, and nobody knew that better than Little Crow. He was 
asked to set an example by furnishing fifty men from his own 
bands for the expedition against the outlaws, and to command 
the expedition himself. "Your band shall first be furnished with 
abundant supplies," said Major Cullen. The chief at once con- 
sented, and visited the other chiefs and bands to induce them to. 
join him. 

On the eighteenth another council was held relative to the 
expedition against Inkpadoota. Cullen, Flandrau, Special Agent 
Pritchette and Major Sherman represented the whites. A num- 
ber of new bright colored blankets and a fat beef were presented 



100 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

to each band for a feast. The Indians decided to undertake the 
expedition, with Little Crow in command, and no white troops 
to go. 

The next day, Sunday, July 19, the Lower Indians set out to 
join the Upper Indians at Yellow Medicine, and from that agency 
on the Wednesday following the entire party marched, Little 
Crow in command. Major Cullen sent his interpreter, Antoine 
Joseph Campbell, and three other half-breeds, John and Baptiste 
Campbell and John Mooers. The entire party numbered over one 
hundred men — Major Cullen says one hundred and thirty-one; 
Joe Campbell reported one hundred and six. Major Sherman 
furnished a wagon laden with provisions, drawn by six mules. 

The expedition set out for Skunk lake — now called Madison 
lake — about forty miles west of the Red Pipestone Quarry, in 
what is now Lake county, South Dakota. Joe Campbell kept a 
daily journal of the expedition, and from his itinerary, published 
with the superintendent's report, it is learned that two days after 
leaving Yellow Medicine the party reached Joseph Brown's 
trading post on the head of the Redwood; here Glittering Cloud 
was elected conductor or guide of the expedition. The next day 
they encamped at the village of Lean Bear, head soldier of the 
Sleepy Eye band. Then via the "Hole in the Mountain," and 
Crooked river, the expedition reached Sunk lake on the afternoon 
of July 28 and found the outlaws. Meanwhile the outlawed band 
had quarreled and separated. Inkpadoota and three other war- 
riors, with a number of women and children, had gone far to the 
westward. The other eight fighting men, with nine women and 
thirteen children, had come eastward and encamped at Skunk 
lake, where there were ducks and fish in abundance. They occu- 
pied six lodges, which were distributed along the lake shore for 
three miles. The advance of Little Crow and his party had been 
discovered, and all the lodges had been deserted, and their 
inmates had fled to another lake twelve or fifteen miles to the 
westward, then called by the Indians Big Driftwood lake, and 
now called Lake Herman. Little Crow had a mounted advance 
guard of seventeen men led by himself. They overtook the fugi- 
tives crossing the lake, and after a short parley commenced 
shooting, firing into and across the lake until the fugitives were 
far out of range. In all three women, three men and three chil- 
dren of the Inkpadootas were killed. It was never known or 
cared whether or not the women and children were killed delib- 
erately. 

Upon the return of Little Crow and his force with the two 
women prisoners, one of them the widow of Shifting Wind, who 
had been killed, they were notified that perhaps they had not 
clone enough to secure the payment of their annuities ; the author- 
ities at Washington must decide. Commissioner Denver at first 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 101 

ordered that the payment and issue of supplies should be with- 
held until Little Crow should again go out and scour all the 
western country until he had destroyed the remainder of Inkpa- 
doota's band. The representations and protestations of Super- 
intendent Cullen and of the department's special agent, Major 
Kintzing Pritchette, could not change the unreasonable and stub- 
born commissioner. Little Crow and party returned to the 
agencies August 3. They and their women and children con- 
tinued to go hungry, as the superintendent said, until about 
September, when, during Denver's absence from Washington, 
Acting Commissioner Charles T. Mix directed Superintendent 
Cullen to make the payment and issue the supplies. Denver's 
unwise and unjust course was to have its effect five years later. 

The treaty of 1858 was not pleasing to the majority of the 
Indians. It was made at Washington by a few Indians picked 
by the white men for that purpose, and the braves declared that 
those who made the treaty had no authority to give away the 
Indian lands without the consent of the Indians as a whole. 

By this treaty the Sioux relinquished their lands north of the 
Minnesota, and confined their reservation to a strip ten miles 
wide on the south side of that river. 

The treaty also elaborated a scheme for forcing the Indian 
to the white man's way of living. A civilization fund was pro- 
vided, to be taken from the annuities, and expended in improve- 
ments on the lands of such of them as should abandon their 
tribal relations, and adopt the habits and modes of life of the 
white race. To all such, lands were to be asigned in severalty, 
eighty acres to each head of a family. On these farms were to 
be erected out of the annuities the necessary farm buildings and 
farming implements, and cattle were to be furnished them. 

In addition to these so-called favors the government offered 
them pay for such labors of value as were performed, in addition 
to the crops they raised. Indian farmers now augmented rapidly, 
until the outbreak of 1862, at which time about one hundred and 
sixty had taken advantage of the provisions of the treaty. A 
number of farms, some 160, had good, snug brick houses erected 
upon them. Among these was Little Crow, and many of these 
farmer Indians belonged to his own band. 

The Indians disliked the idea of taking any portion of the 
general fund belonging to the tribe for the purpose of carrying 
out the civilization scheme. Those Indians who retained the 
"blanket," and hence called "blanket Indians," denounced the 
measure as a fraud upon their rights. The chase was then a 
God-given right ; this scheme forfeited that ancient natural right, 
as it pointed unmistakably to the destruction of the chase. 

The treaty of 1858 had opened for settlement a vast frontier 
country of the most attractive character, in the Valley of the 



102 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Minnesota, and the streams putting into the Minnesota, on either 
side, such as Beaver creek, Sacred Heart, Hawk and Chippewa 
rivers and some other small streams, were nourishing settlements 
of white families. Within this ceded tract, ten miles wide, were 
the scattered settlements of Birch Coolie, Patterson Rapids, on 
the Sacred Heart, and others as far up as the Upper Agency at 
Yellow Medicine, in Renville county. The county of Brown 
adjoined the reservation, and was, at the time, settled mostly by 
Germans. In that county was the flourishing town of New Ulm, 
and a thriving settlement on the Big Cottonwood and Waton- 
wan, consisting of German and American pioneers, who had 
selected this lovely and fertile valley for their future homes. 

In the spring and summer of 1862 the several Sioux bands of 
Minnesota who had been parties to the Treaties of 1851 and 1858 
had, with a few exceptions, all their villages within the prescribed 
limits of the reservation. The Yanktons were on the Missouri 
river, in the region where the city of Yankton, South Dakota, is 
now located. They never came east of Lac qui Parle. The Sisse- 
tons were for the most part on the banks of Lake Traverse and 
Big Stone lake, though some were to the westward. The Wahpa- 
tons were near the Yellow Medicine, in the region known as the 
Upper Agency. The Medawakantons and the Wahpakootas, the 
"Lower Agency Indians,'" had their bands along the south bank 
of the Minnesota, stretching from a little east of Yellow Medicine 
eastward to some four miles below Ft. Ridgely. 

The sub-band of Shakopee (Six, commonly called Little Six) 
was a mile and more west of the mouth of the Redwood river. 
All about the Lower or Redwood Agency were the other Medawa- 
kanton sub-bands. The old Kaposia village of Little Crow was 
on the south side of the Minnesota, a little west of the small 
stream called Crow's creek, somewhat above the present village 
of Morton. Near Crow's village was the band of the Great War 
Eagle, commonly called Big Eagle (Wam-bde-Tonka), and this 
had been the band of Gray Iron, of Fort Snelling. Below the 
agency was the sub-band of Wah-pahah-sha (meaning literally 
Red War Banner), who was commonly called Wabasha, and who 
was the head chief of the Medawakanton band. Near him was the 
village of Wacouta (pronounced Wah-koota, and meaning the 
Shooter), who was now chief of the old Red Wing band. In this 
vicinity was the band of Traveling Hail, sometimes called Pass- 
ing Hail (Wa-su-he-yi-ye-dan). Old Cloud Man was alive, but 
old and feeble, and had turned over the chieftainship to Traveling 
Hail, formerly of Cloud Man's band of Lake Calhoun; and 
farther down the Minnesota, but along the crest of the high bluff 
bank was the band of Mankato, who had succeeded his father, 
the historic old Good Road, in the chieftainship of one of the 
prominent old Fort Snelling bands. The Wahpakootas were 






HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 103 

reduced to one band, whose chief was Red Legs (Hu-sha-sha), 
although Pa-Pay was recognized as one in authority. The Wah- 
pakoota village was below Mankato's on the same side of the 
river. 

In the spring of 1861 the Republican party came into national 
power. Major William J. Cullen, the Democratic Indian super- 
intendent, was removed, and Clark W. Thompson, of Fillmore 
county, was appointed in his stead. Joseph R. Brown, agent for 
the Sioux, was removed, and his place taken by Thomas J. Gal- 
braith, of Shakopee. 

The new agent endorsed the policy and adopted the methods 
of his predecessor almost entirely. Especially did he endeavor 
to make the Indians self-supporting. Those who were already 
"farmers" or "breeches Indians" were favored and encouraged 
in many ways, and those who were still barbaric and blanketed 
were remonstrated with, and entreated to enter upon the new life. 

The autumn of 1861 closed upon the affairs of the farmer 
Indians quite unsatisfactorily; their crops were light, the Upper 
Sioux raising little or nothing. The cut worms had destroyed 
well nigh all the corn fields of the Sissetons, and the same pests, 
together with the blackbirds, had greatly damaged the crops of 
the Wahpatons, Medawakantons and Wahpakootas. Agent Gal- 
braith was forced to buy on credit large quantities of pork and 
flour for the destitute Indians. Under the direction of Mission- 
ary Riggs, who lived among them, Agent Galbraith fed 1,500 
Sissetons and Wahpatons from the middle of December, 1861, to 
April 1, 1862, when they were able to go off on their spring 
hunts. He also fed and cared for a number of the old and infirm 
and other worthy characters among the Lower Indians; but for 
the assistance of the government numbers of these wretched 
savages would have starved during that hard winter of 1861-1862. 
The "farmer" Indians were kept at work during the winter 
making fence rails, cutting and hauling saw logs to the saw mills 
at the Upper and Lower Agency and other work, and in payment 
received regular issues of supplies for themselves and families. 

Prior to 1857 the payment to the Indians under the treaties 
were made semi-annually. In that year Superintendent Cullen 
changed this practice to one payment a year, which, until 1862, 
had commonly been made about the tenth of June. This event 
was a great red letter day in the Indian calendar. It engaged 
attention for months before it came; it was a pleasant memory 
for months afterwards. Every beneficiary attended the payment, 
and many of the Cut Heads and Yanktonnais, that were not 
entitled to receive anything, came hundreds of miles and swarmed 
on the outskirts of the camp, hoping to get something, however 
little, from the stock to be distributed. So there was always a 
big crowd present at the payment and a rare good time. 



104 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

The traders always received a liberal share of the money. For 
a year the Indians had been buying goods from them on credit, 
promising to pay in furs at the end of the hunting season. When 
default was made in the payment, which was invariably the case, 
the balance was promised in cash ' ' at the payment. ' ' The traders 
were therefore always present near the pay tables, with their 
books of account, and when the Indian had received his money 
from the government paymaster he was led over to his trader and 
asked to pay what he owed. The majority of the Indians were 
willing to pay their debts, but there were others who would not 
pay the most honorable debt if they could avoid it; usually the 
latter class owed their traders more than the thirty dollars they 
had received. Sometimes for some years a detachment of sol- 
diers had been sent up from Port Ridgely to preserve order. 

In 1861 the Lower Sioux had been paid June 27, and the 
Upper Sioux July 18. On the seventeenth of June the "St. Peter 
Guards," a newly recruited company, which became Company E 
of the Second Minnesota, Captain A. K. Skaro, and the "Western 
Zouaves" of St. Paul, which became Company D of the Second 
Regiment, Captain Horace H. Western, arrived by the steamer 
City Belle at Port Ridgely as its garrison, taking the place of 
Company B, Captain Bromley, and Company G, Captain McKune, 
of the First Regiment, which companies had been stationed at the 
post since May. Captain McKune 's company, however, remained 
at Ridgely until July 6. 

About the first of July the Indians began certain demonstra- 
tions indicating that they would make serious trouble if troops 
were stationed at the agencies and near the pay tables during 
the coming payments. They seemed to believe that the presence 
of soldiers on these occasions was to coerce them into paying 
debts to the traders, and they were opposed to the idea. They 
soon organized a "soldiers' lodge" (or a-ke-che-ta tepee) to 
consider the matter. A soldiers' lodge was composed of warriors 
that were not chiefs or head soldiers, and who met by themselves 
and conducted all their deliberations and proceedings in strictest 
secrecy. Their conclusions had to be carried out by the chiefs 
and head soldiers. If a war was contemplated the soldiers' lodge 
decided the matter, and from its decision there was no appeal. 
Many other matters concerning the band at large were settled 
by the a-ke-che-ta tepee. 

It was believed by the whites that the soldiers' lodges on the 
Sioux reservation had determined on armed resistance to the 
presence of troops at the pay tables. Agent Galbraith and other 
white people about the agencies became greatly alarmed, and 
June 25 the agent called on Fort Ridgely for troops to come at 
once to Redwood. The St. Peter Guards were promptly sent and 
remained at the Lower Agency until after the payment, which 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 105 

passed off quietly. July 3 Major Galbraith again became alarmed 
at the Indian signs and called for a strong force to come to Yellow 
Medicine. McKune's company of the First Regiment and Skaro's 
of the Second Regiment were at once started from Fort Ridgely, 
but ten miles out were turned back. The next day Captain 
"Western's company started for the Upper Agency, and on the 
sixth was overtaken by Captain Skaro's and the two companies 
reached the Yellow Medicine on the seventh, to the great relief 
of the agent and the other government employes and traders and 
their families, who were in great fear of the rebellious and menac- 
ing Indians, chiefly young men and reckless characters. The pay- 
ment at the Upper Agency was without disorder; the Indians 
paid their debts, but some of them were reported as saying that 
"this is the last time" they would do so. 

July 23 the two companies of the Second Regiment marched 
back to Fort Ridgely. August 13 detachments of both companies, 
under Captain Western and Lieutenant Cox, were sent by Lieu- 
tenant Colonel George, commanding the post at Fort Ridgely, to 
the Spirit lake district, in Iowa, to protect the settlers in that 
region from the depredations of certain Indians, who, it was 
feared, contemplated another raid of the Inkpadoota character. 
The command was absent for two weeks. 

About September 1 the Indians at and above Yellow Medi- 
cine became turbulent and frightened. On the eighth Company 
E, Captain Skaro, was dispatched from Fort Ridgely and reached 
the Yellow Medicine on the tenth. On the fifteenth Lieutenant 
J. C. Donahower, with twelve men of Company E, was sent to 
Big Stone lake as an escort to the government farmer, who was 
directed to secure from the Sissetons about the lake some horses 
which had been stolen by them and the Yanktonnais from white 
settlers on the Missouri in southeastern Dakota. The lieutenant 
returned to Yellow Medicine with three of the recovered horses. 
The Sissetons and Yanktons stole about thirty horses that sum- 
mer from Minnesota and Iowa settlers. September 23 Captain 
Skaro left Yellow Medicine for Fort Snelling, where he joined 
his regiment, which, in a few days, was sent to the South. 

On the tenth of October, 1861, Companies A and B, of the 
Fourth Regiment, became the garrison at Fort Ridgely. Captain 
L. L. Baxter, of Company A, was commander of the post until 
in March, 1862, when the companies with the remainder of the 
regiment were sent to the Union army in front of Corinth, Mis- 
sissippi. 

Upon the organization of the Fifth Minnesota Infantry, March 
29, 1862, three of the companies of that regiment were assigned 
to garrison duty at the Minnesota forts. To Fort Abercrombie 
was sent Company D, Captain John Vander Horck ; to Fort Rip- 
ley, Company C, Captain Hall; to Fort Ridgely, Company B, 



106 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Captain John S. Marsh. As Captain Marsh had not yet joined 
the company, and as Lieutenant Norman K. Culver was on detail 
as quartermaster, Sergeant Thomas P. Gere led the company on 
its march, in zero weather, through a deep snow, from Fort Snell- 
ing to Fort Ridgely, arriving at the latter post March 25. April 
10 Gere became second lieutenant, and on the sixteenth Captain 
Marsh arrived and assumed command of the post. There were 
then at the fort, in addition to the officers and men of Company 
B, Post Surgeon Dr. Alfred Muller, Sutler Ben H. Randall, Inter- 
preter Peter Quinn and Ordnance Sergeant John Jones, and a 
few soldiers' families living in cabins nearby. Sergeant Jones 
was in charge of the government stores and of six pieces of 
artillery of different calibers, the relics of the old artillery school 
at the post, which had been left by Major Pemberton when he 
departed for Washington with the last battery organization, in 
February, 1861. 

The Minnesota Indian payments for 1862 were greatly delayed. 
They should have been made by the last of June, but the govern- 
ment agents were not prepared to make them until the middle of 
August. The authorities at Washington were to blame. For 
some weeks they dallied with the question whether or not a part 
at least of the payment should be made in greenbacks. Com- 
missioner Dole, Superintendent Thompson and Agent Galbraith 
protested that the payment should be in specie. Not until August 
8 did Secretary Chase, of the Treasury, order Assistant Treasurer 
Cisco, of New York, to send the Indians' money in gold coin to 
Superintendent Thompson at St. Paul. The money — $71,000, in 
kegs, all in gold coin — left New York August 11 and arrived at 
St. Paul on the sixteenth. Superintendent Thompson started it 
the next day for the Indian country in charge of C. W. Wykoff, 
E. C. Hatch, Justus C. Ramsey, A. J. Van Vorhees and C. M. 
Daily, and they, with the wagons containing the precious kegs, 
reached Fort Ridgely, August 18, the first day of the great out- 
break. The money and its custodians remained within the fort 
until Sibley's army came, and then the money, in the original 
package as stated, was taken back to St. Paul by the parties 
named who had brought it up. 

Meanwhile there was a most unhappy condition of affairs on 
the reservation. The Indians had been eagerly awaiting the pay- 
ment since the tenth of June. On the twenty-fifth a large delega- 
tion of the chiefs and head men of the Sissetons and Wahpetons 
visited Yellow Medicine and demanded of Agent Galbraith to be 
informed whether they and their people were to get any money 
that year; they alleged they had been told by certain white men 
that they would not be paid because of the great war then in 
progress between the North and South. The agent said the pay- 
ment would certainly be made by July 20. He then gave them 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 107 

some provisions, ammunition, and tobacco, and sent them back 
to their villages, promising to notify them when the money came 
of the exact time of the payment. He then went to the Lower 
Agency and counseled the people there as he had the people at 
Yellow Medicine, adding that they should busy themselves in 
cutting hay for the winter and in keeping the birds from the 
corn. These Lower Indians had worked hard during the summer 
but their crops had not turned out well, owing to the numerous 
birds and insect pests, and their stock of provisions was nearly 
exhausted. Major Galbraith therefore issued them a supply of 
mess pork, flour, salt, tobacco and ammunition. 

Efforts have been made by many writers to show that the 
condition of the Indians was no worse than that of the white set- 
tler — that the Indian had a better chance to prosper than did the 
white pioneer. 

But the circumstances were much different. The pioneer had 
come prepared for the rigors of pioneer life. He had come hop- 
ing to better himself. It is true that in coming the pioneer 
brought civilization. But he did not come for that purpose. 
Much as we admire the pioneer, much as we appreciate the great 
good that he has done, deep though the debt we owe him may 
be, many though his hardships were, nevertheless there can be 
no disguising the motive that brought him. He came because he 
expected to be more prosperous here than he had been in the 
place from whence he came. 

The Indian had no such hope. He was not equipped for the 
mode of life that was thrust upon him. He had owned these 
stretches of land. He had lived in contentment. Through the 
chase he had obtained a good living. When he gave up the op- 
portunity of securing his accustomed daily livelihood he was 
accepting the promise of a great nation that in exchange for his 
land he would be paid certain sums for his support. He had given 
up his land, he had given up his mode of making a living, he had 
moved to the reservation, he had kept his part of the bargain; 
yet the great government was breaking its part of the bargain 
by every quibble and pretense possible. 

The sudden change of life had brought ructions among the 
Indians themselves. Some seeing that the white man by trickery 
and superior strength, was bound to rule, urged that the Indians 
make the best of a bad situation and take up the white man's 
ways. These Indians were called the farmer Indians. 

There were others, however, who saw that the Indian was not 
adapted to the ways of the whites, and saw only slavery and deg- 
radation in the ways of the farmer Indians, many of whom were 
already dying of tubercular troubles as the result of their unac- 
customed mode of life. These blanket Indians, as they were 
called, believed in the old ways. They wanted the government 



108 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

to keep its promise and make its payments according to agree- 
ment, after which they wanted the government to leave them to 
lead their own lives in their own way. 

So these were arguments among the Indians, such matters as 
adopting the white man's habits, clothing, and customs, obeying 
instructions about not fighting the Chippewas, the election of 
chief speaker of the Medawakanton band. 

In the spring Little Crow, Big Eagle, and Traveling Hail were 
candidates for speaker of the band. There was a heated contest, 
resulting in the defeat of Little Crow to his great mortification 
and chagrin and that of his followers, who constituted the greater 
part of the blanket Indian party. His successful opponent, 
Traveling Hail, was a civilization Indian and a firm friend of the 
whites. 

In June, as the time for the payment approached, a number 
of the young Medawakantons and Wahpakootas formed a sol- 
diers' lodge, to consider the question of allowing the traders to 
approach the pay table. The chiefs and head men, according to 
custom, were not allowed to participate in the deliberations of 
this peculiar council, although they were expected to enforce its 
decisions and decrees. After a few days of secret consultation 
the council sent a delegation to Fort Ridgely, which, through Post 
Interpreter Quiim, asked Captain Marsh, the commandant, not 
to send any soldiers to the payment to help the traders collect 
their debts. Captain Marsh replied that he was obliged to have 
some of his soldiers present at the payment, but they would not 
be used unless there was a serious disturbance of the peace, and 
on no account would he allow them to be employed to collect the 
debts owing to the traders by the Indians. This reply greatly 
gratified the Indians and they returned to their villages in high 
glee boasting of what they had accomplished. 

The traders were indignant at the action of the Indian soldiers. 
They vowed not to sell the Indians any more supplies on credit. 
"You will be sorry for what you have done," said Andrew J. 
Myrick, who was in charge of his brother's trading house at Red- 
wood, "you will be sorry. After a while you will come to me 
and beg for meat and flour to keep you and your wives and chil- 
dren from starving and I will not let you have a thing. You and 
your wives and children may starve, or eat grass, or your own 
filth." The traders tried to induce Captain Marsh to revoke his 
decision in their favor, but he would make them no promises. 

In July the Lower warriors convened another soldiers' lodge. 
This time the subject of discussion was whether or not they should 
go on the war-path against the Chippewas, who had recently 
given a lot of trouble. Incidentally the trouble about their debts 
came up, and it was finally decided that if the soldiers guarded 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 109 

the pay tables, and their bayonets were employed as instruments 
for the collection of debts, the Indians would be forced to submit. 
This was the soldiers' lodge about whose purpose and plans so 
many startling and alarming statements were afterwards made by 
the whites. At the time too, the whites were afraid. On one 
occasion the Indians went down to Fort Ridgely and asked to be 
allowed to play ball (or la crosse) on the parade grounds. Captain 
Marsh refused to allow this, and it was afterwards printed that 
on the occasion mentioned the Indians had planned and schemed 
to get into the fort by stratagem, and then massacre the garrison 
and every white person in the neighborhood. 

The Upper Indians were in far worse moods than their breth- 
ren at Redwood. In addition to their dissatisfaction in regard to 
the delay in the payment — for they needed assistance most sorely 
— they were incensed against the white authorities who had for- 
bidden them to make war on the Chippewas. The latter made 
frequent forays upon the Sioux of the upper country. In May 
a hunting party of Red Iron's band was attacked on the Upper 
Pomme de Terre by a band of Chippewas and chased from the 
country, losing two men killed. About the twentieth of July the 
Chippewas slipped down and killed two Sioux within eighteen 
miles of Yellow Medicine. 

These instances stirred the blood of the Upper bands and four 
days later several hundred of them formed a war party and, 
stripped and painted, and yelling and shouting, marched by the 
Agency buildings and the camp of the soldiers and down the 
Minnesota in the direction of Major Brown's stone mansion and 
big farm, near where the Chippewas were supposed to be. The 
majority of the Indians were mounted, but those who were on 
foot went galloping along by the side of the cantering ponies and 
kept up with them easily. The Chippewas had retreated and 
could not be overtaken. 

About the fifteenth of August, only a few days before the 
outbreak, a man and his son of Red Iron's band were killed by 
the Chippewas, while hunting, a few miles north of the river. 
Their bodies were taken back to their village and exposed in 
public for a whole day. Hundreds of Sioux came to see them. 
A war party of a dozen or more set out after the murderers, fol- 
lowed them up into the Otter Tail lake country, and did not re- 
turn to the reservation until nearly two weeks after the outbreak. 

Certain writers have frequently declared that the outbreak 
was a long meditated and carefully planned movement of the 
Sioux and Chippewas in combination ; that Little Crow and Hole- 
in-the-Day were in constant communication and engaged in pre- 
paring for the uprising for weeks before it occurred. The inci- 
dents given of the tragic events, the homicides, and the fights 
between the two tribes up to the very date of the Sioux outbreak 



110 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

prove the absurd falsity of the claim that they were engaged as 
allies in plotting against the whites. I 

In the first part of July in this memorable year a brief period 
of excitement and danger began at the Yellow Medicine Agency. ! 

The Upper Indians became turbulent and menacing, and serious 
results Were avoided only by the greatest care and the intelli- 
gent exercise of sound judgment. 

As early as June 18, Captain Marsh, in command at Port 
Ridgely, deemed it best, in anticipation of trouble among the 
Indians at the payment, to strengthen his forces. On the 
eighteenth Captain Hall ordered Lieutenant T. J. Sheehan, with 
fifty men of Company B of the Fifth Regiment, from Fort Ripley 
to re-enforce the garrison at Fort Ridgely. The Lieutenant and 
his men arrived on the twenty-eighth, and the next day Captain 
Marsh started them and fifty men of Company B, under Lieuten- 
ant T. P. Gere for the Yellow Medicine, which post they reached 
July 2. They carried with them a piece of artillery, a twelve- 
pound mountain howitzer, and plenty of ammunition. Lieu- 
tenants Sheehan and Gere were directed to obey the orders of . ! 
Agent Galbraith and to preserve peace and protect United States 
property, "during the time of the annuity payment for the pres- 
ent year." Sheehan ranked Gere, and was given command of the 
detachment. 

When the soldiers reached the Yellow Medicine, they found 
the Upper Indians already arriving in large numbers in antici- 
pation of the annuity payment, which was the prevailing and 
absorbing topic. On the eighth a detachment of warriors, through 
Interpreter Quinn, had a lengthy interview with the young of- 
ficers. The Indians said: "We are the braves who do the fight- 
ing for our people. We sold our land to the Great Father, but j 
we don't get the pay for it. The traders are allowed to sit at the 
pay table, and they take all our money. We wish you to keep 
the traders away from the pay table, and as we are now hungry 
we want you to make us a present of a beef." The lieutenant 
answered that the payment regulations were in charge of Agent 
Galbraith, whose orders they must obey ; that they had no beeves 
or other provisions, save their own army rations, which -they 
needed for themselves, but that they would tell the agent what 
the warriors had said. 

Every day brought accessions to the number of Indians about 
the Agency. On July 14, when Agent Galbraith arrived, he' was 
astonished and alarmed to find that nearly all of the Upper 
Indians had arrived, that they were greatly destitute, and that 
they were clamoring for ' ' Wo-kay-zhu-zhu ! Wo-kay-zhu-zhu, ' ' the 
payment! the payment! The agent asked them reproachfully: 
"Why have you come? I sent you away and told you not to 
come back until I sent for you again. I have not sent for you — 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 111 

why have you come?" The Indians replied: "It was such a 
long time that we did not hear from you, that we feared some- 
thing was wrong. Then, because of the war in the south, some 
white men say that we will not get our money at all. We want to 
find out about all this. We are destitute and hungry. You may 
not have money, but you have provisions in that big house, and 
this is the time of the year that we should receive both our money 
and supplies; we want some of the supplies now. We will not 
leave our camps until we get our money and all. ' ' 

Major Galbraith sent word of his predicament to Superin- 
tendent Thompson and asked for instructions. The superintend- 
ent answered that the agent was on the ground and must do as 
he thought best. The agent then issued, in scanty quantities, 
some rations of pork and flour and some cloth and other sup- 
plies to the most destitute and deserving. The Indians were 
grateful, and gave numerous dances and other entertainments as 
returns for the favors. 

To add to Major Galbraith 's perplexities, the presence of a 
large number of Yanktonnais and other non-annuity Indians was 
reported. On the day after his arrival he inspected the various 
camps and found, to his disgust and dismay, that there were 659 
lodges of annuity Indians, 78 lodges of Yanktonnais, 37 of Cut 
Heads, and five of unidentified people, said to be Winnebagoes. 
There were more than 4,000 annuity Sioux and about 1,000 Yank- 
tonians and Cut Heads. Even a portion of Inkpadoota's band 
was reported to be out on the prairies. 

By July 18, the Indians had eaten nearly all of their dogs and 
everything, else of an edible character in their camps, and there 
was actual starvation among them. Still there was no payment 
and no issue of supplies. Down in the Minnesota bottoms, almost 
hidden in the high and succulent grass, were hundreds of fat 
cattle belonging to the settlers and to be had for the killing, and 
less than a day's march away were provisions of other kinds, 
enough to feed an army, and to be had for the taking. Lieutenant 
Sheehan feared that the strain would not endure much longer, 
and sent down to Ridgely and brought up another howitzer. Gal- 
braith, however, did not believe there was any danger, as the 
Indians were apparently quiet and peaceable. On the twenty- 
first the lieutenants interviewed Galbraith and plainly told him 
that did he not at once relieve the most pressing necessities of the 
Indians, he would be responsible for any casualty that might 
ensue. The agent agreed that he would at once take a census of 
the annuity people, issue an abundant supply of provisions, and 
then send them back to their villages to await the arrival of their 
money. 

On the twenty-sixth the counting took place. The enumera- 
tion was confined to the annuity Indians; the Yanktonnais and 



112 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Cut Heads were ignored. All of the people eligible to payment 
were assembled near the Government buildings, and a cordon of 
soldiers thrown about the entire concourse. Each sub-chief called 
upon the heads of families in his band to give the number of per- 
sons in their respective families and when the number was an- 
nounced those composing it were sent out of the lines to their 
camps. The enumeration occupied twelve and a half hours. 

The Indian census had been taken, but still Agent Galbraith 
made no issue of provisions, as he had promised. The man seemed 
beside himself, in the perplexities of his situation. He was a 
drinking man, and it is said that he was intoxicated a great por- 
tion of the time in an effort to meet the dangers which confronted 
him with a "Dutch courage." 

The next day after the census was taken, or July 27, Major 
Galbraith sent Lieutenant Sheehan, with fourteen soldiers, four 
citizens and the ever faithful Good Voiced Hail, as a guide, on a 
futile and foolish chase after the half dozen of Inkpadoota 's band 
reported to be hovering about the Dakota boundary, south and 
west of Lake Benton. The men were all mounted and had two 
baggage wagons. After scouring the country in a vain search 
for trails or even signs, the detachment set out on the return 
trip and reached Yellow Medicine August 3. The failure to over- 
take the outlaws had a bad effect upon the Agency Indians, who 
derided the work of the soldiers and were confirmed in their be- 
lief that in matters pertaining to warfare of anj* sort, Indians 
could easily outwit white men. 

The fourth of August came but no paymaster was in sight, 
and there had been no issue of provisions, save a few pieces of 
hard tack, for two weeks. Early in the morning of the fourth the 
Indians sent two messengers to Lieutenant Sheehan and informed 
him that later in the day, they were coming to the Agency to 
fire a salute and make a great demonstration for the entertain- 
ment of the white people, and especially the soldiers. "Don't be 
afraid," they said, "for although we will do a lot of shooting we 
won't hurt anybody." 

About 9 o'clock the soldiers were startled to see that, sud- 
denly and without having previously been seen, the Indians had 
surrounded the camp and were pointing guns at them. The 
sentinels or camp guards were pushed from their beats and told 
to go to their tents and stay there, and Private James Foster, 
of Company B, had his gun wrested from him. At the same time 
several hundred mounted and armed warriors galloped up, yell- 
ing and shooting, and began riding wildly about. The real ob- 
ject of this startling and thrilling demonstration was not appar- 
ent until the Indian leader dashed up to the west end of the Gov- 
ernment warehouse and struck its big door a resounding blow 
with him tomahawk. Very soon the door was broken down and 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 113 

the Indians rushed in and began carrying away the big fat sacks 
of flour and the fatter slices of pork. 

According to Lieutenant Gere's account, the situation was now 
perilous in the extreme. The soldiers were outnumbered seven 
to one by the excited warriors, who were priming, cocking, and 
aiming their guns only a hundred feet away. Private Josiah 
Weakley, of Company C, precipitated a crisis. An Indian had 
pointed a gun at him, and the soldier swore a big mouth-filling 
oath and hastily capped and aimed his gun at the savage to re- 
sent the insult. He was about to the pull the trigger, when Jim 
Ybright struck down the gun, and thus prevented the destruc- 
tion of the entire command and of every other white person at 
or about the Agency. For at that critical moment had a single 
hostile shot been fired, by either white man or Indian, the great 
savage outbreak of a fortnight later would have begun and its 
first victims would have been the people of Yellow Medicine. 

Lieutenant Sheehan ordered his little command to "fall in," 
and promptly every man, gun in hand, sprang into line. There 
was no shrinking and apparently no fear. It was soon realized 
that the object of the Indian attack was to secure the provisions 
in the warehouse wherewith to feed themselves and their famish- 
ing women and children. Had the murder of the whites been in- 
tended, the bloody work would have been begun at once. It 
seemed certain that the Indians would not fire the first shot. 

But the peace must be preserved, even if it had to be fought 
for, and the Government property must be protected at all haz- 
ards. Lieutenant Gere had direct charge of the two cannon, and 
the men of his company had been trained by old Sergeant Jones, 
at Ridgely, to handle them. Taking the tarpaulin cover from one 
of the guns, which was loaded with canister, Lieutenant Gere 
aimed it at the warehouse door, through which the Indians were 
crowding, going for and returning with sacks of flour. From the 
cannon to the warehouse the distance was not more than 150 
yards ; the ground was level, and the range point blank. 

Instantly there were yells of surprise and shouts of warning, 
and the Indians fell back on either side of the line of fire and the 
range of the gun, leaving a wide and distinct lane or avenue be- 
tween the cannon and the warehouse door. Lieutenant Sheehan 
now appeared with a detachment of sixteen men, and that brave 
soldier, Sergeant Solon A. Trescott, of Company B, at their head. 
Down the lane with its living walls marched Sheehan and his 
little band straight to the warehouse. Reaching the building the 
lieutenant went at once to the office of Major Galbraith, too 
impotent through fear, drink and excitement for any good. 
Sergeant Trescott and his men summarily drove every Indian 
from and away from the, warehouse. Only about thirty sacks of 
flour had been taken. 



114 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

Lieutenant Sheehan stoutly demanded that Galbraith at once 
give to the Indians the provisions which really belonged to them, 
and thereby avert not only starvation but probably war. But 
the agent, now that the soldiers were in line and their leader in 
his presence, became, through his "Dutch courage," very digni- 
fied and brave. He said that if he made any concessions to the 
Indians they would become bolder in the future, that the savages 
must be made to respect his position and authority as their agent, 
and not attempt to coerce him into doing his duty. He then de- 
manded that Lieutenant Sheehan should take his soldiers and 
make the Indians return the flour they had seized and which their 
women were already making into bread. 

Sheehan had his Irish spirit thoroughly aroused, and at last 
forced the agent to agree to issue three days' rations of flour and 
pork to the Indians, if they would return to their camps and send 
their chiefs for a council the next day. Meanwhile the Indians 
had assembled by bands about the warehouse and were addressed 
by their chiefs and head soldiers, all of whom said, in effect: 
"The provisions in that big house have been sent to us by our 
Great Father at Washington, but our agent will not let us have 
them, although our wives and children are starving. These sup- 
plies are ours and we have a right to take them. The soldiers 
sympathize with us and have already divided their rations with 
us, and when it comes to the point they will not shoot at us, but 
if they do, we can soon wipe them off the earth." 

The three days' rations were issued, but the Indians declined 
to return to their camps, unless they should first receive all that 
was due them. They again became turbulent and threatened to 
again attack and loot the warehouse. Lieutenant Sheehan moved 
up his entire command directly in front of the warehouse and 
went into fighting line with his two cannons "in battery." Then 
the Indians concluded to forego any hostile movement and re- 
turned to their camps. Their three days' rations had been well 
nigh all devoured before midnight. 

Agent Galbraith continued in his excited mood and eccentric 
conduct. Months afterward, in writing his official report and de- 
scribing the events of the fourth of August, he declared that 
when the Indians assaulted the warehouse they "shot down the 
American flag" waving over it. His statement was accepted by 
Heard, who, in his history, states that the flag was "cut down." 
Lieutenant Sheehan and the men who were under him at Yel- 
low Medicine all assert that the flag was neither shot down or 
cut down or injured in any way, but that when the trouble was 
over for the day the banner was "still there." August 5 the 
agent was still beside himself. He declared that the loyal old 
Peter Quinn, who had lived in Minnesota among his white breth- 
ren for nearly forty years and was always faithful to his trust, 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 115 

even to his death in the slaughter at Redwood Ferry — was not 
to be trusted to communicate with the Indians. He ordered Lieu- 
tenant Sheehan, who had brought Quinn from Ridgely, to send 
him back and he requested that the loyal old man be "put off 
the reservation." 

Sheehan could bear with the agent no longer. He accommo- 
dated him by sending Quinn away, but he sent the old interpreter 
with Lieutenant Gere, whom he directed to hasten to Fort Ridge- 
ly, describe the situation to Captain Marsh, and urge that officer 
to come at once to Yellow Medicine and help manage Galbraith. 
The captain reached Yellow Medicine at 1 :30 p. m. on the sixth, 
having come from Fort Ridgely, forty-five miles distant, by 
buggy in seven hours. 

August 7, Galbraith having been forced to agree to a sensible 
course of action, he, Captain Marsh and Missionary Riggs held a 
council with the Indians. The agent had sent to Hazelwood for 
Mr. Riggs and when the good preacher came, said to him appeal- 
ingly: "If there is anything between the lids of the Bible that 
will meet this case, I wish you would use it. ' ' The missionary as- 
sured the demoralized agent that the Bible has something in 
it to meet every case and any emergency. He then repaired to 
Standing Buffalo's tepee and arranged for a general council that 
afternoon. The missionary gives this description of the proceed- 
ings: 

"The chiefs and braves gathered. The young men who had 
broken down the warehouse door were there. The Indians ar- 
gued that they were starving and that the flour and pork in the 
warehouse had been purchased with their money. It was wrong 
to break in the door, but now they would authorize the agent to 
take of their money and repair the door. The agent then agreed 
to give them some provisions and insisted on their going home 
which they promised to do." 

Captain Marsh demanded that all of the annuity goods, which 
for so long had been wrongfully withheld, should be issued im- 
mediately, and Reverend Riggs endorsed the demand. Galbraith 
consented, and the Indians promised that if the issues were made 
they would return to their homes and there remain until the agent 
advised them that their money had come. The agreement was 
faithfully carried out by both parties to it. The issue of goods 
began immediately and was continued through the eighth and 
ninth. By the tenth all the Indians had disappeared and on the 
twelfth word was received that Standing Buffalo's and the 
Charger's band, with many others, had gone out into Dakota on 
buffalo hunts. On the eleventh the soldiers left Yellow Medicine 
for Fort Ridgely, arriving at that post in the evening of the fol- 
lowing day. 

All prospects of future trouble with the Indians seemed now 



116 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

to have disappeared. Only the Upper Indians had made mis- 
chief; the Lower Indians had taken no part nor manifested any 
sympathy with what their brethren had done, but had remained 
quietly in their villages engaged in their ordinary avocations. 
Many had been at work in the hay meadows and corn fields. All 
the Indians had apparently decided to wait patiently for the 
annuity money. This agreeable condition of affairs might have 
been established six weeks earlier, but for the unwise, yet well 
meant work of Agent Galbraith, who should have done at first 
what he did at last. 

Believing that no good reason any longer existed for the pres- 
ence of so many troops at Fort Ridgely, Captain Marsh ordered 
Lieutenant Sheehan to lead Company C of the Fifth Minnesota 
back to Fort Ripley, on the Upper Mississippi, the march to be 
made on foot, across the country, by the most direct route. At 
7 o'clock on the morning of August 17, the detachment set out, 
encamping the first night at Cumming's Grove, near the present 
site of "Winthrop, Sibley county. 

After the troubles at Yellow Medicine were over a number of 
discharged government employes, French-Canadians, and mixed 
blood Sioux expressed a desire to enlist in the Union army, under 
President Lincoln's call for "300,000" more. 

The Government was advancing forty dollars of their pros- 
pective bounty and pay to recruits, and as quite a number of the 
would-be volunteers were out of employment and money, the 
cash offer was perhaps to some as much of a stimulus to enlist as 
was their patriotism. A very gallant frontiersman named James 
Gorman, busied himself with securing recruits for the pioneer 
company, which, because most of its numbers were from Renville 
county, was called the "Renville Rangers." Captain Marsh had 
encouraged the organization, and Agent Galbraith had used all 
of his influence in its behalf. August 12 thirty men enlisted in the 
Rangers at Yellow Medicine and on the fourteenth twenty more 
joined the company at Redwood. Galbraith and Gorman, with 
their fifty men, left Redwood Agency for Fort Snelling, where it 
was expected the company would join one of the new regiments 
then being formed. At Fort Ridgely Captain Marsh furnished 
the Rangers quarters and rations and sent Sergeant James G. 
McGrew and four other soldiers with them on their way to the 
fort. At New Ulm they received a few men, and the entire com- 
pany, in wagons, reached St. Peter in the afternoon of the 
eighteenth. 

Much that is false has been written regarding the cause of the 
Sioux Outbreak, many idle speculations have been published as 
absolute fact. 

There certainly was no conspiracy between the Chippewas and 
the Sioux ; there were certainly no representatives of the southern 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 117 

Confederacy urging the Indians to revolt, Little Crow was most 
assuredly guiltless of having long planned a general massacre. 
Possibly, for such is human nature, the Indians, smarting under 
untold wrongs, may have considered the possibilities of driving 
out the whites and resuming their own ancient freedom. But no 
details had been planned upon. The officials at Washington and 
their representatives on the reservation were wholly and solely 
responsible for the great massacre. The spark which lighted the 
conflagration was the lawless act of a few renegades, but there 
would have been no blaze from this spark had not the whites, 
through guile and dishonesty, been gradually increasing the dis- 
gust, discontent and resentment in the Red Men's breast. 

The editor of this work holds no brief for the Indian. No one 
realizes more than he the sufferings of those innocent settlers, 
those martyrs to civilization, who underwent untold horrors at 
the hands of a savage and infuriated race. In savage or civil- 
ized warfare, no acts of heartless cruelty can be excused or con- 
doned. In the wrongs to which the Indian had been subjected 
the noble settlers of the Minnesota valley were guiltless. 

Civilization can never repay the Minnesota pioneers for the 
part they had in extending further the dominion of the white 
man, for the part they took in bringing the county from a wild 
wilderness to a place of peace, prosperity and contentment. 

The treatment of the Indian by the settlers of this county was 
ever considerate and kind, the red man was continually fed and 
warmed at the settlers' cabins. There is no condoning the terrible 
slaughter of these innocent, kind hearted, hospitable whites who 
in seeking their home in this rich valley were not unmindful of 
the needs of their untutored predecessors. 

It should, however, be remembered that however cruel, lust- 
ful and bloodthirsty the Indian showed himself to be, base, 
treacherous, barbarous as his conduct was, cowardly and mur- 
derous though his uprising against the innocent pioneers; never- 
theless not his alone was the guilt. The officials who tricked and 
robbed him, whose stupidity and inefficiency incensed him, whose 
lack of honor embittered him against all whites, they too, must 
bear a part of the blame for that horrible uprising. 

It should be remembered too, that the white soldiers battling 
for a great nation taught the Indian no better method than the 
Indian himself practiced. The Indian violated the flag of truce, 
and likewise the white soldiers fired on Indians who came to 
parley under the white flag. The Indians killed women and chil- 
dren, the white soldiers likewise turned their guns against the 
teepes that contained the Indian squaws and papooses. The In- 
dian mutilated the bodies of those who fell beneath his anger, and 
there were likewise whites who scalped and mutilated the bodies 
of the Indians they killed. The Indian fired on unprotected white 



118 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

men, and there were white men too, who fired on unprotected 
Indians who had no part in the outbreak. 

Neither side was guiltless. And the innocent settlers, espe- 
cially those heroic families living along the valley of the Minne- 
sota, paid the horrible price for the crimes of both races. 

Authority and references. See Chapter X. 



CHAPTER X. 
THE SIOUX OUTBREAK. 

Sunday, August 17, 1862, was a beautiful day in western Min- 
nesota. The sun shone brightly, the weather was warm, and the 
skies were blue. The corn was in the green ear stage; the wild 
grass was ripe for the hay mowing; the wheat and oats were 
ready to be harvested. 

A large majority of the settlers and pioneers in the Upper 
Minnesota valley, on the north or east side of the river, were 
church members. The large German Evangelical settlement, on 
Sacred Heart creek held religious services on that day at the 
house of one of the members, and there were so many in attend- 
ance that the congregation occupied the dooryard. A great flock 
of children had attended the Sunday school and received the 
ninth of a series of blue cards, as evidence of their regular at- 
tendance for the nine preceding Sundays. "When you come next 
Sunday," said the superintendent to the children, "you will be 
given another blue ticket, making ten tickets, and you can ex- 
change them for a red ticket. ' ' But to neither children or super- 
intendent that "next Sunday" never came. 

At Yellow Medicine and Hazelwood there was an unusual 
attendance at the meetings conducted by Riggs and Williamson. 
At the Lower Agency Rev. S. D. Hinman, the rector of the sta- 
tion, held services in Sioux in the newly erected but uncompleted 
Episcopal church and among his most attentive auditors were 
Little Crow and Little Priest, the latter a Winnebago subject, 
who, with a dozen of his band, had been hanging about the Agency 
awaiting the Sioux payments. Little Crow was a pagan, believing 
in the gods of his ancestors, but he always showed great tolerance 
and respect for the religious opinions of others. 

Altogether there was not the slightest indication or the faintest 
suspicion of impending trouble before it came. There are printed 
statements to the effect that a great conspiracy had been set on 
foot, or at least planned; but careful investigation proves these 
statements, no matter by whom made, to be baseless and unwar- 
ranted. Except the four perpetrators nobody was more startled 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 119 

or surprised upon the learning of the murder of the first whites, 
than the Indians themselves. 

The Rice Creek Indians were deserters from the bands to 
which they rightfully belonged, because they were discontented 
with conditions and had grievances against their chiefs or others 
of their fellow-clansmen. They were, too, malcontents generally. 
They did not like their own people ; they did not like the whites. 
Not one of them was a Christian, and they had nothing but con- 
tempt for their brethren that had become converts. Many of 
them, however, wore white men's clothing, and a few were good 
hunters and trappers, although none were farmers. They de- 
pended almost altogether for provisions upon their success in 
hunting and fishing. Detachments from the band were constantly 
in the big woods, engaged in hunting, although in warm weather 
the game killed became tainted and nearly putrid before it could 
be taken home; and from daylight until dark the river bank in 
front of their village was lined with women and children busily 
fishing for bullheads. 

On Sunday afternoon, August 17, the Rice Creekers held an 
open council, which was attended by some of Shakopee's band 
located not far away. It was agreed to make a demonstration to 
hurry up the payment, and that the next day every able-bodied 
man should go down to the Lower Agency, from thence to Fort 
Ridgely, and from thence to St. Paul, if necessary, and urge the 
authorities to hasten the pay day, already too long deferred. But 
nothing was said in the council about war. An hour or two later 
nothing was talked of but war. 

About August 12 twenty Lower Indians went over into the 
big woods of Meeker and McLeod counties to hunt. Half a dozen 
or more of the Rice Creek band were of the party. One of Shako- 
pee's band, named Island Cloud, or Makh-pea "We-tah, had busi- 
ness with Captain George C. Whitcomb, of Forest City, concern- 
ing a wagon which the Indian had left with the captain. Reach- 
ing the hunting grounds in the southern part of Meeker county, 
the party divided, Island Cloud and four others proceeding to 
Forest City and the remainder continuing in the township of 
Acton. 

On the morning of August 17 four Rice Creek Indians were 
passing along the Henderson and Pembina road, in the central 
part of Acton township. Three of them were formerly Upper 
Indians, the fourth had a Medawakanton father and a "Wahpaton 
mother. Their names, in English, were Brown Wing, Breaks Up 
and Scatters, Ghost That Kills, and Crawls Against; the last 
named was living at Manitoba in 1891. Two of the four were 
dressed as white men ; the others were partly in Indian costume. 
None of them was more than thirty years of age, but each seemed 
older. 



120 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

As these Indians were passing the house and premises of 
Robinson Jones, four miles south of the present site of Grove 
City, one of them found some hen's eggs in a fence corner and 
proceeded to appropriate them. One of his comrades remon- 
strated against his taking the eggs because they belonged to a 
white man and a discussion of the character of a quarrel resulted. 
To Return I. Holcombe, the compiler of this chapter, in June, 1894, 
Chief Big Eagle related the particulars of this incident, as fol- 
lows: 

"I will tell you how this was done, as it was told to me by all 
of the four young men who did the killing. * * * They came 
to a settler's fence and here they found a hen's nest with some 
eggs in it. One of them took the eggs when another said: 'Don't 
take them, for they belong to a white man and we may get into 
trouble.' The other was angry, for he was very hungry and 
wanted to eat the eggs, and he dashed them to the ground and 
replied: 'You are a coward. You are afraid of the white man. 
You are afraid to take even an egg from him, though you are 
half starved. Yes, you are a coward and I will tell everybody 
so.' The other said, 'I am not a coward. I am not afraid of the 
white man, and to show you that I am not, I will go to the house 
and shoot him. Are you brave enough to go with me?' The one 
who had taken the eggs replied: 'Yes, I will go with you and we 
will see who is the brave.' Their two companions then said : 'We 
will go with you and we will be brave, too.' Then they all went 
to the house of the white man." (See Vol. 6, Minn. Hist. Socy. 
Coll., p. 389; also St. Paul Pioneer Pres, July 1, 1894.) 

Robinson Jones was a pioneer settler in Acton township. He 
and others came from a lumber camp in northern Minnesota, in 
the spring of 1857, and made claims in the same neighborhood. 
January 4, 1861, Jones married a widow named Ann Baker, with 
an adult son, Howard Baker, who had a wife and two young chil- 
dren and lived on his own claim, in a good log house, half a mile 
north of his step-father. The marriage ceremony uniting Jones 
and Mrs. Baker was performed by James C. Bright, a justice of 
the peace. In the summer of 1862 Mr. and Mrs. Jones adopted 
into their family a deceased relative's two children, Clara D. 
Wilson, a girl of fifteen, and her half brother, an infant of only 
eighteen months. No children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Jones 
after their marriage. 

Jones was a typical stalwart frontiersman, somewhat rough 
and unrefined, but well liked by his white neighbors. His wife 
was a congenial companion. In 1861 a postoffice called Acton was 
established at Jones' house; it was called for the township, which 
had been named by some settlers from Canada for their old home 
locality. In his house Jones kept a small stock of goods fairly 
suited to the wants of his neighbors and to the Indian trade. He 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 121 

also kept constantly on hand a barrel or more of cheap whiskey 
which he sold by the glass or bottles, an array of which always 
stood on his shelves. He seldom sold whiskey to the Indians ex- 
cept when he had traded with them for their furs, but Mrs. Jones 
would let them have it whenever they could pay for it. 

August 10, a young married couple, Mr. and Mrs. Viranus 
Webster, from Wisconsin, in search of a Minnesota homestead, 
came to Howard Baker's in their fine two-horse wagon and were 
given a welcome and a temporary home until they could select 
a claim. As Baker's rooms were small, the Websters continued 
to use their covered wagon as a sleeping apartment. Webster 
had about $160 in gold coin, and some other money, and good 
outfit, including a fine shotgun. 

The Ghost Killer and his three companions went to Jones' 
house, and according to his statement, made half an hour later, 
demanded whiskey, which he declined to give them. He knew 
personally all of the four, and was astonished at their conduct, 
which was so unusual, so menacing and threatening, that — al- 
though he was of great physical strength and had a reputation 
as a fighter and for personal courage — he became alarmed and 
fled from his own house to that of his step-son, Howard Baker, 
whither his wife had preceded him on a Sunday visit. In his 
flight he abandoned his foster children, Clara Wilson and her 
baby brother. Reaching the house of his step-son, Jones said, in 
apparent alarm, that he had been afraid of the Indians who had 
plainly tried to provoke a quarrel with him. 

Although the Jones house, with its stores of whiskey, mer- 
chandise, and other articles had been abandoned to them, the 
Indians did not offer to take a thing from it, or to molest Miss 
Wilson. Walking leisurely, they followed Jones to the Baker 
house, which they reached about 11 a. m. Two of them could 
speak a little English, and Jones spoke Sioux fairly well. What 
occurred is thus related in the recorded sworn testimony of Mrs. 
Howard Baker, at the inquest held over the bodies of her husband 
and others the day following the tragedy : 

"About 11 o'clock a. m. four Indians came into our house; 
stayed about fifteen minutes; got up and looked out; had the 
men take down their guns and shoot them off at a mark; then 
bantered for a gun trade with Jones. About 12 o'clock two more 
Indians came and got some water. Our guns were not reloaded ; 
but the Indians reloaded theirs in the door yard after they had 
fired at the mark. I went back into the house, for at the time I 
did not suspect anything, but supposed the Indians were going 
away. 

' ' The next thing I knew I heard the report of a gun and saw 
Mr. Webster fall; he stood and fell near the door of the house. 
Another Indian came to the door and aimed his gun at my hus- 



122 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

band and fired, but did not kill him ; then he shot the other barrel 
of the gun at him, and then he fell dead. My mother-in-law, Mrs. 
Jones, came to the door and another Indian shot her ; she turned 
to run and fell into the buttery ; they shot at her twice as she fell. 
I tried to get out of the window but fell down cellar. I saw Mrs. 
Webster pulling the body of her husband into the house; while 
I was in the cellar I heard firing out of doors, and the Indian 
immediately left the house, and then all went awar. 

"Mr. Jones had told us that they were Sioux Indians, and 
that he was well acquainted with them. Two of the Indians had 
on white men's coats; one was quite tall, one was quite small, one 
was thick and chubby, and all were middle-aged ; one had two 
feathers in his cap, and another had three. Jones said to us: 
'They asked me for whiskey, but I could not give them any.' " 
(See History of Meeker county, 1876, by A. C. Smith, who pre- 
sided at the inquest and recorded the testimony of Mrs. Baker.) 

In a published statement made a few days later (See com- 
munication of M. S. Croswell, of Monticello, in St. Paul Daily 
Press, for September 4, 1862) Mrs. Webster fully corroborates 
the statements of Mrs. Baker. She added, however, that when 
the Indians came to the Baker house they acted very friendly, 
offering to shake hands with everybody; that Jones traded Bak- 
er's gun to an Indian that spoke English and who gave the white 
man three dollars in silver "to boot," seeming to have more 
money; that Webster was the first person shot and then Baker 
and Mrs. Jones; that an Indian chased Jones and mortally 
wounded him so that he fell near Webster's wagon, shot through 
the body, and died after suffering terribly, for when the relief 
party came it was seen that in his death agonies he had torn up 
handfuls of grass and turf and dug cavities in the ground, while 
his features were horribly distorted. 

Mrs. Webster further stated that she witnessed the shooting 
from her covered wagon ; that as soon as it was over the Indians 
left, without offering any sort of indignities to the bodies of their 
victims, or to carry away any plunder or even to take away Web- 
ster's and Baker's four fine horses, a good mount for each In- 
dian. Mrs. Webster then hastened to her dying husband and 
asked him why the Indians had shot him. He replied: "I do not 
know; I never saw a Sioux Indian before, and never had any- 
thing to do with one." Mrs. Baker now appeared from the cellar, 
and, with her two children ran into a thicket of hazel bushes 
near the house and cowered among them. As soon as Webster 
was dead and his body had been composed by his wife, she, too, 
ran to the bushes and joined Mrs. Baker. 

The two terror-stricken women were considering, as best 
their mental condition would permit, what they should do, when 
a half-witted, half-demented fellow, an Irishman, named Cox, 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 123 

came along the road. At once the women entreated him for as- 
sistance. The poor imbecile only grinned, shook his head and said 
to them that they were liars and that there had been no Indians 
here. When they pointed to the bloody corpses he laughed and 
said: "Oh, they only have the nose-bleed; it will do them good," 
and then passed on, crooning a weird song to a weirder tune. A 
few days later, the report was that Cox was a spy for the Indians 
and he was arrested at Forest City and sent under guard, via 
Monticello, to St. Paul, where, on investigation, he was released 
as a harmless lunatic. 

Horrified and half distracted, Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Webster, 
with the former's two children, made their way for some miles 
to the house of Nels Olson (who was afterward killed by the 
Indians), where they passed the night. The next morning they 
were taken to Forest City and from thence to Kingston and Mon- 
ticello. Their subsequent history cannot here be given. 

Soon after their arrival at Nels Olson's cabin Ole Ingeman 
heard the alarming story of Mrs. Baker and Mrs. Webster and 
galloped away to Forest City with the thrilling news, stirring up 
the settlers on the way. He reached Forest City at six o'clock in 
the evening, crying, "Indians on the war-path!" In an hour six- 
teen of the villagers, with hunting rifles and shotguns, were on 
their way to Acton. It soon grew dark and nine of the party 
turned back. The other seven — John Blackwell, Berger Ander- 
son, Amos N. Fosen, Nels Danielson, Ole Westman, John Nelson, 
and Charles Magnuson — pressed bravely on. Soon they were 
joined by another party of settlers headed by Thomas McGan- 
non. Reaching the Baker place, the settlers approached the house 
warily, lest the Indians were still there. In the darkness they 
stumbled over the bloody bodies of Jones, Webster and Baker, 
and found the corpse of Mrs. Jones in a pantry. 

In the gloom of midnight the pioneers passed on to Acton 
postoffice, Jones' house. Here they expected to find the Indians 
dead drunk in Jones' whisky, but not an Indian was there. Pros- 
trate on the floor, in a pool of her virgin blood, and just as she 
had fallen when the Indian's bullet split her young heart in twain, 
lay the corpse of poor Clara Wilson. No disrespect had been 
shown it and she had been mercifully killed outright — that was 
all. On a low bed lay her little baby brother of two years, with 
not a scratch upon him. He had cried himself to sleep. When 
awakened he smiled into the faces of his rescuers, and prattled 
that Clara was "hurt" and that he wanted his supper. John 
Blackwell carried him away and the child was finally adopted by 
Charles H. Ellis, of Otsego, Wright county. 

In a corner of the main room of the Jones house stood a half- 
filled whisky barrel, and on a long shelf, with other merchandise, 
was an array of pint and half-pint bottles filled with the exhila- 



124 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

rating beverage. The Indians had not touched a drop of the 
stuff— so they themselves declared, and so appearances indi- 
cated. The numerous printed statements that they Avere drunk 
when they perpetrated the murders are all false. Moreover, 
Jones' statement that they wanted whisky and "acted ugly" be- 
cause he would not let them have it, may well be disbelieved. 
After he had fled from the house, disgracefully abandoning Clara 
Wilson and her baby brother, who were all that could say them 
nay, the Indians might have seized enough of the whisky to make 
the entire Rice Creek band drunk ; and when they returned from 
Baker's and killed Miss Wilson they could easily have plundered 
Jones' house, not only of its whisky, but of all its other contents, 
but this they did not do. Of all Jones' household goods and his 
tempting stock of merchandise, not a pin was taken and not a 
drop of whisky drank. At Baker's they were as sober as judges 
and asked for water. (See Lawson and Tew's admirable History 
of Kandiyohi county, pp. 18-19; also Smith's History of Meeker 
county.) 

On Monday, August 18, about sixty citizens assembled at 
Acton and an inquest was held on the bodies of Jones, Webster, 
Baker, Mrs. Jones, and Clara Wilson. The investigation was 
presided over by Judge A. C. Smith, of Forest City, then pro- 
bate judge and acting county attorney of Meeker county. The 
testimony of Mrs. Baker and others was taken and recorded and 
the verdict was that the subjects of the inquest were, "murdered 
by Indians of the Sioux tribe, whose names are unknown." The 
bodies had changed and were changing fast under the warm Au- 
gust temperature, and were rather hastily coffined and taken 
about three miles eastward to the cemetery connected with the 
Norwegian church, commonly called the Ness church, and all five 
of them were buried "in one broad grave." (See Smith's His- 
tory, p. 17.) Some years later at a cost of $500, the State erected 
a granite monument over the grave to the memory of its inmates. 

While the inquest was being held at the Baker house, eleven 
Indians, all mounted, appeared on the prairie half a mile to the 
westward. They were Island Cloud and his party. The two In- 
dians that had come to Baker's the previous day, while the Ghost 
Killer and his companions were there, and had left, after obtain- 
ing a drink of water, and before the murders, reported to the 
main party that they had heard firing in the direction of the 
Baker house. Ghost Killer and the three others had not since 
been seen, and Island Cloud and his fellows feared that the whites 
had killed them in a row, while drunk on Jones' whisky. (Island 
Cloud's statement to W. L. Quinn and others.) They were ap- 
proaching the Baker house to learn what had become of their 
comrades when the crowd at the inquest saw them. Instantly a 
number of armed and mounted settlers started for them, bent on 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 125 

vengeance. The Indians, wholly unaware of the real situation, 
and believing that their four comrades had been murdered and 
that they themselves were in deadly peril, turned and fled in 
terror and were chased well into Kandiyohi county. Both whites 
and Indians in the vicinity of Acton were at this time wholly 
unaware and altogether unsuspicious of what a great conflagra- 
tion was then raging the Minnesota valley and which had been 
kindled by the little fire at Howard Baker's cabin. 

All of the attendant circumstances prove that the murder was 
solely the work of the five persons that did the deed, and that they 
had no accessories before or after the fact. It was not perpetrated 
because of dissatisfaction at the delay in the payment, nor because 
there were to be soldiers at the pay table ; it was not occasioned 
by the sale of the north ten-mile strip of the reservation, nor be- 
cause so many white men had left Minnesota and gone into the 
Union army. It was not the result of the councils of the soldiers' 
lodge, nor of any other Indian plot. The twenty or more Indians 
who left Rice Creek August 12 for the hunt did not intend to kill 
white people; if they had so intended, Island Cloud and all the 
rest would have been present at and have participated in the 
murders at Baker's and Jones' and carried off much portable 
property, including horses. The trouble started as has been 
stated — from finding a few eggs in a white man's fence-corner. 

After the murder of Clara Wilson — who, the Indians said, was 
shot from the roadway as she was standing in the doorway look- 
ing at them — the four murderers, possibly without entering the 
Jones house, went directly to the house of Peter Wicklund, near 
Lake Elizabeth, which they reached about one o'clock, when the 
family were at dinner. Wicklund 's son-in-law, A. M. Ecklund, 
who had a team of good young horses, had arrived with his wife, 
a short time before, for a Sunday visit at her father's One of 
the Indians came to the door of the house, cocked his gun, and 
pointed it at the people seated around the dinner table. Mrs. 
Wicklund rose and motioned to the savage to point his gun in 
another direction. He continued, however, to menace the party 
and thus distract their attention while his companions secured 
and slipped away with Ecklund 's horses. Then, mounted, two on 
a horse, the four rode rapidly southward. Some distance from 
Wicklund 's they secured two other horses, and then they pro- 
ceeded as fast as possible to their village at the mouth of Rice 
Creek, forty miles from Acton. 

They reached their village in the twilight after a swift, hard 
ride, which, according to Jere Campbell, who was present, had 
well nigh exhausted the horses. Leaping from their panting and 
dripping studs they called out: "Get your guns! There is war 
with the whites and we have begun it!" Then they related the 
events of the morning. They seemed like criminals that had per- 



126 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

petrated some foul deed and then, affrighted, apprehensive and 
remorseful, had fled to their kinsmen for shelter and protection. 
Their story at once created great excitement and at the same 
time much sympathy for them. Some of their fellow villagers 
began at once to get ready for war, by putting their guns in order 
and looking after their ammunition supplies. Ho-choke-pe-doota, 
the chief of the Rice Creek band — if he really held that position 
— was beside himself with excitement. At last he concluded to 
take the four adventurers and go to see Chief Shakopee about the 
matter. Repairing as speedily as possible to the chief's village, 
on the south side of the river, near the mouth of the Redwood, 
they electrified all of its people by their startling story, which, 
however, many of them had already heard. 

Shakopee (or Little Six) was a non-progressive Indian, who 
lived in a tepee and generally as an Indian — scorning the ad- 
juncts of the white man. The story of the killing stirred him, 
and the excitement among his band, some members of which were 
already shouting the war-whoop and preparing to fight, affected 
him so that, while he declared that he was for war, he did not 
know what to do. "Let us go down and see Little Crow and the 
others at the Agency," he said at last. Accordingly Shakopee, 
the Rice Creek chief, two of the four young men who still smelled 
of the white people's blood they had spilled, and a considerable 
number of other Rice Creekers, and members of Shakopee 's band, 
although it was midnight, went down to consult with the greatest 
of the Sioux, Tah Yahte Dootah, or Little Crow. Messengers 
were also sent to the other sub-chiefs inviting them to a war 
council at Little Crow's house. The chief was startled by the ap- 
pearance of Shakopee and the others, and at first seemed non- 
plussed and at a loss to decide. Finally he agreed to the war, 
said the whites of the Upper Minnesota must all be killed, and he 
commended the young murderers for shedding the first blood, 
saying they had "done well." Big Eagle thus relates the incident: 

"Shakopee took the young men to Little Crow's frame house, 
two miles above the Agency, and he sat up in bed and listened to 
their story. He said war was now declared. Blood had been 
shed, the annuities would be stopped, and the whites would take 
a dreadful vengeance because women had been killed. "Wabasha, 
Wacouta, myself, and some others talked for peace, but nobody 
would listen to us, and soon the general cry was : 'Kill the whites, 
and kill all these cut-hairs (Indians and half-bloods who had cut 
their hair and put on white men's clothes) that will not join us.' 
Then a council was held and war was declared. The women be- 
gan to run bullets and the men to clean their guns. Parties 
formed and dashed away in the darkness to kill the settlers. 
Little Crow gave orders to attack the agency early next morning 
and to kill the traders and other whites there. 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 127 

"When the Indians first came to Little Crow for counsel and 
advice he said to them, tauntingly, 'Why do you come to me for 
advice? Go to the man you elected speaker (Traveling Hail) 
and let him tell you what to do.' But he soon came around all 
right." 

Between 6 and 7 o'clock on the morning of August 18, the 
first shot was fired and the first white man was killed at the 
Lower Agency and the dreadful massacre began. James W. 
Lynd, ex-state senator from Sibley county, was a clerk in My- 
rick's trading house at the agency. He was standing upon a door 
step watching the movements of some Indians who were coming 
along with guns in their hands and acting strangely. Suddenly 
one of them named Much Hail, or Plenty of Hail (Tan-wah-su 
Ota). (Until a few years since it was generally understood from 
the best authorities that the fatal shot was fired by Walks Like a 
Preacher, who died in prison at Davenport, but in 1901 Much 
Hail, living in Canada, confessed that he was the one that killed 
Mr. Lynd.) drew up his gun and pointing it at Mr. Lynd, said: 
"Now, I will kill the dog that would not give me credit." He 
fired and Mr. Lynd fell forward and died instantly. 

The massacre then became general. The whites were taken 
quite unawares and were easy victims. No women were killed, 
but some were taken prisoners; others were allowed to escape. 
The stores presented such enticing opportunities for securing 
plunder of a greatly coveted sort that the Indians swarmed into 
and about them, pillaging and looting, and this gave many whites 
opportunity to escape and make their way to Fort Ridgely, four- 
teen miles. The ferryman, Hubert Miller (whose name was com- 
monly pronounced Mauley, and whose name was printed in some 
histories as Jacob Mayley) stuck to his post and ferried people 
across to the north side until all had passed; then the Indians 
killed him. 

The Indians in large numbers crossed the Minnesota and be- 
gan their bloody work among the settlers along Beaver and 
Sacred Heart creeks and in the Minnesota bottoms. A few set- 
tlers — and only a few — were warned in time to escape. 

Shakopee's band operated chiefly in this quarter and the chief 
that night said he had killed so many white people during the 
day that his arm was quite lame. The other Lower bands went 
down into Brown county and directly across the river. 

The dreadful scenes that were enacted in the Upper Minne- 
sota valley on that dreadful eighteenth of August can neither be 
described nor imagined. Hundreds of Indians visited the white 
settlement to the north and east and perpetrated innumerable 
murders and countless other outrages. Scores of women and 
children were brought in as prisoners and many wagon loads of 
plunder were driven into the Indian camps. White men, women, 



128 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

and children of all ages were murdered indiscriminately, and 
under the most terrible circumstances. The bodies were com- 
monly mutilated— sometimes shockingly — but very few were 
scalped. Only one mixed blood Indian, Francois La Bathe (pro- 
nounced La Bat) a trader at the Lower Agency, was killed. 
About twenty mixed bloods joined the hostile Indians ; the others 
who would not join were made prisoners. Many mixed blood 
women were violated and otherwise misused. That night a large 
number of the settlers' houses and other buildings were burned, 
but many houses were spared. Some of the Indians declared that 
they needed them to live in the coming autumn and winter. 

There was no resistance worthy of the name. Very few set- 
tlers had fire-arms or were accustomed to them. There were many 
Germans that had never fired a gun in all of their lives. Then, 
too, the Indian attacks were wholly unexpected. The savages ap- 
proached their victims in a most friendly and pleasant manner 
and slew them without warning. Very often, however, the white 
man knew that he was to be murdered, but he made no attempt 
to defend himself. Some who were being chased by the Indians, 
turned and fired a few shots at their pursuers, but without effect. 
Though hundreds of white people were murdered by the Indians 
that day, not a single Indian was killed or severely injured. 

Down the Minnesota river on both sides below Fort Ridgley 
as far as New Ulm, and up the river to Yellow Medicine, the 
bloody slaughter extended that day. The fiendish butcheries and 
horrible killings beggar description. Here is one of many like in- 
stances : Cut Nose, a savage of savages, with half a dozen other 
Sioux, overtook a number of whites in wagons. He sprang into 
one of the vehicles in which were eleven women and children and 
tomahawked every one of them, yelling in fiendish delight as his 
weapons went crashing through the skulls of the helpless victims. 
Twenty-five whites were killed at this point. Settlers were slain 
from near the Iowa line in Jackson county, as far north as Breck- 
enridge, including Glencoe, Hutchinson, Forest City, Manannah 
and other places. Fourteen were killed at White Lake, Kandi- 
yohi county. The much greater number of whites were slaugh- 
tered, however, within the reservations, and in Renville and 
Brown counties. During the first week, it is estimated that over 
600 whites were killed and nearly 200 women and children taken 
captive. 

The Whites at the Yellow Medicine Agency above the Lower 
Agency, to the number of sixty-two, among them the family of 
Indian Agent Galbraith, escaped by the aid of John Otherday, a 
friendly Indian. 

When the news of the outbreak reached Fort Ridgley, Captain 
John S. Marsh, with forty-six of his men of Company B, Fifth 
Minnesota, started for the Lower Agency. He was ambushed at 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 129 

Redwood Ferry, twenty-four of his men were killed and he him- 
self was drowned in attempting to cross the river. The survivors 
of his command hid in the thickets and worked their way back 
to the fort at night. 

The Indians attacked Fort Ridgley on the twentieth and again 
on the twenty-second of August, the latter day with 800 warriors. 
The force in the fort numbered 180 men, commanded by Lieuten- 
ant T. J. Sheehan. A small battery under Sergeant John Jones, 
of the regular army, did effective service. There were 300 refu- 
gees in the fort. After many hours' fighting, the Indians retired. 
Had they charged they could have captured the fort, but Indians 
do not fight in that manner. The saving of Ridgley was the sal- 
vation of the country below, as its capture would have enabled 
the Indians to sweep the valley. The loss of the garrison was 
three killed and twelve wounded. 

The most momentous engagements of the Indian war were 
the attacks upon New Ulm, as the fate of more than 1,500 people 
was at stake. The Sioux first assaulted it on the day following 
the outbreak, but were driven off. That night Judge C. E. Flan- 
drau, of the Supreme Court, arrived with 125 men, and the next 
day 50 arrived from Mankato. Judge Flandrau was chosen to 
command. On August 23 the Indians, some 500 strong, again 
attacked the little city and surrounded it, apparently determined 
to capture it. The battle lasted five or six hours. The Indians 
set fire to the houses to the windward, and the flames swept to- 
wards the center of the city, where the inhabitants had barricaded 
themselves, and complete destruction seemed inevitable. The 
whites, under Flandrau, charged the Indians and drove them half 
a mile. They then set fire to and burned all the houses on the 
outskirts in which the Indians were taking shelter. In all, 190 
structures were destroyed. Towards evening the Indians re- 
tired. Thirty-six whites were killed, including ten slain in a 
reconnoissance on the nineteenth. Seventy to eighty were 
wounded. 

Owing to a shortage of provisions and ammunition, the city 
was evacuated on August 25. The sick and wounded and women 
and children were loaded into 153 wagons and started for Man- 
kato. No more pathetic sight was ever witnessed on this conti- 
nent than this long procession of 1,500 people forced to leave 
their homes and flee from a relentless foe, unless it be the pathetic 
picture, seen so many times on this continent of the Indians being 
driven from the lands of their ancestors by the no less relentless 
whites. 

Heard's history thus vividly portrays conditions in the Minne- 
sota valley at this period. 

"Shakopee, Belle Plaine and Henderson were filled with fugi- 
tives. Guards patrolled the outskirts, and attacks were con- 



130 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

stantly apprehended. Oxen were killed in the streets, and the 
meat, hastily prepared, was cooked over fires on the ground. The 
grist mills were surrendered by their owners to the public and 
kept in contant motion to allay the demand for food. All thought 
of property was abandoned. Safety of life prevailed over every 
other consideration. Poverty stared in the face those who had 
been affluent, but they thought little of that. Women were to 
be seen in the street hanging on each other's necks, telling of 
their mutual losses, and the little terror-stricken children, surviv- 
ing remnants of once happy homes, crying piteously around their 
knees. The houses and stables were all occupied by people, and 
hundreds of fugitives had no covering or shelter but the canopy 
of heaven." 

August 26, Lieut.-Gov. Ignatius Donnelly, writing to Gov. 
Alexander Ramsey, from St. Peter, said : 

"You can hardly conceive the panic existing along the valley. 
In Belle Plaine I found sixty people crowded. In this place lead- 
ing citizens assure me that there are between 3,000 and 4,000 
refugees. On the road between New Ulm and Mankato are over 
2,000; Mankato is also crowded. The people here are in a state 
of panic. They fear to see our forces leave. Although we may 
agree that much of this dread is without foundation, nevertheless 
it is producing disastrous consequences to the state. The people 
will continue to pour down the valley, carrying consternation 
wherever they go, their property in the meantime abandoned and 
going to ruin." 

When William J. Sturgis, bearer of dispatches from Fort 
Ridgley to Governor Ramsey, reached him at Fort Snelling on the 
afternoon of August 19, the government at once placed ex-Gov- 
ernor Henry H. Sibley, with the rank of colonel, in command of 
the forces to operate against the Indians. Just at this time, in 
response to President Lincoln's call for 600,000 volunteers, there 
was a great rush of Minnesotans to Fort Snelling, so that there 
was no lack of men, but there was an almost entire want of arms 
and equipment. This caused some delay, but Colonel Sibley 
reached St. Peter on the twenty-second. Here he was delayed 
until the twenty-sixth and reached Fort Ridgley August 28. A 
company of his cavalry arrived at the fort the day previous, to 
the great joy of garrison and refugee settlers. 

August 31 General Sibley, then encamped at Fort Ridgley 
with his entire command, dispatched a force of some 150 men, 
under the command of Maj. Joseph R. Brown, to the Lower 
Agency, with instructions to bury the dead of Captain Marsh's 
command and the remains of all settlers found. No signs of 
Indians were seen at the agency, which they visited on September 
1. That evening they encamped near Birch Coulie, about 200 
yards from the timber. This was a fatal mistake, as subsequent 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 131 

events proved. At early dawn the Sioux, who had surrounded 
the camp, were discovered by a sentinel, who fired. Instantly 
there came a deadly roar from hundreds of Indian guns all around 
the camp. The soldiers sprang to their feet, and in a few minutes 
thirty were shot down. Thereafter all hugged the ground. The 
horses to the number of 87 were soon killed, and furnished a 
slight protection to the men, who dug pits with spades and 
bayonets. General Sibley sent a force of 240 men to their relief, 
and on the same day followed with his entire command. On the 
forenoon of September 3 they reached the Coulie and the Indians 
retreated. Twenty-eight whites were killed and sixty wounded. 
The condition of the wounded and indeed the entire force was 
terrible. They had been some forty hours without water, under 
a hot sun, surrounded by bloodthirsty, howling savages. The 
dead were buried and the wounded taken to Port Ridgley. 

After the battle of Birch Coulie many small war parties of 
Indians started for the settlements to the Northwest, burning 
houses, killing settlers and spreading terror throughout that 
region. There were minor battles at Forest City, Acton, Hutch- 
inson and other places. Stockades were built at various points. 
The wife and two children of a settler, a mile from Richmond, 
were killed on September 22. Paynesville was abandoned and 
all but two houses burned. The most severe fighting with the 
Indians in the northwestern settlements was at Forest City, 
Acton and Hutchinson, on September 3 and 4. Prior to the battle 
at Birch Coulie, Little Crow, with 110 warriors, started on a raid 
to the Big Woods country. They encountered a company of 
some sixty whites under Captain Strout, between Glencoe and 
Acton, and a furious fight ensued, Strout 's force finally reaching 
Hutchinson, with a loss of five killed and seventeen wounded. 
Next day Hutchinson and Forest City, where stockades had been 
erected, were attacked, but the Indians finally retired without 
much loss on either side, the Indians, however, burning many 
houses, driving off horses and cattle, and carrying away a great 
deal of personal property. 

Twenty-two whites were killed in Kandiyohi and Swift coun- 
ties by war parties of Sioux. Unimportant attacks were made 
upon Fort Abercrombie on September 3, 6, 26 and 29, in which a 
few whites were killed. 

There was great anxiety as to the Chippewas. Rumors were 
rife that Hole-in-the-Day, the head chief, had smoked the pipe 
of peace with his hereditary enemies, the Sioux, and would join 
them in a war against the whites. There was good ground for 
these apprehensions, but by wise counsel and advice, Hole-in-the- 
Day and his Chippewas remained passive. 

General Sibley was greatly delayed in his movements against 
the Indians by insufficiency of supplies, want of cavalry and 



132 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

proper supply trains. Early in September he moved forward 
and on September 23, at Wood Lake, engaged in a spirited battle 
with 500 Indians, defeating them with considerable loss. On the 
twenty-sixth, General Sibley, moved forward to the Indian camps. 
Little Crow and his followers had hastily retreated after the 
battle at Wood Lake and left the state. Several bands of friendly 
Indians remained, and through their action in guarding the cap- 
tives they were saved and released, in all ninety-one whites and 
150 half-breeds. The women of the latter had been subjected 
to the same indignities as the white women. 

General Sibley proceeded to arrest all Indians suspected of 
murder, abuse of women and other outrages. Eventually 425 
were tried by a military commission, 303 being sentenced to death 
and eighteen to imprisonment. President Lincoln commuted the 
sentence of all but forty. He was greatly censured for doing 
this, and much resentment was felt against him by those whose 
relatives had suffered. Of the forty, one died before the day 
fixed for execution, and one, Henry Milord, a half-breed, had his 
sentence commuted to imprisonment for life in the penitentiary; 
so that thirty-eight only were hung. The execution took place at 
Mankato, December 26, 1862. 

The Battle of Wood Lake ended the campaign against the 
Sioux for that year. Small war parties occasionally raided the 
settlements, creating "scares" and excitement, but the main body 
of Indians left the state for Dakota. Little Crow and a son 
returned in 1863, and on July 3 was killed near Hutchinson by 
a farmer named Nathan Lamson. In 1863 and 1864 expeditions 
against the Indians drove them across the Missouri river, defeat- 
ing them in several battles. Thus Minnesota was forever freed 
from danger from the Sioux. 

In November, 1862, three months after the outbreak, Indian 
Agent Thomas J. Galbraith prepared a statement giving the num- 
ber of whites killed as 738. Historians Heard and Flandrau 
placed the killed at over 1,000. 

On February 16, 1863, the treaties before that time existing 
between the United States and the Sioux Indians were abrogated 
and annulled, and all lands and rights of occupancy within the 
State of Minnesota, and all annuities and claims then existing 
In favor of said Indians were declared forfeited to the United 
States. 

These Indians, in the language of the act, had, in the year 
1862, "made unprovoked aggression and most savage war upon 
the United States, and massacred a large number of men, women 
and children within the State of Minnesota ; ' ' and as in this war 
and massacre they had "destroyed and damaged a large amount 
of property, and thereby forfeited all just claims" to their 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 133 

"monies and annuities to the United States," the act provides 
that "two-thirds of the balance remaining unexpended" of their 
annuities for the fiscal year, not exceeding one hundred thousand 
dollars, and the further sum of one hundred thousand dollars, 
being two-thirds of the annuities becoming due, and payable dur- 
ing the next fiscal year, should be appropriated and paid over 
to three commissioners appointed by the President, to be by them 
apportioned among the heads of families, or their survivors, who 
suffered damage by the depredations of said Indians, or the troops 
of the United States in the war against them, not exceeding the 
sum of two hundred dollars to any one family, nor more than 
actual damage sustained. All claims for damages were required, 
by the act, to be presented at certain times, and according to the 
rules prescribed by the commissioners, who should hold their first 
sesion at St. Peter, in the State of Minnesota, on or before the 
first Monday of April, and make and return their finding, and all 
the papers relating thereto, on or before the first Monday in 
December, 1863. 

The President appointed for this duty, and with the advice 
and consent of the Senate, the Hons. Albert S. "White, of the State 
of Indiana ; Eli R. Chase, of Wisconsin, and Cyrus Aldrich, of 
Minnesota. 

The duties of this board were so vigorously prosecuted, that, 
by November 1 following their appointment, some twenty thou- 
sand sheets of legal cap paper had been consumed in reducing to 
writing the testimony under the law requiring the commissioners 
to report the testimony in writing, and proper decisions made 
requisite to the payment of the two hundred dollars to that class 
of sufferers designated by the act of Congress. 

On February 21 following the annulling of the treaty with the 
Sioux above named, Congress passed an act for the removal 
of the Winnebago Indians, and the sale of their reservation in 
Minnesota for their benefit. "The money arising from the sale 
of their lands, after paying their indebtedness, is to be paid into 
the treasury of the United States, and expended, as the same is 
received, under the direction of the Secretary of the Interior, in 
necessary improvements upon their new reservation. The lands 
in the new reservation are to be allotted in severalty, not exceed- 
ing eighty acres to each head of a family, except to the chiefs, 
to whom larger allotments may be made, to be vested by patent 
in the Indian and his heirs, without the right of alienation." 

These several acts of the general government moderated to 
some extent the demand of the people for the execution of the 
condemned Sioux yet in the military prison at Mankato awaiting 
the final decision of the President. The removal of the Indians 
from the borders of Minnesota, and the opening up for settlement 
of over a million of acres of superior land, was a prospective 



134 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

benefit to the State of immense value, both in its domestic quiet 
and its rapid advancement in material wealth. 

In pursuance of the acts of Congress, on April 22, and for the 
purpose of carrying them into execution, the condemned Indians 
were first taken from the State, on board the steamboat Favorite, 
carried down the Mississippi, and confined at Davenport, in the 
State of Iowa, where they remained, with only such privileges 
as are allowed to convicts in the penitentiary. Many of them 
died as the result of the confinement. 

On May 4, 1863, at six o'clock in the afternoon, certain others 
of the Sioux Indians, squaws and pappooses, in all about seven- 
teen hundred, left Fort Snelling, on board the steamboat Daven- 
port, for their new reservation on the Upper Missouri, above Fort 
Randall, accompanied by a strong guard of soldiers, and attended 
by certain of the missionaries and employes, the whole being 
under the general direction of Superintendent Clark W. 
Thompson. 

Authority and References. Chapters IX and X are based upon 
Major Return I. Holcombe's material in Minnesota in Three Cen- 
turies. Other works have also been consulted. Among the works 
which may be read in this connection are : 

"The Minnesota Indian Massacre," by Charles S. Bryant and 
Abel B. Murch, 1863. A variation of this work appears in the 
"History of the Minnesota Valley," George E. Warner and 
Charles M. Foote, 1882, as the "History of the Sioux Massacre," 
by Charles S. Bryant. 

"The Sioux Indian Massacre of 1862-63, I. V. D. Heard." 

"Indian Outbreaks," by Judge Daniel Buck, 1904. 

"The Indians' Revenge," by Rev. Alexander Berghold, 1891. 

' ' The Dakota War Whoop, ' ' by Harriet E. Bishop-McConkey. 

"Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars," a state publica- 
tion. 

All the published histories of Minnesota contain accounts of 
the massacre, as do many county histories of Minnesota. The 
collections of the Minnesota Historical Society are rich in mate- 
rial on the same subject. Major Return I. Holcombe, already 
mentioned, is still pursuing his investigations of the massacre, 
and Marion P. Satterlee is also doing most excellent work along 
the same lines. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 135 



CHAPTER XI. 
THE MASSACRE IN REDWOOD COUNTY. 

The four trading houses at the Redwood Agency in 1862 were 
those of Captain Louis Robert, William H. Forbes, Nathan My- 
rick & Co., and Francis La Bathe, the latter a mixed blood Sioux, 
and a close relative of the great chief, Wabasha. 

August 18, 1862, Captain Robert, Nathan Myrick, Major 
Forbes ; Stewart B. Carver, a member of the Myrick firm ; and 
Henry Belland, who was in partial charge of the Forbes store, 
were all absent. Andrew J. Myrick, a member of the Myrick 
firm, and Hon. James W. Lynd, a distinguished scholar, and a 
former member of the Minnesota senate, were in charge of the 
Myrick store. 

The morning of Aug. 18 dawned bright and clear, and the peo- 
ple at the agency set about their usual duties. It was evident, 
however, that something was astir among the Indians. The road 
was filled with the stalwart braves, stark naked for the most 
part, painted in gaudy war colors, and fully armed. 

Philander Prescott, the elderly friend of the Indians, and the 
government interpreter, inquired of Little Crow the meaning of 
such a display. He was told by the Indian chief to get in his 
house and stay there. To questions asked by the Rev. J. D. 
Hinman, the devoted Episcopal missionary, Little Crow made no 
reply. Alarmed at these manifestations of danger, the clergy- 
man and the interpreter warned the other whites and prepared to 
flee. 

Then the murderous storm broke loose, the first to be killed 
being James W. Lynd, the store clerk, and John Lamb, a team- 
ster. Lynd was standing in the doorway of the Myrick store 
about 7 o'clock in the morning. Puzzled at the war-display of 
the Indians, he was watching a group of them approach the store, 
when one of them, Plenty of Hail, or Much Hail (Tan-waj-su- 
Ota) drew a gun, pointed it at Mr. Lynd, said: "Now I will kill 
the dog that would not give me credit," and shot him dead in 
his tracks. His body was not mutilated and was subsequently 
buried where it lay, by Nathan Myrick, of St. Paul. George W. 
Divoll and a cook named Fritz, were quickly killed, and a search 
made for Andrew J. Myrick. Myrick had hidden himself in the 
building, but frightened out when the Indians talked of burning 
the structure, he started to flee toward the Minnesota river. He 
was soon killed, his body riddled with arrows, and mutilated 
with a scythe which was later found transfixed in his heart. His 
head was cut off, and his mouth filled with grass by an Indian, to 



136 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

whom a few days earlier in refusing credit at the store he had 
tauntingly said, in response to the Indian's plea of hunger, "Go 
eat grass." 

In the meanwhile the Indians were trying to get the govern- 
ment horses from the stables. James Lamb, the hostler, remon- 
strated with them, and according to one authority, stabbed one 
of the Indians with a pitchfork. Lamb was killed on the spot, 
and others in the barn also slaughtered. A. H. Wagner, superin- 
tendent of farms at the agency, was also killed in endeavoring to 
prevent the theft of the horses. 

While Wagner and Lamb were being killed at or near the 
barn, John Penske was pierced in the back by an arrow. Unable 
to run, he hid in a haydoft, and there extracted the arrow shaft, 
leaving the head buried some three inches. At 4 o'clock in the 
afternoon, driven out by the approaching flames, he wrapped 
himself in an Indian blanket, and thus disguised as a squaw, he 
made his way through the plundering Indians, arriving at Ft. 
Ridgely on the fourth day, after many thrilling adventures. 

Francis La Bathe, commonly written La Batte, was killed in 
his store. Although a mixed blood and a blood relative of his 
murderers as well as closely allied with them through his Indian 
wife, his life was not spared. His kitchen or living room nearby 
was afterward used as a court room in which were tried many 
of the Indian prisoners by the military commission. 

James Powell, a young man residing at St. Peter, was at the 
agency herding cattle. He had just turned the cattle out of the 
yard, saddled and mounted his mule, as the work of death com- 
menced. Seeing Lamb and Wagner shot down and Fenske 
wounded near him he turned to flee, when Lamb called to him 
for help; but, at that moment two shots were fired at him, and, 
putting spurs to his mule he turned toward the ferry, passing 
close to an Indian who leveled his gun to fire at him ; but the caps 
exploded, when the savage, evidently surprised that he had failed 
to kill him, waved his hand toward the river, and exclaimed, 
"Puckachee! Puckachee!" Powell did not wait for a second 
warning, which might come in a more unwelcome form, but 
slipped at once from the back of his animal, dashed down the 
bluff through the brush, and reached the ferry just as the boat 
was leaving the shore. Looking over his shoulder as he ran, he 
saw an Indian in full pursuit on the very mule he had a moment 
before abandoned. 

At about the same time Lathrop Dickinson was killed. J. C. 
Dickinson, who kept the Government boarding-house, with all his 
family, including several girls who were working for him, suc- 
ceeded in crossing the river with a span of horses and a wagon ; 
these, with some others, mostly women and children, who had 
reached the ferry, escaped to the fort. J. C. Dickinson was after- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 137 

ward killed at Birch Cooley, Sept. 2, 1862. He was with the burial 
party under Major Brown. 

Very soon after, Dr. Philander P. Humphrey, physician to 
the Lower Sioux, with his sick wife, and three children, also suc- 
ceeded in crossing the river, but never reached the fort. All but 
one, the eldest, a boy of about twelve years of age, were killed 
upon the road. They had gone about four miles, when Mrs. 
Humphrey became so much exhausted as to be unable to proceed 
further, and they went into the house of a Mr. Magner, deserted 
by its inmates. Mrs. Humphrey was placed on the bed ; the son 
was sent to the spring for water for his mother. * * * The 
boy heard the wild war-whoop of the savage break upon the still- 
ness of the air, and, in the next moment, the ominous crack of 
their guns, which told the fate of his family, and left him its 
sole survivor. Fleeing hastily toward Fort Ridgely, about eight 
miles distant, he met the command of Captain Marsh on their 
way toward the agency. The young hero turned back with them 
to the ferry. As they passed Magner 's house, they saw the Doc- 
tor lying near the door, dead, but the house itself was a heap of 
smouldering ruins; and this brave boy was thus compelled to 
look upon the funeral pyre of his mother, and his little brother 
and sister. A burial party afterward found their charred re- 
mains amid the blackened ruins, and gave them Christian sepul- 
ture. In the charred hands of the little girl was found her china 
doll, with which she refused to part even in death. The boy went 
on to the ferry, and in that disastrous conflict escaped unharmed, 
and finally made his way into the fort. 

In the meantime the work of death went on. The whites, 
taken by surprise, were utterly defenseless, and so great had been 
the feeling of security, that many of them were actually unarmed, 
although living in the very midst of the savages. 

In the store of William H. Forbes were some five or six per- 
sons, among them George H. Spencer, Jr. Hearing the yelling 
of the savages outside, these men ran to the door to ascertain 
its cause, when they were instantly fired upon, killing four of 
their number, and severely wounding Mr. Spencer. Spencer and 
his uninjured companion hastily sought a temporary place of 
safety in the chamber of the building. One of the men killed 
was Joseph E. Belland, who was in charge of the store. Another 
was Antoine Young. Alexis Dubuque was killed either at the 
Forbes or the Myrick store. 

The store of Louis Robert was savagely attacked. Patrick 
McClellan, one of the clerks in charge of the store, was killed. 
There were at the store several other persons; some of them 
were killed and some made their escape. Among those killed 
were the Frenchmen Brusson, Patnodc. Laundre and Peshette. 
John Nairn, the Government carpenter at the Lower Sioux 



138 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

agency, seeing the attack upon the stores and other places, seized 
his children, four in number, and, with his wife, started out on 
the prairie, making their way toward the fort. They were ac- 
companied by Alexander Hunter, an attached personal friend, 
and his young wife. Mr. Nairn had been among them in the em- 
ploy of the Government, some eight years, and had, by his urbane 
manners and strict attention to their interests, secured the per- 
sonal friendship of many of the tribe. Mr. Nairn and his family, 
assisted by advice from friendly Indians, reached the fort in 
safety that afternoon, two of his children having previously 
reached the fort with J. B. Reynolds, who had overtaken them. 
Mr. Hunter had, some years before, frozen his feet so badly as 
to lose the toes, and, being lame, walked with great difficulty. 
When near an Indian village below the agency, they were met 
by an Indian, who urged Hunter to go to the village, promising 
to get them a horse and wagon with which to make their escape. 
Mr. Hunter and his wife went to the Indian village, believing 
their Indian friend would redeem his promises, but from inability, 
or some other reason, he did not do so. They went to the woods, 
where they remained all night, and in the morning started for 
Fort Ridgely on foot. They had gone but a short distance, how- 
ever, when th?y met an Indian, who, without a word of warn- 
ing, shot poor Hunter dead, and led his distracted young wife, 
a mixed blood Sioux and a bride of a month, away into captivity. 
Mrs. Hunter, whose maiden name was Marian Robertson, was 
afterward rescued at Camp Release. 

The murders at the Lower Agency continued for hours. The 
white-haired interpreter, Philander Prescott (now verging upon 
seventy years of age), hastily left his house soon after his meet- 
ing with Little Crow, previously mentioned in this chapter, and 
fled toward Fort Ridgely. The other members of his family re- 
mained behind, knowing that their relation to the tribe would 
save them. Mr. Prescott had gone several miles, when he was 
overtaken. His murderers came and talked with him. He rea- 
soned with them, saying: "I am an old man; I have lived with 
you now forty-five years, almost half a century. My wife and 
children are among you, of your own blood; I have never done 
you any harm, and have been your true friend in all your trou- 
bles; why should you wish to kill me?" Their only reply was: 
"We would save your life if we could, but the white man must 
die; we cannot spare your life; our orders are to kill all white 
men; we cannot spare you." 

Seeing that all remonstrance was vain and hopeless, and that 
his time had come, the aged man with a firm step and noble bear- 
ing, sadly turned away from the deaf ear and iron heart of the 
savage, and with dignity and composure received the fatal mes- 
senger. 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 139 

Thus perished Philander Prescott, the true, tried, and faith- 
ful friend of the Indian, by the hands of that perfidious race, 
whom he had so long and so faithfully labored to benefit to so 
little purpose. Shakopee (Little Six) and Medicine Bottle were 
captured on the Canadian border by John McKenzie and were 
tried and hanged for this murder at Ft. Snelling in 1865. 

The number of persons who reached Fort Ridgely from the 
agency was forty-one. Some are known to have reached other 
places of safety. All suffered incredible hardships ; many hiding 
by day in the tall prairie grass, in bogs and sloughs, or under 
the trunks of prostrate trees, crawling stealthily by night to avoid 
the lurking and wily foe, who, with the keen scent of the blood- 
hound and ferocity of the tiger, followed on their trail, thirsting 
for blood. 

Among those who escaped into the fort were J. C. Whipple, 
of Faribault, and Charles B. Hewitt, of New Jersey. The serv- 
ices of Mr. Whipple were recognized and rewarded by the Gov- 
ernment with a first lieutenant's commission in the volunteer 
artillery service. The Rev. J. D. Hinman and his family were 
also among those who escaped. 

The situation of the agency was somewhat favorable to the 
escape of those who were quick-witted, and who were not killed 
in the first terrible onslaught. The agency was situated on a high 
bank. North of the agency is a steep incline to the river bottom. 
This incline is traversed by ravines and was covered with trees 
and shrubbery. The refugees by hiding in this shelter could 
make their way, unobserved by the howling and plundering In- 
dians, to the river, where the large ferry awaited. The ferry- 
man, Hubert Miller, carried fugitives over until murdered by 
the savages, sturdily sticking to his post long after he could 
have found safety in flight. Even after the ferry stopped run- 
ning, some of the fugitives crossed hand over hand on the ropes. 
Among these was Joseph Schneider. Others swam the river or 
waded it in shallow places. 

All that day the work of sack and plunder went on ; and when 
the stores and dwellings and the warehouses of the Government 
had been emptied of their contents, the torch was applied to the 
various buildings, and the little village was soon a heap of smoul- 
dering ruins. 

The bodies of their slain victims were left to fester in the 
sun where they fell, or were consumed in the buildings from 
which they had been unable to effect their escape. 

So complete was the surprise, and so sudden and unexpected 
the terrible blow, that not a single one of all that host of naked 
savages was slain. In thirty minutes from the time the first gun 
was fired, not a white person was left alive. All were either 



140 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

weltering in their gore or had fled in fear and terror from that 
place of death. 

William Landmeier, the Reynolds hired man, did not join the 
Patoile family, and would not leave the Reynolds home until he 
had been twice warned by Moore that his life was in danger. 
He then went down to the river bottom, and following the Min- 
nesota river, started for the fort. When some distance on his 
way he came upon some Indians who were gathering up cattle. 
They saw him and there was no way of escape. They came to 
him and told him that if he would assist them in driving the cattle 
they would not kill him. Making a merit of necessity he com- 
plied and went on with them till they were near the Lower 
agency, when the Indians, hearing the firing at the ferry, sud- 
denly left him and hastened on to take part in the battle then 
progressing between Captain Marsh and their friends. William 
fled in an opposite direction, and that night entered Fort 
Ridgely. 

The whites elsewhere were faring as badly as those at the 
Lower agency. At the Redwood river, ten miles above the 
agency, on the road to Yellow Medicine, resided Joseph B. Rey- 
nolds, in the employment of the Government as a teacher of farm- 
ing to the Indians. His house was within one mile of Shakopee's 
village. His family consisted of his wife, a niece — Mattie Wil- 
liams, of Painesville, Ohio — Mary Anderson and Mary Schwandt, 
hired girls. William Landmeier, a hired man, and Legrand Davis, 
a young man from Shakopee, was also stopping with them tem- 
porarily. 

On the morning of August 18, at about 6 o'clock, John Moore, 
a half-breed trader, residing near them, came to the house and 
informed them that there was an outbreak among the Indians, 
and that they had better leave at once. Mr. Reynolds immediately 
got out his buggy, and, taking his wife, started off across the 
prairie in such a direction as to avoid the agency. At the same 
time Davis and the three girls got into the wagon of Francis 
Patoile, a trader at Yellow Medicine, who had just arrived there 
on his way to New Ulm, and they also started out on the prairie 
accompanied by Antoine Le Blaugh. 

After crossing the Redwood river near its mouth, Patoile 
drove some distance up that stream, and, turning to the left, 
struck across the prairie toward New Ulm, keeping behind a swell 
in the prairie which ran parallel with the Minnesota, some three 
miles south of that stream. 

They had, unpursued, and apparently unobserved, reached a 
point within about ten miles of New Ulm, and nearly opposite 
Fort Ridgely, when they were suddenly assailed by Indians, who 
killed Patoile, Davis and Le Blaugh, and severely wounded Mary 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 141 

Anderson. Mattie Williams and Mary Schwandt were captured 
unhurt, and were taken back to Waucouta's village. 

The poor, injured young woman survived her wounds and 
the brutal and fiendish violation of her person to which she was 
subjected by these devils incarnate, but a few days, when death, 
in mercy, came to her relief and ended her sufferings in the 
quiet of the grave ! 

Mattie Williams and Mary Schwandt were afterwards re- 
stored to their friends by General Sibley's expedition, at Camp 
Release. We say, restored to their friends; this was hardly true 
of Mary Schwandt, who, when release came, found alive, of all 
her father's family, only one, a little brother; and he had wit- 
nessed the fiendish slaughter of all the rest, accompanied by cir- 
cumstances of infernal barbarity, without a parallel in the his- 
tory of savage brutality. 

On Sunday, Aug. 17, George H. Gleason, Government store- 
keeper at the Lower agency, accompanied by the family of Agent 
Galbraith, to Yellow Medicine, and on Monday afternoon, ignor- 
ant of the terrible tragedy enacted below, started to return. He 
had with him the wife and two children of Dr. J. S. Wakefield, 
physician to the Upper Sioux. When about two miles above the 
mouth of the Redwood, they met two armed Indians on the road. 
Gleason greeted them with the usual salutation of " Ho ! " accom- 
panied with the inquiry, in Sioux, as he passed, "Where are you 
going?" They returned the salutation, but Gleason had gone but 
a very short distance, when the sharp crack of a gun behind 
him bore to his ear the first intimation of the death in store for 
him. The bullet passed through his body and he fell to the 
ground. At the same moment Chaska, the Indian who had not 
fired, sprang into the wagon, by the side of Mrs. Wakefield, and 
driving a short distance, returned. Poor Gleason was lying upon 
the ground, still alive, writhing in mortal agony, when the sav- 
age monster completed his hellish work, by placing his gun at 
his breast, and shooting him again. Such was the sad end of 
the life of George Gleason ; gay, jocund, genial and generous, he 
was the life of every circle. His pleasant face was seen, and his 
mellow voice was heard in song, at almost every social gathering 
on that rude frontier. He had a smile and pleasant word for 
all ; and yet he fell, in his manly strength, by the hands of these 
bloody monsters, whom he had never wronged in word or deed. 
Some weeks afterward, his mutilated remains were found by the 
troops under Colonel Sibley, and buried where he fell. They were 
subsequently removed by his friends to Shakopee, where they 
received the rites of Christian sepulture. 

Mrs. Wakefield and children were held as prisoners, and were 
reclaimed with the other captives at Camp Release. 



142 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

In the Southern Part of the County. John F. and Daniel 
Burns, who were living near Walnut Grove, escaped the massa- 
cre by flight. 

Charles Zierke, "Dutch Charlie," who lived in what is now 
Charlestown, heard the news of the uprising, and started for 
New Ulm. He was pursued and overtaken by the Indians while 
nearing that city. By sharp running he reached New Ulm, or- 
ganized a rescue party, returned to the place of the encounter, 
and frightening away the Indians, rescued his wife and children, 
and recovered his team and goods. 

It was through the southern part of Redwood county that 
Mrs. Lavina Eastlick and her two sons, Mrs. Alomina Hurd and 
her two children, Thomas Ireland, and other Lake Shetek refugees 
made their escape. 

Authority and References. The material in this chapter is 
based largely on the ' ' History of the Sioux Masacre, ' ' by Charles 
S. Bryant. For references see preceding chapter. While the 
editor of this work has used Bryant as his authority, there are 
many other interesting works on the same subject, notably the 
famous work by Heard. 



CHAPTER XII. 
REDWOOD FERRY AMBUSCADE. 

The startling news of the tragic scenes at the Lower agency 
reached Fort Ridgely at about 10 o'clock on that day (August 18, 
1862), but the extent and formidable character of the great In- 
dian uprising were not understood until several hours later. The 
messenger who bore the shocking tidings was J. C. Dickinson, 
the proprietor of a boarding house at the agency, and who brought 
with him a wagon load of refugees, nearly all women and chil- 
dren. Captain Marsh was in command of the fort, with his com- 
pany (B, Fifth Minnesota), as a garrison. Lieutenant T. J. 
Sheehan, with Company C of the same regiment, had been dis- 
patched to Fort Ripley, on the Upper Mississippi, near St. Cloud. 

Sending a messenger with orders to Lieutenant Sheehan recall- 
ing him to Fort Ridgely and informing him that the Indians were 
"raising Hell at the Lower agency," Captain Marsh at once pre- 
pared to go to the scene of what seemed to be the sole locality 
of the troubles. He was not informed and had no instinctive 
or derived idea of the magnitude of the outbreak. Leaving about 
twenty men, under Lieutenant T. P. Gere, to hold the fort until 
Lieutenant Sheehan 's return, Captain Marsh, with about fifty 
men of his company and the old Indian interpreter, Peter Quinn. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 143 

set out for the agency, distant about twelve or fourteen miles to 
the northwest. On leaving Fort Ridgely the captain and the 
interpreter were mounted on mules; the men were on foot, but 
the captain had directed that teams, with extra ammunition and 
empty wagons for their transportation, should follow, and Gen- 
eral Hubbard's account, in Volume I of "Minnesota in the Civil 
and Indian Wars," says that these wagons overtook the com- 
mand "about three miles out." 

In due time the little command came to the Redwood Ferry, 
but there is confusion in the printed accounts as to the exact 
time. Sergeant Bishop says it was "about 12 o'clock noon." 
Heard says it was "at sundown," or about 6 o'clock. Some of 
the Indians remember the time as in the evening, while others say 
it was in the afternoon. As the men were in wagons the greater 
part of the way, the distance, allowing for sundry halts, ought 
to have been compassed in four hours at the farthest. Half 
way across the bottom the captain ordered the men from the 
wagons and marched them on foot perhaps a mile to the ferry 
house and landing. 

Meantime on the way, the soldiers had met some fifty fugitives 
and seen the bodies of many victims of the massacre. 

The motives of the heroic and martyred Captain Marsh have 
often been discussed by historians and others. He was an officer 
of sound sense and good judgment, and had already come in 
intimate contact with Indian life and action, and knew of their 
discontent and their desperate mood. 

While he did not realize the general character of the massacre 
he must have understood that a considerable number of Indians 
were engaged in it. The language of his dispatch to Lieutenant 
Sheehan, however, would indicate that he at that time believed 
the trouble to be strictly local and confined to the Redwood 
agency. 

Some historians have thought that he had confidence that his 
force was strong enough to punish the guilty Indians and to bring 
the others to a sense of law and order. Other historians believe 
that he realized something of the danger before he left the fort, 
and that his realization of his danger increased as he continued 
on the journey, but that as a soldier and an officer he could do 
nothing else than to keep on until he met the murderous Indians 
and the God of Battles had determined the issue between them. 
Possibly he believed that the Indians upon seeing the uniformed 
soldiers would realize the enormity of their offense and the swift 
punir.hment which they were likely to meet at the hands of the 
organized and equipped military forces. Possibly he believed 
that the powerful chiefs would come to their senses at the sight 
of the soldiers and confer with him with a view to co-operating 
with the government in punishing the guilty. 



144 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Peter Quinn, the old interpreter, with his forty years' experi- 
ence among the Sioux in Minnesota, knew the danger to be seri- 
ous. On leaving Ft. Ridgely with Captain Marsh and his men he 
said to Sutler B. H. Randall : "lam sure we are going into great 
danger; I do not expect to return alive." Then with tears in 
his eyes he continued: "Good-bye, give my love to all." 

R. A. Randall, a son of B. H. Randall, declares that his father 
remonstrated with Captain Marsh, urging upon him the gravity 
of the situation and the necessity of staying at the fort to pro- 
tect the refugees who might seek safety there. Captain Marsh 
at first listened to the remonstrance and determined to stay at 
the fort. But later he changed his mind. He was a soldier, his 
duty was to punish the murderous assassins, and he could not 
sit idly in the fort while the guilty were allowed to go on their 
way to further crimes. "It is my duty," he said to Sutler Ran- 
dall as he started. 

There is some evidence that as the ferry was reached the cap- 
tain realized the peril of the situation and the hopelessness of his 
task with so inadequate a force, and had given, or was about to 
give, his men order to retire just as they were fired upon. 

Return I. Holcombe, the author of nearly all of this chapter, 
says : ' ' The weight of evidence tends to prove either that Marsh 
did not realize the extent of the outbreak and the grave peril of 
his position, or else he was nobly oblivious to his own welfare and 
determined to do his duty as he saw it." 

When Captain Marsh and the men under him reached the crest 
of Faribault's Hill they saw to the southward, over two miles 
away, on the prairie about the agency, a number of mounted 
Indians ; of course, the Indians could and did see Marsh and his 
party. Knowledge of the coming of the soldiers had already 
reached the Indians from marauders who had been down the 
valley engaged in their dreadful work, and preparations were 
made to receive them. Scores of warriors, with bows and guns, 
repaired to the ferry landing, where it was known the party 
must come. Numbers crossed on the ferry boat to the north 
side of the river and concealed themselves in the willow thickets 
near by. The boat was finally moored to the bank on the east or 
north side, "in apparent readiness for the command to use for 
its crossing, though the dead body of the ferryman had been 
found on the road," says General Hubbard. 

Of the brave and faithful ferryman, Rev. S. D. Hinman, who 
made his escape from the agency, has written : 

' ' The ferryman, Mayley, who resolutely ferried across the 
river at the agency all who desired to cross, was killed on the 
other side, just as he had passed the last man over. He was dis- 
emboweled; his head, hands and feet cut off and thrust into the 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 145 

cavity. Obscure Frenchman though he was, the blood of no 
nobler hero dyed the battlefields of Marathon or Thermopylae." 

When the command reached the ferry landing only one Indian 
could be seen. This was Shonka-ska, or White Dog, who was 
standing on the west bank of the river, in plain view. For some 
time he had been "Indian farmer" at the Lower agency, engaged 
in teaching his red brethren how to plow and to cultivate the soil 
generally, receiving therefor a salary from the government. He 
had, however, been removed from his position, which had been 
given to Ta-o-pi (pronounced Tah-o-pee, and meaning wounded), 
another Christian Indian. White Dog bore a general good repu- 
tation in the country until the outbreak, and many yet assert 
that he has been misrepresented and unjustly accused. 

A conversation in the Sioux language was held between White 
Dog and Interpreter Quinn, Captain Marsh suggesting most of 
the questions put to the Indian through the interpreter. There 
are two versions of this conversation. The surviving soldiers say 
that, as they understood it, and as it was interpreted by Mr. 
Quinn, White Dog assured Captain Marsh that there was no 
serious danger; that the Indians were willing, and were waiting, 
to hold a council at the agency to settle matters, and that the 
men could cross on the ferry boat in safety, etc. On the other 
hand certain Indian friends of White Dog, who were present, 
have always claimed that he did not use the treacherous language 
imputed to him, but plainly told the interpreter to say to the 
captain that he and his men must not attempt to cross, and that 
they should "go back quick." However, White Dog was sub- 
sequently tried by a military commission on a charge of dis- 
loyalty and treachery, found guilty, and hung at Mankato. He 
insisted on his innocence to the last. 

While the conversation between White Dog and Interpreter 
Quinn was yet in progress the latter exclaimed, "Look out!" 
The next instant came a volley of bullets and some arrows from 
the concealed foe on the opposite bank of the river. This was 
accompanied and followed by yells and whoops and renewed 
firing, this time from the Indians on both sides of the river. They 
were armed chiefly with double-barreled shotguns, loaded with 
"traders' balls," and their firing at the short distance was very 
destructive. Pierced with a dozen bullets, Interpreter Quinn was 
shot dead from his saddle at the first fire, and his body was after- 
ward well stuck with arrows. A dozen or more soldiers were 
killed outright, and many wounded by the first volley. 

Although the sudden and fierce attack by overwhelming num- 
bers was most demoralizing, Captain Marsh retained his presence 
of mind sufficiently to steady his men, to form them in line for 
defense, and to have them fire at least one volley. But now the 
Indians were in great numbers on the same side of the river, only 



146 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

a few yards away. They had secured possession of the log ferry 
house, from which they could fire as from a block house, and 
they were in the thickets all about. Many of them were naked, 
except as to breech clouts. Across the river near the bank were 
numbers behind the logs belonging to the agency steam saw mill, 
and a circle of enemies was rapidly being completed about the 
little band. 

Below the ferry a few rods was a dense willow thicket, from 
two to ten rods in width and running down the north or east 
bank of the river for a mile or more. Virtually cutting or force- 
ing their way through the Indians Captain Marsh and fourteen 
of his men succeeded in reaching this thicket, from which they 
kept up a fight for about two hours. The Indians poured volleys 
at random from all sides into the thick covert, but the soldiers 
lay close to the ground and but few of them were struck. Two 
men, named Sutherland and Blodgett, were shot through the 
body and remained where they fell until after dark, when they 
crawled out, and finding an old canoe, floated down the river and 
reached Fort Ridgely the next day. Of a party of five that had 
taken refuge in another thicket, three were killed before dark. 
One of the survivors, Thomas Parsley, remained in the thicket 
with his dead comrades until late at night, when he, too, escaped 
and made his way to the fort. 

Gradually the imperiled soldiers worked their way through 
the thick grass and brush of the jungle in which they were con- 
cealed until they had gone some distance east of the ferry. Mean- 
time they had kept up a fight, using their ammunition carefully, 
but under the circumstances almost ineffectually. The Indians 
did not attempt to charge them or "rush" their position, for 
this was not the Indian style of warfare. Of the second great 
casualty of the day Sergeant John F. Bishop says : 

"About 4 o'clock p. m., when our ammunition was reduced to 
not more than four rounds to a man, Captain Marsh ordered his 
men to swim the river and try and work our way down on the 
west side. He entered the river first and swam to about the 
center and there went down with a cramp." 

Some of the men went to the captain's assistance, but were 
unable to save him. He was imwounded and died from the effects 
of the paralyzing cramps which seized him. Some days after- 
wards his body was found in a drift, miles below where it sank. 

The ground where Captain Marsh and his company were 
ambuscaded was, as has been stated, at and about the ferry land- 
ing on the north side of the Minnesota river, opposite the Lower 
agency. From the landing on the south side two roads had been 
graded up the steep high bluff to the agency buildings, and from 
the north landing the road stretched diagonally across the wide 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 147 

river bottom to the huge corrugated bluffs, two miles or more 
away, at Faribault's Hill. The hill was so named for David 
Faribault, a mixed blood Sioux, and a son of old John Baptiste 
Faribault, and who lived at the base of the hill. He and his fam- 
ily were made prisoners by the Indians and held during the out- 
break. At Faribault's Hill the road divided, one fork leading 
up the hill and over the prairie to the eastward and northwest, 
running along the crest of the bluff to Fort Ridgely. The other 
followed the base of the bluff down the river. There were two 
or three houses between the ferry landing and the bluff, and at 
the landing itself was a house. All about the landing on the 
north side the ground of the main ambush was open; it is now 
covered with willows and other small growths of the nature of 
underbrush. 

After the drowning of Captain Marsh, the command, consist- 
ing of fifteen men, devolved upon Sergeant John F. Bishop. The 
men then resumed their slow and toilsome progress toward the 
fort. Five of them, including the sergeant, were wounded, one 
of them, Private Ole Svendson, so badly that he had to be carried. 
The Indians, for some reason, did not press the attack further, 
after the drowning of Captain Marsh, and all of them, except 
Ezekiel Rose, who was wounded and lost his way, reached Fort 
Ridgely (Bishop says at 10 o'clock) that night: Rose wandered 
off into the country and was finally picked up near Henderson. 
Five miles from the fort Bishop sent forward Privates James 
Dunn and W. B. Hutchinson, with information of the disaster, to 
Lieiitenant Gere. 

The loss of the whites was one officer (Captain Marsh) 
drowned; twenty -four men, including twenty-three soldiers, and 
Interpreter Quinn, killed, and five men wounded. The Indians 
had one man killed, a young warrior of the Wahpakoota band, 
named To-wa-to, or All Blue. When the band lived at or near 
Faribault this To-wa-to was known for his fondness for fine dress 
and for his gallantries. He was a dandy and a Lothario, but he 
was no coward. 

The affair at Redwood Ferry was most influential upon the 
character of the Indian outbreak. It was a complete Indian vic- 
tory. A ,majority of the soldiers had been killed; their guns, 
ammunition and equipments had fallen into the hands of the 
victors ; the first attempt to interfere with the savage programme 
had been signally repulsed, all with the loss of but one man. 
Those of the savages who had favored the war from the first were 
jubilant over what had been accomplished and confident of the 
final and general result. There had been but the feeblest resist- 
ance on the part of the settlers who had been murdered that day, 
and the defense made by the soldiers had amounted to nothing. 
There was the general remark in the Indian camps that the 



148 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

whites, with all of their vaunted bravery, were "as easy to kill 
as sheep." 

Before the successful ambuscade there had been apprehension 
among many of the Indians that the outbreak would soon be sup- 
pressed, and they had hesitated about engaging in it. There were 
also those who at least were loyal and faithful to the whites and 
would take no part in the uprising. But after the destruction of 
Captain Marsh and his command all outward opposition to the 
war was swept away in the wild torrent of exultation and 
enthusiasm created by the victory. Heard says : 

"The Indians were highly jubilant over this success. What- 
ever of doubt there was before among some of the propriety of 
embarking in the massacre disappeared, and the Lower Indians 
became a unit upon the question. Their dead enemies were lying 
all around them, and their camp was filled with captives. They 
had taken plenty of arms, powder, lead, provisions and clothing. 
The 'Farmer' Indians and members of the church, fearing, like 
all other renegades, that suspicion of want of zeal in the cause 
would rest upon them, to avoid this suspicion became more bloody 
and brutal in their language and conduct than the others." 

If Captain Marsh had succeeded in fighting his way across the 
river and into the agency, thereby dispersing the savages, it is 
probable that the great red rebellion would have been suppressed 
in less than half the time which was actually required. The 
friendly Indians would doubtless have been encouraged and 
stimulated to open and even aggressive manifestations of loyalty ; 
the dubious and the timid would have been awed into inactivity 
and quiescence. As it was, the disaster to the little band of sol- 
diers fanned the fires of the rebellion into a great conflagration 
of murder and rapine. 

Immediately after the destruction of Captain Marsh's com- 
pany at the ferry Little Crow dispatched about twenty-five young 
mounted warriors to watch Fort Ridgely and its approaches. 
About midnight these scouts reported that a company of some 
fifty men was coming toward the fort on the road from Hutch- 
inson to Ridgely. Little Crow then believed that the garrison 
at Ridgely did not number more than seventy-five and that it 
would be a comparatively easy matter to capture the fort with 
its stores, its canon and its inmates. At the time he did not 
know that the Renville Rangers had returned from St. Peter and 
reinforced the garrison. 

Tuesday morning, August 19, Little Crow with 320 warriors 
from all of the Lower bands except Shakopee's — only the best 
men being taken — set out from the agency village to capture 
Fort Ridgely. Half way down dissensions arose among the rank 
and file. A majority wanted to abandon the attack on the fort 
temporarily and to first ravage the country south of the Minne- 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 149 

sota, and if possible seize New Ulm. Little Crow urged that the 
fort be taken first, before it could be reinforced, but this prudent 
counsel did not avail with those who were fairly ravenous for 
murder and plunder, which might be accomplished without 
danger, and cared less about the risk of attacking the fort, which 
would be defended by men with muskets, even though its capture 
would be a great military exploit. About 200 of this faction left 
and repaired to the settlements in Brown county about New Ulm 
and on the Cottonwood, Little Crow, with about 120 men, re- 
mained in the vicinity of the fort watching and waiting. 

Authority and References. The material for this chapter is 
based upon "Minnesota in Three Centuries," by Return I. Hol- 
combe, and upon the "Recollections of the Sioux Massacre," by 
Oscar Garrett Wall. Many other works have also been con- 
sulted. Mr. Wall was a member of Captain Marsh's company 
stationed at Fort Ridgely, but was not with the detail which set 
with the disaster at the ferry. He, however, heard the story the 
next day from the survivors. Major Holcombe, in preparing his 
article, consulted all available printed records and manuscripts, 
personally interviewed some of the survivors, and also talked 
with Indians who were present at the ambuscade. 



CHAPTER XIII. 
MASSACRE EXPERIENCES. 

Experiences of Mrs. Mary E. Schwandt Schmidt. Johann 
Schwandt and his wife Christina with their five children, their 
son-in-law John Walz, and a friend of the family, John Frass, 
started in May, 1862, from Fairwater, Fond du Lac county, Wis- 
consin, with their household goods, provisions, two yokes of 
oxen, a few cows and some calves. After an overland journey, 
which occupied more than a month, they settled on Middle creek 
in what is now Flora township. 

I was then a girl of fourteen and my brother August was ten 
years of age. We walked the entire distance, driving the stock 
and picking flowers by the wayside, and when we were tired we 
would stop and rest and let the cattle eat. Our dear mother 
would cook the meal and spread the cloth on the grass, and we 
would all sit around and enjoy the meal more perhaps than the 
king in his palace eating from golden plates and drinking from 
crystal glasses. The land which my father settled on was in the 
wilderness of the Minnesota river bottomlands and the grass was 
tall and coarse, and the cattle did not like it, but there was no 
other. My father chose this place because there was timber there, 



150 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

and the first thing the men did was to hew down some trees and 
peel the bark off of them. They then built a log cabin of two 
rooms, and, as at first we had no doors, they put blankets at the 
openings, and covered the roof with grass and bark. After a 
few weeks, when father went to New Ulm to do some trading, he 
bought some doors and windows and also shingles. I accompanied 
him to do some shopping for my mother and sister. It took us 
four days to go and come back, it being about forty miles from 
where we lived and traveling with oxen was very slow. After 
we had some doors and windows in our cabin we lived quite 
comfortably. The men started to break up the land and cut 
some hay on father's place, and as both Mr. Walz and Mr. Frass 
had taken a claim up on the prairie they all went up there to 
break the land, and all were happy and contented, but it was not 
to be for long. 

By this time the Indians had started to become troublesome. 
They would come in parties of six to eight and beg for something 
to eat, for they were always hungry. Our family was a large one 
and mother could not give them very much, but I remember she 
always gave them bread. However, it was meat they wanted, 
and that we did not have very much of ourselves. There was 
another great pest that bothered us greatly. Our cabin was built 
about forty feet from the timber that I spoke of, and in this tim- 
ber there were thousands and thousands of wild pigeons, keeping 
up a constant cooing from the break of dawn until nightfall. I 
do not know what has become of them, for they seem to be all 
gone. I think they left when the country became more settled. 

My parents had been on their farm about two months when 
that most terrible day, the eighteenth of August, came. Out of 
eight persons there was only one left to tell the story. At noon 
when the family were just about to eat the noon meal, a party 
of Sioux Indians came and soon all was over. August, ten years 
old, was struck on the head with a tomahawk and was left as 
dead. In the night he revived and crawled into the tall grass 
and reached the fort. He still has the scar on his head. He now 
lives in British Columbia, at Vancouver. 

About three weeks before the outbreak Legrand Davis came 
to our house and wanted to know if I would go over the river 
to Joseph B. Reynolds, who kept a stopping place. He wanted 
a little girl to run errands, dust and so forth, and as they were 
going to start a school for the Indians I could go to this school 
at the same time. I needed more schooling and thought this a 
good chance to acquire it. Mother did not like me to go, but 
Mr. Davis promised to bring me back in two or three weeks, so 
she reluctantly gave her consent. Little did I think that it was 
the last time I would see her dear face on this earth. The Rey- 
nolds's treated me very kindly, more like their own child than a 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 151 

servant, and I liked to live there. After I had lost my parents they 
wished to adopt me, but I went to live with an uncle in Wisconsin 
who also took my brother August. The eighteenth of August 
came on a Monday. We had just had our breakfast at the Rey- 
nolds's and Mary Anderson was just putting on the wash boiler 
preparing to do the week's washing. Suddenly John Mooer, a 
half-breed, came running in and said we should all get away as 
fast as we could, for the Indians had broken out and were killing 
all the settlers as fast as they could. Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds got 
into a buggy and drove off, and Mattie Williams, Mary Anderson 
and myself got into a lumber wagon with three men that had 
stopped over night at the house. The team belonged to Francis 
Patoile, a Frenchman, who hauled goods for the government 
from one agency to another. The wagon was filled with things 
they wanted to save, so we started, Mr. Patoile driving the team. 
We drove from seven in the morning until four in the afternoon, 
and were about eight miles west of New Ulm when we met a 
party of Indians. We all jumped from the wagon and ran, but 
we did not run very far before they were upon us, dragging us 
back. By that time they had killed all the men and some were 
scalping them. Mary Anderson was shot through the abdomen 
and died on the fourth day after the shooting. My clothes were 
riddled by the bullets, but none harmed me. A skirt which I 
wore has seven holes shot through it and is now in the possession 
of the D. A. R. at their museum at the Sibley house, Mendota. 
This skirt was made of heavy muslin and was part of the cover 
of our wagon when we settled in Renville county. 

When we came back to the wagon the Indians had already 
broken open all the trunks and were dividing the contents. They 
had with them about twelve other wagons and a great number of 
horses. The wagons were loaded with plunder of all kinds which 
they had stolen from the settlers. They ordered us into the 
wagons and started back to the agency. It was about ten o'clock 
by the time that we reached Wacouta's home. It was very dark 
and there was a tallow candle burning. The house was swarming 
with Indians. Wacouta chased them out and told us to hide up 
in the loft and he would bring us water and food in the morning, 
and we were up there three days and two nights. The wounded 
girl cried for water, for she had a raging fever. During the 
second night Mattie Williams and I crawled down and went to 
a corn field, getting some green corn with which we tried to 
quench her thirst. On the third night we were told to come 
down, and were taken to Little Crow's village. Mary Anderson 
died during the night. Mattie Williams' captor took her to his 
tepee, where he lived with his squaw, and as my captor had no 
tepee he said he would kill me to be rid of me. When Snana, one 
of the Indian squaws heard this, she came and looked me over 



152 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

carefully and went away, returning in a short time leading an 
Indian pony, which she gave my captor, and then took me by 
the hand and brought me to her tepee. I was adopted into the 
tribe and had to call her mamma, and she dressed me in Indian 
clothing and made pretty moccasins for me. She wrapped me 
in a snow-white blanket, which was, of course, stolen, but it did 
not stay white very long. Snana was married to Good Thunder 
and had two papooses. I had to take care of the baby papoose. 
I always tried to do all she told me and to please her in all things. 
There was a bond of sympathy between us because she had just 
lost her oldest daughter. 

After seven weeks of captivity I was released at Camp 
Release by General Sibley and his army, with the rest of the 
white prisoners, and as that occasion has been written up so many 
times I will not mention it here. Mattie "Williams was a niece of 
Mr. Reynolds and was visiting from Ohio. She was highly edu- 
cated and had a beautiful character. Mary Anderson was a 
pretty Swedish girl and was to have been married soon to a 
young man from Shakopee. I was only a plain little German 
girl who did not know much at all at that time. My Indian 
mother parted from me at Camp Release and we did not meet 
again for thirty-two years, but have met many times later, and 
I received many nice letters from her. She loved me very much, 
and I have always felt a gratitude towards her which I could not 
express in words, for she saved me from a terrible fate when she 
bought me from my captor with her only pony. — By Mrs. Mary 
Emilia Schwandt Schmidt, in the History of Renville county, 
1916. 

Experiences of George H. Spencer, Jr. "When I reached the 
foot of the stairs, I turned and beheld the store filling with In- 
dians. One had followed me nearly to the stairs, when he took 
deliberate aim at my body, but, providentially, both barrels of 
his gun missed fire, and I succeeded in getting above without 
further injury. Not expecting to live a great while, I threw 
myself upon a bed, and, while lying there, could hear them open- 
ing cases of goods, and carrying them out, and threatening to 
burn the building. I did not relish the idea of being burned to 
death very well, so I arose very quietly, and taking a bed-cord, 
I made fast one end to the bed-post, and carried the other to a 
window, which I raised. I intended, in case they fired the build- 
ing, to let myself down from the window, and take the chances 
of being shot again, rather than to remain where I was and burn. 
The man who went up-stairs with me, seeing a good opportunity 
to escape, rushed down through the crowd and ran for life; he 
was fired upon, and two charges of buckshot struck him, but he 
succeeded in making his escape. I had been up-stairs probably 
an hour, when I heard the voice of an Indian inquiring for me. 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 153 

I recognized his voice, and felt that I was safe. Upon being told 
that I was up-stairs, he rushed up, followed by ten or a dozen 
others, and approaching my bed, asked if I was mortally 
wounded. I told him that I did not know, but that I was badly 
hurt. Some of the others came up and took me by the hand, 
and appeared to be sorry that I had been hurt. They then asked 
me where the guns were. I pointed to them, when my comrade 
assisted me in getting down stairs. 

"The name of this Indian is Wakinyatawa, or in English, 
'His Thunder.' He was, up to the time of the outbreak, the head 
soldier of Little Crow, and, some four or five years ago, went to 
Washington with that chief to see their Great Father. He is a 
fine-looking Indian, and has always been noted for his bravery 
in fighting the Chippewas. When we reached the foot of the 
stairs, some of the Indians cried out, 'Kill him!' 'Spare no 
Americans!' 'Show mercy to none!' My friend, who was un- 
armed, seized a hatchet that was lying near by, and declared 
that he would cut down the first one that should attempt to do 
me any further harm. Said he, 'If you had killed him before I 
saw him, it would have been all right ; but we have been friends 
and comrades for ten years, and now that I have seen him, I will 
protect him or die with him.' They then made way for us, and 
we passed out; he procured a wagon, and gave me over to a 
couple of squaws to take me to his lodge. On the way we were 
stopped two or three times by armed Indians on horseback, who 
inquired of the squaws 'What that meant?' Upon being answered 
that 'This is Wakinyatawa 's friend, and he has saved his life,' 
they suffered us to pass on. His lodge was about four miles above 
the Agency, at Little Crow's village. My friend soon came home 
and washed me, and dressed my wounds with roots. Some few 
white men succeeded in making their escape to the fort." — From 
Bryant's History. 

Experiences of John Ames Humphrey. John Ames Humphrey, 
a boy of twelve years at the time of the massacre, was the son of 
Dr. Philander P. Humphrey, the physician at the Lower Agency. 
His experiences during the massacre are told in an interesting 
manner, as follows: 

"After a bright, restful Sabbath, the fateful Monday, August 
18, 1862, arrived. My mother was ill in bed, but had nearly re- 
covered. I slept with my dear little brother in an upper room. 
In the small hours of that morning I could not sleep soundly; 
like a nightmare, apprehension of impending disaster settled 
down. Shake it off I could not, until in desperation I dressed and 
went down stairs. Talking about premonition, I quite under- 
stand what the word means. Apparently nobody else in the 
house was awake. I took the water pails, and, quietly leaving 
the house, went a short distance to a spring, with the intention 



154 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

of making journeys enough back and forth to fill the tubs for 
the weekly washing. The weight of my foreboding was so heavy 
upon me that I walked slowly and lingered when I got to the 
spring, expecting every instant to see or hear something horrible. 
Leaving the spring and reaching the top of the hill, I saw Indians 
in parties of three or four hurrying into our small village from 
the direction of the encampment of Little Crow and other chiefs. 
These took up convenient points for observation at first. Soon 
I saw a teamster approach a wagon, with his pair of horses. 
Then one party of Indians ran to him and demanded them. He 
refused the request, when one of them emptied the contents of 
his gun into his abdomen. His suffering was so dreadful to wit- 
ness that another Indian soon quieted him with the butt end of 
a gun. This was the beginning of the outbreak at the Lower 
Sioux Agency. 

"I immediately ran, as fast as my bare feet would carry me, 
to our house. By this time father had dressed and was in the 
surgery, and I said to him, 'Father, something awful is going to 
happen.' He replied, 'Nonsense,' and kept on with his work. 
I then begged him to step outside the house and look for him- 
self. He would not move. I then told him what I had seen ; not 
before would he move and show any interest. After a good look 
outside, without saying a word, he walked into the house hurried- 
ly and assisted mother to get up and dress. I meantime looked 
after the children, and then we all walked out by the back door, 
leaving everything behind. We started toward the ferry, with 
intention of crossing and making our way to Fort Ridgely. But 
father had been too slow. Those precious minutes through his 
blind sense of security cost the lives of himself, wife, and two of 
their three children. 

"When we reached the ferry, it was to find the ferry man 
gone and the then typical western flat-bottomed boat, which was 
propelled across the stream by means of a rope and pulleys, on 
the opposite bank. All the small canoes and row-boats were 
there as well. Hopelessness was depicted in father's face, for he 
could not swim ; and he had threatened me with punishment such 
as I had never experienced (which was saying a great deal), if 
he ever found that I had 'been in swimming.' Occasionally when 
my guilty eyes had noticed a searching glance of his shot at me, 
I had felt that I wilted; but congratulate me, my hair was dry 
and punishment was postponed. I had learned to swim. There 
had been nobody to 'give me away,' for I always sneaked off 
alone, and I did nearly drown once, but the fascination was upon 
me and I persisted. I now boldly plunged into the river, swam 
to the other side, secured a small boat and rowed back to them, 
and we all crossed in silence. Looking back, I somehow feel 
that, after this exhibition of my skill, all should have been 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 155 

allowed to escape. Had we been only those few minutes earlier, 
all our lives would have been saved, for a number of our neigh- 
bors who were ahead of us at the ferry escaped to Fort Ridgely 
by wagon conveyance. 

"We were too late, and, therefore, now plodded on foot along 
the main road toward the fort. The sun's rays soon beat down 
upon us with such power that they began to affect my mother, 
while the small children were unable to walk rapidly. When we 
had covered probably two and a half miles, we stopped, while 
for by that time mother had become actually faint. We had no 
breakfast, not even a cup of tea, before starting. We then dis- 
covered a path and at the end of it, only a few yards distant, a 
cabin, which we reached to find it vacant, as its occupants had 
fled. Until then we had neither seen nor heard Indians, and 
prospects for escaping seemed to brighten. My father took down 
a pail and directed me to follow a foot-path till I should find the 
spring and to return with water. I secured water, down in a 
ravine which proved to be well wooded, as was also the pathway 
leading to the spring. Returning a little more than half the dis- 
tance, I heard the crack of a rifle, and listening, presently heard 
the sound of voices, both from the direction of the cabin. I knew 
we had been overtaken and debated whether or not I should com- 
plete the return and try to help. Quickly I decided that my 
presence would be useless. Then I deposited the full pail a few 
yards from the path, ran back to the spring and from it ran 
along the ravine. There I was hidden from sight, and could 
make plans in comparative safety. I must have been alone an 
hour or two, when I decided that the Indians would not have 
waited longer in the expectation that I would return to the 
family. Then I decided to carefully seek the open road toward 
Fort Ridgely and below the cabin. In doing so I met the owner 
of the cabin, Magner by name, who, accompanied by another 
man, was sheltering as I had been. I joined them, before long we 
ventured to the main road. 

"Looking down the road, we discovered men coming toward 
us, who proved to be Captain Marsh with about fifty soldiers, 
hastening to the Agency to quell the disturbance there, which 
had been reported early in the forenoon by the first refugees 
who had fled to the fort. Magner and his companion imparted 
to Captain Marsh what information they had and we all joined 
the expedition. 

"This to me was a return journey, but I knew it was the 
safest way to get a look at that cabin and learn the fate of our 
family. To go there was the matter of only a few minutes. The 
little force halted when the footpath was reached, and, with 
Magner and a few soldiers detailed for the purpose, I approached 
the spot where the building had been. The murderers had set 



156 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

fire to it, and the smouldering ruins which had fallen into the 
cellar, contained the mortal remains of my mother and brother 
and sister. That was the first suggestion, as we all stood there, 
and subsequent investigation (made a few days later) proved 
that it was correct. My father's body lay a few feet away. A 
bullet had pierced the center of his forehead, and the fiends had 
cut his throat. His axe, a poor weapon for such conditions, but 
the only one he possessed, lay near him, showing that he went 
outside the cabin and met them like a brave man. How long I 
stood there, 1 do not know ; the shock was so great that I became 
momentarily insensible to material surroundings and saw only 
in spirit the scene of death — truly I was alone with my dead. 

"When I came to my normal self, every living person had 
vanished, and I ran fast up the road to overtake the soldiers. 
This had been their first introduction into the land of desolation, 
which was extending rapidly. Soon the road descended along 
the valley bluff which follows the north side of the Minnesota 
river. The sight of dead men, women, and children, now became 
frequent all the way to the ferry which we had crossed a few 
hours before. The effect was depressing, and the few words 
spoken were in undertone. Those poor souls fleeing for their 
lives had been shot down from the cover of underbrush and tall 
coarse grass which grow rankly in these western river valleys. 

"The ferry boat had been left temptingly on the north side 
of the river, and Indians were in plain sight on the opposite side, 
on the bluff which rises abruptly to the Agency. A parley took 
place, through Interpreter Quinn, between Captain Marsh and 
the Indian leader. . It is now apparent that the object of the 
Indian was to induce Captain Marsh to send his force across, and 
when the boat was in mid-stream, to pick his men off from both 
banks. Probably not a man would have escaped, and, had the 
Indians who were hidden in the tall grass on the side where we 
were, not been too impulsive I believe that their plan Avould have 
succeeded. There was not a suspicion that we were surrounded 
by them until they rose suddenly and poured their fire across 
into us. More than half of our men fell, and it seems a miracle 
that a single man escaped. But the grass that had hidden them 
hid us, and those who lived were led by Providence out of the 
ambuscade to a point not far down the river. Captain Marsh 
was unhurt and escaped with a small party of survivors. During 
the firing I had sat in an army wagon on top of a barrel of pro- 
visions. When I saw the immediate effect of the fire from the 
Indians and realized the position, I joined the survivors and 
made it a point to keep about in the middle of them so that I 
should not fail to keep up. Several soldiers did become separated 
from us in the confusion and excitement. 

"Captain Marsh insisted upon crossing the river at the point 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 157 

just mentioned, in opposition to the judgment of his men. He 
was in command, however, and would have had his way had he 
not entered the water first, considerably in advance of his men, 
and drowned in mid-stream in sight of all. He could not swim, 
and help did not reach him. 

"How it came about I do uot know, but the party I was 
with had now dwindled to perhaps ten or twelve men. We kept 
on down the river, still on the north side, and about dark, filed 
up onto the bluff into the Fort Ridgely road. I think Magner 
was with us. The poor fellows were tired, and having, as it 
seemed to them, escaped from the jaws of certain death, became 
a bit demoralized and relaxed their vigilance. Two of them 
dropped their muskets and were going on without them ; I picked 
them up, and was trudging along having a strong feeling within 
me that they might be wanted, when they took them from me 
without saying a word. We reached the fort about midnight, 
and then ended a long and eventful day. 

"I stayed during the siege, but will not give my experience 
of it, as many others have written faithful and graphic accounts. 
Final relief came when General Sibley arrived with men and a 
long line of wagons loaded with provisions for the besieged." — 
From the Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society. 

Hinman's Flight. Among the refugees who arrived in the 
afternoon from the Agency was Rev. J. D. Hinman, an Episcopal 
missionary, stationed at Redwood. Having arisen early to start 
on a journey to Faribault, he was out in the tranquil morning 
that gave no suspicion that the curtain was about to rise on one 
of the most appalling massacres, at his own door, ever known to 
American history. He was ready for his departure between six 
and seven o'clock, when unusual signs for the hour among the 
Indians attracted his attention. The Indians were almost naked, 
and carried their guns. Their numbers increased, and people 
began to wonder at their unusual appearance, which some inter- 
preted to mean that a raid was to be made on some Chippewa 
band known to have invaded the neighborhood. The Indians 
squatted nonchalantly on the steps of the various buildings, their 
demeanor betraying no sign of hostility. 

Now a signal gun broke the silence in the upper part of 
town. Even this was doubted to be a sign of hostility, until other 
shooting up the street and the hasty fleeing of people towards the 
bluff overlooking the river, began to be alarming. White Dog 
ran past Mr. Hinman at this juncture, and to an inquiring word, 
replied that "awful work had been started." He was no doubt 
himself taken by surprise, though later in the day his cunning 
and his treachery played an important part in the betrayal of 
Marsh. Little Crow also passed Mr. Hinman about this time, but 
with a scowl, declined to answer an inquiry of the missionary, 



158 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

though they knew each other well, and the chief, now sullen, had 
always been polite and friendly. The firing had now become a 
fusillade, and people were being shot down on every hand. The 
traders were the first objects of hatred to fall, riddled with 
bullets. As the bloody work progressed, the savages grew wild 
and furious, their hideous yells, the crash of their guns, work of 
the torch, the shrieks of their helpless victims, begging vainly 
for mercy, creating a scene horrifying in the extreme. Rev. Hin- 
man fled before the spreading tide of death had reached him, 
and gaining the river, fortunately found a skiff with which he 
hastily crossed, making good his escape to the fort. 

Experiences of Miss West. Miss Emily J. West, a teacher at 
the Episcopal Mission at the Lower Agency, gives, in a letter, 
these experiences of that fatal August 18, 1862: "Soon after 
breakfast I heard firing of guns, but thought nothing of it till 
Mr. Hinman came in and told me to run. The Indians were then 
very near our house, taking horses from the Department stable; 
they were all armed, and ready for battle. 

"I ran with Mr. Hinman towards the ferry, but in the con- 
fusion was separated from him. I passed three or four Indians, 
who took no notice of me, but shot a man quite near who was 
trying to save his horse. I crossed the ferry with only one 
woman, a neighbor of ours, and two children, one nine and the 
other eleven. Then, to avoid the river, along which the road to 
Fort Ridgely ran, we struck off, two or three miles, in the prairie. 
After walking some distance we came near a log house, and were 
going to it for safety, when we saw four Indians approaching us 
from different directions. When they came to us, they recognized 
me, called me a missionary, said I was good. I offered them my 
hand; they shook hands with me, told me they were going to 
that house; that we must not go there, but to the fort; pointed 
the way, and left us. We afterward heard of their killing 
inmates of that house. 

' ' These were not Christian or civilized Indians, but they knew 
me, and thus showed their respect for the occupation in which 
I was engaged. 

"After leaving them, we walked steadily on without any 
further alarm, but, of course, looking for it all the time, with 
very little hope of reaching the fort, which, however, we did, 
about five in the afternoon, under the protection and guidance of 
our Heavenly Father. You can imagine with what grateful 
hearts we saw the fort after our weary walk of twenty miles; 
for we had made it such by the course we took, and our blistered 
feet could not have carried us much further. 

"We remained at the fort ten days, exposed to the attacks 
of the Indians. There were two severe engagements, when all the 
women and children, about three hundred, were obliged to lie 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 159 

flat on the floor of a stone building to avoid the bullets of the 
Indians. On the 28th, a large body of troops arrived, and gave 
us an escort to St. Peter, where we found our bishop tending the 
wounded in the hospital. He gave us his horse and carriage 
to bring us to Faribault. 

"I cannot close without contradicting the reports that have 
gone abroad respecting the Christian Indians. I did not in a 
single instance hear of one of them committing any act of 
violence. Many of them were stripped of their white man's 
dress, clothed with a blanket, and compelled to aid in breaking 
in the warehouse to save their lives. It must be remembered 
they are very few in comparison with the wild ones." — From 
Tanner's "History of the Diocese of Minnesota." 

Fenske's Escape. A remarkable but difficult and painful 
escape was that of John Fenske. At the moment when Wagner 
and Lamb fell dead near the barn, an arrow pierced Fenske's 
back. Unable to run far, he hid in a hay-loft. He extracted 
the arrow himself, but the point which was about three inches 
long, remained in the wound, causing fearful pain. When he 
noticed from his hiding place that no white man was alive on 
the Agency, and that the devouring flames were approaching 
nearer and nearer to him, he came down from the loft, and, 
wrapping himself in a blanket, crept away. It was about 4 
p. m. The Indians were too busy with plundering to notice 
him. Covered with the blanket, and the way in which he 
was compelled to walk on account of his excessive pain, gave 
him the appearance of a squaw. A burning house between him 
and the plundering Indians was another circumstance in his 
favor. But he was obliged to fly towards the prairie, where he 
met some Indians driving cattle, and they requested him to help 
them. These took him for a squaw. He reached the Big 
Wabash, a creek, a gathering place for the Indians. Following the 
bank of that river he expected to cross the Minnesota below the 
Agency and escaped to Fort Ridgely, to which place all the 
fugitives directed their steps. Fenske was, however, held up 
by an Indian on horseback, who shot at him three times, but 
without effect. The superstitious Indian believed him to be a 
magician, and, stricken with fear, he hurried away as fast as 
his pony could carry him. Fenske reached Fort Ridgely only 
on the fourth day on account of his excessive pain, and the point 
of the arrow was removed. He recovered and was afterwards 
city marshal of New Ulm. On his way to the fort he entered a 
house, hoping to find some white people and get some nourish- 
ment, but all had fled, leaving a kettle with meat on the hearth. 
When he left that place again he looked around in hopes of see- 
ing some one, and he noticed several Indians busily engaged in 
plundering a house near by. He also noticed that Indians had 



160 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

killed a heifer close to where he stood. It did not take him long 
to decide upon going further. — From "The Indians' Revenge." 

Mrs. De Camp's Experiences. Many incidents of a tragic, 
comic, or thrilling character occurred during this long and 
wearisome siege. When the writer entered the fort, on the 
nineteenth, with the Renville Rangers, one of the first persons 
he met was J. W. De Camp, of the Lower Agency. Mr. De 
Camp was absent from home at the time of the outbreak, and 
his wife and children were captured by the fiends, but it was not 
known at that time what had been their fate. He was a man 
of fine feelings and generous and noble impulses. He fortunately 
had with him his Sharp's rifle. The friends of the writer were 
also in the Indian country, and, as we both supposed, were 
either massacred or captives. As we grasped hands, poor De 
Camp remarked, with choked utterance, "Well, the red devils 
have got our families." It was replied, "We will make them 
pay the forfeit with their lives." "Yes," he replied, with 
nervous energy; and, turning away with a groan, as of more 
than mortal pain, remarked, between his clenched teeth, while 
the tears of anguish rolled down his cheeks, "but, curse them, 
they have not lives enough in the whole Sioux nation to pay it. ' ' 

During the siege that ensued that rifle was made to do 
terrible execution, and woe to the redskin that came within its 
deadly range. Courageous even to recklessness, wherever the 
battle raged the fiercest, his form was to be seen, and the crack 
of his unerring rifle was to be heard. 

De Camp passed through the battles of Fort Ridgely un- 
harmed, and went with the burial party to the Lower Agency, 
hoping to learn, if possible, something of the fate of his family; 
if they were among the dead, to give sepulture to their remains, 
and end the horrible suspense haunting him as to their fate. 
They were not among the murdered, and he went, with the rest 
of the party, into camp at Birch Coolie that night, and, in the 
desperate battle which ensued, was mortally wounded and taken 
to Fort Ridgely, where he died. In the meantime, his wife and 
children had been taken by the Indians toward the Chippewa 
river. A favorable opportunity occurring, a friendly Sioux, 
whose English name is Lorenzo Lawrence, a man of some educa- 
tion, who speaks the English language well, secretly obtained a 
boat and some provisions, and, taking Mrs. De Camp and her 
two children and his own family, descended the Minnesota river 
to Fort Ridgley in safety. Mrs. De Camp reached the fort, not 
to meet the living husband she had hoped to see, but only to 
look with tearful eyes upon the heap of earth that hid him from 
her sight forever. — From Bryant's History. 

Escape of the Reynolds Family. Joseph B. Reynolds resided, 
at the time of the Sioux massacre, at the Redwood river, on the 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 161 

Lower reservation, ten miles above the Lower Agency. He and 
his wife were located there, in charge of the Government school, 
near Shakopee's village, which had been established at this 
point for the benefit of that band. His house was ten miles from 
any white inhabitant upon that side of the Minnesota. John 
Moore, a half-bred trader, resided one mile from him, at or near 
the Indian village. Mrs. Valencia J. Reynolds, wife of Mr. J. 
B. Reynolds, says: 

"On the morning of August 18, I had arisen, and was busily 
engaged preparing breakfast, when Francis Patoile, of Yellow 
Medicine, came and called for breakfast for himself and another 
man with him. It was soon ready, and, while Mr. Patoile and 
the other persons then at the house were eating, Antoine La 
Blaugh, who was living with John Moore, came to the house and 
called for Mr. Reynolds. He said Mr. Moore had sent him to 
tell us that the Indians had broken out, and had gone down to 
the Agency, and over to Beaver Creek, to massacre the whites. 

"We went back into the house and asked Mr. Patoile if he 
would take us to New Ulm. He replied that he would not go 
away without us, as we had but one horse and buggy. When I 
went into the kitchen, I found nine squaws and one Indian in 
the room. 

"Mr. Reynolds had, in the meantime, sent La Blaugh back 
after Mr. Moore, who came. Our horse was at the door when he 
arrived, and we were putting some things in the buggy. He 
told us to hasten our flight with all possible speed, and directed 
us what course to take. The three girls, Mattie Williams, Mary 
Anderson, and Mary Schwandt, got into the wagon with Francis 
Patoile and his companion and Legrand Davis, making six per- 
sons in that wagon. There was also an ox team, driven by a 
boy who was working for us. 

"Into this wagon we put a feather bed, tied up in a quilt, 
and a trunk belonging to Mattie Williams. This boy was killed 
near Little Crow's village. Mr. Reynolds and myself took the 
buggy. When I went out the squaws were clearing every thing 
on the table, dishes as well as food, and tumbling all into sacks, 
which they carried for taking away their plunder. One of them 
asked me if she might have the flour. I replied, 'Yes.' Another 
said to me, 'Your face is so white you had better put some water 
on it,' thinking me frightened, perhaps. We got into the buggy 
and drove toward the Agency. Before we reached the Redwood 
river, which was but a short distance from the house, we passed 
the boy with the ox team, and that was the last we ever saw of 
either wagon. At the river there was a half-breed, named Louis, 
standing on the opposite bank. Mr. Reynolds asked him what 
was the trouble. He replied that an Indian had just come from 
the Lower Agency, who said they were killing all the whites 



162 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

there. We drove on to the top of the hill, on the east side of the 
Redwood. Here we saw Shakopee and two other Indians. We 
stopped, and called Shakopee to us, and asked him what the 
trouble was. He said he did not know, and kept motioning to 
us with his hand to go out upon the prairie; but we kept the 
main road until we came in sight of the Agency buildings. We 
had seen only one old squaw while going over the road thus far, 
but now we saw the Indians running toward the Agency, and we 
turned to the right, and drove out on the prairie and went 
around behind an elevation which ran parallel with the Minne- 
sota river, and hid us from the observation of those at the 
Agency. When opposite the buildings, we crawled up to the 
crest of the ridge on our hands and knees, looked over, and saw 
an Indian near us, driving in cattle. The doors of the stores 
were open, and Indians were all about. 

"We returned to the buggy and hastened on toward New 
Ulm. After going on some distance in that direction, we saw 
Indians in the road going up toward the Agency. We met two 
squaws, who talked to us in the Sioux language, and urged us 
to turn back, and asked us where we were going. Mr. Reynolds 
told them we were going to hunt ducks, as we believed them to 
be spies. We pressed on, and soon met an Indian, who wished 
Mr. Reynolds to write him a paper, certifying that he was a 
good Indian, as he wished to go to Faribault, because the bad 
Indians were killing the white people at the Agency. 'That,' 
said he, pointing to a horse at some distance off, 'is mine, and 
those are my wife and papooses.' He seemed frightened, and 
had no caps on his gun. He was a man somewhat advanced in 
age, though not an old man. 

"We soon overtook John Nairn, Government carpenter at 
the Lower Agency, and his family. Escaping with them were 
another man and a girl, Miss Frorip. We took two of Mr. 
Nairn's children into our buggy, and drove on. 

' ' We were now near the fort, on the opposite side of the river, 
and in plain sight, and thought we would go to it, and turned 
out of the road to do so but a body of water intervening, we 
turned again toward New Ulm. We met Indians twice, with 
ox teams, who turned out, giving us one-half the road, as is 
usual. The last one we met Mr. Reynolds hallooed to, but he 
would not answer a word. We met two squaws also, who were 
going toward the Agency, and one of them ran off from the 
road toward an Indian house. When we had got in sight of 
the buildings of the settlers, below the reservation, which were 
about a mile from us. we saw some sixty Indians, on the left of 
us, nearly half a mile away, on foot, and between us and them 
were two yoke of cattle attached to a wagon. There was, also, 
an Indian on our left, on horseback, and another, also on horse- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 163 

back, ahead of us, on our right, who had passed into a ravine. 
Between these two was a naked savage, on foot, about eight rods 
from us. 

"Mr. Reynolds hallooed to him, supposing he was friendly, 
until he saw him change his gun from the left hand to the right, 
and look at the caps. The gun was a double-barreled one. Mr. 
Reynolds then turned his horse around, and the Indian raised 
his gun to his face and snapped both caps, but they failed to 
ignite the powder. I turned my head and saw an Indian coming 
after us on a white horse. He shouted to us to 'Puckachee, 
puckachee, puckachee.' Mr. Reynolds asked him which way. 
He pointed toward the Agency, and then rode between us and 
the savage who had attempted to kill us, with his gun leveled 
at him all the while, who tried again to get a chance to shoot 
us, but was foiled by our protector. Then the other two on 
horseback came up, and all started after us, when we moved 
off as fast as we could toward the Agency. This chase was kept 
up for about half a mile, when our friend on the white horse 
rode in before the other three, and between them and the buggy, 
and quite a parley took place between them, when they all fell 
in the rear. 

"We had gone, after this, about two miles, when we came 
into the midst of about twenty squaws and boys and one old 
man, going toward New Ulm. The squaws turned out of the 
road, but the old man kept close to the track. Mr. Reynolds 
reined in the horse as we approached them and asked the man 
if he wished to kill him. He replied, in good English, 'No, no! 
Go, go,' and walked on without even stopping. The next rise 
of ground we reached we looked back, and saw one solitary In- 
dian, on horseback, in pursuit of us. Soon after this we turned 
off from the road to the right, having decided to attempt to go 
to Fort Ridgely. After going about one mile we struck the fort 
road leading from New Ulm. We had gone some distance on 
this road when the horse gave out and we could not urge him 
off a slow walk. Mr. Reynolds and myself got out, leaving the 
children in the buggy. The grass was very tall, reaching above 
my head. It was a prairie, but flat and low. After passing 
through the tall grass we looked back to see if they were follow- 
ing us. We saw two Indians standing some distance off, like 
sentinels guarding the road, their gun-barrels glistening in the 



"When we reached the bluffs back from the Minnesota river 
bottom, the children also got out and we all walked a mile and a 
half further to the river opposite the fort. Mr. Reynolds then un- 
harnessed the horse, and attempted to swim the river on his 
back, but both went out of sight together, under the water. 
Mr. Reynolds then slipped off the horse and swam along by his 



164 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

side and they both reached the opposite shore. He then went 
up to the fort to get assistance to bring us across the river. As 
soon as he was gone I hid myself and the children in the wil- 
lows, near the river bank. I had moccasins on my feet, sending 
the children ahead, I followed them, covering their tracks with 
my own, turning my toes in as much like a squaw as possible. 
"We remained concealed until Mr. Reynolds and the men came 
down from the fort. They called to us that they could not see 
us and wished us to come out in sight. We did so, and they 
came over to us with a boat. 

"While we were concealed I had heard the bushes crack 
near us, and supposed Indians were searching for us; and when 
we went to get in the boat we saw fresh moccasin tracks all 
along the water's edge, clear up to where we went into the 
willows. Mr. Randall, the post sutler, had sent his carriage 
down to the river for us and we crossed over safely, got into 
the carriage and rode up the hill to the garrison. I was bare- 
headed, with an Indian blanket on, and my dress had been badly 
torn in my journey to the river, but I felt thankful to escape 
even with life. At the fort I went into the hospital and assisted 
Mrs. Midler, the wife of the surgeon, in the care of the sick and 
wounded for one day, and, after that, assisted in making cart- 
ridges during the siege. In this way I was very busy until after 
the last battle at the fort. 

"The day after reinforcements reached us we left Fort 
Ridgley and came below, utterly destitute, the savages having 
destroyed or appropriated all the property we had in the world, 
even to our personal clothing, and, as we afterward learned, 
burned our house, with all its contents." (From Bryant's History.) 

Note. In Vol. 6, of the Collections of the Minnesota His- 
torical Society, will be found, at considerable length, the ex- 
periences of Mrs. Mary Schwandt-Schmidt, pp. 461-474; of Mrs. 
J. E. De Camp-Sweet, pp. 354-380; and of Mrs. Mary McClure, 
pp. 439-460. 



CHAPTER XIV. 
MONUMENTS AND MARKERS. 

Camp Pope was the point on the south side of the Minnesota 
river, in Redwood county, above the Redwood river, selected by 
General Sibley for the rendezvous and starting place of his 
military expedition against the Indians in the spring of 1863. 

After the defeat of the Sioux at Wood lake (Sept. 23, 1862), 
those of them who still remained hostile fled into Dakota under 
the leadership of Little Crow. General Sibley had but twenty- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 165 

six mounted men, and was, for this and other reasons, unable to 
pursue them. One band, numbering about 150 persons and com- 
posed chiefly of those who did not want to fight but were afraid 
to surrender, separated from the main body and was followed 
and captured at the Wild Goose Nest lake, in what is now South 
Dakota, by an expedition under Col. Wm. R. Marshall. 

Nearly all of the Indians who went with Little Crow passed 
the winter of 1862-3 at and about Devil's lake, in North Dakota. 

In the early spring of 1863 it was determined by General 
John Pope, then in command of the Northwest Department, that 
a second campaign should be undertaken against the Sioux. At 
a conference between Generals Pope, Sibley and Sully, at Mil- 
waukee, it was decided that, as early in the summer of that year 
as possible, General Sully should move from Sioux City, with a 
force composed wholly of cavalry, and General Sibley should 
march from some point on the Upper Minnesota, with a force of 
three regiments of infantry, a regiment of cavalry, and two sec- 
tions of light artillery, and that the objective point of both of 
these commands would be Devil's lake, where it was supposed 
the main body of Indians was concentrated and would be en- 
countered. 

The place of rendezvous for the forces composing the 
column of General Sibley was selected by him at a favorable site 
on the Minnesota above the Redwood — a mile west of north of 
the present site of Redwood Palls — and the encampment named 
Camp Pope. Its first occupation was in the latter part of April, 
and its first commandant was Lieut. -Col. John T. Averill, of the 
Sixth Minnesota Infantry. The force which finally assembled 
and which composed General Sibley's column, consisted of the 
Sixth Minnesota, Colonel Wm. Crooks; the Seventh Minnesota, 
Lieut.-Col. W. R. Marshall; the Tenth Minnesota, Colonel James 
H. Baker; the First Regiment of Minnesota Mounted Rangers, 
Colonel Sam. McPhail, and the Third Minnesota Battery, Captain 
John Jones. There was also a detachment of Indian and mixed 
blood scouts under Major Joseph R. Brown. 

Camp Pope was established April 19, 1863. It was first oc- 
cupied by a detachment of the Sixth Minnesota, under Lieut.- 
Col. Averill, which had brought up considerable stores of sup- 
plies on the steamboat Favorite. At that day the Minnesota 
river was often navigable for light draught steamers as high as 
the mouth of the Redwood and sometimes beyond. The camp 
was named in honor of Major-General John Pope, who was then 
commander of the Military Department of the Northwest. 

The work of organizing the Sibley expedition was greatly 
and unreasonably delayed. It was not until June 16 when the 
force, numbering about 3,000 men, all Minnesotans, moved from 
Camp Pope up the Minnesota. But in the meantime the troops 



166 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

had been drilling every day and otherwise preparing for future 
duties, and so the time was not wholly misspent. The column 
marched via Big Stone lake and encamped at Brown's Valley, 
June 26. A month later occurred the notable engagements with 
the Indians at Big Mound, Dead Buffalo lake, and Stone lake, in 
what is now North Dakota. 

General Pope's plan for subduing the Sioux was reasonably 
magnificent in its character and intentions, but, like other mili- 
tary schemes, came to nothing. General Sully's column of 
cavalry was to proceed up the Missouri far enough to cut off the 
retreat of the Indians to the westward, and then march eastward 
and unite with the forces under Sibley and "crush the Indians" 
at Devil's lake. The supplies for this column were to be taken 
up the river on steamboats. General Sibley's supplies were to 
accompany him in wagon trains across the country. 

General Sibley carried out his part of the programme and 
reached Devil's lake in due time, but, of course, finding no con- 
siderable number of Indians. But the Missouri was too shallow 
for navigation, the summer was dry, the grass of the prairies 
withered, and the horses of Sully's command suffered severely 
and many of them died. The boats grounded on sandbars and 
could not proceed; the soldiers had no rations, and Sully's 
column was forced to turn back without co-operating with Sib- 
ley's. General Sibley made a toilsome and exhausting march, 
but persisted until he succeeded in falling in with the Indians, 
who were driven back, after successive engagements, until they 
had been chased far across the Missouri. Then the Minnesotans, 
having accomplished more than their share of the co-operative 
movement, and secured their frontiers from further Indian raids, 
returned to their quarters in their own State. 

Camp Pope continued to be one of the posts on the patrol line 
maintained to protect the settlers from marauding bands of 
savages. It was probably due to Camp Pope that Redwood Falls 
was established. In visiting the vicinity of Camp Pope as an 
Indian fighter, Col. Sam. McPhail first conceived the building of 
a city where the great drop of the Redwood river afforded such 
excellent facilities for water power, and where the natural falls 
made the power immediately available. 

The Minnesota Valley Historical Society. 

The Minnesota Valley Historical Society had permanently 
marked many of the historic sites in Redwood and Renville coun- 
ties, with monuments and tablets. The society was organized at 
Morton, February 2, 1895, and incorporated under the State law, 
March 15 of the same year. The first annual meeting was held 
May 10 following. Hon. C. D. Gilfillan was its president, financial 
backer and moving spirit, the society being merely a nominal 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 167 

organization behind which he masked his patriotic purpose and 
kindly generosity. His friend, Major Return I. Holcombe, the 
distinguished historian, did the research work in connection with 
the monuments and tablets, and superintended their erection. 
He also edited a book, "Sketches, Historical and Descriptive, of 
the Monuments and Tablets, Erected by the Minnesota Valley 
Historical Society," which book is among one of Major Hol- 
combe 's most valuable contributions to the story of the massacre. 

The sites marked in Redwood county are: Robert Forbes' 
and Myrick's trading house; La Bathe's living room, where, after 
the hostile Indians were driven from the State, more than a 
hundred Indian prisoners were tried by the military commission; 
the frame house in which lived Little Crow; the location of 
Camp Pope ; and the grave of Hon. James W. Lynd. The monu- 
ment marking the ground of the Redwood Ferry Ambuscade is 
just across the river from Redwood county. 

In the latter part of the year 1898, Charles D. Gilfillan con- 
tracted with the P. N. Peterson Granite Company of St. Paul 
for the construction and placing in position of the granite struc- 
tures marking these spots, as well as marking a number of his- 
toric spots in Renville county. 

The character of the markers varies. But all are of granite, 
all are suitably inscribed, and all are permanent. Some are sub- 
stantial blocks, while some are imposing monuments. 

Following are the inscriptions: 

"Here Lie the Remains of Hon. J. W. Lynde, Killed by Sioux 
Indians, Aug. 18, 1862." 

"188 Feet North Stood Robert's Trading Post, Aug. 18, 
1862." 

"700 Feet North Lived Little Crow, Head War Chief of the 
Sioux Indians, Aug. 18, 1862." 

"Forty Feet North Stood Myrick's Trading Post, Aug. 18, 
1862." 

"400 Feet North Stood Forbe's Trading Post, Aug. 18, 
1862." 

"175 Feet North Stood the Building in Which Upwards of 
100 Sioux Indians Were Tried by Court Martial, Convicted and 
Sentenced to Death, Nov., 1862." 

"Between This Point and the River on the North and East 
Was Located Camp Pope, from Which General Sibley Marched 
against the Hostile Sioux Indians, June 16, 1863." 

It will be noted that the name of J. W. Lynd is misspelled 
on the monument, and the apostrophe is misplaced on the Forbes 
marker. 

Authority and References. "Monuments and Tablets Erected 
by the Minnesota Valley Historical Society," by Return I. Hol- 
combe. 



168 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 



CHAPTER XV. 
COUNTY ORGANIZATION. 

Alexander Ramsey, the first territorial governor of Minne- 
sota, arrived at St. Paul with his family May 27, 1849. June 1, 
1849, he issued a proclamation declaring the territory duly or- 
ganized. June 11 a second proclamation was issued, dividing the 
territory into three temporary judicial districts. The first com- 
prised the county of St. Croix. The county of La Pointe and the 
region north and west of the Mississippi and north of the Minne- 
sota and of a line running due west from the headwaters of the 
Minnesota to the Missouri river, constituted the second. The 
country west of the Mississippi and south of the Minnesota 
formed the third district. Judge Goodrich was assigned to the 
first, Judge Meeker to the second, and Judge Cooper to the 
third. A court was ordered to be held at Stillwater on the second 
Monday, at the Falls of St. Anthony on the third, and at Men- 
dota on the fourth Monday of August. Redwood county was 
included in the third district, with Judge David Cooper on the 
bench. 

Until June 26 Governor Ramsey and family had been guests 
of Hon. H. H. Sibley, at Mendota. On the afternoon of that day 
they arrived at St. Paul in a birch-bark canoe and became per- 
manent residents at the capital. On July 1 a land office was 
established at Stillwater, and A. Van Vorhees, after a few weeks, 
became the registrar. 

On July 7 a proclamation was issued, dividing the territory 
into seven council districts, and ordering an election to be held 
on the first day of August, for one delegate to represent the peo- 
ple in the House of Representatives of the United States, for 
nine councillors and eighteen representatives, to constitute the 
Legislative Assembly of Minnesota. Renville county was in- 
cluded in the seventh district. 

Original Counties. The first territorial legislature assembled 
September 3, 1849, and adjourned November 1. By an act ap- 
proved October 27, 1849, the territory was divided into nine 
counties : Washington, Ramsey, Benton, Itasca, Wabashaw, 
Dakotah, Wahnahta, Mahkahto and Pembina. Only the coun- 
ties of Washington, Ramsey and Benton were fully organized for 
all county purposes. The others were organized only for the 
purpose of the appointment of justices of the peace, constables 
and such other judicial and ministerial offices as might be 
specially provided for. They were entitled to any number of 
justices of the peace and constables, not exceeding six, to be 
appointed by the governor, their term of office was to be two 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 169 

years unless sooner removed by the governor, and they were 
made conservators of the peace. 

Wabashaw. Wabashaw county, as "erected" by the act of 
October 27, 1849, comprised practically all of the southern part 
of the present state of Minnesota. Its northern boundary was 
the parallel running through a point on the Mississippi opposite 
the mouth of the St. Croix, and a point a trifle north of the 
mouth of the Yellow Medicine river ; the southern boundary was 
the Iowa line ; its eastern, the Mississippi ; and its western the 
Missouri; and it also included the big peninsula between the 
Missouri and the Big Sioux rivers, and all of what is at present 
southeastern South Dakota. This embraced the present Red- 
wood county. 

Itasca and "Wabashaw were attached to Washington county, 
the three counties being constituted the Second judicial district, 
with Hon. David Cooper on the bench. 

Dakotah. Dakotah county was also "erected" by the act of 
October 27, 1849. Its eastern boundary was the Mississippi, its 
northern boundary was a line drawn due west from the mouth 
of the Clearwater river, its southern boundary was a line drawn 
due west from a point on the Mississippi opposite the mouth of 
the St. Croix, while the western boundary was the Missouri 
river. Dakotah county did not at that time include Redwood 
county. 

The legislature of 1851, by Chapter I of the Revised Statutes, 
passed January 1, divided the territory into Benton, Dakota, 
Itasca, Cass, Pembina, Ramsey, Washington, Chisago and Waba- 
shaw counties and defines their borders. 

Dakota (the final "h" having been dropped) county was 
made to consist of all that part of the territory west of the 
Mississippi river and lying west of a line drawn due south from 
Medicine Bottle's village at the Pine Bend of the Mississippi 
river (between the present cities of South St. Paul and Hastings) 
and south of a line beginning at the mouth of the Crow river 
(emptying into the Mississippi between Hennepin and Wright 
counties), and up that river and the north branch thereof to its 
source, and thence due west to the Missouri river. Under this 
revision, Dakota county embraced all of the present Redwood 
county. Dakota county was attached to Ramsey county for 
judicial purposes. 

Blue Earth. By an act passed March 5, 1853 (Hennepin 
county having been established March 6. 1852), the legislature 
organized the counties of Dakota, Goodhue, Wabasha, Fillmore, 
Scott, Le Sueur, Rice, Blue Earth, Sibley, Nicollet and Pierce. 
All the land south of the Minnesota not included in the other 
counties was created as Blue Enrth county. The eastern line of 
Blue Earth county was practically the line between Ranges 22 



170 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

and 23, crossing what are now Freeborn and Waseca counties. 
The northern boundary was the Minnesota river and an irregular 
line coinciding somewhat loosely with the present southern 
boundary of Le Sueur county. The southern and western bound- 
aries were the southern and western boundaries of the territory. 
Thus Blue Earth county then included what is now the western 
part of Freeborn and Waseca counties and possibly small por- 
tions of what is now Le Sueur county, as all of what are now 
Redwood, Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine, Lincoln, Pipestone, 
Rock, Lyon, Murray, Nobles, Cottonwood, Jackson, Watowan, 
Brown, Martin, Blue Earth and Faribault counties, as well as 
land to the westward outside of the present state. Under this 
act. Blue Earth was constituted a fully organized county. 

Brown. February 20, 1855, the legislature passed an act de- 
fining the boundaries of the following counties : Olmsted, Dodge, 
Mower, Freeborn, Blue Earth, Faribault, Steele, Rice, Dakota, 
Scott, Le Sueur, Nicollet, Sibley, Carver, Renville, Davis, Wright, 
Stearns, Brown, Goodhue, Newton, Benton, Wabasha, Fillmore, 
Hennepin, Pierce, St. Louis and Todd. Brown county, as con- 
stituted by this act, had for its eastern boundary the line be- 
tween Ranges 29 and 30, from the Minnesota river to the Iowa 
boundary. Its northern boundary was the Minnesota river, its 
southern and western boundaries the southern and western 
boundaries of the territory. The western line of Blue Earth 
county was located as at present. The western line of Fari- 
bault county was six miles further west than at present. Brown 
county as constituted by this act included the present Redwood 
county. February 11, 1856, Brown county was declared a fully 
organized county, with the county seat at New Ulm. 

Renville. When Renville county was created February 20, 
1855, it did not take in any of the present Redwood county. How- 
ever, by an act approved March 8, 1860, an entirely new Ren- 
ville county was proposed. The act read as follows: 

"Section 1. That the upper and lower Sioux reservations as 
denned by the government survey made by 'Sevan & Hutton,' 
except so much thereof as lies east of Range thirty-four (34) and 
south of the Minnesota river, be and the same are hereby at- 
tached to and become a part of the county of Renville. 

"Section 2. At the general election it shall be competent for 
the legal voters in the said county of Renville to elect all V 
county officers, justices of the peace and constables, as : . 
county may be entitled to by law, which officers shall qua ^y 
and enter upon the duties of their office at the time, and in lie 
manner prescribed by law. 

"Section 3. It shall be the duty of the first board of county 
commissioners which shall be elected in pursuance of this act, 
as soon after said board shall have been elected and qualified 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 171 

I 

according to law, as the said board or a majority thereof shall 
determine, to locate the county seat of said county to all intents 
and purposes until otherwise provided by law. 

"Section 4. The county of Renville is hereby attached to 
the county of Nicollet, for judicial purposes, until the county 
officers of said county shall have been elected and qualified as 
contemplated by this act. 

"Section 5. That from and after the election and qualifica- 
tion of the county officers of Renville county as aforesaid the 
said county shall be included in the Sixth judicial district. 

"Section 6. The change in the county lines of Renville county 
as provided for in section one of this act shall be submitted to 
the electors of the counties affected by said change at the next 
general election for their approval or rejection. 

"Section 7. This act shall take effect from and after its 
adoption." 

Shortly after this, Renville county was organized, the county 
seat established at Beaver Falls, and a set of officers is believed 
to have been elected. The organization was swept away by the 
massacre. 

The upper and lower reservations consisted of a strip of land 
twenty miles in width, ten miles on each side of the Minnesota 
river extending from the mouth of the Little Rock (Mud) creek 
in the western part of Nicollet county to the south end of Lake 
Traverse, thus taking in a small part of what is now South Da- 
kota. Renville county as constituted by the act of 1860 took 
in all this strip except that part of it which is now included in 
Brown county. That part of Redwood county lying in what was 
originally the reservation strip, was therefore by this act, tenta- 
tively included in Renville county. The remainder continued for 
the time being as a part of Brown county. 

Redwood. Redwood county was established by act of the 
legislature approved February 6, 1862. At that time Brown 
county was established with the present boundaries of that 
county with the exception of Townships 108 and 109, Ranges 34 
and 35. Section 2 provided that all parts of the old Brown 
county not included in the new Brown county should constitute 
Redwood county. 

By this act, Redwood county consisted, tentatively, of a large 
tv' \ bounded on the east by the range line between Ranges 33 
34, from the Township line between Townships 108 and 109. 
OiMhe south it was bounded by the Township line between 
Townships 108 and 109 from the Range line between Ranges 33 
and 34 westward to the state line. On the west the boundary 
was the state line running from the Township line between 
Townships 108 and 109 north to Big Stone lake. The other 
boundary was the Minnesota river. As created at that time, 



172 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

consequently Redwood county contained all of the. present coun- 
ties of Lac qui Parle, Yellow Medicine, Lincoln, Lyon and Red- 
wood counties, and Township 109, Ranges 34 and 35 in what is 
now Brown county. 

Previous to the presidential election of 1864 the pioneers of 
Redwood Palls petitioned Governor Miller for the establishment 
of an election district, in pursuance of which the governor set 
off the whole created county, then including the present county 
with Lyon, Lincoln, Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle coun- 
ties, and two townships in Brown county as such district. The 
election of 1864 was held at the house of J. S. G. Honner inside 
the stockade; the election board being 0. C. Martin, T. W. Cas- 
ter and Ed. McCormick. In reference to the election, Col. Mc- 
Phail says: "We cast 65 votes, all straight Republican; no intim- 
idation, no bull-dozing." The 65 votes is somewhat prob- 
lematical, as the roster does not show that number of perma- 
nent settlers at that time. 

It was under the authority of this act that the people of all 
unorganized areas in the county continued to vote in Redwood 
Falls for fifteen years or more after the county was in full opera- 
tion. 

Not only did the people of the county hold a presidential 
election in the fall of 1864, but they likewise elected county 
officers, an act which later had to be legalized, for, though the 
county had previously been created, its creation had not been 
confirmed, and no election of county officers had been ordered. 

As approved by an act of the legislature (Chapter LXX), 
March 4, 1864, the line between Sections 35 and- 36, from the 
Township line between 107 and 108, northward to the Minne- 
sota river, was constituted the west boundary of Brown county, 
subject to the approval of the voters. This would have given 
to Brown county, the townships now in Redwood county, lying 
east of a line drawn north and south through Redwood Falls. 
The proposition, however, never went into effect. 

February 23, 1865, the legislature (Laws of 1865, Chapter 
71), passed "An act to change and define the boundary lines of 
Redwood county and adjoining counties, and to organize Red- 
wood county." It established the boundary lines of Cotton- 
wood and Brown counties as at present, subject to the approval 
of the voters. The boundary lines of Redwood county were also 
established, subject to the approval of the voters as follows: 

"Beginning at the intersection of the middle line of the 
Minnesota river and the range line between Ranges 33 and 34; 
thence in a northwestwardly direction on the middle line of the 
main channel of the Minnesota river to the western boundary of 
the state of Minnesota; thence in a southerly direction on the 
western boundary of the state to the Township line between 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 173 

Townships 108 and 109 ; thence east on said line to the Range 
line between Ranges 35 and 36 ; thence north on said line to the 
Township line between Townships 109 and 110; thence east on 
said line to the Range line between Ranges 33 and 34; thence 
north on said line to the place of beginning." 

By this act the lines between Redwood county, and Brown 
and Cottonwood counties were established as at present. Red- 
wood county also took in all the present counties of Lyon, Lin- 
coln, Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle counties. 

Section 7 read: "The county of Redwood is hereby de- 
clared an organized county, and the county seat thereof tem- 
porarily located at Redwood Falls; the last election of county 
officers for Redwood county held at the election precinct of Red- 
wood Falls is hereby confirmed and ratified; and said officers 
until their successors are elected and qualified, shall have full 
power and authority to do and perform all the acts and duties 
of their respective offices within the limits of Redwood county as 
defined in section one of this act which the officers of other 
organized counties can do and perform within their respective 
counties." 

The first regular election was held in November, 1865, and 
the location of the county seat at Redwood Falls confirmed, as 
well as a set of officers elected. 

This legislative act of February 23, 1865, having been duly 
ratified by popular vote, the boundaries thereof were the legal 
boundaries of Redwood county at the time of the passage of the 
General Statutes of 1866, Chapter 8, by Section 55 of which 
Townships 109-34 and 109-35 were transferred from Brown to 
Redwood counties. But this change in the lines of the counties 
was not submitted to popular vote, as required by the Constitu- 
tion, Art. II, Section 1, in the case of organized counties, and 
consequently the Section 55 in question never became a law and 
the boundaries remained as established by the act of 1865. 

But acting under the authority of the Revised Statutes of 
1866, and without waiting for a popular vote, the county com- 
missioners of Redwood county notified the people of Township 
109, Ranges 34 and 35, on September 8, 1869, that they were a 
part of Redwood county. A bill for expenses during the time 
when the two townships were so considered was afterward pre- 
sented to Brown county. Another attempt was later made to 
include these two townships in Redwood county. 

By an act approved March 6, 1871, the people of Brown, Cot- 
tonwood and Redwood counties were authorized to vote on the 
subject of detaching Township 108, Ranges 34 and 35 from 
Brown and attaching it to Cottonwood ; and detaching Township 
109, Ranges 34 and 35 from Brown and attaching same to Red- 
wood. Redwood county voted in favor of the proposition in 



174 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

November, 1871. But the proposition was defeated by the vote 
in Brown county. According to the New Ulm Plaindealer for 
November 17, 1871, the vote in that county was 307 votes for the 
proposition, and 748 against it. 

Lyon county was created March 2, 1869. It then included 
Lincoln county. Lac qui Parle and Yellow Medicine counties 
were created March 6, 1871. Yellow Medicine continued to be 
attached to Redwood county for judicial purposes only, until 
February 25, 1874. 

Chapter 175, Special Laws of 1872, passed February 27, 1872, 
provided that "All taxes hitherto assessed on real or personal 
property within the limits of Yellow Medicine county before the 
boundaries thereto were established by Chapter 98 of the Gen- 
eral Laws of 1871 and now delinquent or which may hereafter 
become delinquent, shall be paid to the treasurer of that coun- 
ty." Redwood county refused to make this payment and suit 
was brought. The act was declared illegal, on the ground that 
the delinquent taxes were due to Redwood county because the 
expenses of the period for which the taxes were delinquent had 
been incurred in behalf of the part set off as Yellow Medicine as 
much as in behalf of the part which was retained in Redwood 
county. The delinquent taxes were subsequently collected by 
the officials of Yellow Medicine county and turned over to Red- 
wood county. 

McPhail county as approved by an act of the legislature 
March 1, 1866, took in a tract bounded on the north by the 
Minnesota river, on the west by the Dakota boundary, on the 
south by the present southern boundary of Lyon and Lincoln 
county, and on the east by the Range line between Ranges 39 
and 40, from the Township line between Townships 108 and 109, 
north to the Minnesota river. This county was never organized 
and Redwood continued as before. 

Authority and References. Session Laws and Revised Stat- 
utes, of the Territory and State of Minnesota, 1849-1915. 

History of Renville County, Minnesota, by Franklin Curtiss- 
Wedge. 

The Legislative Manual of Minnesota, 1915. 

The New Ulm Plaindealer, November 17, 1871. 

Court Records of Redwood County in the Custody of the 
Redwood County Clerk of Court. 

History of Lyon County, Minnesota, by Arthur P. Rose. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 175 



CHAPTER XVI. 
COUNTY COMMISSIONERS AND THEIR MEETINGS. 

The affairs of Redwood county have been prudently admin- 
istered, and the spirit of the commissioners, while ever mindful 
of the fact that the tendency of every agricultural community is 
in favor of the lowest tax rate, has nevertheless been one of 
progress and improvement. 

The pioneer period from the organization of the county in 
1865 to and including 1872, was one of organization, wherein the 
commissioners were confronted with the task of laying the foun- 
dation of the future business of the county. Everything was 
new and untried in a new country. Until late in 1867 there was 
no real estate to tax. Funds were scarce, the people were poor. 
For the first few years the expenses were much greater than the 
receipts. 

During this period, the commissioners perfected the organ- 
ization of the county, established the first townships, ordered the 
first roads and bridges, designated official printers, organized 
school districts, purchased supplies for the county officials, 
divided the county into commissioner districts, appointing 
various offices, attended to miscellaneous matters, and met the 
financial problems as best they could. At the beginning of this 
period Redwood county, for which the commissioners must ad- 
minister, extended to the state line. Lyon, including Lincoln 
county, was cut off March 2, 1869, while Lac qui Parle and Yel- 
low Medicine were cut off March 6, 1871. 

The problem of the boundary line between Brown and Red- 
wood counties came up during this period. February 23, 1865, 
the legislature had passed an act to change and define the 
boundaries of Redwood county. That act described the line be- 
tween Brown and Redwood counties, as it is at present con- 
stituted, and the line was ratified by the voters. But the com- 
pilers of the Revised Statutes of 1866 ignored the act of 1865 
and gave the boundaries as described by the previous act of 
1862. This would include in Redwood county, Township 109, 
Ranges 34 and 35, now in Brown county. September 8, 1869, 
the commissioners notified the people of those two townships 
that under the Revised Statutes they were a part of Redwood 
county. Some money was expended by the county in those two 
townships, for which Brown county was afterward charged. It 
was finally decided that the two townships were not a part of 
Redwood county, the provisions of the revision not having been 
passed upon by the voters. A vote was taken, November 17, 
1871, by the people of both counties on the question of whether 



176 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

the two townships should be detached from Brown and placed 
in Redwood, and the proposition was defeated. The anxiety of 
the people of Redwood county to secure these two townships is 
explained by the fact that the region in dispute was then sup- 
posed to contain coal and iron. 

For the most part this period was one of prosperity on the 
part of the people, though the hard winter and late spring of 
1867 left many of the people destitute, and Governor Marshall 
was appealed to for seed and clothing. Secretary of State Hans 
Mattson and Major M. E. Powell, of Redwood Falls, made a per- 
sonal canvass of the situation in this county. The commissioners 
met the problem, and pledged the faith of the county in return 
for necessary supplies. 

1865. The first meeting of the board of county commissioners 
was held at the auditor's office at Redwood Falls, April 19. On 
motion of J. S. G. Honner, 0. C. Martin was elected chairman. 
The bonds of Jacob Tippery as county treasurer, and of J. H. 
Thompson as sheriff, were accepted. The board then adjourned 
until 1 o'clock. In the afternoon E. E. Jeffries was appointed 
auditor pro tern in place of T. W. Caster, who was absent. The 
county was divided into three commissioner districts, No. 3 be- 
ing created first, then No. 2 and then No. 1. An unnumbered 
school district was created. Colonel Sam McPhail was appointed 
county road supervisor and James W. Harkness was appointed 
assessor. The legislative grant for a state road from New Ulm, 
via Redwood Falls and Yellow Medicine to Whetstone river, was 
accepted. The license fee to sell liquor was placed at $25. Col. 
McPhail was authorized to procure supplies for the use of the 
county officials. Those present at this meeting were 0. C. Mar- 
tin and J. S. G. Honner, supervisors ; J. R. Thompson, sheriff ; and 
E. E. Jeffries, auditor pro tem. September 5, the board met but 
at once adjourned. September 12, Edward March was appointed 
district school examiner for the county, 0. C. Martin was author- 
ized to secure a suitable room for the county offices, it was voted 
to levy a tax of 2% mills for school purposes, 6 mills for state 
purposes and 3 mills for county purposes. It was decided to 
borrow money from Colonel McPhail by issuing him county 
orders at 12 per cent discount. At this meeting Martin, Honner 
and Caster were present. At the meeting held October 14, 
Samuel M. Thompson, Charles Folsom and John McMillan, Sr., 
were appointed judges of the election to be held at the house of 
J. S. G. Honner in Redwood Falls. The whole county was con- 
stituted an election precinct. December 23 routine business was 
transacted. The county auditor's salary was fixed at $50 a year. 

1866. The first meeting of the board of county commission- 
ers was held January 2, with 0. C. Martin and Hugh Curry, com- 
missioners, and Edward March, auditor, present. 0. C. Martin 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 177 

was appointed chairman. April 20, the commissioners made a 
report of the financial condition of the county. The receipts 
were shown to be $110.76 of which $75 had been received for 
three liquor licenses, and $35.76 from the general tax fund of 
1865. The expenses were $333.44 and consisted entirely of bills 
for fees, salaries, and supplies. It was shown that county orders 
to the amount of $106.75 had been taken in and cancelled. A bill 
for $126.75 and outstanding orders of $99.94 constituted the total 
indebtedness. The remainder of the meeting was devoted to 
school, road and license matters. School district No. 1, as organ- 
ized, took in the territory surrounding Redwood Falls. District 
No. 2 lay to the eastward and took in the territory surrounding 
the Lower agency. The first road declared a public highway ran 
east from Redwood Falls on the township line to the ferry at the 
Lower agency, a branch of it extending northward to the Minne- 
sota river along the east line of section 34, in what is now Honnor 
township. The sawmill road in Redwood Falls was declared a 
public highway, and a road was ordered laid out from the village, 
to intersect the old military road in the direction of the Yellow 
Medicine agency. September 4, John Winter, who lived near 
the place where military road crossed the Yellow Medicine, put 
in his appearance as a member of the county board, this being the 
first time that a third member had sat. Road Petition No. 1 was 
received, and the township of Yellow Medicine was created. Sep- 
tember 5, road and school matters were considered, and Edward 
March was appointed county superintendent of public instruc- 
tion. The following tax levy was made : state, 6 mills ; county, 
3 mills; school, 2 mills. School district No. 3 was organized. 
Liquor licenses were also granted. The county auditor and the 
county attorney were each voted an annual salary of $100. 

1867. The first meeting was held January 1, in the auditor's 
office with O. C. Martin, Hugh Curry, and Isaac Willey commis- 
sioners, and Edward March, auditor, present. O. C. Martin was 
elected chairman. It was decided to strike the name of John 
Winter from the minutes of September 4, 1866. Roads and bridge 
matters were considered and bills ordered paid. The first cor- 
oner's jury in the county, consisting of Dr. D. L. Hitchcock, C. P. 
Griswold, S. M. Thompson, J. W. Harkness, Hugh Curry, and 
Carl Holtz, were ordered paid for investigating the case of a man 
found dead on Rice creek. April 6, the financial report of the 
county was rendered. The receipts amounted to $55.48. Of this, 
$55 had been received for liquor licenses, and only forty-eight 
cents taxes had been paid. Taxes remaining unpaid amounted 
to $135.74. The general tax fund amounted to $63,857 and 
$63,479 remained still unpaid. The entire special county tax of 
$72.36 still remained unpaid. The total expenditures for the 
year were $511.24. This left an indebtedness of $455.76, which 



178 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

added to $222.68, the indebtedness of the previous year, made a 
total county indebtedness on March 12, 1867, of $678.44, all in 
county orders most of which were held by Colonel McPhail. At 
the meeting of May 21, the commissioners decided to accept the 
offer of assistance from Governor William R. Marshall, and 
pledge the faith and credit of the county therefor. Col. Samuel 
McPhail was appointed distributing agent to issue seed and 
subsistence to the heads of families and other persons in need. 
September 24, the rates of taxation were levied as follows : state 
tax, 5 mills ; county, 10 mills ; school tax, 2 mills ; special county 
tax, 3 mills. The special county tax was to be applied to pur- 
chasing supplies for the county offices. On the next day bounties 
were voted for the killing of blackbirds, striped and pocket 
gophers. The personal property of the county was equalized by 
adding $25.00 to the tax statement of John Fuzzard. The sheriff 
was ordered to procure a suitable house for the use of the circuit 
court. 

1868. The board of county commissioners met January 7, 
with B. H. Monroe and Hugh Curry, commissioners, and Edward 
March, auditor, present. B. H. Monroe was chosen chairman. 
Grand and Petit jurors were selected. The following salaries 
were voted : Auditor, $200 (for year ending March 1, 1868, and 
the same for the year ending March 1, 1869) ; county superin- 
tendent of schools, $25 (for the year ending January 7, 1868) ; 
county attorney, $200 (for the year ending January 7, 1868). 
March 2, the commissioners changed the boundary line between 
Redwood Falls township and Yellow Medicine township. They 
appointed Charles P. Griswold sheriff. It was ordered that any 
person bringing suit before any justice in the county must first 
give security sufficient to cover the cost. William H. Morrill, 
treasurer of the county, was ordered to collect the delinquent 
taxes of 1866 and 1867. The financial report for the year end- 
ing March 10, 1868, showed the total receipts to be $206.11 ; $50 
of this being from liquor licenses and $156.11 from the county 
tax. The expenses for the year were $532.05, leaving a deficit 
for the year of $325.94. At that time the county had assets to 
the amount of $215.55, consisting of $33.59 due for delinquent 
taxes of 1866, and $181.96 due for delinquent taxes for 1867. 
Outside of the indebtedness to the state the total liabilities were 
$1,085.12. Of this $100.75 was still owing for books, and $984.37 
was represented by outstanding county orders. There was also 
$87.04 due the state on delinquent state taxes. School monies had 
been received and dispersed to the amount of $234.64. This school 
fund represented sums received in 1867 and 1868 from state, 
county, and district taxes. On September 16, D. O. King put in 
his appearance as the third member of the board. The treasurer 
was again commanded to collect the delinquent taxes. The board 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 179 

of equalization on September 16, fixed the value of farm lands in 
the county. A tax of 10 mills was levied on every dollar of tax- 
able property in the county to pay up the county indebtedness. 
It was announced on December 28 that the abstract rolls of the 
county had been started by Sam McPhaill, who, for $27.70 had 
copied from the land office records an abstract of all entered 
lands. School districts No. 4 and No. 5 were created. 

1869. The board of county commissioners met January 5, 
Gorham Powers, D. 0. King, B. H. Monroe, and 0. C. Martin, 
commissioners, and Edward March, auditor, were present. D. 0. 
King was chosen chairman. The salary of the county attorney 
and of the county auditor was raised to $250 a year. On March 
9, there was a dispute as to whether B. H. Monroe or Gorham 
Powers was legally a commissioner. Colonel Sam McPhail, 
county attorney, gave a written opinion from which the commis- 
sioners decided that Gorham Powers was not legally elected and 
therefore was not a member of this board of commissioners. 
School district No. 6 was created. A small part of school district 
No. 1 was transferred to school district No. 4. March 10, the 
liquor license fee was raised to $50. It was decided that a small 
building should be erected on a lot purchased for that purpose, 
to be used by the county officers, the cost not to exceed $300. 
The financial report for the year ending March 9, 1869, was given. 
The receipts for the year were $669.92, of which $574.43 was 
county tax, $62.50 was from liquor licenses, $19.74 was from fees 
on deeds. Total expenses for the year were $957.43, including 
salaries and supplies. The liabilities were $2,243.55, of which 
$1,030.97 was outstanding orders, $1,081.83 was due the state 
on the state tax for 1868, and a bill of $132.75 for books was still 
unpaid. There were still $2,187.25 of unpaid delinquent county 
taxes, and $1,081.83 delinquent state taxes due, making a total 
of $3,269.08 in assets. The school funds collected and distributed 
amounted to $163.77. The county orders cancelled were $748.40. 
On September 7, school districts No. 7 and No. 8 were created. 
There was a change made in the boundaries of school district 
No. 2. The township of Sherman was organized. A petition was 
presented for the change of the boundary line of commissioner 
district, but was rejected, because it was unauthorized by law. 
The commissioners sat as an equalization board, on September 8. 
September 9, the proceedings of the board of commissioners were 
ordered published in the Redwood Falls Mail, at the cost of $5 
per session. The people of two townships now in Brown county 
and directly east of the present township of Charlestown, were 
notified that they were a part of Redwood county. The rate of 
taxation was the same as the preceding year: state, 5 mills; 
county, 10 mills ; school, 2 mills. The commissioners provided for 
the erection of the building for the county offices. On November 



180 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

16 Gorharu Powers appears as commissioner, his right to a seat 
in place of B. H. Monroe having been established. Road, school, 
and liquor license matters were taken up. E. A. Chandler was 
appointed to the office of superintendent of school to succeed 
Edward March, resigned. 

1870. The county commissioners met January 4, with D. 0. 
King, 0. C. Martin and Gorham Powers, commissioners, present. 
D. O. King was chosen chairman. A clerk of court also appears 
for the first time. The present township of Sheridan was organ- 
ized, at that time named Nolton. A change of a part of the road 
known as the county road to the Lower Sioux agency was favor- 
ably reported. Books and stationery for the county offices were 
provided. On January 6, E. A. Chandler was appointed county 
superintendent of schools for two years, and the salary was raised 
to $50 per year. The building for the county offices was accepted, 
on January 8. On March 8, the school district No. 9 was created 
and Evind Knutson was transferred from district No. 7 to dis- 
trict No. 3. Several petitions were presented and granted for 
reduction of the assessed valuation of property, during the next 
two days. In the minutes of March 10, is found the first record 
of prosecution for selling liquors without a license. March 25, 
finds only D. O. King and 0. C. Martin present. The financial 
report for the year ending March 25, 1870, was rendered. The 
total receipts were $1,863.01, of which $1,695.68 was from taxes 
and $145.50 was from licenses. The total expenses were $1,593.33 
including salaries, fees and supplies. The liabilities amounted to 
$1,177.85, consisting of outstanding orders. There were still 
$5,062.91 due from delinquent tax and from other taxes $325.74, 
making a total of $5,388.65 in assets. Orders amounting to 
$1,558.38 were cancelled. On May 25, three new school districts 
were organized. September 6 the commissioners sat as an equal- 
ization board. The first petition to build a bridge was granted, 
this being over Wabasha creek. The rate of county tax was 
raised to 10 mills. 

1871. On January 3 the board of county commissioners met, 
O. C. Martin, Gorham Powers, and Jacob J. Light being present. 
O. C. Martin was chosen chairman. The county attorney's salary 
was fixed at $300 per year. During the past year the first county 
map had been made. A committee of three were appointed to 
view the locality and measure the distance across the Redwood 
river with the view of building a bridge, for which the state had 
appropriated $5,000. The township of Cerro Gordo was organ- 
ized. This lay entirely outside the present boundaries of the 
county. Another township, lying outside the present county, and 
named Camp Release, was formed. On April 11, school districts 
14, 15, 17 and 18 were organized the districts 7 and 8 organiza- 
tion being illegal. On May 18, two new townships were organ- 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 181 

ized, both lying outside the present county. On May 18 the con- 
tract was let for the building of a bridge across the Redwood 
river at Redwood Falls and the Stage Road from Redwood Falls 
to New Ulm was to be repaired. A bill was presented for the 
building of a state road from Redwood Falls, west to the state 
line, but was rejected. A road from Redwood Falls to the Lyon 
county border was provided for. Two new school districts and 
a new township were created. On September 13, only two com- 
missioners were present. They voted to levy an 8-mill county 
tax for the ensuing year. In the minutes of November 2, Dr. 
William D. Flinn is appointed as county physician, this being the 
first time that such an office is recorded. The bridge erected 
across the Redwood river was ordered protected with a sign to 
be placed at either end of it, warning people, driving over it, not 
to move faster than at a walk. School and road matters were 
considered. It was ordered on November 3 that all real estate 
records relating to real estate in Redwood county and found 
in the records of Brown county, should be copied. 

1872. The county commissioners met January 2, with Jacob 
J. Light, Harvey Wingett, and David Tibbetts present. They 
chose Jacob J. Light chairman of the board. The boundaries for 
the commissioners' districts were changed. The salary of the 
county attorney was fixed at $400 per year. On January 4, the 
salary of the county superintendent of schools was raised to $100 
per year and Dr. William H. Flinn appointed to that office. Feb- 
ruary 29 Peter Van Yandt is paid $65 for keeping paupers, this 
being the first mention of paupers kept and provided for, in the 
county. On March 1, A. C. Randall collected a bill for medicine 
which he had supplied the poor. March 2. a pauper from Jackson 
county was ordered to leave Redwood county. The annual finan- 
cial report for the year was rendered March 12. The total re- 
ceipts were $3,554.89, of which $159.50 was from licenses and 
$3,395.39 was from taxes collected. The total expenses were 
$4,838.63. The liabilities were outstanding orders amounting to 
$3,468.95, and the total assets amounted to $12,117.93, of which 
$850 was personal property and $907.83 were Brown county 
bonds, with bills against Brown county amounting to $314.10 ; the 
delinquent tax of $9,968.16 including the interest made up the 
balance. At the meeting of March 23, H. Wingett was chosen 
chairman pro tem in the absence of Jacob J. Light. The site 
known as the Court House Square was given to the county by 
Colonel Sam McPhail. On March 30, the offer of Mr. Radcliff to 
draw up plans and specifications for the new court house was ac- 
cepted. The first mention of a Redwood Palls banker, W. F. 
Dickinson, was made at this meeting, he being given the power 
to sell county bonds issued to build the court house. June 4, the 
plans for the new court house were received and approved. 



182 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

School and road petitions were read. On June 14, it was ordered 
to obtain bids for a complete set of plats and field notes of Red- 
wood county. The rate of county tax was to be 10 mills, and the 
special road and bridge tax of 1 mill was levied for the first time. 
Organizing townships and other matters were considered on Sep- 
tember 4. Money for handcuffs and leg shackles was appropri- 
ated. 



During the grasshopper period the board was beset with many 
problems. In addition to school, tax, road, financial, bridge, town- 
ship, and other matters which had confronted the previous boards, 
the boards of this period erected a court house, attended to the 
matter of issuing railroad bonds, distributed seed wheat to suf- 
ferers from the grasshopper ravages, provided for the protec- 
tion of the borders of the county against forest fires, and at the 
same time gradually improved the finances of the county. 

1873. The board met January 7, Jacob J. Light, Harvey 
Wingett, and David Tibbetts, commissioners present. Harvey 
Wingett was chosen chairman. In the financial record of March 
19, is found the first mention of naturalization papers filed. The 
total expenses for the year were $4,386.58; total receipts were 
$4,426.57, most of which was from general taxes; the total assets 
were $12,064.62, most of which was in delinquent taxes, $9,332.40, 
and personal property, $1,050.00. On April 1, the board met 
and organized three school districts and one township. The re- 
turns of the election for the railroad bonds were received; total 
number of votes 243 ; in favor of the bonds, 235, opposed, — . The 
county paper was the Redwood Falls Gazette. It was decided 
that there was no safe place to keep the records of the county; 
so a court house was ordered built on the "court house square," 
the cost not to exceed $2,200. The bid, amounting to $2,150, for 
building the court house, was accepted. The funds, books and 
effects yet in the houses of V. C. Seward and belonging to the 
district court, were demanded returned to said office. On Sep- 
tember 2, the board sat as an equalization board. They made the 
rate uniform throughout the county, the rate being, county, 10 
mills, and road and bridges, 1 mill. Two new townships were 
organized and other necessary business was attended to. Road 
and school matters were considered at the meeting of September 
16. Lewis M. Baker, having resigned his office as register of 
deeds, the board appointed G. W. Braley to fill the vacancy for 
the unexpired term, on October 6. 

1874. On January 6, the county commissioners met with the 
following members present: David Tibbetts, Harvey Wingett, 
and W. H. Hawk. David Tibbetts was chosen chairman for the 
year. After the official bonds had been approved, a new county 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 183 

school superintendent was appointed. The salary of the county- 
attorney was lowered from $400 to $200. January 7, the license 
fee was lowered to $35. The annual financial report was rendered 
March 12 as follows: total expenses, $7,131.85; total receipts, 
$6,235.84, consisting of taxes largely; total assets, $17,303.78, 
mostly delinquent taxes. Township, road and bridge matters 
were considered. On March 21, it was voted to distribute seed 
wheat among the farmers who needed it. On July 28, four school 
districts were organized. In the records of September 30 a re- 
ward is offered to anyone who gives proof of any person who 
wantonly sets a prairie fire before May of the following year. 
Township and road matters were considered October 9. 

1875. On January 5, the board met with A. M. Cook, William 
H. Hawk and D. Tibbetts, commissioners, present. A. M. Cook 
was chosen chairman. On January 28, in a special session, the 
board appointed A. M. Cook treasurer of the State Relief Fund, 
to distribute money to those who needed relief on account of 
the grasshoppers. On March 10, the resolution was adopted to 
cancel the $1,192.40 in outstanding orders because they were sup- 
posed to have been paid. The following annual report was ren- 
dered: total expenses, $7,991.06, besides $383.30 spent for roads 
and bridges; total receipts, $8,940.57, consisting in a large meas- 
ure of taxes and interest; total assets, $8,615.59, most of which 
was delinquent and uncollected taxes. July 26 the rate of county 
tax was fixed at 5 mills, and the road and bridge tax at 1 mill. 
The county was divided into five commissioner's districts. 

1876. On January 4, the board, now consisting of five mem- 
bers, met with D. O. King, Charles Porter, L. Bedall, J. M. Little, 
and Mathias Keller, present. The first named commissioner was 
elected chairman. The salary of the county attorney was fixed 
at $350 per year. D. O. King and J. M. Little were appointed 
a committee on court house and court house grounds. D. L. 
Bigham was elected county superintendent of schools, on Febru- 
ary 1. On March 16 the bond of the bank of Redwood Falls, as 
depository of the county funds, was approved. The board ren- 
dered their financial report showing the total expenditures to be 
$6,799.24, including the road and bridge expenses of $227.63 ; total 
receipts, $6,908.38, most of which was from taxes collected ; total 
liabilities, $2,326.04, mostly outstanding orders; total assets, 
$7,692.15, most of which was delinquent taxes and uncollected 
taxes of 1875. This report shows the county funds in the best 
condition thus far reported, but at the next meeting an expert 
was hired to examine and balance the county funds. On June 
19 the time was spent in organizing four school districts and 
one township. July 24 the commissioners acted as an equalizing 
board. It was voted that $7,000 be raised as taxes to defray the 
county expenses, and that $1,000 be raised by the road and bridge 



184 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

tax. On September 6, the board decided not to issue the railroad 
bonds until the railroad was completed to Redwood Falls. Strips 
of grass were ordered burned along the south and west borders 
of the county to prevent forest fires from coming in. On Septem- 
ber 20, a petition was read before the board that the bonds for 
the railroad to Redwood Falls be issued immediately. D. 0. King, 
Mathias Keller and J. M. Little were appointed to act as a com- 
mittee to confer with the railroad company with the view of mak- 
ing a compact with them. 

1877. On January 2, the board of county commissioners met, 
with D. 0. King, J. M. Little, Charles Porter, and Frank Schan- 
dera present. Mathias Keller appears on February 15 as the fifth 
commissioner. The bonds for the new railroad to connect with 
"Winona were ordered issued immediately. The road was to be 
completed by October 1, 1877. On February 26 the board distrib- 
uted some of the money which the state had previously appropri- 
ated for buying seed grain for the sufferers from the grasshop- 
pers' ravages. On March 20, the treasurer rendered his annual 
report as follows : total receipts, $8,532.57 ; total expenses, 
$6,545.75 ; total assets, $16,754.62 ; total liabilities, $959.27, in out- 
standing orders. On March 21, strips were ordered plowed around 
the county at the boundary lines to act as guards against prairie 
fires. On June 18, the board voted to pay the state what was due 
it, as delinquent state tax. On July 23, they sat as an equalizing 
board. The amount of $5,000 was to be raised for county ex- 
penses; $975 was to be raised for roads and bridges. On Octo- 
ber 12, J. M. Little was chosen chairman to fill the vacancy caused 
by the resignation of D. 0. King. 



The period of rapid growth began with the close of the grass- 
hopper years and extended to 1905. The routine business of the 
county gradually increased in volume and entailed an additional 
amount of attention on the part of the commissioners. During 
this period all the remaining townships were organized, many new 
school districts were created, roads gradually networked the 
county. A poor farm was bought and sold. A new court house 
was erected. To the three villages which were incorporated by 
the legislature, Redwood Falls, Walnut Grove and Lamberton, 
the county commissioners during this period added thirteen more. 
In the following resume, the names of the commissioners, notes 
regarding salaries, and a few other important matters are given, 
the other subjects being treated adequately elsewhere. In 1904 
the first attempt was made to establish a county ditch. 

1878. The board of county commissioners met January 1. 
Fred V. Hotchkiss, Frank R. Schandera, Mathias Keller, Charles 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 185 

Porter, and 0. B. Turrell, commissioners were present. Fred V. 
Hotehkiss was chosen chairman. On January 2, the salary of 
the county attorney was lowered to $300. In the minutes of Jan- 
uary 3, is the first record of a town voting on the liquor license 
question. On March 5, applications for seed grain were consid- 
ered and most of them allowed. On March 20, the salary of the 
county superintendent of schools was fixed at $10' for every 
school, there being at this time thirty-five schools in the county. 
On July 15, 1878, the commissioners acted as an equalization 
board. 

1879. January 7, the county board met, with Fred V. Hoteh- 
kiss, Charles Porter, O. B. Turrell, Frank R. Schandera, and 
Archibald Stewart, commissioners, present. The first named man 
was chosen chairman. On January 8, a petition was ordered sent 
to the state to provide for two terms of district court in Redwood 
county. The liquor license fee was raised to $100 per year. In 
the minutes of the meeting of January 9, the first record is found 
of a county officer being asked to resign. At the same meeting 
the town officers for Johnsonville township were appointed, the 
people of that township having failed to elect. The Redwood 
Gazette and the Lamberton Commercial were designated as the 
county papers. 

1880. The first meeting came on January 6. Fred V. Hoteh- 
kiss, Charles Porter, O. B. Turrell, Archibald Stewart and W. H. 
Owen, commissioners, were present. Fred Hotehkiss was re- 
elected chairman. The salary of the county attorney was raised 
to $400; that of the county auditor was raised to $1,200. On 
January 9, the board decided not to grant any liquor licenses 
for that year. The board on the following day organized the ter- 
ritory not already made into townships, as road and assessment 
districts. They appointed an assessor and road supervisor in each 
of the six districts. 

1881. The first meeting of the board was held on January 4. 
Fred V. Hotehkiss, Charles Bennett, W. H. Owen, Archibald 
Stewart and O. B. Turrell, commissioners, were present. On 
January 5, the salary of the judge of probate was fixed at $300 
per year. 

1882. The first meeting of the board was held January 3, 
O. B. Turrell, W. H. Owen, James Anderson, Alfred Clark and 
George W. Skelton being present. The salary of the county at- 
torney was raised to $450. Much time was taken in changing 
school district boundaries. 

1883. The first meeting of the board was held January 2, 
James Anderson, Alfred Clark, Eli "Webb, James Longbottom and 
L. B. Newton were present. 

1884. The board met on January 1, with James Longbottom, 
James Anderson, James S. Johnson, Eli Webb, and Alfred Clark, 



186 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

commissioners, present. The liquor license fee was raised to $100. 
The salary of the county attorney was made $400, on January 2. 
A committee was appointed to purchase a poor farm for Redwood 
county in Sherman township. On July 31, the Iowa and Minne- 
sota Railroad Company applied for help in building a railroad 
through Redwood Falls southward to the state line. Nothing was 
done in this' regard. 

1885. The first meeting of the board was held January 6, 
with James Anderson, chairman, Eli Webb, James S. Johnson, 
Joseph Tyson and William Lauer, commissioners, present. The 
liquor license fee was lowered again to $50 per year. 

1886. The first meeting of the board occurred on January 5, 
with Joseph Tyson, chairman, William Lauer, Eli Webb, James 
S. Johnson, and James Anderson, present. The "Redwood Ga- 
zette" and the "Redwood Reveille" were chosen to do the county 
printing. James Aiken and W. M. Todd were the respective pub- 
lishers. The salary of the county treasurer was fixed at $1,200 
a year. 

1887. The first meeting of the board was held January 4, with 
W. E. Baker, chairman, Michael Donner, H. H. Leavitt, D. W. 
Whittet, and James Sommer, present. The liquor license fee was 
raised to $100 per year. The salary of the county attorney was 
raised to $600 per year. 

1888. The board met January 4. The commissioners were all 
present — W. E. Baker, James Sommer, H. H. Leavitt, Michael 
Donner, and David W. Whittet. The Redwood Gazette was 
chosen as the official paper for the county. 

1889. The board met January 1. The following commission- 
ers were present : W. E. Baker, chairman, Michael Donner, H. H. 
Leavitt, James S. Johnson, and David W. Whittet. The village 
of Morgan was incorporated. 

1890. The board met on January 6, with the same commis- 
sioners as at previous year. Five thousand dollars were appro- 
priated for the enlarging of the court house. 

1891. The board met January 6. James S. Johnson, David 
W. Whittet, H. H. Leavitt, Frank Schandera, and F. W. Philbrick, 
commissioners, were present. David W. Whittet was chosen 
chairman. The salary of the county attorney was raised to $800. 
The resolution was adopted on February 26 that the court house 
was not sufficient for the needs of the county and a new one 
should be built, the cost not to exceed $15,000. 

1892. The first meeting of the board was held January 5, with 
David W. Whittet, chairman, F. W. Philbrick, James S. Johnson, 
Frank Schandera and H. H. Leavitt, present. The Redwood 
Reveille and the Lamberton Leader were selected to publish the 
county proceedings. The village of Belview was incorporated 
during this year. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 187 

1893. The board met January 3. F. W. Philbrick, James 
Arnold, Frank Schandera, Frank Billington, and E. A. Pease, 
commissioners, were present. F. W. Philbrick was duly elected 
chairman. The Redwood Reveille was designated as the official 
paper for the county. The salary of the county superintendent 
of schools was fixed at $900, it having been $10 for every school 
before this time. 

1894. The first meeting of the board was held January 5. The 
members, F. "W. Philbrick, chairman, Frank Billington, Frank 
Schandera, E. A. Pease, and James Arnold, were all present. The 
Redwood Gazette was chosen as the official paper for the county. 

1895. The board met January 8, with the following commis- 
sioners present : J. P. Cooper, Leo Altermatt, James Arnold, 
Frank Billington, and E. A. Pease. James Arnold was duly 
elected chairman. The Redwood Reveille was chosen the official 
paper for the county. The sheriff resigned April 6, and it took 
ballotting for five days to choose another. The county jail was 
completed during this year. E. A. Pease resigned April 6, 1895, 
and Christian Olson was appointed. 

1896. The first meeting of the board was held January 7. 
J. P. Cooper, chairman, James Arnold, Leo Altermatt, Frank Bil- 
lington, Christian Olson, Commissioners, were present. The Red- 
wood Gazette was chosen the official paper for the county for the 
ensuing year. 

1897. The board met January 5. The members present were 
J. P. Cooper, chairman, Leo Altermatt, John W. Carlile, Thomas 
J. Sloan, and Eric Wilson. The Redwood Reveille was chosen 
as the official paper for the county for the ensuing year. 

1898. The first meeting of the board was held January 4. 
J. P. Cooper, chairman, Leo Altermatt, Eric Wilson, Thomas J. 
Sloan and John W. Carlile, commissioners, were present. The 
salary of the county superintendent of schools and of the county 
attorney was each raised to $1,000 per year. 

1899. The first meeting of the board occurred on January 3. 
J. P. Cooper, chairman, Leo Altermatt, Eric Wilson, Thomas J. 
Sloan, and J. W. Carlile, commissioners, were present. On Janu- 
ary 5 the board decided to sell the poor farm. The Redwood 
Gazette was made the official county paper. On April 18, a com- 
mittee was appointed to see that the soldiers who had served in 
the Indian, Mexican, or Civil Wars, were honorably buried when 
they died. On July 18 the first typewriter was purchased for the 
use of the county officers in the court house. 

1900. The board met January 21 with the same chairman 
and the same commissioners present as last year. Vesta and 
Revere were incorporated as villages. The villages of Wanda 
and Seaforth were organized on December 18. 



188 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

1901. January 3, the commissioners met, with J. P. Cooper, 
chairman, Leo Altermatt, J. W. Carlile, John F. Cain, and D. R. 
McCorquodale, present. The salary of the county superintendent 
of schools was raised to $1,100. In the minutes of the meeting of 
July 8, 1901, is mentioned the ordering of five telephones for the 
court house to be used in the county offices. 

1902. The board met on January 7, the same chairman and 
members as last year being present. The salary of the county 
superintendent of schools was raised to $1,260. On July 25, a 
sum of money was allowed to control infectious and contagious 
diseases in Redwood county. The villages of Delhi and Lucan 
were incorporated. 

1903. The board met January 6. C. W. Mead, John F. Cain, 
George Posz, J. W. Carlile, and D. R. McCorquodale, commission- 
ers, were present. The county superintendent of schools' salary 
was raised to $1,500 per year. The liquor license fee was fixed 
at $500 on April 14. The villages of Clements and North Red- 
wood were incorporated during the year. 

1904. The board met on January 4, with the same officers as 
in 1903. A public ditch was ordered surveyed in Willow Lake 
township on July 11. This is the first mention of a public ditch 
in Redwood county. 

1905. The board met January 3. C. W. Mead, chairman, 
George Posz, D. R. McCorquodale, C. H. Fredericksen and John 
F. Cain, commissioners, were present. The first two county 
ditches were ordered built during this year, but actual work was 
not started until 1906. 

The beginning of the modern period is marked by the year 
1906, the year in which actual work was started on the first 
county ditch. The ditching has continued rapidly, state roads 
have been built, the new jail constructed, a county poor farm has 
been purchased, a county superintendent of roads and a county 
agent appointed, and many distinct advances made in school 
matters. 

1906. The board met January 2, with the same chairman and 
members as last year. On January 2, the resolution was a opted 
to have each commissioner appoint a county physician in hi dis- 
trict. The first state road was ordered built in Redwood co ~>. 
This is the first time such a thing is mentioned in the rec 
The majority of the time was spent in granting petitions 
county ditches. 

1907. The first meeting of the board was held on January 8. 
George Posz, chairman, D. R. McCorquodale, John F. Cain, C. H. 
Fredericksen, and H. M. Aune, commissioners, were present. The 
salary of the county superintendent of schools was raised to $1,300 
per year. A board of health for Redwood county was appointed, 
consisting of three members. On July 12, 1907, the board voted 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 189 

to buy the land in the W. iy 2 rods of lot 10 and all of lot 11, sec- 
tion 36, town 113, range 36, containing 25% acres. This is the 
present "poor farm" property. A county road superintendent 
was appointed for Redwood county on July 8. 

1908. The board met January 7, the same chairman and com- 
missioners being present as in 1907. The salary of the county at- 
torney was raised to $1,100 per year; that of the county super- 
intendent of schools to $1,500 per year. A children's agricultural 
contest was to be held in the county during this year under the 
supervision of the county superintendent of schools. 

1909. The board met on January 5. D. R. McCorquodale, 
chairman, H. M. Aune, Eric Wilson, George Posz, and C. H. Fred- 
ricksen, commissioners, were present. A school children's indus- 
trial contest was arranged for to be held in Redwood county under 
the supervision of the county superintendent of schools. The 
salary of the sheriff was fixed at $1,200 per year. On September 
29, the home for the county poor was completed. 

1910. The board met January 4, with the same commissioners 
present as last year. The salary of the county superintendent of 
schools was raised to $1,600 per year. On July 11. 1910, a sum 
of $300 was appropriated for the county exhibit at the state fair. 
Most of the time was occupied with ditch matters. 

1911. The board met January 3. D. R. McCorquodale, chair- 
man, H. M. Aune, John Arends, Eric Wilson, and C. H. Frederick- 
sen, commissioners, were present. The salary of the county super- 
intendent of schools was raised to $1,700 per year. Many ditches 
were completed and approved during 1911. 

1912. The board met January 2 with the same chairman and 
commissioners as last year. The salary of the county superin- 
tendent of schools was raised to $1,800 per year. Ditch matters 
filled the remaining meetings. 

1913. 1 he board met January 7. C. H. Fredericksen, chair- 
man, H. M. Aune, Eric Wilson, John Arends, and James P. Gaff- 
ney, commissioners, were present. The "Redwood Falls Sun" 
was cjjg^en as the official paper for the county for the ensuing 
year.V,;/he contract for the present concrete bridge over the Red- 
wr , river, at Redwood Falls, was let April 2. In the minutes 

meeting of October 3, a sum of money is appropriated for 
ing a county agent. 

914. The board met January 6, with the same chairman and 
ommissioners as the previous year. The "Morgan Messenger" 
/as designated the official paper for the county for the ensuing 
^ear. State roads and ditch matters filled the remaining sessions. 
r 1915-16. The commissioners for these two years were : 1, 
George Schmiesing ; 2, John Arends ; 3, Ed. Stefel ; 4, H. M. Aune 
(chairman) ; 5, James P. Gaffney. Eric Wilson, from the first 



190 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

district served a few months, but died in 1915, and George 
Sehmiesing was appointed in his place. 

Districts. For the election to be held in the fall of 1865, the 
whole county of Redwood was constituted an election precinct. 
The county then extended westward and northwestward to the 
state line. 

Commissioners' districts were designated on April 19, 1865, 
as follows : 1 — Bounded on the northeast by the Minnesota river, 
on the west by the state line, on the south by the township line 
between townships 112 and 113, on the east by the range line be- 
tween ranges 35 and 36. It consisted of the present townships 
of Swedes Forest, Kintire and Delhi, and a vast tract to the west 
and northwest. 2 — Townships 111, 112, ranges 34 and townships 
110, 111 and 112, range 35. It consisted of the present townships 
of Paxton, Sherman, Three Lakes, Morgan, and Sundown. 3 — 
Bounded on the north by the township line between townships 
112 and 113, on the west by the state line, on the south by the 
township line between townships 108 and 109, and on the east 
by the range line between ranges 35 and 36. It consisted of the 
present townships of Redwood Falls, New Avon, Willow Lake, 
Charlestown, Sheridan, Vail, Waterbury, Lamberton, Vesta, Gran- 
ite Rock, Johnsonville, North Hero, Underwood, Westline, Gales 
and Springdale, and westward to the state line. It will be seen 
that the present townships of Honner and Brookville were 
omitted from this description. 

Sept. 7, 1869, a petition was presented for a change in the 
boundaries of the commissioner districts, but it was rejected by 
the board because unauthorized by law. 

Another division was made Jan. 2, 1872. 1 — Included all the 
land in Redwood county, west of the range line between ranges 
36 and 37. This consisted of the present townships of Swedes 
Forest, Kintire, Sheridan, Vail, Waterbury, Lamberton, Vesta, 
Granite Rock, Johnsonville, North Hero, Underwood, Westline, 
Gales, and Springdale. It is not definitely stated where the west- 
ern boundary of Redwood county was. 2 — Included all the land 
in Redwood county to-wit : commencing at the intersection of the 
range line between ranges 34 and 35, with the Minnesota river, 
thence west between the towns 112 and 113 to the range line 
between 35 and 36, thence south to the south line of the county, 
thence east to the east line of the county, thence north to the 
Minnesota river, thence northwesterly along the river to the 
place of beginning. This consists of the present townships of 
Sherman, Morgan, Brookville, Paxton, Three Lakes and Sun- 
down. Just where the southern boundary of the county was, 
was not stated. 3 — Included all the territory of Redwood county 
not included in districts 1 and 2. 

The board being increased to five members, the division of 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 191 

July 26, 1875, was made as follows : 1 — All the land south of the 
north line of town 110 and west of the west line of range 36. 
2 — All the land south of the north line of town 110 and east of 
the west line of range 36. 3 — All the land in town 111, range 
34, 35 and 36, and all that part of town 112, range 34, lying 
in Redwood county, and all of town 112, range 35. 4 — All the 
land of town 112, range 36, and all that part of town 113, 
ranges 35 and 36, lying in Redwood county. 5 — All the land 
not in the other four districts of Redwood county. 

On July 26, 1880, Redwood county was redistricted into five 
commissioners ' districts as follows : 1 — All the towns of North 
Hero, Springdale, Gales, Johnsonville, Westline, and town 111, 
range 38. 2 — All the towns of Vail, New Avon, Willow Lake, 
Waterbury, Lamberton and Charlestown. 3 — All the towns of 
Sundown, Brookville, Morgan, Three Lakes, Paxton and Sherman. 
4 — All the towns of Redwood Palls, Sheridan, Vesta, and Under- 
wood. 5 — All the towns of Kintire, Swedes Forest, Delhi, Hon- 
ner, and all of town 113, range 34, in Redwood county. 

On Jan. 5, 1886, the county was again re-districted as to 
county commissioners' districts. 1 — All the land in the town- 
ships of Springdale, North Hero, Gales, Johnsonville, Westline, 
Underwood, Vesta, the unorganized town 111, range 38, and the 
village of Walnut Grove. 2 — All the land in the township of 
Lamberton, Charlestown, Waterbury, Willow Lake, Vail, New 
Avon, and the village of Lamberton. 3 — All the land in the town- 
ships of Sundown, Brookville, Three Lakes, Morgan, Paxton, and 
Sherman. 4 — All the land in the village of Redwood Palls. 5 — 
All the land in the townships of Sheridan, Redwood Falls, Kintire, 
Delhi, Swedes Forest, and Honner. 

Authority. Records of the doings of the county commission- 
ers of Redwood county, transcribed by the various county audi- 
tors and on file at the court house in the custody of the Redwood 
county auditors. 



CHAPTER XVII. 
COUNTY OFFICERS AND BUILDINGS. 

Redwood county has been fortunate in the type of men that 
have administered its affairs in public office. With a few excep- 
tions they have been men of integrity and ability, and the splen- 
did condition of the records are a glowing tribute to the fidelity 
with which they have labored. It is fitting that their names 
should here be preserved for the perusal of future generations. 

Auditor. April 19, 1865-March 1. 1866, T. W. Caster; March 



192 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

1, 1866-March 1, 1871, Edward March; March 1, 1871-March 1, 
1872, D. 0. King ; March 1, 1872-March 16, 1876, E. A. Chandler ; 
March 16, 1876-Jan. 4, 1887, Isaac M. Van Schaack ; Jan. 4, 1887- 
Jan. 6, 1891 ; Tillson Tibbetts ; Jan. 6, 1891-Jan. 3, 1899, Andrew 
H. Andersen; Jan. 3, 1899-Jan. 8, 1907, Isaac N. Tompkins; Jan. 
8, 1907 to the present time, Lars P. Larson. 

Register of Deeds. April 19, 1865-Jan. 1, 1866, J. S. G. Hon- 
ner; Jan. 1, 1866-Oct. 6, 1873 (resigned), Lewis M. Baker; Oct. 
6, 1873-Jan. 4, 1876, George W. Braley; Jan. 4, 1876-Jan. 2, 1878, 
Tillson Tibbetts; Jan. 2, 1878-Jan. 3, 1882, James B. Robinson; 
Jan. 3, 1882-Jan. 5, 1897, George L. Evans; Jan. 5, 1897-Jan. 6, 
1903, Norris W. Cobleigh; Jan. 6, 1903-Jan. 5, 1909, Otto C. 
Goetze ; Jan. 5, 1909, to the present time, A. D. McRae. 

County Surveyor. July 1, 1866-Sept. 4, 1867, T. W. Caster 
Sept. 4, 1867-Jan. 4, 1872, George E. Oles; Jan. 4, 1872-Jan. 6 
1874, I. S. Kaufman; Jan. 6, 1874-Jan. 6, 1876, David Watson 
Jan. 6, 1876-Jan. 2, 1878, D. L. Bigham ; Jan. 2, 1878-Jan. 6, 1880 
Tillson Tibbetts; Jan. 6, 1880-Jan., 1882, Samuel O. Masters 
Jan., 1882-Jan. 4, 1887, Tillson Tibbetts ; Jan. 4, 1887-Jan. 3, 1893 
Charles V. Everett ; Jan. 3, 1893-Jan. 8, 1907, D. L. Bigham ; Jan 
8, 1907-Jan. 7, 1911, Louis J. Beevar ; Jan. 7, 1911, to the present 
time, D. L. Bigham. 

Judge of Probate. April 19, 1865-Jan. 3, 1869, Sam MePhail ; 
Jan. 3, 1869-Jan. 3, 1871, Coulter Wiggins; Jan. 3, 1871-Peb. 2, 
1872 (resigned), Victor C. Seward; Feb. 2, 1872-Jan., 1877, Hial 
D. Baldwin ; Jan., 1877-Jan. 7, 1879, S. J. F. Ruter ; Jan. 7, 1879- 
Jan. 6, 1885, John H. Bowers ; Jan. 6, 1885-Jan. 7, 1889, Hial D. 
Baldwin; Jan. 7, 1889-Jan. 8, 1895, Erastus D. French; Jan. 8, 
1895-Jan. 6, 1901, James B. Robinson ; Jan. 6, 1901-Nov. 30, 1909 
(deceased), Geo. L. Evans; Nov. 30, 1909-Jan. 3, 1911, Charles 
T. Howard ; Jan. 3, 1911, to the present time, A. R. A. Laudon. 

Clerk of Court. Jan. 1, 1866-Jan. 4, 1870, Birney Flynn; Jan. 
4, 1870-Jan., 1872, Julius R. White ; Jan., 1872-Nov., 1872, Victor 
C. Seward ; Nov., 1872-Jan. 2, 1877, Hial D. Baldwin ; Jan. 2, 1877- 
May 11, 1880, W. H. Hawk; May 11, 1880-Jan. 4, 1881, J. Wilson 
Paxton ; Jan. 4, 1881-Jan. 7, 1889, Franklin Ensign ; Jan. 7, 1889- 
Jan. 5, 1897, James L. Byram ; Jan. 5, 1897-Jan. 5, 1909, Fred L. 
Warner; Jan. 5, 1909, to the present time, W. D. Weldon. 

Coroner. Jan. 4, 1870-Jan. 4, 1872, Peter Swenson; Jan. 4, 
1872-Jan. 2, 1878, Dr. D. L. Hitchcock ; Jan. 2, 1878-Jan. 6, 1880, 
R. W. Hoyt; Jan. 6, 1880-July 25, 1881, L. S. Crandall; July 25, 
1881-Jan. 1, 1883, C. S. Stoddard ; Jan. 1, 1883-Jan. 6, 1885, Amos 
G. Hammer; Jan. 6, 1885-May 27, 1887, Frederick H. Morton; 
May 27, 1887-Jan. 1, 1893, Giles R. Pease; Jan. 1, 1893-Jan. 5, 
1895, L. S. Crandall ; Jan. 5, 1895-Jan. 4, 1899, C. P. Gibson ; Jan. 
4, 1899-Oct. 23, 1901 (resigned), A. B. Hawes; Oct. 23, 1901-Sept. 
21, 1903, H. Percy Dredge ; Sept. 21, 1903-Feb. 24, 1904 (moved 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 193 

away), W. E. Belt; Feb. 24, 1904-Jan. 3, 1905, F. J. Bickford; 
Jan. 3, 1905-March 12, 1914, Frederick H. Aldrich; March 12, 
1914, to the present time, F. W. Brey. 

Sheriff. April 19, 1865-Jan., 1866, John Ripley Thompson; 
Jan., 1866-Jan., 1868, Norman Webster ; Jan., 1868-March 2, 1868, 
John Ripley Thompson; March 2, 1868-Jan. 3, 1871, Charles P. 
Griswold (appointed) ; Jan. 3, 1871-Jan. 3, 1876, Thos. McMillan; 
Jan. 3, 1876-Jan. 2, 1878, James Durtnal ; Jan. 2, 1878-Jan. 8, 1880, 
David B. Whitmore; Jan. 8, 1880-Jan. 3, 1882, A. L. Gale; Jan. 
3, 1882-Jan. 4, 1887, Melville B. Abbett ; Jan. 4, 1887-Jan. 3, 1893, 
Charles W. Mead ; Jan. 3, 1893-April 6, 1895, Casper Blethen (re- 
signed) ; April 9, 1895-Jan. 5, 1897, Charles W. Mead (appointed) ; 
Jan. 5, 1897-Jan. 8, 1901, E. A. Pease ; Jan. 8, 1901-Jan. 6, 1903, 
Alvin Small; Jan. 6, 1903-Jan. 7, 1913, B. C. Schueller; Jan. 7, 
1913, to the present time, Frank J. Hassenstab. 

Treasurer. April 19, 1865-March 2, 1868, Jacob Tippery; 
March 2, 1868-May 25, 1870, William H. Morrill (resigned); 
May 25, 1870-March, 1875, L. F. Robinson ; March, 1875-March, 
1876, George W. Braley; March, 1876-March, 1880, Amasa Tower; 
March, 1880-Jan. 4, 1887, Alpheus A. Wilson ; Jan. 4, 1887-June 
26, 1888, John S. G. Honner (deceased) ; June 26, 1888-Jan. 8, 
1895, Emil Kuenzli ; Jan. 8, 1895-Jan. 3, 1899, Joseph R. Lankard ; 
Jan. 3, 1899-Jan. 6, 1903, William P. Tenney ; Jan. 6, 1903-Jan. 5, 
1909, J. Albert Johnson; Jan. 5, 1909-Aug. 18, 1911, N. V. R. 
Hunter (deceased) ; Sept. 1, 1911, to the present time, Charles V. 
Everett. 

Attorney. Jan. 1, 1866-Jan. 1, 1871, Samuel McPhail; Jan. 3, 
1871-Jan. 2, 1872, Coulter Wiggins ; Jan. 2, 1872-Jan. 6, 1880, M. 
E. Powell; Jan. 6, 1880-Jan. 3, 1882, Alfred Wallin; Jan. 3, 1882- 
Jan. 4, 1887, M. E. Powell ; Jan. 4, 1887-Jan. 31, 1894, Michael M. 
Madigan (resigned); Jan. 31, 1894-Feb. 27. 1894, S. L. Pierce 
(resigned) ; Feb. 27, 1894-Jan. 8, 1895, W. L. Pierce; Jan. 8, 1895- 
Jan. 6, 1903, Frank Clague ; Jan. 6, 1903-Jan. 8, 1907, Charles T. 
Howard; Jan. 8, 1907-April 13, 1910, William G. Owens (re- 
signed; April 13, 1910, to the present time, Albert H. Enerson. 

Buildings. The county buildings of Redwood county consist 
of a commodious court house and sightly jail, at Redwood Falls, 
and an unusually beautiful alms house, one mile west from the 
city. 

Redwood Falls has been the county seat of Redwood county 
since the organization of the county. The first county officers 
kept their books at their homes or at their regular places of busi- 
ness. Later some of them secured small offices. The early courts 
were held in various buildings. 

The first action by the county board toward securing quarters 
for county offices was taken Sept. 12, 1865, when O. C. Martin 
was authorized to secure a suitable room for the transaction of 



194 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

county business. Mr. Martin's office was used for the purpose 
for several years. 

On March 10, 1869, the board of commissioners decided to 
purchase a lot and erect a county building at a cost not to exceed 
$300, but a short time afterward Dr. D. L. Hitchcock and C. P. 
Griswold offered to erect a suitable building and to rent it to the 
county for $5 a month. This offer was accepted, and the officers 
moved into the building early in January, 1870. 

The present court house square was donated to the county by 
Col. Sam. McPhail, and in 1872 plans were set on foot for the 
erection of a court house thereon. May 5, 1873, the commissioners 
appointed a committee to take charge of the erection of the build- 
ing. The contract was let May 31, 1873, at $2,150. Of this, $1,400 
was to be raised by issuing county orders from time to time at 7 
per cent interest. The building was subsequently enlarged and 
improved in various ways. Sept. 2, 1890, the sum of $5,000 was 
appropriated for the purpose of further enlarging the building, 
but the action was reconsidered in favor of an entirely new 
structure. 

Action toward erecting the present court house on the site 
of the older one was taken July 13, 1891, when the county com- 
missioners voted $15,000 for the purpose. The scope of the work 
grew, and the court house as it stands costs between $35,000 and 
$40,000. The building is splendidly adapted for the purpose, and 
is fully equipped with electric lights, telephones, water and sewer 
connections, and substantial vaults. The court room on the upper 
floor seats from 800 to 1,000 people, and is a model of its kind in 
every respect. 

A resolution to erect a county jail, a few rods northeast of 
the court house was passed by the commissioners, May 2, 1894. 
The bid was approved June 6, 1894, and the building, together 
with the heating plant in the court house and pail, was approved 
Feb. 21, 1895. The court house and jail are both of brick, and 
with their well-kept lawns, are ornaments of which the people 
have reason to be proud. 

Jan. 5, 1899, it was decided to sell the county poor farm, the 
farm being too far from the county seat. Later the present farm 
west of the city was purchased. The splendid structure which 
adorns the farm, and which is probably the most magnificent alms 
house in Minnesota, was completed Sept. 22, 1909. 

Authority. These lists of officers have been gleaned with some 
difficulty from the various records at the Redwood County Court 
House and from the files of the newspapers, as well as from elec- 
tion returns. The records in the individual offices were consulted 
for signatures, the official bonds of the officers were examined, 
and election returns looked over with care. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 195 



CHAPTER XVIII. 
LEGISLATIVE REPRESENTATION. 

Alexander Ramsey, of Pennsylvania, then only thirty-four 
years of age, was appointed by President Taylor the first gov- 
ernor of the new territory of Minnesota. His previous public 
experience had been as a member of the Twenty-eighth and Twen- 
ty-ninth congresses, in which he had displayed the sterling 
qualities and the marked ability which characterized his long 
after-career. From the time of his coming to Minnesota until 
the close of his life he remained one of its most loyal and honored 
citizens, filling many important positions both in the state and 
the nation. He arrived in St. Paul, May 27, 1849, and the hotels 
being full to overflowing proceeded with his family to Mendota, 
a fur trading station at the junction of the Mississippi and Min- 
nesota rivers, where he became the guest of Henry H. Sibley, 
remaining there until June 26. 

On the first of June he issued a proclamation, said to have 
been prepared in a small room in Bass's log tavern which stood 
on the site now occupied by the Merchant's Hotel, making official 
announcement of the organization of the territory, with the fol- 
lowing officers: Governor, Alexander Ramsey, of Pennsylvania; 
secretary, C. K. Smith, of Ohio; chief justice, Aaron Goodrich, 
of Tennessee; associate justices, David Cooper, of Pennsylvania, 
and Bradley B. Meeker, of Kentucky; United States marshal, 
Joshua L. Taylor; United States attorney, H. L. Moss. Mr. Tay- 
lor, having declined to accept the office of marshal, A. M. Mitchell, 
of Ohio, a graduate of West Point, and colonel of an Ohio regi- 
ment in the Mexican war, was appointed to the position and 
arrived in August. 

A second proclamation issued by Governor Ramsey, June 11, 
divided the territory into three judicial districts, to which the 
three judges who had been appointed by the president were 
assigned. The present Redwood county was included in the 
Third district, which embraced all the southern part of the state, 
the northern boundary of the district being the Mississippi from 
the Iowa line to the mouth of the Minnesota, the whole length 
of the Minnesota, and a line drawn from the source of the Min- 
nesota west to the Missouri. Hon. David Cooper, associate justice, 
was assigned to the bench and court ordered held at Mendota, 
on the fourth Monday of August, 1849. 

The census of the territory taken in 1849 by an order of 
Governor Ramsey issued June 11, although including the soldiers 
at the fort and pretty much every living soul in the territory 
except Indians, footed up the disappointing total of 4,764 — of 



196 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

which number 3,058 were males and 1,706 were females. Addi- 
tional and revised returns made the population exactly 5,000 — 
males, 3,253; females, 1,747. 

Another proclamation issued July 7, 1849, divided the terri- 
tory into seven council districts and ordered an election to be held 
August 1 to choose one delegate to the house of representatives 
at Washington, and nine councillors and eighteen representatives 
to constitute the legislative assembly of Minnesota. The election 
passed off very quietly, politics entering scarcely at all into the 
contests, which were wholly personal. In all 682 votes were cast 
for the delegate to congress, Henry H. Sibley, who was elected 
without opposition. 

The council districts were described in Ramsey's proclama- 
tion as follows: "No. 1. The St. Croix precinct of St. Croix 
county, and the settlements on the west bank of the Mississippi 
south of Crow village to the Iowa line. 2. The Stillwater pre- 
cinct of the county of St. Croix. 3. The St. Paul precinct (except 
Little Canada settlement). 4. Marine Mills, Falls of St. Croix, 
Rush Lake, Rice River and Snake River precincts, of St. Croix 
county and La Pointe county. 5. The Falls of St. Anthony pre- 
cinct and the Little Canada settlement. 6. The Sauk Rapids and 
Crow Wing precincts, of St. Croix county, and all settlements 
west of the Mississippi and north of the Osakis river, and a line 
thence west to the British line. 7. The country and settlements 
west of the Mississippi, not included in districts 1 and 6. The 
territory now embraced in Redwood county was included in the 
Seventh district, which generally speaking included all the ter- 
ritory south of the Sauk and west of the Mississippi to the terri- 
torial line, but none of the settlements on the west bank of the 
Mississippi except such as might be found north of the settle- 
ments near St. Anthony Falls and south of the mouth of Sauk 
river. 

1849 — The first territorial legislature — called the territorial 
assembly — met Monday, September 3, in the Central House, St. 
Paul, a large log building weatherboarded, which served both as 
a state house and a hotel. It stood on practically the present site 
of the Mannheimer block. On the first floor of the main building 
was the secretary's office and the dining room was occupied as 
the Representatives' chamber. As the hour for dinner or supper 
approached the House had to adjourn to give the servants an 
opportunity to make the necessary preparations for serving the 
meal. In the ladies' parlor on the second floor the Council con- 
vened for their deliberations. The legislature halls were not to 
exceed eighteen feet square. Governor Ramsey, during his entire 
term of office, had his executive office in his private residence, and 
the supreme court shifted from place to place as rooms could be 
rented for its use. Although congress had appropriated $20,000 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 197 

for the erection of a capitol, the money could not be used as "a' 
permanent seat of government" for the territory had not yet been 
selected, so the machinery of government had to be carted around 
in the most undignified manner. The seventh district was repre- 
sented in the council by Martin McLeod, of Lac qui Parle ; and 
in the house by Alexis Bailly, of Mendota, and Gideon H. Pond, 
of Oak Grove. 

1851 — The second territorial legislature met January 1 and 
adjourned March 31. Martin McLeod again represented the 
Seventh district in the council; while in the house were Alex- 
ander Faribault, of Mendota, and B. H. Randall, of Fort Snelling. 

The territory, having been divided into counties, it was appor- 
tioned by the second territorial legislature (1851) into seven 
districts. Dakota county, which included the present Redwood 
county, was the Sixth district. 

1852 — The third territorial legislature assembled January 7 
and adjourned March 6. The Sixth district was represented in 
the council by Martin McLeod, of Oak Grove; and in the house 
by James McBoal, of Mendota, and B. H. Randall, of Ft. Snelling. 

1853 — The fourth territorial ligeslature assembled January 5 
and adjourned March 5. The Sixth district was again represented 
in the council by Martin McLeod. B. H. Randall was again in 
the house and the new member from the Sixth district was A. E. 
Ames. This legislature changed the boundary lines of certain 
counties and created certain new counties. The present Red- 
wood county fell in Blue Earth county. In spite of these changes 
in county lines, the boundaries of the legislative districts remained 
the same. 

Franklin Pierce having been elected president of the United 
States in the previous November, promptly proceeded after his 
inauguration, in accordance with the good old Jacksonian doc- 
trine, to remove the "Whig officeholders and distribute the spoils 
among the victors. The new territorial appointees were : Gov- 
ernor, Willis A. Gorman, of Indiana; secretary, J. T. Rosser, of 
Virginia; chief justice, W. H. Welch, of Minnesota; associates, 
Moses Sherburne, of Maine, and A. G. Chatfield, of Wisconsin. 
Soon after entering on the duties of his office, Governor Gorman 
concluded a treaty at Watab with the Winnebago Indians for an 
exchange of territory. At the election in October Henry M. 
Rice was elected delegate to Congress. 

1854 — In 1854 the legislature of Minnesota for the first time 
assembled in a regular capitol building, its previous sessions 
having been held haphazard wherever accommodations could be 
had. This building, which was started as early as 1851, was 
totally destroyed by fire on the evening of March 1, 1881, while 
both branches of the legislature were in session. Some of the 
more valuable papers in the various offices were saved, but the 



198 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

law library and many thousands of documents and reports were 
burned. The total loss was about $200,000. The present "Old 
Capitol" was erected on the site of the first building. The fifth 
session assembled January 4 and adjourned March 4. The Sixth 
district was represented in the council by Joseph R. Brown; and 
in the house by Hesekiah Fletcher and William H. Nobles. 

1855 — The sixth territorial legislature assembled January 3 
and adjourned March 3. Joseph R. Brown against represented 
the Sixth district in the council, and Henry H. Sibley and D. M. 
Hanson represented the district in the house. 

By the apportionment of 1855 the present Redwood county 
with the rest of the then Brown county was placed in the Tenth 
district with Le Sueur, Steele, Faribault, Blue Earth, Renville, 
Nicollet, Sibley and Pierce. 

1856 — The seventh territorial legislature assembled January 
2 and adjourned March 1. The Tenth district was represented 
in the council by C. E. Flandrau, and in the house by Parsons 
K. Johnson, Aurelius F. de La Vergne and George A. McLeod. 

1857 — The eighth and last territorial legislature assembled 
January 7 and adjourned March 7. The extra session lasted 
from April 27 to May 20. The tenth district was represented 
in the council by P. P. Humphrey and in the house by Joseph R. 
Brown, Francis Baasen and O. A. Thomas. 



CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. 

March 3, 1857, congress passed an act authorizing the people 
of Minnesota to form a state constitution. Each council district 
was to be represented in this convention by two representatives 
for each councilman and representative to which it was entitled. 
The constitutional convention, consisting of 108 members, was 
authorized to meet at the capital on the second Monday in July, 
to frame a state constitution and submit it to the people of the 
territory. The election was held on the first Monday in June, 
1857. July 13 the delegates met but, a disagreement arising in 
the organization, the Republican members organized one body 
and the Democrats another, fifty-nine delegates being given seats 
in the former and fifty-three in the latter, making 112 in all. 
Each of these bodies, claiming to be the legally constituted con- 
vention, proceeded with the work of formulating an instrument 
to be submitted to the people. After some days an understand- 
ing was effected between them, and by means of a committee of 
conference, the same constitution was framed and adopted by 
both bodies. On being submitted to the people, October 13, 1857, 
it was ratified. 

The Tenth district was represented in the Republican wing by 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 199 

Amos Cogswell, Lewis McKune, and Edwin Page Davis. On the 
Democratic side, from the Tenth district, sat: Joseph R. Brown, 
C. E. Flandrau, Francis Baasen, William B. McMahon, and J. B. 
Swan. Of these, Joseph R. Brown had been the Indian agent liv- 
ing at the Lower Sioux Agency in what is now Redwood county. 

The history of this convention is so graphically given by 
W. H. C. Folsom, who was one of its members, in his interesting 
volume, "Fifty Years in the Northwest," that we quote it almost 
entire : 

"The state was nearly equally divided betwen the Repub- 
licans and Democrats, still the question of politics did not enter 
largely into the contest except as a question of party supremacy. 
The people were a unit on the question of organizing a state 
government under the enabling act and in many cases there was 
but a single ticket in the field. It was a matter, therefore, of 
some surprise that there should be a separation among the dele- 
gates into opposing factions, resulting practically in the forma- 
tion of two conventions, each claiming to represent the people and 
each proposing a constitution. The delegates, although but 108 
were called, were numbered on the rolls of the two wings as 59 
Republican and 53 Democratic, a discrepancy arising from some 
irregularity of enrollment, by which certain memberships were 
counted twice. The Republican members, claiming a bare major- 
ity, took possession of the hall at midnight, twelve hours before 
the legal time for opening the convention, the object being to 
obtain control of the offices and committees of the convention, a 
manifest advantage in the matter of deciding upon contested seats. 

"In obedience to the call of the leaders of the party, issued 
the day before, the writer, with other Republicans, repaired to 
the house at the appointed hour, produced his credentials as a 
delegate, and was conducted into the illuminated hall by Hon. 
John W. North. The delegates were dispersed variously about 
the hall, some chatting together, others reading newspapers, 
smoking or snoring, and here and there one had fallen asleep in 
his seat. Occasionally a delegate nervously examined his revolver 
as if he anticipated some necessity for its use. 

"The Democratic delegates were elsewhere, probably plotting 
in secret conclave to capture the hall, and perhaps it might be 
well enough to be prepared for the worst. Thus the remainder 
of the night passed and the forenoon of July 13. As soon as the 
clock struck twelve the Democratic delegates rushed tumultu- 
ously in, as if with the purpose of capturing the speaker's stand. 
That, however, was already occupied by the Republican dele- 
gates and the storming party was obliged to content itself with 
the lower steps of the stand. Both parties at the moment the 
clock ceased striking were yelling "order" vociferously, and 
nominating their officers pro tem. Both parties effected a tern- 



200 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

porary organization, although in the uproar and confusion it was 
difficult to know what was done. 

"The Democratic wing adjourned at once to the senate cham- 
ber and there effected a permanent organization. The Repub- 
licans, being left in undisturbed possession of the hall, perfected 
their organization, and the two factions set themselves diligently 
to work to frame a constitution, each claiming to be the legally 
constituted convention, and expecting recognition as such by the 
people of the state and congress. The debates in each were acri- 
monious. A few of the more moderate delegates in each recog- 
nized the absurdity and illegality of their position and questioned 
the propriety of remaining and participating in proceedings which 
they could not sanction. 

"The conventions continued their sessions inharmoniously 
enough. Each framed a constitution, at the completion of which 
a joint committee was appointed to revise and harmonize the two 
constitutions, but the members of the committes were as bellig- 
erent as the conventions they represented. Members grew angry, 
abusing each other with words and even blows, blood being 
drawn in an argument with bludgeons between two of the dele- 
gates. An agreement seemed impossible, when some one whose 
name has not found its way into history, made the happy sugges- 
tion that alternate articles of each constitution be adopted. 
When this was done, and the joint production of the two conven- 
tions was in presentable shape, another and almost fatal difficulty 
arose, as to which wing should be accorded the honor of signing 
officially this remarkable document. One body or the other must 
acknowledge the paternity of the hybrid. Ingenuity amounting 
to genius (it is a pity that the possessor should be unknown) 
found a new expedient, namely, to write out two constitutions in 
full, exact duplicates except as to signatures, the one to be 
signed by Democratic officers and members and the other by 
Republicans. These two constitutions were filed in the archives 
of the state and one of them, which one will probably never be 
known, was adopted by the people October 13, 1857." 

Mr. Folsom is slightly in error. The enabling act did not 
specify any hour for the meeting of the convention, nor did it 
designate any definite place in the capitol where the sessions 
should be held, both of which omissions contributed to the con- 
fusion in organization. W. W. Folwell, in his "History of Min- 
nesota," narrates the preliminaries as follows: "To make sure 
of being on hand, the Republican delegates repaired to the capitol 
late on the Sunday night preceding the first Monday in June and 
remained there, as one of them phrased it, 'to watch and pray 
■ for the Democratic brethren.' These did not appear till a few 
moments before twelve o'clock of the appointed day. Imme- 
diately upon their entrance in a body into the representatives' 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 201 

hall Charles R. Chase, secretary of the territory and a delegate, 
proceeded to the speaker's desk and called to order. A motion 
to adjourn was made by Colonel Gorman, and the question was 
taken by Chase, who declared it carried. The Democrats left 
the hall to the Republicans, who proceeded to organize the con- 
vention. Fifty-six delegates presented credentials in proper form 
and took their oaths to support the constitution of the United 
States. At noon of Tuesday the Democratic delegates assembled 
about the door of the hall, and finding it occupied by citizens 
who refused to give them place, met in the adjacent council cham- 
ber and proceeded to organize the convention. Henry H. Sibley 
was made chairman, on motion of Joseph R. Brown, and later 
became president of the body." 

After the adjournment of the constitutional convention the 
Republicans and Democrats held their party conventions, each 
nominating a full state ticket and three condidates for Congress. 
The Republican candidate for governor was Alexander Ramsey 
and the Democratic candidate Henry H. Sibley. The election 
was held October 13, 1857, the constitution being adopted by an 
overwhelming vote; H. H. Sibley was elected governor by a 
majority of only 240 in a total of 35,240 votes, and the Demo- 
crats had a small majority in the legislature. 

STATE REPRESENTATION. 

The first Minnesota state legislature assembled December 2, 
1857. There was a serious question, however, as to whether it 
was really a state legislature, as Minnesota had not yet been 
admitted to the Union. There was a question as to the recog- 
nition of Samuel Medary, the territorial governor, as governor 
of the state, but by a. vote of 59 to 49 he was so recognized by 
the legislature, and he, in turn, in his message recognized the 
law-making body as a state legislature. None of the state officers 
could take the oath of office, and the Republican members of the 
legislature entered a formal protest against any business what- 
ever being done until after the admission of the state as a member 
of the Union. But the Democrats, having a majority, decided to 
hold a joint convention December 19 for the election of two 
United States senators. Henry M. Rice was elected for the long 
term on the first ballot, but it was not until after several ballot- 
ings that General James Shields won the short term. He was a 
new comer from Illinois and his election was a bitter pill for 
many of the old Democratic war-horses, such as Sibley, Steele, 
Brown and Gorman. 

As a means of relieving the state from the awkward predica- 
ment in which it was placed, the legislature adopted. March 1, 
an amendment to the constitution authorizing the newly-elected 



202 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

officers to qualify May 1, whether the state was admitted by that 
date or not, this amendment to be submitted to the voters at an 
election called for April 15. A second amendment, submitted at 
the same time, provided for the famous $5,000,000 railroad bond 
loan, which was the cause of great loss and great bitterness to 
the people. Both amendments were overwhelmingly adopted, 
but in November, 1860, the bond amendment was expunged from 
the constitution, after $2,275,000 bonds had been issued. The 
legislature, March 25, took a recess until June 2. 

In the meantime the steps looking toward the recognition of 
Minnesota's statehood by congress had lagged sadly. For some 
unknown reason, President Buchanan had delayed until the mid- 
dle of January, 1858, transmitting to the United States senate 
the constitution adopted by the people. A bill for the admission 
of Minnesota as a state was introduced by Stephen A. Douglas, 
chairman of the committee on territories. When this bill came up 
February 1, there was a prolonged discussion, a number of the 
senators being in opposition because it would add another to the 
number of free states, thus disturbing the "balance of power" 
between the free and slave states. Among those participating 
in the debate were Senators Douglas, Wilson, Gwin, Hale, Mason, 
Green, Brown and Crittenden, the latter being much more mod- 
erate in his expressions than most of his fellow senators from 
the South. The debate continued until April 8, when the English 
bill, which provided for the admission of Kansas as a supposed 
slave state having passed, the opposition ceased, and Minnesota's 
bill was adopted by a vote of 49 to 3. The bill then went to the 
house, where it met the same kind of objections as had been 
raised in the senate, the English bill standing in the way until 
May 4, when it was passed. One week later, May 11, the bill 
admitting Minnesota, passed the house by a vote of 157 to 38, 
the following day receiving the approval of the President, and 
May 12, 1858, Minnesota obtained full recognition as a state in 
the Union. Informal news of the action of congress reached 
St. Paul, by telegraphic information brought from La Crosse, 
Wis., May 13, but the official notice was not received until some 
days later, and May 24 the state officers elected in October, 1858, 
took their oaths of office. 

1857-58 — The first state legislature, as already noted, assem- 
bled December 2, 1857. On March 25, 1858, it took a recess 
until June 28, and finally adjourned August 12. The state was 
admitted May 11, 1858. It will, therefore, be seen that, although 
this legislature is called the first state legislature, nevertheless 
it assembled in territorial times. 

By the apportionment of 1857, set forth in the state constitu- 
tion adopted Oct. 13, 1857, Nicollet and Brown counties (then 
including the present Redwood) constituted the Seventeenth legis- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 203 

lative district, with one senator and three representatives. The 
counties of Le Sueur, Sibley, Nicolett, Blue Earth, Faribault, 
McLeod, Renville, Brown and all other counties not included 
within other judicial districts, were constituted the Sixth judi- 
cial district. The Seventeenth legislative district was represented 
in the senate by Thomas Cowan, and in the house by Ephraim 
Pierce, Albert Tuttle and Frederick Redfield. 

1858-59 — No session was held in the winter of 1858-59, mainly 
owing to the protracted session of 1857-58, which was believed 
to render unnecessary another one following so soon, the legis- 
lature of that year having so provided by enactment. 

1859-60 — The second state legislature assembled December 7, 
1859, and adjourned March 12, 1860. The Seventeenth district 
was represented in the senate by Thomas Cowan, and in the 
house by John Armstrong, E. Rehfeld and William Pfaender. 

By the apportionment of 1860, all of the present Redwood 
county was included in the Nineteenth district, which was to con- 
sist of Nicolett, Sibley, Renville, Pierce and Davis counties, and 
that portion of Brown county west of Range 33. The district 
was to have one senator and two representatives. 

1861 — The third state legislature assembled January 8 and 
adjourned March 8. The Nineteenth district was represented in 
the senate by James W. Linde and the house by M. G. Hanscome 
and E. E. Paulding. 

1862 — The fourth state legislature assembled January 7 and 
adjourned March 4. The Nineteenth district was represented in 
the senate by Henry A. Swift and in the house by M. J. Severance 
and Adam Buck, Jr. 

On account of the Indian outbreak in 1862, an extra session 
was called by the governor. It assembled September 9 and 
adjourned September 29. The officers and members were the 
same as at the regular session, except that L. K. Asker, from the 
Ninth district, was not present at the regular session, but pre- 
sented his credentials to the second session. 

1863 — The fifth state legislature assembled January 6 and 
adjourned March 6. The Nineteenth district was represented in 
the senate by Henry A. Swift and in the house by William Huey 
and W. Tennant. 

1864 — The sixth state legislature assembled January 5, and 
adjourned March 5. The Nineteenth district was represented in 
the senate by Henry A. Swift and in the house by Samuel Coffin 
and William Huey. 

1865 — The seventh state legislature assembled January 3 and 
adjourned March 3. The Nineteenth district was represented in 
the senate by Henry A. Swift and in the house by Hamilton Beatty 
and Henry Poehler. 



204 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

1866 — The eighth state legislature assembled January 2 and 
adjourned March 2. The Nineteenth district was represented in 
the senate by Charles T. Brown, of St. Peter, and in the house by 
Thomas Russell and J. S. G. Honner. At that time, Mr. Honner 
lived in Redwood Falls. Later he moved to the Minnesota bottoms 
in what is now Honner township. 

By the apportionment of 1866 Redwood county was placed 
in the Nineteenth district with Nicollet, Brown, Sibley, Renville, 
Pierce and Davis counties. It was to be represented by one 
senator and two representatives. 

1867 — The ninth state legislature assembled January 8 and 
adjourned March 8. The Nineteenth district was represented in 
the senate by Adam Buck, of Henderson, and in the house by 
Charles T. Brown and D. G. Shillock, of New Ulm. 

1868 — The tenth state legislature assembled January 7 and 
adjourned March 6. The Nineteenth district was represented in 
the senate by Charles T. Brown and in the house by John C. 
Rudolph, of New Ulm, and Adam Buck. 

1869 — The eleventh state legislature assembled January 5 and 
adjourned March 5. The Nineteenth district was represented in 
the senate by Charles T. Brown and in the house by J. C. 
Rudolph and J. C. Stoever, of Henderson. 

1870 — The twelfth state legislature assembled January 4 and 
adjourned March 3. The Nineteenth district was represented in 
the senate by William Pfaender, of New Ulm, and in the house 
by William L. Couplin, of St. Peter, and P. H. Swift, of Beaver 
Palls. 

1871 — The thirteenth state legislature assembled January 8 
and adjourned March 3. The Nineteenth district was represented 
in the senate by William Pfaender and in the house by W. L. 
Couplin and J. S. G. Honner. 

By the apportionment of 1871 Redwood county was placed in 
the Thirty-seventh district, with Brown and Lyon counties, to be 
represented by one senator and two representatives. 

1872 — The fourteenth state legislature assembled January 2 
and adjourned March 2. The Thirty-seventh district was repre- 
sented in the senate by William Pfaender and in the house by 
O. S. Reishus, of Yellow Medicine, and Henry Weyhe, of New 
Ulm. 

1873 — The fifteenth state legislature assembled January 7 and 
adjourned March 7. The Thirty-seventh district was represented 
in the senate by J. S. G. Honner and in the house by J. W. Blake, 
of Marshall, and Charles C. Brandt, of Brown county. 

1874 — The sixteenth state legislature assembled January 6 
and adjourned March 6. The Thirty-seventh district was repre- 
sented in the senate by J. S. G. Honner and in the house by Ziba 
B. Clark, of Lac qui Parle, and Charles Hansing. 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 205 

1875 — The seventeenth state legislature assembled January 5 
and adjourned March 5. The Thirty-seventh district was repre- 
sented in the senate by John W. Blake and in the house by H. S. 
Berg, of New Ulm, and Knud H. Helling, of New Ulm. 

1876 — The eighteenth state legislature assembled January 4 
and adjourned March 3. The Thirty-seventh district was repre- 
sented in the senate by John W. Blake and in the house by Peter 
P. Jacobson, of Lac qui Parle, and William Skinner, of Brown 
couinty. 

1877 — The nineteenth state legislature assembled January 2 
and adjourned March 2. The Thirty-seventh district was repre- 
sented in the senate by S. A. Hall, of Wood Lake, and in the 
house by David Worst, of Redwood county, and E. P. Bertrand, 
of Brown county. 

1878 — The twentieth state legislature assembled January 8 and 
adjourned March 8. The Thirty-seventh district was represented 
in the senate by S. A. Hall and in the house by J. W. Williams, 
of Marshall and Charles C. Brandt. 

1879— The twenty-first state legislature assembled January 7 
and adjourned March 7. The Thirty-seventh district was repre- 
sented in the senate by K. H. Helling and in the house by Gorham 
Powers, of Granite Falls, and J. P. Bertrand. 

1881 — The twenty-second state legislature assembled January 
4 and adjourned March 4. The Thirty-seventh district was repre- 
sented in the senate by S. B. Peterson of New Ulm, and in the 
house by J. C. Zeiske, of Sleepy Eye, and G. W. Braley, of Red- 
wood Falls. Beginning with this year, a resident of Redwood 
county has sat in every session of the legislature. 

By the apportionment of 1881, Redwood county was placed 
in the Ninth district with Brown county and was entitled to one 
senator and two representatives. 

An extra session was called for the purpose of considering 
the legislation at the regular session relating to the state rail- 
road bonds, which were declared unconstitutional by the supreme 
court. The session was commenced October 11 and closed No- 
vember 13. 

1883 — The twenty-third state legislature assembled January 
2 and adjourned March 2. The Ninth district was represented 
in the senate by S. D. Peterson, and in the house by Joseph 
Bobleter, of New Ulm, and Orlando B. Turrell, of Redwood Falls. 

1885 — The twenty-fourth state legislature assembled January 
6 and adjourned March 2. The Ninth district was represented 
in the senate by S. D. Peterson and in the house by William 
Skinner and Orlando B. Turrell. 

1887 — The twenty-fifth state legislature assembled January 
4 and adjourned March 4. The Ninth district was represented in 
the senate by Thomas E. Bowen. of Sleepy Eye, and in the house 



206 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

by William Skinner and J. N. Jones, of Westline, Redwood 
county. 

1889 — The twenty-sixth state legislature assembled January 8 
and adjourned April 23. The Ninth district was represented in 
the senate by T. E. Bowen and in the house by James McMillan, 
of Redwood Falls, and C. W. H. Heidemann, of New Ulm. 

By the apportionment of 1889 Redwood county remained in 
the Ninth district with Brown county, to be represented by one 
senator and two representatives. 

1891 — The twenty-seventh state legislature assembled January 
6 and adjourned April 20. The Ninth district was represented in 
the senate by S. D. Peterson and in the house by Orlando B. 
Turrell and Christian Ahlness, of Brown county. 

1893 — The twenty-eighth state legislature assembled January 
3 and adjourned April 18. The Ninth district was represented in 
the senate by S. D. Peterson and in the house by William Skinner 
and Orlando B. Turrell. 

1895 — The twenty-ninth state legislature assembled January 
8 and adjourned April 23. The Ninth district was represented 
in the senate by E. D. French, of Redwood Falls, and in the 
house by J. N. Jones and Nels Christenson, of Brown county. 

1897 — The thirtieth state legislature assembled January 5 
and adjourned April 21. The Ninth district was represented in 
the senate by E. D. French and in the house by Henry Heimer- 
dinger, of Brown county, and James A. Larson, of Walnut Grove, 
Redwood county. 

By the apportionment of 1897 Redwood county was placed in 
the Nineteenth district, with Brown county, to be represented by 
one senator and two representatives. 

1899 — The thirty-first state legislature assembled January 3 
and adjourned April 18. The Nineteenth district was represented 
in the senate by George W. Somerville, of Sleepy Eye, and in 
the house by Henry Heimerdinger and James A. Larson. 

1901 — The thirty-second state legislature assembled January 
8 and adjourned April 12. The Nineteenth district was repre- 
sented in the senate by George W. Somerville and in the house 
by S. D. Peterson and James A. Larson. 

An extra session was called for the purpose of considering the 
report of the Fox Commission created by Chapter 13, General 
Laws of A. D. 1901. The extra session convened February 4, 
1902, and adjourned March 11, 1902. 

1903 — The thirty-third state legislature assembled January 6 
and adjourned April 12. The Nineteenth district was represented 
in the senate by George W. Somerville and in the house by S. D. 
Peterson and Frank Clague, then of Lamberton, Redwood county, 
now of Redwood Falls. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 207 

1905 — The thirty-fourth state legislature assembled January 
3 and adjourned April 18. The Nineteenth district was repre- 
sented in the senate by George W. Somerville and in the house by 
S. D. Peterson and Frank Clague. 

1907 — The thirty-fifth state legislature assembled January 8 
and adjourned April 22. The Nineteenth district was represented 
in the senate by Frank Clague and in the house by S. D. Peter- 
son and C. M. Bendixen, of Three Lakes, Redwood county. 

1909 — The thirty-sixth state legislature assembled January 5 
and adjourned April 22. The Nineteenth district was represented 
in the senate by Frank Clague and in the house by C. M. Bendixen 
and Albert Pfaender, of New Ulm. 

1911 — The thirty-seventh state legislature assembled January 

3 and adjourned April 19. The Nineteenth district was repre- 
sented in the senate by Frank Clague and in the house by Joseph 
R. Keefe, of North Redwood, Redwood county, and Albert 
Pfaender. 

An extra session was called for the purpose of enacting a 
state-wide direct primary law applicable to all state officers, a 
corrupt practices act and a reapportionment law. The extra ses- 
sion convened June 4, 1912, and adjourned June 18, 1912. 

1913 — The thirty-eight state legislature assembled January 
7 and adjourned April 24. The Nineteenth district was repre- 
sented in the senate by Frank Clague and in the house by Albert 
Pfander and C. M. Bendixen. 

At several successive sessions of the legislature prior to that 
of 1913 attempts had been made to secure a new apportionment. 
The last had been in 1897 and a great change in the population 
had taken place in the meantime — the northern part of the state 
having increased while in the southern part the gain had been 
slight, in some counties an actual loss having taken place. At 
the 1913 session, after a protracted struggle, a compromise bill 
was agreed upon, by which the number of senators was increased 
to 67, and the number of representatives to 130, although the 
legislature was already one of the largest in the United States 
and altogether out of proportion to the population. By this 
apportionment, Redwood county was placed in the Fourteenth 
district with Brown county and was to be represented by one 
senator and three representatives. 

1915 — The thirty-ninth state legislature assembled January 

4 and adjourned April 22. The Fourteenth district was repre- 
sented in the senate by L. E. Potter of Springfield and in the 
house by Albert Hauser of Sleepy Eye, Alfred W. Mueller of 
New Ulm and C. M. Bendixen. 

Congressional Representation. Redwood county has never 
elected any of its residents to Congress, though Orlando B. Tur- 
rell was once a formidable candidate for the Republican nomi- 



208 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

nation. Since the apportionment of 1871, Redwood county has 
remained in the Second Congressional district with the excep- 
tion of the period from 1901 to 1913 when it was in the Seventh 
district. The Second district now consists of Blue Earth, Fari- 
bault, Martin, Watonwan, Brown, Cottonwood, Jackson, Nobles, 
Rock, Pipestone, Murray, Redwood and Lincoln counties. 

Authority and References. Fifty Years in the Northwest, by 
W. H. C. Folsom. 

Legislative Manual of the State of Minnesota. 

History of Minnesota by Edward D. Neill. 

History of Minnesota, by W. W. Folwell. 

Minnesota in Three Centuries, by Return I. Holcombe. 

Collections of the Minnesota Historical Society, Vol. 14, Min- 
nesota Biographies, by Warren Upham and Mrs. Rose B. Dunlap. 



CHAPTER XIX. 
RIVER TRANSPORTATION. 

Minnesota received its name from the longest river which lies 
wholly within this state, excepting only its sources above Big 
Stone lake. During a hundred and sixty years, up to the time 
of the organization of Minnesota Territory, in 1849, the name St. 
Pierre, or St. Peter, had been generally applied to this river 
by French and English explorers and writers, probably in honor 
of Pierre Charles Le Sueur, its first white explorer. The ab- 
original Sioux name Minnesota means clouded water (Minne, 
water, and sota, somewhat clouded), and Neill, on the authority 
of Rev. Gideon H. Pond, poetically translated this to mean sky- 
tinted. The river at its stages of flood becomes whitishly turbid. 
An illustration of the meaning of the word has been told by 
Mrs. Moses N. Adams, the widow of the venerable missionary 
of the Dakotas. She states that at various times the Dakota 
women explained it to her by dropping a little milk into water 
and calling the whitishly clouded water "Minne sota." This 
name was proposed by General H. H. Sibley and Hon. Morgan 
L. Martin, of Wisconsin, in the years 1846 to 1848, as the name 
of the new territory, which thus followed the example of Wis- 
consin in adopting the title of a large stream within its borders. 

During the next few years after the selection of the terri- 
torial name Minnesota, it displaced the name of St. Peter as ap- 
plied in common usage by the white people to the river, whose 
euphonious ancient Dakota title will continue to be borne by 
the river and the state probably long after the Dakota language 
shall cease to be spoken. 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 209 

The Chippewa name for the stream, Ash-kiibogi-sibi, "The 
River of the Green Leaf, ' ' is now nearly forgotten, and the French 
name St. Pierre is known only by historians. 

The picturesque river which gave our commonwealth its name 
had always been an important feature in the geography and his- 
tory of this northwest country. 

The geologist reads in the deep erosion of this valley, and in 
its continuance to Lake Traverse, which outflows to Lake Winni- 
peg and Hudson bay, the story of a mighty river, the outlet of 
a vast ancient lake covering the Red river region in the closing 
part of the Glacial period. What use, if any, the primitive men 
of that time made of this majestic stream, we know not. 

Many and varied have been the scenes enacted upon its banks, 
scenes of thrilling adventure and glorious valor, as well as of 
happy merriment and tender love. It was for centuries the 
arena of many a sanguinary conflict, and the blood of the Iowas, 
Dakotas, Ojibways, and white men, often mingled freely with 
its flood. 

For generations unknown the only craft its bosom bore was 
the canoe of the Indian. Then came the French traders, with 
their retinue of voyagers, who made our river an avenue of a 
great commerce in Indian goods and costly furs. For over a 
hundred years fleets of canoes and mackinaw boats, laden with 
Indian merchandise, plied constantly along the river's sinuous 
length. The sturdy voyagers, however, left to history but a scant 
record of their adventurous life. A brave and hardy race were 
they, inured to every peril and hardship, yet ever content and 
happy; and long did the wooded bluffs of the Minnesota echo 
with the songs of old France. 

The first white men known to have navigated the Minnesota 
were Le Sueur and his party of miners, who entered its mouth 
in a felucca and two row boats on September 20, 1700, and 
reached the mouth of the Blue Earth on the thirtieth of the same 
month. The next spring he carried with him down the river a 
boat-load of blue or green shale which he had dug from the 
bluffs of the Blue Earth, in mistake for copper ore. Much more 
profitable, doubtless, he found the boat-load of beaver and other 
Indian furs, which he took with him at the same time. This is 
the first recorded instance of freight transportation on the Min- 
nesota river. 

In the winter of 1819-20, a deputation of Lord Selkirk's Scotch 
colony, who had settled near the site of Winnipeg, traveled 
through Minnesota to Prairie du Chien, a journey of about a 
thousand miles, to purchase seed wheat. On April 15, 1820, they 
started back in three Mackinaw boats loaded with 200 bushels 
of wheat, 100 bushels of oats, and 30 bushels of peas. During 
the month of May they ascended the Minnesota from its mouth 



210 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

to its source, and, dragging their loaded boats over the portage 
on rollers, descended the Red river to their homes, which they 
reached early in June. 

The Mackinaw or keel boats used on the river in those days 
were open vessels of from twenty to fifty feet in length by four 
to ten feet in width, and capable of carrying from two to eight 
tons burden. 

They were propelled by either oars or poles as the exigencies 
of the river might require. The crew usually comprised from 
five to nine men. One acted as steersman, and, in poling, the 
others, ranging themselves in order upon a plank laid lengthwise 
of the boat on each side, would push the boat ahead; and as 
each, in rotation, reached the stern, he would pick up his pole 
and start again at the prow. Their progress in ascending the 
river would be from five to fifteen miles per day, depending upon 
the stage of the water and the number of rapids they had to 
climb. 

Dr. Thomas S. Williamson, the noted missionary to the In- 
dians, in describing his first journey up the valley of the Min- 
nesota, in June, 1835, gives an interesting account of how he 
shipped his wife and children and his fellow helpers, Mr. and 
Mrs. A. G. Huggins, with their goods, on one of these boats, which 
was nine days in making the trip from Fort Snelling to Traverse 
des Sioux. 

In the correspondence of Mrs. S. R. Riggs, the wife of an- 
other famous missionary to the Sioux, is found a vivid picture 
of a Mackinaw boat, belonging to the old Indian trader, Phil- 
ander Prescott, in which she ascended the Minnesota in Septem- 
ber, 1837. It was about forty feet long by eight feet wide and 
capable of carrying about five tons. It was manned by a crew 
of five persons, one to steer, and two on each side to furnish 
the motive power. Oars were used as far as to the Little Rapids, 
about three miles above Carver, and thence to Traverse'des Sioux 
poles were employed. The journey consumed five days. 

Illustrative of the size and capacity of some of the canoes 
used by the traders, we find George A. McLeod in April, 1853, 
bringing down from Las qui Parle to Traverse des Sioux forty 
bushels of potatoes, besides a crew of five men, in a single canoe 
twenty-five feet long by forty-four inches wide, hollowed out of 
a huge Cottonwood tree. 

The first steamboat to enter the Minnesota river was the Vir- 
ginia on May 10, 1823. She was not a large vessel, being only 
118 feet long by 22 feet wide, and she only ascended as far as 
Mendota and Fort Snelling, which during the period between 
the years 1820 and 1848 were about the only points of importance 
in the territory now embraced within our state. Hence all the 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 211 

boats navigating the upper Mississippi in those days had to 
enter the Minnesota to reach these terminal points. 

Except for these landings at its mouth, and save that in 1842 
a small steamer with a party of excursionists on board ascended 
it as far as the old Indian village near Shakopee, no real attempt 
was made to navigate the Minnesota with steamboats until 1850. 
Prior to this time it was not seriously thought that the river was 
navigable to any great distance for any larger craft than a keel 
boat, and the demonstration to the contrary, then witnessed, has 
made that year notable in the history of the state. 

On June 28, 1850, the Anthony Wayne, which had just ar- 
rived at St. Paul with a pleasure party from St. Louis, agreed 
to take all passengers for $225 as far up the Minnesota as navi- 
gation was possible. They reached the foot of the rapids near 
Carver, the captain decided not to continue the passage, turned 
the steamboat homeward. Emulous of the Wayne's achievement, 
the Nominee, a rival boat, arranged another excursion July 12, 
ascended the Minnesota, passing the formidable rapids, placing 
her shingle three miles higher up the river. The Wayne, not to 
be outdone, on July 18 with a third excursion party, ascended 
the river two or three miles below the present city of Mankato. 
The success of these boats incited the Harris' line to advertise a 
big excursion on the Yankee, and that steamer reached a point 
on the Minnesota river a little above the present village of Jud- 
son, in Blue Earth county. 

The steamer Excelsior, in the summer of 1851, conveyed the 
treaty commissioners, their attendants and supplies to Traverse 
des Sioux, and later the Benjamin Franklin No. 1 ascended the 
river with a load of St. Paul's excursionists to nitness the 
progress of the famous treaty. In the fall the Uncle Toby con- 
veyed to Travers des Sioux the first load of Indian goods under 
the new treaty. 

The springing up of embryo towns in the Minnesota Valley 
stimulated steamboat transportation, and during the early sea- 
son of 1852, the steamboat Tiger made three trips to Mankato. 
The midsummer rains having restored the navigable condition 
of the river, the Black Hawk was chartered in July for three 
trips to Mankato. She also made during the season two trips 
to Babcock's Landing, opposite the present site of St. Peter, and 
one to Traverse des Sioux. The Jenny Lind and Enterprise were 
also engaged in the traffic. 

Navigation was opened on the Minnesota in 1853 by the new 
boat, the Greek Slave; the Clarion, also new, entered the trade 
this year. 

Two events of 1853, of much importance in the development 
of the Minnesota river trade, were the establishing upon its head 



212 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

waters of the Sioux Reservation and the erection in its vicinity 
of Ft. Ridgely. The necessity thus created, of transporting to 
such a distance up the river the large quantity of supplies re- 
quired annually by both soldier and Indian, gave an impetus 
for years to the steamboat traffic of the Minnesota. 

The West Newton, Capt. D. S. Harris, secured the contract 
to convey the troops with their baggage from Fort Snelling to 
the new post. She was a small packet, 150 feet long and of 300 
tons burden, and had been bought the summer before by the 
Harris brothers to compete with the Nominee in the Mississippi 
river trade. She left Ft. Snelling on Wednesday, the twenty- 
seventh of April, 1853, having on board two companies of the 
Sixth U. S. Regiment, in command of Captains Dana and Mon- 
roe. To help carry baggage, she had two barges in tow. The 
Tiger had also departed from St. Paul on the twenty-fifth, and 
the Clarion on the twenty-sixth, each with a couple of barges in 
tow, heavily loaded with supplies for the new fort and the agen- 
cies. The West Newton, being the swiftest boat, passed the 
Clarion at Henderson, and the Tiger near the Big Cottonwood, 
and thence to the site of the new fort (Ft. Ridgely) at the 
mouth of Little Rock creek, was the first steamer to disturb the 
waters of our sky-tinted river. 

The Minnesota this year remained navigable all summer, and 
a number of boats ascended it to Ft. Ridgely and the Lower 
Sioux Agency, while others went to Mankato and other points. 
The passenger travel, as well as the freight trade, was excellent. 

The winter of 1853-1854 was mild and open; the river broke 
up early without the usual freshet. Owing to the success of the 
prior season, the boatmen had great expectations. They were, 
however, doomed to disappointment. Capt. Samuel Humbert- 
son, who owned the stern wheel steamboat, Clarion, had sold it 
and purchased a fine new boat, 170 feet long with thirty-eight 
staterooms, which he called the Minnesota Belle. May 3, with 
a large load of immigrants and freight, he started up the Minne- 
sota. His new boat failed to climb the Little Rapids, near Carver, 
and he had to abandon the trip. A rainfall a few days later 
swelled the river, and enabled the Black Hawk to reach Traverse 
des Sioux. The Iola and Montello, during the summer, ran 
fairly regular trips between Little Rapids and Traverse des Sioux 
supplementing the Black Hawk, Humboldt and other boats plying 
below the rapids. 

Large keel boats, denominated barges, propelled after the 
ancient method by a crew of men with poles, became common on 
the river this year. Andrew G. Myrick placed two of these 
barges on the river in charge of the Russell boys. These vessels 
were from 50 to 60 feet long, 10 to 12 feet wide, and with sides 
4 to 5 feet high, along the top of which was fastened a plank 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 213 

walk, for the use of the pole men. A small low cabin for the 
cook was built in the stern, and during foul weather a big 
tarpaulin was spread over the goods. A full crew consisted of 
a captain, who also acted as steersman, ten to a dozen pole men, 
and a cook. With a fair stage of water the usual speed up 
stream was twelve to fourteen miles a day, but if sandbars or 
rapids interfered a mile or two would be a hard day's journey. 
Down stream, however, they would travel much faster. Most 
of the supplies for Ft. Ridgely and the Sioux Agencies, as 
well as for all up river towns, had to be transported this year 
in such barges. 

The snowfall in the winter of 1954-1855 was again light, conse- 
quently the Minesota continued low during the following spring. 
Louis Robert, having the contract this year to deliver the Sioux 
annuities, took them up to the agency late in October in the 
Globe, of which Edwin Bell was then captain. Within two miles 
of the landing the boat struck on a rock, and the goods had to be 
unloaded on the river bank. While Captains Robert and Bell 
were gone to carry the Indian money, amounting to $90,000 in 
gold, to Ft. Ridgely, the Indians, who were gathered in force 
to divide the provisions, carelessly set fire to the dry grass, which 
was quickly communicated to the pile of goods, and most of them, 
including fifty kegs of powder, were destroyed. 

Of his experiences, Capt. Edwin Bell had said: "In 1855 
I had command of the steamer Globe, making trips on the Minne- 
sota river, and in the early fall of that year we carried supplies 
to the Sioux at Redwood Agency. The Indians would come down 
the river several miles to meet the boat. They were like a lot 
of children, and when the steamboat approached they would 
shout, 'Nitonka Pata-wata washta,' meaning 'Your big fire-canoe 
is good. ' They would then cut across the bend, yelling until we 
reached the landing. 

"In the fall of that year, 1855, their supplies were late, 
when I received orders from Agent Murphy to turn over to the 
Indians twelve barrels of pork, and twelve barerls of flour. As 
soon as we landed, we rolled the supplies on shore. I was in- 
formed that the Indians were in a starving condition. It was 
amusing to see five or six of them rolling a barrel of pork up 
the bank, when two of our deck hands would do the work in half 
the time. 

"A young Indian girl stood at the end of the gang plank, 
wringing her hands and looking toward the boat, exclaiming 
'Sunka sanieha, ' meaning 'They have my dog.' The cabin boy 
told me the cook had coaxed the dog on board and hid it. I 
could speak the language so as to be understood, and I mo- 
tioned to the girl and said, 'Niye kuwa,' meaning 'Come here.' 
She came on board, and I told the cook to bring the dog to me. 



214 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

When the dog came, she caught it in her arms, exclaiming, 
'Sunka wasta, ' meaning 'Good dog.' She then ran on shore 
and up the hill. It seemed to me that white people took advan- 
tage of the Indian when they could, even steamboat cooks. 

"When the flour and pork were on level ground, the barrel 
heads were knocked in, and the pork was cut in small strips and 
thrown in a pile. Two hundred squaws then formed a circle, 
and several Indians handed the pieces of pork to the squaws until 
the pile was disposed of. The flour was placed in tin pans, each 
squaw receiving a panful. 

"Later, in the same season, we had an unfortunate trip. The 
boat was loaded deep. Luckily Agent Murphy and Capt. Louis 
Robert were on board. We had in the cabin of the boat ninety 
thousand dollars in gold. About three miles below the agency, 
we ran on a large boulder. After much effort, we got the boat 
afloat. Major Murphy gave orders to land the goods, so that 
they might be hauled to the agency. We landed and unloaded, 
covering the goods with tarpaulins. There were about fifty kegs 
of powder with the goods. While we were unloading, the agent 
sent for a team to take Captain Robert and himself, with the 
gold, to the agency. Then we started down the river. We had 
gone only a few miles, when we discovered a dense smoke, caused 
by a prairie fire. The smoke was rolling toward the pile of 
goods, which we had left in charge of two men. When we 
reached the ferry at Red Bank, a man on horseback motioned 
us to land, and told us that the goods we left were all burned 
up and the powder exploded. This was a sad blow to the Indians. 

"The following is a list of the steamboats running on the 
Minnesota river, during high water, in the year 1855 and later-. 
Clarion, Captain Humberson; Globe, Capt. Edwin Bell; Time 
and Tide, Capt. Nelson Robert; Jeannett Roberts, Capt. Charles 
Timmens; Mollie Moler, Captain Houghton; Minnesota, Captain 
Hays; and the Prank Steel and Favorite, both side-wheel steam- 
ers. These boats were drawn off when the water got low; and 
when the railroad paralleled the river, all boats quit running. 
"On the sixteenth day of December, 1895, I called on Gov- 
ernor Ramsey again, to talk over old times, forty-five years after 
my first call. What changes have taken place since then ! When 
I started to leave, I thought I would see how much the governor 
remembered of the Sioux language. I said, 'Governor, nitonka 
tepee, washta.' 'What did you say, captain?' asked the gov- 
ernor. I replied, 'Nitonka tepee, washta,' 'Why, captain,' said 
he, 'that means, my house is large and good;' and, with a wink, 
' Captain, let 's have a nip. ' Of course we nipped, and said ' Ho ! ' 
All old settlers will know the meaning of the Sioux exclamation, 
'Ho!' " ■ 

A good fall of snow during the winter of 1855-56 caused ah 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 215 

abundant supply of water in the river next spring. The navi- 
gation of the Minnesota for the season of 1856 was opened on 
April 10 by the Reveille, a stern-wheel packet, in command of 
Capt. R. M. Spencer. Four days later, the Globe, with Nelson 
Robert as captain, departed from St. Paul for the same river, 
and she was followed the next day by the H. S. Allen. 

The Reveille was considered a fast traveler, and as an in- 
stance of her speed it is recorded that on her second trip of this 
year she left St. Paul at 2 p. m. on Thursday, April 17, with 132 
passengers and a full load of freight, and arrived at Mankato by 
Saturday; and that leaving the latter place at 5 a. m. the next 
day, she reached St. Paul by 8 p. m. that evening, after having 
made twenty-four landings on the way. 

On May 5, the Reveille landed at Mankato a company of set- 
tlers numbering two or three hundred, known as the Mapleton 
Colony; and the following Saturday (May 10) the H. T. Yeatman 
landed at South Bend a company of Welsh settlers from Ohio, 
numbering 121 souls. The Yeatman was a large stern-wheel boat, 
about the largest that ascended the Minnesota, and this was her 
first trip. She continued in the trade only a few weeks, while the 
water was high. Her captain was Samuel G. Cabbell. Regular 
trips were made this year by several boats to Ft. Ridgely and 
the Lower Sioux Agency, and some ascended to the Upper 
Agency, at the mouth of the Yellow Medicine river. 

The time table of Louis Robert's fine packet, the Time and 
Tide, issued for this season, shows the distance from St. Paul to 
Yellow Medicine to be 446 miles. To an old settler who actually 
traveled on a Minnesota river steamboat in those early days, the 
idea of a time table may seem rather amusing; for if there was 
anything more uncertain as to its coming and going, or more void 
of any idea of regularity than a steamboat the old time traveler 
never heard of it. Now stopping in some forest glen for wood, 
now tangled in the overhanging boughs of a tree with one or 
both smoke-stacks demolished, now fast for hours on some sand- 
bar, and now tied up to a tree to repair the damage done by 
some snag, while the passengers sat on the bank telling stories, 
or went hunting, or feasted on the luscious wild strawberries 
or juicy plums which grew abundantly in the valley, were com- 
mon occurrences in steamboat travel. Many a pioneer remembers 
the Time and Tide, and how its jolly captain, Louis Robert, 
would sing out with sonorous voice, when the boat was about to 
start, "All aboard! Time and Tide waits for no man," and then 
add, with a sly twinkle in his eye, "and only a few minutes for 
a woman." Though we of today may think such method of 
travel tedious, yet it had many pleasant features, and to the 
people of that time, unaccustomed to the "flyers" and "fast 
mails" of today, it seemed quite satisfactory. 



216 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

The Minnesota river trade was unusually brisk in 1857 owing 
to a good stage of water. Two new boats entered this year, 
the Frank Steele, a side-wheel packet, owned by Capt. W. F. 
Davidson, and the Jeannette Robert, a large stern-wheel packet, 
owned by Capt. Louis Robert. The total trips made during the 
season was 292, of which the Antelope made 105. 

The winter of 1857-1858 proved very mild, and the Minnesota 
river broke up unusually early and was kept in good navigable 
condition during the season. The Freighter was the only new 
boat to engage in the trade this year. There were 179 arrivals at 
Mankato from points above as well as below the former, though 
did not exceed twenty-five or thirty. The total number of trips 
was 394, the Antelope again heading the list with 201 to her 
credit. 

In 1859, the river broke up early after a mild winter, and 
the Freighter arrived at Mankato, the first boat, on March 27, 
having left St. Paul two days before. An abundant rainfall kept 
the river in good navigable condition its entire length through 
most of the season. The Favorite, an excellent side-wheel packet 
of good size, built expressly for the Minnesota trade by Commo- 
dore Davidson, entered as a new boat this spring. 

As the water was quite high in the upper Minnesota, Capt. 
John B. Davis, of the Freighter, conceived the idea of crossing 
his boat over from the Minnesota to Big Stone lake and thence 
to the Red river, and accordingly, about the last of June he at- 
tempted the feat. Whether the crew found too much whiskey at 
New Ulm or the boat found too little water on the divide, authori- 
ties differ, but all agree that the captain and his crew came home 
in a canoe about the last of July, passing Mankato on the twenty- 
fifth of the month, having left his steamboat in dry dock near the 
Dakota line. The Freighter was a small, flat-bottomed, square- 
bowed boat. The Indians pillaged her of everything but the 
hull, and that, half buried in the sand about ten miles below 
Big Stone lake, remained visible for twenty or thirty years. The 
captain always claimed that if he had started a month earlier 
his attempt would have been successful. 

The navigation on the Minnesota in 1860, owing to the low 
water, was mostly confined to the little Antelope, in her trips to 
Shakopee and Chaska. Of 250 arrivals at St. Paul she had to her 
credit 198. The new boat Albany, of very light draught, also the 
Eolian, which had been raised from the bottom of Lake Pepin, 
where she had lain since the spring of 1858, and the Little Dorrit 
were put into the trade instead of the Frank Steele, the Time 
and Tide and the Favorite, which came up as far as St. Peter 
for a trip or two. The Jeanette Robert managed to get up as 
far as Mankato a few times, and during a small freshet in July, 
made one trip to the Sioux Agency. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 217 

The spring of 1861 opened with a big flood in the Minnesota. 
The first boat, the Albany, left St. Paul on March 30, and arrived 
at Mankato April 1. She was officered by J. V. Webber, captain 
(who was now the owner, having purchased her from the David- 
son company in March), Warren Goulden, first clerk, and Moses 
Gates, engineer. It was claimed by the older Indians and traders 
that the upper Minnesota was higher this spring than it had been 
since 1821. In April the Jeanette Robert ascended farther up 
the river by two miles than any steamboat had ever done before, 
and might easily have accomplished what the Freighter attempted 
and failed to do in 1859, to wit, pass over into the Red river, if 
she had tried ; for the two rivers were united by their high flood 
between lakes Big Stone and Traverse. 

This season the Minnesota Packet Company, of which Capt. 
Orrin Smith was president, put two first class boats, the City 
Belle and Fanny Harris, into the river to compete with the 
Davidson and Robert lines. The Fanny Harris, on her first trip, 
which occurred during the second week of April, went to Ft. 
Ridgely, and brought down Major (afterwards General) Thomas 
W. Sherman and his battery to quell the southern rebellion, 
which had just started. With her also went the Favorite, and 
brought down Major (afterwards General) John C. Pemberton, 
with his command of eighty soldiers, the most of whom being 
southern men, were much in sympathy with their seceding 
brethren. 

The barges of Captain Cleveland were kept busy in the traffic 
between Mankato and points below. The first shipment of wheat 
in bulk from the Minnesota was made in June of this year, 1861, 
on one of these barges. It comprised 4,000 bushels, and was 
taken direct to La Crosse. Heretofore it had been shipped in 
sacks. Wheat had now become the principal export of the val- 
ley. During the earlier years all the freight traffic on the river 
had been imported, but by this time the export of trains had 
grown to be an important item. With so many Indians in the 
valley the shipment of furs, which at first had been about the 
only export of the country, still continued valuable ; but furs, 
because of their small bulk, cut but little figure in the boating 
business. This year the value of the furs from the Sioux agencies 
was $48,416; and from the Winnebago country, $11,600. 

From this time there was a gradual reduction in river traffic. 
In 1866 the St. Paul and Sioux City railroad reached Belle Plaine, 
and connections were there made with boats for points higher 
up the river. In October, 1868, Mankato was reached, and in 
1871 the Northwestern railway reached New Ulm, which prac- 
tically ended the navigation of the Minnesota river. 

After the settlers came in 1864, navigation on the Minnesota 
was of but minor importance, though until 1875 boats continued 



218 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

to ply that stream with some regularity, and some of the early 
pioneers reached this county by boat. 

From 1865 to 1876, it was always possible for small boats to 
make a few trips to Redwood county in the spring. 

In 1868 the Pioneer was chartered by D. L. Bigham in the 
spring, loaded with lumber at St. Paul, and the trip to the Red- 
wood Falls landing successfully made. 

In 1869 the business men of New Ulm bought the Otter for 
$3,000. This boat had a capacity of some 3,000 bushels of wheat. 
Trips were made between Mankato and New Ulm several times 
each week, and a number of trips were made to Redwood county. 

Later the St. Anthony, a St. Croix lumber boat, brought lum- 
ber to D. L. Bigham. Bringing lumber to the upper Minnesota 
was a hazardous proceding in those days, and the lumber was 
sometimes scattered along the river banks from Carver to 
New Ulm. 

The Tiger continued to ply the river, and once in a while made 
a record run. It ia recorded that on May 14, 1870, the Tiger made 
the trip from the Redwood Falls landing to Mankato in thirteen 
and a half hours. 

The Osceola, a small boat, owned by Mark D. Flowers and 
Captain Hawkins, ascended the Minnesota as far as Redwood 
once in 1872, twice in 1873 and once in 1874, the water having 
been low and navigation difficult. 

In 1875 a large warehouse was built at the landing on the 
Minnesota, called Riverside, by a company, for the purpose of pro- 
viding storage, and to give an outlet by the river for the wheat 
crop, of which 60,000 bushels were brought and stored during 
the next fall and winter. In the spring of 1876 two side-wheel 
steamboats arrived at Riverside, laden with lumber, and took out 
the wheat in store and a large amount from Redwood and private 
parties. To warehouse men, and to Daniels & Son, who had 
opened a general store and built a hotel, the transportation 
scheme seemed solved, but it proved only a case of inflated hopes. 
In a few days it was learned that the boats were stranded on a 
sandbar at the mouth of the Blue Earth river, and the parties 
who shipped the wheat were called on to furnish sacks and men 
to transfer the grain to the railroad. This practically put an 
end to the Riverside and steamboat transportation scheme. The 
warehouse and hotel were removed to Redwood Falls and used 
in building an elevator and hotel there. 

Capt. Leroy Newton made a further effort to utilize the river. 
He took a large barge and rigged a wheel at the stern, which was 
propelled by an ordinary eight-horse thresher power. This, how- 
ever, proved unsuccessful, though it was of some help to reach 
New Ulm, which was the end of his run. 

In 1876, owing to high water in the spring, the Ida Fulton, 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 219 

and Wayman X came up the river ; and ten years later one trip was 
made by the Alvira. For another ten years no steamboat was 
seen on the Minnesota until, taking advantage of a freshet in 
April, 1897, Captain E. W. Durant of Stillwater, ran his boat, 
the Henrietta, a stern-wheel vessel 170 feet long with forty state- 
rooms, on an excursion to Henderson, St. Peter and Mankato. 
(Compiled from articles in the collections of the Minnesota His- 
torical Society.) 



CHAPTER XX. 
HIGHWAYS AND BRIDGES. 

The roads of Redwood county have exerted an important 
economic and social influence upon its destinies. Along the lines 
of the roads indicated in the government survey, the pioneers 
settled, and the existence of the military roads constructed before 
the Massacre was a powerful factor in the motives which caused 
many of the pioneers after the Massacre to settle here rather 
than elsewhere, 

The first road in Redwood county was the old Military road, 
connecting Ft. Ridgely with the two Indian agencies. From Ft. 
Ridgely this road ran north of the Minnesota until reaching the. 
ferry at the Lower Agency. There it crossed the river, and as- 
cending the steep bank, reached the location of the principal 
buildings of the Lower Agency in which is now Sherman town- 
ship, in Redwood county. Thence it followed the general course 
of the Minnesota river to the Upper Agency on the Yellow Medi- 
cine. In places, this road was graded by the government. For 
the most part, however, it consisted of two wagon-ruts, which 
in time were worn deep into the prairie sod. 

North of the Minnesota, and also following the general course 
of that stream, was the Military road connecting Ft. Ridgely 
with Ft. Abereombie. To the eastward, Ft. Ridgely was con- 
nected with St. Peter and Henderson. From St. Peter and 
Henderson, roads led in various directions. Thus road communi- 
cation was early established between Redwood county and the 
important settlements of the Territory. 

The next important road in this region, followed in this county, 
the course of the Cottonwood. It was termed Col. William Nobles' 
Wagon Road from Ft. Ridgely to the South Pass of the Rocky 
Mountains. The road was constructed in 1856-1857 by the United 
States Government under the direction of Albert H. Campbell, 
■who bore the title of "General Superintendent of Pacific Wagon 
Roads," but the field work was in charge of Col. William H. 



220 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

Nobles. For two years Col. Nobles had a permanent camp at 
the "Crossing of the Cottonwood" in Lyon county, east of Red- 
wood county, and there spent two winters. 

In his report to the Secretary of the Interior, Jan. 18, 1858, 
Col. Nobles says : "I have located and built a good wagon road 
from Ft. Ridgely to the Missouri river, in latitude 43 degrees, 
47 minutes, between Bijou hill and 'Fort Lookout.' 

"The road has been selected and made with a view to accom- 
modate the emigrant, by having a pass through a good country, 
and in the vicinity of wood and water ; and also, with these valu- 
able considerations always in sight, I have been able to complete 
the road in almost a direct line from Fort Ridgely to the ter- 
minus of the Missouri river . . . The rivers on the road to be 
crossed are North Branch of the Cottonwood river (Sleepy Eye 
creek), Cottonwood river twice, Redwood river, Medary creek, 
Big Sioux river, Perrine creek, Riviere du Jacques or James 
river, besides a number of small creeks. 

"On the Cottonwood, I have constructed a rough bridge, 
adapted to the present travel, but it is important that this river 
should be well bridged at both of the crossings." 

Albert H. Campbell in his report to the secretary of the In- 
terior dated Feb. 19, 1859, says : 

"This road was completed only as far as the Missouri river, 
254 miles, some time in the fall of 1857, in consequence of the in- 
sufficiency of the appropriation. 

"The general location of this road is as follows: Beginning 
at the ferry on the Minnesota river, which is 150 feet wide at this 
place, opposite Ft. Ridgely. The general course of the road is 
southwestwardly, passing through a marshy region a few miles 
south of Limping Devil's lake to the noi*th fork of the Cotton- 
wood (Sleepy Eye creek), a distance of about seventeen miles, 
thence to the Cottonwood river, over a rolling country, with lakes 
and marshes, about one and a half miles below the mouth of the 
Plum creek, distance about nineteen miles. From this point the 
road continues across Plum creek, and three good watering places, 
to the crossing of the Cottonwood at Big Wood, about eighteen 
and a half miles. Thence ... to the Big Sioux river . . . 
This road, as far as built, is remarkably direct and is believed, 
from the description of the country through which it passes, to 
be the best location which could have been made, securing a 
plentiful supply of water, grass and timber." 

The crossing of the North fork of the Cottonwood (Sleepy 
Eye creek) and one of the crossings of the Cottonwood, were 
in this county. The route crossed in this county, Brookville, 
Sundown, Charlestown, Lamberton, North Hero and Springdale 
township. In Brookville, a branch extended north, passing 
through Morgan to the Lower Agency in Sherman township. 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 221 

In the late fifties, when settlers pushed out to the Lake Shetek 
country (in the northeast part of Murray county, and a few miles 
southwest of Redwood county) they came over the Nobles road 
to North Hero township, and then switched off, and proceeded 
southwest along the general course of Plum creek. This route 
is said to have been taken because water was more easily obtained. 

In 1855, Aaron Myers and family established themselves in 
section 31, Amiret township (township 110-40), some six miles 
west of the present western boundary of Redwood county. In 
1857, Mr. Myers sent one of his men, John Renniker, with his 
oxen and a wagon, to New Ulm for supplies. Renniker, who had 
previously lost his position with the Dakota Land Co. (this com- 
pany in 1857 had platted a village called Saratoga in section 1, 
Custer township — township 109, range 41 — seven miles west of 
the present Redwood county line, and left Renniker in charge) for 
selling intoxicants to the Indians, bought a ten gallon cask of 
whiskey on his own account at New Ulm and started home. John 
Campbell, a half breed, followed after with a party of seven 
Sioux warriors, overtook him in North Hero township, near 
where Col. Noble's wagon road crossed Plum creek, and murdered 
him, after which they took his goods. Charles Hammer (Swede 
Charlie), Hoel Parmle and Andrew Koch, friends of the murdered 
man, found his body, carried it to Saratoga, and buried it on the 
ridge north of Mr. Myers' house in Amiret township. 

Sometime before the Massacre, John P. Burns and Daniel 
Burns settled in the walnut grove that has given its name to the 
village of Walnut Grove. They belonged to the Lake Shetek 
colony, but by fleeing saved their lives at the beginning of the 
Indian Outbreak. 

In 1861, a route was laid out from New Ulm to Lake Shetek, 
which crossed Redwood county south of the Nobles road, and 
branched to the southwest two miles east of Walnut Grove. 

On the route between New Ulm and Lake Shetek, Charles 
Zierke, commonly known as "Dutch Charlie" lived near the point 
where Dutch Charlie creek enters the Cottonwood, in Charlestown 
township. He was fleeing toward New Ulm with his family at 
the opening of the Outbreak, when he was overtaken by the In- 
dians. He managed to escape, reached New Ulm, organized a 
posse and rescued his family. 

The third road projected by the government, followed the 
general course of the Redwood river through this county. It is 
mentioned in the government survey, and appears on some of 
the early maps of the land office, though many of the early settlers 
declare that nothing was known of it in the days of the early 
settlement. The route started at the road connecting the two 
agencies, and extended westward through Redwood Falls, Sheri- 
dan, Vesta and Underwood townships. 



222 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

The earliest settlers after the Massacre reached Redwood 
county in various ways. Some came by boat. For the most part, 
however, they came with horses or oxen. Many struck out boldly 
over the unbroken prairie. There were, however, several regu- 
larly established routes of travel. Many who came to St. Paul 
or Minneapolis followed the Minnesota river to St. Peter. From 
there they struck out across Nicollet county, skirting south of 
the lakes, stopping three miles south of what is now Nicollet sta- 
tion, crossing the Redstone ferry below New Ulm and thus reach- 
ing that city. From there they reached Redwood Falls by follow- 
ing the old road by way of Golden Gate and Lone Tree Lake. 
Others coming from St. Peter did not cross the Redstone ferry 
at New Ulm, but kept along the north side of the river to Ft. 
Ridgely. From there they could cross the Minnesota at the ferry 
at that place, at the Martell ferry at the Lower Agency or else 
went to Beaver Falls and crossed at the Wilcox ferry near the 
old townsite of Riverside and the present village of North Red- 
wood. Later a ferry was operated at Vicksburg, which was across 
the river from the northwest corner of Delhi township. Some 
early settlers reached Ft. Ridgely by way of Henderson, taking 
the old government trail from that place. 

Many of the early settlers did not go to St. Paul, but came 
up across the prairies to Waseca and then to Mankato or St. 
Peter. From Mankato the trip could be made on either side of the 
river. However, in 1872 when the Winona and St. Peter Railroad 
was built through the southern part of Redwood county, most 
of the pioneers began coming to New Ulm or Sleepy Eye by 
railroad and in 1878 the railroad was built to Redwood Falls itself. 

Much of the attention of the county commissioners since the 
first organization of the county has been devoted to the subject 
of roads. The earliest settlement being at Redwood Falls, it was 
natural that the first road action taken should concern the roads 
connecting Redwood Falls with Ft. Ridgely and New Ulm, and 
as there were quite a few settlers in Yellow Medicine county, 
who were then included in Redwood county, and as Swedes 
Forest began soon to be settled, it was also natural that the next 
action of the board should concern the roads connecting Redwood 
Falls with those points. As settlements sprang up in Lyon county, 
action was taken in regard to a road along the line of the Red- 
wood river. The earliest roads laid out by the commissioners 
followed, for the most part, routes previously selected by the 
government in agency days. In the southern part of the county 
two east and west roads or trails already existed. As the settle- 
ments began to grow along the Cottonwood region, the need of 
roads connecting the northern and southern parts of the county 
was seen, and roads were laid out from Redwood Falls to Spring- 
field, and from Swedes Forest to Lamberton. Still later, a road 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 223 

was projected from Walnut Creek to Redwood Falls. Thus was 
the nucleus of a county road system inaugurated. 

The first action regarding good roads was taken by the county 
commissioners at their first meeting, April 19, 1865, when Col. 
Sam McPhail was appointed road supervisor for the county, and 
the legislative grant for a state road from New Ulm via Redwood 
Falls and Yellow Medicine to the Whetstone river was accepted. 

On April 20, 1866, the county commissioners declared that 
a public highway existed eastward from Redwood Falls along 
the township line between what are now Honor and Paxton town- 
ships to the southeast corner of Section 34 in what is now Honor 
township. From that point George Johnston, L. C. D. Brandt, 
and the county surveyor were to locate a road north to the Minne- 
sota river, while beginning at that point also John McMillan, 
Cyrus D. Chapman, and the county surveyor were to locate and 
survey the road eastward to the Lower Agency ferry. The street 
between blocks 16 and 17 (original plat), Redwood Falls north to 
the saw mill, sixty feet wide was declared a public highway. 
Samuel M. Thompson, Jacob Tippery and the county surveyor 
were ordered to locate a road from the village of Redwood Falls 
by the most feasible route to intersect the old military road in 
the direction of the Yellow Medicine Agency. 

Road petition No. 1 was presented to the county commissioners 
Sept. 4, 1866. David P. Lister and Henry Pratt were appointed to 
view the road and report. This road was to leave the military 
road at the house of George Olds, pass the houses of Benjamin 
Sanders, John Portner, Henry Pratt and the lime kiln and rejoin 
the military road at the Big Spring. The purpose of this road 
was to connect the people living in the bottoms with the military 
road. 

Sept. 5, 1866, a road was ordered to commence at the old lime 
kiln at the Minnesota bottoms and running westward along the 
Yellow Medicine bottoms to section 31, township 115, range 38, 
at the old crossing of the Yellow Medicine, thence westward to 
the state line. I. G. Parks and John Winter were appointed to lo- 
cate the road. Jan. 1, 1867, that part of this road which extended 
from the lime kiln to the crossing and the road was ordered sur- 
veyed from Redwood Falls on or near the line of the old military 
road to where that road crossed the Yellow Medicine river and 
thence west to the state line. David Doncaster of Yelow Medicine 
and Samuel M. Thompson of Redwood Falls were appointed to 
locate the road. 

On Nov. 16, 1869, the board of county commissioners heard 
the petition to discontinue a part of what was termed the county 
road running between sections 34, town 113, range 35, and the 
ferry at the lower Sioux Agency ; that is, the part of the road 
which passes over sections 7 and 8 in town 112, range 34. This 



224 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

meant that the ferry at the Lower Sioux Agency was being aban- 
doned and one a mile or two up the river substituted. D. 0. King 
and O. C. Martin were appointed to view the road and report. 
On Jan. 4, 1870, D. 0. King and 0. C. Martin reported favorably 
on the change. On May 25, 1870, the board ordered the old road 
discontinued and the new one laid out. On July 28, 1874, a 
petition was read for a change in the road leading from Redwood 
Falls to the Lower Sioux Agency. David Tibbetts and W. H. 
Hawk were appointed to view the road and reported at the next 
meeting. The committee reported favorably as to the change in 
the road and it was ordered laid out according to the report. 
On July 23, 1877, a bridge was ordered laid out according to the 
report. On July 23, 1877, a bridge was ordered built over Crow 
Creek where the county road crosses on section 35, town 113, 
range 35. The sum of $50 was appropriated for this purpose. 

On May 19, 1871 a bill was read before the board of county 
commissioners for laying a state road from Redwood Falls west 
to the state line. It was rejected. 

On Sept. 6, 1871, the petition for a county road from Redwood 
Falls via T. W. Caster's to Lyon county was granted. Caster 
at that time lived on the line between section 19, Underwood 
township, this county, and section 24, Stanley township, Lyon 
county. This road was therefore to follow the south bank of 
the Redwood river. 

On May 19, 1871, the board of commissioners appropriated $75 
for repairing a part of the stage road from Redwood Falls to 
New Ulm, provided that Redwood Falls appropriate $50 for the 
same purpose. On Jan. 5, 1876, $200 was appropriated to be 
expended in grading the hill north of "Wabasha creek, commonly 
called "Wabasha Hill." 

On Nov. 3, 1871, the county commissioners appropriated $50 
for repairing and completing the approaches to the county bridge 
over the Redwood River, provided that Redwood Falls also paid 
$25 for the same purpose. On June 15, 1872, Harvey Wingett was 
directed to oversee the work of repairing the county bridge across 
the Redwood river. 

On May 3, 1872, a petition was read before the board for a 
new county road from Redwood Falls via Swedes Forest to in- 
tersect the Yellow Medicine road on the western boundary of 
the county. Harvey Wingett and D. Tibbitts were appointed to 
view the road and report at the next meeting of the board of 
commissioners. 

On June 4, 1872, the board of county commissioners appro- 
priated $60 to repair county road No. 2 near the residence of 
G. N. Carter, provided that the town of Redwood Falls appro- 
priate $60 for the same purpose. On June 14, 1872, on motion, 
the board amended the resolution of June 4, and released the 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 225 

town of Redwood Falls from her appropriation to this county- 
road. 

On Sept. 2, 1873, a petition was read for the change of the 
county road over sections 24, 25, 26, in the town of Sheridan. It 
was laid over till the next meeting, because it was necessary for 
D. Tibbetts and Jacob J. Light to examine the advisability of 
such a change. In the meeting of Sept. 16, 1873, the committee 
reported favorably and the change was made. 

On petition, Nov. 21, 1873, a new county road from Redwood 
Palls to the south side of the county through the townships of 
Redwood Falls, New Avon, Willow Lake, Sundown, in the direc- 
tion of Bevins Station in Brown county, the board appointed 
Jacob J. Light and D. Tibbetts to view the road and report at 
the next session. On March 12, 1874, the petition was granted 
and the road laid out accordingly. Fifty dollars was appropriated 
to one person for damages to her land, caused by the making of 
this road. Some money was also appropriated for building 
bridges on the above road. On Jan. 2, 1877, the petition was 
granted for grading the road through the "Big Slough" on sec- 
tion 28 in New Avon. 

On March 19, 1879, a sum of $30 was appropriated to be ex- 
pended on the county road in section 13, town 111, range 37 
(Vail township). 

On July 28, 1874, a petition was read for a road beginning at 
Redwood Falls and running straight west to the county line. It 
was laid over till the next meeting and a committee appointed to 
view the same. The committee reporting favorably, the road is 
ordered laid out on Oct. 9, 1874. On March 10, 1875, a petition 
was read before the board to change a part of this county road. 
A. M. Cook and D. Tibbetts were appointed to view said road 
and report at a later session of the board of commissioners. On 
May 13, 1875, the road was changed between the center of sec- 
tion 10 and the northwest corner of the northeast quarter of sec- 
tion 11, town 112, range 36. 

A petition for a new county road running from the south line 
of the southwest corner of section 34, town 109, range 37 (Lam- 
berton), thence north to the intersection with the Yellow Medi- 
cine road, was read before the board on May 13, 1875. W. H. 
Hawk and D. Tibbetts were appointed to view the road and to 
report at a later meeting of the board of commissioners. On 
July 26, 1875, the petition was granted and the road was ordered 
to be laid out. No damages were paid to the owners of the land. 

On May 13, 1875, a petition was read before the board of 
county commissioners for a new county road running from the 
village of Redwood Falls southeasterly past Three Lakes, and 
to intersect the county road at the southwest corner of the south- 
east quarter of section 24, town 110, range 35. A committee 



226 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

was appointed to view the advisability of the road and report. 
On July 26, 1875, this was granted and the road was declared 
a public highway. 

On Sept. 20, 1876, a petition was read before the board for 
building a road from Walnut Grove to Redwood Falls. L. Bedall 
and the county surveyor were appointed to view the road and 
report later. 

On Jan. 3, 1878, a petition, asking for a change in the county 
road from Swedes Forest to Lamberton, was granted. Mathias 
Keller and D. B. Whitemore were appointed a committee to make 
the change as asked for in the petition. 

When the state atlas was issued in 1874, seven roads extended 
from Redwood Falls. The Beaver Falls road extended through 
what is now Honner township, cutting across sections 31 and 
29, and crossing the river in the western part of section 21. A 
short branch of this road extended from the house of J. S. G. 
Honner west to the Redwood, and southeast through sections 
29, 32 and 33. The Yellow Medicine road crossed sections 36, 
26, 23, 15, 16, 9, 8, 5 and 6, in what is now Kintire ; crossed sec- 
tion 36, in Swedes Forest township, passed between the school- 
house and the Swedes Forest postoffice at the corner of sections 
25, 26, 35 and 36, Swedes Forest, passed west on the section line 
between 26 and 35, 27 and 34, 28 and 35, 29 and 32, 30 and 31, 
and angled northwest across section 30, past the Boiling Spring 
into Yellow Medicine county. A short road extended from Red- 
wood Falls to the west line of what is now Redwood Falls town- 
ship, crossing sections 2, 3, 4, 9, 8 and 7, Redwood Falls township, 
just north of the Redwood river. The road south of the Red- 
wood river to the western boundary of the county at the west 
edge of what is now Underwood township, crossed sections 1, 12, 
11, 10, 9, 16, 17 and 19, in what is now Redwood Falls township; 
sections 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30 in what is now Sheridan; 
sections 25, 23, 22, 21, 20 and 19, in what is now Vesta township; 
and sections 24, 23, 22, 21, 20 and 19, in what is now Underwood. 
Ceresco postoffice was on this road in section 20, Underwood. 
The Springfield road crossed sections 1, 12, 13, 24, 25 and 36 in 
what is now Redwood Falls; sections 1, 12, New Avon, followed 
the section line between 11 and 12, 13 and 14, 13 and 24, crossed 
24 and 25, New Avon; followed the present town line between 
New Avon and Three Lakes, Willow Lake and Sundown, from 
section 25, New Avon, to section 12, Willow Lake, where it 
crossed the Sleepy Eye creek ; crossed sections 7, 8, 17, 16, 15 and 
14, south of the Sleepy Eye in Sundown township, ran along the 
section line between sections 14 and 23, and then extended south 
between sections 23 and 24, 26 and 25, 35 and 36 to the south 
edge of Sundown and the south boundary of the county. The 
present Morton road extended due east from Redwood Falls to 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 227 

the Minnesota river, on the township line between the present 
towns of Honner and Paxton. The New Ulm road extended 
from Redwood Falls due east for seven miles on a line a mile 
south of the north line of Paxton, and on the line between sec- 
tions 6 and 7, Sherman. At the agency it turned southeast across 
sections 8, 9, 16, 15 and 22, to Wabasha creek, thus following the 
present agency road from Redwood Falls to Wabasha creek. 
There it angled across sections 22, 23, 25 and 26, to the east line 
of the county and the east edge of Sherman township. The 
agency branch of Col. Nobles' road left the agency road in sec- 
tion 16, Sherman, crossed sections 22, 27 and 34 in Sherman; 
sections 3, 10, 15, 22, 27 and 34 in Morgan ; and sections 3, 10, 15 
and 22 in Brookville, connecting with Nobles' road in section 22, 
Brookville. From section 27, Morgan, southward, the course was 
a winding one. Col. Nobles' wagon road entered the county at 
the east edge of section 24, Brookville. It left Brookville be- 
tween sections 19 and 30, and entered Sundown between sections 
24 and 25, crossing Sleepy Eye creek in section 24. It left Sun- 
down at the southwest corner of that town and entered the north- 
east corner of Charlestown. It left Charlestown a little north of 
the line between sections 7 and 18 and entered Lamberton a little 
north of the line between sections 12 and 13. It crossed the Cot- 
tonwood in section 7, Lamberton, and left the township in that 
section. It entered North Hero township in section 12, crossed 
Plume creek near the corner of sections 4, 5, 8 and 9, leaving the 
township on the section line between sections 6 and 7. It entered 
Springdale on the section line between sections 1 and 12, and 
left the township and the county in section 6. One branch of the 
New Ulm-Lake Shetek-Lyon county road, entered Charlestown 
and the county in section 13, and joined the other branch in sec- 
tion 20. The other branch entered Charlestown and the county 
in section 36, following the north bank of the Cottonwood to 
section 19, where it crossed the river. It entered Lamberton 
township in section 24. At Lamberton village it turned south a 
short distance ; thence to the western boundary of the county 
through North Hero and Springdale, on the section line, two 
miles north of the southern county line. At the corner of sec- 
tions 20, 21, 28 and 29, North Hero, a branch angled southwest 
across sections 29 to 31, to the corner of Redwood. Murray and 
Cottonwood counties, and thence to Lake Shetek. 

Gradually, town and county roads extended to all parts of 
the county. 

Rude bridges were constructed along the Government roads 
before the massacre. The first appropriations made for bridges 
by the county commissioners Sept. 8 and 9, 1870, when $50 was 
appropriated for building a bridge over Wabasha creek, and $25 
each for building bridges over Ramsey and Rice creeks. 



228 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Bridge building at Redwood Falls was inaugurated when the 
legislature of 1871 passed an act appropriating $5,000 for the 
construction of a Howe truss bridge across the Redwood river 
at the dalles. This bridge was entirely of wood. The bill was 
introduced by Hon. J. S. G. Honner, representative, and was 
passed only after a hard fight. The amount was the first consid- 
erable sum appropriated from the internal improvement fund 
created by the 5 per cent given to the state in sales of govern- 
ment lands. 

March 16, 1871, the appropriation having been made available, 
a committee consisting of Robert Watson, D. L. Bigham, E. A. 
Chandler and A. M. Cook, was appointed to inspect the Redwood 
river with a view to determining the most suitable location for 
a bridge. The location at the foot of Third street was decided 
upon, and the contract let May 19, 1871. Later the bridge was 
several times repaired and renewed. Still later it was moved 
to the present location, where in time it was replaced by the 
permanent cement bridge which now ornaments the village. 

An appropriation for bridging Crow creek was made Jan. 6, 
1874, and for bridging Plum creek, July 27, 1874. 

Other appropriations were also made from time to time. 

In 1875, the state having appropriated $600 for a bridge over 
the Cottonwood, the commissioners on May 13, 1875, appointed 
a committee to select the site. The point selected was the sec- 
tion line between sections 14 and 15, Lamberton township. The 
contract was let July 10, 1875. 

An appropriation was made Jan. 5, 1876, for a bridge over 
High Water (Dutch Charlie) creek; and on Jan. 2, 1877, for a 
bridge over Sleepy Eye creek, on the Lamberton-Redwood Falls 
road. 

All the creeks and rivers of the county are now well bridged, 
as is also the Minnesota river between this county and Renville 
county. 

The Dunn law having been passed, the county commissioners 
were petitioned for the construction of numerous roads under its 
provisions, the first Dunn roads in this county being inaugurated 
in the fall of 1911. Since then, by following a systematic plan 
of procedure the present splendid system of Redwood county 
roads has been made possible. 

The commissioners aim to have three north and south state 
roads, and three east and west state roads through the county, 
and in addition to this, to connect all the villages with these six 
principal thoroughfares. 

State Road No. 1 extends from the Morton bridge westward, 
passing through Redwood Falls and Vesta, and leaving the county 
in the direction of Marshall, on the township line between Under- 
wood and Westline. From the Morton bridge, this road runs 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 229 

south into section 1, Paxton, about half a mile. Thence it runs 
northwest in sections 1 and 2 until striking the township line 
between Honner and Paxton. Thence it runs westward on the 
north line of Paxton, Redwood Falls, Sheridan and Vesta, and 
the south line of Honner, Delhi, Kintire and Yellow Medicine 
county. On the north line of Vesta township, between sections 
3 and 4 it turns southward, and runs on the section line to Vesta 
village. It leaves Vesta midway between the north and south 
line of section 16, and runs due west to the western line of sec- 
tion 15, Underwood. Thence it runs due south on the section 
line to the corner of sections 21, 22, 28 and 27 ; thence a mile west 
between sections 21 and 28, thence due south between sections 
28 and 29, 32 and 33, to the township line between Underwood 
and Westline, and thence west on the township line to the west 
line of the county. This road will be completed before snowfall 
in 1916. 

State Road No. 2, exactly divides Morgan township, extend- 
ing from the middle of the south line of Sherman to the middle 
of the north line of Brookville, and thence extending one mile 
west on the township line between section 33, Morgan, and sec- 
tion 4, Brookville. It passes through Morgan village. The road 
is completed. 

State Road No. 3 extends from the village of Morgan west- 
ward to the west line of Three Lakes township, midway between 
the north and south lines of the townships. This road, in time, 
will be extended westward through New Avon, Vail, Granite Rock 
and Westline townships, to the western line of the county, thus 
connecting the villages of Morgan, Wabasso, Lucan and Milroy. 

State Road No. 4, is under construction from the east boundary 
of Willow Lake, due westward eight miles on a line midway be- 
tween the north and south boundaries of the township to the 
corner of sections 14, 15, 22 and 23, in Waterbury township. 

State Road No. 5, enters the county on the eastern line of 
Charlestown township, midway between the north and south lines 
of the county, and extends westward to the western boundary of 
the township. Thence it runs south half a mile on the line be- 
tween section 19, Charlestown, and section 24, Lamberton. Thence 
it angles northwest in sections 24 and 23, Lamberton, to Lam- 
berton village. From Lamberton village it runs westward, mid- 
way between the north and south lines of sections 21, 20 and 19. 
Thence it extends south half a mile on the line between section 
19, Lamberton, and section 24, North Hero. Thence it extends 
westward across North Hero and Springdale, two miles north 
of the county line, to the western boundary of the county and the 
west line of Springdale. It passed through the villages of Lam- 
berton, Revere and Walnut Grove. This road, the Springfield- 
Tracy road, was built under the Elwell law as State Rural High- 



230 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

way, No. 54, but will be maintained as State Road No. 5 under 
the Dunn law. 

State Road No. 6 starts at the northeast corner of Sheridan 
and the northwest corner of Redwood Falls, and extends south- 
ward on the line dividing the townships. At the southeast cor- 
ner of Sheridan and the southwest corner of Redwood Falls, it 
turns west a mile on the line between Sheridan and Vail. Thence 
it runs south, a mile west of the east line of Vail, to Wabasso 
village. Thence it turns westward a mile across section 23. 
Thence it runs southward, two miles west of the east line of 
Vail, Waterbury and Lamberton to the south line of Lamberton 
and the south boundary of the county. It passes through Lam- 
berton and Wabasso village. The road is completed. 

State Road No. 7 starts on the south line of Kintire township, 
midway between the east and west line of section 32, and runs 
north the whole length of the township, one and a half miles east 
from the west line of the township and the west line of the county. 
On the north line of section 5, Kintire, and the south line of sec- 
tion 32, Swedes Forest, it turns west one-half mile, and runs north 
the whole length of the township to the Minnesota river, extend- 
ing just a mile east from the west line of Swedes Forest and the 
west line of the county. The road will be completed in 1916. 
It passes through Belview village. 

State Road No. 8 starts on the north line of Westline town- 
ship, between sections 4 and 5, and runs due south two miles east 
of the west line of Westline township, some two miles, to Milroy 
village. The road will be completed in 1916. 

State Road No. 9 connects Morgan and Redwood Falls. From 
Redwood Falls it extends south on the township line between 
Redwood Falls and Paxton, to the southwest corner of section 
7, Paxton. It extends due east a mile on the south line of sec- 
tion 7, Paxton, and then follows the diagonal course of the rail- 
road southeast, crossing to the east side of the railroad just south 
of Gilfillan. 

State Road No. 10 starts at the northeast corner of section 6, 
and the northwest corner of section 5, Sheridan township, and 
runs due south, a mile east of the township line between Sheridan 
and Vesta, to Seaforth village. This road will be completed in 
1916. 

Four more roads will probably be constructed in 1917. One 
will start at the northeast corner of section 3, and the northwest 
corner of section 2, on the north line of New Avon township, and 
run due south, two miles west of the east line of New Avon and 
Willow Lake, to the corner of sections 14, 15, 22 and 23, Willow 
Lake. Thence it will run east a mile on the line between sec- 
tions 14 and 23, and thence due south to Sanborn, on a line a 
mile west of the east line of Willow Lake and Charlestown. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 231 

Another will connect Delhi and Belview, and another will 
start at Clements and run due south to the county line, midway 
between the east and west lines of Three Lakes and Sundown. 
Another will start on the north line of Brookville township, and 
run south on a line midway between the east and west lines of 
the township, to the very center of the township. There it will 
turn east a mile, and thence turn due south to the township and 
county line, running two miles west of the east line of the town- 
ship and county. 

Of the Elwell roads in the county, State Rural Highways Nos. 
22 and 54 (will be state road No. 5) are completed. State Rural 
Highways No. 50, No. 74 and No. 93, will be completed in 1916. 

State Rural Highway No. 22, extends south from Redwood 
Palls, a mile west of the east line of Redwood Falls township, 
to the corner of sections 23, 24, 25 and 26. Thence it runs west 
a mile, and thence south, two miles west of the east line of Red- 
wood Falls township to the township line between Redwood Falls 
and New Avon township. 

State Rural Highway No. 50 starts at the corner of sections 
7, 8, 17 and 18, Paxton township, runs south a mile between 
sections 17 and 18, thence east a half a mile between sections 
17 and 20; thence south a half a mile and east a half a mile in 
section 20, thence south on a line two miles east of the west line 
of Paxton township, to the line between Paxton and Three Lakes 
townships. 

State Road No. 7 starts on the south line of Kintire township, 
midway between the east and west line of section 32, and runs 
north the whole length of the township, one and a half miles east 
from the west line of the township and the west line of the 
county. On the north line of section 5, Kintire, and the south line 
of section 32 Swedes Forest it turns west a mile, and runs north 
the whole length of the township to the Minnesota river, ex- 
tending just a mile east from the west line of Swedes Forest and 
the west line of the county. The road will be completed in 1916. 
It passes through Belview village. 

State Rural Highway No. 74 starts at Milroy in Westline town- 
ship, and runs south on a line two miles east of the west line 
of Westline and Gales townships, to a point on the west line of 
section 8, Gales township, midway between the north and south 
line of the section. Thence it runs west through section 8. 

State Rural Highway No. 93 extends straight south from Vesta 
through Luean to the corner of sections 21, 22, 27 and 28, North 
Hero township, running midway between the east and west lines 
of Vesta, Granite Rock, Johnsonville and North Hero townships. 

Authority and References. The Records of the Proceedings 
of the County Commissioners of Redwood County in the custody 
of the Redwood County Auditor. 



232 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

The Transcripts from the Field Notes of the Original Govern- 
ment Surveys, in the custody of the Register of Deeds of Redwood 
county. 

State Road Records in the custory of the auditor of Redwood 
county. 

Personal testimony of L. P. Larson, who has been auditor of 
Redwood county during the period of state road building. 

"Dlustrated Historical Atlas of the State of Minnesota," A. T. 
Andreas, Chicago, 1874. 

"Map of State Roads in Redwood County," prepared by 0. L. 
Kipp, district engineer, Minnesota State Highway Commission. 



CHAPTER XXI. 
RAILROADS. 

Redwood county is crossed by five railroads, operated by two 
companies, the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Co. and the 
Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad Co. 

The Winona-Tracy branch of the old Winona & St. Peter, now 
the Chicago & Northwestern, extends through the southern part 
of the county, crossing the townships of Charlestown, Lamberton, 
North Hero and Springdale, with stations at Sanborn, Lamberton, 
Revere, and Walnut Grove. Springfield in Brown county is nine 
miles east of Sanborn and Tracy in Lyon county is eight miles 
west of Walnut Grove. The line was completed a few miles 
west of New Ulm in June, 1872. The next sixty miles through 
Redwood county and on to Marshall was rapidly constructed, and 
the first construction train reached Marshall on Oct. 12, 1872. 
Service was suspended during the long hard winter of 1873, and 
regular service inaugurated in the spring. 

The first train to run within the limits of Redwood county on 
regular schedule left New Ulm at 9 o'clock on the morning of 
April 14, 1873, made the run of eighty miles in seven hours, and 
arrived at Marshall at 4 o'clock in the afternoon. H. B. Gary 
was the conductor, and Robert McConnell, the engineer. The 
train was made up of engine No. 26, a baggage car, a coach, and 
twenty-five freight cars. 

The Minnesota Valley division of the Winona & St. Peter, now 
the Redwood Falls-Sleepy Eye branch of the Chicago & North- 
western, was constructed in 1878. Lumber was brought to Red- 
wood Falls by rail as early as July, 1878, and on Aug. 1, a regular 
passenger service was inaugurated with W. C. Tyler as first sta- 
tion agent. He kept his office in a box car, while the station was 
being erected. This line crossed Morgan and Maxton townships 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 233 

diagonally and has stations in this county at Morgan, Gilfillan 
and Redwood Falls. Redwood Falls is the end of the line. Evan, 
in Brown county, is seven miles from Morgan. 

The county issued bonds of $50,000 for the construction of the 
line to Redwood Falls. A petition was presented to the county 
board on July 24, 1876, asking for the issuance of bonds for the 
construction of a railroad which was to connect Redwood Falls 
with New Ulm. An election called for Aug. 18, 1876, resulted in 
a favorable vote by the people. On Sept. 6, 1876, the board de- 
cided not to issue the bonds until the railroad should be completed 
to Redwood Falls. Sept. 20, 1876, an insistent demand having 
been made for the issuance of the bonds, a committee of D. O. 
King, J. M. Little and Mathias Keller, was appointed to draw up 
a contract with the railroad company. On Feb. 15, 1877, the 
committee reported. On their recommendation the bonds were 
issued, and placed with the Bank of St. Paul, to be paid to the 
railroad should the line be completed and in use by Oct. 1, 1877. 
The conditions were not met, and the bonds were withdrawn. On 
Jan. 3, 1878 the commissioners extended the time for the com- 
pletion of the road to Aug. 18, 1878. The railroad was built, and 
the bonds duly issued. 

The Evan-Marshall line of the Chicago & Northwestern was 
built by the Minnesota Western Railway Company. Two surveys 
were made, one from Morgan and one from Evan. The latter 
was finally selected. Track laying started at Wabasso April 21, 
1902, and Marshall was reached in July of that year. The stretch 
from Wabasso to Evan was also rapidly completed, and the line 
put in operation that summer and fall. 

The line extends across the central part of Redwood county, 
crossing Brookville, Three Lakes, New Avon, Vail, Granite Rock 
and Westline townships, with stations at Wayburne, Clements, 
Rowena, Wabasso, Lucan and Milroy. , Evan in Brown county is 
five miles from Wayburne and Dudley in Lyon county is seven 
miles from Milroy. 

The Sanborn-Vesta line of the Northwestern extends from 
Sanborn to Vesta, the tracks being in Charlestown, Willow Lake, 
Waterbury, Vail, Sheridan and Vesta townships, with stations at 
Sanborn, Wanda, Wabasso, Seaforth and Vesta. Vesta is the end 
of the line. Dotson, in Brown county, is eight miles from San- 
born. The road was built in the summer and fall of 1899, and 
the first train was run Nov. 27, 1899. 

The Pacific division of the Minneapolis & St. Louis was com- 
pleted to Morton in 1882, and the construction westward through 
Redwood county completed in 1884. It passes through Homier, 
Delhi and Kintire townships and touches Paxton township as 
well. The stations are at North Redwood, Delhi and Belview. 
Morton in Renville county is seven miles from North Redwood 



234 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

and Echo in Yellow Medicine county is three miles from Echo. 

The Chicago & Northwestern Co. The Winona and St. Peter 
Railroad Co., an outgrowth of the Transit line, of territorial days, 
was organized March 10, 1862, and completed its road from 
Winona to Rochester in 1864. Waconia was reached in 1867, 
Janesville in 1870, St. Peter in 1871; New Ulm in June, 1872; 
Marshall in November, 1872; and the western boundary of the 
state in 1874. 

The Winona, Mankato and New Ulm Railroad Co. was organ- 
ized in 1870, and a railroad was built from New Ulm to Man- 
kato. It was afterward acquired by the Winona and St. Peter. 

The earliest part of the Chicago & Northwestern system was 
known as the Galena and Chicago Union Railroad Co. incorpor- 
ated under the laws of Illinois, Jan. 16, 1836. The real beginning 
of the Northwestern under its present name was when the Legis- 
lature of Wisconsin, on April 10, 1861, authorizing it to construct 
a railroad from Fond du Lac to the Menominee river. In October, 
1864, the Penninsular Railroad was acquired, thus securing the 
trade of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. 

In 1867, the Chicago & Northwestern Railway Co. became in- 
terested in the Winona and St. Peter and in 1870, the Mississippi 
river was bridged at Winona. The Chicago & Northwestern ac- 
quired by purchase the Winona and St. Peter June 7, 1900; the 
Minnesota and Iowa on June 8, 1900 ; and the Minnesota Western 
Railway on July 16, 1902. 

The Minneapolis and St. Louis Railroad Co. The original 
Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway Co. was a Minnesota corpora- 
tion called the Minnesota Western Railroad Co., created March 
3, 1853, by Chapter 66, Special Laws of 1853. In 1870, by author- 
ity of the State Legislature, the name was changed to the Minne- 
apolis and St. Louis Railway Co. This company, authorized by 
the legislatures of both Minnesota and Iowa, absorbed the Minne- 
apolis and Duluth, organized in April, 1871 ; the Minnesota and 
Iowa Southern, created in 1878; and the Fort Dodge and Fort 
Ridgely, incorporated in 1876. In the summer of 1888 the com- 
pany went into the hands of a receiver, and in the fall of 1894 
was sold under a decree of foreclosure. In November, 1894, 
the company was reorganized under the name of the Minneapolis 
and St. Louis Railroad Company. To preserve the corporate 
rights of the company in the two states, that portion of its 
property lying in the state of Iowa was conveyed to a committee 
which, in January, 1895, organized the Minneapolis and St. Louis 
Railroad and Telegraph Company of Iowa, which in February 
following was formerly consolidated with the Minneapolis and 
St. Louis Railroad Company under that title. The reorganization 
was made under the laws of the both Iowa and Minnesota, and 
the present company retains all the rights of the original and con- 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 235 

stituent companies. On January 1, 1912, the company acquired 
by purchase all the railroad and connected property of the Iowa 
Central and Minnesota and the Dakota and Pacific Railway 
companies. 

The main line from St. Paul westward, or what was originally 
called the Pacific Division, was constructed from Hopkins to 
Winthrop in February, 1882, and from Winthrop to Morton in 
November, 1882. Morton remained the terminal of the line for 
two years and in 1884 the line was continued to Watertown. The 
construction work of the line through this part of the state was 
done by the Wisconsin, Minnesota and Western Construction Co. 

Acknowledgment. Thanks are due to Thomas Yapp and 
H. B. Warren, assistant secretary and statistician, respectively, 
of the State Railway and Warehouse Commission, for assistance 
in the preparation of this chapter. 

References. Railroads in Minnesota are discussed at length in 
many of the standard Histories of Minnesota, and the story of the 
building of various branches is treated in several county histories. 
Interesting articles on the subject appear in the published "Col- 
lections" of the Minnesota Historical Society. Valuable material 
regarding the early railroads of the state; the "Five Million 
Dollar Loan"; the repudiation of railroad bonds by the state and 
the final settlement of the matter; together with a detailed his- 
tory of the Winona & St. Peter; are to be found in the "History 
of Winona County, Minnesota, 1913, by Franklyn Curtiss-Wedge. 

Authority. Records of the State Railway and Warehouse 
Commission. 

"Minnesota in Three Centuries," by Return I. Holcombe. 

Files of cotemporary newspapers. 

Personal testimony of residents. 

Outline Map of Redwood County prepared by A. D. McRae. 

History of Lyon County, by Arthur P. Rose, 1912. 



CHAPTER XXII 

EDUCATION 

The social and economic development of a community is most 
admirably reflected in its schools. The first school in Redwood 
county (exclusive of the agency schools) was taught in a living 
room in a log cabin at Redwood Falls, protected from the Indians 
by a stockade and a patrol of soldiers. The early schools were 
held in the same kind of structures as those in which their pupils 
lived. Some were in granaries, some in log cabins, some in sod 
houses, and one or two in a brush or straw lean-to. The furniture 



236 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

in the pioneer schools was of a nondescript variety. Some schools 
had a bench running around three sides of the room, some had a 
few rough boards for tables. In the first school taught in the 
stockade, household furniture from the various cabins was used. 
In some early schools the children brought their chairs to school 
in the morning and took them back home at night. Some of 
the schools had fire places, some had a crude stove. The first 
text books were usually of a miscellaneous variety which the 
families had brought with them from older communities. The 
county was new, the pioneers were for the most part poor, they 
were compelled to make the best of circumstances as they found 
them, and the children likewise, in their schooling, were provided 
with such make-shifts as were available. 

As the people prospered, the schoolhouses were improved, 
though it must be admitted, that the school facilities did not in 
all instances keep pace with the developments along other lines, 
for in some neighborhoods the school house was the last building 
to be improved, and remained a crude, box like structure, a blot 
on the landscape, long after the farms were provided with mag- 
nificent barns and comfortable homes. 

It has been the settled policy of the United States since the 
Republic was formed, to assist new territories and states by grants 
of land for common schools, a university, public buildings and 
other purposes. The manner of disposing of the lands was left 
with the people of the several states. The act of Congress, author- 
izing a territorial government for Minnesota, was approved 
March 3, 1849. Among other things, it provided that, when the 
lands in the territory should be surveyed, sections 16 and 36 in 
each township were to be reserved for the purpose of schools in 
the territory or state which would follow. 

The first legislative assembly of Minnesota enacted in 1849 
a law for the support of common schools. A partial organization 
of the system was effected the following year, and in 1851 Rev. 
E. D. Neill was appointed territorial superintendent of common 
schools. 

But the early settlement of Minnesota was slow, so that in 
1854 there were only five or six school districts in the territory, 
and not more than a half dozen log school houses, of very little 
value, with no organized public school system. There was at that 
time no public school fund. 

In 1861 Governor Alexander Ramsey delivered a remarkable 
address to the legislature, in which he stated that he believed in 
fifty years from that time the three million acres of school land, 
when sold, would yield an annual revenue which would raise the 
Minnesota educational system above the level of that of any state 
in the Union. He spoke with almost prophetic foresight for the 
half century period has just passed and the state school fund 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 237 

alone, in actual, interest-bearing securities, amounts to $21,500,000, 
and there are more than a million acres of school land still unsold. 

The school system of the state was six years old when Colonel 
McPhail and his little band of asosciates located at Redwood Falls. 
Previous to this settlement, the only schools that had been con- 
ducted in Redwood county were the schools at the Lower Agency, 
where the government, in 1854, started its attempt to make white 
men of the Sioux Indians. 

A number of children living in the stockade at Redwood Falls, 
the only white children in the county, were taught, during the 
winter of 1864-65 by Julia A. Williams, who thus became the 
pioneer schoolteacher of the county. 

The school system of Redwood county as an organized entity 
dates from the first meeting of the county commissioners, April 
19, 1865, when a school district was created consisting of the 
present townships of Paxton, Honner and Redwood Falls. 

In April, 1866, District No. 1 was created, with a schoolhouse 
at Redwood Falls. Edward March, the county auditor, was 
appointed school examiner Sept. 12, 1865, his compensation to be 
$2 a day for time actually spent at his examining duties. 

Redwood county received from the state fund, in 1867, $85 
for school purposes. In addition, $21.79 was raised for the county 
school fund, and $35.47 from the district school fund, making 
a total of $142.76 available that year for operating the schools 
of the county. Of this, District 1 received $46.51 for the spring 
term and $36.03 for the fall term, making a total of $82.54 for 
the year. District 2 received $10.11 for the spring term and 
$9.85 for the fall term, making a total of $19.96. District 3 
received $14.43 for the spring term and $25.72 for the fall term, 
making a total of $40.15. 

In 1868 the majority of the teachers of the cojinty, and indeed 
of the state, were poorly trained and ill qualified to teach. For 
the most part they were boys and girls who wished to work for a 
few months in the year, and who found employment at teaching 
at a season of the year when there was no other employment. 
Teaching was not regarded as a trained profession, but an occu- 
pation in which anyone could engage who had a better education 
than the prospective pupils. Sometimes the subjects taught were 
as new to the teacher as to the pupil, the teacher keeping one 
lesson ahead of the pupil by studying at night. 

The average wage per month in Redwood county for a male 
teacher was $33 and for a female teacher $12. There were scat- 
tering schools here and there. In only one school that winter 
were there two teachers. 

In 1869 eight districts had been organized and 169 pupils were 
enrolled. E. A. Chandler, county superintendent, in his report 
for 1870 says, "Redwood county is still in its infancy concerning 



238 HISTOEY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

school matters but it has a healthy constitution and a rapid 
growth is looked forward to." 

La 1870 the salaries were nearly double what they were in 
1868. The male teachers received an average salary of $50 a 
month, and the female teachers an average of $22.50 a month. 

In 1871 Redwood county paid $880.80 as teachers' wages. 
Great improvements were being made in the school buildings, and 
in the system and the teachers hired were better qualified and 
better paid. 

In 1872 the increase in teachers' wages corresponded with the 
increase in pupils and school buildings, when $1,139.77 was paid as 
teachers' wages. The ratio of female teachers to male was steadily 
on the increase in Minnesota. In 1874 almost $3,000 was paid as 
teachers' wages in Eedwood county. 

In 1875 W. B. Herriott, county superintendent, declared that 
the condition of the schools, although sadly in need of improve- 
ment, were better than the statistics indicated. Progress was re- 
ported for the five years. In place of one school building, there 
were fifteen j in place of eight districts, there were twenty-seven ; 
there were six times as many pupils. Great plans had been made, 
but the hard times caused by the grasshoppers greatly interfered 
with building and kindred work, and in some of the districts 
the plans were not realized. 

The work accomplished during the next year, 1876, was quite 
satisfactory. Five new school houses were built and six new 
districts were laid out. 

In 1877 D. L. Bigham, the county superintendent, said in his 
report that the schools were greatly indebted to the influence ex- 
erted on them by the State Teachers' Institute held at Eedwood 
Falls in the spring. This was the first institute held in the county, 
but by an extra effort, almost every teacher was in attendance. 
Lectures and good instruction were given, and the result was a 
new life in the schools. On the whole, the schools of Eedwood 
county made a decided advance during the year. 

The question of text books was considered by the county com- 
missioners Sept. 25, 1878, when $164.29 was appropriated in con- 
nection with the state uniform text book scheme. Jan. 9, 1879, 
the sum of $91.46 was appropriated from the county funds with 
which to purchase cheap state text-books, Eobert "Watson ajid 
Lyman Fuller being named as the purchasing committee. 

E. L. Marshman, county superintendent, stated in his report 
in 1885 that the schools were keeping pace in growth with other 
worthy interests. The number of pupils had increased to 1,435 
and there were fifty-two organized districts. There were forty 
school houses and there was not so much changing of teachers as 
in former years. The attendance was much better but far below 
what it would have been if the compulsory school law had been 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 239 

enforced, which was then virtually ignored in Redwood county. 
The teachers' institute, as to attendance and interest was superior 
to those of other years. The work of the institute instructors 
sent by the state was excellent. 

In 1886 the county superintendent's report declared that there 
was not so much changing of teachers as in former years; that 
the school officers were more liberal in compensating teachers 
who showed their worthiness. The teachers' institute, as to 
attendance and interest, was superior to those of others years. 
The average wages of the teachers in 1885 was: males $39.00; 
females $25.60. 

In 1887 the county superintendent declared in his report that 
the teachers were more enthusiastic over their work and were 
regarding it more as a permanent work. School districts, in many 
instances, were awakening to the fact that more good could be 
accomplished by employing teachers permanently than by chang- 
ing every term. Keener interest was manifested on the part of the 
pupils when they realized the teacher had come to stay. The com- 
mon school teachers still had little more than a high school educa- 
tion. Few normal graduates taught in the common schools. But 
the teachers were better prepared and the increase in salary they 
demanded was seldom refused. 

In 1890 the county superintendent's report showed gradual 
progress. Seven new buildings had been erected in the past two 
years and many of the old ones had been torn down and new ones 
erected. The school library law commenced to make its influence 
felt and in 1890 fourteen schools were supplied with fair sized 
libraries. There was less change in the teaching force than in 
any previous year. The work of teaching was better understood 
and the teachers were better qualified to fill their positions. 
Teachers' meetings were a great help toward unifying the work. 
Everywhere the teachers were encouraged to read, annually at 
least, one work on education. An effort was made to keep the 
pupils in school after they reached the age of fifteen. A common 
school diploma was offered to encourage them to remain and the 
twelve diplomas, given the previous year, were highly prized. 

Compulsory education was not enforced. Mild measures were 
tried and some good was accomplished but less than seventy per 
cent of the whole number enrolled attended school the whole 
time. However, the law was too faulty to insure great success. 
Nearly all schools at that time were supplied with classification 
registers and the records left were very helpful to the incoming 
teacher. 

There was less change in the teaching force in Redwood county 
than in any previous year. The work of teaching was much bet- 
ter understood. Nearly all the schools were taught by teachers 
who held a second grade license. Nearly all the teachers fol- 



240 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

lowed as a guide the Common School Manual, which made the 
work more unified. In 1890 the male teachers in Redwood county- 
were receiving an average salary of $36 and the female teachers 
$30. About $17,000 was spent for teachers' wages in Redwood 
county that year. 

New methods of improving the efficiency of the teachers were 
continually being tried. The Teachers' Institutes had proved a 
real help and in 1890 there was a summer school held for teachers 
in Redwood county. The practical school room work was 
taught and those who attended were greatly encouraged and 
strengthened. 

In 1894 an excellent training school was held in Redwood 
county in the summer. One hundred and forty-seven earnest men 
and women were enrolled, and a great deal of good work was 
accomplished toward qualifying the teachers for their work. 
Nearly $30,000 was paid to the ninety teachers who taught in 
Redwood county in 1894. The males received on an average of 
$40 a month ; the females $33. Of the whole number engaged in 
teaching, all but nine had first and second grade certificates. 
There were examined in 1894 one hundred and forty candidates, 
of which sixty were rejected. Of the whole force then engaged 
in teaching, two were college graduates, ten were normal gradu- 
ates, and thirty were high school graduates. Fifty teachers had 
attended a high school and twenty more had attended a normal 
school without completing a full course. It will be seen that the 
scholarship of the teachers was greatly improved. 

In the report for 1895, County Superintendent S. J. Race said : 
"Compulsory education does not compel. Only seventy per cent 
of the pupils enrolled attended school regularly. Where a well 
qualified teacher, a live, energetic one is at work in a well supplied 
school room there is no trouble about attendance. The remedy 
lies not in more stringent laws, but in more efficient teachers." 

That year $32,000 was paid for teachers' wages, or an average 
of $32 per month for males and $30 per month for females. There 
were 147 candidates who applied for certificates, but only 80 
secured necessary pass marks. The teaching force was gradually 
improving. There were more "normal girls and boys" than two 
years earlier, though it is true that the normal graduates were 
for the most part teaching in the villages, the better salaries and 
the longer school terms in the villages being among the induce- 
ments which kept the best qualified teachers away from the little 
country schools where as a matter of fact they were needed the 
most. 

The enrollment in the summer school in 1896 in Redwood 
county was not as large as in 1894, but it was well organized and 
the teachers received a great deal of help. The teachers' reading 
circle proved of great aid in making the teachers better qualified. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 241 

There had been but slight change in the wage question. Where 
the teacher had shown broad scholarship, a disposition to work, 
and an interest in her work, she had been retained at an increased 
salary. 

The teachers' wages showed an increase for 1897 when $33,782 
was paid out. There were twenty-four male and one hundred and 
four female teachers, at an average of $31 per month These aver- 
ages do not include Redwood Falls and Lamberton, where the males 
received $91 per month and the females $47 per month. In 1895 
it was a rare sight to find a normal graduate in the rural schools. 
In 1897 there were employed in Redwood county, seventeen nor- 
mal school graduates, not including city and village schools, who 
were paid an average of $38 per month. All the districts having 
such teachers, except one, were convinced that it paid, and 
were resolved to try the experiment again the following year. 

In 1900 the county superintendent, S. J. Race, said in his re- 
port that Redwood county showed remarkable improvement in 
the last few years. New school houses with some beauty of 
structure, some sanitary measures, and something relative to 
heating and ventilation had been built. The "box-car" pattern 
was left behind. The school libraries grew steadily. The law of 
"Special State Aid to Rural Schools" was a wonderful stimulus 
to Redwood County. 

Ten schools tried a simple yet efficacious plan of heating and 
ventilating school rooms. The method was to heat the fresh air 
and to distribute in the room by means of registers. 

The schools having eight and nine months' sessions all paid 
$35 and $40 per month. Some paid $45 per month, and a few 
$50. 

In the earliest days of Redwood county teachers were first 
granted their licenses to teach by the county examiner; later 
by examiners in county commissioners' districts, and, when the 
county superintendency was established, by the county superin- 
tendents. Under them, the system gradually grew in efficiency. 
From 1899 all teachers had been examined by the state superin- 
tendent of public instutition, who issued questions upon which 
applicants throughout the state wrote at the same time, the 
manuscript being sent immediately to his office, under whose su- 
pervision certificates were issued. By this system of uniform 
examination, the standard for entering the teaching profession 
was raised, the requirements made uniform, and due credit given 
to those who have shown special fitness for and success in their 
work. 

The year 1904 was one of more progress than any other fop 
ten years. Thirty-nine teachers were normal school graduates, 
forty-nine were high school graduates, and seven were college 
graduates. In the whole county there were sixty-six teachers 



242 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

who held a state first grade certificates or higher qualifications. 
The men received on an average $50 per month, the women $40 
per month. All teachers with first grade certificates in rural 
schools received from $45 to $50 per month. The higher salaries 
paid had a tendency to put teaching on a more professional hasis. 
The teacher with a third grade certificate or, more properly 
speaking, a permit, is nearly weeded out. 

In 1905 and 1906 all the schools, but one, in the county had 
good libraries which were very helpful. The heating and venti- 
lation questions reported a marked improvement. Twelve rural 
schools had furnaces and fifty-seven used a Manuel-Smith system 
with good results, which left twenty-eight districts which still 
used the stove without any means of ventilation. The teachers 
employed in Redwood county in 1905 held higher certificates 
on an average than any other county in the state. 

In 1906 there was paid for teachers' salaries for rural school 
teachers $38,886, who had under their charge 3,093 pupils, while 
the city and village teachers received in salaries $24,682 for teach- 
ing 2,112 pupils. 

July 13, 1908, the board appropriated $75 to be spent for a 
Children's Agricultural Contest to be held under the supervision 
of the county superintendent of schools. On Jan. 5, 1909, an ap- 
propriation of $150 was made for a Children's Industrial Contest. 

H. J. Bebermeyer, county superintendent, says in his report for 
1910 that in Redwood county there were 113 school districts com- 
prising 117 separate schools. The different kinds of schools were : 
two high schools, six graded schools, eight semi-graded schools, 
one hundred and three rural schools. 

The efficiency of the teachers continued yearly to improve. 
Teachers' meetings were held on Saturdays in the various parts of 
the county and these meetings were followed by one meeting for 
the entire county. In 1910, the percentage of teachers holding 
first grade certificates was from sixty to 75. 

The Redwood county superintendent in his report for 1912 
said that about seventy per cent of the teachers in the county 
held first grade certificates. During the past three years a teach- 
ers' training department had been in session in the Redwood Falls 
high school. Thus far all graduated from this department were 
also graduates from this or some other high school. Nearly all 
were teaching in the county and were doing excellent work. 
Thus these departments were supplying the need of professionally 
trained teachers for the rural schools. 

In 1914 the average monthly wages of men teachers in the 
rural schools in Redwood county were $65, and the average 
monthly wages of women teachers were $51. 

At the present time there are 110 districts in the county, three 
having recently consolidated with others so that there no longer 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 243 

exists Districts Nos. 41, 91 and 93. There are now, in the county 
eleven graded and high school buildings, thirteen semi-graded 
buildings which consist of two rooms or more, seven of these 
being in the open country and the rest in small villages, and 
ninety-two one-room buildings. The high schools are at Redwood 
Falls, Lamberton, Belview, Sanborn, Walnut Grove and Morgan. 
The graded schools not giving full high school work are at Wa- 
basso, Delhi and Wanda. The four consolidated districts are at 
Lamberton, Redwood Falls, Wanda and Walnut Grove, a fifth 
one at Delhi having voted to consolidate will be ready for work 
in September, 1917. The semi-graded schools are at Clements, 
Lucan, Milroy, Revere, Seaforth, Vesta, District No. 7 in New 
Avon township, District No. 19 in North Hero township, District 
No. 27 in Sundown township, District No. 49 in Brookville town- 
ship, District No. 67 in Willow Lake township, District No. 70 
in Sheridan township and District No. 78 in Waterbury township. 

During the year 1915-16 there were 5,552 pupils enrolled in the 
schools of the county, 2,313 of which were in graded and high 
schools and the rest in rural and semi-graded schools. The aver- 
age length of the school term was eight and one-half months, or 
170 days, out of which the average days attended by each pupil 
was 126.9, as compared with 123 for 1914-15, 121 for 1913-14, and 
119 for 1912-13. There were in 1915-16, 180 teachers in all the 
schools of the county, the average monthly salary in graded and 
high schools being $86 and in rural and semi-graded being $63, 
making an average for the county of $75. The average monthly 
wages for men in the high and graded schools was $108.50, for 
women $63.50; in rural and semi-graded, for men $69, and for 
women $57. 

The qualifications of the. teachers employed in the rural schools 
are improving from year to year. At the present time all the 
teachers of the rural and semi-graded schools hold a first grade 
certificate with the exception of four who hold a complete second- 
grade. Out of the 122 teachers at the present time in the rural 
and semi-graded schools, seven are state normal school graduates, 
nineteen have attended a state normal school and seventy-seven 
are graduated from a high school normal training department, 
making a total of 102 having had special professional training, 
only three of which have had their professional work outside 
of the state of Minnesota. There are no men teachers in the rural 
schools and only three men are employed in the semi-graded, 
these being principals. In the high and graded schools there are 
fifteen men, leaving a total of 180 women teachers in the county. 

One great drawback to the progress which the schools should 
make is the constant changing of teachers. In the school year 
1915-16 there were only forty teachers who had been in the same 
district three years or more; forty-three who had been in the 



244 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

same district two years, and one hundred and fifteen who had 
been in the same district only one year. 

All the districts lend free text books. Every school in the 
county has a library, and during 1915-16, 20,835 of these were 
loaned for reading purposes. Every school has a bubbling drink- 
ing fountain, providing a sanitary method of furnishing water 
for the school children. 

All the schools in 1915-16 received state aid except two, both of 
which have voted to fit up to meet the requirements and will 
make application for state aid for 1916-17. 

Three things needed for an improvement in the physical sur- 
roundings of the schoolhouses of the county are : grounds fenced, 
trees, and concealed entrances to the outhouses. Last year there 
were 277 trees planted. Thirty-two districts have the grounds 
fenced and as many more have fences on three sides. A number 
of school yards are surrounded by shade trees and some have 
planted groves for protection on the north and west sides. 

There are sixty-four of the rural schools that have furnished 
better facilities for the children washing their hands at school 
by providing a wash basin, liquid soap, and paper towels; about 
half of the remaining number use individual linen towels. A few 
schools use the family linen towels, and the rest use the danger- 
ous, germ laden, disease spreading common towel. 

The superintendents report for the year closing 1915 shows 
the following facts. The aggregate indebtedness of all districts 
was $216,193.82; spent for teachers' salaries, $105,105.93; spent 
for new schoolhouses and sites, $20,674.62 ; the county as a whole 
received from the state for apportionment, $28,597.26 ; for special 
state aid, $37,227.22 ; and the total number of voters present at 
the annual meeting in the entire county was 1,545 persons. 

When the state of Minnesota was organized, sections 16 and 
36 of every township in the state were set aside as school prop- 
erty. This land has gradually been sold and the money put into 
a permanent state school fund. Valuable mineral has been found 
on much of this land, which makes the school fund limitless and 
inexhaustible. The interest only from this fund is used, out of 
which the apportionment maney for each pupil attending school 
a certain number of days each year is paid. This amounts to about 
$6, on the average, for every pupil each year. The state aid 
money to schools is paid out of the annual fund which is appro- 
priated by the legislature at each session. This money is derived 
from taxes on all taxable property. The larger percentage of 
this fund is paid by the three largest cities and the large corpora- 
tions of the state. There is also a one mill local tax which is 
collected from and paid back to each individual district. Any 
other tax paid is the amount that is voted by the patrons at the 
annual school meeting for the running expenses of their school. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 245 

The school grounds average about one acre in size. In nearly 
all the districts where new buildings have been erected or old ones 
remodeled they have provided two acres, a portion of which is 
used for lawn and landscape garden, some for school gardens 
and the rest for play grounds, many of which are equipped with 
teeter boards, swings, turning poles, giant strides, and other 
playground apparatus. Provision is also made for various games, 
such as croquet, tennis, basket ball and volley ball. 

Redwood county, being one of the older counties of the state, 
has many old one-room rural schoolhouses, but these are rapidly 
being replaced by up-to-date modern buildings. Since 1905 there 
have been thirty-six new buildings erected and ten old ones re- 
modeled. Of these new one-room buildings nearly all have pro- 
vided for a full basement, two cloak rooms, a large library room 
and a store room. In the past three years five two-room rural 
schools have been erected where before one-room schools existed. 
These two-teaeher, or semi-graded, schools have added much to 
the opportunities of the pupils living in the country. Most of 
these two-room school buildings are so constructed that the parti- 
tion separating the class rooms rolls or folds up, thus providing 
a large auditorium for neighborhood gatherings. District 27 in 
Sundown township went further than this when it built its two- 
room school. This is a two story building with a community room, 
kitchen and library on the second floor. The schoolhouse has 
become the center of the township's social life. They have an 
annual township fair held there, and among other events of the 
year which take place at the schoolhouse is a farmers' institute. 

Only twenty-two schools in the county still have double seats, 
while twenty-three other schools are still using some double seats, 
but these are rapidly being replaced by single ones. If the two 
schools that are planning to secure state aid for 1916-17 for the 
first time succeed in their efforts, every school building in the 
county will have an approved system of ventilation. These sys- 
tems consist of steam heat and forced air ventilation, or hot air 
furnace and a gravity system of ventilation, or patented room 
heaters. A number of the latter have been in use for many 
years and more modern systems are gradually being installed in 
their place. 

The oldest schoolhouse in the county is in District 9, in Morgan 
township, erected in 1876. The schoolhouses erected or remodeled 
since 1905 are: No. 1 (remodeled), No. 2, No. 4, No. 5, No. 7, 
No. 8, No. 13, No. 14 (remodeled), No. 19, No. 21, No. 23, No. 24. 
No. 27, No. 28 (two buildings), No. 30, No. 31 (one building and 
one remodeled), No. 33, No. 39, No. 42, No. 44, No. 47, No. 48, 
No. 49 (remodeled), No. 50, No. 51, No. 56 (remodeled), No. 67 
(remodeled), No. 69 (remodeled), No. 70 (remodeled), No. 74 
(remodeled), No. 77 (remodeled), No. 78, No. 81, No. 82, No. 86, 



246 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

No. 94, No. 95, No. 97, No. 101, No. 106, No. 110, No. Ill, No. 112 
and No. 113. 

There are two teachers in the schools of Districts 7, 15, 19, 26, 
27, 49, 67, 70, 78, 104 and 108. There are three teachers in the 
schools of Districts 95 and 102. 

During the past year there were nine districts which, at public 
expense, transported all or part of its pupils. Nearly half of the 
schools have barns on the school grounds, for the accommodation 
of the pupils who drive to school. 

No county examinations are given in Redwood county. Pro- 
motion from the eighth grade depends upon the results of the 
state board examinations which are held twice a year in each 
township in the county. The state requirements for eighth grade 
graduation are rigidly inforced, no pupil being granted a diploma 
without four of the required state board certificates. 

Nearly all the rural and semi-graded schools do something 
along the lines of elementary agriculture, sewing and manual 
training. 

Redwood conducts an annual acre corn contest, an annual 
pig contest, a bread-making contest and a spelling contest, the 
winners of which represent the county at the state contests. In 
addition to this contest work, Redwood county has an annual 
township school day. On this day all of the schools of each town- 
ship meet at some central schoolhouse with the school officers 
and patrons of the township. Half of the day is devoted to school 
contest work, the other half to a joint program. At noon a town- 
ship picnic dinner is served. This day has grown to be the red 
letter day of the school year in every township. Each school 
puts up, at the meeting place, an exhibit of the pupils' work, 
thus affording the patrons an opportunity to make a comparative 
study of the work done in the various schools. The schools of the 
county have erected a school exhibit building at the county fair 
grounds at Redwood Falls. In this building at the time of the 
county fair all the schools of the county are given an opportunity 
to exhibit work which has been done during the previous school 
year. This county school exhibit affords an excellent opportunity 
for the patrons from the different parts of the county to study 
and compare the work which is being done by the schools. 

Education is no longer thought to consist only of the work 
done in the schoolroom with the children. A broader view is being 
universally accepted and rapidly adopted in Redwood county. 
The people of various sections are forming themselves into clubs, 
the aim and purpose of which is general improvement of its mem- 
bers, together with civic and farm improvement. There were 
thirteen active adult club organizations, aside from churches and 
lodges, in the county during 1915-16. The majority of these club 
meetings were held at the schoolhouses. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 247 

The supervising of the rural and semi-graded schools is done 
by a county superintendent of schools, elected at large by the 
people. The graded and high schools, unless consolidated, are 
not directly under the supervision of the county superintendent 
of schools, but are supervised by local principals or city superin- 
tendents. The consolidated schools are under joint supervision 
of the county and city superintendent. The supervision of rural 
and semi-graded schools is very inadequate, as this work in Red- 
wood county is done by one individual, the county superintendent, 
who, besides, performs the many other duties connected with that 
office. This means that there are 111 schools, most of which are 
at least three miles apart, left to the care and responsibility of one 
person. From this it will be readily seen that there can be no 
real supervision in these schools. The city and graded schools 
employ teachers with better qualifications and usually more ma- 
ture than the rural and semi-graded ones. Yet each of these same 
high and graded schools employ a well trained superintendent 
who devotes his entire time and attention to his own individual 
school. It seems an injustice to the boys and girls who happen 
to live in the rural district that they should be taught, oftentimes, 
by immature teachers having little training, without more direct 
supervision than is possible under the present system. Many of 
the states have already adopted plans to provide for several super- 
visors for each county in that state. During the school year 1915- 
1916 the superintendent of Redwood county made 240 visits, an 
average of between two and three visits to each school. If some 
plan could be adopted whereby the rural schools could have as 
much supervision as the village schools, what wonders might be 
accomplished with the children in the country! 

The parochial schools of the county are located as follows : 
Norwegian Lutheran, in the village of Belview, District 74; 
Swedish Lutheran, in the village of Belview, District 74; Nor- 
wegian Lutheran, in District 10 in Swedes Forest township; Nor- 
wegian Lutheran, in District 52 in Swedes Forest township; Nor- 
wegian Lutheran, in District 5 in Swedes Forest township ; German 
Lutheran, in Section 5, Sheridan township ; German Lutheran, 
in the village of Redwood Falls, District 1 ; German Lutheran, in 
the village of Morgan, District 56 ; Catholic, in the village of Mor- 
gan, District 56 ; Norwegian Lutheran, in section 28 of Sundown 
township, District 27 ; German Lutheran, in the village of San- 
born, District 17; German Lutheran, in the village of Wanda, 
District 30; German Lutheran, in section 10 in Waterbury town- 
ship in the church ; German Lutheran, in Willow Lake township, 
section 10; German Lutheran, in section 9 in Johnsonville town- 
ship ; German Lutheran, in the village of Vesta, District 102. 

District 1. This district embraces the village of Redwood 
Falls, and some surrounding territory. It was originally organ- 



248 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

ized in 1866, and later made an independent district. The first 
school was taught in the winter of 1864-65 in the stockade. Con- 
ditions gradually developed until 1882, when the first high school 
class was formed under Supt. P. V. Hubbard with an enrollment 
of sixty-four pupils. In 1884 and 1885 it became necessary to 
have a larger building, and the west portion of the present build- 
ing was built. In 1886 the first class, consisting of five members, 
was graduated from the high school. In 1892 the east portion 
of the building was built. In 1900 there was a substantial brick 
building consisting of ten rooms. In 1916 the building is being 
remodelled and enlarged, and when opened in the fall will be the 
equal of any high school in any town of this size in the state. In 
addition to the regular high school course, courses are given in 
manual training, domestic science, normal training, music and 
agriculture. 

District 2. The Crow Creek district, originally organized in 
1866, is in the southern part of Honner and the north central 
part of Paxton townships. The schoolhouse, erected in 1911 in a 
grove on the banks of Crow Creek, is in the eastern part of sec- 
tion 4, Paxton township. The people of the district are very 
progressive and the school is well supported. An eight or nine- 
months' term has been maintained for many years. 

District 3. Originally organized in 1866, is in the northern 
part of Vesta township. There are three schoolhouses in this 
district. The building in 3 East was erected in 1892 and is lo- 
cated in the southern part of section 11 ; the one in 3 West was 
erected in 1901 and is located in the central part of section 18; 
and the one in 3 North was erected in 1916 and is located in the 
northeast corner of section 8. There are no trees around these 
schoolhouses and the sites are small. The people of this district 
have recently awakened to the advantages of better education 
and now have nine months of school. 

District 4. Originally organized in 1868, is in the north central 
part of Redwood Falls township. The schoolhouse, erected in 
1915, is located in the western part of section 10. The site is 
large and well fenced and this is one of the most modern school- 
houses in the county. The people are very progressive and awake 
to every opportunity along educational lines and for many years 
have had nine months' terms of school. 

District 5. The Rock Valley district, originally organized in 
1868, is in the northwest corner of Swedes Forest township. The 
schoolhouse, erected in 1908, is located in the southwest corner of 
section 17, and is a substantial building, the windows of which 
are screened. The site is low and needs a fence. This was the 
last district in the county to vote seven or more months of school 
and it maintains a month of Norwegian parochial school at the 
close of the public school term. The attendance is good. (Note. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 249 

In 1872 district 5 was located in the southern part of Redwood 
county, being in Charlestown and Lamberton townships, but this 
was later changed to district 16.) 

District 6. Originally organized in 1869, is in the northeastern 
part of Paxton township and the northwestern part of Sherman 
township. The schoolhouse in 6 East, known as the "Edison 
School," and erected in 1889, is located in the southwest corner of 
section 9 in Sherman township and the one in 6 West, called 
the "Eberhart School," erected the same year as the "Edison 
School," is located in the northwest corner of section 13 in Pax- 
ton township. The enrollment in each school is small and the 
schools are well equipped. Both schools have new modern out- 
houses, some of the best in the county. The sites are large and 
well fenced. The people of the community are very progressive in 
school matters. 

District 7. Originally organized in 1869, is in the southwest 
quarter of New Avon township. The schoolhouse, named the 
James Whitcomb Riley school and erected in 1915, is located in 
the northeast corner of section 32. It is a fine modern two-room 
building, with a full basement which is divided off, allowing for 
rooms where industrial work may be done and also a large dining 
room. The community has provided a cookstove, table and 
benches for use in this room. The two class rooms are separated 
by a rolling door which at times of community gatherings is 
opened, making a large auditorium. The site is large and well 
drained, but needs fencing. This is one of the most beautiful 
rural buildings in the county. 

District 8. Originally organized in 1869, is in the southeast 
part of New Avon township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1908, 
is located in the village of Rowena. This is a very good school, 
having a well equipped schoolroom and a good barn. 

District 9. Originally organized in 1870, is in the southeastern 
part of Morgan township. The schoolhouse, called the "Wabasha 
School," and erected in 1876, is located in a natural woods in the 
eastern part of section 22. The site is small and needs leveling. 
The school has fine modern outhouses. 

District 10. Originally organized in 1870, is in the central part 
of Swedes Forest. The schoolhouse, named "Open View" and 
erected in 1891, is located in the southeast corner of section 28. 
The building is well equipped and in a fairly good condition, 
although the enrollment is small. The people are very progressive. 

District 11. Originally organized in 1870, is in the central 
part of Sheridan township. The schoolhouse, a poor building, 
having been erected in 1898, is located in the southern part of 
section 16. This is a good school with good equipment. The dis- 
trict is narrow and nearly six miles long, and it should be re- 
adjusted. 



250 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

District 12. Originally organized in 1870, is in the southwest 
part of Sheridan and the northwest part of Vail townships. The 
sehoolhouse, known as the "Sheridan" school and erected in 
1890, is located in the eastern part of section 32 of Sheridan 
township. The building is in fair shape and is well equipped. 
The people of this community are progressive. 

District 13. Originally organized in 1879, is in the southeast 
part of Sundown township. The sehoolhouse, called "East Sun- 
down" and erected in 1915, is located in the northern part of 
section 26. The building is new and situated on a beautiful site 
which is well fenced. This is a fairly well equipped school. 

District 14. Originally organized in 1871, is in the northwest 
part of New Avon township. The sehoolhouse, remodeled in 1912, 
is located in eastern part of section 8. The school is well 
equipped and was a large school but at present has a small en- 
rollment. 

District 15. Originally organized in 1871, is in the south- 
western part of Three Lakes township. The sehoolhouse, a two- 
room building, erected in 1905, is located in village of Clements. 
The sehoolhouse is well equipped and has steam heat, situated 
on a beautiful site with trees and surrounded by a good fence. 

District 16. Originally organized in 1874, is in the southwest 
part of Charlestown township. The sehoolhouse, called ' ' Pleasant 
View" and erected in 1892, is located in the southwest corner 
of section 28 and is in fairly good shape and well equipped. It 
is situated on a fine, high site, surrounded by trees. 

District 17. Organized in 1871, is in the southeast part of 
Charlestown township. The sehoolhouse is located in village of 
Sanborn. Sewing is given in the grades. 

District 18. Originally organized in 1871, is in the western 
part of Delhi township. The sehoolhouse is located in the village 
of Delhi. This has voted to be a consolidated district, with a 
fine modern building ready for use in September, 1917. Sewing 
is a special course offered in the grades. 

District 19. Originally organized in 1871, is in the southern 
part of Johnsonville township, and the northern part of North 
Hero. The sehoolhouse, a two-room building, known as the 
"Race" school, was erected in 1909. It is located in the west 
central part of section 4. The school is very well equipped and 
has a large play ground with play ground apparatus. The school 
also has a good barn. 

District 20. Originally organized in 1871, is located in the 
west central part of Paxton township. The sehoolhouse, named 
the "Longfellow" school and erected in 1912, is located in the 
north central part of section 20. This school is well equipped 
and has a fine playground surrounded by a good fence. 

District 21. Originally organized in 1871, is in the southeast 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 251 

quarter of Brookville township. The schoolhouse, named the 
"Hillside" school, and erected in 1910, is located in the north- 
west corner of section 26. This is a splendid large schoolhouse 
which is well equipped. The community is progressive and sup- 
ports a good school. 

District 22. Originally organized in 1874, is in the northeast 
part of Springdale township. The schoolhouse, named "Eugene 
Field," and erected in 1903, is located in the north central part 
of section 14. The building is fair and is well equipped. The 
school yard is surrounded by a splendid woven wire fence. 

District 23. Originally organized in 1874, is in the southwest 
part of North Hero. The schoolhouse is located in Walnut Grove. 
Manual training and sewing are offered in this school. 

District 24. Originally organized in 1874, is in the south cen- 
tral part of Springdale township. The schoolhouse, known as 
"Sunnyside" and erected in 1909, is located in the north central 
part of section 27. It is a good building on a large site located 
on a national highway and it is well equipped. 

District 25. Originally organized in 1874, is in the southwest 
quarter of Brookville township. The schoolhouse, erected in 
1901, is located in the central part of section 29. It is a good 
building, well equipped and the site is well fenced. 

District 26. Originally organized in 1875, is in the southeast 
part of North Hero and the western part of Lamberton. The 
schoolhouse, a two-room building erected in 1899, is located in the 
village of Revere. They have a fine playground and many beauti- 
ful trees. The water is supplied by an artesian well. 

District 27. Originally organized in 1875, is in the southwest 
part of Sundown township. The schoolhouse, called the "Sun- 
down" school and erected in 1913, is in the central part of section 
29. This is a large frame building with two class rooms and 
cloak rooms on the first floor, and a community room, library, and 
kitchen on the second floor. The school is well equipped. The 
playground has swings, teeters and other apparatus. This is the 
community center where "Farmers' Clubs" and "Mothers' 
Clubs" meet. There is a piano in the auditorium. 

District 28. Originally organized in 1876, is in the southern 
part of Kintire township. The schoolhouse in 28 East, erected in 
1912, is located in the southeast corner of section 22 and the one 
in 28 West, erected the same year, is located in the south central 
part of section 20. Both the school buildings are very good and 
well equipped, but the enrollment is small. 

District 29. Originally organized in 1876, is in the northwest 
part of Lamberton township and in the southwest part of Water- 
bury township. The schoolhouse, named the "Riverside" and 
erected in 1894, is located in the southeast corner of section 5. 



252 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

The building is fair and located on a high beautiful site, sur- 
rounded by fine trees. The school is well equipped. 

District 30. Originally organized in 1876, is in the southwest 
quarter of "Willow Lake township. The schoolhouse, a splendid 
four-room building with basement rooms used for domestic 
science, manual training and agriculture, is located in the village 
of Wanda. This is a consolidated school since 1913, having two 
wagons which bring the children in from the rural districts. 
Sewing, cooking, manual training and agriculture are offered 
here. 

District 31. Originally organized in 1876, is in the southeast 
three quarters of Lamberton township. This is a consolidated 
school and is located in the village of Lamberton. There are two 
buildings, the one which the high school now occupies is very 
modern, being built in 1915. In the Lamberton high school are 
given the following special courses: Normal training, domestic 
science, agriculture and manual training. 

District 32. Originally organized in 1876, is in the east central 
part of Willow Lake. The schoolhouse, erected in 1900, is located 
in the south central part of section 23. The building and the 
equipment is good. The site is somewhat low but well kept. 
A fine grove is found on the school site. 

District 33. Originally organized in 1876, is in the northeast 
part of Charlestown township. The schoolhouse, called "Ex- 
celsior" and erected in 1908, is located in the south central part 
of section 11. The building is very good. Many young trees 
have been set out. 

District 34. Originally organized in 1878, is in the northwest 
quarter of Brookville township. The schoolhouse, known as 
"Lakeside" and erected in 1891, is located in the central part 
of section 8. This is a fairly good school building and is well 
equipped except a heating and ventilating plant. The site is 
rough and therefore does not make a very good playground. 

District 35. Originally organized in 1878, is in the southwest 
part of Gales township. The schoolhouse, known as the Nelson 
school and in fair shape, is located in the west central part of sec- 
tion 28. The interior is well equipped. There is a large area 
in this district. No record is found of the date of erecting this 
building. 

District 36. Originally organized in 1879, is in the southwest 
quarter of Underwood township. The schoolhouse, known as the 
"Morgan" school and in fair shape, is located in the central parts 
of section 29. The building is well equipped and a fine new barn 
has been built. It is near a large grove. They have a nine months ' 
term of school. No record is found of the date of the erection 
of this building. 

District 37. Originally organized in 1879, is in the southwest 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 253 

part of Westline township. The schoolhouse, known as the 
"Irving" school and erected in 1900, is located in the south cen- 
tral part of section 29. The building is good and well equipped 
and the school is good. 

District 38. Originally organized in 1879, is in the southeast 
part of Westline. The schoolhouse, known as the "Van Sant" 
school and erected in 1894, is located in the central part of section 
26. The building is fair and well equipped. 

District 39. Originally organized in 1879, is in the northwest 
quarter of Gales township. The schoolhouse, known as the "Haw- 
thorne" school, was erected in 1907 and is located in the central 
part of section 8. The building is good, with good equipment, 
and is situated on a fine large site. The enrollment in this school 
is very small. 

District 40. Originally organized in 1879, is in the northeast 
quarter of Gales township. The schoolhouse, old and small, was 
erected in 1884 and is located on an unsanitary site in the south 
central part of section 11. The school is splendid and well 
equipped. Movement is on foot to consolidate or build a new 
building. 

District 41. Originally organized in 1880, is in the northwest 
part of Lamberton township. In 1915 this district consolidated 
with Lamberton. 

District 42. Originally organized in 1880, is in the northern 
part of Springdale township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1915, 
is located in the central part of section 8. They have a beautiful 
new building, painted white with the roof stained green. The 
school is good and well equipped. This is one of the most beauti- 
ful buildings in the county. 

District 43. Originally organized in 1880, is in the northwest 
part of Westline township. The schoolhouse, known as the 
"Sherwood" school, was erected in 1904 and is located on the 
southern side of section 5. The building is good and well equipped. 
The site is large, on which a young grove has been planted. 

District 44. Originally organized in 1880, is in the northeast 
quarter of Underwood township. The schoolhouse, known as the 
"Cahoon" school and erected in 1909, is located in the central 
part of section 11. They have a good school and a very good 
building, well equipped ; also a large playground without any 
trees. 

District 45. Originally organized in 1880, is in the northwest 
part of Charlestown township. The schoolhouse, known as the 
"Garfield" school, was erected in 1890 and is located in the cen- 
tral part of section 8. They have a good building, well equipped, 
also an excellent barn. The site is beautiful, surrounded by large 
shade trees. 

District 46. Originally organized in 1880, is in the east-cen- 



254 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

tral part of Sheridan township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1888, 
is located in the east-central part of section 24. The building is 
fair, but ■well equipped, and the enrollment now is small, although 
at one time large. There is a good fence around the school 
grounds. They maintain a nine-months' term of school. 

District 47. Originally organized in 1880, is in the southeast 
part of Paxton township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1908, is 
located in the northwest corner of section 26. They have a splen- 
did building on a beautiful site, surrounded by trees. The school 
is well kept and well equipped, for the community is especially 
interested in their school and its functions. 

District 48. Originally organized in 1880, is in the northeast- 
ern part of Johnsonville township. The schoolhouse, erected in 
1910, is located in the southwest corner of section 12. There 
is a good building on a small site near a large grove. 

District 49. Originally organized in 1880, is in the northeast 
quarter of Brookville township. The schoolhouse, known as the 
"Franklin" school, was erected in 1903, with an addition in 1915, 
and is located in the central part of section 11. It is a two-room 
building, well equipped. A folding door separates the two class- 
rooms and at community gatherings this door is raised, making 
a good sized auditorium. The people of this community are splen- 
did school co-operative patrons. 

District 50. Originally organized in 1880, is in the east-cen- 
tral part of Kintire township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1913, 
is located in the south-central part of section 2. This is a fine 
modern one-room building, on a two-acre site, which is well 
fenced. A grove of young trees has been started. The school has 
both a cistern and well on its grounds. 

District 51. Originally organized in 1881, is in the southeast 
part of Morgan township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1906, is 
located near the southeast corner of section 26. This is a good 
building and the enrollment is small. 

District 52. Originally organized in 1881, is located in the 
southwest corner of Swedes Forest township. The schoolhouse 
erected in 1900, is located in the northwest corner of section 31. 
They have a well kept, well equipped school. The grounds are 
neat and well kept. One month of Norwegian parochial school 
is taught at the close of the seven months' public school term. 

District 53. Originally organized in 1881, is in the northeast 
part of Delhi township. The schoolhouse, named Ramsey, was 
erected in 1880, and is located in the central part of section 23. 
The building is fair with good equipment. A good school is 
maintained. 

District 54. Originally organzed in 1881, is in the southeast 
quarter of Vesta township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1905, is 
located in the central part of section 26. The building is fair, 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 255 

with good equipment. The enrollment is large, too many for one 
teacher. 

District 55. Originally organized in 1882, is in the east part 
of Swedes Forest and the northwest corner of Delhi township. 
The schoolhouse, erected in 1890, is located on the eastern side of 
section 26. The building is old and the enrollment is small. The 
people of the district are progressive and waiting for improved 
roads before joining with some other district for a better school. 

District 56. Originally organized in 1882, is in the central 
part of Morgan township. The schoolhouse is located in the vil- 
lage of Morgan. In this school domestic science, agriculture, and 
manual training are given as special courses. 

District 57. Originally organized in 1883, is in the northeast- 
ern part of North Hero township. The schoolhouse, erected in 
1883, is located in the northwest corner of section 14. The build- 
ing is old, but well equipped and is surrounded by large trees. 
They have a splendid nine-months' term of school. 

District 58. Originally organized in 1883, is in the southeast 
part of Granite Rock township. The schoolhouse, known as the 
"Stevenson" school and erected in 1890, is located in the east- 
central part of section 26. The building is old, the school large, 
the attendance poor, and the equipment is fair. 

District 59. Originally organized in 1883, is in the northwest 
part of Johnsonville township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1905, 
is located in the southwest corner of section 5. They have a good 
building with good equipment, on a small site. The patrons' 
attitude toward and interest in the school is improving. 

District 60. Originally organized in 1884, is in the northeast 
part of Vail township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1900, is lo- 
cated in the southeast corner of section 11. The building is small 
and the outbuildings are poor, situated on a small site which needs 
fencing. The schoolhouse is fairly well equipped. 

District 61. Originally organized in 1884, is in the northeast 
part of Sheridan, southeast part of Kintire, southwest part of 
Delhi and the northwest corner of Redwood Falls townships. 
The schoolhouse, erected in 1893, is located in the north-central 
part of section 1, Sheridan township. The building is fair and is 
well equipped ; also, it has a good playground. 

District 62. Originally organized in 1884, is in the east part 
of Gales, and southwest part of Johnsonville townships. The 
schoolhouse, named "Prairie Lawn," was erected in 1894 and is 
located in the east-central part of section 25. The building is 
fair with good equipment, situated on a large site. 

District 63. Originally organized in 1885. is in the south- 
central part of Redwood Falls township. The schoolhouse, erected 
in 1890, is located near the southeast corner of section 28. The 
equipment of the school is excellent, but the building is only fair. 



256 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

The site is fenced and dotted with beautiful shade trees. They 
maintain a good nine-months' school. 

District 64. Originally organized in 1885, is in the southwest 
part of Waterbury township and in the east part of Johnsonville 
township. The schoolhouse is located in the east central part of 
section 30. The building is fair and the equipment does not meet 
the requirements for state aid, but the district has voted to fit 
up for aid this year. They have a seven-months' term and a larga 
enrollment. 

District 65. Originally organized in 1885, is located in the 
north-central part of Vail township. The schoolhouse, erected in 
1905, is located in the north-central part of section 17. A good 
building with good equipment, is built on a small site. The en- 
rollment is large. 

District 66. Originally organized in 1886, is in the northwest 
quarter of Underwood township. The schoolhouse, erected in 
1903, is located in the west-central part of section 8. The building 
is old and the equipment fair. There is good school spirit in 
the community and a good school is maintained. 

District 67. Originally organized in 1886, is in the northeast 
part of Willow Lake township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1904, 
with an addition in 1914, is located in the west-central part of 
section 12. This is a two-room building, with excellent equip- 
ment. The enrollment is large. 

District 68. Originally organized in 1887, is in the southeast 
quarter of Underwood township. The schoolhouse, a fair, but 
small building, erected in 1888, is located in the central part of 
section 26. The site, large and high, lies south and east of large 
tree claims. The equipment is quite good. 

District 69. Originally organized in 1887, is in the north- 
western part of Honner township. The schoolhouse, called the 
"Jefferson" school, remodeled in 1907, is in the village of North 
Redwood. This is a two-room building, but only one teacher is 
employed at the present time, one room being used as a playroom 
and manual training shop. It is now associated with Redwood 
Falls, so the industrial teachers from Redwood Falls supervise 
the sewing, agriculture, and manual training work. The school 
is steam-heated, and the school ground is well equipped with play- 
ground apparatus. 

District 70. Originally organized in 1887, is in the northwest 
part of Sheridan, southwest part of Kintire, and northeast part 
of Vesta townships. The schoolhouse, remodeled and a second 
room added in 1913, is located in the northeast corner of section 
6 in Sheridan township. It is a two-room building with good 
equipment, including a sewing machine. The site is high and 
well fenced, and a large grove of young trees has recently been 
set out. Hot lunches are furnished during the winter months. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 257 

District 71. Originally organized in 1887, is in the north- 
central part of Sundown township. The schoolhouse, erected in 
1900, is located in the east-central part of section 8. Conditions 
show that the people in the community are interested in their 
school as they have a good building with good equipment, the 
site is fenced and well cared for, and a good school is maintained. 

District 72. Originally organized in 1888, is in the central 
part of Johnsonville township. The schoolhouse is located in 
the west-central part of section 22, and is a small old building. 
There is only a small enrollment and for the past two years the 
school has been closed and the pupils transported to other schools 
where the tuition charge is paid by the district. 

District 73. Originally organized in 1888, is in the north- 
east corner of Morgan township southeast corner of Sherman. 
The schoolhouse is located in the northeast corner of section 3, 
Morgan township. This is a fairly good building with good equip- 
ment and a good playground. 

District 74. Originally organized in 1889, is in the northwest 
part of Kintire township. The schoolhouse is located in the 
village of Belview. In this school, sewing and manual training 
are given as special courses. 

District 75. Originally organized in 1890, is in the southeast 
part of Sheridan and the northeast part of Vail. The schoolhouse, 
known as the "Alcott" school, and erected in 1904, is located in 
the south-central part of section 35. The school is very well 
equipped, but the building is fair. They support a good school. 

District 76. Originally organized in 1890, is in the southwest 
part of Vail. The schoolhouse, erected in 1895, is located in the 
central part of section 29. The building is fair, but is well 
equipped and the enrollment is large. 

District 77. Originally organized in 1890, is in the south- 
central part of North Hero. The schoolhouse, remodeled in 1909, 
is located in the northwest corner of section 34. The building 
and the equipment good. 

District 78. Originally organized in the northeast part of 
Waterbury township. The schoolhouse, known as the "Pratt" 
school, was erected in 1915, and is located in the northeast cor- 
ner of section 10. This is a very fine two-room building on a 
site of two and one-half acres. The schoolhouse has a fine base- 
ment which provides for indoor toilets, industrial room and two 
furnace rooms. A folding partition between the class rooms 
makes it possible to make the two rooms one large auditorium. 
This building is heated by two furnaces, which give the best 
satisfaction of any hot air system in a school building in this 
county at the present time. Trees are found on the north and 
west sides of the grounds. The people are progressive and main- 
tain a good school. 



258 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

District 79. Originally organized in 1891, is in the southwest 
part of Granite Rock township. The schoolhouse, called "Supe- 
rior," was erected in 1895, and is located in the southeast cor- 
ner of section 30. This is a well equipped school, with a good 
building and a good barn on a large site. 

District 80. Originally organized in 1891, is in the northwest 
part of Granite Rock township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1896, 
is located in the northeast corner of section 11. The building, 
situated near a grove, is good, with good equipment and a good 
playground. The attendance has improved much over previous 
years. 

District 81. Originally organized in 1891, is in the northwest 
part of Granite Rock township. The schoolhouse, named "La- 
fayette," is located in the south-central part of section 5. The 
building is very good, surrounded by a large playground. The 
enrollment is large. 

District 82. Originally organized in 1892, is in the southwest 
quarter of Vesta. The schoolhouse, erected in 1915, is located 
in the central part of section 29. This is a fine new building on 
a new site which has been exceptionally well cared for. This 
building is very convenient and economical. The interior is very 
beautiful and affords every opportunity now possible to present- 
day methods in a one-room rural school. 

District 83. Originally organized in 1893, is in the southeast 
part of Paxton, northwest corner of Morgan, northeast corner 
of Three Lakes, and the southwest corner of Sherman. The 
schoolhouse, named "Gilfillan," was erected in 1893, and is lo- 
cated in the northwest part of section 6, in Morgan township. 
They have a fair building with good equipment, and they employ 
two teachers. There is a splendid school spirit in this com- 
munity. 

District 84. Originally organized in 1893, is in the southeast 
part of Vail township. The schoolhouse is located in the village 
of Wabasso. 

District 85. Originally organized in 1894, is in the northwest 
part of Waterbury township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1894, is 
located in the south-central part of section 8. The building is 
fair, with fair equipment, and the site is neat and clean. 

District 86. Originally organized in 1894, is in the northeast 
part of Sundown township. The schoolhouse, a good building, 
was erected in 1907, and is located in the east-central part of 
section 11. The equipments of the school are good and the school 
is situated on a site well fenced and well cared for. They main- 
tain a good school. 

District 87. Originally organized in 1894, is in the northeast 
quarter of Westline township. The schoolhouse, known as the 
"Kipling" school, and moved into this district in 1894, is locate3 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 259 

in the west-central part of section 11. The building is very poor 
and altogether too small for the number of pupils. The equip- 
ment is fair and the attendance is very irregular. 

District 88. Originally organized in 1894, is in the southeast- 
ern part of Willow Lake and the northeastern part of Charles- 
town. The schoolhouse, named "Washington," was erected in 
1895 and is located in the south-central part of section 35, of 
Willow Lake township. The building is fair, and the site small, 
but well kept. They maintain a good school with a large enroll- 
ment. 

District 89. Originally organized in 1895, is in the south- 
central part of Delhi township. The schoolhouse, known as the 
"Helen Keller" school, and erected in 1904, is located in the 
northwest corner of section 34. This is an eight-cornered build- 
ing, surrounded by good playground. There are a few trees 
around the schoolhouse. The enrollment is too small for good 
results. 

District 90. Originally organzied in 1896, is in the southwest 
part of Morgan township. The schoolhouse, known as the "Fair- 
view" school, was erected in 1890, and is located on southeast 
corner of section 30. They have a fair, but well equipped build- 
ing, surrounded by a good playground, which is well fenced. 
This building was evidently moved here from some other district. 

District 91. Originally organized in 1896, was in the south- 
west part of Lamberton township. In 1915, it consolidated with 
the school district of Lamberton. 

District 92. Originally organized in 1897, is in the east-cen- 
tral part of Three Lakes and the west-central part of Morgan 
township. The schoolhouse, named the "Betsy Ross" school, and 
erected in 1898, is located near the northeast corner of section 24, 
Three Lakes township. This is a good building with good equip- 
ment, situated on a site well kept and well fenced. 

District 93. Originally organized in 1898, is in the east-cen- 
tral part of Waterbury township. It consolidated with Wanda 
in 1913. 

District 94. Originally organized in 1898, is in the northwest 
quarter of Willow Lake township. The schoolhouse, erected in 
1915, is located in the central part of section 8. They have a fine 
new building with good equipment, surrounded by a good play- 
ground. 

District 95. Originally organized in 1899, is in the west-cen- 
tral part of Westline township. The schoolhouse, a four-room 
building, erected in 1909, is located in the village of Milroy. Three 
teachers are employed and one year of high school work is of- 
fered. They have beautiful grounds, equipped with playground 
apparatus. 

District 96. Originally organized in 1899, is in the southeast 



260 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

part of Redwood Falls township. The sehoolhouse, erected in 
1900, is located near the northeast corner of section 23. This is 
a good building, well equipped on a good site. The enrollment 
is too small for good results. They maintain a nine-months' 
term of school. 

District 97. Originally organized in 1900, is in the southeast 
corner of Redwood Falls, northeast corner of New Avon, south- 
west corner of Paxton and the northwest corner of Three Lakes. 
The sehoolhouse, erected in 1908, is located in the central part of 
section 1, in New Avon township. The building, equipment and 
site are good. They have a large school in which good work is 
done. 

District 98. Originally organized in 1900, is in the southwest 
part of Springdale township. The sehoolhouse, erected in 1901, 
is located in the east-central part of section 30. The school build- 
ing, which is a good one, is located in a large grove. The people 
of this community are progressive and maintain a good nine- 
months' term of school. 

District 99. Originally organized in 1900, is in the south- 
central part of Sherman township, and the north-central part of 
Morgan township. The sehoolhouse, known as the "McKinley" 
school, was erected in 1901, and is located in the southeast cor- 
ner of section 32, Sherman township. The building is good and 
well equipped, and the site is clean and well kept, but needs trees 
and fence. 

District 100. Originally organized in 1900, is in the west-cen- 
tral part of Sherman township. The sehoolhouse, erected in 
1899, is located in the northeast corner of section 30. It has a 
good building, well equipped, on a fine site. 

District 101. Originally organized in 1901, is in the east- 
central part of New Avon and the west-central part of Three 
Lakes township. The sehoolhouse named "The Golden Rule," 
and erected in 1914, is located in the east-central part of sec- 
tion 13, of New Avon. They have a fine, well equipped school 
which is on a low site. A good school is maintained. 

District 102. Originally organized in 1901, is in the central 
part of Vesta township. The sehoolhouse is located in the village 
of Vesta. This is a four-room frame building, on a site dotted 
with shade trees. The playground is fitted up with apparatus. 
They employ four teachers and offer one year of high school 
work. Sewing is taught in the grades. 

District 103. Originally organized in 1901, is in the north- 
central part of Sheridan township. The sehoolhouse, erected in 
1901, is located in the central part of section 10. It is a good 
building with good equipment, near a large grove. They maintain 
a good school. 

District 104. Originally organized in 1901, is in the south- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 261 

west-central part of Sheridan township. The schoolhouse, known 
as the "Okawa" school, and erected in 1902, is located in the 
village of Seaforth. This is a foiir-room building, very well 
equipped, but only hire two teachers. 

District 105. Originally organized in 1904, is located in the 
southwest corner of Three Lakes. The schoolhouse, named 
"Marion," was erected in 1900 and is located in the southeast 
corner of section 27. The school is well equipped although the 
building is fair and the site small. They maintain a good school. 

District 106. Originally organized in 1904, is in the central 
part of Three Lakes. The schoolhouse, called the "Sunrise" 
school, and erected in 1907, is located in the south-central part 
of section 16. This is a good building, on a site which is fenced. 
The enrollment is large and the attendance fair. 

District 107. Originally organized in 1904, is in the north- 
central part of Three Lakes, and in the south-central part of 
Paxton township. The schoolhouse, called the "Lincoln" school, 
and erected in 1904, is located in the southeast corner of section 
32. This is a good building, with good equipment, located on a 
site which is well fenced. 

District 108. Originally organized in 1904, is in the central 
part of Granite Rock township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1904, 
is located in the village of Lucan. This is a two-room building, 
situated on beautiful grounds, having fine shade trees and 
equipped with playground apparatus. The basement is fitted up 
for a shop for elementary manual training work. There is splen- 
did co-operative school spirit in this district. 

District 109. Originally organized in 1904, is in the east- 
central part of Morgan township. The schoolhouse, erected in 
1904, is located in the northwest corner of section 13. They have 
a good building and this year equipped for state aid. 

District 110. Originally organized in 1906, is in the central 
part of "Waterbury township. The schoolhouse, known as the 
"Lowell" school, was erected in 1906, and is located in the east- 
central part of section 16. This is a good building, well equipped, 
on a high site. They maintain a good school. 

District 111. Originally organized in 1906, is in the north- 
west part of Redwood Falls township. The schoolhouse, erected 
in 1907, is located in the north-central part of section 8. They 
have a good building, well equipped, on a large high site. Young 
trees have recently been set out. 

District 112. Originally organized in 1908, is in the south- 
east part of Johnsonville and the northeast part of North Hero 
township. The schoolhouse, erected in 1909, is located in the 
northeast corner of section 35. This is a very good school build- 
ing, having good equipment. The site needs trees and fence. 

District 113. Originally organized in 1910, is in the north- 



262 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

central part of Johnsonville township and the south-central part 
of Granite Rock. The schoolhouse, known as the "Hiawatha" 
school and erected in 1910, is located near the northwest corner 
of section 10 in Johnsonville township. They have a splendid, 
well equipped building, situated on a large site near a large 
grove. The equipment is very good and a good school is main- 
tained. 

All the city and village schools have a nine-months' term of 
school and in the rural schools, not otherwise mentioned, there is 
an eight-month's term. 

County Superintendents. The first county superintendent 
was Edward March, first appointed school examiner and then 
superintendent. He was appointed Sept. 5, 1866, and served until 
Nov. 16, 1869, when he resigned. E. A. Chandler served from 
Nov. 16, 1869, to April 1, 1872. Dr. W. D. Flinn served from 
April 1, 1872, to April 1, 1874. William B. Harriott was super- 
intendent from April 1, 1874 to Feb. 1, 1876. D. L. Bigham 
served from Feb. 1, 1876, to Feb. 1, 1878. R. W. Hoyt served 
from Feb. 1, 1878, to March 19, 1879. M. M. Madigan was ap- 
pointed his successor, and after serving a short time was suc- 
ceeded by D. L. Bigham in 1880. Mr. Bigham was followed by 
R. L. Marshman. It was in 1886 that S. J. Race was appointed. 
He served until Nov. 2, 1906, and was followed by H. J. Beber- 
meyer. Mrs. Adella Huntington-Pratt has served since Jan. 1, 
1912. 

For the year ending Jan. 7, 1868, the county superintendent 
received a salary of $25. Jan. 6, 1870, it was raised to $50 a year. 
Jan. 4, 1872, it was increased to $100 a year. March 20, 1876, the 
compensation of the county superintendent was fixed at $10 a 
district, provided that he should fulfill his duties in accordance 
with the state laws. Jan. 3, 1893, the salary plan was resumed, 
and the county superintendent was to receive $900 a year. This 
was increased Jan. 5, 1897, to $910 ; Jan. 4, 1898, to $1,000 ; Jan. 
8, 1907, to $1,300; Jan. 7, 1908, to $1,500; Jan. 4, 1910, to $1,600; 
Jan. 3, 1911, to $1,700; and Jan. 2, 1912, to $1,800. 

S. J. Race was born in Philadelphia, Pa. ; educated in the 
public schools and graduated from the university of that state. 
He taught school in Dakota county, Minnesota; later removed 
to Redwood Falls, and entered the mercantile industry. In 1886 
he was called to the superintendency of the Redwood county 
schools, in which place he continued for nearly twenty years. The 
county, when he assumed charge of the schools, had an organiza- 
tion of sixty-four districts. When he resigned in 1906 it had an or- 
ganization of one hundred and ten. The schools in the beginning 
were poorly equipped and not very efficiently taught. The standard 
of scholarship was rather low; there were few, if any, teachers 
holding state first grade certificates. The normal school graduate 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 263 

had not made her advent into the country. Heating, ventilation 
and sanitation were practically undreamed of in the country 
school. The average length of term was about five months, 
this being gradually extended till it became an average of a little 
more than seven months in 1906. Libraries, free text books, and 
supervision came in 1896, so that the standard of scholarship of 
the teachers was very materially raised. School board members 
seemed to have awakened an educational consciousness through 
co-operation. During the last ten years of his connection with 
the country schools of the county, he was appointed by the state 
superintendent of public instruction to act as president of the 
state examining board for granting professional certificates, and 
to personally inspect state summer schools, and to act as a con- 
ductor of the state teachers' institutes. He says, "the constant 
association with the state department of education put a special 
emphasis on the improvement of the rural school and the coun- 
try life problem ; and if the schools of the county made any im- 
provement during the twenty years I was associated with it, it 
is largely due to the interests awakened by the teachers and the 
school boards themselves that brought about the excellency of 
the school system that prevailed at the time I left the work in 
1906." 

At the present time Mr. Race lives in Minneapolis, being con- 
nected with the Northwestern School Supply Company, and be- 
ing manager of the Minneapolis Teachers' Agency. 

It is a recognized fact in the whole county that it was through 
the efforts of Mr. Race that Redwood county became an educa- 
tional county, and that its schools are today recognized as among 
the best in the state. When he began his work here in 1886, the 
schools were unorganized, scantily equipped, and poorly taught. 
He began immediately to systematize the work and improve the 
teaching force. Later he emphasized better equipment and bet- 
ter buildings. It is largely through his efforts that the Redwood 
county schools are so excellent today. 

H. J. Bebermeyer was born at Lakeland, Minn. His early 
education was obtained in the public schools of his native county, 
after which he entered Central Wesleyan college at Warrenton, 
Missouri, from which he graduated in 1890. Returning to his 
native state he taught for two years in the rural schools, four 
years in St. Paul college, five years as principal of schools at 
New Prague, and two years as principal at Jordan. In 1903 he 
came to Wabassa and entered the furniture and undertaking 
business. In 1906 he became a candidate before the primaries 
for the Republican nomination for county superintendent of 
schools. He was successful at both the primaries and the polls, 
and in 1908 was re-elected without opposition. In 1912 the was 
succeeded by Mrs. Adella Huntington-Pratt. Supt. Bebermeyer 



264 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

was a tireless worker and ranks as one of Redwood county's best 
superintendents of schools. He is at the present time the editor 
of the newspaper at Granite Falls, Minn. 

Mrs. Adella Huntington-Pratt was born in Platteville, Wis. 
Her early education was obtained in the public schools of that 
place, later being graduated from the Platteville Normal school. 
She holds a first grade state professional certificate from this 
state. She has attended summer school for two years at the 
University of Minnesota, for one year at Chicago, and for one 
year at Chautauqua, New York. After graduating from Normal 
Mrs. Pratt taught for one year in the rural schools of Wisconsin. 
She came to Redwood county the following year and taught in a 
rural school in the southern part of the county and during the 
next four years she taught in the grades in Redwood Palls. For 
two years she was assistant in the high school and the next year 
held the place of principal of the high school in Redwood Falls. 
She was Normal instructor in the same school the following year. 
In 1912 she was elected to the office of county superintendent of 
schools in Redwood county, by popular vote, which place she has 
most efficiently filled since that time. She has done much to make 
the schools of Redwood county better. Four districts have con- 
solidated during her term of office, many new schoolhouses have 
been erected, and the schools in general are much improved. The 
teachers and school officers have awakened to a realization of the 
great need of co-operation in working for the best schools for the 
children in the rural communities. It is due largely to Mrs. 
Pratt's efforts that the schools of Redwood county have made 
such rapid strides for better schools in the past four years. 

Authorship. This article has been prepared under the per- 
sonal supervision of Mrs. Adella Huntington-Pratt, county super- 
intendent of schools. The work on the auditor's records and the 
reports of the county superintendent's reports and records has 
been done by Miss Lillian Jensen, assisted by Miss Esther Jensen 
and Miss Adeline Anderson. The work on the reports of the 
state superintendents of public instruction has been done by Miss 
Evelyn Bolin. 

Authority. Reports of the county superintendents of schools 
(manuscript) in the custody of the Redwood county auditor. 

Reports of the state superintendents of public instruction 
(printed). 

Records of the county commissioners (manuscript) in the cus- 
tody of the Redwood county auditor. 

Records of the county superintendent of schools (manuscript) 
in the county superintendent's office. 

Personal observations of Mrs. Adella Huntington-Pratt. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 265 

CHAPTER XXIII. 
LIVE STOCK. 

When the assessment of 1868 was taken the majority of the 
settlers were assessed for two horses apiece, and a cow or two, 
and in some cases a pig. In the present county outside of the 
Swedes Forest settlement there were 101 horses, 297 cattle, 277 
sheep and 67 hogs. The sheep were all in Charlestown, where 
Joseph T. Bean owned 11 horses, 15 cattle and 99 sheep, and 
Charles Porter owned two horses, one cow and 178 sheep. F. W. 
Byington of Paxton had five hogs, the largest number in the 
county. Bernhart Kuenzli of Homier, had twenty-five cattle, 
the largest number in the county. 

During the Pioneer Period there was a gradual increase in 
stockraising in the county, as shown by the assessment returns. 

In 1872, the last year of the Pioneer Period, there were in the 
county 397 horses, 105 being under three years old, and 292 be- 
ing over that age. They were divided as follows : Under three 
years — Redwood Falls, 89; Sheridan, 4; Sherman, 6; Charles- 
town, 6. The average value was $35.70, the highest being $38.33, 
in Sherman, and the lowest $31.25 in Sheridan. Over three years 
—Redwood Falls, 219; Sheridan, 30; Sherman, 26, and Charles- 
town, 17. The average value was $65.02, the highest being $66.40 
in Sheridan, and the lowest $64.12 in Charlestown. 

There were 1,125 cattle; 409 being under two years old; 468 
being cows over two years old ; and 248 being oxen and steers. 
They were divided as follows: Under two years old — Redwood 
Falls, 269; Sheridan, 41; Sherman, 79; Charlestown, 20. The 
average value was $8.85, the highest being $9.10 in Charlestown 
and the lowest $8.69 in Redwood Falls. Cows over two years old 
—Redwood Falls, 319 ; Sheridan, 49 ; Sherman, 61 ; Charlestown, 
39. The average value was $20.23, the highest being $20.75 in 
Sheridan and the lowest $19.45 in Redwood Falls. Oxen and 
steers — Redwood Falls, 117; Sheridan, 58; Sherman, 31; Charles- 
town, 42. The average value was $31.20, the highest being $31.78 
in Charlestown and the lowest $30.34 in Sheridan. 

The sheep numbered 595, there being 84 in Redwood Falls, 
and 511 in Charlestown. The average value was $1.62. 

In the county at this time there were 307 swine, 200 being 
in Redwood Falls, 69 in Sheridan, 9 in Sherman, and 29 in 
Charlestown. The average value was $2.81, the highest being 
$5.00 in Sherman and the lowest being $1.25 in Redwood Falls. 

Redwood Falls township had not been created but was gen- 
erally understood to consist of everything in the county not other- 
wise organized as townships. Sheridan and Sherman consisted 



266 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

of their present area, Charlestown consisted of Charlestown and 
Lamberton. 

The year 1873 marked the beginning of the grasshopper 
period. Brookville, New Avon, Sheridan, Sherman and Sundown 
then consisted of their present areas; Charlestown consisted of 
Charlestown and Lamberton ; Swedes Forest consisted of Swedes 
Forest, Kintire and the northern part of Delhi; while Redwood 
Falls was generally understood to consist of the rest of the county. 

In the county at that time there were 635 horses (as com- 
pared with 397 in 1872), 139 (as compared with 105 in 1872) be- 
ing under three years old, and 496 (as compared with 292 in 
1872) being over that age. They were divided as follows : Under 
three years old — Brookville, 6; Charlestown, 5; New Avon, 10; 
Redwood Falls, 78 ; Sheridan, 7 ; Sherman, 19 ; Swedes Forest, 7 ; 
Sundown, 7. The average value was $28.30, the highest being 
$32.14 in Sheridan and Sundown townships, and the lowest $22.00 
in Charlestown. Over three years old — Brookville, 39; Charles- 
town, 44 ; New Avon, 36 ; Redwood Falls, 244 ; Sheridan, 60 ; Sher- 
man, 31; Swedes Forest, 18; Sundown, 24. The average value 
was $59.85, the highest being $67.58 in Sheridan and the lowest 
$46.14 in Charlestown. 

There were 2,161 cattle (as compared with 1,125 in 1872) ; 
837 (as compared with 409 in 1872) being under two years old; 
793 (as compared with 468 in 1872) being cows over two years 
old; 531 (as compared with 248 in 1872) being oxen and steers. 
They were divided as follows : Under two years old — Brookville, 
47 ; Charlestown, 28 ; New Avon, 41 ; Redwood Falls, 455 ; Sheri- 
dan, 53; Swedes Forest, 50; Sherman, 132; Sundown, 31. The 
average value was $7.60, the highest being $8.80 in Redwood 
Falls, the lowest $6.22 in Swedes Forest. Cows over two years 
old — Brookville, 58; Charlestown, 60; New Avon, 51; Redwood 
Falls, 352; Sheridan, 53; Sherman, 81; Swedes Forest, 86; Sun- 
down, 52. The average value was $16.95, the highest being $19.60 
in New Avon and the lowest $15.10 in Charlestown. Oxen and 
steers — Brookville, 44 ; Charlestown, 53 ; New Avon, 33 ; Redwood 
Falls, 179 ; Sheridan, 44 ; Sherman, 49 ; Swedes Forest, 65 ; Sun- 
down, 64. The average value was $26.80, the highest being $29.55 
in Brookville, the lowest $21.69 in Swedes Forest. 

The sheep numbered 425 (as compared with 595 in 1872), there 
being one in Brookville, 323 in Charlestown, 62 in Redwood Falls, 
one in Sherman, 36 in Swedes Forest, and the rest of the town- 
ships having none. The average value was $1.64, the highest 
being $2 in Brookville and Sherman, the lowest being $1 in Red- 
wood Falls. 

There were 290 (as compared with 307 in 1872) swine, 9 being 
in Brookville, 25 in Charlestown, 15 in New Avon, 135 in Redwood 
Falls, 56 in Sheridan, 30 in Sherman, 3 in Swedes Forest, 17 in 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 267 

Sundown. The average value was $2.60, the highest heing $2.66 
in Redwood Falls, the lowest $2.00 in Brookville. 

Eleven mules and asses had been brought into the county, 
divided as follows : Charlestown, 2 ; New Avon, 2 ; Redwood 
Falls, 4; Sherman, 1, and Sundown, 2; the average value being 
$58.63. 

The year 1877 marked the last grasshopper year. That year 
the little insects disappeared in the summer. But the memory 
of their devastations had limited the crop acreage and the effect 
of their presence remained throughout the summer. 

In 1877 Delhi did not include fractional town 114-36, Swedes 
forest consisted of Swedes Forest, Kintire, and fractional town- 
ship 114-36. Sheridan, New Avon, Sherman, Brookville, Sun- 
down, Willow Lake, Charlestown, Lamberton, North Hero, Spring- 
dale, Three Lakes, Underwood, and Gales townships, all had their 
present area ; Willow Lake, North Hero, Springdale, Three Lakes, 
Underwood and Gales having been organized since 1873. Charles- 
town and Lamberton had been separated since 1873. 

In the county at that time there were 943 horses (as compared 
with 635 in 1873), 163 (as compared with 139 in 1873) being 
under three years old, and 780 (as compared with 496 in 1873) 
being over that age. They were divided as follows : Under three 
years old — Redwood Falls, 55; Swedes Forest, 13; Sheridan, 8; 
New Avon, Delhi and Underwood, 5 ; Sherman, 11 ; Brookville, 
17; Sundown, 10; Willow Lake and Gales, 3; Charlestown, 12; 
Lamberton and Three Lakes, none; North Hero, 2, and Spring- 
dale, 14. The average value was $20.12, the highest being $20.91 
in Sherman and the lowest $19.28 in Springdale. Over three 
years old— Redwood Falls, 279; Swedes Forest, 32; Delhi, 32 
Sheridan, 28; North Hero, 28; New Avon, 41; Sherman, 52 
Brookville, 60; Sundown, 35; Springdale, 35; Willow Lake, 16 
Charlestown, 46; Lamberton, 58; Three Lakes, 11; Underwood, 8, 
and Gales, 9. The average value was $42.07, the highest being 
$43.56 and the lowest $40.08. 

There were 4,646 (as compared with 2,161 in 1873) cattle; 
1,256 (as compared with 837 in 1873) being under two years old; 
2,215 (as compared with 793 in 1873) being cows over two years 
old; 1,175 (as compared with 531 in 1873) being oxen and steers. 
They were divided as follows : Under two years — Redwood 
Falls, 335 ; Swedes Forest, 91 ; Sheridan, 68 ; New Avon, 55 ; Sher- 
man, 89 ; Brookville, 77 ; Sundown, 82 ; Willow Lake, 47 ; Charles- 
town, 90 ; Lamberton, 63 ; Delhi, 63 ; North Hero, 70 ; Springdale, 
35 ; Three Lakes, 22 ; Underwood, 37, and Gales, 32. The average 
value was $5.18, the highest being $5.77 in Three Lakes, the low- 
est $5 in New Avon, Brookville, Springdale and Underwood. 
Cows over two years — Redwood Falls, 580 ; Swedes Forest, 151 ; 
Sheridan, 98; New Avon, 110; Sherman, 140; Brookville, 207; 



268 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Sundown, 158 ; Charlestown, 158 ; Willow Lake, 71 ; Lamberton, 
124; Springdale, 124; North Hero, 113; Delhi, 74; Three Lakes, 
21 ; Underwood, 50, and Gales, 36. The average value was $11.67 
the highest being $12.69 in North Hero, and the lowest $11.17 in 
Gales. Oxen and steers — Redwood Falls, 319 ; Swedes Forest, 
102 ; Sheridan, 43 ; New Avon, 65 ; Sherman, 82 ; Brookville, 73 ; 
Sundown, 67 ; Willow Lake, 45 ; Charlestown, 69, and North Hero, 
69; Lamberton, 44; Springdale, 70; Delhi, 48; Three Lakes, 18; 
Underwood, 38, and Gales, 23. The average value was $16.82, 
the highest being $21.30 in Gales, and the lowest $13.81 in Lam- 
berton. 

The number of sheep was 1,560 (as compared with 425 in 
1873). They were divided as follows: Redwood Falls, 543 
Swedes Forest, 133 ; Sheridan, 1 ; New Avon, 142 ; Sherman, 5 
Three Lakes, 5; Underwood, 5; Brookville, 54; Sundown, 14 
Gales, 14; Willow Lake, 12; Charlestown, 438; Lamberton, 34 
North Hero, 32; Springdale, 28, and Delhi, 100. The average 
value was $1.47, the highest being $1.59 in New Avon and the 
lowest $1.00 in Sheridan and Sherman. 

In the county at this time there were 690 swine (as compared 
with 290 in 1873). They were divided as follows: Redwood 
Falls, 269 ; Swedes Forest, 43 ; Sheridan, 39 ; New Avon, 22 ; Sher- 
man, 25 ; Brookville, 50 ; Sundown, 54 ; Willow Lake, 27 ; Charles- 
town, 55 ; Lamberton, 19 ; North Hero, 20 ; Springdale, 16 ; Delhi, 
17; Three Lakes, 5; Underwood, 21 and Gales 8. The average 
value was $1.69, the highest being $3.75 in Gales and the lowest 
$1.11 in Sundown. 

There were 16 mules and asses in the county divided as fol- 
lows : Redwood Falls, 14, and Willow Lake, 2, the average value 
being $44.06. 

In spite of the serious setbacks caused by the grasshopper 
ravages, the county had steadily increased its agricultural en- 
deavors from 1873 to 1877, although the taxable area had been 
decreased. 

The number of horses under three years of age increased from 
139 in 1873 to 162 in 1877. In 1874 the number decreased to 124, 
jumped to 173 in 1875, and decreased to 147 in 1876. The horses 
over three years, cattle under two years, and cows over two years 
show a gradual increase. The number of oxen and steers, jumped 
from 531 in 1873 to 1,221 in 1876, and then dropped to 1,175 in 
1877. The number of sheep jumped from 670 in 1873 to 974 in 
1876 and then decreased to 560 in 1877. The number of swine 
jumped from 290 in 1873 to 785 in 1876, and then decreased to 
690 in 1877. 

The year 1878 marks the beginning of the period of rapid 
growth. 

Waterbury township had been organized since 1877, Swedes 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 269 

Forest still consisted of Swedes Forest and Kintire. Redwood 
Falls township still consisted of Honner, Vesta, Redwood Falls, 
Paxton, Granite Rock, Vail, Morgan, Johnsonville and Westline. 
During the period of 1878-1905, Johnsonville and Westline were 
organized in 1879, and Honner, Kintire, Morgan, Paxton, Vail, 
and Vesta were organized in 1880 and Granite Rock in 1889, al- 
though it had been taxed as a separate entity since 1880. 

In the county in 1878 there were 1,511 horses, 236 being under 
three years old, and 1,275 being over that age. They were divided 
as follows: Under three years old, Redwood Falls, 66; Swedes 
Forest, 13 ; Charlestown, 13 ; Sheridan, 8 ; New Avon, 9 ; Lamber- 
ton, 9 ; Sherman, 21 ; Brookville, 21 ; Sundown, 11 ; Willow Lake, 
3; Gales, 3; North Hero, 15; Springdale, 14; Three Lakes, 1; 
Delhi, 17; Underwood, 6, and Waterbury, 6. The average value 
was $23.30, the highest being $26.35 in Delhi and the lowest $22.85 
in Brookville. Over three years old : Redwood Falls, 425 ; 
Swedes Forest, 51; Sheridan, 39; New Avon, 37; Sherman, 43; 
Brookville, 93 ; Sundown, 61, and North Hero, 61 ; Willow Lake, 
28 ; Underwood, 28 ; Charlestown, 77 ; Springdale, 77 ; Lamberton, 
89; Three Lakes, 50; Delhi, 56; Gales, 44, and Waterbury, 16. 
The average value was $45.90. The highest being $47.50 in Red- 
wood Falls and the lowest, $43.85 in Sheridan. 

There were 6,008 cattle, 1,750 being under two years old, 2,465 
being cows over two years old, and 1,783 being oxen and steers. 
They were divided as follows : Under two years old, Redwood 
Falls, 397; Swedes Forest, 128; Sheridan, 83; New Avon, 84; 
North Hero, 84; Sherman, 77; Brookville, 141; Sundown, 124; 
Willow Lake, 86; Charlestown, 143; Lamberton, 89; Springdale, 
65; Three Lakes, 44; Delhi, 80; Underwood, 49; Gales, 48, and 
Waterbury, 28. The average value was $5.24, the highest being 
$5.90 in Gales and the lowest $4.75 in Brookville. Cows over two 
years old: Redwood Falls, 604; Swedes Forest, 148; Sheridan, 
106 ; New Avon, 97 ; Sherman, 108 ; Brookville, 246 ; Sundown, 
161 ; Willow Lakes, 90 ; Charlestown, 170 ; Lamberton, 154 ; North 
Hero, 135 ; Springdale, 145 ; Three Lakes, 46 ; Delhi, 111 ; Under- 
wood, 50; Gales, 59, and Waterbury, 35. The average value was 
$14, the highest being $14.80 in Brookville and the lowest $12.46 
in North Hero. Oxen and steers: Redwood Falls, 470; Swedes 
Forest, 134 ; Sheridan, 61 ; New Avon and North Hero, 81 ; Sher- 
man, 112; Brookville, 89; Springdale, 89; Sundown, 82; Willow 
Lake, 40; Charlestown, 102; Lamberton, 78; Three Lakes, 43; 
Delhi, 69; Underwood, 175; Gales, 53, and Waterbury, 24. The 
average value was $21.12, the highest being $37.13 in Charlestown 
and the lowest $19.34 in Sherman. 

The number of sheep was 2,598. They were divided as follows : 
Redwood Falls, 576 ; Swedes Forest, 129 ; Sheridan, 81 ; New Avon, 
371 ; Sherman, 28 ; Brookville, 97 ; Sundown, 25 ; Willow Lake, 26 ; 



270 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Charlestown, 420; Lamberton, 56; North Hero, 38; Springdale, 
161; Three Lakes, 11; Delhi, 442; Underwood, 5; Gales, 16; 
Waterbury, 116. The average value was $1.55, the highest being 
$1.79 in Delhi and the lowest $141 in Brookville. 

The swine numbered 714, divided as follows : Redwood Falls, 
172 ; Swedes Forest, 63 ; Springdale and Sheridan, 27 ; New Avon, 
20 ; Sherman, 19 ; Brookville, 45 ; Sundown, 41 ; Willow Lake, 26 ; 
Charlestown, 73; Lamberton, 55; North Hero, 46; Three Lakes, 
14; Delhi, 40; Underwood, 17; Gales, 12, and Waterbury, 17. 
The average value was $1.50, the highest being $1.80 in New Avon, 
the lowest $1.50. 

There were 31 mules and asses, divided as follows : Redwood 
Falls, 4; New Avon, 1; Brookville, 6; Willow Lake, 9; North 
Hero, 2; Springdale, 2; Three Lakes, 3, and Underwood, 4. The 
average value was $52.45, the highest being $54.50 in Underwood 
and the lowest $51.66 in Three Lakes. 

During the period of rapid growth, the agricultural progress 
of the county was remarkable, and an almost marvelous increase 
was seen in stock raising in the county. Up to the late eighties 
and early nineties, there were many large herds of steers in the 
county, some numbering as high as a thousand head. But about 
that time dairying began to assume more important aspects, 
and gradually the herds of steers became smaller and the herds 
of dairy cows larger. This was brought about by the taking up 
of all the land, and the cultivation of tracts that had hitherto 
been wild and open. 

Johnsonville and Westline first appear on the assessment rolls 
in 1879. In that year 30 people were assessed for personal taxes 
in Johnsonville and 24 in Westline. Honner, Kintire, Morgan, 
Paxton, Vail, Vesta, and Granite Rock (unorganized) first appear 
on the assesment rolls in 1880. In that year 51 people were 
assessed for personal taxes in Honner, 17 in Kintire, 18 in Morgan, 
56 in Paxton, 16 in Vail, 19 in Vesta, and 12 in Granite Rock 
(unorganized). 

The agricultural assessments in detail for Johnsonville and 
Westline in 1879, and Kintire, Honner, Morgan, Paxton, Vail, 
Vesta and Granite Rock (unorganized) in 1880 were as follows. 

Johnsonville. Horses, under three years old, 5; total value, 
$100 ; average value, $20. Three years old and over, 51 ; total 
value, $2,588; average value, $50.74. Cattle, under two years 
old, 44 ; average value, $5.20 ; total value, $229. Cows, 48 ; total 
value, 562; average value, $11.70. All other cattle two years 
old and over, 44 ; total value, $876 ; average value, $19.90. Sheep, 
35 ; total value, $53 ; average value, $1.51. Swine, 13 ; total value, 
$29; average value, $2.23. 

Westline. Horses, three years old and over, 37; total value, 
$1,859; average value, $50.24. Cattle, under two years old, 14; 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 271 

average value, $5.14 ; total value, $72. Cows, 33 ; total value, $388 ; 
average value, $11.75. All other cattle two years old and over, 
17 ; total value $338 ; average value, $19.88. Mules and asses, 7 ; 
total value, $360; average value, $51.42. Swine, 10; total value, 
$23; average value, $2.30. 

Honner. Horses, under three years old, 15; total value, $390; 
average value, $26.00. Three years old and over, 54; total value, 
$2,736; average value, $50.66. Cattle, under two years old, 27; 
average value, 6.22 ; total value, $168. Cows, 69 ; total value, $827 ; 
average value, $11.98. All other cattle two years old and over, 
12; total value, $356; average value, $29.66. Mules and asses, 
8; total value, $410; average value, $51.25. Sheep, 2; total value, 
$3; average value, $1.50. Swine, 21; total value, $60; average 
value, $2.86. 

Kintire. Horses, under three years old, 1; total value, $32; 
average value, $32. Three years old and over, 42; total value, 
$2,107; average value, $15.60. Cattle, under two years old, 42; 
average value, $6.00; total value, $252. Cows, 43; total value, 
$516; average value, $12.00. All other cattle two years old and 
over, 18; total value, $253; average value, $14.50. Mules and 
asses, 7; total value, $420; average value, $60.00. Sheep, 232; 
total value, $384; average value, $1.50. Swine, 11; total value, 
$11; average value, $1.00. 

Morgan. Horses, under three years old, 4 ; total value, $126 ; 
average value, $31.50. Three years old and over, 47; total value, 
$2,359; average value, $50.19. Cattle, under two years old, 26; 
total value, $186; average value, $7.15. Cows, 35; total value, 
$420; average value. $12.00. All other cattle two years old and 
over, 9 ; total value, $120 ; average value, $13.33. Mules and asses. 
2; total value, $100; average value, $50. Sheep, 10; total value, 
$15; average value, $1.50. Swine, 18; total value, $19; average 
value, $1.06. 

Paxton. Horses, under three years old, 10 ; total value, $172 ; 
average value, $17.20. Three years old and over, 117; total value, 
$5,874; average value, $50.20. Cattle, under two years old, 64; 
average value, $7.73; total value, $495. Cows, 105; total value, 
$1,265; average value, $12.04. All other cattle, two years old and 
over, 29; total value, $436; average value, $15.03. Mules and 
asses, 11; total value, $455; average value, $41.36. Sheep, 180; 
total value, $275; average value, $1.53. Swine, 52; total value, 
$85; average value, $1.63. 

Vail. Horses, under three years old, 1 ; total value, $32 ; 
average value, $32. Three years old and over, 26; total value, 
$1,302; average value, $50.07. Cattle, under two years old, 48; 
average value, $6.00; total value, $288. Cows, 63; total value, 
$759; average value, $12.04. All other cattle, two years old and 
over, 16; total value, $297; average value, $18.56. Sheep, 42; 



272 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

total value, $62 ; average value, $1.48. Swine, 18 ; total value, $44 ; 
average value, $2.44. 

Vesta. Horses, under three years old, 3; total value, $78; 
average value, $26. Three years old and over, 24; total value, 
$1,202; average value, $50.08. Cattle, under two years old, $2; 
average value, $6.00; total volue, $12.00. All other cattle, two 
years old and over, 24; total value, $366; average value, $15.25. 
Mules and asses, 2 ; total value, $20 ; average value, $10.00. Sheep 
202; total value, $304; average value, $1.50. Swine, 12; total 
value, $18; average value, $1.50. 

Granite Rock. Horses, under three years old, 1 ; total value, 
$26 ; average value, $26 ; three years old and over, 20 ; total value, 
$1,009; average value, $50.45. Cattle, under two years old, 2; 
total value, $12 ; average value, $6.00. Cows, 7 ; total value, $84 ; 
average value, $12. All other cattle, three years old and over, 5 ; 
total value, $123 ; average value, $24.60. Mules and asses, 2 ; total 
value, $100 ; average value, $50. Swine, 2 ; total value, $3 ; average 
value, $1.50. 

The year 1905 marked the close of the period of rapid growth. 
The figures for that year are as follows : 

Horses, Mules and Asses. (Note — In 1879 the figures do not 
include mules and asses, the total in the county at that time being 
but 31, with an average value of $52.45.) Total, 14,177 (as com- 
pared with 1,511 in 1878 and 5,979 in 1890). Under three years 
1,986 (as compared with 236 in 1878 and 1,279 in 1890). Three 
years and over, 10,173 (as compared with 1,275 in 1878 and 4,701 
in 1890). (Note— The 32 fine bred horses in the county in 1905 
are not included in the age statistics.) One year old, 985 (as 
compared with 680 in 1890 and no record in 1878) . Two years old, 
1,001 (as compared with 598 in 1890 and no record in 1878). 
Stallions, fine bred mares and race horses, 32. (No record of fine 
bred horses in 1878 and 1890.) 

Cattle. One year old, 6,474 (as compared with 4,736 in 1890 
and 1,750, given as under two, in 1878). Two years old, 4,274 (as 
compared with 3,552 in 1890 and no record in 1878) . Cows, 13,568 
(as compared with 8,383 in 1890, and 2,465 given as cows two 
years old and over, 1878). All other cattle three years old and 
over, 788 (as compared with 569 in 1890). There is no direct 
comparison of "all other cattle three years old and over" for 1878, 
as the figure for that year is for "all other cattle two years old 
and over." In 1905 there were no oxen in the county (as com- 
pared with 222 in 1890, there being no record of oxen in 1878). 
The total cattle in the county in 1905 was 25,104 (as compared 
with 17,240 in 1890 and 5,998 in 1878). 

Sheep, 3,821 (as compared with 8,028 in 1890 and 2,598 in 
1878). 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 273 

Swine, 11,869 (as compared with 2,729 in 1890 and 714 in 
1878). 

The total valuation at which agricultural personal property 
was assessed in Redwood county in 1905 was as follows : Horses, 
$384,526; cattle, $242,521; sheep, $5,711; swine, $35,507. 

The average valuation at which agricultural personal property 
was assessed in Redwood county in 1905 was as follows : Horses, 
$79.07; cattle, $10.07; sheep, $1.47; swine, $2.99. 

The year 1906 marked the beginning of the modern period. 

In the county at this time there were a total of 12,314 horses, 
mules and asses; one year old, 1,007; two years old, 955; three 
years old and over, 10,322 ; fine bred horses, 30. 

Cattle. One year old, 6,311 ; two years old, 4,270 ; cows, 13,654 ; 
all other cattle, 528 ; total, 24,758 ; sheep, 4,372. Swine, 1,158. 

In 1916 there are in the county a'total of 18,566 horses, mules 
and asses (as compared with 12,314 in 1906). Under one year, 
1,086 (rural 1,052, urban 34) ; one year and under two years, 
1,576 (rural 1,511, urban 65). Two years and under three years, 
1,551 (rural 1,477, urban 74). Three years and over, 14,286 (rural 
13,286, urban 1,000). Stallions, fine bred mares and horses, 67 
(rural 42, urban 25). 

There are 38,736 cattle (as compared with 24,758 in 1906). 
Under one year old, 9,647 (rural 9,482, urban 165). One year old 
and under two years, 8,313 (rural 8,151, urban 162). Two years 
and under three years, 4,804 (rural 4,745, urban 59). Cows, 
14,953 (rural 14,419, urban 534). Bulls, 811 (rural 799, urban 12). 
All other cattle three years old and over, 208, all rural. 

Sheep, 1,917 (as compared with 4,372 in 1906). 

Swine, 11,581 (as compared with 19,480 in 1906). Of the 11,581 
there are 18,601 in the rural district. 

There are 2,339 dogs in the county of which 2,027 are in the 
country. 

Authority. The assessment rolls of Redwood county in the 
custody of Redwood county auditor. 



274 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 



CHAPTER XXIV. 
DITCHING. 

Artificial drainage through the medium of ditching is one of 
the means by which the presence of mankind in Redwood county 
has produced a marked change in the county's physical char- 
acteristics. 

The surface of the county, for the most part, consists of level 
or gently rolling prairie. The depressions are often filled with 
water, and in wet seasons these sloughs and swamps increase to 
the size and aspect of small lakes. The natural drainage is inade- 
quate and will continue so until the progress of the years has 
eroded deeper valleys for the streams. Artificial drainage is 
therefore the only solution of the problem. 

Even in this regard, the solution is often difficult, as the slope 
of the land is sometimes insufficient to provide a suitable "drop" 
for the water gathered in the outlets. 

Until 1906 there were no public ditches in Redwood county. 
A few trenches had been built for short distances beside some of 
the country roads, and here and there a farmer had dug a small 
ditch to drain a pool, or had laid a few tile in an effort to provide 
drainage for his barnyard. 

In 1904, the county commissioners were asked to provide for 
the draining of the vicinity of Willow Lake. The petition was de- 
nied, on the ground that the cost would be greater than the 



Then came 1905, with its excessive rains which continued for 
several years thereafter, during which many hitherto productive 
farms were given over to the muskrats and wild ducks. The need 
for artificial drainage being thus made imperative, a petition for 
a ditch in Sundown and Three Lakes township was granted in 
1905, and the work started in 1906. 

Since then the ditching has continued on an extensive scale. 
Johnsonville, which is drained by the Cottonwood and by Sleepy 
Eye creek, has no ditches. A petition for one is pending. Lam- 
berton, drained by the Cottonwood, has no ditches. Springdale, 
drained by numerous branches of the Cottonwood, has no ditches, 
but a petition is pending. Honner, a small township on the Minne- 
sota, has no ditches. Charlestown, drained by the Cottonwood, 
is touched by the artificial drainage system. Swedes Forest, lying 
along the Minnesota, is also touched slightly by the system. The 
other townships are well provided with ditches, though in some 
of them a still further development of the system is desirable. 

Some of the ditches of Redwood county are open dredge 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 275 

ditches. Some are entirely of tile. Others are a combination of 
tile and open ditches. One ditch, County Ditch No. 5, is a plow 
ditch, the only one of the kind in the county. It was made with 
a ditch plow to which were attached from eight to twenty horses. 

The amount thus far expended in Redwood county for ditch- 
ing is $665,089.77. This has been paid out through the years as 
follows : 1906, $332.28 ; 1907, $15,649.10 ; 1908, $85,788.71 ; 1909, 
$93,585.37; 1910, $80,583.00; 1911, $68,380.93; 1912, $31,555.95; 
1913, $51,909.35 ; 1914, $63,692.06 ; 1915, $84,605.32; half year end- 
ing July 31, 1916, $89,007.70. 

The ditches of the county have been inaugurated by two plans, 
the county ditches under the supervision of the county commis- 
sioners, and the judicial ditches under the supervision of the 
District count. The latter ditches are for the most part those ex- 
tending into two or more counties, though some of them are en- 
tirely in one county. Owing to the fact that the judicial ditches 
are numbered in the counties in which the petition is presented 
to the court there is some duplication of numbers in the judicial 
ditches of Redwood county, this duplication sometimes resulting 
in more or less confusion. 

So extensive has the ditching project in Redwood county be- 
come that the county commissioners in the summer of 1916 
appointed an engineer to take the matter in hand. 

County Ditch No. 1 was first projected in a petition drawn up 
April 15, 1904, and presented to the board of county commissioners 
on July 11, 1904, as the result of which an engineer was appointed 
to make an accurate survey of the line of a main ditch, outlet, 
and branch lines of a ditch through Willow Lake. June 20, 1905, 
the petition was denied. 

County Ditch No. 2 is located in Sundown and Three Lakes 
townships. The petition, dated June 27, 1905, and filed on July 
14, 1905, was presented to the board of county commissioners on 
August 21, 1905. It was ordered surveyed and the viewers were 
appointed on that day. The petition was granted and the order 
establishing the ditch was issued on January 4, 1906. Open. 

County Ditch No. 3 is located in Three Lakes and Paxton 
townships. The petition, dated June 16, 1906, was presented to 
the county board on August 20, 1906. On June 21, 1907, the 
report of the engineer and the viewers was accepted, and the 
petition was granted. This ditch was completed October 8, 1908, 
approved on November 30, 1909. On May 11, 1916, a petition for 
repairs was filed. Open and tile. 

County Ditch No. 4 is located in the townships of New Avon, 
Redwood Falls and Paxton, and the village of Redwood Falls. 
The petition was presented to the board on September 26, 1906. 
This ditch was completed September 23, 1908. On August 29, 
1910, this ditch was inspected and final payments were made, it 



276 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

being found that the ditch was entirely satisfactory. Applications 
for repairs on this have been twice dismissed. Open and tile. 

County Ditch No. 5 is located in North Hero township. The 
petition, dated August 31, 1906, was presented to the board on 
November 2, 1906. On March 15, 1907, the report of the surveyors 
and viewers was declared void. The route of the ditch was 
changed a little and then the board proceeded to vote on granting 
the petition as corrected. The resolution was adopted by unani- 
mous vote. Open. This is the only "plow" ditch in the county. 
County Ditch No. 6 is located in the township of Paxton. The 
petition dated June 12, 1907, was presented to the board on 
July 8, 1907. On October 25, 1907, the report of the survey- 
ors and viewers was accepted and the petition was granted. 
August 10, 1912, all the open work on County Ditch No. 6 was 
accepted after it had been inspected by the county board. The 
tile work was accepted on December 7, 1912. Open and tile. 

County Ditch No. 7 is located in Willow Lake township. The 
petition, dated June 27, 1907, was presented to the county board 
on July 27, 1907. Viewers were appointed. The petition was 
granted January 18, 1908, after the reports of the surveyor and 
viewers had been accepted. On July 20, 1916, a petition for re- 
pairs was filed. Open. 

County Ditch No. 8 was to be in the townships of Willow 
Lake and Charlestown. The petition was presented to the board 
on August 9, 1907. A surveyor and viewers were appointed. The 
petition was rejected but the proposed line of this ditch was made 
a part of Ditch No. 7. 

County Ditch No. 9 is .located in Three Lakes, Morgan and 
Sherman townships. The petition, dated August 10, 1907, and 
filed on August 12, 1907, was presented on September 10, 1907. 
Viewers were appointed on September 11, 1907. The reports 
were accepted and the petition granted June 26, 1908. The order 
establishing the ditch was issued on June 27, 1908. On July 11, 
1910 this ditch was completed. On July 14, 1913, it was ap- 
proved and accepted. On November 4, 1908, a petition to have 
the ditch dug deeper was filed and later, on June 22, 1915, a peti- 
tion to have the ditch repaired was filed. Viewers for the latter 
were appointed on March 29, 1916. Open and tile. 

County Ditch No. 10 is located in New Avon and Three Lakes 
townships. A petition, dated August 10, 1907, was presented 
September 16, 1907. The engineer's and viewers' reports were 
accepted and the petition was granted April 14, 1908. This ditch 
was finished Nov. 11, 1908. This ditch was approved with its 
branches on November 4, 1910. A petition for repairs was filed 
on May 11, 1916. Open and tile. 

County Ditch No. 11 is located in Sheridan township. The 
petition was dated and filed on June 14, 1909, and was presented 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 277 

to the board on July 8, 1909. Viewers and a surveyor were ap- 
pointed. The reports were accepted and the petition was granted 
and the order establishing the ditch was issued on May 3, 1910. 
This ditch was approved on November 25, 1910. Tile. 

County Ditch No. 12 is located in the townships of Delhi and 
Kintire. The petition, dated and filed June 14, 1909, was presented 
to the county board on July 9, 1909, and the viewers were ap- 
pointed on that day. The reports were accepted and the petition 
was granted on May 3, 1910, the order establishing the ditch being 
issued on the same date. This ditch was finished July 10, 1911, 
and approved by the board. The final certificate of dredge work 
was accepted on August 26, 1915. Open and tile. 

County Ditch No. 13 is located in the township of Granite 
Rock. The petition, dated and filed June 19, 1909, was presented 
to the board July 22, 1909. Viewers were appointed on that day. 
On September 16, 1909, the petition was granted and the order 
establishing the ditch was issued. This ditch was finished and 
approved on September 21, 1911. Open and tile. 

County Ditch No. 14 is located in Morgan and Sherman town- 
ships. The petition, dated March 31, 1910, and filed on April 5, 
1910, was presented to the board on May 3, 1910. The viewers 
were appointed on that same day. On July 11, 1910, the reports 
were accepted and the petition was granted. The order estab- 
lishing the ditch was issued on July 12, 1910. This ditch was com- 
pleted and accepted on Sept. 21, 1911. A petition for repairs 
was filed on May 11, 1916. Open and tile. 

County Ditch No. 15 is located in Vesta township. The peti- 
tion, dated May 9, 1910, and filed on May 11, 1910, was presented 
to the county board on June 10, 1910. Viewers were appointed 
on that day. The petition was granted on August 29, 1910, and 
the order establishing the ditch was issued on the same day. 
This ditch was accepted on November 27, 1911. Tile. 

County Ditch No. 16 is located in Brookville. The petition, 
dated June 9, 1910, and filed June 13, 1910, was presented to the 
board on July 11, 1910. Viewers were appointed on July 13, 
1910. The petition was granted on October 21, 1910, and the order, 
establishing the ditch was issued on the same day. Tile. 

County Ditch No. 17 is located in the township of Redwood 
Falls. The petition, dated Jan. 24, 1911, and filed on May 15, 1911, 
was presented to the board on June 12, 1911. Viewers were 
appointed on that day. The petition was granted on July 8, 1912, 
and the order establishing the ditch was issued on July 17, 1912. 
The petition was accepted, after being inspected, on Dec. 6, 1912. 
Tile. 

County Ditch No. 18 is located in New Avon township. The 
petition was dated July 15, 1912, and presented to the board on 
Aug. 10, 1912, and viewers were appointed on that same date. 



278 HISTOEY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

On Oct. 30, 1912, the reports were accepted and the petition was 
granted. This ditch was approved and paid for, on Jan. 9, 1914. 
Tile. A petition for repairs was filed on Aug. 27, 1915, and the 
viewers were appointed on March 28, 1916. The petition for 
repairs was dismissed Aug. 15, 1916. 

County Ditch No. 19 is located in the township of Kintire. 
The petition, dated March 24, 1914, and filed on April 23, 1914, 
was presented to the board on June 3, 1914, and the viewers were 
appointed on the same date. The order establishing the ditch 
was issued on Aug. 25, 1914, and the ditch was accepted on 
December 3, 1914. Tile. 

County Ditch No. 20 is located in townships of Delhi, Kintire 
and Swedes Forest. The petition was filed on Dee. 2, 1914. 
Viewers were appointed on Jan. 8, 1915, and the order establish- 
ing the ditch was issued on July 14, 1915. Tile. Under con- 
struction. 

County Ditch No. 21 is located in Vail and Granite Rock town- 
ships. The petition was filed on June 1, 1915, viewers were ap- 
pointed on July 13, 1915, and the order establishing the ditch 
was issued on March 8, 1916. Tile. Under construction. 

County Ditch No. 22 is asked in Paxton, Redwood Falls and 
Three Lakes townships. The petition was filed on June 1, 1915. 
Viewers were appointed on July 13, 1915. No report has yet been 
rendered. 

County Ditch No. 23 is located in New Avon, Sundown and 
Three Lakes townships. The petition was filed on June 29, 1915. 
Viewers were appointed on July 27, 1915, and the order establish- 
ing the ditch was issued on Jan. 13, 1916. Tile. Under con- 
struction. 

County Ditch No. 24 is asked for New Avon, Three Lakes, 
Sundown, Morgan and Brookville townships. The petition was 
filed on July 6, 1915. Viewers were appointed on August 13, 1915 
No report has yet been rendered. 

County Ditch No. 25 is asked for Three Lakes and Sundown 
townships. The petition was filed on July 12, 1915. Viewers were 
appointed on August 13, 1915, and the order, establishing the 
"West Main and branches thereto, was issued on June 8, 1916. 
The contract has not as yet been let. 

County Ditch No. 26 is asked for New Avon, Willow Lake, 
Sundown and Three Lakes townships. The petition was filed 
on July 12, 1915. Viewers were appointed on Aug. 13, 1915. The 
ditch was ordered Aug. 18, 1916. 

County Ditch No. 27 is located in Paxton township. The pe- 
tition was filed on July 12, 1915. Viewers were appointed on 
Aug. 13, 1915, and the order establishing the ditch, was issued 
on Nov. 5, 1916. Tile. Under construction. 

County Ditch No. 28 is located in North Hero township. The 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 279 

petition was filed on July 15, 1915. Viewers were appointed on 
Aug. 13, 1915, and the order establishing the ditch was issued 
on May 11, 1916. Tile. Under construction. 

County Ditch No. 29 is located in Waterbury township. The 
petition was filed on July 15, 1915. Viewers were appointed on 
Aug. 13, 1915, and the order establishing the ditch was issued 
on November 5, 1915. Tile. Under construction. 

County Ditch No. 30 is asked for New Avon, Sheridan and 
Vail townships. The petition was filed on July 20, 1915. Viewers 
were appointed on August 25, 1915, and the order establishing 
the ditch was issued on May 9, 1916. The contract is not yet let. 

County Ditch No. 31 was asked for Vail and Sheridan town- 
ships. The petition was filed on Aug. 21, 1915. Viewers were ap- 
pointed on Sept. 24, 1915. June 9, 1916, at the request of the 
petitioners the proceedings were dropped. 

County Ditch No. 32 is located in Springdale and Gales town- 
ships. The petition was filed on Aug. 30, 1915. Viewers were ap- 
pointed on September 24, 1915, and the order establishing the 
ditch was issued on January 13, 1916. Tile. Under construction. 

County Ditch No. 33 is asked for Vesta township. The petition 
was filed on Oct. 19, 1915. Viewers were appointed on November 
26, 1915. This ditch is ordered but not let. 

County Ditch No. 34 is asked for New Avon township. The pe- 
tition was filed on Oct. 22, 1915. Viewers were appointed on 
Nov. 26, 1915. The matter of this ditch will be considered later, 
as there is still considerable doubt over the question of an outlet. 

County Ditch No. 35 is asked for Vesta township. The peti- 
tion was filed on October 26, 1915. Viewers were appointed on 
Dec. 15, 1915, and the order establishing the ditch was issued on 
June 9, 1916. The contract is not yet let. This ditch replaces 
Judicial Ditches Nos. 10 and 19. 

County Ditch No. 36 was asked for Vail township. The peti- 
tion was filed on Oct. 26, 1915. Viewers were appointed on 
Dec. 15, 1915. Dismissed. This marks the third attempt to estab- 
lish this ditch, the dismissed petitions for Judicial Ditches Nos. 
11 and 20 covering the same territory. 

County Ditch No. 37 is located in Granite Rock township. 
The petition was filed on Nov. 3, 1915. Viewers were appointed 
on Dec. 15, 1915, and the order establishing the ditch was issued 
on May 11, 1916. Tile. Under construction. 

County Ditch No. 38 is asked for Sundown and Willow Lake 
townships. The petition was filed Dec. 18, 1915. Viewers were 
appointed on January 13, 1916. No report has yet been rendered. 

County Ditch No. 39 is asked for Kintire township. The peti- 
tion was filed on May 8, 1916. Viewers were appointed on June 9, 
1916. The viewers have not yet reported. 

Tile Ditch No. 40 is asked for Delhi township. The petition 



280 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

was filed on May 15, 1916. Viewers were appointed on June 8, 
1916. The viewers have not yet reported. 

Tile Ditch No. 41 is asked for Springdale township. The peti- 
tion was filed on May 22, 1916. Viewers were appointed July 5, 
1916. The viewers have not as yet reported. 

County Ditch No. 42 is asked for North Hero township. The 
petition was filed on June 12, 1916. Viewers were appointed on 
July 14, 1916. No report has yet been rendered. 

County Ditch No. 43 is asked for Johnsonville, North Hero and 
Springdale townships. The petition was filed on July 3, 1916. 
Engineers and viewers were appointed Aug. 15, 1916. 

Judicial Ditch No. 1 of Brown and Redwood counties is lo- 
cated in Three Lakes, Morgan and Brookville townships and in 
Brown county. The order establishing the ditch was issued June 
25, 1908. The contract for dredge work was let Aug. 19, 1908, 
and for the tile work May 17, 1910. Nov. 27, 1911, the ditch was 
finished and approved. Tile. 

Judicial Ditch No. 1 of Redwood and Brown counties is lo- 
cated in Morgan township and in Brown county. It was estab- 
lished by an order of Aug. 3, 1908. The contract was let April 19, 
1910. Open and tile. 

Judicial Ditch No. 2 of Redwood county is located in New 
Avon and Willow Lake townships. The order establishing the 
ditch was issued Jan. 9, 1909. The contract for dredge work was 
let March 5, 1909, and for tile work April 12, 1909. Nov. 30, 
1909, the ditch was inspected and approved. The tile work on this 
ditch was finished July 12, 1911. Tile and open. This ditch will 
be amalgamated in county Ditch No 26, ordered by the county 
commissioners Aug. 18, 1916. 

Judicial Ditch No. 3 of Lyon, Yellow Medicine and Redwood 
counties is located in Underwood township, and Lyon and Yellow 
Medicine counties. The order establishing the ditch was issued 
March 11, 1908. Open. 

Judicial Ditch No. 3 of Redwood county is located in Sundown 
township. The order establishing the ditch was issued May 6, 
1908. The contract for tile work on this ditch was let May 23, 
1908, and for plow work was let June 11, 1908. Open and tile. 
The territory embraced in this ditch area will be drained eventu- 
ally as a part of County Ditch No. 24. 

Judicial Ditch No. 4 of Redwood county is located in Water- 
bury township. The order establishing the ditch was issued 
Sept. 10, 1908. The contract for construction of ditch was let 
March 2, 1909. Tile. 

Judicial Ditch No. 5 of Brown and Redwood counties is pro- 
jected in Brookville township and Brown county. The petition 
was filed Sept. 24, 1915. Open. The engineers have not as yet> 
reported on this ditch. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 281 

Judicial Ditch No. 5 of Redwood county is located in New 
Avon and Redwood Falls townships. The order establishing the 
ditch was issued May 1, 1909. The contract for construction of 
the ditch was let March 2, 1910. May 14, 1912, the open work on 
this ditch was approved and paid for. 

Judicial Ditch No. 6 of Redwood county is located in Redwood 
Falls townships. The order establishing the ditch was issued 
May 3, 1909. The contract for the construction of the ditch was ' 
let Aug. 5, 1909. Tile. 

Judicial Ditch No. 7 of Redwood county is located in the 
township of Willow Lake. The order establishing the ditch "was 
issued May 4, 1909. The contract was let July 13, 1909. Nov. 
30, 1909, this ditch was inspected and approved. Tile. 

Judicial Ditch No. 8 of Redwood and Yellow Medicine counties 
was to be in Underwood township and Yellow Medicine county. 
The petition was filed May 19, 1909. Dismissed. 

Judicial Ditch No. 8 of Lyon and Redwood counties was to 
be in Gales township and Lyon county. The petition was filed 
Jan. 20, 1910. Dismissed. 

Judicial Ditch No. 9 of Redwood county is located in Gales 
township. The order establishing the ditch was issued Jan. 12, 

1911. Tile. 

Judicial Ditch No. 10 of Redwood county was asked for Vail 
township. The petition was filed Nov. 9, 1911. The action was 
dismissed. County Ditch No. 36 was later projected in the same 
territory but was dismissed. 

Judicial Ditch No. 11 of Redwood county was asked for Vesta 
township. The petition was filed Nov. 9, 1911. Dismissed. 
County Ditch No. 35 will cover the same territory. 

Judicial Ditch No. 11 of Redwood and Lyon counties is located 
in townships 111-40 and 110-40 in Lyon, and Gales and Westline 
in Redwood. The order establishing the ditch was issued on 
Dec. 3, 1915. 

Judicial Ditch No. 12 of Redwood and Lyon counties is located 
in Gales and Amiret townships. The petition was filed on June 3, 

1912. On Oct. 13, 1913, the ditch was approved and ordered paid 
for. Tile. 

Judicial Ditch No. 13 of Lyon and Redwood counties will enter 
Springdale township and Lyon county. The petition was pre- 
sented Dec. 27, 1915, and the viewers report rendered July 1, 1916. 
Action is still pending. 

Judicial Ditch No. 13 of Redwood county is located in Vail 
township. The petition was filed on Dec. 22, 1913, and the order 
of court establishing the ditch was issued on September 18, 1914. 
Tile. 

Judicial Ditch No. 14 of Lyon and Redwood counties is in 
Lyon county and Gales township. The petition was presented 



282 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

March 27, 1916, and the engineers appointed July 29, 1916. Action 
is still pending. 

Judicial Ditch No. 14 of Redwood and Lyon counties is in 
Lyon county and Westline township. The petition was filed on 
Dec. 24, 1913. The order of court establishing the ditch was issued 
on January 13, 1915. Open and tile. Now under construction. 

Judicial Ditch No. 15 of Redwood and Lyon counties is in 
Lyon county and Westline township. The petition was filed on 
March 23, 1915, and the order establishing the ditch was issued 
on March 11, 1916. Open and tile. 

Judicial Ditch No. 16 of Redwood county is located in New 
Avon and Willow Lake townships. The petition was filed on 
March 23, 1915, and the order establishing the ditch was issued 
on January 18, 1916. Tile. Now under construction. 

Judicial Ditch No. 17 of Redwood and Brown counties will be 
in Morgan township and Brown county. The petition was filed 
on May 4, 1915, and the order establishing the ditch was issued 
on July 15, 1916. Open and tile. Ordered but not let. 

Judicial Ditch No. 18 of Redwood and Brown counties will 
be in Morgan township and Brown county. The petition was filed 
on May 14, 1915. The order establishing the ditch was issued on 
July 15, 1916. Open and tile. Ordered but not let. 

Judicial Ditches Nos. 19 and 20 of Redwood county. Petition 
for Judicial Ditches Nos. 10 and 11 were dismissed on a techni- 
cality. Petitions for Judicial Ditches Nos. 19 and 20 were then 
filed covering the same territory. The judge refused to grant the 
petition, the policy of the court being to leave ditches wholly in 
one county in the hands of the commissioners. Petitions were 
later presented for County Ditches Nos. 35 and 36, covering the 
same territory. Ditch 35 will be built, while the petition for Ditch 
36 was dismissed. 

Judicial Ditch No. 21 of Redwood and Yellow Medicine coun- 
ties. The petition was filed on February 4, 1916. Dismissed. 

Judicial Ditch No. 22 of Redwood and Lyon Counties is asked 
for sections 19 and 30 of Gales and touching Lyon county. The 
petition was filed on June 28, 1916. Action is still pending. 

Authority. Records of the county commissioners' proceedings 
(manuscript) in the custody of the county auditor of Redwood 
county. 

Annual financial statements of Redwood county (printed 
pamphlets). 

Ditching records of Redwood county (manuscript) in the 
custody of the county auditor of Redwood county. 

Personal testimony of L. P. Larson, county auditor of Redwood 
county. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 



CHAPTER XXV. 
PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS 

The physician, especially in a pioneer community, comes more 
intimately in contact with the social life of the people than any 
other man. He sees household life as it is without the veneer that 
is often put on for other visitors. His advice as to sanitation of 
the home and surroundings is acted upon. In the early days he, 
the preacher, the teacher and the lawyer were the only highly 
educated men in the community He was a leader in intellect 
and public opinion, as well as the healer of bodies and minds. 

A great writer has said: "Men most nearly resemble the 
gods when they afford health to their fellow-men." In an age 
when, in the combat of man against man, and nation against 
nation, destruction is rife through the world, it is insipiration to 
pay tribute to those devoted souls who are laboring to preserve 
mankind and bring it to the highest degree of physical efficiency. 

Jenner, Pasteur and Lister are more to be honored than all 
the great warriors. 

"The first anaesthetic has done more for the real happiness of 
mankind than all the philosophers from Socrates to Mills. Society 
laurels the soldier and the philosopher, and practically ignores the 
physician except in the hour when it needs him to minister to its 
physical ills. Few remember his labors, for what Sir Thomas 
Browne said three hundred years ago is surely true: "The 
iniquity of oblivion blindly scattereth her poppy and deals with 
the memory of men without distinction to merit to perpetuity." 

"Medicine is the most cosmopolitan of the three great 'learned' 
professions. Medicine never built a prison or lit a fagot, never 
incited men to battle or crucified anyone. Saint and sinner, 
white, black, rich and poor, are equal and alike when they cross 
the sacred portals of the temple of ^sculapius." No other secu- 
lar profession has ever reached such a consciousness of duties 
which it corporately owes to the rest of the world. What are 
the principles which a profession, more profuse in its disinter- 
ested charities than any other profession in the world, has estab- 
lished for its guidance? 

It was about 2,300 years ago that the practitioners of the art 
of healing began to take an oath, emphasizing responsibilities 
which the nobility and holiness of the art imposed upon them. 
Hippocrates, forever to be revered, gave the oath his name. When 
a Greek physician took the Hippocratie oath, and a graduate 
of the modern medical school takes it, the act is one not only 
of obligation for himself, but of recognition of a great benefactor 
of mankind. The Hippocratie oath assumes that when a man 



284 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

has learned the art of restoring the sick to health he has passed 
into a realm in which the rules of personal selfishness are im- 
mediately abridged, if not expunged; and he is received in a 
system of principles and rules governing all licensed physicians, 
and enforced and respected by high-minded and cultured gentle- 
men — a standard of professional honor so sacred and inviolate 
that no graduate or regular practitioner will ever presume or 
dare to violate it. 

Robert Louis Stevenson, seeing the life of the medical man 
only from without, was not far wrong when he spoke of the 
modern scientific medical man as probably the noblest figure of 
the age. The noble and exalted character of the ancient profes- 
sion of medicine is surpassed by no sister science in the mag- 
nificence of its gifts. Reflecting upon its purity, beneficence and 
grandeur, it must be accorded to be the noblest of professions. 
Though the noblest of professions, it is the meanest of trades. 
The true physician will make his profession no trade, but will 
be accurate in diagnosis and painstaking in prescribing. He will 
allow no prejudice nor theory to interfere with the relief of 
human suffering and the saving of human life ; and will lay under 
contribution every source of information, be it humble or ex- 
alted, that can be made useful in the cure of disease. He will 
be kind to the poor, sympathetic with the sick, ethical toward 
medical colleagues, and courteous toward all men. 

The true physician is he who has a proper conception and 
estimation of the real character of his profession; whose intel- 
lectual and moral fitness gives weight, standing and character 
in the consideration and estimation of society and the public at 
large. His privileges and powers for good or for evil are great; 
in fact, no other profession, calling or vocation in this life occu- 
pies such a delicate relation to the human family. 

There is a tremendous developing and educating power in 
medical work. The medical man is almost the only member of 
the community who does not make money out of his important 
discoveries. It is a point of honor with him to allow the whole 
world to profit by his researches when he finds a new remedy 
for disease. The greatest and best medical and surgical discov- 
eries and inventions have been free gifts to suffering humanity 
the moment their value was demonstrated. The reward of the 
physician is in the benefit which the sick and helpless receive, 
and in the gratitude, which should not be stinted, of the com- 
munity at large. Medical men are not angels; they are, in fact, 
very human creatures with hard work to do, and often many 
mouths to feed ; but there is a strain of benevolence in all their 
work. From the beginning they are taught a doctrine of help- 
fulness to others, and are made to think that their life-work 
should not be one in which every service must receive its pecun- 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 285 

iary reward. The physician is a host in himself, a natural leader 
among his fellowmen, a center of influence for the most prac- 
tical good, an efficient helper in times of direct need, a trusted 
and honest citizen. What more can any prophet ask than honor 
in his own country and a daily welcome among his own friends? 

It does not take long for the waves of oblivion to close over 
those who have taken a most prominent and active part in the 
affairs of the day. The life of the pioneer doctor is no exception 
to this law, for, as Dr. John Browne tells us, "It is the lot of the 
successful medical practitioner to be invaluable when alive, and 
to be forgotten soon after he is dead ; and this is not altogether 
or chiefly from any special ingratitude or injustice on the part 
of mankind, but from the very nature of the case." However, 
the pioneer physician still lives in memory of many of us, though 
he is now more rare as an individual than in the years gone by, 
and is gradually passing out of existence. 

The history, written and unwritten, of the pioneer physician 
in Redwood county, as elsewhere, presents him to view as working 
out the destiny of the wilderness, hand in hand with the other 
forces of civilization for the common good. He was an integral 
part of the primitive social fabric. As such he shared the man- 
ners, the customs, and the ambitions of his companions, and he, 
with them, was controlled by the forces which determine the com- 
mon destiny. The chief concern of himself and companions was 
materially engaged with the serious problem of existence. The 
struggle to survive was, at its best, a competition with nature. 
Hard winters, poor roads were the chief impediments. Only 
rough outlines remain of the heroic and adventurous side of the 
pioneer physician's long, active and honored life. The imagina- 
tion cannot, unaided by the facts, picture the primitive condi- 
tions he had to contend with. Long and dreary rides, by day 
and night, in summer's heat and winter's cold, through snow 
and mud and rain, was his common lot. He trusted himself to 
the mercy of the elements, crossed unbridged streams, made his 
way through uncut forests, and traveled the roadless wilderness. 
He spent one-fifth of his life in his conveyance, and in some cases 
traveled as many as two hundred thousand miles in the same. 

Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes has graphically described the old 
doctor's daily routine: "Half a dollar a visit — drive, drive, 
drive all day ; get up in the night and harness your own horse — 
drive again ten miles in a snowstorm; shake powders out of a 
vial — drive back again, if you don't happen to be stuck in a 
drift; no home, no peace, no continuous meals, no unbroken sleep, 
no Sunday, no holiday, no social intercourse, but eternal jog, jog, 
jog in a sulky." 

He always responded to the call of the poor, and gave freely 
his services to those who could not pay without hardships. Who 



286 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

can narrate the past events in the life of such a man ? His deeds 
were "written upon the tablet of loving and grateful hearts, 
and the hearts are now dust. The long and exhausting rides 
through storm, or mud, or snow; the exposure to contagions; 
the patient vigils by the bedside of pain; the kindly deeds of 
charity; the reassuring messages to the despondent; the shield- 
ing of the innocent; the guarding of secrets; the numberless 
self-abnegations that cannot be tabulated, and are soon for- 
gotten, like the roses of yesterday." Wealth did not flow into 
the old practitioner's coffers; in fact, he needed no coffers. He 
was a poor collector, and with all his efforts he obtained but 
little, and never what was his due. As an offset to the generally 
acknowledged abilities of the old doctor in every other line of 
his work, it must be admitted that he was greatly deficient 
in business tact. Often content with the sentiment of apparent 
appreciation of services rendered to his patrons, of lives saved, 
of sufferings assuaged, and of health restored, he was too easily 
satisfied with the reflection that he had a very noble profession, 
but a very poor trade. 

Though poor in purse, he was rich in heart, in head, and in 
public esteem. He made at least a very measurable success of 
life, if success consists in being of some small use to the com- 
munity or country in which one live ; if it consists in having an 
intelligent, sympathetic outlook for human needs ; if it is success 
to love one's work; if it is success to have friends and be a 
friend, then the old doctor has made a success of life. 

He was a lonely worker, and relied largely on his own un- 
aided observation for his knowledge. Isolated by conditions of 
his life, he did not know the educating influences of society work. 
He was a busy man, with little leisure for indulgence of lit- 
erary or other tastes. He possessed, however, what no books or 
laboratories can furnish, and that is: a capacity for work, will- 
ingness to be helpful, broad sympathies, honesty, and a great 
deal of common sense. His greatest fame was the fealty of a few 
friends; his recompense a final peace at life's twilight hour. He 
was a hard-working man, beloved and revered by all. He was 
discreet and silent, and held his counsel when he entered the 
sick-room. In every family he was indispensable, important, and 
oftentimes a dignified personage. He was the adviser of the 
family in matters not always purely medical. As time passed, 
the circle of his friends enlarged, his brain expanded, and his 
heart steadily grew mellower. Could all the pleasant, touching, 
heroic incidents be told in connection with the old doctor, it 
would be a revelation to the young physician of today; but he 
can never know the admiration and love in which the old doctor 
was held. "How like an angel light was his coming in the stormy 
midnight to the lonely cabin miles away from the nearest neigh- 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 287 

bor. Earnest, cheery, confident, his presence lightened the bur- 
den, took away the responsibility, dispelled the gloom. The old 
doctor, with his two-wheeled gig and saddlebags, his setons, crude 
herbs, and venesections, resourceful, brave and true; busy, blunt 
and honest loyally doing his best — who was physician surgeon, 
obstetrician, oculist, aurist, guide, philosopher and friend — is 
sleeping under the sod of the pioneer region he loved so well." 

' ' We shall ne 'er see his like again ; 
Not a better man was found 
By the Crier on his round 
Through the town." 

During the winter of 1864-65 there was no physician in the 
Stockade at Redwood Falls. The nearest medico was at Ft. 
Ridgely, where an army surgeon was stationed. 

Dr. D. L. Hitchcock reached the Stockade with his family 
early in the summer of 1865, and became the first physician in 
the county. He was joined in 1870 by Dr. W. D. Flinn. 

For many years these two physicians ministered to the needs 
of the pioneers. The story of their experiences, riding over the 
trackless prairies to isolated cabins far beyond the limits of the 
county, braving the heat and mosquitoes of summer, and the 
bitter storms of winter, sometimes forced to spend the night in 
some abandoned shanty, bringing healing in their little black 
bags, their clever hands, and their skilled brains, would make a 
volume of pioneer life well worth the writing. 

These two pioneers were friends and often in severe cases they 
traveled together, sharing sympathy, companionship and advice. 

Contemporaries of Drs. Hitchcock and Flinn were Dr. J. B. 
Wellcome, of Sleepy Eye; Dr. T. H. Sherwin, of Beaver Falls; 
Dr. Henry Schoregge, of Henryville (Renville county), and Dr. 
C. S. Knapp, of Cairo (Renville county). Each of these men had 
some small practice in the edges of Redwood county. 

The pioneer doctors of Redwood county had many interesting 
experiences. Dr. Hitchcock and Dr. Flynn endured hardships 
trying both to mind and body. One of their thrilling adventures 
took place during the blizzard of 1873. A man near Wood Lake 
had frozen his feet and an amputation was necessary. Accord- 
ingly, Dr. Hitchcock and Dr. Flynn started out across the prairie 
with the necessary implements. While they were on their trip 
the wind suddenly changed, the snow began to fall so thickly 
that they could not see their horses' heads in front of them and 
they were finally forced to take refuge in a cabin a mile before 
reaching the residence of their patient. For three days they were 
snowed up in this cabin. On the third day by much effort they 
broke the way through to their patient's house, performed the 



288 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

necessary operation and returned to their homes in Redwood Falls 
where their families had undergone much anxiety as to their fate. 

The Redwood Falls directory of 1878 gives three physicians, 
W. D. Flinn, W. M. Evans and M. W. Vilos, as practicing in Red- 
wood Falls at that time. In 1880 the name of C. S. Stoddard ap- 
pears. Drs. Flinn and Stoddard appear in the lists of 1884, and 
the name of A. G. Hammer is added. In 1886, the Redwood Falls 
physicians were W. D. Flinn and Frederick H. Morton. In 1888 
the names of Giles R. Pease and Hazen W. "Wells first appear. 
W. D. Flinn and Giles R. Pease were the Redwood Falls physi- 
cians in 1892. C. P. Gibson was added to the list in 1894. A. B. 
Hawes appears on the list in 1896, the other three physicians being 
Drs. Flinn, Pease and Gibson. In 1900 the name of Henry E. 
Schlegel first appears, and in 1902 the name of W. A. Palmer is 
seen. W. Beet and William Corpron are new names in 1904. 
W. A. Brand first appears in the directory in 1906. The Redwood 
Falls physicians in 1908 were F. P. Boyd, W. A. Brand, C. P. 
Gibson and G. P. Pease. The name of A. G. Chadbourn first ap- 
pears in 1912. In the same year appears the firm of Pease & Flinn, 
T. E. Flinn having started practice with Giles R. Pease. In 1914 
the four physicians were W. A. Brand, C. P. Gibson, Giles R. 
Pease and T. E. Flinn. Drs. Brand, Pease and Flinn are the 
present practitioners. 

A distinct stride in the history of medicine and surgery in 
Redwood county was the erection in 1915 at Redwood Falls, of a 
splendid hospital, fitted with all the latest appliances and excel- 
lently equipped in all the departments usually appertaining to a 
modern hospital. The building is pleasantly located and is one of 
the city's most sightly structures. It was erected by Drs. Giles 
R. Pease and T. E. Flinn, these gentlemen being the present 
supervising physicians and surgeons of the institution. 

F. V. Crandall was the first physician in Lamberton. Lemont 
S. Crandall, a physician there for some twenty years, first ap- 
pears in the directory of 1882. Christopher Queolis first appears 
in 1888. In 1894 the Lamberton physicians were L. S. Crandall, 
J. G. Ellis and A. F. Gooslee. In 1896 the name of J. C. R. Charest 
appears in place of A. F. Gosslee. In 1900 the Lamberton physi- 
cians were L. S. Crandall and C. P. Nelson. In 1912 the physicians 
there were George W. Boot, L. S. Crandall and Charles C. Walker. 
For a time, Louis O. Clements was the first physician, his name 
first appearing in 1904. The name of Charles C. Walker first ap- 
pears in 1908, and the name of Dirk V. Gleysteen in 1914. Drs. 
Walber and Gleysteen are the present practitioners. 

The first physician in Walnut Grove was R. W. Hoyt. The 
name of H. B. Van Buskirk, for several years the only physician 
in the village, first appears in the directories of 1884. The name 
of Charles I. Remington first appears in 1900, the name of Robert 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 289 

H. Ray in 1902, and the name of E. Lawrence Meyer in 1906. 
The name of the present practitioner, Earl Jamieson, first appears 
in 1908. 

A. Bickford was the first physician in Milroy. He was fol- 
lowed by Prank J. Bickford. Then for several years there was 
no permanent resident physician. The name of Bjarne Rvan, the 
present practitioner of Milroy, first appears in the directories of 
1914. 

The first physician in Morgan was James L. Adams, who is 
still practicing there. The name of David R. Butler appears in 
the directories of 1900. 

O. A. Case was the first physician in Sanborn. The name of 
John Hobinecht first appears in the directories of 1896; John 
J. Piatt in 1898; George W. Boot in 1900; Oscar E. Bennett in 
1902 ; William G. Richards in 1906, and Arthur L. Kusske in 1908. 
The name of the present practitioner, Monte C. Piper first appears 
in 1916. 

The first physician in Revere was Ernest R. Jellison. The 
name of Lars P. Solsness appears in 1906. There is now no 
physician in Revere. 

Mrs. Rebecca Shoemaker appears in the directories of North 
Redwood as a practicing physician for the years 1900-1912 in- 
clusive. 

E. R. Jellison was the first physician in Seaforth, moving 
there shortly after the coming of the railroad. He left not long 
after, and there has since been no permanent resident physician. 

The first physician in Vesta was Frank D. Gray who practiced 
there some eight years. The name of Roy A. Peterson, the present 
practitioner, first appears in the directories of 1912. 

Willis W. Creswell was the first physician in Delhi, his name 
first appearing in the directories of 1904. The name of P. A. Car- 
rell appears in 1912. There is now no physician in the village. 

The first physicians in Wabasso were Alf. G. Chadbourn and 
H. E. Lucas. The name of Gilbert L. Goslee first appears in the 
directories in 1906. In 1912 the names of Frank W. Brey and 
H. G. Bickford appear. Dr. Brey is the present practitioner of 
Wabasso. 

The physicians of Belview are F. A. Aldrich and Emma S. 
Aldrich. The first physician was H. P. Dredge, whose name first 
appears in the directories of 1898. The name of Thore N. Thore- 
son appears in 1914. 

Following are the physicians whose certificates are recorded 
with the Redwood county clerk of court : 

Wm. D. Flinn, graduated from the Rush Medical College in 
Illinois in 1868. He received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state Jan. 22, 1884, and filed it for record in this 
county May 3, 1884. 



290 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Frederick H. Morton, graduated from the Rush Medical Col- 
lege in the state of Illinois. He received his certificate from the 
medical board of the state on April 28, 1884, and filed it for 
record in this county May 3, 1884. 

Giles R. Pease graduated from the medical department of the 
University of Michigan. He received his certificate from the 
state on Sept. 12, 1885, and filed it for record in this county on 
March 7, 1888. 

C. P. Gibson graduated from the Chicago Medical College in 
the state of Illinois. He received his certificate from the state 
on April 19, 1884, and filed it for record in this county on April 
7, 1888. 

Henry E. Schlegel received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on June 10, 1897, and filed it for record in 
this county on June 24, 1897. 

William Algernon Brand received his certificate from the 
medical board of the state on July 1, 1904, and filed it for record 
in this county on July 15, 1904. 

Walter A. Palmer received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on June 22, 1899, and filed it for record in 
this county on Feb. 7, 1900. 

Alfred G. Chadbourn received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on June 19, 1900. He filed it for record in this 
county on July 26, 1900. 

Thomas Edwin Flinn received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on Jan. 25, 1911, and filed it for record in this 
county May 5, 1911. 

Wallace E. Belt was given his certificate by the medical board 
of the state on Jan. 16, 1903, and filed it for record in this county 
on Jan. 21, 1903. 

Stephen D. Sour received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on June 9, 1896, and filed it for record in this 
county June 4, 1904. He graduated from Hamline university in 
St. Paul, Minn. 

C. P. Nelson received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state April 11, 1899. He filed it for record in this county 
on July 14, 1900. 

Gilbert L. Goslee received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state Oct. 3, 1904, and filed it for record in this 
eounty Oct. 7, 1904. He graduated from the Keokuk College of 
Physicians and Surgeons. 

G. W. Boot received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state on Oct. 11, 1898, and filed it for record on Dec. 15, 
1898. 

Lucian Orville Clement, received his certificate from the med- 
ical board of the state on June 20, 1902, and filed it for record 
in this county on July 18, 1902. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 291 

L. S. Crandall received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state Nov. 28, 1883, and filed it for record in this county 
on Jan. 3, 1884. 

Dirk Gleysteen received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state on Jan. 17, 1912, and filed it for record in this county 
on March 4, 1912. 

Charles C. Walker received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on June 9, 1896, and filed it for record in this 
county on Feb. 14, 1903. 

Frank D. Gray received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state on Feb. 28, 1887, and filed it for record in this county 
on Feb. 19, 1904. 

Earl Jamieson received his certificate from the Minnesota 
state board of medical examiners on Oct. 11, 1907, and filed it 
for record in this county Jan. 15, 1908. 

Robert H. Ray received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state on Oct. 11, 1900. He filed it for record in this county 
on Oct. 15, 1900. 

Chas. L. Remington received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on Jan. 16, 1884, and filed it for record in this 
county on Feb. 18, 1899. 

Bjarne Rvan received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state on April 19, 1911, and filed it for record in this county 
on May 6, 1911. 

James L. Adams received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state on Jan. 6, 1893, and filed it for record in this county 
on Feb. 17, 1893. 

Ernest R. Jellison received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on June 8, 1901, and filed it for record in this 
county on Oct. 7, 1901. 

Arthur Louis Kusske received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on June 13, 1907, and filed it for record in 
this county on Sept. 26, 1907. 

O. E. Bennett received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state on April 12, 1901, and filed it for record in this county 
on May 4, 1901. 

William Geo. Richards received his certificate from the med- 
ical board of the state on July 1, 1904. He filed it for record 
in this county on May 31, 1905. 

Monte Charles Piper received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on June 29, 1910, and filed it for record in this 
county on Jan. 16, 1912. 

John Habenicht graduated from the medical university at 
Prague, Bohemia, in Europe. He received his certificate from the 
medical board of the state June 25, 1887, and filed it for record in 
this county on March 8, 1895. 



292 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Roy Albert Peterson received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on Jan. 25, 1911. He filed it for record in this 
county on April 21, 1911. 

Herman E. Lucas received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on Oct. 23, 1883, and filed it for record in this 
county on June 21, 1900. 

Frank W. Brey received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state on June 29, 1910, and filed it for record in this county 
on May 6, 1911. 

H. G. Bickford received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state on April 12, 1901, and filed it for record in this county 
on Feb. 12, 1910. 

Thore Nels Thoreson received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on Oct. 12, 1897, and filed it for record in this 
county on July 5, 1913. 

H. P. Dredge received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state June 9, 1896. It was filed on July 28, 1896, for rec- 
ord in this county. It was also filed for record on Oct. 30, 1901. 

Frederick Herrick Aldrich was given his certificate by the 
medical board of the state on June 20, 1902, and filed it for rec- 
ord in this county on August 22, 1902. 

Edward W. Gag received his certificate from the medical board 
of the state on Jan. 15, 1904, and filed it for record in this county 
on Feb. 11, 1904. 

George P. Wilkinson received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on April 17, 1903, and filed it for record in 
this county on July 30, 1904. 

Hazen W. Wells, graduated from the Hahnneman Medical Col- 
lege of Chicago in the state of Illinois. He received his certificate 
from the medical board of the state on June 29, 1887, and filed 
it for record in this county on July 1, 1887. 

Henry C. Way graduated from the college of physicians and 
surgeons, Keokuk, in the state of Iowa. He received his certifi- 
cate from the medical board of Minnesota on April 15, 1887, and 
filed it for record in this county on April 30, 1887. 

Raymond W. Whittier received his certificate from the med- 
ical board of the state on June 26, 1912, and filed it for record 
in this county on Aug. 20, 1915. 

Emma L. Scholz received her certificate from the Minnesota 
state board of medical examiners on June 20, 1902, and filed it 
for record in this county April 4, 1907. 

John Stevens, Jr., received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on June 10, 1897, and filed it for record in 
this county on July 25, 1905. 

E. Lawrence Meyer received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state on June 17, 1905, and filed it for record in this 
county Aug. 21, 1905. 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 293 

Joseph Clement Micheal received his certificate from the state 
medical board on June 20, 1913, and filed it for record in this 
county July 26, 1913. 

John P. Landry graduated from the medical department of 
Laral university in Canada. He received his certificate from the 
medical board of the state on April 22, 1884, and filed it for 
record in this county Jan. 15, 1889. 

John Edward Doran received his certificate from the med- 
ical board of the state on June 16, 1898, and filed it for record 
in this county on June 5, 1902. 

Wilhelm S. Anderson received his certificate from the medical 
board of the state June 19, 1903, and filed it for record in this 
county on March 16, 1904. 

The Brown-Redwood County Medical Society holds its regu- 
lar meetings January and June, the annual meeting being in 
January. Dr. M. C. Piper, of Sanborn, is president, and Dr. 
G. P. Reineke, of New Ulm, secretary. The following are the 
members : J. L. Adams, New Ulm ; W. A. Brand, Redwood Palls ; 
L. A. Fritsche, New Ulm ; D. Gleysteen, Lamberton ; P. D. Gray, 
Marshall ; D. A. Herron, Comfrey ; Earl Jamieson, Walnut Grove ; 
M. A. Kiefer, Sleepy Eye; A. L. Kusske, Hutchinson; W. A. 
Meierding, Springfield ; R. A. Peterson, Vesta ; Bjarne Ravn, Mil- 
roy ; J. C. Rothenburg, Springfield ; J. L. Schoch, New Ulm ; 0. J. 
Seifert, New Ulm ; J. S. Shrader, Springfield ; O. C. Strickler, New 
Ulm; Mathias Sundt, Hanska; J. H. Vogel, New Ulm; C. C. 
Walker, Lamberton ; G. B. Weiser, New Ulm ; J. W. B. Wellcome, 
Sleepy Eye. 

(Since the above was in type, Dr. Earl Jamieson of Walnut 
Grove has succeeded Dr. Piper as president. Dr. Kusske has 
removed to Hutchinson. New members are T. F. Hammermeister 
of New Ulm and P. A. Striekler of Sleepy Eye.) 

Authority. R. L. Polk's Northwestern Gazetteer, 1876-1916. 

George C. Wellner in History of Goodhue County, Minnesota, 
1910. 

Personal testimony of Mrs. D. L. Hitchcock. 

F. L. Puffer in History of Renville County, Minnesota, 1916. 

Register of Medical Certificates in the custody of the Redwood 
county clerk of court. 



294 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
NEWSPAPERS OF REDWOOD COUNTY. 

The first settlers of Redwood county came from a stock in 
which there was a general desire for knowledge, and with the de- 
sire for knowledge there was a call for the printing press, and 
with the printing press there came the call for a newspaper long 
before the county itself, by virtue of a small population, was able 
to sustain in proper form the publication of the newspaper. 

With the first settlement of Redwood Falls, the first town in 
the county, the early settlers had plenty of work to do for the 
time being in erecting a stockade, in erecting homes, and in pre- 
paring a defense against a possible attack from the not then too 
friendly Indians, and in addition to obtaining from the soil, as 
well as from the hunt, and from the timber nearby, sufficient to 
maintain a livelihood until more prosperous times should arrive. 

But with all these manifold duties, the settlers never forgot 
that they were a part of the outside world. So the spare hours 
of these pioneers were spent on the street corners, or on the 
benches in front of one or two of the establishments of that 
period, in discussing past events, not only those that had passed 
weeks before throughout the United States and the rest of the 
world, and which had reached this important frontier post 
through belated newspapers, but also in the late happenings that 
occurred in the little community. Growing out of these corner 
curbstone meetings, there came a desire for something like a 
newspaper, and in the restless breast of Col. Sam. McPhail, the 
founder of the townsite of Redwood Falls, this desire became 
intense, not only by reason of his wish to boom Redwood Falls 
and Redwood county, but probably from that other desire to 
"play even" (if such a term may be used) with some of the set- 
tlers who had "riled" his spirit or had played some inexcusable 
joke upon the old Mexican War veteran. 

As a result of this feeling there appeared on the streets of 
the then sparsely populated village on March 23, 1866, a paper 
known as the Redwood Falls Patriot. This was a small folio 
newspaper, but very little larger than ordinary legal cap, but it 
was brim full of the pointed thrusts characteristic of the old 
Colonel. The paper was printed in St. Peter, from the press of 
Thomas M. Perry, himself an original character of Nicollet county, 
and his name appeared as proprietor of the paper, and Col. Sam 
McPhail as editor. This issue of the Patriot contained some busi- 
ness advertising, but none of the latter pertained to the business 
institutions of Redwood Falls. The news columns contained the 
pleasing information that "Redwood Falls was destined to be- 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 295 

come the half-way house between New York and San Francisco," 
and that its future was destined to be great. Here and there ap- 
peared an allusion to some of the settlers having paid nocturnal 
visits to the tents of the Indians camped just across the river, 
and intimating that unless there was a general let-up on the at- 
tacks on the editor, the Patriot would be obliged to continue the 
expose. Politically the Patriot was a strenuous Republican sheet, 
seeing the county's safety by alone keeping the Republican party 
in power. It boosted Redwood county real estate, and that con- 
trolled by Col. McPhail, in particular. The editor apparently 
came to the conclusion that the few issues could not be improved 
upon and that rather than have a failure by many and subsequent 
issues, the Patriot should "die aborning," and the few random 
issues ceased apparently with the issue of April 27, 1869, which 
contained the delinquent tax list. 

The Redwood Falls Mail. The first bona fide newspaper was 
the Redwood Falls Mail, the first issue of which appeared more 
than three years after the Patriot made its appearance, or to be 
exact, on Sept. 25, 1869. over 48 years ago. The printing press 
and material were brought to Redwood Falls on one of the sev- 
eral steamboats that plied between St. Paul and Riverside, lo- 
cated two miles from Redwood Falls on the Minnesota river. 
During the summer season of this year, and for several years 
thereafter, the editor was V. C. Seward, who was full of wit 
and originality, and who, from its first appearance, made the 
Mail an exceptionally lively paper. It was a seven-column folio 
and the first issue proclaimed itself to be the official paper for 
Redwood, Renville, Lac qui Parle, Big Stone, Pipestone, Murray 
and Cottonwood counties. It was, in fact, the only newspaper 
published in all this vast territory. One side of the paper was 
printed at Milwaukee and the patents were shipped to Redwood 
Falls for final printing. The paper was Republican, and the first 
number had the Republican state ticket at the head of its first 
column, with the name of Horace Austin hoisted for governor 
and proposing the Hon. Schuyler Colfax for president in 1872. 
The salutatory said in part: "Scorning all narrow minded local 
jealousy we shall aim to promote the material welfare, not of this 
place and county solely, but of this entire section of the state, 
which we consider, in many respects, the finest portion of the 
great West." 

The advertisements in the first edition were from St. Peter, 
Mankato, New Him and St. Paul business houses, those from 
Redwood Falls only being the advertisements of H. Behnke & 
Bro., dry goods, groceries, clothing, etc. ; Redwood Mills by 
Worden & Ruter; W. H. Sigler, druggist and insurance agent; 
W. L. Eaton, hardware and tinware ; and Peter Ortt, livery sta- 
ble. Mr. Ortt advertised that he ran two stage lines, one to 



296 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Lynd, now in Lyon county, leaving Redwood every Monday and 
returning on Wednesday, and the other to Yellow Medicine, 
leaving every Friday and returning on Saturday. In this first 
issue Mr. Seward stated that the issue of the first newspaper 
had been delayed three weeks by reason of the non-arrival of his 
material, the steamboat Pioneer, running between Redwood Falls 
and St. Paul, having been delayed somewhere along the Minne- 
sota river. The Pioneer was engaged in carrying all kinds of 
freight, but more especially lumber, the common grade of which 
sold in Redwood Falls at that time for $37.00 per M, while 
wheat was being marketed at 70c a bushel. 

Mr. Seward's restless disposition did not permit him to re- 
main long in the community in which he felt his talents and his 
ability were more or less circumscribed, and nearly four years 
later, or to be more exact, in April of 1873, W. B. Herriott, a 
native of Pittsburgh, Pa., a lawyer by profession, but not caring 
to practice, came to Redwood Falls from St. Paul and purchased 
the Redwood Falls Mail. The announcement was made in the 
issue of April 25, and in the issue of the following week Mr. 
Herriott announced that the name had been changed to the Red- 
wood Gazette. Mr. Seward returned to Stillwater, where he long 
after edited the Messenger. 

The Redwood Gazette. The Gazette was issued as an eight- 
column folio, with a patent inside, by Herriott & Beal, J. S. Beal 
having come up from St. Paul with Mr. Herriott and associating, 
himself with that gentleman in the publication of the paper. Mr. 
Herriott was regarded as the politician and editor of the paper, 
while Mr. Beal gave his time to the mechanical end of the pub- 
lication. But money was scarce, times were hard, and the two 
gentlemen realized that there was not sufficient in the plant to 
give both a livelihood and on October 15, 1873, Mr. Beal with- 
drew and Mr. Herriott once again became the sole proprietor, 
this continuing until April 29, 1880. Mr. Herriott, however, was 
appointed receiver of the land office at Redwood Falls in 1876, 
and in a measure received his reward for the early newspaper 
struggles in that city and county. He was regarded as a person 
of more or less nervous temperament, but of a conservative dis- 
position in political and business affairs, and it may be stated 
that from a newspaper standpoint he made very few enemies 
while his passive friends were numerous. 

His position as register of the land officer justified his retir- 
ing from the newspaper and on April 29, 1880, he closed out his 
interests in the Redwood Gazette to James Aiken and W. R. 
Rigby under the firm name of Aiken & Rigby, the two gentlemen 
having graduated from the printing office of the Topeka Capital, 
and coming to Redwood Falls wtih the hopes of securing both 
health and wealth. Mr. Herriott continued to reside in Redwood 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 297 

Falls until he retired from the receivership of public moneys, 
after which he and his wife moved to California and made that 
state their permanent home. Messrs. Aiken & Rigby continued 
the Gazette as an eight-column, patent inside folio by using both 
long primer and brevier in the composition. 

The winter of 1881 was one of unusual hardships. With the 
blizzard of October 18, 1880, blockading the western railroads 
and shutting off practically all avenues of trade, with the single 
exception of the local community, the publishers experienced 
newspaper hardships which they did not anticipate. No trains 
were run between Sleepy Eye and Redwood Falls from October 
until the following March or April. The mail and groceries were 
brought in by teams. The patent insides of the Gazette failed to 
arrive and a number of issues were printed on ordinary wrapping 
paper. When spring came Mr. Rigby concluded that he had 
sufficient of one Minnesota winter and that Redwood Falls would 
not support a paper with two publishers, and consequently on 
May 5, 1881, he retired from the firm and James Aiken became 
the sole editor and publisher until August 1, 1892, when he was 
succeeded by Julius A. Schmahl and Herbert V. Ruter, doing 
business as Schmahl & Ruter. 

Both of these young men had acquired a knowledge of the 
printing business in the Gazette office in previous years and came 
up from St. Paul, where Schmahl had been a reporter and Ruter 
a job printer, to purchase the plant in which they had received 
their earlier instructions. They changed the form of the paper 
to an eight-column quarto, made it an all-home print proposition, 
and equipped the office with a power printing press and other 
up-to-date machinery, as well as materially adding to its equip- 
ment. This partnership continued for a year and three months, 
when Mr. Ruter retired from the firm. James Aiken repurchased 
his interest and the publication of the Gazette was continued 
under the firm name of Aiken & Schmahl until December 1, 1906. 
In 1905 this firm built the magnificent brick Gazette block and 
moved the plant to that building, its present home. 

Rigby was of the nervous, restless type of newspaper man, 
and wanted things to move rapidly. The sparse population and 
the lack of wealth in Redwood county was not sufficient to gratify 
his nature and his ambition, and consequently he sought other 
fields. James Aiken was of the opposite temperament. Mr. Aiken 
enjoyed the work at the art of printing. He loved to work at 
new ideals and new schemes in the print shop. He believed in 
making friends all of the time, and avoiding the making of ene- 
mies, and in his very desire to keep out of entanglements he 
brought forth mild criticism. But in all of his newspaper con- 
nection he preferred the mechanical to the news or editorial desk, 
although he was one of the smoothest writers that wielded the 



298 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

pencil in that section of the state. While he did perfect job 
printing, and made his advertisements models of the printer's art, 
he wrote without sting, and his newspaper brethren have always 
wondered how he did it. He avoided show, except as to his news- 
paper; he loved even his enemies, and while he never injected 
strenuousness into his efforts, he made friends of all who came 
into contact with him. 

On Dec. 1, 1906, when the writer retired from the Gazette to 
move to St. Paul and assume the office of secretary of state, to 
which he had been elected the previous month, Mr. Aiken again 
went it alone. But he had taken on himself a big job printing 
business an increased size newspaper, and a general increase of 
all branches of the business, and he soon found that it was a 
larger task than his advanced age justified. During 1911 he dis- 
posed of the plant to Grove E. Wilson, a St. Paul reporter, who 
conducted it until about the close of the 1913 session of the legis- 
lature, when it passed into the hands of Mrs. Bess M. Wilson 
and Clemens Lauterbach, the latter the present postmaster at Red- 
wood Falls, and Mrs. Wilson, one of the best newspaper "men" 
in the state, as her writings in The Gazette clearly verify. In 
September, 1916, Mr. Lauterbach sold out his interest to Mrs. 
Wilson and she is now sole owner of the expensive plant. 

Learning of the publication of this history of newspapers in 
Redwood county, Mr. Aiken has made the following voluntary 
contribution regarding The Gazette, and the young men who 
graduated from his printing office : 

"The association of Julius A. Schmahl with the Redwood 
Gazette dates back to the fall of 1880, when as a boy of 14, he 
closed a summer campaign devoted to managing a bunch of cat- 
tle for the Barber brothers in Vesta township and began his career 
as printer and office assistant in the Gazette office. The boy 
Julius was a live wire from the start, not limited to the routine 
of sweeping out the office, working at the cases and inking the 
forms printed on the Washington hand press and the only job 
press which Redwood county afforded at that time. His instinct 
for finding out everything that was going on in the community 
as well as in the office, was a valuable asset for the Gazette editor, 
then almost as new to the work of conducting a newspaper as his 
young assistant to the art of printing. This unquenchable de- 
sire to know things is the foundation of Mr. Schmahl 's rapid ad- 
vancement in education and efficiency in most of the undertak- 
ings with which he has since been associated. 

"At the end of three years' service in the Gazette office, 
young Julius found work in a printing office at Fargo and later 
on at St. Paul, where his brother Otto was employed in a drug 
store. Here his activities brought him into contact with the late 
Harlan P. Hall, among others, and gave him a chance to get busy 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 299 

as a reporter on the newspaper which Mr. Hall was then con- 
nected with. The progress of the future editor of the Gazette 
from local scout to legislative reporter, Chatauqua student till his 
diploma was secured, editor of the Gazette, clerk of the Minnesota 
house of representatives and secretary of state continuously since 
1906 were, of course, not accidental, but the result of natural 
ability and aggressiveness. Without even a high school educa- 
tion as a boy, as a young man he had followed up his Chatauqua 
course with an almost continuous reading in law which has en- 
abled him to save for the state more than his salary during his 
term in office. 

"In August of 1892, Mr. Schmahl entered into partnership with 
H. V. Ruter, who also began his career as printer in The Gazette 
office, and purchased the entire interest of The Gazette owner, 
Mr. Aiken. New machinery and equipment was added, and the 
paper enlarged to its present eight-page form. Fifteen months 
later Mr. Ruter sold his interest in the firm to the former owner, 
and the firm of Aiken & Schmahl continued to guide the destinies 
of The Gazette until the latter was elected secretary of state of 
Minnesota, in 1906, when the secretary-elect sold the property 
to his partner. 

"Mr. Schmahl was managing editor of The Redwood Gazette 
from August, 1892, to December of 1906 — more than 14 years — 
and the files of that paper show that he was an indefatigable 
promoter for public and social betterments as well as for political 
success for those whom he championed. Naturally aggressive, his 
fearlessness brought on three libel suits within a single year, only 
one of which resulted in a nominal adverse verdict, and the ulti- 
mate effect was a large addition to the Gazette's subscription list 
which evened up the cost of the legal defense. 

"The writer may be pardoned for calling attention to the 
connection of another Redwood county boy, now well known in 
Minnesota public life, who was the immediate predecessor of 
Julius A. Schmahl as office boy and assistant manager of the 
Redwood Gazette. Like Julius, he was of German parentage. 
In the summer of 1880 he began his newspaper experience — 
willingness to help, good nature and awkwardness being his nat- 
ural characteristics. It was the memorable winter of snow block- 
ades of the railroads lasting for a month or more at a stretch, 
and Anton's jokes and good nature helped to make the desperate 
situation, with green wood for fuel and no business or income 
to speak of, endurable for the struggling publishers. Anton 
shifted to more profitable employment in a store for a time, but 
the lure of the printers' ink ultimately claimed him. Anton C. 
Weiss was too clever a business man to long remain at the case 
and early became subscription solicitor for the Minneapolis 
Tribune, later Duluth representative of the Pioneer Press and 



300 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

ultimately business manager and principal owner of the Duluth 
Herald, since that time continuously under his control and now 
one of two or three truly great newspaper influences in this 
state. ' ' 

The Lamberton Commercial. Owing to the fact that the 
United States government gave the Indians, by the treaty of 1851, 
a ten-mile strip running south of the Minnesota river from a 
point in Brown county, west to the state line, the Winona and 
St. Peter Railroad Company, when it was incorporated for the 
purpose of building a railroad through this section of the state, 
and in order to secure the government land grant as a bonus for 
the construction, was obliged to keep away from this reservation 
line in order to obtain the full grant. The result was that on 
reaching Sleepy Eye, the railroad company was obliged to pro- 
ceed in a south-westerly direction and consequently passed 
through the southern portion of Redwood county. This was the 
first line of railroad built in the county, notwithstanding the fact 
that agitation had long before been commenced for the construc- 
tion of a railroad to Redwood Falls. 

Among the first towns to spring into existence as a result of 
the construction of the Winona & St. Peter railroad through the 
southern portion of Redwood county was Lamberton, the town 
being named after Hon. Henry W. Lamberton, of Winona. Here 
in this village the second newspaper published in Redwood county 
commenced its existence. While the village was established in 
1873 and the first building on the site was erected about that 
time, or a little bit later, the grasshopper plague gave the village, 
as well as the surrounding country, a set-back, and it was not 
until 1877 that a new start was taken and a substantial growth 
commenced. 

The Lamberton Commercial was established in December of 
1878, the publisher being W. W. Yarham, a young man who had 
some slight knowledge of the printing business, but Mr. Yarham 
found the venture a hard one, and in June of 1880, he sold out 
his interest in the newspaper to A. M. Goodrich. Mr. Goodrich 
was a native of Minnesota, having been born only 20 years before 
in Silver Creek, Wright county, and during the years between 
1877 and 1880, he taught school in winter and worked at the 
printer's trade in summer. He continued the paper until Janu- 
ary 19, 1882, when, in a formal announcement of suspension he 
stated that he was obliged to discontinue publication for lack 
of a decent support. 

Some time after the period of this suspension and July, 1889, 
there was a publication in the village under the direction of 
J. S. Letford, who had moved from Golden Gate, Brown county, 
to Lamberton, and had engaged in the general mercantile busi- 
ness. Mr. Letford had served as a member of the Minnesota 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 301 

legislature from Carver county for three terms, and while he 
never had acquired any knowledge of printing, he had some 
knowledge of editorial work and continued a paper commensurate 
with the size of the town. It is apparent that it, too, was re- 
quired to suspend publication for the lack of support. 

The Lamberton Leader. About July 1, 1889, the Lamberton 
Leader came into existence under the direction of that unusually 
energetic and pugnacious young newspaper man, W. D. Smith. 
Smith published an eight-column folio Republican newspaper, 
having a ready print for the inside. Smith was a genuine village 
Beau Brummel, wearing a silk hat on his visit to the county seat 
and setting himself up as one of the political leaders of Redwood 
county. This latter leadership was never disputed, partly be- 
cause Smith played the game of the real leaders. He was par- 
ticularly aggressive in his attempt to be the dictator of business 
and political policies of Lamberton, with the result that the sup- 
port continued to dwindle and on May 19, 1893, that support had 
reached the starving point and Mr. Smith, in announcing the dis- 
continuance of the Leader, stated that: "Because of trouble 
(withdrawal of patronage, etc.) with Lamberton 's Business Men's 
Union, this is the last issue of the Leader under its founder. We 
feel we have been shamefully treated. We leave with not a single 
word of commendation from those for whom we have used column 
after column of our paper for their benefit. We thank our hosts 
of real friends for kind words and advice, and say Good-Bye, 
and God Speed You." It appears that Mr. Smith had accepted 
a number of advertisements from business men of Tracy, about 
eighteen miles west of Lamberton, for his paper, and the busi- 
ness men of Lamberton contended that this was disloyal and un- 
patriotic. At any rate, the business men were in the saddle and 
Mr. Smith left for other fields. 

The Lamberton Star. About two months later W. C. Starr 
appeared in Lamberton and commenced the publication of the 
Lamberton Star, the first issue making its appearance about the 
middle of July. Mr. Starr was a well developed newspaper man, 
and in addition had well defined ideas as to the policies he should 
pursue in making editorial and local comment upon the acts of 
public men and upon things in general occurring in and around 
Lamberton. He continued an aggressive paper until some time 
in 1910, when circumstances induced Mr. Starr to close out his 
interests in the paper to E. M. Wilson, who had previously con- 
ducted the Echo at Milroy, Redwood county. Mr. Wilson contin- 
ued as publisher of the Star until after he was defeated for 
county auditor of Redwood county in 1914, when he disposed of 
his interests to Hoagland Bros., the present proprietors, Mr. Wil- 
son moving to Marshall county and establishing a new paper in 
one of the towns of that county. His predecessor, W. C. Starr, 



302 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

moved to Redwood Falls shortly after closing out his interests at 
Lamherton and purchased what was then known as the Red- 
wood Reveille. 

The Redwood Reveille — Now the Redwood Falls Sun. Dur- 
ing the autumn of 1885 a second paper was launched in Redwood 
Falls, called the Redwood Reveille. The projector and owner 
was Charles C. Whitney, of Marshall, the publisher of the News- 
Messenger at that place, while the editor and manager was W. M. 
Todd, who founded and published the Lyon County News of 
Marshall and the Trumpet, of Tracy, Lyon county. Mr. Whitney, 
now deceased, began his newspaper career in Lyon county with 
the Lyon County News, which he purchased from Mr. Todd, 
but later on he purchased the Marshall Messenger from C. F. 
Case and adopted the hyphenated name of News-Messenger. 

It is doubtful if it was seriously thought by anyone that Red- 
wood Falls at that period furnished a field large enough for two 
newspapers. There were probably very few, if any, who would 
have said the field was not already amply and ably filled. It is 
more probable that Mr. Whitney, who still had on hand the type, 
presses and equipment which he acquired with the purchase of 
the Messenger, simply took his chances on the field with the view 
of utilizing this idle equipment until such a time as he could dis- 
pose of it. 

Of course, there are in every place, a few who have at one 
time or another taken umbrage at something printed in the local 
paper. A few have resented the opposition of the paper to their 
political ambitions or schemes, and others have thought that, 
considering their friendship for the paper, its support was dis- 
appointing in its lack of warmth. Some have doubtless thought 
the accomplishments and loveliness of their sons or daughters 
were not sufficiently amplified in the accounts of their weddings, 
and others that the virtues of their deceased relatives were obvi- 
ously slighted in the published obituaries. There were naturally 
a few of these in Redwood and they as naturally welcomed the 
advent of the new paper. Still no bonus was offered and no 
pledges of support. The glad hand was extended, and that 
was all. 

The first issue of the Reveille was struck off Nov. 7, 1885. 
The paper was an eight-column folio and all printed at home. 
Mr. Todd had won some renown as a journalist during the editor- 
ship of his former papers, and his salutatory as well as the name 
of the new paper was characteristic. 

When a newspaper that has long enjoyed a monopoly of its 
field suddenly finds that it is to have opposition it generally be- 
comes a little uneasy and almost unconsciously goes into train- 
ing for a scrap which it instinctively believes to be inevitable. 
Its columns begin to give more news and every feature of the 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 303 

paper shows increased enterprise. In other words, it tries to show 
its coming rival that it must "go some" to beat it. This was true 
of the Gazette all the while the Reveille was getting ready for its 
first issue. The Gazette man watched the Reveille as a hen 
watches a hawk and the Reveille man slept at night with one 
eye open and focused on the Gazette building. But the scrap 
never occurred. It may be that "one was 'fraid 'n 'tother das- 
sent." Neither paper saw a chance for honest criticism of the 
other; on the other hand each became convinced that the other 
was doing all it could in the interest of the place and its people. 
Each paper was better for the existence of the other, just as one 
political party is better for the existence of a jealous rival party, 
and the two editors became and have since continued fast 
friends. 

The staff of the Reveille during the period of Mr. Todd's man- 
agement included Peter Larson, foreman ; J. A. Schmahl, now 
secretary of state; Miss Charlotte Schmahl, now Mrs. John J. 
Palmer, of Duluth; Fred Peabody and William Bigham. Mr. 
Todd ceased his connection with the Reveille with the issue of 
Jan. 1, 1887, and accepted the position of deputy insurance com- 
missioner, tendered to him by Gov. A. R. McGill. He was, for 
several years, a reporter on the St. Paul daily papers, but for the 
last ten years has been chief clerk of the state grain inspection 
department at Minneapolis. He has never lost his inclination or 
ability to write, and is a frequent contributor to magazines and 
periodicals. 

With the retirement of Mr. Todd from the editorial position 
on the Redwood Reveille, there came into the life of that paper 
Stephen Wilson Hays. Mr. Hays had long been a resident of 
Redwood Falls. During the eight months prior to April 29, 1880, 
he had acted as editor of the Gazette under William B. Herriott. 
He came from Pennsylvania. As a result of his earlier newspaper 
affiliation and on account of friends in Pennsylvania, he was 
appointed postmaster at Redwood Falls, a position which he held 
for a number of years. He was not engaged in any special line 
of work when Mr. Todd retired, and he became editor of the 
Reveille. Mr. Hays was one of the most genial, good natured 
men that ever came to Redwood Falls. He continued a pleasing 
Republican policy in the editorial columns of the Reveille, and 
gathered the local news in a commendable manner. Mr. Whit- 
ney continued as publisher until March 16, 1889. During Mr. 
Hays' editorial career he got into the good graces of Wm. D. 
Washburn, United States senator from Minnesota, and just be- 
fore his retirement Mr. Washburn had secured for him a position 
in the federal revenue service. This was the cause of his retire- 
ment and for some years thereafter Mr. Hays continued to work 
for the U. S. government, most of his time being spent in the 



304 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

sugar plantations of Louisiana. With the change from a Repub- 
lican to a Democratic national administration, Hays was dropped 
from the service. He returned to Redwood Falls without any 
work or business in sight. One Saturday evening he was with 
a crowd of young men of the town — a group that he had known 
during his earlier years — and while they noticed certain peculiari- 
ties in his actions, they did not dream of what Mr. Hays appar 
ently had in his mind at that time. The following morning, and 
it was a cold Sunday morning, his lifeless body was found on 
the ice of the Redwood river, one-eighth of a mile below the falls 
of the Redwood. It appears that he had lived up to his income 
and having no available means and no position, he decided to 
pass into the next world by the laudanum route. 

Some time prior to March 16, 1889, there came to Redwood 
Falls a distinguished old veteran of the Civil War, W. L. Ab- 
bott, who brought with him his wife, three charming daughters 
and a son. Mr. Abbott was a printer without employment, and 
when Mr. Hays retired from the Reveille to accept the federal 
position, Mr. Whitney, the publisher, made an arrangement with 
Mr. Abbott whereby he became the editor and news gatherer of 
the Reveille. Mr. Abbott took with him his son, William, into the 
plant and there the young man, who afterwards went to Mankato 
and then to St. Paul to continue the printing business, received 
his first lessons in the art preservative, but the elder Abbott did 
not remain long with the Reveille, his name being removed from 
the top of the editorial column of the paper on Saturday, Sept. 
14, of that year, the last issue under his editorship appearing on 
the Saturday previous. Mr. Abbott was a pleasing person to 
meet, and gave the Reveille a good standing in Redwood county. 
He passed away years afterwards, and his remains now lie in 
the Redwood cemetery. 

About the time that Mr. Abbott retired from the publication, 
Mr. Whitney had as foreman of his excellent printing office at 
Marshall, George B. Hughes, a whole souled, clever young man, 
who possessed practically everything in his nature but aggressive- 
ness. Mr. Hughes was anxious to launch into the printing busi- 
ness for himelf, and it is apparent that Mr. Whitney sent him 
to Redwood Falls with a view of becoming acquainted with the 
plant, and if he deemed it worthy of purchase, and the town suit- 
able to the tastes of Mr. Hughes, to permit the latter to purchase 
the same. At any rate the Reveille continued without an an- 
nounced editor until Saturday, Oct. 11, 1890, when the name of 
George B. Hughes appeared at the masthead as editor and pub- 
lisher, and on Dec. 26, 1891, the paper was changed from a four- 
page folio to an eight-page quarto. Mr. Hughes had in the mean- 
time married Miss Mattie Maxson, a charming young lady, em- 
ployed in the office of the Marshall Messenger, and when she 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 305 

came to Redwood Falls with her husband, she added very mate- 
rially to the society news and prestige of the paper. Mr. Hughes 
continued as the publisher of the paper until "Wednesday, July 4. 
It was several months previous to that time that in a postoffice 
contest between James Aiken of the Gazette, and Mr. Hughes ol 
the Reveille, the friends of the latter prevailed upon Repre- 
sentative McCleary of the Second Congressional district, to 
recommend Mr. Hughes for appointment. The appointment was 
accordingly made, and shortly after Mr. Hughes took possession, 
the editorship and control of the paper was turned over to two 
young men under the firm name of Barnes & Kruse, but the pro- 
prietorship still vested in Mr. Hughes. 

A. M. Welles, for a long time a reporter on the Minneapolis 
and St. Paul papers, afterwards superintendent of schools at Red- 
wood Falls, and still later holding down a position at one of the 
desks of the Omaha Bee, returned to Redwood Falls prior to 
July 4, 1900, and once more became so attached to the city as to 
cause him to buy the Reveille plant from Mr. Hughes. Welles 
ruled the schools over which he was principal with a rod of 
iron, and as he carried on his reportorial and editorial career 
with bitterness, he allowed a portion at least of that spirit to 
enter into the Reveille upon his assuming control. For six years 
he struggled to give the Reveille the prestige of being the lead- 
ing paper in Redwood county, and was in a continuous newspaper 
fight with Schmahl of the Gazette, for that prestige. The writings 
of either were bitter at times, and jealousy even entered into the 
securing of business for either office. During the rise of Schmahl 
to the post of chief clerk of the house and his four successive 
elections, Welles became bitter from a political standpoint, and 
after Schmahl's nomination for secretary of state on June 13, 
1906, Welles directed a continuous weekly fusilade at that can- 
didate. As a result of the bitterness growing out of that cam- 
paign, Welles became tired of conditions in Redwood Falls and 
Redwood county, and on Friday, March 15, 1907, he announced 
the sale of the paper to a corporation known as the Gopher State 
Realty Company, with S. G. Peterson as editor and publisher. 
Welles has always possessed an exceptionally bright mind, has 
always shown a real talent for excellent newspaper work. He 
afterwards published the Sauk Center Herald and now is pub- 
lisher of the Worthington Globe. 

S. G. Peterson had just retired from the mercantile business 
in Redwood Falls. Prior to engaging in the latter business he 
had been engaged with a newspaper in McLeod county, and in 
his individuality there lurked the call created by the smell of 
printers' ink, but after running the Reveille for about a year and 
a half, or until Friday, Sept. 19, 1908, he disposed of the same 
to L. L. Thompson, who came to Redwood Falls from Iowa, and 



06 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

■who had more or less experience in the newspaper business. Mr. 
Peterson has been engaged in various occupations since that time 
and is now in business at Hutchinson. 

Mr. Thompson continued as editor and publisher of the Re- 
veille untill Tuesday, June 28, 1910, when after a varied career as 
the guiding hand of that newspaper, he disposed of his interests 
to W. C. Starr, who had a short time before disposed of his in- 
terests in the Lamberton Star, and was looking for that new 
field which he found at Redwood Falls. The name was changed 
to the Redwood Falls Sun, and Mr. Starr continued as editor 
and publisher up to Friday, Oct. 16, 1914, when the publication 
was given to the Starr Publishing Company with W. C. Starr as 
editor and H. L. Starr as local editor. Mr. Starr and Mrs. Starr 
have a number of bright young Starrs in their family, and all 
of them are employed in getting out the weekly edition of the 
Sun and also in helping in the job department. The Sun is a 
well edited newspaper filled with local news and thoroughly cov- 
ering the Redwood county news field. 

The Morgan Messenger. The history of The Morgan Messen- 
ger is closely associated with the history of the town itself and its 
growth has kept apace with the progress of the village. Its first 
issue appeared on April 30, 1890, the year after the village was 
incorporated. The founder of the paper was Guy Small, who ran 
it for a year, and disposed of the paper to W. R. Hodges, editor 
of the Sleepy Eye Herald-Dispatch. Its first home was a little 
shack, located on Vernon avenue, but which at that time had 
not come into its own as the main business street of the town. 
With the change in ownership the new publisher placed The 
Messenger in charge of Asa P. Brooks, who ran it for Mr. Hodges 
for over two years when Dan McRae took over the plant. Some 
years later, while publisher of the New Ulm Review, Mr. Brooks 
gained considerable notoriety as the eye witness to the murder 
of Dr. Gebhart. 

There were frequent changes of ownership in the early history 
of the paper, which possibly accounts for the fact that many 
of the files of The Messenger were not preserved, and in some 
cases the dates of change of ownership were calculations made 
by the early residents o f Morgan. Not only were there several 
changes in the location of the plant, but also in the size and form 
of the paper. The first few years it was an eight-column folio, 
with but two pages printed at home. While Mr. Brooks was at 
the helm it was changed to eight pages, six columns, with about 
three pages printed in the local plant. Thus it remained during 
the editorship of Mr. McRae, who disposed of the paper to I. N. 
Tompkins in 1896. The publisher reduced the paper to five col- 
umns, eight pages, printing half of the paper at home. In the 
fall of 1898 Mr. Tompkins was elected to the position of county 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 307 

auditor of Redwood county, and shortly after assuming his offi- 
cial duties he sold the plant to W. Roy Whitman, who was con- 
nected with The Messenger for three years. Mr. Whitman in- 
creased the size of the paper to six columns, the present size. 
In January, 1902, F. S. Pollard made his debut as editor and pub- 
lisher. Having been appointed postmaster Mr. Pollard sold out 
to C. C. Eaton in June, 1905. During Mr. Eaton's ownership the 
plant was rebuilt entirely and the equipment much enlarged, mak- 
ing The Messenger plant one of the best and most up-to-date of 
any to be found in a small town. In February, 1912, H. B. West, 
the present publisher, purchased the paper. The paper has re- 
ceived liberal support at the hands of the business men and 
citizens of Morgan and community. 

The Walnut Grove Tribune. The first newspaper printed in 
Walnut Grove was run off the press Aug. 13, 1891. The founder 
was Joseph N. Byington, an eastern man, who had come to Min- 
nesota to farm and had moved to Walnut Grove from Murray 
eounty. The paper was named "Rural Center," as it was Mr. 
Byington 's ambition to have his town a center in both the spir- 
itual and material development of the community. He always 
maintained an editorial column of a high order and wrote vigor- 
ously in behalf of progressive principles, to some extent as ad- 
vocated by the People's party. In form th« paper was a six 
column quarto. 

On Oct. 25, 1900, he sold the paper to Hulburt & Gleason, 
partly because of political opposition, and to save the town from 
having to support also another paper which was talked of. He 
retired from active business and passed away June 17, 1906. 

The new proprietors at once changed the name of the paper 
to Walnut Grove Tribune, which is its present name. The edi- 
torial end was managed by A. C. Gleason, who was a brilliant 
writer, but careless of details. The form was cut down to a 
five-column quarto, which was changed to a short six-column 
quarto in June the next year, and this again was enlarged in 
October, 1901, to a full six-column quarto, which had been its 
original size, and which is still being maintained. A. C. Gleason 
became sole owner and editor in October, 1901, and ran the paper 
until March 20, 1902, when it was sold to Geo. M. Long, an Iowa 
newspaper man. He was a good printer and built up the plant 
mechanically by the addition of a cylinder press and other im- 
provements. In politics he also took an active part on the Re- 
publican side and was appointed postmaster in January, 1903, but 
died on August 9, the same year, of typhoid fever, at the early 
age of 32 years. 

R. W. Stewart, foreman at the office, managed the paper for 
the estate until in October, 1903, when arrangements were made 
whereby he became proprietor, and being a good printer, ran a 



30S HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

creditable paper and job plant until April 6, 1905, when he sold 
his interest and moved to Ceylon, this state, where he is located 
at present. 

The new editor was Wm. G. Owens, at that time an attorney 
at Walnut Grove, later county attorney, and now located at Wil- 
liston, N. D. On March 1, 1906, he sold his interest to Chas. E. 
Lantz, the present publisher, who bought the plant from the 
Long estate, and has run a politically and otherwise independent 
paper. In August, 1915, the Tribune took over the subscription 
list of the Revere Record, which having been published at Revere 
for 15 years was suspended by its editor, Owen M. Parry. 

The Sentinel. The newspaper field of the south side of Red- 
wood county was greatly enlivened by the appearance on May 
5, 1893, of the first edition of the Sanborn Sentinel, published at 
Sanborn. The town itself was one of the live towns of Redwood 
county and for a number of years the merchants had been calling 
for a newspaper of their own. The editor and publisher of the 
paper was C. K. Blandin, and from the outset he injected into 
the news and editorial columns a spirit of active publicity and 
generous boosting and hard knocking. It was in the early part 
of 1894 that Mr. Blandin made himself conspicuous all over Red- 
wood county by issuing a political edition that created a genuine 
sensation among all of the Republican politicians and followers 
of that county. The edition had a remarkable effect upon the 
county conventions of that year and Mr. Blandin was convinced 
that his purpose had been accomplished. The Sentinel continued 
as a prosperous sheet for the first year of its existence. How- 
ever, the town was small, the field limited, and in addition, the 
publisher was so active in politics and in his local field that he 
made the usual number of enemies. Support commenced to 
dwindle and the publication was discontinued and the outfit 
moved to Olivia, Renville county. Mr. Blandin is now the suc- 
cessful business manager of the St. Paul Dispatch and Pioneer 
Press. 

Sanborn, however, was not long without a newspaper, for 
Sept. 7, 1896, the Sentinel again made its appearance with A. D. 
McRae as the publisher, and in September of 1898, it was sold 
to L. M. Reppey. 

Still later, or in 1900, George E. Bartholomew became the 
editor and publisher. Mr. Bartholomew was an educator by pro- 
fession, but drifted into the newspaper field with the hopes that 
it would be beneficial to his health. He was a genial person and 
made more friends in the newspaper field than the average pub- 
lisher. He became a candidate for county office but was defeated. 
He was postmaster at Sanborn during a portion of his residence 
there, and in April of 1904, he was obliged to close out his inter- 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 309 

ests in the Sentinel, and with his wife, moved to Colorado with 
the hopes of regaining his health. 

His successor was Angus D. McRae, a Redwood county prod- 
uct, who revived the Sentinel after its suspension under Mr. 
Blandin, and who continued as editor and publisher until Jan- 
uary, 1910. Mr. McRae was, like Mr Bartholomew, a publisher 
who made friends not only at home, but throughout the county. 
He became a candidate for register of deeds of Redwood county 
in 1908, and was elected, and he has been holding that position 
ever since. He closed out his interests in the paper to Grover 
Posz, a son of Geo. Posz of Sanborn, who had acquired some 
knowledge of printing in the Sentinel office under Mr. McRae 's 
management. Mr. Posz did not continue long at the helm and on 
Sept. 11, 1912, he turned the plant back to Mr. McRae, and 
on Oct. 23, 1912, the building containing the postoffice and the 
printing office burned and the following week the remains of 
the plant were sold to H. E. Kent. Mr. Kent received his train- 
ing as a printer in a printing office at Sleepy Eye. He came to 
Sanborn with youthful newspaper enthusiasm and has made the 
Sentinel one of the active newspapers of Redwood county. By 
reason of his activity he was appointed postmaster at Sanborn 
and now conducts the postoffice as well as the Sentinel. 

The destruction of the files of the Sentinel by fire several 
years ago has made it impossible to secure the exact date as to 
the number of changes of the paper, but the gentleman mentioned 
above were all interested in the Sentinel during the periods men- 
tioned. It is well to state that A. D. McRae, who has been one of 
the political and business successes of Redwood county, and the 
present Sentinel publisher, as well as those of the future, will 
always point to the present register of deeds of Redwood county 
with pardonable pride. 

When Mr. McRae re-established the Sentinel in 1896 he pur- 
chased the greater part of the outfit from the Morgan Messenger, 
the press alone being purchased from another party, Fred A. 
Wright, of the Springfield Advance. It was a Mann hand cyl- 
inder press, the only one of its kind in the state of Minnesota 
at that time, and it was sold to Mr. McRae for $15. Mr. McRae 
has often informed the writer that to really appreciate the value 
of the press it was necessary for a person to operate it. 

The Belview Independent. Running along the north side of 
Redwood county from the Minnesota river where it passes through 
the village of Morton in Renville county, and following very 
nearly the course of the Minnesota until it passes out of the 
western boundary line of Redwood county, is the Minneapolis 
and St. Louis railroad. This railroad was originally intended to 
be constructed through what is now the city of Redwood Palls, 
and from thence in a due westerly course to Marshall, and 



310 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

further on, to South Dakota. But when the construction crew 
reached Morton, there was a financial crash and when the work 
of extension was again taken up, for some reason known only 
in railroad circles, the company deviated from the original course 
and pursued the present route through the remaining portion of 
Minnesota and into South Dakota. The construction of this 
line was followed by the location of three different townsites — 
one at North Redwood, the second at Delhi, and the third at Bel- 
view. The village of Belview is apparently now the largest one 
of these three villages. It is the only one of the three villages 
that is blessed with a newspaper. Prior to 1895, Belview, as well 
as the other two villages, were given departments in the two 
papers at Redwood Falls, the latter vying with one another as 
to which could give the best service and make the best showing. 
Belview was given unusual space for the weekly doings and the 
businessmen patronized the Redwood Falls papers accordingly. 
The Redwood Gazette was long the official paper of the village, 
but in about 1895 there appeared Frank E. Harris, an excellent 
printer and a good news gatherer, and with him came the Bel- 
piew Independent. Mr. Harris was an original character, but 
could not refrain from the pleasantries of life, and within a year 
or two after he established the paper, he disposed of it to W. T. 
"Wasson, son of J. B. Wasson, a blacksmith of Redwood Falls. 
Young Wasson had some knowledge of the printing business, but 
never as a newspaper man. He was residing on a farm south of 
Belview with his mother at the time he made the purchase. The 
paper lost some of its former ginger and Mr. Wasson disposed of 
the plant about 1900 to H. M. Keene, who was also a printer and 
a newsgatherer, and who made little more than a living in con- 
ducting the enterprise. Mr. Keene, in about the same length of 
time, disposed of the paper to two young men under the firm name 
of Ehlers & Halberg, who continued the paper for two more years, 
when it was sold to F. G. Tuttle, and the latter continued the 
publication until some time about 1912. 

Fred G. Tuttle possessed more newspaper experience than 
most of the newspaper men in Minnesota. His political experi- 
ence was correspondingly great. He had conducted newspapers 
in various parts of the state, and was one of the important fac- 
tors in the big Kindred-Nelson congressional fight in the Old 
Fifth Minnesota district. Quitting the newspaper field in that 
section he traveled into southern Minnesota and either owned or 
controlled papers at Echo, Vesta and Milroy during or before 
the time that he settled in Belview. "Dad" Tuttle, as he was 
more familiarly known, was a pleasant writer when telling of 
news, but he was bitter, vindicative, and convincing in his polit- 
ical writings, and when he finally disposed of his plant to take 
up newspaper life in Montana, there were many of the politicians 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 311 

of Redwood county ready to express thanks. He sold the paper 
to L. F. and C. A. Johnson, and the latter two young men are 
still the owners and are keeping the paper in pace with the big 
business progress and prosperity of Belview and the rich farm- 
ing district surrounding the town. "Dad" Tuttle moved to Pax- 
ton, Montana, where he started another paper. His declining 
health, however, caused his death, in 1915. 

The Revere Record. The eighth newspaper to be established 
in Redwood county was the Revere Record. The place of its 
publication was Revere, between Lamberton and Walnut Grove. 
It is a town that was never able to properly support a paper. 
The census of 1910 gave it only a population of 134, while there 
were established newspapers in the towns on either side. But 
C. W. Folsom, a newspaper man, who never hesitated in estab- 
lishing newspapers and who came from northeastern Minnesota, 
was convinced that Revere would get back of the Record. He 
established the paper in May of 1901, and continued as editor 
until Sept. 29, 1904, running a six-column quarto paper with six 
pages printed by the patent inside houses. 

On Sept. 29, 1904, R. D. Crow became the editor and busi- 
ness manager, Folsom remaining as publisher, though the style 
of the firm is given in the Record of that date as Revere Publish- 
ing Co., with H. H. Dahl, then a well known banker of Revere, 
as having some interest in the company. On November 10, 1904, 
it was enlarged to a seven-column quarto, with a patent inside; 
and the ownership passed to Peer Storoegard on Dec. 14, 1904. 
Each edition of the paper showed that while the business houses 
of Revere were giving it support, the publisher must be dragging 
out a mighty poor existence. Mr. Storoegard continued as the 
publisher until the fall of 1912, when the paper passed into the 
ownership of Owen Parry, and on August 5, 1915, the paper, 
after over fourteen years of struggling for existence, suspended 
publication, the editor in his valedictory stating that the re- 
ceipts from the advertising had been only $12.00 per month ever 
since he had assumed control. 

The Wabasso Standard. In 1899 the Chicago & Northwest- 
ern Railroad Company, fearing the construction of a line of 
railroad through the central portion of Redwood county by the 
Chicago Great Western Company, which latter company then had 
Mankato for its terminal point, concluded to head off the con- 
struction of a new railroad line by an opposing company in what 
it termed its territory, by constructing the line from Sanborn 
northwest to Vesta, and later by extending the line from Sleepy 
Eye to Marshall. This made Redwood county, with the single 
exception of the Minneapolis & St. Louis railroad on the extreme 
north, distinctly Chicasro & Northwestern territory. 

With the construction of the line from Sanborn to Vesta there 



312 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

grew up the towns of "Wanda, Wabasso, Seaforth and Vesta. Sea- 
forth at the outset being known as Okawa, the Indian name for 
pike. 

With the establishing of the towns there came that one ad- 
vance agent of civilization, the newspaper, and on April 20, 1900, 
there appeared the first issue of the Standard, published at Wa- 
basso, the latter name being the Indian name for "the land of 
the white rabbit." W. F. Mahler was the editor and publisher, 
and was a remarkable young printer. He was gifted with more 
than ordinary talent for conducting a print shop and doing a 
fine line of printing. He was an excellent pressman in addition, 
and with his newspaper talent made the Wabasso Standard one 
of the neatest appearing papers in Redwood county. The town, 
however, was not large enough for him, and after spending a 
year or more with the Gazette at Redwood Falls, he purchased 
the Advance at Springfield, where he is now located. He sold 
the Standard on Nov. 7, 1902, to A. Clark Gleason, who came 
from Walnut Grove, and who, like Mahler, was an excellent 
printer and a good newspaper man. Mr. Gleason likewise found 
Wabasso too small for his talent, and on Oct. 14, 1904, disposed 
of the plant to James A. Larson, of Walnut Grove, the present 
assistant secretary of state, who bought the paper for the fun 
and experience of learning how to run a newspaper. Shortly 
afterwards the paper was controlled by Gooler & Larson, L. A. 
Gooler of Lamberton, associating himself with Mr. Larson in the 
publication, but on Oct. 25, 1907, this firm sold the paper to 
Messrs. Wiecks & Truedson, two young men hailing from Walnut 
Grove, and who were induced to make the purchase through the 
good offices of Mr. Larson. These two gentlemen sold the plant 
to Edward G. Weldon on May 7, 1909, and the latter has since 
conducted the newspaper with a good degree of success and is 
its present owner. 

Bright Eyes and Vesta Censor. The tenth newspaper to be 
established in Redwood county was the Vesta Bright Eyes, of 
which the Vesta Censor is the successor. Vesta is the terminus 
of the extension of the railroad from Sanborn northwest to that 
village. Long before the railroad was even thought of, there 
resided on one of the large agricultural tracts near the townsite, 
a well educated gentleman of English descent, by the name of 
James Arnold. Mr. Arnold had been county commissioner for 
that district for a number of years. He was rich in thought and 
was able to commit his thoughts to writing in an excellent man- 
ner. Before the first edition of the Bright Eyes was published, 
Arnold was a frequent contributor to all of the county papers on 
the political issues of the day, and with the coming of the rail- 
road he saw a better opportunity to give a more complete pub- 
lication to his thoughts. After conducting the paper for two 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 313 

years he finally sold the plant to M. E. Lewis, a young Redwood 
county man, who had acquired some knowledge of the printing 
business in different offices of the county. Mr. Lewis conducted 
the plant for a couple of years, when he finally took as a part- 
ner Harvey Harris, who had come to Vesta as a townsite boomer 
and as an agent for the Western Town Lot Company. At the 
time of this partnership, or on July 20, 1904, the name was 
changed to the Vesta Censor, and the firm continued the publi- 
cation until June 1, 1906, when Mr. Harris purchased the inter- 
est of Mr. Lewis and became owner of the plant. He announces 
that he is still the owner, publisher, editor and devil, and during 
all the time he has been in control there have been only five com- 
positors, all ladies, employed in the shop, four of them retiring 
from their occupation to become popular wives, and each print- 
ing their own wedding stationery before leaving the office. 

Mr. Harris was engaged in the mercantile business during 
his early years and afterwards engaged in railroading, telegraph 
operator and then working on a farm for two years. He came 
to Minnesota in 1900 and was cashier in the bank at Sherburn 
before moving to Vesta. Harris is a versatile, pugnacious little 
fellow and has always been sufficiently independent to denounce 
bad politics, bad business methods, and to boost for a good man 
for office. He maintains that his paper is Republican, but not- 
withstanding his politics, he maintains an independent attitude. 
The Censor has kept Vesta well on the map and has been a good 
advertising medium for that section of the county. In addition 
to running the newspaper Mr. Harris finds time to engage in the 
breeding of pure bred poultry and also in the breeding of Cornish 
Indian game chickens. 

The Milroy Echo. The eleventh paper to be established in 
Redwood county was the Milroy Echo, the first edition being 
printed on May 5, 1902, at Milroy, on the line of the Chicago & 
Northwestern between Wabasso and Marshall. The veteran 
newspaper man, F. G. Tuttle, together with his son, Roy Tuttle, 
established the paper and continued its publication for a year or 
two when it was sold to J. A. Looney, a young Redwood county 
citizen, who had no knowledge of the printing business, and who, 
prior to 1905, disposed of the plant to E. M. Wilson. In 1910 Mr. 
Wilson purchased the Lamberton Star from W. C. Starr, and in 
turn sold the Echo to Max W. Johnson, the latter issuing his first 
number on May 1 of that year. Mr. Johnson was born and raised 
in Redwood county, and has not only given Milroy a good news- 
paper, but has made hosts of friends in the county. 

The Wanda Pioneer Press. In 1902, at the commencement of 
a strenuous political campaign, Paul Dehnel, a native of Renville 
county, who had acquired a knowledge of the newspaper and 
printing business in that county, established the Wanda Pioneer 



314 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Press, the publication being made from the village of Wanda, a 
town between Sanborn and Wabasso, with a much smaller popu- 
lation than even the village of Revere had at that time. Mr. 
Dehnel took an active part in the primary and general election 
campaigns, and finding insufficient support for his publication 
after the campaign was over, moved the plant to Fairfax, Ren- 
ville county, where he established an opposition paper, but con- 
tinued it for a short time only. He has since conducted news- 
papers at Worthington, Springfield and Bemidji, and is now 
engaged in the newspaper business at Sleepy Eye. Mr. Dehnel 
was twice the progressive candidate for representative in con- 
gress from the Second district, but failed of election both times. 

Seaforth Item. Between 1900 and 1903 G. Roy Tuttle, son of 
the veteran newspaper man, F. G. Tuttle, established a paper in 
Seaforth, known as the Seaforth Item. Young Tuttle was versa- 
tile in the extreme and conducted an aggressive paper and even 
made way with a large portion of the county printing on one or 
two occasions. He conducted the Item until some time in 1908, 
when he disposed of the same to A. W. Milbradt, a business man 
of Seaforth, who conducted the paper in an excellent manner up 
to the time of his death, March 28, 1913, and the Item was con- 
ducted by his widow and son up to July 1, 1915. The paper is 
now conducted by his son, Ernest Milbradt. 

Other Papers. This closes the list of bona fide newspapers in 
Redwood county. As far back as 1880, King Bros., engaged in 
a dry goods business at Redwood Falls, published the Redwood 
Merchant, a monthly folio sheet of five columns to the page, in 
the interests of their store. The firm circulated 1,000 of these 
papers each month gratis and aside from advertising the different 
articles in their institution the Merchant contained some inter- 
esting paragraphs. The paper suspended with the retirement of 
the firm from business. It was printed in the office of the Red- 
wood Gazette and the writer of this article, as well as his old 
partner, James Aiken, and his predecessor as devil in the Gazette 
printing office, A. C. Weiss, now of the Duluth Herald, will recall 
the strenuous days in working at the old Washington hand press 
one entire day during each month in getting out the edition. 

In the late nineties, a Norwegian magazine called "Norma" 
was published at Walnut Grove for two years by Peer Storoe- 
gaard, some time afterwards editor of the Revere Record. This 
magazine was a monthly and published in the "Landsmaal," as 
distinguished from the literary Norwegian, which is a close adap- 
tation of the Danish, and it is claimed to have been the first 
publication of its kind in the Western hemisphere. It was re- 
vived again in 1914 by its founder and editor, Mr. Storoegaard, 
who publishes it at 313 Broadway, Fargo, N. Dak. 

Authority. Files of the various newspapers in the custody of 
the Minnesota Historical Society. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 315 

CHAPTER XXVII. 
REDWOOD COUNTY TOWNSHIPS. 

There are twenty-six townships in Redwood county. Each 
of the townships is six miles square, except Swedes Forest, Delhi, 
Honner and Sherman, which are cut by the Minnesota river. 
Redwood Falls township was in the early days, generally sup- 
posed to consist of all unorganized townships in the county, 
though it was not created by the county commissioners until 
nearly all the other townships had been created. Sherman town- 
ship was created Sept. 7, 1869. Sheridan township was created 
as Holton Jan. 4, 1870. Five townships were created in 1872; 
Brookville on Feb. 29; Charlestown (consisting of Charlestown 
and Lamberton), May 3; Blackwood (this town was to include 
Paxton and Honner, but the organization was not perfected), 
May 3 ; Swedes Forest (consisting of Kintire, Swedes Forest and 
a small part of Delhi), Sept. 4; and Avon (now New Avon), Sept. 
4. Four townships were created in 1873; Sundown on Jan. 7; 
Willow Lake and North Hero on Sept. 2, 1873 ; and Springdale 
(then called Summit), on Nov 21. Lamberton was created March 
12, 1874. Four townships were created in 1876; Delhi on Feb. 
1; Three Lakes on March 16; Underwood on April 13; and Gales 
on June 19. Three townships came into being in 1878; Water- 
bury on March 20; Johnsonville on July 16; and Westline on 
Sept. 25. Vail was created July 30, 1879, as Center. Five town- 
ships were created in 1880 ; Redwood Falls on Jan. 7 ; Honner on 
Jan. 10, as Baldwin; Vesta, Kintire and Morgan on May 11. 
Granite Rock was created several years later, thus completing 
the list. 

When the census of 1870 was taken, Redwood county extended 
to the state line, embracing the present counties of Redwood, 
Lyon, Lincoln, Yellow Medicine and La qui Parle. In this vast 
region there were then living 1,829 people. Redwood Falls town- 
ship had not been created. However it embraced, generally 
speaking, all of the present county of Redwood, with the excep- 
tion of the towns of Sheridan and Sherman, which had been 
organized with their present boundaries. Lac qui Parle em- 
braced the settlements in what is now Lac qui Parle county. 
Lynd embraced the settlements in what are now Lyon and Lin- 
coln counties, and also took in a few scattering settlements in 
the extreme western part of what is now Redwood county. Yel- 
low Medicine embraced the settlements along the Yellow Medi- 
cine river in what is now Yellow Medicine county and also the 
scattered settlement in what is now Swedes Forest township in 
Redwood county. The population of what is now Redwood Falls 



316 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

■was therefore about 900. The census figures are as follows : Red- 
wood Falls, 691 ; Sheridan, 111 ; Sherman, 67 ; Lac qui Parle, 307 ; 
Yellow Medicine, 385; Lynd, 268. 

"When the census of 1875 was taken the population of Red- 
wood county was 2,982. Owing to irregularities in the creating 
of townships and the error that had been made in taking for 
granted the inclusion of all unorganized area in the uncreated 
township of Redwood Falls, the detailed figures of that census 
are of little definite value for township comparisons. 

The census of 1880 was taken according to present day town- 
ship divisions. The county population had jumped to 5,375. 
Redwood Falls, Lamberton and Walnut Grove had been created 
as villages. Three townships had more than 300 people, Brook- 
ville with 326, Springdale with 307, and Charlestown with 304. 
Four had more than 200 and less than 300, Paxton with 259; 
Swedes Forest with 251, Sundown with 231, and Lamberton with 
224. Twelve towns had a population of 100 or more, and less 
than 200, North Hero with 196, Gales with 195, Westline with 
168, Underwood with 157, Delhi with 156, Sheridan with 155, Sher- 
man with 142, Johnsonville with 124, New Avon with 140, Wil- 
low Lake with 114, Three Lakes with 102, Redwood Falls with 
100. Seven had less than 100 ; Honner with 96, Kintire with 71, 
Vail with 61, Morgan with 56, Waterbury with 54, Vesta with 53 
and Granite Rock with 50. 

In 1885 no new villages had been created. The population 
of the county had jumped from 5,375 in 1880 to 6,488. All the 
towns had increased in population except Granite Rock, Spring- 
dale, Waterbury and Westline. The population figures for that 
year were : Over 400 — Brookville, 446 ; Charlestown, 421. Over 
300 and less than 400— Swedes Forest, 328 ; Paxton, 314. Over 200 
and less than 300 — Lamberton, 282; Sundown, 277; Springdale, 
266; Delhi, 225; Gales, 222. Over 100 and less than 200— North 
Hero, 198 ; Sherman, 196 ; Johnsonville, 174 ; Redwood Falls, 168 ; 
Underwood, 166; New Avon, 164; Sheridan, 159; Willow Lake, 
151 ; Three Lakes, 150 ; Morgan, 139 ; Honner, 118 ; Kintire, 115 ; 
Westline, 114. Under 100— Vail, 96; Vesta, 76; Waterbury, 46; 
Granite Rock, 40. 

The population in 1890 had increased to 9,386 people. Mor- 
gan village had been created from a part of Morgan township. 
All the townships had showed a decided increase in population. 
No township had less than 140 people. Only seven had less than 
200. Over 500— Brookville, 582; Charlestown, 546. Over 400 
and less than 500— Sundown, 452; Paxton, 423. Over 300 and 
less than 400— Delhi, 391; Swedes Forest, 370; Lamberton, 350; 
Sheridan, 317. Over 200 and less than 300— Springdale, 299; 
Willow Lake, 293; New Avon, 284; Three Lakes, 274; Gales, 
272 ; North Hero, 255 ; Kintire, 253 ; Johnsonville, 249 ; Sherman, 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 317 

249 ; Underwood, 238 ; Vail, 213. Under 200 and over 100— Vesta, 
199 ; Morgan, 196 ; Redwood Falls, 189 ; Waterbury, 175 ; Honner, 
167; "Westline, 141; Granite Rock, 140. 

In 1895 the population of the county had increased to 13,533. 
Two new villages had been created, Belview from Kintire and 
Sanborn from Charlestown. All of the townships had increased 
in population. Only one of the townships, Honner, which con- 
sists of but few sections, had less than 200 people. Only three 
others, Waterbury, Westline and Redwood Palls, had less than 
300. The figures were as follows: Over 600 — Brookville, 629. 
Between 500 and 600 — Sundown, 597; Delhi, 568; Charlestown, 
514. Between 400 and 500— Morgan, 461; Willow Lake, 461; 
Sheridan, 459 ; Vesta, 453 ; Lamberton, 445 ; New Avon, 443 ; John- 
sonville, 425; Paxton, 425; Three Lakes, 415. Between 300 and 
400— Sherman, 392; Springdale, 367; Underwood, 365; Kintire, 
364 ; Swedes Forest, 363 ; Granite Rock, 356 ; North Hero, 351 ; 
Gales, 350; Vail, 347. Between 200 and 300— Redwood Falls, 
285 ; Westline, 282 ; Waterbury, 266. Under 200— Honner, 195. 

In 1900, the population of the county had increased to 17,261, 
an increase of 7,875 people, and 83.9 per cent since 1890. Vesta 
and Wabasso villages had been organized. All the townships 
had increased in population except Sherman, Swedes Forest, 
Brookville, and Delhi. None of the towns had less than 262 popu- 
lation. Honner was the only one with less than 300. Westline, 
Swedes Forest, Sherman, and Redwood Palls were the only oth- 
ers with a population of less than 400. Over 600 — Sheridan, 699 ; 
Sundown, 661; Brookville, 621; Willow Lake, 603; Lamberton, 
612. Between 500 and 600— Paxton, 598 ; North Hero, 583 ; New 
Avon, 547; Granite Rock, 539; Vesta, 531; Charlestown, 525; 
Delhi, 516 ; Waterbury, 514 ; Three Lakes, 512. Between 400 and 
500— Johnsonville, 499 ; Vail, 497 ; Morgan, 489 ; Gales, 441 ; Kin- 
tire, 437; Springdale, 431; Underwood, 407. Under 400— West- 
line, 372 ; Sherman, 358 ; Swedes Forest, 349 ; Redwood Falls, 337 ; 
Honner, 262. 

The population reached high-water mark in 1905, with a total 
of 19,034, an increase of 40.6 per cent in ten years. The villages 
of Clements, Delhi, Lucan, Milroy, North Redwood, Revere, Sea- 
forth, and Wanda had been organized since the Federal census of 
1900. The growth in population was for the most part in the 
villages. The townships of Sheridan, Sherman, Swedes Forest, 
Vesta, Willow Lake, Charlestown, Delhi, Gales, Honner, John- 
sonville, New Avon and North Hero had decreased in popula- 
tion. Population of 600 and over — Sundown, 678; Lamberton, 
618; Paxton, 610: Granite Rock, 600. Between 500 and 600— 
Waterbury, 593 ; Vail, 556 ; North Hero, 553 ; Morgan, 552 ; Sheri- 
dan, 538; New Avon, 553; Three Lakes, 520; Charlestown, 519; 
Vesta, 511. Between 400 and 500— Johnsonville, 498; Kintire, 



318 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

489; Underwood, 487; Willow Lake, 477; Delhi, 454; Gales, 440; 
Springdale, 431 ; Westline, 409. Under 400— Sherman, 388 ; Red- 
wood Falls, 380; Honner, 233 (including 126 in North Redwood 
village, without which the population of the township was 107). 
The federal census of 1910 gives the latest authentic returns 
of Redwood county population. In that year the population of 
the county had decreased to 18,425, the wet years having caused 
many of the residents to leave. The townships which showed a 
decrease in population were: Sherman, Sundown, Swedes For- 
est, Three Lakes, Underwood, Vail, Vesta, Brookville, Gales, 
Granite Rock, Honner, Johnsonville, Kintire, Morgan, New Avon, 
North Hero and Redwood Falls. Those showing an increase were : 
Sheridan, Springdale, Waterbury, Westline, Willow Lake, 
Charlestown, Delhi, Lamberton and Paxton. In this connection 
it should he stated that the population of Lamberton township 
is not entirely rural, as an unincorporated portion of the village 
of Lamberton overflows into the township. Over 600 — Water- 
bury, 658; Sundown, 648; Lamberton, 634; Paxton, 629; Brook- 
ville, 610. Between 500 and 600— Granite Rock, 560; Sheridan, 
557; Vail, 553; Willow Lake, 548; Charlestown, 532; Morgan, 
525; Three Lakes, 512; Vesta, 505. Between 400 and 500— New 
Avon, 494 ; Johnsonville, 488 ; Springdale, 476 ; Delhi, 471 ; North 
Hero, 450; Westline, 446; Underwood, 441; Kintire, 429; Gales, 
411. Under 400— Sherman, 380; Redwood Falls, 362; Swedes 
Forest, 336; Honner, 105. 



SWEDES FOREST. 

(By A. O. Gimmestad.) 

Swedes Forest township is located in the very northern cor- 
ner of Redwood county, and embraces Congressional fractional 
township 114-37, lying south of the Minnesota river. It is bounded 
on the north by the Minnesota river, on the east by Delhi, on 
the south by Kintire, and on the west by Yellow Medicine county. 
There are two small creeks flowing northward in this township. 

The original survey of this township was made during 1866. 
The work was started by Richard Jewett and George Howe, U. S. 
deputy surveyor, on July 9, 1866. The land was first class. In 
the river bottoms in sections 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, 18, 19, and the north 
half of 20, in the section 24, northwest quarter of section 25, 
northeast quarter of section 26 were large deposits of trap rock. 
In sections 21, 22, 27 and 28 and part of 23 and 26 the lands in 
the bottoms were rich first class soils. The Minnesota river ran 
through sections 7, 8, 9, 16, 21, 22, 23 and 24. A narrow strip of 
timber, principally willow and cottonwood, was found along the 
banks. The timber was heavy, oak, ash, and elm trees were also 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 319 

found in other parts of the townships besides along the river. In 
the northeast quarter of section 30 were found the Boiling 
Springs. From these flowed the ereek which ran through sec- 
tions 20 and 21 to the Minnesota river. 

Beginning with March 2, 1868, the west part of Swedes For- 
est was a part of Yellow Medicine township and after Yellow 
Medicine county was organized March 4, 1871, was considered a 
part of Redwood Falls township. In the meantime the east part 
had been considered a part of Redwood Falls township. Swedes 
Forest was created Sept. 4, 1872. It consisted of township 113-37 
and all of township 114, ranges 36 and 37, south of the Minne- 
sota. Thus it included the present townships of Kintire and 
Swedes Forest, and a part of the present township of Delhi. Kin- 
tire was created May 11, 1880. On that date fractional 104-36 
was attached to Delhi. In the meantime, on February 10, 1880, 
the present boundaries of Swedes Forest had been established, 
as an election ordered held at the home of J. J. Hanson, Feb. 23, 
1880. 

The surface is mostly gently rolling prairie, except the bluffs 
along the river bottom, which bottom is from one to two miles 
wide. The soil is rich, deep, black loam with clay sub-soil, and 
is very productive. The farm buildings and improvements are 
better than the average of any settlement in this county. The 
population is all Norwegian, with the exception of one Dane, 
who is married to a Norwegian, one Scotchman, and one Ger- 
man. There is one Norwegian Lutheran church located on the 
Minnesota bluff near the center of section 28; a cemetery near 
the church, four public schools, one at the southwest corner of 
section 17, one at the northeast corner of section 31, one at the 
southeast corner of section 28, and one at the southeast corner 
of N. y 2 of S. E. % of section 26. 

The first white settler was Nels Swenson, who was born near 
the city of Helsingborg, Sweden, in 1837; came to the United 
States in 1863, came from West Troy, New York, together with 
another Swede, by the name of Holz, arriving at Swedes Forest 
in September, 1865. Nels Swenson settled on the S. y 2 , S. E. *4, 
section 26, and N. i/ 2 of N. E. %, section 25. 114-37. Mr. Holz 
assisted Mr. Swenson in building a log cabin, where the two lived 
together nearly a year. Mr. Holz, being an ex-soldier, moved to 
near Beaver Falls, Renville county, on a claim awarded him by 
the Government. 

Early in the spring of 1866 a young American by the name 
of Foot, came up, and settled in section 26, on the farm later 
occupied by Fred Holt. Mr. Foot, one day at the Minnesota river, 
in jumping from one rock to another, injured or strained him- 
self internally. He was tpken to Redwood Falls for medical aid, 
where he died later from his injuries. There were several friendly 



320 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

Sioux Indians that camped near the log cabin, who frequently 
came to the cabin and asked for things that they were in need of. 
The old Government trail, or road, was near this house and it 
became a stopping place for travelers. Although the occupants 
were bachelors, the travelers were always welcome, and they re- 
ceived the best to be had and most of the time without any com- 
pensation, the latch string to the door was always on the outside. 
Acting Governor Austin was among the many notables enter- 
tained there. 

On December 22, 1867, Peter Swenson, a brother of Nels, came 
to Swedes Forest. In coming there he was properly initiated to 
the weather of the Northwest. Peter Swenson was born in 
Sweden at the same place as his brother Nels, in 1841. He came 
to the United States in 1864, left Rome, N. Y., for the West Dec. 
10, 1867, arriving at Redwood Falls, Minn., Dec. 21. At Redwood 
Falls he met a young man by the name of Guleck Olson, from 
Renville county ; with him he started out afoot for Nels Swenson 's 
house, a distance of fourteen miles out from Redwood Falls. 
Three or four miles out from Redwood Falls, they met Knute 
Berge, Iver Iverson, Jr., and Tov Rudy, on skiis and Nels Swen- 
son, afoot, on the way to Redwood Falls. The three men on skiis 
proceeded to Redwood Falls and Nels Swenson returned with 
Peter Swenson and Guleck Olson. A very strong cold wind was 
blowing from the northwest, which they had to face all the way, 
which chilled the travelers and tired them. Nels Swenson got 
so cold and exhausted that his companions had a hard time to 
get him home. He did not recover entirely from the effects for 
more than a year afterward. Knute Berge, Iver Iverson and 
Tov Rudy started on skiis for home toward evening. Two or 
three miles out of Redwood Falls, Tov Rudy said he was getting 
very tired and that he did not think he could make home against 
the wind. They consulted together as to what to do. Mr. Rudy 
insisted on going back to Redwood Falls. It was finally agreed 
that Mr. Rudy return to Redwood Falls, he being favored with 
the wind being on his back and it being only a short distance. 
Berge and Iverson were to continue homeward, but after pro- 
ceeding four or five miles night overtook them. Realizing that 
they could not go any farther against the wind on the prairie 
they turned their course toward the Minnesota river in quest of 
timber. They at last succeeded in reaching the bluff near Rice 
creek. There being a little timber, they gathered some dry 
branches to build a fire. To their horror they found that they 
had only one and a half match between them, but with this they 
succeeded in starting a fire which they kept going all night, thus 
saving their lives. They arrived at the Swenson cabin the next 
morning. That same morning two half-breed Indians started out 
hunting, coming out on the prairie west from Redwood Falls. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 321 

They noticed some object in the distance moving about and fall- 
ing down; upon arrival at this object they found it to be Mr. 
Rudy, who had been out on the prairie all night. They brought 
him to Redwood Falls where he was treated by Dr. Hitchcock, 
but he died from the effects of his sufferings and frost. 

In the spring of 1868 Peter Swenson took up S. %, N. E. *4 
and N. %, S. E. 14, section 35-114-37, but lived with his brother 
Nels until 1871, when he married Christine Torstensen, from 
New Ulm. Miss Torstensen was born at Vignes near Lilleham- 
mer, Norway. By this time several Norwegians had settled 
farther west, along the Yellow Medicine river. Their nearest 
trading place being Redwood Falls and Nels Swenson, now having 
a housekeeper, the Swenson home became a midway stopping 
place for nearly all of the settlers farther west. In 1869 Peter 
Swenson applied for a postoffice, he was appointed postmaster 
and named it Swedes Forest postoffice. This name was selected 
because a Swede was the first settler, and Forest on account of 
the timber that was there where Mr. Swenson built his log cabin. 
Nels Swenson left Swedes Forest for Bosque county, Texas, in 
1876. In 1877 Peter Swenson left for the same place with his 
family in a coverel wagon. It took them nine weeks to make the 
trip. They lived in Bosque county about two years, when Peter 
Swenson started a ranch on Little Cedar creek in Stephens county, 
Texas, seven miles southwest from Caddo, where he now resides 
with his family. Nels is now 78 years old ; he never married and 
resides with his brother Peter. The ranch is called Swensondale 
Stock Farm, Peter Swenson and Son, proprietors. Peter Swen- 
son has 3,500 acres, his son Selmer has 1,150 acres. They have 
400 acres under cultivation, using a 12-25 horsepower tractor for 
plowing, threshing, seeding and harvesting the grain. They keep 
more than 800 well bred Hereford cattle, besides a large number 
of horses and mules. They have the best and most expensive 
residence building in Stephens county; all this is clear from debt 
or incumbrances, which shows that the hardy Swedes, who 
started in at Swedes Forest, without any financial means, have 
made good also in other parts of the country. 

In the spring of 1867 came Knute Knutson Berge, wife Inge- 
borg, two daughters, Christiana and Anna. They were from 
Hardanger, Norway, and came to Swedes Forest from Rose 
Creek, "Wis. Christiana married Andres Anderson (called Vos- 
sen), but died a few years later, leaving one daughter, Gurine, 
who married Christian Iverson. Anna married Erick Sander 
and they live on the land settled by Mr. Knutson, that part of 
section 8, lying south of the Minnesota river. Mrs. Ingeborg 
Knutson died in the early seventies. Mr. Knutson then married 
Elizabeth Jordanger from Bredheim, Nordfjord, Norway. She 
still resides on the farm with her son-in-law, Sander. Knute 



322 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Knutson died some fifteen years ago. At the same time and in 
the same party came Torkel Olson Lyse, wife Martha, and daugh- 
ter Karen, who later married Egnebrigt Lyse. Mrs. Martha Lyse 
died and Mr. Lyse later married one Mrs. Nestebo; they are 
both now dead. Mr. Lyse settled on lots 3 and 4, section 7, near 
the Minnesota river. The Lyses were from Stavangar, Norway, 
and came here from Rose Creek, Wis. In the same party also 
came Iver Iverson, Jr., then a single man; he also came from 
Rose Creek, Wis., and was from Stavangar, Norway. He set- 
tled on S. 1/2 of N. W. %, section 19, in the woods on the Minne- 
sota bottom bluffs. He returned to Wisconsin the following year 
and married Kari Iverson. They had five children, Halvor, 
Jorgine, Hans, Iver and Oliver. Halvor married Jode Abraham- 
son. They reside on their farm northeast from Echo. Jorgine 
married Hans Abrahamson. She died some five years ago. Hans 
married Emma Sander, and resides in Belview. Iver and Oliver 
are unmarried, and reside on the homestead with their mother. 
In 1867 came Tov Rudy, his wife Turi, and son Lars, and daughter 
Gunhild. They were from Numedal, Norway, and came here 
from Fillmore county, Minn. They settled on S. V2, N. E. i/4, 
section 28. Mr. Rudy died from exposure in the frost the fol- 
lowing winter. Mrs. Rudy married Jens Hanson. He is dead 
and Turi lives with her son, Tom. Lars Rudy married Christiana 
Eide from Olden, Nordfjord, Norway. She died about twenty 
years ago. Lars lives in northern Minnesota. Gunhild married 
Torsten Mostad, now of Miner county, North Dakota. In 1868 
Tarald Iverson and wife, Helena, came. They were from Stav- 
angar, Norway, and came here from Rose Creek, Wis. They set- 
tled on E. y 2 , N. E. 14, section 18. Helena died in 1915. They 
had seven children, Taletta, Julia, Anna, Christian, Ingeborg, 
Thomas and Chrestine. Taletta married Talsten Herried and 
lives in Renville county. Julia married Andres Anderson (Vos- 
sen), who died many years ago. She lives with her father on the 
farm. Anna married Ole Sander and lives near the old farm. 
Christian married Gurine Anderson and lives on his farm north- 
east from Echo. Ingeborg married Wilhelm Hetle and lives on 
their farm in section 16, Swedes Forest. Thomas is not married 
and lives with his father. Chrestine married Thor Hetle and 
lives on their farm in section 19, Swedes Forest. Ole Herried 
and wife, Kriste, came in 1869. They were from Hardanger, Nor- 
way. They settled on N. y 2 , S. E. 14, section 17. They had eight 
children, Halsten, Ole, Engeborg, Josephine, Andreas, Knute, 
Lena and Christiana. Halsten married Taletta Iverson and lives 
on their farm in Renville county. Ole is not married, and lives 
in Yellow Medicine county. Engeborg married Ole D. Tufto, and 
lives on their farm in section 17. Josephine married Elen Lee, 
they moved to near Brooten, Minn., where Mr. Lee died some 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 323 

years ago. Andreas married Josephine Mogen. They live at 
Morgan, Minn. Knute married Gina Haagenson. They live near 
Morden, Canada. Lina married Christian Anderson. He died 
in 1915. She lives on their farm in Yellow Medicine county. 
Christiana married M. 0. Gimmestad. They live on their farm in 
section 20. Kristi Herried died long ago. Ole then married 
Maria Chilstrop; they are both dead some years ago. Bent H. 
Hegdahl and wife, Barbro, from Indviken, Nordfjord, Norway, 
came here from Crawford county, Wis., in 1870. They settled on 
N. y 2 , N. E. %, section 29. They had eight children — Annie, 
Helga, Wilhelmina, Bertina, Marie, Henry and Josephine. Annie 
married A. 0. Gimmestad and lives in Belview. Helga married 
Mons. R. Posness. She died in 1913. Wilhelmina married C. M. 
Olson. She died in 1915. Bertina married Andrew Peterson and 
lives in Belview. Maria married A. W. Lyslo and resides in Bel- 
view. Henry bought the home farm. He married Clara Bergon 
and resides on the farm. Josephine resides with her mother in 
Belview. Bent H. Hegdahl and wife moved into Belview in 1910. 
Mr. Hegdahl died in 1915. Mrs. Hegdahl resides in Belview. Ole 
K. Rake and wife, Elizabeth, from Olden, Nordfjord, Norway, 
came here in 1870 from Crawford county, Wis. They had three 
children — Britha, Knute and Helge. Britha married Henrick 
Odegaard and lives on their farm near Baker, N. D. Knute died 
some 25 years ago. Helge married Maria Odegaard and lives on 
their farm in N. E. y±, section 30. Ole Rake died early in the 
seventies. Mrs. Rake married Tolef Reierson. They had one 
child, Olina, who married Halvor Huseby, and lives on the old 
homestead. Elizabeth Rake died about seven years ago. Kol- 
bent K. Rake, a brother of Ole K. Rake, came here in 1870. He 
married Berta Gimmestad. They have eleven children — Bertina, 
Ellen, Knute, Olina, Anna, Marie, Clara, Emma, Oscar, Carl, and 
Lenora. Bertina married G. R. Blackseth and resides at Pair- 
view, Mont. Mr. Rake settled on S. % S. E. %, section 30, where 
he now resides. 

Frederick Holt came to Swedes Forest in 1867 and brought 
his family in 1869. The story of this settlement is found in this 
work under the head of "Pioneer Experiences." At about the 
same time David Tibbitts settled in the township. 

The first election of township officers was held at the home of 
J. J. Hanson on Sept. 21, 1872. Meeting was called to order by 
Peter Swenson. Frederick Holt was duly chosen moderator of 
the meeting. Knut Knutson, Hans A. Bakke, and David Tibbitts 
were duly chosen judges of the election. Torkel Oleson was 
elected chairman of the board of supervisors; Iver Iverson and 
Hans A. Bakke, supervisors ; Peter Swenson, town clerk ; Torsten 
Mostad, town treasurer; David Tibbitts and Frederick Holt, jus- 
tices of the peace ; Ole A. Harid and Taral Iverson, constables. 



324 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

The annual meeting of the town of Swedes Forest was held 
in the home of J. J. Hanson, on the 11th day of March, 1873. 
The following officers were elected: Hans A. Bakke, chairman; 
Iver Iverson and Torkel Oleson, supervisors; Peter Swenson, 
clerk; Torsten Mostad, treasurer; Ole K. Rake, assessor. The 
annual meeting of the town of Swedes Forest was held on March 
10, 1874. The following officers were elected: Hans A. Bakke, 
chairman ; Iver Iverson and Torkel Oleson, supervisors ; Peter 
Swenson, clerk; T. Mostad, treasurer; Ole A. Harid, assessor; 
Ole K. Rake and Amund A. Harid, constables ; Peter Swenson 
and David Tibbitts, justices of the peace. Bent H. Hegdal was 
duly chosen overseer of the highways in road district No. 1, and 
Hans A. Bakke for road district No. 2. The annual meeting of 
the town of Swedes Forest was held at the home of J. J. Hanson, 
March 9, 1875, and the following officers were elected : Hans A. 
Bakke, chairman; Andrew Cole and Iver Iverson, supervisors; 
Peter Swenson, clerk; Torsten Mostad, treasurer; Andrew Cole, 
justice; Ole A. Harid, assessor; John Martin, constable. At the 
annual election held at the home of Nils Stenson on March 14, 
1876, the following officers were elected: Amond Amondson, 
chairman; Nils Sandager and Mathias Keller, supervisors; John 
Martin, clerk; Ole Cole, treasurer; Ole A. Harid, assessor; Arch 
Stewart, justice; Fred Holt and Nels Stenson, constables. At 
the annual election held at the house of Nils Stenson on March 
13, 1877, the following officers were elected: Fred Holt, chair- 
man ; Even Sampson and H. H. Hegdahl, supervisors ; Peter Swen- 
son, clerk; Ole Cole, treasurer; Andrew Cole, assessor; Torsten 
Mostad, justice of the peace; Nils H. Sandager and Hans A. 
Bakke, constables. At the annual election held at the house of 
J. J. Hanson on March 12, 1878, the following officers were 
elected : Fred Holt, chairman ; Ole Cole and Iver Iverson, super- 
visors; Torsten Mostad, clerk; Nils Stenson, treasurer; Andrew 
Cole, assessor ; A. Stewart, justice of the peace ; Ole Johnson and 
Kolbert Knutson, constables. At the annual election held at the 
house of J. J. Hanson on March 11, 1879, the following officers 
were elected : Hans A. Bakke, chairman ; John Martin and B. H. 
Hegdahl, supervisors ; Toarsten Mostad, clerk ; Nils H. Sandager, 
treasurer; Andrew Cole, assessor; J. B. Holms, justice of the 
peace; Kolben Knutson and H. M. Sandager, constables. 

At the annual election held at the house of J. J. Hanson on 
Feb. 23, 1880, the following officers were elected : Hans A. Bakke, 
chairman ; John Martin and B. H. Hegdahl, supervisors ; T. Mos- 
tad, clerk -. Nils H. Sandager, treasurer ; Nils Stenson and Andrew 
Cole, justice of the peace ; Kolben Knutson and Hans Sandager, 
constables. At another annual election held at the house of J. J. : 
Hanson on March 9, 1880, the following officers were elected: 
Hans A. Bakke, chairman; B. H. Hegdahl and Anders Davidson, 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 325 

supervisors ; T. Mostad, clerk ; H. H. Hegdahl, treasurer ; Andrew 
Cole, assessor; John Martin and Ole A. Harid, justices of the 
peace; Kolbent Knutson and Andres Hjeldness, constables. At 
the annual election held at the house of J. J. Hanson on March 
8, 1881, the following officers were elected : Hans A. Bakke, chair- 
man ; H. H. Hegdahl and David Tibbits, supervisors ; Isaac Gran- 
um, clerk; Nils H. Sandager, treasurer; Andrew Cole, assessor; 
Nils Stenson, justice of the peace; Andrew Cole and H. M. Sand- 
ager, constables. At the annual election held at the house of 
J. J. Hanson on March 14, 1882, the following officers were 
elected: H. A. Bakke, chairman; H. Sandager and H. H. Heg- 
dahl, supervisors; C. Stenson, clerk; N. H. Sandager, treasurer; 
C. Olson, assessor; T. Mostad and John Martin, justices of the 
peace; A. H. Bakke and L. Anderson, constables. At the annual 
election held at the house of T. L. Anderson on March 13, 1883, 
the following officers were elected: H. M. Sandager, chairman; 
C. Olson and Anders Davidson, supervisors; T. Mostad, clerk; 
Nils Sandager, treasurer; Andrew Cole, assessor; 0. A. Harid, 
justice of the peace. At the annual election held at the house of 
T. L. Anderson on March 11, 1884, the following officers were 
elected : H. M. Sandager, chairman ; Paul Johnson and M. Mon- 
son, supervisors; T. Mostad, clerk; Nils H. Sandager, treasurer; 
Andrew Cole, assessor ; John Martin, justice of the peace ; L. An- 
derson and Christ Gimmestad, constables. At the annual elec- 
tion held at the house of T. L. Anderson on March 10, 1885, the 
following officers were elected : H. M. Sandager, chairman ; Paul 
Johnson and M. Monson, supervisors; T. Mostad, clerk; N. H. 
Sandager, treasurer; C. Olson, assessor; Ole 0. Plom, justice of 
the peace. At the annual election held at the house of T. L. 
Anderson on March 9, 1886, the following officers were elected: 
H. M. Sandager, chairman; Kolben Knutson and Arne Loken, 
supervisors ; T. Mostad, clerk ; N. H. Sandager, treasurer ; Andrew 
Cole, assessor ; John Martin, justice of the peace ; B. Monson and 
C. Gimmestad, constables. At the annual election held at the 
house of T. L. Anderson on March 8, 1887, the following officers 
were elected : John Martin, chairman ; M. Monson and A. David- 
son, supervisors; T. Mostad, clerk; N. H. Sandager, treasurer; 
A. Cole, assessor; L. Anderson, justice of the peace. At the an- 
nual election held at the house of L. Anderson on March 13, 
1888, the following officers were elected : H. M. Sandager, chair- 
man ; H. H. Hegdahl and Paul Johnson, supervisors ; G. Knutson, 
clerk; N. H. Sandager, treasurer; Andrew Cole, assessor; John 
Martin, justice of the peace; Bertel Monson and C. Gimmestad, 
constables. At the annual election held at the house of L. Ander- 
son on March 12, 1889, the following officers were elected : H. M. 
Sandager, chairman: Math Monson and Paul Johnson, super- 
visors; C. Knutson, clerk; N. H. Sandager, treasurer; Andrew 



326 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Cole, assessor; John Martin and A. 0. Gissestad, justices of the 
peace ; Arne Loken and Andrew Cole, constables. 

At the annual election held at the house of L. Anderson, on 
March 11, 1890, the following officers were elected: H. M. Sand- 
ager, chairman; M. Monson and Paul Johnson, supervisors; C. 
Knutson, clerk ; N. H. Sandager, treasurer ; A. Cole, assessor. At 
the annual election held at the house of L. Anderson on March 
10, 1891, the following officers were elected : Mathias Monson, 
chairman; M. 0. Gimmestad and B. H. Hegdahl, supervisors; C. 
Knutson, clerk; C. Olson, treasurer; A. Cole, assessor; John Mar- 
tin and Ole 0. Flora, justices of the peace ; Arne Loken and Anuld 
Anderson, constables. At the annual election held at the house 
of L. Anderson, on March 8, 1892, the following officers were 
elected: M. Monson, chairman; B. H. Hegdahl and M. 0. Gim- 
mestad, supervisors ; C. Knutson, clerk ; C. Olson, treasurer ; A. 
Cole, assessor. At the annual election held at the house of L. An- 
derson, on March 14, 1893, the following officers were elected : 
M. Monson, chairman; Paul Johnson and B. H. Hegdahl, super- 
visors; C. 0. Gimmestad, clerk; C. Olson, treasurer; Lars Ander- 
son, assessor; M. 0. Gimmestad and Ole 0. Flom, justices of the 
peace ; Arne Loken and Olaus Nelson, constables. At the annual 
election held in the schoolhouse of district No. 10, on March 13, 
1894, the following officers were elected: Math Monson, chair- 
man; Nils Eide and A. Davidson, supervisors; C. 0. Gimmestad, 
clerk; C. Olson, treasurer; Lars Anderson, assessor. At the an- 
nual election held in the schoolhouse of district No. 10, on March 
12, 1895, the following officers were elected: C. Knutson, chair- 
man ; N. W . Eide and Anders Davidson, supervisors ; C. O. 
Gimmestad, clerk; C. Olson, treasurer; Lars Anderson, assessor; 
M. 0. Gimmestad and Ed Holt, justices of the peace; Arne 
Loken and Olaus Nelson, constables. At the annual election 
held at the schoolhouse of district No. 10, on March 10, 1896, 
the following officers were elected: C. Knutson, chairman; 
N. W. Eide and A. Davidson, supervisors; C. 0. Gimmestad, 
clerk; Paul Johnson, treasurer; M. 0. Gimmestad, assessor. At 
the annual election held in the schoolhouse of district No. 10, 
on March 9, 1897, the following officers were elected: N. H. 
Sandager, chairman ; Tom Anderson and Ed Holt, supervisors ; 
George Olson, clerk; Ole 0. Flom, treasurer; Wm. Rucker, 
assessor ; Peter Peterson and H. 0. Hegdahl, justices of the peace ; 
C. Iverson and John Hjeldness, constables. At the annual elec- 
tion held in the school house of district No. 10, on March 8, 1898, 
the following officers were elected: N. H. Sandager, chairman; 
Ed Holt and Paul Johnson, supervisors ; C. 0. Gimmestad, clerk ; 
Ole 0. Flom, treasurer ; C. Olson, assessor ; M. 0. Gimmestad, jus- 
tice of the peace. At the annual election held in the schoolhouse 
of district No. 10, on March 14, 1899, the following officers were 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 327 

elected: N. H. Sandager, chairman; Iver Iverson and Ed Holt, 
supervisors ; C. 0. Gimmestad, clerk ; N. "W. Eide, treasurer ; H. 0. 
Hegdahl, assessor; Peter Peterson, justice of the peace; Arne 
Loken and Ole Larson, constables. 

At the annual election held in the schoolhouse of district No. 
10, on March 13, 1900, the following officers were elected : N. H. 
Sandager, chairman; Iver Iverson and H. 0. Knutson, supervis- 
ors; C. 0. Gimmestad, clerk; N. "W. Eide, treasurer; H. 0. Heg- 
dahl, assessor; M. 0. Gimmestad, justice of the peace. At the 
annual election held in the schoolhouse of District No. 10, on 
March 12, 1901, the following officers were elected: C. Olson, 
chairman; Iver Iverson and A. Davidson, supervisors; C. Knut- 
son, clerk; N. W. Eide, treasurer; George Olson, assessor; Geo. 
Sampson, justice of the peace ; Jens Hjeldness and H. B. Hegdahl, 
constables. At the annual election held in the schoolhouse of 
district No. 10, on March 10, 1902, the following officers were 
elected : C. Olson, chairman ; B. H. Hegdahl and Ole Cole, super- 
visors; C. Knutson, clerk; N. W. Eide, treasurer; C. 0. Gim- 
mestad, assessor ; M. 0. Gimmestad, justice of the peace. At the 
annual election held in the school house of district No. 10, on 
March 10, 1903, the following officers were elected: C. Olson, 
chairman ; A. Davidson and B. H. Hegdahl, supervisors ; C. Knut- 
son, clerk; N. W. Eide, treasurer; C. 0. Gimmestad, assessor; 
John Hjeldness, justice of the peace; N. H. Sandager and L. L. 
Brevold, constables. At the annual election held at the school- 
house of district No. 10, on March 8, 1904, the following officers 
were elected : C. Olson, supervisor, three years ; A. Davidson, 
supervisor, two years; B. H. Hegdahl, supervisor, one year; C. 
Knutson, clerk ; N. W. Eide, treasurer ; C. 0. Gimmestad, assessor ; 
M. 0. Gimmestad and Ed Holt, justices of the peace. At the 
annual election held in the schoolhouse of district No. 10, on 
March 14, 1905, the following officers were elected : Knute Mon- 
son, supervisor, three years ; C. Kuntson, clerk ; N. W. Eide, treas- 
urer ; C. 0. Gimmestad, assessor ; L. L. Bredvold and N. H. Sand- 
ager, constables. At the annual election held in the schoolhouse 
of district No. 10, on March 13, 1906, the following officers were 
elected : A. Davidson, supervisor ; C. Knutson, clerk ; N. "W. Eide, 
treasurer; C. 0. Gimmestad, assessor; M. 0. Gimmestad and Ed 
Holt, justices of the peace ; 0. 0. Cole, constable. At the annual 
election held in the schoolhouse of district No. 10, on March 12, 
1907, the following officers were elected: C. Olson, supervisor; 
C. Knutson, clerk; N. W. Eide, treasurer; C. 0. Gimmestad, as- 
sessor; L. L. Bredvold, constable. At the annual election held in 
the schoolhouse of district No. 10, on March 10, 1908, the fol- 
lowing officers were elected: K. Monson, supervisor; C. Knut- 
son, clerk; M. "W. Eide, treasurer; C. 0. Gimmestad, assessor; 
M. 0. Gimmestad and J. N. Sandager, justices of the peace ; Ole 



328 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Rake, constable. At the annual election held in the schoolhouse 
of district No. 10, on March 9, 1909, the following officers were 
elected : T. A. Rudy, supervisor ; C. Knutson, clerk ; N. W. Eide, 
treasurer; C. 0. Gimmestad, assessor; L. L. Bredvold, constable. 
At the annual election held in the schoolhouse of district No. 10, 
on March 8, 1910, the following officers were elected: John 
Hjeldness, supervisor; C. Knutson, clerk; N. "W. Eide, treasurer; 
E. A. Holt and J. N. Sandager, justices of the peace; Ole Rake, 
constable. At the annual election held in the schoolhouse of 
district No. 10, on March 14, 1911, the following officers were 
elected: K. Monson, supervisor; C. Knutson, clerk; N. W. Eide, 
treasurer; C. 0. Gimmestad, assessor; M. 0. Gimmestad, justice 
of the peace; Oscar Gryting, constable. At the annual election 
held in the schoolhouse of district No. 10, on March 12, 1912, the 
following officers were elected : T. A. Rudy, supervisor ; C. Knut- 
son, clerk ; N. "W. Eide, treasurer ; M. N. Sandager, justice of the 
peace; Ole Rake and 0. D. Tufto, constables. At the annual 
election held in the schoolhouse of district No. 10, on March 11, 

1913, the following officers were elected : John Hjeldness, super- 
visor; C. Knutson, clerk; N. W. Eide, treasurer; Hans Hegdahl, 
assessor; M. 0. Gimmestad, justice of the peace. At the annual 
election held in the schoolhouse of district No. 10, on March 10, 

1914, the following officers were elected : K. Monson, supervisor ; 
C. Knutson, clerk; N. W. Eide, treasurer; M. N. Sandager, jus- 
tice of the peace ; 0. L. Rake and 0. D. Tufto, constables. At the 
annual election held in the schoolhouse of district No. 10, on 
March 9, 1915, the following officers were elected : T. A. Rudy, 
supervisor, three years ; C. Knutson, clerk ; N. W. Eide, treasurer ; 
C. 0. Gimmestad, assessor ; M. 0. Gimmestad, justice of the peace. 



KINTntE TOWNSHIP. 

(By A. 0. Gimmestad.) 

Kintire township is located in the northern part of Redwood 
county, and embraces Congressional township 113-37. It is 
bounded on the north by Swedes Forest, on the east by Sheridan, 
and half a mile of Vesta due to the irregularity in the survey, 
and on the west by Yellow Medicine county. The surface is roll- 
ing prairie. The Pacific division of the Minneapolis and St. Louis 
runs due east and west through the northern portion. Its only 
village is Belview with a population in 1910 of 290 persons. The 
trading centers are Belview, Delhi and Redwood Falls. There 
are four schoolhouses. The predominating nationality is Ger- 
man and Scandinavian. 

The original survey of this township was made during 1864. 
The work was started on Aug. 22, by Charles Davis and James 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 329 

Webb, Jr., U. S. deputy surveyors. The township was rolling 
prairie with some meadow and marsh land. The marshes were 
rapidly drying up. The soil was first rate. There was no tim- 
ber. There were two lakes meandered — one in sections 22 and 
27 and the other in sections 8 and 17. The Sioux Indian reserva- 
tion line ran through sections 34, 33, 29 and 19. 

Beginning with March 2, 1868, the west half of Kintire was 
included in Yellow Medicine township and after Yellow Medicine 
county was organized March 2, 1871, was considered a part of 
Redwood Falls township. In the meantime the eastern part had 
been considered a part of Redwood Falls township. When Swedes 
Forest was created, Sept. 4, 1872, it included Kintire township. 
Kintire was created with its present boundaries May 11, 1880. 
Following is a copy of the order inscribed on the minutes : 

"Upon receiving a petition of a majority of all the legal 
voters of Congressional township one hundred and thirteen (113), 
range thirty-eight (38), in said county, asking that the same be 
organized as a new town, under township organization law, to 
be called Kintire. We, the county commissioners of said county 
did, on the 11th day of May, A. D. 1880, proceed to fix the 
boundaries of such new town, and name the same Kintire, in ac- 
cordance with the said petition, and designated the residence of 
Archibald Stewart, section 13, in said town, as the place for hold- 
ing the first town meeting in such town of Kintire, to be held on 
Tuesday, May 25, 1880, A. D. The boundaries of said town of 
Kintire, as fixed and established by us, are as follows; to-wit: 
All of congressional township number 113, range 37, according to 
the United States Survey thereof. This order will take effect 
from and after date, May 11, 1880. By order of the Board of 
County Commissioners of Redwood County. Fred V. Hotchkiss, 
Chairman. Attest : I. M. Van Schaack, County Auditor. I here- 
by certify that the foregoing is a true and correct copy of the 
original order now on file in my office. I. M. Van Schaack, County 
Auditor. June 1, 1880, A. D." 

At the annual meeting held at the home of Archibald Stewart 
on May 25, 1880, the following officers were elected : M. Keller, 
chairman ; J. B. Holmes and Albert Deveraux, supervisors ; W. C. 
Cook, clerk; Archibald Stewart, treasurer; Lucius Thurston and 
H. F. Jones, justices of the peace; Ole C. Johnson and Justin F. 
Jones, constables. At the annual meeting held at the home of 
W. C. Cook on March 8, 1881, the following officers were elected : 
M. Keller, chairman; J. B. Holmes and Ole C. Johnson, supervis- 
ors; C. L. Holms, assessor; W. C. Cook, clerk; Archie Stewart, 
treasurer; Hans Jensen, justice of the peace; Ole Boklep, consta- 
ble. At the annual town meeting held at the schoolhouse of 
district No. 50, on March 14, 1882, the following officers were 
elected; M. Keller, chairman; Ole C. Johnson and J. B. Holms, 



330 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

supervisors; W. C. Cook, clerk; Archie Stewart, treasurer; C. L. 
Holmes, assessor; C. L. Holmes, justice of the peace; Anton 
Weideman, constable. At the annual town meeting held in the 
schoolhouse of district No. 50, on March 13, 1883, the following 
officers were elected : M. Keller, chairman ; Ole C. Johnson and 
William Smith, supervisors; W. C. Cook, clerk; Archie Stewart 
treasurer; C. L. Holmes, assessor; Hans Jenson, justice of the 
peace ; "Chris Keller, constable. At the annual town meeting held 
in the schoolhouse of district No. 50, on March 11, 1884, the follow- 
ing officers were elected: M. Keller chairman; William Smith 
and Ole C. Johuson supervisors; W. C. Cook, clerk; Archie 
Stewart, treasurer; C. L. Holmes, assessor; C. L. Holmes, justice 
of the peace. At the annual town meeting held in the school- 
house of district No. 50, on March 10, 1885, the following 
officers were elected : Ole C. Johnson, chairman ; J. Stadman and 
Hans Jensen, supervisors; W. C. Cook, clerk; J. A. Lagerstrom, 
treasurer; Anton Weideman and O. A. Hines, justices of the 
peace; C. Lagerstrom and J. W. Marceys, constables. At the 
annual town meeting held in the schoolhouse of district No. 50, 
on March 9, 1886, the following officers were elected: Ole C. 
Johnson, chairman ; Anton Weideman and C. Keller, supervisors ; 
W. C. Cook, clerk; J. A. Lagerstrom, treasurer; Hans Jensen, 
assessor. At the annual town meeting held in the schoolhouse of 
district No. 50, on March 8, 1887, the following officers were 
elected; William Smith, chairman; John Stewart and Ole C. 
Johnson, supervisors; W. C. Cook, clerk; O. A. Hines, treasurer; 
M. Keller, assessor; E. A. Pease and L. Thurston, justices of the 
peace; Chris Keller and Ole C Johnson, constables. At the 
annual town meeting held in the schoolhouse of district No. 28, 
on March 13, 1888, the following officers were elected; William 
Smith, chairman; H. F Jones and John Stewart, supervisors; W. 
C. Cook, clerk; 0. A. Hines, treasurer; Archibald Stewart, 
assessor; C. Keller and Edward Deveraux, constables; W. 
Howes, justice of the peace. 

At the annual town meeting held in the schoolhouse of district 
No. 28 on March 12, 1889, the following officers were elected: 
William Smith, chairman; John Stewart and Ole C. Johnson, 
supervisors; W. C. Cook, clerk; 0. A. Hines, treasurer; E. M. 
Holmes, assessor; E. A. Pease and C. H. Jones, justices of the 
peace; Ole C. Johnson and Chris Keller, constables. At the an- 
nual town meeting held in the schoolhouse of district No. 50 on 
March 11, 1890, the following officers were elected: William 
Smith, chairman; John Stewart and H. F. Jones, supervisors; 
W. C. Cook, clerk ; George Lipman, treasurer ; A. M. Monson, 
assessor; C. H. Jones, justice of the peace; W. I. Howes, con- 
stable. At the annual town meeting held in the school house of 
district No. 50, on March 10, 1891, the following officers were 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 331 

elected: "William Smith, chairman; M. Keller and Bert Monson, 
supervisors; J. M. Thompson, clerk; George Lipman, treasurer; 
Andrew Monson, assessor ; M. Listrud, justice of the peace ; M. C. 
Lilleby, constable. At the annual town meeting held in the Simp- 
son store in Belview on March 8, 1892, the following officers were 
elected : J. L. Dunning, chairman ; Bert Monson and William 
Mack, supervisors; J. L. Thompson, clerk; S. 0. Kollin, treas- 
urer; Martin Listrud, assessor; A. 0. Gimmestad, justice of the 
peace ; F. Koher and W. I. Howes, constables. Favor of license, 
57; against license, 32. At the annual town meeting held in the 
A. Fromm wagon shop on March 14, 1893, the following officers 
were elected: E. A. Pease, chairman; B. Monson and William 
Mack, supervisors; J. L. Thompson, clerk; S. 0. Kollin, treas- 
urer; A. Monson, assessor; M. Keller, justice of the peace; S. F. 
Peterson and W. I. Howes, constables. At the annual town 
meeting held at the Simpson store in Belview, on March 13, 1894, 
the following officers were elected : E. A. Pease, chairman ; B. 
Monson and William Mack, supervisors ; A. 0. Gimmestad, clerk ; 
S. 0. Kollin. treasurer; C. H. Jones, assessor ; E.M.Holmes, justice 
of the peace ; 0. A. Hines, constable. At the annual town meet- 
ing held in Kollins Hall, on March 12, 1895, the following officers 
were elected: E. A. Pease, chairman; A. Weideman and S. F. 
Peterson, supervisors; A. 0. Gimmestad, clerk; A. F. Potratz, 
treasurer; A. M. Monson, assessor; E. A. Pease, justice of the 
peace ; Edward Erickson, constable. At the annual town meet- 
ing held on March 10, 1896, the following officers were elected : 
E. A. Pease, chairman; A. Weideman, supervisors; A. 0. Gim- 
mestad, clerk; A. F. Potratz, treasurer; A. M. Monson, assessor; 
A. 0. Gimmestad, justice of the peace ; R. Hoppenrath, consta- 
ble. At the annual town meeting held in the Belview school- 
house, on March 9, 1897, the following officers were elected : Grant 
Adsit, chairman ; Wm. Mack and W. I. Howes, supervisors ; A. O. 
Gimmestad, clerk ; A. F. Potratz, treasurer j C. H. Jones, assessor ; 
0. A. Hines, justice of the peace; Ed Erickson, constable. At 
the annual town meeting held in the Belview schoolhouse, on 
March 8, 1898, the following officers were elected : Grant Adsit, 
chairman ; Wm. Mack and W. I. Howes, supervisors ; A. 0. Gim- 
mestad, clerk; A. F. Potratz, treasurer; A. M. Monson, assessor; 
A. 0. Gimmestad, justice of the peace; G. Stenson, contable. At 
the annual town meeting held in the Belview schoolhouse, on 
March 14, 1899, the following officers were elected : G. E. Adsit, 
chairman ; Wm. Mack and B. Monson, supervisors ; A. 0. Gim- 
mestad, clerk; A. F. Potratz, treasurer; A. M. Monson, assessor; 
Thomas McKay, justice of the peace; M. E. Lewis and Oscar 
Berger, constables. 

At the annual town meeting held in the Belview schoolhouse, 
on March 12, 1900, the following officers were elected : G. E. 



332 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Adsit, chairman; Wm. Mack and B. Monson, supervisors; A. 0. 
Gimmestad, clerk; A. F. Potratz, treasurer; A. M. Monson, as- 
sessor; A. 0. Gimmestad, justice of the peace; Ben Simpson and 
John McKowen, constables. At the annual town meeting held 
in the Belview schoolhouse, on March 12, 1901, the following 
officers were elected: G. E. Adsit, chairman; Wm. Mack and 
B. Monson, supervisors; A. 0. Gimmestad, clerk; A. F. Potratz, 
treasurer; Daniel McKay, assessor; Thomas McKay, justice of 
the peace. At the annual town meeting held in the Belview 
schoolhouse, on March 11, 1902, the following officers were 
elected : Herman Kaiser, chairman ; L. T. Braafladt and Andrew 
Anderson, supervisors; A. 0. Gimmestad, clerk; A. F. Potratz, 
treasurer; Daniel McKay, assessor; A. 0. Gimmestad and W. D. 
Tibbitts, justices of the peace; Helmuth Hagen and John Mc- 
Kowen, constables. At the annual town meeting held in the Bel- 
view schoolhouse, on March 10, 1903, the following officers were 
elected: H. Kaiser, chairman; L. T. Braafladt and Andrew An- 
derson, supervisors; A. M. Monson, clerk; S. F. Peterson, treas- 
urer; Daniel McKay, assessor; A. M. Stewart, justice of the 
peace. At the annual town meeting held in the Belview school- 
house, on March 8, 1904. the following officers were elected: H. 
Kaiser, chairman; L. T. Braafladt and A. Anderson, supervisors; 
A. M. Monson, clerk; S. F. Peterson, treasurer; D. McKay, as- 
sessor; Henry Dreyer and G. E. Adsit, justices of the peace; 
Peter McKay and Wm. Peterson, constables. At the annual town 
meeting held in the Belview fire house on March 14, 1905, the 
following officers were elected: A. Anderson, supervisor, three 
years; L. T. Braafladt, supervisor, two years; H. Kaiser, super- 
visor, one year; A. M. Monson, clerk; S. F. Peterson, treasurer; 
Daniel McKay, assessor. At the annual town meeting held in the 
Belview fire house on March 13, 1906, the following officers were 
elected : L. T. Braafladt, supervisor, three years ; A. M. Monson, 
clerk; S. F. Peterson, treasurer; G. E. Adsit, assessor; H. A. 
Dreyer and G. E. Adsit, justices of the peace ; Wm. Mack and 
John Oslund, constables. At the annual town meeting held in 
the Belview Fire Hall, on March 12, 1907, the following officers 
were elected : Helmuth Hagen, supervisor ; Daniel McKay, clerk ; 
S. F. Peterson, treasurer; Wm. Mack, assessor; Ole 0. Falaas, 
justice of the peace. At the annual town meeting held in the 
Belview Fire Hall on March 10, 1908. the following officers were 
elected : Andrew Anderson, supervisor ; Daniel McKay, clerk ; 
S. F. Peterson, treasurer; Wm. Mack, assessor; G. E. Adsit and 
H. A. Dreyer, justices of the peace; Wm. Mack, constable. At 
the annual town meeting held in the Belview fire house, on March 
9, 1909, the following officers were elected : John W. Hines, 
supervisor; Daniel McKay, clerk; S. F. Peterson, treasurer; Wm. 
Mack, assessor; G. E. Adsit and A. M. Monson, justices of the 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 333 

peace ; John Oslund and Wm. Peterson, constables. At the annual 
town meeting held in the Belview fire house on March 8, 1910, 
the following officers were elected : Helmuth Hagen, supervisor 
Daniel McKay, clerk; S. P. Peterson, treasurer; Wm. Mack, as 
sessor; G. E. Adsit, justice of the peace; Albert Smith and G. E, 
Adsit, constables. At the annual town meeting held in the Bel 
view fire house, on March 14, 1911, the following officers were 
elected: Andrew Anderson, supervisor; Daniel McKay, clerk 
S. P. Peterson, treasurer; Wm. Mack, assessor; A. M. Monson 
justice of the peace; Wm. Peterson, constable. At the annual 
town meeting held in the Belview fire house, on March 12, 1912 
the following officers were elected : Nils J. Haagenson, super 
visor ; A. M. Monson, clerk ; S. F. Peterson, treasurer ; Wm. Mack 
assessor ; G. E. Adsit, justice of the peace ; J. M. Johnson, consta 
ble. At the annual town meeting held in the Belview fire house 
on March 11, 1913, the following officers were elected: Alfred 
Hultquist, supervisor; John Hines (by lot), clerk; S. P. Peter 
son, treasurer; Wm. Mack, assessor; S. W. Nelson, justice of the 
peace ; Geo. Kuek and Albert Nelson, constables. At the annual 
town meeting held in the Belview fire hall on March 10, 1914, the 
following officers were elected: Andrew Anderson, supervisor; 
John Hines, clerk; S. F. Peterson, treasurer; Wm. Mack, as- 
sessor; H. F. Hagen, justice of the peace. At the annual town 
meeting held in the Belview Fire Hall on March 9, 1915, the fol- 
lowing officers were elected: Nils J. Haagenson, supervisor; 
Daniel McKay, clerk; S. F. Peterson, treasurer; A. M. Monson, 
assessor; S. W. Nelson, justice of the peace; Albert Nelson, con- 
stable. 

The History of Minnesota Valley, published in 1882, says : 
"Lyman Walsh, who came in the summer of 1872. and located in 
the southwestern part of the town, was the first settler. Soon 
after Mr. Walsh, Albert Devreaux came in and settled where he 
now lives. Archibald Stewart came the following fall." 

DELHI TOWNSHIP. 

Delhi township is located on the north-central border of Red- 
wood county, and comprises Congressional fractional townships 
113-36 and 114-36. It is bounded on the north by the Minnesota 
river, on the east by Honner, on the west by Kintire, and on 
the south by Redwood Palls, and half a mile of Sheridan, due 
to the irregularity of half a mile in the survey. Ramsey creek 
crosses it on the southern side, and Rice creek flows northeast 
in the northwest part of this township. The surface is rolling 
and well-watered. The Pacific division of the Minneapolis and 
St. Louis passes through the center from east to west. The only 
village is Delhi with a population in 1910 of 174. The trading 



334 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

centers are Delhi and Redwood Falls. There are three school- 
houses. The predominating nationality is American and Scotch, 
the township being the center of the Scotch settlement in Red- 
wood comity. 

The original survey of 113-36 was begun Jan. 10, 1858, and 
finished Oct. 10, 1858, by W. R. McMahan, U. S. deputy sur- 
veyor. He described the surface as rolling and well-watered, 
and the soil, generally, first rate. He found some fine groves 
of timber along the river bluffs and bottom. Among the kinds 
of trees were cottonwood, bur oak, willow, timber oak, ash and 
elm. The road to Yellow Medicine entered this township near 
the southeast corner and passed out at the northwest corner. 
An Indian trail passed across the southern part of this township. 
A lake was found in the southwest corner in sections 29, 30, 31 
and 32. 

The original survey of 114-36 this township, was begun Oct. 
20, 1858, and finished Oct. 24, 1858, by W. R. McMahan, U. S. 
deputy surveyor. He described the surface as high and rolling. 
The Minnesota river bottoms and bluffs were covered with small 
groves of timber including maple, hackberry, elm, willow, red 
cedar, bur oak, cottonwood, and white oak. The soil was first 
rate. 

Beginning with the organization of the county, Delhi was 
considered a part of Redwood Falls. Delhi township was created 
February 1, 1878, and consisted of all of township 113-36 in this 
county. Fractional township 114-36 (which since September 4, 
1872, had been a part of Swedes Forest) was added to Delhi, 
May 11, 1880, thus giving it its present boundaries. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1881 says: 
"The first town meeting was held at "Word en & Ruter's mill in 
section 36, February 19, 1876. Officers elected : Thomas H. King, 
chairman, George Stronach and John Anderson, supervisors; 
James Anderson, clerk; Daniel McLean, treasurer; Alex Mc- 
Corquodale, assessor; Isaac Leslie and Exra Ticknor, justices; 
George Gaffney and John Whittet, constables, and David Whittet, 
overseer of highways. The first settler was Carl Simondet, who 
came in 1865 and settled on section 13, where he lived until 1880, 
when he died. His son, who also took a claim in 1865, now lives 
on the old homestead. There appeared no settlers until 1868, 
when John and James Anderson and Alex. McCorquodale came 
in. The first birth was that of Christina, a daughter of Isaac and 
Margaret Leslie, January 18, 1873. The first marriage was that 
of Andrew Stewart and Miss Kate McLean in December, 1872. 
John McLean died June 20, 1877, and was buried in the cemetery 
at Redwood Falls; the first death in the town. The first school 
was taught by Miss Thora McNiven, with seven pupils, in section 
20, during the summer of 1873; there are three organized dis- 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 335 

triets in the town and but two school houses. In the summer of 
1870 religious services were held at the home of John McLean 
by Rev. R. G. Wallace, Presbyterian minister. During the winter 
of 1870-1871, an organization was effected by the Rev. J. L. 
Whitta, with thirteen members. They now have a membership 
of twenty-eight." 

HONNER TOWNSHIP. 

Honner township is located on the north side of Redwood 
county and embraces the Congressional fractional township 113-35 
and fractional section 31, township 113-34 and east by the Minne- 
sota river on the west by Delhi, and on the south by Paxton, also 
Redwood Falls there being a variation of half a mile made in 
the survey. Little Crow creek crosses it on the eastern side and 
empties into the Minnesota river. The Redwood river crosses 
the northwest corner of it and also empties into the Minnesota 
river. The Pacific division of the Minneapolis and St. Louis 
crosses this township passing in a northwesterly direction. The 
surface is partly rolling and partly level. The northeast part 
of Redwood Falls city is located in this township. The village 
of North Redwood is located near the place where the Red- 
wood river joins the Minnesota. The trading centers are Red- 
wood Falls, in Redwood county, and Morton in Renville county. 
There is one school house. The predominating nationality is 
German and American. 

The original survey of this township was started September 
15, 1858, by W. R. McMahan, U. S. deputy sheriff. All of the sur- 
vey was done during 1858. The land was rolling and level, about 
the same amount of each. The soil was first rate. The Minne- 
sota river extending along the north and east boundary of this 
township. There was quite a good deal of timber and many 
kinds of trees such as burr oak, ash, elm, boxelders, and hack- 
berry. Toward the west and south were a few trails and Indian 
fields. A stony ridge was found in parts of sections 33 and 28. 

Beginning with the organization of the county, Honner was 
considered a part of Redwood Falls township. Before Honner 
was organized several attempts were made to organize Black- 
wood. On petition, May 3, 1872, the commissioners created 
Blackwood, consisting of township 112-35 and all of 113-35 in 
this county. But the action was reconsidered and laid on the 
table until a future meeting. June 4, 1872, Blackwood was 
created, consisting of township 112-35 and all of township 113-35 
in this county except sections 18, 19, 20, 29, 30, 31 and 32. Pax- 
ton was created July 30, 1879. Honner was created by the 
county commissioners, Jan. 10, 1880. It then consisted of all of 
township 113-35 in this county, and was named Baldwin. Feb. 



336 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

10, 1880, the name was changed to Honner. On March 17, 1881, 
fractional section 31, township 113-34 was added to Honner 
township. 

The first settler in Honner township was George Johnson and 
his son, Marion, who came to Redwood county in 1864, and settled 
on the south shore of Tiger lake. The next year, Hugh Curry 
took a claim in the township. J. S. G. Honner, for whom the 
township was named, was one of the first settlers of Redwood 
Palls, and later took a claim on the Minnesota river in what is 
now Honner township. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1882 says: 

"A village was laid out partly in each of sections 20 and 29, on 
land owned by E. B. Daniels, about 1876, and called Riverside. 
A store, an elevator, a hotel, a blacksmith shop and a few other 
buildings were put up ; a post-office was also established. The 
town was not a success ; the hotel and elevator were moved into 
Redwood Falls, and there remain but two small buildings on the 
site. In 1869, E. Birum & Brother built a water-power saw-mill 
in section 30 on the Redwood river. It continued in operation 
as such until 1879, when it was changed to a grist-mill. It now 
has two run of stone, and is operated by E. Birum, the present 
proprietor. The German Evangelical congregation held services 
at the house of Bernhard Kunzli in section 29, in 1867, conducted 
by the Rev. Hillscher. An organization was effected by the Rev. 
Schmidt in 1880, with seventeen members. 

"A school was taught in 1876, in an old building in section 
21, by Alice Patton; she had about twelve pupils. This was the 
only school taught in town as it was divided into joint districts, 
one part going to Redwood Palls, and the other to District 2, 
in Paxton township. The first birth was that of Frederick, a son 
of J. S. G. Honner and wife. He was born Oct. 24, 1868. The 
first death was that of a little daughter of George and Mary E. 
Johnson, who died in October, 1868. The first marriage was that 
of William Davis and Mahala Johnson in the spring of 1867. 

"The first town meeting was held at the house of David Wat- 
son, in section 31, Jan. 24, 1881. The officers elected were : Super- 
visors, Henry Birum (chairman), Marion Johnson, Stephen Rus- 
sell; Clerk, J. K. Deming; assessor, J. S. G. Honner; treasurer, 
R. W. Rockwell; justice, David Watson; constable, G. B. Dove." 

Honner township now has from 28 to 32 voters. Shoemaker's 
hall is the voting place. The supervisors are M. Anderson, A. H. 
Seebeck and F. J. Hoepner. H. R. Simondet is the clerk. The 
justice of the peace and the constable have not qualified. The 
early records of the township have not been preserved, the 
present records in the possession of the clerk dating back only 
to 1905. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 



UNDERWOOD TOWNSHD?. 

Underwood township is located in the northwest corner of 
Redwood county, and embraces Congressional township 112-39. 
It is bounded on the north by Yellow Medicine county, on the 
east by Vesta township and on the south by Westline township, 
and on the west by Lyon county. The Redwood river flows in 
an easterly direction through the central part. The surface is 
high rolling prairie. There are no railroads passing through the 
township and the township has no villages. The trading centers 
are Vesta, Milroy and Redwood Falls in Redwood county and 
Marshall and Cottonwood in Lyon county. There are four school 
houses. The predominating nationalies are German, Scotch and 
American. 

The original survey of this township was begun July 20, and 
completed August 16, 1867. The work was done by Richard 
H. L. Jewett and George C. Home, U. S. deputy surveyors. They 
described the land as high, rolling prairie with soil of the first 
quality growing lighter and more sandy as approaching the river 
while along the line between the prairie and bottom land the soil 
became gravelly and second rate. There were two small lakes in 
the northwest part. There was but little timber. A road was 
found running through the central part of the township in a 
westerly direction. 

Beginning with September 4, 1876, Underwood township was 
a part of Yellow Medicine township, and after Yellow Medicine 
county was organized March 6, 1871, was considered a part of 
Redwood Falls township. Underwood was created with its present 
boundaries April 13, 1876, and an election ordered to be held at 
the home of Levi Ten Eyck, May 2, 1876. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1882 says: 
"Levi Ten Eyck, who located on section 20, in August, 1869, was 
the first actual settler. George and Charles Mead, Archie and 
William Stewart, John Noble, Archie McLean and R. H. Mc- 
Kittrick came the next year. May 2, 1876, the town was organ- 
ized ; the first officers were : William Cahoon, chairman, Malcom 
McNiven and A. H. Morgan, supervisors ; Daniel McNiven, clerk ; 
R. H. McKittrick, assessor; Levi Ten Eyck, treasurer; Archie 
Noble and James McKay, justices; Collin Mattheson and James 
Gilkey, constables. There was no school till the winter of 1879, 
when Mrs. William Simmons taught at home. Box Elder post- 
office was established in 1879, and Eben Martin appointed post- 
master. The first marriage was James McKay and Anna Monroe, 
by Rev. Mr. Simmons, 1877. The first birth was Van Dyke, son 
of Levi Ten Eyck, born March 20, 1870. A son of Henry Johnson 
died in 1877, the first death." 



338 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

VESTA TOWNSHIP. 

Vesta township is located in the northwestern part of Red- 
wood county, and embraces Congressional township 112-38. It is 
bounded on the north by Yellow Medicine county and half a mile 
of Entire, due to the mistake in the survey; on the east by 
Sheridan, on the south by Granite Rock, and on the west by 
Underwood. The Redwood river flows eastwardly through the 
central part of it. The surface is generally rolling. The Sanborn- 
Vesta branch of the Chicago and Northwestern enters it on the 
east side and passes in a northwesterly direction to the center 
of the township, stopping at Vesta. The only village is Vesta. 
The trading centers are Vesta, Echo, Seaforth and Redwood Falls. 
There are six school houses. The predominating nationality is 
Bohemian and German. 

The original survey of this township was begun August 15, 
1859, and finished August 23, 1859, by Mahlon Black, U. S. deputy 
surveyor. He described the surface as generally rolling and 
marshy. The soil, where it was not marshy, was of a first rate 
quality. The land was all prairie with no timber. A wagon road 
passed east and west through the center of this township. 

Beginning with September 4, 1866, Vesta was a part of Yellow 
Medicine township, and after Yellow Medicine county was or- 
ganized March 6, 1871, was considered a part of Redwood Falls 
township. Vesta was created with its present boundaries, May 
11, 1880. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1882 says : 
"The first claim was taken by William Smith in the fall of 1868 
on section 14. He was followed by Mathias and Hubbard Burgess, 
Hiram Eldredge, George and Albert Dunning, in May 1869. The 
town was set apart for organization May 11, 1880, and the first 
election was ordered held at the house of Sarah Mcintosh, May 29 
following. The name was given by Commissioner Hotchkiss after 
the goddess Vesta. The first school was taught by Mrs. Mary 
Reed in 1872, at the house of Hubbard Burgess ; schools are still 
conducted in private houses. Religious services have been con- 
ducted by the Methodist society for several years at private 
houses. The first marriage was that of S. Holson and Eliza Bur- 
gess in the winter of 1873. The first death was an infant daughter 
of William Smith, that died in November, 1870, and was buried 
on the farm. 

SHERIDAN TOWNSHIP. 

Sheridan township is located in the north-central part of 
Redwood county and embraces Congressional township 112-37. 
It is bounded on the north by Kintire and a half mile of Delhi, 
on the east by Redwood Falls, on the south by Vail, and on the 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 339 

west by Vesta. Redwood river flows through its central part in 
an easterly and north easterly direction. The surface is rolling 
prairie. The Vesta-Sanborn branch of the Chicago and North- 
western crosses its southwest corner. Its only village is Seaforth 
with a population in 1915 of 146 persons. The trading centers 
are Seaforth, Redwood Falls, Vesta, and Belview. There are eight 
school houses. The predominating nationality is German. 

The original survey of this township was made during 1864 
by Charles Davis and James Webb, Jr., U. S. Deputy surveyors. 
The work was started on August 13, 1864. The township had very 
few wet marshes or swamps. The land was rolling prairie and 
meadow. The soil was first rate. The Redwood river ran through 
the township, but owing to the dry season was very low. The 
banks were for the most part from four to six feet high and 
therefore were not likely to overflow. There was no timber 
excepting small clusters of cottonwood and willow along the Red- 
wood river. The Sioux Indian reservation line extended through 
sections 12, 11, 2 and 3 of this township. A road ran nearly 
straight east and west in the south of the township through sec- 
tions 25 and 30 inclusive. 

The west part of Sheridan township was included in Yellow 
Medicine township by act of the county commissioners March 2, 
1868, and the east part was considered a part of Redwood Falls 
township beginning with the organization of the county. January 
4, 1870, the commissioners created Holton, with the present boun- 
daries of Sheridan. A change of name to Sheridan was authorized 
by the commissioners September 8, 1870. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1882 says : 
"The town was organized January 22, 1870, at the house of George 
Reiber. The names of Holton, Bath and Sheridan were voted 
upon as the name for the town, and the result proved in favor 
of Sheridan. The following officers were elected : George Reiber, 
chairman, Chester Fisk and George G. Sandford, supervisors; 
D. V. Francis, clerk; Daniel Thompson, assessor; John Holton, 
treasurer; Edwin Payne and Thomas Barr, justices; Adolph 
Leonard and Robert Thompson, constables. In May, 1868. Charles 
Holton came in, bringing his wife, a daughter and four sons. 
Mr. Holton selected a claim in section twelve. The two oldest 
sons, John and Laurence, took claims in section fourteen. A house 
was built on Mr. Holton 's claim, where they all lived during the 
first winter. Mr. Holton died in December, 1878. In the fall of 
1868, George Reiber located on section 10, followed in 1869 by 
Robert Thompson. The first school was taught in the summer 
of 1874, in a building on section 6, erected for the purpose; there 
are now three school-houses. Weldon post-office was established 
in 1873, with Thomas Barr, postmaster; the office was discontinued 
after a few years. The first marriage was Adolph Leonard and 



34U HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Bertha Holton, in 1872. Albert E. Clark, born September 26, 1872, 
was the first birth. The first death was Annie, wife of Laurence 
Holton, who died August 29, 1872." 

REDWOOD FALLS TOWNSHD?. 

Redwood Palls township is located in the northeast central 
part of Redwood county, and embraces Congressional township 
112-36. It is bounded on the north by Delhi and half a mile of 
Honner, caused by the variation in the survey, on the east by 
Paxton, on the south by New Avon, and on the west by Sheridan. 
The Redwood river crosses its northern part, flowing in a north- 
easterly direction and passing out through section 1. The Sleepy 
Eye-Redwood Falls branch of the Chicago and Northwestern 
enters it in section 1 and stops at the city of Redwood Falls. 
The surface is level in the southern part and rolling in the 
northern part. The trading center and only city is Redwood 
Falls. There are six schoolhouses. The predominating nationality 
is American. 

The original survey was made by James L. Nowlin, U. S. 
deputy surveyor, who started September 3, 1858, and finished 
September 8, of the same year. He described the surface as level 
or rolling. The soil was generally of the best quality. He found 
a little timber in this township, including oak, ash, maple and elm. 
A wagon road crossed in the northeast and southwest direction 
through the northern part of the township. An Indian trail 
was also found in the northern part of the township. 

From the organization of the county, the whole county was 
considered a part of Redwood Falls township unless definitely 
created into another township. The township however had not 
been definitely created by the commissioners, and to remedy this 
defect, the commissioners created it on Jan. 7, 1880, and ordered 
an election held at the Court House, Jan. 22, 1880. Town meet- 
ings were regularly held in the township from April 3, 1866, and 
an act of the legislature later legalized all acts between that date 
and Jan. 22, 1880. 

The early history of Redwood Falls township is identical with 
that of the village. 

PAXTON TOWNSHD?. 

Paxton township is located in the northeast central part of 
Redwood county, and embraces Congressional township 112-35. 
It is bounded on the north by Honner, on the east by Sherman, 
on the south by Three Lakes, and on the west by Redwood Falls. 
Little Crow creek runs in a north and east direction in the north- 
ern part of this township. The surface is level in some places and 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 341 

rolling in others. The Sleepy Eye-Redwood Falls branch of the 
Chicago and Northwestern crosses it diagonally from the south- 
east to the northwest corner. Its only station is Gilfillan, con- 
sisting of a few houses. The extreme eastern portion of Redwood 
Falls is also in this township. The trading centers are Morgan 
and Redwood Falls, in Redwood county, and Morton in Renville 
county. There are five schoolhouses. The predominating na- 
tionality is American, many being of eastern and Scotch-American 
ancestry. The Indian agency with its school, church and colony 
is in this township. 

The original survey of this township was made during the 
year 1858. It was started by James L. Nowlin, U. S. deputy sur- 
veyor, on September 9, 1858. The surface was rolling generally 
but level in some places. The soil was for the most part first rate. 
No large lakes or streams were found. Several Indian fields were 
found, especially in the north and east parts. The township was 
full of trails crossing and joining one another. Only a little 
timber was found, burr oak toward the east, and both red oak 
and linden toward the center and west. 

Beginning with the organization of the county, Paxton was 
considered a part of Redwood Falls township. Paxton was 
created by the county commissioners with its present boundaries 
July 30, 1879, and the first meeting ordered held Sept. 13, 1879, 
at the school house in District 20. Before Paxton was organized, 
several attempts were made to organize Blackwood. On petition 
on May 3, 1872, the commissioners created Blackwood, consisting 
of township 112-35 and all of 113-35 lying in this county. But 
the action was reconsidered, and laid on the table until a future 
meeting. June 4, 1872, Blackwood was created, consisting of 
township 112-35 and all of township 113-35 in this county, except 
sections 18, 19, 20, 29, 30, 31 and 32. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1884 says: 
"Paxton was named in honor of J. W. Paxton, who once owned 
the large tract of land now owned by 0. B. Turrell. The first 
town meeting was held September 13, 1879; officers elected: 
"William Perry, chairman; Z. Y. Hatch and Benjamin Wolf, 
supervisors ; S. F. Cale, clerk ; A. A. Wilson, treasurer ; D. R. 
Morrison and W. W. Byington, justices; C. E. Goodwin and 
Charles Tyrrell, constables. The first settlers were John McMillan, 
Sr., and son James, Paul Brott, Norman Webster, George John- 
son and C. D. Chapman. The farm allotted to the Indian Chief, 
Little Crow, was in this town ; a number of buildings had been 
erected by the government for the Indians, and these the settlers 
occupied on their arrival. The first school was taught by Mary 
Bailey in the winter of 1866-7, supported by subscription. The 
next year a building was erected ; there are now two frame school 
houses in the town. The first religious service was held in the 



342 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

fall of 1870, by a Presbyterian, Rev. Lyon. The Advent denomi- 
nation formed a society in 1876, under the leadership of Elders 
Grant and Dimmick ; the present leader is Elder C. D. Chapman. 
Paxton village was surveyed in 1878, on section 26 ; a small store 
was conducted by the Cale Brothers, a couple of years, the only 
improvement made. The postoffice was established in 1878 with 
S. F. Cale postmaster; Harvey Moore now has the office at his 
house near the station." 



SHERMAN TOWNSHIP. 

Sherman township is located in the northeast corner of Red- 
wood county, and embraces Congressional fractional township 
112-34. It is bounded on the north by the Minnesota river, on the 
east by Brown county, on the south by Morgan, on the west by 
Paxton. Wabasha river flows in a northeasterly direction through 
the central part of this township. It has no station nor railroad. 
The surface is level or gently rolling and high. The trading 
centers are Morton in Renville county and Morgan and Redwood 
Falls in Redwood county. There are four school houses. The 
predominating nationality is German. 

The original survey was begun August 9, 1858, and finished 
August 13, 1858, by James A. Nowlin, U. S. deputy surveyor. He 
described the land as level or rolling and high. The soil was first 
rate in nearly every case. This township had numerous Indian 
farms. The timber was scarce except along the Minnesota river, 
which entered this township in section 6 and passed in a south- 
easterly direction, leaving the township in section 24. The follow- 
ing kinds of trees were found : oak, elm, hackberry, ash, willow, 
burr oak, aspen, lind, cottonwood, maple, and boxelder. The 
Sioux Agency road extended northwest and southeast through 
the center of the township. 

Beginning with the organization of the county, Sherman was 
considered a part of Redwood Falls township. Sherman town- 
ship was created by the county commissioners Sept. 7, 1869. The 
township was described as follows : ' ' All the territory of township 
112, range 34, and all the territory of township 113, range 34, 
lying south of the Minnesota river." This was intended to mean 
all that part of both townships lying south of the river, but it was 
held that the words "lying south of the Minnesota river" applied 
only to township 113, range 34, and that as part of this area lay 
in Renville county, the creation of the county was illegal. Con- 
sequently, on Feb. 10, 1880, the township was recreated, consist- 
ing of that part of 112-34 lying south of the Minnesota. The 
boundaries have thus remained to the present day. That part 
of township 113-34 lying south of the Minnesota (a fractional part 
of a section) was included in Honner by legislative enactment. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 343 

The story of the Lower Sioux Agency established in this town- 
ship in 1853 is told elsewhere in this work, as is the story of the 
Massacre. The old stone house erected by the government is still 
standing, and various markers and monuments mark historic sites 
in the township. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1884 says: 
"Of the settlers who came after the Massacre J. J. Light was the 
first; he came in the spring of 1866. Claims were taken later by 
James and John Arnold, Cassius Frazier and George Cary. The 
first death was that of Mrs. John "Wall, in the spring of 1868. 
The first marriage was that of M. S. Hamblen and Clara J. Bailey. 
The latter taught the first school in the town in the summer of 
1870, in an old log building on section 8 ; there were eight scholars. 
There are now two frame school houses in the town. Lower Sioux 
Agency postoffice was established about 1868 at the house of 
James Arnold. The office has had several changes and is now in 
charge of R. H. "Warren at his house. 

"The first town meeting was ordered by the Commissioners 
to be held at the home of Joseph Poppet, but it was actually held 
at the house of A. E. Kneipple in section 8, October 4, 1869. The 
name was given in honor of Gen. "William T. Sherman, the famous 
hero. The officers for that year were : J. J. Light, chairman, 
A. E. McCarty and M. C. Tower, supervisors; M. S. Hamblen, 
clerk; James Stephens, treasurer; J. M. Little, justice; J. F. 
Deitzmann and 0. C. Dwyer, constables. No assessor elected until 
the following spring, when 0. W. Newton assumed the office." 

WESTLINE TOWNSHIP. 

"Westline township is located in the northwest part of Red- 
wood county bordering on the west side, and embraces Congres- 
sional township 111-39. It is bounded on the north by Underwood, 
on the east by Granite Rock, on the south by Gales townships, 
and on the west by Lyon county. The surface is generally roll- 
ing, but marshy in some places. The Evan-Marshall division of 
the Chicago and Northwestern passes through it in a northwest 
direction in the central part. Its only village is Milroy. The 
trading centers are Milroy, Lucan and Redwood Falls, in Red- 
wood county, and Marshall in Lyon county. There are five school 
houses. The predominating nationality is German, Scandinavian 
and American. 

The orginal survey of this township was begun July 15, 1867, 
and finished July 30. 1867. The work was done by Richard H. L. 
Jewett and George G. Howe, IT. S. deputy surveyors. They 
described the soil as of the first quality in two-thirds of the 
township ; the remainder being light and sandy. Most of the 
marshes were full of water although the surface was generally 



344 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

rolling. No streams were found. Three small lakes required 
meandering. There was no timber in the township. 

Beginning with Sept. 4, 1866, Westline was included in Yellow 
Medicine township, and after Yellow Medicine county was or- 
ganized, March 6, 1871, was considered a part of Redwood Falls 
township. Westline was created by the county commissioners, 
Sept. 25, 1878, with its present boundaries. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1882, says : 
"Settlement began in 1872. In May, of that year, Michael Mur- 
ray and his sons, Thomas and Garrett, with families, came in and 
located in section 14, where they still remain excepting Thomas, 
who went to Colorado in 1877. John Cole came in 1873. The 
town was organized Oct. 14, 1878, at the house of H. N. Eggleston. 
The following officers were elected : C. West, chairman ; Garrett 
Murray and James Shaw, supervisors ; Benjamin C. Frost, clerk ; 
Hugh Curry, treasurer; H. N. Eggleston and N. B. Weymouth, 
justices; and William Arnold, constable. There are three frame 
school houses in the town. The first school was taught by Ada 
Chamberlain during the spring of 1879. West Line postoffice 
was established in the fall of 1878, N. B. Weymouth was appointed 
postmaster and the office located at his house in section 26. The 
office was discontinued in the summer of 1880. A Mr. Webster 
and Jane Shaw were married at the house of G. M. Shaw in the 
spring of 1879. This was the first marriage in the town. The first 
birth was that of Patrick Murray, in February, 1875. He was 
a son of Thomas and Honora Murray. The first death was that 
of Oscar Eggleston, a son of H. N. Eggleston. He died December 
13, 1881, and was buried at Marshall, in Lyon county." 

GRANITE ROCK TOWNSHIP. 

Granite Rock township is located in the west central part of 
Redwood county, and embraces Congressional township 111-38. 
It is bounded on the north by Vesta, on the east by Vail, on the 
south by Johnsonville, and on the west by Westline. A branch 
of the Redwood river crosses it on the northern side, flowing in 
a northeasterly direction. The Evan-Marshall branch of the 
Chicago and Northwestern passes due east and west through its, 
center. The surface is generally rolling. Its only village is 
Lucan. The trading centers are Lucan, Vesta, Wabasso, and 
Redwood Falls. There are five school houses. The predominating 
nationality is German. 

The original survey of this township was done by Mahlon 
Black, U. S. deputy surveyor, being begun January 4, 1859, and 
finished July 12, 1859. He described the land as generally rolling 
and the soil as first class, although some of the western portion 
of this township was of an inferior quality. There were no roads 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 345 

and no timber. He found a small lake in sections 17 and 20; 
also one in sections 13 and 18. 

Beginning with Sept. 4, 1866, Granite Rock was a part of 
Yellow Medicine township, and after Yellow Medicine county was 
organized March 6, 1871, was considered a part of Redwood Palls 
township. Granite Rock township was created by the commis- 
sioners between July, 1889, and July, 1900. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1884 says: 
"Although settlement began in 1872, this township remains un- 
organized, being the only one in the county in that condition. 
The first settler was J. C. Vining, who came in the spring of 1871, 
and located in section 2, where he lived until 1876 ; W. W. Howe 
came the following fall, and took a claim also in section 2; his 
family came out in the spring of 1872, and is still living on his 
original claim. No other settlers came until 1874, when a few 
came in and took claims, but moved away after a short stay, on 
account of the grasshoppers. Settlers began to move in again in 
1877. The first marriage in the town occurred in December, 1881. 
The contracting parties were Charles Noah and Sarah Comstock. 
The first birth was that of Abbie P. Howe, a daughter of W. W. 
and Sarah Howe, born July 2, 1872." 

Even as late as June 2, 1885, there were only seven families 
in Granite Rock township. The families were those of Henry 
Gohrman, Angus Currie, Joseph McGeough, Alexander McLeod, 
W. W. Howe, Nelson Comstock, and William Comstock. The 
Gohrmans were from Germany, the Curries from Canada, the 
McGeoughs from Ireland, the McLeods from Scotland, the Howes 
from Michigan and the Comstocks from Iowa and New York. 

VAIL TOWNSHIP. 

Vail township is located in the central part of Redwood county, 
and embraces Congressional township 111-37. It is bounded on 
the north by Sheridan, on the east by New Avon, on the south 
by Waterbury and on the west by Granite Rock. A small branch 
of the Redwood river passes across the northwest corner of it. 
The Vesta-Sanborn branch of the Chicago and Northwestern 
crosses it from north to south and the Evan-Marshall branch of 
the same road passes across it from east to west. The surface is 
rolling, but marshy in the central part. The only village is 
Wabasso. The trading centers are Wabasso and Redwood Falls. 
There are four school houses. The predominating nationality is 
German. 

The original survey of this township was made during 1859, 
work having been begun by M. Black, U. S. deputy surveyor, on 
June 23, 1859. The soil was generally first class and rolling, 
except in the marshy places toward the center. There were no 



346 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

trees worth mentioning. A small stream ran through the north- 
west corner of section 6. 

Beginning with March 2, 1868, the western part of the town- 
ship was included in Yellow Medicine township, and after Yel- 
low Medicine county was organized March 6, 1871, was considered 
a part of Redwood Falls township, together with the eastern part 
which had been considered a part of Redwood Falls township 
since the organization of Redwood county. Vail was created by 
the commissioners July 30, 1879, and given the name of Center. 
It was found, however, that another township in the county bore 
that name, and on August 29, 1879, the name was changed to 
Vail in honor of Fred Vail Hotchkiss, a member of the county 
board. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1882 says: 
"John Tabor was the first settler; he came in the spring of 1869 
and located in section 4. James Longbottom came in October 
and settled in section 8. The next settlers were A. Milloy, M. 
McMillan and Henry Meyer. The first town meeting was held 
at James Longbottom 's house, Sept. 16, 1879, and the following 
officers were elected : James Longbottom, chairman, David 
Weaver and Archibald Milloy, supervisors; John Longbottom, 
clerk ; Chauncey Bunday, assessor ; Henry Meyer, treasurer ; Theo- 
dore Daub and John Tabor, justices; Henry Meyer and James 
Longbottom, constables. The first marriage was that of John 
A. Peterson and Elizabeth Longbotton. They were married in 
January, 1875, at the residence of James Longbottom in section 
8, by the Rev. Chamberlain." 



NEW AVON TOWNSHIP. 

New Avon township is located in the central part of Red- 
wood county, and embraces Congressional township 111-36. It is 
bounded on the north by Redwood Palls, on the east by Three 
Lakes, on the south by Willow Lake, and on the west by Vail. 
The surface is level or gently rolling. The Evan-Marshall branch 
of the Chicago and Northwestern crosses it from east to west 
in the southern part. Its only station is Rowena, consisting of an 
elevator, a store, a school house, and several homes. The trading 
centers are Morgan and Redwood Falls. There are four school 
houses. The predominating nationality is German. 

The original survey was begun July 7, 1858, by James L. Now- 
lin, U. S. deputy surveyor. It was finished Sept. 2, 1858. This 
township had some marshes and ponds and one small lake in sec- 
tion 6. The surface was found to be quite level but rolling in 
some places, and the soil was first rate, generally speaking. There 
were no roads and no timber. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 347 

Beginning with the organization of the county, this township 
was considered a part of Redwood Falls township. Avon town- 
ship was created with the present boundaries of New Avon, Sept. 
4, 1872. There being another township of this name in the state, 
the name was changed to New Avon on Jan. 7, 1873. 

A number of claims were filed in 1868-69, but the first actual 
settlements were made in 1870. George I. Davis, at present a 
resident of the township, passed through this region in 1870, 
but did not remain. Later John Turnbull, Henry Blanchard, 
James Johnson, and Ira Holliday settled in the township. These 
people were all there when J. S. Towle arrived with his wife 
and three children, May 15, 1871. He had spent the previous 
winter in Redwood Falls. April 20, 1871, George I. Davis arrived. 
Other settlers this year were D. L. Scriven, Daniel McPhee, John 
McPhee, J. L. Duncan, and Thomas Wolverton, all of these people 
were of Scotch, English and American ancestry. Jacob Werder, 
who arrived in 1872, was the first of the Germans who have since 
so thickly settled in the township. Mr. Johnson had a log house, 
the others were of board, though the house of Mr. Davis and 
several of the others was reinforced with sod. The roof of Mr. 
Towle 's house was one which he took with him from Redwood 
Falls, where he had roofed over a cabin for winter habitation. 

In 1873, on the afternoon of the great blizzard, Mr. Towle and 
his young son, William, and Mr. Davis were getting rails on the 
Minnesota bottoms some three miles from Redwood Falls. The 
day was unusually warm and the men were working without 
their coats. Suddenly the snow began to fall so thickly that the 
tops of the trees were obscured. The three took refuge in Red- 
wood Falls, where the Towles stayed for two days. Mr. Davis, 
after spending the night in the village became so worried about 
his family and his stock that he set our during the terrible storm 
and reached his home in safety. 

The first town meeting in New Avon was held Sept. 5, 1872, 
at the home of J. S. Towle with some ten or twelve voters in 
attendance. The following officers were elected : Supervisors, 
J. S. Towle (chairman), James Johnson and Ira Holliday; clerk, 
John Turnbull; treasurer, Henry Blanchard; assessor, David 
Worst; justice of the peace, J. P. Towle. Of the men who at- 
tended this meeting, only Mr. Davis and Mr. Towle are now living. 

The New Avon postoffice with J. S. Towle as postmaster flour- 
ished some twelve years. It was not on the regular stage route 
and the mail was supposed to be brought in a sack from Redwood 
Falls twice a week. There was often, however, considerable ir- 
regularity, as whoever was driving to the village usually brought 
out the mail. 

There is a town cemetery in the southeast quarter of the north- 
east quarter of section 8. The first burial was that of Henry 



348 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

Blanchard, the pioneer. There is a church cemetery in the north- 
east quarter of the southeast quarter of section 22. 

The first religious services were conducted by Rev. Taylor, 
a Presbyterian, in the summer of 1873. In September, 1879, the 
Methodist society was organized ; services are conducted by Rev. 
Pemberton. The first meetings were held in 1874, under the 
leadership of Rev. Smith. The first school was taught by Flora 
McNiven, in 1872 ; there are now three frame school houses in the 
town. The first marriage was George Davis and Ellen Winslow, 
Dec. 24, 1872, by J. S. Towle. The first birth was John, son of 
James Johnson, in 1872. The first death was that of Isabella, 
daughter of D. M. Scriven, Jan. 21, 1874. For a time a creamery 
flourished in the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of 
section 28. 

THREE LAKES TOWNSHIP. 

Three Lakes township is located in the east-central part of 
Redwood county, and embraces Congressional township 111-35. 
It is bounded on the north by Paxton, on the east by Morgan, on 
the south by Sundown and on the west by New Avon. The 
Evan-Marshall branch of the Chicago and Northwestern crosses 
it in the southern part; and the Sleepy Eye-Redwood Falls 
branch of the same road passes through the northeast corner. 
The surface is smooth prairie land. There are two lakes of fairly 
good size in this township. The only village is Clements. The 
trading centers are Morgan and Redwood Falls, in Redwood 
county, and Springfield in Brown county. There are four school 
houses. The predominating nationality is German, with quite a 
few Bohemians. 

The original survey of this township was made during 1858, 
work being started by James L. Nowlin, U. S. deputy surveyor, 
on July 7, 1858. This township was mostly rich, smooth prairie. 
The timber was scarce. There was one lake in parts of sections 
4 and 9 and another in parts of sections 8 and 9. There were 
quite a good many low marshy places all through the township. 

Beginning with the organization of the county, this township 
was considered a part of Redwood Falls township. Three Lakes 
was created by the county commissioners with its present boun- 
daries March 16, 1876. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1882 says : 
"The first claim was made in the spring of 1868 by David "Wat- 
son ; the claim was jumped by two men. Hunt and Walker ; they 
put up a shanty and lived there for a time, but in 1869 Watson 
regained possession. Settlers of 1869 were David Parker, Henry 
Blanchard, Ora A. and Oland Sisson, Mike Mahoney and A. J. 
Welch. Mary Tenney taught the first school in 1874; a frame 
school house was built in 1876. Three Lakes postoffice was estab- 



HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 349 

lished in 1875, and discontinued in two years. The first town 
meeting was held at the house of David Watson, April 4, 1876. 
Officers elected: James Watson, chairman, Robert Parker and 
Abel Leighton, supervisors ; Daniel Watson, clerk ; Robert Parker, 
assessor; Robert Montgomery, treasurer; James and David Wat- 
son, justices ; David Parker and Albert Dahms, constables ; Robert 
Montgomery, poundmaster." 

According to the records now in the possession of H. N. Redig, 
town clerk, the above information regarding the first meeting 
is incorrect. Mr. Redig 's transcript of the minutes of the first 
meeting is as follows: "The first town meeting was held at the 
home of David Watson, April 4, 1876. Robert Parker was ap- 
pointed clerk of the meeting, James Watson, moderator, and 
David Watson and Thomas Moore, judges of election. Ballots 
were then cast for town officers as follows: Chairman, James 
Watson, 8 votes ; supervisors, Robert Parker 7 votes, Louis White 
6 votes; Justices, David Watson 7 votes, Thomas Moore 7 votes; 
clerk, Louis White 6 votes; treasurer, Robert Montgomery 5 
votes; assessor, Robert Parker 5 votes; constable, Albert Dahms 
9 votes: overseer of the poor, Albert Leighton 3 votes; overseer 
of roads, James Watson 5 votes; poundmaster, Robert Parker." 

MORGAN TOWNSHIP. 

Morgan township is located in the east central part of Red- 
wood county, and embraces Congressional township 111-34. It 
is bounded on the north by Sherman, on the east by Brown county, 
on the south by Brookville. and on the west by Three Lakes. 
The Sleepy Eye -Redwood Falls branch of the Chicago and North- 
western crosses it diagonally from the southeast to the northwest 
corner. The surface is low and rolling in some places and high 
level prairie in others. Its only village is Morgan. There are 
five school houses. The predominating nationality is German. 

The original survey was made in 1858, work being begun on 
July 8. by James L. Nowlin, U. S. deputy surveyor, and finished 
July 13. He described the land as low and marshy in some places, 
and rolling or high level prairie in others. The soil was first rate 
all through with one or two exceptions. There are many marshes. 
He found an Indian trail in section 22. There was a small lake in 
parts of sections 32 and 33. The U. S. Territorial road extends 
northwest and southeast through the center of the township. He 
found the agency road between sections 3 and 4 in the northern 
part of the township. There was no timber, neither was there any 
stones or minerals worthy of note, and there were no springs. 

Beginning with the organization of the county this township 
was considered a part of Redwood Falls township. Morgan town- 
ship was created by the county commissioners May 11, 1880, and 



350 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

an election ordered held at the "Railroad Station House" on 
May 26, 1880. The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 
1882 says: "Owing to insufficiency of notice, this meeting was 
not held. The county commissioners being notified of the fact, 
appointed the following officers: Thomas Butcher, chairman, 
L. C. Ketcham and William McGinnis, supervisors ; James Butcher, 
clerk; C. Christianson, treasurer; Peter Madsen and Ehud Peter- 
son constables. The first settlement was made by the tenants on 
the farms of the large land-owners, who own over two-thirds of 
the town. They began to open up these farms about eight years 
ago, and built a number of houses for their tenants. Settlement 
by men on their own land began a couple of years later. The 
village of Morgan was laid out in August, 1878, and contains one 
general store, one blacksmith shop, one lumber yard, one elevator 
and one hotel. The postoffice was established the same year, and 
the present incumbent, George Knudsen, appointed postmaster." 
According to the transcript of the minutes made by F. W. 
Zaske, the town clerk, the first town meeting was held at Morgan 
Station on March 8, 1881. Ten votes were cast, and officers were 
elected as follows: Supervisors, C. R. Kundall (chairman), Wil- 
liam McGinnis and G. M. Kurd ; clerk, James Butcher ; treasurer, 
George Knudsen ; justices, F. S. Hollan and C. Christianson ; con- 
stable, W. Behnkie. 

GALES TOWNSHIP. 

Gales township is located in the southwest part of Redwood 
county, bordering the west side, and embraces Congressional 
township 110-39. It is bounded on the north by Westline, on the 
east by Johnsonville, on the south by Springdale, and on the 
west by Lyon county. The Cottonwood river flows in a south- 
easterly direction through the central part of it, and two small 
creeks flow in a northeasterly direction through the east part. 
The surface is a high rolling prairie. There are no railroads nor 
villages in Gales township. The trading centers are Tracy in 
Lyon county, Walnut Grove, Milroy and Redwood Falls in Red- 
wood county. There are four school houses. The predominating 
nationality is American. 

The original survey of this township was begun July 10, 1867, 
and finished July 15, 1867, by Richard H. L. Jewett and George 
G. Howe, TJ. S. deputy surveyors. The surface was described as 
high, rolling prairie, and the soil was not all first class, but quite 
light and sandy in some places. The banks of the Big Cottonwood 
had an occasional clump of willow and box elder trees. A small 
lake was found in sections 5, 8 and 9. 

Beginning with September 4, 1866, Gales was included in Yel- 
low Medicine township, and after Yellow Medicine county was 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 351 

organized March 6, 1871, was considered a part of Redwood Falls 
township. Gales was created by the commissioners June 19, 1876. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1884 says: 
"This town was named for the early settlers, A. L. and S. S. 
Gale, who came in May, 1872 ; at about the same time C. H. and 
C. W. Piper located. A. J. and C. E. Porter came during the same 
summer. July 18, 1876, the first town meeting was held at the 
house of A. J. Porter; officers elected: A. J. Porter, chairman; 
C. J. Nelson and J. J. Kelsey, supervisors; C. E. Porter, clerk; 
S. S. Gale, assessor ; C. J. Nelson, treasurer ; A. L. Gale and A. P. 
Langnest, justices; Hans Peterson, constable. The first school 
was taught by Ada Thrall in the summer of 1879, using 0. "W. 
Ellis' granary. There are now three frame school houses in the 
town." 

A. M. Grunden, the present town clerk, has devoted consider- 
able time to research concerning the early days of Gales town- 
ship, and has written for this history the following article. 

The first settler in township 110, range 39, was a Swedish 
family, consisting of A. P. Lanquest, his wife and baby daughter. 
They came about 1871 and settled on the northeast quarter of 
section 24. Next came S. S. Gale and wife; A. L. Gale, a single 
man; A. J. Porter and wife, and Charles F. Porter and wife. 
These families arrived in 1872. The Porters settled on the south 
half of section 8, and the Gales on the east half of section 10. 

The same year (1872) a number of other settlers came, among 
whom should be mentioned Jacob Johnson and wife ; Ch. Gulick 
Johnson (or Jacobson), a single man ; Lars Peterson and wife and 
child ; his father, Peder Pederson, a widower ; and Hans Pederson, 
a single man. Jacob Johnson settled on the southwest quarter of 
section 32; Christian Gulick Johnson (or Jacobson) on the south- 
east quarter of section 30; Hans Pederson on the northwest 
quarter of section 32 ; Pars and Peder Pederson on the northeast 
quarter of section 32. 

In 1874 A. M. Grunden settled on the west half of the south- 
west quarter, and the north half of the southwest quarter of 
section 14. 

Taxes were low. Property was assessed by 0. C' Martin of 
Redwood Falls in 1876. But there was not much to assess, Messrs. 
Grasshoppers did the harvesting in 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876 and 
1877. and Mr. Prairie Fire did the threshing. 

The first town meeting in Gales township was held at the 
home of A. James Porter, in the soxitheast quarter of section 8, 
on July 18, 1876. The meeting was called to order by C. F. Porter, 
who was elected clerk. A. L. Gale was made moderator, and 
S. S. Gale and C. J. Nelson, judsres. The judges and the clerk 
swore each other into service. The next town meeting was or- 
dered held at the home of C. J. Nelson, north half of section 28. 



352 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

The officers elected were: Supervisors, A. James Porter (chair- 
man), C. J. Nelson and J. J. Kelsey ; clerk, C. E. Porter; treasurer, 
C. J. Nelson; assessor, S. S. Gale; justices, A. L. Gale and A. P. 
Languest; constable, Hans Pederson. Nine votes were cast. 

A special meeting to consider the issuing of railroad bonds 
was called Aug. 8, 1876. The meeting was called to order by 
A. L. Gale, acting clerk. S. S. Gale was moderator, and explained 
the object of the meeting. The question was then put, "Shall the 
County of Redwood issue bonds to the amount of $50,000 to aid 
in the construction of a railroad between Sleepy Eye in Brown 
county and Redwood Falls in Redwood county." Eleven votes 
were cast, every one being against the proposition. 

In 1915 the number of voters had increased to a considerable 
degree. At a special meeting held June 7, 1915, the question 
was put: "Shall the sale of intoxicating liquors be prohibited 
in Redwood county?" Of the seventy-nine votes cast, fifty-two 
were for prohibiting the sale, and twenty-seven for continuing 
the sale. A. M. Grunden and S. E. Weber were clerks of the 
election, while S. P. Hicks, A. P. West and J. J. Johnson were the 
judges. At the general town meeting held March 14, 1916, there 
were sixty-nine votes cast. The list now contains the names of 
ninety -six who are qualified to vote at the election in November, 
1916. 

JOHNSONVILLE TOWNSHIP. 

Johnsonville township is located in the west-central part of 
Redwood county, and embraces Congressional township 110-38. 
It is bounded on the north by Granite Rock, on the east by Water- 
bury, on the south by North Hero, and on the west by Gales. 
The Cottonwood river passes its southwest corner and Sleepy Eye 
creek rises here and flows eastward in the northern section of it. 
The surface is rolling, generally, but marshy in some places. The 
trading centers are Walnut Grove, Revere and Lamberton, in 
Redwood county, and Tracy in Lyon county. There are five 
school houses. The predominating nationality is Germen. 

The survey of this township was begun July 20, 1859, and fin- 
ished July 27, 1859, by Mahlon Black, U. S. deputy surveyor. 
He described the land as generally rolling and marshy. The soil 
was first class. There was very little timber found. 

Beginning Sept. 4, 1866, Johnsonville was included in Yellow 
Medicine township and after Yellow Medicine county was or- 
ganized March 6, 1871, was considered a part of Redwood Falls 
township. Johnsonville was created July 16, 1878, at the home of 
Andrew Johnson. No meeting was held on that date. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1882 says: 
"January 9, 1879, the county commissioners appointed officers 
to hold till the following election : August Larson, chairman, H. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 353 

Burmeister and Gust. Johnson, supervisors ; A. P. Johnson, clerk ; 
Swan Johnson, assessor; C. Noah, treasurer; C. Herder and C. P. 
Johnson, justices; C. Eckland and L. Johnson, constables. The 
first settlers were Andrew Larson, Charles Lund, Peter Halt, 
Henry Anderson, Gust, and Lewis Johnson, who came in 1872. 
The town was named for the Johnsons living in it. " 

WATERBURY TOWNSHIP. 

Waterbury township is located in the south-central part of 
Redwood county and embraces Congressional township 110-37. 
It is bounded on the north by Vail, on the east by Willow Lake, 
on the south by Lamberton, and on the west by Johnson ville. 
Sleepy Eye creek crosses it in the north-central part, flowing in 
an easterly and southeasterly direction. The surface is gently 
rolling, generally; but marshy along the stream. The Vesta- 
Sanborn branch of the Chicago and Northwestern crosses its 
northeast corner. The trading centers are Lamberton, Wanda 
and Wabasso. There are five school houses. The predominating 
nationality is German. 

The original survey of this township was made during 1859 
by M. Black, U. S. deputy surveyor. The work was started on 
July 13, 1859. The land was first class generally. A marshy 
stream entered in section 7, running through sections 8, 9, 10, 
3, 2, 1 and 12 and thence into Sundown. Along this stream the 
land was very low and marshy. In other places the land was 
rolling, generally. 

Beginning with March 2, 1868, the western half of Waterbury 
township was included in Yellow Medicine township, and after 
Yellow Medicine county was organized, March 6, 1871, was con- 
sidered a part of Redwood Falls township, together with the 
eastern part, which in the meantime had been considered a part 
of Redwood Falls township since the organization of Redwood 
county. Waterbury township was created by the commissioners 
March 20, 1878. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1882 says: 
"The name was derived from a town of the same name in Ver- 
mont. The first settlers were W. J. and Alfred Swoffer, and 
M. M. Madigan ; they came in the spring of 1872, and all located 
in section 3. James P. and A. Christenson came the same year. 
The first town meeting was held April 9, 1878, at Alfred Swoffer 's 
house in section 28. Officers elected : R. Clausen, chairman, Hans 
Hanson and John Belfany, supervisors ; W. J. Swoffer, clerk ; 
J. E. Kenyon, assessor ; Lewis Basel, treasurer ; Benjamin Butler, 
justice, and Henry Schmidt, constable. The German Methodist 
denomination have an organization and hold services at the 
houses of the members, occasionally, having no regular pastor. 



354 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

The first marriage in the town was that of Alfred Swoffer and 
W. M. Knight, December 1, 1879. The first birth was that of 
Charles W. Clausen, a son of R. and Mary Clausen, May 1, 1874. 
The first death was that of an infant daughter of John Balfany in 
September, 1878." 

WILLOW LAKE TOWNSHIP. 

"Willow Lake township is located in the south central part of 
Redwood county, and embraces Congressional township 110-36. 
It is bounded on the north by New Avon, on the east by Sundown, 
on the south by Charlestown, and on the west by Waterbury. 
Sleepy Eye creek crosses it on the north, flowing in an easterly 
direction. The surface is smooth prairie land. The Sanborn-Vesta 
branch of the Chicago and Northwestern crosses its southwest 
corner passing out through section 7. Its only village is Wanda. 
The trading centers are Wanda and Redwood Falls. There are 
five school houses. The predominating nationality is German. 

The original survey was begun August 23, 1858, and finished 
August 27, 1858. The work was done by James L. Nowlin, U. S. 
deputy surveyor. The land in this township was nearly all smooth 
prairie land of a first quality. The surface was slightly rolling. 
He found a small lake in a part of sections 33 and 34. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1882 says: 
"This town was first settled in 1871, by Christopher Whelan and 
his two sons, James McGuire and sons, and Martin Foy, seven 
persons; they made claims in the spring of 1872." 

Beginning with the organization of the county, this township 
was considered a part of Redwood Falls township. Willow Lake 
was created with its present boundaries Sept. 2, 1873, and an 
election ordered held Sept. 27, 1873. 

M. M. Jenniges, the present town clerk, has transcribed for 
this work the minutes of the first meeting, and has also furnished 
some additional data as follows : 

Pursuant to the order of the county board, a caucus was held 
at the home of H. B. Goodrich, Sept. 27, 1873. H. B. Goodrich 
was named as chairman. W. F. Smith was named as secretary 
and was also appointed as a delegate to attend a county conven- 
tion at Redwood Falls, Oct. 1, 1873. The following nominations 
were then made: Supervisors, H. B. Goodrich (chairman), 
H. Evans, J. Dooner ; treasurer, C. Whelan ; justices, M. Foy and 
W. F. Smith; constables, James McGuire and William McGrew; 
members of the town central committee, W. F. Smith, H. Evans 
and B. C. Butler. W. F. Smith and H. B. Goodrich were named 
as judges of election. All the officers nominated were elected, 
each receiving the total eight votes cast. 

The first birth recorded is that of Sumner Edson Butler, a 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 355 

son born to Benjamin Edson Butler and Emma Antionett Butler, 
Oct. 3, 1873. The first birth of a girl recorded was that of Mary 
Altermatt, born April 30, 1874, to Peter Leo Altermatt and Anna 
Altermatt. The first death recorded was that of A nn a Mary 
Gorres, died Jan. 7, 1875, age 58 years, 8 months and 5 days. 

The first road was laid out on Dec. 31, 1875, by H. Evans, 
Gorres and C. Whelan, supervisors. There is now under construc- 
tion in the township a state road from the east end of the town- 
ship to the west line. A petition has been presented asking for a 
north and south state road also. The town uses nothing but the 
best steel culverts and steel bridges. In the spring of 1916, the 
town bought an elevator grader, which is propelled by gas power. 
The town has every reason to be proud of the wonderful work it 
has done in road building in a comparatively few years. All of 
the section lines, with the exception of one mile, are public roads. 
Nearly all the roads are drained. The good work that has been 
done has been accomplished in the face of drawbacks, for gravel 
is very difficult to obtain, there being no good gravel pit in the 
county. 

SUNDOWN TOWNSHIP. 

Sundown township is located on the southern border of Red- 
wood county just west of Brookville, and embraces Congressional 
township 110-35. It is bounded on the north by Three Lakes, on 
the east by Brookville, on the south by Brown county, and on the 
west by "Willow Lake. Sleepy Eye creek crosses it diagonally, 
flowing in a southeasterly direction. There are no stations nor 
railroads. The trading centers are Sanborn and Springfield, in 
Brown county, and Morgan, in Redwood county. There are four 
school houses. The predominating nationality is Danish. 

The original survey of this township was made in 1858, work 
being commenced by James L. Nowlin, U. S. deputy surveyor, on 
July 7, 1858. The land was mostly level prairie. The soil was first 
rate. There were no lakes and only a few evidences of white man 
to be seen. The Pacific "Wagon Road entered the east of this town- 
ship near the section line between sections 24 and 25 and passed 
through to the corner of the township. 

Beginning with the organization of the county this township 
was considered a part of Redwood Falls township. Sundown 
township was created by the county commissioners with its pres- 
ent boundaries Jan. 7, 1873. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley published in 1882 says: 
"Settlement began in 1871. That year Lars Thorstenson, C. B. 
Guile, M. L. and L. L. Bredvold, brothers; Jacob Lorenz, Ichabod 
Murphy, Charles and Andrew Anderson, father and son, and 
Calvin Stewart came. The first school was taught in a shanty on 
Phillip Matthew's farm in section 27, in 1873. The town now has 



356 HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 

two good frame school houses. The Norwegian and Danish Luth- 
erans united and organized about 1873, under the ministry of the 
Rev. L. 0. Lund, with about six families. They now have a mem- 
bership of about eighteen families but are, at present, without 
a pastor. In 1873 the first town meeting was held at the house of 
C. B. Guile in section 28. Ten votes were cast with the following 
result: Samuel Murphy, chairman; Frank Wolford and C. B. 
Guile, supervisors; W. H. Hawk, clerk; C. B. Guile, assessor; 
Lewis Sanford, treasurer; B. E. Brothers and Ira Sanford, jus- 
tices; Z. Forman and Ed. Welch, constables." 



BROOKVILLE TOWNSHIP. 

Brookville township is located in the east-south corner of 
Redwood county, and embraces Congressional township 110-34. 
It is bounded on the north by Morgan, on the east and south by 
Brown county, and on the west by Sundown. Sleepy Eye creek 
crosses its southwest corner. The Evan-Marshall branch of the 
Chicago and Northwestern crosses it in the northeastern part. 
The surface is gently rolling. Its station is Wayburne in section 
4, consisting of one elevator and several houses. The trading cen- 
ters are Evan and Springfield, in Brown county, and Morgan 
in Redwood county. There are four school houses. The pre- 
dominating nationality is Danish. 

The original survey was made in 1858, work being commenced 
July 14, 1858, by James L. Nowlin, U. S. deputy surveyor. He 
described the land as level, rolling and gently rolling. The soil 
was for the most part good, but second rate in some places. 
There were many marshes. He found an old Indian trail between 
sections 33 and 34 in the southern part of this township. There 
was a lake in parts of sections 4 and 9. There were several 
ponds besides this in the northern part of the township. The 
Pacific wagon road extended east and west through the township 
with a branch running north toward the Sioux Agency. 

Beginning with the organization of the county, this township 
was considered a part of Redwood Falls township. Brookville 
was created by the county commissioners Feb. 29, 1872. The 
requirements were not complied with, and the township was again 
created April 1, 1873. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley, published in 1882, says : 
"Settlement began in 1869. Among the first to locate were, H. M. 
Jensen, Knud Hanson, Peter Jensen, and Ole Petersen, Danes 
who came in the spring and located in section 24. Of the Amer- 
icans, J. B. Moore was the first to settle ; he came in the summer 
of 1869, and located in section 4 on the north side of the lake 
that bears his name. His daughter, Melinda F., married G. E. 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 357 

Conley, at her father's house, Nov. 1, 1873, the first marriage in 
the town. 

"The first town meeting was held at the house of Peter 
Bodiger, in section 30, April 19, 1873. A. L. McDonald called the 
meeting to order. On motion of Y. Cornish, B. P. Cady was chosen 
moderator. Officers elected: B. F. Cady, chairman; Theodore 
Johnson and D. McMullen, supervisors; W. H. Brown, clerk; 
Peter Bodiger, assessor; James Sommer and Alonzo Lamphier, 
justices ; H. M. Johnson and Ahe Lane, constables. No treasurer 
was elected. John McMasters was elected poundmaster. Mr. 
Cady failed to qualify as chairman of the town board, and A. L. 
McDonald was appointed in his place. 

"The Danish Adventists began holding services at the house 
of James Sommer in the fall of 1872. The services were con- 
ducted by the Rev. J. F. Hansen. The Danish Lutherans began 
holding services about ten years ago at private houses and still 
continue. 

"The first school was taught at the house of D. J. Sheffield 
in section 32. There are now three schoolhouses in the town. The 
first birth was that of Hans J., a son of J. A. Hansen. He was 
born early in 1870. The first death was that of Thorine, a daugh- 
ter of Ole Nielson, in the spring of 1874." 

SPRINGDALE TOWNSHIP. 

Springdale township is located in the southwest corner of 
Redwood county, and embraces Congressional township 109-39. 
It is bounded on the north by Gales township in Redwood county, 
on the east by North Hero township in Redwood county, on the 
south by Holly and Shetek in Murray county, and on the west by 
Monroe in Lyon county. Plum creek passes in an easterly direc- 
tion in the central part, and from the south receives numerous 
creeks, thus cutting the southeastern part of the county into 
ravines and water courses. The northern part of the township 
is quite level. The southern part is more rolling. The Winona- 
Tracy division of the Chicago & Northwestern passes through 
the township, due east and west, in the south-central part. A 
part of the village of Walnut Grove is situated in the extreme 
eastern part of the township. The trading centers are Walnut 
Grove in Redwood county, and Tracy in Lyon county. The pre- 
dominating nationality is Scandinavian and American. 

There is a Norwegian Lutheran church in section 4, and a 
Swedish Lutheran church in section 1. The schoolhouse of dis- 
trict 22 is in section 14 ; of district 42 is in section 8 ; of district 
98 is in section 30, and of district 24 is in section 27. The town- 
ship hall is situated in section 22. 

The original survey of this township was made by Richard 



358 HISTORY OP REDWOOD COUNTY 

H. L. Jewett and George G. Howe, U. S. deputy surveyors. It 
was begun July 4, 1867', and completed July 9, 1867. They de- 
scribed the surface as rolling, well-watered prairie. There were 
but few marshes. This township had only a little timber, all of 
which was in the eastern part. The kinds of trees included oak, 
ash, willow and black walnut. The section of black walnut tim- 
ber was occupied as claims by Joseph Steves and his son. The 
soil was of the first quality throughout with the exception of a 
few sections in the northwestern part which are light and sandy. 
A wagon road ran almost due east and west across the northern 
part of this township. 

Beginning with Sept. 4, 1866, Springdale was included in Yel- 
low Medicine township, and after Yellow Medicine county was 
created, March 6, 1871, was considered a part of Redwood Falls 
township. Springdale was created by the county commissioners 
on Nov. 21, 1873, with its present boundaries, a petition having 
been presented by Shepard Moses and seventeen others. A meet- 
ing was called for Dec. 20, 1873, at the home of Leonard Moses. 
October 9, 1874, being notified by the state auditor that another 
town in the state had been named ' Summit, the commissioners 
changed the name to Springdale. The name, it is said, was given 
because of the many springs and beautiful valleys or dales, in 
the township. 

The first town meeting was held as ordered Dec. 20, 1873, ten 
voters being in attendance. It was moved and seconded that 
Levi Montgomery act as clerk pro tem. Carried. The meeting 
was called to order by the clerk. Moved and seconded that 
M. F. Mills act as moderator of the meeting. Carried. The mod- 
erator stated that the object of the meeting was to elect officers. 
N. Rawlings and G. Murray were chosen to act as judges. The 
following officers were elected: Supervisors, J. M. "Wardell 
(chairman), Joseph Steves, N. Rawlings; town clerk, Levi Mont- 
gomery; treasurer, M. F. Mills; justices, N. M. Crow and G. 
Murray; constables, S. T. Crow and N. Christopherson. 

The present officers of Springdale township are : Supervisors, 
P. H. Johnson (chairman), August Farber and F. R. Blethen; 
clerk, E. E. Nichols ; treasurer, S. G. Bergblom ; assessor, F. L. 
Hayden. S. J. Bergblom has held the office of town treasurer 
continuously for twenty-one years. E. E. Nichols was first elected 
town clerk on March 13, 1888, held office for two years, was again 
elected March 10, 1896, held the office for six years, and was 
again elected March 13, 1906, since which time he has served con- 
tinuously. 

The History of the Minnesota Valley, published in 1882, says : 
"A man named Frink, built a house in 1860, at Walnut Grove, 
but left at the time of the Indian outbreak. In June, 1866, Joseph 
Steves located on section 36, and built a house over the cellar 



HISTORY OF REDWOOD COUNTY 359 

Frink had abandoned. For several years he, with his son, was 
the only settler in the town ; in 1871 the land was taken by num- 
bers, and the town is now well settled. The first school was 
taught by Rhoda Hall, in 1872. A postoffice called Summit was 
established on the west line of the town about 1872, and was 
discontinued when Tracy was established in 1874." 

E. E. Nichols, the present town clerk, says: "The winter of 
1872-73 was terribly cold. The blizzard of Jan. 7, 8 and 9, 18