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

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TH»' HVyJ YORK 
PU8I ,ARY 



TILDEN 'OUNDATlONsI 



THE HISTORY 

OF 

RENVILLE COUNTY 

MINNESOTA 



COMPILED BY 

FRANKLYN CURTISS-WEDGE 

Member of the Minnesota Historical Society, editor of the Histories of Winona, 
Wright, Fillmore, Freeborn, Mower, Dakota, Rice, Steele 
and Goodhue Counties, Minnesota. 

ASSISTED BY 

A LARGE CORPS OF LOCAL CONTRIBUTORS 

UNDER THE DIRECTION AND SUPERVISION OF 

HON. DARWIN S. HALL, 
HON. DAVID BENSON and 
COL. CHARLES H. HOPKINS, 

Renville County Pioneer Association Committee. 



ILLUSTRATED 



VOLUME II 



CHICAGO 

H. C. COOPER JR. & CO. 

1916 



APPROVAL 

At a meeting of the Pioneer Association of Renville County, 
held at Hector, in June, 1915, the undersigned were appointed, 
by thai body, to aid and to assist the publishers of a HISTORY 
OF RENVILLE COUNTY, then in the course of preparation, to 
see that authentic history was written, that important events 
were not overlooked, thai the traditions of early Renville county 
be as fully recorded as possibh — in fact, to do any and all things 
within its power to the end that the history should he fully in 
keeping with the glorious and heroic deeds by which the county 
has attained its present prominence and prosperity, as well as to 
see thai the volumes he hound ill a substantial manner, guaran- 
teeing their lasting qualities and comparing favorably with the 
bindings of other historical publications, and well-hound books 
generally. 

This labor the "Old Settlers' Committee" has performed, we 
believe, to the best of its ability, though it lias been at times 
decidedly strenuous. We have, to quite an extent, supervised, 
directed and assisted in the work; we have followed closely the 
gathering of the information and the laborious duty of selection 
and verification; we have read most of the manuscript and 
proofs of the entire work ; we believe that it will be a valuable 
work of reference, one with which the subscribers will be pleased, 
and one that their children will thank them for. as the work 
becomes more valuable in years to come. 

Messrs. H. C. Cooper Jr. & Co., publishers of the HISTORY 
OF RENVILLE COUNTY, and their editor, Franklyn Curtiss- 
Wedge, have cheerfully taken up our suggestions and acted favor- 
ably in almost every instance. 

This committee thought a lighter quality of paper would be 
better than that used in other histories issued by this company, 
and this committee selected the paper upon which the books are 
printed. The volumes are therefore thinner, but contain the 
same matter, less bulky and easier to handle. 

This work was to have been completed nearly a year ago. At 
the request of this committee the time was extended and very 
much matter of historical interest secured and included in the 
work, making it more valuable in every way. We believe that 
lew county histories have been gotten out with as much care as 
this HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY. 



iv APPROVAL 

The business end of the publication seems to be conducted in 
a straightforward way, the county lias been canvassed in a gentle- 
manly manner by polite and courteous people. 

To all the people of the county, especially to the old settlers, 
the patrons, and all seekers after historical information, we 
heartily recommend these volumes and urge their earnest and 
studious perusal. 

DARWIN S. HALL, 
DAVID BENSON, 
CHARLES H. HOPKINS, 

April 18, 1916. Committee. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XXIX. 
BANKS AND BANKING. 



PAGE 

Pioneer Financial Institutions — Past and Present Banks — 
Story of the Foundation Upon Which the Financial 
Stability of the County Is Established — History, Officers 
and Official Statements — Biography G7;"> 



CHAPTER XXX. 

PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS. 

His Ethics and Ideals — The Pioneer Physician — His Devotion 
and Courage — Men Who Have Practiced in Renville 
County — Present Physicians — Camp Release District 

Medical Society — Prepared With the Assistan £ Dr. F. 

1,. Puffer, M.D 723 

( 'HAPTER XXXI. 

RURAL SCHOOLS. 

Indian Instruction — The Minnesota System — Pioneer Eduea 
tion in Renville County — First Districts — Growth of 
System in County — The Present Schools — Some Model 
School Districts — Prepared With the Assistance of 
Amalia M. Bengtson 74'! 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

SWINE INDUSTRY IN RENVILLE COUNTY. 

Pioneer Breeders and Their Experiences — The Four Great 
Outbreaks of Cholera in Renville County — Swine Breed- 
ers' Association Organized at Bird Island to Fill a Vital 
Need— Scarcity of Serum — Government Cooperation Se- 
cured — Swine Census — Government Veterinarians Arrive 
and Begin Work — Their Success — Results and Advice- 
Prepared by Ralph Loomis with the Cooperation of H. 
W. Leindecker and the Renville County Swine Breeders' 
Association 761 



vi CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XXX] 1 1. 
AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT. 

PAGE 

Ad vantages — Climate — Drainage — Rotation of Crops — Live 
Stock — Educational Work — ( 'mint y Agent — Farm 
Bureau — Shipping Associations — ( 'rops — Government 
Report — Assessment Statistics — Early Drawbacks — By- 
William E. Morris .' 782 

CHAPTER XXXrV. 

DAIRYING AND CREAMERIES. 

Story iif the Growth of the Industry in Renville County — 
Present Importance of Dairying — Present and Former 
Creamery Companies SOS 

( TIAPTER XXXV. 
GOOD ROADS. 

Trophies Won — Grading and Ditching— Mileage — Expenses 
— Levies — Increase in Importance— State Roads — Inter- 
state Routes — Advantages — By William A. Schummers. . 821 



CHAPTER XXXVI. 
CITIES AND VILLAGES. 

Inception, Growth and Modern Progress of the Business Cen- 
ters of Renville County — Renville the Only City — Bird 
island, Buffalo Lake. Danube — Fairfax — Franklin — 
Elector -Morton— Olivia- -Sacred Heart 825 



CHAPTER XX XV 11. 
EXPERIENCES DURING OUTBREAK. 

3 Related by Eye-Witnesses — William Wichman's Nar- 
rative — Airs. Man E. Schmidt's Story — Experiences of 
Charles Lammers— German Settlement Wiped Out — Es- 
cape of Mrs. Patrick Hayden- Tale of Kern Horan — At 
Birch Cooley — <>n the Sacred Heart — Brown's Family 
Captured 916 



CONTENTS vii 

CHAPTER XXXVIII. 
BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW. 

PAGE 

Pioneers and Later Comers Whose Industry lias Helped to 
Build up the County — Early Experiences in an Unsettled 
Country — Leaders in Urban and Rural Life — Family His- 
tories of Weil-Known Men — Amusing Stories of the Fron- 
tier Days 932 

CHAPTER XXXIX. 
BENCH AND BAR. 

Early Judicial Affiliation— Territorial .Indues — District Judges 
Early Courts — Murder Cases— Appeals from the Dis- 
trict Court — The Bar — Present and Former Attorneys — 
Admissions to the Bar — Biography — Written by James 
Meliride George, LL.B " V2M 

CHAPTER XL. 
RENVILLE COUNTY CHURCHES. 

First Services Held in County— The Church the First Con- 
sideration of the Pioneers — Leading Denominations — 
Story of the Organization. Growth, Pastors and Work 
of Leading Churches — Told by Clergymen and Laymen. .1256 

CHAPTER XI. I. 
TOWNSHIP HISTORIES. 

Story of the Settlement and Growth of Renville < Aunty Town- 
ships — Location — Boundaries — Firsl Settlers — Early Ta\ 
Lists — Thrilling Incidents — Reminiscences — Stories Told 
by Early Pioneers 1290 

CHAPTER XLII. 

PIONEER ASSOCIATION. 

Formation of the Renville County Pioneer Association Suc- 
cessive Meetings — Officers — Compiled Prom the Associa 
tion's Records— Edited by Darwin S. Hall 1339 



viii CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XLIII. 
MONUMENTS AND MARKERS. 

PACK 

Birch Cooley Monument — Birch Cooley Tablets — Redwood 
Ferry Monument — Faithful Indians' Monument — Cap- 
tain Marsh Monument — Friendly Chippewas Monument — 
Fort Ridgely Monuments — Muller Monument — Hender- 
son Monument — Earl Monument — Schwandt Monument 
— Renville County Martyrs 1342 

CHAPTER XL1V. 

STORIES OF OLDEN DAYS. 

Experiences of Darwin S. Hall — First Lawsuit in Renville 
Countv — Story of Rogues' Island Told l>v David Benson 
—Story of Werner Baesch Told .by Nels O. Berge— Fort 
Ridgely Drum Corps, by Charles H. Hopkins — Early Pol- 
ities, by J. M. Bowler— Naming of < Uivia .' 1350 

CHAPTER XLV. 

PIONEER DEVELOPMENT. 

Nels 0. Derm', a Pioneer, Tells the Story of the Progress of 
the County, with Particular Reference to the Pioneers 
of the Southeastern Townships — Looking Over the Land 

—Decision to Settle in Camp — The Colony Arrives — 
Names of the Pioneers — Early Discomforts — Storms — 
Stores and Mills — Thrilling Incidents — Wonderful 
Changes — Retrospection 1 J"'' 1 

CHAPTER XL VI. 

NEWSPAPERS. 

Importance of the Press — First Paper in County — Present 
Papers — Discontinued Papers — Story of the Week-by- 
Week Chronicles of the County — Edited by -lames R. 
Landy ' 1368 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES 



Aarnes, Ealvor C L069 

Adams, Ralph C, M. D 729 . 

A.gre, I [aagen 1043 

Agre, Karenns <) 1041 

Ahrenholz, Lubbert '57!) 

Ahrens, Henry 1199 

Albrecht, Paul 1232 

Allen. Oscar A 1-'.'. I 

Ann's, Daniel 1206 

Anderson, Andrew H 1191 

Anderson, Bryngel 951 

Anderson, < !arl 1031 

Anderson, Carl 1197 

Anderson, Elias H L002 

Anderson, Gustav A 1078 

Anderson, Hendriek 1192 

Anderson, John W 122] 

Anderson, Joseph m77 

Anderson, Julius 988 

Anderson, Ole 989 

Anderson, Oscar 1 196 

Anderson, Swante W 7m 

Arntzen, Arnt 1224 

Ashley, William J Ill:' 

Bade, Frederick A 1062 

Baesch, Werner 1 '>5i> 

Baker, Harold 124<i 

Baker, .lames B 1254 

Bakke, John 1175 

Bakke, Nels Johnson 1174 

Bakker, John W 1059 

Barnard, L. I> L248 

Beckman, Henry 698 

Becker, Herman C mil 

Bennett, A. A 69] 

Benson, Benjamin F 1141 

Benson, David 1 139 

Berg, Hans 1004 

Berg, Hendriek 1038 

Berg, Paul G 105] 

Bergan, Gunerius 1209 

Berge, Nels 948 

Berge, Ole E 947 

I lei ger, Berger S 1069 

Bergh, Eev. J. E 1201 

Bergman, Solomon 980 

Berry, George M loss 

Meyer, August- 993 

Bingenheimer, Phillip lis:; 

Binger, Peter 1000 

Birk, Berge T Ill Is 

Bjorn, Peter 1056 

Boemmels, Gustav A 949 

Borstad, Andrew 1079 

Borstad, Gunder 1ii7s 

Bowler. Burton H 124(> 

Bowler, J M 1091 



Brannick, Joseph L054 

Brannick, Michael .1 In.". I 

Breitkreutz, Ferdinand H ion."", 

Brevig, Paul C into 

Briese, Albert (1 710 

Brown, Martin 1) 949 

Bryngelson, Olof and John 951 

Buethe, William 966 

Burghart, William II 1018 

Busi he. Charles I' 1108 

('arisen, Carl 1202 

Carlson, Lawrence M 125." 

Carrothers, David 1201 

Carver, Albert E 689 

Chelin, I'ere N 122s 

Cheney, John 1100 

Cheney. William II 964 

Chisholm, Joseph 1122 

Christiansoh, G. T ]24<i 

Chroup, Charles W 1114 

Clay. Edward M., M. D 736 

Cole, Herman B., M. D 7.:i 

Comstock, Edson 1115 

Corey. A. D 1098 

D'Arms, Harry Lee, M. 1) 732 

Dahlgren, Andrew A 1186 

Dahlgren, Nels 1228 

Dale, Charles K 1224 

I '.He. H. J 690 

Dale. .1. H ii!)l 

Dale, Ole 122:: 

Daly, Bichard T 12 is 

Dalzell, John A 125.1 

Davis, Edward II 1 L08 

Deason, i He 1200 

Deason, Paul 1205 

Dennstedt, Johu E 962 

Diekmeier, Rudolph 1 127 

Dirman, .1. M 1246 

Docken, Engebret H 1070 

Docken, Ole H L014 

Dodge, Eugene 1 975 

I lodge, Ralph K 971 

Donahue, John W 1080 

Dosseth, I'etei Ols, ,11 1019 

Dowling, M. .1 697 

Dreyer, Henry Ills 

Dreyer, William Louis 1119 

Dustrud, Peter P 1 in 1 

Dustrud, Sibon P l in:: 

Dusterhoff, Stephen 1052 

Dusterhoff, William M In.",:; 

Dworshak, M ichael 1099 

Ederer, John 1121 

Eichmiller, George S 681 



IX 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES 



Eliason, Hendrick 103-4 

Eliason, Hilmer 1 " :; ' 1 

Eliason, Olaf H 1208 

Ellingboe, A. T 1047 

Elstad, Hans II 944 

Enestvedt, Engebret G 1160 

Enestve.lt, Theodore 1162 

Enestvedt, Ole O.. Sr 1152 

Enestvedt, Ole O., Jr 1156 

Engen, Simon C 1°30 

Erickson, Andrew H 1036 

Erickson, Hendrick 1037 

Erickson, Otto 711 

Erickson, Paul 1028 

Ericson, Erie 1198 

Evenson, Christian A I'" 1 ' 

Evert, Charles H 979 

i 

Pagerlie, Peter 1034 

Fallon, William 1222 

Ferguson, James B., M. I 1 735 

Field, Hans ' L024 

Kiss, William A 710 

Foster, Morris B 1095 

Foster, Robert M 1236 

Foster, Thomas 1 1236 

Francis, L. T 739 

Frederickson, Martin 1025 

Fi eeman, John McD 1251 

Fugleskjel, ole 1197 

Fullerton, James C 954 

Gaffuey. E<limin,l F 997 

Gaffnev, James 996 

Gage, George 1" 1251 

Galle, Fred I' 1129 

Gardner, Peter 1, 1117 

Gens, John 104S 

John II 1049 

I leorge, ami Allied Families 936 

Gerardy, Peter 122n 

• . Rev. Nils 1267 

Gilbert. Charles II 1116 

Giltner, H. C 1246 

( Joelz, Frank 1114 

Gold, Frank <> 114(5 

Golie, Halvor H 1040 

Golie, Herman M 1041 

Greenslit, John F 1083 

Greenslit, Stephen A 1081 

Grellong, Louis J 112:; 

Griffith, William 11 Ins.", 

• rronnerud, Hans 1201 

Gumniei t. < !a 1 1 I' 972 

i lundersen, Erik S L209 

Gunderson, Han- 092 

i ■ underson, Peter 1207 

Haa [euson, A rne 1 055 

Haan, Peter F 1215 

Haen, 1 lenry 952 

Hagen, Frank 1019 

Haley, 1 lennis 972 

Hammers! ai d, F. 1... XI. D 740 

Hamre, Tost Ison 1188 

Hanirum, A. I* 1247 

!. > Iiristoj her L226 

Hanson, Hans 978 

3ai Hans Thoroson 979 



Hanson, Julius 1225 

Hanson, Lewis 1364 

Hanson, Simon 950 

Hanson, Rev. Thomas 1258 

Haubrieh, Anton 1133 

Haug, Haakon L023 

Haug, Johannes 1075 

Heaney, Henry 1111 

Heaney, Michael 1110 

Heanev, Owen 1214 

Heaue'v, William J 1214 

Heilig,' Charles A 1 238 

Heimann, Charles W 704 

Heinecke, John A. F 965 

Heinecke, Julius 964 

Heins, Charles A 687 

Heins, Peter W 686 

Heins, Warren H 960 

Helgeson, Thor 932 

Hendrickson, Ole 1029 

Henton, Robert B., Jr 1120 

Herring, Daniel 954 

Herring. Melvin L 955 

Hewerdine, Thomas S 1089 

llinri.hs, Folkert 1057 

Hoffman, Harry M 1102 

Hogan, Thomas P 1116 

Holden, Michael L073 

Holmberg, Nathaniel J 943 

Holtan, Anton M 984 

Eomeier, Henry W loss 

Hopkins. Charles H 934 

Hopkins, Frank H 1252 

Huff, James 1 1222 

Hugger. Nicholas 1 106] 

Hurley, James 96] 

Hurley, James 101] 

Jacobs, Julius L 1238 

Jaeobson, Johai s 1188 

Jacobson, Knute 1189 

Jepson, Hans 1068 

Jewell, William Harvey 989 

Johnson, Andres 1030 

Johnson, August <• 1217 

Johnson. I 'Ion les G 985 

Johnson, Edwin S lis; 

Johnson. Frederick 1190 

Johnson. Harry E 1 181 

.l"li ason, John 1 1130 

Johnson, Mathias 1167 

Johnson. Ole 1190 

Johnson, William lis] 

Johnson, William A 1061 

Jungers, Michael 1012 

.1 lingers, William 101] 

Kaegbein, Theo 991 

Kaiser, Adolph 1007 

Kane. ( !harles L 1247 

Keaveny, Peter 1 1 2!> 

Kelly, Edward M 1079 

Kelly, Thomas J 1014 

Kelsey, Henry 1 199 

Kemp, William E !»74 

Kenning, < lharles 995 

Kienholz, Joseph 1 136 

Kirwan, Patrick II 114s 

Kittilsland, Peder 1 16E 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES 



si 



Knaresboro, Michael 8 L053 

Knudson, Cornelius 991 

Kodet, Wencel C 1113 

Kodet, Wencel 1113 

Koldorn, John 1055 

Koshnick, Carl 1230 

Kravik. Ole U63 

Krinosliero, < Hot' 1975 

Kromer, Jacob 1229 

Eromer, John 1229 

Kronlokken, Carl A L135 

Kronlokken, Peter P 1134 

Krueger, William H 1057 

Kuester, John W 1 100 

Kuester, Richard H 1099 

Kuester, John 1099 

Kuglin, Fred W 1111 

Kurts, Christ 1105 

Lahti, Charles 990 

Lahti. Peter 990 

Lan.lv, James R 1233 

Parkin, John, Sr 998 

Larkin, Joseph H 999 

Larson, Michael 1178 

Lee. Gunder .1 1210 

Leindecker, Henry "W 12F! 

Lindeman, August 1105 

Lindeman, Ernest F 1 106 

Lindeman, Herman 956 

Lindeman, Lewis .1 1 In? 

Lindquist, Elias M 1 17(i 

Ldsterud, Hans C 1 198 

Loock, Wilhelm 955 

I I. . William A 956 

Lorenz, John F 971 

Mi Broom, Ephriam 194(1 

MeCartan, Daniel J Ill's 

McCorquodale, Alex. R 1210 

Mi Mum, B C 1098 

Mi Gowan, William W 1247 

McKibben, Harrv P.. M. !>.. . . 732 

McPhail, Samuel 1247 

Mahler, Dedrich 963 

Mahler, Louis P 963 

Mahowald, Andrew F 1126 

VTandei Seld, Prank H i 108 

Mangei ud, Gu ta\ I' 1066 

Mangerud, Peter M 1066 

Mangseth, Hans H 945 

Manthei, Herman P lis:; 

Ma it inson, Peter 1066 

Matson, Charles N 1249 

Matzdorf, Louis A 957 

Matzdorf, William J 958 

Megquiei . Geo] ge II P'47 

Mehlhouse, ' leoi ge 969 

M ehlhouse, John 967 

Mehlhouse, Justus 970 

Mehlhouse, William 968 

Melsness, Gunerius 1017 

Melsness, i lie 1173 

Melsness, Peder 1 1 74 

VIesker, George II.. M. D 734 

Middleton, Daniel 1120 

Mielke, Berman W 676 

.Miller, Ernes! .1 1008 

Miller, Samuel R 1249 

Morris, William E 1152 



Morse, Lewis E 1083 

Muelhausen, August 970 

Murphy, Michael 1124 

Murrav, Prank L253 

Mutta, Halvor 117:: 

Myra, Jorgen P list 

Myra, Peder J 1183 

Nelson, Einar 1071 

Nelson, Einar E 1072 

Nelson, Xels E 11172 

Nelson, Ole 1184 

Nelson, Ole P 1072 

Nellermoe, Frantz C. 693 

Nellermoe, Theodore A 1038 

Neuenburg, Henrj II Ins) 

Nobbs, Ernest W.' 1237 

Noble, Raymond P 1233 

Nordby, Martin 1138 

O'Brien, Patrick 1131 

< ) 'i lonnor, Edward 684 

i ) i lonnor, James, Sr 1112 

< ) '( lonnor, James 1144 

O'Connor, Timothy 713 

O'Connor, William 713 

O'Neill, .lames 1013 

O'Neill, Patrick 1013 

i ) 'Shea, I tennis 967 

( Idegaard, I »laf A 1035 

' idegaard, Stei en 1036 

Oie, Iver 1030 

( Hin, Andrew .1 702 

Olson, Frank R 1097 

Olson, Gilbert 946 

( llson, Thomas 1065 

Oppegaard, Enoch 1185 

< Ippegaard, ( He Hendreckson. 1184 

Orth, Charles H 1115 

Orth, Fro. I W 

Osmundson, Knute 1189 

Palmer, L. L 1001 

Passer, Adolph A.. A. I;.. M. D. 7::4 

Patten, .lor.. mo P L087 

Paulson, Edward 1029 

'. derson, Henry B 1125 

Pe'derson, Peter II 1124 

Penhall, Fletcher W.. M. D 733 

I 'eterson, Henry A 1U74 

Pirsch, Poo R., !>. I), s 97] 

Ploof, Philip V 1237 

Pomije, Re\ . Il.ui\ li 1282 

Poore, Newton G.. 120] 

Power, James 1022 

Pregler. G ge .1 1102 

Presinger, Joseph W 738 

Puffer, Flank P., M. D 72s 

Quinn, George 972 

Quist, Hurby 1 12::.", 

Ramslan.l. Ole T 1192, 

Rauenhorst, Henry T 1021 

Rauenhorst. Th Loo 102] 

Reick, William 1183 

l.'ei.l. William A 1235 

Reineke, Charles 1102 

Robinson, Thomas P. P 966 

e, Rev. F. P 12H2 



Xli 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES 



Etomo, J. Lornts 1219 

Rorao, John 1220 

Eondahl, David 1001 

Bubey, Herbert F L236 

Rude', Knute T 1.203 

Kudi, Lars 1 1163 

Russell, J. F 1-47 

Bice, August W 1217 

Rice, John A 1218 

Rich, James II 981 

Richardson, Alex J MIL' 

Bieke, August V L247 

Rieke, Adam 935 

Eistvedt, Thore II. and Hans II. L096 

Sagnes, Hans II 1 Hi 7 

Sagnes, Hans 11., .1 r L170 

Sagnes, John H 1171 

Sanger, Anthony 1137 

Sanger, Michael 1138 

Schafer, Charles F 1000 

Schafer, Find A 1212 

Schafer, Gustav A 994 

Schafer, Henvv .1 1211 

Schaffer, John 997 

Scheffler, Julius 1103 

Schlueter, John 100] 

Schmidt, Fran/. W 111)1 

Schmidt, Frederick W lloi 

Schmidt, Mrs. Mary E. S 920 

Schmoll, Joseph 1020 

Schneider, William A 1016 

Schoregge, J. J., and \V. F. . 1248 

Schramm, Julius W <' ss 

Schroeder, Albert E 700 

Schroeder, Ferdinand A 706 

S, hroeder, Otto E 1061 

Schumacher, C. Edward 1085 

Schumacher, Ernst 1067 

Schumacher, Petei 1087 

Schummers, W illiam A 1080 

Sell, Emil F 7ns 

Sensdeby, Hans H. s 1167 

Serbus, Frank M 1 109 

Scrims, Henry P 1010 

Serkland, Siver M 678 

Shaller, Frederick 1195 

Shanahan, Louis C 952 

Sheggeby, Carl Sivert I"-''.:'. 

si,, .in i, Michael E 1206 

Sherwood, Herbert C 1234 

Shoberg, Ole 1 ; ".7 

Shoemaker, Francis 1009 

Shoemaker, Francis M 1010 

Siegfried, Martin 1128 

Stabeck, Henry N 1145 

Stange, John 1063 

Stange, Henry .1 1 163 

Stark. Herman C 717 

Stcnsvad, Ole A 678 

St i om, A mi , ev 976 

Strom, William B '.'7'; 

Stuart. Robert K 1256 



Skalbeck, Herman 1032 

Skalbeck, Ole L031 

Skauge, John J 117!) 

Skeggeby, Ole P 1032 

Skrukrud, Anton 1058 

Skrukrud, Mathias T 1180 

Skrukrud, Ole 1059 

Skrukrud, Torger 1170 

Smith, A. I> 994 

Smith, John 109:'. 

Smith, Samuel H 1126 

Sorenson, Guilder L064 

Sparstad, Ole C 1186 

Siimmei field, August 1064 

Sunde, Oliver T 960 

Sveiven. Ole <> 1204 

Swendby, John 9o0 

Swift, P. H 12(iil 

Swoboda, Wencel 1112 

Sylvester, Fairfield E 716 

Tillisch, William II 1076 

Timms, Henry 1086 

Tisdell, Edward 1117 

Tersteeg, Barnard A 1110 

Thang, Emil 1222 

Tidan der. Andrew 1172 

Torbenson, Henry L 682 

Torbenson, Ole .' 1024 

Trochlil, Lloyd C 1112 

Turner, John 1023 

Vader, Leo Claude 957 

Wallncr, E. C 1373 

Weaver, Gilbert S 1068 

Weichselbaum, Joseph 123] 

Weichselbaum, Mathias 1232 

Wein, Hans C 1136 

Westby, Otto J 1218 

\Vc\ er, Frank 1018 

White, William C 1247 

Whitney, Charles .1 1150 

Whitnej , Oscar L 1 1 51 

Wichman, William 716 

Wigland, Andrew Anderson... 1026 

Wilson, Erven J 1177 

Williams. D. H 1247 

Wohlman, Fred W 994 

Wohlman, Leopold 993 

Wordes, John G 

Wordes, John W 958 

V, Miker, Herman 1227 

Zaske, Hern, an 1062 

Zinnner. John 997 

Zinne, Louis 946 

Zumwinkle, Frank E 1094 

Zumwinkle, George E L094 

Zumwinkle, Herman 1092 

Zumwinkle, Henry 1092 

Zumwinkle, William C 1093 



INDEX TO PORTRAITS 



Ayr.-, II. O. and Family L043 

Ahrenholz, L., ami Family 679 

Alliens, Henry 1197 

Anderson, Bryngel, and family 951 

Anderson, Carl 1031 

Anderson, E. H 1002 

Anderson, S. W 701 

Ashley, Wm. J 1149 

Bakke, John, and family 117.") 

Bakke, Mr. and Mrs. Nels 1174 

Barnard, L. D 124s 

Bennett, A. A 691 

Benson, B. F 1141 

Benson, Mr. and Mrs. David... 1139 

Berge, N. O., and family 948 

Bergh, Rev. J. E " 1197 

Bingenheimer, P., ami family. . 983 

Binger, Peter, and family 1000 

Bowler, Mr. and Mrs. J.' M... 1091 

Brevig, P. C, and family 1049 

Buethe, Mr. and Mrs. Win 966 

Carrothers, David 1197 

Cheney, John 1100 

Chroup, Charles W., and family. 1114 

Dahlgren, A. A 1186 

Dale, H. J 690 

Dale, J. H 69] 

Dalv, R. T 1248 

Deason, Mr. and Mrs. Ole 1205 

Dennstadt, John E., and family 962 

Donahue, J. W., Prairie Home. 1080 

Dosseth, P. O., and family 1019 

Dowling, M. J 697 

Drever, Mr. and Mrs. Henry... 1118 

Drever, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. L... 1118 

Dustrud, P. P., and family 1104 

Eichmiller, G. S 681 

Eliason, Mr. and Mrs. Hendriek 1208 

Eliason, Hilmar H 1035 

Kliason, O. H., and family 1208 

Enestvedt, E. G., and family... 1160 
Enestvedt, Mr. and Mrs. O." O., 

Sr 1152 

Enestvedt, O. O., and family. . . 1153 
Enestvedt, 8r., Mrs. O. O., and 

children 1154 

Enestvedt, T., and family 1162 

Eriekson, A. H., and family. . . . 1036 

Erieson, Eric 1197 

Evenson, C. A., and family. . . . 1004 

Evert, C. H., and family." ;t 7 «t 

First Sale of Hogs 762 

Foster, Mr. and Mrs. M. B 1094 

Fugleskjel, Ole 1197 



Gaffney, E. !■'.. and family 997 

Gage, Geo. F ' 1251 

Gerardy, Mr. and Mrs. Peter.. 1220 

Gold, Mr. and Mrs. F. 1146 

Greenslit. 8. A 1081 

Gronnerud, Hans 1197 

Gummert, < '. F., and family... 972 

Haan, Peter 1215 

Hanson, Rev. Thomas 1258 

Haubrieh, Anton, and family.. 1133 

Haug, Haakon, and family.... 1023 

Heanev, Mr. ami Mrs. Henry. . 1111 

Heanev. W. J '. . . 1214 

Heikka. Charles 1305 

Heinecke, Mr. and Mrs. Julius. 964 

Heins, !'. A 687 

Heins, Mr. and Mrs. P. W 686 

Helgeson, Thor and family.... 933 

Herring, M. L., and family.... 955 

Hopkins, ('has. H ' 934 

Holmberg, N. .1 943 

Huff, Mr. and Mrs. .1. 1 1222 

Hussock, Mr. and Mrs. August. 983 

Jacobson, Johannes and family 1188 

Jewell, Mr. and Mrs. W. 11.. . .'. 989 

Johnson. Mr. and Mis. C. <;.. . . 985 

Kelly, T. J., ami family 1014 

Kelsev, Henry 1197 

Kiiwan. I'. II 1148 

Kittelsland, P. O., and family. . 1165 

Kodet, Weneel, ami family.... 111". 

Koldorn, Mr. and Mrs. John. . . 1055 

Landv, J. R., and family 1233 

Larki'n, Mr. and Mrs. John, Sr. 998 

Leindecker, H. W 1213 

Listerud, Hans (' 1 1**7" 

McBroom, Mr. and Mrs. Ephraim 1046 

Manthei, Mr. and Mrs. Herman. 1183 

Matson, (.'has. N 1249 

Mehlhouse, Geo., and family. . . 969 

Mehlhouse, John, and family.. 967 

Mehlhouse, Justus, and family.. 970 

Melsness, Gunerius, and family. 1017 

Miller, Mr. and Mrs. Oscar.... 11." 1 

Murray, Frank 1253 

Mutta, Mr. and Mrs. Halvor. . . 1167 

Nellermoe, I-'. G., and t'.-imih . 693 

Nellernioe, Mr. and Mrs. T. A.. 1038 

Nelson Bros.' Garage 1072 

Nelson, O. E. and E. F. 1072 



xm 



XIV 



INDEX TO PORTRAITS 



O'Connor, Mrs. Elizabeth 1142 

O'Connor, Edward 684 

O 'Connor, James 1144 

O'Connor, Timothy 714 

O'Connor, Win 713 

Olin, Andrew .1 703 

Oppegaard, Enoch 11 s ~> 

Paulson, Edward, and family.. 1029 

Poore, Newton G 1197 

Puffer, P. L.. M. D 728 

Rpgnlie, Rev. and Mrs. P. H.. . . 1262 

Sagnes, EL H 1167 

Sagnes, J. EL, and family 11.1 

Schlueter, John, anil family... mill 

Schmidt, Mrs. M. E. S '. . . . 921 

Schroeder, Mr. and Mrs. F. A.. . 707 

Schumacher, Ernest, and family 1067 

Schumacher. Mr. ami Mrs. Peter 1087 

Sell, Mr. and Mrs. Emil F 709 

Sheggeby, Carl, and family.... 1033 



Shoemaker, Francis • !abin 1009 

Shoemaker, F. M„ and family. 1010 

Shoemaker's Farm. F. M . 1010 

Skalbeck, Mr. and Mrs. II. o., 1032 

Skeggeby, Mr. and Mrs. O. I".. . 1032 

Sorenson, Gunder, and family.. 1064 

Stabeck, H. N '. . . 1145 

State Hank, Buffalo Lake 694 

Strom, W. B 976 

Sveiven, Mr. and Mrs. (). ().... 1205 

Swift, P. II 1197 



Torlienson, Ole, and famih 



1 024 



Wedge, F. ('urtiss Frontispiece 

Weyer, Frank, and family.... L018 

Wichman, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. . . 717 

Wiehr, August, and family.... 1320 

Wilson, E. J., and family 1177 

Wohlman, Mr. and Mrs.' F. W.. 09:-! 

Wohlman, Mr. and Mrs. Leopold 993 

Wordes. .1. (4., and family 959 



( 'IIAPTER XXIX. 

BANKS AND BANKING. 

Pioneer Financial Institutions — Past and Present Banks — Story 
of the Foundation Upon Which the Financial Stability of the 
County Is Established — History, Officers and Official State- 
ments — Biography. 

The first effort of the pioneer was to secure his location and 
to there erect a habitation. The question of livelihood was one 
of immediate importance, and no sooner was the pioneer and his 
family provided with a place in which to live, however poor or 
temporary, than he began to break the ground for crops. But 
even in the most primitive community, money is a vital need. 
The money lenders followed fast in the footsteps of the pioneer. 
Before long it became apparent that there must be some sort of an 
institution of financial exchange. Private banks were usually 
established as an adjunct of some other business by lawyers, 
real estate agents, grain dealers and others. Some continued for 
a few years only, but others gradually assumed the importance 
of national or state institutions. This, to a large extent, is true 
of the early history of Renville county. Today the county is on 
a sound financial basis, and the prosperity of the community is 
shown by the financial statements of the various banks which 
handle the money of the people at large. The county now lias 
eighteen banks — three of these national banks, and fifteen state 
banks. 

The national banks are : The First National Bank of Ren- 
ville, The Peoples First National Bank of Olivia, and The First 
National Bank of Fairfax. 

The State Banks are : State Bank of Buffalo Lake ; Farmers 
State Bank of Buffalo Lake; State Bank of Bird Island; Ren- 
ville County State Bank of Bird Island; Danube State Bank; 
State Bank of Fairfax ; Citizens State Bank of Fairfax ; State 
Bank of Franklin ; Citizens State Bank of Franklin ; State Bank 
of Hector; Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Hector; State 
Bank of Morton; New State Rank of Morton; Olivia State 
Bank; Farmers State Bank of Olivia; Renville State Bank; 
O'Connor Brothers State Bank of Renville; State Bank of Sacred 
Heart; Farmers State Bank of Sacred Heart. 
") 675 



676 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

The first bank in Renville county was a private bank, started 
at Beaver Falls, by Hans Gronnerud, and continued for many 
years. Donahue & Paine started a bank in Beaver Falls in 1878. 
They moved it to Bird Island, and in 1880 it was organized as the 
Renville County State Bank. This is still in existence and is 
the oldest bank in the county. The next banks in the county 
were the O'Connor Brothers, Bankers, of Renville mow known as 
the Renville State Bank), and the State Bank of Hector, both 
started in 1887. Edward O'Connor started a private bank at 
Sacred Heart in 1888. It is now the Farmers State Bank of 
Sacred Heart. In 1889, Peter W. Heins started the People's 
Bank at Olivia. This is now the Peoples First National Bank of 
Olivia. In 1889, a bank was started at Fairfax, with Dr. J. A. 
Beard, of Redwood Falls, as president, and V. A. Gray, as cashier. 
It failed in 1892. 

There have been but two bank failures in Renville county. 
the failure of Hans Gronnerud's private bank at Beaver Falls. 
and the failure of the bank of Beard & Cray at Fairfax. 

BANKS. 

The Renville County State Bank of Bird Island is the oldest 
in the county. It was organized in 1878 at Beaver Falls as the 
private banking house of Donohue & Paine. In 1880 it was moved 
to Bird Island. In 1890 it was incorporated as the Renville 
County State Bank, by Mathew Donohue, Axel Richardson ; C. L. 
Lorrain, Fred Hodgdon, F. Borchert, Frank Posely and -T. W. 
Donohue, the capital stock being $25,000.00. The first officers 
were: Mathew Donohue. president; -1. YV. Donohue, cashier. 
March 20, 1895, A. T. Dell became cashier and -I. W. Donohue. 
president. .May 2(>, 1904. Henry L. Simons became president ; 
A. -I. Richardson, vice-president; Amund Dahl, cashier: and H. 
W. Mielke, assistant cashier. January, 1906. Amund Dahl he- 
came president, Henry L. Simons and A. J. Richardson, vice- 
presidents and II. \V. Mielke, cashier. In 1913 Henry L. Simons 
became president: A. .1. Richardson, vice-president: II. \V. .Mielke 
cashier, and W. H. Fewer and J. ('. Desmond, assistant cashiers. 
The bank has a surplus of $15,000, giving resources of over quar- 
ter of a million. The present hank was built in 1902. The bank 
conducts a liberal conservative banking business and well merits 
the high confidence with which it is regarded throughout the 
county. As the oldest financial institution in the county it well 
upholds its traditions of honor and stability. 

Herman W. Mielke, prominent banker and citizen of Bird 
Island, was born in Glencoe, this state, Oct. 17, 1873, son of John 
and Caroline (Ettrich) Mielke, the pioneers. He attended the 
schools of his native place and at the age of fifteen started his 
career by securing employment on a farm. At the age of twenty- 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY G77 

one he entered mercantile life as clerk for a clothing store in 
Glencoe. It was in 1904 that he came to Bird Island as assistant 
cashier of the Renville County State Bank, a position In- held 
until Jan 1, 1906, when he was made cashier. Mr. Mielke is one 
of the leading men of Bird Island, and an enthusiastic friend 
of every progressive movement. He has taken his part in many 
phases of public life and is regarded as a substantial, useful citi- 
zen in every way. His administration of the affairs of the oldest 
bank in Renville county has won him wide praise. Mr. Mielke 
is an officer of the Bird Island Commercial Club, and for five 
years was chairman of the park board. He is likewise an offi- 
cial of the local lodges of the Masonic and Modern Woodmen 
fraternities. His religious allegiance is paid to the German Luth- 
eran Church. Mr. Mielke was married July 3, 1900, to Clara 
Knutson, born April 7, 1877, daughter of Amund and Carrie 
(Ekle) Knutson. John Mielke, born May 29, 1818, in Germany, 
died April 8, 1885. He married Caroline Ettrieh, born Dec. 11, 
1831; she died Feb. 17, 1915. They came to America May 30, 
1862, and homesteaded in Sumter township, McLeod county, 
Minn., where they remained until his death. Amund Knutson 
married Carrie Ekle, who died June 7, 1915. her husband having 
died in 1895. He was one of the pioneers of Palmyra township, 
where he devoted his time to farming. 

The Renville State Bank of Renville was established in 1887. 
The bank was incorporated December 23, 1889. It opened for 
business as a state bank January 1. 1S90. In 1907 S. SI. Serkland 
and <). A. Stensvad acquired a controlling interest. The bank 
owns its building which was erected in 1892, and is a solid brick, 
two-story structure, the second story being used for an opera 
house. The present board is constituted as follows: ( ). A. Stens- 
vad, president; L. Ahrenholz, vice-president; S. M. Serkland, 
cashier; F. H. Berning, assistant cashier, and R. W. Serkland. 
stenographer and clerk. Directors — 0. A. Stensvad. S. M. Serk- 
land, L. Ahrenholz, L. E. Lien, J. C. Jepson, all of Renville, .Minn. 

The Renville State Bank renewed its certificate of corpora- 
tion November 17, 1914, at Renville, the following shareholders 
voting for the resolution: S. M. Serkland, <>. A. Stensvad. J. C. 
Jepson, L. Ahrenholz. L. E. Lien, F. Berning, R. \V. Serkland, 
Rudolph Stensvad, and A. S. Johnson. 

Following is a statement of the condition of the bank at close 
of business on September 2, 1915: Resources, loans and dis- 
counts, $262,826.53; overdrafts. $167.06; bonds and securities, 
$2,000.00; furniture and fixtures, $3,050.00; banking house. 
$7,500.00; expenses paid, $4,068.84; interest and exchange paid, 
$6,571.07; checks and cash items, $277.32: due from banks, $21,- 
339.34; cash on hand, $11,507.03; total cash assets, $32,846.37; 
total. $319,307.19. Liabilities— capital stock, $25,000: surplus 



678 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

fund, $5,000.00; undivided profits, $3,725.42; interest and ex- 
change received, $9,169.42; time certificates of deposit, $214,- 
627.70; cashiers' checks, $2, OSS. 50; commercial deposits, $56,- 
608.40: public deposits, $3,118.75; total immediate liabilities, 
$61,885.65; total, $319,307.19. Amount of reserve on hand, $32,- 
846.37. Amount of reserve required by law, $18,145.60. 

Ole A. Stensvad, president of the Renville State Bank, was 
born in Waseca county. Minnesota. January 17. 1876. His father, 
Andrew Stensvad, and his mother, Ingerbord Stensvad, were born 
in Norway, and emigrated to America and settled in Waseca 
county, Minnesota, as some of the first settlers, in the year of 
1849. where they farmed extensively for over forty years. They 
raised a family of nine children. Ole A. Stensvad received his 
education in the country school and later attended school at New 
Richland, Minnesota. Upon leaving school, at the age of 18 
years, lie was employed as assistant buttermaker at Hartland, 
Minnesota, and the following winter completed a buttermaker 's 
course at the Minnesota State Dairy School at St. Paul, Min- 
nesota, and then was employed as buttermaker at the Smith's 
Mills, Minnesota. In the year 1895, together with two brothers, 
he purchased a line of several creameries in Sioux county, Iowa, 
and was engaged very extensively in the dairy and creamery 
business until the year of 1902. He then disposed of his entire 
creamery holdings and intended to retire from further business, 
but not being contented, he accepted a position with the De Laval 
Cream Separator Company as Minnesota representative, which 
position he held until the fall of 1907 when, with his associates, 
he purchased the Renville State Bank, and located at Renville, 
Minnesota, where he is an active officer, in addition to his ex- 
tensive farming interests in Renville county. In 1900 he was 
married to Mabel E. Dodds, of Rock Valley, Iowa. Four children 
have blessed their union. He is a prominent member of 
the Norwegian Lutheran Church and is identified with local 
politics. 

Siver M. Serkland, cashier of the Renville State Bank, was 
born in Juneau county. Wisconsin. September 5, 1866. His father, 
Peter P. Serkland was born near the village of Skien, Norway, 
and came to America with his wife Helene (Sigurdson) Serk- 
land, in the year 1865, after eleven weeks of storms and hard- 
ships on a small sailing vessel, locating in Juneau county, Wis- 
consin. Two years afterwards he removed to Watonwan county, 
Minnesota, making the entire journey with oxen, and was one of 
the early pioneers of that county. He died several years ago, 
but the mother of our subject still lives at St. James, Minnesota. 
S. M. Serkland was brought to Watonwan county when less than 
two years old, where he was raised on a homestead near the river 
Watonwan. He spent his early boyhood on the farm, attending 






LUBBERT AHRENHOLZ AND FAMILY 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 679 

the district schools, and he also had a course at the Minneapolis 
public schools. 

At the age of 21 he tired of farm work and accepted a position 
as weighmaster for the grain firm of W. P. Rempel & Brothers, 
who at that time owned a line of elevators along the Omaha di- 
vision of the Northwestern Railroad, continuing the occupation 
with credit to himself and success to his employer for a period 
of three years, after which he accepted a position as cashier of 
the Old Bank of St. James, Minnesota, and conducted the bank 
successfully for a term of four years. In the campaign of 1894 
the Republican party elected him to the office of register of deeds 
of Watonwan county, Minnesota, to which position he was re- 
elected for five successive terms. On May 18, 1891, he Avas united 
in marriage with Christine Bratrude, born and reared in Fill- 
more county, Minnesota, a daughter of Thor and Kjersti (Peter- 
son) Bratrude, who still resides at Fountain, in Fillmore county, 
Minnesota. To this union have been born two sons and one daugh- 
ter, Reuben Willard, now bookkeeper and stenographer with the 
Renville State Bank; Walter Thomas, a high school student at 
Renville, and Alta Margurette Christine, a pupil in the Renville 
schools. In the winter of 1905, S. M. Serkland and wife was sight- 
seeing in the southern states, spending a portion of the winter 
in Havana, Cuba. In the fall of 1907 he moved to Renville, Min- 
nesota, and purchased a large interest in the Renville State Bank, 
and chose the position as cashier of the bank, which has thrived 
and prospered under his careful management. S. M. Serkland 
and family are all Lutherans, and members of the Norwegian 
Lutheran Synod Church at Renville, Minnesota. 

Socially, Mr. Serkland is a member of the I. 0. 0. F. and M. 
W. A. ; his politics is Republican. Besides banking, he finds time 
to operate several fine farms, in which he is largely interested. 
He stands well in the community and has held the office of city 
treasurer since the spring of 1908. 

Lubbert Ahrenholz, a well known citizen of Renville, was 
born in Germany, December 1, 1851, son of Arnt and Elska 
(Simmerman) Ahrenholz. His parents were farmers, who lived 
and died in Germany. There were eight children in the family: 
Henry. Bye, George (deceased), Haren, Lubbert, George, Foke 
and Herman (deceased). Lubbert and Henry were the only ones 
to come to United States, leaving in 1868, and coming to New- 
York. They had received their early education in Germany and 
left with the purpose of establishing new homes for themselves. 
They had intended to come to Stevenson county, Illinois, where 
they had an uncle, who had sent them money for the trip. They 
worked out on the farms of the neighbors and after five years 
Lubbert left for Iowa, where lie located on a farm in Butler 
county. He rented this farm for about twelve years and then 



680 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

moved to Minnesota, going to Renville county and locating in 
Crooks township, section 5, on a tract of 160 acres of wild 
prairie haul. They built a frame house, 14 by 22 feet, and a 
small barn, the posts being set into the ground and boards nailed 
around them. He owned a team of horses. Here he lived until 
1!)10. when he moved to Renville. During this time he increased 
his farm until he had 760 acres and built a modern house and 
barn. He kept good stock and raised some fruit. Mr. Ahren- 
holz was road overseer for three or four years and also super- 
visor for six years. He served as treasurer of the school dis- 
trict twenty-three years. He helped organize the new school 
district known as No. 10"), and helped build the schoolhouse. 
He is a member of the Farmers' Elevator Company of Renville, 
holding the office of director. He is a shareholder of the Ren- 
ville State Bank and is its vice president. He is also a mem- 
ber of the Christian Reformed church and was one of its organ- 
izers and officers. Mr. Ahrenholz was married in 1874 to Elska 
Ahrenholz, born in Germany and died at the age of sixty-two 
years. Seven children were born to this union: George, the old- 
est boy, who is now farming on the old home place, married 
Gertrude Hoogerman and they have a daughter, Ella. Arnt 
married Anna Sejyer. They have two children : Lubbert and 
Fred. Fritz married Reka Sehultz. They have a daughter, Anna. 
Elzena married Michael Groote and has two children : Freda 
and Ella. Enalena, now deceased, married John Korthuse. They 
have had five children: George, Ella, Mary, Dena and Lubbert, 
Ella married Edward Devries and has two children, Etta and 
Ella. 

The State Bank of Hector was incorporated July 20, 1887, and 
commenced business August 1, 1887. The first officers were : G. 
K. Gilbert, president; W. 1). Griffith, vice-president; A. R. Gress, 
cashier; G. K. Gilbert. A. R. Gress, W. D. Griffith. O. F. Peter- 
son, Win. Ebert, H. A. Reed and W. C. White, directors. The 
changes in office from 1893 up to the present time are as follows: 
January, 1893, G. S. Eiehmiller became assistant cashier and C. 
H. Nixon was elected a director to till the place of W. C. White. 
January, 1S94. G. S. Eiehmiller became cashier in place of A. R. 
(iress and H. A. Reed became assistant cashier. G. S. Eichmil- 
ler's name was added to the list of directors. January, 1906, 
John Hokanson succeeded W. D. Griffith as vice-president and 
director and H. L. Torbenson succeeded II. A. Reed as assistant 
cashier. A. R. Gress again becomes a director of the bank and 
A. B. Anderson and 11. S. Deming were also made directors. In 
January. 191"), the officers and directors are as follows: G. K. 
Gilbert, president; A. B. Anderson, vice-president; G. S. Eieh- 
miller. cashier; II. L. Torbenson, assistant cashier; G. K. Gilbert, 
(■. S. Eiehmiller, A. B. Anderson, H. S. Deming, A. P. Anderson, 



' 



>, 




G. S. EICHMILLEB 






1 



(TILDE >, ' 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 681 

H. A. Reed and Andrew Anderson, directors. G. K. Gilbert has 
been president since the organization of the bank. 

Following is a report of the condition of the bank at close 
of business Dec. 31, 1887 : Resources — Loans and discounts, $20,- 
869.63 ; due from banks, $4,808.46 ; real estate, furniture and fix- 
tures, $3,678.34; current expenses, $909.75; cash on hand, $2,- 
306.54; total, $32,572.72. Liabilities— Capital stock, $25,000.00; 
undivided profits, $1,251.15; deposits, $6,321.57; total, $32,572.72. 
Following is a report of the bank at close of business Sept. 8, 
1915 : Resources — Loans and discounts, $222,882.39 ; overdrafts, 
$86.55; banking house, furniture and fixtures, $6,000.00; due from 
banks, $15,609.43; checks and cash items, $23.80; cash on hand, 
$15,022.50; total, $259,624.67. Liabilities— Capital stock, 
$25,000.00; -surplus fund, $15,000.00; undivided profits, $3,- 
914.02; dividends unpaid, $35.00: deposits. $215,675.65; total, 
$259,624.67. 

George S. Eichmiller, the popular cashier of the State Bank 
of Hector, was born in a log cabin in Carver county. Minnesota. 
He first saw the light of day on August 16, 1858, and is the son 
of Michael and Lena (Utz) Eichmiller. He attended the country 
district school, and later the Franklin public school at St. Paul, 
Minn., and completed his education at the St. Paul Business Col- 
lege. In the spring of 1879 he began his business career, his first 
position being that of bookkeeper in the hardware store of Mul- 
doon Bros., at Hammond, Wisconsin, where he remained until 
January, 1880, when he entered the employ of J. Preiss & Son, 
of Glencoe, Minn. For two years he kept the books for this firm, 
when he severed his connection with the firm and opened a gen- 
eral merchandise store at Glencoe, under his own name. Four 
years later he sold this business and went to Lake City, Minn., 
for a short time in 1886. Returning to Glencoe he worked for 
others until 1891, when he came to Hector. Minn., began work for 
Peterson Lunder & Co., as bookkeeper. He remained with this 
firm until January 1, 1893, when he accepted the position of as- 
sistant cashier of the State Bank of Hector, becoming cashier a 
year later. He is a stockholder in the State Bank of Hector, 
treasurer and stockholder in the Hector Elevator Co., treasurer 
and stockholder of the Hector Telephone Exchange, stockholder 
in the Twin City Fire Insurance Co., of Minneapolis, .Minn., he was 
president of the village council of Hector for seven years. He 
votes the Republican ticket. On September 9, 1885, Mr. Eich- 
miller was married to Alice M. Dean, daughter of Franklin B. 
and Yerlinda (Smith) Dean. Their first daughter, Grace Elinor, 
was born June 24, 1886, and died August 14, 1886. Their sec- 
ond daughter, Yerlinda May, was born March 11. 1889. She is 
a graduate of the Hector High school, of Carlton College, North- 
field, Minn., and of the domestic, science department of the Uni- 



6S2 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

versity of Chicago, and is now a domestic science teacher at 
Leeds, North Dakota. 

Michael Eichmiller was born in Germany and married Lena 
TJtz, born in Germany. They came to America in a sailing vessel 
in 1851, their voyage taking sixty-two days. For a short time 
they lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, leaving there for Carver county, 
Minnesota, where Mr. Eichmiller took up a homestead in the tim- 
ber, cleared part of it and built a log cabin. The cabin was a 
small one, and was shingled with the bark from the trees, and it 
was here that his son George was born. Mr. Eichmiller was 
killed in December, 1S57, by a tree falling on him, while clear- 
ing his land, so George never saw his father. They had one 
other child in addition to George, a daughter, Margaret, born 
January 4, 1856, now Mrs. Kloos, who lives in Grant county, 
Minnesota, where her husband is a prosperous farmer. 

Henry L. Torbenson, assistant cashier of the State Bank of 
Hector, was born October 30, 1874, in McLeod county, Minnesota, 
son of Thomas and Caroline (Olson) Torbenson. He completed 
the work in the public school and attended the seminary at Will- 
mar. Minn. After that he came to Hector and for three years 
taught school in the winter and farmed in the summer. Then 
he worked with the Johnson Hardware Company, of Hector, for 
two years. The next two years he was bookkeeper in the Hector 
State Bank after which he assumed the duties of his present 
position. In politics he is a Republican and for the past ten 
years has been the village treasurer. In 1914 he was made a 
member of the school board and is still serving. He is doing 
efficient work as secretary of the local telephone company. Fra- 
ternally he is a member of the Hector Lodge, No. 158, A. F. & 
A. M. He is also a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church. 
Mr. Torbenson was united in marriage July 2, 1907, to Eva Grif- 
fith, born January 17. 1SS6, at Beaver Falls, Minn., daughter of 
William D. and Alberta Griffith, and to this union one child, 
Lyle, was born February 18, 1912. 

The Farmers' State Bank of Sacred Heart was established by 
Ed. O'Connor. He opened for business Nov. 28, 188S, in Mc- 
Gregor's lumber office on the railroad right of way. This build- 
ing has been moved and is now used as a cobbler's shop by former 
Sheriff Hans Field. The bank was later moved to lot B, block 
11, before it was taken to its present location. F. G. Nellermoe 
was the first cashier. After him came Mary O'Connor, who served 
some fourteen years. The first depositor in the bank was Karenus 
0. Agre. The institution was incorporated as a state bank, March 
13, 1905, by the following: Edward O'Connor, John L. Johnson. 
Randolph Arnold, Timothy O'Connor. Nelson L. Johnson. Her- 
man 0. Skalbeck, Andrew II. Anderson, John S. Olson, Martin 
J. Larson. Erie Dosseth, Edward Paulson. Carl G. Hillard. Jerome 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 683 

H. Titus, Haagen 0. Agre, Lars Milsten, Anton 0. Skrukrud, 
Martin E. Doeken, Harold C. Omholt, Albert E. Doeken, Renholt 
H. Nelson, Osmund K. Osmundson, John I. Johnson, Ole C. Spars- 
tad, Helge J. Svein, Gunerius 0. Bergan, Mary Asher, Mary 
'Conner, Ole P. Sveiven, and Ole P. Skeggeby. The bank began 
with a capital of $25,000. The first board of directors were Ed- 
ward O'Connor, Anton 0. Skrukrud, Haagen 0. Agre, Carl G. 
Hillard, Herman 0. Skalbeck. The board at present is constituted 
as follows: Edward O'Connor, president; Timothy O'Connor, 
vice president; Oscar Olufson, cashier; C. M. Olufson. assistant 
cashier. Directors — Edward O'Connor. Sacred Heart, .Minn.: 
Wm. O'Connor. T. O'Connor, Renville, Minn.: II. (). Agre. A. I >. 
Skrukrud, Sacred Heart, Minn. 

A recent publication has said: "The Faimiers' State Bank 
was started in 188S by Ed. O'Connor, and has been under his per- 
sonal supervision ever since, barring a five-year period, from 
1905 to 1910, when he went to North Dakota to put through 
some big land colonization deals, which took his entire time. The 
Farmers' State Bank has withstood all the changes of time in the 
past twenty-seven years, has passed through the panicky times 
of 1893 and again in 1907. remaining in the best financial con- 
dition through it all, and coming out, figuratively speaking, with 
drums beating and colors Hying. Today its stockholders aggre- 
gate a personal responsibility of over $2,000,000. Many of our 
best and most prosperous and wealthy farmers are shareholders 
in this bank, adding much to its popularity. It is now the largest 
and strongest bank in Renville county and frequently carries 
upwards of $500,000 in deposits. It, therefore, at all times has 
ample funds to accommodate all patrons and to finance all their 
legitimate undertakings. Not only is Ed. O'Connor himself and 
his brothers, Timothy and William, of Renville, who are asso- 
ciated with him in this institution, all thorough bankers and con- 
stitute, with H. 0. Agre and A. 0. Shrukrud, a board of directors 
that actually directs, but they have called in and put in charge 
of their bank two brothers, Oscar Olufson, cashier, and <'. M. 
Olufson, assistant cashier, who are carefully trained, energetic, 
and practical bankers, with whom it is a pleasure to deal. They 
have had many years of experience in the banking business and 
are now well acquainted with local conditions, the cashier having 
worked in this bank since 1911. A dominant civic spirit runs 
through the doings of this institution. They are leaders in com- 
munity work and every good enterprise and undertaking has at 
once and without question their moral and material support. Nor 
is any unfortunate or needy individual of the community ever 
turned away without cheerful and generous assistance." 

Following is a statement of the condition of the bank at the 
close of business June 23, 1915 : Resources — loans and discounts. 



684 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

$333,624.78; overdrafts, $386.59; banking house, furniture and 
fixtures. $7,850; cash and due from banks, $134,539.68; total, 
$476,401 .05. Liabilities — capital stock and surplus, $45,000; 
undivided profits, $1,990.82; deposits, $429,410.23; total, $476,- 
401.05. 

Edward O'Connor, banker, man-of -affairs, and leading citizen, 
was born in Dane county. Wisconsin, September 11, 1861, son of 
•lames and Elizabeth (Eriekson) O'Connor. He was taken to 
Forest City, Iowa, at the age of six years and there received his 
school training. It was in the fall of 1880 that he came to Sacred 
Heart and soon after started his career here as a grain buyer. 
Since 1884 his interests have been largely identical with those of 
the O'Connor Brothers, bankers and land owners. Mr. O'Connor 
is now president of the Farmers State Bank of Sacred Heart, the 
McGrath State Bank of McGrath, Minnesota, and the Devils Lake 
State Bank of Devils Lake, North Dakota. In spite of his busy 
life, Mr. O'Connor has found time for public service for fifteen 
years as president of the village of Sacred Heart. Fraternally 
he affiliates with the Odd Fellows at Renville, the United Work- 
men and the Modern Woodmen at Sacred Heart, and the Knights 
of Columbus at Minneapolis. In politics he is a Democrat. A 
recent publication has said: "Ed O'Connor came a poor boy 
from Iowa in 1880. He started as a well driller and has worked 
in various businesses since, but whatsoever he has taken hold of 
it has prospered and he has made' a success of it. Failure is 
unknown to him. He is energetic and a hard worker and still 
personally looks after his own affairs as he always has done in 
the past. He has built up a remarkable record of achievement 
from small beginnings, until he together with his brothers now 
exceed in real estate holdings and in amount of taxes paid on 
same any other firm in Renville county. Most of his money has 
been made in real estate, and he has, perhaps, done more than 
any single pi rson to advance the prices of our lands from $20 per 
acre to $100. For all his opulence, Ed O'Connor is the same 
unspoiled man today that he was before he made his wealth. 
Simple in tastes and democratic in ideal and spirit, he associates 
freely and on equal footing with farmer, merchant or laborer that 
comes to his bank. He believes in fair and square dealing only, 
and his boast is that he never did business with a man but that 
he could do business with him again." Mr. O'Connor was married 
October 27, 1879, to Minnie Blowers, born at Forest City, Iowa, 
April 28, 1865, daughter of John and Sarah (Belt) Blowers. Mr. 
and Mrs. O'Connor have been blessed with seven children: Birdie, 
Mary, William, Pearl, Wallace, Delilah and Margaret. Birdie 
was born February 25, 1881. She married T. O. Ramsland, now 
of Lemmon, South Dakota, and has four children : Evert, Norman 
(deceased), Otis and .lames. Mary was born November 21, 1882, 




■■■■^■■^■l 



EDWAHD O'CONNOR 



' ('♦' •>!.••,' YORK 
l LIBRARY 



ASTOR. LBNOX KNB 
riLDEN FOUNDATIONS 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 685 

and married Albert Brennon, of Chicago. William was bom 
October 21, 1885, farms in Hawk Creek township, married Iva 
Lawrence, and has three children, Maurice, Pearl and Virgil. 
Pearl was born February 3, 1889, and married Herman Tnfft, of 
Hawk Creek township. Wallace was born July 22, 1894, farms 
in Hawk Creek township, married Jeanette Dunlevy, and has one 
child, Ruth Ann. Delilah, born January 28, 1898, is a student at 
St. Catherine's College at St. Paul. Margaret, horn February 7, 
1905, attends the Sacred Heart schools. Tin- family faith is that 
of the Catholic church, the services of that denomination since 
the earliest <lays having been held at the O'Connor residence. 
John Blowers was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and devoted his life 
to farming ami to the practice of veterinary surgery. He died 
Septemher 16, 1885. His wife, Sarah Belt, born in Indiana, is 
still living, now making her home in Iowa. In the Blowers family 
there were eight children: Polly, Robert, Minnie, Olive and 
Nettie, who are living, and George, Thomas ami Charles, who are 
dead. 

The Peoples First National Bank of Olivia dates from 1889, 
when a private hank was started under the name of the Peoples 
Bank, with P. W. Heins as president and ( !. W. MeMindes as cashier, 
these two being the sole owners. It was thus conducted until the 
state law compelled all private banks to organize. The Peoples 
First National Bank was accordingly incorporated, March 3, 1908, 
by C. A. Heins, Warren II. Heins, B. F. Byers, W. J. Heaney and 
E. G. Heins. who also became the first board of directors. The 
first officers were: C. A. Heins, president: Warren II. Heins, vice 
president: E. G. Heins, cashier; and A. X. Nelson, assistant cash- 
ier. January 1. 1914, P.. P. Byers succeeded Warren H. Heins as 
vice president, he in turn succeeding E. G. Heins as cashier. A. N. 
Nelson was elected a director. January 1, 1915, Warren II. Heins 
resigned and was succeeded by A. N. Nelson as cashier, and Albert 
Paulson became assistant cashier. John Mehlhouse became a 
director. The present officers are: C. A. Heins, president; B. F. 
Byers, vice president; A. N. Nelson, cashier, and A. Paulson, 
assistant cashier ; C. A. Heins, B. F. Byers, A. N. Nelson, W. J. 
Heaney, John Mehlhouse. directors. The bank believes in honest 
dealings to all and in treating all patrons alike. This institution, 
one of the oldest in the county, has done much for the develop- 
ment of the county and is taking an active part in every move 
for the progress of the community. C. A. Heins. the owner of the 
controlling interest, and the present president, is the oldest son 
of P. W. Heins. the founder of the institution, and he has taken 
pride in preserving the spirit so long maintained by his honored 
forebear. 

Following is a report of the condition of the Peoples First 
National Bank at Olivia at the close of business December 31, 



686 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

1915: Resources — Loans and discounts, $273,479.75; overdrafts, 
$272.84 ; United States and other bonds, $9,250.00 ; stock in Fed- 
eral Reserve Bank, $900.00 ; banking house, furniture and fixtures, 
$2,000.00 ; real estate owned other than banking house, $19,200.00 ; 
cash due from banks and United States treasury, $36,962.21 ; total, 
$342,064.80. Liabilities— Capital stock paid in, $25,000.00; sur- 
plus and undivided profits, $9,704.08 ; circulating notes, $6,250.00 ; 
deposits, $265,800.36 ; rediscounts, $15,310.36 ; bills payable, includ- 
ing obligations representing money borrowed, $20,000.00 ; total, 
$342,064.80. 

Peter W. Heins, for many years a leader in Renville county 
life, was born near Hamburg, Germany, December 3, 1846, son of 
Christian Heins, who brought the family to America in 1851, locat- 
ing at Iowa. There were five boys in the family who all located 
in Louisa county, Iowa, Chris, Henry, Peter, Ferdinand and John, 
the last two named being veterans of the Civil war. Peter grew 
to manhood and taught school. He also worked in the saw mills 
at Minneapolis for a short period. In the spring of 1870 he came 
to Beaver Falls, Renville county, and with his brother John built 
a general store for hardware, groceries and crockery. This was 
afterwards changed to a hardware store exclusively. In 1878 
Peter W. started a hardware store in Olivia. In 1880 he brought 
his family to Olivia and took Gustavus McClure into partnership, 
in the Beaver Falls business. He also had a store at Renville, 
under the name of Heins & Company, and one at Morton under the 
name of Keefe, Heins & McClure. In 1889 B. F. Byers bought half 
interest in the Olivia store and it became Heins & Byers. Mr. 
Heins was among the first to settle in Olivia. He platted an addi- 
tion to the village and held many leading offices. In 1889 the 
Peoples Bank, a private institution, was organized and Mr. Heins 
became the president with C. W. McMindes as cashier In March, 
1908, the Peoples Bank was merged into the Peoples First National 
Bank with ('. A. Heins as president. Peter W. Heins was one 
of the organizers of the Melbourne State Bank, Florida, which 
was later removed to Fort Pierce, Florida, and is now the Bank 
of Fort Pierce. He was a stockholder in this bank at the time 
of his death. Mr. Heins was chairman of the county seat com- 
mittee for twenty-five years. The purpose of this committee was 
to get the court house removed from Beaver Falls to Olivia, which 
was accomplished. The overwhelming responsibilities and worry 
connected with this position affected Mr. Heins to such an extent 
that it caused him to fail in health, and possibly shortened his life. 
He was a member of the Olivia Lodge No. 220, A. F. & A. M. He 
was a communicant of the Methodist Episcopal church and helped 
establish the early church. He was greatly interested in school 
work. Mr. Heins was united in marriage December 29, 1842, to 
Margaret Jane Patterson of Indiana, third child of William and 



* 1( 






:jys 




C. A. HEINS 



PUBLIC LlL'i.A.M 



A9TOK. LKNOX AND 
TILDKN TOUNQATIONS 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 687 

Mary Jane (Campbell) Patterson. Mrs. Patterson was a great 
church worker and before her marriage was a school teacher. 
She died in 1904 at the age of fifty-six. Mr. Heins died in May, 
1902. in his fifty-sixth year. Six children were born to these 
parents, Charles A., Elva (deceased), Walter (deceased), Minnie 
(deceased), Warren H., and one unnamed who died in infancy. 
Charles A. is president of the Peoples First National Bank of 
Olivia. Warren H. is in the hardware business and a member of 
the firm of Heins & Byers. 

Charles A. Heins, business man and banker of Olivia, was born 
at Beaver Falls, this county, October 22, 1873, and was educated 
in the public schools, Hamline University at Midway, and the 
Curtis Business College at Minneapolis. In 1897 he entered his 
father's bank as bookkeeper and three years later became the 
vice president, a position he held until 1904, when he became 
president. He was also connected with the hardware business 
until 1915. In 1904 he organized and became the president of the 
Canning Factory at Olivia. He has been a member of the State 
militia since 1897, and for eleven years, from 1901 to 1912, served 
as first lieutenant. During the Spanish-American war he enlisted 
as a private in the Fourteenth Minnesota Volunteers and was pro- 
moted to quartermaster sergeant. For three years he served on 
the village council. He is a member of the Olivia Lodge No. 220, 
A. F. & A. M., of Olivia, St. Paul Chapter No. 1, R. A. M., of St. 
Paul, Osman Temple, A. A. O. N. M. S., of St. Paul, and the Damas- 
kus Commandery No. 1, K. T., of St. Paul. Mr. Heins was united 
in marriage April 22, 1901, to Verna Cole, of St. Paul, Minnesota, 
daughter of Frank and Caroline (Farley) Cole, of Blue Earth 
county. Mr. Cole was born in England. Mrs. Cole's father was 
a Virginian of English descent and her mother was of Norwegian 
parentage. Mr. and Mrs. Heins have one child, Charles, born 
October 6, 1908. The family faith is that of the Methodist Epis- 
copal church. 

The State Bank of Fairfax was incorporated November 16, 
1891. The incorporators were: Carl Hornburg, Luther H. Nich- 
ols, E. F. Sell and L. T. Grady. The first officers were: Presi- 
dent. Carl Hornburg; vice-president, E. F. Sell; cashier, L. T. 
Grady. The bank opened for business November 16, 1891, in 
the building which it built that year. In 1909 the building was 
enlarged by adding a room in the rear and in 1911 an extra story 
was built. The present officers are : President, J. W. Schramm ; 
vice-president, Charles Lammers; cashier, A. E. Carver, and 
assistant cashier, B. J. Schramm. The Security Bank of Fair- 
fax was absorbed February 1, 1895. 

Following is a statement of the condition of the bank at the 
close of business on June 23, 1915: Resources — loans and dis- 
counts. $168,814.21: overdrafts. $1,088.73; banking house, fur- 



688 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

niture and fixtures, $9,450: other real estate, $6,200; due from 
banks, $8,037; cash on hand. $7,599.62: total cash assets. $15,- 
636.62; cheeks and cash items, $4,535.49; total, $205,725.05. Lia- 
bilities — capital stock and surplus, $30,000; undivided profits, 
net. $1,740.30; deposits, $173,984.75; total. $205,725.05. Amount 
of reserve on hand. $20,172.11; amount of reserve required by 
law. $8,340.49. 

Julius W. Schramm, a Leading banker of Fairfax, was born 
in Germany December 5. 1855, son of Karl G. and Johanna 
(Fenseke)' Schramm. The family came to America in 1856 and 
in 1857 Karl (i. Schramm started a general store in New Ulm 
in company with his brother-in-law, Henry Schalk, which they 
operated for only a short time. After selling out his interest in 
this store Karl <;. Schramm bought one hundred and sixty acres 
of land in Milford township. Brown county, to which he moved 
and win-re he lived until 1875. In 1871 he opened a general store 
in New Tim with Michael Redman, under the firm name of Red- 
man & Schramm. Each partner was to furnish a man in the 
store and Julius W. Schramm took his father's place in the store 
and managed his father's interest until 1879. In the meantime 
tin' lather in 1875 moved from the farm to New rim. where he 
lived until about 1891, when he moved to Fairfax, where he 
remained until his death. August 29, 1899. at the age of sixty- 
seven. Mrs. Johanna (Fenseke) Schramm died January 1. 1913. 
Tn 1879 Julius W. Schramm bought his father's interest in the 
store and remained there with Mr. Redman until the store was 
destroyed by the cyclone which demolished a part of the city in 
1881. Mr. Schramm was severely injured in this storm. After 
his recovery he worked as a clerk in a general store in Albert 
Lea until 1886, after which he spent four years in a general 
store in St. Paul. .Mi-. Schramm came to Fairfax in 1891 and 
bought a half interest in the general store of Emil F. Sell, where 
he remained until 190(1. at which time he became president of 
the State Bank of Fairfax, which position he still holds. He is 
a member of the Modern Woodmen id' America. The family are 
members of the Methodist Episcopal church, in the work of which 
they take an active part. Mr. Schramm was married on October 
19. 1881, to Minnie Redman, a daughter of Michael and Hen- 
rietta (Breitkreutz) Redman. Mr. Redman was a pioneer mer- 
chant of New Ulm, tin' one who has been mentioned as being 
connected with the Sehr; ns in the general mercantile busi- 
ness at that place. He died in 1881 at the age id' fifty-six years. 
I lis widow is still living at the age of eighty-five years and makes 
her home with her daughter Anna. Mrs Charles Ferke, at Sleepy 
Eye, Minn. Mr. and Mrs. Schramm have four children. The 
eldest, Estella J., is married to Frank Hopkins, of Fairfax, a 
prominent attorney of Renville county. They have three chil- 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 689 

dren: Ora, Lois and Wayne. The second child, Edna J]., is a 
teacher in the Fairfax public schools. She is a graduate of the 
Fairfax High school and of the Winona State'Normal school. 
The third child, Minnie J., is a graduate of the Fairfax High 
school and of the Swedish Hospital of Minneapolis and is now 
a visiting- uurse for the city of Minneapolis. The fourth child, 
and the youngest, Benjamin J., is a graduate of the Fairfax 
High school and of the Minneapolis Business college, and has 
been assistant cashier in the State Bank of Fairfax since July, 
1913. 

Albert E. Carver, a prominent hanker and business man of 
Fairfax, was horn in Walworth county. Wisconsin, August 19, 
1868, son of Thomas ('. and Lucretia (Foote) Carver. His father 
was a farmer and died in August, 1911, at the age of sixty-eight 
years. His mother is still living at the age of sixty-five years 
at Ft. Dodge, Iowa. At the age of thirteen Albert E. Carver 
went to work in a blacksmith shop. After two years of this 
kind of work he became a clerk in a general store at Kalo, Iowa. 
where he remained for two years. He attended a business col- 
lege at Ft. Dodge and graduated in 1887, becoming bookkeeper 
for Anton Rank, the bookbinder in Ft. Dodge. During this tine- 
he studied shorthand by himself and became a stenographer. 
For two years he assisted A. E. Clark, attorney in Ft. Dodge, 
coming to Minneapolis with him in 1889, when he became the 
general attorney for the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad. After 
serving in the law offices of the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railroad 
for two years he resigned ami opened a public stenographer's 
office in Minneapolis, which he operated for two years. In 1893 
Mr. Carver came to Fairfax and started the Security Hank, of 
which he became cashier. In 1895 this was consolidated with 
the State Hank of Fairfax and he became the assistant cashier, 

1 oming cashier in 1896, which position he still holds. Mr. 

Carver has been village recorder for ten years and member of 
the village school board for fifteen years. He is a member of 
Fairfax Lodge No. 261, A. F. & A. M., and has passed through 
all the chairs. He is now treasurer and senior steward. April 
26, 1894. Mr. Carver was married to Mary O'Hara, daughter of 
James and Johanna (Ganey) O'Hara, Mi-. O'Hara being a 
pioneer farmer. Six children have been born to this marriage: 
Raymond, born March 27, 1895; Harold, born February :!. 1897, 
ami .lied in 1904: Esther, born March 20, 1898; Eunice, horn 
October 10, 1900: Lucretia, born October 20. 190::. and Lyall 
born October 12. 1905. 

The Security Bank of Renville was incorporated on Septem- 
ber 1, 1892, and opened for business in the Lee block, now occupied 
by the F. A. Schafer furniture store. The first officers were: 
President, W. D. Spaulding: vice president, L. E. Lien: cashier. 



690 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

J. L. Johnson; directors, F. M Rich, C M. Reese, Paul C. Brevig, 
L. E. Lien, J. L. Johnson, P. Pederson and W. D. Spaulding. 
G. J. Lee succeeded W. D. Spaulding as one of the directors in 
1894 and at the same time C. M. Reese became president. In 1895 
Paul C. Brevig and L. E. Lien retired from the board of directors ; 
W. H. Gold became vice president and H. N. Stabeck cashier, 
while J. H. Dale became one of the directors. W. H. Gold became 
president in 1896, H. J. Dale vice president and H. N. Stabeck 
cashier. C. M. Reese retired from the board of directors. It was 
this year that the bank was moved to its own building, which it has 
since occupied. The directors for 1896 consisted of F. M. Rich, 
J. II. Dale, H. J. Dale, W. H. Gold, II. N. Stabeck, P. Pederson and 
G. J. Lee. In 1898, M. L. Helgerson became assistant cashier. In 
1899 the number of directors was reduced to five and F. M. Rich 
and P. Pederson retired. In 1902 H. N. Stabeck became president 
and A. A. Bennett cashier. 

The First National Bank of Renville took the place of the 
Security Bank, January 17, 1903. At that time the officers were : 
President, II. N. Stabeck; vice presidents, F. O. Gold and H. J. 
Dale ; cashier, A. A. Bennett ; directors, H. N. Stabeck, II. J. Dale, 
W II. Gold, F. 0. Gold and G. J. Lee. In 1905, A. A. Bennett 
succeeded G. J. Lee as a director. F. O. Gold succeeded H. N. 
Stabeck as president in 1907. The next year, H. J. Dale became 
president and J. PI. Dale vice president. A. A. Bennett continued 
as cashier. The directors were these three gentlemen with M. C. 
Dale and A C. Bennett. Since then there has been no change in 
the officers. 

Following is a report of the condition of the First National 
Bank of Renville at the close of business November 10, 1915: Re- 
sources — Loans and discounts, $295,518.92; overdrafts, $831.85; 
United States and other bonds, $26,000.00; banking house, furni- 
ture and fixtures, $8,000.00; stock in Federal Reserve Bank, 
$1,050.00; cash due from banks and United States treasury, 
$37,657.61; total, $369,058.38. Liabilities— Capital stock, $25,- 
000.00; surplus and undivided profits, $26,287.58; circulation, 
$25,000.00; deposits, $287,270.80; rediscounts, $5,500.00; total 
$369,058.38. 

H. J. Dale, president of the First National Bank of Renville, 
was born in Lyster, Norway, November 16, 1849, son of Jorgen P. 
and Martha L. (Larson) Dale, who brought him to Vernon county, 
Wisconsin, in 1860. In 1868 he went to Sparta, Wisconsin, where 
he clerked in a store and attended school. In 1S74 he came to 
Willmar in this state, and witli P. H. Rose engaged in the general 
mercantile business, continuing in this line for some twenty years. 
In 1885 he became interested in J. H. Dale & Co. of Renville, and 
in 1894 sold out his interests at Willmar and moved here. A year 
later he became interested in the Security State Bank, which is 




J. H. DALE 




II. J. DALE 



TH1 
PUBLIC Lli 



A3TOK. LENOX WD 
T1LDEN fOUMDATtONS 



r,f NEW 



^ORfc 



f-J''tD T E ^'^fNox. AND 




A. A. BENNETT 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 691 

now succeeded by the bank of which he is president and to which 
he devotes his entire attention. 

J. H. Dale, vice president of the First National Bank of Ren- 
ville, was born in Vernon county, Wisconsin. February 8, 1862, 
son of Christopher and Guerie (Dalen) Dale. He was reared on a 
farm, and secured his education by attending school during- the 
winter terms. At the age of eighteen he commenced clerking for 
the firm of Dale & Rpise of Willmar, this state, with whom he 
remained for three years. Then he engaged in business for himself 
at Grafton, North Dakota, for a year. Returning to Willmar he 
purchased the drug and grocery department of the store in which 
he had previously been employed. It was in 1885 that he came 
to Renville and established the firm of J. II. Dale & Co. This firm 
for a while conducted a general store in the O'Connor block, but 
in 1896 moved to the quarters now occupied by the firm of Bottege 
& Hassinger, the firm of J. II. Dale «& Co. having erected the block. 
At the same time the Security Bank moved into the same block. 
For a number of years J. II. and H. J. Dale were the principal 
members of the firm of Dale & Co. Later P. J. Bottege entered 
the firm. Still later M. L. Hassinger acquired an interest. Several 
years ago the Dale interests were sold to Bottege & Hassinger. 
J. II. Dale was connected with the old Security Bank and with its 
successor, the present First National Bank, in various capacities 
before assuming his present position. He has been chairman of 
the Republican county committee, has served on the council and 
on the school board and has done other public service. 

A. A. Bennett, cashier of the First National Bank of Renville, 
was born January 31, 1870, in Glencoe, this state, son of C. A. and 
Margaret (Lee) Bennett. The father, for many years a prominent 
man of this vicinity and a leading newspaper editor at Granite 
Falls, this state, is still a resident of that village. A. A. Bennett 
was educated in Granite Falls and for many years engaged in 
newspaper work with his father at that place. For two years he 
was assistant secretary of the Republican National League, and 
for three years he was a clerk in the postoffiee of the House of 
Representatives at Washington, D. C. In 1900 he came to Renville 
as a bookkeeper in the old Security Bank. He assumed the duties 
of his present position in 1902. 

The Bank of Miles was started as a private bank with William 
O'Connor as president; Timothy O'Connor as vice president : and 
Halvor J. Lee as cashier. In 1900 a controlling interest was sold 
to Hans Gronnerud. January 9, 1902, the institution was incor- 
porated as the Danube State Bank, those interested being : Tim- 
othy O'Connor, William O'Connor, Halvor J. Lee, F. A. Schroeder, 
F. G. Nellermoe, W. H. Cheney and Fred W. Orth. 

The State Bank of Buffalo Lake was incorporate,! January 
is. 1901. It was originally known as the Bank of Buffalo Lake, 



692 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

which opened its doors for business September 1. 1893, and was 
a private bank with Ed. O'Connor as president, T. O'Connor as 
vice-president and F. G. Nellermoe as cashier. In January, 1895, 
F. G. Nellermoe purchased the interest of O'Connor brothers 
and was the sole owner of the Bank of Buffalo Lake until 
January 18, 1901. Then it was converted into a state bank 
under the name of State Bank of Buffalo Lake, the charter bear- 
ing the date of January 18, 1901, with a capital of $15,000. The 
incorporators of the bank were as follows : D. W. Topliff, George 
Haag, Richard Fischer, William Quandt, J. C. Nagel. John 
Quast, Herman Manthei, Joseph Flor, F. G. Nellermoe, J. A. 
Sodercpiist, Fred Woelpern, Peter Olson, August Ahlbrecht, Nels 
Olson and P. A. Burgstahler. The first officers were : D. W. Top- 
liff, president ; J. C. Nagel, vice-president, and F. G. Nellermoe, 
cashier. The directors were as follows: D. W. Topliff, F. G. 
Nellermoe, August Ahlbrecht, Peter Olson, J. C. Nagel, John 
Quast and George Haag. The bank owns its building, erected 
in 1910, and has one of the most commodious and up-to-date 
two-story vaults, a safety box department, for the convenience 
of its patrons, and the American Bankers' Electric Burglar 
Alarm System of the latest pattern. Mr. Nellermoe was cashier 
of the bank when it first started in 1893, during the time of the 
great panic, and has held that position up to the present time. 
The capital stock has increased from $15,000 to $25,000 and built 
up a surplus of $5,000, all earned, under his management. The 
bank is strictly a country bank, and deals in improved farms in 
the home locality, and is ready and willing to help build up its 
town and community, as well as to lend its aid in building of 
silos, sowing alfalfa and to better in a general way the condi- 
tions of its territory. For many years it has loaned money to 
farmers at cut rates, for the purpose of tiling and drainage, 
thereby encouraging tile drainage and the betterment of the 
lands to the benefit of its farmer patrons. 

Following is a statement of the condition of the bank at the 
close of business on June 23, 1915. Resources — loans and dis- 
counts. $194,668.34; overdrafts, $148.34; bonds and securities. 
$3,000; banking house, furniture and fixtures, $6,600; other real 
estate, $8,400; due from banks. $39,382.71; cash on hand. 
$9,255.57; total cash assets, $48,638.28; total, $261,454.96. Lia- 
bilities — capital stock and surplus, $30,000; undivided profits, 
net, $1,989.16; notes rediscounted and bills payable, including 
certificates for money borrowed, none; deposits, $229,465.80: 
other liabilities, none; total. $261,454.96. Amount of reserve on 
hand, $48,638.28. Amount of reserve required by law, $14,708.68. 

The board is constituted as follows: J. C. Nagel, president; 
John Quast, vice-president; F. G. Nellermoe, cashier; F. N. Prel- 
vitz, assistant cashier. Directors: J. C. Nagel, John Quast, F. G. 




V. (i. NELLEKMOE AND FAMILY 



I THE WEW YORK | 
PUBLIC L1BRAR 



VJTOK. LENOX 

TILDE : 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY G93 

Nellermoe, H. G. Eiselein, A. G. Siewert, all of Buffalo Lake, 
Minn. 

Frantz G. Nellermoe, banker at Buffalo Lake, Miuu.. was born 
in the northern part of Norway, known as Korgen, in the 
Hemnaes precinct of Hegeland, on September 5, 1860. He lived 
with his parents on a small farm and when six years old was 
sent out to herd cattle in the mountainous regions which sur- 
round that neighborhood, receiving as wages $5 in cash, together 
with his board and washing. This occupation kept him busy 
six months every summer until he reached the age of thirteen. 
During the winter he attended school and received a good educa- 
tion, taking the average country hoy's training of that time as 
a standard and considering the fact that only nine weeks of 
school were offered. In the fall of 1873 his father's brother, 
John K. Christofferson. came home from the United States, giv- 
ing glorious accounts of America and of his 160-acre farm in the 
township of Hawk Creek, Renville county, Minnesota. Frantz 
had four brothers and two sisters, making a large family to rear 
in the barren country of northern Norway. During the long 
winter months of 1873-74 the future of these- children was dis- 
cussed and as a result of these family couneils. Frantz and Theo- 
dore were to immigrate to America with their uncle, who planned 
to return in the spring. Accordingly the two boys left the old 
homestead in March, 1874. The snow was then about eight feet 
deep on level ground and winter showed no signs of relaxing. 
The storms and tribulations and the dense coal dust of Liverpool, 
England, have not to this day been forgotten by these two 
brothers. The passage across the Atlantic was exceedingly cold 
and stormy, and the cold April winds were almost too much for 
the heavy home spun coats. On May '2 the much-ta.lked-of "land 
of the free" came into sight and on May 3, 1874, Frantz with 
other emigrants landed in New York City and was herded into 
the old Castle Garden, retained there two or three days with the 
other emigrants and finally sent west on the Erie railroad, reach- 
ing St. Paul. Minn., on the ninth of May. There the uncle visited 
friends and the boys made themselves at home at the depot dur- 
ing their stay. Mr. Nellermoe remembers how they had to walk 
on planks through mud puddles to reach the depot and how the 
frogs kept them awake with their incessant croaking. At that 
time there were no railroads in Renville county, so the only way 
to reach their farm in Hawk Creek was to travel by rail to 
Willmar and then across country by wagon road. They arrived 
at "Willmar May 10. and two days later began their long tramp 
on foot from Willmar to Hawk Creek. It took them some time 
to become accustomed to their new home and the new customs 
and language, and they found the mosquitoes the hardest of all 
to become accustomed to. When fall came they attended school 



694 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

in an unchinked, unplastered log school house, the school term 
being three months. It was possible for this reason to attend 
more than one school, as the teacher taught in two or three 
schools during the year. At first it was very difficult for the 
hoys to get along because their first teacher, Nellie Ennestvedt, 
now Mrs. Peder Kittelsland, of South Sacred Heart, would not 
permit any Norwegian spoken in the school room. However, they 
were aided by other Norwegian speaking pupils, who translated 
the rules and assignment of lessons. The next important event 
in the life of Frantz Nellermoe came with the disastrous arrival 
of the grasshoppers, sweeping over the country in great clouds 
and devastating all grain and hay crops that year and the next 
and then disappearing as suddenly as they appeared. The hard 
times following the raid made it necessary for Mr. Nellermoe to 
hire out elsewhere. He walked all the way to the Red River 
Valley and found work with farmers in Richland and Cass coun- 
ties in North Dakota. He had resolved to save $100 every year, 
and that year exceeded his own expectations by coming home 
with $150. He was only a boy of sixteen and considered himself 
very fortunate-. Soon after this Mr. Nellermoe's father died in 
Norway, and in 1878 his mother, accompanied by his brothers, 
Jacob and Nels. and his sisters. Ellen and Anna, came to this 
country and resided on a 120-acre farm purchased by Frantz. 
Later his mother purchased forty acres of land adjoining her 
son's farm. Besides farming he also operated a separator for 
seven seasons of threshing, and in this way was able to meet the 
obligations incurred by the purchase of his farm. Realizing thai 
he was not as completely prepared as he would wish to compete 
with other men of better education he sold his farm and invested 
the proceeds in the securing of an education, spending two years 
at St. Olaf's college at Northfield and one year at the Archibald 
Business college at Minneapolis, then located on the third floor 
of the building on the corner of First avenue south and Third 
street. He graduated from this institution May 1, 1885, just 
eleven years from the day he tirst landed in this country. After 
an unsuccessful attempt to secure work in the city he returned 
home and obtained a position in the general store of Stenson & 
Ramsland, of Sacred Heart, as clerk and general assistant. Later 
he accepted a position with J. S. Johnson, of Granite falls, sell- 
ing farm implements. Next he entered the general merchandise 
business with his brother Theodore, of Sacred Heart. After four 
years spent in the mercantile business he formed a. partnership 
with Ed O 'Conner and bought grain at Sacred Heart in the 
Farmers' Warehouse of that place for two years. Leaving that 
business Air. Nellermoe, together with John and Ed O'Conner, 
established the Farmers' Bank, of Sac-red Heart. Mr. Nellermoe 
being chosen cashier. He held this position until 1893, when 




H 
O 






Eh 



PUiUt 






HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 695 

he with Tim and Ed O'Conner established the Bank of Buffalo 
Lake, with F. (i. Nellermoe as its cashier and manager. He later 
purchased the interest of the O'Conner brothers in the bank 
and became the sole owner, manager and cashier until it was 
incorporated January 18, 1901. as the State Hank of Buffalo 
Lake. Mr. Nellermoe was elected cashier by the board of 
directors and has held that position up to the present time. At 
the time that the Bank of Buffalo Lake was established the vil- 
lage had a population of about 125 people. Mr. Nellermoe was 
one of the first organizers of the Farmers' Elevator Co. at 
Sacred Heart, which was the first organization of that kind in 
Renville county. He acted as secretary. He also has been instru- 
mental in organizing two other companies of this kind in Buffalo 
Lake and two creameries. .Mr. Nellermoe is \rvy much interested 
in tin' general advancement and progress of his community and 
has done many things for the betterment of Buffalo Lake. He is 
credited with having spent $2,000 in building and improving 
public roads leading to Buffalo Lake. He maintains a standing 
offer to all land owners near Buffalo Lake to supply them with 
money at a reduced rate of interest for the purpose of tiling 
their lands, the building of silos and purchase of good live stock. 
He has held a number of minor local offices, beginning with the 
clerkship of school district No. 41 in Hawk Creek and then in 
the following succession the offices of president, councilman, 
village recorder and clerk of school board, of Sacred Heart. 
Later at Buffalo Lake he has held the offices of village recorder, 
village president and clerk of the village school board. He has 
now retired from official life with the exception of the office of 
secretary of the Renville County obi Settlers' Association. Mr. 
Nellermoe is an influential and respected man and has acquired 
his present independent position in life by means of hard work 
and self-denial. His motto is: "The drone will starve owning 
a gold mine and the hustler will prosper on a barren island." 
He has seen Renville county when it was practically a wilderness 
with dugouts as the best buildings the farmers could afford, and 
he has seen the same farmers erect palatial dwellings and modern 
barns and acquire the latest conveniences. He lias seen railroads 
built across the northern and southern portions of Renville 
county and was one of the many who helped remove the sand 
in the building of the Milwaukee Railroad. He has assisted in 
the building up of two villages in the county, and while he is 
now over fifty-five years of age he still appears capable of accom- 
plishing much good for his village and county, and is by no 
means ready or willing to be counted on the retired list. Owning 
four improved farms near Buffalo Lake, one of which has 2.000 
rods of woven wire fence and nine and one-half miles of tiled 
ditches, he has something to look after in hours when not occu- 



696 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

pied at the bank, and lie needs energy and push to keep his 
affairs intact, therefore he has no thought of retirement until he 
is forced to by nature. Mr. Nellermoe was married June 5, 1894, 
to Julia C. Hanson, of Woodville, Wis. She was born June 5, 
1ST:;, the oldest daughter of Peter and Martha Hanson, natives 
of Hemnaes, Nordland, Norway, who came to America by sailing 
vessel in 1864 and located on a farm in the pine forest of St. Croix 
county, Wisconsin, where they made their home till 1914, when 
they sold their farm and retired from active farming and now 
reside in the village of Woodville. Two sons have been born to 
bless this union : Joy <>., now a student in the College of Dentistry, 
University of Minnesota, and Piatt M., a graduate of the 1915 
class of the Hector High school. 

The Olivia State Bank was incorporated January 1, 1895, 
being state bank No. 218. The following persons formed this 
association for incorporation : M. J. Dowling, Ed. 'Connor, 
T. O'Connor and Jesse T. Brooks, all of Renville; M. J. Glen, 
T. H. McGinty, W. J. Heany. Fred M. Byrne, James E. Daven- 
port, John Miller. P. H. Kirwan. William Windhorst, J. M. 
Peckinpaugh, Marie Erna Pfeiffer and C. E. Peterson, all of 
Olivia: J. S. Coughlin, James Curtin and Mrs. Mattie Coughlin, 
all of Minneapolis ; T. H. Collyer, of Beaver Falls, and George W. 
Sommerville, of Sleepy Eye. The amount of capital stock was 
$25,000. The first officers were: Ed. O'Connor, president; Will- 
iam Windhorst, vice-president; P. H. Kirwan, cashier; E. L. 
DePue, assistant cashier. The first certificate of stock issued by 
the bank was the one issued to M. J. Dowling. The bank opened 
for business January 1, 1895, in its own building, which was 
erected by the building committee during the fall of 1894. It 
still occupies this building. 

January 14, 1896, D. W. Cheney became president and Hans 
Gronnerud cashier. January 9, 1900, Hans Gronnerud became 
president and E. L. DePue cashier. H. A. Reed succeeded as 
cashier July 10, 1900. D. W. Cheney succeeded Hans Gronnerud 
as president May 2s. 11)01, and he in turn was succeeded by 
George Welsh, as president. August 26. 1902. The present incum- 
bent is M. J. Dowling, who took office October 21. 1902. Hattie 
S. Bordewich, on August 1, 1903, succeeded H. A. Reed as cashier. 
William Windhorst was succeeded as vice-president by J. M. 
h'n email. January 10, 1905. D. D. Cheney, Jr., was appointed 
assistant cashier January 9, 1906, and was succeeded by the 
present assisl;ml cashier, Harold Bordewich. February 1, 1908. 
Harold Griffith was appointed as an additional cashier August 
1, 1915. The present officers are: M. J. Dowling, president; 
J. M. Freeman, vice-president: Hattie S. Bordewich. cashier; 
Harold Bordewich, assistant cashier, and Harold Griffith, assistant 
cashier. 




M. J. DUWLIXG 



p U«LK: LIBRARY 



hffl?«3 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 697 

The policy of the bank is, with a conservative regard for the 
interest of its stockholders, to do the most good in the best man- 
ner for the patrons and the community. 

Following is a statement of the condition of the bank at the 
close of business on September 2, 1915: Resources — loans, $218,- 
248.33; overdrafts, $236.33; banking house, furniture and fix- 
tures, $(3,000; other real estate. $6,100; due from hanks, $8,378.48; 
cash on hand. $8,279.95; total cash assets, $16,658.43; checks 
and cash items, $844.09: total, $248,087.18. Liabilities— capital 
stock, $25,000; surplus fund. $5,000; undivided profits, net, 
$2,027.26; notes rediseounted and bills payable, $5,000; deposits 
subject to cheek. $80,635.25; demand certificates, $34.35; cashier's 
checks, $1,901.81; total immediate liabilities, $82,571.51; time 
certificates, $128,482.82; total deposits, $211,054.33; suspense 
account, $5.59; total, $248,087.18; amount of reserve on hand, 
$17,502.52; amount of reserve required by law, $17,502.72. 

M. J. Dowling, president of the Olivia State Bank, was born 
in Huntington, Massachusetts, February 17, 18G6, son of John 
Jerome Dowling and Honora Barry Dowling, both of whom are 
deceased. He came to Minnesota in 1877, and; except for intervals 
of temporary residence elsewhere, has lived in Minnesota continu- 
ously since that time. He has lived in only six counties during 
these years, Olmsted, Lincoln, Lyon, Yellow Medicine, Chippewa, 
and Renville. He was married October 2, 1895, to Jennie L. Bor- 
dewicli. and they have three daughters, Dorothy, Marjorie and 
Kathleen. He was assistant clerk and chief clerk of the Minnesota 
House of Representatives for several sessions and was speaker of 
the House during the regular session of 1900 and the extra session 
of 1901, was secretary of the National Republican League for three 
years, covering a period of the beginning of the MeKiuley cam- 
paign and for a year and a half after McKinley's election. He 
has been in the banking business in Olivia since October 19, 1902. 

The State Bank of Morton opened for business November 30, 
181)1, under the name of Bank of Morton. The first officers were: 
Hans Gronnerud, president; R. B. Henton, Sr., vice-president; 
F. "W. Orth, cashier, and Henry Beckman, assistant cashier. In 
1898 Mr. Gronnerud sold his interest in the bank and in 1908 the 
bank was incorporated as a state bank with a capital of $25,000 
and $5,000 surplus. The surplus has been increased out of the 
earnings to $10,000. The incorporators were F. W. Orth, R. B. 
Henton. Henry Beckman, Fred Aufderheide, Mary A. F. Gloden, 
John Cheney, Louis Zinne and Charles H. Orth. The present 
officers of the bank are: F. W. Orth, president; R, B. Henton, 
vice-president; Henry Beckman, cashier, and Clinton G. Orth, 
assistant cashier. 

The object of the bank is to furnish a safe place for the 
deposit of funds, and its policy is to upbuild the community by 



698 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

accommodating hi every way consistent with sound banking all 
prospective borrowers. 

Following is a report to the superintendent of banks at close 
of business December 31, 1914: Resources — loans, discounts and 
bonds, $125,393.24; overdrafts, $530.96; furniture and fixtures, 
$2,480; other real estate, $8,875; cash and due from banks, 
$25,312.76; total, $252,591.96. Liabilities— capital and surplus, 
$35,000; undivided profits, $7,171.71; deposits, $210,420.25; total, 
$252,591.96. 

Henry Beckman, a progi'essive citizen of Morton, was born 
August 12, 1871, in Jordan, Minnesota. His father, Prank Beck- 
man, a farmer, came to Minnesota in 1856. He was a member of 
Company I, of the Fifth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, 
and fought in the battles of Corinth and Yicksburg. He died 
March, 1911, at the age of eighty years. His mother, Mary 
(Loeiine) Beckman, aged seventy, is still living at Jordan. Mr. 
Beckman attended the country schools and later the Lakeview 
Academy at Sauk Centre. At the age of 18 he began as an appren- 
tice in the Scott County Bank at Jordan. This was in May, 1889. 
Here he remained for two years. Next he worked in the general 
store of R H Kempton at Morton for six months, and later worked 
for three months in the harvest fields. When the State Bank of 
Morton was started on November 30. 1891, he was given the posi- 
tion of assistant cashier, and on March 2, 1908, became the cashier, 
which position he still holds. Mr. Beckman is the secretary of the 
Morton Telephone Company, recording secretary of the C. O. F., 
and holds the fourth degree of membership in the Knights of 
Columbus. He is also a member of the Catholic church. .May 27. 
1896, Mr. Beckman was married to Nellie Brown, daughter of 
James and Mary Ann (Goggin) Brown. Her father, a fanner who 
came from Quebec, Canada, to Renville county in 1864, where he 
took up a homestead in Norfolk township on section 25, died in 
1884 at the age of fifty. Her mother is still living, at the age 
of seventy-two, in the village of Franklin. Mr. and Mrs. Beckman 
have six children, Sophie, 18; Edith. 16: Margaret, 13; Helen, 9; 
Francis, 4 ; ( lharlotte, 1. 

Fred W. Orth, an influential banker of this county, was horn 
in New 1'lm, Minn.. May 21, 1866, son of Frederick and Anna 
(Scharf) Orth. His lather came to Brown county in 1864, and 
is at present making his home at New Ulm, being seventy-four 
years of age. His mother died in 1914, at the age of sixty-three. 
Mr. Orth started a general store in Morton with H. M. Noack, in 
1887. In 1896 he and Fred Aufderheide started a brickyard 
called the Morton Brick & Tile Company. After operating this 
for twelve years he sold his share and in 1892 started the bank 
of Morton with Hans Gronnerud. of Beaver Falls, Mr. Orth be- 
ing appointed the cashier. He continued as such until March 2. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 699 

1908, when the Lank was reorganized as the State Bank of Mor- 
ton, with the subject of this sketch as president. He is still 
located at .Morton. In company with his brother, Charles II.. he 
also owns a stock and grain farm near Olivia, of 800 acres, 300 
acres being used for the raising of corn. They feed about 100 
cattle, 100 sheep and 200 hogs per year. Mr. Orth has been an 
efficient and trusted man in public affairs and holds the position 
of village treasurer. He lias also been a member of the school 
board for the last twenty-five years. He is a member of the 
A. F. & A. M. and has been the secretary for twenty-five years 
of the I. O. O. F. Hay 121, 1891, Mr. Orth was united in mar- 
riage to Sarah E. Graham, daughter of Alexander Graham, a 
farmer near Green Bay, Wis. Five children have been born to 
this union: Clinton G., assistant cashier of the State Bank, at 
Morton; Ruby A., now a second year student of the University 
of Minnesota, and Fred R., Frank W.. and Helen M., who are 
at home. 

The Security Bank of Fairfax was organized in the spring of 
1893. A. E. Clark was the president and A. E. Carver the cashier. 
It was absorbed by the State Bank of Fairfax February 1. 
1895. 

The Farmers & Merchants State Bank, of Hector, was incor- 
porated September 3, 189S, with a capital of $10,000. The fol- 
lowing were the incorporators : W. B. Strom, W. Smalley, A. E. 
Schroeder, W. D. Griffith. A. M. Ericson, E. M. Ericson. George 
Johnson, Henry L. Simons, C. L. Foster and C. II. Freeman. The 
first officers and directors were: \Y. Smalley, president; W. B. 
Strom, vice-president; C. II. Freeman, cashier; W. D. Griffith, 
assistant cashier; Henry L. Simons, A. E. Schroeder and E. M. 
Ericson. The bank opened for business December 19, 1898, in 
the building which it has occupied ever since. In 1903 A. E. 
Schroeder was elected president to succeed W. Smalley. In 1905 
C. H. Freeman was elected vice-president, which office he held 
until 1908, when he was succeeded by W. B. Strom. In 1901 
S. W. Anderson was appointed to succeed W. I). Griffith, who 
resigned to take the office of county treasurer. In 1906 S. W. 
Anderson was appointed cashier to succeed C. II. Freeman. The 
present board is constituted of the following; S. W. Anderson, 
cashier, and A. B. Dahlgren, assistant cashier. In 1907 the cap- 
ital stock was increased to $20,000, the additional $10,000 being 
converted from the surplus account, which had all been earned. 
The bank has maintained a consistent policy of service to the 
community. 

The following is the latest financial statement: Resources — 
loans and discounts, $205,144.14; overdrafts, $157.62; banking 
house, furniture and fixtures, $5,675.00: cash and due from banks. 
$20,403.33; total, $231,380.09. Liabilities— capital stock and sur- 



- 



700 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

plus. $25,000; undivided profits, $3,340.16; deposits, $203,039.93; 
total, $231,380.09. 

Albert E. Schroeder, president of the Farmers' and Mer- 
chants' State Bank of Hector, treasurer of the Hector board of 
education, and secretary and treasurer of the Johnson Hardware 
Co., of that place, was born at Randolph, Wisconsin, June 27, 
1860. and was brought to Fillmore county, this state, by bis 
parents in lsfl-l. He was reared on a farm near Spring Valley, 
attended the district schools and the Spring Valley schools, and 
remained at home until 1881. when lie came to Renville county 
and started the first store at Buffalo Lake. A year and a half 
later lie bought a farm of eighty acres in section 23. Hector town- 
ship, and engaged in farming, lie developed a splendid place, 
elected a good residence and suitable barns and sheds ami had 
added to it until he now owns 280 acres. Three years after pur- 
chasing tlic farm he engaged for a year in the hotel business in 
Hector. In 1902 he became interested in the hardware business 
at Hector, and identified himself with what is now the Johnson 
Hardware Co. The company was organized in 1897. was incor- 
porated in 1901 and lias the following officers: President, (ieorge 
Johnson: vice-president. Leo Johnson; secretary and treasurer, 
A. E. Schroeder. In March, 1915, the building and stock was 
.lest roved by tire. The company has now completed and opened 
the finest store in Hector. The building occupies a commanding 
position, is of brick, fireproof throughout, and is modern in every 
particular. The company carries a complete line of furniture, 
hardware, farm machinery and equipment, and acts as agent for 
the Ford automobile. Aii undertaking establishment is also con- 
ducted. Mr. Schroeder was one of the organizers of the bank, 
of which he is now president, and has been a member of the board 
id' education tor sixteen years. He is a shrewd and cautious 
business man. and an influential citizen, taking an interest in 
everything that has for its purpose the good and betterment of 
the community, and contributing liberally to every worthy cause. 
.Air. Schroeder was married May 27. 1889, to Ella Freeman, and 
this union has been blessed with five children: Mildred, Myrtle, 
Neva, Stanley and Donald. Mildred was born April 2, 1890, 
graduated from the Hector High school in 1908 and from Carle- 
ton college at Northfield in 1912. since which time she has been 
a teacher at New Ulm. Myrtle was born June 20, 1892, graduated 
from the Hector High school, and was married August 25. 1914, 
to John Butler, son of E. J. Butler, of Martinsburg township. 
John Butler is now connected with the Johnson Hardware Co. 
Neva was horn December 14. 1894. graduated from the Hector 
High school and is now a student in the University of Minnesota. 
Stanley, born March 10. 1901. and Donald, born February 14. 
1903. are both students in the public schools. Frederick Schroeder 






tuBuZzm 



p^SVs*?* 



^^ 




S. \V. ANDERSl i.\ 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 701 

and las good wife Paulina (Ynnker) Schroeder, parents of 
Albert E. .Schroeder, were born in Germany, came to America 
early in life, were married in Wisconsin, and in 1864 came to this 
state and Located on a farm near Spring Valley in Fillmore 
county. Frederick Schroeder died in 1909 and his wife in 1901. 

Swante W. Anderson, cashier of the Farmers' & Merchants' 
State Lank, of Hector, was born October 24, 1879, at Red Wing, 
Minn., son of Swante and Charlotte (Johnson) Anderson. After 
graduating from the Red Wing High school he spent a year at 
the commercial college at St. Peter. In 1898 he became book- 
keeper for the Johnson Hardware Co., of Hector, and in 1900 
was made assistant cashier of the bank, of which he is now 
cashier, having held that position of trust since 1905. when he 
succeeded C. H. Freeman. He is a Republican and a member of 
Hector Lodge No. 158, A. F. & A. M. He was president of the 
village council in 1913 and prior to that time served several 
terms as a village councilman. He is also president of the local 
telephone company. June 14, 1912, Mi-. Anderson was married 
to Lora Hoffman, born at Rochester September 28, 1884, daughter 
of Louis and Christina (Stephens) Hoffman. Swante Anderson, 
born June 10, 1841. in Sweden, came to America in the early 
seventies and settled in Red Wing, where he was in the grocery 
business for several years. lie then entered the mail service and 
.lied July 12, 1908, at Randolph, Minn. He was married Novem- 
ber 30, 1876. to Charlotte Johnson, born May 26, 1861, in Pepin 
county, Wisconsin. She is now living in Hector. There were 
two children: Swante W., born October 24, 1879, and Esther, 
bom October 13, 1877, now Mrs. S. D. Morrill, of Hector. Louis 
Hoffman has devoted his life to farming and now lives in retire- 
ment at Rochester, in this state. He and his wife had three chil- 
dren: Edward, of Bird Island: Bertha, the widow of Theodore 
Adler; Lora, the wife of Swante W. Anderson. 

The State Bank of Franklin was originally established by 
D. W. Cheney, of Sparta, Wis. ; Fred W. Orth, of Morton, and 
Hans Gronnerud, of Beaver Falls, in the year 1898. H. A. Reed, 
of Hector, was placed in charge, as cashier. In the month of 
July, 1900, Andrew J. Olin purchased the bank from Messrs. 
Cheney, Orth and Gronnerud, and continued the bank as a private 
banking institution until December, 1900, when the bank was 
reorganized and established as a state bank. The incorporators 
were Andrew J. Olin, Anthony Poss, C. W. Parson, A. S. Erick- 
son. George Forsyth, Hans West and Fred Jensen, of Franklin, 
and Peter Manderfeld, Ferdinand Grone and Dr. J. L. Schoch, 
of New Ulm. 

At the time of the establishment of the bank as a state insti- 
tution the capital was placed at $15,000. The deposits at this 
time were $28,000. Since then the surplus has steadily been 



702 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

increased, until the year 1911 it was raised to $15,000, the same 
as the capital. The deposits in the meantime had increased from 
$28,000 to $230,000, which latter figure was the amount shown 
in tlie last published statement. 

The first officers and directors of the State Bank were: 
Anthony Poss, president ; C. W. Parson, vice-president ; Andrew 
J. Olin, cashier; Peter Manderfeld and A. S. Erickson being the 
two other directors. A few years later when C. W. Parsons 
moved to Minneapolis, A. S. Erickson was elected vice-president 
in tbe place of Mr. Parsons. With this exception there has been 
no change in the officers or directors. O. A. Olson was elected 
assistant cashier in the year 1902. resigning his position as station 
agent for the Minneapolis & St. Louis Railway Co.. and has 
continued in that position ever since. In 1913 John L. Peterson, 
who bad been bookkeeper with the bank for five years, was pro- 
moted to second assistant cashier, which position he now holds. 

The bank owns the one-story brick building it has always 
occupied, the same being built in the year 1898 when the bank 
was first established. The building is of solid brick, Morton 
granite foundation and trimmings, and cost $5,000. The bank 
has at all times endeavored to promote the interests of the terri- 
tory it serves, believing that the local bank should take the lead 
in every public improvement and enterprise. 

Following is a statement of the condition of the bank at the 
close of business -Tune 30, 191-1: Resources — loans and discounts. 
$222,606.40; overdrafts, $476.66: bonds and securities. $500; 
banking house, furniture and fixtures, $6,200; other real estate, 
$9,100: due from banks, $11,105.86: cash on hand, $6,055.48; 
checks and cash items. $547.48; total. $256,691.88. Liabilities- 
capital stock, $15,000; surplus fund. $15,000; undivided profits, 
net. $2,957.67; notes rediscounted and bills payable, $3,000: 
deposits subject to check, $66,679.82; cashier's checks, $2,710.77: 
time certificates, $151,243.62; total. $256,591.88. 

Andrew J. Olin, a prominent banker of Franklin, was born 
in Sweden, October 24. 1866. He came to America in 1882 and 
located at New Ulm, Minn., where be worked for bis board and 
attended school. In 1886 lie graduated from the Curtiss Busi- 
ness College in Minneapolis, and became bookkeeper for the 
S. D. Peterson Implement Co. at New Ulm, where he remained 
for three years. For two years he was private secretary for Con- 
gressman John Lind in Washington, D. C. During the next nine 
years he was in the United States Department of Agriculture as 
acting chief of the Miscellaneous Division of the Bureau of 
Animal Industry. During this time the employees of the Depart- 
ment of Agriculture increased from 150 in number to over 2,000. 
and the appropriation of money grew from $250,000 to over 
$2,000,000. During the time that Mr. Olin was in Washington 




AXDRKW J. OLIN 



[public l^ ih \ 



lsb-«&»J 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 703 

he attended night school and graduated from the National Uni- 
versity Law School there in 1876. In 1900 Mr. Olin obtained a 
Leave of absence and came to Franklin, where he in company 
with Peter Manderfeld, president of the Ramsey County State 
Bank, of St. Paul; Anthony Poss, of Franklin; A. S. Eriekson, 
of Franklin, and C. W. Parsons, a real estate man of St. Paul, 
organized the State Bank of Franklin. Mr. Olin became the 
cashier and is still holding that position. When his leave of 
absence expired he resigned from the Department of Agriculture 
and lias since made his home in Franklin. Mr. Olin is the secre- 
tary of the Franklin Local & Rural Telephone Co. He is a stock- 
holder in the Citizens' State Lank, of Gaylord, ami in the Citi- 
zens' state Bank, of Fori Rice, X. I>. .Mr. olin has been the 
village treasurer for fourteen years. He is a member of the 
A. F. & A. M. at .Morton. His faith is that of the .Methodist 
Episcopal church. January 12. 1901, Mr. olin was married to 
Flora Peterson, of New [Tim, who was horn March 8, 1877. Mr. 
and Mrs. Olin have three children: Jennie, born November 19. 
19(14: Ida. horn June 23, 1907. and Mildred, born June 25, 1909. 

The State Bank of Bird Island was incorporated March 2, 
1908, and succeeded the Lank of Bird Island. The incorporators 
were: F. L. Puffer, Nicholas Bruels, Nickolas Leach, L. L. 
Tinnes, II. -I. Jungclaus, P. W. Winnegge, Alfred Jury, Charles 
Glesener and Charles R. Wolff. The first officers were F. L. 
Puffer, president; Nickolas Leach, vice-president; Alfred Jury, 
caslnrr: II. A. Puffer, assistant cashier. The directors were: 
F. L. Puffer, Nickolas Leach. P. \V. Winnegge, II. J. Jungclaus, 
Charles Glesener, <'. R. Wolff. X. Bruels, Alfred Jury and L. L. 
Tinnes. The hank opened for business March 2. 1908, with a 
capita] of +1.7.000. The institution owns its own building, which 
was erected in 1901. Januarj 4. 1901. Alfred Jury resigned as 
cashier and II. A. Puffer was .elected to succeed him and Edward 
Anderson was elected as assistant cashier. The present staff are: 
F. L. Puffer, president; Nickolas Leach, vice-president; H. A. 
Puffer, cashier, and Edward Anderson, assistant cashier. The 
directors are: Charles Glesener, Nickolas Leach, Frank Murray, 
P. W. Winnegge, C. R. Wolff, L. L. Tinnes. II. .1. Jungclaus, F. L. 
Puffer and H. A. Puffer. It has been the policy of the hank to 
grant every accommodation and courtesy consistent with sound 
banking methods and help build up Bird Island and the sur- 
rounding country. 

Following is a statement of the condition of the bank at the 
Close of business September 2, 191.7: Resources — loans and dis- 
counts, +1 (if), .741. OS ; overdrafts. $543.02; bonds and securities, 
$2,350; banking house, furniture and fixtures, $6,700; other real 
estate. $4, .700; due from hanks and cash on hand. $10,813.63; 
total, $194,447.73. Liabilities— capital stock and surplus, +21,000: 



704 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

undivided profits, net, $8.61 ; notes rediseouhted , and bills pay- 
able, including certificates for money borrowed, $23,000 ; deposits, 
$150,439.12; total, $194,447.73. 

The bank of Bird Island, which this bank succeeded, was 
organized in 1899 by practically the same persons who incor- 
porated the State Bank of Bird Island in 1908. 

The Citizens' State Bank of Fairfax was incorporated Septem- 
ber 4, 1901. by Peter Manderfeld, Charles W. Heimaim, Jacob L. 
Schoch, Conrad H. Dirks, Ferdinand Crone, Jacob Klossner. Jr., 
George A. Biebl, Theron J. Dansinberg, Frances X. Bajes, Joseph 
C. Koelfgen, Anton Altmann, John A. Hage and William Dick- 
meyer. The board was constituted of the following : Joseph C. 
Koelfgen, president: Peter Manderfeld, vice-president; and ('. W. 
Ileimann, cashier; John A. Hage, Joseph C. Koelfgen. Peter 
Manderfeld, Jacob Klossner. Jr.. and Charles W. Heimann. 

The bank opened for business September 16, 1901, in a two- 
story brick and stone building, built in 1901, building and lot 
being worth $5,500. The bank began with a capital stock of 
$20,000. January 13, 1903, the board was made up of the fol- 
lowing: J. C. Koelfgen, president; Peter Manderfeld, vice-presi- 
dent; C. W. Heimann. cashier, and H. E. Grasmon. assistant 
cashier; J. < '. Koelfgen, George A. Biebl, Peter Manderfeld, Jacob 
Klossner, Jr.. and C. W. Ileimann. January 10, 1905, the board 
consisted of the following: Peter Manderfeld, president; George 
A. Biebl. vice-president; O. W. Heimann, cashier; H. E. Grasmon, 
assistant cashier; Peter Manderfeld, Jacob Klossner, Jr.. George 
A. Biebl, 0. H. Dirks and C. W. Heimann. January 8, 1907. the 
board consisted of Peter Manderfeld, George A. Biebl. Jacob' 
Klossner, Jr., Henry (lobes and < '. W. Heimann as directors and 
the same officers in charge. 

The following report shows the condition of the bank at close 
of business .March 4, 1915: Assets — loans, $213,762.42: over- 
drafts, $255.20: hank and fixtures, $6,566; cash and due from 
banks, $34,808.29; total. $255,391.91. Liabilities— capital stock 
and surplus, $25,000; undivided profits, net, $1,657.40: deposits, 
$228,734.51; total, $255,391.91. 

Charles W. Heimann, a well known hanker of Fairfax, was 
born at New Ulm, Minn., September 12, 1S69. son of August and 
Caroline (Frank) Heimann. The father is a retired farmer, aged 
eighty-one, living at New Dim. The mother died in 1913 at the 
age of seventy years. Charles W. Heimann graduated 
from the Mullikan's Business College in St. Paul in 1889, and 
became bookkeeper in a hardware store, doing this work for two 
different firms during the next ten years. Then he became a 
member of the firm of Runck & Heimann in Springfield. Minn., 
dialers in hardware and implements, remaining here for the next 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 705 

two years. Iu 1901 with Dr. J. L. Schoch, Jacob Klossner, Jr., 
and Ferdinand Crone, all of New Ulm, Minn., he organized the 
Citizens' State Bank of Fairfax, becoming the cashier, which 
position he still occupies. At present Mr. Heimann is the presi- 
dent of the village council and has held this office for seven years, 
lie is ;i member of the A. F. & A. M. and lias held all the chairs. 
He is also secretary of the Modern Woodmen of America, and 
with his family is a member of the German Lutheran church. 
Mr. Heimann was united in marriage to Sophia Bacher, of New 
Ulm, April 13, 1894. Her father, George Bacher, a farmer, died 
in 1907 at the age of seventy-nine. Her mother, Sophia Bacher. 
lives in New Ulm and is eighty years old. Mr. and .Mis. Heimann 
have two children : Esther, born May 23, 1895, and Alpha, born 
June 16, 1896. 

The Danube State Bank, formerly known as the State Bank 
of Miles, was incorporated June 9. 1902, by the following: 
Timothy O'Connor, William O'Connor, Halvor -1. Lee, F. A. 
Schroeder, F. (!. Nellermoe and Fred W. Orth. The first board 
of directors were: Timothy O'Connor, F. A. Schroeder and 
Halvor Lee. The officers were: President. Timothy 'Conner; 
vice-president, F. A. Schroeder, and cashier, Halvor .]. Lee. The 
bank opened for business July 1. 1902, in its own bank building, 
which was erected in 1902. January, 1903, F. G. Nellermoe 
became president; F. A. Schroeder, vice-president, and Henry 
Listerud, cashier. The next change was in July, 1906, when Fred 
Sausele became vice-president, and F. A. Schroeder cashier. At 
this time the name of the bank was changed to Danube State 
Bank. February IS, 1907, Fred Sausele was elected president: 
Fred Kramin, vice-president; F. A. Schroeder, cashier, and B. G. 
Schroeder, assistant cashier. March 11, 1908 Fred Kramin 
became president; Edmund Grander, vice-president: F. A. 
Schroeder, cashier, and B. G. Sclioeder, assistant cashier. Janu- 
ary 8, 1913, F. A. Schroeder became president ; Fred Kramin. 
vice-president, and II. G. Schroeder, cashier. In 1911 the bank 
erected a new building. The present staff are: F. A. Schroeder, 
president; Fred Kramin, vice-president; B. G. Schroeder, cashier, 
and Fred F. Page, assistant cashier. The directors are F. A. 
Schroeder, Fred Kramin, J. A. Schroeder. Ed. Grunert and B. G. 
Schroeder. The policy of the bank is to carry on conservative 
and efficient banking. 

Following is a statement of the condition of the bank at close 
of business on June 23, 1915: Resources — loans and discounts, 
$158,781.47; overdrafts, $155.83; banking house, furniture and 
fixtures, $5,550; due from banks, $6,260.84; cash on hand. 
$2,601.46: total cash assets, $8,862.30; total. $173,349.60. Liabil- 
ities — capital stock and surplus, $23,000; undivided profits, net, 
$483.36; deposits. $149,866.24; total, $173,349.60. Amount of 



706 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

reserve on hand, $8,862.30; amount of reserve required by law, 
$7,036.95. 

Ferdinand A. Schroeder, a well known banker of Danube, was 
born November 27, 1853, in Pomerania, Germany, son of Chris- 
tian and Louisa (Zwempke) Schroeder. The family came to Green 
Lake county, Wisconsin, in 1857. There were eight children in 
the family: William. Herman, August, Ferdinand, Julius, Wil- 
helmina, Matilda and Tena. A log cabin was built on their land 
and breaking of the land begun, seven yoke of oxen being used. 
One of the boys, Herman, was a veteran of the Civil War, having 

I ii a member of the Thirty-eighth Wisconsin Regulars. The 

father died in 1882, at the age of seventy-three years, and the 
mother died in Nicollet county in 1893, at the age of seventy-five 
years. They were members of the Evangelical church. Ferdi- 
nand Schroeder grew to manh I on the farm in Wisconsin, re- 
ceiving his schooling in the district school. He engaged in farm- 
ing for himself in the same neighborhood. In 188.") the family 
came to Renville county where he bought a tract of land in 
Flora township. He lived on this half section until 1901, when 
he moved to Danube. Li 1902 he became interested in the bank- 
ing business and was elected vice-president of the Danube State 
Bank, formerly known as the Bank of Miles. He also held the 
position of cashier a few years. In 1913 he was elected president 
of the hank, a position he still maintains. He is also a stock- 
holder in the Peoples Bank id' St. Paul, and in the Farmers' 
Elevator at 1 tanube. -Mr. Schroeder owns a tract of 300 acres bor 
dei'ing Danube, known as the Danube Stock farm. Here he raises 
Holstein cattle. Duroc-Jersey hogs and has built a substantia] 
stone residence. lie also manufactures cement blocks and tile, 
being the sole owner and manager of the plant. He owns and 
conducts the Schroeder Garage, which is housed in the Schroeder 
block, a large, two-story cement block building, with a faced 
brick front, which he erected. lie is agent for the Studebaker 
car. Mr. Schroeder has held several township offices, having 
been township supervisor of Flora township for several years 
ami county commissioner for eight years. He served on the 
board of county commissioners when the county seat was moved 
from leaver Falls to Olivia and the court house was built at 
Olivia. He was the first president of the village of Danube, and 
also holds that position at present. He has also been village re- 
corder for a number of years. Mr. Schroeder was married in 
IsTo to Wilhelmina Herzberg, a native of Germany, who died in 
1,s!»7. in Flora township, at the age of forty-one years, leaving 
nine children: Herman; Julius; Benjamin, who is cashier in the 
bank: Fred; Anton; William: Alwin ; Ella, now Mrs. August 
Black : and Mabel. He married a second time to Martha Krueger. 
in 1S07. a native of Green Lake, Wisconsin. Five children were 






T;.< 
PUBLIC LU 



umm> usw? ^ 



WTO! 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 707 

born: Lillie, Helen, Wesley, Kerniit and Verona. He is a mem- 
ber of the Evangelical church. 

The Citizens' State Bank of Sacred Heart was incorporated 
January 3, 1908, at Sacred Heart by the following persons : P. C. 
Brevig, John Hang, Carl Anderson, J. H. Paulson, M. 0. Sveiven, 
the same persons constituting the first board of directors. The 
bank began with a capital stock of $15,000 and was later merged 
into the Farmers' State Bank at Sacred Heart. 

First National Bank of Fairfax. On March 26, 1910, the fol- 
lowing persons signed articles of incorporation and applied to 
the Comptroller of Currency for a charter to organize a national 
bank at Fairfax: E. F. Sill, .1. I. Carson, II. S. Comer, August 
Paulson. J. M. Hinderman, A. E. Fenske, Herman Schmechel, 
Albert O. Mundahl. August F. Rieke, Albert Briese, Embrik Han- 
son, August Sell, H. L. Hinderman, W. A. Fiss, A. M. Crandall 
and John Durbahn. On June 6, 1910, the Comptroller of Cur- 
rency of the United States issued a charter, No. 9771, authorizing 
the First National Bank, of Fairfax, Minn., to commence business 
witli a capital of $25,000 and a paid-in surplus of $5,000. The 
first board of directors consisted of twelve members, namely : 
H. S. Comer, E. F. Sell, W. A. Fiss, A. M. Crandall, J. I. Carson, 
J. M. Hinderman, Herman Schmechel, A. E. Fenske, August 
Paulson, August Sell, Albert G. Briese and John Durban, who 
elected the following officers : E. F. Sell, president ; H. S. Comer, 
vice-president, and "W. A. Fiss, cashier. 

A new modern two-story bank building was erected during 
the summer of 1910. The building is of brick with a granite 
front, the interior is finished with beamed ceiling and all interior 
finish is of quarter sawed oak. The fixtures are of Italian 
marble. The cost of the building is $12,000 and of the fixtures 
$3,000. The bank opened for actual business on October 1, 1910. 
The bank has continued under the same board of directors and 
officers until January 1, 1914, when H. S. Comer and August 
Paulson moved away and resigned. Otto W. Kiecker and August 
F. Rieke were elected to fill the vacancies. The same year there 
was also a change in officers, Albert G. Briese being elected vice- 
president in place of H. S. Comer. In January, 1915, after the 
death of E. F. Sell, another change was made and Mrs. E. F. Sell 
was elected to the board of directors in place of E. F. Sell, and 
she was also elected president of the bank. The present staff 
of officers are : Mrs. E. F. Sell, president : Albert G. Briese, vice- 
president ; W. A. Fiss, cashier, and Harvey O. Fullerton, assistant 
cashier. 

The First National Bank enjoyed a rapid growth from the 
beginning, and was able to pay a substantial dividend each year 
from the very start. Its resources are now over $200,000. The 
bank has thirty-six stockholders, all but a few of which live right 



70S HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

in Fairfax and the adjoining community. It has not been the 
policy of the bank to pile up any enormous profits for the stock- 
holders, but to conduct a conservative business which has for its 
goal the absolute safety of the depositors" money. The healthy 
rapid growth of the bank is an evidence of the confidence the 
community has in this its latest banking institution. 

Following is a report of the condition of this bank at the 
close of business June 30, 1914: Resources — loans and discounts, 
$125;505.99; overdrafts, $802.30; bonds and securities, $26,242.19; 
banking house, furniture and fixtures, $15,172.08; due from 
banks, $30,513.22; cash on hand, $11,832.30; checks and cash 
items, $1,489.72; five per cent redemption fund, $1,250: total, 
$212,807.80. Liabilities— capital stock, $25,000; surplus fund, 
$5,000; undivided profits, net, $1,058.80; deposits subject to check, 
$49,996.11; cashier's checks. $565.86; savings deposits, $11.28; 
time certificates, $106,175.75; circulation. $25,000; total, $212,- 
807.80. 

Emil F. Sell, banker, pioneer merchant, distinguished citizen 
and man of affairs, was for many years, since the days of his 
earliest boyhood, a powerful factor for good and for progress 
in Renville county. The influence of his strong, vigorous per- 
sonality had a powerful effect on the community in which he 
lived and worked, and he is one of those rare souls of whom it 
may truly be said that the world is the better for his having been 
in it. His worth is written on the hearts of those whose lives 
he blessed, and his sterling qualities will not soon be forgotten. 
Emil F. Sell was born in Boltenhagen, Pommerania, Germany. 
March 20, 1862, one of the ten children of William and Albertina 
(Reinke) Sell, who brought their family to America in 1869 and 
took up a homestead of 160 acres in section 24. Cairo township. 
this county. The father died in 1S77 at the age of fifty-six and 
the mother was left with a large family. Two years later, at 
the age of seventeen, Emil F. Sell started out in life for himself 
as a clerk in the clothing store of William Salkowske at Sleepy 
Eye. Next lie went to Springfield and found employment in the 
general store of Henry Bendixen. It was in 1883 that he came 
to Fairfax, and with a partner established the mercantile firm 
of Sell & Nelson, which after a while became the firm of Sell & 
Sell. When Gustave Sell died his interest was acquired by a 
brother-in-law, J. W. Schramm, and the firm became Sell & 
Schramm. In 1900 the firm was succeeded by the Fairfax Depart- 
ment Store, of which Emil F. Sell, R, G. Reinke and A. F. Rieke 
were the principal owners. The mercantile business, however, 
was but one of the many lines of endeavor to which Mr. Sell 
turned his attention. In 1894 he organized the State Bank of 
Fairfax. Later he became a stockholder in the Farmers and 
Mei-chants State Bank of Arlington, in the First State Bank of 



4P? 



A 






HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 70!) 

Cambridge, and in the National Bank of Commerce, St. Paul. In 

1910 lie organized the First National Hank of Fairfax, and in 

1911 he organized the Citizens State Bank of Franklin. At the 
time of his death he Mas president of the First National Bank 
of Fairfax; of the Citizens State Bank of Franklin, and of the 
Farmers and Merchants State Bank of Arlington. In August, 
1898, he organized the Fairfax Standard Printing Co., and in 
1911! he organized the Fairfax Farmers ({rain & Stock Co. As a 
member of the village council and of the village school hoard he 
did most efficient work. In Fairfax Lodge No. 261, A. F. & A. M., 
he was an influential factor. In the Methodist Episcopal church 
he was likewise active. He joined the church at the age of 
fourteen, and has been connected with the churches in all the 
towns where he has resided. He was one of the founders of Un- 
church at Fairfax, and served as superintendent of the Sunday 
school in the early days before the English and German congre- 
gations were united. After the union he continued to serve in 
the same capacity. In 1909 he was chairman of the committee 
which erected the church, and after it was burned in February, 
1914, lie was chairman of the committee which erected the 
present church. He died strong in the faith of the church he 
had so long and faithfully served. His death was unexpected. 
He was taken suddenly ill, was taken to the Bethesda hospital 
and after an operation died there January 9, 1915. His death 
was sincerely mourned, and press and public united in glowing 
tributes to his life and character. Mr. Sell was married Novem- 
ber :>. 1SS4, to Emilie Schramm; daughter of Karl 0. and Johanna 
(Fenscke) Schramm, early pioneers of Brown county, this state. 
Four children have been born. Erna is the wife of Dr. P. W. 
Wipperman, of Minneapolis; Gertrude 0. married W. A. Fiss. 
cashier of the First National Bank of Fairfax; Florence and 

Jei tte live with their mother. The esteem in which Mr. Sell 

was held in his own community is admirably expressed in the 
resolutions- passed by the stockholders of the First National 
Bank of Fairfax, from which the following quotations are taken ; 
"The indomitable spirit that gave birth to the First National 
Bank of Fairfax, and that has for more than four years been its 
constant champion and leader, has been called. * It is 

with feelings of the utmost appreciation, respect and admiration 
that we attempt to measure and comprehend the excellence of 
the efforts productive of the many enterprises that have been 
successfully conducted by the dauntless spirit of our late presi- 
dent. Of the many characters who have been active in the affairs 
of Fairfax and vicinity the personality of the first president of 
the First National Bank of Fairfax stands out in bold relief. 
Many and varied have been the projects and institutions he 
originated and organized. The influence of his resourceful and 



710 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

enterprising mind lias reached and stimulated practically every 
commendable movement and business in this his home town. He 
has been a leader among men; a leader who has ever chosen to 
elevate the moral, intellectual and religious forces of our com- 
munity above those interests which are solely sordid and mer- 
cenary. The many and varied interests which were aided by 
the unfailing industry of his noble zeal, compassed all the better 
forces and influences of our community. Zealous in the church, 
fearlessly and bitterly opposed to corruption in civic and political 
life, a power and a genius in business and financial affairs, with 
a helping hand ever ready for those in affliction or distress, his 
was a friendship to lie prized, a leadership to be desired, and a 
power for right and square dealing which may well serve as a 
Laudable example for his co-laborers to emulate. His memory 
ami business precepts will live until memory fades in the minds 
and hearts of all his friends and associates, a never failing source 
of guidance and inspiration." 

William A. Fiss, an influential citizen of Fairfax, was born 
in Charles City, Iowa, December 12, 1879. His father, Henry, 
a farmer, died in 1908 at the age of seventy-six. His mother, 
Anna (Achenbach), died in 1902 at the age of sixty-five. William 
Fiss received his early education in the country schools in Iowa. 
In 1901 he graduated from the Charles City College Commercial 
Department. For one year he was assistant professor in the 

C mercial Department of this college. Later he was at the 

head of the Commercial Department of St. Paul College, St. Paul, 
for three years. For two years lie was bookkeeper for the 
Everett Aughenbaugh & < !o., millers, at Waseca, Minn. Three 
years were spent as assistant manager of the Claro Milling Co., 
Lakeville, Minn. In 1910 he became cashier of the First National 
Bank at Fairfax, and helped organize that bank, of which he is 
at present a large stockholder. He is a trustee of the Methodist 
Episcopal church. May 4, 1910, Mr. Fiss was married to Ger- 
trude Sell, daughter of Emil F. and Emilie (Schramm) Sell, of 
Fairfax. Two children were born to this marriage: Kenneth, 
born April 2. 1913, died January 22, 1914, and Corwin, born 
August 21, 1914. 

Albert G. Briese, vice-president of the First National Bank, 
of Fairfax, was born in Princeton, Wis., June 27, 1880, son of 
Gust and Mary (Fenske) Briese. Gust Briese was born on the 
ocean on a ship bound from Germany to America. He lived near 
Princeton, Wis., until 1892, and then came to Sibley county, this 
state. He now lives at Gibbon, in this state. Albert G. Briese 
remained with his parents until fifteen years of age. Then for 
three years he worked in Wellington and Cairo townships as a 
farm hand. In 1898 he began work for the Dickmeyer Imple- 
ment Co.. of Fairfax, and in 1907 became its manager. January 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 711 

1, 1913, he was elected vice-president of the First National Bank, 
and January 20, 1915, upon the death of E. F. Sell, the president, 
he went into the bank as active manager. Mr. Briese was mar- 
ried June 6, 1906, to Sophia Dickmeyer, who was born August 
18, 1887, daughter of Fred C. and Mary (Stark) Dickmeyer, 
retired farmers now living in Fairfax. Mr. and Mrs. Briese have 
a son, Walter. Another child died in infancy. The family faith 
is that of the German Lutheran church. 

The Citi2ens State Bank of Franklin was incorporated 
February 6, 1911. E. F. Sell, of Fairfax, was the first one who 
took hold of organizing said bank. The incorporators were E. F. 
Sell, B. M. Weisberg and Gilbert Peterson, of Fairfax; R, B. 
Henton, of Morton ; George Enger, John B. Tweet, Henry Hal- 
verson, F. E. Tower, John Ford, Martin Johnson and Otto Erick- 
son, of Franklin. The first directors were George Enger, B. M. 
Weisberg, John Ford, E. F. Sell, John B. Tweet, Otto Erickson, 
Martin Johnson. R. B. Henton, Henry Halverson and F. E. Tower. 
The officers were : E. F. Sell, president ; George Enger, vice- 
president ; Gilbert Peterson, cashier, and Otto Erickson. assistant 
cashier. 

The bank opened up for business May 1, 1911, in a rented 
building known as Kvam building, with a paid up capital of 
$17,000. Soon after organizing they awarded a contract to -1. M. 
Hindermann, of Fairfax, for a substantial and up-to-date bank 
building, which building was completed in August that year and 
by September 1 the bank had removed into their new permanent, 
banking building. Gilbert Peterson remained as cashier until 
the fall of 1912, when he resigned and Otto Erickson was elected 
to succeed him as cashier and N. M. Mahlum was elected to fill 
the position of assistant cashier vacated by Mr. Erickson, and 
they are still occupying their respective positions. 

Following is a report of the condition of the bank at the close 
of business June 30, 1914: Resources — loans an<l discounts, 
$51,644.05; overdrafts, $261.94; banking house, furniture and 
fixtures, $6,685.65; due from banks. $17,917.50: cash on hand, 
$4,418.96; total, $80,928.10. Liabilities— capital stock, $17,000; 
surplus fund, $2,400; undivided profits, net, $329.05; deposits 
subject to cheek, $30,368.74; cashier's checks, $665.86; time cer- 
tificates, $30,164.45; total. $80,928.10. 

Otto Erickson, well known as a leading banker of Franklin, 
was born in the village of Franklin. September 12, 1876. His 
father, Zaeharias Erickson, a native of Finland, came to America 
in 1872, and bought forty acres in section 3, Bandon township, 
Renville county. At the age of seventy-five he has now retired 
from farming and is living in Franklin. His wife, Susanna 
(Sauvolainen) Erickson, came with her husband to America in 
1872 and is now seventy-two years of age. Mr. Erickson attended 



712 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

the Minnesota Normal School and Business College, taking the 
normal course, during the winters of 1898 and 1899 and worked 
on the home farm during the summer, graduating in 1899. Then 
he taught school for three years in Renville county. In 1904 he 
began as clerk for Poss & Freeman, proprietors of a hardware 
store at Franklin, where he remained for seven years. At that 
time he became assistant cashier in the Citizens' State Bank, 
being promoted November 1, 1912, to cashier, which position he 
still holds. .Mr. Erickson is a member of the Finnish Lutheran 
church. lie has been village recorder for two years and serves 
on the village school board. 

The State Bank of Sacred Heart was incorporated May 15, 
1911. by W. A. Day, J. M. Pease, 0. T. Ramsland, Robert C. 
Nolton, Charles II. Nolton, David Eaton, J. H. Paulson and II. B. 
Helgeson. The first officers were: W. A. Day, president; J. M. 
Pease, vice-president, and M. G. Geslin, cashier. The directors 
were: William A. Day, John M. Pease. David R. Eaton, 0. T. 
Ramsland and R C. Nolton. The bank began with a capital 
stock of $10,000. The bank building was erected in 1912. In 
1912 M. F. Day became cashier and in 1914 J. N. Stenborg 
became vice-president, the present board being constituted as 
follows: W. A. Day, president; John M. Pease, vice-president; 
M. F. Day. cashier; directors, W. A. Day, Sacred Heart, Minn.: 
John M. Pease, Mora, Minn.; R. O. Nolton, Granite Falls, Minn., 
and J. N. Stenborg, Sacred Heart. Minn. 

Following is a report of the condition of the bank at the close 
of business, June 30, 1914: Resources — loans and discounts, 
$51,198.43; overdrafts, $90.93; banking house furniture and fix- 
tures. $5,900; .hie from banks, $9,135.07; cash on hand. $4,807.33; 
checks ami cash items, $82; totals, $71,213.76. Liabilities — capital 
stock. $10,000; surplus fund. $2,000; undivided profits, net, 
$68.73; deposits subject to check. $23,554.87; cashier's checks, 
$586.27; time certificates, $35,003.89; total, $71,213.76. 

The O'Connor Bros. State Bank of Renville, the largest cap- 
italized bank in the county, was incorporated at Renville, Sep- 
tember 3. 1912, by the brothers, Timothy O'Connor, Edward 
O'Connor and William O'Connor, with a capital stock of $30,000. 
The bank building is a substantial modern brick structure, 
equipped and furnished with the latest in bank fixtures and 
nicely located, as well as unusually attractive in design. The 
present board is constituted as follows: Timothy O'Connor, 
president; Edward O'Connor, vice-president; William O'Connor, 
cashier; Robert K. Stuart and C. D. Beck, assistant cashiers. 
Directors: Edward O'Connor. Sacred Heart: Timothy O'Connor 
and William O'Connor, both of Renville. 

Following is a statement of the condition of the bank at close 
of business. September 2, 1915: Resources — loans and discounts, 




w II. 1. 1 AM O'CONNOR 



IpUiUC LIBRAhV 






HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 713 

$274,121.54; overdrafts, $100.86; banking house, furniture and 
fixtures, $17,500; cash and due from banks, $33,223.27; total, 
$324,945.67: Liabilities — capital stock, $30,000; surplus and 
undivided profits, $24,407.50; deposits. $270,538.17; total, $324,- 
945.67. 

William O'Connor, a well known banker of Renville and a 
prominent figure in the financial integrity of Renville county, was 
born on a farm near Forest City, Iowa, November 10, 1873, son 
of James and Elizabeth O'Connor. He attended the district 
schools of his native town and came with his mother to Sacred 
Heart in 1885, here completing his education. After ten years of 
business experience he started his banking career with the O'Con- 
nor Brothers' bank at Renville in the capacity of bookkeeper. 
In this business he has since continued and is now the efficient 
cashier of the O'Connor Bros. State Bank. Mr. O'Connor's con- 
nections with the banking and land interests of this and other 
counties have been interesting and varied. In addition to his 
interests in the bank at Renville he is a director in the Farmers 
State Bank of Sacred Heart, vice president of the McGrath State 
Bank of McGrath, Minnesota, and vice president of the O'Connor 
Land Company of Renville. In public affairs, Mr. O'Connor has 
not shirked his duty, as his two years' service on the Renville city 
council and his two years' service as mayor have shown. Fra- 
ternally he is likewise well known, being a member of the Odd 
Fellows, the Rebekahs, the Modern Woodmen and the Royal 
Neighbors of Renville and of the Knights of Columbus at Monte- 
video. A lover of the out-of-dooi's sports, and as a thorough be- 
liever of the civic progress of the community, he has likewise 
become an active worker in the Renville Commercial Club. All 
in all he is a useful citizen whose time is well occupied with public 
and private duties, and his activities have won for him a foremost 
place among the men of the county. Mr. O'Connor was married 
May 6, 1894, to Malvma Baade, a native of Renville. This union 
has been blessed with three children : Vernon W., Jennings L. 
and Timothy Donald. Vernon W. graduated from the Renville 
high school and is now studying law at the University of Minne- 
sota. Jennings L. is attending the Renville high school. Timothy 
Donald is likewise attending the Renville high school. 

Timothy O'Connor, one of Renville's most successful business 
men and a pioueer in Renville banking, w r as born in Dane county, 
Wisconsin, May 21, 1866, son of James and Elizabeth (Erickson) 
O'Connor. Timothy O'Connor was thirteen years of age when 
his father died and had meager opportunities for obtaining an 
education. In April, 1880, he and his brother James started over- 
land by team for Renville county, locating in Sacred Heart. Here 
Timothy worked on the farm of his cousin, E. S. Gunderson, for 
a short time. The following fall his brothers, John and Edward, 



714 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

came to Renville county and still later came the brothers, Michael 
and William. In 1887 Timothy located in Renville. He had 
acquired with hard work a common school education and with the 
assistance of his brothers started up in business for himself in 
the small but growing village, commencing a general banking 
business, the firm being known as the "Connor Brothers, (pri- 
vate) bankers, with Timothy O'Connor as cashier and local head 
of the firm. That was the only bank that Renville could boast of 
and was considered quite an acquisition. Associated with Mr. 
O'Connor were his brothers, James and Edward, aud also J. T. 
Brooks, afterwards the county auditor. In 1890 the business was 
incorporated under the state banking laws and became known as 
the Renville State Bank, with Timothy O'Connor as cashier. In 
1897 Timothy became the president; James, vice president, and 
William, cashier. In 1907 the bank was sold to S. M. Serkland 
and O. A. Stensvad. In 1907 Timothy and his brothers, Edward 
and William, organized the First National Bank of Bellfield, 
North Dakota, also organizing the Bellfield Land and Investment 
Company. They retained this five years. September 3, 1912, they 
organized the present O'Connor Brothers' Bank of Renville, erect- 
ing one of the finest bank buildings in the county, with Timothy 
O'Connor, president; Edward O'Connor, vice president; William 
O'Connor, cashier; Robert K. Stuart, assistant cashier, and C. D. 
Beck, assistant cashier. The O'Connor brothers have organized 
the following banks: In 1892 the first bank located at Buffalo 
Lake, then a private bank, was organized, Edward being president 
and Timothy vice president, selling out their interests there in 
1895 ; the State Bank of Olivia, president, Edward 'Connor, vice 
president, Timothy O'Connor, cashier, P. H. Kirwan ; the Bank of 
Miles, now known as the town of Danube, Renville county, with 
Timothy as jn-esident, William, vice president, and H. J. Lee, 
cashier, being reorganized into a state bank with Timothy as 
president, P. H. Schroeder, vice president, and William as cashier. 
This was sold out to Hans Gronnerud and is now owned by 
Schroeder Brothers; the Farmers State Bank of Sacred Heart, 
with Edward O'Connor as president, John O'Connor, vice presi- 
dent, and II. 0. Agre and J. L. Johnson as cashiers, Timothy being 
on the board of directors. In 1905 this was sold out and in 1912 
it was repurchased and consolidated with the Citizens Bank, with 
Timothy O'Connor, president, William O'Connor, vice president, 
W. H. Cheeney, second vice president, later changing officers, 
with Edward O'Connor as president and Timothy vice president. 
In 1910 they organized the Holland America Bank of South 
Heart, North Dakota, selling out their interests later. In 1913 
they organized the McGrath State Bank at McGrath, Minn., with 
the following officers: President, Edward O'Connor; vice presi- 
dent, William O'Connor; cashier, H. J. Kirwan; directors, the 




TIMOTHY O'CONNOR 



THE NEW YOP.F 



tm22*!g£&M!L 



*<W&i§K 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 715 

above and Timothy O'Connor. In Renville, in addition to the 
banks they have organized the O'Connor Realty Company and 
the O'Connor Land Company. Timothy O'Connor and his brother 
William also own some farming interests, having some 4,000 
acres, which they have improved and developed, using the farm 
near Renville as a demonstration farm of the State Experimental 
Station. Timothy O'Connor is a large shareholder and was the 
treasurer for many years of the Farmers' Co-operative Elevator 
Company at Renville. 

Timothy O'Connor has been a candidate for State senator on 
the fusion Democratic-Populist ticket and also on the Independent 
ticket, being defeated both times. He has been a member of the 
Democratic State Central Committee for twenty-five years. He 
was appointed by Governor Johnson as State Highway Commis- 
sioner. He is now a member of the Sanitorium Tuberculosis 
Board of Renville, Chippewa, Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle 
counties. For eighteen years he has been a member of the school 
board and has served on the village council and was the first 
mayor when Renville became a city. He is a member of the 
A. F. & A. M. at Renville, the Royal Arch at Granite Falls, the 
Shrine at Minneapolis and the Knights Templars at Redwood. 
He is a member of the M. W. A. of Renville and was formerly a 
member of the I. 0. 0. F. at Renville. In 1887 Mr. O'Connor 
married Jane Olson, born in Dakota county, Minnesota, daughter 
of 0. N. Olson, who was a pioneer of the State and located at 
Willmar in 1868 after the war, and later located in Renville. He 
was a veteran of Company D, Thirty-sixth Regiment, Illinois Vol- 
unteer Infantry. Mr. and Mrs. O'Connor have three children, 
Etta, a graduate of the local high school mid St. Cloud Normal 
School, and now Mrs. E. R. Barber of Minneapolis; Irene, also a 
high school graduate, now Mrs. Thomas I). Skiles of Minneapolis, 
and Timothy Gerald, a student at high school. Mr. O'Connor is 
a splendid type of public-spirited, generous-hearted public citizen. 
By extended reading he has become a man of broad education and 
information, he is a man of deep sympathies and understanding, 
and in spite of the fact that he has won much of success and honor 
he is affable and approachable, a pleasant companion and a 
staunch friend. It is such men as he who make their communities 
a desirable place in which to live. 

The New State Bank of Morton was incorporated June 1. 
1914, by the following: F. E. Sylvester. E. J. Kothlow, William 
Wiehman, John Blume, Fred Pfeiffer, George Doster, Julius 
Blume, John Hageman, Gerard J. Simon, William Zumwinkle. 
J. Scheffler, C. W. Lussenhop, Fred Scheffler, William A. Lussen- 
hop, F. W. Stevens, Wencel Kodet, F. M. Serbus, Sam Buscho, 
H. F. Rubey, George II. Johnson, H. J. Fink. The capital stock 
was $15,000.00. The first board of directors were: F. E. Syl- 



716 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

vester, George Doster, "W. F. Stevens, E. J. Kothlow, William 
Wiehman, C. W. Lussenhop and John Hageman. The present 
board is constituted of the following': William Wiehman. presi- 
dent; E. J. Kothlow, vice-president; F. E. Sylvester, cashier; 
E. W. Neunsinger, assistant cashier. Directors — E. J. Kothlow, 
('. W. Lussenhop. F. E. Sylvester, William Wiehman, George Dos- 
ter, John Hageman and II. N. Nelson. 

The hank endeavors to promote the interest of all public 
improvement and enterprises which further the progress and 
upbuilding of the community. 

Following is the statement at the close of business January 1, 
1916. Resources— Loans, $73,090.46; fixtures, $2,420.00; cash 
assets. $7,939.82; total. $83,450.28. Liabilities— Capital, .+15,000.00; 
surplus. $3,000.00; undivided profits, .+4S---H ; deposits. $64.9(17. s7 ; 
total, $83,450.28. 

Fairfield E. Sylvester, cashier of the New State Bank of Mor- 
ton, Minnesota, was born at Plainview, Minnesota, in 1868, son of 
Charles C. and Charlotte C. (Burns) Sylvester. Charles C. Syl- 
vester was a native of Maine. He was one of the early pioneers 
of Wabasha county and later in 1870 came to Watonwan county. 
In 1850 he drove with others from Chicago to California and spent 
several years in the gold fields of that state. Mrs. C. C. Sylvester 
was the daughter of an early merchant and Indian trader at Mt. 
Vernon (near Winona), Minnesota. He is now living at Wash- 
ington, District of Columbia. Fairfield E. received his education 
in the public schools at Madelia, Minnesota, at Mankato and at 
the University of Minnesota, graduating from the law department. 
He practiced law from 1895 until 1907 at Madelia, Minnesota. 
In 1910 he became cashier of the Security State Bank at Seaforth, 
Redwood county. June, 1914, the New State Bank of Morton was 
organized with Mr. Sylvester as its largest stockholder. The same 
year he also had charge of the organization of the Farmers' 
Co-operative ( I rain Company at Morton. He held the office of 
Municipal Judge of Madelia two terms and was a member of the 
board of education at Seaforth one term. Mr. Sylvester was mar- 
ried to Mercy Hornbeck of Centerville, South Dakota, in 1898. 
The following children were born to this union : Marian, born 
in 1900, and Shirley, born in 1910. 

William Wiehman, leading citizen, successful banker and for- 
mer sheriff, was born in Cottonwood township, Brown county, 
this state, April 5, 1859, son of Diedrich and Margaret (Boor- 
man) Wiehmann, the pioneers. As a child he underwent the 
thrilling experiences of the Indian outbreak. He was reared to 
farm pursuits and at the age of twenty-five bought eighty acres 
of land in section 14. Beaver township, which he farmed until 
the fall of 1889. He was then elected the sheriff of Renville 




Is 



03 



T.4'f > 

jPUMuc , Y0? ' K 



E^-asat 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 717 

county and took up his office January 1, 1890, at Beaver Falls, 
where he lived for ten years. Then he moved back to the old 
farm and stayed there until 1909, when he retired and moved 
to Morton. From 1903 to- 1907 he served as representative of 
Renville county in the State Legislature and was the chairman 
of the committee on illuminating' oils. He has been a member 
of the village council and held other offices in Morton. He was 
also president of the Pioneers' Association of Renville county, 
for several years, again elected this year, and was instrumental 
in having monuments erected to mark the graves of several slain 
in the Indian outbreak. In this work. Mr. Wichman has at- 
tained a widespread fame. He has made a life long study of 
the incidents of the massacre, and at the expense of much time 
and money has labored, through the erection of monuments, 
markers and otherwise, to perpetuate the memory of those mar- 
tyrs to civilization who perished at the hands of the revengeful 
Sioux. June 1, 1914. he was elected president of the New State 
Bank of Morton, which position he still holds. He is a member 
of the German Lutheran church. On October 17, 1884, Mr. Wich- 
man was married to Clara Hummel, daughter of Reinhold and 
Amelia i Dresdte) Hummel, farmers, who came to Renville county 
in 1873. Before her marriage Mrs. Wichman was a teacher in 
Redwood and Renville counties for several years. Three chil- 
dren have blessed this couple — Edward, born July 22, 1885, who 
is in the grain and lumber business at Mandan, North Dakota; 
Arthur II., born November 30, 1889. connected with the Daily 
News in Minneapolis; and Vera, born January 3, 1900. who is 
at home. 

The Farmers State Bank of Buffalo Lake was incorporated 
May 12. 1915, by the following: ('. A. Kuske, Louis Willie, Emil 
W. Jakobitz, W. D. Wallner, Frank Wallner, John Wallner. 
Herman Yunker, II. L. Reep, O. O. Reep, G. H. Werner, Herman 
Stark. William Wehking, L. A. Reep. Evo Catour, Henry Boes- 
sling, William Jakobitz, Andrew Winkles, Luis Heger, Gust 
Wilke, Gust Redman, P. A. Winkles, Herman Keup and E. L. 
Terry, with a capital stock of .+10,000.00 The first officers were: 
C. A. Kuske, president ; Herman Stark, vice president ; Louis 
Willie, cashier. Directors — C. A. Kuske, Herman Yunker. Her- 
man C. Stark, Frank Wallner and G. H. Werner. The bank 
opened for business June 3. 1915. The policy of the bank is 
safety, service and courtesy to all. The present capital and 
surplus is $12,000.00. 

Herman C. Stark, vice president of the Farmers State Bank 
of Buffalo Lake, was born in Brandenburg, Germany, April 11, 
1855. son of William and Wilhelmina (Lornz) Stark, and re- 
mained with his parents until sixteen years of age, when he 
bought eighty acres in Bismark township, Sibley county, this 



718 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

state, to which he added until he owned two whole sections of 
land. In 1913 lie sold one section and his children are living 
on the other. In 1905 he took up his home in Buffalo Lake, 
where he lias since resided. He is a Republican in politics, has 
been director of the school board in Bismark township, Sibley 
county, and president of the school board of Buffalo Lake vil- 
lage and a member of the Buffalo Lake village council. He has 
been an active temperance advocate, and has worked hard to 
make Buffalo Lake and Renville county "dry." The family 
faith is that of the Evangelical church. Mr. Stark was married 
April 20, 1873, in Transit township, to Augusta Fromm. daugh- 
ter of Frederick and Hannah (Krown) Fromm, by whom he lias 
had nine children : Lydia, Ferdinand, August, Herman, Martha, 
Amanda, Benjamin, Frederick and Elsie. Lydia was born Jan- 
uary 25, 1874, married William Schiro, of Preston Lake town- 
ship, this county, and has five children: William, Arthur, Elsie, 
Elma, and Elmer. Ferdinand was born July 29. 1876, and is fann- 
ing in Bismarck. Sibley county. He married Martha Sehfer, and 
his children are : Mada, Henry, Minnie and Milton. August was 
born November 17, 1S7S. and lives in Bismark. Sibley county. 
He married Alma Litzau. anil his children arc : Harvey, Her- 
bert. Bernice and Gladys. Herman was born March 21, 1881, 
and lives in Bismark. Sibley county. He married Paulina Litzau 
and his children are: Frederick, Viola, Alice. Harry, Helen and 
Laverne. Martha was born .March 13, 1883, and is the wife of 
Deidrick Brethorst of Preston Lake township. They have six 
children: Ferdinand, Esther, Benjamin, Myrtle, Ethel and Nor- 
ville. Amanda was born July 31. 1885, and is the wife of Rich- 
ard Brethorst. of Bismark, Sibley county. They have three chil- 
dren: Lydia. Ervin and Harold. Benjamin was born December 

19, 1887. and died June 16. 1905. at Buffalo Lake. Frederick 
was born April 13. 1890, and died February 17, 1891. Elsie was 
born June 25. 1893, and is the wife of Henry Ruschmyer, of 
Preston Lake township, Renville county. They have one child, 
Vernon. 

William Stark was born in Germany. October 5, 1817, and was 
married in 1852, to Wilhelmina Lorenz, who was born April 12, 
1827. They came to America in the fall of 1856 and purchased 
140 acres of land in Jefferson county. Wis. In 1862 they sold 
out and moved to Dryden, Sibley county, Minnesota. Two years 
later they moved to Transit township in the same county, took a 
homestead of 160 acres, built a two-room cabin of hewed timber. 
and there remained until 1891, when they sold out and moved 
to Gaylord, also in the same county, where he died February 

20, 1894. The wife did in Lowell. Wis., June 30, 1895. In the 
family there were five children: Henry, who died June 30, 1853; 
Hermena, wife of Gustav Kasten, of Lowell. Wis.: Herman, the 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 719 

subject of this sketch; John W., of Bismark, Sibley county; and 
Charles F., of Osage City, Mo. 

Frederick Fromm was born in Germany, May 19, 1813, and 
was married December 21, 1843. to Hannah Krown, who was 
born February 9, 1820. They came to America in 1855, settled 
in Sibley county, this state, took up a claim of 160 acres in 
Transit township, and there ended their days, he April 19, 1890, 
and she December 11, 1903. In the family there were eight chil- 
dren: Charles, who lives in St. Helaire, Pennington county, 
Minn.; Minnie, who died at the age of two years; Augusta, who 
died at the age of one and a half years; Wilhelmina, now Mrs. 
Fred Borehet. of Winthrop, Minn.; Augusta, wife of Herman 
( '. Stark; Fred, who died in November, I860; and Emelia, who 
died in January, 1861., 

The Security State Bank of Buffalo Lake was incorporated 
April 3, 1915, at Buffalo Lake, by Fred C. Eiselein. Eugene 
Eiselein. E. W. Rebstock and John H. Sander, witli a capital 
stock of $10,000.00. After a short time the project was dropped. 

The Farmers State Bank of Olivia was incorporated May 11, 
1915, by E. L. Terry, C. A. Kuske, Louis Willie, Henry Eickhoff, 
Henry Fehr, William Sholts and Julius Henecke. The first board 
was constituted of the following: C. A. Kuske, president; Henry 
Fehr, vice president; E. L. Terry, cashier; John Tersteeg, as- 
sistant cashier. Directors — Julius Henecke, L. J. Kuske and 
Louis Willie. The bank opened for business June 21, 1915, with 
a capital stock of .+15,000.00. The majority of the stock being 
owned by the farmers, it is the policy of the management to bring 
the bank into dose touch with the financial end of the farm, and 
to bring the surrounding country into the highest state of agri- 
cultural worth. Althought having been in business only for a 
short time, the bank has a nice line of deposits, and the business 
is growing steadily. The present capital and surplus is $18,500. 

The O'Connor Brothers' Interests. Timothy and James O'Con- 
nor, brothers, started overland from Forest City, Iowa, to Sacred 
Heart, in this county, in the spring of 1880. In the fall of 1880 
came two more brothers, John and Edward. The other brothers, 
Michael and William, came in 1885. 

In 1887, Timothy, James, John, Edward, Michael and William 
O'Connor associated themselves with J. T. Brooks, afterwards 
county auditor, and organized the institution then known as 
O 'Connor Brothers, (private) Bankers. The officers were : James 
O'Connor, president, and John O'Connor, vice president. Tim- 
othy, who was the cashier, was the active manager of the institu- 
tion. At that time there were only two banks in the county, one 
at Beaver Falls and one at Bird Island. December 23, 1889, the 
O'Connor institution was incorporated as the Renville State Bank, 
with the following officers: President, James O'Connor; vice 



720 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

president, J. T. Brooks; cashier. Timothy O'Connor; directors, 
Edward, John, James and Timothy O'Connor and J. T. Brooks. A 
building was erected in 1892. In 1897. Timothy O'Connor became 
president; James O'Connor, vice president; and William O'Con- 
nor, cashier. In 1907 the bank was sold to S. M. Serkland and 
0. A. Stensvad. 

The Farmers State Bank of Sacred Heart was organized 
November 28, 1888, and opened its doors for business the same 
year. Edward O'Connor was the president and Mary O'Connor 
the cashier. In 1905 this institution was sold to other stockhold- 
ers. In 1909 it was repurchased by the O'Connor Brothers' inter- 
ests. In the meantime the Citizens State Bank of Sacred Heart 
had been organized. This institution was absorbed by the Farmers 
State Bank interests in 1912. The officers of the consolidated 
institution in 1912 were: President. Timothy O'Connor; vice 
president. "William O'Connor; second vice president. W. H. 
Cheney; cashier. H. C. Omholt; directors, William and Timothy 
O'Connor, W. II. Cheeney. A. O. Skrukrud and II. 0. Agre. The 
present officers are: President. Edward O'Connor; vice president. 
Timothy O'Connor; cashier, Oscar Olufson; directors, William, 
Edward and Timothy O'Connor, H. 0. Agre and A. 0. Skrukrud. 

A private bank was organized at Buffalo Lake in 1893 by the 
O'Connor Brothers under the name of the Bank of Buffalo Lake. 
The officers were: President. Edward O'Connor: vice president, 
Timothy O'Connor; cashier, F. G. Nellermoe. In 1895 the O'Con- 
nor Brothers sold out their interests in this bank, but Mr. Neller- 
moe still remains its moving factor. It is now known as the State 
Bank of Buffalo Lake. 

The Olivia State Bank was organized by the O'Connor Broth- 
ers in 1895. with Edward O'Connor as president: William Wina- 
horst as vice president ; P. H. Kirwan as cashier. Timothy O'Con- 
nor as well as Edward was heavily interested. The O'Connor 
interests have been sold, but M. J. Bowling, one of the original 
stockholders, is now the active head of the institution. 

The Bank of Miles was organized by the O'Connor Brothers 
in 1902 with Timothy O'Connor as president: William O'Connor 
as vice president ; and Halvor J. Lee as cashier. Fur a time Hans 
Gronnerud was connected with the hank. It is now the Danube 
State Bank. 

The O'Connor Brothers' State Bank of Renville is the largest 
in the county. It was organized September 3, 1912, with Timothy 
O'Connor as president; Edward O'Connor as vice president; 
William O'Connor as cashier: Robert K. Stuart as assistant cash- 
ier; and C. D. Beck, also as assistant cashier; with Edward. Tim- 
othy and William O'Connor as directors. The bank opened its 
doors September 4, 1912, with a capital and surplus of $50,000. 
The present building, started in 1911 and completed and ready 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 721 

for business September 3, 1912, is the finest banking house in the 
county. The present officers are the same as at the beginning. 

Thus it will be seen that the O'Connor Brothers were active 
in starting six of the present banking institutions of the county: 
The Renville State Bank, of Renville; the O'Connor Brothers" 
State Bank, of Renville ; the Farmers State Bank, of Sacred 
Heart ; the State Bank of Buffalo Lake ; the Olivia State Bank, of 
Olivia; and the Danube State Bank. 

The North Dakota interests of the O'Connor Brothers have 
been extensive and varied. Beginning in 1907 and continuing to 
1910, the brothers, Timothy, Edward and William, erected ele- 
vators along the line of the Northern Pacific at Beach, Wiebow, 
Belfield, South Heart and Antelope, all in North Dakota, these 
five elevators being the first to be built on that railroad west of 
the Missouri river. The opening of these elevators was the be- 
ginning of the grain dealing industry in what has now become 
one of the richest wheat regions of the world. In 1907, Timothy, 
Edward and William organized the First National Bank of Bel- 
field, with Edward as president ; R. C. Davis as vice president : 
J. 0. Milsten as cashier; and Edward and William O'Connor and 
J. 0. Milsten, R. C. Davis and Anton Anderson as directors. 
These brothers also, under the name of the Belfield Land and 
Investment Company, with Edward O'Connor as president; Will- 
iam O'Connor as vice president; T. 0. Ramsland as secretary and 
treasurer, and Edward, William and Timothy ()'( 'minor as direc- 
tors, secured control of 50,000 acres of North Dakota land, and 
in the five years following the organization, the land company sold 
some 158,000 acres to Belgians and Hollanders whom they induced 
to come to America and settle in the Northwest. In 1910 the 
O'Connor Brothers' interests in part at Belfield were sold to the 
Holland-Dakota Landbouw Compagnie, a syndicate of wealthy 
Hollanders and Belgians. The O'Connor Brothers still own part 
of the townsite of Belfield. 

The O'Connor Realty Company was organized in 1909 with 
the following officers: President, William O 'Connor; secretary 
and treasurer, Timothy O'Connor. The O'Connor Land Company 
was organized in 1911 with the following officers : Edward O 'Con- 
nor, president; Timothy O'Connor, secretary, and William O'Con- 
nor, treasurer. In addition to this. Timothy and William O'Con- 
nor own some 4,000 acres of land. The State Experimental Station 
is using the farm near Renville as a demonstration farm. 

In 1910 the O'Connor Brothers organized the Holland-Amer- 
ican Bank of South Heart, North Dakota; with Edward O'Connor 
as president; William O'Connor, vice president; and E. J. Facey 
as cashier. This bank was sold in 1910. In 1912 the brothers 
purchased control of the Devils Lake State Bank of Devils Lake. 
North Dakota, with Edward O'Connor as president: William 



722 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

O'Connor as vice president; and John Thompson as cashier. 
Edward O'Connor is now the president of this institution. 

In 1913 the O'Connor Brothers organized the McGrath State 
Bank at McGrath, Minnesota, with the following officers: Presi- 
dent, Edward O'Connor; vice president, William O'Connor; cash- 
ier, II. J. Kirwan; directors, R. K. Stuart, C. D. Beck and Edward, 
William and Timothy O'Connor. 

Thus is briefly told the business career of as remarkable a 
group of men as ever came into the county. Starting as poor 
boys, they have by native ability, shrewdness, generosity, and 
hard work achieved their present high position as leaders not only 
finance and business but in public influence and matured 
thought as well. 

In developing a part of North Dakota they did a service to 
their country, and in developing Renville county they have like- 
wise had a prominent part. The improvements on their farms 
are the talk of the state and are widely praised, and their farming 
operations are a revelation in the possibilities of Renville county 
rural life. 

Public spirited in every way, every worthy movement finds in 
them warm supporters, and their influence and their financial 
help is given freely to every good cause. The extent of their 
private benefactions will never be known and almost countless are 
the men and boys who have been quietly given a helping hand 
at many a critical period of life. 

The . brothers are cordial, successful, clean-cut, constructive 
men and useful citizens, and the country is truly the better for 
their living in it. 

A sample of their faith in the future of the county is the 
splendid building which houses the financial institution of the 
O'Connor Brothers' Bank at Renville. It is a model of its kind, 
sunshiny and airy, and absolutely secure, an architectural beauty, 
and a source of pride to the village, while the geniality of the 
banking staff makes patron and visitor alike feel immediately 
welcome and at home. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 723 

CHAPTER XXX. 

PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS. 

His Ethics and Ideals— The Pioneer Physician— His Devotion and 
Courage — Men Who Have Practiced in Renville County — Pres- 
ent Physicians— Camp Release District Medical Society— Pre- 
pared with the Assistance of F. L. Puffer, M. D. 

"Men most nearlj resemble the gods when they afford health 
to their fellow-men." 

In an age when, in the combat of man against man, heroes are 
worshiped according to the number they slay in battle, it is in- 
spiring and elevating to be permitted to pay tribute to the men 
who won glory in fighting disease and through whose devotion 
and skill thousands of useful lives have been saved and been 
made happy. 

"For every man slain by Caesar, Napoleon and Grant in all 
their bloody campaigns, Jenner, Pasteur and Lister have saved 
alive a thousand." 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 iEsculapius." 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 the 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 Hippocratic 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 Hippocratic oath assumes that when a man 



724 HISTORY OP RENVILLE 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 
he 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 oecu 
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 lie 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 RENVILLE COUNTY 725 

iary reward. The physician is a host in himself, a natural leader 
among his fellow-men, a center of influence for the most prac- 
tical good, an efficient helper in times of direst 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 
iu Renville 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 hors< — 
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 hardship. Who 



726 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

can narrate the past events in the life of such a man? His deeds 
were "written upon the tablets 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 also 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 lives: 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 the indulgence of lit- 
erary or other tastes. He possessed, however, what no books or 
laboratories can furnish, and that is: a capacity Tor work, will- 
ingness to lie 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 lie 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 OF RENVILLE COUNTY 121 

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." 

Several of the pioneer farmers of Renville county had re- 
ceived more or less medical education and practice to a certain 
extent among their neighbors. Before the massacre the early 
settlers had the advantage of medical service from the Upper and 
Lower Agencies from Ft. Ridgely and from New Ulm. After 
the massacre, many of the settlers continued to avail themselves 
of the services of the surgeon of Ft. Ridgely and of the physi- 
cians at New Ulm. 

Two of the old-time physicians of Renville county did not 
live in this county, but across the river in Redwood Falls, from 
which place they attended a large practice in Renville county. 

R. L. Hitchcock came to Redwood Falls in 1865 and started 
practice. He was a gifted public speaker and was often called 
on to address audiences at Beaver Falls on various subjects. 

W. D. Flinn also came to Redwood Falls at an early date, and 
practiced extensively in Renville county. Both of these pioneer 
physicians lived to a good old age. 

J. B. "Welcome, of Sleepy Eye, also had a few patients in 
Renville county in the seventies. 

Dr. T. H. Sherwin practiced in Beaver Falls for some years, 
and was probably the first practitioner to be regularly located 
here. He was not, however, a regular physician, and had no 
medical education except what he had picked up as a hospital 
steward during the Civil war in 1861-65. 

Two of the early and prominent farmer-physicians of Ren- 
ville county were Dr. H. Schoregge, who came to Henryville in 
1870; and Dr. C. S. Knapp, who came to Cairo in 1871. 

Dr. Willis Clay, Dr. Wesley Smalley and Dr. F. L. Puffer 
had many thrilling experiences as pioneer physicians in Renville 
county. One incident told by Dr. Puffer illustrates some of the 
hardships they had to endure in their work of relieving the dis- 
tressed. 

On the evening of Friday, Oct. 15, 1880, Dr. Puffer was called 
to give medical attention in a farm house seventeen miles from 
his home. He hitched up, and after a long ride over the dismal 



728 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

prairies reached his destination. When he arose in the morning 
he found that all travel was completely blocked by a great storm, 
nearly two feet of snow falling between Friday evening and Sat- 
urday night. He was thus snowbound at the home of his patient 
and it was a week before he could get back home. Traffic was 
blocked on the H. & D. for over five days. In February and 
March, 1881, the railroad was blockaded for forty days. The 
doctors found it impossible to get their horses through the snow, 
and often they walked long distances to visit their patients. Dr. 
Puffer sometimes trudged through the snow mid drifts for eight 
or ten miles to attend to cases, and Dr. Clay and Dr. Smalley 
did the same. 

What a picture of devotion to duty is brought before the 
mind as we see the solitary figure making its way across the bleak 
prairie. Snow lies everywhere, often there is no track of any 
kind, sometimes the thermometer is below zero, yet we see the 
self-sacrificing doctor keeping on his way. his little case in his 
hand, suffering the greatest of bodily and mental discomforts 
himself in order that illness might be alleviated, anguish soothed 
and lives saved. 

Present Physicians. The present physicians of Renville county 
are as follows: Sacred Heart, F. L. Hammerstrand ; Renville, Ed. 
M. Clay, J. H. Preisinger. and L. T. Francis; Danube, W. C. 
Dieterich: Olivia, A. A. Passer and G. F. Mesker; Bird Island, F. 
L. Puffer and R. C. Adams: Hector, H. L. D'Arms and H. U. 
McKibben; Buffalo Lake, C. K. Gaines; Fairfax, G. H. Walker 
and William P. Lee : Franklin, H. B. Cole : Morton, F. W. Pen- 
hall. 

Bird Island. Frank L. Puffer, M. D., practitioner and a man of 
affairs, now a leading citizen of Bird Island, was born in Rens- 
selaer Falls, St. Lawrence county, New York, April 29, 1852, son 
of La Fayette W. and Rosamond B. (Rice) Puffer. The father, 
who was a New York farmer, was born at Rensselaer Falls, New 
York, Nov. 13, 1825, was married Dec. 24, 1846, and died there 
April lf>, 1902. The mother was born in Rensselaer Falls, July 
12, 1825, and now lives in Adams, New York. After attaining 
the usual preparatory education in the public schools of this 
neighborhood, Frank L. Puffer entered the St. Lawrence Uni- 
versity at Canton, N. Y., leaving there in 1872. Then from 1873 
to 1875 he attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. 
In 1876 he entered the Medical College of Columbia University, 
New York city, from which he graduated with the degree of M. 
D. March 1, 1877. His first practice was at Taylor Falls, Chisago 
county, this state. In 1878 he came to Renville county and lo- 
cated at Beaver Falls. Since 1881 he has been in practice in 
Bird Island. He is a skilled practitioner, and is the family phy- 
sician of hundreds of families for miles around, some of whom 







F. L. PUFFER, M.D. 



IIISTOKY OK UKNYIU.K COUNTY 729 

he has attended Eor over thirty-five years. l>r. Puffer has taken 
a deep interesl in many public affairs outside of liis profession. 

Vi > such ventures nun be mentioned tin State Hauls of Bird 

Island, which he assisted to organize as a private bank in 1899 
and which was incorporated as a state hank in 1908, he being 
its only president up to the present time, lie helped to organize 

the High sel I system, ami has served on the hoard of education 

twenty years. For five years he was village recorder. Prater 
nally, he is associated with Bird Island Lodge No. 144, A. F. & 
A. M., Bird Island Chapter No. 40 Order of Eastern Star, the 
Bird Island Commercial Club and the .Minneapolis Athletic Club. 

I>r. Puffer was married April 29, 1ST!), to Anna L. Ellison, who 
was horn Jan. 1, 1853, in Marine. III., and died April f>, 1911, in 
Bird Island, leaving two children, Florence E., horn April 9, 1880, 
and Howard A., horn April 7, 1884. Her parents were .lohn Elli- 
son, who was horn in Dong Island. N. Y., and died in 1N90 at 
the age of seventy-six, and Elizabeth (Danford) Ellison, who was 

horn in Illinois, and died in 1893 at the age of seventy-eight. 
Feb. 27, 1913, Dr. Puffer married Ida .lulson, who was horn in 
Winfield township, Renville county. 

Robert S. Miles received a certificate from the Medical Ex 
amining Board Jan. 24, 1901, and offered it for record Nov. 25, 

1901. Ih' practiced in Bird Island two years and then moved to 
Excelsior, Minn., next removing to Enumclaw, Wash., where he 
is st ill pract icing. 

Carrol Clinton Carpenter r< ived a certificate from the Med- 
ical Examining Board June in, 1897. lie located in Bird Island 
in L898 or 99 and remained about three years, next going to 
Dwight, IN., for a year or two. Then he returned to Bird Island 

for a short lime and since then has been in various places. lie 
is at present at Litchfield, M inn. 

T. H. Murray, formerly of Bird Island, who recently died, 
practiced his profession at Bird Island for a number of years. He 
left Bird Island about nine years ago ami lived in Iowa until his 
ileal h. 

John J. S. McCabe r ived a certificate from the Medical 

Examining Hoard Dec I, 1883, and offered it for record May 5, 
Imii:;. 

Ralph C. Adams, one of the rising physicians of Renville 
County, was horn in Plica, Pennsylvania, in 1879. lie attended 
the common schools and the McKlwain Institute until 1898. In 

1902 he graduated from the Westminster College at New Wil- 
mington, Perm., with the degree of B, S. In 1906 he graduated 
from the Jefferson Medical College, at Philadelphia, Penn. Then 
lie spent six months as an interne in the ( 'h ihlrens ' Hospital, in 
Philadelphia, and about four months as assistant to Dr. McClel 
land at Utica, Penn. Since April If), 1907, lie has I n in active 



730 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

practice iu Bird Island. He is well liked, public spirited, and a 
useful citizen. 

S. Dulude practiced in Bird Island from 1912 to 1913. In 1913 
he removed to Minneapolis where he is still in practice. 

Beaver Falls. T. H. Sherwin was the first physician of Beaver 
Falls village and probably the first village physician in the county. 

George W. Nichols graduated from the Vermont Academy of 
Medicine, Vermont, in 1861, received a certificate from the Med- 
ical Examining Board, Dec. 31, 1883, and presented his certificate 
for record April 14, 1890. He remained in Beaver Falls for about 
three years. 

Jennie M. Miller (.Mrs. S. H.i received a certificate from the 
Medical Examining Board Nov. 28, 1883, and offered it for rec- 
ord Dee. 121, 1883. Previous to this she had been practicing as 
an obstetrician and when the law was passed requiring an exam- 
ination of physicians she secured a license under the exemption 
clause of the law. She remained in Beaver Falls for a few years, 
and then went to Washington, D. <_'.. where she became a worker 
in one of the government departments. 

Albert G. Stoddard graduated from the Rush Medical College, 
Illinois, in 18S2, received a certificate from the Medical Examin- 
ing Board Nov. 14, 1883, and presented his certificate for record 
Dec, 15, 1883. In 1892 he moved to Franklin, next going to Fair- 
fax and then removed to Idaho, where he is still practicing. 

J. W. Barnard conducted a drug store in Beaver Kails prior 
to 1877. He and his wife, Jennie S. Bernard graduated from the 
medical department of the University of Michigan, in 1878, and 
that fall took up the practice of medicine in Beaver Falls. In 
lsso they located in Bird Island. Two years later they moved to 
Motley, .Minn. After three or four years there they moved to 
Oregon where they still reside. 

Buffalo Lake. Dr. Knepper practiced in Buffalo Lake in the 
early days. 

S. J. Nortlmip practiced in Buffalo Lake about three years. 
He was run over by the ears in the railroad yard in the fall of 
1903, and died the next morning. He is buried at Hutchinson, 
Minn. 

Ernest Z. Vanous practiced here for about a year after his 
graduation from the University of Minnesota in .1897. He was 
reared at Glencoe, and is now a physician in Minneapolis. 

W. A. A. Barns practiced in Buffalo hake a short time aboul 
1897. He was not considered a good physician and is understood 
to have experienced considerable trouble after leaving here. 

Frank M. Archibald was located in Buffalo Lake a few weeks. 
coming from Gibbon in March, 1895. Then he located in Atwater, 
from which place he continued to practice to some extent in the 
northeastern part of Renville county. He was a large, jovial man, 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 731 

and is well remembered by many of the residents. He moved 
from Atwater in 1906 and is now at Mahnomen, in the state. 

Everett C. Gaines received a certificate from the Medical Ex- 
amining Board, April 10, 1900, and offered it for record Feb. 17, 
1906. 

Danube. William C. Dieterich, M. D., was born at St. Louis, 
Mo., Sept. 25, 1871. He received his education in St. Louis and 
graduated from the Homoepathic Medical College of that place, 
March, 1895. He practiced in St. Louis until 1898 when he 
moved to Minneapolis, where he remained until 1912, coming to 
Danube at that time. He was married January 1, 1912, to Nellie 
Converse of Minneapolis. 

Fairfax. The first physician in Fairfax is but dimly remem- 
bered and but little is known about him. His name is said to 
have been Joy and by others to have been Joyce. 

C. S. Knapp was born in 1826, in Connecticut, and when twelve 
years old moved with his parents to the state of New York. He 
was given an academical education and then followed the drug 
business four years. Began the study of medicine at the age of 
eighteen, and in 1851 graduated from the Syracuse Medical Col- 
lege ; practiced in that city five years and then continued in the 
work of his profession in Columbia county, Wisconsin, until 1871, 
at which time he came to Cairo. He engaged in farming and in 
the practice of his profession. In 1883 he opened a drug store in 
Fairfax. Married in 1848, Miss E. M. Imson; the children are 
W. E., Frank S., B. A., Ida May and William H. 

A. M. Crandall received a certificate from the Medical Exam- 
ining Board June 9, 1896, and offered it for record Sept. 18. 
1908. 

H. E. Lucas practiced here for a while. 

George H. Walker received a certificate from the Medical 
Examining Board June 26, 1908, and offered it fur record June 
17, 1909. 

William Philander Lee received a certificate from the Medical 
Examining Board, July 10, 1884, and offered it for record July 
19, 1894. 

Franklin. Herman B. Cole, M. D., a well-known physician of 
Franklin, was born at Buffalo, New York, Sept. 6, 1872. Ilis 
father. Nelson W. Cole, is a retired farmer and at the age of 
seventy-seven is living with his son Herman. His mother, Jose- 
phine (Blackmar) Cole died in 1897 at the age of fifty-four. Dr. 
Cole attended school at Hamburg, N. Y., and graduated from the 
High school there in 1890. Having decided to study medicine 
he entered the University of Buffalo, and graduated from the 
Medical Department in 1896. In 1910 and 1912 he attended the 
Post Graduate Medical School at New York City. He was in- 
terne in the Erie County Alms Honse Hospital at Buffalo for one 



7;J2 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

and one-half years and another year and a half was spent at 
Hamburg, New York. Feb. 1, 1898, he located at Franklin, where 
he still resides. Dr. Cole is greatly interested in affairs pertaining 
to bis work and is a member of several medical societies, belong- 
ing to the Camp Release District Medical Society, the Minnesota 
State Medical Society and the American Medical Association. He 
is a specialist in diseases of the eye. He has been recognized as 
an efficient worker in village affairs, has been mayor for two years 
and is at present a member of the village council. He is also the 
health officer for the village of Franklin and for Palmyra town- 
ship. He has taken a part in the educational advancement of 
the village ami is president of the school board. Dec. 8, 1896, 
Dr. Cole was united in marriage to Ella M. McCue of Buffalo, 
New York. Her father, James McCue, is a well-known real estate 
man and horseman. Her mother was Margaret ( deary) McCue. 
Dr. a in I .Mrs. Cole have been blessed with five children: Josephine 
Virginia, born Sept. 15, 1900; Donald Francis, born Jan. 9, 1902, 
and died Jan. 20, 1906; Burgess Luke, born June 8. 1901; John 
Cordon, born August 28. 1907: and Margaret Audrey, born July 
6. 1914. 

Hector. Harry Lee D'Arms, M. D., was born in Stillwater, 
Minn., May 14, 1868, son of John and Mary (Wheeler) D'Arms. 
He attended the public schools of his locality and graduated from 
the Stillwater High school. Then he entered the University of 
Michigan and during 1888-90 was a student in the medical de- 
partment. In 1891 he entered the medical department of the 
University of Minnesota, graduating in 1892. He became an in- 
terne in the City hospital at Minneapolis, remaining for one year, 
and I lien went to the Iron Range where he followed his profession 
tor five years at McKinley and Eveleth. For three years he was 
president of the council at Eveleth. In 1896 he came to Hector, 
opened an office, and has since continued in practice here. From 
1910 to 1912 he was county coroner. Fraternally he is a thirty- 
second degree mason, and a member of the M. B. A. and M. W. A. 
of Hector. I)i'. D'Arms was married Sept. 27, 1893, to Maude 0. 
Brearley of Minneapolis. 

Harry E. McKibben, M. D., a prominent physician and sur- 
geon of Hector, was born in Douglas county, Minn., Oct. 24, 
1880, son of Joseph ami Louisa (Butler) McKibbin, the former 
a native of Illinois and the latter of Indiana. The parents were 
married in Douglas county where they engaged in farming until 
the spring of 1881 when they moved to Day county, South Dakota. 
They were successful ami representative people and there fol- 
lowed farming until the spring of 1903 when they retired and 
moved to Webster, South Dakota, where they now reside. They 
have the following children: Harry E., of Hector, Minn.; Guy, 
who now operates the farm in Day county. South Dakota; Addie, 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 733 

now wife of Emil F. Peterson, a miller of Webster, South Dakota; 
Ray, who is studying engineering at the University of Minnesota; 
and Lloyd, a student at the Webster (South Dakota) High sehool. 
Harry E. McKibben attended district school in Day county and 
entered the Webster High sehool where he graduated in 1900. He 
then attended the College of .Medicine and Surgery of the Uni- 
versity of Minnesota from which he graduated June 17, 1904. 
June 29, 1904, he came to Hector, where on July 7, he opened an 
office and engaged in the general practice of medicine and sur- 
gery. He has been very successful, has built up a good practice 
both in the city and the surrounding country, and specializes in 
diseases of the eye, ear, nose and throat. In 1910 he took a post- 
graduate course in general practice at the Chicago Postgraduate 
School and during the summers of 1911 and 1912 he took post- 
graduate courses in the Eye, Ear and Throat College at Chicago. 
Dr. McKibben owns a sightly residence in Hector and is a mem- 
ber of the Commercial Club and of the Automobile Club. He has 
served on the board of health and is the surgeon of the C. M. & 
St. P. Railway Co. at Hector. Fraternally he is associated with 
the Hector Lodge 158, A. F. & A. M. He is a stockholder in the 
Hector Farmers Elevator and in the Hector Telephone Exchange. 
The family faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church. Dr. 
McKibben was married June 18 1907, to Ella F. Lunder. 

Wesley Smalley, native of Vermont, was born in 1849. At 
the age of eighteen he moved to Massachusetts, and one year 
after went to Kansas; attended Normal school, then taught for 
a time, before commencing the study of medicine ; gradudated 
from the medical department of the Iowa State University, and 
began practice at Nemaha, Kansas ; from there he came to Hector 
in 1881. His influence on educational life in Hector was especially 
strong. After living in Hector a while he went away. Later he 
returned and practiced many years before removing to Seattle, 
Wash., where he died some two years ago. 

Henryville. Henry Schoregge was born April is, 1816. lb' 
attended school at different places in Germany, his native land, 
and after graduating, devoted some time to the study of medicine. 
Upon coming to this country he practiced four months in New 
York city, and then in Boston until 1870, when he located on 
his farm in Henryville, where he farmed and practiced medicine. 
He was also justice of the peace and postmaster. Dr. Schoregge 
married, November 26, 1846, Johanna Laidner; and had eleven 
children. 

Morton. Fletcher W. Penhall, M. D., was born in Brooklyn, On- 
tario, Canada, July 24, 1862. He graduated from the Port Perry 
(Ontario) High school in 1885; the Trinity Medical College, To- 
ronto, Canada, in 1889; and the Bellevue Hospital Medical College. 
New York City, in 1891. He has been in practice in Morton since 



734 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

May, 1891. He is surgeon for the M. & St. L. Ry., and a member 
of the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Ontario, the Amer- 
ican Medical Association, the Minnesota State Medical Associa- 
tion and the Camp Release Medical Society. 

Reuben D. Zimbeck graduated from the Rush Medical College, 
111., in 1885, received a certificate from the Medical Examining 
Board Sept. 16, 1886, and presented his certificate for record 
Sept. 17, 1886. He located in Morton in August, 1886, and in 
April, 1890, moved to Montevideo, this state, where he is still in 
active practice. He was preceded at Morton by Dr. Prather and 
succeeded by Dr. Penhall. 

Olivia. George H. Mesker, M. D., a resident physician of 
Olivia, Minnesota, was born in Kelso township, Sibley county, 
Minnesota, July 10. 1873, son of Herman and Wilhelmina (Bue- 
sing) Mesker, natives respectively of Hanover and Baden, Ger- 
many. Herman Mesker was brought to America by his parents 
as an infant. Wilhelmina Buesing came with her parents at the 
age of eighteen. Both families located in Ohio where the young 
people grew to manhood and womanhood and married. In 185S 
they came to Minnesota, driving through Iowa to Sibley county 
by team and located a piece of wild land where they built a log 
cabin and lived the rest of their days. Herman Mesker died at 
the age of seventy-eight and his wife at the age of forty-seven. 
They had nine children. George H. being the youngest. He at- 
tended the district school and the Henderson High school. Then 
he taught school in his home township a year. In 1896 he grad- 
uated from the College of Medicine and Surgery. University of 
Minnesota. After a year spent as a hospital interne, he came to 
Oliva in 1897, opened an office, and has since continued in prac- 
tice. 

Dr. Mesker has held office ,-is a council member, is mi the school 
board and is ;i member of the Olivia Lodge No. 220, A. F. & A. AI. 
lie was united in marriage to Ella Dressel, born in St. Paul, daugh- 
ter nf early pioneers of the stair who came from Germany. Two 
children, Douglas and Clifford, have been born to Dr. and Airs. 
Mesker. 

Adolph Augustus Passer, A. B., M. D., physician and surgeon 
of Olivia, was born in Luverne, Minnesota, Jan. 3, 1880, son of 
Ludwig and Pauline (Boehlke) Passer, Minnesota pioneers, the 
father who now resides at Waseca, this state, having been a 
clergyman in the German Evangelical Church for some fifty 
years. Dr. Passer graduated from the Waseca High school, and 
then took the four-year course in the Academic Department of 
the University of Minnesota, receiving his degree in 1902. Then 
for five years he was principal of the High school at Virginia, 
this state, and then engaged as a druggist at St. Cloud for a year. 
In 1908 he began the study of medicine at the University of Min- 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 735 

nesota, completing his course in 1912. While attending medical 
school he served as assistant surgeon of the Soldiers' Home Hos- 
pital at Minneapolis for a year and was for a similar period in- 
terne in the St. Thomas Hospital. He is a member of the Phi 
Beta Pi, the medical fraternity After graduation he spent a 
year as an interne at the Minneapolis City Hospital, and in April, 
1913, came to Olivia, where he is now engaged in general prac- 
tice. He has taken his part in the life of Olivia, is a stockholder 
in the Farmers' State Bank, a member of the Rod and Gun club, 
and of tlie Commercial club. Fraternally his affiliation is with 
the A. F. & A. M. Dr. Passer has been county coroner since 
1913, and has served for some years as a member of the Olivia 
village Board of Health. He is also second lieutenant of Company 
H, Third Regiment. M. N. G. His professional connections are 
many. He belongs to the Camp Release Medical Society, the Min- 
nesota State Medical Association and the American Medical Asso- 
ciation, and is local examiner for tin- N. Y. Mutual Life Insur- 
anee Co.; the Northwest Mutual, of Milwaukee; Fidelity Mutual: 
Equitable Life Insurance Society; Minnesota Mutual Life; Da- 
kota Life Insurance Co.; the Modern Woodmen of America and 
the Royal Neighbors. He is a member of the staff of the West 
Side General Hospital of St. Paul. In politics he is a Republican, 
and his faith is that of the German Evangelical church. Dr. 
Passer was married May 15, 1913. in Minneapolis, to Irene Morek, 
daughter of James ami ('aniline (Locke) Morek. 

James B. Ferguson, I'm- some forty years a Medical Officer in 
the United States, ami for some time a physician at Olivia, first 
came to Minnesota in 1870. when he reached St. Paid on his way 
to Ft. Totten, North Dakota. In all he spent some twenty years 
in the Department of Dakota. Nov. 30. 1S91. he resigned from 
the arm}-, and after considering a number of places decided upon 
Olivia as the scene of his future activities. He reached Olivia, 
Dec. 25. 1891, and while looking about for a home, boarded at 
the old Merchants Hotel, at that time kept by Mr. and Mrs. John 
Miller. Si\ Dr. Ferguson located in Olivia because he had confi- 
dence in the people who were interested in its welfare and growth 
and because at that time there was a need of a physician, none 
being then located here. The country around was an excellent 
farming area, the village had good railroad facilities, and even at 
that time it seemed the logical place for the county seat. Dr. 
Ferguson at once won the esteem of the people and established 
a good practice. He took part in the county seat fight and was 
an able assistant to such county-seat fighters as Peter W. Heins, 
Hans Gronnerud, P. II. Kirwan, Thad. P. Mclntyre ami others. 
The doctor found, however, that after so many years of army 
service the life of a village physician w r as too strenuous, so on 
June 4, 189S, in response to a telegram from the Surgeon Gen- 



736 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

eral, United States Army, Washington, D. C, asking him to re- 
enter the service, he accepted, and was assigned to Ft. Yellow- 
stone, Wyoming. In April, 1911, he retired, and with his wife, 
who in the meantime had continued to live in Olivia, moved to 
St. Paul, where he now lives. 

J. D. Ellis practiced in Olivia for a year in 1891. 

Glenn Hymer practiced in Olivia for a year or two about 
1911. He moved to Williston, North Dakota, where he died in 
1913. 

F. C. Miller was born on a farm near Northfield, this state, 
worked as a druggist, attended a school of pharmacy at Portland, 
Oregon, graduated from the medical department of Hamline Uni- 
versity with honors, and started practice in Olivia in October, 
1899. 

Charles Weinsma graduated from the University of Utrecht, 
Holland, in 18712, received a certificate from the Medical Exam- 
ing Board, Sept, IS, 1884, and presented his certificate for record 
Dec. 18, 1890. He practiced at Olivia some two to five years. 

Rock Phelps Miller received a certificate from the Medical 
Examining Board Oct. 13, 1896, and offered it for record Nov. 
9, 1899. He remained in Sacred Heart a short time but is out 
of practice now. 

Edward T. Congngham graduated from the College of Physi- 
cians and Surgeons, Minneapolis. Minn., in 1886, received a certi- 
eate from the Medical Examining Board June 3, 1886, and pre- 
sented his certificate for record April 13, 1887. He practiced in 
Olivia for about six months in 1887. 

Renville. The first physician in Renville was Dr. Fleishman, 
an eccentric character well remembered by the early settlers. 

Edward M. Clay, M. D., physician ami surgeon of Renville, 
was born in Oronoco, Olmsted county, Minnesota, March -. 1866, 
son of Mark \V. and Johanna P. (Stoddard) ('lay. Be attended 

the public scl Is of his native county, and in 1884 removed with 

his father To Hutchinson, in this state. It was in 1887 when he 
came to Renville, then without a paper, ami became editor of 
the Renville Weekly News, which was established by ( '. L. Lor- 
raine the same week of his arrival, and continued editing it until 
1889. In the meantime he had engaged in private study, and upon 
leaving the newspaper desk, found himself well-qualified to enter 
the Minneapolis College of Physicians and Surgeons at Minne- 
apolis, from which he graduated in 1893 with the degrees of M. D. 
and C. M. Having thus realized an ambition of many years, he 
opened an office in Renville, where he still continues to practice. 
He has built up a large practice, and is well deserving of the es- 
teem and confidence in which he is held by the people id' the vil- 
lage and surrounding rural districts. Keeping thoroughly abreasl 
of the latest discoveries in science and medicine, he has perfected 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 737 

his previous study and experience by post-graduate work in sev- 
eral branches. Being thoroughly ethical in the practice of the 
ideals of his profession he has allied himself with the Camp Re- 
lease District Medical Association, the Southern Minnesota Medi- 
cal Association, the Minnesota State Medical Association and the 
American Medical Association. He is medical examiner for 
eighteen Old Line, so-called, insurance companies, and has been 
local surgeon for the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad for 
some twenty years. Locally the health and sanitation of the 
community has been benefitted by his valued services as county 
coroner twelve years, county physician four years, and village 
health officer for several years. Dr. Clay is past worshipful 
master of Renville Lodge, No. 193, A. F. & A. M., and in 1904 
he served as deputy grand master, Minnesota Grand Lodge, 
I. 0. 0. F. He is also a member of the Modern Woodmen and 
other orders. Too busy with his work to mingle actively in po- 
litical life, he nevertheless has consented to serve for two years 
as alderman of Renville from the second ward, and his sane and 
conservative judgment was thoroughly appreciated by his con- 
stituents. Dr. Clay was married October 14, 1893, to Belle C. 
Benson, daughter of David and Carrie (Knutson) Benson, of Ren- 
ville. This union has been blessed with two children. Florence 
J. was born May 20, 1906. An unnamed infant is deceased, 

Mark W. Clay, one of Minnesota's sturdy territorial pioneers, 
was a native of the Granite State, having been born of New Eng- 
land ancestry in the state of New Hampshire. In the early fifties, 
when so many of the scions of the early settlers on the Atlantic 
slope were striking westward to take their part in the subduing 
of the Northwestern wilderness, Mark M. Clay joined the van- 
guard, and the year 1853 found him located in (Iron Olmsted 

county. He engaged for many years in the mercantile business 
in Oronoco in that county. In 1884 he moved to Hutchinson, in 
this state, where he died at the age of sixty-eight years. At the 
outbreak of the civil war he organized Company K, Third Regi- 
ment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry and was elected captain. He 
was mustered in on November 14, 1861, and retired December 
1, 1862. Mark W. Clay was married in 1857 to Johanna P. Stod- 
dard, a native of Massachusetts, who came to Minnesota with her 
estimable parents in 1853. She died at Oronoco. in Olmsted 
county, this state, in 1884, at the age of fifty-three. Later in life 
Mr. Clay married Emma Brundage. By his first marriage he was 
the father of seven childen : Ida A., Maggie W., Edward M.. 
Harvey J., Wellington S., Zelda M., and Charles V. Ida A. is the 
wife of William H. Hoffman, of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, a con- 
tractor. They have four children: Mark (deceased). Merle, 
Claude and Charles. Maggie W. is the wife of .John W. West, a 
harness manufacturer of Browntown, Minnesota, and thev have 



738 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

three children: Earl. Kuth and Donald. Edward M. is a physi- 
cian at Renville. He married Belle C. Benson, and they have one 
child, Florence J. Wellington S. lives in Hutchinson, Minnesota. 
He married Effie Powell, and they have five children: .fames, 
Josephine, Mark, Elizabeth and Warren. Harry J. lives at 
Hutchinson. He married Maud Sofford and has one son, Arthur 
('lay. Zelda M. is the wife of Frank Chase, of San Francisco, 
and they have one daughter, Margaret. Charles F. is proprietor 
of Sacred Heart Hotel at Sacred Heart. He married Byrdina 
Lambert, and they have tour children: Marshall, Marcia, Vir- 
ginia and Lambert. 

Joseph W. Preisinger, M. D., was born Dec. 22, 1874, in Nicho- 
lette county, Minn., son of Wolfgang and Juliana (Gerl) Prei- 
singer. On completing the work of the country school he entered 
the New Ulm High school, from which he graduated in 1900. He 
then entered the School of Medicine of the University of Minn., 
receiving his diploma in 1904. He began practicing in Renville, 
where he still remains, having a large practice. He is a demo- 
crat in politics, and for two terms was health officer of Ren- 
ville. He is a member of the Catholic church and of the Catholic 
Foresters and Knights of Columbus. Dr. Preisinger was married 
Oct, 12, 1911, to Ella Wigdahl, born Aug. 22, 1890, in Westby, 
Vernon county, Wisconsin, her parents being Peter and Mary 
Wigdahl. They have one child, Myrtle, born Dec. 3, 1912. 

Wolfgang Preisinger was born in 1828 and died at New Ulm, 
Minn., in 1898. He came to America with his parents in 1861 
and settled near New Ulm, where he engaged in farming. In 
1862 tie enlisted in the Second Battery, Light Artillery, Minne- 
sota Volunteers, and saw service in Kentucky and Tennessee 
under General Rosecrans. During the year of his enlistment he 
received -word at Frankfort, Ky., of the Indian outbreak at his 
home and asked for leave of absence to go home and look after 
his folks. He was refused and a few days later deserted, but 
before reaching home was taken prisoner by the Confederates. 
He escaped and went home, instead of returning to his regiment. 
On his arrival lie found that the country had been laid waste. 
After spending two weeks in hunting for his folks he found 
them all safe at Mankato and St. Peter. Returning to the farm 
they rebuilt their houses and barns and in the fall of 1862 Mr. 
Preisinger went to Wisconsin and enlisted iii the Thirty-eighth 
Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry under an assumed name. He was 
with Grant before Vicksburg and Richmond. He was mustered 
out at the close of the war. Returning home he married and 
took up a homestead near New Ulm where lie lived until 1897 
when he sold his farm and moved to New Ulm. Six children 
were born to him as the result of his marriage in 1868: Mary, 
now Mrs. A. J. Fisher, of Brown Co.. Minn.; Annie, the wife of 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 739 

Frank Bartl, of Stirum, North Dakota ; Frances, widow of George 
Dauseheck, of New Ulm; Joseph, of Renville; Sophia, who resides 
with her mother; Theresa, who died in 1887. 

Peter Wigdahl was born in Wisconsin in 1859 and his wife 
was bom in the same state in 1861. They had fifteen children, 
thirteen of whom are living: Carl, George, Mabel, Nordahl, Ella, 
Jeanette, Edward, John, Myrtle. Hazel, Esther, Lloyd, and Emer- 
son. Two died in infancy. Mr. Wigdalil is a farmer and for 
several years lias lived on his farm in Crooks township, Renville 
county. 

Edward Carle Adams received a certificate from the Medical 
Examining Board Oct. 13, 1905, and offered it for record Nov. 
17, LUIS. 

Allison W. Lumley received a certificate from the Medical 
Examining Board Oct. 5, 1894, and offered it for record, Oct. 1, 
1895. In about 1912 he left for Ellsworth, Wisconsin. 

L. T. Francis has practiced in Renville since Nov. 23, 1909. 
He studied medicine in the Bennett Medical College, of Chicago, 
in 1881-82, and then became associated with Dr. L. Pratt, of 
Wheaton 111., who proved a most excellent preceptor. It was 
through his influence that the young student adhered to the 
Homeopathic school of practice. In the spring of 1884, Dr. 
Francis took his degree from the Chicago Homeopatic Medical 
College. Then he practiced with his preceptor for another year, 
subsequently going to College Springs, Iowa, where he remained 
for a year and a half. He then found himself compelled to come 
north on account of the malaria. Sept. 2, 1886, he located in 
Wasioja, Minn., where he practiced for some seventeen years, 
moving from there to Hammond, Minn., from which town he 
came to Renville for the purpose of placing his three sons in 
the Renville High school, from which institution all three have 
since graduated. In the winter of 1889-90, Dr. Francis took a 
post-graduate course in the Chicago Polyclinic College. Since 
that time he has not confined his practice to the Homeopathic 
school but uses those remedies which he believes for the highest 
interest of his patients. 

John R. Peterson received a certificate from the Medical Ex- 
amining Board June 10, 1897, and offered it for record August 2. 
1897. He then located at Renville. In 1900 he went to Madison, 
Minn., and left there for Willmar in 1904 or 05. In about 1910 
he moved to Minneapolis where he is still practicing. 

Rebecca Shoemaker received a certificate from the Medical 
Examining Board Dec. 31, 1883, and offered it for record Janu- 
ary 19, 1884 

Willis Clay was born in 1854, in Chicago, 111. About four 
year later he went with his widowed mother to New York but 
one year after removed to Minnesota. Dr. Clay attended the 



740 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

high school at Plainview and began the study of medicine there 
in 1877, with Dr. J. P. Waste. Two years after, he entered Rush 
Medical College of Chicago, and after graduating from there in 
1880 was in practice in Renville. Dr. Clay taught school while 
studying medicine. In 1900 Dr. Clay moved from Renville to 
Iowa, where he remained about two years and then moved to 
Waterville, Minn., where he operates a drug store and practices 
medicine. 

Richard Randall practiced in Renville in the early days. He 
was educated in the college at Keokuk, Iowa, and came to Ren- 
ville from Le Sueur county, this state. He afterwards returned to 
Le Sueur county and died there. 

Sacred Heart. 0. K. Bergan received a certificate from the 
Medical Examining Board Oct. 9, 1891, and offered it for record 
Nov. 4, 1891. 

F. L. Hammerstrand was born on a farm in the vicinity of 
East Lunn, III., Oct. 11, 1881. He received his early education in 
the grammar school in the country and then worked on his fath- 
er's farm until fourteen years of age. Next he attended the Au- 
gustana College, at Rock Island, 111., taking up a business course 
and for the next three years was bookkeeper with the Northern 
Milling Company of Chicago, 111. In 1903 he again entered the 
collegiate department of Augustana College with the intention of 
preparing for the medical course. In 1905 he entered the College 
of Physicians and Surgeons, Medical Department of the University 
of Illinois, from which he was graduated in 1909. He then served 
as interne for two years at the Michael Reese Hospital, Chicago, 
111. In the fall of 1911 he located at Sacred Heart, where he has 
since practiced medicine. 

E. 0. Lvders was an early physician of Sacred Heart, practic- 
ing there in the early eighties. 

John B. Setnan received a certificate from the Medical Exam- 
ining Board, June 9, 1896, and offered it for record Dec. 23, 1897. 

Otis O. Benson received a certificate from the Medical Exam- 
ining Board April 11, 1902, and offered it for record August 4, 
1906. Dr. Benson is now in Tower, Minn., engaged in the govern- 
ment service. He practiced at Hector before going to Sacred 
Heart. 

Olaf E. Krogstadt received a certificate from the Medical 
Examining Board, April 8, 1892, and offered it for record March 
15, 1901. 

Carl Henry Laws received a certificate from the Medical Ex- 
amining Board July 5, 1911, and offered it for record August 
14, 1911. 

F. F. Laws graduated from the Chicago Medical College, Illi- 
nois, in 1874, received a certificate from the Medical Examining 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 741 

Board July 16, 1886, and presented his certificate for record Aug. 
14, 1911. 

Jerome H. Titus received a certificate from the Medical Exam- 
ining Board, Jan. 24, 1901, and offered it for record, Nov. 25, 
1901. 

William H. Welch graduated from the Medical Department, 
University of Vermont in 1880, received a certificate from the 
Medical Examining Board Dec. 31, 1883, and presented his certifi- 
cate for record -Ian. 2, 1889. 

Erick Linger practiced in Sacred Heart for a while. 
Fred Foss is another physician who has practiced in Sacred 
Heart. 

Miscellaneous. .John Edmund Doran received a certificate 
from the Medical Examining Board June 16, 1898, and offered it 
for record duly 10, 1902. 

Lauritz Fop graduated from the Eclectric Bennett Medical 
College, Illinois, in 1872, received a certificate from the Medical 
Examining Board Dee. 28. 1883, and presented his certificate for 
record Jan. 10, 1884. 

William Davidson Rea received a certificate from the Med- 
ical Examining Board June 16, 1898, and offered it for record 
Sept. 19, 1907. 

Howard S. Clark received a certificate from the Medical Ex- 
amining Board June 10, 1897. 

The Camp Release District Medical Society comprises the fol- 
lowing counties: Renville, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, Yellow 
Medicine, and Sibley. Regular meetings are held every third 
Thursday in January, April, July and October. The president 
is Dr. E. M. Clay, of Renville. Minn.; the secretary is Dr. H. Kern 
of Granite Falls. The members are: R. C. Adams, Bird Island; 
F. H. Aldrich, Belview; R. S. Bacon, Montevideo; W. M. Beck, 
Clarkfield ; L. N. Bergh, Montevideo ; F. W. Burns, Montevideo , 
M. A. Burns, Milan; M. E. Bushey, Arlington; H. B. Cole. Frank- 
lin; F. J. Cressy, Granite Falls; J. A. Duclos, Henderson; H. 
Duncan, Marietta ; James B. Ferguson, St. Paul : Thos. E. Minn, 
Redwood Falls; Ward Z. Flower, Gibbon: H. W. Gammell. Mad- 
ison; E. O. Giere, Watertown, S. D. ; F. L. Hammerstrand. Sacred 
Heart ; M. M. Hauge, Clarkfield : J. W. Helland, Maynard ; L. J. 
Holmberg. Canby ; A. E. Johnson, Watertown, S. D. ; Carl M. 
Johnson. Montevideo; H. M. Johnson, Dawson; D. N. Jones. Min- 
neapolis; C. W. Kanne. Arlington; J. S. Kilbride, Watertown. 
S. D. ; F. Koren, Watertown, S. D. ; L. Lima, Montevideo : M. H. 
Marken, Boyd; G. H. Mesker, Olivia; N. A. Nelson, Dawson, A. A. 
Passer, Olivia ; G. R. Pease, Redwood Falls ; F. W. Penhall, Mor- 
ton ; T. Peterson, Gaylord ; F. L. Puffer, Bird Island ; J. P. Schnei- 
der, Minneapolis; A. A. Stemsrud, Dawson; G. E. Strout, Win- 
throp; G. H. Walker, Fairfax; R. D. Zimbeek, Montevideo. 



742 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

The Tubercular Sanatorium. September 10, 1913, a request 
was made by the Minnesota State Sanatorium Board to have the 
county of Renville in connection with adjoining counties build 
a sanatorium for tubercular patients. After considering the prop- 
osition some time it was decided to employ a traveling nurse in 
the county for six months. The board directed the county auditor 
to transfer $8,905.35 from the county revenue fund to the joint 
sanatorium fund and to forward the amount of $8,905.35 to the 
stale treasurer to the credit of the state of said sanatorium fund. 
Oct. 14. 1913, Dr. Robertson Bosworth of the Minnesota Advisory 
Sanatorium Commission appeared before the county hoards of 
Renville and Redwood and presented the matter of erecting a 
tuberculosis sanatorium jointly by the two counties. Besides the 
board members the following were also present: Dr. E. M. Clay, 
Dr. F. W. Penhall, Dr. H. B. Cole, Dr. H. L. D'Arms and other 
individuals. The Renville county board decided to appropriate 
the sum of $5,000 for a tuberculosis sanatorium provided that 
Chippewa and Yellow Medicine counties would also join with 
them with a similar appropriation for a joint sanatorium of at 
least three counties 

The results may be seen in the following article from the 
Granite Falls "Tribune." "A year from now there will be 
located a mile east of this city a tuberculosis sanatorium that will 
rank second to not one in the state; a place where the counties 
of Lac qui Parle, Chippewa and Yellow Medicine may have their 
people who are afflicted with this dread disease treated in a man- 
ner that will effect, if possible, a cure. 

"On Tuesday, Aug. 24, 1915, the bids were let for the con- 
struction and finish of the buildings that will comprise this sani- 
tarium. In letting the bids the Board of Control acted largely 
upon the advice of the committee composed of D. A. McLarty 
and Ole Flaten, of this city, and Dr. Smith, of Montevideo, who 
have had the preparatory work in charge. The lowest bidder 
for the general construction work was the firm of C. Ash & Son, 
of St. Paul, the bid being $37,500. The highest bid was $52,000. 
The plumbing contract was awarded to the Worthingham Com- 
pany, of Minneapolis, for the sum of $3,7S1. The heating con- 
tract was awarded to the Healy Company, of St. Paul, the con- 
sideration being $8,399. The electric wiring and fixtures will in 
all probability be let to the Twin City Electrical Company, for 
$1,380, that bid being the lowest. The General Concrete Con- 
struction Company will build the mammoth chimney for the 
power house, for which it will receive $895. 

"There will be three buildings upon the grounds, for besides 
the main building and power house, the former Jannusch house 
will be rebuilt for the use of the nurses. 

"The main bidding will be two stories in height with a full 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 743 

basement, built of pressed brick. The building will have a capac- 
ity of 44 beds, besides the necessary room for the medical staff. 

"It is thought that this sanatorium will be able to take .arc 
of the tuberculars of the four counties. Admission to the sani- 
tarium will be gained through the Commissioners of the appli- 
cant's county. As we understand it, if the patient is able to 
pay, a moderate charge will be asked ; if not able to pay, the state 
and county will bear the expense, the state's limit being $6 a 
week for each patient." 

The care and governorship of the building will rest with the 
general committee of nine appointed from the four counties. Sit- 
uated as this sanitarium is on the bank of the Minnesota river the 
place can be made very beautiful and attractive, and in being 
such can aid those who seek health through it. 

The River Side Sanatorium will be completed early in 1916 at 
a cost of some .+65,000. It is located in Chippewa county across the 
river from Granite Palls. The president of the board is 1). A. 
McLarty of Granite Falls, and the secretary is 0. P. Platen of the 
same place. The board is constituted as follows: Chippewa 
county, 0. P. Platen, Granite Falls; Dr. L. G. Smith, Montevideo; 
Fred Bakke, Granite Palls; Yellow Medicine, D. A. McLarty, 
Granite Falls; Dr. W. M. Stratton, Granite Falls: Lac qui Parle 
county. Dr. M. II. Marken, Boyd: J. R. Swan, Madison; Renville 
county, Timothy O'Connor, Renville; Darwin S. Hall, Olivia. Dr. 
Stratton is dead and his place has been filled by K. E. Neste, of 
Granite Falls. Mrs. Sara W. Dunton has been appointed super- 
intendent. 



CHAPTER XXXI. 
RURAL SCHOOLS. 

Indian Instruction — The Minnesota System — Pioneer Education 
in Renville County — First Districts — Growth of System in 
County — The Present Schools — Some Model School Districts 
— Prepared with the Assistance of Amalia M. Bengtson. 

The instruction of the young is one of the elementary factors 
of human existence. The child of the lowest savage is shown 
how to get its food. The child of the highest type of civilization 
is taught to develop its mind, its soul and its body to the highest 
ideal possible. Every nation has its system of public schools; 
every nation has its institutions of higher learning. The people 
of Minnesota, from the earliest days, have devoted much care 
and attention to the question of education and, as the years have 
passed, have evolved, by much sacrifice and through toil and 



744 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

devotion, a most admirable system. In working out an amplifica- 
tion of this system, Renville county has taken an important part. 

Indian Instruction. The Indians who ranged Renville county 
before the coming of the whites had no schools, but thorugh and 
extensive training was given the young Indians in everything 
that they were likely to find useful in daily life. Instruction in 
the religion of the tribe was also given, and a few favored ones 
were initiated into psychic mysteries such as are little understood 
even by advanced philosophers of the present day. 

The Indians held the wisdom of the aged in high esteem and 
paid respectful attention whenever an elder could be induced 
to speak of the traditions and knowledge of the past. 'Much ef- 
fort was given to educating the youth in the hunter's craft, and 
both boys and girls had much to learn to fit them for their sta- 
tion in life. 

No one could be long among the Indians of Minnesota in the 
early days without hearing the elders giving to the children such 
instructions as would qualify them to take care of themselves. 
Whatever they did or made, it was the aim of the Indian to do 
everything well and in a workman-like manner, if nothing more 
than the making of a moccasin or a paddle for a canoe. They 
did not like to be thought bunglers, or to see their children, either 
boys or girls, do anything awkwardly. 

There were many things to be learned about the habits of 
wild animals and birds, the best manner of approaching them, 
handling weapons of the chase so as to avoid accidents, setting 
traps, skinning animals and birds, cutting up meat, running, 
Leaping, swimming, climbing, and the like. The making of bows 
and arrows, and their skillful use, was no easy task to learn. The 
following of a trail, a noiseless walk, and skillful methods of war- 
fare were all in the curriculum. The building of a smokeless fire, 
the creating of a smudge of the signal fire, correct personal 
adornment in accordance with custom, the curing of skins, and 
the art of oratory must be mastered by the youth. As a child 
he must be docile, good-natured, obedient, brave, and respectful ; 
indifferent to his own pain. As he grew older he must be coura- 
geous, sagacious and shrewd, a master hunter and a relentless 
fighter. He must be able to care for himself in the trackless 
woods away from his kind, or when matching his wits against a 
cunning enemy or a wily animal. He must face all dangers, even 
death, without flinching. 

The control of the voice must be mastered. There were tradi- 
tional songs to be learned ami hereditary dances in which to 
acquire skill. They took much pains to learn to imitate the voices 
of birds and beasts, and this was a necessary part of the education 
of both the hunter and the warrior. When near an enemy they 
could communicate with each other bA' mimicking the voices of 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 745 

the birds, without giving alarm, and they sometimes imposed 
upon the beasts which they were hunting by counterfeiting the 
voice of the mother or her young. In fact, they had discovered 
a great many ways of accomplishing their purposes of which none 
but a race of practical hunters would ever have thought. 

The girls had much to learn. They had to rook, string beads 
and embroider; they had to build tepees and look after the wants 
of the braves. They must at times even defend themselves from 
the enemy. They must gather wild fruits and vegetables,, and 
know the wild herbs. They must know something of the rudi- 
ments of medicine. 

The Indians took special pains to teach their children how to 
guard against being frozen, and the young people profited well 
by these instructions, as it was a rare thing for an Indian child to 
be seriously injured by the frost. Both sexes must also learn the 
rudiments of counting, and many were taught to draw crude 
pictures. The knowledge of the difference between the edible 
and the poisonous nuts, fruits, berries, stalks, grains and roots 
must be carefully accpiired. 

Thus while the Indian children were not, until the days of the 
missionaries and the reservations, confined to the school room, 
there were plenty of hard lessons to occupy their youthful years. 

The Minnesota Educational System. In the story of American 
civilization the establishment of the school and the church has 
been coincident with the building of the home. However, at the 
formation of the Union, and later, when the federal govei'nment 
was established, there was no definite line of action as to public 
education, although at the same time that the Constitution was 
adopted the last session of the continental congress was being 
held in the city of New York, and the ordinance of 1787 was 
passed, regulating the affairs pertaining to the Northwest terri- 
tory, including that portion of Minnesota lying east of the Missis- 
sippi river. In this ordinance much attention was given to the 
question of providing a means of public education by giving one 
section in each congressional township for educational purposes. 
Later, when the purchase of Louisiana had been effected, and 
after the due course of years, Minnesota sought admission to the 
Union, still further provision was made for education by giving 
two sections in each congressional township for school purposes. 
This gave impetus to the natural tendency toward educational 
matters, and in all the settlements one of the first efforts was to 
prepare to instruct the children. The church and the school 
building, when not one and the same, were practically always 
found side by side. Tile hardy pioneers of the great Northwest, 
of which Minnesota was a part, did not even wait for a terri- 
torial government, but set to work at once to establish schools. 
The first school in Minnesota for the education of white children 



746 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

was organized by Dr. T. S. Williamson on the present site of 
St. Paul. At that time investigation demonstrated that there 
were about thirty-six children in the settlement of St. Paul who 
might attend a school. A log house, ten by twelve feet, covered 
with bark and chinked by mud, previously used as a blacksmith 
shop, was secured and converted into a schoolhouse, the school 
being taught by Harriet E. Bishop. Here, then, while the United 
States troops were gaining such signal success in the war with 
Mexico, there was begun the system of education which has be- 
come one of the best in this great nation. In this same little 
schoolhouse, in November, 1849, was held a meeting for the pur- 
pose of establishing a system of public education, based upon 
the congressional act of March, 1849, establishing Minnesota ter- 
ritory. Alexander Ramsey, of Pennsylvania, after being appointed 
territorial governor, proceeded at once to assume the duties of 
his office. In his first message to the first territorial legislature 
in the fall of 1849 he emphasized the need of wise measures 
looking to the establishment of a system of public education. 
He said: "The subject of education, which has ever been esteemed 
of first importance in all new American communities, deserves 
and, I doubt not, will receive your earliest and most devoted 
care. From the pressure of other and more immediate wants it 
is not to be expected that your school system should be very 
ample, yet it is desirable that whatever is done will be of a 
character that will readily adapt itself to the growth and increase 
of the country, and not in future years require a violent change 
of system." 

In response to this appeal for legislation in school matters, 
suitable action was taken. A study of the changes in the school 
system between that date and 1867 is interesting, but as no schools 
were established in what is now Renville county until 1867 a dis- 
cussion of these changes is beyond the scope of this work. 

Pioneer Education in Renville County. The first educational 
instruction among the whites in Renville county was given in the 
pioneer homes by the mothers, who. though they had come to a 
new country, did not desire their children to grow up in ignorance. 

The early comers never lost sight of the idea upon which the 
possibility of founding and supporting a popular government 
rests — the education of the children — and as fast as the children 
arrived in the county, or became of school age. the best possible 
provision at the command of the people was made for their 
schooling. 

An account of the various expedients resorted to that would 
meet the requirements of the circumstances would, while some- 
times laughable, reveal the struggling efforts of a determination 
to bestow knowledge upon the rising generation in spite of all 
difficulties. Schools were often kept in a log dwelling, where 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 747 

the school room would be partitioned off only by an imaginary 
line from the portion occupied by the family. Sometimes an 
open shed as an annex to a house would serve the purpose in 
the summer. In other places a brush "lean-to" would separate 
the pupils from the elements. Deserted shacks were also often 
used for schoolhouses. 

The usual method was for the neighbors to get together and 
organize a district and select a lot for a building. Of course, 
each one would want it near, but not too near, and sometimes 
there was a little difficulty in establishing a location which would 
prove to be the best accommodation of the greatest number. And 
then to build a schoolhouse a "bee" was the easiest way, and so 
plans and estimates were improvised, and each one would pro- 
vide one, two, three or more logs so many feet long, so many 
shingles, so many slabs, so much plaster for chinking, so many 
rafters, a door, a window, or whatever might be needed tor the 
particular kind of schoolhouse to be built, and at the appointed 
hour the men would assemble with the material, bringing their 
dinner pails, and by night, if there had not been too much hilarity 
during the day. the building would be covered and practically 
completed. The benches would be benches indeed, often without 
backs, and sitting on one of them was about as comfortable as 
sitting in the stocks, that now unfashionable mode of punishment. 

Some of the first schoolhouses in Renville county were erected 
and furnished by voluntary subscription and without waiting for 
the organization and tax levy. Often the teacher took turns liv- 
ing with the parents in the district, usually sleeping with the 
children. Many men and women since prominent in the affairs 
of the state were trained in some of these early Renville county 
schools. 

When the school land began to be sold, a school fund was 
created. The act which authorized the creation of Minnesota as 
a state provided that every section numbered 16 and 36 should 
be set aside as school land. In case these sections or any part of 
them had been sold, lands equivalent thereto and as contiguous 
as possible were to be granted as a substitute. The proceeds from 
the sale of the land was to constitute a permanent fund and only 
the animal interest was to be used. 

First Districts. On April 2, 1867, the county commissioners 
created eight school districts. The first six were as follows: 

1. Sections 1, 12 and fractional part of section 13 in township 
112, range 34; and sections 5, 6, 7. 8, 17. 18 and fractional parts 
of sections 19 and 20 in township 112, range 33, Camp and Birch 
Cooley. 

2. Sections 33, 34 and 35 in township 113, range 34; and sec- 
tions 2, 3, 4 and fractional parts of 5, 9, 10 and 11 in township 
112, range 34, Birch Cooley. 



748 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

3. Sections 19, 20, 21, 28, 29, 30, 32 and fractional part of sec- 
tion 31 in township 113, range 34, Birch Cooler. 

4. Sections 1. 2, 3, east half of 4, east half of 9, section 10, 
11. 12. north half of 13, northeast quarter of 14, north half of 
northwest quarter of 14, in township 113, range 35, and the west 
hall' of sections (i and 7 and the northwest quarter section 18, in 
township 113, range 34: and the southeast quarter section 33 and 
the south half of section 34, 35 and 36 in township 114, range 
35, Beaver Palls and Henryville. 

5. Sections 15, 16, 21, 22 and fractional parts of section 27 
and 28 and the southwest quarter and south half of the north- 
west quarter of section 14 in township 113, range : !.~>, Heaver 
Falls. 

(i. Half of section 13 and the southeast quarter of section 14 
and sections 23, 24. 25, 26 and fractional parts of sections 35 
and 36 in township 113, range 35, Beaver Falls. 

Growth of System in Renville County. When the Chancellor 
of the University of Minnesota as State Superintendent of Public 
Instruction, ex-offieio, made the first annual state educational re- 
port, Jan. 14, 1861, Renville county was not one of the thirteen 
counties which had up to that time rendered to him the report re- 
quired by law. 

The second annual report of the state superintendent, Dec. 6, 
1861, contains the following note from Renville county: "Yellow 
Medicine District. S. A. Riggs, superintendent, reports one 
teacher licensed; one school; one frame house shaded by trees, 
and furnished with blackboard. School properly classified, and 
opened with prayer and reading of the Scriptures. The superin- 
tendent further remarks: "There is also one missiou school and 
some government schools. The schools have before been all 
government and mission schools: but having to pay taxes, we 
thought proper to organize under the law." The same report 
further showed that twenty persons attended public schools in 
1859-60. This was outside the present county, Renville county 
then embracing a strip twenty miles wide, ten miles ou each side 
of the Minnesota, extending westward from the Little Rock river. 

Mrs. J. S. Greeley, at that time the only registered teacher in 
Renville county, taught in Beaver Falls in the fall of 1868, her 
salary being raised by voluntary subscription. The first county 
superintendent. M. S. Spicer, of Beaver Falls, drew the munificent 
salary of .$12, for the first year, and, as he expressed it himself, 
he wouldn't have taken anything for his services but for the fact 
that he needed the money. No report has been left of his first 
year's work, but it is presumable that he visited the one school 
over which he had supervision frequently, and it is safe to say 
that he is the only county superintendent who was never accused 
of showing partiality among the teachers. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 749 

No class of Renville county's citizens did more for the uplift 
of society or for the moral welfare of the public than did the 
teachers of early clays. Under their capable care and keeping 
were placed an army of untutored young savages whose inclina- 
tion to mischief knew no bounds. It was no small part of the 
teacher's work to instill into the hearts of these youngsters the 
sense of respectability and a desire for knowledge. But these 
good, faithful, devoted women proved equal to the great task, 
and many of the foremost men in the country today gratefully 
attribute their success in life, in part at least, to the good in- 
fluence and counsel of these noble women. 

Mr. Spicer as county superintendent made the following re- 
port to the state superintendent for the year ending Sept. 2, 1869 : 

"There has not been the progress in school matters that had 
been hoped for, by those having the cause of education at heart. 
We have some first-class teachers in the county, who are willing 
to teach for such compensation as they could reasonably demand 
at other occupations, but parents and school officers are so much 
taken up with the extra toils of frontier life that they pass lightly 
over the duties they owe the cause of education, neglecting the 
building of schoolhouses and the employment of suitable persons 
as teachers. A large portion of the district officers are quite 
unlit to hold such offices, some on account of habitual neglect of 
the duties of the office, others on account of ignorance. I do not 
think over two-thirds of the children in the county have been 
reported. Several of the districts have material on hand for the 
purpose of building, but have not reported the same. One dis- 
trict employed a qualified teacher for three months, but as her 
wages was paid by personal contributions as each felt inclined, 
the school was not reported. The school where the teacher was 
employed at $8 per month was in connection with a select school." 

This report showed that in 1868 there were 340 scholars, and 
in 1869 this had increased to 610. Two new schoolhouses were 
built during the year. 

Win. Bmerick, county superintendent, made the following 
report of the condition of the public schools, for the year ending 
Sept. 30. 1870. "By comparison with last year's report a marked 
improvement may be observed in many particulars. The clerks 
of the several districts have been very prompt in sending their 
reports. The increase of the number of scholars over last year 
is 583; there being now 1,193 in the county reported. The in- 
crease of attendance over that of last year has been 246. The 
financial statements of the district clerks are anything but cor- 
rect. A few reports, however, are prepared with care, and with 
a view to meet the requirements of law. To secure their pro- 
portion of the public money seems to be the whole aim of some 
of these school officers. Twelve new schoolhouses have been built 



750 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

the present year, showing an interest in the right direction. 
School District No. 29, at Cedar Mills, has built a very handsome 
frame building the present summer at a cost of $500. 

The whole number of school terms this year is twenty-two, 
showing an increase of twelve over that of last year. These 
schools were taught by one male and twenty-four female teachers. 
Increase for the year, twelve teachers. Instead of thirty-four dis- 
tricts as my report shows, there are really but thirty-one. three 
of them have never been in running order, and have never drawn 
any public money. While my report shows five (5) districts as 
not reporting, there are really only two. Nine new districts 
have been organized the past year. 

Since 1 entered upon the duties of my office (seven months) I 
have granted seventeen certificates to teachers, of which two are 
first grade, two second grade, and thirteen third grade. 

We have had some good schools in the county during the sum- 
mer term, especially when we take into consideration the dis- 
advantages under which teachers and scholars have labored. 
Some schools have been taught in board shanties destitute of fur- 
niture, while others have been taught in private houses, and in 
the same room where the family lives. But two blackboards are 
used in the public schools of the county. We hope to see an im- 
provement in this line the coming season. I have made a flying 
visit to most of the schools during the summer. Some schools 
were not in session when I was around. Border counties will 
not receive the attention from the county superintendents that 
they should unless the salaries are fixed by the Legislature." 

In 1870 there were :i4 districts in the county; number of dis- 
tricts reporting, 29; number of districts not reporting. 5. There 
were 7 frame and 6 log schoolhouses. their total value amounting 
to $2,130. There were 642 male and 551 female scholars between 
5 and 21 years of age in the county. During the winter term 
there were 21 male and 17 female scholars in attendance with an 
average of 26 in daily attendance, the average length of winter 
schools being three months. There were two female teachers 
during the winter months with an average wage of $22.50 per 
month. During the summer there were 250 male and 215 female 
scholars in attendance with an average daily attendance of 263, 
the average length of the summer schools being 3.15 months. 
There were 111 female and one male teacher employed during the 
summer with an average monthly wage of $16.00 for the male 
teacher and $19.50 for the female teachers. 

In his report of the county schools, Superintendent J. S. Geral, 
mentions the following: "My report shows a gratifying increase 
in the number of schools, in the number of scholars enrolled, and 
in the average length of schools. The financial condition of the 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 751 

majority of districts is greatly improved. Seventeen new dis- 
tricts have been organized within the year, and ten have been 
reported entitled to the fall apportionment of 1880. Twenty-sis 
new school houses have been erected during the two last yeai-s; 
the most of them are good, substantial frame buildings and well 
furnished. The condition of the schools has, during the past year, 
been better than in preceding years, although in many districts 
the summer term has been taught by young, inexperienced teach- 
ers, and in consequence the methods used have not always been 
the best. Irregular attendance impedes greatly the progress of 
our schools. The state text-books are used in all districts and 
seem to give fair satisfaction. The books should not, however, be 
sold by district clerks. In nearly all districts books are sold on 
credit, and some clerks have not yet settled for books received 
more than two years ago. Only twenty-five districts ordered 
books last spring and the books were received so late that they 
were of no use for the summer term. 

The state institute held at Bird Island last fall was highly 
appreciated by the teachers in attendance, and the many prac- 
tical suggestions made by the instructors were well received. I 
have tried to raise the standard of teachers as much as possible, 
and have rejected during the past year nearly twice as many 
applicants as during any previous year." 

The report of tin' superintendent shows that there were 155 
scholars not entitled to apportionment and 2,518 who were en- 
titled to apportionment. During the winter term. 1,435 scholars 
were enrolled : during the summer. 1.906, with an average daily 
attendance of 690 during the winter and 87-1 during the summer. 
There were S7 common school districts, having 49 frame school- 
houses and 9 log buildings, with a total valuation of $21, 997.93. 
The total number of mouths taught by all teachers during the 
winter term was 123 ; during the summer, 169, the average num- 
ber of months for the year taught by all teachers being 4. 

The biennial report of the state superintendent of public in- 
struction for the year 1890 shows that in Renville county there 
were 3,249 scholars entitled to apportionment and 1,556 not en- 
titled to apportionment. During the fall term there were 2,617 
scholars enrolled ; during the winter, 2.260, and during the spring, 
3,124, the average daily attendance for the year being 1,536. 
During the fall term, 16 male and 55 female teachers were em- 
ployed ; during the winter term, 19 male and 41 female teachers, 
and during the spring term, 12 male and 76 female teachers. In 
regard to the academic and professional training of the teachers 
the report states that 36 teachers have attended high school, 14 
have attended normal school, 5 have attended college and 92 have 
attended teachers' institutes. Of this number, 6 are graduates 
of a high school, and 6 have graduated from a normal school. 



752 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Pour teachers have have taught continuously in the district for 
two years, and 10 have taught there one year. There were 107 
common school districts and one special district, making a total 
of 108, having in all 107 frame schoolhouses, valued at $3,175, 
including 7 new school houses built during the year. 

The Present Schools. Renville county is one of the large 
counties of the state as regards its number of schools. There 
are eight high schools, two graded, two semi-graded and 129 one- 
room rural schools. It also makes for the first time in its his- 
tory, the boast of a consolidated school. 

The high schools are located at Fairfax, Franklin, Morton, 
Sacred Heart, Renville, Olivia, Bird Island and Hector. The 
graded schools are at Buffalo Lake and Danube; the semi-graded 
in District 49, township of Brookfield. and District 71, township 
of Martinburg, while the consolidated school is the Morton high 
school, to which have been joined in consolidation parts of Dis- 
tricts 2 and 3. This plan has just been put into operation and 
all interested parties are expecting much good to come from it. 
Two vans are conveying the children to Morton, which school has, 
during this summer and fall, made ready for this new increase 
in its enrollment by an addition to their building, some special 
rooms for their new agricultural department, the installation of 
a new fan ventilating system, as well as some increase in their 
regular equipment and their teaching force. 

District l."i. Sacred Heart, and Si'. Kingman, are unique in that 
each of these districts maintains two separate schools at opposite 
ends of the districts in order to better accommodate the children. 
This involves a double expenditure of money, since each school 
is a separate unit as to teacher, building, library and all necessary 
equipment. 

Renville county is beginning to realize that the solution of the 
rural school problem lies in consolidation. Several of its districts 
are now seriously considering such a project for the near future, 
since their present buildings have been condemned for school use. 
The average school building in the county is far from what it 
ought to lie. although a number of new buildings have been put up 
which meet the state requirements as to lighting, heating ami 
ventilating. 

Sixty-nine of the rural schools are of the so-called "A" class. 
meaning that they employ a teacher holding a state firsi-grade 
common school certificate or something better, are in session at 
least eight months yearly, and in other ways fulfill the require- 
ments of the State Department of Education. In all, one hundred 
five of the rural schools receive special state aid. One hundred 
nineteen of the county schools loan the text-books free to the 
pupils attending. About 80 per cent of the l-ural schools are 
equipped with combined heating and ventilating plants; most of 
the schools are supplied with bubbler-fountains for drinking pur- 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 753 

poses or with covered jars containing a faucet, in which ease the 
individual drinking cup is used; good wells are found on a num- 
ber of school grounds. 

The average length of term for next school year is nine months 
in the graded and high scchools, while in the rural schools it is 
7.8 months (seven and eight-tenths) distributed as follows : five 
districts 9 months, ninety 8 months, twenty-four 7 months, nine 
6 months, and, unfortunately, one district 5 months. 

For several years the question of associating rural schools with 
some nearby central high or graded school has been of interest in 
this county. Hector high school was the first to take up this 
work with the result that it now has eight associated districts and 

is maintaining, besides its regular corps of teachers, a sr ial 

teacher of sewing and cooking who devotes all her time to the 
teaching of these branches in the eight rural schools. In addition 
to this Hector has a commercial department housed in a new 
building just completed. The state is encouraging these commer- 
cial courses by allowing special state aid for one such course in 
each county and Hector drew the one for Renville county. 

Fairfax also has eight districts, more recently acquired: the 
fact that one of these is located in Nicollet county speaks for tin- 
energy of the Fairfax high school. Renville has five, Olivia foiir 
and Bird Island three associated districts. Each central school 
supervises the teaching of the industrial subjects in the districts 
associated with it; besides which the instructors of agriculture 
and domestic science and art do a great amount of extension work 
among the rural patrons in the form of lectures, demonstrations 
and general advice. The agriculture instructors spend the entire 
year in the school locality and stand ready to help the farmers 
survey, spray orchards, lay tile, and various other things. For 
purposes of this extension work various conveyances are provided 
by the central school, to carry the instructors into the rural com- 
munities. Here Fairfax has taken the lead in the purchase of a 
Ford runabout, and it is rumored that Bird Island also is soon 
to buy an automobile. Bird Island leads in another particular, 
namely, in owning a moving picture machine, by means of which 
good motion productions can be brought to the school patrons at 
short intervals during the school year. 

A number of the high schools are offering short winter courses 
in the academic subjects, in agriculture, blacksmithing, sewing, 
clinking, commercial, and other industrial subjects. These courses 
are especially designed to meet the needs of the country boy and 
girl who can attend only a short time during the winter months 
ami who could not. to any advantage, pursue regular high school 
work. 

The high schools have also been active in maintaining normal 
training departments, designed to prepare teachers for the rural 



7.">4 HISTORY OE RENVILLE COUNTY 

schools. These cadet teachers are not only given the pedagogical 
theory of teaching, but they do real practice teaching, under the 
supervision of their normal instructor and the regular grade teach- 
ers. They are also taken out to visit rural schools and occasion- 
ally are railed upon to do substitute teaching in such schools. 
This class of instruction is meant to meet a long-felt need, namely. 
The provide especially trained rural school teachers. Owing to 
the increased stringency in the state requirements there are only 
three high schools offering such a course this year, namely. Olivia, 
Renville and Hector, with a total of about forty-five students en- 
rolled for these three departments. 

All these activities point to the fact that the people of Ken 
ville county realize that in school matters they cannot rightly be 
separated into a rural and an urban population, hut that they 
must work together for the good of all, the villages contributing 
organization, superior equipment, a large and selected teaching 
force while tin- rural communities swell the enrollment, help share 
the financial burden, and in every way utilize the good things that 
the village stands ready to offer. It ought to be a concentrated 
effort on the part of all to make the schools of Renville county, 
whether in village or township, second to none in the state. 

Statistics. The following items are taken from the report for 
1914-1 r, : 

High and graded schools: Ten in number. 

Pupils: Number of pupils entitled to apportionment, 2-,135; 
number of pupils not entitled to apportionment, 26.~> : total enroll- 
ment. 2,400; average number of days each pupil has attended, 
150.95; number of pupils from 5 to 8 years of age, 367: number 
of pupils from 8 to 16 years of age, 1.622; number of pupils from 
l(i to 21 years of age, 405; total number of pupils from 5 to 21 
years of age, 2,394; number from S to Hi years of age attending 
school during the entire term, 1,549. 

Teachers: Number of men teachers in the year, 20; number of 
women teachers in the year, 83 ; average monthly wages of men 
teachers. $113.66; average monthly wages of women teachers, 
$71.08; number of teachers graduates of a high school, 88; num- 
ber of teachers graduates of normal school, 52 ; number of teachers 
graduates of a college (not a business college), 37; number of 
teachers, not graduates, who have attended a normal school, 5; 
number of teachers, not graduates, who have attended a college, 
5; number of teachers teaching continuously in one district for 
three years, 26 ; for two years, 31 ; for one year, 46. 

Text-Books. Number of districts loaning text-books free. 10; 
number of districts selling text-books at cost, 1 and 1 high school; 
average department cost per pupil of text-books in districts loan- 
ing, $1.03; average cost per pupil of text-books in districts sell- 
ing, $0.40. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 755 

Libraries and Arbor Day. Money expended by libraries, 
$845.14. Number of books taken from libraries, 8,418; number of 
districts planting trees on Arbor day, 21 ; number of trees planted, 
14. 

Aggregate indebtedness of all districts, $122,000; number of 
districts included, 9 ; average length of school in months, 9 ; aver- 
age length of school in months voted for the coming year, 9 ; aver- 
age number of voters present at annual school meeting, 47. 

Receipts: Cash on hand at the beginning of the year, $18,- 
736.79; received from apportionment, $12,552.25; received from 
special tax, $55,534.02; received from local one-mill tax, $3,731.38; 
received from special state aid, $26,312.50; received from bonds, 
and other sources, $16,809.46 ; total, $133,676.40. 

Disbursements: Paid for teachers' wages and board, $68,- 
662.21 ; paid for fuel and school supplies, $9,656.07 ; paid for re- 
pairs and improving grounds, $5,500.98 ; paid for new schoolhouses 
and sites, $12,650.87; paid for bonds and interest, $3,945.76; paid 
for library books, $845.14; paid for text-books, $3,092.07; paid 
for apparatus, $2,040.88; paid for transportation of pupils, 
$818.50; paid for all other purposes, $10,084.82; cash on hand at 
end of year, $16,379.10 ; total, $133,676.40. 

Semi-Graded and Rural Schools: Number, 131. 

Pupils: Number of pupils entitled to apportionment, 3,036; 
number of pupils not entitled to apportionment, 390 ; total en- 
rollment, 3,426; average number of days each pupil has attended, 
97.81 ; number of pupils from 5 to 8 years of age, 787 ; number of 
pupils from 8 to 16 years of age, 2,540; number of pupils from 5 
to 21 years of age, 3,422 ; number from 8 to 16 years of age attend- 
ing school during the entire term, 1,424. 

Teachers : Number of men teachers in the year, 7 ; number of 
women teachers in the year, 126 ; average monthly wages of men 
teachers, $55.57; average monthly wages of women teachers, 
$50.19 ; number of teachers graduates of a high school, 56 ; number 
of teachers graduates of a normal school, 5 ; number of teachers 
teaching continuously in one district for three years, 12 ; for two 
year, 27 ; for one year, 94 ; teachers, not graduates, attended high 
school, 44 ; teachers, not graduates, attended normal, 26 ; teachers, 
not graduates, attended college, 4; teachers, graduates of a high 
school training department, 65. 

Text-Books : Number of districts loaning text-books free, 109 ; 
number of districts selling text-books at cost, 20; average cost 
per pupil of text-books in districts loaning, $1.32 ; average cost 
per pupil of text-books in districts selling, $0.85. 

Libraries and Arbor Day : Money expended for books. $1,- 
519.02; number of books taken from the libraries. 12,023; number 
of districts planting trees on Arbor day, 29 ; number of trees 
planted, 298. 



756 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Aggregate indebtedness of all districts, $8,229.29 ; number of 
districts included, 18; average length of school in months, 7.7; 
average length of school in months voted for the coming year, 7.8 ; 
average number of voters present at annual school meeting, 9. 

Receipts : Cash on hand at the beginning of the year, $32,- 
680.97 ; received from apportionment, $17,934.25 ; received from 
special tax, $36,936.63; received from local one-mill tax. $11,- 
430.56; received from special state aid, $13,053.00; received from 
bonds and other sources, $1,682.54; total, $113,717.95. 

Disbursements: Paid for teachers' wages and board, $51,- 
189.71 ; paid for fuel and school supplies, $7,985.73 ; paid for re- 
pairs and improving grounds, $5,005.83 ; paid for new school- 
houses and sites, $657.55; paid for bonds and interest, $1,006.93; 
paid for library books. $1,519.02; paid for text -books, $1,438.92; 
paid for apparatus, $136.18 ; paid for transportation of pupils, 
$376.41; paid for all other purposes, $7,026.67; cash on hand at 
end of year, $37,375.00; total, $113,717.95. 

Total of all public schools in the county : 

Pupils: Number of pupils entitled to apportionment, 5,171; 
number of pupils not entitled to apportionment, 655; total enroll- 
ment, 5,826; average number of days each pupil has attended, 
124.38; number of pupils from 5 to 8 years of age, 1,154; number 
of pupils from 8 to 16 years of age, 4,162; number of pupils from 
16 to 21 years of age, 500; total number of pupils from 5 to 21 
years of age, 5,816; number from 8 to 16 years of age attending 
school during the entire term, 297.3. 

Teachers: Number of men teachers in the year, 27: number 
of women teachers in the year. 209; average monthly wages of 
men teachers, $98.60; average monthly wages of women teachers, 
$54.40 : number of teachers graduates of a high school. 144 ; num- 
ber of teachers graduates of a normal school, 57 ; number of teach- 
ers graduates of a college (not a business college), 37; number 
of teachers not graduates who have attended a high school, 54; 
number of teachers, not graduates, who have attended a normal 
school, 31 ; number of teachers, not graduates, who have attended 
a college, 9. Number of teachers teaching continuously in one 
district for three years, 38; for two years, 58; for one year, 140. 

Text-Books: Number of districts loaning text-books free, 119; 
number of districts selling text-books at cost, 22; average cost of 
text-books in districts loaning. $1.18; average cost of text-books 
in districts selling, $0.68. 

Libraries and Arbor Day: Number of books taken from the 
libraries, 20.441 ; number of districts planting trees on Arbor day, 
31 ; number of trees planted, 312. 

Aggregate indebtedness of all districts, $130,229.29; number 
of districts included, 22; average length of school in months, 7.8; 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 757 

average length of school in months voted for the coming year, 7.8 ; 
average number of voters present at annual school meeting, 12. 

Receipts : Cash on hand at the beginning of the year, $51,- 
417.76; received from apportionment, $30,486.50; received from 
special tax, $92,470.65; received from local one-mill tax. $15,- 
161.94; received from special state aid. $39,465.50 ; received from 
bonds and other sources. $18,532.00; total. $247,394.35. 

Disbursements: Paid for teachers' wages and board, $119,- 
851.92; paid for fuel and school supplies, $17,641.80; paid for re- 
pairs and improving grounds, $10,506.81 ; paid for new school- 
houses and sites, $13,308.42 ; paid for bonds and interest, $4,952.69 ; 
paid for library books, $2,364.16; paid for text-books, $4,530.99; 
paid for apparatus, $2,177.06; paid for transportation of pupils, 
$1,194.91; paid for all other purposes, $17,111.49; cash on hand 
at end of year, $53,754.10 : total, $247,394.35. 

SOME MODEL SCHOOL DISTRICTS. 

An effort has been made to gather the history of the various 
school districts of the county. Below will be found a few typical 
districts. 

District No. 1. The present schoolhouse is a building 20 by 30 
feet with a small addition on the south for an entry and cloak 
room. It has six windows, three on each of two sides. The 
first school was held in John Kleisner's claim shanty which was 
near Franklin. The first teacher was Clements Tretbar. Among 
the first pupils were Anne Anderson (Mrs. I. Thompson) ; Julia 
Anderson (Mrs. E. S. Johnson), Andrew Anderson, A. J. Ander- 
son, Loiiisa Haack (Mrs. J. B. Johnson), Otto Haaek, Amelia 
Haack (Mrs. A. J. Anderson), Mary Johnson (Mrs. Bloom), John 
Johnson, Peter Peterson, Jacob Peterson. The first school board 
were : Halleek Peterson, John Anderson and Henry Graff. The 
next school was held in -the valley. A log schoolhouse was built 
later a little southwest of the present site and the old state road 
passed it on the north. School was held during the winter and 
when the log building was too cold they met at the home of Mrs. 
Haack. 

District No. 4. The schoolhouse is located in the northwest 
quarter of section 10 and has a bell tower and heating plant. The 
school yard is fenced and contains a few trees. It also has a barn 
and fuel shed. The present building was erected in 1901. The 
first school was opened in 1868 in the west quarter of section 
2 with Irena Swift, now Mrs. Marsh of Redwood Falls, as teacher. 
Henry Ahrens and L. E. Morse were members of the first board. 
Some of the early teachers were Maggie Garritty, Nathaniel Swift, 
Lizzie Garritty, Maggie Powers, L. D. Barnard, Win. Kelly and 
Kate Rourke. During the term of 1915 there were 32 children 



758 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

enrolled. It was a first-grade school this last year, having been 
a third grade in other years. It has a library of 155 books. The 
present school board are Chas. Ahrens, director ; Wm. Zumwinkle, 
treasurer, and Adolph Breitkreutz, clerk. 

District No. 10. The present schoolhonse is located in the 
southeast corner of section 10, township 112, range 33. It is a 
building 22 by 32 feet with a bell tower and bell and was built 
in the summer of 1905 to replace the one which had burned. The 
school district was organized March 28, 1870, the meeting being 
held in the house of Andrew Nelson, who was chosen moderator 
of the meeting. The following were elected as officers: Hans 
Pederson, director; John Zahn, clerk, and Henry Knot', treasurer. 
It was voted that a tax be levied for school purposes during the 
coming year as follows: teacher's wages, $20.00; for building 
sehoolhouse, $25.00. The sehoolhouse was erected in the spring 
of 1870. made of logs. 16 by IS feet and 8 feet high, and school 
was opened June 13, 1870, for a term of three months witli Sara 
Galahara as teacher. She was to receive $16.00 per month. Other 
early teachers have been as follows: 1871, Sara Galahara, at 
$16.00 per month ; 1872, Eva Griffen, at $20.00 per month ; 1873, 
Eva Griffen, $22.00 per month; 1874, Eva Griffen. $25.00 per 
month ; 1875, Marito Sands ; 1876-78, Clara Phelps ; 1879, Edward 
K. Pillet; 1880, Mary E. Abbott. In 1881 the old sehoolhouse 
was sold and a new house built on the same place; in 1902 the 
sehoolhouse was rebuilt and made larger. In 1905 the school- 
house burned and the district suffered a loss of $1,400.00. The 
present sehoolhouse was built in 1905. The present directors are 
as follows : Director, Andrew E. Larson ; treasurer, John O. Hage- 
stad, and clerk, J. H. Elstad, who had been clerk for the last 
thirty years. 

District No. 19. The sehoolhouse is located on the southwest 
coiner of the northwest quarter of section 9, and is a frame 
building with a furnace and bell tower. It was erected in 1900. 
The first school was opened in this district in 1872 with Kate Mc- 
Laughlin as teacher. Jim Carr was one of the first officers. The 
first building was on section 16 in the northwest corner of the 
northwest quarter. A building was erected on the present site 
about 1882. 

District No. 30. The sehoolhouse is located on the southeast 
corner of section 12 and is equipped with a Waterbury furnace. 
The present frame building was erected in 1888 and is on the same 
site as the old building. The first school was opened in 1873 with 
Aila L. Phelps as teacher. The first school board were Thomas 
Horan, clerk; John Gammon and James Maxwell. The building 
was made of logs and built by Wm. Carson. Some of the early 
teachers were A. L. Phelps, A. F. Chase and Johanna A. Brice. 
In 1912 the district put in all the necessary requirements for a 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 759 

Class A rural school and received state aid for same. The present 
teacher is Myrtle M. Sell. 

District No. 36. The schoolhouse is pleasantly situated on the 
northwest corner of section 16 in Norfolk township. The present 
building was erected in 1885 and is equipped with a heating plant. 
Before the present schoolhouse was built a few terms of school 
were held in Mr. Frank Ederer's dwelling house, Mary O'Neill 
being the teacher. The first board were: Frank Ederer, Mike 
Maloney and Jas. McNealey. The first teacher was Kate Kirwau. 
Some of the early teachers were Alice Kirwan, Lizzie McHean, 
Sarah Heaney and Mamie Carr. The present school board are 
Frank Weyer, director; Joseph Ziller, clerk, and D. G. Avery, 
treasurer; the latter having been clerk for the past twenty years. 
The present teacher is Johanna E. Moran. 

District No. 39. The schoolhouse is located on section 12 on 
the west line near the center of the section of Cairo township and 
has one-half acre of land. It was erected in 1882 and the district 
was organized several years before this. However this building 
was the first one erected. School was opened March, 1882. the 
first teacher being Anne Clark. The first officers were: - 
Thane, clerk ; Charles Dieter, treasurer, and James Drake, direc- 
tor. The early teachers include the following: Mrs. Jane Hanna 
Maxwell, Zoella Bird, Elizabeth O'Hara. The present teacher is 
Winnie Nelson. The present officers are Otto Dahlgren, clerk; 
Alfred Dickmeyer, treasurer, and Theodore Reinke, director. 

District No. 41. Hawk Creek is one of the old school districts 
of the county. The first meeting was held at the home of Haaken 
0. Agre, Oct. 7, 1871, and it was voted to have school three months 
commencing .May 16, 1872. The following officers were elected: 
Director, Ole Hendrikson; clerk, Haaken 0. Agre: treasurer, Ole 
0. Fugleskjel. 

District No. 47. District No. 47 is located in section 26, south- 
west quarter, township 114, range 34. The first schoolhouse was 
eight rods west of the present building and was a small wooden 
building erected in the year, 1873. The first teacher was Cath- 
erine McLaughlin. Other early teachers included Margaret A. 
McCoffrey. The present schoolhouse was built in the year 1877. 
James Brown, Sr., hauled the lumber for the present building. 
It is a wooden building of medium size with three windows on the 
east and west sides. The building faces the south. It has no 
bell tower but has a heating plant. The first school officers were 
Mac McLaughlin, Patrick Williams and Paul Revier, Sr. 

District No. 54. The school is located on section 10 in Well- 
ington township and is a frame building 20 by 30 feet with a 
lean-to on the north for the cloak rooms and entrance. The 
lighting of the school is from the south and east sides. A large 
bell tower is built up above the entrance. The grounds contain 



760 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

■one acre of land, the building being near the north, and eontain a 
few trees. The present schoolhouse was built about ten years 
ago and is built about fifteen rods north of the site of the old 
one. The first school opened in the district in 1881 with Lucy 
Mackenzie as teacher. The first directors were Julius Kiecker, 
William Schoenfelden and Carl Hillmann. Other early teachers 
were Paulina Greene and Agnes Trainer. The school is a one- 
room building facing east and is said to be the largest rural 
schoolhouse in the county. The present teacher is Anna 
Echerman. 

District No. 56. The schoolhouse is on the southeast side of 
Wellington and was erected in 1S82 by William Carson across the 
road from the old site. The first directors were William Borth, 
Charles Bleidk and William ("arson. The first teachers were Ella 
McKenzie, Saul Demming and -I. K. Demming. The school will 
receive state aid for the first time this year, it now being a first- 
grade school. 

District No. 66. The schoolhouse is located on the southwest 
corner of the northwest quarter of section 25, range 33. It has 
a bell tower and a. verj large school ground witli many boxelder 
trees. The schoolhouse was built in the 1895. School opened in 
the fall of 1895 with Henrietta Lunde, now Mrs. Holt of Crooks- 
ton, Minn., as teacher. The first directors were: John Nestande, 
director; Ole Anderson, clerk, and John Mundahl, treasurer. Some 
of the early teachers were Ole Mundahl, Torval Pederson, Lillian 
Faust and Ole Kjeldergaord. 

District No. 84. The school building is located on the south- 
east corner of section 3, township 114, Norfolk, on the state road 
about five miles south of Bird Island. The school building is 
equipped with a heating plant and has a well on the grounds. 
The present building was erected about 1880 and prior to that a 
school was held in one room of Anthony Tiller's home. The first 
building stood in the middle of the section but later was moved 
to the present location on account of the numerous storms. Once 
a teacher and several of the pupils were kept prisoners in the 
school house for three days while a terrible blizzard was raging. 
Among the early teachers were Matilda Meguyre and Mary Smith. 

District No. 124. The schoolhouse is located on the southeast 
quarter of section 28 and is a frame building. It was erected in 
the spring of 1895. The first director was Tollof Pederson and 
the first teacher was Henrietta Lunde who taught four months. 
Other early teachers were Blanche Ericson and Anna Volen. The 
present clerk is Christ Sather, 

District No. 135. The schoolhouse is located on the northeast 
corner of the southeast quarter of section 12, Beaver Falls town- 
ship. The grounds slope to the south with no improvements be- 
yond schoolhouse and outbuildings. The building was erected in 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 761 

1901 when the district was organized and school was opened in 
1901 with Kate 'Toole as teacher. The first school board were 
Louis Zinnie, clerk ; G. A. Robertson, treasurer, and Julius Schef- 
fler, director. Some of the early teachers were Kate Ryan, Annie 
Keaveny, Julia Reineke and Kate 'Toole. There were twenty- 
five pupils when school opened, now there are thirteen. Agnes 
Peterson is the present teacher. 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

SWINE INDUSTRY IN RENVILLE COUNTY. 

Pioneer Breeders and Their Experiences — The Four Great Out- 
breaks of Cholera in Renville County — Swine Breeders' Asso- 
ciation Organized at Bird Island to Fill a Vital Need — Scar- 
city of Serum — Government Cooperation Secured — Swine 
Census — Government Veterinarians Arrive and Begin Work — 
Their Success— Results and Advice — Prepared by Ralph 
Loomis with the Cooperation of H. W. Leindecker and the 
Renville County Swine Breeders' Association. 

The development of the swine industry in Renville county 
has been largely dependent upon two factors : markets and amount 
of corn grown. Prices were uncertain in the early days. While 
generally low, they sometimes became quite high. The building 
of the Milwaukee Railway through the county in 1878 and the 
St. Louis Railway in 1881 helped to steady the market. Selling 
by weight instead of by guess became general after the coming 
of the railroads. It is not long since stockbuyers would pay one 
farmer a dollar a hundred more for his hogs than they would 
offer another farmer in an adjoining township. As communica- 
tion has become better by road and by telephone, this practice 
is gradually ceasing. 

In the early days, flint corn was raised, but the grain used for 
fattening hogs was more likely to be barley or oats, or even wheat. 
As dent corn was adapted to Minnesota, and the acreage increased, 
more hogs were kept and fed for market with profit. Before 
the railroads were built, pork was sent to market dressed. After 
the coming of the railroads this practice was gradually discon- 
tinued as the packing industry at South St. Paul developed. 

Wm. H. Jewell, now a resident of the village of Bird Island, 
saw good fat hogs sell in Beaver Falls for fifty dollars each before 
he had been in Renville county three years. Mr. Jewell came to 
Renville county in 1867, residing in Birch Cooley township thirty 
years. He was an early sheriff of Renville county. Mr. Jewell 
says that few hogs were raised in the early days because of the 
lack of corn. Apparently, corn was not grown successfully when 



762 HISTORY OF .RENVILLE COUNTY 

the country was new. He testifies as to the difficulty of growing 
corn in Wisconsin when that state was first settled. Mr. Jewell's 
old home in Wisconsin was ten miles west of Appleton. On ac- 
count of the lack of corn and markets cattle were kept on a more 
extensive scale than hogs, finding a more ready sale. 

Ole Anderson, a resident of Bird Island, settled one and one- 
half miles east of the present site of Franklin in 1866. Mr. 
Anderson's testimony is that more cattle than hogs were kept 
at first. After 1875 more corn and hogs were gradually intro- 
duced on his place. Hogs were worth about two cents per pound 
live weight in 1878. They were worth around three cents per 
pound most of the time. One fall, the fall of 1886 or 1887, hogs 
went to six cents per pound live weight. In two weeks the price 
dropped back to three and one-half cents. 

D. J. Hanlon homesteaded a quarter section of land in section 
1, Birch Cooler township in 1868. Mr. Hanlon used to haul his 
wheat to New Ulm. While in New Ulm delivering wheat he got 
his first start in hogs, paying ten dollars for two six-weeks' old 
pigs. This was considered a very reasonable price at that time. 
Mr. Hanlon and his brother, Wm. Hanlon, hauled two loads of 
hogs, Hi head in all, to Redwood Falls in 1881. A buyer there 
paid five cents a pound for them, shipping to South St. Paul. 
The Hanlons were ferried across the river at North Redwood on 
the old Wilcox Ferry. The ferryman was having a bard time 
to keep the ferry open on account of ice. On the return trip 
they drove across the river on the ice. 

Andrew Danielson, now a resident of Palmyra, settled in Birch 
Cooley in 1870. That year Mr. Danielson paid nine dollars for 
three hundred pounds of dressed pork for his own use. ('has. 
Zupke came to Melville township in 1880 from Jefferson county, 
Wisconsin. The first year only enough hogs were kept by Mr. 
Zupke to produce pork for home use. By 1890 he was raising 
enough hogs to have a load or two to spare each year. Mr. 
Zupke sold one loud of seven hogs to a local buyer for fifty-two 
dollars. He thought they would weigh 300 pounds each. He 
was paid on the basis of 221 pounds. This was before the days of 
scale testing. 

Mrs. Jos. Haggett, one of the early settlers of Melville town- 
ship, states that two and one-half cents was a big price for hogs 
in the early nineties — the time of the panic. Farmers were accus- 
tomed to butcher and haul their pork to town for $2.75 per hun- 
dred weight. Mrs. Haggett sold lard for from ten cents to a shill- 
ing a pound to private parties. At the J. Richardson Company 
store in Bird Island, lard was worth nine cents in trade. Eight 
or nine dollars was a common price for a fat hog in those days. 
In 1896 the Haggetts paid Ed Keenan of Melville Stock Farm 
$28.00 for a purebred Poland China sow. 




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HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 763 

Mr. and Mrs. E. B. Wolff settled in section 32, Melville town- 
ship, in 1879. They shipped some dressed pork to Minneapolis 
where friends disposed of it for them at four cents per pound. 
These people, as did many others, found it hard to dispose of 
pork except in the fall of the year when the butchers wanted it. 
They fattened their hogs on barley. Mrs. Wolff says that the 
hogs got many a pail of wheat when wheat was worth less than 
fifty cents per bushel. 

Patrick O'Brien, now a well-to-do resident of Renville, settled 
in Flora township in the early seventies. To the O'Briens proba- 
bly belongs the honor of bringing the first pure-bred hogs into 
Renville county. In 1869, while Mr. O'Brien still lived in Dakota 
county, he purchased two pure-bred Chester Whites of John S. 
Waite, Empire township, Dakota county. These were sent to his 
brother, John O'Brien, in Renville county. This stock gave satis- 
faction in every way to the purchasers. It was not bred pure 
and finally disapeared. Patrick O'Brien sold pork for three cents 
a pound dressed, making a business of turning three-cent pork 
into five-dollar land. As Mr. O'Brien expresses his sentiment in 
regard to this good business: "I thought I was raising Hell in 
those days. Guess I was. too." Mr. O'Brien retired from the 
farm in 1904. 

But the pork producing business was not to be the simple 
process of feeding cheap corn to healthy hogs and loading the 
finished product on the cars for South St. Paul. With the in- 
crease in the number of hogs kept hog cholera became one of 
the determining factors of profitable hog raising. There was a 
serious outbreak of hog cholera in Minnesota in the years 1894- 
1896. During this period cholera came into Renville county. 
probably for the first time, and since then the infection has proba- 
bly always been in the county. The disease appears to come and 
go in cycles. Cholera prevails in a community for two or three 
years. Disappears and then seems to come to life again in four or 
five years. In this county it seems that the disease has generally 
become epidemic first in the north and west townships of the 
county, gradually spreading to the east and finally to the south- 
east. 

L. J. Kuske, now an officer of the Farmers' State Bank of 
Olivia, had cholera on his farm in Troy township in 1897. ( 'holera 
was general throughout the west end of the county that year. 
Mi-. Kuske says that in 1897 and 1898 there was great loss in 
Winfield and Emmet townships, many farmers losing all their 
hogs. Farmers in the vicinity of Fairfax prided themselves on 
the care of their hogs. They were inclined to boast, upon being 
told of the losses north of Olivia and Renville, that their hogs 
being better taken care of were immune to cholera. They even 
dared to haul corn from the infected areas of the county. Knowl- 



764 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

edge of The infectiousness of the disease was not general in those 
days. Cholera was in full swing about Fairfax in 1899. In the 
epidemic of 1912-1915, cholera losses were not large in 1912 ex- 
cept in the north and west townships; in 1913 cholera prevailed 
in all the townships of the county except those of the extreme 
south and east; in 1914 the townships about Fairfax were the 
hardest hit of all. while the townships about Renville were 
recovering. 

Probably cholera infection has existed in this county continu- 
ously since 1S94. There seems to have been four principal out- 
breaks occurring in the following periods of years: 1894-1899, 
1901-1903, 1907-1909 and 1912-1915. 

The First Cholera Outbreak in Renville County. Probably 
cholera first broke out among the hogs of Renville county in 
1894. Information as to this outbreak comes from Michael 
Holden, at that time chairman of the town board of Ilenryville 
township, and now a stockbuyer at Morton. Two farmers from 
Flora township went to New Ulm for a visit. Cholera prevailed in 
the country about New Ulm. Not long after the visitors return 
home cholera broke out in Flora township. The first year the 
disease was confined to five or six farms. Mr. Holden. as chair- 
man of his town board, wrote to Dr. M. H. Reynolds, then as now 
with the Veterinary Division of the Minnesota Agricultural Col- 
Lege, asking for quarantine blanks. These blanks were posted 
on infected premises in Henryville township. 

A meeting to spread the knowledge of hog cholera prevention 
was held in Redwood Falls about 1895. Mr. Holden attended 
this meeting. It was addressed by Dr. Reynolds and by Dr. 
Bracken, the latter of the State Board of Health. 

An incident occurred in Henryville township which shows 
that some men acted then as now when their premises were under 
quarantine. Mr. Holden had quarantined the Schultz farm on 
account of cholera and had warned Mr. Schultz to keep away 
from the premises of his neighbors. Mr. Holden was traveling 
on the road one day when a shower forced him to take shelter at 
the Herman Goose farm. There he found Schultz, who had come 
in ahead of him. also to escape the rain. His horse was already 
in the barn. Goose had twelve head of hoys in the barn, which 
he had come within rive cents a head of selling;- to Tom Leary. 
Holden nave Schultz a deserved scolding for thus exposing his 
neighbor's hogs to cholera. Goose made no objection to the risk 
he was running, saying that the prevention of cholera was merely 
a matter of feeding. In about ten days Holden was called to 
quarantine the Goose farm. It was too late to accept Leary 's 
offer. Goose lost all of his twelve fat hogs. Mr. Holden testi- 
fies as to the great difficulty of getting people to observe quaran- 
tine regulations at that early date. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 765 

In many cases hogs have been sick and the diagnosis as to the 
disease has been very uncertain. Trouble from worms and other 
causes has been called cholera and trouble from cholera has often 
been laid to some other ailment. One instance of this is furnished 
by the first cholera epidemic. Emil Breutkreutz had a sickness 
among his hogs that was popularly called Lumbago and rheuma- 
tism. The symptoms shown we now know to be those of cholera. 

The initial outbreak of cholera did not seem to be serious the 
first year or two. From 1896 to 1899 it was doing its worst. Win. 
O'Connor of Sacred Heart says that O'Connor Bros, lost 300 hogs 
in those years. Most of these hogs were pure-bred Poland Chinas. 
What few hogs that were spared in the epidemic were shipped. 
The O'Connor Bros, started breeding Poland Chinas in 1892, ship- 
ping in their foundation stock from Illinois, where as much as 
seventy-dollars per head was paid for some hogs. 

Patrick O'Brien, the man who first imported pure-bred hogs 
into Renville county, lost 86 out of 111 hogs in 1894. The next 
year he lost 84 and in 1896 his losses were 40. 

In 1896 the cholera epidemic became general about Hector. 
Geo. Johnson, now of the firm of Johnson Bros., hardware and 
implement dealers of Hector, owned a farm in Hector township 
at the time and lost over 60 hogs. Joe Nicke, who lived on the 
Geo. Eichmiller farm in Osceola, now owned by August Beske, 
lost 80 fat hogs in 1896. Nicke had bought hogs from various 
parties to fatten. He told Chas. Wolff, then a farmer of Mel- 
ville township, that his hogs would not get cholera because he was 
dosing them with turpentine and asafoetida. Evidently his ex- 
perience did not back up his theory. Mr. Nicke let his hogs run 
loose. From this practice, Albert Wulkan. a neighbor, lost 18 
out of 20 hogs by the cholera route. 

Mule foot hogs have often been advertised as immune to chol- 
era. As far back as 1896 this theory was proved false in Ren- 
ville county. A farmer living not far west of Hector hauled off 
his mule foot hogs after cholera had commenced on them. 

During this general epidemic of cholera about Hector an effort 
was made to make some use of the cholera infected hogs. Three 
men, Gus Lunder, Oscar Peterson and Wells Thompson started a 
steam rendering plant. One cent a pound was paid for the car- 
casses of hogs that had died from cholera. The rendered fat 
was mixed with beef tallow from the butcher shop in which these 
men were interested, and the resulting product was sold for lubri- 
cant to a Minneapolis concern who paid from two and one-half to 
three cents per pound for it. It was closed after it had run about 
a year. 

Cholera existed in the county about Buffalo Lake in 1895, stay- 
ing in the county two or three years. Wm. Carrigan, now deputy 
sheriff of Renville county, was working for his uncle, Michael 



766 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Carrigan, at that time. The elder Carrigan had a herd of forty 
or fifty hogs siek with cholera. He heard in town that if oue of 
the cholera hogs was roasted and fed to the others they would 
recover. This was thought worth trying, but the proposed rem- 
edy was found to be of no more use than all the other remedies 
prescribed for cholera. Mr. Carrigan saved eight or ten hogs. 
They had cholera in the worst form, the ears and tails of some 
sloughing off. Cholera did not visit Boon Lake township again 
until 1913. However, there was a sprinkling of cholera about 
Buffalo Lake in 1907 ami 1908. 

In 1898 cholera became epidemic in the vicinity of Fairfax 
and Franklin. A. J. Anderson of Camp township lost all of his 
hogs save one, the boar. Sam Lee saved seven out of 50 in 1S99. 
It is doubtful whether this epidemic was entirely due to the dis- 
ease having existed in the northern part of the county. When- 
ever there was a crop failure in Nebraska and Iowa hogs were 
shipped from those states to Minnesota for fattening and invaria- 
bly cholera came with them. The hogs came through the large 
stock yards of Sioux City and Omaha, always centers of infec- 
tion. 

Andrew Danielson, a resident of Palmyra since 1875, lost hogs 
from cholera in October. 1897. The disease came into Palmyra 
by way of Norfolk township. Forty of his forty-seven hogs had 
died of cholera. T. Geisner of Bird Island was going through 
Palmyra dehorning cattle. He offered to save the remaining 
seven by vaccination. Gleisner made an incision in the skin of 
each hog, packed the wound with a greaselike substance, and 
charged two dollars per head for his services. Six out of seven 
survived this treatment. With our present knowledge of cholera 
we may know that these hogs were on the road to recovery with- 
out treatment. This is just one of the many instances where 
farmers have been imposed on with a "cure" for hog cholera. 
E. B. Wolff and Geo. Muench had cholera on their Melville farms 
the same year. The next year the disease was quite bad north of 
Bird Island and Olivia. 

In 1899 H. M. Noach of the Morton firm of Noaeh & Orth 
bought a small farm near town and stocked it with hogs from 
"all over" as Mr. Orth stated the ease. Then, as Mr. Orth put it. 
"there was Hell to pay." The worst form of cholera was intro- 
duced into the townships of Beaver Falls and Birch Cooley. The 
outbreak was very violent, few farms escaping the disease and 
few hogs being saved. Robt. Simmons, a prominent farmer liv- 
ing about two miles east of Morton, was one of those who lost 
100 head of hogs at this time. 

Outbreak of 1901-1903. For a time the county seems to have 
been comparatively free from heavy cholera losses, though the 
disease was yet present in the county. Ed Paulson, now county 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 767 

commissioner, was buying stock at Sacred Heart in 1902. In 
those days when a herd of hogs showed signs of cholera they 
were hustled to South St. Paul. Mr. Paulson took down a load 
of exposed hogs that were showing symptoms of the disease when 
unloaded at South St. Paul. His commission man said, "Keep 
them moving or they will lay down and die on you." By brisk 
exercise of the whip, the hogs were kept on their feet until a buyer 
was found. 

Outbreak of 1907-1908.— In 1907 and 1908 a good deal of chol- 
era prevailed in the county. Certain proprietary remedies were 
sold as a cure, none proving to be of any value as a cholera pre- 
ventive or as a cure. The buyers were simply out that much 
money. J. W. Rusch of Buffalo Lake states that there were 
scattered cases of cholera about Buffalo Lake in those years. 
The disease existed on some farms near Hector. Chas. Torbert 
of Hector township saved only five out of his herd. F. Hager- 
meister of Melville township saved four out of twelve. This 
epidemic of cholera about Fairfax was not so general as the one 
of 1898-99. 

Nowhere was the disease any worse in 1908 than it was in 
Winfield township. Ulriek Julson lost all of his herd of 100 hogs. 
R. Peterson and Oust Tolzman lost all of their hogs. Others 
suffered in about the same proportion. Martin Peterson of 
Crooks township lost his hogs every year from 1898 to 1909 
whether from cholera or not is a doubtful question. Since 1909 
Mr. Peterson has not been troubled. He ascribes this happy cir- 
cumstances tn his having gotten in Duroc Jerseys for foundation 
stock. 

Outbreak of 1912-1915. — The most serious outbreak of cholera 
in the history of the county commenced in 1912. The first year 
this epidemic was worst in the townships centering about Ren- 
ville. Emmet township lost about 1.500 hogs the first year (1912) 
and Crooks almost as many. O'Connor Bros., farmers and bank- 
ers of Renville, made the first move toward the only known 
means of saving hogs in a cholera infected country. In July, 
1912, they vaccinated fifty hogs on their farm with virus and anti- 
hog cholera serum, the so-called double treatment. In May, 1913, 
720 hogs were double treated in the vicinity of Renville, O'Con- 
nor Bros, having secured the cooperation of the Live Stock Sani- 
tary Board and of the agricultural department of the local high 
school in which F. Krause, a graduate of Iowa Agricultural Col- 
lege, was instructor. These 720 hogs belonged to sixteen farm- 
ers. All passed through the cohlera epidemic that year save one 
that died of blood poisoning following the breaking of a needle 
while being vaccinated. All summer hogs were dying like flies 
on neighboring farms while 719 hogs on sixteen farms not only 
thrived but proved immune to the disease when placed in lots 



70S HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

where carcasses of hogs dead from cholera were lying about. 
It was thus conclusively shown by this local demonstration that 
cholera could be prevented, a large part of the risk thus being 
eliminated from the swine raising business. It remained to bring 
this knowledge home to the people raising hogs, and to devise 
ways and means for making use of this knowledge. The follow- 
ing year (1913) was the worst year for swine breeders since hogs 
were raised in the county. In this year a movement was launched 
that will forever prevent the recurrence of an epidemic similar 
to the disastrous one of 1913. 

In August, 1913, a farmer of Osceola township paid eight dol- 
lars and forty cents to have two hogs vaccinated with anti-hog 
cholera serum. That Avas reason for the beginning of the Ren- 
ville County Swine Breeders' Association. This farmer, H. W. 
Leindecker, conceived the idea that if the farmers would organ- 
ize and buy their serum collectively, hiring a veterinarian to work 
for the club, good serum would be obtained with a smaller margin 
of profit to the manufacturer, since the serum would lie bought 
in wholesale quantities, and the veterinarian working by the day 
would be willing and could afford to set a price easier mi the 
farmer. 

This was in the fall of 1913, a. year when, as subsequent 
enumeration showed, more than one-half of the hogs of the county 
died of cholera. Two-thirds of the hogs raised in Bird [sland 
township died from the disease. In Osceola the loss was a little 
less than half, in Kingman a little more than half, in Melville, 
two-thirds, and in Norfolk and Birch Cooley townships fully four- 
fifths of the hogs on farms in 1913 died from cholera. The num- 
ber of farms in the vicinity of Bird Island on which hogs were 
raised and not visited by cholera could be counted on the ringers 
of one hand. 

A meeting, to be held at the Bird Island Village Hall, of those 
interested in handling the cholera situation collectively instead 
of as individuals, was called for Saturday, October 4. Not enough 
were present at the first meeting to organize. Another meeting 
was called for the following Saturday. W. E. Morris, county 
agent, presided as temporary chairman. An organization was 
formed with the following officers: H. W. Leindecker (Osceola), 
president; Geo. W. Wolff (Melville), vice-president; Ralph 
Loomis (Agricultural Teacher. Bird Island public schools), secre- 
tary-treasurer. Directors were not chosen until the following 
Saturday. The first directors were: -Joe Kienholz, E. -I. Wilson, 
Nels Mattson, Arthur Patrick and H. J. Jungclaus. The name 
adopted for the organization at the meeting of the 11th was the 
"Renville County Swine Breeders' Club." Its object was de- 
clared to be "to get and keep a supply of serum on hand, and by 
other means to further the interests of swine growers." Those 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 769 

present at the first meeting were H. W. Leindecker, Joe Kienholz, 
August Zupke, Geo. W. Wolff, Fred Koelker, P. D. Boyland, Jas. 
Murray, Henry Krueger, W. E. Morris, Ed Kienholz, R. J. Porter, 
Jas. Lucas and Ralph Looinis. 

The task before the newly organized club was two-fold. The 
first phase of its work was educational. The part that serum 
might play in controlling cholera had to be made plain. Serum 
was a new thing to the people of the county. Many regarded it 
as a cure while it is only of value as a preventive. Many had 
lost faith in serum because it had not cured their hogs. Since 
serum had not been in common use in the county before 1913, un- 
scrupulous people were able to market large quantities of im- 
potent serum in the county, serum that was of no more value 
than so much water, and often more dangerous. It is said on 
good authority that prune juice was sold as serum in one Minne- 
sota locality. 

Then there was the harm done by giving important serum 
with virus. Why the results were disastrous had to be explained. 
Hogs vaccinated with good serum by the single treatment lose 
their immunity after four or five weeks. How these hogs might 
die after vaccination and still vaccination be of any use had to be 
explained. That the organization was successful in its educa- 
tional work is shown by its membership in the year 1914. Over 
seven hundred people of the county became so convinced in the 
efficacy of serum as a cholera preventive as to each invest a dollar 
for membership in the Renville County Swine Breeders' Associa- 
tion. About one hundred more joined the Association in 1915. 

The second part of the organization's work was the active 
resistance to hog cholera — hog cholera control. How that was 
handled will be shown later in this article. 

Throughout the fall and winter meetings were held regularly 
on the first Saturday of each month in the Bird Island Village 
Hall. Special meetings were also held. Always the principal ques- 
tions were hog cholera, when would serum prevent it, how could 
good serum be obtained, what was the best treatment, and what 
was the possibility of introducing cholera into the herd if virus 
were used? The agricultural teachers of Hector and Renville told 
the club of the work in their own communities. The results at 
Renville were as given above. At Hector, the agricultural teacher. 
O. M. Kiser, vaccinated about one thousand hogs with a saving 
of about 70 per cent of all treated in non-infected and infected 
herds. Mr. Kiser used the serum-only treatment. 

By mid-winter the club had a membership of forty. A sim- 
ilar club was organized at Fairfax. During the cholera epidemic, 
hogs Avere bought in Bird Island at a margin of two dollars on 
the South St. Paul market, and "bought subject." That is, if 
the hogs died of cholera or were condemned at the market, the 



770 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

farmer who raised them stood the loss. If the hog's were all 
right when the market was reached, the shipper had the benefit 
of a two-dollar margin rather than the usual one of fifty cents 
per hundred pounds. This condition brought about the organiza- 
tion of the Bird Island Stock Shipping Association. The organ- 
ization was formed at a meeting of the Swine Breeders' Asso- 
ciation. This Stock Shipping Association shipped forty-six cars 
of live stock the first six months of its existence. Its business 
has greatly increased as cholera is brought under control and 
there are more hogs to ship. 

Since cholera was so generally present in 1913, a return of 
the epidemic was expected in 1914. The club expected to meet 
the situation in 191-1 with plenty of serum on hand. In 1913 it 
was almost impossible to get good serum from any source. The 
state serum plant was able to fill only a fraction of the orders 
given it. Assurance had been given the club that the state's 
serum plant was to be enlarged to take care of the increased 
demand made on it for serum. State serum sold at one-third of 
a cent per cubic centimeter while other serum cost from one and 
one-half to three cents. 

A meeting was called for February 21, 1914, Secretary Loomis 
sending out a circular letter to all the members asking them to 
come in on that day to place an order for serum in proportion 
to the number of hogs they expected to keep. Eighty farmers 
ordered about 145,000 cubic centimeters of serum on that day 
— enough serum to vaccinate four thousand young hogs. This 
serum was ordered and paid for at the state price of one-third 
of a cent. The Secretary of the club, Ralph Loomis, and the 
President. H. W. Leindecker, constituted the committee to go to 
the cities and place the order for serum. The committee went 
to the cities on February '25 and went first to the state serum 
plant. The state serum plant is located on the grounds of the 
Agricultural College in St. Anthony Park. St. Paul. It is oper- 
ated by the College's Veterinary Division of which Dr. M. H. 
Reynolds is Chief. 

"When the order was handed to Dr. Reynolds, he was informed 
that the club was only asking for one-fourteenth of the state's 
annual output ! The idea of the entire order being filled by the 
state was laughed at, the report that the state serum plant was 
to be enlarged at once to take care of the current year's demand 
proving erroneous. This meant that the club could not get all 
the serum wanted at the state's reduced price. Eventually, the 
state promised to give the club 50,000 c. c, about one-third of 
the original order. The balance, 95.000 c. c, would have to be 
purchased from commercial plants at about one and one-half 
cents per c. c. The committee visited various commercial houses 
making arrangements to order serum in whoesale lots. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 771 

A few days before going to the cities as a member of the 
Serum Committee President Leindecker read a newspaper article 
to the effect that Congress had appropriated half a million dol- 
lars for work in hog cholera control, the plan being to take one 
county in each of the hog raising states for a demonstration 
county. Free serum and free veterinary service were to be fur- 
nished in the respective counties, to demonstrate what could be 
done in the way of cholera control. The committee verified this 
newspaper story while at the agricultural college, and sought to 
have Renville County made the Demonstration County for Min- 
nesota. An organization in the county was one of the require- 
ments of the government for the county chosen as a demonstra- 
tion county. This organization was needed to carry on the work 
of education, take a census of the hogs and of the cholera losses, 
encourage sanitation, etc. Our argument for Renville county 
was that we were already organized, having organizations of 
swine breeders at both Bird Island and Fairfax. Furthermore, 
Mr. Loomis and Mr. Leindecker promised that if the county were 
made the demonstration county for Minnesota, the remainder of 
the county would be brought into the organization. 

These arguments impressed the authorities. Dean Woods 
promised that he would do what he could for Renville county. 
Dr. "Ward of the Live Stock Sanitary Board, Governor Eberhart 
and Dr. Reynolds were interviewed in behalf of Renville county. 
The committee was informed that it would receive word by letter 
as to the decision of the Bureau of Animal Industry at Wash- 
ington with whom final authority rested. 

The following week was an anxious one for the officers of 
the Renville County Swine Breeders' Club. Since the entire 
amount of serum ordered could not be obtained at the price of 
one-third of a cent per c. c, it was necessary to send out a cir- 
cular letter to those ordering serum telling them of this circum- 
stance, and that in order to maintain the size of their respective 
serum orders more money would be needed. Since the decision 
of the Bureau of Animal Industry was not yet known, nothing 
was said about it in this letter. When the secretary of the club 
was infoimied by letter that Renville county was chosen as the 
demonstration county for Minnesota, money was still received for 
serum until it was definitely known that the government men 
would commence work before summer. 

On March 13, Ralph Loomis, Secretary of the Renville County 
Swine Breeders' Club, was notified by letter that Renville county 
had been chosen as Minnesota's demonstration county. This let- 
ter from Dean Woods was read at the Swine Breeders' meeting 
of March 14. Plans were at once laid to make the organization 
county wide. Representatives of all the commercial clubs of the 
county were summoned by phone to meet in the Bird Island Com- 



772 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

mercial Club Rooms the following Monday, the sixteenth. Repre- 
sentative business men were thus summoned because through 
them the farmers of their respective communities could be 
reached most rapidly. At the meeting on the following Monday, 
all the towns in the county were represented save Fairfax. The 
car bringing the Fairfax delegation broke down before reaching 
Bird Island. At this meeting, the necessity of organization and 
census taking under the government requirements was explained 
and dates set for organization meetings in the various towns of 
the county. The following article was sent to the newspapers 
of the county to acquaint the people with the project that was 
being launched for the benefit of all Renville county : 

"Renville county has been designated by the U. S. Department 
of Agriculture and by the Minnesota Agricultural College as the 
official demonstration county for federal work in hog cholera 
control. This means that the federal government will furnish 
serum so far as it is able to supply it. The balance will probably 
be furnished by the state at present prices. A campaign will be 
waged against cholera until the job is done — until there is no 
more cholera in the county. The work will be started some time 
this season. Before the government veterinarians are adminis- 
tering serum, much preliminary work will be done, the county 
must be organized into districts and a committee in charge of 
each district. There will be an organization for each district — ■ 
an Anti-Hog Cholera Club. These clubs are to lie used in spread- 
ing knowledge as to how the disease may best be fought. A cen- 
sus of the hogs in the county and of the losses occurring the 
first season will be taken. All farmers are urged to give their 
active support to this work which means so much to the whole 
county. 

"Renville county was designated as the demonstration county 
of .Minnesota for two reasons. First, no other comity of the 
state suffered heavier losses from cholera. Second, the state 
agricultural college authorities were shown that Renville county 
had the best organization for a successful fight against hog chol- 
era. The education and co-operative work of the Renville County 
Swine Breeders' Club secured for Renville County the aid of the 
U. S. Government in fighting hog cholera. 

"The Renville County Swine Breeders' Club has headquarters 
at Bird Island. It was organized in October, 1913. to promote 
the swine raising industry, and particularly to fight cholera. 
Meetings were held each month to hear speakers from the agricul- 
tural college speak on cholera and its control. The organization 
has a membership of 115. The club has members at Danube, Ren- 
^ ill.-. Olivia, Hector, and Franklin. A similar club was organized 
at Fairfax by the President of the club at Bird Island. At a 
meeting held February 21, the club members deposited money 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 773 

with the Secretary for 145,000 cubic centimeters of serum. The 
President of the club, H. W. Leindecker, a farmer of Osceola 
township, and the Secretary, Ralph Loomis, Instructor in Agri- 
culture, Bird Island Public Schools, were named as a committee 
to arrange for the serum. 

"The committee went to St. Paul to interview those in charge 
of the State Serum Plan. Dr. Reynolds, head of the Veterinary 
Division of the Agricultural College, stated that the Renville 
county plan for organizing against cholera was the best he had 
heard of and was the most proper way to fight hog cholera. How- 
ever, the 145,000 cubic centimeters of serum asked for was one- 
fourteenth of the state plant's output. He could not furnish the 
club that amount. In the end the state promised to furnish the 
Swine Breeders' Club with 50,000 cubic centimeters. 

"Dean A. F. Woods told the committee that the Bird Island 
plan was the best he had seen put up yet and that he wished that 
all the counties of the state woidd organize in a similar manner. 
Dean Woods, Dr. Reynolds and Dr. Ward of the Live Stock Sani- 
tary Board were interviewed by the committee in behalf of hav- 
ing Renville county designated as the demonstration county. Dean 
Woods promised to recommend this county to the government 
authorities because this county was organized. 

"The Serum Committee returned from St. Paul the last day 
of February. On the thirteenth day of March the Secretary was 
notified that Renville county had been designated as the demon- 
stration county. Plans for organizing the county have been for- 
mulated. Members of all commercial clubs in the county were 
requested by telephone to meet with the Bird Island Commercial 
Club March 16 to get the matter before them. Since it is not 
known when the government will get to the actual work of ad- 
ministering serum, the Swine Breeders' Club is receiving money 
for serum in the event that the government does not get the pre- 
liminary work done before early summer. Dr. Reynolds of the 
Agricultural College thinks that the work will be under way 
at that time. The Renville County Swine Breeders' Club secured 
the designation of this county as the Government Demonstration 
County. Residents of Renville county can show their apprecia- 
tion of this service and help the work of organizing the county by 
joining the club. The membership fee is one dollar and the dues 
are fifty cents a year. Those wishing to join, sign an application 
card and send it to the Secretary of the Renville County Swine 
Breeders' Club, Bird Island, Minnesota." 

Then commenced a vigorous campaign on the part of the 
officers of the club in organizing the county. In two months, or- 
ganization work was done that would ordinarily have taken two 
years. It is a fact to be wondered at that so muc'i was accom- 
plished with so little friction. Mr. Leindecker put in forty-six 



774 HISTORY OF RENVTLLE COUNTY 

days and a good many nights, without pay, in organizing the 
county. He knew what it was to lose his hogs. To him is credit 
due for directly saving thirteen thousand hogs by vaccination 
in 1914, with an indirect saving of twice as many more. The sacri- 
fice and bravery of Mrs. Leindecker should be remembered. Mrs. 
Leindecker stayed on the farm alone with three small children 
while her husband was serving the people of the county that the 
government might find a county efficiently organized when it 
came to take up the work. 

The directors of the Swine Breeders' Club ordered that the 
expenses of the work of organization should be paid out of the 
Club's treasury, so long as the club was not run into debt. The 
program of the president and secretary in organizing the county 
was as follows: March 19, Hector: March 20, Franklin; March 
21, Bird Island ; March 23, Buffalo Lake ; March 24, Sacred Heart ; 
March 25, Renville ; March 26, Morton ; March 28, Fairfax. Dan- 
ube and Olivia organized early in April. Several township or- 
ganizations were formed in the period of greatest activity, among 
them the Farmers' Clubs of Norfolk, Hawk Creek and Melville. 
At all meetings the officers and County Agent Morris explained 
the requirements of the government for organization, taking the 
census of hogs, etc. 

At first separate clubs were not formed in each town. To A. J. 
Olin, of Franklin, credit is due for the plan of organizing the 
county by trading points. Fairfax had such a club. Franklin 
organized its own club as a branch of the Renville county organi- 
zation. Similar clubs were organized in Olivia and Danube in 
April, 1914. Branches of the county organization, now incorpo- 
rated as the Renville County Swine Breeders' Association, were 
organized in Sacred Heart and Buffalo Lake in the spring of 
1915. Every town in the county should have its local club affili- 
ated with the Association. When the government demonstra- 
tion is discontinued, the county will be thrown upon its own 
resources in controlling cholera. 

The government veterinarians, with Dr. G. S. Weaver as In- 
spector-in-Charge, established headquarters in Olivia, April 8, 
1914. Immediately after the selection of Renville county as a 
demonstration county, the Secretary of the association commenced 
to bombard the Bureau of Animal Industry at Washington with 
telegrams informing the officials of that bureau that the county 
was organized and asking for the form to be used in getting the 
census. When no form was sent, the questions used on the census 
card in Pettis county, Missouri, Missouri's demonstration county 
in 1913, were telegraphed for and then submitted to Washington. 
In every possible way were the authorities impressed with the 
readiness of the county for the work and the willingness to co- 
operate in making the work a success. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 775 

The proper form for taking the census was not obtained until 
seeding time when the farmers were all busy. To rush the tak- 
ing of the census, each town of the county was visited by an 
officer of the association, Dr. Weaver and County Agent Morris. 
In the respective towns, business men co-operated in getting men 
to take the census of the hogs. In the towns having agricultural 
teachers, Olivia, Renville and Hector, the census was left to these 
men. For taking the census, one committeeman was appointed 
for each four sections, making nine for each township. One of 
the nine was designated as chairman of his township. Each com- 
mitteeman visited the farms in his four sections filling out a 
census card for each farm. Below is given a copy of the census 
card and a set of instructions such as were given out to committee- 
men. 

Instructions to committeemen : 

Before the federal men can commence vaccinating hogs and 
practicing other control methods against cholera in Renville 
county, it will be necessary that a hog census be taken. The 
sooner this is taken, the better it will be for all concerned. It 
is, therefore, desirable that your heartiest co-operation be given 
in this work. 

As a committeeman, you will serve permanently without sal- 
ary- Your duty is to take a hog census of the four sections al- 
lotted to you. In taking this census, fill out the cards and return 
them to the chairman of the township committee. Cards must 
be filled out for every farmer whether he is a swine raiser or not. 
Secure all the information asked for on these cards. Have each 
man give you definite answers to all questions and write plainly. 

After the census is completed, your duty will be to keep the 
United States Inspector-in-Charge advised concerning the condi- 
tions in your territory, such as cholera outbreaks, negligence, 
etc. The Inspector may be reached by telephone in his office in 
the Court House at Olivia. 

The results of the census are here given by townships. In 
1915, there were sixteen United States Government demonstra- 
tion areas for work in hog cholera control, similar to that of Ren- 
ville county. The census taken in Renville county was probably 
the most complete of all. 

A meeting of all interested in hog cholera control was held at 
the Armory in Olivia, April 30, 1914. Dean Woods of the College 
of Agriculture, Dr. Reynolds of the Veterinary Division, Dr. Niles 
of the Bureau of Animal Industry and Dr. Ward of the Live 
Stock Sanitary Board were present and spoke. 

The following is taken from an article written by William A. 
Si'liummers of Olivia, an excellent account of the Bureau of Ani- 
mal Industry's work: 



776 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

"'The Minnesota station in Renville county is in charge of Dr. 
G. S. Weaver, who is assisted by three veterinary inspectors, Dr. 
L. R. Smith, Dr. H. L. Duell and Dr. Morris Zurkow. The State 
Live Stock Sanitary Board has a local representative, Dr. H. 
Evenson, also located at Olivia, and the State Agricultural Col- 
lege is represented by W. E. Morris, Agricultural Agent of Ren- 
ville county. These agencies co-operate in the county work. 
Generally, the vaccination and the treatment of deceased hogs is 
taken care of by the federal authorities. Sanitary conditions and 
quarantine are enforced by the representative of the State Sani- 
tary Board, and the educational work in the matter of hog cholera 
prevention is in charge of the County Agent. 

"Veterinary science has not yet produced a specific that will 
cure hog cholera. The method of treatment is an immunity pro- 
ducing process. Serum is prepared in the federal laboratory from 
the blood of hogs that have recovered from the disease. It is 
found that such hogs have in their blood immune bodies which 
transmitted into the blood of other swine offer resistance to in- 
fection or minimize the severity of the disease if already con- 
tracted. This immunity is of a temporary nature. Permanent 
immunity usually follows an attack of the disease if the animal 
recovers. The administration of the immunizing serum is usually 
referred to as the single treatment. For the purposes of pro- 
ducing permanent immunity a double treatment is employed, 
which consists of giving the immunizing serum, together with 
active virus from afflicted hogs, with the intention of producing a 
mild form of the disease, which will be so controlled by the- im- 
mune bodies that the hog will recover without serious results, and 
then will have permanent immunity. The single treatment is the 
method employed in most cases among the afflicted and exposed 

CENSUS OF HOGS AND CHOLERA LOSSES — RENVILLE COUNTY. 

Old Lost Raised Lost Raised Lost 

Township. Hogs. Shoals. Pigs. 1»14 1913. 1913. 1932. 1912. 

Bandon 443 166 1.000 46 3,345 2,780 2.r,14 

Beaver Falls 404 194 392 4 2.7TS 1,862 2.241 378 

Birch Cooloy 852 3S0 1.018 N* 6,254 4,162 4.005 130 

Bird Island 533 17o SIH 26 3,087 1.981 1.922 218 

Boin Lake 673 490 1,611 52 2.611 377 1.144 .... 

Brookneld 499 409 943 421 S.650 1,619 2,098 122 

Cairo 832 378 2,349 161 3,574 428 2.511 

Camp 492 103 975 65 2.042 1.781 1.880 

Crooks 1,308 287 1.1S4 26 2. UK! 647 2.994 1.550 

Emmet 606 62) 1,443 20 2,504 454 3,076 1.542 

Ericson 136 119 847 15 2.562 890 2.708 948 

Flora 624 193 9S6 102 2.536 1.219 2,307 784 

Hank Creek 473 24o 976 3 2,439 971 2. 048 13 

Hector 530 189 1.337 193 3,472 2,330 2,247 68 

Henryville 436 230 875 36 2.645 1.742 1.889 345 

Kingman 507 45 913 64 2.969 1,602 2.17S 146 

Melville 667 148 997 57 3.447 2.228 2,108 361 

Marlinsburg 861 310 1,234 20 3.175 902 2,235 2 

Norfolk 48.8 253 1,000 81 3,996 3,377 3.326 498 

Osceola .829 176 841 63 3,649 1.564 2.16s 30 

Palmyra 587 89 722 4" 3.975 2..87S 2,625 2 

Preston Lake 556 305 1.717 15 3.724 1.559 2,468 

Sacred Heart 558 322 727 10 5.525 2.148 3.541 718 

Troy 417 115 562 82 2,246 1,190 2.592 759 

Wang 816 256 l.lli. 36 2.755 506 1,069 58 

Wellington 824 222 2.084 59 3.729 803 2,600 45 

Wlnfield 436 93 895 145 2,799 1.603 2.346 472 

16,787 6.353 29,593 1.960 85.699 43,403 65.790 8.998 

52,733 

N'ooiber of imgs in County Moy 1, 1914. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 777 

herds, whereas the double treatment is sometimes used on valu- 
able blooded stock and stock for shipment out of the county. A 
very great objection to the double method is the danger of start- 
ing an epidemic of the disease where it is not already prevalent, 
which results at times from the infection getting beyond the con- 
trol of the serums used to restrict it. 

"It is probably true that the occasional cases where the single 
treatment has failed and resulted in great mortality are mainly 
those in which defect or impurity in the serum has resulted in giv- 
ing tbe vaccinated hogs blood poisoning, and the mortality in 
these cases is usually from that cause rather than from cholera. 

"On one of the walls of the Federal Station at Olivia hangs 
a map of Renville county with colored tacks to indicate the pres- 
ence of the disease. In August, 1915, only half a dozen of these 
tacks adorned the map at various points. It affords a striking 
illustration of the success of the government fight against hog 
cholera. Tbe disease has practically disappeared, but quarantines 
are being maintained to prevent a recurrence of the outbreak. 

"This free government aid has been of immense value to the 
farmers of Renville county engaged in the production of pork. 
Every dollar spent has brought manifold returns in hogs saved. 
As an educational campaign for the prevention of this disease, its 
benefits will be projected many years into the future." 

Statement of the Work of the Bureau of Animal Industry in 
Renville County (Furnished the Renville County Swine Breeders' 
Association by Dr. G. S. Weaver). I. General statement: 1. 
Number of hogs raised in Renville county in 1912, 65,790. 2. Num- 
ber of hogs raised in Renville county in 1913, 85,699. 3. Number 
of hogs that died of hog cholera in Renville county in 1912 (this 
number is included in the number raised in 1912), 8,998. 4. Num- 
ber of hogs that died of hog cholera in Renville county in 1913 
(this number is included in the number raised in 1913). 5. 
Date headquarters were established in Renville county. April 
S, 1914. 6. Date on which first herd was treated, May 8, 1914. 
7. Number of outbreaks in Renville county from January 1, 1914, 
to time of treatment of first herd, 135. 8. Number of hogs that 
died from hog cholera from January 1, 1914, to time of treatment 
of first herd, 1,960. 9. Total number of outbreaks of hog cholera 
in Renville county since treatment of first herd, 481. 10. Total 
number of hogs that died of hog cholera in Renville county since 
treatment of first herd, 3,109. 11. Number of hogs raised in 
Renville county in 1914 (estimated), 100,722. 12. Number of 
farms in Renville county on which active infection existed at time 
of treatment of first herd, 13. IT. Results in infected herds 
treated exclusively with serum alone: 1. Number of herds 
treated, 456. 2. Number of hogs treated, 13,524. 3. Number of 
hogs showing high temperatures (above 104 degrees) or other 



778 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

symptoms when treated. 3.246. 4. Number of hogs showing high 
temperatures (above 104 degrees) or other symptoms when 
treated thai have died, 873. 5. Total number of treated hogs 
that have died, 1.094. III. Results in exposed herds treated ex- 
clusively with serum alone: 1. Number of herds treated, 13. 
2. Number of hogs treated, 165. 3. Number of hogs showing 
high temperatures (above 104 degrees) or other symptoms when 
treated, 1. 4. Number of hogs showing high temperatures (above 
104 degrees) or other symptoms when treated that have died, 0. 
5. Total number of treated hogs that have died, 0. IV. Results 
in infected herds following the use of serum alone on pregnant 
sows : 1 . Total number of pregnant sows treated, 72. 2. Total 
number of treated sows that aborted, 11. V". Miscellaneous data : 
1. Number of infected herds treated with serum alone in which 
cholera later reappeared, 20. (If cholera reappeared a number 
of times in the same herd, each reappearance should be classed 
as a herd.) 2. Number of exposed herds treated with serum 
alone in which hog cholera reappeared later in the season, 1. 3. 
Percentage of abscesses resulting from treatment, 4 10 of 1 per 
cent. 4. Total number of hogs left untreated on account of ad- 
vanced disease, 2,419. 5. Number of hogs left untreated on ac- 
count of advanced disease that have died, 1,956. VI. Sources of 
infection or ways in which bog cholera is spread : 1. Exchanging 
labor and visiting neighbors, 104 cases, 21.62' J . 2. Exposure to 
sick hogs in adjoining pens or pastures, 14 cases, 2.91%. 3. In- 
fection harbored on premises, 141 cases, 29.31', . 4. Carried by 
dogs, 31 cases, 6.44%. 5. Infected cars and public highways, 1 
case, .21%. 6. Purchase of new stock, 7 eases. 1.4.V, . 7. Con- 
taminated streams, 6 eases, 1.25%. 8. Birds, 14 cases, 2.91%. 
9. Hogs running at large, 6 cases, 1.25';. 10. Result of double 
treatment, 2 cases. .42' , . 11. Visiting stockyards, 6 cases. 1.25' , . 
12. Indefinite sources, 149 cases, 30.98', . 

Other counties are adopting the Renville county plan of con- 
trolling hog cholera. In April, 1914, President Leindecker or- 
ganized a Swine Breeders' Club at Gleneoe, McLeod county, which 
was the only factor preventing a general outbreak of cholera in 
that county that year. That club used forty-five thousand cubic 
centimeters of serum, saving 83.6 per cent of all hogs treated. 

In February, 1915. Mr. Leindecker was called to Mankato to 
present the Renville county plan before a two days' meeting of 
the Southern Minnesota Seed Growers' Association. The plan 
was adopted by that association. The plan was similarly adopted 
in clubs organized by Mr. Leindecker at Litchfield, Meeker 
county, and Stewart, McLeod county. In the four above named 
places, the local agricultural teachers are serving as secretaries 
of the respective clubs. In the summer of 1915, the agricultural 
teacher at Stewart vaccinated about six hundred hogs with a sav- 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 779 

ing of ninety per cent. Each member in joining a club under the 
Renville county plan pays a fee of two dollars. Of this sum, fifty 
cents goes toward the running expenses of the club and one dol- 
lar and fifty cents is placed in a revolving fund for the purchase 
of serum. Serum is kept on hand at the trading points of mem- 
bers. If a member's hogs become sick with cholera or are ex- 
posed to the disease, the member goes to the secretary of the 
club for serum, paying cost price for it. 

Accomplishments of the association : 

Fourteen local farmers' organizations supplementing the work 
of the Swine Breeders' Association in the county have been 
formed. This number includes two stock shipping associations. 

Two University "Weeks were conducted by the Swine Breeders* 
Association in 1914 and again in 1915. These programs were 
given in the towns of Bird Island and Sacred Heart. The profits 
from these enterprises have been placed in a fund to be used 
for the benefit of the entire county. When the Bureau of Animal 
Industry discontinues its work in the county, this money will be 
spent for a supply of serum, to be kept on hand against cholera 
outbreaks. 

In the fall of 1914, a movement to build a creamery in Bird 
Island was launched in a Swine Breeders' meeting. This move- 
ment bore fruit in the fall of 1915, when a modern creamery was 
erected in Bird Island by a cooperative association formed for 
that purpose. 

"When the association was organized, it was the natural desire 
of the farmers to find a "cure" for cholera. Now it is known 
that there is no "cure." But the work of the association has 
demonstrated and is demonstrating, here and in other counties. 
that there are successful methods of controlling the disease. The 
principal elements in this control are : Organization. Education. 
Sanitation and Vaccination. These elements are of importance in 
the order named. The swine industry of Renville county lias been 
greatly benefited, and the way has been opened for a great sav- 
ing to be made in the raising of swine in the state and nation, 
forestalling the great losses that are now incurred each year 
from cholera. 

Record of the association's achievements: 

The great risks involved in raising hogs in Renville county 
have been eliminated. This is the experience of E. J. Butler, for 
many years a prominent citizen of Martinsburg township. The 
first time cholera was epidemic in the county, Mr. Butler lost 
thirty-eight hogs, saving only one. In the epidemic of 190S, he 
lost eighty-three, saving eighteen. When the epidemic of 1914 
reached Martinsburg, Mr. Butler had eighty-one hogs on hand. 
Cholera appeared in his herd. The government veterinarians 
were called. One hog was killed to make a positive diagnosis of 



780 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

the disease. Five more were too sick to treat with serum. Sev- 
enty-five were vaccinated. All of the five too sick to treat died. 
All of the seventy-five treated were saved. 

An annual sale of pure-bred hogs has been instituted. These 
sales greatly encourage the raising of pure-bred hogs in the 
county. In 1913, not a hog was shown at the county fair on 
account of the cholera epidemic. In 1914, one hundred and twenty 
hogs were shown, all pure-bred, and fifty were sold. Among 
those making a specialty of pure-bred Duroc-Jerseys the past few 
years arc: E. J. Wilson and H. S. Hanson of Renville, F. H. 
Manderfeld of Olivia, and Porter Bros., R. V. Frakes, Jos. Kien- 
holz, Ed Kienholz, John S. Johnson, John Boyland, A. Ziller and 
Jos. Ziller of Bird Island. Breeders of the Chester White hogs 
are : 'Connor Bros, of Renville, G. I. Pregler of Morton, H. W. 
Leindecker and II. J. Broderius, Jr., of Bird Island, F. Hager- 
meister of Hector, anil Elwin Borden of Buffalo Lake. Well- 
known breeders of Poland Chinas are C. F. Gummert and Gustav 
Grabow of Renville, Hems Bros, of Olivia, and Heikka Bros, of 
Franklin. Wright McEwen of Buffalo Lake is the leading Berk- 
shire breeder of Renville county. 

These are the suggestions coming from Renville county's ex- 
perience in controlling cholera. They are adopted as rules for 
guidance in all counties accepting Renville county's plan: 

Efficient hog cholera control depends on four factors, namely : 
(1) Organization. (2) Education, (3) Sanitation and (4) Vaccina- 
tion. If we have organization, it is easier to spread a knowledge 
of necessary sanitary and preventive measures. This lessens the 
amount of serum required. By organization, the serum that has 
to be used can be obtained of guaranteed quality at a fair price, 
and it can be administered efficiently. 

A few (hint's applicable on farms where hogs are kept: 

1. Don't vaccinate unless there is cholera in your herd, or 
unless your hogs have been dangerously exposed. 

2. Don't waste a moment before notifying the Secretary of 
your club when your hogs are sick. 

•i. Don't vaccinate hogs intended for market that weigh 175 
pounds or more. It is not a good business proposition. Ship 
them. 

4. Don't violate the regulations of the Live Stock Sanitary 
Board. Get a copy of the Sanitary Board s rules from your local 
agricultural teacher or County Agent. 

5. Don't feed carbolic acid or lye to hogs. It does them 
no good. You would not want to eat such things yourself. 

6. Don't endanger your neighbor's hogs by needless visiting 
and exchanging work when you have cholera on your premises. 

7. Don 't leave dead carcasses about to afford opportunity for 
the spread of disease. Burning is better than burying. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 781 

8. Shoot useless dogs and pigeons. 

9. Don't use any serum except that furnished by the State 
Agricultural College or serum known to be reliable. If you are 
in doubt, ask the Secretary of the Renville County Swine Breed- 
ers' Association (Address, Bird Island, Minnesota) for a list of 
reliable firms manufacturing serum. 

10. Don't use double vaccination unless you are taking a 
herd of hogs out on the show circuit. Other occasions where 
double vaccination is justifiable are seldom found. Get the ap- 
proval of the Swine Breeders' Association before double vac- 
cinating. 

11. Don't buy the so-called "cholera cures" so often sold by 
fakers through the country. The only known preventive for 
cholera is serum prepared from the blood of a specially treated 
hog. 

12. Don't take everybody's advice when you get sickness in 
your herd of hogs, if you can get expert advice from people that 
have made a study of cholera. 

13. Don't forget that organization is necessary to handle a 
cholera outbreak efficiently. Organization is the first step toward 
controlling the disease and it may lead to eradication. 

14. Do you have an agricultural department in your local 
schools'? If you don't, get one. Most of the agricultural teacher's 
salary will be paid by the state. He is the logical man for Secre- 
tary. The agricultural teacher is paid by the state and by the 
school district to do such work. You would never get better re- 
turns from any man than you would if you used him for Secre- 
tary. Such a plan has been tried with success and satisfaction 
to all parties concerned. 



782 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 

AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT. 

Advantages — Climate— Drainage — Rotation of Crops — Live Stock 
— Educational Work — County Agent — Farm Bureau— Ship- 
ping Associations — Crops — Government Report — Assessment 
Statistics — Early Drawbacks — By William E. Morris. 

Renville County is situated on the northern bank of the Min- 
nesota river, in the central portion of the state. It is about 75 
miles from the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis, with which it 
is connected by the C. M. & St. P. and the M. & St. L. railroads, 
which traverse the northern and southern portions of the county. 

The area of the county is 981.31 square miles. 621,650 acres is 
land divided into 2,871 farms. The population is about 24,000. 
The total assessed valuation of Renville county is approximately 
$18,000,000. 

The agriculture of any section is controlled to a great extent 
by its climate. The main factors which limit the growth of crops 
are temperature, rainfall and the amount of sunshine. In Ren- 
ville county these elements are so favorable that a majority of 
the crops common to the temperate zone may be successfully 
grown and a failure in the important crops is unknown. 

Rainfall is an important factor for most crops, because the 
amount of water in the soil at the critical period of development 
of the plant is necessary to produce a large crop. The length of 
the growing season is also very important and probably no other 
factor from the standpoint of the farmer should be given more 
consideration. 

Renville county is favored with these factors which help to 
make successful production of crops. The following statistics on 
the climatic conditions of the county are from the reports of 
the United States Department of Agriculture Weather Bureau 
from observations taken at Bird Island over a period of twenty- 
two years. 

Average precipitation (rainfall), 24.57 inches; average precipi- 
tation (snowfall), 25.8 inches; highest temperature recorded, 105 
degrees : lowest temperature recorded, — 38 degrees ; prevailing 
wind direction, northwest ; average date of first killing frost in 
autumn, September 25; average date of last killing frost in spring, 
May 9; earliest date of killing frost in autumn. September 9; 
latest date of killing frost in spring, June 7 ; elevation of county 
above sea level, 1,000 feet. 

The distribution of the rainfall is particularly favorable to 
agriculture, being heaviest during the crop season and ample for 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 783 

the full development of crops. The most rainfall from the reports 
is shown to be in the months of April, May, June, July and Au- 
gust. The average date of the last killing frost in the spring and 
the first in autumn are May 9 and September 25, respectively. 
This gives an average length of growing season of 139 days which 
is ample for the growing of corn. 

The soil of Renville county is very uniform, being a black 
clay loam with a yellow clay subsoil carrying an abundance of 
lime. On account of the very high content of nitrogen and or- 
ganic matter in the surface soil and the abundance of lime in the 
subsoil, it is properly regarded as an unusually fertile type. 
There are many shallow depressions in which the water at pres- 
ent remains until late in the season and which are at present used 
for meadows. When these are drained they will soon become as 
productive as the remainder of the land. Technically the soil 
is a till or boulder clay brought from the northwest during the last 
advance of the continental ice sheet. 

The surface is undulating prairie interspersed with frequent 
domestic groves of hardwood timber as well as wild timber along 
the streams. 

Most of the early settlers located along the Minnesota river 
or in the ravines of the streams flowing into that river, though 
a few came down from the "Big Woods'" and located in Boon 
Lake and Preston Lake. Some of the settlers came up the river in 
boats. Others had made their way from Fort Snelling, St. Paul, or 
St. Peter and New Ulm. Through the dense forests, across the 
sweeping prairie, or over a winding trail they had made their 
way. fording brooks, passing through swamps, cutting away fallen 
trees, and swimming rivers until they reached their chosen 
location. 

The parts of Minnesota over which the last continental ice 
sheet passed is characterized by many depressions which hold 
water until late in the season, making in some sections consider- 
able wet areas. Renville county lies within this portion of the 
state. Here are found these conditions, though not to the extent 
that is found elsewhere. The farmers and officials of the county 
realize the value of this land once drainage is provided and are 
making the necessary effort to secure this. Up to the present 
time $462,000 have been spent in county and judicial ditches, 
while drainage projects which will involve the construction of 600 
zniles of ditch and afford outlets for six townships are either 
under way or being petitioned for. These new projects will cost 
approximately $1,400,000, and will bring the total number of dis- 
tricts up to sixty-nine county and eighteen judicial ditches. In 
the new system tile is being used where the cost will permit, 
wherever such large tile is required as to make the cost too great, 
the open ditch is put in. These ditches provide outlet only for 



784 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

the farms within their territory. Complete drainage can then 
be provided for later by private systems. 

Of the old open ditch systems in the county, many are still 
operating in a satisfactory manner. Some are found, however, 
which were either not properly constructed in the first place, or 
have been made useless by filling in or injury to the ditch. Por- 
tions of the old systems have also been incorporated into new sys- 
tems so that some of these have lost their identity. The new sys- 
tems will prove much more satisfactory than the old as tile is 
used wherever possible. An ideal system of drainage is adequate, 
permanent, not a hindrance to cultivation, and uses the least 
possible land. The open ditch system does not fulfill the require- 
ments. Valuable land is occupied and the ditches become filled, 
requiring much time and money to keep in condition. The money 
being spent now in the county for drainage purposes should prove 
to be a very paying investment as they fulfill the requirements. 
Besides the making of more land available for cultivation, roads 
are also being improved by these systems. 

The county drains naturally in two directions, the largest por- 
tion to the Minnesota river through the several creeks in the 
county, the other portion, the north central and east end through 
Buffalo creek into the Crow river. 

The farmers of Renville county are beginning to realize fully 
that a one-crop system of farming means the running down of 
the soil with a minimum return per acre. In the past wheat was 
the only crojD raised. Corn is gradually taking the place of the 
wheat field so that Renville county is now recognized as distinctly 
in the corn licit both in the quantity and quality of the corn 
raised. 

The development of the corn industry has resulted in greater 

farm profits and an increase in land values. The breeding of s 1 

corn has been emphasized along with the growing of corn for 
feed. Renville county seed corn is shipped in considerable quan- 
tities to surrounding counties. Of the seed corn breeders of the 
county, E. Gr. Enestvedt with his Minnesota 13, and Jos. Kein- 
holz with his Silver King have attracted the most attention. There 
are many other breeders with very excellent corn of these two 
varieties which are the most popular varieties in the county. 
Many farmers have their own seedcorn breeding plots for their 
individual use. These conditions are bound to give the county a 
state wide reputation for good seed corn in a short time. In 
fact, this year corn from Renville county was the only new corn 
exhibited at the Minnesota State Fair. 

Corn, wheat, oats and barley are the predominating crops, 
while flax and buckwheat are grown to a lesser degree. Timo- 
thy, clover, red top, and alfalfa grow abundantly and yield large 
crops. Sugar beets have been grown extensively around Ren- 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 785 

villc. Sacred Heart and Olivia, showing that soil and climate 
are adapted to this crop. The crop acreages for 1914 were : Corn, 
94.173; wheat, 98,858; rye, 2,280; oats, 60,066; barley, 41,728; flax, 
8,461 ; potatoes, 1,850, and hay, 89,039. Fruit is also rapidly be- 
coming an important crop. 

The county is blessed with two good uurserys, Dunsmore : s at 
Olivia, and Flagstad's at Sacred Heart, which supply the farmers 
with good home grown nursery stock. Operating in connection 
with these uurserys, are commercial orchards which with G. A. 
Anderson's Glendale Fruit Farm and Pat O'Brien's Orchards at 
Renville are possibly the largest orchards in the county. All of 
which dii business on a commercial scale. 

Renville county soil is well adapted to the growing of clover 
and alfalfa. Of this fact the farmers have taken advantage. 
Only a few years ago clover was considered an impossible crop. 
Now most farmers consider it a very necessary step in their 
cropping systems. In fact, the plant has become so common and 
well adapted to the county that road sides, fence rows, and such 
places abound with it. This means the keeping up of soil fertility 
with increased crop yields. As to alfalfa, in 1913 the acreage 
amounted to between 75 and 100 acres. This has been increased 
until in 1915 there are over 1,500 acres in the county. 

Of the pioneer alfalfa growers probably E. O. Oppegaard of 
Hawk Creek is the oldest successful large scale grower. On this 
farm there are at present fields of Montana and Grimm alfalfa of 
ten and fifteeu years standing. It was seed from the latter field 
which won first prize at the Corn ami Alfalfa Exposition at 
Ortonville in 1915. ('has. Kenning, Bird Island, is also a pioneer 
with this crop. The Largest acreages in the county are on the farms 
of A. O. Skrukrud and Ed. O'Connor, both of Sacred Heart, and 
Fred Pfeiffer of Morton. On all of these farms more than 40 
acres of the crop are growing at the present time. .Many of the 
growers this year have saved their second crop for seed, so for 
the first time in the history of the county a quantity of home- 
grown alfalfa seed will he for sale. 

Each year also sees an increase in the number of live stock, 
both beef and dairy cattle, and hogs. In 1914 there were 1,900 
horses, 35,000 cattle. 21,000 sheep and 100,000 hogs. The swine in- 
dustry has been especially favored by the Government work on 
hog cholera control. From May 8, 1914. when the work com- 
menced, to December 31, 1914, 13.689 hogs were vaccinated and 
91 per cent were saved. Estimated at $10.00 a head this means a 
saving of $124,570. From January 1, 1915. to October 31. 1915, 
2,813 hogs were vaccinated and 93 pel' cent saved. The work as 
carried on has been worth at least $20.00 to the farmer for every 
dollar spent. This hog cholera control work has been under the 
direction of Dr. G. S. Weaver, of the U. S. Department of Agri- 



786 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

culture, assisted by three veterinary inspectors. The State Live 
Stock Sanitary Board has Looked after the enforcement of sani- 
tary and quarantine measures. This work has been done by 
Dr. H. Evfiisuii. The Minnesota State Agricultural College has 
conducted the organization of the county and the necessary edu- 
cational work on hog cholera control. For this work their repre- 
sentative, W. E. Morris, is the county agent for Renville county. 

The greater interest in the cattle industry is shown by the 
increase in the number of silos erected this year. At present there 
are 138 silos in the county. Thirty-seven of these have been built 
this year, which is an increase of nearly 27 per cent. 

The first silo in the county, a wood stave, was built 11 years 
ago by George Forsyth of Franklin. This silo is still in good 
condition after continuous use. Ensilage has been fed to beef as 
well as dairy cattle in the county. Barnard & Daly of Renville 
have topped the market at South St. Paul twice in the last two 
years with baby beef, which were fattened with silage as the 
principal roughage. John Kern of Olivia, another big feeder, 
turns off two to fours ears of cattle each year, fed heavily 
on corn silage. Many other farmers are doing the same thing 
on a smaller degree. The townships having the most silos are 
Palmyra, eighteen, and Camp, thirteen. Wood stave silos predom- 
inate with solid concrete, panel, cement panel and cement block 
comprising the remainder. More silos, corn, and clover means 
more live stock, better cropping systems, increase in soil fertility, 
and maximum returns per acre. The increased interest in dairy- 
ing is shown by the new creameries being built and the old ones 
in operation. Seven old cooperative creameries are in operation 
at the following places : Olivia, Brookfield, Franklin, Fairfax, 
Eddsville, Melville, and Lakeside, and the Bird island and Hector 
farmers are now building new ones. Private creameries take care 
of the cream at Puffalo Lake, Hector. Danube. Renville and 
Sacred Heart. 

Pure bred live stock is growing in favor. Numerous herds of 
pure bred cattle may be found in the county. Holsteins and Short 
Horns predominate, although pure bred herds of Aberdeen Angus, 
Hereford, Jersey and Guernsey are present. Pure bred hogs are 
raised extensively while a few farmers breed pure bred horses. 

Renville county ranks first in the poultry industry. The 1914 
census shows the total number to be 292,788. There are many 
fanciers in the county and each year the Renville County Poul- 
try Association holds a show, which ranks with the best, in the 
state. Birds of high quality of practically every breed found at 
ordinary shows are exhibited here. In the production of eggs 
Renville county ranks highest in the state. 

For a comparatively new county the farm improvements in 
the county are good. Some sections are remarkably built up. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 787 

Fine house and barns with good other buildings show the pros- 
perity and advancement of the county. Furnace heat, electric or 
gas light for both house and barn, and water systems are not in- 
frequent. Renville county farmers have early recognized the de- 
sirability of good groves and wind breaks with which most farms 
arc now well provided. 

The .business men and farmers work together showing com- 
munity spirit. O'Connor Bros.' State Bank of Renville has loaned 
money without interest for the building of silos. The same bank 
and the Olivia State Bank each offered free money for community 
live stock buying. The People's Bank of Olivia annually holds a 
corn show at which very liberal premiums are paid. Every banker 
in the county, in fact, is working in a similar manner such as 
assistance in hog cholera control work, loaning money on cattle, 
etc. 

The county has taken advantage of the aid given by the state 
and the United States to secure the general adoption of the best 
agricultural practices. At the present time five high schools in 
the county employ agriculturists whose duties are to teach agri- 
culture in the school and to carry on extension work among the 
farmers. The latter consists of surveying wet lands for drainage, 
testing seed corn, pruning orchards, and being of any similar 
service. The high schools employing such men are Renville, 
Olivia, Bird Island, Hector and Fairfax. 

An agricultural agent is also employed by the county. The 
largest portion of the funds necessary for the maintenance of such 
an office is provided by the state and U. S. Government. This office 
was opened first in Renville county in August, 1913, with W. E. 
Morris, as county agent. On August 30 the same year a Farm 
Bureau was organized. The purpose of this organization is the 
bringing of farmers together for mutual cooperation who wish to 
investigate the fundamental problems that are involved in pro- 
duction on their farms. The county agent, working with this 
Bureau and its members, may be of assistance in investigating 
these problems and demonstrating accepted agricultural practices. 

One feature of the work in this county has been the introduc- 
tion of alfalfa. Prior to 1914 less than 100 acres of alfalfa were 
growing in the county. The Farm Bureau secured a quantity of 
seed at a reasonable price which was distributed to farmers at 
cost. Through these efforts the acreage of alfalfa has increased 
to about l,f)00 acres. Most fields are doing well and demonstrat- 
ing thoroughly the value of the crop. 

Organization is an important part of Farm Bureau work. Since 
the work started in Renville county, five live stock shipping as- 
sociations have been organized. This has meant a considerable 
financial saving to the members, as their stock has brought them 
actually what it was sold for, minus the expense of marketing. 



788 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNT V 

Sixteen farmers' elnbs have been organized in the county. Most 
of these are very active and improving themselves, their homes, 
and their community by associating, exchanging ideas and work- 
ing together. 

Numerous demonstrations have been carried on. such as treat- 
ment of seed grains for smut, spraying orchards, pure seed, seed 
corn selection, selection of breeding stock, farm management, 
drainage, silos, and others. The work now is meeting with favor 
and should develop more as time goes on. 

The future of the county, agriculturally speaking, is bright. 
Possibly there is no section in the state which is as uniform in 
soil conditions and topography as this county. 

The soil, typical of western Minnesota, is shown by analysis 
to be one of the richest in the world. This, combined with the 
existing climatic conditions, which are plenty of rainfall and 
sunshine and a long growing season, offer wonderful advantages 
for diversified farming, and situated as it is, in close proximity 
to the good markets of St. Paul and Minneapolis, and with ten 
live towns within its borders, this industry should develop to the 
fullest extent. Diversified farming with a good system of crop 
rotation with corn, clover, alfalfa and live stock is bound to 
increase with the advantages offered in the county. These mean 
the upkeep of soil fertility, maximum crop yields, and prosperous, 
contented communities. 

Renville county is acknowledged as being among the best and 
most prosperous stock-raising and agricultural counties in Min- 
nesota. Its people are wideawake and keep step with the pro- 
gressive march of the times in all that pertains to a civilization 
of happiness, industry and culture. The first permanent settlers 
of the county were farmers, and their object in coming was to till 
the soil. 

All had many lessons to learn. Many of the pioneers were 
from foreign countries, and all the conditions were new. Some 
were farmers from the eastern states, and they, too, found cir- 
cumstances absolutely changed. Some were men who had pre- 
viously been engaged in other occupations, but who saw in the 
opening of Minnesota an opportunity to secure a farm, together 
with the health and longevity that come from outdoor life. All 
of them, regardless of their previous circumstances, were able 
and willing to work; they had industry and courage and they 
were determined to win. 

In the face of obstacles of which they had previously no knowl- 
edge they started to carve their fortunes in the wilderness. The 
country was new, there was no alternative but that success must 
be won from the soil, which was their only wealth and their 
only help. There were among the early comers a few money- 
lenders, a few speculators and a few traders, but everyone else, 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 789 

even the lawyers, the doctors and the ministers, must wrest their 
living from the earth. And in spite of all the obstacles and in- 
conveniences, and notwithstanding the fact that in the face of 
many disasters hundreds of the pioneers left the county, those 
who stayed, and those who have come in since, have met with 
unbounded success. Nor is the end yet reached, for the county 
has in its agricultural and dairying resources a mine of wealth 
yet undeveloped, which, when the years roll on, will grow more 
and more valuable as the people become, through scientific meth- 
ods, more and more able to utilize it. 

The farms of Renville county are similar to the farms of any 
other county having a rich soil. It has its good farms and its 
poor farms. Or, better stated, it has its good farmers and its 
poor farmers. Agriculture, like every other trade or profession, 
has its successes and its failures, but perhaps not as many com- 
plete failures. 

The high altitude gives to Renville county an ideal climate. 
Its mean temperature for summer is 70 degrees, the same as 
middle Illinois, Ohio, and southern Pennsylvania. The extreme 
heat that is felt in these states is here tempered by the breezes of 
the elevated plateau. Its higher latitude gives two hours more 
of sunshine than at Cincinnati. This, with an abundance of rain- 
fall, 26.36 inches annually, on a rich soil, accounts for the rapid 
and vigorous growth of crops and their early maturity. There is 
a uniformity of temperature during the winter season in southern 
Minnesota, with bright sunshine, dry atmosphere, good sleighing 
and infrequent thaws that make life a pleasure in this bracing, 
healthy climate. 

There was a time in Renville county when, like all new lands, 
the first consideration was to build good barns for the housing of 
the flocks and herds, and the home was the most inconspicuous 
object in the landscape. As the farmers prospered, the log house 
disappeared, and now there are few log houses in the entire 
county. Now the farmer's house vies with the city residence, and 
has many of the modern conveniences. "Where electric light and 
power cannot be secured, gasoline engines furnish power, and a 
number of farm houses are lighted by their own gas plants. By 
the use of elevated tanks in the house or barn, or pneumatic tanks 
in cellars, farm houses often have all the sanitary conveniences; 
of a house in town. Farmers realize the value of keeping their 
property in the best of shape. Houses and barns are well painted, 
lawns are carefully kept and flower gardens show that the people 
recognize that the things which beautify add a value to life as 
well as to property. 

The rural telephone reaches practically every farm house, 
which, with rural mail delivery and the newspapers, places the 
farmer in close touch with the great markets and with the cur- 



790 HISTORY" OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

rent of affairs of the outside world. There is no longer any iso- 
lation such as existed in the early days when pioneering meant 
privation; no longer any need for the denial of many of the 
luxuries as well as the comforts of life. The farmer can have his 
daily newspaper and his daily market reports; he can have the 
advantage of the circulating library, and his table can be sup- 
plied with whatever the village or city market may have to offer. 
The changes of the half-century have been more marked in 
scarcely any direction than in the conditions which surround 
life on the farm. The plodding ox which did the field and farm 
work has disappeared; the gang plow, the mower, the seeder, 
the harvester and the steam thresher are doing the work so 
laboriously and imperfectly done by the scythe, the cradle, the 
hand-sower, the flail and the horse-power thresher. The buggy, 
the carriage and now the automobile are almost universal among 
the conveniences of the farm, while the sewing machine, the 
organ and the piano are familiar objects in the inner life of the 
farm home. The future doubtless holds still more in the way of 
conveniences and comforts, but it can give nothing beyond what 
the great service the farmer has rendered and is rendering the 
country in the way of its development merits. There cannot but 
be deep regret, however much it is in the nature of things, that 
so few of those who bore the heat and burden of the day in the 
years of beginnings, have survived to enjoy the fruits which 
their labors produced. "Their epitaphs are writ in furrows 

"Deep and wide 
The wheels of progress have passed on : 
The silent pioneer is gone. 
His ghost is moving down the trees. 
And now we push the memories 
Of bluff, bold men who dared and died 
In foremost battle, quite aside." 

GOVERNMENT REPORT. 

The following report of Renville county agriculture, issued 
in connection with the thirteenth census of the United States, 
speaks for itself in regard to the present-day agricultural con- 
ditions in the county : 

Population, 23,123 (in 1900, 23,693). 

Number of all farms, 2,871 (in 1900, 3,013). 

Color and nativity of all farmers. Native whites, 1.331 ; for- 
eign born whites, 1,540. 

Number of farms classified by size : Under three acres, ; 
from three to nine acres, 31 ; from ten to nineteen acres, 14 ; from 
twenty to forty-nine acres, 51 ; from fifty to ninety -nine acres, 
219; from 100 to 174 acres, 1,113; from 175 to 259 acres, 805; 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 791 

from 260 to 499 acres, 578 ; from 500 to 999 acres, 59 ; 1,000 acres 
and over, 1. 

Land and Farm Areas. Approximate land area, 625,920 acres. 
Land in farms, 589,798. (Land in farms in 1900, 584,659 acres.) 
Improved land in farms, 513,520 acres. Improved land in farms 
in 1900, 500,199 acres Woodland in farms, 19,150 acres. Other 
unimproved land in farms, 57,128 acres. Per cent of the whole 
county in farms, 94.2 per cent. Per cent of farm land improved, 
87.1 per cent. Average acres to each farm, 205.4 acres. Average 
improved acres to each farm, 178.9 acres. 

Value of Farm Property. All farm property, $33,685,584. 
(In 1900 the value was $18,539,120.) The percentage of increase 
in farm value in ten years was 81.7 per cent. Value of land alone, 
$23,798,173. (The value of land alone in 1900 was $13,563,070.) 
Value of buildings alone, $5,055,270. ($2,358,530 in 1900.) Value 
of implements and machinery, $1,271,143. ($709,490 in 1900.) 
Value of domestic animals, poultry and bees, $3,560,998. ($1,908,- 
030 in 1900.) Per cent of value of all property in land. 70.6 
per cent. Per cent of value of all property in buildings, 15.0 per 
cent. Per cent of value of all property in implements and ma- 
chinery, 3.8 per cent. Per cent of value in domestic animals, poiil- 
try and bees, 10.6 per cent. 

Average Values. Average value of all property per farm, 
$11,733. Average value of land and buildings per farm, $10,050. 
Average value of Land per acre, $40.89. ($23.20 in 1900.) 

Domestic Animals on Farms and Ranges. Farmers reporting 
domestic animals, 2,842. Value of domestic animals, $3,436,289. 

Cattle. Total number, 40,832. Dairy cows, 19,065. Other 
cows, 3,529. Calves, 6,946. Yearling heifers, 5,979. Yearling 
st.ris and bulls. 3,287. Other steers and bulls, 2,026. Total 
value, $815,634. 

Horses. Total number, 18,256. Mature horses, 16,256. Year- 
ling colts, 1,592. Spring colts, 638. Total value, $2,199,324. 

Mules. Total number, 106. Mature mides, 91. Yearling 
colts, 12. Spring colts, 3. Total value, $12,165. 

Asses and Burros. Total number, 3. Total value, $115. 

Swine. Total number, 42,677. Mature hogs, 23,199. Spring 
pigs, 19,478. Value, $377,515. 

Sheep. Total number, 7,892. Rams, ewes, wethers, 5,585. 
Spring lambs, 2,307. Value, $31,502. 

Goats. Number, 12. Value, $34. 

Poultry and Bees. Poultry of all kinds, 292,788. Value, $121,- 
448. Number of colonies of bees, 783. Value, $3,261. 

Farms operated by owners, 2,015. (2,344 in 1900.) Per cent 
of all farms in the county operated by owners, 70.2 per cent. 
(77.8 per cent in 1900.) 



792 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Land in farms operated by owners, 413,607 acres. Improved 
land in farms operated by owners, 362,037. Value of lands 
and buildings in farms operated by owners, $20,413,555. 

Degree of Ownership. Number of farms operated by owners, 
consisting of owned lands only, 1,671. Number of farms oper- 
ated by owners which also include with the owned land, some 
hired land, 344. Of the men in the county owning and operating 
their own farms, 813 are native born Americans and 1.202 are 
foreign born. 

Farms Operated by Tenants. Number of farms operated by 
tenants, 833. (652 in 1900.) Of all the farms in the county, 
29.0 per cent are operated by tenants. (21.6 in 1900.) 

Land in rented farms. 168,647 acres. Improved land in rented 
farms, 145,200 acres. Value of land and buildings in rented 
farms, $8,032,048. 

Form of Tenancy. Share tenants, 559. Share-cash tenants, 
34. Cash tenants, 79. Tenure not specified, 161. Of the people 
renting farms in the county, 500 are native born Americans, 
and 333 are foreign born. 

Farms Operated by Managers. Number of farms operated 
by managers, 23. (17 in 1900.) Land in farms operated by 
managers, 7,544 acres. Improved lands in farms operated by 
managers, 6.283. Value of land and buildings in farms operated 
by managers, $407. *40. 

Mortgage Debt Report of Farms Operated by Their Owners. 
Number free from mortgage debt, 1,012. Number with mortgage 
debt, 986. Number on which no mortgage report was made, 17. 
Mortgage debt report of farms consisting of owned land only. 
Number reporting debt and amount, 745. Value of their land 
and building's. $7,506,707. Amount of mortgage debt. $1,954,084. 
Per cent of value of land and buildings mortgaged, 26.0 per cent. 

Farm Expenses. For labor. Number of farms from which 
reports were obtained, 2,118. Cash expended for labor on these 
farms, $394,666. Rent and board furnished for labor, $111,667. 

For Feed. Number of farms reported on this question, 575. 
Amount expended, $38,436. 

Principal Crops. Corn. 60,368 acres ; bushels, 2,124,394. Com- 
mon winter wheat. 2,348 acres : bushels, 41,355. Common spring 
wheat. 122.187 acres: 2.712.665 bushels. Durum or macaroni 
wheat, 267 acres; bushels, 4,305. Barley, 36,286 acres; bushels, 
864.210. Rye. 3.031 acres: 57.848 bushels. Flaxseed, 8,461 acres; 
bushels, 80,541. Timothy seeds, 386 acres; 1,337 bushels. Pota- 
toes, 1,762 ; bushels, 177.492. Oats, 60,060 acres ; 2,319,684 bushels. 

Hay and Forage. Total, 80,945 acres ; tons, 127,692. Timothy 
alone, 8,247 acres: tons, 15,748. Timothy and clover mixed, 5,957 
acres, tons. 11.289. Other tame or cultivated grass, exclusive of 
clover alone and alfalfa, 2,922 acres ; tons, 3,893. Wild or prairie 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 793 

grass, 59,794 acres ; tons, 87,880. All other hay and forage, 4,025 ; 
tons, 8,882. 

ASSESSMENT ROLLS. 

The assessment rolls of Renville county for 1915 are most in- 
teresting, as they tell in unadorned figures the agricultural con- 
ditions that exist in Renville county at the present time. 

Horses, Mules and Asses. Under one year old, 1,044; one 
year old and under two years, 1,855; two years old and under 
three years, 1,640; three years old and over, 16,494; stallions, 
fine bred mares and race horses, 68. 

Cattle. Under one year old, 11,320; one year old and under 
two years, 9,394; two years old and under three years, 5,683; 
cows, 17,276; bulls, 964; all other cattle three years old and 
over, 509. 

Sheep, 2,354. Swine, 29,590. 

Horses. There are 68 stallions, fine bred mares and race 
horses in the county. They are distributed as follows : Bandon, 
2 ; Birch Cooley, 1 ; Beaver Falls, 1 ; Bird Island township, 1 ; 
Bird Island village, 1; Boon Lake, 3; Brookfiekl, 1; Cairo, 1; 
Crooks, 1 ; Danube, 3 ; Emmet, 1 ; Ericson, 3 ; Franklin, 2 ; Flora, 
4 ; Hawk Creek, 5 ; Hector township, 1 ; Hector village, 1 ; Henry- 
ville, 1; Martinsburg, 1; Melville, 4; Morton, 4; Norfolk, 2; 
Olivia, 4 ; Palmyra, 8 ; Renville, 1 ; Sacred Heart township, 1 ; 
Troy, 1 ; "Wang, 2 ; Winfield, 5 ; Wellington, 2. 

Dogs, 2,561. 

There are 3,407 sewing machines. The largest number in a 
city or village is in Olivia, where there are 174. The smallest 
number is 43, in Danube. The largest number in a township is 
in Sacred Heart, where there are 112. The smallest number, 42, 
is in Crooks. There are 4,443 watches and clocks assessed. 

The county has 907 pianos. Renville leads among the villages 
with 79. Among the townships, Brookfiekl leads with 28. The 
smallest number is 3, the number owned in Camp and Henryville 
each. 

There are 7,099 wagons, carriages and sleighs. The highest 
number is in Henryville township, where there are 433. 

No less than 1,127 automobiles are found in the county. 

VILLAGES. 

Buffalo Lake. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
3 ; one year old and under two years, 2 ; two years old and under 
three years, 1 ; three years old and over, 72. Cattle, under one 
year, 3 ; one year and under two years, 5 ; cows, 39. Swine, 112. 
Number of dogs, 20. Automobiles, 34; motorcycles and bicycles, 1. 

Danube. Horses, mules and asses. Three years old and over, 



794 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

40. Cattle, under one year, 9 ; one year and under two years, 6 ; 
two years and under three years, 2 ; cows, 29 ; bulls, 1. Swine, 30. 
Number of dogs, 2. Automobiles, 13. 

Bird Island. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
10; one year old and under two years. 15; two years old and un- 
der three years, 12 ; three years old and over, 166. Cattle, under 
one year, 44 ; one year and under two years, 66 ; two years and 
under three years, 18; cows, 114; bulls, 1. Sheep, 2. Swine, 187. 
Number of dogs, 54. Automobiles, 43; motorcycles and bi- 
cycles, 1. 

Fairfax. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 2; 
one year old and under two years, 6; two years old and under 
three years, 3 ; three years old and over, 84. Cattle, under one 
year, 4; one year and under two years. 4; two years old and 
under three years, 3 ; cows, 53. Swine, 22. Number of dogs, 40. 
Automobiles, 64; motorcycles and bicycles. 10. 

Franklin. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 11; 
one year old and under two years, 12; two years old and under 
three years, 7; three years old and over, 91. Cattle, under one 
year, 57 ; one year and under two years, 42 ; two years and under 
three years, 24; cows, 101; bulls, 6. Sheep, — . Swine, 125. Num- 
ber of dogs. 28. Automobiles, 41 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 3. 

Hector. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 9 ; 
one year old and under two years, 1 ; two years old and under 
three years, 3; three years old and over, 128. Cattle, under one 
year, 20 ; one year and under two years, 38 ; two years and under 
thivr years. 29; cows, 75; bulls, 2. Sheep, 4: Swine. 45. Num- 
ber of dogs, 46. Automobiles, 47 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 12. 

Morton. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old. 4; 
one year old and under two years, 10; two years old and under 
three years, 13; three years old and over, 112. Cattle, under 
one year, 36 ; one year and under two years, 114 ; two years and 
under three years, 57; cows, 108: bulls, 1; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 64. Sheep, 28. Swine, 591. Number of dogs, 
32. Automobiles, 43; motorcycles and bicycles, 2. 

Olivia. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 1; 
one year old and under two years, 5; two years old and under 
three years, 2; three years old and over, 142. Cattle, one year 
and under two years, 15; two years and under three years, 14; 
cows, 84 ; bulls, 2 ; all other cattle three years old and over, 5. 
Swine, 42. Number of dogs, 30. Automobiles, 76 ; motorcycles 
and bicycles, 3. 

Renville. Horses, mules and asses. One year old and under 
two years, 7; two years old and under three years, 8; three 
years old and over, 134. Cattle, one year and under two years, 
6 ; two years and under three years, 2 ; cows, 75 ; bulls, 1. Sheep, 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 795 

6. Swine, 162. Number of dogs, 25. Automobiles 63; motor- 
cycles and bicycles, 4. 

Sacred Heart. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
2; two years old and under three years, 1; three years old and 
over, 58. Cattle under one year, 1; two years old and under 
three years, 3; cows, 56. Swine, 12. Dogs, 12. Automobiles, 
44; motorcycles and bicycles, 4. 

TOWNSHIPS. 

Bandon. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 31; 
one year old and under two years, 84; two years old and under 
three years, 54; three years old and over, 616. Cattle, under 
one year, 528 ; one year old and under two years. 350 ; two years 
old and under three years, 197; cows, 688; bulls. 43; all other 
cattle three years old and over, 20. Sheep, 20. Swine, 749. Dogs, 
18. Automobiles, 25 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 10. 

Birch Cooley. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
12 ; one year old and under two years, 75 ; two years old and 
under three years, 69 ; three years old and over. 542. Cattle, 
under one year, 219 ; one year and under two years, 335 ; two 
years and under three years, 227 ; cows, 480 ; bulls, 15 : all other 
cattle three years old and over, 37. Sheep, 102. Swine, 944. 
Number of dogs, 57. Automobiles, 26. 

Beaver Falls. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
22 ; one year old and under two years, 46 ; two years old and 
under three years, 50; three years old ami over. 457. Cattle, 
under one year, 349; one year and under two years. 300: two 
years and under three years, 248; cows, 474; bulls, 3. Sheep, 167. 
Swine, 619. Number of dogs, 63. Automobiles, 36. 

Bird Island. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
28; one year old and under two years. 67: two years old and 
under three years, 47; three years old and over. 437. Cattle, un- 
der one year, 425; one year old and under two years, 294: two 
years old and under three years, 140 ; cows, 479 ; bulls, 28 ; all 
other cattle three years old and over, 13. Sheep. 7. Swine. 727. 
Dogs, 112. Automobiles, 8 ; motorcycles and bicycles. 2. 

Boon Lake. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
68; one year old and under two years. 91: two years old and 
under three years, 79 ; three years old and over, 624. Cattle, 
under one year, 409; one year and under two years, 394; two 
years and under three years, 348; cows, 1.003; bulls. 77. Sheep. 
2. Swine, 187. Number of dogs, 54. Automobiles. 24: motor- 
cycles and bicycles, 4. 

Brookfield. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
53; one year old and under two years, 68; two years old and 
under three years, 52 ; thi-ee years old and over, 473. Cattle, un- 



796 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

der one year, 408; one year old and under two years, 502; two 
years old and under three years, 189 ; cows, 542 ; bulls, 24. Sheep, 
189. Swine, 1,747. Dogs, 81. Automobiles, 21 ; motorcycles 
and bicycles, 2. 

Cairo. Horses, mules ami asses. Under one year old. 28; 
one year old and under two years, 91; two years old and under 
three years, 86; three years old and over, 519. Cattle, under 
one year, 320; one year old and under two years, 314; two years 
old and under three years. 214; cows, 579; bulls, 29. Sheep, 102. 
Swine. 350. Dogs, 97. Automobiles, 33; motorcycles and bi- 
cycles, (i. 

( 'rooks. Horses, mules ami asses. Under one year old, 53; 
one year old and under two years, 55; two years old and under 
three years, 60; three years old and over, 600. Cattle, under one 
year, 517; one year old and under two years, 320; two years 
old and under three years, 168. Cows. 588; bulls. 22. Sheep, 51. 
Swine, 1,965. Dogs, 82. Automobiles, 11; motorcycles and bi- 
cycles, 3. 

Camp. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 39; 
one year old and under two years, 56; two years old and under 
three years, 63; three years old and over, 516. Cattle, under 
one year. 536; one 3'ear old and under two years, 375; two years 
old and under three years, 254 ; cows, 628 ; bulls, 30 ; all other 
cattle three years old and over, 67. Sheep, 69. Swine, 695. Dogs, 
28. Automobiles. 32; motorcycles and bicycles, 11. 

Emmet. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 65; 
one year old and under two years, 83; two years old and under 
three years. 59; three years old and over, 569. Cattle, under 
one year, 480; one year old and under two years, 331 ; two years 
old ami under three years, 206; cows, 520; bulls, 28. Sheep, 102. 
Swine. 1.311). Dogs, 81. Automobiles, IS. 

Ericson. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 64; 
one year old and under two years, 46; two years old and under 
three years, 44; three years old and over, 627. Cattle, under 
one year, 488; one year old and under two years, 286; two years 
old and under three years, 120 ; cows, 605 ; bulls, 43 ; all other 
cattle three years old and over, 15. Sheep, 61. Swine, 1,570. 
Dogs, 103. Automobiles, 22; motorcycles and bicycles, 4. 

Flora. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 48; 
one year old and under two years, 59; two years old and under 
three years. 58; three years old and over, 614. Cattle, under 
one year, 468 ; one year old and under two years, 240 ; two years 
old and under three years, 290 ; cows. 656 ; bulls, 37. Sheep, 56. 
Swine, 1,764. Dogs, 121. Automobiles, 35. 

Hawk Creek. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
42 ; one year old and under two years, 46 ; two years old and 
under three years, 33 ; three years old and over, 513. Cattle, 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 797 

under one year, 367 ; one year old and under two years, 225 ; 
two years old and under three years, 120; cows, 515; bulls, 42; 
all other cattle three years old and over, 25. Sheep, 55. Swine, 
1,881. Dogs, 84. Automobiles, 35 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 1. 

Hector. Horses, asses and mules. Under one year old, 4; 
one year old and under two years, 48; two years old and under 
three years, 51; three years old and over, 522. Cattle, under one 
year. 448: one year and under two years, 236; two years and 
under three years, 150; cows, 624; bulls, 38. Sheep, 144. Swine, 
839. Number of dogs, 80. Automobiles, 19 ; motorcycles and 
bicycles, 2. 

lleiiryville. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
86 ; one year old and under two years, 71 ; two years old and 
under three years, 31; three years old and over, 578. Cattle, un- 
der one year, 539 ; one year old and under two years, 391 ; two 
years old and under three years, 220; cows, 568; bulls, 29; all 
other cattle three years old and over, 9. Sheep, 13. Swine, 1,537. 
Dogs, 101. Automobiles, 29; motorcycles and bicycles, 5. 

Kingman. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 13; 
one year old and under two years, 63; two years old and under 
three years, 70; three years old and over, 525. Cattle, under 
one year, 177; one year old and under two years, 261; two years 
old and under three years, 156; cows, 588; bulls, 37. Sheep, 10. 
Swine, 1,032. Dogs, 74. Automobiles, 11, 

Martinsburg. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
32; one year old and under two years, 60; two years old and 
under three years, 57 ; three years old and over, 556. Cattle, 
under one year, 416; one year and under two years, 344; two 
years and under three years, 181; cows, 585; bulls, 42. Sheep, 
155. Swine, 982. Number of dogs, 80. Automobiles, 25; motor- 
cycles and bicycles, 3. 

Melville. Horses, nudes and asses. Under one year old, 28; 
one year old and under two years, 57; two years old and under 
three years, 50; three years old and over, 536. Cattle, under one 
year. 241 ; one year and under two years, 276; two years and un- 
der three years, 183 ; cows, 620 ; bulls, 42 ; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 16. Sheep, 20. Swine, 687. Number of 
dogs, 92. Automobiles, 20; motorcycles and bicycles, 7. 

Norfolk. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 21; 
one year old and under two years, 82; two years old and under 
three years, 98; three years old and over, 541. Cattle, under 
one year, 297 ; one year and under two years, 406 ; two years and 
under three years, 248 ; cows, 431 ; all other cattle three years 
old and over, 28. Sheep, 131. Swine, 696. Number of dogs, 
85. Automobiles, 19 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 1. 

Osceola. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 39; 
one year old and under two years, 59 ; two years old and under 



798 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

three years, 38; three years old and over, 549. Cattle, under 
one year, 370; one year and under two years, 287: two years and 
under three years, 194; cows, 649; bulls, 27. Sheep. 9. Swine, 
1,846. Number of dogs, 99. Automobiles, 9; motorcycles and 
bicycles, 11. 

Palmyra. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 24; 
one year old and under two years, 56; two years old and under 
three years, 32; three years old and over, 760. Cattle, under 
one year, 577 ; one year and under two years, 393 ; two years and 
under three years, 233 ; cows, 741 ; bulls, 56 ; all other cattle 
three years old and over. 179. Sheep, 33. Swine, 2,132. Num- 
ber of dogs, 50. Automobiles, 42 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 7. 

Preston Lake. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
42 ; one year old and under two years, 67 ; two years old and 
under three years, 53 ; three years old and over, 550. Cattle, 
under one year, 459 ; one year old and under two years, 365 ; two 
years old and under three years, 243 ; cows, 47S ; bulls, 66. Sheep, 
249. Swine, 1,334. Dogs. 104. Automobiles, 28: motorcycles 
and bicycles, 1. 

Sacred Heart. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
36; one year old and under two years, 68; two years old and 
under three years, 74: three years old and over, 972. Cattle, 
under one year, 566; one year and under two years, 435; two 
years and under three years, 200 ; cows, 848 ; bulls, 29 ; all other 
cattle three years old and over, 5. Sheep, 68. Swine, 677. Num- 
ber of dogs, 114. Automobiles, 35. 

Troy. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 38; one 
year old and under two years, 65; two years old and under three 
years, 56; three years old and over, 562. Cattle, under one year, 
513 ; one year old and under two years, 379 ; two years old and 
under three years, 212; cows, 680; bulls, 36; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 5. Sheep, 60. Swine. 608. Dogs. 88. Auto- 
mobiles, 24. 

"Wang. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old. 23 ; 
one year old and under two years, 67 ; two years old and under 
three years, 66 ; three years old and over, 605. Cattle, under 
one year, 299 ; one year old and under two years, 282 ; two years 
old and under three years. 148; cows, 646: bulls, 16. Sheep. 24. 
Swine, 913. Dogs, 61. Automobiles, 33. 

Winfield. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 10; 
one year old and under two years, 77 ; two years old and under 
three years, 78 ; three years old and over, 582. Cattle, under one 
year, 388 ; one year and under two years, 376 ; two years and( 
under three years, 189; cows, 653; bulls, 61; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 18. Sheep, 62. Swine, 760. Number of dogs, 
99. Automobiles, 13 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 1. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 799 

Wellington. Horses, asses and mules. Under one year old, 
53; one year old and under two years, 90; two years old and 
under three years, 82; three years old aud over, 522. Cattle, 
under one year, 342 ; one year and under two years, 401 ; two 
years and under three years, 253 ; cows, 674 ; bulls, 50 ; all other 
cattle three years old and over, 3. Sheep, 20S. Swine, 723. Num- 
ber of dogs, 110. Automobiles, 26 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 2. 

FARM NAMES. 

Many of the progressive farmers in Renville county have 
given names to their places, thus adding to their value and win- 
ning distinctiveness for their products. Some have taken ad- 
vantage of the opportunity given them by law to register their 
names with the register of deeds at the court house. Those thus 
registered at the present time are : 

Timothy M. Keefe, "Birch Coulie Falls Farm," N. i/ 2 of S. E. 
1/4 Section 29. town of Birch Cooley (113-34), July 27, 1909. 

Enoch O. Oppegard, owner of "Pleasant View Farm," located 
in sections 13 and 24. town of Hawk Creek (115, 38), August 25, 
1909. 

Timothy Warner, owner of "Pleasant Side Farm," located in 
sections 29 and 32, town of Emniett (115, 36), August 7, 1909. 

John E. Meng, owner of "Pleasant Hill Farm," located in 
northeast quarter of section 32, town of Bird Island (115, 34), 
September 20, 1909. 

Martin Henert, owner of "Early Dawn Farm," located on 
section 20, town of Kingman (116, 34), September 20, 1909. 

James H. Rich, owner of "Pine Hill Farm," located on sec- 
tion 20, town of Boon Lake (116, 31), September 21, 1909. 

Bernard A. Tersteeg, owner of "Fairview Farm," located 
on northeast quarter of section 1, town of Henry ville (114, 35), 
October 30, 1909. 

Fred D. Forcier, owner of "The Header Farm," located on 
the southwest quarter of section 11, town of Kingman (116, 34), 
October 30, 1909. 

O. A. Allen, owner of "Highland Farm," located on sections 
27 and 28, town of Hector (115, 32), December 18, 1909. 

Nels Bengtson, owner of "Grandview Farm," located on sec- 
tion 9, town of Hector (115, 32), January 3, 1910. 

Nels P. Johnson, owner of "Shadywood Farm," located on 
section 26, town of Palmyra_ (114, 33), January 6, 1910. 

Nels Dahlgren, owner of "Lone Oak Farm," located on the 
northeast quarter of section 28, town of Brookfield (116, 32), Jan- 
uary 6. 1910. 



800 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

August Lund, owner of "Topnotck Farm," located on sec- 
tions 11 and 14, town of Hector (115, 32), January 8, 1910. 

John C Anderson, owner of "Maplewood Farm,'' located on 
sections 34 and 35, town of Palmyra (114, 33), January 18, 1910. 

Henry Laffen, owner of "Glenwood Farm," located on the 
southeast quarter of section 9, town of Hector (115, 32), Janu- 
ary 22, 1910. 

Ola Person, owner of "Elm Grove Farm," located on the 
northwest quarter of section 10, town of Hector (115, 32), Jan- 
uary 28, 1910. 

G. A. Anderson, owner of "Glendale Fruit Farm." located 
on the northeast quarter of section 24, town of Sacred Heart ( 115, 
37), January 28, 1910. 

John Hallquist, owner of "The Carpenter's Farm," located 
on the northeast quarter of section 33, town of Martinsburg 
(114, 32). 

Sven Aid, owner of "Palmyra Center Farm'," located on sec- 
tions 15 and 22. town of Palmyra (114, 33), February 8, 1910. 

Sven Ahl. owner of "Palmyra South Center Farm." located 
on section 21. town of Palmyra (114. 33), February 8, 1910. 

Elias M. Ericson, owner of the "White Star Farm," located 
on sections 11 and 14, town of Palmyra (114. 33), March 1. 1910. 

S. J. Comstock, owner of "Nutwood Farm." located on sec- 
tions 19 and 30. town of Birch Cooley (113, 34), April 7. 1910. 

John Ederer, owner of "The Woodside Farm," located on 
section 30. town of Birch Cooley (113, 34), April 19. 1910. 

Wolfgang Weis. owner of "The Battle Ground Farm." located 
on sections 19 and 20. town of Birch Cooley (113. 34 . 

Andrew Weis. owner of "Weis' Coulie Farm." located on sec- 
tion 17, town of Birch Cooley (113, 34 i, April 19. 1910. 

John H. O'Brien, owner of "Pleasant Mound Farm," located 
on section 24, township of Winfield (116, 35), May 27. 1910. 

Edwin B. Wolff, owner of "The Lilacs," located on section 
32, town of Melville (115, 33), June 25. 1910. 

Elbert W. Van Ornuni. owner of the "Midway View Farm," 
located on tin- northwest quarter of section 30, town of Nor- 
folk (114. 34). October 4, 1910. 

A. Emil Johnson, owner of "Springdale Farm," located on 
sections 5-8, town of Sacred Heart (114, 37), March 16. 1911. 

John H. Sagnes, owner of "Oak Valley Farm." located on 
sections 22 and 23. town of Hawk Creek (115. 35), June 12. 1911. 

Anna Skalbekken, owner of "Meadow Creek Farm," located 
on sections 23 and 24, town of Hawk Creek (115, 35). January 
13, 1913. 

Ole R. Erickson, owner of "Sunny Meadow Farm." located 
on section 36, town of Winfield (116, 35), and section 31. town 
of Kingman (116, 34), February 7, 1913. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 801 

Karenus 0. Agre, owner of the "Rendall Farm," located on 
sections 9-10-11, town of Hawk Creek (115, 38), February 11, 
1913. 

August Anderson, owner of "Willow (Hen Farm,'' located 
on sections 21 and 22, town of Palmyra (114, 33), May 22, 1913. 

Pedar Gulbrandsen, owner of "Fieldhammer Farm," located 
on sections 31 and 32, township of Erickson (116, 37), and sec- 
tion 5, town of Sacred Heart (115, 37), May 26, 1913. 

John I. Johnson, owner of "Maple Grove Farm," located on 
sections 23 and 24, town of Wang (116, 38), May 24. 1913. 

Edwin Dahlgren, owner of "Suimyside Farm." located on 
the northwest quarter of section 10, town of Palmyra (114, 33), 
June 7, 1913. 

C. A. Jaeobson, owner of "Elderwood Lane Farm," located on 
sections 13 and 14, town of Hawk Creek, July 7. 1913. 

Oscar Anderson, owner of "North Star Farm," located on 
sections 13 and 14. town of Hawk Creek (115, 38), May 31. 1913. 

R. H. Defries, owner of "Long View Farm," located on the 
southwest quarter of section 27. town of Crooks (116, 36). Au- 
gust 7, 1913. 

Derk Hoogerman, owner of "Round Trip Farm," located on 
section 17, town of Crooks (116, 36), August 23, 1913. 

William H. Burghart, owner of "New Home Stock Farm,'' 
located on sections 7 and 18, town of Norfolk (114, 34), Septem- 
ber 13, 1913. 

Philip Johnson, owner of "Willow Park Stock Farm," located 
on the northeast quarter of section 36. town of Bird Island (115, 
34), October 4, 1913. 

Oscar 0. Skalbeck, owner of "Lucerne stock Farm," located 
on sections 1 and 12, town of Hawk Creek (115, 38). January 

26, 1914. 

Philip Bingenheimer. owner of the "Spruce Stock Farm." lo- 
cated on sections 18 and 19, town of Troy (115, 35), February 

27, 1914. 

Fred Hagemeister, owner of "Yellow Trail Stock Farm," lo- 
cated on sections 13 and 24, town of Melville (115, 33), May 4. 
1914. 

Philip Warner, owner of "Riverside Home," located on sec- 
tion 24. town of Sacred Heart (115, 37). May 18, 1914. 

H. B. Pederson, owner of "Breezy Point Stock Farm." lo- 
cated on section 10, town of Birch Cooley (112, 34), May 18, 1914. 

S. M. Serkland, owner of "Riverdale Farm," located on sec- 
tion 23, town of Sacred Heart (114, 37), June 2, 1914. 

Johanna Schumacher, owner of "Ideal Stock Farm," located 
on section 27, town of Cairo (112, 32), July 23. 1914. 

Oustav L. Malquist, owner of the "Eureka Stock Farm," lo- 
cated on section 17, town of Palmyra (114, 33), January 6, 1915. 



802 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Elwin Borden, owner of "Pleasant View Stock Farm," lo- 
cated on section 31, village of Buffalo Lake (Town of Preston 
Lake. 115, 31), February 26, 1915. 

EARLY DIFFICULTIES. 

The privations and disasters through which Renville county 
has passed to its present peace and prosperity would of them- 
selves make an interesting history. 

In the earliest days of settlement the county seemed at once 
about to become one of the most prosperous regions in Minne- 
sota. Along the river and the ravines there was an abundance 
of water, the soil was rich and not hard to cultivate, there was 
plenty of wood with which to build cabins, work could be ob- 
tained at the agencies not far away, supplies could be purchased 
from the traders there, and there was more or less traffic on the 
Minnesota. There were schools at the agencies and there were 
physicians at the agency and at Ft. Ridgely. The winters were 
cold and real comforts were few, but nevertheless the people did 
not undergo the suffering that they did at a later date. The 
people had cows, poultry and swine, with many oxen for their 
work. There were also sometimes horses to be found in the 
settlers' pastures. Drawbacks existed it is true, but little of the 
acute suffering that came later. 

On such a scene of prosperity broke the Indian outbreak, and 
in a day the county was depopulated. From this blow the county 
was long in recovering. But gradually some of the settlers came 
back and others came with them. With the years, the prairie 
regions began to be settled. 

The people on the prairies had a much different experience 
from those in the ravines and along the bottoms. A sod house 
or a dugout was their only shelter. If after a while they desired 
a cabin of poles or logs they had to go to the bottomlands and 
the ravines. It was quite difficult to obtain timber. The dugouts 
wi'if crude, but sometimes afforded a better shelter than the 
cabins, for ofttimes the cabins were filled with holes and chinks 
through which the winter winds whistled. 

Ofttimes an axe and a grub hoe were the only tools of the 
pioneers. The cabins were usually erected without nails or metal 
of any kind. Sometimes the windows were covered with paper, 
sometimes there were no windows. The doors consisted of split 
poles nailed to a cross strip usually swung on leather hinges. 
The fireplace or the stove was in one end, and as the ventilation 
was not always good the cabin was often filled with smoke. 

The floor was of trampled earth. Furniture was home-made, 
bunks and tables usually being crude contrivances swung from 
the walls. A loft overhead or a trundle bed was usually provided 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 803 

as a sleeping place for the children. The roofs were usually of 
brush or shakes, which in heavy storms freely admitted the wind 
and rain. 

Wild game was the principal food, corn was made into meal 
in a coffee-grinder, pork and bacon were luxuries, coffee was al- 
most unknown, and flour was obtained only with the greatest 
difficulty. Often the pioneers walked to New Ulm, Willmar or 
other places, and brought provisions home on their backs. 

A few fortunate ones owned the oxen and the wagons with 
which they came. Some of them, however, hired some one to bring 
them here. Many of the men walked here, and lived alone until 
they had erected a cabin, and then hired some one to bring their 
families. Some were single men who, as soon as their homes were 
established, went back after their brides. Some continued to be 
bachelors, and kept house as best they could. 

Those who had no oxen had a difficult time in getting poles 
and logs. After a year or two some of them bought oxen, others 
bought calves and raised them until they were able to help with 
the farm work. Sometimes a cow and a steer would be hitched 
together. The people who had cows were fortunate in that they 
had a supply of milk for their children, and an opportunity to 
make butter. Some had a pig or two, and a few' brought chickens. 
Sometimes in the winter the animals had to be brought into the 
cabins to keep them from perishing in the cold. 

There were all sorts of difficulties in raising crops. Insect 
pests of various sorts came, blackbirds, crows and pigeons rav- 
ished the fields, gophers and prairie chickens spoiled the crops, 
wet seasons rotted the seed, and dry seasons withered the plants, 
the cattle did not relish the rank grass gathered in the swales. 

The winter weather, cyclones, blizzards and tornadoes made 
life almost unbearable, and many perished. Others who survived 
moved away, never to return. 

In 1873, when the county was beginning to be fairly well 
settled, there came the great blizzard, beginning January 7. In 
this blizzard some of the coiuity's best citizens perished and 
others suffered injuries from which they have never recovered. 
Possibly this is the greatest blizzard that the county has had, but 
it is not the only one nor is it the only one in which human life 
has been lost in the county. 

Later, in the same year, 1873, there came the grasshoppers, 
whose ravages extended until 1877. Renville county is among 
the counties which suffered each of these years. Some years a 
small crop was reaped but other years everything in sight was 
destroyed. On July 1, 1875, a number of farmers from Nicollet, 
Sibley and Renville counties met at Fort Ridgley for the purpose 
of considering the grasshoper raid and devising some plan of 
obtaining bread and seed for the coming winter and spring. 



804 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Resolutions were passed, requesting the representatives to try 
and obtain a loan from the state for three or five years at seven 
per cent interest. A motion was carried that each farmer desir- 
ing aid should file the amount he wanted with the town clerk 
before the first day of August, 1875. 

For many years prairie fires were a serious menace to Ren- 
ville county farmers. Now the danger is largely passed, for the 
county is cut up into farms and the farms into fields, and ditches 
abound everywhere. But for many decades there was little to 
stop a fire once it got started, and the farmers lost heavily. 
Stacks barns, sheds, crops and even sometimes houses were burned 
when these fires swept the country. Backfiring, digging, and 
other expedients were resorted to as means of stopping the flames 
when they were started, and sometimes all the men in a large 
neighborhood would be out with shovels trying to keep back the 
devouring element which threatened their homes and crops 

Spring freshets brought many dangers, too. The flat country, 
without ditches to carry off the water or tilled fields to soak up 
the moisture, became covered in the spring with big swamps and 
sloughs. The small creeks became raging rivers, and travel be- 
came almost impossible. 

Hail and windstorms and droughts during the growing season 
have at times caused loss, and in the early days late frosts in the 
spring and early frosts in the fall were a menace to crops not 
yet acclimated, and whose seed had been brought from regions 
where different climatic conditions existed. 

In 1894 the chinch bugs caused much damage to the farmers. 
Methods of relief were taken, and since then, while they have 
done more or less damage, there have been no general ravages 
on the part of these destructive bugs. 

Among the cyclones possibly the worst was the one of July 
15, 1887, in winch may persons lost their lives. 

But in spite of these drawbacks, Renville county has become 
one of the most prosperous in the state. Cattle and swine are 
found in large numbers, horse breeding is here a fine art, and 
all the crops usually found in this climate grow in abundance. 

One of the features of the Renville county landscape is the 
great number of domestic groves. Every farm has a good wind-' 
break and a grove from which fuel is obtained. 

All in all, there are few places in the United States more de- 
sirable as a place of residence than Renville county; settlers 
mi' coming here in large numbers, and the value of land is in- 
creasing yearly. 

The Renville County Agricultural Society and its predecessors 
have held thirty-five annual fairs, for the most part at Bird Island. 
The society was organized Dec. 13, 1879, as the Renville County 
Agricultural & Live Stock Association. The incorporators were : 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 805 

F. E. Wolff, Norman Hickok, George H. Megquier, W. A. Bump, 
Charles C. Ladd, J. S. Bowler, L. L. Timies, Albert Brown. J. K. 
Salisbury, John King, W. M. Holbrook, J. S. Niles, James Brown. 
E. I). Stone, and J. J. Sterns. J. K. Salisbury was president; 
J. S. Niles, first vice-president ; Albert Brown, second vice-presi- 
dent; J. C. Ladd, third vice-president; J. S. Bowler, secretary, 
and F. E. Wolff, treasurer. The first fair was held at Bird Island 
in 1880. For a time the fair was held at Hector, but for the most 
part it has been held at Bird Island, where the present splendid 
fair grounds are permanently located. 

Dec. 12, 1895. the Bird Island Fair Association was incor- 
porated by J. M. Bowler, F. L. Puffer, A. N. Stone, H. H. Gokey, 
Charles Kenning, L. L. Tinnes, I. S. Gerald, J. A. Johnson and 
Philip Johnson. For some years one association conducted the 
fair and the other controlled the grounds. 

Jan. 1, 1912, the Renville County Agricultural Society was 
reorganized, having on Dec. 9, 1910, secured control of the stock 
of the Bird Island Fair Association from which it had previously 
rented the grounds. 

The fair grounds and the exhibitons conducted there have 
given Bird Island wide note. The track is excellent, and the 
buildings arc ample and sightly. New improvements are made 
each year. At the entrance is the ticket office. The agricultural 
building houses the school exhibits, the women's exhibits, the 
Farm Club exhibits, and the general agricultural exhibits. The 
poultry building, the cattle building and the horse exhibit build- 
ings stand in a row. The swine exhibit building is admirably 
adapted to its purpose, and south of this are the race horse barns. 
It is possible that the race horses in the near future will be ac- 
commodated at the other side of the tracks. The grandstand seats 
some 1,600 people. There is a splendid half-mile race track, with 
the usual judges' stand, and the like. Bleachers have been erected 
and here are staged many exciting games of the Renville County 
Baseball League. Not far away is the building of the Bird Island 
Gun Club and the grounds where the members do their trap 
shooting. The grounds and buildings are a monument of all who 
assisted in the development of the project. Old settlers recall 
the erection of the first building, its destruction by a cyclone, and 
the many discouragements which were overcome by the few 
devoted souls who in the early days endeavored to keep the fair 
alive. It is generally acknowledged that the Bird Island fair is 
now one of the best, and possibly the very best, local fair held 
in the state. 

The present officers are : J. M. Olson, president ; D. S. Hall, 
first vice-president; Timothy O'Connor, second vice-president; 
Fred Foesch, third vice-president; Paul Kolbe, secretary; H. A. 
Puffer, treasurer; directors, C. F. Neitzel, Chas. Kenning; Joseph 



80G HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Haggett, Joseph Lester; Joseph Kienholz; Chas. Glesener; A. J. 
Richardson and Henry J. Jungelaus. 

The superintendents of exhibits in 1915 were: Division A, 
Horses, Ed. Kienholz and Jos. Sester; Division B., Cattle, Wil- 
liam Korrect; Division C, Swine and Sheep, C. E. Dahlgren and 
R. V. Prakes ; Division D., Poultry, Henry Sing ; Division E., 
Farm Produce, Chas. Glesener and George Hess; Division P., Do- 
mestic Products, Mrs. H. A. Puffer and Mrs. Ben Korkemeier, 
assistant superintendent; Division G., Supplementary, Henry 
Broderius; Division H., Miscellaneous, H. V. Poore. 

The Renville County Poultry Association, which name was 
adopted Feb. 14, 1911, was organized Oct. 16, 1909, as the Bird 
Island Poultry Association. The first officers were: President, 
Joseph Kienholz; secretary, Paul Kolbe ; treasurer, Ben. Korke- 
meier. The first exhibition was held January 5-7, and annual 
successful exhibitions have since continued to be given. The 
present officers are : President, Joseph Kienholz ; vice-president, 
Ben. Korkemeier; secretary and treasurer, Paul Kolbe; directors, 
Ed. Kienholz, Joseph Ziller and Gus. Ninow. 

Following are the members of the association witli their ad- 
dress, and the variety of poultry raised : Joe Kienholz, Bird 
Island, Minn., S. C. White Leghorns, Silver Wyandottes, Black 
Minorcas, Bronze Turkeys ; Nick Bartholet, Bird Island, Minn., 
Black Orpingtons, White Plymouth Rocks; Ben Korkemeier, 
Franklin, Minn., Barred Plymouth Rocks; Paul Kolbe, Bird 
Island, Minn., White Plymouth Rocks, White Cochin Bantams; 
Chris Arlt, Bird Island, Minn., S. C. Brown Leghorns and Toulouse 
Geese ; Wm. Poppe, Montevideo, Minn., White Wyandottes and 
Toulouse Geese; H. V. Poore, Bird Island, Minn., Barred Plymouth 
Rocks; Clarence Sing, Bird Island, Minn., White Wyandottes, 
Partridge Wyandottes, and White Chinese Geese ; Ed. Kienholz, 
Bird Island, Minn., Buff Plymouth Rocks, S. C. White Leghorns; 
Joe Ziller, Bird Island, Minn., S. C. Brown Leghorns and Bronze 
Turkeys; H. E. Posely, Stewart, Minn., White and Buff Orping- 
tons and Columbian Wyandottes ; Frank Havlish, Jr., Danube, 
Minn., White Wyandottes; Frank Goeltz, Morton, Minn., Bronze 
Turkeys, R. I. Reds, Partridge Wyandottes, Buff Leghorns, White 
Chinese Geese, African Geese and Pekin Ducks; Martin Paar, 
Bird Island. Minn., R, C. White Leghorns, White Holland Tur- 
keys, Toulouse Geese ; John Hopman, Bird Island, Minn., R. C. 
Reds and Bronze Turkeys ; A. S. Brugman, Renville, Minn., Sil- 
ver Laced Wyandottes; G. C. Ewer, Bird Island, Minn., S. C. 
White Leghorns; C. P. Young, Bird Island, Minn., White Crested 
Black Polish; Frank Weyer, Olivia, Minn., R. C. White Leghorns; 
Molinaar Bros., Raymond, Minn., S. C. White Leghorns; Dr. D. 
R. Miller, Bird Island, Minn., S. C. White Leghorns, Black 
Minorcas and Silver Campines ; Chas. Kenning, Bird Island, Minn., 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 807 

Black Langshans and Toulouse Geese ; E. M. Thomas, Bird Island, 
Minn., Barred Rocks ; H. C. Sherwood, Bird Island, Minn. ; Mil- 
ton A. Schmidt, Chaska, Minn., S. C. Reds, Partridge Plymouth 
Rocks, and R. C. Reds; Jacob Baumgartner, Bird Island, Minn., 
S. C. Buff Orpingtons; N. E. Chapman, Owatonna, Minn., State 
Poultry Expert at the University Farm ; A. E. Kirkpatrick, Nor- 
wood, Minn., Houdans, White Wyandottes, S. C. White Orping- 
tons, R. C. Reds, Indian Runner Ducks and African Geese ; A. A. 
Chapman, Olivia, Minn., White and Black Orpingtons; J. W. 
Franke, Stewart, Minn., White Plymouth Rocks; Jos. Pekarek, 
Olivia, Minn., White Wyandottes; Jos. C. Gee, Olivia, Minn., S. 
C. Reds, White Chinese Geese ; Fred Zeimer, Waconia, Minn., 
Barred Plymouth Rocks; Geo. Melquist, Bird Island, Minn., R. 
C. Black Minorcas; Henry Broberius, Bird Island, Minn., S. C. 
White Minorcas ; E. L. Dresser, New Auburn, Minn., S. C. White 
Leghorns; Bender Bros., Waconia, Minn., S. C. White Orping- 
tons, and S. C. White Minorcas ; Mrs. Wm. J. Evans, Montevideo, 
Minn., R. C. Reds, Partridge, Wyandottes and White Plymouth 
Rocks ; Gus Nenow, Bird Island, Minn., White Wyandottes and 
Toidouse Geese ; A. & M. Erickson, Sacred Heart, Minn., White 
and Partridge Wyandottes ; Ole Chunstrom, Sacred Heart, Minn., 
R. C. Reds and Barred Rocks. 

The Minnesota Valley Agricultural and Live Stock Association 
was organized April 5, 1891, the incorporators being W. G. Bart- 
ley, J. H. McGowan, John M. Clancy, J. M. Farisy, Don. Mc- 
Nevin, Andrew MeCormick, George Welch, W. W. Miller, M. 
Dooly. T. J. Treadwell, John Mcintosh, Fred Morgan, of Morton ; 
0. L. Dornberg and Joseph Tyson, of Redwood Falls. The first 
officers were : President, J. H. McGowan ; secretary, W. G. Bart- 
ley ; vice-president, S. A. Greenslit ; treasurer, Andrew MeCormick. 
Forty acres were purchased, various buildings were erected, and 
successful fairs were held for four years. The Birch Cooley mon- 
ument was erected on the grounds and the fair became widely 
known. In 1894 the grandstand was erected. But the fair of 
that year was the last held. The legislature passed an act which 
deprived the Morton, Renville and Olivia fairs of state support, 
leaving the oldest fair, the one at Bird Island, the only one so 
supported. Mr. McGowan has acquired the fair grounds and, 
to a certain extent, trains his standard bred horses there. A few 
race meets have also been held there and various celebrations 
are given from time to time on the grounds. 



.sos HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 

DAIRYING AND CREAMERIES. 

Story of the Growth of the Industry in Renville County — Present 
Importance of Dairying — Present and Past Creamery Com- 
panies. 

The inhabitants of Minnesota before white people came, lived 
almost exclusively by hunting and fishing, using no animal milk 
in any form. The dairy industry did not begin, therefore, before 
the white people came and settled in the state. The work of 
preparing the fields for crop growing took a long time, and trans- 
portation facilities were very defective, hence the early pioneers 
had neither time for dairying nor a market for dairy products. 
Dairying, therefore, was engaged in solely for the purpose of 
supplying themselves with milk and its products. Later, as the 
herds began to increase in size, the resulting surplus of milk was 
made into butter, or occasionally into cheese, and disposed of in 
the local markets. When villages were established, the produc- 
tion of milk for direct sale as such, developed in their vicinity. 

The year 1870 marks, approximately, the introduction of the 
factory system of butter and cheese manufacture in the state. 
According to the statistics, two cheese factories had been estab- 
lished by that date. During the twenty years following, little 
progress was made by either branch of the industry. 

The first cheese factory in Renville county was started in 
1876 by Charles D. McEwen, who came from a point three miles 
south of Hutchinson, where he had previously conducted a cheese 
factory, purchased 160 acres of land in section 31, Boon Lake 
township, and conducted a dairy farm with twenty-five or more 
cows. 

As late as 1890 the state reports show only one cheese factory 
and one creamery in Renville county : The Buffalo Lake Cheese 
Factory, at Buffalo Lake, and the J. Richardson Co., at Bird 
Island. 

In 1900 there were fifteen creameries in Renville county. 
Where two addresses are given, the first is the postoffice address 
and the second the railroad shipping point ; where but one address 
is given, the postoffice and shipping point are the same : Norfolk 
Creamery, Eddsville. Bird Island; Morton Creamery. Morton; 
Hector Creamery, Hector; Winfield Creamery, Olivia; Florita 
Creamery, Florita, North Redwood ; Bird Island Creamery, Bird 
Island; Fairfax Creamery, Fairfax: Boon Lake Creamery, Lake 
Side, Hutchinson; Central Creamery, Olivia; Farmers' Creamery, 
Buffalo Lake; Renville Creamery, Renville; North Western 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 809 

Creamery, Sacred Heart; Fort Ridgely Creamery, Fort Ridgely, 
Fairfax; Churchill Creamery, Hector; Osceola Creamery, Bird 
Island. 

Following are the creameries in Renville county for 1910. 
Where two addresses are given the first is the postoffice address 
and the second the shipping point. Where but one address is 
given the postoffice and shipping point are the same. Boon Lake 
Cooperative Creamery Co., Buffalo Lake, Hutchinson ; Brookfield 
Cooperative Creamery Association, Brookfield, Hutchinson; Buf- 
falo Lake Creamery. Buffalo Lake; Central Creamery Association, 
Olivia; Clover Leaf Creamery Association of Osceola, Bird Island; 
Mellville Cooperative Creamery Association, Hector, Bird Island ; 
Morton Creamery Co., Morton; Norfolk & Palmyra Creamery 
Association, Bird Island; Renville Creamery, Renville; Fairfax 
Creamery Association, leased, Fairfax. 

In 1910 Renville county had six cooperative creameries and 
three independent ones. There were 1,1126 patrons, owning 8,751 
cows. About 733,729 pounds of butter were made, and the pat- 
rons were paid $180,119.28. 

In 1911 Renville county had six cooperative creameries and 
two independent ones. There were 1,320 patrons, owning 8,035 
cows. About 605,246 pounds of butter were made, and the pat- 
rons were paid $130,125.57. 

In 1912 Renville county had six cooperative creameries and six 
independent ones. There were 981 patrons, owning 5,300 cows. 
About 409,761 pounds of butter were made, and the patrons were 
paid $102,636.01. 

In 1913 Renville eouuty had five cooperative creameries and 
six independent ones. There were 887 patrons owning 5,954 cows. 
About 864,872 pounds of butter were made and the patrons were 
paid $217,815.97. 

In 1914, not including the Morton and Hector creameries 
which did not report, $179,887.77 was paid to the patrons and the 
number of pounds of butter made were 767,602. 

Following were the creameries in Renville county in 1914. 
Where two addresses are given the first is the shipping address 
and the second is the shipping point. Where but one address is 
given the postoffice and shipping point are the same : Boon Lake 
Cooperative Creamery Co., cooperative, Buffalo Lake, Hutchin- 
son ; Brookfield Cooperative Creamery Association, cooperative, 
Brookfield. Hutchinson ; Buffalo Lake Creamery, independent, 
Buffalo Lake ; Central Creamery Association, cooperative, Olivia ; 
Danube Creamery, independent, Danube; Hector Creamery Co., 
independent, Hector ; Fairfax Cooperative Creamery Co., coopera- 
tive, Fairfax ; Melville Cooperative Creamery Association, coop- 
erative, Hector, Bird Island; Morton Creamery Co., independent, 



810 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Morton; Franklin Cooperative Creamery, cooperative, Franklin; 
Norfolk & Palmyra Creamery Association, cooperative, Bird 
Island ; Renville Creamery, independent, Renville ; Sacred Heart 
Creamery Co., independent, Sacred Heart. 

The following cooperative creameries are now operated in 
the county : Boon Lake Creamery Co., Lakeside ; Central Cream- 
ery Association, Olivia ; Eddsville Creamery Company, Eddsville ; 
Fairfax Cooperative Creamery, Fairfax; Franklin Cooperative 
Creamery, Franklin; Melville Creamery Association, Melville; 
Brookfield Cooperative Creamery Co. ; Bird Island Cooperative 
Creamery Co. One is being built at Hector. Besides these coop- 
erative plants there are private plants at Buffalo Lake. Danube, 
Renville and Sacred Heart. 

In 1860 Renville county had seventy-four cows and produced 
400 pounds of butter. In 1870 Renville county had 993 cows and 
produced 10,185 pounds of butter and 610 pounds of cheese. In 
1880 Renville county had 6,083 cows; 429,914 pounds of butter 
were made on the farms and 13,142 pounds of cheese were made on 
the farms. In 1890 there were 12,742 cows in Renville county; 
3,730,730 gallons of milk; 815,113 pounds of butter and 6,123 
pounds of cheese. In 1900, 2,845 farmers reported dairy prod- 
ucts ; value of all dairy products, $242,165 ; value of dairy products 
consumed on farms, $102,636; milk produced, 5,633,382 gallons; 
gallons sold, 1,329,219; pounds of butter made, 879,589; pounds 
sold, 478.684; cheese made, 5,387 pounds; cheese sold, 4,811 
pounds. In 1910 : Dairy cows on farms reporting dairy products. 
18,041; dairy cows on farms reporting milk products, 9,332; gal- 
lons of milk produced, 3,174,852; gallons of milk sold. 213,976; 
cream sold, 134,528; butter-fat sold, 425,657; butter produced, 
783,919 pounds; butter sold, 415,500 pounds; cheese produced, 50 
pounds ; value of dairy products excluding home use of milk and 
cream, $405,618 ; receipts from sale of dairy products, $320,100. 



Inquiries have been made of the secretaries of the various 
creameries asking for a history of their respective institutions. 
In a few instances no reply has been received. 

The Bird Island Cooperative Creamery. The first factory for 
dairy products in Bird Island was a cheese factory. This was 
built by the Bird Island Creamery and Milling Association on 
the southeast corner of the block south of the Bird Island Roller 
Mills in 1883. This company operated the factory the first two 
seasons. Later it was leased to a Canadian, William Tate by 
name, who then made cheese at the factory for two summers. 
After standing idle two years, the J. Richardson Company, one 
of the original stockholders, bought out the other stockholders, 
to make the plant over for a creamery, which change was made. 
The J. Richardson Company operated the creamery successfully 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 811 

for several years, commencing with gathered cream and installing 
a separator when separators came into use. The building was 
bought by a farmers cooperative association which association was 
running the creamery when it burned down in 1906, it having 
been under the association management about two years. Since 
that time the creameries nearest Bird Island have been the Mel- 
ville and Norfolk-Palmyra creameries, respectively four and seven 
and one-half miles from town. 

In August, 1915, an investigation of the railway company's 
books at Bird Island by the agricultural department of the Bird 
Island Public Schools showed that 21,500 gallons of cream had 
been shipped out of Bird Island in the preceding twelve months, 
enough cream to make almost 60,000 pounds of butter. A cam- 
paign was launched by the Public Schools' Agricultural Depart- 
ment to ascertain and develop sentiment in regard to a creamery. 
The organization finally resulting is the work of the farmers of 
the community, working at first through the Renville County 
Swine Breeders' Association, and is the work of the Bird Island 
Public Schools. The business men of the community have also 
cooperated to a very large extent. 

At the regular September meeting of the Swine Breeders" As- 
sociation held in Bird Island, Sept. 5, 1914, a vote was taken to as- 
certain the sentiment of the members present as to the relative de- 
sirability of independent and cooperative creameries. The ma- 
jority was in favor of a cooperative creamery. A committee was 
appointed at this meeting to see how much stock could be dis- 
posed of and to find out how many cows were in the territory that 
would be served by a creamery in Bird Island. The committee 
appointed was: Ralph Loomis, chairman, Bird Island township; 
Nels Mattson, Kingman township, H. J. Jungclaus, Osceola town- 
ship; R. Y. Frakes, Melville township; -I. -I. Meurer, Norfolk 
township. 

This committee reported progress at the October meetings of 
the Swine Breeders' Association by which time fifteen hundred 
dollars in shares and the product of three hundred and twenty- 
five cows had been subscribed. A special meeting of the asso- 
ciation was held November 25, a booster meeting for the creamery. 
It was addressed by Prof. F. M. Washburn, Associate Professor 
of Dairying, University of Minnesota, who talked on the subject, 
"Cooperative Creameries." 

An organization committee to carry on the work of organiza- 
tion was elected at a meeting held December 19. The members 
that served on this committee were Nels Mattson, chairman, 
Ralph Loomis, secretary, Joseph Sester and H. T. Rauenhorst. 
The creameries of Glencoe, Biscay, Fairfax and Franklin were 
visited by this committee in getting ideas for a creamery in Bird 
Island. A permanent organization was effected January 22. 1915. 



812 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

By-laws and Articles of Incorporation were adopted. Officers and 
directors chosen were: President, Nels Mattson; vice president, 
Joseph Sester; secretary, Ralph Loomis; treasurer, John J. Hop- 
man ; Wolfgang Bauman, George W. Johnson, Joseph Prokosh, 
John Torbert. 

It was decided not to commence building operations until four 
thousand dollars in cash capital had been subscribed. When this 
amount had been secured the mark was advanced to four thou- 
sand dollars capital to be subscribed by would-be patrons and it 
was also required that the product of 800 cows be promised for 
the creamery's raw material. People in town willing to help in 
starting a creamery subscribed for sixty shares. Shares were $25 
each. Interest on shares being limited by the by-laws to six per 
cent if any is paid, it is clear that these subscriptions were not 
made with the expectation of profit. 

Fifty-six hundred dollars in shares and the product of 815 
cows had been subscribed before the last of July, 1915. The re- 
quirements were not raised again. The Creamery Engineering 
Company of Dassel. Minnesota, was employed to draw plans for 
the building. The plans call for a building of hollow clay build- 
ing blocks, the side and rear walls to be covered with stucco and 
the front wall with a veneer of white glazed brick. The dimen- 
sions are 28 feet 2 inches by 56 feet four inches. The equip- 
ment will include a 10 horsepower boiler for heating and pasteur- 
izing, two electric motors for power, two 300-gallon cream vats, 
a churn of 900 pounds capacity and a four-ton refrigerating 
machine. Much building space has been saved by the use of elec- 
tric motors for power and by using machine refrigeration. The 
use of this machinery will also greatly reduce operating expenses. 

The contract for erecting the building was awarded to Frank 
Hagen of Franklin, Minnesota. At this time, November 1, the 
walls of the building are complete. Indications are that the 
building will be finished on contract time, November 29, 1915. 
The machinery should be installed and the creamery in opera- 
tion before Christmas. 1915. The present officers and directors 
of the creamery are: President. Joseph Sester; vice president, 
John Torbert; secretary, Ralph Loomis; treasurer, John J. Hop- 
man ; Wolfgang Bauman. George W. Johnson, Joseph Prokosh, 
William Korrect. 

After getting along without a creamery for thirteen years, 
Bird Island is to have another creamery as the result of fourteen 
months agitation of the idea of having a modern creamery to 
provide a local market for cream. With the expenditure of sim- 
ilar effort in making the creamery a success as was expended in 
getting the bidlding, the Bird Island community will take front 
rank as one of the prosperous communities following the dairy in- 
dustry in Minnesota. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 813 

The Boon Lake Cooperative Creamery Co. began business Dec. 
8, 1897, on the northwest corner of section 27 of Boon Lake town- 
ship, for the purpose of taking in milk and making butter. The 
company consisted of about thirty farmers, among whom may 
be mentioned : H. D. Boorman, John Eggert, W. W. Forbes, Or- 
ville J. Edner, William Kurth, Fred Linstadt, Hugh Carrigan, 
Peter Bensten, and Fred Jorchs. The capital stock was placed 
at $3,500. The first officers and directors were William Kurth. 
Orville J. Edner, Fred Linstadt, II. D. Boorman, John Eggert. W. 
W. Forbes and Peter Bensten. A house was purchased for the 
butter maker May 10, 1912. The present officers are Herman 
Rannow. president; Charles Reinke. vice president; A. W. Barf- 
knecht. secretary; William Kurth. treasurer. Directors — A. Barf- 
knecht. John Reinke and B. F. Sheppard. In 1914. 1,286,555 
pounds of milk were received; Kifi.796 pounds of cream; 86.- 
290.24 pounds of butter fat ; $22,380.04 paid to the patrons for 
butter; $29,435.49, receipts from butter. There were sixty-four 
patrons, owning together about six hundred cows. 

The Brookfield Cooperative Dairy Association was incorpo- 
rated in Boon Lake township. 1899. with the following officers: 
August Hoefs, president: C. F. Zabel, secretary; H. E. Danielson, 
treasurer. The directors were John M. Zabel. II. P. Anderson, 
William Wehking. Butter-making operations were started March. 
1900. The butter maker's house is owned by the creamery and 
was erected about the same time as the creamery building. The 
present officers are: H. Soltow. president; Herman Zabel, sec- 
retary and treasurer. Directors — A. Wojahn, K. Koglin. H. 
Arndt. E. Kemp and II. Weseloh. The report for 1914 is as fol- 
lows: Milk received. 526,696 pounds; cream received, 54,444 
pounds; butter fat, 31.623.19 pounds. Paid to patrons in check, 
$7,429.52. Average number of patrons. 35. 

The Buffalo Lake Creamery is located on the corner of Main 
street in the heart of the village of Buffalo Lake, Minn. It is an 
independent creamery, owned and managed by John E. Swanson. 
The building was erected during the summer of 1913 and butter 
making was begun Jan. 5, 1914. In 1914. 258,489 pounds of cream 
were received. 85,057 pounds of butter made and $18,450.72 paid 
to the 165 patrons. The dairy cows in this neighborhood are of 
the Holstcin. Jersey and Shorthorn breeds. The creamery has 
proven a success from the first and the output for 1915 is about 
double that of 1914 sbowing a steady increase. The village as well 
as the community as a whole consider the creamery one of their 
best institutions and are doing their best to make it a success. 
Several years ago there was a farmers' creamery at Buffalo Lake 
which after passing through many hands, finally came into the 
management of Andrew Hanson who operated it for some time 
until it was closed about four years ago. 



814 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

The Danube Creamery. Nov. 11, 1912, N. I. Hugger opened 
the Danube Creamery for business. It was built and operations 
started in 1908, but at the time Mr. Hugger opened it, it had for 
some time been standing idle. There are now some 200 patrons 
owning some 1,000 eows. The Danube "Review" of March 11, 
1915, says in part: 

"It has been proven over and over again that the local cream- 
eries of Minnesota are a better market for cream than the central 
creameries in the large cities,, and that in this state where about 
one thousand creameries are in operation the farmers receive from 
six to eight cents a pound more for butter fat than the fanners 
are receiving in Nebraska and Kansas where the eentralizers have 
killed the local creameries. Only a few years ago the Danube 
Creamery was standing idle, and a constant demand was made 
that it be started again as it was a disadvantage for the town and 
surrounding country to be without a local market for cream. In 
.the fall of 1912 the Danube Creamery was reopened and has since 
been a success and of great value to the farmers. Now there is 
less cream shipped from here than any other similar point along 
the Milwaukee road. This also proves that we have a class of 
farmers that are loyal to the local creamery and are willing to 
put their shoulders to the wheel and help a worthy project. 

"Tin- Danube Creamery opened up for business on Nov. 11, 
1912, and since then has handled 805.951 pounds of cream out 
of which it manufactured 274,796 pounds of butter. The farmers 
patronizing this institution received nearly .$70,000 for butter-fat. 
The creamery is equipped with the most modern machinery that 
money can buy. The grade of butter made is of high quality 
and sells at a premium over the market. For this reason the 
creamery is in a position to pay its patrons the highest market 
price for their cream and still give them the fullest credit test 
and weight. The average price paid for butter-fat in February 
was thirty-one cents a pound." 

The Fairfax Creamery Association was organized in 1896 by 
the following : John B. Lieble, Aug. Yoeks, Peter Peschges, Wen- 
zel Frank, J. A. Whitiner, J. W. Donahue and John Albrecht. 
The following officers were chosen: J. A. Whitmer, president; 
J. W. Donahue, vice president: Peter Peschges, secretary, and 
Wenzel Frank, treasurer. Buildings were erected and butter- 
making operations were started in 1896, the buttermaker being 
W. E. Cleveland. In 1901, a buttermaker 's house was erected. 
About 1909 the creamery was rented for a period of one year to 
C. B. Thomas. It is now out of existence. 

The Fairfax Cooperative Creamery Co. was incorporated May 
9, 1914. The company erected a new and modern brick build- 
ing in Fairfax with modern equipment at a cost of $8,000. The 
name of the persons forming this cooperative association were : 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 815 

P. W. Garrahy, John Albrecht, John Iago, William S. Ruona, 
Anton Melvold, Herman Schmechel, J. A. Whitmer, W. Prank, 
N. J. Olson. Charles Firle, Walter Caven, Paul Albrecht, all of 
Fairfax, Renville county, and vicinity. 

The association was organized for the purpose of buying, sell- 
ing, manufacturing and dealing in milk, cream, ice cream, butter 
and cheese and generally conducting a creamery business, and 
buying and selling eggs and poultry and conducting a community 
laundry. The constitution of this association provides the amount 
of capital to be $20,000 ami that the amount of indebtedness or 
liability which the association may contract shall not exceed 
$5,000. One director is elected from each of the following town- 
ships: ('aim. (amp. Bandon and Wellington, if possible, and a 
director-at-large, such officers being chosen annually by the stock- 
holders. The annual meeting of the stockholders is held the first 
Monday in February of each year. 

The names of the first board of directors were : President. 
J. A. Whitmer: treasurer, John Albrecht: Herman Schmechel, 
William S. Ruona, Anton Melvold and Paul Albrecht, directors. 
Buttermaking operations were begun Feb. 10, 1915. Sept. 1. 1915, 
W. E. Cleveland, who was connected with the old creamery, 
started in 1896, became the buttermaker. The present officers 
are: J. A. Whitmer. president: Herman Schmechel, vice presi- 
dent; J. W. Donahue, secretary: John Albrecht, treasurer; Anton 
Melvold; John Lieble, Jr., and Henry Eriekson, directors. About 
sixty tubs of butter are made during the week and from $3,000 to 
$3,500 are paid to the patrons during the month. Buttermilk is 
sold for 26V2 cents per barrel. There are over 100 patrons and 
about 1.000 cows of various breeds, chief of which are the Hol- 
stein, Jersey and Red Pole. 

The Franklin Farmers' Cooperative Creamery is located on the 
main street in the heart of the business section of Franklin. Minn. 
The company was organized March 4, 1914, and incorporated on 
March 16. 1914. with a capital of $5,000. The incorporators were : 
Edwin Hed. of the State Dairy and Food Department, William 
Johnson, Matt. Niemi, Isaac Bogema and Henry Heikka. The 
erection of the building was begun July. 1914, and buttermaking 
operations began Nov. 21, 1914. The first officers were : Presi- 
dent, William A. Johnson ; vice president. J. C. Farrell ; treasurer, 
Fred Tower ; secretary, William Fox ; directors, J. D. Diekmeier, 
William Ruona and Henry Hiekka ; manager and buttermaker, J. 
L. Grellong. William Ruona has been succeeded by H. B. Peder 
son as director. The first annual report of the creamery reads 
as follows : From Nov. 21 to Dec. 31, 1914 — Pounds of milk re- 
ceived, 2,293; pounds of cream received, 13,906: average 
test of milk, 3.88 per cent; average test of cream, 
33.73 per cent ; pounds of butter fat in the milk. 88.20 ; 



816 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

pounds of butter fat in the cream, 4,691.20: total pounds of but- 
ter-fat, 4,779.40; pounds of butter shipped to New York, 4,592; 
butter sold at creamery, 421 pounds; total pounds of butter made, 
5,013; pounds lost in shrinkage to market, 39; received payment 
for 4.974 pounds; average price paid patrons, 32.24 cents; average 
price received for butter, 32.4 cents; pounds butter fat sold in 
cream, 782.20; pounds butter fat made into butter, 3,997.20; 
pounds over-run, 977; per cent of over-run, 24.4; total amount 
received for butter, $1,612.04: total amount received for cream, 
$253.05; total amount received for buttermilk. $20.12; total 
amount for sulphuric acid, 15 cents; total amount received, 
$1,885.36; paid for butter fat, $1,540.98; paid for running ex- 
penses, $183.50; total paid out, $1,724.48. Balance on hand. Dec. 
31. 1914. $160.88. The breeds most favored in the community 
are the Holstein and Guernsey. The present buttermaker is L. .1. 
Grellong. 

The Hector Creamery Association was organized June 17, 
1899, at Hector by P. E. Toole. Frank Marsh, George McGrath, 
P. O 'Donnell, Chas. Wenz, Bert Alberts, C. H. Reuber, R. Scheel, 
Thos. Torbenson. Geo. Weber, A. Malm. Chas. Roitz. E. Thiel- 
mann, Victor Peterson. Kund Christenson, Albert Schwarzkop, 
John Tesch, Simon Jenson, Carl Gubbe, F. F. Gablenz, F. A. 
Green, Karl Moag. The capital stock was $5,000. The following 
were the first officers : George McGrath. president : Charles Roitz. 
vice president: Frank Marsh, secretary: Gus Malm, treasurer; 
Bert Alberts, C. H. Reuber, and P. O 'Donnell, directors. 

Some ten years ago this creamery was sold to the Hutchinson 
Produce Co. They manufactured butter for a while, but for some 
years past have used it for a skimming station, shipping t ln- 
cream to Hutchinson and the Twin Cities. Plans are now on foot 
for the formation of a new cooperative creamery in Hector. 

The Melville Cooperative Creamery Company is located in the 
town of Melville, section 16, southeast quarter, three and a half 
miles east of Bird Island. It was organized Jan. 19. 1901, the first 
officers being: President, Herman Zupke; vice president and 
treasurer, ('has. Zupke: secretary, Carl Mueller. Directors — E. 
M. Wolff, F. E. Wolff, Rudolph Minks, Lottie Arnold. A building 
was erected in January, 1901. and butter operations started in 
March, 1901. A house for the buttermaker was erected in 
1910. The present officers are: President. Albert Foesch; 
vice president, Rudolph Minks: secretary, H. C. Krueger; treas- 
urer, Hans Peterson. Directors — Robert Wolff, Charles Peterson 
and Charles Degner. The annual report for 1914 gives the fol- 
lowing facts : Pounds of milk received, 541,685 ; pounds of cream, 
108.668; average test of milk. 57.98; test of cream. 28.00: butter 
fat from milk, 20,134 pounds ; butter fat from cream, 28,487.7 
pounds : pounds of butter made. 58,453 ; butter sold to patrons, 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY si 7 

4,981 ; pounds of butter shipped, 53,562; amount paid to patrons, 
$1-'!, 01':!. (ill; average price paid patrons, 30 cents; received from 
buttermilk, $40; over run, 98.342, or 20 per cent; cash on hand 
from last year. $595.58; received from butter shipped, including 
sales to patrons, $15,516.81: received from other sources. $8; 
total, $16,120.39. Running expenses — Buttermaker's salary. $790; 
secretary's salary, $36; other office salaries, $36; fuel. £467.30: 
tubs and other packages, $463.80; salt, $25; color, $10; oil, $37.73: 
ice, $484; total, $2,069.83. There are thirty -six patrons, each own- 
ing about ten cows, no particular breed of cow being special- 
ized in. 

The incorporators Jan. 19, 1901, were Carl Miller. Fred Grimm. 

E. Wolff, Otto Deguer, J. F. Porter, John Dummer, Rudolph 
Minko, Hans Peterson, ('has. Zupke, Har. Brunner, Peter MeyeJ 
August Hedtke, H. W. Zupke, John H. Rice. F. E. Wolff. Frani 
Butall, Leonard J. Rice, Louis Arnold, R. J. Marks, Herman Mil- 
ler, August Berg, Jos. Ruter, Louis Buss, Michael Post. Ole Ander- 
son, R. R. Wolff, George Rice, Henry Kruger and Fred Koehler. 
all of Melville. 

The Morton Creamery Co. was incorporated Oct. 28, 1901, by 
August Vogel, Sherman, Redwood county: Arthur S. Kenney. 
Paxton, Redwood county; John Buery, Birch Cooler ; M. B. Bert- 
rang, Leonard Farinbaugh, A. F. Mahowald, Fred Pfeiffer, F. M. 
Keefe, A. H. Keefe, Fred W. Orth, Joseph Smith, Andrew Mc- 
Cormick, George Wederath, F. W. Penhall, G. A. Brown ami E. 

F. Lentz, all of Morton. Officers : President, August Vogel ; vice 
president. John Buery; secretary Arthur S. Kenney: treasurer, 
Leonard Farenbaugli. The capital stock was placed ; it $3,500. 
August Vogel, H. M. Noack, F. M. Orth, M. Holden and A. S. 
Kenney were actively identified with the destinies of the com- 
pany. Operations were commenced in 1901. In 1912 the plant 
was leased to P. L. Gardner who opened an ice cream plant in 
connection. 

The Norfolk and Palmyra Farmers' Creamery Association is 
located in the northeast corner of section 24. township of Nor- 
folk, adjoining the township of Palmyra. The creamery was 
organized Feb. 27, 1900. by Alex. Harrison and the first officers 
were Ole Johnson, president: J. B. Keltgen. secretary; Chas 
Glesener, treasurer: directors, Jas. 1'owers. Christ Gulliekson, Joe 
Schmall and Andrew Banielson. The erection of the building 
was started shortly after the organization of the association and 
was ready for business May 8, 1900, with ( }eo. Chandler as butter- 
maker, who held that position for the first five years. Then 
Oscar Norskog acted as buttermaker until Feb. 1. 1915, when he 
was succeeded by Theo. Norskog. The farmers received sixteen 
cents per pound for butter fat during the very first month of 
the creamery's operation. Before that they had received a verv 



818 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

low price for their farm butter. The present officers are Ole John- 
son, president ; John Hilgert, vice president ; Theo. Norskog, sec- 
retary ; Chas. Glesener, treasurer and manager. Directors, Ben. 
Korkemier, Gust. Melquist, Joe Meuerrer, and Solomon Johnson. 
The last annual report of the creamery is as follows : 310.589 
pounds cream received; paid to the patrons in cheek, $22,385.79; 
in butter, .+266.808 ; in sundries, $1,177.83 ; butter shipped, 94,299 
pounds, worth $24,091.80: butter sold to patrons, 9,22114 pounds, 
worth $2,668.08: butter sold elsewhere, 7,748, worth $2,161.02; 
cream sold. $3.20; buttermilk sold. $119; received from other 
sources, $177.61. There are about 140 patrons with a total of 
900 cows of various breeds the two most prominent being the 
Holstein and Shorthorn. 

The Central Creamery Association of Olivia was organized in 
1899 with a capital stock of $5,000. The incorporators were: 
William Wolff, Henry Fehr, M. W. Converse, C. W. Deyling, 
George Mehlhouse, C. Fisher, R. P. Peterson, Andrew Broden, 
Wm. H. Pfeiffer, Win. A. Johnson, H. D. Hopman, B. Sanderson, 
Thomas Flood. Albert Carlson, Fred Fox, A. Donnely, William 
Laird. Henry Dunsmore, P. A. Comstock, H. J. Kuske, Herman 
Reck, J. J. Bickel, ( >. H. Julson, John Mehlhouse, A. Fox, F. Have- 
lish, G. M. Riedner. John E. W. Peterson, J. F. Roesler, Theodore 
Bombeck, John E. Dennstcd, O. R. Erickson, A. Cunningham, 
Alfred Heaney, Perry Burch and Henry Palas. The first officers 
were: William Wolff, president; H. Fehr, vice president : Mark 
Converse, secretary; Chas. W. Dwyling, treasurer; directors, Ole 
J. Julson, G. M. Riedner, and O. R. Erickson. Peter Christenson 
was buttermaker. The present board consists of H. D. Hopman, 
president ; -lames F. Haley, vice president ; H. Fehr, secretary, and 
(i. J. Wetzstein, treasurer; directors, O. R. Erickson, C. F. Haber 
and B. A. Tersteeg. From 80,000 to 120,000 pounds of butter fat 
are received. 

The Sacred Heart Creamery was purchased from the farmers 
by Bengt Nelson, the present proprietor, Jan. 1, 1913. He does 
a business of about $25,000 a year. In 1914 he made 55,000 
pounds of butter. He has a good trade in cream, butter, eggs 
and poultry, and is widely known for his honorable dealing. 

The Kolbert Creamery & Produce Co. The business men and 
farmers started a creamery in Renville in the nineties. But after 
various vicissitudes it was sold and was operated under private 
ownership until January, 1913, when P. J. Kolbert purchased it. 
In 1913 he paid out $23,000, in 1914, $27,000, and he estimates 
that in 1915 the business will reach $35,000. In connection with 
the creamery he does a produce business. 



Other creameries that have been incorporated in this county 
are the following: 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 819 

The Buffalo Lake Farmers' Creamery Co. was organized many 
years ago. The first officers were : President, Darwin S. Hall ; 
vice president, John G. Wallner ; secretary, Frank Leasman, treas- 
urer, Ole Olson. After the creamery was operated for a while it 
was leased to various persons at different times, and was finally 
discontinued. 

The Erickson Farmers' Cooperative Creamery and Cheese 
Association was incorporated May 17, 1899, by the following: 
A. D. Smith, G. S. Osmundson, E. McBroom, Julius Diedrick, 
Lars Evenson, Hal grin Tostenson, C. T. Gulsvick, Peter 
P. Hammen, Jacob Anderson, Henry Pellowschond, "William 
Schneider, Ole T. Gulsvicg, Kasper Warner, P. Dybson, Jan D. 
Bruns, Martin De Vries, Lendert Huls, Will McBroom, Henry 
Wille, Talen Groat, Obbe Hulzing, B. Gruen, P. Wulf, Jacob J. 
Jacobs, Tosten H. Wolstad, Eric Hanson, H. H. Rolie, Casper Ole- 
son, C. Pederson, ,1. W. Bakken, H. Decknatel, August Swanson, 
Carl Anderson. The capital stock was placed at $3,500. The 
first board of directors was: Tosten Wolstad, Julius Diedrick, 
A. D. Smith, Ephriam McBroom, Peter Wulf, August Swanson 
and Kasper Warner. 

The Flora Farmers' Cooperative Creamery Association was 
formed March 5, 1898, by F. A. Schroeder, W. Wieske, F. Luecks, 
Joseph Ahrendt, W. Kuglin, Emil Breitkreutz, Herman Droage, 
Fred Sommers, George Soltan, Fred Steinkamp, Fred Streech, 
John Wagnen, August Zaske, Peter Bingen, W. Reed, Fred 
Bratsch, Julius Stranch, J. A. Grabow, August Beyer, Nick Zim- 
merman, Frank Foster, J. A. Schroeder, F. H. Breitkreutz. The 
officers were: President, F. A. Schroeder; vice president, W. 
Weiske ; secretary, Julius Spenber ; treasurer, Frank Foster ; trus- 
tees, August Zaske, Peter Bingen, Ferdinand Sommers. The cap- 
ital was placed at $3,400. 

The Flora Creamery Co. was incorporated in the town of Flora, 
Jan. 26, 1900, by F. A. Schroeder, Julius Sperber, Frank Foster, 
F. Sommers, Wm. Weiseke, Paul Breitkreutz, Ferdinand Leuck, L. 
A. Prodoehl, John Wagner, J. A. Schroeder, Gus. R. Schroeder, 
Henry Becker, Herman Draker, John Reetz, Charley Bratsch, 
Aug. R. Zaske, Joseph Ahrendt, J. A. Grabow. The first officers 
were: President, F. A. Schroeder; vice president, F. Sommers; 
secretary, Julius Sperber ; treasurer, Paul Breitkreutz ; directors, 
Frank Foster, William Weiseke and F. M. Shoemaker. The cap- 
ital stock was placed at $4,000. 

The Henryville Cooperative Creamery Co. was incorporated 
Oct. 5, 1901, in the township of Henryville by Frank Trochlil, 
John A. Vomacka, Wencil Wertish, William Headt, J. M. Skob- 
lik, F. J. Haudik, John Malecek, Martin Stepka, Frank Dobeas, 
Seymour Stevens, John G. Swoboda, Joseph Swoboda, Joseph 
Fossenbauer, J. J. Dolesal, Anton Rejsek Joseph Riedl, Philip 



820 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Christ, John Safar, J. F. Kubesh, F. V. Vertish, Mary "Wacek, 
Ferdinand Fritz and Joseph Pulkrabek. The first board of direc- 
tors was : Frank Trochlil, J. A. Voinacka, Wencel "Wertish, J. M. 
Scobolik, William Haedt, Frank Hodek, John Malechek. The 
amount of capital was placed at $4,000. 

The Martinsburg Cooperative Creamery Co. was incorporated 
Nov. 6, 1901, by M. R, Tompkins, Oscar C. Anderson, J. H. Max- 
well, Aug. Soderquist, P. J. Carlson, Johan D. Skaldberg, J. Hall- 
qnist. Lewis Hable, Otto Johnson, D. E. Youngren, A. G. Caarlson, 
Gustaf Bjolin, Julius Schitt'man, E. Johnson, A. G. Burgeson, 
James Larson, Albin Anderson, Fred G. Schultz, Charles Schultz, 
and Carl Kruger, all of Martinsburg; Fritz Reuter, Carl Laub, 
and George Steinke, of Wellington ; And. Dahl, of Bandon ; Emil 
Larson, John Anderson, and N. P. Johnson, of Palmyra. The 
first officers were: M. R. Thompkins, president; D. Youngren, 
vice president ; August Soderquist, secretary, and J. H. Maxwell, 
treasurer. The capital stock was $4,000. 

The Clover Leaf Creamery Co. was incorporated March 26, 
1912, at Osceola, by John Hornan, John H. Bargmann, Hamlin V. 
Poore, S. M. Freeman, H. J. Jungclaus, Frank Stamer, F. O. 
Grimm, E. A. Grimm, Henry Broderins, Henry Sing. The officers 
were: President, Hamlin V. Poore; vice president, John Hor- 
nan ; secretary, S. M. Freeman ; treasurer, H. J. Jungclaus ; direc- 
tors, Frank Stamer, Henry Sing and John Bargmann. 

The Farmers' Cooperative Creamery Co. of Sacred Heart was 
the first creamery in Sacred Heart and was operated for a while 
with varying success. 

The Sacred Heart Farmers Creamery Co. was organized with 
I. P. Flotten, president; H. A. Peterson, secretary, and F. O. John- 
son, manager. For a time it flourished and four different shipping 
stations were established in neighboring villages. After passing 
through varying fortunes, however, it finally passed into the 
hands of Bengt Nelson, the present owner. 

The Winfield Creamery Co. was incorporated May 1, 1900, in 
Winfield by P. Christianson, president; Nels Swanson, secretary; 
Olaf Tatting, Albert Frankson, Frank Fousek, directors; and 
Ulriek Julson. The capital stork was not to exceed $1,500. 



HISTORY OP RENVILEE COUNTY 821 

CHAPTER XXXV. 

GOOD ROADS 

Trophies Won — Grading and Ditching — Mileage — Expenses — 
Levies — Increase in Importance — State Roads — interstate 
Routes — Advantages — By William A. Schummers. 

Miss Renville County (may her tribe increase!) 

Awoke one night from a deep dream of peace, 

And saw within the moonlight in her room. 

As usual rich and like a lily in bloom, 

A reporter writing in a book of gold: 

Great prosperity had made Miss Renville buhl. 

And to the newspaperman she said, 

"What writest thou?" The reporter raised his head, 

And, with a glance about at her wonderful abodes, 

Answered, ''The names of those who have good roads." 

"And is mine one?" said she. "Nay, not so," 

Replied the writer. Miss Renville spoke more low. 

But cheerily still; and said, "Remember then. 

We have some hustlers among our men." 

The reporter wrote, and vanished. On a later night 

He came again, with a great wakening light. 

And showed the names whom Industry had blessed, 

And lo! Renville County's name led all the rest! 

The year 1910 marked the rather unexpected winning of two 
good roads trophies in competition with a large number of other 
counties of the state. The first of these is a large and handsome 
silver loving cup, kept in the county auditor's office at Olivia, and 
presented to the county by Louis W. Hill for the best county 
road on the M. S. A. A. Reliability Run from St. Paul to Sioux 
Falls, held -Inly 22-26 of that year. 

The second trophy, a beautiful French bronze statue on a base 
of onyx, seven feet in height, and valued at $1,500, was awarded 
to the county as having the best roads on the Tribune Reliability 
Run held in October. While in the possession of the county, this 
statue with its appropriate and significant inscription, "On the 
field of labor, Victory is fruitful," was kept at the courthouse. 
The figure is that of victorious Labor gathering the sheaves of 
success, in speaking of the contest, the Minneapolis "Tribune" 
said: 

"That this signal honor should go to Renville county was not 
unexpected. For weeks automobile men of that county, headed 
by M. J. Dowling, have been carrying on an active campaign and 
have had men and teams at work dragging the soil. In contrast 
to various other counties the stretch of 55 miles within the boun- 
daries of Renville showed that much effort had been put into 
the work. In all, nine counties were open to competition. While 
the roads in Renville have been little improved, that is, gravelled, 



822 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

yet they show to a marked degree what can be accomplished 
by intelligent work under existing local conditions. Here the 
roads for the distance of 55 miles had been dragged by an ordi- 
nary king road drag which can be built at small expense. These 
drags have been used extensively and have put the roads of Ren- 
ville in excellent condition. The ditches have been kept open, 
drainage has been provided for, and the surface dragged smooth. 
It was a great pleasure to ride over them. With gravel surface 
and maintained in their present condition they present an ideal 
country road for travel at all seasons and weather." 

A glance at a road map will show that Renville county is well 
supplied witli roads, the total amounting to 1,648 miles. Of these 
480 miles are improved roads (Jan. 1, 1915) ; about 1,448 miles 
are township or judicial roads and over 200 are designated as 
state roads. State roads are under the immediate supervision 
of the State Highway Commission and when completed will be 
fully graded, drained, and gravelled. They aim to connect all 
the objective points in the county and nearby counties. 

The work done involves an immense amount of labor and con- 
siderable expense ; just how much money and labor it is impos- 
sible to say. The amount levied for the County Road and Bridge 
Fund for 1915 is $24,355.82. The work in the county is under the 
supervision of the district engineer, Frank M. Shephard, who is 
employed by the Commission for one-half the year and acts as 
Construction Superintendent for the county during the remainder 
of the time. His report shows that four and a half acres were 
cleared and grubbed in 1914 ; one mile of ditching was done ; 39.5 
miles of road was graded; six culverts installed, and about thir- 
teen miles of gravelling done ; all at a cost of $28,882. Out of 
this, $22,7S2 of construction cost was entitled to and received 
state aid under the Dunn law for the amount of $12,800. Like- 
wise, $2,867 was received from the state to apply on the mainte- 
nace cost of 175 miles of road amounting to $4,788. The letting 
of contracts for all work done is increasing in favor over the 
day system of labor, especially for the larger jobs. 

The first step towards building a permanent road is a sys- 
tem of permanent drainage. Tile drainage is apt to prove most 
satisfactory. The chief difficulty lies in securing a proper outlet. 

Next to drainage comes grading. Some roads are too wide. 
The narrower the roadway, the needs of traffic and the passing 
of vehicles provided for, the easier to keep the road from soaking 
full of water. The surface must be rounded sufficiently to shed 
water. Ruts must be filled as fast as formed. An ounce of gravel 
by way of prevention is better than a pound of cure thrown into 
a later mudhole. Dragging regularly a short while after rains 
has given us tin- best roads in the county, excepting gravelled 
roads. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 823 

The latter are the ideal country roads. Clay and gravel pack 
together well and form an excellent surface. They will bear 
heavy traffic if the crust of clay and gravel is of sufficient thick- 
ness. Comparatively little gravelling was done during 1914, the 
available funds having been used mainly for the grading up of 
a large number of bad pieces of road; a great amount of this 
work is planned on for the near future. Gravel pits are so dis- 
tributed that the average haul for state work is about four miles. 
The county owns one gravel pit, north of Olivia, and gravel can 
be bought from private owners for from ten to twenty-five cents 
the load. The county has a set of graders, scrapers, and Kins 
drags, numbering about one hundred pieces in all. 

The sentiment for good roads over the county is very strong 
and is increasing as the road work advances. The general cry 
is for permanent roads which will stand up regardless of weather 
conditions. The total annual expenditures for roads and bridges 
during the last six years afford an intelligent index : 1909, 
$2,784.90; 1910, $6,416.35; 1911, $16,501.62; 1912. $23,686.46; 1913, 
$25,879.76; 1914, $53,193.55. With the abundance of gravel in 
the county and the increasing appreciation of good roads brought 
on by the more increased use of the automobile, the day cannot 
be far distant when the main thoroughfares will resemble city 
boulevards. 

Perhaps no class of people is more interested in the matter 
of good roads than farmers. Located in the central part of the 
state and at an average distance of only 100 miles from important 
markets, good roads become a necessity if farm products are to 
be marketed at opportune times and with the lowest expense. 
The farmer's haul the country over is about nine miles. The 
average cost of hauling farm produce to market is $2.09 per 
ton. or about 23 cents per ton per mile, figuring in the cost of 
men and teams and wear of vehicles. This is three times the 
cost along European roads. Railroads hauled fourth class freight 
at an average of one cent per ton per mile. With better roads 
the local expense of marketing should be cut in two. 

There are fifteen roads in Renville County designated as state 
roads, with a total length of 203 miles, not including about 14 
miles of roads lyin<r within corporation limits. Road No. 1 runs 
north and south through Morton and Olivia to the county limits. 
It is gravelled almost the entire twenty and one half miles and 
in some respects is probably the most important road in the 
county. Number 2 runs from the west county line to Hector, 
passing through five villages on the way ; length, 37 miles. Num- 
ber 3 runs from the south county line through Fairfax, Hector 
and Buffalo Lake towards Hutchinson, its length being 30 miles. 
Number 4 runs through Morton, Franklin and Fairfax : length, 
14.5 miles. It is gravelled between the last named towns and 



824 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

this part is exceptionally flue. Number 5 runs from Franklin 
northward through Bird Island to the county line with a length 
of 22 miles. Number 6 extends from a point IV2 miles south of 
Buffalo Lake southward to the county line ; length, 2 miles. Num- 
ber 7 is a half-mile stretch in the southeastern corner of Preston 
Lake on the "Yellow Trail.'" Number 8 is 13% miles long, run- 
ning north and south to the county lines and through the village 
of Sacred Heart. Number 9 runs from Hector to the north county 
line, length. 9.5 miles. Number 10 runs north from about the 
center of Boon Lake to county line towards Hutchinson and is 
3 miles long. Number 11 is 3 miles long, from state road Number 
4, 2 miles east of Franklin, south to the Minnesota river. Number 
12 is seven miles long, running from Danube to the north county 
line. Number 13 is 15 miles long, running from Danube south to 
county line. Number 14 is 17 miles long; runs from north to 
south county lines through Renville. Number 15 is 8.5 miles long, 
running from state road Number 5 to state road Number 3 
through Eddsville. These state roads are so laid out that they 
take care of all the principal lines of travel to and from the vari- 
ous villages in this and adjoining counties, there being one east- 
and-west and one north-and-south state road through each village 
in the county. 

There are three inter-state roads crossing the county, the prin- 
cipal one of which is the Yellowstone Park Trail which crosses 
the county from east to west, passing through Buffalo Lake, Hec- 
tor, Bird Island, Olivia, Danube, Renville and Sacred Heart. This 
trail originates in Chicago and runs west through Yellowstone 
Park to Seattle and the Pacific Coast. The road next in impor- 
tance is state road Number 1. running north and south across the 
county through Morton and Olivia. This road is the main trav- 
eled road from the central and western parts of Iowa to the cen- 
tral and northern parts of Minnesota. As affecting real estate. 
values this road is probably the most important in the county; 
it is graded in good shape and is a good token to the land- 
seekers from Iowa as to the prosperity of the county. Because 
farm products can be hauled to market over this road under all 
conditions of weather, it has led to many real estate transactions 
and has helped boost the price of neighboring land. The other 
important cross-country trail, known as the "Black and Yellow," 
runs east and west across the southern part of the county, through 
Fairfax, Franklin and Morton. This is one of the main trails 
from the Twin Cities to Southwestern Minnesota and South 
Dakota. 

The best way to advertise Renville county is to maintain the 
important trails in the best condition and let the thousands of 
tourists over these trails know that the residents of Renville 
county are prosperous and progressive. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 825 

The Minnesota river is well bridged in this county. One bridge 
is about to be built in Hawk Creek. There are two in Sacred 
Heart. Of the two in Flora one marks the site of the old Vicks- 
burg ferry. There is one connection at Beaver Falls township 
with North Redwood. Birch Cooley township lias two bridges, 
one near Morton and one south of Franklin. 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 

CITIES AND VILLAGES 

Inception, Growth and Modern Progress of the Business Centers 
of Renville County — Renville the Only City — Bird Island — 
Buffalo Lake — Danube — Fairfax — Franklin — Hector — Morton 
— Olivia — Sacred Heart. 

Renville is an attractively located city on the H. & D. division 
of the C. M. & St. Paul in the northwestern part of Emmet 
township. It is the only city in Renville county, and with its 
well-laid-out streets, sightly residences, well-kept lawns, numerous 
shade trees and hustling business center presents a truly metro- 
politan appearance. The city has three banks, the O'Connor 
Brothers State Bank, the Renville State Bank and the First Na- 
tional Bank. Two newspapers, the Star-Farmer and the Independ- 
ent are published. There are four churches, the German Lutheran, 
the Norwegian Lutheran, the Methodist Episcopal and the Cath- 
olic churches. Among the fraternities may be mentioned the 
Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Modern Woodmen, the Royal Neigh- 
bors, the Rebekahs, the Ladies of the Maccabees and the Catholic 
Foresters. 

The city has waterworks, sewer, electric power furnished by 
the Minnesota Valley Power Co. at Montevideo, a sightly city 
park, a city hall, a fire department, a city gas plant, and other 
improvements. The Northwestern telephone furnishes local and 
long-distance service, while the Tri-State furnishes long-distance 
service exclusively. Many rural telephones center here. 

The present officers of Renville are as follows : Mayor, Wil- 
liam J. Ashley; aldermen-at-large, S. A. Smith and Wesley San- 
ders; alderman from the first ward, J. J. Bakker; alderman from 
the second ward, John F. Wein ; alderman from the third ward, 
M. S. Jordet ; municipal judge, Robert K. Stuart; clerk, L. W. 
Kannenberg; treasurer, S. M. Serkland; city attorney, L. W. 
Kannenberg ; marshal and superintendent of gas and waterworks, 
John Clausen; assessor, G. J. Lee; constables, Louis Du Houx 
and Robert E. McKinley: justices of the peace, David Benson and 
Peter Haan ; park board, Patrick O'Brien, L. E. Lambert and 
Samuel W. Bierlien; board of health, Dr. E. M. Clay, Fred A. 
Leistekow and G. 0. Torgerson. 



826 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

When the village of Renville was first projected, John O'Brien 
was living on the present village site, east of the northeast cor- 
ner of the present park. It was he who set out the trees which 
now adorn the park. Southwest was the home of John Cole. He 
set out many trees, and a part of his farm is still known as Cole's 
grove. Just south of the original plat was the vacant home of 
Thomas Foster. This place was afterward acquired by John 
Barnard, and some of the sightliest residences in the city are now 
erected on additions that have been platted from the Barnard 
farm. Southeast of the Foster place was John Kronlokken. Still 
further east was John Lee. East of the prospective village was 
the farm of R. Michaelson. Directly north of Miehaelson was 
Espen Hanson. Northwest of the prospective village was the 
Bennison farm. The land to the north was owned by the railroad 
and for a considerable distance was unoccupied, except that an 
eccentric character named Jessup was on what is now the Daly- 
Barnard farm. 

The principal road in this vicinity before the village was 
platted was the north and south road, extending from the Willmar 
settlement south to the ford near what was then the village of 
Vicksburg. 

When the roadbed of the railroad was graded through this 
part of the county there was for a time considerable doubt as to 
where the city was to be located. For a time it appeared that 
the site was to be a quarter of a mile west of the present site. 
There, just across the track from the old Bennison farm, the rail- 
road construction company conducted a store in a shack. There. 
too, Samuel T. Rolson also conducted a small store. 

It was in September, 1878, that the site for Renville was sur- 
veyed and platted, and in October, with the coming of the rail- 
road the town was born. The original site was laid in the town- 
ship of Emmet, in the southwest quarter of section 5. It was 
for a number of years called Renville Station. 

The village presented a scene of busy activity. Work was 
commenced on the Griffin-Stevens elevator and lumber yard, on 
the Samuel T. Rolson store, the Boyd & King store, the Carl Hen- 
ning store, the Dodge & Mcintosh hotel and the railroad station. 

The Griffith & Stevens elevator, now known as the Columbia 
elevator, is still standing on the west side of Main street, south 
of the railroad property. It originally stood in the street, but 
has been moved west to its present location. East of it was the 
office of the lumber yard. In it Geo. C. Stevens lived with his 
family, and Charles S. Griffin boarded with them. 

J. B. Anderson, the first station agent, kept the office for a 
while in a box car. During the winter of 1878-79, the present 
station was erected. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 827 

The firm of Boyd & King, consisting of J. B. Boyd and John 
King, started the first general store on the site of the present 
Renville State Bank building. Mr. Boyd moved a small shack 
from Willmar and the firm sold goods in it while their store was 
being built. 

Mr. and Mrs. G. L. Dodge and S. M. Mcintosh, a school teacher 
who had lived with them on their farm in section 30, Emmet 
township, opened a hotel, the old American House, on the present 
site of the Kronlokken garage. 

Lars Pederson started a blacksmith shop about midway be- 
tween what is now the store of Heins & Co. and the First Na- 
tional Bank. 

B. F. Heins, in company with P. W. Heins, of Beaver Falls, 
engaged in the hardware business. The site is still occupied by 
the Heins & Co. store. B. F. Heins now lives in Bertha, Minn. 
He reached Renville county about Sept. 15, 1878, and lived in 
Beaver Falls until November 1, when, with P. W. Heins. as men- 
tioned, he opened a hardware store in' Renville village, then 
called Renville Station. They built a little store about 16 by 40, 
with a shed roof, and lived in the back part the first winter. Mr. 
Heins is sure that people in a new country such as Renville in 
those days enjoy themselves more than in an older settled coun- 
try. B. F. Heins remained in business in Renville until Jan. 20, 
1901, when he sold out to Ed. Heins. Previous to this, F. M. 
Rich had also been a member of the. firm for awhile. 

Samuel T. Rolson opened a store in 1878 in a shack about 
on the present site of the new Commercial club building. 

A little later in the year, W. F. Baade came in from Vieks- 
burg, and erected the block still known as the Baade block on 
Main street. 

J. B. Anderson formed a partnership with W. D. Spaulding 
and opened a drug store on the present site of the First National 
Bank, opening in December, 1878. Mr. Anderson became post- 
master in January, 1879, and at that time the Wadsworth post- 
office conducted by L. A. Brooks in the southern part of Emmet 
was discontinued. Anderson sold out to Spauldino-. who con- 
tinued the drag business. 

A school building was erected in the spring of 1879 at a cost 
of $500, and 10 per cent bonds were issued to pay for it. S. N. 
Olson was the contractor who erected this edifice, which was 20 
by 24 and one story high. This building has been used as city 
hall and jail and is now the west half of the city hall. The first 
school board consisted of R. Michaelson, John F. Smith and John 
King. Mrs. George Mix was engaged as the first teacher, at $25 
a month for a three-term school. 

Lots were first assessed in the village of Renville Station in 
1879. Those assessed were : O. N. Olson, lot 13, block 3 ; Thomp- 



828 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

son & Wilson, lots 9 and 12, block 3 ; Samuel T. Rolson, lots 
5 and S, block 3. In 1880, there were added to this list: Anna 
Wilson, lot 6, block 9; Julia I. Patterson, lots 7 and 10, block 19; 
(ieorge ('. Stevens and Charles S. Griffin, lot 18, block 2; Caro- 
line Henning. lots 1 and 4, block 3, lot 10, block 9; Emery Tram, 
lot 10. block 12; Thos. Hargrove, lot 10, block 2; P. W. Boyd, 
lot 15, block 2; Samuel Karnes, lots 2 and 3, block 3; Selma Til- 
lisch, lot 5, block 4; Peter Parqueth. lot 9, block 4; Tollef Olson, 
lot 20, block 4, lot 3, block 11; W. D. Spaulding, lots 1 and 4, 
block 8 : Lars Pederson, lots 13 and 16, block 8, lot 5, block 11 ; 

B. F. & P. W. Hems, lots 17, 20, 21 and 24, block 8; C. Kannen- 
burg, lot 11, block 9; August Peck, lot 14, block 9; J. T. Brooks, 
lot 18, block 9; Richard Randall, lo1 19, block 9; 0. Nelson 
and Nels Olson, lots 22 and 23, block 9; M. L, Anderson, lot 2. 
bloek 12. 

The Methodists were the tirst religious denomination to hold 
services in the village. Rev. Kiugsland was holding services at 
the schoolhouse in Emmet at the time the village was started, 
and in 1879 he was moved to Renville. The first services were 
held iu the Griffin elevator office in that year, and continued 
to be held in private houses and business places until the year 
1885. A Sunday school was organized and of this B. F. Heius 
was superintendent for a number of years. In 1885, under the 
pastorate of Rev. Neary, the first church building was erected on 
the site of the present building. The town was supplied with 
a physician from the start, in the person of a Dr. Fleischman, 
a German doctor, who was here until 1880, when he was replaced 
by Dr. Willis Clay. 

Carl Henning and his wife. Caroline, in whose name the busi- 
ness was conducted, had a store in Beaver Falls. When the rail- 
road came through they moved their store to a shack about a 
mile and a half east of the present site of Renville. This shack 
was burned late in 1878, and in 1879 they moved to Renville and 
located in a shack on the west side of Main street south of what 
is now the Columbia elevator. Then they erected a brick build- 
ing south of the elevator on the site of the shack that they occu- 
pied when they first moved to the village. 

The newly-born village was ambitious enough to start a news- 
paper in 1879 called the Renville Station Weekly News, with D. 

C. Wadsworth as publisher. The paper was printed by C. A. Ben- 
nett at the office of the Granite Falls Journal. J. T. Brooks, upon 
his arrival in town in 1880, took charge of the paper and con- 
ducted it until 1881, when it was discontinued. The paper un- 
der his charge was a sharp critic of local affairs, and at one time 
was said to have aroused the wrath and indignation of Dr. Fleisch- 
man by rebuking him and some boon companions for creating a 
disturbance by tiring off their pistols promiscuously on the street. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 829 

The village of Renville was incorporated by a special act of 
the legislature in 1881, and an election was held March 15 at 
•I. T. Brooks' office. J. B. Boyd was chosen as the first president. 
O. Quamsoe, B. P. Heins and Philip Williams were the first coun- 
cilmen, and -I. T. Brooks was recorder. W. F. Baade was treas- 
urer. This year Judge -1. M. Dorman settled in the village to 
practice law. The town was well supplied now with the differ- 
ent professions and tradesmen, but for a time its growth was 
slow. The country was still thinly settled and north of the vil- 
lage there was still an almost unbroken prairie. Sacred Heart 
was ahead of its neighbor to the east and Bird Island surpassed 
it on the other side. Like most frontier towns, there was a large 
rough element in the village that kept the little town in a tur- 
moil of tights and brawls. The old-timers have many stories to 
tell of the pranks and escapades of some of the transient citizens, 
who made up a large element of the population. The town grew 
slowly, however, and the influence of the better class of citizens 
gradually made itself felt and the moral tone of the community 
grew better with succeeding years. 

In 1882, Renville was already a flourishing village. A review 
of that year gives the following business activities: "The vil- 
lage has a population of about 275, and consists of the following 
business houses : three general stores, two hardware stores, one 
millinery and one drug store, one meat market, two hotels, two 
blacksmith shops, one harness, one shoe, one wagon and paint 
shop, two saloons, a lumber yard, one real estate and loan office, 
one lawyer, two physicians; two elevators, capacity about 45,000 
bushels." 

In 1884 an incident occurred that made a radical change in 
the development of the surrounding country, and incidentally of 
the village itself. In that year the land firm of Prins & Koch 
bought 35,000 acres of railroad land in Winfield township and 
in Kandiyohi county. Their agent, P. Haan, located in Olivia 
in 1885, and in the fall moved to this village. This firm at once 
commenced to pour trainloads of settlers into the country between 
Willmar and Renville, and soon peopled the wild prairies with 
hundreds of thrifty farmers, principally from Holland or of Hol- 
land descent, but with a large sprinkling of Swedes and other 
nationalities. The movement was on a large scale and meant 
much for the village of Renville, inasmuch as it doubled its trad- 
ing population and gave it an industrious, sober and prosperous 
people to supply, where hitherto had been waste lands. 

Peter Haan, who, as local agent, played so important a part 
in this movement, has the following to say in regard to the move- 
ment: "The quick development of the western part of Renville 
county and the southeastern and southern portions of Chippewa 
and Kandiyohi counties, as far as tributary to Renville, com- 



830 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

menced in earnest with the year 1885 after the firm of Prins & 
Koch had bought, in the territory mentioned, about 120.000 acres 
of railroad and state lands. By means of judicious advertising, 
land seekers from many eastern states soon came in in great 
numbers, and only to see this wonderfully fertile and nice lying 
land was in nineteen cases out of twenty equal to buying. In- 
side of four years nearly all of the land originally purchased was 
sold, and a great deal more that was purchased later. The sales 
commenced at $8 per acre, soon rising to $10 and $12, and by 
1890 had reached $15 and higher. The new-comers who settled 
north of Renville came for the most part from the states of New 
York, Michigan. Ohio. Indiana, Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin, and 
were representatives of many nationalities. Hollanders and Hol- 
land-speaking North Germans were in the majority, but Belgians, 
Frenchmen, Bohemians. Danes, Swedes, Norwegians and frdl- 
blooded Yankees were among the number. They, of course, be- 
longed to different religious denominations, yet nevertheless made 
agreeable neighbors. Between 1886 and 1896 in this territory 
the settlers built no less than twelve churches, four Lutheran, 
three Holland Christian Reformed, two Catholic, two Dutch Re- 
formed and one Methodist Episcopal. They also built in the same 
period about forty good, substantial schoolhouses, and laid over 
thirty bridges over the small rivers and creeks which cut through 
the land, besides draining it almost to perfection. The great bulk 
of the original settlers came from Europe and belonged to the 
third or working class over there. When they came here they 
had as a rule very little money and some of them were quite 
poor, but now all are independent, many well to do, and not a 
few may be called rich. May not a man, who came here only 
thirty years ago with a wife and ten children, almost without a 
penny to call his own, but with a debt of $700. to settle on a 
Tented farm, be called rich if it can be truly stated that that 
same man is now worth at least $30,000. ■ There are not many 
who have been so successful, but there arc plenty of them 
who may be valued at between ten and twenty thousand 
dollars." 

This big influx of thrifty farmers had a marked influence 
upon the struggling village of Renville. In 1887 the village was 
again represented by a newspaper, the Renville Weekly News, 
published by C. L. Loraine. then publishing a paper at Bird 
Island, and for a time edited by E. M. Clay, now a physician here. 
The town began to be awake to its possibilities. M. J. Dowling, 
at that time professor in the two-room school, had succeeded in 
arousing interest and enthusiasm in the cause of education, Ren- 
ville's powers on the baseball field had begun to advertise the 
town throughout the state. The population began to increase, 
and in 188S a building boom was struck. 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 831 

In 1888 a new four-room schoolhouse was built to replace the 
two-room building of 1882. 

In 1889 the Norwegian and German Lutheran congregations 
put up a handsome church structure. Lee and Johnson built 
the brick building now occupied by the F. A. Schafer furniture 
store, the Adolph Mandel general store, Mrs. Carl Henning put 
up a brick block south of the elevator on Main street, Mason 
Brothers erected a flour mill and W. H. Gold put in a lumber 
yard. 

The growing town spirit was shown by an attempt made at 
this time to capture the county seat. Bird Island got ahead of 
Renville and secured an election and was signally defeated, but 
for the first time the future metropolis of the county had shown 
public enterprise and enthusiasm over the town's future. 

The Renville State Bank was organized during the period by 
O'Connor Bros., and this enterprising firm was playing an im- 
portant part in the development of the village. In 1892 the sec- 
ond bank, the Security Bank, came into existence. Every line 
of business was prospering, and in the five years between 1890 
and 1895 the population of the village nearly doubled. 

The boom period was marked by a series of occurrences be- 
tween 1891 and 1894 which were looked upon as appalling dis- 
asters at the time, but which, in the light of later developments, 
proved to be beneficial to the town. In November, 1891, the 
building, originally built by J. B. Boyd, but at that time occu- 
pied by Mayer Wolpert's general store, caught fire and was 
entirely consumed. The family of John O'Connor lived upstairs 
over the store, and they barely escaped from the burning build- 
ing. The building was one of the largest in town, and its de- 
struction was regarded as a great loss, but the following year it 
was replaced with a two-story, double front brick block that was 
a source of pride to the town. The O'Connor block, as it was 
called is now occupied by the State Bank and the opera house. 
That year saw the installation of a waterworks plant, the fire' 
calling attention forcibly to the fact that the town did not pos- 
sess adequate fire protection. The bonds of the village were is- 
sued to erect a water tower that gives sufficient pressure to en- 
able the firemen to effectually cope with any blaze. Feb. 5, 1893, 
another fire occurred that threatened at one time to wipe one 
side of Main street out of existence. It was at midnight that the 
alarm of fire was turned in. The firemen turned out with prompt- 
ness, but found that the waterworks were useless, having been 
allowed to freeze up. There was nothing to do but confine the 
fire as much as possible. The blaze originated in K. Goeman 
Pott's hardware store, and before the flames died out that place, 
S. N. Olson's building, Gold's office, the butcher shop and the 
millinery store had been destroyed. It was in 1894 that the town 



832 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

suffered the severest loss in destroyed property. On Wednesday 
afternoon, June 27, a tornado came up from the southwest, form- 
ing in plain sight but a few miles from town. When nearing 
town, the ominous looking funnel dropped to the earth, sweep- 
ing a pathway through the fields until it struck Herman Haeh- 
man's residence in the southwest corner of the village. The build- 
ing was torn loose from the floor and foundation and smashed 
into debris. Mrs. Hachman was terribly injured, but managed 
to survive her wounds. The storm center passed diagonally 
through the village park, tearing out the band stand, dodged 
around the Brooks and Lien residences, but tore out the barns 
on both places, and then swept against the Norwegian Lutheran 
church with full fury. The church building was literally torn 
to pieces by the savage force of the storm. F. H. Berning's resi- 
dence was also completely wiped out of existence, and hardly a 
shred of the household articles was ever found. Fortunately, 
neither Mr. Berning nor his wife were at home at the time. The 
last obstruction in the path of the storm was the four-room school 
house, just shortly before the voters had decided to build an 
addition to accommodate the increased attendance. The twisting 
fury of the wind in a minute's time destroyed all necessity of an 
addition. The big four-room building was raised up and then 
crushed into its own basement with an irresistible force. On an- 
other page will be found illustrations of the school house and 
other buildings after the tornado had passed over them. For- 
tunately, the district carried +3,000 tornado insurance, and plans 
were at once prepared for a larger and more modern building. 
By fall an eight-room building was finished at a cost of $12,000. 
The members of the Norwegian Lutheran congregation suffered 
a heavier loss, in that they had no insurance to recompense them, 
and were obliged to begin anew. They bravely started the work, 
however, and now a larger and better building occupies the spot 
where the storm passed in 1894. 

For a time the Spanish war interrupted the peaceful calm that 
rested <m the busy village. Several young men from the village 
joined Company H of the 14th Minnesota in April, 1898, and 
served with the regiment during its term of service. The patriotic 
people of the village were stirred to great heights of enthusiasm 
and gave their representatives a rousing farewell, and through- 
out the summer continually sent them reminders of their good 
will. In the fall the regiment returned to be mustered out, but 
many of the Renville delegation were forced to spend many weeks 
in the hospitals of the South and at home fighting the typhoid 
and malaria contracted in Chickamauga. Sergeant J. D. Barnard 
came home on a sick furlough only to succumb to the deadly 
fever, and was buried by his sad-hearted comrades in the village 
cemetery. 



HISTORY OP EENVILLE COUNTY 833 

Since 1898 the growth of Renville has been rapid and constant. 

The population, reaching 720 in 1895, increased to 1,07") in 1900, 
and is now over the 1,250 mark. 

The city of Renville was incorporated in 1906. 

The last officers of the village were : President, A. A. Bennett; 
trustees, A. R. Holmberg, L. E. Lien, Frank Rudolph; recorder. 
C. N. Matson; treasurer. II. X. Stabeck. These officers, held over 
under the city charter until March 20. 1906, when- the first city 
officers took charge. They were: Mayor. Timothy O'Connor; 
clerk and municipal judge, ('. X. Matson; treasurer, H. N. Sta- 
beck ; justice of the peace, F. W. Mason; aldermen at large, "W. J. 
Ashley and W. A. Lumley; alderman from first ward. Frank Ru- 
dolph; alderman from second ward. Frank Rudolph; alderman 
from third ward, J. R. Butters. 

A distinctive feature of the city is the Renville Commercial 
Club building, initiated and financed through the Commercial 
Club of this city. The size of the building is 40x90 feet, two 
stories high and full basement. The cost was $20,000. On the 
main floor is located A. H. Riedler's barber shop and the post- 
office. In the rear is the public rest room, and the sumptuous 
quarters of the Renville Commercial Club. The upper floor is 
devoted to offices. The law offices of L. D. Barnard, county at- 
torney, and L. M. Carlson occupy the front of the building, on 
the south side, while Dr. X. L. Johnson, dentist, occupies the 
front rooms on the north side. On the same floor, Judge Richard 
T. Daly has his chambers. Other offices are occupied by Harold 
Baker, attorney; the Northwestern Telephone Exchange; Drs. 
Edward M, < 'lay and I. R. Maercklein. In the basement is the 
banquet hall and kitchen, shower baths and a pool room. 

Renville has made a steady growth and has kept pace with the 
settlement and development of the country surrounding. For- 
ward is always the watchword of her citizens. Nearly every 
line of business is represented here. The banks are a barometer 
by which the business of a community is gauged. The three banks 
of Renville as in their reports to the bank examiners on Sep- 
tember 2, 1915, showed an aggregate business of $970,183.77. 

Heins & Co., as mentioned, started a hardware store on the 
corner about the time the village was first organized. The man- 
agement saw very few changes in that time, until last summer, 
when E. H. Heins retired from the firm and was succeeded by T. 
B. Mcllraith. The store has an ideal location and carries a large 
stock of hardware and machinery. 

Charley Cronek, the tailor, is one of the old-timers and is kept 
busy plying the needle early and late. P. Ha an is in the real 
estate and insurance business. He is one of the oldest in this line 
in the city or county. 



834 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

A. Kragenbring in October, 1911, opened up a clothing and 
shoe store in a small way in the Kiecker building. Two years or 
so ago he moved into the Yescheek block and now has a neat, up- 
to-date store and enjoys a good patronage. G. H. Swinney opened 
a bakery here in March, 1914. He also has a restaurant in con- 
nection. A. Mutta purchased the Palace Restaurant of C. 0. 
Sveiveu in July, 1914. 

A. A. Doerr started in the hardware and plumbing business 
March 1. 1913. The firm is now Doerr & Dunwell. Mr. Doerr is 
a first-class plumber and gives this branch of the business his 
personal attention. 

The Farmers" Elevator Co. was organized twenty-five years 
ago. It started in a small way with one horse for power in ele- 
vating the grain. It is now well equipped, built of concrete and 
capable of housing the capacity of 45,000 bushels of grain. It 
has as its stockholders some of the best farmers in the country 
tributary to Renville. Its manager, A. R. Holmberg, has been at 
the head of its business department the past ten years. 

McGregor Bros. & Co. put in a lumber yard in 1886 and have 
been in business here ever since. August Wilckeri has been with 
the firm for twenty-one years, and has been the manager the 
past fourteen years. S. A. Smith & Son started in the hardware 
and machinery business in July, 1912. This firm is doing a good 
business. They are agents for the Ford and Maxwell cars. 

In 1908 G. A. Lumley purchased the H. A. Smith interest in 
the furniture store and eventually became owner of the entire 
business by buying out his partners. Last summer in company 
with O. R. Smith he took over the undertaking business formerly 
conducted by Heins & Co. 

J. F. Wein opened an exclusive grocery store in 1905. 

W. H. Gold & Co. started a lumber yard in Renville about 
the year 1888. About twelve years ago it was purchased bj T the 
Jas. A. Smith Lumber Co. Nineteen years ago L. E. Lambert 
took charge of the yard as manager, and has remained in that 
position ever since. It may be said of Mr. Lambert that he re- 
mained manager of a business longer than any other citizen of 
Renville, consecutively. 

H. D. Judd, late in the winter purchased the moving picture 
business. The Crystal Theatre is a popular play house and is 
well patronized. 

F. A. Williams took possession of the Central Hotel in 1907. 
At that time it was in a run down coudition. Mr. Williams at 
once commenced making improvements and had the building 
rebuilt. He now has a most excellent hostelry with ample accom- 
modations. 

The Renville Roller Mills are one of the early institutions of 
Renville, and the town and community round about were fortunate 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 835 

in having easy access to the mill when in need of flour or feed. 
In the early nineties the Renville Mill Company was organized 
with W. J. Ashley, manager. Along with the creamery it is one 
of the best assets of a town. Some two years ago A. A. Moline, 
a practical millwright and expert miller, was taken into the firm 
and is head miller. 

The department store of Bottge & Hassinger is the oldest now 
in business in the city. It was established in 1885 in the Rolson 
building, and when the O'Connor block was built it occupied the 
room where the drug store is and when the Dale block was built 
it was moved to its present location. When H. J. and J. H. Dale 
retired to enter the banking business, the two junior partners, 
P. J. Bottge and M. L. Hassinger, purchased their interest in the 
store. They carry a complete stock of goods in their line and 
enjoy a good patronage. 

Olson Bros, opened their general store here in 1906 in the Lee 
block, where they remained until about a .year ago when they 
moved into the Humboldt building, vacated by Mayor "Wolpert. 
J. S. Olson has had charge. 

A. Mandel is one of the latest to launch out for himself in the 
general store business. He was not a stranger when he started 
in 1895 as the head clerk in Mayor Wolpert 's department store. 
In 1913 he opened with a stock of goods in the Kieker building. 
This was soon too small for his increasing business. When Olson 
Bros, moved, about the beginning of the year, he moved into the 
Lee block. W. Sanders & Co. are successors to one of the oldest 
hardware firms in the city. They purchased the store in 1908 and 
have built up a good trade. At that time, 0. J. Dahle, who had 
been an employee in the store, became a member of the firm. 

The Star Farmer Co., publishers of Renville Star Farmer, W. 
A. Reid, editor. It has a large and increasing circulation, thor- 
oughly covers the field, making it a most excellent advertising 
medium. 

The Renville County Independent will issue its first publica- 
tion March 30, 1916, with Carl Carlson and Warren Brandt as 
editors. 

Al. Riedler is the oldest barber in point of service in the city. 
He has just moved into the new commercial building. Werner & 
Packer are in the meat market business. The Renville Produce 
Co., A. S. Brugman, manager, does a flourishing business. Or- 
chardist and fruit grower, G. A. Anderson, living three miles west 
of town, raised a thousand bushels of apples for the market this 
year. Ogren & Peterson do a good business in grain and coal 
at their elevator. There are four line elevators doing business 
here. The postmaster is W. L. Poseley. There are five mail routes 
radiating from this point. Fred Scott purchased the barber shop 
of Werner Peterson some two years ago. H. M. Lentz recently 



836 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

purchased the jewelry store from J. 0. Westby and will soon go 
into a new building. J. 0. Westby, in retiring from the jewelry 
business, has taken up the sale of pianos, and expects to make 
that his specialty in the future. C. A. Kronlokken is proprietor 
of a garage. It is large, well equipped and absolutely fireproof. 
Repairing is a specialty with him. 

The Minnesota Valley Power Company, of Montevideo, in- 
stalled electricity here two years ago. Business houses, dwellings 
and streets are brilliantly lighted by electricity. 

S. I. Snortum opened up a variety store recently and is hav- 
ing a good trade. Draymen, II. Hogenson, Anderson & Jordet, 
Harley McBroom. A. P. Leistikow, restaurant. Bert Jones, res- 
taurant. P. A. Sehafer opened up a furniture store in the Lee 
block last spring. J. M. Huff recently purchased the photographic 
studio. G. J. Lee, shoes, dry goods and notions. Yock Bros., 
shippers of pressed hay and straw. Win. Shufft and Ernest 
Schulz, stone masons. 

There is a harness shop, with Emil Swenson as proprietor. 
H. Goetz is proprietor of the pool hall. W. A. Goetz. recently 
from Minneapolis, established a barber shop in the building oc- 
cupied by the pool hall. H. J. Molitor, proprietor of a drug store. 
is successor to G. 0. Torgersen. John Harmon, tile ditcher, does 
considerable work. The West Hotel, conducted by Albert Zaske 
the past two years, is a good hostelry. Blacksmiths, C. P. Diekow, 
G. A. Beltz, Carl Zabel. Ernst Beltz. Painters, John Walser, Hans 
Boeck. J. H. Engelking. Contractors and builders, E. M. White. 
0. V. and Ed. Anderson, L. B. Welch, 0. A. Berg. Livery barns, 
Blaekloek & Bachelder, Anderson & Jordet. Millinery stores, Mrs. 
Bedeley, I\I iss Mickelson. 

Physicians. Dr. E. M. Clay, J. W. Preisinger, L. T. Francis, L 1(. 
Maercklein. Dentist. Dr. X. I.. Johnson. Attorneys, L. D. Bar- 
nard. Harold Baker and I,. M. Carlson. 

BIRD ISLAND VILLAGE. 

The extension of the Hastings & Dakota Railway from Glen- 
coe, along its westernmost station, to Montevideo in 1878, caused 
many new towns to spring up along its path. The majority of 
these villages were of slow growth. Not so Bird Island. Prom 
an almost unbroken prairie it sprang up, almost full-grown, into 
a thriving and attractive village. As a division point of the new 
railroad, it presented an immediate appearance of activity and 
business which it has never lost. Trade that had previously gone 
to Atwater, thirty miles to the north, or to Beaver Falls, then the 
county seat, in the south, now came wending its way to Bird 
[sland. Men of means were attracted to the new site and the 
growth of the village was remarkably rapid. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 837 

The story oi' the early settlement of the farms in the neighbor- 
hood is told elsewhere by J. M. Bowler. The land appeared to 
be extremely fertile and its tillage promised immediate and boun- 
teous reward to the new settlers. About one and a half to two 
miles to the south and west, in section 15, surrounded by sloughs, 
lay an island whose area extended over sixty acres. An island 

on an otherwise unbroken prairie may seem s ewhat anomalous 

to the newer generations; but there in reality lay an attractive 
island on which grew unchecked by prairie tires tall trees — oaks, 
maples, hackberry — a veritable paradise for thousands of the 
feathered natives. From this, bird island, the township, and later 
the village, took its name. Settlers came from a distance to get 
their share of its useful and much needed timber. Since the build- 
ing of the big drainage ditch, the "island" lias disappeared and 
only valuable farm land remains. 

Bird Island was platted in July, 1878, on land owned by the 
Bird Island Townsite Company. The plat was refiled Jan. 3, 1914. 

John A. Johnson, it is said, hauled the first timber onto the 
townsite of Bird Island, taking the load from Gleneoe. 

The first store was opened by J. W. Ladd in the fall of L s 7s 
and later lie built an elevator. C. C. Ladd started the first lum- 
ber yard in the same year. A. H. Reed & Co. (Axel Reed, Jos. 
Richardson and W. M. Holbrook) opened up a general merchan- 
dise store and the following year built an elevator. Conklin & 
Clark conducted the first hardware store. J. W. Fewer and 
Michael Murphy were the first village blacksmiths. 

In LS79 Dr. J. W. Barnard established a drug store; the Ren- 
ville County Bank opened for business with Mathew Donohue in 
the president 's office ; a hotel was begun by P. J. Martell, who sold 
his interests at the end of a year to Capt. J. A. King. In the 
same year two saloons came into existence, managed by Dana 
Hodgdon and Andrew Anderson, commonly called "the Elegant 
Swede." 

The first school was taught near Bowler's in District 64 by- 
Miss Stone, daughter of E. D. Stone. 

The Bird Island Post was established by Wesley Moran in 
August, 1879. The Bird Island Blizzard began its career in April. 
1881. with J. M. Bowler as editor, and J. W. Ladd. publisher. 
Bird Island postoffiee was opened in 1878 (J. F. Bowler, post- 
master), on section 26, but was moved shortly to the store of 
J. W. Ladd. 

Other early interests were: George Crouley, 1879, grocery , 
Thomas Libby, Merchant's Hotel, 1881: N. C. Little, 1879-80; 
Dr. F. L. Puffer, 1881 ; 0. A. Strom, drugs, 1881 ; A. W. Stone, 
blacksmith, 1879; W. P. Dinon, Bird Island House, 1879; A. W. 
Hagadon & Reynolds' meat market, 1881: E. H. Keenan. hard- 
ware. 



838 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

Village lots in Bird Island were first assessed in 1879. The 
principal owners were the C. M. & St. P. R. R. Co. and the Town- 
site Company. Those who had already secured lots were : P. A. 
Sherwood, lot 4, block 28 ; D. Feeder, lot 8, block 30 ; Conklin & 
Clark, lot 4, block 41 ; F. Miller, lot 9, block 41 ; F. Hodgdon, lot 
5, block 41', lot 8, block 42; M. R. Murphy, lot 7, block 42; J. W. 
Ladd, lot 12, block 42; H. McCurry, lots 7 aud 10, block 43; A. 
H. Reed, lots 9 and 12, block 43; John Anderson, lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 
block 44 ; Donahue & Paine, lot 5, block 44 ; D. J. Deasy, lot 8, 
block 44; H. L. Miller, lot 10, block 44; Moore & Canfield, lot 11, 
block 44; G. E. Bowler, lot 12, block 44; D. S. Hall, lot 1, block 
45; J. P. O'Shea, lots 4 and 5, block 45; Win. Winnegge, lot 9, 
block 45; Mary O'Shea, lot 12, block 45. 

•1. M. Bowler furnishes the following list of the business firms 
of Bird Island in 1879: J. W. Ladd, general store, postoffice, ele- 
vator; A. H. Reed & Co., general store, elevator; Hodgdon Bros., 
general store; Conklin & Clark, hardware; Ladd & Bowler, farm 
machinery; Chas. F. Arper, farm Machinery; ('apt. John King, 
Merchants hotel and bar; Win. P. Dinon, Bird Island house and 
bar; II. L. Miller, furniture and repairing; George Crouley, 
grocery; J. W. Fewer, blacksmith; Michael Murphy, black- 
smith; Chas. C. Ladd, lumber yard; N. C. Little, lumber yard; 
Chas. Humboldt, livery; Jerry O'Shea, saloon; Henry Hall, 
druggist; Levi E. Sherwood, drayman; Thomas Commisky, 
drayman. 

The village grew rapidly. By 1882 over 500 people were liv- 
ing within its confines. It had three general stores, one grocery, 
two hardware and two drug stores, two millineries, one furni- 
ture store, one harness shop, one wagon shop, three blacksmiths, 
one shoe shop, one paint shop, one barber shop, three hotels, two 
meat markets, two saloons, two lumber yards, three physicians, 
two lawyers, one bank, two elevators. 

In 1885 the village of Bird Island was the metropolis of Ren- 
ville county. It had a population of 567, which was larger than the 
combined population of Olivia, Renville and Hector. Hector was 
the second largest town with a population of 235, and Sacred Heart 
third, with a population of 207. Bird Island discarded her swad- 
dling clothes and assumed metropolitan airs at an early age. Being 
a railroad division point she had an advantage over her sister 
towns; men of means invested there, and induced others to en- 
gage in business at that point. She drew trade for many miles 
and her growth for the first few years was phenomenal. 

But the fifteen-year county seat war had the effect of deplet- 
ing her treasury and discouraging her business men for a time. 
One of the heavy expenses was a building, erected by the citi- 
zens of Bird Island, and offered free to the county as a court 
house in the event of the removal to that place. The building 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 839 

was later used for the high and graded schools in that village, 
and was recently burned. 

Among the old residents are Dr. F. L. Puffer, W. H. Jewell, 
Chas. Kenning, H. V. Poore, James Hurley, Frank Poseley, Jos. 
Feeter, Col. Jos. Haggett, Axel Richardson, Chas. H. Sherwood, 
S. Salter, W. P. Dinon, J. M. Olson, John Fewer, Geo. H. Bowler, 
Christ Boehm, Jess. Carney, Philip Johnson, L. L. Tinnes and 
others. 

In the fall of 1887 the village received a rather serious set- 
back by the removal of the railroad division point to Montevideo. 
Over thirty families of railroad employees moved from Bird 
Island. This checked the growth for a short while, but the vil- 
lage soon recovered and has made steady progress since. 

Bird Island has a population of about 1,000 people and is a 
desirable residence and business center in every particular. The 
village improvements are especially attractive. A sightly city 
hall was erected in 1906. Aside from serving the usual village 
purposes, this building has a splendid auditorium for meetings 
and entertainments. The sewer system already covers the main 
street and an extension is now being constructed at a cost of be- 
tween $10,000 and $12,000. The waterworks system is adequate, 
with a large tower, an artesian well 112 feet deep, dug about ten 
years ago, and power furnished by an electric motor recently 
put in. 

The schools under Prof. J. W. Pettersen are of the best, em- 
bracing, in addition to the usual high school work, courses in 
manual training, agricultural and normal training. The fair 
grounds, where fairs have been conducted for some thirty-five 
years are of material advantage in increasing the importance of 
the village. A newspaper, the Bird Island Union, is another fac- 
tor in the progress of the community. A good moving picture 
theater furnishes excellent diversion. 

As a trading point, Bird Island offers many inducements to 
the farmers living in the neighboring rural districts. At one time 
the village handled the most freight between Minneapolis and 
Granite Falls. 

The Masonic order, the Eastern Star chapter, the United 
"Workmen, the Modern Woodmen, the Modern Brotherhood, the 
Royal Neighbors, the Hibernians, the Catholic Foresters, and the 
St. Joseph Society, are well represented here. 

The churches are all prosperous. Rev. Gilbert Oppen, of Ren- 
ville, serves the Norwegian Lutheran church, while Rev. Anthony 
Scholzen serves the strong Catholic church. The Methodist Epis- 
copal church, organized about 1881 by Rev. John A. McDonald, 
and the Baptist church, organized about 1880, and united under 
the pastorate of the Rev. I. Richard Melwaldt, and services are 
held at the Methodist church. 



840 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

The Bird Island Commercial Club was organized in the early 
days of 1913 and has been an important factor in the social life 
of the village. The rooms are well furnished and form a popu- 
lar social center. The officers are: President, H. W. Mielke; 
vice-president, "W. P. Lammers; secretary, Paul Kohlbe; treas- 
urer, Christ Boehme. 

The Renville County Electric Co., with a large plant at Bird 
Island, and with headquarters in Minneapolis, was organized as 
the Central Minnesota Light & Power Co., Oct. 1, 1913, with a 
capital of $200,000. The Bird Island plant is a large one, thor- 
oughly well equipped. For eight years the streets of Bird Island 
were illuminated with acetylene gas. They are now lighted with 
some fifty electric lights, and the twenty ornamental light posts 
add much to the beauty of the Bird Island streets. W. R. Rut- 
ledge is president of the company and H. B. Rutledge the sec- 
retary. J. H. Yarnell is the superintendent. In addition to its 
local services, the Bird Island plant furnishes a current for Hec- 
tor, Buffalo Lake, Stewart and Olivia, and will probably supply 
Danube in the near future. 

The Bird Island Ladies' Improvement Society was organized 
May 20. 1910. The first officers were Mrs. H. A. Puffer, presi- 
dent ; Mrs. J. F. Lorenz, vice-president ; Mrs. H. C. Sherwood, 
secretary; Mrs. J. E. Essen, treasurer. Mrs. Essen resigned in 
October, 1910, and was succeeded by Mrs. Herman Koch. In 
May. 1911, the following officers were elected: Mrs. H. A. Puffer, 
president ; Mrs. O. A. Neitzel, vice-president; Mrs. Frank Murray, 
secretary ; and Mrs. Herman Koch, treasurer. Mrs. Puffer and 
Mrs. Koch resigned their offices in October and Mrs. H. C. Sher- 
wood was elected president and .Mabel Tinnes. treasurer. In 
May, 1912, the following officers were elected : Mrs. H. C. Sher- 
wood, president; Mrs. O. A. Neitzel, vice-president; Mrs. Frank 
Murray, secretary, and Mabel Tinnes, treasurer. In May, 1913, 
the following officers were elected : Mrs. F. A. Baarsch, president ; 
Mrs. John J. Desmond, vice-president; Lottie Sherwood, secre- 
tary, and Mabel Tinnes, treasurer. In May, 1914. the officers were 
the same as in 1913, with the exception of Florence Puffer as 
treasurer in place of Mabel Tinnes. In November, Lottie Sher- 
wood resigned as secretary and Mrs. J. W. Petterson was elected. 
The officers in 1915 were : Mrs. John J. Desmond, president ; Mrs. 
J. G. Lyon, vice-president; Mrs. J. W. Petterson, secretary, and 
Florence Puffer, treasurer. 

The purpose of the society is to develop and beautify the pub- 
lic park. This park was presented to the public by the railroad 
when the village was platted, but nothing was done to improve 
it until the ladies became interested. The improvement society 
secured Max Pfaender, landscape gardener, now of New Ulm, to 
draw up a set of plans, and these plans now hang on the wall at 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 841 

the city hall. Yearly the ladies do something toward bringing 
the park to its final perfection in accordance with these plans, 
and it is expected that in time the park will be one of the best 
in this part of the country. 

The Bird Island Roller Mills constitute one of Bird Island's 
important industries. The company makes the excellent and well- 
known "'Golden Cut'' brand, engages in the general flour-milling 
business, manufactures flour and feed, and deals in wheat and 
grain. The building Mas erected some thirty years ago, and was 
then two stories high. Another story has now been added, so 
that there are now three stories and the basement. About 1900, 
F. W. Baarsch bought the mill from W. E. Coles, Jr. The com- 
pany was incorporated in 1901, with F. W. Baarsch as president, 
F. A. Baarsch as secretary and Otto Baarsch as treasurer. The 
capital stock of the company is $20,000. The present officers are : 
President, Mrs. F. W. Baarsch; secretary and manager, W. F. 
Lammers; treasurer, Christ -Jensen. The mill has a capacity of 
about seventy-five barrels a day. 

The history of the Bird Island postoffice is an interesting- one. 
The first postmaster was J. M. Bowler in 1878. He resigned and 
J. W. Ladd was appointed. Since then the postmasters have been: 
1884, C. L. Lorraine; 1886, F. Hodgdon; 1888, Albert BroWn; 
1890, L. E. Sherwood; 1894, D. J. Deasy ; 1898, I. S. Gerald (re- 
signed) ; 1900, Amund Dahl; Sept. 10, 1906, J. H. Feeter ; Nov. 1, 
1915, Joseph Haggett. Rural routes 1 and 2 were established in 
1900. and route :! some six years later. G. H. Bowler, the first 
carrier on Route 1, is still serving. 

The village was incorporated under special act of the legis- 
lature, approved March 4, 1881, the site being located on land 
owned by the Bird Island Town Site Company, in the southeast 
quarter of section 14, several additions being made later. The 
following officers were appointed to serve until their successors 
were elected on the first Tuesday in April following and duly 
qualified: Mathew Donohue, president; W. M. Holbrook, J. W. 
Ladd, Charles C. Ladd, J. W. Barnard, and E. II. Keenan, 
councillors; I). D. Williams, recorder; T. M. Paine, treasurer; 
Wesley Moran and Fred. Hodgdon, justices; .1. II. Feeter, 
street commissioner; W. H. Lewis, marshal: G. II. Megquier, at- 
torney. 

At the meeting of March 26, 1881, this council ordered the 
first annual election to be held at the schoolhouse in District 64. 
At this election on April 5, following, these officers were elected : 
M. Donohue, president; W. P. Dinon, J. W. Ladd, R. C. Edding- 
ton, W. M. Holbrook, and M. R. Murphy, councillors : W. P. Fowle, 
recorder; T. M. Paine, treasurer; J. M. Bowler and C. F. Arper 
justices. The council at its first meeting appointed F. A. Merrill 
village attorney; J. H. Feeter street commissioner; W. H. Lewis, 



842 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

marshal ; Hiram Sherwood, pound master; Dinon, Eddington, and 
Ladd, together with Attorney Merrill, were appointed a commit- 
tee to draw up a set of rules. And the recorder "was asked to 
request the county treasurer to pay into the village treasury that 
portion of the liquor fines collected from Bird Island since or- 
ganization." The village was reincorporated in 1905. 

The present officers of the village are : President, John M. 
Olson ; recorder, C. A. Strom ; treasurer, Herman Mielke ; pur- 
chasing committee, John M. Olson, C. A. Strom ; street commit- 
tee, Jess. Carney, Frank Portly, A. J. Richardson ; board of 
health, Dr. R. C. Adams. Oscar Johnson, Ingwar Ibsen; cemetery 
board, Henry Arnsdorf, W. T. Bower, J. H. Feeter; park board, 
Howard A. Puffer, Paul Kolbe. 

BUFFALO LAKE VILLAGE. 

Buffalo Lake is a well-laid-out village and has waterworks, 
sewer, electric lights (put in late in 1914), a white way, a park, 
a bandstand, two banks and a newspaper. It is situated on the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, seventy-five miles west of the 
Twin Cities, which afford a good and easily accessible market. 
The town is surrounded by the richest of agricultural countries. 
The prosperity of the business enterprises, while bespeaking the 
progressive enterprise of the business men, reflects also the pros- 
perity and thrift of the farming community round about. As a 
trading and marketing center, Buffalo Lake serves the needs of 
the farmers over a large area and has a reputation as a first- 
class business town. The magnitude of the business conducted 
by the several firms in different lines, the prosperous and business- 
like appearance of their places of business, their up-to-date stocks, 
their courteous treatment of customers and, in fact, the whole 
business spirit of the town is pleasing and attractive. With two 
banks, two large general stores, two hardware and implement 
firms, a grocery, a clothing store, harness shop, furniture store, 
jeweler and photographer, a sanitary meat market, two garages, 
drug store, restaurant, hotel, livery, feed mill and flour depot, 
two lumber yards, a new and model creamery, two produce stores, 
a well equipped blacksmith and machine shop, three privately 
owned grain elevators and a farmers' house that carries a side- 
line of machinery, there are no business needs of the farming 
community that cannot be well cared for. The village has an ex- 
cellent school that includes in its curriculum two years of high 
school work and is successfully presided over by a corps of five 
teachers, of whom Jos. E. Reichert is superintendent. The size 
of the classes that graduate annually on the strength of state 
credits received is sufficient testimony of the thoroughness of the 
work the school is doing. 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 84a 

There are three churches, the Methodist Episcopal, of which 
Rev. Allison Barnard is the recently appointed pastor ; Zions Lu- 
theran church, which has been under the pastorate of Rev. R. A. 
Schmidt for a great many years, and the Evangelical church, of 
which Rev. Max Wordelman is the present pastor. Besides the 
churches, schools and business places there are church and other 
societies, clubs, a village band, a baseball association, and the 
like. The Odd Fellows, the Woodmen, the Royal Neighbors, the 
Modern Brotherhood, the Sons of Herman and the auxiliary of 
the latter, have lodges here. There is an active Commercial Club 
that takes in hand the management of all fairs and celebrations 
and public attractions of a general nature. Then, too, the Com- 
mercial Club is a sort of standing committee of the whole to see 
that municipal matters that need attending to are not neglected. 
The streets are kept always in good repair, clean and attractive 
concrete sidewalks in every part of the village and numerous other 
improvements that help to make a village an attractive place to 
visit or to live in. There is a complete system of sewers and 
municipal water supply, and an electric service, which furnishes 
current for lighting the streets, business places and residences 
as well as for power for those who choose to avail themselves of 
it, with all the modern conveniences hitherto found only in the 
larger cities. Buffalo Lake is a pleasant and congenial place to 
live ; wideawake, progressive and thrifty. 

One of the attractive features of the village is the White Way. 
consisting of twelve ornamental posts, on each of which is a 
cluster of five large lamps. This White Way gives to the village 
a truly metropolitan appearance and is a tribute to the progres- 
sive spirit of the inhabitants. The village water supply is re- 
ceived from two wells about 400 feet deep. The village owns 
both a gasoline and a steam engine and the water system is ex- 
cellent. 

One of the first questions strangers ask is one that is prompted 
by the name of the town itself, "Where is the lake.'" A half- 
mile north of the town is a small lake from which the village de- 
rived its name. In the early days this was a stopping place for 
troops and stage w T agons crossing from Fort Ridgely on the 
Minnesota river to Hutchinson, on the edge of the timber set- 
tlements. There are still, on the south bank of the lake, traces 
of where the soldiers had one of their outposts after the 
massacre. The lake itself, though small, is picturesque and at- 
tractive. 

The two best lakes of the county are five miles north and east, 
Preston Lake and Lake Allie. Beautiful lakes they are, indeed ; 
deep, clear water, firm, sandy bottom, with just a fringe of native 
trees along the shores to mark their boundaries. The lakes are 
about the same size, each about two miles across. 



844 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

Turning again to the agricultural phases of the country, we 
find therein the foundation for the prosperity of the villages and 
towns and their business enterprises. From Buffalo Lake, live 
rural mail delivery routes extend, making a total of about 140 
miles. Besides the delivery of mail, the country is strung with 
telephone lines till the farm house without a phone is the rare 

exception. 

The fire department is well equipped and does excellent work 
whenever the occasion arises. Peter Fischer is the chief, Fred 
C. Eiselein the secretary and Frank Prelvitz the treasurer. The 
company has a chemical engine, hook and ladder, hose cart, and 
other equipment. 

There have been three important tires in Buffalo Lake, but 
outside of these the village has been remarkably free from fire 
losses. The Buffalo Lake Manufacturing & Supply Co., operated 
for a few years as a foundry and machine shop, and was burned 
Oct. 5. 1900, entailing a loss of about $9,000. The Monson & Ger- 
ber grain elevator and warehouse was burned Jan. 30, 1901. en- 
tailing a loss of some $8,000. The O. T. Ramsland & Sons' general 
store was burned Dec. 31, 1904, the loss being estimated at some 
$6,000. 

The mill has been an important factor in the growth of Buf- 
falo Lake. The mill was started by Green & Dahms, who moved 
from Biscay, near Hutchinson, in the nineties. They sold to 
Ilaag & Flor, of New Plm. Flor sold to John Noonan and the 
firm became Ilaag & Noonan. Haag & Noonan sold to J. E. Stiles 
and August Yoeks and the firm became Stiles & Yoeks. Voeks 
sold to Clans Grelk and the firm became Stiles & Grelk. Otto 
Grelk entered the firm and the name was changed to Grelk & Son. 
Next John Lockway obtained an interest and the firm became 
Grelk & Lockway. Then the Grelk interests were sold to Michael 
Lehrer, of Springfield, and the firm became Lockway & Lehrer. 
This company operated it for a long period. It is now owned 
by the Berry Brothers. 

Centering at Buffalo Lake are three farmers' associations 
which have been of much benefit to the community. The oldest 
is the Buffalo Lake Farmers' Mutual Fire Insurance Co. The 
risks it carried last year aggregated nearly two million dollars, 
according to the report submitted by the secretary, Frank "VYall- 
ner. Next, there is the Equity Elevator. This organization deals 
in grain, fuel, farm machinery, etc. The third, the Buffalo Lake 
Equity Stock Shippers' Association, has handled for two years 
past practically all the stock shipped from this place. To this 
list might well be added the Boon Lake Co-operative Creamery 
Co.. which lias been a signal success through the several years of 
its existence. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNT V 845 

The Buffalo Lake Industrial Mercantile & Trading Co. flour- 
ished for a while. G. K. Gilbert foreclosed the mortgage, and the 
elevator was later demolished. 

The Buffalo Lake Farmers' Elevator Co. was incorporated in 
1906. The first officers were : President, M. B. Foster; vice-presi- 
dent, Darwin S. Hall; secretary. F. G. Nellermoe; treasurer, Eu- 
gene Eiselein. The first directors were : M. B. Foster, John Keitel, 
J. A. Burgstahler, William Fluck, Eugene Eiselein, J. K. Landy, 
B. F. Sheppard, I). S. Hall and F. G. Nellermoe. The building 
is now occupied by the Equity & Trading Co. 

The Buffalo Lake Equity & Trading Co. is one of the leading 
institutions of Buffalo Lake. The latest annual meeting was held 
Jan. 15, 1916. The annual report on the business dime, through 
the association during the past year showed a considerable in- 
crease and indicates that the association is in a prosperous and 
thriving condition. A total of 100 cars of stock wen- bandied for 
the year as against 74 in the year previous. Though the fact 
that most of the hogs shipped this year were lighter than a year 
ago reduced the relative gain in weight from what the number of 
cars would indicate, there was. however, a very substantial gain 
in gross weights. Given in round figures, the association handled 
stock to the value of $16,000. Of this, approximately $10,000 was 
paid over to the farmers who shipped. The balance went for 
freight, commissions, and other expenses. 

The following were elected directors: F. B. Judd, Brookfield; 
G. C. Henke, Hector; John Klucas, Grafton; Theodore Byhoffer, 
Boon Lake; Fred Henschke, Martinsburg; N. L. Monson, Preston 
Lake ; A. M. Anderson, at large. The directors met and chose 
as officers. F. B. Judd, president; John Klucas. vice-president; 
N. L. Monson, secretary and treasurer. 

For several years after the railroad came through, the preseut 
site of Buffalo Lake remained a marsh with no indication of a 
village. Trains stopped at Monson 's Crossing, not far away, to 
let off passengers bound for the locality. At that time John C. 
Riebe owned a farm here. As a reward, it is said, for work done 
in connection with the county seat contest, the railroad company 
agreed to plat a village here. The village was accordingly platted 
in 1881 and named from the body of water some half-mile away. 
That year, F. C. Hamilton opened a place of refreshment on lot 
9, block 11. 

Early in 1882, John C. Riebe, who owned the farm home not 
far away, erected the present Buffalo Lake Hotel on lots 11 and 
12, block 11. This was sold afterward to "Wm. Goebel. It was 
conducted by the Goebel family until the spring of 1915, when 
Mrs. Goebel, the widow, retired from active life. Soon after the 
hotel was put up, J. E. Lewis opened a general store on lot 18, 
block 11. He disposed of the place to C. A. Peterson. The build- 



846 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

nig, now moved to lot 6, block 11, is now occupied by E. W. Reb- 
stock, druggist. 

Late in 1882, Fred C. Riebe opened a place of refreshment on 
lot 12, block 10. This place developed into a hardware store and 
was destroyed by fire. Fred C. Riebe, a man with a wooden leg, 
was a notable character. From here he went to West St. Paul and 
there conducted a boarding house. Then he went to Cripple 
Creek, Col., where he met his death. 

Village lots in Buffalo Lake were first assessed in 1882. The 
principal owner was D. A. Riebe. Those who had already secured 
lots were: Mrs. H. Hayden, lot 10, block 10; Geo. Painter, lot 
18, block 10; J. E. Lewis, lots 17 and 18, block 11, lot 1, block 12. 

About 188-4, Charles and Louis Pretre opened a general store 
on lot 8, block 11. Walter and Henry Fauss bought the place. 
Henry Fauss sold his share to Charles Fauss. Walter Fauss also 
sold his share to Charles Fauss, who, in 1890, started a hardware 
store. 

Ole Olson had the first blacksmith shop. He sold to John S. 
Fisher, who conducted the shop on lot 18, block 10. 

Henry Mansfield conducts a small store on lot 13, block 10. 

August Klietzke started a wagon shop on lot 17, block 10. 

The depot was erected in 1882 and soon thereafter the St. 
Croix Lumber Co., with Fred Krueger as manager, opened what 
is now the Stearns Lumber Co. yard, and Constant Steinkopf and 
John C. Riebe started buying grain in a flat house, where the 
Monarch Lumber Co. is now located. Krueger married Laura 
Riebe, a daughter of John C. Riebe. He left here in 1893 and 
located in South Stillwater. 

A German Lutheran church, the present building, was erected 
in the early days, and a parish schoolhouse was erected back of 
the church. The story of the church is told elsewhere. 

R. E. Sell who. until recently, was the oldest settler still in 
business, arrived in 1891 and opened a meat market on lot 14, 
block 10. where he was located until early in 1915. When he 
arrived, nearly all the business was in block 10. In block 11 were 
the hotel, a store and a club house. The street between the two 
blocks was a mud hole and there were no sidewalks. 

F. G. Nellermoe. the banker, has the record of antedating all 
the men now engaged in business in Buffalo Lake. Peter Fischer, 
the blacksmith, and John Quast, the undertaker and furniture 
dealer, were here when Mr. Nellermoe arrived, but were not en- 
gaged in their present business. 

Buffalo Lake was incorporated in April, 1893. The first offi- 
cers were: President, John C. Riebe; councilmen, C. A. Peter- 
son, A. C. Stucke and August Klitzke ; recorder, Fred Krueger; 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 847 

treasurer, Charles Hamann; justice of the peace, Nels Monson; 
constable. Ole Pedersou. Joseph Fernholz was the clerk of the 
first election. 

The first meeting of the village council was held Feb. 8, 1892. 

The present officers are : President, J. W. Rusch ; couneilmen, 
J. II Sander, Fred 0. Eiselein, Walter Berry; recorder, W. I). 
Wallner; treasurer, Herman Yunker; justices of the peace, 
Charles Werner. Herman F. Moede and J. Fred Siats ; constable, 
Clans Grelk; marshal. Cecil Michaelson; assessor, W. 1). Wallner. 

A brief business directory follows: Auctioneers, R. H. Funk, 
('. G. McEwen; Geo. Bagley Elevator Co. (G. A. Erickson, man- 
ager): Berry Bros. (Walter Berry, manager), grist mill; Boon 
Lake Creamery (G. W. Kurth, manager). Lakeside; Elwin Bor- 
den, White Wyandotte Poultry and OIC Swine Breeder; Buffalo 
Lake Blacksmith & Machine Shop (L. A. Reep, prop.), oxy-acety- 
lene welding, horse shoeing, and plow work a specialty; Buffalo 
Lake Commercial Club (H. L. Reep, president; F. C. Eiselein, 
secretary; Herman Yunker, treasurer) Buffalo Lake Creamery 
(J. E. Swanson, manager) ; Buffalo Lake Hotel (Julius Tollefson, 
proprietor) ; Buffalo Lake "News" (Thos. I. Foster, publisher) ; 
Buffalo Lake Opera House (Winkler Bros, managers) ; Buffalo 
Lake Produce Co. (J. B. Evenson, manager) ; Buffalo Lake Town- 
ship Mutual Fire Insurance Co. (Frank Wallner, secretary) ; Buf- 
falo Lake Motor Co. (E. W. Jacobitz and C. H. Werner) ; City 
Dray Line (H. L. Michelson, proprietor) ; A. Eiselein & Sons 
(Adolph, Eugene, Fred and Henry), general store; Equity Ele- 
vator & Trading Co. (P. H. Fabel, manager); Farmers' State 
Bank (('. A. Kuske, president; Nat. Kuske, cashier) ; Albert Far- 
rar, barber; Richard Fischer, grain elevator; Peter Fisher, fire 
chief: Funk & Wallner (R. H. Funk, Louis J. Wallner), livery; 
Everett C. Gaines, physician; Grunke & Schultz, general store 
(Lakeside); Andrew Hanson, produce: Jno. Lauschke, shoe- 
maker; Louis Lipke. junk; Miller & Quast, grocers (R. E. Miller 
and Martin Quast) ; Midland Lumber Company (Aug. Mielke, 
manager) ; Cecil Michelson, village marshal ; Frantz G. Nellermoe, 
insurance agent ; Jno. J. Nygaard, jeweler : Fred C. Porter, cement 
worker (machinery): Jno. Quast, furniture; E. W. Rebstock, 
drugs; Reep Bros. (Harvey L. and Orlando 0.), hardware; J. W. 
Rusch Land Co., farm lands and real estate (Jno Rusch) ; Rein- 
hold Jakobitz, agent grain elevator ; Henry H. Schraan, hardware ; 
P. E. Schoeneman, postmaster; John Siats, restaurant; Reinhold 
E. Sell, meats ; Siewert & Sander (Adolph G. and Fred W. Siewert, 
Rutherford and Jno. Sander), general store; State Bank (capital 
stock, $25,000 ; J. C. Nagel, president ; F. G. Nellermoe, cashier) ; 
Stearns Lumber Co., Virgil P. Goodnow, agent; George Sausele, 
garage ; Tri-State Telephone Co. ; L. A. Reep, blacksmith ; Jos. G. 
Williams, railway express and telegraph agent; D. W. Wallner, 



848 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

village recorder; Herman Yunker, harness; Chas. Zalk & Son, 
gent's furnishings, clothing and dry goods. 

DANUBE VILLAGE. 

Tourists on their way westward along the famous well-trav- 
eled "Yellow Trail" through Renville county, after making an 
abrupt turn northward about five miles out of the county seat, 
suddenly come into view of the pleasant little village of Danube. 
Lying midway between and but a few miles from Olivia and Ren- 
ville, it presents a surprising picture of quick development, con- 
sidering its nearness to its older neighbors and its rather unprom- 
ising beginnings. Even a casual glance, however, at the gradually 
rolling land, the fertile fields, and the prosperous farmsteads in 
the vicinity, reveals the secret of its growth and the logic of its 
location. 

As early as 1S76 settlers laid claim to the surrounding country. 
In that year John Stange took a homestead of 80 acres just north 
of the present village: in May. 1878, John Kuether tiled on land 
in section 32 and was followed soon after by William Bede and 
Henry Henricks. Many other settlers came, and trade took its 
natural course to the nearby villages. For many years the rail- 
road map indicated only that the company had a stopping place 
near the present site of the village, where gravel was taken on 
and known as "Gravel Pit Station." 

With the increase of the farming population and with the poor 
roads leading to the nearby markets, many settlers believed thai 
a nearer and more accessible market would be exceedingly ad- 
vantageous. At the time of the county seat removal fight, a peti- 
tion was circulated, asking the railroad company to give the people 
a station, to be known as "Miles." As the acquiesence of the two 
neighboring villages would have to lie secured for the purpose, 
the petition lay in a dormant state for some time, as naturally 
neither Renville nor Olivia countenanced the idea of seeing a rival 
market Indue established. However, as the county seat tight 
waxed fiercer, the consent of the two towns was secured through 
the time honored "log-rolling" method, and Miles was given a 
place in the railroad "sun." In their anxiety to secure the sta- 
tion, a number of farmers had organized a company and had built 
a co-operative elevator, the first building on the present site of 
the village. No side-track being secured, no grain was bought the 
'first year, and the building was sold to H. H. Neuenburg, who 
later disposed of it to the Crown Elevator people, who now hold it. 

With the concession of the station immediate growth followed. 
William Terry, of Bird Island, built and conducted the first gen- 
eral store in the spring of 1899 where the Beck blacksmithy now 
stands. August Sommerfield, appointed first postmaster in 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 849 

1899, soon removed the office from its little shack to the Terry 
store, Air. Terry being appointed assistant. The next year H. W. 
Shoemaker, of North Redwood, erected a building and opened 
up the second store on the spot where he now conducts his mer- 
cantile business. At the same time Philip Fabel anil J. W. Beck 
built a hardware which they later converted into the first hotel. 
Herman Roepke, of Buffalo Lake, opened up a harness shop the 
same year. 

In 1901, in order to better control the liquor traffic, the village 
was incorporated. The name of "Miles" was dropped as it was 
found to give rise to considerable confusion owing to the existence 
of other villages in the state by that name. Why the new name 
was adopted is not known on good authority. As the story goes, 
it appears that the additional stop at Miles was not particularly 
pleasing to the railroad men at that time and the official name 
was not heard as often as other utterances, "not loud, but deep." 
These latter expressions to an innocent bystander might have 
sounded somewhat like, "Dan-ube, " although that was not the 
exact wording of the phrase. Be that as it may, it is not here 
vouched for as a fact, but merely adverted to, for the sake of 
being precise and authentic. At any rate Danube is the name 
given to the place by the railroad company and accepted as the 
name of the newly incorporated village. 

The' first council meeting, November :!() of that year, con- 
sisted of P. A. Schroeder, president; Fred Sausele, Chris. Schmidt 
and John Fischer, councillors; and Jas. J. Moughan, recorder. 
Schroeder, Schmidt and Fischer constituted the first board of 
health. Ordinance No. 1 was passed relating to the licensing of 
saloons. 

The original owner of the village site was August Summer- 
field who disposed of it to F. A. Schroeder. The site was well- 
chosen, the land lying high and being well drained. 

The first school within the village limits was built in 1904 at 

a cost of about $4,000, the school having previously 1 n located 

about a half-mile south of its present situation. Nellie Pettis and 
Miss Leonard were the first teachers. 

In the same year a system of waterworks was installed, con- 
sisting of an excellent well, tower with tank of 242 barrels ca- 
pacity, and a large gasoline engine, at a cost of between three aud 
four thousand dollars. There are now about seven blocks of 
mains. 

The growing business of the community soon demanded a local 
clearing house and in 1902 T. O'Connor, of Renville, established 
a bank, under the direction of F. A. Schroeder, president; Fred 

Kamin, vice president; B. G. Schr ler, cashier. It is still the 

only bank and is known as the Danube State Bank. 



850 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

In 1904 the "Danube Herald" made its appearance. It was 
printed at Buffalo Lake by J. R. Landy and mailed to its sub- 
scribers at Danube. Later a printing plant was established at 
Danube in charge of A. E. Hill, of Morton. After a fitful exist- 
ence of a few years, the spark of life went out. In November, 
1911, the "Danube Review" was issued by E. C. Wallner, and 
continued by him until the summer of 1915, when C. A. Heilig, 
former principal of the public school, became its editor and pro- 
prietor. It is an enterprising publication and deserving of the 
hearty support of Danube citizens. 

The first church services were conducted by Rev. Green, a 
Presbyterian, the next by the German Evangelicals in the town 
hall. A church was built in 1904. Rev. F. F. Arndt is the resident 
pastor. The German Lutheran congregation built about the same 
time, but have no resident minister, services being conducted by 
Rev. II. II. Hupfer, of Olivia. 

The present village contains about three hundred inhabitants, 
in the main of German extraction. They are a thrifty class, homes 
are neat and grounds well kept, and the general appearance of 
the village speaks well for its industrious people. The latter 
are firm believers in education and the school building is, per- 
haps, the most prominent of all. In 1914 the two rooms were 
increased to four, modern conveniences were installed as to heat- 
ing and sanitation, including steam heat, ventilation by fan, 
toilets, and septic tank; a gymnasium built in the basement, and 
the building and equipment improved in every respect. Besides 
the regular eight grades, two years of high school work is now 
carried on. It is tin- aim of the board of education, now made 
up of Adolph Wallert, F. A. Schroeder ami Ed. Grunnert, to have 
such a department of domestic .science that every child in the 
village or community may have the benefit of a good, practical 
common school education without the necessity of leaving home. 
A. M. Taylor is principal of the school, with four teachers in the 
grades and one special instructor for the domestic science course. 

The village council at present consists of F. A. Schroeder, 
president; Henry J. Stange, recorder; N. T. Knott, H. F. Bruss 
and L. C. Hendricks, councillors; "William Finley, justice. F. A. 
Kenmitz is constable; Dr. William C. Dieterich, William Voelz 
and Gus. Miller make up the board of health. The latter is also 
street commissioner. An adequate fire department has been es- 
tablished with E. C. Wallner as chief. 

The M. W. A. have a local camp of twenty-three members with 
officers as follows: H. W. Shoemaker, V. C.; George Billiar, 
A. D. ; Ben. Manthei, B. ; George Maeheledt, clerk. 

Danube lias three general stores, one furniture store, one bank, 
two churches, one newspaper, four elevators, one hotel, one livery, 
one drug store, one hardware, one blacksmith, one creamery, one 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 851 

restaurant, one produce station, one cement tile factory, two 
pool halls, one barber shop, one millinery, one harness shop, one 
lumber yard, and one doctor. Bonds of .$2,500 were voted in the 
spring of 1915 to bring the electric current from Bird Island in 
order to give the live little village a satisfactory system of light- 
ing its broad streets, snug homes and enterprising business places. 
Contract has been let for a county ditch to be built on the south 
side of the village which will provide a sewerage outlet for the 
village. 

A brief business directory follows : 

Gust P. Black, barber; Crown Elevator Co., William Valz, 
agent; Danube Farmers' Elevator Co., Win, Finley, agent; Dan- 
ube Hardware Co. (Herman A. Brass, Elmer Fischer, Otto E. 
Schroeder) ; Danube Mercantile Co. (George Macheldt, president; 
Henry Stange, vice president; Fred A. Bade, secretary and man- 
ager), general store; Danube "Saturday Review," (Edward C. 
"Wallner publisher); Danube State Bank, (capital, $10,000; sur- 
plus, $13,000; F. A. Schroeder, president; B. G. Schroeder, cash- 
ier) ; Danube Telephone Co., F. A. Schroeder, manager; Wm. C. 
Dietrich, physician ; Empire Elevator Co.. John J. Playhart, 
agent; Flora Township Mutual Fire Insurance Co., F. A. Schroe- 
der, secretary; Horst Bros. (Henry L. and Benjamin H.), livery; 
N. I. Hugger, creamery ; Fred A. Keumitz, meats ; Henry Kerwin, 
blacksmith ; William II. Krueger, furniture ; Albert Kuether, pro- 
prietor of the Union Hotel; Geo. J. Macheldt, produce; H. H. 
Neuenburg & Co., Nicholas T. Knott, manager, lumber; Seber T. 
Nordgarden, restaurant; Pacific Elevator Co., Chas. F. Dobratz, 
agent; Henry W. Shoemaker, general store and postmaster; 
Christ A. Wallner. harness; E. C. Wallner, publisher, Danube 
"Saturday Review;" Carl W. Zieiner, railway, express and tele- 
graph agent. 

In the fall of 1899, H. W. Shoemaker and wife arrived. Mr. 
Shoemaker says: "When we located here there were a few 
buildings here wdiich had been started in the fall of 1898, when 
I made the basement for my store. One elevator was built but 
we had no side track ; then in the year 1899 the Chicago, Mil- 
waukee & St. Paul put in their first side track. In this same 
year Herman Lindeman came from North Redwood and started 
a lumber yard and also bought grain. Later on this yard and 
elevator went by the name of H. H. Neuenburg & Co., who 
sold the elevator but retained the yard which is still in opera- 
tion. 

"In 1898 August Sommerfeld built the first building, a 10 by 
12 postoffice. In the spring of 1899 P. H. Fabel and Jacob Beck 
started a hardware store, Herman Roepke a harness shop and 
Thomas Slough a saloon. C. Riebe built the second elevator on 
the north side of the track which burned down, and then built 



852 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNT Y 

what is now the Pacific elevator. Win. Terry had a small store 
on the present site of the blacksmith shop." 

In 1901, Mr. Shoemaker was appointed postmaster, and held 
the office until 1915. The oldest settlers now in the village are 
Mr. and Mrs. Shoemaker and Mrs. P. Hinrichs. 

Lots in the village of Miles (now Danube) were first assessed 
in 1899. The principal owner was August Sommerfeld. Those 
who had already secured lots were: Carl Sausele, lot 1, block 1; 
Louis R. Gemmett, lot 2, block 1 ; H. H. Neuenburg et al., lots 3, 
4, 13, block 1; F. A. Schroeder, lots 7 and 8, block 1; Win. F. 
Terry, lot 9, block 1 ; lots 1, 3, block 2 ; Thomas Slough, lot 10, 
block 9; Jacob W. Beck, lot 11, block 1 ; P. H. Fabel, lot 12, block 
1; James McCormick, lot 2, block 2; Chas. Braun, lot 4, block 2; 
Christ Blume, lot 5, block 2; F. Hinricks, lots 8 and 9, block 2; 
lot 3, block 5 ; lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, block 6 ; J. H. Engeman, lot 10, 
block 2 ; Herman Roepke, lot 2, block 5 ; August Nere, lot 4, block 
5; Herman Lindeman, lots 5 and 6, block 5. From 1906 on this 
town has been assessed as Danube. 

FAIRFAX VILLAGE. 

Fairfax is located on the Minneapolis and St. Louis Railway, 
about eighty-eight miles southwest from Minneapolis. It is situ- 
ated in the southeastern corner of Renville county and lies about 
seven miles north of the historic site of old Fort Ridgely. which 
has now been set ;iside as a state park and which was formally 
dedicated and turned over to the State on August 22, 1914, witli 
fitting ceremonies. 

The township of Cairo, in which Fairfax is situated, was one 
of the earliest in the county. It is located in one of the best agri- 
cultural regions in the state and it is the trade and business head- 
quarters for one of the most enterprising farm communities found 
in any part of the country. 

In 1880, the M. & St. L. railroad reached Winthrop where it 
halted for a year, but the officers of the road, during this year 
of inactivity, selected townsites along the line and among the 
ones selected was the present site of Fairfax. 

As the site selected was within the township of Cairo it was 
natural that the people residing in the neighborhood of the pro- 
posed new village should desire that it should bear that name. 
An examination of the postoffice records, however, developed the 
fact that there was another postoffice in the state with a name 
that so nearly approached "Cairo" that the postal authorities 
declined to accept that as the name of a new office which neces- 
sitated the selection of a new title. There were several names 
suggested and quite a little feeling developed as to who should 
have the honor of christening the new town. The matter was 
finally compromised by leaving it to Eben Ryder, at the time 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 853 

president of the M. & St. L. road, to make the selection. Mr. 
Ryder was a Virginian, a native of Fairfax county, and so he be- 
stowed upon the newly organized village the historic name of 
"Fairfax." 

On August 22, 1882, the town was platted, and shortly after- 
wards the Government instituted the postoffice, with L. C. Grady 
as postmaster, and Fairfax was officially placed upon the map 
of Minnesota. 

Early history shows that St. Andrew's parish was the first 
religious institution in Fairfax. In fact, it may be said to have 
become a distinctly local house of worship in 1875, at which 
time a frame building used for services was removed from Fort 
Ridgely to within a short distance of where Fairfax now stands. 
The building was afterwards moved to East Fairfax and used 
for social gatherings. 

At that time the judicial seat of Renville county was located 
at Beaver Falls, 22 miles across country, while the nearest bank- 
ing point was Gaylord, in Sibley county, 25 miles distant. Im- 
proved land in this community was selling at that time at from 
$15 to $20 while unimproved land could be purchased at from $9' 
to $12 per acre. 

Though the railroad company picked out anything but a fav- 
orable site for their station in Fairfax, business houses of various 
kinds were started immediately. 

Fairfax has long been recognized as a leading business point 
in Renville county. It is also fully as good a town as there is 
anywhere along the St. Louis road, the aggregate freight and 
passenger business at this point approximating fully $50,000 per 
year. 

The population of 815 as shown by the census of 1910 does 
the village an injustice, because the outlying precinct of "Ho- 
boken" which abuts right up to the village is a part of the town 
for all intents and purposes save and except that they do not have 
the village tax to pay. The total actual population of Fairfax 
and Hoboken is at least 1,100. 

Fairfax was incorporated as a village in 1888, M. D. Brown 
was elected president of the village council. The village has 
had many efficient men on its council ami under their direction 
many public improvements have been made. The village owns 
its village hall with a seating capacity of 600 in the auditorium 
on the second floor, with smaller halls for lodge and other pur- 
poses on the first floor. 

The town has one of the best electric light systems in the state. 
The current is generated by the Crescent Milling Company and 
wholesaled to the village which retail the juice to the residents. 
Continuous service of the best possible light at a reasonable cost 
helps to make Fairfaxans contented and happy. 



854 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

Fairfax has an adequate water system for fire protection and 
a well organized fire department fairly well equipped. The water 
is of the best but only a small percentage of the people use the 
supply from the village for domestic purposes. 

The telephone exchange is owned and controlled entirely by 
Fairfax capital, as are the rural lines reaching out in every direc- 
tion from the village. The equipment is of the best aud the 
service continuous. Long distance connections are made with 
both the Tri-State and Northwestern lines. 

Fairfax has four splendid churches, the Catholic, the Meth- 
odist, the German Lutheran and the Norwegian Lutheran. 

Among the fraternal organizations may be mentioned the Ma- 
sonic organization, the M. B. A., the M. W. A., the Knights of 
Columbus, the Catholic Order of Foresters, the Lady Foresters, 
the Sons of Herman, and numerous church societies. The G. A. R. 
post and the Ladies of the G. A. R. are also flourishing organi- 
zations. 

The present site of Fairfax was originally an island. This 
island occupied all of section 2. the east half of section 3, and 
the west half of section 1, in the original plat of Fairfax, as well 
as the southern part of section 8, and a corner of section 5, in 
Klasen's addition. It also extended south of the track and termi- 
nated in a ridge extending southeast. This island was surrounded 
with sloughs, swamps, and swales, filled with muskrat houses, 
the haunt of numberless water fowl. 

John Welsh had a farmhouse forty rods south of the present 
depot. Part of the village is platted on his land. One-half a 
mile west of the site was Hugh Carson. One-half mile east of 
the site was Edmond O'Hara. It was on his land that East Fair- 
fax, now known as Iloboken, was platted. One-half a mile south 
of the site was Nels Peterson. A half a mile north of town was 
James O'Hara. The nearest road was the old road east of the 
village, the main road between New Ulm and Fairfax. 

The village of Fairfax dates from 1882, when the townsite 
was platted. After it became known that the railroad was to 
establish a village here, there was considerable doubt as to 
whether the new settlement would be located on the farm of 
John Welsh or on the farm of Edmond O'Hara. 

For a time the O'Hara farm seemed the probable site, and 
quite a settlement sprang up there, known both as East Fairfax 
and as Iloboken. Uriah Tibbetts came to East Fairfax in the 
fall of 1882 and opened a saloon eighty rods west of Ed. O'Hara 's 
house near the railroad. On the rear of his lot he erected a home. 
A frame building originally located at Ft. Ridgely ami later 
moved near the old cemetery, north of the present village, and 
used for Catholic church services was later moved to East Fair- 
fax and long remained a social center. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 855 

Luke T. Grady was the first merchant on the site of the pres- 
ent village. He had been a pioneer merchant in Hector in this 
county and from there had moved to Arlington. "When the rail- 
road was projected through this part of the country he built a 
shack and started selling goods on the northeast corner of sec- 
tion 10. This was in 1881. About August, 1882, he came to the 
present site of Fairfax and moved his shack to a place near the 
middle of Second avenue, in front of lot 15, block 3. To this 
shack he built a canvas addition in the form of a tent and there 
lie started selling provisions and liquors. Soon afterward he 
erected a new store on lot 15, block 3, where lie continued for 
several years. 

Soon after Mr. Grady's arrival, the influx of business began. 
Many of the early business men came from Sleepy Eye, and sev- 
eral of them had been friends before coming here. 

Henry Hauser came from Sleepy Eye in the late summer of 
1882. and opened a lumber yard under the firm name of Miller, 
Christenson & Hauser. This yard occupied the present site of 
the wood yard of the Midland Lumber Co., east of the street and 
south of the track. The first carload of lumber received by this 
yard was sold to Posen & Anderson, the second to Charles Schut- 
nick and the third to Phillip Kipp. Tins lumber company con- 
tinues in business to the present time, now being known as the 
Hauser Lumber Co. C. A. Lammers and G. A. Rieke are now 
associated with .Mr. Hauser in the business. The yard is now 
located on lots 1 and 2. block 3. 

John C. Brennescholz opened a lumber yard at practically the 
same time that the Hauser yard was opened. It occupies a place 
south of the tracks and west of the street, the present site of the 
office of the Midland Lumber Co. 

Posen & Anderson, from Sleepy Eye, opened their store early 
in the fall. It was located on lot 8. block 2. Mr. Anderson was 
then single. The Posen family lived above the store. Emil F. 
Sell bought out Anderson and the company became Posen & Sell. 
Later the firm became Sell & Nelson. Next Euiil F. and Gustave 
C. Sell conducted the firm under the name of the Sell Brothers. 
Gustave C. Sell died, and his interests were purchased by J. W. 
Schramm. The firm then became Sell & Schramm. The firm 
was likewise interested in the State Bank of Fairfax. Then the 
two partners divided, Mr. Sell taking the store and .Mr. Schramm 
the bank. The business is still at the same location. It is known 
as the Fairfax Department Store and is owned by August F. 
Rieke, Richard G. Rienke and the estate of Emil F. Sell. 

Charles Schutnik came from Sleepy Eye in the early fall of 
1882, and erected a blacksmith shop on lot 6, block 2. He brought 
his family and moved them into a house which he had erected 
beside his shop. This was the first dwelling on the village site. 



856 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Phillip Kipp came from Sleepy Eye at practically the same 
time and opened a wagon shop on lot 5, block 2. He spent most 
of the winter here and in March, 1883, brought his family. Mr. 
Kipp is still a resident of the village. 

About this time a flathonse was opened for the purchase of 
grain, the buyer being Nels Nelson. The fl.ath.ouse was located 
on the east side of Second street south of the railroad track, be- 
tween the Hauser Lumber Co. and the railroad. 

About the first snow fall, the Dodge Brothers moved into 
Fairfax, and located on lots 10 and 11, block 2. They moved their 
building to the back of the lot, and started erecting a new build- 
ing for a saloon. The new building was completed enough to 
be used before winter. 

Sylvester Turner, who had formerly been a farmer, opened a 
livery stable on the alley in the middle of block 2, near lot 15. 
This was late in the fall of 1882. 

John Buehler opened a hardware and furniture store on lot 
10, block 1. 

Adam Christman opened a meat market on lot 11, block 3, and 
lived in back of the store. 

The original depot was erected on the same sit'.' as the present 
station during the fall of 1882. Some years ago this station and 
a nearby elevator were burned. The present station was at once 
erected. A new station has for some time been advocated by the 
Fairfax Commercial club, but this far without results. 

Thomas Welsh opened a hotel in the winter of 1882-83, its lo- 
cation being lot 10, block 1. His sister, Mrs. Ellen (Welsh) 
O'Neill, kept house for him. 

About the same time Henry Hauffman opened a saloon on 
lot 4, block 2. Toward spring Hauffman sold to Robert Mahl. 

Timothy Cayton opened a hotel where the Windsor Hotel is 
now located, lots 15 and 16, block 2. 

II. L. Ihles opened a blacksmith shop on lot 9, block 1. 

Charles Thomas started a blacksmith shop on lot 5 block 2. 

Nelson & Peterson, of Red Wing, who had a branch store at 
Hector, came to Fairfax in the winter of 1882-83 with Amund 
Dahl, the present county treasurer as partner, and opened a hard- 
ware store where the Farmers Cooperative store is now located. 

Village lots in Fairfax were first assessed in 1883. Eben Rider 
and Bridget Welsh were the principal owners. Those who had 
already secured lots were: H. L. Ihles, lot 9, block 1; Thomas 
Welsh, lot 10, block 1 ; John Buhler, lot 11, block 1; Chas. Thomas, 
lot 12, block 1; Phillip Kipp, lot 5, block 2; Chas. Schuknecht, lot 
6, block 2 ; Robert Mahl, lot 7, block 2 ; B. L. Bird, lot 9, block 2 
Theodore Crone, lot 10, block 2; Dodge Bros., lot 11, block 2 
Henry Offerman. lot 12, block 2; Henry Hauser, lot 13, block 2 
F. W. Keeling, lot 15, block 2 ; C. H. Nixon, lot 9, block 3 ; Cath 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 857 

erine Grady, lots 10, 15, 16, block 3 ; T. C. Brennisholtz, lot 3, 
block 6 ; John Lane, lot 4, block 6 ; John Croft'ord, lot 8, block 6 ; 
Walter Dohney, lot 10, block 6. 

Village of East Fairfax. A man whose name is given as 
Rudolph owned nearly all of the lots assessed in 1883. Those 
who had secured lots were: Iver Gunderson, lot 3, block 1; 
James H. Smith, lots 12 and 13, block 1 ; Albertine Sell, lot 12, 
block 3 ; Wm. Comme, lot 4, block 4 ; lot 27, block 4. 

Toward spring in 1883, Charles Bird erected a. store in Fairfax 
where the postoffice now stands, and lived overhead. He planned 
to open a saloon but gave up the project. 

There were few children in Fairfax during the spring of 1883. 
Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Kipp had a son, Charles M. Mrs. Ellen 
O'Neil had three children, Frank, Nellie and Mary. Mr. and 
Mrs Charles Schutnick had a son, Edward. Mr. and Mrs. Tim- 
othy Caton had several children. This constituted the young life 
of the village that winter. Many of the pioneers were unmarried, 
and most of the families were living in the buildings which 
housed their business establishments. 

The first physician in Fairfax was Dr. C. S. Knapp, who came 
in 1883, and opened a drug store on lot 13, block 3. 

The first lawyer was Mr. Joy, who came in 1883. 

The biggest fire in the history of Fairfax was that of Sept. 
17, 1895, when the northeast corner of block 6 was wiped out, 
taking the Methodist parsonage, the J. C. Fullerton mill and 
other structures. 

Fairfax was incorporated in 1888. A petition was presented 
to the county board, praying for the incorporation, dated Nov. 
21, 1887, and signed by M. D. Brown, Dr. H. E. Lucas, Luther 
Nichols. C. Hornberg, Horatio Werring, A. M. Londe, 0. H. Jert- 
sen, B. S. Martin, A. Hinderman, J. W. Gruber, Andrew Nelson, 
Gustav Sell, Ernil F. Sell, A. A. Grueke, N. D. Lorge, Johan Lorge, 
W. A. Burchfield, C. N. Hickox, August Thiele, Louis Thiele, J. 
Hirsh, Frank Bregel, J. J. Pokock, L. McBride, Otto Lundquist, 
Ole H. Grassmoen, J. C. Brennesholtz, G. E. Clark, M. W. Welter, 
Charles Thomas, M. Classen, Albert Runge, W. H. Bird, Charles 
Lammers, Thomas Greer, Phillip Kipp, H. H. Hindermann, John 
Cretty, Alois Huskamp, Henry Hauser and W. Knapp. At that 
time the official population of the village was 192. 

The petition was favorably acted upon by the commissioners 
Dec. 2, 1887, at Beaver Falls, and an election ordered held. The 
election was held accordingly on Jan. 5, 1888, at the office of 
Martin D. Brown, lot 4, block 2, in charge of Martin D. Brown, 
Horatio Werring and Frank Bregel, Brown and Bregel acting as 
judges and Werring as clerk. It was duly decided to incorporate, 
but through some curious oversight the vote is not given in the 
village records. 



858 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

The first election of officers was held at the office of Mr. Brown 
Jan. 18, 1888, and resulted as follows : President, M. D. Brown ; 
councilmen, Alois Huskamp, M. W. Welter, and J. C. Fullerton; 
treasurer, Henry Hauser ; recorder, Horatio Werring ; justices of 
the peace, Phillip Kipp and Thomas Greer ; constable, Louis Thiele. 
Fifty-seven votes were cast. 

The first meeting of the council was held Jan. 19, 1888. Oaths 
of office were administered and the bonds of the various officers 
accepted. No further business was transacted. 

The present officers of the village are as follows: President, 
('. \V. Heimann; council. E. H. Brown, H. F. Dickmeyer, J. C. 
Grams; recorder, A. E. Carver; treasurer, H. E. Grasmon; jus- 
tices, J. F. Russell, M. D. Brown; assessor, John Meyer; village 
attorney, Frank II. Hopkins; constable. Frank Pullen : marshal, 
Frank Willett : chairman of the board of health, Or. G. H. Walker. 

A water supply for fire protection was first considered Jan. 
15, 1888, when the council determined to erect a tank in the alley 
in the middle of block 2. John Donahue dug the cistern, Andrew 
Hinderman built the shed, and Hinderman & Shipplach set up the 
tank. A small hand engine, or force pump, was provided for 
getting the water from the well. 

Tlie next move toward fire protection was made by the council 
April 19, 1889. when it was determined to lease a well from 
Dodge Brothers, in the rear of lots 10 and 11. block 3. A wind- 
mill was erected soon after by the Phillips Well ifc Windmill Co. 
There was also a hand pump for use when the windmill failed. 

As earlj as April 19, 1889, the council recognized the organiza- 
tion of the Fairfax Engine and Hose Company. 

The first fire engine for use by the village of Fairfax was or- 
dered by the city council April 12. 1890. the cost being $1,700. 
On the same date a committee, consisting of Luther Nichols, Phil- 
lip Kipp and Charles Laminers was appointed to go to New Ulm 
to investigate the proposition of village cisterns. A shelter for 
the engine was erected on the railroad right of way, on the south 
side of Second avenue, and south of the alley which divides block 
2. The present engine house occupies the same site. May 6, 1890, 
two bills from Henry Hinshen for constructing two 500-gallon 
cisterns were accepted. June 2, of the same year, it was voted 
to dig a ditch from the old Dodge Bros.' well to one of the cis- 
terns. These cisterns were located where First and Second streets 
cross First avenue. 

■Inly 1, 1890, after the engine had been purchased, a staff 
was appointed as follows : Engineer, Fred Chambard, first assist- 
ant, L. McBridge ; second assistant, George W. Chambard; third 
assistant, John Calland. Albert Hornberg was appointed chief 
of the tire department. The department, however, at that time 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 859 

had imt been organized, Mr. Hornberg in reality being ehief of 
the hose company. 

May 5, 1891, this organization was abolished, the village voted 
to purchase considerable tire apparatus, and the Fairfax Fire 
Department was regularly organized as follows: Chief engineer, 
Fred Chambard ; assistants, G. W. Chambard and L. McBride ; 
hosemen, A. Hornberg (chief), John Cretty, C. Lammers. E. F. 
Sell, W. B. Dodge, B. Marty, Peter Springer, Joseph Kelfgen, W. 
A. Burchfield and Luther Nichols. 

The department now has thirty members. The officers are : 
Vincent Drexler; assistant, L. L. Palmer; treasurer, J. C. Ful- 
lerton ; secretary, H. E. Grasmon. 

At a special election held March 9. 1897. the voters decided 
in favor of issuing certificates of indebtedness to the amount of 
$4,000. The council took the necessary steps and the bonds were 
issued. The purpose of the issue was to pay for the fire engine 
and to purchase other apparatus. 

On Dec. 4, 1897, it was voted to buy a 300-pound tire bell. 

A waterworks system was first publicly advocated at a mass 
meeting held at the schoolhouse April 11, 1892. April 12, 1892, 
Carson & Greer were given the contract of digging a well on or 
near the railroad right of way, southeast of lot 8, block 1. June 
21. 1892, the council, then consisting of Luther Nichols, president; 
"W. A. Burchfield, John Cretty and Henry Hauser (Thomas Greer 
being the recorder), let a contract to H. II. Harrison & Co. for 
constructing a system of waterworks for $4,068. The mass meet- 
ing held had seemed favorable to the project, but there had been 
no vote of the citizens authorizing such an act on the part of 
the council. Work on this contract was started at once. The 
system with trifling exceptions was accepted Aug. 31, 1892. 

As the next move in the waterworks situation an entirely 
new board was elected in 1893, consisting of Paul Albrecht, presi- 
dent, Phillip Kipp, Wenzel Frank and Antone Alt man. 

This board on July 8, 1893, passed a resolution repudiating the 
work done by H. H. Harrison & Co.. disavowing any obligation 
or debt on the part of the village toward that company, and 
ordering the company to remove the watermaius, windmill, and 
the like, already erected. 

This system consisted of a windmill and tank at tbe old village 
well, and three blocks of watermains. The matter whs taken into 
court and the village won its contention. 

July 12. 1894, a special election was held to decide the ques- 
tion of issuing $4,500 in bonds to buy the waterworks from the 
Harrison Company. In the meantime Harrison had placed his 
price at $5,200, and had received village orders, later repudiated. 
for $5,043. He now offered to compromise for $4,000. The re- 
sult of the election July 12, 1894, is not recorded in the village 



860 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

minutes, but the decision of the voters was unfavorable to the 
project. 

April 6, 1895, the village council decided to purchase lots 12, 
13 and 14. in block 5, south of the railroad tracks, for village pur- 
poses. 

At the same meeting it was decided to build two cisterns for 
the village, of 500 barrels capacity each. One was to be on block 
5, mi the village property, and the other in the street opposite J. 
P. Mondloh's in Brown's addition. 

A special election was held July 30. 1895, and the citizens 
again voted on the question of issuing bonds to the amount of 
$4,500 for the purchase of waterworks. The proposition carried 
by a vote of 63 to 20, four other votes being spoiled. 

Efforts were at once made to issue the bonds. Oct. 2, 1895, 
the waterworks were accepted from H. H. Harrison & Co., the 
purchase price being $5,500, a sum considerably in excess of 
Harrison's previous offer. The bonds were not sold and were read- 
vertised. A vote was passed Jan. 7, 1896. in which the council 
reaffirmed the acceptance of the waterworks: 

June 8, 1896, it was reported that the village had been unable 
to sell the bonds. It was, therefore, decided to pay the company 
$1,000 at once, $1,000 on April 1, 1897, on April 1, 1898, on April 
1, 1899, aud $700 on April 1, 1900, $4,700 in all, the village to re- 
ceive the orders issued Aug. 23. 1892. amounting to $5,043. 

In the fall of 1896 a tubular well was put in by Palmer & 
Dickmeyer. On the same date it was decided to buy a gasoline 
engine, and extend the mains, and erect a pump house, the con- 
tract being awarded to O Tiara. Dickmeyer, Dieter and Palmer. 

The work was accepted Fell. 15. 1897. The well and pump 
house were located on the village property, where the present 
plant is situated east of the village hall. The water was pumped 
through mains to the tank southeast of block 1. 

At a special election held iu August, 1897, it was voted to issue 
$4,000 bonds to extend the waterworks. The bonds were issued 
and sold to Cliff W. Gress. 

The proposition of erecting a new tower and water tank came 
before the people at a special election March 11, 1902. Bonds 
were to be issued to the amount of $3,000. The proposition was 
defeated, 45 voting in its favor, and 82 against it. 

The old water tank, southeast of block 1,. was condemned 
July 18, 1907. 

Again the question of a new water tower came before the 
voters Aug. 27, 1907. the proposition being to issue bonds of 
$8,000 for the purpose. The proposition was favorably acted 
upon by a vote of 32 to 16. Bonds of $12,000 were issued, the 
extra $4,000 being for the purpose of refunding the bonds of 
1897. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 861 

The tower and tank were erected on the present site, in the 
spring of 1908 by J. F. Johnson, some trifling details, however, 
remaining unfinished for over a year. 

The original lock-up was erected in 1888, the contract being 
awarded April 16, 1888, to Henry Hauser at $174. It was located 
on the railroad right of way, across Second avenue from lot 15, 
block 2. 

Theodore Edwin was burned to death in this lockup in the 
fall of 1897. He had been arrested for intoxication and had been 
put in the lockup without being searched. In some way he man- 
aged to set fire to himself and to the building, in the front part 
of which were stored many inflammable substances belonging to 
the village. After some delay the young man was taken from 
the building but life had already departed. 

The first street lights seem to have been installed in Fairfax 
in 1891. For some years oil was used. Later gasoline furnished 
the fuel. 

For many years the proposition to erect a village hall and 
electric light plant had a history in common. 

March 10, 1903, at a regular election, the voters by a vote 
of 98 to 68 declared themselves in favor of bonding the village 
to the amount of $20,000 for the erection of a city hall and the 
installation of an electric light system. 

The action of the voters was rescinded by the council, April 
18, 1903, and a special election of the voters held May 5, 1903, 
to consider the two propositions separately. At the election in 
question the two propositions were defeated. The electric light 
proposition received 87 ballots and only 68 ballots were cast 
against it. but the majority was not great enough. The proposi- 
tion to build a village hall was defeated by a vote of 84 favorable 
votes and 70 opposing votes. The proposition has involved the 
issuing of bonds of $8,000 for the electric light plant, and of $12,- 
000 for the village hall. A two-thirds vote was necessary to carry 
the proposition. 

At the regular election held March 8, 1904, the proposition to 
bond the village to the amount of $10,000 to build a village hall 
was considered. The vote was 83 for and 74 against and the 
proposition was rejected. 

The voters also considered the question of separating the vil- 
lage from the township. Only 38 favored it, while 75 negative 
votes were cast. 

Feb. 18, 1905, a number of voters presented to the council a 
petition asking that bonds of $7,000 be issued to erect a city hall 
and engine house. The council rejected the petition. 

Feb. 13, 1906, at a special election, by a vote of 90 to 7, it 
was at last decided to issue bonds to the amount of $6,000 for 
village hall purposes. 



862 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

The old schoolhouse was purchased March 5, 1906. was moved' 
to the site of the village property, and was extensively repaired 
and renovated. This is the present village hall, a sightly struc- 
ture, amply adapted to its various needs. 

The village hall was formally opened on Tuesday, May 28, 
1907, by a dramatic production, "A Noble Outcast," given by 
the Fairfax Dramatic Club, the cast including A. M. Wallace, 
Philip V. Ploof. Ben. Mamer, Attains Madden, Alma (irasmoen 
(Mrs. Carsten O. Broughton), Lizzie Frank and Mrs. Jessie Paul. 
The entertainment Mas for the benefit of the high school piano 
fund. The next night East Lynn was given by the same cast. 
The scenery for the hall was selected by the Dramatic club, and 
for several seasons the club continued to give theatrical enter- 
tainments in the new hall. 

The village hall question settled, the electric light question 
continued to agitate the minds of the people. At a special elec- 
tion held Feb. 8. 1910. by a vote of 98 for to 25 against, the voters 
decided to issue $5,000 bonds for the purpose. Aug. 17. 1910, a 
contract was let to the Western Electric Co. for installing poles, 
wires, and the like, and mi Sept. 15, 1910, a contract was made 
with the Crescent Milling Co. for furnishing the power. 

The electric light current was turned on for the first time 
Wednesday evening. Dee. 7, 1910. This was for residence and 
business nse. The street lights woe turned on the next evening. 
For a year and a half, however, there was considerable difficulty 
in furnishing continuous service, and during that time the com- 
pany received no pay for the current. 

The proposition of establishing a village park on an available 
site in the part of the village known as Brooklyn came before 
the voters March 10. 1914, ami was defeated. Out of 204 votes 
cast for officers only ISO were cast on the park question. Of 
these only thirty-seven favored it, no less than 133 being against it. 
Telephone service in Fairfax is furnished by the Fairfax Tele- 
phone Co. The officers .ire: 1'resident, William Dickmeyer; vice 
president, Paul Albrecht : secretary and treasurer, H. G. Lam- 
mers; manager. A. E. Fenske. The Renville Rural Telephone Co. 
also centers here and uses the same exchange. Long distance 
service is furnished by the Tri-State and the Northwestern. The 
Fairfax company succeeded the Minnesota Central Telephone 
Co., and obtained a franchise March 5, 1906. 

Oct. 7, 1897, permission was given to the Western Minnesota 
Telephone Co. to erect poles in the village for the purpose of 
opening an office and transacting long-distance telephone busi- 
ness. The city was to have free use of the wires for city business. 
Nov. 2, 1897, the Sibley County Telephone Exchange Co. was 
granted the privilege of setting its poles and stringing its wires 
in the village. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 863 

A franchise for a local telephone system was granted to Con- 
rad H. Davis, May 18, 1900. 

The Tri-State Telephone and Telegraph Co. was given a fran- 
chise June 26, 1905. 

For a long period during its early history the village of Fair- 
fax was rent with dissentions caused by the rivalry between the 
West street (First street) and the East street (Second street). 
Grady's store, the first in the village, had been built on the West 
street. The Posen & Anderson store had been built on the East 
street. As other business houses were erected along the two 
streets the rivalry became intense. In time the proposition re- 
solved itself into two districts, the East street people led by 
Luther Nichols and the West street people by Horatio Werring. 
The bitterness was intense. Every proposition considered was 
considered in the light of its effect on the two factions. When 
any public improvement was advocated by one faction the other 
faction opposed it, whatever its merits. So keen was the rivalry 
that on one occasion two separate Fourth of July celebrations were 
held on the same day, each faction Inning its own celebration. The 
growth of the village was thus somewhat retarded. But of late 
years better counsel has prevailed and the village is now at har- 
mony. 

Two efforts have been made to include East Fairfax, some- 
times called "Hoboken," within the limits of Fairfax. The first 
time the people of East Fairfax themselves desired to come into 
the village. They were championed by Luther Nicholas and others 
who favored the claims of the East street (Second street) to 
business supremacy. The people of the West street (First street) 
and their friends opposed the admission of East Fairfax. The 
opposition was led by Horatio Werring and E. F. Sell. When the 
vote was taken, it was found that the proposed annexation had 
failed to carry. 

Later the proposition was again broached. This time the peo- 
ple of the West street desired the annexation, and the people of 
East Fairfax themselves opposed the proposition. They were 
upheld by their friends of the East street, and once again the 
annexation project failed. 

The story of the drainage of Fairfax and vicinity is a most 
interesting one. In the earliest days several small ditches were 
dug both by individuals who wished to drain their own lots and 
also by the village. The first venture of any magnitude was that 
of the Rev. Father Peter Rosen. He conceived the idea of con- 
structing a ditch by voluntary work. The ditch was to extend 
along the side of the road south of the village. The people ral- 
lied to the proposition and considerable work was done but 
through lack of the services of an expert engineer the project 
so nobly conceived failed of its object. 



864 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

The next attempt at drainage on an extensive scale resulted 
in a county ditch emptying into Maxwell creek. The engineer 
was E. A. Deiter. This ditch carried off a part of the surface 
water but only in a measure accomplished its real object. A few 
years later this ditch was cleaned out and in some places deep- 
ened, thus furnishing a fair surface drainage. 

In 1915. on petition, a new tiled ditch was constructed at a 
cost of some $15,000, a larger part of which was met by the bene- 
fited land owners. The new ditch follows practically the line of 
the old ditch until within some three miles of the old outlet, at 
which point it swerves, and empties into Mud Lake creek, for- 
merly known to history as the Little Rock creek. This new ditch 
furnishes adequate drainage and will serve its purpose for many 
years to come. 

A recent summary of Fairfax activities and advantages con- 
tains the following items : One jitney, one livery, one bakery, 
two hotels, one produce, three banks, two tinshops, one creamery. 
one gun club, one pool hall, cigar factory four churches, village 
council, one auctioneer, two orchestras, one drug store, one stock 
yard, one wood yard, one tailor shop, two ice dealers, a business 
block, one pop factory, insurance agents, one public school, one 
citizens' band, one harness shop, one water tower, two wagon 
shops, two section crews, three oil stations, expert electrician, two 
barber shops, one juvenile band, one bowling alley, real estate 
agents, two butcher shops, two picture shows, two lumber yards, 
one land company, one cement works, two jewelry stores, seven 
auto dealers, one printing office, four general stores, electric light 
plant, several dressmakers. M. & St. L. Railroad, four grain ele- 
vators, one commercial club, village water works, two parochial 
schools, two millinery parlors, two implement stores, two hard- 
ware stores, two shoe repair shops, three blacksmith shops, Chau- 
tauqua in summer, one little German band, one telephone ex- 
change, two motorcycle garages, two automobile garages, one 
well drilling outfit, two photograph galleries, shade trees in abun- 
dance, one clothing and shoe store, one substantial stone jail, hunt- 
ers and hunting dogs, clever amateur performers, competent vil- 
lage marshal, church societies and lodges, one dray and transfer 
line, several beautiful boulevards, several dealers in live stock, 
one music and stationery store, several miles of cement walk, 
lyeeum course, fall and winter; one ball park and grand stand: 
village hall, 500 seating rapacity; 1,050 progressive and sociable 
people; one depot, day and night agents; one fire department, 
well equipped; three confectionery stores and restaurants; good 
graveled roads leading into village; one 600-barrel mill, running 
night and day; several architects, contractors and builders; in- 
structors in vocal and instrumental music; many beautiful homes 
and well kept lawns; two good village wells, with motor attach- 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 865 

merit ; local and rural telephone company ; one postoffice, post- 
master, lady assistant, four rural carriers ; two baseball teams, 
basket ball teams, tennis clubs and other athletics; market for 
grain, poultry, live stock and every other produce from the farm; 
Western Union Telegraph and Northwestern and Tri-State long- 
distance telephone connections ; two physicians and surgeons, two 
dentists, two attorneys-at-law, one veterinary. 

Fairfax is surrounded by a thrifty and prosperous farming 
community. Some of the farmers are able capitalists, and are 
financially interested in Fairfax banking, manufacturing and 
other enterprises. Some of the most beautiful homes to be found 
anywhere are on the neighboring farms. 

The Fairfax Commercial Club is a flourishing organization 
and has done much for the progress and betterment of the vil- 
lage. It fathered the project to carry the water mains to the 
stock yards, thus furnishing to the stock an abundant supply of 
fresh water. It encouraged the creamery project, approached 
the railroad company on the question of a site, and paid for mov- 
ing away of the building which previously stood on the site. It 
was also prominent in the securing of the county ditch which 
has so materially improved the land in this vicinity. Perhaps 
one of its most important ideals has been the fostering of the 
Ft. Ridgely Park proposition. In these and many other ways the 
club has stood for the advancement of the village and its inter- 
ests, and at the present time has many other projects under ad- 
visement. 

The club was originated early in May, 1918, when an informal 
meeting was held at the village hall to consider the question of a 
regular commercial organization. At that time a village park was 
under consideration, and other matters of importance to the busi- 
ness men of the village were being considered to the extent that 
an organization seemed advisable. 

May 16, 1913, a meeting was held with C. W. Heimann in the 
chair, and various sites for a possible park were informally dis- 
cussed. A. E. Carver acted as clerk of the meeting. Those present 
at the meeting were H. E. Grasmon, Philip V. Ploof, J. F. Russell, 
Rev. Jacob Berger, Rev. J. J. Goergen, Rev. Im. F. Albrecht. 
William Bregel, Dr. A. M. Crandall, B. J. Schramm, A. S. Black. 
C. Bartelson, A. Ruud, Emil Enger, H. Hulskampf, Frank Willett, 
C. C. Knudson, B. Bauermiester, L. L. Palmer, John Iago, C. H. 
Hopkins, B. M. Weisberg, S. H. Gumpolen, L. Pullen, Charles 
Lammers, 0. H. Grasmoen, J. C. Fullerton. A. E. Fenske, William 
Pullen, E. W. Wigley, F. H. Hopkins, C. W. Heimann and A. E. 
Carver. 

The election of officers was held June 2, 1913. and resulted as 
follows: President, Frank H. Hopkins; vice president. S. H. 
Gumpolen; secretary and treasurer, Philip Y. Ploof: steward. 



866 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

Prank Willett. Those present were A. E. Carver, P. V. Ploof, 
Rev. Im. F. Albrecht, Rev. J. J. Goergen. E. H. Brown, A. E. 
Penske, B. M. Weisberg, L. L. Palmer, S. H. Gumpolen, II. E. 
Grasmon. Frank Willett, Ed. W. Wigley, Henry Hnelskanip, E. 0. 
Enger, W. II. Pullen, Frank II. Hopkins. C. II. Hopkins, L. P. 
Pullen. 

The present officers are: President, Prank H. Hopkins; vice 
president, S. II. Gumpolen; secretary and treasurer, Philip V. 
Ploof: assistant. C. 0. Johnson. Membership committee, S. H. 
Gumpolen, A. S. Black, G. A. Rieke. W. A. Fiss, C. 0. Johnson. 
Patriotic committee — C. H. Hopkins, Rev. J. J. Goergen, Rev. Im. 
F. Albrecht. Good roads and street committee — ('. E. Clarksori, 
Dr. A. M. Crandall, Dr. Geo. H. Walker, Lee R, Pullen. Frank 
Pullen. Industrial committee — J. C. Braun, E. W. Wigley. W. E. 
Cleveland, R. H. Quinn, H. E. Grasmon. Entertainment commit- 
tee — C. W. Heimann, A. E. Carver, H. F. Dickmeyer, J. C. Grams, 
E. H. Brown. Park committee— S. E. Dodge. Frank Willett, J. C. 
Pullerton, Dr. W. W. Brown, Rev. J. A. Rinkel. 

Situated in the midst of one of the very finest Minnesota No. 1 
hard wheat districts, it was natural that the attention of capital- 
ists should be directed to the milling industry and in 1891, Daniel 
Katz, of New Ulm, started a flour mill. This mill, compared to 
the one now doing business in the city, was a small affair. It was 
a custom mill, grinding the farmers' wheat into flour and taking 
out so much "toll" for the grinding. Fairfax has received many 
accessions in business lines since the days that Mr. Katz opened 
his little mill. With her natural advantages and rich tributary 
territory, she is bound to secure many more in the future, both 
in commercial and manufacturing lines, but it is probable that 
her citizens will never again feel quite as elated as they did in 
those early days when the Katz mill opened its doors to receive 
the farmers' golden wheat and the wheels commenced to go 
round within its walls. It eventually passed into the hands of 
the Farmers' Cooperative Elevator Co.. and is now replaced with 
a splendid fireproof brick elevator. 

In 1898 a new mill was erected by Nichols & Hornberg (Luther 
Nichols and Albert L. Hornberg). the mill having a daily capacity 
of 90 barrels. It was operated continuously until the summer 
of 1900 when it was destroyed by tin'. 

A newer and larger mill was at once erected. It was known 
as the Phoenix Roller Mills, and was owned at the time of its de- 
struction by L. Nichols & Co., the firm being composed of Luther 
Nichols, president ; A. Leifer, vice president, and A. E. Leifer, 
secretary and treasurer. 

This mill was threatened with fire Jan. 30, 1904. On that day 
(Saturday) a short time after the evening meal, the Pacific Ele- 
vator burned. The Pacific elevator was the first elevator erected 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 867 

in the village and was built in 1883, directly adjoining the flat- 
house erected in 1882. The elevator was round, a style of ele- 
vator much in vogue in those days. The manager, Ed. Pehrson, 
and several friends were bathing in the engine room when fire 
broke out overhead. The elevator was destroyed entailing a loss 
of some .+7,000. The warehouse was saved. 

The Phoenix Roller Mills and the residence of J. C. Fullerton 
were endangered but escaped the conflagration. 

The roller mills, however, were uot to be spared, for on the 
morning of Feb. -1, 1904, fire started under the feed mill at the 
southeast corner of the mili and the building was reduced to ashes, 
entailing a loss of some $35,000, aside from $30,000 in notes and 
papers, the personal property of Mr. Nichols, which, it was al- 
leged, were in the office at the time. The mill had been running 
twenty-four hours a day, but had shut down on Tuesday and 
Wednesday nights on account of the scarcity of coal and grain. 
It was when the boiler was being cleaned out in readiness for 
Thursday's work that the tire was discovered. 

The circumstances of the burning were believed to be sus- 
picious. Wild rumors of various natures were afloat. Incen- 
diarism was suspected. Criminal proceedings were brought and 
two trials resulted. At the first trial the jury disagreed. At the 
second trial the suspect was acquitted. The case attracted more 
than usual attention on account of the methods employed by the 
detectives in gathering purported evidence, and also by reason 
of the prominence of the counsel employed on both sides. 

The county attorney, A. V. Rieke was assisted by Albert H. 
Hall, a well-known criminal lawyer of Minneapolis. The defense 
at the first trial was conducted by Frank M. Nye, prominent at- 
torney and later congressman. At the second trial the prisoner 
was represented by Daily & Barnard, of Renville. Of this firm, 
Richard T. Daly is now on the bench of the Twelfth district, while 
L. D. Barnard is the present county attorney of Renville county. 

Fairfax was without a mill for a year or so. Several meet- 
ings were held by the business men with the idea of securing 
another null but the various projects did not materialize. Finally 
word was received that the mill was to be built by Minneapolis 
capital on the site of the Phoenix Roller Mills. Work was started 
in the fall of 1905 and in March, 1906, the present mill was com- 
pleted. 

The property was operated with varying success until several 
years ago when H. S. Comer took charge. Under his manage- 
ment many improvements were made at heavy expense, and the 
headquarters were moved from Minneapolis to Fairfax, the name 
being changed from the Crescent Milling Co. of Minneapolis to 
the Crescent Milling Co. of Fairfax. The present manager is 



si;,s HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

Herman P. Wright. Tlie engineer, E. C. Allen has been an im- 
portant factor in the building up of the mills. 

Fairfax has long been a splendid market, and it is conserva- 
tively estimated that at least three-quarter million bushels of 
wheat are handled in this village. Three elevators besides the 
mill, handle wheat and coarse grain in large quantities. The 
Farmers' Cooperative Elevator Co., organized several years ago, 
brings farmers from territory claimed by near-by villages. 

As already noted it has a splendid brick fireproof elevator, 
one of the best along the entire railroad. Christ Bertelsen is the 
buyer. Ernst S. Hagg is buyer for the Farmers' Grain & Stock 
Co. Emil Enger is buyer for the Eagle Rolling Mill Co. Ed. 
Steinberg is buyer for the Crescent Milling Co. 

Besides handling grain the two elevators owned by the Farm- 
ers employ stock buyers and during the past year each of them 
enjoyed a good business in that line. Frank Brunner is stock 
buyer for the Farmers' Grain & Stock Co., and Paul Darkow 
works in that capacity for the Farmers" Cooperative Elevator Co. 

The Farmers Grain and Stock Company of Fairfax, Minn., 
has a capital stock of $12,500. The elevator is a structure built 
of frame, 28 by 40 feet and 32 feet high, having a capacity of 20,- 
000 bushels and cost $5,000. The present officers are: President. 
II. Schmechel : vice president. Einar Nelson; secretary, G. A. 
Boemmels; treasurer, J. I. < 'arson. The manager is Ernest S. 
Il.i'_"j. and Frank Brunner is the stock buyer. 

An institution that has been of value to the business man and 
farmer since its establishment several years ago is the Fairfax 
Produce Co. This concern at Fairfax and its several branches 
do a gross business running well into hundreds of thousands of 
dollars each year. The company has made it possible for the 
farmer to receive the highest market cash price for all kinds of 
produce, and the local business men dispose of their produce to it 
at the close of each day's business. The company is owned by 
Benjamin B. Weisberg and Max Kaplan. The headquarters have 
been moved to Minneapolis, the former title being retained. A 
laree business is still done at Fairfax, where the company main- 
tains its accumulating warehouse. 

The personal property tax payers in Fairfax for 1915 are as 
follows: Im. F. Albrecht, Anton Altman, Al. Aamot, Aamot & 
Huelskamp, A. G. Anderson, Aug. Schell Brg. Co., W. F. Borth. 
Frances J. Biebl, John Biebl, Geo. A. Biebl, Joseph Biebl, Bene- 
dictine Sisters, M. D. Brown, O. P. Bakke, Ed. II. Borth, Ed. 
Borth, Ed. J. Brunner, John Brunner, A. S. Black, John C. Braun, 
C. B. Bertelsen, E. H. Brown, E. W. Boyes, F. C. Boethling, Jos. 
Brunner, W. W. Brown, A. G. Briese, Jas. E. Burk, John Bianchi, 
Bregel Bros., Jos. Barthel, Aurelia Borth. E. G. Borth, Geo. F. 
Borth, Frank Bregel. Citi/.ens State Bank, Clarkson & Johnson, 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 869 

Caven Bros., Win. Caven, J. A. Carlson Theo. ( !ase. II. J. Carson, .1. 
I. Carson, Ada Carson, Crescent Milling Co., A. M. Crandall, A. E. 
Carver, Mrs. Alb. Darkow, Chas. P. Dale, John Durbahn, P. C. 
Diekmeyer, H. P. Dickmeyer, Louis Diekmeyer, Dickmeyer Imp. 
Co., Wm. Dickmeyer, Annie Dickmeyer, Fred A. Dallman, V. 
Drexler, F. Daschner, E. A. Enger, Eagle Roller Mill Co., Lena 
Fenseke, A. E. Fenscke, C. A. Fenscke, Wm. M. Fritz, Fairfax 
Produce Co., W. A. Fiss, Fairfax Cooperative Store, Fairfax Co- 
operative Elev. Co.. Fairfax Ildw. Co.. Fairfax Cooperative 
Creamery, Fairfax Dept. Store, Standard Printing Co., Math 
Finley, Wenze] Frank, J. W. Frank, Fred Frank. .1. ( '. Fullerton, 
Harry Fullerton, Farmers Grain & Stock Co., J. J. Goergen, E. 11. 
Grasmoen, 11. E. Grasmoen, S. II. Gumpolen, < '. J. Grams, G. A. 
Gabrielson, R. H. Greer, Fred Hamann, Hauenstein Brg. Co., C. W. 
Heimann, Huelskamp & Pullen, Leonora Hensel, Ernest Hagg, 
Henry Huelskamp, Henry Hahselbruch, J. M. Hinderman, II. Ilin- 
derman, Frank Hopkins, Gladys Hopkins, Hauser Lumber Co., 
R. J. Henderson, Illinois Oil Co., John [ago, Rose [ago, Joe Julius, 
Emil -lust. Martin Johnson, Theo. Kaegbein, Jos. Kolb, Wm. 
Kiehn. ('. 0. Knudson, P. A. Kretsch, Willie Lenz, Ferdinand 
Lenz, H. J. Landsteiner, Landsteiner & Co., Ben Lamniers, H. C. 
Lammers, Chas. Lammers, Chas. Marwede, Al Mangen, Clara 
Marti, L. II. Miller, A I. 0. Mundahl, S. 0. Mundahl, Midland Lbr. 
& Coal Co., John Meyer, Palma Nelson, N. P. Nelson, Nelson Bros., 
John Nealy, John Nestande, Sam Otley, Bert Olson, Henry Olson, 
Olson Bros., Myra Palmer, Mary Palmer. Ed. Palmer, L. L. 
Palmer, Alb. Palmer, Lee R. Pullen, Wm. II. Pullen, Frank Pullen, 
Phil Ploof, Peoples Stoic G. A. Rieke, A. F. Rieke, Louisa S. 
Rieke, Geo. Rieke, Gustave Renner, J. A. Rinkel, R. <i. Reinke, 
Otto Reinke, Albert Ruud, Dave Rondalil. F. J. Roberts, Ellen 
Russell, Jos. Ranweiler, Levi Smith, John A. Sell, Myrtle Sell, 
Standard oil Co., H. Schippliek, Mabel F. Sell, August Sell. L. L. 
Swartz, J. W. Schramm, Emilie A. Sell, Isabella Sehei, [. P. Sehei, 
L. J. Stewart, Reuben Sell, John Schweiss, George Seexz, John 
Schroeder, Fred Sell, E. H. Schroer, St. Andrews Church, Geo. 
J. Saffert, State Bank of Fairfax, Henry Scheve, First National 
Bank, Frank Vait, Annie Wendorff. Fred Wendorff, E. W. Wig- 
ley, <;. II. Walker, Louis Wellner, Jos. Winkler. 

The Ben Franklin Post, No. 116. Department of Minnesota, 
G. A. R,, was organized in 1888. The charter members were : L. H. 
P. Fans. 10, Mich, (dead) ; Reinhold Hummel, B, 15, Penn. (dead) ; 
John Kelly, F, 19, Wis., Morton; Jacob Brell; Henry Dischei 
(dead) ; Wm. McGinnis (dead) ; Embric Olson. I), 43, Wis. (dead) ; 
Peter Thompson, E, 22, Wis. (dead); Ormond Otterson (dead); 
Otis W. Newton, F. 41, Wis., Morton; Charles Knapp, II, 14, Wis., 
Franklin ; George Yantz, G, 2, Iowa Cav., Redwood Palls ; Peter 
Yantz, H, 22, Wis., Redwood Falls ; Clement Treadbar, C, N. Y. 



870 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Cav., Franklin; Peter -1. Latty, D. 1, .Minn. II. A. (dead) ; Anton 
Shott, G, 2, Minn. Cav. (dead) ; John Tracy, C, 2, Minn. Cav. 
(dead) ; John Thompson, D, 8, Minn., Franklin; Hans Jenson, E, 
•_'. Minn, (dead); Leroy A. Gilbert. H, 21, Iowa (dead) ; Christo- 
pher C. Coffee. F, -1. Wis. Cav., Excelsior; Horris G. Eaton, G, 1, 
Minn.. .Morgan; Frank Billing-ton, K. 1, Wis. (dead); John F. 
Frank, A, 4, Minn, (dead) ; .Samuel Shirwin, 1, Minn. H. A., Mor- 
ton: Erie Ericson, E, 38, Wis. (dead); Sam Sherman, lis, \. Y. 
(dead) ; Lewis Owen. F. 19, Wis., Taylors Falls; W. L. Wallmrn, 
E. 174. Penn. (dead); Peter Henry. 1. 8, .Minn, (dead); Libbeus 
White. II. 6, Minn., Minneapolis; John Foley, A. 2. Wis.. Franklin; 
Jerry P. Patten. II. (i. Minn.. Morton: John Tracy. 1. 27. Iowa 
(dead) ; Robert Henton. 1. 11, Minn, (dead ; Joseph Smith. E. 2, 
Minn, (dead) ; Wellington I. Dresser, (i. 21, Wis.. Morgan: J. K. 
Deming, D, 1. Wis. Cav. (dead I ; Louis Thiele, E. 6. Minn, (dead I ; 
Charles H. Hopkins, 13, Wis. L. A. 

Those who have joined since then are: 0. E. Hogue, E, Ohio, 
Murdock; E. M. Anderson. I). Brackett's Bat. (dead ; George H. 
Miller, H, 14, Wis., unknown; Joseph Preston, R, 21. Vt. 'dead) ; 
Lewis "Walker. A, 6 Minn., unknown; Henry Blunie, F, 64 111., 
.Morton. Minn.; Joseph Thompson, G, 5 Minn, (dead); Michael 
Brazil], F. 4 Minn, (dead); Orren Tubbs. A. 61 N. Y. .had:; 
Reinhold Hummel, B. 15 Penn. (dead); John Mcintosh. I, U. S. 
Dragoons (dead) ; Knute T. Rye, A, 1 Minn, (dead) ; James 
Lydden. K. 8 U. S. Reg. (dead) ; I laniel M. Hall, E. 41 Wis. I dead) 
Seymour Stevens, M. 1 Wis. II. A., Russell, Manitoba. N. W. T. 
Wm. Chalk, I. 27 Iowa (dead); Chas. Bird. F. 9 Minn, (dead) 
Peter Heak: Patrick Oallaher. H. 16 Wis. (dead); Louis Han- 
son, I, 51 Wis.: Wm. E. Chaffee. N. Y. II. A., unknown: Jas. Ful- 
lerton, K, 4 Minn, (dead) ; Walter Doheny, I. Minn. H. A. (dead) ; 
Alfred Rouque, D, 5 Minn., Morton; E. M. Jurin, G, 10 N. Y., 
Puyallup, Wash.; Elbert Yanornum, D, 1 Yt. Art., Bird Island; 
Wm. Brown, D, 1 Minn. Cav. (dead) ; Fred Blume, 13 111. (dead) ; 
Ow. Davis, I, 12 Yt., Edmonton, Alberta, N. W. T. ; John T. Cos- 
sentine. < '. 12 Wis. i dead I ; Michael Murphy, ( '. 2 Mo. • lav. - dead i ; 
Patrick Heffron, I. U. S. (dead); Wm. McGowan, I. Minn. Mt. 
Rangers, Morton; Nelson V. Campbell. H, 51 Wis., North Yakima, 
Wash. : Dennis Oshey. I, U. S. L. A. (dead) ; Andrew J. Bliss, I, 
8 Minn, (dead) ; Daniel Aldrich. D, 39 N. Y. (dead) ; James Al- 
lison, Marine Service, Franklin ; Thomas Davanna, D, 17 Wis. 
(dead) ; John Lane, 10 U. S. Reg., St. Paul; Frank Shermer, I, 
8 N. Y. (dead) ; II. D. Jackson, D, 1 N. Y. Art., Mpls. ; Edelberty 
Corey (dead); John Swoboda, I, 26 Wis., Olivia; Silas Brooks, 
Milk River, Alberta, N. W. T. ; George Cory; James Blake; An- 
il rew Saylstrom, B, 1 Minn. H. A. ; Soloman Anderson, A, 1 Minn. ; 
Isaiah H. Snell, H, 2 Minn. Cav., Morton. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 871 

Peter Henry, 8th Minn. Vol. Inf., was the first commander 
in 1888. Since then the commanders have been : Joseph Smith, 
E, 2 Minn., 1889-90 ; Jerry Patten, H, 6 Minn., 1891 ; ('has. H. Hop- 
kins, 13 Wis., L. A., 1892-93; John Foley, A, 2 Wis., 1894; An- 
drew J. Bliss, 13 Wis. L. A., 1895; Chas. H. Hopkins, 13 Wis., 
L. A.. 1S96; Louis Thirl.-, E, 6 Minn., 1897; J. K. Lem- 
ming, D, 1 Wis. Caw, 1898-99; Eric Ericson, F. 38 Wis., 
1900; Otis W. Newton, F, 41 Wis.. 1901-0f ); Sam Sherman, 118 
N. Y., 1905-10; J. K. Demming, D, 1 Wis. Caw, 1911-12; John 
Kelley, E, 19 Wis., 1913-15. 

Charles H. Hopkins was the hrst adjutant. He served until 
1891, and since then the adjutant has been Jerry P. Patten. 

In the above list of regiments, Volunteer Infantry is under- 
stood where no other branch of the service is specified. 

Fort Ridgely Circle of Ladies of the Grand Army of the Re- 
public of the Department of Minnesota. On January 26, 1911, 
Department President Emma J. Hicks, of Duluth, Minnesota, or- 
ganized and installed the officers of Fort Ridgely Circle No. 81, 
with a charter membership of 21, and Veteran Chas. H. Hopkins, 
a social member. The following officers were elected and duly 
installed: Mrs. Effa Wallace, president; Gladys Hopkins, senior 
vice-president; Mrs. Mary Carver, junior vice-president; Mrs. 
Anna Olson, treasurer; Mrs. Susan M. Hopkins, chaplain; Mrs. 
Emma Anderson, conductor; Mrs. Catherine Otley, assistant con- 
ductor; Lena Fenske, guard; Agnes Otley, assistant guard; Mazie 
Wallace, secretary; Mrs. Emma Henderson, patriotic instructor. 
Mrs. Jennie Greer, Mrs. Emma Marlow, Alma Fenske, Ida Fenske, 
Mrs. Elizabeth Kennedy, Mrs. Ellen Russell, Mrs. Carrie Pullen, 
Mrs. Catherine Blake, Mrs. Helen Robberts, Martha E. Lulare. 

On May 26 three new members were added. On Jan. 26. 1912, 
Mrs. Mary Carver was installed as president and Mrs. Ellen Rus- 
sell as secretary for that year. 

On Jan. 13, 1913, Gladys Hopkins was installed as president 
and Mrs. Ellen Russell as secretary for that year by Past Post 
Commander Chas. H. Hopkins, as installing officer. There were 
added in 1913, thirteen new members and two sons of veterans. 
On Jan. 8, 1914, Mrs. Ellen Russell was installed as president 
and Mrs. Jennie Greer as secretary by Past President Mrs. Susan 
M. Hopkins. On Jan. 14, 1915, Mrs. Ethel Pullen was installed 
as president and Mrs. Mary Rienke as secretary, by Past Presi- 
dent Mrs. Ellen Russell, as installing officer. Three new mem- 
bers were added this year and seven sons of veterans, making a 
total membership of 41. On Jan. 13, 1916, Mrs. Jennie Greer was 
duly installed as president and Mrs. Ellen Russell as secretary, by 
Past State Department Commander Chas. II. Hopkins. 

This circle is enlisted to work in the interest of the Fort 
Ridgely State Park, and have taken part in all the exercises on 



872 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Decoration Day each year and celebrations on anniversary clays, 
and will continue to give its influence in helping develop this his- 
toric ground to its full merits. 

FRANKLIN VILLAGE. 

Franklin is one of the thriving villages of Renville county. It 
is a pleasant hamlet of good homes and busy business streets, with 
many more shade trees than are usually found in a town that 
is so comparatively new. The village is located on the Minne- 
apolis & St. Louis, at the corners of sections 11 ami 12, 1 and 2, 
Birch Cooley township. 

It was platted in the fall of 1882, the land being the home- 
stead of Halleck Anderson, an early settler. In the winter of 
1881-82 work was commenced on the railroad grade through the 
village and the grade was completed, rails laid and the first train 
service established in the first part of November, 1882. A box 
car served as the first depot. The first business house was built 
by E. S. Johnson on a street extending south from the depot, but 
after the town was platted this was found not to be the main 
thoroughfare and Mr. Johnson moved his building to the south- 
west corner of block 1. In moving, the building was wrecked 
by a severe wind storm just as it was Hearing its new foundation, 
being thrown over and split into several sections. A "bee" was 
organized and the building was again put together and placed 
on its foundation, after which it was occupied by the postoffice, 
E. S. Johnson, postmaster, and the firm of Hohle Bros., who con- 
ducted a general merchandise business. A blacksmith shop was 
built by Nils Anderson in block 2. A hotel was built by Peter 
Johnson on the northwest corner of block 5. A general store 
building was built by Peter Henry on lot 20, block 2. T. Mackin- 
tyre and .J. M. Johnson also built a genei'al store building which 
ended the building in the fall of 1882. Ed. H. Anderson had 
built the' first residence building that year. 

During 1883, J. A. Bergely, T. Tweet. M. Casey, 1'. Tibbits and 
John Frieze built each a business building. 

Martha E. Johnson, now Mrs. J. L. Jacobs, was the first child 
born in the village, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E. S. Johnson. 

The first school house was started in 1883 and completed in 
1884. This was a frame building of two rooms. In 1899 a 56 by 
(1(1 brick structure two stories high was built. This is a modern 
eight-room building. The addition of a manual training hall was 
made in 1914, when the "Woodmen hall adjoining the school house 
block was purchased. 

Electric light and power service was established in Franklin 
in 1914, when the Wherland Electric Co.. of Redwood Falls, Minn., 
extended their lines to this village, giving a 24-hour service a day. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 873 

A complete waterworks system was put in about 1896. The 
supply tank is of 1,000 barrels capacity and rests on a tower eighty 
feet high. The tower was first constructed of wood, but later 
changed to steel. 

The Citizen's Milling Co. of Franklin was organized in 1907 
to take over the old mill and property of the Franklin Milling 
Co. The old mill was completely overhauled at that time and 
new machinery put in. bringing the plant up to date in every 
respect. This plant was operated until June, 1913, when it was 
destroyed by fire. As soon as possible after the tire the stock- 
holders were called together, plans for rebuilding the present 
mill were formulated and Jan. 1. 1914, the new mill started grind- 
ing. The first officers of the company were : B. F. Weber, presi- 
dent ; A. S. Erickson, vice-president; A. J. Olin, treasurer; C. A. 
Fleming, secretary. The present officers are : A. S. Erickson, 
president ; J. H. Elstad, vice-president ; Geo. Forsythe, treasurer ; 
C. A. Fleming, secretary. The plant is located on a private side- 
track of the M. & St. L. Ry., and is of 100 barrels' capacity wheat 
flour and 50 barrels' capacity rye flour. The capital stock is $25.- 
000. Credit should be given the business men and farmers around 
Franklin who made this plant possible by investing their funds 
when money was needed to rebuild the burned plant. 

The Franklin Lutheran Cemetery is located in the southwest 
corner of section 8, in Camp township. The school house is lo- 
cated in the extreme southwest corner of the section, and north 
of the school grounds is the cemetery. The cemetery is controlled 
by the Norwegian Lutheran church of Franklin and was laid out 
in the winter of 1867. 

Franklin is ninety-five miles southwest of Minneapolis, has a 
population of about 550. It has Catholic. Methodist, Norwegian 
Lutheran churches, two banks, a hotel, four grain elevators, and 
a flour mill. A weekly newspaper, the Tribune, is published. 

A brief business directory follows: P. A. Brown, automobile 
agent; Citizen's Milling Co. (A. S. Erickson, president; Henry 
Bluhm, secretary; George Forsyth, treasurer), flour mill; Citi- 
zen's State Bank (capital, .^17,000; president, Henry Halverson; 
vice-president, Edw. F. Johnson; cashier, Otto Erickson) ; Herman 
B. Cole, physician ; Otto Erickson, insurance agent ; Albert Erland- 
son, general store; William Fox, fuel; Franklin Farmers' Eleva- 
tor Co. (J. C. Farrell, president ; Geo. Forsyth, secretary ; A. J. 
Anderson, treasurer; Oscar Johnson, agent); Franklin Farmers' 
Co-operative Creamery Co. (Wm. A. Johnson, president ; J. C. 
Farrell, vice-president; Fred Tower, treasurer; Wm. Fox, secre- 
tary! ; Franklin Automobile Co. (H. B. Cole, C. E. Freeman, A. 
J. Olin) ; Franklin Farmers' Co-operative Shipping Association 
(F. H. Gallery, manager) ; Farmers' Equity Shipping Association 
(O. M. Schott. manager); Franklin Independent Elevator Com- 



874 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

pany (William Fox) ; Franklin Local and Rural Telephone Co.; 
Franklin Mercantile Co. (A. S. Erickson, president; Jno. Curran, 
secretary and treasurer), general store; Franklin Produce Co. 
(Benjamin Weisberg, Max Kaplan), J. B. Tweet, manager; Frank- 
lin Tribune, Julius L. Jacobs, publisher; Chas. H. Gilbert, res- 
taurant; Great Western Elevator Co., Julius H. Anderson, agent, 
William L. Grimes, livery; Henry Halvorson, garage ; Hauser Lum- 
ber Co. (Henry Hauser, president; Clias. Lammers, secretary; G. 
A. Rieke, treasurer) ; Julius L. Jacobs, publisher of the Frank- 
lin Tribune; Johnson Bros. (Edward, Martin and Andrew), shoes 
and jewelry; Edwin S. Johnson, postmaster; Luke H. Kirwan, 
drugs; Andrew Lund, harness; Lynch & Son (Jas. W. and Chas. 
L.), real estate; S. 0. Mundal, bakery; Geo. Nelson, blacksmith; 
Olaf Nelson, blacksmith ; U. G. Orris, pool hall ; Pacific Elevator 
Co., Vic Lindquist, agent ; Andrew II. Pederson, barber ; Poss 
and Freeman (A. Poss, hardware; C. E. Freeman, lumber and 
furniture, undertaker) ; Jos. C. Sampson, general store ; State 
Bank of Franklin (capital, $15,000; surplus, $15,000), Anthony 
Poss, president ; A. J. Olin, cashier ; Geo. Steen, shoes ; S. Steff en- 
son, tinsmith; Clarence J. Wagner, meats; Jacob C. Wagner, con- 
fectionery; Wellington and Birch Cooley, Farmers' Mutual Fire 
Insurance Co. (Jno. Drury, president; Jno. Head, secretary); B. 
F. Ziegler, railway express and telegraph agent. 

Village lots in Franklin were first assessed in 1883. The prin- 
cipal owners were Ellen M. Anderson and a party who was desig- 
nated by the term "Unknown." Those who had already secured 
lots were : Jacob Friess, lots 13 and 14, block 1 ; Edwin John- 
son, lots 15 and 16, block 1; Thomas Tweet, lots 17, block 1 ; lots 
17, 18, block 2; Henry Jenson, lot 19, block 1; T. P. Mclntyre, 
lot 20, block 1; John M. Johnson, lot 21. block 1; Maggie Ander- 
son, lots 15 and 16, block 2 ; Peter Henry, lots 19 and 20, block 2 ; 
Fuller & Johnson, lot 21, block 2 ; H. L. Ihle, lot 1, block 4; John 
Dixon, lot 5, block 4; Peter H. Johnson, lots 13 and 14. block 5; 
J. A. Bergley, lot 10, block 6; George O. Steen, lots 12 and 13, 
block 6 ; Margaret Casey, lot 14, block 6. 

(Note. The above history of the early days of Franklin has 
been prepared for this work by Julius L. Jacobs.) 

HECTOR VILLAGE. 

Hector, an attractive and enterprising village, is eighty miles 
west of Minneapolis on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Rail- 
road. The famous "Yellowstone Trail" from Chicago to Seattle 
runs through here and by road it is eighty-seven miles from Min- 
neapolis. 

Hector has grown rapidly during the past five years, a fact 
due chiefly to the splendid agricultural showing of the com- 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 875 

inunity and to the way the farmers and town people have co- 
operated together for the welfare of all. At present the popula- 
tion is very close to 1,000 and each year sees new residences 
built and other improvements made. 

A great deal of shipping is done each year from Hector and 
many carloads of grain and stock go from here. The stores and 
business jtlaces are modern and up-to-date, aud many of them 
are of brick. The business men are progressive and keep only 
the best in their lines. Many fine modern homes are to be found 
here and the well-kept lawns and shade trees add to the beauty 
of the place. The high school is one of the best in the state. The 
people are loyal and wideawake and are always working for the 
interest of the village. 

The land around Hector is gently rolling and was at one time 
prairie, but is now nearly all under cultivation and dotted with 
beautiful groves and prosperous looking farm buildings. The 
soil is a heavy black loam with a day subsoil. 

Hector has six churches as follows : The English Methodist, 
Swedish Methodist. Swedish Lutheran, German Lutheran. Cath- 
olic and German Evangelical. The English .Methodist congrega 
tion is making plans to build a new $10,000 edifice and the work 
will be started next spring. Rev. Lawrence Radcliffe is the pas- 
tor. The Catholic church does not have a pastor just at the pres- 
ent time, but Rev. Father Anthony Scholzen, of Bird Island, has 
charge of this parish and comes here every other week. All of 
the other churches have their own pastors. Rev. J. Kulberg being 
the pastor of the Swedish Lutheran church; Rev. II. W. Krull, 
pastor of the German Lutheran church: Rev. W. (i. Rath, pastor 
of the Evangelical church, and A. G. Hultgren, pastor of the 
Swedish M. E. church. In addition to the above religious de- 
nominations, the Seven-day Advents also hold meetings each week 
in the homes of their members. 

Less than forty years ago the present site of Hector was one 
of the most unlikely spots that could be imagined for the location 
of a thriving, active village. Marshes and mud holes furnished 
a home for muskrats aud a haunt for wild water fowl. In the 
firm places among the swales wound the desolate track of the old 
Cedar Mill-Hutchinson-Hector-Plainfield-Beaver Falls stage route. 
In Hector township the stages stopped at the Hector postoffice, 
kept by John Baker in the northeast corner of the southwest quar- 
ter of section 2 and at the Plainfield postoffice, kept by J. B. 
Perkins in the northeast corner of the northwest quarter of the 
southeast quarter of section 30. 

The home of August Malm, partly a log house and partly a 
dugout, was 1,500 feet northwest of the present railway station, 
and the home of August Prelwitz was some 3,000 feet southeast 
of the present station. 



876 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

Hector had its beginning in 1878. when the crew of the rail- 
way construction company came through'. On the future site of 
the village the Lang warehouse (now succeeded by the V. H. 
Smith elevator) was erected, by Charles Lang, of Hastings, Minn., 
and was <>]>era1r<l by his son, William P., who was also the first 
station agent under the management of the railroad construction 
company, and had as his telegraph operator, Harry W. Clark, 
with headquarters in the wan-house, until the depot was com- 
pleted. When the construction company turned the track over 
to the II. & 1). railway company, now a part of the C. M. & St. P. 
railway system. Harry W. Clark was appointed as station agent 
and operator by the H. & I), company. In duly of the same year, 
M. Abbott moved his stoek of goods from Lake Preston and 
squatted on the townsite of Hector until it was surveyed. In 
the same month Cornish & Bourne started the first lumber yard 
and built an office in the main street near the depot. Sometime 
during the summer Hogland and Stranberg squatted on the town- 
site and put up a shanty, which was used for a blacksmith shop. 
They cut a stack of hay. stacking it on the ground now occupied 
by the State Bank of Hector. The townsite was surveyed in Sep- 
tember, 1878. and the lumber yard and office was moved west of 
the depot to the place now known as the McGregor lumber yard. 
M. Abbott built his store on lot 1, block 4. In September, W. D. 
Griffith came from Hutchinson and built on lot 2, block 3. and 
opened for business the first of October, 1878. C. H. Nixon came 
from Ft. Ridgely and built a store on lot 24, block 4, and opened 
for business about November 1. of the same year. 

Oscar H. Baker built the first dwelling house in the fall of 
1878 on lot 1, block 7. and his son. Guy, was the first child born 
in the village. W. 1). Griffith was commissioned as postmaster Oct. 
8, 1878, and the supplies were moved from the farm of John Baker 
to the store of W. D. Griffith. The Plainfield postoffice was dis- 
continued a few months later. John Trueman, a carpenter from 
Fort Ridgely, after completing the store building for C. II. Nixon, 
built a drug store for B. A. Knapp, and a hardware store for him- 
self on lot 7, block '■'>. J. B. Pei'kins erected a hotel on lot 2, 
block 4, and started serving the public about Jan. 1, 1879. 

In 1879 there was an impetus to the growth of Hector. Ames 
& Archibald erected a warehouse about a block east of the depot, 
now the site of the Farmers' Grain Exchange. M. T. Cornish 
erected a residence in lot 1, block 5. In the spring of 1879 Nel- 
son & Peterson, of Red Wing, built a hardware and furniture store 
on lot 23, block 3. The first school in the village of Hector was 
taught by Minnie Padden in a room over the kitchen of J. B. 
Perkins' hotel in the spring of 1S79. Religious services were con- 
ducted by Rev. George Potter, of Boon Lake, the hotel being the 
place of meeting. In the spring of 1879. James Chapman started 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 877 

the first meat market. Andrew Strom arrived the same year 
and built a combined store and residence, but did not put in a 
stock of goods until the following year. G. P. Bergram opened 
a blacksmith shop in 1879 on lot 12, block 1. Frank Ueming 
opened a lumber yard, afterward sold to Henry Stockman. Miles 
P. Clark came in from Ft. Ridgely and opened a hotel on lot 1, 
block 3. 

In 1880. Bart W. Schouweiler opened a general store on lot 1, 
block 7. with a house in the rear. Louis Thiele opened a general 
store in lot 2. block 4. Thiele 's building was on the corner, facing 
the right of way. west of the hotel, which faced the same way. 
John Pfefferle, from New Ulm. opened a saloon on lot IS, block 3. 

Village lots in Hector were first assessed in 1880. Those who 
had already secured lots were: M. P. Clark, lot 1, block 3, lots 
12, 13, block 4 ; W. D. Griffith, lots 2, 3, block 3 ; 0. H. Clark, lot 
4, block 3: S. Pierson. lot 5, block 3; II. W. Clark, lot 6, block 3; 
John Trueman, lots 7 and 10, block 3. lot 20. block 4; Ulrich 
Baderscher. lots 8. 9 and 12. block 3; Louis Seulter, lot 11, block 
3; Arnold Vincent, lot 14, block 3; James Chapman, lot 15, block 
3, lot 1, block 6; John Pfefferle, lot 18, block 3, lot 15, block 8; 
Geo. R. Peacock, lots Li and 17, block 3; Nelson, Peterson & Co., 
lots 19. 22 and 23. block 3; S. Iverson. lot 20. block 3; J. West- 
over, lot 24. block 3, lot 4, block 6; M. Abbott, lots 1. 4, 5, 8, block 
4; J. B. Perkins, lots 2, 3, 6, 7, 10 and 11, block 4, lots 22, 23, 
block 4; J. H. O'Brien, lot 9, block 4. lot 17. block 7 ; Frank Camp, 
lot 16, block 4; B. A. Knapp, lot 17. block 4 ; C. H. Nixon, lots 
21, 24, block 4; M. T. Cornish, lots 1 and 4. block 5; S. H. Corse, 
lot 5, block 5 ; John L. Egbert, lot 8 block 5; Wm. Marshall, lot 
2, block 6: Francis Hadley, lot 5. block 6; O. H. Baker, lots 1 
and 4. block 7; Margaret Doyle, lot 2, block 7; Andrew Strom, 
lots 5 and 8. block 7; John Trueman. Jr.. lot 9, block 7; Chas. 
Peterson, lots 10, 11. 14, 15, 18, 19, 22, 23, Block 7; Uriah Tibbets, 
lot 16, block 7; Hoglund & Strandburg, lots 2 and 3. block 8; N. 
P. Nordquist, lots 6 and 7, block 8; Amund A. Dahl, lot 10, block 
8; August Land, lots 11 and 14, block 8; Chas. Schaffer, lot IS, 
block 8: W. B. Dodge, lot 19, block 8; E. Dodge, lot 23, block 8; 
Peter S. Hanson, lot 10, block 13: John Carson, lots 1 and 4, 
block 14 ; Emily Johnson, lot 2, block 14 ; Kate Turner, lots 8 and 
9, block 14. 

In 1881 the first newspaper was printed, the paper appearing 
for the first time in June as the Hector "Mirror," with E. D. 
Morris, editor. Feb. 23, 1881, the village of Hector was incor- 
porated and the first election was held March 11, the same year. 
There were seven good stores in the village at this time. 

The first lawyer in Hector was W. C. White. 

In 1882 the village had a population of 250 and a directory 
of that year shows the following activities here : five dry goods 



878 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

arid grocery stores, two drug stores, two hardware stores, one 
millinery, one furniture and one jewelry store, two blacksmith 
and wagon shops, one harness shop, a shoe shop, a paint shop, two 
meat markets, one livery stable, one lumber yard, three hotels, 
four saloons, two elevators capable of storing u'0,000 bushels of 
grain, one lawyer and one physician. 

In contrast to the summary of 1882, the summary of 1915 is 
an interesting study. It is as follows : 

Theo. C. Albrecht, garage; A. Albrecht, blacksmith; Oscar A. 
Allen, lawyer; Aug. B. Anderson, grain elevator; Mrs. Charlotte 
W. Anderson, milliner; Beck Bros. (Jno. and Andrew), meats; 
Gust P. Berggren & Son, blacksmiths; Peter A. Berggren, photog- 
rapher; Carl Bergman, painter; Berry Bros." Milling Co. (Alfred 
Berry, president; G. M. Berry, secretary and manager), flour mill; 
Ralph Braithwait, farm implements; Ed. Boeck, tailor: Frank 
Dodge, proprietor of the Hector House ; B. Brechet & Co. (B. 
Brechet, Chas. and Frank Wedin), general store; C. Coolidge & 
Son, restaurant; Commercial Hotel, Jno. F. Davis, proprietor; 
Harry L. D'Arms, physician; Henry S. Deming, railway express 
and telegraph agent; Fred B. Dodge, barber: William B. Dodge, 
barber; Frank Doney, barber; A. L. Erickson, variety store; Geo. 
S. Eichmiller, cashier of the State Bank of Hector; Aug. M. Eric- 
son, dentist; Fred Foeseh. restaurant: Farmers' Grain Exchange 
Co., Harry Munson, agent in grain elevator; Farmers' and Mer- 
chants' State Bank (capital. $20,000; A. E. Schroeder, president; 
W. B. Strom, vice-president : S. W. Anderson, cashier; A. B. Dahi- 
gren, assistant cashier) ; Hector Land Co. (0. A. Allen, F. R. 
Stocker, <>. E. Smith): William J. Hager, jeweler; T. Hanson, 
garage; Hector Creamery Co., J. <'. Past, manager; Hector Ele- 
vator Company, Geo. Hokanson, manager; Hector Mirror, Ernst 
W. Nohbs, publisher; Hector Produce Co., Jno. Koehler, man- 
ager; Hector Telephone Exchange Co. (S. W. Anderson, presi- 
dent; II. L. Torbenson, secretary; A. L. Ericson, manager) ; Hec- 
tor Waterworks, M. A. Cummings. manager; Hirt & Son (Jos. 
and A. E.), express; J. II. Herrman, hardware; ('has. II. Holberg, 
harness; Frank and Charles Hamilton, painters; Harry W. Nel- 
son, photographer; Johnson Hardware Co. (Geo. Johnson, presi- 
dent; Leonard Johnson, vice-president; A. B. Schroeder, secre- 
tary and treasurer); Richard Johnson, pool hall; Kemble & Wil- 
son, painters and furniture repairers; Jacob Kaplan & Son, gen- 
eral store: H. E. Koehler, general store; R. B. Lorenz, restaurant; 
Ilarley E. McClaren, veterinary surgeon; Lindberg Brothers, res- 
taurant; McGregor Bros. & Co., Anton T. Lindblad, agent, lum- 
ber ; Harry E. MeKibben, physician ; Monarch Elevator Co., E. 
L. Griffin, agent; ('liris. Nelson, blacksmith; Nelson Bros. (Swan 
P., Edw. and Alfred P.), general store; Ernst W. Nobbs, pub- 
lisher of the Hector "Mirror"; Emery O. Olson, garage; Jerpe 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 879 

& Nelson (William Jerpe, Ole M. Nelson), general store; Phil- 
lips Bros. (Ira H. and William A.), lands; C. Schwarzkopf, black- 
smith ; Schwarzkopf Bros. (Albert and Eugene), hardware; Vic- 
tor II. Smith, grain elevator ; State Bank of Hector (capital, $25,- 
000; surplus and profits, $25,000; G. K. Gilbert, president; H. A. 
Reed, vice-president; <i. S. Eichmiller, cashier; H. L. Torbenson, 
assistant cashier) ; Stearns Lumber Co., Henry Tinnes, agent; W. 
B. Strom Drug Co. (Wm. B. Strom, Chas. J. Whitney, Russell F. 
Clarke) ; W. B. Strom, postmaster; E. W. Thurston, livery; Ezra 
Town, billiards; T. Tegner, livery; Mrs. Sophia Wedin, confec- 
tionery. 

The oldest business establishment in Hector is the blacksmith 
business of G. F. Bergram. He opened his shop on lot 12, block 
7, in 1879. and still continues there. 

The oldest retail establishment in Hector is the W. B. Strom 
Drug Company. In 1879, Andrew Strom came to Hector from 
Beaver Falls, and built a combined store and dwelling house. In 
1880 he put in a stock of drugs and general merchandise. W. B. 
Strom was associated with his father and continued the business 
after the father's death in 1892. In 1908 the W. B. Strom Drug 
Company was formed by W. B. Strom, R. F. Clark and C. J. 
Whitney. The postoffice is in this store and the company is one 
of the most important in the village. 

The next oldest store is the general store of Barney Brechet in 
lot 19, block 3. The store was established in 1893 and has un- 
dergone several changes of location. 

The next oldest establishment is that of the Johnson Hard- 
ware Company. In 1895, George Johnson and Hans P. B. Peter- 
son, under the firm name of Johnson & Peterson, bought out Erick- 
son & Whitney and engaged in business on lot 4, block 7. Later 
A. E. Schroeder took the place of M. Peterson in the firm and 
the Johnson Hardware Company was incorporated. The Hector 
Lumber & Supply Co., a large organization, had passed into the 
possession of the Farmers' & Merchants' State Bank and C. H. 
Freeman. In 1905 it came into the possession of the Johnson 
Hardware Company, and the Johnson Hardware Company moved 
to the location of the Hector Lumber & Supply Company, lots 
21. 22, 23 and 24. block 3. The building was burned in the spring 
of 1915, and a large new block erected, the company, in the mean- 
time, occupying its former location in lot 4, block 7. The firm 
deals in shelf and heavy hardware, furniture, farm machinery, 
motorcycles, automobiles and undertakers' supplies. It also deals 
in live stock. The new building is 50 by 80 feet, with full base- 
ment and full second story. Besides this, the company has a 
large warehouse and stock barns. The officers are : President, 
Geo. Johnson ; vice-president, Leonard Johnson ; secretary and 
treasurer, A. E. Schroeder. 



880 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Probably the next oldest concern is the mill of Berry Brothers, 
erected in 1899. The concern is composed of several brothers 
and was originally from Norwood where the company is still in 
business. Two of the brothers, Alfred and George, live in Hector 
and operate the Hector mill. "Berry Brothers' Best"' is an ex- 
cellent product and is in high favor with housewives. The other 
partners in the Berry Brothers' Milling Co. are: Oscar Berry, 
of Norwood, and Henry Berry, of St. Paul. The mill at Hector 
has a weekly capacity of 1,000 barrels. The mills at Norwood 
and Buffalo Lake are good-sized establishments and there is also 
a large warehouse at St. Paul which serves as the principal ship- 
ping point of the company. 

The Hector Elevator Company, a farmers' co-operatiye ele- 
vator, has been in business since 1894. The company, with the 
exception of one year, when crops were very poor, has always 
paid a good dividend. It is regarded as one of the most reliable 
elevators in this part of Minnesota. 

One of the oldest co-operative elevators in the state, the com- 
pany does a general grain business, handling on an average about 
150,000 bushels of grain a year. The Hector Elevator Company 
has the name of always paying the farmers the highest market 
prices for grain. 

Much of the success of this company is due to the skillful and 
high-class management of George Hokanson, who stands high with 
the business men of the village and the farmers of the surround- 
ing country. Last year the company paid in addition to the reg- 
ular dividend to the stockholders a 4 cents per bushel return on 
all grain hauled. 

A business institution of Hector which plays an important 
part in the commercial life of the community is the Farmers' 
Grain Exchange Company, independent buyers and shippers of 
all kinds of grain, seed and fuel. The company was incorporated 
in 1912. 

Jt is a farmers' cooperative elevator and is backed by some 
of the most substantial men in the community. The size of the 
business may he judged from the fact that each year approxi- 
mately 160,000 bushels of grain are shipped out. The company 
pays the highest market prices to the farmers. The Farmers' 
Grain Exchange Company also does a big business in wood and 
coal. 

The active manager of the company is J. II. Monson. Mr. 
Monson is a live wire and one of the best liked business men in 
the village. The officers are: Pat O'Donnel. president: A. E. 
Jung, secretary, and August Beske, treasurer. 

In the Palace Theater Hector has a high-class movie house 
that is a credit to the village. Dr. A. M. Erickson, a well-known 
dentist of Hector, is the owner and manager. The Palace is 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 881 

housed in a good building, and has a seating capacity of 400. 
The moral tone of the theater is high. Pew theaters of so high 
a class arc found in cities many times the size of Hector, and the 
establishment is a decided asset to the town. 

The Hector Telephone Exchange is a company formed by 
local business men and farmers in the vicinity of Hector. The 
authorized capital of the company is $25,000 and there are about 
500 subscribers. There are about two miles of aerial cable and 
half a mile of underground cable in the village, besides many 
miles of lines in the surrounding country. The officers are : S. 
W. Anderson, president; John A. Johnson, vice-president; H. L. 
Torbenson, secretary, and (i. S. Eichmiller, treasurer. The board 
of directors consists of S. W. Anderson. John Ad Johnson, H. L. 
Torbenson. (i. S. Eichmiller and B. J. Butler. Alfred Ericson is 
manager of this company and lias held this position for many 
years. 

Hector was surveyed Sept. 11-14, 187S. by 1). N. Correll on 
the southwest quarter of section 5, township 115. range 36, and 
filed April 9, 1879. The original owner was the Hastings & Da- 
kota Railroad Company. 

Hector was incorporated by act of the legislature, approved 
Feb. 23, 1881. The first election was held March 11. 1881, in 
charge of < '. II. Nixon. O. F. Peterson and John Truman. The 
result of the election was as follows: President, W. D. Grif- 
fith ; trustees, C. H. Nixon, O. F. Peterson and B. W. Schou- 
weller; recorder, H. Simmons; treasurer. M. Abbott: justice, A. 
Strom; constable, James Chapman. 

The village was reincorporated eight years later and a char- 
ter election held March 12, 1889, at the office of T. F. Deming, 
resulting as follows: President, Wesley Smalley; couneilmen, A. 
R. Gress, E. G. Hagquist, A. Carlson: recorder. E. E. Cook ; treas- 
urer, W. 1). Griffith; justices of peace, W. F. Grummons and 
Smith Dewees; constables. W. E. Kemp and E. < >. Otness. 

The present officers are: President, A. B. Anderson: coun- 
eilmen. Ole M. Nelson. Geo. Hokanson, C. H. Holberg; r rder 

and marshal, M. A. Cummings; treasurer, H. L. Torbenson; jus- 
tice of peace. C. H. Nixon and W. B. Strom: istables, Harry 

Schieble and C. H. Coolidge. The school board consists of: 
President, Geo. M. Berry; secretary, Henry L. Torbenson; treas- 
urer, A. E. Sehroeder; A. B. Anderson, O. A. Allen, W. B. Strom. 

The opera house and village hall combine a large and hand- 
some structure. In this building are the recorder's and marshal's 
office, council chamber, firemen's rooms. Commercial Club room, 
fire hall and opera house. The auditorium seats 4(10 people and 
has a stage that is adequate for all purposes. 

Hector has its own waterworks system. The water is obtained 
from a well -'»7<> feet deep and this produces an inexhaustible 



882 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

supply of pure spring water. The village has a sewage system, 
electric lights, fire department, good cement sidewalks, both in 
the business and residential districts, and the main street of 
the town is wide and clean of all posts and telephone wires. 
Among the Lodges in the town may be mentioned the Masons, 
Woodmen. Workmen, Modern Brotherhood, and Eastern Star. 

The old town hall was built in 1891. The village gas plant 
was put in in 1903; the present sightly city hall was erected in 
1906: the present town hall was erected in 1914; the contract 
for the electric lights from Bird Island was signed early in 1915; 
waterworks were first constructed in the village in 1896; exten- 
sive waterworks alterations and improvements were made in 
1915. 

The story of the town hall is an interesting one. It was 
built jointly by the village and township of Hector, and a few 
years later taken over by the township. It was purchased on 
Sept. 23, 1914, by Dr. A. M. Ericson, who converted it into the 
high-class Palace Theater. That same fall, Dr. Ericson erected 
the present town hall by contract as part of the purchase price 
of the property ;it the rear of the old building. 

Hector has a first-class water system which gives adequate 
tire protection, a well organized fire department and good equip- 
ment. Win. Jerpe is the fire chief and Joe Prelvitz the assist- 
ant chief. Botli of these men take a great deal of interest in 
the department and generally the first to get to the scene of any 
fire. The equipment consists of two hoseearts, a hook and ladder 
and an elegant chemical engine. This apparatus is housed in a 
specially built fire hall in the lower part of the village opera 
house. All the members of the fire company are volunteers and 
are always on hand when their help is needed. 

Tin- park, originally a mud hole donated by the railroad 
company, occupies block 17. Through the efforts of the Ladies' 
Improvement Society it has been filled in and made into a ver- 
itable beauty spot in accordance with the plans of a landscape 
artist. There is a pretty bandstand, and the park is a delight- 
ful expanse of lawns, grand w y alks, trees, shrubs and flower beds. 
The officers of the Ladies" Improvement Society are: President, 
Mrs. A. B. Anderson: vice-president, Mrs. Henry Deming; sec- 
retary. Mrs. H. L. D'Arms; treasurer. Mrs. G. S. Eichmiller. 

The Commercial Club is one of the live institutions of the 
town and has done a great deal during the past few years for 
the advancement of the community. W. B. Strom, the president, 
is one of the prominent business men of the town and under his 
direction the club has done a great deal of good along the line 
of road work, both in Hector and the surrounding country. The 
other officers of the club are: E. W. Nobbs, secretary: S. W. An- 
derson, vice-president; and G. S. Eichmiller. treasurer. The di- 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY ss:: 

rectors of the club are : William Jerpe, A. B. Anderson, George 
Berry and A. E. Schroeder. 

Hector has been remarkably free from fires with the excep- 
tion of a few weeks in the spring of 1915, when several serious 
fires took place. The largest was that of the Johnson Hardware 
Co. The F. R. Stocker residence, formerly the O. F. Peterson 
home, and one of the best in the township, went up in flames 
during the same season. The Snyder Livery barn, back of the 
opera bouse, burned and endangered the whole village. It was a 
rambling unoccupied building; the sparks lighted on roofs all 
over the village, and it seemed certain that at least the opera 
house would be destroyed. But by heroic efforts everything ex- 
cept the barn was saved. It was also during this season of fires 
that the private garage of J. J. Prelvitz burned with the Maxwell 
'"Six." which was in it. 

The personal property taxpayers in Hector in 1915 were: A. 
B. Anderson, O. A. Allen. C. Alvord. A. P. Anderson, S. W. An- 
derson. Mrs. Charlotte Anderson, Theo. C. Albrecht, Louis An- 
derson, Andrew Beck, -I. P. Butler, Ralph Braithwait, B. Brechet 
& Co., H. R. Behrns, G. M. Berry, Berry Bros., Berry Bros." Mill- 
ing Co., A. J. Brown. G. F. Berggren, Beck Bros., Emil Beck, W. 
G. Benson, P. A. Berggren, Alt'. Berry, Mrs. C. H. Coolidge, M. 
A. Cummings, R. F. Clark, W. A. Cords, H. S. Deming, H. L. 
D'Arms, Frank L. Dodge, Fred B. Dodge, W. B. Dodge, E. I. 
Dodge, J. F. Davis, Frank W. Donney, A. L. Ericson, A. M. Eric- 
son, G. S. Eichmiller, C. P. Fredrickson, Farmers' Grain Exchange 
Co., A. G. Fredrickson, F. 0. Foesch, Chas. Fahlberg. H. A. Gilt- 
ner, P. L. Griffin, A. S. Hallquist, C. H. Holberg. Amanda Han- 
sen. J. H. Herrmann, Mrs. I. L. Hamilton, W. J. Hager, Hector 
Elevator Co., Hector Produce Co., A. E. Hirt, Leon B. Hawes, 
J. H. Hirt, Thomas E. Hanson, E. G. Hagquist, Hanson Bros., 
Weking Hallquist, Leonard Johnson. Geo. Johnson, Jerpe & Nel- 
son, Johnson Hardware Co., Horace Johnson, F. A. Johnson, R. 
A. Johnson, William Jerpe, H. E. Koehler, J. Kaplan. C. A. 
Kight, John Koehler, H. W. Krull, J. G. Kallberg, 0. M. Kiser, 

D. Koehler, Thomas J. Leary, R. B. Lorenz, John Lindberg, A. T. 
Lindblad, John Lundstrom, Dan Loftmann. Fred Lindekugel, Will 
Lindekugel, II. E. McLaren, Monarch Elevator Co., McGregor 
Bros. & Co., Otto Mortenson, J. H. Monson, F. G. Maschke, H. 

E. McKibben, W. B. Marshall, Ben Nelson, E. W. Nobbs, God- 
frey Nelson, C. H. Nixon, Alf. Nelson, Nelson Bros., Edward Nel- 
son, 0. M. Nelson, S. P. Nelson. E. O. Olson. Pat O'Donnel, I. H. 
Phillips, Aug. Prelvitz, Victor Peterson. Joe Prelvitz, J. J. Prel- 
vitz, J. C. Past, G. Riedler, Mrs. Lizzie Riedel, II. A. Reed, Rev. 
L. Radcliffe, F. II. Schwanbeck, Frank A. Swan, A. D. Swan, 
Strom & Clark, S. J. Shulson, Harry Schiebel. Alf. Sandien, 0. E. 
Smith. Mrs. Carl Schwarzkopf, Carl Schwarzkopf, Alb. Selberg, 



884 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Schwarzkopf Bros., Alb. Schwarzkopf, John P. Swanson, V. H. 
Smith, A. E. Schroeder, Sterns Lumber Co., Eug. Schwarzkopf, 
W. B. Strom Drug Co., W. B. Strom, State Bank of Hector, Theo. 
Tegner, Thomas Tegner, H. L. Torbenson, Henry 0. Tinnes, Ezra 
Town, Ernest Tesch, Mrs. Elizabeth Taylor, Thomas Torbenson, 
Ben Wolpert, Frank A. Wedin, G. W. Wisman, Mrs. J. A. Wedin. 

MORTON VILLAGE. 

Morton is located in the beautiful Minnesota valley in the 
southeastern part of Birch Cooley township, surrounded by the 
historic ground on which were enacted some of the most stirring 
scenes in the history of the Northwest. Nature here is unusually 
lovely, the rolling prairie not far away, ending abruptly and 
breaking into beautiful coulees and ravines heavily wooded and 
forming a wide expanse or natural park. 

The village itself is well laid out on a flat, overlooked by 
the towering monuments erected to the friendly Indians and to 
the heroes of the battles of Birch Cooley. The picturesque con- 
tour of the waterworks tank situated nearby also adds to the 
beauty of the scene. 

It is situated a hundred miles southwest of Minneapolis and 
thirty-three miles west of Winthrop and is the division point on 
the M. & St. L. Railway, and here is located the roundhouse. 
It is also on the new Luce Electric Short Line Railway, which is 
in process of building from Minneapolis to Brookings, and which 
will furnish short hauls for the people of Morton to the Twin 
City markets. 

Surrounded, as it is, by the rich farm land of two counties, 
Morton is a scene of busy activities. Corn yields of over ninety 
bushels per acre show that this county is coming to the front, 
and the fine thoroughbred and dairy cattle herds with excellent 
shipping facilities give proof of its permanency. In former days 
a splendid fair was given here, but the withdrawal of state aid 
caused it to be discontinued. 

Anyone who loves beautiful hills and the rugged natural 
scenery will surely enjoy living at or near Morton. The Min- 
nesota valley for miles near this village is one continual park and 
sonic of the prettiest spots it is possible to find anywhere will be 
seen in a day's outing at this place. The spreading panorama 
of green fields and fertile valley, running streams and natural 
woods which one sees all about are sights one cannot help but 
enjoy, and a number of persons have compared the region with 
the Hudson valley and with other places of note, while others from 
prairie states have contented themselves with simply gazing in 
open admiration and exclamations of delight. This has been par- 
ticularly true of the Iowa visitors. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 885 

Another point of interest to tourists is the site of the granite 
quarries, where years ago in the early history of the village 
several hundred quarrymen were busily engaged taking out 
building and monumental stone. 

One can drive out from Morton either way and witness beau- 
ties of nature which in other sections of the United States people 
with automobiles would drive days to see. 

Going south from Morton, the lace makers' house, the Indian 
Episcopal church and the Indian school will be seen to the right 
hand, while on the left is the Indian park, from which one of 
the prettiest views of the whole Minnesota valley may be obtained. 

Going out north from Morton, one will see the stone markers 
which mark the historic spots in connection with the Sioux In- 
dian massacre days and the Birch Cooley battle ground. 

When visitors are at the Indian church, south of town, if they 
will go a quarter mile south and a mile east they will then see 
the old stone house of early agency and massacre days, and all 
along the highway will be seen markers recording the historic 
spots of that territory. 

From the depot at Morton may be seen the two granite shafts, 
one erected in memory of the soldiers and others killed in the 
Birch Cooley battle and the other erected in memory of the 
friendly Indians. These stand near the fair grounds, overlook- 
ing the valley and the Morton granite quarries. 

Morton has a flour mill with a daily capacity of 500 barrels 
wheat flour and fifty barrels rye products. It has a brick and 
tile factory with a capacity in a ten-hour day of 40,000 brick 
and 30,000 tile. Vast deposits of excellent granite for building 
purposes and ornamental stone are found in abundance. 

The village has a good opera house, a moving picture theater, 
four hotels, two banks, a creamery and ice cream factory, a farm- 
ers' co-operative elevator and a thriving stock shippers' asso- 
ciation. 

A weekly newspaper, the Morton "Enterprise," is published. 
There are four churches: German Lutheran, Methodist Episcopal, 
Roman Catholic and Protestant Episcopal. 

The public schools are housed in an excellent building and 
include eight grades, with high school, manual training and do- 
mestic science departments, each under competent teachers anil 
supervision. 

The fraternities are well represented here, there being flour- 
ishing lodges of the Masons, the Odd Fellows, the Workmen, the 
Woodmen, the Rebekahs, the Degree of Honor, the Catholic For- 
esters and the Lady Foresters. 

Attempts have been made at various times to establish a Com- 
mercial Club. Some years ago an organization flourished for a 



886 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

while. The present organization is about a year old. The presi- 
dent is C. J. Cook, the secretary is H. F. Rubey and the treas- 
urer is E. J. Kothlow. 

The vicinity of Morton has attracted settlers since the earliest 
days. Even before the massacre, George Buerry, Henry Keart- 
ner and John Kumro had settled in this neighborhood. At the 
time the railroad came through there were quite a few farms 
along the old bottom road Which passed some half a mile back 
from the present site of the village. 

At this time the nearest residence was that of George Buerry. 
After the outbreak he had returned to his former claim, and at 
tin- time tlie railroad came through he was living in a stone house 
which is still standing. The house is located in the southwest 
quarter of the southeast quarter of section 30, Birch Cooley, 
northeast of the village, and on a piece of the old bottom road 
now discontinued. 

To the southeast of Buerry, on the same road was John Edgett. 
in the southwest quarter of the northwest quarter of section 32. 

Next to Edgert's was the home of John Kumro, in the north- 
west quarter of the southwest quarter of section 32. He had 
been here before the outbreak and had returned a year later 
than George Buerry. 

Northwest from Buerry, along the same road, was John Yogt- 
man, on the southeast quarter of the southwest quarter of sec- 
tion 30. He was a son-in-law of George Buery, and returned with 
him after the massacre. 

Next up the road, in the same direction, lived Fred Blume. 
He occupied the farm which Henry Keartner had occupied be- 
fore the outbreak. His house was in the west half of the south- 
wesl quarter of section 30. 

To the west of the present site of the village, on the river 
bank, in United States lot, Xo. •">, section 36, lived II. B. Jackson. 

The railroad construction crew came through this vicinity in 
the summer and fall of 1882, and stopped work some 400 feet 
from the river, further progress at that time being delayed on 
account of the rocky formation between the terminal point and 
the river. It was nearly two years before this rocky barrier was 
passed and the line continued, the road being pushed to the west- 
ward in the spring of 1884. 

The first railroad train, the freight, arrived at the present 
location of the station, Oct. 22, 1882, the first engineer being 
Robert Meyer, and the conductor, Robert Brown. The depot was 
erected that fall. 

In June, 1882, when the railroad had reached the farm of J. 
P. Patten, in Birch Cooley township, Frank Camp erected a shack 
in the southwest quarter of the southeast quarter of section 33, 
on Mr. Patten's farm, and put in a small stock of goods. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 887 

About the time that the railroad reached the present village, 
the village was platted on land owned by W. G. Bartley. Mr. 
Bartley presented the railroad with a part of the site. The west 
side of the present village is located on land originally owned by 
George Buerry. 

W. G. Bartley, before the village was started, was conduct- 
ing a mill two miles below the Birch Cooley battle grounds. At 
about tin' time the village was platted he moved to the townsite. 
lb' was appointed postmaster and kept the postoffice a short time 
in a shack which lie erected on lot 24. block 9. This building 
has been moved and is now used by Fred Pfeiffer as a chicken 
house. For a time Mr. Bartley and his wife and son lived in 
this shack. Later they lived in a house moved in from the mill, 
this house moved in being later used as a part of a larger house. 
It is said that Bartley 's little shack was the first building on the 
present site of Morton. There are others, however, who declare 
that this honor belongs to the McGowan shack. 

Patrick McGowan was a railroad contractor. He owned a 
shack which lie used along the line of the railroad to shelter 
himself and his men. hi the summer or fall of 1882, when the 
grading crew reached Morton, Mr. McGowan moved the shack 
to what is now the rear of lot 27, block 15, just in back of where 
the postoffice is now located. In this shack he lived himself and 
here he kept some of his men. 

The third building started in Morton was one started by 

Thomas H. Barkey, Oct. 20, 1882. Mr. Barkey ca here, started 

the building, partly completed it. and then went away for the 
winter, renting it to -Tames MeConnell, the first section boss on 
the railroad. In the spring. Mr. Barkey came back and com- 
pleted the building, 24 by 4(1 feet, two stories high. In 1884, 
when the railroad was continued west of Morton, he conducted 
a boarding house. In 1885 he put in a stock of drugs and gro 
ceries. He now conducts a hotel in the same building. 

In the fall of 1882, the village site presented a scene of busy 
activity and building operations were started on several struc- 
tures. Before the railroad was in operation, in October, lumber 
was hauled from Redwood Falls. All of these early buildings 
were small and of a primitive nature. They were made ready 
for occupancy during the winter though many were not reallj 
completed until the spring. 

Patrick McGowan erected the structure that is now the post- 
office. He built it on the corner, lot 28 block 15. It was planned 
that Horatio Weiring, then a storekeeper in Golden Gate, this 
state, and afterward a merchant of Fairfax, should open a store 
in this building, he being son-in-law to Patrick McGowan. Goods 
were ordered and in due time arrived. Mr. Werring, however, 
decided not to open the store. He went to Redwood Falls and 



888 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

consulted with J. H. McGowan, the sou of Patrick McGowan, 
and R. B. Henton, Sr., whose daughter J. H. McGowan had mar- 
ried. J. II. McGowan was a railroad contractor. R. B. Henton, 
Sr., had owned a farm north of Sleepy Eye, but in the spring 
of 188:2 had sold out and that summer joined .1. II. McGowan at 
railroad contracting. In the fall they had returned to Brown 
county, but failing to secure a suitable location at Sleepy Eye. 
where they had planned to spend the winter, they had rented a 
home in Redwood Falls. When Mr. Werring approached them, 
they decided to open his goods, establish a store, and remain in 
charge of the store until spring, at which time they planned to 
again resume railroad contracting. The goods originally intended 
for Werring were, therefore, unpackeil and, on Dec. 13, 1882, 
J. H. McGowan opened the store. The families of Patrick and 
J. H. McGowan lived above the stoic .Mr. Henton, while living 
in Redwood Falls, spent part of his time with his daughter. A 
number of people were boarded by the McGowans until the hotel 
was completed. R. B. Henton, Sr.. and J. II. McGowan continued 
in business together for several years. Then for six months Mr. 
Henton conducted it alone and then sold out to Mr. McGowan, 
who operated it until the spring of 1891, when R. B. Henton. Jr., 
who had then been working in the store for some time, was re- 
ceived as a partner. Dec. 12. 1903, the stock was sold to D. L. 
Crimmons, who. after conducting the place for a month, moved 
to Olivia, leaving the place vacant. Oct. 1, 1904. R. B. Henton, 
Jr., again opened the place, and conducted it until late in 1915, 
when it was sold to John Kothlow. The store occupies a sightly 
brick building which replaced the original frame building. The 
old frame building has been moved a few feet south onto lot 27. 
block 15, and is, as stated, used as a postoffice. 

About the time that T. H. Barkey was completing his build- 
ing, W. M. Miller opened a saloon on lots 16 and 17, block 14. 
Many buildings then went up at about the same time. 

.1. P. Patten moved the shark nf Frank Camp from his farm 
to lot 7, block 9. Mr. Camp died at this place that fall, his being 
the first death in the village. 

William Wall opened a saloon on lot 20, block 14. 

John Terry erected a residence on lot 2, block 10. 

John Smith opened a lumber yard not far from the present 
farmers' elevator on the railroad right of way. 

John Clancy and John Cutting opened a lumber yard on the 
railroad right of way on practically the present site of the farm- 
ers' elevator. They also opened a hardware store on lot 13, 
block 13. Cutting did not live here. He came here, was dis- 
satisfied with the way things were going, and went away, leaving 
Clancy for the time being to conduct the business alone. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 889 

•T. P. Watson, a hardware merchant of Marshall, had J. P. 
Patten erect for him a building on lot 11, block 14, planning to 
enter into business here. But he gave up the project, and rented 
the place to Col. Tousley, who that fall opened a grocery store 
therein. 

Henry Jorges and family came that fall and erect cm I the house 
still standing on lot 21, block 1. 

Ed. Bowler came at the same time and erected a house on 
lot 22, block 6. 

John Tate, whose father had operated the hotel at Beaver 
Falls but who had later lived at Redwood Falls, erected a house 
on lot 21, block 9. He was a carpenter and worked on many of 
the first houses in the village. 

Walter Neilson opened a blacksmith shop on the back of lot 
21, block 9. This was on the back of the Tate property. Later 
the shop was moved to the lot in the rear of the present Com- 
mercial House and stood there until moved back, when the Com- 
mercial House was erected. 

A flat house was erected northeast of what is now the Rail- 
road Eating House, on the right of way. The buyer was Thomas 
Reed. The flat house has long since been burned. 

H. B. ("Hobe") Jackson, who had lived on the river bank 
west of the village, moved in and opened the Eagle House on 
lot 25, block 14. Jerry P. Patten and his assistants were the 
carpenters who erected this building. The hotel was opened on 
Christmas Day, 1882. 

The first child bom in Morton was born at the Eagle House, 
the child of Mr. and Mrs. H. B. Jackson. It died in infancy. 
The second was Mabel, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. II. Mc- 
Gowan, born March 4, 1883. 

Village lots in Morton were first assessed in 1883. The prin- 
cipal owners were : Geo. Berry, M. P. Hawkins, W. G. Bartley 
and C. E. Burhaus. The lots which were listed under the name 
of C. E. Burhaus were all transferred to Jos. L. Preston. Those 
who had already secured lots were: Mary Jorges, lot 21, block 
1 ; Catherine Vogtman, lot 23, block 1 ; Emma Ahrens, lot 24, 
block 1; Mattie Berry, lot 1. block 2; Henrietta Berry, lot 2, 
block 2; Caroline Berry, lot 3, block 2; F. W. Blume, lot 1, block 
5 ; Chas. Bowler, lot 22, block 6 ; John M. Clancy, lot 17, block 7, 
lot 13. block 13; Edith Camp, lot 7, block 9; John H. Tate, lot 
21, block 9; E. S. Bartley, lots 23, 24, block 9; John Thau, lot 2, 
block 10; Win. Forester, lot 15, block 10; Magdalena Wieland. 
lots 4, 5, S, 9 and 10. block 13 ; W. Weiss, lots 6 and 7, block 13, 
lots 15, 16, block 15: Clancy & Cutting, lots 15 and 16. block 13: 
Michael Fernbach, lot 3, block 14; S. R. Miller, lot 5, block 14: 
T. H. Barkev, lot 10. block 14; Watson & Griffins, lot 11, block 



890 HISTORY OB 1 RENVILLE COUNTY 

14: Win. Miller, lots 16 and 17, block 14; Wm, Wall, lot 20, 
block 14; Peter Berndgen, lots 21 arid 22, block 14; H. B. Jack- 
son, lots 23 and 24, block 14; Wm. Carr, lot 17, block 15; Walter 
Neilson, lot 13, block 15; Henton & McGowan, lots 24, 25, 26 and 
27, block 15. 

The first marriage in Morton was that of Walter Neilson and 
Mary Haggerty, Jan. 8, 1S85. 

The first physician in Morton was Dr. Prather. The next was 
Dr. R. D. Zimbeck. He was followed by the present physician, 
Dr. P. W. Penhall. 

John A. Dalzell is the only lawyer who has ever lived in 
Morton. He is still here. 

The granite industry has been an important factor in the life 
and growth of Morton. There is here an inexhaustible supply, 
and though it has been quarried for many years, there has been 
little apparent diminution in the ledges from which the rock has 
been taken. The quarries were first opened by T. Saulpaugh & 
Co., of Mankato, .Minn. John Anderson, the present owner, was 
the foreman of the crew of ten men which started the work. 
This was in the spring of 1886. It was only a few months before 
the ground was covered with derricks and a force of fully 300 
men at work. This continued until 1894, when labor difficulties 
and financial reverses caused the original owners to cease opera- 
tions here. Mr. Anderson then leased the quarries and operated 
them on a smaller scale. In 1900, Mr. Anderson and his two 
sons, Fred and William, purchased the quarries and still conduct 
them under the name of the Anderson Granite Co. The output 
and workmanship are of the best. Dressed stone for building 
purposes and a splendid line of monumental work is turned out. 
With their excellent facilities they are able, should the necessity 
arise, to produce solid shafts of marble as much as fifty feet long. 

Morton was incorporated in the fall of 1887 and an election 
duly held. The first president was R. B. Henton, Sr. ; the first 
council, John Cronan, P. H. Coogan and T. M. Keefe. The first 
recorder was Mat. B. Bertrang. The first treasurer was M. H. 
Noack. 

The first meeting of the council was held Sept. 12, 1887. Pres- 
ident Henton was not in attendance and John Cronan presided. 
Bruce Brown was appointed village attorney and instructed to 
draw up the village ordinances. P. II. Ryan was appointed mar- 
shal. That being at the time of the quarry boom, a seal was 
adopted, giving a view of the quarry with a derrick in operation. 
Bids were asked for the erection of a village jail. 

Oct. 3, 1887, the contract was let for the village jail. Dec. 12, 
1887, a health board was appointed consisting of Dr. Zimbeck 
for three years, L. White for two years and Bruce Brown for 
one year. W. C. Keefe was appointed street commissioner. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 891 

The present officers of the village are: President. Michael 
Eolden; council, Gustave Rohner, Samuel Steinke, L. D. Baker; 
recorder. Matt. Rueh; treasurer, F. W. Orth; assessor. E. C. 
Fuller; attorney, John A. Dalzell; justice of the peace, E. C. 
Puller; constable, John A. McGuire; marshal, William C Keefe. 

Fire protection dates from June 5, 1S88, when an engine was 
purchased from New Ulm. A few days later a 500-barrel cistern 
was built. The cistern was erected on lot 21, block 9, an engine 
house erected over it, and the engine duly installed. June 16, of 
the same year, E. L. Haskins was appointed chief of the fire de- 
partment. Aug. 7, 1888, it was voted to purchase a hose cart. 

The present waterworks were installed in 1901. A tank was 
constructed at the spring in the side of the bluff. This is used 
for household purposes and furnishes one of the best water sup- 
plies in the state. The force from this tank is sufficient to throw 
a stream of water over the highest building. But as an added 
precaution a tank has been constructed at the top of the bluff. 
This tank is pumped full of water and held in reserve for use in 
case of fire. The tank at the top of the bluff is of picturesque 
appearance and its situation gives a tremendous pressure to the 
water when used in fighting fires. 

The village is supplied with electric power from the Wherland 
Electric Company at Redwood Falls. The lights were first in- 
stalled in the village in the spring of 1910. Before that the streets 
w err lighted wit h gas lights. 

A brief business directory of Morton follows: John Ander- 
son & Sons (Benjamin and Fred), monument works: Anderson & 
Van Vliet Furniture Co. (Wm. Anderson, W. F. Van VTiel ; 
Andrews Hotel (Mrs. Wm. Andrews, proprietor) ; Bucholz Bros.. 
City Dray Line ; M. B. Bertrang, general merchandise ; < !edar Rap- 
ids Oil Co. (Bucholz Bros., managers) : Commercial Hotel W. II. 
Swafford, proprietor): Columbia Clothing Co. (E. A. Lippert, 
manager) ; W. J. Chapman, City Bakery; Chris. J. Cook, jewelry ; 
Geo. Doster & Co., hardware, furniture, machinery, undertaking; 
Dolliff Lumber Co. (Sam Steinke, manager) : J. A. Dalzell, law- 
yer; J. J. Dallenbach, Riverside Dairy Farm; T. B. Engelhart, 
pool hall ; Enterprise Newspaper (H. F. Rubey, proprietor) ; Farm- 
ers' Co-operative Grain & Stock Co., grain, stock, twine, ma- 
chinery; F. Fesenmeier, garage; Mrs. Cora D. Fox. millinery: 
Mrs. Marie Galle, Bazaar: Gillen's Grill Room (Mrs. Roy Gillen, 
proprietor) ; Golden Rule (E. J. Kohlow, proprietor), general mer- 
chandise: Jos. Holmbar, painter; Grover C. Jaehning & Co., drug 
store; W. H. Kumro, photograph gallery; Keefe & Lussenhop, 
hardware, machinery, undertaking, furniture (I). F. Keefe, W. 
L. Lussenhop); W. C. Keefe. pool hall; Thos. Kelly, of flood 
thunder & Kelly, dray line (Chas. Goodthunder) ; II. II. Logan, 
drug store (Red Cross Drug Store); Larson & Midtbruget, cafe 



892 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

(R. E. Larson and L. M. Midtbruget) ; A. A. Lawton, shoe store; 
Morton Mercantile Co. (G. J. Simon, proprietor) ; J. A. McGuire, 
auto and horse livery, D. J. McCartan, dentist; Morton Telephone 
Co. (Chas. Orth, H. Beckman, F. W. Orth) ; A. F. Mahowald, har- 
ness shop and real estate; Minnesota Clay Works (N. P. Ostrum, 
manager; II. A. Sodergnen, president); John I. Miller, barber; 
Morton Creamery Co. (P. L. Gardner, proprietor) ; Morton Ice 
Cream Factory (P. L. Gardner, proprietor); Morton Milling Co. 
(W. H. Castle, manager) ; G. A. Miller, Farmers' Home Res- 
taurant ; Morton Opera House (.1. II. McGowan) ; New State 
Paid; (F. E. Sylvester, cashier; Win. Wichman, president; E. J. 
Kohlow, vice-president; E. W. Neunsinger, assistant cashier); 0. 
W. Newton, postmaster: F. W. Penhall, M. D.; Pfeiffer & Rohner, 
meat market (Fred Pfeiffer, G. A. Rohner); Railroad Eating 
Bouse, W. H. Swafford, proprietor; Matt. Rush, barber; Fred 
Storch, blacksmith: State Bank of Morton (F. W. Orth, presi- 
dent; Henry Beckman, cashier, R. B. Henton, vice-president; 
Clinton (i. Orth. assistant cashier); Mike Singer, blacksmith; 
Julia Traynor, millinery; Henry Waldhoff, jeweler; R. W. Whit- 
tier, M. D. 

The Farmers" Co-operative Grain Company was organized by 
F. E. Sylvester, cashier of the New State Bank of Morton, as- 
sisted by Wm. Wichman, August Daun, and others. The present 
building was erected in 1910 by the Great Western Elevator Com- 
pany, of Minneapolis, who sold it to F. W. Orth ami H. B. Henton, 
who operated there until Sept. 1. 1914. under the name of the 
Farmers' Elevator Company. August, 1914. they sold it for $4,000 
t(i the present company, who began operations Sept. 1. 1914. The 
building is :!2 by 40 ami 100 feet high, and has a capacity of 124.000 
bushels of grain. From Sept. 1, 1914, to Feb. 1, 1915, this com- 
pany bought 160.000 bushels of grain and 450 tons of coal. The 
elevator is well equipped, is operated by electricity, and does a 
splendid business, not only in grain dealing but also in selling 
fuel and state binder twine. Under the present manager, George 
D. Wells, many improvements have been made, including the 
erection of an office and the purchase of a sheller. The present 
officers are: President. August Daun; vice-president, Paul 
Schafer; secretary, F. E. Zumwinkle: treasurer, Charles Buscho. 

Morton Telephone Exchange was established in 1902 by 
Charles H. Orth, who is the owner and manager. It is located 
on the second floor of the McCormick building over Jaehnning's 
drug store. It has 100 subscribers in the village and operates 
an exchange for the Morton Rural Telephone Company. Its op- 
erators are Hattie Flink and Frank Niles. It has Northwestern 
and Interstate long distance connections. 

The Morton Rural Telephone Company was established in 
1905 at Morton with the following officers : President, F. W. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 893 

Orth; vice-president, Dr. P. W. Penhall; secretary, Henry Beck- 
man ; treasurer, Fred Watscbke. It has 102 subscribers at pres- 
ent. Tbe present officers are : President, Louis Ziune ; vice-presi- 
dent, Frank Goelz; secretary and treasurer, Henry Beckman; 
and manager, Charles H. Orth. 

Although Morton was given its present name in 1882, the 
postoffice continued to bear the name of Birch Cooley until Oct. 
1, 1894, when, under Postmaster W. C. Keet'e, the name was 
changed to Morton. 

OLIVIA VILLAGE. 

Nature has done much for Olivia, and to nature's gift has 
been added man's industry. It is a thriving city, in the center 
of the richest and most populous farming and dairying sections 
of the entire country. 

Olivia has beautiful, well-shaded streets, a tine drainage sys- 
tem, beautiful homes, well-kept lawus, a fine system of water- 
works, a fairly well equipped fire department, and an excellent 
market for the buying and selling of everything needed. It has 
an excellent farmers' co-operative creamery, besides two prod- 
uce stores, a farmers' elevator and four other elevators, a can- 
ning faetory, a sash and door factory that turns out high-class 
work, a bottling works where sodas are manufactured from dis- 
tilled water and ice cream manufactured for the trade in all the 
neighboring towns, a military company with headquarters in a 
new $25,000 armory, a live commercial chili, fine schools and 
churches, a public library, one pool and billiard hall, a bakery, a 
tailor, one men's clothing and furnishing store, one furniture 
store, one plumbing shop, an orchestra, five good general stores, 
a variety store, three restaurants and confectionery stores, 
two blacksmith shops, two garages, two livery barns, two meat 
markets, two millinery stores, a good jewelry store, an up-to-date 
drug store, two hotels, five real estate offices, four lawyers, two 
doctors, one veterinary surgeon, three civil engineers, a dray line, 
three dentists, a Hour and feed store, two harness shops, two 
good hardware stores, three hanks, a shoe store, two lumber yards, 
a good flour mill, a new automobile supply store, three barber 
shops, one moving picture theatre, one photograph studio and 
a number of contractors, carpenters, painters and masons. A 
good electric light plant furnishes electricity for a day and night 
service and is owned by the village. 

There are five churches : Catholic, Swedish Lutheran, German 
Lutheran. Methodist Episcopal, Episcopal and the Evangelical 
Association. 

Among the fraternities may be mentioned the Masons, Odd 
Fellows, the Modern Woodmen, the United Workmen, the Cath- 
olic Foresters, the Modern Brotherhood, the Bohemian Workmen 
and others. 



894 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Originally known as the "station on section seven." Olivia 
gave little promise of becoming the leading village of Renville 
county. Too near the already developed village on the east with 
its elevators, stores, bank, shops, making an easily accessible mar- 
ket for the neighboring territory, the station on section seven 
was doomed apparently to remain always an obscure cross-corner. 
But Fate smiled upon the little hamlet, and its ultimate prosperity 
exceeded the most sanguine hopes of its friends and promoters. 

Among the earliest settlers in this vicinity were Charles Waldo, 
who came in the spring of 1872 and settled on section 24, township 
115, range 35; John Nestor, who settled on section IS. township 
114, range 35. at the same time: George Miller settled here in the 
fall of that year together with his brother Steve Miller ; Jerome 
Bosley on section 30: Jim Kearns. Dennis Haley, section 2(1; Wil- 
liam Morse and Jos. Hodgson — all in the year 1S72. In the next 
few years the following appear among the names of the new set- 
tlers: Thomas Flanagan, section 26,; James Flanagan, his son; 
Michael Glenn ; (.'has. Humboldt ; John E. W. Peterson, who settled 
on a timber claim; R. P. Peterson; H. S. Atchley, who settled on 
what is now known as the Windhorst farm: Lib. White, on a tim- 
ber claim: Perry Burch and George Bureh ; John Buxton on the 
present John Kuske farm; Ira Everson; -James L. White: William 
Warner, on the farm just north of the village known as the Denn- 
stedt place; John Miller; John Barker, and Byron Gates. The 
land in the vicinity is of a gently rolling nature and appealed 
strongly to the early settlers as witness the large number that 
rushed in within the brief space of a few years. The judgment 
of tin- homeseekers has proved sound as the land chosen is now 
the highest priced in the county. 

But as is usual in such cases the development of the farming 
community depended largely upon the development of a good 
trading center with its facilities for marketing products: mer- 
chants, alive and progressive, and able to extend the needful 
credit to the new settler, ;^ well as religious and educational ad- 
vantages — all of prime importance to the development of a suc- 
cessful agricultural community. In the course of time they were 
all supplied and flourished in tin/ midst of abundant harvests; 
and the settlers on the laud prospered in their close contact with 
the advantages of the trading center. 

Olivia was surveyed in September. l.sTS, for the Hastings & 
Dakota Railway < !o. 

The first settler in Olivia was <;. J. DePue, who met the first 
primitive needs of the settler by establishing a blacksmith shop in 
1878. He also built a hotel known as the DePue House. His 
name is preserved in the designation of the principal residence 
streel of the village. Isaac Lincoln and brother soon followed 
with the building of the first "flathouse" or elevator for storing 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 895 

grain. In the same year P. \Y. Heins, of Beaver Falls, opened up 
a mercantile store and P. Berndgen a general store where the 
Grand Central hotel now stands. 

Isaac Lincoln was appointed first postmaster and had his office 
located at the elevator. The next postmaster was W. P. Christen- 
sen. The Lincolns also built the first lumberyard, in 1878, and 
the following year erected a steam Hour mill with a capacity of 
about eighty-five barrels a day. This mill was later sold to John 
Meldahl, finally passing into the hands of William Windhorst. 
Destroyed by fire it was not rebuilt. Another general store was 
opened within a few years by Nahum Stone, who later became 
the first village treasurer, and a fourth by W. P. Christensen on 
the spot where now stands a brick residence across from the State 
Bank. Peters and Kromer were among the first engaged in the 
blacksmith's trade. George Cadwell was the first station agent 
for the new railroad and was followed by C. 11. Spencer. John 
Morgan opened a saloon in 1879. Lib. White opened a drug store 
in tl arly eighties. 

Village lots in Olivia were first assessed in 1880. Those who 
already owned lots were: I. & E. B. Lincoln, lots 1. 2 and 3, block 
1 : C. P.lume. lots 1. 4 and 5. block 2; T. H. Risinger, lots 8, 9 and 
12, block 2: Peter Berndgen, lots 1, 4 and 5, block 3; P. W. Heins. 
lots 8, 9 and 12, block 3; John Been, lots 1 and 4, block 6: H. S. 
Atchley, lots 8 and 9. block 6; Win. Warner, lots 12 and 13, block 
6; Mrs. Mary Hodgdon, lot 1, block 7; Jerome Balsley, lots 2 and 
3, block 7; Fred Williams, lot 4. block 7; II. E. Daniels, lot 4, block 
7; Ryan & Morgan, lots (i and 7. block 7: J. Leeson, lots 1 and 4. 
block 8: T. S. Christianson. lots 2 and 3. block 8; .lames Williams, 
lot 6, block S. 

In 1882 the village contained only a handful of people num- 
bering in all about 80, and continued to grow but slowly. There 
were four general stores, one hardware, one drug store, black- 
smith shop, wagon shop, tailor and shoe shop, one hotel, one 
saloon, one lumber yard, two elevators, one mill. Bird Island 
was already a thriving little city of 500 people and the county 
metropolis: Renville had a population of 275 and Hector 250. 
By 1890 Olivia had 263 : during the next ten years it more than 
trebled in number, arriving at the centennial with a population 
of 970. 

In 1889 the Peoples Bank was established by P. W. Heins and 
six years later the State Bank was organized. The same year 
the Olivia Bottling Works opened up for business. 

The first church services were held at different homes by 
Nahum Tainter, Methodist minister from Bird Island. A church 
was built a little later in 1888; this was partly torn down a few 
years ago and the rest of the building framed iuto the pretty 
church of the present day. Father Koher of Bird Island read 



896 EISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

mass at Olivia for the Catholics and Father Flint was the first 
resident pastor after the church was built in 1889. 

In 18S0 the first public school was built. This building is now 
the (old) Swedish Lutheran church. Frank de Camp was one 
of the first teachers. 

At about the same time a new flour mill was built with modern 
machinery by Kubesh and Brown. It is running today and is an 
important factor in the industrial life of the community, now 
owned by D. L. Simons. 

In 1898 the Northwestern Telephone Company was granted a 
franchise and in 1905 a local telephone exchange was established. 
The latter has recently been purchased by the Tri-State Company 
and the two give Olivia and vicinity excellent service. 

In 1899 the village purchased lots for the establishment of a 
waterworks and lighting system. The village now has an ample 
supply of water and mains to serve the needs of its people. The 
water tank of 47,000 gallons capacity, completed in 1901, is placed 
upon a ninety-foot tower and produces a 40-pound pressure. There 
are 11,000 feet of mains and 24 double hydrants. The fire de- 
partment consists of 22 volunteers and is supplied with 1,500 feet 
of hose, 2 carts, one hook and ladder truck and one Waterous 
steamer in reserve. Electric power is now secured from the Ren- 
ville County Electric Company. 

The large arc lights installed in 1899 did much to add beauty 
to the streets. On June 29, 1914, the village signed a contract 
with the Renville County Electrical Co., at Bird Island, by which 
the plant at Olivia is supplied with power from the plant at Bird 
Island. The village still owns its own electric light plant, in 
good working order, ready at any time to supply "juice'* if nec- 
essary. 

The Olivia postoffice was established in 1879 and the post- 
masters have been as follows: 1879, Ike Lincoln; 1880, William 
P. Christensen; 1884, Lib. White; 1886, Daniel Haire; 1S90. Wil- 
liam II. Schmitt : 1894, William P. Christensen ; 1896, J. M. Peekin- 
paugh ; 1906. II. II. Neueiil>ni-e- : 1914. W. J. Heaney. It was made 
a money order in 1880, an international office in 1S!)4; was ad- 
vanced from fourth to third class in 1896 and was given a postal 
savings department in 1911. During the term of Lib. White as 
postmaster the office and all its records was burned. Ike Lincoln 
kept the first postoffice in his elevator office. William 1'. Chris- 
tensen during his first term had the office in his store and during 
his second term kept it where the plumbing shop is now located. 
Daniel Haire and W. II. Schmitt kept the office in their respective 
store buildings. L. M. Peckinpaugh kept the office in the Heaney 
building, and there II. II. Neuenburg likewise kept it until 1912, 
when it was moved to its present location. William J. Heaney is 
the postmaster, Wilfred Heaney the assistant, and Marguerite and 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 897 

Ralph Heaney the clerks. There are five rural routes, Nos. 1 and 
2, established July 1, 1902; No. 3, established Sept. 1, 1904; and 
Nos. 4 and 5, established Jan. 16, 1905. The present carriers are 
William E. Hurt, "William Moran, Henry A. Kobler, Leigh H. 
Wilson and James P. O'Neil. Norfolk, Winiield and Lake Lillian 
postoffiees have been discontinued into this one. 

The Grand Central hotel was built about twenty years ago 
by Neuenberg and Company. It is a substantial brick building 
with modern conveniences and serves well the needs of the trav- 
eling public. The proprietors are Mr. and Mrs. Fred Mclntyre. 

The location of the county seat at Olivia in 1900 brought a 
splendid addition to the village in the form of a fine brown stone 
courthouse, of pleasing architectural style, and modern appoint- 
ments. It sits alone in the center of a full block, with a beautiful 
lawn and buckthorn hedge along the border to set off its beauty. 
It is a fitting monument to the progressiveness of the county's, 
citizens, in accord with its wealth, and an appropriate situation 
for the seat of law and local government. Nearby is the sightly 
and sanitary jail. 

The long struggle for the possession of the county scat left 
the community in a fit of exhaustion and the period of great de- 
velopment which had been predicted failed to appear. Except 
for the building operations on the courthouse and the coming of 
the families of county officials to Olivia, there was but little dif- 
ference from its previous state. 

Marked improvements, however, were gradually taking place 
which have developed within the last few years into a veritable 
"boom" and have made Olivia one of the prettiest, most pro- 
gressive and substantial little cities in Southern Minnesota. 

The summer of 1915 was marked by a period of unusual busi- 
ness activity. The old Ryan hotel building was removed from the 
downtown location and is being remodeled as a hotel. On the 
old location a fine set of brick business blocks have been erected. 
These six new buildings together with the new armory, the Swan- 
son block, and the remodeled garage mark great changes in the 
business aspect of the village. 

Two of the most important societies in this community are 
the Commercial Club and the Ladies' Improvement Club. The 
former is a live organization, with commodious quarters in the 
New Armory, whose members take keen interest in any matter 
for the benefit of the community. Their activity has resulted in 
securing many improvements that would otherwise have been 
lost. Darwin S. Hall is president and A. N. Nelson is secretary. 

Olivia has never been visited by a serious fire. The citizens, 
however, believe in adequate protection and maintain a fire de- 
partment which holds fire drills at stated intervals. The equip- 
ment consists of hose pumps, carts, bell, and fire extinguishers, all 



898 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

kept at tin- engine house, which is a sightly structure, well adapted 
to its purpose. 

The Armory is one of the prides of the village. The old ar- 
mory, a building 80 by 120 feet was erected in 1897, one block 
north of the railroad station. It was used as an armory, opera 
house and general meeting place. It has been converted into a 
roller skating rink. In 1914 arrangements were made by Major 
II. II. Neuenburg, of the Third Regiment, M. N. <;., and by Cap- 
tain Alexander McCorquodale, of Company H, of the same regi- 
ment, for the erection of a new Armory to be situated on the cor- 
ner Lot, facing south, and one block west from Main street. It 
was completed at a cost of abont $25,000. of which $15,000 was 
paid by the state. The building is 65 by 120 feet, of dark pressed 
brick, trimmed with stone, and beautified by a sightly entrance 
illuminated with two ornamental electric lights. The main hall is 
.equipped with a stage which will be well furnished for the presen- 
tation of theatrical attractions. In addition to this, aside from 
serving its purpose as a drill hall, this auditorium is used for 
public meetings, lectures, concerts, dances and the like. The 
Commercial Club has well appointed quarters on the second floor, 
supplied with billiard tables, card tables, reading matter, and com- 
fortable surroundings. On the main floor, in addition to the 
auditorium, are found the public library, the council chamber 
and the women's rest room. The rest room will do much to add 
to Olivia's popularity as a farm center, for here amid pleasant 
surroundings the women from the rural districts can find rest 
and recreation and comforts while visiting in the village. In the 
basement arc the equipment rooms, the officers' headquarters and 
the like, with the club rooms of the military company, while space 
is set off for a target practice' room, gymnasium, baths, dining 
) in and similar purposes. The auditorium stage has been fur- 
nished with scenery and was dedicated in March, 1916. with a 
local production of George Ade's ••County Chairman." 

The Public Library of Olivia was organized in compliance with 
the laws of the State of Minnesota by a resolution adopted by the 
village council on the fourteenth day of February. 1914. This 
resolution authorized the president of the council, and his suc- 
cessor in office to take such steps as the law requires, in perfecting 
the organization and establishment of a public library. 

On March 5, 1914, President M. J. Dowling reported the ap- 
pointment of a village library board, to serve as follows: For 
the term ending the third Saturday in July. 1915, Mrs. H. H. 
Neuenburg, Mrs. (i. II. Mesker and Mrs. T. P. Mclntyre; for the 
term ending the third Saturday in July. 1916, Mrs. P. J. Schafer, 
ilrs. L. A. Matzdorf and Capt. A. R. McCorquodale; for the term 
ending the third Saturday in July. 1917. Hattie S. Bordwick, Mrs. 
W. II. lleins. Mrs. Noble Coucheran. 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 899 

On July 13, 1915, President D. S. Hall reappointed Mrs. H. H. 
Neuenburg, Mrs. Geo. H. Mesker and Mrs. T. P. Mclntyre for the 
term ending the third Saturday in July, 1918; D. S. Hall taking 
the place of Capt. A. R. McCorquodale on the library board. 

To the Ladies' Public [mprovement society is due much credit 
for getting the library started up in the first place, and they have 
taken charge and conducted its affairs from the beginning, dis- 
playing efficiency and good business management. In starting, 
many public spirited citizens contributed books; and the village 
pays the rent, a small salary to the librarian and helps in many 
ways. The "Library Teas," "Pines" and other resources which 
the business women of Olivia have worked out, bring in funds 
with which to supply the library with more books and late publi- 
cations. 

The library is well patronized, and so popular has it become 
that many of the young and old would hardly know how to get 
along without it. 

The officers of the Olivia Public Library, for the year 1915, 
are: President, Mrs. Warren H. Heins ; treasurer, Mrs. P. J. 
Schafer; secretary and librarian, Mrs. Noble Coucheron. 

The cemetery, about a mile southwest of the village, is well 
kept and well laid out. It was surveyed Dec. 2, 1884, by C. G. 
Johnson, and for many years its upkeep was left with private 
owners. Later the churches and the Ladies ' Improvement Society 
took up the matter. In 1911 the Improvement Society erected a 
retaining wall on the north side of the cemetery, ten feet inside 
of the highway limit on State Road No. 2. 

The canning factory is an important business enterprise. In 
1915 over 1,000,000 cans of corn were prepared at the rate of 
100 cans a minute. Olivia is situated in the midst of a prosperous 
farming country. Minnesota is ranking high in corn production 
and many farmers coming from the southern states are greatly 
surprised to see the fine corn crops grown in Renville county. 
Pine crops of corn, yielding from forty to seventy-five bushels 
per acre are grown every year and seem to be more popular than 
wheat in this section. The canning factory was built in 1903, 
with A. A. Chapman as manager; C. A. Heins, president, and 
H. H. Neuenburg, secretary. 

Besides corn and peas, kraut, apples, rhubarb and tomatoes are 
canned. All goods are packed in sanitary cans. The bulk of the 
goods is sold in Chicago markets. 

Such a factory is of value to any community, and particidarly 
to the county and farmers. It has been said that new settlers 
have considered buying land in Renville county most favorably 
on account of the fact that the canning factory would offer special 
inducements to the farmer for his produce. This, in itself, is an 
important factor not only for the farmer, but for the community 



900 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

at large, as it helps to build up the town and the county. The 
factory employs 75 to 100 people during the canning season. The 
output of sweet corn alone last year was more than 1,000.000 
cans. The special brands furnished by this company are well 
known throughout the state. 

The Farmers' Livestock Shippers' Association is a strong, 
active association, and has been doing big things in Olivia. One 
of the farmers acts as buyer, with the result that hundreds of 
dollars that went to the buyers now goes into the pockets of the 
farmers. 

The shade trees of Olivia are an important asset. A recent 
article written by a man who made an automobile trip through 
this section of the country pays the following tribute to Olivia's 
beauty in this respect. The article follows: 

"Perhaps the most impressive example of what one man's 
influence along this line can do, we came across at and around 
the little town of Olivia, in Minnesota. Here one man. a Scandi- 
navian, and we regret very much that we cannot recall his name 
(the name is J. E. W. Peterson), not only put out a beautiful 
park of trees for the little city, and lined nearly every street in 
it with a double row of trees, but for many miles into the country 
in all directions, the same thing was kept up along the highways. 
Instead of a bare little prairie town, with here anil there a few 
trees set out by an individual lot owner, and approached by dreary 
stretches of treeless prairie road, the whole town is a beautiful 
tree-shaded bower, and the drives along the far country roads 
are made beautiful and full of variety and interest, by shade and 
protection, and much of the year by tens of thousands of nesting 
and singing birds. The trees planted by this one man have a 
money value today of many thousands of dollars, and a beauty 
value that cannot be computed. On through the coming years, 
they will continue their mission of blessing and beautifying, 
though even now the hand which directed their planting is dust 
beneath their shade." Telephone and electric wires are causing 
many of the trees to fall, still enough remain for beauty and 
shade. 

Among the many beauties of Olivia is the public park. As 
early as 1882, the people of Olivia felt the need of a public park, 
and the block lying east of the P. W. Heins residence was donated 
by John Nestor for that purpose. Later the block next east of 
this block was laid out as a public park. In 1901, when a site 
for the courthouse was being discussed, the council conferred with 
the county commissioners in reference to offering the A'illage 
park for that purpose. However, it was not taken for that pur- 
pose, and public improvements were begun on it. A splendid 
band stand was erected in the center of the park, flower beds 
started, walks laid out, and trees trimmed. Lighting the park 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 901 

has added to its beauty. The Ladies' Public Improvement So- 
ciety has been active in the beautifying and upkeep of this park. 

The Ladies' Public Improvement Society of Olivia was organ- 
ized July 29, 1903, for the purpose of improving conditions in 
and around the village. Committees on park, street, cemetery 
and entertainment were appointed. 

The Park committee has seen that the grass in the park has 
been kept cut, and the trees trimmed. In the spring of 1909, 
Henry Dunsmore, under the auspices of the society, put out the 
flowers in the park. The cost of this work was $50 of which the 
society paid half. From year to year flower beds have been added. 

The Street committee has looked after keeping the streets 
clean. Poor crossings have been reported to the council. Rail- 
ings have been placed on all the bridges in town. This committee 
lias also seen to it that horses were not left standing on the streets 
unnecessarily long. 

The Cemetery committee has worked in conjunction with Cem- 
etery association, keeping the cemetery mowed and in neat order. 
In the years of 1912 and 1913, as noted, a retaining wall was built 
in front of the cemetery grounds, which has added much to their 
appearance. This wall cost the association $590. 

It has been the duty of the Entertainment committee to decide 
what plays, entertainments and the like should come under the 
auspices of the society. Some excellent numbers have appeared 
under their direction. In 1909 the society presented a home talent 
play, "A Family Affair," the proceeds of which netted $130. 
This play involved considerable effort, and much credit is due 
those who pushed it to so successful a conclusion. The committee 
having charge of the play were Mesdames L. A. Matzdorff. Noble 
Coucheron and T. P. Mclntyre. 

In 1912 the society gave a Leap Year ball, which netted $102. 
During the same year Hattie Bordewich arranged for Maria San- 
ford to lecture here and gave the proceeds to the society. The 
lecture was a treat and much enjoyed by all the members. In 
the fall of 1912 the society all served a banquet for the District 
Teachers' association, clearing $48. In November, 1913, a play, 
"As You Like It," was given. As their share of the proceeds the 
society received $31. The following year the Eleanor Olson Con- 
cert company and Dr. Bancroft, psychological lecturer, gave two 
entertaining evenings. 

In the fall of 1912 a Library committee was appointed, which 
was to see what plans could be started for establishing a library. 
The committee procured Grace Baldwin of the State Library Com- 
mission. She gave an instructive talk on the organization of a 
library before a large gathering of the people interested in the 
project. On hundred books were solicited as a nucleus of a li- 
brary from the society and later the committee asked each family 



902 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

in town to donate one book. This request met with a gratifying 
response. The committee were empowered by the society to 
expend the library fund and the library was opened in the Heins 
Block in 1913 with Gertrude Preston, who donated her services 
as first librarian. In Feb., 1914, the association voted to turn the 
library over to the village, and the council now furnishes the 
room and pays the librarian's salary. A chain of teas has become 
an annual event and this adds a good sum to the fund available 
for new books. The library is now on a permanent basis and well 
patronized. 

Not all the association's funds are spent at home. Twice 
money has been sent the fire sufferers in the northern part of the 
state and barrels of clothing also were collected for them. 

The funds of the society are raised in various ways. The 
annual dues are fifty cents per member. A lunch is served at 
each meeting for which a charge of ten cents is made. One year 
the society had a sale and supper. 

The entertainments have all been remunerative as well as 
interesting. 

At present the society lias a membership of 53 and meets once 
every month. Following are the presidents in order of service 
since organization : The Mesdames G. H. Mesker, Geo. F. Gage, 
John M. Freeman, T. H. Collyer, C. A. Heins. L. A. Matzdorf and 
Henry H. Neuenburg. 

The youth of this vicinity have excellent educational oppor- 
tunities in the grade and high school courses of the public school. 
Besides the regular courses, departments of domestic science, nor- 
mal work and agriculture have been established with competent 
instructors in charge. This allows a child to begin an early 
preparation for whatever line of work he feels himself best fitted 
for — through the regular courses for the professions ; through 
the domestic science for a position at the head of the home; 
through the normal course for becoming a teacher, and through 
the agricultural course for scientific farming. Manual training 
also gives a training useful in any line. The equipment of the 
school is good for carrying on these lines of work ; the two build- 
ings give adequate room for it; and the heating and sanitary 
appointments are of the best and most modern. Supt. A. N. 
Gausemel is in charge. 

Once but a neglected blossom along the pioneer's path, Olivia 
has gradually extended her leaves, gathering her sustenance from 
the surrounding luxuriant earth, until she has blossomed forth 
into the fullblown flower of today, shedding grace and beauty and 
fragrance about her. From whatever direction one may enter 
the village he is greeted by shaded streets lined with substantial 
homes, good walks, and well kept lawns and gardens. The in- 
fluence of the courthouse grounds, the city and the church parks 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 90U 

is seen on every hand ; for with such a standard set no citizen can 
resist the desire to beautify the grounds about his home, and the 
result is that the entire village becomes one large flower garden— 
"the beauty spot of the county." With a good nursery but a 
few miles from town, the task becomes fairly easy. In the last 
two years over forty new homes were built in the village, all 
substantial and many of especially pleasing exteriors and grounds. 
Downtown there is a note of permanency among the business 
places. Solid brick buildings are taking the place of the old 
frame structures with a view to future needs. Commodious quar- 
ters are selected, not only for filling the needs of the owners but 
also for the convenience of the patrons as well. There is a sense 
of pride being taken by the citizens in their village; there is be- 
ginning to awaken a broader feeling of cooperation between the 
village and the surrounding country; the idea that whatever 
benefits the village also benefits the country is taking root. In 
short there is developing a community feeling, a feeling of inter- 
est that means much for the future development of the whole 
community at large. The village is located in the very midst of 
the best agricultural land and owes its rapid progress largely to 
this fact. On the other hand, the country has been supplied with 
the best markets, with good trading and banking advantages, 
with religious and educational opportunities, and with a con- 
venient social center — all of which has increased values in the 
country. One is plainly dependent on the other; with both work- 
ing hand in hand the community will continue to grow and 
prosper. 

The flower into golden fruit transcending 
Brings cheer and enjoyment never ending. 

The following is a brief directory of Olivia : Herman Becker, 
drugs; Berge Bros. & Co. (A. 0. and F. N. Berge), general store; 
Henry Bertram, shoes; Oottlieb Boeck. tailor: Central Creamery 
Co., Peter Christianson, manager; City Water Works and Elec- 
tric Light Plant, Levi C. Little, superintendent; Columbia Ele- 
vator Co., Jas. Empey, agent; Wm. F. Conger, livery; Crown 
Elevator Co., Chas. G. Ployhart, agent ; August Dirks, furniture ; 
Chas. A. Donnelly, barber; A. L. McDowell, automobiles: Ernest. 
Dudect, blacksmith ; Irving Empey Co., restaurant ; Empire Ele- 
vator Co., Jas. W. Ployhart, agent; Filip and Holovec (Gottlieb 
Filip and Frank G. Holovec), meats: Fred G. Fox. blacksmith; 
John M. Freeman, lawyer; Geo. F. Gage, lawyer; Leonard Glenn 
(John B. Glenn, Benj. Leonard), restaurant; Grand Central 
Hotel, Fred Mclntyre, proprietor; Mrs. Anna M. Green, milliner; 
David W. Gustafson, photographer; Augusta Handeen, milliner; 
H. A. Havreberg, veterinary surgeon ; Edwin Heins, insurance 
agent; Heins and Byers (Chas. A. and Warren H. Heins. and 



904 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

Benjamin F. Beyers), hardware; Hopman Bros. (Jos. and Bar- 
ney), harness; Frank Horejsi, general store; Jas. Kveeh, ex- 
pressman; Kvech and Jansen (Alb. J. Kvech, Alb. L. Jansen), 
automobile garage, repairs and supplies; Jas. R. Landy, pub- 
lisher Olivia "Times;" Lende Bros. (Elmer and Mihlo), meats; 
Aib. H. Leitgke, bakery; Olsen Bros., plumbers; Benj. L. Maertz, 
dentist; Louis Mahler, jeweler; W. E. Mathers, civil engineer; 
Geo. H. Mesker, physician; Samuel R. Miller, lawyer; A. N. Nel- 
son, insurance agent ; Albert Novak, harness ; Obriham Bros. 
(Wilson A. ami Erwin E.), billiards; Olivia Bottling and Ice 
Cream Works (Henry Eiekholt", Geo. E. Buetke) ; Olivia Canning, 
Preserving and Manufacturing Company (C. A. Heins, president ; 
H. H. Neuenburg, secretary and treasurer) ; Olivia Commercial 
Club (D. S. Hall, president; A. N. Nelson, secretary); Olivia 
Farmers' Elevator Company, Charles E. Johnson, agent: Olivia 
Hardware Company (Adolph R. Schueller. Louis A. Matzdorf) ; 
Olivia Mercantile Company (James McCorquodale, president; 
Alex. .McCorquodale. secretary and treasurer), general store; 
Olivia Produce Company, John Flaschenriem, manager; Olivia 
Rural Telephone Co. ; Olivia State Bank (capital $25,000, presi- 
dent, M. J. Bowling; cashier, H. S. Bordewich) ; Adolph A. Passer, 
physician; Peoples First National Bank (capital, $25,000; C. A. 
Heins, president; A. N. Nelson, cashier); Geo. E. Peterson, real 
estate; Jas. Ployhart. flour; William A. Schindel, real estate; 
Wenzel J. Springer, real estate ; Jas. A. Smith Lumber Co., W. B. 
Yarosh, manager; Simon Wolpert & Bro. (Simon and Jos.), gen- 
eral store; Samuel Warner, barber; Win. Windhorst, grain ele- 
vator, lumber, sash and door, coal, etc. 

Olivia was incorporated by an act of the legislature approved 
March 4, 1881. The first election was held March 16, 1881, in 
charge of Peter W. Heins, N. Stone and William P. Christensen. 

Following are the officers of Olivia for its early anil modern 
years, the period between 1886 and 1896 being omitted. 

1881. President. W. P. Christensen; trustees. 1. Lincoln, I.. 
White, William Windhorst; recorder, P. W. Heins; treasurer, 
N. Stone; justice of the peace, A. I). Simpkins; constable, O. J. 
Everson. P. W. Heins refused to serve as recorder ami A. D. 
Simpkins was appointed. 

April 9, 1881, the recorder was instructed to apply to G. E. 
Skinner of St. Paul for the filing of a complete plat of the vil- 
lage of Olivia as laid out by the railroad company, with the re- 
corder of the village. 

Jan. 14, 1882, a committee was appointed to secure rooms for 
the Lockup ami Council chambers. The next year, the recorder 
was ordered to procure a lease from John Morgan for the council 
chamber and jail for the coming year. Dec. 7, 1886. the commit- 
tee reported the acceptance of the lockup. 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 905 

1882. President, Peter Abercrombie ; trustees, G. J. Depue, 
John Morgan, P. W. Heins ; recorder, A. D. Simpkins ; treasurer, 
N. Stone; justice of peace, A. D. Simpkins; constable, Hue Aber- 
crombie. 

March 3, 1882, A. D. Simpkins resigned his office of recorder 
and Wm. P. Christenson was appointed and A. I). Simpkins 
having left the village indefinitely. ('. Humbolt was appointed 
justice of peace for the unexpired term. 

1883. President, P. W. Heins; trustees. Otto Babcock, J. E. 
Barker, Wm. Christenson; recorder, T. II. Risinger; treasurer, 
John Speier; Wm. Windhorst, justice of peace, T. H. Risinger, 
constable. 

1884. President, P. W. Heins; trustees, A. D. Simpkins. Geo. 
Lamphere, G. J. Depue; recorder, T. H. Risinger; treasurer, Wm. 
Windhorst; justice of peace, J. E. Barker; constable, H. C. Gage; 
assessor, A. D. Simpkins. T. II. Risinger resigned his position of 
recorder, April 8, 1884, and B. P. Beyers was appointed. 

1885. President, W. M. Christenson ; trustees, A. D. Simp- 
kins, G. Lamphere, G. J. Depue ; recorder, B. P. Beyers ; treas- 
urer, John Morgan ; justice of peace, T. H. Risinger, Levi Robin- 
son ; constable, Wm. Frederick. 

1886. President, P. W. Heins; councilmen, G. J. Depue, Fred 
Kromer, George Lamphere ; recorder, B. F. Beyers ; treasurer, 
John Morgan ; justices of peace, Levi Robinson, Peter Aber- 
crombie ; constable, James Arnold. 

1896. President, J. M. Peekinpaugh ; councilmen, M. H. 
Glenn, J. B. Ferguson, J. E. Davenport; recorder, H. Kelsey; 
treasurer, W. H. Schmidt; justice of peace, Eric Ericson; con- 
stables, A. J. Kveck, J. M. Peekinpaugh; marshal, T. F. Miller. 

1897. President, J. M. Peekinpaugh ; councilmen, M. J. 
Glenn, Anton Rocek, H. H. Neuenburg ; recorder, W. J. Ployhart ; 
treasurer, W. J. Heaney; justices of peace, C. K. Blandin, T. H. 
Risinger; marshal, T. F. Miller; constable, M. E. Sherin; street 
commissioner, Peter Miller. 

Dec. 11, 1897, M. J. Glenn resigned his position of councilman 
and E. L. Depue was appointed. May 28, 1897, J. M. Peekinpaugh 
resigned his position as president of the village council and T. P. 
Mclntyre was appointed. 

On June 8, 1897, the question came before the council of order- 
ing a special election for voting upon the proposition to issue 
bonds for the purpose of building an armory 80 feet by 120 feet 
for the use of Company H, Third Infantry, N. G. It was ordered 
that a special election be held June 19, 1897. In August of the 
same year, the council met to consider bids for the armory. The 
bid of E. W. Peet & Son, St. Paul, Minn., was accepted but later 
was thrown out and the bid of A. J. Hedlund accepted. The 
building was ready for occupancy Dec. 11, 1897. 



906 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Aug. 3, 1897, at the suggestion of the Board of Trade, the 
council decided to have cement crossings put in at the corners 
of all streets having cement walks. 

1898. President, T. P. Mclntyre; councihnen, P. J. Schafer, 
E. L. Depue, N. P. Peterson ; recorder, H. H. Neuenburg ; treas- 
urer, W. J. Heaney; justice of peace, J. M. Peckinpaugh; con- 
stable, John Miller; marshal, T. F. Miller. 

In 1898. the front room of the lockup was designated the place 
for holding the annual elections of Olivia. 

October 4, 1898, the council decided to purchase a Fire ex- 
tinguisher, complete with pump and gage for $41, the extin- 
guisher to be of galvanized steel. 

June 7, 189s, the council granted to the Northwestern Tele- 
phone Exchange Company the right to occupy the streets, alleys 
and public grounds, within the village for the purpose of placing 
poles, wires, etc. 

1899. President, E. L. Depue ; councilmen, E. H. Corey, Wm. 
Buethe, Peter Miller; recorder, Anton Roeek ; treasurer, W. J. 
Heaney. justice of peace, L. H. Wilson; constable, M. E. Sherin ; 
marshal, N. L. Headline; assistant marshal, Fred Schmidt. 

In 1899, C. F. Loweth. a civil engineer was consulted to pre- 
pare and make plans for constructing water supply works and 
electric light plant in conjunction. A petition of the legal voters 
asked for a special election to be held Dec. 2, 1899, to vote upon 
the question of securing bonds for this enterprise and the ma- 
jority of votes were in favor and the village council purchased 
lots 2, 3, 6, 7, 10, 11, 14, 15 and 18, situated in block 8, in Wind- 
horst 's addition, for the erection and construction of public water 
supply works and electric light plant combined. 

1900. President, E. L. Depue; councilmen, Wm. Buethe, E. 
II. Corey, Peter Miller; recorder. Anton Roeek; treasurer, W. J. 
Heaney; justice of peace, J. M. Peckinpaugh; constable, John 
Miller ; marshal, N. L. Headline. 

1901. President, E. L. Depue; councilmen, Wm. Buethe, A. 
McCorquodale, J. Empey ; recorder, B. J. Schoregge; treasurer, 
W. J. Heaney; constable. M. E. Sherin; justice of peace, Leigh 
Wilson; health officer, Dr. Mesker. 

1902. President, B. F. Beyers; councilmen, Erick Greep, A. O. 
Gerde, (1. II. Mesker; recorder, W. P. Christenson; treasurer, E. 
G. Heins: constable. W. J. Heins ; justice of peace. James Ploy- 
hart. 

1903. President, A. O. Gerde ; councilmen, H. C. Becker, G. 
H. Mesker, Win. Buethe; recorder, W. P. Christenson; constable, 
M. E. Sherin: marshal. W. J. Hines : treasurer, E. G. Heins; jus- 
tices of peace, <;. W. Diepenbrock, J. M. Peckinpaugh. 

Jan. 5, 1904, a petition signed by 33 legal voters asked that 
a special election be ordered by the council for the purpose of 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COl'XTY 907 

voting upon the proposition to separate the village of Olivia from 
the town government of Bird Island township. A special election 
was ordered to be held Jan. 26, 1904, which resulted in favor of 
the petition. 

1904. President, J. M. Freeman ; councilmen, P. J. Fitschen, 
J. McCorquodale, Win. Buethe; recorder, Wm. Christenson ; treas- 
urer. E. G. Heins ; justice of peace, W. P. Christenson; assessor, 
L. H. Wilson; constable, W. J. Heins: marshal, W. J. Hines: 
board of health. F. 1). .Miller, C. Waldo. 

1905. President A. 0. Gerde ; councilmen, Wm. Buethe. P. J. 
Fitschen, John Reidner; treasurer. E. G. Heins; recorder, Fred 
Rocek ; assessor, L. H. Wilson; justices of peace, J. M. Peckin- 
paugh, M. J. Bowling; constable, John Miller, Jr. 

1906. President, A. O. Gerde ; trustees, P. J. Fitschen, J. 
Flaschenreim. ('. W. Deyling; recorder, J. M. Peckinpaugh; treas- 
urer, M. J. Bowling; assessor, L. H. Wilson; justices of peace, 
C. D. Gibbs, J. M. Peckinpaugh: constable, W. J. Hines; deputy 
recorder, W. J. Bines: marshal. W. J. Hines. 

1907. President, A. O. Gerde, councilmen, G. J. Depue, J. 
Flaschenreim, ('. W. Deyling; recorder, -I. M. Peckinpaugh; treas- 
urer, M. J. Dowling; constable, Albert Pamlund ; marshal. W. J. 
Hines; justice of peace, Geo. Peterson; assessor, L. II. Wilson. 

1908. President, Jas. Empey; trustees, ( '. \V. Deyling, T. H. 
McGinty, John Flaschenreim; treasurer, M. -I. Dowling: recorder. 
J. M. Peckinpaugh; assessor, L. H. Wilson; justice of peace, J. M. 
Peckinpaugh; constable, M. E. Sherin; marshal. M. E. Sherin. 

1909. President, Jas. Empy; trustees, William Frederick, 
William Sehendel Nels Swanson; treasurer, M. J. Dowling: re- 
corder, John Flaschenreim ; assessor, L. II. Wilson ; justice of 
peace, G. E. Peterson; constable, M. E. Sherin. 

1910. President, Jas. Empey; trustees, Nels Swanson, Wil- 
liam Sehendel, William Frederick; treasurer, M. J. Dowling; re- 
corder, John Flaschenreim; justice of peace. J. M. Peckinpaugh; 
constable, M. E. Sherin, Mark Converse; marshal, M. E. Sherin. 

Oct. 10, 1910, the village council appropriated the sum of $50 
for the aid of the forest fire sufferers by the recent forest fires 
of Northern Minnesota. 

1911. President, Jas. Empey; trustees. William Frederick. 
W. J. Ployhart. A. R. Schueller; treasurer, M. -I. Dowling; re- 
corder, John Flaschenreim ; assessor, L. H. Wilson ; justice of 
peace, G. E. Peterson; constable, M. W. Converse; marshal, M. E. 
Sherin. 

1912. President, M. J. Bowling; trustees, Alex. McCorquo- 
dale, Geo. Mehlhouse, C. A. Heins; treasurer, Geo. Windhorst; 
recorder, John Flaschenreim ; justice of peace, J. R. Landy ; con- 
stable, M. W. Converse; marshal, M. E. Sherin. 



90 • HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

1913. President, M. J. Dowling; trustees. 0. A. Heins, A. Mc- 
Corquodale, G. Mehlhouse; treasurer. Geo. Windhorst; recorder, 
John Flasehenreim; assessor, L. H. Wilson; justice of peace, Geo. 
Peterson; constable, M. E. Sherin. 

1914. President, M. J. Bowling; trustees, C. A. Heins, A. Me- 
( lorquodale, Geo. Mehlhouse; treasurer, Geo. Windhorst; recorder, 
John Flasehenreim ; justice of peace, J. R. Landy ; marshals, M. E. 
Sherin. Carl Doering; constable, M. E. Sherin. 

1915. President, D. S. Hall; trustees. George Mehlhouse, J. 
W. Ployhart, Nels Swanson; treasurer, Geo. Windhorst; recorder, 
John Flasehenreim ; assessor, L. II. Wilson ; justice of peace, Geo. 
Peterson; constable, M. E. Sherin; marshal. Carl Doering. 

The personal property tax payers in Olivia in 1915 are; Est. 
of Louise M. Aitkins, II. W. Bublitz, Benjamin Brown, M. C. 
Black, Sol. Bergstrom. H. C. Becker, H. S. Bordewieh, II. T. 
Bordewich, 0. 0. Beige, Beige Bros., C. O. Brecke, Wm. Buethe, 
Henry Bertram, Henry Barkow, G. Boeck, Wm. Berndt, Mrs. N. 
D. Bunker, James Burns, Olof Bohman, E. H. Benesh, Mrs. Jennie 
Barnier, Elizabeth Brugman, L. F. demons, E. Carlson, M. W. 
Converse, Crown Elev. Co., Columbia Elev. Co., A. A. Chapman, 
W. F. Conger, Central Creamery Co., N. Coucheron, P. Christen- 
sen, Catholic Church Society, J. C. DeGonda, M. C. DeGonda, 
Dickey & Kaisersatt, Erie Danielson, August Dirks, Dirks Fur- 
niture Co.. M. J. Dowling, C. W. Deyling. E. J. Dudek, Carl 
Doering, Jr., Carl Doering, Albert Doering, J. E. Dennstedt, Urban 
Donnelly. Chas. Donnelly, Empire Elev. Co., Jas. Empey, 1. G. 
Empey, L. 0. Erickson, J. M. Freeman, Wm. F. Friedrich, Farm- 
ers' Elevator Co., Henry Fehr, P. J. Fitschen, Fred Fox, Sr., 
Fred G. Fox, Andrew Fox, John Flasehenreim, Josephine Fore- 
man, C. E. Ferguson, Rachel Felske, Wm. II. Fisher, C. A. Fisher, 
D. W. Gustafson, Geo. F. Gage, A. N. Gausemel, Gund Brewing 
Co., Mrs. A. M. Green, Eric Greep. S. B. Goetz, W. S. Hersh- 
berger, F. Havlisch, Sr., J. L. Hankel, W. J. Heaney, Hamm Brew- 
ing Co., Julius Heinecke. Frank Horejsi, C. A. Heins, W. H. Heins, 
Heins & Beyers, E. G. Heins, B. M. Hopman, Hopman Bros., Peter 
Hopman, John Hopman, Frank Hotovec, D. S. Hall, Jos. Honza, 
John Honza. A. H. Havreberg, Jos. Houdek, E. 0. Heglund, Peter 
Haley, Otto Haack, Mollie Haack, F. H. Hupfer, C. E. Johnson, 
Albert Jansen, Kvech & Sholts, J. ami H. Kubesh, Chas. Kostka, 
A. Kubesh, L. J. Kuske, C. A. Kuske, S. Kartak, Jas. Kvech, A. J. 
Kvech, Kvech & Jansen, C. G. Keller, John F. Kodet, Henry 
Kobler. II. Klemenhagen, Albert Kline, Wm. Kuehn, Est. of H. J. 
Lee, David Leonard. Henry Leonard. Jr., J. R. Landy, Jos. Le- 
peska, Jr., John Lepeska, A. H. Leitzke, Elmer Lende, Mihlo 
Lende, Lende Bros., John Miller. Robt. Mehlhousen, Geo. Mehl- 
house, L. P. Mahler, Frank Miller. Geo. Miller, B. L. Maertz, C. N. 
Matson. Geo. II. Mesker. A. Monahan. A. Maloney. L. A. Matz- 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 909 

dorf, John Morgan, Helen Maxwell. W. E. Morris, Jos. Maxner, 
E. C. Messer, Fred Melntyre, T. P. Melntyre, T. II. McGinty, P. J. 
MeMahon, A. R. McCorquodale, J. A. McCorquodale, T. B. Mc- 
Ilraith, H. H. Neuenburg, A. N. Nelson, A. W. Novak, S. E. Nel- 
son, John Nester, A. H. Nenow, Olivia Roller Mills, Olivia Com- 
mercial Club, Olivia Hardware Co., Olivia Bottling Works, Olivia 
State Bank, Olivia Canning Co., Olivia Produce Co., Olivia Motor 
Car Co.. Olivia Mercantile Co., Mrs. Mable Otto. P. F. O'Neil, 
Jas. O'Neil. Wm. O'Neil, Wm. Owens, Olson Bros., C. J. Olson, 
W. A. Obriham, J. Oelschlager, G. M. Peters, Paulson & Storch, 
J. W. Ployhart. Jas. Ployhart, C. G. Ployhart. A. A. Passer, Albert 
Paulson, L. L. Phelps, Geo. E. Peterson. L. R. Pirsch, H. D. Po- 
mije, Peoples' First National Bank. ('has. Peters, Henry Palas, 
Elizabeth Poniahateh, John Reins, M. F. Ryans, W. J. Russell, 
E. Radtke, A. J. Sernett, W. A. Schendel, Mrs. Aug. Schendel, W. 
J. Springer. A. R. Sehueller, Standard Oil Co.. Nels Swanson, 
Peter Storch. W. A. Schummers, P. J. Schaffer, F. M. Sheppard, 
0. T. Sunde. Aug. Sifglcr. .lohn Swoboda, -las. Spevacek, I. Skar- 
ohliil. E. Schoi-ning, Smith Lumber Co., M. E. Sherin. Gustaf 
Sritz, G. D. Taylor. John Thurston. A. M. Thompson, J. J. Vosika, 
Vosika-Winsor Land Co., R. F. Vath. Waters, Wm. Warner, J. 
Wanke, S. A'. Warner, Geo. Windhorst, Wm. Windhorst, S. Wol- 
pert, S. Wolpert & Bro., L. II. Wilson, Win. Younk, H. Zobel, Fred 
Zaske. 

SACRED HEART VILLAGE 

Sacred Heart village is the most westward of the trading 
points in Renville county, and is located nearly in the center of 
four townships which are considered as being numbered among 
the richest in the state. It is on the direct line of the Chicago- 
to-the-Coast road of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, being 
on the Hastings & Dakota division of that railroad about 110 
miles west of Minneapolis. 

It is a sightly village, with a good business center, splendid 
modern homes, good lawns, many shade trees, well-kept streets 
and walks and many other advantages. 

As a shipping point the village is especially prominent. Over 
seventy-five carloads of stock and three hundred carloads of grain 
are shipped annually, while something like 350 carloads of mer- 
chandise come to this point each year. 

The population is about 800, and the business done here indi- 
cates the progressiveness of the people, and their modern and 
enterprising spirit. 

Sacred Heart takes a proper pride in its public school which 
is housed in a building embodying the most modern improvements 
in heating and ventilating and well adopted in every way to local 
requirements. A full high school training is here given and the 



910 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

enrollment is now something over 225 pupils, with eight instruct- 
ors. Andrew J. Mattill is the superintendent. The school has a 
good library of 500 volumes. Free text books are furnished to 
the pupils, and considerable interest is taken in general athletics. 
For many years past Sacred Heart people have supported a 
good Lyceum course every winter and during the past two sum- 
mers have in addition put on the so-called "University Week," a 
full week's ehautauqua under the auspices of the extension divi- 
sion of the state university. Both have enjoyed very liberal pat- 
ronage and have proven successful. In addition to these enter- 
tainments have been those furnished by the local photoplay and 
vaudeville troupes. Sacred Heart has also been famed for its 
strong baseball team which has won some notable victories on the 
diamond. 

Sacred Heart is quite an automobile town. It is situated on 
the famous Yellowstone Trail which is now mapped from the his- 
toric Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts to the Pacific coast in the 
state of Washington. Many tourists stop here, and most of the 
farmers own automobiles. Two new up-to-date garages take care 
of all auto troubles with dispatch. 

To properly accommodate the traveling public the business 
men of Sacred Heart a couple of years ago organized a corpora- 
tion ami built a modern, fireproof $15,000 hotel. This hotel has 
been pronounced by many, who are in a position to know, as the 
best little hotel between the Twin Cities and Aberdeen. S. D., 
along the Milwaukee railway. 

The story of the building of this hotel is most interesting. 
After the old Ryan hotel was burned Sacred Heart was without a 
hotel. The old hotel site was purchased at a tax sale by Carl 
Anderson. For many years efforts were made in the direction of 
a new hotel. Mass meetings were held and ways and means de- 
vised. Finally a stock company was formed, and the people took 
shares in the new venture. The new hotel company was incor- 
porated in December, 1912. with Ed. O'Connor as president; E. G. 
Sparstad as secretary; and Carl Anderson as treasurer. These 
with G. P. Mangerud and John Stenberg constituted the board 
of directors. A beautiful, commodious and modern hotel was 
erected, and a formal banquet was held on the opening, May 22, 
1914. Ed. O'Connor presided. Talks were given by R. T. Daly, 
Timothy O'Connor, N. J. Holmberg and Amalia M. Bengtson. 
The present manager is Charles F. Clay. 

Sacred Heart has the name of being a good church town. The 
churches represented are the Norwegian Lutheran Synod, the 
Swedish Evangelical Lutheran, the Norwegian Hauge Lutheran, 
the American Methodist Episcopal and the Free Norwegian Luth- 
eran. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 911 

Tlie village has a municipally owned waterworks plant. The 
plant is an up-to-date modern reservoir system and the water is 
pure and is pumped from a deep artesian well. In case of fire, 
the pressure is very strong and entirely adequate. The town also 
owns its village hall. The town is supplied with electric power 
by the Minnesota Valley Power Co., from the Minnesota Palls, 
about ten miles west of Sacred Heart. They give a day and night 
service at reasonable rates. 

Sacred Heart is a busy place. It has five elevators, a flour 
mill, a teed mill, a creamery, a fanners' livestock shipping asso- 
ciation, and several independent livestock dealers, a produce com- 
pany, two lumber yards, two garages, one hotel, three restau- 
rants, two banks, one newspaper, six general stores, one drug 
store, one furniture store, one jewelry store, one meat market, two 
millinery stores, two hardware stores and three implement deal- 
ers, one billiard hall, one undertaker, one photographer, two 
blacksmith shops, two livery and dray lines, one motion picture 
theater, two real estate Arms, one harness shop, one shoe repair- 
ing shop, two barber shops, one physician, one dentist, four con- 
tractors and builders, one plasterer, and two painters and paper 
hangers. 

Sacred Heart, as already noted, is situated in the center of the 
western four townships of Renville county. Its trade territory 
is the best drained and agriculturally is the best portion of Ren- 
ville county. The land in this part of the county lies about 150 
feet above the Minnesota river, which flows by only seven miles 
south, and this, supplemented by numerous rivulets and streams, 
gives almost ideal natural drainage, and, to a large extent, ac- 
counts for the never failing and abundant crops of this com- 
munity, be the season wet or dry. 

Corn, the last few years, has become the principal crop in 
this territory. Its yields have been immense. Wheat and other 
cereals form a close competitor. Alfalfa makes a splendid crop 
here, yielding four to Ave tons per acre. Several thousand acres 
have been put into this legume during the past five years in this 
county and it promises to surpass all expectations. Farmers are 
universally pleased with their alfalfa fields. Its production here 
is past the experimental stage. On many of our farms may be 
found big herds of Holstein, Guernsey, Shorthorn, or Hereford 
cattle. Hogs also have become a regular means of turning corn 
crops into cash. Fruits are also produced in great abundance 
here, and in the outskirts of town is located the Jorgan P. Flag- 
stadt & Sons' establishment, a splendid nursery which has done 
much to promote the horticultural interests of the community. 

The past fifteen years have marked a stage of great improve- 
ment in Sacred Heart. The old wooden sidewalks have given 
way to sightly cement walks, cement crossings have been put in, 



912 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

and streets improved, and many other modern movements inau- 
gurated. 

The waterworks system was inaugurated in 1898 and serves 
the principal streets of the village. There is a fifty-foot well, 
with a suitable tank, tower, pump house and other equipment. 

The park is one of the beauty spots of Sacred Heart. It oc- 
cupies a whole block, and is beautiful with trees, grass and shrub- 
bery. The trees were set out by 0. T. Ramsland and A. 0. Jerde. 
The bandstand is an added attraction. The village hall originally 
stood on the park, but in 1902 it was moved to some village lots, 
located nearer the center of the village. An addition of 20 feet 
was built, the ceiling was raised four feet, and the inside papered 
and painted. In 1906, the old village lock-up was torn down and 
replaced with a $1,400 solid, up-to-date, brick village jail. 

For some years the village streets were lighted with kerosene 
lamps. In 1908 a contract was made with the Montevideo Light 
& Power Co., now the Minnesota Valley Power Co., for power to 
be furnished from Minnesota Falls. The streets are now well 
lighted, and the current is used extensively in business houses, 
stores, offices, flour mill, feed mill, blacksmith shops and homes. 

The fire department consists of ten men. The equipment is 
excellent. O. C. Sparstad is the chief, N. T. Hove the secretary, 
E. P. Dosseth the treasurer and Martin Hanson the engineer. 

The officers of Sacred Heart village are : President, 0. C. 
Sparstad; councilmen, O. T. Ramsland, 0. H. Eliason, E. P. Dos- 
seth ; recorder, G. P. Mangerud ; treasurer, W. A. Day ; assessor, 
Carl Anderson; justice of the peace, B. T. Birk; constables, A. O. 
Deasou and P. P. Golie; marshal. A. O. Deason; board of health, 
Dr. F. L. Hammerstrand, II. B. Helgeson and N. E. Sorenson. 

Sacred Heart is said to have the smallest indebtedness of any 
village in the county. The bonded indebtedness is only $4,000 

ami something like $1,350 has already I a deposited in the bank 

toward meeting this amount. 

The present site of Sacred Heart was originally a rolling 
prairie in section 7. Even before the railroad came through, the 
locality was the center of a goodly group of farm houses. 

The farm house of Hendrick and Thomas Lien stood just east 
of the present site of the Northwestern Creamery Co., and 100 
feel north of the Farmers" Elevator Co., the exact description of 
the site being the southwest corner of the southeast quarter of 
secton 6, just outside of the present village limits. 

Anders Carlson lived near the northwest corner of the north- 
east quarter of the northeast quarter of section 12, Hawk Creek. 

Hendrik Kringsberg, better known as ''Big Hendrik,' lived 
near the northeast corner of the southeast quarter of the north- 
east quarter of section 12, Hawk Creek. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 913 

Olc Rosaasen lived near the southeast corner of section 12, 
Hawk Creek. 

Johannes Roste lived in the southeast corner of the northeast 
quarter of section 13, Hawk Creek. 

Iver Gunderson lived near the northeast corner of section 18, 
Sacred Heart. 

An eighth of a mile south of him was Erik Guuderson, for 
many years town clerk of Sacred Heart. 

Jens Rolie lived near the southwest corner of the southeast 
quarter of the southwest quarter of section 8, Sacred Heart. 

Hans Tompte lived near the northwest corner of the south- 
west quarter of section 8, Sacred Heart. 

Halvor C. Aarnes lived near the northwest corner of the south- 
west quarter of the northwest quarter, of section 8, and still 
lives there. 

Hendrik Oberg lived near the northeast corner of the south- 
east quarter of section 6, Sacred Heart. 

The railroad came through this locality late in the fall of 
1878 and a village was platted on railroad land. There were no 
activities on the site, however, until the following spring. 

In the meantime, two business houses had been erected in the 
locality, but not on the village site. 

Ole Torbenson came from Wisconsin and took up his home 
with Ole Reishus, near the center of section 29, in Sacred Heart 
township. He there opened a small store. 

P. B. Olson opened a small store near the home of Erik Gun- 
derson, already mentioned. 

In the spring of 1879, Hans Field moved his home from his 
farm a mile east of town and opened a hotel on lots 17 and 18. 
block 3. He furnished board for the men engaged in erecting the 
railroad depot that spring. 

In the summer of 1879, Ole Torbenson moved to the village 
of Sacred Heart and built a store facing the depot, near the alley, 
between lots 1 and 2, block 3. Later he turned the building 
around and built an addition, so that it stood on lot 1. block 3, 
facing the street. He continued in business for several years. 

West of this store Hans Field erected a blacksmith shop and 
started business about (lie same time that Torbenson started busi- 
ness on the townsite. 

That same summer, Anton Gerde and Henry Paulson, under 
the firm name of Gerde & Paulson, opened a general store on lot 
13, block 3. 

At about the same time, Anders Anderson opened a saloon 
on the northwest corner of block 11. The ladies of the town ob- 
jected to this place, and wrecked the saloon and spilled the liquor. 
Mr. Anderson then erected a saloon on lot 5, block- :',. 

P. F. Walston opened a hardware stoic en let Hi, block 3. 



93 t HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

About this time, Christian Evenson and Henry Stenson, under 
the firm name of Evenson & Stenson, opened a store on lot 15, 
block 2. This was the first store on that side of the street. 

Ole and Frederick Walstad opened a hardware store in lot 
18, block 2. 

A small hotel was built in the fall of 1879 on the northwest 
corner of block 2, by two farmers, Raft'el Johnson and Peter 
L\ lines, but it was not used as a hotel until sometime later. 

Pratt & Robinson erected an elevator in Sacred Heart in the 
fall of 1879 on tlie present site of the coal shed of the McGregor 
Lumber Co. This elevator was burned as was another erected 
mi "lie site. The first buyer was R. Lilly. He was followed by 
Ed. O'Connor. wIki bought grain at this elevator some ten years. 

Kellogg', Lang & .Miller erected an elevator in the fall of 1879. 
George Miller was the first buyer at this elevator. The same 
building is still standing. 

These places of business constituted the commercial activities 
of Sacred Heart until the spring of 1880. The elevator was orig- 
inally on the east side of the railroad station. It burned and was 
rebuilt on the east side of Second street, being now known as the 
( row n elevator. 

James Mclntyre was the first person to die in the new village. 
He was the depot agent in the winter of 1879-80 and was killed 
by the accidental discharge of a gun in climbing over a fence 
while rabbit hunting. 

Early in the spring of L880, E. d. Lyders came to Sacred Heart 
and opened a drug store on lot 10, block 2. He was the first 
doctor in the village. 

This same spring, the O'Connor Brothers, Timothy, .lames, 
John, Edward and Michael, came to Sacred Heart, village and 
engaged in business on lot li, block 2. 

<t. T. Ramsland settled on the village site on June 8. 1880, 
and, with Henry Stenson. bought out the interest of Christian 
Evenson in the firm of Evenson & Stenson. A few years later, 
Mr. Ramsland bought out Mr. Stenson and has since continued 
in business on practically the same site, being the oldest merchant 
in point of service, in the village. 

The first marriage in Sacred Heart was that of Hannah, 
daughter of Hans Field, and < Me Torbenson, the pioneer merchant. 
The ceremony was performed by Rev. Johannes E. Bergh. 

The first residence on tin- village site in addition to Hans 
Field's hotel was the home of Ole Torbenson, erected on lots 7 
and 10, block 4, about the same time he built his store. The next 
residence was that of P. B. Olson, erected on lot 3, block 4. 

The first assessment on village lots in Sacred Heart was made 
in 1880. Those who had secured lots were: Peter Synnes, lot 
2, block 3: Ole Mathiason, lots 7 and 10, block 3; A. O. Gerde, 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 915 

lot 11, block 3, lot 13, block 4; Men-it A. Monson, lot 14, block 3; 
Evenson & Stenson lot 15, block 3; John Christoferson, lot 19, 
block 3; Ole Torbenson, lots 1 and 4, block 4; A. Hanson, lot 5, 
block 4; A. K. Anderson, lot 8, block 4; P. Jenson, lot 12, block 
4; P. P. Walstrom, lot 16, block 4; Mrs. M. Field, lots 17 and 20, 
block 4. lot 1, block 9 ; E. Pagerlie, lot 2, block 10; P. H. Wolstad, 
lot 18, block 3 ; John J. Auger, lot 12, block 5. 

The early growth of the village was rapid, and in 1882 had 
progressed to the point where the following could be written of 
it: "The business of the village is transacted by three general 
stores, one millinery, one drug and fancy grocery store, two black- 
smiths, one shoe shop, a harness shop, tailor shop, meat market, 
two hardware, two hotels, two saloons; there is one physician; 
there are two elevators, the combined capacity of which is about 
50,000 bushels." 

Tlie village was incorporated in 1883. 

Ole Fugleskjel opened a lumber yard in 1882. It was located 
practically on the present site of the B. T. Bird residence but a 
little to the west. 

The next elevator in Sacred Heart was that of the Farmers' 
Produce Co. The building was erected on the present site but 
has been rebuilt and remodeled. The first buyer was A. C. Nedurd. 

The next elevator was built by Ed. O'Connor. It is now op- 
erated by A. H. Collin. Mr. O'Connor built branch elevators 
at Minnesota Falls, Renville and Olivia, which he operated for 
many years. He also rented and operated the elevator at Buf- 
falo Lake for a while. 

Sacred Heart has had a number of fires. Stores, elevators, 
hotels, dwelling houses and the like have burned. One large fire 
swept the west side of block 2, destroying five houses. 

The Ryan Hotel was built in the early days of the village. 
When it was destroyed in the spring of 1907, it was owned by 
Andrew Thompson, but conducted by Mrs. Ole Walstad. 

One of Sacred Heart's fires has resulted fatally. A few years 
ago a son of Berndt Hawkanson, in alighting from a train, fell 
and sustained injuries, from which he died two days later. A 
daughter was about to be married at the same time. While the 
family were at the son's home attending to his injuries, the 
mother-in-law of Mr. Hawkanson, and the prospective groom were 
left in the Hawkanson residence. The house caught on fire and 
was nearly consumed. The mothei"-in-law, Oleana Svieven, per- 
ished in the flames, and the prospective groom narrowly escaped. 

The Farmers Milling Co., of Sacred Heart, was organized 
many years ago with Thomas King as president ; O. T. Ramsland 
as secretary, and P. C. Brevig as treasurer. It conducts a flour- 
ishing business. 



916 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

The Sacred Heart Produce Co., of Sacred Heart, was incor- 
porated Sept. 30, 1886. The incorporators were: Haaken Agre, 
Karemis Agre, Simon Johnson, Hendrik Skoberg, Paul Berg, Hans 
Listerud, Peter Synnes, John Christoferson, Ole Christot'erson. 
Jorgan Flagstad, A. H. Erickson, Andrew Reed, P. C. Brevig, C. 
A. Evenson, Ole Hendriekson, Dowell Larson, Ole Fugleskjel, 
Stensrud & Ramsland, E. 0. Lyders, P. F. Walstrom, Gjerde & 
Paulson, Ole 0. Melsness, and C. P. Bjorn, of Sacred Heart. The 
first president was 0. T. Ramsland, the first secretary was Ole 
Fugleskjel. The company having lived through its chartered 
period of twenty-five years is about to reorganize. The officers 
are: President, T. S. Berg; secretary, H. C. Omholt; treasurer, 
Oscar Olufson ; manager, A. A. Mostue ; grain buyer, E. S. Gun- 
derson. The first two carloads handled by the company were pur- 
chased by Henry A. Paulson and Ole T. Ramsland from Ole 
Enestvedt. 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 

EXPERIENCES DURING OUTBREAK. 

Stories Related by Eye- Witnesses — William Wichman's Narrative 
Mrs. Mary E. Schmidt's Story — Experiences of Charles Lam- 
mers — German Settlement Wiped Out — Escape of Mrs. Pat- 
rick Hayden — Tale of Kearn Horan — At Birch Cooley — On the 
Sacred Heart — Brown's Family Captured. 

Stern historical facts are enlivened by the little personal 
touches of interest that can be given by people who have actually 
been witnesses of some of the stirring events that have gone to 
make up the si;m total of the story of human progress. In our 
own state there are many still living who have seen a wilderness 
inhabited by Indians and a few scattered settlers grow into one 
of the most prosperous portions of the Union. There are people 
living who went through the Indian Outbreak of 1862, who saw 
their relatives murdered, who took part in the heroic defense of 
the frontier, and who assisted in bringing the country once more 
under the sway of civilization after the deadly wave of fire, rapine 
and death had spent its force. In a previous chapter the story 
of the Outbreak has been told by historians. In this chapter we 
have gathered, for the purpose of perpetuating the names of 
some of Renville county's heroes, the stories told by the people 
of the county themselves who underwent some of the most thrill- 
ing experiences that can fall to the lot of humankind. 

Wichman's Narrative. Doubtless there are among the 
younger generations of the present day many who have little 
realization fit' the trials, dangers and privations endured by the 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 917 

early pioneers who ln-wed their way through the primeval forests, 
tilled the soil with their etude home-made implements, organized 
townships and counties, and by their sacrifices and denial made 
possible the enjoyment of the many advantages to be found in 
these modern times. It is the old settlers who are still with us 
who can realize fully the great contrast between the early days 
when the people were jolted over scarcely defined trails seated 
on a plank placed across the sides of a rough cart drawn by 
oxen, and the present day when the people in palatial automobiles 
traverse smoothly kept roads, surrounded by the lavish beauties 
that Nature has spread in the Minnesota valley and the comforts 
and luxuries of one of the best agricultural counties in the whole 
state. 

I was born in Brown county, this state, April 5, 1859. Look- 
ing back over the years since my father and brother Fred were 
hauling freight with ox teams in 1859 between Ft. Ridgely and 
Ft. Abererombie over a blazed trail, the changes which have 
taken place seem truly marvelous. In that year on one of their 
trips they came upon a party of government surveyors who had 
pitched their tents on the bank of Beaver creek on the site of 
what is now known as the John Storch farm, and learned they 
were making a survey of Beaver Falls township. In the fall of 
the year 1860 my parents moved to that township and settled 
in section 14, in the locality at that time known as Beaver Creek 
settlement. At this time our family consisted of my father and 
mother, Mr. and Mrs. Diedrich Wiehmann, and four sons, Cosmos 
Fred, Diedrich H„ Henry J. and William, and two daughters, 
Dorothy and Fredericke. On arriving at the homestead a rude 
house was erected and a barn put up with poles and a thatched 
roof made of wild hay. These buildings came near being 
destroyed the following year by prairie fire, but an old Indian 
known as "Sehimmel Father" (from the fact of his old age and 
habit of riding a white horse) came along on horseback, and 
dipping his blanket in a tub of water mother had at the house, 
fought the fire, saved the house as well as a hay stack near by 
and the straw barn. 

My brother, John ('. Wichman, born here August 14, 1861, 
was probably the first white child' born in the county. Little did 
the family think that day that soon we must fly to save our lives 
from massacre and pillage and from fires set to destroy settlers' 
homes. The Indians had, during the previous winter, camped in 
the woods back of our home, and during the periods when heavy 
snows covered the ground came to the house for such supplies 
as we could furnish them. That the snowfalls there were heavy- 
was for years proven by a large oak stump, the dead trunk from 
which father had cut for wood. The stump was cut off even with 
the top of the snow and stood about five feet above the ground. 



918 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Through this snow it was necessary for the ox team to wallow 
to drag the log out. 

In the summer of 1862, after the rye had been cut and shocked, 
father went to the agency and was employed by the government 
putting up hay. After having spent Sunday at home he was 
returning Monday, August 18, to work, and had reached the ferry 
and was waiting to be taken across the river when he heard shoot- 
ing on the hills on the opposite bank of the river. Learning of the 
outbreak of the Indians he pulled off his boots on a pile of lumber 
nearby, and with his boots in his hand started back across the 
prairie to the bluffs, thence home to warn his family and the set- 
tlers. On the way home father met one of the Earle boys, who 
was riding a horse. Upon being informed of the outbreak the 
latter spurred his horse and at once notified several neighbors. 
A little farther on father met Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Schmidt, who 
were hauling hay, and they, too, prepared at once to get away. 
Arriving home father found mother and Diedrich hauling hay. 
They threw off the greater part of the load, leaving just enough 
for a cushion on the rack and hastily reached the house. Father 
tore down the hog pen and rounded up the cattle, while Henry 
notified the Judge Henry Ahrens' family (who then resided on the 
place still known as the Judge Ahrens homestead, occupied at 
present by the Frank Ahrens family), and Brother Diedrich noti- 
fied the Shepherd family on the farm now occupied by Schafer 
brothers, and soon, the Ahrens and Schmidt families having 
arrived, all started for Ft. Ridgely, each driving an ox team 
and taking with them their stock. On the way to Ft. Ridgely the 
writer fell through the bottom of the hay rack and, not being 
missed by the other members of the party, would have been lost 
had the Ahrens family not discovered him when they came along 
and Judge Ahrens picked him up. Arriving at Ft. Ridgely we 
found my brother Fred, who had been employed there by a 
butcher named Nix, afterward Captain Nix, of New Ulm, and he 
joined us on our trip thereafter. The party drove on through 
Ft. Ridgely in order to save their cattle and camped that night 
at Cummins Grove, near the present town of Henderson. The 
Schmidt ami Ahrens family took another route from here, while 
we went on to Illinois. We drove as far as Harton with the ox 
team and there father traded for a team of horses, with which the 
trip was resumed. At McGregor we crossed the river on a ferry, 
and having no money father gave the ferryman a two-year-old 
heifer in payment. For about two years, or until after harvest in 
1864, the family resided in Illinois. We then moved back as far 
as Redstone, this state, near New Ulm, and resided there until 
the spring of 1865. when we returned to the homestead at Beaver 
creek. Upon arriving there the house was found to have been 
burned, but the hay stable still standing. The family occupied 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 919 

that until a new house could be erected. (The cellar of the first 
limi.se has always been preserved and may still be seen at the old 
homestead.) Shortly after erecting our house my brothers, Fred 
and Diedrich, while on one of the trips to New Ulm for provisions, 
well' notified of another Indian uprising near Hutchinson, and 
hastened home, and we again started on a hasty trip for protec- 
tion. One of our horses had a small colt and this was loaded into 
the wagon with us and a hasty trip started. Arriving at Foit 
Ridgely Colonel William Pfaender, then in command, offered to 
furnish father all needed arms and ammunition if we would 
return. Together with the three older boys and Judge Alliens' 
father returned, and for a long time our house was a signal tower 
beyond which settlers would not venture until receiving a safety 
signal shot therefrom. After being unmolested for several months 
the other members of our family and that of Judge Ahrens, 
accompanied by the Schafer family, who thereafter occupied the 
Shepherd homestead, returned to once more peacefully occupy 
liomes in beloved Beaver. 

During those early years of residence at Beaver all mail and 
supplies must be transported from New Ulm over a mere blazed 
trail without bridges of any kind. 

For a period of four years a plague of grasshoppers overtook 
the pioneers, they arriving first on July 4. Several methods were 
devised to destroy the pest, but the two most successful appar- 
ently were by the use of a clothes line rope tied to the collars of 
two horses and the rope dragging between the horses kept the 
hoppers on the jump and relieved growing crops. The other 
method was to suspend a tin pan filled with tar under a cart and 
as the cart was drawn through a field great masses of grass- 
hoppers would be caught. So well did the tar preserve them that 
these piles of hoppers eould be seen for months. The only thing 
which seemed to thrive that year were the chickens and they were 
exceedingly fat. 

The Wichman house was for years the place used as a church 
for our neighborhood, until a log church was later erected on 
the farm. 

The first school held at Beaver in which our young folks were 
educated was at Elmus Bush's claim shanty, taught by Mrs. 
Bush. It had a thatched hay roof with a dirt floor and the seats 
were made by placing blocks on the floor and on top of these 
laying planks. The shack was lighted by only one full and one 
half size window. The year's school in those days consisted of 
three months each spring. 

The memory of the days of trial and pioneer adversity 
undoubtedly have added much to the enjoyment in later years 
of the many advantages in the way of excellent school and church 
facilities, county and state organizations, splendid railway accom- 



920 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

tnodations and state highways which have proven so pleasant to 
a life-long resident of Renville county. — By William Wichman. 

Mrs. Schmidt's Story. Johann Schwandt and his wife Chris- 
tina with their five children, their son-in-law John Walz, and a 
friend of the family, John Prass, started m May, 1862. from Fair- 
water, Fond du Lac county, Wisconsin, 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 mi .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, 
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, anil 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 lis 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. 




MRS. MARY E. SCHWANDT SCHMIDT 



[public u»Ktf 






IffiS 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 921 

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 Le grand 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 
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 
Reynolds'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 tin 

men that had stopped over night at the house. The team belonged 
to Mr. Patoile, a Frenchman, who hauled goods for the govern- 
ment 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 Dim 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. 



922 HISTORY OF 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 
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 jusl 
lust 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 1 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 pai-ted from me at Camp Release and we did not meet 
again for thirty-two years, but have met many times later, and 
1 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. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 923 

Mary Emilia Schwandt was born iu the District of Branden- 
burg, near Berlin, Germany, in March, 1848, daughter of John 
and ( 'hristina Schwandt. In 1858, when she was ten years of age, 
the family came to America, and after a brief stay in Canada, 
located near Ripon, Wis., where they lived about four years. In 
1862 they came to Minnesota in two wagons drawn by oxen, 
journeying up the beautiful Minnesota valley and settling above 
the mouth of Beaver creek, near Middle creek in what is now the 
town of Flora. There John Schwandt took up a claim, and built 
a log house which he covered with a good strong thatched roof 
made from the tall, tough, dry grass of the Minnesota bottoms. 
His land was all in the valley or bottom, extending from the bluff 
to the river. At that time the family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. 
Frederick Schwandt, a daughter Caroline, aged 19, her husband, 
John Walz; a daughter, Mary Emilia, aged 14, and three sons. 
August, aged 10; Frederick, aged 6; Christian, aged 4. John 
Frass, a young man lived with them. John Walz had selected a 
claim and was preparing to move to it the next fall. 

Experiences of Charles Lammers. In May, 1862, I came from 
the city of Cincinnati with my father and mother and brother, 
Fred. Father homesteaded in the northwest quarter of section 
19, township of Flora, Renville county, and at once went to work 
and built a log house, part of which is still standing. After pro- 
viding for his family the best he could he went to Fort Ridgley 
to make hay for the government to earn a few dollars. On August 
18, 1862. father came home to take his family down to Fort 
Ridgley. After we were well started on our way to the fort 
with other neighbors and a number of oxen teams, etc. the In- 
dians overtook us and made us turn back for a distance of five 
or six miles. 

Then the Indians stopped us ami demanded something to eat. 
which the whites gladly prepared for them after lunch. Then 
the Indians commenced to kill the white men just as fast as they 
could and also many of the women and children. My father was 
one of those murdered. Mother was in a delicate condition at 
this time and that, no doubt, saved her life. So mother, brother 
Fred and myself were taken prisoners by (he Indians. There 
were also others that were taken prisoners, some of them that 
I know like August Gluth and Louis Kitzman, boys about twelve 
and thirteen years old, who were a very good help to mother for 
a while, but the grub got very scarce and the two boys took 
French leave at night and after several nights' travel landed 
at Fort Ridgley. The Indians took a fancy to my brother Fred, 
who was a boy about seven years old and full of life and energy, 
so they painted him like an Indian boy and gave him a blanket 
to roll up in, but they did not care for me. for I was too noisy 
for them and of no use to them and too hungry, because there 



924 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

was nothing to eat for a kid of my age. One day mother was 
sent down to the slough to get some water and then the Indians 
grabbed me by the neck and threw me in the fire; only the quick 
and daring moves of brother Fred saved me from burning to 
death. After about six weeks of Indian life and grub we came 
to our liberty at Camp Release, near where Montevideo is now 
located. In 1S64 mother was married to George Rieke, who is 
one of the oldest homesteaders in the township of Cairo, Renville 
county. He was also one of the gallant defenders at Fort Ridge 
ly during the entire outbreak. After 1864 we came to live on 
Mr. Rieke 's farm, which is located at the outlet of Mud lake. 
in Cairo township, and a very beautiful place. The first work 
that I did of any importance was to herd sheep and fight wolves. 
Father had about 200 head of sheep and we boys were to herd 
them. One day two wolves and one dog came in our flock and 
killed thirteen sheep, another time nine, and still another time 
three. The wolves did not kill the shepherd for they knew that 
he was not good mutton. Father had built a large log stable 
for the sheep and almost every night the wolves would try to 
get in at the sheep. Some of the logs in the barn were gnawed 
half through by the wolves. In the fall of the year the weather 
was almost suffocating on account, of prairie tire smoke. When 
the whole northwest prairies were on fire sometimes it would 
take two or three weeks before the fire would reach our place 
although we were protected by Mud lake north of our place. 
In 1864 the first grasshoppers came to tins county, but there 
wasn't much for them to destroy so they left in 1865 for parts 
unknown. From that time on this county was settled up very 
fast. In 1873 on January 6. we had one of the worst snow 
storms and 1 can remember many people and animals were frozen 
tn death during the three-day storm. In 1874 another lot of 
grasshoppers came to visit us. By this time the county was bet- 
ter settled than it was in 1864, so they stayed until 1S77, and then 
left for parts unknown. Many new settlers left this county at 
that time and disposed of their land for little or nothing. By 
this time the people all thought that all this county was good 
for was the Indians and grasshoppers but since 1878 this county 
has been very prosperous ami by this time Renville county looks 
different and is one of the best counties in the state. 

German Settlement Wiped Out. Stretching from the valley 
of Middle creek to the valley of the Sacred Heart, mostly in 
what is now Flora township, many Germans settled along the 
Minnesota bottoms prior to the uprising. Early on the morning 
of August 18. 1862, nearly all of these settlers gathered at the 
home of John Meyer. Very soon after they had assembled here, 

some fifty Indians, led by Shako] , appeared in sight. The 

people all fled, except Meyer and his family, going into the 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 925 

grass and bushes. Peter Bjorkman ran toward his own house. 
Shakopee, whom he knew, saw him, and exclaimed, ''There is 
Bjorkman; kill him!" but, keeping the building between him and 
the savages, he plunged into a slough and concealed himself, 
even removing his shirt, fearing it might be the means of re- 
vealing his whereabouts to the lurking savages. Here he lay 
from early morning until the darkness of night enabled him to 
leave with safety — suffering unutterable torments, mosquitoes 
literally swarming upon his naked person, and the hot sun scorch- 
ing him to the bone. 

They immediately attacked the house of Meyer, killing his 
wife and all Iris children. Seeing his family butchered, and hav- 
ing no means of defense, Meyer effected his escape, and reached 
Port Ridgely. In the meantime the affrighted people had got 
together again at the Sitzton home, near Bjorkman 's, to the 
number of about thirty men. women and children. In the after- 
noon the savages returned to the house of Sitzton, killing every 
person there but oue woman, Mi-s. Wilhelmina Eindenfield, and 
her child. These were captured, and afterward found at Camp 
Release, but the husband and father was anions- the slain. From 
his place of concealment Mr. Bjorkman witnessed this attack 
and wholesale massacre of almost an entire neighborhood. After 
dark he came out of the slough, and, going to his house, obtained 
some food and a bundle of clothing, as his house was not yet 
plundered; fed his dog and calf, and went over to the house of 
Meyer: here he found the windows all broken in, but did not 
enter the house. He then went to the house of Sitzton ; his nerves 
were not equal to the task of entering that charnel-house of 
death. As he passed the yard, he turned out some cattle that 
the Indians had not taken away, and hastened toward Fort 
Ridgely. On the road he overtook a woman and two children. 
one an infant of six months, the wife and children of John 
Sateau, who had been killed. Bjorkman took one of the chil- 
dren in his arms, and these companions in misfortune and suffer- 
ing hurried on together. Mrs. Sateau was nearly naked, and 
without either shoes or stockings. The rough prairie grass lacer- 
ated her naked feet and limbs terribly, and she was about 
giving out in despair, Bjorkman took from his bundle a shirt, 
and tearing it in parts, she wound it about her feet, and pro- 
ceeded. 

At daylight they came in sight of the house of Magner, eight 
miles above the fort. Here they saw some eight or ten Indians, 
and, turning aside from the road, dropped down into the grass, 
where they remained until noon, when the Indians disappeared. 
They again moved toward the fort, but slowly and cautiously, as 
they did not reach it until about midnight. Upon reaching the 
fort Mrs. Sateau found two sons, aged ten and twelve years re- 



926 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

spectively, who had effected their escape and reached there 
before her. 

Mrs. Hayden's Escape. Patrick Hayden and his family lived 
about one and a half miles from the home of J. W. Earle, near 
Beaver creek. The widow, Mrs. Mary Hayden, after the Out- 
break, told the following story: 

On the morning of August 18. Mr. Hayden started to go over 
to the house of J. B. Reynolds, at the Redwood river, on the res- 
ervation, and met Thomas Robinson, a half-breed, who told him 
to go home, get his family, and leave as soon as possible, for the 
Indians were coming over to kill all the whites. He came imme- 
diately home, and we commenced to make preparations to leave, 
but in a few minutes we saw some three or four Indians coming 
on horseback. We then went over to the house of a neighbor, 
Benedict Eune, and found them all ready to leave. I started off 
with Eune's people, and my husband went back home, still think- 
ing the Indians would not kill any one, and intending to give 
them some food if they wanted it. I never saw him again. 

"We had gone about four miles, when we saw a man lying 
dead in the road and his faithful dog watching by his side. 

We drove on till we came to the house of David Faribault, 
at the foot of the hill, about one and a half miles from the Agency 
ferry. When we got here two Indians came out of Faribault's 
house, and stopping the teams, shot Mr. Zimmerman, who was 
driving, and his two boys. I sprang out of the wagon, and, with 
my child, one year old, in my arms, ran into the bushes, and went 
up the hill toward the fort. When I came near the house of 
Mr. Magner, I saw Indians throwing furniture out of the door, 
and I went down into the hushes again, on the lower side of the 
road, and stayed then- until sundown. 

While I lay here concealed, I saw the Indians taking the roof 
olf the warehouse, and saw tin- buildings burning at the Agency. 
I also heard the firing during the battle at the ferry, when Marsh 
and his men were killed. 

I then went up near the fiirt road, and sitting down under a 
tree, waited till dark, and then started for Fort Ridgely, carry- 
ing my child all the way. 1 arrived at the fort at about 1 o'clock 
a. m. The distance from our place to Ridgely was seventeen 
miles. 

On Tuesday morning I saw John Magner. who told me that, 
when the soldiers went up to the Agency the day before, he saw 
my husband lying in the road, near David Faribault's house, 
dead. John Hayden. his brother, who lived with us, was found 
dead near I. a < 'mix creek. They had got up the oxen, and were 
bringing the family of Mr. Eisenrich to the fort, when they were 
overtaken by Indians. Eisenrich was killed and his wife and 
five children were taken prisoners. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 927 

Mrs. Zimmerman, who was blind, and her remaining children, 
and Mrs. Eune and her children, five in number, were captured 
and taken to the house of David Faribault, where they were kept 
till night, the savages torturing them by telling them that they 
were going to fasten them in the house and burn them alive, but 
for some inexplicable reason let them go, and they, too, reached 
the fort in safety. Mr. Eune, who with one of his boys, eleven 
years old, remained behind to drive in his cattle, was met by 
them on the road and killed. The boy was captured, and, with 
the other prisoners, recovered at Camp Release. 

The neighborhoods in the vicinity of La Croix ereek, and be- 
tween that and Fort Ridgely, were visited on Monday forenoon, 
and the people either massacred, driven away or made prisoners. 
Edward Magner, living eight miles above the fort, was killed. 
His wife and children had gone to the fort. He had returned to 
look after his cattle when he was shot. Patrick Kelly and David 
O'Connor, both single men, were killed near Magner 's. 

Horan's Tale. The Horau family lived in what is now Ren- 
ville county, on the Fort Ridgely road, four miles below the 
Lower Agency. Kearn Horan, after the outbreak, made the 
following statement : 

On August IS. Patrick Horan. my brother, came early from 
the Agency and told us that tin- Indians were murdering the 
whites. He had escaped alone and crossed the ferry, and with 
some Frenchmen was on his way to the fort. My brothers and 
William and Thomas Smith went with me. We saw Indians in 
the road rear Magner 's. Thomas Smith went to them, thinking 
they were white men, and I saw them kill him. We then turned 
to flee, and saw men escaping with teams along the road. All 
fled towards the fort together, the Indians firing upon us as 
we ran. The teams were oxen, and the Indians were gaining 
upon us, when one of the men in his excitement dropped his 
gun. The savages came up to it and picked it up. All stopped 
to examine it, and the men in the wagons whipped the oxen 
into a run. This delay enabled us to elude them. 

As we passed the house of Ole Sampson, Mrs. Sampson was 
crying at the door for help. Her three children were with her. 
We told her to go into the bush and hide, for we could not help 
her. We ran into a ravine and hid in the grass. After the In- 
dians had hunted some time for us, they came along the side of 
the ravine, and called to lis in good English, saying, "'Come out, 
boys; what are you afraid of? We don't want to hurt you." 
After they left us we crawled out and made our way to the fort, 
where we arrived at about 4 o'clock p. m. My family had gone 
there before me. Mrs. Sampson did not go to the bush, but hid 
in the wagon from which they had recently come from Waseca 
county. It was what we call a prairie schooner, covered with 



928 HISTOKY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

cloth, a genuine emigrant wagon. They took her babe from her, 
and throwing it down upon the grass, put hay under the wagon, 
set fire to it and went away. Mrs. Sampson got out of the 
wagon, badly burned, and taking her infant from the ground 
made her way to the fort. Two of her children were burned to 
death in the wagon. Mr. Sampson had been previously killed 
about eighty rods from the house. 

At Birch Cooley. In the neighborhood of La Croix creek, 
or Birch Coolie, Peter Pereau, Frederick Clausen, Mr. Piguar, 
Andrew Bahlke, Henry Keartner. Charles Clausen and Mrs. Wil- 
liam Vitt, and several others were killed. Mrs. Maria Frorip, an 
aged German woman, was wounded four different times with 
small shot, but escaped to the fort. The wife of Henry Keartner 
also escaped and reached the fort. The wife and child of a Mr. 
Cardenelle were taken prisoners, as were also the wife and child 
of Frederick Clausen. Carl Witt came into Fort Ridgely. but 
not until he had. with Ids own hands, buried his murdered wife 
and also a Mr. Piguar. 

On the Sacred Heart. A flourishing German settlement had 
sprung up near Patterson's Rapids, on the Saered Heart, twelve 
miles below Yellow Medicine. 

Word came to this neighborhood about sundown of the 
eighteenth, thai tin- Indians were murdering the whites. This 
news was brought to them by two men who had started from 
the Lower Agency, and had seen the lifeless and mutilated re- 
mains of the murdered victims lying upon the road and in their 
plundered dwellings towards Beaver creek. The whole neigh- 
borhood, with the exception of one family, that of .Mr. Schwandt, 
soon assembled at the house of Paul Kitzman, with their oxen 
and wagons, and prepared to start for Fort Ridgely. 

A messenger was sent to the house of Schwandt but the In- 
dian rifle and the tomahawk had done their fearful work. Of 
all that family hut two survived; one a boy. August, who wit- 
nessed the awful scene of butchery, and he then went on his 
May. covered with blood, towards Fort Ridgely. The other, a 
young girl, of about seventeen years of age. then residing at 
Redwood, was captured. Her story is told elsewhere. 

The party at Kitzman 's started in the evening to make their 
escape, going so as to avoid the settlements ami the traveled 
roads, striking across tie- country toward the head of Beaver 
creek. 

They traveled this way all night, and in the morning changed 
their course towards Fort Ridgely. They continued in this direc- 
tion until the sun was some two hours high, when they were met 
by eight Sioux Indians, who told them that the murders were 
committed by Chippewas, and that they had come over to pro- 
tect them and punish the murderers; and thus induced them to 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 929 

turn hack toward their homes. One of the savages spoke English 
well. He was acquainted with some of the company, having 
often hunted with Paul Kitzman. He kissed Kit/man, telling 
him he was a good man; and they shook hands with all of the 
party. The simple hearted Germans believed them, gave them 
food, distributed money among them, and, gratefully receiving 
their assurances of friendship and protection, turned back. 

They traveled on toward their deserted homes till noon, when 
they again halted, and gave their pretended protectors food. 
The Indians went away by themselves to eat. The suspicions 
of the fugitives were now somewhat aroused, but they felt that 
they were, to a great extent, in the power of the wretches. They 
soon came hack, and ordered them to go on, taking their position 
on each side of the train. Soon after they went on and disap- 
peared. The train kept on toward home ; and when within a 
few rods of a house, where they thought they could defend them- 
selves, as they had guns with them, they were suddenly sur- 
rounded by fourteen Indians, who instantly fired upon them, kill- 
ing eight (all but three of the men), at the first discharge. At 
the next fire they killed two of the remaining men and six of 
the women, leaving only one man. Frederick Kreiger. alive. His 
wife was also, as yet, unhurt. They soon dispatched Kreiger. 
and, at the same time, began beating out the brains of the scream- 
ing children with the butts of their guns. Mrs. Kreiger was 
standing in the wagon, and, when her husband fell, attempted to 
spring from it to the ground, but was shot from behind, and 
fell back in the wagon-box, although not dead, or entirely uncon- 
scious. She was roughly seized and dragged to the ground, and 
the teams were driven off. She now became insensible. A few 
of the children, during this awful scene, escaped to the timber 
near by; and a few also maimed and mangled by these horrible 
monsters, and left for dead, survived, ami, after enduring in- 
credible hardships, got to Fort Ridgely. Mrs. /able, and five 
children, were horribly mangled, and almost naked, entered the 
fort eleven days afterward. Mrs. Kreiger also survived her suf- 
ferings. 

Some forty odd bodies were afterward found and buried on 
that fatal field of slaughter. Thus perished, by the hands of 
these terrible scourges of the border, almost an entire neighbor- 
hood. Quiet, sober, and industrious, they had come hither from 
the vine-clad hills of their fatherland, by the green shores and 
gliding waters of the enchanting Rhine, and had built for them- 
selves homes, where they had fondly hoped, in peace and quiet, 
to spend yet long years, under the fair, blue sky. and in the 
sunny clime of Minnesota, when suddenly, and in one short hour. 
by the hands of those whose land they had usurped, they were 
doomed to one common annihilation. 



930 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Brown's Family Captured. The news of the murders below 
reached Leopold Wohler at the "lime-kiln," three miles below 
Yellow Medi'eine, on Monday afternoon. Taking his wife, he 
crossed the Minnesota river, and went to the house of Major 
Joseph R. Brown, on the Sacred Heart. 

Major Brown's family consisted of his wife and nine chil- 
dren; Angus Brown and wife, and Charles Blair, a son-in-law, 
his wife, and two children. The Major himself was away from 
home. Including Wohler and his wife, there were then at their 
ho\ise. on the evening of the eighteenth of August, eighteen 
persons. 

They started, early on the morning of the nineteenth, to 
make their escape, with one or two others of their neighbors, 
Charles Holmes, a single man. residing on the claim above them, 
being of the party. They were overtaken near Beaver creek by 
Indians, and all of the Browns, Mr. Blair and family, and Mrs. 
Wohler, were captured, and taken at once to Little Crow's vil- 
lage. Messrs. Wohler and Holmes escaped. Major Brown's fam- 
ily were of mixed Indian blood. This fact, probably, accounts 
for their saving the life of Blair, who was a white man. 

Crow told him to go away, as his young men were going 
to kill him; and he made his escape to Port Ridgely, being out 
some five days and nights without food. When he entered the 
post, he was completely exhausted yet Lieutenant Sheehan had 
him arrested and confined as a spy thus hastening his death. Mr. 
Blair was in poor health. The hardships he endured were too 
much for his already shattered constitution; and although he es- 
caped the tomahawk and scalping-knife, he was soon numbered 
among the victims of the massacre. 

J. H. Ingalls. a Scotchman, who resided in this neighborhood, 
and his wife, were killed, and their four children were taken into 
captivity. Two of them, young girls, aged twelve and fourteen 
years, were rescued at Camp Release, and the two little boys 
were taken away by Little Crow. Their fate is still shrouded in 
mystery. A Mr. Frace, residing near Brown's place, was also 
killed. His wife and two children were found at Camp Release. 

John Kochendorfer, Jr. August 18, 1S612, came the terrible 
events which robbed so many families of parents or children and 
in some instances wiped out entire families. My father was in 
the field, haying, when called into the log claim house to par- 
take of the lunch which my mother had prepared. He had 
stepped into the bedroom when an Indian, as was customary 
in that locality in those days, called at the cabin and asked for 
my father. The Indian had a gun in his hand, which he stood 
near the corner of the house outside. My father then opened 
the door of the room, greeting with his usual cordiality the 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 931 

Indian, who seemed friendly. The redskin then took the family 
axe that stood at the corner of the house, and threw it in the 
brush, a short distance from the house. Although I was a boy 
of but eleven years, I noticed that something was wrong and 
called my father's attention to what the Indian had done. My 
father then went out and brought back the axe. In the mean- 
time I noticed that the Indians Were gathering in groups in the 
distance. My father then took up his position in front of the 
cabin, with one foot on tin- bench, ready to protect my mother 
anil us helpless children, of whom I was the oldest. A shot rang 
out on the air and my father fell backward, the victim of the 

treachery of a race to wl i he had always shown the greatest 

kindness. Prior to his death he had warned us children to flee 
for our lives. My mother was washing at the time and while 
running we heard the screams which showed she, too, had fallen 
a victim to savage cruelty. My youngest sister, Sarah, was in 
hiding under the bed. She, too, was dragged forth and cruelly 
slaughtered. I took my sisters, named Rose, Katie and Maggie, 
aged at that time nine, seven and five, respectively, and ran 
for the woods, running seven miles before we met anyone. Our 
neighbor, Michael Belter, came down the road, and at first we 
were afraid that he was another Indian. But we were finally 
reassured and after he overtook us we told him our terrible 
story. We were informed by him that a party was on its way 
with wagons following us. Later as we continued our way we 
were overtaken by them. We were carried to Fort Ridgely that 
night and there our whole party remained until reinforcements 
arrived from St. Paul, two weeks later, when a provision train 
with a company of cavalry as an escort, took us to St. Peter, 
from where we were started on a boat for the city of St. Paid. 
Editor's Note: Some years ago while excavations were being 
conducted on the farm of Henry Timms, the bones of a man, woman 
and child were found. These were claimed by John Kochendorfer, 
Jr., as those of his father and mother and sister. 



932 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

CHAPTER XXXVIII 

BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW. 

Pioneers and Later Comers Whose Industry Has Helped to Build 
up the County — Early Experiences in an Unsettled Country — 
Leaders in Urban and Rural Life — Family Histories of Well- 
Known Men — Amusing Stories of the Frontier Days. 

Thor Helgeson, the pioneer, is one of the most influential citi- 
zens in the western part of Renville county. For nearly fifty 
years he has taken a part in its growth and progress, and his 
voice has ever been raised in defense of whatever he believes 
to be just and right. His memory of the early days is very clear 
and much of the information for the early history of this part 
of the- county has been gathered from him. Thor Helgeson was 
born in Brandsgaarden, Opdal, Xnmmedal, Norway, May •">. 1841, 
son of Henry and Birget Helgeson, being one of seventeen chil- 
dren. He was reared in the old country and, in 1861, started for 
America, reaching Quebec after a voyage of eleven weeks and 
three days aboard a sailing vessel. By boat and railroad he 
finally reached Winona, in this state, from which point he went 
to Rushford, in Fillmore county. He landed without a cent, and 
the first money he earned went to pay the money he had borrowed 
for his fair. Wages were small, and he received only a dollar 
a day during haying season and a dollar and a quarter during 
harvest season. At other seasons of the year labor was worth 
still less. In 1863, when the Civil war was raging, Thor Helgeson 
planned to go to the defense of his adopted country. His name 
was drawn for the draft and he went to Le wist on, in Winona 
county, every Saturday to drill with a military company there, 
but it was found that he did not have his citizen's papers and he 
was not mustered in. In 1866 he came to Renville county and 
settled in Sacred Heart township among the very first settlers 
after the massacre. The story of his coming, the names of the 
people who accompanied him, and many of his stories of the early 
days appear elsewhere. The surveys had not then been made. 
When the surveys were made, it was found that Mr. Helgeson 's 
farm was in four sections, sections 5, 6, 7 and 8. He is probably 
the only man in the Northwest who secured a preemption in four 
different sections. He paid for this preemption in soldiers' script 
at the rate of ten shillings an acre. It is interesting to note that 
when Mr. Helgeson landed on the site of his future home the first 
thing he did was to take the stove from the wagon' and have his 
good wife make some coffee. 



-Wi 



\pu»u c 



UBRX^ 



hSS"^^ 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 933 

For a home, Mr. Helgeson took the covered box from the 
wagon and fixed it in some crotches to make a shelter. There 
the family lived until Mr. Helgeson could haul logs from the bot- 
toms and make a log cabin. It is interesting to note that he 
owned the wagon in which he came, a pair of oxen, two cows, a 
heifer, and two sheep. These were the first sheep brought into 
the township. The family owned a spinning wheel which had 
been brought from Norway by Groe Helgeson, a sister of Thor 
Helgeson. She died on the ocean coming over, and her belong- 
ings were sent to Iowa, where Mr. Helgeson went to get them. 
With this wheel, Mrs. Helgeson spun thread for the first wool 
cloth made in Sacred Heart township. The family in the early 
days underwent numerous hardships. Many of their experiences 
are related elsewhere and some of their adventures have been 
widely published in the Norwegian language. Mr. Helgeson was 
the first man in the township to plant apple trees, and as time 
passed he received many awards for his fruit at county and state 
exhibits. He also set out other trees on his land and a fine grove 
now results from the saplings he set out in those early days. 
There is on the place a cottonwood tree six feet in diameter, which 
he himself planted when it was scarcely an inch in diameter. As 
time passed, .Mr. Helgeson achieved prosperity. He increased 
his holdings to 214 acres, erected a good frame house and suit- 
able outbuildings, and became one of the leading men of his 
vicinity. It was in 1906 that he retired from farming and moved 
to Sacred Heart where he now resides in a comfortable home, 
surrounded by the honor and esteem of all who know him. He 
has been cheered throughout his married life by the sympathy, 
love and encouragement of his good wife, a woman of unusual 
qualities, who is looked up to by all who know her. The influ- 
ence of this couple has been one for good for many years and 
their home is noted for its good cheer and hospitality. Both Mr. 
and Mrs. Helgeson are prominent members of the TJpdal Norwe- 
gian Lutheran church. Mr. Helgeson helped to haul the stone 
for the church. He also has been a member of the board of his 
district and helped to haul the logs for the first schoolhouse in 
the district. Mr. Helgeson was married in Fillmore county in 
1864 to Helge Halvorsdotter, whose father and mother came to 
Fillmore county in 1857 and to Renville county in 1868. 

Mr. and Mrs. Helgeson have been blessed with thirteen chil- 
dren: Berget Andrea was born Oct. 20, 1864. Halvor Astenius 
was born Jan. 17, 1867. Anna is dead. Helgr was born Nov. 
12, 1870. Ole was born July 23, 1872. Gina is dead. Gina Helene 
was born April 31, 1876. Endre was born Nov. 28, 1877. Stener 
was born Jan. IS, 1880. Turi, twin of Stener, is dead. Hanna 
Gunhilda was born April 18, 1882. Theodor was born Oct. 13, 
1884. An unnamed infant is deceased. 



934 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Charles H. Hopkins, father of the Fort Ridgely National Park 
project, veteran of the Civil war, prominent G. A. R. man and 
leading citizen, now residing in Fairfax, was born in Norwich, 
\'<w York, Oct. 6, 1844, son of Maturin and Mary M. (Hainer) 
Hopkins. The father was born in New York in 1822, located in 
Otsego county, Wis., in 1861, came to Renville county in 1869, 
and secured 160 acres in the southwest quarter of section 34, Cairo 
township, where he remained until his death in 1893. The mother 
was born in 1822 and died in 1899. Charles H. Hopkins came to 
Wisconsin with his parents and enlisted Nov. 23, 1863 in the 
13th Wisconsin Light Artillery. The battery patrolled the Mis- 
sissippi river from Memphis to Vicksburg, was stationed at Ft. 
Williams Baton Rouge and participated in raids after Forrest 
through Mississippi and Louisiana. He was discharged June 21, 
1865. In 1869 he came to Cairo township, Renville county, and 
squatted on the southwest quarter of section 33, on the military 
reservation. He preempted this farm under the law of 1871 and 
homesteaded it under the soldiers' act of 1886, a law that he was 
instrumental in getting passed by Congress. After operating this 
farm for many years he retired in 1898 to Fairfax, where he 
engaged in the real estate, loan and insurance business. Mr. Hop- 
kins was one of the seven commissioners appointed by the gov- 
ernor to purchase the first tract of land and erect the monument 
that stands on the same place where the flagstaff stood in the 
center of the parade ground at old Fort Ridgely. 

In public affairs, Mr. Hopkins has taken a most prominent 
part. His connection with the monument and park at Ft. Ridgely 
is noted elsewhere. His father and himself hewed out the logs 
and built the first school house for District No. 17, which is now 
the Fairfax high school. The teacher could not call the school 
to order in the spring of 1870, the first day of the spring term, 
until 11 A. M. waiting for the school house to be finished. He 
was the first president of the school board of Fairfax, after Dis- 
trict No. 17 became an independent district. He has been justice 
of the peace forty years, and school clerk of District No. 32 twen- 
ty-eight years. In 1894 he was candidate for the office of state 
auditor on the Populist ticket. In 1914-15 he was department 
commander of the Minnesota Department G. A. R. In 1911-12 
he was senior vice-commander. He assisted in organizing the Ben 
Franklin Post No. 116, of Morton. Franklin and Fairfax, of which 
post he has been commander. He has also served the public in 
many other positions of public honor and private trust. 

Mr. Hopkins was married Dec. 15, 1872, to Susan M. Christ 
man, born May 7, 1848, daughter of Nicholas Christman, a farmer 
of Nicollet county, who died in 1891 at the age of seventy-six, 
and of Catherine (Schafer) Christman, who died in 1884, at the 
age of seventy-six. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Hopkins are 




CHARLES II HOPKINS 



I'Hfc HEW tobT 
|W*LIC LIBRARY'! 



JTILOCN TOtJNOATlONS 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 935 

Hay ward V., born Sept. 28, 1873; Frank M., born Nov. 7, 1877, 
and Gladys, born Nov. 14, 1882. 

Thus briefly is told the story of the man whose work will bless 
unborn generations for uncounted years to come. His dream of 
a park at Ft. Ridgely to honor the past and inspire the future 
and furnish a recreation place for all has been realized. In the 
face of discouragement, at great personal sacrifice, he has gone 
his w r ay since the earliest days, working for this great project. 
He is the friend of all, his unselfish zeal and devotion is given 
to every good cause which attracts his sympathies, and the full 
inspiration of his life on those with whom he comes in contact 
can never be measured. As soldier, citizen, parent, husband and 
friend he has ever been an example for good throughout the 
community. 

Adam Rieke, a defender of Ft. Ridgely, was bom in Hanover, 
Germany, June. 1840, being one of a family of thirteen children, 
nine boys and four girls. His father was a miller by trade and 
rented a mill run by water power. Ada'm had but little chance 
for attending school. At the age of fourteen he began work 
for a farmer, receiving $6.00 per year and his board. Fred was 
the first one of the family to come to America in 1853 and George 
came in 1855. The two boys saved their money and sent it home 
so that the rest of the family could come to the United States. 
In 1856 the rest of the family came by sailing vessel and were 
seven weeks and two days on the water, arriving at Baltimore 
Sept. 2, 1856. From there they went to Ohio, locating in Jack- 
son county where Adam worked three and a half years as a 
teamster for the iron furnace. Then he left Ohio and went by 
boat to St. Louis, going from there to St. Paul by way of tin- 
Mississippi river. From St. Paul he went up the Minnesota river 
to St. Peter and, leaving his goods there, drove to Ft. Ridgely, 
going on to Mud Lake, where Victor and George Rieke had set- 
tled the year before. A house was built on the bank of Mud 
Lake. It was of logs, 16 by 24, Victor and George having pre- 
pared and hauled up the logs previously. All lived in that one 
house. In 1861 Adam took a 160-acre homestead which is now 
in Cairo township in section 35. He had no tools, but went to 
work with a good will. He broke up part of the prairie land 
with four yoke of oxen, the plow cutting a twenty-four inch slice. 
Then he seeded the land by hand to small grain, but had no crop 
on account of the blackbirds eating the seed. He learned to trap 
miid'; and muskrat and sold their pelts at New Ulm, this side line 
bringing in a little money. His nearest neighbor on the south, 
three miles away, was William Mills, and three-quarters of a 
mile to tlie northwest was John Buehro. In 1862 the Indian 
massacre broke out and all fled to Ft. Ridgely, where Adam and 
his brothers took part in the defense. After the massacre he 



936 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

returned to his farm. In 1863-64 the grasshoppers destroyed 
everything, even the grass on the prairie and the leaves on the 
trees, so trapping again had to be the means of livelihood. In 
1865 he harvested a small crop of rye. In 1869 he and his brother, 
August, bought a ten-horse power threshing machine and en- 
gaged in threshing, which they continued for the next twenty- 
five years. From 1873 to 1876 the grasshoppers again destroyed 
all the crops. In 1872 he bought a tract of 120 acres land from 
the Winona & St. Peter Railway Co. in section 35 and, in 1886, 
a tract of 120 acres in section 27, this latter piece now being 
owned by his son, Louis. Then he bought another piece of eighty 
acres in section 35, which is now owned by his second son, Ed- 
ward. At present he owns 240 acres valued at $125 per acre, and 
is still farming at the old age of seventy-five years. 

Mr. Rieke was married in 1871 to Ernestina Sander, daughter 
of a farmer near Henderson. Four children were born to this 
"union : Louis, Edward, Anna, who died when twelve years of 
age, of diphtheria, and Adolph. 

The George and Allied Families. William Wallace George 
was born Oct. 12, 1853, at New Alexandria, Pennsylvania. He 
lived with his father until 1882. At the age of 29 he went to Mc- 
Pherson county, South Dakota, which at that time was the fron- 
tier east of the Rockies. In 1884 he was married to Josephine 
Kribs. Five children were born to this union on the homestead 
in South Dakota. The family removed to Renville, Minnesota, 
in 1896. Josephine (Kribs) George was born at Mantorville, 
Minn., Feb. 28, 1865. Prior to her marriage she taught school 
and music in Minnesota and South Dakota. William and Jose- 
phine (Kribs) George an- the parents of six children, all living. 

Jess Ruth, born October 2, 1886, graduated from Renville 
public schools and Winona State Normal School; married Oscar 
A. Berg, Jan. 1, 1910, at Renville, Minn., and has one daughter, 
Jean Shirley. 

James McBride, born Feb. 7, 1888; graduated from Renville 
public schools and the University of Minnesota, 1910; now prac- 
ticing law at Winona, Minn.: member of Phi Kappa Sigma, Delta 
Theta Phi (law fraternity), Arlington Club (Winona 1 *, Meadow- 
brook Golf Club (Winona), Y. M. C. A. (Winona). Sons Amer- 
ican Revolution, Order of Washington and Minnesota Historical 
Society. 

Eugene Sherman, born July 11, 1889; graduated from Ren- 
ville public schools, attended University of Minnesota, and was 
graduated from St. Paul College of Law 1915; now practicing law 
at Glenwood, Minn.; member of the college fraternities named 
above. 

Winston Remington, born March 9. 1891; attended Renville 
public schools. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 937 

Cedric Kribs, born Sept. 18, 1893; attended Renville public 
schools. 

Shirley McClure, born Oct. 6, 1898; student Renville public 
schools. 

Oscar A. Berg, born at Christiania, Norway, in 1885, is the 
son of Ole Berg and Marie (Hanson) Berg. Ole Berg was born 
in Christiania in 1845, and was a civil government officer until 
he retired and purchased an estate of 1,000 acres on Lake 
Sjarvangen. His grandfather and great-grandfather were lum- 
bermen. Marie (Hanson) Berg, born in 1852 at Kronswinger, 
married in 1873, was a graduate nurse. Her father was a 
farmer. 

James George, of Scotch ancestry, was born in Ireland in 
1760. He came to America in 1778 and made his home in Dauphin 
county, Pennsylvania. He married Mary McClure, also of Scotch- 
Irish descent, in 1790, and crossed the Alleglianies, where he pos- 
sessed himself of 240 acres of land in Loyalhannah township, 
Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania. He died Jan. 18, 1854. The 
home place descended to William, the youngest son, and remained 
in his possession to the date of his death. He was born May 28, 
1816, married Nancy MeBride in December, 1844, and died Jan. 
21, 1891. On the death of William, the old home was left to his 
wife for life with remainder over to the two youngest sons. It 
is still in her possession (1916). William was the father of Wil- 
liam Wallace, mentioned above. 

Nancy MeBride, born July 29, 1827, the wife of William 
George, Sr., was the daughter of Hon. Henry McClure MeBride 
and Elizabeth (Kerr) MeBride. Henry McClure MeBride was 
born Aug. 16, 1800, on the old MeBride homestead adjoining that 
of the Georges. His marriage took place Sept. 20, 1824. He 
served two terms as state senator and filled other local public of- 
fices and died Jan. 7, 1875. He is buried with his father, grand- 
father and great-grandfather in the family cemetery. The home 
descended to his son, James, who left it to his daughter, Lulu, 
now the wife of William Beatty. The parents of Henry were 
James MeBride and Martha (Young) MeBride. James was born 
March 15, 1758, in New Jersey. He was a soldier of the Revolu- 
tion, serving in Captain James Moore's company, of Westmore- 
land County Rangers. His father was a member of the same com- 
pany. He died Dec. 21, 1837, at the age of eighty, after a life of 
many hardships. One of his daughters was killed in an Indian 
raid during the war. His pension papers for services in the Revo- 
lution are on record at the United States Pension Office, Book C, 
Vol. 5, page 84. He was the son of James MeBride, Sr., and Mary, 
his wife. James, Sr., was born in 1717 and died in 1812. His 
will was probated June 17, 1812, and was dated March 2, 1805, 
and is recorded in Will Book I, page 285, Westmoreland county. 



938 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNT Y 

Pennsylvania. In 1802, January 8, he deeded the old home to his 
son, James, after having possession for several years. 

Elizabeth Kerr, the wife of Henry MeClure McBride, born 
March 4, 1804, died March 28, 1874, was the daughter of David 
Kerr and Nancy (Huey) Kerr. David was born Jan. 30, 1783, 
and fought in the war of 1812. He died Sept, 27, 1866. His 
parents were William Kerr and Margaret (Young) Kerr. He 
also was a member of Captain James Moore's company of rangers. 

Martha Young, the wife of James McBride, Jr., born in 1759, 
died April 15, 1828, was the daughter of Alexander Young and 
Anna, his wife. Alexander died in 1798. The county records 
show that letters of administration of his estate were granted 
Sept. 26, 1798. He is buried on the old farm. The will of his 
father, Alexander, was probated in Lancaster county, Pennsyl- 
vania, in 1751. Alexander, Sr., was the son of James Young, who 
was the son of Captain Thomas Young, of London, who settled in 
Jamestown, Virginia. 

The Youngs, through two lines, are descended from Kings 
of Wales. Tudor Trevor, the son of the heiress of William le 
Yonge, was the grandfather of Henry Tudor, who slew Richard 
III of England at Bosworth field and became Henry VII of Eng- 
land, fulfilling the prophecy that a Welchman would some day 
rule over Great Britain. 

Nancy Huey, the wife of David Kerr, was the daughter of 
Joseph Huey and Jane (Love) Huey. Joseph died in 1806. 

Mary MeClure, the wife of James George, was born in Dauphin 
county, Pennsylvania, Oct. 19, 1770, and died in 1841. 

According to the "History of Westmoreland County," the 
Georges, McBrides and Kerrs were among the earliest settlers 
in the county. 

Joseph Shafer Kribs, the father of Josephine (Kribs) George, 
was born near Hamilton, Ontario, March 18, 1836, and died Nov. 
24, 1864. His health prevented him from taking part in the Civil 
war. consequently he furnished the government with a substitute. 
He was married to Anna W. Remington at Beaver Dam, Wiscon- 
sin, Jan. 11. 1859. They had besides Josephine one other daugh- 
ter, Ruth, who married Simon Hanson, late of Renville. Her 
two sons, Roslyn Joseph and Rodney S.. born and educated in 
Renville, are living in North Dakota, the former engaged in a 
bank and the latter practicing law. Joseph was a jeweler at 
Trempealeau, Wisconsin, at the time of his death, Nov. 24. 1S64. 
He was the son of Paid Kribs and Ruth (Sherman) Kribs. Paul 
was born near Hamilton, Ontario, Jan. 1. 1797, and died in Trem- 
pealeau, Oct. 16, 1866. He was married in Barton township, On- 
tario, Jan. IS, 1816, by Rev. Daniel Eastman. His father was 
Afwon Kribs. who came to New York in 1776. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 939 

The Kribs familj- began preparations to emigrate from Ger- 
many, their native land, in 1774, to a large tract of land which 
they had acquired in Canada. They came from a settlement near 
Berlin. The boundaries of their Canadian lands are roughly de- 
scribed as "Commencing at the Niagara Falls, running west about 
sixty miles and lying north of Grand River and south of Lake 
Ontario." But when the colony arrived, in 1776, they found the 
Revolutionary war in progress, and, being unable to settle upon 
their ( lanadian possessions, they located temporarily in New York 
and New Jersey. Some of the family served in the war, and it 
was not until 1786 that Aaron Kribs and some of his relatives 
made their way northward into Canada. 

Anna W. Remington, the wife of Joseph Kribs, was born Jan. 
20, 1844, at Granger, Alleghany county, New York. After the 
death of her first husband she married James Hart, and removed 
to Meeker county, Minnesota, thence to McPherson county, South 
Dakota, where she now lives. Her parents were Abner Reming- 
ton and Nancy Elizabeth (Reynolds) Remington, of Alleghany 
county, New York, and later of Kasson, Minnesota. They were 
married Feb. 6, 1842. Abner was horn at Genoa, New York, 
Aug. 31, 1819, and died April 4. 1898. He was commissary-ser- 
geant of Company A, Fifth Minnesota Volunteers, during four 
years of the Civil war. and later postmaster and justice of the 
peace at Kasson. He was the son of Salmon Remington and 
Thankful (Kemp) Remington. Salmon was born Sept. 2. 1794. 
and was killed May 17. 1857. while driving a team of colts. His 
father was Moses Remington, a wealthy Quaker of Genoa. Cayuga 
county, New York, born May 21. 1768 (3); died Feb. 24, 1836. 
He married Rebecca - — . by whom he had ten children. 

His second wife was Rachel (Guthrie) Kemp, widow of John 
Kemp. Rebecca - - was born Feb. 8 (3), 1776. and died 

March 30, 1820. They were married Oct. 14. 1792. Moses, orig- 
inally of Vermont, purchased of an English company (KM) acres 
of forest in Cayuga county. New York. Upon arriving at his 
property overland from Vermont, he found located thereon a 
tract of about 100 acres which had for years since been swept 
clear of trees by a '•hurricane," the name at that time given to 
destructive wind storms of every description. It was only neces- 
sary for him to burn the sumac ami other shrubbery before the 
virgin soil was ready for cultivation. Upon finding this tract. 

he prepared it for seed and carried on his hack, fi i his former 

home in Vermont, enough potato seed to raise 500 bushels, from 
which he was well paid for his labors. 

Nancy Elizabeth (Reynolds) Remington was born Feb. 5, 1825, 
in Skaneateles, Onondaga county, New York, and died Feb. 14, 
1888, at Kasson, Minnesota. She was the daughter of Aziza 
Reynolds and Phoebe (Piatt) Reynolds, of Onondaga and Al- 



940 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

leghany counties, New York. Aziza had five brothers and six 
sisters, all of them peculiarly named, each name reading the same 
when spelled forward or backward as, for example: Harrah, Iri, 
Numun, Alila, Hannah, Alia, Appa, Ada and Anna. Aziza re- 
ceived a land warrant for services in the war of 1812. His father, 
according to tradition, served in the Revolution. Phoebe (Piatt) 
Reynolds was the daughter of Dr. Piatt, a direct descendant of 
the founder of Plattsburg, New York. 

Ruth (Sherman) Kribs, born in Buffalo Creek, New York, 
Dec. 11, 1797, died Nov. 9, 1871 at Trempealeau, Wisconsin, was 
the daughter of William Sherman and Ruth (Bateman) Sherman. 
She married Paul Kribs in Barton township, Ontario, Jan. 18, 
1816. Her parents both died at Dundas, Ontario, in 1813 (14), 
during an epidemic of typhoid fever, and the duty of raising the 
family fell upon her. Her father was a cooper and. in 1812, was 
engaged to make snare drums for the British at Hamilton. At 
the outbreak of the war with England he was visiting in New 
York and had great difficulty in returning to Canada. He and 
his wife. Ruth Bateman, were natives of Massachusetts, probably 
Rochester. His father was named William, or "Billy," and is 
supposed to have been a sea captain sailing between New York 
and Liverpool and was killed on one of his voyages. Records of 
Rochester show that a William Sherman married Abigail Handy, 
June 4, 1752, and had 14 children, among them William, Jonathan, 
Alice, Sally and Jane. William and Jonathan were twins, bap- 
tized Nov. 9, 176(5, and the former is believed to be the one who 
married Ruth Bateman and named five of his children after the 
five named above. 

William Sherman, the sea captain, supposed to be the William 
who lived in Rochester and married Abigail Handy was, if the 
supposition is correct, the son of John Sherman, Jr., the grand- 
son of John Sherman, Sr., and the great-grand son of William 
Sherman. "The Pilgrim," who settled at Plymouth and Marsh- 
field. Mass.. and whose descendants are, therefore, of Mayflower 
ancestry. 

Thankful (Kemp) Remington who at the age of fourteen, mar- 
ried Salmon Remington, died Feb. 14, 1888, was the daughter of 
John Kemp and Rachel (Guthrie) Kemp and was born in Scipio, 
New York. Her father died in 1809. He came originally from 
Massachusetts and, according to the "History of Tioga County" 
(Pa. 1 ), was a member of the New York State Militia and fought 
in the Revolution. His father was Silas Kemp who married Tam- 

merson , and w T as a native of Massachusetts. Silas fought 

in the Revolution as a private in Captain Nehemiah Curtis' com- 
pany of Colonel Jonathan Mitchel's (Mass.) regiment, in which 
he enlisted July 7, 1779, and was mustered out Sept. 25. 1779, tak- 
ing part in the Penobscot expedition. His enlistment roll was 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 941 

dated at Harpswell, Massachusetts I .Mass. Men of the Revo- 
lution). 

Rachel (Guthrie) Kemp is the descendant of an old Scotch 
family whose record runs back to the time when Robert Bruce 
and Sir William Wallace were fighting for Scotch freedom in 
the thirteenth century. The first Guthrie, of whom there is any 
record, was Squire Guthrie, of Forfairshire. Scotland, horn in 
1299. He was sent to France to procure the return of the patriot 
Wallace. Alexander Guthrie, of Guthrie, a grandson, obtained 
the Barony of Guthrie from King David II of Scotland. He was 
granted the Estate of Kinkoldrum by charter, dated April 10, 
1457. His wife was named Margorie, and they had Sir David, 
James and William. Rev. James Guthrie, of Edinborough, a 
descendant and son of the Laird of Guthrie, was minister at Ster- 
ling, where he was executed for his religious beliefs and writ- 
ings, June 1, 1661. He was the father of John Guthrie, Sr., who 
died in 1730 and who was an iron worker of Edinborough. He 
migrated to Ulster, Ireland, in 1680, thence to Boston in 1700, 
and from there to Litchfield county. Connecticut. His son, John, 
married Abigail Coe at Stratford, Connecticut, June 1. 1727, and 
they had ten children. He died in 1756. Their son, Ephraim, 
born at Durham, Connecticut, March 1, 1737. died in Auburn, 
New York. He married Thankful Stone and lived in Kent for 
some time. He enlisted in Captain Wooster's company of King's 
foot soldiers for an invasion of Canada in 1758. His enlistment 
papers are on record at Boston. Tradition says that he fought 
against the King when the colonies later obtained their freedom. 
Rachel, his daughter, referred to above, was born October 27, 
1779, died April 21, 1S65. She married first, John Kemp, second 
Moses Remington. 

Thankful Stone, the wife of Ephraim Guthrie, was the daugh- 
ter of Josiah Stone, born April 10, 1710. who married Hannah 
Barnes, September 14, 1738, and died November 10, 1777. He 
was the son of Josiah Stone, of Guilford. Connecticut, born May 
22, 1685, who married Temperance Osborn, of East Hampton, 
Long Island. -Tune 29, 1705. Josiah Sr.. was descended from 
William, born in 1642, who married Hannah Wolfe. February 20, 
1674 and later Mary - -; died Sept. 28. 1730. His father. Wil- 
liam Sr.. whose second wife was Mary Hughes, married in 1659, 
came to America in 1639, died November, 1683. His father was 
Rev. Samuel Stone, of Hertford. County Surrey, England. 

Abigail Coe was born Nov. 11, 1702. at Stratford, Connecti- 
cut, was married to John Guthrie June 1, 1727, and removed to 
Durham, Connecticut in 1735, thence to Southbury, Connecticut, 
in 1743, where she died in March, 1747. She was the daughter 
of Captain John Coe, born May 10, 1658, at Stratford, Connecti- 
cut. He succeeded to the real estate of his father in Stratford 



942 11 [STORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

and in addition acquired extensive holdings and became a lead- 
ing man in public affairs. He was, in addition to holding many 
town offices, deputy for Stratford in the Connecticut Assembly. 
He was successively commissioned ensign, lieutenant and captain 
and served in the French and Indian war during 1708. On Dec. 
20, 1682, he married Mary Hawley, died April 19, 1741, and is 
interred with her in the Congregational churchyard at Stratford. 
His father, Robert Coe, Jr., was born at Boxford, Suffolk county, 
England, and baptized there Sept. 19, 1626. When seven years 
of age, he came to America with his father. About 1650 he mar- 
ried Hannah Mitchell, who was baptized at Halifax, Yorkshire, 
England, June 26, 1631, the daughter of Mathew and Susan (Butt- 
erfield) Mitchell, who. came to New England in the spring of 1635, 
settling at Wethersfield, Connecticut. She died April 2, 1702. 
Robert died in 1659 and was buried at Stratford. Robert Coe, 
Sr., the founder of the New England family, was born (baptized 
October 26) 1596 at Thorp-Morieux in Suffolk county. England. 
His father, Henry Coe, was a substantial yeoman, probably a 
cloth maker and a man of character and standing, holding for 
several years at Thorp-Morieux the honorable position of church 
warden. Robert, Sr., was elected overseer of cloth at Boxford in 
lii'J.'i and was chosen "questman"' of the church in 1629. On 
April 20, 1634. he and his family sailed from Ipswich among the 
83 passengers on the ship "Francis/" commanded by Captain 
John Cutting. He resided at Watertown, Massachusetts, and 
founded, with others. Wethersfield, Connecticut; Stamford, Con- 
necticut (1641) ; Hempstead, Long Island (1644) ; Newtowu. New 
York (1652) ; and Jamaica. Long Island (1656). He married Mary 
- in England about 1623 ; she was the mother of all his 
children. Robert Coe, Sr., died in 1689 and his wife, Mary, Oct. 
27, 1628. He was married twice in America. He is descended 
through the following line from John Coo (Coe), of Gestingthorpe, 
England : John 1 . John", John 3 , Thomas', John 5 , John , John 7 , 
Henry 8 . John 1 Coo was born in Gestingthorpe. Essex county, in 
1340, during the reign of Edward III. and died in 1415. He 
served against France under Sir John Hawkwood. Knight, and 
about 1360 he went to Italy as a captain, under Sir John, who 
took with him one thousand picked Englishmen, afterward tamed 
throughout Italy as the "Compagnia Bianca" (White Company), 
concerning which Conan Doyle wrote the romantic novel of that 
name. 

Mary (Hawley) Coe, born July 16, 1663, died Sept. 9, 1731, 
was the daughter of Joseph Hawley. a shipbuilder born at Par- 
wick, Derbyshire, England, in 1603, died in Stratford. Connecti- 
cut, May 20, 1690, and Cathrine (Birdseye) Hawley. He was 
deacon and treasurer of the First Congregational church of Strat- 
ford, Connecticut, town clerk and recorder for sixteen years, and 




X. .1. HOLMBEHG 



THt V '" ' 
PUBLIC LU 



A.OTOR. LENOX VNO 
T1LDEN TOUNOfcTlOtW 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 943 

deputy to the General Assembly from 1665 to 1685. He came 
originally to Boston in 1629 and removed to Stratford, Connecti- 
cut, in 1646. 

The Sherman Coat of Arms: Or a lion rampant, sable, be- 
tween three leaves vert. The Crest: On a wreath a sea lion 
sejeant or. By right of the Leicester grant of 1619. 

At the Visitation of Essex in 1612, Edward Coe entered a pedi- 
gree of his family, claiming for arms:- Argent, three piles wavy 
meeting near the base gules between twelve martlets sable. His 
claim was based on the seals appearing on two deeds over two 
centuries old at that time, bearing the names of John 1 Coo and 
John- Coo. The heralds acknowledged his descent and rigid to 
the coat of arms. 

The Hawley Coat of Arms: Vert a saltier, or a St. Andrews' 
cross, engrailed argent. Crest: A dexter arm in armour proper, 
garnished, holding in the hand a spear, in bent sinister, pointed 
downward proper. Motto: "Suivez Moi." 

The arms of the Youngs, who are descended from Tudor 
Trevor, are shown iu various detail, the most common being a 
plain shield with a lion rampant or; and the crest: a greyhound 
passant proper. It also appears this wise with the same crest: 
Ermine and counter of the same per bend sinister, a lion ram- 
pant or. 

Nathaniel J. Holmberg, state senator, was born July 24, 1878, 
in a log house erected by his father on his homestead in section 
24, Sacred Heart township. He was the second son and fifth 
child of John M. and Mary C. Holmberg. His father, John M. 
Holmberg. was born in Smoland, Sweden, Dee. 23, 1838, and came 
to America in 1869, locating at St. Peter. Minnesota, where he 
worked on a farm for a while. While at St. Peter, he was mar- 
ried to Mary C. Wallin, who came from Stockholm. Sweden. Their 
romance commenced years prior to coming to America. They 
had heard about the opportunities in the "new world" and ven- 
tured to marry and make their way in the then undeveloped coun- 
try. In 1871. they took up a homestead of 80 acres in section 24, 
Sacred Heart township. With very little property and penni- 
less, they started to develop their new possessions, which the 
kind "Uncle Sam'" had so generously given them. The "dugout" 
or sod house served as a home for a few years. Then came the 
log house, 16 by 20 feet, a straw barn and other buildings in 
keeping with the times. Here a family of eight children was 
born and raised to maturity, Rudolph, Esther, Emma, Ellen, Nath- 
aniel, Ruth, Edith and David, all of whom are living. 

The city of Willmar was the nearest market, being a distance 
of thirty-five miles. Regular trips were made to haul the grain 
and bring supplies for the farm and family in return. It was 
not an uncommon occurrence when streams were forded to have 



944 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

to unload the load, drive the oxen and wagon across, then carry 
the sacks, one by one, in four and five feet of water, and re- 
load on the other side. It would take several days to make the 
trip to Willmar. When they reached the city, there would be 
long strings of teams waiting to unload and everyone had to wait 
his turn. Meanwhile, the family had to get along as best they 
could at home. 

John M. Holmberg took pride and interest in the social, re- 
ligious and political life of the community. He helped to organ- 
ize and served for many years as a director on the board of his 
home school district. He was a charter member of the Swedish 
Lutheran church at Sacred Heart. He took a deep interest in 
politics and was a stanch Republican. John M. Holmberg died 
in 1910, but his wife is still living and at the age of 74 is en- 
joying good health and marvels at the great changes taken place 
since they filed on their homestead. 

Nathaniel Holmberg struggled along on the farm, going to 
country school when he could be spared from the farm work. 
He attended the school at Renville for three winters, and in the 
fall of 1899 enrolled at the Minnesota School of Agriculture of 
the University of Minnesota, graduating therefrom in the spring 
of 1902. 

Returning to the home farm, which he purchased from John 
M. Holmberg, and which he still owns and operates, the farm 
having been substantially increased in size, modern buildings 
have been erected and a herd of Shorthorn cattle is being de- 
veloped. 

On June 3, 1908. lie was married to Hilda M. Peterson, daugh- 
ter of P. J. Peterson who, like Mr. Holmberg 's father, came from 
Sweden and settled in the same section and township, and who 
went through the same experiences of pioneer life. Mr. Holm- 
berg and his wife went to the same country school, the same 
church, and were attached to each other from childhood. They 
have one daughter named Edith, born Dec. 16, 1911. 

Nathaniel Holmberg, like his father, attached himself to the 
Republican party in politics. He served on the school board of 
his home school as supervisor of Sacred Heart township for 
three years. In 1907 he became the Republican candidate for 
the State Legislature and was elected to the House. Re-elected 
in 1909-1911 and 1913, in the primaries, 1914, he became a can- 
didate for the State Senate and, after a spirited campaign, was 
elected state senator, which office he now holds. 

Mr. Holmberg takes advanced ground on political questions. 
His courage and honesty is unquestioned and he commands the re- 
spect of his la rye constituency. 

Hans H. Elstad, a professor at the Red Wing Seminary, was 
born at Ullensaker, Christiania, Stiff, Norway, Nov. 3. 1860. son 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 945 

of Haakon and Mathea (Hanson) Els'tad. He attended public 
school in Norway and came to America in 1870 with his parents, 
who located in Camp township, Renville county, where he at- 
tended district school and grew up on the farm. In 1880 he en- 
tered the Red Wing Seminary and was graduated in 1884. Then 
he taught there one and a half years. Next he taught for three 
terms in the public schools of Camp and Bandon. In 1887 he 
became instructor in the Red Wing Seminary and taught Nor- 
wegian, history and physics in the academic department. Later 
he became professor of physics, astronomy and chemistry, in the 
college department, and geometry in the academic department. 
For several years he was a member of the board of trustees of 
the Hauges Synod and from 1889 to 1893 was associate editor of 
the "Budbareren." a weekly paper. lie was on the board of 
publication for several years and was secretary and treasurer 
from 1899 to 1913, on the home mission board of the Hauges 
Synod. He also served for five years as secretary of the synod. 

Sept. 26, 1889, Mr. Elstad was united in marriage to Anna 
Norum, of Minneapolis. They have the following children : Clar- 
ence, born July 13, 1890. a teacher at Ipswich. South Dakota, 
high school, a graduate of the Red Wing Seminary in 1910 and 
from the St. Olaf's College in 1912; Agnes, born July 11. 1892, 
a graduate of St. Olaf's College in 1914, and now a teacher in 
the high school at Cooperstown, North Dakota; and Alice, born 
June 19, 1902, a student at the Red Wing high school. 

Hans H. Mangseth, a venerable citizen of Camp township, was 
born in Norway, May 31, 1811. son of Hans Muigseth. who died 
in 1850 at the age of fifty, and of Guro Torkel. who died in 1871 
at the age of sixty-five. Hans H. Mangseth came to America 
in 1868, and located at Racine, Wis. In 1873 he came to Camp 
township, and purchased from Jens Skarness 130 acres in section 
21, where he still resides. He still lives in the house built on the 
place in 1871, a true relic of pioneer times. When lie first came 
here he farmed with a pair of oxen. The county seat was at 
Beaver Falls. The trading point was at New Ulm. He now owns 
260 acres of land, and his farm is well equipped with everything 
needed in carrying on general farming on an extensive scale. 
Mr. Mangseth has been town treasurer and school treasurer and 
has served in other positions of trust and responsibility. 

Hans H. Mangseth was first married May 7. 1S74. to [nga Skar- 
ness, daughter of Jens and Marie (Gulbrand) Skarness. She died 
in 1879, leaving two children, Guring, born April 21, 1875, now 
Mrs. Ole Korsmo, of Bandon township, and Henry, now of .Min- 
neapolis. 

Hans H. Mangseth was married the second time to Indiana 
Skarness, a sister of his first wife, and to this union three children 
have been born: John, born March 1, 18S8, is on the home farm; 



946 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Mathilda, born April 6, 1892, is now Mrs. Elmer Erickson, of 
Minneapolis; Helen, born Sept. 22, 1896, lives at home. The fam- 
ily church is the Norwegian Lutheran. 

Jens Skarness and family came to America in 1869 and, in 
1871. bought 140 acres in section 21, Camp township, which, in 
1873. he sold to Hans H. Mangseth, with whom he lived until 
his death in 1904, at the age of seventy-two. Mrs. Skarness died 
in 1907 at the age of seventy. 

Gilbert Olson was horn in Norway Sept. 11, 1835, sou of Ole 
Christenson and Kersti (Isaacson), both natives of Norway. Gil- 
lint Olson grew to manhood in Norway, receiving his education 
there and came to America in 1869, locating in Milwaukee, where 
he remained for two months. Then he went to St. Paul, where 
he lived five months, and next came to Camp township, where 
he took a preemption claim of 160 acres in section 25. It was 
all wild land. He built a log house and straw barns, and engaged 
in farming. Later he built a good substantial house. He suf- 
fered all the hardships incident to pioneer life. March 21, 1905, 
he rented his farm and moved to Fairfax, where he purchased a 
home, and has resided there ever since. He was married May 
29, 1872, to Helen Arneson, born in Norway, Sept. 9, 1845, daugh- 
ter of Arne Helgeson and Bertha Magnuson, natives of Norway, 
Mho lived and died there. Mrs. Olson came to America in 1866 
and located at Beaver (.'reek. Wis., where she lived for two years 
and then removed to Camp township, this county. Mr. and 
.Mrs. Olson have had five children: Annie, born April 8, 1873, 
now Mrs. Peter Carlson, of Red Lake Reservation, Polk county, 
who has two children, Carl and Arthur; Clara, born Nov. 19, 1874, 
who keeps house for her brothei', a farmer; Ella, born Jan. 10. 
1876, now Mrs. Henry Mangseth, of Minneapolis, who has three 
children. Etherl, Hilmar and Inga ; Amanda, born Sept. 3, 1879, 
now Mrs. Henry Anderson, of Minneapolis, who has three chil- 
dren, Gerhard, Carl and Ardes; and George, born July 2, 1885, 
who conducts the home farm in Camp township. The family are 
members of the United Norwegian Lutheran church. 

Louis Zinne, a prominent farmer of Beaver Falls township, 
was born in Germany, July 27, 1859, son of Frederick and Char- 
lotte (Meyer) Zinne. His father came to America in 1869 and 
seemed 160 acres in section 12, Beaver Falls township, where he 
remained until his death, in 1888. His mother died in 1907, at 
the age of seventy-three. Louis Zinne remained on the home 
farm until his marriage. He rented the home place for five years, 
then he bought 160 acres in section 12, southeast quarter of 
Beaver Falls township, in 1888. He now owns 426 acres, one of 
the other farms being in section 31, Norfolk, and one in Beaver 
Falls. He has improved his farms and erected good buildings. 
Mr. Zinne has been a stockholder in the Morton State Bank for 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 947 

several years and is a stockholder and president of the Morton 
Rural Telephone Company. He is a director in the Flora town- 
ship Mutual Fire Insurance Co. He has been clerk of school dis- 
trict No. 135, for fourteen years, and has served as township 
treasurer for seventeen years and been a member of the township 
board for the past three years. He is a member of the German 
Lutheran church in Morton, and has been a trustee and treasurer 
of the church since its organization in 1889. Mr. Ziune was united 
in marriage June 1, 1883, to Bertha Schmidt, who was born Feb. 
9, 1862. Her father, Christian Schmidt, was a farmer in Winfield 
township and died in 1889, at the age of eighty-six. Her mother, 
Willielmina (Keulm) died in 1877, at the age of forty-eight. Mr. 
and Mrs. Zinne have had nine children : Anna, born April 12, 
1884 ; now married to Albert Kline, a truck farmer, near Olivia ; 
George, born March 10, 1886, who is at home and has followed 
the threshing business for many years ; Louis H., born Feb. 20, 
1888, a farmer of Beaver Falls township, who married Minnie 
Ewert, a school teacher, and has one child, Carl; William, born 
Dec. 23, 1889, and died Sept. IS, 1902; Lucy, born June 23, 1892, 
who is at home; Meta, born Jan. 23, 1895, and died June 27, 1913; 
Wilhelmina, born April 12, 1897, and died April 9, 1898; Ernest, 
born May 9, 1899, and Arthur, born Nov. 3, 1902, who are at 
home. 

Ole E. Berge was born in Hardanger, in the bishopric of South 
Bergen, Feb. 9, ls26, where he secured a fair common school 
education, and grew to manhood. He learned the blacksmith 
trade and became a master in the manufacture of edge tools. At 
the age of twenty-six he married Cecelia Hanson in Granvin of 
Hardanger parish. In 1854 he immigrated with his family to 
the United States, coming on the "Condor" and landed at Que- 
bec. From thence he came by steamboat and rail to Chicago 
and then moved to Stoughton, Wis. After he had found a home 
for his family he engaged in farm work among the farmers of 
Dane county. During the latter part of 1855 he secured work 
with the Mandt Wagon Manufacturing Company of Stoughton. 
In the spring of 1856 he and a few relatives concluded to move 
with their families to New Centerville, St. Croix county. Wis., 
where he purchased 60 acres of land and also started a black- 
smith shop. He remained there two years. During that time his 
crops were killed by frost and times were hard. In the spring 
of 1859 he sold his little farm and immigrated to Trempeleau 
county, Wis., locating in Beaver Creek valley, or the township 
of Ettrick, where he took up a pre-emption claim of forty acres 
of government land, later securing eighty acres adjoining. Tn 
connection with his farming he also carried on the blacksmith 
work and times began to look brighter. In 1869 he sold his farm 
in Ettrick, Wis., and moved west to Ft. Ridgely, purchasing 160 



948 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

acres in Camp township, Renville county, Minn., where he en- 
gaged in farming and stockraising. He died June 7, 1891. Mrs. 
Berge is still living and enjoying good health despite her old 
age of eighty-eight years and now makes her home with her 
youngest daughter, Mrs. P. J. Berg, of Madison, Minn. Mr. and 
Mrs. Berge had six children : Nels 0., who is engaged in general 
farming and stockraising near Fairfax, Minn.; EHing 0., who is 
in the milling business at Madison, Lac qui Parle county, Minn., 
and also conducts a farm of over 1,900 acres ; Hans 0., who is 
engaged in hardware, harness, wood and coal business at Madison 
and also at Marietta, Lac qui Parle county, Minn. : Louis Cor- 
nelius, who died when two and a half years old; Mrs. M. 0. Hage- 
stad. of Fairfax, and Mrs. P. J. Berg of Madison, Minn. 

Nels 0. Berge, one of the pioneers of Renville county, was 
born in Norway, June 15, 1851, son of Ole E. and Cecelia (Han- 
son) Berge. Nels 0. Berge came to Renville county in the spring 
of 1868 and took up land but returned to Trempealeau county, 
Wis., in the fall and returned to Renville county in the spring of 
1869 when he squatted on the northeast quarter section of 23, 
Camp township, which he secured by pre-emption in 1873. The 
land which he took in 1S68 was deeded to his father and consisted 
of 120 acres in sections 23, and 40 acres in section 22. Nels 0. 
Berge had many and varied experiences in those early days. 
When he first located on the claim, he had a yoke of oxen, a wagon 
and a breaking plow. His first habitation thereon was a log house, 
12 by 14 feet. He cut hay with a scythe and cradled his wheat 
by hand. He was out in the storm of Jan. 7, 1S73, and suffered 
severely. As time passed, prosperity came to him and he owns 
334 acres of good land, and the whole farm bespeaks the thrift, 
energy and intelligence of the owner. He carries on general 
farming and raises Duroc Jersey swine. Two acres of his land 
are set out in fruit trees. Mr. Berge makes a specialty of breed- 
ing Percheron horses and Shorthorn cattle. He owns two lots 
and two buildings in the city of Fairfax. For fourteen years 
he was postmaster of Camp, the office being in his own house. 
He has been justice of the peace for over thirty years, school 
clerk eighteen years, and township assessor four years. He also 
served in other positions of public trust and private honor. 

Mr. Berge was married May 29, 1869, to Caroline Hagestad, 
who was born May 24, 1843, daughter of Ole O. and Martina 
Hagestad. Mr. and Mrs. Berge have had six children : Minnie, 
born Feb. 23, 1870, was the wife of E. J. Berg, a ranchman of 
Washington, and died Sept. 25, 1895; Clara, born Nov. 20, 1871, 
now lives at home; Otelia, born Jan. 31, 1S74, married N. H. 
Samuelson, of Minneapolis; Edward, born March 13, 1877, died 
June 26, 1905 ; Fred, born July 4, 1879, and Ole, born March 8, 
1884, are at home. 




3 






HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 949 

Gustav A. Boemmels, a well-to-do farmer in Cairo township, 
was born July 27, 1879, in the township where he still resides. 
His father Gotthard Boemmels, died in 1904 at the age of 64, and 
his mother, Emma (Sell), died in 1914, at the age of 63. His 
parents owned a farm in section 36, Cairo township, which they 
bought in 1871. They were married in 1871 and had seven chil- 
dren, William, Edward (killed in a train wreck in 1909), Ernest, 
Gustav, Adolph, Lydia and Rhudy. 

In 1907 Gustav A. Boemmels purchased the home place. He 
carries on general farming, and makes a specialty of Duroc- 
Jersey hogs and Hereford and Hoi stein cattle. He has a barn 
50 by 50, with room for fourteen horses and thirty-five cattle, 
and forty tons of hay. He has also a large hog barn 36 by 50, 
with concrete foundation with room for 150 hogs. The granary 
is 28 by 30 and has an elevator holding 4,000 bushels of grain. 
The chicken house is 16 by 43. The house is a large two story 
building, 18 by 34, with an ell, 18 by 26, with a basement under 
the main part ready to equip with steam heat. The farm is 
thoroughly tiled, four and a half cars of tile having been used at 
an expenditure of over $1,000. There are 340 acres of land of 
which 160 are in section 25. The land is all level, slightly rolling 
prairie land, the buildings being on the west side of the farm 
in a nice grove. Both Mr. and Mrs. Boemmels have attended the 
St. Paul Park College for two years, and Mrs. Boemmels gradu- 
ated from the Music department in the spring of 1907. Mr. Boem- 
mels has been the township treasurer for four years. Mr. Boem- 
mels was married June 14, 1911, to Verna Bothe, daughter of 
Henry Bothe, aged 58, a farmer living near St. Paul Park, and 
Louisa (Bang) aged 49. They have one son, Cyrus, born De- 
cember 5, 1!)12, and one daughter, Murlies, born March 26. 
1915. 

Martin D. Brown, postmaster of Fairfax, was born in Bullitt 
county, Kentucky, Jan. 7, 1857, second of the eight children of 
Michael and Katherine (Welsh) Brown. His parents were farm- 
ers, the father died in 1907 at the age of eighty years, and the 
mother in 1884 at the age of fifty years. Martin D. Brown at- 
tended the Taylorsville High school and St. Joseph's College at 
Bardstown, Kentucky, coining to Minnesota in 1879 and teach- 
ing country school in Renville county for three years. In 1882 
he engaged in the real estate and insurance business at Fairfax 
and has continued in that business ever since. His wife's father, 
John Welsh, owned the farm on which Fairfax is now located 
and Mr. Brown bought 120 acres in section 5, Cairo township, 
which he platted into lots and called Brown's Addition to Fair- 
fax. A part of these lots were sold and are now a part of the 
village. Mr. Brown has held several important positions in Fair- 
fax, having been the justice of peace since 1890, village assessor 



950 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

for ten years and clerk of the school board for sixteen years. He 
was postmaster from 1894 to 1898 and on March 13, 1915, was 
again appointed to the position by President Woodrow Wilson. 

Sept. 2, 1891, Mr. Brown was married to Bridget Welsh, 
daughter of John Welsh and Mary (Burke) Welsh. They have 
no children, but have raised the daughter of Mr. Brown's dead 
brother, Kathry L. Brown. She is now married to Ben. S. Kaufer, 
living in Sherman, near Los Angeles, California. Mr. Brown's 
wife was born Feb. 2. 1852. Her father, John Welsh, died in 
1896 at the age of 84 years and her mother died in 1910 at the 
age of 70 years. 

John Swendby, deceased, was born in Norway and died in 
Renville county in 188(5 at the age of forty-five years. He came to 
Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and from there moved to Renville 
county where he located in section 34 of Crooks township, where 
his widow, Mrs. Simon Hanson, now lives. He secured 80 acres 
of wild prairie land and built a small frame house 14 by 16 feet. 
Here he and his wife moved after their marriage in 1878. He 
used a team of horses to clear up the land and began improv- 
ing his farm. He was a member of the Norwegian Lutheran 
church. His wife, Mina, was born in Norway Oct. 24, 1859, daugh- 
ter of Hans Gunderson and Anna (Jacobsen) Gunderson, who 
had eight children : Guilder, Martha, Johan, Mina, Hannah, Hel- 
ena, Anna, and Hogan (deceased). Of these Mina, Johan, and 
Helena came to America in 1879, coming to Minnesota and settled 
in Renville county. Mr. and Mrs. Swendby had three children : 
Anna. Oscar and John. Anna is now Mrs. Guren Kurnes of 
Crooks township and lias five children, Alfred, Martin, Theodore, 
(iudi-uii and Inez. Oscar lives in Cavalier county, North Da- 
kota, and married Mary Nelson. They have two children, Morris 
and Joel. John also lives in Cavalier county and married Anna 
Idlen. They have one child, Myrtle. 

Simon Hanson, deceased, was born in Norway, March 10, 
1852, son of Hans Stromenson and Randi Hanson, who came to 
America with their two sons Ole and Simon, in 1867, coming by 
sailing vessel. The father Hans took a homestead in section 34, 
Crooks township, Renville county, where lie secured 80 acres of 
wild prairie land. Here he built a log cabin which is still stand- 
ing and which was the first in that section. Many of the early 
gatherings were held in this cabin. He had no money and worked 
out among the other farmers to earn enough to buy an ox team 
with which to begin improving his land. He bought 40 acres 
more and here he and his wife lived for the rest of their days. 
He died June 6, 1893, at the age of sixty-seven years and his 
wife died July 9, 1889, at the age of seventy-seven years. They 
were active members of the Norwegian Lutheran church and 
helped organize the church in that section of the county. 



-wTwi TOP.K 
IpUBUC LIBRARY 






HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 951 

Simmi Ilaiismi was married to Mrs. John Swendby, November, 
1888, and located in Day county, South Dakota, on a homestead of 
160 acres. They remained here for nine and a half years and 
then moved back to Renville county, locating in Crooks town- 
ship, on section 34, on the homestead of Mrs. Hanson's first hus- 
band, .John Swendby. Six children were born to Mr. and Mrs. 
Hanson: Henry, Randi, Sena, Anton, Gena ami Harry. The 
family are members of the Norwegian Lutheran church. Mr. 
Hanson died May 6, 1903. 

Bryngel Anderson was born in Sweden, the son of Anders 
Nero Bryngelson, a Swedish farmer who had the distinction of 
having served in the Swedish army. Aside from Bryngel there 
were two sisters in the family, Catherine and Mary. Bryngel 
Anderson grew to manhood in Sweden, became a tenant farmer 
and was married in 1S64 to Lisa Olson, born July 13, 1838, 
daughter of Ole 0. and Stena (Johnson) Olson. In the Olson 
family there were five children: Johan; Anna M.. now Mrs. 
Gustave Chilstrom, of Ogden, Utah; Erick; Anders, and Lisa. 
Mr. and Mrs. Anderson were blessed with seven children, all 
born in Sweden: Olof, John, Elizabeth (deceased). Carl (de- 
ceased); Anna, at home; Gustave who married Laura Hergren, 
has one child and lives in Mora, Kanabec county; and Tillie, who 
married Anton Holmar, has two children, and lives in Minne- 
apolis. Bryngel Anderson and other members of the family came 
to the United States in 1893. He died in Crooks township. .Ian. 
16, 1904. at the age of seventy-nine years. His widow makes her 
home with her sons Olof and John. 

Olof and John Bryngelson, successful farmers of Crooks town- 
ship, were born in Sweden, Olof, Aug. 17. 1865. and John. Jan. 
14. 1868, sons of Bryngel and Lisa (Olson i Anderson, of the 
family. Olof was the first to start for the United States, coming 
in 1886, and locating in Sibley county, this state, where he began 
working on farms. He earned enough to pay back the money 
loaned for his fare to America and then sent money to his brother 
John so that he could come. John came in 1888 and in l>!t:t all 
the rest of the family came except Elizabeth, who came in 1903 
Olof and John formed a partnership and rented land. In 1S93 
they moved onto 160 acres of wild land in section 15, ('rooks 
township, which had been purchased in 18S9. At once they set 
about improving and developing the farm and it soon became one 
of the best in the neighborhood. In 1896 they built a barn and 
in the spring of 1897 a house, 16 by 16 feet and 12 feet high. The 
entire family moved into this house. It has since been remodeled 
and is now a modern eight-room home. The brothers also began 
planting fruit trees and set out a windbreak. They now carry 
on general farming and raise a good grade of stock, and have 



952 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

enlarged their farm, until now it, contains 320 acres. Olof owns 
240 acres and John eighty acres. 

John Bryngelson has been road overseer a few years and is 
the treasurer of School District No. 119. He has been a member 
of the board of directors of the Clover Line Farmers' Telephone 

Company. Olof Bryngelson is a member of the Renville Far is' 

Elevator Company. The brothers are members of the Swedish 
Lutheran church and helped to establish the church built in 1897, 
known as the Freedsburg church. They both hold office in the 
church Olof being a trustee and John a deacon. Their sister 
Anna and their mother make their home with them. 

Louis C. Shanahan was born Feb. 28, 1876, in Blue Earth 
county, Minnesota, son of John and Johanna (Kelley ) Shanahan. 
His parents were of Irish ancestry, and the family were pioneers 
of Blue Earth county. Louis C. attended the district school and 
later became a farmer. Coming to Renville county in June, 1901, 
he bought his present farm in Crooks township in section 23 of 
160 acres, locating on the same in spring of 1902. It was partly 
improved and here he began farming and has now one of the 
best improved farms in Renville county. Mr. Shanahan is also 
a stock raiser besides raising all kinds of grain, such as corn, 
oats, wheat and barley, and is a most successful farmer in every 
way. Mr. Shanahan was united in marriage to Emma Taylor, 
Sept. 17, 1902, daughter of Solomon and Elizabeth ( Williams) 
Taylor. She was born in Mankato, Minn., Dec. 29, 1879. Sol- 
omon Taylor was born in Massachusetts, son of William Taylor 
and was of English ancestry. His wife was born in Oak Hill, 
Ohio, daughter of Hon. Evan Williams, a native of Wales. They 
were married in Minnesota and were pioneers of Mankato. Mr. 
Taylor served in the army during the Sioux uprising. Mr. and 
Mrs. Shanahan have had two children, a boy, Adrian Williard, 
born June 22, 1913, and one child who died in infancy. 

Henry Haen, a prosperous farmer of Crooks township, was 
born in Sheboygan county, Wis., June 18, 1856, son of John Henry 
and Barbara (Reise) Haen. He received his early education in 
the district schools of Lima and Wilson townships in his native 
state, and later attended the St. Francis Academy at Milwaukee, 
where he took up a short course of studies. He remained at 
home on the farm until he married and then he moved to Minne- 
sota to look for a new home. He came to Renville county in 1887 
and located in Emmet township in section 1, where he secured a 
tract of 200 acres, all wild prairie land with no improvements. 
Here he built a small frame house and remained on this place 
until 1896 when he became the manager of the Farmers' Elevator 
of Renville, renting his farm. It was then greatly improved and 
in a fair state of cultivation. He was one of the first stock- 
holders of this organization which was established in 1890 and 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 953 

served for six years on the board of directors before becoming 
its manager. While manager of the elevator he purchased his 
present farm in Crooks township, section 31, a tract of 376 acres, 
and in section 32 a tract of 200 acres, which lies across the road 
from the rest of his farm. Here he moved on leaving the manager- 
ship of the elevator. This farm was partly improved when he 
moved upon it and he has developed and put it into a fine condi- 
tion. He was one of the first to enter the sugar beet industry 
in this section. He raises the best grade of stock and has a nice 
orchard. Mr. Haen is at present the president of the Farmers' 
Elevator Company of Renville. He has served on the Crooks 
township board ever since moving here and is at present the 
chairman of the board. He was also a member of the Emmet 
township board for a number of years. He is a member of the 
Catholic church and helped organize the Church of the Holy 
Redeemer of Renville. Mr. Haen was united in marriage Jan. 
27, 1884, in St. George's parish, Wilson township, Sheboygan 
county, Wisconsin, to Anna Wildgrube, born in Sheboygan 
county, July 31, 1860, daughter of Eidman and Christiana (Wach- 
muth) Wildgrube, both natives of Germany, where they were 
married and located in Sheboygan county in about 1851. They 
are now both deceased. Mr. and Mrs. Haen have twelve children : 
Anna, Clara, Henry and Rosa (twins), Frank, Margaret, William, 
Joseph, Mary, Georgia, Leonard and Jerome. Anna was married 
to Jesse Smith and lives at Mandador, North Dakota. Their 
daughter, Lela Clara, a former teacher, married to Joseph R. 
Dvorsha and they live at Mandador, North Dakota. They have 
three children : Loraine, Erma and Arline. 

John Henry Haen, a Wisconsin pioneer, was born in Prussia, 
Germany, his parents being farmers and tavern keepers. 

John Henry and his brothers, Peter and Matthew, came to 
America in 1848 in a sailing vessel. It was a three-master and 
during a severe storm two of the masts were lost, the passengers 
finally landing at New York after ninety days on the water. 
These brothers made their way to Wisconsin and here worked 
out on the farms. John II. finally bought a tract of 80 acres in 
Lima township, Sheboygan county, all heavy timber land. Here 
he built a log house and began to clear the farm using an ox 
team. He and his family lived about twenty years on this place 
and made many improvements. They also operated a tavern four 
miles south of Sheboygan where they also had a farm. They 
made their home in Wisconsin through life. He was a member of 
the Catholic church and helped start the first church which was 
built of logs and was known as the St. George's Congregation, 
located on the township line of Wilson across the road from 
Lima township. He was for a number of years a township officer. 

Three or four years after he came to Wisconsin he married 



954 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Barbara Reise. His wife had eome from Bavaria, Germany, with 
her parents and settled in Sheboygan county, Wisconsin. He 
died in July, 1904, but his wife is still living at the age of eighty- 
four years. They had eleven children: Adeline (deceased), 
Mary, Henry, Dorethea, Sophia, Johanna, Emma, John, Frank, 
William and Rosa. 

James C. Fullerton, one of the early settlers of Renville county, 
was born Aug. 8, 1859, in Fillmore county. His father, James T.. 
was born November 3, 1822, near St. Louis and moved to Ren- 
ville county in 1871, where, wishing to engage in farming, he 
bought 200 acres in section 16, Cairo township. He died October, 
1908. The mother, Mrs. Mary (Van Buren ) Fullerton, born in 
England, died in 1892 at the age of seventy. James T. Fuller- 
ton was one of the soldiers of the Civil war and was with Sher- 
man on his famous march to the sea. He enlisted witli Company 
K., Fourth Minnesota, in 1863, and served nine month. James 
('. Fullerton left home at the age of twenty-two and worked out 
for three years. He learned the bottler's trade with Samuel 
Stone at Jordan, Minnesota, and started the firm of Stone & Ful- 
lerton in 1884 on his father's farm in Cairo township, keeping 
this in operation for two years. Then he moved to Fairfax and 
opened a bottling factory under the name of J. C. Fullerton, and 
supplied bottled goods to territory adjoining Fairfax within a 
radius of seventy-five miles. Mr. Fullerton is greatly interested 
in matters pertaining to the welfare and advancement of the 
village. He has been a member of the village council for ten 
years and has served on the school board for seven years. He 
owns several farms and is a stockholder in both the Farmers' 
Elevators in Fairfax. He is also a member of the State Fire 
Department. October 6, 18S7, Mr. Fullerton was married to 
Dora Voght. who was born Dec. 17, 1869, in Illinois. Her par- 
ents were Christian Voght a farmer on section 16, in Cairo town- 
ship, who rami' to this county in 1870 and died in 1903 at the 
age of seventy-two. and Margaret (Vollertsen) Voght, who is 
still living in Fairfax. Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Fullerton have eleven 
children. Harry, born Jan. li. 1889; Steve J., born Dec. 13, 1890; 
Edith, born Dee. 21. 1892, who is now a teacher in Renville county: 
Harvey, born Sept. 2. 1894 : Clara, born May 9, 1896, also a teacher 
in Renville county: Carrie, born Dec. 20, 1898; Floyd, born Feb. 
21, 1901; Roy. born Jan. 22, 1903: Ethel, born August 19, 1904; 
Mildred Eva. born Sept. 19, 1908. died Nov. 17, 1908; Leora, born 
Dec 5, 1909. 

Daniel Herring was born in Clarion county, Pennsylvania, Oct. 
21, 1832, and died Nov. 20. 1865. He married in 1S49 Nancy Jane 
Dunbar, born July 5, 1832, in Clarion county, Penn. They drove 
by ox team from Pennsylvania with their two children, George 
and Sophia, coming in company with others who intended to 



™«UC LIBRAHV 



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HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNT V 955 

settle in Minnesota. They located on a farm dose to Caledonia, 
in Houston county, where a cabin was built and a clearing started. 
At this time the Sioux Indians became hostile and Mr. Herring 
enlisted in the Tenth Minnesota Vol. Inf. He accompanied the 
Sibley expedition against the Indians and was present when the 
thirty-eight Sioux were hanged at Mankato. Later he was sent 
south and served throughout the Civil war until he received his 
honorable discharge in 1865. He died in 1865 in Houston county. 
In the fall of 1866 his widow and children moved to Faribault 
county and took a widow 's homestead of 80 acres in Laura town- 
ship, section 14. It was all wild prairie land. The lumber for 
the house was hauled from Waseca, forty miles away, and the 
family lived in the wagon until it was completed. Daniel Her- 
ring's father had come with the family. The widow managed the 
farm and here the children grew up. She died Feb. 18, 1893. Sin- 
was a member of the Free Methodist church. Six children had 
been born to Mi-, and Mrs. Herring: George, born \)>t. 10. 1849; 
Sophia, born April S. 1852; Henry J., born August 8. 1854: Joseph 
M., born March 16. 1S57 ; Daniel W., born Sept. 28. 1859; and 
Melvin, born Sept. 2, 1862. 

Melvin L. Herring was born in Houston county. Minn.. Sept. 
2. 1861, son of Daniel W. and Nancy -I. (Dunbar) Herring. He 

was educated in Faribault county, attending tl ountry school 

held in a frame building located on his mother's farm. < >n the 
home farm he grew to manhood, his mother making her home 
with him as long as she lived. In 1897 he moved to Brown 
county where he lived until 1900 when he moved to Crooks town- 
ship, Renville county, and. located on 320 acres in section 28. 
He has made extensive improvements on this farm and built good 
buildings, barns and sheds, and carries on general farming. He 
raises full-blooded cattle, specializing in Shorthorn cattle. Be 
has also some fine fruit trees. He is a member of the Farmers' 
Elevator of Renville, lie is treasurer of his school district and 
In- was also a member of the school board when in Brown county. 
He attends the Methodist Episcopal church. Sept. 2. 1891. Mr. 
Herring was married to Effie Rosetta Baker, born in Faribault 
county, Feb. 2, 1866, daughter of Abijah and Laura Waite) 
Baker. Mrs. Baker was born in the state of Vermont, Washing- 
ton county, town of Waren. . Mr. Baker was born in the state of 

New York. Steuben county. They were married in tl ast and 

drove to Fillmore county in 1855, locating there for a time ami 
then coming to Faribault county in 1863 where they secured a 
homestead and lived the remainder of their life. Mr. and Mrs. 
Eerring have seven children: Raymond M.. Ethel II.. Esther < '.. 
Guy ('., Ruth M., Hazel A.. Paul M„ all living at home. 

Wilhelm Loock, deceased, was born in Pomerania, Germanj 
July 28, 1839. He learned the trade of a tailor in Germany and 



956 HISTORY OP" RENVILLE COUNTY 

after his marriage to Mary Ohm, daughter of Joachim Ohm, he 
and Ins family and also his wife's father set out for America in 
1864, coming by sailing vessel, the voyage taking three months. 
He came to Dodge county, Wisconsin, and located at Watertown, 
where he engaged in his trade as tailor. Alter a time he bought 
a farm in the township of Libbenon, Dodge county. In 1887 he 
came to Renville county locating in Crooks township in section 
35 on a tract of 160 acres which he purchased. It was all wild 
prairie land. lie built a granary and here the family lived until 
a house could lie built. This house has since been remodeled by 
his sou William who now owns the place. He had six horses 
to start with but no other stock. He gradually increased his farm 
until he owned a whole section. Mr. Loock was an active mem- 
ber of the German Lutheran church and held the office of trustee 
for several years. He helped establish the church in Renville. 
His wife died duly 16, 1915, at the age of seventy-four. Mr. 
Loock died Dec. 16, 1911, at the age of seventy-two years. The 
following children were born to these parents: Emil. Anna, 
Julius, John. Emma, Louisa, William A., Rosetta, Mary and 
Carl. 

William A. Loock was born Jan. 23, 1875, and received his 
early education in Wisconsin, being twelve years of age when the 
family came to Crooks township. As he grew to manhood he 
took charge of the old home tract farm of 240 acres. He remod- 
eled the house and built a new barn 40 by 60 feet with a base- 
ment. He raises a good grade of stock, and also some fruit. 
lb- is a members of the Farmers' Elevator Company of Danube. 
He has also held several township offices, having been a member 
of the scdiool board and township supervisor for twelve years. 
Mr. Loock was married in 1899 to Louisa Bade, born in Waseca 
county, daughter of Frederick and Josephine (Wickworth) Bade, 
both natives of Germany. Her father was brought to this country 
when an infant and his parents settled in Wisconsin. He was 
born in Germany Oct. 24, 1858, and his wife was born Dec. 13, 
1861. They had four children, Mr. and Mrs. Loock have five 
children : Regina, Anthony, Gerald, Adelheid and one child who 
died in infancy. 

Herman Lindeman, for many years a resident of Renville 
county and later of Redwood county, was born in Le Sueur 
county, this state, Nov. 26, 1862, and came to Renville county with 
his parents in 1868, locating in Beaver Falls township. In 1885 
he purchased a farm in Henryville township, and to the original 
160 acres added until he owned 320 acres. Tn 1892 he moved to 
North Redwood, as agent for Nelson Tenny & Co. Later he 
became interested in the lumber and grain business at Danube. 
He died Aug. 1, 1901. His widow later returned to North Red- 
wood, where she owns a pleasant home which she built in 1904. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 957 

Mr. Lindeman was married March 19, 1885, to Martha Shoe- 
maker, who was born May 18, 1863. They had eight children: 
Otto. Esther, Ella. August. Arthur. Paul, Dewey and Minnie. 
Otto was born March 11, 1886, and now lives in New Avon town- 
ship. Redwood county. He married Julia Ash. Esther was born 
June 15, 1888, and married Louis Garttner, a baker of Pueblo, 
Colorado. Ella was born Sept. 27, 1889, and is now principal of 
the Olivia High school. August was born April 26, 1890. and 
lives in Danube, this county. Arthur was born Sept. 29. 1893, 
and is now a student in the University of Minnesota. Paul, born 
Jan. 28. 1895; Dewey, born June 26, 1897. and Minnie, born Dec. 
1, 1900, are at home. The family faith is that of the Evangelical 
Association. 

Leo Claude Vader, a well-known Civil Engineer of Olivia, was 
born Dec. 13, 1881, in Scranton, Iowa, the son of John Wesley 
and Cynthia (Clopton) Yader. He received his early education 
in the schools of his locality and later graduated from the Iowa 
State College of Agriculture and Mechanic Arts, having taken a 
course in civil engineering. He had seven years' experience in 
drainage work in Iowa, both as contractor and engineer. In the 
fall of 1913, In- was appointed as assistant drainage engineer by 
the United States Department of Agriculture, but did not report 
for duty, after considering the unsanitary conditions of drainage 
engineering work in the South Atlantic States, where they ex- 
pected to send him. In February. 1915, he located in Olivia, 
having been engaged in county drainage engineering work in 
Renville county since that time. Mr. Yader was married August 
16. 1911. to Lizzie Harmon, born Sept. 9. 1882. in Tama. Iowa, 
daughter of Alpheus B. and Lillie (Jacobs) Harmon. 

John Wesley Vader was born in Illinoi in 1859 and is now living 
in Iowa. He is a Republican in politics and took active interest 
in the affairs of that party, being county recorder of < 1-reeue county 
Iowa, for two terms. In 1879 he was married to Cynthia Clopton, 
born Jan. 29, 1856, in Jefferson, Iowa, the wedding taking place 
at that place. Five children were born to this union : Leo Claude ; 
John, a farmer in Iowa: Clara B„ now Mrs. M. A. Cox, of Iowa; 
Asenath and Adelbert, who are at home. 

Louis A. Matzdorf, hardware dealer, of Olivia, was born June 
20. 1870, in Newton township, Marquette county. Wis., the son 
of William J. and Augusta (Klucus) Matzdorf. In 1888 he pur- 
chased 120 acres in the southeast quarter of section 19, and 160 
acres in the northwest quarter of section 18, Preston Lake town- 
ship, where he remained until 1904, when he entered the hard- 
ware business at Buffalo Lake. Five years later he sold this 
business and removed to Olivia in 1909, working in Heins & 
Byers hardware store three years. In 1912 he purchased an in- 
terest in the Olivia Hardware Company and is now devoting his 



958 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

time to this business. He was village treasurer of Buffalo Lake 
four years and constable six years. On Sept. 3, 1896, Mr. Matz- 
dorf was married to Mrs. Mary A. (Wallner) Brigger, born Nov. 
15, 1871, at .Minnesota Lake, Faribault county, the daughter of 
John and Anna (Tutz) Wallner. They have two children: Esther, 
born April 20, 1897; Irene, bom Aug. 26, 1903. John Wallner 
was born in Austria, came to this country and died Nov. 11, 1896, 
at the age of 54 years. He married Anna Tutz, who is now 70 
years old. She lives at Buffalo Lake. 

William J. Matzdorf, born in Germany, Dee. 25, 1826, came 
to America in 1848, settling in Wisconsin, where he bought eighty 
acres. He married Augusta Klucus, born in Germany, Sept. 11, 
1831, the ceremony being performed in 1860. Mrs. Matzdorf came 
to America in 1855 with two brothers and is now living in Buffalo 
Lake at the ripe old age of 84 years. In 1861 Mr. Matzdorf en- 
listed in the Thirty-second Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, from 
which he received an honorable discharge after serving four 
years and nine months. In 1872 lie settled at Howard Lake, 
Wright county, Minn., where he bought 80 acres of land, remain- 
ing there until 1874, when lie went to Preston Lake township, 
Renville county, where he homesteaded the northwest quarter of 
section 20, on which he remained until his death Dee. 23, 1910, at 
the age of 84 years. 

John W. Wordes was born in Holland Jan. 15. 1820. and was 
there reared. In 1847, both Ids parents being dead, he boarded 
a sailing vessel for America, landing in the new world after a 
long and tiresome voyage of seventy-two days. At Albany. New 
York, May 19, 1849, he was married to Johanna Bloomers, who 
was born in Holland July 20. 1827, daughter of Gerrit W. and 
Johanna Bloomers, who brought her. and the other five children 
in the family, Grace, Tobias, Gerrit, Cynthia and Jane, to America 
on the same sailing vessel that her husband came on. After their 
marriage, Mr. and Mrs. Wordes lived for some two years on a 
farm near Albany. N. V. There their home burned, entailing a 
heavy loss. But they had enough money to buy from the gov- 
ernment at $2 an acre forty acres id' timberland in section 36. 
Lima township. Sheboygan county. Wisconsin, to which tract they 
moved with their two children .lane and Sena. .V large enough 
space was cleared to erect a cabin and in addition to developing 
this place, Mr. Wordes worked out among the fanners for about 
two years, to earn money with which to get a start on his farm. 
He cleared up the 40 acres and added more till he had 100 acres. 
In time he built a modern house. For a few years he served on 
the school board. He helped to organize the Baptist church in 
Lima township and was one of its officers, the early services 
of that denomination being held in his cabin. One of the many 
happy events in the life of Mr. and Mrs. Wordes was the cele- 



?U«UC 



LENOX kND 






HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 959 

bration of their golden wedding anniversary, May 19, 1899. They 
were the parents of nine children: Jane, bora March 1, 1850, and 
died at the age of twelve years; Sena, born April 26, 1852; Henry 
W., born Jan. 31, 1855; Johanna, born April 18, 1857, and died 
Nov. 8, 1888: John, born Nov. 6, 1861; Lena, born Oct. 31, 1863; 
Jennie, born Sept. 10, 1865 ; Minnie, born May 27, 1867, and died 
Sept, 1. 1913: and William, born March 31, 1873. John W. 
Wordes died Feb. 6, 1900. Mrs. Johanna (Bloomers) Wordes 
lives in Sheboygan county. Wis., with one of her daughters. 

John George Wordes, a thrifty farmer of Crooks township, 
was born Nov. 6, 1861, in Lima township, Sheboygan county, Wis- 
consin, son of John W. and Johanna (Bloomers) Wordes. He 
was reared on the home farm and attended a primitive school in a 
small frame building with home-made seats in district 11 in his 
native township. In 1887, he left his father's farm and came to 
Minnesota, locating on section 7, Crooks township, where he had 
the previous year obtained 160 acres of railroad land at $9 an 
acre. On this wild prairie land he constructed a rude dugout 
and began farming with a team of oxen and a team of horses. He 
broke the land, gradually developed the place, in time erected 
suitable buildings, and added eighty acres more. Later, how- 
ever, he sold this farm of 240 acres and moved to his present place 
in section I'll. < 'rooks township, where he purchased 160 acres of 
partly improved land to which he has since added 160 acres more. 
This place he has brought to a high stage of cultivation. He has 
built a modern home and commodious barns and outbuildings, 
has installed numerous improvements, and has beautified the 
place with trees and shrubbery. He successfully carried on gen- 
eral farming, raises a good grade of stock and specializes in Hol- 
stein eattle. lie also has attained good results in fruit culture. 
He is a prominent man in his township and carries on farming 
along the latest improved modern methods. Mr. Wordes has 
held the office of township clerk for twenty-six years and has 
been a member of the school board for twenty years. He is a 
director of the Farmers' Elevator Company of Renville. He is 
also a trustee of the Methodist Episcopal church at Renville. 

Mr. Wordes was united in marriage to Jane Christina Brum- 
mels. born in Holland. Nov. 15, 1867, daughter of John A. and 
Elizabeth (Ongena) Brummels. This family came to America 
in 1869. coming to Sheboygan county, Wisconsin, bringing with 
them their children, Jane and William. The father died about 
three years after they came to this country and the mother mar- 
ried Henry Steen. To this union were born the following chil- 
dren: Alzene (deceased), Elizabeth, Hattie and Mary. The 
mother died April 3, 1912, at the age of sixty-seven years. Mr. 
and Mrs. John Wordes have the following children: William 
Albert, born Feb. 4, 1888, is a farmer in section 27, Crooks town- 



960 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

.ship. He was married to Hattie L. Jacobs. George, born Jan. 14, 
1890, is farming in Emmet township. He married Winnifred Mc- 
Broom, and has two children Gordon E., born June 1, 1911, and 
Jane A., born April 29, 1913. Elizabeth J. was born Nov. 20, 
1894; Arthur H, bom May 16, 1897; Lester J., Oct. 17, 1901; and 
John T., born June 5, 1905. 

Oliver T. Sunde, the efficient and popular sheriff of Renville 
county, was born in Albion township. Brown county. Minnesota, 
Dec. 23, 1879, son of Torkel T. and Ragnhild (Hyne) Sunde. He 
attended the district schools, completed his studies at the St. 
Anthony school and in early life learned the buttermaking trade 
at Grandburg, Wis. For a time he was at the Albion Creamery 
in Brown county, but in 1892 he came to Renville county and 
became manager of the Renville. Creamery Companj-. He next 
interested himself in the hardware business at Renville, the firm 
being known as Sanders & Company. Five years later he sold 
his interests. In 1912 he was elected sheriff of Renville county 
and succeeded himself in 1914 for a four-year term. In politics 
he is a Republican. He is a member of the I. O. O. F. of Olivia. 
Sheriff Sunde has made a most admirable officer and his methods 
have won the highest commendation. Affable and approachable 
to his friends, sympathetic with all who are in trouble, and a 
courageous, active and busy officer, his popularity grows con- 
tinually. Mr. Sunde was married Feb. 23, 1904, t<> Laura Barber, 
of Yellow Medicine county, daughter of Thomas C. and Sarah 
Barber, early settlers of Echo, Yellow Medicine county. Mr. and 
Mrs. Sunde have one child. Myron, born Dec. 13, 1906. 

Torkel Sunde, born March 1, 1S37. and Ragnhild i Hyne) 
Sunde, born Sept. 1, 1845, parents of Sheriff O. T. Sunde, were 
natives of Norway, where they were married. They came to 
America with two children, Thora and Anna, in 1868. and set- 
tled in Albion township. Brown county, where they engaged in 
farming. Their nearest market was Mankato from which place 
the father carried home heavy flour sacks on his back. He en- 
dured all the hardships of the early pioneer and became a lead- 
ing spirit in the community. He died Aug. 29, 1889. and his 
wife died Feb. S. 1886. Their children were Thora, who died 
Jan. 3, 1915: Anna, who died in 1882, Oliver. Theodore. Alfred, 
Thalia, Clara, and Karn. who died at the age of four years. 

Warren H. Heins, a well-known business man of Olivia, was 
born in Olivia May 2. 1885. the son of Peter W. and Margaret 
Patterson Heins. He graduated from the Olivia High school and in 
1909 from Hamline university, at Hamline, receiving the degree of 
Bachelor of Philosophy. The next year he spent at Columbia uni- 
versity in New York City, where he received the degree of Bach- 
elor of Science. The next year, lie assumed management of Heins 
& Byers hardware business, of which firm he was a member. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 961 

During this time he was also vice president of the Peoples' First 
National bank of Olivia. He was cashier of this bank during the 
year 1914. The next year he sold his holdings in this bank and 
purchased C. A. Heins' interest in the hardware business and 
in the two large farms owned by Heins & Byers. Mr. Heins also 
owns a hardware business and buildings in Renville. He and 
his brother C. A. Heins own a 560-acre farm just west of Olivia, 
where they specialize in Shorthorn cattle. In politics Mr. Heins 
is a Republican. His fraternal affiliation is with Olivia lodge, 
No. 220, A. F. & A. M. Mr. Heins was married Oct. 5, 1911, to 
Myrtle M. Prosser, a resident of Spring Valley, Minn., the daugh- 
ter of L. Hobart Prosser and Emmeretta (Case) Prosser. They 
have one child, Hugh Prosser Heins, born. Aug. 19, 1913. Both 
Mr. and Mrs. Heins are members of the Methodist Episcopal 
church. 

James Hurley, a pioneer resident of Bandon township, was 
born in Ireland in 1833. He came to America in 1841, settling 
in Ne'w York state. Twenty-five years later he came to Minne- 
sota and settled at Rochester and in 1872 came to Renville county. 
He still owns his farm in Bandon but for several years past he 
has resided in Bird Island, where three of his sons reside. 

Herman C. Becker, popular and successful Olivia druggist, 
was born in Montgomery, Minn., Aug. 27, 1874, son of Frank and 
Josephine (Richter) Becker. He became thoroughly familiar in 
the dispensing of drugs while employed by his brother in his 
native town, and at the age of twenty-three came to Olivia, and 
engaged in his present business. He carries a good stock of 
goods and is widely known for his honorable dealing. A Re- 
publican in politics, he did good service as a member of the 
village council of Olivia in 1905-06. His fraternal affiliations are 
with A. 0. U. "W. All in all, Mr. Becker is a useful citizen and 
has had an important part in the upbuilding of the village. On 
July 3, 1901, Mr. Becker married Blanche Rocek, of Olivia, born 
Fell. 20, 1875, in New Prague, Minn., the daughter of Anton and 
Katherine (Petrichka) Rocek. They have one child, Katherine, 
born in July, 1905, now attending school at Olivia. 

Frank Becker, born in 1845 in Germany, came to America 
with his parents in 1852 and went to Chicago, leaving there in a 
short time for Montgomery, Minn., where he opened a general 
store which he conducted for thirty-five years, retiring in 1912. 
He is still living in the town where the best years of his life were 
spent. He was married at Montgomery, in 1866, to Josephine 
Richter who was born in Germany in 1844, and came to America 
at an early age with her parents who settled on a farm in Le- 
Sueur county, this state. She died in 1903. Mr. and Mrs. Becker 
had four children, all living; William, druggist, of Montgomery; 
Herman, druggist, of Olivia ; Frank, druggist of Parker, South 



962 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Dakota ; Lena, now Mrs. Henry Perron, of Timber Lake South 
Dakota. 

Anton Rocek married Katherine Petriehka at New Prague, 
Minn. Both were born in Bohemia an<l came to America when 
quite young. Mr. Rocek spent some years farming and moved to 
Olivia in 189") when- he engaged in business, retiring in 1905. 
.Mis. Rocek died in the same year that he ended his business 
career. There were five children: Fred, John and Bessie, of 
Olivia: Henry, who is dead: Blanche, the wife of Herman C. 
Becker. 

John E. Dennstedt, a popular retired farmer of Olivia, was 
born in Germany in 18:25. In 1847 he sailed for Canada, where 
he purchased land and lived until 1859 when he came to this 
country and settled in Fillmore county, Minn. There he bought 
240 acres of land which he greatly improved. This property he 
sold in 1873, when he came to Renville county and bought 320 
acres of raw land in Winiield township. This he improved, build- 
ing barns and a six-room house. He added to his original hold- 
ings until he had 440 acres. He was a leading stock raiser and 
always possessed several fine mules. In 1908 he sold the farm 
and retired, moving to Olivia where he bought 32 acres on which 
he erected a fine nine-room house. Great improvements were 
made on the grounds and the place is now one of the finest in 
Olivia — in fact, it is in every sense of the word a little paradise. 
Mr. Dennstedt has always been very active and now at the age 
of 90 years is constantly busy around his home in which he and 
his wife take a keen interest. He is a Republican, but has never 
taken an active part in political work so far as the holding of 
office is concerned, although he has had many opportunities had 
he chosen to take advantage of them. Both he and his wife are 
members of the Evangelical church. Mr. Dennstedt has been 
twice married. His first wife he wedded in Canada. She was 
Minnie Krusb and bore six children : Charles, now living in Fill- 
more county: John, of Spring Valley, Minn.; George, of Norwood; 
Eliza, the wife of Henry Fehr, of Olivia; Caroline, now Mrs. 
Isaac Wickerman, of Fillmore county; Kate, the wife of Gotlieb 
Beck, of Olivia. Mrs. Minnie Dennstedt died in 1866 at Jasper, 
Pipestone county, Minn. Mr. Dennstedt married again on Oct. 
14, 1868, his second wife being Johanna Kleimenhagen of Fillmore 
county. She was born in Germany, Feb. 8, 1847, and came to 
this country in 1866, her father, brothers and sisters coming later, 
hei- mother having died in Germany. She bore twelve children: 
William, who lives in North Dakota: Amelia, now Mrs. Ole Em- 
men, of Minneapolis; Otto, of Albert Lea; Henry (deceased); 
Henrietta, who is dead; Chester, of North Dakota: Martha, now 
Mrs. Arthur O. Hilster. of St. Paul; Sarah, the wife of J. Mc- 
Corquodale, of Olivia; Adaline, now Mrs. Otto Gerde, of Minne- 




I. 

Z; 






TH*' •• • 
PUMUl 



IASTOK. LENi ■». 
TILDSN FOUNDATIONS 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 963 

apolis; Albert, who lives at Albert Lea; Aaron, who lives in 
North Dakota ; Lucile, who is teaching school at Minneapolis. 

Louis P. Mahler, the popular jeweler of Olivia, was born 
March 5, 1876, at Le Sueur, Minn., son of Dedrich and Charlotte 
(Wagner) Mahler. He received his education in the schools of 
Le Sueur and at the age of sixteen began learning the business 
in which he later engaged for himself. When eighteen years of 
age he entered the employ of E. R. Smith, a jeweler of Le Sueur, 
with whom lie remained for two years. Then he worked with 
T. G. Mahler for rive years. In 1S99 he came to Olivia and began 
the jewelry business in which he has been engaged ever since. 
His venture was a success from the start and from a small begin- 
ning he lias progressed steadily toward a prosperous business 
until he now conducts one of the leading jewelry stores in the 
county, carrying a full line of good goods. In 1914 he remodeled 
his store. It is now equipped with mahogany-finished wall cases, 
shelves and showcases with French plate mirrors, and every facil- 
ity for showing the stock to the best advantages. An artistic cut- 
glass room finished in mahogany facing with white enameled back 
ground, and heavy glass shelving with large mirrors in the sides 
and back, is found in the rear of the store for the display of the 
fine line of cut glass. He does all kinds of watch, clock and jew- 
elry repairing and engraving, and is also a fine optician having 
a special department for this work. Mr. Mahler is a Republican 
in politics and is actively interested in the affairs of the com- 
munity. Fraternally he is affiliated with the Masonic and the 
I. 0. 0. F. lodges of Olivia and has held all the chairs of the 
latter lodge. June 6, 1906, Mr. Mahler was married to Anna Mc- 
Corquodale, of Olivia, born Jan. 15, 1882, daughter of Augustus 
and Helen (Ross) McCorquodale. 

Dedrich Mahler was born in Germany in 1841 and came to 
America in 1857, locating at Le Sueur, Minn., where he became 
very successful as a builder and contractor. He was revered and 
respected, and died in 1913, sincerely mourned. He was married 
in 1867 to Charlotte Wagner, born in 1847 at Cincinnati, Ohio, 
daughter of Jacob and Mary Wagner. She died April 16, 1892, 
at Le Sueur. There were ten children in the family : Henry, who 
represents one of New York's business houses in Minneapolis; 
Theodore, who conducts a jewelry business at Le Sueur; William, 
who is engaged in newspaper work in Springfield. Minn. ; Louis, 
an Olivia jeweler; Emma, now Mrs. G. H. Probett, of St. Paul; 
Charles, of Pasco, Wash., who is in the lumber business; Ida, now 
Mrs. F. J. Linn, whose husband is associated with the Minne- 
apolis Bedding Co.; Rollin, who is in the Jewelry business at Belle 
Plaine, Minn. ; Laura, a Minneapolis milliner ; and Oscar, of Pen- 
dleton, Oregon, who is in the lumber business. 



964 HISTORY OF RENVILLE. COUNTY 

William H. Cheney, for many years a prominent farmer of 
Beaver Falls township, was born in Attica, New York, Dec. 28, 
1834, son of John and Analiza (Gray) Cheney. John Cheney was 
born in Vermont, in 1807, moved as a young man to New Y r ork 
state, and in 1842 located near Prospect, Wisconsin, where he 
lived on one place for more than sixty years. He devoted his 
life to farming but was also a financier to a considerable extent, 
loaning money to his neighbors to help develop their farms. He 
died in 1904 at the age of eighty-seven years. Analiza (Gray) 
Cheney was born in eastern New York state, in pioneer days, 
having first seen the light of day in 1809. She lived through 
many stirring scenes and witnessed many interesting sights, in- 
cluding the launching of the first steamboat on the Great Lakes, 
at Black Rock, now a part of Buffalo, New York. Her aunt, Mrs. 
Lovejoy, perished when Buffalo was burned in 1812. Analiza 
(Gray) Cheney die. I Dee. 2S, 1842. In the family there were 
four children: Francis M., who died in 1907; Teressa C, who 
died in 1893: William H., the subject of this sketch; ami Cynthia 
M., the widow of Henry W. Draper, of Warsaw, Minn. William 
H. Cheney attended the public schools of Prospect, Wis., and re- 
mained at home until twenty-one years of age, devoting his time 
for several years to buying grain and milling. In 1855 he came 
tii Minnesota, located at Faribault, and farmed in Warsaw town- 
ships. During tin- war he was in the Quartermaster's department, 
engaged in detail work and carpentry. After the war he again 
took up farming in Warsaw township. In 1885 he came to Beaver 
Falls township, this county, and secured a farm of 592 acres bor- 
dering mi the village of Beaver Falls. He improved and developed 
this place ami built up a line farm. Here he successfully carried 
on general farming until 1900. when he turned the place over to 
his son John and moved to Olivia, where he purchased five acres 
of bind and erected a home. This home he still retains though he 
now lives at Boise, Idaho. While in the township he was a promi- 
nent citizen, ami served on the township board as supervisor and 
as chairman. At one time he was vice president of the Farmers' 
State Bank of Sacred Heart, in which he is still a stockholder. 
In addition to his property in Olivia, lie owns 72 acres in Beaver 
Falls township and 160 acres in Wright county. 

Mr. Cheney was married dan. 1, 1866, to Isabelle Wood, who 
bore him three children, Mattie, John and Cynthia. Mattie is 
now Mrs. F. B. Kinyon, of Boise, Idaho. She and her husband 
have an adopted daughter. Margaret. John operates the farm 
in Beaver Falls township. Cynthia died at the age of twenty- 
one. On May 16, 1887, Mr. Cheney married Margaret W. Clem- 
ents, who died April 21, 1911. 

Julius Heinecke, now retired and living at Olivia, was born 
in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Jan. 9, 1852, son of John Adolph 




S3 






HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 965 

Frederick and Anna Mary Sophia (Maury) Heinecke. Julius 
Heinecke remained at home until he was fourteen years of age, 
when lie went to work for his board while attending school. When 
he was nineteen he began the wagon makers' trade at Benton. 
Carvei' county, Minn., where he remained one year. Leaving 
there he worked two years in the framing department of Thomas 
Chambers Art store at .Minneapolis. The next three years were 
spent in the same line of work for James Browned at St. Paul. 
In 1876 In 1 entered a homestead claim of eighty acres and a tree 
claim of eighty acres on the southeast quarter id' section 32, Pres- 
ton Lake township, which he still owns together with the south 
half of the northwest quarter and the south half of the north- 
east quarter of section 32. He retired in 1910 and has lived in 
Olivia since. For four years he was township supervisor and for 
one year assessor. He is a stockholder in the Farmers' State 
Bank of Olivia. Mr. Heinecke was married Feb. 2, 1S77, to Mary 
F. Robinson, born Dec. 15. 1857, in Iowa, daughter of Thomas L. 
and Sarah (Buxton) Robinson. Ten children were born: Am- 
brose -lulius, born Oct. "20, 1878, of Byers, Colorado, married Mary 
Haugen of Lac qui Parle county. Minn., and has four children; 
Aurora, born April 25, 1880; married Charles Olson, a hardware 
merchant of Centuria, Wis., and has five children; Sophia Cora, 
born Dec. 31, 1881, was married to -less Scheibel of Olivia, a hard- 
ware clerk; Annie Florence, born March 2, 1884, was married to 
Burgess E. Woody, of Los Angeles, California, and has two chil- 
dren; Cornelius Ray ml. born .Ian. 29. 1886, now of Grafton 

township. Sibley county, married Minnie Keitel ; Roland < '.. born 
Dec. 30, 1887, of Olivia; Herbert Harrison, born Feb. 11, 1890, on 
his father's farm in Preston Lake, married Cora Harrier and lias 
two children; Julian Wingred, born Oct. SI, 1892, now of Sioux 
City. Iowa; Percy Ehvin. born Sept. 31, 1895, of Centuria, Wis., 
clerk in a hardware store; and Lula Viola, born Dec. 18, 1896, at 
home. 

John Adolph Frederick Heinecke, born in Germany .March 3, 
1820, came to America in 1848 and spent a short time in Philadel- 
phia, going from there to Harrisburg, Pa., where he spent five 
years in the tailoring trade. While there he made a suit of clothes 
for Alexander Ramsey, who later became governor of Minnesota, 
and who influenced him to move to Minnesota in 1855 and locate 
at St. Paul, as a tailor and clothier. In 1858 he took up land in 
Carver county where he remained until 1867 when he sold out 
his property. He then purchased eighty acres in Chaska town- 
ship, where the Carver County Sugar factory now stands, moving 
from there in 1901 when he retired from farming and located in 
Preston Lake township, where he resided with his son, Julius, 
until his death in 1908. His wife was born Dec. 18, 1819, in Han- 
Over, Germany, and died Easter Sunday, 1902. 



966 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Thomas L. B. Robinson, born in 1824, near Columbus, Ohio, 
was a cabinet maker and farmer. He came to Renville county 
in 1873, and died iu 1884 ?t the age of sixty-three years. His 
wife, Sarah (Buxton) Robinson, was born iu 1830 and died March, 
1903, at the age of seventy-three years. 

William Buethe, an extensive laud owner now living in Olivia, 
was born iu Hesse, Germany, March 10, 1848, son of Henry and 
Wilhelmina (Meier) Buethe, who came to America iu 1861, lo- 
cated iu Will county, Illinois, engaged iu farming for many years, 
aud afterward retired to Monee Station, where they both died. 
William Buethe attended the schools of his uative land, came to 
America with his parents in 1861, and located with them on a 
farm in Will county. Illinois, where he likewise attended school 
and where he grew to manhood, and learned farming from his 
father. He remained home until 1873 and then came to Renville 
county where he purchased a farm of 160 acres in the town of 
Birch Cooley and farmed about four years, after which he re- 
moved to Winfield township and took a tree claim of 160 acres. 
He improved this claim, built up a fine farm, and added to the 
place from time to time until he owned 480 acres of the best laud. 
In 1897 he rented his farm and moved to Olivia where he erected 
a splendid residence and where he is now, after a long and stren- 
uous life filled with hard work aud strenuous endeavor, speudiug 
the afternoon of life in the comfort which he so richly deserves. 
He still owns the 480 acre farm in Winfield township, and in addi- 
tion to this has his five-acre tract in the village of Olivia, fourteen 
acres iu Oregon, eighty acres in Wisconsin, and 220 acres in North 
Dakota. While in the township he was one of the most popular 
men in the community, and served on the township board for 
many years, was assessor thirteen years, and was treasurer or 
clerk of his school board at different times for many years. Since 
coming to the village he has served two years as assessor and 
eleven years as a member of the village council. He is a stock- 
holder in the Olivia Canning Co. William Buethe was married in 
Will county, Illinois, Feb. 13, 1872, to Sophia Homeier, who was 
born in Hauover, Germany, Juue 23, 1853, daughter of Henry 
and Mary (Bergman) Homeier, natives of Germany who came 
to America in 1854, located in the town of Green Garden, Will 
county, 111., and there engaged iu farming until 1875, when they 
came to Renville county and located at Beaver Falls, in their lat- 
ter days making their home with Mr. and Mrs. Buethe in Winfield 
township, where they died. Mr. and Mrs. Buethe have had eight 
children : William J., Henry, Minnie, August, Matilda, Rika, Ida, 
and George. William J. lives in Elesa, Minn., where he conducts 
a restaurant. He married Cora Smith and they have five chil- 
dren. Henry lives in Ruso, North Dakota, where he farms. He 
married Annie Doering, and they have eight children. Minnie 




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HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 967 

lives in Clara City, Minn. She married Emil Yock and they eon- 
duct a general store. They have three children. August is a 
merchant at Paynesville, Minn. He married Edna Feeder and 
they have three children. Matilda lives in Clara City, Minn. She 
married George Schulte, a hardware merchant, and they have 
three children. Rika lives in Sheboygan, Wis. She married 
Julius Bruhm, a druggist, and they have one child. Ida lives in 
Bird Island, this county. She married Albert Baarch, a real 
estate dealer, and they have one child. George is proprietor of 
the Olivia Bottling & Ice Cream Co., of Olivia, and lives at home. 
The family faith is that of the German Lutheran church. 

Dennis O'Shea, one of Minnesota's heroes, was born Nov. 1, 
1831, and died April 27, 1912. He is buried at Ft. Ridgely which 
he helped to defend. He served five years in Company L, Second 
United States Artillery, two years in the Seminole war in Florida, 
was with Marsh's command when it was ambushed at Redwood 
Ferry, Aug. 18, 1862, and had command of a piece of artillery 
during the siege ami battles of Ft. Ridgely. Of him it has 
been said: "He lived up to his orders and was faithful to 
his commands." Before the Massacre he lived near Franklin, 
but he afterward lived near the fort which he had so nobly 
defended. 

John Mehlhouse, one of the leading farmers of Renville county, 
now living in Olivia, was born in Lee county, 111., Dec. 11, 1869, 
son of Justus and Mary (Kummel) Mehlhouse. He received a 
good education and learned farming from his father. In 1891 he 
purchased eighty acres of land of R. D. Cone in section 6, Nor- 
folk township. This he still owns and values at $100 per acre. 
In 1893 he bought eighty acres of Joe Single, this farm being 
well improved and valued at $150 per acre, and is still in pos- 
session of it. In 1897 he moved onto this farm, always living at 
home until then. In 1902, together with his brother George, he 
purchased 120 acres, but soon sold his interests in the farm. In 
1905 he purchased 160 acres in section 32 of Bird Island township 
for which he paid $37.50 an acre. This proved an exceptionally 
good investment, as he sold eighty acres of it in 1914 at $100 
an acre. In 1907 he secured eighty acres from his brother George, 
for which he paid $40 an acre, this being located in section 6. 
Norfolk township. Another 160 acres in this section was ob- 
tained in 1910, for which he paid $44 an acre. Another eighty 
acres he secured from his father in the same section at $55 per 
acre, which gave him a total of 440 acres in section 6, Norfolk 
township. He has made great improvements on this land and 
to this end has in his employ from three to six men. His home 
on the edge of Olivia is one of the prettiest places in town. The 
eight-room modern house is surrounded by an acre of well im- 
proved lawn and gardens. The farm lies four miles south of 



968 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Olivia. He also owns eighty acres in Bird Island township, a 
half interest in 200 acres in section 24, Kosmos township, Meeker 
county, Minn., 120 acres in Swift county and a half interest in 
400 acres in Troy township, this county. For many years Mr. 
Mehlhouse lias been one of the leading stockraisers in this county 
and has just completed one of the finest concrete barns in this 
part of the state. He specializes in Poland China hogs. Shorthorn 
cattle, Percheron horses and Shropshire sheep. For many years 
in the past he operated a threshing machine with his brother 
George, Will Dennstedt and Frank Conrad. He is a director of 
the Peoples National Bank and a stockholder in the Farmers' Ele- 
vator, both of Olivia. In politics Mr. Mehlhouse is a Republican 
and has served two years as town supervisor of Norfolk town- 
ship, nine years as clerk of the school board of district No. 36, 
six years in the same capacity in district No. 137, and five years 
as road supervisor. Fraternally he is a member of the Olivia 
lodges I. O. O. F. and M. W. A. Mr. Mehlhouse was married 
Dec. 30, 1S9S, to Emma Krbmer, born Sept. 20, 1869, at Lakeville, 
Minn., daughter of Fred and Barbara Kromer. This union re- 
sulted in three children, Inez and Irene, twins, born Sept. 16, 
1899, and Lloyd, born Oct. 22, 1902. The family faith is that 
of the German Evangelical church. 

Fred Kromer, a native of Germany, came to America when 
quite young and settled in Peru, 111., where he met his future 
wife. Barbara Meutchler, also a native of Germany. They were 
married in Illinois and ten children were born: Fred, who died 
in 1900; George, who is in the hardware business at Bird Island; 
Dora, the wife of II. Fisher of Bird Island; John, of Bird Island; 
Christine, the wife of William Schmidt of Bemidji, Minn.; Emma 
now Mrs. John Mehlhouse: Celia, now Mrs. August Felska of 
Hutchinson, Minn.: Henry, of Norfolk township; and Richard of 
Thief River Falls, Minn. 

William Mehlhouse, i of the substantial farmers of Bird 

Island township, was born in Lee county, Illinois, Oct. 13, 1873, 
son of -lustus and Mary (Kuemmel) Mehlhouse. He received 
his early education at the public schools of his native county, 
came to Renville county with his parents in 1888 and completed 
his education at the high school at Morton. When the parents 
came to Renville county they brought with them a corn planter 
which was the first to lie introduced in this section. For about 
fourteen years William operated this corn planter in his neighbor- 
hood. He also used to go out with the threshing crews during 
the threshing season. At twenty-three years of age he purchased 
160 acres of land in section 31, Bird Island township. There were 
no improvements whatever on this land, it being all wild prairie. 
He worked early and late and as a result has achieved prosperity, 
now having a fine house and a complete set of outbuildings and 









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HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 969 

has added to his land until lie now has 213 acres. He carries on 
diversified farming and .stock raising. For the past seven years 
he has been clerk of school district No. 137 and for seven years 
he was a member of Company II, Third Regiment of the Minne- 
sota National Guards of Olivia. He was one of the original stock- 
holders and boosters of the Olivia Canning factory. He is a 
stockholder in the Farmers' Elevator Company and the Central 
Creamery Company, both of Olivia. In fact. .Mr. Mehlhouse has 
ever taken an active interest in whatever has been for the good 
and betterment of Ins town and county. Mr. Mehlhouse was 
married Sept. 27, 1904, to Florence Meulhousen, born in Sibley 
county Feb. 15, 1882. Mr. and Mrs. Mchlhouse are the parents 
of four children: .Milton, born Oct. 14, 190.""); Pearl, born Oct. 12, 
1908; Willard, born Nov. 7, 1911; ami John, born April 12. 1914. 
George Mehlhouse, a well-known and successful business man 
of Olivia, was born in Roehelle, 111., son of Justus and Mary (Kuem- 
mcl ) Mehlhouse. He was reared on the home farm, and remained 
in his native state until 1888, when he came to Renville county 
with his parents and located on section 7, Norfolk township. 
While the days of the early settlement had passed, nevertheless 
conditions were still somewhat primitive, and Mr. Mehlhouse was 
able to purchase eighty acres of land at the low price of $11 an 
acre. Mr. Mehlhouse at once started business operating an auger 
well digger and a threshing machine, living with his. parents, and 
devoting his spare time to developing the farm. By hard work, 
industry and frugality he added to his possessions until in 1900 
he owned 600 acres. Mr. Mehlhouse took up his home in Olivia 
in 1901 and engaged in the implement business with W. J. Glenn. 
Mr. Glenn died a few months later, and Charles W. Felska be- 
came a partner in the business. Mr. Felska died in 1909 and 
Matthew Erickson secured an interest in the firm. On July 1. 
1912, Mr. Mehlhouse purchased the Erickson interests, and on 
Aug. 15, 1912, reorganized the business as the Olivia Hardware 
Co., with George Mehlhouse as president, L. A. Matzdorf as vice 
president; A. R. Schuellar as secretary and treasurer. On March 
31, 1915, Mr. Mehlhouse disposed of his interests. From a small 
business which he and Mr. Glenn had started fourteen years be- 
fore the concern bad grown in size and importance, automobile 
and implement departments had been added, and the venture 
had become one of the largest of its kind in the county. In addi- 
tion to his other interests, Mr. Mehlhouse has for many years been 
an extensive dealer in live stock. At present, in company with 
E. G. Heins, under the firm name of Mehlhouse & Heins, he is 
engaged in the automobile and garage business. He has just 
completed a splendid brick block, with full basement and equipped 
with an elevator. This block constitutes the finest and largest 
automobile salesroom in Renville county. The office will be amply 



970 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

furnished for the carrying on of the large business, and the 
salesi-ooms will contain the Hudson, Buick, Dodge and Maxwell 
cars, as well as all sorts of accessories, supplies, oils, greases and 
the like, while a filling station will be an attractive feature. Mr. 
Mehlhouse's popularity, his wide acquaintance, and long experi- 
ence guarantees the success of this venture. Mr. Mehlhouse has 
taken a prominent part in business, political and fraternal life. 
He is a stockholder in the Olivia Canning Co., the Farmers' Ele- 
vator of Olivia, and the Electric Short Line of Minneapolis. While 
in the township he was supervisor for two years and he is now 
serving his third year as a member of the village council. He 
is a popular member of Olivia Lodge, No. 190, I. 0. 0. F. ; of 
Olivia Lodge, No. 2350, M. W. A., and of Olivia Lodge, No. 220, 
A. F. & A. M. Mr. Mehlhouse was married Nov. 12, 1902, to 
Augusta Muelhausen, born in Sibley county, Minn., Nov. 12, 1880, 
daughter of August and Augusta (Kuske) Muelhausen. Mr. and 
Mrs. Mehlhouse have three children : Lillian, bom Oct. 28, 1903 ; 
Harvey, born Feb. 7, 1907 ; and Marion, born Aug. 12, 1910. The 
family faith is that of the Evangelical association. 

August Muelhausen, a pioneer of Sibley county, this state, was 
born in Germany, but as a boy came to St. Louis, Mo. It was 
in 1864 that he came to St. Paul. From there, in 1870, he came 
to Sibley county and purchased 160 acres, later adding eighty 
more and developing a good farm. The land was wild, and the 
family underwent all the experiences of pioneer life. In 1902 he 
sold this farm and bought 200 acres in Troy township, this county, 
where he successfully farmed until 1910, when he sold out and 
removed to Olivia where he now lives. August Muelhausen was 
married at St. Paul in 1865 to Augusta Kuske, who came from 
Germany in 1858. This union has been blessed with eight chil- 
dren : Charlotte, now Mrs. A. A. Juliar, of Mankato ; Hannah, 
now Mrs. L. J. Kuske, of Olivia ; John, who died in 1914 ; Mar- 
garet, now Mrs. William Haedt, of Cathay, N. D. ; Robert, of 
Olivia; Louise, now Mrs. O. O. Juliar, of St. Clair, Minn.; Au- 
gusta, the wife of George Mehlhouse, of Olivia ; and Florence, 
now Mrs. William Mehlhouse. of Bird Island township. 

Justus Mehlhouse, one of the substantial residents of Ren- 
ville county, was born in Germany, June 24, 1838, there attended 
school and grew to manhood. When quite a young man he came 
to America. After spending some years in farming in Lee county, 
Illinois, he, in 1883, moved with his family to Benton county, 
Iowa. In 1885 he moved to Tama county, Iowa. In 1888 he came 
to Renville county, Minn., where he established his home and 
became one of the leading and prosperous farmers of Renville 
county. He now has retired from active work and makes his 
home at Olivia. He was married at Rochelle, Illinois, Nov. 11, 
1866, to Mary Kuemmel, born in Germany, Feb. 22, 1845, and 



.ARY 



TILDKN *OUNOA.TtONS 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 971 

died in Renville county, May 22, 1902. Mr. and Mrs. Mehlhouse 
were the parents of eleven children : George, of Olivia, whose 
family sketch will be found elsewhere; John, of Olivia, whose 
sketch will be also found elsewhere in this work ; Elizabeth, who 
keeps house for her father; William, of Bird Island township, 
whose sketch will be found elsewhere ; Kate E., who died July 13, 
1909; Anna, now Mrs. Henry Kromer of this county, who has 
three children, Orlando, Esther and Mildred; Jacob, who con- 
ducts the home farm in Norfolk township; Martha, deceased; 
Minnie, deceased ; Nettie, a twin of Minnie, now Mrs. Harry Juliar, 
of Mankato, and who has two children, Milton and Harold ; Rose, 
who keeps house for her brother Jacob on the farm. The family 
faith is that of the German Evangelical church. 

Leo R. Pirsch, D. D. S., a popular Olivia dentist, was born Feb. 
16, 1891, in Caledonia. Minn., son of Peter J. and Johannah 
(Palen) Pirsch. His father, Peter .1. Pirseh was born Sept. 28, 
1860, near Milwaukee, Wis. As a young man he learned the car- 
penter's trade and moved to Caledonia where In- engaged in 
contracting and building. He is still engaged in this work and 
has achieved great success. May 6, 1885, he married Johannah 
Palen of Caledonia, born .Ian. 28, 1865. They an- the parents of 
the following children: Leo K.. of Olivia, and Joseph, of .Minne- 
apolis, who is a district manager for the International Corre- 
spondence school. Leo R. Pirsch received his early education 
in the public schools of Caledonia and later attended the Univer- 
sity of Minnesota, where he took up a course in dentistry arid 
graduated in 1914. He at once came to Olivia, began his practice 
as dentist and has built up a good clientele. He is a member 
of the C. 0. F. and has held all the chairs of the lodge at Calo- 
donia. 

John F. Lorenz, Bird Island, was born in Austria. Nov. 14. 
1864, son of Frank and Theresa (Kreutzer) Lorenz, who in 1868 
brought him to America and located at Mankato, where the 
father followed his trade as blacksmith until his death in 1898. 
after which the mother took up her home with her children. 
John F. Lorenz was reared in Mankato, passed through the par- 
ochial schools, and at the age of nineteen became a tool sharpener 
in the granite works at St. Cloud. This work he followed for fif- 
teen years. In that time he prepared the tools for many big 
contracts, including the Hennepin County Court House and the 
Minnesota State Capitol. For three years he conducted a shoe 
store in Mankato. For two years he farmed on a place three 
miles southeast of Redwood Falls. In 1901 he engaged in business 
in Bird Island, where he new resides. He has a pleasant home 
with all modern equipment. Mr. Lorenz is chief ranger of the 
C. O. F., secretary of the D. R. K. U. G., and a member of the 
Bird Island Commercial Club. The family faith is that of the 



0,72 EISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Roman Catholic church, in which Mr. Lorenz is a member of the 
St. Joseph Society. John F. Lorenz was married Oct. 25, 1887, to 
Anna M. Mahowald, born March 3, 1867, daughter of John and 
Katherine (Weber) Mahowald, the former of whom, a general 
merchant, died in Mankato in 1909 at the ripe age of seventy- 
nine years, and the latter of whom still lives in Mankato. Mr. and 
^Irs. Lorenz have seven children : John E., born Sept. 6, 1888, is a 
teacher; Roman B., born Jan. 6, 1892, is a successful business 
man of Hector; Ferdinand A., born May 27, 1894, is at home; 
Agatha, born Sept. 5, 1897, is also at home; Alphonse, born March 
24, 1901. and Herman and Crescentia (twins), born June 7, 1903, 
are attending the parochial schools. 

George Quinn, medicine man. friendly Indian during the mas- 
sacre, was probably born at Kaposia, now South St. Paul, possibly 
about 1840. lie claimed to be a half-breed Sioux and Kickapoo, 
but it is generally believed to be the son of Peter Quinn. the 
scout, and Ineyahewin, a Kickapoo squaw. In November, 1862, 
he was one of the three delegates who conducted the negotiations 
between Gen. Sibley and Little Crow for the release of prisoners. 
A note still in existence, signed by S. R. Riggs and T. S. William- 
son, missionaries, tells of George Quinn, Mahryaduta and Hunt- 
kamaza, the three delegates winning the release of the white cap- 
tives and of bringing them to General Sibley. "Dr." Quinn, 
as he was called, sold herbs through the Northwest for many 
years. He died on the reservation near Morton, Jan. 29, 1915. 
His last words were: "1 soon die. Gitchie Manitou, the Mighty, 
is calling and soon I answer. Soon I face the setting sun and 
start the long journey. But it is well, my friend. I have lived 
long, I have seen much. Many moons have passed since I first 
winged the arrow. I am going to the happy hunting grounds 
where peace always is." 

Dennis Haley, pio r and veteran of the Indian campaign, 

was born in Montreal, Canada. June 15, 1842. When 12 years 
of age. lie came to Minnesota, settling in LeSueur county in 1854. 
On May 22. 1863. he enlisted in Company K, First Minnesota 
Mounted Rangers, under General H. H. Sibley and was in active 
service from the start in fighting the Sioux warriors. On Nov. 
26 of the same year he received his honorable discharge. On 
Nov. 28, 1866. he was united in marriage to Kate Morgan, and 
four years later the family moved to Renville county, settling 
on a homestead in Troy township. His wife died Oct. 25, 1887. 
At the time of his death, Sept. 31, 1915, he was living with his 
son, James F. Haley, north of Olivia. He was a member of the 
G. A. R. A good neighbor, a substantial citizen, a man of kindly 
and generous impulses, his memory will long be honored. 

Carl F. Gummert, proprietor of the Poland China swine and 
Poultry Farm in Emmet township, is one of the leading stock- 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 973 

breeders in the state. He was born in Germany, May 31, 18G5, 
son of Christ and Fredericka (Triete) Gummert, who brought 
their family to America in 1882 and located in Iowa. While still 
living in Iowa, the father purchased 160 acres in Erickson town- 
ship, Renville county, six miles north of what is now the city 
of Renville. In the spring of 1889 the family came to Renville 
county and purchased the old Lee farm, consisting of 520 acres 
in section 10. Emmet township. The father. Christ, and the sons 
Carl F. and Herman, started to improve this large farm, making 
a specialty of breeding Shorthorn cattle and Poland-China swine, 
which they had brought from Iowa. Christ was one of the organ- 
izers of the Farmers' Cooperative creamery, mill and elevator at 
Renville, and took part in other public movements, lie died 
Jan. 1, 1914, at the age of eighty-nine years. His wife died Sept. 
29, 1913, at the same age. Carl F. Gummert remained on the 
home farm until after his marriage. Then he located on the 160- 
acre farm which his father owned in Erickson township. He 
improved this farm in various ways, living there two years. Then 
he purchased a half of the old Lee farm from his father. This 
half of the farm was unimproved and lay on the north bank of 
Lee lake, in section 10. Emmet township. Mr. Gummert set at 
work with a will improving this place. He erected a good home 
and a complete set of outbuildings, set out a large grove, erected 
fences, purchased equipment, and made the place one of the best 
in the township. He still owns the farm but lives in the city of 
Renville, where he has a comfortable home and twelve acres of 
land. Mr. Gummert is considered one of the best judges of swine 
in Minnesota. He specializes in the raising and breeding of pure 
bred Poland China swine, keeping about 150 animals each year. 
His exhibits at the state fairs each year always receive a big 
share of the blue ribbons. In 1910 he won the Grand Champion 
prize on a boar and brood sow at the Minnesota and South Dakota 
state fairs and that same year received fifty-four other prizes. 
In 1911 he received the Senior Champion prize at the Minnesota 
State fair and the same year won eleven other awards. In 1914 

at the Minnesota State Fair he n ived twenty premiums. To his 

credit belongs the inauguration of the Brood Sow sales in Minne- 
sota. Already he has held six such sales, and purchasers come 
from many surrounding states. Among his notable herd boars 
maybe mentioned Hathers Joe. 215,391 ; Columbus the Great. 215,- 
398; Choice Wonder, 210,577; Gummert 's Expansion, 226.857. 
Mr. Gummert also makes a specialty of full-blooded Plymouth 
Rock chickens, Toulouse geese. Mammoth Bronze turkeys, and 
Rowen ducks. Mr. Gummert has been clerk of the school dis- 
trict 58 and township assessor of Emmet. He was one of those 
instrumental in establishing the great ditch known as Ditch 45. 
Carl F. Gummert was married Dec. 2. 1896, to Augusta Asal, of 



974 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Arlington, Minn., daughter of George and Augusta Asal, natives 
of Germany, and married in Minnesota, early pioneers of Grafton 
township, Sibley county. Mr. and Mrs. Gummert have six chil- 
dren : Elsie, Antonia, Erick, Gladys, Alice and Ruth. 

William E. Kemp, at one time county commissioner of Ren- 
ville county, was born in Havana, Mason county, 111., May 29, 
1851, son of James and Lucina (Wilcox) Kemp. James Kemp was 
born in Watertown, New York, son of William and Sarah Jane 
(Hagerty) Kemp, natives of England and Ireland, respectively. 
They were married in New York City, where he engaged iu the 
shoemaker business. In 1847 he moved, locating in Havana, 111. 
James was married there to Lucina Wilcox, native of Ontario, 
Can., and in 1854 brought his wife and two children, William E. 
and Charles, to Minnesota, locating in Langdon where he first 
farmed and later entered into the hardware business. He died June 
27, 1899, at the age of 63 years. He held township and school 
offices. He was prominent as a member of the I. 0. 0. F. of Hast- 
ings, Minn., lodge. William E. received his education at Langdon 
schools and at the Sparta, Wis., High school. Then he went to 
Northfield to attend college. On his return home he engaged in 
farming for himself in Hector township, Renville county, secur- 
ing 240 acres of wild land May 15, 1878. He built a board shanty 
and lived here. After a number of years he moved to Hector and 
engaged in business, but returned to the farm again after about 
fifteen years. This has been improved with modern buildings 
and other improvements. He raises Mule Foot swine and Guern- 
sey cattle. In the past he was also an extensive breeder of sheep 
and still raises a few. He is interested in several farmers' organ- 
izations, such as creameries, elevators, etc.. and has held office. 
He lias served as township clerk and assessor. He was a member 
of the county board at the time of the building of the courthouse 
and jail. Mr. Kemp was married Dec. 18. 1877, to Mahalie Mosher, 
and they have three children, Edith, a graduate of Hamline Uni- 
versity and a teacher: Orville. a farmer of Brooktield township, 
and Percy. 

Ralph K. Dodge, a pioneer, was born in Pelham, Mass., June 
16, 1826, and on Dec. 27, 1848, married Susan -T. Cook, who was 
born in New York City March 21, 1829. They were the parents 
of eleven children : Philo P., born Augusta 26, 1849, in Pelham, 
Mass.; Theodosha P., born June 5, 1851, and died Nov. 15. 1851, 
in .Massachusetts; Lyman, born July 20, 1853, in Massachusetts; 
Fennei' C, born July 9. 1854, and died Nov. 3. 1884; Eugene, born 
Dee. 24, 1855, in Massachuetts: Ralph Waldo, born June 22. 1857, 
in Minnesota, and died August 11, 1876; Lorrin. born May 26, 
]s59. in .Minnesota ; Daniel, born March 1, 1861, in Minnesota, and 
died Dee. 28, 1895: Franklin, born June 21, 1864. and died Nov. 
3, 1898; Lillie J., born Oct. 25. 1866; and Anna B.. born Dec. 5, 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 975 

1869. The Dodges were of old New England stock and the Cooks 
were from Germany. Ralph K. was a carpenter by trade. He 
brought the family to Hadley Valley near Rochester county, Min- 
nesota, in 1857, where he secured some land and built a frame 
building. He had an ox team and drove to Winona, the nearest 
market, for his supplies. He left this place in 1869 and went to 
Renville county. He located a homestead near Fairfax, town- 
ship of Cairo, securing a tract of 160 acres of wild prairie land. 
Here he erected a frame building of elm lumber, and began break- 
ing up the land with his team of oxen. New Ulm was the nearest 
market. He helped organize the school district of his home sec- 
tion. He died Feb. 28, 1871'. and his wife died Nov. 20. 1912, 
in Ottertail county. 

Eugene I. Dodge, a prominent resident and retired farmer of 
Hector, was born at Montague, Mass., Dec. 24, 1855, son of Ralph 
K. and Susan J. (Cook) Dodge. He received his education in 
Olmsted county, this state, and grew to manhood in Renville 
county, where he engaged in farming. He secured a homestead 
in Martinsburg township, section 26, obtaining 160 acres of land. 
He was twenty-one years old at this time. He built a log house 
14 by 14 and began improving the land, using an ox team. As 
time passed he built up a good farm and erected modern build- 
ings. In 1892 he sold his farm and moved to Hector, where he 
purchased 120 acres in the village limits which he improved and 
■ platted into desirable village lots which found a ready market. 
For the past fifteen years Mr. Dodge has been engaged in the 
retail ice business. On his place some years ago he constructed 
a pond seven feet deep, filled by a thirty-five foot well. This 
pond is filled fresh each fall, and this wholesome water freezes 
into the purest kind of ice for family purposes. He also has a 
fine orchard of some 400 trees, largely of the McMann and Wealthy 
varieties, which in the fall of 1913 produced over 600 bushels of 
apples. Mr. Dodge was one of the first to own and operate a 
threshing outfit in the county and followed this line of industry 
for thirty seasons. 

Mr. Dodge held the office of township assessor for one term. 
He was also a member of the school board. He became a vol- 
unteer in the Farmers" Alliance at that time. He first took 
active part in church work in the Baptist church, holding office 
there and being superintendent of the Sunday school. Later he 
became interested in the Methodist church and has held office in 
the church and has become a member. 

Mr. Dodge was married May 1, 1883, to Minnie Marquardt, 
born in Wisconsin Dec. 14, 1863, daughter of Ferdinand and 
Augusta Marquardt, both natives of Germany and married in 
Wisconsin. Mr. Marquardt owned a farm in Wisconsin and later 
in Martinsburg township, Renville County, coming about 1880 and 



976 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

remaining there the rest of his days. Mr. and Mrs. Dodge have 
the following children: Delia Clara, born Feb. 25. 1884; Harry 
Philo, born Dec. 4, 1885; Esther Sadie, born Dec 8, 1887, and 
died Sept. 22, 1888; Nettie Bell, born August 12, 1889; Frank L., 
born March 31, 1891; Chester, born Dec. 5, 1895; Faith H, born 
Marcli 21, 1899, and died March 31, 1900; Ival Ralph, born Au- 
gust 10, 1902 ; and Robert F., born Sept. 3, 1903. Delia married 
Burt Moer, of Park Rapids, Minn., and has two children, Florence 
and Margaret. Frank married Flora Brenham, of Hector, and 
they have one child, Paul. 

Andrew Strom, deceased, was born in Christiania. Norway, 
Oct. 1, 1820, there grew to manhood and learned the carpenter's 
trade. He arrived in America in 1850, and in 185(3 came with 
his family to Minnesota ami located at Butternut Valley. Blue 
Earth county, being an early pioneer of that section. There he 
took a pre-emption claim of 160 acres and engaged in general 
farming. As soon as the homestead law was enacted he secured 
a homestead of 80 acres joining his pre-emption claim, thus making 
240 acres in his farm. He erected suitable buildings and became 
prominent in his locality taking a very active part in the affairs 
of his town, lie held different town and school offices and for 
a time served as one of the county commissioners. In the spring 
of 1S78 he moved his family to Renville county, where they lived 
for a period of six months in Palmyra township, thence going to 
the village of Beaver Falls, where they remained one year. In 
1879 they moved to Hector, where he built a store and resi- 
dence, and engaged in the drug and grocery business, following 
the same along until 1888 when he took his son William B. into 
partnership. The firm continued as Strom & Son until Mr. Strom's 
death, Nov, 20, 1902. 

I!i' was united in marriage to Maren O. Fosom, in Chicago, in 
1856. She was born in Christiania. Norway, in 1822. came to Amer- 
ica about 1852. and located in Chicago. She died June 27, 1913. 
They were the parents of six children. Thora, who was born 
in Chicago, became .Mrs. I. S. Gerald, and died in 1889. leaving 
two children, Guy Howard and Clara Maud; Odin Allied the 
first white child born in Butternut Valley, is in the real estate 
business in Kerkhoven, Swift county, Minn.; Wm. I!., of Hector, 
is mentioned elsewhere; Alice M.. is now Mrs. C. R. Sheppard of 
California and has four children. Byron, Pearl, Cyrus and Gladys. 
Cornelia L. is now Mrs. W. L. Ramsey of Billings, Montana, and 
has one child, Bessie. 

William B. Strom, postmaster of Hector since 1897, and mer- 
chant since 1888, was born in Butternut Valley, Blue Earth county, 
Minnesota, October 2. 1860. He received his education at the dis- 
trict schools in Butternut Valley, and the State Normal school at 
Mankato. In 1S78 he came with his parents to Renville county. 




\V. B. STROM 



THE NEW YORK 
PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASTOK. LBNOX >.ND 
TILOEN *QIJWOA.nONS 



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HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 977 

Locating with them in Palmyra township, removing with them 
six months later to the village of Beaver Falls, where he entered 
the drug store of his brother-in-law, I. S. Gerald, with whom he 
remained until 1880, coming that yen- to Hector and entering 
the drug and grocery store which his father had established the 
year before. In 1888 he became a partner with his father in the 
business, the firm being known as Strom & Son, and continuing 
as such until the father's death in 1902, when William B. became 
sole proprietor. About this time he discontinued the grocery 
business ami equipped the store with a full and complete 
line of drugs and sundries. Mr. Strom continued alone until 
1908, when he formed a co-partnership with R. P. Clark and ('. .1. 
Whitney, his brothers-in-law, the firm being known as the W. B. 
Strom Drug Co. In 1897 Mr. Strom was appointed postmaster 
of Hector, a position he still retains. Soon after his first appoint- 
ment, the postoffice was moved into the rear of the drug store, 
where it is still maintained. Mr. Strom was very active in estab- 
lishing the rural delivery routes, and now has six routes out of 
Hector, one more than any other office in the county. When Mr. 
Strom was appointed, the postoffice was in the fourth class and 
paid about $800 a year, but under his management it is now third 
class and pays $1,600 a year. In 1903 Mr. Strom, together with 
his brother-in-law, R. P. Clark, established and constructed the 
Hector Telephone Co., which they later sold to the present manage- 
ment. Mr. Strom has taken an active interest in the cleanliness and 
beauty of the village streets, parks and boulevards. In 1899, he 
purchased the Hector "Sentinel." transferring it to Sacred Heart, 
where he published it for two years under the name Sacred Heart 
"Journal," and there sold it. Mr. Strom served on the Con- 
gressional Committee during Joel Heatwolde's Congressional ca- 
reer, having charge of his campaign in Renville county. He is 
president of the Commercial club, vice president of the Farmers' 
& Merchants' State Bank, former president of the Hoard cf Edu- 
cation and served as justi f the peace for a number of years. 

His fraternal affiliations are with Hector Lodge, No. 158, A. P. 
& A. M. Aside from his beautiful home and other property in 
Hector, lie has a half acre in Kandiyohi county, located on the 
south shore of Diamond Lake, where he has a fine summer cottage. 
motor boat and other comforts. 

Mr. Strom was married August 22, 1888, to Lola L. ( 'lark, born 
in Victory, Wisconsin, January, 1865. Mr. and Mrs. Strom have 
had three children. Russell Rex, born July 8, 1889, passed 
through the graded and high schools of Hector, took a four-year 
academic course in the University of Nebraska and one year in 
the medical department of the Minnesota State university, and 
is now studying medicine in the Northwestern University Medical 
Department at Chicago, (iyneth Maymie died in infancy. 1901. 



978 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

William ('lark, born May 9, 1903, is a pupil in the Hector high 
school. 

G. C. Clark and Sarah Wilcox ('lark, parents of Mrs. W. B. 
Strom, moved from Victory, Wisconsin, to Minneapolis, and later 
to Anoka, where the father died, after which the mother came 
to Hector, where she still resides. They were the parents of three 
children, Lola L., now Mrs. W. B. Strom, of Hector; Effie, now 
Mrs. C. J. Whitney, of Hector; and Russell F., of Hector. He 
married Florence Harding and they have two children, Dorothy 
and Floyd. 

Hans Hanson is a prominent farmer of Granite Falls township, 
Chippewa county, just over the line from Renville county. He 
was born in Norway Jan. 29, 1838, son of Hans Thoroson Hanson 
and Anna Hanson. He came to America in 1865 and lived on 
Highland Prairie, Fillmore county, until coming to Renville county 
with them in 1867. A year later he left home and filed on a quar- 
ter section in Granite Falls township, just over the line in Chip- 
pewa county. Amid discouraging circumstances he started work 
to establish for himself a home in the wilderness. Many times 
in making trips to the nearest markets at Willmar and New Ulm 
he had to subsist the entire distance on frozen bread and some- 
times he narrowly escaped serious injury during severe snow 
storms and frosts. When the grasshoppers came he found it im- 
possible to obtain a living on the farm and consequently secured 
employment in the flouring mill of Park Warden at Minnesota 
Falls. In this business he engaged for some ten years. The farm 
in the meantime continued to occupy his attention and since then 
has engaged all his energies. His original log house was replaced 
with a frame dwelling and substantial outbuildings took the place 
of the shacks which in the early days sheltered his stock. Mr. 
Hanson has taken an active part in the development of the com- 
munity, has been supervisor of the township, and for over thirty 
years, served as treasurer of his school district. He has likewise 
taken a deep interest in the affairs of the Hawk Creek Norwegian 
Lutheran church. His farm consists of 600 acres, forty acres of 
which are in Renville county, and on this splendid tract he suc- 
cessfully carries on general farming along the latest approved 
lines. 

Mr. Hanson was married in Norway. January 11. 1863, 
to Christena Olson, who died on the farm April 8, 1907. In the 
family there were eleven children: Hans, Jr., Albert, Anna 
Christena, Albert, Mary Lilly, Julius H., Helmer and Julia. Hans, 
Jr., was born in Norway, Jan. 13, 1863, and now farms in Clear 
Water county, Minn. Albert was born in Fillmore county, in 1865, 
and died at the age of two and a half years. Anna Christena was 
born Jan. 12, 1867, and is now Mrs. 0. P. Berg, of Granite Falls, 
Minn. Albert was born Aug. 24, 1869, and farms in Granite Falls 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 979 

township, Chippewa county. He married Lena Seim and their 
children are Hubert, Esther, Evelyn, Margaret and Harriett. Mary 
was born Aug. 17, 1871, and died Oct. 22, 1898. Lilly was born 
Aug. 6, 1873, and is now Mrs. Fred Bakke, of Granite Falls town- 
ship. Julius H. was born April 25, 1875, and farms in Hawk 
Creek township. Helmer was born May 11, 1878, and is associated 
with his father in conducting the home farm. He married Ma- 
thilda Thorstad and his children are Maurice, Philip, Douald, 
Florence and Richard. 

Hans Thoroson Hanson, a highly respected early settler, now 
deceased, was born in Norway in 1805 and there spent his early 
manhood. In 1862 he with his wife, his two sons and a daughter 
came to America and located on Highland Prairie in Fillmore 
county, where they remained until 1867. In that year they set 
out for Renville county and after arriving filed on a claim in sec- 
tions 18 and 19, Hawk Creek township, where they started pioneer 
life in a crudely constructed shack. They passed through all the 
vicissitudes of frontier life and in time achieved the prosperity 
which they so richly deserved. Mr. Hanson died in 1889. His 
good wife who was born in 1810 died in 1880. In the family were 
five children : Hans, Thorvald, Olaus, Mary and Christopher, all 
born in Norway. 

Thorvald, Olaus and Mary came to Fillmore county with their 
parents in 1862, and to Renville county in 1867. Christopher did 
not come to America until later. 

Hans was born Jan. 29, 1838, and now farms in Chippewa 
county. He is appropriately mentioned elsewhere. 

Thorvald was born in 1840 and upon coming to Renville county 
took a homestead in section 18, Hawk Creek township, where he 
farmed until his death. 

Olaus was born in 1844 and upon coming to Fillmore county 
took land in section 19, Hawk Creek township. He became a man 
of considerable distinction and carried on farming until 1911, 
when he sold his farm to his son-in-law, John Agre. 

Mary is the wife of K. 0. Agre of Hawk Creek township. 
Christopher was born April 26, 1836, and now farms in Hawk 
Creek township. He is appropriately mentioned elsewhere. 

Julia w T as born Jan. 20, 1880, and died in 1897. In addition to 
these nine there were two who died in early infancy. 

Charles H. Evert, one of the well-known residents of Troy 
township, was born in Rice county, Feb. 15, 1864, the son of Jo- 
seph and Lisette (Schultz) Evert, who brought him to Renville 
county in 1878. After leaving school he remained at home, help- 
ing his father on the farm in Flora township, until 1884, when 
he rented a farm for two years. He then bought 160 acres in 
Troy township. He broke and developed the bind, erected a 
house and outbuildings, and remained there until 1899 when he 



980 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

moved to Olivia and devoted a few years to active business life. 
Ultimately he purchased 120 acres in section 11, Troy township. 
He has remodeled the house, erected a new barn and other build- 
ings and has greatly beautified the place. Additional land has 
been bought so that now the farm consists of 360 acres, all of 
which is tillable with the exception of about twelve acres. Mr. 
Evert is a man of progressive ideas, and does diversified farming, 
feeding and shipping two or three carloads of cattle every winter. 
He has served on the town board and for several years was 
school clerk. In addition to the home farm he owns a fine farm 
in Stevens county and is a stockholder in the Farmers' Coopera- 
tive Creamery. He is a member of the Evangelical church of 
Olivia. Mr. Evert was united in marriage to Bertha Seide, March 
27. 1884. Mrs. Evert was born in Germany, June 21, 1861, and 
came to this country with her parents, Christopher and Anna 
(Schultz) Seide, in 1868, locating with them in Nicollet county 
where they engaged in farming and where both parents died. Mr. 
and Mrs. Evert have had eight children : Henry C, a farmer of 
Troy township, who married Mary Zachow, has one child, Helen 
L. ; Emma L., who married George Juliar, who is farming in Blue 
Earth county, their family consisting of two children, Earl and 
Delmar; Arthur C, Laura A., Elmer E., Benjamin F.. Edward W„ 
and Estella M., all of whom are at home. Joseph Evert, born in 
Germany, married Lisette Schultz in the Fatherland and removed 
to America in 1862 settling in Rice county. For three years he 
followed teaming at Dundas. Then he began farming in the same 
■ county where he remained until 1878 when lie came to this county 
and bought SO acres of partly improved land in Flora township, 
where lie engaged in general farming. In time lie added another 
80 acres to his original purchase, developing a fine property. 
Leaving the farm in the fall of 1901 he and his good wife moved 
to the village of Morton. In the spring of 1905 they moved to 
the state of Washington. After the death of his wife there. Jo- 
seph Evert returned to Renville county where he now makes his 
home with his children. 

Solomon Bergman, bora in Sweden, April 24. 1836, son of 
Swan and Anna Munson, who were parents of four children, 
Peter. Andrew, Solomon and Christine. Solomon's father died 
when he was fifteen years of age and Peter and Solomon were 
the only ones of the family to come to America. Solomon was 
married to Johanna Christina Pearson of Sweden. April '-■', 1860. 
She was the daughter of Peter and Ingre Anderson. Solomon 
left his wife and children in Sweden and came to America in 1870 
to New York where he began working in a stone quarry. The 
first winter was spent in the woods of Michigan and in the spring 
he came to Judson, Blue Earth county, Minnesota. Here the 
family joined him in 1871 and the following spring they moved to 
Renville county where he located 80 acres in section 22, Palmyra 






HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 981 

township, and built a dugout. The family came in a covered 
wagon drawn by a team of oxen. It was all wild land and Mr. 
Bergman began breaking up the land with the help of the oxen. 
He bought 80 acres adjoining in section 15. He endured many 
hardships during the first years. For four years in succession 
his crops were destroyed by the grasshopers. Beaver Falls was 
the nearest milling place. In 1880 he built a frame house and 
barns. In 1881 a Cyclone destroyed every building on the place 
and new buildings had to be erected. Mr. Bergman improved 
his farm ami had a large tine farm and kept a good grade of 
stock. He was interested in farmers' organizations and was a 
member of the Farmers' Elevator Company at Hector and a 
member of the board of directors. He was also one of the organ- 
izers of the Farmers ' Insurance Company, known as the Palmyra 
Mutual Fire Insurance Company. He later became a director 
of the company and served as vice president. He was also a 
stockholder of the Hector Telephone Company and Exchange. 
Mr. Bergman was a leader in the affairs of his community and 
township and held the office of township treasurer for seventeen 
years. He was also a member of the school board and helped 
organize district. No. 86. He was a member of the Swedish 
Lutheran church and was one of the organizers of this church, 
being its secretary for many years. 

Mr. and Mrs. Bergman have had the following children : Au- 
gust (deceased), Anna Matilda, Emelie Sophia, Julia Marie, Jen- 
nie Augusta, August P., John W. (deceased), Albert F., Carl E., 
and Nathalia C. Anna Matilda is now Mrs. C. G. Johnson of 
Minneapolis, and has the following children: Mabel (deceased), 
Elmer, Clarence. Reuben, Agnes and Myrtle. Emelie Sophia is 
now Mrs. Claus W. Peterson of .Minneapolis. They have two 
children: Albert and Harry. Julia Marie married C. M. John- 
son and died Oct. 13, 1912, leaving the following children : Her- 
bert. Rudolph, Sidney and Violet. Jennie Augusta is now Mrs. 
Emil R. Johnson of Minneapolis. Their children are Wallace, 
Emery and Lillian. Albert F. has for the past fifteen years 
rented the old homestead and of late years August P. lias been 
his partner. August P. is now a stockholder and director of the 
Hector Elevator Company and Albert F. has served as chairman 
and supervisor on the town board. Carl E. is a painter at Hector. 
Nathalia C. is now Mrs. Albert Anderson of Palmyra and has 
tln-ee children: Viola, Gladys and Burgess. 

.Mi'. Bergman died Sept. 19, 1908, at the age of seventy-two 
years, four months and twenty-six days. His wife is still living 
with her sons, on the old home farm in section 15. Palmyra town- 
ship. 

James H. Rich of Pine Hill Farm was born in Bucksport town- 
ship, Hancock county, Maine. -Ian. (i, 1849, son of Benjamin and 



982 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Sarah (Davis) Rich. Benjamin Rich was born in Bucksport, 
Maine, son of Benjamin, Sr., and Debora (Wily) Rich. He was 
a native of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, son of Robert Rich, native 
of England who as a child came to Massachusetts with his father. 
Benjamin Rich, Sr., was a sailor, being a whaler of Cape Cod. 
He retired from this work and bought some land and lived at 
Bucksport, Maine, where he died. Benjamin Rich, Jr., took over 
the old farm of his father and spent his life there. His children 
were George, Charles, James H., Sarah, Luther, Mary, William 
and Albion. Sarah Davis was born in Sangerville, Maine, daugh- 
ter of Abijah and Amelia (Harding) Davis, both of English an- 
cestry. 

James H. attended the school of his native township and 
farmed in the summer and worked in the lumber camps in the 
winter time. He came to Wisconsin at the age of eighteen years 
and engaged in lumber business and continued this in northern 
Wisconsin and Minnesota for about eight years. Then he lived 
in Wisconsin for a year and a half and in 1877 came in a covered 
wagon drawn by horses to Renville county, Minnesota, the trip 
from Waupaca county to Minnesota taking eleven days. He located 
the present place in section 20, obtaining 100 acres of school 
land; there were no buildings on the place and it was all wild 
land. 

The family rented a house nearby until their own house was 
ready. A small house 16 by 24 was built and also a hay roof 
barn. The nearest trading posts were Glencoe and Hutchinson. 
The grasshoppers destroyed the crops the first year and the hot 
winds blighted the straw. He had one cow and began improving 
the farm. He still owns the old farm and has given it the name 
of Pine Hill, deriving the name from the number of pine trees 
on the place set out by himself in the early days. 

He is a member of the school board and helped organize dis- 
trict No. 120. -Mr. Rich was married in Wisconsin in 1876 to Abby 
Waite, born in Wisconsin, daughter of Smith L. and Elmira (Eld- 
ridge) Waite. Samuel L. Waite was a native of New York. El- 
mira Eldridge was a native of Maine and of English parentage. 
Mr. and Mrs. James H. Rich are parents of five children: Arthur, 
born July 2, 1875, was married to Mary Buckley, and lives at 
Minneapolis. Charles, born June 22, 1878, was accidentally killed 
at Cass Lake, Minn., while loading logs at the landing. Mark, 
born July 27, 1882, conducts the home farm, lie is a member of 
the M. W. A. and of the I. O. 0. F. He served as town clerk for 
one year and was school treasurer nine years. He was married 
to Helna Meier and has two children, Dorris Beryl and Arthur 
Henry. Elgie, born July 17, 1885, resides at home. Beryl, born 
Dec. 9, 1888, married Arthur W. Ritchie and lives at Royalton, 
Wisconsin 




MR. AND MRS. AUGUST HU8SOCK 
PHILIP BINGENHEIMER AND FAMILY 



f~^ 7ork 1 

WW tC LlBRARrl 



"N NATIONS 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 983 

Phillip Bingenheimer, one of the prosperous and progressive 
farmers of Renville county, was bom in Hanover, Wright county, 
this state, Feb. 27, 1856, son of Jacob and Margaret (Schneider) 
Bingenheimer, who were born in Germany, came to the United 
States in 1842 and 1851, respectively, were married in Fond du 
Lac. Wis., settled in the early fifties in Wright county, this state. 
engaged in farming a while, later moved to Minneapolis, where 
the father engaged in the milling business and there ended their 
days, the father in 1873 and the mother in 1910. In the family 
there were nine children : Phillip ; Mary, now Mrs. James Kistler, 
of Minneapolis. Ferdinand, of Mandan, North Dakota ; Louisa, 
now Mrs. Charles Schnacke, of St. Paul ; George, of Mandan, North 
Dakota ; Edward, of Timmers, North Dakota ; Catherine, now 
of Minneapolis; and Gustave A. and Ida, of Minneapolis. 

Phillip Bingenheimer was afflicted with poor eyes during the 
first twelve years of his life and this was a great handicap to 
him in obtaining an education. He remained at home until he 
was twenty-two years of age, and then started to work out as 
a farm hand. In 1878 he took a homestead in Crooks township, 
this county, but disposed of it, and in 1882 purchased -40 acres 
in section 19, Troy township. He erected a shanty, worked his 
land summers and teamed winters in Minneapolis. In 1884 he 
was married and settled permanently on his farm. By hard work, 
intelligent effort, and frugal habits he has increased his holdings 
until he now owns 400 acres located in sections 17, 18 and 19, Troy 
township. He has made many improvements, erected a splendid 
dwelling, a line set of barns and outbuildings, and the necessary 
sheds and the like. He has a well tilled, well fenced farm, and 
his machinery, tools, implements and equipment are of the best. 
Aside from carrying on general farming on an extensive scale, 
he makes a specialty of breeding Black Poll Angus cattle. Aside 
from his farming interests, Mr. Bingenheimer is a stockholder in 
the Farmers' Elevator at Danube and in the Danube State Bank. 
Mr. Bingenheimer was married June 7, 1884. to Paulina Hussock, 
who was born in Germany June 1, 1865, and was brought to this 
country in 1871 by her parents, August and Christina (Fussan) 
Hussock. Mr. and Mrs. Bingenheimer have had six children : 
Walter E., Florence, Eleanor, Harry, Richard and Margaret. 
Walter E. is a farmer of Flora township. He was married June 
3, 1915, to Bertha Black, who was born June 1, 1896. Florence 
lives in Brookings, South Dakota. She was born May 4, 1890. 
and was married Sept. 5, 1912, to Edward Black. Eleanor, born 
July 29, 1895, and Harry, born April 23, 1897, are both at home. 
Richard and Margaret died in infancy. August Hussock was born 
in Germany, married Christina Fussan, came to this country in 
June, 1871, lived two months in New Ulm, took a homestead in 
Emmet township, this county, in October, 1871, and there en- 



984 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

gaged in farming. Mrs. Hussock died in 1911, and Mr. Hussock 
now makes his home with his daughter, Mrs. Phillip Bingenheimer. 
They were the parents of three children: Paulina, now Mrs. Phil- 
lip Bingenheimer; Paul, of Portland, Oregon, and Matilda, now 
Mrs. Ernest Hoffman, of Emmet township. 

Anton M. Holtan, retired farmer and business man, of Renville. 
Minn., was born March 23, 1857, at Laurdahl, Norway, the son 
of Mathew .J. and ('ceil Marie (Oldberg) Holtan. He came to 
America in 1874 and spent two years in Minneapolis, leaving there 
for Riverside, where he eondneted a general store, going from 
there to Dawson, where lie pursued the same business for the 
same length of time. Selling out he went to Sacred Heart, where 
he sold farm implements and acted as the agent of the Singer Sew- 
ing Machine (Jo. He disposed of this business in 1890 ami came 
to Renville, where he bought out Rolson & Kleimenhagen, the 
meat dealers. He formed a partnership with his brother Edward 
and for four years the new firm conducted the business, when 
it was sold to Ora Howe. Mr. Holtan then purchased 320 acres 
of land in Crooks township, where he resided one year, leaving 
there for Renville where he now lives. In addition to this farm 
he owns 160 acres in Sacred Heart township and 30 aeres in Ren- 
ville city in addition to his home there. For many years he has 
been a stock buyer and is engaged in that business now. At 
one time he owned an elevator at Renville, which he operated for 
three years. In politics he is independent. He is a member of 
the Norwegian Lutheran church. 

Mr. Holtan was married Feb. 2, 190(3, to Laura Peterson, born 
Aug. 7. 1869. at Norland. Norway, daughter of Pierre and Alice 
(Swenson) Peterson. Mrs. Holtan came to America Sept. 6. 1904, 
and lived for a short time at Hesper, Iowa, removing to Renville 
county, Minn., in 1905. 

Mathew J. Holtan was born in 1815 at Laurdahl, Norway, 
and died April 11. 1885, at Norway, never having been in America. 
He married Cecil Marie Oldberg, born in 1S25 at Oldberg. Nor- 
way, tlie date of the wedding being in 1844. Mrs. Holtan came 
to America in 1890 and died at Minneapolis in 1894. She was 
the mother of eight children: Jacob, who died in Minneapolis; 
Regcnia, dead; Regenia, now Mrs. A. Hanson: Edward, who died 
in Minneapolis in 1906: Anton M.. of Renville: Lars, who died in 
Minneapolis in 1892 : Martin, who died in Minneapolis in 1885 ; 
Elsie Andrea, now Mrs. E. Myrhe, who is living in Norway. 

Pierre Peterson, born January 6, 1825, at Henningvar, Norway, 
died Dec. 11, 1901, at Henningvar, Norway. He married Alice 
Swenson in 1857. She was born Sept. 24, 1836, at Overholen, 
Norway, and died Aug. 28, 1898, at Henningvar, Norway. Neither 
Mr. nor Mrs. Peterson ever came to America. They had ten chil- 
dren; John, of Henningvar, Norway; Laura, now Mrs. A. M. 



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HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 985 

Holtan, of Renville, and Simon, Edward, Karl, Anton, Julius, 
Anton, Conrad and Allied, all of whom are dead. 

Charles Gustaf Johnson, county surveyor of Renville county, 
was born July 30, 1845, in Sweden. His parents, John Peter 
Johnson and Betsy Johnson, came to America in 1853. After his 
father *s death, he and Ids mother went to St. Peter, Minn., settling 
there in the fall of 1856. On August 18, 1862, Mr. Johnson en- 
listed in Company 1) of the Ninth Minnesota Volunteers, and 
served until the close of the war. His regiment was sent first 
to Ft. Snelling, where they were drilled and taught the commands. 
In September Company I) was sent to St. Peter, Minn., to help 
put down an Indian uprising, which broke out August 18, 1862. 
Mr. Johnson was one of the guards at the hanging of thirty- 
eight Indians at Mankato, Minn., Dec. 26, 1862. In March, 1863, 
Company D was sent to Judson Minn., where it built a sod fort 
165 feet square, and was engaged in subduing the Indians through- 
out the summer of 1863. For a while Company D was stationed 
at Fairmount, Minn., where it erected a log fort. In August one- 
half of the company was sent twelve miles northwest from Fair- 
mount to erect a sod fort, 132 feet square, called Chanyuska. 
This sod fort was near the shore of a small lake by the same name. 
The fort was nine feet in height on the outside, the walls were 
nine feet thick at the bottom; the inside walls graduated upward 
by steps to two feet in thickness, the last two feet of the height 
containing many portholes. In the two diagonal corners were 
built two round projections, of the same height as the walls, for 
firing purposes along the walls. On October 8, 1863, the company 
was ordered to St. Louis, Mo., and arrived there Oct. 12, and let) 
there Oct. 13, for Jefferson City, Mo. On March 7, 1861, the 
company was ordered to Kansas City, Mo. Here there was fight- 
ing with Quantrell's bushwhackers. May 21, 1864, a move was 
made to Memphis, Tenn., under General stergus. Here the troops 
were opposed by General Johnson and General N. B. Forrest. On 
June 1, the troops started on a raid headed for Guntown, Miss. 
On June 10, ninety miles out from Memphis, the troops met defeat 
at the hands of the enemy. The retreat toward Memphis was a 
running fight, the enemy crowding close on the rear. On June 
12, about eighteen miles west from the town of Ripley, Mr. John- 
son, with a number of others, was captured and sent to Anderson- 
ville prison, Ga., arriving there June 19, 1864. He was confined 
there three months and eleven days, until Oct. 1, 1864. There 
were about 35,000 prisoners there at that time. He was then re- 
moved to Savannah, Ga., and Oct. 10 left for Millen. Nov. 21 he 
left for Blackshear, Ga., where he remained four days, and while 
there signed parole papers. He left Blackshear on those parole 
papers, by way of Charleston, S. C. While the prisoners were 
passing through Charleston the town was shelled by the United 



986 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

States guns, from some island about seven miles off to the east, 
a shell dropping about every minute. Arriving at Florence, S. C, 
on Nov. 28, 1864, the paroled prisoners were inclosed in another 
prison pen, and given the same inhuman treatment as at Ander- 
sonville, Ga. The food was scant and each person had to dig 
himself down into the earth into a hole big enough for two per- 
sons to be side by side to keep from freezing to death. About 
March 1, 1865, the prisoners were put aboard a freight train, en 
route for the Libby prison at Richmond, Va. It was said that 
Gen. Sheridan's army cut off the railroad connection into Rich- 
mond, so March 3, 1865, the prisoners were put off at some point 
in North Carolina and were carried down the Cape Fear river 
on a United States Transport to Wilmington, North Carolina, ar- 
riving there March 4. Here they were fed ; and weakened by their 
nine months of terrible hardships and privation, the unaccus- 
tomed diet made many very ill, Mr. Johnson included. March 8, 

1865, they were again put on a transport at Wilmington, North 
Carolina, which conveyed them to Annapolis. Md., where they 
were well fed, and bathed, and fitted out with new clothing. From 
Annapolis Mr. Johnson was sent to Benton Barracks, Mo., and 
thence home on sick leave. August 13, 1865, he rejoined his regi- 
ment at Ft. Snelling and was mustered out August 19, 1865. His 
mother having married again, he went to his step-father's home 
(his mother having died Oct. 13, 1861), where he remained until 
1870. After finishing the common school he entered the academy 
at Carver, Minn., graduating in 1S67. He studied civil engineer- 
ing at home and assisted other surveyors as chain man. In 1870 
he bought 120 acres of land in Renville count)-. Minn., and added 
to his holdings until at one time he had 433 acres. He now has 
160 acres of the original farm. In 1873 he was elected county 
surveyor, and has been in continuous service ever since. He has 
the honor of being the oldest county surveyor in point of service 
in the state. In 1897 our veteran made his home in Renville. He 
is a Republican and has served as notary public, postmaster ten 
years at Vicksburg, Minn., justice of the peace, township super- 
visor and assessor. The family worship at the Swedish Lutheran 
church of Sacred Heart which was organized in the year 1871 and 
of which Mr. Johnson is a charter member. 

Mr. Johnson was married April 12, 1868, at St. Peter, Minn., 
to Christina M. Holmberg, daughter of John Peter and Louisa 
Holmberg. She was born in Hvetlanda, Sweden, Sept. 7, 1850, 
and came to America with her brother Carl, arriving in June, 

1866. Seven children wen' born of this marriage: Frank (de- 
ceased. Aug. 25, 1915, at Seattle. Wash.), electrical engineer, a 
graduate of the University of Minnesota, and for ten years pro- 
fessor of electrical engineering at the University of Washington; 
Hilda L., a nurse ; Anna A. (deceased, March 1, 1912, at Minne- 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 987 

apolis, Minn.), a graduate of the Gustafus Adolphus college at 
St. Peter, Minn.; ('. Augusta (deceased, March 29, 1898, at Vicks- 
burg, Minn.); Carl Walter, of St. Paul, Minn.; a civil engineer, 
state highway commissioner and bridge inspector, a graduate of 
Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind. ; Emily C, a Chicago music 
teacher and pipe organist, and Florence A., a graduate of the 
University of Minnesota, teacher and supervisor of public school 
music at Ewa, Hawaiian Islands. 

John Peter Johnson was born Feb. IS, 1816, in Sweden, where 
he carried on farming. Coming to America in 1853 he went to 
Chicago and while there the whole family was taken sick with 
the cholera, the result being that all, with the exception of Mrs. 
Johnson and Charles, succumbed to the disease, the father dying 
August 11. 1854. There were four children in the family, Charles 
Gustaf and August, who died in Chicago in 1853, and Clara and 
John who died there in 1854. 

Betsy S. Johnson was born Sept. 18, 1816, in Grenna, Sweden. 
Two years after the death of her husband in Chicago she went 
to St. Peter, Minn., where she earned her living in various ways, 
with the help of such assistance as Charles could give. In a few 
months she took up a claim in Nicollet county, built a log cabin 
and made improvements from time to time. July 7, 1857, she mar- 
ried John Magnus Johnson, by whom she had two children, Ma- 
tilda M. and Anna J., both of whom are now dead. Her second 
husband died in 1899. 

John Peter Holmberg was born in Sweden and died at St. 
Peter, Minn. His wife, Louisa Holmberg, died in Sweden. She 
was the mother of seven children : Louisa, now Mrs. Joseph An- 
derson ; Christina M., the wife of Charles G. Johnson ; Lena, now 
Mrs. Jonas Linstrom; Jonas, who died in 1867; John M.. de- 
ceased in 1913; Carl, who died in the same year; Eva. the wife of 
S. A. Peterson. 

Edwin S. Johnson, the efficient postmaster of Franklin, was 
born in Columbia county, "Wis., Aug. 9, 1855, son of Samuel and 
Alice (Anderson) Johnson, natives of Norway, who Located in 
Columbia county. Wis., in 1854, and in 1867 took a claim in Wan- 
namingo township, Goodhue county, this state where they died, he 
in 1889, at the age of eighty-four and she. in 1870. at the age of 
fifty-seven. Of the twelve children, only two, Edwin S. and Katie 
(now wife of E. 0. Haugesag, a retired farmer of Kenyon, Minn.) 
are now living. Edwin S. Johnson started in life for himself at 
the age of fifteen years by working as a farm hand. At the age 
of eighteen he, with brother Halvar, came to Renville county and 
opened a grocery store near the schoolhouse of District 1, in sec- 
tion 18, Camp township. They conducted this store from 1873 to 
1874. During the season of 1875 he was in the harvest fields in 
Lac qui Parle, owing to the ravages of the grasshoppers who had 



988 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

eaten the Renville county crops. In 1876 Edwin S., together with 
his brother-in-law, Engebret Thompson, started farming on the 
place of their mother-in-law, Mrs. John Anderson, in the same sec- 
tion. In 1879 be sold his interest in the farm to Engebret Thomp- 
son and moved to section 12, township 111', range 34, Birch Cooley. 
In the spring of 1881 he was appointed postmaster of Franklin, 
the office then being located three-quarters of a mile southeast of 
the present site of the village. In the fall of 1882, Mr. Johnson 
moved to the new village of Franklin. He was the first settler of 
Franklin village. In the summer he had built the first building 
into which he moved the postoffice and in which the first store was 
also located, this being conducted by Hohle Brothers 'Sever and 
Andrew). This was before the streets were laid out or before it 
was platted, consequently when it was platted his building stood 
in the middle of the Third street, so he had to move it on to the 
corner of the new road, block 1, lot 15. In 1885 he laid in a 
stock of genera] merchandise. In 1889 be sold out and managed 
an Elevator for the Great Western Elevator Co., for nine years. 
Then he managed a store for P. P. Lee. A year and a half later 
he and Mathias Kelly bought the store, but after another year 
had passed, he sold the place to Mr. Kelly and with C. H. Hopkins 
and John M. Johnson engaged in the land business for two years. 
Then with Iver Mahlum as a partner he conducted a general store 
at Franklin. Feb. 1. 1907. he sold out his interest in the store 
to become postmaster, having received his commission, and on 
April 5, 191)7. entered the postoffice where he has continued ever 

since. He has I n village recorder for four years and secretary 

of the school board thirty years. He has been secretary of the 
Norwegian Evangelical Lutheran Trinity church since its organi- 
zation. Edwin S. Johnson was married, Jan. 7, 187o. to Gurina 
Andersen, born Nov. 22. 1855, daughter of John and Martha An- 
derson a sister of A. J. Anderson, of Camp township, and twin 
sister of Mrs. Engebret Thompson, of Camp township. Of their 
nine children, seven are living. Alice and Samuel are dead. 
Jeanette is the wife of 0. A. Olson, assistant cashier of the Frank- 
lin State Bank. George is a railroad employee at Butte, Mon- 
tana. Martha is the wife of J. L. Jacobs, editor and owner of the 
Franklin "Tribune." Leona, Arthur, Grace and Mary are at 
home. 

Julius 0. Anderson, a successful farmer and stock raiser of 
Melville township, was born in Bandon township, this county, Jan. 
1, 1881, son of Ole and Sophia Johanna (Bogema) Anderson. He 
attended the district schools of Bandon and on March 22, 1903. 
graduated from the agricultural department of the University of 
Minnesota. He remained at home until twenty-three years of age, 
and then rented a farm in section 5, Melville township. In 1910 
he purchased from bis father 160 acres in the northwest quarter 



THF. NEW Ynr>*' 
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HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 989 

of the same section. In 1912 he rebuilt the house and erected a 
16 by 36 stave silo. In 1915 he rebuilt the barn, making it 32 by 
76 feet with a 14-foot leanto. He carries on general farming, 
keeps some fifty head of cattle including six head of registered 
Jerseys, and ships some 10(1 Duroe-Iersey swim- each year. Al- 
though busy with his own duties, Mr. Anderson has not neglected 
public affairs, and for twelve years he lias done good service as 
clerk of the school board of his district. He is one of the directors 
of the Bird Island Farmers' Elevator Co. 

He was married June 12, 1912, to Emma Poore, who was born 
in Osceola township, this county. Aug. 24, 1884, daughter of Ham- 
lin Y. and Caroline (Hibbard-) Poore. Hamlin V. Poore was born 
in Trumbull county, Ohio, was married Feb. 20, 1873, to Caroline 
Hibbard, a native of Desota, Missouri, came to Osceola township 
in 1876, took up a homestead of 160 acres in the southeast quarter 
of section 19, became one of the most extensive bee-raisers in the 
state and still makes his home there. 

Ole Anderson was born Dec. 17. 1853, m Norway, came to 
America in I860, lived in Iowa for about a year, located in Spring 
Grove, Houston county, this state, about three years, came to 
Renville county, and located in Camp township, bought a quarter 
section of railroad land in section 23, Bandon, added 160 more in 
section 35 in 1897 and there lived until June 9, 1899, when he 
traded his land and came into possession of the north half and 
the southwest quarter of section 5, Melville township. In 1907 he 
retired to Bird Island. His wife was born in Norway Dec. 9, 1854, 
came to Amei'ica at the age of twelve years, aud died in Bird 
Island Aug. 9, 1913. 

William Harvey Jewell, a successful farmer of Bird Island, 
was born -Ian. 3. 1831. in Saratoga county, New York, son of Jo- 
seph and Hannah (Greenfield) Jewell. His father and grand- 
father were also born in New York State, his grandfather living 
to the age of 105. The family came to New York from Holland 
in Colonial days. Joseph Jewell, the father, a carpenter by trade, 
left New York in 1847, and located at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, 
where he lived for six or seven years. There William II. Jewell 
saw the first raft go over Bull Falls. It had eight men on it and 
went over without any trouble but the second raft became stuck 
and the men worked all day before they could get it over. Mr. 
Jewell assisted in the building of a sawmill thirty miles above 
on the river. In the spring of 1867 he located in Renville county, 
securing 160 acres on the east Birch Cooley creek, where he erected 
a frame house and started farming with an ox team and a horse 
team. Later he moved to Bird Island where he bought a tract 
of 80 acres, a part of which was under water. He lived there 
three years and then he sold this property and bought the block 
in Bird Island, where he erected a substantial residence which 



990 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

he afterward sold. He also sold lots 1, 4, and 5, but afterward 
bought back a half of lot 5. Then he erected his present sightly- 
residence. Mr. Jewell has held several offices, his first office being 
that of sheriff of Renville county in 1869. The county seat was 
then located at Beaver Falls. He was also postmaster at Birch 
Cooley ten years being one of the first postmasters of the county. 
He has been chairman of the board of supervisors and has also 
been street commissioner on the village board, many good roads 
being built in this section during that time. Mr. Jewell was mar- 
ried at the age of twenty-one to Caroline Bunce. To this union 
were born five children: Lucian. a farmer at Morgan; Bell, now 
Mrs. Chas. Cane, of Brook Park. Minn.; Sarah (deceased); 
Georgiana, now Mrs. Alex DeWitt, of Dogden, North Dakota, and 
Leonard, a farmer of North Dakota. The present .Mrs. Jewell was 
Ellen Day, widow of William Ryan, and daughter of Joseph am 1 
Martha M. (Dickey) Day. She was born in Lafayette county, 
Wisconsin, Feb. IS, 1855. By her marriage to Wm. Ryan the fol- 
lowing children were born : John, of Appleton, Wis. ; William, 
who is manager of the Farmers' Elevator of Sheldon, North Da- 
kota; Mary (deceased), and James, who is on a claim in Montana. 

Peter Lahti, pioneer hunter and trapper, was born in Finland 
in 1834. As a young man he went to Norway. From Hammer- 
fest, Norway, with his family, he set sail for the United States, 
landing at Montreal after a seven weeks' trip aboard a sailing 
vessel, going thence to Quebec, and thence to Chicago, from which 
city they came to St. Peter, Minnesota. He there enlisted in the 
First Minnesota Heavy Artillery and served ten months. In the 
fall of 1865 he came to Renville county and, in 1866, took a home- 
stead of 160 acres in section 12. in Birch Cooley, township 112, 
range 34. There he established his home. He had a camp on 
the north side of Bird Island lake, and there he went yearly to 
hunt and trap. One year he brought home 9,000 muskrat skins 
in one load, which he sold at from 10 to 15 cents each. After a 
long and useful life he died July 7. 1911. His wife, Johanna, now 
lives with her son, Charles Lahti. 

Charles Lahti, who lias been actively identified with Renville 
county life for many years past, was born in Norway, of Swedish 
ancestry, Nov. --, 1859, son of Peter ami Johanna Lahti. He was 
brought to America by his parents, and after locating with them 
in St. Peter for a while, came with them to Birch Cooley town- 
ship. As a youth, he helped about the farm, hunted and trapped 
with his father, and attended the district schools at times. In 
1877 he went to Minneapolis and did railroad work for three years. 
In 1880 he rented the home place, in section 12, for five years and 
then purchased it. Being an enterprising and successful farmer 
he soon was able to increase his holdings, and added to this tract 
until he owned 416 acres in Renville county, 160 in Aitkin county 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 991 

and two small farms twenty-two miles from Tampa, Florida. In 
1903 he retired and moved to the village of Franklin, where he 
now resides. He is a stockholder in the milling company and has 
various other interests. Mr. Lahti has a clock, bought in St. 
Peter in 1865, which still runs and keeps good time. 

Charles Lahti was married Dec. 22, 1890, to Bertha Ylilahta, 
and they have had four children : Mabel, who died at the age of 
twelve; Sadie, who died at the age of ten ; Esther, who died at 
the age of eight, and Stella, at home. 

Theo. Kaegbein, contractor of Fairfax, was born in Jefferson 
county, Wis., Feb. 19, 1871, son of Henry and Minnie (Drager) 
Kaegbein. His father was born in Germany, April 23. 1813, and 
his niotlie)' was born in the Province of Posen, Nov. 30, 1823. 
They came to America in 1850 and engaged in farming in Jeffer- 
son county. Wis. The father died May 31, 1903, and the mother 
died May 7. 1900. Theo. Kaegbein lived at home until eighteen 
years of age when lie went to Illinois and worked out on farms. 
Then he engaged in carpenter work at New Ulm in 1892 and 
continued in this work until 1899, when he came to Fairfax. 
Here he also engaged in carpenter work and continued until 
1909, when he engaged in general contracting and building and 
has been very successful. Mr. Kaegbein was married June 7, 
1905, to Pauline Schumacher, of Cairo township, daughter of 
Ernst Schumacher. Mrs. Kaegbein took first prize at Renville 
county fair at Bird Island in 1915 on the following : curtains with 
tatted inserting, home-made hard soap, rye bread, angel food 
cake, fruit cookies and piccallili. In 1914 she took first prizes 
on hand embroidered center-piece, canned corn, canned peaches 
and pickled pears. 

Cornelius O. Knudson, restaurant keeper of Fairfax, was born 
in La Salle county, 111., May 25, 1870, son of Henry Knudson, a 
retired farmer of Humboldt, Iowa, who was born March 4, 1842, 
and of Martha Knudson, who was born Aug. 13, 1849. At the age 
of twenty-one, Cornelius O. Knudson started out in life for him- 
self, and was variously employed for some twelve years, eight 
of which years he spent with L. J. Grove, of his native county. 
For five years he farmed in Emmet comity, Iowa. In 1909 he 
operated a bakery in Humboldt, Iowa, for five months, and in 
the fall of that year came to Fairfax and purchased the old 
Detweiler restaurant from G. M. Emerson. He owns the build- 
ing and operates a first-class place. He also owns 160 acres of 
land in Clay county, Minn. 

Mr. Knudson was married Jan. 3, 1910, to Mrs. Marie Boynm, 
born April 1, 1878, daughter of John and Bertha (Ness) Mun- 
dahl, and widow of Ole E. Boyum, a farmer of Bandon township, 
this county. John Mundahl and his sister live with his aged 
mother in Toronto, South Dakota. She was born Jan. 14, 1813. 



992 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COl'XTY 

Bertha (Ness) Muudahl eaine to America with her parents in 
1852, the voyage aboard a sailing vessel taking eleven weeks. 
She died in 1893. By her marriage to Ole E. Boyum. Mrs. Marie 
(Mundahl) Knudson has two children: Joseph Benjamin, born 
July 21, 1904; and Ella Constance, bom May 13, 1906. The fam- 
ily faith is that of the Norwegian Lutheran church. 

Hans Gunderson, now deceased, was one of the earliest set- 
tlers of Wang township, and his name will be remembered as 
long as the early story of the county is related. He was born 
in Christiania, Norway, July 6, 1832, and was there reared to 
manhood. It was in I860 that he came to America and located 
in Rochester. Olmsted county, in this state. A year later he 
found his way to Renville county and secured a homestead of 
160 acres in section 28, Wang township. On this homestead he 
erected a loe cabin and started to cultivate the land. He planted 
groves, developed the farm, went through the privations of the 
grasshopper time and experienced all the rigors of pioneer life. 
For five years he lived alone, but in 1873 he married and brought 
his wife to his primitive abode. Together they labored and. though 
there were many discouragements and many difficulties to be 
overcome, they faced life with courage and. in time, were num- 
bered among the most prosperous people in the community. The 
old log cabin gave place to a sightly frame residence and the 
straw shack which sheltered their first stock made room for a 
commodious barn and suitable outbuildings. After a long, suc- 
cessful career as a hardworking farmer, Mr. Gunderson retired 
in 1907, and moved his family to Sacred Heart village. Inaction, 
however, did not please him and. in 1910, he returned to the 
farm and operated it for two years more. Then he moved to 
Granite Falls, erected a home, and there lived until his lamented 
death. Dee. 19, 1913. His wife still lives in that village. Her 
memory of the early days is very vivid and she has many inter- 
esting stories to tell of pioneer times when she lived in a log 
cabin and kept house and raised a family amid the most unfa- 
vorable conditions. Mrs. Gunderson was born in 1849 in Nor- 
way, her maiden name being Bergit Myrhougen. 

Mr. and Mrs. Gunderson have had six children: Marie, 
Richard, Clara. Hilda. Emma and Carl. Marie married Edward 
Paulson, of Sacred Heart township, and their children are : Hilma, 
Elvin. Arthur, Esther. Viola. Leona. Florence and Helen. Richard 
now lives in Montevideo, this state. He married Laura Brad- 
shaw. Clara married M. J. Larson, of Granite Falls, and they 
have one child, Berdie. Hilda married S. O. Odegaard, of Hawk 
Creek township, and their children are: Otis and Berdie Idella. 
Emma conducts a restaurant in Montana. Carl died at the age 
of eighteen years. 




MR. AXD MRS. LEOPOLD WOHLMAN 
MR. AND MRS. FEED W. WOHLMAN 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 993 

Leopold Wohlman, a pioneer, was born in Germany, April 
22, 1830, there grew to manhood, and learned the trades of ma- 
chinist and weaver. It was in Germany that he married Hannah 
Stummer. He left his native country in 1866, coming to the 
United States by sailing vessel, spending six weeks on the water, 
and landed at New York port, where he worked for about two 
years at his trade as machinist. Then he moved with his family 
to Minnesota for the purpose of establishing a home. They came 
by rail as far as St. Peter. Minnesota, and then hired a team of 
horses ami drove to the Spurber home on section 3, in Flora 
township. This was in 1868; and they stayed with the Spurber 
family until spring. Mr. Wohlman had located a homestead in 
section 2S, in Flora township, securing a tract of 80 acres. Dur- 
ing the winter lie busied himself by gathering together the logs 
and materials needed to build a home and in May, 1869, the fam- 
ily moved into the new home, lie also built a shed on the side 
of the house for the cow and calf. He had no money and had 
borrowed enough to bring his family to Renville county. He 
had traded a shotgun he had bought in New York city for the 
cow, and it was two years before he could afford a team of oxen. 
He earned money for this by working for the farmers in the har- 
vest season. He used this team to break the land, and here In- 
lived until 1898, when he moved to an adjoining 80-acre tract, 
where he lived for ten years. He had increased this to 160 acres 
and built part of the present frame house and good barns and a 
frame granary. He raised a good grade of stock. Mr. Wohlman 
was an active member of the German Lutheran church ami helped 
organize the Middle Creek German Lutheran church. For two 
years the services of this church were held in his log house. He 
was one of the first trustees and was a member of the church 
board practically all the time that he lived in this section. lie 
now lives in Renville at the age of eighty-five years. His wife, 
Hannah Stummer, was born Oct. 3, 1830, in Germany, and died 
in 1907 at the age of seventy-seven years. Seven children were 
born to these parents: Anna, Mary, Louisa. Leopold (deceased), 
Fred, Bertha and Clara. 

August Beyer was born in Germany, Aug. 8, 1*37. and came 
to Minnesota when lie was eighteen yearse of age. He worked 
on the farms in the neighborhood of Minneapolis and Roches- 
ter and mowed hay near White Bear Lake with a scythe. St. 
Paul was then but a very small town. He located as a pioneer 

of (ireenw I Prairie. Olmsted county, where he worked for 

the other farmers and finally located a place of his own in Blue 
Earth county, where he married. Later they moved to Renville 
county and located a farm in section 19, Flora township. They 
are both living in Renville. There were eleven children in the 
family: Emma. Dorethea, Amanda (deceased). Lizzie. Ida. Ar- 



994 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

thur, Walter, Ella. Mary (deceased), Charles (deceased), and 
William (deceased). 

Fred W. Wohlman, a well-known farmer of Flora township, 
was born March 3, 1871, on his present place, then the homestead 
of his father. Leopold and Hannah (Stummer) Wohlman. He 
was reared on the home farm and, after his marriage, took charge 
of the old homestead, a tract of 160 acres, where he has lived 
ever since. He has increased the home farm to 280 acres and 
also farms 240 acres in Beaulieu township, Mahnoman county, 
in the northern part of the state. He carries on general farming 
and keeps a good grade of stock. He is a shareholder in the 
Farmers' Co-operative Elevator Company of Delhi. He has been 
the treasurer of Flora township for seven years and is a member 
of the German Lutheran church. Fred W. Wohlman was mar- 
ried Sept. 23, 1898, to Dorethea Beyer, who was born in Blue 
Earth county, this state, Aug. 30, 1877, daughter of August and 
Hannah (Rhodes) Beyer. This union has been blessed with eight 
children : Oscar, born in 1899 ; George, born June 24, 1902 ; Esther, 
born Aug. 8, 1904; Irene, born June 9, 1906; Alfred, born May 
24, 1908; Otto, born Nov. 29, 1909; Clara, born Sept. 3, 1911, and 
Harold, born Aug. 15, 1915. 

Gustave A. Schafer was born Feb. 2, 1872, in the old log house 
on the farm of his father, Henry Schafer, in section 24, Flora 
township, which farm he now owns. He remained with his par- 
ents until he grew to manhood. He has taken great interest in 
public affairs and held several township offices, having been town- 
ship assessor for four years and director of the school district 
for the past ten years. He has served as road overseer for the 
past two years and has been appointed town clerk. He is a stock- 
holder in the Danube Farmers' Telephone Company. Mr. Schafer 
was united in marriage Oct. 13, 1899, to Mary Zimmer, born in 
Flora township, daughter of Peter and Gertrude Zimmer. Mr. 
and Mrs. Schafer have two children: Arthur and Ruth. The 
family worship at the Evangelist church. 

A. D. Smith and wife, Margaret, came to Minnesota in 
March. 1886. and settled in the township of Ericson, Renville 
county, establishing a home there, where they still reside. By 
neighborly acts and square dealing they acquired the friendship 
and esteem of a large circle of neighbors and acquaintances, and 
were always ready to give a helping hand to the uplift of the 
neighborhood, having assisted very materially in the organiza- 
tion of School District 116. and to the present time (1915), A. D. 
Smith has been the only clerk and has issued each and every 
teachers' contract and school order ever issued in the district. 
He has held several town offices and refused to accept more such 
offices than he has held. He generally takes great interest in 
politics and has very materially aided in the defeat of certain 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 995 

aspiring candidates, both to state and county offices. He is proud 
of the fact that he did as much, or more, than any other indi- 
vidual in the state, with the single exception of Robert Dunn, 
to elect the late and lamented John A. Johnson, governor of 
Minnesota, the first time he was elected. A. D. Smith has been 
a factor in the defeat of certain undesirable candidates to minor 
offices in whose interests more dollars' worth of "liquid influ- 
ence" were "set up" during the campaigns that the salary of 
the coveted offices amounted to. (Written by A. D. Smith, April 
26, 1915, southwest quarter, section 12, range 37, township 116.) 
Charles Kenning, an early settler of Renville county, was born 
in Mecklenburg, Schwerin, Germany, March 28, 1850, son of 
Henry and Fredricka (Dammann) Kenning, natives of Mecklen- 
burg, who came to America in 1853, located in Buffalo, New York, 
removed to Toronto in 1854 and in April, 1858, settled in Ghaska, 
Carver county, Minn., where the father engaged in contracting 
and building, until his death, May 24, 1881. The mother died 
March 10, 1900. There were four children in the family: Henry, 
who died Jan. 6, 1900; Charles; Theodore, of Minneapolis; and 
Fred, of Minneapolis. Charles Kenning was brought to America 
by his parents and attended the public school and Moravian 
Academy at Ghaska. In the summers of 1860, 1861 and 1862, 
when still a small boy, he was engaged as an ox teamster by J. 
A. Dunkle, who operated a barge on the Minnesota river, ship- 
ping wood to St. Paid. At the time of the Indian outbreak, in 
1862, his team was one of those drafted to haul provisions from 
Carver to the soldiers in the Indian country. Although a mere 
lad of twelve years, he remained by his team and was near Hutch- 
inson when the Indians attacked that village. The train was then 
ordered back to Glencoe, where all the ox teams were discharged. 
Young Henning then returned to Chaska, and again took up his 
duties of hauling wood to the river bank. Later he engaged in 
contracting and building and also conducted a sash and door 
factory at Chaska for seven years. During this period he helped 
organize the Chaska Fire Department, and served as chief as 
long as he lived there. In 1878 he came to Renville county and 
settled on a farm two miles east of Bird Island, in Melville town- 
ship, purchasing 320 acres of state land. After six years he sold 
this and came in 1884 to Osceola township, where he took a 
homestead of 160 acres in section 18. This was wild pi-airie land. 
Here he built a house and made many improvements. This land, 
by industry and intelligent effort, he has increased to 640 acres, 
all in sections 7 and 18. In addition to carrying on general di- 
versified farming and making a specialty of raising Shorthorn 
cattle, Shropshire sheep, Yorkshire swine and Percheron full- 
blooded and graded horses, he does general contracting and build- 
ing, confining his efforts largely to erecting farm structures. He 



996 HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 

is also a dealer iu general farm implements and machinery. His 
public duties have been many. He served in such offices as treas- 
urer of Melville township until he moved from there. He helped 
organize School District No. 110 and since that date has served 
as its clerk. He is an original member, stockholder and present 
director of the Renville County Pair Association, of which he 
served as president for fifteen years. He was likewise an orig- 
inal member and president of the Clover Leaf Creamery Asso- 
ciation at Osceola township, of which he was president for eight 
years. As secretary and manager of the Farmers' Elevator at 
Bird Island, he has done efficient work, and his services as stock- 
holder in the Independent Harvester Company have been highly 
valued. Pie helped organize the State Breeders' Association, and 
was one of its officers until 1913 

Possibly Mr. Kenning takes the greatest pride in the work 
he has done in connection with the Old Settlers' Association of 
Renville county. He helped to organize it and served as its sec- 
retary for five years, during which time the records were most 
admirably preserved for future generations. Mr. Kenning was 
married at Chaska, Sept. 23, 1869, to Henrietta Schraan, who was 
born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 20, 1850. She died 
in April, 18S5, leaving six children: Henry C, born Aug. 10. 
1870, now of Catawba, Wis., engaged as a machinist ; Charles, 
born May 6, 1873, engaged in farming at Independence, North 
Dakota; Ida, born August 18, 1875, now Mrs. Gustaf Worsech, 
of Keiinon, Wis. ; Henrietta, born April 5, 1877, now the wife 
of Valentine Schoot, a farmer of Hinckley ; Anna, born Nov. 14, 
1879, now Mrs. Godfred Schoot. of Hinckley; and Louisa, born 
Dee. 31, 18S4. now the wife of Lee Mack, a farmer of Crookston, 
Minn. Mr. Kenning was married a second time Sept. 10, 1885. 
to Louisa Ehrenberg, born in Germany. Oct. 16, 1866. and came 
to America in 1884. The following children were born to this 
union: William, born Feb. 12, 1887, now a farmer at Crookstmi; 
Louis, born Sept. 28, 1888, a farmer in Kandiyohi county: Fred- 
erick, born Feb. 3, 1891; Edwin, born June 27. 1S93 : Alice, born 
Sept. 7. 1896; Arthur, born July 26, 1898; Mabel born April 13, 
L901 ; John, bom Dec. 25, 1904; Alfred, born Oct. 3. 1908; Milton, 
born Aug. 24, 1910, and Merten, born Aug. 24, 1910. 

James Gaffney, one of the earliest pioneers, was born in County 
Caven, Ireland, and came to Illinois, from there going to <';ili- 
l'ornia, by way of Cape Horn. After a year's stay in the mining 
district there, he returned to Illinois. Next, he moved to Waseca 
county, Minnesota, in 1858, and located on a farm, where the 
city of Waseca now stands. The family moved from Waseca 
county to Rice county and stayed about one year, then they drove 
with oxen into Renville county. They went up along the Sacred 
Heart creek and lived there during 1865-66. In the spring of 



p«SS, 



IN v., v ,; ^ L 






" 




E. F. GAFFNEY A.\h FAMILY 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 997 

1866, Mr. Oaffney located a homestead of 160 acres in section 3, 
Flora township, where his son, Edmund, now lives. It was all 
wild prairie land. Here he built a log building, made out of 1ml- 
Low logs called scoop logs. Later he built another log house 
which had a shingled roof. The first township election of Flora 
township was held in the first of these log houses. At that time 
there were about fourteen voters in the township. Mr. Gaffney 
began to break up the land with his ox team and improve the 
farm. He was a member of the Catholic church. He died in 
1884, at the age (if eighty years. He was married in Illinois to 
.Mary Powers, daughter of John Powers, a native of Ireland. Mrs. 
Gaffney died in 1870, at the age of thirty-seven. Ten children 
were born to these parents: Anna, George, Catherine, Ellen, John. 
.lames, Mary, Joseph, Frank and Edmund. 

Edmund F. Gaffney, a prominent man of Flora township, was 
born in Waseca county, Minn., Feb. 16, 1859, son of James and 
.Mary (Powers) Gaffney. He came to Flora township as a small 
boy, grew to manhood on the home place, and has since con- 
tinued to live there. In 1892 he acquired the place, and since 
then he has added 40 acres to it. He, has taken his share in the 
progress of the community and is an industrious and progressive 
citizen, widely esteemed by all who know him. Mr. Gaffney was 
married Jan. 11, 1899, to Mrs. Amelia (Schaffer) Smith, born 
in Flora township. April 27, 1873, daughter of John and Caro- 
line (Krup) Schaffer. Mr. and Mrs. Gaffney have had three 
children, Mabel, Kenneth and Leland E. Mabel was born Sept. 
24, 1892, was married Oct. 29, 1912, lives with her husband on 
a homestead near Saco, Montana, and has two children. Ken- 
neth was born Jan. 26, 1906. Leland E. was born Jan. 31, 1900. 
and died Feb. 23, 1910. 

John Schaffer was born in Mecklenburg, Germany, March 17. 
1831, and died in 1885. He was twelve years old when he was 
obliged to earn his own living, his parents having died. He came 
to the United States and served four years during the Civil war.' 
After the war he located in Flora township, Renville county, 
where he had preemption claim in section 1. He secured 160 
acres and later added 40 acres more. He built a log house and 
used an ox team to' break up the land. Shortly afterwards he 
married Anna Larson, a native of Norway. She died, leaving 
two children, Louisa and John. Then he married a second time. 
to Caroline Krup, born in Germany, Dec. 5, 1841, who is still 
living at North Redwood. Mr. Schaffer helped organize the town- 
ship and served on the board of supervisors. The children by 
this second marriage were : Amelia, Emma, Ida and Amanda. 

John Zimmer, a farmer of Flora township, was born in Ger- 
many, September 26, 1864, son of Peter and Gertrude Zim- 
mer. His parents were married in Germany and left for America. 



998 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

when Joliu was one and a half years old, coming by sailing 
vessel and spending four weeks on the water. His father first 
settled in Wisconsin and farmed there for a time and then 
left for Minnesota, coming to Renville county, to which place 
he drove with ox team. He located on a farm here and began 
farming, using oxen to break up the land. He suffered much 
from the grasshoppers which destroyed his crops. There were 
nine children in the family : William, Peter, John, Louie, Michael, 
Nicholas, Kate, Mary and Anna. He died in 1880 at the age of 
forty years. His wife married again, to August Olich, there being 
one child, Adolph, by this union. Adolph and his mother reside 
at Glencoe, McLeod county. 

John Zimmer grew to manhood in Renville county and began 
to work for himself at the age of twenty-seven years. He worked 
out among the farmers for about a year and then located 160 
acres of land in Flora township. It was all wild prairie land 
with no buildings nor hedge. He has improved the farm and 
built modern buildings and a modern house with steam heat and 
electric lights. He raises a good grade of stock. 

Mr. Zimmer was married April 29, 1892, to Anna Brandt, 
born in Germany, Oct. 3, 1874. and came to America when she 
was an infant. Her parents, Charles and Amelia (Manthei) 
Brandt came in 1875. They settled in Nicollet county and later 
in Renville county, locating in Troy township, where he lived 
until his death in 1913, at the age of sixty-six years. His wife 
is still living at the age of sixty-two years. There were ten 
children in the family : Anna, William, Amelia, Herman, Charles, 
Frank, John, Mary, Esther and Clarence. Mr. and Mrs. Zimmer 
have three children : Elsie, born Jan. 15, 1894 ; Selma, born 
March 5, 1897 ; and Clifford, born Sept, 20, 1898 ; all at home. 

John Larkin, Sr., now deceased, was one of these early pio- 
neers of which Renville county can well be proud. He was born 
in Cloan, County Kilkenny, Ireland, in 1825, and there received 
his education and grew to manhood. At the age of eighteen 
years in 1843 he set sail for America and located in Massachu- 
setts, where he was married Sept. 6, 1852, to Mary DArcy, who 
was born at Tullow, County Carlow, Ireland, Nov. 25, 1830. In 
the fall of 1867 Mr. Larkin and his wife came to Minnesota, liv- 
ing for about three weeks at St. Peter and then coming to Ren- 
ville county, where they arrived in December. He secured a 
homestead of eighty acres in section 18, Flora township. It was 
all wild land without any improvements whatever. He at once 
set at work to improve his new home, built a log cabin to live 
in and a rude shed to shelter the stock. The hard winters and 
heavy storms, together with the grasshopper plague, were severe 
drawbacks, but by undaunted courage and hard work, Mr. Lar- 
kin in time prospered and became one of the leading representa- 




V. 



/•& 




HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 999 

tive farmers of the community. He built up a good home and 
a fine farm. He served as justice of the peace and for a time 
the postofSce was kept in his residence. He died Sept. 6, 1892. 
Mrs. Larkin remained on the farm until 1912, when she removed 
to the city of Renville where, despite her advanced age of eighty- 
five years, she is still hale and hearty, and enjoys telling of the 
early days' happenings in Renville county. Mr. and Mrs. Larkin 
were the parents of eleven children : Joseph L., born July 4, 
1852, died May 16, 1854; Henry, born Dec. 6, 1854. died April 
17, 1857; Edward, born Nov. 4, 1856, now of Graceville, Minn., 
married Nov. 24, 1887, to Marry Powell, and father of ten chil- 
dren : Edward, Edna, Nellie, Anna, John, Prank, William, Henry, 
Rose, and one who died in infancy ; Mary, born Oct. 28, 1858, 
now widow of William Foster, and now residing at Foley, Ben- 
ton county, Minn., and mother of seven children: John, Mary, 
Margaret, William (deceased), Charles, Robert and Helen W. ; 
John, born August 25, 1860, a farmer of Flora township, married 
to Margaret W. Garvey, and has eight children: Wilfred (de- 
ceased), Francis, William, Richard, Bernard, John, Helen and 
Joseph ; Margaret Clara, born Oct. 9, 1862, a successful teacher 
of Redwood Falls ; Lawrence H., born Nov. 9, 1864, now of Ren- 
ville ; Ellen H., born July 31, 1867, now a bookkeeper at Prince- 
ton, Minn. ; William P., born Nov. 11, 1869, a farmer at Castor, 
Alberta, Canada ; Joseph H., born April 14, 1872, who is men- 
tioned elsewhere in this work; and Kate, born .lime 27. 1875, 
and died June 30, Ls75. The family church is the Roman 
Catholic. 

Joseph H. Larkin was born on the old homestead of his father 
in section 18, Flora township, April 14, 1872, son of John Larkin. 
He grew to manhood there, receiving his education in the dis- 
trict school and the high school at Redw T ood Falls. At the age 
of seventeen years he began teaching at Redwood, where be 
taught for three months. The next six years were spent in teach- 
ing in his own district, No. 18, in Flora township. Then he be- 
gan farming on his father's farm and also across the road in 
the same section. There were 157 acres in this tract, to which 
he added fifteen acres more. He farmed here for several years 
and then became a thresher, having two outfits and crews, and 
for thirteen years traveled all over Renville county during the 
harvest season. He is a member of the Farmers' Elevator Com- 
pany at Renville, having been a director for the past two years. 
and held the position of vice-president the two years previous. 

Mr. Larkin has held the office of township assessor and has 
served on the school board for three years. He is a member of 
the Catholic church and for the past three years has served as 
trustee of that church. He is also a member of the Knights of 
Columbus. 



1000 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Peter Binger, a thrifty aud industrious farmer of Flora town- 
ship, was born in Germany, Nov. 6, 1840, son of Valentine and 
Dorothea (Laubel) Binger. There were three children in the 
family : Adam, Andrew and Peter. Andrew and Peter left Ger- 
many in 1866 and reached New York after a nine days' voyage. 
They remained in New York until 1868, when they went to Min- 
nesota. Peter had learned the trade of a cabinetmaker in Ger- 
many and had followed that trade in New York. He located 
a homestead of 80 acres in section 20, Flora township, in 1868, 
where his home now stands. The land had been broken and there 
had been an old shanty on it, but it was burned at the time of the 
Indian uprising in 1862. He made a rude barn by driving stakes 
into the ground and covering the roof with straw. He had one 
ox team and at first borrowed a government wagon at St. Peter, 
but finally made one with wooden wheels. Beaver Falls was 
the nearest market and the grain was taken there to lie ground. 
He now has three 80-aere tracts and has erected new buildings 
and raises good stock. He is a member of the school board and 
of the German Lutheran church. He helped build the church 
and was one of its trustees for several years. 

Mr. Binger was married to Sophia Masemann in New York, 
and they have had ten children, eight of whom are living : Louis 
(deceased) ; Edward (deceased) ; William, a farmer of Emmet 
township; August, a farmer of Flora township; Dora, now Mrs. 
Gustave Mack, of Flora township; Bernhard, a farmer of Flora 
township; Henry, of Spokane, Wash.; Pauline, now Mrs. Thos. 
Zapf. of Spokane, Wash.; Herman, at home, farming with his 
father; and Marie, at home. 

Charles F. Schafer was born in Indiana, Jan. 9. 1862, son of 
Henry Schafer, a pioneer of Renville county. He was five years 
old when his parents came to Rice county and eight years old 
when they moved to Renville county. Here he grew to manhood, 
attending the district school in the log house, and at the age of 
nineteen began working on the farms of the neighbor. Then 
lie went to Rice county, where lie remained for about one year, 
and then lie came back to Renville county, where lie worked out 
on the farms for about nine months. Then he bought his present 
place, a tract of 80 acres in section 23, in Flora township. He 
improved his land, built a granary with a hay roof, and also a 
barn. He lived in the barn for about two months before his 
house was completed. He has now increased his farm to 120 
acres and also owns another farm of 120 acres in section 25, and 
40 acres in section 13. He raises a good grade of stock and has 
some fruit. Mr. Schafer was married March 22, 1889, to Minnie 
Ukert, born in Germany, July 16, 1860, and brought to America 
by her foster parents in 1862. They were four weeks on the 
ocean ami came to Wisconsin, where they remained until 1S83, 










< 




- 

Z 

P5 



m NEW Yi 

i Ifuiuc ; 




z 
x 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 1001 

when they came to Minnesota and located in Flora township, 
section 22, where they secured 80 acres. Here the father died 
at the age of sixty-six in 1902, and his wife in 1913, at the age 
of seventy-six. Mr. and Mrs. Schafer have four children : Laura, 
born Nov. 22, 1889, graduated from the Renville high school, and 
is now a teacher; Walter was born Sept. 7, 1892; Earl was born 
Oct. 7, 1897, and Florence was born Feb. 8, 1904. 

L. L. Palmer, hotel man and cattle dealer, was born in Switzer- 
land, May 5, 1859, son of Jacob P. Palmer, who died Oct. 19, 
1897. His mother, Anna Palmer, died Feb. 23, 1906, at the age 
of eighty-six years. He came to this country in 1865 and located 
six miles from New Ulm. He started his career as a cattle buyer 
at the age of sixteen, and in the forty years that have since 
passed has engaged more or less in that line. His first exprri- 
ence was in the employ of Peter Orth, of Redwood Falls, Minn., 
for whom he worked two years. Then he worked in a similar 
capacity for five years for M. Epple, of New Ulm. Next he oper- 
ated a roller skating rink at Lake Benton for a year. Then, tor 
several years, he engaged in cattle dealing at New Ulm in part- 
nership with his brother, Jacob. In 1889 he came to Fairfax 
and started a hotel career which lasted over twenty years. He 
found his quarters too small and later purchased the "Windsor 
Hotel, which he operated for many years. The hotel is a home- 
like place, has eighteen rooms, steam Heat, electric lights, bath 
and other conveniences and is well patronized. Mrs. Palmer owns 
320 acres of land near Grand Forks, North Dakota. 

Mr. Palmer was married Oct. 21, 1886, to Minnie Vogelpohl, 
who was born Sept. 25, 1862, daughter of Herman and Louisa 
(Schroer) Vogelpohl, farmers of Brown county. The father 
died in 1901 at the age of seventy-two. The mother is now liv- 
ing at New Ulm. It is interesting to note that Mrs. Palmer has 
taught sewing school for thirty years, and in that time had 648 
pupils in New Ulm and Fairfax. Mr. and Mrs. Palmer have had 
four children : Lunita, now Mrs. David Rondahl, born Nov. 20, 
1889 ; Viola, a teacher at Searles. Minn., born Aug. 2, 1891 ; Ro- 
man, born Sept. 20, 1901, a student at the Dr. Martin Luther 
College, at New Ulm ; and Arthur, a twin of Lunita, who died 
at the age of four days. 

David Rondahl, proprietor of the Topic Theater, Fairfax, was 
born in Stockholm, Sweden. He came to this country in 1909. 
In 1912 he reached Fairfax, worked a time in a mercantile estab- 
lishment, and later opened the Topic Theater. He has worked 
hard, has built up a splendid business and conducts a creditable 
place. Mr. Rondahl was married Feb. 2, 1915, to Lunita Palmer, 
daughter of L. L. and Minnie (Vogelpohl) Palmer. 

John Schlueter, an estimable farmer of Flora township, was 
born in Herzhorn, Holstein. Germany, Feb. 20, 1855, son of Chins 



1002 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

arid Rebecca (Fitz) Schlueter. The father died in Germany, 
and the mother came to America, bringing her son, John, in 1857. 
She was married at Buffalo, N. Y., at once upon her arrival to 
Francis Schumacher, later known as Francis Shoemaker. John 
Schlueter spent his early boyhood in Le Sueur county, this state, 
and came to Renville county with his family in 1S66. As a young 
man he worked as a farm hand. In 1882 he went to North Da- 
kota and took a claim of 160 acres in Sargeant county, where 
he proved up and remained for two summers. In 1878 he lo- 
cated in Henryville township, this county, and bought 160 acres 
of wild state land in section 6. He put up a shanty, broke the 
sod with the aid of an ox team, and gradually erected substantial 
buildings and brought the farm to a high stage of cultivation. 
In 1902 he sold out and bought a farm of 395 acres in Flora 
township, a part of which was the old homestead. He has re- 
modeled the house, erected a barn and a machine shed, and made 
many other improvements. He now carries on general farming 
and stock-raising. While in Henryville township, Mr. Schlueter 
served on the town board. He is now a stockholder in the Farm- 
ers' Elevator at North Redwood, and in the Redwood Falls Rural 
Telephone Co. The family faith is that of the Evangelical As- 
sociation. 

John Schlueter was married May 7, 1885, to Christina Anton- 
sen, born in Le Sueur county, this state, Dec. 26, 1862, daughter 
of John and Louisa (Kahle) Antonsen, natives respectively of 
Denmark and Germany, who came to this country, were married 
in Missouri, and settled in Le Sueur county, where they engaged 
in farming. In the Antonsen family there were nine children : 
Caroline (deceased); Mary, of Le Sueur county; Minnie, of 
Anoka county; John (deceased); Louisa (deceased); Rachael, 
of Colorado; Peter, of Sibley county; Fred, of Buffalo Lake, this 
county; and Christine, of Flora township, this county. 

Mr. and Mrs. Schlueter have eight children : Floyd F. is at 
home. He was born Aug. 9, 1887. Rebecca L. was born June 
4, 1889. She married Gustave Oelke, a farmer of Cooperstown, 
North Dakota. Fred, born May 14, 1893, and Esther, born March 
12, 1898, are at home. Herman was born May 1, 1896, and died 
Sept. 26, 1896. John II. was born March 31, 1886 and died Sept, 
15, 1886. Henry J. was born Jan. 31, 1891, and died April 15, 
1891. Laura was born Nov. 9, 1894, and died Aug. 3, 1895. Ar- 
thur, twin of Esther, born March 12, 1898, died April 26, 1898. 

Elias H. Anderson, a progressive farmer of Wang township, 
was born Aug. 13, 1838, in Norway, son of Andres Evenson. He 
received his early education and training in Norway. At the 
age of twenty he became a teacher, and after four years of this 
work he took a two-year course at a seminary, after which he re- 
sumed his work as teacher at the place where he had been be- 




E. H. ANDERSON 



p U^LlC UBRARyl 



Hsnsrs. 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 1003 

fore. After four years he moved to another district and here, 
in addition to his work, he was also the choir leader of the church 
for several years. He was always a very strong politician and 
held a position similar to that of judge of probate in America. 
On two occasions he was a candidate for the Storthing or Par- 
liament, but was defeated by a very close margin, and at one 
time this caused a rejection of the election, and as it was too 
late for a new election no representative was sent from that dis- 
trict that year. 

Being a progressive man and not finding conditions as con- 
genial as he wished, he decided to locate in America, where he 
had been before and where the opportunities for his progress 
were more numerous. He came to America in 1SS9 with his two 
boys, his wife having died. His oldest son was sent to college 
and his youngest remained, with his father. In 1890 he bought 
40 acres of land in section 35, in Wang township, for $600. There 
were no buildings on this place. Adjoining his forty acres of 
land there lived a young widow who had V U acres of laud. An 
agreement was made between the two to work the 120 acr< - 
gether. the result of this agreement being that she became his wife. 

Mr. Anderson has been president of the Hawk Creek Farmers' 
Mutual Insurance Company, of Sacred Heart, which include> six 
townships. He has been the secretary of the Farmers' Elevator 
Company, of Sacred Heart, and treasurer for the school district 
for the past fifteen years. While connected with the elevator 
company, he also had charge of the ordering of the supplies 
needed by the farmers. He is a member of the Norwegian Lu- 
theran church and has been the deacon ever since he came to 
this township. He is also a member of the school committee of 
that church and of the revision committee. 

His first wife was born May 7. 1^-U. and died Sept. 28, l v "7. 
She was one of the pupils attending his first school. She left the 
district and engaged in the study of dressmaking and housekeep- 
ing and. after perfecting herself in those branches, she went to 
Bergen, where she entered the state school for nurses. Here 
she completed the course for nurses and returned to her home 
a professional nurse and expected to work as such. However, 
when she returned she found her former teacher still there, and 
after a short time they were married. To this union were born 
several children, only two of whom grew to manhood. They are 
Ingvald Legnus and Berner Legnus. Ingvald is cashier in the 
bank in Brieelyn. Faribault county, Minnesota, and Berner is 
cashier in Russell, Lyon county, Minnesota. 

His second wife was Mrs. Olaus Rude, formerly Margout Arons. 
She was born in Norway and had one child by her first marriage. 
By Mr. Anderson's second marriage there are five children: 
Olaf, born May 21. 1891: Anna Pauline, born June IS. 1893: Ed- 



1004 HISTOKY OF UENVILLE COUNTY 

win Eelberg, born April 22, 1895; Emma Margret, born Dee. 3, 
1897: and Alma Bolette, born July 24. L900. 

Hans Berg 1 , a well-known farmer of Want;' township, was born 
March 11. 1837, in Norway. He left Norway in 1867 and came 
to America in a sailing vessel, landing at Quebec, and from there 
went on to Rochester, Olmsted county, where be bad friends. He 
began working on farms, and after about two or three years lie 
also worked on the railroad for a time, but finally came to Ren- 
ville county, making'the journey with an ox team. Here he se- 
cured a homestead, locating across the road from where he is 
now living, in section 4, Hawk Creek township. On this tract of 
80 acres he built a log house, 14 by 16 feet. Meetings were often 
held in this log house. He also built a barn of sod and logs. He 
had two steers, and when one of them died it was a lone' time 
before he could get another. Times were not very prosperous 
and two years passed by before he felt that he could afford to 
have a cow. After four or five years the log house was replaced 
by a small frame building, 12 by 14 feet, which is now a part of 
the present house, additions having been made. He also boughl 
80 acres more across the road in Wang township, section 34. 

Mr. Berg carries on general farming and raises good stock. 
He is a stockholder in the Farmers' Elevator Company at Sacred 
Heart. He has served on the school board and is a member of 
the Norwegian Hawk Creek Lutheran church, which he helped 
build. 

In 1873 Mr. Berg was married to Marit Stavne, born Jan. 28, 
1836, in Norway, the daughter of Ole and Marit (Baukal) Stavne, 
who both died in that country. She came to America with her 
brother and sister in 1867. Mr. and Mrs. Berg have had two 
children. George 0., horn Feb. 13, 1875, is now professor in 
Greek at St. Olof's College, Northfield, Minnesota; Annie, born 
Sept. 15, 1876, has been a teacher, hut is now at home. 

Christian A. Evenson, a venerable and respected farmer of 
Wang township, was born in Norway, Sept. 29, 1843, son of An- 
ders and Pauleta (Elarson) Anderson. The family name in 
Norway was Anderson, but on coming to the United States he 
took the name of his grandfather, who was named Even, thus 
making Evenson. His parents died in Norway. They had five 
children: Hogan, Elias N., Christian, Thomas and Lena. Chris- 
tian A. was the first to come to America, in 1S67 : Elias, in 1SS2, 
and Lena in 18S7. The other two children died in Norway. In 
the spring of 1867, Christian Evenson left Norway in a sailing 
vessel, landing at Quebec after a twelve week voyage. From 
there he went to Lansing, Michigan, not being able to go further 
on account of lack of funds. While on the boat, running between 
Quebec and Michigan, a fire broke out, which greatly frightened 
the passengers. At the time, the cause of the fire could not be 




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PU*Lit LkB&ARY 



Kxron. lbnox and 

T1LDSN rOUNBXTIONS 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 100.") 

ascertained, but a long time afterward it was discovered that it 
was caused by whiskey. At Lansing, Mr. Evenson decided to 
find work on a farm and started out into the country. On the 
road he met a farmer who needed help. As Mr. Evenson could 
not speak English and as the farmer was German, they had rather 
a hard time understanding each other, but finally came to an 
agreement and Mr. Evenson worked there for three months. 
The next spring he went back to Lansing because he wished to 
be near the water. In March he worked about two weeks on one 
of the steamers. Then he took charge of a raft of logs and for 
some time made several trips even as far as St. Louis. This was 
during the springs, and during the summers he worked in the 
harvest fields. He planned to go to Texas, but one day me1 a 
fellow countryman who advised him to go to Indiana, which he 
did. On his arrival he was hired by an Irishman to work in the 
harvest fields. The next year he worked in the harvest fields in 
Illinois, and the next in Iowa. Then he took passage up the Mis- 
sissippi river as far as Winona and from there went by rail as 
far as Rochester, where he worked in the harvest fields. He 
returned to Iowa and remained there for five years, and then be 
came to Minnesota again and located on a homestead in section 
31, in Wang township, of SO acres. There was a little log house 
on the place. He paid $500 for the land and also paid the ex- 
pense of having the claim filed at the land office, as this had 
not been properly filed before. lie was not able to have a pair 
of steers for about a year, and then he began breaking up the 
land. He has now increased his farm to 220 acres and has built 
a fine modern house and barn. He raises a good breed of stock. 

Mr. Evenson has been one of the supervisors of Wang town- 
ship for three years and has been chairman of supervisors for 
two years. He has also been township assessor for two years, 
and has served on the school board for nineteen years. He is a 
member of the Farmers' Elevator Company and has been on«, 
of its officers for many years. He is also a stockholder in the 
Farmers ' Telephone Company, and has been public auctioneer 
for tw 7 enty-five years. Mr. Evenson is a member of the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran church and was one of the organizers of this 
church and helped build it. He has been a deacon for the past 
twenty-five years and is now the choir leader, a position in which 
he has served for forty-three years past. During his first year 
in Minnesota he was married to Pernilla Thoreson, who was born 
in Norway. Eleven children have been born to these parents. 
Those living are : Thomas. Carl, Otto. Sigvert, Amel, Harold, 
Anna, Marie and Clarissa. 

Ferdinand H. Breitkreutz, a prosperous farmer of Flora town- 
ship, was born Nov. 22, 1865, in Germany, son of Ferdinand and 
Anna fStrauch) Breitkreutz, who came to the United States by 



100(3 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

a sailing vessel with their two children, Ferdinand and Matilda, 
in 1867, being sixteen weeks on the ocean. They landed at New 
York and went to Wisconsin, where they stopped a few weeks 
and then moved to Le Sueur county. Minnesota, where they set- 
tled on a farm of 40 acres. In 1870 the family came to Renville 
count3', coming in a covered wagon drawn by oxen. The father 
had been to Renville county the year before and had located a 
homestead of 80 acres and a preemption claim of SO acres in sec- 
tion 28, Flora township. They lived in the wagon until the cabin 
was built, 1-4 by 20 feet, made of logs, and began breaking up 
the land with the oxen. The early meetings of the German 
Lutheran church were held in this cabin, and Mr. Breitkreutz was 
an active worker in the church and Sunday school. When in 
Le Sueur county, he had taught in the German parochial school 
during the winter. He helped organize, and was a trustee of the 
Middle Creek Lutheran church of Flora township. He improved 
his farm and built a good substantial frame house, the frame 
house and log cabin still standing across the road from the fine 
modern house erected by his son on the farm. He prospered 
and added to this farm until he had 600 acres of land and kept 
a good grade of stock, having brought his hogs, cows and sheep 
with him from Le Sueur county. In those early days his wife 
spun the wool into yarn and wove cloth. He died in 1891 at the 
age of fifty-four years, and his wife is still living at the age of 
seventy-five years. They had six children : Matilda, Ferdinand, 
Emma, Hulda. Paul and Anna. Ferdinand H. Breitkreutz grew 
to manhood on his father's farm. He took charge of 210 acres 
of the home farm and has gradually enlarged it. until now he has 
870 acres. He has built a modern house and barn and raises ex- 
cellent stock. Mr. Breitkreutz has been supervisor of the town- 
ship for the past twenty years and has also held the office of 
treasurer. He is a member of the German Lutheran church. Mr. 
Breitkreutz was married in 1905 to Augusta Schmidt, daughter 
of Christian Frederick and Johanna Wilhelmina (Heimke) 
Schmidt, pioneers of Renville county, who left Germany in 1862, 
first coming to Wisconsin, then, in 186S, located in Flora town- 
ship, Renville county. They came to the county by team and 
brought three children with them. Mr. Schmidt secured a home- 
stead of SO acres in section 24, where he built a log cabin and 
improved the place, at his death having 480 acres of land. He 
was horn Nov. 17, 1836. and died March 11, 190S. at the age of 
seventy-one, and his wife was born Nov. 15, 1839, and died May 
25, 1911, at the age of seventy-one years. Their children were: 
Herman, Richard. Ida. Reinhold, Martha. Anne Bertha, Arnold, 
Frederick (deceased), and Augusta. Mr. and Mrs. Breitkreutz 
have five children: Herman, Alfred. Rhenhart. Herbert and 
Gerhart. 



HISTORY OP RENVILLE COUNTY 1007 

Adolph Kaiser, a progressive farmer of Winfleld township, 
was born July 12, 1863, in Clinton county, Iowa, son of Frederick 
and Elizabeth (Green) Kaiser. His parents were natives of Ger- 
many, coming- from Prussia, in 1 Still. They moved to Clinton 
county, Iowa, with their two children. Gus and Emma, and lo- 
cated on a farm of SO acres in that county. The father was a 
tailor by trade and knew very little about farming. The farm 
he secured was an old one and there was only an old shanty on 
the place. The family lived here for eight years and then moved 
to Johnson county. Iowa, where they bought 120 acres of prairie 
land in Lincoln township. Here they built a frame house and 
began to break the land, using an ox team, living here till the 
father's death, in 1886, at the age of sixty-four. His wife died 
at the age of fifty-seven. They were both members of the Pres- 
byterian church. There were six children: Emma. (Jus, Her- 
miua, Minnie. Adolph and Agnes. 

Adolph Kaiser was educated in the country schools of John- 
son county. After a time he began farming and continued in 
this work in Johnson county for three years, then he moved to 
Minnesota, locating in Renville county, in Bird Island township. 
He bought a prairie farm of 120 acres in section 29 in 1888, which 
was entirely wild land and had no buildings. Here he built a 
house and, in a short time, bought 80 acres more and still later 
91 acres more, living on this farm until 1899, when he sold out 
and came to Winfleld toAvnship, buying 160 acres of land. There 
were no buildings nor improvements made upon this land, so 
Mr. Kaiser put up buildings and made fine improvements. He 
keeps a fine grade of stock, raising Shorthorn cattle, and does 
general farming. While in Bird Island township, Mr. Kaiser 
served for three years as a member of the school board, and as 
member of the township board. He is a stockholder in the Farm- 
ers' Elevator at Danube and helped organize it. being at one time 
one of the directors. He is also a stockholder in the Farmers' 
Co-operative Telephone Co. Since his coming to Winfleld town- 
ship he has held several township offices. He is also a member 
of the Presbyterian church. Feb. 8, 1S8S, Mr. Kaiser was united 
in marriage to Sadie Kile, born in Muscatine county, Iowa, April 
10, 1864. She was the daughter of Jerry and Elizabeth (Lee) 
Kile. Her father was born Oct. 30, 1817, in Pennsylvania, his 
father being one of the early German settlers of that state. He 
died Nov. 28, 1888. Her mother was born in Ohio, Dec. 20, 1834, 
the Lee family being one of the early families of Ohio. After 
five years of married life, Mr. and Mrs. Kile left their home in 
Ohio and moved to Iowa, taking up a prairie farm in Muscatine 
county. Here they built a frame house and spent their remain- 
ing days. They had eight children : Madison. Mary, George, 
Sadie, Lydia. Minnie, Callie and Louis. 



1008 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Mr. and Mrs. Kaiser have had four children: Fred; Blanche, 
now Mrs. Frank Kuether, of Danube ; George, and Mabel, who 
died Oct. 9, 1903. 

Ernest J. Miller, son of Henry and Augusta (Prehl) Miller. 
was born in Steele county, Minnesota, Feb. 11, 1874. Henry Mil- 
ler was born in Germany and came to America in 1845. He came 
to Renville county in 1897 and engaged in farming, locating in 
Norfolk township, where he remained until his death, in 1908, at 
the age of eighty-four years. His wife is still living at the age 
of seventy-five years. Ernest -I. .Miller began renting a farm in 
Norfolk in 1898. In 1905 he bought 80 acres in section 18, the 
western half of the northeast quarter, Norfolk township, where 
he still lives. He has built a fine eight-room house and a barn, 
24 by 40 by 14, both buildings being erected in 1912. He raises 
Holstein cattle and does dairying. Mr. Miller is a stockholder 
in the Farmers' Elevator Company at Olivia and also of the Luce 
Electric Line. He served as postmaster for one year and is a 
member of the Methodist Episcopal church and Modern Wood- 
men of America at Olivia. Mr. Miller was married Feb. 2, 1898, 
to Selma Fogelquist, born March 3, 1880, daughter of John Fogel- 
quist, a farmer of Saskatchewan, Canada, aged seventy years, 
well known as one of the pioneers of Waseca county, Minne- 
sota. They have four children: Le Roy, born July 29, 1899; 
Homer, born April 28, 1906: Ivan, born April 28, 1911; and Dale, 
born March 28, 1914. 

Frank H. Manderfeld, Kingman township, was born May 22, 
1871, in Brown county, Minnesota, son of John and Katherine 
(Thrach) Manderfeld. When twenty-three years old, Frank left 
home anil went to Brown county, where he rented a farm and 
remained I'm- four years. He then purchased 124 acres in sec- 
tion 3, Kingman township, where he now owns 408 acres. In 
1913 he built a modern eight-room house. He is an enthusiast 
oil the subject of blooded stock and owns nineteen head of reg- 
istered Shorthorns and 125 registered Duroc Jersey hogs. For 
three years lie was on the township board and for six years has 
been ;i director of School District No. 82. He is a stockholder 
in the Farmers' Elevator of Bird Island. He is a member of the 
Catholic church and the Catholic Order of Foresters. Mr. Man- 
derfeld was married Feb. 25, 1894, to Caroline Manderfeld, born 
Jan. 12. 1872, the daughter of Anton and Annie (Holm) Man- 
derfeld. They have six children: Lydia, Roman, Elsie, Eklen, 
Loretta, Anthony. John Manderfeld, born in Germany, came to 
America with his parents in 1855 and settled in Brown county. 
His wife. Katherine (Thrach) Manderfeld, died in 1877 at the 
age of twenty-six years. Mr. Manderfeld is a retired farmer, 
aged seventy-two years, and is living at New Ulm. Anton Man- 
derfeld was born in Germanv and came to America in 1855. He 




FRANCIS SHOEMAKER'S LOG CABIN IN 1868 




F. M. SHOEMAKER'S FARM RESIDENCE 



TEE »EW YORK 
PUBLIC BiEJUftV 



Aaron, lsnot •».-. , 



EISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 1009 

married Annie Holm and made his home in Brown county, where 
he resided until his death, in 1897, at the age of 52 years. His 
wife died in 1896, at the age of 42 years. 

Francis Shoemaker, one of the earliest pioneers, one of the 
first county commissioners, and for many years the leading resi- 
dent of Flora, was born in Holstein, Germany, Dec. 22, 1817. At 
the age of fourteen years he set out as a sailor and continued 
for about fifteen years, touching at many important ports in va- 
rious parts of the world. For a while he was first mate of the 
vessel "Northerner." Then he decided to go to the mining camps 
of California and become a gold digger. After spending six years 
in California he went to New York by way of Cape Horn, and 
from there came to Minnesota, where he obtained ;i preemption 
claim two and a half miles east of what was known as Le Sueur 
Center, walking to the place from Faribault. He knew nothing 
about farming and went back to Germany to get some of his 
relatives to come and help him. He brought back with him 
twenty-two people, most of whom were relatives. Among the 
number who came from Germany was his future wife, whom he 
married at Buffalo, New York. As the Civil war broke out at 
this time several of them enlisted in the Union army. Mr. Shoe- 
maker built a log house and cleared 40 acres. In 1865 he came 
to Renville county and located a homestead in sections 1 and 2, 
80 acres being secured in each, in Flora township. As the Home- 
stead Act was not yet decided upon, he took a preemption claim, 
afterwards relinquishing it and taking the land as a homestead. 
He drove over from Le Sueur with a horse team, bringing his 
wife and six children, John Schlueter, a step son. by his wife's 
former marriage, Francis, Herman, Celia. Martha and Elsby. In 
Flora township two more children were born. Henry and Minnie. 
He had located this land a year before the family came and had 
built a rude shack into which they moved, ami where they lived 
until the next summer, when he built a log house, one of the 
. first to be built in the county after the Indian massacre. It is 
still standing. It was 16 by 22 feet, with a board floor and clap- 
board roof, made of native lumber worn down instead of being 
planed. Here he lived until 1890. when he moved To North Red 
wood, where he died. He owned 400 acres of land at tin- time 
of his deatli and had built a modern frame building on his farm 
and improved it in many ways. Mr. Shoemaker was greatly in- 
terested in public affairs and held many public offices. lie helped 
organize the township, school and county, and w;is one of the 
first county commissioners of the new county. He was judge of 
probate one term. He held the office of township clerk for about 
twenty years and served on the school board. He was one of 
tin organizers of the old Grange and was also a member of the 
I. O. O. F. of Redwood Falls. He was a member of the German 



1010 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Evangelical church and helped to organize it. He died at North 
Redwood, Feb. 26, 1901, at the age of seventy-four years, two 
months and four days. His wife is still living at North Redwood, 
at the age of eighty-two years. 

Francis M. Shoemaker, one of the prominent and progressive 
men of Flora township, was born in Le Sueur county, Minnesota, 
Oct, 14, 1858, son of Francis anil Rebecca (Fitz) Shoemaker. He 
was about eight years old when his parents moved to Renville 
county and here he has since remained. He learned the trades 
of carpenter and engineer, but has devoted the greater part of 
his life to farming, coming from the home place directly to his 
present farm. When he located on this place it consisted of a 
tract of 180 acres in sections 2 and 3, Flora township, forty of 
which were preempted and forty purchased. He has greatly im- 
proved and developed the place and now has a splendid estate 
of 250 acres on which he has erected a modern home and many 
suitable and commodious buildings. In addition to this he owns 
land in Dakota. Mr. Shoemaker carries on general farming on 
an extensive and successful scale and makes a specialty of rais- 
ing good Belgian horses and Holstein cattle. Being interested 
in agricultural progress, he is a stockholder in the Farmers' Ele- 
vator Company, of Delhi, and the present president and one of 
the charter members of Flora Mutual Fire Insurance Company, 
which covers a territory of sixteen townships. He is at present 
supervisor of Flora township and served for ten years as town- 
ship assessor and as clerk for seven years. He has also held office 
of school clerk for twenty years. Mr. Shoemaker is a member 
of the A. O. U. W. He is a prominent communicant of the Evan- 
gelical Association church and was on the building committee 
of the church, built in 1911, which is said to be the finest church 
of that demonination in a country district in the state. 

Mr. Shoemaker was united in marriage April 5, 1888, to 
Regina Dryer, born in Flora township, April 30, 1867, daughter 
of Henry and Regina Dryer. Mr. and Mrs. Shoemaker have three . 
children : Francis H., of New London, Wis., a traveling salesman ; 
Vern W., who is at home ; and Crystal, a student at the Redwood 
Palls high school. The children have all received a good edu- 
cation. Vern completed the four years' course in the Northwest- 
ern College at Naperville, 111., in three years. Crystal has been 
especially interested in local history and is a fluent writer. When 
prizes were offered in 1912 for the best essays on various phases 
of Renville county history, she won the second prize of $10. She 
is the author of the article on Flora township, which appears in 
this work. 

Henry P. Serbus, a successful farmer of Henryville township, 
was born in Brown county, Minn., Aug. 29, 1873, son of John 
and Rosa (Bertek) Serbus. Henry Serbus remained on the home 




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PUBLIC LIBRARY 



ASTOn. LBNOX AND 
T1LDEN FOUNDATIONS 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 1011 

farm and after his father's death in 1897 took charge of the 
farm, remaining there until 1899, when he bought 160 acres of 
land in the northeast quarter, section 26, of Henryville township. 
He has developed this farm and has erected a fine monolithic con- 
crete silo, a good barn, chicken house and hog house. He raises 
the large type of Yorkshire hogs which are registered, and feeds 
one car each of cattle and hogs for the market every year. He 
has served as township constable for five years and is a member 
of the Renville County Swine Breeders' Association and township 
director of same. He is of the Catholic faith. Mr. Serbus was 
married Nov. 24, 1896 to Mary Kubesh, born Aug. 15, 1875, daugh- 
ter of John and Josephine (Moravitz) Kubesh. Mr. Kubesh, a 
retired farmer of Olivia, came to America in 1855, moved to Le 
Sueur county, in 1882 came to Henryville township and then 
moved to Olivia in 1911, where he has lived ever since. Mr. and 
Mrs. Serbus have the following children : Henry, Jr., born June 
11, 1898; Anton, born March 15, 1900; Beatrice, born Nov. 1, 
1902; Angela, born Oct, 8, 1905; Peter, born April 1, 1908; Bes- 
sie, born March 6, 1910; Helen, born Aug. 21, 1912, and also her 
twin, Hattie ; and Mildred, born Oct. 29, 1914. 

Timothy Hurley, the real estate and insurance man of Bird 
Island, was born March 26, 1879, in Brandon township, Ren- 
ville county, the son of James and Johanna (Farrell) Hurley. 
He remained at home until he was. of age then entered the grain 
business. He now deals in land and sells insurance. He is sec- 
retary of the Democratic county committee and a member of 
the Commercial Club. 

James Hurley, born in Ireland, married Johanna Farrell, who 
was also born in the Emerald Isle. She died in 1909 at the age 
of 69. Mr. Hurley came to America in 1852, coming to Minne- 
sota in 1865, when he located at Rochester where he remained 
five years. He then homesteaded on the northwest quarter of 
section 18 in Bandon township. From time to time he purchased 
other land until he owned 1,000 acres. He did a land business 
and general farming until 1900 when he retired to Bird Island 
where he now lives. 

William Jungers was born in Germany in 1827, and at the age 
of eighteen came to America with his parents and located in 
New York. He married in New York and came to Goodhue 
county, Minn., in 1865. His wife died in 1868 at Red Wing. They 
began life in this new county in a log cabin on Hay creek and 
with their oxen carried on farming. The land was covered with 
timber when he came and there were no roads. He cleared up 
the place and lived there seventeen years, when he moved to 
Nicollet county where he spent the rest of his life. He was 
married three times. By the first wife there were the following 
children : Adam, Kate, Mary, John, May, Helen and Michael. 



TOIL' HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

By the second wife there were Teresa and an infant who died. 
By the third wife, who is still living there were the following : 
Peter, Christian, Anna, Charles, Joseph, Frank, Benjamin and 
Elizabeth. He was a member of the Catholic church. 

Michael Jungers was born in New York state, April 17, 1864, 
son of William and Mary (Redding) Jungers. He received his 
education in Goodhue county and later located in Renville county. 
For a time he rented a farm and then purchased the present place 
of 160 acres, there being no improvements. He has since erected 
modern buildings, and raises good stock and has added 40 acres 
to his farm. He has been chairman of the township board for 
twelve years and secretary of the Farmers' Insurance Company 
for eighteen years. He is president of the Farmers' Elevator 
Company at Bird Island and school clerk and is also a member 
of the Stock Breeders' Association. He is a member of the 
Catholic church. He was married Oct. 26, 1887, to Catherine 
Lafontaine, born at Lake Superior, April 30. 1864, daughter of 
Joseph and Mary (Klass) Lafontaine. The father was a native 
of Belgium and came to America at the age of fifteen, being a 
poor boy, and went to Washington county, Wisconsin, where 
he worked on the farms and in the mines. He now lives in Man- 
kato. He was married in Wisconsin shortly before coming to 
Minnesota, and in 1869 located in Nicollet county on a farm. 
The children born were Nicholas, John, Anna, Mary, Liza. Marga- 
ret, Jennie and Catherine. Mr. and Mrs. Jungers have the fol- 
lowing children: William, born Aug. 1. 1888, who married Tillie 
Girg and lives on a farm at Sleepy Eye, having one child. Myrlin; 
Edward, bom Nov. 7, 1S91 : Leonard, born Oct. 13, 1904. 

Alex. J. Richardson, a leading public man of Bird Island, was 
born in Rochester, New York, son of Joseph and Lydia B. (Reed) 
Richardson, Dec. 23, 1865, was brought to Glencoe, this state, 
in 1872, and in 1884 to Bird Island, where two years later he 
became manager of the Richardson & Co. store. Though not a 
seeker of public office he has been called to serve on the village 
council of Bird Island for six years and as its mayor for two 
years. For ten years he was clerk of the Bird Island school 
board. He is now a director of the Renville County State Bank, 
at Bird Island. Aside from his prosperous business interests and 
Ins holdings in the village he owns several valuable farms scat- 
tered throughout the county, and is in every way regarded as a 
successfid man. Mi'. Richardson was married June 16. 1896, 
to Jessie E. Burlingame who was born June 16, 1S79. Her father, 
Anson Burlingame, died in Martin county this state at the age 
of sixty-six. Her mother, Maria A. Hill, after his death mar- 
ried G. S. Livermore, upon whose decease she took up her home 
with Mr. and Mrs. Richardson, with whom she now lives. Mr. 
and Mrs. Richardson have one daughter. Lucile, born Oct. 14, 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 1013 

1907. Joseph Richardson, successful business man and organizer, 
was born in Maine, June 4, 1822, and there lived until the age of 
twenty, when he went to Boston, Mass., and engaged in the 
produce business a few years. Then he went to Rochester, New 
York. There he organized and for ten years served as president 
of the Vacuum Oil Co., now merged in the Standard Oil Co. In 
1872 he came to Glencoe, Minn., and engaged in the general 
merchandise and grain business in the firm of A. H. Reed & Co. 
In 1884 he organized the firm of J. Richardson & Co., with head- 
quarters at Bird Island, though ho himself continued to reside 
in Glencoe until his death, June 3, 1905. His wife, Lydia B. 
Reed, was born Nov. 11, 1828, and died in January, 1897. The 
firm has continued to grow and prosper. When it was organized 
Joseph Richardson was president ; W. J. Richardson, M. D., of 
Fairmont, Minn., vice president ; and C. M. Tift't, of Glencoe, 
Minn., secretary. The presidency is now vacant and Alex. J. 
Richardson is the treasurer. Originally the firm owned a grain 
elevator, a store, and two creameries, but now confines its activi- 
ties to the store at Bird Island, where they have a large busi- 
ness which is constantly increasing in importance. 

James O'Neill was born in Ireland in 1831. Here he grew up 
to manhood and married Catherine Flanagan. This marriage re- 
sulted in ten children: John, James, Charles. Stephen, William. 
Patrick, Ellen, Margaret, Catherine and May. He and his fam- 
ily came to Quebec where he remained a few years and then 
moved to Rochester, and later to Northfield in 1859, where he 
engaged in farming. The oldest sons, John and James, served 
in the Civil war returning home in 1865. The family moved to 
Henryville. Renville county. Minn., where the father and sons 
took a homestead and farmed until the winter of the "Big Bliz- 
zard." Jan. 7, 1S73, a journey was made to Willmar with loads 
of wheat by John. Charles and Stephen O'Neill in company with 
Thomas and Michael Holden. A terrible snow storm came up 
and the men lost their way and of the five, Michael Holden was 
the only survivor. William and Patrick remained on the farm 
until a few years ago when both retired and moved to Olivia. 
James went west and engaged in- the mining business until his 
death in 1905. 

Patrick O'Neill was born in Quebec, Canada, Jan. 29, 1850, 
son of James and Catherine (Flanagan) O'Neill. He attended 
the common school of his neighborhood and grew up on the farm. 
He was married to Catherine Noonan, Sept. 5, 1871. born in 
Albany, New York, May 14, 1850. She came with her parents 
William and Bridget Noonan to Stillwater, Minn., where she was 
married. Eight children were born to this marriage : Mary E., 
James P., Agnes, John B., William J., Stephen F., Charles E., 
Arthur T.. all residents of Renville county. Mary E., the oldest 



1014 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

was born June 22, 1872, in Henryville township on the old home- 
stead and remained with her parents until her marriage, Sept. 
8, 1897, to Thomas J. Kelly. Mr. and Mrs. Kelly still live on the 
old homestead. 

Thomas J. Kelly, a well-known farmer of Henryville township, 
was born April 16, 1861, in McHenry county, Illinois, son of 
Thomas G. and Ann (Corcoran) Kelly, both native of Roscom- 
mon, Ireland, and married in Baltimore, Maryland. Thomas G. 
Kelly had come to America with his two brothers when a young 
man in 1842. The father had died in Ireland when the children 
were young and after four years the mother came to America, 
accompanied by her daughter Catherine. She was seventy years 
of age when she died. Thomas G. was a blacksmith and followed 
that trade till thirty-three years ago when he took up farming 
in McHenry county, Illinois, where he had a tract of 240 acres 
of land. This was in 1860. He spent eight years on tins farm 
in Illinois and then moved to Minnesota, to Renville county, and 
located on section 1, Henryville township. Half of the section 
was wild prairie land. The son, Thomas J., came first and located 
the land before the rest of the family came. A frame building 
was erected and they had only one team at first, but in time good 
buildings were built on the farm. Here the parents lived until 
their death, the father dying in 1897 at the age of sixty-six and 
the mother in 1901 at the age of seventy-six. They were faithful 
members of the Catholic church and the father helped build the 
Catholic church at Olivia. There were ten children in the family : 
Mary, Katie, Sarah. Thomas J., Ellen (deceased), Rebecca, Eliz- 
abeth (deceased), William, Edward and Julia (deceased). Thomas 
J. Kelly has held several school offices and was one of the found- 
ers of the handsome school house in District 137. He has been 
the director of the Farmers' Elevator of Olivia for the past four 
years. He is a member of the Modern Woodmen of America, a 
member of the Catholic Order of Foresters and of the Knights 
of Columbus. He is also a member of the Catholic church. The 
subject of this sketch lived with Ins father until his marriage 
in 1897 to Mary O'Nell, born in Henryville township. There 
are seven children all living at home, Leo, Hazel. John, Gladys, 
Gordon, Charles and Francis. 

Ole H. Docken, a successful farmer of Ericson township, was 
born in Norway, April 23, 1850, son of Hans and Emjor (Docken). 
The parents were farmers in Norway and died there, both being 
nearly ninety years of age. The father was born in 1813 and the 
mother in 1807. They had six children, Hans, Ingebret, Anna. 
Carrie, Ole H., and Emma. Four of these came to the United 
States, Ingebret coming first in 1866 and Ole H. in 1867. Anna 
and Emma came later. Ole H. Docken was a lad of seventeen 
when lie left his home in Norway and came to America, coming 




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HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 1015 

to Quebec in a sailing vessel, the voyage taking nine weeks. 
From Quebec be journeyed on to Rushford, in Fillmore county, 
where his brother Ingebret had arrived the year before, this 
trip taking one week. He went by way of the Great Lakes, 
across Wisconsin to La Crosse and overland to Rushford. At 
Rushford he began work on a farm in Pilot Mound township, re- 
ceiving $30 per month during the harvest season. He also oper- 
ated a threshing machine that first fall. That winter he attended 
school in the log school house at Pilot Mound, making his home 
with John Hall, working for him all the next spring and sum- 
mer. The following winter he worked near Preston and the next 
year he and his brother, who had now come to the L T nited States. 
rented the John Hall farm. The next summer was spent in work 
on Ole Wilson *s farm near Preston. During the next six or 
seven years he worked for Andrew Hamilton of Winona. He 
then returned to Pilot Mound township where he .remained about 
a year. After his marriage he and his wife, in the spring of 
1879, moved to Renville county, making the trip with a team 
of horses and a covered wagon. His brother had already located 
on HaWk Creek. Mr. and Mrs. Uocken located on section 8. 
Ericson township. There w r ere no buildings and all was prairie 
as far as the eye could see. He built a rude hut, putting posts 
into the ground, nailing boards on the sides of them and covering 
the room with sod, also laying sod along the sides of the hut. 
The floor was of boards. When he settled here he had two cows 
and 80 acres of land. Since that time he has increased his farm 
to 250 acres and after five years in the sod hut built a good mod- 
ern house which was burned in 1904. Another modern house has 
been elected since and also a fine barn. Mr. Docken has been 
chairman of supervisors and treasurer of Ericson township for 
many years. He has also seiwed on the school board several 
years, and is a member- of the Sacred Heart Lutheran church. 
He is a stockholder of the Sacred Heart Farmers' Elevator 
Company. 

November 29, 1878. Mr. Docken was united in marriage to 
Martha Hanson of Pilot Mound, born in Fillmore county, Sept. 
7, 1861, daughter of Hans and Bertha Hanson. Her parents were 
both born in Norway and came to America, first locating in 
Wisconsin, then in Pilot Mound township, Fillmore county. They 
had seven children: Hans, Anna, Erick, Martha. Rena and Mary 
(twins), and Hannah. They secured a homestead and built a 
log cabin, their nearest market being Winona, which they 
reached by ox team. Here they lived the rest of their lives, the 
father dying in 1905 at the age of seventy-four and the mother 
died twenty-three years ago at the age of sixty-two. They were 
members of the Lutheran church. During those days school 
houses were very few, and school was held for a time in their 



1016 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

log cabin. Mr. and Mrs. Docken have had fourteen children : 
Henry, born April 11, 1879; Bent, born Aug. 19, 1880; Emma, 
born July 24, 1882; Hogen, born Jan. 28, 1885; Lena, born Dec. 
4, 1886; Clara, born Jan. 27, 1889; Matilda Ovidia, born Dec. 7, 
1890 ; Othia, bom March 27, 1893, and died in April, 1893 ; Oscar, 
born Sept. 24, 1894; Alwin, born Oct. 17, 1896; John Gilbert, 
born Jan. 16, 1900; Thomas Wilhelm, born June 7, 1901; Alida 
Theoline, born Aug. 10, 1902; Loie Catherine, born Aug. 21, 1905. 

William A. Schneider, who lives on the rural delivery route 
No. 1, Renville, where he owns 480 acres, 320 in section 25, and 
160 in section 36, was born January 11, 1871, in Germany, the son 
of August and Christina (Leis) Schneider. He obtained his edu- 
cation in Kankakee county, 111., remaining with his parents until 
their death. He devoted his time to assisting his father on the 
farm which he still owns. He also owns three farms of 80 acres 
each in Sacred Heart township. He votes the Republican ticket 
and is now serving his second term on the school board. He 
is also a township supervisor and is serving his second term in 
that capacity. All of the improvements on the home farm were 
made by himself and his father, it having been unimproved at the 
time of its purchase. He is a member of the German Presbyterian 
church, a stockholder and director of the Farmers' Elevator at 
Renville. 

Mr. Schneider wedded Johannah Karthuis in 1893. She was 
born in Holland, March 18, 1874, daughter of Klaus and Johannah 
(Dervick) Karthuis. She came to America with her parents in 
1884. Ten children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Schneider : Chris- 
tina, born Dec. 4, 1893, the wife of A. Dannen, now living on a 
part of his father's home farm; Herman, born Sept. 5, 1895, who 
departed his life July 20, 1906 ; Willie A., bom March 29, 1897 ; 
Annie, born Dec. 8, 1898; Clarence, born Nov. 8, 1900; Arthur 
born June 28, 1902 ; Frank, bom Dec. 6, 1904 ; Herbert H., born 
March 7, 1908 ; Theodore U., born April 29, 1912 ; Eveline Mary, 
born April 4, 1914. 

Augnsl Schneider, born Feb. 13, 1830, died June 25, 1911, 
in Erickson township. He married Christina (Leis), born March 
29, 1838, in Germany. She died March 3, 1907, in Erickson town- 
ship. Mr. and Mrs. Schneider came to America in 1882 and set- 
tled in Kankakee county, 111., where they lived on a rented farm 
eight years. They then removed to Renville county, where Mr. 
Schneider bought 160 acres in Erickson township, this being the 
farm William is now living on. They had four children : Chris- 
tian, Gustav and Henry, who are dead, in addition to William. 
Klaus Karthuis, born in Holland Sept. 14, 1839, married Johannah 
Dervick, born Sept. 24, 1836, in Holland. They came to America 
in 1884, and settled in Butler county, Iowa, living on a rented 
farm for seven years. Moving to Crooks township, Mr. Karthuis 



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HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 1017 

bought a farm which his son John now manages, his home now 
being with Mr. and Mrs. Schneider. His wife died in April, 1907. 
They had eight children : Hannah, Ellie and Dean, who are 
dead ; Maggie, now Mrs. L. Mulder, of this county ; Harm, of 
Lisbon, North Dakota; John, on his father's farm; Joseph, of 
Pipestone, Minn. 

Gunerius Melsness, a retired tanner of the village of Sacred 
Heart, was born September, 1830, in Norway, son of Severt and 
Olene Melsness. The mother died in Norway, but the father 
came to America and died in Renville county. Gunerius Melsness 
came to America in 1866, the trip from Christiania to Minnesota 
taking one month. He came by way of Quebec, Chicago and 
Winona and Northfield. He was a carpenter by trade and fol- 
lowed that trade in Northfield. He next went to Goodhue county 
and after a while came to Renville county in 1868 to get land. 
He secured a homestead in Sacred Heart township in section 32. 
There were no buildings on the land so he built a log house 14 
by 14. He had an ox team and two cows. Here he lived until 
1902 when he retired from farmiug and moved to Sacred Heart 
village. During this time he replaced the log house with a mod- 
ern building and improved and increased his farm to 460 acres, 
having had only 160 acres when he began. He also owns a tract 
of 40 acres in South Dakota. In Sacred Heart he has erected a 
modern house for himself and also one for his son. 

Mr. Melsness is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church 
and helped build the' first church. He was united in marriage in 
1870 to Maria Larson, born in Norway, Jan. 9, 1853, daughter 
of Barron and Martha (Mortenson) Larson. Her parents came to 
America in 1861 by a sailing vessel, the trip taking nine weeks 
and a half. They landed at Quebec and started for Minnesota, 
coming to Dakota county. The father worked for the farmers 
for four years and then, in 1866, the family moved to Renville 
county where he located in Sacred Heart township on the same 
section as Ole Melsness did. They drove to Renville county in a 
covered wagon and as there were no buildings on their farm 
they lived in the wagon until a cellar could be made. Later they 
built a log house. There were many Indians in the neighborhood 
and they passed the place by the hundreds often stopping for 
something to eat. The nearest market was at New Ulm. They 
had one cow and two steers. They ground their flour in the 
coffee mill and used parched wheat for coffee. Mr. Larson later 
moved to East Grand Forks county, where he was the first settler 
and lived there until 1902. He died at the age of eighty-two 
years. His wife is still living at the age of eighty-four years at 
East Grand Forks. Mr. and Mrs. Melsness have seven children: 
Olena, Minnie, Bertha, Sophia, Geidiard, Martin, who is on the 
home farm, and Henry. 



1018 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Berge T. Birk, jeweler, of Sacred Heart village, was born in 
Norway, June 1, 1856, son of Targus and Elizabeth M. (Sudno) 
Birk, both of whom died in the old country. He came to Amer- 
ica in 1884, lived in Illinois ; from there went to Day county, 
South Dakota, there farmed for a while and later learned the 
jewelry trade, then engaged in the jewelry business in Hanley 
Falls, this state, until 1901, when he came to Sacred Heart and 
opened his present store. He has been successful, is a skilled 
workman, and has built up a large trade. He has been justice of 
the peace for the past twenty years, serving both in Hanley Falls 
and Sacred Heart. He is secretary of the Sacred Heart school 
board, and for three years has been president of the Sacred Heart 
Telephone Exchange. 

Mr. Birk was married April 20, 1893, to Selma Dale, born in 
Murdoek, Swift county, Minn., Oct. 2, 1875, daughter of Iver and 
Inga Dale, natives of Norway. The father died in 1913 at the 
age of sixty-seven. The mother still resides in Murdoek. Mr. 
and Mrs. Birk are the parents of seven children : Blanche, born 
Sept. 4, 1894; Irene, born Nov. 2, 1896; Francis, born Jan. 23, 
1901; Zeberg, born March 1, 1905; Theodore, bom Nov. 11, 1907; 
Carl, born March 15, 1910; Ingvald, born Oct. 11, 1912. 

William H. Burghart, a progressive farmer of Norfolk town- 
ship, was born in Brown county, Minnesota, Jan. 26, 1880, son of 
Daniel and Elenora (Adney) Burghart. The father was born 
Nov. 24, 1844, in Milwaukee, Wis., and came to Minnesota in 
1868, spending most of his life in Brown county. The mother 
was born Oct. 24, 1 855. In 1902 William H. Burghart began rent- 
ing a farm in Birch Cooley township and lived there for eight 
years. In 1910 he purchased 197 acres in sections 18 and 7 in 
Norfolk township. He built a silo in 1910 witli a capacity of 100 
tons and feeds fifty cattle. He raises Percheron horses and Dur- 
ham cattle and Chester White hogs, having forty brood sows and 
feeds one carload of hogs per year. He has built a large eight- 
room house and a barn 34 by 40 by 12 feet. He has also built 
a fine granary and shed 30 by 38 feet which was completed in 
1912. Mr. Burghart was married April 25, 1906, to Amelia M. 
Kern, born Sept. 7, 1886, daughter of John and Christina (Prehn) 
Kern. Mr. and Mrs. Burghart have three children : Clinton, born 
Feb. 2, 1907; Mayme lone, born Dec. 17, 1909, and Helen Merle, 
born May 10, 1915. 

Frank Weyer, born in Luxemberg, May 5, 1865, the son of 
John and Elizabeth (Siegfried) Weyer, came to America in 1875 
with his parents and remained at home until he was twenty-six 
years old. He then rented a farm in Winona county and remained 
on it for two years when he purchased 80 acres in section 23 Nor- 
folk township, moving there in 1897. This farm he sold later and 
bought 196 acres in section 17, Norfolk township, where he now 




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HISTORY OF -RENVILLE COUNTY 1019 

lives. He has a modern eight-room house and a good barn. For 
six years he has been school director in district No. 36. He is a 
stockholder in the Farmers' Elevator Company of Olivia ; and the 
Bddsville Creamery. He is also a member of the Renville County 
Swine Breeders' Association. Mr. Weyer was married June 19, 
1894, to Catherine Gloden, bom May 11, 1872, daughter of Michael 
and Catherine (Siegfried) Gloden. They have three children: 
Edward, born Aug. 26, 1898; John, born June 7, 1903; Frances 
Catherine, born May 22, 1912. The family worship in the Catholic 
tmurch. 

John Weyer came to America in 1875 from Luxemberg and 
settled in Winona county, where he remained until his death 
in 1905 at the age of 73 years. His wife, Elizabeth (Siegfried) 
Weyer survived him and is now 86 years old. Michael Gloden 
married Catherine Siegfried who died in 1892 at the age of 47 
years. Mr. Gloden was 66 years old when he died in 1908. 

Frank Hagen, a prosperous farmer of Norfolk township, was 
born in Germany, August 14, 1867, son of Michael and Mary 
(Beyer) Hagen. Michael Hagen was a farmer in Germany and 
died in 1910 at the age of seventy-seven years and his wife died 
in 1872 at the age of thirty-four years. Frank Hagen came to 
America in 1882 at the age of fifteen years and engaged in brick- 
laying, which trade he followed in Mankato for eighteen years. 
Then he rented a farm for three years in Norfolk township and 
bought 200 acres in section 36 in 1900. He still lives there and 
has improved the farm and raises Chester White hogs and has 
been a heavy hog feeder in the past. He raises Belgian horses and 
is also quite a fancier in driving horses. In 1911 he built a nice 
brick house with a cement basement. The house is a six-room 
building, all modern, costing $5,000. He did all the construction 
work himself. At present he is planning to build a large barn 
of cement blocks, 60 by 100 feet. Mr. Hagen is a stockholder in 
the Citizens' Milling Company in Franklin and in the Farmers' 
Telephone Company of Bird Island, and also in the Farmers' 
Elevator Company of the same place. He is a member of the 
Catholic church, and the ( '. O. F.. and also the St. Joseph's So- 
ciety of Bird Island. Mr. Hagen was married Nov. 19, 1889, to 
Elizabeth Schulte, born June 12, 1869, a daughter of Peter and 
Clara (Eikler) Schulte. Mr. Schulte was a farmer of Blue Earth 
county and came there from Germany. He died in 1895 at the 
age of seventy-seven years. His wife died in 1904 at the age 
of seventy-seven years. Mr. and Mrs. Hagen have seven children : 
Rosa, born Aug. 19. 1890; Hubert, born July 2:!, 1892; Julia, 
born Aug. 8, 1894. married to Edward Schumer, a fanner in 
North Dakota; Frank, born Sept. 11, 1896; John, born Jan. 23. 
1903; Agnes, born April 23. 1906; and Albert, born Jan. 3. 190S. 

Peter Olson Dosseth, a retired farmer of Erieson township, 



1020 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

was born in Norway, Dec. 4, 1848. His parents, Ole Peterson and 
Christine (Dosseth) were farmers. His mother died when he 
was one and a half years old and he was taken by his grand- 
parents and brought up by them, and took their name of Dos- 
seth. He received his education in Norway and left for America 
in the spring of 1869, landing at New York. He traveled on to 
St. Peter, in Nicollet county, where he hired out to the farmers 
for $15 per month and his board, which consisted mainly of 
bread and molasses. He remained there until the next winter 
when he engaged in railroad work on the Winona & St. Peter 
railroad. The next spring he went to Minneapolis and worked 
on the railroad until harvest time when he went back to Nicollet 
county. In 1871 he came to Renville county and located at Hawk 
Creek township, where' he began to improve some railroad land. 
In 1872 he went back to Nicollet county to work and stayed there 
until spring, going from there to Waseca to see if he could earn 
any better wages. The best offer he received was fifty cents a 
day. He worked a few months in Freeborn county and then 
moved on to Mankato and Lake Crystal. After doing a little 
railroad work he and four others lived on his section in a dugout. 
When winter came he went to St. James, New Ulm and Beaver 
Falls. He sold his improvements for $100 and bought an ox 
team. In the spring of 1872 he went north and took a claim of 
160 acres in section 18, Ericson township. He put up a board 
shanty and planned to live here, but two men jumped his claim 
and he had to look elsewhere. He finally located on 80 acres in 
section 30, in Ericson township. There were no buildings on the 
land. He hauled material to build a house, in the meantime living 
in a dugout in the ground. He had one cow, one pig, a calf and 
a team of oxen. He did not have a wagon and when he wished 
to use one he would borrow his neighbor's, using it at night. 
Here he remained until the spring of 1912. when he retired and 
moved to the village of Sacred Heart. During these years he im- 
proved his farm, bought more land and erected tine buildings. 

Mr. Dosseth has been a member of the township board. He 
is also a member of the Norwegian Lutheran church. 

He was united in marriage to Martha Ericson, born in Norway, 
and wdio came to America on the same steamer he did. There 
are five children : Eric. Ole C. Martin. Marcus and Maria (de- 
ceased). 

Joseph Schmoll, a proficient farmer of Norfolk township, was 
born in Germany, May 16, 1858, son of Casper Schmoll, who was 
a farmer in Germany, and died in 1885 at the age of sixty and 
Anna (Kuehner) Schmoll, who died in Germany in 1SS0 at the 
age of fifty-eight years. Joseph Schmoll came to America in 
1882 and worked out for three years at Mankato. In 1884 he 
purchased 40 acres in section 19, Palmyra township and began 



HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 1021 

farming with a yoke of oxen, a plow and an old wagon. In 1885 
lie bought 80 acres more and in 1S89 sold this farm and bought 
160 acres in section 16 in Norfolk township in 1891. He is still 
living there and qow owns 600 acres. His farm is well improved 
and lie raises Duroc hogs. He makes a specialty of feeding cattle 
for the market ami feeds about a carload each year. When he 
acquired the farm in 1891 it was all wild prairie. The present 
condition of the place is a splendid example of what may be 
accomplished in twenty-five years. Trees have been planted, a 
pleasant home erected, commodious barns and outbuildings pro- 
vided, and suitable equipment of tools and implements purchased. 
Over 500 rods of the farm have been ditched. Mr. Schmoll has 
served us township treasurer for fourteen years and was a mem- 
ber of the school board for sixteen years. He is a stockholder in 
the Farmers' Telephone Company and also in the Farmers' Ele- 
vator at Bird Island and in the Eddsville Creamery. He is a 
member of the Catholic church, the C. O. F. and St. Joseph's So- 
ciety in Bird Island. 

Mr. Schmoll was married March 5, 1S89, to Katie Glesener, 
born May 24, 1861, and died August 24, 1913. Five children have 
been born to .Mr. and Mrs. Schmoll: Henry, born May 8, 1892, 
is a farmer in Norfolk township. He married to Sophia Amberg 
and has one child, Cecelia. Joseph was born July 11, 1893; Peter 
Casper and Paul John (twins), May 27, 1895; and Karl Wilhelm, 
July 30, 1899. 

Henry T. Rauenhorst, a prosperous Bird Island township 
farmer, was born Feb. 5, 1880, at Easton, Faribault county, Minn. 
His parents were Theodore and Frances (Koonze) Rauenhorst. 
Since twenty years of age he has lived on the home farm in sec- 
tion 14, Bird Island township, purchasing it in 1911. He has 
improved the place with good buildings and now has an up-to- 
date farm. In 1911 he erected a stave silo. 16 by 30 feet, and in 
1914, a swine house. 24 by 48 feet. He specializes in raising and 
feeding stock for the market, shipping about 150 swine, and from 
forty to sixty cattle every year. He raises Chester White swine 
and Shorthorn and Aberdeen Angus cattle. He is a director of 
the Farmers' Live Stock Shipping Association and the Canning 
Factory and also owns. stock in the Farmers' Elevator Company. 

Mr. Rauenhorst was united in marriage June 27, 1907, to 
Marguerite Keltgen, born August 14, 1866, in Norfolk township, 
daughter of William and Elizabeth (Steinbach) Keltgen. Mr. and 
Mrs. Rauenhorst have three children : William Cletus, born April 
26, 1908 ; Murial, born Dec. 15, 1910, and George, born July 23, 
1912. The family are members of the Catholic church. 

Theodore Rauenhorst, born Sept. 26, 1838, in Germany, came 
to America when twenty years of age and made his first venture 
in Wisconsin. After a time he moved to Barber township, Fari- 



1021' HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

bault county, Minn., where he took a homestead and farmed until 
1900, when he removed to Bird Island township. He bought 320 
acres of land in the western half of section 14 and also purchased 
the eastern half of the northeast quarter of section 15, and the 
southern half of the southwest quarter of section 10. He lived 
here until his death, April 20, 1905, aged sixty-six years. He 
was married to Prances Koonze, born July 16, 1842, in Germany, 
who survives him. 

James Power, a prosperous farmer of Norfolk township, son 
of Michael and Honora (Williams) Power, was born Jan. 10, 1859, 
at Quebec. His father was a farmer and died in 1880 at the 
age of sixty-six years and his mother died in 1908. at Wadena, 
Minnesota, at the age of seventy-nine years. James Power re- 
mained at home until twenty years of age. After working out 
for two years, he set out for Minnesota and from Montreal to 
Milwaukee, and by train from there to St. Peter, Minnesota, going 
by stage from St. Peter to New Ulm. The rest of the journey, 
from New Ulm to section 26, Norfolk township, was made on 
foot and here he homesteaded 80 acres of land on the eastern half 
of the northwest quarter of the section. He is still there and 
now owns 240 acres. Seven winters were spent in the pineries 
in the northern part of the state and the summers on his home- 
stead. He walked from Minneapolis to his homestead and back 
again three times. A frame house 16 by 20 feet was built and 
the lumber hauled from New Ulm. In 1906 he built a fine eight 
room house. He raises fine stock, specializing in Holstein cattle 
and Duroe swine and has also very fine Percheron horses. He 
was one of the organizers of the Norfolk and Palmyra township 
creamery at Eddsville and was the secretary for several years. 
He is also a stockholder in the Farmers' Elevator Company at 
Bird Island and in the Citizens' Milling Company of Franklin. 
Mr. Power has served as school clerk for six years and is a mem- 
ber of the Catholic church at Birch Cooley and a member of the 
Modern Woodmen of America at Bird Island. Jan. 16. 1878, 
Mr. Power was married to Ellen Hogan, who was born. 1859, 
daughter of Daniel and Ellen (Fallon) Hogan. Daniel Hogan 
was a farmer, born in Ireland, and came to St. Paul, where he 
lived from 1S55 to 1860. Then he moved to Rice county, where 
he lived till his death. 1912, at the age of ninety-five years. His 
wife died in 1892 at the age of seventy years. The following 
children have been born to Mr. and Mrs. James Power : Honora, 
born Dee. 14, 1879, a trained nurse in .Minneapolis: Daniel S., 
born Oct. 28, 1882, a retired farmer, Beaver Falls, Minnesota; 
Michael J., born August 13, 1884, who works in the pineries in 
California; Thomas E., born August 14, 1886, a farmer of Norfolk 
township; Mary M., born March 13, 1888, and died Sept. 17, 
1888; Mary E., born May 26. 1889. at home; Margaret A., born 



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HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 1023 

Nov. 8, 1890, a teacher ; James, born April 14, 1892, at home ; and 
Catherine, born March 28, 1897, a student at St. Catherine's 
School at St. Paul. 

Haakon Haug was born in Norway, August 27, 1853, son of 
Christian and Anna Sophia (Halverson) Haug. His parents were 
farmers, the father died in Norway at the age of sixty-fwo and 
the mother is still living at the old age of ninety-two. There 
were eleven children: Olivia. Liza. Ole, Haakon, Olaf, Arne, Anna 
deceased . (ail (deceased), Lars. Emma and Caroline. Haakon 
was tin- only one of the family who came to America, coming in 
1880 to Quebec and then going to Minneapolis where he worked 
for one year. Then he went to Renville county, working around 
for the farmers until he bought 80 acres of land in section 2, 
Sacred Heart township. There were some old buildings on the 
farm. In time he improved the place and gradually increased 
his farm, now owning 350 acres. He does general farming and 
raises Percheron and Belgian horses and Durham cattle and Du- 
roc-Jersey hogs. He has been connected with the Farmers' Ele- 
vator at Renville ever since its organization and has been on the 
board of directors for a long time. He is also a member of the 
Farmers' Teh-phone Company. He has served on the school 
board as its clerk. He is a member of the Norwegian Lutheran 
church of Renville and has held the position of trustee in that 
church several times. 

Mr. Haug was married in 1882 to Emma Liete, who was born 
in Norway Jan. 25, 1858, and died in Renville county Nov. 20, 
1902. She came to America with her parents when she was eight 
years old. Her parents, Gulliek and Rachel Liete, came to Amer- 
ica with their four children in 1858. The voyage took twelve 
weeks. They settled on a farm in Goodhue county, Minnesota, 
and in 1874 moved to Renville county. Mr. Liete was one of the 
pioneers of Goodhue county. They secured a homestead in sec- 
tion 2, in Sacred Heart township, where they lived the remainder 
of their days. The father died at the age of eighty-two and the 
mother at the age of seventy years. They were members of the 
Norwegian Lutheran church. Mr. and Mrs. Haug have eight 
children : Carl G., Anna S., Nellie R.. who is a teacher, Henry 
I., Ole, Lauritz. Emma and Arnald. 

John Turner, manager of the Sacred Heart yards of the Cen- 
tral Lumber Co. for the past two years, was born in Sweden, 
Oct. 27, 1873, son of John and Hannah Swanson, who spent the 
span of their years in Sweden, he dying in 1892, at the age of 68, 
and she in 1897, at the age of 73. John Turner came to America 
in 1893, worked at carpentry in Sacred Heart a few years, and 
then took up the duties of his present position. He has been a 
member of the village council for three years, and is highly es- 
teemed throughout the community. 



1024 HISTORY OF RENVILLE COUNTY 

Ole Torbenson, one of Minnesota's sturdy pioneers, now de- 
ceased, was born at Sandsver, Norway, Oct. 6, 1852, son of Torb- 
jorn and Maria Hellebec, who were born in Norway, came to 
America in 1853, settled near Iola, Wis., took a claim and died 
in 1855. The children in the family were: Grace (deceased), 
wife of Elling Olson (deceased) ; Catherine, widow of Fred Sel- 
rner, now living at Iola, Wis.; Christian, deceased; Andrew, de- 
ceased; Ole, deceased. After the death of the parents the chil- 
dren continued to operate the home farm. Ole Torbenson re- 
mained with his brothers and sisters until about sixteen years of 
age. Then he started out in life for himself. Among other things 
he took a good course in a business college at Milwaukee. In 1875 
he came to the home of Ole Reishus, in Sacred Heart township, 
this county, erected a small building, and operated a general store 
for a time. Then, the C. M. & St. Paul Ry. having been built 
through the county, he moved to Sacred Heart village and star-ted 
the first store there. In 1887 he sold his business and moved to 
Chamberlin, South Dakota, near which village, three years later, 
he moved onto a homestead, the property being still owned by 
the family. While on this farm a sad catastrophe overtook the 
family. A prairie fire surrounded the house, and a servant girl 
endeavored to find safety in a nearby pond for two of the chil- 
dren, Hubert and Helen. But the fire overtook them, and of the 
three, Hubert was the only one who recovered, the other two 
dying in a few hours. In 1898 the family returned to Sacred 
Heart, and Mr. Torbenson was employed in various stores until 
his death, Feb. 8, 1915. His widow now occupies the home in 
Sacred Heart. Mr. Torbenson was highly esteemed by his asso- 
ciates, and did good service for two years as clerk of the village. 
He lived and died in the faith of the Synod Lutheran church. 

Mr. Torbenson was married Dec. 26, 1880, to Hannah Field, 
born Jan. 8, 1862, in Brandvold, Norway, daughter of Hans and 
Martha (Bingen) Field. This union has been blessed with nine 
children. Matilda M. was born Nov. 8, 1881, and is now Mrs. 
H. R. Baker, of St. Paul. Hubert T. was born Aug. 24, 1886, 
and is now the railroad agent at Sacred Heart. Helen was limn 
Nov. 19, 1888. and was burned to death March 28, 1892. Otelia 
II. was born Feb. 3. 1891, and is now teaching