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Full text of "History of Stearns County, Minnesota"

Gc M. U 

977.601 

St31m 

v.l 

1441172 GENEALOGY COLLECTION 



1 



ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY 



3 1833 01080 7607 



Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2009 with funding from 

Allen County Public Library Genealogy Center 



http://www.archive.org/details/historyofstearns01mitc 



HISTORY OF 

STEARNS COUNTY 

MINNESOTA 



BY 

WILLIAM BELL MITCHELL 



ILLUSTRATED 



V.l 



VOLUME I 



CHICAGO 

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

1915 



1441172 



PREFACE. 

' While the lives of men and women who undertake the work of opening 
up a new country for the peaceful uses of husbandry may contain nothing 
that is thrilling and be devoid of romance, yet they contain lessons of forti- 
tude and self-denial which are fruitful for those who come after them and 
profit by their early endeavors. It is no small sacrifice to leave homes of 
comfort in well-settled localities to live the lives of the pioneer on the far 
frontier, where comparative isolation is added to the hardships and dis- 
comforts due to a lack of even the mere necessities of life, all for the hope 
of what the future may have in store as a recompense. The changes in 
conditions have been so great during the years which have passed since 
Stearns county knew only the tread of the Indian that it is difficult to realize 
what a settler's life in those earlier days really meant. It can be only ap- 
preciably understood when the facts of pioneers settlement are presented 
from the experience of those who took part in it. Unfortunately too often 
the gathering of these experiences is postponed to too late a date, until those 
who were first on the ground have passed away, their lips closed forever. 
Such is the case ^iy',.^ nc present u_ lertaklug. Could the work have been 
done ten or even half a dozen years earlier, the results would have been 
much more satisfactory. During this interval many of the early settlers 
have gone to their last rest — to mention only Capt. J. E. West, H. C. Waite, 
J. L. Wilson, Judge L. W. Collins, John Schaefer and Casper Capser — men 
who had been the real pioneers in the county, having an intimate personal 
knowledge of the very beginning of things, and were themselves the makera 
of history. 

The aim of this work has been to gather facts, as full and as reliable in 
their nature as possible, for permanent preservation. To this end the public 
records have been carefully examined, -the files of local papers searched for 
matters of interest, a wide correspondence carried on and individual inter- 
views sought where general information or personal experiences could be 
obtained. I have made free use of such books and publications as contained 
suitable material for use in these pages, including the History of the Upper 
Mississippi Valley, Minnesota in Three Centuries, Flandrau's History of Min- 
nesota, Folsom's Fifty Years in the Northwest, Geological and Natural His- 
tory Survey of Minnesota, Minnesota in the Civil and Indian Wars, the Min- 
nesota Historical Society's Collections, and the Papers and Proceedings of 
the Old Settlers' Association of Stearns and adjoining counties. 

'' Acknowledgments are due to many persons who have rendered valuable 
assistance and to whom I feel indebted for much of whatever maj'' be of in- 
terest in this History. I will first name Mr. Arthur M. Gorman, secretary 
to the Hon. C. A. Lindbergh, member of congress from the Sixth district, to 

iii 



iv PEEFACE. 

whose persevering efforts are due the securing from the Post Office depart- 
ment the statistics from which the full and accurate history of the post offices 
of the county has been prepared. To the Commissioner of the General Land 
Office; to the Hon. J. A. 0. Preus, state auditor; the Hon. W. J. Smith, state 
treasurer; the Hon. C. G. Schulz, superintendent of public instruction; Mr. 
Warren Upham, secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society; Dr. H. M. 
Bracken, secretary of the state board of health ; Capt. J. R. Howard, superin- 
tendent of the Indian agency at "White Earth ; the officials at the general 
offices of the Great Northern, Northern Pacific and Soo railway companies; 
C. H. Barnes, superintendent of schools at St. Cloud; and the various county 
officers of Stearns county — and this by no means completes the list — I would 
express my indebtedness for courtesies shown and favors granted during the 
progress of this work. 

Especial thanks are due the men who have prepared the general chapters. 
They have given to the gathering and preparation of the material much valu- 
able time, in many instances at the sacrifice of their personal and business 
affairs. The results are of exceeding value, representing a wealth of informa- 
tion and details which are of present as they will be of still greater future 
interest. 

Acknowledgments are also due the writers of the history of their re- 
spective townships and villages, most of which are full, complete and credit- 
able. It is to be regretted, however, that in several of the townships and 
' villages it was impossible, notwithstanding the most persistent efforts, to 
' isecure from p:oi. 'nep+ residents of tl/J loeali^' ■?';■, "f ^v.pposed public spirit 
I fesd intelligence, the necessary information for satisfactory sketches, which 
iN'ill account for the meager character of those published. 

Whatever shortcomings there may be in this History of Stearns county — 
and I am fully aware that there are many — may be charged at least in part 
to the difficulty of obtaining reliable first-hand information and in part to 
the local indifference referred to. I hope, however, that it will not wholly 
fail in preserving for years to come the memories of the good and true men 
and women who laid the foundation stones upon which Stearns county grew 
to be one of the best, most populous and most prosperous counties in the great 
state of Minnesota. 

W. B. MITCHELL. 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES. 



PAGE 

Abeles, David C 655 

Adams, Julius 658 

Adkuis, Dr. Joul F 405 

Ahlers, Henry C 658 

Ahles, Paul 531 

Ahmann, John J 373 

Akers, Eev. J. Milton 660 

Albrecht, William F., Sr 661 

Albrecht, William F., Jr 661 

Alden, Thomas Childs 656 

Alden, William H 657 

Andrews, Christopher C 190 

Atwood, Clarence L 347 

Atwood, Edwin H 654 

Atwood, Erwin W 654 

Atwood, Mary Elizabeth 653 

Avery, James P 660 

Bach, Frank J 700 

Bach, John 701 

Barnes, Nathan F 315 

Bauer, Joseph P 210 

Beaty, M. D., James H 382 

Beebe, M. D., Warren L 381 

Bennett, George H 668 

Bensen, J. Andrew 661 

Bensen, John N 345 

Benzie, James 330 

Berg, Charles R 662 

Berlin, M. D., T. N 398 

Bettenburg, Frank 668 

Block, Henry C, Sr 680 

Boehm, M. D., John C 390 

Bohmer, John 362 

Bostrom, Ernest 667 

Bowing, Albert E 666 

Bowing, Harry C 666 

Bowing, Stacy B 666 

Bradford, James F 315 

Braegelmann, Gerhard 371 

Branch, Paul 663 

Brick, Edward J 665 

Brick, Leo P 665 

Brick, Peter 535 

Bridgman, Charles 315 

Brigham, M. D., Charles F 396 

Brigham, M. D., Geo. S 395 

Brower, Claud D 369 

Brower, Jacob Vradenberg 648 

Bruener, Dr. Albert L 405 

Bruner, Theodore 531 

Buekman, John 666 

Buckley, EoUand C 667 

Bunnell, Charles S 667 

Caughren, J. A 352 

Calhoun, David T 528 

Callahan, James P 699 

Campbell, Donald M 670 

Campbell, Eagleston 670 

Campbell, Eev. Elay V 89 

Campbell, John F 330 



PAGE 

Campbell, M. D., Joseph E 388 

Campbell, William 330 

Carter, Benjamin F 668 

Carter, John H. W 700 

Carter, Wesley 699 

Carver, O. F 315 

Chute, Samuel S 671 

Clark, Edward E 68 

Clark, E. E 68 

Clark, Geo. R 68 

Clark, Lewis 69 

Clark, Wm. T 66 

Clarke, Nehemiah P 59 

Cleveland, David 669 

Cleveland, Mattison J 669 

Coates, John 74 

Colgrove, James 288 

Coburn, M. D., Wm 397 

Collins, Loren W 520 

Collins, M. D., W. T 406 

Cook, Dr. Michael F 405 

Couper, M. D., J. E 398 

Crever, John C 367 

Dam, Freeland H 86 

Daniel, Arnold J 313 

Davis, C. F. 315 

de Marogna, Father Demetrius 252 

Donohue, J. 1 535 

Du Bois, M. D., Julian A 384 

Dunnewold, Gerard H 698 

Dunn, M. D., John B 396 

Eastman, Aloah 319 

Edelbrock, Abbot Alexius 259 

Edelbrock, Henry 698 

Edelbrock, Joseph 319 

Edelbrock, Joseph F 698 

Emmel, John M 302 

Emmel, Joseph 302 

Engel, Abbot Peter 264 

Ervin, Jr., Harry C 295 

Ervin, Sr., Harry C 295 

Evans, Hugh 702 

Fandel, Frank 302 

Feddema, William H 696 

Ferschweider, John 308 

Freeman, Ambrose 701 

Freeman. Ambrose 319 

Freeman, Daniel H 702 

Freeman, Willard S 702 

Fisher, William M 695 

Fritz, Andrew 697 

Fritz, Andrew E 697 

Fritz, Frank 697 

Fritz, John 696 

Frost, Joseph 695 

Frost, Levi 695 

Gale, Robert L 695 

Garrison, Oscar E 319 

Gilman, M. D., Albert 396 

Oilman, Charles A 70 



VI 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES. 



PAGE 

Goetten, Andrew P 694 

Goetten, John P 694 

Goetten, Peter 693 

Grandekneyer, Jacob 694 

Gray, M. D., Thomas J 398 

Grinds, Clinton D 290 

Gordon, Hanford L 537 

Gorman, Patrick B 532 

Gross, Dr. Leon G 405 

Gruber, Andrew 694 

Haindl, Prior Benedict 255 

HaU, Mathew 292 

Hamlin, Amos M 289 

Hanseom, David J 290 

Hanscom, Geo. E 344 

Hansen, Hubert 534 

Harmon, Chandler 692 

Harren, Nicholas J 363 

Harris, James A 657 

Hasbrouch, Thomas K 692 

Hayward, Josiah E 83 

Hayward, Mary S 85 

Heinen, Nicholas 691 

Heinen, Peter 692 

Henneman, Andrew 292 

Henneman, Gustave J 654 

Henneman, Dr. Gustave J 404 

Henning, Nels E 693 

Herschbach, Henry 691 

Hilbert, M. D., Ferdinand 389 

Hilbe, Joseph J 293 

Himsl, J. B 536 

Hoeschen, Moritz 364 

Hohmann, Jacob L 690 

Hohmann, Louis 690 

Holden, Dr. Emmet C 402 

Holes, Samuel 331 

Holes, William J 331 

Holifer, Henry H 357 

Hoyt, Dr. Freeland A 402 

Huber, J. G 318 

Huhn, Rudolph 291 

Hunt, Nathaniel K 294 

Hunter, Dr. W. R 401 

Hunter, M. D., Wm. R 381 

Hurrle, Frank 691 

Hurrle, John H 691 

Hussey, Allen E 318 

Hussey, Arthur A 693 

Hyde, C. W 318 

Jaques, Dr. E. K 402 

Jenks, James E 529 

Jerrard, James Eeeve 689 

Junk, M. D., Geo. A 397 

Kaiser, P. E., A. M 652 

Kaufmann, John 689 

Keough, James 688 

Keller, Ernest 293 

Kern, M. D., Mai J 395 

Kirghis, M. D., A. J 387 

Klasen, Albert H 536 

Kolb, John 353 

Kraemer, Nicholas 374 

Kraker, Joseph 354 

Kuck, Julius 689 

Kuhlmann, M. D., August 386 

Kuhn, John W 365 

Ladner, Charles F 295 

Lahr, Frank M 296 



PAGE 

Lahr, Jacob A 297 

Lahr, Michael 296 

Lahr, Nicholas 76 

Lahr, Peter N 300 

Lammersen, Bernard F 685 

Landwehr, Henry 686 

Landwehr, William H 686 

Lang, John 688 

Lang, John, Sr 688 

Lavaque, Geo. N 318 

Leonard, Dr. Lawrence P 403 

Lethert, Carl 659 

Lewis, M. D., C. B 393 

Lewis, M. D., E. J 393 

Ley, Peter H 685 

Levanseler, F. E 318 

Limperich, Henry J 687 

Locnika, Abbot Bernard 262 

Long, Edwin P 686 

Lorinser, Frank J 670 

Loso, Martin 368 

Lueg, Charles 662 

McClure, Thomas C 340 

McGenty, John M 683 

McKelvy, James M 530 

McMasters, M. D., J. M 391 

Macdonald, Colin F 328 

MacGregor, Alexander 301 

Mackerell, Samuel 683 

Magnuson, George C 664 

Marlatt, Silas 318 

Marshall, Samuel 290 

Marty, Bishop Martin 206 

Maurin, Peter P 361 

Meagher, Edmund 684 

Meagher, Samuel E 684 

Metzroth, Charles J 307 

Metzroth, John W 306 

Metzroth, Otto F 307 

Meyer, Rev. Carl 301 

Meyer, Ewald F 302 

Miller, Stephen 324 

Miner, George H 303 

Mitchell, Charles S 318 

Mitchell, Henry Z 326 

Mitchell, WilliP-m B 327 

Molitor, Martin 325 

Montgomery, Albertis 318 

Moore, Edwin F 340 

Moosbrugger, Louis A 684 

Moos, Dr. Wm. H 405 

Mueller, Bertus 301 

Mueller, Herman H 301 

Muggli, Anton 358 

Mund, William 675 

Munger, M. D., L. H 398 

Murphy, Walter W 297 

Naegeii, Franz G 682 

Nagl, Edward J 211 

Neide, Harold R 681 

Niskern, Walter N 680 

Niven, Dr. Wm 402 

Noel, M. P 320 

Nuerenberg, Mathias 682 

Olds, Charles 8 679 

Olson, Ralph 338 

Owen, John H 321 

Palmer, M. D., Benjamin R 381 

Pattison, John B 533 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES. 



Vll 



PAGE 

Pattison, Dr. Thomas A 403 

Pendergast, Solomou 351 

Pierz, Father F. X 196 

Pilon, M. D., P. C 396 

Pinault, M. D., Herbert A 393 

Pitzl, Mathew 375 

Post, M. D., H. M 397 

Putney, M. D., Geo. E 393 

Kamsay, M. D., A. C. L 383 

Eau, John P 314 

Eeinhard, Bernard 306 

Eeis, George 678 

Eengel, John 312 

Eengel, Peter J 313 

Eieder, Joseph 679 

Eieland, Frank 366 

Eiley, Anthony L 308 

Eoeholl, Lorenzo J 663 

Eoeser, John A 526 

Eosenberger, Balthasar 309 

Eosenberger, Henry .T 311 

Eosenberger, John M 310 

Eosenberger, Joseph B 311 

Sotory, Dr. Joseph 404 

Schaefer, Geo. M 356 

Scherfenberg, George G 676 

Scherfenberg, Henry 675 

Schilplin, Fred 317 

Schilplin, Frederick 315 

Sehmid, William 677 

Schmitt, Christ 677 

Schoener, B. E 678 

Schroeder, Fred 321 

Schulten, C 322 

Sehultz, William E 358 

Schwab, Carl D 348 

Searle, Dolson B 515 

Seberger, Peter 85 

Seberger, Peter J 85 

Seide:;busch, Abbot Eupert 257 

Seidenbusch Bishop Eupert 201 

Senkler, M. D., A. E 397 

Sherwood, M. D., Geo. E 387 

Shield, William 331 

Simmers, Alexander M 332 

Simonton, M. D., W. B 397 

Smith, Joseph G 336 

Smith, William W 339 

Spaniol, Peter 674 

Spicer, David H 321 

Sprague, Cassius M 349 

Stearns, Charles T 322 

Stein, Fred V 360 

Stephens, James F 677 

Stewart, Geo. W 526 

Stock, John 368 



PAGE 

Stone, M. D., Wm. T 397 

Stratton, William 314 

Streitz, Stephen 320 

Streitz, William 320 

Strobel, Simon 673 

Sullivan, John D 533 

Sutton, M. D., Charles S 387 

Sweet, Milton F 676 

Swisshelm, Jane G 61 

Taylor, Myrose D 525 

Tenwoode, Henry 322 

Tenwoode, John W 323 

Tenwoode, Stephen 323 

Terhaar, Herman J 374 

Terwey, Bernard A 671 

Thielman, Dr. Henry J 405 

Thielman, Leonard 324 

Thielman, Peter E 323 

Thomey, Nicholas 672 

Thomey, Pierre 673 

Thompson, Wm. H 325 

Tolman, Frank 539 

Tolman, M. D., Moody C 394 

Trobec, Bishop James 208 

Tschumperlin, Alois 672 

Tschumperlin, A. J 672 

Turrittin, Albert H 377 

Upham, Dr. J. A 401 

Van Cleve, M. D., Samuel H 398 

Volz, Joseph 319 

Waite, Henrv C 523 

Watson, M. D., Tolbert 395 

Weber, M. D., Charles 398 

Weber, M. D., Charles S 397 

West, Josiah Elam 646 

Weyland, Nicholas 370 

Wheelock, M. D., J. D 397 

Whiting, M. D. Arthur D 391 

Whitmaai, Amos T 703 

Whitney, Albert G 80 

Whitney, A. J 78 

Whitney, Ephriam B 79 

Whitney, Frederick H 77 

Whitney, Geo. E 78 

Whitney, Sr., Geo. E 79 

Wilson, M. D., Charles 398 

Wilson, John L 645 

Wilson, Joseph P 323 

Wirz, Pior Othmar 256 

Wittmann, Father Cornelius 254 

Woeken, Bernard J 703 

Wocken, John 703 

Wren, M. D., J. V 397 

Zapp, John 342 

Zardetti, Bishop Otto 204 



INDEX TO PORTEAITS. 



PAGE 

Ahmann, John J 373 

Atwood, Clarence L 347 

Atwood, Edwin H 654 

Beebe, M. D., Warren L. 381 

Bensen, John N 345 

Block, Henry C, Sr 680 

Boehm, M. D., John C 390 

Bruener, Theodore 531 

Calhoun, David T 529 

Campbell, Eev. and Mrs. Elgy V 89 

Campbell, M. D., Joseph E 388 

Caughren, J. A 353 

Clark, Edward E 68 

Clark, Lewis 69 

Clarke, Nehemiah P 59 

Clark, Mr. and Mrs. Wni. T 66 

Coates, John 74 

Colgrove, Mr. and Mrs. James 288 

Collins, Loren W 520 

Dam, Freeland H 87 

Daniel, Arnold J 313 

Donohue, J. 1 535 

Emmel, John M 302 

Fandel, Frank 303 

Ferschweiler, John 308 

Fink, Rev. Luke 232 

Gans, Eev. Leo 239 

Oilman, Charles A 70 

Gorman, Patrick B 533 

Griaols, Clinton D 290 

Hall, Mathew 292 

Hanseom, Geo. E 344 

Harris, James A 657 

Hayward, Josiah E 83 

HajTvard, Mary 8 85 

Hilbe, Joseph J 293 

Hunt, Nathaniel K 294 

Hurrle, Frank and Family 691 

Immaculate Conception Church (New 

Munich) 232 

Immaculate Conception Church (St. 

Cloud) 242 

Jenks, James E 530 

Kaiser, P. E., A. M 652 

Kraemer, Nicholas 374 

Kraker, Joseph 354 

Kuhlmann, M. D., August 386 

Lahr, Mr. and Mrs. Michael 296 

Lahr, Nicholas 76 

Lethert, Carl 659 

McCIure, Thomas C 340 

Maedonald, Colin F 328 

Magnuson, Geo. G 665 



PACK 

Martin, Mr. and Mrs. Peter A 305 

Maurin, Peter P 361 

Mayer, Rev. Alfred 243 

Metzroth, Charles J 307 

Metzroth, John W 306 

Mitchell, W. B Frontispiece 

Mitchell, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Z 327 

Muggli, Anton and Family 358 

Mund, Mr. and Mrs. William 675 

Murphy, Walter W. and Family 297 

Olson, Ralph 338 

Pierz, Father Franics X 195 

Pendergast, Mr. and Mrs. Solomon 351 

Pinault, M. D., Herbert A 393 

Ramsay, M. D., A. C. L 383 

Rengel, Mr. and Mrs. John 312 

Richter, Rt. Rev. B 231 

Rocholl, Lorenzo J 663 

Roeser, John A 526 

Rosenberger, John M 310 

St. Benedict 's College and Academy .... 275 

St. Benedict, Order of. Leaders 252 

St. Boniface Church 231 

St. Boniface School and Rectory 230 

St. John 's University 268 

St. Mary's Convent and Hall 245 

St. Mary 's School 242 

Schaefer, Geo. M 356 

Scherf enberg, Geo. G 676 

Schilplin, Fred 317 

Schwab, Carl D 348 

Searle, Dolson B 515 

Seberger, Peter J 86 

Sherwood, M. D., Geo. E 387 

Smith, Joseph G 336 

Smith, William W 339 

Spicer, Mr. and Mrs. David H 321 

Sprague, Cassius M 349 

Swisshelm, Jane J 61 

Taylor, Myron D 525 

Tenwoode, John W 323 

Thompson, Mr. and Mrs. Wm. H 325 

Tolman, Frank 539 

Trobec, Rt. Rev. Bishop James 208 

Turrittin, Albert H 377 

Volz, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph 319 

Waite, Henry C 523 

West, Josiah E 647 

Whitney, Albert G 80 

Whitney, Frederick H 77 

Whitney, Geo. R 78 

Wilson, John L 645 



Via 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER I. 
NATURAL PHENOMENA. 

PAGE 

Advantages — Situation and Area — Natural Drainage— Lakes — Topog- 
raphy — Altitudes — Soil and Timber — Geological Structure — Creta- 
ceous Beds — Glacial and Modified Drift — Material Resources — 
Waterpowers — Aboriginal Earthworks — Archaean Rocks 1-18 

CHAPTER II. 

BEFORE THE WHITES CAME. 

Nature's Paradise — Earliest Human Inhabitants — Era of the Eskimo 
— Reign of the Indian — Prehistoric Indians — Indian Tribes — 
Dakotas — Ojibways — Ojibway-Dakota Conflict — Social Organi- 
zation of the Ojibway — Origin of the Names Saixk and Osakis in 
this Region — Winnebagoes — Life of the Indian — By P. M. 
Magnusson 18-26 

CHAPTER III. 

COMING OF THE WHITES. 

Groseilliers and Radisson — Le Sueur and Charleville — Fur Traders and 
Explorers — Zebulon M. Pike — His Account of Passing Stearns 
County— Lewis Cass— Expedition of 1832— J. N. Nicollet- Tide 
of Civilization Begins — By P. M. Magnixsson 26-31 

CHAPTER IV. 

CHANGES IN SOVEREIGNTY. 

European Monarchs Who Have Ruled Over Stearns County — State 
and County Affiliations — In the Columbian Empire of Spain — In 
French Louisiana — Again Spanish — Once More French — Under the 
Stars and Stripes — By P. M. Magnusson 31-35 

CHAPTER V. 

INDIAN TREATIES. 

Treatment of the Indian— Treaty of 1785— Dakota Treaty of 1837— 
Chippewa Treaty of 1847 — Treaty of Traverse de Sioux — Treaty 
of Mendota — Other Indian Treaties — Reign of the Ren Men Ends 
and the County of Stearns Is Opened to Settlement — By P. M. 
Magnusson 35-38 

ix 



X TABLE OF CONTENTS 

CHAPTEE VI. 
DAWN OF CIVILIZATION. 

PAGE 

Sudden Transformation by Which the Arts of the White Took the 
Place of Centuries of Aboriginal Life — Stearns County's Share in 
the Evolution of Society — Completing Dr. P. M. Magnusson's 
Chapters on "The Realm of Stearns County Before Minnesota 
Was Minnesota" " 38-39 

CHAPTER VII. 
TERRITORIAL ORGANIZATION. 

Minnesota Admitted as a Territory — Ramsey Arrives and Perfects 
Preliminary Organization — Stearns County Included in Second 
Judicial District — In Sixth and Seventh Covmcil Districts — Terri- 
torial Legislature Meets — Original Counties Created — Stearns in 
Dakotah and Wahnahta Counties — Attached to Ramsey County — 
Stearns in Cass County — Cass Attached to Benton for Judicial Pur- 
poses — Other Sessions of the Territorial Legislatures 39-48 

CHAPTER VIII. 
COUNTY REPRESENTATION. 

Constitutional Convention — Minnesota Admitted as a State — Men Who 
Have Represented Stearns County in the Law-Making Bodies of 
the State — Congressmen Who Have Represented Stearns County 
in Washington— Boundary Lines of Legislative and Congressional 
Districts 48-59 

CHAPTER IX. 
BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW. 

Important Incidents in the Lives of Several Men and Women Who 
Have Been Prominent in the History of Stearns County — Causes 
Which Have Contributed to Their Success — Family Genealogy. . . . 59-90 

CHAPTER X. 

COUNTY GOVERNMENT. 

Stearns County Created — First Commissioners Meet — Election Pre- 
cincts Established — Board of Supervisors — Government Again in 
Hands of Commissioners — Doings of the Sviccessive Boards to the 
Present— Nearly Sixty Years of Official Life 90-158 

CHAPTER XI. 

COURT HOUSE AND JAIL. 

Early Efforts to Erect a Court House — Main Building Erected in 1864 
— Additions and Alterations — Efforts at Securing a More Modern 
Building — Bond Issues — County Jail — Old Log Jail — Present Jail 
Erected in 1878— Title to Site 158-166 



TABLE OF CONTENTS xi 

CHAPTER XII. 
PLATS, SITES AND NAMES. 

PAGE 

Complete Lists of All Plats Filed with the Register of Deeds — Loca- 
tions, Proprietors and Dates — Some Forgotten Names and Places — 
Townsite Mania — Indian Names Still Preserved in the Geography 
of Stearns County — Significance of Watab and Sauk 166-171 

...i-J 
CHAPTER XIII. 

POLITICAL HISTORY. 

Stearns Distinctly a Democratic County — Important Part Taken in 
Moves That Have Created the Government of the State and Nation 
— Statistics of the Various Elections — Men Who Have Been Placed 
in Office by Stearns County Votes — Interesting Side Lights on 
Political Events .' 171-181 

CHAPTER XIV. 

IN THE EARLY DAYS. 

General Christopher C. Andrews Tells of Pioneer Times in Minnesota 
— Youthful Ventures — Arrival at St. Paul — Stage Trip to Crow 
Wing — Settling at St. Cloud — Reminiscences of the Pioneers — 
Frontier Experiences — Social Diversions — Recruits Raised for Civil 
War— Biography 181-195 

CHAPTER XV. 

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN STEARNS COUNTY. 

The Catholic Pioneers — Noble Work of the Early Fathers — Arrival of 
the Benedictines — Diocese of St. Cloud — The Vicariate — The Right 
Reverend Bishops — Diocesan Officials — Present Status — Statistics 
— Institutions — By Rev. Alexius Hoffmann, 0. S. B 195-217 

CHAPTER XVI. 

CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN STEARNS COUNTY. 

Story of the Organization, Growth and Progress of the Parishes — 
Devout Fathers Who Have Led a Worthy People Into the Higher 
Ways of Life — Privation and Sacrifice — Notable Results — Struc- 
tures Around Which Have Centered Many of the Activities of the 
County— By Rev. Alexius Hofl:'mann, 0. S. B 217-252 

CHAPTER XVII. 

ST. JOHN'S ABBEY. 

The Benedictine Order — Colony Founded in Stearns County — The 
Rothkopp Property — Congregations Established — Privations of the 
Fathers — Noble Souls Who Have Been in Charge of the Com- 
munity — Removal to St. Joseph — Establishment at St. Cloud — 
Permanent Location at Collegeville — Help from the Old World — 
Erection of the Buildings — Indian Work — Present Status of the 
Community— By Rev. Alexius Hoffmann, 0. S. B 252-268 



xii TABLE OF CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
COLLEGIATE INSTITUTIONS. 

PAGE 

St. John's University— Story of the Struggles Which Made the Present 
Success Possible— The New St. John's— Present Courses Estab- 
lished — Distinguished Alumni — Student Activities — St. Benedict's 
Academy — Ideal Institution Prepared by the Sisters for Girls and 
Young Women— By Rev. Alexius Hoffmann, 0. S. B 268-280 

CHAPTER XIX. 

ST. BENEDICT'S CONVENT. 

Arrival of the Sisters of St. Benedict in Minnesota — Boarding School 
Opened — First Convent Erected — Removal to St. Joseph — Colonies 
Sent Out — Privations and Denials — Orphanages — Indian Mission 
Work — Hospitals Established — Home for the Aged — Present Activ- 
ities—By Rev. Alexius Hoffmann, 0. S. B 280-283 

CHAPTER XX. 

CATHOLIC PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS. 

Catholics Inaugurate Educational Work in This County — Devoted Work 
of the Members of the Order of St. Benedict — Value of Christian 
Schooling — History of the Organization, Growth and Success of 
the Various Church Schools — By the Right Reverend James Trobec, 
Titular Bishop of Lycopolis, Egypt, and Former Bishop of St. 
Cloud 283-288 

CHAPTER XXI. 

BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW. 

Facts in the Early Career and Later Success of People Who Have 
Helped to Make Stearns County — Founders and Patriots — Names 
Which Will Live Long in the Memories of the Residents of This 
Vicinity — Stories of Well Known Families Who Have Led in Public 
Life 288-333 



CHAPTER XXII. 

BANKS AND BANKING. 

Story of the Organization and Growth of the Financial Institutions of 
Stearns County — Lives of the Men Upon Whom the Stability of 
These Banking Houses Depends — A Brief History Compiled by 
W. W. Smith, Vice-President and Cashier of the First National 
Bank of St. Cloud 333-378 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

PHYSICIANS AND SURGEONS. 

The Pioneer Doctor — His Ethics, Work and Influence — Palmer and 
Hunter the First to Locate in This County — The Empirics — Medical 
Societies — Growth of the Profession — Sketches of the Men Who 
Have Practiced in Stearns County— By James H. Beaty, M. D 378-400 



TABLE OF CONTENTS xiii 

CHAPTER XXIV. 
DENTISTS AND DENTISTRY. 

PAGE 

Importance of Dentistry — Pioneers in the Profession — First Dental 
College Opened— Ideals and Ethics — Anaesthetics — Historical Notes 
— Brief Biographies of the Men Who Have Practiced in Stearns 
County — By Lawrence P. Leonard, D. D. S 400-406 

CHAPTER XXV. 
OLD SETTLERS' ASSOCIATION. 

Early Attempts at Organizing the Pioneers — The Present Administra- 
tion — Record of the Officers and an Account of the Meetings — 
Thrilling Stories of Frontier Life Told by Those Who Lived 
Through the Privations of the Early Days — Reminiscences 406-437 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
TRAVEL AND TRANSPORTATION. 

Red River Carts — Pemmican — Transporting Furs and Supplies — Steam- 
boats — Stage and Express Lines — Roads — Legislature Establishes 
Territorial Thoroughfares — Romantic Adventures of the Surveyors 
— County Board Lays Out Roads — Bridges — Ferries — Licenses and 
Locations 437-452 

CHAPTER XXVII. 
RAILROAD DEVELOPMENT. 

Land Grant Roads — Five Million Dollar Loan — William Crooks — James 
J. Hill— First Railroad to St. Cloud— Minneapolis & St. Cloud— 
St. Cloud & Willmar Branch — Removal of Headquarters — Railroad 
Strike — Northern Pacific — Crossing into St. Cloud — Brainerd 
Branch — Twin City and St. Cloud Connection — Agents — Statistics 
—Station—' ' Soo ' ' Line— Other Proposed Roads 452-478 

CHAPTER XXVIII. 
THE GRANITE INDUSTRY. 

Location of Deposits — Quality and Availability — Early Efforts at Quar- 
rying — Present Quarry Firms — Manufacturers' Association — 
Texture and Color — Importance and Possibilities — Opinions of the 
Newspapers 453-494 

CHAPTER XXIX. 
BENCH AND BAR. 

Fourth Judicial District and Its Judges — Seventh Judicial District 
and Its Judges — The Probate Court — Municipal Courts — Early 
Cases and Lawyers — Bar Association — Leading Cases — Conclusion 
—By James B. Jenks 494-540 



xiv TABLE OF CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XXX. 
TRAGIC EVENTS. 

PAGE 

Unhappy Incidents in the Life of Stearns County — Murder and Suicides — 
Accidents Which Have Resulted in Death — Rivers and Lakes Prove 
Fatal to Many Youths — Railroads and Unruly Horses Claim Their 
Share of Victims — The Tragedies of Nearly Six Decades 540-575 

CHAPTER XXXI. 

FIRE LOSSES. 

Damage Wrought by the Destroying Element in Stearns County During 
Half a Century — Dwellings, Stores, Hotels, Barns and Business 
Blocks Reduced to Ashes — Estimate of Damages and Insurance. . .575-599 

CHAPTER XXXII. 

CYCLONE DISASTERS. 

Cyclone of 1886 — Ruin and Disaster Follov? in Wake of Terrible Storm 
— List of Those Killed — Acts of Heroism — Minor Atmospheric Dis- 
turbances — Severe Damage Done at Various Times by Wind and 
Storm 599-605 

CHAPTER XXXIII. 
SIOUX UPRISING. 

Inception of the Outbreak — Agency Attacked — Country Devastated — 
Fort Ridgley Attacked — Situation in the Minnesota Valley — Min- 
nesota Aroused — Birch Coulie — In Northwestern Settlements — 
Anxiety as to Chippewas — Need of Supplies — Sioux Driven from 
the State — By C. F. MacDonald — Stearns County Events — Hole-in- 
the-Day Murdered — Early Indian Encounters 605-628 

CHAPTER XXXIV. 
STEARNS COUNTY SOLDIERS. 

Service Rendered the Nation in the Civil and Indian Wars — Early 
Debates — Call for Troops — List of Those Who Enlisted from the 
Various Townships — Regiments in Which They Served — Other 
Items— By J. I. Donohue 628-635 

CHAPTER XXXV. 
MINNESOTA STATE REFORMATORY. 

Location Selected — First Board Appointed — Administrations of Super- 
intendents Meyers, Lee, Houlton, Randall, Reed, and Scott — Build- 
ings, Grounds, and Equipment — Ideals and Inspirations — Daily 
Life of the Inmates — System of Parole — Starting Life on a Higher 
Plane— By Principal Keeper F. H. Whitney 635-642 



TABLE OF CONTENTS xv 

CHAPTER XXXVI. 
ASSESSED VALUATIONS. 

PAGE 

Compilation of Statistics, Showing the Wonderful Progress in the 
Development of Stearns County — Totals for the County and Indi- 
vidual Statements of the Three Cities — Moneys and Credits 642-645 

CHAPTER XXXVII. 
BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW. 

Interesting Facts Gleaned from the Life and Career of Many of the 
County's Leading Men — Pioneers Who Helped to Subdue the 
Wilderness — Citizens Who Have Come Later and Taken Their 
Share in the Growth and Progress of the County — Leading Men . . 645-704 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 



CHAPTER I. 

NATURAL PHENOMENA. 

Advantages — Situation and Area — Natural Drainage — Lakes — Topography — 
Altitudes — Soil and Timber — Geological Structure — Cretaceous Beds — 
Glacial and Modified Drift — Material Resources — Waterpowers — Aborig- 
inal Earthworks — Archaean Rocks. 

On its splendid course from Itasca to the Gulf, the mighty Mississippi 
passes no fairer land than that which it touches in the central part of Minne- 
sota, where, drained by the Watab, the Sauk, the Crow and the Clearwater, 
Stearns county stretches away in sightly prospects. 

A fertile country of rich black soil, its surface divided into hills and roll- 
ing land and prairie, beautified by meandering streams and interspersed with 
natural and domestic groves, the county has advantages of location and sur- 
face which have made it an excellent agricultural and grazing district, and 
which have helped make its largest city one of the most important points on 
the upper Mississippi. 

The elevation of this stretch of land above the sea, its fine drainage and 
the drjrness of the atmosphere give it a climate of unusual salubrity and pleas- 
antness. Its latitude gives it correspondingly longer days in summer, and 
during the growing seasons about one and a half hours more of simshine than 
in the latitude of St. Louis. The refreshing breezes and cool nights in sum- 
mer prevent the debilitating effect of the heat so often felt in lower latitudes. 
The winter climate is also one of the attractive features. Its uniformity and 
its dryness, together with the bright sunshine and the electrical condition of 
the air, all tend to enhance the personal comfort of the resident, and to make 
outdoor life and labor a pleasure. 

Embracing, as the county does, so pleasing a prospect to the eye, and so 
fruitful a field for successful endeavor, it is natural that the people who from 
the earliest days have been attracted here should be the possessors of steady 
virtues, ready to toil and to sacrifice, that their labors might be crowned with 
the fruits of prosperity and happiness. 

St. Cloud, its principal city, is the fifth city in the state, and the other 
cities and villages have had their part in the general commercial upbuilding 
of the community, furnishing excellent trading and shipping facilities for the 
rural districts as well as for their own people. 
^ 1 



2 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

The agricultural neighborhoods are the scenes of peace, prosperity and 
contentment. The homes are substantially built, and furnished with the com- 
forts and conveniences of modern life ; stock is humanely housed and well 
pastured ; the farm land is extensively tilled and productive ; and the churches 
and schools which are seen on every side testify to an interest in the higher 
things of life by a law-abiding, progressive and prosperous people. 

It is indeed in its men and women, rather than in its factories and com- 
merce, its grains and vegetables, its live stock and fruits, that Stearns county 
takes its greatest pride. From her cities, from her villages and from her 
farms have gone forth those who have taken an important part in the activi- 
ties of the world, and who, whether in commerce or diplomacy, in the pro- 
fessions or in the trades, have maintained that steadfastness of purpose, and 
staunchness of character, that mark true Stearns county men and women 
wherever they may be found. 

Unusually blessed by nature with deep soil and abundant natural re- 
sources, and endowed with a wealth of historic and prehistoric lore, the county 
is a fitting home for the sturdy people who have here made their dwelling 
place. Hard-working, progressive, educated and prosperous, they have ap- 
preciated the gifts which nature has spread for them, and have added their 
own toil, and the fruit of their intellect, to the work of the elements, making 
the county one of the beautiful spots of the earth. On the slopes graze cattle 
and sheep, while the tilled lands respond to the efforts of the spring time 
sower and planter with a wealth of harvest in the summer and autumn. On 
nearly every quarter section is reared a comfortable home and commodioiis 
barns, while from the crest of every swell of land are visible the churches and 
schools wherein the people worship the Giver of All Gifts and educate their 
children. Thus blessed by God and beloved by man, the county, today, stands 
for all that is ideal in American life, and is forging ahead to wider influence 
and more extended opportunity. 

Stearns county, surpassed by few lands in the state for the fertility of 
its soil ; its bountiful supply of timber and pure water ; its numerous water 
powers ; its diversified surface of hills, valleys and rolling prairies ; and its 
adaptation to every variety of agricultural product has furnished to the citi- 
zens material wisely improved by them for substantial wealth, good homes and 
sound public institutions, economically and prudently administered; where 
law and good order, industry and sobriety have always been upheld and ob- 
served; where the comforts and provisions for the enjoyment of life are evenly 
distributed, and where, in the future, as in the past, "peace and happiness, 
truth and justice, religion and piety, will be established throughout all gen- 
erations." 

Situation and Area. Stearns county is situated a short distance south of 
the center of Minnesota, on the west side of the Mississippi river. It is the 
largest county in the south half of the state. St. Cloud, its largest city, and 
county seat, is about sixty and seventy-five miles northwest, respectively, from 
Minneapolis and St. Paul. Sauk Centre, the second town in importance, is 
forty miles west-northwest from St. Cloud. The length of Stearns county 
from east to west, measured from Clearwater to its west line is fifty-two 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 3 

miles; and its width is from twenty-five to thirty-four miles. Its area is 
1,330.07 square miles, of 851,241.36 acres, of which 37,021.27 acres are cov- 
ered by water. 

Natural Drainage. This county is drained to the Mississippi river by the 
following tributaries, arranged in their order from north to south ; the south 
branch of Two Rivers, Spunk brook, Watab river, Sauk river, St. Augusta 
creek, Clearwater river, and Crow river. The largest of these is the Sauk 
river, whose basin includes about half of this county, its principal affluents 
being Adley and Getchell creeks from the north, and Silver, Ashley, Stony, 
Cole and Mill creeks from the south. The North branch of Crow river drains 
the southwest part of the county. 

Lakes. Eighty lakes equaling or exceeding a half mile in length appear 
on the map, and about a hundred and twenty-five of smaller size. The most 
noteworthy are Sauk lake, crossed by the north line of Sauk Centre ; Birch 
Bark Fort lake, on the north line of Millwood ; Two River lake, in the south- 
west corner of Holding; the Spunk lakes in Avon; Cedar or Big Fish lake in 
CoUegeville ; Lake George, CroAv lake, Lake Henry and Eden lake which give 
names to townships ; Lake Koronis in the south part of Paynesville ; Grand 
lake in Rockville ; Pearl lake in Maine prairie ; and Clearwater lake, through 
which the Clearwater river flows a few miles east of Fair Haven. 

Topography. Though Stearns county contains numerous rock-outcrops, 
these rarely form conspicuous elevations, and the contour is due almost wholly 
to the overlying deposits of glacial and modified drift. Glacial drift or till 
is spread with a moderately undulating or rolling surface on the area between 
the Sauk river and the north branch of the Crow river northwest from Rich- 
mond and Paynesville. Its elevations here are 10 to 30 or 40 feet above the 
lakes and small streams; but its general height above the rivers on each side 
is 75 to 100 feet southeastward, decreasing to 40 or 50 feet in the west part of 
the county. Its most rolling portion extends from west to east through Ray- 
mond, Getty and Grove townsliips. With this area should be included also 
the undulating and rolling till, having similar contour and average height, 
on the northeast side of the Sauk river in St. Martin, the western two-thirds 
of Farming, Albany, except its eastern edge, the southwest part of Krain, 
and the southern half of Millwood and Melrose. The greater part of North 
Fork, Crow Lake and Crow River townships, southwest rom the North branch 
of the Crow river, are nearly level or only slightly undulating gravel and 
sand of the modified drift, 10 to 20 feet above the lakes, sloughs and water- 
courses ; but sections 31 to 34 on the southern border of Crow lake are chiefly 
kame-like knolls and ridges of gravel and sand 25 to 50 or 75 feet high. The 
remainder of this county is greatly diversified with partly undulating and 
partly knolly and hilly till, the latter being morainic accumulations, which on 
some areas have a very irregularly broken surface, though not rising to much 
height, while elsewhere they form hills from 50 to 200 feet high. 

Morainic hills, about 100 feet above the adjoining modified drift or 150 
above the Mississippi ringer, occur one to three miles south-southwest of St. 
Cloud and a mile west of the river. In the southeast part of St. 'Joseph, 
about five miles farther west, a series of morainic deposits begins west of 



4 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Mud lake, and extends thence along the southeast side of Sauk river to Rock- 
ville and Cold Spring. Northeast of Rockville it is separated from the Sauk 
river by a tract of nearly level modified drift averaging a half mile wide and 
about 25 feet above the river ; and the width of this part of the moraine is about 
one mile, with elevations 50 to 75 feet above the adjoining country. Between 
Eockville and Cold Spring morainie till borders the Sauk river and occupies 
a width of three miles to the south, rising in hills 100 to 200 feet above the 
intervening hollows, attaining the greatest elevation, nearly 300 feet above the 
river, in section 36, "Wakefield, and section 31, Rockville. Thence a low 
morainie belt reaches south through sections 6 and 7, Maine Prairie, and 13, 
24 and 25, Luxemburg; next it extends east through Maine Prairie, forming 
conspicuous hills, about 150 feet high, in section 27 ; and from a point half- 
way between Maine Prairie and Fair Haven it turns northeastward, con- 
tinuing through the north part of Fair Haven and into the southeast quarter 
of St. Augusta. In the latter portion its elevations are 50 to 75 feet above 
the plain of modified drift, six miles wide, which occupies the northeast part 
of Maine Prairie and reaches thence northward in a continuous belt, nowhere 
less than a mile wide, through the west part of St. Augusta and St. Cloud 
to the Mississippi river. On the east it is separated from the Clearwater and 
Mississippi rivers by flat or moderately undulating modified drift one to two 
miles wide in Fair Haven and Lynden. 

West from the high morainie hills in the southeast corner of Wakefield, 
a roughly broken belt of morainie till extends through the south edge of 
Wakefield and Munson and the north edge of Luxemburg and Eden Lake, 
thence southwest diagonally across Paynesville, and averaging one and one- 
half miles in width, with elevations 50 to 75 feet above the hollows and 75 
to 125 feet above the Sauk river, the North branch of the Crow river, and 
Lake Koronis. South of this moraine, most of Luxemburg and Eden lake, 
with the southeast edge of Paynesville are moderately undulating or rolling 
till ; and on its northwest side a belt of nearly level modified drift, two miles 
wide and about 25 feet above the North branch of Crow river, extends from 
Roseville in Kandiyohi county northeast by the village of Paynesville to the 
head of Cole creek in sections 34 and 35, Zion. 

North of the Sauk river, hills of morainie till, 100 to 250 feet high, extend 
northwest from a point one mile west of Cold Spring, through sections 21, 16, 
17, 18, 7 and 8, Wakefield, and 12, 11, 2 and 3, Munson. They are very con- 
spicuously seen from Richmond on the plain of modified drift one to two 
miles wide and five miles long, which lies southwest of this moraine between 
it and the Sauk river. Near the north line of Munson the moraine changes 
its course to the north-northeast, and passes through the east part of Farming 
and northwestern Collegeville to the Spunk lakes, forming a roughly hilly 
belt two or three miles wide, with elevations 100 to 150 feet above the smoothly 
undulating or rolling till on each side. Thence it continues north through the 
west part of Avon to Two River lake, consisting of hills and ridges 40 to 100 
feet high, and northwesterly through Krain in a low knoUy belt. Farther 
west, till with typically morainie contour extends from Birch Bark Fort lake 
through the north half of Melrose to Sauk lake. One of the more prominent 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 5 

elevations of this tract is Cheney hill, about 100 feet high, in the north part 
of section 1, Melrose. This moraine continues northward in Todd county. 

Morainie till also extends from the Sauk river in the northwest part of 
Rockville northward through the west half of Saint Joseph, the east edge of 
Collegeville, and southeastern Avon; it occupies the southern third of St. 
Wendel, west from the Watab river; and continues northeast in a belt one 
or two miles wide from sections 17, 18, and 19, St. "Wendel, to near the 
center of Brockway, and thence north to the county line at the east side of 
Spunk brook. The elevations in these townships are 50 to 100 feet, or rarely 
more, above the adjoining land ; in northwestern Rockville they rise about 
150 feet above the Sauk river, and in northern Brockway their height is fully 
200 feet above the Mississippi. Nearly all of Holding township, northeastern 
Krain, the greater part of Brockway and Le Sauk, and much of the northern 
two-thirds of St. Wendel and Avon, are moderately undulating till. 

Level gravel and sand of the modified drift forms a belt a half mile to 
one and a half miles wide along the Mississippi river through Brockway and 
the north part of Le Sauk. Its broad southern portion, some three miles long, 
is the Winnebago prairie, about 40 feet above the river, but in the north part 
of Brockway its height is 50 or 60 feet. Moderately undidating till borders 
the west side of the Mississippi from the mouth of the Watab river to St. 
Cloud, soon ascending 40 to 60 feet, and thence maintaining the height west- 
ward. From St. Cloud to Clearwater the Mississippi is again bordered by 
a plain of modified drift, which increases in this distance from a half mile 
to two or three miles in width and from 50 to 75 feet in height above the river. 

Along the Sauk river modified drift occupies a width that varies from a 
half mile to two miles through Sauk Centre, Melrose, Grove and Oak town- 
ships. It is mostly flat, and from 25 to 40 feet above the river ; but one to two 
miles south from Sauk Centre, on the west side, it is partly in kame-like knolls 
and partly in massive swells, 15 to 40 feet above the hollows and 40 to 60 feet 
above the river. The plain of modified drift at Richmond and in the west part 
of Wakefield has a height of about 30 feet. East of this the Sauk river 
is bordered by morainie till for a short distance about one mile west of Cold 
Spring, as also again through nearly three miles, beginning one and a half 
miles east of Cold Spring and extending to Rockville. 

A very remarkable belt of modified drift reaches from the Sauk river at 
Cold Spring northeast and north to the Watab river in section 30, St. 
Joseph, and continues thence northeasterly along this stream to the extensive 
plain of modified drift in the northeast quarter of St. Joseph and the north- 
ern third of St. Cloud. The village of Cold Spring is on valley drift about 
20 feet above the river, and some portions of the alluvial bottoms bordering 
the river are only 5 or 10 feet above it, being subject to annual overflow. Next 
north and west of the village is a terrace of modified drift nearly three miles 
long and one-fourth to three-fourths of a mile wide, about 50 feet above the 
river, probably formed at the same date with the Richmond plain and the 
modified drift in Paynesville and westward along the southwest side of the 
North branch of Crow river. A mile north from Cold Spring there is a further 
ascent of 40 feet along an escarpment coinciding nearly with the south line 



6 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

of sections 10 and 11, Wakefield, to a plain which occupies the southeast part 
of section 10, and all of section 11, and the northwest part of section 12, ele- 
vated 90 feet above the river. This tract, consisting of sand and coarse gravel, 
often with a foot or two of clay next to the soil, reaches northeast through the 
south part of section 1, Wakefield, and section 6, Rockville, and thence north 
two miles, with a width varying from a sixth to a third of a mile, to the 
Watab river in the N. E. i/i of section 30, St. Joseph. Onward it has a 
width of about a half a mile along the Watab river for three miles northeast 
to near St. Joseph village, where it expands into the plain that stretches 
east to St. Cloud. Between Cold Spring and St. Joseph this modified 
drift, marking a former water-course, is bounded on each side by morainic 
till 40 to 60 feet higher. Its descent in these eight miles is about 75 feet, and 
the plain of similar modified drift between St. Joseph and St. Cloud, also 
eight miles, descends 50 feet, making the whole slope in sixteen miles ajjprox- 
imately 125 feet, or an average of nearly eight feet per mile. 

Altitudes. The highest land in Stearns county is in its northwest part, 
where portions of Millwood, Melrose, Sauk Centre, Ashley, Getty and Ray- 
mond are 1,350 to 1,400 feet above the sea-level. The tops of some of the 
morainic hills in Farming, northeastern Munson, and the southeast corner 
of Wakefield, are about 1,350 feet above the sea, being 150 to 250 feet above 
adjoining areas. The lowest land in tlie county is the shore of the Mississippi 
river at Clearwater, 938 feet above the sea. 

Estimates of the average heights of the townships are as follows : Brock- 
way. 1,125 feet; Le Sauk, 1,060; St. Cloud, 1,060; St. Augusta, 1,040; 
Lynden, 1,020; Fair Haven, 1,100; St. Wendel, 1,120; St. Joseph, 1,100; 
Kockville, 1,120; Maine Prairie, 1,140; Holding, 1,140; Avon, 1,150; CoUege- 
ville, 1,175; Wakefield, 1,160; Luxemburg, 1,180; Krain, 1,225; Albany, 1,210; 
Farming, 1,200; Munson, 1,175; Eden Lake, 1,180 ; Millwood, 1,275; Oak, 1,210; 
St. Martin, 1,180; Zion, 1.210; Paynesville, 1,175; Melrose, 1,275; Grove, 
1^40; Spring Hill, 1,240; Lake Henry, 1,260; Sauk Centre, 1,280; Getty, 1,320; 
Lake George, 1,300 ; Crow River, 1,225 ; Ashley, 1,340 ; Raymond, 1,340 ; North 
Fork, 1,270, and Crow Lake, 1,240. The mean elevation of Stearns- county, de- 
rived fi'om these figures, is 1,195 feet above the sea. 

Soil and Timber. The black soil is generally one to two feet deep 
throughout this county. It is the surface of the glacial or modified drift en- 
riched and blackened by the decay of vegetation during many centuries. The 
subsoil for the greater part is the pebbly and stony clay called till; but con- 
siderable tracts along the Mississippi, Clearwater and Sauk rivers, and south- 
west of the North branch of Crow river, as also the northeast part of Maine 
Prairie township and adjoi/iing portions of St. Augusta and Rockville, have 
a subsoil of gravel and sand. Wheat, oats, barley, rye, corn, sorghum, pota- 
toes, other garden vegetables, live stock, and milk, butter and cheese, are the 
chief agricultural products. Nineteen twentieths of this county are probably 
fitted for cultivation, the exceptions being frequent sloughs, which yield good 
hay, the bluffs along creeks and rivers, and roughly knolly or hilly and stony 
portions of the morainic belts, which are valuable for pasturage. 

About a third of Stearns county is prairie, including most of the area 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 7 

west of Richmond and southwest of the Sauk river; also, tracts one to two 
miles wide along the northeast side of this river ; the greater part of the plains 
of modified drift in St. Joseph, St. Cloud and Maine Prairie ; Winnebago 
prairie on the Mississippi river in southeastern Brockway and northern Le 
Sauk ; and limited areas of the modified drift in St. Augusta, Lynden and 
Fair Haven. Most portions of the modified drift which are not prairie bear 
only a scanty growth of timber, in which black and bur oaks are the leading 
species. Fully half of the county was originally covered by large timber, con- 
siderable of which still remains, though much wooded land has been cleared 
to make farms. Basswood, and species of oak, elm, maple, ash, birch and pop- 
lar, are the principal trees. A grove of white pines occurs on the bins' of the 
Mississippi river in St. Cloud ; and both white and jack pines grow on the 
plain of modified drift that borders this river in Brockway. Tamarack flour- 
ishes in swamps, and supplied the name of the Watab river, and thence of 
Watab township in Benton county, this being the name given by the Chippe- 
was to the long threads obtained by splitting tamarack roots, used by them 
in sewing their birch canoes. 

Geological Structure. Outcrops of Archaean rocks, chiefly syenite, occur 
in Ashley, Sauk Centre and Melrose in the northwest part of this county ; and 
in Wakefield, Rockville, St. Joseph, St. Augusta, St. Cloud, Le Sauk and 
Brockway m its eastei'n half. Cretaceous beds, containing thin seams of 
lignite, are exposed in the banks of the Sauk river near Richmond in Mun- 
son township, and at other localities a few miles from Richmond both to the 
north and south. Other portions of this county, and even the greater part of 
the county, are covered by the glacial and modified drift, having no exposures 
of the underlying formations. 

Cretaceous Beds. Before the ice age Cretaceous strata probably covered 
the western two-thirds of Minnesota, and on this area the greater part of the 
material of the drift is derived from these beds. The remnants of them that 
escaped the glacial erosion are now nearly everywhere concealed by the drift. 
In Steams county their only exposures are found in the neighborhood of 
Richmond. 

Mr. Eames observed the following section, horizontally stratified, near 
this village, in the banks of the Sauk river: Sand and gravel (modified drift), 
40 feet ; blue clay with crystals of selenite, 4 feet ; impure coal (lignitic clay, 
including three inches of lignite), 2^2 feet; bituminous limestone, forming the 
bed of the river, 10 feet. 

This was doubtless at the locality of the drift and shafts mentioned be- 
yond; and the report of limestone in place is an error. About half a mile 
below this exposure, Eames reports a ferruginous sandstone or conglomerate 
four feet thick, seen in the bank of the river along a distance of twelve yards. 

Three miles north of Richmond, in the S. E. I/4 of the N. E. 1/4 of section 
2, Munson, north of the range of morainic hills, a section noted by Eames in 
a ditch dug for drainage consisted of yellow and blue clay with three seams 
of lignite from one to six inches thick. The stratification here was irregu- 
larly confused and in part vertical, apparently on account of slides. Three 



8 HISTOEY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

shafts were dug near this place in the hope of discovering workable lignite, 
by Theodore Bock. One of these went twenty-five feet, finding a lignitic layer 
six inches thick at thirteen feet, enclosed in blue clay, which, by boring twenty- 
five feet below the bottom of the shaft, was found to reach a depth of fifty feet, 
containing pyrite in some portions but no other lignitic seam. The other 
two shafts, forty and thirty feet deep, were wholly in drift. Eames referred 
this "coal" to the Cretaceous age, and rightly discouraged further mining for 
it, stating that his survey of the lignite-bearing strata on the Sauk and Cot- 
tonwood rivers "has demonstrated the fact that the state contains no outcrop 
of coal of value, in so far as the counties examined and points coming under 
observation are concerned." 

Repeated fruitless observations for lignite have been made, however, by 
shafts in the Cretaceous beds on the southwest side of the Sauk river in the 
N. "W. 1/4 of section 23, Munson, a fourth to a half of a mile west of Richmond. 
In 1871, at a point some thirty rods west of the bridge and less than a hun- 
dred feet from the river, a shaft was dug and bored to the depth of 120 feet. 
Its top is about 25 feet above the river. Black clay or shale with some lig- 
nite, which is seen here in the river's bank, was penetrated and found to be 
three feet thick. A drift dug in 1865, starting about twenty-five feet farther 
northwest and following the lignitic layer sixty feet, found it to dip west- 
ward about four feet in this distance. It was said to contain "a seam of lig- 
nite four inches thick, which kept increasing in thickness, but remained im- 
pure and was considerably mixed with shale." Above and below the lig- 
nitic stratum is bluish gray clay or shale containing rarely crystals of selenite 
(gypsum) up to three inches long. J. H. Kloos found in the material brought 
up from the shaft "several fragments of shale containing scales of cycloid 
fishes, which had been met with near the surface." At a depth of 112 feet, 
according to Kloos, this boring reached "a hard rock, which proved to be 
granite. It was drilled for eight feet, and the fragments brought to light 
by the pump consist of feldspar, quartz and pyrites, such as are found in 
varieties of pegmatite or graphic granite, which I also found at the nearest 
outcropping ridges of the crystalline rocks." Nearly a quarter of a mile west 
from this place and about 75 feet above the river, another shaft was dug and 
bored in 1871 to the depth of 180 feet. This passed through a considerable 
thickness of drift, below which were blue, white and yellowish plastic clays, 
and shale. No more lignite was encountered than in the drift and the other 
shaft. 

Again, in 1880 and 1881, the Richmond mining company claimed to have 
bored to the depth of 125 feet at a point only ten feet distant from the shaft 
and boring first described, close to the river. The only lignite found is the 
layer seen above the river-level; blue clay, with thin laminae of white and 
yellow clay, lies above the lignite ; and bluish or greenish gray clay and shale 
extend below to the bottom of this section. No sand nor gravel, nor any hard 
rock, were encountered. In respect to these explorations, it must be added that 
it seems certain that no valuable deposits of lignite exist in this region, nor 
indeed in any portion of this state. 

The only fossils known to have been found in these shafts are the fish- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 9 

scales before mentioned. A shark's tooth was also found by Mr. Kloos in 
the plastic clay that here forms the bank of the Sauk river. 

F. B. Meek, to whom these fossils were submitted, wrote Mr. Kloos as 
follows: "The specimens consist of Inoeeramus problematicus, im- 
pressions apparently of Ammonites percarinatus, scales of fishes and a small 
shark tooth allied to Corax or Galeus. Among the drawings also sent by you, 
there is one of the inner volutions of Scaphites larviformis, or some nearly 
allied form. From these fossils, and the lithological character of the bed in 
which they were found, there can be no reasonable doubt, that it belongs to 
the Cretaceous system, as well as to the Benton group of the Cretaceous 
series as developed in the upper Missouri country. As you have suggested, 
the locality at which these specimens were collected, cannot be far from the 
eastern limits of the great Cretaceous basin that occupies so much of the coun- 
try along the Upper Missouri, and it is very desirable that the eastern boun- 
dary of this group of rocks should be traced out as accurately as possible, 
through Minnesota. Owing to the heavy deposits of drift there, however, 
this will be a difficult task, and can only be done by careful observations of 
all that is revealed by deep wells and other excavations. Consequently it is 
important that all the facts brought to light in this way should be carefully 
noted and published." 

Glacial and Modified Drift. Glacial striae observed at Sauk Centre, as 
before mentioned, bear S. 40 degrees E., referred to the true meridian, being 
at right angles with the striae noted in Sauk Rapids, Benton county, about 
forty miles farther east. Nearly all the ledges of Stearns county are planed 
and worn to a smooth surface by the ice-sheet; but, excepting at Sauk Cen- 
tre, none of them, so far as seen in this survey, retain glacial striae, be- 
cause of the slight disintegration wrought upon their surface by rains and 
frost. 

The contour and material of the drift deposits have been stated in 
an earlier part of this chapter. The stages in the recession of the ice-sheet 
which they indicate are somewhat complex. During the culmination of the 
last glacial epoch, an ice-current from Lake Superior and northern Wisconsin 
extended over the east half of this county, to a limit in Luxemburg, Wake- 
field, northeastern Munson, Farming, Albany, Krain, and northeastern Mill- 
wood. In these townships, extending from south-southeast to north-north- 
west, the ice-current from the northeast, by which the striae in Sauk Rapids 
were made, was confluent with the ice-current from the northwest, which 
striated the rock at Sauk Centre. West of this line of confluence boulders 
and gravel of limestone abound, derived, like the limestone everywhere pres- 
ent in the drift of western Minnesota and of Dakota, from the limestone strata 
which have their nearest outcrops in the vicinity of Winnipeg, Manitoba. 
Fragments of lignite, and very rarely of petrifled wood, are also found in this 
western drift. The drift brought by the ice-current from the northeast 
is distinguished by the absence of limestone and the presence of boulders 
and pebbles of igneous and sedimentary rocks peculiar to the region of Lake 
Superior. A difference in color is also observable, the drift from the north- 
west and west being dark bluish gray, excepting near the surface, where it 



10 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

is weathered to a yellowish color; while the drift from the northeast has a 
lighter gray color and is more or less tinted with red. These colors are due 
to the condition of the iron present, which in its protoxide combinations im- 
parts a bluish hue, in the condition of liraonite yellow, and as hematite red. 
It exists under the first of these conditions in the Cretaceous clays and shales 
which have contributed probably more than half of the material of the west- 
ern drift ; and as hematite it colors the red shales and sandstones about Lake 
Superior and the drift derived from them. The northeastern drift in Stearns 
county, however, does not usually show the reddish tint conspicuously, be- 
cause it has become mingled with much material from other rock-formations 
in its long transportation. The morainic hills one to six miles west and north- 
west from Cold Spring consist of this northwestern drift, and the same forms 
the surface thence northeast to St. Cloud and Le Sauk and onward all the 
way to Lake Superior. 

Remarkable changes took place in the currents of the ice-sheet during 
its departure. The ice from the northwest and west becoming relatively 
thicker, pushed back that from the northeast upon a large area reaching from 
the southeast part of this county east-northeastward to the Snake and St. 
Croix rivers, even advancing into the edge of "Wisconsin. After this western 
ice-lobe began to retreat, the line at which it first halted or perhaps re-ad- 
vanced, is marked by the morainic accumulations, referred to the time of 
the fifth or Elysian moraine. The continuation of this morainic series in 
Stearns county forms the belt of knolly and hilly till east, south and west of 
the plain of modified drift in Maine Prairie. The angle made in the glacial 
boundary by the confluence of the western and eastern ice-fields was prob- 
ably at or near the southeast corner of Wakefield, where the most prominent 
morainic hills in this county are found. On the south margin of the north- 
eastern ice at this time was apparently accvimulated the hilly till of Roek- 
ville, of the south half of St. Joseph, excepting in sections 31, 30 and 19, and 
of the southeast part of St. Cloud, the continuance of this series being through 
northern Haven and Palmer in Sherburne county. The gravel and sand form- 
ing the plain of Maine Prairie were deposited by the waters that had flowed 
down from the slopes of the adjacent ice-fields, which converged toward this 
area. 

By the next retreat of the waning ice-sheet its boundary was carried back 
to the sixth or Waconia moraine, which is represented in southern Stearns 
county by the drift hills and knolls on the east and north border of Luxem- 
burg, along the line of Eden Lake and Munson, and thence southwest through 
Paynesville to Cape Bad Luck in Roseville, Kandiyohi county, accumulated 
along the north margin of the western ice-lobe. The south line of the ice 
moving from the northeast and north seems to have extended at this time 
along the northwest side of the Watab river in St. Wendel and St. Joseph, 
and thence westward through Collegeville, Farming, St. Martin and Spring 
Hill, Grove, Getty and Raymond. When the recession from the Elysian 
moraine began, the outlet of drainage from the confluent ice-fields appears 
to have been from Cold Spring northeast to the Watab river and St. Joseph, 
along the valley occupied by modified drift which has been before described. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 11 

The scarcity of limestone in the gravel along this old water-course indicates 
that the glacial melting was then progressing most rapidly on its north side. 
At the somewhat later date of the Waconia moraine, the angle of confluence 
of the ice from the west and nortlnvest with that from the northeast and north 
seems to have been at Glenwood in Pope county. The glacial floods which 
there poured down from the converging ice-slopes and thence flowed south- 
east along the present course of the north branch of the Crow river to Paynes- 
ville and then east-northeast to the Sauk valley at Richmond, eroded a broad 
channel into the till of southwestern Stearns county. The northeast limit of 
this erosion is the bluff of till 40 to 100 feet high, which rises close on the 
northeast side of this river from North Fork to Paynesville, a distance of 
twenty miles. From these floods were deposited the extensive beds of modi- 
fied drift which reach from eastern Pope county through the southwest part 
of Stearns and the northeast of Kandiyohi county to Paynesville and Rich- 
mond. 

When the ice-sheet again retreated, to the line of the seventh or Dovre 
moraine, its western lobe was withdrawn from this county, but the ice-fields 
flowing from the north appear to have extended to the moraine in Brock- 
way, the northwest part of St. Wendel, Avon, northeastern Albany, Krain, 
northern Millwood and Melrose, and the northeast corner of Sauk Centre. At 
this time, also, the modified drift along the upper part of the Sauk river and 
on the Mississipi in Le Sauk and Brockway was deposited. 

Boulders are frequent or often abundant in the morainic accumulations 
of till; but in the smooth, undulating deposits of till they are usually so few 
that they give no trouble in the cultivation of the land. Numerous pieces 
of sandstone, up to one or two feet in size, like that outcropping at Hinckley, 
in Pine county, were noticed in Le Sauk and in Sauk Rapids on the opposite 
side of the Mississippi. 

Material Resources. The agricultural capabilities of this county, and its 
good supply of timber have already been noticed ; also, the occurrence of thin 
seams of lignite in the Cretaceous strata near Richmond, and the futile ex- 
plorations for it in workable quantity. Water-powers have been utilized to 
a considerable extent. Quarrying is a most important industry. The boulders 
from the drift are used by the farmers for various purposes. Lime burning 
and brick making have both been important. 

Waterpowers. The following report of the waterpowers as they existed 
in the county in 1885 is most interesting, though many of these dams and mills 
are now only memories of the past. 

Ward Brothers ' saw-mill and grist-mill on the south branch of Two Rivers 
at Holdingford; head, eight feet, flowing back nearly two miles. M. Ebnet's 
saw-mill, in the south part of section 25, Krain, on a tributary of Two River 
lake; head, about fifteen feet. William Ross' saw-mill on Spunk brook in the 
S. E. % of section 5, Brockway; head, about six feet. J. B. Sartell & Son's 
grist-mill on Watab river in section 21, Le Sauk, having fifteen feet head; and 
their saw-mill in the same section, a quarter of a mile farther east on this 
stream near its mouth, having fourteen feet head. St. Joseph flouring mill, 
having eighteen feet head, and saw-mill, having fourteen feet head, on the 



12 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

south branch of Watab river a quarter of a mile west of St. Joseph village, 
both owned by Ferdinand Danzel. The Mississippi river at Sauk Rapids, falls 
twenty-two feet in about a mile. Sauk City flouring mills, owned by F. Arn- 
old ; on the Sauk river close to its mouth, in the southeast corner of Le Sauk 
head, eight feet ; canal thirty rods long. Union flouring mill, J. E. Hayward 
on the Sauk river a mile west from the last, in the north edge of St. Cloud 
head, ten feet. Rockville flouring mill, O. Tenney; on Mill creek at Rock- 
ville, close to its junction with the Sauk river; head, fourteen feet. Cold 
Spring flouring mill, H. C. Waite; on the Sauk river at Cold Spring; head, 
eight feet; seven run of stone and three crushers. Hiltner & Proneth's flour- 
ing mill in the west edge of section 31, Oak ; head, about twelve feet ; canal a 
third of a mile long; three run of stone. Melrose flouring mill, Edwin Clark; 
on the Sauk river at Melrose ; head, eleven to thirteen feet ; five run of stone 
for flour, and one for feed. The mill-pond is a mile long, covering 150 acres. 
Sauk Centre flouring mill, T. C. McClure ; on the Sauk river at Sauk Centre ; 
head, ten feet; six run of stone. This dam raises the Little and Big Sauk lakes 
above their natural level, the latter being four miles long and a half to two- 
thirds of a mile wide, mostly in Todd county. 

Neenah flouring mill, H. Beumer & Co. ; on St. Augusta creek in the 
N. W. 1/4 of section 13, St. Augusta ; head, fourteen feet ; three run of stone for 
flour, and one for feed. There were mills formerly on this creek near its 
mouth and in th S. W. i/4 of section 27, St. Augusta. On the Clearwater river, 
at Clearwater, are three powers, as follows: Thomas ToUington's saw-mill 
and fvirniture manufactory; ten or fifteen rods above the mouth of the river; 
head, five feet ; can only be used when the Mississippi is at its low-water stage. 
Clearwater flouring mills, C. F. Davis & Co.; a short distance above the last; 
head, fifteen feet. Upper dam of C. F. Davis & Co. ; one mile above the mouth 
of the river; known as the Fremont water-power; formerly, but not now, 
used ; head, twelve feet. The mill on the Clearwater river at Fair Haven has 
about ten feet head. Crow River flouring mill, J. P. Applegreen ; on the north 
branch of the Crow river in the east edge of the village of Paynesville ; head, 
fourteen feet; three run of stone. Beckley & Phipps' flouring mill; on the 
same stream one and a half miles below the last, in the west edge of section 10, 
Paynesville ; head, eight feet ; three run of stone. 

Aboriginal Earthworks. Earthworks, like lines of fortifications, three 
in number, each twenty rods or more in length, several rods apart and extend- 
ing southeasterly, are situated about a mile north of Sauk Centre, on the 
southeast side of tlie Little Sauk lake, which is now united with the Big Sauk 
lake by the flowage of the Sauk Centre dam. 

A natural mound of till, called Fairy Lake mound, rises some fifteen feet 
above the general level of the surrounding plain of modified drift on the south 
side of the Sauk river, in the S. W. % of the N. E. 14 of section 32, Sauk 
Centre, about three miles northwest from the town. This mound is fifteen 
rods long and six rods wide, trending from west-northwest to east-southeast. 
Its outline seen at a distance is like that of a dome-shaped artificial mound; 
but, unlike the aboriginal mounds, it is oblong and composed of the unmodi- 
fied glacial drift. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 13 

ARCHAEAN ROCKS. 

The following notes on the exposed rocks of the townships in Stearns 
county are, like the rest of this article, a part of the "Geology of Stearns 
County" by Dr. Warren Upham, a distinguished savant, in the "Geological 
and Natural History Survey of Minnesota," published in 1888, and embody- 
ing research made from the year 1882 to 1885. When this was written the 
granite industry in Stearns county was in its infancy, and some of the possi- 
bilities of quarrying which are herein discussed have since been realized. 
For the development of the granite industry in recent years, the reader is 
referred to other chapters of this history. 

Ashley. The most northwestern rock-ovitcrops of Stearns county are 
found in Ashley township, eight miles west of Sauk Centre. They lie close 
south and southwest of a school-house at the south side of Ashley creek, partly 
in the S. W. 1/4 of the N. W. 1/4 of section 17, and more in the S. E. 14 of 
the N. E. 1/4 of section 18. This rock has numerous exposures, the largest 
being about a hundred feet long, upon an area which reaches thirty rods 
from east-southeast to west-northwest, their height being from one to five 
feet above the general level. It resembles syenite, but contains much of 
a light-green mineral (probably epidote), like that found in the rocks out- 
cropping thirty and forty-five miles farther north, in Todd and Cass coianties. 
This takes the place of hornblende and mica, neither of which can be detected. 
Joints occur from one to five or ten feet apart. An schistose or laminated 
structure was observed. Veinlike masses of coarsely crystalline orthoclase, 
enclosing small amounts of white quartz and of the green mineral, occur in 
this rock at many places, often extending ten feet or more, and varying from 
one to several feet in width. These ledges may be quarried for coarse masonry. 

Sauk Centre. Exposures of rock are found at the southwest side of the 
railroad from an eighth to a fourth of a mile southeast from Sauk Centre 
station. The largest outcrop is about fifty rods from the depot, and a hundred 
feet southwest of the railroad, covering an area about six rods long from the 
northwest to southeast by two to three rods wide, and rising only one to two 
and a half feet above the general surface. This ledge has several distinct 
varieties of rock. The greater part is a reddish feldspathic gneiss, laminated 
from northeast to southwest, or a similar syenite where lamination is absent. 
Masses a few feet in extent, not definitely separated from the foregoing, are 
very coarsely crystalline, flesh-colored feldspar and quartz; the latter con- 
stitutes about one-fourth part ; and both occur in crystalline masses one to two 
inches long. Portions of this gneiss and syenite are porphyritic with feldspar 
crystals up to a half inch, or rarely an inch, in diameter. 

The most southern part of this ledge, extending thirty feet from east to 
west, and ten feet wide, divided from the last by a width of about two rods 
which is covered with drift, is a very hard and compact, dark, granular rock, 
perhaps to be called syenite, in which the most abundant mineral is apparently 
hornblende. A small space of this, about eight feet long and four feet wide, 
shows a vertically laminated structure, curving from a south to a southeast 



14 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

course. Glacial striae, clearly seen on the west part of this southern outcrop, 
bear S. 40 degrees E. 

Eight rods west from the last is another exposure of the same hard, dark 
rock, about two rods in extent, not rising above the general level. About 
fifteen rods west-northwest from the large outcrop first described, another 
of similar rock is found, being mainly gneiss, laminated from northeast to 
southwest. This ledge is about fifty feet long from west-northwest to east- 
southeast, and rises from one to one and a half feet above the general surface. 
Again, some twenty-five rods southeast from the first described exposure, 
excavations at each side of the railroad, five to fifteen feet below the track, 
show the dark, tough hornblendic rock, like its two exposures farther west, 
except that here it is more intersected by joints, which are from one to six 
feet apart. On the southwest side of the railroad this rock is uncovered for 
a length of a hundred feet; but on the northeast side only two or three small 
knobs are visible. None of the outcrops are suitable for quarrying. 

Melrose. The next exposure of the bed-rock is eight miles east-north- 
east from the last, at Clark's mill, in Melrose. This mill, situated on the south 
side of Sauk river about ten rods west of the bridge, is founded on a ledge 
of very hard, coarse, red syenite, Mdiich also extends some twenty-five feet 
from the mill, half-way across the waste-way of the dam. 

In the west part of Melrose village, a third or half of a mile west from this 
mill, and on the level plain of valley drift, rock has been encountered in 
attempts to dig wells. Its depth below the surface is about six feet, and it has 
an extent of a hundred feet or more. A well blasted into this rock supplied 
the stone for the foundation of the Methodist church near by. It is a dark, 
unlaminated, rather coarsely crystalline hornblendic rock, different from any 
other found in this district. 

Wakefield. Several outcrops of very hard, dark dioryte, and of coarse 
syenite occur within a radius of a fourth of a mile about the corner of sections 
19, 20, 29 and 30, "Wakefield. This is on the north side of the Sauk river, two 
miles east of Richmond, and about twenty miles southeast from Melrose. One 
of these knobs rises forty feet above the general level. The abutments of the 
Richmond bridge were quarried at this locality. 

Aboiit one and a half miles farther east, near the centre of section 21, 
a small outcrop of coarse syenite occurs in and close south of the road, its 
length being four rods and its height three or four feet. It is intersected by 
joints at intervals of two to six feet. 

At Cold Spring, one and three-fourths miles farther east, a fine-grained, 
reddish, much jointed syenite has abundant outcrops, underlying the mill and 
dam, and covering an area on both sides of the Sauk river equal to a quarter 
of a mile square, with its highest points 20 to 25 feet above the river. It has 
been somewhat quai-ried for local use in foundations, walls, etc. 

Rockville. Pour miles farther east, massive outcrops of coarse-grained, 
gray granite, containing black mica, which weathers to yellow, occur near 
Rockville. The most prominent mass of this rock is at the east side of Mill 
creek, a quarter of a mile south of Rockville mill, forming a knob forty or 
fifty rods in length and breadth, and fifty feet high. This rock is very free 



HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 15 

from joints or seams, being sometimes unbroken for thirty or forty feet. 
Otherwise it appears to be well adapted for quarrying, to supply stone for 
heavy masonry, as bridge piers and abutments. Two other exposures of this 
rock are found a quarter of a mile northeast from this mill. The most southerlj^ 
of these, situated east of the road, covers some thirty rods square, and rises 
about forty feet above the river ; and the second, less than an eighth of a mile 
farther noi'th, crossed by the road and lying mostly between the road and the 
river, covers an area of 30 by 20 rods in extent and rises 20 to 30 feet above the 
river. Both consist of massive, rounded ledges, with few seams or joints, which 
are often twenty to thirty feet apart. 

St. Joseph. In the N. E. I/4 of section 26 of this township, nearly four 
miles northeast from Rockville, massive, coarsegrained, gray syenite or 
granite, closely like that of Rockville, is exposed. It forms a rounded outcrop 
some twenty rods broad, rising ten feet above the general level, its height 
above the Sauk river, three-fourths of a mile to the northwest, being about 
35 feet. This ledge has few joints, one space fifty feet square being without 
a seam. 

One and a half miles west-southwest from the last, an exposure of rock is 
reported in section 27, at the east side of the Sauk river, above which it is 
said to rise five to ten feet, covering an acre or more. 

St. Aug^ta. Granite, containing flesh-colored feldspar and black mica, 
is exposed near the middle of section 19, St. Augusta, abovit a fourth of a mile 
west of Luxemburg postoffice and St. Wendel's church. This is four miles 
east-southeast from Rockwell and eight miles south-southwest from St. Cloud. 
It lies on the west side of slough, above which it rises 15 to 20 feet, its extent 
being about twenty rods. It is divided by joints three to fifteen feet apart ; 
the course of their principal system, nearly vertical, is from northwest to 
southeast. 

St. Cloud. This township has many exposures of these rocks, principally 
syenite. 

In the N. E. Yi of section 32 a reddish gray syenite or granite, and in the 
N. W. 1/4 of section 33 a very dark syenite, containing a large proportion of 
hornblende, form quite extensive outcrops, in each case covering an area 
equal to a quarter of a mile square. An eighth of a mile west of the road, 
these rounded hillocks of rock rise 20 to 25 feet above the general level; and 
close east of the road and for an eighth of a mile or more from it, their height 
is five to ten feet. About forty rods farther north, the road goes by ledges 
of syenite nearly like that of the quarry at Sauk Rapids. These are probably 
in the southeast corner of section 29; they lie close west of the road, above 
which they rise 15 to 20 feet. The next two miles to the north and north- 
west have abundant outcrops of gray and reddish syenite, of which the follow- 
ing is a list in part. 

On the land of Jacob Streitz, in the N. W. 14 of the N. E. 14 of section 28, 
considerable quarrying has been done, forty cords or more of the stone having 
been sold for masonry in St. Paul. This is an excellent gray syenite, rising 
about ten feet above the general surface, well adapted for supplying dimension 
stone. It is near the eastern side of this tract of abundant ledges ; and the 



16 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

hills one to one and a half miles east and northeast, rising 50 to 75 feet higher 
and 125 to 150 feet above the Mississippi river, are morainic drift. 

A quarter of a mile west of the last, in the N. % of the N. W. % of section 
28, ledges of the same rock as the last cover two or three acres, rising about 
five feet above the general level of the surrounding modified drift. Some 
quarrying has also been done here. 

On land of Ferdinand Ilartmann, in the north edge of the N. E. 14 of 
section 29, he has quarried during several years, in two low outcrops of syenite, 
selling the stone for $8 per cord at St. Cloud. The southwestern outcrop, six 
rods square, is a somewhat coarse-grained, reddish syenite, divided by joints 
from one to eight feet apart. The other ledge, fifteen rods north-northeast 
from the last, is about ten rods long from west to east by six rods wide. This 
is mainly red syenite like the former, but includes a large mass, occupying an 
area about four rods square, of finer-grained, bright gray syenite, containing 
occasional scales of black mica. At its border a gradual change of color takes 
place from the gray to the red. 

An area of several acres of reddish syenite, like that of the last localities, 
begins thirty or forty rods northwesterly from the last, and reaches a sixth 
of a mile or more northward. This is on the S. "W. ^/4 of section 20. It rises 
in rounded hills and knolls 30 to 50 feet above the lowland eastward. 

About forty rods northwest from the last, in the N. W. i/4 of the S. W. i/4 
of this section 20, gray syenite forms a hill which covers six or eight acres and 
rises 50 feet above the general surface. It is smoothly glaciated, but retains 
no clear striae. This rock has few joints, sometimes none for an extent of 
thirty feet. Here and upon many of the ledges of this region a scale of rock, 
a fourth to a half of an inch thick, has become separated, or is easily separable 
from the surface by weathering. In some places this might be attributed to 
forest or prairie fires, which seem often to have produced such scaling; but 
here it is notably exhibited on bare ledges six rods or more in extent. 

Within a mile westerly are many lower outcrops of this syenite, rising 
10 to 20 feet above the average of the vicinity. Good locations for quarrying 
are reported on the S. E. Y^ of section 19, and in the Avest half of this section. 

The red syenite continues from the ledges in sections 29 and 20 to the 
N. W. 14 of the S. W. I/4 of section 17, where excellent quarrying stone is 
found. A few years ago a block of this red syenite was obtained for a monu- 
ment pedestal, which had been sought but could not be supplied (so reported) 
from the famous quarries of similar stone at Aberdeen, Scotland. The size 
of this block was 7 feet square by 2I/2 feet high, its weight being ten tons. It 
was cut and polished in St. Cloud, and was sold in Chicago for about $800. 
This quarry has been operated by the St. Cloud Granite Manufacturing Co., 
L. A. Evans, agent. 

Excellent localities for quarrying the same red syenite also occur within 
a half mile west and southwest from the last, in the S. E. I/4 of section 18 
and in the N. W. Y^ of section 19. Some of these localities also yield gray 
syenite and that which is gray, tinted reddish. 

Syenite outcrops in the N. W. % of section 17, at the northwest side of 
the road. Its extent is about fifteen by ten rods, and its height is some 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 17 

twenty feet above the adjoining lowlands and river, an eighth of a mile west, 
and eight feet above the road. This ledge exhibits some marks of water- 
wearing. A system of nearly vertical joints crosses it from north to south, 
varying from six inches to four feet apart; and other, less conspicuous and 
less numerous, extend from east to west. 

The only exposure of rock beside the Mississippi river in this county below 
the St. Cloud bridge, is about a half mile south of the State normal school. 
It is a coarse gray syenite, with joints ten to twenty feet apart, and forms 
small ledges five to ten feet above the river. 

Fifteen to twenty rods south from the west end of the Sauk Rapids 
bridge, is a ledge of porphyritic, gray syenite, consisting mostly of feldspar, 
with about a fourth part of quartz, and including some hornblende and rare 
grains of mica. It rises some five feet above the river, and is traversed by 
nearly vertical joints one to eight feet apart. It has been slightly quarried. 

Le Saiik. In this township, situated next north of St. Cloud, these crystal- 
line rocks are exposed upon the lowest mile of Watab river, and at several 
places within three miles thence north-northwest. The gristmill and its dam, 
owned by J. B. Sartell & Sons, on the Watab river about a third of a mile 
above its mouth, are founded on gray syenite. This is exposed to view only 
on the south side of the river, under the foundation of the north side of the 
mill, rising a few feet above the water of the flume below the dam. It was 
quarried for this mill, and is a desirable building stone. 

Mr. Sartell owns another quarry a half mile northwest from this mill, 
covering several acres and rising twenty feet above the general level. It 
is in or near the S. E. ^4 of section 17. This has a more reddish tint. Quarry- 
ing has been done here more or less during the past years, perhaps yielding 
quarried stone to the value of $1,000 in all, only for use in this vicinity. 

A third of a mile east of the last, in the south part of section 16, is another 
outcrop of rock, similar to that at the grist mill. This covers about two acres. 
It has a low smoothed surface, not much above the general level. 

Another ledge of similar syenite or granite is seen at the west side of the 
road, east of the north part of Clark lake, in the south half of section 8. This 
also covers ten acres or more, its height being about ten feet. 

On or near the east line of section 9, a rock-outcrop, said to be coarse- 
grained and of iron-rusty color, covers several acres and rises some fifty feet 
above the Mississippi river, which is ten or twenty rods farther east. 

Reddish fine-grained syenite has been somewhat quarried for local use, 
in or near the N. E. 1/4 of the N. E. 14 of section 7. Farther northwest, near 
the centre of section 6, similar rock has outcrops at many places along a dis- 
tance of about half a mile from east to west, not extending into St. "Wendel 
township. 

Brockway. A medium-grained, gray granite or syenite, containing 
garnets a fourth of an inch in diameter, is exposed on the N. W. I/4 of section 
33, in the southeast part of Brockway, about a quarter of a mile west from the 
road. It shows only a smooth flat surface, ten by fifteen feet in extent, not 
rising above the general level. 

Rock is also reported to occur in the west shore of the Mississippi river, 



18 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

about fifteen rods south from the northeast corner of this section 33. The 
rock is exposed also in the east bank and in the channel of the river, but its 
outcrops rise only two or three feet above extreme low water. This is about 
a mile north of the high hills of rock at the east side of the river Watab. 



CHAPTER II. 

BEFORE THE WHITES CAME. 

Nature's Paradise — Earliest Human Inhabitants — Era of the Eskimo — Reign 
of the Indian — Prehistoric Indians — Indian Tribes — Dakotas — Ojibways — 
Ojibway-Dakota Conflict — Social Organization of the Ojibway — Origin of 
the Names Sauk and Osakis in This Region — Winnebagoes — Life of the 
Indian — By P. M. Magnusson. 



Scientists tell us that in the glacial period this region was covered by the 
great ice sheet and then uncovered, not only once but several times. When 
for the last time the glacier receded, it left behind what became in a few years 
a wonderfully diversified and beautiful region. The realm of Stearns was 
and yet is where civilization has not changed it, stretches of gently rolling 
prairies in summer covered Avith grass and spangled with flowers ; park -like 
oak openings, verdant swells of land studded with a sparse growth of oaks; 
dense forests of maple, oak, elm, linden and birch ; poplar thickets and 
tamarack swamps, where every tree is of the same age and stands straight, 
even and orderly like a well disciplined army ; jungles of underbrush of hazel 
and dwarf beech, dwarf hickory, ironwood, alder, kinnikinic, as well as young 
trees of larger species, forming in some places almost as inpenetrable a mass 
as the famous jungles of the Amazon; and finally even in Stearns, here and 
there a little guard of conifers, mainly white pine, outposts of magnificent 
forests of evergreens to the northeast. And this varied landscape was flecked 
and ribboned and jeweled by many a stream of water and by the matchless 
blue and silver lakes of Minnesota. These waters, woods, and prairies fairly 
quivered with animal life. The most notable early animal was the mammoth. 
From remains found he seems to have been plentiful in Minnesota. Later the 
leader in animal life was the American bison, generally known as the buffalo. 

A country so bountiful and inviting to man, whether primitive or civilized, 
would remain uninhabited only while undiscovered. J. V. Brower, the dis- 
tinguished Minnesota archeologist, concludes from the finds he made of quartz 
artifacts near Little Falls, that man followed very close on the heels of the 
receding glacier. 

Most scholars are of the opinion that in all probability the first inhab- 
itants of the northern part of the United States were, or were closely related 
to, the Eskimo. While the data are very meager they all point that way. The 
Eskimos seem to have remained on the Atlantic seaboard as late as the arrival 
of the Scandinavian discoverers of the eleventh century, for their description 
of the aboringines whom they call "skralingar" (a term of contempt about 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 19 

equivalent to "ruBts") is much more consonant with the assumption that 
these were Eskimos than Indians. 

So we shall probably be right if we picture to ourselves the first Stearnites 
as a small yellowish-brown skin-clad race, slipping around nimbly and quietly 
in our woods and dells, subsisting mainly on fish, but also partly on the chase. 
Their homes were doubtless of the simplest description and their culture not 
above absolute savagery. Why did the Eskimo leave Minnesota and all 
temperate America and withdraw to the frozen fringe of the Arctic ocean? 
It can scarcely be maintained that he did it from free choice. Doubtless the 
stronger and fiercer Indian elbowed him out of this land of plenty, and to save 
himself and his babies from the ruthless war club and scalping knife of the 
treacherous red man the peace loving little yellow man withdrew to the barren 
but friendly shores of the Arctic seas. 

REIGN OF THE INDIAN. 

Prehistoric Indians. When the white man first saw Minnesota, the region 
of Stearns was inhabited by the Dakotas or Sioux. But there is evidence that 
these had had Indian predecessors. From this we may quite confidently con- 
clude that preceding the Dakotas there had inhabited Minnesota for long ages 
past several tribes of Indians, probably of Algonquin stock. 

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

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



20 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

were often very durable and comparatively comfortable and constructed of 
timber or earth or even stone. 

The Dakotas. As to how these stocks came originally into this territory, 
there is no certain knowledge but much uncertain speculation. Here we shall 
be content to start with the relatively late and tolerably probable event of 
their living together, in the eastern part of the United States some five 
centuries ago. Algonquians lived on the Atlantic slope, the Iroquois perhaps 
south of Lake Erie and Ontario, and the Siouans in the upper Ohio valley. 
Of the Siouan peoples we are interested in the main division of the Sioux, 
more properly the Dakota. Probably because of the pressure of the fierce 
and well organized Iroquois, the Sioux, perhaps about 1400 A. D., began 
slowly to descend the Ohio valley. Kentucky and the adjacent parts of Ohio, 
Indiana and Illinois were certainly at that time a primitive man's paradise, 
and the anabasis begun under compulsion was enthusiastically continued from 
choice. They reached the confluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi. Prob- 
ably here they first encountered the buffalo, or bison, in large numbers. The 
spirit of adventure and the pressure of an increasing population sent large 
bands up the Mississippi. When the Missouri was reached no doubt some 
followed that stream. Those who kept to the Mississippi were rewarded as 
they ascended the stream by coming into what was from the viewpoint of 
primitive man a richer country. Coming up into Minnesota a forest region 
was encountered soon after passing through beautiful Lake Pepin. Soon a 
"wakan," a spiritual mystery, blocked the way of the Dakota canoes. St. 
Anthony Falls, of which now scarce a remnant is left, thundered over its 
ledge among the leafy boskage of banks and islands. Slowly but surely up 
the stream pushed the Dakotas. Rum river was reached, and its friendly 
banks were doubtless for many seasons dotted with the Dakotas' tipis. But 
when the hunter-explorer's eyes first rested on the wide expanse of Mille 
Lacs, he rightly felt he had found a primitive paradise. M'dewakan, the lake 
of spiritual spell, soon became the site of perhaps the largest parmanent 
encampment or "city" of the Dakotas. The territory of Stearns was not 
overlooked by the spreading Dakotas. Whoever were their hviman predeces- 
sors, they fled before their presence to the north and west. Thus the skin or 
bark canoes of the Dakotas were soon the only watercrafts on our lakes and 
streams, and their owners were the only hunters on our soil. 

Stearns county lies in the western half of what was the most glorious 
hunting region in the world. In a zone extending north-northwest we have a 
series of beautiful lakes. The most southerly is the M'dewakan of the 
Dakotas, Mille Lacs, some twenty miles long, then Gull, Pelican, and White- 
fish lakes, each from eight to twelve miles long, magnificent sheets of water, 
small only in comparison with such giants as Leech lake, which comes next in 
the series. This body of water has as close neighbors, Cass, Winibigoshish, 
and Bemidji, lesser but still very large lakes. Continuing in the same direc- 
tion, we come to Red lake, the largest body of fresh water entirely in the 
United States. Some eighty miles further north we find the largest lake of 
the series, the Lake of the Woods. This zone is two or three hundred miles 
long and was, and to a great extent yet is, a magnificent natural park and 



HISTORY OP STEAENS COUNTY 21 

game preserve. Well watered and with every variety of surface, spangled with 
lakes and covered with forests of all kinds and combinations possible in this 
climate, with here and there a prairie thrown in for good measure, this indeed 
was the land of Seek-no-Further for the Indian. Of this region Stearns formed 
a part and a favored part. 

In this empire of forest, lake and streams, the Dakotas learned to be 
forest dwellers. Let us picture the life of the Dakotas in Stearns as it was, 
say at the time when the Pilgrim Fathers landed at Plymouth. The Dakotas 
dressed in skins and furs, tanned and prepared by the squaws, and sewed with 
bone needle and sinew thread. He lived then in the Stone Age. His arrow 
heads, axes, knifes and kelts were made of stone, preferably flint or quartz. 
His house in summer was the familiar tipi, and sometimes this was all he 
had even in winter. But more substantial houses of wood, stone and earth 
were not unknown. Such were often built for several families. 

The social structure of the Dakotas was the primitive tribal one, but of 
the simplest variety. Though many Siouan tribes have an elaborate tribal 
system, as for example the Omaha, the Dakota lived in bands of the loosest 
description. Chieftainship devolved on him who could grasp it. Marriage 
was prohibited only within close blood relationships. No totem system or 
true clan system obtained. War parties were made up by ambitious individ- 
uals very much the same as hunting parties are among us. 

The religious cult and cosmic notions of the Dakotas were essentially 
the same as those of other primitive people. They explained all strange, 
mysterious, powerful, beneficent or malevolent beings, objects, or events, by 
assuming that a spirit lived and expressed himself in each of them. Every 
lake, waterfall, tree, animal, cloud or eliif that excited their wonder, admira- 
tion, fear or awe, was "wakan," a term that can scarcely be translated by 
any one English word. It means mysterious, elfish, bewitched, spirit-possessed, 
having supernatural powers. These spirits-in-thin gs were conceived half as 
personal and half as impersonal. Like all primitive men they believed that 
these spirits could be controlled by magic. Some spoken formula, some sym- 
bolic ceremony, some charm or amulet was supposed to ward off evil influences 
or even secure active cooperation of spirit powers. 

The Ojibways. By far the most numerous of the Indian stocks referred 
to is, and was, the Algonquian. It occupied the Atlantic slope long before the 
coming of Columbus. When the French came to Canada they found these 
Indians in possession of the St. Lawrence up to Lake Ontario and of an 
indefinite region north of the Great Lakes. For centuries the Algonquian 
Indians worked their way westward, following the Great Lakes. The van- 
guard of the Algonquian host was the large and gifted tribes known as the 
Chippewas or Ojibways. Many were the sanguinary conflicts they had with 
the Iroquois, the "Nadowe," or "Adders," who possessed the sovith shore of 
Lake Erie and other regions. Farther west they came in contact with the 
Dakotas, whom they called the "Nadoweisiv" (the French wrote it Nadowes- 
sioux, from the last syllable of which we have Sioux) or "Little Adders," 
and some other Indian tribes, both Siouan and Algonquian, like the Sauks, 
Foxes, and Winnebagoes. Some three centuries ago we find them in full con- 



22 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

trol of both the south and north shore of Lake Superior. This is a region rich 
in iwr bearing animals, and very early in the seventeenth century the Indian 
hunter of the Great Lakes and the white fur trader discovered each other, 
and maintained ever afterwards a continuous trade relation. Fire arms, the 
iron kettle, the knife and hatchet of steel, and the blanket and calico were 
added from the white man's production to the red man's possessions. 

Early in the eighteenth century, so scholars believe, the Ojibways were 
in possession of even the western shores of Lake Superior, and hunted as far 
west as the St. Louis river could serve them as a highway. The Dakotas were 
in possession of the wonderful lake-and-river region we have described. The 
highway of this region was the Mississippi. Where the Mississippi in its great 
SAving eastward comes nearest to Lake Superior we find just east of the river 
a beautiful lake, called from its sandy beach, Sandy lake. The Savanna 
river empties into this lake, and from this river to the East Savanna river 
which empties into the St. Louis river, is the portage between the Mississippi 
and the Great lakes; and at Sandy lake, according to tradition, the two 
powerful tribes, the Dakota and the Ojibway, first met. 

The Ojibway-Dakota Conflict. It was a case of, not love, but hate and 
war at first sight. Though the boundless forest could easily have supported 
them both, grasping human nature would not permit peace. Still, we must 
not imagine that the war was uninterrupted. Periods of peace, or rather, 
truce abounded. The two tribes often hunted and gathered rice together. 
Yes, they even intermarried. But whenever a member of one tribe injured 
or killed a person belonging to the other, the tribal feud law, common among 
primitive peoples, and not extinct among the "mountain whites" of our own 
day and nation, demanded that the injured man's family and tribe take 
vengeance on the offender's kin. Thus two rival tribes found almost constant 
cause for war, as there was no lack of degenerate or careless people whose 
deeds of violence or guile must be revenged, in addition to tribal jealousy 
and rivalry over possession of hunting grounds. 

The Ojibways were the stronger. Slowly but surely they expelled the 
Dakotas from the great hunting zone of Minnesota. The great Dakota "city" 
at Mille Lacs fell into the hands of the Ojibway. J. V. Brower thinks the 
date was about 1750. All of the Mississippi region above Brainerd was in 
the hands of the Ojibways. Still they pressed southward. Stearns was for 
over a century in the frontier between the Dakotas and the Ojibways. An 
attempt was made by the treaty of Prairie du Chien in 1825 to stop the age- 
long feud between the Dakota and the Ojibway, and the United States, acting 
as a friendly conciliating and arbitrating power, got the hostile tribes to 
agree to a division of their territory. This "international" boundary line ran 
diagonally across Minnesota from the neighborhood of Marine, a few miles 
south of Tailors Falls on the St. Croix, in an irregular line to Georgetown on 
the Red river, the general direction being northwest. The portion of the 
boundary between the Dakota and the Ojibway, extending from Chippewa 
river to Otter tail lake, was surveyed in 1835 by S. A. Bean. The line enters 
Stearns where the Watab empties into the Mississippi, and according to treaty, 
follows this stream to its source ; but by this surveyor, according to Winchell 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 23 

in "The Aborgines of Minnesota," "the head of the Watab river was assumed 
to be a small lake located in the N. E. corner of T. 124 N., R. 30 W., which 
is in reality the head of a tributary to that stream, the actual main source of 
the river being a number of miles to the southwest." This lake chosen by 
the surveyor must be one of the lakes near St. John's college. From here the 
line runs almost parallel with the Great Northern main line, diverging, how- 
ever, slightly from it, so that the boundary crosses the western edge of the 
county some three or four miles from its northwest corner. North of this 
line we have Ojibway Stearns and south of it is Dakota Stearns. The Indians 
were never known to respect this line to any appreciable extent, but in all 
its subsequent treaties with the Indians, the United States government 
religiously recognized this line as divding the territorial rights of the "Sioux" 
and "Chippewa" "nations." 

In these raids of the two hostile tribes, the Mississippi was oftener than 
not the highway. Many a savage band of painted warriors have portaged 
their canoes through the site of St. Cloud to get past the Sauk rapids. Thus, 
about the time of the great French and Indian war, when the English and the 
French were killing each other in grand style on three continents, the 
Ojibways and the Dakotas imitated their civilized brethren as well as in their 
heathen darkness they could, but their slaughter was only a little retail affair 
in comparison. However, what they lacked in magnitude of slaughter they 
made up in ferocity and truly savage heartless cruelty. 

Let us trace briefly one series of attacks. Some time near the middle 
the eighteenth century a gay and powerful flotilla of Dakota canoes paddled 
up the river, and leaving it at the Crow Wing confluence, went to Leach 
lake and began a circuit of murder of women and children in the populous 
communities of Ojibways living on the great initial loop of the Mississippi. 
The expedition ended disastrously for the assailants, however, for in the battle 
of Crow river they were routed by their adversaries. As a result, the 
Dakotas thought best to evacuate the Rum river country and move their 
villages from that river to the Minnesota river. Doubtless they also left 
Stearns, for when a couple of years later Ojibway war parties floated down 
the Mississippi, they saw no signs of their hereditary enemy until they 
reached the Elk river. Later, however, the Dakotas seem to have returned 
to Stearns. But as this region was decidedly in the "Road of War" the 
Indian population ever afterwards, was more than ordinarily transitory. 

Fierce though the Ojibway certainly was, his reputation for ferocity did 
not equal that of the Sioux or Dakota. The Ojibway is credited with more 
generosity and less treachery than his hereditary enemy, though it must be 
confessed that in their struggles with one another the honors are about equal 
in reference to cruelty and treachery. But in their relations to the whites, 
while the Ojibways uniformly were friendly to the whites and never engaged 
in any war with them, the Dakotas were the most implacable enemy of the 
paleface and made no permanent peace with civilized man until they were 
utterly crushed. 

Social Organization of the Ojibway. The tribal polity of the Ojibway 
was somewhat more advanced than that of the Dakota. They had a fully 



24 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

developed totemie system. The totem was generally that of an animal, as the 
bear, crane or wolf. The "spirit" of the animal was supposed to be the 
guardian spirit of the clan or phratry of that name. These communal totems 
should not be confused with the individual totems which Indians often assume, 
generally after a revelation obtained by fasting and prayer. The clan, or 
phratry totem, on the other hand, descends among the Ojibway as relation- 
ship does with us, in the male line. We may notice that on the contrary it 
descends in the female line among the Iroquois. Among the Ojibway when 
tribal traditions are strictly observed, persons belonging to the same totemie 
phratry are not allowed to intermarry. 

The Ojibways have a highly developed mystic and religious lore. The 
shamans of the tribe seem to know as much about clairvoyance, telepathy and 
trance revelations as civilized man — which, perhaps after all, is not saying 
much. The Medawe rite partakes much of the nature of a secret fraternal 
society, though the mystic nature is most prominent. 

Origin of the Names Sauk and Osakis in This Region. Our principal 
"inland" river is named Sauk, the rapids at its confluence with the Mississippi 
and the town located by those rapids are called Sauk Rapids, and the lake 
from which the river rises is Osakis. This seems very puzzling, as the Sauk 
(Sac or Osakis) Indian tribe never dwelt within two hundred miles of 
Stearns. 

Judge L. W. Collins contributed a paper on this subject to the 1897 meet- 
ing of the Stearns County Old Settlers Association, from which the following 
is quoted: 

"Among the Sioux the tradition is that both river and lake were called 
O-za-te, which in their language means the fork of a stream or road. Although 
this tradition is not very well authenticated its truth may rest on a solid 
foundation, as you will discover when you compare the pronounciation of this 
word with that by which the lake and river have always been known to the 
Chippewas. Assisted by the late H. P. Beaulieu, one of the best Chippewa 
interpreters, I learned from Kay-zhe-aush, Key-she-by-aush and Zhe-bing-o- 
goon, patriarchs among the Leach lake band, that the river was never known 
to the Chippewas by any other name than the 0-zau-gee, while the lake was 
O-zau-gee lake, the fact being that after the Sioux were compelled to 
remove their habitation from that part of the Mississippi valley north of the 
Rum river, and while the country was still debatable territory as between the 
Sioux and the Chippewas and the scene of many a conflict, five Sacs, refugees 
from their own tribe on account of murder which they had committed, made 
their way up to the lake and settled near the outlet upon the east side. Three 
had wives of their own people, but the other two ultimately took wives of the 
Fondulac band of Chippewas. The men were great hunters and traded at the 
post of the North Western Fur Company, located on the lower Leaf lake, about 
six miles east of the eastern extremity of Otter Tail lake. This post was visited 
by bands of Sioux and Chippewas, and the traders were frequently entertained 
by deadly conflicts among their visitors. * * * 

"The Sacs Indians were known to the Chippewas as 0-zau-kees. * * * 

"On one of the excursions made by some of the Pillager bands of Chip- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 25 

pewas to the asylum of the 0-zau-kees, it was found that all had been killed, 
supposedly by the Sioux. * * *" 

The Winnebagoes. Another tribe of the Siouan stock was introduced into 
the territory of Stearns by the white man — the Winnebagoes. This once 
powerful Wisconsin tribe had for some years been knocked from pillar to post 
by treaties and sale of land to the Federal government. In 1846 they were 
induced to accept a reservation of 800,000 acres in Minnesota west of the 
Mississippi between the Long Prairie and Watab rivers. Hence this reserva- 
tion covered a considerable part of northern Stearns. With a great deal of 
trouble the tribe was finally removed to the reservation in the summer of 1848. 
That is, through the instrumentality of Henry M. Rice, who afterwards became 
one of the two first United States senators from Minnesota, the greater part 
of the tribe was located in the reservation for a few years. Indians and whites 
seem to have conspired to antagonize the Winnebagoes against their new home. 
Many left the tribe before they arrived here, and many deserted later. In 1855 
a new reservation, one in southern Minnesota, was found for the Winnebagoes, 
and thither they were removed. 

The Life of the Indian. Here may be the proper place to notice the great 
and sad change which has come over the life of the Indian since the far-off 
days of which we have spoken. The life of the red barbarian before he came 
in contact with civilization, and even later when he got no more from the 
whites than his gun, knife, kettle, and blanket, was, though primitive, poor 
and coarse, still not mean and base. The Indian was healthy and sound in 
body and mind, and true and loyal to his standards of morality. To be sure, 
his standards were not our standards, and we rightly consider them crude 
and low ; but as they were the best the Indian knew, his fidelity to his moral 
code is worthy of all honor. 

But evil days came for the simple child of the forest, when as scum on 
the advancing frontier wave of civilization came the firewater, the vices and 
the diseases of civilized man. Neither his physical nor his spiritual organiza- 
tion is prepared to withstand these powerful evils of a stronger race, and the 
primitive red man has often, perhaps generally, been reduced to a pitiful para- 
site on the civilized commiinity, infested with the diseases, the vermin and the 
vices of the white man and living in a degradation and squalor that only 
civilization can furnish. 

Happily, of late there has been a turn for the better. Christian mission- 
aries have since the white man first came, been a power for good among the 
Indians. They have educated not only the Indians, but also the whites upon 
the Indian question. Now substantial improvements testify that the mission- 
aries have been heard. Our national policy towards the Indian has almost 
always been liberal, but generally in the past shortsighted, and with shame we 
must confess that this liberal policy has in the past been — not to use a stronger 
word — very indifferently executed. But here the reform has been very 
marked. It is probably not too much to say that wisdom and efficiency are 
today the almost universal attributes of government administration of Indian 
affairs. And the results are encouraging. The census seems to indicate that 
the Indian is no longer a vanishing race. Steady and considerable progress 
is made in his civilization, and his physical condition is improving. 



26 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

CHAPTER m. 

COMING OF THE WHITES. 

Groseilliers and Radisson — Le Sueur and Charleville — Fur Traders and 
Explorers — Zebulon M. Pike — His Account of Passing Stearns County — 
Lewis Cass — Expedition of 1832 — J. N. Nicollet — Tide of Civilization 
Begins — By P. M. Magnusson. 

Groseilliers and Radisson. The meager accounts which these two explorers 
have left of their two expeditions which are supposed to have penetrated into 
Minnesota, are capable of more than one interpretation. Prof. Winchell's 
interpretation seems to recommend itself best, and according to this, Groseilliers 
and Radisson, the first known white explorers of Minnesota, entered it near 
the southeast corner, and proceeded up the Mississippi through Lake 
Pepin to Prairie Island. Here the French explorers and the Indians that 
accompanied them, together with other Indians, spent the year 1655-1656. Thus 
when Cromwell ruled Great Britain and Ireland, when the Puritan theocracy 
was at the height of its glory in New England, and when the great emigration 
of Cavaliers was still going on to Virginia, Minnesota saw its first white man — 
unless indeed the Scandinavians visited this region centuries before, as the 
Kensington Stone avers. 

About New Years, 1660, if we may trust Radisson 's narration and its 
interpretation, our two "Frenchmen" are again in Minnesota. Traveling 
■with a big band of Indians, they passed a severe January and February, with 
attendant famine, probably (according to Prof. Winchell) at Knife lake, Kana- 
bec county. According to Hon. J. V. Brower (in his monograph "Kathio," 
1901) the lake was called Knife lake and the Dakota tribe of this region the 
Knife tribe (Issanti) because early that spring deputations of Dakotas came 
to the encampment and here for the first time procured steel knives from the 
white men and from the Indian band that was with them. Until this time the 
Stone Age had ruled supreme in the realm of Stearns, but now we may well 

'suppose that within a short time many an enterprising brave cherished as his 
most precious possession one of these magic knives that cut like a stroke of 
lightning. Very soon after meeting these Dakotas at Knife lake, Groseillier 
and Radisson went to the great Dakota village at Mille Lacs, and were there 
received with every mark of friendship and respect. 

Now follows the story of a seven days' trip to the prairie home of the 
"nation of the Boefe" (buffalo), that is to say, the Dakotas living farther west 
and south. To me this story seems likely to be fiction, but if it is true, there 
is a fair chance that it was to Stearns the journey went. This was the nearest 

"and most accessible buffalo country from Mille Lacs. So it is possible that 
these two Frenchmen were the first white men to tread Stearns' soil. But the 
supposition favored by Winchell is that they went due south. However that 
may be, it is certain that with Groseillier and Radisson the first glimmer of 
European civilization reached Stearns. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 27 

Le Sueur and Charleville. Di". Warren Upham, Secretary of the Minnesota 
State Historical Society, in a letter to the author says: "Doubtless numerous 
French and British fur traders and explorers had voyaged along your part 
of the Mississippi many times during more than a century preceding the 
expedition of Pike, whose narrative journal is our first detailed record of 
travel on that part of our great river. Probably the earliest explorers were 
Le Sueur and Charleville, about the year 1690 or earlier. They made a canoe 
voyage far up the Mississippi, probably, as Brower and Hill have supposed, 
to a northern limit at the outlet of Sandy lake." 

In his excellent and monumental work, "Minnesota in Three Centuries," 
in Vol. I., pp. 253-4, Upham says: "Brower and Hill" come to the conclusion 
that on the Mississippi at the outlet of Sandy lake ' ' a village of Sioux doubtless 
then existed, as it has also been during the last century or longer the site of 
an Ojibway village. The estimates noted, that the distance traveled above the 
Falls of St. Anthony was about a hundred French leagues, and that an equal 
distance of the river's course still separated the voyageurs from its sources, 
agree very closely with the accurate measurements now made by exact surveys, 
if Le Sueur's journey ended at Sandy lake. 

"Very probably Charleville, whose narration of a similar early expedition 
of a hundred leagues on the part of the Mississippi above these falls is pre- 
served by Du Pratz in his 'History of Louisiana,' was a companion of Le Sueur, 
so that the two accounts relate to the same canoe trip. Charleville said that 
he was accompanied by two Canadian Frenchmen and two Indians; and it is 
remarkable that Charleville, like Le Sueur, was a relative of the brothers 
Iberville and Bienville, who afterwards were governors of Louisiana." 

Zebulon Montgomery Pike. During the century and a half from 1655 to 
1805 Minnesota was explored by a number of white ti*avelers, some of whom 
left a record of their wanderings, but besides Le Sueur and Charleville only a 
few fur traders seem to have visited Stearns. The Indians here, however, 
were steady customers of the white traders, and as a result firearms had partly 
taken the place of the bow and arrow, the iron kettle of the earthen pot, the 
steel of the stone knife and tomahawk, and the blanket and strouds of the 
skin garments. 

Immediately after the territory west of the Mississippi was acquired by 
the United States, the government took steps to acquaint us with our new 
domain. The Lewis and Clark expedition is the most famous of these under- 
takings. In 1805 Lieut. Zebulon Montgomery Pike, whom Upham justly calls 
"one of the grandest and most beloved heroes in the early history of our 
country," was sent to explore the headwaters of the Mississippi. Both in 
going and returning. Pike traveled on the river along the boundary of Stearns. 
Hon. Warren Upham has furnished us with the following annotated extract 
from Lieut. Pike's journal: 

9th Oct., Wednesday. Embarked early ; wind ahead ; barrens and prairie. 
Killed one deer and four pheasants. Distance 3 miles. 

10th Oct., Thursday. Came to large islands and strong water early in the 
morning. Passed the place at which Mr. Reinville and Mons. Perlier wintered 
in 1797 ; passed a cluster of islands, more than 20 in the course of four miles ; 



28 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

these I called Beaver islands from the immense signs of those animals, for they 
have dams on every island and roads from them every two or three rods. 
I w^ould here attempt a description of this animal, and its wonderful system 
of architecture, was not the subject already exhausted by the numerous trav- 
elers who have written on this subject. Encamped at the foot of the Grand 
Rapids. Killed two geese, five ducks, and two pheasants. Distance I6I/2 miles. 

11th Oct., Friday. Both boats passed the worst of the rapids by eleven 
o'clock, but we were obliged to wade and lift them over rocks, where there 
was not a foot of water, when at times the next step would be in water over 
our heads. In consequence of this, our boats were frequently in imminent 
danger of being bilged on the rocks. About 5 miles above the rapids, our 
large boat was discovered to leak so fast as to render it necessary to unload 
her, which we did. Stopped the leak and reloaded. Near a war encampment, 
I found a painted buckskin and a piece of scarlet cloth, suspended by the 
limb of a tree ; this I supposed to be a sacrifice to Matcho Manitou, to render 
their enterprise successful; but I took the liberty to invade the rights of his 
diabolic majesty, by treating them, as the priests of old have often done, that 
is, converting the sacrifice to my own use. Killed only two ducks. Distance 
eight miles. 

12th Oct., Saturday. Hard ripples in the morning. Passed a narrow, 
rocky place, after which we had good water. Our large boat again sprung a 
leak, and we were obliged to encamp early and unload. Killed one deer, one 
wolf, two geese and two ducks. Distance 12^2 miles. 

13th Oct., Sunday. Embarked early and came on well. Passed a hand- 
some river on the east which we named Clear river; water good. Killed one 
deer, one beaver, two minks, two geese, and one duck. Fair wind. Discovered 
the first buffalo signs. Distance 29 miles. 

Notes by Mr. Upham: 

"In the larger edition of Pike's Journal by Dr. Elliot Coues, in three 
volumes, 1895, reprinting the edition of 1810 with addition of many geographic 
and other notes, the journal above quoted, for October 9-13, comes on pages 
99-102 in Vol. I. 

"Dr. Coues identifies the camping place for the night of October 9 as 
'between Plum creek and St. Augusta.' The winter trading post of the well- 
known French fur trader, Joseph Renville, was between that camp and St. 
Cloud's 'Thousand islands,' which Pike named Beaver islands. The Sauk 
rapids were called Grand rapids. The 'narrow rocky place' passed October 12 
was Watab rapids ; and the stream mentioned on October 13 and named Clear 
river by Pike is the Platte river tributary to the Mississippi river from the 
east, opposite to the northeast corner of Stearns county. 

"On the descent of the Mississippi, in 1806, Pike left his wintering place 
near Pike rapids, on the morning of Monday, April 7. He passed by Stearns 
county on Monday and Wednesday, having stopped through Tuesday at the 
trading post of Dicksom and Paulier, where Renveille and Perlier had traded 
in the winter of 1797, as was noted in the journal of October 10. The names 
Paulier and Perlier are supposed to refer to the same person, a partner or 
agent of the prominent British fur trader, Robert Dickson. 



HISTOKY OF STEAENS COUNTY 29 

"The part of the journal relating the downward voyage along the 
boundary of Stearns county, in pages 89 and 90 of the original edition in 1810, 
is as follows : 

" '7th April, Monday. Loaded our boats and departed forty minutes past 
ten o'clock. At one o'clock arrived at Clear river, where we found my canoe 
and men. Although I had partly promised the Fols Avoin (Menomonee) 
chief to remain one night, yet time was too precious, and we put off; passed 
the Grand rapids and arrived at Mr. Dickson's just before sundown; we were 
saluted with three rounds. At night he treated all my men with supper and 
dram. Mr. Dickson, Mr. Paulier and myself sat up until four o'clock in the 
morning. 

" '8th April, Tuesday. Were obliged to remain this day on account of 
some information to be obtained here. I spent the day in making a rough 
chart of St. Peters, making notes on the Sioux, etc., settling the affairs of the 
Indian Department with Mr. Dickson, for whose communications, and those 
of Mr. Paulier, I am infinitely indebted. Made every necessary preparation 
for an early embarkation. 

" '9th April, Wednesday. Kose early in the morning and commenced my 
arrangements. Having observed two Indians drunk during the night, and 
finding upon inquiry that the liquor had been furnished by a Mr. Greignor or 
Jennesse, I sent my interpreter to them to request they would not sell any 
strong liquor to the Indians, upon which Mr. Jennesse demanded the restric- 
tions in writing, which were given to him. On demanding his license, it 
amounted to no more than merely a certificate that he had paid the tax 
required by a law of the Indian territory, on all retailers of merchandise, but 
it was by no means an Indian license. However, I did not think proper to go 
into a more close investigation. Last night was* so cold that the water was 
covered with floating cakes of ice, of a strong consistence. After receiving 
every mark of attention from Messrs. Dickson and Paulier, I took my 
departure, at 8 o'clock.' " 

What an interesting glimpse this journal gives us into the life of man 
and nature in Stearns a hundred and more year ago ! The I'iver we recognize 
as very much the same as today, but unfettered by dams. What a hunter's 
paradise this region was! Ducks, geese, mink, wolf, beaver, deer, pheasants 
were picked up by the voyageurs along the river apparently without going 
out of their way. We notice the hospitality of the frontier. Indians and 
traders vie with one another in entertaining the traveler and keeping him as 
long as possible. Down by the river a few miles below St. Cloud, the gallant 
lieutenant, the canny Scotch trader and the affable French frontiersman spent 
a companionable evening together, one to be long remembered in each of their 
lives. The spring night was almost gone and the east showed ruddy when they 
bade each other good night. We may be sure that they all three enjoyed the 
prospect of having the whole next day together. 

Lewis Cass. While territorial governor of Michigan, Governor Lewis 
Cass, who was later to become one of the most noted statesmen of the period 
just before the Civil War, went on an expedition of exploration into the 
remotest parts of the great domain of which he was governor, in search of 



30 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

the sources of the Mississippi. On his return from his visit to the lakes near 
the source of the Mississippi, he made use of the Mississippi highway and 
passed the site of St. Cloud on July 29, 1820. Henry R. Schoolcraft, the 
scholarly frontiersman, was in the party. These two, together with about a 
dozen more white men and perhaps twice as many Indians, viewed on that 
day on their right hand the bosky shores of the Mississippi in Stearns. 

The Expedition of 1832. When Cass became Secretary of War, he had 
an expedition dispatched to explore further the source country of the Missis- 
sippi. In this expedition we find Schoolcraft and the Rev. W. T. Boutwell, a 
missionary who acted as interpreter. It was during this trip that Lake Itasca 
received its name from the Latin words Veritas and caput, properly decapitated 
and "detailed," as we are informed by Mr. Boutwell. This party, too, passed 
along Stearns' eastern boundary on its return trip at about the same time of 
the year as on the former occasion. 

J. N. Nicollet. In his exploration trip in 1838, both on his up and down 
trip on the Mississippi, Nicollet passed the realm of Stearns. He drafted, 
as a fruit of his expedition, by far the best map that had as yet been produced 
of this region. On this map we find the Sauk rapids as "the second rapids" 
and Sauk river under the name of Osakis river. The group of islands below 
St. Cloud are also indicated, and Clearwater river and Watab creek appear 
under these names. 

The Frontier of Civilization. Though Stearns borders the greatest water- 
way in Minnesota, it was not until relatively late that this rich domain 
attracted settlers. This was partly due to the fact that Stearns is west of the 
river, and to a surprisingly late date the superstition obtained that the Missis- 
sippi ought to be the western boundary of civilization ; bvit mostly to the fact 
that though the Mississippi is the greatest natural highway through Minnesota, 
historically it played a very secondary part in the white man's coming to 
Minnesota. The rich Indian country centering around Leech lake was tapped 
by the Lake Superior-Sandy lake route. The outlet of the Mille Lacs region 
was the Rum river. 

But the tide of civilization was setting hitherward slowly but irresistibly. 
At the time our story closes, 1849, the Indian trader, the trapper and the 
hunter had discovered and taken possession of the realm of Stearns, and the 
agricultural pioneer was ready to transform the region in a decade. 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 31 

CHAPTER IV. 

CHANGES IN SOVEREIGNTY. 

European Monarchs Who Have Ruled Over Stearns County — State and County 
Affiliations — In the Columbian Empire of Spain — In French Louisiana — 
Again Spanish — Once More French — Under the Stars and Stripes — By 
P. M. Magnusson. 

In the Columbian Empire of Spain. Stearns, all Minnesota, the whole of 
the United States, yes, all of the Western Hemisphere, was included in the 
truly imperial domains claimed by the crown (or rather crowns) of Spain by 
virtue of the discovery of Columbus. As the then inhabitants of Stearns and 
the government of Spain were mutually sublimely unconscious of each other, 
a mere mention of the theoretic sovereignty will suffice. 

In French Louisiana. The world has never known any more intrepid 
and indefatigable explorers and pioneers than the French. When La Salle on 
April 9, 1682, at the mouth of the Mississippi took possession for the King of 
France of all the territory drained by the great river, Stearns passed tech- 
nically from the sovereignty of his Catholic Majesty, the King of Spain, into 
the realm of his Most Christian Majesty, Louis XIV, King of France. Stearns 
was now part of Louisiana, as this vast Mississippi region was called in honor 
of the king. To be sure, the French had already claimed this land under the 
proclamation of Sieur de St. Lusson in 1671 at Sault de St. Marie, since there 
he claimed for the king not only the region drained by the Great Lakes, but 
also "all the countries * * * adjacent thereto * * * bounded by the 
seas, north, west, and south. ' ' As Stearns does not drain into the Great Lakes, 
it comes under this last clause. But this is rather too sweeping a claim even 
to be considered valid by the easy customs of that day. The French did more, 
however, than merely take formal possession of it after discovery. At once, 
with an energy that is astonishing, they took actual possession of these vast 
regions and entered into the life of their newly acquired subjects. As traders, 
as explorers, as missionaries, as settlers, they radiated their influence through 
the vast wilderness from one end to the other. Unfortunately for them, their 
number was altogether inadequate for making French civilization permanent. 
But even the wild hunter in Stearns soon felt the influence of the French. 
He found a market for his furs, had a steel knife, and the boom of the flintlock 
was heard in the land. 

Hence the modern inhabitants of Stearns may extract all the nurture for 
pride that we can from the fact that we may count le Grand Monarque, Louis 
XrV, and Louis XV, "the well beloved," as sovereigns of Stearns. 

Again Spanish. In 1762, after just one hundred years of formal posses- 
sion, France ceded all of her territory west of the Mississippi by a secret treaty 
to Spain. This was probably a precaution to keep it out of the hands of the 
English, who were then victorious in the war known to us as the ' ' French and 
Indian War" and in European history as the "Seven Years' War." The next 



32 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

year France ceded practically all of her territory east of the Mississippi to 
England. Hence Stearns became Spanish while right across the river, Benton 
and Sherburne became English. The Mississippi river became an international 
boundary, and divided the territories of His Catholic Majesty, the King of 
Spain, from His Britannic Majesty, Defender of the Faith. The main part 
of St. Cloud stands on territory tvpice Spanish and twice French, while East 
St. Cloud is located on what was once British soil after having been a part of 
the dominion of France and earlier of Spain. The Spanish monarchs of Stearns 
were Charles III and Charles IV, while across the river ruled George III, 
King of Great Britain and Ireland. 

However, while the political sovereignty was Spanish, what little civilizing 
influences and white man's products came to Stearns were, as before, French, 
whether it was blankets, gunpowder, whiskey or Christianity. These things 
came, to be sure, mostly from British territory and had the British stamp of 
origin, but the traders were the same as before, or their sons, hence French 
or French halfbreeds. 

Slowly, however, British capital and enterprise began to penetrate Minne- 
sota, the eastern part of which was the 'ultima thule" of British North 
America. The British fur trader came and after a while these traders in 
1787 formed the Northwest Company. Though Stearns was never British soil, 
its fur trade went to the British. 

Meanwhile, by the treaty of Paris of 1783, the territory east of the 
Mississippi was ceded by Great Britain to the United States. Thus in St. 
Cloud we are in the original United States when on the east side of the river. 
This territory was claimed by the state of Virginia until it was ceded by that 
state and became a part of the Northwest Territory in 1787. This territory 
was established by the Congress under the Confederation out of land ceded by 
several of the states. It was bounded by the Ohio and the Mississippi rivers, 
Pennsylvania, the Great Lakes, and the British dominions. 

Very little effect did these mighty political mutations have on the life 
of the Stearnites of those days. East of the river, Virginia succeeded Great 
Britain as the rightful wielder of the police power, and Virginia was followed 
by the Northwest Territory; the Continental Congress, or to use the less 
common but correct designation, the Congress of the Confederation, followed 
George III as chief executive, and Congress was succeeded by Washington and 
John Adams, but it is safe to say that of all this the Dakota and Ojibway 
inhabitants of Stearns knew nothing. They themselves were engaged in an 
internecine war over this very territory and they would doubtless have been 
very much surprised to hear that the land was lost to both of them. 

The British, in spite of treaties, kept possession of the fur trade practically 
unmolested till the day of young Lieutenant Pike. Hence, as far as the dusky 
Stearnite was concerned, the only change in his "foreign relations" during 
the forty years following the cession to Spain (1762) was that when he went 
to Sandy Lake or Prairie du Chien to sell his pelts, buy his powder and lead, 
and get his annual spree on firewater, he found towards the end of the period 
a greater and greater sprinkling of British traders among the familiar French. 
Thus he found a Warren among the Cadottes and he may have chanced upon 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 33 

Captain Jonathan Carver or one of the Ponds. But even at the end of the 
period the "eoureur de bois" were on the whole as French as their name and 
as Indian as their complexion — that of "bois brule." 

Once More French. By the secret treaty of San Ildefonso, March 13, 
1801, Stearns together with the rest of Spanish Louisiana became once more 
French. Since 1762 great changes had taken place in France. The monarchy 
was overturned, the king and queen executed, and France transformed into 
a radical republic by the great revolution. Now the revolution had spent 
itself, the rule of the visionary and the lawyer was over, and the dominion 
of the Man on Horseback had come. Napoleon, at once the free choice of a 
free people and an absolute ruler, sat in France in the seat of the mighty and 
ruled as First Consul nominally, but really as the absolute sovereign of France. 

American writers, naturally getting their knowledge mostly through the 
English language, and hence from English historians, have pretty generally 
adopted the English prejudice against Napoleon. It is quite natural, I had 
almost said proper, for an Englishman to be prejudiced against Napoleon. 
He was the arch enemy of England. But for Americans to follow blindly the 
historical prejudices of the English just because they read more English than 
anything else, does not show much critical acumen or breadth of mind. One 
of their superstitions is that Napoleon "by thinly veiled military coercion" 
made himself master of France. Nothing could be farther from the truth. 
Napoleon was the idol of the French masses from the day he proved to them 
his great military genius until his death. This is shown clearly by his return 
from Elba. Without any military power he landed on French soil. A thor- 
oughly organized government had all the resources of France at its command, 
and still he won France without striking a blow. If any government ever 
governed "by the consent of those governed" it was that of the First Consul 
Bonaparte and Emperor Napoleon. So great, so dear a place had he in the 
hearts of the French people that a generation after his death his nephew 
was the practically unanimous choice of the French people for emperor, 
almost exclusively because of the love and admiration for his great uncle. 
It is true that the theorizers and the doctrinaires believed in the revolution 
and the republic, but they were a small minority, as we say in mathematics, 
a negligible quantity. 

It is well to remember that the French Revolution was engineered and 
"put throi;gh" by a very few fanatical theorists with the help of the Paris 
mob ; and that never for a day even had the republic been favored by the 
French millions. Not until the eighteen-eighties was there a truly "stay-so" 
republican majority in France. 

Far from having his whole career planned when he started his Italian 
campaign, as so many historians seem to take for granted, Napoleon, like the 
rest of us, had many plans that failed. It scarcely admits of a doubt that his 
personal aim with his Egyptian campaign was to outrival Alexander and 
found a mighty oriental empire into which, like Alexander, he then was to 
introduce European civilization. That dream was doomed to speedy disil- 
lusion; but he snatched victory from defeat and made himself First Consul 
of France. But even Napoleon could scarcely have dared to hope in 1799 that 



34 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

it -would be possible to transform revolutionary France into an empire and 
an empire that was to dominate Europe. So he made haste and acquired 
from Spain territory for an American empire. Louisiana together with Haiti 
and perhaps all the rest of the West Indies would, when developed, have made 
a splendid empire. Nor need we suppose that he intended to stop with this 
territory. The western hemisphere had limitless possibilities for territorial 
expansion. But here again he met failure. The Haitian revolution, led by 
Touissant L 'Overture, the Negro Washington, was finally quelled by the 
French, but it was a bad beginning for empire-building. Besides, he began to 
see possibilities looming up in Europe far outshining his American dream. 
Therefore, with that swift certainty in execution which marked his genius, 
he reversed his plans and when the American envoys asked for New Orleans, 
he sold them the whole magnificent empire of Louisiana. 

During the Spanish period Stearns had belonged to Upper Louisiana and 
had been governed by a lieutenant governor residing in St. Louis. Napoleon 
sold Louisiana before he took possession of it, so our connection with the 
Napoleonic autocracy is reasonably slim. For one day only, March 10, 1804, 
did a representative of Napoleon's government exercise sovereignment over 
Upper Louisiana at St. Louis, and that only in order to turn over the country 
formally to the United States. 

Under the Stars and Stripes. Finally the sovereignty over Stearns had 
been settled and settled right and to stay. Stearns was now in the American 
territory of Louisiana. In 1805 Stearns became a part of the new territory 
of Missouri, which included approximately what had been Upper Louisiana 
with the Spaniards. From 1820, when Missouri was admitted to the Union 
as a state, to 1834 Steams and all territory north of Missouri and west of the 
great river was without any organized government. It was the Indians' 
country, -supposed to be valueless for civilization. In 1834 as a makeshift to 
provide for the needs of the pioneers that in spite of sage advice from the 
wiseacres who knew that the great American desert began just across the 
riVer, still persisted in settling there and raising bumper crops, this territory 
was annexed for governmental purposes to the territory organized east of the 
river, Michigan. Then Stearns was in Crawford county, Michigan. In 1836 
Stearns became a part of Crawford coimty, Wisconsin. In 1838 Stearns came 
into the territory of Iowa. When Iowa in 1846 was admitted as a state into 
the Union, a bill was introduced to organize the territory north of Iowa. The 
names Chippewa, Jackson, and Itasca were suggested together with Minesota 
and Minnesota as the name of the new territory. We should remember with 
thankful admiration the good taste of the Fathers in finally choosing our 
present beautiful name — Minnesota. This year the bill failed, however, of 
passage, because Congress quite naturally considered it unnecessary to erect 
a territorial government for a country that did not contain over 600 white 
inhabitants. 

But two years later a bill was introduced for organizing the territory of 
Minnesota. Its western boundary was the Missouri river, so it was almost 
twice as large in territory as the state is today. Early in 1849 the bill was 
passed and in the spring of the same year our first territorial government was 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 35 

organized under Governor Ramsey. In the census taken that year by the 
territorial government, they were able by careful search and counting the 
317 soldiers at Fort Snelling to record 4,780 inhabitants in Minnesota. 

It certainly would be hard to find, even in the most historic corners of 
Europe, a piece of territory with a political history having more varied muta- 
tions of sovereignty than our county of Stearns. Denoting this territory by 
the pronoun we, it may be said that we have been twice Spanish, twice French, 
and as Americans we have been in Louisiana, Missouri, Michigan, Wisconsin, 
and Iowa before we bore the name of Minnesota. For a long time we were a 
mark or "palatinate" country, being situated on an international boundary. 
Where I sit now in the city of St. Cloud on the west side of the river, I can 
look out of the window and see land across the Mississippi which was English 
or United States when we were French or Spanish, and which as American 
territory has been Virginia, the Northwest Territory, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan 
and Wisconsin. 

Before and partly contemporaneously with the white man's rule there 
were on both sides of the river the Indian dominions stretching back in an 
illimitable vista into the unknown past. Of this history we know only the 
tradition of a few generations back, of the rivalry of the mighty Indian tribes, 
the Dakota and the Ojibway. 

1441172 

CHAPTER V. 

INDIAN TREATIES. 

Treatment of the Indian — Treaty of 1785 — Dakota Treaty of 1837 — Chippewa 
Treaty of 1847 — Treaty of Traverse de Sioux — Treaty of Mendota — Other 
Indian Treaties — Rei^ of the Red Men Ends and the Comity of Steams 
Is Opened to Settlement — By P. M. Magnusson. 

It is fashionable to be very much scandalized and to stand pharisaically 
aghast at the unconscionable way in which the Indian has been treated by our 
government. For the record shows that from the purchase of Manhattan 
island to our day, the Indian has been induced to sell lands of imperial value 
for sums that in comparison are beggarly. But this criticism shows to what 
ridiculous lengths an abstract theory may lead the uncritical. 

True, the Indian sold lands now worth a hundred dollars per acre, or 
even per front foot, for a fraction of a cent per acre ; but consider first how 
much the land was Avorth to the Indian. Is it not the white man and his 
civilization that have given the land its present value? And what title did 
the Indian have to the land ? Why should the Indian be considered the owner 
of the land just because he occupied it first? One would judge that by the 
highest ethical standards the superior civilization has the right to the land. 

But our government wisely and liberally decided to pay the Indian for 
his land, and always to secure his formal consent to its occupation by the 
whites. Millions of dollars have been paid to the Indians for the land on 



36 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

which they scalped each other, and it is safe to say that if the Indians had 
used wisely what our government has paid them, every man, woman and child 
of the race would today be well-to-do. 

But, unfortunately, while the theory of our government has been wise 
and liberal, its execution, while liberal, has been far from wise. The Indian 
has been treated as a contractual equal, and the simple child of nature has 
been given fortunes which he could not care for. Many are the stories of 
how the day after an apportionment had been received by the Indians, one 
could see elegant carriages, furniture fit for a palace, and even pianos moving 
into the wilderness accompanied by their dusky owners on the way to their 
teepees. And this was the relatively innocent way in which they parted with 
their fortune. Much, perhaps most, was spent for firewater, or under its 
influence gambled away. Incompetent and dishonest Indian agents also 
cheated the Indian and allowed him to be cheated by traders and speculators. 

But during the last quarter of the nineteenth century our Indian service 
and our methods of dealing with the Indian have been thoroughly reformed, 
and today the United States of America can safely challenge the world to show 
a more honest, efficient, and liberal treatment of a primitive race than the one 
we accord the American aborigines. 

Treaty of 1785. The first treaty of the United States with the Indians 
that even remotely refers to the territory of Stearns was the treaty of "peace" 
which the United States concluded at the above date at Fort Mcintosh on the 
Ohio river with the "Wyandott, Delaware, Chippewa, and Ottawa Nations of 
Indians." As to that date the Ojibway, or Chippewa, held the northern part 
of Stearns, we may say that this territory was at least theoretically affected. 

Dakota Treaty of 1837. In that year Agent Taliafero with a delegation 
of Sioux (Dakota) chiefs went to Washington and here with Joel R. Poinsett, 
Secretary of War, who had been appointed commissioner for that purpose, the 
Indians concluded a treaty ceding all the Dakota lands on the east side of the 
Mississippi and all islands in the stream. The Dakota rights were supposed 
to extend up to Watab. The consideration amounted to $396,000, and in addi- 
tion annuities for twenty years amounting annually to $15,000. The only part 
of Stearns county affected are some islands in the Mississippi. 

Chippewa Treaty of Fond du Lac of Superior, 1847. By this treaty the 
Ojibway 's portion of Stearns was ceded to the United States. Parts of Morrison 
and Todd were also included in this session. For this the Indians got $34,000 
within six months of ratification, and an annuity of $1,000 per annum for 
forty-six years. No provision was made in this treaty for the exclusion of 
intoxicating liquors. 

Treaty of Traverse de Sioux, 1851. At this time the red man in theory 
yet possessed all the land west of the great river and south of the Chippewa 
boundary in Minnesota. A few years before, the whites had considered this 
land worthless for civilization, but now they had sufficiently discovered their 
very great mistake. The Northern pioneers were clamorous for a chance to 
build civilized communities on these fertile acres. But the slaveholding South 
held the balance of political power in the nation at the time, and the South 
was not anxious for another state sure to be opposed to slavery. But finally 



HISTORY OP STEARNS COUNTY 37 

the pressure became too great and President Fillmore in the spring of 1851 
appointed Governor Ramsey and Luke Lee, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, 
to arrange for a cession of this territory. The two upper tribes of the Dakotas 
lived in the upper part of the Minnesota (or St. Peter) river basin, that is, 
from Lake Traverse to Traverse de Sioux, the present St. Peter. The com- 
missioners met with these tribes, the Wahpetons and Sissetons, at Traverse 
de Sioux and after a month's deliberation and waiting the treaty was finally 
drawn up and signed, ceding the immense territory of half Minnesota and 
thousands of acres in Iowa and South Dakota. It must be said, however, that 
the Indians had not the slightest claim to two-thirds of this territory. 

Treaty of Mendota, 1851. The two "Lower" Dakota tribes, the Wapekuta 
and M 'dewakanton tribes, were met at Mendota, near St. Paul, and after many 
long and wordy conferences in which the wily wisdom and primitive sagacity 
of the barbarian was finally outmatched by the bland and canny diplomacy 
of civilization, the end desired by the white man was finally achieved. By 
these two treaties the red man parted with the remainder of Minnesota, 
except the reservations. Included therein was the Dakota part of Stearns 
county. The considerations promised the Indian in these two treaties in 1851 
amounted to several millions of dollars. Only a very little of this was ever 
paid, for after the horrible Indian massacre of 1863, which was perpetrated 
by these very Indians, Congress annulled the treaty. 

Other Indian Treaties. Having discussed them previously in the text, 
we do not here repeat anything about the earlier French treaties and proclama- 
tions to the Indians. For the same reason we shall only mention again the 
treaty of Prairie du Chien in 1825 in which Minnesota and Stearns were 
divided between the Dakota and Ojibway tribes ; and the treaty at Washington 
with the Winnebagos in 1848 when they received the reservation between the 
Watab and Crow Wing rivers. 



38 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

CHAPTER VI. 

DAWN OF CIVILIZATION. 

Sudden Transformation by Which the Arts of the White Took the Place of 
Centuries of Aboriginal Life — Stearns County's Share in the Evolution 
of Society — Completing' Dr. P. M. Magnusson's Chapters on "The Realm 
of Stearns County Before Minnesota Was Minnesota." 

Here endeth the ancient history of Stearns. As we have noted, all but the 
last century of the unnumbered aeons of the past are shrouded in the gloom of 
unrecorded barbarism. Lying as it does, west of the Mississippi, Stearns was 
a full generation behind adjacent lands on the east side of the river in the 
white man's exploration and occupation. 

In the seventeenth century the white man's knife, hatchet, kettle, and 
gun began to replace the utensils and weapons of the Stone Age, and the 
blanket appeared Avith the skin and fur ; but yet for two centuries the savage 
roamed uncontrolled. 

In the chancellories of Europe, the territory of Stearns, with other 
American lands, was repeatedly transferred on parchment from one dominion 
and majesty to another, but as far as this teritory was concerned, it was a 
game of trading "sight unseen." Little effect it had upon the savage who 
continued to hunt and scalp as before. Even the trader recognized these 
political changes but tardily if at all. These two centuries of twilight came 
suddenly to an end. Almost with the swiftness of a tropical sunrise, civiliza- 
tion arrived and flooded this region with the light of the white man's culture. 
A few years near the middle of the nineteenth century saw this transformation. 
The Indian hunter, his teepee, the scalp dance, the trading post vanished and in 
half a generation there appeared the cultivated acres, the farmsteads, the 
railroads, the schools, and the churches of civilization. 

The suddenness of the transformation is well indicated by the fact that it 
was not until 1847 that a white man could legally acquire title to any part of 
Stearns' soil, except possibly to some islands in the Mississippi; and not until 
1851, two years after a territorial government was organized, Avas the southern 
and greater part of Stearns opened to civilization ; and yet less than half a 
dozen years later the white man's ciAdlization had taken possession with a 
complete set of flourishing institutions, schools, churches, ncAvspaper, county, 
town, and village government, business houses and farms ; and in the great 
struggle for national union which came in the next decade, Stearns did the 
share both intellectually and physically of a mature as well as a patriotic 
community. 

Thus with befitting suddenness the day of doom came to the epic of the 
dusky race in Stearns, and began the drama of the paleface. The day of the 
Indian, the trader and the explorer were over. Antiquity, the ancient race 
and the ancient Avays were at an end. In 1849, Avhere this chapter of the story 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 39 

ends, Stearns, still a land of savages in the newly created Territory of 
Minnesota, faced the sudden morning of civilization with its larger problems, 
grander struggles, and nobler blessings. 



CHAPTER Vn. 

TERRITORIAL ORGANIZATION. 

Minnesota Admitted as a Territory — Ramsey Arrives and Perfects Preliminary 
Organization — Stearns County Included in Second Judicial District — In 
Sixth and Seventh Council Districts — Territorial Legislature Meets — 
Original Counties Created — Steams in Dakotah and Wahnahta Counties 
— Attached to Ramsey County — Steams in Cass County — Cass Attached 
to Benton for Judicial Purposes — Other Sessions of the Territorial 
Legislatures. 

After Wisconsin had been admitted as a state of the Union May 29, 1848, 
steps were taken to have that part of the former territory which was left 
outside the state boundaries organized into a new territory to be called 
Minnesota. This, however, was not the initial movement in that direction. 
The Wisconsin enabling act was passed by congress August 6, 1846. On 
December 23 following a bill was introduced in the lower house by Morgan 
L. Martin, the delegate from that territory, providing for the organization of 
the territory of Minnesota. This bill was referred to the committee on terri- 
tories, of which Stephen A. Douglas, of Illinois, was the chairman, who, 
January 20, 1847, reported in favor of the passage of the bill, but with the 
name changed to Itasca. When the matter came up again, February 17, there 
was much discussion as to the name. Mr. Winthrop, of Massachusetts, pro- 
posed Chippewa; J. Thompson, of Mississippi, who didn't care for Indian 
names, wanted Jackson ; while Mr. Houston, of Delaware, spoke strongly in 
favor of giving recognition to the Father of his Country by calling it Wash- 
ington. The matter ended with the retention of the name originally proposed, 
Minnesota, this being the name of the largest tributary of the Mississippi 
river within the borders of the new territory. It is a composite Sioux Indian 
word, and while there is some difference of opinion as to the exact meaning, 
that most generally accepted is ' ' sky-tinted-water, ' ' which is a very satisfying 
as well as poetical interpretation. 

At the so-called "Stillwater convention" held at Stillwater August 26, 
1848, at which sixty-one delegates were present, memorials were prepared 
addressed to the President of the United States and to congress praying for 
the organization of a new territory. It had been assumed that the territorial 
government of Wisconsin still existed over that part of the original territory 
excluded from the state boundaries, and for this view there was the authority 
of a letter from James Buchanan, then secretary of state of the United States. 
John Catlin, the territorial secretary of Wisconsin, who had removed to Still- 
water, issued a proclamation in his official capacity as acting governor of 



40 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Wisconsin (Governor Henry Dodge having been elected United States Senator) 
calling an election to be held October 30, to select a delegate to congress. 
John H. Tweedy, the territorial delegate from Wisconsin, who was in sympathy 
with the movement, resigned and Henry H. Sibley was elected his successor. 
Mr. Sibley proceeded to Washington and presented his credentials, but it was 
not until the fifteenth of the following January that he was admitted to a seat, 
there having been much discussion as to whether excluded territory was 
entitled to continued political existence and representation. 

Mr. Sibley devoted himself assiduously to securing the passage in the 
United States senate of the bill for the creation of the territory of Minnesota 
which had been introduced at the previous session and met with gratifying 
success. His eiYorts in the house of representatives were less satisfactory, 
political questions entering largely into the matter, and it was not until 
March 3, 1849, the very last day of the session — and then only with the aid of 
Senator Stephen A. Douglas, who having been in the meantime elected to the 
United States senate from Illinois, was chairman of the committee on terri- 
tories in that body as he had previously been in the house — that he succeeded 
in securing the passage of the bill. This was finally done under suspension of 
the rules, the previous opposition having been unexpectedly withdrawn. This 
being before the days of railroads and telegraphs in the West, the good news 
did not reach St. Paul until thirty-seven days afterwards, when it was brought 
by the first steamer coming from the lower river. 

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

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

Alexander Ramsey, of Pennsylvania, then only thirty-four years of age, 
•was appointed by President Taylor the first governor of the new territory of 
Minnesota. His previous public experience had been as a member of the 
Twenty-eighth and Twenty-ninth congresses, in which he had displayed the 
sterling qualities and the marked ability which characterized his long after- 
career. From the time of his coming to Minnesota until the close of his life 
he remained one of its most loyal and honored citizens, filling many important 



HISTOEY OF STEAENS COUNTY 41 

positions both in the state and the nation. He arrived in St. Paul, May 27, 
1849, and the hotels being full to overflowing proceeded with his family to 
Mendota, a fur-trading station at the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota 
rivers, where he became the guest of Henry H. Sibley, remaining there until 
June 26. 

On the first of June he issued a proclamation, said to have been prepared 
in a small room in Bass's log tavern which stood on the site now occupied by 
the Merchant's Hotel, making official announcement of the organization of 
the territory, with the following officers : Governor, Alexander Eamsey, of 
Pennsylvania ; secretary, C. K. Smith, of Ohio ; chief justice, Aaron Goodrich, 
of Tennessee ; associate justices, David Cooper, of Pennsylvania, and Bradley 
B. Meeker, of Kentucky ; United States marshal, Joshua L. Taylor ; United 
States attorney, H. L. Moss. Mr. Taylor, having declined to accept the office 
of marshal, A. M. Mitchell, of Ohio, a graduate of West Point and colonel of 
an Ohio regiment in the Mexican "War, was appointed to the position and 
arrived in St. Paul in August. 

A second proclamation issued by Governor Eamsey June 11 divided the 
territory into three judicial districts, to which the three judges who had been 
appointed by the president were assigned. The present Stearns county was 
included in the Second district, which comprised the county of La Pointe (a 
former "Wisconsin county) and the region north and west of the Mississippi 
and north of the Minnesota and on a line running due west from the head- 
waters of the Minnesota to the Missouri river, and over this district Judge 
Meeker presided. 

The census of the territory taken in 1849 by an order of Governor Eamsey 
issued June 11, although including the soldiers at the fort and pretty much 
every living soul in the territory except the Indians, footed up the disap- 
pointing total of 4,764 — of which number 3,058 were males and 1,706 were 
females. Additional and revised returns made the population exactly 5,000 — 
males, 3,253 ; females, 1,747. Of these Benton county had 249 males and 
108 females. 

Another proclamation issued July 7, 1849, divided the territory into seven 
council districts and ordered an election to be held August 1 to choose one dele- 
gate to the house of representatives at Washington, and nine councillors and 
eighteen representatives to constitute the legislative assembly of Minnesota. 
The election passed off very quietly, politics entering scarcely at all into the 
contests, which were wholly personal. In all 682 votes w^ere cast for the dele- 
gate to congress, Henry H. Sibley, who was elected without opposition. 

The council districts were described in Eamsey 's proclamation as follows: 
"No. 1. The St. Croix precinct of St. Croix county, and the settlements on 
the west bank of the Mississippi south of Crow village to the Iowa line. 2. The 
Stillwater precinct of the county of St. Croix. 3. The St. Paul precinct (ex- 
cept Little Canada settlement). 4. Marine Mills, Falls of St. Croix, Eush 
Lake, Eice Eiver and Snake Eiver precincts, of St. Croix county and La Pointe 
county. 5. The Falls of St. Anthony precinct and the Little Canada settlement. 
6. The Sauk Eapids and Crow Wing precincts, of St. Croix county, and all 
settlements west of the Mississippi and north of the Osakis river, and a line 



42 HISTORY OP STEARNS COUNTY 

thence west to the British line. 7. The country and settlements west of the 
Mississippi not included in districts 1 and 6." The area that is now Stearns 
count}^ was included in the Sixth and the Seventh districts, that part north of 
the Sauk river being in the Sixth district and that part south of the Sauk 
river being in the Seventh district. 

The first Territorial Legislature — called the Territorial Assembly — met 
Monday, September 3, in the Central House, St. Paul, a large log building 
weatherboarded, which served both as a state house and a hotel. It stood on 
practically the present site of the Mannheimer block. On the first floor of the 
main building was the secretary's office and the dining room was occupied 
as the Representatives' chamber. As the hour for dinner or supper ap- 
proached the House had to adjourn to give the servants an opportunity to 
make the necessary preparations for serving the meal. In the ladies' parlor 
on the second floor the Council convened for their deliberations. The legis- 
lature halls were not to exceed eighteen feet square. Governor Ramsey, dur- 
ing his entire term of office, had his executive office in his private residence, 
and the supreme court shifted from place to place as rooms could be rented 
for its use. Although Congress had appropriated $20,000 for the erection of 
a capitol, the money could not be used as "a permanent seat of government" 
for the territory had not yet been selected, so the machinery of government 
had to be carted around in the most undignified manner. 

David Olmsted, of Long Prairie, and William R. Sturges, of Elk River, 
were the members of the Council from the Sixth district, which comprised 
the territory west of the Mississippi and north of the Osakis river to the 
British boundary line. David Olmsted, who was a native of Vermont, came 
from Iowa in 1848 to Long Prairie when the Winnebago Indians were trans- 
ferred there, and established a trading post which he continued for several 
years. He was elected president of the Council at this, the first, session. He 
died February 2, 1861, at his old home in Vermont. 

William R. Sturges was elected by his constituents to both the Council 
and the House, and his election was so certified and proclaimed by the gov- 
ernor. He resigned the office of Representative and at a special election Allan 
Morrison was chosen in his stead. 

The members of the House of Representatives from the Sixth district were 
Jeremiah Russell, of Crow Wing; Lorenzo A. Babcock and Thomas A. Holmes, 
of Sauk Rapids ; and Allan Morrison, of Crow Wing. Jeremiah Russell was 
born in Madison county. New York, February 2, 1809 ; came to Port Snelling 
in 1837, and was engaged as clerk and Indian trader in the Minnesota country 
for ten years. In 1848 he took charge of Borup & Oakes' trading house at 
Crow Wing, and in the fall of 1849 located at Sauk Rapids, opening the first 
farm in that section of the territory. He was one of the original proprietors 
of Sauk Rapids, and in 1855 established the Sauk Rapids Prontierman, the 
sixteenth paper started in Minnesota. He M^as afterwards treasurer of Ben- 
ton county several years and county auditor one year. He died June 13, 1885. 

Lorenzo A. Babcock was born in Sheldon, Vermont, and came to Minne- 
sota from Iowa in 1848, locating at Sauk Rapids. After serving in the legis- 
lature he was appointed by Governor Ramsey territorial attorney general, 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 43 

holding the office for four years, 1849-53. He was secretary of the Republican 
wing of the constitutional convention in 1857, and practiced law in St. Paul 
until his death. 

Thomas A. Holmes was a native of Pennsylvania, born March 4, 1804; 
lived a number of years in Ohio; in 1835 built the second house and became 
the second permanent settler in the town-site of Milwaukee ; made the first 
settlement at Janesville, Wis., and was virtually the founder of that city, 
selling his interest there in 1839 for $10,000. In the winter of 1849 he located 
at Sauk Rapids and was elected a few months later to the legislature. Two 
years afterwards he became the first settler at Shakopee ; and in 1852, before 
the Indian title to the site was fully extinguished, he laid out and named the 
town. He also surveyed, located and named the town of Chaska. Died at 
Culman, Ala., July 2, 1888. 

Allan Morrison was a Canadian by birth, having been born June 3, 1803, 
and was a brother of William Morrison, an early explorer of Minnesota and 
one of the first white men to visit Lake Itasca. Allan Morrison located as a 
trader in northeastern Minnesota in 1821, and for more than thirty years was 
engaged in the Indian trade, successively at Sandy Lake, Leech Lake, Red 
Lake, Mille Lacs and Crow Wing (where he was the first settler), accom- 
panying the Indians when they were removed to the White Earth Reser- 
vation, where he died and was buried November 28, 1878. His wife was 
Charlotte Charbouillier, a mixed-blood Chippewa. The county of Morrison 
was named for him, and not for his brother William, as has often been stated. 

The Seventh district was represented in the council by Martin McLeod, 
of Lac qui Parle ; and in the house by Alexis Bailly, of Mendota, and Gideon 
H. Pond, of Oak GroA'e. 

When the first Territorial legislature assembled, David Olmsted was 
elected president and Joseph R. Brown secretary of the council. In the house 
Joseph W. Furber was the speaker and W. D. Phillips clerk. The session 
opened with prayer by the Reverend E. D. Neil and Governor Ramsey deliv- 
ered his message to the two houses which had assembled in joint convention 
in the hotel dining room. 

By the act of this legislatuie approved October 27, 1849, the territory 
was divided into nine counties : Washington, Ramsey, Benton, Itasca, Wa- 
bashaw, Dakotah, Wahnahta, Mahkahto and Pembina. What is now Stearns 
county was included in Dakotah and Wahnahta counties. Only the counties 
of Washington, Ramsey and Benton were fully organized for all county pur- 
poses. The others were created only for the purpose of the appointment of 
justices of the peace, constables, and such other judicial and ministerial officers 
as might be specially provided for. Each of these unorganized counties were 
entitled to "any number of justices of the peace and constables, not exceed- 
ing six in number, to be appointed by the governor, and their term of office 
was made two years unless sooner removed by the governor," and they were 
made conservators of the peace. Dakotah, Wahnahta and Mahkahto counties 
were attached to Ramsey county for judicial purposes. Ramsey county, with 
these counties attached, was constituted the first judicial district, and Hon. 
Aaron Goodrich was assigned as judge thereof. St. Paul was made the seat 



44 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

of justice of this district, and the term of the district court was appointed 
to be held there every year on the second Monday of April and the second 
Monday of September. 

By act of November 1, 1849, a tax of one mill on the dollar was levied 
for the purpose of raising a territorial revenue. Among other provisions it 
was ordered that the property in Dakotah and Wahnahta (which would in- 
clude the present Stearns county) was to be assessed by a board of three in 
each county, appointed by the governor, and that these assessors were to re- 
port the results of their findings to the county commissioners of Ramsey county 
who would order the collector of Ramsey county to collect the tax. 

Dakotah county, as erected by the act of October 27, 1849, embraced a 
strip of land bounded on the east by the Mississippi river and on the Avest 
by the Missouri river. Its northern boundary was a line due west from the 
mouth of the Clearwater river. Its southern boundary was a line drawn due 
west from the mouth of the St. Croix river. Thus that part of the present 
Stearns county that lies south of a line drawn due west from the mouth of the 
Clearwater river was in this original Dakotah county. 

"Wahnahta county, as erected by this act, was bounded on the east by 
the Mississippi and on the west by the Missouri. On the south it was bounded 
by a line drawn due west from the mouth of the Clearwater and on the north 
it was bounded by a line drawn due west from the mouth of the Crow Wing 
river. Thus that part of the present Stearns county that lies north of a line 
drawn due west from the mouth of the Clearwater was included in this original 
Wahnahta county. 

The seat of justice of Benton county, which lay just across the river 
from what is now Stearns county, was much nearer than St. Paul, which was 
the seat of justice for what is now Stearns county. This act creating the 
counties provided that "the seat of justice of the county of Benton should 
be within one-quarter mile of a point on the east side of the Mississippi, di- 
rectly opposite the mouth of the Sauk river," in other words, at Sauk Rapids. 
Contrary to general belief, Stearns county was never a part of Benton county, 
though later it was attached to that county for judicial purposes. Orig- 
inally, however, as noted, it was attached to Ramsey county for judicial and 
taxation purposes. 

No session of the legislature was held in 1850. For the session the follow- 
ing year the legislature assembled January 2 in a brick building on west Third 
street, which afterwards burned, the site being occupied by the present Metro- 
politan hotel. St. Paul was selected as the permanent seat of government and 
arrangements were made for the erection of a capitol building on a block of 
ground, afterwards known as "Capitol Square," which was donated to the 
government for that use by Charles Baziell. 

The session assembled January 1 and adjourned March 31. The Sixth 
district was represented in the council by David Olmsted and William 
R. Sturges; in the house by David Oilman, S. B. Olmsted, W. W. Warren 
and D. T. Sloan. The Seventh district was represented in the council by 
Martin McLeod, of Lac qui Parle county, and in the house by Alexander Fari- 
bault, then of Mendota; and B. H. Randall, then of Fort Snelling. 



HISTOKY OF STEARNS COUNTY 45 

By the revised statutes passed at this session the territory was re-divided 
into nine counties: Benton, Dakota, Itasca, Cass, Pembina, Ramsey, Wash- 
ington, Chisago and Wabashaw. What is now Stearns county was included 
in Cass county. 

The boundaries of Cass county (within which was included the territory 
afterwards erected into the county of Stearns) were defined as follows: "Be- 
ginning at the mouth of Crow river ; thence up the Mississippi river to Itasca 
lake; thence on a direct line to Otter Tail lake; thence on a direct line to 
the source of Long Prairie river; thence south to the north boundary of Da- 
kota county; thence along said line to the place of beginning." This north 
boundary of Dakota county was the Crow river and the north branch thereof. 

Cass county, together with the counties of Itasca, Wabasha, Dakota and 
Pembina, was declared to be "organized only for the purpose of the appoint- 
ment of justices of the peace, constables and such other judicial and minis- 
terial officers as may be specially provided for. ' ' Each of these counties was 
entitled to any number of justices of the peace, not exceeding six, and to the 
same number of constables, the said justices and constables to receive their 
appointment from the governor, their term of office to be for two years iinless 
sooner removed by the governor. 

Cass, Itasca and Pembina counties were attached to the county of Benton 
for judicial purposes. 

An apportionment bill, based on the census of 1850, was passed by the 
legislature March 29, 1851, after a bitter personal discussion. The territory 
was divided into seven council districts, of which Benton and Cass counties 
constituted the Fifth. The apportionment was denounced as unfair in that 
Benton county, with 4,000 acres under cultivation, was given but one-half 
the representation given to Pembina county, where there were but seventy 
acres under cultivation, more than one-half of which belonged to one indi- 
vidual; and for the further reason that, excepting soldiers, at least seven- 
eighths of the population were Indians. Seven members of the legislature 
opposing the bill resigned their seats, among the number being David Gil- 
man, of Benton county. 

The legislature of 1852 passed a prohibitory law and submitted it to the 
people of the territory, who adopted it by a vote of 853 for to 622 against. 
This law was declared to be unconstitutional by Judge Hayner on the ground 
that it was a violation of the constitution to submit a law to the vote of the 
people. After rendering his decision Judge Hayner resigned his office. 

At this session of 1851 a memorial to Congress, adopted March 13, depicts 
very vividly the condition of affairs which then existed in this part of the 
new territory and how it was proposed to provide for the needs of the people 
in the enforcement of law and order. This memorial follows : 

To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the United 
States in Congress assembled : The Memorial of the Legislative Assembly of 
the Territory of Minnesota respectfully represents: That the county of Ben- 
ton is situated in the midst of an Indian country and is sparsely settled and 
peculiarly exposed to the incursions and depredations of the Indians, espe- 
■ ciall}'^ the Winnebagoes and Chippewas ; that a large portion of said county 



46 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

is excellent farming lands, no portion of which was ever surveyed and made 
subject to pre-emption until within a few weeks past ; that this circumstance, 
added to the frequent outbreaks and trespasses perpetrated on the inhabitants 
here, in the absence of a work house, jail or any other proper place of con- 
finement, rendered the administration of the laws comparatively inefficient, 
and deterred farmers and settlers from making their residence and fixing 
their homes in that otherwise desirable portion of our territory. The few who 
have settled in this county are altogether too few in number to afford each 
other mutual protection and too destitute of means at present for building a 
jail, court house and other necessary county buildings essential to an efficient 
execution of the laws in their midst Your memorialists would further state that 
the forty thousand dollars so generously placed at the disposal of the governor 
and legislature to erect public buildings has been by them ordered for these pur- 
poses to be expended in Ramsey and Washington counties, to-wit : at St. Paul 
and Stillwater, both at a great distance from the settlements of Benton, whither 
it would be very inconvenient and expensive to the county to transport each 
petty trespasser, even if it were proper to use a penitentiary for common jail 
purposes. Now therefore, in consideration of the premises and of the fact 
that a large portion of the land of said county is unappropriated by sale or 
settlement, your memorialists respectfully ask a donation of one township of 
land therein in behalf of said county, to be located by the county commission- 
ers and placed at their disposal to be by them applied to the speedy erection 
of county buildings. Your memorialists are the more urgent in their prayers 
as Benton is the only organized county in the territory which has not received 
a liberal portion of the public appropriation to Minnesota. 

This appeal evidently fell on deaf ears, as Congress failed to make any 
grant either of lands or money to meet the necessities of Benton county, so 
urgently set forth in this memorial, and no public buildings were erected until 
they were built by individuals or by the county itself. The first was a log 
jail, a two-story structure, located at Sauk Rapids — the first story being for 
the incarceration of offenders and the second story for the use of the jailer 
and his family. 

The legislature assembled for its third session January 7, 1852, adjourn- 
ing March 6. The Fifth district was represented in the Council by Sylvanus 
B. Lowry, who then lived at Watab, and in the house by James Beatty and 
David Day, the latter then a resident of Long Prairie, but who afterwards 
removed to St. Paul, where in much later years he was postmaster and super- 
intended the building of the present court house and city hall. The progres- 
siveness of the people of Benton county was shown by the early evidences they 
gave of their appreciation of the importance of agriculture in the development 
of the territory. At this session of the legislature an act approved March 5, 
1852, was passed whereby David Gilman, David Olmstead, Baldwin Olmstead, 
William Sturgis, Jeremiah Russell, James Beatty, 0. H. Kelly, C. W. Han- 
cock, John Depue and Allen Morrison, with their associates, were constituted 
a body corporate to be known as the Benton County Agricultural Society. The 
objects of the society, as set forth in the act, were to be "the collection and 
dissemination of agricultural knowledge and the encouragement and advance- 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 47 

ment of agricultural pursuits." These objects were certainly most laudable, 
but unfortunately all efforts apparently ceased with the passage of the act and 
no society was organized. As the act for a Ramsey county agricultural society 
was not passed until the following day and for a similar society for Hennepin 
county not until a year later, Benton county had the lead, at least so far as 
legislation was concerned. Hennepin county was created at this session of the 
legislature. 

The fourth session assembled January 5, 1853, and adjourned March 5. 
The Fifth district was again represented in the council by Sylvanus B. Lowry ; 
and in the house by David Day (who was elected speaker) and J. McGee. 

By an act approved March 5, the counties of Cass and Pembina were at- 
tached to Benton for judicial purposes, the three to constitute the Third 
judicial district of the territory (there being but three) and the Hon. Bradley 
B. Meeker, one of the associate justices of the supreme court, or any judge 
of the previous session had provided that the terms of the district court should 
appointed in his stead, was assigned to be the district judge thereof. An act 
be held on the second Monday in June and December of each year. 

Franklin Pierce having been elected president of the United States in the 
previous November, promptly proceeded after his inauguration, in accordance 
with the good old Jaeksonian doctrine, to remove the Whig officeholders and 
distribute the spoils among the victors. The new territorial appointees were : 
Governor, Willis A. Gorman, of Indiana ; Secretary, J. T. Rosser, of Virginia ; 
Chief Justice, W. H. Welch, of Minnesota; Associates, Moses Sherburne, of 
Maine ; and A. G. Chatfield, of Wisconsin. Soon after entering on the duties 
of his office Governor Gorman concluded a treaty at Watab with the Winne- 
bago Indians for an exchange of territory. At the election in October Henry 
M. Rice was elected delegate to Congress. 

In 1854 the legislature of Minnesota for the first time assembled in a 
regular capitol building, its previous sessions having been held haphazard 
wherever accommodations could be had. This building, begun in 1851, but 
not completed until the summer of 1853, at a cost of something over $40,000, 
was totally destroyed by fire on the evening of March 1, 1881, while both 
branches of the legislature were in session. Some of the more valuable papers 
in the various offices were saved, but the law library and many thousands of 
documents and reports were burned. The total loss was about $200,000. The 
present "Old Capitol" was erected on the site of the first building. The fifth 
session assembled January 4 and adjourned March 4. The Fifth district was 
represented in the council by S. B. Olmstead, of Belle Prairie, who was elected 
president ; in the house by R. M. Richardson and Peter Roy. 

The sixth legislature assembled January 3, 1855, and adjourned March 3. 
The Fifth district was represented in the council by S. B. Olmstead; in the 
house by James Beatty and Fred Andros. A reapportionment of the territory 
was made at this session, the number of districts being increased from seven 
to eleven, and the membership to fifteen councilmen and thirty-eight repre- 
sentatives. The new Fifth district was composed of the counties of Benton, 
Cass, Todd, Stearns (organized at this session) and Wright. An event of 
world-wide interest took place when on the afternoon of December 12 a four- 



48 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

horse vehicle passed through St. Paul bearing the remains of the great Arctic 
explorer, Sir John Franklin, which were being taken to Canada. The journey 
from Montreal Island, where the precious relics had been found, was begun 
August 9 and had continued without interruption from that time. 

The seventh legislature assembled January 2, 1856, and adjourned March 
1. The Fifth district was represented in the council by Lewis Stone, and in 
the house by John L. Wilson (of St. Cloud) and William Sturges. 

The eighth and last territorial legislature assembled January 7, 1857, ad- 
journing March 7. The Fifth district was represented in the council by Lewis 
Stone, and in the house by Samuel B. Abbe, W. W. Kingsbury and John L. 
Wilson. At this session was the memorable struggle over the removal of the 
capitol from St. Paul to St. Peter, when "Jo" Rolette, the member who had 
charge of the removal bill, mysteriously disappeared with that document in 
his possession and remained in seclusion until the hour for adjournment ar- 
rived, to the great joy and relief of St. Paul, which thereby retained the capitol. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

COUNTY REPRESENTATION. 

Constitutional Convention — Minnesota Admitted as a State — Men Who Have 
Represented Steams County in the Law-Making Bodies of the State — 
Congressmen Who Have Represented Steams County in Washington — 
Boundary Lines of Legislative and Congressional Districts. 

Under the enabling act of Congress, approved March 3, 1857, a constitu- 
tional convention of one hundred eight members (each council district to 
elect two for each councilman and representative to which it was entitled) 
was authorized to meet at the capitol in St. Paul on the second Monday in 
July, the 13th, for the purpose of framing a constitution to be submitted to 
the people of the territory for their adoption or rejection. Pursuant to a 
proclamation issued by Samuel Medary, the territorial governor, an election 
was held the first Monday in June, the number of delegates to be chosen be- 
ing 108. 

In the constitutional convention the Fifth district, consisting of the coun- 
ties of Benton, Cass, Todd, Stearns and Wright, was represented by eight 
delegates, of whom seven were Democrats, viz., David Gilraan, of Watab, a 
resident of Minnesota since 1848 and who had been a member of the territorial 
legislature ; William Sturgis, of Little Falls, who also had been a member of 
the territorial legislature; W. W. Kingsbury, afterwards (1857-8) a delegate 
to Congress; R. H. Barrett, Henry C. Waite, J. C. Shepley and John W. 
Tenvoorde, of St. Cloud. Frederick Ayer, the pioneer missionary among the 
Chippewas, was the only Republican delegate from this district. 

The history of this convention is so graphically given by W. H. C. Folsom, 
who was one of its members, in his interesting volume, "Fifty Years in the 
Northwest," that we quote it almost entire: 



HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 49 

"The state was nearly equally divided between the Republicans and 
Democrats, still the question of politics did not enter largely into the contest 
except as a question of party supremacy. The people were a unit on the 
question of organizing a state government \inder the enabling act and in many 
cases there was but a single ticket in the field. It was a matter, therefore, of 
some surprise that there should be a separation among the delegates into op- 
posing factions, resulting practically in the formation of two conventions, each 
claiming to represent the people and each proposing a constitution. The dele- 
gates, although but 108 were called, were numbered on the rolls of the two 
wings as 59 Republican and 53 Democratic, a discrepancy arising from 
some irregularity of enrollment, by which certain memberships were counted 
twice. The Republican members, claiming a bare majority, took possession of 
the hall at midnight, twelve hours before the legal time for opening the con- 
vention, the object being to obtain control of the offices and committees of 
the convention, a manifest advantage in the matter of deciding upon con- 
tested seats. 

"In obedience to the call of the leaders of the party, issued the day be- 
fore, the writer, with other Republicans, repaired to the house at the ap- 
pointed hour, produced his credentials as a delegate, and was conducted into 
the illuminated hall by Hon. John W. North. The delegates were dispersed 
variously about the hall, some chatting together, others reading newspapers, 
smoking or snoring, as here and there one had fallen asleep in his seat. Oc- 
casionally a delegate nervously examined his revolver as if he anticipated 
some necessity for its use. 

"The Democratic delegates were elsewhere, probably plotting in secret 
conclave to capture the hall, and perhaps it might be well enough to be pre- 
pared for the worst. Thus the remainder of the night passed and the forenoon 
of July 13. As soon as the clock struck twelve the Democratic delegates rushed 
tumultuously in, as if with the purpose of capturing the speaker's stand. That, 
however, was already occupied by the Republican delegates and the storming 
party was obliged to content itself with the lower steps of the stand. Both 
parties at the moment the clock ceased striking were yelling "order" vocifer- 
ously, and nominating their officers pro tem. Both parties effected a temporary 
organization, although in the xiproar and confusion it was difficult to know 
what was done. 

"The Democratic wing adjourned at once to the senate chamber and there 
effected a permanent organization. The Republicans, being left in undis- 
turbed possession of the hall, perfected their organization, and the two factions 
set themselves diligently to work to frame a constitution, each claiming to 
be the legally constituted convention, and expecting recognition as such by 
the people of the state and congress. The debates in each were acrimonious. 
A few of the more moderate delegates in each recognized the absurdity and 
illegality of their position and questioned the propriety of remaining and par- 
ticipating in proceedings which they could not sanction. 

"The conventions continued their sessions inharmoniously enough. Each 
framed a constitution, at the completion of which a joint committee was ap- 
pointed to revise and harmonize the two constitutions, but the members of 



50 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

the committees were as belligerent as the conventions they represented. Mem- 
bers grew angry, abusing each other with words and even blows, blood being 
drawn in an argument with bludgeons between two of the delegates. An 
agreement seemed impossible, when some one whose name has not found its 
way into history made the happy suggestion that alternate articles of each 
constitution be adopted. When this was done, and the joint production of the 
two conventions was in presentable shape, another and almost fatal difficulty 
arose, as to which wing should be accorded the honor of signing officially this 
remarkable document. One body or the other must acknowledge the paternity 
of the hybrid. Ingenuity amounting to genius (it is a pity that the possessor 
should be unknown) found a new expedient, namely, to write out two consti- 
tutions in full, exact duplicates except as to signatures, the one to be signed 
by Democratic officers and members and the other by Republicans. These two 
constitutions were filed in the archives of the state and one of them, which one 
will probably never be known, was adopted by the people October 13, 1857. 

"The question arises in the writer's mind as to the legality of the constitu- 
tion of Minnesota. Have we a constitution? If so, which one? The question 
of legality, however, has never been raised before the proper tribunals, and it 
is perhaps well to leave it thus unquestioned." 

Mr. Folsom is slightly in error. The enabling act did not specify any 
hour for the meeting of the convention, nor did it designate any definite place 
in the capitol where the sessions should be held, both of which omissions con- 
tributed to the confusion in organization. W. W. Folwell, in his "History of 
Minnesota," narrates the preliminaries as follows: "To make sure of being 
on hand the Republican delegates repaired to the capitol late on the Sitnday 
night preceding the first Monday in June and remained there, as one of them 
phrased it, 'to watch and pray for the Democratic brethren.' These did not 
appear till a few moments before twelve o'clock of the appointed day. Im- 
mediately upon their entrance in a body into the representatives' hall Charles 
R. Chase, secretary of the territory and a delegate, proceeded to the speaker's 
desk and called to order. A motion to adjourn was made by Colonel Gorman, 
and the question was taken by Chase, who declared it carried. The Demo- 
crats left the hall to the Republicans, who proceeded to organize the conven- 
tion. Fifty-six delegates presented credentials in proper form and took their 
oaths to support the constitution of the United States. At noon of Tuesday 
the Democratic delegates assembled about the door of the hall, and finding 
it occupied by citizens who refused to give them place, met in the adjacent 
council chamber and proceeded to organize the convention. Henry H. Sibley 
was made chairman, on motion of Joseph R. Brown, and later became presi- 
dent of the body." 

After the adjournment of the constitutional convention the Republicans 
and Democrats held their party conventions, each nominating a full state 
ticket and three candidates for Congress. The Republican candidate for gov- 
ernor was Alexander Ramsey and the Democratic candidate Henry H. Sibley. 
The election was held October 13, 1857, the constitution being adopted by an 
overwhelming vote ; H. H. Sibley was elected governor by a majority of only 
240 in a total of 35,240 votes, and the Democrats had a small majority in the 



J 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 51 

legislature. By the provisions of the new constitution a re-apportionment of 
legislative districts vf&s made, the number of districts being 26, with 37 sen- 
ators and 80 representatives. The Twentieth district comprised the counties 
of Benton, Stearns and Meeker, with one senator and three representatives. 

First Legislature — 1857-8. The first Minnesota state legislature assembled 
December 2, 1857. There was a serious question, however, as to whether it 
was really a state legislature, as Minnesota had not yet been admitted to the 
Union. There was a question as to the recognition of Samuel Medary, the 
territorial governor, as governor of the state, but by a vote of 59 to 49 he 
was so recognized by the legislature, and he, in turn, in his message recog- 
nized the law-making body as a state legislature. None of the state officers 
could take the oath of office, and the Republican members of the legislature 
entered a formal protest against any bxisiness whatever being done until after 
the admission of the state as a member of the Union. But the Democrats, 
having a majority, decided to hold a joint convention December 19 for the 
election of two United States senators. Henry M. Rice was elected for the 
long term on the first ballot, but it was not until after several ballotings that 
General James Shields won the short term. He was a new comer from Illinois 
and his election was a bitter pill for many of the old Democratic war-horses, 
such as Sibley, Steele, Brown and Gorman. 

As a means of relieving the state from the awkward predicament in which 
it was placed the legislature adopted March 1 an amendment to the constitu- 
tion authorizing the newly-elected officers to qualify May 1, whether the state 
was admitted by that date or not, this amendment to be submitted to the 
voters at an election called for April 15. A second amendment, submitted at 
the same time, provided for the famous .$5,000,000 railroad bond loan, which 
was the cause of great loss and great bitterness to the people. Both amend- 
ments were overwhelmingly adopted, but in November, 1860, the bond amend- 
ment was expunged from the constitution, after $2,275,000 bonds had been 
issued. The legislature, March 25, took a recess until June 2. 

In the meantime the steps looking toward the recognition of Minnesota's 
statehood by Congress had lagged sadly. For some unknown reason President 
Buchanan had delayed until the middle of January, 1858, transmitting to the 
United States Senate the constitution adopted by the people. A bill for the 
admission of Minnesota as a state was introduced by Stephen A. Douglas, 
chairman of the committee on territories. When this bill came up February 1 
there was a prolonged discussion, a number of the senators being in opposi- 
tion because it would add another to the number of free states, thus disturbing 
the "balance of power" between the free and slave states. Among those par- 
ticipating in the debate were Senators Douglas, Wilson, Gwin, Hale, Mason, 
Green, Brown and Crittenden, the latter being much more moderate in his 
expressions than most of his fellow-senators from the South. The debate con- 
tinued until April 8, when the English bill, which provided for the admission 
of Kansas as a supposed slave state having passed, the opposition ceased, and 
Minnesota's bill was adopted by a vote of 49 to 3. The bill then went to the 
House, where it met the same kind of objections as had been raised in the 
Senate, the English bill standing in the way until May 4, Avhen it was passed. 



52 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

One week later, May 11, the bill admitting Minnesota passed the House by a 
vote of 157 to 38, the following day receiving the approval of the President, 
and May 12, 1858, Minnesota obtained full recognition as a state in the Union. 
Informal news of the action of Congress reached St. Paul, by telegraphic in- 
formation brought from La Crosse, Wisconsin, May 13, but the official notice 
was not received until some days later, and May 24 the state officers elected in 
October, 1857, took their oaths of office. 

The legislature, which had taken a recess until June 2, reassembled on 
that day, when Governor Sibley delivered his inaugural address. Among the 
many other acts at this session was the establishing of the first of Minnesota's 
five state normal schools, that at "Winona. Final adjournment took place 
August 12. The senator from the Twentieth district was R. M. Richardson ; 
representatives, J. B. Atkins, John L. Young and Joseph B. Carpenter. 

Second Legislature — 1859-60. Assembled December 7 ; adjourned March 
12. The senator from the Twentieth district was C. C. Andrews; representa- 
tives, George W. Sweet, M. C. Tolman and U. S. Wiley. A new apportion- 
ment was made at this session of the legislature (1860), the number of dis- 
tricts being reduced to 21, with 21 senators and 42 representatives. The Third 
district, which became famous as "the district with nineteen counties," was 
composed of Stearns, Todd, Cass, Wadena, Otter Tail, Toombs, Breckinridge, 
Douglas, Beaker, Polk, Pembina, Morrison, Crow Wing, Aitkin, Itasca, Bu- 
chanan, Carlton, St. Louis and Lake counties, with one senator and three repre- 
sentatives. 

Third Legislature — 1861. Assembled January 8 ; adjourned March 8. The 
senator from the Third district was Seth Gibbs ; representatives, Thomas Cath- 
cart, Levi Wheeler and P. L. Gregory. 

Fourth Legislature — 1862. Assembled January 7 ; adjourned March 7. 
The senator from the Third district was Sylvanus B. Lowry; representatives, 
R. M. Richardson, Peter Roy and John Whipple. On account of the Indian 
outbreak an extra session of the legislature was called by Governor Ramsey, 
which assembled September 9 and adjourned September 29. 

Fifth Legislature— 1863. Assembled January 6 ; adjourned March 6. The 
senator from the Third district was William S. Moore ; representatives, L. R. 
Bentley, H. C. Waite and R. M. Richardson. 

Sixth Legislature — 1864. Assembled January 5 ; adjourned March 4. The 
senator from the Third district was Joseph P. Wilson ; representatives, R. M. 
Richardson, W. T. Rigby and Charles A. Ruffee. 

Seventh Legislature — 1865. Assembled January 3 ; adjourned March 3. 
The senator from the Third district w^as Joseph P. Wilson; representatives, 
Oscar Taylor, Louis A. Evans and W. T. Rigby. 

Eighth Legislature — 1866. Assembled January 2; adjourned March 2. 
The senator from the Third district was R. M. Richardson ; representatives, 
Nathan F. Barnes, Thomas Cathcart and Barney Overbeck. The apportion- 
ment made at this session of the legislature divided the state into 22 districts, 
with 22 senators and 47 representatives. The Third district was unchanged 
territorially, but the representation in the house was reduced to tAvo members. 

Ninth Legislature — 1867. Assembled January 8; adjourned March 8. The 



HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 53 

senator from the Third district was Louis A. Evans; representatives, N. H. 
Miner and Nathan Richardson. 

Tenth Legislature — 1868. Assembled January 7 ; adjourned March 6. The 
senator from the Third district was Charles A. Gilman ; representatives, D. 6. 
Pettijohn and N. H. Miner. 

Eleventh Legislature — 1869. Assembled January 5; adjourned March 5. 
Senator, Charles A. Gilman ; representatives, Ludwig Robbers and William E. 
Hicks. 

Twelfth Legislature — 1870. Assembled January 4; adjourned March 4. 
Senator, Henry C. "Waite ; representatives, John L. Wilson and Isaac Thorson. 

Thirteenth Legislature — 1871. Assembled January 8; adjourned March 3. 
Senator, Henry C. Waite ; representatives, William S. Moore and Luke Mar- 
vin. It is interesting and somewhat surprising to observe how slight repre- 
sentation, comparatively, the eastern part of this large district had during 
these years, while at no time was Stearns county without a member of the 
senate or the house, if not one in each. A new apportionment was made at 
this session of the legislature, with 41 senatorial districts, to which were given 
106 representatives. Stearns county became the Thirty-first district, with one 
senator and four representatives. 

Fourteenth Legislature — 1872. Assembled January 2 ; adjourned March 1. 
Senator, E. M. Wright, of St. Cloud. Representatives, John M. Rosenberger, 
St. Cloud; Randolph Holding, Holding; Martin Greeley, Maine Prairie; Al- 
phonso Barto, Sauk Centre. 

Fifteenth Legislature — 1873. Assembled January 7; adjourned March 7. 
Senator, Henry C. Burbank, St. Cloud. Representatives, Henry Krebs, St. 
Augusta; Hubert Rieland, Oak; Bartholomew Pirz, Eden Lake; A. Barto, 
Sauk Centre. 

Sixteenth Legislature — 1874. Assembled January 6 ; adjourned March 6. 
Senator, Henry C. Burbank, St. Cloud. Representatives, Nathan F. Barnes, St. 
Cloud ; Hubert Rieland, Oak ; Charles Walker, Sauk Centre ; Joseph Martin, 
Fair Haven. 

Seventeenth Legislature — 1875. Assembled January 5 ; adjourned March 
5. Senator, Joseph Capser, Sauk Centre. Representatives, Charles A. Gil- 
man, St. Cloud; W. Mertz, St. Joseph; B. Pirz, Eden Lake; M. A. Taylor, 
Melrose. 

Eighteenth Legislature — 1876. Assembled January 4; adjourned March 
3. Senator, Joseph Capser, Sauk Centre. Representatives, Charles A. Gilman, 
St. Cloud ; C. Klosterman, Munson ; W. H. Stinchfield, Maine Prairie ; C. D. 
Lamb, Melrose. 

Nineteenth Legislature — 1877. Assembled January 2; adjourned March 
2. Senator, C. F. Macdonald, St. Cloud. Representatives, Edmund Meagher, 
North Fork ; Charles A. Gilman, St. Cloud ; G. Klosterman, Munson ; B. Pirz, 
Eden Lake. 

Twentieth Legislature — 1878. Assembled January 8 ; adjourned March 8. 
Senator, C. F. Macdonald, St. Cloud. Representatives, Charles A. Gilman, St. 
Cloud ; D. B. Standley, Maine Prairie ; Henry J. Emmel, Spring Hill ; H. Rie- 
land, Oak. 



54 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Twenty-first Legislature — 1879. Assembled January 7 ; adjourned March 
7. Senator, C. F. Macdonald. Representatives, Charles A. Oilman, St. Cloud; 
M. Barrett, St. Wendel ; F. A. Bissell, Wakefield ; A. M. Stiles, Ashley. 

Twenty-second Legislature— 1881. Assembled January 4; adjourned 
March 4. ("While annual elections were held until 1886, the annual meetings 
of the legislature ceased with that of 1879, and beginning with 1881 the ses- 
sions have been biennial). Senator, C. F. Macdonald. Representatives, L. W. 
Collins, St. Cloud ; Carl Herberger, Albany ; D. J. Hanscom, Eden Lake ; Alex- 
ander Moore, Sauk Centre. An extra session of the legislature was called by 
Governor Pillsbury for the purpose of considering legislation relating to the 
old railroad bond issue, the supreme court having decided that the expunging 
amendment of 1860 was in violation of that provision of the constitution of 
the United States forbidding states from enacting any law impairing the 
obligation of contracts. The bondholders were more than willing to accept 
fifty cents on the dollar of the amount due on their bonds, and the legislature 
passed an act providing for the issue of $4,253,000 so-called ' ' Minnesota state 
railroad adjustment bonds" with which to settle those claims. At the same 
time a bill for a constitutional amendment providing for the sale of 500,000 
acres of internal improvement lands belonging to the state, the proceeds to 
be devoted to the payment of the new issue of bonds, was passed and approved 
by the people. The extra session began October 11 and adjourned November 
13. By the apportionment of 1881, made at the regular session, the state was 
divided into 47 districts with one senator to each and a total of 103 repre- 
sentatives. Stearns coimty constituted the Fortieth district, with one senator 
and four representatives. 

Twenty-third Legislature — 1883. Assembled January 2; adjourned March 
2. Senator, Henry C. Waite. Representatives, L. W. Collins, St. Cloud ; Alex- 
ander Moore, Sauk Centre ; Alexander Chisholm, Paynesville ; Casper Capser, 
St. Joseph. 

Twenty-fourth Legislature — 1885. Assembled January 6 ; adjourned 
March 6. Senator, Henry C. Waite, St. Cloud. Representatives, B. Rein- 
hax'd, St. Cloud ; Casper Capser, St. Joseph ; D. E. Meyers, Maine Prairie ; 
J. H. Bruce, Sauk Centre. 

Twenty-fifth Legislature — 1887. Assembled January 4; adjourned March 
4. Senator, Henry Keller, Sauk Centre. Representatives, Martin Heisler, 
Spring Hill ; George Engelhard, Munson ; Daniel H. Freeman, St. Cloud ; 
Kettel Halvorson, North Fork. 

Twenty-sixth Legislature — 1889. Assembled January 8 ; adjourned April 
23. The length of the session was extended to ninety days, exclusive of Sun- 
days and holidays. Senator, Henry Keller, Sauk Centre. Representatives, 
W. Merz, St. Joseph ; Joseph Capser, Sauk Centre ; Martin F. Greely, Maine 
Prairie; Frank E. Searle, St. Cloud. The apportionment of 1889 increased 
the number of districts to 54, with one senator to each and 114 representa- 
tives. Stearns and Benton counties and the Seventh Ward of the City of St. 
Cloud in Sherburne county composed the Forty-fifth district, with one senator 
and four representatives. 

Twenty-seventh Legislature — 1891. Assembled January 6; adjourned 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 55 

April 20. Senator, Henry Keller, Sauk Centre. Representatives, Frank E. 
Searle, St. Cloud; Joseph Capser, Sauk Centre; J. H. Linneman, St. Joseph; 
Joseph H. Coates, Sauk Rapids. 

Twenty-eighth Legislature — 1893. Assembled January 3 ; adjourned 
April 18. Senator, Henry Keller, Sauk Centre;. Representatives, P. B. Gor- 
man, St. Cloud ; J. H. Linneman, St. Joseph ; Frank E. Minette, Sauk Centre ; 
C. H. Hunck, Duelm. 

Twenty-ninth Legislature — 1895. Assembled January 8 ; adjourned April 

23. Senator, Henry Keller, Sauk Centre. Representatives, John J. Boobar, 
St. Cloud ; Fred Schroeder, St. Joseph ; Alexander Chisholm, Paynesville ; W. 
L. Nieman, Sauk Rapids. 

Thirtieth Legislature — 1897. Assembled January 5; adjourned April 21. 
Senator, Henry Keller, Sauk Centre. Representatives, J. G. Hayter, Fair 
Haven; Fred Schroeder, St. Joseph; Joseph Kraker, Melrose; E. S. Hall, 
Minden. A new apportionment made by this legislature created 63 senatorial 
districts, with 119 representatives. Stearns county was made a part of two 
districts — the Forty-seventh, which comprised Benton county, the Seventh 
ward of St. Cloud in Sherburne county, the City of St. Cloud, and the town- 
ships of St. Cloud and Le Sauk in Stearns county, with one senator and one 
representative ; and the Fifty-fourth district, comprising all of Stearns county 
except the City of St. Cloud and the townships of St. Cloud and Le Sauk, with 
one senator and two representatives. 

Thirty-first Legislature — 1899. Assembled January 3 ; adjourned April 
18. Forty-seventh district — Senator, Ripley B. Brower, St. Cloud ; representa- 
tive, Oscar Daggett, Sauk Rapids. Fifty-fourth district — Senator, Valentine 
Batz, Holding; representatives, Frank Benolken, Oak, and W. F. Donohue, 
Melrose. 

Thirty-second Legislature — 1901. Assembled January 8; adjourned April 
12. Forty-seventh district — Senator, Ripley B. Brower, St. Cloud; repre- 
sentative, Oscar Daggett, Sauk Rapids. Fifty-fourth district — Senator, Valen- 
tine Batz, Holding; representatives, Frank Benolken, Oak, and Edward C. 
Hogan, Sauk Centre. An extra session of the legislature was called by Gov- 
ernor Van Sant for the purpose of considering the report of the Tax Commis- 
sion created at the regular session. This session convened February 4, 1902, 
and adjourned March 11. 

Thirty -third Legislature — 1903. Assembled January 6; adjourned April 
21. Forty-seventh district — Senator, Ripley B. Brower, St. Cloud ; representa- 
tive, J. J. McGregor, Minden. Fifty-fourth district — Senator, Val. Batz, Hold- 
ing; representatives, Frank Minette, Sauk Centre, and Chris. H. Block, Fair 
Haven. 

Thirty-fourth Legislature — 1905. Assembled January 3 ; adjourned April 
18. Forty-seventh district — Senator, Ripley B. Brower, St. Cloud ; repre- 
sentative, P. C. Lynch, Glendorado. Fifty-fourth district — Senator, Val. Batz, 
Holding; representatives, William J. Stock, Melrose, and H. C. Block, Fair 
Haven. 

Thirty-fifth Legislature — 1907. Assembled January 8; adjourned April 

24. Forty-seventh district — Senator, John E. C. Robinson, St. Cloud; repre- 



56 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

sentative, Otis F. Doyle, St. Cloud (Benton county). Fifty-fourth district — 
Senator, John J. Ahmann, Munson; representatives, John R. Howard, Sauk 
Centre, and Joseph Friedman, Eden Valley. 

Thirty-sixth Legislature — 1909. Assembled January 5; adjourned April 
22. Forty-seventh district — Senator, John E. C. Robinson, St. Cloud; repre- 
sentative, Otis F. Doyle, St. Cloud (Benton county). Fifty-fourth district — 
Senator, John F. Ahmann, Munson; representatives, Joseph Friedman, Eden 
Valley, and Henry J. Emmel, Melrose. 

Thirty-seventh Legislature — 1911. Assembled January 3; adjourned April 
19. Forty-seventh district — Senator, John D. Sullivan, St. Cloud ; representa- 
tive, L. Wisniewski, Foley. Fifty-fourth district — Senator, John J. Ahmann, 
Munson ; representatives, Frank E. Minette, Sauk Centre, and August M. 
Utecht, Munson. An extra session of the legislature, called by Governor Eber- 
hart, assembled June 4 and adjourned June 18, 1912. This session passed the 
so-called state wide primary law, the special object for which it had been con- 
vened, but little other legislation being attempted. 

Thirty-eighth Legislature — 1913. Assembled January 7 ; adjourned April 
24. Forty-seventh district — Senator, John D. Sullivan, St. Cloud; representa- 
tive, Joseph H. Coates, Sauk Rapids. Fifty-fourth district — Senator, John J. 
Ahmann, Munson; representatives, Frank E. Minette, Sauk Centre, and J. A. 
Henry, Albany. 

At several successive sessions of the legislature prior to that of 1913 at- 
tempts had been made to secure a new apportionment. The last had been in 
1897 and a great change in the population had taken place in the meantime 
— the northern part of the state having increased while in the southern part 
the gain had been slight, in some counties an actual loss having taken place. 
But all attempts at a fair and equitable apportionment, based on population, 
as required by the plain provisions of the constitution, were frustrated by the 
southern senators, who realized that a readjustment of representation on a 
constitutional basis would materially reduce their numbers, leaving a bunch 
of ambitious politicians to cool their heels at home instead of warming them 
in the legislative chambers. But at the last session, after a protracted struggle, 
a compromise bill was agreed upon, by which the number of senators was 
increased to 67 and the number of representatives to 130, although the legis- 
lature was already one of the largest in the United States and altogether out 
of proportion to the population. The increase, however, was a sop to the 
southern senators, and was necessary in order to secure re-apportionment on 
anything even approaching a fair basis. 

By the apportionment of 1913 the former Thirty-eighth and Fifty-fourth 
senatorial districts became the Forty-fifth and Forty-sixth. These districts are 
composed as follows : 

Forty-fifth District. The Forty-fifth district shall be composed of the 
County of Benton, the Seventh ward of the City of St. Cloud situated in the 
County of Sherburne, and the City of St. Cloud and the villages of St. Joseph, 
Rockville, Sartell and Waite Park, and the towns of St. Joseph, Brockway, 
St. Wendel, Le Sauk, Rockville, St. Cloud, St. Augusta and Lynden situated 



HISTOEY OF STEAENS COUNTY 57 

in the County of Stearns, and shall be entitled to elect one senator and two 
representatives. 

The representative districts shall be divided as follows: The County of 
Benton and the Seventh ward of the City of St. Cloud in Sherburne county 
shall constitute one district and shall be entitled to elect one representative. 

The First, Second, Third, and Fourth wards of the City of St. Cloud and 
the villages of St. Joseph, Sartell, Eockville and Waite Park, and the towns of 
Brockway, St. Wendel, Le Sauk, St. Joseph, St. Cloud, St. Augusta, Eockville 
and Lynden situated in the County of Stearns shall constitute one district and 
shall be entitled to elect one representative. 

Forty-sixth District. The Forty-sixth district shall be composed of the 
villages of Holding, Freeport, Albany, Eden Valley, St. Martin, Cold Spring, 
Eichmond, Kimball Prairie, Avon, New Munich, Meire Grove, Brooten, Bel- 
grade, Paynesville and Spring Hill, and the towns of Holding, Millwood, Oak, 
St. Martin, Krain, Albany, Farming, Munson, Eden Lake, Avon, Collegeville, 
Wakefield, Luxemburg, Maine Prairie, Fair Haven, Ashley, Sauk Center, Mel- 
rose, Eaymond, Getty, Grove, North Fork, Lake George, Spring Hill, Crow 
Lake, Crow Eiver, Lake Henry, Zion and Paynesville, and the cities of Sauk 
Centre and Melrose situated in the County of Stearns and shall be entitled to 
elect one senator and two representatives. 

The representative districts shall be divided as follows : The villages of 
Meire Grove, Brooten, Belgrade, Paynesville and Spring Hill, the towns of 
Ashley, Sauk Centre, Melrose, Eaymond, Getty, Grove, North Fork, Lake 
George, Spring Hill, Crow Lake, Crow Eiver, Lake Henry, Zion and Paynes- 
ville, and the cities of Sauk Centre and Melrose shall constitute one district 
and shall be entitled to elect one representative. 

The villages of Holding, Freeport, Albany, Eden Valley, St. Martin, Cold 
Spring, Eichmond, Kimball Prairie, Avon, New Munich and the towns of 
Holding, Millwood, Oak, St. Martin, Krain, Albany, Farming, Munson, Eden 
Lake, Avon, Collegeville, "Wakefield, Luxemburg, Maine Prairie and Fair 
Haven shall constitute one district and shall be entitled to elect one 
representative. 

Thirty-ninth Legislature — 1915. Assembled January 4. Forty-fifth dis- 
trict — Senator, John D. Sullivan, St. Cloud; representatives (in Stearns coun- 
ty), Charles A. Oilman, St. Cloud; (in Benton county) Edward Indrehuston, 
Glendorado, Foley, E. F. D. 4. Forty-sixth district — Senator, P. A. Hilbert, 
Melrose ; representatives, Fred Minette, Sauk Centre ; Henry Stoetzel, Mil- 
wood, Freeport E. F. D. 3. 

CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATION. 

During the period of its territorial existence Minnesota was represented 
in congress by one delegate, who while entitled to a seat in the house of repre- 
sentatives and to take part in debate had no vote, his duties supposedly being 
devoted primarily to caring for the interests of his territory. As has been 
stated, the first delegate was Henry H. Sibley, whose term extended from 
January 15, 1849, to March 4, 1853. He was succeeded by Henry M. Eice, who 
served from December 5, 1853, to March 4, 1857. W. W. Kingsbury was the 



58 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

delegate during the brief succeeding period of territorial existence, from 
December 7, 1857, to May 11, 1858. 

The state constitution adopted in 1857 provided that for the purposes of 
the first election the state should constitute one congressional district and 
should elect three members of the house of representatives. This v^as based 
on the belief that the population at that time was 250,000. The election was 
held October 13, 1857, for state officers and congressmen. The three members 
elected were George L. Becker, "William W. Phelps and James M. Cavanaugh. 
But the completed census showed the population to be only 150,037, and the 
act providing for the admission of Minnesota as a state allowed only two 
congressmen. It was agreed among the three gentlemen who had been for 
five months on the anxious seat, because they could not get any other, to 
decide by lot who should present their credentials. The long straws were 
drawn by Messrs. Phelps and Cavanaugh, the ill-fortune of Mr. Becker, who 
was generally regarded as the ablest of the three, being generally regretted. 

The legislature of 1857-8 divided the state into two congressional dis- 
tricts, Stearns county being in the second district, which comprised the more 
northern counties. Each district was entitled to elect one representative to 
congress. 

A new apportionment was made in 1872, providing for three congressional 
districts, Stearns co^^nty being included in the Third, with Ramsey, Hennepin 
and the other counties in the state to the north. 

The apportionment of 1881 divided the state into five districts, Stearns 
county, with Mille Lacs, Benton, Morrison, Pope, Douglas, Stevens, Big Stone, 
Traverse, Grant, Todd, Crow Wing, Aitkin, Carlton, Wadena, Otter Tail, 
Wilkin, Cass, Becker, Clay, Polk, Beltrami, Marshall, Hubbard, Kittson, Itasca, 
St. Louis, Lake and Cook counties constituting the Fifth district. 

The next apportionment, that of 1891, increased the number of districts 
to seven, Stearns county being in the Sixth district, with Aitkin, Anoka, 
Beltrami, Benton, Carlton, Cass, Cook, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Itasca, Lake, 
Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, St. Louis, Sherburne, Todd, Wadena and Wright 
counties. 

By the apportionment of 1901 the state was divided into nine congressional 
districts, Stearns county remaining in the Sixth district, with the counties of 
Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Douglas, Hubbard, Meeker, Morrison, Sherburne, 
Todd, Wadena and Wright. 

The national census of 1910 gave Minnesota an additional member of 
congress, who was elected at large at the election held November 4, 1912. 

The legislature of 1913 divided the state into ten congressional districts. 
The Sixth district is composed of the counties of Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, 
Morrison, Aitkin, Todd, Crow Wing, Wadena, Hubbard, Cass and Beltrami — 
a veritable "shoe-string" district, extending from south of the geographical 
center of the state to the extreme northern boundary. 

Stearns county has been represented in congress since Minnesota became 
a state, as follows: 

W. W. Phelps, Democrat (Goodhue county), May 12, 1858, to March 4, 
1859. Cyrus Aldrich, Republican (Hennepin county), March 4, 1859, to 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 59 

Marcli 4, 1863. Ignatius Donnelly, Republican (Dakota county), March 4, 
1863, to March 4, 1869. Eugene M. Wilson, Democrat (Hennepin county), 
March 4, 1869, to March 4, 1871. John T. Averill, Republican (Ramsey 
county), March 4, 1871, to March 4, 1875. William S. King, Republican 
(Hennepin county), March 4, 1875, to March 4, 1877. Jacob H. Stewart, 
Republican (Ramsey county), March 4, 1877, to March 4, 1879. William D. 
Washburn, Republican (Hennepin county), March 4, 1879, to March 4, 1883. 
Knute Nelson, Republican (Douglas county), March 4, 1883, to March 4, 1889. 
S. G. Comstock, Republican (Clay county), March 4, 1889, to March 4, 1891. 
Kittel Halvorson, Alliance (Stearns county), March 4, 1891, to March 4, 1893. 
M. R. Baldwin, Democrat (St. Louis county), March 4, 1893, to March 4, 1895. 
Charles A. Towne, Republican (St. Louis county), March 4, 1895, to March 4, 
1897. Page Morris, Republican (St. Louis county), March 4, 1897, to March 4, 
1903. C. B. Buckman, Republican (Morrison county), March 4, 1903, to 
March 4, 1907. Charles A. Lindburgh, Republican (Morrison county), March 
4, 1907, to March 4, 1915. At the election in November, 1914, Mr. Lindburgh 
was re-elected for the term ending March 4, 1917. 



CHAPTER IX. 

BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW. 

Important Incidents in the Lives of Several Men and Women Who Have Been 
Prominent in the History of Steams County — Causes Which Have Con- 
tributed to Their Success — Family Genealogy. 

Nehemiah Parker Clarke. Few men in Minnesota have achieved greater 
success along the chosen lines of work than did Nehemiah P. Clarke. A man 
of untiring energy, of indomitable perseverance, of keen insight, and of 
unusual business acumen, he went into large enterprises with perfect confi- 
dence of final success, and success was almost invariably the result of his 
efforts. Two fields of endeavor and opportunity claimed practically the sum 
of his efforts — business and the raising of the highest grades of stock. In 
both he won a place among the foremost, and his reputation as a stock breeder 
was national, if not international. Mr. Clarke was born April 8, 1836, at 
Hubbardston, Worcester county, Massachusetts. His father. Dr. Shepherd 
Clarke, was a practicing physician, but the son, having no desire to follow in 
his father's footsteps, early left home, and made his first venture in Kentucky 
as a book agent at the age of fourteen. He remained in that state two years 
and was so successful that thirty years later the firm wrote urging him to 
take up the business again. He was called home by the death of his only 
brother, John Flavel Clarke. After attending school for a year and a half at 
Westminster, Vermont, he went to Detroit at the age of eighteen, and secured 
employment in a wholesale grocery house, where he remained for a year. 
In September, 1855, he went to Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, and worked in Dea- 
con's hardware store, by these experiences laying the foundation for 



60 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

mneli of the active work of his after life. Moving still further westward in 
1856, Mr. Clarke came to Minnesota, reaching St. Cloud on July 4, when 
he had not yet attained his majority. The few houses which made up the 
new-born hamlet were scattered up and down the river and the inducements 
for trade seemed meager indeed. But he was full of the life, energy, and busi- 
ness sagacity which marked his entire career, and he at once engaged in the 
merchandise business. "While at Pond du Lac, Mr. Clarke had formed a close 
acquaintance with John H. Proctor, of Athol, Mass., and the two made the 
journey further westward together. They took the steamboat on the Missis- 
sippi to St. Paul, and went from there to St. Anthony, now Minneapolis, arriv- 
ing early in July, 1856. Finding that the stage would not leave for several 
days, they walked to St. Cloud, a distance of sixty-five miles, along the west 
bank of the Mississippi, taking two days for the trip. By the time they had 
reached Monticello, Mr. Proctor, who was the less vigorous of the two, was 
thoroughly exhausted, and urged that they wait the coming of the stage. But 
as the next day was the Fourth of July, and as Mr. Clarke had set his heart 
on spending that day in his new home, he insisted that they proceed. 
At times, when his companion had completely given out, he carried 
him for a distance on his back, until he could rally sufficiently to 
resume his foot-sore journey. At once upon their arrival, they formed 
a business partnership, and Mr. Clarke returned to the East, where 
he purchased a stock of general merchandise. They occupied the two-story 
building which stood on the east side of Fifth avenue. North, just north of 
the present Great Northern railroad track. The first floor was used as a store 
room, while the proprietors kept "bachelor's hall" up stairs. Next season 
they put up a building on the site occupied by the Fifth Avenue Hotel, with a 
warehouse in the rear, facing Sixth avenue, to accommodate their largely 
increased business. Their stock included nearly everything in the way of 
general merchandise, as well as farming implements and hardware. When 
the Indian war broke out, Mr. Proctor's family becoming alarmed, he sold his 
interest in the business to A. Montgomery, and returned to the East. Soon 
afterward, Mr. Clarke disposed of his interest to J. E. "West, and engaged in 
the transportation business to tlie far West, where the government posts 
were located, using mules and ox teams in the filling of contracts for supplies. 
His enterprises, among which was laying out the stage route to the Black 
Hills, carried him much of the way through a wholly lausettled country, where 
Indians and stage robbers were frequently encountered. He also engaged in 
the banking business, first as a member of the firm of Clarke & McClure, and 
later taking the business wholly into his own hands and name. He was one 
of the leading lumbermen of the state, both as an owner of pine lands and 
as a manufactvirer and shipper from Minneapolis and other points. But in 
his latter years, the raising of pure bred stock, especially horses and cattle, 
became a passion with Mr. Clarke, and he devoted to attaining the highest 
results along this line, a great deal of time and large sums of money. He 
carried on three good farms. Meadow Lawn of 1,600 acres, Clyde Mains of 
1,900 acres, and Nether Hall of 300 acres, all in Stearns county. His Shorthorn 
cattle included some of the choicest animals to be found in the coimtry and 




MES. JANE GREY SWISSHELM. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 61 

they were prize winners wherever shown. The Galloways were equally suc- 
cessful. He owned the celebrated Clydesdales, Prince Patrick and Queen Lily, 
who won the world's championship prizes at the Columbian Exposition in 
Chicago in 1893. Mr. Clarke visited Great Britain and selected the choicest 
animals, regardless of cost, for the Stearns county farms. While caring little 
or nothing for office, he was much interested in politics, and exerted a potent 
influence in the direction of his preferences. While yet a young man, he was 
clerk of the district court of the county, his first term being in 1859, the 
victory being won by his personal popularity_in the face of a strong adverse 
political majority. He was re-elected in 1861. When St. Cloud became a city 
he was elected a member of the common council. He was a delegate to the 
Republican National Convention held in Cincinnati in 1876, which nominated 
Rutherford B. Hayes for the presidency. He was president of the Minnesota 
Agricultural Society, of the American Clydesdale Association, and of the 
American Galloway Association, and an active member of the American 
Shorthorn Association. 

No matter how busy he was with other things, Mr. Clarke always found 
time to promote the agricultural interests of Minnesota. When president of 
the Minnesota State Agricultural Society, he was mainly responsible for the 
presentation of the present state fair grounds by Ramsey county to the com- 
monwealth. He then went before the legislature and succeeded in getting an 
appropriation of $100,000 to equip t?ie grounds. When the buildings were 
finished a shortage of about $110,000 was discovered. Mr. Clarke drew his 
personal check for the difference and carried the indebtedness until the legis- 
lature reimbursed him. He helped the State Agricultural School at St. 
Anthony Park in all possible ways, talked to the students at commencement 
on practical subjects, and spent much time working for the necessary 
appropriations. 

He was a member of the Minnesota Territorial Pioneers' Association and 
the Old Settlers' Association of Stearns county. Mr. Clarke was a Unitarian 
and the son of New England Unitarians. He was one of the founders of 
Unity Church, of St. Cloud, and always actively interested in its welfare. 

At Roxbury, Mass., September 12, 1860, Mr. Clarke married Caroline E. 
Field, who survives him. Three children were born to them: Charlotte E., 
Mary Ann, and Ellen C. Ellen C. became the wife of C. F. de Golyer, who 
died in Florida December 6, 1895. Mrs. de Golyer resides in Evanston, Illinois. 
Mr. Clarke had been in ill health for several years before his death, which 
occurred in St. Cloud, Saturday, June 29, 1912. The work which he began 
and so successfvilly carried forward will continue to be of advantage to the 
people of Minnesota and its neighboring states for many decades to come. 

Mr. Clarke's father, Dr. Shepherd Clarke, was born August 17, 1794, at 
Hubbardstown, Massachusetts, and his mother, Mary Ann Dickinson, at 
Petersham, Massachusetts, where they were married in January, 1825, making 
their home at Hubbardstown, where they died, the father September 24, 1852, 
and the mother in 1876. N. P. Clarke was the last survivor of the family, 
which included one other son and six daughters. 

Jane Grey Swisshelm. It is easily within the limits of a conservative 



62 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

judgment to say that the influence of Mrs. Jane Grey Swisshelm was more 
potent in Minnesota, during the period of its late territorial and early state 
history, than that of any other woman. The anti-slavery issue was convulsing 
the entire nation, and even on the soil of this far-northern state, the master 
asserted his ownership of his slaves. Mrs. Swisshelm had brought with her 
to her new home the most intense anti-slavery convictions, and had been 
preceded by her reputation as a vigorous and fearless writer. She was also 
earnestly devoted to securing legislation which would give to women an 
equality of marital, civil and legal rights with those enjoyed by men. In 
these two causes she was enlisted heart and soul, giving to them all her 
strength and aU her gifts of tongue and pen, and lived to see the complete 
triumph of one and a most gratifying measure of success — ^since then also 
become complete — of the other. 

Her life began December 6, 1815, at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, her father 
being Thomas Cannon and her mother Mary Scott, both of Scotch-Irish 
descent. Her grandmother on the maternal side, Jane Grey, was of that 
family which was allied to royalty, having given to England her nine-days' 
queen. Lady Jane Grey, in 1553. At the age of fifteen she began teaching 
school in the village of Wilkinsburg, a suburb of Pittsburgh, to which hamlet 
her father had removed and engaged in business the year following her 
birth. She was married November 18, 1836, to James Swisshelm, who lived 
on a near-by farm, on which was located a small saw-mill run by the water 
of a little stream which dashed into the buckets of an "over-shot" wheel, so 
familiar in the small mills of that early day, but now a thing wholly of the 
past. During her girlhood, she had developed a taste for painting, but condi- 
tions after her married life began were unfavorable for its continuance and 
development, to her bitter disappointment. In 1838 her husband moved to 
Louisville, Kentucky, where he engaged in business, and where she came into 
close contact with human slavery, witnessing its brutality, its horrors, its 
wickedness, its degrading influence on whites and blacks alike. Her whole 
nature revolted against the wrong and injustice done to an entire race, and 
one of the great purposes of her life was then and there formed. Mr. 
Swisshelm 's business not proving successful, they left Louisville in 1842 and 
returned to the Pennsylvania fann, which Mre. Swisshelm then named Swiss- 
vale, the near-by station on the Pennsylvania railway still having that name. 
She now began writing stories, rhymes and abolition articles for different 
Philadelphia and Pittsburgh papers under the nom de plume of "Jennie 
Deans." Later, under her own name, she published a series of letters in a 
Pittsburgh paper on the subject of a married woman's right to hold property. 
Other women labored in the same cause and with siich success that in the 
session of 1847-48 the legislatvire of Pennsylvania passed a bill giving to 
women the right to hold property in their own name. These editorial labors 
led to the establishing of the Pittsburgh Saturday Visiter, the first number of 
which appeared Janiiary 20, 1848, and Mrs. Swisshelm became one of the 
early pioneers in the world of journalism for women. While the Visiter had 
attractive literary features, its main purpose was to advocate the abolition 
of slavery and the securing to women of their just marital and legal rights. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 63 

It rapidly gained a wide circulation (having in its second year six thousand 
subscribers) and great influence. 

In 1850 she paid her first visit to Washington, where she remained for 
some time, there meeting Colonel Benton, Henry Clay, Senators Chase and 
Hale and others of the Whig and anti-slavery leaders. During this time she 
corresponded regularly with Horace Greeley's New York Tribune, and from 
Washington wrote a letter to the Visiter regarding the personal habits of 
Daniel Webster, then a candidate for the presidency, which attracted much 
attention but drew forth no reply. 

Women's rights conventions had their beginning in these days. Mrs. 
Swisshelm was invited to attend and preside over the second, which was held 
in April, 1850, at Salem, Ohio, but declined. She did attend one held at 
Akron, Ohio, in May of the following year, but failed to find anything that 
was inspiring in its proceedings. She described it as being "so much more 
ridiculous than ridicide, so much more absurd than absurdity." The so-called 
"bloomer" costume for women, named for a Mrs. Bloomer, editor of a little 
paper published at SjTacuse, N. Y., had a limited vogue, receiving, however, 
the favor of so wise a woman as Mrs. Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who believed 
that in the matter of dress lay the remedy for all the ills that womankind 
was heir to. Mrs. Swisshelm, after giving the costume a brief trial, discarded 
it. About the only result from its use she found was to give the opponents of 
women's rights the opportunity of saying that what they most wanted was to 
"wear the pantaloons." Mrs. Swisshelm was not at that time an advocate 
of female suffrage, she thought it Avould- be a hindrance rather than a help 
to the end she had most at heart. "The government," she said, "is now 
struggling under the ballots of ignorant, irresponsible men," and "must have 
gone down under the additional burden of the votes which would have been 
throvsm upon it by millions of ignorant, irresponsible women." Her advice 
to women was "not to weaken their cause by impracticable demands," to 
"take one step at a time, get a good foothold in it and advance carefully," 
and that "suffrage in municipal elections for property holders who could read 
and had never been connected with crime was the place to strike for the 
baUot. Say nothing about suffrage elsewhere until it is proved successful 
here." Her own married experience impressed her with the necessity for a 
determined struggle to secure for women a legal recognition of their rights to 
a decent if not an equal share in what she had jointly contributed to produce. 
In 1859 in a suit brought in a Pittsburgh court by a local tradesman to collect 
from her husband a bill for some articles of women's wear sold to her, the 
judge charged the jury as follows: "If a wife have no dress and her husband 
refuses to provide one she may purchase one — a plain dress — not silk or lace 
or any extravagance ; if she have no shoes she may get a pair ; if she be sick 
and he refuse to employ a physician she may send for one and get the medicine 
he may prescribe ; and for these necessaries the husband is liable, but here his 
liability ceases." As the merchant could not testify that at the time Mrs. 
Swisshelm made her purchases she "had no dress," he lost his case. It seems 
incredible in view of woman's present legal rights that any such condition 
as that outlined above could ever have existed in any state in this country, 



64 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

let alone a state as far along in the march of progress and as high in the scale 
of intelligence as Pennsylvania. 

Through the inefficiency of its business manager, the Visiter became so 
badly involved financially that it was sold to the Pittsburgh Journal and 
united with that paper, Mrs. Swisshelm continuing in an editorial capacity. 
The conditions of her married life no longer being tolerable, she left Pittsburgh 
in the spring of 1857, with her little daughter and only child, arriving at St. 
Cloud June 7. Very soon afterwards she became the proprietor of the Minne- 
sota Advertiser, which had been established at the beginning of that year, but 
had not been financially successful. Her radical anti-slavery utterances 
brought her into antagonism with powerful political influences, and on the 
night of March 24, 1858, the office in which the newspaper plant was located 
was broken into and the type and a part of the press with which the paper 
was printed thrown into the Mississippi river. The citizens of the place, 
without respect to party, rallied to her support and purchased an entirely new 
outfit, which was placed at her disposal and the publication of the paper was 
resumed. A suit being brought against the printing company for certain 
utterances claimed to be libelous, Mrs. Swisshelm assumed the ownership of 
the paper, changed the name from the Visiter to the Democrat and continued 
its publication. She was hampered by many difficulties, especially in the 
matter of efficient help, and herself did a part of the mechanical work in the 
office. 

In January, 1863, Mrs. Swisshelm went to Washington City and soon 
afterwards became engaged in work in the government hospitals, although 
having had no previous experience in nursing. But her good sense, her good 
judgment and her sympathy with the sick and wounded soldiers sent in from 
the field of battle or from the camp for treatment made her services of great 
value, and the sufferers, who came to regard her as a mother as much as a 
nurse ministering to them in their need, acquired a deep affection for her. 
Taking a very brief vacation in September to return to St. Cloud and com- 
plete the sale of her newspaper plant, she continued her hospital service. 
Her devotion and success here were the subject of much favorable newspaper 
comment. Among many the following extract from the Philadelphia Dial 
may be taken as indicative of the others: "Mrs. Jane G. Swisshelm is to the 
Washington hospitals what Florence Nightingale was to the Crimea." After 
the battle of the Wilderness she went to Fredericksburg, which appeared to be 
the scene of the greatest need, and engaged in the care of the wounded there. 
Without salary, without reward of any kind, she persisted in remaining in 
the hospital work until her strength entirely gave out and for weeks she was 
herself on a bed of sickness. When sufficiently recovered she took a position 
in the quartermaster's office in Washington, to which she was appointed by 
Secretary Stanton, long her personal friend, at a salary of $60 per month, this 
being her only means of livelihood at the age of fifty years. Even this was 
soon taken from her by direct order of President Andrew Johnson, who 
ordered her discharge for "speaking disrespectfully of the president of the 
United States." 

In the early part of 1866 she established in Washington City a paper 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 65 

called the Reconstructionist. Mrs. Patterson, the daughter of President 
Johnson, was one of its first subscribers in the District of Columbia, although 
the paper vigorously opposed the president's reconstruction policy. The paper 
was not a financial success, not having sufficient capital to sustain it until it 
should become established. 

The years between 1866, when she finally left Washington, until her 
death, which occurred July 21, 1884, were spent at St. Cloud, at Chicago, and 
at Swissvale, with one year in Europe. While living in Chicago she was 
the intimate personal friend of the widow of Abraham Lincoln, who was also 
then making that city her home. It was also while here that her only daughter, 
Zoe Swisshelm, was married to Ernest L. Allen, a prominent young business 
man whose home had earlier been in St. Cloud. During this time she was a 
contributor to a number of leading papers and lectured occasionally on labor 
problems and other questions of current interest. At this time she became 
an advocate of woman suffrage, believing that it would be an influence in 
doing away with many of the evils of intemperance as well as aid in securing 
to women fuller legal rights. She also wrote a book, "Half a Century," in 
(vhich was narrated many of the incidents of her eventful life. Some time 
before a successful suit at law had given her possession of a valuable property 
at Swissvale, a part of the original homestead, so that her later years were 
passed in comparative comfort. 

The life of Jane Grey Swisshelm was one of absolute self-denial, of unre- 
served consecration to the welfare of others, whether it was the poor slave, 
her fellow woman deprived of her just personal and property rights, or the 
soldier stretched on a bed of suffering. She never stopped to consider the 
consequences to herself when a matter of principle was involved or she felt 
that a humanitarian demand was made on her. Her life was a continuous 
struggle against unjust and oppressive conditions, not only incidentally as 
they affected herself but in their larger and wider fields of contact with 
human rights. 

In her editorial work she was keen, incisive, logical, witty and ready at 
repartee. In her earlier career she measured swords with George D. Prentiss, 
editor of the Louisville Journal, who had a national reputation as a wit, and 
the general verdict was that she by uo means came out second best. She was 
At home in almost any field of discussion — moral, social, political or religious — 
although caring little for any in which there was not some principle at stake, 
and was without doubt the most widely-known woman journalist of her day. 
Always radical, she believed that the right time to do the right thing was to 
do it now, an attitude of mind which sometimes led her to injudicious lengths, 
ds when she criticised President Lincoln for revoking General Fremont's 
order, issued in the early days of the war, confiscating the slaves of rebels in 
Arms. The unusual vigor of her style and her reputation as a controversialist 
led those who did not know her personally to picture her as bold, masculine, 
Amazonish, but nothing could be farther from the fact. She was physically 
slight, even fragile, of less than medium height, with pleasant face, eyes 
beaming with kindliness, soft voice and winning manners. What was mascu- 
line was her intellect and her courage. She was aggressive because she was so 



66 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

terribly in earnest. Her heart was tender to the very core, and her sympathies 
led her to make any personal sacrifice for the welfare of others. 

In brUlianee of intellect, in the comprehensive grasp of facts, in clear, 
logical perception, in unswerving devotion to what she believed to be right, 
in willing service to the individual needs of those in distress, Jane Grey 
Swisshelm is entitled to a first place in the ranks of woman journalists and 
of the representatives of true womanhood. 

William T. Clark. The sturdy New Englanders have been the subject of 
song and story, and there are few histories of the subduing of the wilderness 
in any part of the globe that do not contain the names of the sons of the 
descendants of the Puritans. The type of old school New England is rapidly 
passing, but the worth of these men will never be forgotten. Courteous of 
manner, considerate in bearing, widely informed, and masters of conversa- 
tional powers, they left their impress on the lives of whatever community 
they bettered with their presence. Born to the advantages which a community 
of substantial, educated. God-fearing people affords, many of them risked their 
lives, their fortunes, their -health and their peace of mind in the interests of 
civilization. Some, pressing gradually westward with the "Star of Empire," 
found their way to Minnesota, and the influence of their coming has moulded 
the thought of the more recent influx of population from the countries of 
Europe. Among these early New England arrivals may be mentioned William 
T. Clark, the lumberman, who lived in St. Cloud nearly fifty-seven years. 

William T. Clark was born in Strong, Franklin county, Maine, September 
1, 1830, son of Richard and Hannah (True) Clark, the former of whom, after 
the death of the latter, came to St. Cloud, and spent his declining years here, 
dying at the age of seventy-nine. William T. Clark was reared on the home 
farm, attended the district schools, and was nurtured in the faith of his 
fathers. Having a mechanical turn of mind, he went to Boston, then the Mecca 
for all Yankee boys, and there entered the old Boyer Repair Shop on Merrimac 
street. That was before the days of highly specialized work and elaborate 
machinery, and yoimg Clark received a thorough insight into all branches of 
mechanical construction and operation, paying especial attention to wood- 
working and building. But the wanderlust was in his blood. Horace Greeley 
was urging young men to go west, Boston was stirred with stories of the 
possibilities of the upper Mississippi valley. The young man of whom we are 
writing consequently closed up his affairs and started for Chicago. There he 
fell in with a group of young railroad men, with whom he went to Aurora. 
From there he found his way to Galesburg, so soon to become the scene of 
the never-to-be-forgotten Lincoln-Douglas debate. There he met some young 
men from Boston. They pooled their interests, and full of youthful enthu- 
siasm and vigor, opened a general repair shop. This gave them all a valuable 
business experience which stood them in good stead in after life. But Mr. 
Clark did not feel that he had yet reached the frontier where his life work 
was to be done. In 1857 he went back East, married, and with his bride 
started for the Northwest, reaching St. Cloud after a voyage up the Missis- 
sippi river. He at once became identified with the woodworking, building and 
lumber business. To detail his various connections and activities would be 










32 






HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 67 

to relate the every-day life of a busy man. He erected many of the early 
houses in the city, he with F. H. Dam had a sash, door and shingle mill. He 
was connected with Mr. McClure at one time and with Coleman Bridgeman 
at another in the lumber and manufacturing business. He was associated 
with N. P. Clarke in various lumber ventures for some twenty years. He had 
two lumber yards. In the early nineties, his son, Edward Everett, became his 
partner, and in 1900 he took charge of the business. Mr. Clark spent a part 
of the year 1879 in Northwood, Iowa, and a part of 1880 in Mandan, N. D. 
Aside from this, his activities centered in St. Cloud, though he had extensive 
timber interests elsewhere. Mr. Clark was an active member of the school 
board for fifteen years. He was a devoted member of the Congregational 
church. At the time he furnished the facts for this sketch, though in the last 
months of his life, and in his eighty-third year, he was wonderfully well pre- 
served, his clean life and his outdoor labors being apparent in his rigorous 
constitution. For more than half a century he was one of the most notable 
figures in St. Cloud life. Mr. Clark died October 15, 1913, and the people 
united in their grief at their loss, and praise of his character. He was widely 
known and universally respected. He impressed all with a feeling of his 
absolute honesty and uprightness. He was quiet and reserved in manner, but 
his convictions were strong and deep and guided by a mature judgment. The 
death of such a man leaves the city poorer. 

Mr. Clark was married March 1, 1857, to Caroline M. McCleary, born in 
Strong, Maine, October 6, 1833, daughter of William and Sally (Hunter) 
McCleary. Coming to St. Cloud in 1857, the kindly, gracious presence of 
Mrs. Clark has influenced the church and social life of the community. Mr. 
and Mrs. Clark were gladdened by the birth of seven children: Hannah A., 
Susan M., George R., Edward E., Carrie C, True "W., and Theodore (deceased). 
Susan M. married William Tait, and they have an adopted daughter, Florence. 
George R., a St. Cloud jeweler, married Alice Brooks, of Chicago, and they 
have three children, Harry B., Carol, and Helen A. Edward Everett, a St. 
Cloud lumberman, married Annie Mitchell, and they have one child, Catherine. 
Carrie C. married B. F. Carter, a St. Cloud druggist, and they have one 
daughter, Helen. True W. married Inis Snow. « They have a son, John, and 
live in Los Angeles, California. 

The ancestry of Mrs. William T. Clark is most interesting. John Hunter 
moved from his home a few miles from Ayr, Scotland, in 1656, and settled in 
County Londonderry, in the northern part of Ireland. There he erected a 
stone mansion which still remains in the family. Henry Hunter, son of John, 
was born in this stone mansion, in 1676, and married Nancy Kennedy. Several 
of their descendants became founders of American families, distinguished in 
many lines. Henry (2) was the youngest of the children of Henry and Nancy 
(Kennedy) Hunter. He was born in the same stone mansion as his father, 
and came to America before the French war. For a time he engaged in trade 
with his nephew. With his own vessel he carried troops to Quebec when it 
was taken by General Wolfe. Once his ship was captured by the British, but 
the commander was an old schoolmate, and not only released him and his ship, 
but gave him a paper which protected him from seizure in the future. This 



68 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Henry Hunter married Sarah Wyer, who came from Londonderry, Ireland. 
The ceremony was performed under the Old Elm on Boston Common. Four 
years later she died and was buried in the cemetery on Boston Common. 
Later, in 1760, he married another lady of the same name, from Londonderry, 
New Hampshire. Then he settled in Bristol, Maine. His son, David Hunter, 
was a pioneer of Strong, Maine. He died May 7, 1871, at the age of ninety- 
eight years. In 1796 he had married Eleanor Fossett, a daughter of Henry 
Fossett, of Bristol, Maine. One of the daughters of David and Eleanor 
(Fossett) Hunter was Sally Hunter. She married William McCleary, and 
their daughter was Caroline M. McCleary, who married "William T. Clark. 

Edward Everett Clark, proprietor of the Clark Lumber Company, St. 
Cloud, was born in the city where he still resides, June 3, 1864, son of William 
T. and Caroline M. (McCleary) Clark, the pioneers. He received his early 
education in the schools of his native city, and was graduated in 1884 from 
the Minneapolis Business College. Then he became manager and accountant 
for Franklin Benner, manufacturer of gas and electric fixtures, at Minneapolis. 
At the end of eight years he returned to St. Cloud, and became associated 
with his father in the lumber business. Since the death of his father he has 
been sole owner. He carries a full line of lumber and other building materials, 
and during business hours is always to be found at the store. He is one of the 
active and progressive men of the Granite City, and is well adapted to his 
chosen line of endeavor. Fraternally he is a member of St. Cloud Lodge, 
No. 516, B. P. 0. E. Mr. Clark was united in marriage June 5, 1898, to 
Annie J. Mitchell, of Medelia, Minnesota, and they have one daughter, 
Catherine M., a student in the St. Cloud High School. Mr. Clark and Iiis 
family attend the Presbyterian church. The residence is at 321 Fourth avenue, 
South. 

George R. Clark, jeweler and optometrist, is one of St. Cloud's busy busi- 
ness men. He was born in St. Cloud, August 14, 1861, son of William T. and 
Caroline M. (McCleary) Clark, the pioneers. He passed through the com- 
mon, the Union and the High schools of St. Cloud, and served four years as an 
apprentice watchmaker and jeweler. In May, 1884, he engaged in this line of 
business for himself. After ten years of successful endeavor, he took a course 
in the Chicago Ophthalmic College. In addition to doing a large business 
in jewelry and watches, he makes a specialty of his work as an optometrist, 
and is considered one of the best in his line in this part of the state. Mr. 
Clark is a member of the Congregational church, but in the absence of a church 
of that faith in St. Cloud he attends the Presbyterian church and has been 
elected its treasurer. He was married April 29, 1889, to Mary Alice Brookes, 
of San Diego, California, daughter of Henry and Harriet N. (Bosworth) 
Brookes. Mr. and Mrs. Clark have had five children. Two died in infancy. 
Henry B. is a graduate of the medical department of the University of Minne- 
sota. Carol H. is a graduate of the St. Cloud High school, and a student in 
Carleton College, at Northfield, Minn. Helen A. is a student in the St. Cloud 
High school. 

Edward E. Clark, for many years intimately connected with the manage- 
ment of the public utilities of St. Cloud, was bom at Hudson Falls, New York, 





i^AMT^ 




HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 69 

January 26, 1857, son of Guy W. and Deborah (Howland) Clark. He attended 
the public schools of his native town, and the Academy at Poughkeepsie, New 
York, and received his business training in the store of his father, who was 
one of the leading merchants of that place. He came to St. Paul, and remained 
for several years, spending in the meantime, a few months as manager of an 
orange grove in Florida. It was in the fall of 1883 that he took up. his resi- 
dence in St. Cloud, where he became the popular and efficient cashier of the 
First National Bank. In 1896, Judge D. B. Searle selected him as receiver 
for the old St. Cloud Eailway Co., and in this capacity he gave evidence of 
excellent executive ability and a capability for hard work. He took the line 
poorly equipped, and put it in good condition and made it pay. Then began 
his association with A. G. "Whitney, in whose companies he was an official until 
the time of his death. He was superintendent, secretary and treasurer of the 
Granite City Public Service Co., and of the St. Cloud "Water Power Co., and 
treasurer of the Granite City Railway Co. In these offices he served for many 
years. After an heroic fight with ill health, he died at Rockledge, Florida, 
March 15, 1914, and was laid to rest in Hudson Falls, New York. At the time 
of his death it was said of him : ' ' The success of the public utility companies 
of St. Cloud was due in a large degree to the ability of Mr. Clark. He was 
a man of keen judgment, commanded the loyal co-operation of his associates, 
and held the confidence and good will of the community. The wonderful growth 
of the street car company called for hard and strenuous work on the part of 
the general manager, and no other man in the city came so close to so large 
a number of people. Few men in so trying a position could have maintained 
the very friendly relations with all the patrons that Mr. Clark did, and his 
popularity grew because he proved to be an absolutely fair man. He looked 
after the interests of his companies, and promoted their great development, but 
he never forgot that his companies were serving the city and the people, and 
to make that service satisfactory was his ambition. He has been in a large 
way a part of the history of the city for the past fifth of a century, years 
when St. Cloud emerged from a country village to the fifth city in the state. 
Personally he was a most delightful citizen, optimistic, hopeful, cheerful and 
friendly. . . . He made good. Perhaps no man in the city will be more 
sincerely mourned. He had a host of loyal friends in every walk of life. 
He was of a most genial disposition, and had faith in his fellow men, a faith 
born of his o^vn optimism, and a faith that inspired those associated with him 
to do their best. For twenty years he filled a large place in the business inter- 
ests of the city and he filled it faithfully." At the time of his death, Mr. Clark 
was the oldest member of the local Royal Arcanum. He was also a member 
of the Elks, the Knights of Pythias and the Commercial Club. 

Mr. Clark married Elizabeth F. Martin, April 25, 1878, a native of New 
York state, and there are two children, Guy "W. and Edith M. Edith M. is 
a member of the faculty of the St. Cloud Public Schools. Guy "W. is a mid- 
shipman at the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland. 

Lewis Clark. The subject of this mention, now one of the venerable figures 
of St. Cloud, has had a notable career, has taken more than the average man's 
part in the progress of events, and deserves more than passing notice in the 



70 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

list of those who have helped to make St. Cloud. Lewis Clark was born in 
Auburn, Worcester county, Mass., January 4, 1829, son of John and Sarah 
(Rice) Clark, and traces his ancestors back to the earliest Colonial days — the 
Clarks to 1695 and the Rices to 1711. He was reared on the home farm, re- 
ceived his early schooling in Auburn, and took courses in the Baptist Seminary 
at "Worcester. He started to learn the machinist's trade in Whitinsville, Mass., 
and finished his apprenticeship in Worcester, working in numerous shops. For 
several years he worked in the railroad shops at Springfield, Mass., qualified 
as an expert, and was sent to Canada- West, with the first steam locomotive 
ever seen in that part of the country, making his headquarters at Fort Erie. In 
1853 he made his first trip to the middle-west portions of the United States. In 
1855 he left his employment in Springfield and, upon reaching Minnesota, spent 
the first winter in St. Paul. In the spring of 1856 he and Burnham Hanson 
erected a saw mill at Watab. It was in the fall of 1856 that he took up his 
residence in St. Cloud. At that time the village was a hamlet of log cabins 
with one frame house. The succeeding years were filled with the busiest activi- 
ties. For a time he sold farm implements. For some years he operated a flour 
and feed mill at Clearwater, and a store at St. Cloud, in partnership with C. F. 
Davis. When the partnership was dissolved, Mr. Davis took the mill and Mr. 
Clark the store. For a time, Mr. Clark had J. E. Wing, as a partner. In 1893, 
Mr. Clark retired from some of his more arduous activities, but still occupies 
a considerable part of his time in looking after his various intei'ests. He is a 
well preserved man in every way. Mr. Clark's personal reminiscences of St. 
Cloud are veiy interesting. From a small village of a few houses, three mei'- 
ehants and one hotel, he has watched it grow to its present proportions. In 
the old township daj^s he was chairman of the board of supervisors, and after 
the incorporation he was a member of the city council for a number of years. 
Mr. Clark was married March 24, 1859, to Harriett A. Corbett, the marriage 
taking place in the first frame house built in St. Cloud. She was bom in Fre- 
mont, Ohio, daughter of Appleton and Harriet (Richmond) Corbett. Mr. 
and Mrs. Clark had three children, John Lewis, Hattie Frances and Mary 
Elizabeth. John Lewis died in infancy. Ilattie Frances, now deceased, mar- 
ried Samuel C. Oilman, and is survived by a son, Charles L., of Minneapolis. 
Mary Elizabeth died at the age of three years. 

Charles A. Oilman. It is not often that a single family contributes so 
much to the history of a state or period as does the Oilman family of New 
Hampshire. From the time of the first councillor Oilman, who was born in 
Hingham, England, in 1624, and settled in Exeter, New Hampshire, about 
1648, the political, ecclesiastical, social and financial history of New Hampshire 
was more influenced by the Oilman family than by any other, for a centuiy 
and a half at least. Other names like that of Wentworth may have been more 
prominent for a time, or men with such names as Waldron, Weare, Stark, 
Langdon, Sullivan and Seammel, may have performed more conspicuous serv- 
ices or undergone more extraordinary trials, but the sturdy phalanx of the Oil- 
mans did more to keep up the steady course of the colony, the province and the 
state, until 1815, than any two or three other families, always being well repre- 
sented in the military service, during the Indian Wars, the French and English 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 71 

War, the Revolutionary War and the War of the Rebellion. Many prominent 
persons in public life of other names have descended from the Gilman family- 
through marriage. Among them may be mentioned Hon. Lewis Cass, whose 
mother was Molly Gilman, also Frances Folsom, widow of President Grover 
Cleveland. These and many others including Daniel Coit Gilman, president of 
Johns Hopkins University, have the same ancestor as C. A. Gilman. From the 
earliest period of our country's history, the name of Gilman has been con- 
spicuous both in state and nation, and has appeared with such titles as governor 
and state treasurer; member of the Continental Congress, both bodies of the 
United States Congress, United States Constitutional Convention and Commit- 
tee of Safety; commissioner under Washington, to adjust the war accounts of 
the states; and Federal Judge of the Northwest territory, including all north- 
west of the Ohio river. The family was also numerously represented in the 
State Legislatures. During Colonial times, the family had numerous grants of 
land in New Hampshire, including the town granted and named Gilmanton by 
King George; that however was granted to others as well as to twenty-four 
persons named Gilman. 

Charles Andrew Gilman for many years prominently identified with the 
political history of Minnesota, is a lineal descendant of Edward Gilman, who 
came from England in 1638, and whose descendants figured so conspicuously 
in the chronicles of New England. Edward Gilman was a descendant of Gil- 
man troed-dhu, who in 843 was the leader of the "fifteen noble tribes of North 
Wales" which battled for hundreds of years from their mountain strongholds 
with the people of Britain living on the plains, and later on called the English. 
Mr. Gilman, the subject of this record, is the son of Charles and Eliza (Page) 
Gibnan. His birth occurred at Gilmanton, New Hampshire, February 9, 1833. 
He grew to sturdy, healthy boyhood on his father's farm, gave close atten- 
tion to his studies in the district schools, and like all the boys of the better 
families in his neighborhood, was sent to the Gilmanton Academy and later to 
East Andover, where he received an insight into the liigher branches, and 
came in contact with some of the sturdy thought and scholarsliip for which 
New England of that period is noted. Like so many young men of his time 
and circumstances, he started teaching a school, his first employment being 
near Manchester and later near Dover and finally in his home school; and at 
odd times he taught in the Academy which he had himself attended. It was 
in 1855, when he left the state so intimately associated with his family name 
and started for the state which was to bear his own name so conspicuously on 
its record. He located at Sauk Rapids, then the largest town in the state north 
of the Twin Cities. His worth was apparent to his fellow citizens and even at 
that early day he served as register of deeds and county auditor of Benton 
county and while so serving, in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln appointed 
him receiver of the United States Land Office at St. Cloud, and he moved to 
that city. After four years in this position his term expired. In 1865 he 
engaged in lumbering in Benton and Morrison counties and continued until the 
early nineties, during which period he had built three saw mills. He was 
unfortunate during this time to lose his mills including a large quantity of 
lumber which was burned all without insurance, involving a great loss. In the 



72 HISTOKY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

meantime Mr. Oilman had been again appointed to the receivership of St. Cloud 
IT. S. Land Office by President Andrew Johnson, in 1866, and as register of 
the same office by President U..S. Grant, in 1869. Mr. Oilman, at odd times, 
continued his explorations for timber and farming lands, and occasionally for 
minerals, not only during those years but nearly up to the present time. The 
greater part of his explorations have been in Northern Minnesota, some in On- 
tario, and some on the Pacific Coast. After an iiTegular study of the law 
for several years he was admitted to the bar in December, 1876. He practiced 
but little other than in matters pertaining to his family. By a resolution of the 
Minnesota House of Representatives, while he was its speaker, he was made 
one of the managers of the prosecution in the famous impeachment trial of 
Judge Sherman Page, of Austin, in 1879. In 1867 he was elected, and in 1868 
and in 1869 he served, in the upper house of the Minnesota Legislature, for the 
Third District which took in a very large area in the northern and central por- 
tion of the state. The Senate was then composed of but twenty-two members 
of whom none are now understood to be living, except Hon. H. L. Gordon, now 
a resident of Los Angeles, Cal., and former Lieutenant Governor Oilman, of 
St. Cloud. The latter has evidently satisfied his home people as in 1874, when 
vital local as well as more general interests were agitating the people, Mr. 
Oilman was elected representative by a constituency two to one Democratic, 
while he was a Republican, and he was continuously re-elected four times, 
once without opposition and served in the House of Representatives in the 
sessions of 1875 to 1879 inclusive, and in 1878 and 1879 was Speaker of the 
House. During that five year period occurred a legislative struggle of most 
vital interest to St. Cloud and Stearns county, particularly, and in general 
to the region northerly to Brainerd and northeasterly to Duluth. In a very 
long and hard-fought contest it resulted favorably to St. Cloud, Stearns 
county and the adjacent country above named as to their future railway 
points and lines. In fact all profited by the legislation, to which now is 
largely due the fact that Northern Minnesota is covered with railroads, and 
that James J. Hill is properly styled the "Empire Builder," as he might, per- 
haps, have been at a much greater cost, without that legislation, in the secur- 
ing of which Mr. Oilman was the recognized leader. The proper scope of this 
article does not warrant details in this matter. 

The Great Northern Line from Duluth southwesterly through St. Cloud 
had its foundation laid by a grant of state swamp lands which was increased 
and made attractive by this change of from four to ten sections per mile, 
by Mr. Oilman while in the Senate in 1869. These things may have had an influ- 
ence on the public, when, in 1879, Mr. Oilman was nominated and easily 
elected as lieutenant governor over the opposition of powerful political oppo- 
nents ; and he was renominated and re-elected in 1881, also in 1883, the last 
time for a three year term, so that in all, Mr. Oilman has been presiding officer 
in the Legislature nine years, or three years longer than any other person. 

At the age of eighty-one. Governor Oilman, in his walk, his feelings and 
his daily associations, seems like one of the younger men of St. Cloud, show- 
ing no sign of diminution of mental, and very little of his physical powers; 
in fact he is vigorous of mind and body, possessed of unusual faculties and 



HISTOEY OF STEAENS COUNTY 73 

endowed with a wonderful memory. Filled with the ripe wisdom that years 
of experience have taught him, he brings to every matter that attracts his in- 
terest, powers of accomplishment, that seem almost impossible. He travels 
constantly looking after his business in various parts of this state and as far 
away as Montana and the Pacific Coast. His beautiful home is pleasantly 
situated on a rise of land overlooking three miles of Mississippi river, and 
commands a splendid view. At the time of going to press (1914) Mr. Gilman 
has once more been eleeted to the state legislature. 

Charles A. Gilman was married at Sauk Eapids, January 1, 1857, to 
Hester Cronk, of Scotch, English and Dutch descent, daughter of Enoch and 
Sarah (Ferguson) Cronk, and a native of Big Island, near Belleville, On- 
tario. Of their fourteen children, seven sons and seven daughters, there are 
living but six : Helen, John, Beulah, Constance, Hester and Nicholas. Helen 
married George S. Eankin, of North Yakima, Washington, and they have three 
children. John is an iron land explorer. He mari'ied Ida Wettingel and they 
live in St. Paul, and have two children. Beulah is principal of the Wash- 
ington school in St. Cloud, and lives at home. Constance married Arthur A. 
Ames and they have one child. They live at North Yakima, Washington. 
Hester E. married John Cornell, now deceased, and lives at home. Nicholas, 
a graduate of the State University, is now city engineer of North Yakima, 
Washington. He married Elizabeth McUvaine and they have two daughters. 
The oldest son, Samuel Charles, a civil engineer, married Harriet Frances 
Clark, of St. Cloud. Both died, leaving one son, Charles Lewis, a graduate 
of the State University, who is an author, and, who, with his wife, Wilma 
Anderson Gilman, are responsible for Governor Gilman having a great-grand 
daughter. Gertrude, his second daughter, married William T. Meigs, of 
Lafayette, Indiana, a nephew of Quartermaster-general Montgomery Meigs, 
of the U. S. Army, during the Civil War. Both died in 1910, leaving five chil- 
dren, three of whom are being educated at Purdue University, Indiana, and 
two of whom, John and Jerusha, reside with their grandfather, Governor 
Gilman. Jerusha is a graduate of the St. Cloud High School and of the State 
Normal School. 

Mrs. Gilman was a lady of most lovable presence and character, firm in 
her friendships and principles and a model wife and mother. She and her 
husband enjoyed greatly the celebration of their golden wedding on January 
1, 1907, when their capacious house was thronged with relatives and friends, 
some from long distances. Soon afterward, however, she was stricken with 
what proved to be a fatal malady and though most patiently and heroically 
resisted by her, brought the sad end on March 19, 1910. "A most gracious 
lady, a grand good woman, and it is not too much to say that she was the 
first lady of the city in the best sense of that term," was the position accorded 
her by the appreciative and able editor of the Daily Journal Press in an 
editorial of March 19, 1910. During her life in St. Cloud, Mrs. Gilman was 
active in all matters of public improvement, she was one of the charter mem- 
bers of the Eeading Eoom Society and was honored at different times with all 
the offices including that of president of this society. Her death was peaceful, 
befitting one whose life had been sweet and blest. Hester Park named in 



74 HISTOKY OP STEARNS COUNTY 

honor of Mrs. Gilman, has been established by the city government along the 
Mississippi river adjacent to the Gilman home, and it is hoped and expected 
that it will be a source of much pride and pleasure to the city of St. Cloud. 
For a more extended history of the Gilman family in Europe and America, 
the "Gilman Genealogy, English Edition 1895," "Gilman Genealogy 1869," 
and the "History of Gilmanton, New Hampshire, 1845," may be consulted. 

John Coates, of St. Cloud, an early pioneer of Minnesota, was born in 
Lincolnshire, England, December 9, 1844, son of James and Frances (Hardy) 
Coates. In 1849 the father, mother and seven children left for America. 
The father died three weeks after the vessel left the English port, and it re- 
quired ten more weeks for the ship to reach Mobile Bay. During the last 
days of the voyage before reaching the "West Indies, drinking water was all 
exhausted but the last cask, which the captain gave to the women, and so des- 
perate was the thirst of the passengers in the excessively hot weather that 
there were many personal encounters in the efforts to get a drink of the life 
saving fluid. The brave mother and the fatherless children, landing at Mobile, 
went to New Orleans by rail, then embarked on a Mississippi river steamer. 
Arriving within sixteen miles of St. Louis, the river was frozen over and the 
passengers and baggage had to be transferred to that city by train where the 
Coates family remained for three months until the river opened up in the 
spring. They then resumed their journey by boat and reached Davenport. 
Near that city lived "William Semper, an old English friend and neighbor of 
the Coates family in England, who had induced them to come to America. 
Mrs. Coates bought some land and built a house, where she and her chil- 
dren lived for a year, when Mr. Semper and Mrs. Coates were married. In 
June, 1854, they all removed to Minnesota and located on a homestead near 
Big Spring, Harmony township, Fillmore county. 

In June, 1856, John Coates accompanied his brother-in-law, John H. 
Locke, to Benton county in what was known as the York settlement, ten miles 
east of Sauk Rapids. Two years later John went back to Fillmore county 
and attended school. In 1862 he enlisted in the Second Minnesota Sharp- 
shooters, and went with the other recruits to St. Paul, but being only 16 
years of age, was not mustered in. Nothing daunted, he came to St. Cloud and 
enlisted in Captain Freeman's Cavalry. This was during the days of the 
Indian uprising and although less than 17 years of age, he was detailed to 
go to St. Paul with an ox team to get guns and ammunition. He left St. 
Cloud on a "Wednesday noon and was back at 2 o'clock Sunday morning, rec- 
ord breaking time with an ox team. The cavalry had left for the "West be- 
fore he returned, and later he joined the First Minnesota Mounted Rangers 
in Captain Taylor's Co. D., doing patrol duty between Sauk Centre and Ft. 
Abercrombie, and afterwards joining the Sibley expedition, going as far west 
as Bismarck and being engaged in several battles with the Indians. The com- 
pany was mustered out in the fall of 1863. John returned to St. Cloud and 
has been a resident of the city since. For a year he was in charge of the his- 
toric "bull train," consisting of a hundred ox teams which did a freighting 
business between St. Paul and St. Cloud, as far west and north as Ft. Aber- 
crombie and "Winnipeg. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 75 

In 1864 he assisted in opening the road from St. Cloud to Alberta, 
Benton county, and in hauling the machinery for the Oilman saw mill. Later 
he worked in a sawmill for E. M. Tobey and was manager for Coleman Bridg- 
man's saw mill and lumber yards for three years. In 1866 he formed a part- 
nership with D. H. Freeman and did an extensive business in buying and 
selling cattle, horses and other live stock, buying much venison and hides and 
furs as a side line. As an evidence of the great amount of wild game in those 
days, they shipped, one fall, to NeAV York, Philadelphia and Boston, 3,200 
saddles of venison. They supplied several government forts with cattle and 
horses, and sold the Canadian government the first horses used by the Mani- 
toba mounted police. Later they became interested in the livery and transfer 
business, of which Mr. Coates' two sons, Harry and Frank, are now owners. 
Coates & Freeman also did an extensive lumber business, Mr. Coates super- 
intending the management in the woods and on the river. The partnership 
continued for 23 years. 

Mr. Coates owns one of the finest farms in this section, just east of the 
city in Benton and Sherburne counties, to which he gives much personal at- 
tention, although he resides in a very handsome home in the city. 

During his long residence in the city Mr. Coates served 23 years as a 
member of the city council from the Second Ward, being honored with the 
presidency for three years, and he has been prominently identified with the 
legislation of the city for nearly a quarter of a century, taking an active 
and patriotic interest in the upbuilding of the municipality. He was also 
chief of the fire department for three years and is a life member of the 
State Fire Association. Mr. Coates is a lover of nature and is an expert 
hunter and fisherman. He is considered one of the best game shots in the 
state, and has a complete outfit for duck shooting consisting of a good boat 
made especially for that purpose and a cart on which he hauls it from one 
lake to another, and four dozen wood decoys. John and his brother, J. H. 
Coates, killed and retrieved 144 ducks between 11 :20 A. M. and 3 :30 P. M. 
one day at the "Big Four" camp at Clearwater lake. He once killed 57 
prairie chickens in just four and one-half hours time, between 6 A. M. and 
10 :30 P. M. in the vicinity of Mayhew lake. He is also a good judge of horses 
and has owned many of the best in Minnesota. He is the third oldest member 
of North Star Lodge, No. 23, A. F. and A. M.. of St. Cloud, and is a life 
member. He is a charter member of McKelvy Post, G. A. R., a member of 
the Elks, Red Men, and has been president of the Stearns County Old Settlers' 
Association, and is one of its most active members. 

John Coates married Mary O. Hayward, daughter of Josiah E. and Mary 
S. (Gray) Hayward, and this union has been blessed Avith six children: Charles 
A., Harry S., Frank H., Arthur J., Florence and Lucille. Charles A. was mar- 
ried to Emma Hansdorf, deceased. They had one daughter, Dorothy, now 
sixteen years old. She is living with her grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John 
Coates. Charles A. was later married to Isabell Bozart. She was born on 
"Whitby Island on the coast of Victoria, and died December 8, 1913. Charles 
is now living in Montana. Harry, who with Frank, is interested in the livery 
business in St. Cloud, married Sadie Keyes, and they have two children, John 



76 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

C, and William. Arthur J. married Mercy Miller, has one daughter, Dor- 
othy, and lives in Miles City, Mont. Florence married William T. Trauer- 
night, has two children, William J. and Richard Avis, and lives in St. Paul. 
Lucille is the wife of W. C. Hammerel, of St. Paul. 

Nicholas Lahr, one of the early pioneers of St. Cloud, later a resident of 
St. Paul, was born August 12, 1829, in Herborn, Luxemburg, Europe. He at- 
tended the common school and learned the blacksmithing trade. Having re- 
ceived from his widowed mother, coins amounting to $200 in United States 
money, he set sail for America, arriving in New York June 22, 1853, and 
locating in Aurora, 111., there following his trade and acquiring a thorough 
knowledge of plow manufacturing, preparatory to starting a business for 
himself in the West. After working-hours he attended night school in order 
to learn the English language. In November, 1854, he came up the river 
to St. Cloud, then in its earliest infancy, being among the first settlers to 
locate here permanently. He immediately built a house and blacksmith shop 
and began manufacturing plows which became widely known, found their 
way into thousands of homesteads in the Northwest and met with immediate 
favor. As they cut and broke a fourteen inch furrow, requiring only two 
yokes of oxen for their manipulation, they were seen on nearly every section 
in this locality, bringing the wild land under the control of the farmer. Being 
of temperate habits and strictly attentive to business, through his honesty 
and integrity in his transactions, he became so successful that he required 
the assistance of fourteen men in his manufacturing operations. His motto 
was "Satisfaction, or no sale." He erected a large brick building on St. 
Germain street, known as the Lahr block, which is still occupied as an impor- 
tant business center, and owned considerable real estate in and around St. 
Cloud. Ill health, due to overwork, caused his retirement from active busi- 
ness in 1872. In 1880 he moved to Minneapolis, and three years later to 
his long-time home at 178 Bates avenue, St. Paul, where he devoted his time 
and attention to the betterment of his interests in real estate, loans, mort- 
gages and the like, having been prosperous in his speculations. Quiet and un- 
assuming by nature, Mr. Lahr had no ambitions for public life, but lived for 
his home and family and was an ideal husband and father. He was a devout 
and ardent church member. He was always a great believer in education 
and at one time was a member of the school board in St. Cloud. He en- 
deavored to give his children a good education. Six daughters are graduates 
of the Holy Angels Academy, Minneapolis, Central High school of St. Paul, 
and the Visitation Convent, St. Paul, and all are proficient in music and paint- 
ing, and have been trained so as to be self supporting in case of emergency. 
Although living in St. Paul his heart was in St. Cloud where he received 
his start in life. 

Nicholas Lahr was married December 28, 1858, to Mary Burden. This 
union has been blessed with twelve children of whom there are living eleven: 
Anna, Jacob A., Mary, Fanny Marie, Gertrude M., Clementine M., Mamie H., 
Agnes E., Joseph L., Margaret and Eleanor. Anna married Ernest P. Schmitz, 
a retired merchant, and they have two daughters, Victorine and Marie Louise. 
They reside in Los Angeles, California. Jacob A., clerk of the probate court 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 77 

at St. Cloud, married Anna De Wenter, of St. Joseph, and they have three 
sons, Alfred, Norbert and Clarence. Fanny Marie is the wife of John Leisen, 
a prominent merchant of St. Cloud, and they have two sons, Raymond J. F. 
and Herbert 0. Gertrude M. is the wife of Louis Luger, president of the 
Luger Furniture Co., of St. Paul. They have five children, Renuold, Eldon, 
Lorain, Evelyn and Roberta. Clementine M. is the wife of Albert Zachmann, 
a St. Paul florist, and they have seven children : Emilia, Leo, Arnold, Calvert, 
Victor, Arthur, and Alberta. Mamie H., Agnes E. and Joseph L. live with 
their parents in St. Paul. Mary, now Sister M. Walburgme, Margaret, now 
Sister M. Eleanor, and Eleanor Lahr are affiliated with the Order of Sisters 
De Notre Dame and are stationed respectively in St. Louis, Chicago and Mil- 
waukee. 

One of the notable incidents in the life of Mr. Lahr was the celebration 
given at the Ryan Hotel, St. Paul, December 28, 1908, in honor of the golden 
anniversary of his wedding, all of the children being present. The reception 
was attended by some 250 relatives and intimate friends, and Mr. and Mrs. 
Lahr received numerous congratulations and good wishes. His death Novem- 
ber 14, 1914, was sincerely mourned, and the newspapers were filled with 
appreciations of his life and worth. 

Frederick H. Whitney, principal keeper of the St. Cloud State Reforma- 
tory, was born in Beddington, Washington county, Maine, August 22, 1857 ; 
son of George Russell (Sr.) and Martha (Noyes) Whitney. When he was 
scarcely more than an infant, the family started for the West, but on the 
way, the father died. The mother brought the children to St. Anthony Falls, 
this state, and in 1864 to St. Cloud. Here Frederick H. was reared, attending 
the graded schools, the High school and the St. Cloud State Normal school. 
He studied electrical engineering in Minneapolis, and for several years worked 
as an electrical and engineering expert, installing machinery. In 1889, when 
the St. Cloud State Reformatory was about to open, D. E. Myers offered Mr. 
Whitney the position of chief electrician and engineer, and assistant deputy. 
With the exception of short vacations he has since been continuously with the 
Reformatory. He received the first prisoners in 1889, and has received almost 
all the nearly five thousand that have entered since that date. In 1899 he 
was appointed to his present position of principal keeper and disciplinarian. 
He has served under D. E. Myers, W. E. Lee, W. H. Houlton, Frank L. Ran- 
dall, and C. S. Reed. The "First Friend," published by the Society for the 
Friendless, Minneapolis, says of Mr. Whitney : ' ' During these years, Mr. 
Whitney has been a constant landmark at the Reformatory, and has proven 
his splendid ability as an officer by the fact that during these years he has 
maintained the most perfect discipline that could be desired, and at the same 
time commanded the universal respect and confidence of the inmates who 
have been under his charge." Mr. Whitney has four brothers and one sister. 
Judson is dead. Abby is now Mrs. W. H. Thompson, of St. Cloud. Elverton 
died in service during the Civil war. George R. is engaged in the real estate 
business in St. Cloud. Horace was drowned in the Missouri river. On April 
15, 1879, Mr. Whitney was united in marriage to Lissie C. Whitman, and to 
them have been born four children. Florence E. died at two years of age; 



78 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Edith B. and Grace E. are teachers in the St. Cloiid public schools; and Hazel 
E. is teaching at Frazee, Minn. Mr. Whitney is a member of the Blue Lodge, 
Chapter and Commandery at St. Cloud, and the Shrine at St. Paul. He is also 
a member of the Elks at St. Cloud. 

A. J. Whitney, officer of the Civil war, for many years a prominent citi- 
zen of Maine Prairie, was born in Maine; son of George R. (Sr.) and Martha 
Lyons (Noyes) Whitney. He started with the family and other relatives 
to the Northwest. His father died in Boston, and he, then seventeen years of 
age, being the oldest of the children, took upon himself the task of assisting 
his mother in the responsibility of caring for the family. Right well did he 
perform his task. The family lived a year in St. Anthony, then moved to 
Fair Haven and then to Maine Prairie, in this county. He was one of the 
first to enlist in response to Abraham Lincoln's call for three months' volun- 
teers. After serving that time in the First Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, he 
re-enlisted in the Fourth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and served as lieu- 
tenant of Company D, until the close of the war. After the war he bought 
a farm in Maine Prairie, and settled upon it. Toward the close of his life 
he combined the mercantile business with agricultural pursuits. He died in 
the early part of June, 1884. His gentlemanly and friendly manner, his hon- 
esty and integrity, won the friendship and esteem of all who knew him. 
In his death the community mourned the loss of a good citizen, a kind and 
affectionate husband, and dutiful and loving son. He married Margaret Ellen 
Clark, now of Orange, California. They had four children: Willis M., of 
Orange, Cal.; Abbie M. (deceased) ; Maude M., now Mrs. Verner Goodner, of 
Kimball, and Effie, now Mrs. Geo. F. Zimmerman, of Orange, CaL 

George R. Whitney, engaged in the real estate, loan, and insurance busi- 
ness in St. Cloud, was born in Washington county, Maine, June 2.5, 1853 ; son 
of George R., Sr., and Martha (Noyes) Whitney. George R., Sr., was a lum- 
berman, and spent the span of his years in Washington county, Maine. He 
died in Boston, in May, 1857, while making preparations to depart for the 
Northwest. In 1859, the subject of this sketch was brought to Stearns county 
by his mother. He received his early education in the district schools of 
Maine Prairie and in the graded schools of Clearwater, finishing with courses 
in the St. Cloud High school. His youth, up to the age of nineteen years, 
was spent on the farm. Then, after clerking a short time at Maine Prairie, 
he and his older brother, A. J. Whitney, formed a partnership, and engaged 
in the mercantile and stock business in the same village. During the con- 
tinuation of this partnership, George R. Whitney was postmaster for four 
years. Next he went to Rich Prairie (now Pierz) in Mori'ison county, where 
he was merchant and postmaster for seven years. After selling out, he came 
to St. Cloud, and managed a lumber yard for two years, after which he went 
to Sauk Centre, where for seven years he engaged in the real estate, loan and 
insurance business. After returning again to St. Cloud he worked one year 
for the McCormick Harvester Co., and ten years in the Merchants National 
Bank. In 1907 he engaged in his present business. He has wide interests 
and maintains splendid offices in the Long block. Mr. Whitney is a member 
of the M. W. A., the I. O. R. M. and K. of P.. On June 16, 1884, he married 



I 




GEORGE R. WHITNEY 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 79 

Typhena C. Jordon, and they have three children: Lucile, stenographer and 
bookkeeper; Margaret, an elocutionist of considerable ability; and Rollins J., 
a student at the Minneapolis High school. 

George R. Whitney, Sr., the father of a number of well-known Steams 
county people, never visited this part of the country, though it was long his 
intention to do so, for death cut short his career just after he had started on 
the trip. But his influence lives in the county in the daily life of his chil- 
dren. He was a lumberman, and spent the span of his years in "Washington 
county, Maine. He was married in Beddington, in that county, in August, 
1839, to Martha Lyon Noyes, who was born in Jonesboro, in the same county, 
February 23, 1821. In 1857, Mr. and Mrs. Whitney, and their children, with 
her aged father, and Mr. and Mrs. James Jenks (the latter being her sister), 
started out for the Northwest. In Boston, Mr. Whitney died. Cherishing his 
memory in her heart Mrs. Whitney, for the sake of the children, turned a 
courageous face to the world, and with her little ones, pressed on to this state 
and found a home at St. Anthony. Most of the old settlers of Minnesota 
underwent many hardships but Mrs. Whitney had rather more than her 
full share. She was possessed, however, of a cheerful disposition, and an 
abiding faith in the goodness of God, and she cheerfully met and conquered 
obstacles that would daunt many a woman. After a short time in St. An- 
thony, Mrs. Whitney and her family moved with Mr. and Mrs. Jenks to Fair 
Haven, and later to Maine Prairie, both in this county. In the latter township 
she married D. A. Hoyt. After his death she lived for a while in St. Cloud. 
There she married Sylvanius Jenkins, and with him moved to Farmington, in 
Dakota county, Minn. Mr. Jenkins Avas one of the early pioneers of Stearns 
county, and came to Minnesota in territorial days. After Mr. Jenkins' death, 
Mrs. Jenkins returned to St. Cloud, where she made her home with her 
daughter, Mrs. W. H. Thompson and her son, Dr. F. A. Hoyt. She died on 
the Friday before Thanksgiving day, 1906. At that time it was said of her: 
"Mrs. Jenkins was for seventy-one years a devout and most consistent Chris- 
tian, having joined the Methodist church in Maine when a girl of but fifteen. 
Her nature was a peculiarly cheerful one and notwithstanding all the trials 
and hardships which came to her from time to time, her view of life was never 
changed. Her last days were spent among her children, and grandchildren, 
and her passing away was as peaceful as the falling asleep of a child." Mrs. 
Jenkins was the mother of nine children, seven by Mr. Whitney and two by 
Mr. Hoyt. One died in infancy; A. J. Whitney was a lieutenant in the Civil 
war, and later lived for many years on Maine Prairie ; Alverton, also a veteran 
of the Civil war, died of measles during that conflict ; Horace, was lost in the 
Missouri floods many years ago; Frederick H. Whitney is principal keeper 
and disciplinarian at the St. Cloud State Reformatory; George R. Whitney, 
Jr., is in the real estate and loan business in St. Cloud. Mary A. is now Mrs. 
W. H. Thompson, of St. Cloud. Charles W. Hoyt is deceased. Dr. Freeland 
A. Hoyt is a prominent dentist of St. Cloud. 

Ephriam B. Whitney, a pioneer, who, in assisting in the development of 
several of the agricultural regions of the Northwest, became a prosperous and 
successful farmer and citizen, spent several years of his life in Steams county 



80 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

in the early days. He was born in Whitneyville, Maine, a town which took 
its name from members of his family, who had settled there in Colonial times. 
He married Elizabeth N. "Wakefield, of Cherryfield, Maine, and together they 
came West about 1854. For a time they lived on a farm in Brooklyn, in 
Hennepin county, near Minneapolis, where their four children were born. 
Later they moved to a farm near Osseo in the same county. Upon disposing 
of this place, they moved to Fair Haven, in Stearns county, from whence 
they came to St. Cloud, shortly afterward moving out into the township to 
the farm where the Hess & Moog brick yards are now located. In 1866, they 
disposed of this farm, and purchased a place three miles south of Clearwater, 
in Wright county. Mrs. Whitney died on this farm in 1870, and in 1872, Mr. 
Whitney exchanged this property for village holdings in Clearwater, where 
he made his home until his death in October, 1900. In the Whitney family 
there were four children. Olive died at the age of twenty-six. George H. 
also died at the age of twenty-six. Anna is now a resident of New York city. 
Albert G. is a leading citizen of St. Cloud. 

Albert Gideon Whitney. The desirability of any city as a residence; its 
growth ; the comfort, convenience and even health of its inhabitants ; its repu- 
tation throughout the country ; its assurance of permanent progress ; and even 
its civic spirit ; rest to a large degree upon the character of its public utilities. 
When a city progresses, is known far and wide for its advantages, and at- 
tracts a substantial law-abiding class of citizens, the reason lies in the work 
and character of the men who are willing to toil and sacrifice, to give the 
best years of their life and the richest fruit of their brains, and to bear heavy 
burdens of care, worry and responsibility. St. Cloud has such a man in 
Albert G. Whitney. It is his career that has made possible the most important 
of the advantages of daily life in this city. While he is still in the prime of 
his activities, with great accomplishments still ahead of him, he has already 
done more for his fellow men, attained more of a business success, and ac- 
complished more of real achievement than do most men in the full span of 
their years, and while the real greatness of his work can not be fully judged 
until long after he has completed it, nevertheless, in this history, it is fitting 
that his contemporaries should prepare for the perusal of posterity a few of the 
details of what he has thus far done. From a farm in central Minnesota he 
gained his energy and strength, and with no hereditary fortune, and with 
no help save from his own character, integrity and ability, he has become one 
of the foremost men of his time in this state. Future generations will number 
him as among those who left a real impress on the commercial progress of 
the present day. Modest, unassuming, entirely devoted to the cause which 
he has espoiised, he has made life more desirable for his fellow man, and has 
demonstrated that those M^ho serve the public well and honestly may reap even 
greater rewards than those who serve only their own selfish interests. 

Albert Gideon Whitney was born on a farm near Robbinsdale, now a 
subtirb of Minneapolis; son of Ephriam B. Whitney and Elizabeth N. (Wake- 
field) Whitney, and as a boy lived successively in Osseo, Fair Haven, St. Cloud 
city, St. Cloud township, Clearwater township and Clearwater village, all in 
Minnesota. After the death of his mother in 1870, he went in 1872 to live with 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 81 

his uncle, Sylvanius Jenkins, at Farmington, Dakota county, also in this 
state. While here he attended school in Farmington, and later for a short 
period in Minneapolis. Then, in 1874, he returned to Clearwater, and there 
attended school until 1879. In the winter of 1878-79 and again in the winter 
of 1879-80 he taught school at Silver Creek, in Wright county. In the mean- 
time, in 1879, he worked several months in the insurance business. In 1880 
he removed to Sauk Centre in Stearns county, where he engaged in the real 
estate, loan and insurance business. While there, in 1883 and 1884, he com- 
piled a complete set of abstract books for the western third of the county. 
This is a service that can scarcely be overestimated. By the use of these 
books, thus compiled at so great an expense of time and effort, the people of 
the western part of the county are enabled to obtain at Sauk Centre as com- 
plete an abstract of their property as could be secured by making the long 
and often inconvenient journey to the courthouse at St. Cloud. The work 
on the books has been continued to the present time, and the complete set 
is now owned and kept by J. F. Cooper, of Sauk Centre. In March, 1887, Mr. 
Whitney closed his connection with his offices at Sauk Centre (being succeeded 
by Whitney & Cooper), where he had already established the foundations of 
his later success, and removed to St. Cloud, where he formed a partnership 
with C. Parker McClure, in the real estate, loan and insurance business. This 
partnership continued until April, 1891, after which time Mr. Whitney re- 
mained in business alone, until 1902, when the enterprise was incorporated as 
the A. G. Whitney Land & Loan Co. The business is continued and Mr. Whit- 
ney is president, and H. A. McKenzie is secretary and treasurer. In 1897 Mr. 
Whitney made some heavy purchases of land in North Dakota, and with 
Charles A. Wheelock, his brother-in-law, as a partner, under the firm name 
of Whitney & Wheelock, maintained a branch office at Fargo, North Dakota, 
and conducted a land business in North Dakota on a most extensive scale. 
Aside from this large and significant venture, Mr. Whitney has confined his 
interests largely to central and northern Minnesota. No individual has ever 
handled as much land in northern Minnesota or in North Dakota as he has, and 
probably no man has induced so many families to make this state their abid- 
ing place. From South Dakota, Iowa, southern Minnesota, Illinois and other 
localities, the sturdy home-makers have come, sharing the development of this 
great state, and assisting materially in its growth and progress. 

No sooner had Mr. Whitney located permanently in St. Cloud in 1887, 
than he made the first of a series of efforts which have placed St. Cloud among 
the front rank of the smaller cities in regard to excellence of equipment in 
the public utilities. With C. Parker McClure and Frank Tolman as leading 
spirits, and with R. L. Gale, 0. W. Baldwin, L. T. Troutman, F. H. Todd, A. T. 
Whitman, and others as associates, he perfected the organization of the St. 
Cloud Street Railway Co. and built a street car line from the dam to the old 
Great Northern station, wh^ch line was operated for some years with horses. 
This line passed into the hands of capitalists in St. Paul and eastern cities, 
who electrified the road and extended it to Sauk Rapids. In the fall of 1900, 
Mr. Whitney commenced his public utility business and purchased the steam 
power and heating plant on 5th avenue North, which is now the Central 



82 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

power station of the Public Service Co., and where the gas plant is now 
located, for the distribution of electrical energy for St. Cloud and Sauk 
Rapids. He organized that power plant as the Light, Heat, Transit & Public 
Service Co. Immediately after purchasing he remodeled and rebuilt the old 
steam power and heating plant, which he had purchased in 1900, and in 
stalled new and modern machinery, and later converted it into the Central 
power station, after the consolidation of the two power companies. In 1902 he 
purchased the St. Cloud Gas and Electric Co., owning the plant now on the 
canal at the dam and now known as Station No. 2. This company had just 
passed from a receivership into the hands of the bondholders, and the pur- 
chase was made from them. At the same time he secured control of the street 
railway company then in the hands of a receiver, and reorganized it as the 
Granite City Street Railway Co., of which he has continued the moving factor. 
Under his direction, the line has been greatly extended and improved, and 
possibly no town of its size has as complete a street car service as has St. 
Cloud. The growth from the small line purchased in 1900 to the extensive 
system of the present has been most unusual, and reflects much credit on Mr. 
"Whitney's faith in the city, and his liberality as a public-spirited citizen. The 
tracks now cover eight and one-half miles. Immediately upon his passing into 
the possession of the St. Cloud Gas & Electric Co., he began to consolidate 
it with his own company, the Light, Heat, Transit & Public Service Co., and 
rebuilt the entire pole line system of the city, equipped the power station at 
the dam with all new and modern machinery, and upon the completion of the 
work, perfected the consolidation, reorganizing them as the Public Service Co. 
In 1906 the gas plant was installed on the same site with the main power 
plant. This plant is recognized as one of the best and most efficient gas plants 
in the state. In May, 1908, he bought the St. Cloud Water Power Co., owning 
the St. Cloud dam and immediately started the construction of the new and 
large power house now known as Station No. 1, at the foot of the canal. 

Foreseeing the phenomenal growth of the smaller villages of Stearns 
county which has come in recent years, he in 1912, commenced the building of 
the transmission lines connecting several of the outside towns, and has 'tied" 
Waite Park, St. Joseph, Rockville, Cold Spring and Richmond into his St. 
Cloud power houses. Aside from furnishing power for these towns, he sup- 
plies electric light and power for St. Cloud, Sauk Rapids and the outlying 
quarries adjacent to St. Cloud, as well as the polishing plants, the Minne- 
sota State Reformatory and the Great Northern shops at Waite Park. The 
substitution of electrical power for steam in these various plants has wrought 
a revolution in industrial conditions in this locality. The plant of the Public 
Service Co., as developed and brought to perfection by Mr. Whitney is con- 
sidered one of the finest, largest and best equipped in the state of Minnesota 
outside of the Twin Cities and Duluth. No detail has been neglected, and to 
guard against any possible interruption of the service, in the fall of 1913 and 
winter of 1913-14, Mr. Whitney added to the waterpower plant by building 
additional units, and installing a steam plant of 1,000 horse power, as an 
auxiliary. 

Busy as he is in the public service and real estate line, which require an 




cJ^ i)^—^Q^ y^>-^,...,■-^J^ 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 83 

expenditure of energy far beyond the capacity of the average man, he has 
also found time for other ventures. About 1899 he saw that the interests of 
the producers in Stearns county would be best conserved and promoted by 
the installation of cold storage facilities. Accordingly he and R. L. Gale or- 
ganized the St. Cloud Cold Storage & Produce Co., of which he was made 
president, a position which he still retains. This company has met with the 
same success that has attained all his efforts. Another venture was the State 
Bank of Richmond, which he organized, conducted for several years, and sold 
in 1911. For some years past he has been a director in the Merchants Na- 
tional Bank, of St. Cloud. 

Ultimately Mr. Whitney intends to build a dam similar to the St. Cloud 
dam on the site of the Sauk Rapids Water Power Co., which he acquired at the 
time when he began to be interested in the electrical plants at St. Cloud, in 
1900. Mr. Whitney is an extensive land holder, and owns a large number of 
farms scattered throughout central Minnesota. Of these he operates two 
and rents the remainder. It is interesting to note as a matter of history, 
that one of these farms which he operates is the old homestead of his uncle, 
Sylvanius Jenkins in Dakota county, on which Mr. Whitney spent so many 
happy hours as a care-free boy. 

While Mr. Wliitney has attained success in life such as has been achieved 
by few, and though his many interests make almost super-human demands 
on his time and energy he is affable and approachable, ever willing to lend 
his hand to every good cause. His good fellowship is shown by his member- 
ship in the I. O. 0. F. and the B. P. 0. E. No good work is projected that 
does not receive his help and eneouragement, no public venture fails to find 
in him a supporter, and the fact that he refuses all offices, makes his opinion 
and influence on all public questions of all the greater importance. All in all 
he is a useful citzen, the extent of what his work has meant to St. Cloud and 
the state can never be estimated, the amount of the good he has done will 
never be known. His name is inseparably connected with the growth, progress 
and standing of the city. Mr. Whitney has been aided and encouraged in all 
his stupendous tasks, by a most happy married life. He was married October 
13, 1891, to Alice M. Wheelock, of Moscow, N. Y., and they have three chil- 
dren, Wheelock, born in 1894, is studying electrical engineering at Yale Uni- 
versity ; Lois and Pauline are students at the St. Cloud high school. 

Josiah E. Hayward. In the march of civilization, the extending of the 
outposts of settlement further and further into the wilderness, and the gradual 
subduing of the wild, there are three important factors, transportation, food 
and shelter. The early tavern keeper who could furnish accommodations, the 
man with ox teams who could transport goods onto far-away claims, the man 
with horses who could carry into the interior the people who landed from the 
steamboats — these men were of more immediate necessity than the teacher 
or the preacher. Among those whose work of this nature helped to make 
the conquest of the Northwest possible, may be mentioned the subject of tliis 
notice, generous, kindly, jovial and sympathetic "Uncle Josiah." 

Josiah E. Hayward was born at Mechanics Falls, Maine, February 2, 1826, 
and at the time of his death in St. Cloud, March 13, 1895, had entered his seven- 



84 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

tieth year. Like other New England boys of his time and circumstances he 
attended the schools of his neighborhood, and helped his parents with home 
dnties. Maine being then a great lumber state, it was natural that young 
Josiah's attention should early be turned to that line of industry. In 1849, 
however, he and his brother, Samuel, like hundreds of other hardy sons of the 
Pine Tree state, started for the west with the hope of bettering their material 
condition. Upon their arrival in Minnesota they found conditions much more 
primitive than they had supposed. A few log houses constituted all the evi- 
dences there were of what is now the capital city of St. Paul, while many 
Indian teepes adorned the site of the present metropolis of Minneapolis. So 
the brothers returned to their homes in the East. But Josiah had seen Minne- 
sota and could not forget it, so in 1856 he returned. His first intention was 
to settle at St. Anthony Falls, but his friends urged him on to Stearns county 
as a suitable field for his future endeavors, and accordingly he located in 
Winnebago prairie, in what is now Brockway township, and there opened 
a farm. It is said that he sent a man to Washington, D. C, to file his claim 
to the land on which he had settled. About this time he started lumbering 
along the upper Mississippi and its tributaries, a line of endeavor to which he 
gave more or less attention nearly all the remainder of his life. In the course 
of these operations he purchased a tract in Itasca county which after cutting 
off the pines he still retained. On this land is now located the Arcturus iron 
mine, in the famous Mesaba range district. When the township of Brockway 
was organized in 1858, he was elected chairman of the first board of super- 
visors. He soon, however, was convinced that wider opportunities for his 
efforts lay in St. Cloud, and when the Indian outbreak came, he moved his 
family to that place, living for a time with Dr. Marlett's. April 13, 1863, he 
purchased the old Central House standing where the Grand Central Hotel is 
now located. This hotel had originally been built of tamarack logs, but at 
the time of Mr. Hay ward's purchase it was a frame structure. Later he 
rebuilt it, and still later erected the present brick structure, giving it also a 
new name. Subsequently Mr. Hayward purchased the West Hotel, a hand- 
some structure a block from the original hostelry. The West Hotel was 
burned, but the son, Daniel S. Hayward is still operating the Grand Central. 
Josiah E. Hayward, in time, purchased a tract of land in St. Cloud township, 
which has been developed into the splendid farm now occupied by a son, 
Samuel S. Hayward. On this farm, Josiah E. Hayward erected a mill, which 
did a large business for several years. The mill was burned in 1880. In the 
early days, St. Cloud was one of the outposts of civilization, it was one of the 
centers of trade with the Indians, the outfitting point for trips into the wilder- 
ness, and the Central House and its proprietor enjoyed a full measure of 
prosperity. In his lumber operations which consisted principally in the pur- 
chase and sale of pine lands, he showed a keen perception, and a rare judg- 
ment as to ultimate values. 

Mr. Hayward was a director in the German American Bank and the 
Merchants' National Bank, and had other financial interests. At the time of 
his death he had practically retired from business, the active management of 
the hotel having been placed in the hands of Daniel S. Hayward, and the 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 85 

lumber and transportation business, with, its horses, oxen, camps and equip- 
ment, having been sold to D. H. Freeman. At the time of his death it was 
said of Mr. Hay ward " 'Uncle Josiah' had a warm sympathetic nature, quick 
to respond to the cry of the helpless and needy. His death removed one of 
the pioneers of central Minnesota. His acquaintance was large, and few men 
were better known in this part of the state than he." 

Josiah E. Hayward was married in 1848, to Mary Stinson Gray. This 
union was blessed with eight children, six of whom are living : Mary 0., who 
is now Mrs. John Coates ; Daniel S. ; Hortense C, who is now Mrs. Daniel H. 
Freeman; Samuel S. ; Elora H., who married Emmet C. Holden, now deceased; 
Jean 0., who married C. Parker McClure, now deceased ; William H., a suc- 
cessful young biisiness man who died in 1887 ; and John, who died as a boy 
in 1875. 

Mary Stinson Hayward. A long and useful life closed September 1, 1912, 
when, at the well-ripened age of eighty-three years, Mary Stinson Hayward 
went to her rest. A widowhood of several years followed the death of her 
husband, Josiah E. Hayward, whose helpmeet she had been since they first 
joined their fortunes in their native state. Mary Stinson Hayward was born 
in Wesley, Maine, January 22, 1829, was married in that state, and in 1856 
came to Minnesota, sharing with him the hardships of pioneer life, and aiding 
him in laying the foundations for the fortune which came in later years. Her 
life was a quiet one, and she mingled little with the outside world. The care 
of her family, to which she was most devoted, and the duties of the household 
employed her time. While going out but little, she was always pleased to see 
her friends, and had for all a kindly greeting. She is remembered especially 
by the old settlers, many of whom she assisted in the hours of their need. 

Mrs. Hayward had two brothers, Asbury and Frank Gray, both well 
known lumbermen and farmers and both now dead. Of her seven sisters six 
are living. They are : Luvina, wife of Wesley Day, and Henrietta, wife of 
Lorenz Day, both of Minneapolis; Melinda, wife of John Cooper, Laura, wife 
of Silas Marlett, and Josephine, wife of Joseph Carrick, all of Riverside, 
California ; and Isadora, wife of A. G. Snow, of Minneapolis. 

Peter Seberger came to America in 1845 with his parents at the age of ten 
years, and was reared a few miles from Chicago. In the fifties he came to St. 
Cloud, and located on a farm at what is now Richmond, where he lived some 
three years. Then he located in St. Cloud. After engaging for a while in 
the brewing business he embarked in a hotel enterprise. He died in May, 
1876. His wife survived him until April, 1912. 

Peter J. Seberger. In recent years, educators are taking a leading part 
in politics of the state and nation. In earlier times in Minnesota, it was not 
so common for men to be called from the teacher's desk to a high position in 
public life. But when the people's movement came on, things began to change. 
The need came for men of brains and training to lead the people's cause, and 
these men must come from circles outside of the domination of the financial 
and big business interests. This call reached many a teacher, and some, often 
at great personal sacrifice listened to the voice of duty and the urgings of 
conscience, and laid their all upon the altar of the cause which they believed 



86 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

represented the progress of mankind. Among these may be mentioned the 
subject of these notes. 

Peter J. Seberger, serving as first mayor of St. Cloud under the commis- 
sion form of government, was born in the city whose executive he now is, 
November 10, 1864, son of Peter and Anna M. (Shummer) Seberger, the 
pioneers. He attended the parochial and public schools, and graduated from 
the St. Cloud State Normal school in 1884, from which time he taught con- 
tinuously until June, 1912. More than a quarter of a century of this service 
was in the capacity of teacher and principal of the Franklin school, St. Cloud. 
His spare hours were not idle ones. In his younger days he worked as a clerk 
in various stores, for a time he managed the Berliner Hotel, previously con- 
ducted by his father, in the fall of 1888 he compiled a tract index for Stearns 
county, and at various intervals he was engaged in construction work. He 
has also turned his attention to politics and newspaper work. In 1896 he was 
manager and associate editor of the "Representative," published in Minne- 
apolis by Ignatius Donnelly. This was the leading Populist paper in the 
country, having more than 23,000 subscribers. He was engaged in this work 
for one year and six months, when he again accepted the principalship of the 
Franklin school. When the People's party was organized Mr. Seberger took 
an active part locally, in the state and in the nation. He attended the first 
national convention of that party, held in Omaha, in 1892. He attended the 
St. Louis convention of that party in St. Louis in 1896, as the chairman of the 
delegation from the Sixth Congressional district, and was elected secretary 
of the Minnesota contingent. In 1894, he was nominated for Secretary of 
State, and in 1898 he ran for Congress at the earnest solicitation of the Popu- 
lists of the district. 

Mr. Seberger has been president and secretary of the library board. He 
was mayor under the old form of city government, was chairman of the com- 
mittee of three who drafted the new commission form charter, and in the 
spring of 1912 became the first mayor under the new system. As mayor, he 
sits as commissioner of public affairs and safety. Mr. Seberger has been 
president of the St. Cloud Commercial Club, and is now its secretary. He is 
Grand Guide of the Minnesota Grand Lodge, A. 0. W. "W. ; Great Sachem of 
the Improved Order of Red Men, of Minnesota; clerk, secretary or recorder 
of the local lodges of the Modern Woodmen of America, Woodmen of the 
World, the Equitable Fraternal Union and the Court of Honor; president of 
the Public Health League ; and a member of the Elks, the United Workmen, 
the Degree of Pocahontas, the Degree of Honor and the Royal Neighbors. 

Peter J. Seberger married Bertha Mueller, and they have three children : 
Bertha, Oswald and Romama. 

Freeland H. Dam, the subject of this sketch, was born in Enfield, Penob- 
scot County, Maine, April 13, 1835, son of Hercules and Ruth (Straw) Dam. 
His ancestors, on the paternal side, were from Holland, coming from Amster- 
dam to Manhattan Island in 1640 and settling there for many years. His 
great grandfather was born there in the year 1754. He, looking to better 
himself financially, started out to explore the forest of what was then a part 
of the now state of Massachusetts. The whole country then being in an 




<^ 





HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 87 

exceedingly wild condition. He found a location in what is now Water- 
borough, Maine. There in the pine forest he built a house and reared a 
family of seven boys and girls. In the meantime, being of a mechanical turn, 
he built a mill to convert the pine trees into lumber, and, at the present 
writing, the location is known as "Dam's Mill." He laid down the burden 
in 1814. Among his boys, Samuel Dam, the grandfather of P. H. Dam, was 
there born in the year 1796. He married Miriam Fernald, whose ancestors 
were from England. And on both the paternal and maternal sides F. H. 
Dam's forebears were of the best and a combination hard to beat. From the 
Pine Tree State the family have spread out all over the country, and are now 
upright people serving their country well in their various stations, ghowing 
that the stock from which they came were such as have made this country the 
best on the face of the globe. 

In the year 1805 Hercules Dam, the father of F. H. Dam, was born at 
Waterborough, Maine. Later the family moved to what is now Enfield, Maine, 
where they soon engaged in the lumber and milling business where they for 
many years were among the heaviest operators in that section, there F. H. 
Dam was born in 1835 in Enfield, Maine. He has said his earliest playmates 
were his father's hired men. There, as early as six years old, his manual 
training commenced in the blacksmith, carpenter shop and mill. There every- 
thing used on' the farm, mill and lumber camp and household was produced. 
Sleds, yokes, bows for the oxen, boats, oars, axes and chains were all made at 
home. Here he learned to do many useful things, and early imbibed a great 
liking for mechanics. 

The market for the product of the mill and forest, aside from the local, 
was with Bangor and Portland and had to be transported in sailing vessels, 
and the subject of this sketch sailored from time to time and added to his 
useful knowledge by "getting the hang of the ropes." In 1844 and 1845, 
through reverses in the lumber business, his father disposed of his business 
and removed to Portland, Maine, where F. H. Dam was placed in the city 
schools for a term of three years. At that period in his life, thirteen years old, 
his father, to better his condition, was lured by the reports of the golden 
sands of California, crossing the Isthmus on foot, where now is the famous 
Panama Canal furnishing better transportation. He left F. H. Dam appren- 
ticed to one of the largest mills in Portland for five years to learn the milling 
and building trade. He also left him the head of the family, a mother and 
two sisters, a position he filled with pride and success, and thereby acquired 
much useful knowledge by this early and practical training, for besides 
attending to his duties as apprentice, he added much to the larder by night 
work as newsboy, etc. With six other apprentices he gained such a favorable . 
standing with his employer that in less than two years, unsolicited by himself, 
he was given a scholarship three months each year, for three years, to a good 
business school and all expenses paid, and in the meantime was placed in 
charge of the business where he also gained much iiseful knowledge, stored 
up for future use. 

At the termination of his apprenticeship he went to Calais, Maine, where 
he contracted to do mill work on contract, being his first business venture. 



88 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

There in 1855 and 1856 he made the acquaintance of Emily Whitney, to 
whom he was later married. In the spring of 1856 he joined the tide which 
was then drifting towards the setting sun. Although urged to remain at 
Calais and offered a partnership in a good business, he concluded to become 
a western pioneer and arrived at St. Anthony on May 7, 1856. Owing to his 
early training, and not yet twenty-one years old, he at once secured a mill 
job as foreman in the mill of Rogers, Stimson, Kent & Co., being at that time 
the largest in the territory. Back to the farm, then as now, was much in 
vogue. He then took possession of land which his father had staked for him 
on what became Maine Prairie. His father and mother were the first family 
to locate on that prairie, having preceded him there by several weeks. After 
locating his claim, which was yet unsurveyed, he started to become a granger, 
but the first attempt was not a success as the hoppers descended, and in a few 
hours ate every living thing as to crops. Then instead of back to the farm, 
it was back to St. Anthony, and, as funds were getting scarce, all these trips 
were made on foot, seventy-five miles, as stage fare was $7.50, they were 
saving good money. 

In the fall of 1857 all mechanical business in the country closed tight. 
So then it was back to the farm again, in earnest. That year the family had 
saved a little frost-bitten corn which they ground during the evenings in a 
coffee-mill, the few neighbors often joining in to make the function social, 
and while the mill was kept going the ladies made shoes and mittens from old 
clothes, as wardrobes were getting low. But with Betty, the brindle cow, 
and a good shotgun, they found game plenty and suffered only in their bank 
account. Then the Indians came and bothered the people worse than the 
hoppers. There were camped on his claim at one time ninety-five tepees, 
which made it lively as there was more or less friction which culminated in 
1862 in the Indian War. After serving through that trouble, he, early in 
1863, returned to Calais and was married to Emily Whitney, the girl 
he left behind him in 1856. They had one son, Edward Winthrop, who died 
at the age of nine years. 

An early historian of Maine Prairie said this of F. H. Dam : "He took a 
claim on Maine Prairie, but spent most of his time, for a number of years, 
at his trade in Minneapolis, afterwards establishing himself in business at St. 
Cloud. Since then he has been so well known throughout the country that it 
is needless to add anything regarding his life. During the Indian outbreak 
in 1862, he immediately left his business and came to the Prairie where his 
coolness, bravery and knowledge of military tactics were of inestimable value 
to the settlers during those perilous times. He was one of the officers and 
, drove through to St. Paul, making 150 miles in less than thirty-six hours, 
and procured ammunition for those in the fort, where many brave men shrank 
from the dangerous undertaking. Soon after the Indian War he formed a 
partnership with the late W. T. Clark in the building and furnishing business, 
which was terminated in 1865 by his buying the business from his partner. 
He then, in 1867, built a new mill and operated it extensively until 1889, 
cutting his own pine from land owned by himself, driving the logs to the mills 
at St. Cloud, putting the product through his own factory, and taking the 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY ' 89 

profit from stump to finished houses. The business grew and was profitable. 
In the meantime he had perfected a set of tools to build bobsleds, which up to 
that time had been made by hand. He was so successful in that venture that 
he produced a complete sled, nicely painted, every eighteen minutes, for 
months, and had large contracts for the same. In 1890 he built another mill 
at Superior, Wisconsin, and operated it until 1910 when it was made into a 
stock company, and he retired from active business, but now, at almost eighty 
years, he is a very busy man. He has held a few minor offices such as school 
board and served many years as alderman. He was one of the first organizers 
of the First National Bank, and has been a director for forty-seven years, and 
has seen that institution's resources grow to nearly two million dollars. He 
has had many positions of value offered him in the mechanical line, but re- 
fused them all, rather to play a lone hand. He is a man well informed in many 
lines, having traveled every state, British Columbia, and Mexico. He was 
always a good citizen and a genial companion and well liked generally. He 
had several men constantly in his employ for over thirty years, and it was 
said of him to the writer of this: "If every one treated their employees as 
F. H. Dam did there would be no strikes. ' ' He had some mottoes, and one was, 
he was never satisfied unless he could make two blades of grass grow where 
not a spear ever grew before, and he had some others as good which he lived 
up to. In early days he was quite active in political matters affecting the 
people, but never a partisan, and never an office seeker. He told the writer 
once that his politics were of the mixed variety and not hard shell. He was 
always prompt in all his promises and dealings of every nature and his word 
was gilt-edged in every respect. — (Contributed.) 

Elgy Vanvoorhis Campbell, D. D., founder and for nearly fifty years 
pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of St. Cloud, was born in Ohio, 
March 26, 1836, the son of Robert and Nancy (Mcllvaine) Campbell. He 
lost his mother when he was six months old and his father when he was three 
years old. Thus left an orphan at an early age, he was reared by his grand- 
parents, Robert and Martha Paxton Campbell, in Washington County, Penn- 
sylvania. His higher education was obtained in the Academy at Cross Creek, 
Pennsylvania, and in the full classical course at the Washington & Jefferson 
College, at Washington, Pennsylvania. His theological courses were taken 
in the Western Theological Seminary at Allegheny, Pennsylvania. He was 
ordained December 27, 1865, at St. Paul. October 21, 1864, he arrived in St. 
Cloud, and on November 19, 1864, he founded the Presbyterian church. Hav- 
ing a deep interest in the cause of education, he taught school for a while, 
and for many years was a member of the school board, being one of those who 
founded the present school system of the city. 

A recent publication said of him: "Dr. Campbell has a record that is 
equalled by few clergymen in the country. He is as much the pastor of the 
city as he is of the particular church to which he is assigned. He came to St. 
Cloud with his bride, who has done her share of the work. They have raised 
a family of children, who have grown to adult years, and have taken up their 
life work in other cities. Now in the evening of life, the minister and his 
wife are still walking side by side, enjoying the beautiful things of the Creator, 



90 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and adding their share of help and happiness to their large circle of friends 
and neighbors. Dr. Campbell has shared in the home life of the community, 
has been a friend in hours of grief, illness and death, and a comrade in the 
happy hours of baptism and marriage." 

Dr. Campbell married Mary C. Shane, a native of Pennsylvania, and they 
have three children, Paxton G., Jennie E., and Elgy F. Paxton G. is married 
and has two children, Blanche and Elgy. They live in Biloxi, Miss. Jennie 
E. is the wife of E. G. Williams, of Springfield, Mass. Elgy F. is living in 
New York City. 

CHAPTER X. 

COUNTY GOVERNMENT. 

Steams County Created — First Commissioners Meet — Election Precincts 
Established — Board of Supervisors — Government Again in Hands of Com- 
missioners — Doings of the Successive Boards to the Present — Nearly 
Sixty Years of Official Life. 

An act of the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Minnesota ap- 
proved February 20, 1855, established the boundaries of twenty-five counties 
in the territory, including Benton, Wright, Todd, Goodhue, Freeborn, Mower, 
Rice and Olmsted, as well as Stearns. Section 18 reads as follows: "That 
so much territory as is embraced in the following boundaries be and the same 
is hereby established as the county of Stearns : Beginning at a point in the 
main channel of the Mississippi river, opposite the mouth of Platte river, 
thence west thirty-six miles to the township line between ranges thirty-five 
and thirty-six ; thence south on said township line to the north-west corner of 
the county of Keating; thence along the northern boundary of said county 
and the county of Wright to the centre of the main channel of the Mississippi 
river; thence up the middle of the main channel of said river to the place of 
beginning." 

The bill establishing Stearns county, as originally introduced and as it 
passed both houses of the Legislative Assembly, gave it the name of Stevens, 
in honor of Governor Isaac I. Stevens, of Washington Territory, who had been 
prominently identified with early Pacific railroad surveys in the Northwest. 
But when the bill was enrolled the name in some manner was changed to 
Stearns. Charles T. Stearns was then a resident of St. Anthony Falls and a 
member of the Territorial Council, and had taken an active part in securing 
the passage of the bill. When the error was discovered it was decided that 
the honor had been worthily bestowed and that it would not be wise to make 
a change. In later years another county in Northern Minnesota, adjoining 
Stearns almost directly to the west, was named for Governor Stevens, so that 
both of these sturdy pioneers were properly recognized. The year following 
the organization of the county Mr. Stearns removed to St. Cloud and became 
prominently identified with the development of the town and county, this 
being his home for many years. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 91 

The bill establishing the boundaries of the county, which were afterwards 
materially changed, was promptly followed by the passage of another provid- 
ing for its legal organization. This act is given in full herewith : 

An Act to organize the County of Stearns and for other purposes. Be it 
«nacted by the Legislative Assembly of the Territory of Minnesota : 

Section 1. That the county of Stearns be and the same is hereby de- 
clared to be an organized county and invested with all immunities to which 
all organized counties are in this territory entitled by law. 

Section 2. That the Governor shall appoint and commission three suit- 
able persons, being qualified voters of said county of Stearns, to be a board of 
county commissioners of said county, with full power and authority to do 
and perform all acts and duties devolving upon the board of county commis- 
sioners of any organized coiinty in this territory; and the said board shall 
have power to appoint a clerk to execute, fulfill and perform the duties 
devolving by law upon the register of deeds and clerk of the board of county 
commissioners of any organized county, who shall hold said oiHce until his 
successor shall be duly elected and qualified. 

Section 3. That the commissioners appointed as aforesaid shall meet on 
the second Monday in April, at Saint Cloud, in said county, which shall be 
the county seat of said county, and shall proceed to appoint a clerk as afore- 
said and to do and perform all other acts relative to said county which the 
commissioners of any organized county can do or perform. 

Section 4. The county commissioners shall have power to appoint a 
suitable person, being a qualified voter of said county, sheriff of said county, 
who shall qualify and give bonds according to the requirements of law, who 
shall hold said office until his successor shall be elected at the next general 
election. 

Section 5. The county of Stearns shall be included in the Second 
judicial district, and there shall be held in said county, at Saint Cloud, two 
terms of the district court, on the fovirth Monday of June and on the third 
Monday of December in each year. 

Section 6. The counties of Todd, Davis and Cass are hereby attached 
to the county of Stearns for judicial purposes. 

Section 7. This act to take effect from and after its passage. 

Section 8. And be it further enacted. That the county officers of each 
organized county shall be required to keep their offices a.t the county seat of 
such county, and in case of the refusal or neglect for a period of twenty days 
of any such officer or officers to conform to this requirement the Governor of 
the territory may, upon the application of thirty legal voters of such county, 
declare the office of such person so refusing or neglecting to be vacant, and 
shall appoint his successor who shall perform the duties of the office until 
his successor is legally elected and qualified. Provided, That the county 
officers of the county of Fillmore shall not be required to remove their offices 
to Carimona, the county seat of said county, until the fifteenth day of April 
next, after w^hich time all county offices shall be kept, and the district courts 
held, at that place. 

Section 9. The county of Ramsey shall constitute the Second council 



92 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

district and the county of St. Anthony the Third council district, any law to 
the contrary notwithstanding. Provided, The bill authorizing the setting off 
of said Saint Anthony county shall become a law. 

Approved March 3, 1855. J. S. Norris, Speaker of House of Representa- 
tives. Wm. P. Murray, President of Council. W. A. Gorman, Governor. 

1855. By virtue of the authority vested in him by the act of March 3, 
1855, Governor Gorman appointed David T. Wood, John Ferschweiler and 
John L. Wilson commissioners for Stearns county. These gentlemen met 
April 9 at the house of John L. Wilson, in the town of St. Cloud, and produc- 
ing their certificates of appointment, took the required oath of office before 
Robert B. Blake, a justice of the peace for said county. John L. Wilson was 
by ballot elected chairman. The board thereupon proceeded to appoint the 
following named officers: Charles Ketcham, clerk of the board of commis- 
sioners and register of deeds; Robert B. Blake, county treasurer; L. B. Ham- 
mond, sheriff; N. N. Smith, judge of probate; Robert B. Blake, surveyor; 
Harvey Wiltzheimer, assessor. On the following day the bonds of these 
officers were approved, and the county was divided into three elective precincts. 

The boundaries of these districts were fixed and officers appointed as 
follows : 

No. 1, or St. Augusta Precinct — Commencing at a point on the Missis- 
sippi river at the mouth of the Clearwater river, running thence up the 
Mississippi to a point known as Gravelly Point ; thence west to the western 
boundary of Stearns county; thence south to the southern boundary of said 
county ; thence east to the place of beginning. Judges of election : John H. 
Tibbe, John G. Lodenbeck, Anton Emholt; road supervisor, John H. Tibbe. 

No. 2, or St. Cloud Precinct — Commencing at a point on the Mississippi 
river at Gravelly Point ; thence vip the Mississippi river to the mouth of 
Watab river; thence up Watab river to its head; thence due west to the 
county line ; thence south to the north line of Precinct No. 1 ; thence east to 
the place of beginning. Judges of election : Joseph Demil, L. B. Hammond, 
Battise Arseneau; road overseer, Anton Edelbrock. 

No. 3, or Tamarac Precinct — To embrace all that portion of Stearns 
county lying north of Watab river and the north line of Precinct No. 2. 
Judges of election : Henry Foster, Louis Arnett, John Smith ; road over- 
seer, Asa White. 

At a subsequent meeting, April 30, a new election precinct was estab- 
lished: No. 4, or Farmington Precinct — Commencing at a point five miles 
up from the mouth of Watab river; thence up to its head; thence due west 
to the county line; thence south on the county line to the north line of Pre- 
cinct No. 1 ; thence east to a point which shall be five miles from the Missis- 
sippi river; thence north to a point five miles from the mouth of the Watab 
river. Judges of election: Henry Lindiman, Jacob Staples, D. T. Wood. 

When the commissioners held their next meeting, June 14, 1855, Harvey 
Wiltzhimens was appointed sheriff to succeed Luther B. Hammond, resigned. 
For the year 1855 the county tax rate was fixed at one per cent, of which 
one-fourth was to go for the school fund ; one mille on the dollar for terri- 
torial purposes, and the remainder for county purposes. The first liquor 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 93 

license to be granted was issued to Anton Edelbroek, to sell spirituous, vinous 
and fermented liquors at his house in St. Cloud for the term of one year from 
July 6, 1855. Mr. Edelbroek gave a bond, which was approved, but there 
is no record that he was required to pay any fee for the license. 

At a special session held August 15, Henry Linneman's house in the town 
of St. Joseph was designated as the place for holding elections in the Farm- 
ington Precinct, and M. J. Orth was appointed a judge of election to succeed 
Henry Linneman, resigned. The court house in St. Cloud was designated as 
the place for holding elections in the St. Cloud Precinct, and Joseph Edel- 
broek, Nathan Lamb and Franklin Sisson were appointed judges of election 
as successors to Anton Edelbroek, Battise Arseneau and L. B. Hammond, 
resigned. The St. Augusta Precinct was vacated and annexed to the St. Cloud 
Precinct, which thereupon became Precinct No. 1, while Tamarac Precinct 
was No. 2 and Farmington No. 3. 

Another special session Avas held August 28, at which it was ordered that 
the Chippewa Agency Precinct remain as it was when attached to Benton 
county for judicial purposes, with J. D. Crittenden, Truman Warren and D. B. 
Harriman judges of election. Also that the Long Prairie Precinct remain 
as when it was attached to Benton county for judicial purposes, with Lewis 
Stone, Harman Becker and Anson Northrup judges of election. A new elec- 
tion precinct in Stearns county was established, called Richmond Precinct, to 
include "all that portion of Stearns county lying west of Coldwater Brook." 
Lewis Henry Buck, George Humphrey and Lewis Blomer were appointed 
judges of election. 

At a special session held October 20, the first lists of grand and petit 
jurors were prepared to be handed to the clerk of the district court.. Claims 
against the county which were allowed for different purposes were issued 
in small amounts — a claim for $10.00 being divided into three orders — for the 
reason that there being no money in the county treasury to redeem them they 
were used as currency in paying bills, at whatever rate of discount might be 
agreed upon between buyer and seller. The first county order was dated 
July 6, 1855, was for $45.30, and was issued to John L. Wilson — $31.80 being 
for books and stationery furnished the county and $13.50 for "services ren- 
dered at commissioners court." At an extra session held December 26, 1855, 
at which a number of small claims were allowed, it was ordered that county 
order No. 1 be canceled and five new orders issued — four for $10.00 each and 
one for $5.00, the odd thirty cents evidently being overlooked or else dis- 
counted to make bookkeeping easier. 

1856. An election having taken place, when the commissioners met 
January 7, 1856, the board was composed of Anton Edelbroek, Reuben M. 
Richardson and M. J. Orth, the first-named being chosen chairman. Henry 
C. Waite was appointed judge of probate, and the bonds of the following 
officers were approved : Henry C. Waite, judge of probate ; Charles Ketcham, 
register of deeds ; Addison Gilmore, assessor ; Nathan Lamb, justice of the 
peace; Joseph Edelbroek, sheriff; J. W. Tenvoorde, treasurer. At the follow- 
ing day's session Henry C. Waite was appointed prosecuting attorney in and 
for the county of Stearns. It was ordered to pay Harvey Weltzheimer, sheriff, 



94 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

$6.00, and D. T. Wood $3.00, as fees in the ease of John Rengel, Sr., vs. John 
Rengel, Jr.; "the above case being in behalf of the United States the justice 
decided that the county pay all costs" — this being the first recorded case 
where the costs of a suit were paid from the county treasury. Benjamin 
Davenport was appointed constable, and Mathias Schindler road supervisor 
for the Farmington Precinct. John W. Tenvoorde was authorized to furnish 
an office for the clerk of the commissioners court for one year from January 
8, 1856, at $50 per annum. 

When the commissioners met at the regular session April 7, 1856, with 
all members present, grand and petit jurors for the May term of the district 
court were selected, and as these are the first lists of which there is any record 
the names are given herewith : Grand jurors — Eli B. King, Charles Anable, 
J. W. Tenvoorde, John Johnson, S. B. Lowry, John H. Wilkin, Lawrence 
Fisher, Simon Lodimier, Louis Homan, Joseph Dimiel, John Schwartz, John 
P. Rengel, N. N. Smith, J. L. Wilson, Nicholas Lahr, John Ball, Thomas 
Berch, Peter Neidhart, George Lafond, Joseph Eich, Micah Walker, George 
W. Day, Solomon Gillett, John W. Getchell, O. Getchell, David Alexander, 
James Staples, Benjamin Davenport, Henry Linneman, Henry Buck, Samuel 
Wakefield, H. Bruning, Vincent Schindler. Petit jurors — Addison Gilmore, 
John King, J. W. Sanders, John Carew, Michael Hanson, Herbert Hanson, 
John Stenger, H. E. Collins, John Moog, Thomas Birch, John Ferschweiler, 
H. Welzheimer, Spencer Herbert, Joseph Niehaus, Henry Becker, Peter Eich, 
John Hiemens, Philip Spinweaver, Anton Emliolt, David T. Wood, Albert 
Evans, H. G. Fillmore, James Keough, George Eich, Peter Kramer, B. Pirz, 
Nicholas Jacobs, Polzier Fox, John Loer, William B. Staples, Martin Fitler, 
Jr., Michael Langfelt, William Waldorf, John Hanson, George Humphrey, 
M. J. Orth, Michael Litz, Robert Shiffman, Joseph Phillipps, Theodore Jacobs, 
Lawrence Peffer, William Decker, Nicholas Rossier, Frank Remely, Ivory 
Staples, George Laiidenbeck, G. H. Fiebby, Nicholas Gimenau, Fred Coon, 
Louis Rothcup, J. Schnidgen, Michael Miller, Nathan Lamb. 

Provision was made for the next election by the appointment of judges 
and the designation of voting places as follows: St. Cloud Precinct — Joseph 
Eich, Sidney C. Raymond and Addison Gilmore, judges; voting place, house 
of Anton Edelbrock. Taraarae Precinct — Asa Libby, John L. Young and 
Solomon Gillett, judges; voting place, house of John L. Young. Farmington 
Precinct — Jacob Staples, Michael Lauerman and Michael Reder, judges; 
voting place, house of John H. Linneman. Richmond Precinct — George 
Humphrey, Harmon Brunning and Andrew Bon\el, judges; voting place, house 
of J. P. Richardson. The St. Augusta Precinct, which liad been attached to 
the St. Cloud Precinct, was reinstated, with Jonathan Dallas, L. B. Johnson 
and Joseph Tunis, judges ; voting place, the house of L. B. Johnson. Jonathan 
Dallas was appointed justice of the peace, C. G. Araable constable, and L. B. 
Johnson supervisor for the St. Augusta Precinct; and Leland Cramb, justice 
of the peace for the St. Cloud Precinct. At a session held May 10, John H. 
Taylor was also appointed justice of the peace for the St. Cloud Precinct. 

At the regular session July 7, 1856, after examining and approving the 
assessment rolls, the county tax for 1856 was fixed at one per cent, with the 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 95 

same apportionment as for 1855. Addison Gilmore was allowed $123.50 for 
making the assessment and taking the census of the county, this amount 
being divided into eight orders, ranging from $5.00 to $25.00 each. As these 
orders could be disposed of only at a very considerable discount it cannot 
well be charged that Mr. Gilmore was greatly overpaid for his services in 
discharging this double duty of county assessor and census taker. Unfortu- 
nately there is nothing on record to show what this census was. Evidently 
it was believed that no little honor was attached to the office of clerk of the 
board, as at the meeting held August 27, he was ordered to furnish a room 
suitable for his own use from that date to January 1, 1857, at his own ex- 
pense. The prosecuting attorney was instructed to institute suit against 
the St. Cloud City Company for non-payment of ferry license. 

1857. At the regular annual meeting, held January 5, 1857, J. Orth took 
the oath of office as commissioner and was elected chairman of the board. At 
this meeting school district No. 2 (district No. 1 having been the St. Cloud 
district) was organized, with the following boundaries: "Commencing at the 
mouth of Sauk river ; thence running west or nearly west to include the resi- 
dence of Nathan Lamb ; thence in a southerly direction to the residence of 
John Sniderjohn ; thence easterly to the Mississippi river, at the point be- 
tween the claims of Kellison and Brown." License fees for hawkers or 
peddlers, whether wholesale or retail, selling goods, wares or merchandise 
within the county, were fixed at $20 for any person using a team, whether 
one-horse or two-horse ; for foot peddlers, $10. John W. Tenvoorde was paid 
$50 for office rent for the year 1856 — of which .$25, as a special favor, was 
paid "in money out of the treasury." H. C. Waite received .$200 -for his 
services as district attorney for the year 1856. 

At the session April 7, 1857, the first motion was one to adjoiirn to Joseph 
Edelbrock's store — reason not given. School districts Nos. three and four 
were organized, both in the vicinity of St. Cloud. The name of Tamarac 
Precinct was changed to Winnebago ; John L. Young, Milo Young and M. C. 
Tolman were judges of election for the year 1857, the election to be held at 
J. L. Young's house. The election for the St. Cloud Precinct was to be held 
at the Willis House, with John L. Wilson, Joseph Edelbrock and Ludwig 
Robbers, judges of election. The St. Joseph Precinct election was to be held 
at H. Linneman's, with Aures Schroeder, Peter Nierengarten and Michael 
Rieder, judges of election. In the Richmond Precinct the judges were 

Mathews, Francis Schindler and J. P. Richardson, the election to be 

held at R. M. Richardson's house. The election in the St. Augusta Precinct 
was to be held in 6. L. Wilson's house, with Charles Wilson, B. Herrick and 
George Wisman judges of election. John Seymour was appointed assessor 
for all of the St. Augusta Precinct south of Sauk river, and Henry Buck 
assessor for the Richmond Precinct. The resignation of J. E. Tenvoorde as 
constable for the St. Cloud district was accepted. 

At a regular meeting of the board held July 6 and 7, 1857, with all the 
members, M. J. Orth, Anton Edelbrock and R. M. Richardson, present, four 
new election precincts were erected, as follows : 

Clearwater Precinct — Commencing at the mouth of the Clearwater river, 



96 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

thence following up said river to the southwest corner of township 122, range 
27; thence north on the town line to the corner of 13, 24, 18 and 19; thence 
west on section lines to the corner of sections 15, 16, 21 and 22; thence north 
on section lines to the township line between towns 122 and 123; thence east 
on said township line to the corner of towns 122 and 123 of ranges 27 and 28 
to the quarter-section post between sections 19 and 24; thence east on the 
quarter-section line to the Mississippi river; thence down said river to the 
place of beginning. Judges of election : S. A. Clifford, Martin Johnson and 
"W. J. Kirk ; place of holding election, the house of S. A. Clifford. 

Eockville Precinct — Commencing at a point on Sauk river where the 
west line of St. Cloud township crosses Sauk river; thence up Sauk river 
opposite Coldwater brook; thence south to the southern boundary of Stearns 
county; thence down said river to the east township corner of township 123, 
range 27 ; thence on a direct line to the place of beginning on Sauk river, 
judges of election: L. P. Gaylord, T. W. Berlin and William Decker; place 
of holding election, the house of L. P. Gaylord. 

Sauk Ceatre Precinct — All that part of Stearns county west and north 
of Maryatta and south to the Pembina trail. Judges of election : Warren 
Adley, S. M. Bruce and E. C. Wheeler ; place of holding election, the house 
of Warren Adley. 

Paynesville Precinct — Commencing at a point opposite the mouth of Cold- 
water brook, thence south to the southern boundary of Stearns county ; thence 
west to the western boundary ; thence north to the old Red river road ; thence 
east to the place of beginning. E. E. Payne, George Lincoln and Martin 
Bullard were appointed judges of election; place of holding election, E. E. 
Payne's house. 

Henry C. Waite was appointed judge of probate in and for Stearns 
county. A special session was held September 24, at which another precinct 
was erected, to be known as the Marysville and Fair Haven Precinct, with the 
following boundaries : Commencing on the section between sections 3 and 4 
in township 122, range 28, thence west on said township line to the center of 
township 29 ; thence south on the section line between sections 3 and 4 to the 
south boundary of Stearns county ; thence east on said boundary line to the 
section line between sections 33 and 34 in township 28 ; thence north to the 
place of beginning. Judges of election : John Farwell, Hercules Dam and 
A. Smith. 

1858. When the regular session convened January 4, a change had taken 
place in the membership, S. H. Clifford having been elected to succeed R. M. 
Richardson; Anton Edelbrock was chosen chairman. H. C. Waite was ap- 
pointed district attorney in place of James C. Shepley, absent. The sheriff 
having made report of trespassing done on timbered school lands, with the 
names of the guilty parties, that officer was instructed to collect from the 
offenders $8.00 per thousand for rails, $1.50 for cord wood, and $0.75 apiece 
for house logs. Assessment districts were constituted as follows : The Clear- 
water, Maine Prairie and St. Augusta Precincts to be the First district; St. 
Cloud, St. Joseph and Winnebago Precincts, the Second district; Rockville, 
Richmond, Paynesville and Sauk Centre Precincts, the Third district. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 97 

The clerk was instructed to "notify the different justices of the peace in 
the county to require security in all eases of the party prosecuting, as the 
county hereafter will pay no costs incurred from failure of prosecuting and 
so forth." It was ordered that a new bond be issued and put on file in the 
clerk's office for the sum of five hundred dollars, running to Anton Edelbrock, 
payable in four years from date and drawing twelve per cent. The occasion 
for the issuance of this bond or the purposes to which it was to be devoted 
is not given in the records. The list of grand and petit jurors for the next 
term of the district court was selected. The board adjourned January 9; 
after allowing a number of bills, and the minutes of this meeting are attested 
by Anton Edelbrock, chairman, and Joseph Edelbrock, clerk; none others 
having been attested since those of the meeting of January 8, 1857, when 
M. J. Orth signed as chairman and Charles Ketcham as clerk. An extra 
session was held January 25, at which W. D. Davis was appointed justice of 
the peace, Tertius Heaton constable, E. A. Wyatt road supervisor, and Joseph 
P. Richardson assessor for Clearwater Precinct. The county treasurer pre- 
sented his accounts for settlement, and $373.20 in county orders and $72.68 
in cash "were found to be left in the county treasury." H. C. Waite was 
allowed $22.00 for nine days attendance on the board as district attorney. 
An extra session was held February 22, continuing through February 24, at 
which action was taken regarding the building of a court house which is more 
fully reported elsewhere. The board voted to "adopt the Greenback seal for 
our county seal; a copy thereof is hereunto attached." It is the usual form 
of such seals, bears the words, "Official seal of Stearns county, Minnesota 
Territory," and is on green gummed paper. As this was long before the days 
of greenbacks, just what led the commissioners to adopt it is a matter of 
surmise. 

At the regular session beginning April 5, the first item of business was 
the appointment of Henry C. Waite, covinty svirveyor, in place of M. P. Noel, 
resigned, this appointment indicating that Mr. "Waite was much in demand for 
public positions, he having been previously appointed to fill the offices of 
judge of probate and county attorney. The sheriff's search for timber cut by 
trespassers on school lands had resulted in the collection of $106.28, repre- 
sented by promissory notes. The most important business of this session was 
the appointing of judges of election for the several election precincts and 
designating polling places. This proved to be so much labor lost, as a law 
passed by the legislature in the spring of 1858 provided for the government 
of counties by a board of supervisors composed of the chairmen of the several 
townships. In compliance with the provisions of this act the commissioners 
met in extra session May 19, and established eleven townships, the boundaries 
of which are given in another place. An extra session held May 26 was 
devoted almost exclusively to allowing bills. It was directed that a new 
county order for $195 be issued to H. C. Waite to replace one which had been 
lost and he was alloAved $21 for services as county surveyor. 

At the July session, besides allowing bills, one of which was from C. 
Becker, $13, for a pair of hand-cuffs, the only business transaction was the 
adoption of an order directing that "notice be given in the St. Cloud Visiter 



98 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and St. Paul Pioneer and Democrat cautioning persons from bujring bonds 
issued by the county of Stearns bearing date of August 27, 1856, numbered 1, 
2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7, each for one thousand dollars, (court house bonds) said 
bonds being supposed lost, but are now known to be in the possession of cer- 
tain person or persons." (The natural curiosity of succeeding generations 
as to who these "certain person or persons" may have been still remains 
unsatisfied.) 

The township law went into effect July 12, but it was August 3 before the 
new board of supervisors met. There were present Moses Morrison, Asa 
Libby, Samuel "Wakefield and George W. Cutter, who organized by electing 
Moses Morrison chairman, Joseph Edelbrock still serving as clerk, while 
Henry C. Waite was elected counsel. During the session of the board Leander 
Gorton was admitted as a member from the township of St. Cloud. Each 
member of the board was instructed to have supervision over the school lands 
in his township. 

When the board met September 14, Thomas C. McClure was elected clerk. 
At the meeting held October 5, the name of S. M. Bruce first appears as that 
of a member of the board. The clerk was authorized to subscribe for a copy 
of the paper publishing the laws of the state, to be kept on file for the benefit 
of the county officials. Now the laws are published in every paper in the 
state, for the benefit of everybody. "W. G. Butler, S. A. Clifford and W. D. 
Davis were appointed judges for a new election precinct established at Clear- 
water, and at that time it was decided that no new election precinct should 
be established unless the distance from one already established was greater 
than seven miles. 

After several ineffectual attempts to secure a quorum, the board met 
November 2, with Chairman Morrison, S. Wakefield, R. M. Richardson, J. L. 
Wilson, G. W. Cutler and Leander Gorton present. A tax of one and one- 
fourth per cent was ordered to be levied on the taxable property in the county, 
to be divided as follows : FHve mills for state tax, seven mills for county tax 
and one-half mill for school tax. J. A. Willis, who had been cutting wood on 
school lands, was given the privilege of paying for what he had taken at 
seventy-five cents per cord provided he pay for the rest in advance. 

1859. The final meeting of the year was held December 31, continuing 
daily until January 5, 1859, inclusive. The members present were M. Morrison, 
J. L. Wilson, L. Gorton, S. Wakefield, 0. S. Freeman and R. M. Richardson. 
As the sessions began at seven o'clock in the morning, with a recess of "one 
hour for dinner," and evening meetings, it will be frankly admitted that the 
members earned their per diem. Besides this remarkable display of industry, 
the board, before adjournment, by a vote of four to two — M. Morrison, L. 
Gorton, 0. S. Freeman and R. M. Richardson constituting the majority, while 
J. L. Wilson and G. W. Cutler cast the minority votes — decided that its mem- 
bers were not entitled to mileage. This record certainly deserves to be 
embalmed in history. As a method of correcting errors made in the assess- 
ment roll it was decided to issue non-negotiable county orders. An examina- 
tion of the county treasurer's account showed county orders to the amount 
of $405.80 with $107.68 in cash to be in the treasury, and it was ordered that 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 99 

all the money then in the treasurer's hands be appropriated for school pur- 
poses. The bond of the county auditor was fixed at $10,000, "to be secured 
extensively (sic) on real estate free from encumbrance." Licenses to sell 
liquor were issued to J. A. Willis, proprietor of the Willis House; Joseph 
Edelbrock, to sell in his "Variety Store"'; Gotfried Huber, Wolfgang Eich, 
St. Cloud; and to John H. Linneman at St. Joseph, the license fee in each 
ease beiag $50. 

School superintendents for a number of the townships were appointed as 
follows: Corning, T. C. McClure; Maine Prairie, A. H. Staples; Verdale, 
J. B. Pease; Munson, J. P. Richardson; St. Joseph, John A. Miller. For the 
convenience of the auditor and the expediting of business, rules were adopted 
requiring that all motions and resolutions offered by members of the board 
should be in writing; that all county orders issued should be in the hand- 
writing of the county auditor ; and that every person, on or after that date, in 
presenting accounts would be required to sign the same and take an oath 
that he believed the bill to be correct and true to the best of his knowledge. 
James S. White was appointed coroner, and John McDonald having resigned 
as county auditor, J. W. Read was appointed his successor, and thereupon 
became the clerk of the board. A large number of bills, for those times were 
allowed, including one to W. A. Caruthers, register of the land office, for an 
abstract of the lands entered in the county ; Mrs. Jane G. Swisshelm for print- 
ing; and to other familiar names of the early days, such as John Farwell, 

B. Pirz, Henry Krebs, B. H. Dingman, Frank Kent, Joseph Broker, Joseph 
Marthaler, W. T. Rigby, Peter Seberger, S. F. Brown, H. Dam, H. G. Fillmore, 

C. T. Stearns, M. D. Cambell, T. H. Bowell, H. G. Kilbourn, J. E. Tenvoorde, 
H. Staples, J. S. White, John Payne and W. B. Staples, for services rendered 
or material furnished. 

The session beginning February 8 found M. Morrison, Leander Gorton, 
R. M. Richardson, 0. S. Freeman and G. W. Cutter present. A motion to 
admit Seth Gibbs to a seat was for some reason rejected, but the motion was 
afterwards reconsidered and he was admitted to membership. The board 
was increased by the addition of Samuel Wakefield as a member when it 
assembled March 12, and L. B. Johnson was admitted to a seat from the town 
of Berlin. An exemption of $200 from the assessment of each taxpayer was 
ordered. 

At the session beginning March 25, a resolution addressed to the state 
auditor was adopted stating that because of the scarcity of money the col- 
lectors had not been able to secure the amount of taxes required and asking 
for a further extension of time. The township of St. Cloud, by reason of its 
increased population, was voted to be entitled to two members of the board, 
(800 being the basis) but when, at a later meeting, Mr. Beaupre made applica- 
tion to be admitted, it was decided that the full number of 1600 was necessary 
to entitle the township to the additional member. 

When the board met May 3 there were present eleven members, from the 
following townships : Marion, William Bosworth ; Fair Haven, Albert Mont- 
gomery; Lynden, Seth Gibbs ; Verdale, O. S. Freeman; Munson, R. M. Rich- 
ardson; Berlin, L. B. Johnson; St. Cloud, Rev. David Lowry; Maine Prairie, 



100 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

M. Hansen ; St. Joseph, John Lear ; Wakefield, John Schneider. This was the 
first occasion on which the townships from which members were accredited 
was made a matter of record. The board organiz«d by electing R. M. Rich- 
ardson chairman. J. E. Tenvoorde, against whom charges had been filed by 
the board with the governor, presented his resignation as sheriff of Stearns 
connty, which was accepted and H. G. Fillmore was appointed to fill the 
vacancy. 

At the meeting beginning September 13, S. M. Bruce was admitted to a 
seat from the township of Sauk Centre. H. C. Waite was appointed county 
attorney. The members of the board voted themselves a per diem of $1.50 
while attending meetings or transacting other county business. The commit- 
tee on taxation, having examined the assessment rolls, recommended that the 
real estate assessment in Lynden be reduced thirty per cent, and that of St. 
Cloud be increased thirty per cent, while in the towns of Maine Prairie, 
Fair Haven, Berlin, Verdale and "Wakefield the assessed valuation of the 
lands be increased from $1.25 to $1.70 per acre, the valuation of the other 
towns to remain as returned, which report was adopted. These figures will 
give a fair idea as to the average value of lands in the county at that time, at 
least for purposes of taxation. Each town was required to pay its own 
assessor. The tax rate for county purposes was fixed at one per cent. 

1860. The opening session was held January 3 with the Rev. David 
Lowry, Seth Gibbs, L. B. Johnson, John Lear, A. W. Libby, M. Hanson, R. IVl. 
Richardson, and Wm. Bosworth present. The bonds of the following newly- 
elected officers were presented and approved; M. Lauerman, sheriff; Joseph 
Edelbrock, register of deeds ; J. W. Read, county auditor ; James M. McKelvey, 
district attorney; Joseph Broker, treasurer. The salary of the district at- 
torney was fixed at $600 per year and of the county auditor at $300. "W. J. 
Parsons who had acted as district attorney July 6, 1855, presented a bill of $50 
for his services, on which there was allowed $10 as payment in full. 

This session ended the meetings of the county board of supervisors, that 
method of transacting the county business having proved to be unsatisfactory. 
An act of the legislature, passed February 21, 1860, provided that each county 
elect a board of county commissioners, the counties in which eight hundred 
votes or over had been cast at the last general election to have a board of five 
members, and all others three members, to hold office for one year. The 
first board elected in Stearns county under the provisions of this act con- 
sisted of Seth Gibbs, C. T. Stearns, E. E. Abbott, Nicolas Schmit and J. H. 
Linneman, which met June 4 and organized by electing C. T. Stearns chairman. 

The first business of importance was to divide the county into five com- 
missioner's districts, the territory assigned to each being as follows: First 
District — The organized township of St. Cloud. Second District — The town- 
ships of St. Joseph and Brockway. Third District — The townships of Munson, 
Wakefield and Rockville. Fourth District — The townships of Lynden, Berlin, 
Fair Haven and Maine Prairie. Fifth District — The townships of Sauk Centre, 
Marion, Verdale and all the contiguous unorganized townships on the western 
line of said county as then organized. 

A contract was made with Joseph Edelbrock that the room at that time 



HISTOEY OF STEAENS COUNTY 101 

occupied by him as register of deeds should be furnished with wood and 
lights when required by the county board for its meetings, the office to be 
occupied also by the county auditor, the sheriff, the judge of probate and the 
clerk of the district court, a somewhat remarkable concentration of officials — 
for which the sum of $75 should be paid as rental for the year 1860. 

At the September session the real property assessments were equalized; 
the tax levy was fixed, including four mills for state purposes and two and 
one-half mills for the support of common schools; and the accounts of the 
county auditor and treasurer were examined, which showed $108.40 in cash 
belonging to the school fund, $144.65 belonging to the state, $166.70 belonging 
to the county and $19.94 belonging to the different towns, in the hands of the 
county treasurer. Evidently the liquor license question had been worrying 
the board, as a formidable set of resolutions was presented and adopted, 
wherein after declaring that the $50 license fee previously adopted was so 
high that "nearly all those engaged in selling spirituous liquors in the county 
have rendered themselves liable to prosecution for the selling the same with- 
out first having obtained a license therefor" — in short, having become "blind 
piggers, " a more modern phrase for this particular branch of industry — a 
sliding scale of fees, ranging from $10 to $25 for twenty-two persons therein 
named. It was further provided that, while all past offenses should be 
ignored, those who should offend in the future would be prosecuted according 
to law. 

1861. Following the general election in November, the new board of 
county commissioners met January 1, with H. J. Fowler, R. M. Eichardson, 
E. E. Abbott and A. Montgomery present, who organized by electing R. M. 
Richardson chairman. Andrew Schroeder, the missing member, reported the 
next day. The first business transacted was to allow Mrs. Jane G. Swisshelm 
three cents per description additional, amounting to $46.77, on the delinquent 
tax list for 1859, published in the St. Cloud Democrat, and the county treas- 
urer was appointed a committee of one to contract for the county printing. 
The county auditor was directed to prepare an accurate statement of the 
financial affairs of the county for the year 1860, to be posted in three different 
places in the county and published in the St. Cloud Democrat — this being 
the first instance of the posting or publishing of a statement of the county's 
financial affairs. The changed temper of the board in the matter of liquor 
licenses was manifested when it was voted to restore the fee to $50 for the 
year 1861, to prosecute all persons who should sell liquor without a license, 
and to make each commissioner a committee of one in his district to see that 
the law was complied with. The salary of the county attorney for 186,1 was 
fixed at $600, and that of the county auditor at $400. As there were signs 
of trouble brewing, by reason of the election of President Abraham Lincoln, 
the board at its meeting March 2 allowed the St. Cloud Guards $25 with 
which to buy ammunition and "have it ready for use when called for." 

Peter Meyer having resigned as county surveyor April 2 the board 
appointed James H. Place to succeed him. It was voted to pay Mr. Place the 
sum of one dollar for each township and fractional township shown on a 
county map on vellum to be prepared by him. The front part of the "Rail 



102 HISTOKY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Splitters' Wigwam," a relic of the late presidential campaign, was hired to 
be used as an office for the county auditor, sheriff, judge of probate, clerk of 
court, county attorney and county surveyor — an arrangement which certainly 
merited approval on the score of economy, not taking into too serious con- 
sideration the convenience of these officials. 

1862. The first annual meeting of the year was held January 7, with 
H. J. Fowler, Andrew Schroeder and Henry Krebs present; commissioner 
Schroeder being elected chairman. The official bonds of M. Lauerman, 
sheriff; James M. McKelvy, county attorney; James H. Place, county sur- 
veyor; John Zapp, register of deeds; Barney Overbeck, coroner; and J. H. 
Procter, treasurer, were approved. John "W. Tenvoorde gave notice that he 
had filed notice of contest against J. H. Procter as county treasurer and gave 
the necessary $25,000 bond in ease he should succeed. A contract was made 
with B. Rosenberger to furnish two rooms, at a yearly rental of $100, one 
for the use of the county auditor and register of deeds, .and the other for the 
judge of probate, clerk of the district court, sheriff and county treasurer, the 
privilege being given any of these officials to have his office elsewhere "in 
any convenient or lawful place in the town of St. Cloud," provided it be 
done without any expense to the county. The sheriff was directed to notify 
John C. Nole and Joseph Gibson that they had been elected county commis- 
sioners and that their presence was desired at a special meeting to be held 
January 20. "When the date for the special meeting arrived commissioners 
Noll and Gibson were on hand to respond with the others to roll call. L. A. 
Evans, the judge of probate, was directed to transcribe into proper books all 
papers filed in his office. The county treasurer was notified not to enforce 
the collection of taxes on property assessed to the corporation of St. John 
Seminary. Commissioner Fowler was appointed a committee of one to accept 
bids for all printing and publishing necessary to be done and award the same 
to the lowest bidder. An order was directed to be drawn in favor of the 
sheriff of Ramsey county for the expense of keeping Anton Edelbroek 
(charged with murder) in the jail at St. Paul from January 1 until the first 
Monday in April, 1862. 

A proposition from Richmond and Co., by John L. Wilson, to furnish 
the room known as Wilson's hall (this being the upper floor of the two- 
story frame building still standing at the northeast corner of St. Germain 
street and Fifth avenue) for the spring and fall terms of the district court, 
to heat and furnish the same with seats and attendance, for the sum of $75 
"in county orders, to be taken for the sum expressed on their face," was 
accepted. The salary of the county attorney was fixed at $600 and the salary 
of the county auditor at $500, both to be paid in county orders. A. Schroeder 
presented his resignation as a member of the board, which was accepted, and 
H. J. Fowler was elected chairman. The judge of probate, county auditor 
and register of deeds were requested to select a successor to Commissioner 
Schroeder in accordance with law. There is no record of any action they 
may have taken in the matter, but as Joseph Capser (of Sauk Centre) is 
reported as a member at the meeting held March 5, it is fair to presume that 
he was the choice of the officials named. The action of the county attorney 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 103 

in accepting from Jonathan Wool county orders in settlement of the fine of 
$150 imposed on him by the district court was approved. 

At the meeting of August 9, 1862, James M. McKelvy presented his 
resignation as county attorney, which was accepted and "William S. Moore 
appointed his successor. The following preamble and resolutions were unani- 
mously adopted by the board: "Whereas, James M. McKelvy, has tendered 
us his resignation as county attorney for Stearns county and signified his 
determination to join the grand army of the Union : therefore, Resolved, 
That in James M. McKelvy, the county has found a faithful, competent and 
impartial public officer. Resolved, That while we accept his resignation ten- 
dered us aforesaid, and regret the stern necessity of duty which sunders 
official as well as private ties, we yet proudly recognize in his resignation 
the noble and self-sacrificing spirit which preferring the safety and welfare 
of his country to the emoluments of office, has induced him to accept the 
higher honor of a service in the defense of our common country." It was 
voted to pay to each volunteer from Stearns county after that date a bounty 
of $25, with $10 additional if the volunteer had a family. Joseph Edelbrock 
was appointed school commissioner for the First district, A. Schroeder for the 
Second, John Schneider for the Third, H. Fitzam for the Fourth, and Anton 
Vogt for the Fifth. 

When the board met December 3, with Commissioners Joseph Capser, 
H. Krebs, J. C. Noll and H. J. Fowler present, it was discovered that the clerk 
was missing. The board thereupon appointed Edmund D. Atwater clerk 
"in place of J. W. Read, who has left the state and is supposed to have left 
the United States," and December 15 Mr. Atwater was appointed county 
auditor to fill Mr. Read's unexpired terra. At the same time C. Grandelmeyer 
was appointed sheriff to fill an unexpired term, and W. S. Moore was allowed 
$200 as pay for his services as county attorney. 

1863. The annual meeting held January 3 found Joseph Capser, H. 
Krebs, J. C. Noll, J. Gibson and Joseph Edelbrock present, and Mr. Edelbrock 
was elected chairman. The "official bond of S. B. Pinney was approved," but 
for what office is not stated. The board, with change of membership, under- 
went a radical change of judgment as to what would be a proper fee for the 
sale of spirituous liquors, a reduction being made from $50 to $10. 

The board appeared to be pursued by ill fortune in the matter of its 
clerk, for when the session of May 11 was called to order the clerk was again 
missing. A resolution was adopted declaring the office of county auditor 
vacant, for the reason that Edmund D. Atwater, who had been appointed as 
successor to the departed J. W. Read, had likewise absconded the county and 
state, "leaving no one to attend to the duties of the office by duly appointing 
a deputy," and J. P. Wilson was appointed to fill the vacancy. He gave bond 
in the sum of $5,000, which was approved. Joseph Edelbrock, having resigned 
as school examiner for district No. 1, on motion of Commissioner Noll, H. Z. 
Mitchell was appointed school examiner for said district. The county was 
divided into twelve military districts, composed as follows: No. 1, St. Cloud; 
No. 2, St. Joseph ; No. 3, St. Augusta ; No. 4, Lynden and east half of Fair 
Haven ; No. 5, Maine Prairie and west half of Fair Haven ; No. 6, LeSauk 



104 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and Brockway ; No. 7, Rockville ; No. 8, Wakefield ; No. 9, Munson and south 
half of Verdale ; No. 10, St. Martin and north half of Verdale ; No. 11, Oak ; 
No. 12, Sauk Centre. Elections were directed to be held May 30 to select 
officers for these districts. Jane G. Swisshelm's bill of $159.54 for printing 
was allowed, as was a bill of W. H. Wood, $23.50 (reduced from $42.50), 
indicating that both the local papers were officially recognized. 

At a subsequent meeting, held June 26, officers were appointed for such 
of the newly-constituted military districts as had not held elections May 30. 
In district No. 1 the officers appointed were : Captain Henry C. Burbank ; 
first lieutenant, Peter Kramer; second lieutenant, Charles Taylor. District 
No. 3 — Captain, Henry Vorojohann ; first lieutenant, Arnold Haskamp ; second 
lieutenant, Peter Mous. District No. 5 — Captain, Alexander Spaulding; first 
lieutenant, A. B. Greeley ; second lieutenant, Edward Benjamin. District No. 
6 — Captain, Winslow Libby; first lieutenant, Peter Gardner; second lieu- 
tenant, Philip Beaupre. District No. 11 — Captain, William Bohmer; first 
lieutenant, G. Stilling; second lieutenant, Henry Hoppe. Twelfth district, 
captain, D. Stabler ; first lieutenant, J. Dennis ; second lieutenant, A. C. Davis. 

Commissioners for the five school districts were appointed September 2. 
For district No. 1, H. Z. Mitchell; No. 2, Andrew Schroeder; No. 3, R. M. 
Richardson ; No. 4, Henry Fietsam; No. 5, Herbert Meyer. Meeting as a board 
of eqiialization, the county auditor was instructed, in making out the tax 
rolls for 1863, to enter no land for a less valuation than $1.25 per acre. The 
tax levy was fixed at ten mills on the dollar for county purposes, four and a 
half mills for state purposes, "the state and school taxes to be paid in gold 
and silver and United States treasury notes." The salaries of the county 
attorney and county auditor were fixed at $600 each, and it was voted to 
allow all county officers to draw their salaries quarterly. 

1864. The annual meeting for January began on the fifth with Joseph 
Edelbrock, Joseph Capser, H. Krebs, J. C. Noll and Michael Hansen present. 
The board organized by electing Joseph Edelbrock chairman. J. P. Wilson 
presented his resignation as county auditor, which was accepted and Barney 
Vossberg was elected his successor, his bond being presented and approved. 
At the same time the bond of John Zapp as register of deeds was approved, 
as were the bonds of W. S. Moore, county attorney, Philip Beaupre, sheriff, 
and Andrew Schroeder, treasurer. James H. Place was paid $80 for fifty- 
two township plats of the different townships of Stearns county, to be bound 
in a book and be for use in the county surveyor's office. H. C. Waite was 
appointed school examiner for district No. 1 in place of H. Z. Mitchell, who 
declined to serve. Joseph Broker was allowed $45 for the rent of Broker's 
hall for a court room, and Joseph Edelbrock was paid $40, in county orders, 
for six months rental of offices for the register of deeds and county auditor, 
he to "furnish said rooms with a good stove in the office of the register of 
deeds." 

William S. Moore, March 3, presented to the board his resignation as 
county attorney, which was accepted, and S. B. Pinney was appointed to fill 
the vacancy, the salary being $600. The salary of the county auditor was 
increased to $900. The re-appearance of Edward D. Atwater, a short-time 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 105 

county auditor, was evidenced by the presentation of a bill for "a large table 
now in the county auditor's office," which was paid, while a bill for "services 
as county auditor and doing extra work" failed to appeal to the board and 
was rejected. Lewis Clark presented his bond as surveyor general of logs 
which was approved. School examiners were appointed September 8 for the 
five districts: First district, P. C. Ransom; Second Thomas Schoifen; Third, 
Henry Broker ; Fourth, Henry Fietsam ; Fifth, H. B. Meyer. 

1865. Joseph Edelbrock, Martin Fiedler, M. Hansen, Alexander Moore 
and E. H. Atwood, the latter two being new members, answered to their names 
when the roll was called at the annual meeting January 3, Joseph Edelbrock 
being re-elected chairman. The bonds of Oscar Taylor, county attorney, and 
Barney Vossberg, county auditor, were approved, the salary of the former 
being fixed at $400 and the latter at $1,100 for the year 1865. The use of the 
court room for social, political and similar purposes began at this time, when 
on the petition of Mrs. Tenvoorde and others, permission was granted for its 
use for the holding of a two-days fair for the benefit of the Catholic church of 
St. Cloud. The Universalist Society, a little later, was granted its use for six 
months in which to hold public services, and again, on the petition of T. C. 
McClure, and others, the use of the court room by this society was extended 
for a year longer. Bernard Overbeck presented his resignation as coroner, 
which was accepted, and Thomas C. Alden was appointed his successor. 

The real estate transfer books prepared by John Zapp were presented to 
the board March 14 and accepted, and he was allowed $350. James H. Place 
resigned as county surveyor and George W. Sweet was appointed. The 
county tax for 1865 was fixed at twenty-two mills, of which ten mills was 
applied to the payment of volunteer bounty orders, and two mills additional 
was for the school fund. 

1866. Following the proceeding annual election, when the board met 
January 2, there was one change in the membership, H. J. Fowler being 
elected from the St. Cloud district ; E. H. Atwood was chosen chairman. The 
bonds of John Zapp, register of deeds ; M. Mickley, sheriff ; James M. McKelvy, 
county attorney, and Andrew Sehroeder, county treasurer, were approved. 
The salary of the county attorney was fixed at $500 and the county auditor 
at $1,100 for 1866. Alexander Moore tendered his resignation as county 
commissioner from the Fifth district, which was accepted, and Martin Fiedler 
was appointed commissioner. H. J. Fowler's bond as surveyor general of logs 
for the Fourth district was approved. The county attorney was authorized to 
receive his pay at the end of each month instead of quarterly as heretofore. 

James M. McKelvy, having been elected judge of the newly-constituted 
seventh judicial district, resigned his office as county attorney August 2, 
his resignation being accepted by the county board September 4. A ballot 
being taken for his successor, Wm. S. Moore received three votes, Oscar 
Taylor one vote and E. M. Wright one vote, and Wm. S. Moore was declared 
elected. R. M. Richardson and B. Pirz were appointed appraisers of school 
lands in the county. The tax levy for all county purposes, including a 
two-mill school tax, was fixed at twelve mills for the year 1866. W. B. 



106 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Mitchell was allowed $172.00 for publishing the auditor's financial state- 
ment and Thomas Simonton $414.76 for publishing the delinquent tax list. 

1867. The new board met January 1, with E. H. Atwood, H. J. Fowler, 
Martin Fiedler, F. W. Lenz and Bartholemew Pirz present — the three last 
named being newly elected. H. J. Fowler was chosen chairman. Barney 
Vossberg, county auditor; L. W. Collins, county attorney, and G. S. Mat- 
toon clerk of the district court filed their bonds, which were approved. 

Joseph Howard received the first auctioneer's license granted in the 
county, the fee being fixed at $80 and the bond at $1,000, and the second 
was granted the same day to P. L. Gregary. Barney Vossberg 's salary as 
county auditor was increased to $1,225, and L. W. Collin's salary as county 
attorney to $630, both payable monthly. The St. Cloud Times was made 
the official paper for the ensuing year, the minutes of the meetings of the 
board to be published in both the Times and Journal, provided each would 
do the work for half the legal rate. The county attorney was directed to 
appeal to the supreme court the case of Joseph Broker and others against 
the county of Stearns. At the meeting March 13, the county auditor was 
directed to publish the financial statement in the St. Cloud Journal simul- 
taneously with the Times and that the same rate of compensation be al- 
loAved for its publication. N. F. Barnes, the first county superintendent of 
schools, received his appointment from the county board May 8, 1867, with 
a salary of $400 per annum, which was afterwards increased to $600. 

To meet the serious and pressing needs of new settlers in the western 
part of Stearns county and in the adjoining counties of Pope and Monon- 
galia for seed grain, it was voted that county orders, to be known as "Relief 
Orders," be issued to the mount of $1,000, bearing interest at the rate of 
twelve per cent per annum and due two years after date, the proceeds to 
be used in the purchase of grain, potatoes, etc., for seed to be distributed 
among the needy settlers in the counties named. C. C. Andrews, N. F. 
Barnes and L. Gorton were appointed a committee to negotiate the sale of 
the orders and purchase and distribute the seed, L. Gorton being the treas- 
urer. The persons receiving relief were to give their notes to Stearns county, 
payable in one year, with interest at twelve per cent. 

H. R. Bigelow, and George L. Becker, president of th St. Paul and Pacific 
Railroad Company, appeared before the board September 4 and addressed 
it on the subject of taxing railroad lands, apparently without their argu- 
ments having the desired result, as "after due consideration the board re- 
fused to take any action on the subject." The county tax levy for 1867, for 
all purposes (including four mills to be applied to the payment of a new 
jail) was fixed at sixteen mills on the dollar of the assessed valuation. 

1868. The annual meeting was held January 7, with H. J. Fowler, 
Martin Fiedler, B. Pirz, Herman Terhaar and Truman Parcher present, the 
two last named being new members. H. J. Fowler was unanimously re- 
elected chairman. The official bonds of E. M. Wright, county attorney; M. 
Mickley, sheriff; John Zapp, register of deeds; Andrew Schroeder, treasurer; 
Nicholas Schmidt, county surveyor; B. Overbeck, coroner; L. A. Evans, 
judge of probate, and L. A. Evans, court commissioner, were approved. On 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 107 

the contesting claims of L. W. Collins for the county attorneyship, the board 
having obtained an opinion from Edward 0. Hamlin, decided, in accord- 
ance with that opinion, to recognize E. M. Wright as county attorney de 
facto until the matter should be finally decided by the proper tribunals. H. 
J. Fowler and Martin Fiedler were appointed a committee to negotiate for 
a poor farm and report to the board at its next session. (The records do not 
show that any report was ever made.) The salary of the county auditor 
was fixed at $1,500. The county surveyor was directed to act in conjunc- 
tion with the county surveyor of Morrison county to locate and definitely 
establish the boundary line between the counties of Stearns and Morrison 
as established by law. The meeting of June 9 was largely taken up with 
petitions for new school districts or changes in the existing districts, twenty- 
six different petitions being acted upon. 

At the meeting September 3, the tax levy for county purposes, includ- 
ing three mills for the new jail, was fixed at eighteen mills on the assessed 
valuation. Upon application of the City Covmcil of St. Cloud, H. J. Fowler, 
the chairman of the county board, was authorized and instructed to execute 
to the city of St. Cloud a perpetual lease to 25x50 feet of land situated on 
the south-east corner of Court House Square (the long way Ijang north and 
south), on condition that the city erect thereon a good brick or stone engine 
house, the said lease to be void should said house at any time be used for 
any other purpose without further action of the board of county commis- 
sioners. 

1869. The regular January session began the fifth, with Truman 
Parcher, Martin Fiedler, B. Pirz, H. Terhaar and Joseph Edelbroek present, 
the latter being the new member and was elected chairman. The session 
continued until the ninth, being devoted largely to school, district and road 
matters and the allowance of bills. The salary of the superintendent of 
schools was fixed at $500 per year; the salary of the county attorney at 
$600; the auditor's office was allowed $300 for clerk hire. A. Sutton, D. J. 
Pettijohn and others Avere allowed $580 for locating a state road from Sauk 
Rapids to a point on the western boundary of the state between Big Stone 
lake and Lake Traverse under a special act of the legislature approved 
March 5, 1868. 

A special session beginning March 9 and continuing until March 11 
considered a number of school district petitions. An appropriation of $150 
was made for opening and repairing the road from St. Cloud to Rockville. 
The payment of $11.83 to Robert Christopher for board and washing for 
G. W. Haskel and $97.50 to Dr. A. E. Senkler for medical attendance on the 
same person, while M. Lauerman was paid $68.35 for taking John Eich to 
the insane hospital, show something of the cost of the county's unfortunates 
at this time. Special sessions were held June 28 to 30 and July 26, 27. The 
salary of the county superintendent of schools was increased to $750 per 
year. An appropriation of $300 was made to the town of Paynesville to 
assist in building a bridge across Crow river. Payments of $650 for the 
Stewart bridge and $50 for the bridge across Sauk river at New Munich 
were ordered. A side-light is thrown on the manners and customs of the 



108 HISTOKY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

times by the letting of a contract to 0. Tenuy, the lowest bidder, to build 
a picket fence around Court House Square. 

The regular session beginning September 7 adjourned September 11. 
After equalizing the assessed valuation of the county, the tax levy for 1869 
was fixed at eleven mills. It was voted to refund to the city of St. Cloud 
$400 which had been paid to Major J. H. Donaldson for the apprehension 
and delivery to the proper officers of Frank De Forrest, one of the supposed 
murderers of Corporal Charles McManus. John J. Dorr was awarded the 
contract for filling and grading the court house grounds. 

1870. The regular session began January 4 with Joseph Edelbrock, 
Truman Parcher, Herman Terhaar, B. Pirz and F. Schroeder present, the 
latter two being new members. Joseph Edelbrock was again elected chaii'- 
man of the board. Resolutions were adopted protesting to the legislature 
against the "useless and extraordinary expense attending the surveying and 
laying out of state roads," and asking that a halt be called. The senator 
and representative from this district were asked to secure the passage 
through the legislature of a bill authorizing the legal voters of the counties 
of Stearns, Todd and Morrison to vote on a change of the northern boundary 
of Stearns county, to conform to the following: Commencing at the north- 
west corner of section 31, township 127, range 35 and running thence east 
on the north line of the southern tier of sections in the township 127, ranges 
35, 34, 33, 32, 31, 30 and 29 to the Mississippi river. Henry Krebs was elected 
county superintendent of schools. The county attorney's salary was fixed 
at $800. Wm. S. Moore was allowed $300 for professional services in the 
case of the First Division S. P. & P. R. R. Co. vs. Stearns county, and E. M. 
Wright $200 for extra services as county attorney. Appropriations for 
bridges were made as follows : St. Augusta, $100 (afterwards increased 
to $150) to assist in building a bridge across the creek on the road from 
St. Cloud to Clearwater; Munson, $200 for two bridges on the Paynesville 
and Forrest City, and St. Cloud and Fort Abercrombie roads. The board 
adjourned January 8. 

Special sessions were held March 8 to 10, and June 9 to 11, at both of 
which a large number of school district petitions were acted on. A pub- 
lished complaint having been made that the poor of the county were not 
fairly treated and that fraudulent bills for their care had been allowed, 
the board resented the imputations and asked for propositions regarding 
the purchase of a poor farm or other methods for the care of the poor. An 
appropriation of $400 was made to the town of St. Martin on account of a 
bridge across Getchell's creek on the St. Cloud and Fort Abercrombie road; 
$100 to Avon for repairing road and bridge on the road from St. Cloud to 
Breckenridge ; and $50 each to Rockville and St. Wendel for road and bridge 
work. The county auditor was allowed a clerk at $50 per month. 

An adjourned meeting was held July 11 for the transaction of routine 
business. The regular September session began the seventh, adjourning 
the tenth. After equalizing the assessments the tax levy was fixd at twelve 
mills. A judgment of $109.04 secured by the S. P. & P. R. R. Co. against 
the county was ordered to be paid. At a special session September 17, an 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 109 

appropriation of $300 was made for opening the St. Cloud and St. Joseph 
road ; $25 for opening the road between St. Joseph and Jacob 's Prairie ; and 
$75 for grading at the new bridge on the road from Richmond to Sauk Cen- 
tre in the town of Munson. 

1871. The commissioners present at the meeting January 3 were 
Joseph Edelbrock, Fred Schroeder, B. Pirz, Martin Greeley and Almon Sut- 
ton, the latter two being new members. Joseph Edelbrock was re-elected chair- 
man. The commissioner districts were arranged as follows, based on the 
last census: First district — The town of St. Cloud, and the first, second, 
third, and fourth wards of the City of St. Cloud. Second district — The towns 
of St. Joseph, St. Wendel, Le Sauk, Brockway, Holding, Avon, Albany and 
Oak. Third district — The towns of Eden Lake, Munson, Paynesville, Zion, 
Lake Henry, Crow Lake, St. Martin and North Fork. Fourth district — The 
towns of St. Augusta, Lynden, Fair Haven, Maine Prairie, Rockville, "Wake- 
field and Luxemburg. Fifth district — The towns of Ashley, Getty, Grove, 
Melrose, Raymond, and Sauk Centre. 

The salary of the county attorney was fixed at $800; deupty county 
auditor, $600; turnkey at the jail, $600. For corduroying and bridging the 
tamarack swamp on the Watab bridge and Avon road $100 was appropriated; 
$100 was added to the $300 appropriation for opening the St. Cloud and St. 
Joseph road ; $50 was added to the $400 for the town of St. Martin for bridge 
over Getchell creek ; $50 to Oak and Albany for Getchell creek bridges ; and 
^50 to Munson for bridges over Cold creek on Paynesville and Glencoe road. 
Adjourned January 7. 

The regular March session began the fourteenth, lasting four days. The 
salary of the county superintendent of schools was fixed at $900 per year. 
The consideration of school district petitions occupied a large part of the 
attention of the board. Road and bridge appropriations were made as fol- 
lows: For corduroying the tamarack swamp on the Watab bridge and Avon 
road, $100 additional ; for bridge over Weyrauch creek on the St. Cloud and 
Clearwater road, $150; for Avon and Holding road in Avon, $50; for work 
on Maine Prairie and Forest City road, $150; for Richmond and North Fork 
road, $150. A special session was held March 27, continuing for three days. 
Jerome J. Getty, who had been appointed to fill a vacancy, took his seat 
as commissioner from the Fifth district. An appropriation of $700 was made 
for the new St. Cloud and St. Joseph state road, this to include the build- 
ing of a bridge over the pond in the southeast quarter of section 9, township 
124, range 28. 

On call another special session was held June 12. Road appropriations 
were made as follows : For the St. Cloud and St. Joseph road, $110 addi- 
tional ; to the town of Le Sauk $50 and Brockway $75 for repairing bridges ; 
to "Wakefield $125 for the Rockville and Richmond road; $50 for the road 
from St. Joseph to New Munich; $125 to the town of Grove for Stewart's 
"bridge. A petition for a county road from Sauk Centre to Raymond was 
granted. Auctioneer's licenses for the sale of merchandise were fixed at 
$40; for the sale of real estate or property other than merchandise, $10. Ad- 
journed June 14. 



110 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

The last session of the year was held September 5 to 9. After meeting 
as a board of equalization the tax levy was fixed at eleven mills. The sum 
of $134 was refunded to Sheriff Alden, this being the amount paid by him 
as a reward for the capture of prisoner Shero. A number of small road and 
bridge appropriations were made. 

1872. The board met January 2, with B. Pirz, F. Schroeder, Wesley 
Carter and J. J. Getty present, the latter two being newly elected. Wesley 
Carter was elected chairman. M. C. Tolman was elected county superin- 
tendent of schools at a salary of $500 per year. The salary of the county at- 
torney was fixed at $800 and of the turnkey at $600. The license for auc- 
tioneers of merchandise was reduced to $100. A petition for a county road 
between the towns of Maine Prairie and Eden Lake was granted. An appro- 
priation of $350 was made to the town of St. Martin to assist in building a 
bridge across Sauk river to cost not less than $800, and $125 to the town 
of St. Martin for a bridge across Watab river to cost not less than $125. 
Adjourned January 6. 

The board met for the March session on the nineteenth, with all the 
commissioners, including Martin Greeley, present. A petition for a county 
road between the towns of Paynesville and Eden Lake was granted. An 
appropriation of $100 was made to the town of Grove for bridges; $100 to 
the town of Sauk Centre for the road from Sauk Centre to Getty's Grove; 
$125 for the road from St. Cloud through Rockville to Cold Spring. The 
board adjourned March 23 to March 30. At the adjourned meeting $758 
was allowed on claims amounting to $2,814 for loss of property by fire and 
storm during the summer and fall of 1871, imder the provisions of an act of 
the legislature. There were in all twenty-five claimants, of whom fourteen 
resided in the town of Maine Prairie, and the others in Rockville, Eden Lake, 
Spring Hill, Avon, Sauk Centre, Oak and Raymond. 

A three days special session began June 25. Petitions were granted for 
county roads from St. Cloud along the St. Cloud and Le Sauk town line, ter- 
minating at S. I. Shepard's; from the Sauk river bridge in the town of St. 
Cloud to a point at the intersection of the county road from Woodstock; 
and from Maine Prairie to Paynesville. An appropriation of $100 was made 
to the town of Getty for road purposes; $100 to the town of Spring Hill for 
use on the road from Richmond to North Fork ; and $100 to the town of 
Paynesville for "planks on the bottom of Crow river near the residences of 
Leroy Elliott and W. P. Bennett." The regular session for September began 
the third, continuing until the seventh. After acting as a board of equaliza- 
tion, the tax levy was fixed at eleven mills, the same as for preceding years. 
M. C. Tolman having resigned as county superintendent of schools, B. Pirz 
was elected to fill the vacancy. 

1873. The first session for the year began January 7, adjourning Jan- 
uary 11, with commissioners Wesley Carter, Martin Greeley, J. J. Getty, Fred 
Schroeder and Edward Miller present, the two last named being new mem- 
bers. Wesley Carter was re-elected chairman. A resolution was adopted 
exonerating L. A. Evans, judge of probate, from all blame for the loss of 
the records of the probate court by the fire of November 21, 1872. The salary 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 111 

of the county superintendent of schools was restored to $900; the salary of 
the county attorney was fixed at $800, and the turnkey at $600. An appro- 
priation of $100 was made to the town of Albany for the Round Prairie road. 
A petition for a county road from Getty to Sauk Centre was granted. 

A session beginning March 18, continued until March 21. The license 
for merchandise auctioneers was still further reduced to $50. The applica- 
tion of Chas. A. Leagle, foreman of the Little Giant Engine Co., for the 
use of the court room for the monthly meetings of the company was granted. 
Insurance to the amount of $15,000 on the court house and jail was ordered. 
An appropriation of $150 was made for the road from St. Cloud to Arnold's 
mill. A special session was held June 24. Road and bridge appropriations 
were made as follows: $300 to the town of Lynden for bridge over Clear- 
water river ; $150 to the town of Melrose ; $250 to St. Wendel for road in 
sections 15 and 16, township 125, range 29 ; $125 to St. Augusta for bridge 
over mill dam; $500 to Grove for bridge over Sauk river between New 
Munich and Melrose ; $150 to town of St. Cloud ; $2,000 for a new bridge over 
Sauk river, near Arnold and Stanton's mill, on the road from St. Cloud to 
Fort Ripley, to replace the one taken out by high water; provided the town 
of Le Sauk appropriated $1,000. Adjourned June 28. 

September session, second to sixth. After completing the work of equal- 
ization, the tax levy was fixed at five mills for current expenses; two mills 
for roads and bridges; two mills for poor fund; two mills for school fund — 
total, eleven mills. Applications for county roads from the village of Rich- 
mond to the town of Holding; from Albany to St. Martin, and from Maine 
Prairie to St. Joseph were granted. St. "Wendel and Avon each were voted 
$100 for road purposes. At the several sessions small appropriations were 
voted to different towns for road and bridge purposes, and various appro- 
priations were made from the poor fund. 

1874. The board met January 6, with Wesley Carter, F. Schroeder, Ed- 
ward Miller, John P. Hammerel and J. J. Getty, present, the two last named 
being new members. "Wesley Carter was again re-elected chairman. The 
committee reported the completion of a new bridge across Sauk river at 
Arnold and Stanton's mill, and the sum of $200 was appropriated to the 
town of Le Sauk on account of this bridge. The following road and bridge 
appropriations were made : $100 to Munson for Cold Creek bridge on road 
from Paynesville to Richmond ; $100 to Brockway for road No. 2 ; $125 to 
Fair Haven for a new bridge over Clearwater river, provided "Wright county 
appropriated an equal sum; $100 to Getty for repairing Stewart's bridge over 
Sauk river; $150 additional to town of St. Martin. The county attorney's 
salary was fixed at $800. The board adjourned January 10. 

At the session March 17 to 21, P. E. Kaiser was elected county super- 
intendent of schools at a salary of $1,000. J. J. Getty, F. Schroeder and Ed- 
ward Miller were appointed a committee to select a poor farm and report 
June 15. The county attorney was instructed to begin suit against certain 
parties to collect relief notes given the county for seed grain in 1867, amount- 
ing to $771.49 without interest. The town of Oak was allowed $300 for 
bridges. A special session beginning June 15, adjourned June 17. The com- 



112 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

mittee on poor farm made a verbal report and asked for further time. Ap- 
propriations for roads and bridges were made as follows : $800 to the city of 
St. Cloud for bridges in the city: $150 each to the towns of St. Wendel and 
St. Cloud; $100 each to Millwood, Crow Lake, St. Joseph and Getty; $100 
for a bridge on the county road from Richmond to North Fork, between 
North Fork and Lake George. Petitions for new roads between the towns 
of Wakefield and Rockville and between Rockville and St. Augusta were 
granted. 

The regular session beginning July 27, adjourned August 1. After the 
annual equalizing of property valuations, the tax levy was fixed at nine mills, 
being a reduction of one mill each for current expenses and roads and 
bridges. J. P. Hammerel was appointed a member of the poor farm com- 
mittee to succeed Edward Miller resigned, and the committee was directed 
to visit the different places offered and be prepared to report September 2. 
An appropriation of $400 was made to the towns of Munson and Avon for 
the road from Avon to Richmond. 

At the October session, which met on the thirteenth and adjourned on 
the fifteenth, Peter Hahn presented his certificate of appointment as com- 
missioner from the Third district to succeed Edward Miller resigned. The 
tax levy was reduced to eight mills, by taking half a mill each from the 
revenue and poor fund. James McKelvy, judge of the district court, was 
authorized to employ a short-hand reporter. The report of the committee 
on a poor farm was laid on the table. Appropriations were made as follows : 
$100 to the town of Fair Haven for the Kingston bridge; $100 to Wake- 
field for bridge purposes; $100 to Grove additional for Stewart's bridge; $125 
for road work in Brockway. As usual during each session much time was 
devoted to the consideration of school district petitions. 

1875. The board met January 5, the commissioners present being Fred 
Schroeder, J. P. Hammerel, J. J. Getty, John H. Owen and Peter Hahn, the 
two last named being new members. Fred Schroeder was elected chairman. 
The county attorney's salary was fixed at $800. An appropriation of $400 
was made for work on the St. Martin and Albany road and $200 for work 
on the Rockville and St. Augusta road. Adjourned January 9. 

A three-days' special session began March 22. The salary of the county 
superintendent of schools was fixed at $1,200. Insurance to the amount of 
$20,000 was ordered to be placed on the court house and jail. H. H. Cleve- 
land was allowed $200 and J. H. Staples $110 for damages caused by a change 
in the location of the Maine Prairie and St. Joseph county road. Another 
special session beginning June 21 and adjourning June 23 was characterized 
by a lively contest among the newspapers for the publishing of the delinquent 
tax list, "cut-throat" prices ruling. The list was awarded to Frank Smith, 
of the St. Cloud Times, at l^/^ cents per description, but as he failed to fur- 
nish the necessary bond for $2,000 the work was given to C. R. McKinney 
of the St. Cloud Press, at 2 cents per description, he furnishing the required 
bond. The highest bid, 9% cents, was that of the St. Cloud Journal. St. 
Augusta was given $100 for a bridge over the mill dam, and petitions for 
county roads in the towns of Farming and St. Joseph were granted. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 113 

A six-days' session began July 26, with a meeting of the board of equaliza- 
tion, upon the adjournment of which a levy of $17,500 was made for county 
purposes; $5,000 each for roads and bridges and for the poor fund, with one 
mill for schools. D. J. Hanscom, of Eden Lake, presented a report and map 
of a state road from Litchfield, Meeker county, to Cold Spring, Stearns 
county, which were accepted and filed in the register of deeds office. The 
county superintendent of schools was instructed not to visit more than two 
districts in any one day and if the intervening distance was six miles, not 
more than one district. Thus providing against hasty and superficial ex- 
aminations. 

The October session, continuing from the fifth to the seventh was de- 
voted almost wholly to school district and road and bridge matters. The 
following appropriations of $100 and over were made : Avon, $150 for St. 
Joseph and Holding road; Getty, $100 for road near Cleveland's and 
Veeder's; Oak, $300 for bridge over Getchell's creek; St. Wendel, $125 for 
road purposes; Spring Hill, $300 and Grove, $200 for bridges over Sauk 
river; Millwood, $100 for road purposes. 

1876. The board met January 4, with John H. Owen, J. J. Getty, 
J. P. Hammerel, Peter Hahn and Nicholas Keppers present, the latter two 
being the new members. Commissioner Owen was elected chairman. P. E. 
Kaiser was elected superintendent of schools (receiving three votes to two 
votes for T. J. Gray), at a salary of $1,000 per year; the county attorney's 
salary was made $800. The license for auctioneers was fixed at $50 and 
Frank Fairchild made his appearance as the first applicant. Resolutions 
were adopted asking the Stearns county delegation in the legislature to 
secure, if possible, the passage of an act requiring the different towns in 
the county to support their own poor. Sixty cords of maple wood were 
bought for $179.40, being a trifle less than $3.00 per cord, and less by one- 
half than the market price for this wood at the date of the publishing of this 
history. An appropriation of $200 additional was made for the Cold Spring 
bridge ; $100 to Rockville for the Rockville and St. Augusta road ; $250 to 
Munson for the Sauk river bottom of the bridge at Richmond, provided the 
town expend an equal amount; $100 to Grove for the Stewart's bridge. A 
petition for a road through the towns of St. Wendel, Brockway and Hold- 
ing was accepted. The St. Cloud Times was made the official paper without 
bids. 

A special session began March 21 and adjourned March 23. The com- 
missioners from the First and Fifth districts were instructed to receive pro- 
posals from the physicians in their districts for medical treatment of county 
paupers in said districts and to employ such physicians as they might deem 
proper. "Wakefield was given $440 for repairs to the Sauk river bridge 
at Cold Spring. A three-days' special session, beginning June 19, was de- 
voted to the consideration of applications for relief from the poor fund, 
school district applications and routine business. 

At the regular July session, which began on the twenty-fourth, ending 
the twenty-ninth, after the work of equalization had been completed, a tax 
levy of $15,000 for county purposes, $5,000 for the poor, and one mill for 



114 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

schools was voted. An extra session beginning September 14 and adjourn- 
ing the sixteenth was devoted to routine business. Another extra session 
beginning November 30, continued three days. The resignation of George 
Geissel as sheriff was accepted and Mathias Mickley elected his successor. 
John Schafer was elected turnkey at the jail. 

1877. The new board met January 2, with J. H. Owen, N. Keppers, 
Peter Hahn, J. P. Hammerel and E. P. Barnum present, the two last named 
being new members. J. H. Owens was re-elected chairman. The salary of 
the county superintendent of schoods was fixed at $1,000 and the salary of 
the county attorney at $800. The Stearns county delegation in the legisla- 
ture was again requested to secure the passage of a special act making the 
county poor charges of their respective towns. 

At a special session, continuing from March 15 to 21, applications for 
seed grain from farmers in the northern and western part of the county 
were received, of which 82 were allowed and 55 rejected. It was decided 
that the seed grain allowed, wheat and peas, be sent to Albany and Mel- 
rose. A contract for repairing the Sauk river bridge at Waite's crossing 
was let to Peter Schmit, for $1,575, of which $125 was to be paid by the 
town of St. Cloud, and the balance by the county. The town of Grove was 
allowed $150 toward the cost of a bridge across Sauk river at Stewart's 
crossing, and $100 was appropriated to the town of St. Joseph for a bridge 
over Sauk river. An extra session beginning June 18 was given to routine 
business. 

A session was held July 16, largely devoted to equalization matters, 
adjournment being taken to August, when the work of equalization was 
completed and the tax levy fixed at $15,000 for county purposes and one 
mill school tax. The legislature having passed an act requiring the several 
towns to provide for their own poor no levy was made for county poor 
fund. A special session for routine business was held November 8 and 9. 

1878. The first session of the year began January 1, with N. Kep- 
pers, Peter Hahn, J. P. Hammerel, E. P. Barnum and B. Reinhard present, 
the latter being a new member. Peter Hahn was elected chairman. The 
county delegation in the legislature was requested to secure the passage of 
a special law extending the time for the payment of taxes in Stearns county 
to December 1. The bond of the county treasurer was increased from $75,- 
000 to $90,000. The salaries of the county attorney and superintendent of 
schools were fixed at $800 and $1,000 respectively. The liquor license was 
reduced to $25. Adjourned January 3. A special session was held January 
14 and 15, at which the bond of J. A. Moosbrugger, county treasurer, was 
approved, and the north half of township 124, range 32 was detached from 
commissioner district No. 5 and attached to district No. 3. A special ses- 
sion held March 5 and 6 was devoted entirely to considering applications for 
seed grain under the provisions of the act of February 13, 1878. The board 
reported to the governor that it had approved 388 applications, covering 
18,852 acres, for which would be needed 12,689 bushels of wheat and 4,541 
bushels of oats. 

At the regular March session, from the nineteenth to the twenty-sec- 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 115 

ond, the distribution of seed grain was made. Bids for the publication of 
the annual financial statement were received, ranging from $7.25 to $16.00 — 
all absurdly low prices — the contract being awarded to the St. Cloud Jour- 
nal as the lowest bidder. An extra session was held April 29 to May 1. An 
appropriation of $1,500 was made to the town of Munson for the new bridge 
over the Sauk river at Richmond and $150 was appropriated to the town of 
St. Joseph for "ice breakers" for the Sauk river bridge at Staples. At an 
extra session June 10-12, an additional appropriation of $500 was made for 
the new bridge at Richmond; $500 was appropriated to the town of Sauk 
Centre for road and bridge purposes; and $5,000 to the city of St. Cloud 
to be used in the construction of a free wagon bridge across the Mississippi 
river at that city. 

The board met as a board of equalization July 15, continuing in session 
until the twentieth, adjourning until August 5, at which date it re-con- 
vened, completing the work August 10. A three-days' session of the county 
board began July 24, at which the tax levy was fixed at $20,000 for county 
purposes and one mill for schools. An extra session was held October 14-16, 
at which the county treasurer was instructed to visit each town in the 
county between the first day of January and the last day of February, 1879, 
for the purpose of collecting taxes. An extra session for routine business 
was held December 9 and 10. 

1879. The regular session met January 7, with B. Reinhard, E. P. 
Barnum, Carl Herberger, John Schneider and Michael Hansen, Sr., present, 
the three last named being new members. E. P. Barnum was elected chair- 
man. The business of the three days was confined to routine matters. At 
the regular March session, beginning the eighteenth and adjourning the 
twenty-first, a large number of road appropriations were made, the more im- 
portant being: $100 each to Melrose, Oak, Paynesville and "Wakefield; $125 
to Munson and St. Martin; $150 to Albany, Avon, Farming, Holding, Krain, 
Millwood, Rockville and St. Wendel. 

The board of equalization met July 21 and after adjourning on the 
twenty-sixth to August 11, re-convened on that day, remaining in session 
until August 14. The county board met July 28, making the tax levy the 
same as for the year past. Road and bridge appropriations were made to 
the towns of Albany and St. Cloud, $100 each ; St. Joseph, $150 and Ray- 
mond $250. Michael Hoy, the well-known detective, was allowed $163.45 
for his services in arresting certain offenders named Morris, Hockenbury 
and Marshall. An unimportant special session was held October 21 and 
23. 

1880. The January session of the board began on the sixth, continuing 
until the tenth, with B. Reinhard, Carl Herberger, John Schneider, Michael 
Hansen, Sr., and A. 6. Jaques present, the latter two being new members. 
B. Reinhard was elected chairman. The salary of the coimty attorney was 
fixed at $800; superintendent of. schools $1,000; county auditor $1,500, with 
$958 for his deputy. 

The March session began on the sixteenth, adjourning on the nineteenth. 
Depositories for the county funds, in suras not to exceed $30,000 each, were 



116 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

designated for the first time — the Bank of St. Cloud, with James A. Bell, 
Joseph C. Smith, H. J. Rosenberger, W. B. Mitchell and L. W. Collins as sure- 
ties; and the T. C. McClure bank, with H. C. Waite, N. P. Clarke, D. B. 
Searle, John Cooper and Frank Arnold as sureties. Twenty-eight liquor 
licenses were granted, and the county attorney was instructed to prosecute 
all persons known to have sold liquor without a license, provided that, upon 
demand, they refused to take out a license. The town of CoUegeville, which 
was in the Second, Third and Fourth commissioner districts, was placed en- 
tirely in the Second district. The salary of the judge of probate was fixed 
at $1,150. The sum of $3,300 was appropriated from the road and bridge 
fund to the several commissioner districts as follows: First district, $400; 
Second, $1,000; Third, $800; Fourth, $600; Fifth, $500— these amounts to be 
expended under the direction of the commissioners of the respective dis- 
tricts. It was voted that in the future the expense of laying out or altering 
roads should be paid by the towns through which such roads passed. 

The board of equalization was in session July 19 to 24, adjourning to 
August 2 and completing its work August 6. The board of commissioners 
was in session from July 26 to 30. The tax levy for county purposes was 
fixed at $16,000, less $6,000 in the treasury, with one mill school tax. The 
salary of the county superintendent of schools was increased to $1,200. 
Thirty-three liquor licenses were granted. 

At an extra session held September 6 to 9, road and bridge appropria- 
tions were made as follows: Grove, $200; Oak, $130; Rockville, $175; St. 
Joseph, $100 ; St. Wendel, $145 ; road from Melrose to Willmar, $100 ; Holding 
and Krain road, $125; Munson and North Fork road, $200; Albany and St. 
Martin road, $150; Albany, $275; CoUegeville, $100; Paynesville, $125; St. 
Augusta, for St. Cloud and Clearwater road, $125; St. Cloud, for St. Cloiid 
and St. Joseph road, $400. Another extra session was held November 22 to 
24, at which the following additional road and bridge appropriations were 
made : Lynden, $200 ; Long Prairie and Paynesville road, $200 ; Le Sauk, for 
St. Cloud and Brockway road, $275; St. Augusta bridge, $100; Holding and 
Krain road, $100; Holding and St. Wendel road, $100. 

1881. The regular session beginning January 4, adjourned January 6. 
The following commissioners were present: John Schneider, Michael Han- 
sen, Sr., A. G. Jaques, J. P. Hammerel and Frank Benolken, the two last 
named being new members. As the result of the fourth ballot J. P. Hammerel 
was elected chairman. Salaries were fixed as follows : Attorney, $800 ; super- 
intendent of schools, $1,200 ; judge of probate, $1,150 ; auditor, $1,500, and his 
deputy, $1,044. At the March session, fifteenth to seventeeth, besides routine 
business an appropriation of $150 was made for a bridge over Hoboken creek, 
in the town of Sauk Centre. 

The regular May session, of three days, began the twelfth. A notice 
received from A. E. Bugbee, town clerk, of Paynesville, that no license for 
the sale of liquor be granted to any person in said town for the year end- 
ing the second Tuesday of May, 1882, was accepted and filed. An appropria- 
tion of $400 was made to the city of St. Cloud to defray one-half the cost 
of repairs to the Mississippi river bridge; $150 to Holding for one-half the 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 117 

cost of bridges in that town ; and $200 to Oak as one-half the cost of a 
bridge. 

The board of equalization held a session from July 18 to 22. The county 
board met July 25 for a three-days' session. The tax levy was fixed at $22,- 
000, less $10,000 in the treasury, for county purposes and one mill for schools. 
After the board had voted that liquor licenses could be taken out at a rate of 
$2.10 per month, to expire not earlier than the second Tuesday of January, 
1882, forty licenses were granted. M. P. Noel tendered his resignation as 
county surveyor. 

At the regular session beginning September 13, the commissioner dis- 
tricts were re-arranged as follows: First district — Lynden, St. Augusta, St. 
Cloud, and the first four wards of the city of St. Cloud; Second district — 
Albany, Avon, Brockway, Holding, Krain, Le Sauk, Millwood, Oak and St. 
Wendel; Third district — Eden Lake, Farming, Lake George, Lake Henry, 
Munson, Paynesville, St. Martin, Spring Hill and Zion; Fourth district — Col- 
legeville. Fair Haven, Luxemburg, Maine Prairie, Rockville, St. Joseph and 
"Wakefield; Fifth district — Ashley, Crow Lake, Crow River, Getty, Grove, 
Melrose, North Fork, Raymond and Sauk Centre. Albany was given $100 to 
pay one-half the cost of a bridge. Seven more liquor licenses were granted. 
Adjourned September 15. 

At the regular session November 15 to 17, rules and regulations were 
adopted regarding vaccination and quarantine measures to prevent the spread 
of small pox in certain infected districts. The town of St. Martin was given 
$100 toward a $250 bridge. 

The board met December 12 and 13 to consider the small pox situation 
and adopted a resolution declaring that the county would not be responsi- 
ble for any claims on that account after that date. 

1882. The regular session began January 3, with J. P. Hammerel, A. G. 
Jaques, N. Keppers and B. Pirz present, the latter two being new members. 
J. P. Hammerel was re-elected chairman. The salary of the county attorney 
was fixed at $800 and the superintendent of schools at the rate of $10 for 
each organized district in the county. Bills amounting to $2,452.55 were al- 
lowed to physicians previously designated by the board to be employed in 
small pox cases, the larger amounts being: Dr. J. A. DuBois, $591.85; Dr. B. 
R. Palmer, $214.50; Dr. J. E. Campbell, $313.50; Dr. H. Schmidt, $328.45; 
Dr. C. E. Scoboria, $230.50. For other services and supplies in connection 
with the small pox cases, bills were allowed to the amount of $2,036.15, the 
largest payment being to Dr. A. G. Jaques for "services and expenses." The 
liquor license fee was continued at $25, but it was provided that no license 
should be granted for less than the full amount — the monthly basis plan be- 
ing discontinued, the commissioners themselves evidently realizing its weak 
features. Adjourned January 5. An extra session to consider small pox mat- 
ters was held February 20 and 21. 

At the March session, held March 21-23, another large number of small 
pox bills were presented, on which over $1,700 was allowed, the largest 
amounts being paid to Dr. A. G. Jaques, $502; Dr. Henry Schmidt, $381.05, 
and Rev. Father Clements Staub, $258, for medical services; while bills to 



118 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

practically an equal amount were rejected. The following day the commis- 
sioners met as a board of health notifying physicians and others that no bills 
or claims for services rendered in small pox or other eases would be paid by 
the county. 

The May session began the ninth, adjourning the eleventh. Road and 
bridge appropriations, being in each case half the amount to be expended, 
were made as follows : $125 for improving the St. Cloud and St. Joseph road ; 
$160 for bridges in Albany; $150 for the Roekville and St. Joseph road; $566 
for roofing the Sauk river bridge at Richmond. 

The board of equalization held its annual meeting July 17-22, with a 
further session July 27. The county board met July 24, for a three-days' 
session. Road and bridge appropriations on the basis of one-half being paid 
by the several towns were made as follows : St. Martin, for Sauk river bridge, 
$250; Wakefield, for bridge over Sauk river on road from Cold Spring to 
Eden Lake, $500, the state of Minnesota having also appropriated $400; Mel- 
rose, from Sauk river bridge on the road from Melrose to Birehdale, Todd 
county, $250; Brockway, for bridge over Christy brook, $150; St. Wendel, 
for bridge, $100; Millwood, for bridge, $200. The tax levy was fixed at $20,- 
000 for county purposes, and one mill for schools. 

A three-days' session, beginning September 12, Avas held, at which an 
appropriation of $150 was made to the town of Grove and $100 to Spring 
Hill for bridges, these towns having previously voted equal amounts. A 
three-days' session for routine business began November 21. 

1883. The annual session opened January 2, adjourning January 4; 
present, J. P. Hammerel, N. Keppers, B. Pirz and A. A. Whitney, the latter 
being a new member. Nicholas Hansen, elected for the Fourth district, hav- 
ing failed to qiaalify, W. Merz held over as commissioner. Efforts to increase 
the liquor license fee to $100 and to $75 failed, Commissioners Whitney and 
Merz voting each time in the affirmative and commissioners Keppers, Pirz and 
Hammerel in the negative. It was finally made $50. Bridge appropriations 
were made as follows: Crow River and Holding, $100 each; Paynesville, 
$150; city of St. Cloud, $275. 

The following road and bridge appropriations were made at a session 
March 20-22: Brockway, $150 for bridge over Spunk brook; Grove, $400, 
for bridge over Sauk river, the town having appropriated $1,000 ; St. Joseph, 
$500 for Sauk river bridge on Maine Prairie and St. Joseph road ; St. Mar- 
tin, $500 for Sauk river bridge on Albany and St. Martin road; Sauk Cen- 
tre, $500 for Sauk river bridge on Sauk Centre and Melrose road; Wake- 
field, $300 additional for Sauk river bridge; Lake George, $100. 

At the regular session May 8-10, small pox bills which had been laid over 
were considered and allowances to the amount of $896.45 were made, while 
bills aggregating approximately $3,000 were rejected. An appropriation of 
$310 was made to the city of St. Cloud toward the building of a stone cul- 
vert across the ravine at Richmond aveniTc, this city having appropriated 
$900. John Schafer, of Le Sauk, was granted an auctioneer's license. 

The board of equalization was in session July 16-19, and July 26-27. The 
county board met July 23 for a three-days' session. A tax levy of one mill 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 119 

for schools and $27,000 for county purposes, was made, the main items in 
the latter being $10,000 for salaries, $4,000 for bridges, $3,000 for district 
court, and $2,000 for additional vault room. Sessions held August 1-2 and 
September 11-12, were for routine business. At a session December 18-20 
auctioneer's licenses were granted to J. W. Tenvoorde and J. N. Gilley. 

1884. The first session for the year began January 1, and adjourned 
January 3 ; present : J. P. Hammerel, N. Keppers, B. Pirz, Joseph Scheelar 
and A. A. "Whitney ; J. P. Hammerel and Joseph Scheelar being new members. 
J. P. Hammerel was elected chairman. The salary of the county attorney 
was fixed at $800 and the superintendent of schools at $1,240. License fee 
for auctioneers, $50 for merchandise and $10 for real estate and household 
goods, etc. Forty-five liquor licenses were granted at $50 each. 

A two-days' extra session began January 14, at which D. B. Searle 
tendered his resignation as county attorney, which was accepted, and F. B. 
Searle was elected to render such legal services as the county might require. 
Barney Overbeck resigned as coroner and Dr. A. 0. Gilman was elected his 
successor. It was voted to have the financial statement and all official notices 
published in both the St. Cloud Journal and St. Cloud Times, each paper to 
do the work for one-half the legal rate. At a special session held February 
4 and 5, J. R. Boyd was granted a merchandise auctioneer's license. 

At the session March 18-20, the following bridge appropriations were 
made: Collegeville, $100; Grove, bridge over Sauk river on road from Oak 
to Melrose; Munson, $225; Oak, $300 for Getchell creek bridge on road from 
Oak to St. Joseph; North Fork, $275; Pajoiesville, $400, for bridge across 
north branch Crow river, on road from Paynesville to Lake Henry and Zion; 
Raymond, $150; city of St. Cloud, $900; St. Wendel, $150. The session be- 
ginning May 13, adjourned May 15. The bond of Theodore Bruener, county 
attorney-elect, which had been rejected at the January session because of in- 
formality, was approved. An appropriation of $237.50 was made to the 
township of Fair Haven to assist in building a bridge over the branch of the 
Clearwater river on the road from Fair Haven to Kingston and over Three- 
mile creek on the road from Fair Haven to Lake George. Auctioneer's 
licenses to sell real estate, etc., were granted to B. F. Carr, Wm. Boulton and 
Joseph Eder. 

After the work of equalization had been completed which occupied 
from July 21 to 26 (with one day's session on the thirty -first) the board met 
July 28, adjourning the thirtieth. An appropriation of $100 was made to 
Melrose for a bridge on the road from Sauk Centre to Birchdale, and $325 
to Spring Hill for a bridge across Sauk river. The tax levy was fixed at one 
mill for schools and $40,000 for county purposes, which included $3,500 for 
a bridge at Cold Spring and $2,500 for a bridge at Arnold's mill across 
Sauk river. A routine session was held September 9-11, at the December 
session 16-18, a resolution was adopted asking the delegation from Stearns 
county to oppose the repeal by the legislature of the bill making paupers a 
town charge. The fee for liquor licenses was reduced to $25. 

1885. The board met January 6, with J. P. Hammerel, N. Keppers, B. 
Pirz, Joseph Scheelar and A. A. "Whitney present, N. Keppers and B. Pirz 



120 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

being new members. J. P. Hammerel was re-elected chairman. Salaries were 
fixed as follows: County attorney, $800; superintendent of schools, $1,500; 
clerk of the probate court, $500 ; J. A. DuBois, deputy coroner, $500. A com- 
munication addressed to the county attorney requesting his presence at a ses- 
sion of the board of county commissioners on the afternoon of January 7 
on official business, elicited the following spicy reply, which was ordered to 
be recorded in the minutes of the board : 

"To the Hon. Board of County Commissioners of Stearns county, Minn. 
— In reply to the above communication will say that I have no objection to 
be present at the meeting of your Hon. Board, provided the board will 
guarantee to me that I shall be treated in a decent and respectful manner, 
and that I will not be subjected to the insults of your chairman or any other 
member of said board. If this guarantee is made I shall be present as re- 
quested. Respectfully yours, Theodore Bruener, Co. Atty." The next day 
the board voted that "the letter to the county attorney and the answer to 
the board be reconsidered," but not expunged. The first order for the loca- 
tion of a public ditch in Stearns county was made at this session, the appUca- 
tion, which was signed by George E. Wraner, Joseph Tonjes, "W. F. Fisk and 
others interested, having been received July 30, 1884. The viewers were 
James Colgrove, Fred Goenner and George Messman, whose report was fav- 
orable. The ditch started at B. Meyer's creek in the N. E. % of N. E. ^4, sec- 
tion 24, township 123, range 28, running to Plum creek, near the bridge on 
the road from Clearwater to St. Cloud, being in length 3.65 miles and lo- 
cated in the towns of St. Augusta and Lynden. This was followed by an 
application, filed December 15, 1884, and signed by F. Gumtor, F. Heitke, 
August Schultz, H. Moede and others, for a ditch to start from the center 
of section 35, in the town of Zion, and run to a point of intersection with 
Cole creek, on the north line of lot 14, section 19, town of Munson. James 
H. Boylon, Peter Hahn and Valentine Engelhard were appointed viewers. 
The following bridge appropriations were made : Ashley, $100 ; Farming, 
$150; Lake Henry, $300; Munson, $350, for Sauk river bridge at Richmond; 
North Fork, $250, for bridge on north branch of Crow river; Paynesville, 
$100 for bridge on Crow river; city of St. Cloud, $900 for bridges; St. Mar- 
tin, $100. Sixty-six liquor licenses were granted at the reduced rate. 

At a special session held February 17-19 bids were received for build- 
ing three town bridges across Sauk river at Arnold's mill, St. Joseph and 
Cold Spring, according to plans drawn by C. F. Loweth. The contract for 
the superstructures was awarded to Horace E. Horton at $2,098.20 for the 
Arnold bridge, $3,148.80 for the St. Joseph bridge and $5,247 for the Cold 
Spring bridge, being $10,494 for the three. The contract for the substruc- 
tures was awarded to W. J. Murphy. The town of Le Sauk having appro- 
priated $1,000 for the bridge at Arnold's mill the county added $2,200; St. 
Joseph's appropriation of $1,000 was increased by $1,800 in addition to $500 
previously appropriated, making a total of $2,300; and $3,000 was added to 
the $3,500 appropriated by the town of Wakefield. The St. Cloud Times was 
made the official paper under an agreement that the financial statement, pro- 
ceedings of the board and all official notices should also be published in Ger- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 121 

man in the Nordstern, all for the one legal price, the job printing done locally 
to go to the Nordstern. This arrangement continued with but few interrup- 
tions until the year 1913. 

The regular March session meeting on the nineteenth lasted but one day. 
H. E. Horton having refused to sign the bridge contracts because of a clause 
providing for liquidated damage in case the bridges were not completed at 
the date specified, the contract was awarded to the SchefiEier Bridge Works, 
whose bid for the three bridges was $11,350. The claims of the county com- 
missioners for services in small pox cases were allowed as follows: A. G. 
Jaques, from January 7 to March 12, 1882, $460; B. Pirz, from January 24 
to March 18, 1882, $175; N. Keppers, from February 10 to March 12, 1882, 
$135. A special session was held March 31 to April 2, at which a contract 
was entered into with the SchefQer Bridge Works for the construction of the 
three town bridges referred to above. Avon and Fair Haven were each al- 
lowed $100 for bridges. A session was held May 12-14, at which a quit-claim 
deed, to cover irregularity in a previous conveyance, was ordered to be given 
the First Methodist Church of St. Cloud, for lot 1, block G, the old jail lot. 

The work of equalization occupied the board July 20-23 and again July 
30. At the commissioner's session, July 27-29, the second public ditch, for 
which a petition had been filed January 8, was definitely located and assess- 
ments made ; length of ditch 2.68 miles. A tax levy was made of one mill for 
schools and $38,425 for county purposes, of which $2,000 was for Paynes- 
ville, $3,000 for Grove and $3,000 for Clearwater bridges. 

September 8-10, routine business. At a special session held November 
7, the county attorney was instructed to begin legal proceedings to enjoin 
the St. Cloud, Mankato and Austin Railway Company from using, occupying 
or obstructing the public highway, leading from St. Cloud to Cold Spring in 
the towns of Rockville, Wakefield and Munson. Regular session, December 
15 and 16, routine. 

1886. The board met for its first session January 5, with J. P. Hammerel, 
N. Keppers, B. Pirz, J. Scheelar and A. A. Whitney present; J. P. Hammei'el 
was re-elected chairman. The salary of the county attorney was increased 
to $1,000 and the salary of the superintendent of schools continued at $1,500. 
Bridge appropriations were made as follows : Ashley, $180 for bridge over 
Ashley river; Lake Henry, $442; Maine Prairie, $360; North Fork, $200; 
Raymond, $135; city of St. Cloud, $900 for a bridge over Jefferson avenue 
near High street; St. Wendel, $180 for bridge over Watab creek; Sauk Cen- 
tre, $215 for bridge over Sauk river; Sauk Centre and Ashley, $100 for 
bridge over Hoboken creek ; Paynesville, $800 for bridge over Crow river ; 
Zion, $135. As with previous appropriations these amounts were not to ex- 
ceed over one-half the cost of the bridges. Adjourned January 7. 

A special meeting was held March 18-20, at which the bids for build- 
ing iron bridges at Clearwater, Grove and Paynesville were opened. The con- 
tract for the building of the Grove bridge over Sauk river at Stewart's cross- 
ing complete was awarded to the Columbia Bridge Company, of Dayton, Ohio, 
for $2,868 ; and the superstructure of the Paynesville bridge to the same com- 
pany for $2,268, while all bids for the Clearwater bridge were rejected for 



122 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

the reason that this bridge was not on a county road. J. H. Dennison was 
given the contract for building the stone piers for the Paynesville bridge. It 
was voted that the county pay two-thirds of the cost of the Grove bridge, 
and $1,912 was appropriated, and $484 in addition to $400 appropriated 
March 19, 1884, was appropriated for the Paynesville bridge on Crow river. 

A three-days' session was held May 11-13. The following bridge appro- 
priations were made : Albany, $150 for bridge on Albany and St. Martin 
road; CoUegeville, $100, CoUegeville and Munson road; Lake Henry, $442, 
Lake Henry and Spring Hill road; Maine Prairie, $225, Clearwater and 
Manannah road; "Wakefield, $250, St. Joseph and Wakefield road. It was 
ordered that the court room should be used for no other purpose than county 
business, the holding of state land sales and county conventions. For 132 
cords of maple wood $323.34 was paid. 

The board of equalization was in session July 19-21, completing its work 
August 11. The county board met July 26-28, and levied a one-mill school 
tax and $32,000 for county purposes, the main items in this amount being 
$11,300 for salaries and $5,000 for roads and bridges. Appropriations from 
this fund were made as follows: Paynesville, $150 for grading approach to 
new iron bridge; St. Augusta, $125 for bridge over Johnson's creek; St. 
Joseph, $100 for road work ; Maine Prairie, $150 for Fair Haven and Forest 
City road; Luxemburg, $247 for roads from Maine Prairie to Paynesville 
and from Clearwater to Manannah ; Spring Hill, $600 for bridge across 
Getchell creek. The location of public ditch No. 2 was approved and assess- 
ments made. The coroner and his deputies were instructed that $8.00 was the 
maximum price which could be paid for coffins for paupers. A session for 
routine business was held September 14 and 15, as was a session Decem- 
ber 21-23. 

1887. The January 4 session began with N. Keppers, B. Pirz, P. R. 
Griebler, Joseph Scheelar and A. A. Whitney present, the latter three being 
newly-elected members. B. Pirz was elected chairman. The Columbia 
Bridge Company allowed the county and the town of Paynesville each $100 
damages for the Paynesville bridge not being completed on time, any claim 
for damages on account of delay in completing the Stewart bridge being 
waived. The liquor license was increased to $50, at which rate 71 licenses 
were granted, St. Joseph leading with ten and Albany following with eight. 
Adjourned January 6. 

A three-days' special session began January 13, at which road and bridge 
appropriations were made, as follows : Crow river, $100, Crow river and 
Lake George road; Lynden, $200, bridge at Plum creek; Millwood, $150 for 
bridge over Getchell creek on Millwood and Oak road; Rockville, $300 for 
bridges over mill creek and on Maine Prairie and St. Joseph road ; St. Joseph, 
$100 for St. Joseph and Avon road; St. Wendel, $150 for bridge on St. 
Wendel and St. Joseph road. 

Another special session of two days began February 24, at which resolu- 
tions were again adopted requesting the Stearns county delegation in the 
legislature to oppose the repeal of the special law of 1877 making paupers 
a town charge in Stearns county. Theodore Bruener was engaged as special 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 123 

counsel to assist the county attorney in the continued prosecution of the 
case of the County Commissioners of Stearns county against the St. Cloud, 
Mankato and Austin R. R. Co., for which service he was later allowed $250. 

At the regular session May 10-13 a number of highway petitions were 
granted. The application of Paynesville to be incorporated as a village was 
granted, an election to be held June 28, at Sherrin and Webb's store, with 
R. P. Gilbert, J. P. Richardson and W. M. McCutcheon inspectors. The 
appropriation of $500 made January 7, 1886, for a culvert on Jefferson ave- 
nue, in the city of St. Cloud, was revoked and the money covered into the 
county revenue fund, while the same amount with $1,100 additional was 
appropriated for a stone culvert across the ravine at Seventh avenue. The 
following appropriations for roads and bridges were granted : Ashley, Farm- 
ing, Oak and Zion, $100 each ; Brockway and Raymond, $150 each ; Paynes- 
ville, $120; Lake Henry, $200; Melrose, $225; Lake George, $250. The act 
of May 8, 1887, for the destruction of gophers and blackbirds was accepted. 
A bill of $30.40 for 38 gallons of paint indicated the low price paid at that 
time for flaxseed. 

The board of equalization occupied three days, from July 18-20. The 
county board met July 25 for a three days' session. The tax levy was one 
mill for schools and $30,000 for county purposes, of which $9,800 was for 
schools and $7,000 for roads and bridges. From this fund $125 was appro- 
priated to the town of Munson, and $150 each to Getty and St. Cloud. At 
a special session, August 22 and 23, an appropriation of $400 was made for 
the Munson and Zion road, leading to Roscoe. 

The regular session in September began the thirteenth and adjourned 
the foiarteenth. An application of the St. Cloud Motor Line Company for 
the use of the St. Cloud and Rockville and St. Cloud and St. Joseph roads, 
on which to construct, maintain and operate a motor line railway to be 
propelled by steam, electricity, cable or motor power, was read and laid over. 

At the session December 20 and 21 the liquor license was raised to $500 
as required by the general laws of 1887. An application from the St. Cloud 
City Street Car Company for the right to construct, maintain and operate 
a single or double-track line of railway on the St. Cloud and St. Joseph and 
St. Cloud and Cold Spring county roads was laid over until the next session. 

1888. The board met January 3 for three days, with P. R. Griebler, 
N. Keppers, B. Pirz, Jos. Scheelar and A. A. "Whitney present, B. Pirz being 
re-elected chairman. The applications of the St. Cloud Street Car Company 
and St. Cloud Motor Line Company were again laid over. The following 
appropriations for road and bridge work were made : Ashley, $175, for Sauk 
Centre and Westport road; Farming, $112.50, Albany and St. Martin road; 
Luxemburg, $100, Luxemburg and Cold Spring road; Maine Prairie, $300, 
Maine Prairie and Rockville road; St. Wendel, $150, St. "Wendel and St. 
Cloud road; Spring Hill, $137.50, St. Martin and Oak road. A special ses- 
sion, January 26 and 27, was devoted to routine business. A special session 
was held March 6 to elect a sheriff as successor to M. Mickley, deceased. 
J. P. Hammerel was chosen on the second ballot. 

At the regular session March 20-22 an appropriation of $600 was made 



124 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

for a bridge across Sauk river in "Wakefield on the road from Munson to 
Luxemburg. A session was held May 8-10 at which the resolution adopted 
May 12, 1887, offering a bounty for the killing of blackbirds and gophers was 
rescinded, and an appropriation of $500 was made to Wakefield for a bridge 
over Watab river. 

The work of the board of equalization was completed July 16-20, and 
when the county board met July 23, it fixed a tax levy of one mill for schools 
and $40,000 for county purposes, of which $11,830 was for the fees and 
salaries of county officers, and $8,000 for roads and bridges. The county 
attorney was instructed to bring suit to compel the St. Paul, Minneapolis and 
Manitoba R. R. Co. to put into passable condition the Rockville and "Wake- 
field county road as per agreement. An appropriation of $200 was made to 
Crow River for grading a slough. Adjourned July 25. Bridge appropria- 
tions as follows were made at the session September 11 and 12: Lynden 
and Spring Hill, $200 each; St. Joseph, $300; "Wakefield, $350; Holding, 
$150; St. Martin and Zion, $105 each. 

Petitions for the incorporation of two villages, Cold Spring and Albany, 
were received and granted at the meeting December 18-20. The election to 
vote on the Cold Spring incorporation was set for January 26, 1889, at 
Daniel Friedman's store, with Jacob Harriman, John Kiewel, and Jacob 
Friedman inspectors. The Albany election was set for the same day, at the 
school house in District No. 59, with George Kulzer, John Martin and Mathias 
Nett inspectors. A resolution was adopted appointing James Biggerstaff in 
the First commissioner district, "William Doty in the Second, D. J. Hanscom 
in the Third, J. H. Biler in the Fourth, and H. S. Doty in the Fifth district 
as persons whose duty it should be to cause to be decently and honorably 
interred the body of any honorably discharged soldier, sailor or marine of 
the army or navy of the United States or who served in the campaign against 
the Indians in the State of Minnesota in 1862, who shall die without having 
sufficient means to defray his funeral expenses; these appointments being 
made pursuant to chapter 150 of the general laws of 1887. Twenty-one liquor 
licenses were granted during the year at the $500 fee. 

1889. The board met January 1, with B. Pirz, P. R. Griebler, N. Keppers, 
Joseph Scheelar and A. A. "Whitney present, B. Pirz being re-elected chairman. 
The county printing was awarded to the Journal-Press and Nordstern com- 
bination, on the same basis as it had been awarded in previous years to the 
Times and Nordstern, but this arrangement had but three years continuance. 
The St. Cloud, Mankato and Austin and the St. Paul, Minneapolis and 
Manitoba railway companies were released from all damages by reason of 
the taking of a certain part of a county road in the towns of Rockville and 
"Wakefield, the pending suits to be dismissed, conditioned on these companies 
paying to the county treasurer $335.54 and to Joseph Scheelar $150 to be 
used by him in repairing the St. Cloud and Cold Spring road in the town 
of Rockville. A. A. Whitney was appointed a committee to prepare and 
have presented to the legislature a bill authorizing the board of county com- 
missioners of Stearns coi;nty to contract for the making or purchasing of a 
set of abstract books for the use of the county. Adjourned January 3. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 125 

A special session was held January 18 and 19 when the following among 
other and smaller bridge appropriations were made : Farming, $125 ; Lake 
George, $150; St. Augusta, $160; Wakefield, $100. For the first time was 
authorized the employment of a janitor for the court house, "to take charge 
and care for the public offices and do and perform such other duties as from 
time to time may be required," at a compensation not to exceed $30 per 
month, which was afterwards increased to $35. 

At a special session February 15 and 16 another petition from Albany 
for permission to vote on the question of incorporating as a village was 
received, and an election set for February 15 at John Wellenstein 's board- 
ing house, with George Kulzer, C. Scheibel and John Auer inspectors. A 
McBride, John A. Zapp and B. Vossberg were appointed to prepare a tract 
index set of books for the register of deeds office, at a compensation not 
to exceed two cents per description. A bridge appropriation of $200 was 
made to Getty and $140 to Zion. 

Another special session was held March 25 and 26, at which the act of 
the legislature approved March 23, 1889, authorizing the county board to 
have a set of tract indexes made at a cost not to exceed $1,500, was read. 
The letting of the contract for the work aroused much discussion, with 
criminations and re-criminations, the awarding of the work at the previous 
meeting being an object of attack, and attorneys for and against appeared 
before the board. The following bids were opened, C. P. McClure, $1,075; 
McClure and Whitney, .$1,100; L. T. Troutman, $1,500. All were rejected 
and it was ordered that new bids be advertised for. Bridge appropriations 
were made to Albany, $200; CoUegeville and Crow River, $100 each; the 
village of Melrose $3,000 for a bridge across Sauk river. 

The tract index matter was an important feature of the session of May 
14 and 16. The bids opened ranged from $1,050 by P. J. Seberger and 
W. H. S. Kemp to $3,000 by Jacob Mainzer, the work being awarded to 
P. J. Seberger for $1,050, with a protest filed by Messrs. McBride, Zapp and 
Vossberg. The contract for building the bridge across Sauk river at Mel- 
rose was awarded to the South Park Bolt and Bridge Company of St. Paul. 
Bridge appropriations were made as follows: Lake Henry and St. Wendel, 
$150 each ; Maine Prairie and Raymond, $100 each ; St. Martin, $175 ; Paynes- 
ville, $400; City of St. Cloud, $800 for culvert on Seventh avenue. 

The July session, the eighth to the tenth, fixed the annual tax levy at 
one mill for schools and $43,500 for county purposes, including $14,000 for 
salaries and fees of county officers, $8,000 for roads and bridges and $6,000 
for district court expenses. The board of equalization was in session July 
15-17. A special session for routine business was held August 1. 

A session was held September 10-12 at which Judge of Probate Bruener, 
County Attorney Taylor and Commissioner Whitney were appointed to 
investigate the facts connected with the death by suicide of Lambert Lenz, 
an insane patient from Stearns county, in the St. Peter hospital, it being 
represented that this suicidal death was only possible through gross neglect 
on the part of the officials at the asylum. St. Joseph received an appropria- 



126 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

tion of $112.50 for bridges. Among the bills allowed was one of $570.84 to 
John F. Jerrard for plumbing at the court house and jail. 

At a session beginning December 17 and continuing for three days 
a number of petitions for the incorporation of villages were acted on. 
January 17, 1890, was the date when, and the Fire Company's building the 
place where, the citizens of Eichmond should vote on incorporating, William 
Kichner, John Schneider and Nic Cordie being appointed inspectors. The 
citizens of St. Joseph were authorized to hold an election on the same date 
at S. A. Parish's harness shop to vote for or against incorporating, with 
Casper Casper, J. H. Linneman and John M. Walz inspectors. The election 
for Albany was set for January 18, at John Wellenstein 's hotel, H. T. Mayer, 
Fred Hecklin and Joseph Weitzel being appointed inspectors. Petitions 
from J. C. Haines and others for an election to vote on the incorporation of 
Paynesville was rejected, as was a petition from A. J. Caswell and others to 
attach the townsite of Karonis to the village of Paynesville. 

The committee in the matter of the suicide of Lambert Lenz made its 
report, which was accepted and on motion a copy was sent to the Governor 
of the state for such disposition as to him might seem proper. The substance 
of the report was that Lenz had been taken to the asylum the evening of 
September 9, 1889, and delivered to Superintendent Bartlett and his assistant. 
Dr. Mclntyre ; that he had been put in a room with two other patients and 
during the night had committed suicide by hanging himself with a strip torn 
from one of the sheets on his bed. Beyond this there was a conflict of 
testimony. Superintendent Bartlett informed the committee that he had not 
been advised of Lenz's previous efforts to commit suicide, and that if he had 
been he would have taken precautions against it. On the other side were 
affidavits from the sheriff' and the two assistants who had accompanied him 
stating that they had definitely and distinctly advised the superintendent and 
his assistant of Lenz's suicidal mania; that when delivered he was securely 
strapped and bound for the purpose of preventing his attempts at self- 
destruction, and that the reason for this was explained to the asylum officers 
who had assisted in removing the straps when they took him in charge. 
What action the Governor took, if any, in the matter is not stated. 

1890. The board met January 7, adjourned the ninth, with P. R. Griebler, 
John Schwinghammer, Joseph Scheelar, B. Pirz and A. A. Whitney present; 
B. Pirz being re-elected chairman. The salary of the county attorney was 
increased to $1,500 and of the superintendent of schools to $1,600. Road 
and bridge appropriations were made as follows : Fair Haven and Luxem- 
burg, $150 each; St. Augusta, $175; Munson, $700; Oak, $2,000; Melrose 
village, $555; City of Sauk Centre, $4,000 — the latter three being for bridges 
over Sauk river. The sum of $35 was appropriated to purchase a flag and 
fixtures for the court house. 

At a session held March 17-19, the contract between the Wisconsin 
Bridge and Iron Company and the town of Oak for the bridge across Sauk 
river was approved. A petition for another election to vote for or against 
annexing certain territory to the village of Paynesville was granted, the 
election to be held April 25 at Dominick Lutgen's hotel in the town-site of 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 127 

Karonis, with D. Lutgen, John Murphy and R. Kinney inspectors. The 
county superintendent of schools was instructed not to issue any more orders 
for state text books. At the session May 13-15, a committee consisting of 
L. J. Rocholl, county superintendent; B. F. Wright, Melrose; M. K. Nelson, 
Maine Prairie; S. S. Parr and 0. F. Carver, St. Cloud; H. F. Mayer, Albany; 
Lucas Gertken, Richmond; 0. F. Woodley, Sauk Centre, and Theo. Lobon- 
mueller. Farming, was appointed to select suitable text books. 

At a special session held May 27 and 28 Public Examiner Kenyon, who 
upon request had made an examination of the records in the county auditor's 
office, advised the board of commissioners that he would report the condition 
of affairs as he found them to the governor, with a recommendation for the 
suspension from office of Robert Lutz as county auditor of Stearns county. 
The board instructed the deputy auditor, P. J. Gruber, to take charge of the 
auditor's office and discharge its duties pro tem, the sureties on Lutz's bond 
being notified of the action taken. Another special session was held June 
25, at which the resignation of Robert Lutz, dated May 24, 1890, was 
received and accepted. On the fifth ballot B. Vossberg was elected to the 
vacancy, the other candidates being E. P. Barnum and P. J. Gruber. 

At the regular July session of three days, from the fourteenth, the tax 
levy was fixed at one mill school tax and $43,000 for county expenses. The 
grand jury having censured the board of commissioners for having permitted 
the county auditor to conduct his office without first executing a bond and 
with having allowed bills contrary to the advice of the county attorney, 
resolutions were adopted, declaring that the charges made in this report 
were "wholly untrue" and that the jury was presuming to meddle in matters 
which were none of its business. The board of equalization met July 21 and 
was in session for five days. 

The regular September session began the ninth, adjourning the eleventh. 
The plat of the incorporated village of St. Joseph was received and ordered 
to be filed. A. McBride and F. J. Weisser were employed to check over the 
tract indexes made by P. J. Seberger, at salaries of $100 and $75 per month 
respectively. An appropriation of $3,797.30 was made to the City of Sauk 
Centre for the completed bridge over Sauk river, and a bill of the Wisconsin 
Bridge and Iron Company, $1,740.50, for the Sauk river bridge in Oak was 
allowed. 

The closing session of the year was held December 16-18. The bond of 
the county auditor was fixed at $5,000; treasurer, $100,000; coroner, $1,000. 
An appropriation of $500 was made to Paynesville for a bridge over Crow 
river. Jenz and Schmaig having paid $50 January 24, 1887, for a license to 
sell liquor in the town of Crow River, and the people of the town having 
voted "no license," an order to refund the money was passed. 

1891. The January session opened on the sixth, the members present 
being B. Pirz, John Schwinghammer, Edward Miller, Joseph Scheelar and 
David Cleveland, the three last named being new members ; B. Pirz was 
again elected chairman. The following road and bridge appropriations were 
made : Lake George and Luxemburg, $100 each ; Le Sauk, St. Wendel and 
Zion, $200 each ; Wakefield, $250 ; Brockway, $175. 



128 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

At a three-days' session beginning March 12, road and bridge appro- 
priations were made as follows : Albany, $204 ; Ashley, $175 ; Crow Lake 
and Getty, $200 each; Melrose, $150; St. Cloud, $125; Sauk Centre, $100; 
for opening a judicial road on the line between Stearns and Morrison coun- 
ties, ranges 30 and 31, $150, provided Morrison county appropriated an 
equal amount. The bonds of Drs. W. L. Beebe, A. 0. Gilman and J. M. 
McMasters as deputy coroners were approved. The county auditor was 
allowed an additional clerk at $60 per month, and the clerk hire in the county 
treasurer's office was fixed at $150 per month. A. McBride reported that 
the work of checking over the tract indexes had been completed, and the 
books were accepted by the board. As an effort was on foot to have the 
law making paupers a town charge repealed, resolutions were adopted asking 
the county delegation to oppose the repeal, and County Attorney Taylor was 
appointed a committee to attend the legislature and labor for that result. 
May 12-14, a session for routine business. 

At a meeting July 13-15 the contract for building an iron bridge, with 
tubular piers, across Sauk river in the town of St. Martin was awarded to 
the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company for $7,050, one-half to be paid by 
the town and one-half by the county. A tax levy of one mill for schools and 
$45,000 for county purposes was made. Among the bills allowed was one 
to the Western Granite Company, $737.50 for the granite curbing around 
court house square, and another of $1,239 to F. I. Stiles for the tile sidewalk. 
Seven of the county banks were designated as depositories for county funds, 
the rate of interest being three per cent on any sums up to $20,000 and one 
per cent on the excess. An appropriation of $700 was made to the city of 
St. Cloud, being one-half the cost of grading on the road from St. Cloud to 
St. Augusta, and $4,000 for the St. Martin bridge. The board of equalization 
was in session July 20-23. A session of the county board held July 24 and 
25 transacted simply routine business, as was the case with a session Sep- 
tember 8-10. 

At a special session November 9 and 10 a petition from the Northwest 
Thomson-Houston Electric Company and from the St. Cloud City Street Car 
Company asking the right to run the line along the Rockville road after 
leaving the city limits, extending it at present as far as the Willmar branch 
of the Great Northern road and extending further along the Rockville road 
in the future was received and referred to the countj"- attorney. After full 
consideration of the matter the petition was granted, the limit of extension 
to be one mile beyond the Willmar branch. A session for routine business 
was held December 15-17. 

1892. The regular session opened on the fifth, continuing for three days, 
with Edward Miller, J. Schwinghammer, B. Pirz, Joseph Scheelar and David 
Cleveland present, B. Pirz being re-elected chairman. A petition for an 
election to vote for or against incorporating the village of Brooten was 
granted, the election to be held February 13 at the school house in district 
No. 145, with B. M. Anderson, Peter 0. Roe and H. A. Ellingson inspectors. 

A special session was held March 15-17, at which S. S. Chute was engaged 
to make copies of 72 maps and plats in the register of deeds' office (to be 



HISTORY OP STEARNS COUNTY 129 

afterwards bound) on paper to be furnished by the county, for $325. An 
application from the council of Cold Spring to build a court house was 
received and placed on file. Road and bridge appropriations were made as 
follows : Crow River, $350 ; Fair Haven, for bridge over Three-mile creek, 
$315; Luxemburg and Maine Prairie, each $310; Zion, $500; Melrose, $305; 
Millwood and Krain road, $305. 

The following road and bridge appropriations were made at a session 
May 10-12 : Albany, $325 ; Avon, Brockway, Lake Henry, Raymond and St. 
Joseph, $305 each; City of St. Cloud (for culverts), $990. At a session held 
July 11-13, a levy of one mill for schools and $43,000 for county purposes 
was ordered, $15,820 being for salaries and fees of county officers, $9,000 
roads and bridges and $7,000 district court expenses. In compliance with a 
petition for an election to vote for or against incorporating the village of 
Freeport, the date was set for August 18, the voting to be at the school house 
in district No. 102, with Joseph Buttweiler, Henry Koopmeiners and Lorenz 
A. Thull inspectors. Appropriations of $305 to Holding and $301 to North 
Fork were made. The session of the board of equalization continued from 
July 18 to July 27. A session given to highway and school petitions and 
other routine business was held September 13-17. 

At a session held November 17 and 18, Oscar Taylor's resignation as 
county attorney was accepted and John D. Sullivan appointed to succeed 
him. The bonds of county officers were increased, the auditor's to $10,000, 
treasurer's to $125,000 and coroner's to $2,000. A special session was held 
November 25 to approve the bond of B. P. Barnum as clerk of the district 
«ourt, appointed by the judges November 21, to succeed A. L. Cramb, resigned. 
A session for routine business was held December 20 and 21. 

1893. The board met January 3, with Edward Miller, Joseph Scheelar, 
David Cleveland, Frank Benolken and B. Pirz present; B. Pirz was re-elected 
chairman. The salary of the county superintendent of schools was increased 
to $1,680. At a special session held February 7-9, a petition for an election 
to be held March 20, at Gunness & Opitz's store, to vote on the matter of 
incorporating the village of Waite Park was granted, and J. M. Smith, Henry 
Buschman and James H. Johnson were appointed inspectors. March 21-23, 
routine business session. 

At the regular session May 9-11, the following road and bridge appro- 
priations were made : Albany and Brockway, $400 each ; Eden Lake, Crow 
River, village of Cold Spring, Krain, Melrose, St. Augusta and St. Wendel, 
$305 each ; Holding, Lake George and Maine Prairie, $310 each ; Rockville, 
$301; Paynesville and Zion, $325 each; Spring Hill, for Sauk river bridge, 
$2,500. It was voted to accept the provisions of the act of April 1, 1893, 
providing for a wolf bounty, the county to pay one-third of the minimum 
sum named in the act. 

The July meeting was held July 10-13, at which the contract for the 
construction of the Sauk river bridge in the town of Spring Hill was let 
to the Gillette-Herzog Manufacturing Company, of Minneapolis, for $3,297, 
of which amount one-half was to be paid by the county and one-half by the 
town. The tax levy was the usual one mill for schools and $35,000 for 



130 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

county purposes. This was a reduction of $8,000 from the previous year, 
$6,320 of which was in the items of salaries and fees of county officers, 
$13,500; roads and bridges, $8,000, and district court expenses, $4,000. 
Appropriations of $305 each for roads and bridges were made to the towns 
of Crow Lake, Farming, Lynden and Sauk Centre. Sessions for routine 
business were held September 12-14, October 31-November 1, and Decem- 
ber 19-20. 

1894. The board met January 2, with Edward Miller, Frank Benol- 
ken, B. Pirz, Joseph Seheelar and David Cleveland present. B. Pirz was 
re-elected chairman. After transacting routine business the board adjourned 
January 4. A special session was held February 7 and 8. The salaries and 
fees of the county officers for the previous year were reported as follows: 
B. Vossberg, county auditor, $2,600; B. Mueller, treasurer, $2,711.80; J. M. 
Emmel, register of deeds, $3,253; J. P. Hammerel, sheriff, $5,243.41; J. D. 
Sullivan, county attorney, $1,500; Theo. Bruener, judge of probate, $2,073; 
A. B. Barnum, clerk of court, $2,999.10; L. J. Rocholl, superintendent of 
schools, $1,690.50. 

At a session held May 8-10, road and bridge appropriations were made 
as follows: Avon, Collegeville, Lake Henry, Millwood, North Fork, St. Mar- 
tin and Zion, $200 each; Broekway, Grove, Holding, $250 each; Getty, Le 
Sauk and St. Joseph, $150 each; Melrose, $350. To the city of St. Cloud, 
to aid in building a bridge across the Mississippi river, $7,500 was appro- 
priated — Commissioners Miller, Benolken and Pirz voting aye, and Seheelar 
and Cleveland no. A petition for an election to vote on detaching certain 
territory from the village of Brooten and attaching it to the town of North 
Fork was granted, the date of election being June 23, and the place the 
village court room at Brooten, with John W. Asp, L. C. Huset and H. P. 
Suekstorf inspectors. 

The regular July session was held on the ninth to the eleventh, when the 
tax levy for the coming year was fixed at one mill for schools and $30,000 
for county purposes, of which $10,000 was for salaries of county officers, 
$8,000 for roads and bridges, $4,000 for district court expenses, $3,000 for 
jail expenses and $2,000 for printing, books and stationery. The following 
road and bridge appropriations were made : Albany, $200 ; Ashley, Eden 
Lake and Munson, $150 each ; Krain and St. Wendel, $125 each. The board 
of equalization was in session July 16-26. 

A special session was held August 16 and 17. A telegram was sent to 
the governor of the state the first day notifying him that a vacancy existed 
in the office of the judge of probate, and asking that an appointment be made 
at once so that the bond of the appointee might be approved at the present 
session. Alphonso Barto was appointed and his bond approved. Sessions 
held September 11-13, November 15-17 and December 18-19 were given to 
considering highway matters, school petitions and other routine business. 

1895. When the board met in regular session January 8, Edward Miller, 
F. Benolken, B. Pirz, Joseph Seheelar and Edward Smith responded to the 
roll call, and B. Pirz was re-elected chairman. Salaries were somewhat 
increased, that of the county attorney being made $1,600 and the superin- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 131 

tendent of schools $1,720. Fritz Lorinser was re-elected janitor at the court 
house at $540. H. J. Rosenberger was granted an auctioneer's license. Spe- 
cial sessions were held February 7-9 and May 18-20 for the transaction of 
routine business. 

At the regular meeting May 14-16, Edward Miller was appointed one 
of the appraisers of school and state lands in Stearns county. The following 
road and bridge appropriations were made : Albany and Lake George, $250 
each ; Avon, Brockway, Paynesville and Oak, $200 each ; Crow Lake, St. 
Joseph and Sauk Centre, $150 each; Krain, Lake Henry, Raymond and St. 
Wendel, $100 each; Maine Prairie and "Wakefield, $125 each; Melrose and 
Millwood, $180 each ; St. Cloud, $129.50. 

The regular July session began on the ninth. An appropriation of 
$1,000 was made to the city of St. Cloud for a culvert across the ravine on 
Eighth avenue north, between Fifth and Sixth streets, on condition that the 
city appropriate and expend $2,000 on this culvert. An appropriation of 
$325 was made to Grove, $250 to Holding and $100 to St. Martin for roads 
and bridges. An application from the Great Northern Railway Company 
to have a part of the so-called "Abercrombie road" in the town of Melrose, 
as necessary for the iise of the company in operating its railway, and accept 
in lieu thereof another road, running parallel to the part to be vacated, was 
received and granted. 

The board of equalization was in session July 15-20. At a special ses- 
sion held July 23-24, M. A. Bussen, of Munson, was appointed one of the 
appraisers of school and state lands in Stearns county. 

The regular September meeting was held from the tenth to the twelfth. 
A communication from the St. Cloud Library Association asking for an 
appropriation of $500 from the county for the purpose of aiding said associa- 
tion in their work of compiling and publishing a history of Stearns county 
from its earliest date to the present time was laid over — in other words, 
consigned to the graveyard prepared for so many meritorious undertakings 
which do not happen to appeal to the constituted authorities. At the session 
December 17-19 a petition for an election to vote for or against the incor- 
poration of the village of New Munich was granted, the election to be held 
January 26, 1896, at Marcus Wieber's house, with H. Terhaar, Joseph L. 
Wieber and Mathias Pitzel inspectors. 

1896. The board met January 7, with Edward Miller, Frank Benolken, 
B. Pirz, Joseph Scheelar and Edward Smith present. On motion of B. Pirz, 
Commissioner Miller was elected chairman. Salaries remained unchanged, 
except that of the superintendent of schools, which was increased to $1,790. 
Special session March 17-19, routine business. At the regular session May 
12-14, road and bridge appropriations were made as follows: Albany, Mun- 
son, Spring Hill and Zion, $200 each ; Avon, Ashley and Le Sauk, $250 each ; 
Collegeville, Krain, Maine Prairie, Millwood and Paynesville, $100 each; 
Getty and Lake Henry, $150 each ; Holding, $175 ; Melrose, $400. 

The regular July session began on the thirteenth, adjourning on the 
fifteenth. The following persons were appointed, in the several commission- 
ers' districts, to cause to be decently buried any honorably discharged Union 



132 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

soldiers or sailors who should thereafter die without having sufficient means 
to defray their funeral expenses: R. Zimmerman, Freeport; J. W. Darby, 
New Paynesville ; James Kennedy, Kimball ; William Pangburn, Sauk Centre. 
A levy of one mill for schools and $30,000 for county purposes was made. A 
resolution was adopted providing that June 1 of each year should be the 
time fixed for the destruction of the Russian thistle and other noxious weeds, 
as required by law. Appropriations of $125 each to Holding and Melrose, 
$150 to St. Cloud and $300 to the village of Melrose for road and bridge 
purposes were made. The board of equalization was in session July 20-29. 
At the regular session September 8, a petition for an election to vote 
for or against incorporating the village of Holding was granted, the election 
to be held October 20, at Joseph Winkler's house, with Andrew Diedrich, 
W. J. Schauble and J. B. Pallanch inspectors. An appropriation of $200 
was made to St. Wendel for bridges and grading and $200 additional to the 
village of Cold Spring for a culvert across Cold Spring creek. At a special 
session November 12 and 13, the bond of the county treasurer was increased 
to $160,000. Luxemburg was given $150 for road work. A routine business 
session was held December 15-17. 

1897. The board met January 5, with Edward Miller, Henry T. Meyer, 
George Engelhard, Joseph Scheelar and Edward Smith present; Edward 
Miller was re-elected chairman. Citizens of the village of Melrose petitioned 
that a time and place be set for an election to vote on the incorporation and 
organization of the village as a city. The date of the election was fixed as 
February 9, at the village hall. 

A special meeting was held February 16, at which the votes cast at the 
Melrose election were canvassed and it was found that the proposition for 
incorporating as a city had carried. It was thereupon ordered that an elec- 
tion to choose the necessary city officers be held March 9, with the fol- 
lowing named, persons to act as judges of election : First ward, H. P. Horch- 
ing, Frank Collins and John Tiedeman; Second ward, C. A. Yund, James 
Donahue and S. Kuhn. An appropriation of $180 was made to Maine Prairie 
for road and bridge purposes. Adjourned February 18. 

At the session March 10-12, the county auditor was instructed to pay all 
bounties for killing wolves as provided by an act of the legislature passed 
at the current session. A session was held May 11-13, at which "weed 
agents" were appointed for the several towns in accordance with chapter 
274 of the general laws of 1895. Road and bridge appropriations were made 
as follows : Collegeville, $100 ; Krain, $150 ; Albany, $400 ; Avon, $250 ; Hold- 
ing, $250; Paynesville (bridge across Crow river), $700; Brockway, $100; 
Lake George, $300 ; Ashley, $400 ; Sauk Centre, $250 ; St. Wendel, $250. 

At the regular session July 12-14, additional road and bridge appropria- 
tions were made as follows: Ashley, Maine Prairie, Millwood, North Fork 
and Spring Hill, $150 each; Fair Haven, $350; Lynden, $277.50; Rockville 
and St. Cloud, $125 each; St. Augusta, $340; Zion, $165; Munson, $217.50. 
A resolution was adopted instructing the sheriff " to hereafter refuse to 
receive into the common jail of the county any drunks or vagrants from the 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 133 

city of St. Cloud until after same are regularly convicted and thereupon 
committed; the purpose of this resolution being to prevent the use of said 
jail as a temporary lock-up for city prisoners." A tax levy was made of 
one mill for schools and $50,000 for county purposes, the largest item being 
$14,800 for salaries and fees of county officers, $10,000 roads and bridges, 
$6,300 district court expenses, and $4,500 jail expenses. A levy of one mill 
was also laid to pay for the improving and enlarging of the county jail 
building. Board of equalization, July 19-24. At the session September 14-16, 
road and bridge appropriations were made to Roekville, $125; Luxemburg 
and Munson, $100 each; Oak, $200; city of St. Cloud, for repairing streets 
and culverts, $800. December 21-23, routine business. 

1898. The board met January 4, adjourning January 6 ; present, Edward 
Miller, H. F. Meyer, George Engelhard, Joseph Scheelar and Edward Smith; 
Edward Miller was re-elected chairman. An appropriation of $600 was made 
to the city of St. Cloud to assist in bviilding a culvert on Sixth avenue north. 
A regular session was held March 1-3, at which a contract was let to L. H. 
Johnson to build an iron bridge across Sauk river at Roekville, for $2,788, 
one-half to be paid by the town and one-half by the county. An appro- 
priation of $150 was made to Munson for road work. A resolution was again 
adopted calling for the destruction of the Russian thistle by all persons 
responsible under the law. Bids for medical attendance on county prisoners 
were received from several physicians, the contract being awarded to Dr. 
F. M. McGuire at $60 per annum, to include medicines and medical 
attendance. 

A regular session was held May 10-12, at which a number of appropria- 
tions for roads and bridges were made as follows : Albany, $293.50 ; Avon, 
Crow River and Maine Prairie, .$200 each ; Brockway, Raymond and St. 
Wendel, $300 each ; Collegeville, St. Martin, Spring Hill, Sauk Centre, Wake- 
field and Zion, $100 each ; Eden Lake, $250 ; Getty and St. Joseph, $125 each ; 
Holding, $425.87; Krain, $150; North Fork, $175; Paynesville, $400; St. 
Augusta, $133. A petition for a public ditch in the towns of Paynesville 
and Eden Lake was granted, and J. G. Knebel, Frank B. Smith and Andrew 
Riehle were appointed viewers. A session was held July 11-13, at which 
a tax levy of one mill for schools and $45,000 for county purposes was made. 
Appropriations for road and bridge purposes were made to three towns 
which had not been included at the previous meeting — Ashley, $140 ; Lake 
Henry and Lynden, $100 each. Equalization, July 18-28. Session of board, 
August 16-18 ; routine business. 

The regular September session opened on the thirteenth, adjourning on 
the fifteenth. A petition for a public ditch in the towns of St. Wendel and 
Avon was granted, and Paul Sand, John Long and Michael Hirschfeld were 
appointed viewers. An appropriation of $175 was made to the village of 
Waite Park for roads and culverts. At a session held November 14-16, the 
petition and viewers' report for the Paynesville and Eden Lake ditch were 
rejected. The report on the St. Wendel and Avon ditch was accepted, and 
this ditch established as a public ditch, to be constructed according to law. 
An appropriation of $200 was voted to Lake George for road and bridge 



184 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

purposes. An appropriation of $851.99 for the Sauk river bridge at Cold 
Spring was made at a session of the board December 20-22. 

1899. The first session of the board opened January 3, with H. F. Meyer, 
George Engelhard, Chris Schmitt, Joseph Scheelar and Edward Smith pres- 
ent; Henry F. Meyer was elected chairman. Another petition for a public 
ditch in the towns of Paynesville and Eden Lake was received, and Frank B. 
Smith, A. Riehle and Fred Haitke were appointed viewers. A committee from 
the council of the city of St. Cloud appeared before the board at a special 
session held February 7-9 and presented for consideration the matter of 
establishing a county poor farm. Commissioners Scheelar, Engelhard and 
Smith were appointed a committee " to consider the matter in all its bearings 
and report at some future meeting." Special session, March 15-17, routine 
business. 

At the session May 9-11, the Paynesville and Eden Lake ditch matter 
came up for a hearing, and notwithstanding opposition on the part of a 
number of land owners affected, the ditch was ordered to be established. 
Road and bridge appropriations were made as follows: Albany, $351.87 
Brockway, $400; Collegeville, $100; Crow Lake, $550; Fair Haven, $127.60 
Getty, $120; Holding, $402.98; Maine Prairie, $152.91; Melrose, $312.35 
Munson, $212.25; North Fork, $194.54; St. Joseph, .$466.92; St. Martin, 
$216.83 ; St. Wendel, $244.53 ; Sauk Centre, $374.47. 

Appropriations of $115 to "Wakefield and $300 to Spring Hill for roads 
and bridges were made at a session held June 1-3. At a session held July 
10-12, the required one-mill school tax was levied and $43,500 for county 
purposes. An appropriation of $128.57 was made to Eden Lake and $167.50 
to Le Sauk for road and bridge purposes. Board of equalization in session, 
July 17-22. A special session was held July 25-27, at which a petition for a 
public ditch in the towns of Lake Henry, Zion and Paynesville was presented. 
After arguments had been heard for and against, the commissioners voted 
unanimously to grant the petition, and Henry Steichen, of Maine Prairie; 
Peter Slough, of Holding, and H. C. Maguren, of Melrose, were appointed 
viewers. An appropriation of $150 was made to Avon for road and bridge 
purposes. 

Evidently bills for postage had been climbing somewhat high, as at a 
session September 12-14, a resolution was adopted requiring that in the 
future any claim by a county officer for cash paid for postage should be 
accompanied by a verifying statement from the postmaster. An appropria- 
tion of $125 was made to Farming for road and bridge purposes. Sessions 
for routine business were held October 16 and 19 and November 29. A ses- 
sion was held December 19-20, at which a petition for an election to vote 
on incorporating the village of Avon was received and granted, the election 
to be held January 22, 1900, at the postoffice, with W. S. Bartholomew, 
B. E. Davis and Nick Rodden inspectors. Road and bridge appropriations 
were made to St. Joseph, $150, and to Millwood, $317.50. 

1900. The board met January 2, with Chris. Schmitt, H. F. Meyer, Joseph 
Scheelar and Edward Smith present ; H. F. Meyer was elected chairman. The 
reports of the county officers showed the amounts received by them as salaries 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 135 

and fees for the year 1899 to have been as follows: P. J. Grueber, county- 
auditor, $2,595; J. E. Carver and J. E. Hennemann, deputies, $1,080 each; 
Charles Dueber, treasurer, $2,914.43, including $150 for clerk hire; J. M. 
Emmel, register of deeds, $2,360.50; E. P. Barnum, clerk of court, $2,213.95; 
Fred Schilplin, sheriff, $3,588.72; J. P. Berniek, deputy, $1,893.16; Hubert 
Hanson, judge of probate, $2,694.85; Jacob A. Lahr, probate clerk, $600; 
Charles M. Weber, county superintendent of schools, $1,814; J. D. Sullivan, 
county attorney, $1,600 ; H. A. Pinault, coroner, $178.10 ; J. D. Morgan, county 
surveyor, $320.70; county commissioners — Chris. Schmitt, $165.20; H. F. 
Meyer, $445.30 ; George Engelhard, $316.50 ; Joseph Scheelar, $409.16 ; Edward 
Smith, $437.90. A petition for an election to vote on the incorporation of 
the townsite of Spring Hill was granted, the date for the election being 
designated as February 7, at the postoffice building, with John Bocek, Leonard 
Kruchner and William Kobow inspectors. A road appropriation of $100 was 
made to the town of St. Wendel. Adjourned January 4. 

At a special session held January 11 and 12, the report of the viewers 
on the Lake Henry, Zion and Paynesville ditch, known as ditch No. 5, was 
accepted and the ditch established as a public ditch. A special session was 
held March 13-14, at which the resignation of Charles Dueber as county 
treasurer was tendered and accepted and A. L. Cramb elected his successor. 
An appropriation of $1,250 was made to the city of St. Cloud toward making 
repairs on the Tenth street Mississippi river bridge. Special session April 
14, routine business. 

At the regular session May 8-10, John Schafer was appointed agent for 
the First commissioner district to arrange for the burial of indigent hon- 
orably discharged soldiers. Appropriations for roads and bridges were made 
as follows, one-half of the amount actually expended to be paid by the 
respective towns and villages : Albany, Maine Prairie, Avon and city of Mel- 
rose, $300 each ; Crow River, Getty, Holding and Lake Henry, $200 each ; Col- 
legeville and Paynesville, $100 each; Krain and St. Wendel, $400 each; 
Brockway, $500; Fair Haven, $207.50; Lake George, $250; Le Sauk, $234; 
Luxemburg, $177; Melrose, $150; St. Joseph, $330; Wakefield, $125; Zion, 
$330; St. Augusta, $160; city of Sauk Centre, for grading city streets, $300. 

A special session was held May 22, at which a petition for a public ditch 
in the towns of Albany and Farming was accepted, and Frank Benolken, 
Andrew Riehle and Peter N. Lahr were appointed viewers. At a special 
session June 5, an appropriation of $250 was made to Farming for road and 
bridge purposes. 

The regular July session was held from the ninth to the eleventh. A 
tax levy of $54,000 was made for county purposes, of which $15,400 was for 
salaries and fees of county officers; $11,000 for roads and bridges; $4,100 
for county ditches and $6,000 for district court expenses. Road and bridge 
appropriations were made as follows: Eden Lake and Munson, $200 each; 
Wakefield and Luxemburg, $150 each; Lynden, Rockville, St. Cloud and St. 
Wendel, $100 each; Oak, $125; St. Martin, $121. Board of equalization, 
July 16-25. 

An application for a ditch in the towns of North Fork, Getty, Lake 



136 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

George and Raymond was accepted at a session held August 10, and George 
B. Cleveland, John Winter and Frank Benolken were appointed viewers. At 
a special session held August 17, the report of the viewers on the Albany 
and Farming county ditch was accepted and the ditch established as No. 6. 
An appropriation of $457.25 was made to the town of Oak for road and bridge 
purposes. A session held September 11-13 was devoted to routine business. 

At a session held November 13-15, on recommendation of the viewers 
the petition for the construction of the North Fork, Lake George, Getty and 
Raymond ditch was rejected. The bid of L. H. Johnson, $4,668, for building 
a steel bridge with stone piers across the Sauk river near the village of 
Richmond was accepted, he being the lowest of eight bidders. Appropriations 
of $160 to Sauk Centre and $100 to Melrose for road and bridge purposes 
were made. The regular meeting held December 18-20, was devoted to 
routine business; an appropriation of $263.25 being made to Ashley for road 
and bridge purposes. 

1901. The first session of the year opened January 8, with H. F. Meyer, 
Joseph Scheelar, Ignatius Greven and Edward Smith present; H. F. Meyer 
was re-elected chairman. The board authorized the issuing of bonds to meet 
the expense of establishing and constructing county ditches. The allowance 
for clerk hire in the county treasurer's office was increased to $500 per year, 
and in the county auditor's office to $3,800, in accordance with the provisions 
of chapter 292, laws of 1895. 

At a special session March 12-14, autioneers' licenses were granted to H. J. 
Rosenberger, St. Cloud ; E. Benolken, Freeport, and J. N. Gilley, Cold Spring. 
The contract with Dr. F. McGuire to render all needed medical and surgical 
services, with medicines, required for prisoners in the Stearns county jail, 
for $100 per year, was renewed. 

Two ditch petitions were received and accepted at a session held May 
14-16, one being for a ditch in the towns of North Fork, Getty and Raymond, 
to be known as ditch No. 7 ; the other in the town of North Fork, to be known 
as ditch No. 8. Frank Benolken, George B. Cleveland and John Winter were 
appointed viewers for both. The board resolved to discontinue paying the 
county's one-third share of wolf bounties. Road and bridge appropriations 
were made as follows: Avon, Collegeville, Rockville and Wakefield, $100 
each; Crow River, Le Sauk, Munson and St. Martin, $200 each; Krain, Lake 
George, Millwood and Zion, $150 each; Lake Henry and Maine Prairie, $300 
each ; Brockway, $500 ; Holding, $347 ; St. Wendel, $250 ; St. Augusta, $112.50. 

A special session was held July 6, to take action on a petition for a ditch 
running through the towns of Millwood, Krain, Oak, St. Martin and Spring 
Hill. Hearing on the petition was adjourned until October 8. At the regular 
session July 8-10, a tax levy of one mill for schools and $52,000 for county 
purposes was ordered. The following road and bridge appropriations were 
made: Ashley and Wakefield, $150 each; Crow Lake and St. Joseph, $100 
each ; Eden Lake, $250 ; Luxemburg, $400 ; Millwood, $200 ; Oak, $610. Board 
of equalization, July 16-20. Special meeting August 1, routine business. 

The regular September session was held from the tenth to the twelfth, 
at which an appropriation of $150 was made to the village of Cold Spring 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 137 

to aid in replanking the bridge across Sauk river. A special session was held 
October 14 and 15, at which the report of the viewers on the Raymond and 
North Fork ditch was accepted and the ditch established as No. 7. The same 
action was taken regarding the North Fork ditch, which was established 
as No. 8. An appropriation of $175 was made to Farming or grading 
roads. 

A regular session was held December 17-19, at which bids for building a 
new steel bridge across Sauk river in the town of St. Cloud were opened. 
The bid of W. S. Hewett & Co., of Minneapolis, Avas $3,628 and that of L. H. 
Johnston, of the same city, was $3,432, the contract being awarded to the 
latter bidder, the town to pay one-half of the cost of the bridge. Appro- 
priations of $182.58 to Oak and $188.08 to Sauk Centre were made for road 
and bridge purposes. 

1902. The board met January 7, with H. F. Meyer, George Engelhard, 
Joseph Scheelar and Edmund Smith present; H. P. Meyer being re-elected 
chairman. An appropriation of $240 for road and bridge purposes was made 
to the town of Munson. Adjourned January 9. A special session was held 
January 14, at which the bond of Herman Mueller, who had been appointed 
clerk of the district court to succeed E. P. Barnum, was approved. 

Session March 11-13. Frank Benolken, of Freeport; Nick Klein, of 
Maine Prairie, and Milo Camp, of Holding, were granted auctioneers' licenses. 
A special session was held April 21, at which a petition for a ditch in the 
towns of Getty and Grove was accepted, and John D. Morgan was appointed 
to make the necessary survey, this ditch to be known as No. 9. 

At a session held May 13-15, a number of bills from towns and individ- 
uals incurred in connection with the cases of small-pox and other contagious 
diseases were paid, the largest being that of A. A. Carpenter, of Belgrade, 
$255.90, while a number were rejected, including one for $254.62 from the 
board of health of New Paynesville. The usual spring appropriations of road 
and bridge funds were made : Albany, Luxemburg, Raymond and Zion receiv- 
ing $400 each ; Avon, Holding and St. Wendel, $300 each ; Brockway, Eden 
Lake and Krain, $350 each; CoUegeville, Crow River and Rockville, $200 
each; Getty, Lake George, Munson and St. Joseph, $150 each; Fair Haven, 
$130; Farming, $195; Lake Henry, $275; Le Sauk, $225; St. Augusta, $175; 
St. Cloud, $100 ; St. Martin, $600 ; Wakefield, $250. 

At the regular July meeting, from the fourteenth to the sixteenth, a levy 
of $50,000 for county purposes and the required one mill for schools was 
made. More small-pox bills were rejected, including one of $1,694.25 from 
the city of St. Cloud and one of $295.02 from the board of health of the village 
of New Paynesville. Further appropriations for roads and bridges were 
made as follows: Ashley, $132.85; Melrose, $245.07; Millwood, $250; St. 
Cloud, $250; Spring Hill, $978.13. The board of equalization was in session 
July 21-31. 

At a special session held August 14, Herman Ramler, of Farming ; George 
B. Cleveland, of Sauk Centre, and John Schwinghammer were appointed 
viewers for the Grove and Getty ditch. At the September regular session, 
ninth to eleventh, an appropriation of $150 was made to St. Wendel for road 



138 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and bridge purposes. A one-day's special session was held October 21 for 
routine business, as was a special session November 11 and 12. 

The regular December session was held the sixteenth to the eighteenth, 
and an appropriation of $642 was made to the town of Oak for a bridge 
across Getchell creek and road grading, and $2,500 to the city of Sauk Centre 
to aid in the construction and repair of a certain street known as the exten- 
sion of Third street, of a road connecting with said street and running east- 
erly, and of three bridges on said street and road. During the year seven 
liquor licenses were granted, being about the average number since the $500 
license fee went into effect, one each to the towns of St. Augusta, Lake 
Henry, Lake George, Krain (St. Anthony) and the village of Roseoe and two 
to Rockville. 

1903. The board met January 6 for a two days' session. Present, J. D. 
Kowalkowski, H. F. Meyer, George Engelhard, Ignatius Kremer and J. H. 
Canfield ; H. F. Meyer was re-elected chairman. Salaries were fixed as fol- 
lows: County attorney, $1,850; superintendent of schools, $1,800; clerk hire 
in auditor's offiee, $3,000; in treasurer's offlce, $1,200; assistant county super- 
intendent of schools (Anton Rieland appointed), $600; commissioner First 
district, $250; court house janitor, $480 and house rent. 

A special session was held January 12 and 13, at which the report of the 
viewers on the Grove and Getty ditch No. 9 was accepted and an order entered 
for the construction of the ditch. Another special session, March 3-5, was 
devoted to routine business. 

The regular session was held May 12-14. Persons who were selling 
liquor without a license — and the limited number of licenses taken out at the 
$500 fee would indicate that " blind piggers " were more or less numerous — 
were in very mild language invited to either procure a license or cease selling 
liquor against the provisions of the law in such case made and provided. 
The usual spring distribution of money for road and bridge purposes was 
made as follows: Avon, Rockville and St. Wendel, $200 each; Brockway and 
Zion, $450 each ; Crow Lake, Getty, Lake George and St. Martin, $100 each ; 
Eden Lake, Krain and Millwood, $400 each; Luxemburg and Lynden, $300 
each; Crow River, $250; Lake Henry, $150; St. Joseph, $600; city of St. 
Cloud, $600. The board adopted a resolution adding $2.50 to the state bounty 
of $7.50 for full-grown wolves and $1 to the bounty of $4 for cubs. Among 
the bills allowed was one of $1,280 for one-half the cost of a steel bridge 
over the Sauk river at the city of Sauk Centre. 

At a special session held June 9, a petition for an election to vote on 
the incorporation of the village of Rockville was received, and the election 
ordered for July 10, at Weisman Brothers' store, with John Weisman, Ben 
Garding and Henry Heck inspectors. The regular July session was from 
the tenth to the fifteenth. Road and bridge appropriations were made to 
Albany, $500; Ashley, $232.63; Collegeville, $300; Farming, $250; Grove, 
$112; Holding, $400; Lake George, $100; Melrose, $400; Raymond, $195; St. 
Augusta, $174.89; St. Martin, $200; Sauk Centre, $649.35. A tax levy of 
$66,400 for county purposes and one mill for schools was made. The levy 
for county purposes included $20,000 for salaries of county officers, $15,000 



HISTORY OP STEARNS COUNTY 139 

for roads and bridges, $6,100 for district court expenses, and $4,000 for 
small-pox cases. Board of equalization in session July 20-30. 

A meeting was held September 8-10, at which the issuing of bonds to the 
amount of $3,660.40 to pay the cost of constructing ditch No. 9 was authorized. 
On the recommendation of the state public examiner, an additional allowance 
of $300 per year was made for clerk hire in the county auditor's office. Road 
and bridge appropriations of $130.50 for Maine Prairie and $200 for Wake- 
field were made. Appropriations of $570.25 to Oak and $500 to St. Wendel 
for road and bridge purposes were made at a special meeting held November 
3-4. At a regular session held December 15-17, a number of bills were allowed 
for the control of contagious diseases. A special session was held, at which 
a petition received for a public ditch in the town of Lynden, to be known 
as ditch No. 10, was accepted and Arthur E. Morgan appointed to make a 
survey. 

1904. The board met January 5, with H. F. Meyer, George Engelhard, 
J. H. Canfield, J. D. Kowalkowski and Ignatius Kremer present. H. P. Meyer 
was elected chairman and J. D. Kowalkowski vice-chairman. Adjourned 
January 7. At a special session January 26, a petition from the St. Cloud 
Public Library Board, proposing in consideration of an appropriation of 
$150 (to be used in the part payment of the salary of an assistant librarian) 
to extend the privileges of the library, including the drawing of books, to 
residents of the county outside the city of St. Cloud, was laid on the table. 
A petition for a public ditch in the towns of Sauk Centre and Melrose, to 
be known as ditch No. 11, was accepted and George Ingram was appointed 
to make the necessary survey. Special sessions were held January 30 and 
March 1 for routine business. 

A special session was held March 8-10, at which Dr. R. I. Hubert was 
elected county physician, at a salary of $200 per year, to succeed Dr. P. 
McGuire, resigned. A request from the St. Cloud Library Board for an 
appropriation of $300, on terms similar to the one which had preceded it, 
met with the response that " a proposition of this kind could not be enter- 
tained. " At a special session held March 12, an order was issued establishing 
ditch No. 10. Another special session was held three days later at which 
John Schaefer, H. C. Block and Herman Ramler were appointed viewers for 
ditch No. 11. A special session held May 3 was devoted to routine business. 

Appropriations for roads and bridges were made as follows at the regular 
session May 10-12 : Ashley, $350 ; Crow River, $375 ; Eden Lake, $250 ; Farm- 
ing, Getty and Munson, $150 each ; Luxemburg, Maine Prairie, St. Joseph, 
Rockville and St. Martin, $300 each; St. Wendel and Holding, $400 each; 
city of Melrose, $250 ; North Pork, $200. Special sessions were held May 28, 
May 31 and June 18 for routine business. At a special session held June 
25, an order was adopted establishing the Brockway and St. Wendel county 
ditcli. 

The regular July session met on the eleventh, adjourning the thirteenth. 
Appropriations for roads and bridges gave Albany, Avon, Krain and Mel- 
rose $400 each; Brockway, $600; Crow Lake and Grove, $200 each; Le Sauk, 
$675; Lynden, Millwood, St. Cloud and Sauk Centre, $300 each; Paynesville, 



140 HISTORY OP STEARNS COUNTY 

$147.37; St. Augusta, $250; Spring Hill, $345; Zion, $168; village of Eden 
Valley, $400. The claims of a number of towns and villages for the suppres- 
sion of contagious diseases were allowed. A levy of a one-mill tax for schools 
and $65,500 for county purposes was made. A special session was held July 
16, at which W. S. Bartholomew, John Neutzling and James M. Barrett were 
appointed viewers for ditch No. 13. Board of equalization, July 18-28. Spe- 
cial sessions were held July 30, August 10, August 20 and August 30, for 
the consideration of ditch matters. 

The regular September meeting was held on the thirteenth, continuing 
two days. A petition for the holding of an election to vote on the annexing 
of lands in the original town of Paynesville, Gilbert's addition to Paynesville 
and Gilbert's second addtion to Paynesville to the village of New Paynesville 
was granted, said election to be held October 20 at J. G. Jackson's paint shop, 
with James H. Boylan, F. W. Phillips and J. G. Nehring inspectors. Road 
and bridge appropriations were made to Eden Lake, $138 ; Raymond, $139.17, 
and Sauk Centre, $250. Special sessions were held October 22, 25 and 29; 
November 15 and 16, and December 3 and 6, for the transaction of routine 
business. 

At the regular session, December 20-22, the county auditor was instructed 
to check over all the tax records from January 1, 1903, to date, covering the 
period during which Charles A. Berniek was deputy county treasurer, all to 
be done under the direction of the state public examiner. 

1905. The board met in regular session January 3, with J. D. Kowal- 
kowski, H. F. Meyer, Jacob "Weber, George Engelhard, Ignatius Kremer and 
J. H. Canfield present — Messrs. Weber and Engelhard both claiming the elec- 
tion from the Third district. Theodore Bruener appeared as attorney for 
Mr. Engelhard and protested against the seating of Mr. Weber on the ground 
of ineligibility. H. F. Meyer was re-elected chairman and J. D. Kowal- 
kowski vice-chairman. An appropriation of $25 was made to the St. Cloud 
Humane Society to assist in the work of the society outside the city. Ad- 
journed January 5. Special sessions held February 4, 7, 10 and 25 were 
devoted mainly to the consideration of ditch matters. At a special session held 
March 7-9, the issuing of bonds was authorized in the sum of $1,606.42 to 
pay for the construction of ditch No. 10; $5,265.10 for ditch No. 12, and 
$1,260.62 for ditch No. 13. Frank Benolken was appointed appraiser of 
school lands in Stearns county. 

March and April were devoted mainly to the consideration of ditch 
matters, no fewer than fourteen special sessions being held during those two 
months— on March 11, 14, 16-17, 18, 21, 25, 29 and 30, and April 1, 4, 8, 11, 
15 and 22 — for the reception of petitions for public ditches and the appoint- 
ment of engineers or viewers. There appeared to be a sort of ditch boom, 
affecting all parts of the county. A special session for routine biisiness was 
held May 6. 

The regular May session began the ninth, adjourning the following day. 
The distribution of funds for roads and bridges was made to the several 
towns as follows : Albany, Brockway and Krain, $500 each ; Ashley and St. 
Martin, $350 each; Eden Lake, Farming and St. Augusta, $250 each; Getty, 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 141 

Maine Prairie, Millwood, Roekville, St. Cloud, St. Joseph and Spring Hill, 
$300 each ; Lake George, Lake Henry and Melrose, $200 each ; CoUegeville, $240 ; 
Crow Lake, $100; Crow River, $150; Grove, $750; Holding, $450; Luxem- 
burg, $600; Munson, $1,800; North Fork, $175; Paynesville, $342.50; St. 
Wendel, $400 ; Zion, $400 ; city of St. Cloud, $300. The ditch season re-opened 
in May with a series of special sessions held. May 13, 20, 23 and 27, June 14 
and 17, and July 1 and 8, devoted almost wholly to ditch matters. The ditch 
occupying attention at the last session being No. 25. 

The regular July session was held the tenth to the twelfth. In addition 
to the levy of one mill for schools a tax levy of $51,000 was made for county 
purposes. The following supplemental road and bridge appropriations were 
made : Avon and Wakefield, $250 each ; Oak and Raymond, $300 each ; Eden 
Lake, $100; Fair Haven, $900; Lynden, $175; Sauk Centre, $500. Board of 
equalization in session July 17-27. Sessions were held July 29 and August 
8 for the consideration of matters relating to ditches Nos. 26 and 27 and for 
routine business. 

At a session held September 12-14, the issuing of bonds to pay for the 
construction of the following ditches was authorized : No. 11, $2,668.31 ; No. 
15, $8,775.89; No. 16, $2,868.31; No. 17, $7,742.62; No. 18, $3,593; No. 19, 
$1,620.90; No. 21, $4,831.90; No. 22, $3,710.50. This money was secured from 
the State University and School fund at 3 per cent interest Road and bridge 
appropriations were made to St. Joseph, $350 ; Sauk Centre, $1,290.71 ; Spring 
Hill, $318.16. Special sessions were held October 31 and November 1 and 
November 28 for routine business, at the latter meeting $200 being appro- 
priated to St. Joseph and $200 to Holding for roads and bridges. 

Special session for routine bvisiness were held December 4 and 5, and 
December 19-21, appropriations of $111.50 to Eden Lake and $275.90 to 
Paynesville being made for roads and bridges. Ten saloon licenses were 
issued during the year, one each in the towns of Getty, Luxemburg, Lake 
George, Lake Henry, St. Augusta, Krain, Zion and St. "Wendel and two in 
Roekville. 

1906. The board met January 2 and 3, with Joseph Kowalkowski, H. P. 
Meyer, George Engelhard, Ignatius Kremer and J. H. Canfield present ; H. F. 
Meyer being re-elected chairman and J. D. Kowalkowski vice-chairman. The 
issuing of bonds to the amount of $2,488.66 for the construction of ditch No. 
24 was authorized. Special sessions January 15 and 18-19 were mainly occu- 
pied with ditch matters. 

At a special session March 13 and 14 report was made as follows of the 
salaries and fees received by county officers dviring the preceding year : J. C. 
Crever, auditor, $4,655.80 ; Chris. Schmitt, treasurer, $3,260.38 ; Herman 
Mueller, clerk of district court, $3,029.72; John M. Emmel, register of deeds, 
$3,562.10; Hubert Hansen, probate judge, $3,139.93; Paul Ahles, comity super- 
intendent, $1,800 ; J. B. Himsel, county attorney, $1,994.63 ; J. P. Bernick, 
sheriff, $5,335.97 ; J. D. Morgan, county surveyor, $10 ; J. B. Dunn, coroner, 
$54.30 ; county commissioners — J. D. Kowalkowski, $680.66 ; H. F. Meyer, 
$1,170.80; Jacob Weber, $721.10; George Engelhard, $34.40; Ignatius Kremer, 
$756.90; J. H. Canfield, $983.20. A special session was held in April to con- 



142 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

sider a petition for ditch No. 28, for which B. Kost, J. Ferschweiler and N. 
Mueller were appointed viewers. 

At a special session held May 8 and 9, appropriations for roads and 
bridges were made to Ashley, Collegeville, Le Sauk, Raymond, St. Martin 
and St. Wendel, $300 each; Maine Prairie and St. Joseph, $400 each; Crow 
River, $425 ; Fair Haven, $1,000 ; Lake Henry, $150 ; Luxemburg, $900 ; Rock- 
ville, $200. A petition for ditch No. 29 was granted, and Julius Payne, John 
Schaefer and John Schwinghammer were appointed viewers. Special session 
June 23, routine business. 

At a special session held July 9-11, additional road and bridge appropria- 
tions were made as follows : Crow Lake, $100 ; Eden Lake and Paynesville, 
$600 each ; Getty and Millwood, $300 each ; Lynden, $200 ; North Fork, $320 ; 
Zicn, $442.25 ; village of Paynesville, $575 ; city of Sauk Centre, $210.65. The 
first road designated for improvement under the general laws of 1905 was 
that part of the St. Clovid and Breckenridge state road which lies between the 
city of St. Cloud and the village of St. Joseph. The tax levy for county 
purposes was $48,000, for schools one mill, and for roads and bridges one mill. 
Board of equalization in session July 16-26. At a session held September 7, 
a final order was issued establishing ditch No. 28 in the towns of Albany, 
Krain and Holding. A special session was held October 19, at which a final 
order was issued establishing ditch No. 29 in towns of Crow Lake and Crow 
River. Auctioneers' licenses were issued to J. N. Gilley, Nick Klein, J. Beste, 
John Schaefer and F. C. Minette. 

At a special session held November 12 and 13, road and bridge appro- 
priations were made to Grove, $823.60; Oak, $499.78; Lake George, $400; 
Spring Hill, $312.62. E. N. Erickson and P. F. Benolken were added to the 
list of licensed auctioneers. The final session of the year was held December 
18 and 19. A transfer of $10,000 was made from the revenue fund to the 
ditch fund, to be returned as soon as money was realized from the sale of 
ditch bonds. A number of bills for digging ditches were allowed, among 
others being $5,440.43 to 0. F. Doyle and $1,257.86 to Simon Kutzman. 

1907. The board met January 8, with H. F. Meyer, J. D. Kowalkowski, 
George Engelhard, Ignatius Kremer and J. H. Caufield present ; the organiza- 
tion being the same as for the previous year. Dr. R. I. Hubert, H. F. Meyer 
and J. D. Kowalkowski were appointed members of the county board of 
health, with compensation at $5 per day. Anton Rieland was appointed 
assistant county superintendent of schools at a salary of $600 per year; 
Ignatius Greven, janitor at the court house at $45 per month and house rent, 
and Dr. R. I. Hubert, county physician at $200 per year. Adjourned January 
10. At a special session held March 5 and 6, it was voted to issue bonds in 
the sum of $2,488.66 at 4 per cent interest, to pay for the construction of 
ditch No. 24. Special session March 19 for routine business. 

At a session May 14-15, road and bridge appropriations were made as 
follows : Avon and Holding, $250 each ; Collegeville, Eden, Lake, Fair Haven, 
Luxemburg, Melrose, Raymond, St. Joseph, St. Martin and Wakefield, $300 
each ; Crow Lake, Lake Henry and St. Cloud, $200 each ; Holding, $250 ; 
Maine Prairie, $400 ; Oak, $121 ; Rockville and St. Augusta, $100 each ; Spring 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 143 

Hill, $139 ; city of St. Cloud, $800. S. S. Chute was appointed superintendent 
of highways, at $5 per day and expenses while actually employed. Commit- 
tees as follows were appointed for the several commissioner districts for the 
surveying, building or improving of any road or street in any incorporated 
city or village or any bridge or culvert on any public road or highway : First 
district. Commissioners Kowalkowski, Meyer and Canfield ; Second district, 
Commissioners Meyer, Canfield and Kowalkowski; Third district, Commis- 
sioners Engelhard, Meyer and Kremer; Fourth district, Commissioners Kre- 
mer, Engelhard and Meyer; Fifth district. Commissioners Canfield, Meyer 
and Kowalkowski. The plans and specifications of state highway No. 1, pre- 
pared by the county superintendent of highways, were accepted. The 
appointment of Charles Schmidt as assistant county superintendent of schools 
was approved. A special session for routine business was held June 21. 
o At the regular July session, meeting on the eighth and adjourning on 
the ninth, appropriations for roads and bridges were made as follows : Ash- 
ley, $515; Albany, $250; Avon, $200; Brockway, $100; Farming, Getty, Le 
Sauk, Lynden and Zion, $300 each ; Krain, $350 ; Millwood, $200 ; North Fork, 
$257.50; Spring Hill, $475; village of Cold Spring, $100. A tax levy of 
$46,000 for county purposes and one mill for roads and bridges was ordered. 
Board of equalization was in session July 15-25. 

A special session held July 31 authorized the issuing of bonds to pay for 
the construction of ditch No. 26, $34,566 ; No. 28, $8,446 ; No. 29, $14,136, the 
loans being made from the State University and School fund at 4 per cent. 
Special session August 13, routine business. 

At a special session held September 10 and 11, a petition was received 
for an election to incorporate as a village certain territory in the town of 
Le Sauk, in Stearns county, and in the town of Sauk Rapids, Benton county, 
the larger part being in the county of Stearns. The petition was granted, 
the date for the election being October 5, and the place the office of the 
Sartell Bros. Company, with William L. Sartell, A. L. Smitten and Anton 
Smudde inspectors. Road and bridge appropriations were made to Grove, 
$225; Munson, $296.63; St. Wendel, $350; village of Albany, $150. The 
issuing of $2,124 in bonds to pay for ditch No. 25 was authorized. A special 
session was held October 21 and 22, at which $100 was appropriated to Lake 
George, $1,000 to St. Augusta, $400 to Brockway and $505 to Paynesville for 
road and bridge purposes. The closing session of the year was held December 
17 and 18, at which further road and bridge appropriations were made as 
follows : Crow River and Luxemburg, $300 each ; Eden Lake, $144.25 ; Hold- 
ing, $172.50 ; Lake Henry, $479.50 ; Millwood, $100 ; Sauk Centre, $359.64. 

1908. The regular January session opened the seventh, with J. D. 
Kowalkowski, H. F. Meyer, Ignatius Kremer, George Engelhard and J. H. 
Canfield present, the organization of the past year being continued. It was 
voted to supplement the state bounty of $7.50 for full-grown wolves and 
$3 for cub wolves with an addition of $2.50 and $2 respectively for all such 
wolves killed in Stearns county. The road from Rockville to Cold Spring 
was designated as State Highway No. 2 and the road from St. Joseph to 
Albany as State Highway No. 3. There was a lively " scrap " over the 



144 HISTORY OP STEAENS COUNTY 

county printing, the first occasion on which the serene surface of the patronage 
waters had been disturbed in many years. The St. Cloud Times made an offer 
to publish the financial statement, proceedings of the county board and all 
official notices for one-half the legal rate, this offer to include publication in 
the daily and weekly Times and the Nordstern, and the delinquent tax list 
at nine cents per description. The St. Cloud Journal-Press, for itself and a 
combination of outside weekly papers, made a bid to do the work for one-half 
the price offered by the Times Publishing Company. The offer of the Times 
was accepted as " the lowest that has been received by the board, in com- 
parison to their value as mediums to bring the news before the taxpayers of 
the county." The town of Paynesville was given $175 for roads and bridges 
at a special session held March 3-4. Special session April 10, routine business. 

At a special session May 12 and 13, a number of appropriations were made 
for roads and bridges, Ashley, Eden Lake, Luxemburg, Raymond, St. Augusta 
and Sauk Centre receiving $400 each ; CoUegeville, Farming, Getty, Grove, 
Lake George, Lake Henry, St. Martin and St. Wendel, $300 each ; Fair Haven, 
$450 ; Maine Prairie, $500 ; Melrose, $126 ; Rockville, $125 ; Spring Hill, $313.07. 
The county surveyor was directed to set the section corners in a number of 
towns. The committee on roads in the different commissioner districts were 
re-appointed for the coming year. 

A special session was held May 26, at which a number of bills were 
allowed in connection with the location of judicial ditch No. 1 in Pope and 
Stearns counties. The regular July session, beginning the thirteenth, con- 
tinued for three days. Appropriations for roads and bridges were made to 
Brockway, $200 ; Holding, Krain and Lynden, $300 each ; Crow River, $445 ; 
Lake George, $250; Le Sauk and Millwood, $350 each; Melrose, $400; North 
Fork, $150. A levy of $44,000 for county purposes and one mill for roads and 
bridges was made. Board of equalization in session, July 20-30. At a special 
session, August 6, the contract for the digging for state road No. 1 was let to 
C. A. Langdon for 19 cents per cubic yard. The Tri-State Land Company's 
plat of Elrosa was accepted and ordered to be filed, at a special session, 
August 11. 

At a special session held September 22 and 23, resolutions were adopted 
rescinding the resolution adopted September 10, 1907, for the issuing of 
$2,124 in bonds to pay for the construction of ditch No. 25, and the resolution 
of July 31, 1907, providing for $8,446 in bonds to pay for ditch No. 28; and 
new resolutions providing similar issues of bonds for the ditches were 
adopted, the previous resolutions having apparently been irregular or 
defective. Additional ditch bonds were provided for at a special session held 
October 30 and 31, $3,122 being for ditch No. 27 and $2,896 for ditch No. 14. 
The following appropriations were made for roads and bridges : Rockville, 
$600; St. Joseph, $833.05; Wakefield, $400; Crow River, $164.26; village of 
Sartell, $100. At the regular session December 15-17, the plats of Hober- 
mann's addition and Schulte's first addition to Albany were accepted and 
approved. The bond of the county treasurer was fixed at $225,000 and of the 
county auditor at $10,000. A new state highway was established from the 
east line of the town of Albany to the city of Sauk Centre. Appropriations 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 145 

for roads and bridges were made to Munson, $183.01; Spring Hill, $575; 
Paynesville, $592.44; Maine Prairie and Luxemburg, $100 each. 

1909. The regular opening session met January 5, adjourning January 
6. The commissioners present were J. D. Kowalkowski, Ignatius Kremer, 
J. H. Canfield, Val. Herman and Jacob "Weber. J. D. Kowalkowski was elected 
chairman and J. H. Canfield vice-chairman. The clerk hire for the auditor's 
office was fixed at $3,900 and for the treasurer's office at $1,300 for the year. 
An appropriation of $125 was made to the town of Avon for road and bridge 
purposes, and the same amount to the town of St. Wendel. Another state 
highway, from the village of Melrose to the village of Albany, was estab- 
lished. An appropriation of $25 was made to the St. Cloud Humane Society 
to be used in the traveling expenses of the executive agent in investigating 
cases of cruelty within the county. 

January 27, special session for routine business. At a special session 
March 2 and 3, Dr. R. I. Hubert was re-elected county physician at $200 
annual salary. B. Kost was appointed an appraiser of school lands in Stearns 
county. March 30, special session for routine business. 

A special session was held May 4 and 5, at which applications for loans 
from the state of Minnesota for ditches Nos. 25 and 28 were accepted. The 
commissioner district road and bridge committees were re-appointed, Val- 
entine Herman succeeding H. F. Meyer and Jacob Weber succeeding George 
Engelhard. Appropriations for roads and bridges were made as follows: 
Albany, $275; Avon, Brockway, CoUegeville, Eden Lake, Fair Haven, Farm- 
ing, Getty, Lake George, Lake Henry, Luxemburg, Paynesville, St. Martin 
and "Wakefield, $300 each; Holding, Millwood and St. Cloud, $250 each; 
Krain, $437.50; Maine Prairie, $400; Raymond, $500; St. "Wendel, $125.50. 

A special meeting was held June 2, under instructions from the office of 
the attorney general, to revoke the liql^or licenses of Jacob "Weber and Nick 
Ganzer & Co. in the townsite of Roscoe, for the reason that their saloons were 
less than 1,500 feet (actually less than 800 feet) from the schoolhouse. The 
licenses were revoked and the license fees refunded. A special session was 
held June 18, at which ditch No. 30 was established and the plat of Pelican 
Lake Park in the township of Avon was accepted and approved. 

The regular July session opened the twelfth, adjourning the fourteenth. 
Road and bridge appropriations were made as follows: Ashley, North Fork, 
Sauk Centre and Zion, $300 each; Grove, $109.84; Holding, $435.28; Paynes- 
ville, $377.50; St. Augi;sta, Le Sauk and St. "Wendel, $250 each; village of 
St. Joseph, $100. A levy of $60,000 for county expenses and one mill for 
road and bridge purposes was made. The public examiner having reported 
that overcharges had been made by several of the county officials, the county 
attorney was instructed to investigate the matter and take such action as 
the case might require. The plat of Park addition to Holding was accepted. 
Board of equalization in session July 19-28. Special session July 19, routine 
business. 

At a special session August 21, a loan of $15,789.96 to pay for judicial 
ditch No. 1 of Stearns and Pope counties was made from John Eapp at six 
per cent interest. Appropriations of $150 to Lynden, $350 to the city of 



146 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Melrose and $230 to the city of Sauk Centre for road and bridge purposes 
were made. Road and bridge appropriations were made to Grove, $200; 
Krain, $400, and St. Wendel, $886.80, at a special session October 5. At a 
special session held December 14-17, the state highway from St. Joseph to 
Avon, which had been known as No. 1, was changed to No. 3 to conform to 
the number adopted by the State Highway Commission. Applications for 
loans from the state of Minnesota for county ditches Nos. 14 and 27 were 
accepted. The following road and bridge appropriations were made: Avon, 
$100; Brockway, $150; Luxemburg, $262.72; St. Joseph, $394.06; Spring 
Hill, $325 ; Zion, $200. 

1910. The board met in regular session January 4 for one day, with 
Commissioners J. D. Kowalkowski, Ignatius Kremer, Jacob Weber and J. H. 
Canfield present. Commissioner Val. Herman being absent. J. D. Kowalkowski 
was elected chairman and J. H. Canfield vice-chairman. Theodore Schmitz 
was elected court house janitor, and an appropriation of $147.91 was made 
to Munson for roads and bridges. At a special session January 25, the sum of 
$15,000 was transferred from the county ditch fund, which had a large sur- 
plus, to the county reserve fund. An appropriation of $280 was made to the 
town of St. Martin for road and bridge purposes. 

A special session was held March 4, at which road and bridge appropria- 
tions were made to Grove, $175; Oak, $379.50; Lynden, $100; and an appro- 
priation of $25 was made to the county agricultural society to be used in 
making an exhibit during the month of March in St. Paul. April 12, session 
for routine business. 

A special session was held May 6, at which the road committees of the 
several commissioner districts were re-appointed for the coming year. Road 
and bridge appropriations were made as follows: City of St. Cloud, $4,700; 
town of Albany, $250 ; Ashley, CoUegeville, Crow River, Eden Lake, Pair 
Haven, Getty, Holding, Krain, Lake George, Lake Henry, Le Sauk, Luxem- 
burg, Millwood, St. Cloud, St. Joseph, St. Wendel, St. Martin, Spring Hill, 
Wakefield and Zion, $300 each; Crow Lake, $200; Fair Haven, $388.50; 
Maine Prairie, $400; Raymond, $500; Rockville, $150. Dr. M. J. Kern was 
appointed county physician at a salary of $200 per year. 

The following additional road and bridge appropriations were made at 
a special session June 7 : Brockway, Lynden, Munson and St. Augusta, $300 
each ; Oak, $250 ; Paynesville, $500. The regular July session was held from 
the eleventh to the thirteenth. For county purposes a tax levy of $60,000 
was made, with one and a half mills for roads and bridges. Appropriations 
from this fund were made to Holding, $750 ; Grove, $125 ; North Fork, $300. 
Board of equalization in session, July 18-28. 

A special session was held August 16, at which the road extending from 
the city of St. Cloud to the village of Kimball was made state highway No. 
6. Road and bridge appropriations were made to Avon, Kimball and the 
village of Brooten, $300 each; Paynesville, $764.50. A special session was 
held August 26, at which the only item of business transacted was the grant- 
ing to W. J. Weyrauch, of Raymond, license to sell intoxicating liquors. 
Special sessions were held October 4 and November 29 for routine business. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 147 

A special session was held December 15-17, at which, besides the transacting 
of routine business, the following road and bridge appropriations were made : 
Maine Prairie, $100 ; Melrose, $300 ; Oak, $400 ; Sauk Centre, $247 ; Wakefield, 
$640 ; village of Sartell, $106.87. 

1911. The regular January session met on the third, adjourning the fol- 
lowing day; present. Commissioners J. D. Kowalkowski, V. Herman, Jacob 
"Weber, Nicholas Thomey and J. H. Canfield. J. D. Kowalkowski was unani- 
mously elected chairman and J. H. Canfield vice-chairman. The St. Cloud 
Times was elected the official paper for the ensuing year and was also desig- 
nated as the paper in which the delinquent tax list should be published. An 
appropriation of $500 was made as a contingent fund for the county attorney. 
Dr. M. J. Kern, J. D. Kowalkowski and N. Thomey were appointed members 
of the county board of health, with a compensation of $5 per day. Salaries 
were fixed as follows : County superintendent of schools, $1,800 ; deputy, 
$720; clerk hire for county auditor's office, $4,260; treasurer's office, $1,450; 
janitor of the court house (Theodore Schmitz), $45 per month and house rent. 
A communication having been received from the attorney general regarding 
the distance between John Lutgen's saloon at St. Nicholas and the school- 
house, the county surveyor was instructed to make the necessary survey and 
report to the board at its next meeting. The compensation of the county 
surveyor was fixed at $5 per day for all coianty work performed. An appro- 
priation of $25 was made to the St. Cloud Humane Society, for outside work 
by the agent. 

A special session was held February 7-8, with commissioners Kowalkow- 
ski, Weber, Thomey and Canfield present. The report of the county sur- 
veyor showing that John Lutgen's saloon was within the legally prohibited 
distance from the school house, his license was revoked and the license 
money ordered to be refunded. A petition having been received for an elec- 
tion to vote on the incorporation of the village of Roscoe, comprising territory 
in the townships of Munson and Zion, March 3, 1911, was designated as the 
day for holding such election at Clemens Kost's store, with Clemens Kost, 
Thomas Sauer and Joseph Wais inspectors. At a special session held March 
3, the application of P. F. Dudley and others for the establishing of ditch 
No. 31 in the township of Lynden was granted, and Benjamin Kost, Michael 
Loso and Peter Sojka were appointed viewers, with M. J. Cleveland engineer. 

Another one-day special session was held March 7. The result of the 
election at Roscoe having been in favor of incorporation, commissioner Jacob 
Weber with the inspectors originally designated were appointed a commit- 
tee to give notice of an election for village organization. Road and bridge 
appropriations were made as follows: Avon, $100; Eden Lake, $250; Fair 
Haven, $547.25 ; Grove, $120 ; Holding, Krain and Raymond, $500 each ; Lake 
George, $150; Le Sauk, $125; Luxemburg, $342.89; Rockville, $106.65; St. 
Cloud, $300. 

A special session was held May 2, adjourning that day, with all mem- 
bers present. A petition for the incorporation of the village of St. Anthony, 
in the township of Krain, was granted, and May 26th, at Joe Maders' ma- 
chine shed, was designated as the time and place for holding the election. 



148 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

with Ben Blume, Julius Bachel and Casper Ricker inspectors. A delega- 
tion of citizens and representatives of the St. Cloud Commercial Club, con- 
sisting of Theodore Bruener, J. D. Sullivan, C. D. Grinols, Alvah Eastman, 
C. F. MacDonald, P. R. Thielman and M. Nueremberg, appeared before the 
board and urged the necessity for the purchase of a site and the erection 
of a new court house thereon. Nicholas Thomey, J. H. Canfield and J. D. 
Kowalkowski were appointed a committee to investigate the matter of secur- 
ing a site. Road and bridge appropriations were made as follows: Albany, 
$264; Avon, Collegeville, Crow River, Getty and Lake George, $300 each; 
Brockway, Eden Lake, Luxemburg and St. Joseph, $400 each; Crow Lake, 
$125; Farming, $350; Grove and Maine Prairie, $500 each; Holding, .$325; 
Lynden, $270; North Fork, $113.10; city of Melrose, $1,347.32; city of St. 
Cloud, $4,500. The proceedings in the matter of ditch No. 31 were approved 
at a special session, May 26. 

At a special session June 22, a petition was received from B. W. Veede 
and others, asking that an examination of the affairs and accounts of the 
township of Getty be made by the state public examiner. It was voted that 
the town of Getty be required to give a bond to the county of Stearns pro- 
viding for the payment of the costs of the examination in case no discrepan- 
cies or irregularities were found, the costs otherwise to be paid by the county. 
A petition for a county ditch in the town of Raymond, Getty, North Fork and 
Lake George, signed by K. N. Dunham and others, was received and notice 
of hearing ordered to be given. Road appropriations were made to the fol- 
lowing townships: Lake Henry and "Wakefield, $400 each; Lynden, Melrose, 
Rockville, St. Augusta and Sauk Centre, $300 each; St. Cloud, $200; St. 
Martin, $350; Zion, $595. 

A regular session was held July 10-12, with all members present. Appli- 
cations were received from the Co-operative Farmers' Club of St. Cloud for 
an appropriation of $500 to be used in making a display of Stearns county 
agricultural products at the state fair and from the Steams County Fair As- 
sociation for an appropriation of $500 for the county fair to be held at Sauk 
Centre ; both applications were denied. Road and bridge appropriations were 
made to Ashley, $300; Krain, $200; Fair Haven, $125; Le Sauk, $1,189.25; 
Millwood, $300 ; Munson, $325 ; Oak, $400 ; Spring Hill, $348.90. A tax levy 
of $60,000 was made for the year 1911, and in addition one mill for road and 
bridge purposes. 

Upon request of the Commercial Club of the village of Richmond and a 
petition signed by twenty citizens, the so-called Wakefield and Luxemburg 
county road was designated as state highway No. 8. The county board of 
equalization was in session July 17-24. A special session was held July 28, 
for routine business. At a special session August 4, with all members present, 
on a petition from N. H. Dunham and others, M. J. Cleveland was appointed 
engineer to survey the line for a proposed county ditch, No. 32, and Ben 
Kost, Frank Wagner and Fred Borgmann were appointed viewers. 

A special session was held September 5, at which the main traveled road 
from Cold Spring to Paynesville was designated as state road No. 9, and a 
certain section of county road in the township of Maine Prairie was designated 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 149 

as state road No. 10. A road and bridge appropriation of $545 was made to 
the township of Lynden. A special session was held October 13, at which 
three liquor licenses were granted, no other business being transacted. 

A special session was held December 15-16, at which the county road 
from the city of Sauk Centre to the village of Brooten was designated as 
state highway No. 11. An application from the Northern Minnesota Devel- 
opment Association for an appropriation of $50 was laid over. Road and 
bridge apropriations were made to Paynesville, $100; Lake George, $110; 
North Fork, $150; Oak, $574.40; Paynesville, $250; St. Augusta, $200; St. 
Joseph, $372 ; St. Wendel, $640.35 ; village of Brooten, $150. 

1912. The board convened in regular session, January 2, Commissioners J. 
D. Kowalkowski, Valentine Herman, Jacob "Weber, Nicholas Thomey and J. H. 
Canfield being present. J. D. Kowalkowski and J. H. Canfield were elected 
chairman and vice-chairman respectively. The St. Cloud Times was elected 
the official paper of the county and the stationery printing was awarded to 
the Nordstern. Dr. M. J. Kern was appointed county physician at a salary of 
$200 per year. An appropriation of $132 was made to the township of Wake- 
field for road and bridge purposes. In accordance with the provisions of 
chapter 109 of the general laws of 1911 an appropriation of $175 was made 
to the city of St. Cloud and $125 to the city of Sauk Centre to be used in the 
observance of Memorial day by the G. A. R. posts in these cities. Adjourned 
January 3. 

At a special session February 6, with all members present, appropriations 
of $125 for Avon ; $200 to Farming and $282 to Zion were made for road and 
bridge purposes. The salary of the deputy register of deeds was fixed at 
$300 per year. An appropriation of $400 was made to the Stearns County 
Agricultural Society, of which $215 was to be used in purchasing seed, corn 
and potatoes to be distributed proportionately among the 210 schools, in the 
county, not to exceed $1 worth of seed to be given to any one school, and 
County Superintendent William A. Boerger to act as distributing agent of the 
seed. 

A special session was held April 2, at which a road running from the city 
of Sauk Centre to an intersection with state road No. 11, in section 20, town- 
ship of North Fork, was designated as state highway No. 12 ; and a road run- 
ning from the village of Richmond to the south line of Stearns county in the 
town of Eden Lake was designated as state road No. 13. 

State highway No. 14, being composed of a road running from the village 
of Cold Spring to the south line of the county in the town of Luxemburg, was 
designated at a special meeting held May 7. The following named towns 
received appropriation for road and bridge purposes : Ashley, Collegeville, 
Crow River, Fair Haven, Getty, Krain, Lake George, Luxemburg, St. Joseph 
and Zion, $300 each; Maine Prairie, $450; St. Cloud, $150; St. Martin, $600; 
city of Sauk Centre, $262.72. A large number of school petitions were acted 
on. At a special session June 18, further road and bridge appropriations were 
made, Brockway, Lake Henry, Lynden, Millwood, Raymond, Rockville and 
St. Augusta receiving $300 each. The plat of the townsite of St. Nicholas 
was approved. 



150 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

The regular July session began on the eighth, adjourning the tenth, with 
all members present. A large number of applications for new roads and 
changes in established roads were acted on. M. J. Cleveland having resigned 
as engineer of ditch No. 32, S. S. Chute was appointed to complete the work. 
A levy of $59,000 was made for county purposes for the year 1912, and in 
addition $25,000 for road and bridge purposes. Appropriations from the road 
and bridge fund were made to Grove, $300 ; Paynesville, $2,883 ; St. Wendel, 
$500; village of Holding, $250. An appropriation of $500 was made to the 
Agricultural Society of Sauk Centre for use in the county fair to be held in 
September. The county board of equalization held a session July 15-25. 

A committee, representing the Sunshine Society of St. Cloud, appeared 
before the board at a special session July 26 and asked that it appropriate a 
certain sum of money for the erection of a coimty sanitarium for tubercular 
patients. It was decided to take the matter under advisement for a later 
decision. Road and bridge appropriations were made to Avon, $300; Sauk 
Centre, $300; Holding, $500. An application of the St. Cloud Water Power 
company for the right to construct and maintain a line of poles and wires 
along the state and county roads of Stearns county for the transmission of 
electrical light and power to the different villages and other parts of the 
county, was granted for a period of twenty-five years, it being provided that 
such poles shall be erected so as not to interfere with ordinary travel, and 
that the company assumes all liability for any damages which may result 
from the construction or maintenance of such lines. 

A special meeting held September 11, designated that part of the so-called 
"River road" along the west side of the Mississippi river to the line between 
Stearns and Morrison counties, excluding that part lying within the village of 
Sartell, as state road No. 15. A special session October 8, was devoted to 
road and routine business. J. H. Canfield was appointed to represent Stearns 
county at the annual meeting of the State Association of County Commis- 
sioners to be held at Austin, October 24-27. 

At a special session December 17-18 resolutions from a number of societies 
and organizations favoring the establishing of a Stearns county tuberculosis 
sanatorium were read, and the matter was laid over. The plat of Pearl Lake 
Park was approved. An appropriation of $300 was made to the town of 
Wakefield for road and bridge purposes. Bonds of county officers were ap- 
proved as follows: Chris. Schmitt, county treasurer, $250,000; John P. Rau, 
county auditor, $10,000; John Lang, register of deeds, $5,000; B. E. Schoener, 
sheriff, $5,000; Paul Ahles, county attorney, $1,000; H. A. Pinault, coroner, 
$3.000 ; Cary Diehl, court commissioner, $2,000. 

1913. The board met in regular session January 7, adjourning January 
8, with J. D. Kowalkowski, Valentine Herman, Jacob Weber, Nicholas Thomey 
and J. H. Canfield present. J. D. Kowalkowski was unanimously elected chair- 
man and J. H. Canfield vice-chairman. County Auditor Rau presented the 
annual financial statement of the county, Avhich was accepted and ordered to 
be published. The matter of the county printing coming up, the board first 
went into executive session, and afterwards proceeded to take action on the 
two bids received, the one being from the St. Cloud Times and the other from 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 151 

the Sauk Centre Herald ; the latter was accepted as being the lowest. It 
provided for the publishing of all county official matters in the Sauk Centre 
Herald, Albany Enterprise, Belgrade Tribune, Brooten Review, Cold Spring 
Record, Freeport Informant, Holdingford Advertiser, Kimball Kodak, Mel- 
rose Beacon, Paynesville Press and Richmond Standard, at the rate of sixty 
cents per folio for the first insertion and thirty cents for each subsequent 
insertion ; also, to cause to be sent by mail copies of the financial statement to 
taxpayers as follows : St. Cloud, 500 ; Waite Park, 25 ; St. Joseph, 25 ; Avon, 
25; Sartell, 25; Collegeville, 25. The publishing of the delinquent tax list at 
the rate of ten cents per description, was also let to the Sauk Centre Herald, 
on the same conditions as in the matter of county printing, that being declared 
to be the lowest offer received. The printing of all office stationery was 
awarded to the Nordstern Publishing Company. The sum of $500 was appro- 
priated as a contingent fund for the county attorney. The bounty of $2.50 
each for full-grown and $2.00 for cub wolves, additional to the state bounty, 
was continued. An appropriation of $225 was made to enable the county treas- 
urer to prepare duplicate tax lists to be used in collecting taxes in various 
parts of the county, as provided by law. The following-named commissioners 
were appointed as committees for the several commissioner districts to super- 
vise the expenditure of moneys on roads : First district. Commissioners Kowal- 
kowski, Herman and Canfield ; Second district. Commissioners Herman, Canfield 
and Kowalkowski ; Third district ; Commissioners "Weber, Thomey and Kowal- 
kowski ; Fourth district. Commissioners Thomey, Weber and Kowalkowski ; 
Fifth district. Commissioners Canfield, Kowalkowski and Herman. Dr. M. J. 
Kern was re-elected county physician at a salary of $200 per year ; and Dr. 
M. J. Kern, J. D. Kowalkowski and Nicholas Thomey were appointed members 
of the county board of health. Ignatius Luckeroth was appointed custodian 
of the court house at a salary of $52.50 per month, and William Holucok, 
janitor at $42.50 per month. The salary of the county superintendent of 
schools was fixed at $2,200; assistant, $840; clerk hire for auditor's office, 
$4,320; treasurer's office, $1,440; register of deed's office, $300; extra help in 
treasurer's office, $200; county surveyor, $5.00 per day for county work. 

At a special session held March 4, road and bridge appropriations were 
made as follows : Albany, $405 ; Brockway, $154 ; Lake George, $150 ; Le Sauk, 
$112 ; Maine Prairie, $309.55 ; Melrose, $344.75 ; Munson, $311.97 ; Oak, $102.85 ; 
St. Joseph, $247.50; St. Martin, $418; village of Eden Valley, $350, city of 
Sauk Centre, $240.22. An appropriation of $500 was made to the County 
Agricultural Society of Stearns county to aid in the conducting of a fair at 
Sauk Centre in September. An appropriation of $100 was made to the city 
of St. Cloud and $75 to the city of Sauk Centre for the observance of Memo- 
rial day. A contract was made with the Northwestern Telephone Company for 
the rent of ten telephones for the use of the different county officers at $2.00 
each per month. The following reports of amounts of fees received during the 
year 1912 were made : J. P. Ran, county auditor, $3,620 ; Chris. Schraitt, treas- 
urer, $3,311.75; A. H. Klasen, probate judge, $2,747.70; J. B. Hemsl, attorney, 
$2,500; John Long, register of deeds, $3,201.50; H. J. Limperieh, clerk of 
court, $3,590.42; B. J. Moritz, sheriff, $5,019.95; J. D. Morgan, surveyor. 



152 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

$165.51 ; H. A. Pinault, coroner, $60.30 ; county commissioners, J. D. Kowal- 
kowski, $1,115.70; Valentine Herman, $1,352.30; Jacob Weber, $926.80; N. 
Thomey, $990.80; J. H. Canfield, $1,172.69. 

A special meeting was held April 8, at which Michael Loso was appointed 
appraiser of state lands. W. A. Boerger, county superintendent of schools, 
reported that fees amounting to $2,000 had been received by him during the 
year 1912. A communication was received from the State Highway Commis- 
sion advising the board that $5,000 had been alloted to Stearns county for 
the state road and bridge fund. 

A petition of Frank Lippameyer and nine others for a drainage ditch in 
the town of Melrose was presented, as was a remonstrance signed by John 
Moening and twenty-three others, at a special meeting held April 15. After 
consideration the petition was granted, the ditch to be known as No. 33, with 
S. S. Chute engineer to make a survey, and W. E. Murphy, John Neutzling and 
Fred Borgmann to act as viewers. 

Another special session was held May 6, at which a resolution was adopted 
authorizing the borrowing, from Zapp's state bank, St. Cloud, of the sum of 
$18,278.27, to defray the cost of the construction of judicial ditch No. 1 of 
Pope and Stearns counties, said loan to bear interest at the rate of six per 
cent and be payable in ten annual installments. A special session was held 
May 16, for the purpose of giving a new notice of hearing in the matter of 
ditch No. 32, the previous notice having been defective. 

A number of appropriations were made from the road and bridge fund 
at a special meeting held June 10, as follows: Albany, CoUegeville, Crow 
River, Getty, Grove, Holding, Krain, Lake George, Lake Henry, Luxemburg, 
Melrose, Millwood, Munson, North Fork, Raymond, Rockville, St. Cloud, St. 
Joseph, St. Martin, St. Wendel, Sauk Centre and Zion, $300 each ; Eden Lake, 
$600; Fair Haven, $500; Maine Prairie, $450; Wakefield, $500; village of 
Rockville, $700. A resolution was adopted providing for a half holiday on 
the Saturday afternoon of each week, for the county officers, deputies and 
clerks, from June 10 to October 11, 1913. The final hearing in the matter of 
ditch No. 32 was held at a special session June 21, when a resolution was 
adopted making a number of amendments to the viewers' report and fixing 
July 1, 1915, as the time for the completion of the ditch. 

The regular July session opened the fourteenth, with all members present, 
adjourning the fifteenth. The tax levy for the year 1913 was fixed at $60,000 
of which $23,000 was for salaries of county officers, $8,000 for district court 
expenses, $4,000 for jail and court house expenses, $3,000 for justice and 
municipal court expenses and $5,000 for salaries and mileage of county com- 
missioners. There was also levied $30,000 for road and bridge purposes, and 
in addition one mill for a Dragging fund, in each town outside of incorporated 
cities and villages, in accordance with section 41, chapter 235, general laws of 
1913. The board having decided that the mileage of state roads in the county 
was too great for their proper care and maintenance by the county alone, 
adopted a resolution revoking all previous action designating state roads. Sub- 
sequently resolutions were adopted designating four state roads to be com- 
posed as follows : 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 153 

No. 1 — All of state roads Nos. 1 and 3, that portion of No. 4 lying between 
the township of Avon and the city of Melrose and that portion of No. 5 begin- 
ning at the west line of the city of Melrose and running thence to the east 
line of the city of Sauk Centre. 

No. 2 — Beginning at the S. E. corner of section 9, township of St. Cloud, 
running thence west between sections 9-16, 8-17 to Sauk river; thence in a 
southwesterly direction over sections 17-18 to the west line of said town ; thence 
in the township of St. Joseph southwesterly over 13, 24, 23, 26, 27, 34 to the 
south line of said town, thence in the township of Rockville southwesterly 
over sections 3, 4, 9, to the east limits of the village of Rockville ; from the 
west line of the village of Rockville the road to be that heretofore designated 
as state roads 2 and 9. 

No. 3 — The roads heretofore designated as state roads Nos. 6 and 10. 

No. 4 — The road heretofore designated as state road No. 7. 

This action was taken in accordance with section 18, chapter 235, general 
laws of 1913. Road and bridge appropriations were made to Grove, $179; 
Le Sauk, $255.20 ; Paynesville, $300. 

The county board of equalization was in session July 21-30. 

At a special session August 1, final action was taken in the matter of 
ditch No. 33, the reports of the viewers and engineer being accepted and the 
ditch established. 

A special session was held August 5, at which the county attorney was 
authorized to take an appeal from the order of the probate court in the matter 
of the Donley children for the purpose of testing the question in the higher 
courts. A resolution was adopted directing the county surveyor to make a 
survey of Grand Lake, in the township of Rockville, with a view to estab- 
lishing a level at which the water of the lake should be maintained, "in order 
to improve navigation and to improve the public health," and to "report 
the description of any land which may be required upon which the erection 
of a dam at the outlet of Grand Lake necessary to cause the maintenance of 
said level, may be required, and a sketch of the said dam necessary to be built 
to maintain said level and an estimate of the cost of said land and dam." 
A. M. Welles having sold the Sauk Centre Herald, the official paper for the 
county, to A. M. Wallace, the latter filed a new contract and bond. An appeal 
having been taken to the district court from the order of the board estab- 
lishing ditch No. 32 the county surveyor was instructed to proceed to the line 
of said ditch with three assistants and inspect same with the adjacent lands 
60 as to be qualified to act as witnesses when said appeal comes up for trial. 
An appropriation of $100 was made to the village of Waite Park from the road 
and bridge fund. 

At a special session held September 2, the report of S. S. Chute, civil 
engineer, in the matter of raising the waters of Grand Lake was presented and 
after consideration the matter was laid over. A petition having been received 
for the incorporation as a village of certain territory in the township of Lake 
Henry, to be known as the village of Lake Henry, it was ordered that an elec- 
tion to vote on the question of incorporation be held September 27, at the 
J. C. Meyer hall, with J. C. Meyer, H. B. Gelting and Jacob Kraemer inspectors. 



154 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

A special session, October 2, was devoted to routine business. 

A special session, occasioned by the sudden death of J. P. Rau, county 
auditor, was held October 21, at which appropriate resolutions were adopted 
and Louis C. Deuber was appointed temporary custodian of the office of county 
auditor. On the following day the board proceeded by ballot to elect a county 
auditor to fill the vacancy caused by the death of J. P. Rau, and Nicholas 
Thomey, who had previously resigned his office as county commissioner, re- 
ceived four votes, being all that were cast and was declared to be unanimously 
elected. His bond in the sum of $10,000 was presented and approved. 

When the board met in special session November 12 to act on the petition 
for the removal of the county seat from St. Cloud to Albany, it first received 
the report of the board of appointment, which had met at the county auditor's 
office October 31, in accordance with the provisions of law, to choose a successor 
to Nicholas Thomey, commissioner from the Fourth district, who had resigned. 
The report showed that on the first five ballots Ignatius Kremer received 2 
votes, Michael Loso 3 votes, Peter Taufer 2 votes and E. F. Mielke 5 votes ; that 
on the sixth ballot E. F. Mielke received 5 votes, I. Kremer 1 vote, M. Loso 
3 votes and Peter Taufer 2 votes; that on the seventh and final ballot E. F. 
Mielke received 5 votes and Michael Loso 6 votes, with one blank, whereupon 
Michael Loso was declared the appointee. The board then took up the matter 
of the proposed county seat removal, the counting of the names on the different 
papers and the general discussion occupying the time until November 18, 
when the board adopted the following preamble and resolution, on motion of 
Jacob "Weber seconded by Michael Loso. 

"Whereas, A petition has been presented to the board of county commis- 
sioners of the county of Stearns asking for a removal of the county seat of 
said county from the city of St. Cloud, the present seat thereof, to the village 
of Albany, in said county. 

And Whereas, After notice of hearing given thereon this board, pursuant 
to said notice, met at the room of the county commissioners at the court house 
in the city of St. Cloud on Wednesday, the twelfth day of November, 1913, at 
ten o'clock a. m., for the purpose of examining said petition and inquiring as 
to the sufficiency thereof, and for the purpose of hearing any other matters 
pertinent thereto, as provided by law ; 

And Whereas, Adjournments from day to day have been taken to this day 
to complete investigation as to said petition and the matters pertaining 
thereto ; 

And Whereas, It appears that said petition as originally filed contained 
the names of 4,175 signers ; 

And Whereas, It further appears, after due examination by this board, 
that of the signers of said original petition 1,194 thereof have duly revoked 
and canceled their signatures and have requested this board to strike their 
names from said petition, as appears from the duly acknowledged and attested 
revocations, coupled with a power of attorney, which have been filed with this 
board ; 

And Whereas, It further appears to this board that certain of said signers 
who requested their names to be removed from said petition have duly re- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 155 

quested that their names He reinstated thereon, the number of said signers so 
requesting a reinstatement of the names being to the net number of 408 ; 

And Whereas, It further appears to this board, after an examination of 
said petition, said revocations and said reinstatements that the number of 
signers remaining upon said petition is only 3,929, which number of signers is 
less than sixty per cent of the whole number of voters voting in said county 
of Stearns at the last preceding general election ; 

Now, therefore, be it resolved, That said petition aforesaid for the removal 
of said county seat be and the same is hereby rejected, because of the insuffi- 
cient number of signatures thereto and remaining thereon as herein set forth. 
The resolution was signed and voted for by Commissioners Kowalkowski, 
Weber, Loso and Canfield, Commissioner Herman not voting. 

At a special session held December 16 and 17 it was ordered that work be 
-done on certain parts of the state roads in the county as follows : No. 1, turn- 
piking from St. Cloud to St. Joseph ; turnpiking and grading from Avon to 
Albany and from Melrose to Sauk Centre. No. 2, turnpiking about five miles 
between St. Cloud and Rockville ; constructing road over so-called Cold Springs 
hill between Cold Springs and Richmond; grading about five miles between 
Richmond and Roscoe. No. 3, grading, turnpiking and graveling from the 
Luxemburg church to Maine Prairie Corners so-called ; completing state road 
south of Kimball. No. 4, necessary repairs and the construction of bridge 
No. 1,088. 

In the matter of ditch No. 32, R. B. Brower, who had appeared for the 
petitioners, was authorized and directed to defend against the appeals which 
had been made from the final order of the board. Donohue & Stevens, 
attorneys for the petitioners in the matter of ditch No. 33, were similarly 
authorized. 

Road and bridge appropriations were made as follows : Eden Lake, 
$649.11 ; Luxemburg, $114.79 ; Lynden, $800 ; St. Wendel, $510.72 ; Spring Hill, 
$300; Zion, $348.60; Holding, $459.76; St. Cloud (town), 141.13; village of 
Eoscoe, $211.38. 

1914. The board met January 6, with J. D. Kowalkowski, Valentine Her- 
man, Jacob Weber, Michael Loso and J. H. Canfield present. J. D. Kowalkow- 
ski was unanimously re-elected chairman and J. H. Canfield vice-chairman for 
the ensuing year. The St. Cloud Times was made the official paper of the 
county for the ensuing year by a vote of 3 to 2 for the Sauk Centre Herald : 
the proceedings and financial statement to be published also in Der Nordstern, 
all for the legal rate. The publishing of the delinquent tax list was awarded 
to the Times at the statute rate of 15 cents per description. The miscellaneous 
job printing was awarded to Der Nordstern Publishing Company, at prices 
stated. The usual committees of three each were appointed to supervise the 
expenditure of road and bridge appropriations for the five districts. Dr. 
M. J. Kern was appointed county physician at a salary of $200 per year. 

The salaries of county officials were fixed as follows for the year 1914 : 
■County superintendent of schools, $2,400; assistant superintendent of schools, 
$1,080; deputy register of deeds, $400; clerk hire in county auditor's office, 
$5,520; clerk hire in county treasurer's office, $1,800; extra help in county 



156 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

treasurer's office, $200; Ignatz Luckeroth, custodian court house, per month, 
$55 ; Ignatz Greven, janitor court house, per month, $50 ; county surveyor, per 
day, $5. 

An examination of the funds in the hands of the county treasurer showed 
the total to be $80,684.53. A communication from the State Association of 
County Commissioners asking this board to pass a resolution favoring the 
change of the Inebriate hospital at Willmar to an Old Polks home was rejected. 

Appropriations for roads and bridges were granted as follows: Lake 
Henry, $300; Maine Prairie, $511.01; Raymond, $322.17; Rockville, $112.82; 
St. Joseph, $165 ; Wakefield, $731.61 ; Paynesville, village, $156.95. 

The following appropriations were made for state road work to be done 
under the directions of the state highway commission: From St. Cloud city 
to St. Joseph village, 5.8 miles, $3,000; between Avon and Albany, $2,000; 
from the west line of the city of Melrose to the east line of the city of Sauk 
Centre, 8 miles, $5,000; from town line between St. Cloud and St. Joseph to 
the east line of the village of Rockville, 7 miles, $3,000 ; repairing Cold Spring 
hill, 5 miles, $1,500; from Richmond to Roscoe, 5 miles, $3,000; from Luxem- 
burg church to Maine Prairie corners, 6.5 miles, $5,000; building bridge No. 
1,088, $1,000 ; work on state road No. 4, $500. 

Reports of fees and emoluments received during the year 1913 were made 
by the following county officers: Nicholas Thomey, county auditor, $706.40; 
Christ. Schmitt, county treasurer, $3,310.77 ; William A. Boerger, superintend- 
ent of schools, $2,200; B. E. Schoener, sheriff, $3,091.17; John Lang, register 
of deeds, $3,413.10; S. S. Chute, surveyor, $262.26; H. A. Pinault, coroner, 
$130.70; J. D. Kowalkowski, county commissioner, $1,764.72; Valentine Her- 
man, county commissioner, $1,909.80; Jacob Weber, county commissioner, 
$1,530.17; Nicholas Thomey, county commissioner, $1,384.30; Michael Loso, 
county commissioner, $145.60; J. H. Canfield, county commissioner, $1,689.40. 
Adjourned January 7. 

Special session, February 3. Appropriations to assist in defraying Memo- 
rial day expenses were made : Paynesville, $25 ; Melrose, $25 ; Sauk Centre, 
$75 ; St. Cloud, $100. A re-survey of the towns of Raymond and Collegeville 
was ordered. Road and bridge appropriations were ma-de to Albany, $187.20 ; 
Fair Haven, $579.56 ; Farming, $300 ; Paynesville, $310.80 ; St. Wendel, $178.33 ; 
Special session, April 7 — An order of the district court was received estab- 
lishing a judicial road in the town of Luxemburg, Stearns county, and the 
town of Forest Prairie, Meeker county, and the necessary steps were taken for 
its opening in the town of Luxemburg. 

A petition having been received for the incorporation of the village of 
St. Stephens in the town of Brockway, it was ordered that an election be held 
May 2, in Frank Vovik's hall, with Frank Vouk, James Justin and George 
Justin inspectors, to vote on such incorporation. The several state roads of 
the county were separated into eight divisions for the purpose of maintenance, 
a man and team to be employed on each from April 15 to Nov. 1, 1914, at 
$90 per month. A re-survey of the towns of North Fork and St. Joseph was 
ordered. 

Road and bridge appropriations were made to: Crow River, $182.66; 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 157 

Munson, $150; Oak, $158.10; Paynesville village, $160.75; Melrose city, 
$236.12 ; for repairing the road from the western limits of the city of St. Cloud 
to the Willmar branch of the Great Northern right of way on the easterly 
line of the village of Waite Park, $1,500. The board purchased nine Glide 
graders and nine Slip scrapers. Special session. May 5 — A new state road to 
be known as State Road No. 5 was designated, to be built under the juris- 
diction of the state highAvay commission. Paul Ahles, county attorney, re- 
ported having received $2,500, and A. H. Klasen, judge of probate, $2,816.55, 
as fees and emoluments during the year 1913. Special session, June 2 — Rou- 
tine business. 

Special session, June 29 — Provision made for the issuance of $9,396 in 
bonds to meet the cost of Ditch No. 33. Another special session was held 
July 3 for the purpose of providing for the issuance of $25,000 in bonds to 
defray the cost of construction of Ditch No. 32. At a third ditch session held 
July 8 both series of bonds were sold to Zapp's State Bank, St. Cloud, at par 
with six per cent interest. 

Regular session, July 13 and 14 — A tax levy for the year 1914, for county 
purposes, amounting to $66,500 was made. In addition, a levy of two mills on 
the dollar was made for road and bridge purposes, one mill for a dragging 
fund in each town outside the incorporated villages and cities and one mill 
to create a sinking fund to be used for court house building purposes only. 
The plats of Bock's addition to Albany and Loehr's addition to Elrosa were 
approved. Appropriations for road and bridge work were made : Luxemburg, 
$279.80 ; Rockville, $160 ; St. Nicholas village, $182.95. The board of equaliza- 
tion was in session from July 20 to July 30 inclusive. Special session, August 
11 — The plats of the townsite of Fair View to Paynesville and of Rien's addi- 
tion to Elrosa were approved. 

J. D. Kowalkowski and J. H. Canfield were appointed delegates to attend 
the annual conference of the Minnesota State board of charities and correc- 
tions to be held at Bemidji, September 26-28, 1914. An appropriation of $500 
was made to the Agricultural Society of Stearns county at Sauk Centre to 
aid in conducting a county fair during the month of September. An appro- 
priation of $2,600 was made to the city of Melrose from the road and bridge 
fund. 

Special session, September 22 — Acting upon the advice of the Public 
Examiner that the tax levies for certain purposes made at the session of July 
13 be made for specific amounts, the board adopted a resolution making the 
appropriation for roads and bridges $42,000 and for a sinking fund to be used 
for court house building purposes and to be a part of the revenue fund of the 
county, $21,000. The session was largely devoted to considering road and 
school petitions. Special session, October 2 — Ditch No. 33 was accepted and a 
final payment in the sum of $2,323 ordered to be made to the Guy N. Potter 
Dredging Company. 



158 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

CHAPTER XI. 

COURT HOUSE AND JAIL. 

Early Efforts to Erect a Court House — Main Building' Erected in 1864 — Addi- 
tions and Alterations — Efforts at Securing a More Modem Building — 
Bond Issues — County Jail — Old Log Jail — Present Jail Erected in 1878 — 
Title to Site. 

In order to give the "Commissioners' Court" — as the county board while 
in session is described in the official records — the district court and the county 
officers a suitable and permanent home, steps were taken at the meeting of the 
board held July 8, 1856, to secure the erection of a court house ; but eighteen 
years of changes, failure of plans and delays of contractors intervened before 
these efforts produced material results. In the meantime the county officers 
and records were housed in rented rooms and the terms of court held in a 
hall here and a hall there as accommodations in anywise suitable could be ob- 
tained. At the meeting referred to it was voted to issue bonds to the amount 
of $6,000, bearing interest at the rate of twelve per cent and to run for seven 
years, to erect in St. Cloud a building of the following description and di- 
mensions: "40x64 feet on the ground; 26 foot posts; basement story 9 feet 
high, to be built of stone, with two cells at one end, walls 2 feet thick, the 
remainder of the basement to be finished into rooms suitable to be lived in. 
First floor for offices and jury rooms; second floor for court room, with hall 
off the end." Bids would be received until August 11, plans for the buildings 
to accompany each proposal. At the same time bids would be received for 
the county bonds (for the issuance of which a vote by the people was not re- 
quired) ; the offer made by the highest bidder to be accepted, but the bonds 
were not to be sold "for less than their face." The board met August 14 in 
extra session just long enough to adopt the plans for a court house submitted 
by John L. Wilson. At an adjourned meeting held August 26 the bids for the 
erection of the court house were opened and that of Joseph Niehaus being the 
lowest the contract was awarded to him. The commissioners at the same time 
voted to pay over the $6,000 Avorth of bonds immediately to purchase the 
materials for same. This was carried by the votes of Commissioners Orth 
and Edelbrock, Commissioner Richardson opposing the order and entering 
his protest against it. To protect the county from loss Niehaus was required 
to give bonds to the amount of $13,000 for the completion of the court house, 
"the security for the above to be sworn security." It was ordered that the 
first money received into the county treasury, not appropriated for terri- 
torial purposes or school tax, be used to pay the interest on the court house 
bonds. At a meeting held August 27 it was ordered that "the bonds be de- 
livered over to Joseph Niehaus." The board, at a session on April 8, 1857, 
extended for one year from the date specified in the contract the time for 
the completion of the court house. An offer made by John L. Wilson to fur- 



HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 159 

nish, free of rent, a room in which terms of court could be held until such 
time as the court bouse should be completed, was accepted. 

Nothing more appears of record regarding the proposed county build- 
ing until at an extra session held February 23, 1858, Joseph Niehaus made 
application to be released from his contract, agreeing to give a good and 
sufficient bond to protect the county from any liability or damage arising 
from the issuing of the $7,000 county bonds. The application was granted, 
subject to the stated condition as to an indemnifying bond, which was ac- 
cepted and filed February 24, whereupon the contract was cancelled, and 
the project was just where it had been at the beginning. 

The county board then proceeded to enter into a contract with John 
L. Wilson for the erection of a court house according to the plans and speci- 
fications then on file, the price to be $7,000, for which bonds payable seven 
years after May 1, 1858, with interest at twelve per cent per annum, should 
be issued and delivered to said "Wilson. At the first meeting of the county 
board of town supervisors, held August 3, 1858, Leander Gorton and George 
W. Cutler were appointed a committee to confer with Wilson with a view 
to obtaining additional security for the erection of the new building. The 
committee reported at an adjourned meeting August 20, at which time Mr. 
Wilson tendered a deed to certain real estate, with the condition that if any 
of the land should be sold the proceeds should be placed to his credit on his 
contract. The clerk of the board was directed December 4 to "open a cor- 
respondence with H. M. Rice making him a proposition to take Prairie du 
Chien property and pay on the Stearns county court house bonds negotiated 
by him." The records are silent as to the result of this correspondence, but 
a fairly correct surmise as to what it was would not involve the possession of 
any great degree of insight. 

Practically three years elapsed after the signing of this contract with 
John L. Wilson with nothing whatever being done toward the erection of 
the court house. At a meeting of the board of county commissioners held 
January 8, 1861, an agreement was signed whereby, in consideration of be- 
ing released from all liability under his contract, Wilson conveyed to the 
board the tract of land designated on the map of the town of St. Cloud as 
"Columbia Square," a further condition being that within ten months from 
that date he should remove from the title to this land certain clouds which 
rested on it. In case the title was cleared so that the county should have 
an estate in fee simple in the property, it was proposed to deed the tract 
(less two acres) to any person who would accept it as payment in full for a 
court house building to be constructed in accordance with the original con- 
tract. 

Nothing further was done until January 9, 1863, when "after consider- 
able discussion," a resolution was adopted authorizing the county auditor 
to advertise for bids, to be opened January 26, "for the erection of a court 
house fifty feet square, walls twenty-eight feet high, two stories, with shin- 
gle roof, the first floor to be divided into suitable rooms for offices, the sec- 
ond floor to be finished for a court room, the building to be either of wood on 
a stone foundation or of brick, with one double fire-proof vault in the first 



160 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

story; the building to be completed by January 1, 1864; bidders to submit 
plans; payment to be made in real estate situated on Columbia Square and 
the contract to be awarded to the bidder willing to accept the least amount 
of said real estate." Bids were received at a meeting held September 26 
from J. W. Tenvoorde, N. P. Clarke and Thomas C. McClure, and on the 
following day the bid of John W. Tenvoorde, with plans and specifications 
drawn by James H. Place, was accepted. The court house was to be erected 
on a lot in Columbia Square designated on the plans as being 200x220 feet, 
with a street 66 feet wide all around the lot — and also a street leading from 
the outside of Columbia Square to the center of the lot, the property consid- 
eration to be deeded to the successful bidder lapon the completion and ac- 
ceptance of the building, he giving security in the sum of $5,000 for the com- 
pletion of the contract according to the plans and specifications. The chair- 
man of the board of county commissioners and the county auditor were made 
a building committee. By resolution of the board July 12, 1864, the court 
house was accepted and it was ordered that Joseph Edelbrock, as chairman 
of the board, execute to Joseph Broker, as assignee of John W. Tenvoorde, 
the contractor, a warranty deed to the land described in the agreement of 
February 18, 1863, viz: Lots 2, 3, 6 and 7, block 18, and lots 4 and 5, block 
47, and all of Columbia Square, located in the town of St. Cloud, reserving 
the tract in the center thereof, 200 feet fronting toward St. Germain street 
by 220 feet fronting toward "Washington avenue, on which the court house 
stood, with the streets previously described. 

Thus nine years after the county was organized and eight years after 
the first steps were taken for the erection of a county building, the central 
part of the present court house was completed. It is of red brick with a 
stone foundation and in its day and generation was doubtless creditable 
enough and served the purpose for which it was constructed. But that day 
has long since passed. From time to time additions and changes have been 
made to meet as far as possible, in this make-shift fashion, the more press- 
ing needs of the county resulting from its greatly increased population. In 
1871, March 27, a contract was awarded to Schmit and Volz to construct 
four vaults in the court room at a cost of $1,375 and $1,060 was paid for 
the four vault doors. Three years later, March 17, 1874, A. Montgomery 
was awarded a contract for an addition to the building, the cost of which 
was $5,425. After the lapse of ten years more, February 2, 1884, a con- 
tract for a further addition was given to Peter Schmit for $2,750. The final 
addition was erected March 11, 1897, by Carl Krapp, whose contract price 
was $9,922, with $535.30 for extra work on the court house and jail. The 
heating plant put in at this time by F. E. Kreatz, cost $2,066, and the plumb- 
ing done by J. P. Besinius, $928. No improvements to the building of any 
extent have been made since. Metallic vault furniture has been installed 
from time to time, one contract having been for $1,535. 

The unsatisfactory condition of the court house, its insufficient accom- 
modations for the proper transaction of the public business, and the utter 
hopelessness of accomplishing any sufficient results through additions to the 
present structure have been generally recognized for the past twenty years, 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 161 

but from a feeling of timidity and false spirit of economy on the part of the 
commissioners and from local jealousies nothing has been done. At a session 
of the county board held September 10, 1891, a report from the grand jury 
— similar to many which had proceeded it — was read, wherein the attention 
of the board was called to the insufficient accommodations provided by the 
present court house for the transaction of the county business, and advis- 
ing against the further expenditure of public money on these buildings. The 
board "recognizing the urgent necessity for more spacious, convenient and 
secure accommodations and buildings for the county" appointed a commit- 
tee consisting of B. Pirz, Edward Miller, John Schwinghammer, Joseph 
Scheelar and David Cleveland — being in fact the full membership of the 
board itself — to make inquiry and report on the following matters: 

1 — Do the public interests require a new court house and jail? 

2 — Can the present court house and jail be utilized by alteration or ex- 
change? 

3 — What tract should be selected as a permanent site for the public 
buildings of this county? 

4 — For what amount can title to suitable tract of land be obtained 
whereon to build a court house and jail? 

5 — Within what time should new court house and jail be completed? 

6 — What sum or amount should be expended for such purpose? 

7 — How should the necessary sum or amount be raised? 

8 — Is it for the public interest to have the court house and jail build- 
ings upon one site or tract? 

9 — Can the county of Stearns and the city of St. Cloud unite or combine 
in the construction of a new court house and jail or either? 

This little spurt on the part of the commissioners fell still-born, noth- 
ing further being heard of it. 

A petition from the Trades and Labor Assembly asking that immediate 
steps be taken toward the erection of a good substantial court house and 
jail to be completed during the years 1895 and 1896, presented to the board 
at a meeting held March 19, 1895, was laid on the table. 

Five years after the adoption of the resolutions and the appointment of 
the committee given above, during which interval the building of a new 
court house was a subject of wide discussion, the board of commissioners 
yielded to the public pressure sufficiently to adopt the following resolution 
at a meeting held January 8, 1896 : 

Whereas, A petition signed by more than one Tiundred legal voters of 
this county, who are freeholders therein, has been duly presented to this 
board setting forth that it is the desire of said petitioners that the county 
of Stearns, Minnesota, shall erect and construct a court house at the county 
seat of said county, the cost thereof not to exceed the sum of $75,000; now 
therefore it is hereby 

"Resolved, That the question of building and erecting said court house 
be submitted to the legal voters of said county of Stearns at the next general 
election to be held in and for said county on Tuesday, November 3, 1896." 

This resolution found its resting place in the graveyard which held so 



162 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

many of its predecessors, nothing further being heard of or from it, and 
Stearns county, one of the most populous and wealthy counties in the state, 
has for the transaction of its public business one of the most ill-constructed, 
ill-looking and inconvenient court houses to be found in the state. This 
should not be permitted much longer to continue. 

There is considerable uncertainty as to the amount of bonds issued 
and actually paid by the county for the court house. The early records were 
poorly kept and are much confused. As has been noted, the first issue of 
bonds authorized was for $6,000 at the meeting of July 7, 1856. It is said 
that these bonds were put into the hands of an agent to be negotiated in 
New York, that they were lost, and that only two, of $1,000 each, were 
recovered. A later bond issue of $7,000 was provided for. The St. Cloud 
Democrat of January 10, 1861, makes the direct charge that the county 
authorities had "issued two separate sets of bonds for $7,000 each which 
were delivered to John L. Wilson on his contract to build a court house for 
$7,000. He disposed of both sets of bonds, made a hole in the ground, in- 
tended for a cellar, and then suspended operations. The holders of these 
$14,000 bonds are clamorous for payment." While the action of the county 
board at the July meeting referred to only authorized the issuing of $6,000 
it would subsequently appear that the actual issue was $7,000. The court 
house was completed and accepted in 1864, being built from the proceeds 
of land deeded to the county by Mr. Wilson. The published financial state- 
ment of Stearns county for the period from January 1, 1866, to February 
28, 1867, contains among the liabilities: "Amount of outstanding bonds (in- 
terest not included), $7,190." As no bonds had been authorized or issued 
save those for court house purposes, it is a fair inference that this amount 
represented what was outstanding at that time of the court house bonds 
and there is no record covering any previous period as to bond obligations. 

A paragraph in the St. Cloud Journal of July 8, 1869, throws a ray of 
light on the subject: "All the old court house bonds have been redeemed 
except $2,600, not due until 1872. The county jail has all been paid for. The 
relief fund has also been liquidated, and Stearns county is in a good condi- 
tion financially." 

COUNTY JAIL. 

As during the years following its organization Stearns county had no 
court house, it likewise had no jail. Ordinarily culprits were confined in 
the town lock-up, while those whose offenses against the majesty of the law 
were more serious, were sent to the Ramsey county jail for confinement. 
This proved to be both inconvenient and expensive. Finally March 2, 1861, 
the county board purchased the jail building, a log structure, which had been 
built by the town of St. Cloud on the lot now occupied by the Methodist 
church. B. Overbeck was allowed $15 in county orders for labor performed 
on it, and the sum of $150 in county orders was appropriated "for the re- 
newal and erection of a county jail." Commissioner Fowler was appointed 
a committee of one to draw the plans and specifications and take charge of 
the work. He reported April 2 that the jail had been completed and it was 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 163 

accepted by the board and he was paid $12 for his services as superintend- 
ent. Instead of there having been any "removal" or "erection" the old- 
building was enlarged and put into somewhat better condition for the pur- 
pose for which it was intended and let go at that. Soon afterwards, June 4, 
the county board directed that the jail be ' ' properly ventilated by putting at 
least one good grated window in the front room and grated windows in the 
cell doors," and further that "the said jail be properly cleaned at least twice 
each week during the summer season and while prisoners are confined there." 
The sheriff was authorized to employ a guard for the jail, to be paid $1.25 
per day while on duty. 

When the board of commissioners met January 3, 1865, a crisp little 
missive from the district court, reading as follows, was presented for its 
consideration: "We the grand jurors have examined the Stearns county 
jail and we pronounce it a perfect nuisance." This evidently took the 
breath away from the commissioners, rendering them incapable of prompt 
action, and on motion the communication was laid over until the next meet- 
ing — nuisance or no nuisance. 

A full year passed before the matter had any further consideration from 
the county board, although the commissioners readily admitted that it was 
"unfit" for use and had been "so reported by each grand jury of said county 
for many years last past." After this confession, placed on record at the 
meeting held January 4, 1866, and sundry reasons given why it would be 
economical as it was desirable to build a new jail, which should be of brick, 
the board directed that the matter be submitted to the people of the county 
at an election to be held the first Tuesday in April. Very evidently the neces- 
sity for a new jail did not appeal to the voters of the county generally, as 
the proposition was defeated by a vote of 360 for to 385 against. Just what 
affected public sentiment in the different localities it would be difficult at this 
date to determine, as in some of the towns the vote was solidly in favor of 
a new jail, while in others closely adjoining it was solidly in opposition. 
While St. Cloud gave 202 votes for and only 9 against, Brockway straight 
13 favorable and Lynden 20 to 1, St. Augusta, a neighboring town, gave only 
4 favorable votes to 55 in opposition; Le Sauk, adjoining St. Cloud, cast her 
entire 25 votes in the negative, as did Oak her 51 votes, while the vote of 
Sauk Centre was 8 to 43, Munson, 3 to 34 and Maine Prairie 4 to 40. Al- 
though the margin was a narrow one it left the "perfect nuisance" the only 
thing available for jail purposes. 

Another year passed without any improvement in the situation until at 
a session held May 7, 1867, the board resolved that the jail was "unfit for 
the purpose" intended and that it was "expedient to erect a good and sub- 
stantial jail without delay," nothing being said this time about submitting 
the matter to a vote of the people. Commissioners E. H. Atwood, H. J. 
Fowler and B. Pirz were appointed a committee to decide on a proper loca- 
tion for a jail building and receive bids for its erection, report to be made 
at the county board Jnue 17. The committee at that time reported having 
received three bids: W. T. Clark, $5,900; John R. Clark, $7,900; Wolfgang 
Eich, $8,150 — each bidder stipulating for cash payments. These bids not 



364 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

being regarded as satisfactory were all rejected and the committee was 
given further time. The next attempt, July 30, was even less successful, only 
two bids being received, one from John R. Clark for $9,900, and one from 
Wolfgang Eich for $9,200, whereupon the board resolved to postpone further 
action until the September session. A final conclusion was reached Septem- 
ber 5, when it was decided to accept the "Wolfgang Eich bid of $9,200 as be- 
ing "the lowest and best bid," the building to be completed by August 1, 
1868, payment to be made in cash with the exception of one bond for $2,000, 
bearing twelve per cent interest and due March 1, 1869. The jail was ac- 
cepted September 4, 1868, Eich being allowed $275 for extra work. It was 
built of red brick against the west wall of the court house, the two forming 
practically one building 

A contract was awarded September 10, 1889, to the Champion Iron 
Works of Kenton, Ohio, for eight cells, to be constructed on the bar and 
plate system, at a cost of $5,120. March 2, 1898, a contract for eight Bessemer 
steel cells, costing $1,135, was awarded to the St. Cloud Iron Works. Four 
of these cells are on the second floor, for the use of female prisoners on the 
rare occasions when any are needed. On this floor are also the living rooms 
for the sheriff and his family, the office rooms being on the first floor. 

While the jail is far from being what it should be yet its deficiencies 
are much less in evidence than are those of the court house. When a new 
building is erected it will doubtless include a jail as well as a court house. 

TITLE TO THE SITE. 

As the manner in which the county obtained title to the property on 
which the court house and jail were built, has been a matter of frequent 
discussion, with varying statements as to the facts in the case, we give here- 
with the claim of title taken from the records in the county auditor's and 
register of deeds' offices. 

The first instrument is a quit-claim deed, bearing date August 21, 1856, 
from John L. Wilson to the County Commissioners of Stearns county, Min- 
nesota territory, by which, for a consideration of $100, a certain tract is 
conveyed to the county, with conditions as follows : "To have and to hold 
so long as the same shall be used and occupied as a court house, for the said 
county of Stearns, or the county in which said building is situated, but 
whenever the following described piece or parcel of land shall cease to be 
used and occupied as a court house for the said county of Stearns, or the 
county in which the said building may hereafter be located, the within and 
following described piece or parcel of land shall revert back to the said John 
L. Wilson, party of the first part, his heirs or assigns, and shall no longer 
be the property or under the control of the said county of Stearns in the 
territory aforesaid, and described as follows, to-wit : Commencing at a point 
eight rods north, 47 degrees east of the center of Columbia Square; thence 
north 43 degrees, west ten rods; thence at right angles with said line west- 
erly sixteen rods; thence at right angles with said line south 43 degrees east 
twenty rods; thence at right angles with said line north 47 degrees east 
sixteen rods ; thence at right angles with said line north 43 degrees west ten 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 165 

rods to the place of beginning, containing two acres "xxx" provided that 
said commissioners shall have the right and privilege of disposing of said 
court house at a fair appraisal or the highest bidder whenever they cease to 
occupy the same as above specified." 

Then followed a quit-claim deed dated August 21, 1858, whereby for a 
consideration of $2,500, John L. Wilson deeded to the Board of Supervisors 
of Stearns county, Minnesota, block R; also lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10, 
block 61; lots 2, 3, 6 and 7, block 18; lot 1, block G; lot 5, block 46, in the 
town of St. Cloud (Middle Town). 

Under date of January 8, 1861, for a consideration of $300, John L. 
Wilson by quit-claim deed conveyed to the Board of County Commissioners 
of Stearns county, Minnesota, lot 1, block G ; lots 2, 3, 6 and 7, block 18 ; and 
lots 4 and 5, block 47, in the town of St. Cloud, for the use of said Stearns 
county. 

On the fifteenth day of November, 1860, under the provisions of an act 
of congress passed May 23, 1844, the town of St. Cloud entered at the St. 
Cloud land office certain lands, which included Wilson's survey, "in trust 
for the several use and benefit of the occupants thereof, according to their re- 
spective interests." By warranty deed dated March 12, 1861, James C. 
Shepley, president, and James Broker, as recorder, of the town of St. Cloud 
for a consideration of $16.80, conveyed to the county of Stearns lot 1, block 
G; lots 2, 3, 6 and 7, block 18; and lots 4 and 5, block 47, all in the town of 
St. Cloud according to the plat and survey thereof made by John L. Wilson 
and recorded in the office of the register of deeds of said county, "for the 
use and benefit of said county." 

John L. Wilson and wife, January 8, 1861, by warranty deed, for a con- 
sideration of $7,000 (being the amount of an issue of court house bonds) 
conveyed to the Board of County Commissioners of the county of Stearns, 
Minnesta, Columbia Square, ten acres, "for the use of Stearns county and 
assigns forever." 

By a second warranty deed, dated January 24, 1863, for a consideration 
of $155.75, the town of St. Cloud deeded to the Board of County Commission- 
ers of Stearns county, Minnesota, lots 2, 3, 6 and 7, block 18; lots 4 and 5, 
block 47 ; lot 1, block G, and all of Columbia Square, excepting therefrom 
a small part of lot 2, block 18, lying over into Lowry's addition in said town. 

John L. Wilson's original plat of the town of St. Cloud, filed Septem- 
ber 1, 1855, did not have the blocks divided into lots; a supplementary plat, 
acknowledged April 23, 1857, was filed on which the separate lots were 
shown. Columbia Square was given as being 726x608 feet. It was sub- 
divided by James H. Place in 1863, into the court house square with the four 
surrounding blocks subdivided into lots. 



166 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

CHAPTER XII. 

PLATS, SITES AND NAMES. 

Complete Lists of all Plats Filed with the Register of Deeds — Locations, Pro- 
prietors and Dates — Some Forgotten Names and Places — Townsite Mania 
— Indian Names Still Preserved in the Geography of Stearns County — 
Significance of Watab and Sauk. 

The following is a complete list of the plats which have been filed in 
the office of the register of deeds of Stearns county since its organization in 
1855, arranged alphabetically, with the year of filing and recording: 

City of St. Cloud. A. A. Brown's addition, 1864; Auditor's sub-division, 
No. 8, 1903; Bell and Smith's addition, 1883; Bell and Smith's second addi- 
tion, 1894; Benson's re-subdivision, block 5, Metzroth's addition, 1909; Bowe's 
(James) addition, 1865; Broramenschenkel's addition, 1895; Brommenschen- 
kel's second addition, 1912; Brott and Smith's addition, 1867; Brown's sub- 
addition, S. E. %, N. W. 14, Sec. 14, T. 124, R. 28, 1866 ; Central Park addi- 
tion, 1887; Coates, Cooper and Freeman's addition, 1883; College and Ham- 
merel townsite, south St. Cloud, 1887; Collins' addition, 1883; Collins' sec- 
ond addition, 1889; Columbia Square addition, Wilson's, 1864; Cottage Place 
addition, 1894; Crarab's addition, 1866; Cramb's second addition, 1883; Cur- 
tis' T. A., survey, 1855; Edelbrock's addition, 1858; Edelbrock's first and sec- 
ond addition, 1855; Edelbrock's third addition, 1885; Empire block. Park block 
6, Wilson's survey, 1870; Etna block. Park block 6, Wilson's survey, 1870; 
Pair "View addition, 1897; Forest addition, 1887; Gans' addition, 1892; Gar- 
field's addition, 1884; Improvement No. 112, city of St. Cloud, block 88 and 
89, Lowry's addition, 1903; Kloepper's addition, 1907; Lake Park addition, 
1888; Long and Brinkman's re-subdivision, block 4, Betzroth's addition, 1910; 
Lowry's addition, 1856; Metzroth's addition, 1892; McClure and Whitney's- 
addition, 1887; McClure and Whitney's second addition, 1890; Normal Park 
addition, 1888; Ortmann's addition, 1890; Plattes' addition, 1882; Plattes' 
second addition, 1888; Prospect addition, 1887; Reichert's addition, 1889; 
Rengel's addition, 1883; Robertson's addition, 1888; Rosenberger's addition, 
1886; Rotkopf 's addition, 1856; St. Cloud town, Wilson survey,' 1855; St. Cloud 
town, Wilson and Blake survey, 1857; St. Cloud city, Blake survey, 1855; 
St. Cloud Water-Power and Mill Co.'s mill site, 1887; South Side Park, 1887; 
Stearns addition, 1858; Steckling's addition, 1886; Steckling's second addi- 
tion, 1889; Syndicate addition, 1887; Tenvoord's addition, 1887; Tenvoord's 
second addition, 1889; Thielman's addition, 1906; Waite's addition, 1883; 
West and Hoyt's subdivision, block 32, Edelbrock's addition, 1884; West and 
Searle's addition, 1883; West Side addition, 1888; Wilson's subdivision, block 
26, Wilson's survey, 1858; Wilson's subdivision, block 30, Wilson's survey, 
1858; Wilson's subdivision, block 10, Wilson's survey, 1858; Wilson's sub- 
division, block 31, Curtis' survey, 1858; Wissing's addit»3n, 1895; Zapp & 
Moosbrugger's addition, sub division, block 31, Edelbrock's addition, 1893. 



HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 167 

St. Joseph. Auditor's subdivision, No. 4, 1902; Auditor's subdivision, 
No. 9, 1910; Bruno, Loso and Fox's addition, 1858; Loso's addition, 1912; 
Loso's (Peter) addition, 1873; Loso's first addition, 1905; Loso's second ad- 
dition, 1907; Loso's third addition, 1907; Loso's subdivision, block 2, first ad- 
dition, 1910; St. Joseph, town site, 1855. 

Sauk Centre. Auditor's subdivision, N. 1/2, section 15, township 126, 
range 34, 1896 ; Auditor 's subdivision, W. 1/2, section 10 and N. E. i/4, N. E. i/4, 
section 9, township 126, range 34, 1896; Auditor's subdivision, S. y^-, N. 1/2, 
S. 1/2, section 9, township 126, range 34, 1896; Barto's subdivision, lot 9, 
Moore's addition, out lots, 1906; Houghton's addition, 1904; Houghton's sec- 
ond addition, 1905; Houghton's third addition, 1905; James' addition, 1864; 
Jones' addition, 1905; Lake View addition, 1882; Merry and Dennis' addition, 
1882; Moore's (R.) addition, out lots, 1858; Robbin's and Mendenhall's addi- 
tion, 1874; Rosenberger and Keller's addition, 1882; Sauk Centre town site, 
1857; Sauk Centre (city cemetery), 1880. 

Sauk City. Sauk City town site, 1856; Beaupre's subdivision, 1859; 
Becker's addition, 1857. 

Melrose. Auditor's subdivision, section 34, township 126, range 33, 1889; 
Ayer's & Clark's addition, 1873; Bohmer's re-arrangement, lots 2 and 3, block 
4, 1900; Borgerding's addition, 1889; Clark's addition, 1874; Clark's subdi- 
vision. Will block, Clark's addition, 1889; Clark's W. H. & L. P. subdivision, 
lot 6, Auditor's subdivision, section 34, 1898; Dederick's addition, 1896; Ded- 
erick's subdivision, out lot 1, Ayer's & Clark's addition, 1896; Fair View ad- 
dition, 1898; Freeman's addition, 1873; Great Northern addition, 1896; Grove 
Cemetery, Melrose, 1873; Haskamp's, H. J., addition, 1896; Haskamp's sub- 
division, lot 16, Auditor's subdivision, section 34, 1889; Hilt and Borget's ad- 
dition, 1896; Hoeschen's subdivision. Park Mill block, Clark's addition, 1896; 
Kraker's re-arrangement. Part Clark's addition, 1896; Original plat of town- 
site, 1871 ; Melrose cemetery, 1880 ; Melrose and Grove cemetery, 1873 ; Mc- 
Pennison's addition, Melrose, 1896; Re-arrangement Melrose cemetery, 1911. 

Albany. Albany townsite, 1872; Auditor's subdivision. No. 3, section 
15, 16, 21, 22, township 125, range 31, 1902; Auer's addition, 1905; Haber- 
man's first addition, 1908; Schulte's first addition, 1908; Stuhl's addition, 
1911; Theisen's first addition, 1895; Theisen's second addition, 1901; Theisen's 
third addition, 1902; Theisen's fourth addition, 1911; Theisen's addition, out 
lots, 1905. 

Avon. Avon townsite, 1874; Immerf all's addition, 1902. 

CoUegeville. Collegeville townsite, 1880. 

Freeport. Auditor's subdivision. No. 5, 1902; Beste's addition, 1902; 
Freeport townsite, 1894; John Hoeschen's block, 1892; Joseph Hoeschen's 
block, 1889; Schoener's addition, 1912. 

Holdingford (Holding & Wardville). Baker's addition to Wardville, 
1892; Batz's addition to Holding, 1908; Batz's second addition to Holding, 
1908; Batze's and Herman's addition. Holding, 1907; Holdingford townsite, 
1879; Kapfer's subdivision, S. 1/2, S. W. 1/4, section 9, 1900; Park addition. 
Holding, 1909; Soo addition, Holdingford, 1907; Wardville townsite, 1882; 
Ward's addition, Wardville, 1893. 



168 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

St. Anthony. St. Anthony townsite, 1898 ; Pelican Lake Park, 1909. 

Sartell. Sartell townsite, 1905; Sartell's re-arrangement block 7 and lot 
F, 1910; Sartell's sub-division block F, 1907. 

New Munich. Author's sub-division, 1889; Munich, 1858; Pitzl's sub- 
division, lots 14 and 22, auditor's sub-division, 1895; Friekler's addition, 1911. 

Connaught. Plat, 1905; Himsl and Schraid's addition, 1905. 

Meire Grove. Meire Grove, 1891; Imdieker's addition, 1891. 

Padua village, 1900 ; Ashley Cemetery, N.W. i/4, N.W. i^, section 2, town- 
ship 126, range 35, 1885 ; Lake Side Park, 1887. 

St. Martin. Auditor's sub-division No. 7, 1902; St. Martin townsite, 
1877. 

Spring HUl. Daniel's addition, 1904; townsite, 1883. 

Brooten. Anderson and Roe's addition, 1897; Bloom's 1st addition, 1907; 
Brooten townsite, 1887; Halvorsen's addition, 1908; Illes' addition, 1908; 
Lien's addition, 1892, Park addition, 1906. 

Belgrade. Borgerding's addition, 1890; First Swedish Methodist Epis- 
copal Church Society Cemetery, 1891; Belgrade townsite, 1887; Kalkman's 
addition, 1890; Quistberg's addition, 1887; Railway addition, 1893; sub-divi- 
sion block E, Quistberg's addition, 1893; sub-division block B, Quistberg's 
addition, 1905. 

Georgeville tovrasite, 1900 ; Lake Henry original, 1857 ; Lake Henry town- 
site, 1902; Kraemer's addition, 1902. 

Paynesville, Baitinger's addition, 1894; Gilbert's addition, 1886; Gil- 
bert's second addition, 1887; Gilbert's new addition, 1887; Gilbert's fourth ad- 
dition, 1890; Gilbert's fifth addition, 1893; Haines' addition, 1887; Koronis 
S.E. 14 N.W. 14 section 8, township 122, range 32, 1886 ; Oak Park addition, 
1888 ; Paynesville townsite, 1857 ; Paynesville cemetery, 1904 ; Riverside Park 
addition, 1894; Robbins' first addition, 1909; sub-division lot 9, Robbins' first 
addition, 1911. 

Roscoe. Roscoe townsite, 1887; Kost's addition, 1898; Park addition, 
1899 ; South Side addition, 1898. 

Richmond. Richmond townsite, 1856; Brauning's addition, 1858. 

Cold Spring. Cold Springs City townsite, 1861; Friedman's addition, 
1909; Maurin's sub-division, blocks 24-25 and 27, 1892; Maurin's re-sub-divi- 
sion, blocks 24-25 and 27, 1895; Muggli's sub-division block 14, 1909. 

Rockville. Rockville townsite, 1856; Garding's addition, 1911. 

Eden Valley. Auditor's sub-division No. 1, S.W. % S.W. 14? section 35, 
township 122, range 31, 1893; Auditor's sub-division No. 6, lot 8, Auditor's 
sub-division No. 1, 1902 ; Eden Valley Cemetery, N.E. % N.B. %, section 34, 
township 122, range 31, 1905; Smith and Sias' adidtion to out lots, 1894; 
Smith's addition to out lots, 1891 ; Tomper's addition to out lots, 1906. 

Kimball Prairie (also Kimball). Brower's addition to Kimball, 1910; 
Brower's second addition to Kimball, 1911; Kimball Cemetery, 1895; Kimball 
Prairie, 1887; Patten's first addition, 1890. 

Fair Haven, 1857 ; Fair Haven Cemetery, 1866 ; Clearwater, 1857 ; Accacia 
Cemetery, Clearwater, 1867; Breckenridge, Toombs county, Minn., 1865; Bur- 
lington, 1857; Cobbaconse, 1855; Desota, 1857; Detroit, 1857; Elrosa, 1908; 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 169 

Eslarn, 1907; Park addition, 1907; Fremont City, 1857; Grand Rapids, 1857; 
Hartford, 1857; Lourissaville, 1857; Linden Hill, Marysville, 1856; Minnewawa, 
1856 ; Grand Lake Park, 1906 ; Moritz Park, 1908 ; Nenah, 1856 ; North Star 
Cemetery, 1864, Oakland Cemtery, 1873 ; Oleon, 1855-56 ; Otter Tail City, 1856 ; 
Pearl Lake Park, 1912; Perseverance City, 1857; St. Nicholas, 1912; St. Steph- 
ens, 1907 ; Spring Park, 1908 ; Staples Cemetery, 1878 ; Sunny Side, 1905 ; Wa- 
dena, 1857; Waite Park, 1890; Winnebago, 1856; Woodstock, 1857; Yarmouth, 
1858. 

FORGOTTEN NAMES AND PLACES. 

In the early days the mania for laying out townsites with the buoyant 
expectation of getting rich quick from the sale of town lots was very preva- 
lent. New towns, or lands for new towns, were platted almost regardless of 
any possible opportunity for their development. Scarcely any township in 
the county was left without having planted within its borders the seed for a 
coming city. Comparatively few of these seeds germinated, and the land 
which had been taken for lots was soon devoted to the more wise and profitable 
use of raising grain and grazing cattle. To most of the present generation 
even the names of these early toAvnsites are wholly unknown, as the subjoined 
list compiled from the county records will show : 

Neenah was platted in section 13, township of St. Augusta, on Johnson's 
creek and southerly of present hamlet of St. Augusta. 

Fremont City was situated south and southwesterly of and adjoining the 
present townsite of Clearwater. 

Leedstone was a townsite platted in section 35, township of St. Martin, on 
the present site of the village of St. Martin. 

Stony-Brook Crossing was never platted as a townsite, name derived from 
the crossing of Stony creek. This was the first stopping place for Spring Hill 
for stages at F. W. Lenz's Hotel which was also the postoffice. 

Grand Rapids, surveyed by George N. Propper, July 24, 1857, and as 
nearly as can be ascertained was situated on both sides of Sauk river where 
the railroad and wagon bridges now cross in the township of St. Cloud near 
Waite 's farm. 

Hartford, surveyed by M. P. Noel, January 31, 1857, and as nearly as can 
be ascertained was situated on the north side of Sauk river nearly opposite 
the present site of the village of Rockville. 

Munich, surveyed by Sebastian Wimmer, March, 1858, was situated in 
section 7, township of Oak, surrounding Starnberger's (now Frevel's) lake 
and just northerly of the present site of New Munich. 

Perseverance City, surveyed by M. P. Noel, December, 1857, was situated 
in section 35, township of St. Joseph, and on the northerly side of Pleasant 
lake. 

Sauk City, surveyed by J. H. Place, June, 1850, and situated in the south- 
east corner of the town of Le Sauk. 

Minnewawa, surveyed by T. B. Titus, April 28, 1857, situated in section 17 
and 20, township 123, range 27, being in the towns of St. Augusta and Lynden. 
A levee was located at this place on the Mississippi. 



170 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Winnebago, surveyed by William Dwelley, November, 1856, situated in 
the town of Le Sauk and directly north of the present site of the village of 
Sartell. 

Woodstock, surveyed by I. M. Lackey, July 1, 1857, situated on and around 
the bend in Sauk river at Waite Park. This townsite took in a part of the pres- 
ent village of Waite Park. 

Yarmouth, surveyed by M. P. Noel, February 10, 1858, situated in section 
3, town of Maine Prairie, between Otter Tail (now Grand) lake and Pearl lake, 
being on the northwesterly shore of Pearl lake. 

Laurissaville, surveyed by R. H. C. Noel, May 18, 1857. As nearly as can 
be ascertained this townsite was located in the Sauk river valley about 40 
miles from St. Cloud near what was known as the "Yankee Settlement." This 
was at the point of junction of Hughes creek (believed to be what is now 
called Hoboken creek) with Sauk river about five miles southeasterly of the 
city of Sauk Centre. This was a stopping place at a hotel conducted by one 
Stewart. The bridge crossing said creek is still known as Stewart's bridge. 

Burlington, 1857, situated at the junction of Pine river with the Mississippi 
river, Cass county; Cabbanonse, situated on the present site of Little Falls, 
Morrison county; De Soto, 1857, now known as Little Sauk, situated on the 
north side of Sauk lake, Todd county; Detroit, 1857, situated at the junction 
of Otter Tail river with Detroit lake; Marysville, 1856, situated in Wright 
county near Monticello ; Oleon, 1856, situated on the west bank of the Mis- 
sissippi river, at the mouth of Swan river, Cass county; Otter Tail City, 1856, 
situated at the junction of the Otter Tail river with Otter Tail lake ; Wadena, 
1857, situated on Crow Wing river, between Partridge and Leaf rivers; all 
of foregoing townsites were filed in the register of deeds office of Stearns 
county, presumably because these counties were attached to Stearns for ju- 
dicial and record purposes. 

The following hamlets and villages were formerly post office stations but 
have been discontinued on account of the establishing of rural routes; Isabel, 
town of Millwood ; Arban, town of Holding ; Opole, town of Brockway ; Brock- 
way, town of Brockway ; St. Anna, town of Avon ; Lake George, town of 
Lake George ; Lake Henry, town of Lake Henry ; Gates, town of Krain ; Maine 
Prairie, town of Maine Prairie ; St. Augusta, town of St. Augusta ; Tyrol, town 
of Raymond ; St. Wendall, town of St. Wendel ; Unity, town of Getty ; Farming, 
town of Farming ; Georgeville, town of Crow River ; Meire Grove Village, town 
of Grove ; and Spring Hill Village, town of Spring Hill. 

INDIAN NAMES. 

"Minnesota in Three Centuries" contains a chapter on "Names of Indian 
Derivation, ' ' by Warren Upham, secretary of the Minnesota Historical Society, 
in which are the following paragraphs having a local bearing: 

"One of oiir most interesting Indian names is that of the Watab river, 
tributary to the Mississippi from the west about five miles north of St. Cloud. 
This is the Ojibway word for the long and very slender roots of both the tama- 
rack and jack pine, which were dug by the Indians, split and used as threads 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 171 

in sewing their birch bark canoes. Both these coniferous trees grow on or 
near the lower part of the Watab. 

"The same name has also an historical interest from the former Watab 
trading post, about two miles and a half north from the mouth of the Watab 
river and on the opposite or eastern side of the Mississippi. During about ten 
years next following its establishment in 1848, Watab was the most important 
commercial place in Minnesota territory northwestward from St. Paul, but 
later, it was superseded by Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud, and before 1880 the 
village entirely disappeared. 

' ' In the same part of this state, the Sauk river, Sauk Rapids, Sauk Centre, 
the Sauk lakes and also Lake Osakis preserve a record of the former presence 
of Sauk or Sac Indians there." 



CHAPTER XIII. 

POLITICAL HISTORY. 

Steams Distinctly a Democratic County — Important Part Taken in Moves 
That Have Created the Government of the State and Nation — Statistics 
of the Various Elections — Men Who Have Been Placed in Office by Stearns 
County Votes — Interesting Side Lights on Political Events. 

From the days of its first organization, with but two or three exceptions, 
Stearns county has held its place consistently in the Democratic column, usu- 
ally rolling up large majorities. The Germans who make vip a great part of 
the citizenship are firmly rooted and grounded in the Democratic faith and 
usually stand by the ticket from top to bottom. The first election in the county 
of which there are any published returns (1858) was somewhat mixed, there 
being no political question at issue, and the result turned on the personal 
popularity of the candidates. W. H. Wood (Democrat), of Benton county; 
T. C. McClure (Independent Democrat), of Stearns county; and A. P. Whitney 
(Republican), of Meeker county, were elected to the lower house of the state 
legislature, but as no session was held they were not given an opportunity to 
serve. N. P. Clarke (Republican), was elected clerk of the district court over 
L. A. Evans (Democrat) by a vote of 450 to 284; John McDonald (Republican) 
for county auditor had 385 votes to 384 cast for Joseph Broker (Democrat) ; 
while J. H. Linneman was elected treasurer and Nicholas Smith surveyor with- 
out opposition. 

C. T. Stearns, H. Z. Mitchell and L. Gorton were delegates from Stearns 
county to the Republican State Convention held in St. Paul, July 20, 1859, 
which nominated Alexander Ramsey for governor, Ignatius Donnelly for lieu- 
tenant governor, J. H. Baker for secretary of state, Chas. Schaffer for state 
treasurer, Gordon E. Cole for attorney general, Cyrus Aldrich and William 
Windom for congress, and C. E. Vanderburgh for judge of the Fourth Judicial 
District. 

George L. Becker, of Ramsey county, was the Democratic candidate for 



172 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

governor and Sylvanus B. Lowry, of Stearns county, the candidate for lieu- 
tenant governor, and as this contest was along political lines the Democrats 
came out on top, their candidate for governor having 660 votes to 375 for 
the Republican nominee ; C. C. Andrews, for senator, receiving 628 votes to 
387 cast for Henry Swisshelm, his Republican opponent. The full Democratic 
county ticket was elected, except J. M. McKelvy, county attorney (Republican) 
who had no opposition. 

Among the speakers of national prominence who were heard in St. Cloud 
during this campaign was the Hon. Carl Schurz, of Wisconsin, who addressed 
a large meeting at "Wilson's hall, October 4, speaking in the interest of the 
Republican party, in both English and German. 

At the Republican state convention held in St. Paul February 22, 1860, 
Stephen Miller, of Stearns coimty, was elected to head the delegation to the 
Republican national convention to be held in Chicago May 16. The delegation 
was unanimous for William H. Seward, while Abraham Lincoln was nominated. 

In this campaign, which preceded the outbreak of the Civil War, Stearns 
county was represented on both the electoral tickets — Stephen Miller for the 
Republican and C. C. Andrews the Douglas-Democratic ticket. A series of 
joint debates was held by these two gentlemen in Stearns and adjoining coun- 
ties where both were personally well known. They were greatly dissimilar in 
their styles of oratory, the former having a great fund of anecdotes and 
speaking with much readiness, while the latter was careful and studied, never 
indulging in levity. Other speakers were William Windom (afterwards United 
States senator from Minnesota and secretary of the treasury) ; United States 
Senator Morton S. Wilkinson, Governor Alexander Ramsey and Lieutenant 
Governor Ignatius Donnelly. At the election Abraham Lincoln received 439 
votes, Stephen A. Douglas 482 and John C. Breckinridge 12. Seth Gibs, the 
Republican candidate for state senator, had 460 votes to 449 cast for William 
S. Moore, the Democratic candidate, while the Democratic candidates for the 
house of representatives had an average majority of 51. 

In the election of 1861 E. O. Hamlin, the Democratic candidate for gov- 
ernor, received 655 votes to 411 cast for Alexander Ramsey — the former's 
plurality as a prominent citizen of Stearns county adding to the natural polit- 
ical majority. At this election John Zapp, who ran as an independent candi- 
date for register of deeds, won his first election to an office which he held 
continuously for twenty -seven years. His opponents were J. W. Reed (Dem.) 
and O. S. Freeman (Rep.), the former receiving 313 votes and the latter 362, 
while Mr. Zapp had 382. For senator S. B. Lowry (Dem.) had 651 and Seth 
Gibs (Rep.) 405 votes. For representatives, the Democratic candidates re- 
ceived votes as follows : R. M. Richardson 634, Peter Roy 657, John Whipple 
660; the Republican candidates, Levi Wheeler 410, S. B. Cowdrey 420, W. E. 
Wright 397. The vote on sheriff stood : M. Lauerman (Dem.) 579 ; T. C. Alden 
(Rep.) 467. For treasurer, J. W. Tenvoorde (Dem.) 506, J. H. Proctor (Rep.) 
516. For county attorney, J. C. Shepley (Dem.) 489, J. M. McKelvy (Rep.) 
555. For judge of probate, L. A. Evans (Dem.) 684, S. B. Pinney (Rep.) 350. 
For coroner, B. Overbeck (Dem.) 651, W. T. Clark (Rep.) 401. For surveyoi*, 
J. H. Place (Dem.) 662, T. H. Barrett (Rep.) 396. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 173 

While Mr. Proctor received a majority of the votes cast for county treas- 
urer, yet the office was given to Mr. Tenvoorde. In order that a number of 
unlisted men at Maine Prairie might vote before going to Fort Snelling to 
join their regiment the polls were opened at an hour prior to that fixed by 
law, which the district court (Judge Vanderburg) held rendered these votes 
invalid and when they were thrown out the office went to the minority candi- 
date, which seemed to be rather hard on the men who were making every 
sacrifice to serve their country — but the letter of the law left the court no 
option in the matter. Two acts were submitted to voters at this election, one 
providing for new boundaries between Wright and Stearns counties and the 
■other to define the boundaries of Meeker county (adjoining Stearns), the for- 
mer receiving 713 votes for to 37 against, and the latter 549 for to 3 against. 

In the election of 1862 the Democratic and Republican tickets were headed 
by William J. Cullen and Ignatius Donnelly respectively, candidates for con- 
gress, the former receiving 573 and the latter 285 votes. 

A gubernatorial election was held the following year, the candidates being 
Henry T. Welles (Dem.) of Minneapolis, and Stephen Miller (Rep.) of St. 
Cloud, the vote standing 630 to 319. 

At the presidential election in 1864, George B. McClellan received 917 
and Abraham Lincoln 427 votes. 

In 1865 H. M. Rice was the Democratic and William R. Marshall the Re- 
publican candidate for governor, the former receiving 812 and the latter 335 
votes. 

The election in 1866 was for a member of congress, William Colville, the 
Democratic candidate, receiving 943 votes to 580 for Ignatius Donnelly, Re- 
publican. 

At the election in 1867 C. E. Flandrau, the Democratic candidate for gov- 
ernor, received 1,336 votes and William R. Marshall, the Republican candi- 
date, 794. At this election the payment of the old railroad bonds was sub- 
mitted to a vote of the people, the result in Stearns county being 12 for and 
2,031 against, and the proposition was overwhelmingly voted down in the 
state at large. At the same time the question of giving the right of suffrage 
to negroes was submitted, the vote being 662 for to 1,384 against. It is a 
matter worthy of notice that at this election the total vote cast in St. Louis 
county was only 41 — of which 28 were Republican and 11 Democratic. 

In January, 1868, "Grant Club No. 1 of Minnesota" was organized in St. 
Cloud for the declared purpose of "securing the nomination of General U. S. 
Grant for the presidency at the convention to be held in Chicago in May next, 
and when nominated, his election in November." General Grant was nomi- 
nated, his Democratic opponent being Horatio Seymour, the former receiving 
1,029 votes and the latter 1,524. It was at this election that the three-cornered 
congressional fight took place, as a result of the bitter attack made in the 
halls of congress by Ignatius Donnelly on Elihu Washburn, whose brother, 
William D. Washburn, was an active competitor of Mr. Donnelly's in the dis- 
trict. The candidates were E. M. Wilson (Dem.), Ignatius Donnelly (Rep.) 
and C. C. Andrews (Ind. Rep.). The division of the Republican vote in the 



174 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

district resulted in the election of Captain Wilson. The vote in this county 
was : Wilson, 1,484 ; Donnelly, 576 ; Andrews, 476. 

The election in 1869 was for governor, the Democratic candidate, George 
L. Otis, receiving 1,430 votes- and Horace Austin, Republican, 612. At this 
election the first temperance votes were cast in the county, Daniel Cobb, for 
governor, receiving 31 votes, of which 16 were cast at Maine Prairie, 7 at 
Fair Haven and 5 in St. Cloud city. 

In 1870 Ignatius Donnelly and John T. Averill were the opposing candi- 
dates for member of congress, the former as the Democratic candidate re- 
ceiving 1,238 and the latter, the Republican candidate, 569 votes. 

In 1871 Winthrop Young, the Democratic candidate for governor, re- 
ceived 1,728 votes to 523 for Horace Austin, his Republican opponent. 

The presidential year of 1872 increased the vote but reduced the Demo- 
cratic majority. The vote given Horace Greeley, who was not regarded as 
a very good Democrat, was 1,926, while 1,127 were cast for U. S. Grant. 

In 1873, A. Barton, for governor, on the Democratic ticket, received 1,564 
votes to 733 for C. K. Davis, the Repiiblican candidate. Samuel Mayall (Pro- 
hibition) received a total of 35 votes — 16 at Maine Prairie, 12 at St. Cloud, 
and 5 at Fair Haven. 

The following year the tickets were headed by W. Wilkin and S. J. R. 
McMillan, candidates for the supreme court, the former receiving 1,993 
and the latter 915 votes. 

In 1875, D. L. Buell, for governor, received 1,885 votes and John S. Pills- 
bury 677. The temperance vote this year fell off to 19. 

The Tilden-Hayes election in 1876 brought out a large vote, the former 
being given 2,413 votes to 1,116 for the latter. There were a number of towns 
in the county in these years which were very lonesome places for Republi- 
cans. Out of 76 votes in Albany but two were Republican; Grove, two out 
of 83 ; Luxemberg, two out of 66 ; Munson, 6 out of 129, while Farming cast 
52, Krain 31 and Millwood 33 straight Democratic votes. The Republican 
strongholds were Maine Prairie, North Fork and Sauk Centre. 

In 1877 W. L. Banning was the Democratic and J. S. Pillsbury the Re- 
publican candidate for governor, receiving 2,041 to 1,051 votes respectively. 
Six votes were cast at Eden Lake for the Greenback ticket, the total in the 
county. 

For state auditor in 1878 M. Black received 2,214 votes to 856 for 0. P. 
Whitcomb. 

The candidates for governor in 1879 were E. Rice and J. S. Pillsbury, 
whose votes were 2,270 and 913 respectively. 

For president in 1880 W. S. Hancock received 2,469 votes to 1,415 cast 
for James A. Garfield. Weaver, the Greenback candidate, received 24 votes 
at Eden Lake and 6 at Melrose. 

R. W. Johnson was the Democratic and L. F. Hubbard (both old soldiers) 
the Republican candidate for governor in 1881, the votes being 2,211 to 914. 

The Nelson-Kindred fight for congress was the event in the election of 
1882. The Republican county convention was held at the court house July 
5. The Nelson men being largely in the majority, the Kindred delegates bolted 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 175 

and adjourned to the "West House, where they elected W. F. Markus (then 
proprietor of the hotel), J. H. Taylor, C. W. Hogeborn and William McAllis- 
ter delegates to the district convention to be held at Detroit. The delegates 
elected by the regular convention were H. C. Waite, F. H. Dam, A. Barto and 
A. L. Elliott. After a bitter struggle at Detroit Knute Nelson received the 
Republican nomination, when C. F. Kindred ran as an independent candidate. 
The Democratic candidate for congress was E. P. Barnum, of Stearns county. 
The vote stood: Barnum 2,123, Nelson 1,359, Kindred 903 — the latter receiv- 
ing a number of Democratic votes. 

In 1883, A. Bierman, for governor, received 2,542 votes to 1,107 cast for 
L. F. Hubbard. Chas. E. Holt, the Prohibition candidate, received 143 votes, 
of which 63 were cast at Fair Haven, 22 at Maine Prairie, and 37 at St. Cloud. 

At the presidential election in 1884, 3,070 votes were cast for Grover 
Cleveland and 1,380 for James G. Blaine. The People's party became active 
in local politics this year. A legislative convention held at St. Augusta, Sep- 
tember 27, nominated James Colgrove, of Lynden, as a candidate for the legis- 
lature from the First district. The convention was composed largely of 
farmers. The convention for the Second district met at Paynesville, but ad- 
journed without making a nomination, the two candidates being D. E. Myers, 
of Maine Prairie, and Alexander Chisholm, of Paynesville. J. Hi. Bowen, of 
Sauk Centre, was nominated for the Fourth district. 

In 1886, A. A. Ames, for governor, received 3,869 votes and A. R. McGill 
1,361. The Stearns County Farmers' Alliance completed a permanent organ- 
ization at a meeting held at Spring Hill, July 10, with David Cleveland, of 
Getty, president; Kittle Halvorson, of North Fork, vice-president; E. H. At- 
wood, of Maine Prairie, secretary; J. H. Boylan, of Paynesville, treasurer. 
The resolutions adopted at the Brainerd Republican congressional convention, 
shorn of their partisan features, were adopted. 

A very exciting congressional contest in the Republican ranks in the 
Fifth district marked the year 1888. The district convention was held in St. 
Cloud June 12 and 13. The candidates for the nomination were A. Barto, of 
Stearns county; C. B. Buckman, of Morrison; S. G. Comstock, of Clay; E. E. 
Corliss, of Otter Tail ; 0. P. Stearns, of St. Louis. The first ballot stood : 
Barto, 26 ; Stearns, 27 ; Comstock, 18 ; Buckman, 15 ; Corliss, 13. Twenty -five 
ballots were taken the first day with but little change, except as to Judge 
Stearns, whose vote on the last ballot had dropped to 15. The following day 
Barton had his 26 votes, which he held until the 39th ballot ; Comstock had 27 ; 
Buckman 15, and Corliss 15. On the 28th ballot C. H. Graves, of Duluth, 
appeared with one vote, which later increased to 15. Judge Stearns dropped 
out after the 31st ballot. On the 45th ballot S. G. Comstock received 50 votes, 
which gave him the nomination, the other candidates standing : Barto, 19 ; 
Corliss, 15 ; Graves, 14. At the election in November, this being a presiden- 
tial year, Grover Cleveland received 4,747 votes and Benjamin Harrison 2,174. 

In 1890 E. M. Wilson received 3,915 votes for governor and William R. 
Merriam 1,245. S. M. Owen, the Alliance candidate, received 889 votes, of 
which 135 were cast at North Fork, 75 at Holding, 72 at Crow River, 64 at 
Fair Haven, 53 at Crow Lake, and 169 at St. Cloud. J. P. Pinkham, Prohibi- 



176 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

tion, had 69 votes. The candidates for congress were Alonzo J. Whiteman, 
of St. Louis county, Democrat, who received 3,947 votes; S. G. Comstoek, of 
Clay county, Republican, 1,339 ; Kittle Halvorson, of Stearns county, Alliance, 
902. Mr. Halvorson was the successful candidate, and thus far has been the 
only member of congress to go from Stearns county. A Prohibition county 
convention was held at Paynesville May 31 of this year, at which W. A. 
Shoemaker, the Reverend C. W. Lawson, R. P. Gilbert and C. F. Farup were 
elected delegates to the state convention. 

In 1892 at the Republican convention for the Sixth district held at Duluth 
July 20, D. B. Searle, of St. Cloud, was nominated for congress. At the Novem- 
ber election for president the nine candidates for election on the Democratic- 
Fusion ticket were divided, five being Democratic and four Fusion. The 
vote was 4,461 for the Grover Cleveland electors and 4,446 for the Fusion, 
while Benjamin Harrison, the Republican candidate, received 1,624 votes. 
The vote for congressman stood: M. R. Baldwin (Dem.), 4,154; D. B. Searle 
(Rep.), 1,963; A. C. Parsons (People's), 546. 

At the 1894 election, the tickets being headed by the candidates for 
governor, George L. Becker received 3,657 votes, Knute Nelson 2,032, and 
Sidney M. Owen (People's party), 1,479. In the congressional race M. R. 
Baldwin, who was the candidate for re-election, received 4,239 votes ; Charles 
A. Towne, who at this time entered on his first term as a Republican, 1,918, 
and Kittel Halvorson, 989. 

The presidential campaign of 1896 was one of the most exciting in the 
political history of the country. It introduced the 16-to-l free coinage of sil- 
ver issue, which split the ranks of both the great parties. At the Republican 
national convention held in St. Louis, June 18, the platform adopted declared 
in favor of maintaining the gold standard and opposing the free coinage of 
silver except by international agreement. Senators Teller of Colorado, Petti- 
grew of South Dakota, and Cannon of Utah, with other delegates favoring free 
silver, withdrew from the convention amid the most intense excitement. Wil- 
liam McKinley, of Ohio, was nominated for president, and A. J. Hobart, of 
New Jersey, for vice-president. 

The Democratic national convention met at Chicago and on July 10, on 
the fifth ballot, nominated William J. Bryan, of Nebraska, for president, 
following his speech declaring that "you shall not crucify the Democratic 
party on a cross of gold." Arthur J. Sewall, of Maryland, was nominated 
July 13 on the fifth ballot for vice-president. The platform declared in favor 
of the free and unlimited coinage of silver at the ratio of 16 to 1. The Gold 
Democrats bolted the convention. 

At St. Louis, July 25, the Populist national convention nominated W. J. 
Bryan for president on the first ballot, with Thomas F. Watson, of Georgia, 
for vice-president, Mr. Sewall, the Democratic candidate, not being accept- 
able. The platform contained a free silver plank. 

The Gold Democrats held a national convention at Indianapolis, Ind., 
September 3, placing John M. Palmer, United States senator from Illinois, in 
nomination for president, and General Simon Boliver, of Kentucky, for vice- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 177 

president, on a platform declaring for the single gold standard. The party 
was known as the National Democratic party. 

Stearns county was represented in all three of the national conventions — 
in the Republican by C. F. Hendryx, of Sauk Centre; in the Democratic by 
"W. P. Remer, of St. Cloud; and in the Populist by P. J. Seberger and J. V. 
Mayhew, of St. Cloud. 

Charles A. Towne, of Duluth, elected to congress from the Sixth district 
on the Republican ticket, at once severed his connection with the party and 
became an ardent and one of the most effective champions of free silver. 
Other leading Republicans in the state who renounced their allegiance to the 
party on this issue were John Lind, S. M. Owen, Frank Day, F. M. Nye and 
John Day Smith. The Democratic party was also badly rent, among the se- 
ceders being Judge Charles E. Flandrau, Judge Thomas Wilson, D. W. Law- 
ler and other party leaders. 

The Republican Sixth district convention met in St. Cloud July 16 and 
unanimously nominated Judge Page Morris, of Duluth, for congress, W. E. 
Culkin, of Wright county, who had been a candidate, withdrawing and being 
made chairman of the convention. A ratification meeting held July 24 was 
addressed by Judge Morris and Congressman J. T. MeCleary. 

The Populist district convention held in St. Cloud August 25 placed 
Charles A. Towne in nomination by acclamation, the vote being unanimous. 

Two days later the Democratic district convention at St. Cloud also nom- 
inated Mr. Towne, who, with John Lind, the Democratic candidate for gov- 
ernor, addressed a ratification meeting that evening. 

The local campaign was hard fought on both sides, which equally had de- 
fections. The Republicans who joined the free silver ranks included H. C. 
Waite, Dr. W. T. Stone, A. Barto, A. F. Robertson and H. S. Locke, while 
among the Democrats who affiliated with the National Democratic party were 
D. T. Calhoun, Theodore Bruener, P. B. Gorman, Henry Keller, John Zapp 
and B. W. How. Many voted the Republican ticket in November to give more 
certain effect to their opposition to free silver. The local committee issued 
an address September 16, and established headquarters in charge of B. Rein- 
hard. The Republicans secured a monster tent, capable of seating eighteen 
hundred people, in which to hold their meetings, while the Democrats and 
Populists fitted up the Fibreware building for that purpose. Sound money 
clubs and free silver clubs were organized throughout the county, each party 
sending out speakers to carry forAvard their respective propagandas. Among 
the speakers of national prominence who were heard in St. Cloud were, Wil- 
liam J. Bryan and Congressman Towne, who came in a special train October 
13 and spoke at Empire Park, Mr. Bryan being accompanied by Mrs. Bryan 
and members of the Democratic national committee, and W. H. Harvey ("Coin 
Harvey") who spoke for that party. The Republicans had a large repre- 
sentation, including General 0. 0. Howard, General Alger, General Steward, 
General Daniel E. Sickles, Corporal Tanner and A. C. Rankin, of Pennsylvania, 
the "Molder Orator." The national Democratic cause was advocated by 
General Buckner, Ex-Governor Roswell P. Flower, of New York, and others. 



178 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

The campaign brought a number of speakers of only less extended reputation, 
and there were the usual processions and out-door demonstrations. 

At the election November 3, W. J. Bryan received 4,911 votes, William 
McKinley 2,873 and John M. Palmer 142. For governor John Lind had 5,185 
and D. M. Clough 2,675 votes. For congressman C. A. Towne received 5,266 
and Page Morris 2,991, the latter being elected by a majority of 740 in the 
district. It is a noteworthy fact that of the Republicans of state prominence 
who left their party at this time, a large majority continued to be members 
of the Democratic party, while of the Democrats who bolted Mr. Bryan prac- 
tically all returned to the fold. 

At this election a proposition to issue bonds for a new county court 
house was defeated by a vote of 1,988 to 5,285. 

In 1898 the Democrats elected their first governor since the days of 
Henry H. Sibley, the first governor after the organization of Minnesota as 
a state in 1858. The candidates were John Lind and W. H. Eustis, Stearns 
county giving Mr. Lind, the successful candidate, 4,031 votes to 1,900 for 
Mr. Eustis. Kittel Halvorson, of Stearns county, was the People's party can- 
didate for lieutenant-governor. The contest for member of congress at this 
election was very close. Page Morris, the Republican candidate, being elected 
by a majority of 463 in the district over Charles A. Towne, who had the 
Democratic-Populist nomination. The vote in Stearns county was 3,671 for 
Towne to 2,456 for Morris. 

In 1900 the People's party congressional convention for the Sixth dis- 
trict was held in St. Cloud September 4 and nominated Henry Truelson, of 
Duluth, as its candidate for congress. At Aitkin the following day he received 
also the Democratic nomination, this over the protest of the St. Louis county 
delegation, whose candidate was C. 0. Baldwin. P. J. Seberger, of St. Cloud, 
became by petition the congressional candidate of the Middle-of-the-Road 
Populists. This was again a presidential year, W. J. Bryan receiving 4,244 
votes and "William McKinley 2,460. The gubernatorial contest was between 
John Lind and Samuel R. VanSant, the former receiving 4,552 and the latter 
2,190, defeating Mr. Lind in the state at large. The vote on congressman was : 
Henry Truelson, 4,522 ; Page Morris, the Republican candidate, 2,677 ; Peter 
J. Seberger, 122. 

In 1902, for governor, L. A. Rosing had 3,492 votes and S. R. VanSant 
2,350; Meighen (Populist), 46; Scanlon (Prohibition), 49; VanLear (Social- 
ist Labor), 20. 

In 1904, Stearns county, on national issues, gave a Republican majority 
of 224 to Theodore Roosevelt over Alton B. Parker, the Democratic candidate, 
the vote in the county being 2,849 for Roosevelt to 2,625 for Parker. At the 
same time the average Democratic majority in the county was 1,388. This 
was the year of the Johnson-Dunn gubernatorial contest, following the bitter 
fight between Judge L. W. Collins and R. C. Dunn for the Republican nomina- 
tion, when the Democrats of Minnesota again elected their candidate for gov- 
ernor. The vote in the county was 4,303 for John Johnson to 1,469 for R. C. 
Dunn. 

Governor Johnson was re-elected in 1906, Stearns county giving him 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 179 

4,158 votes to 1,247 for Albert L. Cole. In this campaign P. M. Magnusson, 
of St. Cloud, was the Democratic candidate for secretary of state. 

William J. Bryan for president in 1908 received 3,835 votes, while 2,614 
were cast for William H. Taft. Governor Johnson, as a successful third-term 
candidate for governor, received 4,879 votes as against 1,881 for Jacob Jacob- 
son, the Republican candidate. 

The year 1910 saw Stearns county again going Republican, giving A. 0. 
Eberhart 3,124 votes to 2,297 for James A. Gray, the Democratic candidate. 
This result was due to the fact that the latter was running on a county option 
platform, which was not popular with the party in this county. 

In 1912 the vote on president was divided among three candidates — 
Woodrow Wilson, 3,378 ; W. H. Taft, 1,155 ; Theodore Roosevelt, 1,762. The 
vote for governor was : Peter U. Ringdahl, 3,137 ; A. 0. Eberhard, 1,759 ; P. V. 
Collins (Progressive), 600. 

The six gubernatorial candidates in the field in 1914 received votes as fol- 
lows: Winfield S. Hammond, Democrat, 5,280; William E. Lee, Republican, 
1,811; Tom J. Lewis, Socialist, 149; Willis C. Calderwood, Prohibition, 226; 
Hugh T. Halbert; Progressive, 40; Herbert Johnson, Industrial Labor, 96. 
The vote on congressman was : J. A. DuBois, Democrat, 4,777 ; Chas. A. Lind- 
bergh, Republican, 2,029; Thomas Sharkey, Progressive, 303; O. M. Thoma- 
son. Socialist, 234. 

The total vote in Stearns county in 1858, when the county was divided 
into nine towns, was 734. The following table shows the votes cast during 
the succeeding years by the two leading parties, with the total vote and the 
majority : 

Year Democratic Republican Total Majority 

1859 660 375 1035 285 

1860 494 438 932 56 

1861 655 411 1066 244 

1862 573 285 858 288 

1863 630 319 949 311 

1864 917 427 1344 490 

1865 812 335 1147 477 

1866 925 600 1525 325 

1867 1336 794 2130 542 

1868 1524 1030 2554 494 

1869 1430 612 2042 818 

1870 1238 560 1798 678 

1871 1728 523 2251 1205 

1872 1924 1127 3051 797 

1873 1564 733 2297 831 

1874 1993 915 2908 1078 

1875 1885 677 2562 1208 

1876 2413 1117 3530 1296 

1877 2041 1051 3092 990 

1878 2214 856 3070 1358 



180 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Year Democratic Republican Total Majority 

1879 2270 913 3183 1357 

1880 2469 1415 3884 1054 

1881 2211 914 3125 1297 

*1882 2123 2262 3385 —139 

1883 2542 1107 3649 1435 

1884 3072 1381 4453 1691 

1886 3869 1361 5230 2508 

1888 4747 2173 6920 2574 

1890 3915 1245 5160 2670 

1892 4461 1624 6085 2837 

1894 3657 2032 5689 1625 

1896 4911 2873 7784 2038 

1898 4061 1900 5961 2161 

1900 4244 2460 6704 1784 

1902 3492 2350 5842 1142 

1904 2625 2849 5474 —224 

1906 4158 1247 5405 2911 

1908 3835 2614 6449 1421 

1910 2297 3124 5421 —827 

1912 3137 1759 4996 1378 

1914 5280 1811 7091 3469 

*The Republican total includes the votes cast for both Knute Nelson 
(1,359) and C. F. Kindred (902). 

The first political meeting held in St. Cloud of which there is any avail- 
able record, was on April 8, 1858, at Wilson's hall. John L. Wilson was 
president and L. A. Evans, secretary. The great issue at the time was the 
admission of Kansas, with or without slavery. An act of congress had been 
passed repealing the Missouri compromise which prohibited slavery within 
the territorial limits occupied by Kansas and Nebraska. A constitution had 
been adopted by a convention held at Lecompton, Kansas, permitting slavery 
within the state, and at the various elections preceding and subsequent to this 
there were many bloody encounters between the free-state and pro-slavery 
parties, the latter including large numbers of men heavily armed, who crossed 
the border from Missouri. This meeting was called an "administration meet- 
ing." Resolutions were introduced by J. C. Shepley expressing "unswerv- 
ing confidence in the honesty and capacity of James Buchanan, the chief 
magistrate of the United States," and favoring the admission of Kansas 
under the provisions of the bill, which would permit slavery to be intro- 
duced. Speeches were made by Mr. Shepley, W. A. Caruthers, register of 
the United States land ofSce, at Sauk Rapids, and John L. Wilson in support 
of the resolutions, which were adopted. 



HISTOKY OF STEARNS COUNTY 181 

CHAPTER XIV. 

IN THE EARLY DAYS. 

General Christopher C. Andrews Tells of Pioneer Times in Minnesota — Youth- 
ful Ventures — Arrival at St. Paul — Stage Trip to Crow Wing — Settling 
at St. Cloud — Reminiscences of the Pioneers — Frontier Experiences — 
Social Diversions — Recruits Raised for Civil War — Biography. 

I shall not relate as much of my experience previous to reaching Minne- 
sota as ^neas did of his wanderings before arriving at Italy, but I may be 
allowed a few words. 

When the bill passed Congress early in 1854, organizing the territories 
of Kansas and Nebraska, I was, at the age of twenty-four, earning my living 
in the practice of law in Boston. I, however, felt the spell of the great West, 
and drove my stake as a settler in Kansas as early as June, 1854, my library 
following by way of the Great Lakes. At the first public opportunity, I de- 
clared I would vote to make Kansas a free state. I had always held the pre- 
vailing conservative views of northern people on slavery, — non-interference 
and non-agitation of slavery in the states where it existed, but opposition to 
its extension, and my position on it in Kansas was respected even by pro- 
slavery people. There were so few settlers I could not earn a living by my 
profession and I spent much of my time writing letters on the resources of 
Kansas to northern papers to encourage free-state immigration. 

In December I went to Washington, intending to stay only during the 
short session of Congress, but immediately became ill there with typhoid fever 
and was not able to work till March. This so reduced my finances that I had 
to seek employment in the public service, and through the kindness of Presi- 
dent Pierce, who was a native of the same town as myself and had known me 
from boyhood, I obtained a clerkship at $1,400 a year in the office of the solici- 
tor of the treasury, finally being assigned to duty as acting law clerk. It was 
through a friend I had made in Kansas (a son of General Hamer, of Ohio), 
that I learned of a vacancy. Two years passed; and though I enjoyed my 
position and had good prospects of promotion, I longed for western life. 
Kansas was full of turmoil. I could not afford to go back there. I there- 
fore came to Minnesota the fall of 1856 to take a look at the country, intend- 
ing, if I liked it, to resign and remove here the following spring. 

Among the passengers on the steamboat, Lady Franklin, which brought 
me to St. Paul, October 3, 1856, was Sylvanus B. Lowry, a resident of St. 
Cloud and proprietor of the upper part of the town, commonly called Lowry 's 
addition, and whose acquaintance I made. He was a native of Tennessee. 
His father, Rev. David Lowry, had, for several years, been a Cumberland 
Presbyterian missionary to the Winnebago Indians and he himself had been 
a trader to the Winnebagos. He was a man of medium height, but a little 
above medium weight, was about thirty-five years of age, had an uncommonly 
fine intellectual forehead, light blue eyes, wore his hair somewhat long in 



182 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

the then southern style, and brushed behind his ears, was very intelligent, 
bright and kindly and dignified in his manners. He had served in the terri- 
torial council of Minnesota, had the rank of general in the territorial militia, 
and was commonly known as General Lowry. He introduced me in St. Paul 
to several people, and among them to Governor Ramsey and Earle S. Good- 
rich, then editor of the Pioneer and Democrat. 

I stopped at the Fuller House, a very fine new hotel, which had just been 
opened, from Friday morning till Monday morning. There were a number 
of guests from the South. At the Sunday dinner, many of the guests had 
champagne. The waiters wore dress coats with gilt buttons. I was surprised, 
during my stay in the city, at the general appearance of prosperous times 
and abundance of money. A real estate boom in Minnesota was then on. 
During these days I took a look at Minneapolis and St. Anthony Falls. 

The longest stage line out of St. Paul at that time was to Crow Wing 
and which I selected, as it would give me a chance to look at St. Cloud. At 
five o'clock the morning of October 6, in St. Paul, I boarded a six-horse stage 
that was due at Watab the same evening. The weather being quite warm 
and the stage crowded, it did not arrive there on time. Among the passen- 
gers were General Lowry and William A. Carruthers, of Tennessee, afterwards 
register of the U. S. land office at Sauk Rapids and St. Cloud. We had a late 
breakfast at St. Anthony and dinner at Big Lake. It was eleven o 'clock when 
we reached Sauk Rapids and many of the people, including Charles A. Gil- 
man, were at the postoffice waiting for the mail. It was midnight when the 
stage reached Watab. In the little hotel, kept by David Oilman, there was 
neither vacant room nor bed, and I slept down stairs on a lounge with ray 
overcoat buttoned up. Some new frame buildings were being erected at 
Watab, and affairs seemed to be going with a rush. Parker H. French was 
one of the residents. 

The next morning I was off in good season on the two-horse stage for 
Crow Wing, with a young German driver. I had been impressed by several 
of the enterprising villages, including Anoka, and was so with Little Falls, 
which already had a wooden-ware mill of which Mr. Fergus, for whom Fergus 
Falls was named, was one of the proprietors. At Fort Ripley was a company 
of U. S. infantry, and we crossed over to it with the mail on a ferry boat. 
Crow Wing was a small village with many Chippewa Indians in the vicinity, 
on the east bank of the Mississippi, opposite the mouth of Crow Wing river, 
and I stayed there till Friday morning at Allen Morrison's, the only public 
house. Stores were kept by C. H. Beaulieu, J. D. Crittenden and Fairbanks 
brothers, whose acquaintance I made. Mr. Crittenden was afterwards colonel 
and assistant quartermaster of volunteers in the Civil War. I went on horse 
back six miles beyond Crow Wing to the agency ; also two miles further and 
visited the Chippewa chief, Hole-in-the-day, who, at that time, like very many 
other Indians, under the infiuence of the then commissioner of Indian affairs, 
George W. Manypenny, was showing real zeal in farming. When I got to his 
place, Hole-in-the-day was just coming out of his cornfield, — it was an unusu- 
ally warm autumn — which was well matured and of good size. He did not 
appear himself to have been at work, for he had on broadcloth trousers. I 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 183 

accepted his invitation to go into his house and had a talk with him through 
his interpreter. There were two Indian women working in the room. He 
invited me to stop to dinner, but I had to decline. On this horseback trip, I 
was for the first time in the pine woods of Minnesota. 

On my homeward trip, from Crow Wing, I reached Watab at seven p. m., 
October 10, and there found the carriage and driver of General Lowry with an 
invitation to come down and spend the night at liis house in St. Cloud. This 
I gladly accepted, and had a pleasant visit. W. A. Carruthers and another 
young man, from Tennessee, were his guests at the time. General Lowry 's 
residence fronted and pleasantly overlooked the Mississippi, just below the 
Sauk rapids. After breakfast the next morning, he drove with me down into 
the middle part of St. Cloud, so as to give me a good view of the town, and 
then took me over the river on the ferry so that I could take the stage for 
St. Paul. Two of the things that favorably impressed me with St. Cloud was 
its fine elevation of about sixty feet above the river and its handsome belt of 
hardwood timber bordering the river. But perhaps the fact of there being a 
United States land office near by, which would afford business in my profes- 
sion, was what mostly induced me to finally locate there. St. Cloud, at that 
time, was supposed to have a population of 500. 

I wrote some letters descriptive of what I saw on this trip, which were 
printed in the Boston Post, and which I revised and had published in book 
form in 1857. A second edition of a thousand copies with a new map was 
published in 1858. I obtained considerable information for my revised letters 
from Henry M. Rice, the territorial delegate in Congress from Minnesota. 

I assisted Mr. Rice a little in Washington in passing the bill by Congress, 
granting several million acres of land to Minnesota for railroads. I wrote 
and had printed as an editorial in the Washington Union, — the administration 
paper — an article in favor of the grant. When the bill was under considera- 
tion, I was at his side and in some sense his adjutant, going and coming be- 
tween the House and Senate with messages to different members. 

The spring of 1857 came, and with it my fixed purpose to resign my clerk- 
ship and locate in Minnesota. It was in the month of May that I took my 
letter of resignation to Howell Cobb, secretary of the treasury; and as the 
good people of Stearns county elected me to the Senate within two and a half 
years after I settled there, they will not object to my saying that Mr. Cobb 
expressed regret at my resigning and voluntarily said that as a mark of con- 
fidence he would retain me as attorney in a case pending in Minnesota, which 
he did, although the fee was not large. 

I went and said good-bye to President Buchanan, and told him where I 
was going. He shook my hand kindly and said, "God bless you." 

On reaching St. Paul, May, 1857, I went by boat for the purpose of see- 
ing more of the territory, up the Minnesota river to Mankato, and by team 
out on different directions from that place. 

I went from St. Anthony Falls to St. Cloud by steamboat, landed at the 
lower town and stopped for some days at the Stearns House, kept by C. T. 
Stearns for whom Stearns county was named. Afterwards I took a room and 
board at the hotel kept by Mr. Willis, in the middle part of the town. There 



184 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

was a part of Lowry 's addition I liked very much as a site for the office build- 
ing I intended to erect, because it afforded a good view of the Mississippi 
river. So I bought a lot there and contracted in writing for the putting up 
of the building. "When the work was progressing, I was greatly surprised to 
see the carpenters nailing clapboards on the bare scantling, without first hav- 
ing nailed boards on, and remonstrated against it. They turned to the con- 
tract, which read, that the walls of the building should be "sided." I knew 
that siding meant clapboarding, but supposed it implied that the clapboards 
should be put upon boards. They said, "The way we are doing is the way 
buildings are erected here." Although my office building was to be lathed 
and plastered inside, I felt sure it would not be warm enough without being 
boarded, but as the work was so far advanced and to avoid dispute, I let it 
go on. The ceiling of my office room was unusually high, and although I had 
a good-sized box-shaped stove, I suffered, the ensuing winter, considerable 
inconvenience from cold. The next season I had the walls of the building 
filled with sawdust, a drum put on my stove, and was much more comfortable. 
In the rear of my office room was a good sized bedroom where I slept, and in 
front, a porch. As I sat at my office table, I could look upon the Mississippi 
river distant, as I recollect, about four hundred yards. 

In mentioning, as I will now try to do, the names of some of the people 
then living in St. Cloud, I shall reluctantly omit some excellent persons whose 
faces I remember but whose names I cannot recall. 

At that time, General S. B. Lowry had gone to Paris, accompanied by 
Dr. B. R. Palmer, and as I have supposed, to consult the best medical author- 
ity. He once told he he felt a ringing in his head which may have been the 
forerunner of the unfortunate malady that later afflicted him. I saw him in 
September immediately after his return, but he did not look strong. At his 
house were living his father and mother, their daughter and her husband. Rev. 
Thomas Calhoun, parents of an only son, who later became a most respected 
citizen and mayor of St. Cloud. Rev. Thomas Calhoun was active, carrying 
on the Lowry farm and occasionally assisted his father-in-law in conducting 
religious services held at first in a hall on the upper levee, and where I heard 
Mr. Eggleston, of Indiana, then a mere boy, later an author, once preach. 
The saddest thing that occurred at St. Cloud the winter of 1857-58, was the 
tragic death of Rev. Thomas Calhoun. The bridge over the ravine between 
middle and lower town, had but a slight railing, and as Mr. Calhoun and his 
wife were driving across it, their horse shied and with the sleigh suddenly 
went over it, instantly killing Mr. Calhoun and injuring Mrs. Calhoun sO that 
she was a very long time recovering. 

Mr. Jones, Mrs. Lowry 's brother, was then living with the family. He was 
a stout man, weighing over 200 pounds, fifty years old, wore his hair and 
beard long, and if not unbalanced in mind, was at least eccentric, though in- 
offensive. He managed to speak at about every public meeting and was often 
witty and always taking the side of the poor and treating with sarcasm those 
who thought themselves too important. Sometimes, for an interlude when 
speaking, he would pause and resting his hands on the table before him, would 
jump up and down a few times, which was pretty sure to prove a diversion. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 185 

He had left St. Cloud some time before the Civil War, and I was surprised 
one forenoon about the first year of the war, when the Third Minnesota was 
on the march either in Kentucky or Tennessee and had halted a few minutes 
to rest, to see him. "We had but a minute to talk. He looked very serious, 
shook his head and pointed to the soldiers in a way which indicated that he 
thought we ought not to be down there. 

John L. "Wilson, who had platted middle St. Cloud, was one of its active 
residents. The two principal traders were Joseph Edelbrock and John "W. 
Tenvoorde, competitors in business and in politics. Mr. Tenvoorde's clerks 
were Ludwig Robbers and Chris Grandelrayer. A year or so later a larger 
store was opened by Henry C. Burbank, on the upper levee. Proctor & 
Clarke's hardware store was at the upper part of middle town, and their 
clerks then or soon after were Andrew Larson — of late years a banker at Will- 
mar — and John Zapp. Mr. Hartshorn had a store, his clerks being P. Lamb 
and William Blagrore. There were the Broker brothers, who had a store. 
Also, I think Louis A. Evans then had a stock of salt meat supplies. Nicholas 
Lahr, who had settled there in 1853 (and who is still living at the age of 83), 
was a plow manufacturer. Messrs. Kindler, Metzroth and Rosenberger were 
separately in business as tailors. Mr. Marlatt was the druggist. Mr. Cram 
and Mr. Brown, occupying considerable land, were living on the west shore 
of Lake George. Henry C. Waite, who had come first, and James C. Shepley, 
were the attorneys. A few months later George Barstow, brother-in-law of 
Mr. Shepley, and who had been prominent in New Hampshire, came and went 
into partnership with him. Mr. Barstow afterwards became speaker of the 
California House of Representatives. He was a short man, but had a fine- 
looking head and was an unusually eloquent orator. He and I drove to Little 
Falls together the following autumn and addressed a Democratic meeting. 

H. Z. Mitchell, J. E. West and partner, and the Taylor brothers, had gen- 
eral stores of merchandise in the lower town and with them and their families 
I early became acquainted. In the family of Mr. Mitchell, I first made the 
acquaintance of Mrs. Jane G. Swisshelm. Henry Swisshelm, her brother-in- 
law, established a general store during that or the following year, and Stephen 
Miller subsequently became his partner. There were quite a number of enter- 
prising young men then in the lower town, who I thought had come through 
the influence of George F. Brott, one of the principal owners of lower St. 
Cloud. Among these were Mr. Bradley, afterwards a wealthy lumberman in 
Wisconsin, and Charles F. Powell. 

Maine Prairie was already a thriving settlement, and among the settlers 
there whose names I remember were George W. Cutter and Mr. Greely. 
Joseph H. Linneman was the first trader in St. Joseph. Reuben M. Rich- 
ardson, who was elected to the state senate in 1857, lived at Richmond 
at the big bend of Sauk river. Mr. Lindberg was then, or soon after, a set- 
tler at Melrose. At Winnebago Prairie, twelve miles north of St. Cloud, were 
a number of thriving settlers, among them J. E. Hayward and the Libby 
brothers. 

" 'All aboard for Puget Sound!' That is what conductors on a railroad 
passing through St. Cloud will call out in a few years." This is what I heard 



186 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

George F. Brott say at an outdoor public meeting in front of the Willis Hotel, 
St. Cloud, Governor Ramsey being present, in 1857 or 1858. His prediction 
literally came true not many years afterward. Mr. Brott was then a little 
over thirty years old, of medium size, had black eyes and black curly hair, 
and was a good-looking, generous and enthusiastic man. He was interested 
in a number of town sites, including Breckenridge. That following winter, 
1857-58, Theodore H. Barrett was making a plat of the town of Breckenridge 
for Mr. Brott, and one day when I happened to be present with them, Mr. 
Brott turned to Barrett and said, "Name one of the streets for Andrews." 
That accounts for Andrews avenue in Breckenridge, which I am glad to say is 
a nice street, having on it many pleasant residences. Mr. Barrett's plat, which 
was handsome work, will be found hanging in one of the county offices at 
Breckenridge today. 

The first school-house built in St. Cloud was finished about the first of 
July. At my suggestion, it was named after Edward Everett, and was dedi- 
cated in the presence of as large an auditnce as the building could hold on 
July 4. I delivered an address which was printed in full in the St. Cloud 
paper and which was nicely reviewed by the Boston Daily Advertiser. I sent 
a copy of the address with a letter to Mr. Everett, to which he kindly replied 
and stated that he had directed that two hundred dollars worth of books be 
selected and sent as a library for the school. These books were duly received, 
and formed, as I believe, the nucleus of the St. Cloud public library. 

The first extensive trip I made from Stearns county was in the early 
part of September, 1857, a son-in-law of Rev. Thomas E. Inman (his name I 
cannot recall), being my driver. I went via Paynesville and Meeker and 
Wright counties, and was very favorably impressed by the fertility of the 
soil and handsomely diversified appearance of the surface, there being consid- 
erable hardwood timber as well as prairie. I was struck with the fact that 
fine fields of corn still stood green. My experience as a boy on a farm for sev- 
eral years, where I had done all kinds of farm work and watched the growth 
of different crops, enabled me, of course, to judge of the quality of the soil, 
which is something only a practical farmer can do. On this trip I returned 
by way of Anoka, where I delivered a political address. 

I had considerable land office practice that summer in preemption con- 
tests, but I was not a prompt collector for myself. The worst hard times I 
ever knew came in the early part of that winter. Money all at once seemed 
to disappear and I found it about impossible to collect much of anything that 
was due me. These hard times improved but very little until the time of the 
Civil War. 

We had, in the winter of 1857-58, severe and changeable weather. By 
about November 18, the temperature fell a good deal below zero. The Missis- 
sippi froze. Then in December there was a warm spell. The river opened and 
a gorge of broken ice formed, raising the water many feet, overflowing the 
upper town levee, and strewing the bluff sides with cakes of ice a foot or two 
thick. I remember that warm spell seeing one Sunday a cage of canary birds 
hanging out of the hotel window. The following spring was the most remark- 
able I have known. By the middle of March it was like summer. The glass 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 187 

was green, and at midday people sat out of doors. A steamboat arrived at 
St. Cloud from St. Anthony, March 26. I spaded up some of the ground on 
my lot and had radishes up in April. A fall of moist snow then came that 
month and covered them, but without doing any injury. That winter Mr. 
Hayes, receiver of the land office (and who had once been a member of Con- 
gress from Virginia), was enterprising enough to ship from his grist mill at 
the mouth of Sauk river, ten sled loads of flour to Superior, via Little Falls and 
the road north of Mille Lacs lake, connecting with the so-called Government 
road from St. Paul to Superior. 

I enjoyed the winter very much for I was busy. Before leaving Wash- 
ington, I had contracted with Messrs. Little & Brown, law publishers of Bos- 
ton, to write and compile a practical treatise on the revenue laws of the United 
States, and T was occupied on that work, sometimes being up till eleven o'clock 
at night. I had in my library a complete set of Curtis 's edition of the United 
States Supreme Court decisions, all the decisions of the United States Circuit 
Courts, the United States Statvites and all the circulars of instructions that 
had been issued on the revenue laws by the Treasury Department. The 
preparation of my digest of the opinions of the Attorneys General of the 
United States, which had been previously published in Washington, had given 
me experience in such work. My treatise on the revenue laws was duly com- 
pleted and was published by Little & Brown the following June. 

In May, 1858, I made a trip to Long Prairie, jvist to see the county, with 
Mathias Mickley for driver. We went by the way of the beautiful Sauk 
valley, fording the river near the home of a lame German, about where Mel- 
rose now is. I first waded across the river which was about five feet deep, 
and we took the horse and buggy over separately. At Long Prairie we staid 
over night at the home of Horatio P. Van Cleve, who was in charge of build- 
ings which had been purchased at public sale by some Ohio people at the time 
the Winnebago Indians were removed from Long Prairie to Blue Earth county. 
Mr. Van Cleve was a graduate of West Point Academy, had resigned from 
the army as lieutenant several years previously, and became, as is well known, 
colonel of the Second Minnesota Regiment of Infantry, U. S. Volunteers, and 
brigadier and brevet major general. We returned via Swan river, passing 
through a country mostly covered with hardwood timber, thence down the 
east side of the Mississippi. 

In the last half of July, I made a trip to the Red River of the North 
with a party of young men, among whom was William F. Mason, afterwards 
for many years a St. Paul business man, Alexander Kinkaid, and three others 
besides the driver whose names I cannot now recall, though one- was the son 
of one of the publishers of the New York Jovirnal of Commerce and who fur- 
nished one or two illustrated articles on his trip for Harper's Magazine. 
Our team consisted of three Indian pony horses and a wagon covered with 
white cloth, furnished by George F. Brott, and a young employe of his from 
Connecticut as driver. Our objective point was Mr. Brott 's townsite of Breck- 
enridge. We had favorable weather and the trip on the whole was pleasant 
and instructive. One of our party was a young man from Indiana who had 
a violin, and towards noon of our second day out, when he was playing on 



188 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

it and we were feeling quite happy, we struck a big overflow of Getchell's 
brook in Sauk valley. The brook, which in ordinary stage is probably only 
twenty feet wide, was overflowed to a width of two hundred feet or more. 
The current was strong and as we undertook to ford it, our team was wrecked. 
We were about two hours getting our team and efl'eets together and across on 
dry land. A fine navy revolver, which I had borrowed for the trip, sank, and 
when we had about finished our salvage work and I was getting across on 
a log with some of my clothing on my arm, my watch and an antique gold 
seal which I valued much, slipped out of my vest pocket into the stream. 
I hired a settler to dive for the articles, but he recovered only the revolver. 

Sauk Centre then had but two buildings. "We staid a day at a townsite 
called Kandotta, four or five miles west of Sauk Centre. After that we were 
on a trackless prairie. Mr. Kinkaid was our guide and several miles before 
reaching Alexandria, we turned southwesterly and approached Alexandria 
from the south. There were then only two log buildings on the site where the 
city of Alexandria now stands, and only eleven people living in the vicinity. 
We staid there a day or two as guests of Alexander and William Kinkaid, 
visiting, during the time. Long Prairie river, two miles distant, and a few of 
the beautiful lakes in the vicinity, and which were abundantly stocked with 
black bass. From thence on our party was reduced to only three, including 
the driver and myself. We first went south to strike the old Red river trail, 
and camped at a point where we had a view of White Bear lake. Thence 
our course was northwesterly, via Elbow lake. We crossed the upper fork 
of Red river over a bridge that had just been built by Mathew Wright, and 
staid over night at his house. He had come from Wisconsin and settled 
there the previous spring, and called his place Waseata. He brought his 
family there the following summer. He made valuable improvements, but 
was financially ruined by the Sioux Indian War in which he also lost a son. 

Breckenridge then had but one building, which was of logs. The soil 
all around looked very fertile. Some breaking was being done on the nearby 
prairie, and I had the pleasure of holding the plow for a few furrows. We 
had another young man for driver on the return trip — am sorry I cannot recall 
his name — the one who came with us having engaged to remain at Brecken- 
ridge. We returned by the old Red river trail. Somewhere east of Lake 
George, in crossing a slough, one of our Indian ponies sank down almost out 
of sight. We tried in vain both to pull and to pry him out. Finally we gave 
him a copious drink of none too good whiskey, which we happened to have 
along in case of accident, and in a few minutes, under the effect of the stimu- 
lant, he got out himself in good condition. 

Previous to this trip, I had habitually shaved my face, but of course 
did not take a razor along. My beard had now gotten such a start in course 
of two weeks that I discontinued shaving. 

The undulating surface of the new country I had seen, the black soil, 
the abundance of grass and variety of prairie flowers, the lakes skirted with 
timber and many fine bodies of hardwood timber, most favorably and strongly 
impressed me. I wrote letters descriptive of the country which were printed in 
the Boston Post. It may be that some letters were sent to the New York 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 189 

Evening Post, of which paper I was also later a correspondent ; as I also was 
for a year of the New York World under Manton Marble's management. 

Theodore H. Barrett, assisted, if I remember correctly, by William B. 
Mitchell and one of the Kinkaids, surveyed a state road from St. Cloud to 
Breckenridge, and which shortened the route very much. One winter after 
that I raised by subscription a small amount with which to purchase supplies 
and pay for labor in cutting out a portion at least of the roadway through the 
big timber immediately west of St. Joseph, and I employed Ephraim Curtis 
to do the cutting. I made one trip in a sleigh alone to where they were 
working. 

We had a course of lectures every winter, and one of the best lectures of 
the first course was delivered by Rev. Mr. Hall, of Sauk Rapids, on the Chip- 
pewa Indians, and which he did at my solicitation. Mr. Hall had come from 
Andover Seminary in 1831 to be missionary among the Chippewas. He said 
the old men and chiefs received him in a friendly manner, promising him a 
comfortable home and security; that they told him he might try and teach 
the young, but for themselves they would have to spend their time in hunting, 
as the traders would not take religion or education as pay for provisions. 

We had a little music occasionally for diversion. Louis A. Evans and 
James H. Place were good players on the violin. P. Lamb played on the 
flute, Mr. Tuttle of the lower town on the piano, and there was a man at 
Watab who played either on a clarionet or bugle. I had the pleasure of being 
a guest frequently when they met to play at different places, sometimes at 
Mr. Tuttle 's home, and the music was certainly very good. 

Up to 1851, the Sioux Indians had for centuries owned and occupied the 
country including Stearns county. They received only a meagre sum for the 
vast and fertile domain they sold, and as had been their habit for years, some 
of them continued frequently to visit and hunt in different parts of Stearns 
county. They were indeed rather too frequent visitors of some of the settlers, 
as they generally wanted to be fed. Once during the hard times when a big 
Sioux Indian called on George W. Cutter of Maine Prairie and wished some 
flour, Mr. Cutter took him into his pantry where he had an ampty flour barrel, 
and removing the cover pointed into it. The Indian looked down into the 
empty barrel and gave an utterance of sympathy. In November of 1859, 
a large party of Sioux, engaged in hunting deer, established their camp a 
little south of Cold Spring. They were slaughtering the deer in all direc- 
tions. The settlers sent in to St. Cloud, requesting that Gen. S. B. Lowry and 
myself would go out to their camp and try to have them leave. This we did, 
arriving at their camp just before dusk. There were a good many large tepees 
and a number of wagons and ponies. A number of little Indian boys were 
practising target firing with bows and arrows. They laughed on seeing us as 
if they were accustomed to seeing white people. We were taken in to one of 
the tepees where some fire was burning in the center, a few fresh deer skins 
lying about, and had a talk with some of the older Indians, General Lowry 
being able to converse with them in their own dialect. They were told of 
the settlers' feelings in regard to their presence, and they in a friendly manner 
promised to leave in a day or two, which they did. 



190 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

In 1860, Stephen Miller and I were candidates for presidential elector, he 
on the Republican ticket and I on the Douglas-Democratic ticket. At his 
invitation, I held with him over thirty joint political discussion in as many 
different places in the state, we both riding together in a one-horse buggy. 
In these discussion I argued that the Northern Democrats were as much op- 
posed to the extension of slavery as the Republicans, and were more patriotic 
in refraining from agitating the subject and thus creating bad feeling between 
the two sections of the country. Mr. Miller was a very impassioned and enter- 
taining speaker, and diversified his arguments with amusing anecdotes. He 
and I always remained good friends. I went into the war as a Democrat, but 
voted for Mr. Ramsey in 1861 for Governor; I also voted for Mr. Lincoln for 
President in 1864. It was in my tent in Texas in the summer of 1865, after 
reading a letter from the Chairman of the National Democratic Committee, 
recommending that all the negroes in the South be transported to Africa, 
that I decided to quit the Democratic party. 

Immediately after the President's first call for volunteers in April, 1861, 
a public meeting was held in St. Cloud to promote enlistments, at which after 
a few remarks I subscribed my name as a volunteer. My six months resi- 
dence at Fort Leavenworth gave me some acquaintance with military disci- 
pline and drill, but in May, with a view to perfect myself in the manual of 
arms, — manner of handling the musket — I asked and received the permission 
of Captain Nelson H. Davis of the regular army, commanding at Fort Ripley, 
to visit that post and receive some instruction. Accompanied by Theodore 
H. Barrett, I went and spent about a week there in May. Captain Davis was 
kind enough to treat us as his guests. He put us in charge of a bright Irish 
corporal, and we were drilled in handling the musket several hours a day. We 
also saw Captain Davis repeatedly drill his fine infantry company. Captain 
Davis became Inspector General of the army in the Civil War. With a view 
to raising a company, I had from the time of subscribing as a volunteer, en- 
deavored to raise recruits. Owing to the country being sparsely settled, it 
was slow work. Some of my recruits were mustered into the First Minnesota 
Regiment. Later in the summer, accompanied sometimes by James M. Mc- 
Kelvey, Damon Greenleaf or George W. Sweet, I travelled as far west as Lake 
Osakis and about to the eastern boundary of Benton county to obtain men 
who were willing to go to war. The following are the names of the young men 
who, in the early part of October, accompanied me from St. Cloud to Fort 
Snelling, and who with me were mustered into the service, October 11, and 
who with a larger squad from LeSueur county were the nucleus of the com- 
pany in the Third Minnesota Regiment which I subsequently commanded : 
James Coates, Harry Collins, John O. Crummet, Edwin H. Garlington, Damon 
Greenleaf, Frank S. Green, William H. Gripman, David Hooper, Orlando W. 
James, Charles D. Lamb, Frank J. Markling, James E. Masterson, John Moore, 
William F. Morse, Frederick Schilplin, Orrin E. Spear, Charles H. Thoms and 
John L. Thompson. 

Christopher C. Andrews was born at Hillsboro, Upper Village, New Hamp- 
shire, October 27, 1829. His parents were Luther and Nabby (Beard) Andrews 
and he was the youngest of four children. Attended the district school and 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 191 

worked on his father's farm, and in his fourteenth year went to work in a 
store, in Boston, of which his eldest brother was part owner, and there con- 
tinued three years, attending meantime three terms at the Francestown, N. H., 
Academy. June 17, 1843, he heard Daniel Webster deliver his oration at the 
completion of the Bunker Hill monument. He was a member of the Mercantile 
Library Association of Boston and took part in its literary exercises. Studied 
law in the offices of Mr. Ayer in Hillsboro, Brigham and Loring in Boston, at 
the Harvard law school, and was admitted to the bar in 1850. Practised law 
at Newton Lower Falls and in Boston. At the age of twenty-three, was elected 
one of the Superintending School Committee of Newton, Mass., his name being 
on both the Democratic and "Whig tickets. January, 1854, he was junior counsel 
in a capital case before the supreme court in Boston, in which Rufus Choate 
appeared as attorney general, and by whom his opening address to the jury 
was complimented. 

He removed to Kansas, June, 1854, and at a public meeting a few weeks 
later declared that he would vote to make Kansas a free state. He was the 
regular correspondent of the Boston Post and wrote without pay a number of 
letters which were printed in other northern papers on the resources of Kansas, 
to encourage free state immigration. Offered by Governor Reeder office of 
secretary to the Governor, which he declined. In the winter he went to Wash- 
ington, intending to stay only during the short session of Congress, but was im- 
mediately taken ill with typhoid fever and was unable to work till March. 
This so reduced his finances that he obtained through President Pierce, his 
former townsman, an appointment as clerk, at $1,400 a year, in the treasury 
department. 

Wishing still to settle in the West, and troubles in Kansas preventing his 
returning there, he in October, 1856, visited Minnesota to see the territory. His 
letters in the Boston Post, descriptive of the trip, were later published in book 
form, entitled "Minnesota and Dakota." While in Washington, by his writ- 
ings, he assisted in passing the bill by Congress granting lands to Minnesota 
for railroads. In the spring of 1857, he voluntarily resigned his clerkship and 
began the practice of law at St. Cloud, Minnesota. He made a trip to the 
Red river of the North in the summer of 1858, and his letters descriptive of 
what he saw were published in the Boston Post. He later became a regular 
correspondent of the New York Evening Post and of the New York World. 
Was elected to the state senate as a Douglas-Democrat in 1859. Was candidate 
for presidential elector, 1860, and held thirty joint discussion with Stephen 
Miller, Republican candidate. 

At a public meeting at St. Cloud, April, 1861, he inscribed his name as a 
volunteer and helped to raise recruits. Appointed Captain of Company I, 
Third Minnesota Regiment, in November, and spent the winter guarding rail- 
roads in Kentucky. Marched over the Cumberland mountains in June; in 
action at Murfreesboro, July 13, and was one of three to earnestly oppose the 
surrender of the regiment. This later led to his promotion. Prisoner of war 
at Madison, Ga., and Libby prison three months, during which he wrote "Hints 
to Company Officers, ' ' published by Van Nostrand. Appointed lieutenant col- 
onel of his regiment in December and was with it at Vicksburg. Promoted 



192 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

to be colonel and commanded his regiment in the campaign of Arkansas and 
battle of Little Rock, September, 1863. Commanded the post of Little Rock 
seven months and received a note of thanks from the free state constitutional 
convention of Arkansas. Appointed brigadier general January 1864. In 
battle of Fitzhugh's "Woods, April 1, 1864, he led a decisive charge, his horse 
being killed under him. In command of second division seventh corps, with 
headquarters at Devall's Bluff July to December. In the battle of the Prairies, 
August 24, his forces defeated those of General J. Shelby. Commanded second 
division thirteenth corps in campaign of Mobile. Appointed by President 
Lincoln major general by brevet in March; in the storming of Fort 
Blakely, April 9, 1865, two of his brigades, numbering 5,200 men, captured 
three-quarters of a mile of Confederate breastworks and 1,400 prisoners in half 
an hour, losing 200 in killed and wounded. Was for some weeks in command 
of the districts of Mobile and Selma. In July, he was placed in command of 
a large district in Texas with headquarters at Houston. Honorably mustered 
out of the service, January, 1866. Same year he wrote the history of the 
campaign of Mobile, which was published by D. Van Nostrand. While at 
Washington finishing that history he was urged by the Congressional Com- 
mittee of Mr. Donnelly's district to come to Minnesota and make some ad- 
dresses in aid of his re-election as a Republican, which he did. 

In 1867, he resumed the practice of law at St. Cloud, but devoted consid- 
erable of his time to public matters. He accompanied Edwin F. Johnson, 
Chief Engineer of the Northern Pacific Railroad Company, on a trip through 
northwestern Minnesota, the Red river valley and a part of Dakota. He took 
part in political campaigns, advocating hard money and the reconstruction 
measures of Congress. He was president of the Grant Club at St. Cloud and 
was delegate to the National Republican Convention at Chicago, which nomi- 
nated Grant for President. He was the regular Republican candidate for 
Congress in the Second district in 1868, receiving after a short canvass 8,598 
votes. Mr. Donnelly, classed in Greeley's Tribune Almanac as the "irregular" 
Republican candidate, also ran, and Eugene M. Wilson, Democrat, was 
elected. 

December, 1868, General Andrews was married at Central City, Colo- 
rado, to Mary Frances Baxter, daughter of Hon. Enos K. Baxter, formerly of 
Cambridge, Mass. The following year he was appointed United States Min- 
ister Resident to Norway and Sweden, and entered upon his duties at Stock- 
holm, July, 1869. He remained in that capacity eight and a half years, or till 
about December, 1877. He negotiated treaties for the reduction of postage and 
for the better protection of emigrants on shipboard. He made many studies 
and reports to his government on important subjects, including agriculture, 
education, commerce, manufactures, forestry, civil service, labor, etc., etc., 
which were printed by the Department of State. Separate editions of some 
of these reports, including forestry, have been printed. His salary was $7,500 
a year, the greater part of which he expended for house rent and living ex- 
penses. When ex-President Grant visited Sweden in 1878, King Oscar said 
to him that General Andrews was the best representative the United States 
had ever sent there. General Andrews naturally wished to retain his position. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 193 

but had to yield to the policy of political party patronage — a policy that has 
been obsolete in European countries for a century. 

Beginning in 1880 he was for about a year editor and principal owner of 
the St. Paul Dispatch, and during that time advocated the settlement of the 
Minnesota State railroad bonds, the election of Garfield as President, the re- 
election of Senator McMillan, the appointment of Senator Windora as Secre- 
tary of the United States Treasury, and the erection of St. Paul's first high 
school building. The subscription list of the Dispatch, while under his charge, 
increased twenty-five per cent. 

He prepared for the United States Commissioner of Agriculture a report 
on spring wheat culture in the Northwest, visiting many leading farmers for 
information, which report was printed and extensively circulated. He at- 
tended as a delegate the American Forestry Congress at Cincinnati, May, 1882, 
and contributed a paper for it. Having been appointed by President Arthur, 
Consul General to Brazil, he in July, 1882, with his wife and daughter, their 
only child, sailed for Rio de Janeiro via Europe. During the three years he 
served there, 2,000 American seamen arrived at the port. One of his consular 
duties was to hear and after writing down the testimony, decide the disputes 
between shipmasters and seamen. His reports and efforts to increase American 
trade were highly commended by leading American commercial journals and 
periodicals. He was recalled by President Cleveland the summer of 1885, and 
was succeeded by General H. C. Armstrong of Alabama. His book, "Brazil, 
Its Condition and Prospects," was published by D. Appleton & Co. in 1887. 
Two later editions, the last one after the change in form of govei'nment in 
Brazil, were issued. 

In 1887, he wrote a pamphlet advocating Civil Service reform, which he 
had printed with the title "Administrative Reform as an issue in the next 
Presidential canvass," and which was very favorably noticed by the press. 
He suggested the plan for the official history of Minnesota troops in the Civil 
and Indian Wars and was its editor. The state had the work printed and a 
copy given to each Minnesota soldier. The historian Lossing pronounced it 
"a model of excellence" for other states to follow. He was the first to advo- 
cate the building of a State Soldier's Home ; and by first getting the ex-soldiers 
in Minneapolis and St. Paul to agree in respect to its site, he was principally 
influential in securing its location near the Twin Cities. He was for several 
years a member of the St. Paul Chamber of Commerce, was chairman of its 
committee on the Mississippi river, attended waterways conventions at Quincy, 
111., and Superior, "Wis. ; also advocated the construction of a canal from Lake 
Superior to the Mississippi, via the St. Croix river. His wife died in 1893. 

Previous to the Hinckley forest fire of 1894, in which 418 persons perished. 
General Andrews had contributed articles to the press virging greater pre- 
cautions and additional legislation for preventing such fires. The Minnesota 
legislature of 1895 enacted a law, many provisions of which, including the 
making of town supervisors fire wardens, were copied from the New York 
law, and he was appointed by State Auditor Dunn Chief Fire Warden to 
enforce it, his title in 1905 being changed to Forestry Commissioner. He 
served continuously sixteen years and was active in stimulating the zeal of 



194 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

local fire wardens in preventing and extinguishing fires, and in habituating 
them to promptitude and precision in making their reports. Though his field 
of work covered over 20,000,000 acres, the average annual damage done by 
forest fires reported during the thirteen years and up to 1908 was only $29,819, 
and by prairie fires only $16,397. With increased settlements, logging and 
railroads, the danger of fires increased. The year 1908 was exceptionally dry 
and fire set by fishermen ten miles away and driven by a gale September 4, 
destroyed most of the village of Chisholm, its leading citizens being at the 
time absent at the State Fair. For that year, as for previous years, the total 
amount appropriated to carry on his work was only $11,000. The legislature 
of 1909 increased the amount to $21,000, though he asked for more. The 
year 1910 was the driest Minnesota ever had. All the rangers, 26 in number, 
had to quit work September 1 for want of money, and on October 7 following, 
the Baudette fire occurred in which thirty persons lost their lives and about 
a million dollars damage was done. He was required to make an annual report 
to include important facts relating to forest interests, and four thousand copies 
were annually published and gratuitously distributed. He made many trips 
through the forest regions, one, in 1900, being by rowboat from the source 
of the Big Fork river to its mouth. He delivered many addresses on forestry 
before commercial associations, clubs and high schools. He visited the pine 
forest at Cass lake, August, 1898, and his recommendation then made that 
it be set apart for public purposes finally resulted in the establishment of 
the Minnesota National Forest of about 200,000 acres. It was his recommen- 
dation of May 10, 1902, to the Commissioner of the General Land Office that 
led to the creation of the Superior National Forest of upward of a million 
acres. He first suggested the project and drew the bill introduced by Sen- 
ator Nelson, which was passed by Congress April 28, 1904, granting to Min- 
nesota 20,000 acres of land for forestry purposes. He helped to select the 
lands in the vicinity of Burntside lake. They are known as Burntside Forest. 
The proposed amendment to the Constitution for a tax for reforestation by 
the state, which he drew and which was submitted by the legislature in 
amended form, received over a hundred thousand votes at the election in 
1910, though not enough for its adoption. His salary, at first $1,200 a year, 
was raised in 1905 to $1,500. Beginning in 1899 he served as Secretary of 
the Forestry Board several years without pay and then was allowed $600 
a year for such service, making his total pay annually $2,100. The legislature 
of 1911, following the Baudette fire, abolished the office of Forestry Com- 
missioner, reorganized the Forestry Board, gave it supervision of the forest 
service, authority to appoint a trained forester at a salary of $4,000 a year, 
and a secretary of the board at a salary of $1,800. General Andrews was 
retained as secretary. The legislature appropriated $75,000 a year to defray 
the expense of the forest service. 

His articles on the Indian Tribes and the Public Lands were printed in 
the North American Review for January, 1860, and July, 1861, respectively. 
His article on Cuba will be found in the Atlantic Monthly for July, 1879. He 
was a member of the. three commissions for building a state monument at 
Camp Release, Vicksburg and Shiloh. 




FATHER FRANCIS X. PIERZ 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 195 

CHAPTER XV. 

THE CATHOLIC CHURCH IN STEARNS COUNTY. 

The Catholic Pioneers — Noble Work of the Early Fathers — Arrival of the 
Benedictines — Diocese of St. Cloud — the Vicariate — the Right Reverend 
Bishops — Diocesan Officials — Present Status — Statistics — Institutions — By 
Reverend Alexius Hoffmann, 0. S. B. 

A history of Stearns county would be incomplete withoiat some account 
of the part taken in the development of this section of the state of Minne- 
sota by the Catholic settlers of the county, whose children form the majority 
of its inhabitants. There was but one white settler within the limits of the 
county before 1850 — Gen. S. B. Lowry, who established an Indian trading 
post called Winnebago in the present town of Brockway about 1849. (Hist. 
Upper Miss. Val. 370.) 

At what precise date the first catholic settler arrived may never be ascer- 
tained, but there is reason to believe that the first priest who visited this 
region — it was not called Stearns county before 1855 — was the Rev. Francis 
de Vivaldi, who had been a canon at Ventimiglia in Italy and had come to the 
United States with Bishop Cretin of St. Paul in 1851. In 1848-49 the Winne- 
bago Indians had been placed on a reservation at or near Long Prairie, Todd 
county, where they remained for six years. Bishop Cretin, whose jurisdic- 
tion as bishop of St. Paul covered the entire territory of Minnesota, in 1851 
sent Rev. de Vivaldi as missionary to this reservation. He remained with 
the tribe for three years, luitil the Indians were removed to Blue Earth 
county, whither he accompanied them. He may be remembered by some of 
the pioneers of St. Cloud. 

The influx of German Catholic settlers from Iowa and other states in 
1854-55 was due chiefly to the efforts of the Rev. Francis X. Pierz (properly 
Pirec), then Indian missionary at Crow Wing, who believed that Stearns 
county, and the country west of the Mississippi generally, was desirable coun- 
try for thrifty settlers and set forth his views in several German Catholic 
journals. This typical pioneer of the Gospel had an eye not only for the 
spiritual, but also for the material welfare of the settlers, — he was a skilful 
farmer and horticulturists. He wrote in 1855: "In a short notice to the 
'Wahrheitsfreund, ' a German Catholic newspaper published at Cincinnati, 
March 4, 1854, I informed the Germans that Minnesota is an ideal place for 
a home and that they can secure good lands in a short time. In consequence 
of my invitation, about fifty families have already arrived and settled in my 
Sauk River Mission." In the same year he published what may 
be called a prospectus describing the manifold advantages offered by 
the territory — its geographical location, the condition of the soil, the 
kinds of wood to be found, the water supply, climate, industries, settlements, 
rivers and countless lakes. Although he does not mention St. Cloud, he says : 
"More than fifty families have come in consequence of my invitation and 



196 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

have taken claims on both sides of the Sauk river. * * * i have opened 
my new church (a log chapel) in Sauk Rapids for services and hope I shall 
be able to open a school, with sisters as teachers, next year. On the other 
bank of the Mississippi, on the Sauk river, a new church is in course of con- 
struction on St. Joseph's prairie, and a site has already been selected for a 
third on the left bank of the stream." The last church referred to, seems to 
be that on Jacobs' prairie, between Cold Spring and St. Joseph. 

The first German settlers arrived in 1854. One of the earliest was J. W. 
Tenvoorde, who came from Evansville, Indiana, in the interest of a proposed 
colony of emigrants from that place, in the summer of that year. His report 
was evidently satisfactory, for he returned to Minnesota in the foUoAving 
summer with several families from Indiana. The first German Catholic who 
took up a permanent residence in the county was Anton Edelbrock. He came 
to St. Cloud in the summer of 1854 and was followed in the next year by 
J. W. Tenvoorde, Joseph Edelbrock, and in 1856 by John M. and Henry 
Roseuberger and others. Many of the immigrants went farther west than 
St. Cloud — to St. Joseph, St. Augiista and St. Wendel (in the western part 
of the township of St. Augusta). 

The very first Catholic settler was, as far as has been ascertained, James 
Keough, a native of the county of Wexford, Ireland. He had come to Min- 
nesota in 1849 and after living a few years at Sauk Rapids, in 1853 removed 
to the west bank of the Mississippi river and "built a house on the Sauk 
river in the present township of St. Cloud; this probably was the first farm 
house built in Stearns county." (Hist. Upper Miss. Val. 456.) 

Scarcely had the first settler selected their homesteads, when Father 
Pierz came to pay them a visit. When and where he officiated for the first 
time is a matter of dispute. That the first services were held in the house 
of Joseph Edelbrock in the summer of 1855 may be regarded as accurate when 
applied to the city of St. Cloud. When this very question was discussed many 
years ago, the first Catholic settler, James Keough, stated in the St. Cloud 
"Times," that after he had built a house on the western bank of the Missis- 
sippi about 1853, Father Pierz had celebrated mass there and came over to 
see the settlers once a month; and that subsequently he had officiated at the 
house of John Schwarz. In a biographical sketch of one of the earliest resi- 
dents of St. Cloud, the late Xavier Braun, who died at St. Cloud Feb. 29, 
1904, we read: "Mr. Bravin assisted at the first mass ever said in what is 
now St. Cloud, the services being performed under a large tree on what sub- 
sequently became a part of the grounds of St. John's Seminary (south of 
St. Cloud). The priest who officiated at that first mass was Rev. Father 
Pierce (Pierz)." — St. Cloud Times, February 29, 1904. No year is given. 
Mr. Braun came to Stearns county in 1854. 

Father Pierz did not make his residence among the new comers ; his visits 
were periodical ; he was officially a missionary among the Chippewa Indians 
and* his headquarters were at Crow Wing, about fifty miles north of St. Cloud. 
After the German settlers began to arrive. Bishop Cretin placed them under 
the spiritual care of this venerable missionary — he was seventy years of age 
at this time — until German priests could be supplied. Father Pierz had already 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 197 

spent twenty years among the Indians in the Northwest and had entered the 
Minnesota Mission in 1852. This was the man sent to minister to the German 
Catholics scattered over the prairies and in the woods of Stearns county from 
St. Cloud to Lake Henry. He made most of his visits on foot, with a knap- 
sack on his back containing all that was necessary for church services. His 
influence upon the settlers must have been decisive, and they looked up to 
him with reverence. Today a number of congregations proudly claim him as 
their founder — St. Cloud, St. Joseph, St. James, St. Augusta, Lake Henry, 
Richmond and others. His ministrations among the Germans in Stearns 
county covered a period of about two years (1854-56), after which he was 
free to devote himself exclusively to the Indians. In 1870 his sight began to 
fail ; three years later he permanently withdrew from the mission, returned 
to Europe and died at the Franciscan monastery in Laybach, in the province 
of Krain, January 22, 1880, at the age of 95 years. On May 20, 1885, the 
Catholics of St. Cloud celebi-ated the thirtieth anniversary of his first visit 
to St. Cloud. 

Father Pierz's immediate successors in the missionary field were Bene- 
dictine Fathers whom Bishop Cretin invited from St. Vincent's Abbey in 
Pennsylvania. The Bishop of St. Paul had, perhaps at the suggestion of 
Father Pierz, applied to the Ludwigs Missions-Verein of Munich, Bavaria, 
for priests for the German settlers in Minnesota, and had been referred to 
the abbot of St. Vincent's Abbey, the late Arehabbot Boniface Wimmer. The 
latter, writing to the director of that association on June 9, 1856, says: "Your 
letter to Bishop Cretin of St. Paul has induced him to invite the Benedictines 
into his diocese. He earnestly requested me to send him several Fathers." 
The first Benedictine Fathers sent in response to this request were Fathers 
Demetrius di Marogna, Bruno Riss and Cornelius Wittmann, who stepped on 
Minnesota soil for the first time on May 2, 1856. Bishop Cretin offered them 
several places in the territory, and they selected Sauk Rapids and the mis- 
sions on the other side of the river. They reached Sauk Rapids on May 20, 
and visited St. Cloud for the first time on the following day. A feAV weeks 
later they took up their abode on a lonely spot about two miles south of St. 
Cloud and from this missionary center began to visit the settlements scat- 
tered throughout the county. Father Demetrius organized a congregation 
at St. Augusta, Father Cornelius at St. Cloud, and Father Bruno at St. Joseph. 
The last step towards permanent organization was a series of mission services 
conducted early in August, 1856, by Rev. Francis Weninger, S. J. Although 
the settlers, none of whom were wealthy, were sorely tried by the grasshopper 
invasions of 1856 and 1857, they did not lose heart ; they had learned content- 
ment and resignation. As a result, every settlement organized in those days 
is still on its feet, quietly prospering, and every one of them clusters about 
a central edifice, the church with its spire pointing heavenward, the landmark 
of a Catholic community. 

In the development of ecclesiastical life in a Western Catholic settle- 
ment, we may distinguish four stages: (1) At first private houses — in almost 
all instances log cabins — served as churches; the missionaries would travel 
from one settlement on foot or on an ox-cart, carrying the necessary altar 



198 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

furniture and vestments in a valise, and shared the humble lodgings of the 
farmers, content with the little they had to offer; (2) when a sufficiently 
large number of settlers could conveniently meet at a certain place, a church 
was built there ; that is to say, a long cabin about 30 feet long and 15 feet 
wide, to be used exclusively for that purpose; (3) in course of time the log 
church made way for the frame church, usually a long building with windows 
with pointed arches and a modest steeple over the main door ; a coat of white 
paint made it visible at a great distance ; sometimes the sacristy was fitted 
up as a lodging place for the priest when he came to visit the congregation; 
(4) the frame church was followed by the brick or stone church, generally 
flanked by a parsonage built of the same materials. Some of the congrega- 
tions never had log churches; v. g., St. Cloud, Cold Spring, Farming and 
Freeport; a few still have frame churches. The first church built of brick 
was St. Mary's of St. Cloud (1863-66), and the first built of stone — granite 
boulders — that at St. Joseph (1871). 

At first the number of small settlements far exceeded the number of 
priests; consequently there were few places with resident pastors. St. Cloud 
and St. Joseph were the earliest missionary centres; from the former the 
priests visited the settlers in the townships of St. Augusta and Luxemburg; 
from the latter those in the township of Wakefield and other townships. At 
both these places here were resident priests, sometimes two or three, between 
1856 and 1860. In 1870 there were only three places with resident priests 
in the county: St. Cloud, St. Joseph and Richmond, in 1880, thirteen; in 
1890, eighteen; in 1900, thirty, and at present forty. 

The great majority of the Catholics of Stearns county are Germans or 
of German descent ; the Austrians, or more specifically Krainers, are strongest 
in the townships of Brockway and Krain, where they have two churches ; the 
Poles also have two churches, and the English-speaking Catholics have four 
churches, including the pro-cathedral at St. Cloud. 

The following localities have churches at the present time : 1, St. Cloud, 
Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Angels; 2, St. Cloud, Church of the Immaculate 
Conception ; 3, St. Cloud, Church of St. John Cantius ; 4, Albany, Church of the 
Seven Dolors ; 5, Avon, Church of St. Benedict ; 6, Belgrade, Church of St. 
Francis de Sales ; 7, Brockway, Church of St. Stephen ; 8, Cold Springs, Church 
of St. Boniface, 9, Collegeville, Church of St. John the Baptist; 10, Farming, 
Church of St. Catherine; 11, Freeport, Church of the Sacred Heart; 12, Hold- 
ingford. Church of St. Mary; 13, Lake George, Church of SS. Peter and Paul; 
14, Lake Henry, Church of St. Margaret; 15, Luxemburg, Church of St. Weu- 
delin; 16, Meire Grove, Church of St. John the Baptist; 17, Melrose, Church 
of St. Boniface ; 18, Melrose, Church of St. Patrick ; 19, New Munich, Church 
of the Immaculate Conception ; 20, Opole, Church of Our Lady of Mount Car- 
mel; 21, Padua, Church of St. Anthony; 22, Pearl Lake, Church of St. Law- 
rence ; 23, Richmond, Church of SS. Peter and Paul ; 24, Roscoe, Church of 
St. Agnes; 25, St. Ann, Church of the Immaculate Conception; 26, St. An- 
thony, Church of St. Anthony; 27, St. Augusta, Church of Mary Help of 
Christians; 28, St. James' Church in the town of Wakefield; 29, St. Joseph, 
Church of St. Joseph; 30, St. Martin, Church of St. Martin; 31, St. Nicholas, 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 199. 

Church of St. Nicholas ; 32, St. Rose, Church of St. Rose ; 33, Sauk Centre, 
Church of St. Paul; 34, Sauk Centre, Church of Our Lady of Angels; 35, 
Spring Hill, Church of St. Michael; 36, Maples (mission), Church of St. Co- 
lumbkille; 37, Rockville (mission). Church of the Immaculate Conception; 38, 
Holdingford (mission). Church of St. Hedwig; 39, Brooten (mission) church; 
40, St. Joseph, Church of St. Benedict's Convent. 



Beginnings are proverbially difficult. If the settlers were at times con- 
fronted with difficulties, the life of their pastors was not all comfort. It was a 
hardship for the people to be deprived of spiritual ministrations for months, 
but it was not less trying for a young missionary to undertake fatiguing 
journeys over a wild country, to lodge in spare rooms and attics and to per- 
form the arduous duties of a priest on a Sunday with nothing to eat before 
a late hour in the afternoon. The ox-cart was a very welcome conveyance 
in the absence of a better; the pastor's horse and buggy were a familiar sight 
two decades ago. The growing facilities of travel in our day have made the 
life of the parish priest more comfortable than that of his predecessors; but 
the responsibilities of the former have grown with the growth of the congre- 
gations. 

The development of Catholicity in Stearns county is a monument to the 
deep faith and loyalty of the people who made these achievements possible. 
In the midst of their poverty they found means to rear proud church edifices 
and schools ; many of them donated parcels of land for the church or for the 
cemetery, and others contributed to the furnishing and embellishment of 
their church with altars, pulpit, statuary, organ, bells or vestments. Did 
they feel the loss? Look at their contented faces, at their comfortable homes, 
their broad fields. Like the other children of men, they go about their tem- 
poral pursuits six days of the week, but when Sunday comes, they all assemble 
in the great house they fondly call "our church," which their fathers or 
themselves had built. Here they listen to the same message that gave peace 
and contentment to those that went before them, and here they gather new 
strength to live upright Christian lives and call down blessings from Him 
by whose kind hand all blessings are bestowed. 



The churches of Stearns county are conducted by secular priests and 
by fathers, or priests of the Benedictine Order, belonging to St. John's Abbey 
at CoUegeville, Minn. At present there are 47 priests in active service : 25 
secular and 22 Benedictine ; of this number 8 are assistants and 2 chaplains. 

Wherever the settlements are well developed, parochial schools have been 
built at great expense. They are almost exelusivelj^ conducted by Sisters 
of the Order of St. Benedict. 

The same body of sisters conduct St. Raphael's Hospital in St. Cloud 
and St. Joseph's Home for the Aged, outside of the city. 

There are three religious communities in the county: St. John's Abbey 
at CoUegeville, St. Benedict's Convent at St. Joseph, and a residence of Fran- 
ciscan Sisters at CoUegeville. 



200 HISTOEY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

There are two schools for higher education: St. John's University at 
Collegeville, and St. Benedict's Academy at St. Joseph. 

THE DIOCESE OF ST. CLOUD. 

The Vicariate. 

In 1854, when the first settlements were made in the county, the terri- 
tory was under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Bishop of St. Paul. The 
diocese of St. Paul was created July 19, 1850, and its first bishop. Right Rev. 
Joseph Cretin, arrived in July, 1851. As there was no Catholic congregation 
in Stearns county before 1855 and the bishop died February 22, 1857, it is not 
probable that he ever paid an official visit to the county. His successor. Right 
Rev. Thomas L. Grace (1859-1884, -fl897) visited the county repeatedly to 
administer confirmation and to dedicate churches. 

Northern Minnesota was cut off from the diocese by St. Paul February 
12, 1875, and created a Vicariate Apostolic by Pope Pius IX. The designa- 
tion "Northern Minnesota" applied to all that part of the state of Minnesota 
lying north of the southern line of Travers, Stevens, Pope, Stearns, Sher- 
burne, Isanti and Chisago counties, and that part of Dakota territory lying 
east of the Missouri and "White Earth rivers and north of the southern line of 
Burleigh, Logan, Lamoure and Richland counties — a district measuring about 
600 miles from Grand Portage at its eastern extremity to the Fort Berthold 
Indian Reservation at its western extremity, and about 250 miles from the 
southern line of Stearns county to the International boundary line on the 
north. 

At the time of the erection of the Vicariate it comprised the following 
churches and pastors : Minnesota — St. Cloud, Church of the Immaculate Con- 
ception, Rev. Alphonse Kuisle, O. S. B. ; St. Joseph, Church of St. Joseph, Rev. 
Severin Gross, 0. S. B. ; Richmond, Church of SS. Peter and Paul, Rev. An 
sehar Frauendorfer, O. S. B.; New Munich, Church of the Immaculate Con- 
ception, Rev. Cornelius Wittmann, 0. S. B. ; St Augusta, Church of Mary Help 
of Christians, Rev. Benedict Haindl, O. S. B. ; Luxemburg, Church of St. 
"Wendelin, Rev. Ignatius "Wesseling, 0. S. B. (who resided at St. Augusta) ; 
Cold Spring P. 0., Church of St. James, Rev. Vincent Schiffrer, 0. S. B., 
who also attended St. Nicholas; Leedston P. 0., Church of St. Martin, Rev. 
Simplicius Wimmer, O. S. B. ; Meyer's Grove, Church of St. John, Rev. Burk- 
hardt, O. S. B. ; Rush City, Chisago county, Rev. William Wilkins, who also 
visited Taylor's Falls and other stations; Brainerd, Church of St. Francis, 
Rev. Charles Dougherty; Millerville, Church of the Seven Dolors, Rev. E. P. 
Schneider; Belle Prairie, Rev. Joseph Buh, who also visited Little Falls, Rich 
Prairie and other stations ; St. Joseph 's Church, Otter Tail county, Rev. James 
Hilbert; Duluth, Rev. J. B. Genin, 0. M. I., who visited a number of missions, 
including Moorhead on the western boundary of the state ; Long Prairie, Rev. 
John Schenk; White Earth Reservation, Rev. Ignatius Tomazin, missionary, 
who visited variovis Indian settlements, such as Red Lake, Leech Lake, Cass 
Lake, etc., Dakota territory; St. Joseph's church (in the northeastern corner 
of Dakota territory) Rev. J. B. Lafloch, O. M. I. ; Pembina, Rev. F. Simonet, 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 201 

O. M. I. ; Fort Totten, Eev. L. Bonin. The churches at Bismarck and James- 
town were occasionally visited by the priest stationed at Diiluth. 



In Minnesota there were three religions houses : The Abbey of St. Louis- 
on-the-Lake (now called St. John's), to which belonged 27 priests, most of 
whom were employed in missionary work; St. Benedict's Convent at St. 
Joseph ; a house of Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis, at Belle Prairie. 
In Dakota there was a house of Sisters of Charity (Grey Nuns), who con- 
ducted a school for the Indians at Devil's Lake Agency, Fort Totten. 

A report sent to the Catholic Directory for the year 1876 gives the fol- 
lowing statistics : Secular priests, 8 ; priests of religious orders, 21 ; total 
number of priests, 29 ; churches, 42 ; stations, 36 ; religious orders of men, 2 ; 
religious orders of women, 3; college, 1; Catholic population, white, 14,000; 
Indians and half-breeds, 2,500; total population, 16,500. 



Bishop Rupert Seidenbusch, 0. S. B. The first Vicar Apostolic who pre- 
sider over the Vicariate of Northern Minnesota was Right Rev. Rupert Seiden- 
busch, 0. S. B. He was born in the city of Munich, Bavaria, October 13, 
1830; came to the United States; became a member of the Benedictine abbey 
of St. Vincent in Pennsylvania and was ordained a priest June 22, 1853. 
For several years he served as a parish priest in Pennsylvania; from 1857- 
1862 he was pastor in Newark, N. J., where he built St. Mary 's church ; from 
1862-1865 he was Prior of St. Vincent's Abbey. On December 12, 1866, the 
Benedictine Fathers in Minnesota who had formed what was commonly known 
as the St. Cloud Priory, elected him as their first Abbot. He received the 
abbatial benediction at the hands of Bishop Carrel of Covington at St. Vin- 
cent's Abbey on May 30, 1867, and at once left for the West. 

In the eighth year of his abbotship he was summoned to shoulder the 
burden of the Apostolic Vicariate, being then in the forty-fifth year of his 
age. He was appointed by Pope Pius IX on February 12, 1875; Avas conse- 
crated in St. Mary's church, at St. Cloud, on May 30, 1875 — the consecrating 
prelate being Rt. Rev. Michael Heiss, Bishop of La Crosse, assisted by Rt. 
Rev. Joseph Dwenger, Bishop of Fort Wayne, and Rt. Rev. Louis Fink, 
O. S. B., titular bishop of Eucarpia and Vicar Apostolic, of Kansas. An 
apostolic vicariate is a temporary arrangement only, analogous to a territory 
in the Union ; its chief administrative authority is appointed by the Pope and 
is directly subject to him. Bishop Seidenbusch was officially styled the Bishop 
of Halia (or Aila) in Lesser Armenia and retained the title to the day of his 
death. 

Shortly before his consecration he had resigned the office of abbot and 
had taken up his residence in St. Cloud. From 1875-1876 he resided at the 
parsonage of St. Mary's church, and used that church temporarily as a pro- 
cathedral. In 1876 he purchased the fine brick residence of Joseph Broker 
near the corner of Sixth avenue and Third street North, which he occupied 
together with his secretary, and which is to this day the residence of the 
rector of the pro-cathedral. He publicly administered confirmation for the 
first time at St. Mary's church, in St. Cloud, on June 13, 1875, to 194 candi- 



202 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

dates, and on July 4 of the same year dedicated the church of St. Wendelin 
in the town of St. Augusta. On August 10 of the same year he conferred the 
holy order of priesthood for the first time ; the candidates being : Revs. 
Ignatius Wesseling, 0. S. B., Bonaventure Schloeter, 0. S. B., E. P. Schneider 
and Patrick J. Lynch. These ordinations took place at St. John's College. 

His first confirmation tour carried him into parts of Minnesota, where 
the sacrament had never been administered. He was at Duluth, Brainerd, 
White Earth, Moorhead and Pembina near the international boundary in 
August, 1875; at Fort Totten, Jamestown and Wahpeton, Dakota territory, 
in September. The month of October found him at Washington, D. C, in 
the interest of the Indians; at the end of the same month he was administer- 
ing confirmation at Bismarck on the banks of the Missouri. After spending 
the summer of 1877 in Europe, he resumed the visitation of the vicariate in 
Stearns and adjacent counties; in September, 1878, he was again at Bismarck 
and Fort Totten, selected a site for a church at Fargo, was in Duluth on 
November 1 and again at Bismarck two weeks later. 

A part of his burden was taken from him when the Vicariate Apostolic 
of Dakota, including the entire territory, was created in 1879 and Rt. Rev. 
Martin Marty, 0. S. B., who was to be the second bishop of St. Cloud, was en- 
trusted with the government of this vast district on February 1, 1880. Bishop 
Seidenbusch now devoted himself to the development of northern Minnesota. 
At his accession there were as many as 50 missions and stations: the 24 mis- 
sions had churches or chapels, but no resident priest. In some instances, as in 
the case of Bismarck, the priest came all the way from Duluth, a distance of 
400 miles. It was important for the bishop to provide clergy for the Vicari- 
ate, not only to minister to the white settlers but also to the Indians. The 
Benedictine Fathers assumed charge of the White Earth reservation in No- 
vember, 1878, and the Father first in charge is there still — Rev. Aloysius Her- 
manutz, 0. S. B. 

In 1884 he built the Pro-cathedral of the Holy Angels, at St. Cloud, and 
shortly after, the parochial school, which stands opposite the church. In the 
same year (1884) he attended the Third Plenary council at Baltimore. Year 
for year the bishop continued to make the rounds of the young parishes in 
the upper part of the state, from the lakes to the Red river of the north, con- 
fining himself strictly to his episcopal duties. About 1885 his health began 
to fail and physicians advised him to spend the winters of 1885-1886 and 
1886-1887 in the mild climate of southern California. After another visit 
to Europe in 1887-1888, he set out on an official tour of the northeastern 
extremity of the Vicariate, the north shore of Lake Superior, where he vis- 
ited the Indian settlements at Grand Marais and Grand Portage. 

On October 19, 1888, he submitted his resignation, which was accepted 
by the Holy See, November 15, of the same year. After his withdrawal he 
spent a short time at St. John's Abbey; but the winters proved too severe 
and he preferred the southern climate during the cold season, always return- 
ing to Minnesota for the summer. The last winter of his life was spent at 
Savannah, Georgia, where he occupied apartments at St. Joseph's infirmary 
during the winter of 1894-1895. About the middle of May he proposed to re- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 203 

turn to Minnesota; while making a brief stay at Richmond, Virginia, he was 
overcome by the heat on Pentecost Sunday, June 2, and died early the next 
morning. His remains were taken to St. John's Abbey, at Collegeville, the 
first scene of his labors in the West, and interred in the cemetery of the 
monastery. A granite column marks his resting place. 

Bishop Seidenbusch had received an excellent education which, supple- 
mented by experience as pastor of a church in a large Eastern city and as 
superior, during a very trying period, of one of the largest religious communi- 
ties of the country — St. Vincent's Abbey, in Pennsylvania — thoroughly 
equipped him for the work which was assigned to him in Minnesota. He was 
modest, and unassuming ; had no desire to be prominent, and was seldom seen 
at any gathering, but those of a religious character. Beneath his occasionally 
brusque and blunt manner was a soul full of kindliness and good nature. 

The late Bishop Marty, who delivered the funeral oration at the burial 
of Bishop Seidenbusch and had known him for years, paid this tribute to his 
character and work: "I never saw a man more unselfish, more loving, more 
humble, more patient, more forgiving and more like Him, who has said of 
Himself: 'Learn from me for I am meek and humble of heart,' than the late 
lamented Bishop. He was the very model of that charity which is so beauti- 
fully described by St. Paul in his first Epistle to the Corinthians. No man 
possessed those attributes of charity in a more intense degree than Bishop 
Seidenbusch. And therefore young men from all parts of the country gath- 
ered around him at his cathedral, which he built himself, and from their 
number he chose missionaries, instruments for the salvation of the people 
of the Northwest, whose numbers were increasing from year to year. The 
Bishop was the chief instrument in the hands of Divine Providence to bring 
about the progress of Catholicity in northern Minnesota, to lay the foundation 
for an edifice which is to endure. He was assisted by the priests, by his 
brethren (the Benedictines), by the people, but he led with that spirit with 
which he was inspired, that charity without which there can be no success; 
and therefore our hearts are filled with gratitude towards our common bene- 
factor. ' ' 

Statistics for 1889. After his resignation, Bishop Seidenbusch continued 
to exercise episcopal functions in the Vicariate until its status was changed 
by its erection into a Diocese in September, 1889. 

The following figures will show the value of his services to religion in 
the northern part of the state during the thirteen years of his administration : 

Churches, 96; with resident pastors, 58; priests, 75; secular, 37; regular, 
38 ; stations, 18 ; chapels, 15 ; college and seminary, 1 ; academy, 1 ; parochial 
schools, 10; school children, 1,200; orphan asylums, 2; population, 54,200; 
white, 52,000 ; Indian, 2,200. 

Three Benedictine Fathers labored on the White Earth and Red Lake 
Indian reservations; and the Indians along the north shore of Lake Superior 
and at Fond du Lac were in charge of the Jesuit Fathers from Fort William, 
Canada, and of the Franciscan Fathers of Superior, Wis. 

Three religious orders were represented: the Benedictines (St. John's 
Abbey, at Collegeville, and St. Benedict's convent, at St. Joseph) ; the Fran- 



204 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

cisean sisters had a house at Belle Prairie and the Sisters of Mercy, at Mor- 
ris. The sisters of these communities devoted themselves to religious, educa- 
tional and charitable work. The Benedictine sisters conducted an orphan asy- 
lum at St. Joseph, and hospitals at St. Cloud and at Duluth. Industrial 
schools for Indian boys and girls were located at Collegeville and at St. 
Joseph. 

Stearns county at this time had eighteen churches with resident pastors: 
the Pro-cathedral and St. Mary's, in St. Cloud; Albany, Cold Spring, Col- 
legeville, Lake Henry, St. Martin, Luxemburg, Meire Grove, Melrose, New 
Munich, Richmond, Sauk Centre (2), Spring Hill, St. Augusta, St. Joseph and 
St. Nicholas. The missions were: Avon, St. Anne, Farming, Freeport, Hold- 
ingford, Kimball Prairie, Krain, Logering, Maples, Pearl Lake, Raymond, St. 
James and Brockway. 

Bishop Otto Zardetti. Very Rev. Dr. Otto Zardetti, who had been chosen 
to be the first bishop of St. Cloud, was born at Rorschach, in the canton of 
St. Gall in Switzerland, January 24, 1847, educated in the famous Jesuit 
college of Stella Matutina, at Feldkirch, and at the university of Innsbruck, 
in Tyrol, where he spent five years. During one of the vacations he made a 
visit to the home of his ancestors in Milan, Italy. His name and his paternal 
ancestors were Italian, but there was nothing in his features to suggest the 
presence of Lombard blood. "While still in deacon's orders, in 1869, he ac- 
companied Bishop Greith, of St. Gall, to the Vatican council and was pres- 
ent at two public sessions of that body. Here, too, he met for the first time 
the Benedictine Father, who was to be his successor in the see of St. Cloud — 
the Rev. Martin Marty, O. S. B. 

After Easter, 1870, he returned to Innsbruck and successfully passed the 
examinations for degrees. On August 21, of the same year, he was ordained 
a priest by Bishop Greith, of St. Gall. (Note — These data are taken from an 
autobiographical sketch of Dr. Zardetti in his publication "The Diocese of 
St. Cloud," January, 1892. Reuss, in his cyclopedia of the Catholic Hier- 
archy, p. Ill, says that Dr. Zardetti was ordained August 21, 1870, by Bishop 
Riccabona, and claims to have all the data from the Bishop himself. As a 
matter of fact, he was ordained deacon and sub-deacon by the aforesaid pre- 
late at Trent during the "pentecostal holidays," 1867, and received the or- 
der of priesthood from Bishop Greith. — A. H.) On December 21 of the same 
year, the degree of doctor of divinity was conferred upon him by the Univer- 
sity of Innsbruck, "he being the first native of Switzerland to receive this 
honor there." (Diocese of St. Cloud, January, 1892.) In 1871 he was ap- 
pointed professor of rhetoric in the seminary of St. George, near St. Gall, and 
his fame as a pulpit orator gave him access to every pulpit of his native land. 
Bishop Greith, in the spring of 1874, appointed him librarian of the cele- 
brated cathedral library of St. Gall, "hoping thus to bind him more tightly 
to his native land and diocese." But the American fever (as he calls it) had 
already taken its hold on his mind and it was strengthened by Dr. Mess- 
mer's departure for America — and by his eager study of American history 
and current English literature. "While librarian at St. Gall's, he traveled 
for several months in England, visiting, among other places, the universities 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 205 

of Cambridge and Oxford. In 1873 he was created an honorary canon of St. 
Maurice's, and at the age of twenty -nine, canon of St. Gall's. But all of these 
honors and his growing reputation could not keep him from following the 
call of the "West and, accordingly, in May, 1880, he came for a visit to this 
land of his dreams." Four months later he was again in Switzerland, unde- 
cided whether he should devote the rest of his life to the service of the 
church in the United States, or continue in the splendid career upon which 
he had entered. 

An invitation from the archbishop of Milwaukee, to fill the chair of dog- 
matic theology at St. Francis seminary induced him to cut short his delibera- 
tions and to accept the offer. In November, 1881, he entered upon his duties 
as a professor at Milwaukee. Five years later. Bishop Martj^, then Vicar 
Apostolic of Dakota, invited him to accept the office of Vicar General, a posi- 
tion which he filled from the summer of 1887 to the time of his appointment 
to the episcopal see of St. Cloud. He was traveling in Europe when he was 
appointed, October 3, 1889. 

He received episcopal consecration on October 20, 1889, at the ancient 
abbey of Einsiedeln in Switzerland, the consecrating prelate was the late 
Archbishop William Hickley Gross, of Oregon, who was assisted by Bishops 
Augustine Egger, of St. Gall, and Leonard Haas, of Basle. Shortly after, he 
crossed the Atlantic and made his entrance into his episcopal city November 
21, 1889. 

His administration, which lasted a little over four years, was one of un- 
ceasing activity in every direction. He found that the number of priests 
was far from adequate to minister to the wants of the rapidly growing Catho- 
lic population. A number of young secular priests entered the diocese and 
were assigned positions as pastors at churches that had hitherto been with- 
out a resident priest. At the end of 1889 thirty-four churches had resident 
priests ; there were 70 priests in the diocese (including those engaged in 
teaching at St. John's university) ; about 40 stations without churches, 6 
chapels, 2 hospitals, and an orphan asylum. The Catholic population was 
estimated at 30,000. He at once appointed a vicar general in the person of 
the late Manager Joseph P. Bauer, a board of five consultors, examiners, 
deans and such other officers as constitute a bishop's official staff or family. 
The rectory aside of the pro-cathedral was too small for the Bishop and his 
clergy. He personally drew the plans for a more spacious and suitable resi- 
dence, a brick structure two stories high, with a mansard roof. Work was 
begun in the summer of 1890 and on the first anniversary of his consecration 
he took possession of his new quarters. The building is joined with the rec- 
tory of the pro-cathredral and faces Seventh avenue. In the same year he 
ordered the decoration of the pro-cathedral. 

Anxious to keep in touch with all the priests of the diocese he estab- 
lished an official organ, "The Diocese of St. Cloud," a four-page sheet, which 
was published at St. Cloud every month from January, 1891, to March, 1894. 
It contained communications and instructions to the clergy, a short record 
of diocesan events, ecclesiastical documents and valuable historical notes re- 
ferring to the early history of the diocese. 



206 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Bishop Zardetti was a warm defender of the parochial school and rec- 
ommended the establishment of such institutions wherever it was possible. 
His attitude towards the educational question drew him into the public 
prints on several occasions. 

He was renowned as a pulpit orator and was on numerous occasions 
invited to grace festivals and conventions with the elegance of his oratory. 
His discourse at the opening of the congress of German Catholic societies 
at Buffalo, in September, 1891, has become historic. 

Late in March, 1894, he was notified of his election to the archiepiscopal 
see of Bucharest, in Roumania. He accepted the appointment; on April 10 
he ceased to be bishop of St. Cloud, but continued to administer the affairs of 
the diocese. Several weeks later he resigned the administratorship, which 
was entrusted to Manager Bauer. On May 16, 1894, the late Bishop left St. 
Cloud never to see it again. 

Archbishop Zardetti took possession of his Roumanian see on November 
21, 1894, after having received the pallium, which is the badge of the archi- 
episcopal office, in Rome on October 10 of the same year. In his new diocese 
he labored with as much energy as at St. Cloud, but had to contend with so 
many adverse circumstances that he resigned in the following year. He re- 
turned to Rome in the fall of 1896. Pope Leo XH, who had already appointed 
him titular archbishop of Mocissus, also made him a canon of the basilica of 
St. John Lateran and a consultor of two Roman congregations, that for the 
affairs of bishops and regulars, and that of extraordinary ecclesiastical affairs. 
His excellent services merited for him the appointment of assistant at the 
Papal throne in 1899. About this time his health, which had never been 
robust, was in a very precarious condition and he seemed to realize that his 
days were numbered. He had hoped to see America and, particularly, St. 
Cloud once more, but death put an end to all such hopes on May 10, 1902, in 
the city of Rome. His remains were interred in the Cistercian Abbey of 
Mehrerau, near Bregenz, Vorarlberg. 

Bishop Zardetti was not only a distinguished pulpit orator, but he also 
wielded a refined and scholarly pen. He is the author of the following works : 
(1) Zehn Bilder aus Sued England, 1877; (2) Pius der Grosse, 1878; (3) 
Restauration der Wallfahrtskirche zum hi. Kreuz, 1879 ; (4) Leben der Ehrw. 
Sophie Magdalena Barat, 1880; (5) Requies S. Galli, 1881; (6) Special Devo- 
tion to the Holy Ghost, 1888; (7) Die Bischofsweihe, 1889; (8) Die Priester- 
weihe, 1889; (9) Westlich, 1897. (This book was written and published after 
Dr. Zardetti had resigned the see of Bucharest, and contains a description of 
a journey across the American continent, including the National Park.) 

Bishop Martin Marty. After the departure of Archbishop Zardetti the 
see of St. Cloud remained vacant for nine months, until it was given its sec- 
ond bishop in the person of the Right Rev. Martin Marty, who came to his 
work equipped with the experience of a bishop and of a missionary, but suf- 
fering from the effects of overwork and of hardships endured in his former 
fields of labor. 

Bishop Marty was born at Schwyz in Switzerland, January 12, 1834. He 
became a monk of the Benedictine Order at Einsiedeln in his native land 



HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 207 

and pronounced the final vows as a religious May 20, 1855. His ordination 
to the priesthood took place at Einsiedeln September 14, 1856. 

The monks of this famous monastery had been invited by the late Bishop 
de St. Palais, of Vinceunes, Indiana, to establish a house in his diocese. A 
small colony arrived in this country in 1854 ; a second followed in 1860, led 
by Father Martin Marty. When St. Meinrad's Priory was organized in Indi- 
ana, May 1, 1865, he was appointed its first prior. Five years later the monas- 
tery was raised to the rank of an abbey and Prior Martin was chosen as its 
first abbot. He was solemnly blessed and installed in office on May 21, 1871, 
by Bishop St. Palais. A year later he began to build a new monastery and a 
church for St. Meinrad's. 

About this time his attention was directed to the needs of the Indians 
in Dakota territory. He visited the Indian settlements in person, learned 
the language and grew so deeply attached to this work that he resigned his 
office as abbot and devoted himself exclusively to the Indian missions. "It 
was a line of work fraught with countless difficulties, but the kindliness of 
his disposition qualified him as a preacher of the Gospel and, what was of no 
small importance, as a peacemaker, when the Indians brooding over real 
or imaginary wrongs showed themselves hostile to the United States Govern- 
ment. On his return to St. Meinrad's, he compiled a Sioux grammar and 
dictionary, by means of which he taught several priests and twelve Sisters 
of Charity to speak the language. He soon attained great influence over the 
savages; he was trusted by them so thoroughly that he went twice into the 
camp of Chief Sitting Bull at a time when the Indians had sworn death to 
every white man, and he did much towards protecting settlers. He acted thus 
under the authority of the United States Government. It was in 1877 that 
Abbot Marty, with eight Indians and two interpreters, left Standing Rock 
agency and journeyed to Canada, whither Sitting Bull, whose hostilities were 
causing much annoyance to the Government, had fled. It was important that 
his friendship be gained. The Abbot caused his presence to be announced 
and shortly the dreaded chief appeared at the head of a hundred mounted 
savages and welcomed him. "You come, indeed (said the chief), from Amer- 
ica, but you are a priest, and therefore we bid you welcome. The priest 
wi'ongs no one, and therefore we will grant him meat and shelter and listen 
to his words." He eventually succeeded in inducing the fugitives to return 
to the reservation and to conduct themselves more peacefully. (From obituary 
by the writer of the present article.) 

In 1879 the territory of Dakota was created a vicariate apostolic and 
Abbot Marty was appointed first vicar apostolic. He received episcopal con- 
secration as titular bishop of Tiberias at Ferdinand, Indiana, February 1, 
1880, the consecrating prelate being Bishop Francis Silas Chatard, of Vin- 
cennes, assisted by Bishop Rupert Seidenbusch, Vicar Apostolic, of northern 
Minnesota, and Abbot Innocent "Wolf, 0. S, B., of St. Benedict's Abbey, Atchi- 
son, Kansas. During the next few years he had no church, no fixed residence ; 
sometimes he was at Yankton; sometimes at Standing Rock or Jamestown. 
In 1884 he made Yankton his headquarters and remained there until the 
diocese of Sioux Falls was created and he was elected its first bishop Decem- 



208 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

ber 16, 1889. He had governed this diocese five years, when he was trans- 
ferred to St. Cloud. 

When he was installed in office at St. Cloud on March 12, 1895, by Most 
Rev. John Ireland, archbishop of St. Paul, in the presence of all the bishops 
of the province of St. Paul — to which the diocese of St. Cloud belongs, he 
found a well organized diocese, a devoted clergy and loyal people. During 
the twenty months of his government of this see he impressed and edified all 
by his simplicity, devotion to duty and charity. In June, 1895, he delivered 
a feeling oration at the burial of his predecessor in the northern mission field, 
Bishop Rupert Seidenbusch. In spite of his poor health he performed all 
the burdensome duties incident to the episcopal office, visiting the congrega- 
tions to administer confirmation, to bless corner-stones for churches, preside at 
ecclesiastical celebrations, etc. He confirmed for the last time at St. Wendelin's 
church, Luxemburg, September 15, 1896, when he broke down completely. 
On September 19, 1896, the diocese was bereaved for a second time. The 
obsequies took place September 23 and the remains were temporarily interred 
in Calvary cemetery, at St. Cloud. 

In his earlier days, the deceased had displayed literary activity of no 
mean order, but his missionary work subsequently engrossed his attention to 
the exclusion of all other activities. Besides the aids for the study of the 
Sioux language mentioned above, he wrote: (1) Cantuarium Romanum. (The 
Ordinary of the Mass, with organ accompaniment by the author), 1869; (2) 
Dr. Johann Martin Henni, Erster Bischof und Erzbischof von Milwaukee, 
1888; (3) Der hi. Benedikt und sein Orden (published anonymously), 1874. 

At the end of the year 1896 the diocese of St. Cloud contained 45 secular 
priests, 35 Benedictine priests ; 55 churches with a resident priest ; 30 missions 
with churches, 12 chapels, and the Catholic population was estimated at 
40,000. 

During the vacancy of the see, Manager Joseph P. Bauer was, for a second 
time, its administrator. 

Bishop James Trobec. The third bishop of St. Cloud, the Right Rev. 
James Trobec, was born in southern Austria, in the province of Krain, in 
the village of Billichgratz, July 10, 1838, of parents who made their living off 
a small farm and perhaps never even dreamed that this child of the hills 
should ever wield a bishop's crosier in distant America sixty years later. After 
attending the schools of his native village, he entered the third class of 
the normal school at Laybach, the capital of the province, and subsequently 
graduated from the gymnasium of that city. He then entered the ecclesi- 
astical seminary at the same place, studied theology for some time and early 
in 1864 left his home with several class-mates to consecrate himself to the 
American mission. After a voyage of forty days in a sailing vessel, he ar- 
rived at New York, April 4, 1864, and at once entered St. Vincent's seminary, 
at Beatty, Pennsylvania, where he finished his studies in 1865. In August of 
that year, he was in Minnesota and on September 8 was ordained a priest 
by Bishop Thomas L. Grace, at St. Paul. Immediately after his ordination he 
was appointed assistant at Belle Prairie, Morrison county, where his cc ^ - 
man. Father Pirz, had organized a congregation composed of French and 




RT. REV. BISHOP JAMKS TROBEC 



vitam 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 209 

Indians, several years before. But for his knowledge of German, Father 
Trobec might have remained at Belle Prairie and eventually become an 
Indian missionary — he had a fair knowledge of French, which was a very 
useful accomplishment in those days. As it was, he was transferred to "Wa- 
basha in 1866. A congregation had been organized there by the late Father 
Tissot in 1858. 

Father Trobec entered upon his new charge, St. Felix's, as the congre- 
gation at Wabasha was called, in October, 1866. "At the beginning of his 
pastorate his charge included Wabasha, West Albany, Pell (now called Oak- 
wood), Highland, Snake Creek and Minneiska. After three years of unceas- 
ing toil and for the purpose of giving the parishes of Lake City and Wabasha 
more regular services, such as those growing missions sorely needed, a resi- 
dent pastor was appointed for St. Mary's parish of Lake City, in the year 
1869, with West Albany attached thereto as a mission. . . . During the 
first year of his pastorate he succeeded in building churches in several of 
his missions. In 1867 he built the church of Minneiska and later on enlarged 
the church of Highland." (Jub. St. Fel. Parish, 1908.) 

For more than five years he lived on the ground floor of the church ; in 
1872 he built a parsonage aside of the church and turned the lower floor of 
the latter into school rooms for a parochial school. Two years later he be- 
gan to replace the old frame church by a more substantial edifice of brick, 
which was dedicated July 18, 1875. Its cost was about $20,000. By far the 
largest contribution to the building fund was made by the pastor himself, 
who contributed $3,500; and we are told he paid about $1,500 towards the 
enlargement of the school building. St. Felix's was decorated at a cost 
of about $1,400 in the summer of 1887 and on October 2 of the same year 
Father Trobec, after serving for more than two decades at Wabasha, was 
called to St. Paul. 

The task set before him here was the organization of the St. Agnes 
parish composed of a great number of German families, chiefly of the labor- 
ing class. From October, 1887 to August 15, 1888, services were held in the 
neighboring church of St. Adelbert. In November, 1887, work was begun 
on a spacious school building, the upper floor of which served as a church 
for nearly ten years. In April, 1897, the congregation resolved to build a 
church, and as the parishioners were not wealthy people, it was deemed ad- 
visable to proceed slowly. Hence only a basement was decided upon for the 
present ; the superstructure to be reared at some more favorable time. Work 
was begun April 20, 1897, but three months later, July 28, Father Trobec was 
notified that he had been appointed bishop of St. Cloud. 

His consecration took place in the old cathedral at St. Paul on the feast 
of St. Matthew, September 21, 1897, the consecrator being Archbishop John 
Ireland, of St. Paul, assisted by Archbishop F. X. Katzer, of Milwaukee, and 
Bishop John Vertin, of Marquette. One week later he was installed in his 
see in the presence of all the bishops of the province of St. Paul, and of a gath- 
ering of clergy and laity as it is rarely the privilege of St. Cloud to witness. 

Nearly seventeen years have passed since that memorable day. The 
venerable Bishop's life has been one of unceasing, quiet labor, in the interests 



210 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

of his flock. Twice he visited Rome to report on the condition of his diocese 
— in 1900 and in 1909. He has visited every part of his diocese several times 
and studied the needs of the smallest mission. His administration will be 
memorable for the great number of churches and schools built or rebuilt in 
more substantial form. Owing to age and infirmity Bishop Trobec resigned 
last summer and retired as titular bishop of Lycopolis, but continues to gov- 
ern the diocese as administrator until his successor has been appointed. 

Diocesan Officials. 

The staff, or official family of the Vicar Apostolic was very small. There 
was a bishop's council since 1878, composed of Abbot Alexius Edelbrock, 
O. S. B., Rev. Joseph Buh, and Rev. Severin Gross, 0. S. B. A fourth member 
was added in 1886 in the person of Rev. F. X. A. Stemper. 

The first vicar general was the late Very Rev. Severin Gross, 0. S. B., 
who held the office from 1882-1888 (+December 3, 1893) ; his successor was 
Rev. F. X. A. Stemper, who had been the Bishop's secretary since 1883. When 
the vicariate became extinct, he left Minnesota and is at present stationed in 
the diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin. 

Since the erection of the diocese there have been only two vicar generals : 

Manager Joseph P. Bauer was born July 30, 1842, at Niederbronn, Alsace. 
His father was a Protestant, and brought up his son in his own faith ; but the 
boy eventually became a convert to Catholicity, the faith of his mother. At 
the age of eighteen he left his home for Algiers, Africa, intending to devote 
himself to the African mission as so many of his countrymen were doing. 
After finishing his theology at the mission seminary, he was ordained a priest 
June 29, 1865, by Bishop Pavy and served in the missions for fifteen years 
as a member of the congregation of the Peres Blancs, or White Fathers, as 
they are called on account of their garb. In 1867 he had occasion to travel 
through Austria, France and Italy, soliciting alms for the famine-stricken 
Africans. The African climate did not agree with him and he found himself 
compelled to renounce his earlier ambition. In 1880 he left Africa and en- 
tered the diocese of London, Ontario, where he served for seven years and 
established a college at Stony Point. This venture did not prove successful 
and he came to the United States in 1887. The late Bishop Marty appointed 
him pastor of Jefferson, South Dakota, where he remained until Bishop Zar- 
detti selected him for his vicar general late in 1889. Father Bauer arrived in 
St. Cloud December 13 of the same year. 

Failing eye-sight compelled him to seek for some relief in his manifold 
duties; in July, 1893, he was appointed pastor of the church at St. Augusta, 
but at the Bishop's request retained the offices of vicar general and chancel- 
lor of the diocese. On April 15, 1894, he was invested with the insignia of 
a domestic prelate to His Holiness Leo XIII. When Archbishop Zardetti left 
St. Cloud for his Roumanian see May 16, 1894, Monsignor Bauer was ap- 
pointed administrator of the diocese, pending the appointment of a new 
bishop. Bishop Martin Marty retained him as vicar general. After that pre- 
late's death, September, 1896, he again became administrator of the see, until 
the arrival of Bishop James Trobec. While pastor of St. Augusta he suffered 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 211 

a stroke of paralysis in April, 1898, from which he never fully recovered. He 
died at St. Raphael's hospital, St. Cloud, November 20, 1899, and was buried 
in Calvary cemetery. 

Manager Edward J. Nagl, the second vicar general of the diocese of St. 
Cloud, was born at Landskron, in Bohemia, November 19, 1849. Leaving his 
native land in 1868, he came to the United States, continued his ecclesiastical 
studies at St. Vincent's seminary, Beatty, Pa., and finished them at St. John's 
seminary at CoUegeville. On September 29, 1876, he was ordained a priest 
at St. Cloud, by Bishop Rupert Seiderbusch. He is the first priest ordained 
for the Vicariate of northern Minnesota. For the next seventeen years he was 
stationed at North Prairie, from which place he also visited Elmdale, Brock- 
way and Swan River. At North Prairie he built a church and a parsonage ; 
also at Brockway ; and churches at the other two missions. In 1893 he was 
transferred to Pierz, where he built a parochial school. Bishop Zardetti in 
1893 appointed him his vicar general for the Polish parishes of the diocese. 
Bishop Trobec appointed him vicar general for the whole diocese in March, 
1898 ; transferred him from Pierz to St. Augusta in the same year, and on 
September 29, 1902, the twenty-fifth anniversary of Father Nagl's ordination, 
invested him with the insignia of a domestic prelate to Pope Pius X. He with- 
drew from active parish service and is at present chaplain and spiritual 
director in the convent of the Franciscan Sisters at Little Falls, but still oc- 
cupies the position of vicar general. 

Other Officials. 

The bishop is supported in the administration of the diocese by a number 
of officials and boards : 

1. The board of consultors advise the bishop in matters of importance 
and have a voice in the election of a bishop for the see. The following have 
held the office of cousultor since the organization of the diocese in 1889 : 
Right Rev. Mgr. Joseph P. Bauer, 1890-1898; Right Rev. Mgr. Edward J. 
Nagl, 1890 to date; Rev. Gregory Steil, 0. S. B., 1893-1903; Rev. Gregory 
Goebel, 1893-1901; Rev. Ignatius Tomazin, 1898-1904, and 1909 to date; Rev. 
William Lange, 1898-1904, and 1909 to date ; Right Rev. Mgr. Bernard Rich- 
ter, 1902 to date ; Rev. William Eversmann, 0. S. B., 1904-1908 ; Rev. John G. 
Stiegler, 1905 to date ; Rev. Arthur Lamothe, 1905-1912 ; Rev. John A. Kitow- 
ski, 1905 to date ; Very Rev. Herman Bergmann, O. S. B., 1911 to date. 

2. Deans: Right Rev. Edward J. Nagl, 1890-1893; Rev. Valentine 
Stimmler, O. S. B., 1890-1892 ; Rev. William Lange, 1890-1892, and 1905-1907 ; 
Rev. Ignatius Tomazin, 1893-1901 ; Rev. Ludger Ehrens, 0. S. B., 1893-1899, 
and 1902-1903 ; Right Rev. Bernard Richter, 1895-1901 ; Rev. John G. Stiegler, 
1902-1904; Rev. Arthur Lamothe, 1902-1904; Rev. Gregory Steil, 1904-1908; 
Rev. William Eversmann, O. S. B., 1908; Rev. Gregory Goebel, 1890-1912; 
Rev. August Gospodar, 1902 to date ; Rev. P. J. Altendorf, 1905 to date ; Rev. 
Edward Jones, 1905 to date; Rev. Meinulph Stukenkemper, O. S. B., 1909 
to date. 

3. Examiners of the Clergy : Right Rev. Abbot Bernard Loonikar, 0. 
S. B., 1890-1894 ; Right Rev. Joseph P. Bauer, 1890-1897 ; Right Rev. Edward 



212 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

J. Nagl, 1890-1897 ; Rev. Arthur Lainothe, 1898-1904. The present board con- 
sists of Rev. Francis Mershman, 0. S. B., D. D., and the board of consultors. 

4. Procurator Fiscalis, i. e., the official diocesan prosecutor: Right Rev. 
Edward Nagl, 1891-1897 ; Rev. George Gaskell, 1898-1900 ; Rev. Edward Jones, 

1901 to date. 

5. Defensor Matrimonii, i. e., defender of the matrimonial tie in suits 
in which the nullity or validity of the bond is involved : Rev. Gregory Steil, 
0. S. B., 1890-1892; Rev. Arthur Lamothe, 1893-1894; Rev. Conrad Glatz- 
meier, 0. S. B., 1895-1903 ; Rev. Francis Mershman, 0. S. B., D. D., 1904 to date. 

6. The following, among others, have held the office of secretary to 
the bishop: Revs. Arthur Lamothe, 1889; John Wernich, 1895 and 1896; 
Rev. John J. Kicken, 1900; Rev. George Arenth, 1903-1905; Rev. Matthias 
Hoffmann, 1907; Rev. William Scheiner, 1908; Rev. Joseph M. Buscher, 
1909 ; Rev. Joseph Willenbrink, 1910. 

7. Diocesan School Board for regulation of parochial schools: Rev. 
Wolfgang Steinkogler, O. S. B., 1891-1892; Rev. Aloys Raster, 1891-1900 
Rev. Timothy Vaeth, O. S. B., 1893 ; Rev. Gregory Steil, 0. S. B., 1900-1903 
Rev. Peter Gans, 1904-1907; Rev. William Eversmann, 0. S. B., 1904-1907 
Right Rev. Bernard Richter, 1891-1897, and 1902 to date; Rev. J. P. Alten- 
dorf, 1901 to date; Rev. Edward Jones, 1895 to date; Rev. Anthony Arzt, 

1902 to date ; Rev. Francis Welp, 1902 to date ; Very Rev. Alfred Mayer, 0. 
S. B., 1908 to date. 

8. Consultors regarding the removal of pastors: 1910-1912; Rev. S. 
Szuszynski, 1910 to date. 

9. Vigilance committee : Rev. Francis Merschman, 0. S. B., Rev. August 
Gospodar, Rev. J. P. Altendorf, Rev. Alexius Hoffmann, 0. S. B. — all appointed 
in 1910. 

PRESENT STATUS OF THE DIOCESE. 

Government. 

Administrator: Right Rev. James Trobec, D. D., residing at St. Cloud, 
Minn. 

Vicar General : Right Rev. Mgr. Edward J. Nagl, Little Falls, Minn. 

Consultors: the Vicar General, ex officio; Very Rev. Herman Bergman, 
0. S. B. ; Rev. John G. Stiegler, Right Rev. Mgr. Bernard Richter, Rev. Wil- 
liam Lange, Rev. J. A. Kitowski. 

Procurator Fiscalis: Rev. Edward Jones. 

Examiners of the Clergy : Rev Francis Mershman, 0. S. B., and the con- 
sultors. 

Deans : Rev. August Gospodar, Rev. J. P. Altendorf, Rev. Edward Jones, 
Rev. Meinulph Stukenkemper, O. S. B. 

Diocesan School Board : Right Rev. Mgr. Bernard Richter, Rev. Edward 
Jones, Very Rev. Alfred Mayer, 0. S. B., Rev. J. P. Altendorf, Rev. Anthony 
Arzt, Rev. Francis Welp. 

Defensor Matrimonii: Rev. Francis Mershman, 0. S. B. 

Censors : Very Rev. Alfred Mayer, O. S. B., Rev. Leo Gans, J. C. D. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 213 

Vigilance Committee: Rev. Francis Mersham, 0. S. B., Rev August 
Gospodar, Rev. J. P. Altendorf, Rev. Alexius Hoffmann, 0. S. B. 

CHURCHES AND CLERGY IN 1913. 
Stearns County. 

St. Cloud — Pro-cathedral of the Holy Angels: Rev. Leo Cans, J. C. D., 
pastor; Rev. Charles Mayer, and Rev. Joseph Kilian, assistants. Church of 
the Immaculate Conception: Rev. Gerard Spielmann, 0. S. B., pastor; Revs. 
Vincent Sehiffrer, Alto Walter, and Hildebrand Eickhoff, 0. S. B., assistants. 
St. Joseph's Home: Rev. Willibrord Mahowald, 0. S. B., chaplain. St. 
Raphael's Hospital: Rev. Joseph Mayrhofer, chaplain. Church of St. John 
Cantius : Rev. Vincent Wotzka, pastor. 

Albany — Church of the Seven Dolors, Rev. Andrew Straub, 0. S. B., pas- 
tor; Rev. Adelbert Unruhe, 0. S. B., assistant. 

Arban — Sacred Heart church, attended from Holdingford. 

Avon — St. Benedict's church. Rev. Leonard Kapsner, 0. S. B. 

Belgrade — St. Francis de Sales church, Rev. F. S. Hawelka. 

Brockway — St. Stephen's church. Rev. John Trobec. 

Cold Spring — St. Boniface church. Rev. Maurus Ferdinand, O. S. B. 

Collegeville— Church of St. John the Baptist, Rt. Rev. Peter Engel, 0. S. B. 

Eden Valley — Church of the Assumption, Rev. N. J. A. Peiffer. 

Farming — St. Catherine's church. Rev. Philip Bahner, O. S. B. 

Freeport — Church of the Sacred Heart, Rev. Meinrad Seifermann, O. S. B. 

Holdingford — St. Mary's church. Rev. Eugene Scheuer. 

Holdingford — St. Hedwig's church. Rev. Raymond Golkowski. 

Lake George — Church of SS. Peter and Paul, Rev. Norbert Groth. 

Lake Henry — Church of St. Margaret, Rev. William Lange. 

Maples — Church of St. Columbkille, attended from Opole. 

Meire Grove — Church of St. John the Baptist, Rev. Martin Sehmitt, 
O. S. B. 

Melrose — Church of St. Boniface, Right Mgr. Bernard Richter, pastor; 
Rev. Sebastian Schirmers, assistant. 

Melrose — Church of St. Patrick, Rev. Joseph Killian. 

New Munich — Church of the Immacidate Conception, Rev. Luke Fink, 
O. S. B. 

Opole — Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Rev. Paul Brenny. 

Padua — Church of St. Anthony, Rev. John Fuss. 

Pearl Lake — Church of the Holy Cross, Rev. Henry Leuthner. 

Richmond — Church of SS. Peter and Paul, Rev. Gregory Steil, 0. S. B., 
pastor; Rev. Bede Mayenberger, 0. S. B., assistant. 

Roscoe — Church of St. Agnes, Rev. Benno Ferstl, 0. S. B. 

St Ann, town of Avon — Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rev. John 
A. Kitowski. 

St. Anthony, town of Krain — Church of St. Anthony, Rev. Ignatius 
Tomazin. 

St. Augusta — Church of Mary Help of Christians, Rev. James Walcher. 



214 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

St. James— Town of Wakefield, Rev. Julius Locnikar, 0. S. B. 

St. Joseph — Church of St. Joseph, Rev. Ludger Ehrens, O. S. B. 

St. Joseph — St. Benedict's convent and academy. Rev. Henry Borgerd- 
ing, 0. S. B., chaplain. 

St. Martin — Church of St. Martin, Rev. Meinulph Stukenkemper, O. S. B. 

St. Nicholas, town of Luxemburg — Church of St. Nicholas, Rev. Gebhard 
SchoUenberger. 

St. Rose, town of Millwood — Church of St. Rose, Rev. Agatho Gehret, 
0. S. B. 

St. Wendelin, town of St. Augusta — Church of St. Wendelin, Rev. Hu- 
bert Gunderman. 

Sauk Centre — Church of St. Paul, Rev. Anthony Arzt. 

Sauk Centre — Church of Our Lady of Angels, Rev. Frederik Hinnenkamp. 

Spring Hill— Church of St. Michael, Rev. Charles Pfeiffer. 

Morrison County. 
Belle Prairie — Church of the Holy Family, Rev. Michael Barras. 
Bowlus — Church of St. Stanislaus, Rev. Joseph Janski. 
Buckman — Church of St. Michael, Rev. John Brender. 
Flensburg — Church of the Sacred Heart, Rev. Peter Krol. 
Lastrop — Church of St. John Nepomucene, Rev. Herman J. Klein. 
Little Falls — Church of St. Francis Xavier, Rev. Arthur Lamothe. 
Little Falls — Church of the Sacred Heart, Rev. J. P. Altendorf. 
Little Falls — Church of St. Adalbert, Rev. T. Renkosiak. 
North Prairie — Church of the Holy Cross, Rev. S. Szuszynski. 
Pierz — Church of St. Joseph, Rev. John G. Stiegler, pastor; Rev. Victor 
Siegler, assistant. 

Platte — Church of the Holy Cross, Rev. John Tokarz (pro tem.). 
Royalton — Church of the Holy Trinity, Rev. August Plaehta. 
Ramey — Church of St. John Nepomucene, Rev. Peter Wollnik, O. S. B. 
Swan River — Church of St. Stanislaus, Rev. August Gospodar. 

Douglas County. 

Alexandria — St. Mary's church, Rev. Francis Welp. 

Belle River — Church of St. Nicholas, Rev. Emil Steinach. 

Millerville — Church of the Seven Dolors, Rev. Ignatius Wippich. 

Osakis — Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rev. Joseph Wissendorf. 

Ottertail County. 

Bluffton— Church of St. John the Baptist, Rev. Frederick Wiechmann. 
Butler — Church of the Holy Cross, Rev. John Keyers, 0. S. C. 
Effington — Church of the Sacred Heart, Rev. John Sand. 
Elizabeth— Church of St. Elizabeth, Rev. John B. Wilkes. 
Fergus Falls — Church of St. Otto, Rev. George Ranch. 
Perham — Church of St. Henry, Rev. A. Schaut. 
Perham — Church of St. Stanislaus, Rev. S. B. Kuzniak. 
St. Joseph — Church of St. Joseph, Rev. Vincent Weigand. 
St. Lawrence — Church of St. Lawrence, Rev. Joseph Ambauen. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 215 

Wilkin County. 

Breckenridge — Church of the Presentation, Rev. William Gumper. 
Kent — Church of St. Thomas, Rev. Matthias Butala. 

Todd County. 

Browerville — Church of St. Joseph, Rev. John Guzdek. 
Browerville — Church of St. Peter, Rev. Matthias Billmayer. 
Long Prairie — Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Rev. Francis 
Britscher. 

Staples — Church of the Sacred Heart, Rev. Francis Zitur. 

Ward Springs — Church of St. Matthew, Rev. Herman Schmitz (pro tern.). 

West Union — Church of St. Alexius, Rev. William Scheiner. 

Traverse County. 

Brown's Valley — Church of St. Anthony, Rev. C. Thiebaut. 
Collis — Church of St. Patrick, Rev. Lambert Haupt. 
Dumont — Church of St. Peter, Rev. John A. Schritz. 
Tintah — Church of St. Gall, Rev. Matthias Hoffmann. 

Stevens County. 

Chokio — St. Mary's church, Rev. Isidore Hengarten. 
Donnelly — Church of St. Theresa, Rev. C. L. Gruenenwald. 
Morris — Church of the Assumption, Rev. Edward Jones, pastor ; Rev. John 
Fearson, assistant. 

Sherburne County. 

Clear Lake — St. Mark's church. Rev. Michael Seherer. 

Benton County. 

Duelm — Church of St. Lawrence, Rev. John Musial. 

Foley — Church of St. Bridget, Rev. Paul Kuich. 

Gilman — Church of St. Adalbert, Rev. J. Dudek. 

Mayhew — Church of the Annunciation, Rev. Joseph M. Buscher. 

Rice — Church of the Immaculate Conception, Rev. Joseph Stephan. 

St. Patrick's— Church of St. Patrick. 

Pope County. 

Villard — Church of St. Bartholomew, Rev. Francis Dvorak. 

Wadena County. 

Verndale — Church of St. Frederick, Rev. H. Yzermans, 0. S. C. 
Wadena — Church of St. Ann, Rev. Francis Lenger. 

MiUe Lacs County. 

Onemia — Church of the Holy Cross, Rev. John van der Hoist, 0. S. C. 
Princeton — Church of St. Edward, Rev. Joseph Willenbrink. 



216 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

INSTITUTIONS. 

1. St. John's Abbey of the Order of St. Benedict, Collegeville, Minn., 
Right Rev. Peter Engel, abbot; Very Rev. Herman Bergmann, prior; Very 
Rev. Michael Ott, sub-prior ; Rev. Athanasius Meyer, master of novices ; Fath- 
ers Cornelius Wittman, Francis Mershman, Stanislaus Preiser, John Katzner, 
Placidus "Wingerter, Alexius Hoffmann, Isidore Siegler, Benedict Schmit, 
Kilian Heid, James Hansen, Raphael Knapp, Fridolin Tembreull, Innocent 
Gertken, Paul Neussendorfer, Herbert Buerscheinger, Hilary Doerfler, Severin 
Gertken, Daniel Bangart, David Yuenger, Polycarp Hansen, Joseph Kreuter, 
Norbert Gertken, "Wilfrid Partika, Alphonse Sausen, Edwin Sieben, Lambert 
Weckvrerth, Sebastian Sis ; 19 clerics, 6 novices and 30 lay -brothers. 

2. St. John's College (legal title: St. John's University), in connection 
with St. John's Abbey. Right Rev. Peter Engel, 0. S. B., Ph. D., president; 
Very Rev. Kilian Heid, 0. S. B., rector ; Rev. Benedict Schmit, O. S B., direc- 
tor of studies. The above named Fathers of the Abbey constitute the corps 
of professors. 

3. St. Benedict's Convent of Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict, at St. 
Joseph, Stearns county — Mother Cecilia Kapsner, 0. S. B., prioress. 

4. St. Benedict's Academy in connection with St. Benedict's Convent. 

5. Boarding School for Small Boys, conducted at St. Joseph by the Sis- 
ters of St. Benedict's Convent. 

6. Convent of the Immaculate Conception: mother-house and novitiate 
of the Franciscan Sisters, at Little Falls. Mother Mary Elizabeth, superior. 

7. St. Gabriel's Hospital, at Little Falls; conducted by the Franciscan 
Sisters. 

8. St. Otto's Orphan Asylum, conducted at Little Falls by the Francis- 
can Sisters. 

9. St. James' Hospital, conducted by the Franciscan Sisters at Perham. 

10. Academy, conducted by the Sisters of St. Francis, at Belle Prairie. 

11. St. Francis Hospital, conducted by the Franciscan Sisters at Breck- 
enridge ; connected with the hospital is a training school for nurses. 

12. Convent of the Franciscan Sisters at Collegeville. 

13. St. Raphael's Hospital, St. Cloud, conducted by Benedictine Sisters 
from St. Joseph. 

14. St. Joseph's Home for the Aged, St. Cloud, conducted by the Bene- 
dictine Sisters. 

Statistics. Priests, secular, 83 ; priests, regular, 55 ; churches with resi- 
dent pastors, 90 ; missions, 29 ; chapels, 12 ; college, 1 ; students, 450 ; diocesan 
students, 15; academies, 3; students, 238; parochial schools, 22; orphan asy- 
lum, 1; orphans, 100; hospitals, 4; baptisms (1913), 2,447; deaths, 617; Catho- 
lic population, about 65,500. 

J 



HISTOEY OF STEAHNS COUNTY 217 

CHAPTER XVI. 

CATHOLIC CHURCHES IN STEARNS COUNTY. 

Story of the Organization, Growth and Progress of the Parishes — Devout 
Fathers Who Have Led a Worthy People Into the Higher Ways of Life 
— Privation and Sacrifice — Notable Results — Structures Around Which 
Have Centered Many of the Activities of the County — By the Rev. Alexius 
Hoffmann, 0. S. B. 

According to the Federal census of 1910 the population of Stearns county 
was 47,733, only three counties in the state exceeding this number. The vast 
majority are Catholics of different nationalities, chiefly German, Irish, Slo- 
venian and Polish. 

The pastors of all the congregations are appointed by the bishop, who 
resides in St. Cloud. Whenever a community is sufficiently numerous and 
able to support a priest, a resident clergyman is appointed. In other eases 
the locality is visited by some priest in charge of a church. Localities having 
a church without a resident priest are called "missions;" there are very few 
such places in Stearns county at present. 

The data for the sketches that follow were collected from parish regis- 
ters, reports of pastors, files of the "Nordstern, " "Times" and "Journal- 
Press" of St. Cloud, of "Der Wanderer," of St. Paul, of "The Diocese of St. 
Cloud, ' ' by Bishop Zardetti, a manuscript account of the work of the benedic- 
tines in the missions from 1856 to 1875 by Abbot Alexius Edelbrock, and other 
sources. It is not claimed that the present sketches are complete in every 
particular; perhaps this effort will be an inducement for local pastors to 
fill in what is wanting and thus prepare the way for a more comprehensive 
history of the churches. This is the first time that a historical sketch of all 
the Catholic churches of the county is attempted and this fact will explain in- 
accuracies and omissions on the part of one who has not had an opportunity 
to study the records of every parish. 

The writer takes occasion to thank the reverend clergy who have kindly 
supplied him with material, and also the editor of this history for this oppor- 
tunity to offer the people of our state and particularly of our county the story, 
at least in outline, of what has been achieved within sixty years by a God- 
fearing people and a devoted clergy. 

ALBANY. 

Church of the Seven Dolors. From 1863 to 1868 the few German Catho- 
lic settler at Two Rivers or Schwinghammer's, as this locality was originallj^ 
called, attended divine service at St. Joseph, which was twelve miles distant. 
The earliest settlers, who arrived in 1863, were John Schwinghammer, and 
Isidore and Paul Obermiller; they established themselves on sections 22 and 



218 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

23 of the township of Albany, along the old Breckenridge stage route. The 
first priest who visited the settlement was Father Benedict Haindl, from the 
abbey of St. Louis on the lake ; a congregation was organized September 23, 
1868, and was known as the Two River mission. From that time to 1872 
the little congregation assembled once a month to attend services conducted 
by one of the Fathers of the abbey. In 1870 the log cabin which served as a 
church and stood on the land of Isidore Obermiller chose for its titular the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, under the title of the Seven Dolors. 

When the railroad line was constructed through the township in 1872, 
the congregation resolved to remove the church to a site near the station 
somewhat more than a mile north of the original location. Joseph Zeis donated 
twenty acres of land for the purpose and in the same year a frame church, 
30 by 60, was built here, only a few rods south of the railroad track. Sev- 
eral years later it was considerably enlarged and dedicated in 1876 by Bishop 
Seidenbusch. 

The present cemetery was laid out in 1875; it is east of the parsonage. 
In 1883 the first parsonage was built and Father Gregory Steil became the 
first resident pastor. At that time the parish was in a state of turmoil over 
the school question; the outcome was that a parochial school was established 
near the church. This school was temporarily discontinued in 1888. 

In 1889 an addition 60 by 65 feet was built to the church, but in a few 
years even this space was too small. In the spring of 1899 work was begun 
on a new and larger church. Its dimensions are 60 by 150, and the transept 
measures 84 feet. The contract for the masonry was let to Paul Koschiol, of 
St. Cloud, and for the carpentry to Wenzel Wolke, of Pierz. It is heated with 
steam, lighted by electricity, has a large pipe-organ and stained-glass win- 
dows. It was dedicated by Bishop Trobec on August 4, 1900. 

The parochial school was re-organized in the fall of 1904, shortly before 
Father Conrad Glatzmaier left the parish. In 1910 the old frame school build- 
ing was replaced by a two-story brick structure. A new parsonage was built 
of brick in 1912. 

Pastors : The Benedictine Fathers Benedict Haindl, 1867-68 ; Wolfgang 
Northman, 1871-75 ; Panvratius Maehren, January to June, 1875 ; Cornelius 
Wittmann, June to December, 1875 ; Anthony Capser, November, 1875, to Sep- 
tember, 1876 ; Stanislaus Preiser, September, 1876 to May, 1877 ; Vincent 
Schiffrer, May, 1877, to January, 1880; Simplicius Wimmer, 1880-1883; An- 
thony Capser, January to November 26, 1883 ; Gregory Steil, first resident 
pastor, November, 1883, to February 1, 1885; Othmar Erren, May, 1885, to 
April, 1888; Conrad Glatzmaier, August 10, 1888, to September, 1904; the 
present pastor. Father Andrew Straub, since September 16, 1904. The pastor 
has had as resident assistants, Fathers Alto Walter, from August, 1909, to 
September 1, 1914; Adelbert Unruhe, since September 1, 1914. 

The principal society in the parish is the St. Joseph society, organized 
March 19, 1889, by Father Conrad Glatzmaier. Present membership, 140, of 
which number 82 have joined the state association. President, Joseph Bier; 
vice-president, John A. Merz; financial secretary, Martin Dindorf; recording 
secretary, Henry Briol; treasurer, George M. Schaefer. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 219 

ARBAN. 

Church of the Sacred Heart. A small congregation was organized in 
section 27 of the towoiship of Holding, in what was known as Young's settle- 
ment in April, 1873, by Rev. Joseph Vill, O. S. B., of St. John's Abbey, and 
visited once a month from the Abbey. The first mass was celebrated in 
the house of Sebastian Wiedmann ; here, too, the first child, Charles, son 
of Michael and Margaret Hartung, was baptized by Father Cornelius Witt- 
mann, O. S. B., pastor of St. Joseph. A small church was built of logs in the 
winter of 1874-75. As all the land was still subject to the homestead laws, 
none could be donated to the church. However, Francis Young promised ten 
acres, Denis Wiedmann and William Luckeroth, four acres and $25 each. 
When the township was surveyed it was found that the church was in section 
27, and not, as was supposed in section 28. The land upon which the church 
stood was then leased of the owner. 

The second church, 26 by 50, log and frame, was built in 1887 and dedi- 
cated in October of the same year. The present church, the cost of which was 
about $5,000, was dedicated by Bishop Trobec, November 16, 1904. 

In 1893, there were 45 families in the parish; the present number is 40, 
all Germans. Arban has never had a resident priest. After the withdrawal 
of the Benedictines from Holdingford, Arban was attended by the secular 
priest stationed there. (See Holdingford.) 

The following Benedictine Fathers visited Holding, or Arban, as it is 
now called, from 1873: Fathers Joseph Vill, 1873-1875; Aloys Hermanutz, 
1875-1878; Alphonse Kuisle, to 1879; Simplicius Wimmer, to 1880; Vincent 
Schiffrer, to 1882; George Scherer, to 1883; Vincent Schiffrer, 1883-1887; 
Martin Schmitt, 1888 ; Stanislaus Preiser and others to 1890 ; Anthony Capser, 
1890. 

Society: St. Joseph Society, organized 1913 by the present pastor Rev. 
E. Scheuer, with a membership of 40. President, August Heitzraann ; vice- 
president, Aloys Meyer; treasurer, Henry Young. 

AVON. 

St. Benedict's Church. This church is located in the village of Avon, in 
the township of the same name. Before 1858 Spunk lake and vicinity was 
inhabited exclusively by Indians and half-breeds. The name of the lake was 
derived from that of an Indian chief called Spunk, who lived here. When 
in the early seventies a railroad line was built through this region, a station 
was established at this point and named Avon. In 1858 two brothers, Nicholas 
and John Keppers, penetrated this part of the Indian bush and were the first 
white settlers of this place. They were soon followed by two other brothers, 
Nicholas S. and Theodore Keppers, and a number of other Catholic Germans. 
Early in the sixties a log school-house was built. The settlers went to St. 
Joseph, which was seven miles distant, for church services. In 1869 several 
of the settlers applied to St. Louis (now St. John's) Abbey for a priest, to 
conduct services for them at Avon. The abbot. Right Rev. Rupert Seidenbusch, 
appointed Prior Benedict Haindl, 0. S. B., to visit the place once a month 



220 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

from the abbey. Services were at first held in the log sehoolhouse. In 1872 
Prior Benedict was followed as rector by Rev. Ulric Northman, who a few 
months later was replaced by his brother, Rev. Wolfgang Northman. He was 
succeeded in 1875 by Rev. Pancratius Maehren, and in 1876 by Rev. Cornelius 
Wittmann, who suggested the erection of a church. The foundation was laid by 
his successor, Rev. Aloysius Hermanutz, the same year, but the church was not 
built before 1879 under the rectorship of Rev. Simplieius Wimmer. 

This church is a frame structure 76 by 34, with a steeple 84 feet high. 
The cost was about $2,500. It was dedicated on October 26, 1879, by Bishop 
Rupert Seidenbusch. The parish continued to be visited by priests from St. 
John's Abbey, which is five miles distant. Since 1881 the following Benedic- 
tine Fathers visited Avon regularly : Fathers Martin Schmitt, from 1881-1884 ; 
Thomas Borgerding, from June, 1884, to October, 1886; Jerome Heider, to 
August, 1890; Gerard Spielmann, to February, 1891, when he was succeeded 
by Father Simplieius Wimmer. After the latter 's retirement in November, 
1894, it was visited by several other fathers for short periods, among them, 
Fathers Oswald Baran and Anthony Capser. 

From 1895-1900 the parish was in charge of secular priests: Rev. J. P. 
Altendorf visited it from Gates for a year ; Rev. Richard Zoller visited it from 
Melrose, 1896-97, and lived at Avon during the next two years. 

In October, 1900, the Benedictine Fathers resumed charge : Father Sim- 
plieius Wimmer, who ministered once or twice in October was succeeded in 
the course of the same month by Father Otto Weisser, who built the present 
parsonage and resided in the village. His successor was Father Ludger 
Ehrens, from September 10, 1906, until September 20 of the following year, 
when he was succeeded by Father Vincent Schiffrer, who was pastor until 
April 11, 1909. Father Leonard Kapsner, the present pastor, succeeded Father 
Vincent. During his rectorship a brick school was built. 

The congregation consists of 85 families, mostly Germans. 120 children 
receive religious instruction. 

The principal church organization is the St. Benedict's Society, which 
was organized January 27, 1907, with a membership of 30. Present member- 
ship, 48. President, Frederic Meyer ; vice-president, Nicholas Schirmers ; finan- 
cial secretary, Frank Schmidt; recording secretary, John Merdan; treasurer, 
W. Keppers. 

BELGRADE. 

Church of St. Francis de Sales. This church is located in the village of 
Belgrade on the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Sault Ste. Marie Railway line, on 
the western boundary of Crow river township in the southwestern part of the 
county. Originally the few Catholic settlers here attended St. Michael's church 
at Spring Hill, ten miles distant. In 1890 a small frame church was built at 
Belgrade under direction of Father Paul Rettenmaier, 0. S. B., then pastor 
of Spring Hill. It was dedicated on September 14, of the same year, by Father 
Paul and was called church of St. Francis de Sales. One of the leading mem- 
bers at the time of organization was Christopher Borgerding. The grounds 
on which the church was erected were donated by Henry Kalkmann of Mel- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 221 

rose. For several years the place continued to be attended by the priest sta- 
tioned at Spring Hill. In 1896 the church was enlarged to twice its original 
capacity. 

Pastors: After Father Paul's withdrawal from Spring Hill in Septem- 
ber, 1890, he was followed by Father George Scheffold, 0. S. B., who also vis- 
ited Belgrade until June, 1891. His successor, Rev. C. A. Gunkel, visited it 
until 1893, when Rev. Isidore Hengarten became the first resident priest be- 
ginning with January 1. His successors were : Rev. Anthony Arzt, at present 
at. Sauk Centre, 1894; Rev. Ignatius Lager, 1894-98; Rev. Joseph Mayrhofer, 
1899-February, 1903 ; Rev. Fr. Dvorak, 1903-1911. The present pastor is Rev. 
F. S. Hawelka. 

BROCKWAY. 

Church of St. Stephen. This congregation was first visited by Rev. Joseph 
Buh, pastor of Belle Prairie in 1869. Organization was effected on February 
22, 1870, and work at a church begun. The building was a log and frame 
structure 60 by 30, and with the fixtures was worth about $3,000 ; it was dedi- 
cated April 23, 1871. Father Buh continued to visit the mission until 1875, 
when the Fathers of St. Louis Abbey took charge of it. Father Severin 
Gross, 0. S. B., while pastor of St. Joseph, visited Brockway several times, 
April, 1875, and March, 1876 ; he was followed by Rev. Vincent Schiffrer, O. S. 
B., from March, 1876-1888, and by Father Cyril Zupan, 0. S. B., from 1888- 
1893. After this time it was visited by Rev. Ignatius Tomazin, who resided at 
Belle River for one or two years. 

In 1897, the Rev. Joseph Knafelc was temporarily installed as the first 
resident priest; he was succeeded in November, 1901, by the present pastor. 
Rev. John Trobec. 

A parsonage was built in 1894 — a frame building with brick veneer; the 
cost was about $2,000. A new church, costing more than $20,000, was built in 
1904 ; the foundation walls were built by members of the congregation and the 
brick superstructure by contractor Charles Kropp. It was dedicated October 25, 
1904, by Bishop Trobec. In January, 1905, a high altar was bought worth 
$700, and four bells in 1908. The most recent improvement to the church was 
the installation of a $2,000 pipe organ, which was used for the first time on 
Easter Monday of the present year. 

The present number of families is 76, of which 61 are Slovenian, 15 Ger- 
man — almost all farmers. 

Societies: Holy Rosary Society for young ladies; a society for married 
women; St. Stephen's society for men, St. Aloysius and a Court of Catholic 
Order of Foresters. 

COLD SPRING. 

Church of St. Boniface. The congregation was organized in 1877 with a 
number of families which were members of the St. James church in the town- 
ship of Wakefield, in which Cold Spring is also situated. A parsonage and a 
basement for a church were built in 1878 ; the basement was dedicated on 
November of the same year by the late Abbot Alexius Edelbrock. Six years 



222 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

later a handsome brick church was built on the existing foundation, and, with 
authorization from Bishop Rupert Seidenbush, dedicated by Rev. Meinulph 
Steukenkemper, 0. S. B., June 18, 1885. Its dimensions are 110 by 50 ; the cost 
was about $20,000. The parsonage was enlarged twice by different pastors. 

On February 1, 1904, the congregation was incorporated. 

Pastors : The Benedictine Fathers — Leo Winter, who conducted the or- 
ganization of the parish, February 2, 1878, to April, 1880; Benedict Haindl, 
April, 1880, to February 1, 1883 ; Ambrose Lethert, February, 1883, to January 
1, 1886 ; Ludger Ehrens, 1886, to September, 1892 ; Paulin Wiesner, September, 
1892, to January, 1899; Stephen Koefler, January, 1899, to August, 1906; the 
present pastor, Father Maurus Ferdinand, since August 30, 1896. 

Societies: St. Joseph Society, organized 1884 with a membership of 35,- 
reorganized by Rev. Ludger Ehrens. Officers at present : President, Nicholas 
Backes; vice-president, John Kinzer; secretary, Michael Kummer; treasurer, 
Joseph Luek ; members, 72. Forty members have joined the state association. 

St. Ann's Society: President, Mrs. Mary Dreis; secretary, Mrs. Elizabeth 
Sauer; treasurer, Mrs. Theresa Krier. 150 members. 

The number of families in 1891 was 110; in 1908 about 200. 

COLLEGEVILLE. 

Before 1867 there was no place of worship within the limits of the present 
township of Collegeville ; the few farmers living there at the time, were mem- 
bers of the congregation of St. Joseph. In 1867 the Abbey of St. Louis-on- 
the Lake (now St. John's) was organized on section 1 of the present town- 
ship of Collegeville and the farmers who lived in the vicinity attended services 
in the small frame chapel used by the monastic community and the students of 
the college. 

As their number grew, they felt the need of regular pastoration. In con- 
sequence Rt. Rev. Alexius Edelbrock called a meeting of the heads of families 
on December 12, 1875; a petition was drawn up, signed by 18 persons and 
forwarded to Bishop Rvipert Seidenbusch, requesting his approbation for 
the erection of a new parish, to be conducted by the Benedictine Fathers at 
the abbey. The petition was granted and Very Rev. Clement Staub, O. S. B., 
then prior of the Abbey, was appointed rector in January, 1876. 

The congregation has no church of its own ; all the services are held in 
the abbey church of St. John's Abbey. At present the congregation consists 
of about 60 families, active members of the parish. With few exceptions they 
are Germans, many of the older members having immigrated from Europe. 
The German language is used exclusively in preacliing and instructing. 

Pastors: Fathers Clement Staub, January to November, 1876; Bernard 
Locnikar, November, 1876, to February, 1878 ; Gregory Steil, February, 1878, 
to September, 1882 ; Alfred Mayer, September, 1882, to February, 1886 ; Ulric 
Northman, March, 1886, to March, 1887; Isidore Siegler, April, 1887, to Sep- 
tember, 1890; Severin Gross, September, 1890, to September, 1893; Pancratius 
Maehren, September, 1893, to February, 1895; Peter Engel, February, to Au- 
gust, 1895; Alphonse Kuisle, August, 1895, to September, 1904; Gregory Steil, 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 223 

September, 1904, to September, 1909; Conrad Glatzmeier, September, 1909, to 
August, 1910; Rt. Rev. Peter Engel, August, 1910. 

There are three societies: St. Benedict's Society, organized February 11, 
1900. In July, 1902, the society founded a circulating library, which now eon- 
tains 400 volumes. Since August, 1905, it is affiliated to the State Benevolent 
Association. Membership, 53. Officers: President, Ludwig Hartig; vice- 
president, John Theisen; financial secretary, Joseph M. Gillitzer; recoi'ding 
secretary, Aloys Lenarz ; treasurer, Simon Gretsch. 

EDEN VALLEY. 

Church of the Assumption. At Eden Valley, a village that lies partly in 
Stearns and partly in Meeker county, a congregation was organized in the be- 
ginning of 1894 by Rev. Joseph Bastian, then pastor of St. Nicholas Church in 
Luxemburg township. He held the first services here on March 10, 1894. At first 
a hall Avas hired for church purposes, and fitted out with the furniture of the 
Logering Church, which had been discontinued. Regular services were held on 
alternate Sundays until December, 1894. In the course of the same year work 
was begun on a church on the Stearns county side. It was a brick building and 
its dimensions were 70 by 42. On December 4, 1894, it was dedicated by the pas- 
tor, with permission of the administrator of the diocese, Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph 
P. Bauer. Toward the end of October, 1895, the congregation was placed in 
charge of the Rev. A. Kastigar, the priest stationed at Watkins, in Meeker 
county. 

In 1901 a parochial school was built, and blessed by the Bishop January 
1, 1902. During the latter year the English speaking members of the parish 
withdrew and built a church on the Meeker county side of the village. 

The parsonage is a frame building. 

First resident pastor: Rev. N. J. Al. Peiffer, since 1899. 

Society: St. Joseph Society, organized by the pastor, Rev. Kastigar, 
March 17, 1896. Present membership, 85. Officers: President, Michael Nist- 
ler; vice-president, Matthias Thielen; recording secretary, Michael Ruhland; 
financial secretary, William Arnold ; treasurer, George Ruhland. 

FARMING. 

Church of St. Catherine. St. Catherine's church is near the northern line 
of section 32 in the township of Farming. Although the township was settled 
as early as 1858, the growth of its population was too slow to necessitate the 
building of a church; the settlers attended church at either Richmond or St. 
Martin. 

A congregation was organized by Rev. Anselm Sauthner, 0. S. B., then 
pastor of Richmond, on March 29, 1879. Michael Bock, a member of the 
new congregation, donated twenty acres of land for the church. The first 
church was built in 1880, but destroyed by a tornado the same year. It was 
at once rebuilt at a cost of $2,400 and dedicated in November, 1881. It was a 
frame structure 86 by 32. Services were held in it by a priest from Richmond 
or from Cold Spring since June 6, 1881 ; the Benedictine Fathers Stanislaus 



224 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Preiser, November 1, 1881-September 23, 1883 ; Willibrord Mahowald, Septem- 
ber to November, 1883 ; Anthony Capser, November, 1883, to August 12, 1885 ; 
Leo Winter, to July 14, 1886 ; Stephen Koefler, to August, 1887 ; Alfred Mayer, 
to August, 1888 ; Lawrence Steinkogler, to September, 1891 ; Clement Dimpfl, 
to February, 1894. 

The first parsonage was built in 1894 and since that year the congregation 
has had a resident priest : Fathers Vincent Schiffrer, from February, 1894, to 
July 9, 1901 ; his successor. Father Pancratius Maehren, died after a brief ill- 
ness March 11, 1904 ; Willibrord Mahowald from March, 1904, to April, 1909 ; 
Meinrad Seifermann, from April, 1909, to April, 1912. He was succeeded by 
the present pastor, Father Philip Bahner, 0. S. B. 

The second church caught fire February 16, 1903, and burned to the 
ground in a short time. The fire was owing to a defective chimney. Together 
with all appurtenances the building at the time was worth $5,000, and it was 
insured for $3,000. A new and larger church was begun at once ; it was dedi- 
cated by Bishop James Trobec on December 15, 1904. 

According to the last parochial census taken in 1907 the total number of 
parishioners was 420. 

The following societies are flourishing in the congregation : St. Joseph 's 
Society, founded 1881; St. Catherine's Society for married women; St. Rose 
Society for young ladies; St. Aloysius Society for young men. It is a fact 
worthy of mention that the societies support a circulating library of about 200 
volumes. 

FREEPORT. 

Church of the Sacred Heart. For many years the Catholic settlers of the 
town of Oak were members of the parish of New Munich in the same town. 
In January, 1881, the cluster of Catholics, almost all Germans, then living at 
Freeport, which is a station on the Great Northern Railway a few miles east 
of Melrose, requested the church authorities to send them a priest. Father 
Simplicius Wimmer, 0. S. B., was the first missionary rector, and attended 
the place from St. John's Abbey. Under his supervision a small frame church 
was built during the following year. It stood near the site of the present 
church; its dimensions were 72 by 36; cost about $4,000. From January, 
1883, services were held every Sunday. During the pastorate of Father Pan- 
cratius Maehren the frame church was replaced by a fine structure of brick, 
costing more than $30,000 ; its seating capacity was above a thousand ; its 
main altar was worth $2,000. The building was begun in 1896 ; the first serv- 
ices were held in it on Christmas day, 1898, and it was dedicated by Bishop 
Trobec on October 5, 1899. Its dimensions were 154 by 66. Five years later, 
on October 12, 1904, the church was totally destroyed by fire. 

Without much delay it was resolved to build the third church, on the 
site of the one that had burnt. It is built in the Gothic style, of white brick, 
and is by far the most conspicuous and elegant building in the place. On 
Pentecost Monday, May 16, 1910, it was consecrated by Bishop Trobec. Dur- 
ing the winter of 1912-1913 it was decorated, and a large pipe-organ was set 
up in it in 1913. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 225 

A small parsonage was built in 1890 at a cost of $1,500. This was replaced 
by the present two-story edifice in 1902. 

Pastors : The following priests attended Freeport from St. John's Abbey: 
Fathers Simplicius Wimmer, January, 1881, to November, 1882; Francis Mersh- 
man, to May 28, 1887; Alfred Mayer, to August, 1887; Stephen Koefler, to 
April, 1888; Ulric Northman, to January 14, 1890 (+ at the Abbey January 
21, 1890) ; Oswald Baran, to August, 1890. The following Fathers belonging 
to the abbey have been resident pastors: Fathers Stephen Koefler, August, 
1890, to September, 1893 ; Anthony Capser, September, 1893, to September, 
1894; Jerome Heider, to March, 1895; Pancratius Maehren, who built the first 
brick (veneer) church, to July, 1901; Ambrose Lethert, July, 1901, to August, 
1906; Stephen Koefler, August, 1906, to March, 1912; the present pastor, 
Father Meinrad Seifermann, since March, 1912. 

Societies : : St. Joseph Societj^ organized February, 1883 ; the Sacred 
Heart Benevolent Society, organized by the pastor. Father Pancratius Maehren. 

HOLDINGFORD. 

St. Maiy's Church. St. Mary's church is in the village of Holdingford, in 
section 17 of the township of Holding. The Catholics here were first visited 
by Father Xavier White, O. S. B. (+1891), of St. John's Abbey, in 1884 and 
a congregation was organized under his direction on October 20, 1885. He 
visited the mission from the Abbey imtil October, 1890; during this period 
the first church, a frame building 28 by 40 was erected, and dedicated July 
18, 1886. In 1898 it received an addition of 24 feet to its length and a steeple. 
In 1892 the parish consisted of 50 families, or about 160 communicants. 

Pastors : Father Xavier "White, O. S. B., 1884 to October, 1890 ; Father 
Anthony Capser, 0. S. B., 1891 to 1893. At this time the Benedictine Fathers 
withdrew. Secular priests: Revs. John Jaspers, from July, 1893, to 1895; 
Erail Steinach, 1895 to 1896; John B. Brender, 1896-1898; William Wilkens, 
1898 to 1901 ; Ignatius Wippich, from September to November, 1901 ; Mathias 
Butala, 1902; Julius Lemmer, from February, 1903, to May 1, 1913; Rev. 
Eugene Scheuer, the present pastor, since July, 1913. 

Society: St. Joseph Society, organized by the present pastor in 1913. 
President : Gerard Abeln ; vice-president, Theodore Muyres ; treasurer, Charles 
Eiden. Membership, 40. 

St. Hedwig's Church. This church in the town of Holding was built by 
a number of Polish settlers. It is a brick structure, for which the cornerstone 
was laid by Bishop Trobec, October 19, 1910. It was first used for worship 
by Rev. P. Brenny, who was then in charge of the congregation, on January 1, 
1912. In the fall of that year Rev. Raymond Golkowski was appointed tem- 
porary pastor. The present pastor is Reverend Kroll. 

Church of St. Anthony. The Austrian settlers in the tovniship of Krain 
were visited as early as 1869 by Prior Benedict Haindl, 0. S. B., of St. Louis 
Abbey ; he is said to have held services there several times between May, 1869, 
and May, 1872. He was succeeded by Rev. Joseph Buh, who, in turn, was suc- 
ceeded in 1873 by Father Bernard (later Abbot) Locnikar. At his suggestion 
the people built a log and frame church, costing about $1,500, which was dedi- 



226 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

eated June 14, 1874. In August, 1877, Father Vincent Schiffrer, 0. S. B., was 
appointed as successor to Father Bernard, and continued to attend the place 
until 1888. His successor was Father Cyril Zupan, 0. S. B., from April, 1888, 
to 1893, when the Benedictines were replaced by secular priests. 

Pastors since 1893 : Revs. Ignatius Lager, February to October, 1893 ; 
William Gumper, who attended from Long Prairie, to August 1, 1894; John 
B. Brender, also from Long Prairie, to 1895. The first resident pastor was 
Rev. Joseph P. Altendorf, September, 1895, to October, 1896 ; he was followed 
by Revs. Charles Pfeiffer, 1896, to December, 1900; Joseph A. Stephan, Janu- 
ary, 1901, to April, 1910; M. N. Brommenschenkel, 1910-1911; the present pas- 
tor is Rev. Ignatius Tomazin, since August, 1911. 

The present church was built in 1900 by Rev. Charles Pfeiffer, and fur- 
nished by his successor. 

In 1876 the number of families was 24 ; in 1908, 120. 

Societies: St. Anthony's Society, organized June 13, 1887, with 29 mem- 
bers ; present membership, 64. Officers : President, Henry "Welters ; treasurer, 
Herman Vorgert ; secretary, John Knops. 

A Benevolent Society organized 1898. President, Henry Welters; secre- 
tary, Joseph Menth. 

LAKE GEORGE. 

Church of SS. Peter and Paul. Although one of the oldest settlements in 
the county, Lake George was without a church for many years. The present 
church is situated near the east line of section 21 in Lake George township. 
The Catholic settlers in these parts were visited by Benedictine Fathers from 
St. Joseph between 1857 and 1859, and subsequently were attached to the 
parish of Spring Hill. The first steps toward organization were taken in 
December, 1889, when a delegation waited upon Bishop Zardetti at St. Cloud 
and were permitted to proceed. In 1891 the first frame church was built, and 
dedicated in honor of SS. Peter and Paul by Monsignor Joseph P. Bauer, July 
12, 1892. At first services were held once a month by Rev. Charles A. Gunkel, 
the pastor of Spring Hill. Subsequently it was visited by the priest stationed 
at Belgrade. On November 1, 1896, Rev. Hubert Gundermann was appointed 
the first resident pastor. He was followed in August, 1897, by the present 
pastor. Rev. Norbert Groth. 

The first Catholic settler (1856) was Gerard Stalberger, and the second 
John Felling. The first marriage in the town was that of Gerard Stalberger 
and Anna Mayer, in 1857. Their eldest child was also the first birth in the 
town, in the fall of 1859, and was also the first death, the infant dying at the 
age of three months. (Hist. Upper Miss. Vail. p. 424.) 

Number of families in 1890, 50 ; in 1908, 60. 

LAKE HENRY. 

Church of St. Margaret. St. Margaret's Church stands in section 14 of 
the township of Lake Henry. According to the statement of an early settler 
the first mass was celebrated in the house of Xavier Poepping by Rev. Francis 
Pirz in 1855. For several years the settlement was visited by priests from St. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 227 

Cloud and St. Joseph. Later the Catholics of the township were members of 
either the church at Spring Hill or of that at St. Martin. 

In the winter of 1880 a number of settlers in Lake Henry met at the house 
of George Kraemer to discuss the organization of a separate parish. It was 
due chiefly to the untiring efl'orts of Michael Kraemer that permission was 
secured to build a church and form a congregation. The first church was a 
frame structure, 36 by 50, and its cost was about $1,500. It was begun in 
the spring of 1882 and dedicated July 20, of the same year, by Bishop Seiden- 
busch. The sum of $325 was expended for furnishing the church, of this $250 
was the gift of Michael Kraemer, the founder. In 1884, under the pastorate 
of Rev. Anthony Capser, the church was extended 12 feet and a steeple 75 
feet high was built at an expense of $1,500. 

The first parsonage was built in 1887 at a cost of about $1,700. 

Number of families in 1913, 63 ; 375 souls, all Germans. 

Pastors : The Benedictine Fathers — Stanislaus Preiser, who resided at 
St. Martin, 1881-83; Anthony Capser, 1883-1885; Leo Winter, who at first 
visited from Farming, but was appointed resident pastor, July 1, 1886, and 
remained until 1894, when the Benedictines withdrew. Secular priests: Revs. 
William Lange, 1894-1899; Isidore Hengarten, 1899-1901; John Gratz, 1901- 
1903; Joseph Mayrhofer, February, 1903, to September, 1910; the present 
pastor, Rev. William Lange, since September, 1910. 

LUXEMBURG. 

Church of St. Wendelin. The settlement called Luxemburg is in the west- 
ern part of the township of St. Augusta, and about eight miles from St. Cloud. 
A congregation was organized April 11, 1859, by Father Clement Staub, who 
on this day for the first time officiated in the house of Henry Reding. It was 
also the only time that Father Clement officiated in the settlement. He called 
a meeting of the settlers, at which a place for a church, and also a titular for 
it were selected. The first church was a frame building. From this time the 
mission was visited from St. Augusta. The visiting fathers lodged with Red- 
ing, Diedrich and Moos families. For some years services were held only once 
a month. (Notes of Abbot A. Edelbrock.) The first church was 24 by 35 and 
was built on section 19 in the township of St. Augusta. 

Father Valentine Stimmler drew the plans and supervised the erection of 
the present church. Its dimensions are 58 by 112, and the material used is 
granite boulders. "In the spring of 1872 work was commenced and the corner 
stone was laid by Abbot Seidenbush, July 28, 1872. The walls were raised 
about 6 feet that year when funds ran out. Operations were resumed in the 
spring, 1873, and that year the church was completed, except the tower and 
plastering. On Christmas day Father Valentine celebrated the first mass in 
it. In the spring of 1874 the church was plastered." (St. Cloud Times, Octo- 
ber 20, 1897.) It was dedicated by Bishop Seidenbusch July 4, 1875. The 
tower was finished in 1888. 

The present parsonage was built in 1875 by the first resident pastor, 
Father Ignatius Wesseling, at a cost of about $2,400. 

St. Wendelin 's was visited by priests from St. Cloud and St. Augusta until 



228 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

1875. From 1858-1870 it was visited by Fathers Benedict Haindl, Anschar 
Frauendorfer, Cornelius Wittmann and other Benedictine Fathers from the 
abbey (now St. John's). Until 1909 the respective pastors also attended the 
mission of Pearl Lake. 

Number of families in 1913, 64. 

Pastors since 1871 : The Benedictine Fathers — Valentine Stimmler, March, 
1871, to November, 1875; Ignatius Wesseling, the first resident priest, No- 
vember, 1875, to October, 1877 ; Willibrord Mahowald, to 1878 ; Meinulph Stu- 
kenkemper, 1879-1880 ; Pancratius Maehren, February, 1881 to May 26, 1882 ; 
Andrew Straub, to February 1, 1883; Benedict Haindl, to January 13, 1885; 
Louis Salzeder, May, 1886, to February 20, 1888; Stephen Koefler, August, 
1888, to May 22, 1889; Wolfgang Steinkogler, to August, 1892; Paul Eetten- 
maier, to April, 1894, when the Benedictines retired. Secular priests: Revs. 
Isidore Hengarten, 1894-1896 ; John Wernich, 1896 to May, 1908 ; the present 
pastor. Rev. Hubert Gundermann, since May 28, 1908. 

The principal society in the parish is the St. Wendelin Benevolent Society, 
organized November 3, 1895, by the pastor. Rev. I. Hengarten. Original mem- 
bership, 18 ; present membership, 38. President, Henry Hansen ; vice-president, 
Stephen Schaefer; secretary, John B. Otto; treasurer, Paul Bach. 

Church, of St. Nicholas. Fifty years ago the settlers living in the town- 
ship of Luxemburg attended divine service at either Richmond, Jacob 's Prairie 
or at St. Wendel in the township of St. Augusta. A number of Catholic set- 
tlers came here first in 1855. Father Clement Staub, 0. S. B., who was sta- 
tioned at St. Joseph, visited the settlement in 1857 or 1858 and said mass for 
the first time in the house of John Theisen. Subsequently Fathers Bruno Riss 
and Matthew Stuerenberg officiated in a school house. In 1866 the number of 
families had grown so great that it was necessary to build a church. The 
late Nicholas Schmit, a member of the congregation, donated forty acres of 
land for the church, on condition that it be called the church of St. Nicholas. 
It was built near the northern line of section two, about three miles south of 
Cold Spring. From the year 1866, when the church was built, till 1881, the 
mission was visited by priests from St. James or from Richmond. A parsonage 
was built in 1881 and since that time the parish has had a resident pastor. 

About 1888 the church was no longer large enough for the congregation 
and the erection of a new church was discussed ; the numerous parishioners 
who lived in the southern sections of the township insisted that it be built 
in the center, while others favored the original site for which land had been 
donated. As the episcopal see of St. Cloud was at the time vacant, the ques- 
tion remained undecided until the arrival of Bishop Zardetti, who sustained 
the view of the majority and authorized the building of a new church about 
three and a half miles farther south. As a result a number of families living 
in the northern sections joined the Cold Spring congregation. 

The contract for building the new church was let September 8, 1890, to 
John Heimann of St. Cloud ; it was to be a frame church, and to be at some 
later date veneered with brick. The dimensions were 52 by 149 and the cost 
$8,275. Bishop Zardetti dedicated it in 1891. The Benedictine Fathers, who 
had served for thirty-five years, withdrew in September, 1892, when a secular 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 229 

priest, Rev. Joseph Bastiau, was placed in charge. He had the church ve- 
neered with brick at a cost of $3,880. The church was incorporated in 1895. 
On May 24 of the present year it was destroyed by fire. 

Pastors : The Benedictine Fathers — Clement Staub, Bruno Riss and Mat- 
thew Stuerenberg, who visited the mission from St. Joseph from 1857-66; 
Anschar Frauendorfer, from Richmond, 1866-71 ; Joseph Vill, from the abbey, 
to 1872 ; Simplicius Wimmer, July to September, 1873 ; Vincent Schiffrer, from 
Jacob's Prairie, 1873-77; Leo Winter, 187 to November, 1879; Joseph Vill, 
resident, to July, 1882 ; Conrad Glatzmaier, May 3, 1883, to January 22, 1885 ; 
Paul Rettenmaier, to August, 1885; Simplicius Wimmer, 1885, to September, 
1890 ; Jerome Heider, to March, 1892. Secular Priests — Revs. Joseph Bastian, 
from August 14, 1892, to February, 1895; Anthony Arzt, 1895-1896; Isidore 
Hengarten, May, 1896, to Decembei', 1897; John B. Brender, January to Au- 
gust, 1898; Nicholas Peiffer, from St. Cloud, August to December, 1898; 
Thomas Fassbind, January 1, 1899, to the day of his death, February 17, 1911 ; 
Herman J. Klein, from March, 1911, to June, 1914; the present rector. Rev. 
Gebhard SchoUenberger, since June of the present year. 

The principal society connected with the church is the St. Nicholas So- 
ciety, organized Dee. 6, 1892, with 35 members. Present membership, 100, of 
which 38 have joined the state association. President, John Theisen; vice- 
president. Mat. Biessener; secretary, Peter Schwartz; treasurer, Theodore 
Schreiner. 

MAPLES. 

Church of St. Columbkille. In the northwestern part of the township of 
St. Wendel there was a little settlement of Irish Catholics as early as 1867. 
They requested the abbot of St. Louis-on-the-Lake, some eight miles distant, 
to send them a priest, and were so fortunate as to secure one that perfectly 
understood their language and their needs, Father Augustine Bums, 0. S. B., 
The place was visited once a month at first, and more frequently later on by 
Benedictines until 1890, when it was attended from Brockway, by the priest 
residing there. Subsequently it was in charge of the secular priest stationed 
at Avon or at Holdingford. 

The following Benedictine Fathers attended the mission : Fathers Au- 
gustine Burns, 1867-1870; Wolfgang Northman, 1870-1873; Ulric Northman, 
1873-1876; Francis Mershman, February, 1876, to September, 1879; Anthony 
Capser, 1879, to November 26, 1883 ; Xavier White, January 27, 1884, to March, 
1890. 

In 1906 a resident priest was appointed in the person of Rev. Michael Cau- 
ley, who died May 22, 1910. He was temporarily succeeded by Father Benno 
Ferstl, 0. S. B., from June to August of the same year. The place has not had 
a resident priest since. 

The first church was built in 1877, on section 6 ; it was a frame building 
50 by 36. 

MEIRE GROVE. 

Church of St. John the Baptist. The village takes its name from one of 
the earliest Catholic settlers in the township of Grove, Henry Meyer. The first 



230 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Catholic settlers came in 1857. During the first year they were so far from a 
church that they met at the house of Henry Meyer on Sundays where they 
recited prayers and listened to devout readings by one of their number. Upon 
Mr. Meyer's invitation Father Clement Staub, 0. S. B., for the first time visited 
the settlement in the fall of 1858 and celebrated mass on a carpenter's work 
bench fitted up as an altar, in the house of Henry Schaefer. After Father 
Clement Father Bruno Riss, 0. S. B., visited the place several times. His suc- 
cessor, Father Matthew Stuerenberg, 0. S. B., (1862-1864) built the first church 
near the lake in 1864. The church property — ten acres — was donated by Henry 
and Herman Meyer. 

The log church soon proved too small for the growing parish, and in 
1871, Father Anschar Frauendorfer, who visited the mission from 1864-1872, 
built a frame church 80 by 30 near the present cemetery. From 1872-1874 the 
pastor was Father Meinulph Stukenkemper, who attended twice a month from 
New Munich, five miles distant. During all this time the Fathers, when they 
came to the settlement for services, were hospitably entertained at the house 
of Henry Meyer. Father Simplicius Wimmer in 1874 built a small frame par- 
sonage and in the fall of that year the parish received its first resident pastor, 
Father Burkard Bauernschubert, who in 1875 retvirned to Europe, where he 
died several years ago. His successor was Father Wolfgang Northman, who 
from this point also attended Sauk Centre and Rooney's Settlement. His 
useful career was cut short by his sudden death on February 8, 1876. Father 
Anselm Sauthner was pastor for the short space of only four months ; he was 
followed by Father Pancratius Maehren, May, 1876, to February 2, 1881. For a 
second time Father Meinulph Stukenkemper was appointed pastor. During 
1858-1886 the present stately church was built and dedicated July 20, 1886. 
After presiding over the parish for twenty-five years and three months he was 
appointed pastor of St. Martin, May 6, 1906, and was followed by the present 
pastor. Father Martin Schmitt. All the priests stationed at Meire Grove have 
been Benedictines. 

The present parsonage is built of brick ; it dates from the days of Father 
Pancratius (1876-1881), but a large addition was built by his successor in 1898. 
Two years ago Father Martin renovated the basement of the church. 

Societies : St. Joseph Society, organized June 2, 1872, with 35 members ; 
re-organized by Father Meinulph in 1882 with 95 members ; present member- 
ship, 80. President, Richard Nathe ; vice-president, George Leukamp ; secre- 
tary, Joseph Imdieke ; treasurer, Herman Meyer, Sr. 

St. John's Society, organized 1904. Present officers: President, Bernard 
Wehlage ; secretary, Henry G. Meyer ; treasurer, John Caspers. 45 members. 

MELROSE. 

Church of St. Boniface. In 1878 twelve German families separated from 
St. Patrick's, the first Catholic parish in Melrose, and formed the St. Boniface 
congregation under the direction of Father Paul Rettenmaier, 0. S. B. A 
frame church, 30 by 90 and costing about $3,000 was built on the northwest 
corner of block 33 of the original towusite in 1879. A parochial school was 
built on the same block while Father William Eversmann, 0. S. B., was pastor, 



HISTORY OP STEARNS COUNTY 231 

and a parsonage was built in 1889 at the cost of $1500. The number of families 
in 1891 was 130 and about 300 children attended the parochial school. 

An extension was built to the church in 1895 but in 1897 work was com- 
menced on the present stately church which is the largest in the county. It 
is built of red brick with granite facings ; its dimensions are 65 by 184, and the 
east front is flanked by two towers. The cost of this church exclusive of fur- 
niture was about $50,000. On May 1, 1898 the corner stone was laid, and 
the dedication took place on June 7, 1899, Bishop Trobec officiating. A chime 
of five bells was bought in 1903 and a large pipe organ in 1905. In 1912 the 
church was decorated by the Associated Artists of Milwaukee. 

The present parsonage is built of red brick and was erected in the year 
1907. 

The old frame school was destroyed by fire January 5, 1910 ; for the rest 
of the year the school was conducted in the basement of the church. In the 
meantime the present school was built opposite the church. The material used 
is red brick. In the basement is a gymnasium and a hall. The school rooms 
which are capable of accommodating 450 children are 30 by 27, and 12 feet 
high. Its cost was $45,000. It was opened in January, 1911. 

Pastors: The Benedictine Fathers — Paul Rettenmaier, 1878-1880; Mein- 
rad Leuthard, who died of small pox contracted while visiting one of his par- 
ishioners, November 28, 1881, and was buried at Melrose ; William Eversmann, 
November, 1881, to July 12, 1891 ; Lawrence Steinkogler, to April, 1894, when 
the Benedictines withdrew. 

Secular Priests — Rt. Rev. Msgr. Bernard Richter took charge in June, 
1894; he was made an irremovable rector in May, 1911, and in the following 
year was created a domestic prelate to Pope Piux X. Since 1895 the pastor 
has had an assistant, who also had charge of St. Patrick's Church, until it 
received a resident pastor two years ago. (See St. Patrick's.) Since 1910 
the assistant at St. Boniface confines his labors to this parish. The first as- 
sistant was Rev. Eugene Scheuer, from July, 1910, to July, 1913 ; present 
assistant, Rev. S. Schirmers, July, 1913, to date. 

Societies: St. Joseph Society, organized 1887 with 44 members, among 
whom were Joseph Kraker, Joseph Trisko, Henry H. Hinnenkamp, Gerhard 
Richter and Henry Borgerding. Present membership, 165. Officers : Presi- 
dent, Henry Hinnenkamp ; vice-president, Henry Niehaus ; treasurer, Joseph 
J. Hilt ; secretary, Gerhard Richter. 

St. Bernard Benevolent Society, founded June 5, 1905, with 18 members. 
Present membership, 114. 

Young Men's Sodality; Catholic Order of Foresters; Knights of Columbus. 

St. Patrick's Church. "The first priests who visited this place held mass 
in the houses of William Chambers and Samuel Brown, but the date cannot be 
ascertained. The first priest who made regular visits was Rev. Augustin Burns, 
O. S. B. The present church was built in 1872 and dedicated by Right Rev. 
Abbot Seidenbusch. When the church was organized, there were but four 
or five families, now there are over forty families encircled within its fold. A 
parish house for the priest has also just been completed." (History Upper 
Mississippi Valley, 1881, p. 434.) 



232 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

While Father Augustine attended Melrose, it was, at least since 1871, the 
terminus of the St. Vincent division of the St. Paul & Pacific Railway; he 
visited this and other settlements in the western part of the county. Subse- 
quently the Benedictine Fathers stationed at Meire Grove held services here, 
in 1880. After his transfer in 1884 it was in charge of the pastor of St. Boni- 
to form a new congregation, which built St. Boniface Church. St. Patrick's 
Church received a resident pastor in the person of Rev. Clement V. Gamache 
in 1880. After his transfer in 1884 it was in charge of the pastor of St. Boni- 
face Church until 1895. From that time to 1910 it was attended by the assist- 
ant priest of St. Boniface Church. A resident pastor has been connected with 
the church since the summer of 1910. 

Pastors since 1895: Revs. Richard Zoller, 1895-1898; Herman J. Klein, 
1898 ; James Walcher, 1899-1902 ; William Scheiner, 1902 ; Vincent Weigand, 
1902 to 1905 ; George Ranch, 1905-1908 ; James Walcher, 1908 to October, 1911 
(resident at St. Patrick's since 1910) ; Rev. Francis Welp, 1911 to June, 1914; 
Rev. Joseph Killian, since June of the present year. 

MILLWOOD. 

Church of St. Rose. In 1898 Father Pancratius Maehren, 0. S. B., pastor 
of the church of the Sacred Heart at Freeport, organized the congregation 
of St. Rose in the township of Millwood, the membership being made up of 
families that had belonged to the church at Freeport. A brick-veneer church 
was built in 1901. The first services were held in it November 22 of the same 
year by Father Ambrose Lethert, O. S. B., then pastor of Freeport, and regular 
services have been held ever since that time. 

The following priests visited St. Rose from St. John's Abbey: Fathers 
Alto Walter, May, 1902-June, 1903 ; Bonaventure Hansen, to October, 1904. 
Father Agatho Gehret, 0. S. B., is resident pastor since 1904. 

Societies: St. Joseph Society, organized May 10, 1908; Society of Chris- 
tian Mothers, organized January 6, 1904. 

NEW MUNICH. 

Church of the Immaculate Conception. New Munich is the oldest settle- 
ment in the township of Oak. The settlers were visited for the first time by 
• Father Clement Staub, 0. S. B., in 1857, and a congregation was organized 
that year. In 1858 Father Clement baptized the first child born in the settle- 
ment, Christina Hoppe, daughter of Henry Hoppe. A small church was built 
in 1862 by Father Pius Bayer ; it was a log house like all the rest. Ten years 
passed before it was replaced by a frame building, 100 by 45, which was dedi- 
cated June 17, 1873, by Bishop Thomas L. Grace, of St. Paul, in whose diocese 
New Munich was in those days. An extension was later built to it, and a tall 
steeple erected in 1882. 

The present church, an imposing edifice in the Romanesque style of archi- 
tecture, with two towers, was begun in June, 1910, and was consecrated by 
Bishop Trobec, December 14, 1911. The foundation is built of granite found in 
the township; the material of the superstructure is brick of the best quality. 





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HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 233 

There are three marble altars, imported from Italy, and all the windows are 
of stained glass. The latest improvement in the church was the installation 
of a pipe organ during the fall of the present year. 

The first resident priest had built a small frame house in 1864; a larger 
frame house was built in 1874, which has been replaced by one of brick. It 
was built in 1911. In 1892 the congregation consisted of 138 families. A 
number of them joined the Freeport congregation, and the present number of 
families is only about 130, almost all German. 

First marriage in the township, Hubert Rieland and Anna Thelen, June 
24, 1864, Rev. Matthew Stuerenberg officiating. First death, Herman Uhlen- 
kott. Confirmation was administered here for the first time by Bishop Grace 
in 1863. The first church choir was organized by Henry Duerr. 

From notes by one of the pastors, we learn that during the Indian troubles 
a sod fort was built around the old church (in 1862) ; traces of the fort were 
still visible in 1891. 

Pastors: The Benedictine Fathers — Clement Staub, 1857-1861; Pius 
Bayer, 1861-1862; Bruno Riss, 1862-1864; the first resident priest Matthew 
Stuerenberg, 1864-1867 ; Anschar Frauendorfer, 1867-1872 ; Meinulph Stuken- 
kemper, 1872 to November, 1874; Benedict Haindl, to November, 1875; No- 
vember 5, 1875, to March, 1880 ; Augustine Brockmeyer, May, 1880, to January 
22, 1885 ; Conrad Glatzmeier, to August 10, 1888 ; Severin Gross, to September, 
1890; Timothy Vaeth, to September 2, 1894; Leo Winter, to September 14, 
1904 ; Ludger Ehrens, to 1906 ; Alfred Mayer, to 1907 ; William Eversmann to 
September, 1909 ; the present pastor, Father Luke Fink, since September, 1909. 

The principal societies in the parish are: St. Joseph's Society, organized 
1875. Present membership, 105, of which number 62 have joined the state 
association. Officers: President, Joseph G. Wieber; secretary, Joseph Rie- 
land, Jr. ; treasurer, Henry Schaffer. 

Society of Our Lady of Good Counsel ; 51 members. President, Mrs. Eliza- 
beth Humbert ; secretary, Anna Klapprich ; treasurer, Emma Rose. 

NEW PAYNESVILLE. 

Church of St. Louis. This mission was attended from Eden Valley, 1898 
to 1905, and for a number of years from Belgrade. In April, 1899, "nearly 
$1,000 was raised among the business men and others interested for the pur- 
pose of aiding in the establishment of a Catholic mission at New Paynesville.'^ 
— St. Cloud Times, April 27, 1899. A church was built that summer and dedi- 
cated by Bishop Trobec, September 13, of the same year. The pastor at the 
time was Rev. Isidore Hengarten of Eden Valley. Among the organizers of 
the parish were J. L. McGenty, John G. Leyendecker, Archie Pelkey and others. 

Since July, 1912, the mission was visited by Rev. G. Schollenberger from 
St» Patrick's in Benton county. 

PADUA. 

Church of St. Anthony. Padua is a name of comparatively recent date for 
an old settlement formerly called Rooney's settlement in the southeastern part 



234 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

of Raj'mond township. The Benedictines visited here between 1867 and 1880 ; 
some of the earliest ones were Father Augustine Burns and Father Meinulph 
Stukenkemper. From 1880 to 1897 the mission was visited by secular priests 
from Melrose or Sauk Centre. 

The first resident priest was Rev. Thomas Fassbind, 1897-99 ; his successors 
were Revs. Francis Welp, 1899-1903 ; William Ludwig, 1903-1904 ; Hildebrand 
Zoeller, 0. S. B. (from Sacred Heart Abbey, Oklahoma), 1904 to March, 1905; 
Herman Klein, 1905 to 1907 ; Ignatius Tomazin, 1907 ; Matthias Butalla, 1898- 
1910; Michael Scherer, July, 1910, to 1913; John Fuss, since May, 1913. 

OPOLE. 

Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. This church is in section 8 of the 
township of Brockway, where there is a flourishing settlement of Polish farm- 
ers. The congregation was organized by Rev. James Wojcik in April, 1890, 
with fifty Polish families who contributed $1,700 towards the building of a 
church. A new rectory was built in 1904. 

The pastors, all of whom were resident, were : Revs. James Wojcik, 1890- 
1891; John A. Kitowski, 1891-June, 1893; John Kopera, June, 1893, to Feb- 
ruary, 1894 ; Ceslas Zielonka, 1894 to April, 1902 ; John Guzdek, 1902 to July, 
1906 ; S. Szuszynski, July, 1906, to August, 1911 ; Peter Brenny, since August, 
1911. 

PEARL LAKE. 

Church of the Holy Cross. A frame church, 36 by 76, and costing about 
$1,700, was built in section 9, west of Pearl lake, in the township of Maine 
Prairie, in 1889, and was dedicated on September 26, of the same year by 
Bishop Seidenbusch. A congregation was organized the same year. The first 
church was destroyed by the cyclone of June 27, 1894, but was replaced by an- 
other of the same dimensions, which was used for the first time by Rev. Isidore 
Hengarten on September 30, 1894. After its completion it was dedicated by 
Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph P. Bauer, September 15, 1896, during Bishop Marty's 
last illness, which prevented him from performing the act. 

The church was originally known as St. Lawrence church; recently its 
title has been changed to that of church of the Holy Cross. From the time of 
its organization the place was visited by priests from St. Wendel or from St. 
Nicholas, but there is a resident priest since 1909. 

At the time of organization the number of families attached to this church 
was about 40. A parochial school was opened in September, 1905. 

Pastors : The Benedictine Fathers Simplicius Wimmer, from St. Nicholas, 
1889-1891 ; Wolfgang Steinkogler, 1891-1892 ; Paul Rettenmaier, 1892-1894. Sec- 
ular clergy from St. Wendel: Revs. Isidore Hengarten, 1894-1896, John Wer- 
nich, 1896-1908 ; Herbert Gundermann, 1908-1909 ; the present pastor. Rev. 
Henry Leuthner, since May, 1909. 

Society: St. John's Society, organized January, 1901, with 22 members; 
reorganized June, 1908. Present membership, 48. President, John Newbeck; 
vice-president, Joseph J. Kunkel; secretary, Joseph Wicker; treasurer, John 
H. Neis. The society supports a circulating library. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 235 

RICHMOND. 

Church of SS. Peter and Paul. "The parish of SS. Peter and Paul in 
Richmond was organized in 1856 by six settlers, who began to build a small 
log church. The first priest attending this mission station was Father Pirz, 
the Indian missionary. In the same year came the missionary, Father "Wenin- 
ger, S. J., and conducted a short mission, and at the close of the mission on 
August 15, 1856, erected the first mission cross in this region. From that day 
the Benedictine Fathers took charge of the station and visited it twice a month. 
When the number of families had grown in consequence of immigration, it 
became necessary to build a frame church. On May 30, 1859, the contract 
for building the church was let ; the cost was to be $332. Work was begun 
in August, 1859, and the first service was held in the new church in September, 
1860." (Parish record entry, dated March 31, 1862.) 

The first Benedictine Father in charge was Father Bruno Riss, 1857-1858 ; 
he visited the station from St. Joseph, as did also his successors, Clement Staub 
and Alexius Roetzer, 1858-1859. During the Indian troubles in 1862 the church 
was turned into a fort, in which the settlers took refuge. Father Magnus 
Mayr was stationed here at the time. The congregation has ever since had a 
resident pastor, who, together with a confrere, attended not only this settle- 
ment, but also St. Martin, Spring Hill, New Munich, Farming, and other 
places. The original church was also enlarged early in the sixties; in 1866 a 
larger frame church was built, which served for almost twenty years. The 
present, elegant, brick structure was begun in 1884; Bishop Seidenbusch laid 
the corner stone for it on August 24, of that year ; it was dedicated September 
8, 1885. Its dimensions are 56 by 160. The church has been free of debt since 
1906. * 

A frame parsonage, which is still standing on the grounds, was built about 
1858. The present, two-story brick building was erected in 1898-1899. 

Pastors since 1862: Fathers Pius Bayer, January, 1861-July 30, 1862; 
Magnus Mayr, August, 1862, to November 80, 1863 ; Bruno Riss to March 1864 ; 
Cornelius Wittmann, February, 1865, to August, 1868 ; Corbinian Gastbihl, to 
November, 1871; Benedict Haindl, who attended from St. John's Abbey from 
December, 1871, to April, 1872 ; Anschar Frauendorfer, June 5, 1872, to Octo- 
ber, 1876 ; Alphonse Kuisle, to February 13, 1878 ; Anthony Capser, four months 
in 1878 ; Anselm Sauthner, June, 1878, to May 24, 1882 ; Pancratius Maehren, 
May 26, 1882, to February, 1884; Ignatius Wesseling, February, 1884, to Janu- 
ary 10, 1901; Ludger Ehrens, to September 10, 1904; Ignatius Wesseling, to 
the day of his death, November 8, 1910; Conrad Glatzmeier, to September, 
1911 ; the present pastor. Father Gregory Steil, since September, 1911. 

Father Anschar Frauendorfer resided with the pastor of Richmond from 
March, 1865-1872, and attended a number of missions. Since 1891 the pastor 
has had an assistant : Fathers Clement Dimpfl, 1891-1894 ; Boniface Moll, 1895 
to 1896; Isidore Siegler, 1896-1897; Fidelis Lucking, 1898-1899; Lawrence 
Steinkogler, 1900; James Hansen, 1901-1902; Bonaventure Hansen, 1902-1903; 
Bede Mayenberger, 1903-1904; Philip Bahner, 1904; Peter Wollnik, 1904-1906; 



236 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Xavier Kapsner, 1906-1909; Edmund Basel, 1909; Lawrence Steinkogler, to 
1912 ; since 1912, Father Bede Mayenberger. 

Societies : St. Joseph society, organized by the pastor, Father Cornelius 
Wittmann, May 1, 1864. Officers in 1913 : President, John Gertken ; vice-presi- 
dent, Gerard Braegelmann ; recording secretary, Andrew "Weber ; financial sec- 
retary, Henry Geers; spiritual director. Father Gregory Steil. 

St. Aloysius society, organized before 1860, for young men; it forms a 
branch of the St. Joseph society. 

ROCKVILLE. 

Immaculate Conception Church. The pastor of the church of St. Wendelin 
in the township of St. Augusta, Rev. Hubert Gundermann, organized this 
church in 1911. It is in the village of Rockville, in the township of the same 
name. Before this time the people had attended services at St. James' church 
in the township of "Wakefield and at the church at St. "Wendelin above men- 
tioned. 

At one of the first meetings of the men of the parish, Nicholas Thomey 
was elected secretary and Joseph B. Breunig, treasurer. The organization 
was duly incorporated, the name of the corporation being: "Mary of the 
Immaculate Conception Church." A building committee was appointed, con- 
sisting of Nicholas Thomey, Joseph B. Breunig, John "Weismann, John Meinz 
and Joseph Hartel. The lot on which the church stands was donated by 
Nicholas Carding. The contract price for the church was $10,800, and the 
contract was awarded to Henry Steckling, of St. Cloud. The corner-stone 
was laid September 9, 1911, by Rev. Hubert Gundermann, with the author- 
ization of Bishop James Trobec. Like many other churches in the county it 
has a basement for services in winter. Rockville granite, a donation of 
Messrs. Clark and McCormick, is the material of which the basement is built ; 
the superstructure is of brick. 

On December 8, 1911, mass was celebrated in the church for the first 
time by the pastor. During the same month the congregation held a bazaar 
for the benefit of the church, at which they cleared $1,100. 

The church is at present in charge of a Benedictine Father from St. John's 
abbey. Father Julius Locnikar, pastor of St. James' church, in the town of 
"Wakefield, or Jacobs' Prairie, visits Rockville every Sunday and holy day 
since January 1, 1912. On July 1, 1912, the new cliurch was dedicated by 
Bishop James Trobec, and during the year a bell, costing $530, was donated 
by Mrs. Joanna Reiter. The church is at present almost completely furnished ; 
it has three altars, a communion railing, vestments, a steam-heating plant, 
stained glass windows, a confessional and statuary. Almost all these items 
are donations. 

The congregation consists of about 40 families, or 300 souls, all German; 
65 children receive religious instruction. The first baptism was that of Anna 
Maria Klassen; the first marriage that of Ernest S. Webb and Helen Splan. 

Societies: St. Benedict's society, organized March 9, 1913. First officers: 
President, Peter Hansen ; vice-president, Theodore Meinz ; recording secretary, 
Joseph B. Breunig; treasurer, George "Weismann; 40 members. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 237 

St. Margaret's society. President, Mrs. John Gregory; vice-president, 
Mrs. Peter Hansen; secretary, Mrs. John Traun; treasurer, Mrs. John Meinz. 
18 members. 

St. Cecilia's society. President, Clara Traum; vice-president, Elizabeth 
E. Powell; secretary, Magdalen Eshpeter; treasurer, Matilda Weismann; 30 
members. 

ROSCOE. 

Church of St. Agnes. The organization of this parish is chiefly due to 
the efforts of Father Martin Schmitt, 0. S. B., who was entrusted with the 
task by the bishop of St. Cloud in 1898. Father Martin built a frame church 
and parsonage; the church was dedicated by the bishop October 18, 1898. It 
is situated in the village of Roscoe, in the township of Zion, on the Willmar 
division of the Great Northern Railway. 

Among the most active members at the time of the organization of the 
church were Herman and Frank Schaefer, Lambert Knese, Henry Kunzleben, 
Zackowski brothers, Ley brothers, W. F. Hilger, Anthony Schmitt, Joseph 
Link and John Weber. Before 1898 the members belonged to the congrega- 
tions of St. Martin and Richmond. 

Resident pastors : The Benedictine Fathers Martin Schmitt, May 9, 1898, 
to July, 1901 ; Vincent Schiffred, July, 1901 to September, 1907 ; Leo Winter 
September 1907 to the time of his death, March 25, 1910; Willibrord Maho- 
wald, April to September, 1910; Benno Ferstl, October, 1910, to date. 

The principal church organization is the St. Joseph Men's society, which 
'was organized in 1898. Present membership, 58. Officers: President, Peter 
Ley; secretary, F. W. Hilger; treasurer, Henry Kunzleben. 

ST. ANN. 

Church of the Immaculate Conception. Originally the Polish settlers liv- 
ing in the northern part of the township of Avon attended St. Benedict's 
church at Avon. The settlement was, and is still known as St. Ann, and that 
was the name of its postoffice. 

The first church in the settlement was dedicated in 1887 by Bishop Seiden- 
busch. At this time the congregation was visited at intervals by the late Rev. 
P. Chowaniec, who left the diocese in the same year, and was then rector of 
the congregation of Swan River. In 1889-1890 it was attended from St. John's 
Abbey; subsequently, till 1896, from Holdingford Pastors since 1897: Revs. 
S. Lacinski, to 1899; Simon Dabrowski, 1899 to 1902; S. Szuszynski, 1902-1904; 
Peter Brenny, 1904-1911 ; Stephen Bujalski, till June of the present year; John 
A. Kitowski, since June. 

A parsonage was built 1896. On January 28, 1902, the church was de- 
stroyed by fire; the loss was estimated at about $2,000. A new church was 
built during the same year; its cost was about $16,000. The dedication took 
place in October, 1903. 

ST. AUGUSTA. 

Church of St. Mary Help of Christians. The first Catholic settlers of the 
township of St. Augusta arrived by steamboat in the early fifties of the last 



238 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

century. They were several times visited by Father Pierz, the Indian mis- 
sionary, who celebrated mass in their rude dwellings and brought them con- 
solation in their poverty. When the Benedictine Fathers began their mis- 
sionary labors in 1856, St. Augusta was one of the first places to receive their 
attention the same year. A small log church was at once built in the middle 
of section one, where a town was expected to grow up. There were many 
paper towns in Minnesota at that time. Originally the name of the settlement 
was St. Augustine ; a picture of that famous doctor of the church, it is said, 
had been found by Father Pierz on the spot destined for the church. Probably 
no one can tell when or why the name was changed to St. Augusta. 

Rev. Francis X. Weninger, S. J., conducted mission exercises at St. Cloud 
in July, 1856, and the Catholics of St. Augusta also attended them. In a 
report of his work during the year 1856 he wrote a year later: "The second 
congregation which I visited was in the vicinity of St. Cloud. The church 
stands in the neighborhood of the city of St. Augustine. But there is scarcely 
a house to be seen, — the city has just been laid out. The people had attended 
the mission at St. Cloud and I visited the settlement to erect a mission cross 
near the church, which was still unfinished. It was the feast of St. Ignatius 
(July 31), and the third centenary of his death. The church had no roof. 
I thought I would be able to officiate there nevertheless, but I feared a strong 
wind that had risen. Hence I preferred to celebrate mass in a house not far 
distant; I walked through the field in my priestly vestments, bearing the 
chalice and was followed by a large procession. ... I had the consolation 
of erecting a mission cross near the church of the Assumption ( ?) and 
preached the word of God uuder the open sky in a region where a few months 
ago there was no church, nor was any found between that point and the 
Pacific Ocean." (Annals of the Propagation of the Faith, German edition, 
1857, pp. 533-534.) 

The congregation was organized by Father Cornelius Wittmann, 0. S. B., 
who also for some time conducted services here regularly as long as he was 
stationed at St. Cloud. In 1858, when the first "town" had proved to be a 
failure, another church was built near the St. Augusta railroad station. In 
1872 Rev. F. X. Weninger, S. J., held a mission here and on this occasion se- 
lected the present site for a church. Father Valentine Stimmler built the pres- 
ent church of granite in 1873. The corner stone was laid on May 13, 1873, by 
Bishop Grace, of St. Paul, and during the following winter the church was 
ready for use. It was dedicated under the title of Church of the Blessed Vir- 
gin Mary Help of Christians in October, 1875. On July 2, 1890, it was con- 
secrated by Bishop Zardetti, and was the first church consecrated by that 
prelate. The dimensions of the church are 132 by 48, and its cost was about 
$8,500. 

The first parsonage was a frame building erected by Father Valentine 
Stimmler in 1873; the present parsonage of brick was built in 1890. The 
cemetery is near the church and comprises three acres. Number of families in 
1913: lio, all German. 

Pastors: The Benedictine Fathers resident since 1873, Valentine Stimm- 
ler, from February, 1870, to November, 1875, resided in St. Augusta since 




liEV. LEO GAXS 



HISTOKY OF STEARNS COUNTY 239 

1873 ; Benedict Haindl, to October, 1876 ; Anschar Frauendorf er, to September 
6, 1882, when he died suddenly in the parsonage ; Boniface Moll, to August 
26, 1886 ; Anthony Capser, 1886-1887 ; Cyril Zupan, January 30, 1887, to April, 
1888; Gregory Steil, visited from St. Wendel April to August, 1888; Stephen 
Koefler, August to December, 1888; John Katznei-, visited from St. John's 
Abbey, to May, 1889 ; Meinrad Rettenmaier, to September, 1890 ; Paul Retten- 
maier, to September, 1891 ; Paulin Wiesner, to September, 1892 ; Valentine 
Stimmler, to July 15, 1893, when the benedictines withdrew. Secular priests : 
Rt. Rev. Msgr. Joseph P. Bauer, 1893-1898 ; Rt. Rev. Edward J. Nagl, V. G., 
September 7, 1898, to October 17, 1911; the present pastor, Rev. James 
Walcher, since October 17, 1911. 

ST. CLOUD. 

Pro-Cathedral of the Holy Angels. The cathedral parish of St. Cloud 
was formed by a division of the parish of the Immaculate Conception in 1884. 
Since 1856 the latter had been the only Catholic parish in the city. The late 
vicar apostolic of northern Minnesota, Bishop Rupert Seidenbusch, 0. S. B., 
had temporarily made the church of the Immaculate Conception his pro-cathe- 
dral in 1875, and had lived in its parsonage until 1876, when he purchased 
the Broker residence, which serves as a rectory for the present pro-cathedral. 

The organization of the new parish was projected in 1883 and was en- 
trusted to Rev. Francis X. A. Stemper, who commenced to build the present 
church in the fall of that year. He held the first services in it on the first 
Sunday in Advent, November 30, 1884. According to the bishop's orders all 
the English-speaking Catholics of the city were to be members of it, also all 
the Catholics of other tongues, excepting Polish Catholics, who spoke Polish 
only. The church is situated on the corner of Sixth avenue and Third street 
North, about two blocks from the Mississippi river. It is an unpretentious 
structure built of granite and red brick in the Romanesque style of architec- 
ture, with one tower, from plans by "William Schickel, of New York. "The 
building completed sufficiently so that mass could be said in it, together with 
the bells, cost the sum of $28,819. Of this amount citizens of St. Cloud con- 
tributed the sum of $6,127.36, by means of a fair and a collection." (St. Cloud 
Times, September 13, 1909.) In addition the sum of $1,262.50 was raised by 
seven other congregations of the vicariate and larger amounts were contrib- 
uted by friends of Bishop Seidenbusch and by the mission society of Munich, 
Bavaria. 

Three years after the organization of the parish, Father Stemper built a 
parochial school, which was opened in October, 1887, with an attendance of 
160 pupils. This enterprise burdened the congregation with a debt of $14,- 
000. "The cost of the cathedral was not much of a burden for the parish- 
ioners or the diocese, for the Rt. Rev. Bishop secured three-fourths of the 
funds from outside sources. But the school was to be paid for by the people 
of the parish and this has been accomplished." (Times as above.) Bishop 
Zardetti is authority for the statement that Bishop Seidenbusch built the 
church and school "at a great personal expense, giving freely of his own, 
whenever it was necessary." (The Diocese of St. Cloud, September, 1891.) 



240 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Father Stemper was pastor of the congregation for the space of five years 
and labored all this while without an assistant; during the last two years 
(1887-1889) he was, in addition, vicar general. 

The erection of the vicariate into a diocese in 1889 brought a change. 
Bishop Zardetti retained the church as his pro-cathedral, of which the late 
Rev. Aloysius Raster was rector after the departure of Father Stemper in 
the same year. In 1890 the bishop appointed Rev. Bernard Richter rector. 
The church was still very poorly furnished — Father Richter extended the gal- 
lery, decorated the interior, procured new altars, a pulpit, confessionals, vest- 
ments, etc. In 1892 the front entrance was adorned with costly steps of gran- 
ite and a cement pavement. The parsonage was enlarged and supplied with 
modern improvements, and the grounds about the church and parsonage were 
planted with trees. 

At the time of Bishop Zardetti 's promotion to the see of Bukarest in 1894, 
there was a debt of $15,000 on church and school. His successor, Bishop 
Marty, in 1895 appointed Rev. Edward Jones as rector to succeed Father 
Richter, who had been appointed pastor of St. Boniface church at Melrose, 
in June, 1894. About this time the congregation was incorporated as "The 
Holy Angels Congregation." Father Jones built an extension to the school 
house, installed a heating plant for the church and the school and re-furnished 
the latter. These improvements brought the debt up to $23,000, and heroic 
efforts were required to shake it off. "Father Jones was untiring in his ef- 
forts to make both ends meet and had a hard time of it, the running expenses 
were higher than the regular income. The Women's and Young Ladies' soci- 
eties assisted in many ways by holding fairs and bazaars. Father Jones knew 
hoAV to inspire the people with masterful sermons and in this manner things 
moved along better almost than could be expected under such circumstances. 
He was a great school man and it was his aim to make the cathedral school 
the best in the city." (Times as above.) 

In the course of his long administration the present bishop. Right Rev. 
James Trobec, has always taken an active interest in the welfare of the con- 
gregation. Upon his suggestion every family in the parish was assessed for 
a sum within its means and the debt of $12,000 was reduced by one-half in 
1903. The debt that remained could hardly be considered as a burden. At 
the same time a residence was secured for the Benedictine Sisters employed 
as teachers in the parochial school. The present rector. Rev. Dr. Leo Gans, 
has practically paid off the entire debt. 

Rectors : Rev. Francis X. A. Stemper, 1884-1889 ; at present in the minis- 
try in the diocese of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Rev. Aloysius Raster was acting 
rector from 1889-1890; he died after many years of valuable service in the 
diocese on August 17, 1912. Rev. Edward Jones, 1895-1905, when he was ap- 
pointed pastor of the church at Morris. His successor. Rev. Gregory Goebel, 
was rector for only one year and withdrew June 17, 1906, to become pastor 
of Staples, where he died May 15, 1913. Rev. George Arenth was adminis- 
trator of the parish until January 1, 1907, when he was appointed rector; he 
died, universally regretted, on May 8, of the same year. The present rector. 
Rev. Leo Gans, J. C. D., a native of St. Cloud and at one time a pupil of its 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 241 

cathedral school, was appointed Father Areuth's successor in 1907. It is un- 
necessary to say that the bishops of St. Cloud have always shared in the 
routine work of the church, in the pulpit, in the confessional,, and in the 
school room. 

Since 1887 there has always been an assistant priest at the church. Among 
others we find the names of Method. Slatinsky, Aloysius Raster, J. B. Boever, 
Arthur Lamothe, C. J. Murphy, Isidore Hengarten, John Brogan, Nicholas 
Beck, Charles Dussel, John J. Mayer, John G. Steigler, A. Sehaut, Charles 
Pfeiffer, J. N. Peiffer, Francis Welp, Peter Gans, Francis Lenger, Michael 
Scherer, Matthias Hoffmann, G. Schollenberger and Joseph Willenbrink. The 
present assistants are Revs. Charles Mayer and John B. Funk. 

Church of the Immaculate Conception. When Stearns county was or- 
ganized there was not a Catholic church within its limits. The few Catholic 
settlers at St. Cloud were visited by Rev. Francis X. Pierz, in 1855, and he 
officiated several times in the house of John Schwarz in that and the follow- 
ing year. For some time previous to the arrival of the Benedictines he also 
officiated in the house of Joseph Edelbrock. 

Among the earliest German Catholic settlers of St. Cloud were Messrs. 
John Tenvoorde, John Schwarz, Anthony and Joseph Edelbrock, Nicholas 
Lahr, Balthasar Rosenberger, Joseph Emmel, Henry and Joseph Broker and 
Joseph Kindler. Father Pierz organized a congregation early in 1856 ; the 
first trustees were Joseph Edelbrock, Joseph Emmel and Joseph Burghard. 
The site for a church was generously donated by the late Hon. John L. Wil- 
son, known as the Father of St. Cloud. The property comprised one-half 
of block 36, on which the present federal building stands, and block 37, ex- 
cept two lots which were bought by Father Meinulph for a parsonage. Mr. 
Wilson also donated part of another block west of the church. 

Preparations were made in the fall of 1855 for the building of a church, 
but work was not begun before the following spring. The entire cost of the 
building was $850, and this was the cost of the lumber only, as the building 
was erected by the carpenters in the congregation, who asked for no pay. It 
was not a proud temple, but only a chapel 25 by 35, large enough to accom- 
modate the fifteen or twenty families which were to attend it. The building 
stood in the rear of the present federal building and many years later was 
turned into a residence for the Benedictine Sisters. 

Father Pierz, who was seventy years of age, when St. Cloud was born, 
welcomed the arrival of younger forces to take part of the burden from his 
shoulders. In May, 1856, three Benedictine Fathers came from St. Vincent's 
Abbey in Pennsylvania to devote themselves to missionary labor among the 
German Catholic settlers of the territory of Minnesota. Father Pierz was not 
in the county at the time of their arrival, but had left a note for them at 
Sauk Rapids, turning over to them the little log chapel at that place and a few 
altar appurtenances. The Fathers concluded not to remain at Sauk Rapids 
and settled on the other side of the Mississippi river a few weeks after their 
arrival. 

Father Cornelius Wittmann, who had been ordained May 17, 1856, was 
appointed pastor of St. Cloud in June. With the energy and zeal of a youth- 



242 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

ful priest he pushed the completion of the church begun at the instance of 
Father Pirz ; in the meantime he officiated in the house of Joseph Edelbrock. 
In the fall of the same year he opened a school in a small building placed at 
his disposal by Mr. Edelbrock, and personally taught his pupils the "three 
R's" and the catechism. Shortly, however, his missionary duties claimed so 
much of his time that he could not continue to act as a school-master. On 
June 20, 1857, several Benedictine Sisters from St. Mary's, Elk county. Pa., 
came, upon his invitation, to teach the school. 

The first official publication read before the parishioners was the follow- 
ing, on June 30, 1856: "Henceforth there will be vespers and religious in- 
struction at 3 o'clock on Sundays and holy days of obligation. Next Friday, 
the Fourth of July, the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, high 
mass will be celebrated at 9 a. m." From July 13-20, Rev. F. X. Weninger, 
S. J., conducted a mission in the parish. In a printed accovint of the exer- 
cises we are told that when at the close he had erected a mission cross and 
delivered a sermon in English for the benefit of the "Americans" present, 
the latter presented him an address of thanks. 

In 1857 Joseph Niehaus donated ten acres for a cemetery, and a bell 
was bought for $200. From 1858-1862 St. Cloud had no regular Sunday serv- 
ices. Priests from the college south of the village, officiated at different times, 
the name of Prior Benedict Haindl is frequently met with. So strong had 
been the stream of immigration that the number of settlements was far in 
excess of that of priests. 

A glimpse of church life of those days is given us in a letter written 
by a French priest traveling to Pembina with a Red River caravan. Father 
Mestre, 0. M. I., writes as follows of his visit to St. Cloud: "Sunday, August 
1, 1861, about 6 o'clock in the morning, we crossed the Mississippi, a short 
distance above the Rapids des Sacs (Sauk rapids) and half an hour later we 
stopped at the little village of St. Cloud near a small Catholic chapel in which 
a Benedictine Father officiates. "We met the Rev. pastor himself. "When 
he recognized us as priests, he bade us a cordial welcome and permitted me 
and my companion. Father Moulin, to say mass ; he gave us his best altar plate 
and even served me during the function, which edified me exceedingly. How 
we would have been pleased to spend the day with him! but our traveling 
companions would not stay, as they were anxious to reach the sixty carts that 
were waiting for us." (Ann. Prop, of the Faith. XXIX, 462.) A foot-note 
states that the congregation of "St. Claudius" consisted of 120 families. 

From 1861-1863 the mission of St. Cloud was visited by Father Clement 
Staub, who made preparations to build a large church, but his transfer to 
St. Paul left the work for other hands. St. Cloud saw days of excitement 
during the Indian outbreak of 1862. The settlers fled from their farms into 
town and although no hostile Indians showed themselves, the pastor had his 
hands full endeavoring to calm the fears of the fugitives. 

Father Clement's successor was Father Meinulph Stukenkemper, who im- 
mediately took up the work begun by his predecessor and built the present 
church of the Immaculate Conception, which is to this day one of the most 
imposing churches in the county. In 1864 a fair was held in the court house 




REV. ALFBED MAYER 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 243 

and the proceeds, $600, were donated to the building fund. The corner stone 
was laid July 10, 1864, by Bishop Grace, of St. Paul, and the same prelate 
dedicated the church on December 10, 1865. It stands at the corner of St. 
Germain street and Ninth avenue ; its dimensions are 145 by 64 and the style 
is Gothic. The foundation is built of boulders and the superstructure of red 
brick. The contract for the brick work was awarded to Puchs & Co., of St. 
Joseph. The whole cost of building was about $20,000. It was impossible to 
raise such a sum at St. Cloud in those days; hence Father Meinulph made a 
tour of the Eastern states to solicit contributions. In July, 1867, the steeple 
was completed. 

The present parsonage was built by Father Meinulph in 1868. It is a 
brick structure 46 by 65, two stories high, and was at the time one of the fin- 
est residences in the city. It was finished in 1869 and cost about $8,000. 

On February 2, 1868, Rev. Gustave Mockenhaupt, son of one of the first 
members of the parish, celebrated his first mass in this church. He had studied 
with the Benedictine Fathers near St. Cloud, had finished his theological 
studies at St. Francis seminary, near Milwaukee, Wis., and had been ordained 
a jDriest on January 3, 1868. His edifying career was very short, for he died 
the same year, September 26, at Centralia, Illinois, at the age of 31 years. 

The church had already been furnished with a large organ, built by S. 
Stoeckling at St. Cloud. Daniel Huhn, the first school teacher, was also the 
organist. The very first organ had been bought many years before from a per- 
son in Sauk Rapids, for $300, which sum John Tenvoorde collected in the 
parish in a single day. 

In June, 1872, Father Meinulph was appointed pastor of New Munich 
and was succeeded at St. Cloud by Father Benedict Haindl, whose venerable 
appearance and unaffected piety made him respected and beloved by all. Dur- 
ing this time there were generally three priests at St. Cloud; two of them 
were missionaries, who visited the missions and stations in the southern part 
of Stearns and in the northern part of Meeker county. On April 26, 1874, 
Father Benedict celebrated the silver jubilee, or twenty-fifth anniversary of 
his ordination. For this occasion the church was in festive attire; the soci- 
eties and school children escorted the jubilarian to the sanctuary, where his 
religioiis superior, Rt. Rev. Abbot Rupert Seidenbusch, and a number of his 
brethren in the priesthood had assembled to assist at the celebration. In 
November, 1874, he was transferred to New Munich and received a successor 
in the person of Father Alphonse Kuisle. 

Father Alphonse was a man of considerable ability and energy, but his 
health was poor, and he generally required the services of an assistant. On 
May 30, 1875, Bishop Rupert Seidenbusch was consecrated in this church and 
resided at the parsonage for a year, until he purchased an episcopal residence. 
Five months later Abbot Alexius Edelbrock received abbatial benediction in 
the same church. The preparations for all these great functions engaged 
much of the pastor's time. Early in 1876 he organized a society for the 
support of the church. It was called the St. Joseph Church Society and its 
first officers were : President, Xavier Braun ; vice-president, J. H. Billig ; 
treasurer, F. Battenburg; secretary, G. Hagedorn. In August of the same 



244 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

year, the pastor visited Europe and returned towards the end of the year. 
In the meantime his superior had transferred him to Richmond and had ap- 
pointed as his successor, Father Severin Gross, who assumed charge in Octo- 
ber, 1876. 

On July 31, 1878, Father Severin celebrated the twenty-fifth anniversary 
of his ordination. In March, 1879, he bought two bells, which were conse- 
crated by Bishop Seidenbusch, on the thirtieth of the same month. In Octo- 
ber of the same year he bought a tower clock, which, to this day is the only 
clock of its kind in the city. By the organization of the Cathedral parish in 
1884, the congregation lost a number of families, but it was, and still is, a 
large parish. As the original cemetery was no longer large enough and the 
city was growing up around it, the two parishes jointly purchased fifteen 
acres on a hill, south of the city, for a new cemetery, and the old one was 
discontinued. The congregation lamented the loss of four families which 
perished in the cyclone of April 14, 1886. 

A parochial school was built in 1887 ; it was a very modest frame struc- 
ture, one story high, with accommodations for about 180 children. When it 
was opened in the fall, 113 children were enrolled, and three Benedictine 
Sisters were employed as teachers. In the same year Father Severin founded 
a school society, the object of which was to raise a fund for educating poor 
children who could not pay the school money. 

Father Severin was transferred to New Munich in 1888, after twelve 
years of devoted labor and was succeeded by Father Gregory Steil, who, for 
sixteen years conducted the parish in the spirit of his exemplary predecessors. 
During his pastorate the church debt was completely paid off, a chapel was 
built in Calvary cemetery in 1889 ; in 1893 the interior of the church was deco- 
rated by George F. Satory, and the plain windows replaced by stained glass. 
His principal monument is the parochial school building, which was erected 
at the cost of $26,000 and was dedicated October 18, 1896. It is a fine brick 
building, three stories high with a basement, and has accommodations for 
650 children. 

In 1904 Father Gregory was promoted to the office of sub-prior at St. 
John's Abbey and Father William Eversmann was appointed pastor in his 
place. The new pastor found everything in good order both in the church 
and in the school. He walked faithfully in the footsteps of his predecessors 
and took great interest in the progress of the school and in the development 
of the societies. In 1908 the parish celebrated the golden jubilee of its exist- 
ence. Early in 1907 Father William was transferred to New Munich and was 
succeeded by Father Alfred Mayer. During his pastorate the congregation 
has been incorporated, and a council of twelve parishioners organized to assist 
the pastor in administering the temporal concerns of the parish. A hand- 
some residence was built for the Benedictine Sisters employed as teachers 
in the parochial school. Three years ago the church was redecorated and im- 
portant changes made in the sanctuary. The parsonage and the grounds were 
improved. The most recent achievement of the parish is the establishment of 
St. Mary's hall, a Catholic club house. It is a one-story brick building, with 
a basement, and contains an auditorium, a gymnasium, bowling alleys, read- 





ST. MARY'S CONVENT AND HALL 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 245 

ing room, etc. The building was dedicated by Bishop Trobee, November 30, 
1911. 

Since 1872 the pastor has been assisted by one or more priests, among 
them were Fathers Boniface Moll, 1872-1874; Paul Rettenmaier, 1880-1881; 
Ildephonse Molitor, 1881-1882 ; Leo Winter, 1883-1885 ; Wolfgang Steinkogler, 
1885-1886 ; Francis Mershman, from the Abbey, 1888-90 ; Herman Bergbann, 
from the Abbey, 1891-95; Martin Schmitt, 1896-98; Leonard Kapsner, 1898- 
1899 ; Meinard Seifermann, 1899-1902 ; Werner Schneppenheim, to whom great 
credit is due in connection with the building of St. Mary's hall, 1902-1912, 
and Eugene Woerdehoff, October, 1913, to spring, 1914. 

The present pastor is Rev. Father Gerard Spielmann, who succeeded 
Father Alfred, September 1, 1914. He is supported by Fathers Vincent Schif- 
frer, Hildebrand Eichhoff, since 1912, and Alto Walter, since September of 
1914. 

Societies: St. Joseph's benevolent society, organized 1856; in 1887 it 
joined the R. C. Benevolent Union; St. Mary's Court, No. 744, C. 0. F., organ- 
ized 1897 ; membership about 130 ; St. Margaret branch society of the R. C. 
Benevolent Union organized 1899 ; has about 300 active members ; St. Anne 's 
Sodality, organized 1856, about 200 members; St. Gertrude's Sodality, organ- 
ized 1858, about 185 members ; Sodalities of SS. Benedict and Scholastiea, for 
children; the Catholic club, founded 1910; corps of cadets, organized by 
Father Hildebrand in 1913. 

Church of St. John Cantius. The earliest attempt to organize a congre- 
gation among the Polish Catholics of St. Cloud dates back to August, 1887, 
when Rev. John Sroka, with permission of the bishop, called a meeting and 
collected $500 towards a building fund. In April, 1893, Rev. A. J. Kitowski 
was authorized to organize a parish, but nothing decisive was done before 
October, 1900, when a congregation was formed by Rev. August Gospodar, 
pastor of North Prairie. At first services were held in a hall near the present 
church. 

The corner-stone for the present church was laid by Bishop Trobee, on 
July 7, 1901, and the church was dedicated December 27, 1901, by the same 
prelate. The cost of construction was about $9,000 ; the dimensions are 44 by 
104, the material, granite and red brick. It stands at the corner of Third 
street and Sixteenth avenue North. In 1902 a parsonage costing $6,000 and 
a parochial school were built. A chime of three bells was placed in the belfry 
in 1904. 

Pastors : Revs. August Gospodar, of North Prairie, 1901-1904 ; Leo Stein, 
of Duelm, resident at St. Cloud, from January to June, 1905 ; August Plachta, 
1905-1906 ; Stephen Plaza, 1906-1907 ; John Kromolicki, 1907-1911, the present 
pastor. Rev. Vincent Wotzka, since 1911. 

ST. JOSEPH. 

Church of St. Joseph. A congregation was organized among the settlers 
on St. Joseph's prairie, by Rev. F. Pierz, of Crow Wing, on January 21, 1855. 
He is said to have celebrated the first mass in the house of Martin Fiedler, 
in November, 1854. Subsequently he also officiated in other private houses, 



246 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and for some time in a school house that stood near the present church. In 
the spring, 1856, a log church, 20 by 32, was built. Here Rev. F. X. Weninger, 
S. J., held mission services in August of the same year, and from the sixteenth 
of that month the Benedictines, who had come to Stearns county in May, took 
charge of the congregation. Father Bruno Riss, 0. S. B., was the first resident 
pastor, and besides holding regvilar Sunday services at St. Joseph, also vis- 
ited the congregations at Jacobs' Prairie and at Richmond. 

The log church, with some slight alterations, served as a church for four- 
teen years. The present church was commenced in 1869. Bishop Thomas 
L. Grace blessed the corner stone on June 5 of that year, and consecrated 
the church June 29, 1871. It was the first church consecrated in the state 
of Minnesota. Its dimensions are 66 by 150, the material, granite boulders, 
and its cost was about $28,000. In 1874, the present parsonage, 36 by 44, was 
built of the same material, and the tower of the church was completed in 
1884. In 1885 there was still a debt of $10,000 on 1)he church and parsonage, 
but the greater part of it was paid off by the pastors between 1886 and 1892. 
In 1888 a stone winter chapel was built between the church and the parson- 
age. The church was decorated and many needed repairs and improvements 
made in 1895. About this time, too, the church debt was entirely wiped out. 
In June, 1899, the old pipe organ was replaced by a larger one that cost 
about $3,000. Four new bells were bought in 1902 and the old ones were dis- 
posed of; a tower clock was installed in 1905. The present pastor remodelled 
the interior of the church and supplied it with a steam-heating plant. The 
church was re-decorated after being remodelled. 

During the first and second year of the existence of the congregation 
and again in 1877 this region was devastated by grasshoppers. Since that 
time it has been the custom of the parish to hold processions annually on 
June 5, the feast of St. Boniface, and on September 6, the feast of St. Magnus. 
The first procession of the kind was held in 1857, when the congregations of 
St. Cloud, St. Joseph and Jacobs' Prairie took part. 

The first school was opened near the church September 1, 1856, and the 
first teacher was John Daxacher, who subsequently became a priest, and after 
serving for many years in the diocese of Omaha, died November 18, 1904. The 
first marriage was that of Mr. and Mrs. Nic. Jacoby, and a daughter of Bal- 
thasar Fuchs was the first person baptized in St. Joseph. 

Some of the earliest settlers who arrived in 1854 were, Peter Loso, Peter 
Kraemer, Math. Orth, John H. Linnemann, Nicholas Rassier, Martin Fiedler 
and Balthasar Fuchs. 

Pastors: The Benedictine Fathers Bruno Riss, 1856 to May, 1859; 
Clement Staub, to December, 1861 ; Bruno Riss, to December, 1862 ; Benedict 
Haindl, Othmar Wirz, "Wolfgang Northman to June, 1867 ; Anthony Capser, 
July, 1867, to July, 1868 ; Cornelius Wittmann, who built the clurch and par- 
sonage, July, 1868, to May, 1875 ; Severin Gross, to October, 1876 ; Simplicius 
Wimmer, to February, 1877 ; Clement Staub, to April 23, 1886, the day of his 
death ; Edward Ginther, who had been administrator of the parish since 1885, 
became pastor after the death of Father Clement and remained till May 16, 
1887; Valentine Stimmler, 1887 to September, 1892; Ludger Ehrens, Sep- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 247 

tember, 1892, to August, 1900; William Eversmann, to September, 1904; Leo 
Winter, to September, 1907; the present pastor. Father Ludger Ehrens, since 
September, 1907. 

Since 1911 the pastor is assisted on Sundays by Father Joseph Kreuter, 
of St. John's Abbey. The chaplain of St. Benedict's convent. Father Henry 
Borgerding, has been residing in the parsonage of St. Joseph's church ever 
since his appointment to that position in 1890. 

The St. Joseph society was founded in November, 1861, after a mission 
held by Father Wendelin Mayer, 0. S. B. Statutes were not drawn up for it 
until two years later. It joined the state association in 1895. Members, 100. 

St. Aloysius Young Men's society, restored by the present pastor in 
March, 1899, with 70 members. 

Young Ladies' Sodality, which also supports a circulating library. 

St. Anne's society. 

ST. MARTIN. 

Church of St. Martin. This church is situated in the village of St. Martin, 
near the southern line of section 35 of the township bearing the same name. 
Among the earliest settlers were Henry Ley, J. C. Noll, Peter Hahn, Peter 
Frevel and Peter Kuhl, who came in 1857. The locality was known as Ley's 
settlement, and for a time as Holy Cross. In the absence of written records, 
it is impossible to say when and by whom the first services were held. Revs. 
Clement Staub and Bruno Riss are claimed as the pioneer clergymen and one 
of them is said to have celebrated the first mass in 1857 or 1858 in the house 
of Mr. Ley, who was always hospitable to the missionaries. At all events, 
Father Clement named the settlement and church. 

The first church, 24 by 37, was built in the fall of 1860, under the direc- 
tion of Rev. Pius Bayer. At this time the congregation was composed of 
only nine families. An addition 24 by 24 was built to the church by Father 
Anschar Frauendorfer about 1870. Since November, 1872, the church has 
had a resident pastor, who, however, could hold services here on only two 
Sundays of the month, as he was required to visit a number of missions. Previ- 
ous to this time St. Martin had been visited once a month from Richmond. 

In 1875 a parsonage was built, costing $4,000. The church was lengthened 
by another addition 24 by 30, in 1877, and now presented an appearance far 
from handsome. Early in the eighties a building fund was organized ; a large 
brick church was commenced in 1886. The corner stone was laid June 15 
of that year, and the church was dedicated by Bishop Seidenbusch on June 
14, 1887. Its dimensions are 135 by 50; the material used is red brick; the 
cost was about $20,000. 

The present parsonage is built of brick and was erected in 1899. The 
old church was destroyed by fire in 1900. 

In 1908 the number of families belonging to the congregation was 125. 

Pastors: The Benedictine Fathers Clement Staub and Bruno Riss, 1857- 
1859 ; Eberhard Gahr, 1860 ; Pius Bayer, to 1862 ; Bruno Riss, to 1863 ; Matthew 
Stuerenberg, to 1864; Anschar Frauendorfer, 1865-1872; Joseph Vill, to No- 
vember, 1872. These priests, with the exception of the first two, visited St. 



248 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Martin from Richmond, about eight miles distant. Resident pastors: Sim- 
plicius Wimmer, November, 1872, to October, 1876; Bruno Riss, for a short 
time in 1876 ; Hilary Remlein and Stanislaus Preiser, 1877 ; Benedict Haindl, 
1877 to 1880 ; Leo Winter, 1880 ; Ludger Ehrens, September, 1880, to August 
20, 1885; Placidus Wingerter, who built the present church, 1885 to August 
20, 1888 ; Paulin "Wiesner, November, 1888, to July, 1891 ; Ambrose Lethert, 
September, 1891, to April, 1895 ; Edward Ginther, who built the present par- 
sonage, to July, 1901; Martin Schmitt, to May, 1906; the present pastor, 
Father Meinulph Stukenkemper, since May 6, 1906. In July, 1911, he cele- 
brated the golden jubilee, or fiftieth anniversary of his ordination, and is at 
present the oldest priest in active service in the diocese. 

Societies : St. Joseph society, organized 1873. Present membership, 100. 
President, John Fleischhacker ; secretary, George Ehresmann; treasurer, John 
Mondloch. 

Young Men's Sodality: 76 members. President, John Blonigen ; secre- 
tary, John Stang; treasurer, Henry Haehn. 

A society of married women, and a court of the Catholic Order of For- 
esters. 

SAUK CENTRE. 

Church of St. Paul. One of the first settlers of Sauk Centre was Joseph 
Capser, who arrived in 1864, and was shortly followed by Anthony Miller, 
Frederick Borgmann, Joseph Ebensteiner, Henry Kalkmann and others. The 
first religious services were held at the house of Joseph Capser in the fall 
of 1864, by Father Matthew Stuerenberg, O. S. B., who was active in the 
Stearns county missions for a few years. He was followed by Rev. Joseph 
Buh, in 1865, and the Benedicti,ne Fathers Anschar Frauendorfer, 1866; An- 
thony Capser, 1867-1868; Augustine Burns and Simplicius Wimmer. "In 1870 
Joseph Capser, Ferdinand Borgmann, Joseph Ebensteiner, Henry Kalkmann, 
George Gruber and Anthony Miller bought a piece of ground on which to 
build a church. The sum of $475 was paid, Mr. Capser paying $300. A church 
was erected on the spot the next year and dedicated by Father Valentine 
on June 30, 1871. The first confirmation took place in September, 1875, by 
Bishop Seidenbusch." (Hist. Upp. Miss. Valley, p. 464.) 

A parochial school was built 1896-1897, it was opened February 18, 1897, 
with an attendance of 50 children taught by two Benedictine Sisters. 

In 1902 the contract for erecting the foundation for a new church was 
let to Paul Koschiol, of St. Cloud. On April 10, 1904, Bishop Trobec laid 
the corner-stone of the new church and on April 25, 1906, the new St. Paul's 
was dedicated by the same prelate. The cost of the new structure is approxi- 
mately $40,000. 

In 1908 the congregation consisted of 106 families, all German. 

Pastors since 1875 : Rev. John Schenk, from Long Prairie, 1875-1877 ; 
Rev. Paul Rettenmaier, 0. S. B., from Melrose, 1878-1880; Meinrad Leuthard, 
O. S. B., from Melrose, to November, 1881 ; William Eversmann, 0. S. B., from 
Melrose, to December, 1883. Resident secular priests : Revs. William Lange, 
1884; J. B. Boever, 1885-1887; Charles A. Gunkel, to 1890; Gregory Goebel, 
1891-1893 ; Joseph A. Stephan, 1894-1895 ; Emil Steinach, 1895-1899 ; the pres- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 249 

ent pastor, since 1899, Rev. Anthony Arzt, was made an irremovable rector 
in 1911. 

The principal society existing in the parish is the St. Joseph's Society, 
founded 1893. Present officers : President, Peter Robischon ; vice-president, 
John Kutschner, treasvirer, Jacob Botz; secretary, J. B. Schoenhoflf. 

Church of Our Lady of Angels. For the English speaking Catholics of 
Sauk Centre a church was organized about 1883 and served by the clergyman 
stationed at St. Paul's Church. Rev. William Lange was the first pastor. In 
1886 the pastor was Rev. F. O'Reilly, who in 1888 was followed by Rev. D. J. 
Cogan, who died as pastor January 16, 1889. Both these reverend gentlemen 
were resident at the church. For the next six years the pastors of St. Paul's 
were in charge. 

Pastors since 1895: Revs. John Fitzgerald, 1895; Julius Lemmer, 1896; 
Hubert Gundermann, 1897 ; Francis O 'Connor, 1898-1911 ; Frederick Hinnen- 
kamp, August, 1911, to date. 

The church is located at the corner of Ash and Seventh streets. It was 
renovated in 1891. 

SPRING HILL. 

Church of St. Michael. This church is located in section 28 of the town- 
ship of Spring Hill. As far as can be ascei-tained from old settlers, the' first 
services were held here in a private house by Father Clement Staub in 1858. 
A log church was built in 1864, and a frame church in 1871. The mission was 
visited by the priests stationed at Richmond, St. Martin and Meire Grove. 
Among the missionary rectors were Fathers Anthony Capser, in 1868; Sim- 
plicius Wimmer, 1873-1876; Alphonse Kuisle, 1876; Benedict Haindl, 1877; 
Stanislaus Preiser, September 29, 1878, to March 4, 1879 ; Pancratius Maehren, 
1879. 

The first resident pastor was Father Ambrose Lethert, O. S. B., from 
1880 to February, 1883. During this period Spring Hill was afflicted by an 
epidemic of smallpox which carried off twenty members of the congregation. 
The pastor with his own hands nursed the sick, brought them food supplies, 
manufactured coffins and buried the dead. His heroism and self-sacrifice 
will not be forgotten for many a day. His successor was Father Louis Sal- 
zeder, 0. S. B., from February, 1883, to February 12, 1885; Father Maurus 
Bader, O. S. B., who died here as pastor, Ai;gust 15, 1886 ; Father Paul Retten- 
maier, 0. S. B., from August 22, 1886, to September 7, 1890; and Father 
George Scheffold, 0. S. B., to June 22, 1891, when the Benedictines withdrew 
and a secular priest was appointed. 

The first secular priest in charge was the late Rev. Charles A. Gunkel 
who was succeeded in December, 1896, by Rev. John Gratz, under whose 
pastorate the church and parsonage were destroyed by fire October 31, 1899, 
and were rebuilt at a cost of about $32,000. His successor, October, 1901, to 
June, 1902, was Rev. John Brender, who in the course of eight months paid 
off $5,000 of the church debt His successors were Rev. Isidore Hengarten, 
from June, 1902, to May 1, 1903 ; Rev. Francis Britscher, to August, 1910. The 
present pastor, since August, 1910, is Rev. Charles Pfeiffer. 



250 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

The first child born in Spring Hill was Mary Och (Mrs. Joseph Metzger), 
in July, 1860; the first couple married were Frank Aigner and Anna Petre. 

The cornerstone of the new church was laid June 27, 1900; the building 
was finished in 1902 and dedicated October 6, 1903, by Bishop Trobec. Right 
Rev. Frederick Eis, Bishop of Marquette, who had lived at Spring Hill years 
ago, celebrated the first solemn mass in the church on the latter occasion. 

Number of families at present, 87; 602 souls. 

Among the church societies are the St. Michael's Benevolent Society, 
with about 60 members ; a society for married women, with about 75 members, 
and a society for young ladies, 80 members. 

WAKEFIELD. 

Church of St. James. Although in point of age one of the oldest congre- 
gations in the western part of the state, circumstances have contrived to 
keep it small in numbers. Its church stands on section one of the township 
of Wakefield and on what was popularly known as Jacobs' Prairie, named from 
one of the earliest settlers. Rev. F. Pierz said mass here in the house of M. 
Fuchs in 1855. In May, 1856, he organized the congregation and directed 
the building of the first church, a long cabin ; in August of the same year 
Rev. F. X. Weninger held a mission here and erected a mission cross. At 
the close of these exercises the Benedictine Fathers, who had just arrived 
in Minnesota, assumed charge of the church, the first service being held by 
Father Bruno Riss, 0. S. B., on August 16, 1856. He visited the place from 
St. Joseph. The original church was burnt in 1858 and another was at once 
built. This was replaced by a frame church, 30 by 60, in 1864. At the same 
time a little parsonage was built for the visiting priest. An addition was 
built to the church in 1875. In 1877 a neat frame chapel was built near Cold 
Spring; it was called the chapel of Mary Help of Christians. Here mass was 
to be celebrated every Saturday and a procession was to be held on August 
15 every year. Both the church and the chapel were destroyed by the cyclone 
of June 27, 1894. The chapel was never rebuilt, but the church was replaced 
in the same fall by a frame structure 35 by 65 and the first services were 
held in it December 2, 1894, by Father Anthony Capser, O. S. B. There were 
48 families in the congregation at the time. The church was finished in the 
summer of the following year and dedicated by Abbot Peter Engel October 
17, 1895. An addition was built to it in 1899, and the entire interior was 
decorated in 1900. 

Before 1877 all the Catholics living at Cold Spring, in the Bavarian settle- 
ment and at Rockville attended the church on Jacobs' Prairie ; the organization 
of churches at Cold Spring and Rockville diminished the congregation of St. 
James considerably. At present the number of families is 40, about 300 
souls. 

On the feast of St. James, July 25, 1905, the parish celebrated the golden 
jubilee of its foundation. The congregation was incorporated in 1908, in 
which year a new parsonage was built, although there is no resident pastor. 

Pastors: The Benedictine Fathers — Bruno Riss, August, 1856, to May, 



HISTORY OP STEARNS COUNTY 251 

1857; Clement Staub, to March, I860; Eberhard Gahr, to December, I860; 
Pius Bayer, to July, 1862; Magnus Mayr, to December, 1862; Bruno Riss, 
1863; Matthew Stuerenburg (from Richmond), to March, 1865; Anschar 
Frauendorfer (from Richmond), to 1871; Joseph Vill (from the Abbey), to 
August, 1873; Vincent Schiffrer, to May 20, 1877; he resided here and visited 
St. Nicholas in Luxemburg township ; Leo Winter, May 20, 1877, to January, 
1878; there were no services from January to October, 1878. The following 
attended from St. John's Abbey: Fathers Bernard Locnikar, October, 1878, 
to Easter, 1879; Alphonse Kuisle, to October 1, 1880; Stanislaus Preiser, to 
February 25, 1881; Othmar Erren, to July 2, 1882; John Katzner, to July, 
1888; Anthony Capser, to November, 1890; Vincent Schiffrer, January, 1891, 
to June, 1892; Eugene Bode, June, 1892, to June, 1894. Boniface Moll (from 
Cold Spring) to September 18, 1898; Anthony Capser, to January, 1898; Ber- 
nard Kevenhoerster, to August, 1899 ; Leonard Kapsner, to August, 1900 ; 
Anselm Ortmann, to December, 1900 ; Lawrence Steinkogler, to July 25, 1901 ; 
Agatho Gehret, to October, 1904; Bonaventure Hansen, to August, 1905; 
Robert "Wewers, August, 1905, to August, 1910; the present pastor, Julius 
Locnikar, who resides at Cold Spring, since November 8, 1910. 

Societies: St. James' Society, organized by Father John Katzner in 1886. 
President, John Schmitz ; secretary, Herman Leither ; treasurer, Peter Taufen. 
St. Ann Society, St. Rose Society for young ladies, and St. Aloysius So- 
ciety for young men. 

BROOTEN. 

This mission is in section 31 of North Fork township in the southwestern 
part of the county. It was attended first by Rev. Thomas Fassbind, while 
he was pastor of Padua, 1898. At present it is visited from Padua. 

FORMER CHURCHES. 

Logering: The settlement of Logering, or Pappelbusch, in section 31 
of the township of Luxemburg had a church for 15 years. A congregation 
was organized in 1877 and Father Leo Winter attended the mission from 
€old Spring. Subsequently it was attended by fathers from the abbey and 
from Richmond and Cold Spring until the church was closed by order of 
Bishop Zardetti at the end of 1892. Its title was. Church of the Assumption, 
and its last pastor, who visited it from Richmond, was Father Clement Dimpfl. 

Kimball Prairie. Church of St. Ann. Although generally called the Kim- 
ball (erroneously Kimmel or Himmel) Prairie church it did not stand on the 
prairie but three miles west of it near the Meeker county line and Watkins. 
The Catholics in the southwestern part of the township of Maine Prairie were 
organized into a congregation by Father Valentine Stimmler, 0. S. B., in 
1873 ; he continued to visit the settlement as long as he remained at St. Wen- 
del, which was about 12 miles distant. Later it was visited by the priests 
from Cold Spring or from St. Nicholas. In 1888 the congregation consisted of 
about 40 families. The chiirch was destroyed by the cyclone of June 27, 
1894. Since that time the people attend the church at St. Nicholas or that 
at Watkins, Meeker county. 



252 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

CHAPTER XVII. 

ST. JOHN'S ABBEY. 

The Benedictine Order — Colony Founded in Steams County — The Rothkopp 
Property — Congregations Established — Privations of the Fathers — Noble 
Souls Who Have Been in Charge of the Community — Removal to St. 
Joseph — Establishment at St. Cloud — Permanent Location at CoUegeville 
— Help from the Old World — Erection of the Buildings — Indian Work — 
Present Status of the Community — By Rev. Alexius Hoffmann, 0. S. B. 

The Benedictine Order was founded early in the sixth century by St. 
Benedict, a native of Nursia in Italy, who established the great monastery 
of Monte Cassino. From this center the order was spread over all the coun- 
tries of Europe. In 1846 it was introduced into the United States by the 
late Abbot Boniface Wimmer, who founded a house, now known as St. Vin- 
cent's Abbey, near Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and ten years later sent small col- 
onies of monks to Minnesota and Kansas. 

Probably at the suggestion of the venerable Father Pierz, who visited the 
Catholic settlements in Stearns county as early as 1854, Bishop Cretin of St. 
Paul induced Abbot Boniface "Wimmer to send several missionaries. The 
leader of the first Benedictine colony was the late : 

Father Demetrius de Marogna, who after twenty years' service as a secu- 
lar priest in Germany and in the state of Illinois, had entered the order in 
1852 and had for a short time been Prior of St. Vincent's Abbey. He was 
accompanied by two clerics. Fathers Bruno Riss and Cornelius Wittmann, and 
two lay-brothers, Benno Muckenthaler and Patrick Greil. 

On May 2, 1856, they arrived at St. Paul, where the two clerics were or- 
dained priests on May 17, and three days later they reached their destination, 
which was Sauk Rapids. Here they lodged for several weeks in the log chapel 
built by Father Pierz. On May 21 they visited St. Cloud for the first time. 
Newspapers of that day had advertised St. Cloud as a "city" with 200 in- 
habitants and brilliant prospects, but there was little that suggested a city — 
a few rude dwellings and a general merchandise store. As there were but 
few settlers at Sauk Rapids, and German immigrants from neighboring states 
were pouring into Stearns county in great numbers, the fathers resolved to 
abandon Sauk Rapids and make their home among the settlers on the other 
or western bank of the Mississippi river. Here two elderly men, "William and 
Louis Rothkopp, had offered them their two homesteads if they consented to 
establish themselves near St. Cloud. They accepted the offer and settled on 
the Rothkopp claims. 

The resources of the fathers were too limited to permit them to erect 
any imposing buildings at the time; hence they contented themselves with 
fitting up the two log cabins, and from this point as a centre they began their 
activity as missionaries. 

On May 22, the solemnity of Corpus Christi, Father Demetrius (for the 




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HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 253 

sake of brevity, the fathers are always called by their religious names) cele- 
brated the first mass in the house of Joseph Edelbrock in St. Cloud, and since 
that time the Benedictines continued to conduct religious services regularly 
at St. Cloud. Father Pierz now confined himself exclusively to the Indians 
at Crow Wing and other northern points. While Father Demetrius, who was 
the prior, or superior, of the Benedictine Fathers, ocupied himself with the 
general concerns of his little community, Father Cornelius was placed in 
charge of the church at St. Cloud, and Father Bruno's first field of labor 
was the settlement on what was then called St. Joseph's Prairie, eight miles 
west of St. Cloud. 

Difficulties soon loomed up. The Fathers were not aware that the donors 
of the two homesteads had not yet complied with all the provisions of the 
federal law and were not qualified to convey title. Other parties claimed the 
same lands, litigation ensued and six years passed before a final decision 
was made by the Secretary of the Interior. As a result the Rothkopps were 
entitled to only seventy-five acres out of the three hundred and twenty. 
Eventually the seventy-five acres passed into the hands of the order. In the 
meantime the fathers, who deemed it prudent to look for a home elsewhere 
if the litigation should terminate unfavorably for them, had secured land in 
the southwest corner of what is now the township of St. Wendel, and in sec- 
tion one of the present township of Collegeville. 

The first missionaries began without delay to form congregations among 
the settlers scattered over the prairies and throughout the "bush." There 
was already a small log chapel at St. Joseph, and another was building on 
Jacobs' Prairie in the town of Wakefield. For the purpose of making a good 
beginning the fathers invited the celebrated Jesuit missionary Rev. Francis 
X. Weninger to conduct a series of mission services to revive the religious 
spirit in the settlers. He arrived in July, 1856, and held services at St. Cloud 
and at St. Joseph, after which he also paid a brief visit to Jacobs' Prairie, 
Richmond's Prairie and the settlement of St. Augusta. 

A few weeks later grasshoppers devastated this section of the county 
and for a season blighted the hopes of the settlers. Food supplies were scarce 
and had to be brought a great distance. A second visitation of the same kind 
occurred in 1857, but the settlers had learned to trust in Providence and did 
not lose courage. To show their gratitude for being preserved from further 
disasters, they annually held a procession on June 5. 

In October, 1856, Abbot Boniface personally visited the Fathers in this 
county, and brought with him an additional missionary, Father Alexius Roet- 
zer, and four lay-brothers to attend to domestic and farm labor. A large mis- 
sionary field was assigned to Father Alexius; he was to visit the settlers in 
Benton, Sherburne, Wright and Meeker counties. As there were no railroads 
in those days, and the stage-coaches did not pass the places where he was to 
minister, he was obliged to make most of his trips afoot. His constitution was 
not equal to the task ; in 1859 he suffered an attack of pneumonia which de- 
veloped into consumption. He left Minnesota in the same year and died Feb- 
ruary 25, 1860. 

The buildings in which the fathers found shelter at the time Abbot Boni- 



254 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

face visited them were anything but pretentious or comfortable ; not in any 
particular better than those in which the farmers lived. In his report on 
the missions conducted here in 1856, Father F. X. Weninger writes: "The 
Benedictine Fathers have established themselves near St. Cloud. Father De- 
metrius, from St. Vincent's in Pennsylvania, organized the new priory. This, 
good friend of mine was once known as Count Marogna, and was formerly a 
secular priest in Illinois. This establishment is a great blessing for St. Cloud 
and vicinity. Here it will be possible to educate priests for a country sorely in 
need of them. I found the fathers in a frame hut. What a contrast to the 
magnificent abbeys of Europe. But even there it was at one time as bad as 
it is here now, and things here will also improve. The Prior's apartment had 
not even a door, and the mosquitoes and other vermit had free access." 

Father Demetrius made provision for the future by establishing a semi- 
nary, for which he secured a charter from the Territorial Legislature in Feb- 
ruary, 1857, through the efforts of the late Hon. John L. "Wilson, who at 
that time represented Stearns county in that body. As yet the seminary 
did not exist, nor had its exact location been determined. According to the 
charter it was to be on the Rothkopp claim. 

Abbot Boniface, on the occasion of his visit, saw that three priests were 
not sufficient for the numerous settlements ; moreover. Bishop Cretin had asked 
him for priests for Scott county. In April, 1857, Fathers Clement Staub and 
Benedict Haindl, both of whom had seen missionary service in Pennsylvania, 
were sent to Minnesota. Both were to render memorable services to the 
western missions for the space of thirty years ; they are still remembered 
although they laid down their burdens a quarter of a century ago. Father 
Clement was directed to make St. Joseph his headquarters and from that point 
to visit the settlers in the western part of the county. In the course of his 
missionary trips he came to Richmond, Gau's Settlement (now Spring Hill), 
Ley's Settlement (now St. Martin), New Munich, Meier Grove, and St. Wen- 
del (Luxemburg), at which places he built log chapels. The first services 
were generally held in a private house and, in many instances the members of 
the family formed the congregation. Father Clement went from place to 
place, ministering to souls and to bodies, for he was a skilful physician; in 
the fourth year he was assigned to St. Mary's church at St. Cloud. Father 
Benedict was sent to Shakopee, whence he visited the numerous settlements 
in Scott county. 

The litigation over the Rothkopp claims brought Abbot Boniface out to 
Minnesota for a second time in the fall of 1857. Father Demetrius had lost 
heart in the face of the disappointments he encountered and begged to be 
relieved of the office of superior. He was sent to the church of the Assump- 
tion, at St. Paul, and was appointed pastor of that congregation in the be- 
ginning of January, 1858. Five years later he retired and was for several 
years chaplain of the Sisters of St. Joseph at St. Paul. He died March 27, 
1869. His successor at St. Cloud was : 

Father Cornelius Wittmann, who entered upon the office in the beginning 
of November, 1857, and at once organized St. John's Seminary, for which a 
charter had been granted in February of that year. Fearing eviction if the 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 255 

lawsuit were to be decided against the Rothkopps, Father Cornelius trans- 
ferred the priory and the seminary to St. Joseph on March 5, 1858, leaving 
a lay-brother in charge of the farm. At St. Joseph the community was quar- 
tered in a log building, little better than that at St. Cloud, and Father Cor- 
nelius had to travel 8 miles to visit his congregation at that place. 

When the first General Chapter of the American Congregation of Bene- 
dictines met at St. Vincent's in September, 1858, Fathers Cornelius and Bene- 
dict attended as representatives of the Minnesota community. At this Chap- 
ter it was resolved to declare the houses in Minnesota and Kansas independent. 
On the same occasion Father Benedict was elected first prior of the inde- 
pendent Priory of St. Cloud for the term of three years. Fortunately the 
independence conferred upon the community was little more than nominal; 
St. Vincent "s was called upon for men and means until late in the sixties. 

Prior Benedict Haindl (1858-1862). Father Benedict, who has the dis- 
tinction of being the first person to receive the Benedictine habit and to take 
the vows of the order in the United States — in 1846 and 1849 respectively- 
had been for nine years in active service and was conversant with conditions 
in the West. He arrived at St. Joseph October 16, 1858, and at once assumed 
direction of the community and of the missions in its charge. Earlier in the 
same year the number of missionaries had been increased by the arrival of 
Fathers Anschar Frauendorfer (+ 1882 as pastor of St. Augusta) and Eber- 
hard Gahr, who is still living and is a member of St. Vincent's Abbey. 

Prior Benedict considered the recent removal of the community from 
St. Cloud to St. Joseph inexpedient. When Bishop Thomas L. Grace of St. 
Paul for the first time visited St. Cloud, in 1859, he advocated that place for 
the college and promised to send his students if it were located there. Accord- 
ingly the college and priory were again removed to St. Cloud in the spring 
of 1859. About the same time several lay-brothers were sent to clear land for 
cultivation near what is now CoUegeville station on the Great Northern Rail- 
road line. The locality was known as the Indian Bush, in section 32 of the 
township of St. Wendel. Here the community lost its first member by death ; 
it was Brother Benno Muckenthaler, who was found dead in his bed March 
27, 1859. During the previous year his relatiA'es had sent him a small tower 
bell for the use of the priory ; it was probably the first bell brought to Stearns 
county and still hangs in the college turret at St. John's. 

Under Prior Benedict's administration Fathers George Scherer (-[-1884) 
and Pius Bayer (+1872) arrived at St. Cloud in 1860 and were assigned mission 
work — the former in Scott county, the latter in Stearns county. In August, 
1861, came Father Meinulph Steukenkemper, who was destined to labor in 
the Minnesota missions for more than half a century. His first position was 
that of assistant at the church of the Assumption at St. Paul, from which he 
visited missions and stations in Carver county. 

The Civil War slightly embarrassed ; two of the lay -brothers were drafted 
but released upon payment of a specified sum. More serious was the Sioux 
outbreak in the summer of 1862. Such was the terror of the settlers, even in 
Stearns county, that palisades and earthworks were constructed at several 
places, notably at St. Cloud and at Richmond. During the panic the mem- 



256 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

bers of the monastic commimity found refuge in St. Cloud. The Indians did 
not extend their ravages as far north as St. Cloud, and the settlers felt greatly 
relieved vrhen they heard that the militia had succeeded in putting an end 
to the uprising. Father Bruno, the first pastor at St. Joseph, is our authority 
for the statement that Father Magnus Mayr was commandant at the "fort" at 
Richmond during those perilous weeks. 

Prior Benedict's term of office had expired in the latter part of 1861, 
but it was impossible to hold an election at the time, and he was authorized to 
continue in office for another year. On October 16, 1862, a chapter was held 
at the priory near St. Cloud, Abbot Boniface presiding. This body elected 
as its second prior: 

Prior Othmar Wirz (1862-65), who was at the time prior of St. Vincent's 
Abbey. He was a Swiss by nativity, a convert from Protestantism, and had 
entered the Benedictine Order at the suggestion of his countryman. Father 
Clement Staub, in 1853. He reached St. Cloud on November 17, 1862, and a 
few weeks later assembled the fathers to regulate the affairs of the priory 
and of the missions. A contemporary document contains a list of the mis- 
sions and stations visited by the fathers in Minnesota in the spring of 1863: 
(1) St. Cloud, with St. Augusta and St. Wendel; (2) St. Joseph, with Jacobs' 
Prairie, Richmond, Ley's Settlement; (3) St. Paul, church of the Assumption; 
(4) St. Anthony (now East Minneapolis), with Crystal Lake, Medicine Lake, 
Jordan and Lexington; (5) Shakopee, with Marystown, Chaska, Benton, Wa- 
conia, Victoria, Watertown, Spring Mount, St. Bonifacius, Glencoe, French Set- 
tlement, Cedar Lake and Young America — five centres from which the mis- 
sionaries made excursions in all directions. 

The contest for the homesteads at St. Cloud finally was brought to a 
close. The little that remained to the Rothkopps was not enough for a farm 
to support a community. Moreover, Prior Othmar feared that the city of 
St. Cloud would extend to the very doors of his monastery and mar the still- 
ness suitable for such an institution. Therefore he resolved to transfer the 
priory and the seminary for a third time. The frame building inhabited by the 
fathers near St. Cloud was about 72 feet long and two stories high, and would 
have been a valuable possession if it had stood elsewhere. Before making the 
change, however. Prior Othmar had the charter amended so that he might be 
at liberty to establish the seminary anywhere in Stearns county. The amend- 
ment was made February 6, 1864, and the community again moved westward. 
There was a log house at the old farm in the Indian Bush, but it was too small 
for the whole colony. A frame house and a small chapel were immediately 
built. The Prior had now found the retirement he had so ardently coveted, 
little dreaming that eight years later a railroad line would be built so as to 
pass almost within a stone's throw of the monastery. But when that came 
to pass, he was within two years of the end of his mortal career and not in 
Stearns county. 

During his administration the community was increased by Fathers Wolf- 
gang Northman and Matthew Stueremburg, the former of whom was em- 
ployed as teacher of music and of other branches, while Father Matthew trav- 
elled from mission to mission as far as Sauk Centre, where he held the first 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 257 

services in 1864. Towards the end of the same year, the late Father Valentine 
Stiinmler (+1908) was sent to St. Vincent's as the first novice of the order 
from Minnesota. He returned at the end of his year of probation early in 
January, 1866, and was connected with the seminary in the capacity of dis- 
ciplinarian and professor until he was sent to take charge of a church. In 
November, 1865, Fathers Anthony Capser and Joseph Vill arrived. About 
the same time Prior Othmar retired and was appointed assistant at the church 
of the Assumption at St. Paul, where he died June 4, 1874. 

Abbot Boniface Wimmer, the superior of the American Congregation of 
Benedictines, was in Rome at the time, and instructed the former prior, Father 
Benedict Haindl, to administer the affairs of the monastery pending the elec- 
tion of a new superior. Through the Abbot 's efforts, the St. Cloud Priory was 
created an abbey in July, 1866. On December 12, of the same year the fathers 
constituting the community met at the priory and under the presidency of 
Abbot Boniface elected as their first abbot the prior of St. Vincent's Abbey, 
Very Rev. Rupert Seidenbusch. While the erection of the abbey was discussed 
in Rome, the administrator began to build an abbey about one mile south of 
the priory. The site had been selected several years before; it was on the 
shores of a beautiful lake surrounded by a primeval forest — a most romantic 
spot — in section 1 of the township of CoUegeville. 

The material used for the building was granite boulders found on the spot 
and along the shores of the lake. It was not a very imposing building either 
in point of dimensions or of style, but it was a beginning and was to grow 
by additions as circumstances demanded and means allowed. It was 46 by 50 
feet, with a basement, two stories and an attic suitable for a dormitory. The 
roof was surmounted by a turret in which was hung the bell which we have 
already mentioned. Bishop Grace came in July, 1866, to bless the corner 
stone ; the structure was under roof towards the end of fall and on February 
1, 1867, the community left the old farm to install themselves in their new 
home, the Abbey of St. Louis-on-the-Lake, as it was named in honor of King 
Louis I, of Bavaria, a great benefactor of the order in this country. The two 
frame buildings were also transferred to the new site and set up a few yards 
from the stone house. One of them served as a chapel, the other contained 
workshops and lodgings for the lay-brothers and laborers. The furniture of 
the house was extremely simple ; most of it was home-made. 

Thus the old Priory of St. Cloud disappeared after a troubled life of ten 
years; on February 20, 1866, the buildings on the Rothkopp farm were de- 
stroyed and the last temptation removed to make another transfer. 

Abbot Rupert Seidenbusch (1867-1875). The first abbot of St. Louis-on- 
the-Lake was invested with the insignia of his office at St. Vincent's Abbey on 
May 30, 1867, and set his eyes upon his western abbey for the first time on 
June 13 of that year. The community at that time consisted of twelve priests, 
most of whom were engaged in missionary work; a cleric preparing for the 
priesthood, and eight lay-brothers, four of whom were stationed at the abbey. 
With such small number it was impossible to celebrate the divine offices with 
much solemnity, yet from that day to this the regular monastic choir services 
have been held without interruption. 



258 HISTORY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

The college was conducted in connection with the Abbey and in the same 
building. The missionary and teaching staff was increased by the arrival, in 
July, 1867, of Father Augustine Burns, a native of Ireland, and for several 
years a secular priest in the diocese of Pittsburg, and a member of the Bene- 
dictine Order since 1866 ; he was accompanied by Fr. Alexius Edelbrock, who 
was ordained a priest in September following. Father Augustine, or Father 
Burns, as he was generally called, devoted himself to missionary labor; he 
was generally stationed at St. Cloud, whence he visited Sauk Rapids, localities 
in Meeker county, and Melrose, Sauk Centre and Rooney's Settlement in 
Stearns county. After six years of faithful and successful service in these 
missions, he was authorized in 1873, to establish a monastery at Creston, Iowa, 
but was carried off by an apoplectic stroke before he could complete his 
undertaking, August 12, 1874. His companion. Father Alexius, was not a 
stranger to the county. His father, Anthony Edelbrock, had been the owner 
of a store in St. Cloud in the earliest days and was the proprietor of the Mis- 
sissippi ferry which in 1856 was operated by his son Anthony. The latter 
had left home contrary to the will of his father in 1859, had studied at St. 
Vincent's, taken the habit of the Benedictine Order and had now come back 
as Father Alexius to assist in the educational work conducted at the Abbey. 

The new abbot studied the resources of the establishment and found that 
they were insufficient to meet current expenses and to pay the debts contracted 
in erecting the stone building. Foreign mission societies, such as the Ludwigs 
Missions Verein of Munich and the Lyons Association for the Propagation of 
the Faith had already sent thousands of dollars to the struggling missions of 
the New World. To these the abbot resolved to turn and for this purpose he 
departed for Europe late in August, 1867. He spent seven months abroad, 
returning in April, 1868, with five students, several chests of books and altar 
furniture for the missions. The students formed a most desirable acquisition ; 
they were all, without exception, far advanced in their studies and able to 
lend some assistance in teaching at the college. 

The distance of the abbey from a railroad station and from the nearest 
city, which was twelve miles away, induced the abbot to build a sawmill on 
the north fork of the Watab river, about a quarter of a mile north of the 
buildings. The forest furnished an abundance and variety of timber for 
building purposes. 

The first extension to the stone house was begun in 1868 and finished dur- 
ing the following year. It was connected with the older building and was 
100 by 40 feet in dimensions. The cyclone of 1894 carried off its roof and part 
of the second floor; it was rebuilt, however, and a third story added. An 
extension placed at a right angle to this brick building was begun in 1870 
and was ready for use in the following year; it forms the main or central 
building to this day, and is 150 feet long, 55 wide, and five stories high, includ- 
ing the basement and attic. The third floor was designed for a chapel but 
was never used for that purpose. The growth of the community and of the 
number of students soon made another building necessary. It was an exten- 
sion of 100 by 50 feet made in 1873-74 and intended as quarters for the monas- 
tic community. The buildings now presented a continuous front of 305 feet. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 259 

all of stone and brick, and furnished with all the accommodations the circum- 
stances permitted. 

The monastic body received an average increase of five members annually 
from 1869-1875. This enabled the fathers to extend the college courses and 
to provide priests for the missions. In March, 1869, Father Corbinian Gast- 
bihl of St. Vincent's Abbey came to lend temporary assistance in the mis- 
sion as pastor in a congregation in the western part of the county. With 
him came Father Ulric Northman, a brother of Father Wolfgang Northman, 
of whom we have already made mention. Father Ulric was connected with 
the institution for a little more than twenty years and was well known in 
the older settlements of the county. Death removed him at the early age of 
44 years in 1890. Abbot Rupert confined his attention chiefly to the missions 
of Stearns county. There were resident priests at St. Cloud, St. Joseph, Jacobs' 
Prairie, Richmond, New Munich and Meier's Grove. St. Augusta and St. 
Wendel (Luxemburg), were attended from St. Cloud; St. Nicholas from 
Jacobs' Prairie; St. Martin and Spring Hill from Richmond; Avon, Albany, 
Melrose, Sauk Centre and Krain from the abbey. Outside of the county, the 
fathers had charge of the church of the Assumption at St. Paul, St. Mark's 
Church at Shakopee and St. Boniface Church, Hastings ; Sauk Rapids, Benton 
county, was visited from the abbey. 

In 1873 the sawmill was destroyed by fire ; it was soon replaced by a saw 
and gristmill, which also became the prey of flames ten years later and was 
never rebuilt. During the same year (1873) the St. Vincent division of the 
St. Paul and Pacific Railroad ran its first train from St. Cloud to Melrose and 
the monastery was brought several miles closer to the outer world. Still the 
nearest station was four miles away and there was a hilly road between it and 
the abbey. One result of the extension of the railroad line was the arrival of 
a number of new settlers and a demand for additional missionaries. 

After presiding over the community for eight years. Abbot Rupert was 
called by the Holy See to be the first Vicar Apostolic of the newly created 
Vicariate Apostolic of Northern Minnesota in 1875. He resigned his abbatial 
office in May of that year and took up his official residence at St. Cloud. For 
his services in this new position, the reader is referred to the history of the 
Diocese of St. Cloud. 

The community at the time of promotion of Abbot Rupert consisted of 
24 priests, most of whom were engaged in parochial work, 2 deacons, 10 clerics 
and about 20 lay-brothers. 

Abbot Alexius Edelbrock (1875-1889). The second abbot of St. Louis-on- 
the-Lake was born at Duelmen, Westphalia, September 12, 1843, had come to 
the United States with his parents at an early age, studied with the Benedic- 
tines at their college near St. Cloud and at St. Vincent's, Pennsylvania, taken 
the habit of the order in 1863 and returned to Minnesota, as we have said, 
in 1867. The election for a successor to Abbot Rupert was held at the abbey 
on June 2, 1875, under the presidency of Abbot Boniface Wimmer. Father 
Alexius was declared elected and was confirmed by the Holy See on August 
15 of the same year. A month previous to his elevation he had been ap- 
pointed prior, and in that capacity he continued to direct the community 



260 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

until he was formally installed on October 24 of the same year. The cere- 
monies of his induction into office and the investiture with the abbatial in- 
signia took place at the church of the Immaculate Conception at St. Cloud, 
as there was no church suitable for the purpose at the abbey. The officiating 
prelate was Bishop Rupert Seidenbusch. A few days later the new abbot 
appointed Father Clement Staub prior and Father Bernard Locnikar superior 
of the monastery. Prior Clement in December, 1875, organized the congre- 
gation in the township of Collegeville ; it consisted of a few families of farm- 
ers living in the environs of the abbey. After holding office for one year he 
was again, at his own request, assigned parish work outside of the monastery; 
he became parish priest of St. Joseph, the village nearest the abbey, and re- 
mained there until he closed his eyes in death on April 23, 1886. He was 
succeeded in the office of prior by Father Bernard Locnikar, and Father 
Norbert Hofbauer was at the same time appointed subprior. Poor health 
compelled Prior Bernard to resign in 1877; he was succeeded by Father Nor- 
bert Hofbauer, and Father Peter Engel, the present abbot, was appointed 
subprior. 

Within a few years the new abbot had succeeded in placing the institu- 
tion on a secure financial basis ; he also replaced by brick structures a number 
of the out-buildings, such as shops and stables, constructed a reservoir and 
installed waterworks in the buildings. The utility of the last mentioned im- 
provement was demonstrated on March 22, 1877, when the buildings were 
threatened with destruction by a fire that broke out in the stone house during 
the night. 

Twenty years earlier. Rev. Francis X. Pierz had requested the Benedic- 
tines to send him some help. They had not been able to accommodate him 
at the time, because all their forces were required to attend to the Stearns 
county settlements. Bishop Rupert Seidenbusch now invited his successor in 
the abbey to take charge of the Chippewa Indians on "White Earth Reserva- 
tion, Becker county, Minnesota. The abbot was convinced, that by accepting 
the invitation to open a mission among the Indians he would be acting in 
accord with the most ancient and venerable traditions of the order, and he 
resolved to make the experiment. Father Aloysius Hermanutz, then a young 
professor at the abbey, offered his services and was sent to White Earth No- 
vember 4, 1878. When he arrived at his destination, deep snow covered the 
ground, the thermometer registered many degrees below zero and the diminu- 
tive stove in the log-cabin which was to serve as a residence, failed to keep 
the place comfortable. The log chapel stood in need of repairs, and the school- 
house was not fit for use during the winter. After three years of privation. 
Father Aloysius saw better days ahead. Abbot Alexius personally visited the 
mission in 1881 and assured the missionary that the order was about to build 
a brick church for White Earth, to cost about $10,000, and also a suitable 
home for the clergy. Work Avas begun upon the church in the spring of 1881 
under the direction of the abbot, who repeatedly visited the reservation and 
noted the progress of the undertaking. On July 11, 1882, it was dedicated and 
called St. Benedict's church. The basement was temporarily fitted up for a 
school, of which Benedictine Sisters from St. Joseph took charge. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 261 

The success of the White Earth Mission induced the abbot to organize 
an Industrial school for Chippewa Indian Boys and Girls — for the former at 
Collegeville, and for the latter at St. Joseph, Minn. Through the influence of 
Hon. K. Nelson, then a member of congress, the abbot made contracts with 
the federal government for the support of these schools. The scRool at Col- 
legeville was organized January 1, 1885, and was conducted until 1896 when 
the allowance made by the government reached such a low figure that the 
institution could no longer maintain it. 

In November, 1888, the abbot sent two priests — Fathers Thomas Borger- 
ding and Simon Lampe — as missionaries to the Red Lake Reservation in Belt- 
rami county, about 75 miles from the northern boundary of the state. Both 
clergymen have been working in the Indian missions ever since. Father 
Thomas is still at Red Lake, while Father Simon has for several years been 
in charge of the mission at Cloquet. 

To return to the Abbey, in the summer of 1879 the first steps were taken 
to erect a suitable church. The foundation was laid in the course of the sum- 
mer and the corner stone blessed September 20. It is a neat edifice in the 
Romanesque style, built of red brick and of granite from the St. Cloud quar- 
ries; it is 144 feet long and 64 feet wide in the transept. The principal en- 
trance is flanked by two towers with spires. The cost was about $40,000. It 
was solemnly consecrated October 24, 1882, and called St. John's Church, 
as the name of the abbey had been changed from St. Louis-on-the-Lake to 
St. John's in the year 1881. 

Collegeville railroad station and postoflice were established in 1879, with 
the late Henry Broker, a pioneer resident of the county as the first agent and 
postmaster. This station, which is two miles west of St. Joseph, proved a 
great convenience while the church and other buildings were in course of 
construction. 

One of the abbot's ambitions was to have a large farm which would sup- 
ply cereals, produce of every kind and cattle for the institution. For this 
purpose he purchased a section of land near West Union, Todd county, about 
40 miles from the abbey, in 1881. Here he built a spacioiis brick building, 
which was called St. Alexius Priory, and placed in it several lay-brothers 
under the direction of a priest who at the same time served as pastor for 
the Catholics of the vicinity, as there was no church at Osakis at the time. 
The farm was operated for about twenty years and then disposed of. One 
of the large rooms of the priory had served as a chapel, at which the Catholic 
farmers assembled for Sunday services. In a few years the chapel proved too 
small and a frame church was built near by ; it was also called St. Alexius 
Church, and was, in 1899, moved into the village of West Union. 

Between 1883 and 1886 the three large wings that form the college and 
seminary buildings at the present day were erected. The whole length of 
these additions was 370 feet, the average width 55 feet, and their height five 
stories, including the basement and attic. The brick for all these structures, 
also for the church, were made on the premises. 

The growth of the community enabled it to extend its missionary activity. 
We have already mentioned the Indian mission. Several missions in Stearns 



262 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

county received resident priests : Avon, Albany, Melrose, Lake Henry, and 
Cold Spring ; St. Boniface Church in East Minneapolis, which had been served 
by a Benedictine Father as early as 1859, but had been in charge of secular 
priests, was again entrusted to the order in 1875 ; one of the fathers was sent 
to St. Mary's Church, Stillwater, 1880; another to Moorhead, in 1883; St. 
Clement's Church was founded in Duluth in 1885, and a church and rectory 
built at the expense of the abbey. Ovitside of Minnesota : A father took 
charge of St. Mary's Church in Bismarck, Dakota Territory, in 1881; for 
several years priests from the abbey were stationed at the cathedral, La Crosse, 
and at St. Gabriel's Church, Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin. Early in the eigh- 
ties the abbot was requested to send priests to the Pacific coast, principally 
to take charge of the Indian missions of Oregon. He made a journey to the 
far West late in 1881 but had come too late. 

He visited Europe three times during his term of office, the first time in 
1877, the second time in 1880, to assist at the fourteenth centennial celebra- 
tion of the birth of St. Benedict, which was held at Monte Cassino in Italy, 
and the third and last time in the summer of 1889, when he also visited Egypt 
and the Holy Land, accompanied by Father Chrysostom Schreiner, then Vice 
President of St. John's University. Upon his return to Rome, he resigned 
.his office as abbot of St. John's in December, 1889. After his return to this 
country in the following year and after spending several months in the South, 
he was authorized by the archbishop of New York to organize St. Anselm's 
Church in the northern part of the city of New York. Here he built a fine 
rectory and a basement for a large church and was pastor of a large and 
flourishing congregation until the time of his death. May 20, 1908. His remains 
were brought to Minnesota and interred by the side of those of his predecessor, 
Bishop Seidenbusch, in the monastic cemetery at St. John's Abbey. A granite 
shaft, surmounted by a cross, marks his grave. His memory is kept alive 
by scores of monuments of his energy and enterprise throughout Minnesota 
and North Dakota. 

At the time of his resignation, the community consisted of 52 priests, 13 
clerics preparing for the priesthood and about 40 lay brothers. 

During the vacancy of the abbatial chair, the Abbey was administered 
by Very Rev. Father Peter Engel, who had been appointed by Archbishop 
Ireland of St. Paul in his quality of Administrator Apostolic, since the see of 
St. Cloud was also vacant at the time. In April, 1890, the fathers elected 
Father Bernard Locnikar Vicar Capitular ; in this capacity the latter convoked 
a chapter to meet May 7, 1890, for the purpose of electing a new abbot. The 
vicar capitular was the choice of the chapter. 

Abbot Bernard Locnikar (1890-1894). The third abbot was born at 
Bitnje, in the province of Krain, Austria, September 28, 1848 ; came to the 
United States in 1868; entered the Benedictine Order the same year; was or- 
dained a priest December 22, 1872, and had beeia for a short time prior in the 
abbey. At the time of his promotion he was pastor of the chiirch of the 
Assumption in St. Paul, Minn. His election was approved by Pope Leo XIII 
on July 6, 1890, and he was solemnly installed in office on August 27 of the 
same year by Bishop Otto Zardetti. Shortly after his accession he selected 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 263 

Father Severin Gross, who for a number of years had been pastor of the 
church of the Immaculate Conception at St. Cloud, for the office of prior, 
and reappointed Father Peter Engel to the office of subprior. 

The new abbot devoted his attention chiefly to the internal concerns of 
the community, the development of religious life, solemn celebration of the 
divine offices and the efficient care of souls. The monastery church was fur- 
nished with costly vestments, altar furniture, and, in 1891, with a large pipe 
organ, the latter costing about $3,500. 

Upon invitation of the late Bishop Junger of Nesqually, Washington, 
he visited the "West in 1891 to examine the field offered him. A few months 
later. Father "William Eversmann, at present pastor at Hasting, Minn., was 
sent to organize the Holy Rosary parish in Tacoma. Father "William subse- 
quently secured land near Olympia, in Thurston county, where St. Martin's 
College was organized in 1895. 

In 1893, during a visit to Rome, he effected the establishment of the Con- 
fraternity of St. Benedict for the relief of the Poor Souls; the seat of the 
arch-confraternity is at CoUegeville. The organization is purely of a devo- 
tional character and has members in many states. 

One of the important events of his short administration was the defini- 
tive adjustment of the relations between the See of St. Cloud and the Bene- 
dictine Order. The latter had organized a great number of parishes in the 
"Vicariate of Northern Minnesota and wished to have some assurance that it 
might continue to administer them after the organization of the Diocese. An 
arrangement was made with Bishop Zardetti and approved by the ecclesi- 
astical authorities in Rome, June 23, 1893, in virtue of which the order was 
allowed to retain permanent charge of the churches at St. Martin, Cold Spring, 
Albany, Farming, Freeport, New Munich, Meier Grove, Richmond, St. Joseph 
and the church of the Immaculate Conception at St. Cloud. The other places 
which had been served by the Benedictines ever since the day of their organi- 
zation — St. Augusta, St. "Wendel (Luxemburg), St. Nicholas, Melrose, Spring 
Hill and Lake Henry — were to be supplied with secular priests. One result 
of this arrangement was, that the abbot was able to meet the demand for 
priests elsewhere. Freeport received a resident priest in 1890; mission 
churches were organized at Red Lake Falls and at Thief River Falls; in Janu- 
ary, 1891, Father Chrysostom Schreiner took charge of the mission of St. 
Francis Xavier at Nassau, Bahama Islands (under ecclesiastical jurisdiction 
of the archbishop of New "Work) ; Barnesville and Farming received resident 
pastors in 1894, and in the same year two additional missionaries left for the 
Bahamas. 

Late in 1893 the abbot and the community deplored the loss of Prior 
Severin, who died after a protracted illness on December 3. He was a native 
of the province of Krain in Austria, where he was born January 13, 1892 ; he 
was ordained a priest July 31, 1853. After serving for fifteen years as a 
curate and parish priest, and for six years as vice-rector of the diocesan semi- 
nary at Laybach in his native land, he came to the United States and became 
a member of the Benedictine Order at St. John's. 

During the administration of Abbot Bernard no extensive buildings were 



264 HISTORY OP STEARNS COUNTY 

undertaken; the new reservoir, or water tank, was constructed in 1890, and 
an astronomical observatory fitted up on the roof ; in 1894 the present observa- 
tory building was begun. A meteorological observatory was installed in the 
turret of the main building and was in charge of Father Peter, the present 
abbot, from 1892 until he was promoted to the abbatial office. Telegraphic 
connection with St. Joseph was established in June, 1894. One of the first 
messages carried over this wire was the news of the calamity that had befallen 
the institution in consequence of the great cyclone of June 27. It had struck 
the house in the evening, carried off part of the south wing, slightly dam- 
aged the main building, unroofed and partly destroyed all the outbuildings, 
such as the new barn, the poM^er house, the shops, etc., and uprooted thousands 
of trees. The premises presented a distressing picture on the following morn- 
ing, but all were thankful that no life had been lost. The damage was esti- 
mated at about $20,000. The buildings were at once repaired and everything 
was in shape when the next scholastic year opened. 

The good abbot, who was at St. John's at the time of the cyclone, did 
not long survive the shock this catastrophe gave his feeble system. In the 
fall he set out upon an official visitation of the Indian missions. The exer- 
tions of travel made it necessary for him to rest for several weeks. For 
this purpose he retired to Stillwater, where his final illness befell him and he 
closed his short but edifying career at the parsonage of St. Mary's Church 
in that city on November 7, 1894. His remains were taken to St. John's for 
interment. 

Three weeks later the abbatial chair was once more filled; the chapter 
had, on November 28, elected as fourth abbot the subprior, Peter Engel. 

Abbot Peter Engel (1894 ). The present abbot of St. John's Abbey, 

who is now entering upon the twentieth year of his administration, was born 
near Port Washington, in Wisconsin, February 3, 1856, and came to this state 
ten years later with his parents who settled on a farm in Wright county. Hav- 
ing graduated from the classical department of St. John's College, he entered 
the Benedictine Order in 1874 ; studied philosophy and theology, and was 
ordained a priest December 15, 1878. He was subprior of the abbey ever 
since 1879. Since 1875 he had been intimately acquainted with the affairs of 
the abbey and of the college. His election was confirmed by the Holy See 
towards the end of January, 1895, and he at once entered upon office, deferring 
his solemn benediction and installation until July 11 of the same year. He 
appointed as prior Father Herman Bergmann and as subprior Father Placidus 
Wingerter. 

In the very first year of his administration, Abbot Peter turned his at- 
tention to an undertaking projected by his predecessor, the establishment of 
a college and monastery near Olympia, Washington. He left for the Pacific 
coast early in August, 1895, and dedicated the buildings that had been erected 
near Lacey station, three miles from the State Capital and not far from Puget 
Sound. St. Martin's College threw its doors to stiidents in the month of 
September following and is at present in a flourishing condition. From time 
to time the staff of professors was increased by help from St. John's, until 
the community grew to such dimensions that in 1904 it was made an inde- 



I 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 265 

pendent priory. In the present year it was created an abbey and Rev. Oswald 
Baran was elected its first abbot. 

Since 1895 many changes have taken place at St. Johns. Although the 
principal group of buildings is identical with that of twenty years ago, the 
surroundings have undergone a remarkable change. Many new buildings 
have been erected and the grounds improved. In the first year of his ad- 
ministration Abbot Peter equipped the present astronomical observatory with 
suitable instruments. In 1901 the gymnasium and library were built at an 
expense of abovit $30,000; these were followed a few years later by a new 
shop building; in 1904 by a dwelling for the sisters employed in domestic 
work at the institution ; in 1908, by an infirmary. The most recent buildings 
are the Science Hall, which was finished in 1910, a new laundry, which was 
finished last year, and a three-story extensions to the main building to serve 
as kitchen and classrooms. The church was decorated for the first time in 
1898 ; re-decorated and entirely remodeled in 1908, when the main altar was 
replaced by one entirely built of marble and surmounted by a richly gilt 
canopy. The sanctuary was fitted up with choir furniture of artistic design 
end workmanship, and with a choir-organ. At the same time the nave was 
adorned with eight large paintings, representing scenes from sacred history 
and from the life of St. Benedict. In 1897 a chime of five bells, weighing in 
the aggregate 18,365 pounds, and a tower clock with eight dials was placed in 
the two towers of the church. 

An electric light plant was installed in 1898 to illuminate all the build- 
ings ; also a hydraulic ram to distribute drinking water throughout the house. 
Ten years later a turbine was set up at the Watab dam to charge the storage 
battery which furnishes power for running machinery in the various shops 
and the laundry. The steam-heating plant, which was no longer sufficient for 
all the structures, was completely remodeled in 1911. Several hundred feet 
of cement pavement connect the buildings. The stretches of road from the 
Abbey to Collegeville, to the cemetery and beyond the Watab dam — in all 
about three miles — were improved at great expense in 1907 ; at the same time 
a new athletic field was constructed. Many acres of evergreens replace the 
forest destroyed by the cyclone of 1894, and a large apple orchard, under the 
supervision of Father John Katzner, a well-known pomologist, has grown up 
on the west side of the buildings. The library, which in 1894 contained about 
5,000 volumes, now contains about 25,500 volumes, many of which are very 
rare and valuable. 

Since 1894 the following churches have been organized or furnished with 
priests : Cloquet Indian Reservation in 1896 ; Red Lake Falls has a resident 
priest since 1894; Thief River Falls since 1900; Roscoe since 1898; St. Rose, 
in the town of Millwood, since 1904; Detroit, since 1901; Beaulieu, since 1900- 
Ponsford (formerly Pine Point), since 1900; Frazee, since 1906; Dilworth, 
since 1910; Mahnomen, since 1908; Ogema, since 1911; Medina, since 1912,- 
Ada, since 1912; Bowlus, since 1911. The fathers who had charge of the 
church of the Assumption at St. Paul were transferred to St. Bernard's 
Church in the same city. Since 1907 two priests have been stationed at Garri- 
son, North Dakota; in 1910 the priest stationed at St. Mary's Church, Bis- 



266 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

marck, was transferred to St. Joseph's Church, in Mandau, and St. Mary's 
became the cathedral of the new diocese of Bismarck. 

"When the exodus to Saskatchewan set in about 1902, the Fathers at St. 
John's were requested to take spiritual charge of the settlers in the new 
country, but as they could not fill the demand, they withdrew in favor of the 
fathers of the former priory of Cluny at Wetaug, Illinois, who left his place 
in 1903 and under the leadership of their prior, the Very Rev. Father Alfred 
Mayer, at present in Moorhead, Minn., established a new monastery in Can- 
ada. In 1911 this house was erected into St. Peter's Abbey and an honored 
membgr of the community of St. John's, Father Bruno Doerfler, Director of 
St. John's University from 1899-1902, became its first abbot. Though inde- 
pendent of St. John's, it belongs to the American Congregation of Benedic- 
tines, of which Abbot Peter Engel has been president since 1902. 

We subjoin a list (not complete) of the missions in which the fathers of 
St. John's were at one time or another employed, not including the places 
under their care at the present time : 

In Stearns county, St. Augusta, 1856-1893 ; St. Nicholas, 1857-1892 ; Lake 
Henry, 1857-1894 ; Lake George, 1857-1859 ; Spring Hill, 1857-1891 ; St. Wendel 
(Luxemburg), 1859-1894; Pearl Lake, 1889-1892; North Fork, 1867; Sauk 
Centre, 1864-1883; Krain, 1873-1892; Maples, 1867-1890; Melrose, 1868-1894; 
Clearwater, 1857-1875; Holding, 1872-1890; Logering (Pappelbusch), 1876- 
1893; Holdingford, 1884-1891; Belgrade, 1890-1891. 

In Benton county, the localities formerly known as Brennan's or Irish 
Settlement ; Big Meadow, 1859-1860 ; Sauk Rapids from the beginning to 1886 ; 
Rice, 1885-1887 ; in Morrison county, Pierz, or Rich Prairie, which had a resi- 
dent priest from 1878-1893; and Buckman which was visited from Pierz; in 
Sherburne county. Clear Lake and Pleasant Valley, which were attended from 
St. Cloud as late as 1872; in Wright county, St. Michael's, St. Walburga and 
Waverly, before 1870; in Todd county, Osakis, at intervals from 1869-1900; 
Belle River, visited from West Union, 1883-1890; Browerville, 1884-1886; in 
Meeker county, Forest City, Diamond Lake and Greenleaf, before 1875; in 
Ottertail county. Rush Lake, 1886-1894; Perham, 1887-1890; in Dakota 
county, Douglas (Miesville), 1870-1881; in Douglas county, Millerville, 1892- 
1895; Alexandria, 1867-1900; in Hennepin county, Richfield, 1876-1886; Crys- 
tal Lake, 1882-1886 (both places were visited from Minneapolis) ; in Wash- 
ington county, Oakdale, or Hudson Road, 1869-1885, visited from St. Paul; 
in Scott county, between 1857 and 1869, Shakopee, Jordan, Louisville, Mary- 
town, St. Joseph, St. Scholastica (Heidelberg), St. Weneeslaus (New Prague), 
Belle Plaine and Cedar Lake ; in McLead county, Glencoe ; in Sibley county, 
Johnstown, Washington Lake, Arlington and Gaylord; in Carver county, be- 
fore 1868, Waconia, Chaska, St. Victoria, Watertown, St. Bernard (now Co- 
logne), Helvetia, Norwood, Carver, Young America; in Le Sueur county, be- 
fore 1865, Le Sueur, Lexington, St. Henry and St. Thomas. 

In the state of North Dakota, St. Mary's Church in Bismarck, 1881-1910; 
Medora from 1884-1887; Glen Ullin, 1896-1904, and Napoleon, 1907-1912; in 
the state of Wisconsin, La Crosse and Prairie du Chien, between 1877 and 
1880; in the state of Washington, Tacoma (now a dependency of St. Martin's 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 267 

priory), 1892-1904; in the state of New York, on Long Island, Farmingdale 
and Amityville, 1897-1909 ; Glendale, 1905-1909. 

The community of St. John's Abbey at the present time consists of 102 
priests, 19 clerics, 6 novices and 30 lay-brothers. Priests from the abbey serve 
the following churches : 

In Minnesota. St. Cloud, Stearns county, church of the Immaculate Con- 
ception ; St. Joseph, Stearns county, church of St. Joseph ; St. Martin, Stearns 
county, church of St. Martin ; Albany, Stearns county, church of the Seven 
Dolors; Avon, Stearns county, St. Benedict's church; Freeport, Stearns coun- 
ty, church of the Sacred Heart ; Millwood, Stearns county, church of St. Rose ; 
Meire Grove, Stearns county, St. John's church; New Munich, Stearns county, 
church of the Immaculate Conception ; Richmond, Stearns county, church of 
SS. Peter and Paul; Faimiing, Stearns county, church of St. Catherine; Jacobs' 
Prairie, Stearns county, church of St. James ; Rockville, Stearns county, church 
of the Immaculate Conception; Collegeville, Stearns county, St. John's church; 
Cold Spring, Stearns county, church of St. Boniface ; Roseoe, Stearns county, 
church of St. Agnes ; St. Paul, Ramsey county, church of St. Bernard ; Minne- 
apolis, Hennepin county, church of St. Joseph ; East Minneapolis, Hennepin 
county, church of St. Boniface ; Medina, Hennepin county, church of the Holy 
Name; Stillwater, Washington county, St. Mary's church; Hastings, Dakota 
county, church of St. Boniface ; Barnesville, Clay county, church of the As- 
sumption; Moorhead, Clay county, church of St. Joseph; Georgetown, Clay 
county, St. John's church; Dilworth, Clay county, church of St. Elizabeth; 
Detroit, Becker county, church of the Holy Rosarj^; Frazee, Becker county, 
church of the Sacred Heart ; Ogema, Becker county, church of the Most Holy 
Redeemer; White Earth, Becker county, church of St. Benedict; Ponsford, 
Becker county, church of the Immaculate Conception; Red Lake Falls, Red 
Lake county, St. Mary's church; Thief River Falls, Red Lake county, church 
of St. Bernard ; Duluth, St. Louis county, church of St. Clement ; Cloquet, 
Carlton county, church of the Holy Family; Mahnomen, Mahnomen county, 
St. Michael's church; Beaulieu, Mahnomen county, church of St. Joseph; Red 
Lake, Beltrami county, church of the Immaculate Conception ; Bowlus, Morri- 
son county, church of St. Stanislaus. 

In North Dakota. Mandan, church of St. Joseph ; Garrison, church of St. 
Nicholas. 

In New York City. St. Anselm's church, Tinton avenue, Bronx. 

Bahama Islands. Nassau, New Providence, church of St. Francis Xavier ; 
Nassau, New Providence, church of the Sacred Heart ; Andros Island, Salvador 
Point, St. Saviour's chapel. 



268 HISTOEY OF STEAENS COUNTY 

CHAPTEE XVIII. 

COLLEGIATE INSTITUTIONS. 

St. John's University— Story of the Struggles Which Made the Present Suc- 
cess Possible — The New St. John's — Present Courses Established — Dis- 
tinguished Alumni — Student Activities — St. Benedict's Academy — Ideal 
Institution Prepared by the Sisters for Girls and Young Women— By Rev. 
Alexius Hoffmann, 0. S. B. 

St. John 's University, conducted by the Fathers of the Order of St. Bene- 
dict, is located in the township of Collegeville, a little more than a mile south- 
west of the station of Collegeville on the Great Northern Railway line. Its 
original site was on the banks of the Mississippi river at a point two miles 
below St. Cloud ; for a short time the school was conducted at St. Joseph and 
near Collegeville station; since 1867 it has been located on its present site in 
section one of the township of Collegeville. 

It was founded to afford sons of Catholic settlers an opportunity of ob- 
taining a higher education. There was no Catholic college in Minnesota before 
this time. The charter authorizing the Order of St. Benedict in Minnesota 
to establish the St. John's Seminary passed the territorial legislature on Feb- 
ruary 27, 1857, and received the Governor's signature March 6, of the same 
year. Section II specified that the corporation was "authorized to establish 
and erect an institution, or seminary, in Stearns county, on that part of St. 
Cloud city, platted and recorded as Eothkopp's addition to St. Cloud, to be 
known by the name and style of St. John's Seminary." Rev. Demetrius de 
Marogna, who had in 1856, established the Benedictine order in Stearns county 
and had made application for the charter, withdrew from his position as supe- 
rior before carrying out his design of organizing a college. In November, 
1857, Eev. Cornelius Wittmann, who had opened the first school in St. Cloud, 
became superior of the Benedictines in the territory and at once organized the 
seminary. The first class was small in numbers : there were only five pupils — 
Henry Emmel, Anthony Edelbrock (later Abbot), Henry Klostermann, An- 
drew Stalberger and Joseph Duerr. 

One of the pioneers writes of those simple days: "Think of the primitive 
log building about 12x20; then an additional structure about 14 by 20, in 
height one story and an attic — the latter weather-boarded — situated about two 
miles below St. Cloud on the Mississippi river, and you have a fine picture 
of St. John's in 1857. The whole building contained, besides kitchen and 
studio, three small rooms, one for the prior, one for the professor and the 
third was kept for an occasional guest. The term professor is used in the 
singular only, because there was but one, and he taught all the branches. The 
Rev. Father Cornelius Wittmann, 0. S. B., was the first to open a day school 
in St. Cloud and Stearns county, and he was also the first to fill the professor's 
chair at St. John's. He was at that time still in the twenties, nimble of foot, 
bright in mind, pleasant in company; the children and young folks were espe- 
cially fond of him; he was a zealous and amiable gentleman." 



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HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 269 

In regard to the college routine of the time the same writer says : ' ' We 
had to rise at five o'clock, say our morning prayers, attend daily mass; then 
study, and at seven o'clock breakfast — a cup of coffee and a slice of dry bread 
— no butter or molasses or sugar there. After breakfast, free for one-half 
hour; at 8 o'clock classes began and lasted until eleven; then dinner. After 
dinner free time until 1 o'clock; then classes were resumed. At 3 we re- 
ceived a piece of dry bread. From 4 to 6 we had to study ; at 6 supper ; from 
7:30 to 8:30 study, then night prayers and bed. There was poverty every- 
where ; a poor and miserable house, poor and scant food ; poor and bad lights. 
The tallow candle was the only light in those d_ays. . . . "We had few 
books; the professor lectured and we had to write. Yes, we were started on 
the European plan." (St. John's Record, I, 62.) 

The course was that known as the classical course, comprising the classical 
languages, history and mathematics. Father Cornelius occupied the position 
of president and professor for one year, when other work was assigned to him. 
After laboring for forty years in different missions in this state he retired 
in 1896 and is at the present time living at St. John's University. Although 
almost completely blind, he is enjoying exceptionally fine physical vigor, and 
hears with great satisfaction of the marvelous progress of the work for which 
he laid the foundation nearly sixty years ago. 

His successor as president was Father Benedict Haindl (1858-1862), who 
took no active part in the management of the school. The only professor 
now (1858-59) was Father Alexius Roetzer, who at the same time was a mis- 
sionary to a small settlement on Sundays. After he broke down (see sketch 
of St. John's Abbey) in 1859, Father Ansehar Frauendorfer came from St. 
Vincent's, Pa., to take his place. His pupils remember him particularly as a 
fine Greek scholar. In November, 1860, he requested to be relieved and was 
followed as professor by Father Magnus Mayr, who like his predecessor, had 
received an excellent education in Europe. He retired in the fall of 1861, 
and Father Ansehar was recalled to fill the vacant chair. The Civil War and 
the Indian outbreak discouraged a few of the students and they left for their 
homes. 

The next president. Prior Othmar Wirz (1862-65), transferred the college 
from St. Cloud to the Indian Bush near the present CoUegeville station in 
1864. He first took the precaution, however, to have the charter modified so 
as not to specify precisely where the institution was to be located in Stearns 
county. The act of legislature amending the original act was approved Feb- 
ruary 6, 1864. One of the few professors of that period was Father Wolfgang 
Northman, who had come to Stearns county in 1862, and was the first teacher 
of music at St. John's. The first student who became a member of the order, 
after finishing his studies in Minnesota, was Father Valentine Stimmler, who 
had entered the college at the river in 1861 and had remained with the com- 
munity ever since. He made the vows of the order in January, 1866, and 
served the community in the capacity of a disciplinarian and professor for 
several years ; later he was appointed a pastor and after forty years of meri- 
torious and faithful service died January 16, 1908. 

In December, 1865, Prior Othmar Wirz retired from office and was tempo- 



270 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

rarily succeeded by the former prior, Father Benedict Haindl. About this 
time the religious house with which the college was connected was raised from 
the rank of a priory to that of an abbey — an event which presaged a brighter 
future for the college. Prior Benedict realized that the site occupied by the 
priory in 1865 was not suitable for a large community and made arrangements 
to build a new St. John's about two miles distant on the shores of a picturesque 
lake. A building was erected on the chosen site during the summer and fall 
of 1866 ; in February, 1867, the community and students took possession of it. 
Abbey and college were under one roof — the former was styled Abbey of St. 
Louis on the Lake, the latter St. John's college. The principal structure was 
a stone house, 46 by 50, which stood at the south end of the present cluster of 
buildings until it was taken down in 1893. A short distance from this stood 
a frame house, which had been moved from the former location and was de- 
stroyed in 1886. It contained the chapel and, after 1881, the first photo- 
graphic studio. The only drawback for the new college was that it was hard 
to find ; it was hidden in the woods, about 12 miles west of St. Cloud and four 
miles west of St. Joseph, which at that time was not a railway station. No 
direct road connected St. John's with either locality. The stage coach, how- 
ever, passed within a mile of its doors. For the next six years a wagon made 
almost daily trips to St. Joseph or to St. Cloud for mail or provisions. 

The New St. John's. With the advent of the Right Rev. Rupert Seiden- 
buseh, the history of the present St. John's takes its beginning. In his 
capacity as abbot he was also president of the college. The staff was organized 
after his arrival in the summer of 1867. Father "Wolfgang Northman and 
Father Valentine Stimmler were the connecting links between the old and 
new. An advertisement of the college was inserted in the Catholic papers of 
St. Paul and other cities. The admission fee for students was $5; tuition 
$175 a year and no extra charge was made except for medicine, books and 
stationery. During the month of July, Father Alexius Bdelbrock, who had 
finished his studies at St. Vincent's in Pennsylvania, but had not yet been or- 
dained a priest, arrived and took an active part in setting the college on its 
feet. A retired clergyman of scholarly attainments. Rev. Doctor Alyward, 
and Rev. James Kearney, also figured on the staff of the first scholastic year — 
that of 1867-1868. The total number of students enrolled was 51. Among 
the survivors of this class are Severinus J. Corrigan, the well-known astrono- 
mer, of St. Paul; L. J. De Meules, formerly of St. Cloud; Frederick Erkens, 
of Portland, Oregon, whose son was director of the university from 1905 to 
1909 ; Rev. Martin Huhn, of Independence, Texas ; Frank Schaller, and Rev. 
Vincent (Andrew) Schiffrer, 0. S. B., at present at St. Cloud. 

Instruction was given in the following branches : Christian doctrine, Latin, 
Greek, English, German, French, geometry, algebra, arithmetic, bookkeeping, 
history, drawing, penmanship and music. The first name on the roll of 
honor for the scholastic year terminating June 24, 1868, was that of John 
Shanley, who died as first bishop of Fargo, July 16, 1909 ; and another f^^ture 
bishop, Joseph B. Cotter, who died as first bishop of Winona, June 28, 1909, 
a few weeks before his illustrious fellow-student, was professor of penmanship. 
In the absence of a regular annual catalogue for the first two years, not much 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 271 

can be said of the arrangements of the college. The first printed catalogue 
dates from June, 1870 ; it was printed by the ' ' "Wanderer ' ' press, in St. Paul, 
and is an excellent piece of typographical work. 

From this catalogue we learn that by an act of legislature approved 
March 5, 1869, the institution had been empowered to confer all university 
degrees. Another interesting fact is that the libraries were supported by the 
literary societies organized among the students. The number of students 
enrolled in 1870 was 87, and in 1875, at the end of Abbot Rupert Seidenbusch's 
administration, it was 167. The abbot was in that year appointed vicar apos- 
tolic of northern Minnesota; he resigned his office as abbot and took up his 
residence at St. Cloud. 

With the accession of Rt. Rev. Abbot Alexius Edelbrock the college made 
rapid strides. Three considerable additions, the whole length of which was 
350 feet, had been made to the buildings by his predecessor in 1869, 1871 and 
1873. There was a lull for three years, during which the new president placed 
the institution on a safe financial basis. Then the march of improvements 
began. A steam laundry was built in 1877 ; waterworks were installed ; in 
1879 work was commenced on the church, which was also to serve as a chapel 
for the students. Between 1883 and 1886 he built a vast addition 370 feet 
in length and three stories high, with mansard and basement. The first sec- 
tion was ready for occupancy in the fall of 1885, when the commercial de- 
partment took possession of the third floor. In the fall of 1886 the rooms 
at present used as study-halls, class rooms and dormitories, were also ready 
for use. The north wing, which adjoins the church, contains study-halls, an 
auditorium and the printing office; the west wing, class rooms and a dining 
room ; the south wing, the ecclesiastical seminary and a number of private 
and guest rooms. The increase in attendance was not proportionate to the 
growth of the buildings, as other educational institutions had been established 
in the state. 

Owing to a demand for facilities to pursue a business course, in the days 
when there was no commercial college west of the Mississippi, a separate com- 
mercial college or department was opened in 1877 and has ever since remained 
a feature of the institution. Its organizer and leading teacher for a number 
of years was the late Rev. Norbert Rofbauer (-fl901). A course in short- 
hand and typewriting was added in 1887. 

By an act of legislature approved February 27, 1883, the legal name of 
the institution was changed to St. John's University. 

Since 1888 the buildings are heated with steam. This was the last im- 
portant improvement made by Abbot Alexius Edelbrock, who resigned his 
office in December, 1889, and devoted himself to pastoral work in New York 
City, where he died May 18, 1908. 

His successor. Abbot Bernard Locnikar presided over the institution for 
the short space of only four years, during which he took deep personal inter- 
est in the development of the ecclesiastical seminary and the education of effi- 
cient clergjonen. He also undertook extensive repairs in the older buildings. 
On June 24, 1894, he had the pleasure of welcoming and entertaining Gov- 



272 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

ernor Knute Nelson, who presided at the commencement exercises of the col- 
lege and addressed the graduates. Much damage was done to the surround- 
ings by the cyclone of June 27, of the same year, but repairs were speedily 
made and school work was resumed in September following. In 1893 he sent 
a member of the faculty. Father Michael Ott, to take an advanced course in 
philosophical stvidies at the Benedictine university of San Anselmo, in Rome, 
from which he graduated with the degree of doctor of philosophy, being the 
first member of the faculty to receive a degree abroad. 

Abbot Bernard projected the foundation of a dependency of St. John's 
at Lacey, Washington, and named it St. Martin's. He did not live to carry 
out the project; his death occurred on November 7, 1894. 

The present president is Right Rev. Abbot Peter Engel, who has held 
the office since January, 1895. He had been for twenty years one of the 
busiest and most popular professors at the institution; his specialties were 
philosophy and the natural sciences. He had equipped a physical and chemical 
laboratory, had established the first photographic studio in 1881, the first 
astronomical observatory in 1890, a meteorological observatory in the fall of 
1892, and built the present astronomical observatory 1894-1895. 

In the year 1895 he dedicated the new college, St. Martin's, in "Washing- 
ton, and supplied it with a small staff of professors from St. John's. This 
college is at present in a flourishing condition and has recently taken posses- 
sion of its new building, which was erected at a cost of .$75,000. Since 1904 
the institution has been independent of St. John's. 

St. John's has its own electric light plant since 1898. Power for the print- 
ing office and for the workshops is supplied by a storage battery which is 
charged by a turbine stationed at the Watab dam. In 1901 a special library 
building was erected oft' the southwest corner of the main group of buildings. 
It is a three story structure, built fire-proof, and its dimensions are 51 by 88 
feet; the cost exceeded $25,000. The first floor contains the library of the 
faculty, about 25,000 bound volumes ; the second floor, a museum with an ex- 
ceptionally large collection of minerals and mounted specimens of birds and 
quadrupeds prepared, for the greater part, by the local taxidermist. In the 
third story are music rooms and the photographic studio. A few yards north 
of the principal group of buildings a gymnasium was built in the same year. 
Its dimensions are 120 by 60 feet ; the material used is brick. It contains two 
distinct gymnasiums, fitted up with all the apparatus suitable for gymnastic 
purposes. From that time physical culture was added to the curriculum. In 
1908 a long-felt want was supplied by the erection of a separate infirmary a 
few rods west of the college; it is a three-story brick building and contains 
private rooms and wards. One of the handsomest buildings on the grounds is 
the Science hall, finished in 1911, and costing about $40,000. Its dimensions 
are 60 by 100 and it is four stories high, including the fine basement. The 
building is fire-proof and well equipped with laboratories and appartus. The 
most recent addition to the buildings is a three-story extension to the central 
building and occupied by the kitchen, a study-hall, typewriting room and 
dormitory. 

Ever since its re-organization in 1867, the college has been under the 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 273 

immediate supervision of a vice-president, director or rector, appointed by 
the Abbot. 

The first director in charge was Rev. Wolfgang Northman, 1867-1872, who 
subsequently took up missionary work and died at Meire Grove, February 
8, 1876. Rev. Alexius Edelbrock, from 1872-1875, when he became abbot. Rev. 
Ulric Northman, who came to Minnesota in 1869, and was professor of music 
in the college, was vice-president from 1875-1885. After retiring he continued 
to act as professor until he died, January 21, 1890. His successor was Rev. 
Chrysostom Schreiner, who was in office from 1885-1891, when he resigned 
and left to establish the first Benedictine mission in the Bahama Islands. He 
resides at Nassaia, the chief city of the group. Rev. Alexius Hoffmann, 1891- 
1899 ; at present professor and librarian. Rev. Bruno Doerfler, 1899-1902 ; he 
is at present abbot of St. Peter's abbey at Muenster, in Saskatchewan. Rev. 
Leonard Kapsner, 1902-1905; at present pastor of St. Benedict's church, Avon, 
Minn. Rev. Albert Erkens, 1905-1909 ; at present pastor of Port Angeles, 
"Washington. Rev. Alcuin Deutsch, Ph. D., 1909 to October, 1913; at present 
stationed in Minneapolis, Minn. The present occupant of the position of Rec- 
tor, Rev. Kilian Heid, was appointed October 28, 1913, upon the resignation 
of Father Alcuin. He is a native of Stearns county, received his education 
at St. John's and for a number of years was the principal of its commercial 
department. 

The first degrees were conferred June 24, 1870 ; the first degree conferred 
was that of master of arts, on Father Boniface Moll; five candidates received 
the degree of bachelor of arts on the same occasion. The diploma of master of 
accounts was conferred for the first time in June, 1873, the first recipient be- 
ing Frank Schlick, at present one of the prominent business men of St. Paul, 
the degree of bachelor of philosophy was conferred for the first time in 1881, 
and that of bachelor of science in 1903. The whole number of academic de- 
grees conferred since 1870 was : 

Bachelor of arts, 60; bachelor of philosophy, 77; bachelor of science, 6; 
master of arts, 21 ; doctor of divinity, 3 ; doctor of philosophy, 2. 

St. John's has from the very beginning been a boarding school; it relies 
for its income chiefly upon the tuition paid by students, has no endowments 
and is supported by no other organization. It is a Catholic institution, con- 
ducted on the principles of the Catholic religion and all its professors, with 
the solitary exception of the director of the gymnasium, are members of the 
Benedictine order, who devote themselves to this work from religious motives 
and a desire to promote true education and enlightenment. "While it en- 
deavors to offer students facilities of every kind to acquire an intellectual 
training, it emphasizes the importance of Christian education. That its ef- 
forts are appreciated through out the Northwest is evidenced by the fact that 
for the current school year 410 students have been enrolled and about 40 
could not be admitted for want of accommodations. 

The scholastic year begins early in September and closes in the latter 
part of June, with an intermission at Christmas. 

In 1870 the only complete course offered students was the classical course 
and a few elective branches, such as music and drawing ; the nucleus of a semi- 



274 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

nary or theological course was formed about the same time. At a very early 
date a preparatory course was introduced. We have already mentioned the 
organization of a distinct commercial department in 1877. The following de- 
partments are operated at the present time : 

I. The seminary, comprising the school of philosophy and the school of 
theology, with courses in scripture, church history, patrology, canon law, 
liturgy and homiletics. 

II. The collegiate department, with courses in evidences of religion, 
philosophy, Latin (4 years), English (4 years), Greek, history, mathematics, 
civics, elocution, biology, chemistry, physics, astronomy, geology, drawing, 
French and German. 

III. The academic department with courses in religious instruction, Latin 
(4 years), English (4 years), Greek, history, mathematics, elocution, biology, 
physics, chemistry, and German. 

IV. The preparatory department. 

V. The commercial department, with courses in religious instruction, 
English, arithmetic, bookkeeping, correspondence, commercial history and 
geography, commercial law, civics, political economy, parliamentary law and 
penmanship. 

VI. Special departments : Shorthand and typewriting, music, drawing 
and physical culture. 

For the assistance and encouragement of students desiring to fit them- 
selves for public speaking, several literary societies have been founded, some 
of which date almost from the foundation of the college itself. Several times 
during the year, members of the literary and dramatic societies prepare a liter- 
ary programme with which they entertain the faculty and student body in 
the university auditorium. In the course of the year several of the professors 
lecture publicly on interesting scientific subjects. A select home orchestra of 
twenty-four pieces furnishes first class music for festival occasions. 

The attendance is recruited chiefly from Minnesota and the neighboring 
states and almost every nationality is represented. 

Among the most prominent alumni of St. John's are Most Rev. Alexander 
Christie, archbishop of Oregon City; Most Rev. James J. Keane, archbishop 
of Dubuque, Iowa ; Rt. Rev. Patrick R. Heffron, bishop of Winona ; the late 
Bishops John Shanley, of Fargo, and Joseph B. Cotter, of Winona ; Rt. Rev. 
Abbot Bruno Doerfler, 0. S. B., of Muenster, Saskatchewan; Rt. Rev. Msgr. 
Edward J. Nagl, vicar general of the diocese of St. Cloud ; Rt. Rev. Msgr. Max 
Wurst, John Caulfield, of St. Paul; Frank A. Gross, of Minneapolis; Joseph 
Rosenberger, Charles F. Ladner, Edward Zapp, Aloys J. Ilimsl, Herman Klasen 
and the late J. E. C. Robinson, of St. Cloud; Senator John Ahmaun, of Rich- 
mond ; John Hoeschen, of Melrose ; Peter P. Maurin, of Cold Spring ; Her- 
man Terhaar, of New Munich, and many others. 

The institution has its own printing press and during the scholastic year 
"The St. John's Record" appears every month since 1888. In 1907 a history 
of St. John's University from 1857-1907 was published by the writer of this 
sketch. 



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HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 275 

ST. BENEDICT'S COLLEGE AND ACADEMY. 

This school for the higher education of young ladies is conducted in con- 
nection with St. Benedict's convent by the Sisters belonging to the latter insti- 
tution. It is located in the village of St. Joseph, eight miles west of St. Cloud. 

"The building is constructed of brick on a basement of stone. Notable 
features of this instituton are its waterworks, electric light, steam heating, 
bathing facilities, open fire places, sanitary drinking fountains and an electric 
elevator. Extensive and beautiful grounds surround the building, where 
pupils have ample advantage for healthful exercise. Shady seats are provided 
at various points, and croquet grounds, basket ball and tennis grounds are in- 
cluded in the school grounds. In winter there are good opportunities for 
skating. Broad loggias and verandas, on the south side of the house, give 
shelter and opportunity for exercise in stormy weather or rest on warm after- 
noons." 

This quotation from the annual catalogue shows to what expense the Sis- 
ters have gone to make St. Benedict's resemble a home with all desirable 
comforts and attractions. How much different from the dingy establishment 
which housed the first class about thirty years ago ! 

The Sisters had come from St. Cloud to St. Joseph in 1864 and had always 
kept a small number of boarders, many of whom were candidates for the Sis- 
terhood. After 1875 girls and young women came in goodly numbers to be 
educated; aspirants asked admission to the community, and more dwelling 
room became a necessity that had to be supplied. The Sisters, therefore, con- 
cluded to erect a spacious convent and academy that would be in keeping with 
the brightening prospects. In the spring of 1879, the foundations were laid 
for one-half of the main building, which was finished before September of the 
following year. The Sisters now thought they had a sufficiently large house ; 
it was 100 by 56 with basement, three stories and mansard roof. In it they 
opened school with thirty-six pupils. 

The first school year closed June 22, 1881, with well-attended commence- 
ment exercises. There was a rich programme, which revealed the ability of 
the teaching staff and the talent of the pupils. 

In the same year Mother Scholastica Kerst was appointed superioress of 
both the convent and the acadamy. The development of the buildings undei? 
her administration and up to the present time is described in the sketch of St. 
Benedict's convent. 

After the academy had been established in the new building the numbei" 
of pupils increased remarkably and St. Benedict's soon became a favorite 
school for the young ladies of Stearns and adjoining counties. The first an- 
nual catalogue was issued in June, 1883. At this time the institution was pre- 
pared to offer quite an extensive curriculum ; there was a primary department 
of four grades ; an intermediate department of three grades, and a graduating 
course. Besides there was opportunity for the study of instrumental and vocal 
music, domestic and fancy needle-work, dressmaking and domestic economy. 
The number of pupils was 65, mostly boarders; two pupils received graduat- 



276 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

ing diplomas. Two years later the number of graduates was 16. The academy 
was incorporated March 23, 1887. 

It is under the immediate supervision of a Sister directress, supported by 
a number of disciplinarians. She is appointed by the Mother Superior of the 
convent. The present directress is Sister Dominica. 

The following article regarding the institution has been prepared by the 
Mother Superioress: 

The history of St. Benedict's college and academy is as pleasant and inter- 
esting as it is surprising. The wonderful growth of our state and its institu- 
tions is well portrayed and one cannot but recognize the invisible Hand of God 
guiding those whose motto in life is: "Ora et Labora," and who nobly under- 
took the work of educating youthful hearts in the pioneer days of Minnesota. 
The faithful daughters of St. Benedict answered an appeal for educators in 
the Northwest. 

Over fifty years ago the Sisters came to Minnesota, then only a little more 
than a wilderness, with the intention of founding a convent and school. Pov- 
erty and want were the constant companions of the Sisters for many years. 
The indications of growth were slow and merely sufficient to encourage per- 
severance. School was taught in a small frame building, which had to serve 
for various purposes — convent, school and chapel. 

After some years of struggle for existence, prospects finally grew brighter. 
An addition about the same size as the first house was erected. The old church 
and school house were next moved up to form a part of the convent structure, 
which thus assumed the appearance of a collection of dilapidated dwellings. 
However, the number of pupils increased, and with the growth of the religious 
community, more dwelling rooms became an absolute necessity. The Sisters, 
therefore, concluded to erect a spacious convent and academy that woiild be 
in keeping with the encouraging prospects. 

In the spring of 1879 the foundations were laid for one-half of the main 
building, which was finished before September of the following year. The 
Sisters thought they had now a sufficiently large house ; it was 100 by 56 feet, 
with basement, three stories, and mansard roof. In it they opened school with 
thirty-six pupils. Girls and young women came in goodly numbers to be edu- 
cated and aspirants asked admission to the community. 

In 1883 it was again found necessary to have more dwelling room. Ac- 
cordingly an addition 100 by 56 feet, was erected in the same style as the first 
building and of the same material, brick and stone. 

Again, the spring of 1892 found work started on another wing 90 by 50. 
The growth of the Institution surpassed all expectation. Indeed, it would have 
seemed presumptuous to even the most hopeful member of the community to 
have entertained the thought that their humble foundation would eventually 
develop into an educational institution of such prominence as is St. Benedict's 
todh-y. 

Upon the completion of the addition started in 1892 it might have been 
expected that now, at last, ample room had been afforded for all who would 
wish to secure their education at St. Benedict's. But in less than five years 
the space proved insufficient and another wing, 142 by 55 feet, was added. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 277 

The latest building, completed in 1913, is 90 by 60 feet and strictly fire- 
proof. The present frontage of the building is 300 feet, giving a floor space 
of over 150,000 square feet. The latest addition includes a spacious assembly 
hall, commodious gymnasium, beautiful art rooms, sewing room, museum, recre- 
ation halls, and many private rooms, each supplied with hot and cold running 
water, and some with private bath. The buildings throughout are thoroughly 
modern and offer every convenience such as sanitary drinking fountains, elec- 
tric elevator, numerous baths, shower baths, open fire-places, etc. 

The disciplinary government is mild and pupils are kept within the line 
of duty more by a sense of honor and justice than by fear of punishment. 
Pupils of all denominations are received; for the sake of uniformity and the 
preservation of discipline, however, all pupils are required to attend the public 
religious exercises. 

The courses of study are complete. In addition to the regular work of the 
collegiate, academic, commercial, preparatory and primary departments, spe- 
cial advantages are offered in music, needlework, art, expression and domestic 
science. 

The collegiate department affords young women an opportunity of re- 
ceiving their higher education in a Catholic atmosphere. The work in this de- 
partment has been outlined for four years, in conformity with the best edu- 
cational standards. 

Applicants for admission to the freshman class of the college course must, 
by presenting diplomas or certificates, furnish evidence that they have com- 
pleted the preparatory requirements. Number of credits required for admis- 
sion are fifteen year-credits in high school subjects. The course includes re- 
ligion, English, logic, psychology, mathematics, philosophy, history, Latin, 
Greek, science, French and German. 

The academic or high school department offers two courses of study, each 
covering a period of four years. The requisites for graduation are fifteen year- 
credits, or fifteen state certificates in high school subjects. Those desiring 
to take up a branch which is not in the course they have selected, are per- 
mitted to do so, provided the subject taken for the one omitted does not inter- 
fere with the course followed. The academy is accredited to the state univer- 
sities of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the Catholic University 
of America, "Washington, D. C, which admits its graduates to Trinity College, 
Washington, D. C. 

The classical course includes English, Latin, algebra, physiology, civics, 
Caesar, ancient history, plane geometry, Cicero, mediaeval history, physics, 
higher algebra, Virgil, physiography, modern history, American history, chem- 
istry, solid geometry, geology and botany. 

The scientific course, in addition to the above mentioned studies, offers 
a complete course in German or French. 

The commercial department enables a young lady to acquire a business 
education and make herself self-supporting. The work outlined requires two 
years for completion. 

The preparatory and primary departments are complete in every respect. 
The aim of St. Benedict's College and Academy is to give an education at 



278 HISTORY OP STEARNS COUNTY 

once thorough and complete. That it has fulfilled its aim, and still continues 
to do so, needs no further proof than that its enrollment increases Avith every 
ncAV scholastic year. The present enrollment is about two hundred and sev- 
enty-five, with a faculty of thirty-two members, significant of the progress 
of our county and state. Thus, year by year, the progress of the school has 
continued, in tlie enlargement of the curriculum, introduction of new methods 
and new departments, ever keeping in touch with the times, today St. Bene- 
dict's College and Academy stands among the foremost institutions of the 
state for the education of young ladies. Its pupils and graduates may be 
found in every walk of life and various states of the Union, from the Gulf of 
Mexico, as far west as the Pacific coast. But within our county there stands 
the noblest monument typifying the change that time and progress have 
wrought. This monument occupies a central position in the building arrange- 
ment, and is none other than the beautiful Chapel of the Sacred Heart, a 
work of art, standing there in all its grandeur and magnificence, a worthy 
temple of the Most High. 

The Chapel of the Sacred Heart is built in the Roman Renaissance style, 
carried out in all its classic details, and forms a harmonious whole which 
calls forth the admiration of every beholder. The corner stone of this edifice 
was laid on October 13, 1912. On March 25, 1914, it was dedicated by the 
Right Reverend James Trobec, D. D., Bishop of St. Cloud, Minnesota. 

The length of the chapel is one hundred and fifty-seven feet, the width 
of the nave is sixty feet, while at the transept it is one hundred and ten feet. 
The extreme height of the building is one hundred and thirty-five feet. The 
structure, which is absolutely fireproof, is built of white sand-lime brick, with 
terra cotta trimming; the foundation is of buff Kansas brick. 

Cloisters, harmonizing with the general exterior of the chapel, connect 
it with the college, academy, convent and novitiate, giving the whole exterior 
an impressive monastic appearance, resembling the convents of the middle 
ages. 

The beautifully-carved marble entrance, with its columns of white Italian 
marble, is very imposing. The chaste beauty of the interior of the chapel is 
truly soul-inspiring. The vaulted ceiling with its graceful arches is sup- 
ported by twenty-four majestic columns of polished Rockville granite, resting 
on bases of Minnesota marble, with sub-bases of Alps green marble. The four 
columns supporting the dome are cluster columns ingeniously put together. 

The floors of the chapel, which are of terrazzo, contain artistically ar- 
ranged patterns of marble in the aisles, while the floors beneath the pews are 
of oak. The floor of the sanctuary, which is raised four feet above the chapel 
floor, and in the shrine niches at either end of the transept, are of Minne- 
sota marble. In this are beautiful designs of Tennessee, Pavanazzo and Nu- 
midian marble, chief among which is a dial six feet in diameter of polished 
Pavanazzo with a scroll of gold mosaic. 

The woodwork, including the pews, choir stalls, four confessionals, and 
all the furniture in the sanctuary and sacristies is of southern red gumwood 
in natural color. All the doors are leather covered. 

The altars, five in number, communion railing, and the ten statues adorning 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 279 

the various altars were all imported from Italy. They are of beautifully 
carved Carrara marble, true specimens of excellent Italian workmanship. 

The main altar deserves special notice because of its singular artistic 
design. Among valuable sketches of altars, the sisters found one design drawn 
by the Reverend Andrea Puteo, S. J., at Rome, in the year 1719. This draw- 
ing gave them an idea and they requested their altar builder to draught a 
sketch, using the Reverend Puteo 's design as a suggestion. This was done 
and a most beautiful altar was the result. The altar proper is surrounded 
by eight marble columns of Old Convent Sienna marble, which rest on bases 
of Georgia Creole marble. Above the columns and capitals is an entablature 
beautifully carved, given a metallic effect of gold and silver. Upon this en- 
tablature stand six large angels dressed in Levitieal garments, holding aloft 
a large golden crown which forms a canopy for the altar. 

The side altars consist of an altar of the Sacred Heart, and another of 
the Blessed Virgin. Besides these, there is an altar of St. Joseph in the 
south shrine niche, and an altar of the Pieta in the north shrine niche. All 
are built in harmony with the main altar. Many electric lights illuminate 
the arches. The east brass chandeliers and other electric light fixtures are 
of special design. 

Thus is described, in brief, the stately edifice erected after many years 
of diligent labor and patient endurance. While a large sum has been spent 
in the erection of the chapel, the Sisters of St. Benedict feel that it is the 
fruit of countless sacrifices and acts of self-denial, performed for the greater 
honor and glory of God. It is, in their estimation, but an humble tribute of 
gratitude for His graces and assistance in the past. 

May the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, at the Convent of St. Benedict, 
be a lasting memorial and manifestation of the living faith that dwells in 
the hearts of the sisters! May this faith be enkindled in the hearts of all 
men! May there soon resound, from pole to pole, the heartfelt prayer, 
"Praised be the Sacred Heart of Jesus; to It be honor and glory, forever and 
ever ! ' ' 



280 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

CHAPTER XIX. 

ST. BENEDICT'S CONVENT. 

Arrival of the Sisters of St. Benedict in Minnesota — Boarding School Opened 
— First Convent Erected — Removal to St. Joseph — Colonies Sent Out — 
Privations and Denial — Orphanages^ — Indian Mission Work — Hospitals 
Established — Home for the Aged — Present Activities — By Rev. Alexius 
Hoffmann, 0. S. B. 

The first Benedictine Sisters were introduced into the United States from 
Eichstaedt, Bavaria, in 1852, and established themselves at St. Mary's in Elk 
county, Pennsylvania. Five years later they were invited by Bishop Joseph 
Cretin of St. Paul to take charge of schools in the German settlements of 
Minnesota. Five sisters, led by Mother Benedicta Riepp, arrived in St. Paul 
the same year (1857), where they were cordially welcomed by the bishop and 
by Father Demetrius de Marogna, the first Benedictine priest in the North- 
west. They were directed to St. Cloud, where they arrived July 7, 1857. 

The sisters were given lodgings in his own humble house by the late Wen- 
delin Merz ; the furniture of their apartment was simple and scanty, but they 
did not complain. Some time later Mr. Tenvoorde placed his boarding-house 
at their disposal, in which they lived and conducted a small boarding-school 
for a year. In the meantime the members of the Catholic congregation had 
resolved to build a frame dwelling for the sisters close to the church, in the 
rear of the present federal building. Here they lived for six years, devoting 
themselves to the instruction of children. They also bought a piano-forte 
from Mr. Mitchell and gave music lessons. The house was known as St. 
Joseph's Convent. After visiting Europe in the interest of the young fovm- 
dation and sacrificing her energies for its success, Mother Benedicta died at 
St. Cloud on March 15, 1862, and Mother Willibalda Scherbauer was elected 
superioress in her place. 

Prior Othmar Wirz built a new convent for the community in 1863 ; it 
was located at St. Joseph, and was a frame building 30 by 56, which faced 
the main street of the village and stood for thirty years. The greater number 
of the sisters at St. Cloud were transferred to their new home the same year 
— fifty years ago ; the rest remained in charge of the school at St. Cloud. The 
community had grown so numerous, that in November, 1863, the superioress 
was able to send out the first colony of nuns under Mother Evangelista Kre- 
meter and a few companions to establish St. Scholastica's Convent at Atchi- 
son, Kansas. Still the sisters at St. Joseph had many difficulties to contend 
with; they were poor and the house was small and very uncomfortable in 
the winter. They are deeply grateful to the early settlers living at St. Joseph 
at the time — the Loso, Linnemann, Capser, Aschenbrenner and Harmann fam- 
ilies, who more than once came to their assistance. 

Mother Antonia Hermann succeeded Mother Willibalda in 1868 and pre- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 281 

sided over the community until 1877. In the former year the convent was 
composed of twelve sisters and five postulants. Great financial difficulties 
were still to be overcome; their only resources were the little schools at St. 
Joseph and at St. Cloud. However, the sisters had not taken the vows of 
religion in order to lead leisurely and luxurious lives; they were willing to 
make many sacrifices and deprived themselves of many comforts. Their 
means did not allow them to keep hired help ; in consequence they were obliged 
for several years to cultivate their own fields, feed the cattle, attend to the 
stables, carry wood, etc. A new era dawned in 1872 — in that year they were 
invited to take charge of the school at New Trier, Dakota county, and in the 
following year several sisters went to Rich Prairie (now Pierz, Morrison 
county) for the same purpose. At the latter place they built a residence at 
their own expense. 

In 1877 Mother Aloysia Barth replaced Mother Antolia, who then became 
a member of a Benedictine convent in Chicago. The number of sisters and 
postulants had grown considerably. According to the statistics in the Cata- 
logue of Benedictine Nuns, published in June, 1879, the community at that 
time consisted of forty -five choir sisters and novices, and fifteen lay sisters and 
novices. Besides there was a number of postulants. The increase had enabled 
the sisters to supply other schools with teachers. In November, 1878, a few 
sisters were sent to "White Earth Indian Reservation, to take charge of the 
school on the mission; about the same time they were invited to take charge 
of the parochial school of St. Joseph's Church in Minneapolis and of the 
school at Bismarck, D. T. In 1889 the Benedictine Convent at Shakopee, 
founded in 1862, was discontinued and the sisters removed to St. Joseph. In 
consequence the care of the German Orphanage at St. Paul devolved upon the 
community at St. Joseph. About the same time the sisters began to take in 
orphans, whom they at first lodged in the former convent building at St. Cloud, 
subsequently at St. Joseph, and for some time at Rich Prairie, until by direc- 
tion they were turned over to the Franciscan Sisters at Little Falls, in 1893. 

Mother Aloysia was followed in 1881 by Mother Scholistica Kerst, who 
had been one of the first members of the Shakopee community. She at once 
added a new wing, 100 by 56, to the existing building, which was ready for 
occupancy in 1883. In the following year the first Industrial School for 
the education of Chippewa Indian girls was opened at St. Joseph. The sis- 
ters lodged, fed and instructed thirty girls during the first year; this number 
grew to one hundred and five in the course of time, until the pecuniary as- 
sistance contributed by the federal government was no longer sufficient to con- 
tinue the enterprise without heavy loss. The success of the work at White 
Earth had encouraged Mother Scholastica to accept an invitation to send 
sisters to Grande Ronde, Oregon, to teach the children at the Indian mission. 
Four sisters were sent in 1881, but as they could secure only twenty children 
for their school and their subsistence was not provided for, they were recalled 
a year later. 

As the Benedictine rule does not rigidly prescribe any particular sphere 
of activity for its members, the sisters resolved to take up another line of 
charitable work. In 1885 they purchased, at Bismarck, D. T., a new building 



282 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

designed for a hotel and turned it into what is still known as St. Alexius 
Hospital. In the following year they opened St. Benedict's Hospital at St. 
Cloud, just a few weeks before the great cyclone (April 14, 1886) which devas- 
tated the city and destroyed so many lives. Its establishment at this time 
was providential, as it was the only institution of its kind where the wounded 
could be housed and treated. 

On April 7, 1886, fire broke out in the former convent building, which 
had been used as an industrial school since 1884, and in a few minutes it was 
a heap of smouldering ruins. Although it was not a considerable loss, it was 
very inconvenient under the circumstances. A new school was planned at 
once ; its dimensions were 40 by 48, and the material red brick. An addition, 
60 by 48, was built to the Academy in 1887. 

The third hospital organized by Mother Scholastica was St. Mary's in 
Duluth, in 1887. In the same year the convent at St. Joseph was incorporated 
under the laws of the state and empowered to establish academies, orphanages, 
hospitals and homes for the aged. Several sisters were sent to Red Lake 
Indian Reservation in 1888 to take charge of the mission school. During the 
same and the following year, a steam laundry was erected at St. Joseph and 
a steam-heating plant installed. 

In the spring of 1890 a new hospital, St. Raphael's, was built a short 
distance from the state reformatory on the east bank of the Mississippi, on 
a piece of ground donated by Messrs. Coates and Freeman of St. Cloud. The 
former hospital was turned into St. Clotilde's musical academy and kinder- 
garten. The great distance of the new hospital from the city was a serious 
drawback, and ten years later a new St. Raphael 's Hospital was opened in the 
city. In 1905 it was damaged by a fire, but the damage was speedily repaired. 
The old hospital on the east side was then turned into St. Joseph's Home for 
the Aged; it is still conducted by the sisters. 

Another extension to the great group of buildings at St. Joseph was built 
in 1892 ; its dimensions were 99 by 55 feet ; and still another was made in 1899, 
the dimensions of which were 144 by 60. The structure now had a total front- 
age of 240 feet, all the buildings being of the same height and built of the 
same material. 

Mother Scholastica was succeeded in 1889 by the former superioress. 
Mother Aloysia Bath, who continued to preside over the community until 
1901. After the organization of the diocese of Duluth, the sisters of that dio- 
cese, about 24 in number, were authorized, with the consent of Bishops Zar- 
detti and McGolrick, to form a separate community, independent of St. Bene- 
dict's. The separation was effected June 1, 1882, and Mother Scholastica 
was the first superioress. Although her subsequent activity does not concern 
the present narrative, it may interest her former acquaintances to learn that 
she built five hospitals in the northern part of the state ; also, that she built 
a magnificent convent and academy, called Villa Sancta Scholastica, near 
Duluth, and after directing the community for nearly twenty years, died on 
June 11, 1911. 

In 1892 several sisters were sent to Tacoma to teach in the parochial 
school connected with the church of the Holy Rosary. Since 1897 the Sisters 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 283 

at St. Joseph are conducting a boarding-school for small boys under twelve 
years of age. This institution has proved to be very timely and popular. 

Since 1905 the institution has its own electric light plant. For protec- 
tion in case of fire a steel water tank, capable of holding 60,000 gallons and 
mounted on a steel tower 100 feet high, was set up in 1907. 

The present superioress. Mother Cecelia Kapsner, was elected in 1901 ; 
re-elected in 1907 and again in 1913, which is evidence both of the high esteem 
in which she is held by the 400 sisters subject to her, and of her tact and 
efficiency in directing the enterprises of the great community. The whole 
number of sisters belonging to the convent is 500; the greater number of them 
are stationed in the dependent houses — hospitals and missions. Besides St. 
Benedict's Academy they conduct two hospitals, St. Raphael's at St. Cloud, 
and St. Alexius' at Bismarck, N. D. ; St. Joseph's Orphanage, St. Paul; two 
Indian schools, at White Earth and Red Lake, the St. Joseph's Home for the 
Aged at St. Cloud, and a number of schools in the dioceses of St. Cloud, Duluth, 
La Crosse, St. Paul, Fargo and Seattle. St. Benedict's enjoys the distinction 
of being the largest Benedictine Convent in the world. 



CHAPTER XX. 

CATHOLIC PAROCHIAL SCHOOLS. 

Catholics Inaugvirate Educational Work in This County— Devoted Work of the 
Members of the Order of St. Benedict — Value of Christian Schooling — 
History of the Organization, Growth and Success of the Various Church 
Schools — By the Right Reverend James Trobec, Titular Bishop of Lycop- 
olis, Egypt, and Former Bishop of St. Cloud. 

The first pioneers of Stearns county who devoted themselves to educational 
work were Catholics. In 1856, at the invitation of Father Francis Pierz, 
three members of the Order of St. Benedict arrived at Sauk Rapids, where 
they remained but a few days. Seeing that the west, side of the Mississippi 
presented better opportunities for the future development, they located south 
of the present city of St. Cloud. True to their vocations as a teaching order, 
their first thought was the training of youth. The brothers William and Louis 
Rothkopf donated them a log house which, in November, 1857, the fathers 
fitted up as their first college into which they received five pupils, of whom 
one was the late well-known Abbot Alex. Edelbroek. This was the nucleus 
of the present great university of St. John, Collegeville, Minn., which gives 
ample opportunity to boys and young men to pursue their studies in the 
commercial, classical, philosophical or theological course. Thousands of well- 
educated young men issued from its halls to make practical use of the lessons 
received in that place of learning. 

For the education of children and especially girls and young ladies, 
Benedictine Sisters came from Pennsylvania to St. Cloud in 1857. Later 
they established their headquarters or mother house at St. Joseph, Stearns 



284 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

county, where they built a convent and academy which was from time to time 
enlarged by extensive additions and now represents one of the finest insti- 
tutions of learning, modern in all its appointments. Nearly 600 sisters belong 
to the mother house, the most of them able teachers engaged in school work, 
not only in the academy, but in many parochial and other schools, not alone 
in Minnesota, but also in other states. Hundreds of well-educated young 
ladies came forth from the St. Benedict's academy. The two above men- 
tioned institutions of learning, in charge of the members of the Order of St. 
Benedict, viz.: St. John's University and St. Benedict's Academy, are well 
known far beyond the limits of Minnesota. They are given a special place 
in this work as institutions of higher education. Here they are only mentioned 
as foundations, as nurseries and centres of Christian education, inspiring and 
influencing all other Catholic schools of the county and even beyond its limits. 
Catholic parochial schools are not as numerous in Stearns county as the 
great number of parishes would justify. This, however, is not owing to any 
lack of appreciation of such schools. Catholic settlers of Stearns county, 
mostly Germans, trained themselves under Catholic auspices, were no less pro- 
fomidly imbued with the idea of the necessity of Catholic parochial school than 
had been their parents and grandparents of the preceding generations. They 
brought with them to this new country their old faith and love for their 
native tongue which they were bound to preserve at all cost in their chil- 
dren and children's children. The school alongside the church was the motto 
of the first settlers, and in several places both church and school were built 
together to serve the double purpose. However, in settlements composed of 
people of the same creed and language, there was not much danger for either, 
in making use of the existing public schools in charge of Catholic teachers. 
Where, however, there was a mixture of people of different creeds and tongues. 
Catholics, if sufficiently numerous and able, establish, as soon as possible, their 
own private parochial schools. Many coming from certain parts of Europe 
where they were in the minority, did not need to be taught the necessity of 
private Catholic schools. Centuries of struggle to preserve their faith and 
their national traditions had convinced them of the value and necessity of 
private schools, in which, besides all usual secular branches, also religion and 
their native tongue, could be taught. But, while learning the rudiments of 
eternal truths and their own mother tongue, they did not and do not neglect 
to study diligently the language of the new country and all those secular 
branches taught in public schools. The principles which the parish school 
maintains are the same as those which are obtained in christian schools of 
every age and under all conditions. Those principles spring from the relation- 
ship of man to God, principles as unchangeable as Christianity itself. Moral 
training or the education of the will is one of the fundamental aims of the 
christian school, for it is generally admitted that moral character is even more 
important than mere knowledge, in the struggle of life. All educators agree 
on this point, as also in the fact that a child to be thoroughly educated, must 
be taught religion. In public schools, which are frequented by pupils of 
different creeds, religion cannot be taught, it is simply impossible, hence the 
necessity of private schools for those who wish to receive a christian educa- 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 285 

tion. These private parochial schools should stand on equal footing with 
the best public schools as far as secular education is concerned, and the most 
of them do, as the results of the county and state examinations show. Lessons 
on patriotism, good citizenship and love of country are not neglected in their 
curriculum. There is abundant evidence that our parochial schools, as a 
rule, are steadily improving and deserve the full confidence of their patrons. 

I. The first parochial school in Stearns county was the St. Mary's School 
of St. Cloud. In the autumn of 1856, the Rev. P. Cornelius Wittmann, O. S. B., 
opened a little school in a building given him for that purpose by Joseph 
Edelbrock. No teacher being available at the time. Father Cornelius was him- 
self both teacher and pastor. In his little school he had six children from 
the family Edelbrock, three from the family Rosenberger, some from the 
families Emmel and Braun, families well known in St. Cloud. This was the 
humble beginning of the St. Mary's School. Father Cornelius, its first teacher, 
is still living, residing at St. John's. 

Soon, however, the burden became too heavy for the Rev. Father, who 
had charge also of the rapidly-growing St. Mary's parish, hence some Bene- 
dictine Sisters were invited from St. Mary's, Elk county, Pennsylvania, to 
take charge of the school. Accordingly, on June 20, 1857, several sisters ar- 
rived and opened a school in their convent, which occupied the site of the 
present postoffice. The name of the first superioress was the Ven. Mother 
Benedicta Riepp. Some years later the sisters selected St. Joseph for their 
mother house and St. Cloud remained a mission. The sisters were soon unable 
to accommodate in their little convent school all the children seeking ad- 
mission, hence many had to attend an "independent district school," in which 
also some sisters were employed as teachers. Not until 1887 did the Rev. 
Severin Gross, 0. S. B., succeed in erecting a three-room frame schoolhouse 
on the site of the present St. Mary's School. Each room accommodated from 
50 to 60 pupils. The first enrollment in this schoolhouse shows 113 pupils. 
The Catholic population, however, increased so rapidly that before long 
another small two-room building was temporarily converted into a school- 
house for smaller children. 

It is quite impossible at the present time to obtain a complete list of the 
venerable sisters who labored for the welfare of the St. Cloud's youth, yet 
a few deserve special mention. These are : Sisters Benedicta, Aloysia, Anse- 
lina, Romana, Equina and Raymond. Besides these sisters. Prof. Louis Wieber, 
the present county school superintendent, and Prof. William A. Boerger de- 
serve mention as instructors of boys, and principals from 1889-1900 and 1900- 
1907, respectively. 

The school accommodations again became inadequate to meet the de- 
mands of the ever-increasing population. A large new schoolhouse was ab- 
solutely necessary. It fell to the lot of the Rev. Father Gregory Steil, 0. S. B., 
to erect the present large and handsome schoolhouse, provided with all mod- 
ern improvements and appliances, recommended by the best educators of 
the country. That Father Gregory acquitted himself of this important task 
with credit is beyond doubt, being himself a skilled architect. The present 
school building was erected in 1896 at a cost of about $30,000. It contains a 



286 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

epaeious basement and three stories of upper structure. It lias four large, 
well-lighted and ventilated rooms on the first and second floors. The third 
floor was used as a hall for meetings and entertainments up to the year 1912, 
but has since been converted into a large assembly room, classrooms and well- 
equipped laboratory for the high school department, which was established in 
1907 by the Very Rev. Alfred Mayer, 0. S. B., Prior of St. Mary's Priory. At 
present twelve teachers are employed in the school, ten in the grades and two 
in the high school, while the whole enrollment is over 600 pupils. 

II. Cathedral school or the Holy Angel's Parish School in St. Cloud. 
The first half of the present cathedral school was erected in 1887 by the Rev. 
Father Stemper, vicar general and pastor during the episcopate of the Right 
Rev. Rupert Steidenbusch. It was a three-story brick building with a base- 
ment 35 by 45 feet. On the second day of October, 1887, the school opened 
its doors to 200 children who were placed under the instruction of a staff of 
four teachers, namely the late Prof. P. E. Kaiser, as principal and instructor 
of the larger boys, and three sisters of the Order of St. Benedict. Owing to 
the rapid growth of the school it became necessary to add, towards the winter, 
another teacher to the teaching staff. The steady increase in attendance made 
the building of an addition as large as the original structure an imperative 
necessity. This was erected by Father Edward Jones, pastor of the cathedral 
parish, under the episcopacy of the late Bishop Martin Marty, in 1894. The 
new addition also was soon over-crowded, and an old hotel nearby had to 
be secured and remodeled into schoolrooms and sisters' dwelling. In a short 
time this new arrangement proved insufficient for the great number of chil- 
dren. To obtain more space in the above-mentioned building for school pur- 
poses, the sisters had to vacate it. A large, fine, comfortable dwelling house 
has been erected by the Rev. Dr. Leo Gans, on the south side of the brick 
schoolhouse, at a cost of $18,000, as a residence for the teaching sisters. A 
notable event in the history of the cathedral school was the opening of a 
Catholic high school by the Rev. Edward Jones, in 1902. It provides for a gen- 
eral course of four years, substantially the course prescribed by the typical 
high schools of the county. 

The phenomenal growth still characterizes the school, which now enrolls 
about 675 pupils, 75 of whom pursue a high-school course. 

The crowning event in the history of the cathedral school is the erection 
of a separate boys' school for the higher grades and high school, fully equipped 
and strictly modern, with a large hall, for the purpose of affording ample 
room for larger boys and relieving the present school of its over-crowded 
condition. 

The high school building, in the course of erection, will consist of a base- 
ment and two-story superstructure, 120 by 84 feet, and the hall, 100 by 60 
feet. This building will be an ornament to the city of St. Cloud and an ob- 
ject of just pride for the Cathedral Parish and its energetic pastor, the Rev. 
Dr. Leo Gans. The original schoolhouse will be occupied principally by girls 
and small boys, and both schools will offer a complete 12 years' course, includ- 
ing a thoroughly modern and practical business course. 

Prof. P. E. Kaiser was principal of the Cathedral schools from 1887 to 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 287 

1894; Prof. George Stelzle, from 3894 to 1900; Yen. Sister Elenora, from 1900 
to 1913, and Ven. Sister Basilia, from 1913, and is still in office. 

III. St. Paul's Parochial School of Sauk Centre. This school was estab- 
lished in 1896. A substantial brick building was erected for that pvirpose 
and divided into three school rooms and sisters' dwelling. The school com- 
prises eight grades. Pupils who have successfully passed the eighth-grade 
county examination, and obtained a county diploma and do not wish to at- 
tend the public high school are given a course of single and double entry 
bookkeeping, business, English and civil government, etc. There are five or 
six graduates every year. 

In 1912, a large addition with modern improvements was erected through 
the efforts of the Rev. Pastor Anthony Arzt and the generosity of the small 
parish. The school is in charge of the Benedictine Sisters. The Ven. Sister 
Catherine has been the first principal up to the year 1904 and the Ven. Sister 
Athanasia since 1904. The enrollment is about 118 pupils. 

rV. Assumption Parochial School of Eden Valley. The Catholic parish 
of Eden Valley, just on the line between Stearns and Meeker counties, in 1901 
erected under the direction of the present pastor, the Rev. N. J. Peiffer, a 
large, beautiful, substantial schoolhouse, modern in all its parts, equipped 
with everything required by the state board of public instruction and by the 
laws of the state for public schools. Its scope is to educate the children of 
the parish as far as necessary. It covers all the branches taught in public 
schools. The pupils make state examination and the most of them pass with- 
out difficulty. The principal is the Rev. Pastor himself, who takes great inter- 
est in the proficiency of his school. As assistant principals there served in 
succession : Ven. Sister Andrew, Sister Alaquoquo and Sister Theresa. There 
are now 250 pupils enrolled, in charge of six sisters of St. Benedict, whose 
mother house is in St. Joseph, Stearns coiinty, Minn. 

V. St. John's Cantius Parochial School, of St. Cloud, situated on Fif- 
teen avenue, north, is a graded school, covering eight grades. It was estab- 
lished in 1901, when the small congregation hardly numbered over 70 fam- 
ilies. The present school building was secured in 1900, having served before 
as a society hall. In 1902 a spacious addition was made to accommodate the 
ever-increasing number of pupils. Two Benedictine Sisters are employed at 
present as teachers, the Ven. Sister Kostka being the principal. Besides the 
usual branches of grammar schools, the Polish language is also taught. The 
enrollment in 1914 reached nearly 100 pupils. Under the wise management 
of the Rev. Pastor V. Watzka, the congregation is making steady improve- 
ments and in a short time a fine, modern schoolhouse will be erected. 

VI. Holy Family Parochial School of Albany. This is one of the larg- 
est Catholic schools in the county, an excellent graded school, covering eight 
grades. It was established by Rev. P. Conrad, O. S. B., in 1904. The old 
church in the rear of the new one was remodeled, adapted for a temporary 
schoolhouse and used for school purposes until 1910, when a large, substantial 
schoolhouse, modern in all its appointments, was erected by the Rev. P. An- 
drew Straub, 0. S. B., at a cost of about $30,000. Five sisters of the Order 
of St. Benedict are in charge of the school. The first principal was the Ven. 



288 . HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

Sister Emmerama, from 1904 to 1912 and since 1912, the Ven. Sister Ehren- 
triidis. The number of pupils enrolled in 1914 was 250. 

VII. St. Boniface Parochial School of Melrose. The large St. Boniface 
parish of Melrose erected in 1910 one of the finest modern schoolhouses at 
a cost of $45,000. Until the summer vacation of 1914 it was rented to the 
school district for public school purposes. Since September, 1914, however, it 
has been the Catholic Parochial School of Melrose. The magnificent building 
was erected through the energy of the pastor, the Rt. Rev. Mgr. B. Richter, 
and the generosity of his people. It is a graded school, comprising all eight 
grades as heretofore, but a ninth grade will be added to the curriculum, as 
preparation for the high school. The school is in charge of the Benedictine 
Sisters, the Ven. Sister Ursula being the principal and superioress. The last 
enrollment was 420 pupils, and it will not be less in the parochial school. 

VIII. St. Joseph's Parochial School, of St. Joseph. Until June, 1914, 
the spacious schoolhouse, erected by the school district on church land, was 
used as a public school. This building, however, was bought by the St. Jo- 
seph parish, arranged for a parochial school and opened September, 1914. 
The school comprises eight grades and is in charge of four sisters of the Order 
of St. Benedict. The Ven. Sister Theresia is principal. The last enrollment 
was 190 pupils. 

Several other places in Stearns county are preparing to erect parochial 
schools, so that in a short time they will be in due proportion to the number 
of Catholic parishes in the county. 



CHAPTER XXI. 

BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW. 

Facts in the Early Career and Later Success of People Who Have Helped to 
Make Steams County — Founders and Patriots — Names Which Will Live 
Long in the Memories of the Residents of This Vicinity — Stories of Well- 
Known Families Who Have Led in Public Life. 

James Colgrove. In the middle years of the past century, New England 
and New York state were peopled with a hardy race from which came not 
only some of the great minds of the nation, but also the substantial self-sacri- 
ficing men who left the settled peace of the older communities and braved 
the hardships and rigors of pioneer endeavor. They were a well-informed 
people, for the district schools gave a liberal education which might well be 
envied by the young people of the present generation, while the academies 
taught the higher branches. Nearly every family had a teacher or two among 
its children, and it was customary among the young men of the better families 
before settling down to farming, or entering upon the study of the pro- 
fessions, to acquire self-discipline and firmly fix their own knowledge, by 
teaching for a few years. Among these farmer-teachers who became pioneers 
of Minnesota may be mentioned the one whose name heads these notes. 




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HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 289 

James Colgrove was born May 8, 1841, in Hornellsville, now Hornell, 
Steuben county, New York, the son of Francis and Amanda (Pitts) Colgrove. 
He was reared to agricultural pursuits on his father's farm, passed through 
th(! district schools and finished at the Alfred Academy. Then he taught 
school for four years in his native state. In the fall of 1866, he came to Min- 
nesota, and upon locating in Stearns county, taught school in Clearwater and 
Lynden for several terms. He located in section 34, Lynden, bought a farm 
which in time he increased to 400 acres, and there resided for some thirty- 
four years. A keen thinker, it was natural that he should become one of 
the leaders in his township. He was chairman of the board of supervisors, 
town clerk and justice of the peace, as well as chairman of the school board 
of his district. At one time he ran for a seat in the state legislature on the 
Populist ticket, and was defeated by a small majority. While on the farm 
he took a deep interest in the betterment of farm conditions. As the result 
of much cogitation, he perfected the machine which is now on the market 
as the Colgrove Potato Digger. In 1901 he came to St. Cloud, and is now the 
secretary of the Granite City Iron Works, where his patent is manufactured. 
The machine is said to be one of the most perfect of its kind now on the 
market. A description of its many technical perfections is beyond the scope 
of this work. Its struetiare is most admirable as to durability and simplicity. 
It handles and distributes the dirt in such a way as to make the machine of 
easy draft, it does not scatter nor cut the potatoes, it leaves them on the ground 
well cleaned, and it also improves the ground, doing away with the necessity 
of plowing. Weeds are brought to the surface, and thus are easily gathered 
and burned. Mr. Colgrove is well versed in Masonry. He was made a Mason 
in Clearwater Lodge, No. 28, A. F. & A. M., Clearwater, Minn., and several 
times served as its Master. He is now a member of North Star Lodge, No. 23, 
St. Cloud. Mr. Colgrove married Mary Louise Stearns, the daughter of Calvin 
Stearns, and they have three children, Mary L., Frances Amanda and Pitt 
Payson. Mary L. married W. W. Robertson, and they have one daughter, 
Carrie L. They live at Bath, Maine. Frances Amanda married Harry Big- 
gerstaff, and after his death she married Anthony Murphy, of St. Cloud. Pitt 
Payson received his early education in Clearwater, attended the St. Cloud 
State Normal School and the University of Minnesota, and graduated from the 
University of New York. For twenty years he taught mathematics in the St. 
Cloud State Normal School, and is now superintendent of the city schools 
of Virginia, Minnesota. He married Alice Jacobs, and they have one daugh- 
ter, Helen L. Mrs. Mary Louise (Stearns) Colgrove died October 9, 1911. 

Amos M. Hamlin, one of the oldest residents of St. Cloud, was born Feb- 
ruary 22, 1823, in the town of Manlius, Onondaga county, N. Y. In 1842 he 
came westward to Michigan and worked as a shoemaker and farmer. In 1864 
he enlisted in Company K, Thirteenth Michigan Volunteer Infantry. He was 
honorably discharged at Washington, D. C, in 1865, and returned to Michigan. 
In 1882 he came to St. Cloud, and worked as a mason on many of the impor- 
tant buildings of the city, including the Cathedral and the Grand Central Hotel 
building. He continued in active business until 1889, when he retired. 

Mr. Hamlin married Laura Pennock, now deceased, a native of New York 



290 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

state, and daughter of Thomas J. Pennock. Mr. and Mrs. Hamlin had five 
children: Frederick, Carrie E., Edith, Thomas J. and Harry. Frederick 
married Henrietta Northam, lives in the state of Washington, and has nine 
children. Carrie E. is the wife of Samuel Marshall. Edith married Orson 
Culver, has three children, and lives on a farm in Michigan. Thomas J. mar- 
ried Libbie Castor. They live in the state of Washington. Harry is deceased. 

Samuel Marshall was born in Rock Island, Illinois, January 19, 1853. He 
farmed for a while near Mendota, 111., and then came to St. Cloud where for 
seventeen years he has been employed in the shops of the Great Northern 
Railway. He is a member of the United Workmen. Mr. Marshall married 
Carrie E. (Hamlin) Bowen, daughter of Amos M. and Laura (Pennock) Ham- 
lin, and widow of George Bowen. By her marriage to Mr. Bowen, Mrs. Mar- 
shall has one daughter, Ethel, wife of Charles Beatty, of Ellsworth, Minnesota. 

Clinton D. Grinds, postmaster at St. Cloud, was born in Oak Grove, 
Anoka county, Minnesota, June 24, 1860, son of Benjamin and Isabelle 
(Cooper) Grinols. He was taken to Fair Haven by his parents, and attended 
school there. He also attended school in St. Cloud, and in the spring of 1879 
graduated from the St. Cloud State Normal School. He clerked in his father's 
store in Fair Haven during the summer months, and in the winters of 1880-81 
and 1881-82 taught school at Kimball Prairie. In the spring of 1882 he became 
a member of the firm of B. Grinols & Sons. In the spring of 1892, when that 
firm went out of business, he became state agent for D. M. Osborn & Co. 
Two years later he formed with Walter Gregory, the firm of Grinols & Gregory, 
dealers in farm implements and fuel. Four years later the concern was incor- 
porated as the Grinols Company. In 1904, Mr. Grinols disposed of his inter- 
ests in this concern. Then for two years he was an agent for threshing and 
mill machinery. October 1, 1906, he was appointed postmaster at St. Cloud 
by President Theodore Roosevelt, and the appointment was confirmed in De- 
cember of that year. In 1911 he was reappointed by President William How- 
ard Taft, and is still in office. Mr. Grinols is a Mason, an Elk and an Inde- 
pendent Forester. He belongs to the Commercial Club and the Old Settlers' 
Association. Clinton D. Grinols married Elizabeth Ross, born in Canada, 
daughter of Alexander Ross. Mr. and Mrs. Grinols have four children. Pearl, 
Marie, Ross and Walter. Pearl is the wife of William MacMullen, and they 
have two children, Clinton and Elizabeth. 

Benjamin Grinols was born in Cattaraugus county, New York, and came 
to Minnesota in 1856. He lived in Oak Grove until June, 1865, when he 
located in Fair Haven, and engaged in the mercantile business with his brother- 
in-law, William Cooper. This partnership continued until the death of Mr. 
Cooper, in 1882, when with his sons, Clinton D. and Ernest E. Grinols, the 
business was taken over under the firm name of B. Grinols & Sons. The 
business was closed out in the spring of 1892. Benjamin Grinols married Isa- 
belle Cooper, who was brought to Minnesota with her parents in 1857. 

David J. Hanscom, one of the early pioneers, was born in York county, 
Maine, August 23, 1833, and was taken as a small boy to Kennebec county, 
in the same state, where he grew to manhood and engaged in agricultural pur- 
suits. He came west, lived in Wisconsin for a while, later was employed as 




CLINTON 1). GRINOLy 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 291 

a carpenter in St. Paul, and in 1859 came to section 25, Eden Lake, this county, 
as its first white settler. In 1861 he enlisted in the Fourth Minnesota Vol- 
unteer Infantry, and saw service against the Indians and in the South. He 
was home on a furlough for a while in the early summer of 1864, and received 
his honorable discharge that fall. On his return to Eden Lake, he located in 
section 24, and there spent the remainder of his days, dying May 11, 1896. 
Mr. Hanscom was the first town clerk, elected in 1867, and held that office for 
eleven years. He was assessor eight years, and at various times was treasurer 
and clerk of the school board of his district. David J. Hanscom was twice 
married. His first wife, Maria Clark, of Illinois, whom he married August 18, 

1859, died January 19, 1870, leaving two children, Sanford and Mary A. San- 
ford was the first white child born in the town of Eden Lake. He now lives 
in Minneapolis. Mary A. is dead. Mr Hanscom married Lizzie C. Abbott, Feb. 
22, 1871, and this union was blessed with four children, George E., Stella L., 
Ella F. and Beulah. Stella L. married L. E. Christ, lives at Maple Plain, Minn., 
and has two children, Hester and Florence. Ella F., who died in October, 
1908, married James Ponsford. Beulah died April 20, 1881, as an infant. 

Rudolph Huhn was born in Prvissia, Germany, February 12, 1833, and 
came to America in 1852 with his sister. He worked in a piano factory for a 
while, in Covington, Kentucky, and later went to Pettis county, Missouri, 
where he and his brother split rails and did other pioneer work. After his 
marriage he went to Newport, Kentucky, with his bride, and remained about 
a year. In 1861, they came to St. Paul by boat, and then took the overland 
trip to St. Cloud. In the time of the Indian troubles Mr. Huhn joined Com- 
pany D, of the First Mounted Rangers, and went with that company to the 
frontier under General Henry Sibley. After a year's service he returned to 
St. Cloud, and shortly afterward went to work in the furniture factory of Car- 
lisle & Spicer, remaining in this employ seventeen years. Then he purchased 
the furniture store on the corner of St. Germain street and Eighth avenue. 
On this corner he erected a new building and continued in business there until 
within a few years of his death. He died January 22, 1910. Mr. Huhn mar- 
ried Elizabeth Mockenhaupt, daughter of John A. Mockenhaupt, a wood-turner 
by trade who brought his family to America in 1852, reached New Orleans 
October 24, came up the river to St. Loviis, and took up some land in Missouri 
where he carried on farming for many years. Mr. and Mrs. Huhn were the 
parents of eight children : Joseph, Rosie, Ida, Henry Leo, Robert L., Paulinus 
G., Edward B. and Clara. Joseph was born in Newport, Kentucky, June 29, 

1860, and died May 17, 1905. Rosie married Andrew Kolb and they have five 
children. They live in Melrose, Stearns county. Ida married Henry Thien. 
They live in Billings, Montana and have eight children living. Henry Leo 
died in infancy. Robert L. lives at home. Paulinus G. also lives at home. He 
served in the Spanish-American war in the Philippines in Company M, 13th 
Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. He was wounded at Marquina, P. I., March 
25, 1899. Edward B. married Clara Akers. They have four children and live 
in Minneapolis. He was accidentally killed February 11, 1914. Clara is the 
wife of John Terhaar. They have two children. Mrs. Huhn, although ad- 
vanced in years, is in the full possession of her faculties, and possesses a re- 



292 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

markable memory for dates and things of interest which took place in St. Cloud 
in the early days. 

Mathew Hall, now engaged in the lumber business in St. Cloud, was born 
at Aselfingen, Amt. Bondorf, Baden, Germany, August 27, 1863, the son of 
Dionis and Zelia Korumel Hall. In 1882 the father decided that his boys 
should be given the wider opportunities that America presented, rather than 
be forced to serve three years as apprentices without pay. His wife being 
dead, his interests were solely in his children. Accordingly the family, consist- 
ing of the father and the children, Mathew, Joseph and Mary, came to this 
country and located at St. Cloud, where the father became a market gardener 
and small fruit grower. Mathew, after reaching St. Cloud took special courses 
in school to fit him for a business life. For a time he was a railroad man and 
later a gardener. He attracted the attention of former Lieutenant Governor 
C. A. Gilman who took a deep interest in his career, and who first employed 
him four years in his lumber business, and then encouraged him to start for 
himself. It happened that the lieutenant governor had some lumber at Oak 
Park, Benton county, and he made the suggestion that Mr. Hall, then twenty- 
six years of age, take it and start in business. Accordingly Mr. Hall loaded 
five car loads with the assistance of a friend, shipped the lot to St. Cloud, 
and opened a lumber yard. This was the first stepping stone to the present 
large and profitable business. In speaking of Mr. Hall, Governor Gilman says : 
"The key to his success is his perfect honesty. When he was a boy I would 
have trusted him with every cent I had in the world, and the years have proved 
that I was justified in my faith." Mr. Hall is a member of the Catholic Order 
of Foresters and the Knights of Columbus. Mr. Hall married Anna, daughter 
of Joseph and Anna (Webber) Volz. Mr. Volz died June 1, 1907. Mrs. Volz 
is still living in the city of St. Cloud. Mr. and Mrs. Hall have nine children, 
Alfred, Herbert, Edwin, Marie, Marcellus, Clothilda, Louisa, Lawrence and 
Everista. 

Andrew Hennemann, former postmaster of St. Cloud, was born in Lake 
county, 111., January 23, 1854, son of Andrew and Katherine (Schoeneberger) 
Hennemann, who brought him to St. Cloud in 1866. As a youth he became a 
harness-maker, and worked both in St. Paul and St. Cloud. For some time 
he and J. C. Moos were partners. Under Cleveland's second administration he 
served as postmaster at St. Cloud. In recent years he has devoted his at- 
tention to the taxidermist's art. He is a member of St. Joseph's Society and 
the Catholic Order of Foresters. Mr. Hennemann married Katherine, the 
daughter of Peter and Angeline Sauermann Kraemer. This union resulted in 
four children : Emil J. A., Hedwig, Lenora and Sylvester George. Emil J. A. 
married Tracy Kapfer and they have eight children. Hedwig married Edward 
Brick, St. Cloud chief of police, and they have one child, Cyril. Lenora mar- 
ried Peter Ahles, superintendent of schools at Hancock, Minn., and they have 
three children. Sylvester George died at the age of five months. Peter and 
Angeline (Sauermann) Kraemer were pioneers. Mrs. Kraemer now lives in 
St. Joseph, and is one of the best informed women in the county in regard to 
historical matters. Her opinion is often sought to settle disputed points about 
the early days in St. Cloud and Stearns county. 




MATIIEW HALL 




JOSEPH J. HILBE 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 293 

Andrew Hinnemann, Sr., came to America in 1842 with his father John 
Simon, and located in Lake county, Illinois. After he was married he went 
to Chicago, with $5 in his pocket. In that city he went to the well-known 
wholesale concern of Bone Bros, and, frankly telling them of his lack of finan- 
cial resources, secured from them a peddler's outfit. At the end of a year he 
had enough money to start his wife in a small business at Buffalo Grove. About 
five years later he gave up his road work, enlarged the small store into a gen- 
eral store, and opened a tavern and place of refreshment. In 1866 he brought 
his wife and his seven children to St. Cloud, and purchased a farm in St. Au- 
gusta toAvnship. A short time later he purchased from Nicholas Schaefer 
his hotel. This he operated until 1883 when he retired. He and his wife spent 
their declining years in a pleasant residence at the corner of Second street 
and Thirteenth avenue. 

Ernest Keller, retired banker, was born in Baden, Germany, near the banks 
of the Rhine, December 18, 1860, son of Andrew and Rose Keller, who brought 
him to St. Cloud in 1872. Having already attended the excellent schools of his 
native land, the subject of this mention completed his schooling in St. Cloud. 
After holding various clerical positions, he entered the employ of the Mc- 
Cormick Harvester Co., at St. Cloud. In 1892 he engaged in the implement 
business in Little Falls, Minn. In the spring of 1896 he moved to Albany in 
this county, where he and H. A. Warner started a private bank. In 1906 
this bank was reorganized as the First State Bank of Albany, with Mr. War- 
ner as president and Mr. Keller as cashier. In 1909, Mr. Keller retired. He 
is still financially interested in several banking institutions but is not actively 
concerned in their management. Mr. Keller married in 1897 Clara Balder, a 
native of Wisconsin, and they have four children : Esther, Florence, Erwin 
and Arthur. Mr. Keller is a member of North Star Lodge, No. 23, A. F. & 
A. M., of St. Cloud. 

Joseph J. Hilbe, proprietor of the Golden Rule, at St. Cloud, was born 
March 7, 1883, in Wilson township, Winona county, Minnesota, son of Joseph 
A. and Mary (Kessinger) Hilbe. He attended the district schools of that 
township, as well as the Central school, and the parochial schools of Winona. 
For two summers he worked for the Laird, Norton Co. December 8, 1898, 
he entered the employ of the dry good establishment of Edward F. Mues, in 
Winona. Later he worked a while for Schlingerman & Walsch in the same 
city. In 1901 he came to St. Cloud, entered the employ of the Leisen Shoe 
& Dry Goods Co., and remained in that establishment for over seven years. 
Then he went to Fargo, and was with the A. L. Moody dry goods store a year. 
In 1909 he returned to St. Cloud, purchased the "Racket Store," from S. H. 
Dalton, converted it into a general dry goods store, and changed the name to 
J. J. Hilbe, dry goods. Mr. Hilbe has proven a capable manager, and the 
business has prospered until it is now an integral part of St. Cloud life. He 
is a member of the Elks, the Eagles, the Knights of Columbus and the Com- 
mercial Club. Mr. Hilbe was married November 5, 1907, to Laura F. Rader, 
and they have one child, Rader J., born July 30, 1910. 

Joseph A. Hilbe was born in Wilson township, Winona county, this state, 
and married Mary Kessinger, a native of West Baden, Germany. They lived 



294 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

for many years in Wilson, but now have one of the best farms and most sub- 
stantial homes in the vicinity of Fountain City, Wis. They are the parents of 
six children : Elizabeth, Matilda, Anna May, Joseph J. and Bernard C. Eliza- 
beth married Charles Goetzman, lives near Sugar Loaf, Winona, Minn., and 
has six children. Matilda married Albert Meyer, and they have one child. 
Joseph J. is the subject of this sketch. Anna is the wife of Edward Oertle, 
lives in Bluff Siding, Wisconsin, and has one child. Mary is the wife of Fred 
Roetzke, lives near Fountain City, Wis., and has two children. Bernard C. 
lives with his parents in Fountain City. 

Nathaniel K. Hunt, a retired resident of St. Cloud, was born January 23, 
1837, in Tombridge, Orange county, Vermont, son of John and Eliza Harvey 
(King) Hunt, the former of whom was born in Vermont in 1804 and died in 
1888 and the latter of whom was born in 1806 and died in 1901. In 1837, 
when Nathaniel was but four months old, the family started west, going by 
boat to Detroit, and thence by stage to within twelve miles of Kalamazoo, 
Mich., where they located on a farm. Here Nathaniel was reared, receiving 
his education in Antwerp township, Van Buren county, as a boy, and later 
attended the "Stone College" in Kalamazoo, Mich. For a time he worked as 
a clerk in a store in Lowell, Michigan, and then, in partnership with Simeon 
Hunt, engaged in the mercantile business in the same town. Subsequently 
he took up farming in Antwerp township. Van Buren county, Michigan, and 
in connection with his agricultural operations conducted a brickyard, using 
the clay underlying his farm. In 1879 he bought 240 acres of wild land in 
Haven, Sherburne county, this state. In 1880 he moved onto this farm, and 
started to develop a model place. He broke and developed the land, prospered 
with the years, and brought the land to a high stage of improvement. A 
splendid twelve-room house, a large barn, 30 by 104 feet, and various sheds 
and other shelters for stock, poultry, crops and equipment, are features of 
his farm landscape. The place is now occupied by his son, G. S. Hunt. In 
addition to the farm, and the home in St. Cloud, Mr. Hunt owns a cottage at 
Long Lake, in Haven township, Sherburne county. Mr. Hunt deals to a 
certain extent in real estate. In his earlier life he took an active part in the 
affairs of his township, serving as supervisor and as town clerk. He also 
occupied several school offices. For two terms he was an efficient member 
of the lower house of the Minnesota Legislature. Since his residence in St. 
Cloud he has taken an active part in civic affairs, and was one of the alder- 
men before the commission form of government was inaugurated. He is vice 
president of the Commercial Club, belongs to the Elks, and has been a Mason 
between fifty and sixty years. He is deeply interested in modern and scien- 
tific agriculture, and it was through his untiring efforts that the Farmers' 
Institute was established in St. Cloud. As a poultry fancier he stands high. 
He is treasurer of the Central Minnesota Poultry Association, which was or- 
ganized at St. Cloud in 1911, and his Black Langshangs have never failed to 
win blue ribbon prizes whenever he has exhibited them. Mr. Hunt married 
for his first wife, Annetta Spencer, by whom he had two children, Lena and 
Spencer. Lena married Fred Scherfenberg and they have four children, An- 
netta, Clara, Myra and King. Silencer married Ceola Keller, and they have 




N. K. HUNT 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 295 

eight children, Freed, Nathaniel K., Florence, Nellie, Viola, Harty, Lee and 
Harry. Freed and Nathaniel K. are graduates of the agricultural department, 
and Florence and Nellie from the domestic science department of the Univer- 
sity of Minnesota. Annetta Spencer Hunt died in 1866. For his second wife, 
Mr. Hunt married her sister Jane, who died in 1894. For his third wife he 
married Rose Mix, daughter of Orange and Elizabeth S. (Hogan) Mix, the 
former of whom spent his life as a carpenter and also operated an extensive 
fruit farm in Michigan. 

Charles F. Ladner. Among the men whose industry has been a part of 
the general progress and prosperity of St. Cloud should be mentioned the 
successful merchant whose name heads this notice. Well suited to the exac- 
tions of a commercial career, and a thorough master of his own business, he 
has nevertheless realized that the retail dealers of the community have cer- 
tain public duties to perform, and these duties he has courageously shouldered. 
Mr. Ladner is of eastern birth, having first seen the light of day June 29, 
1857, in Pottsville, Penn., son of Nicholas and Catherine (Koch) Ladner, who 
brought their farmily to St. Cloud in 1866 and took up their residence on a 
farm. Charles F. attended the district schools, and took the commercial 
course at St. John's University, at Collegeville, in this county. After leaving 
school, he taught a year in Stearns county, Minn. Then he clerked in New 
Munich, Albany and Cold Spring. For ten years he was the proprietor of a 
general store in Arvilla, North Dakota. In 1892 he returned to St. Cloud, 
bought out Val Batz, and established the business which is now known as the 
C. F. Ladner Hardware Co. Of this company C. F. Ladner is president ; T. K. 
Ladner, vice president, and Frank Jung, treasurer. In 1897, Mr. Ladner as- 
sisted in organizing the Minnesota State Retail Hardware Association which 
now has a membership of 1,200. In 1899 he assisted in organizing the Retail 
Hardware Mutual Fire Insurance Co., and for eleven years has been its presi- 
dent. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, the Catholic Order of For- 
esters, the St. Joseph Society and the St. Cloud Commercial Club. Mr. Ladner 
married Theresa GoUing, a native of Wisconsin, and they have ten children. 

Harry C. Ervin, Sr. Flour milling has been an important industry in Min- 
nesota since the earliest days. As early as 1823, the government had a crude 
mill at St. Anthony, a part of what is now Minneapolis. Even prior to 1855, 
flour had been milled in Stearns county. In 1870, Stearns county had become 
the seventh flour producing county in the state, having at that time no less 
than six mills. With the dwindling of the wheat crop in the late seventies, 
milling in St. Cloud lost some of its importance, but about a decade later there 
was a revival of interest, and the flour industry in St. Cloud is now an im- 
portant branch of the city's commerce. Since this revival of interest, the 
subject of this sketch has been closely identified with the flouring business 
in this city, and has followed its fortunes here for a quarter of a century. 

Harry C. Ervin, Sr., proprietor of the St. Cloud City Mills, was born No- 
vember 27, 1860, son of Alexander and Elizabeth (McBride) Ervin, the former 
of Pennsylvania birth and Scotch ancestry, and the latter of Irish ancestry. 
Harry C. Ervin received a common and high school education in Philadelphia, 



296 HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

and early turned his attention to the milling business. For seven years he 
worked for John S. Wesley, a Philadelphia flour merchant. In 1887 he en- 
tered the employ of George Tileston, a flour miller, and with him came to 
Faribault, in this state, that year. The next year, 1888, he came to St. Cloud 
as manager of Mr. Tileston 's mill here. In this capacity he remained until 
1902, when he purchased Wesley Carter's mill, and established the St. Cloud 
City Mills. He has made many improvements, including the construction of 
a large elevator and a splendid office building. George Eeis is the super- 
intendent, and Harry C. Ervin, Jr., is in charge of the accounts. Mr. Ervin is 
a member of the St. Cloud library board. He belongs to the Commercial Club 
and to the Royal Arcanum. Harry C. Ervin, Sr., married Mary Jeanette, a 
native of Philadelphia, daughter of Thomas Sappington, a wholesale boot and 
shoe merchant of that city. There are four children, Thomas S., Harry C, Jr., 
Frances and Kingsley. Thomas S. has charge of the branch office at Bemidji, 
Minn. 

Mr. Ervin died November 15, 1914, after this sketch was in type. 

Harry C. Ervin, Jr., accountant for the St. Cloud City Mills, was born 
February 22, 1886, in Philadelphia, Penn., son of Harry C. and Mary (Sapping- 
ton) Ervin. He attended the public schools of St. Cloud, Minn., and also took 
courses in the Minnesota State University. Since then he has occupied his 
present position. Mr. Ervin married Katherine Hubbard, daughter of R. D. 
Hubbard, of Mankato, Minn., and they have one daughter, Jean. 

Michael Lahr, the pioneer, was born in 1823, in Luxemburg, and came to 
America in 1852. He first located in Aurora, 111., working on farms and on 
the railroad and in fact doing whatever work presented itself. In 1854 he 
came to St. Cloud. After looking about for a time, he and his brother, 
Nicholas, started a blacksmith shop, building a log shanty as their first place 
of business. The business grew gradually, and in time became an important 
plow manufacturing concern. Nicholas Lahr, had, in the meantime, however, 
made a claim in section 5, St. Cloud township, and after a few years he 
retired from the manufacturing business and devoted the remainder of his 
life to agricultural pursuits. He died January 26, 1889, at the age of sixty- 
six. His wife died October 27, 1904, at the age of 68. Michael Lahr married 
Mary Schmit and they were the parents of six children, Peter N., Jacob 
N., Mary A., Joseph P., Nicholas A., and Frank M. Peter N. is a retired 
farmer of St. Cloud. Jacob N., a farmer of St. Cloud township, married Bar- 
bara Heafner and thej^ have six children. Mary A. married A. A. Eich, 
who is engaged in the automobile business in St. Cloud. They have three 
children. Joseph P. married Florence Young, lives at Bemidji, Minn., where 
he keeps a store, and has two children. Nicholas A. lives in St. Cloud, and 
is a member of the firm of Lahr Brothers. He married Susie Hershfeld. 
Frank M. lives in St. Cloud. 

Frank M. Lahr, was born on his father's farm, in section 5, town of St. 
Cloud, Stearns county, October 15, 1879, son of Michael and Mary (Schmit) 
Lahr, the pioneers. He attended the district schools of his neighborhood and 
graduated from the Cathedral Parochial school at St. Cloud. In 1890 he came 
to St. Cloud from the farm and in 1901 engaged in business in East St. Cloud. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 297 

In 1903 his brother, Nicholas A., formed a co-partnership with him as Lahr 
Bros., and they conduct the "Palm" at the corner of Seventh avenue and St. 
Germain street. May 1, 1912, Mr. Lahr became local manager for the Minne- 
apolis Brewing Co., a position he still retains. He is a member of the St. 
Cloud Aerie, No. 622, F. O. E., and of the local council of the U. C. T. He 
was married December 18, 1902, to Margaret Zeagler, and their two daugh- 
ters are Armella and Margaret. 

Jacob A. Lahr, clerk of the probate court of Stearns county, was born 
in St. Cloud, March 19, 1861, son of Nicholas and Mary (Birden) Lahr, the 
pioneers. He attended the parochial schools and the St. Cloud State Normal 
school. As a boy he was employed by George Setzler & Co., retail dry goods 
merchants, and later for a time he worked in the grocery store of E. T. Dur- 
gin & Co., Miimeapolis, Minn. Then for some years he was a partner in the 
firm of Lahr & Kruchten, dealers in farm implements. Later he was em- 
ployed by Griggs-Cooper Co., wholesale grocers, at St. Paul, and subsequently 
became bookkeeper for the Stevenson Brothers at St. Cloud. January 1, 
1895, he was appointed clerk of the probate court of Stearns county, Minn., a 
position he has since occupied with the exception of two years when he was 
with the county treasurer. Mr. Lahr married Anna De Wenter, daughter of 
John and Louise De Wenter, and they have three children, Alfred, Norbert 
and Clarence. 

Walter W. Murphy, railroad contractor, now living in a beautiful home 
on Seventh avenue, South, St. Cloud, was born September 8, 1853, in the 
county of Inverness, Nova Scotia, Canada, son of James and Anna (Doyle) 
Murphy. The family history is a most interesting one. James Murphy was 
born in St. Johns, Newfoundland, the son of Michael and Sarah (Pennel) 
Murphy. Michael Murphy was born in "Wexford, Ireland. There is a pretty 
story in the family regarding Sarah Pennel. She was born in England in a 
family of the gentility. In taking a voyage to America, the ship on which 
she was a passenger was wrecked off the coast of Newfoundland. She was 
cared for by the kindly natives, and finally married Michael Murphy, who 
had settled there several years previous. Anna Doyle was born in Wexford, 
Ireland. She was the daughter of Moses Doyle. Her mother was an O'Neil, 
descended from that famous warrior-chieftian, "The O'Neil," who once ruled 
over a part of Ireland in the stirring days of the Irish kings. Though rich 
in pluck, the family of James Murphy was poor in pocket. Walter W., whose 
name heads this article, started out in life for himself, at the age of seven- 
teen, a poor boy, with little education, and no assets except the possession of 
a strong will, courage of mind and strength of body. Step by step he has 
forced his way to the front, until he is now an honored and respected citizen, 
a successful man of high standing in the business world. He came to America 
in 1870, and found his way to St. Cloud. From St. Cloud he walked sixty 
miles to the present site of Brainerd, then without buildings of any kind. 
For five years he was employed by the Northern Pacific Railroad, grading 
for roadbeds and getting out bridge timber by hand. He followed the lum- 
ber woods, driving the logs out of the small streams into the Mississippi, and 
down that river to Minneapolis. In 1875 he started for Bismarck, North 



298 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

• Dakota, and opened a woodyard on the Missouri, at the mouth of the Little 
Missouri, for the purpose of supplying wood for steamboats. The trip to that 
point was a most exciting one. At Bismarck he purchased a yoke of oxen, a 
wagon, food and tools, and hired two men. With this outfit he drove up the 
east side of the Missouri, and when they reached a point opposite the Little 
Missouri, they pursuaded a Ree Indian to ferry them across. The ferry was 
what was called a bull boat, and consisted of a buffalo hide stretched in the 
form of a basket. The oxen swam after the boat. The wagon had to be taken 
to pieces and ferried over wheel by wheel. The Indians were very hostile. 
Sitting Bull was king of the prairies, and the territory west of the river was 
fraught with danger to the white man. After the first fall, Mr. Murphy 
built stage ranches, conducted them, drove stage, and carried mail on ponies 
from Bismarck to Ft. Stevenson and Ft. Buford; and from Bismarck to Ft. 
Lincoln, Ft. Rice, Ft. Yaits (or Standing Rock), and Ft. Sully. He also drove 
across country to the Black Hills from Ft. Keho on the Yellowstone. In 1878 
when the Northern Pacific Railroad started to build across the Missouri river 
and thence to the Pacific coast, Mr. Murphy took charge of an outfit for the 
old stage firm of Peoples & Rush, and afterward took a similar position with 
Lameneux & "Winston Bros., remaining with them until the fall of 1883, when 
the road was completed and the golden spike was driven at Gold Creek, 
Mont. In the meantime, however, in 1882, he had taken a four-months' trip 
to his old home in Nova Scotia. He brought back with him his father and 
mother. They are now dead and are buried at Rice, Benton county, Minne- 
sota. A splendid monument has been erected to their memory. During the 
fall and early winter, of 1883, Mr. Murphy had a contract to get out ties for 
a branch of the Northern Pacific up the Prickly Pear Canyon to Wix Mines. 
This was his first big contract. Since then there are few important ventures 
in the line of railroad construction in the Northwest in which he has not 
had a part. For a time he was in partnership with Fred Smith, a civil en- 
gineer, but for the most part he has been in business alone. He has done all 
sorts of grading work, has furnished great quantities of ties, and has been 
particularly successful in his contracts for the distribution of bridge and 
track material. He has had a part in the building of four different lines 
through the Rocky Mountains ; he has crossed prairies, and rivers, and swamps 
and hills; he has leveled high places and filled up low places, and in nearly 
every railroad that has been built in the northwestern part of the United 
States, and southwestern part of Canada, the arrival of his force of men 
has followed close after the driving of stakes by the engineers. After fin- 
ishing the Montana contract in the winter of 1883-84, Mr. Murphy returned 
to Minnesota. In the spring of 1884 he took a contract for grading and dis- 
tributing bridge timber and ties on the Minneapolis & St. Louis along the Min- 
nesota river from Morton to Red Wood river, near Red Wood Falls. In the 
spring of 1885 he took a grading contract from River Falls to Ellsworth, Wis., 
and still later he took the work of lowering the canal at St. Anthony falls, in 
Minneapolis. Then he took a contract in Indiana. But in the spring of 
1886 he shipped his equipment back to Minnesota, and took a contract on 
the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, in South Dakota. That completed, he 



HISTOEY OF STEARNS COUNTY 299 

drove across the country to Rock Rapids, Iowa, and distributed ties and 
bridge timber from Ellsworth, Minnesota, through a corner of Iowa, to Sioux 
Falls, South Dakota. Then he shipped to Lamoure, North Dakota, and dis- 
tributed ties from Lamoure to Oaks, in the same state. Then he shipped back 
to Minnesota. In the spring of 1887 he shipped to Minot, North Dakota, and 
took a contract for grading from Minot, North Dakota, to Great Falls, Mont. 
That fall he shipped to Willmar, Minn., and graded on the Great Northei'n 
fi'om Willmar to Sioux Falls. When winter set in he drove his outfit from 
Pipestone, Minn., to St. Cloud. In the spring of 1888 he took a contract for 
doing the excavating and furnishing all the rubil stone for the St. Cloud 
State Reformatory. He also distributed ties from Watertown, South Dakota, 
to Huron, South Dakota; and from Willmar to Sioux Falls, on the Great 
Northern. The year of 1889 was a dull one in the railroad business and 
Mr. Murphy took St. Cloud contracts. He graded Third avenue, and a part 
of Fourth avenue and Seventh avenue. In the spring of 1890, he graded 
Ninth avenue and a drive around Lake George. That summer he shipped an 
outfit to Great Falls, Mont., drove up Sun river across the Blackfoot Indian 
reservation to Medicine Pass, and located and built a wagon road through 
the Rocky mountains, to the Flat Head valley, in order that the Great North- 
ern might get outfits to the line it was starting to build to the coast. Mr. 
Murphy also had the contract for furnishing many ties for that line. In the 
summer of 1891 he sold his outfit in the mountains and came home to St. 
Cloud, where he went into the livery business with J. A. McDonald. In this 
business he suffered severe financial loss, but paid all his obligations and 
started in anew. In the summer of 1896 he went to Marquette, Mich., and as 
a salaried employe supervised the dock work there for Winston Brothers, 
of Minneapolis. In the same employ he supervised the work of double track- 
ing the Chicago & North Western from Madison, Wis., to Baraboo, Wis., in 
1896 ; and work on the Illinois Central at Bardwell, Kentucky. In the spring 
of 1898, Mr. Murphy became chief of police in St. Cloud, but resigned after 
one year of service. In the spring of 1899 he took a contract for the Chicago 
& North-Western for twenty miles in southern Minnesota, with headquarters 
at Welcome, Martin county, Minn. Since then his contracts have been as 
follows: 1900 — On the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, sub-let from the 
Winston Bros., headquarters at Richmond, 111. 1901 — On the Chicago, Bur- 
lington & Quincy, with headquarters at Creston, Iowa, and on the Wabash 
near Ft. Wayne, Ind., and Mt. Pillur, Ohio. 1902— On the Fremont, Elk Horn 
& Missouri Valley, in Nebraska, with headquarters at 'Neil, Nebraska. 1903 — 
On the Chicago & Eastern Illinois, between Champaign, 111., and Danville, 
HI., with St. Joseph, 111., as headquarters. 1904 — At Calgary, Canada, with 
Earl Cravens, under the firm name of Cravens & Murphy. 1905 — Thirty 
miles on the Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. Marie, from Kenmare, North 
Dakota, to Thief River Falls, Minnesota. That winter and the two succes- 
sive winters he did considerable logging on the Pine river, in Minnesota. 
1906 — Eighty-five miles for the Minneapolis & St. Louis, from Watertown 
to Labo, on the Missouri river. South Dakota. 

1907-1909 — Government ditch work on the Yellowstone, in Montana, 



300 HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 

with headquarters at Glendive, Mont. Work on the Minneapolis & St. Louis 
in South Dakota, with headquarters at Missoula, Mont. On the double track 
of the Northern Pacific from Garrison to Missoula. On the extension of the 
Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul, to the Pacific coast. 1909 — At Dixon, 111., 
on the Chicago & North "Western ; at Chehalis, Wash., and at Portland, Oregon. 
1909-10 — On the Chicago & North-Western from Haywarden, Iowa, to Hin- 
ton, Iowa, near Sioux City, Iowa. 1910 — On the Chicago & North-Western 
from Necedah, Wis., to Grand Marsh, Wis. 1911 — On the Chicago, St. Paul, 
Minneapolis & Omaha, twenty-two miles double tracking from Merrill, Wis., 
to Milston, Wis. Large contract of stripping gravel pit near Grand Marsh, 
Wis. 1912-13 — On the Chicago & North-Western, sixty-five miles from Peoria, 
111., to Green Ridge, 111. In the meantime, Mr. and Mrs. Murphy have taken 
a number of pleasure trips. In 1908 they visited the principal points on the 
Pacific coast. In 1911 they visited the East, stopping at such places as Chi- 
cago, 111., Detroit, Mich., Buffalo, N. Y., Syracuse, N. Y., Albany, N. Y., New 
York city, Boston, Portland, Maine, St. Johns, New Brunswick, Halifax, Nova 
Scotia, Sydney and Cape Britton. In the fall of 1913, they visited Hot Springs, 
Arkansas. Mr. Murphy has made his permanent home in St. Cloud since 1884, 
and though so often away he has taken an active interest in the welfare of 
the city. He belongs to the Elks, the Modern Woodmen, the Knights of Co- 
lumbus, and the Catholic Foresters, and is a most welcome visitor in the lodge 
rooms of all these organizations throughout this part of the country. 

Mr. Murphy married Elizabeth Ann Calahan, a native of Canada. They 
have seven children : Mary, Rose Ellen, Eugene, Julia, Walter J., George L., 
and Cecelia. Mary married John Sweiger, and has three children. Rose 
Ellen is an artist and lives at home. Her work in oil and china is worthy of 
mention. Julia died at the age of nine. Eugene and Walter J. are with their 
father in the construction business. George L. and Cecelia are still in school. 
The family faith is that of the Catholic church. 

Peter N. Lahr, a retired farmer now living in St. Cloud, was born in 
section 5, St. Cloud township, September 6, 1863; son of Michael and Mary 
(Schmit) Lahr, the pioneers. He was reared on his father's farm, in St. Cloud 
township, and received a good public school education. Although he has given 
the greater part of his life to farming, he has much native ability as a me- 
chanic, and is an adept at repairing farm implements and machinery. When 
his means permitted he purchased the old homestead, and conducted it suc- 
cessfully until his retirement. Mr. Lahr has been one of the leaders in his 
township. He was chairman of the board of supervisors for twenty-one years, 
and treasurer of the school board for twenty-four years. He helped to organ- 
ize the Sauk Rapids Creamery Co., and was its president five years. He 
was also one of the directors of the St. Joseph Farmers' Mutual Fire Insur- 
ance Co. In St. Cloud he belongs to the Commercial Club and the Catholic 
Order of Foresters. In the spring of 1913, Mr. Lahr completed a home on 
Seventh avenue. North, St. Cloud, where he moved his family March 20, 1913. 
Mr. Lahr was married May 18, 1893, to Theresa Dehler, a native of Benton 
county, and they have four children: Edna M., Victoria S., Irene S., and 
Alvin F. 



HISTORY OF STEARNS COUNTY 301 

Alexander Mac Gregor was born in Canada, and was brought to the 
United States,