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An Album of History and Biography, 

EMBRACiNe Sketches op the Villages, Citles and Townships ; Educational, Civil, Military and 

Political History; Portraits of Prominent Citizens, and Biographies 

OF Old Settlers and Repkesentative Men. 


Embr.acing an Account op Early ExpjiOpAjTipfjs, Org.anjzation, a Review of its Political 
History, Together with an. Account of. the, Inv-an, fkr-y^hB^K of 1862. 



' 1887. 


1jI()(".kaphy is thk Only True Histoky." — Kniersuii. 


Printers and Binders, 


«<] PREFACE. I> 

R^-, 5 , c?, (fi^ }- . 2.; 

iN the compilation of this vohime it has been tlie aim of the publishers to prepare a local history, com- 
prising in a single volume of convenient form, a varied fund of information, not only of Interest to the 
present, but for preservation for coming generations, from which future searchers for historic data 
may draw without the tedium incurred in the preparation of this. We have gathered together a vast 
mass of historic facts, and interwoven them with individual sketches of those who have been identi- 
fied with the development of the various localities. That our work is wholly errorless, or that 
nothing of interest has been omitted, is more than we dare to hope, and more than is reasonable to 
expect, but we have spared neither pains nor expense in our efforts to have the work as near perfect 
as it is possible for such a work to be made. The manuscript of the historical portions was care- 
fully submitted to committees of prominent old settlers who were requested to make all changes or additions 
necessary for a complete and correct work. The certificates of these gentlemen will be found on pages 
IV and V. As to the biographical department, equal care was bestowed. The biographical sketches were 
carefully submitted to those whom they concerned and the parties were asked to revise and correct the statements 
and data. In closing our labors, we have the gratifying consciousness of having useii our utmost endeavors in 
securing reliable data, and feel no hesitancy in submitting the result to an intelligent public. The impartial critic, 
to whom only we look for comment, will, in passing judgment upon its merits, be governed by a knowledge of the 
manifold duties attending the prosecution of the undertaking. 

There is always more or less difficulty, even in a historical work, in selecting those things which will interest 
the greatest number of readers. Individual tastes differ so widely, that that which may be of absorbing interest to 
one. has no attractions for another. Some are interested only in that which concerns themselves, and do not care 
to read of even the most thrilling adventures in which they were not participants. Such persons are apt to con- 
clude that what they are not interested in is of no value and its preservation in history a useless expense. In the 
settlement of a new county, or a new township, no one person is entitled to all the credit for what has been accom- 
■ plished, but every individual is a part of the great whole, and all are directly or indirectly connected with each step 
of progress. For this reason it is always a very difficult— if not an impossible— task to measure and express the exact 
meed of praise or commendation due to the individual, and we have, therefore, stated the facts, with "naught set 
down in malice or in praise." 

In conclusion, we desire to express our sincere thanks to county, township and village officials for their uniform 
kindness to us in our tedious labors ; and we must also express our indebtedness to the Press, the Pioneers and 
the Citizens generally, who have extended more than ordinary courtesy and assistance to our employes. 

That our efforts may prove satisfactory, and this volume receive a welcome commensurate with the care and 
labor bestowed upon its preparation, is the earnest desire of the compilers. 


Certificates from Old Settlers in Steele County. 

Following will be found copies of the certificates from the various committees of old settlers, who revised, 
corrected and approved the manuscript of the History of Steele County, viz: 

Revision of General Csuntt Chapters. 

We, the undersigned, members of the general committee selected to revise and correct the general chapters of 
the History of Steele County, compiled by the Union Publishing Company, do hereby certify that the manuscript 
was duly submitted to us, and further that we revised and corrected the same, making all the changes and addi- 
tions we deemed necessary; and, as corrected, we hereby approve of the same as being correct and complete to the 
best of our judgment and recollection. 


Nathaniel Winship, 
Amos Coggswei.i., 

W. R. KiNTON, 

E. M. Morehouse, M. D., 
D. Lindersmith, 
Orlando Johnson, 

Oeneral Cmiimittee. 

Revision op City and Township Chapters. 

We, the undersigned, members of the various committees selected to revise and correct the history of [our 
respective city or] township, for the Union Publishing Company's History of Steele County, do hereby certify 
that the manuscript of [our respective city, village or] township history was duly submitted to us, and further 
that we revised and corrected the same, making all the changes and additions we deemed necessary; and, as cor- 
rected, we hereby approve of the same as being correct and complete to the best of our judgment and recollection. 


A. Wilson, 
Paul Williams, 
Lewmon G. Reed, 

Merton TmDiuMp. 
A. W. Adams, 
W. W. Arnold, 
John Virtue, 

Clinton Falls Township. 
John O. Wcamett, 
John H. Wilker, 

MeritUn Tmenship. 
William Ellis, 
John Adair, 

Havanmi Township. 

S. M. Kinney, 

Lemond Township. 

Philo Sawyer, 

T. K. Brown, 

Berlin Township. 

J. W. Smith, 
Wm. Coolby, 

Summit Township. 

Charles Adsit, 
John Bixby, 

Aurora Township. 


G. O. Hankerson, 
S. M. Freem.\n, 

Medford Tawnship. 

James F. Brady, 
Christian Reineke, 

Deerfleld Township. 

Alson Selleck, 
G. W. Morfokd, 

Owatonna Township. 

W. R. Kin YON, 

A. N. Stoughton, 

N. Winship, 

Mrs. E. p. Winship, 

Owatonnii City. 

Jesse Healey, 
Dexter Smith, 
Levi Bailey, 

So7nerset TownsJiip. 

Thomas Peeney, 
Charles E. Hancock, 

Blooming Prairie. 


In this connection we publish the certificates from the various committees of old settlers who revised, cor- 
rected and approved the manuscript of the History of Waseca County, viz: 

Kevision op General County Chapters. 

We, the undersigned, members of the general committee selected to revise and correct the general chapters of 
the History of Waseca County, compiled by the Union Publishing Company, do hereby certify that the manuscript 
was duly submitted to us, and further that we revised and corrected the same, making all the changes and addi- 
tions we deemed necessary; and, as corrected, we hereby approve of the same as being correct and complete to 
the best of our judgment and recollection. 


H. P. Norton, 
James E. Child, 
g. r. buckman, 
H. K. Stearns, 

Oenerai Committee. 

Revision of City and Township Chapters. 

We, the undersigned, members of the various committees selected to revise and correct the history of [our 
respective city or] township for the History of Waseca County compiled by the Union Publishing Company, do 
hereby certify that the manuscript of [our respective city or] township was duly submitted to us, and further that 
we revised and corrected the same, making all the changes and additions we deemed necessary ; and, as corrected, 
we hereby approve of the same as being complete and correct to the best of our recollection and Judgment. 


William H. H. Jackson, 
Christian Remund, 

Blooming Grove Township. 

H. P. Chamberlain, 
David Wood, 

Iosco Township. 


D. A. Erwin, 

St. Mary Township. 

M. H. Lamb, 
William Burke, 

Alton Tow7iship. 

F. D. Seaman, 
George Hopeld, 

Freedom Tow nsh ip . 

H. K. Stearns, 
A. J. Newgard, 
Christoph Wagner, 
C. A. Wagner, 
M. Murphy, 
H. H. Corson, 

JVew Richland Village. 

Ira C. Trowbridge, 
P. C. Bailey, 

Waseca, City. 
E. G. Wood, 
O. Powell, 

Woodmlle Township. 
William Brisbane, 
M. F. Connor, 

Wilton Township. 
Omer H. Sutlipf, 

Byron Township. 
Anthony Sampson, 
E. E. Verplank, 

Neto Richland Township. 
J. B. Hill, 
William H. H.\rmon, 

Vivian Township. 


W. G. Allyn, 
James Cummins, 

E. B. Stearns, 
J. S. Abell, 

Otisco Totcnship. 




Introductory 17 


Location, TopoouApnY and GEoLcxiV 19 

Location 19 

Topography 19 

Geology 19 


Early Days 31 

Early Settlement 21 

First Events 22 

Disadvantages 22 

Stage and Mail Routes 23 


Organization, County Lines, County Name 25 


County Government 29 

Board of Commissioners 29 

Board of Supervisors 31 

Commissioners again 32 

From 1855 to 1887 35 


Creation of Townships 



Various Ofkicial Matters 39 

First Instruments Recorded 39 

Increase of Population 39 

Values in 1861 40 

Values from 1861 to 1886 40 

Present Values 40 

Crop Statistics 41 

Educat ional Matters 41 

Early Marriage Licenses 41 


National and State Representation 43 

Congressional 43 

Legislative 47 


County Officials 55 

Register of Deeds 55 

County Treasurer 57 

County Auditor 58 

Sheriff 59 

Superintendent 61 

Judge of Probate 61 

Clerk of Court 62 

County Attorney 63 

Surveyor 63 

Coroner 65 

Court Commissioner 65 



Abstract of Vote 1855-87. 



Courts .\nd Cases 80 

Interesting Trials 80 

District Judges 93 

Bar of Steele County 93 


The Press 103 

Watchman and Register 105 

Medford Valley Argus 105 

Oveatonna Journal 105 

News Letter 106 

Owatonna Representative 106 

Owatonna Register 106 

Owatonna Democrat 106 

Vidette 106 

Owatonna Plaindealer 106 

Republican Journal 106 

Owatonna Jovirnal 106 

Journal and Herald 108 

People's Press 109 

Our Pastime HI 

Weekly Review 112 

Morning Star 112 

Daily Herald 112 

Steele County Herald 112 

Other Publications 112 


Railroads 113 

Railway Agitation 113 

Railway Building 114 


The War 116 

Its Causes 116 

Steele County in the War 120 

List of Soldiers 124 


Reminiscences 127 

By A. B. Cornell 127 

By G. W. Green 130 

Polities in 1857 135 

County Matters in 1860 136 

Crops 138 

Whiskey in the Gutter 138 

Vigilance Committee 138 

From Article in 1874 138 

Stage Business 142 

The Abbotts 142 

By Rev. Wm. Thomson i 143 

By C. B. Pettie 399 


Historical Events 148 

Chronology 148 


The City ok Owatonna 177 

Location ^'^^ 

The Beginning 178 

Business men in 1868 182 


Business Development 183 

Banking 186 

Manufacturing 189 

Packing Company 195 

Hotels 195 

Present Business 201 

City Government 302 

Fire Department 208 

Schools 210 

Postofflce 210 

Free and Accepted Masons 210 

Independent Order of Odd Fellows 217 

Grand Army of tlie Republic 323 

Other Organizations 335 

Religious Matters 337 

First Events 340 

Business Men and Retired Citizens 340 


PiLLSBURY Academy 268 

State Public School 274 


Meuton Township 280 


Medford Township 293 

Medford Village 303 


Clinton Falls Township 310 

Clinton Falls Village 311 

Debrfield Township 321 

Meriden Township 337 

Owatonna Township 334 

Havanna Township 343 

Aurora Township 349 

SOiMEKSET Township 358 

Le.mond Township 369 


Berlin Township 379 


Summit Township 385 


Blooming Prairie Township 390 

Blooming Prairie Village 401 





Abbott, A. J 316 

Abbott, Ezra 142 

Abbott, J. H 143 

Abernethy, 359 

Adair, John 344 

Adsit. Charles 350 

Adair, Dr. .1. H 301 

Adams, D. C 361 

Adams, A. "W 313 

Ahrens, Fred 347 

Albertu.s, G. F 343 

Albro, F. D 198 

Alexander, M. S 253 

Allen, William 393 

Andrews, Thomas 338 

Andrews, Robert 339 

Anderson, Andrew 346 

Annett, Thomas 375 

Armstrone, A 48 

Arnold, W. W 314 

Austin, J. S 261 

Baily, John 308 

Bailey, Levi 360 

Backus, J. D 339 

Backus, J. C 359 

Barncard, J. Z 253 

Barney, John 307 

Bauter, F. JI 353 

Bartsch, John 198 

Beaumont, R 340 

Bennett, Dr. L. L 188 

Belina, Anton 264 


Belina, Joseph 341 

Bixby, L 64 

Bixby, John 350 

Bixby, J. S 350 

Bion, L 192 

Bigelow, Dr. E. E 200 

Birkett, Henry 343 

Bissell, W. P 306 

Bingham, H. D 381 

Bliss, Philo 363 

Blythe, John 390 

Blythe, Eliza J 390 

Boll, Fridolin 353 

Bower, Charles 355 

Boynton, D 300 

Bosshard, G 331 

Brooks, E. W 191 

Brown, Rev. J. N 336 

Brennan, P 261 

Bry.son, Andrew 261 

Brady, J. .F 333 

Bragg, A. S 370 

Bray, Thomas 393 

Bray, Agnes 393 

Bryant, E. C 376 

Brown, C. V 380 

Brown, 380 

Buffum, Hon. G. W 53 

Burke. J. C 59 

Burlingame, Hon. J. M 96 

Burdick, 0. W 191 

Buxton, J. E 250 

Burdick. W. H 254 


Busho, Julius 324 

Bucklin, J. K 325 

Burch, Maj. J. W 363 

Cansdell, J. A ,58 

Caward, G. W 353 

Carlton, Dexter 385 

Carter, George 315 

Carter, John T 315 

Ca.ssidy, H. J 353 

Chadwick, M. B 100 

Chesley, G. W 346 

Chapin, R. H 

Chapin, B. P 348 

Cheeseraan, Richard 318 

Cheeseman, Heurv 318 

Christenson, H. N 347 

Chambers. John 357 

Chambers, G. L 345 

Chambers, Theo 383 

Cheeney, N 379 

Clark, George 2.52 

Clark. A. B 394 

Colquhoun, Hon. A. . 394 

Coolev. William .385 

Cotter, J. A 63 

Cotter, James 346 

Cottier, John 251 

Coggswell, Hon. Amos 96 

Conner, J. W 243 

Cook, Hon. B. S 245 

Cory, J. S 300 

Coggins, Ed 387 



Colling, W. K 294 

Crocker, J. B 51 

Crocker, E. B 51 

Crawhuck Bros 356 

Crandall, Hon. C. S 240 

Curtis, G. H 353 

Davis, Hon. P. B 51 

Davidson, William 246 

Dalley, M. A 94 

Danforth, G. W 55 

Darby, Benj. E Ill 

Darmody, Edward 386 

Deutschmann, Frederick 251 

Deininger, R 256 

Degner, G. W 340 

Degner, P. E 364 

Deeg, John 195 

Dies, A 396 

Donaldson, Hon. N. M 93 

Drebert, P. T 108 

Drum. W. P 62 

Dunnell, Hon. M. IT 44 

Dunton, H. A 396 

Dunton, John 396 

Dutton, N. L 397 

Dugan, James 397 

Dugan, Michael 408 

Dynes, W. A 253 

Easton, Hon. E 51 

Eastman, D. T 298 

Eastman, 317 

Edson, O. E 189 

Eggleston, W. A 285 

Eisert, Rudolph 323 

Elton, Ole 198 

Ellis, William 344 

Ellis, W. J 344 

Ellis, W. R 382 

Ellickson, E. A 377 

Engbard, Conrad 345 

Engel, W. G 198 

Erdmann, Andrew 346 

Erdman, Mrs. Anna 346 

Pallon, Patrick 396 

PalloD, Michael 396 

Pedder, Thee 267 

Pehmer, William 324 

Feeney, Thomas 404 

Pinch, Dr. W.W 57 

Pinch, J. M 315 

Pinch, Hon. H. A 381 

Finch, Cyrus 316L 

Finch, Pyler D 316 1 

Forsythe, G. L 251 

Fredenburg, Hon. M. A 259 

Francis, W. P 305 

Freeman, S. M 306 

Freeman, C 308 

Frazer, T. H 342 

Gabriel, George 352 

yfQanser, P. 192 

■^"Gausewitz, Wm 252 

Gault, Alex 308 

Gallea, William 317 

Gardner, C. W 379 

Gillman, H. C 399 

Gillman, S 306 

Gibson, William 299 

Gillett, J. W 356 

Glaeser, Jacob 264 

Gordon, Joseph 379 


Gould, L. B 372 

Goolsby, William 386 

Greely , Orrin 191 

Green, Hon. G. W 93 

Greene, S. S 254 

Griffin, T. H 317 

Grandprey, Joseph 329 

Grunz, August 332 

Gross, Gilbert 361 

Gross, Cscar 361 

Graif, John J 363 

Gutterson, A. C 188 

Guthrie, M 403 

Hazen. Hon. L 62 

Harwood, A. A 95 

Hadley, C. W 100 

Hastings, Hon. II. M 189 

Harrington, Dr. J. L 201 

Hatch, Dr. T. L 200 

Hanson, N. W 251 

Hansen, A. M 291 

Hammel, J. N 254 

Hankerson, G. 297 

Hayes, William 298 

Hamilton, John 300 

Hartle, Henry 347 

Harris, Jacob J 362 

Halm, Elias 365 

Hastings, G. W 372 

Hayes, Scott 387 

Hancock, C. E 395 

Heath, Isaac 298 

llealey, Jesse 360 

Hemingway, A 387 

Hickman, Hon. A. C 99 

Hill, W. H 356 

Howe, Hon. T.J 191 

Holmes, H. A 192 

Holden, J. D 255 

Holden, G. D 255 

Hosfield, G. B 303 

Hodg.son, H 334 

Hoffman, August 325 

House, Lysander 327 

House, David 328 

Hobbins, W. P 330 

Hunkins, D. C 351 

Hunter, George 38'1 

Ingerson, A 64 

Ingersoll, A, D 101 

lugraham. Prof. J. I- 373 

Inman, L. L 348 

lunker, William 342 

Jensen, George 403 

Johnson. Hon. H. H 100 

.Johnson, R. H 100 

Johnson, Orlando 305 

.Tohnson , Smith 305 

Johnson, Agrim 344 

Johnson, Christian 354 

Johnson, Nels 397 

Johnson, Dr. J. P 407 

.Tones,A. R 339 

.Jones, O. M 345 

.Jones, W. M 345 

Jones. Isaac 346 

Katz, A. J 3.-)0 

Ivaplan, J. W 339 

Kaplan, Joseph 339 

Kabage. Julius 364 

Kelley, J. N 63 


Kenyon, Dr. Thomas 363 

Kenyon, T. E 386 

Keenan, M. J 408 

Kinney, S. M 370 

Kinyon, Hon. W. R 187 

Kinyon. C. J 187 

Kinyon, G. R 187 

Kinyon. G. W 341 

King, Corydon 351 

Klein, Rev. P. W 339 

Knobloch, Adolph 241 

Knickerbocker, W. R 366 

Knowlton, C. R 370 

Knudson, Nels 375 

Kruckerberg, Fred 351 

Kubat, Joseph 267 

Kubat Samuel 340 

Ku jawa. Thomas 331 

Kuckenbecker, Edward 367 

Lane, John 385 

Lane, Dexter 388 

Lane. Capt. L. H 289 

Laughlin, J. H 290 

Lamson, H 323 

Lamson, Henry H 333 

Langerher, Henry 344 

Larson, Villars. .'. 367 

Larson. Lars 375 

Lewis, H. J .56 

Lee, Orrin 308 

Lenuon, J. G 403 

Lieb, W. C 353 

Lilly, Mrs. Margretta 322 

Lindersmith, David 314 

Lindersmith, Orlando 315 

Luce, H. F 255 

Lynch, P 289 

Mallinger, Peter 262 

Martin, W. E 386 

Maw. Henry 387 

Maw, Henry, Jr 388 

Markson, Hans 347 

Mayo, Asaph 405 

McLaughlin, Hon. C. N 190 

McAndrews, M. A 198 

McDonald, R. A 385 

McDonald. Alex 299 

McKinlay, D. A 300 

McVicker, C. W 332 

McCrady. Peter 353 

McNitt, Sylvester - . 257 

McDaniels, J. H 395 

McDaniels, Frank 395 

McLoud. Jonas G 353 

Melvin, B. F 57 

Meek, Bazil 61 

Medd, Dr. T. R 254 

Merrill, Prof. G. A 279 

Merrill, G. L 291 

Mitchell, A. M 64 

Mitchell, George 263 

Miner, W. H 299 

Morehouse, Dr. E. JI 199 

Morford, G. W 339 

Morford. J. W 57 

Morris, Walter 56 

Moore, Z. B 58 

Moore, H. R.,.Jr 242 

Mork, William 251 

Moon, G. C 307 

Morley, J, R 342 

Morton, Thomas 407 



Morton, Edwaril 404 

Montgomery, W. H 263 

Murray, Hon. Hugh 60 

Mussman, Fred 344 

Murphy, Oscar 371 

/ Muller Henry 376 

•-• Murray, Rev. D. L 406 

Naylor, Edward 381 

Newsalt, Jacob 250 

Nelson, Fred 398 

Northup, B. M 392 

Nordeen, P. J 95 

Ogle. Rev. .J. C 231 

Olson, Peter 376 

Olson, Hans 376 

Olson, Ole 383 

Olson, Anton 404 

Oppliger, J. A 241 

Ost, Fred 365 

Oulton, George 63 

Park, J. W 55 

Patterson, S. H 60 

Parrott, George 341 

Peterson, Soren 58 

Peterson, Christian 353 

Peterson, Lars 353 

Peterson, Peter (Owatonna). . . . 364 

Peterson, C. (Somerset) 365 

Peterson, Peter 398 

Pettie, C. B 344 

Pettie, Hon. G. C 353 

Peachey, G. W 198 

Pettit, W. F ,59 

Piper, E. W 345 

Piper, D. S 307 

Pichner, John 339 

Pitcher, Hiram 379 

Pollock, O. W 63 

Pratt, Hon. M. B 308 

Pratt, William A 363 

Purfeest, Herman 386 

Quiggle, M. S 350 

Radke, Carl 331 

Reed, Levrmon G 381 

Reineke, ian 333 

Reynolds. R. II 380 

Reineke, Conrad 331 

Reiter. Lewis 331 

Richter, E. W 100 

Ribstein, F 290 

Ring, Samuel 398 

Ring, Eugene 398 

Ring, Joseph 398 

Ribibe, Henry 376 

Rossbach. Dr. G. .\ 300 

Roberts, Dr. D. H 300 

Rosebrock, Hon. H. H 351 

Rosskopf , Fred 256 


Rosenau, Herman 330 

Ross, Amos 372 

Rulliffson, H. W 51 

Ryan M 364 

Ryan, John 387 

Sanborn, David 57 

Sanborn, John 293 

Sawyer, D. P 388 

Sawyer, J. A 100 

Sawyer, W. F 101 

Sawyer, Philo 380 

Sander, H. P. G 363 

Sanders, E. B 341 

Sannemann, William 367 

Sahler, W. J 343 

Schuman. F. G 191 

Schoen, Charles 195 

Schafer, Hon. N. J 195 

Scholljegerdes, John 377 

Searl, Dr. A. C 354 

Seely, N. G 333 

Selleck, Alson 336 

Sette,Fred 365 

Sheldon, C. E 190 

Sheldon, T. R 383 

Shaw, G. W 354 

Shea, John 349 

Shea, William 379 

Simpson, Adam 190 

Sloan, Hon. J. M 53 

Sloan, George E 56 

Smith, S. B'. 55 

Smith, C, P 356 

Smith, Edward 388 

Smith. J. B 381 

Smith, William 377 

Smith, Dexter 361 

Smith, J. W (Summit) 386 

Smith, James W 397 

Smith, A. P 398 

Smith, T. C 398 

Soper, J. A 108 

Solnce, Rev. J. M 338 

Soukup. J. H 343 

Sperry, W. A 99 

Sperry, D. W 246 

Spinney. Rev. W. A 234 

Stockwell. Thomas 383 

Stendel, Hcnrv 333 

Stange, Fred 366 

Storer, Gardner 367 

Stevens. lion. F. J 47 

Stoughton, A. N 59 

Strong, G. W 392 

Synskov, P. J 348 

Taylor, E. P 286 

Tennis, A. C 387v, 

Thompson, Thos 58 

Thomson, Rev. William 143 

Thomp.son, Andrew 345 

Thom, Francis 340 

Thorn, R. C 340 

Thomas, Rev. O. A 311 

Thon, John 241 

Thon, J. P 241 

Thorn, James 95 

Theimer, Emil 264 

Thamert, F. L 348 

Thim.sen, P. P 396 

Titus, Anson 341 

Town, A 263 

Travis, J. N 360 

Trowe, F. J 380 

Tryon, (; 197 

Trotman, William 408 

Tuttle, P. J 291 

Turk, John L 364 

Twiford, Dr. W. H 48 

Twiford, E. M 246 

Tyler, Ezra 56 

Virtue, John 316 

Von Ruden, Joseph 346 

Warner, C. F 343 ' 

Washburn, Rev. R 363 

Wagner, William 346 

Warren, Stewart 300 

Wardwell, H. E 357 

Wacker. Henry 347 

Webb. Merritt 399 

White, Hon. Milo 46 

AVheaton, Willard 60 

Wheelock, Hon. L. L 98 

Whitman, M. D 366 

Willsey, W. H 189 

Winship, N 197 

Win.ship, J. E 357 

Wilson, A 383 

Wilson, Charles 282 

Wilson, W. H 288 

Williams, Thomas 290 

Wilkins, Hon. W. W 297 

Wilker, John H 328 

Williams, Hon. S. B 341 

Wiggins, W. A 341 

Widrick, John 346 

Wiudoni, Hon. Wni 43 

Wilkinson, Hon. M. S 43 

Wilson, Hon. Thomas 46 

Williamson, S. C 60 

Woodman, L. C 258 

Wright, A. L 304 

Wuamett, John 328 

Yarchow, H. C 362 

Yearly, S. M 95 

Young, Julius 343 

Young, John 287 

Yust, Christian 325 

Zamboni, C 255 

Zwiener, H. L 407 

Zwiener, A. J 397 



Birkett, Hon. Iknrv 175 

Blythe. John .' 391 

Bray. Thomas 409 

Buffum, Hon. George W 67 

Burlingame, Hon. J. .M 85 

Busho, Julius 319 

Chesley, G. W 193 

Dunnell, Hon. M. II 49 

Ganser, P 365 

Harris, Jacob J 355 

Kinyon, Hon. W. R 157 


Morehouse, Hon. E. M 139 

Ogle, Rev. J. C 329 

Thom, Francis 337 

Wheelock, Hon. L. L 131 

Wilkins, Hon. W. W 301 

Woodman, L. C 211 




Introduction 415 


Geoguaphy, Topography and Geolooy 417 

Location 417 

Topography 417 

Geology 418 

Resources 419 


Early Settlement 430 

Claim Jumping 426 

Hard Times 439 

Historical Items 430 

Origin of County's Name 431 


Reminiscenses and Incidents 433 

By James E. Child 432 

By William Brisbane 435 

Thrashing bv Moonlight 437 

Bloody Tragedy. 437 

First Sad Misfortune 438 

Great Snow Storm 439 


County Government 441 

Commissioners' Proceedings 441 


Political 450 

Official Vote 453 


Other Opficial Matters 467 

Population 467 

Subdivisions of the County 467 

Town Plats 467 

Matrimonial 468 

Registry of Deeds 470 

Auditor's Report 470 

Treasurer's Report 470 


State and County Representation 471 

Congressional 471 

Legislative 471 

County Auditor 483 

Register of Deeds 484 

County Treasurer 486 

Clerk of Court 488 

Sheriff 489 

Judge of Probate 489 

County Attorney 491 

County Surveyor , 491 


County Seat Contests and County Buildings.. 493 



Home Views 496 

Waseca Home Views 496 

Waseca Courier 496 

Wilton Weekly News 496 

Waseca News 497 

Minnesota Radical 497 

Waseca Radical 498 

Wilton Courant 498 

Lantern 501 

Independent 501 


Record 501 

Janesville Argus 501 

Waseca Leader 503 

Waseca Herald 503 

Chronicle 504 

Town Talk 504 

New Richland Review 504 

North Star 505 

New Year 505 


Bench and Bar 506 

Important Trials 506 

District Courts 507 

Attorneys 508 


Educ.\tional 512 

County Superintendents 513 

The Development 514 


Agriculture and Agricultural Societies 515 

Anti-Horsethief Association ' 520 


Waseca County in the War .533 

Roster 522 


The Indian Massacre .525 


Wilton Township 543 

Wilton Village 550 


St. Mary Township ."tSS 

St. Mary Village 562 


Iosco Township 564 

Empire Village 575 


Blooming Grove Township 577 


Otisco Township 592 

Villages 599 


Janesville Township 605 

Janesville Village 616 


Woodville Township 634 


New Richland Township 634 

New Richland Vill.\ge 046 


Vivian Township 658 

Byron Township 666 


Alton Township 673 

Alma City 6^3 


Freedom Township 




CiTv OF Waseca 701 

The Beginning 701 

Earl}' Business 702 

Business Development 703 

Physicians 709 

Hotels 710 


Banlss 713 

Postofiice 713 

Other Business Interests and Business Men .... 714 

Flouring Mill 719 

Municipal 725 

Schools 72.") 

Religious 121}' 

Fire Department 729 

Societies 730 

Maplewood Parli 733 



Abell, Hon. John S 477 

Abbott, W. D .511 

Allen, H. B .i48 

Allyn, W. G 606 

Anderson, Ole .595 

Anderson, John .596 

Anderson, Albert .597 

Anderson, Nels J 638 

Anderson, Olave 641 

Andrews, J. D .597 

Armstrong, W. D 718 

Arentsen, George L 705 

Atwood, E. M .549 

Aughenbaugh, Jolin W 730 

Ayers, Richard 667 

Barrett, Luther 423 

Bailey, Hon. Philo C 476 

Bailv, John .555 

Baker, W. S 486 

Ballard, Daniel T 558 

Ballard, Isaac 559 

Ballard, Henry S 573 

Bathke, Au£;ust 573 

Bahr, John^L 588 

Bauman, C 603 

Baldwin, Herman 664 

Baldwin, Milo 686 

Bell, A 433 

Behne. Henry 587 

Beisner, Louis 591 

Benson, John 636 

Berg, Andrew N 637 

Beyer, Charles 664 

Beavins, William 667 

Beavins, David 667 

Bennett, Edward 733 

Beierwaltcr, John 734 

Bird, Abraham 433 

Bird, Josepli 433 

Blivens, J. M "434 

Bommengen, Ole 640 

Bokke, Ole S 6.51 

Bowe, Patrick A 707 

Bronson, O. H 505 

Brisbane, Hon. William 473 

Bradish, John 508 

Britton, R. L. 11 618 

Brossard, Francis 585 

Breilein, Andrew 638 

Bromaghin, Franklin 693 

Brubaker, Jacob 733 

Brubaker, George E 733 

Breen, Nicholas J 707 


Buckman, George R 487 

Burnett, William 614 

Buker, Henry 633 

Bumgerten, Peter 671 

Burke, William 677 

Bush, A. G 708 

Burns, P 547 

Canfield, J. A 489 

Carmody, John 510 

Cahill, Thomas 610 

Carlton, E. K 637 

Casey, M 674 

Campion, CM 674 

Chandler, Hon. J. 477 

Child, Simeon P 423 

Child, Hon. James E 503 

Chamberlain, H. P 565 

Chase, Luther 689 

Chase, Henry 618 

Christenson, Nels 635 

Christiansen, J. E 637 

Christianson. S. E 655 

Christie, Rev. A 728 

Clark, H. A 674 

Claghorn, J. L 731 

Collester, M. D. L 510 

Collester, E. B 511 

Conner, jM. F 546 

Conner, E. R 578 

Coddington, David 567 

Cor.sou, H. H 653 

Concanon, Lawrence W 671 

Converse, Ilcurv 694 

Comstock, Abncr E 699 

Comee, George W 717 

Connelly. Thomas 706 

Collins. Maurice S 711 

Craig. Dr. R. 479 

Crawford, J. W 484 

Crawford, W. H 610 

Cronkhitc, Edgar 483 

Cunningham, John 606 

Cunningham. Charles 696 

Curran, John 631 

Curvan, James 631 

Cummins, James 618 

Cummings, Harvey 670 

Dahle, Jens T 586 

Davis, Jeremy 666 

Davis, Daniel C 666 

Davis, John 693 

Davis, Mrs. Maria 693 

Davidson, Joseph 619 


Davidson, W 690 

Day, W. W 618 

Devereaux, M. L ... 674 

De Graff, Col. Andrew 678 

De Graff, Charles A 681 

Dedrick, Charles 695 

Dinneen, John 671 

Dodge, Hon. D. J 478 

Doran, John 548 

Dunn, George T 549 

Dunn, J. T 600 

Dunn, James M 629 

Dunn, Andrew L 631 

Dun woody , E. E 653 

Dunham, George W 676 

Dwyer, Mrs. Honora 664 

Dye, J. B 513 

Enos, P. Brink 509 

Enright, P. M 631 

Ericksen, Knut 581 

Erwin, D. A 560 

Everett, William 719 

Farrington, S. A 547 

FarleyT Patrick 560 

Farrell, Peter .567 

Farrell, Patrick 638 

Faught, G. W 614 

Field, Frank 685 

Field, John 691 

Fiske, E. W 705 

Flvnn, Thomas 703 

Franklin S. W 636 

Garland, Nathaniel 489 

Gallagher, Michael 561 

Gage, Lorin A 632 

Gates, Emerson 676 

Gates, Warren 684 

Gatzman, .loseph 706 

Gerlicher, H. J 714 

Geraghty, Roger 561 

Geary, John E 696 

Gove, Dr. M. S 551 

Gorman, Anthony .556 

Gorman. Charles 560 

Gosper, E.H 618 

Gordon. J. M 620 

Grant, W. L 711 

Gray, William M 578 

Gray, William H 630 

Gregory, Bernard 423 

Grams, Gottlieb 611 

Green, William M 628 



Graham, John L 691 

Graham, Arthur 691 

Graham, Clarence E 498 

Grapp, A 703 

Gustafson, Charles 604 

Gutfleisch, Charles 617 

Guyer Anthony 708 

Hayden, James B 488 

Hammel, Terence 676 

Hanes, Aaron 565 

Hand, James 580 

Hackett, Mrs. Margaret 581 

Hackett, John 581 

Hanson, Knud 598 

Hanson, Otto 601 

Hanson, H. J 636 

Hansen, C 724 

Hagen, Ole 635 

Hagen. Knudt 640 

Hawkes, Samuel 707 

Harmon, W. H 659 

Hanks, Rodnev 663 

Healey, Hugh' 568 

Henry, John A 501 

Henderson, Andrew J 660 

Helms, M. H 718 

Hill, J. B 658 

Hills, Elijah 673 

Howell, Jonathan 433 

Hogan, J 435 

Hogan, Andrew 683 

Holstein, Alfred 605 

Hodgkins. Samuel 699 

Hosmer, J. W . . 609 

Hover, C 613 

Hover. William 632 

Holt, P. A 651 

Hope, Garret 668 

Hopkins, M. S 678 

Hopkins, H. M 678 

Hofeld, George 684 

Hunt, J. F 637 

Hunt. Dr. M. V 709 

Hutchinson, Dr. A. 31 710 

Hydorn, Sanford 693 

Ide, John C 483 

Irwin, James 601 

Jackson, Thomas B 583 

Jackson. W. H. H .583 

Jacobs, Nicholas 718 

Jamison. A. P 713 

Jahn, Rev. J. C ,587 

Jenkins, John 433 

Jenkins, David 433 

Jewison, William 614 

Jennison. A. W 619 

Johnson, Michael 423 

Johnson. Alexander ,509 

Johnson, George 563 

Johnson, Carl (Blooming Grove) 583 

Johnson, Moses ,596 

John-son, Gustaf 601 

Johnson. Nels 648 

Johnson, Charles B 650 

Johnson, Ole 660 

Johnson, Carl (Vivian) 060 

Jolmson, Elling 705 

Johnson, John W 706 

Johnston. C. W 557 

Johnston, Mrs. Jane C 557 

Jordan, John 556 


Jones, James E 573 

Kanne, Fred. F 566 

Kaiser, August 574 

Keeley, M. B 489 

Kenehan, Patrick .545 

Kennedy, Thomas 633 

Kittredge, Fred 704 

Kittredge, W. T 509 

Kinder. W. R 510 

Knutsen. Gullick .581 

Knutson, Ole 424 

Knudson, Ole C 635 

Knauss, C. W 588 

Krassin, Gottlieb, Sr 423 

Krassin, Martin 423 

Krassin, John F 423 

Krassin, Johan G 555 

Krassin, August C 489 

Kruger, August F 486 

Kruger, Julius A. R 642 

Koester. Christian .570 

Koffstad, N. C 635 

Kugath, William 601 

Kyes, Lucius 637 

Lamb, Hon. Morris H 475 

Lamb, Morris 673 

La Dow. George 509 

Larson, Johnny 602 

Larsen, M. A 649 

Lajord, Thomas 639 

Laudert, Martin 655 

Lauder. William 655 

Lewis, B. S ,510 

Lee, William ,565 

Leslie, Samuel 600 

Leavitt, N. J 630 

Lewer, Henry F 633 

Lincoln, Noah ,545 

Lincoln, Charles F 546 

Long, Seth W 489 

Loveland. H. S 557 

Lockwood, Charles 675 

Lundquist. Fred 603 

Lund, Torkel 640 

Lyng, Isaiic 667 

Mackey, Jeremiah 699 

Mantie, Joseph 556 

Martin, Floyd 613 

Mandigo, Daniel N 700 

Markham, Patrick 677 

McDougal, Hugh .593 

McDougal, Robert .593 

McKune, Capt. Lewis 472 

McKune, Fred 579 

McGovern, Hon. Peter 475 

McKenna. Charles 488 

Mo Gonagle, Jlichael. 556 

McCarthy, Dennis 562 

McWade, John 570 

McGrath, Christie 667 

McLoughlin, T. F 702 

McLoughlin, Dennis 713 

Mcintosh. Dr 710 

:Mellby, Rev. O. A 640 

Mertens, Christopher 687 

Mittelsteadt, William 559 

Min.ske, John 566 

Minges, Hon. .Tosepli 475 

Miller, Martin ■ 568 

Minor, Samuel A 569 

Miner, F. H 617 


Mosher, H. A 486 

Moen, Iver A 687 

Mosher, Weston 585 

Murphy, John Fiskc 503 

Murphy, William .546 

Murphy. James C 619 

Murphy, Patrick J 619 

Murphy, Alichael 648 

Milller, Martin 568 

Mueller, Rev. A 696 

"Idycue, Aiken 663 

Nelson, R 549 

Nelson, Andrew 583 

Nelson, John ,597 

Nelson, N. M 641 

Nettleton, E. F 683 

Newgard, A. J 646 

Newman. Mary . . 574 

Nordmier. Ernest 591 

Norton, H. P 485 

Norton, C. 546 

Obriue, Peter 673 

O'Grady, A. J 511 

Oien John 694 

Oien, OleO 699 

Oleson. Burgiff ,593 

O'Neil. Rev. P. J 631 

Osgood, Luke B 434 

Orcutt, William 687 

Paulson, Hans 559 

Papke, Julius 561 

Parvin, Benaiah 669 

Partridge. Zalmon JI 670 

Parker, Chancey 724 

Peck, Henry. . ." 567 

Peterson, John .596 

Peterson, Mrs. Louisa 603 

Peterson, John P 603 

Peter.son, Lars 604 

Peter.son. John 638 

Phelps. S. 8 557 

Philbrook, William 667 

Philbrook, Mrs. Sarah 667 

Pierce, M. R 717 

Pierce, D 734 

Pierce, Jacob W 667 

Plath, JIartin 569 

Plummer, Moses 598 

Powell. Obediah 624 

Prechel. Gottlieb 433 

Prechel.Pred 433 

Priebe, August 557 

Preston, S. H 704 

Purcell, Philip 569 

Quirk, James .510 

Qverne, Paul 638 

Reibeling, George H., Sr 557 

Reed. .lohn .566 

Remund, Christian 577 

Remund, Samuel 579 

Remund, Albert .580 

Reinhardt, William .583 

Reinhardt, .Justus .583 

Rekkc, O. K 639 

Rotegard, Cari 642 

Remington, C. W 685 

Remington, Dr. C. 1 686 

Reichei. Robert 710 

Rice, E. A 484 

Rice, J. S 486 



Root, James A 548 

Roddle, William 549 

Robbins, H. 600 

Robbins, Asa 601 

Rollins, Samuel S 693 

Ryan, Hon. Michael W 483 

Sawin, Hon. O. U 703 

San Galli, Charles 485 

Sampson, Hon. Anthony 476 

SaufEerer, Hon. John L 474 

Savage, Thomas 613 

Scoville, Harry 691 

Scott, Christopher 423 

Schwenke, Henrj' 641 

Schlosser, B. H 654 

Schuette, Julius 586 

Seaman, Fletcher D 689 

Seymour, Patrick 678 

Sheldon, Myron S 56S 

Shephard, S. P 613 

Singenstrue, Henry .... : 587 

Slattery, James 574 

Smith, Simeon 434 

Smith, Alfred C 627 

Smith, Hon. Warren 473 

Smith, J. B 733 

Spoonburg, John 603 

Spoonburg, Mrs. Christine 602 

Sparks, D. B 655 

Stewart, J.I 486 

Strong, N. E 488 

Stearns, E. B 594 

Stearns, H. K 647 

. Steinhaus, Edward 654 

\,' Sutter, Christian 588 


Sutlief, Asa G 430 

Sutlief , Byron G 543 

Sutliff, Omer H 668 

Sunde, Paul 650 

Swift, H. S 702 

Swift, Kyes ,580 

Swift, P. H 509 

Swann, J. R 649 

Swensou, S 484 

Sybilrud, E. C 641 

Talmadge, W 612 

Thompson, William 683 

Tolin, John A 603 

Toner, Richard 567 

Trowbridge, Ira C 731 

Turnacliff, Jackson 546 

Turnacliff, Ferdinand .547 

Vaughan, James A 683 

Verplank. E. E 639 

Vickere, Isaac 633 

Ward, Hon. W. G ". .. 480 

Walter, Ludwig 570 

Warner, Joseph 613 

Watkins, Henry 627 

Watkins, George W 732 

Wager, William 673 

Wagner, Hon. Christoph 478 

Welch, Buel .551 

Wendland, August 574 

Weed, Edwin S 597 

Weed, C. S 667 

Weed, Jesse R 669 

Weed, Benjamin F 654 


West, Ichabod 659 

Wentworth, W. C 711 

White, Hon. J. C 476 

Wliite, George T 487 

Whipple, D. L 489 

Wheeler, Whitney 563 

Wheeler, John A 660 

Williams, Hon. S. B 477 

Willis, S. J 488 

Willis, Spencer J 567 

Willis, A 613 

Willis, Edward 612 

Wightman, J. H 637 

Wilson, Mrs. Calistii J 669 

Wilkins, John J 691 

Witts, Nelson 692 

Wilkinson, John 693 

Woodbury, A. J 551 

Worden, John .556 

Wood, David 564 

Wood, Roger B 599 

Wood, Eri G 637 

Wood, Luman S 638 

Wood, George H 631 

Wolf, E. J 586 

Wubschall, Fred 423 

Wyman, S. P 723 

Young, Hon. William C 490 

Young, W. E 510 

Young, Joseph D 639 

Young, D. P 685 

Young, Dr. H. J 709 

Youngberg, John 603 

Zell, Fred 604 



Brisbane, Hon. William 463 

Buckman, G. R 715 

Child, Hon. James E 499 

Cronkhite, Edgar 481 

De Graff. C. A 517 


Dunn, James M 625 

Everett, William 535 

Lamb, Hon. M. H 679 

McKune, Capt. Lewis 445 


Phelps, S. S 553 

Plummer, Moses 589 

Smith. Hon. Warren 427 

Ward, Hon. W. G 697 




Location, Topogkapfiy and General Remarks.. 737 

Location 737 

Resources 737 

Topography 737 

Railroads 738 

Population Statistics 738 


History from 1060 to 1887 739 

Early Explorations 739 

During Seventeenth Century 740 

During Eighteenth Century - 743 

During Nineteenth Century 743 

( )rganization as a Territory 745 

( )rganizatiou as a State 745 

Chronological Events 745 


The Indian Massacre 747 


Indian Tribes 747 

Causes that Led to the Outbreak 748 

Maj. Galbraith's Views 749 

Blood Shed 751 

Battles 753 

Surrender of Indians 752 

Release of Captives 752 

Execution of Thirty-eight Indians 752 


Territorial and State Officers 753 

Officers in Territorial Times 753 

Various State Officers 754 

Judiciary 755 


Representation in Congress and Creation of 

Counties 755 

Senators 75G 

Representatives .' . 756 

Creation of Counties 757 









S tlie changes of half a century 
are contemplated, one can scarce- 
ly comprehend or realize that 
the wonderful results of Time's 
marvel-working hand are the 
achievements of a period so 
brief as to be within the re- 
membrance of the present gen- 

Let us turn back, as it were, 
the leaves of Time's great book to but 
a little more than a quarter of a century 
ago, and the stranger would have gazed 
upon a landscape of wondrous beauty, 
selected by Indians as a camping-ground, 
with that singular appreciation of the beau- 
tiful which nature has made an instinct 
in the savage. These vast and rolling 
prairies and woodlands were as green 
then as now ; the prairie flowers bloomed as 
thickly and diffused their fragrance as boun- 
tifull}'. "We are in the haunt of the red 
man, with scarcely a trace of civilization, 
while the freedom of bird and beast reigns 
supreme. But, to-day, what a contrast ! 
Then, all was as nature had formed it, with 
its variegated hues of vegetation ; in winter 
a dreary, snow-mantled desert ; in summer a 


perfect paradise of flowers. Now, all traces 
of the primitive are obliterated ; in place of 
the tall prairie grass and tangled under- 
brush, one beholds the I'ich waving fields of 
golden grain. In place of the dusky war- 
rior's rude cabins are the substantial and 
often elegant dwellings of the thrifty farm- 
ers ; and the " iron horse," swifter than the 
nimble deer, treads the pathwaj^ so recently 
the trail of the red man. Then a sickle of 
fire annually cut away the wild herbage, and 
drove to its death the stag ; now it is the 
home of the cereals, and nourishes on its 
broad bosom thousands of tons of the staple 
products of the great North Star State. 
Then the storm drove the wolf and stag to 
their hiding-place ; now the blast drives the 
herd of the husbandman to comfortable 
shelter. The transformation is complete. 

In this volume it will be the aim of the 
historian to record tlie progress of Steele 
County from its earliest settlement to the 
present time ; to show the changes that have 
from time to time been made and how tliey 
were brought about, and to record the life 
work of individuals who have been instru- 
mental in effecting the change. It will thus 
be seen to embrace events which some may 



think insignificant. "Great events find 
ready record," saj's a well-known writer, 
" but minor doings are often neglected, until 
they become so obscured by the dust of time 
as to be forever clouded." Yet from such 
humble origin may spring the mightiest 
results. The history of men's lives is often 
incomplete through the negligence of those 
whose duty it was to record the dates of 
births, or deaths, or happenings which have 
eventually proven epochs in the world's 
progress. History is sometimes narrowly 
regarded but the doings of rulers, who have 
the world for their theater of operations, 
and the fate of empires for their subjects. 
Such grave performances are, of necessity, 
remembered, but they are no more, in them- 
selves, worthy of preservation than are the 
simpler deeds of heroism which pioneers so 
modestly participated in. Yet when the 
careful student seeks for the moving forces 
which made thrones tremble, he is too often 
rewarded but meagerly. The people are 
seldom recorded in history'. In rare excep- 
tions may be found a clearer ray of light on 
humble undertakings, but they serve only to 
show the other failures stronger by con- 
trast. The Pilgrim Fathers who survived 
the shock of the first rude winter are 
recorded in the sparse annals of New 
England, and their descendants revei't with 
pride to those heroic ancestors. But the fifty 

pilgrims who died during that bleak season 
are never spoken of bj' name, though they 
are none the less worthy of undying rever- 
had some one more thought- 



ful than the rest among John Winthrop's 
band, which two and a half centuries ago set 
deep the seeds of civilization on the rough 
shores of Massachusetts, left a I'ecord of 
events then transpiring, how invaluable 
would that book now be to those who might 
prepare a great work on Boston's history. 
This same fact is true of every old settled 
countr3^ The early pioneers and those who 
took part in the development during the 
first quarter of a centur}' of the history of 
every county are generally lost to the 
knowledge of those who come later, and as 
time goes on it soon becomes impossible to 
obtain reliable information concei-ning them. 
Realizing this fact, this work has been 
compiled. Thousands of facts are herein 
recorded, and individual sketches of hun- 
dreds of citizens, living and dead, are here 
placed in an enduring form. These men 
and women are, or have been, actors in the 
drama of the settlement and development of 
Steele County. By inserting these sketches, 
in addition to other matter, is preserved not 
only the recital of historic fact, but a sub- 
current of individual deeds runs through all, 
giving a realism to the narrative which could 
be imparted in no other way. 



N no portion of the great State of 
Minnesota is Steele County sur- 
passed for its beautiful scenery: 
its rolling prairies interspersed 
and diversified with natural and 
domestic groves ; its meandering 
streams and its carpet of flowers 
and verdure. It lies in the southern or 
soutlieastern part of the State, having for 
its boundaries Rice County on the north. 
Dodge on the east, Freeborn on the south 
and Waseca on the west. As an agricultural 
and stock-raising region, Steele is also hard 
to excel. The soil is very productive — a 
rich, dark loam, well adapted to all cereals 
common to this latitude. It is also well 
suited to the production of tame and in- 
digenous grasses, and stock-raising, both 
native and blooded, attracts the general at- 
tention of the intelligent class of farmers 
that have settled here. The surface between 
the streams is a gently rolling prairie, inter- 
spersed by " oak openings " in various por- 
tions of the county. 

The county is well watered, not only by 
numerous streams, but also by springs, 
brooks and lakes. Straight is the largest 
and most important of the streams. It rises 
in Freeboi-n County and flows northward 
through Steele County, and on until it joins 
the Canon River. Numerous smaller streams 
flow into and swell the Straight River in 
Steele County, the most important of which 
are Maple, Turtle and Crane Creeks. At 
several points in this countj^ the Straight 
River furnishes valuable water-powers which 
have been successfully improved. These 

streams are all lined with a moderate growth 

of natural timber, whicli is heavy and dense 
in the northern part of the county, tliere 
being sufficient to supply the inhabitants of 
Steele County with fuel and fencing for half 
a century to come. 


The geological formation here is about the 
same as characterizes the balance of this im- 
mediate portion of the State. The follow- 
ing extracts from Prof. N. H. Winchell's 
(State geologist) report of the geological and 
natural history survej' of Steele County, 
made in 1870, comprise all that has been 
published officially in relation to this subject : 

"The heaviness of the drift over this 
county effectually covers all the rock. The 
slight fall of the river enables it to uncover 
but little thus covered up. The only expos- 
ure of rock in this county is in Clinton Fall 
Township. The rock is Trenton limestone, 
and is first met on section 33. It is in the 
bed and on the low banks of the Straight 
River. The exposure, at the time visited, 
extended only about four feet above the sur- 
face of the water. The rock is in horizontal 
layers twenty-six inches thick. It is blue on 
fresh fracture, yellow when weathered, com- 
pact, sparry and contains many minute frag- 
ments of blue shale, like the corresponding 
rock at Minneapolis. On section 28 of the 
same township the rock is in thicker layers. 
The following section was seen in one place, 
beginning above : 

" ' 2 feet loam. 

" ' 2 feet blue clay and limestone in thin 

'"4 feet — to water's surface — compact 
blue limestone, in tliin layers.' 




" Near by was another section as follows : 

"-' 2i feet black and red loam. 

" ' 2 feet hard yellow clay. 

" ' 7 feet blue stone in layers 2 to 5 inches 
thick, extending to surface of water.' 

" Below this there is no more rock until 
the county line is passed. At "Wolcott Mills, 
about li miles in Eice County, blue Trenton 
limestone has been quarried in the bed of 
the river. 

" No fossils were found in the rock. This 
stone is used for flagging and other purposes 
at Owatonna, and is considered a good 

" Some evidence of the existence of a cre- 
taceous area in the State was found. On the 
southeast quarter of section 26 of Deerfield, 
on the farm of Aug. Hoffman, coal has 
been found in sinking a well. Dr. G. A. 
Rossback tells the writer that they went 
through 25 feet of black-blue clay, in the 
under part of which were fragments of coal. 
After that they passed through gravel, in 
which also were coal fragments. At the 
depth of 63 or 64 feet rock was struck ; the 
drill showed it to be black slate with pieces 
of coal imbedded in it. Although no speci- 
mens of the coal were seen by the writer, 
the descrijition given would answer for cre- 
taceous lignite. When the matter is further 
explored all doulit as to the geological hori- 
zon of the rock will be cleared up. Mean 
time the evidence from the geology of ad- 
joining counties, as well as the nature of the 
rock itself, justifies us in calling the rock 

"The drift is here, as already mentioned, 
very heavy. Sections of it were seen at 
several places. A gravel knoll, cut through 
at Owatonna, showed one foot of black loam 
on the top, then four feet of yellow, sandy 
clay, then seven feet of assorted sand and 
gravel. Other sections along the railroads 
showed essentiall}'^ the same arrangement. 
Among the gravel-pebbles fragments of ar- 
gillite were common." 

The Owatonna mineral springs should be 
mentioned. They ai'e nine in number, and 
are located about one and one-half miles 
northeast of the cit3^ They lie along Maple 
Creek, at the base of a low, clave}' bluff. Of 
the five seen by the writer, four deposited 
iron. The water of the fifth had a decidedly 
bluish tint. Fountain Spring was put down 
twenty-two feet and now flows out freely, 
raising the water about five feet above the 
surface. The others are natural springs. 
They are all undoubtedly due to the clay floor 
underlying the loose materials of the drift. 
The taste of the water is mineral. The 
analysis of the water, published by the Owa- 
tonna Mineral Springs Company, is ap- 
pended : 

In one gallon, or 231 cubic inches, there are : 

Chloride of Sodium 1680 grains. 

Sulphate of Sodium 2856 " 

Bicarbonate of Sodium 1.8592 " 

Bicarbonate of Calcium 13.1992 " 

Bicarbonate of Magnesium 5.2920 " 

Bicarbonate of Protoxide of Iron .6160 " 

Alumina 2800 

Silica 1.1200 " 

Organic Matter a trace. 

Total 22.8200 grains. 



O the readers of local history, the 
chapter pertaining to the early 
settlement of a country is of gen- 
eral interest ; especially is this the 
case with pioneers themselves, 
those who have witnessed the 
changes that have been made, 
who have seen a trackless wilder- 
ness transformed into a beautiful 
country, and tilled with an enter- 
prising, happy people. He here 
roads, slowly and critically, every word, re- 
calling memories of the past, which for a gen- 
eration have been buried among a host of rec- 
ollections, which now arise before him like a 
dream. His old associations, the deeds, the 
trials and battles against hunger and cold, 
while the settlers were few and far between, 
and wolves howled about the little log cabin, 
sending a chill to his heart, and the wind driv- 
ing the sifting snow through the crevices — 
all now arise vividly before him. Often is it 
with pleasure he can recall these recollections, 
viewing with satisfaction the thought that 
he has lived to see a thrifty and wealthy land, 
dotted with schoolhouses and churches, vil- 
lages and cities. 

But again it will be with sadness that the 
past is recalled, as thoughts spring up of the 
dark and painful side of early days. How a 
wife, whose virtues, bravery and simplicity 
will always be remembered, or a child, prat- 
tling in innocence, being called from earth to 
the eternal home, was laid away under the 
cruel sod, in solemn quietude, by the rougli 
but tender hands of hardy pioneers. Time 
had partially allayed the sting, but the wound 
is now uncovered by the allusion to days 

gone by, and the cases are not a few, where a 
tear of bitter sadness wiU course down the 
cheek in honor of the memory of those who 
have departed. 

Notwithstanding the many disadvantages 
and even sorrows attendant upon the first 
steps of civilization, the adversities to be en- 
countered, the pioneers led a happy life. The 
absence of the aristocratic and domineerine: 
power of wealth and position must have 
been a source of comfort and satisfaction. 
Merit alone insured equality, and this could 
not be suppressed by traditions. The brother- 
hood of man was illustrated in a sincere and 
practical waj'^, and hospitality was not con- 
sidered so much a Christian trait as a duty 
to humanity. 


The first claims in Steele County were 
made in the summer of 1853 by A. L. Wright, 
Chauncey Lull, Smith and Orlando Johnson 
and L. M. Howard, who staked off claims, 
and some members of the party began im- 
provements that fall. All these selected land 
in what has since become Medford Township. 
Late that fall A. L. Wright and Chauncey 
Lull erected the first cabin in the county. 
These two were the only parties who spent 
the following winter of l«53-i here. This 
was the extent of the settlement made in 

In 1854 a number came, among them be- 
ing W. W. Wilkins, William Allen, John San- 
born, William K. Colling, Edwin Drake, Or- 
lando Bartholomew, David Sanborn, A. W. 
and F. F. Adams, W. W. Arnold, F. W. Fisk, 
James Huginan, A. B. Cornell, W. F. Pettit, 
G. W. Green, J. W. Park and 8. B. Smith. 




In 1855-6 many others came and all parts 
of the county received settlers. The follow- 
ing is a partial list of the pioneers : 

David Lindersmitli, Nelson Morehouse, 
Dr. E. M. Morehouse, James and Sandford 
Hayes, Mr. Crehore, P. P. Carlton, John 
Odell, James Cole, N. Winship, J. H. and 
Ezra Abbott, C. and J. Ellison, J. W. Mor- 
ford, A. Phelps, James Connell, M. A. Dailej', 
L. B. Town, B. L. Arnold, Eev. A. Town, 
Obed Gains, P. Sanford, Basil Meek, J. Wil- 
son, John Wilcox, Edward McCartney, Mr. 
Hobaugh, Ezra Crandall, F. J. Stevens, A. 
M. Fitzsimmons, C. II. Walker, W. F. Drum, 
Thomas Thompson, E. W. Levi, and Albert 
Bailey, Mr. Savins, Dr. Thomas Kenyon, T. 
J. Clark, O. A. Barnes, Dexter Smith, E. 
Lagro, David Burns, O. Fisher, II. Catlin, 
John Catlin, Charles R. Knowlton, Warren 
Fisher, J. E. Hughes, Manna Case, Chas. 
McCarty, William Burns, WiUiam Close, 
Robert Adair, George Dennis, Newton Park- 
er, D. C. Tiffany, Samuel Thompson, Sand- 
ford Kinnej^, E. Teed, Samuel Hastings, 
William Manson, G. W. Knapp, John Ben- 
nett, R. Heath, Capt. John Ball, A. B. Clark, 
G. AV. Grimshaw, Charles Adsit, Amos Coggs- 
well, S. A. Sargent, Harvey Eastman, Oscar 
King, Mr. P. Erham, William Shea, C. V. 
Brown, Iliram Pitcher, Levi Chase, Thos. 
McCormick, Robt. Reynolds, H. S. Howen, 
Enfin Enfinson, J. Gordon, D. T. Gordon, 
M. Warren, Mr. Winchell, F. B. Davis, C. 
W. Curtis, L. E. Thompson, Mr. Magoon, 
David Bayley, Thomas Bray, John Blythe, 
Levi Annis, J. J. Brackett, Ira Foster. 

Mr. L. M. Howard, who had settled in the 
town of Medford, commenced breaking 
pi'airie in September, 1853, which was the 
first plowing done in the county. Mr. John 
Sanborn, who came in the spring of 1854, 
brought his familj' witli liim, and located in 
the southern part of the town. Mrs. Sanborn 
is said to be the first woman to locate in 
Steele County. 

In 1855 Messrs. Abbott Brothers built a 
steam sawmill, and in 1856 another saw- 

mill was erected by Messrs. Melvin, Rideout 
& Hall. The first school in the county was 
taught on the present site of Owatonna by 
Miss Helen Holbrook in 1855. 

In May, 185i, William T. Pettit and A. B. 
Cornell located on the present site of Owa- 
tonna. Mr. Cornell made a claim on the east 
and Mr. Pettit on the west side of the river. 
The first dwelling at this point was built of 
poles, with prairie grass for a roof, by Mr. 
Cornell. In the commencement of the early 
settlement, nearly all buildings were of logs, 
and of such Mr. N. Winship built a hotel in 
1855. In the summer of the same year, Mr. 
Pettit built the first frame house, paying 
$107 per thousand for a part of the pine 
lumber, which he bought at Red Wing. In 
the spring of 1856, Ezra Abbott built a steam 
sawmill, and in the fall Mr. N. Morehouse 
built a saw-mill on the water-power on the 
west bank of the river. These mills added 
very materially to the growth and interests 
of the new settlement. 

In the various township and city liistories 
the early settlement is carried to a later day. 
The names of many other early settlers 
might be given here, but thej^ are omitted 
to avoid repetition. 

In those early days the struggle was a 
hand-to-hand conflict with stern necessity 
and the disadvantages that must be met 
before the means of subsistence and the 
necessaries of life could be supjilied from the 
cultivation of the soil. Many a time was the 
meal to furnish the family with bread man- 
ufactured in a coffee-mill, and oftener still 
was the wheat or corn boiled and eaten with- 
out grinding in any manner. Adventures 
were but few of a startling nature. 

Before any post routes were established 
in this section, it was only occasionally that 
the people received any mail matter, and 
when they did it was generally through the 
kindness of some of the settlers who would 
go to Faribault, which was the nearest post- 
office, and bring the bundle for all the set- 
tlers. A. B. Cornell was often the messen- 



ger, and at such times as the river was 
swollen so that teams could not ford it, he 
used to swim across and go on foot to pro- 
cure the mail, and on returning, when he 
reached the river he would tie the letters 
and papers in a bundle and attaching a stone 
thereto would throw the bundle across and 
then swim across and deliver the mail to 
those to whom it was directed. The news 
in those times was fully appreciated by all 
who were so fortunate as to have letters 
from friends. 

The first celebration of independence in 
Steele County was held at Owatonna, on the 
4th of July, 1S56. The grounds used were 
near the present site of the Congregational 
Church. Some arrangement had been made 
with Mr. and Mrs. N. Winship to get up a 
dinner, and it was served at Morford's old 
building, a temporary one which had been 
erected. A rich feast was the result. After 
they got the crowd together it was found 
that there was no music, and not an instru- 
ment in town that anyone could play ; so 
David Lindersmith's fife was sent for, and 
he took the place of a brass band and led the 
crowd while they marched in procession 
through the few streets in the village. Judge 
Donaldson acted as marshal of the day. H. 
M. Sheetz, the orator of the day, read the 
declaration and delivered an address. An 
enjoyable time was had. The attendance 
numbered about 150 persons from the village 
and surrounding country. 

The second celebration was held in 1857. 
It was a genuine basket-picnic affair. F. J. 
Stevens, of Meriden Township, was the ora- 
tor of the day. 

In 1859 another enjoyable celebration was 
held at Owatonna on the 4th of July. It 
was a picnic gathering. The intention was 
to hold it out of dooi's, but the weather 
turned out so cold that it was adjourned to 
J. W. Morford's building, now occupied by 
Rosebrook's store, which was just being fin- 
ished. Overcoats and winter clothing were 
very comfortable, and Hakes of snow even 

fell. The orators were Hon. "W. R. Kinyon, 
Elder Cady and Mr. and Mi-s. H. M. Sheetz. 
Quite a discussion was had over the free-soil 
or abolition question. 


During the winter of 1854-5 Congress, for 
the purpose of aiding in the establishment of 
western mail routes, granted for that pur- 
pose one section of land for every twenty 
miles of route operated, under certain con- 
ditions. Of course the stage companies at 
once prepared to take advantage of this, and 
stations were established on these sections — • 
twenty miles apart. The first stage run 
through Owatonna was from St. Paul south. 
This was late in 1855. Owatonna was the 
terminus for a time. A postoifice had been 
established at Medford, but the mail sacks 
were not opened at Owatonna until later. 

In the winter of 1855-6, or late in the fall 
of 1855, as is claimed by some of the old set- 
tlers, stages commenced running west from 
Winona carrying mail on west to St. Peter. 
The first mail bag that went to the latter 
place contained one letter — of greeting 
from the postmaster at Winona to the one 
at St. Peter. Stages were not really put on 
for passenger travel until 1856, and after 
that they were run regularly. The manager 
was a man named Lord, who lived in 
Winona and who, as a rule, drove the stage 
himself. The route extended from Winona 
west, through Owatonna and other points to 
Travel's des Sioux or St. Peter. The first 
stage arrived here from the east, during the 
last week in September, 1855. 

A station was located on section 6, near 
the northwest corner of Owatonna Town- 
ship. Stageg were run weekly to St. Peter 
and return to Winona. 

In 1856 M. O. Walker, succeeding Lord, 
became proprietor of the stage line, and his 
name became a familiar one in almost eveiy 
settlement in the northwest. This stage 
line continued in operation until the railroad 
reached Owatonna in 1866, and then moved 
westward, followed closely by the lines of 



railway. "Walker at one period, in 1857-8, 
became badly involved in debt. He owned 
many different lines ol' stages, and, as the 
financial crash, which came at about this 
time, checked travel, many of these lines did 
not pay expenses. Often the agents or 
drivers were unable to pay bills for repairs 
and keeping contracted along the route, and 
it seems several of this character were run 
up in Owatonna. Finally papers were got 
out and placed in the hands of the sheriff, 
who was instructed to attach Walker's 
horses as they drove through, and this pro- 
cedure was repeated many times, the sheriff 
often having from ten to fifteen of Walker's 
horses in his charge. Yet it was sometimes a 
difficult matter to attach the teams. The 
stages carried United States mail, and so long 
as a mail-sack remained in the wagon, the 
sheriff dare not attach the team for fear of vio- 
lating the United States statutes in detaining 
the mails or obstructing the route. Ordinaril}' 
the sheriff would stand behind the corner of 
the house, and as soon as the sack was car- 
ried into the postoffice he would walk out 
and claim the team. The carriers got so they 
would watch for this and would get a sack 
on just as soon as one was taken off. Walker 
wbuld invariably pay his bills after a short 
delay, and then matters would move on 
smoothly until the next creditor would swear 
out an attachment. In 1859 Nichols & 
Wheeler became proprietors of the stage 
line. Thej' continued it for about four years, 
when it was purchased by Burbank & Co. 
who operated it until the railroad came 
in 1866. A north and south stage line 
was also put in operation at an early day. 

With the beginning of 1856 stages arrived 
regularly on this line, which was then oper- 
ated by Brackett & Co. Williamson tfe Cot- 
ter succeeded them and operated the line 
until the railroad was built through. Philo 
Finch, of Clinton Falls, was one of the 
drivers on this route for Williamson & Cotter. 
They also had a station every twenty miles, 
located on the lands which they claimed un- 
der the grant. They located a town called 
Oak Glen in Steele County, on section 1, in 
what is now Blooming Prairie Township, 
and laid plans for the erection of a city. 
This line continued in active operation until 
the railway was put through in 1866-7. 
The proposed city never succeeded in getting 
a fair start, and when the railroad reached 
this locality the village of Blooming Prairie 
was laid out on section 25, in the same 
township, and Oak Glen became a thing 
of the past. 

In 1856 a mail route was established from 
Owatonna to Geneva, and E. C. Stacy was 
the first to operate it. Nathaniel Winsiiip 
next got the contract and continued to run 
it for four years. The mail was carried 
sometimes with a buggy, again on horseback 
and frequently on foot. Hugh Murray is 
I'emembered as having footed it across the 
country with the mail on his back. 

As early as 1857 a mail route was estab- 
lished from Red Wing to Blue Earth City, 
and Philo Hawes became the carrier. Part 
of the time he was in company with a part- 
ner under the firm name of Cotter c% 
Hawes. This was continued until about tlie 
time the railroads were completed to this 




TEELE COUNTY was created 

1 February 20, 1856, at the sixth 

session of the territorial legisla- 

:Sy ture, which was held in St. Paul. 

;// Ji Up to that time the territory now 

(-> ^ comprising- it, together with many 

other counties in southern and 

southeastern Minnesota, formed a 

part of Rice County. When 

Steele was set off as a county it 

was provided that it should remain 

f attached to Rice for civil and judi- 
cial purposes. The territory it then 
embraced included all of the pres- 
ent county of Waseca together with the two 
western tier of townships in Steele. The 
eastern tiers of townships of Steele, as now 
formed, was then a part of Dodge County. 
The new county was named " Steele " in 
honor of Franklin Steele, of St. Anthony, a 
government contractor and a man of prom- 
inence in early days, who took an active in- 
terest in State politics, and made a large for- 
tune early in the history of the State. 
• The settlement in the territory from which 
Steele was created was only fairly com- 
menced at that time, as wiU be seen by read- 
ing other chapters in this volume. A few 
settlers had gathered about Medford, a few 
at Owatonna, and a scattering settler here 
and there throughout the balance of the 
county comprised its population at that 
time. During the early part of the year 
1855, a great many additions were made to 
the various settlements. In the meantime 

the Abbotts — Ezra and John H. — had be- 
come interested here and in connection with 
A. B. Cornell and Wm. F. Pettit were lay- 
ing the foundation for the future city of 
Owatonna. In the summer the plans for 
county organization were matured very 
quietly and in secret by the town proprie- 
tors of Owatonna, and parties went to St. 
Paul to see the territorial governor, Willis 
A. Gorman. A. B. Cornell was the prime 
mover in the matter. No petition was got 
up, nor were the settlers generally cognizant 
of the proposed attempt at organization, or 
they would undouljtedly have insisted upon 
having a hand in the matter, and having 
something to say as to who should be count}' 
officers. Cornell, together with a few others, 
got 'Squire Pierce to accompany them, and, 
when in the presence of the governor, Mr. 
Cornell asked that the county be organized, 
and presented a list of gentlemen for officers. 
The governor, a frank, whole-souled fellow, 
thought this was the desire of the citizens 
here and acceded. 'Squire Pierce until then 
had no knowledge of the scheme, but he said 
he could not go back upon Cornell at that 
time, so he kept quiet and the governor took 
him for one of the schemers. Afterward, 
some of the citizens here, meeting Gorman 
at Faribault, took him to task for his actions, 
and the governor was very wrathy, but it 
was too late — Steele was organized and he 
could not disorganize it. The result of this 
visit was the appointment of S. B. Smith, F. 
Intrram and F. W. Fisk as commissioners to 




organize Steele Countv. Several of the 
county offices were filled by appointment at 
the same time, although it has been impos- 
sible to find records which give a full list. 
The old settlers nearly all agree, however, 
that Charles Ellison was appointed register 
of deeds ; Simeon Case, prosecuting attor- 
ney; Smith Johnson, judge of probate ; J. H. 
Catlin, clerk of court, and Wm. F. Pettit, 

This all took place in the summer of 1855. 
The same fall, on the 9th of October, a gen- 
eral election was held for State officers, only 
one county officer being elected — WiUiam 
F. Pettit, sheriff. At this election everyone 
voted — whether they had been here one 
month or six — and there were about 117 
votes polled in the county. It is impossible at 
this time to learn why only one county offi- 
cer (sheriff) should have been elected, and 
some of the oldest and best-posted of the old 
settlers claim that it is a mistake ; others that 
it was merely a joke, yet as the records 
show it, this was the first election ever held 
in the county. The polling place at Owa- 
touna was in the old log schoolhouse, or 
rather, a temporary structure of logs and 
brush, which stood near where the second 
ward school-building is now located. Dr. 
E. M. Morehouse was one of the clerks of 
this election, and D. B. Selleck one of the 
judges. At that time there was a good deal 
of rivalry between Owatonna and Medford, 
as each wanted to make as good a showing. 
as possible. At this election Smith Johnson, 
Dr. Finch and Isaac Sanborn came to Owa- 
tonna to watch the polls and prevent fraud, 
and they soon began challenging votes. At 
this, Cornell and Pettit got them aside and 
while they were arguing, the word went out 
to the boys to file in and vote. One party 
who attended claims that there were fifty- 
three illegal votes polled inside of thirty 
minutes. The difficulty between the two lo- 
calities was not jiarticularly relating to the 
county-seat but more of a local jealousy or 
rivahy to get the start in a business sense. 

It cited that when the Owatonna peo- 
ple were endeavoring to get a postoffice it 
was blocked by the Medford postmaster, 
Smith Johnson, Sr., refusing to sign the 
petition. The law in those daj's required 
that a petition for a postoffice must be 
signed by the nearest postmaster. Medford 
had secured the establishment of a post- 
office first, and for a long time Mr. Johnson 
refused to sign the Owatonna petition. 

Whether all of the county officers a])point- 
ed by the governor in the summer of 1855 
qualified or not, is impossible to say, yet it 
is known that many of them did. In July, 
1856, the following is a list of the county 
officers who were serving, although how 
some of them came to hold the offices cannot 
be told. The list is taken from a copy of 
the Watchman and Register, dated July 29, 

County commissioners : Samuel B. Smith, 
"William Allen and Melmer P. Ide. 

Register of deeds, Charles EUison. 

Sherifl', William F. Pettit. 

Treasurer, David Sanborn. 

Surveyor, John W. Park. 

Clerk of court, F. Wilbur Fisk. 

District attorney, John M. Blivin. 

Judge of probate, Franklin B. Davis. 

Assessors : David Lindersmith, Charles 
Thompson and Luke Osgood. 

Supervisor of roads, David Lindersmith. 

Justices of the peace : Addison Phelps 
and Seymour Howe for Owatonna precinct ; 
Sylvester McNitt for Franklin ; Smith 
Johnson, Sr., for Medford ; Simeon Smith 
for Swavesey ; and Curtis Hatch and J. A. 
Bassett for Empire. 

Official matters moved along smoothly 
during this year, 1855-6. It appears that 
all deeds and official instruments were still 
being recorded in Rice County for some 
reason, and Steele County books were not 
opened for the reception of these instru- 
ments until in the autumn of 1856. 

Late in the summer of 1856 a convention 
was held at Owatonna for the nomination 



of officers, and a heated campaign followed, 
in which all hands throughout what is now 
Steele and Waseca Counties took an active 
part. The county-seat question was not the 
leading issue, as has been stated in several 
previously published histories, but it was 
more particularly over the question as to 
who should be leaders ; as one old settler 
puts it, it was " Cornell " or "anti-Cornell." 
Cornell was certainly quite an apt hand to 
stir up animosities and strife. He was 
active and energetic, unsparing to a foe, 
and was for " Cornell, first, last and all the 
time." This convention was called a " Peo- 
ple's Convention," and was not particularly 
partisan, or in favor of any exclusive polit- 
ical party. In fact, creeds were hard to dis- 
tinguish in those days. Cornell was nomi- 
nated for the legislature, and was defeated 
at the polls by Kev. O. A. Thomas. James 
Connell was nominated for register of deeds, 
but Charles Ellison came out as an independ- 
ent candidate and got Connell to withdi'aw. 
Park defeated Ellison a,t the polls. David 
Lindersmith was nominated for sheriff ; 
David Sanborn for treasurer; J. Bradish, of 
the present Waseca County, for attorney ; 
H. W. Peck, one of the proprietors of the 
town of Empire in what is now in Waseca 
County, for surveyor ; J. M. Bhvin, of 
Swavesey Township for coroner ; and Ezra 
Abbott for superintendent of schools. No 
convention was held to put an anti-Cornell 
ticket in the field, but the leading " anties " 
got togethei", and opposing candidates were 
announced for all of the offices, and in some 
cases half a dozen for each. G. W. Green 
led the opposition in what is now Steele 
County, while Lewis McCune and James E. 
Child, in what is now Waseca County, took 
an active part in opposing Cornell in the 
west end. Child was an able man, and 
directed his work chiefly against Cornell for 
representative and Ellison for register of 
deeds. The latter was something of a 
chameleon as to his political faith and a 
little inclined to chang-e with whomever he 

was talking with. Mr. Child wrote a i)oem 
relating to this, in which was the foUow- 

Mr. Ellison, Esquire, 
You ought to look higher 

Than to think of registering deeds. 
The people up here 
Feel desperately queer 

To know your political creed." 

The vote was badly spht up as will be 
seen by the official vote published in another 
chapter. A. B. Cornell and J. H. Abbott, 
in the meantime — in July, 1856, — had estab- 
lished a paper at Owatonna, under the name 
of the Watchman and Register and this took 
an active part in the campaign. 

On the lith of October, 1856. the election 
came off. It was the first election of county 
officers. The offices were all fiUed as fol- 
lows : Register of deeds, John W. Park ; 
sheriff, David Lindersmith ; treasurer, David 
Sanborn ; judge of probate, Bazil Meek ; 
district attorney, Geo. W. Green ; surveyor, 
H. W. Peck ; coroner, Thomas Kenyon ; 
auditor, Z. B. Moore ; superintendent of 
schools, Ezra Abbott ; for assessors Geo. O. 
Hankerson, P. Sanford, P. Healey, James E. 
Child, L. B. Town and John A. Ileadley all 
received vote§ ; county commissioners, David 
Smith, N. Winship and William Allen. 

On the 1st of August, 1855, the board of 
commissioners met for the first time and the 
organization of Steel County was perfected, 
the county -seat being located at Owatonna. 
Since that time the official history of the 
county has been uneventful. The various 
offices have almost without a single excep- 
tion always been filled by capable and honest 
men, and the thread of history runs smoothl}' 
and without interi-uption down to the present 
day. Elsewhere in this volume we trace all 
the prominent acts of the various gentlemen 
who have filled the offices, together with a 
full history of the Ijoard of count}' commis- 
sioners, witji their acts and a list of members 
in the various years since the county was 




Even before the organization of Steele 
Colinty it became apparent to the settlers at 
Owatonna that the boundaries of the county 
were arranged disadvantageous to the inter- 
ests of the embryo city. The county, when 
first created, embraced twenty congressional 
townships — i. e., all of Waseca County and 
the eight western townships of the present 
county of Steele. This arrangement left 
Owatonna in the northeast corner of the 
county, three miles from the east and seven 
from the north line of the county. It Avas 
evident that this was not the point to be 
readily chosen as the county-seat, and it 
would be difficult, as years went by and set- 
tlement increased, to keep the county-seat at 
a point so far from the geographical center 
of tiie county. Even then there were other 
points springing up at various places, and 
were becoming active rivals for county-seat 
honors. "Wilton had a splendid location and 
John C. Ide was already ]iutting up a hotel 
and sawmill and attracting considei'able at- 
tention toward that point. A village called 
Meriden, in the present township of that 
name, was much nearer the geographical 
center of the county than Owatonna, and a 
number of capable men had located there 
and were actively advancing the interests of 

that location. Beside these a number of 
other points were springing up which con- 
stantly menaced the future of Owatonna's 
county-seat interests. After the county was 
organized, in August, 1855, and from that time 
through the following months the matter 
was occasionally discussed and finally a plan 
was matured which proved a success in set- 
tling the matter favorably to Owatonna's in- 
terests. It was to have one tier of town- 
ships set off from Dodge County and attached 
to Steele; and then to detach the western 
half of Steele County and organize that as 
Waseca County. This suited Mantonville, 
as they had been located too far east, and it 
gave Wilton a chance to become the county- 
seat of Waseca County. In February, 1856, 
an act was passed by the legislature making 
the desired change, and townships 105, 106, 
107 and 108, range 19, became a part of 
Steele County. On the 27th of February, 
1857, an act was passed by the legislature 
creating AVaseca County, and located the 
county-seat of the new county at Wilton. 
This arranged the lines as they remain at the 
present time, and ended all trouble as to 
county lines, settling a matter which up to 
that time had been an absorbing topic for 
the citizens in the territory affected. 



IIE first meeting of the board of 
county commissioners appointed 
by the -governor was held on 
the 1st day of August, 1855, at 
the house of A. B. Cornell, on the 
present site of Owatonna. The 
opening sentence of the record is 
as follows : "Agreeable to direc- 
tion from the Governor of the 
territory of Minnesota, the board 
met at the house of A. B. Cor- 
nell, and, after taking the oath, 
proceeded to organize the county 
by appointing S. B. Smith chair- 
man of the board. The first 
work of the board was to divide the county 
into townships, or precincts, as they were 
then called — three in number — which they 
named Owatonna, Swavesey and Le Seuer, 
only the first named of which embraced ter- 
ritory now included in Steele Countj^, the 
other two embracing the territory' now form- 
ing Waseca County. It was also ordered 
that the seat of justice of Steele County be 
located at Owatonna, on the southeast quar- 
ter of section 9, township 107, range 20. 
The board at that time consisted of S. B. 
Smith, chairman , F. Ingram and F. W. 
Fisk, although the last named does not 
appear to have attended this meeting. From 
the record this appears to have been all that 
was accomplished at the first meeting. 
Charles Ellison was clerk of the board, and 
A. B. Cornell, deputy. On the 25th of 
August, 1855, a special meeting of the board 
was held, at which Medford Township was 
set off from Owatonna, and its organization 
was authorized. 

The first count}' roads to be acted upon 

were considered on the 17th of October, 
1855. They were as follows: "One from 
Owatonna to the county line in the direc- 
tion of Drake's"; one from the east 
county line in the direction of Mankato, 
and "one fi'om Owatonna to the county line 
near Ralph Stout's." Sylvester McNitt and 
Henry A. Catlin were ap])ointed to view 
and report on the last mentioned road, 
"with the understanding that they were 
to make no charge to the county for 
such services." At this same meeting the 
vote of Steele County (election on October 9, 
1855) was canvassed, the canvassers being 
Addison Phelps and J. Jenkins, justices of 
the peace, and Charles Ellison, clerk of the 
board of county commissionei's. 

At the next meeting, on the 10th of 
November, 1855, the newl3'-elected board of 
count}^ commissioners held their first meeting. 
The board was composed of S. B. Smith, 
chairman, F. "W. Fisk and John II. Abbott. 

On the 7th of April, 1856, the county was 
divided into assessors' districts, and a short 
time later Benjamin L. Arnold, James E. 
Child and Wilbur Fisk were ai)pointed 
county assessors. 

In April, of the same year, the finances of 
the county were clearly shown by the fol- 
lowing statement : "An order was jiresented 
to the board by John W. Park, for services 
as road viewer and county surveyor, to the 
amount of $29. The condition of the 
finances of the county is as follows : County 
in delt, $29:' 

At this same meeting Franklin Township 
was organized, and several changes made in 
the townships lying in what is now Waseca 




In April, 1856, the first list of grand and 
petit jurors was drawn by the board of 
county commissioners, as follows : 

Orand Jurors: Joseph Smith, Andrew 
I. Bell, A. B. Cornell, Michael Johnson, 
Curtis Hatch, Hiram Jenkins, Samuel Drake, 
Samuel F. Wyman, M. P. Ide, Samuel M. 
Freeman, Orlando Bartholomew, John San- 
born, Alfred M. U. Sanborn, C. "W. Curtis, 

A. L. Wright, Wm. W. Arnold, Avery "W. 
Adams, Geo. W. Patridge, Lewis Howard, 
Smith Johnson, Sr., David Lindersmith, 
Seymour Howe, B. L. Arnold, P. Carlton, 
W". W. Finch, A. Selleck, Dexter Carlton, 
Ealph Kenyon, John H. Abbott, Geo. W. 
Drew, Henry A. Catlin, Bazil Meek, Sr., 
Abram Fitzsimmons, Sylvester McNitt, N. 
Winship, Eev. Thomas, Mr. Adair, Sr., 
Lorenzo Muckey, John Jenkins, S. M. Case, 
John W. Park," A. Phelps, Wm. Allen, F. B. 
Davis, Luther Huntley, Eev. A. Town, Wm. 
W. Eobinson, Wm. Burns, W. E. Fisk, James 
E. Child. 

Petit Jurors : G. O. Hankerson, Benj. A. 
Freeman, W. K. Colling, Henry C. Gilman, 
Francis S. Adams, Philip Smith, D. B. Kim- 
ball, Ealph Stout, Mr. Lane, Mr. Strong, 
Smith Johnson, Jr., Wallace W. Wilkins, 
Levi J. Morehouse, Nelson Morehouse, Eli 
M. Morehouse, P. Sanford, E. S. Hays, D. 

B. Selleck, L. F. Case, Phillip Miller, John 
Duckering, M. I. Prisbj^, L. B. Town, John 
W. Catlin, Welcom Curtis, Ilenrick Eum- 
hose, Hiram Eobinson, Hobart Hutchinson, 
Chas. Ellison, Eobt. McDoiigall, I. N. Kelly, 
Jos. W. Bui'ch, Hiram Greenwold, F. New- 
land, T. Dennis, L. Town, Joel Wilson, I. M. 
Sanborn, Geo. W. Squires, Benjamin Scott, 
S. Thompson, Clinton Simmons, Emmons 
Eeed, Daniel Poole, John Truesdale, Wm. 
Knapp, Moses Eivard, Francis Judd, Fletcher 
Dubois, Mr. Miller, Mr. Adams, Wm. 
McCarty, W. K. Colling, John Wilcox, G. 
G. Files, Mr. Keys, T. Johnson, David 
Jenkins, Frederick Shaw, James McNitt, 
Ashley Harris, Thos. G. Meek, Jeptha Town, 
James Overstreet, John Moon, Joseph Wag- 

ner, L. E. Thompson, F. W. Bliss, Asa B. 
SutliflF, Bazil Meek, Jr., Abram Barnhard, 
John Hortop, Jr. 

On the 7th of July, 1850, a meeting of 
the board was held at the store of Adolphus 
Town, in Owatonna, and the record shows 
the names of S. B. Smith, chairman, William 
Allen and Melmer P. Ide as composing it. 
David Lindersmith, Levi Thompson and L. 
B. Osgood were appointed to assess the 
county.* It was also ordered that the county 
officers should hold their offices open at the 
countj'-seat, and that the board would pro- 
vide a place in the store of Park & Smith 
for the county treasurer. 

For the year 1857 the members of the 
board of commissioners consisted of Nathan- 
iel Winship, of Owatonna, chairman ; Wm. 
Allen, of Medford, and David Smith. At 
their first meeting, in 1857, this board 
resolved that the offices of clerk of court and 
county treasurer should be held at the office 
of John W. Park, and that the sheriff's 
office should be kept at his house. 

The finances of the county are again 
shown up at the January meeting of the 
board in 1857, when the following sentence 
appears on the records: ^'■Finances of the 
county — in debt." 

The second drawing of jurors occurred 
at the April session, 1857, when the list was 
made up as follows : 

Grand Jurors : John A. Hadley, Frank- 
lin B. Davis, Chas. W. Curtis, Henry Magird, 
J. A. Goodwin, E. G. Sturgiss, Wallace W. 
Wilkin, John H. Abbott, B. L. Arnold, 
Joel. Wilson, N. Breidenstein, Thomas 
Thomson, Eobt. Adair, Dexter Carlton, AVm. 

F. Pettit, Alson Selleck, E. A. Page, Luke 
Colburn, Eobt. McDonald, W. H. Chamber- 
lain, H. C. Gilman, L. H. Lane, W. G. 
Allen, Nelson Skivring, A. B. Thompson, 
Addison Phelps, Ezra Abbott, C. B. Pettie, 

G. W. Grimshaw, Smith Johnson, John D. 

* This assessment all fell through as illegal, from the fact 
that (inly one of them, David Lindersmith, made his report 
within the time allowed by law.— Editor. 



Sanborn, Luke B. Osgood, John H. Wheeler, 
Luther Huntley. 

Petit Jurors : James W. Adams, John Q. 
Swanger, John A. Pierce, Charles Mc- 
Carty, D. A. Kimball, Lorenzo Muckey, Geo. 
O. PLankerson, Elijah Brown, B. A. Freeman, 
Wm. Kunalls, Samuel Eing, L. F. Case, 
Hugh Burns, L. B. Towns, John Moon, 
Christopher Dickinson, Jonathan Howell, 
L. P. Stowell, C. L. Lowell, Thos. J. Kerr, 
Hugh McDougall, Wra. Wells, W.W. Hank- 
erson, Ralph E. Stout, Geo. Strong, Jas. 
Overstreet, James Shipley, Hiram Greenud, 
P. P. Carlton, John Wilcox, E. Eklred, 
Simeon Case, G. G. Tiles, Lucius Town, Wm. 
Webster, Edward Fay, John B. Douglas, 
Frederick Roljerts. Chas. Green, Isaac C. 
Pierce, John Oliver, Francis F. Adams, 
Samuel Morrison, Avery W. Adams, Alfred 
H. Sanborn, Ashley Harris, Chas. McHenry, 
Asa Carpenter, A. L. Wright, Orlando Bar- 
tholomew, G. H. Partridge, Thos. Huntley, 
Simeon Smith, E. K. Carlton, Wm. Donel- 
son, A. L Bell, P. Q. Horton, A. R. Wilson, 
Wm. J. Moon, Geo. Leorang, Patrick 
Healey, John Adair, H. W. Hutchinson, 
A. P. Peterson, Marcus Seymour, D. B. Sel- 
leck, Sylvester Mcxsitt, Christopher Hayes. 

In Juty, 1857, from the records it ap])ears 
that the board was composed of N. Winship, 
chairman ; William Allen, of Medford, and 
A. A. Woodward, of Somerset. In October 
William Allen resigned. 

In October of the same year, Geo. W. 
Green resigned the office of district attor- 
ney, and Sylvanus Yearly was appointed. 

In January, 1858, the board for the en- 
suing year met and organized by the elec- 
tion of Nathaniel Winship, of Owatonna, 
chairman. The other members were Hiram 
Pitcher, of Berlin, and Lorenzo Muckey, of 

On the 5th of June, 1858, John W. Park 
resigned the office of register of deeds and 
M. A. Dailey was appointed his successor. 

On the same date David Sanborn, the 
county treasurer, made a statement of the 

financial condition of the county for the 
j^ear, as follows : 

Total amount received $1,364 10 

Total paid out $705 74 

Balance on liand 598 36 

$1,364 10 

The outstanding indebtedness of the 
county, January 6, 1858, was $2,129.69. 

April 6, 1858, the county was rearranged 
as to townships. This matter receives atten- 
tion in another chapter. 

During the winter of 1857-8, the system 
of county government was changed, the leg- 
islature having abolished the board of countj^ 
commissioners and created the board of su- 
pervisors. Under this new system the board 
consisted of one member from each organ- 
ized township — the chairman of each of 
the township boards. The first meeting 
under the new law was held on the 14th of 
September, 1858. The following were the 
members from the various townships in 
the county : 

Medford Franklin B. Davis 

Clinton Falls Geo. W. Green 

Deerfield Joliu H. Morse 

Owatonna Wm. F. Pettit 

Lafayette Amos Norton 

Merideu AValter Stcbbins 

Union Prairie Levi E. Thompson 

Aurora S'meou Osborn, Jr. 

Somerset T. C. Minthorn 

Lemond Samuel M. Hastings 

Summit Hiram Fredenburgh 

Berlin Charles Brown 

Geo. W. Green was elected chairman of 
the board and M. A. Dailey, clerk. 

At this session of the board the names 
of Lafayette and Union Prairie Town- 
ships were changed to Freeman and Orion, 

The law creating the office of county 
auditor had gone into effect, and in October, 
1858, A. McKinney had been elected to fill 
it, but there arose some question as to the 
legality of the election, M. A. Dailey con. 
testing, and on February 9, 1859, the contest 
was decided by the board choosing Mr. 



Dailey, who was at tliat time acting as clerk 
of the board, or auditor. 

The second annual session of the board of 
supervisors began on the 13th of Sep- 
tember, 1859, when an organization was 
effected by the election of George "W. Green 
to the chair. The following comprise a list 
of the members : 

Owatonna, George B. Hall ; Medford, F. 
B. Davis ; Deerfield, J. H. Morse ; Meridgn? 
F. J. Stevens ; Aurora, GeorgeW . Grimshaw ; 
Summit, H. Fredenburgh ; Clinton Falls, 
George AV". Green ; Orion, L. E. Thompson ; 
Dover, S. H. Patterson ; Somerset, Thomas 
Thompson ; Lemond, S. M. Hastings ; Berlin, 
I. W. Crosby. 

In October. 1850, the board of equaliza- 
tion arranged the assessment of the coimty. 
The real estate in the various townships was 
assessed as follows : 

Townships. No. of Value 

Acres, per Acre. 

Medford 9,036 .$4.07 

Owatonna 18,875 3.50 

Clinton Falls 8,307 2.95 

Dover 11,655 3.59 

Orion 13,013 2.63 

Meriden 16,828 2.80 

Somerset 11.901 1.87 

Summit 6,.534 1.98 

Berlin ' 7,892 1.98 

Aurora 15,933 1.95 

Deerfield 12,345 1.99 

Lemond 10,105 1.96 


On the 6th of February, 1860, Frank L. 
Melvin, who had in the meantime been 
elected count}' auditor, resigned, and the 
boaixl appointed M. A. Dailey to fill the 

In the winter of 1859-60 the legislature 
again changed the system of county govern- 
ment, abolishing the board of supervisors 
and re-establishing the board of county com- 
missioners, which was to consist of thi'ee 
members, or five when the population of 
the county should warrant it. The first 
meeting under the change was held on the 
17th of May, 1860, when H. Fredenburgh 

and F. J. Stevens were present as members. 
Mr. Fredenburgh was elected chairman. 

In June, 1860, the county was divided 
into commissioners' districts, as follows: No. 
1 included Medford, Deerfield, CJinton Falls 
and Orion. Xo. 2 included Owatonna, Mer- 
iden and Dover. No. 3, Aurora, Somerset, 
Lemond, Oak Glen, Summit and Berlin. 
The board for 1860 was composed of H. 
Fredenburgh, of Summit, chairman ; L. E. 
Thompson, of Orion, and F. J. Stevens, of 

In 1861 the members of the board were 
N. Winship, of Owatonna, chairman ; George 
C. Pettie, of Aurora ; and W. P. Francis, of 

When the board met for the first time in 
1862, Alex. Chambers, of Owatonna, was 
chosen chairman. The associate members 
were H. Fredenburgh, of Summit, and Ben- 
jamin F. Melvin, of Medford. At the Jan- 
uary session in this year the name of Orion 
Township was changed, first to Lyon and 
then to Merton. In the spring of 1862 the 
educational system was changed, and the 
county was divided into districts for the 
supervision of the schools. In September, 
1862, the board of commissioners appointed 
a school superintendent for each of these dis- 
tricts, as follows: first district, E. G. Lin- 
coln ; second district, Harvey Chapin ; third 
district, Dwight Gordon. 

For 1863 the en personnel of the board was 
the same as during the previous year. On 
the 5th of November, 1863, W. Morris re- 
signed the offices of county auditor and 
register of deeds. The board appointed A. 
N. Stoughton county auditor ; and Charles 
S. Crandall, register of deeds. 

In 186-1 the board of county commissioners 
met for their first session on the first Mon- 
day in January, and organized by re-electing 
Alex. Chambers chairman. The other two 
members were H. Fredenburgh and B. F. 
Melvin. Mr. Melvin resigned January 18, 
and F. B. Davis was appointed to fill the 
vacancy. An act was approved March 3, 



1864:, changing the school system again, and 
in accordance with this the board appointed 

A. A. Harwood superintendent of schools for 
the entire county and fixed the salary at 
$200 per year. 

When the board met in Januarj', 1865, it 
was composed of Alex. Chambers, of Owa- 
tonna, chairman ; A. J. Abl)ott, of Medford, 
and II. Fredenburgh, of Summit. Mr. Ab- 
bott resigned in January of the same jj^ear 
and Henry Maw, of Merton, was appointed 
to fill the vacancy. In Ma}', 1865, S. H. 
Patterson resigned the office of sheriff and 
"William Scriby was appointed by the board 
to act until the general election following. 

In 1866 the following gentlemen com- 
prised the board : Alex. Chambers, of Owa- 
tonna, chairman ; H. Fredenburgh, of Sum- 
mit, and O. Bartholomew, of Medford. 

The board for 1867 was as follows : H. 
Fredenburgh, of Summit, chairman ; O. 
Bartholomew, o Medford, and George B. 
Hall, of Owatonna. Among the first mat- 
ters acted upon by this board was to set off 
and authorize the organization of Oak Glen 
(now Blooming Prairie) Township. 

In 1868 the board was composed of George 

B. Hall, of Owatonna, chairman ; O. Barthol- 
omew, of Medford; and D. T. Gordon, of 
Berlin. In January of this year F. J. Ste- 
vens was appointed county superintendent of 
schools, and in September he was reappointed 
for the year commencing January 1, 1869. 

In 1869 the board of county commissioners 
consisted of George B. Hall, of Owatonna, 
chairman ; D. T. Gordon, of Beriin ; and L. 
H. Lane, of Merton Township. In January, 
1869, the record states tliat M. J. Toiler re- 
signed the office of sheriff and Ferdinand 
Borchert was appointed. It appears that 
Borchert had been elected sheriff as Franli 
Borchert instead of Ferdinand, and to cover 
any possible technical difficulty Mr. Toher, 
his predecessor, resigned arid the board then 
appointed Mr. Borchert. 

During this year — 1869 — the boai'd was 
increased to five instead of tliree members. 

The board redistricted the county on the 10th 
of September, 1869. 

In 1870 the board was composed of George 
B. Hall, chairman ; D. T. Gordon, of Berlin ; 
L. H. Lane, of Merton ; G. W. Buffum of Clin- 
ton Falls ; and Fi-ank Chambers, of Havana. 
On the 11th of March of this year it was de- 
cided to submit to the voters of the county 
the question of issuing county bonds to the 
amount of $10,000 for the purpose of erect- 
ing a county jail. 

In 1871 the board organized by the elec- 
tion of L. H. Lane, of Merton, chairman ; the 
other members were George B. Hall, of 
Owatonna ; G. W. Buffum, of Clinton Falls ; 
Hugh Murraj', of Lemond ; and Frank Cham- 
bers, of Havana. On the 8th of June, this 
3'ear, Charles Dinijes resigned the office of 
county surveyor and tlie board appointed 
James M. Finch to fill the vacancy. 

For the year 1872 the board was made up 
of the following named : G. W. Buft'um, of 
Clinton Falls, chairman ; George B. Hall, of 
Owatonna ; Hugh Murray, of Lemond ; G. 0. 
Hankerson, of Medford ; and Henry H. 
Mitchell, of Aurora. 

In 1873, when the board first met, it was 
composed of the following members : George 
B. Hall, of Owatonna, chairman ; George O. 
Hankerson, of Medford ; Hugh Murray, of 
Lemond ; H. H. Mitchell, of Aurora ; and G. 
W. Buffum, of Clinton Falls. On the 23d 
of June, 1873, H. H. Mitchell resigned and 
E. Stapleton, of Aurora, was appointed to fill 
the vacancy. It appears that at about this 
time the name of Oak Glen Township was 
changed to Blooming Prairie, although no 
entry of the change seems to have been made 
on the records. 

In 1874 the boai-d met for the first time 
on the 6th of January, being composed of 
the following members : G. W. Buffum, of 
Clinton Falls, chairman ; G. B. Hall, of 
Owatonna ; Hugh Murray, of Lemond ; G. O. 
Hankerson, of Medford ; and H. A. Gleason, 
of Blooming Prairie. 

On the 5th of January, 1875, the board 



organized with the following membership : 
Geo. B. Hall, of Owatonna. chairman ; A. 
B.. Clark, of Blooming Prairie; J. A. 
Oppliger, of Owatonna ; John H. Morse, of 
Deerfield ; and Hugh Murray, of Lemond. 
On the 6th of January Hugh Murray pre- 
sented his resignation, and J. O Waumett, of 
Meriden, was appointed by a board, which, 
according to law, consisted of the county 
auditor, judge of probate and register of 

January 4, 1876, at the regular annual 
meeting, Geo. B. Hall, of Owatonna, was 
elected chairman, the associate members 
being A. B. Clark, of Blooming Prairie ; 
John H. Morse, of Deerfield ; E. L. Scoville, 
of Meriden ; and John Q. Ellis, of Owatonna. 
January 6, Eev. George C. Tanner was 
appointed county superintendent of schools 
for the ensuing year. 

The following were the members of the 
board for the year 1877 : George B. Hall, 
chairman ; A. B. Clark, of Blooming Prairie ; 
J. O. Waumett, of Meriden ; John H. Morse, 
of Deerfield ; and John Q. Ellis, of Owatonna. 
In March of this year it was again decided 
to submit to the voters the question of issuing 
$10,000 bondsof the county for the purpose 
of erecting a jail, as the project had been 
unsuccessful before. This time the matter 
was accomplished, and at the next meeting, 
on June 25, the chairman of the board was 
authorized to issue bonds of the county in 
that amount. This loan was negotiated 
through Dr. McCutcheon, of Faribault. The 
bonds were to bear interest at the rate of 
9 per cent and were payable in one and two 

On New Year's day, the board met in 
annual session for 1878. At this time it was 
composed of John Q. Ellis, of Owatonna, 
chairman ; Geo. B. Hall, of Owatonna ; John 
O. Waumett, of Meriden ; W. P. Francis, 
of Medford ; and Andrew Erdmann, of 

In 1879 the board consisted of John Q. 
Ellis, of Owatonna, chairman ; W. P. Francis, 

of Medford ; A. Erdmann, of Havana ; J. 
O. Waumett, of Meriden ; a)id E. Donaldson, 
of Owatonna. 

In 1880 the following were members of 
the board of commissioners : J. Q. Ellis, chair- 
man ; Andreas Erdmann, of Havana ; W. 
P. Francis, of Medford ; E. Donaldson, of 
Owatonna ; and Oscar Murphy, of Lemond. 
In March, 1880, a committee, consisting of 
Commissioners Erdmann, Francis and Mur- 
phy, was appointed to view sites and report 
on the advisability of the county's purchas- 
ing a poor farm. This, however, did not 
seem to aid in arriving at a conclusion, for 
in January, 1881, Commissioners Murphj"^ 
and Eggleston were appointed a committee 
to look into the same matter. 

The following were members of the board 
in 1881 : J. Q. Ellis, of Owatonna, chair- 
man ; Oscar Murphy, of Lemond ; Edward 
Donaldson, of Owatonna ; Jesse Healej^ of 
Somerset ; and W. A. Eggleston, of Merton. 
In July of this year the county Avas re- 
divided into commissioners' districts, as fol- 
lows: First district to embrace Meriden, Le- 
mond, Berlin and Summit ; second district, 
Havana, Somerset, Aurora and Blooming 
Prairie; third district, Deerfield, Medford, 
Merton and Chnton Falls; fourth district, 
Owatonna Township and second ward of 
the city ; fifth district, first, third and fourth 
wards of the citJ^ Commissioner Donaldson 
presented a minority report opposing this 
change in commissioners' districts, in which 
he stated " that the only apparent advantage 
gained was a political one." 

The board for 1882, which convened in an- 
nual session on January 3, was composed 
of John Q. Ellis, of Owatonna, chairman ; 
Oscar Murphy, of Lemond ; W. A. Eggle- 
ston, of Merton ; Jesse Healey, of Somerset ; 
and H. Schmidt, of Owatonna. Early in 
February Mr. Ellis died and Elias Scannel 
was appointed fcommissioner to fill the va- 
cancy. On February 15 Oscar Murphy was 
elected chairman for the balance of the year. 

During the year 1883 the following gen- 



tlemen made up the board of commissioners : 
Oscar Murphy, "of Lemond, chairman ; Jesse 
Healey, of Somerset ; W. A. Eggleston, of 
Merton ; H. Schmidt, of Owatonna ; and 
Elias Scannel, of Owatonna. 

On the 1st of January, 1S84, the board 
again met in annual session, being then com- 
posed of the following members : Oscar 
Murphy, of Lemond, chairman ; E. Scannel, 
of Owatonna; H. Schmidt, of Owatonna; 
Jesse Healej', of Somerset; and C. M. Finch, 
of Clinton Falls. At this time the board 
decided to submit to the voters of the 
county the question of issuing bonds of 
Steele County in the sum of $35,000 for 
the purpose of erecting a court house. 
It was to be submitted at the next general 
election. In Januarj', 1884, the county cor- 
oner removed from the county and the Ijoard 
appointed Dr. J. L. Harrington to fill the 
vacancy so caused. 

In January, 1885, Oscar Murphy, of Le_ 
mond, was again elected chairman, his asso. 
elates being Jesse Healey, of Somerset ; C. 

M. Finch, of Clinton Falls ; G. W. Kinyon, 
of Owatonna Township ; and L. L. Bennett, 
of Owatonna city. 

The board of commissioners for 1886 was 
composed of Oscar Mui'phy, of Lemond, 
chairman ; Jesse Ileale}', of Somerset; C. M. 
Finch, of Clinton Falls ; G. "W. Kinyon, of 
Owatonna Township ; and L. L. Bennett, of 
Owatonna city. 

For the present year — 1887 — the follow- 
ing gentlemen comprise the county board : 
Herman Schmidt, of Owatonna, chairman ; 
John Virtue, of Clinton Falls ; II. L. Zwie- 
ner, of Blooming Prairie ; Theo. Chambers, 
of Berlin ; and G. W. Kinyon, of Owatonna 
Township. In January, 1887, Eev. G. C. 
Tanner resigned the office of county superin- 
tendent of schools, and J. D. Brown was ap- 

This completes the history of the board of 
county commissioners, and gives a full and 
complete list of the members, interwoven 
with a brief mention of their most interest- 
ing actions. 



HEN Steele County was organized 
in August, 1855, as has alread}^ 
been stated, it embraced all of the 
territory now forming Waseca 
County, and the two western tiers 
of townships now included in 
Steele. On the first day of Aug- 
ust, 1855, the board of county 
commissioners met for the first 
etim, and their first work was to 
divide the county into townships, or pre- 
cincts, as they were then called.* The terri- 
tory which now comprises Waseca County 
was divided into two townships — Swave- 
sey and LeSeuer — and the later changes 
of boundaries of these are given at length 
elsewhere in this volume. Only one town- 
ship was created in what is now Steele 
County. This was named Owatonna. It 
embraced all of the county as it was then 
formed, or all of the present county except 
the east tier of townships — Merton, Havana, 
Aurora and Blooming Prairie, which then 
formed a part of Dodge County. In Owa- 
tonna Township it was ordered that the first 
township meeting should be held at the 
schoolhouse in Owatonna, and Dexter Carl- 
ton, Obed Gaines and Leonard F. Case were 
ajipointed judges of the fii'st election. 

On the 25th of August, 1855, Medford 
Township was created, comprising the ter- 
ritory now included in the townships of 
Medford, Clinton Falls and Deerfield (town 
108, ranges 20 and 21), which liad been 
included up to that time in Owatonna Town- 

*[A11 throus-h the early records these civil subdivisions 
were termed precincts, but we shall liere refer to them as 
townships, the name having- boon changed by an act of the 
lejfislature.— Editor.] 

ship. The first meeting was to be held at 
the house of William Colling, " on the west 
side of the road leading to Owatonna," and 
F. F. Adams, William Allen and Orlando 
Bartholomew were appointed judges of the 
first election. 

In this shape the county remained until 
the meeting of the board on the 7th of April, 
1856, when, in addition to several changes 
being made in the territory now comprising 
Waseca County, Franklin Townshi]) was cre- 
ated, embracing township 108, range 19, and 
the east half of township 108, range 20 — 
thus taking eighteen sections from Medford 
Township. It was also orilered that Owa- 
tonna Township should comprise all of the 
county south to "the township line between 
townships 107 and 108 — the south three- 
fourths of the county. Officers were ap- 
pointed as follows : Owatonna Township, 
Hiram Robinson, constable, and Philo San- 
ford, Parker Carlton and Luther Iluntly, 
judges of election. Franklin Township, S\'l- 
vester McNitt, justice of the peace ; F. New- 
land, constable ; William Allen and G. O. 
Hankerson, judges of election — first election 
to be held at the house of Sylvester McNitt. 
In Medford Township, Eev. O. A. Thomas, 
Isaac Sanborn and Smitli Johnson were 
selected as judges of the first election, which 
it was provided should be held at the house 
of William W. Finch. 

Thus the county remained for about one 
year, or until April B, 1857, when a general 
rearrangement was made and every con- 
gressional or government township in the 
county was set off and given a name as a 
civil township. In the meantime, in Feb- 
ruary, 1856, the eastern tier of townships 



(range 19) had been set off from Dodge and 
annexed to Steele ; and, on the 27th of Feb- 
ruary, 1857, the legislature passed an act 
creating "Waseca County of the west half of 
what tlien formed Steele County. These 
changes arranged county lines as they are at 
the present time. The following is a list of 
the townships created at that time, and the 
officers appointed to attend to the organiza- 
tion of each. 

Owatonna embraced township 107, range 
20. Geo. W. Green, P. P. Carlton and 
James F. Hall were made judges of election, 
and J. W. Burch and Hiram Eobinson, con- 

Medford was organized of township 108, 
range 20. W. W. Wilkins, Smith Johnson, 
Jr., and W. W. Finch were appointed judges 
of election ; Charles Jones, constable, and 
Orlando Bartholomew, supervisor of roads. 
The house of Smith Jolinson, at Medford, 
was designated as the place for holding the 
first election. 

Union Prairie embraced township 108, 
range 19. John Colburn, C. W. Curtis and 
M. J. Kimball were appointed judges of elec- 
tion ; C. W. Curtis, justice of the peace, and 
John A. Pierce, road supervisor. The first 
town meeting was ordered held at the house 
of C.W. Curtis. 

Somerset was comprised of township 106, 
range 20. The house of Thomas Kenyon 
was designated as the place for holding the 
first township meeting, and T. C. S. Minthorn, 
Orlando Lebarr, and T. J. Clark were ap- 
pointed judges of the first election. 

Meriden embraced township 107, range 21, 
as at the present day. Ashley C. Harris, E. 
Ash and H. S. Clement were appointed judges 
of election; William Webster and M. T. C. 
Flowers to some office not mentioned in the 
records; Daniel Poole and J. L. Greene, con- 
stables; William Webster, Christopher Walk- 
er and Asiiley C. Harris, road supervisors. 
The house of William Webster was selected 
as the place for holding the first election. 

Deerfield was formed of township 108, 

range 21. Washington Morse's house was 
designated as the place for holding the first 
township election. The officers appointed 
were as follows : D. H. McQuestion, Isaac 
Coe and Washington Morse, judges of elec- 
tion; Washington Morse and Charles Burch, 
justices of the peace ; Elias F. Hobough and 
Benjamin Gypson, constables, and D. H. 
McQuestion, road supervisor. 

Township 107, range 19, now known as 
Havana, was then given the name of Lafay- 
ette. Eobert Adair, Charles McCarty and 
George Dennis were appointed judges of 
election ; Elisha Eldred and Newton Parker, 
justices of the peace; W. Hammond and 
Hugh Burns, constables, and James M. Soper, 
road supervisor. 

Aurora embraced township 106, range 19. 
Amos Coggswell, George W. Grimshaw and 
Stephen Sargeant were appointed judges of 
election, and George W. Grimshaw, road 
supervisor. The house of A. B. Clark was 
selected as the place for holding the first 
township election. 

Berlin was organized embracing township 

105, range 21. M. Warren, Charles Brown 
and Ashbell Ingerson were ap]3ointed judges 
of election ; M. B. Winchell, constable, and 
Lewis B. Tilden, road supervisor. The 
house of Hiram Pitcher was designated as 
the place for holding the first election. 

Summit embraced township 105, range 20. 
The place for holding the first election was 
designated as the house of George W. Kna])p. 
Thomas Bennett, George W. Kuapp and 
John Aldrich were appointed judges of elec- 
tion ; George W. Knapp, justice of the peace, 
and Thomas Bennett, road supervisor. 

Lemond Township was formed of township 

106, range 21. William Parcher, Sandford 
Kinney and C. B. Coon were appointed 
judges of the first election ; William Parcher, 
justice of the peace ; Jerome B. Coon, consta- 
ble, and E. D. Teed, road supervisor. Twi- 
ford Mills was the place designated for hold 
ing the first election. 

Township 105, range 19, was set off at this 



time as Oak Glen, but this was not organized 
until some time later. 

It seems as though this division of town- 
ships was, from some cause, incomplete or ille- 
gal, for in April, 1858, the board of county 
commissioners again took up the matter. 
The record states that " an act of the legis- 
lature, directing the division of counties into 
townships, and for the purpose of township 
organization, having been brought to the 
notice of the board, it is ordered that Steele 
County be reorganized into townships." By 
their action at that time Oak Glen Township 
was attached to Aurora, and Medford Town- 
ship was divided by the organization of the 
south half of township 108, range 20, under 
the name of Clinton Falls, leaving both 
Medfoi-d and Clinton Falls 'Townships as 
they remain to-day. This, it was stated " was 
in accordance with the unanimous request of 
the legal voters of Clinton Falls by petition, 
verified by the affidavit of Geo. W. Green." 
Aside from these alterations, the townships 
remained as they had been previously set 

In September, 1858, the name of Lafay- 
ette Township was changed to Freeman. 
At the same time the State auditor notified 
the boai'd of county commissioners that the 
name of Berlin should be changed, as there 
was another township of that name in the 
State ; but the board answered that it was 
the unanimous wish of the citizens to retain 
that name on account of having a postoffice 
of the same name, and it was therefore 
allowed to stand. On the 11th of the 
same month the name of Union Prairie 
Township was changed to Orion in accord- 
ance with the vote of the citizens. 

On the 13th of October, 1858, the name 
of Freeman Township was changed to 
Dover, as there was already a township of 
that name in the State. 

No further change in the townships took 
place until January, 1862, when the name 
of Orion was changed to Lyon, and almost 
immediately again changed to Merton which 
it still bears. 

In March, 18G7, authority was given for 
the organization of Oak Glen, which had 
been connected with Aurora. 

In 1869 the name of Dover Township was 
changed to Havana, under which name it 
has since remained. 

In January, 1873, the name of township 
105, range 19, was changed from Oak Glen 
to Blooming Prairie. 

This completes the history of the changes 
of boundaries of the townships in Steele 
County. In the various townsliij) histories 
will be found the detailed history of their 
organization. All these changes have finally 
brought the townships of the county to the 
shape in which we now find them. The fol- 
lowing table will show the territory em- 
braced by the various townships, summing 
up the changes traced above : 

Merton, township 108, range 19. 

Medford, north half of township 108, range 20. 

Clinton Falls, south half of township 108, range 20. 

Deerfield, township 108, range 21. 

Meriden, township 107, range 21. 

Owatonna, township 107, range 30. 

Ilavanna, township 107, range 19. 

Aurora, township 100, range 19. 

Somerset, township 106, range 20. 

Lemond, township 106, range 21. 

Berlin, township lO."), range 21. 

Summit, township 105, range 20. 

Blooming Prairie, township 105, range 19. 




HEN the settlement of Steele 
County commenced, the territory 
now comprising it formed a part 
of Kice County, and all deeds, 
mortgages and other official doc- 
uments were taken to Faribault 
for record. This was continued 
for some time after Steele was 
really organized. In 1856, how- 
ever, D. Shaw, under authoritj' 
of the board of count}' commis- 
sioners of Steele County, made a 
transcript of all papers relating to this county 
which had been filed in Eice, and they were 
put on record in Steele County. 

The first mortgage that appears in the 
Steele County records bears the date of March 
18, 1856. It runs from Charles Jones to 
Benjamin B. Eichards, and for a considera- 
tion of $56 covers the west half of the south- 
east quarter of section 10 and the northwest 
quarter of the northeast quarter of section 1 5, 
township 108, range 20. The witnesses were 
G. W. Curtis and Thomas E. Bennett. 

The first deed upon the record books of 
the county is dated January 10, 1856. In 
consideration of $70, Lucius Lewis deeds to 
D. B. Selleck the northeast quarter of the 
southwest quarter of section 2, township 107, 
range 20. 


The first census in which Steele County' 
figured was that of 1857, according to which 
the total population of the county was 2,598, 
made up of 1,981 born in the United States 

and 617 foreigners. 

The following are some 

of the items given in the census returns: 
males, 1,496; females, 1,102; farmers, 716; 
mei-chants and mechanics, 108. The various 
townships were populated as follows : 

Owatonna 614 

Medf ord 440 

Union Prairie (Merton) 336 

Lafayette (Havana) 232 

Somerset 307 

Meriden 193 

Berlin 193 

Deertield 192 

Aurora 138 

Lemond 96 

Summit 45 

Oali Glen (Blooming Prairie) 22 

Total 3,598 

The census of 1860 gave Steele County a 
population of 2,863, of which 2,256 were na- 
tive born and 607 foreign. 

In 1865, according to the school census, 
the county had a total population of 4,932 

In 1870 the total population had grown to 
8,271. Of this number 6,088 were born in 
the United States, and 2,183 in foreign coun- 

The school census was again taken in 1875. 
At that time the county had 10,739 inhabit- 

The United States census of 1880 gave 
Steele a total population of 12,460. Of this 
number 8,576 were native born ; and 3,884 
foreign born ; 32 were colored ]5eople. The 
population of the various townships was as 
follows : 

Aurora 600 

Berlin 683 




IJIooiiiing I'laiiii! 563 

Blooming I'laiiic Village 338 

Clintou Falls 503 

Decrficld 858 

Havana 851 

Lemond 648 

Mcdford 761 

Meriden 800 

Merlon 750 

Owatonna City 3,161 

Owatonna Township 584 

Somerset 811 

Summit • 530 

Total 12,400 

The school census, taken in 1885, gave 
the county a total population of 12,733. 
There were 2,251 families : (5,277 males, and 
G,441 females. The total was divided among 
the various townslii])s as follows: 

Aurora 727 

Berlin 707 

Blooming I'rairie 626 

Blooming Pruirie Village 366 

Clinton Falls 477 

Deerficld 863 

Havana 865 

Lemond O'JS 

Mcdford 087 

Meriden 833 

Merton 670 

Owatonna,City 3,280 

Owatonna Township 550 

Somerset 833 

Summit 551 





In 1861 the real and personal property 
assessment was as follows : 


Owatonna 21,467 

Dover 14,836 

Aurora 19,335 

Orion 17,919 

Somerset 15,314 

Clinton 10,215 

Decrfield 15,943 

Lemond 11,700 

Summit 8,700 

Berlin 10,108 

Mcdford 17,080 

Meriden 19,749 


1 7,100.00 

VALUES FROM 1861 TO 1886. 

As a matter of interest, and to show the 
growth of assessed values of personal prop- 
erty in the county, the following statistics 
are presented of the amount of personal 
])i'(jperty returned each year for the past 
twenty -six years : 

1861 $ 82,666 





















1873 589,246 

1874 $ 703,005 

1875 1,001,133 

1876 1,043,155 

1877 1,001,103 

1878 1,056,254 

1879 987,039 

1880 903,027 

1881 1,014.383 

1882 1,000,271 

1883 1,170,900 

1884 1,134,661 

1885 1,117,530 

Total 183,165 $536,769.38 

1886 1,118,534 


The total assessed value of real and per- 
sonal jiroperty in Steele County, in 1886, 
was $4,590,332. 

The ])ersonal ]iro]>erty assessment was 
$1,118,534. This amount was divided anujng 
the various townships and villages of the 
county as follows : 

Blooming Prairie Village $ 51,923 

Blooming Prairie 46,504 

Summit 33,546 

Berlin 53,365 

Aurora 48,420 

Somerset 65,199 

Lemond 49,732 

Havana 53.003 

Owatona 40,256 

Owatonna City 405,436 

Meriden 61,043 

Merton 50,604 

Mcdford 57,613 

Clinton Falls 33,997 

Deertield 58,204 

The real-estate assessment for 1886 gave 
Steele County a total assessed value of 
$3,477,798, as fixed by the board of ecjuali- 
zation. This included the value of improve- 
ments, but not of personal ]iropei-ty. The 
average assessed value of lands, exclusive of 
improvements, was fixed at $9.34 per acre. 
The total number of acres assessed, exclusive 



of town lots, was 267,512, of which amount 
109,151 acres were improved, and 153,4:86 
were unimproved. 

In 1886 the average rate of taxation 
throughout Steele ^County was ISIb mills 
on the dollar. The total taxes levied tluit 
year was |63,000.1S. Of this amount $5,- 
948.89 was for State purposes and the 
balance for county, school, city and town- 


The following statement, showing the 
crops sown and raised in Steele County in 
1886, will give a very clear idea of the diver- 
sity with which agriculture is pursued here : 

ACHEAQE. VIELD. ^%]^'l^^l 

Wheat 58,118 733,746 13 

Oats 15,163 487,896 33 

Corn 10,930 300,110 28 

Barley 3,337 55,771 25 

Ilye 19 233 13 

Buckwheat 33 325 10 

Potatoes 359 57,133 33 

Beans 9 207 23 

Sugar-cane 36 2,984 114 

Cultivated Ilay 4,091 7,481 tons 

Flax '. 96 1,300 13 

Other Products 170 

Total 88,435 

Wild Hay.. 30,8.50 tons. Tobacco.... 273 lbs. 

Timothy... 527 bushs. Wool 17,183 " 

Clover.".... 852 " Butter .... 379,875 " 

Apples 533 " Cheese 159,184 " 

Honey 73,011 " 

In 1886 the acreage sown to the various 
crops was as follows : 

Oats 15,9.57 

Barley 3,919 

Buckwheat 41 

Flax 300 

acreage cultivated in 18S6 was 

Wheat .53,993 

Corn. 11,886 

Rye 39 

Potatoes 589 

90,625 aicres. 


The first school district in the county — 
or No. 1 — was set off on the 7th of April, 
1856. It embraced sections 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 10, 
15, 16 and 17, townsliip 107, range 20. Dis- 
tricts Nos. 2 and 3 were created at the same 
time, the former being located in township 
107, range 20, and the latter being located in 

township 108, ranges 19 and 20. Up to 
February, 1857, there had been thirteen 
school districts organized. In 1886 thei'e 
were eighty-three organized school districts 
in the county. 

The first school in the county was taught 
on the present site of the city of Owatonna 
in the summer of 1855, by Miss Helen IIol- 

As this volume goes to press County 
Supt. Brown has just completed his 
report showing the condition of schools in 
1886. According to it there were 3,701 
cliildren of school age in the county, includ- 
ing Owatonna. Outside of Owatonna there 
were 3,601 entitled to apportionment and 
144 not entitled to apportionment. The 
number enrolled between the ages of five 
and eight years was 795 ; between the ages 
of eight and sixteen, 2,484 ; and between the 
ages of sixteen and twenty -one, 427. The 
number between the ages of eight and six- 
teen that attend school sixty days, or a term 
of tliree months, was 1,781. Six new school- 
houses were built during the year, valued at 
$2,545. The teachers employed during the 
winter term were twenty-eight males and 
fifty -three females ; during the summer term, 
six males and sixty-six females. The value 
of school buildings was estimated at $35,050, 
and of furniture at $3,193. None of these 
statistics include the Owatonna schools. 
There were fourteen female teachers in the 
city schools. The Owatonna school build- 
ings were valued at $40,000 and tlic fur- 
niture at $2,500. 


The first marriage that appears on tJie 
record books of this county was s(jlemnized 
on the 10th of November, 1856, more 
tlian thirty years ago. The parties were 
Smith Johnson, Jr., and Sabrina Wilkins. 
The marriage ceremony was i)erformed by 
Rev. O. A. Thomas. Mr. Johnson is still a 
prominent resident of Steele County, living 
at Medford. There are many amusing anec- 
dotes connected with some of the earlier 



weddings, most of which find their proper 
places in the various township histories. 
How the rustic, blushing bride left the 
kitchen, unbuckled her apron, and throwing 
on her sunbonnet, climbed into the lumber 
wagon and started off with John, who had 
his pants in his boots and overalls on, for 
their wedding tour, to hunt up the " squire " 
and get "jined." An incident is called to 
mind which is unlocated and cannot properly 
be placed in any of the townships. It is said 
on one occasion, way back in the '50's, a 
country couple made their way to one of the 
villages in the county, in quest of some one 
who was authorized to tie the hymeneal 
knot. They went to a young storekeeper, 
who, in the way of a joke, referred them to 
the postmaster, stating that the government 
authorized him to officiate on such occasions. 
When the postmaster was seen he disclaimed 
any knowledge of such authority, and said 
that he had only been in the government 
employ for a short time and was not yet 
" quite up to snuff," but if the merchant said 
he could he supposed it was so. Accordingly 
the couple were ranged u]) in front of the 
postmaster, wlio, in the most approved style 
impressed them with the solemnity of the 
occasion, warned thism to " let no man put 
asunder what he had joined," and in closing 
pi'onounced them Mr. and Mrs., etc., accord- 
ing to the postal laws of the United States. 
"And you may go in peace ; only one dollar 
apiece, please." 

It would doubtless be of interest to many 
to give the record of marriages for the first 

ten years of the county's existence, but they 
are too numerous ; therefore, we give only 
the first two years, as taken from the record 
in the office of the clerk of the court. 

Benjamin A. Freeman and Sarah Ring, by 
Rev. O. A. Thomas, November, 1856. 

William Williamson and Lucretia Finch, 
by Rev. O. A. Thomas, December, 1856. 

Geo. H. Robbins and Abigail Presby, by 
Addison Phelps, justice of the peace, Novem- 
ber, 1856. 

Friday Wupshal and Julia Grehring, by 
Addison Phelps, justice of the peace, Decem- 
ber, 1856. 

Hiram Robinson and Harriet Town, by A. 
Town, evangelist, in 1857. 

Jacob Yonker and Mina Mundt, April, 

John G. Truesdell and Elvira Watrous, 
December, 1857. 

Chas. M. Williamson and Mary V. Morri- 
son, November, in 1857. 

Peter Joliannsen and Ann Schimek, Jan- 
uary, 1858. 

John H. Force and Martha Howe, Janu- 
ary, 1858. 

Emory M. Geatchell and Sarah O. Run- 
nels, February, 1858. 

John Moon and Margaret Meek in Feb- 

Loren B. Town and Naomi L. Stoughton 
in April. 

Charles B. Baker and Louisa M. Lane in 

Franklin Hickok and Elizabeth McCaslin 
in May, 1858. 




XTIL Minnesota became a State 
it had only one representative in 
tlie halls of Congress — a territo- 

p^l rial deleo-ate who was allowed to 

speak but not vote. The jfirst ter- 
ritorial delegate from Minnesota 
was Henry H. Sibley, who served 
from January 15, 1849, to Decem- 
ber 5, 1S53. He was succeeded 
by Henry M. Rice, who served 
until December 7, 1857. W. W. 
Kingsbury was elected to succeed 
Eice, and served until December 
6, 1858. On the 23d of February, 
1857, the United States Senate 
passed an act authorizing the jieople of Min- 
nesota to form a constitution preparatory to 
their admission to the Union. In accordance 
with the provisions of this enabling act a 
constitutional convention was held on July 
13, 1857, at the territorial capital. On the 
13th of October, 1857, an election was held, 
when the constitution was adopted and a full 
list of State officers was elected. Three 
congressmen were also elected at this time 
— George L. Becker, W. W. Phelps and J. 
M. Cavanaugh — but it was afterward found 
that Minnesota was only entitled to two 
congressmen, and the matter was amicably 
adjusted by the withdrawal of the first- 
named, Mr. Becker. By this election Messrs. 
Phelps and Cavanaugh became the first 
members of Congress from the State of 

In the winter of 1857-8 the legislature 
divided the State into two congressional dis- 

tricts, the southern part becoming the first 
district and the northern part the second 
congressional district — -Steele County be- 
coming, therefore, a part of the first district. 
At the election held in the fall of 1859, Will- 
iam Windom was elected congressman from 
the first district, his opponent being C. 
Graham, a Democrat. Tlie vote, including 
the whole State, stood : Windom, 21,016 ; 
Graham, 17,417 ; majority, 3,599. 

William Windom was a native of Ohio, 
born in Belmont County, May 10, 1827. He 
studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1850, 
and in 1853 was elected prosecuting attorney 
for Knox County. In 1854 he came to Min- 
nesota and settled at Winona, which city 
has since been his home. In 1859 he was 
elected to Congress as stated and was re- 
elected in the years 1860, 1862, 1864 and 
1866. Since his service in the lower House 
of Congress, he has twice been elected to 
the United States Senate, and was appointed 
Secretary of the United States Treasury by 
President Garfield in 1881. 

In the fall of 1868, M. S. Wilkinson was 
elected congressman from the first district 
to succeed Mr. Windom, and served two 
years. Mr. Wilkinson was a lawyer who 
was then living at Mankato, who had been 
very jirominent in all public matters. He 
was among the earliest settlers of the State, 
having located here in 1847, and had repre- 
sented Minnesota for one term in the United 
States Senate — elected December 15, 1859, 
and serving until 1865. After his term of 
office as congressman expired, he served one 




term in the State Senate from Blue Earth 
County. Subsequently he removed to Wells, 
in Faribault County, where he still lives. 

Hon. Mark II. Bunnell, of Owatonna, suc- 
ceeded Mr. AVilkinson as congressman from 
the first district, and served for twelve con- 
secutive years. Mr. Bunnell has for years 
been an honored citizen of Steele County 
and we herewith present a biographical 
sketch of his life : 

Hon. Mark Hill Bunnell is a son of Sam- 
uel Bunnell, a farmer, and Achsah Hill, and 
was born in Buxton, Me., on the 2d of 
July, 1823. His great-great-grandfather 
came from Scotland, while the HiUs were of 
English descent. Mark H. spent his minoritj^ 
upon his father's farm, attending the district 
school and different academies during such 
seasons of the year as were least pressed 
with work, finishing his studies preparatory 
for college under private tuition, and secur- 
ing with his own hands, the means for his 
entire education after leaving the district 
school. He was graduated from Waterville 
College, now Colby University, in 1849, and 
for two years was principal of Norway Lib- 
eral Institute, and then for three years of 
Hebron Academy, both in his native State. 
The latter was a school of high grade, in which 
especial attention was given to the classics 
and the preparation of young men for col- 
lege. Buring the three years that Mr. Bun- 
nell was at its head he thus fitted forty or 
fifty students and sent them to different col 
leges and universities in New England. 
Among tliese were Hon. Eugene Hale, now 
United States senator from Maine ; Hon. 
John B. Long, afterward lieutenant-gov- 
ernor of Massachusetts, now a member of 
Congress ; Rev. G. M. P. King, B. B., now 
president of Wayland Seminary, in Washing- 
ton, and a dozen other men of high standing- 
in the professions. 

In 1854 Mr. Bunnell was a member of the 
Lower House of the Legislature, and of the 
Up|)er House in the following year. In 1855, 
1857, 1858 and 1859 he was State superin- 

tendent of common schools, in Maine, being 
appointed by Gov. Anson P. Morrill and 
reappointed by Gov. Hannibal Hamlin. 
Wiiile Mr. Bunnell was teaching in the acad- 
emies already mentioned, he devoted his 
leisure time to the study of law, was 
admitted to the bar in 1856, practiced some 
that year and in 1860 opened a law office at 
Portland. In March of the following year, 
one month before the Civil War commenced, 
he was appointed United States consul to 
Vera Cruz, Mexico, and before entering upon 
his duties he asked a four months' delay in 
order that he might aid in raising the Fifth 
Regiment, Maine volunteers, of which he was 
chosen colonel. He reached Washington 
with his regiment in season to participate in 
the first battle of Bull Run. In October 
following, at the request of Secretary 
Seward, he entered upon his duties at Vera 
Cruz, which had become an outlying rebel 
city through which munitions of war were 
passing for Confederate use. On one occa- 
sion he was instrumental in detaining fifteen 
thousand stand of arms bound for Texas. 
For services of this kind, rendered while 
there, he received a letter of thanks from 
Hon. William H. Seward, Secretary of State. 
Buring part of the time that he was at Vera 
Cruz, the Mexicans were resisting the 
Spanish, French and English alliance against 
Mexico, and when the governor of the State 
of Vera Cruz I'etired from the city to join 
the Mexican forces, he placed the keys of the 
government of the city in the hands of Con- 
sul Bunnell, he being the senior officer 
among the friendly powers. In 1862 Col. 
Bunnell resigned the office of consul, I'eturned 
to Maine and aided the governor in recruit- 
ing men and in the organization of the State 
militia, practicing his profession at the same 
time. In 1864 he was tendered the secre- 
taryship of the newly-formed territory of 
Montana, but declined to accept it. In Jan- 
uary, 1865, we find him located at Winona, 
and since that date he has l)een a citizen of 
Minnesota, having removed to Owatonna in 



June, 1867. He was a membei" of the House 
of Representatives in 1867, and at the close 
of the session was appointed (on the 2d of 
April, 1867) State Superintendent of Pubhc 
Instruction — an oflBce whic hhe held for three 
and one-third years, and the duties of which 
he performed with faitlifulness and ability, 
giving a fresh impetus to the cause of edu- 
cation in the " North Star State." He 
resigned the office of superintendent to take 
his place in Congress, to which he had been 
elected in the autumn of 1870. He was 
re-elected in 1872, 1874, 1876, 1878 and 1880, 
serving six consecutive terms in the House of 
Representatives — an honor never before con- 
ferred by the people* of Minnesota. His 
renomination the fourth time — an act done 
by acclamation — was a subject of warm con- 
gratulation and much rejoicing on the part 
of his Republican friends all over the country. 
The press was made especially happy by the 
graceful act. The "Washington National 
Republican^ published where the untiring 
labors of Congressman Dunnell were wit- 
nessed, thus spoke in August, 1878, of his 
renomination : 

"We have already announced the renom- 
ination of Hon. Mark H. Dunnell for Con- 
gress in the first district of Minnesota. In 
this his constituents have honored them- 
selves, and at the same time have given 
proper recognition to valuable public service 
characterized by marked ability. This nom- 
ination is made more significant by the fact 
that it was unanimously bestowed. Mr. Dun- 
nell, during the period of years he has held a 
seat in the House of Representatives, has dis- 
tinguished his legislative career by abilities of 
a high order, both as a worker and debater. 
By a life of purity at the national capital 
and an unflae-ging devotion to the interests 
of his constituents and the country at large, 
he has won for himself a high degree of con- 
fidence and respect. His election is assured, 
and his return to Congress will be hailed with 
satisfaction by all who know Inm. He is a 
stalwart Republican." 

During the twelve years which Mr. Dun- 
nell spent in Congress he served upon the 
following committees of the house : Public 
lands, education and labor, claims, com- 
merce, Mississippi levees, expenditures in 
State department, four years upon the com- 
mittee on ways and means, and was also a 
member of the special committee to investi- 
gate the presidential election of 1S76 in the 
State of Florida. IS'o representative from 
Minnesota served his constituents with more 
fidelity, nor has any representative attained 
more prominence and influence in the House 
than Mr. Dunnell. 

In the XLlIId Congress an attack was 
made upon the Republic of Mexico, and 
Congressman Dunnell made a speech in 
which he gallantly defended that republic 
from what he regarded as an unwai'ranted 
assault. His speech was widely quoted, 
printed in full in all the Mexican journals, 
and he was made an honorary member of 
the Society of Geography and Statistics, the 
highest society of the kind in that reiuiblic, 
and hence the highest honor it was capable 
of bestowing. On the organization of the 
Forty-seventh Congress, Mr. Dunnell was 
urged for the speakership of the House of 
Representatives and had the support of the 
Republican caucus. His fitness for the place 
was conceded, but his views on the tariff 
given in the XLVIth Congress, in favor 
of reduction, were used against him and he 
was defeated. In 1868 Mr. Dunnell received 
the honorary degree of LL.D. from Shurtliflf 
Colles'e, one of the oldest institutions of 
learning in Illinois. 

He has been a member of the Republican 
party from its inception, and in 1856 was a 
delegate to the National Convention which 
nominated Gen. John C. Fremont. His la- 
bors in behalf of the party in the past have 
been earnest and unceasing, and in Congress 
he made a record in which his constituents 
as well as himself could take a just pride. 
As a speaker, both on the "stump" and in 
Congress, he was eif ecti ve and popular, and 



he has repeatedly spoken in- Maine, JSTew 
Hampshire, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, 
Virginia, New York, Connecticut, Illinois, 
Wisconsin and Minnesota. 

The cause of education has had no warmer 
friend in the ^reat Northwest than Mr. 
Dunnell. For ten years while a citizen of 
Maine he was a trustee of the Waterville 
College. And since his residence here, no 
educational movement has been made that 
has not received his hearty support and 
encouragement. Of the Pillsbury Academy, 
since its inception, he has been a member 
of the board of trustees, and in 1877, 1883-4 
and 1884-5 was president of the board. He 
was married to Sarah A. Parrington, Novem- 
ber 20, 1850. Five children were born to 
them: "Warren B., Nellie A., Fanny, Mark 
B. and Alice Maud. Nellie became the wife 
of Prof. C. "W. Hall ; she died in Germany in 
Februar^'^, 1876. Alice M. died in Owatonna 
in July, 1873, being nearly five years of age. 
Warren B., an architect, resides in Minne- 
apolis. Fanny is now the wife of H. R. Moore, 
Jr., and Mark B. is a graduate of- the Univer- 
sity of Pochester, N. Y., taught one year at 
Faribault, and is now a student at the Law 
School of Columbia College in New York 

In 1882 Milo White, of Chatfield, was 
elected to Congress from the first district. 
He was an old settler at Chatfield, and had 
been prominent in local politics for many 
years, serving his district in the State senate 
for several terms, and taking an active part 
upon the Republican side, in political mat- 
ters generally. He was re-elected to Con- 
gress in 1884, serving four years. Mr. White 
had been raised at and followed the mercan- 
tile business at which he had amassed a 
comfortable fortune. In 1886 he made a 
hard fight for renomination but was defeated 
by Hon. John A. Lovely, an able lawyer of 
Freeborn Count}^. 

At the polls Mr. Lovely was defeated by 
Judge Thomas Wilson, of Winona, the Dem- 
ocratic nominee — the first Democrat elected 

from this district since 1859. Mr. Wilson is 
an earh' settler in Winona Count3% where he 
has practiced law for nearh' a third of a 
century. He has served upon the district 
and supreme benches of the State, repre- 
sented Winona County in both branches of 
the legislature and in man\' \vays has taken 
a prominent part in State and local matters. 
As a lawyer he ranks among the ablest in 
the Northwest. 

The first district as it is now constituted 
is composed of the counties of Winona, 01m- 
stead, Steele, Wabasha, Houston, Fillmore, 
Mower, Dodge and Freeborn. 


Steele County was created on the 20th of 
February, 1855, by the sixth territorial 
legislature. At the same session the "ap- 
])ortionment of 1855 " was made, and ac- 
cording to this the territorial council was 
composed of fifteen and the House of thirtj'- 
eight members. Steele County became at 
once a part of the tenth council district 
which was composed of the counties of Steele, 
LeSueur, Faribault, Blue Earth, Brown, 
Nicollet, Sibley, Pierce and Renville. This 
district was entitled to elect one councilor 
and three representatives. 

The Vllth Legislature convened Jan- 
uary 2, and adjourned March 1, 1856. The 
tenth district was represented in the coun- 
cil by Charles E. Flandrau, and in the House 
by George A. McLeod, Parsons K. Johnson 
and Aurelius F. de LaVergne. Neither of 
these parties were residents of Steele County. 

The Vlllth Legislature convened January 
7 and adjourned March 7, 1857, and an extra 
session was held during the summer. P. P. 
Humphrey represented the tenth district in 
the council and O. A. Thomas, Joseph R. 
Brown and Francis Baasen in the House. 
This was the last session of the territorial 
legislature, as the territory became a State 
by the adoption of a constitution and elec- 
tion of State officers on the 13th of October, 
1857. Mr. Brown, above mentioned, lived 



in the Minnesota Vallej' and liad been Indian 
agent for a number of years. Mr. Baasen 
belonged in New Ulm. Mr. Thomas was a 
resident of Steele County' who is mentioned 
elsewhere in this volume. 

The 1st State Legislature assembled on 
the 2d of December, 1S57, and finally ad- 
journed August 12, 1858, having held a spe- 
cial session. In the meantime the constitu- 
tion had reapportioned the State, and Steele 
and Waseca Counties (the latter had just 
been created) were associated together as the 
fifteenth senatorial district, whicli was en- 
titled to one senator and four representa- 
tives. According to this apportionment the 
Senate had thirty-seven and the House eighty 
members. At the first session of the State 
legislature the fifteenth disti-ict was repre- 
sented in the Senate by Lewis L. McCune, of 
"Waseca County, and in the House by Hiram 
M. Sheetz, George C. Pettie and Smith John- 
son. All of the representatives in the House, 
during this session, were residents of Steele 
County. Mr. Sheetz was the publisher of a 
paper at Owatonna. He had come here at 
an early day and remained until the time of 
his death. George C. Pettie was a resident 
of Aurora, and Smith Johnson, of Medford 
Township. Both are mentioned elsewhere. 

No session was held in the winter of 
1858-9, mainly owing to the protracted ses- 
sion of 1857-8, which was believed to render 
unnecessary another one following so soon. 

The lid Legislature assembled Decem- 
ber 7, 1859, and adjourned March 12, 1860. 
William F. Pettit had succeeded Mr. Mc- 
Cune in the Senate from the fifteenth and 
in the House were Amos Coggswell and G. 
W. Green from Steele County and G. T. 
White and J . I. Stewart from Waseca County. 
Amos Coggswell, of Steele County, was 
elected speaker of the House. At this ses- 
sion of the legislature the apportionment of 
1860 was made, and the number of members 
was cut down to twenty-one senators and 
forty-two representatives. In accordance 
with thi§ apportionment Steele, Waseca and 

Freeborn Counties were throVn together in 
forming the sixteenth district, which was 
entitled to one senator and two representa- 
tives. WiUiam F. Pettit, the senator from 
Steele County, was one of tlie founders of 
the city of Owatonna. Amos Coggswell 
and G. W. Green in the House were both 
lawyers from Steele County, and were both 
prominent and able men. It js said that 
Steele County has never, either before or 
since, sent a more able and influential dele- 
gation than it had in the lid Legislature. 
All of these parties are mentioned at length 

The Hid Legislature convened January 8, 
and adjourned March 8, 1861. George Wat- 
son represented the sixteenth district in the 
Senate, and William F. Pettit, of Steele 
County, and James E. Child, of Waseca 
County, were in the House. 

The IVth Legislature assembled Jan- 
uary 7, and adjourned March 7, 1862. The 
sixteenth district was represented at this 
session by A. B. Webber, of Freeborn County, 
in the Senate ; and P. C. Bailey and H. C. 
Magoon in the House. Mr. Bailey was a resi- 
dent of Waseca. II. C. Magoon was an early 
settler in Merton Township, Steele County. 

The Vth Legislature convened on the 6th 
of January, and adjourned on the 6th of 
March, 1863. M. A. Dailey, of Owatonna, 
was the senator, and Asa Walker, of Free- 
born County, and Philo Woodrufl', of Waseca 
County, were the representatives from the 
sixteenth district. Mr. Dailey is mentioned 
at length elsewhere in this volume. 

The Vlth Llegislature met on the 5th of 
January and adjourned on the 4th of March, 
1864. The sixteenth district at that session 
was represented by F. J. Stevens, of Steele 
County, in the Senate, and by Philo Wood- 
ruff, of Waseca Count}', and John L. Gibbs, 
of Freeborn County, in the House. 

F. J. Stevens, the senator at that time, was 
an early settler in Meriden Township, Steele 
County, havmg come from Massachusetts. 
He remained here for a number of years and 



then returned to his original home in the 
New England States. He held a number of 
offices at different times while here and was 
a prominent man in earl}' affairs. 

The Vllth Legislature assembled Jan- 
uary 3, and adjourned March 3, 18C5. B. A. 
Lowell, of Waseca County, had succeeded 
Mr. Stevens as senator from the sixteenth 
district, and in the House were J. B. Crooker. 
of Steele County, and John L. Gibbs, of 
Freeborn County. J. L. Gibbs, who was in 
the House at that time, has since become a 
jirominent figure in State politics and is now 
one of the State railroad commissioners. 

The Vlllth Legislature convened January 
2, and adjourned March 2, 186G. The six- 
teenth district was served in both Senate and 
House by the same representatives as in the 
seventh, except tliat John L. Gibbs had 
been succeeded in the House by Augustus 
Armstrong. By this legislature the re- 
apportionment of 1866 was mat.e, increas- 
ing the number of senators to twenty-two, 
and representatives to forty-seven. The 
sixteenth disti'ict remained the same as 
before, and was given, three instead of two 
representatives in the House, one for each 

The IXth Legislature convened January 8, 
and adjourned March 8, 1867. At this ses- 
sion Augustus Armstrong represented the 
sixteenth district in the Senate. The repre- 
sentatives were Dr. W. H. Twiford, of 
Steele County, and William Brisbane, and 
James E. Smith, of Waseca County. Au- 
gustus Armstrong, the senator during this 
session, was from Freeborn County, and was 
an able man. He afterward held the office 
of United States marshal for four years. 

Willis H. Twiford was born May 12, 1821, 
in Fayette County, Ohio. His mother died 
when he was seven years old, leaving ten 
children who were scattered, his father, 
Clement Twiford, being poor. Young Wil- 
lis at nine years old was sent to Marysville, 
Ohio, and placed in the family of Silvester 
Phelps, where he had the advantage of the 

common schools of that day, remaining there 
three years ; became quite efficient in spell- 
ing, reading, writing, English grammar and 
geography. At twelve years of age he was 
sent to West Canaan in Madison County, 
Ohio, for the purpose of learning the wagon- 
maker's trade with his brother, T. B. Twi- 
ford, but only remained with him about a 
year when he went to Pickaway County, 
Ohio ; attended school the following winter 
and in the spring of 1835 went to living with 
Smith B. Horsey, near Westfall. Here he 
remained until the fall of 1S38, working on 
the farm. At this time his father married 
Mrs. Hanna Beach, of Madison County, 
Ohio, when he was oi'dered liome, where he 
ver}' reluctantly went, having tlie usual 
prejudice against a step-mother. But this 
prejudice soon gave way to the most jii'o- 
found respect and filial affection and he now 
looks on that two or three years of home in- 
fluence as the awakening period to a higher 
plane of life. From 1838 until 1811 lie 
worked on the farm, attended school and 
taught in winter. In 1842 he entered the 
office of Dr. J. Sidney Skinner, of West 
Canaan, Ohio, and studied medicine, gradu- 
ating at the Starling Medical College of 
Columbus, Ohio. In 1845 he began tlie 
practice of medicine in Pleasant Valley (now 
Plain City), Ohio. April 29, 1846, he mar- 
ried Miss Nancy li., daughter of Jeremiah 
Dominy, Esq., of Madison County, Ohio. 
He remained in Pleasant Valley until 1853, 
when he removed to Union City, Ind., and 
was there actively engaged in the practice 
of his profession until the War of the Kebel- 
lion, when in May, 1861, he was commis- 
sioned surgeon of the Twenty-seventh liegi- 
ment Indiana Volunteers. He was engaged in 
all the prominent battles with the Army of the 
Potomac. Becoming distinguished as a sur- 
geon he was early in the war appointed chief 
operator of the First Division, Twelfth Army 
Corps. In 1863 the Eleventh and Twelfth 
Army Corps were consolidated and formed 
tlie Twentieth, commanded by Gen. Joseph 

/^^an^ A^Sl. 




Hooker. Surgeon Twiford was appointed 
surgeon-in-chief of First Division on the staff 
of Gen. Wilhams. He was about this time 
severely injured by a fall and was granted 
leave of absence and in July reluctantly re- 
signed. About 1st September, 1864, he 
came with his family to Minnesota, settling 
on a farm in Somerset, Steele County, and 
remained until 1873 when he removed to 
Geneva, Freeborn County, where he now re- 
sides, actively engaged in the practice of his 
profession, being a member of the State 
Medical Society^ and also of the American 
Medical Association. The doctor often speaks 
of his step-mother's influence as shaping 
whatever there is exemplary in his whole life. 

Tlie Xth Legislature assembled January 
7, and adjourned March 6, 1868. Mr. Arm- 
strong was still in the Senate. In the House 
the sixteenth district was represented by 
William E. Kinyon, of Steele County ; J. E. 
Smith, of Freeborn, and George A. LaDow, 
of Waseca County. 

The Xlth Legislature convened January 
5, and adjourned March 5, 1869. The 
sixteenth district was represented by J. B. 
Crooker, of Steele County, in the Senate, 
and in the House by E. Easton, of Havana 
Township, Steele County ; W. Smith, of 
Waseca County, and Augustus Armstrong, 
of Freeborn County. J. B. Crooker, the 
senator from Steele in the Xlth Legisla- 
ture, figures prominently in the early history 
of Owatonna. He was originally from 
central New York, but came here from Cal- 
ifornia in 1856, and located in the county- 
seat. His brother, E. B. Crooker, came at 
about the same time. They had been en- 
gaged in mining in the West and had been 
very successful, as they were well off as to 
world's goods when they came. They 
bought an interest in what is known as the 
" five hundred acre " tract of land, and, after 
the Coburn failure in the winter of 1858-9, 
they engaged in the general merchandise 
business. They remained in this for a num- 
ber of years, and were then for a time en- 

gaged in the lumber trade, and finally re- 
moved to Minneapolis, where they soon 
failed and went through bankruptcy. 
E. B. Crooker is now running a dray line 
there, while J. B. is in the real-estate busi- 
ness. Both were active, energetic, wide-a- 
wake men ; industrious and enterprising 
and, while unsuccessful in the end through 
careless business methods, yet they were 
prominent factors in the early development 
of Steele County. 

Mr. Easton, the representative from 
Steele County in this session, is still a resi- 
dent of Owatonna. 

The Xllth Legislature convened January 
■i, and adjourned March ■!, 1870. J. B. 
Crooker, of Steele County, still represented 
the district in the Senate. In the House the 
district was served by H. W. EuUiffson, of 
Steele County; W. C. Young, of Waseca 
County, and A. C. Wedge, of Freeborn 
County. Mr. EuUiffson was an early settler 
in Summit Township, where he had a large 
farm. He finally removed to the western 
part of the State, where he still lives. 

The Xlllth Legislature assembled Jan- 
uary 8, and adjourned March 3, 1871. W. 
C. Y^oung, of Waseca County, had succeeded 
J. B. Crooker as senator from the sixteenth 
district, and in the House were F. B. Davis, 
of Steele County ; William Brisbane, of 
Waseca County, and A. C. Wedge, of Free- 
born County. This legislature made a 
reapportionment of the legislative districts 
in the State, which increased the number 
of senators to forty-one, and the number 
of representatives to 106. According to 
this apportionment Steele County alone 
became entitled to one senator and two rep- 
resentatives. The county was divided into 
two representative districts, as follows : 
No. 1 embraced the town and city of 
Owatonna, and the townships of Medford, 
Clinton Falls and Merton. No. 2 embraced 
all the balance of the county. F. B. Davis, 
the senator during this session, was an old 
settler in the northern part of the county, 



who afterward located in Meriden Township. 
He left the count}' a number of years ago. 

The XlVth Legislature assembled Jan- 
uary 2, and adjourned March 1, 1872. Amos 
Coggswell repi'esented Steele County, or the 
twelfth district, in the Senate. The county's 
representatives in the House were W. W. 
Wilkins and F. B. Davis. Messrs. Coggs- 
well and Wilkins are still honored residents 
of the count\\ 

The XVth Legislature convened on the 
7th of January, and adjourned on the 7th of 
March, 1873. Amos Coggswell again repre- 
sented Steele County in the Senate. W. W. 
Wilkins and A. Colquhoun were the repre- 
sentatives in the House. 

The XVIth Legislature assembled Janu- 
ary 6, and adjourned March 6, 1874. Amos 
Coggswell was again in the Senate from 
Steele County. In the House were C. S. 
Crandall and J. M. Sloan. These gentlemen 
are still living in the countv, except J. M. 
Sloan, who was an old settler in the south- 
ern part of the county, where he died several 
years ago. 

The XVIIth Legislature assembled Jan- 
uai'y 5, and adjourned March 5, 1875. 
Steele County was represented in the Senate 
by Amos Coggswell, and in the House b}' 
W. R. Kmyon and Hugh Murray. Mr. 
Kinyon was elected speaker of the House. 

The XVIITth Legislature assembled Jan- 
uary 4, and adjourned ]\Larch 3, 1876. At 
this session L. L. Wheelock succeeded Mr. 
Coggswell as senator from Steele County. 
In the House the delegation from Steele 
County was the same as in the seventeenth. 
Mr. Kinyon was again honored b}' being 
chosen speaker of the House. 

The XlXth Legislature convened Janu- 
ary 2, and adjourned March 2, 1877. L. L. 
Wheelock still represented Steele County in 
the Senate. In the House the county was 
represented by G-eorge W. Buffum and Wal- 
ter Muir. Senator Wheelock and Represent- 
ative Buffum are noticed at length else- 
where. Mr. Muir was a resident of Berlin 

Township, where he remained until a few 
3'ears ago. 

The XXth Legislature assembled Janu- 
ary 8, and adjourned March 8, 1878. At 
this time Steele County was represented in 
the Senate by Dr. E. M. Morehouse, of Owa- 
tonna, and in the House by G. W. Buffum 
and Walter Muir. 

The XXIst Legislature convened Jan- 
uary 7, and adjoui'ned March 7, 1879. W. 
W. Wilkins had succeeded Dr. Morehouse as 
senator from Steele Countj'. In the House 
the countv was represented by H. H. Rose- 
brock and H. M. Hastings. 

The XXIInd Legislature convened in 
regular session January 4, and adjourned 
March 4, 1881. An extra session was held 
during the same year. W. W. Wilkins was 
still senator from Steele County. In the 
House the representatives were H. H. Rose- 
brock and A. Colquhoun. 

This legislature made the apportionment 
of 1881. It fixed the number of senators at 
forty-seven, and of representatives at 103. 
In accordance with this apportionment Steele 
County retained its old district number — 
twelve ; but it was only to be entitled to one 
senator and one representative. After this 
time sessions were held biennially instead of 

The XXIIIrd Legislature assembled Jan- 
uary 2, and adjourned March 2, 1883. A. 
C. Hickman, of Owatonna, had succeeded 
Mr. Wilkins as senator. In the House Steele 
County was represented by H. A. Finch. 

The XXIVth Legislature convened Jan- 
uary 6, and adjourned March 6, 1885. A. 
C. Hickman, of Owatonna, again represented 
Steele County in the Senate. James M. Bur- 
lingame was the representative of Steele 
County in the House. 

The XXVth Legislature convened in 
January and adjourned in March, 1887. 
Charles S. Crandall, the present senator 
from Steele County, represented the twelfth 
district in the Senate. In the House G. W. 
Buffum represented the county and still 



holds the office of representative. A biog- 
raphy of Senator Crandall is presented in 
connection with the history of the city of 
Owatonna. We herewith append a biograph- 
ical sketch of the representative in the Lower 

Hon. George "W. Buff ura was born in Rich- 
mond, Cheshire County, N. H., June 3, 1834, 
where he spent his earlier years, receiving 
the schooling accessible in those days. In 
1848 he removed with his parents, settling in 
Sheboygan County, Wis. There he remained, 
attending school and farming, until shortly 
after the war broke out in 1861, when he 
enlisted in Company I, First Wisconsin Infan- 
try (Jolm C. Starkweather, colonel), as a pri- 
vate soldier. The regiment went to Louisville, 
Ky., and reported to Gen. W. T. Sherman, 
becoming a part of the Army of the Cumber- 
land. Later they were assigned to the Four- 
teenth Army Corps under Gen. Thomas. 
They remained at Louisville until the follow- 
ing February, when a move to Mumfordsville 
was made, and in that locality in their 
various skirmishes they saw their first fight- 
ing. The balance of the winter was spent at 
that point and then they were marched on 
to Bowling Green, which was evacuated by 
Gen. Buckner, Avho was in charge of the 
rebel forces. Gen. BueU had succeeded W. 
T. Sherman in the command of the Army of 
the Cumberland. The latter armj^ pro- 
ceeded to Nashville and from there on 
through Tennessee and into Alabama, guard- 
ing railroads, skirmishing and driving the 
Confederates under Bragg before them. 
Thus the major part of the summer was 
spent, until in September, when Bragg, 
whom they had been pushing, made a flank 
move and returned toward Louisville. Upon 
this turn of affairs our army also "faced 
about " and marched back to the city of 
Louisville, where they were heavily rein- 
forced and reorganized. As soon as the new 
troops could be assigned and the reorgani- 
zation perfected, they started in pursuit of 
Bragg, meeting him at Perryville, Ky., 

October 8, 1862, where a severe engagement 
took place. The First Wisconsin was in 
Maj.-Gen. McCook's Corps, Col. Stark- 
weather of this regiment commanding the 
brigade. The regiment went into the fight 
with about 400 men, and of this number 56 
were killed outright and over 100 wounded. 
The battle was a very severe one, and the 
losses on both sides were very heav3^ The 
losses were given in the army records as 
bemg: Union, 916 killed, 2,943 wounded 
and 489 missing; Confederate, 2,500 killed 
wounded and missing. Bragg retreated. The 
First Wisconsin continued under the same 
division and brigade commanders, but Gen. 
W. S. Rosecrans succeeded Buell in command 
of the army, and on the 31st of December, 
1862, began the battle of Murfreesboro', or 
Stone River, Tenn., the most important battle 
of the winter of 1862-3. The fighting con- 
tinued for three daj's, when the enemy evac- 
uated. The losses on both sides were again 
very heavy, but the casualties in the First 
Wisconsin were not quite so heavj^ as at 
Perryville. The forces, after this, remained 
at Murfreesboro' until the following June 
(1863), when orders came' from Washington 
to break camp and move on the enemy, 
which was immediately carried into execu- 
tion. They kept continually on the march, 
skirmishing and pressing the Confederates 
back until the 19th of September, 1863, when 
there occurred one of the most noted battles 
of the war, at Chickamauga, Ga. The 
First Wisconsin occupied the most perilous 
position and took a most active part in this, 
as they were at the head of the infantry 
forces, their colonel (Starkweather) being 
wounded, and their losses were very heavy. 
The subject of this sketch, Mr. Buffum, in 
the meantime had become first lieutenant of 
Company I, and here assumed command, as 
the captain was killed on the first fire. The 
Union forces were defeated at this battle 
and retreated to Chattanooga, Tenn., where 
the army was reorganized by Gen. Grant. 
On the second day of the battle, however, 



between sundown and dark, Mr. Buffum, 
together with about half of both his company 
and regiment, were taken prisoners of war 
and removed to Libby prison at Richmond, 
where they were kept for about eight 
months. From there they were taken to 
Danville and after a few days to Macon> 
Ga. There they were kept until the last 
of July, when 600 officers, including Mr. 
Buffum, were taken to Charleston, S. C, and 
held as a safeguard, to be sacrificed in retal- 
iation for anv serious damage that miffht 
accrue to the city if bombarded by the 
Union forces. They were kept there until 
some time in October, when the yellow fever 
broke out among the prisoners and they 
were removed to Columbia, S. C, where Mr. 
Buffum was exchanged on the 10th of 
December, 1864. He was finally mustered 
out as captain, December 19, 1864, his regi- 
ment in the meantime having been dis- 
charged. He at once returned to his Wis- 
consin home in Sheboygan County for the 
first time since his enlistment. 

On the 1st of the following January, 
1865, Mr. Buffum was married to Miss 
Ellen E. Putnam, a native of Maine, born 
June 19, 1844. In May, 1865, he made his 
first trip to Minnesota and purchased his 
present farm in Owatonna and Clinton Falls 
Townships, Steele County, removing to 
Owatonna in the following June, and has 
since made this county his home. From the 
time of his settlem ent here, nearly twenty 
three years ago, Mr. Buffum took a prom- 

inent part in public matters. He was elected 
a member of the board of county commis- 
sioners in 1869, and served until 1875, acting 
as chairman of that body a portion of the 
time. In 1876 he was elected representative 
from Steele County in the Lower House of the 
legislature, and was re-elected in 1877, serv- 
ing through the XlXth and XXth Legisla- 
tures. In the fall of 1886 he was again elected 
i"e])resentative for tlie two years' tenn, and 
holds that office at the present writing. In 
the last session he was among the most 
active and influential members, and ably 
represented his constituents in a session 
which was among the most important held 
in the history of the State. He was a prom- 
inent candidate for the speakership at the 
opening of the session and, although unsuc- 
cessful in that respect, his influence and 
ability were recognized in the formation of 
committees, he being placed upon a number 
of the most important, and made chairman 
of the committee on temperance. Mr. Buf- 
fum has been identified with the Republican 
party since its organization; he is clear- 
headed and an able parliamentarian, a care- 
ful business man ; he has accumulated a 
comfortable fortune. He takes an active 
interest in G. A. R. and Knights Templar 
matters, being a member of both organiza- 
tions at Owatonna. He has one son, Frank 
P., born October 1, 1866, who graduated 
June, 1886, from Pillsbury Academy, Owa- 
tonna, and is now taking a medical course at 
Rush College, Chicago, 111. 



N this connection we take up the 
history of all the county oflBces. 
Biographies of many of the offi- 
cials appear in other chapters of 
this work, and of such we make 
but brief mention here. The his- 
torian has endeavored to obtain a 
biographical sketch of each official, 
but in a great many cases this has 
been imjiossible, and, in fact, in 
some instances but very little information 
as to the parties could be got, as many of 
them have been gone from the county for 
years, and have been lost to the memories of 
the old settlers who are still accessible to 
the writer. 


Charles Ellison was the first register of 
deeds for Steele County. He was appointed 
by the governor in tlie summer of 1856, and 
served until January 1, 1857. He opened 
the records of the county, in the absence of 
record books, upon a couple of sheets of fools- 
cap paper. Ellison came here from Iowa early 
in the spring of 1855, and took a claim south- 
east of Owatonna, which has since fell into 
John Chambers' possession after a number 
of changes. Ellison remained about for 
several years improving his claim a little, 
and finally went to Somerset, where in com- 
pany with others he was interested in the 
project of starting a village. A few years 
later he left the county. 

John W. Park succeeded Mr. Ellison as 
register of deeds, being elected in October. 
1856. Park was a native of Vermont, but 
came here from "Waukesha County, Wis., 
in the fall of 1854, accompanying W. W. 
Wilkins, S. B. Smith, and Curtis Ilaseltine. 

Park and Smith settled on a claim in the 
northern part of the present city plat, where 
they lived together and began improvements. 
The others of the original party are men- 
tioned at length elsewhere in this volume. 
In the spring of 1855, Smith and Park 
started a store at Owatonna, the first in the 
city, and continued to run it until the fall of 
1856, Avhen they sold it to Elder Town. 
Smith continued to farm until 1857, when 
he went back to Waukesha, where he stiU 
lives. Park held a number of offices while 
here, being county surveyor, register of deeds 
and deputy postmaster at the same time. 
After selling their mercantile business. Park 
attended to his few official duties for a 
couple of years and then returned to 
Waukesha Count}'', Wis. It should be 
mentioned that in the spring of 1856, both 
Smith and Park had returned to Wisconsin 
and married sisters there. Both were clear- 
headed, sound business men, and were prom- 
inent in public affairs, generally, while they 
lived here. 

In the fall of 1857 George W. Danforth 
was elected register of deeds and served for 
one year. Mr. Danforth had only been here 
a short time before the election, having come 
from Indiana. He worked for a time for 
Elder Town in his store. After remaining 
here a short time he returned to Indiana. 

Marvin A. Dailey was the next register of 
deeds. He was first elected in October, 
1858, and re-elected in 1860, serving until 
January 1, 1863. Dailey was originally 
from New York. He settled at Owatonna 
in 1856, and took quite a prominent part in 
politics and public matters, holding many 
important offices of trust during his residence 




here. He continued to live at Owatonna 
until a few yeiii's ago, when he removed to 
Minneapolis, where he is now in the employ 
of the Minneapolis & St. Louis E. R. Com- 
pany. After Mr. Dailej^'s term of office as 
register, the offices of register of deeds and 
county auditor were consolidated and E. J. 
Crandall held the position. 

"Walter Morris succeeded Mr. Crandall. 
He was elected in November, 1S62, and served 
nearly two years. The offices of auditor and 
register were together at this time. Mr. 
Morris was one of the earliest settlers of Rice 
County, and Morristown in that county was 
named in honor of his family, where they 
had settled in April, 1855. Mr. Morris was 
born in Ohio on the 12th of January, 1S33. 
In 1846 his parents removed to Indiana, and 
in 1853 to St. Paul, thence to Hastings, until 
1854, when they settled in Faribault, where 
Walter Morris was one of the jJi'oprietors 
selling his interest to John W. North. An 
event of his life which he related to the 
writer happened in 1854, when he assisted 
Alexander Faribault in getting five hundred 
Indians across the Redwood to receive their 
pay. "While on their way thither the Indi- 
ans obtained liquor, got drunk and made 
numerovis threats, but were finally sobered 
down and reached their destination in safety. 
After leaving Mankato they traveled two 
days and a half with nothing to eat and 
when, finding a skunk, which made them a 
meal, they thought themselves fortunate. 
In 1861 Mr. Morris settled at Owatonna, and 
served as register of deeds and also county 
auditor as stated. In 1863 he resigned and 
the following spring made a trip to Colorado, 
engaged in farming and remained two years; 
but as the grasshoppers harvested both crops 
he removed to Mason, Mo. In 1870, he 
settled in St. Louis, and 1875 returned to 
Morristown, Rice Count}', and engaged in 
mercantile business. 

In November, 1864, Charles S. Crandall 
was elected register of deeds to succeed Mr. 
Morris, and two years later he was re-elected. 

serving four years. Mr. Crandall is still an 
honored resident of Steele County. A sketch 
of his life appears elsewhere in this volume. 

In November, 1868, H. J. Lewis was elect- 
ed register of deeds, and was twice re-elected 
servmg until the 1st of January, 1875. Mr. 
Lewis came to Steele County at an early day, 
and settled near Crane Creek. He enlisted 
early during the war, serving in a "Wisconsin 
regiment, and attained a high rank before 
being mustered out. After his discharge he 
came to Steele County, and in 1868, as 
stated, was elected register of deeds, and 
served six years. Toward the last of his 
official term his health failed, and after a 
while he went to "Wisconsin, where his death 
occurred a few years ago. 

By the election in November, 1874, Ezra 
Tyler succeeded Mr. Lewis as register of 
deeds. In 1876, 1878, 1880, 1882 and 1884 
Mr. Tyler was re-elected, serving in all twelve 
years. He was a young man when he settled 
in Steele County, which was before the war. 
He followed different occupations for busi- 
ness until the war broke out, when lie 
enlisted and went into service. After the 
close of the Rebellion he was, for a time, 
engaged in the mercantile business at 
Owatonna, associated with a brother. "When 
elected, his official duties occupied his atten- 
tion. In the spring of 1887, shortly after 
the expiration of his term of office, he 
removed to Uuluth, where he is engaged in 
the compilation of a set of abstracts. 

George E. Sloan, the present register of 
deeds, was elected in the fall of 1886. Mr. 
Sloan was born in Alburgh, Grand Isle 
County, "V^t., in 1844. "When six years 
of age he went to St. Lawrence County, 
N. Y., where he remained until 1868, 
when he came to Minnesota. He enlisted in 
August, 1862, in Company I, One Hundred 
and Fort^'-second New York Volunteer 
Infantry. In June, 1865, he was discharged. 
He took part in the battle of Fort Fisher, 
and was wounded in the face and neck 
at Drury's Bluff. After coming to Minne- 



seta he engaged in farming in Havana 
Township. In 1SS2 he removed to Summit, 
where lie remained until elected register 
of deeds in 1886. He is a member of the 
James A. Goodwin Post No. 81, Grand 
Army of the Eepublic. Mr. Sloan was mar- 
ried in April, 1872, to Miss Lucy Koberts, a 
native of New York State. They have had 
seven children : William (deceased), George, 
Nellie, Frank, Margaret, Effie and Etta 


David Sanborn, the first treasurer of Steele 
County, was appointed by the governor in 
1855 and elected at the October election in 

1856. He was born in Sanbornton, N. 
H., on the 27th of July, 1809. For many 
years he followed the trade of a mason 
and builder, erectmg several large blocks in 
Lowell, Mass. In 1853, he came west and 
the following year settled in Steele County, 
remaining here until the time of his death 
which occurred April 6, 1885. Two daugh- 
ters and one son survived him : B. C. San- 
born, editor of the MadeUa Times ; Mrs. D. 
C. Hunkins and Mrs. F. C. Webb. 

It seems that Mr. Sanborn only served un- 
til January 1, 1858, as county treasurer, and, 
in fact, during that time there were scarcely 
any oflBcial duties to perform. In October, 

1857, J. W. Morford was elected treasurer, 
and in 1858 and 1859 he was re-elected. 
Mr. Morford was originally from Wayne 
County, N. Y., but came to Owatonna 
in 1856 from Wisconsin, where his people 
had settled at an early daj'. He and John 
Odell came together and the two were 
eng-ao-ed in the mercantile business. Mr. 
Morford, from the first, took a promi- 
nent part in all public matters, and this 
characterized his life all through the many 
years that he lived in Steele County. Fle 
put up the building now occupied by Rose- 
brock's furniture store, which was the first 
public hall in Owatonna, and he is still inter- 
ested in property here, owning the building 
now occupied by Katz's clothing house, as 

well as other real estate. Mr. Morford 
remained in Owatonna until a few years 
ago, when he removed to Watertown, Dak., 
where he still lives. He made many friends 
here, and deserved them; strictly honest, 
whether in prosperity or adversity ; his word 
was as binding upon him as his bond. He 
was a leading Mason, and when the order 
here was in its infancy, he fitted up his hall 
for a lodge-room. In all public affairs and 
enterprises Mr. Morford was always ready 
and willing to do his full share. 

On the 8th of October, 1861, Dr. W. W. 
Finch was elected county treasurer to suc- 
ceed Mr. Morford, and served two years. At 
that time the only safe in Steele County was 
owned by W. R. Kinyon, who was then prac- 
ticing law at Owatonna, and Mr. Kinyon 
became deputy treasurer and the books and 
funds were kept at his office. Dr. Finch was 
originally from Vermont. He came west at 
an early day and settled in Clinton Falls, 
where he engaged in farming. He had been 
a practicing physician before coming to 
Steele County, and during his entire resi- 
dence here he attended calls, and took care 
of a practice which his neighbors forced upon 
him. He remained in the county for a num- 
ber of years after the expiration of his term 
of office as treasurer, and finally removed 
to Santa Barbara, Cal., where he died a 
few years ago. He had accumulated a com- 
fortable fortune before leaving Steele Count}'. 
Dr. Finch was a man of a good deal of both 
natural and acquired ability ; a man who 
was esteemed and respected, and justly, by 
all wlio knew him. 

B. F. Melvin was elected treasurer in 
1863, and was re-elected in 1865, 1867, 1869 
and 1871, serving ten years. Mr. Melvin 
was a native of the State of Maine, but had 
come west at an early day, settling in Med- 
ford Township, Steele County. Some time 
after his election to the office he removed to 
Owatonna and made that his home until the 
time of his death, which occurred a few 
His wife died here during the 



summer of 1887, and one son, Frank, is still 
a resident of the city. Mr. Melvin was an 
efficient officer and held the respect of all. 

Thomas Thompson succeeded Mr. Melvin 
as treasurer. He held the office for two 
terms — from January 1, 1874, until Jan- 
uary 1, 1878. Mr. Thompson was originally 
from Ohio. He came to Steele County 
at an early day and settled upon a farm 
southeast of Owatonna. When the war 
broke out he enlisted and went into service 
in a cavalry brigade. After his discharge 
he returned to his Steele County farm, and 
a few years later was elected county treas- 
urer. He again returned to his farm upon 
the expiration of his term of office, and a 
year or two later removed to Dakota Terri- 
tory, where he died a few years ago. His 
remains, together with those of a deceased 
daughter, were brought back here for burial ; 
but his family still live in Dakota. 

In 1877 John A. Cansdell was elected 
treasurer and in 1879 and 1881 he was 
re-elected, serving until January 1, 1884. 
Mr. Cansdell came to Steele County before 
the war and settled upon a farm near Kice 
Lake. When the war broke out he enlisted, 
and during his service lost one leg. He 
returned to Steele County and moved to 
Owatonna, where for several years he ran a 
Grange general merchandise store. In this 
he was not successful and came out of it 
somewhat involved. Then he was elected 
to office, and a short time after the expira- 
tion of his tliird term he removed to Minne- 
apolis, where he still lives. 

Soren Peterson, the present county treas- 
urer, succeeded Mr. Cansdell. He was 
elected in 1883 and re-elected in 1886. Mr. 
Peterson was born in Denmark in 1847. He 
came to America in 1869 and came to 
Steele County, Minn., settling in Blooming- 
Prairie, where he lived until elected county 
treasurer. Mr. Peterson was married in 
1869 to Miss Kirsten Davidson. Tlieir chil- 
dren's names are : Mary, Hans, Willie C, 
Carl L., Anna, Emma and Hansine. Mr. and 

Mrs. Peterson are members of the Lutheran 


When Steele County was organized, in 
1855, the office of county auditor had not 
yet been created, and the duties were per- 
formed by an officer termed the. clerk of the 
board of county commissioners, who was 
appointed by the board. Charles Ellison 
was the first to fill this office, being appointed 
by the board at their first session, in August, 

In October, 1856, Z. B. Moore Avas elected 
to the office of auditor and apparently held 
it for two years, whether he performed the 
duties or not. Not much is remembered of 
Moore except that he was a smart and active 
young man who came here at a very early 
day and remained about Owatonna for a 
few years. He then went, it is thought, to 
California, and has been lost trace of. 

There appears to have been some dispute 
or difficulty regarding this office during the 
winter of 1858-9. The election records show 
that A. McKinney was elected to the office 
in October, 1858, but M. A. Dailey contested, 
claiming that the election, at that time, of 
this officer was vested in the board of county 
commissioners. Mr. Dailey had succeeded 
Mr. Ellison as clerk of the board, which was 
really the same as county auditor, and the 
result of the matter was, that in February, 

1859, the board settled the matter by for- 
mally electing Mr. Dailey. 

In October, 1859, Frank L. Melvin was 
elected county auditor, but in February, 

1860, he resigned and Mr. Dailey was re- 

E. J. Crandall was elected county auditor 
to succeed Mr. Dailey, in November, 1860, 
and the office was shortly afterward merged 
with tliat of register of deeds. 

Succeeding Mr. Crandall in 1862, Walter 
Morris was elected county auditor and regis- 
ter of deeds, and held the offices jointly until 
the 5th of November, 1863, when he resigned 
and C. S. Crandall became register of deeds, 



and A. N. Stougliton became county auditor 
by appointment of the board of county com- 

A. N. Stoughton was elected m Novem- 
ber, 1864, and re-elected in 1866, 1868 and 
1870, and after the expiration of his term, 
he served as deputy auditor for about six 
years. Alvin IST. Stoughton was one of the 
pioneers of Owatonna. He was born in 
"Weathersfield, Vt., in 1814; cam% to Ohio 
in 1819 with his parents, and in 1856 
came to Steele County. He was engaged in 
the mercantile business until 1864. In 1865 
he was appointed auditor and was elected 
four successive terms as stated. In 1885 he 
was elected city justice and again in 1886; 
in the spring of 1887 was elected city 
treasurer. He has twice been mayor of the 
city, having been the second one elected. 
Mr. Stoughton was married in November, 
1837, to Miss Dorothy "Wright, who died in 
1842. He was again married in 1846 to Mrs. 
Mary J. Wadsworth, a native of Connecticut. 
Mr. and Mrs. Stoughton are members of the 
Congregational Church. 

In November, 1872, L. S. Padgham was 
elected county auditor; in 1874 and 1876 was 
re-elected and served until January 1, 1879. 

M. B. Chadwick succeeded Mr. Padgham. 
He was elected first in the fall of 1878, and 
being three times re-elected served until Jan- 
uary 1, 1887. 

John C. Burke, the present county auditor, 
was elected in October, 1886. Mr. Burke is 
a pleasant, affable gentleman, rapid and 
accurate in the transaction of business, and 
has a most thorough and complete knowledge 
of his office and the vast mass of documents 
of which it is the repository. Mr. Burke is 
a native of Pittsfield, Berkshire County, 
Mass., where he was born June 10, 1860. 
When only five years of age his parents 
moved west and located in Meriden Town- 
ship, Steele County, Minn., where John C. 
lived until elected county auditor in 1886. 
Mr. Burke is a Democrat in political faith, 
and is a member of the Catholic Church. 


William F. Pettit was the first sheriff of 
Steele County. He was appointed by Gov. 
Gorman at the time the county was organ- 
ized, in the summer of 1855. For some 
reason the record shows that Mr. Pettit was 
elected in October, 1855, although it does 
not appear that any other county officer was 
voted for at that time. Mr. Pettit's settle- 
ment, and the fact that he became one of 
the town proprietors of Owatonna, is detailed 
elsewhere in this volume. He first came 
here in the fall of 1854 and took a claim, 
upon which he settled during the following 
3'ear, and began improvements. In the fall 
of 1855 he erected the first frame house upon 
the present site of the city. He remained 
in Steele County until after the war, and 
finally removed to California, where he died 
a number of years ago. A few years previous 
to his leaving Steele County he bought a 
farm noithwest of the city a short distance, 
and lived upon it until he left. The major 
part of his time, however, during his residence 
here was devoted to real-estate and town-site 
interests. He was also for a time interested 
in a dry goods store and a sa\vmill. He 
represented Steele County in the State Sen- 
ate one term, and stood well among his 
colleagues during one of the most important 
sessions held in early days. A man of 
remarkable force of character, generous to a 
fault, and always willing to do his full share 
in building up the town and country. Of 
course being a town proprietor these enter- 
prises all tended to directly benefit him and 
his interests, yet the fact that he always took 
his part of the work and expense should be 
set down to his credit. Energetic and active, 
he was a prominent man in early days, and 
his name is indissolubly connected with the 
early development of Steele County, and its 
history as an organization. 

David Lindersmith succeeded Mr. Pettit as 
sheriff, and was the first to fill the office under 
a legal election. He was chosen at the October 
election in 1856 and served for two years. 



W. H. Willsey succeeded Mr. Lindersmith 
as sheriff of Steele County- Being elected 
in October, 1858, he served from January 1, 
1859, until January 1, 1861. Mr. Willsey 
has been a prominent citizen of Steele 
County for nearlj' a third of a centurj', and 
is still an honored resident. A history of 
his life is presented elsewhere in this volume. 

In November, 1860, S. C. Williamson was 
elected to succeed Mr. Willsey as sheriff. 
He was elected for a term of two years, but 
it appears did not serve out the full term. 
Mr. Williamson came from Malone, N. Y., 
and must have settled in Steele County 
as early as 1855 or 1856, locating first in 
Clinton Falls Township. Later he removed 
to Ovvatonna and while there operated a 
stage line and was also interested in the 
livery business with a partner under the firm 
name of Williamson & Cotter, the last named 
being a brother of the present clerk of court 
of Steele County. After a residence of a few 
years in this county Mr. Williamson disposed 
of his interests here and returned to New 
Yoi'k State. 

Seth H. Patterson was elected sheriff in 
November, 1862. In 1864 he was re-elected, 
but in May, 1865, he resigned. He came to 
the county at an early day and located upon 
a piece of land east of the city, where he en 
gaged in farming. After remaining in the 
county for a number of years, being inter- 
ested in various enterprises, he finally sold 
out and left the county. 

Upon the resignation by Mr. Patterson of 
the office of sheriff the board of county com- 
missioners, in May, 1865, appointed William 
Scrib}' to fill the vacancy, and he served un- 
til the following general election in Novem- 
ber. Scriby was an Englishman who settled 
in Steele County during the latter part of 
the war, locating upon a farm in Havana 
Township. He remained there until after 
the war when he sold to Gordon Watson and 
left the county. 

At the next election in November, 1865, 
Willard Wheaton was elected sheriff and 

served out the unexpired term. Mr. Whea- 
ton was a carpenter by trade, and an old 
settler in Steele County, having located at 
Owatonna in 1855. Some time after his term 
expired, he left the county, having lost his 
first wife here, and was married again, this 
time to a Rice County lady. A few years 
later returned to Owatonna temporarily and 
met his death while here. It was caused by 
a runaway. His remains were interred here. 
A daughter of his — now Mrs. Merrill Odell 
— is still a resident of Steele County. 

In November, 186G, Michael J. Toher was 
elected sheriff and at that time served one 

The records show that in November, 1868, 
Frank Borchert was elected sheriff. AVhen 
Mr. Borchert came to file his bond it ap 
peared that his name was Ferdinand Bor- 
chert, and the board refused to accept it. So 
to cover any possible technical difficulty M. 
J. Toher, his predecessor, resigned the office, 
and the board proceeded to appoint Ferdi- 
nand Borchert sheriff of Steele County. He 
served one year. 

Succeeding Mr. Borchert in November, 
1869, Michael J. Toher was again chosen to fill 
the office. He was re-elected in 1871 and 
1873, serving until January 1, 1876. 

In November, 1875, Clark Chambers was 
elected sheriff. As he was re-elected in 1877, 
1879 and 1881, he served for eight consecu- 
tive years. Mr. Chambers is still a promi- 
nent resident of Owatonna. 

The present sheriff, Hugh Murray, is one of 
the most generally po]nilar men in the 
county. He was elected in 1883, and re- 
elected in 1886. Mr. Murray was born in 
Washington County, Vt., in 1837. At the 
age of twenty years lie came west, remain- 
ing in Pennsylvania a short time, thence 
to LaSalle County, 111., where he remained 
a year. He came to Steele County in 1858, 
locating in Lemond Township, where he now 
owns ov^er a thousand acres of land. In 1871 
Mr. Murray was elected county commissioner, 
which position he held until 1876. In 1875, 



he was elected to the Lower House of the 
legislature, where he served two terras. He 
is a member of Blue Lodge, No. 33, A. F. 
& A. M., at Owatonna. Mr. Murray was 
married in 1861 to Miss Elizabeth Hast- 
ings, a native of New York ; Carrie and 
Wyatt are the names of their only living 


The first county superintendent of schools 
for Steele County was Ezra Abbott, who was 
elected in October, 1856. Mr. Abbott is 
noticed at length elsewhere. The educa- 
tional system underwent many radical 
changes in early days, although when Mr. 
Abbott was elected the system was very 
similar to that of the present day. After 
the election of 1856, we do not find any 
record of the election or appointment of a 
superintendent until 18G2. In the spring of 
this year the system was changed and the 
county was divided into districts for the 
supervision of schools. In September of the 
same year the board of county commissioners 
appointed a school superintendent for each 
of these districts as follows : First district, 
R. G. Lincoln ; second district, Harvey Cha- 
pin ; third district, Dwight Gordon. 

In a short time another change was made 
in the educational system b}' an act approved 
on the 3d of March, 1864, and in accordance 
with this the board of commissioners ap- 
pointed A. A. Harwood superintendent of 
schools for the entire county and fixed the 
salary of that officer at $200 per year. Mr. 
Harwood is noticed at length elsewhere. 

Hon. A. C. Hickman succeeded Mr. Har- 
wood as superintendent. 

F. J. Stevens succeeded Mr. Hickman, and 
served for several years. 

O. A. Tiffany was the next superintendent 
of schools. 

Succeeding him, Eev. G. C. Tanner was 
appointed and held the office until January, 
1887, when he resigned. 

J. D. Brown was appointed to succeed Mr. 
Tanner and is the present incumbent. 


The first judge of probate of Steele 
County was Smith Johnson, Sr., who was 
appointed by the governor in the sum- 
mer of 1855. 

Franklin B. Davis succeeded Mr. Johnson 
and served a portion of one year. 

Bazil Meek succeeded Mr. Davis as judge 
of probate. He was elected in October, 
1856, and re-elected in 1857. Mr. Meek came 
here in the spring of 1S55 from Jo Daviess 
County, 111., bringing his family, and 
located upon a claim just west of the present 
business ])ortion of the city, but within the 
city limits. He remained there engaged at 
farming for several years and then left the 

In November, 1860, R. G. Lincoln was 
elected judge of probate, and in 1864 he was 
re-elected. Mr. Lincoln was an early settler 
at Medford, where he had been engaged in 
the mercantile business. He was an intelli- 
gent and capable business man, and was 
closely identified with the early history of 
the northern part of the county. He re- 
mained at Medford until the time of his 

J. J. Aiken succeeded Mr. Lincoln, and 
served a portion of one term. 

In November, 1866, A. A. Harwood was 
elected judge of probate, and served two 

Hon. A. C. Hickman was the next judge 
of probate, by virtue of the November elec- 
tion, in 1868, and two years later was re- 
elected. A biographical sketch of Mr. 
Hickman is presented elsewhere. He is still 
a resident of Owatonna, and is to-day and 
has been for years one of the most able and 
prominent lawyers in this part of the State. 

In November, 1872, Hon. L. L. "Wheelock 
was chosen judge of probate, and being re- 
elected in 1874 served three years, resigning 
before the expiration of his term. Judge 
Wheelock is also one of the leading members 
of the bar of southern Minnesota. Having 
for twenty years been identified with polit- 


ical and legal matters, he is widely known 
throughout the State. A histor}^ of his life 
is presented in connection with the history 
of Steele County's bar. 

Upon the resignation of Judge Wheelock 
the governor appointed Judge Amos Coggs- 
well to this office, and he served out the 
balance of the term. Mr. Coggswell has 
been among the most prominent lawyers in 
the State, and a biograjihy of him appears 

Hon. Lorenzo Hazen succeeded Judge 
Coggswell by the election in November, 1876. 
InnSTS, ISSO, 1882, 188-1 and 1886 he has 
been re-elected, and is the present incum- 
bent. He has had the support of both polit- 
ical parties. Mr. Hazen was born in Copen- 
hagen, Lewis County, N. Y., in 1817. "When 
twenty-six years old he went to "Wisconsin 
and engaged in farming. Three years later 
he removed to Fond du Lac, where he re- 
mained for ten years. He then removed to 
Eipon, "Wis., where he remained for eleven 
years and then came to Steele County, Minn., 
locating at Medford, where he engaged in 
carpentering and conveyancing. In 1877 
he came to Owatonna, having been elected 
judge of jjrobate. Mr. Hazen was elected 
justice of the peace at Fond du Lac, in 1844, 
and held the office for ten years. In 1846 
he was a member of the first constitutional 
convention of "Wisconsin, at Madison. He 
was also elected justice of the peace at Eipon. 
and held that office there for ten years. 
Mr. Hazen has held various offices of trust 
since he came here, and has been prominent 
in all public affairs. He was married, in 
1843, to Miss Mar}^ Moore, a native of New 
York. Mary H., now wife of E. T. Howard, 
of Red "Wing, is the name of their only child. 
Mr. Hazen was admitted to the bar in about 
1869, but has never engaged iu tlie practice 
of the legal profession to any extent. 


The first clerk of court of Steele County 
was J. H. Catlin, who was appointed by 

Gov. Gorman, in 1855. It does not appear 
from record, however, that he ever performed 
a single official act. 

F. "Wilbur Fisk was the second clerk of 
court, serving by appointment. He held the 
office during the greater part of 1856. 

George Oulton was the first clerk of court 
to hold the office by virtue of an election. 
He was chosen in October, 1857, and appar- 
ently held the office for two years. Oulton 
was a native of Vermont, who came here 
as early as 1855, locating at Owatonna, 
and working at whatever he could find 
to do. He was a smart, active fellow, 
what would be termed a society man 
with no bad habits or vices. After a 
year or two he was engaged most of the 
time in assisting M. A. Dailey. About 
the time the war broke out, or possibly a 
short time before, he left here and finally 
brought up in California, where he made a 
fortune in different enterprises, more partic- 
ularly, it is thought, in tlie wholesale liquor 
trade. He became one of the most power- 
ful and influential men in the State, was 
connected with the Union Pacific Kailroad 
at one time, served in various official capaci- 
ties, rode in his special palace car, and at one 
time not more than a decade past was con- 
sidered as powerful and influential as any 
man in California. It may truthfully be 
said that he made as complete a success of 
life as anj' man who has ever gone from 
Steele County. 

On the 20th of October, 1859, "W. F.Drum 
was elected to the office of clerk of court 
and served one term. Mr. Drum was a na- 
tive of New York State, and a graduate of 
the West Point military school. He came 
west at an early day and settled upon a farm 
in Meriden Township. He remained in 
Steele County only a few years and then 
went to Washington, where he secui'ed an 
appointment in the regular army and has 
been in the service ever since. He was an 
educated and intelligent man, and was quite 
prominent in public affairs during early days. 



John N. Kelley succeeded Mr. Drum by 
the electiou in October, 1861, and served 
four years. Kelley was also a New York 
man. He came here in July, 1855, and 
located at the county -seat. He was an act- 
ive and capable j'oung man, single at the 
time — although he afterward married — and 
was well known in early days. He was post- 
master at Owatonna for several years, and 
for a time was one of the proprietors of the 
Eureka hotel. About the close of the war 
he got a position as messenger with an ex- 
press company and moved out of Steele 
County. He is still in the express business 
and now lives at St. Paul. 

In November, 1865, Anson M. Kinyon was 
elected and served one term, which was then 
four years. 

I. W. Burch succeeded Mr. Kinyon. He 
was elected in November, 1869, and was re- 
elected in 1873 and 1877, serving twelve 

James A. Cotter, the present efficient and 
accommodating clerk of court, was elected 
in November, 1881, and was re-elected 
in 1886. Mr. Cotter was born in the 
town of Richmond, Walworth County, Wis., 
in 1819. When he was nine years of 
age his parents moved to Juneau County, 
where they resided until the fall of 1861, 
when the}' came to Steele County, Minn., 
locating in the town of Havana, where 
James A. received his education, also attend- 
ing the high school at Owatonna. He was 
employed in the grocery store of T. H. Kelly 
as salesman for eight years. In the fall of 
1881 he was elected clerk of court on the 
Democratic ticket and was re-elected in 1886 
with 653 majority. 

Mr. Cotter was married in September, 1875, 
to Miss Miranda J. Jones, a native of Penn- 
sylvania. Jay and Laura A. are the names 
of their two children. Mr. Cotter was a 
member of the boai'd of education from 1880 
to 1886. 


The followino- is a list of the gentlemen 

who have occupied the position of prosecut- 
ing attorney for Steele County, as shown by 
the recoi'ds. Nearly all of these gentlemen 
receive extended notice in other chapters, so 
that it is unnecessary to refer to their his- 
tory here, further than to give the date of 
the election of each : 

Simeon Case was the first county attorney. 
He was not a lawyer, but was appointed by 
the governor in 1855, not so much for the 
duties to be performed — for there was noth- 
ing to do then — as for the mere purpose of 
filling the office. 

George W. Green (district attorney), 1856. 

0. F. Perkins (district attorney), 1857. 

S. M. Yearly (county attorney), 1858, 
1860 and 1862. 

A. A. Harwood, 1864. 

J. B. Searles, 1866, 1868,1870. 

J. M. Burlingame, 1872, 1874, 1876, 1878, 

W. F. Sawyer, 1882, 1884. 

W. A. Sperry, 1886. 


John W. Park was the first surveyor of 
Steele County, appointed by the territorial 
governor, in 1855. A number of the early 
settlers also claim that Mr. Park was elected 
to the office in the fall of 1856 ; but the rec- 
ords state that H. W. Peck was elected sur- 
veyor at that time. It is certain, however, 
that Park was the first, as he served as such 
all through 1856, and attended to most of 
the work during the following year. 

In October, 1857, O. W. Pollock was elected 
surveyor and appears to have served one 
year. Pollock was a young Pennsylvanian 
who came to Steele County in 1856, and 
located at Owatonna. He was a civil en- 
gineer, and followed surveying for an occu- 
pation. He remained for a number of years, 
when he left. An incident is related of 
Pollock's election which is worthy of a 
place here. Pollock ran as a Eepublican 
candidate and Luther Bixby, a Democrat, 
was his opponent. Mr. Bixby contested the 
election and it was carried to the Supreme 



Oourt, Avhere Judge Flandrau decided that 
Pollock had not been here long- enough to 
gain a residence. By the time the decision 
was rendered he had been here the time 
fixed b}' law and the board at once appointed 
Mr. Pollock to the oflBce. 

A. Ingerson succeeded Mr. Pollock, be- 
ing elected in the fall of 1858, and re- 
elected in 1859. Mr. Ingerson was an early 
settler in Berlin Township, where he had 
located upon a farm. After a few years he 
secured an ap])ointment to a government 
clerkship in Washington and moved there. 
He now resides in Hennepin County, Minn. 

S. B. Beach was the next surveyor of 
Steele County. He was elected in Novem- 
ber, 1860, and served one ^^ear. 

In October, 1861, J. M. Finch was elected 
and served a like j^eriod. Mr. Finch was a 
native of New York. He had located at 
Clinton Falls at an early day, where he had 
engaged in farming, and remained there 
until the time of his death. Several of his 
sons are still residents of the county. Mr. 
Finch was prominent among the old settlers, 
belonging to a family that were closely 
identified with all public matters in early 
days. His death was regretted and mourned 
by a large circle of friends and acquaint- 

John H. Abbott succeeded J. M. Finch as 
surveyor. He was elected in November, 
1862, and served the full term of two years. 

Luther Bixby came next, by virtue of the 
election in November, 1864. Mr. Bixby was 
a native of Vermont. He came west at an 
early day and located in the village of Owa- 
tonna. Being a surveyor he followed that oc- 
cupation at first, and after a few years, opened 
a drug store. "While engaged at this he dis- 
covered and began the manufacture of a pat- 
ent medicine called " Bixby's Death to Pain," 
and toward the latter part of his mercantile 
career here he purchased a newspaper. After 
selling out his store he removed to Minneap- 
olis, and began the publication of the Tem- 
percmce lieview, at the same time manufact- 

uring and placing his medicine upon the 
market. He has since sold both these inter- 
ests, and now lives near Chicago. 

Succeeding Mr. Bixby, in 1866, J. M. 
Finch was again elected to the office, and 
held it for two years. 

M. E. Billings was elected in the fall of 
1868, serving the same length of time. 

By the election in November, 1870, Charles 
Dennijes became survej'^or. Mr. Dennijes is 
still a resident of Owatonna. 

B. S. Wheeler was the next surveyor. He 
was elected in the fall of 1871 and re-elected 
in 1873, 1875 and 1879. Mr. Wheeler was 
an early settler in the town of Summit, 
where he had been engaged in farming. He 
remained there until a few years ago, ^vhen 
he removed to southeastern Dakota where 
he still lives. 

In the fall of 1881 John H. Abbott was 
again elected surveyor. 

A. M. Mitchell, the present surveyor, suc- 
ceeded Abbott. He was elected in Novem- 
ber, 1883, and re-elected in 1SS6. Mr. Mitch- 
ell is a native of Indiana, born November 
25, 1836. At the age of t'venty -three he 
left home to make his own way in the world 
and engaged at carpenter work for a few 
years. He then spent one year in Nebraska, 
and then settled at Burlington, Iowa, where 
he followed his trade for some time. On the 
3d of April, 1863, he came to Steele County 
and located on section 36, but about a year 
later removed to section 34, Aurora Town- 
ship, where he has since lived, carrying on 
general farming and stock raising. On the 
31st of October, 1864, he enlisted in Com- 
pany D, First Minnesota Heavy Artillery, 
under Capt. Reeves, and was discharged 
at Fort Snelling, September 27, 1865. Mr. 
Mitchell was married to a Miss Margaret 
Walker, a native of Burlington, Iowa, born 
March 9, 1841, and they have seven children 
as follows : John B., born January 5, 1861 ; 
Charles H., born August 22, 1862 ; Ettie M., 
born September 9, 1866; Dora J., born 
December 20, 1867 ; Minne S., born Novem- 



ber 9, 1870; Delbert M., born December 9, 
1873, and Alice M., born October 1-t, 1883. 
John and Charles are both graduates of the 
Pillsbury Academy at Owatonna. Mr. Mitch- 
ell is a Republican in politics and since his 
residence here has held various offices of 
trust, including those of town clerk, town 
supervisor, school director and others. 


The following is a list of the various gen- 
tlemen who have been elected to the office of 
coroner of Steele County, together with the 
date of election of each as shown by the rec- 
ords. Many of those named never qualified : 

Thomas Kenj'^on, 1856-8. 

Anton Shimek, 1860. 

Thomas Kenyon, 1861. 

G. Watson, 1862-4. 

John Austin, 1866. 

J. G. Gilchrist, 1868-70. 

L. L. Bennett, 1871-3. 

H. S. Hill, 1877. 

L. L. Bennett, 1879. 

Dr. H. S. Hill, 1881. 

Dr. E. E. Aukes, 1883. 

Dr. J. L. Harrington, 1884. 

C. Peterson, 1886. 


The following-named have held this office 
by election : 
' P. J. Nordeen, 1860. 
E. G. Lincoln, 1861-4. 
A. A. Harwood, 1866. 
J. M. Burlingame, 1869. 
M. B. Chad wick, 1872. 
L. Hazen, 1881-6. 



HE political history of Steele 
County is more fully and more 
authentically shown by giving the 
vote of the county during the 
various years, than in anj' other 
manner. The county has been 
Kepublican by large majorities 
on national and State issues ever 
since its organization ; yet in local 
affairs it has varied considerably 
and many Democratic candidates 
have, tlirough their personal popularity, 
been elected to county offices over Republican 
" standard bearers." As a rule, the Republi- 
cans hold a convention and nominate a 
" straight ticket," and the opposition concen- 
trate all their force upon an " Independent" 
or " People's " ticket. In this connection is 
presented an abstract of the vote at every 
genera] election held in Steele County, as far 
as could be ascertained from the records in 
the court house, and files of the newspapers. 
The first election was held in October, 1855, 
and resulted as follows : 

Election, October 9, 1855. 
Delegate to Congress. 

W. R. Marshall, Democrat 38— 34 

David Olmsted 4 

Henry M. Rice 2 


P. P. Ilumplirey 106— 95 

Chas. E. Flandrau 11 

Legislative Assembly. 

A.B.Cornell 83— 2 

G. A. McLeod 81 


Wm. P. Pcttit 84— 56 

Benj. A. Freeman 28 

Election, October H-, 1856. 

Register of Deeds. 

John W. Park 201— 23 

Charles Ellison 178 


David Lindersmith 191 — 4 

Joseph W. Burch 187 


David Sanborn • 379—379 

Judge of Probate. 

Bazil Meek 199— 23 

W. W. Robinson 177 

Bazil Meek 7 

District Attorney. 

George W. Green 199— 25 

.TohnBradish 174 

County Surveyor. 

H. W. Peck 259— 63 

James M. Finch 97 

James W. Finch 18 

C. M. Merrick 13 

James Finch 5 


Thos. Kenyon 196— 28 

J. M. Blevin 168 

W. W. Finch 23 


Z. B. Moore 180— 3 

C. W. Curtis 177 

W. W. Finch 1 

School Superintendent. 

Ezra Abbot 184— 1 

W. W. Finch 183 

County Assessors. 

Geo. O. Hankerson 201 

P. Sanford 181 

P. Healy 181 

James E. Child 180 

Lorin B. Town 180 

John A. Hadley 180 

Geo. A. Child 19 

T. B. Town 19 

County Commissioners. 

David Smith 233 

N. Winship 201 

Wm. Allen 201 

M.J.Kendall 181 

Addison Phelps 181 

Wm. PI. Chamberlain 138 

H. Chamberlain 4 

Election, October IS, 1857. 
Adopting State Constitution. 

For 613—544 

Against 69 


, /^J^-^^e^C^^^^^'^-f^^-^ 




Alex. Ramsey, Republican 49.5 — 303 

Henry H. Sibley, Democrat 193 

Lieutenant Governor. 

John C. Ide, Republican 491—301 

William Holcombe, Democrat 190 

Secretary of State. 

L. K. Stannard 494—300 

Francis Baasen 194 

State Treasurer. 

Prank Mantor . . 493—297 

George Armstrong 19.5 

State Auditor. 

A. P. Lane 493—300 

Wm. F. Dunbar 193 

Attorney General. 

George Nourse 493—299 

Chas. H. Berry 194 


M. S. Wilkinson, Republican 493 

Henry A. Swift, Republican 493 

Cyrus Aldrich, Republican 493 

Geo. L. Becker, Democrat 194 

W. W. Phelps, Democrat 194 

J. M. Cavanaugh, Democrat 193 

District Judge. 

N. M. Donaldson 493—298 

Henry C. Lowell 194 

District Attorney. 

O. F. Perkins 489—296 

Frank Wainer 193 

John Moon 3 

Clerk of District Court. 

George Oulton 471—279 

Marvin A. Dailey 193 

Chas. L. Lowell 10 

State Senator. 

Lems McKune 428—174 

Wm. Pettit 254 

Scattering 3 


Geo. L. Leonard 492 

H. M. Sheetz 486 

George C. Pettie 485 

Smith Johnson. . . , 470 

Edwin Drake 300 

W. W. Robinson 193 

D. S. Bellis 193 

Henry W. Peck 193 

A. B. Cornell 2 

W. W. Finch 2 

Geo. W. Green 1 

Judge of Probate. 

Bazil Meek 413—392 

Addison Phelps 20 

Jacob Myers 12 

Scattering 3 

Delegate to Congress. 

Chas. McClure, Republican 435—385 

W. W. Kingsburry, Democrat 150 


County Commissioners. 

Lorenzo Muckey 434 

Hiram Pitcher 413 

John A. Hadley 152 

Henry M. Bill 173 

County Treasurer. 

Joseph W. Morford 436—286 

John N. Kelly 150 

County Surveyor. 

O. W. Pollock 399—228 

Luther Bixby, 3d 171 

Register of Deeds. 

George W. Danforth 573—573 

M. A. Dailey 1 

Road Commissioners. 

Seth H. Patterson 438 

Zachariah Scribner 430 

E. Le Gro 161 

John D. Sanborn 155 


A. B. Clark 445 

W. B. Evans 440 

F. J. Stevens 440 

Daniel Harmon 1 53 

John Oliver 153 

Geo. B. Thompson 151 

Election, October 12, 1858. 
State Senator. 

William F. Pettit, Democrat 387—115 

Lewis McKune, Republican 272 


H. M. Sheetz 472 

A. A. Woodward 388 

Geo. W. Green 386 

B. M. Morrill 380 

O.T.Jones 300 

Buel Welsh 345 

Alexander Johnson 358 

James Banie 271 

Register of Deeds. 

Marvin A. Dailey 370— 98 

A. B. Cornell 373 

Judge of Probate. 

R. G. Lincoln 450—349 

Charles V. Brown 301 

Prosecuting Attorney. 

S. M. Yearley 336—149 

Patrick Cudmore 177 

Edwin Drake 118 


W. H. Willsey 410—174 

John Oliver 336 


Thomas Kenyon 397—119 

E. Y. Hunewell 178 

County Auditor. 

A. McKinney 343—226 

George Lincoln 117 




A. Ingerson 177 

County Treasurer. 
J, W. Morford 301 

Election, October W, 1859. 


Alexander Ramsey, Republican 440 — 262 

George L. Becker, Democrat 178 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Ignatius Donnelly 441—263 

S. B. Lowry 178 

Secretary of State. 

.T. H. Baker 445—266 

Francis Baasen 179 

State Treasurer. 

C. T. Scheffer 448—271 

Samuel Abbe 177 

Attorney General. 

Gordon E. Cole 446—268 

John B. Brisbin 178 


Cyrus Aldrich, Republican 447 

William Wiudom, Republican 449 

Christopher Graham, Democrat 175 

James M. Cavauaugh, Democrat 176 


Amos Coggswell 454 

Geo. W. Green 437 

Jesse I. Stewart 440 

George T. White 439 

W. R. Kinyon 175 

John Powers 168 

W. H. Wyman 172 

W. W. Cowles 170 

County Treasurer. 

J. W. Morford 451—286 

H. M. Bills 165 

Clerk of Court. 

W. F. Drum 458—296 

John N. Kelly 162 

County Auditor. 

FrankL. Melvin 431—266 

Charles V. Brown 165 


Ashbel Ingerson 426—234 

James M. Finch 192 

Mection, November 6, 1860. 


Abraham Lincoln, Republican 523 — 366 

S. A. Douglas, Democrat 157 

J. C. Breckenridge, Democrat 8 

State Auditor. 

Charles McIIrath : 513—356 

Herman Trott 157 

Josiah S. Weiser 8 

Clerk of Supreme Court. 

A. J. VanVorhos 512—3.55 

Jacob J. Noah 157 

William B. Leach 8 


Cyrus Aldrich, Republican 512 

William Windom, Republican 513 

John M. Gilman, Democrat 158 

James George, Democrat 157 

James W. Taylor 8 

A. J. Edgerton 8 

Register of Deeds. 

M.A.Dailey 261— 8 

A. B. Cornell 253 

W. R. Kinyon 158 

County Auditor. 

E. J. Crandall 478—318 

James M. Finch 160 


S. C. Williamson 475—299 

L. E. Rawson 176 

David W. Cook 27 

Judge of Probate. 

R. G. Lincoln 480—307 

Darius Cook 173 

County Attorney. 

S. M. Yearly 509—349 

John H. Morse 160 

Court Commissioner. 

P. J. Nordeen 311—119 

L. F. Babcock 192 

Ileury M. Bill 164 


S. B. Beach 512—344 

James M. Finch 168 

Anton Schimek 482—299 

D. G. Fowle 183 

Scattering 3 

Election, Octoher 8, 1861. 

For Governor. 

Alexander Ramsey, Republican 353 — 280 

E. O. Hamlin, Democrat 73 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Ignatius Donnelly, Republican 363 — 305 

Thomas Cowan, Democrat 58 

Secretary of State. 

James H. Baker, Republican 360 — 295 

Daniel Buck, Democrat 65 

M. A. Dailey 1 

State Treasurer. 

Charles Scheffer 363—299 

C. P. Fisher 64 

Attorney General. 

Gordon E. Cole 362-299 

William H. Peckham 63 

State Senator. 

A. B. Webber 252— 69 

E. C. Stacey 183 


H. C. Magoon 212 

A. B. Cornell 178 

P. C. Bailey 356 

J. I. Stewart 167 



County Treasurer. 

W. W. Pinch 309—303 

Geo. C. Pettie 106 

Clerk of Court. 

John N. Kelley 233— 30 

Smith Stowers 203 

William Davidson 1 

Court Commissioner. 

R. G. Lincoln 384—382 

Scattering 2 


J. M. Finch 166—166 


Thomas Kenyon 347—103 

Anton Shultz 144 

A. B. Cornell 1 

Election, November Jf, 1862. 

William Windom, Republican 331—268 

A. G. Chatfield, Democrat 63 

State Senator. 

M. A. Dailey 387—351 

N. Winship 36 

Scattering 4 


Philo Woodruff 337— 2 

Asa Walker 335 

Register of Deeds. 

W. Morris 337—330 

Scattering 7 

County Surveyor. 

John H. Abbott 319—316 

Scattering 3 

County Attorney. 
S. M. Yearly 305—303 

Scattering 2 

G. Watson 339—329 

S. H. Patterson 238—238 

Election, November 3, 18G3. 


Stephen Miller, Republican 418—337 

Henry Wells, Democrat 81 

Secretary of State. 

David Blakely, Republican 415—331 

Amos Coggswell, Democrat 84 

Attorney General. 

Gordon E. Cole, Republican 413—330 

W. H. Grant, Democrat 83 

Clerk of Supreme Court. 

George F. Potter, Republican 412—330 

J. Mainser, Democrat 82 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Charles D. Sherwood, Republican 396—314 

J. S. Norris, Democrat 83 

C. D. Sherman 21 

State Treasurer. 

Charles Scheffer, Republican 413—331 

J. Estebrook, Democrat 82 

Auditor of State. 

Charles Mcllrath, Republican 405—326 

J. H. McKinney, Democrat 79 

State Senator. 

F. J. Stevens 398—338 

Amos Coggswell 70 

Lewis Howard 5 


Philo Woodruff 397 

J. L. Gibbs 396 

William Brisbin 5 

County Treasurer. 

B. F. Melvin 374—330 

G. B.Hall 44 

Election, November 8, 1864- 

Abraham Lincoln, Republican 636 — 437 

George B. McClellan, Democrat 309 


William Windom, Republican 639 — 430 

H. W. Lambcrton, Democrat 309 

Chief Justice Supreme Court. 

Thomas Wilson, Republican 637 — 428 

A. G. Chatfield, Democrat 309 

Associate Justices. 

S. J. R. McMillan, Republican 634 

John M. Berry, Repubhcan 635 

Eli T. Wilder, Democrat 309 

E. O. Hamlin, Democrat 309 

District Judge. 

N. M. Donaldson, Republican 569—315 

Geo. W. Batchelder, Democrat 354 

State Senator. 

B. A. Lowell 581—391 

Wm. Brisbane 190 


J. L. Gibbs 577 

J. B. Crooker ,535 

N. Winship 367 

A. Armstrong 196 

Scattering 10 

Probate Judge. 

R. G. Lincoln 602—432 

James M. Finch 170 


Seth H. Patterson 597—385 

Hugh Murray 212 

County Auditor. 

A. N. Stoughton 598—395 

O. Bartholomew 203 

Register of Deeds. 
S. Crandall 544—377 


J. N. Kelly 267 


L. Bixby 305—205 

County Attorney. 

A. A. Harwood 581—357 

S. M. Yearly 234 

Court Commissioner. 
R. G. Lincoln 589—589 




G. Watson 598-390 

J. H. Morse 208 

Election, November 7, 1865. 


Wm. R. Marshall, Republican 531—403 

H. M. Rice, Democrat 118 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Thomas H. Armstrong 530 — 121 

Charles W. Nash 109 

Secretary of State. 

H. C. Rogers 531—423 

John R. Jones 108 

Treasurer of State. 

Charles SchefEer 531—433 

Frank Henderstadt 108 

Attorney General. 

William Colville 530—423 

William Lochren 108 

Constitutional Amendment to Section 1, Article "VII. 

For 393-238 

Against 154 


A. Armstrong 353 — 70 

J. B. Crooker 283 

Adolphus Town 134 


W. Wheaton 536—526 

County Treasurer. 

Benjamin F. Melvin 529—529 

Clerk of Court. 
Anson M. Kinyon 519—519 

Election, Novemher 6, 1886. 


W. Windom, Republican 779—311 

Richard A. Jones, Democrat 468 

State Auditor. 

Charles Mcllrath 785—319 

Nelse E. Nelson 466 

Clerk of Supreme Court. 

Sherwood Hough 787—321 

Dennis Cavanaugh 466 

State Senator. 

A. Armstrong 789 — 788 

Scattering 1 


W. H. Twiford 745—243 

A. C. Flanders 503 

Scattering 1 

County Auditor. 

A. N. Stoughton 763—390 

Jacob Newsalt 473 


Michael J. Toher 480— 24 

Richard Miles . .• 456 

M. E. Billings 306 

Scattering 2 

Judge of Probate. 
A. A. Harwood 709—190 

A. Pettie 519 

Scattering 3 

Court Commissioner. 

A. A. Harwood 743—380 

Patrick Cudmore 463 

Register of Deeds. 

C. S. Crandall 711—173 

L. M. Howard 538 


James M. Finch 1123-1131 

Scattering 3 

County Attorney. 

J. B. Searies 768—396 

Amos Coggswell 473 


John Austin 454— 37 

J. C. Messenger 417 

Scattering 3 

Election, November 5, 1867. 


William R. Marshall, Republican 996—426 

Charles E. Flandrau, Democrat 570 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Thomas Armstrong, Republican 997 — 437 

A. K. Maynard, Democrat 570 

Secretary of State. 

Henry C. Rogers 1029—503 

Amos Coggswell 526 

State Treasurer. 

Emil Munich 995^60 

John Friedrichs 535 

A. G. Chatfleld 35 

Attorney General. 
F. R. E. Cornell 995—458 

A. G. Chatfield 537 

John Freidrichs 35 


W. R. Kinyon 925—319 

Alex . Chambers 600 

R. Drake 1 

Proposition to Issue County Bonds for Building Jail. 

Against 403—132 

For 331 

Proposed Adjustment of Railroad Bonds. 

Against Adjustment 1525-1517 

For Adjustment 8 

County Treasurer. 

B. F. Melvin 952—353 

Charies Schoen 599 

Election, Novemher 3, 1868. 

U. S. Grant, Republican 1137—624 

H. Seymour, Democrat 503 


M. S. Wilkinson, Republican 1131—635 

Geo. W. Batchelder, Democrat 506 

County Auditor. 
A. N. Stoughton 1048—476 



Jacob Newsalt 572 

Scattering 1 


Frank Borchert 867—104. 

M. J. Toher 763 

Scattering 2 

Register of Deeds. 

H. J. Lewis 1036^442 

A. Horstmann 594 

Scattering 1 

County Attorney. 

J. B. Searles 1110—584 

Amos Coggswell 526 


M. E. Billings 928—373 

Luther Bixby 655 

Judge of Probate. 

A. C. Hickman 1083—532 

H. H. Johnson 551 


J. G. Gilchrist 1091—581 

L. L. Bennett 510 

State Senator. 

J. B. Crooker 953—280 

M. F. Lowth 673 

Election, November ^, 1869. 


Horace Austin, Republican 637 — 276 

Geo. L. Otis, Democrat 361 

Daniel Cobb, Prohibitionist 75 

Lieutenant Governor. 

William H. Yale 644—283 

J. A. Wiswell 361 

John H. Stevens 70 

Secretary of State. 

Hans Mattson 640—379 

T. G. Fladeland 361 

James E. Child 69 

State Auditor. 

Charles Mcllrath 639—277 

L. A. Evans 362 

J. A. Randolph 70 

State Treasurer. 

Emil Munch 642—282 

Casper Baberich 360 

Rob. Stewart 72 

Attorney General. 

F. R. E. Cornell 641—281 

Seagrave Smith 360 

J. Ham Davidson 71 

Clerk of Supreme Court. 

Sherwood Hough 643—389 

W. T. Bonniwell 354 

Chief Justice of Supreme Court. 

C. G. Ripley 633—372 

C. E. Flandrau 360 

E. O. Hamlin 69 

County Treasurer. 

B. F. Melvin 1033-1029 

Scattering 4 


M. J. Toher 543— 38 

S. H. Stowers 515 

Scattering 7 

Clerk of Court. 
I. W. Burch 1060-1060 

Court Commissioner. 

J. M. Burlingame 691—324 

Amos Coggswell 367 

H. W. Ruliffson 669—382 

L. C. Woodman 387 

Special Election, May 31, 1870. 

Payment of Railroad Bonds in Lands. 

Yes 775—714 

No 61 

Election, November 8, 1870. 


Mark H. Dunnell, Republican 809—503 

C. F. Buck, Democrat 307 

Scattering 6 

County Auditor. 

A. N. Stoughton 844—529 

Benj. F. Wheeler 315 

Register of Deeds. 

H. J. Lewis 836—512 

A. C. Flanders 324 

County Attorney. 

J. B. Searles 774—433 

Amos Coggswell 341 


Charles Dennijes 811 — 463 

L. Bixby 348 

Judge of Probate. 

A. C. Hickman 676—185 

H. H. Johnson 491 

J. G. Gilchrist 825-379 

E. M. Morehouse 346 

State Senator. 

W. C. Young 788—424 

James F. Jones 364 


F. B. Davis 753—353 

N. Winship 399 

Election, November 7, 1871. 

Horace Austin, Republican 1195 — 701 

Winthrop Young, Democrat 494 

Samuel Mayall 15 

Lieutenant Governor. 
William H. Yale 1175—651 

D. L. Buell 534 



William A. Bentley 14 

Secretary of State. 

S. P. Jennison 1161—634 

Erick N. Falk 537 

J. Guilford 14 

State Treasurer. 

William Seeger 1174—652 

Barney Vosberg 522 

W. L. Mintzer 15 

Attorney General. 

F. R. E. Cornell 1117—548 

J. L. McDonald 569 

N. F. Sargent 14 

Associate Justices of Supreme Court. 

S. J. R. McMillan 1175 

John M. Berry 1175 

Daniel Buck 522 

William Mitchell 521 

E. O. Hamlin 14 

A. P.Jewell 14 

County Treasurer. 

B. F. Melvin 909—144 

Sandford Kinney 765 


M. J. Toher 909—138 

8. H. Stowers 771 

County Surveyor. 

B. S. Wheeler 1240-1217 

J. M. Finch 23 

Scattering 9 


L. L. Bennett 909—134 

Solomon Blood 775 

State Senator. 
Amos Coggswell 953—333 

C. S. Crandall 719 


W. W. Wilkins 660 

Geo. W. Green 204 

F. B. Davis 453 

W. H. Twiford 341 

Election, November, 1872. 

U. S. Grant, Republican 1033—406 

Horace Greeley, Democrat and Liberal Re- 
publican 627 

Member of Congress. 

Mark H. Dunnell, Republican 1042—416 

M. S. Wilkinson, Democrat 626 

Auditor of State. * 

O. P. Whitcomb 876—336 

Albert Scheffer 540 

* Note.— In the vote for State auditor, the townships of 
Meriden, Deerfleld and Clinton are not reported. The vote 
of Clinton is also omitted from vote on clerk of Supreme 

Clerk of Supreme Court. 

Sherwood Hough 993—375 

James George 618 

Register of Deeds. 

H. J. Lewis 768— 86 

Charles Dennijes 683 

M. A. Dailey 233 

Judge of Probate. 

L. L. Wheelock 995—318 

H. H. Johnson 677 

County Auditor. 

L. Padgham 765—164 

Edward Donaldson 601 

A. N. Stoughton 308 

Court Commissioner. 
M. B.Chadwick 991—991 

Coimty Attorney. 

J. M. Burlingame 991—314 

Amos Coggswell 677 

Representative — First District. 

W. W. Wilkins 495—143 

G. W. Knapp 353 

Representative — Second District. 

A. Colquhon 418—120 

Hugh Murray 298 

Election, Noveinber If., 1873. 

C. K. Davis, Republican 774—205 

Ara Barton, Democrat 569 

Samuel Mayall, Prohibitionist 58 

Lieutenant Governor. 

A. Barto 726— 58 

E. Ayr 668 

Secretary of State. 

S. P. Jennison 738— 68 

John H. Stevens 670 

State Treasurer. 

Mons Grinager 763 — 179 

E. W. Dike 584 

L N. Sater 59 

Attorney General. 

Geo. P. Wilson 802—200 

Wm. P. Clough 602 

County Treasurer. 

Thomas Thompson 705— 25 

A. N. Stoughton 680 


M.J. Toher 784—190 

David Whipple 594 


B. S. Wheeler 1353-1349 

Scattering 3 

Clerk of Court. 
I. W. Burch 1407-1407 

L. L. Bennett 720—104 


T. L. Hatch 616 

E. P. Gould 60 

Scattering 4 

State Senator. 

Amos Coggswell 784—169 

J. M. Burlingame 615 

Scattering 2 

Representative — First District. 

C. S. Crandall 376— 33 

N. M. Donaldson 843 

Scattering 5 

Representative — Second District. 

J. M. Sloan 446—253 

F. J. Stevens 194 

Scattering 3 

Election, Novemher 5, 187 Hf,. 
Chief Justice Supreme Court. 

S. J. R. McMillan, Republican 1063—430 

.Wescott Wilkin, Democrat 633 

Associate Jastice Supreme Court. 

Judge Cornell 1057—428 

Wm. Lochren 628 


M. H. Donnell 960—271 

F. H. Waite 889 

County Auditor. 

L. Padgham 1375—859 

J. P. Jackson 416 

Register of Deeds. 

Ezra Tyler 911—145 

M. A. Dailey 766 

County Attorney. 

J. M. Burlingame 1006—331 

Amos Coggswell 675 

Judge of Probate. 

L. L. Wheelock 1128—571 

J. A. Cotter 557 

Representative — First District. 

W. R. Kinyon 605—308 

L. H. Lane 297 

Representative — Second District. 

Hugh Murray 436—103 

E. L. Scoville 333 

Election, Novemher, 1875. 


J. S. Pillsbury , Republican 874^330 

D. L. Buell, Democrat 637 

Lieutenant Governor. 

J. B. Wakefield 879—286 

E. W. Durant 593 

Secretary of State. 

J. S. Irgens 898—318 

A. Bierman 580 


State Auditor. 

O. P. Whitcomb 894—313 

P. H. Rahilly 581 

State Treasurer. 

William Pfaender 888—312 

A. Scheffer 576 

Attorney General. 

Gen. Wilson 891—316 

R. A. Jones 575 

Railroad Commissioner. 

W. R. Marshall 885—391 

W. T. Bonniwell 594 

Chief Justice Supreme Court. 

James A. GilflUan 895—311 

L. Emmett 584 

Clerk of Supreme Court. 

S. H. Nichols 889—300 

A. A. McLeod 589 

County Treasurer. 

Thomas Thompson 1011—579 

A. Knobloch 433 


Clark Chambers 1009—514 

M. J. Toher 495 

State Senator. 

L. L. Wheelock 857—196 

Amos Coggswell 661 

Representative — Second District. 

Hugh Murray 434—181 

Dexter Smith 259 

Representative — First District. 

W. R. Kinyon 519—311 

L. C. Woodman 308 

Election, November, 1876. 

R. B. Hayes, Republican 1581—623 

S. J. Tilden, Democrat 958 


M. H. Dunnell, Republican 1523—573 

E. G. Stacy, Democrat 950 

Representative — First District. 

G. W. Buffum 685—111 

E. M. Morehouse 574 

Representative — Second District. 

Walter Muir 667— 65 

Hugh Murray 603 

County Auditor. 

L. Padgham 1630-696 

Gustav Siebold 934 

Register of Deeds. 

Ezra Tyler 1573-619 

John Shea 953 

Judge of Probate Court. 

L. Hazen 1391-354 

Amos Coggswell 1137 



J. M. Burllngame. 
D. B. Johnson . 

County Attorney. 

J. O. Waumett. 
E. L. Scoville. 

County Commissioner. 


Against . 



Election, June, 1877. 
Bonds to Build Jail. 

Paying Railroad Bonds. 



Election, Wovemier, 1877. 

J. S. Pillsbury, Republican 

W. L. Banning, Democrat 

Lieutenant Governor. 

J. B. Wakefield, Republican 

A. A. Ames, Democrat 

Secretary of State. 







J. S. Irgens 

A. T. Lindholm. 

J. F. Meagher . . 
Wm. Pfaender. . 

State Treasurer. 

Gen. Wilson. 
J. R. Jones . . 

Attorney General. 

W. R. Marshall. 
H.W. Hill. 

Railroad Commissioner. 

John A. Cansdell 
John Bichner. 

County Treasurer. 

I. W. Burch. 
J. L. Cass . . . 

Clerk of Court. 


H. S. Hill 

L. L. Bennett 


Clark Chambers 

P. Brennan 

State Senator. 

E . M . Morehouse 

A. C. Hickman 


G. W. Buffum 

W. F. Sawyer 

Representative — Second District. 

W. Muir . 

Cord King 

Commissioner — Second District. 
A. Erdman 

G. W. Kinyon 














987— 96 



536— 37 

433— 3 


Commissioner — Third District. 

W. P. Francis 309— 35 

A. B. Libby 184 

Election, November, 1878. 
Auditor of State. 

0. P. Whitcomb, Republican 1381—463 

M. Black, Democrat 919 

Judge of the Supreme Court. 

John M. Berry 1470—612 

AVm. Mitchell 858 

Clerk of the Supreme Court. 

Samuel H. Nichols 1378—558 

Dillon O'Brien 920 

Member of Congress — First District. 

M. H. Dunnell, Republican 1405—560 

William Meighen, Democrat 845 

Judge of District Court — Fifth District. 

Samuel Lord 1473—574 

Lafayette Emmett 898 

County Auditor. 

M. B. Chadwick 1394—291 

Ale.x. Graham 1003 

Register of Deeds. 

E. A. Tyler 1393—452 

Charles Dinnijes 941 

Judge of Probate. 

L. Hazen 136.5—426 

J. S. Austin 939 

County Attorney. 

J. M. Burlingame 1309—376 

D. B. Johnson 1033 

Court Commissioner. 

L. Hazen 1319—414 

J. S. Austin 905 

Senator — Twelfth District. 

W. W. Wilkins 1189— 91 

E. M. Morehouse 1098 


H. M. Hastings 532— 50 

W. W. Day 482 

Election, Novemher, 1879. 

J. S. Pillsbury, Republican 117.5—409 

Ednuind Rice, Democrat 776 

W. AV. Satteriee, Prohibitionist 131 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Charles A. Oilman, Republican 1148 — 408 

E. P. Barnum, Democrat 740 

B. S. Williams, Prohibitionist 182 

Secretary of State. 

Fred Von Baumbach 1217—476 

Feli.x A. Borer 721 

1. C. Stearns 127 



State Treasurer. 

Clias. Kittelson 1301— 476 

Lyman E. Cowdrey 746 

J. M. Duram 126 

Attorney General. 

Chas. M. Start 1209— 469 

P. M. Babcock 740 

A. W. Bangs 128 

Railroad Commissioner. 

"Wm. R. Marshall 1209— 407 

W. M. Colvill 739 

Chas. Griswold 126 

County Treasurer. 

John A. Cansdell 1209— 441 

H. Schmidt 758 

Geo. Mitchell 109 

County Sheriff. 

Clark Chambers 1443- 


A. B. Clark... 
J. W. Landon. 



B. S. Wheeler 2063—2063 

County Coroner. 

L. L. Bennett 1205— 454 

E. M. Morehouse 751 

D. H. Roberts 121 

County Superintendent. 

G. C. Tanner 1013— 38 

Jos. A. Sawyer 975 

E.H.Sibley ' 77 

Election, November, 1880. 
For President. 

James A. Garfield, Republican 1643 — 698 

W. S. Hancock, Democrat 944 

Neal Dow, Prohibitionist 60 

Member Congress. 

M. H. Dunnell, Republican 1544— 696 

Henry R. Wells, Democrat 848 

W. G. Ward, Republican 184 

D. H. Roberts, Prohibitionist 58 

Representative — North District. 

H. H. Rosebrock 845— 471 

John Virtue 374 

Representative — South District. 

A. Colquhon 784— 300 

Cord King 484 

County Auditor. 

M. B. Chadwick 1640— 699 

C. Yust 941 

Register of Deeds. 

E. A. Tyler 1645— 707 

N. Winship 938 

County Attorney. 

J. M. Burlingame 1596— G30 

Amos Coggswell . . 976 

Probate Judge. 

L. Hazen 1793—1792 

Election, Novemhcr 8, 1881. 

Lucius F. Hubbard, Republican 

R. W. Johnson, Democrat 

Lieutenant Governor. 

Chas. A. GUman, Republican 

E. P. Barnum, Democrat 

State Auditor. 
W. W. Braden 

R. Lehmicke 

Secretary of State. 

Fred von Baumbach 

A. J. Lamberton 

State Treasurer. 

Charles Kittelson 

John F. Russell 

Attorney General. 

W. J. Hahn . 

G. N. Ba.xter 

Supreme Court Justices. 

Wm. Mitchell 

Greenleaf Clark 

D. A. Dickenson 

Chas. E. Vanderburg 

Clerk of Court. 

J. A. Cotter 

1. W. Burch ., 


Clark Chambers 

Hugh Murray 

County Treasurer. 

John A. Cansdell 

Joseph Birchner 

Court Commissioner. 

L. Hazen 

Jonas Austin 

County Superintendent. 









947— 93 





Geo. C. Tanner 1793 

Dr. H. S. Hill . . . 
Dr. E. E. Aukes , 


County Surveyor. 


John H. Abbott 1140 

Election, November 7, 1882. 

Milo White, Republican 1199—148 

A. Biermann, Democrat 1051 

Supreme Court Justice. 
James Gilfillan .' 3366 

A. C. Hickman. . . 
E. M. Morehouse. 

State Senator. 

H. A. Finch , 
M. Guthrie. .. 






County Auditor. 

M. B. Chadwick 1279— 308 

L. Ellington 971 

Register of Deeds. 

E. A. Tyler 1267— 273 

A. F. Byrne 994 

County Attorney. 

W. F. Sawyer 1281— 305 

Amos Cogg.swell 976 

Judge of Probate. 

L. Hazen 2265 

Bond Act. 

For 1026 

Against 16 

Election, November 6, 18S3. 

Lucius F. Hubbard, Republican 1161— 211 

Adolph Biermann, Democrat 950 

Chas. E. Holt, Prohibitionist 86 

Lieutenant Governor. 

C. A. Oilman 1223— 325 

R. L. Frazee 898 

C. B. Shove 75 

Secretary of State. 

F. von Baumbach 1205—312 

J. J. Green 893 

Prof. E.G. Paine 78 

State Treasurer. 

C. Kittelson 1233— 339 

John Ludwig 894 

C. M. Anderson 78 

Attorney General. 

W. J. Hahn 1238— 345 

J. W. Willis 893 

Francis Cadwell 78 

Railroad Commissioner. 

James H. Baker 1239— 345 

A. T. Lindholm 894 

S. Meeker 76 

County Treasurer. 

Soren Peterson 1264— 348 

H. Schmidt , 916 


Hugh Murray 1113— 56 

J. Z. Barucard. 1057 


A.M. Mitchell 1286—1286 


Dr. H. S. Hill 1241— 321 

Dr. E. E. Aukes 920 

Superintendent of Schools. 

G. C. Tanner 1859—1859 


Amendment to Constitution. 

967— 14 

Election, November, 188^.. 

James G . Blaine, Republican 1273—267 

Grover Cleveland, Democrat 1006 

J . P . St . John, Prohibitionist 49 

Justice of Supreme Court. 
John M. Berry 2311 

Congressman . 

Milo White, Republican 1184— 84 

A. Biermann, Democrat 1100 

C . A. Bierce, Prohibitionist 51 


J. M. Burlingame 1247—145 

P. Brennan 1092 

County Auditor. 
M. B. Chadwick 1313—291 

D. E. Austin 1022 

Register of Deeds. 

E. A. Tyler 1286—275 

C. Yust 1011 

County Attorney . 
W. F. Sawyer 1317 

Probate Judge. 
L. Hazen 2351 

Court Commissioner. 

L. Hazen. 



Dr. Harrington 1278—213 

Dr. Morehouse 1066 

Court House Bonds. 

No 1017—226 

Yes 791 

This year there occurred a tie for the office of com- 
missioner from the fourth district, the candidates, 
G. W. Kinyon and E. Scannel, each receiving 183 
votes. Upon drawing lots Mr. Kinyon was successful. 

Election, November, 1886. 

A. R. McGill, Republican 

A. A. Ames, Democrat 

James E. Child, Prohibitionist 

Lieutenant Governor. 

A. E. Rice 

John Frank 

J. P. Pinkham 

Secretary of State. 

Hans Mattson. 
Luth Jaeger. . 
C. A. Bierce. . 

W. W. Braden . 
Gust. A. Lundberg. 
H. W. Allen 

State Auditor. 

1339— 49 

1396— 153 

1401— 109 

1395— 155 

State Treasurer. 

Joseph Bobleter 1401— 163 



H. Poehler 1238 

P. J. Kniss 130 

Attorney General. 

M. E. Clapp 1400— 160 

John N. Ives 1240 

W. M. Hatch 130 

Clerk Supreme Court. 

J. D. Jones 1403— 163 

T. O'Leary 1239 

C. A. Fosness 144 

Member of Congress. 

Thos. Wilson, Democrat 135.5— 97 

John A. Lovely, Republican 1258 

Dr. D. H. Roberts, Prohibitionist 129 

Judge — Fifth District. 
T. S. Buckham 1360—1360 

County Auditor. 

J.C.Burke 1354— 61 

M. B. Chadwick 1393 

D. McKinlay 95 

County Treasurer. 

S. Peterson 1439— 336 

Albert Kasper 1203 

Geo. Mitchell 108 

Register of Deeds. 

G. E. Sloan 1455— 373 

John Kearney 1182 

B. Chapin 93 


Hugh Murray 1617— 572 

Oscar Murphy 1045 

J. W. Landon 86 

County Attorney. 

W. A. Sperry 1391— 117 

Amos Coggswell 1274 

Judge of Probate. 

L. Hazen 2639—2639 

Court Commissioner. 
L. Hazen 3639—2639 

County Surveyor. 
A. M. Mitchell 2690—2690 


C. Peterson 1344— 48 

J. H. Adair 1296 

Clerk District Court. 

J. A. Cotter 1653— 680 

A. M. Kinyon 972 

Superintendent Schools. 
G. C. Tanner 1607— 252 

D. A. McKinley 1355 

F. D. Sheldon 93 

State Senator. 
C. S. Crandall 1322— 109 

E. M. Morehouse 1263 

A. H. Mudeking 89 


G. W. Buffum 1446— 181 

M. Guthrie 1365 

Dexter Smith 104 

Coimty Commissioners. 

Theo. Chambers, Republican 303 — 53 

W. P. Hobblns, Democrat 351 

C. R. Knowlton, Prohibitionist 19 

H. L. Zwiener, Republican 853 — 14 

O. O. Prestegaard, Democrat 339 

F. K. Hickok, Prohibitionist 16 

John Virtue 366— 24 

W. Rosenthall 242 

S. Morrison 22 

G. W". Kinyon 205- 

Jas. Morton 193 

E.H.Sibley 19 


H.Schmidt 229— 35 

L. L. Bennett 194 

O. M. Hammond 23 



;N this chapter we have grouped 
together all that we could learn 
regarding courts, cases and the 
pi bar of Steele County. There are 
probably other cases that would 
be of interest; but as all of the 
details must be gleaned from the 
memories of the old settlers, there 
is much conflict, and a number 
have had to be omitted, because it has been 
impossible to write a version of them upon 
which all could agree. Another class of cases 
which had to be omitted were those where 
the parties who were interested, or their 
near friends, were still living in the county, 
and the publication of details might give 
pain and cause dispute, for no lawsuit was 
ever tried that did not have two sides ; else, 
as Dickens says, in Bardell vs. Pickwick, 
"why this suit?" 

The first trial of interest in the county 
occurred at Owatonna, in the fall of 1855, 
before Addison Phelps, who had been ap- 
pointed a justice of the peace by the terri- 
torial governor. It appears that several 
parties had taken a claim jointly somewhere 
in the neighborhood of Wilton, in Waseca 
County (then a portion of Steele), and had 
put up a claim shanty. Several contesting 
claimants invaded the premises, pulled down 
the shanty and jumped the claim. The first 
parties had the "invaders" arrested, and 
four or five of them were brought to Owa- 
tonna as prisoners for trial. At that time 
there were no available lawyers here, al- 
though A. B. Cornell was on hand to prose- 
cute them. The defendants could find no 

lawyer, and were feeling pretty blue. They, 
together with about twenty witnesses, were 
taken up to the Winship House for supper. 
When the evening stage came in, a man 
alighted and took supper at the hotel. He 
overheard their talk regarding the case, and 
feeling that they were being abused he an- 
nounced himself as Attorney Onstine, one 
of the ablest lawyers in the northern part of 
Iowa, and undertook their defense. When 
the case was called for trial he was on hand, 
and a legal combat of two days' duration 
ensued, resulting in the acquittal of the 
prisoners, who had shown that they had the 
best title to the claim. 

The first offense committed in the county 
against " the peace and dignity of the United 
States," as criminal offenses were designated 
in territorial times, was upon the part of 
John Duckering. He had struck a little fel- 
low, or dwarf, called Napoleon Boneparte, 
cutting him pretty badly, and Boneparte 
had Duckering arrested, and fined a small 

In August of 1857, a party of roughs, 
or, as the old settlers termed them, " border 
ruffians," attempted to "paint the embryo 
city of Owatonna red," as the expression of 
later daj's goes. Two men named BuU, a 
man named Orr, and a Mr. Squires got to 
drinking pretty heavily, and got into a row, 
after which they procured knives and pistols 
and began a reign of terror in cleaning out 
the town, marching uj) and down the streets. 
Nearly all of the citizens fled for their lives. 
The sheriff,David Lindersmith, had been very 
ill, so there was no peace officer at hand ; but 



after consultcation Slierifif Lindersmitli was 
sent for and got up from a sick-bed to quell 
the disturbance. Upon arriving at town, he 
found the four hnddled together near Elder 
Town's store on Bridge street. For a few 
minutes they resisted arrest and one of them 
nearly killed a bystander with a rock which 
he drew from his breast pocket. When they 
were secured the sheriff took them to a hotel 
and placed them under a guard, while he, suf- 
fering a temporary relapse, gave up and went 
to sleep. At about daylight the guards were 
changed and for a few minutes they were left 
alone with the sick sheriff, taking advantage 
of which they all escaped. Parties started 
at once in pursuit and succeeded in captur- 
ing two, while a third returned and gave 
himself up. The sheriff was now determined 
to see that they did not escape again. The 
nearest lockup was in St. Paul, so a log-chain 
was procured and the prisoners were all pad- 
locked together, while a guard of two men 
with pistols and clubs were placed over them. 
Either S. M. Yearly or G. W. Green prose- 
cuted the case, while the prisoners got a 
Faribault lawyer, H. C. Lowell, to defend 
them. An interesting trial followed. The 
Faribault man was an able lawyer. In his 
argument, he played upon the symjjathies of 
the jury, referred feelingly to the manner in 
which the sheriff had chained the poor men, 
and said a sheriff who would be guilty of so 
maltreating- human being-s ought to be sent 
to jail for life, etc. As the sheriff told the 
historian, it changed the whole course of 
public sentiment. Whereas two hours before 
the citizens favored hanging the ruffians, 
they then wanted to lynch the sheriff. The 
result of the trial was the acquittal of all 
the prisoners. 

In October, 1857, a case came before the 
district court which excited a great deal of 
interest and merriment in the young settle- 
ment. It was entitled Jacob Yonker vs. 
William ami Dorotha Mundt. The record 
shows S. M. Yearly an attorney for the 
plaintiff and G. W. Green as attorney for 

the defendants. It appears that during the 
spring and summer of 1857, Jacob Yonker, 
the plaintiff, and Minnie Mundt, a daughter 
of the defendants, had been working at 
Winship's hotel, and a short time before the 
commencement of this action they had taken 
a notion to get married. Thus far all was 
legal and right enough. But it seems that 
Minnie was not of age yet, being only seven- 
teen, and they did not deem it necessary to 
go through the formality of getting a license. 
They therefore went before Elder Town, who, 
after asking them the usual questions, i)i'o- 
nounced them man and wife. For a few 
days everything moved along smoothly 
enough ; but when the bride's parents 
learned of it, they commanded Minnie to 
come home, as she had married without their 
consent; and she, being a dutiful child, 
obeyed, leaving the bridegroom alone in his 
misery. Yonker took on terribly for a while, 
and finally, after getting legal advice, swore 
out papers for the arrest of his parents-in- 
law for "abducting" his wife. They were 
brought up by the sheriff, and when they 
saw the turn things had taken they wanted 
to settle it, and Mr. Mundt offered to pay 
Yonker what damage it had been to him. 
Yonker immediately responded : " I don'd 
vant your money ; I vant my Minnie ! " In 
this way the matter was finallj^ settled, 
Yonker paying costs and getting " his 
Minnie," while the old folks went their way 
in peace ; and the young people resumed 
their happy relations as bride and groom. 

Along in 1857 and 1858 there was consid- 
erable litigation growing from claim matters. 
An amusing incident is related in relation to 
this, which, barring names, is about as fol- 
lows : It seems that a shanty had disappeared 
from one of the settler's claims ; and, from 
conclusive evidence, it was apparent that it 
had been stolen. A search warrant was got 
out and placed in the sheriff's hands, which 
directed him to '' seize certain hasswood Inm- 
her,'' and arrest tlie party or parties found in 
possession of the samer The officer went to 



the place where the shantj had stood and 
there found the tracks of the \vagon which 
the stolen lumber had been loaded upon. 
Following the track in a circuitous route it 
finally brought up at a little cabin, in front 
of which was a nice pile of shanty lumber. 
The sheriff congratulated himself, as the 
whole matter was so plain as to leave no 
chance for mistake. Upon examination, 
however, the lumber proved to be elm and 
popple, and, under the warrant, it was impos- 
sible to seize it. The officer, therefore, drove 
off and left tlie thief in possession. 

All through the early records there appear 
references to a case in which Nathaniel 
Squires, David Lindersmith, the State of 
Minnesota, et al., are mixed ujj as plaintiffs 
and defendants. While there is nothing 
connected with the case or the matters 
involved to make it of more than ordinary 
interest, yet there is scarcely an old settler 
in the county who will not be interested in 
an account of it, as it was so badly mixed at 
the time it was tried that scarcely anyone 
fully understood the details from which the 
suit grew. In the early part of 1857 
Nathaniel Squires and Henry Corrigan got 
into a difficulty in Owatonna and began to 
fight it out. Squires got Corrigan down and 
was punishing him, when the sheriff, David 
Lindersmith, came upon the ground, and 
took them before Justice Shaw to see what 
should be done to preserve peace. Corrigan 
made complaint against Squires and the 
latter was fined $15. Corrigan was dis- 
charged, as Squires refused to make any com- 
plaint. Squires had no money to pay the 
fine, but they let him go. Thus the matter 
remained for some time, as Squires had no 
property attachable. Finally Squires bought 
a couple of cows and an attachment was got 
out and placed in Sheriff Lindersmith's 
hands for execution. He seized one cow and 
took her home with him, intending to have 
a sale at once. Squires claimed the action 
of the sheriff was illegal, and that the cow 
was exempt from execution. He gave bond 

and replevied the animal, and the case was 
taken before Justice Se3'mour Howe, who 
lived south of Owatonna, to try title. S. M. 
Yearly appeared as Squires' attorney and 
Judge Green defended Lindersmith. After 
a jury trial a verdict for Lindersmith was 
returned, and he at once secured possession 
of the cow and took her to his home. One 
Sunday, the 28th of June, 1857, Squires 
came and stole the cow, taking her to his 
son's, on Maple Creek, where she was 
butchered immediately. The sheriff got 
several others and started in jjursuit, arriv- 
ing at the " scene of slaughter" just as the 
beef was being hung up ; but as the other 
parties fought, they finall}^ returned without 
the beef. Warrants were sworn out for 
Geo. Squires, Joseph Wagner and Philander 
Atwater for resisting an officer. They were 
brought to trial July 1, 1857, and were dis- 
charged by the justice on the ground that 
the warrant did not agree with the com- 
plaint. They afterward delivered up the 
beef and the sheriff sold it. At the same 
time a warrant was issued for Nathaniel 
Squires, on account of stealing the cow. He 
was arrested and had a preliminary exami- 
nation on June 30, 1857, when he was bound 
over to appear in District Court. A few 
weeks later Squires sued Lindersmith for the 
price of the cow, and upon a change of venue 
the case was taken to Squire Tiffany, in 
Havana Township, for trial. A jury trial 
was had and a disagreement followed. A 
new trial was set and then an adjournment 
was asked. This was in April, 1S58. The 
law fixed thirty days as the length of time 
an adjournment could be had upon consent 
of parties. Judge Green, attorney for Linder- 
smith, suggested that the trial be set for the 
second Monday in June, about sixty days dis- 
tant, and upon the others consenting, the jus- 
tice entered it upon the docket and adjourned 
court. S. M. Yearly, attorney for Squires, 
discovered the error almost at once, but 
Green had taken his client and marched 
right off. They had got about twenty rods 



when the justice called to them, but they 
replied that June suited them, and moved 
right on. The justice interlined the record 
and changed "June" to " May." When the 
second Monday in May came, Squires and his 
attorney appeared, and as no one was present 
to defend, the^' got judgment. In June, the 
defendant appeared with Amos Coggswell 
and G. "W. Green as his attorneys, and 
demanded judgment but the justice told 
them that the matter was all settled, so they 
left. An execution was got out on Squires' 
judgment a short time later, and was placed 
in the hands of the coroner, Thomas Kenyon. 
He refused to execute it unless an indemnify- 
ing bond was given ; the same thing occurred 
with Mr. WiUsey, when he became sheriff, 
and as no bond was furnished the matter 
was finally dropped. 

The case of State of Minnesota vs. L. C. 
Gate came up for trial at the July term of 
court in 1859, and was the first " whisky 
case" taken to district court in Steele 
County. Amos Coggswell defended Gate. 
It appears that Gate had been keeping a 
saloon in a building near where the More- 
house Opera House block is now located, 
and was indicted for selling liquor without 
a license. At the first trial he was found 
guilty, but his attorney, Mr. Coggswell, made 
a motion for a new trial, and a few days 
before the second trial took place, the de- 
fendant was taken sick with the typhoid 
fever and died. 

In the summer of 1859, the Mankato town- 
site cases were tried here upon a change of 
venue. Hundreds of them were docketed ; 
but test cases were made of the different 
classes, so that all were not tried that were 
placed upon the docket. Some of the ablest 
lawyers in the State appeared in these cases, 
and they evoked great interest throughout 
the entire State at the time, as the title to 
about all of the city of Llankato depended 
upon the decision. The gist of these suits, 
as near as we have been able to learn, was 
as follows : The original proprietors of 

the city of Mankato had laid out a town, 
had commenced building, and property was 
advancing in value. Early in the '50's, sev- 
eral parties, among Avhom are remembered 
Messrs. Brandson, Moreland and Cole, or- 
ganized themselves into a new company and 
jumped the claims of the old proprietors and 
the squatters holding under them, on the 
ground that the original claimants had taken 
possession before the Indian title was ex- 
tinguished. The decision was in favor of the 
old proprietors, or the squatters. Some of 
these old cases, however, are in court yet. 

The criminal case of the State of Minne- 
sota vs. Henry Kreigler, which was tried here 
in December, 1860, was the first murder trial 
ever had in Steele County. The case was 
brought here upon a change of venue from 
Freeborn County, where the defendant had 
killed Nelson Boughton, of Oakvale, that 
county. I. W. Perry and Gordon E. Cole ap- 
peared for the State and A. Armstrong, 
Perkins & Perkins and W. K. Kinyon ap- 
peared for the defendant. After a lengthy 
and interesting trial, a jury returned a verdict 
against the prisoner of " murder in the first 
degree," and the court sentenced him to be 
hung. He was taken to Albert Lea where 
the sentence was executed. This was the 
first case of hanging in southern Minnesota, 
and the writer believes the onlj^ one that has 
occurred in the history of this part of the 
State under sentence of a court. Many 
thought then, and still believe, that the de- 
fendant in this case was insane. Kreigler 
was a German and could speak but little 
English, but his actions throughout the trial 
indicated plainly that he was either crazy or 
half-witted, or was feigning very naturally. 
He would dance, in his chains, all the way 
from the jail to the court house, and in a 
dozen other ways his actions were those of 

The case of State of Minnesota vs. Eliza J. 
Brown appears on the criminal calendar of 
the April term of court in 18(52. It was a 
case of considerable interest in those days 



and raised quite an excitement. It seems 
that Mrs. Eliza J. Brown had located upon 
a iarm in Merton To\vnship and was en- 
gaged in working it. She had several chil- 
dren, among whom was a daughter; and 
she employed a hired man to help run the 
place. As time ran along Mrs. Brown got 
suspicious of the fellow's attentions to her 
daughter, and finally determined to kill him. 
So one day, on the pretense of having re- 
pairs made, she got him into the cistern, and 
then opened hostilities. She threw fiat-irons, 
shovels, stones and everything she could lift 
in upon him, and tried to brain him with 
clubs and pitchforks. The cistern, however, 
was boarded up so that he could partially 
get out of her reach. When he would thus 
take refuge, she would pour hot water in 
upon him, and drive him out and then resort 
to her clubs and flat-irons. When he would 
jump and catch the top to lift himself out, 
she had the ax handy and would chop at his 
hands. Luckily, some one happened along 
before she had killed him, and got the fellow 
out. The cistern was a sight after the bat- 
tle, filled with her implements of warfare. 
A warrant was sworn out and Mrs. Brown 
was arrested. She secured H. C. Lowell, 
of Faribault, as attorney to defend her, 
while G. W. Green and S. M. Yearly ap- 
peared for the State. She waived examin- 
ation and the case came up for trial in April, 
1862, in District Court, before Judge Donald- 
son. A large number of witnesses were 
present from the Merton neighborhood, and 
a good deal of feeling was worked up over 
the case. The theory of the defense was 
that the mother was justified and it seems 
that they supported it well, for the trial re- 
sulted in a verdict of acquittal. The case 
was severely contested. The injured man 
was laid up for nearly a year with his 

The case of State of Minnesota vs. John 
Ryan, which was tried at the spring term of 
district court in 1868, was one of the most 
important murder trials in the history of the 

county. The defendant had killed Thomas 
Dorsey, the details of the tragedy being 
about as follows : Eyan had been here 
through 1866-7, working on the raih-oad, and 
when the railroad was built west to Waseca, 
he went with the construction party. On 
the ith-of July, 1807, a celebration was held 
at Owatonna, and Ryan, with others, came 
back to attend. In a saloon he met Thomas 
Dorsey and invited him to drink, but Dorsey 
refused, upon which a quarrel ensued. Ryan 
would not let the matter drop, but followed 
Dorsey out, determined to fight. Later Dor- 
sey hid in a lumber-yard, and Ryan, learnmg 
of his whereabouts, procured a knife and 
hunted him out. In the struggle that en- 
sued Ryan stabbed Dorsey several times, in- 
flicting wounds from which the latter soon 
died. Ryan was tried, found guilty, and on 
the 22d of April, 1868, was sentenced to be 
hung. The scafl'olding was nearly completed, 
when the governor commuted his sentence 
to imprisonment for life. Ryan was a vi- 
cious, ill-tempered and dangerous man, and, 
even in prison, was not allowed to mingle 
with the other convicts. He finally lost his 
reason, and on April 2, 1883, he was par- 
doned by Gov. Hubbard and released. 

At the April term in 1868 an interesting 
case was tried, entitled State vs. Joseph 
Young. Young was a farmer, living on 
section 36, in Owatonna Township. It seems 
that a couple of young men from Owatonna 
were driving past his place, after having 
been chicken-hunting in Aurora Township, 
when Young's dog ran out and followed, 
barking and annoying them. They either 
killed, or seriously shot, the dog, and Young, 
who was plowing in the field near by, ran 
wp to the buggy and pulled one of the young 
men out, at the same time stabbing him. 
Young was found guilty and fined $150 and 
costs. Amos Coggswell defended, and J. B. 
Searles prosecuted. 

The case of State of Minnesota vs. Will- 
iam Sterling, which was tried in April, 1869, 
was of considerable interest. It was prose- 



cuted by Gordon E. Cole and J. B. Searles, 
and Gov. Gorman and Amos Coggswell were 
attorneys for the defendant. A short time 
previous to the time when this case was 
tried, Dr. Duvall, a faith doctor, or one that 
professed to cure by " laying on of hands," 
had located at Owatonna, and was stopping 
with William Sterling, who was then in the 
lumber business. After a few weeks of 
courtship he was married to Mr. Sterling's 
sister-in-law. Some of the boj's about town 
decided to charivari the newly-married cou- 
ple, and they repaired to the house of 
William Sterling, where the pair were stop- 
ping, with a full orchestra of horse-fiddles, 
tin-pans, etc. The concert had progressed 
but a few minutes, when Mr. Sterling stepped 
to the window with a gun in his hand and 
fired into the midst of the serenading party, 
seriously wounding John Heisch, one of the 
Ijoys. Sterling was indicted by the grand 
jury, tried, found guilty and fined a small 
amount. The doctor was also indicted, but 
was acquitted upon triaL The injured man 
recovered, and is still a resident of Owa- 
tonna. The doctor afterward removed to 
Wisconsin, where he poisoned his wife, was 
tried, found guiltj^ and sentenced to the 
penitentiary for life. 

The case of State of Minnesota vs. John 
Murray, for the murder of Mr. Hickey, was 
tried in April, 1870, and attracted wide at- 
tention. Murray had come to Owatonna as 
a railroad hand in 1866, and early in the 
spring of 1870 was living in Owatonna, 
a short distance from Hickey's place. Their 
families became involved in a quarrel, and 
the men took it up. One day they met over 
a pup|)le-pole fenpe, which bounded Hickey's 
lot, and after some words Murra}' seized a 
pole from the fence and dealt Hickey a blow 
over the head which caused his death. Mur- 
ray was placed in jail, and when arraigned 
in district court plead "not guilty." The 
case was prosecuted by J. B. Searles, 
county attorney, assisted by Att'y-Gen. Cor- 
nell. The defendant was ably represented 

by Amos Coggswell. The trial resulted in 
a verdict of guilty, and the defendant was 
sentenced to six years in the penitentiary. 
After serving about three years, however, 
he was pardoned by the governor. 

The case of State of Minnesota vs. Samuel 
E. Henry was the most important trial dur- 
ing the December term, 1874. Henry had 
committed rape upon a young girl at Bloom- 
ing Prairie. Amos Coggswell and J. M. 
Burlingame appeared for the State, and L. 
L. Wheelock and an attorney from Decorah, 
Iowa, defended the man. After an inter- 
esting trial he was convicted and sentenced 
to twenty j'ears in the penitentiary. He 
served about six years of his sentence when 
he was pardoned by the governor. 

The State of Minnesota vs. M. Keefe was 
a criminal case called for the June term, 
1875. The defendant had got into a row 
with a Norwegian named Oleson at Bloom- 
ing Prairie, during which he cut him up 
pretty badly. J. M. Burlingame prosecuted 
and Amos Coggswell defended. The pris- 
oner was found guilty and fined $500. 

In June, 1876, John Linhardt was brought 
before Judge Donaldson on the charge of 
forgery. It appears that he had forged the 
name of J. A. Oppliger to an order for $50 
on the First National Bank and passed the 
same. He was arrested at Rochester, brought 
back and held until the grand jury, which 
was m session at the time, indicted him, 
and he plead guilty and was sentenced 
to two years in the penitentiary. He 
returned all of the money except $10.25, 
having been arrested on the same day that 
he committed the crime. He was tried, 
convicted and sentenced within forty-eight 
hours after he passed the order. 

A serious stabbing aflfray occurred in the 
town of Somerset, in June, 1877, the cir- 
cumstances of which as related by one side 
were as follows : Frank Herdina, father, 
two sons and another man, left town on that 
day, just enough imbued with whisky to 
make them very quarrelsome and easily irri- 



tated. W. K. Knickerbocker, wife, child 
and a man named Barker soon followed them, 
and when about five miles south, Mr. Knick- 
erbocker drove by the Herdinas, who had 
two teams partly loaded with lumber. Mr. 
K. had gone but a short distance by them 
when they gave chase, galloping their horses 
to catch up. Soon Mr. Knickerbocker's little 
boy's hat blew oif and Mr. Barker jumped 
out to get it. The Herdinas at this juncture 
came up and jiounced onto Barker, and with 
large, two-bladed pocket-knives, the}' cut a 
gash to the bone, about eight inches long, in 
the calf of the right leg ; they tried to cut 
him in the left breast and would no doubt 
have pierced his heart, had it not been for a 
large pocketbook in his inside vest pocket, 
which was cut through several times, the 
points of the blades entering the flesh. Mr. 
Knickerbocker, who was a strong man, see- 
ing these barbarous actions, went to the 
i^escue and knocked two of the assailants 
senseless, when the other two pounced on 
his back, cutting him severely and driving 
the knife into his shoulder up to the hilt, and 
breaking off the point in the shoulder. With 
a powerful exertion Mr. Knickerbocker freed 
himself and grabbing Barker threw him into 
the wagon and jumping in himself drove 
rapidly away. He soon came to Justice 
Pike's residence and Mr. Knickerbocker 
fainted upon getting out. Mr. Pike immedi- 
ately ordered the arrest of the offenders, and 
in company with Oscar Gross succeeded in 
capturing the three Herdinas and delivered 
them to the sheriff the same night. Consta- 
ble Tiffany went out the next morning 
and captured the fourth man. Mr. Knicker- 
bocker was cut in the arm beside the shoul- 
der gash. Mr. Barker, who was only twenty 
years old, was cut thirteen times, and for 
some time his recovery was doubtful. The 
prisoners were arraigned before Judge Don- 
aUlson and bound over in the sum of $500 
each to appear at the December term of 
court, in 1877. When the case was called 
for trial a number of important additional 

facts were developed. From the evidence it 
appeared that the two parties had had some 
trouble before leaving the city, and Bailey, 
one of the Knickerbocker party had " pulled 
his coat" and dared the others to fight him. 
Also, that Barker had thrown a stone 
knocking the old man Herdina down before 
the trouble I'eally commenced, and that the 
Bohemians had responded, knocking Mr. 
Knickerbocker down. Barker was forced 
backward into a ditch, falling and pulling 
Herdina Avith him. Herdina's son tried to 
use the knife on Barker, cutting him as well 
as his own father quite severely. The jury 
was made up wholl}' of Americans, not a 
a Bohemian being allowed to sit upon it. 
They returned a verdict of guilty in each 
case and the prisoners were sentenced as fol- 
lows: Kroulik to one year in the county 
jail ; Frank Herdina, Sr., to one year in the 
penitentiary ; Frank Herdina, Jr., two years 
in the penitentiary, and Adolph Herdina to 
four years in the penitentiary. The case was 
prosecuted by J. M. Burlingame and de- 
fended by Amos Coggswell. 

After sentence was rendered in the Her- 
dina matter, the case of Frank Herdina, 
Sr., was taken to the Supreme Court on 
appeal, and a stay of judgment granted to 
await decision. In the higher court the case 
was ably contested, and finally' ended in the 
sentence of District Court being sustained. 
The syllabus of the decision was as follows : 

" State of Minnesota, respondent, vs. Frank 
Herdina, Sr., et. al., appellants. A par- 
ent has no right to protect his child in the 
commission of a crime. To convict of 
an assault with a dangerous weapon, with 
intent to do great bodily harm, one who 
comes to the assistance of the person holding 
the weapon, it is not necessary that he 
should have aided in the previous arming 
of such person. 

" Evidence merely that the defendant was 
drunk when he joined one in committing an 
assault, without any evidence of the condi- 
tion of his mind, or that he was too drunk 



to reason or know right from wrong, will 
not require a charge to the jury that if 
defendant was so drunk that he did not 
know what he was doing, they should find 
for the defendant. Order aifirmed." 

Shortly after the commencement of the 
criminal cases William F. Barkei- began a 
civil action against Frank Herdina, Sr., 
et. al., for $1,500 damages. A verdict for 
$750 was returned against Frank Herdina, 
Sr., and Adolph Herdina.- In the actions 
against Frank Herdina, Jr., and John 
Kroulik, verdicts for the defendants were 

Mr. Knickerbocker began similar civil 
suits in which damages were laid at $1,000. 
Verdicts were rendered for plaintiff in the sum 
of $675 against Frank Herdina, Sr., Frank 
Herdina, Jr, and Adolph Herdina, and for the 
defendant in the case against John Kroulik. 

In June, 1878, the criminal calendar con- 
tained a case entitled State of Minnesota vs. 
Claude Van Alstyne, the grand jury having 
indicted him during the latter part of May. 
When the case was called the defendant put 
in a plea of " not guilty," and Judge Amos 
Cogo'swell and Hon. L. L. Wheelock were 
appointed to conduct the defense, while 
Judge A. C. Hickman assisted the county 
attorney, J. M. Burlingame, in the prosecu- 
tion. The trial was one of great interest, 
and one of the most extensive and important 
in the history of the county. Claude Van 
Alstyne was a young man twenty-one years 
of age, a native of Belvidere, 111., but 
had lived for a number of years in But- 
ler, Bates County, Mo. He came from 
there to Minnesota. A short time before 
the crime was committed he came from 
Eochester and began working for Isaac Tur- 
telot, at Owatonna, taking out ice from 
Straight River. On the 15th of February, 
1878, he, together with Phocion Turtelot, a 
son of his employer, Lewis Arnold, L. 
Stevens, F. Davis and James Atchison were 
at work upon the ice. Phocion Turtelot, it 
appears, assumed a sort of general charge 

of the work, and coming up to where Van 
Alstyne was at work they got into a quarrel, 
in which the defendant struck Phocion with 
an ice-hook, killing him. There were two 
sides to the quarrel, as is usual in these sad 
tragedies, and we here give as near as possi- 
ble both sides : The witnesses for the pros- 
ecution all agreed upon about the following 
state of facts : "Defendant was hooking on 
the grappling hooks for the horse to pull out 
the ice. Phocion went to breaking the ice, 
and Van Alstyne told him to stop. Phocion 
said, ' I won't do it.' Defendant said, ' If 
you break it, you can draw it up yourself.' 

Phocion replied that, 'bj' , he would 

break it,' and told him : ' It's none of your 
business ; who is boss here ? ' Defend- 
ant said, ' It don't make a bit of difference. 

I am running this part of the business myself.' 
Phocion again replied that he would break 
it. Defendant stepped up toward him and 
pushed him, and Phocion jumped back on a 
cake of floating ice, then back to the bank, 
and seizing a bar says to the defendant : ' I'll 
beat your life or brains out.' Some of the 
other workmen put in a few words at about 
this time. But a second later and Van 
Alstyne struck Phocion on the head with the 
ice-hook. He then pulled out the hook. 
Phocion got up after a few minutes, made 
his way to the wagon and was taken home. 
He died from the effects of the blow, on the 
22d of February, 1878." Some of the wit- 
nesses for the State claimed that Van 
Alstyne struck two blows. The blow fract- 
ured the skull the hook having penetrated 
the skull about two inches, from which the 
brains slowly oozed. 

The theory advanced by the defense was 
that the act was justifiable under the circum- 
stances. The substance of the evidence in- 
troduced by the defense is clearly shown in 
the testimony of Claude Van Alstyne, the 
defendant. Condensed, it was about as fol- 
lows : " I was not acquainted with Turtelot 
before I came here. I went to work for hnn 
the day after I got here, on the ice. On the 



day mentioned there were there beside my- 
self, Atchison, Davis, Stevens and Arnold. 
Tm-telot was there about one hour. I did 
not see him leave. He set me to hitching on 
the grapples to haul ice onto the platform. 
He had me at that about nine days. He 
said that morning, I was to keep at that 
work, as no other man he could get could do 
the work I did on that platform. When 
Phocion was breaking the ice, I said : 
' Don't break that ice ! If you do you 
will have to draw it up yourself.' I 
had the grapples in my left hand and the 
pick I always carried in my right. He 

said: ' It's none of your business ! 

I'll do as I please; the ice don't belong to you.' 
I had no idea or intention of striking him. 
I pushed him with my hand so that he lost 
his balance. He turned right around and said : 

' I'll smash the ■- life out of you !' 

When he raised the bar, I said: ' Don't you 
strike me with that bar !' and I backed up 
as far as I could get. I told him three or 
four times not to strike me, and he struck 
at me with it. I dodged or it would have 
hit my head ; instead it hit my arm. He 
had the bar raised to strike me again, and I 
struck him with the pick. I meant to strike 
him with the stick. I didn't notice how I 
struck him. My object was to strike him 
and then get away from him. I did it to 
defend myself. That was all the object 1 
had. He fell on his knees and then fell over 
on his right elbow. As he fell I let go the 
pick handle and stepped back. Then I saw 
it was in his head, and I took hold of it and 
raised it out of his head. Then I took it and 
the bar and laid them on the ice, I guess ten 
or fifteen feet away. I think I stood and 
looked at him till he got up— as much as a 
minute. Then I stepped over to Davis and 
Atchison; I was pretty badly excited at that 
time." Tlie judge here asked the question: 
" Couldn't you have got out of there as fast 
as Phocion could? " to which the defendant 
replied; " Not with(jut turning my back on 
him, and he would luive struck me behind." 

In Judge Lord's charge to the jury, among 
many other important and interesting points 
of law set forth, were the following : " . . . 
There is no dispute but that the defendant 
struck Turtelot with this instrument, a blow 
upon the head, on the 15th of February, 
1878, and that blow resulted in his death. 
The first question is : Whether that blow 
was criminal or not ? It is claimed on the 
part of the defendant that he was justified 
in striking that blow. Now a party has a 
right to defend himself, and he has a right 
to use such a degree of force as may be nec- 
essary to defend himself, and if a felonious 
assault is made upon him he has a right, if 
necessary in protecting himself, to take the 
life of his assailant ; but he has no right 
unless it is necessary. This right of self- 
defense is limited to the necessity. It is the 
duty of the party assailed to get away if he 
can. The mere circumstances of an assault 
being made upon him does not justify his 
assaulting the other party if he can get away. 
Now, in considering whether this killing 
was necessary, in order to defend himself, 
look at the circumstances of the case, the 
situation of the parties, and their relative 
ability to defend themselves from assault; 
and consider whether, in fact, this blow was 
given in self-defense, or whether it was 
given for the purpose of killing, or for the pur- 
pose of a lesser assault than that ; whether 
it was not rather an attack upon Turtelot 
than an act of self-defense. You will find 
from the general circumstances whether this 
defendant was in any real danger of injury 
if he had stepped away and let Turtelot 
alone ; and then, further, whether it was nec- 
essary to strike such a bloAV as he did, 
supposing Turtelot was coming at him with 
that bar and he standing there defending 
himself. ..." 

The jury returned a verdict of guilty of 
manslaughter in the second degree after a 
short absence from the court-room, and the 
prisoner was sentenced to the State peniten- 
tiary for life. He remained in prison until 



the spring of 1884, when he was pardoned 
by the governor. 

An interesting case was tried at the 
December term of court, 1881. It was enti- 
tled, Joseph Kaplan vs. C, M. & St. P. E. 
R. Co. It was an action brought to recover 
$5,000 damages for the killing of the plain- 
tiff's little seven-year-old daughter by the 
defendants' train in June, 1881. Judge A. 
C. Hickman appeared for the plaintiff, and 
Gordon E. Cole for the defendants. A 
struck jury was empaneled, who brought in 
a verdict for the defendants. 

On Friday night, September 12, 1884, just 
about the time the Barrett circus, which had 
just given a performance, was breaking up, 
John Blair, a special policeman, arrested a 
woman supposed to belong to the circus. He 
started up Cedar street and when near Pot- 
ter's lumber yard a man ran against him, and 
turned to ask why Blair had run into him. 
Blair replied that he did not, when they had 
some words and the man struck Blair on the 
side of the head with a heavy club. The 
blow felled Blair and the miscreant disap- 
peared in the darkness. Blair was helped 
home and died the following morning. 
Sheriff Murray, in company with one of the 
parties who saw the blow struck, followed 
the circus to Rochester on the 13th, for the 
purpose of looking over the employes of the 
show for the murderer. They soon found 
him in the person of James Jacobs, and he 
Avas arrested and brought to Owatonna the 
same evening. 

The case of State against James Jacobs 
came to trial at the January term of court, 
1885, Judge Thomas S. Buckham, pi-esid- 
ing. The State was represented by W. F. 
Saw3'er, county attorney, and the defense by 
Judge Amos Coggswell. After a number of 
challenges, the following jury was selected 
to try the case : Lewis Burns, of Berlin ; T. 
T. Nelson, of Havana ; H. Wentworth, 
Henry Ribbe, D. W. Hines, of Aurora; M. 
Guthrie, of Blooming Brairie ; W. J. Ellis, 
of Havana; Frank McCauley and Cord 

King, of Aurora ; Frank Carlton, of Merton ; 
John Lippert, of Meriden ; and L. C. Peters, 
of Berlin. 

The following account of the trial, taken 
from one of the city papers, goes sufficiently 
into detail, and is given in full : " James 
Jacobs, the prisoner, was then brought into 
court. The first witness called on part of 
State was C. C. Garvey, of Minneapolis, who 
saw the blow struck, and who heard quarrel 
between John L. Blair and James Jacobs. 
The next witness was Edward Austin, of 
Owatonna, who repeated the story of the 
murder. Dr. L. L. Bennett was next called, 
he having had the custody of the weapon 
(the heavy stick) with which Policeman ' 
Blair was struck. Mr. Andrew Meehan, of 
Owatonna, was called and testified to what 
he saw and heard. Mr. A. McCumber, 
of "Winona County, was next sworn. He 
testified that he attended the concert after 
the circus was out. After the concert he 
went over to see the circus men load their 
wagons on the train. While there, he saw a 
gathering on or near sidewalk between rail- 
road tracks on opposite side of street. He 
ran over to within about fifteen feet. He 
saw Jacobs with a club in his hand and 
Policeman Blair raise and jjoint his pistol at 

him twice; heard prisoner say, ' 

you ! put up that pistol or I'll kill you.' The 
prisoner had just drawn club from under his 
arm or coat. Jacobs then turned and blew 
a whistle he took from his pocket, when 
those loading the wagons dropped work and 
ran over toward Jacobs. Blair put his hand 
back in coat pocket with pistol, and turned 
and began to walk south, when the prisoner 
took a few steps forward, probably fifteen or 
twenty feet, and struck Blair on side of head, 
holding club in both hands, knocking him 
into the ditch, where he fell. He got up in 
about a minute and began to reel across the 
street, when two men took him off. The 
witness, Garvey, testified that he saw girl get 
up and run out of circus and taking prisoner 
by the arm walked off with him. Also saw 



Saw big 

Blair come and take her away, 
man at crossing, with club under his arm, 
brush against Policeman Blair. Prisoner 
swore and told Blair that he had run into 
him once too often. Some one shouted, 
'arrest man with club,' after which Mr. 
Garvey's testimony agreed substantially 
with Mr. McCumber's. This was the sub- 
stance of the evidence introduced by the 

The defense introduced a number of depo- 
sitions, taken in "Warsaw, Ind., showing the 
good character, steady habits and worth of 
James Jacobs when he worked there a num- 
ber of years ago. A number of depositions 
were also read taken before a justice of the 
peace in Fort Wayne, Ind. These certified 
to his good character during the winters 
when he worked around there, he having 
been away traveling with some circus each 
summer. The defense had a railway con- 
ductor sworn, who testified that he saw 
Jacobs at his work as usual about fifteen 
minutes after the concert was concluded. 
The prisoner also testified in his own behalf, 
denying that he went off with the girl, also 
stating that he never saw her until he saw 
her in jail. He stated that Blair pulled a 
revolver and threatened to shoot him ; and 
that Blair had his revolver leveled when the 
prisoner sti'uck him. Attorney Sawyer made 
an able plea to the jury on behalf of the 
State, endeavoring to convince them that the 
prisoner was guilty of willful, premeditated 
murder as charged in the indictment. Judge 
Coggswell, on the part of the defense, made 
a strong and convincing argument, review- 
ing every phase of the case. The jury after 
an absence of a few hours brought in a ver- 
dict of "guilty of manslaughter in the fourth 
degree." The judge sentenced him to State 
penitentiary for the term of four years, the 
longest period provided by law for that 
degree of crime. This verdict gave a good 
deal of dissatisfaction, as it was felt that the 
prisoner had not I'eceived the punishment he 
deserved. The night he was brought back 

from Rochester, feeling ran high and he 
narrowly escaped lynching. A large crowd 
had assembled at the depot to meet the train 
that was to bring the prisoner in, and the 
desire for lynching seemed almost unani- 
mous. II. M. Hastings, seeing the danger, 
telegi'aphed the sheriff, Hugh Murray, who 
had charge of the prisoner, and it was 
arranged to stop the train out of town and 
convey the prisoner secretly to the jail. 
Later the crowd assembled at the jail, crying 
" hang him ! hang him ! '' but Sheriff Murray 
made a timely and appropriate speech, cool- 
ing them down and warning them against 
attempting to take the law in their own 
hands, and the gathering finally dispersed. 
Great credit is due to Mr. Murray and Mr. 
Hastings for their management of the affair. 
At the June term, 1S85, was tried the case 
of State of Minnesota vs. William A^an 
Kuden, one of the most important murder 
trials in the history of Steele County. The 
details connected with the tragedy from 
which the case grew are susceptible of many 
various and conflicting versions, the friends 
of the deceased man, John Lehman, as well 
as the friends of Van Kuden, claiming that 
the fault was wholly upon the part of the 
other. However that may be, we here 
give the facts as they were related 
without coloring. It appears that near 
the line separating Steele and Dodge 
Counties, neax'ly due east from Owatonna, 
there lived until the time of this tragedy, 
two neighbors — William Van Ruden and 
John Lehman — the former in Steele and 
the latter in Dodge County. For some 
time there had been bad blood between the 
two men, and many wordy conflicts had 
taken \AAce. On the 25th of May, 1S85, 
Van Ruden left home to attend to some busi- 
ness and (luring his absence Lehman, armed 
with a gun, went over to Van Ruden's farm. 
On this point there arose an important ques- 
tion on the trial, the prosecution claiming 
that his errand was only to drive off chickens 
or something of that kind, with no evil or 



malicious intent, while the defense claimed 
that he went to commit murder. It is stated 
that Lehman shot the gun several times, and 
when remonstrated with by Mrs. Van Euden 
he abused • her, calling vile names. After 
that he would lie down in the bushes for a 
time ; then get up and walk around, and 
finally, chose a spot in the brush just across 
the county line, on his own farm, and there 
laid down. In a short time Van Ruden came 
home and his wife related what had taken 
place. Thereupon he took down his gun 
and, after seeing where Lehman lay, he 
started for the place accompanied by his 
wife. As they neared the spot Lehman 
arose with his gun in his hand, and at the 
same instant Van Ruden fired, killi-ng Leh- 
man almost instantly. Van Euden was ar- 
rested, indicted and tried in June, 1885. He 
was defended by Hon. A. C. Hickman and 
Hon. Amos Coggswell. The prosecution 
was ably represented by W. F. Sawyer, Esq., 
and an earnest and able fight was made in 
the courts. The only witnesses to the 
tragedy were the prisoner and his wife. The 
theory of the defense was that the killing 
was done in self-defense, and an important 
item of the evidence was found in the fact 
that the gun carried by the deceased when 
found was cocked and read}'^ for shooting. 
The jury found Van Euden guilty, and the 
court sentenced him to five years in the 
penitentiary, which sentence he is now serv- 


When the territory of Minnesota became 
a State, Steele County became a part of the 
fifth judicial district which then embraced 
the counties of Steele, Dakota, Goodhue, 
Scott, Eice, "Waseca, Dodge, Mower and 
Freeborn. Hon. N. M. Donaldson, of Owa- 
tonna, was the first judge of this district. 
He was first elected in October, 1857, and 
was re-elected in 1864, serving until the 31st 
of December, 1871. 

Nicholas M. Donaldson during his life was 
one of the most prominent men in the State. 

He was born at Cambridge, Washington 
County, N. Y., on the 12th of November, 
1809, his father a native of the north of 
Ireland, his mother of Scotland. Nicholas 
M. lived on a farm until eighteen, when 
he became a clerk in a store at Argyle, 
in his native county, finishing meantime his 
education at the Salem Academy. After this 
he taught school several winters and farmed 
during the summer. In 1840 he moved to 
Hayesville, Eichland County, Ohio, taught 
school two years, read law at the same time 
with Thomas W. Bartley, since a supreme 
judge of Ohio, and was admitted to the bar 
in the autumn of 1843. Mr. Donaldson 
opened an office in Mansfield, the county-seat 
of Eichland County, and when the county 
was divided in 1846 he removed to London- 
ville and was elected prosecuting attorney 
of his county. In 1849, he pushed westward 
to Waupun, Wis., and during his residence 
there was chairman of the board of super- 
visors and a member of the legislature from 
1851 to 1855. In 1856 he settled in Owa- 
tonna, and in the autumn of 1857 was elected 
judge of the fifth district, and served fourteen 
years. His death occurred at Owatonna 
early in February, 1879. 

Samuel Lord was elected judge in October, 
1871, and served from January 1, 1872, until 
February 21, 1880. 

Thomas S. Buckham, of Faribault, suc- 
ceeded Judge Lord, by appointment of the 
governor, on the 21st of February, 1880, 
and is the present judge. 

The fifth judicial district now embraces 
Steele, Waseca, Dodge and Eice Counties. 
The times fixed for holding court are as fol- 
lows : Owatonna, in June and December ; 
Mantorville, in March and October; Fari- 
bault, in May and November; Waseca, in 
March and October. 


G. W. Green was undoubtedly the first 
lawyer to locate within the limits of Steele 
County. He came here from Wisconsin in 



1854 and made some investments near Owa- 
tonna, or on the town plat. A few years 
later he located at Clinton Falls, where, in 
1857, he bought the Clinton Mills. At tliat 
time he was a man of thirty-five years, per- 
haps, and a healthy, fully-developed man, 
mentally as well as physically. In "Wiscon- 
sin he had been active in public affairs as 
well as private enterprises, and there ob- 
tained his right to the title of "Judge" 
through holding the office of county judge 
for a number of years in Dodge County in 
that State. "When he bought the mill he 
took hold of the work himself, and attended 
to law business, politics and official duties 
between times. He was a man of much 
more than ordinary ability, and took a very 
prominent part here in early days — repre- 
senting Steele Countj' in the Lower House of 
the Legislature, and otherwise taking a lead- 
ing part in political and official matters. In 
1857 he was a prominent candidate for the 
nomination for district judge, but was de- 
feated by Judge Donaldson. As a lawyer, 
he was among the ablest in this portion of 
the State, well read in law, of good argu- 
mentative powers, and withal a practical 
man. It is remembered of him that he had 
the faculty of getting his cases well in hand 
and his witnesses and evidence marshalled 
in the most perfect manner. He was one of 
the most influential members of the legis- 
lature in which he served, originating and 
drafting the bill embracing the civil organi- 
zation and government of townships, and 
the supervisor system. At that time rail- 
road matters occupied a good deal of atten- 
tion, and, in fact, that was among the most 
important sessions of the legislature in the 
history of the State. Steele County was 
represented in the House by Judge Amos 
Coggswell and Judge Green, and it is doubt- 
ful whether there was a stronger delegation 
in the legislature. Mr. Coggswell was made 
Speaker of the House. The Transit — or the 
present "Winona & St. Peter Railroad — was 
then before the legislature on account of 

land grant and route matters. There was 
active work being done in behalf of the in- 
terested points to decide whether the Tran- 
sit should cross the north and south road at 
Aurora, Owatonna or Clinton Falls. Judee 
Green opposed Owatonna so activelj^ that 
when the succeeding election came he was 
defeated.. Judge Gi'een remained in Steele 
County until about 1880, when he removed 
to California, and he now lives in Salinas, 
that State. He accumulated considerable 
property while in Steele County, and since 
his residence in California he has not been 
actively engaged in an_v business. In an- 
other chapter will be found a very interest- 
ing article from Judge Green's pen. 

Amos Coggswell located here in 1856 and 
at once took his place as one of the leading 
attorneys in this part of the State. He and 
Judge Green were the principal court or 
trial lawyers in the county during those 
early days. 

M. A. Dailey located at Owatonna in 1856, 
He was originally from Washington County, 
N. Y., a man nearly forty years old at the 
time he came here. It is thought that he 
had never practiced law before settling here, 
but he was a careful and i-apid businessman, 
and an expert accountant, and it was not 
long befere he was elected to public office, 
and he soon held nearly all of the county 
offices. He then commenced his law prac- 
tice, and a great deal of business came to 
him through the various offices which he 
held. His practice was almost wholly con- 
fined to office work, foreclosing mortgages, 
making out papers, and attending to tax 
matters, and it was seldom that he went into 
court with a. case unless before a justice of 
the peace. He made money in those da^^s 
but did not seem to accumulate much. Times 
were hard, particularly from 1858 until early 
during the war. One time during this 
period, while Dailey and "W. 11. Kinyon 
(who in tlie meantime had begun practice 
here) were talking, Mr. Kinyon remarked 
that he was afraid they would finally starve 



him out, when Mr. Dailey replied that he 
was making $3,000 a year. This was an 
enormous salary for this country in early 
times, and we mention the incident to show 
the extent of Dailey's business at that time. 
In the fall of 1862 Mr. Dailey was elected 
to the Senate, and in the following spring 
he resigned, secured an appointment as 
quartermaster in some regiment and went 
into the service. After the close of the war 
he retui'ned and tried to pick up his former 
business. Other lawyers, however, had 
located here who were better posted in law, 
and more active in working up business, 
while the county offices had passed into the 
hands of other men, and in every way the 
renewed activity and general state of affairs 
made it impossible for Dailey to regain his 
former standing, either officially or in the 
law business. After a few years he secured 
an appointment in the jiostal service, and 
finally removed to Minneapolis, where he 
now lives, engaged at clerical work in a rail- 
road office. 

S. M. Yearly located here in 1S56, coming 
originally from the New England States. 
He settled upon a claim southeast of Owa- 
tonna, put up a frame house and went to 
farming in a light way, at the same time 
attending to a limited law practice. He 
held the office of prosecuting attorney of the 
county for some time during his residence 
here, and was quite an active politician, 
always being on hand at conventions and 
public meetings. After the close of the war 
he removed to the western part of the State, 
where he still lives. Yearly was very quick- 
tempered and scarcely ever tried a suit with- 
out getting half crazy with anger. He has 
been known to get so mad during the trial 
of a case, as to take up his books and quit 
the court-room in high dudgeon, leaving the 
other lawyer to try the case alone. 

W. R. Kinyon settled at Owatonna in 
1858 and at once began practice. He is still 
a resident of Owatonna, being now president 
of the First National Bank, having given up 

the active practice of law. Mr. Kinyon has 
a number of times represented the county in 
the legislature and has twice been honored 
by being chosen speaker of the House. 
Almost every enterprise or action of a pub- 
lic nature that has affected Steele county 
during the past quarter of a century has felt 
his influence and received his support. 

P. J. Nordeen was the next lawyer. He was 
a Norwegian, who, it is thought, came here 
from Wisconsin in the spring of 1859, locating 
at Owatonna and opening a law office. He 
bought a lot and commenced to build, at the 
same time attending to his law practice. 
He did not succeed in working up much 
business and after trying it for a few years 
he left. He was a young man, but had been 
admitted to the bar and engaged in practice 
before coming here. During his residence 
in Steele County he held the office of court 
commissioner for one term. 

In 1861 the bar of Steele County was 
increased by the arrival of James Thorn, 
from Juneau, Wis. He had been clerk of 
court there and been admitted to the bar. 
He opened an office here and began prac- 
tice, but did not gain much business, and 
after several years he removed to south- 
eastern Nebraska, where he engaged in the 
abstract business and became quite promi- 
nent. He was of a roving, unsettled disposi- 
tion and never accumulated much. While 
here he did not take a very prominent part 
in affairs, and only made a bare living, if that. 

A. A. Harwood located here sometime 
during the latter part of the war, or about 
the time Thorn left. He was a man of about 
thirty years of age at that time and had 
been practicing law in Wisconsin. He 
brought his family with him, bought a home 
and opened a law office. He had a good 
deal of push and energy, and was not back- 
ward in advancing his own interests. He 
became quite prominent here, holding vari- 
ous county offices, and was a prominent can- 
didate for the office of State Superintendent 
of Public Instruction, to succeed Mark H. 


,1 ' 



) .0^"'' 




Bunnell when the hitter was elected to Con- 
gress. After a residence here of about four- 
teen 3'ears llarwood removed to Austin, 
where he engaged m the publication of a 
newspaper and was ]iostinaster for a number 
of years. Finally he secured an appoint- 
ment to a government clerkship and removed 
to Washington, where his wife still lives. 
He died several years ago. 

These were the lawyers of early days. 
Since that time' a great many have come and 
gone. Some only to remain a short time, 
others who became in a measure prominent. 
It is sufficient, however, to merely give, in 
this connection, the personal history of each 
of the gentlemen who compose 


The present bar of Steele County com- 
prises a number of gentlemen of State re^iu- 
tation, and, as a whole, a more genial and 
intellectual lot of men could scarcely be 
found in any county of the State. The fol- 
io \ving is a list of the present members of 
the Steele County bar : 

Hon. Amos Coggswell, Hon. J. M. Bur- 
lingame, Hon. L. L. Wheelock, Hon. A. C. 
Hickman, W. A. Sperry, C. "W. Hadley, 
Hon. L. Hazen, M. B. Chad wick, Hon. H. H. 
Johnson, H. E. Johnson, E. W. Richter, W. 
F. and J. A. Sawyer, all of Owatonna, and 
A. D. Ingersoll, of Blooming Prairie. 

Hon. Amos Coggswell was born in Bos- 
cawen, N. H., September 29, 1825. His 
early education was received in the common 
schools of his native county. When sixteen 
years old he went to Gilmanton Academy, 
where he attended three years, after which 
he entered the law office of Hon. Franklin 
Pierce, at Concord. Three years latei* he 
was admitted to the bar, and came west to 
McHenry County, 111., where he began the 
practice of his profession. In 1853 he was 
given an appointment in the general Land 
Office at Washington. In August, 185(i, he 
came to Steele Count}'. In 1857 was chosen 
to act as a member of the constitutional con- 

vention. In 1860 was elected to a seat in 
the House of Representatives and was made 
speaker. From 1872 to 1875, inclusive, was 
in the State Senate, and then for one j'ear 
was probate judge of Steele County. Mr. 
Coggswell was married in 1818 to Miss Har- 
riet I. Clark, who died in 1869. He was 
again married in 1873 to Mrs. Lucinda Dun- 
ning, who died eighteen months later. He 
Avas once more united in matrimony in 1879 
to Mrs. Mary A. Allen, a native of New 
York. Ileman C, Helen, wife of James 
Riley, of Watertown, D. T., and Abbie are 
the names of his children, all of whom are 
by his first wife. Mr. Coggswell is a Mason, 
being a member of the Blue Lodge and 
Chapter at Owatonna. He is an easy and 
effective speaker and an able lawyer. For 
over a quarter of a century he has been 
upon one side or the other of nearly every 
important civil or criminal case tried in Steele 
County, and, as a criminal lawyer, his reputa- 
tion extends throughout the State. 

The following sketch of Hon. J. M. Bur- 
lingame appeared in the /St. Paul Globe in 
January, 1885, among other sketches of mem- 
bers of the legislature of Minnesota of that 

"James M. Burlingame, of the twelfth 
district, was born in Sterling, Windham 
County, Conn., and is forty-six years old. 
He was a student at Plainfield Academy, 
Connecticut ; afterward prepared for admis- 
sion to the scientific course of Michigan Uni- 
versity, at Monroe, Mich., under Edwin 
Willett — a graduate of the university and 
since member of Congress — and for admis- 
sion to the classical course of the university 
at Ann Arbor, under Prof. Abbot, now 
at the head of the agricultural department 
of the university located at Lansing. He 
completed the law course of the Michigan 
University, graduating with the first class 
that took the full two years' course in March, 
1861, and was at that time admitted to the 
l)ar of Michigan. He went immediately 
from there to Albany, N. Y. ; taught Latin 



and mathematics in the Albany Female Sem- 
inary two years, occupying a portion of each 
day in the law office of McHarg & Burlin- 
game ; enlisted in the One Hundred and 
Fifty-seventh Eegiment New York Volun- 
teers in 186i (having been rejected on a 
former enlistment in 1861 on account of fee- 
ble health) ; was assigned to service in the 
Second Battalion located in New York har- 
bor ; visited the armies of Thomas, Sherman 
and Grant in chai'ge of recruits ; served till 
the close of the war, then returned to Albany 
and went to Illinois and remained one year ; 
was editor of the Decatur Tribune in 1866. 
He came to Owatonna in April, 1867; was 
city attorney of Owatonna nine years, and 
county attorney of Steele County from 
December 1, 1872, to January 1, 1883 ; was 
married to Marie Louise Grant, of Lexington, 
Ky., in 1866." 

The following account of Mr. Burlingame's 
services in the legislature of Minnesota is 
taken from the Owatonna Journal. 

In November, ISSl, he was elected to the 
legislature and served on the Judiciary, 
Railroad and Education committees. He 
was chairman of the latter committee and 
the attorney of the Railroad Committee, in 
which position he formulated the railroad 
law which is now upon our statute books and 
which has been of almost incalculable value 
to the State. Although new to legislative 
duties, it being his first experience in a leg- 
islative body, Mr. Bui'lingame commenced 
his labors at once as will be seen by the fol- 
lowing extract from the reports of proceed- 
ings in the House : 

" The first bill to come before the House 
in Committee of the "Whole was Mr. Burlin- 
game's, providing for a vote on a constitu- 
tional convention." This bill in Mr. B.'s 
custody passed the House without a dissent- 
ing vote. 

The State Public School Bill was another 
measure in wliich Mr. Burlingame took a 
deep interest, and, as chairman of the Com- 
mittee on Education, hastened it back to the 

House, having combined Mr. Leneau's bill 
and his own and recommended it for passage, 
when under the joint custody of Mr. Leneau 
and himself its passage was secured without 
a dissenting vote. 

Of the part he took in railroad legislation 
the St. Paul papers commented as follows : 

" Mr. Burlingame has figured prominently 
thus far in such debate as has been drawn 
out on the Railroad Bill. He won the confi- 
dence of the Railroad Committee by present- 
ing the bill which most nearly met the 
approval of the committee, and to him has 
since fallen the task of formulating as nearly 
as possible the ideas of a majority of the 
committee. In the explanations and such 
other debate as he has been drawn into, he 
has shown readiness, clear-headedness and 
facilit}' of statement. He talks like a law- 
yer, works like a business man, and is on 
good terms with everybody with whom he 
comes in contact. He will probably have 
much to say in the railroad debate on Tues- 
day." — St. Paul Pioneer Press. 

" The feature of the day has been the 
House special order, set for 11 o'clock, con- 
sideration of the Railroad Bill. 

" Mr. Burlingame made an extended and 
strong speech in its favor, from the com- 
mittee on railroads. Mr. Burlingame was 
followed with marked attention, especially 
in view of the fact that, as the judicial mem- 
ber of the committee, he has been relied 
upon to guard the legal points. Marked 
applause greeted Mr. Burlingame at the con- 
clusion of his speech." — St. Paul Dispatch. 

" Mr. Burlingame's work upon the Railroad 
Committee was particularly important and 
laborious, from the fact of his being the only 
lawyer upon it. In consequence the delicate 
work devolved upon him of passing upon 
various legal points involved in the measures 
considered, more especially the committee's 
own bill, the general arrangement of which 
he had also to supervise. It will thus be seen 
that Mr. Burlingame's first legislative exper- 
ience has been very far removed from a 



holiday season. . . . Being as he is in the 
very pi-ime of life, with a jnind already well 
stored with useful and professional knowl- 
eilge, industry and commendable ambition, 
and full of bodily vigor, Mr. Burlingame 
should and probably will be heard [from in 
more important positions than he has yet 
occupied." — St. Paid Glohe. 

" Kepresentative Burlingame, of Steele 
County, a lawyer of very great ability, has 
made himself very popular with his co-work- 
ers by his well-expressed and sensible views 
on various subjects, more especially on rail- 
road legislation, in which he has taken a 
leading hand as a member of the Eailroad 
Committee. It was he who drafted the well- 
known Eailroad Bill which created so much 
agitation but finally went through." — St. 
Paul Dispatch. 

During the session of the legislature Mr. 
Burlingame obtained a large acquaintance- 
ship and became one of the most popular mem- 
bers of the House. His friends were very anx- 
ious that he should be selected one of the mem- 
bers of the railroad commission, but that was 
impracticable. During the past eighteen 
years he has been a faithful worker in the 
ranks of the Kepublican party in this State. 
He has never faltered or hesitated in givino- 
his time and labor to secure the success of 
the party. During his long services as 
county attorney, he succeeded in suppress- 
ing a lawless element and worked a reform 
which has proven thorough and lasting. 
His labors to procure proper railroad legis- 
lation by the last legislature show the 
depth of his sympathies for the laboring 
masses, be they farmers, merchants or me- 

Mr. Burlingame's father,?. M. Burlingame, 
and uncle, James Burlingame, were both min- 
isters of the Christian Church, the latter for 
more than fifty years. The names of his an- 
cestors, so far as he can now recall them, 
were Peter Montgomery, Peter, Nathan 
Thomas, Joshua Roger. His grandmother, 
wife of Peter, was Elizabeth Montgomery', a 

relative of Richard Montgomery, a general 
in the Revolutionary War. His grandfather 
also served in the same war, and prior to the 
age of railroads he was the contractor and 
builder of the Providence and Hartford turn- 
pike. Mr. Burlingame's mother was Harriet 
Dean, daughter of Christopher and Lydia 
Dean, of Windham County, Conn. Mr. 
Burlingame is now engaged in the practice 
of the law at Owatonna and at Austin, 
and is also attorney for the Business Men's 
Association of Minnesota, and the Boards of 
Trade Union of Northfield and other cities, 
for whom he has several cases j^ending 
before the State and Interstate Commerce 
commissions. He has five children living, 
James Montgomery, Ernst Marshall, Robert 
Morrison, Ruth and Harold Grant. Two 
have gone before, Carroll Dean and Marie 
Louise. Mrs. Burlingame is a relative of the 
Marshalls and Morrisons of Virginia and 
Iventuckjr, and of the Grants of Kentucky 
and Ohio. Thus the old family names of 
both branches recur in the names of the 

Prominent among the men who have taken 
an active part in developing the resources 
and in advancing the interests of Owatonna 
and of the State, is Hon. Lewis L. Wheelock. 
He is a son of Lewis L. Wheelock, Sr., 
and Mary Howe Wheelock, and Avas born at 
Mannsville, Jefferson County, N. Y., on 
November 12, 1839. At the early age of 
ten years our subject was left an orphan, and 
thrown upon his own resources. He received 
his early education in the public schools of 
his native State, and at the age of twenty 
he was employed as a teacher in the Mace- 
don Academy, in Waj'^ne Count}', N. Y., 
serving in that capacity until the outbreak 
of the Civil War. In 1S62, he enlisted as a 
private in the One Hundred and Sixtieth 
New York Volunteers ; was mustered in as 
fii'st lieutenant of Company B. He was 
subsequently promoted to captain of Com- 
pany C, of the same regiment, ami served a 
trifle over three years. At the battle of 



Opequon, near Winchester, September 19, 
1864-, he was wounded in the right arm, 
below the elbow, and was laid up for a 
month. His regiment was mustered out 
at Savannah, Ga., in November, 1SG5. The 
colonel of this regiment was Charles C. 
Dwight, of Auburn, now on the Supreme 
bench of that State. Capt. Wheelock read 
law with Mr. Dwight, came to Owatonna in 
1866, and was admitted to the bar in 1867. 
Subsequently he went to Georgia, and was 
connected with the Freedmen's Bureau for 
some months. He returned north in 1868, 
attended a course of lectures at the Albany 
Law School, and then opened an office at 
Owatonna. Since residing at Owatonna he 
has been city attorney and judge of probate. 
In 1876-7 was in the State Senate. During 
both sessions was chairman of the Committee 
on Education, and also served on Eailroad 
and Judiciary committees. He is the pres- 
ent postmaster of Owatonna, is a Knight 
Templar, and a member of the Congrega- 
tional Church. On July 25, 1871, Mr. 
Wheelock was married to Miss Adaline 
Burch, of Hillsdale, Mich. Following are 
the names of their children : Mary A. (de- 
ceased), Lewis B. (deceased), Arthur B., Lo- 
renzo D., Addie C, Minnie and Paul, twins. 
In 1887 he was elected department com- 
mander for Minnesota of the Grand Army of 
the Republic, which position he holds at this 
writing. Mr. Wheelock, during his service 
in the State Senate, became one of the most 
influential and prominent members of that 
body, being an able speaker and parliament- 
arian. His many years' residence here, 
together with the various public offices 
which he has held, and the prominent part 
he has taken in public and pohtical matters, 
have made him well-known throughout the 

No western State can boast of an abler 
bar than Minnesota. Prominent among those 
men who have here reached the higher walks 
of the profession, and have done much to 
build up the fame of the State, is Hon. Adam 


C. Hickman, of Owatonna. He was born in 
Columbiana County, Ohio, in 1837. His 
early life was spent on a farm in that county. 
On reaching the proper age he entered Al- 
legheny College at Meadville, Pa., and grad- 
uated from that institution in 1862. He 
then began the study of law and in 1863 
graduated from the Ohio State and Union 
Law College at Cleveland. After practicing a 
year at Akron, Ohio, he came west, locating 
in Owatonna. In 1866 he was elected super- 
intendent of public schools of Steele County, 
and served two years in that capacity. 
From 1869 to 1873 he was judge of the pro- 
bate Court. In the fall of 1882 was elected 
to the State Senate, and represented this dis- 
trict in that body until January, 1887. Mr. 
Hickman is a Mason, being a member of 
Blue Lodge No. 33 and also of the Chapter 
and Commandery. He is a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. On Novem- 
ber 9, 1875, he was united in marriage to 
Miss Ella B. Peck, a native of New York. 
Judge Hickman is a man of fine personal ap- 
pearance. He is among the best known law- 
yers of this jmrt of the State ; a clear and 
forcible speaker, ready in debate, careful in 
details and has justly earned the high reputa- 
tion he has attained. 

Wesley A. Sperry, county attorney, was 
born in Oakland County, Mich., in 1847. He 
spent his early life in his native county. In 
1873 he graduated from the Ann Arbor Law 
School, and the following year he began the 
practice of law at Mantorville, Minn. In 
ten days after his ai'rival there he was ap- 
pointed county attorney and was elected to 
that position two subsequent terms. He 
came to Owatonna again in the fall of 1879 
and formed a partnership with Judge L. L. 
Wheelock. In the fall of 1886 he was elect- 
ed county attorney of Steele County. Mr. 
Sperry is a member of the Independent 
Order of Odd Fellows and of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. He was married on 
Christmas Day, 1878, to Miss Julia A. Steele, 
a native of New York State. Clara L. is 



the name of their only child. Mr. Sperry is 
one of the best read lawyers in the county. 
He is an eifective advocate, and the firm of 
Wheelock & Sperry have an extensive prac- 

Charles W. Hadley, attorney-at-law, was 
born in Grafton County, N. H., in 1844. In 
1850 his father moved with his famih' to 
Rockton, 111., thence to Maquoketa, Iowa. 
Here Mr. Hadley took an academical course, 
and later entered Cornell College at IVFt. 
Vernon. In 1801 he left school and enlisted 
in Company H, Fourteenth Iowa Volunteer 
Infantry. He was taken prisoner at Shiloh, 
and was paroled the following September. 
He was discharged in June, 1863. He came 
to Owatonna in 1870, was admitted to the 
bar in 1874, and has practiced here since that 
time. He was married June 17, 1874, to 
Miss Lillie C. Adams. Albert W. is the 
name of their only child. Mr. Hadley is 
adjutant of James A. Goodwin Post No. 
81, Grand Army of the Eepublic. 

Miles B. Chadwick, of the firm of Hick- 
man & Chadwick, was born near Franklin, 
Venango County, Pa., in 1843. He attended 
Allegheny College, at Meadville, and grad- 
uated from that institution with honors in 
1867, and then went to Cleveland, where he 
graduated from the Ohio State and Union 
Law School in 1869. He came to Owatonna 
in 1870, and was associated with Mr. Hick- 
man until 1878, when he was elected county 
auditor, a position he held for four terms. 
He was married in 1872 to Miss Helen S. 
Laird, a native of Pennsylvania. Mr. Chad- 
wick is a prominent Mason. He was elected 
clerk of the State Legislature in 1874-5, and 
has held many other positions of trust and 

Col. Harvey H. Johnson, attorney, was 
born in Rutland, Vt., in 1808. He studied 
law and was admitted to the bar there. 
Later he located in Akron, Ohio, where lie 
was mayor and postmaster for a number of 
years. He moved from there to Asliland in 
1846, and while residing there represented his 

district in the XXXIIId Congress. He came 
to Minnesota in 1855, and was for some time 
connected with the Winona & St. Peter Rail- 
road Co. His son, Robert H. Johnson, was 
born in Akron, Ohio, in 1846. Pie enlisted 
in Company I, Eleventh Minnesota Volunteer 
Infantry, and served one year in defense of 
his country. He came to Owatonna in 18()5, 
and was for some time engaged in tlie lum- 
ber business. Later he went into the boot 
and shoe trade, and is now in the insui-unce 
business. He was elected city marshal in 
1886. He was married in 1871 to Miss Ida 
Morley, a native of New York State. 
Calista A., Harvey M., Ralph S. and Robert 
are their children's names. Mr. Johnson is 
a member of James A. Goodwin Post, Grand 
Army of the Republic No. 81. 

Edward W. Richter, attorney-at-law, was 
born near Berlin, Waushara County, Wis., in 
1851. When he was two years old his parents 
moved to Ripon, Wis., where Mr. Richter 
received his education at Ripon College. He 
came to Dodge County in 1869, and in 1876 
went to Rochester, where he studied law two 
years with Start & Gove. He was admitted 
to the bar at Owatonna in 1881, after which 
he became a partner of Judge Amos Coggs- 
well. After some eighteen months this busi- 
ness relationship was dissolved, and Mr. 
Richter engaged in practice alone. He was 
chosen city attorney in 1883 and held the 
position for about three years. He is now 
doing an extensive real estate and loan busi- 
ness in connection with his legal practice. 
Mr. Richter was married in October, 1881, to 
Miss O'Connor, a native of Massachusetts. 
Edward M., Mary and Jean Paul are their 
children's names. Our subject is a member 
of the Catholic Church. 

J. A. Sawyer, of the law firm of Sawyer 
& Sawyer, was born in Merrimac County, 
N. H., in 1846. When eight years, his old 
father's family came west to Illinois and to 
Minnesota in 1856. Our subject received his 
education at Northfield, where he graduated 
in 1877. He afterward studied law and was 



admitted to the bar in the spring of 1880. 
The firm of Sawyer & Sawj'er also have an 
office at Waseca and do an extensive legal 
business. Mr. Sawyer's father, Joseph Saw- 
yer, died in the fall of 1886, aged nearly 
eighty-five j'ears. Our subject was married 
in 1882 to Miss E. N. Abbott, a native of 
New Hampshire. The names of their chil- 
dren are Abbott "W. and Carleton J. 

W. F. Saw3^er, junior member of the firm 
of Sawyer & Sawyer, was born in Merrimac 
County, New Hampshire, October 26, 1850. 
He received his education at Carlton College 
in Northfield. He was married November 7, 
1883, to Miss Ella P. Coffman, a native of 
Pennsylvania, and they have been blessed 
with two children, Leon G. and Alice B. Mr. 
Sawyer studied law and was admitted to the 
bar in Steele County in December, 1876. 

A. D. IngersoU, attorney, of Blooming 
Prairie, is a native of Dodge County, Wis., 
born November 8, 1852. His parents were 
A. and Mary (McNamara) IngersoU. They, 
in company with A. D., came to Blooming 
Prairie in October, 1878. The father lived 
in the village until the time of his death in 
1882. Mrs. IngersoU is still living there. 
A. D. began to read law with E. Hooker, of 
Waupun, Wis., in Novembei^ 1876, and re- 
mained with him until October, 1878, when 
he came west and was admitted to the bar 
in June, 1877, at Port Washington, Wis. 
Since his arrival in Minnesota he has devoted 
his attention entirelj^ to his profession. He 
was married June 19, 1880, to Miss Eunice 
T. Bowker. Their union has been blessed 
with two children — Marion, aged four: 
Chester, aged one year. 



riETlE is no instrumentality, not 
even excepting the pulpit and the 
bar, which exerts such an influence 
tF^;^' u])on society as the press of the 
and. It is the Archimedian lever 
that moves the world. The tal- 
ented minister of the Gospel on 
the Sabbath day preaches to a lew 
hundred people; on the following 
morning his thoughts are repro- 
duced more than a thousandfold, and are 
read and discussed throughout the lengtli 
and breadth of the land. The attorney at 
the bar, in thrilling tones, pleads for or 
against the criminal arraigned for trial, often 
causing the jury to bring in a verdict against 
the law and the testimony in the case. His 
words are reproduced in every daily that is 
reached by the telegraphic wire, and liis 
arguments are caJmly weighed by unpreju- 
diced men and accepted for what they are 
worth. The politician takes the stand and 
addresses a handful of men upon the political 
questions of the day ; his speech is reported, 
and read by a thousand men for every one 
that heard the address. Suddenly the waters 
of one of our mighty rivers rise, overflowing 
the land for miles and miles, rendering 
thousands of people homeless, and without 
means to secure their daily bread. The news 
is flashed over the wire, taken up by the 
press, and known and read of all men. No 
time is lost in sending to their relief ; the 
press has made known their wants, and thej^ 
are instantly supplied. "Chicago is on fire! 
Two hundi'ed millions' worth of property 
destroyed ! Fifty thousand people rendered 
homeless!" Such is the dread intelligence 

proclaimed by the press. Food and clothing 
are hastily gathered, trains are chartered, 
and the immediate wants of the sufferers are 
in a measure relieved. 

The power for good or evil, of the press, 
is to-day unlimited. The shortcomings of 
the politician are made known through its 
columns ; the dark deeds of the wicked are 
exposed, and each fear it alike. The con- 
trolling influence of a nation, state or county 
is its press ; and the press of Steele County 
is no exception to the rule. 

Tlie local press is justly considered among 
the most important institutions of every 
city, town and village. The people of every 
community regard their particular news- 
paper or newspapers as of peculiar value, 
and this not mereh^ on account of the fact 
already alluded to, but because these papers 
are the repositories wherein are stored the 
facts and the events, the deeds and the say- 
ings, the undertakings and the achievements 
that go to make up final history. One by 
one these things are gathered and placed in 
type ; one by one the papers are issued ; one 
by one these papers are gathered together 
and bound, and another volume of local, 
general and individual history is laid away 
imperishable. The volumes thus collected 
are sifted by the historian, and the book for 
the library is ready. The people of each city 
or town naturally have a pride in tlieir home 
paper. The local press, as a rule, reflects 
the business enterprise of a place. Judging 
from this standard, the enterprise of the 
citizens of Steele County is indeed commend- 
able. Its papers are well filled each week 
with advertisements of home merchants and 




of its business enterprises. No p;i])er can 
exist without these advertisements, and no 
community can flourfsh that does not use 
the advertising cohimns of its local press. 
Each must sustain the other. 


The first paper started in the county was 
under the above title. It was established 
at Owatonna, in July, 1856, by J. H. Abbott 
and A. B. Cornell, who purchased press, type 
and fixtures of Maj. W. A. Hotchkiss, at that 
time editor and publisher of the Northwest- 
ern Democrat, at St. Anthony. Mr. Cornell 
acted as editor and business manager for a 
time, when the services of H. M. Sheetz, an 
experienced newspaper man, were secured as 
editor. Sometime in 1857 the word Watcli- 
ma/)i was dropjjed from the name, and the 
Oioatonna Register was published until some 
time in the winter of 1857-8, with Abbott 
& Cornell and W. F. Pettit as proprietors, 
and 11. M. Sheetz as editor, and then it was 
discontinued. It had been a useful means 
of advertising the localit}^ and did its full 
share in molding the public mind. The 
only copy of the early issues of the Watch- 
man and Register still in existence, we 
believe, is one which Dr. E. M. Morehouse 
has preserved. It is no. 2, vol. I, and bears 
date of July 29, 1856. The proprietors 
are given as J. H. Abbott and A. B. Cornell, 
while the names of A. B. Cornell and C. T. 
Smeed appear as editors. The paper is a 
seven-column folio, neatly printed and ably 
edited, and supports the " Democratic-Kepub- 
lican ticket," headed by John C. Fremont for 
President, and William L. Dayton for Vice- 
President. The local advertisers in this issue 
were : 

A. B. Cornell, attorney-at-law and real- 
estate agent ; A. Town, general merchan- 
dise store; F. "Wilbur Fisk, of Franklin, 
land agent; Sylvester McNitt, justice of 
the peace ; John W. Park, surveyor ; N. 
Winship, hotel ; Philo Sanford, hotel ; E. 
M. Morehouse, physician ; Joel Wilson, black- 

smith; Moses Eivard, shoemaker; and 
Charles Ellison, register of deeds. 

All through this paper the name of the 
county -seat is spelled " Owatonia." 

In another chapter we give a number of 
extracts from this pai)er. 


Was the second journal to lay claim to public 
favor as a " retailer of the doings and say- 
ings"- of Steele County. It was published 
at Medford, dating its first appearance about 
the middle of August, 1858, and was under 
the control of Messrs. Francis & Sulley. It 
was printed with the same material which 
had been used in the publication of the 
Register, the material having been purchased 
of the company by William F. Pettit, and 
by him sold to Mr. Bartholomew, of Med- 
ford. Messrs. Francis & Sulley leased it 
of Mr. Bartholomew. Mr. Sulley soon sold 
his interest to Mr. J. R. Lucas, and the pub- 
lication was continued for a short time, when 
the enterprise was abandoned, and the 
material was rented to H. M. Sheetz, who 
removed it back to Owatonna. 


This paper was started by H. M. Sheetz, 
with the material which he had secured at 
Medford, and made its appearance shortly 
after the demise of the Argxts. It was a 
seven-column sheet, neatly printed and ably 
edited, and was received with marked favor 
by its patrons. It was Eepublican in poli- 
tics and the earnest and devoted advocate of 
all reforms. In October, 1859, Mr. Sheetz 
died, and the Jotirnal was carried on by his 
widow for some time thereafter. Hon. Will- 
iam F. Pettit, at that time State senator 
from Steele County, had started a project to 
allow Mrs. Sheetz, who was a woman of con- 
siderable literary ability, to retain the olfice 
as a mark of esteem from the public, whom 
her husband had so faithfully served, and 
had already received $150 from his fellow 
members of the Senate to aid in carrying out 



tliis benevolent project. But upon returning 
home he found that the oiRce had been sold 
to A. B. Cornell, which at once put a stop to 
the publication of the Journal. 


Shortly after the suspension of the Jour- 
nal, the News Letter was established by A. 
B. Cornell. He kept up the enterprise until 
1862, when he took a sutler's position in the 
army, and Mrs. Cornell continued the publi- 
cation of a small sheet some three or four 
columns in width until 1863, when Dr. Kelly, 
editor of the Plaindealer, which in the 
meantime had been started, purchased the 
job office and the good-will of the News Let- 
ter, and its publication was discontinued. 


In the summer of 1860 Messrs. William F. 
Pettit and John H. Abbott assisted J. "W". 
Crawford in the purchase of an office in Man- 
torville. Dodge County, and the jjublication 
of the Owatonna Representative was com- 
menced. It was an eight-column sheet and 
was very ably conducted and well printed, 
reflecting much credit upon the enterprise of 
the citizens who sustained it, as well as those 
who conducted it. It was continued for 
about eighteen months, when Mr. Crawford 
entered the army, and Messrs. Pettit and 
Abbott sold the material to James E. Child, 
of Wilton, Waseca County. 


Was started by A. B. Cornell soon after his 
return from the army. It was published 
in an independent, neutral manner, conse- 
quently meeting with poor success, yet it 
continued to drag out an existence for some 
little time, when it succumbed from want of 
proper sustenance, and publication was dis- 


This was a newspaper aspirant for public 
favor, started with Capt. J. D. Wood as 
editor and proprietor. It was received with 

considerable enthusiasm by the Democracy, 
as it was a purel}^ Democratic ])aper; j'et it 
did not receive sufficient support to meet the 
necessary expenditures, and after trying the 
experiment for about a year it was discon- 


In the spring of 1867 J. A. Spellman 
started a pajier called the Vidette. It was a 
seven-column folio, and Independent Kepub- 
lican in politics. It was continued only for 
a short time, when it was mei'ged with the 
Journal, Mr. Spellman becoming one of the 
proprietors of that paper. 


In 1867 another Democratic paper was 
started, which was called the Choatonna 
Register, under the control of Mr. C. F. 
George. He continued its publication at a 
pecuniaiy loss for about one year, wheji the 
office was removed to Faribault. 


In April, 1863, Dr. L. H. Kelley com- 
menced the publication of a paper called the 
Owatonna Plaindealer. The town was then 
growing rapidly, the business kept increasing 
until the Plaindealer became one of the best 
paying offices in this part of the State. It 
was started as a seven-column paper, but in 
the spring of 1866 was enlarged to an eight- 
column folio. In the fall of the same year 
the office was purchased by Tappan, Higbee 
& Hathaway. The new firm shortly after- 
ward commenced the publication of the 


and in a few weeks the firm became Iligbee, 
Spellman & Bickham, and the name of the 
paper became 


although tlie policy and politics of the 
paper remained the same — Republican. Mr. 
Bickham was then a Democrat and for a 
time part of the paper was given to Dem- 



The files of the Otoatonna Journal com- 
mence with the issue of January 13, 1876 ; at 
least we have been unable to find any copies 
of prior issues. At that time the paper was 
running as an eight-column folio. The pro- 
prietors at that time were Crandall & Bick- 
ham — C. S. Crandall, W. H. Bickham — and 
Thursday was the day of issue. It was very 
neatly gotten up and well filled with local 
and general news, as well as having a good 
run of local advertising. During the same 
winter Mr. Crandall, one of the firm, was 
appointed postmaster, and that partially 
severed his former intimate connection with 
the management of the Journal. The issue 
of October 19, 1876, was the last bearing the 
names of Crandall & Bickham as editors, for 
F. T. Di'ebert purchased it and assumed 
charge with the following issue. 

In parting with the Journal Mr. Crandall 
severed his connection by saying : " With 
this issue of i\\e Journal ni}' connection with 
it ceases. During a period of nine years my 
relations with this paper have* given me a 
weekly medium of communication with the 
people of this county." His political tend- 
encies were evidently not difl'erent from 
what we find them to-day, for he says : " I 
cannot view the effort to place the control of 
the destinies of this country in the hands of 
the South with any other feeling than of the 
profoundest anxiety for our country. Look- 
ing over that country to which the scepter 
would be given by such an act, I see a total- 
ly different people, a different civilization, 
morally and intellectually, and following 
such a change, I see nothing but a downward 
tendency in the future. Whatever may be 
your party preference here at home, let no 
man deceive you into the belief that the path 
to reform leads to the late Southern Confed- 

With the issue on the 26th of October, 
1876, the name of F. T. Drebert appears at 
the head of the columns as editor and pro- 
prietor. The policy of the paper was not 
changed, as will be seen by the following ex- 

tract from Mr. Drebert's salutatory presented 
in his first issue. 

" ... There will be no change in the 
political course of the Journal. I cast my 
first vote for the first Eepublican candidate 
for the presidency and have since] been 
steadfast in the faith. To the end of my 
life I shall remain loyal to the principles of 
freedom, progress and nationality. If the 
relations existing between myself and the 
Republican party are ever severed, that party 
must abandon its cardinal doctrines, an event 
I cannot conceive as likely to occur, so long 
as its ranks are composed of the truest pa- 
triots of the land, and its destinies directed 
by the wisest and most conscientious of our 
citizens. As a local paper the Journal will 
labor earnestly to advance the best interests 
of Owatonna, Steele County and Minnesota. 
I have come to stay to identify myself with 
the citizens of the city, county and State, and 
become one of them. Their interests wiU be 
my interests, and in being true to them I 
shall also be true to myself. ... " 

Since that time Mr. Di'ebert has retained 
his connection with the paper. At the time 
he came, the office was kept in what was 
known as the Dresser building on the east 
side of Main street. It remained there until 
the building which the office now occupies 
was completed, when it was moved to its 
present finely-finished apartments in what is 
commonly called the Temple Block. One 
incident in the history of the Journal was its 
connection with the failure of L. Bixby's 
Review. Mr. Bixby had rented the material 
of that oifice to A. H. Lewis, and in 1879 he 
made arrangements with Mr. Drebert to turn 
over the subscription in the manner of a con- 
solidation of the two, the publication of the 
Review to cease, and, according to the ar- 
rangement, while he did not become a partner 
in the publication, he was to get a percentage 
on the job work and advertising. By consent 
of Mr. Drebert he moved a lot of paper and 
stock into the Journal rooms for storage 
purposes. As soon as Mr. Bixby learned of 



this he got out a writ of replevin and secured 
possession of the material, making Mr. Dre- 
bert a co-defendant. When the suit was 
settled Mr. Bixby started a paper called The 
liemeAo, having copied the' subscription list. 
This paper was afterward removed to Min- 
neapolis and became the Temperance Review. 
On the 12th of February, 1886, the Jour- 
nal was consolidated with the Herald, which 
had been established by the Soper Brothers, 
and the name of the paper became the 


Under this arrangement the firm name 
became Drebert & Soper brothers — en j>er- 
sonncl, F. T. Drebert, J. A. and W. B. So])er. 
W. B. Soper retired from the firm in October, 
188(5, leaving the management in the same 
hands as we still find it — Drebert & Soper 
— F. T. Drebert and J. A. Soper. The Jour- 
nal and Herald office is undoubtedly one of 
the finest and most extensively equipped 
offices in the State, outside of Minneapolis and 
St. Paul, and is a credit to Owatonna. It is 
furnished with a newspaper cylinder press, a 
Babcock pony cylinder with steam power 
attached, and three other presses for general 
work ; its assortment of poster, jobbing and 
news type is very extensive, and in fact the 
oflice has capacity for any class of work. 
The paper has attained a wide circulation, 
not only locally, but in a general sense, and 
as an exponent of Kepublican doctrines its 
influence in the party and with the people is 
not surpassed by any journal in this portion 
of the State. 

F. T. Drebert, senior member of the firm 
of Drebert & Soper, proprietors of the Jour- 
nal and Herald, was born in Baltimore, Md., 
March 7, 1831. "While in his infancy his 
parents removed to ConnersviUe, Ind. In 
18-40, his mother having died, his father 
returned to Baltimore. The subject of this 
sketch attended the public schools of that 
city, having his studies interrupted by going 
two voyages to sea with his father,- who was 
master of a merchant vessel. After return- 

ing from these voyages Mr. Drebert resumed 
his place in school, in a short time entering 
the high school, an institution of the charac- 
ter of many of our western colleges. Leav- 
ing school he went into the book and job 
printing oflice of Joseph Bobinson to learn 
the trade. From 1800 to 1868 he was en- 
gaged in editorial work on the ConnersviUe 
(Ind.) Times, except two short intermissions, 
during the first of which he taught school 
and read law in Judge J. M. Wilson's office, 
and during the second was engaged in pub- 
lishing the Liberty Herald, located in the ad- 
joining county of Union. In 1868 he pur- 
chased an interest in the Liberty Herald, 
which, in a few months, he sold to his part- 
ner, and in 1869 purchased the Eushville 
(Ind.) Liejmbllcan. He sold the office in 1876 
and came to Owatonna. During his resi- 
dence in ConnersviUe, Ind., Mr. Drebert was 
married to Mary A. Harrison, of that j^lace. 
They have been blessed with six children, all 
of whom are living as follows : Caroline, 
Oliver M., Mary E., Alexander F., Eleanor 
and Belle. Mr. Drebert, through his many 
years' experience, has become a thorough 
newspaper man, thoroughly mastering his 
profession. He is a versatile, pungent writer 
and is recognized as one of the ablest edito- 
rial writers in the State. 

J. A. Soper, of the firm of Drebert & 
Soper, is a native of the State of Kew York, 
born in 1858. While he was yet a child his 
parents moved west and located in Clinton 
Falls Township, Steele County. After a few 
years they removed to Owatonna, where 
they still live. J. A. Soper was married in 
November, 1883, to Lillie M. Cooper, a 
daughter of John Cooper, of Faribault. One 
child has blessed their union, Bonnie Eveline, 
born August 25, 1887. Mr. Soper, while 
still at home, learned telegraphing and for 
several j'ears followed that business, he and 
his brother for some time having charge of 
the Owatonna office. J. A. Soper began the 
printing business with a little " Novelty Job 
Press," which he "set up" in his father's 



store and turned out light work. His various 
newspaper ventux'es receive extended notice 
elsewhere. He is a thorough newspaper 
man, and has the reputation of being among 
the most tasty job printers in this part of the 

THE people's press. 

The first issue of this paper made its 
appearance on Wednesday, the 2d of Sep- 
tember, 1874, as an eight-column folio. It 
was estabhshed by B. E. Darby and N. E. 
Lemen, under the firm name of Darby & 
Lemen. The first issue of the paper pre- 
sented a neat appeai'ance, well filled with 
local as well as general news. The local 
advertisers in the first issue were the fol- 
lowing: Attorneys, Coggswell & Johnson, 
Johnson &_ Burlingame, L. P. McClarren ; 
phj'sician, S. Blood ; dentists, Cole & Medd ; 
tailor, Jolm Cottier ; groceries, P. O. Maly ; 
cigars, C. Bartsch & Co. ; barbers, Valentine 
& Lidington ; meat markets, J. A. Oppliger 
and Pepper & Montgomery ; hotels, Parcher 
& Br^'ant and William Engel ; real estate. 
Dr. E. W. Johnson ; furniture, H. H. Rose- 
brock ; wagon shop, Charles Schoen ; brew- 
ery, Lewis Bion ; hardware, A. Butsch ; 
liver}^, G. B. Twiss ; lumber, A. G. Murray ; 
hardware, S. B. Hunkins ; boots and shoes, 
A. Butsch ; drugs, Z. Handerson ; hardware, 
Requa & Furbers; books, Brown & Spell- 
man ; drugs, Harsha & Donaldson ; jewelry, 
Julius F. Young & Co. ; general merchandise, 
J. W. Morford ; mercliandise, G. F. Albertus 
musical instruments, J. B. Lambert ; liquors, 
H. Hall. 

The campaign jireceding the October 
election of 1874 was at its height. Mark H. 
Dunnell, of Owatonna, had been nominated 
by the Republicans for Congress and Judge 
Franklin H. Waite, of Mankato, had been 
made the Democratic nominee. The People^ s 
Press at once commenced political action, op- 
posing Mr. Dunnell and favoring Waite. In 
an advertisement on the fourth page of the 
first issue it is stated that the People's Press, 
" the anti-monopoly paper of Steele County, 

is independent of rings or cliques, and a true 
representative of the farmers and working- 
men. The Press is devoted to the interests 
of those who make an honest living, and 
opposed to all monopolies whereby a tax- 
ridden people are still further oppressed. 

" ' He who would grow both rich and wise, 
Should either read or advertise.' " 

The motto of the Press was : " Justice' 
Liberty and Union ; Independent of party 
and party cliques." 

As the editors in the first issue present an 
able " salutatory," we herewith give some of 
the most pointed paragraphs, as they outline 
the future policy of the paper : 

"Though the people of Steele County 
have already one paper, we believe there is 
ample room for anotlier. Our people may 
now be considered to be a reading people. 
The benefits arising from our excellent sys- 
tem of free education are patent to every 
observer and the demand for additional read- 
ing matter is continually increasing. Con- 
vinced of this fact, we offer no apology for 
issuing a weekly journal to supply a deside- 
ratum, the want of which has been long felt. 

" Upon presenting this, the initial number 
of the People's Press to the public, we have 
but few promises to make, leaving our fut- 
ure acts to speak for themselves, believing 
that they will be more potential than many 
promises and platforms of words upon words. 

" The Press is not to be an effort of to-day 
to aid in a political campaign or advance a 
tem]3orary interest, but our best efforts will 
be put forth to place it upon a sure founda- 
tion, a journal for to-day, to-morrow and the 
future, a means to earn us a livelihood, while 
doing its duty. 

" The Press will be emphatically inde- 
pendent in the broadest construction of the 
term, free and untrammeled in all things — 
free from any political, money or society 
power ; wearing no collar, but striking for 
the right wherever it ma\' be found, and 
probing the festering sores of corruption, 
whether in the petty places of authority or 



when concealed by the ermine or gilding 
and trappings of power and place. Against 
monopolies the Press will wage war, and is 
in full sympathy with the efforts of the pro- 
ducing classes against the mighty powers 
whose baneful shadows are cast over the 
struggling tiller of the soil, the mechanic 
and the laborer of whatever degree. The 
organized movement of labor against those 
who would oppress it will be earnestly 
advocated and encouraged. 

" Our design is to make the Press truly 
the people's pajier, devoted to general litera- 
ture, the news of the day, editorial opinions, 
correspondence, a vehicle for the expression 
of our readers' oijinions and criticisms, and 
particularly a faithful and entertaining chron- 
icler of local events. Home will be our first 
consideration always. And while faithfully 
guarding the interests of Owatonna, we will 
conscientiously endeavor to fiu-ther the inter- 
ests of the entire county, not being warped 
by sectional lines, neither preferring the shop 
and store before the farm. In short, we 
intend to build up a paper of an immense 
cii'culation and one of which every subscrib- 
er may be proud. No slang or immorality 
will enter either our reading or advertising- 
columns, and the paper will be one all can 
properly take into the family circle. In con- 
clusion, we only ask for the support that our 
efforts shall seem to deserve, hoping that our 
labors and your encouragement will result 
in our common good, and make the Press a 
worthy champion of the right. 

" Darby & Lemen." 

Although the name of Mr. Lemen appears 
as one of the proprietors of the Press, he was 
not an active partner, and on the 16th of 
September, 187i, his name was dropped from 
tlie head of the columns and that of B. E. 
Darby ap23eared as sole editor and proprie- 
tor. Mr. Lemen had been running a paper 
at Kasson, Dodge County, and when the 
Peopli^s Press was established he sold Mr. 
Darby the material with which the Press 
office was then furnished, and agreed to get 

out the first issue. In this, however, he 
failed, as Mr. Darby arrived before that time, 
and the first number of the Press made its 
appearance through his exertions. Mr. Le- 
men never moved to Owatonna. 

Mr. Darby continued the publication of 
the paper alone until January 6, 1874, when 
L. C. Martin became associated with him as 
partner, under the firm name of Darby & 
Martin. Mr. Martin came here from Prairie 
du Chien, Wis., and worked as a printer for 
Mr. Darby during his first year's residence 
here. In March, 1876, the day of publica- 
tion was changed from Wednesday to Satur- 
day. On the 9th of March, 1878, Mr. 
Darby bought out his partner's interest, and 
the firm of Darby & Martin was dissolved, 
Mr. Darby again assuming full ownership. 
Shortly after severing his connection with 
the Press, Mr. Martin returned to Wisconsin 
and engaged in the publication of a Green- 
back journal in the southwestern part of that 
State. In this, however, he (mly remained a 
short time. He is now in Florida. When 
he first came to Steele Count}^ he was a 
j^oung man, possibly twenty years of age, 
and single. Some time after selling out 
here he returned and was married to a 
daughter of O. S. Crandall. 

October 4, 1878, the day of publication 
was again changed, this time to Frida3^ On 
the 26th of October the Press was enlarged 
and the form changed to a six-column quarto. 
When the paper was started the office occu- 
pied rooms in the Bixby building, on Bridge 
street, where Thon Bros, are now. A 
}'ear later it was moved to H. R. Moore's 
brick block, which was then occupied by 
Seaiies' liardware store. In April, 1880, the 
Press office was removed to its present quar- 
ters in Lord's block, on the east side of Cedar 

On the 26th of June, ISSo, the People^s 
Press absorbed a paper which had been pub- 
lislied for some time previous at Blooming 
Prairie, under the name of the Tribune. 
Under the arrangement made, the Press 



filled out the Tribune's subscription and 
advertising contracts, and started a Bloom- 
ing Prairie department. 

The People^ s Press has always steadfastly 
held to the Democratic faith in political mat- 
ters, yet it is a local paper in every sense. 
It has always taken a most active part in 
all matters tending to benefit either city or 
county. One feature connected with the 
way the paper is conducted is worthy of 
mention. The whole of every issue, except 
that part relating to general news, termed 
"patents," is devoted to local news, and, 
except during political campaigns, the space, 
instead of being devoted to editorials on for- 
eign subjects, is filled with town and county 
matters. This fact has given this paper an 
especially large circulation throughout the 
county. The Press has never missed an is- 
sue since the first number made its appear- 
ance. AU official matters have always been 
published, whether the Press was the official 
paper of the county or not ; yet it has been 
the official paper several years in its history. 
That matter, of course, has always been ar- 
ranged according to the political complexion 
of tlie board of county commissioners. The 
Press wields a powerful influence, and is 
recognized as one of the ablest and most 
active exponents of Democratic ideas in the 

The office of this paper is well equipped 
for book and general job printing. Im- 
proved cylinder presses, steam-power and 
other first-class machinery, and an excellent 
selection of the latest styles of plain and 
fancy job type enable them to turn out al- 
most any class of work in good, workman- 
like manner. They also do a good class of 

Benjamin E. Darby, editor and proprietor 
of the People's Press, Owatonna, Minn., was 
born February 18, 1848, at St. Eleanors, 
Prince Edward Island. At the age of two 
years his parents removed with him to their 
farm in Abram's Village, Egmont Bay. Here 
he lived until he was sixteen years old, at- 

tending the district school and doing much 
hard work. He evinced good mathematical 
ability and had acquired an excellent knowl- 
edge of the French language, when he en- 
tered the grammar school at the county -seat, 
remaining there two years, studying alge- 
bra, Latin, Greek, geometry, land-surveying 
and navigation. He afterward attended and 
graduated from the normal school in Char- 
lottetown and the Prince of Wales College 
in the same city. He followed the profes- 
sion of teacher in that province until Aug- 
ust, 1871, when he came to Minnesota. In 

1871 and 1872 he was principal of the public 
school at Zumbrota, Goodhue County; in 

1872 and 1873, principal of the public school 
at Pine Island, in the same county, and in 

1873 and 1874 principal of the public school 
at Kasson, Dodge County. He was married 
in August, 187-4, to Annie K. Barnard. They 
have been blessed with four children, as fol- 
lows : George F., born May 22, 1875 ; Harry 
B., born October 15, 1876; Benjamin E. (de- 
ceased), born March 28, 1880 (died when 
fifteen months old), and Fannie A., born 
November 22, 1883. The People's Press 
has grown steadily in circulation and influ- 
ence under Mr. Darby's management, and 
has been a financial success. He is a thor- 
ough master of the business in all its details, 
being a good job printer as well as an inter- 
esting and forcible writer. Mr. Darby has 
been secretary of the Owatonna fire de- 
partment for a number of years, and was 
again re-elected in the spring of 1887 with- 
out opposition. He is a Master Mason. 


A weekly paper bearing this title was 
established at Owatonna, in 1875, by the 
Soper Brothers — J. A. and W. B. Soper. 
It was a four-column folio, neatly printed 
and well edited, the subscription price being 
fi f ty cents per year. The paper was continued, 
being in the meantime enlarged to double 
the size ixnder which it was started, for about 
one year, when the name was changed to 




and under this name it flourished for some- 
thing like another j^ear. During the time 
A. H. Lewis became associated with the 
Soper Brothers, and the firm name became 
Soper Brothers & Lewis. This arrangement 
only continued for about six months, when 
the Review was sold to Luther Bixby. Lewis' 
connection with the paper assumed a variety 
of characters, in turn being that of a partner, 
a lessor, editor on salary, and finally ter- 
minated. After this, for a time, Mr. Bixby 
employed S. C. Harris as editor and event- 
ually the paper was moved to Minneapolis, 
and became the Tempercmce Review. 


This was the name of a small daily started 
at Owatonna, in January, 1876, by Hanson 
& Howe, two energetic young men. It was 
only continued for a very short time. 


This paper was started by the Soper Broth- 
ers in 1879, with S. C. Harris as editor. It 
was a small paper, a four-column folio, and 
was issued daily for about three or four 
HTonths, when it was changed to a weekly, 
and became 


The jiaper was enlarged to a four-column 
quarto. The first issue of this paper bore 
the date of April 6, 1880. About a year 
later it was enlarged to a five-column quarto. 
Soper Brothers continued the publication of 
the Herald until tlie 12th of February, 1886, 
when it was consolidated with F. T. Dre- 
bert's pajier, the Journal, and the name of 
the paper became the Journal and Herald, 

with Drebert & Soper Brothers as pro]n'ietors. 
A history of this paper has already been 
given. At the time of the consolidation the 
Herald ofiice was equipped with an excellent 
outfit of presses, steam engine, type, machin- 
ery and fixtures. 


In 1868, W. H. Mitchell compiled and 
])ublished a work entitled " Geographical 
and Statistical History of Steele County." It 
was got out in pamphlet form, bound in 
paper, and contained about one hundred 
pages. It was a work of considerable merit, 
showing great research in its statistical and 
historical departments, and was the means of 
preserving much historical data that would 
otherwise have been inaccessible. 

In 1874, A. T. Andreas, of Chicago, 111., 
published a complete atlas of Minnesota, 
which contains not only a map of Steele, but 
also a concise and well-written historical 
sketch of the county. The work, in the ex- 
tent of its details, and the mass of historical, 
statistical and geographical information it 
contains, is one which will become more and 
more valuable as years go by ; and, while 
some of its patrons were dissatisfied at the 
time it was published, yet in later years its 
true worth is coming to be fully realized. 
The price charged for the atlas was $15 
per copy. 

In 1879. Warner & Foote, of Minneapolis, 
published a wall map of Steele County, 
which was very complete, showing the size 
and ownership of farms, location of roads, 
dwellings, schools, churches, etc. The work 
was sold for $12 per copy, and its com- 
pilation involved a great deal of time, care 
and expense. 




HE Vllth Territorial Legislature 

a charter which was 
approved on the 1st of March, 
1856, for a railroad from the 
Iowa State line, near where the 
Ked Cedar crosses it, and tlience 
up the Cedar Valley, along the 
Straight Eiver Valley, and 
through the " big woods," to 
Minneapolis, a distance of one 
hundred miles. The summer 
previous, 1855, had witnessed a heavy in- 
crease in the population of Steele County- 
Eailroad agitation had already begun in 
earnest; all who were interested here took 
an active part in working the matter up. It 
was evident that a railroad from St. Paul 
south, on the west side of the Mississippi 
River, must go far back into the interior in 
order to avoid the deep ravines and high 
ridges formed by the Zumbro and Root 
rivers ; that in the interior were the Can. 
non and Straight rivers flowing north, the 
latter interlocking with the Cedar River 
flowing south, and that, manifestly in the 
valley of these streams there was not only a 
leading railroad route, but fine timber, ex- 
cellent water-power and a good agricultural 
district. Owatonna also lay in a direct line 
from Winona to the south bend of the Min- 
nesota River, which route had already — 
even at that early day — been looked out, 
and a charter granted to the Transit Com- 

• Railroads, it was absolutely necessary to 
have, and strenuous efforts were made to 
put the scheme in operation. Parties went 
to St. Paul to attend the session of the 

Vllth Territorial Legislature, and the char- 
ter above mentioned was granted, and 
the Minneapolis & Cedar Valley Rail- 
road was incorporated. Section 1 of the 
bill provided that "Franklin Steele, Isaac 
Atwater, D. M. Hanson, James F. Brad- 
ley, Ezra Abbott, R. P. Russell, A. M. 
Fridley, H. H. Sibley, John W. North, 
James Shields, Alex. Faribault, John C. Ide, 
Charles Jewett, F. W. Fisk, Benjamin L. 
Arnold, "William F. Pettit, John H. Abbott, 
A. B. Cornell, A. Town, A. B. Vaugn, H. 
O. Billings, Orlando Wilder, and such other 
j)ersons as may become associated with 
them," were created " a body corporate, by 
the name of the Minneapolis & Cedar Valley 
Railroad Company." Section 4 appointed 
Henry H. Sibley, at Mendota, Franklin 
Steele, at Minneapolis, James Shields, at 
Faribault, WiUiam F. Pettit, at Owatonna, 
and A. B. Vaugn, at Austin, commissioners 
to open books and receive subscriptions to 
the capital stock of the company. The 
charter also provided that when $50,000 of 
stock should be subscribed tlie commission- 
ers should meet at Faribault for the purpose 
of apportioning the stock among the sub- 
scribers, and also call a meeting of the stock- 
holders to choose directors. This, according 
to the act, was to be done preA'ious to tlie 
1st of March, 1857. The commissioners suc- 
ceeded in securing stock subscriptions to 
the amount of $200,000. Owatonna, Fari- 
bault and Northliekl were most active in 
raising this amount of stock, which was gen- 
erally referred to as the " Owatonna straw 
stock," the general citizen having little or no 
faith in the success of the enterprise. The 




first meeting of the stockholders was held 
at Mendota in February, 1857, at which 
time the following named directors were 
elected : Ezra Abbott, of St. Anthony ; 
Franklin Steele, of Fort Snelling; II. H. 
Sibley, of Mendota ; J. W. North, of North- 
field ; James Shields, of Faribault ; William 
F. Pettit, of Owatonna, and A. B. Vaugn, 
of Austin ; Ezi'a Abbott, treasurer ; Frank- 
lin Steele, seci-etary, and J. H. Abbott, 
chief engineer. In June Mr. Abbott and L. 
Kellett commenced surveying the route, and 
by the close of September the location was 
made and the estimates for construction 
completed. In May, at the extra session of 
the legislature, that body made to this road 
a munificent grant of lands, according to 
the act of Congress of that year, which was 
much more liberal than that heretofore 
granted to any State or territory. But the 
great financial panic of 1857 followed, and 
men of reputed wealth, who had thought 
themselves wealthy, were reduced from af- 
fluence to poverty, and in this western coun- 
try the pressure was very severe. In 1858 
all the companies in the State did a large 
amount of grading and other work on the 
lines of roads, stimulated thereto by the ac- 
tion of the legislature in passing the " five 
million loan bill " and its ratification by the 
people. Of the 110 miles of the Cedar Val- 
ley Railroad to the State line, seventy-two 
were graded and a large number on the other 
portions of the road. 

When the $5,000,000 loan bill was passed 
it was provided that the road-beds of the 
railroads so aided should be morteae'ed. 
When the financial crash came these mort- 
gages were foi-eclosed, and later the grant 
to the Cedar Valley Company was given 
to the Minnesota Central Company, and 
that of the Transit Company was given 
to the Winona & St. Peter Railroad Com- 
pany. In relation to the bonds, an act 
was passed making them a basis upon 
which the banks could issue currency, and 
this was carried out at nearly all points in 

this part of the State. At Owatonna a bank 
issued circulating notes based u]ion these 
bonds, and as they continued to depreciate 
in value, until they were utterly worthless, 
of course the bank failed. Hundreds of mer- 
chants and business men were ruined, and in 
every way it proved not only a disgraceful 
but a ver}^ disastrous transaction. 

In the fall of 1860 the election contest was 
an exciting one, the main question at issue 
being the location of the Transit Railroad, 
now the Winona & St. Peter Division of 
the Northwestern Railway. The legislature 
was to fix the location. Hon. William F. 
Pettit was the candidate for representative 
who favored Owatonna, and Hon. G. W. 
Green favored a point farther north. Mr. 
Pettit was elected by a handsome majorit}^ 
and at the following session of the legisla- 
ture the land grants were disposed of to 
solid companies, upon condition that a cer- 
tain number of miles should be completed 
and cars running thereon each year, under 
penalty of forfeiture of the whole grant to 
the State. But the Rebellion breaking out 
that spi'ing, work was delayed on all the 
roads. In 1862 an act of Congress was 
secured to facilitate the construction of the 
Minnesota & Cedar Valley Railroad. Work 
was I'esumed in 1863 and 1864 ; and in 
1865 the Cedar Valley road was put in oper- 
ation as far as Faribault ; and the Winona 
& St. Peter as far as Kasson, about sixtj'- 
five miles west of Winona. In August, 1866, 
both roads were completed to Owatonna 
and the struggle and anxiety of the jieo- 
ple received their legitimate reward in the 
improved business and increased value of 
property. The Minneapolis & Cedar Val- 
ley Railwaj^ afterward became the Minnesota 
Railway, and was finally absorbed in the 
great Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul Rail- 
way system. In the same way the Transit 
Company's road had become a part of the 
Chicago & Northwestern. Both now belong to 
great railway systems — the leading thorough- 
fares of freight and travel of the West. 



These — the Chicago & Northwestern, and 
the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. Paul rail- 
ways — comprise all the lines of railway that 
have as yet been built through Steele 
County. However, at the present writing 
there is prospects that the Duluth, Eed "Wing 
& Southern Railroad will be constructed 
through the county at an early day. The 
company demanded a bonus of $40,000 in 
bonds from the county and the matter was 
finally submitted to the voters at a spe- 
cial election held on the 30tli of June, 

1887, at which the proposition was carried 
in favor of bonding by a majority of 412. 
The proposition for the issuance of the bonds 
states the plan and route of the proposed 
road so clearly that we give it in full, viz. : 

" In consideration of the issuance and do- 
nation thereto of the said bonds, the said 
railroad company will construct, complete 
and put into operation its line of railroad as 
follows : 

" From Albert Lea, in the county of Free- 
born, State of Minnesota, through the said 
county of Steele and Owatonna, the county- 
seat of said county, to the city of Red Wing, 
Minn., within two years from January 1, 

1888, and from said city of Red Wing to 
Duluth, Superior or Ashland, on Lake Su- 
perior, within three years from January 1, 
1888, and further agree that said road shall 
not be owned or operated by any through 
line running to Chicago or Milwaukee and 
will, in consideration of said bonds, at the 
election of said county commissioners of said 
Steele County, issue to it such number of the 
shares of its capital stock as will at par 
value of such stock correspond with the 
principal sum of said bonds. 

"In case the said railroad company, its 
successors or assigns, shall fail to complete 
the said portions of the said railroad in the 
time herein provided, it shall forfeit and lose 
all right to have and obtain all that portion 
of the said bonds to be donated on account 
of the portion or portions of the said rail- 
roads so failed to be completed. 

" The said bonds shall be delivered to the 
said railroad company, its successors or 
assigns, as follows : 

"When said railroad shall be completed 
and the cars running through from either 
Red Wing or Albert Lea to tlae city of Owa- 
tonna in said Steele County, one-third (^) of 
said bonds ; when the road is completed 
from Red Wing to Albert Lea through the 
said city of Owatonna, one-third (-^) of said 
bonds, and when the connection with Lake 
Superior is completed the remaining one- 
third (^) of said bonds shall be delivered. 

" In order to insure the faithful jjerform- 
ance by both the said county of Steele and 
the said railroad company, of the foregoing 
conditions in respect to the issuance of the 
said bonds, the said bonds shall within thirty 
(30) days after the canvass of the vote au- 
thorizing the issuance of the same be duly 
executed by the said county commissioners 
and be placed in escrow in the hands of the 
cashier of the First National Bank of St. 
Paul, Minn., to be delivered to the said rail- 
road company, its successors or assigns, as 
herein provided and not otherwise ; and the 
certificate of stock to be exchanged thereof, 
shall be placed with the same depositary at 
the same time. 

" But, in case the said railroad company 
shall fail to acquire the right to have de- 
livered to it any portion or the whole of the 
said bonds, by failure to build and put into 
operation the said portions of the said rail- 
road in the time aforesaid, in such case all 
such portions of the said bonds as the said 
company shall have so failed to perfect its 
right to have delivered to it, shall, upon the 
demand of the said county commissioners or 
their successors be surrendered to the said 
county commissioners or their successors for 

"Dated June 3d, A. D. 1887. 

" DcLUTH, Red Wing & Southern Rail- 
road Company. By F. W. IIoyt, 

"Attest, Edgar R. Mills, President. 
" Secretary." 




ROM the commencement of gov- 
ernment there have been two an- 
tagonistic principles contending 
for mastery: slavery and freedom; 
sometimes smoldering and even 
invisible ; but the seeds were there, 
and ever and anon would burst 
into flames, carrying destruction, 
death and desolation with them. A 
rei^etition of the great conflict 
which for ages has agitated our 
globe — the conflict between aristocratic 
usurpation and popular rights. History is 
crowded with descriptions and scenes of this 
irrepressible conflict. Two thousand years 
ago, when the aristocracy of Eome was 
headed by Cneius Pompej^, Julius Caesar, 
esi)ousing the cause of the people, unfurled 
the banner of equal rights, and striding 
through oceans of blood which tossed their 
surges over every portion of the habitable 
globe, overthrew the aristocratic common- 
wealth and reared over the ruins the imperial 
commonwealth. Again, on the field of Phar- 
salia, the aristocratic banner was trailed in 
the dust, and democracy, although exceed- 
ingly imperfect, became victor. It was ar- 
istocracy trying to keep its heel on the 
head of democracy which had deluged the 
Roman empire in blood. But the nobles 
regained foothold, and, regardless of these 
lessons, renewed their oppression. Again 
they commenced sowing the seed which must 
surely bring forth terrible fruit. Over two 
hundred years ago the aristocracy of France, 

housed in magnificent palaces, mounted on 
war horses, with pampered men-at-arms 
ready to ride rough-shod on every embass- 
age of violence, trampled upon the sufl'ering 
serfs until humanity could no longer endure 
it. The masses of the people were deprived 
of every privilege, save that of toiling for 
their masters. The aristocracy so deprived 
the people, whose wives and daughters, 
through their brutality, were forced to go to 
the field bareheaded and barefooted, and 
be yoked to the plow with the donkey, that 
they never dreamed that the wretched boors 
would dare even to look in defiance towards 
the massive and stately castles, whose noble- 
men proudly strode along the battlements 
in measureless contempt for the helpless 
peasantry below. But the pent-up vials of 
vengeance of ages at last burst forth. These 
boors, these jacks, rose, and like maddened 
hyenas rusiied upon their foes. Inibruted 
men, who for ages had been subjected to the 
most outrageous wrongs, rose by millions 
against their oppressors, and wreaked upon 
them every atrocit}'^ which fiend-like ingenu- 
ity could devise. All the brutal and demon 
passions of human nature held high carnival, 
and it can truly be said France ran red with 
blood. But at length disciplined valor pre- 
vailed. After one-half of the peasantry of 
France had perished, the knighted noblemen, 
the aristocrats, resumed their sway, and their 
hellish bondage, worse than slavery, was 
again placed upon the people. Tliis war of 
the jacks, or, as it is called in history. 




Jacquekie, is one of the most interesting and 
warning events of the past, and yet it was 
all unheeded. The oppression went on, grow- 
ing more and more outrageous ; the people 
were kept ignorant that they might not 
know of the wrongs ; poor, that they might 
not resent them. That the lords might live 
in castles and be clothed in jjurple, and fare 
sumptuously, the people were doomed to 
hovels, rags and black bread. The peasant 
must not place the bit of dough in the ashes 
by his fireside; he was compelled to have it 
baked at the bakery of his lord, and there 
pay heavy toll. He dare not scrape together 
the few crumbs of salt from the rocks of the 
ocean shore ; he must buy every particle from 
his lord at an exorbitant price. " Servants, 
obey your masters ! " was interpreted to 
apply to all save of noble birth, and religion 
was converted into a method for subjecting 
the masses. Bibles were not allowed to be 
read by these " boors," lest they learn what 
the Saviour really taught, and a peasant 
detected with one in his hand was deemed 
as guilty as if caught with the tools of 
a burglar or the dies of a counterfeiter. 
As associates for lords — the idea would 
have been considered contrary to nature or 
reason. Thus Louis XV., surrounded by 
courtesans, debauchees and the whoredom of 
his castle, once said : "I can give money to 
Voltaire, Montesqueu, Fontenelle, but I can- 
not dme and smjj with these people." If the 
peasant, with his wife and child toiling in the 
field, in the cultivation of a few acres of 
land, managed to raise $640 worth of crops 
during the year, $600 of it went to the king, 
the lord and the church, while the remain- 
ing $40 was left to clothe and feed the 
emaciated family. Thos. Jefferson, in the year 
1785, wrote from Paris to a friend in Phila- 
delphia : " Of twenty millions of people 
supposed to be in France, I am of the opin- 
ion that there are nineteen millions more 
wretched, more accursed in every circum- 
stance of human existence, than the most 
conspicuously wretched individual in the 

whole United States." It was this state of 
affairs which brought on the war of the 
French Revolution, inaugurating the most 
terrific of all time's battles. Such combats 
earth never saw before, probably will never 
see again. Two worlds, as it were, came 
clashing together. Twenty millions of peo- 
ple trampled in the mire, rose ghastly and 
frenzied, and the flames of feudal castles and 
the shrieks of haughty oppressors appalled 
the world. All the combined aristocracy of 
Europe were on the other side to crush the 
demand of the people for the equality of 
man. Russia, Prussia, Sweden, Austria, 
England, Spain- — all the kings rallied their 
armies to the assistance of France in subdu- 
ing the oppressed masses who, believing they 
were right, marched heroically to the victo- 
ries of Marengo, "Wagram and Austerlitz. 
But in the final victories of the despots, aris- 
tocratic privilege again triumphed in Europe. 
In the meantime a similar though less bloody 
and terrific battle had taken place in Eng- 
land ; the same ever rising conflict between 
the united courtiers and cavaliers under 
Charles I. and the Puritans under Cromwell. 
With prayer, fasting and hj^mn, the com- 
mon people, who had for ages been under the 
yoke of servitude, took to arms in defense of 
their riglits, and many cavaliers bit the dust 
through their sturdy blows. But Charles II. 
returned to the throne, and again aristocracy 
triumphed. The oppressed were our Puri- 
tan fathers ; again they were trodden under 
foot. Then it was that the heroic resolution 
was adopted to cross the ocean three thou- 
sand miles, and there in exile establish and 
found a republic where all men in the eye of 
the law should be equal. The result is too 
well known to need rehearsal ; how they 
fought their way through all the dangers of 
the savage new world and succeeded in the 
object; how the aristocracy of England 
made the desperate effort to again bring the 
yoke to bear; to tax us without allowing us 
to be represented in parliament; to place the 
appointment to all important offices in the 



hands of the king, who would send over the 
sons of EnglaiuFs noblemen to be our gov- 
ernors and our judges, and who would fill all 
the posts of wealth, dignity and power with 
the children of the lords. Hence, the War of 
the Eevolution. We, the people, conquered, 
and established our government independent 
of all the world, placing as corner-stone of 
the edifice, that " all men are born free and 
equal, and are alike entitled to life, liberty 
and the pursuit of happiness." 

Then coming down, the great conflict 
of America, the Rebellion, it was a con- 
tinuance of that irrepressible conflict Avhich 
has shaken the world to its uttermost depths 
for ages. It was based upon slaver^', that 
which has caused the shedding of oceans of 
blood, and making millions of widows and 
orphans. The constitution under which we 
are bound together is, in its spirit and legit- 
imate utterance, doubtless one of the most 
noble documents ever produced by the mind 
of man, and even now, when the advance- 
ment of a century has dawned upon its use, 
not a paragraph requires changing to make 
it true to humanity. But yet ingloriously 
and guiltily we consent to use one phrase 
susceptible of a double meaning — " held to 
labor." So small and apparently so insig- 
nificant were the seeds sown, from ^Vhich 
such a harvest of misery has been reaped. 
In the North these honest words meant a 
hired man or an apprentice. In the South 
they were taken to mean slavery, the degra- 
dation and feudal bondage of a race. A 
privileged class assumed that the constitu- 
tion recognized it, and the right of property 
in human beings. This class endeavored to 
strengthen and extend their aristocratic in- 
stitution, which was dooming ever-increas- 
ing millions to life-long servitude and degra- 
dation. All wealth was rapidly accumulat- 
ing in the hands of these few, who owned 
their fellow-man as property. The poor 
whites, unable to buy slaves, and considering 
labor which was performed by them degrad- 
ing, were rapidly sinking into a state of 

frightful miserJ^ The sparse population 
which slaver}' allowed, excluded churches, 
schools and villages. Immense ^plantations 
of thousands of acres, tilled by as many 
slaves driven to work by overseers, con- 
signed the whole land to apparent solitude. 
The region of the southern country general- 
ly presented an asjoect of desolation which 
Christendom nowhere else could parallel. 
The slaveholders, acting as one man, claimed 
the right of extending this over all the free 
territory of the United States. Free labor 
and slave labor cannot exist together. The 
admission of slavery effectually excluded 
free men from them. It was impossible for 
those men cherishing the sentiment of repub- 
lican equality, to settle there with the priv- 
ileged class who were to own vast realms 
and live in luxury upon the unpaid labor of 
the masses. It was on this jioint that the 
conflict in its fierceness commenced. From 
the year 1790 the strife grew hotter and 
hotter every year. The questions arising 
kept Congress, both the Senate and House, 
in one incessant scene of warfare. There 
could be no peace in the land until this 
aristocratic element was efiFectually banished. 
The Hon. Mr. Iverson, of Georgia, speak- 
ing of antagonism of the two systems, aris- 
tocracy and freedom, said, in the Senate of 
the United States, on December 5, 1S60 : 
" Sir, disguise the fact as you will, there 
is enmity between the northern and south- 
ern people which is deep and enduring, and 
you can never eradicate it, never. Look at 
the spectacle exhibited on this floor. How 
is it 'I There are the northern senators on that 
side ; here are the southern senators on this 
side. You sit upon your side silent and 
gloomy. We sit upon our side with knit 
brows and proten tons scowls. Here are two 
hostile bodies on this floor, and it is but a 
type of the feeling which exists between the 
two sections. We are enemies as much as if 
we were hostile States. We have not lived 
in peace. We are not now living in peace. 
It is not expected that we shall ever live in 



peace." Hon. Mr. Mason, of Virginia, in 
continuation of the same debate, said : " Tliis 
is a war of sentiment and opinion, b}^ one 
form of society against another form of 
society." The remarks of Hon. Garrett 
Davis, a senator from Kentucky, are to the 
point : " The cotton Stj^tes, by their slave 
labor, have become wealthy, and many of 
their planters have princely revenues, from 
$50,000 to §100,000 per year. This wealth 
has begot a pride, and insolence, and ambi- 
tion, and these points of southern character 
have been displayed most insultingly in the 
halls of Congress. As a class, the wealthy 
cotton-growers are insolent, they are proud, 
they are domineering, they are ambitious. 
They have monopolized the government in 
its honors for forty or fifty years with few 
interruptions. When they saw the scepter 
about to depai't from them, in the election 
of Lincoln, sooner than give up office and the 
spoils of office, in their mad and wicked 
ambition thej^ determined to disrupt the old 
confederation and erect a new one, wherein 
they would have undisputed power." 

Thus the feeling 
stronger. One incessant cry became, " Ab- 
jure 3'our democratic constitution, which 
favors equal rights to all men, and give us 
in its place an aristocratic constitution, which 
will secure the rights of a privileged class." 
They insisted that the domestic slave trade 
should be nurtured, and the foreign slave 
trade opened, saying, in the coarse and vul- 
gar language of one of the most earnest 
advocates of slavery : " The North can im- 
port jackasses from Malta, let the South, 
then, import niggers from Africa." 

The reply of the overwhelming majority 
of the people of the United States was de- 
cisive. Lincoln was elected and inaugurated 
despite the conspiracy to prevent it. Volumes 
could be and have been written upon these 
actions, but they are well known. "We will 
merely mention the most prominent features 
transpiring, until the havoc of war actually 
set in. 

continued growmg 

On the 7th of November, 1860, it was 
known that Abraham Lincoln was elected 
President of the United States, and was to 
enter upon his duties on the fourth day of 
the following March. In the meantime the 
executive government was virtually in the 
hands of the slave power. James Buchanan, 
the President, had been elected to the office 
openly pledged to pursue the general policy 
the slave-holders enjoyed. The cabinet were 
all slave-holders and slave-masters. The 
United States Navy was scattered all over 
the face of the earth, leaving only two vessels 
for the defense of the countrj^ ; the treasury 
was left barren ; the army was so scattered 
in remote fortresses in the far "West as to 
leave all the forts, where they would be 
needed, defenseless ; the United States arse- 
nals were emptied, the Secretary of War 
sending their guns to the slave States, where 
bands of rebels were organized and drilling, 
prepared to receive them. One hundred and 
fifteen thousand arms, of the most approved 
pattern, were transferred from Springfield, 
Mass., and from Watervliet, N. Y., together 
with a vast amount of cannon, mortar, balls, 
powder and shells were also forwarded to 
rebels in the slave States. 

On the 18th of February, 1801, the inau- 
guration of Jefferson Davis, as President of 
the Southern Confederacy, took place at 
Montgomery, Ala. Four days later the col- 
lector of customs, appointed by the Con- 
federate government in Charleston, S. 
C, issued a manifesto that all vessels, 
from any State out of the Confederacy, 
would be treated as foreign vessels, and sub- 
ject to the port dues and other charges 
established by the laws of the Confederate 
States. Thus, by a stroke of the pen, the 
immense commerce of the Northern States 
was declared to be foreign commerce, 
beneath the guns of the forts which the 
United States had reared, at an expense of 
millions of dollars. Already a number of 
States had passed the ordinance of secession. 
On the 4th of March, 18G1, Abraham 



Lincoln was inaugurated President, and 
assumed official duties. At half-past four 
o'clock on the morning of the 12t]i of April, 
1861, the rebels opened fire upon Fort 
Sumter, and, after enduring terrific bom- 
bardment from all sides, the heroic defend- 
ers abandoned it and were conveyed to New 
York-. Fort Sumter was the Bunker HiU 
of the Civil War. In both cases a proud 
aristocracy were determined to subject this 
country to its sway. In both cases the 
defeat was a glorious victory. On the next 
Monday, April 15, President Lincoln issued 
a call for three months' service of 75,000 
volunteers. The effect was electrical. 
Within fifteen days it is estimated that 
350,000 men offered themselves in defense 
of our national flag. Thus the Civil War had 
burst upon the United States with almost 
the suddenness of the meteor's glare. It was, 
however, but like the eruption of the volcano 
whose pent-up fires had for ages been gather- 
ing strength for final explosion. The con- 
spirators had for years been busy preparing 
for the conflict. In the rebel convention, 
which met in South Carolina to consumate 
the conspiracy, Mr. Inglis said : " Most of 
us have had this subject under consideration 
for the last twenty years." Mr. Keitt said : 
"I have been engaged in this movement 
ever since I entered political life." Mr. 
Rhett said : " It is nothing produced by Mr. 
Lincoln's election, or the non-execution of 
the fugitive slave law. It is a matter 
which has been gathering for thirty j^ears." 
But more need not be said ; the result is 
too well Ivnown. Call followed call in quick 
succession ; the number reached the total of 
The calls were as follows : 

April 15, 1861, for three months 75,000 

May 4, 18G1, for five j'ears 64,748 

July, 1861, for three years 500,000 

July 18, 1863, for three years 300,000 

August 4, 1863, for nine months 300,000 

Juue, 1803, for three years 300,000 

October 17, 1863, for three years 300,000 

February 18, 1864, for three years 500,000 

July 10, 1864, for three years 300,000 

July 16, 1864, for one, two and three years 500,000 

December 31, 1864, for three years 300,000 

Total, 3,339,748 


Looking at Steele County to-day, we can 
scarcely realize that when the war broke 
upon the country, arraying more than a 
milhon of men in arms, and which made our 
ship of State reel and stagger as if smitten 
by tlmnderbolts and dashed upon rocks, that 
Steele county was but " six years old " ; and 
Minnesota as a State of the American Union 
was yet but three years old. But, notwith- 
standing its own resources had not been 
subjugated to man's use, veiy material aid 
was promptly offered in subduing the rebell- 
ious States. The feeling through Minnesota 
was universal that the Union must be pre- 
served, and the sights and sounds that were 
so noticeable in every village and hamlet, 
north of Mason and Dixon's line, were du- 
plicated liere. The celerity with which men 
abandoned the pursuits of peace to take up 
those of war was most marvelous. Tlie 
population of Steele County in 1860 was 
2,863, and this had grown but little when the 
enlistments began. Alex. Ramsey, of St. 
Paul, happened to be in Washington at the 
time Fort Sumter was fired upon, and was 
with the President when the first call for 
75,000 three months' volunteers was issued. 
He at once telegraplied the State adjutant- 
general to call for troops. In this way the 
news of the firing on Sumter and the call 
for men became known at the new set- 
tlement in Steele County at about the same 
time. Lewis McKune, a talented man 
from Waseca County, was the first to 
raise troops here. He came, and after talk- 
ing the matter over a little, a meeting was 
held in Morford's Hall, at which he and 
others made speeches, and enlistments began. 
Several enlisted for three months the same 
night, among whom were Dwight Morford, 
Anton Schimek, Andrew CoUyer, M. R. Pat- 
ten, Alvin Phelps, Edward Philli])s, Oscar 

(:^^xvx4 c^C(^^^ 



Gross, Henry Borchert, George Crooker and 
possibly a few others. A company was 
raised in Steele and Kice counties, of which 
Lewis McKune was elected captain. The 
boys marched to Faribault with David Lin- 
dersmith playing the fife and Elder Thomson 
the drum, and were finally mustered in as 
a part of the First Minnesota Eegiment, of 
which Willis A. Gorman was colonel. Many 
of the early volunteers were killed at the 
first battle of Bull Run. 

After this, meetings were held very often 
and enlistments continued throughout the 
war. There were but few Copperheads in 
Steele County, and when one did occasionally 
make himself known he was promptly sub- 
dued, or given twenty-four hours to leave. 


Officially Steele County nobly did its part, 
and in addition to the bounties voted by tlie 
county board, nearly every township in the 
county promptly voted aid. August 4, 1862, 
the President's call was issued for three hun- 
dred thousand men. The first action of the 
board was in reference to this call. The 
meeting of the board was held August 12, 
1862, Alex Chambers and B. F. Melvin being 
present. It was ordered by the board that 
the sum of $50 be appropriated for each vol- 
unteer who enlisted, the amount to be paid 
in installments, as follows : Married men to 
receive 10 per cent of whole amount in 
three months ; 10 per cent to be paid at end 
of each month in service until said amount 
was fully paid. Single men to receive 50 
per cent of whole amount at the end of six 
months ; balance at the end of first year in 

However, on the 2d of September, 1862, 
the board met again and changed the terms 
of payment from the plan involved in their 
2)revious resolution. The members attend- 
ing at this meeting were Alex. Chambers, 
B. F. Melvin and H. Fredenburgh. The 
terms of payment of bounties fixed at this 
meeting were as follows : Ten per cent to 

be paid at end of each month. The county 
treasurer was directed to call upon the sub- 
scribers to the bounty fund, in order to meet 
the installments when due. 

At the next meeting of the board, Janu- 
ary 9, 1863, all members were present : Alex. 
Chambers, B. F. Melvin and H. Fredenburgh. 
The county treasurer stated to the board 
that there was no money in the treasury to 
pay the monthly installments to the volun- 
teers of Steele County, who were entitled to 
bounty-money due them. The county au- 
ditor was therefore directed that upon pres- 
entation of the treasurer's order by any 
volunteer, stating the amount due him upon 
his monthly installment, to issue county 
scrip, bearing 10 per cent interest, to said 
volunteer for the amount of the order. 

On the eighth day of April, 1863, a spe- 
cial meeting of the board was held for the 
purpose of dividing the county into districts 
for the election of officers for military pur- 
poses, each district to elect one captain, one 
first and one second lieutenant. The dis- 
tricts were arranged as follows : 

First District — Aurora and Dover; the 
election to be held at the residence of A. B. 

Second District — Somerset and Summit; 
election to be held at schoolhouse, near 
" Bill's house." 

Third District — Berlin and Lemond ; elec- 
tion to be held at residence of J. "W. Crosby. 

Fourth District — Owatonna ; election to 
be held at " schoolhouse." 

Fifth District — Merton ; election to be 
held at " town-meeting place." 

Sixth District — Clinton Falls and Med- 
ford ; election to be held at residence of 
David Sanborn. 

Seventh District — Meriden and Deerfield ; 
place of election to be at "schoolhouse, near 
John O. Waumett's.'' 

On the 19th of December, 1863, a resolu- 
tion was passed, stating that a majority of 
the taxpayers wished that the bounty to 
volunteers be raised to $100. B. F. Melvin 



was therefore appointed to see at what terms 
and from whom the county could secure a 
loan suflBcient to pay the claims of the vol- 
unteers. In Januarj^, 1864, Mr. Melvin re- 
ported that Dr. McCutchen, of Faribault, had 
agreed to take $3,000 of the bonds at par ; 
but stated that " he was informed by the 
doctor's attorney that the commissioners 
had no legal right to issue such bonds." 

On the 13th of January, 1874, Alex. 
Chambers was chosen to negotiate the 
" bounty orders " so called, antl if it was 
found that they were illegal the legislature 
was to be asked to authorize the issue of 
$6,000 bonds for payment of bounties, and 
each volunteer who should enlist and be 
accepted, and accredited to Steele County, 
should receive $100 as soon as money could 
be secured. In accordance with this on the 
12th of February, 1864, an act was passed 
by the legislature, authorizing the issuance 
of $6,000 in bonds, drawing 12 per cent 
interest, one-half to be paid at expiration of 
two years, balance in three years. Alex. 
Chambers was appointed to negotiate the 
loan and it was provided that the volun- 
teers should be paid their bounties in the order 
in which they enlisted until the money 
should all be paid out. It was to be paid 
to new recruits or new volunteers, not to 
veterans that should re-enlist. 


The following is a complete list of the 
soldiers who enlisted from Steele County, 
as shown by the records in the adjutant- 
general's office : 


Annis, Levi Fling, George A. 

Berg, Jacob Snj'der, William J. 

Bixby, J. S. McDaniels, E. C. 

Curtis, George H. Thimson, Nils P. 

Lopping, Henry Roberts, John L. 

Green, William Johnson, William J. 

Myers, Felix Howe, Samuel 

Morin, Patrick Dickenson, Chris. 

Morin, Dennis Olmsted, Samuel B. 

Pettie, David Roberts, James L. 

Pettie, C. B. Weed, Clark 

Pettie, G. C. Siverson, Ilalleck 

Cook, Albert T. Richards, Alonzo 

Danchy, Arthur H. 


Chase, Levi Pitcher, Eli F. 

Chase, Dudley Reese, Isaac 

Chase, Timothy Grow, Francis 

Hanson, William Roberts, Eugene W. 

Willson, William 


Chambers, Frank 
Curtis, Manly M. 
DuboiSj James L. 
Emeiy, George W. 
Jones, Anthony 
Jones, Anthony W 
Jones, Isaac W. 
Patterson, Martin 
Strothara, J. E. 
Tiffany, Oscar 
Warfield, John M. 
Willis, John 

(now Havana). 

Webster, Joseph R. 
Bunns, W. H. 
Elliott, Gilbert W. 
McCaslin, John 
Bailey, Richard S. 
Bloomer, Henry 
Minthorne, Henry F. 
Hart, Allen 
Anderson, John 
Hudson, Charles 
Jones, Charles 
Giles, S. F. 


Baker, Ozias B. 
Barnhard, William 
Barnhard, James 
Bortley, John H. 
Cressey, R. W. 
Curtis, Thomas 
Green, George W. 
Hunt, Andrew M. 
Hays, Sanford E. 

Morrison, William E. 
McNitt, Truman E. 
Parsons, Henry 
Sanboi'n, B. C. 
Williamson, D. W. 
Ritchie, Joseph 
Mclntire, Sanford H. 
Morrison, Samuel 
Warner, Martin 


Condon, Patrick Winchell, Demster L. 

Gypson, Benjamin Williams, Charles H. 

Hodgson, William Carter, Henry G. 

Lilly, Samuel Arnold, William W. 

Morse, Henry N. Houston, Cyrus M. 

Rosenthal, William Parker, Newton 

Star, William Fleury, Joseph 


Beach, Samuel B. Tatro, Joseph 

Bragg, Aaron S. Tatro, John 



Huston, Thomas 
Johnson, Nelson 
Kinney, JSTewcombe 
Tasker, Daniel 

Gould, Samuel 
Bragg, Henry W. 
Davis, Edward 
Gibbons, James 
Sorenson, Ingbert. 


Barne}', John L. 
Bliss, Calvin G. 
Bissell, Warren P. 
Davis, John L. 
Davis, Thomas E. 
Drake, Kichard M. 
Eastman, Adoniram 
Francis, Albert B. 
Fowler, Francis W. 
Fowler, Loren 
Freeman, Samuel M. 
Guile, Samuel M. 
Haskill, Augustus 
Heath, Isaac P. 
Heath, John A. 
Jeffrey, Charles 
Kendig, George 
King, John H. 
Stoddard, James S. 
McClure, Nelson 

Lincoln, August A. 
Moore, Ambrose 
McCrory, William 
McKinney, Albert 
Melvin, F. L. 
Miller, M. D. L. 
Pike, Elias G. 
Pomeroy, Charles 
Pasco, William 
Ring, Eugene P. 
Shaw, Jotham 
Strong, M. L. 
Sawyer, George B. 
Thurston, H. N. 
Thurston, George H. 
Wentworth, John W. 
Wheeler, W. W. 
Wilkins, W. W. 
Howard, Lewis M. 
Hoit, Moses 

Wilkins, William W. DeReenier, James H. 


Bradley, Henry 
Bradley, William 
Fitzsimraons, Charles 
Fitzsimmons, Lewis 
Green, L. J. 
Tuthill, William S. 
Williams, Byron J. 
Mosher, Asa 
Baker, Samuel W. 
Cooney, Thomas 
Ritchie, Henry 
McNitt, James R. 
Teed, John A. 
Kern, James W. 

Ross, Cornelius F. 
Carr, Francis H. 
McCabe, William 
Bradley, James 
Jordon, Anthony J. 
Tuthill, John D." 
House, Charles S. 
Hawes, Philo 
Anderson, John L. 
Kidney, William H. 
Middaugh, V. V. 
Harris, William A. 
Lewis, Jacob 
Smith, Adelbert 

Burns, Alvin 
Baker, Charles B. 
Carpenter, Joseph 
Curtis, Samuel J. 
Condin, Patrick 
Carpenter, Thomas 
Eastman, A. R. 
Flake, Levi 
Henry, Michael W. 
Henry, Miles 
Irvin, Frederick J. 
Jones, Henry B. 
Jones, Oliver T. 
Kendall, Frank L. 
Lane, John 
McAndrews, Michael 
Pennick, Wilmot H. 
Thorn, Robert 

McAndrews, Patrick 
Norton, Sewell P. 
Nay lor, George 
Naylor, James 
Reed, Andrew W. 
Thompson, Franklin 
Taylor, Emmons P. 
Williams, Theodore 
Willey, Geo. H. 
Welch, Melvin H. 
MoUey, Lawrence W. 
Barnard, Warren 
Dodge, Daniel, Jr. 
Casler, Smith 
Curtis, John W. 
Curtis, Henry L. 
O'Toole, Terrence 
Collin, Thomas J. 


Adams, James H, 
Barnes, James J. 


Mosher, Norman 
Martin, Willard E. 

Ambler, R. C. 
Arnold, E. M. 
Boll, Fredolin 
Burr, John D. 
Barnett, P. D. 
Barnej^ Michael 
Burns, Hugh 
Babcock, L. F. 
Burr, Murdock P. 
Case, M. B. 
Crooker, Geo. W. 
Colyer, Andrew H. 
Coverdale, D. L. 
Carter, J. T. 
Crawford, J. W. 
Crandall, O. S. 
Case, Simeon 
Carlton, Dexter 
Conwell, F. A. 
Lindersmith, Oliver 
La Gro, Ebenezer 
Morford, S. D. 
Moessner, C. F. 
Mills, Geo. M. 
Morford, Joel G. 
JMoore, Orlando S. 
Minthorne, T. C. S. 

Ernst, A. W. 
Elliott, Jeremiah 
Fillmore, E. D. 
Fletcher, Harvey 
Flinn, J. N. H. 
Foster, Norman T. 
Gordon, Walter 
Goodwin, Jas. A. 
Grear, John 
Hall, James F. 
Hooker, J. B. 
Hadley, J. A. 
Hess, Jacob W. 
Haynes, Asa S. 
Hartz, William 
Hammond, Chas. F. 
Kelley, Thomas 
Kerrott, E. M. 
Livingston, Frank 
Pasco, Richard A. 
Presley, William 
RusseU, W. H. 
Rideout, Andrew J. 
Sawyer, Jas. T. 
Schimek, Austin E. 
Sherman, W. H. 
Stowers, Smith H. 



Miles, Richard ■ 
Morris, John 
Northrop, E. W. 
Nichols, Jacob 
Norman, John B. 
Odell, Geo. W. 
Phillips, E. P. 
Phelps, Alvin 
Patten, M. R. 
Phelps, Addison 
Parsons, Fred 
Phillips, Horace H. 
Yearley, Zeus S. 
Thompson, Thomas 
Brigham, Henry D. 
Epla, Samuel S. 
Howard, C. E» 
Bettig, Samuel, Jr. 
Crocker, Geo. W. 
Coon, John D. 
Harsh, Hiram 
Hulett, Ebon 
Robinson, Hiram 
Thenig, Geo. W. 
Vail, Allen S. 
Young, Joseph 
Lipsey, John F. 
Rock, John M. 
Sweatt, Methia 
Walrod, Jacob W. 
Wickham, John C. 
Young, John 
Buck, Edwin P. 
Andrews, Theodorus J. 

Scott, Wm. B. 
Thom, George 
Towle, Daniel G. 
Thompson, H. R. 
Thomas, James S. 
Town, Julius A. 
Wheaton, Willard 
Wood, Alanson B. 
Winschell, Nathaniel 
Webster, William 
Winched, Wm. B. 
Ware, Marcus 
Bradley, William 
Lindersmith, O. 
Peebles, Jacob 
Siars, Benjamin 
Tasker, Daniel L. 
Tiffany, Oscar 
Tyler, Ezra A. 
Ameigh, Erin H. 
Brooks, George W. 
Clark, Wm. H. 
Giles, Charles 
Jones, Charles A. 
Jepson, John 
Lyons, Wm. B. 
Marshall, D. P. 
Hopkins, Geo. N. 
Chase, Russell 
Middaugh, Solomon 
Sherpy, James M. 
Chambers, George 
Ramsey, Nathaniel 
Wilcox, John 

Euny, Joseph 
Hickok, Frankhn K. 
McPelt, Michael 
Morrison, Daniel R. 
Pitch, Wesley W. 

Wddrich, John 
Slocum, Melvin B. 
Reece, Isaac 
Peggs, Joseph E. E. 
Gardner, Charles W. 

Stevens, Lafayett. 


Fredenburg, Jeremiah 
Farrell, John 
Smith, James 
Winched, George 
Wheeler, Benj. S. 
Benedict, Harvey, Jr. 
Davis, Hanson B. 
Fredenburg, Alvin 
Colanhour, Archibard 

Austin, Freborn L. 
Heath, Roswell F. 
Smith, David V. 
Scram, Wm. T. 
Barrett, Isaac S. 
Ellis, Mortimer R. 
Loomis, Daniel A. 
Work, Adolphus C. 
Warner, John M. 


Borchert, Henry 
Borchert, Ferdinand 
Card. Wm. N. 
Curtis, Chas. C. 
Gross, Oscar 
Thompson, Arza B. 
Breidenstein, Wm. N. 
James, Thos. G. 
Lunn, Joiin 
Buckner, Joseph 
Bailey, Albert 
Ellison, Chas. 
Gross, Gilbert 
Kenyon, Thomas E. 
Hanson, Wm. W. 


Mitchell, George 
Maynard, David L. 
Sekora, Frank 
King, James S. 
Smith, James B. 
Sawyer, Philo 
Steele, Charles A. 
Onficleson, Ole 
Powers, Byrum 
Pitcher, Henry A. 
Carvey, Stephen 
Johnson, Herman 
Knowlton, Chas. R. 
Howe, Lafayette 
Anderson, Silas 



N this chapter we present a num- 
ber of reminiscences that have, 
through various means, fallen into 
the hands of the historian. Many 
of the articles will be found 
extremely interesting and all 
contain historical data which 
make them well worthy of preservation. 


By A. B. Cornell. 

Ever will myself and family remember 
the many pleasant days spent in what is now 
one of the most beautiful cities of Minnesota, 
and never can be forgotten our first thoughts 
on beholding the charming nook, now 
changed into a mart of enterprise by the 
hand of man. 

Oft does our memory linger as we live 
over the first days of our introduction to the 
unsettled portion of the then territory of 
Minnesota, and perhaps a simple sketch of 
events passing at that time may be readable. 

'Twas early in the year 1854 that four 
famihes, incited by the reports received, left 
Sparta, in Monroe County, Wis., to try the 
realities of a border life among the Sioux 

Their names were Geo. F. Pettit, wife and 
three children ; W. F. Pettit, wife and child ; 
Wilbur Fisk and Avife, and the writer with 
his wife and two little girls of less than three 
years of age. 

The first two named parties were possessed 
of some means ; the last t\vo were compara- 
tively poor, but they had all a reasonable 
share of pluck, and left Wisconsin with a 
determination to hew out a home in the far 

Northwest. The trip thither was overland, 
the only traveled route being via Black 
River Falls, Eau Claire, Menominee, Hudson, 
or St. Croix, to St. Paul, from whence we 
were intending to make for the headwaters 
of Cannon River, over what was then a seem- 
ingly boundless prairie. The journe}', though 
not without interest or excitement, was one 
of great fatigue, especially for the wives and 
little ones, but was happily accomplished 
without special accident till we approached a 
small creek, a short distance north of where 
now is located the flourishing city of North- 
field. On arriving at that creek we had 
camped for the night on the bank of the 
Vermillion, had partaken of a supper of fish 
from the limpid waters thereof. When, ere 
we retired, the heavy clouds in the west 
betokened a storm, and the distant rolling 
thunder did not impart special music to our 
ears. Before morning the storm swept along, 
one continued peal of thunder, incessant 
flashes of lightning and a perfect deluge of 
water. In a few moments the whole prairie 
seemed a vast pond ; but as the day broke 
the clouds cleared away, and the original 
party, reinforced by several other teams, 
among whom a Mr. Alexander, who subse- 
quently settled near Northfleld, started out 
for the "land of promise." Passing to the 
west of a towering obelisk on the open prairie 

— a sort of landmark for the early settlers 

— we came to a vast expanse of water which 
forbid further progress. Skirting down, the 
stream we found a trail where evident cross- 
ings had been made previous to the storm, 
and, observing signs of a camp on the other 
side, we too camped for the night. 




In the morning, the stream having very 
much abated, some of the party waded to 
the bank of the stream, which was not of 
great width, and on inquiring found the 
campers there to consist of a young French- 
man and his Matilda Jane, who had started 
a day or two previous from what was then 
known as Faribault's Trading Post, now 
the city of Faribault, bound to Mendota, 
sixty miles away, to secure the services of a 
priest to join in wedlock two loving hearts. 
The storm coming on they were blockaded 
— could neither proceed nor return — and 
not having provided themselves with any 
lunch, as might naturalh^ be supposed they 
were hungry. Still the delicacy of the situ- 
ation made them rather reticent in applying 
for relief. Our party having taken in the 
situation, fully believing that loving hearts 
even, could not subsist on bliss alone, took 
speedy measures to convey, on the cranium 
of an expert swimmer, some edibles to the 
other bank of the stream, where the swain, 
wading out, met the messenger, but not being 
arrayed in appropriate bridal array was com- 
pelled to decline an introduction to the 
soon-to-be bride. The next day the water 
had so fallen that rafts were put in requi- 
sition, the imrty taken across, a hurried din- 
ner eaten, and the blushing, happy pair 
started j)riest-ward (a new word, but will be 
understood), bound for a blessing or ratifica- 
tion of their promises to each other. 

Here, in ferrying our party over, by some 
slip or carelessness, the raft capsized, carry- 
ing with it a wagon and its entire contents, 
but by good luck no lives were lost, though 
we were delayed for a couple of days in fish- 
ing from the bottom of the stream the 
various articles therein submerged. 

Passing on we came to Cannon River, near 
where Water ford was afterward located, 
where was the first semblance of settlement 
after leaving St. Paul, and finding the water 
so high it was decided to make a permanent 
camp, and like the Israelites of old send out 
spies to view the land. "While making- 

arrangements. Col. Ide, who had located a 
few days previous just east of Faribault, 
came into camp, his mission being to attend 
the Masonic celebration of St. John's day at 
St. Paul, he being a Master Mason. 

We speak of him more particularly because 
he was afterward a member of the legisla- 
ture from Rice County, a candidate for lieu- 
tenant governor on the first organization of 
the Republican part^^ of the State — one of 
the early settlers of Wilton, Waseca County, 
a man universally beloved — and who some 
years since passed away. 

When matters were properly arranged, 
the Pettits, Fisk, and the writer, together 
with several young men, started on a tour of 
exploration — passing up and around Cannon 
Lakes — toward the source of the stream 
to the lakes near Waterville, thence south 
and east to Clear Lake, thence northeast, 
through what then seemed almost inter- 
minable marshes, to the vicinity of Deer- 
field, from there to where Medford is 
now located, where was found a pio- 
neer. Smith Johnson by name, where we 
halted for a day or two. In this vicinity 
three families, Sanborn, Collins and Johnson, 
who were probably the first families settling 
in what is now Steele Count\^, but was then 
embodied in Rice County, taking in what is 
now Rice, Steele, Waseca, Freeborn, Mower, 
Dodge and the greater part of Olmsted and 
Fillmore counties. The only place at which 
an election was held in all that tract of 
country, in 1854, was Faribault, at which 
time the assembly district was composed of 
Hennepin, Dakota and Rice counties, and 
II. H. Siblej-, afterward governor, was 
elected representative, the entire vote being 
about three hundred. Rice County contribut- 
ing the total number of twenty -eight, — all for 

After partaking of the hospitalities of set- 
tlers Mr. Geo. F. Pettit and several of the 
young men, to whom the mosquitoes paid 
particular attention, decided to return, while 
Mr. Fisk and one or two others went through 



the timber to East Prairie, Mr. W. F. Pettit 
and tlie writer following up the river to 
where Owatonna now stands, Mr. Pettit lay- 
ing claim to 320 acres northwest of the 
point whei'e Maple Creek forms its junction 
with Straight River, the writer laying claim 
to what is now included in the southern part 
of the city, but, as no lines were then sur- 
veyed, a portion of said land or claim after- 
ward proved to be on the school section. 

Here, far away from any settlement, in the 
midst of and surrounded by Indians, Mrs. 
Cornell and her two little girls commenced 
the making of a home ; the shade of a tree 
just above a spring which was dug in the 
hill-side being the kitchen, and some crutches 
with poles and brushes overhead, covered 
with hay, about nine feet by ten in size, be- 
ing parlor, sitting and bedroom. The first 
day of July, 1854, is a day long to be re- 
membered ; the first white woman beheld 
your now prosperous city, and until the 
twenty-second day of September was the 
sole female inhabitant. No roads trav- 
ersed the country in any direction ; no 
trails except one crossing the river nearly 
a mile north at the jjoint of timber, 
then over the hill to the coast, near where 
the public school building was afterward 
erected ; but we did not lack for company. 
The natives, the noble Sioux, were constant 
visitants, in season and out of season, but 
were viewed with a great apprehension at 
the time. The nearest postofiice was St. 
Paul, eighty miles away ; neither was there a 
store nor a chance to get a box of matches 
nearer than the capital. North of us the 
nearest settler was distant seven miles ; east, 
forty -five miles, where the city of Rochester 
now stands ; south, forty miles, and west, Man- 
kato, fifty miles, with neither roads nor 
bridges nor trails except those made by the 

In the fall a postofiice was established at 
Faribault, which made us feel we had every- 
thing at our very door as we could, by walk- 
ing a journey of eighteen miles, send to St« 

Paul for anything we might want, and it took 
only two weeks to get it. 

The writer and family. Judge Green and 
family, Messrs. Park, Smith and Williams, 
single men, and a family by the name of 
Scott were the only parties who spent the 
winter of 1854-5, though in the early spring 
Messrs. Phelps, Carlton, Town, Sanford, Ar- 
nold, Lindersmith, Meek, Odell, settled near 
by. A school was established. Mr. N. Win- 
ship located -in early part of summer and 
erected the first public-house in the county. 
It was built of logs subsequently enlai'ged, 
and has been kept by the same gentleman 
for about thirty years. Messrs. Smith and 
Park opened a store, a postofiice was estab- 
lished, roads opened and the town laid off. 
The legislature of 1855 laid off SteeleCounty, 
and it was organized by Gov. Gorman, 
Samuel F. Smith, F. W. Fisk and Francis 
Ingraham, commissioners ; Smith Johnson, 
probate judge; Charles Ellison, register of 
deeds ; W. F. Pettit, sheriff ; Simeon Case, 
county attorney ; J. H. Catlin, clerk. 

The first school was taught by Miss Helen 
Holbrook in the summer of 1855, the accom- 
modations being inexpensive, a mere bower 
of brush, while occasionally Eev. Mr. Town 
did the spiritual part of the settlement, in 
the way of preaching. The county -seat was 
established, and Owatonna took a start as a 
town of note. 

In 1856 the Watchman and Register was 
started by Mr. J. H. Abbott and the writer. 
Mr. Ezra Abbott erected a steam sawmiU ; a 
neat log schoolhouse was built, a drug store 
was opened by Dr. D. S. Harsha, J. W. 
Morford opened a shoe store, subsequently 
putting in dry goods and groceries, and 
through the untiring energy of its citizens, 
arrangements were so made as to secure both 
the Transit and Minnesota Central railroads, 
thus making it one of the best towns in south- 
ern Minnesota. 

The name is Sioux, and the proper pronun- 
ciation is " TFbotanna," spelled Owatonna, and 
signifies straight. There were many incidents 



that took place dui-ing the early settlement, 
many of which were amusing. The early 
settlers were all industrious and enterprising, 
but were generally poor, ready always to ex- 
tend a helping hand, not addicted to vices, 
the consequence being that taxes have been 
measurably low. We look upon Steele as 
one of the best counties of the State, and to- 
day, were it not for the long winters, we would 
prefer Minnesota to any Western State. 

"eaely days" 
By Eon. G. W. Green. 
About the year 1854 I left Beaver Dam, 
Wis., in company with Messrs. Hollings- 
worth, Bradley and Boomer, for the purpose 
of seeing some portion of southeastern Min- 
nesota, with an idea of settling there. Ar- 
riving at La Crosse we purchased material 
for cam2)ing and ferried across the Mississip])i 
River. One log house nearly finished greeted 
us on the west side of the river opposite La 
Crosse. This was all there was of La Cres- 
cent. The next house, twenty-four miles 
distant, was occupied by a Thompsonian 
phj'sician, by name of Bently, who had con- 
cluded to mix claim-taking and rudimen- 
tary farming with his profession. Six miles 
further on, where now is St. Charles, was 
one more log house occupied as a tavern by 
one Springer. There was a slight, newly- 
made wagon track extending about ten 
miles further on, where a young man and 
his wife, by name of Potter, had taken a 
claim and were building a small house. One 
story of this house was finished and the 
chamber floor laid of loose boards, without 
any roof. They asked us to stay with them 
over night ; we did so. In the night it 
rained hard and we got thoroughly soaked. 
After breakfast the next morning we started 
on without any track and no guide but our 
pocket compass. About noon of this day 
we came up with Mr. A. G. Sutliff, who was 
moving with his family from Dodge Count}^ 
Wis., to a point about eight miles northwest 
of Travers des Sioux (a missionary post near 
where St. Peter now is), so named because 

it was at this place that the Sioux Indians 
forded the river. 

Mr. Sutliff was a noted pioneer of Wis- 
consin. On the occasion of a previous trip 
the spring before, he had made a claim at 
the point whither he was now wending his 
way, but by a different route. So he knew 
but little more than we did as to the most 
feasible route to his destination. Mr. IIoll- 
ingsworth was Sutliff's father-in-law. We 
very willingly accepted their kind invitation 
to keep in company with them to their new 
claim. Mr. Suthff had with him a large 
herd of cattle and sheep. We crossed the 
Ashland prairie near the head of the Straight 
and Zumbro rivers and near the Oak Glen 
lakes. AVithin one mile of Straight Kiver 
we camped for dinner. After dinner Mr. 
Sutliff wanted me to go with him and look 
for a suitable place to cross the river. We 
went to the river, and, finding no desirable 
crossing, concluded to cross further up near 
what seemed, by the appearance of the 
timber, to be a very considerable bend in 
the river, apparently some five or six miles 
away. It was agreed that Sutliff should go 
back and guide the teams, while I should 
cross the river and travel up to the proposed 
crossing. Without thinking much about the 
company, I went slowl}' on, until I came to 
the place where Dr. Kenyon subsequently 
lived. I could see or hear nothing of the 
company, not even, a cow-bell, several of 
which I knew were in use on the cattle. I 
tried as well as I could to find their where- 
abouts. Although but a short distance be- 
low the proposed crossing, I could not find 
any trace of them before it was dark. As 
fate would have it, I had neither coat nor 
blanket, jack-knife nor matches, ax nor 
hatchet. Tired and hungry I laid myself un- 
der a tree to rest, and was very soon asleep. 
With no breakfast I renewed my search for 
the companj', going on up the river to a 
point where a Mr. Bennett afterward made 
his claim, but found no signs. I then con- 
cluded to follow down the river as long as 



my strength lasted, unless I found something 
more desirable. Before proceeding, however, 
I pulled off a boot and, with the head of a 
pin, wrote upon a smooth part of the boot-leg 
my name thus : G. W. Green, Beaver Dam, 
Wis., not knowing but some one would find 
my bones and boots, and thereby my friends 
in Wisconsin might hear from me. I had a 
little matter of $700 in my pockets which, 
in case I should be lost, this act might be 
the means of my family getting. I had 
no other way of writing. After this 
preparation for the worst that might befall 
me, I started down the river, traveling 
slowly until nearly sun-down, when I found 
the trail where they had crossed the river, 
not over a half mile above where I had 
left Sutliff. With new courage I started 
on this trail. I followed it a short dis- 
tance without any trouble ; darkness com- 
ing on, the trail became invisible and I 
lost it. In hunting for it, I stumbled 
and fell, and my weariness and exhaus- 
tion were such that I did not feel dis- 
posed to rise for some time. I unconsciously 
fell asleep ; when I awoke the sun was high 
up and shining brightly. Ke-invigorated by 
my sound and restful sleeji I soon found the 
trail and following it slowly a short time, I 
observed two men approaching me. They 
were of our company. Looking up towards 
the timber about three miles from where 
they had crossed the river, I saw the wagons 
and remainder of the company. They had 
camped there early in the afternoon expect- 
ing that I would see and come to them. 
When night came and I did not appear, they 
built a large fire and kept it going all night, 
hoping thereby to attract my attention. 

The next day they spent on horseback 
looking for me. When I arrived in camp, 
they represented to me that my eyes were 
staring, and my lips and tongue swollen. 
Mrs. Sutliff prepared me something to eat, 
but I had no appetite and could eat nothing, 
instead thereof calling for a cup of sour milk 
which I drank with relish. I took but verv 

little nourishment, except sour milk, the rest 
of the day. My appetite slowly returning 
the next day, I ate sparingly, but it was some 
three or four days before I could take an 
ordinary meal. 

From here we proceeded to Beaver Lake, 
crossing its outlet Avhere the road now runs ; 
here we saw an Indian, and tried to get some 
idea from him what course to take to reach 
the Minnesota River, but failed to secure any 
correct information. Crossing some of the 
rivulets that unite to form the Le Sueur River, 
we forded the main Le Sueur near where St. 
Mary's was afterward built. We wandered 
on we knew not where, and struck Minnesota 
Lake. Here we stayed two days and looked 
for signs.. At last, about three miles west 
of the lake, we found a freshly-made Indian 
trail going southwest. We concluded that 
the Indians had gone on a hunting expedition 
and that they had congregated at the Min- 
nesota River, starting eti masse from there. 
Not knowing anything better to do, we took 
this trail back and struck tlie river at Man- 
kato, July L Mankato then consisted of one 
family who kept a log boarding-house, and 
one man who ])resided over a saloon made of 
small poles. No other evidence of civiliza- 
tion met our gaze. From here we proceeded 
to Mr. Sutliff's claim, remaining with him a 
day. We then followed the trail down the 
Minnesota River to St. Paul, which was at 
this time but little more than an Indian 
trading-post, not as large as St. Anthony. 
And Minneapolis had not yet been spoken 
of. Here we boarded the steamer for La 
Crosse, from which point we took our way 
homeward by our own conveyance. 

At the time of this hasty and imperfect 
observation of this part of southeast Minne- 
sota, the prairies were covered with luxuri- 
ant grasses from three and a half to four 
feet high, over which deer and elk i-oved at 
will, several large herds coming within our 

After leaving Potter's house, ten miles 
from Springer's, we saw no house until our 



arrival at Mankato. I think there were two 
or three shanties or at near Le Sueur. At 
Belle Plaine there was one house occupied 
by Indian traders, and Judge Chatfield, then 
late of Racine, "Wis., was building a small 
log house, preparatory to moving his family 
there. We found several township lines re- 
cently run ; one especially prominent in my 
recollection was the corner post at the south- 
east corner of township 107 north, of range 
20 east, being the southeast corner of the 
city of Owatonna, whether I have the num- 
bers right or not. 

I made no definite location on this trip, 
but thought 1 would return to Wisconsin and 
move with my familj^ into the vicinity of 
Straight or Le Sueur River, then making my 
location. Accordingly on the 12th of August, 
1854, I started with my family and mova- 
bles, upon ox wagons, drawn by seven pairs 
of oxen, wagons all lightly loaded, but too 
heavy for the trip, as I afterward found. 
By driving slowly and carefully, and leaving 
on the way about one-third of our load, we 
got through all right. With our train I had 
about eighty cows and young cattle, besides 
three wagons belonging to other parties. 
Eleven men accompanied me to help me 
through and assist in cutting hay for the 
stock, also to put up necessary buildings, 
etc., on our arrival. But it was agreed that 
they need stay no longer than two weeks 
after I had made my location. 

While crossing the Ashland prairie, we 
met Mr. Sutliff returning with his teams and 
wagons to Wisconsin for winter supplies. 
He had sold his claim near Travers de Sioux 
and returned to Le Sueur River, locating 
about six miles south of Wilton. He, being 
anxious that we should all locate near him, 
concluded to return with us and sliow us 
lands in his vicinity. Arriving at Straight 
River at the point where Owatonna is located, 
we found that stream booming, eight feet 
deep. We could go no further with all our 
luggage. Tents were pitched, cattle herded, 
counsel solicited. Here we found A. B. Cor- 

nell and family located on the bank of the 
river in a pole house covered with hay, 
near the bridge on Bridge street. Mr. Cor- 
nell seemed glad to see us and did not fail 
to respond freely to our request for counsel. 
He showed me the ground north of town on 
which I finally located. But as we all 
desired to locate together, and the rest 
could not satisfy themselves near, it was 
decided to leave the women and children 
with a couple of men as guard for them and 
to watch the stock, while the rest of the 
company should move on to Le Sueur River 
and reconnoiter. The next day we crossed 
the river with three wagons, four yoke of 
oxen, and one cow. The men camped on 
the west side of the river that night ; I went 
back to the tent and stayed with my family. 
It rained a large portion of the night. In the 
morning we started, bearing southwest. We 
struck the Big Slough near where the road 
to Lemond now crosses it, and spent until 
the next day noon trying to cross, but all in 
vain. We then made our way to the river, 
where we found that, by mowing some grass 
to cover the outlet to the slough, we could 
cross. Still it rained by spells, and there was 
a well-defined stream in every ravine. We 
went on to Beaver Lake and struck our old 
trail made on the first trip. In crossing 
one of the head rivulets of Le Sueur River, 
now a foaming torrent, the front end- 
board of one wagon-box went out and sev- 
eral articles went down. A broad-ax was 
lost, so we called this stream " Broad- Ax " 
Creek. In fording another rivulet one of 
the men, with boots as high as his knees, 
stood upon the back end-board of a wagon- 
box, holding onto the top of the wagon- 
cover, so this was called "Big Boot" Creek. 
We looked around the prairies and timbers 
between Wilton and Sutliff's claim. We aU 
liked the country and concluded to make 
claims there. I requested the men to go 
and make their claims, then I would make 
mine, which was done. Still it raine<l ; the 
men got wet and cold and finally homesick. 



or sick of their country. They said it would 
all overflow every wet spell, and, should 
they settle there, no one else would venture 
so far from civilization for the next hundred 
years, and for the rest of their natural lives 
and those of their families, they would be 
there without bridges or other improvements, 
except such as they could improvise among 
themselves. So we all went back to Straight 
Eiver and, on the 20th of September, I 
staked out my claim, the south line of which 
extended a short distance nortli of the 
present Owatonna Railway depots. My 
men went to work cutting hay (no mowers 
and horse-rakes then). Two weeks had 
expired ; our hay was cut and stacked ; our 
log house laid up and covered with shake- 
roof ; no gables, no chinking, no flooi's, doors 
or windows. I could not persuade the men 
to stay another day. They said there would 
be no other person settling in there for the 
next fifty years, and that if I wintered they 
knew I would return to Wisconsin in the 
spring. So they started on their return trip. 
Here I was left with an invalid wife and 
three small children, no stables for the stock, 
no house suitable for cold weather, and 
apparently no help attainable. It seemed 
more than I could do to make things endur- 
able for winter, but the next day a wagon- 
load of ten men made their appearance, and 
I got what help I needed from then on. Mr. 
Cornell had a log house commenced on the 
bank of the river, near where Mr. Albertus' 
house now stands. It was laid up about four 
or five logs higli. He fixed the back part 
and moved into it the fore part of winter. 
The upright part was completed the next 
spring and opened as a hotel. We moved 
into our house the latter part of October, 
having got the gables up and the spaces 
between the logs chinked and mudded on the 

About the 1st of November I found a com- 
pany of movers, consisting of twenty-two 
men, women and children, camping on the 
prairie between Owatonna and Crane Creek. 

The wind was cold and fresh from the north- 
west, with every appearance of a storm. I 
offered them one-half of my house for a few 
days until they could do better. They ac- 
cepted. In the latter part of November, 
during a severe windstorm, accompanied 
with snow, hail and rain, a company of 
twelve surveyors drove up to my door. 
They had been engaged in dividing town- 
sliips into sections. They were hunting for 
shelter from the storm. I assured them 
they had come to exactly the right place ; 
that I had plenty of room for shelter. (My 
company of twenty-two had not yet left.) 
They observed the crowd of men, women 
and children around, and remarked that, 
judging by appearances, our house must be 
already pretty well filled. I told them that 
only the lower part of the house was occu- 
pied, and that, although there was no cham- 
ber floor, they could take their axes and cut 
poles sufficient to lay across the beams, upon 
which they could place hay to spread their 
blankets on. 

This problem being solved, they desired 
to know what could be done with the teams, 
which needed shelter equally with the men. 
I pointed out to them a large stack of hay 
near the house, which was fenced with a 
hio'h, strono; oak fence. I told them thev 
could turn the horses in there around that 
stack, and pitch off enough hay to make 
them comfortable. After some further in- 
quiries they concluded to accept my offer, 
and went to work' accordingly. 

The next morning they departed for Aus- 
tin, well satisfied with their entertainment. 
My company of twenty-two remained with 
me till spring, and, as there was not space 
sufficient to make beds for all at once, they 
took turns in sleeping, whether by night or 
da3', while the rest sang songs, told stories, 
etc. Some of them went to Le Sueur River, 
some located near Owatonna, and some re- 
turned to Wisconsin. 

In March, 1855, Dr. W. W. Finch, an 
eminent physician of Essex County, N. Y"., 



settled at Clinton Falls. On the 6th of 
April my son, George K. Green, was born. 
Dr. Finch attending, who went from my 
house to that of A. W. Adams, when his 
son, Frank, was born. These two were the 
first white children born in Steele County. 
The spring and summer of 1855 proved to 
be an important era in the history of Owa- 
tonna. There was no town there yet, but 
Cornell had been reinforced in the persons 
of W. F. Petitt, Ezra and John H. Abbott, 
Squire Phelps and others. There were no 
roads through Steele, Waseca or Dodge 
counties ; only miserable trails. Mr. Cornell, 
with his reinforcement, displayed indom- 
itable energy and tact in converting the 
tracks toward Mantorville and Austin into 
passable roads. Then he and others started 
out as missionaries to enlighten the various 
emigrant trains searching for claims in Min- 
nesota, through the counties of Dodge and 
Mower, and convincing them beyond doubt 
that Steele County was the equal, if not the 
superior, of any other section of the State, 
and that Owatonna was the center around 
which the world revolved — the " open ses- 
ame" to prosperity and wealth. Cornell 
even went as far as La Crescent, opposite La 
Crosse, and later into Sparta, "Wis., instruct- 
ing the emigrants in search of new homes in 
regard to the Eldorado, meaning Owatonna, 
Minn. As a consequence of his labors and 
that of others having the same interest, the 
town site of Owatonna was covered with em- 
igrant wagons, men, women and children 
flocking in from every direction. A large 
corps of energetic young men were engaged 
in gratuitously showing such emigrants as 
desired new homes where they could make 
the most advantageous claims. Very many 
settled in the county that year, and many 
located in Owatonna, and thus the success of 
the enterprise was assured. 

In the spring of 1857 I sold out at Owa- 
tonna and went to Clinton Falls, whei'e I 
engaged in the building of the Clinton mills. 
These mills became the place for custom- 

grinding flour and feed for a large portion 
of Dodge, Mower, Freeborn, Waseca, Blue 
Earth, Faribault and Steele counties, and a 
portion of the south part of Kice County. 
After the advent of railroads better mills 
were erected all over the country, with mod- 
ern machinery and model millers, and better 
flour was obtained from these than could be 
made by any of the pioneer custom-mills. 
The old mills were not generally located 
favorably or conveniently for the new and 
improved order of things that came after 
the building of the railroads. 

I liked Minnesota, and especially Steele 
County ; the people were mostly born and 
reared in the same latitude with me. Their 
habits and modes of thinking were similar 
to mine, and although radical difl'erences 
at times existed, which were combated with 
energy on both sides, yet I liked the people 
and thought to spend the rest of my days 
with them. But in December, 1879, I took 
a violent cold which fastened itself upon me 
for all winter and until the latter part 
of summer, when I seemed to get well, or 
nearly so. But the next winter, while I did 
not take cold in the ordinary acceptation of 
that term, yet, when the cold weather came 
I had asthma, which I did not recover from 
even by keeping myself almost constantly 
in-doors. The malady increased all winter, 
so I could not sleep well nights, and even 
through the ensuing summer there was no 
visible improvement in my condition. 

In the fall I became worse, and it was ev- 
ident to me that I could not stand another Min- 
nesota winter. So on the twenty-fourth day 
of October, 1881, 1 started with my family for 
California. In a few months after my arri- 
val I entirely recovered from asthma, and 
have not felt a touch of it since. 

Salinas, Cal., August, 1887. 

As a matter of interest to the old settlers 
we here present a number of extracts from 
a copy of the Waichman and Iie(jider of 
July 29, 1856, which has been preserved by 



Dr. E. M. Morehouse. It is a copy of the 
second issue of the paper : 

A. B. Cornell advertises as " attorney and 
counselor-at-law, notary public and general 
land agent, Owatonia, M. T. Being well ac- 
quainted with the whole country and its best 
locations, he feels assured that he can satisfy 
aU who may favor him witli their business." 
He states that he will enter land on time for 
occupants, and that he has village property 
in Owatonia, Mantorville, Austin, Wilton 
and Empire. 

Adolphus Town advertises a " lot of books 
many of a religious character, for sale 

The following article in regard to Owa- 
tonia is also found in this issue : 

" Owatonia is situated on the east bank of 
Straight Eiver, on a beautiful table-land some 
thirty feet above the bed of tlie stream, and 
is eighteen miles from its junction with 
Cannon River. To the north and south are 
heavy bodies of timber, while westward it is 
generally prairie, interspersed with beauti- 
ful groves ; clear running streams and gush- 
ing springs abound. 

" But two years since, the first settlement 
was made, at which time no one lived nearer 
than five miles on a direct line north, and in 
any other direction nearly forty. In Octo. 
ber succeeding the settlement, the first sur- 
veys were made in the vicinity, since which 
time the country has been rapidly filling up. 

" The town or village was laid off as such 
last November, and has gone ahead beyond 
all calculation. It is a point well worthy the 
attention of all desiring to invest in town 
property, and the country around cannot fail 
to suit the most particular. 

" Our settlers are all industrious and enter- 
prising, being mostly from the Eastern States; 
good schools are already established, and the 
Word of God is publicly proclaimed by 
preachers of the different denominations 
every Sabbath. 

" No intoxicating drink has been sold, and 
it is the determination of all to Iceep the 

curse away. This place is tlie count3'-seat of 
Steele County, and, being on the direct route 
from La Crosse and Winona to St. Peter city, 
Travers des Sioux and Mankato, and from 
Dubuque by way of Cedar River to St. Paul, 
Minneapolis, and St. Anthony, make it a 
prominent center, — roads connecting it with 
all the surrounding country — in fact, the 
future prospect stands unrivaled." 


In an issue of the Owatonna Register, dated 
November 13, 1857, we find an article upon 
the jjolitical situation which will be found of 
much interest. A. Brown was acting as edi- 
tor of the paper. It is headed " Results," 
and is as follows : 

" Election is now over, and as the smoke 
of the conflict recedes in the distance we are 
enabled to trace out upon the background 
the result, and deduce conclusions therefrom. 

" The contest was a very close one, throw- 
ing aside the floating vote that must neces- 
sarily be polled under the regulations of the 
schedule and ten-day system of residence. 
Including the Indians and half-breeds, who 
exercised the right of the elective franchise, 
the full vote of the territory is a moiety over 
forty thousand. 

" The entire Democratic State and Terri- 
torial ticket with the exception of governor 
is elected by a small majority, and both 
branches of the legislature are in the hands 
of the Democrats, thus securing the election 
of two United States senators, pro-slavery. 
The Republicans have elected their governor 
by a majority of at least five or six hundred 
throwing out the fraudulent returns from 
Pembina, Cottonwood and Redwood coun- 
ties, Mille Lac, Brown and other frontier 
towns, precincts and fabulous localities that 
have no tangible existence, except upon 
lithographs, which have all been returned 
with enormous votes for Sibley. For in- 
stance : Cass, Pembina and Todd report 
seven hundred votes for Sibley, and Ramsey 
blank. Now it is a well-known fact that east 



of the Red Eiver of the North, within the 
proposed boundaries of the State, not over 
fifty votes could have been polled ; and in 
the counties of Cass and Todd, that never in 
the aggregate polled over sixty votes, and 
now only claim to have given Sibley ninety 
votes, it is plain the balance of seven hundred 
must have come from Pembina. 

"Again, the counties of Rock, Cottonwood, 
Martin and Murray, whose existence to the 
pul^lic, prior to this, has been a myth, are re- 
jwrted to have given 219 majority for Sibley, 
Ramsey getting but two votes. The unor- 
ganized count}^ of Renville casts 119 votes 
— more than there are inhabitants in the 
county, including men, women, children and 
red-skins; and 111 of those are for Sibley. 
Here is where Stephen A. Douglas, the Dred 
Scott decision, and Buchanan & Co. were so 
unanimously endorsed, as the Pioneer vaunt- 
ingly boasts. 

"We might add McLeod and a host of 
other border localities, inhabited principally 
by a few half-breeds and savages, where ma- 
jorities were ground out for Sibley and the 
' balance ' on the Barstow pi'inciple. By 
these nefarious means and spurious returns, 
Sibley leads Ramsey 290 majority. And 
take into consideration the fact that these 
bogus returns have been laying in the secre- 
tar3''s office for the last two or three weeks, 
unannounced, while their contents were 
bruited upon the street corners, the conclu- 
sion is iri-esistible that they were kept back 
till different sections could be heard from, in 
order to see how many extra votes were nec- 
essary to elect Sibley. 

"These are a portion of the frauds that 
have been forced upon the intelligent people 
of Minnesota. The record is too diso-usting 
and bare-faced to pursue further. We do 
not wish to indulge in harsh language or 
undue invective. We appeal to all honest 
Democrats for the truth and candor of our 
statements. The mass of the Democratic 
party will not sanction this high-handed 
outrage, but their leadei's will. Gorman, 

Brown & Co. willed, and it was performed. 
And the}" will stand by it now — mark that. 
They have luxuriated on the public teat too 
long to think of surrendering it now. 

" The seats of a few members of the legis- 
lature will be contested, but not so as to 
change the result. Ramsey will, undoubt- 
edly, contest the seat for governor ; then 
comes the tug-of-war. If, in the teeth of 
the mass of corruption, ballot-box stuffing, 
and wholesale fraud which have been perpe- 
trated, the courts shall disregard the cry for 
justice, then, indeed, have we fallen upon 
evil times. Should this be the case, the 
Democratic party will go speediljf to the 
wall. The mark of Cain will rest heavily 
upon its forehead. Its doom will be sealed, 
and its own history will ring, trumpet- 
tongued, its own condemnation. The Re- 
publicans have come out of this campaign 
with clean hands. They have the proud 
consciousness of knowing there is no stigma 
attached to an honorable defeat. Their 
escutcheon is untarnished by political dis- 
honor and their future is bright and hope- 


The following is an editorial from the pen 
of A. B. Cornell, which appeared in the 
News Letter, in its issue of July 17, 1860. 
The article is presented just as it appeared in 
the columns of the paper mentioned, except 
that names of parties are omitted, as it 
would be unfair to give them without giving 
a chance for an answer to the insinuations. 
In the main, however, the article gives a 
fair idea of the general feeling in the county 
at that time : 

" OuK County Affairs : — In our last issue, 
in calling attention to the indebtedness of 
Steele County, we inadvertentlj'^ omitted to 
place in the catalogue the sum of $1,300, or 
thereabouts, that is due to the State, on State 
tax of 1858, as we are informed by Mr. 
Morford, the county treasurer. In this con- 
nection it may be proper to state that there 
are assets in the hands of the county in the 



shape of returned lands to pa}' quite a pro- 
portion of the indebtedness mentioned, but 
which is not at ^^resent applicable to liquidate 
our debts ; and the question naturallj^ arises 
as to where we are drifting. "We have been 
told by some gentlemen that the assets here- 
tofore mentioned were sufficient to cancel 
all our debts ; and that the time of redemp- 
tion being soon out, we shall then be pre- 
pared to pay ever}'' one. We think that is 
rather poor consolation to our hard-working 
citizens, and that they will hardly appreciate 
it, knowing full well that most ot them have 
jjaid extraordinary high taxes for the last 
three years, with but little prospect of there 
being a change for the better, under the 
present administration of afifairs. Our 
county orders are already hawked about our 
streets at 25 per cent discount. Some of 
our county officers are buying them up of 
our own citizens at even a much lower 
figure, paying them into our already de- 
pleted treasury for taxes, and pocketing 
the profits arising from the trade ; but 
they are only acting as agents of other 
parties who live at distance, so, of course, 
it's all right. 

" One person says to us that the action of 
the county board, in not levying a State tax, 
was a daring assumption of power not war- 
ranted by the constitution, revolutionary in 
its character, and derogatory to the interests 
of some of our citizens. Well, suppose we 
admit it ; does that prove that it was not 
intended as a measure of relief to those of 
our citizens who had parted with their all to 
sustain their families during the trying times 
of a year or two since, save, perchance, it 
might be the last cow, on which they depended 
for living necessary' to their little ones, and 
which last dependence would be liable to be 
sold to pay their taxes to carry on the gov- 
ernment and help to make aristocrats of 
some who were once our associates ? Verily, 
that Steele County Board are an ungrateful 
lot of scamps, and 'Judge Green is the 
worst of the lot, for he knew hctter.'' Poor 

man ! That sin of knowledge outyht to be 
repented of, and that right speedily. 

"Another thing of some moment to the 
taxpayers is the high prices paid some of 
our officials for their services, though it is 
rather a hard matter for outsiders to find out 
what services were rendered by said officials, 
as the accounts are so indefinite. Yet occa- 
sionally we do find out something that is par- 
ticularly definite. Here are four items of ac- 
count taken from the report of September 

Copying assessment rolls $ 87.01 

Same, — rent, services and disbursemcuts 167.50 

" attendance on session of the board . ... 21.00 

" on com. to settle with sheriff 6.00 

Making an aggregate of $281. .51 

audited at one session of the board, being 
over one-sixth of the annual tax of the whole 
county for county purposes. Now as to 
these items, we are free to state we cannot 
see the justice of allowing the sum of $87 
for copying assessment rolls. A mere ordi- 
nary penman can do it easily in twelve 
days, and we have no doubt but plenty of 
individuals could be found that would do it 
by the job for $25, and make fair wages at 
that. Again we cannot see the justice of 
allowing our assessors but $1 per day for 
making the assessment — traveling through 
the storm and wading marshes to obtain it, 
and allowing a mere copyist from $7 to $12 
per day to sit in a comfortable office and use 
his pen. The third and fourth items are 
specific, and embody nearly or quite all the 
services of ' clerk of the board,' and we 
would like very much to know the character 
of the services mentioned in the second item, 
as well as the amount of rent, and a specific 
statement touching the disbursements therein 
mentioned. Was it for express charges on 
that splendid lot of hooks and stationery 
purchased in Chicago, with the price of 
those nice $5 gold pens reckoned in '\ The 
people who foot the bills are anxious to 
know about these little things, for thej' are 
large in the aggregate." 




The principal agricultural products of the 
county are the same to-day as in earl}' 
times, except that during later years flax 
has taken a more prominent place than 
formerly. The most important items are 
wheat, oats and corn, the first named being 
the great staple. The following figures will 
serve to show the yield of these products for 
several years in an early period in the 
county's history : 






Av. per 



Av. per 



A\. per 










During these years however, other grain 
crops — barley, rye and buckwheat — were 
cultivated to considerable extent. Potatoes 
and other root crops gave abundant yields. 


In 1857 Sherwood & Squires traded some 
property which they owned for a stock of 
licfuors, intending to start a saloon. They 
had already hauled in one load of the stuff 
and, as their building was not ready to store 
it inside, it was stored in a little wooden 
building near the Winship House for the 
night. During the evening some of the 
village boys got together and decided to 
destroy the outfit. They crawled up to the 
barrels and bored holes through each cask, 
letting the liquor run out upon the ground. 
Quite a fuss was raised over the affair, but 
it finally blew over and none of the perpe- 
trators were ever discovered. A. IST. Stough- 
ton, who is still an honored resident of the 
city, was arrested at the instance of Squires, 
and taken before Squire Tiffany, of Havana. 
When the case was called it was demanded 
that Squires give bonds for tlie costs, which 
he was unable to do, and the matter was 
finally dropped. Mr. Stoughton, of course, 
had nothing to do with the matter, but the 

affair was quite an interesting joke to the 
old settlers. 


In August, 1857, a number of the citizens 
of Owatonna held a meeting and formed a 
vigilance committee, for the purpose of pre- 
serving peace, protecting property, pun- 
ishing offenders and cleaning out saloons. 
There were probably twenty or thirty in the 
organization. The first thing they proposed 
doing was to mob a certain saloon and 
throw out the liquors, but then the question 
arose, Who was to lead the van? Uncle Dave 
Lindersmith was the sheriff at that time ; so 
they went to him and proposed that he take 
charge of the campaign which they intended 
to inaugurate. He replied that he supposed 
he was an officer elected to preserve the 
peace and it did not comjjort with the dig- 
nity of his office to lead a mob upon a busi- 
ness which was carried on under the sanction 
of the law. However, he added, that if such 
a thing should occur at any specified time, 
he would be obliged to attend to business in 
a7iothei' part of the county while the cam- 
paign was going on. 


The following sketch of the early settle- 
ment of Steele County was published in A. 
T. Andreas' Historical Atlas of Minnesota 
(1874), and may be of interest for future ref- 
erence and preservation. There are sev- 
eral mistakes in the article, as will be 
noticed by the reader, but we present it 
verbatim : 

" Edward McCartney settled in the town 
of Deerfield in May, 1855. The first birth in 
the town was a daughter in the family of 
Mr. Hobaugh, and the first death that of 
Miss Austin. The first marriage took place 
on the 16th of June, 1859. Win. B. Evans 
and Miss Frederica C. Williams were the 
happy couple. The first school was taught 
by Miss Elizabeth Hodgson in the summer 
of 1857. 

" A. M. Fitzsiramons settled in the town of • 

{p^ /^ , ^fh^^i^^^e^/L^-i^.^^/^^cS ^ 



Meriden in June, 1855. The first birth was 
in the family of C. II. Wilker, in 1856. 

" The first marriage was that of W. F. 
Dunn to Miss Roxie Henshaw, which took 
place in September, 1856, at Mr. Austin 
Vinton's, Kev. H. Chapin performing the 
ceremon}'. In the absence of horses, the 
bridal part\' were conveyed in farm wagons 
drawn by oxen. The first death was that of 
Mr. Simmons, in 1858. Miss Leroy taught 
the first school in the summer of 1858. 

" Thomas Thomson made the first claim in 
the town of Somerset, in November, 1855. 
The following Ma}', three brothers, Levi, E. 
W. and Albert Bailey, and Mr. Savins came 
and built shanties. Others soon came, 
among whom were Dr. Thos. Kenyon, T. J. 
Clark, O. A. Barnes, Dexter Smith, E. 
Lagro, D. Barnes, O. Fisher, H. and J. Cat- 
lin, C. R. Knowlton, W. Fisher and J. E. 
Hughes. The first death was that of Mr. M. 
Case, in Juty, 1856. 

"Mi's. T. J. Clark gave birth to a daughter 
in the summer of 1856, which was the first 
child born in the town. The first marriage 
was that of Alexander Hissam to Miss 
Rachel Bill, in 1858. Miss Phebe Kenyon 
taught the first school. 

"Charles McCarty, Wm. Burns, Wm. Close 
and Robert Adair were the first to settle in 
the town of Havana, in 1855. George Den- 
nis, N. Parker and D. C. Tiffany came in the 
following j'ear. The first birth was a child in 
the family of Robert Adair, in 1855. The 
first death was that of Mrs. Newton Parker, 
in November, 1856, Rev. M. Wetzel officiat- 
ing. Miss Elizabeth McCaslin taught the 
first school in the summer of 1857, and in 
the following fall was married to Frank 
Ilickok, having the honor of being the first 
teacher and bride in the town. 

"In the springof 1856, Samuel Thompson, 
S. Keeney and E. Teed settled in the town 
of Lemond. Samuel M. Hastings came in 
the following summer. The first marriage 
was that of Daniel Tuscan to Miss Cornelia 
Davis, and tlie first birtli occurred in the 

family of Mr. Hughs. The first death was 
that of Mr. Wm. Manson, in 1860. The 
first school was taught in the winter of 
1858-9, by Stillman Kinney. 

" G. W. Knapp and family located in the 
town of Summit in June, 1856. Their first 
habitation was a tent, cooking and work 
generally being done in the open air. The 
first birth was in the family of Roswell 
Heath, in 1857, and the first marriage that 
of Benj. Wheeler and Miss Delia Fredin- 
burg, in December, 1858. 

" Col. J. Ball, A. B. Clark, G. W. Grimshaw 
and Charles Adsit, in June of 1856, made 
claims in the town of Aurora. Amos Coggs- 
well, S. A. Sargent, H. Eastman, Oscar King 
and Mr. Perham were the next to locate in 
the town. The first birth was in the family 
of Amos Coggswell, March 6, 1857, and the 
first marriage was that of Joseph Branning 
and Miss Laura Pettie. The first death was 
that of Steven A. Sargent, in 1856 ; Rev..H. 
Chapin conducted the funeral services. Miss 
Jane Arnold taught the first school. 

"In Jul}^ 1856, William Shea, C. V. Brown, 
Hiram Pitcher, Levi Chase, Thomas McCor- 
mick, Robert Rej'uolds, H. S. Howen, Enfin 
Enfinson, Joseph and D. T. Gordon, Marshall 
Warren and Mr. Winchell settled in the town 
of Berlin. ~ The first plowing was done by 
Levi Chase. The first birth was in the fam- 
ily of C. V. Brown. Mr. Joseph Gordon 
died in December, 1859, which was the first 
death in the town. The fii'st marriage was 
that of J. O. Culver and Miss Jane Gordon, in 
1857. The ceremony was performed by 
Hiram Pitcher, a justice of the peace. This 
being the first time the justice had performed 
the ceremony, he varied a little from the 
usual form, and the groom was made to 
promise to obey the bride, instead of the 
bride obeying the groom. D. T. Gordon 
taugjit the first school in the winter of 1857-8. 
C. W. Curtis and L. E. Thompson settled in 
the town of Merton in 1856 ; soon after 
Messrs. Magoon and Naylor came. The first 
death Avas that of a child of Oscar Searls. 



David Bagley, Thomas Bray, Levi Annis, J. 
J. Bracket and Ira Foster settled in Bloom- 
ing Prairie in 1857. The first birth was 
James Bray, son of Thomas Bray, in 1859. 
The first marriage was that of Ira Foster and 
a widow by the name of Scott, in 1800. Miss 
Hatty Layton taught the first school in 1861. 
"Blooming Prairie (formerly Oak Glen) was 
not organized until 1867, having been for- 
merly attached to the town of Aurora. Tlie 
organization of theotlier towns was eff'ected 
in 1858." 


The following item appears in the issue of 
the Owatonna Plaindealer, September 22, 

" Burbank & Co. have decided to put on the 
road between this place and Rochester, next 
Monday, two daily lines of stages each way, 
owing to the great increase of travel. Last 
Monday afternoon there were twenty-seven 
persons desii'ing passage east. Nineteen got 
on one coach and the rest hired a livery, but 
this is not an unusual occurrence. The com- 
pany have the best of accommodations on 
the road for the convenience of the traveling 


The Abbotts — Ezra and John H. — who 
took a prominent part in the early history of 
the town and county, were natives of New 
Hampshire. Ezra came west, first settling 
at Batavia, 111., in 1854, although for some 
time he had been living in Virginia. At 
Batavia he and his wife were engaged as 
teachers in an academy. John H. started 
west in May or June, 1855, and at Batavia, 
111., he joined his brother Ezra, and from 
there they came together first to St. Paul, 
which was then the territorial capital and by 
far the largest city in the territory, and a 
few days later to St. Anthony. They next 
visited a number of localities in search of a 
suitable site. Ezra had in view the location 
of a model stock farm, while John H., who 
had been largely engaged in railroad Avork, 

had in view a town site, where it would be 
possiljle to build a railroad center and a me- 
tropolis. After a time they visited Faribault 
and there learned of the Owatonna settlement 
and town-site. Faribault at that time was 
having quite a boom. J. W. North had al- 
ready located at the present site of North- 
field, and was making preparations for build- 
ing a city. There was onh^ one building on 
the site at that time, however, and the dam 
across the river was just being built. At 
Faribault they found a village of several 
hundred inhabitants, a mixture of French, 
Indians and Americans. Gen. Shields, after- 
ward United States senator, was then in the 
"big woods" starting his village — Shields- 
ville. Alex. Faribault, the old Indian trader, 
was the leading spirit of the settlement, sur- 
rounded b\^ his usual coterie of Indians, guns 
and dogs. Gen. Levi Nutting was also there, 
and had started to build a hotel. Many 
others were already engaged in building a 
city there, but those mentioned have become 
familiar names in Minnesota history. While 
in the vicinity of Faribault they ran across 
one of the Pettit families, and through that 
means were tlirected toward Steele County. 
On their way up the river they passed the 
sites of both Medford and Clinton Falls. At 
the first they saw Smith Johnson, who in- 
formed them of the brilliant prospect they 
had for building a town. At Clinton they 
saw Deacon Finch, who was plowing near 
the trail, and he explained to them how 
nature had planned Clinton for a metropolis, 
with its water power, abundance of stone, 

Upon arriving at the site of Owatonna at 
about noon one day late in June or early in 
Jul}', 1855, they went to the little log cabin 
just north of where Mr. Albertus' present 
dwelling stands. They found here A. B. 
Cornell and wife, W. F. Pettit, Eev. Mr. 
Thomas, and several boardei's. After din- 
ner they looked over the table-land and 
town-site generally. Pettit's claim extended 
a mile east and west. Bridge street being at 



he south line of it. Cornell then " claimed " 
eighty acres south of this line, having sold 
some which he had held previously. Park 
& Smith also had a claim, and Addison 
Phelps held one still south of Cornell's. 
Mr. Morehouse was living in a cabin not far 
from the river, near the present site of the 
mill. John Deckering, agent for Judge 
Green, was living near Maple Creek. The 
judge had claimed four forties of land in 
sections 3, 4, 9 and 10, in what is now 
Owatonna Township. Obediah Gains, who 
with his son had claimed 320 acres of land, 
was here. This claim was directly east of 
tlie Pettit and Cornell claims. Elder Town 
was also here as the advance agent for a 
little colony, and was looking up claims. 
Charles Ellison was also among the settlers, 
having a claim two miles south of Owatonna, 
but was stopping at Cornell's. D. Linder- 
smith was living in a log cabin on the west 
side of the river. A man named Pi-esley 
was living ih the woods north of town. In 
addition to these there were a number of 
j-^oung men, who might more properly per- 
haps be termed transients. The only crop 
growing was some sod corn and water- 
melons which Pettit had ^^lanted. Pettit 
was anxious to go to Texas and wanted to 
sell, yet held his claim at quite a high figure 
— $1,300 or $1,400. There were scarcely 
any improvements, and in this condition 
this price seemed high ; yet there were 
many considerations which led them to 
finally accept the proposition, and as a mat- 
ter of interest it will not be out of place in 
this connection to refer briefly to them. 
Up to this time Ezra Abbott and his brother 
had been undecided where to locate. In a 
measure their objects were different, yet of 
course botli desired a location that had some 
promise for the future. 

During the winter of 1854-5 a charter had 
been obtained and organization effected of a 
company proposing the construction of a 
railroad from Winona westward to St. Peter. 
Tliis was called the "Transit." Movements 

were also already on foot, although very 
incomplete and indefinite, with a view to 
building a road from Minneapolis or St. 
Anthony south to Iowa. Owatonna seemed 
to be a natural crossing for these two lines. 
This was one important point in favor of the 
town. Another w'as its location, which was 
magnificent. But there were drawbacks. 
At that day to locate and attempt to build 
a town at a point where there was no hope 
of securing a county-seat was discouraging 
business. During the session of the territo- 
rial legislature, in the winter of 1854-5, 
Steele County had been created and set off 
from Rice County. It embraced twenty 
congressional townships — all of the present 
county of "Waseca and the two western tiers 
of Steele Countj^'s present townships. It 
will thus be seen that Owatonna was virtu- 
ally in the northeast corner of the county as 
then bounded. This, of course, must be 
changed or the county-seat would undoubt- 
edly be finally located farther west. How- 
ever, after looking over the ground 
thoroughly, the Abbotts decided to accept 
Pettit's offer, which they did, and thereupon 
became part owners of the town-site. John 
H. is still a resident of the city. Ezra lived 
there until the time of his death, which 
occurred on the 16th of August, 1876. Both 
took a prominent part in the early develop- 
ment of the city, and their names must 
always be indissolubly connected with the 
early history of the county. 


By Rev. William Tlwmson. 

I was born at Taneytown, Frederick (now 
Carroll) County, Md., on the twenty -ninth day 
of April, 1812. At the age of about sixteen 
3'ears I went to the city of New York to 
learn the trade of house-building with my 
uncle, Samuel Thomson, who was at that 
time a master-builder. I served an appren- 
ticeship of over five years at that business, 
and became a fair mechanic in that line, at 
the same time acquiring a knowledge of 



architectural drawing, etc. In the meantime 
I .was converted and felt a strong desire to 
become a minister of the gospel, but circum- 
stances not being favorable to such a course 
of preparation as was necessary at that time, 
I deferred that work until later in life. 

I served my apprenticeship faithfully and 
when becommg twenty-one years of age I 
left New York and returned to my native 
town in Maryland, and on the nineteenth day 
of June, 1834, was united in marriage with 
Miss Mary E. Peck. Subsequently I took a 
private course of theological studies under 
the supervision of Kev. William Adams 
"Wadsworth, a Lutheran minister, at Canton, 
Stark County, Ohio. After completing my 
course of study, made application to the East 
Oliio Evangelical Lutheran Synod for exam- 
ination, was examined before open synod, 
and admitted as a candidate for ordination, 
and at a subsequent meeting of the same 
body, held at Bethlehem, Ohio, I was 
solemnly ordained by laying on the hands of 
the presbytery. On the seventh day of Octo- 
ber, 1845, after being set apart to the duties 
of the active ministry of the Evangelical 
Lutheran Church, I served congregations in 
Stark and Columbiana counties, in Ohio, 
then at Eostraver, Pa. ; retured to Ohio in 
the spring of 1846 and served four congre- 
gations for ten consecutive years. 

About April 1, 1855, in company with a 
portion of my Ohio charge, and my family 
consisting of myself and wife and Joseph 
Hugh, Mary E., Hamilton K., Luther M., 
Cornelia Jane and Louiza Ellen, we took 
steamboat at Wellsville, Ohio, for the then 
territory of Minnesota. After a tedious 
journey of about sixteen days we landed at 
Hastings at midnight, several of our number 
being very sick. I can never forget our first 
night's experience in Minnesota. We were 
hurriedly set ashore on the bare ground, but 
by ])lacing some bedding and arranging our 
pack-boxes around, formed a temporary shel- 
ter by placing four of our number, one at 
each corner, to hold a bed-quilt over the sick 

to keep off the falling rain. And so we stood 
for about one hour trying to get the hotel- 
keeper to take us in, but as he was not will- 
ing to receive our sick we resolved to spend 
the night in watching them. Whilst we 
were thus engaged a Mr. Baily, who kept 
a kind of variety store (the only one in the 
village), came to us and spoke kindly, and 
offered us the free use of his building, telling 
us to make ourselves as comfortable as we 
could. We gladly carried our sick into his 
store-room, and there, on that sad night, and 
on the floor of Mr. Baily's store, Miss Lucetta 
Jane Barrick died in about one hour after 
she was taken in ; her sister, Mrs. James An- 
derson, died in a few days after, and both 
were buried side by side near the then vd- 
lage, now city, of Hastings, and my first 
ministerial services in Minnesota were to jier- 
form the funeral obsequies of those two 
members of my Ohio congregation. 

Leaving my wife in charge of four very 
sickchildren, incorapan}' with Mr. Anderson, 
I started for the interior of this to us new 
country, settled first near Cannon City in 
Rice County, remaining there only one year 
for various reasons. Myself, William N. 
Breidenstien (a son-in-law), my eldest son, 
Joseph, and Mr. Elias Hahn, in the early 
part of April, 1856, made a journej' on foot, 
seeking a better locality'. Our objective 
point was Wilton, in Waseca County. 
Crossing Straight Eiver at Faribault we 
followed the course of said stream on both 
sides, crossing twice after leaving Faribault ; 
we reached Owatonna sometime in the month 
of AprU. Crossing Maple Creek we ap- 
pi-oached the village on the east side. On 
the hill we found a man, whose name I have 
forgotten, who kept a small store ; we inquired 
for "Owatonna." "Why," said he, "this is 
it." " Is this all of it f we asked. " Oh, no," 
said he, " over the hill there you will find the 
rest of it." So on we went, and found the 
rest of " Owatonna," consisting of a few 
houses scattered over a most beautiful site 
for a town. Winship House had just been 



built, then a log hotel a little down the river, 
kept by a Mr. Sanborn, a schoolhouse, a 
smith-shop, and one or two small stores, 
was about all of Owatonna at that time. 
We crossed Straight River on a farm wagon 
driven by Mr. Thomas Meek. The banks 
were overflowed so as to cover the very poor 
basswood bridge, but Mr. Meek was well 
acquainted with the bearings, and so con- 
veyed us safely over. "We stopped that night 
with Mr. David Lindersmith, who subse- 
quently informed me of the southeast quarter 
section 20, town 107, range 20. I moved 
with my family onto this claim early in May, 
1856, and have resided on it ever since, with 
the exception of two years' residence in the 
city of Minneapolis, having rented the farm 
to my son-in-law, G. B. White. To return 
to our trip to Waseca County, I will state 
that we looked the country over carefullj', 
passing over some beautiful prairie land. 
At last we reached Le Seur River at the 
fording. Seeing a man on the opposite side 
with an ox-team we called to him, and he 
kindly drove across and took us to the other 
side. We remember the gentleman's name 
was John Kelly. We asked for the town. 
" Right here," said Mr. Kelly. He conducted 
us to a log house just being built, where we 
meti Mr. A. B. Cornell, of Owatonna, hewing 
logs to build a house. He said " Wilton was 
to beat Owatonna." We couldn't see it in 
that light. As it was drawing towards night 
and no houses in view we inquired for lodg- 
ing. " Just follow me," said Mr. Kelly, " and I 
will take you to the ' Central Hotel.' " Ac- 
cordingly we obeyed orders, and taking us 
down the slope to the front of the " Central," 
we found a rude structure composed partly 
of pine boards, set perpendicularly, nailed to 
a pole laid over the entrance, to a kind of 
cave in the hill, probably 15x20 feet. The 
host, a Mr. Jenkins, treated us kindly, and 
his charges were quite moderate. We then 
took leave of our kind liost and his excellent 
wife, and took a good look at the surround- 
ing country. It was a grand sight. As far 

as eye could see it was one vast ocean of 
waving grass, not green, but having passed 
the winter, it was changed to a beautiful 
brown, showing that it must be a very good 
grazing ground for the large herds of fine 
cattle that were being daily driven into this 
beautiful land, which had lain so many cen- 
turies only as a hunting ground for the 
aborigines, or a pasturage for the buffalo 
and other wild animals. 

Subsequent circumstances proved that Mr. 
Cornell was entirely wrong in his estimate 
of the future greatness of the contemplated 
" City of Wilton." Thus after looking all over 
the country in and around Wilton, we felt a 
desire to return by the way we came, to the 
then village of Owatonna, and eventually all 
settled as near as we could to the jjromising 
city of Owatonna, Mr. Hahn claiming in 
the town of Somerset, and Breidenstein on 
Straight River, cornering with me on the 
section line. Mr. Hahn still resides on his 
land on Turtle Creek, about five miles from 
Owatonna. Breidenstein lives with his fam- 
ily near Boice Citj', I. Ter., thus, instead of 
being near each other, as we intended, we 
are scattered far and wide. Having traded 
my pre-emption right in Rice County, we 
-went to work in good earnest on the new 
claim ; of course much of my own time was 
occupied in my ministerial duties, and not be- 
ing a practical farmer, and being entirely igno- 
rant of the mode of farming in this climate, 
we labored under great disadvantages in 
many respects ; nevertheless, the second sea- 
son we put out some tw^enty-five acres of 
wheat, corn and rye ; crops looked quite 
promising- until within a few days of har- 
vesting, when suddenly a terrible hail-storm 
destroyed all our hopes, and a general panic 
ensued ; many left for other parts, but a few 
remained and by mutual sympathy and kind- 
ness, no one starved to death. But those 
were the dark days in the life of early pio- 
neers of this country, when 

"Men looked in each other's eyes. 
To read their chance of death or life." 



It would perhaps be too tedious and 
uninteresting to recount many of the ex- 
periences through which we have passed ; 
I will only give two of the most im- 
portant of my personal adventures. In 
the fall of 1857, I started one day for my 
appointment at East PrairieviUe, and as I 
had several times noticed a road at tlie cross- 
ing of a small creek a short distance below 
Medford, diverging a very little to the left, run- 
ning as I thought very nearly parallel with the 
road I had before taken, and thinking it 
would lead me out to the open prairie, a 
little lower down the river, and bring me 
nearer to a point I wished to reach, I pur- 
sued it but a short distance Avhen I found it 
to bear too much to the left. I then con- 
cluded to cross the V, formed by the two 
roads ; after walking for a long time I came 
to a small stream emanating from a spring. 
I stooped down and took a drink; on 
rising again, I lost my bearings, and in at- 
tempting to make a straiglit line from the 
spring, I only circled round to the same 
place; this I did the third time. I then found 
a line of blazed trees made by the surveyors 
and by watching those marks, I found my 
way out to the road I was in search of. For- 
tunately I found a Mr. Close in his winter 
quarters, and as it was then about 10 o'clock 
at night, he very kindlj' gave me my supper 
and lodging, and on the morrow I reached 
my destination in good time. At another 
time I left home in a snow-storm, and in try- 
ing to make my way to a Mr. Coperth waits', 
where I intended to stay over night, night 
overtook me, and having neither roads nor 
fences to guide me, and a fearful snow-storm 
in full force, I missed my way and went too 
far eastward. I took, as I thought a straight 
course to the gentleman's house, and after 
walking for about two hours, I came to a de- 
serted claim shanty, but there was neither 
door nor window, and tiie snow had drifted m 
and filled it nearly full ; I had matches, but 
no fuel of an}' kind, so I could not build 
a fire. I now fully realized my perilous con- 

dition ; I was really lost. To anyone who 
has not had the same experience, words fail 
to give an adequate idea of the sensation ; I 
never had the same routine to go through, 
that I had in the timber, to-wit : I made 
three tangents to get to the same forlorn 
shanty ; finally' I took great care to keep the 
wind directly on my back, and by that 
means got away from the shanty I had vis- 
ited so often. 

I was perfectlj'calra, and deliberatel}' con- 
cluded that in order to keep from freezing 
I would be compelled to continue walking 
slowly until dayhght should reveal my 
whereabouts, for I had not the least idea of 
the points of the comjiass. After about two 
hours' walking, fortunately I saw a stovepipe 
from which smoke was wafting upward. I 
hastened up and was very kindly entertained 
by the gentleman of the house, whose name 
I have forgotten; next morning — Sunday 

— found me just six miles too far east, but 
after a good breakfast, without charge, I 
made my way to Cannon City in good time. 
It must be remembered that at this time I 
had no horse and was compelled to travel 
on foot, preaching at the following points : 
Cannon City, East PrairieviUe, Brush Creek, 

— occasionally Faribault and Morristown. 
I met the above appointments generally 
promptly and in good time. The Home Mis- 
sionary Society gave me the first year $100 
and from the other sources I received in 
all about $60 ; organized the first English 
Lutheran congregation (that I knew of at 
the time) in the house of Hon. J. C. Ide, at 
East PrairieviUe, in the month of June, 1855. 
I believe I preached the first funeral sermon 
in the Ide settlement at the house of a Mr. 
Pratt, it being on the death of a lady in 
some way related to Mr. Pratt. A Meth- 
odist minister, a young man whose name I 
forget, was present at the funeral service, 
but did not make himself known until after 
the services closed. I believe I was the first 
Lutlieran minister ofiiciating in the English 
language exclusively, in the Territory of 



Minnesota. If there were any other I never 
heard of him. Through the courtesy of Coh 
Ida, who was a visitor to the territorial 
legislature in 1855, I had my credentials 
filed in the office of a Mr. Noah, at Mendota, 
and afterwards at Owatonna. My creden- 
tials were filed on page 1 of credentials, so I 
must have been among the first in that line. 
Hoping to be excused for this digression to 
Rice County, I will now proceed more particu- 
larly to call up facts and incidents that have 
occurred since our settlement at Owatonna. 
By disposing of my preemption right in 
Rice County I received in exchange an ox- 
team, farm wagon, one cow and calf and $75 
in cash. With this outfit we took possession 
of the southeast quarter, section 20, town 
107, range 20. There were no improvements 
on the claim, so we erected what in that day 
was called a claim-shanty. As this term is 
generally understood I need not particularize. 
We occupied it comfortably, under the cir- 
cumstances, and enjoyed good health and 
spirits for two or three years, until we were 
able to put up a frame house, which sub- 
sequently was destroyed by fire. 

My congregation at Prairieville became 
quite discouraged by the intense cold of the 
winter of 1855-6, and left for other jiarts. 
I had no nucleus foi- a Lutheran Church in 
Owatonna, but by invitation of the Con- 
gregational, Presbyterian and Methodist 
churches, I preached frequently for each of 
them, mostly, however, in Mr. A. N. Stough- 
ton's hall, where in the absence of their pas- 
tor. Rev. Thomas, by request, I admitted 
several members to their church and admin- 
istered the holy communion. Tiie East Ohio 
Synod, to which I belonged, always has been 
in favor of Christian union, consequently im- 
bibing this principle of unity from the s3'nod 
to which I belonged, I have had no difficulty 
in fraternizing with all orthodox denomi- 
nations of Christians, so far as they would 
permit me to worship God with them ; have* 
always been treated kindly and frequently 
preached for all of them. Eeing without a 

regular charge, my ministerial labors have 
been those of a traveling missionarj^ and in 
this capacity I visited and preached at the 
following places with more or less regularity 
from 1858 to the present time, 1887 : Cannon 
City, East Prairieville, Faribault, Brush 
Creek, Morristown, Kenney's hall and school- 
house. Dodge City, Norway, Dodge County ; 
Eyota, Olmstead County ; Washington, Fill- 
more County ; Dorrance's and Beardsley's, 
Rice County ; Berlin, Hastings' schoolhouse, 
and Fitzsimmon's schoolhouse, also at Ha- 
vana and Tiffany's schoolhouse ; meantime I 
preached several funeral sei-mons. In the 
spring of 1858 or 1859 a family by the name 
of Simmons came from Wisconsin and 
bought a claim of a Mr. Woods, and whilst 
temporarily located with Mr. Hiram Green- 
wood, making preparations to build a house 
on his land, he and his wife were killed by 
one stroke of lightning. I preached a short 
funeral sermon at the house, after which 
they were buried in one grave on the claim 
he had just purchased. The ensuing spring 
a Mr. Clinton Simons, a few miles west of 
us, was also killed by lighting, and I was 
called upon to preach his funeral sermon. 
Since the country has been broken and cul- 
tivated, there have been but few deaths by 
lightning. A Mr. Munson, I believe, was 
the first person to die in the town of Lemond. 
I also preached his funeral sermon. Our 
first school was taught in a slab shanty by 
Miss Emaline Hall, with about twenty-five 
scholars. We now have a very good frame 
schooll:ouse, at present taught by Miss 
Stowers, but by removal of several families 
of children out of the district, there is but 
an average attendance of about fifteen. On 
the 7th of September, 1858, our twin sons — 
Ezra and Samuel — were born. I am not 
certain, but think they were the first pair of 
twins born in the township. We have had 
three very severe and destructive hail-storms, 
but at the same time have lived and enjoyed 
good health. Owatonna has grown from a 
village to a very thriving inland city, of 



probably four tiiousand inhabitants, having 
two banks of issue, many very good dwell- 
ing houses, quite a number of dr}' goods 
stores, groceries, several hotels, also two or 
three drug stores, and alas, that we must 
state it to the shame and disgrace of our 
otherwise pleasant city, twelve liquor saloons, 
at a license of $500. There are to counter- 
balance these several Christian churches, as 
the Catholic, Congregational, Presbyterian, 
Methodist Episcopal, English and German, 
one Lutheran exclusively German, St. Paul's 
Episcopal and one Baptist. I am now in my 

seventy-sixth year, and preach every two 
weeks at Eyota, Olmstead County, Minn. 
My famil}" at present consists of myself, wife 
and our twin sons. We are better than ever 
satisfied and pleased with Minnesota. We 
have had but one death in the family for 
over thirty years — an aged aunt to my wife 
who died in her ninetj'-first year, and now 
lies in our Oakwood Cemetery in peace. We 
are contented and happy, and will not leave 
our present abode until a higher power calls 
us hence to a better land beyond the river. 
WiLLiAJi Thomson. 



'E have here grouped together 
all the statements, events of im- 
portance, deaths of prominent 
persons, accidents, or crimes, 
which would be of interest, 
commencing with 1853, and 
closing with June, 1887, when 
this manuscript went to press. 
it is not to be expected that this 
chapter includes ever3'thing of 
interest which has occurred during 
the years named, as many of the 
most important events receive 
attention in other chapters ; but 
it embraces hundreds of interest- 
ing items which could not properly be placed 
in other departments. 

Prior to 1874, the fact that the tiles of 
county papers have not been preserved, 
leaves Steele County without reliable rec- 
ords of local happenings, therefore the 
events given for those years are mainly 
based upon the statements of the old settlers. 
The first settlement, within the limits now 
comprising Steele County, was effected dar- 

ing the summer of this year, in Medford 

The first cabin in the county was erected 
by A. L. Wright and Chauncey Lull. 

During the summer, the first settlement 
on the present site of Owatonna City was 
effected by A. B. Cornell and William F. 
Pettit. The first building on the site of the 
city was erected this year. 


Steele County was created by the territo- 
rial legislature on the 20th of February. 

August 1, the organization of the county 
was effected, and the board of county com- 
missioners, appointed by Gov. Gorman, held 
their first meeting. 

October 9, the first election was held. It 
was for State officers, with but one excep- 
tion. W. F. Pettit was elected sheriff. He 
was the first county officer elected. 

The first election for county officers oc- 
curred in October, when a full set was 



In July, the Watchman, and Register, the 
first newspaper in Steele County, was estab- 
lished at Owatonna, by J. H. Abbott and 
A. B. Cornell. 

April 1, the county was in debt $29. 

The winter of 1856-7 was a very severe 
one. Snow was very deep and a crust be- 
tween one and two inches in thickness formed 
upon it, which made travel almost impos- 
sible, as it would scarcely hold a man. A 
horse would break through and cut his limbs, 
so that, except on the well-broken roads, 
which were very few, travel was completely 
blocked. Deer were plenty that winter, but 
were nearly all killed off before the spring 
thaw came. On account of the snow they 
could be overtaken easily, and hundreds were 
slaughtered with clubs. 


A severe hail-storm passed through the 
county in the latter part of July, which was 
very destructive to crops. Hailstones of 
"fabulous size" fell. It is stated that they 
made indentations in the earth which could 
be noticed for three or four years afterward. 
It was during this storm that hailstones 
broke right through the roof of a hotel in 
Mantorville, Dodge County. 

On the 27th of February, Waseca County 
was taken from Steele County; a tier of 
townships had previously been detached 
from Dodge and annexed to Steele, leaving 
the boundaries of the county as they are 

This was the year of the great financial 
panic. The following year its effect was felt 
here ; yet it did not affect times in Steele 
County very much. As one old settler ex- 
presses it : " Times were already as hard as 
they could be made." 


During the summer the hail cut the grain 
badly in Steele County, and seed wheat 
brought over $1 per bushel in Owatonna. 

This year was known as "Johnny-cake 
year" in Steele County. Scarcely any pro- 

visions were in the country, and nobody was 
able to buy, anyway. Most of the settlers 
lived upon corn bread ; many were reduced 
to bran bread, while not a few got along on 
bare potatoes without salt or meat. 

January 6, the county was in debt 

During this year the system of county 
government was changed. The board of 
county commissioners was abolished and a 
board of supervisors was created to succeed 
it. The board of supervisors was composed 
of one member from each organized town- 
ship in the county. 


Prices were very low this year. Wheat 
was hauled to Hastings and Red Wing, and 
there only brought thirty-five and forty cents 
per bushel part of the year. The money was 
of such character, everyone exacted gold and 
silver. Paper money was worthless, as so 
many of the banks which were authorized to 
issue a circulating medium had failed. These 
were the days of " wild-cat currency." 

The system of county government was 
again changed this yeai", reverting power to 
the board of county commissioners. 

A good crop of wheat was raised this year, 
the average yield per acre being as high 
as any ever produced in the history of 
the county. It is tliought that wheat aver- 
aged at least twenty-five bushels per acre 
throughout all this portion of the State. 


The United States census taken this year, 
gave Steele County a population of 2,863. 
Of this number 2,256 were native born 
Americans ; and 607 were of foreign birth. 

At the presidential election this year, 688 
votes were polled, divided among political 
parties as follows : 523 for Abraham Lincoln, 
Republican ; 157 for Stephen A. Douglas, 
Democrat; and 8 for J. C. Breckinridge, 

Another good crop was raised this year 
with an increased acreage under cultivation. 



In the fall of 1860 an agricultural society 
was organized with a membership of about 
forty, and a count}^ fair was held. 


April 12, Fort Sumter. S. C. was bom- 
barded by Gen. Beauregard, and the "War of 
the Rebellion began. Its effect was soon 
felt in Steele Countj'^ and enlistments began 
almost immediately. 

Prices grew better with tiiis year and 
toward fall, wheat was bringing a good price. 

Crops were good all through the war, 
but the difficult}' was in taking care of them, 
owing to the absence of a great majority of 
the male iniuxbitants. This was the case in 
1863 and 1864, particularly. 


A great many of the able-bodied residents 
of Steele Count}'^ enlisted during this year, 
and went South for service. 

Prices continued to grow better and in 
fact continued to advance while the war 
lasted, although in Steele County a very 
light acreage was cultivated. 


The war for the Union was still in prog- 
ress. It is said that the settlement and 
development of Steele County was entirely 
at a standstill. The county was half de- 


This was another presidential election 
year. Eight hundred and forty-five was 
the total number of votes jjoiled in Steele 
County. Abraham Lincoln, Republican, re- 
ceived 636, and Geo. B. McClellan, Demo- 
crat, received 209. 


April 9, Gen. Lee, the Confederate, sur- 
rendered to Gen. Grant at Appomatox 
Court House, Va., virtual h' the closing act 
of the war. 

April 14, Abraham Lincoln, President of 
the United States, was assassinated. 


This 3'ear marked a new era in Steele 
Count^^'s history. Two hues of railway 
were completed, and trains were running 
into Owatonna in August. 

New settlers began to arrive, and Owa- 
tonna grew wonderfully. 

The water was very high in Straight 
River this year, and overflowed considera- 
ble land in the vicinity of Owatonna. 


The settlement of the county was largely 
increased during this and the few years 
immediately following. 

In Mitchell's Statistical History of Steele 
County, the following crop statement ap- 
pears : " The j'ear 1867, though considered 
by all as one of the poorest seasons ever 
known in Minnesota, marked the jiroducts 
of the soil in Steele County as follows: 
Wheat, average yield per acre, 15-|- bushels ; 
oats, 34 bushels ; corn, 38 bushels ; potatoes, 
110 bushels." 


Another presidential election. There 
were 1,640 votes polled in Steele County 
for the various electors. U. S. Grant, 
Republican, received 1,137; and Horatio 
Seymour, Democrat, 503. 


During this year the board of county 
commissioners was increased from three to 
five members. 

Crops raised this year were as follows : 

Wheat, 359,293 bushels, averaging 17.30 

bushels per acre ; oats, 236,833 bushels, 

averaging 39.87 bushels per acre; corn, 

70,479 bushels, averaging 27.52 bushels per 



The United States census was again taken 
this j'ear. It gave Steele County a total 
population of 8,271; of which number 6,088 
were American born, and 2,183 were of for- 
eign birth. 

Crop yield : Wheat, 284,098 bushels,— 



average, 13.04 bushels per acre ; oats, 217,223 
bushels, — average, 29.22 per acre ; corn, 93,- 
697 bushels, — average, 25.95 bushels per acre. 

During this year there were 335,560 bush- 
els of wheat raised in the county — an aver- 
age of 14.25 bushels per acre ; 192,638 bushels 
of oats were threshed — an average of 28.08 
bushels per acre; 143,346 bushels of corn 
were gathered — 34.90 bushels per acre. 


The presidential election occurred again 
this year. There were 1,660 votes polled in 
Steele County for presidential electors, of 
which number 1,033 were for U. S. Grant, 
Republican ; and 627 for Horace Greele}', 
Democrat and Liberal Eepublican. 

Stock raising and dairying had already 
begun to receive considerable attention in 
Steele County. The number of pounds 
of butter produced in 1872 was 275,024, 
and of cheese 138,479, the latter being at 
that time nearly three times that of any 
other count}^ in the State. There were then 
no less than six cheese factories in successful 
operation in the county. 

The crop j'ield this year was as follows : 
"Wheat, 552,855 bushels, average 18.21 bushels 
per acre; oats, 280,006 bushels, average 33.86 
per acre; corn, 151,573 bushels, average 35.39 
per acre. 


During this year another great financial 
panic occurred. Property values decreased 
to almost nothing. Money became very 
scarce and times extremely hard. 

The estimated population of Steele County 
taking the number of school children as a 
basis was 9,171. 

The school statistics for that 3'ear were as 
follows : Number of districts in the county, 
70 ; total expenditure for building, teachers' 
wages, etc., was $^21,081.43 ; number of 
schoolhouses, 70 ; value, $45,321. Of the 
$21,081.43 expended, $12,595.78 was paid to 

During this year there were 750,000 bush- 
els of wheat raised in Steele County — an 
average of 19.60 bushels per acre.* • 


The following item appears in the first is- 
sue of the Peoples Press, September 2, 1874 : 
"J. W. Morford, Esq., informs us that he 
raised on his farm, near the city, from sixt}'- 
one acres, 1,700 bushels of the best wheat. 
Who can beat it 'i " 

Dr. Morehouse at that time was erecting 
his opera house, of which the Press, in the 
same issue, said : " The public hall of Dr. 
Morehouse in this city, now in course of con- 
struction, will be one of which our citizens 
have good reason to be proud. It is large, 
extending from Bridge to Main street." 

In the fli'st issue of the People^s Press, 
September 2, 1874, is found a lengthy account 
of a people's convention — or as it is entitled, 
The Democratic, Liberal Eepublican County 
Convention — held to nominate candidates 
for the various county offices. The follow- 
ing are the names of the gentlemen who par- 
ticipated in the proceedings, as it may be of 
interest to refer to in coming years : Hon. 
H. H. Johnson was elected chairman and 
R. M. Drake, secretary. Delegates were ap- 
pointed to attend the congressional conven- 
tion and were instructed to use every honor- 
able means to secure the nomination of Amos. 
Coggswell. The following is a list of the 
delegates who attended the county conven- 
tion : Merton — Dexter Lane, T. J. Conlin, 
M. A. McAndrews and E. Smith ; Medford 
— D. C. Hunkins, N. Parker, E. M. Drake, 
S. Freeman and John Karney ; Aurora — 
Oscar King, Phenix Meyers, E. Stapleton, 
Amos Coggswell, Eeuben Austin and Peter 
McCrady ; Lemond — H. M. Hastings, Hugh 
Murray, Gill Eussell and William Gamble ; 
Owatonna City — H. H. Johnson, G. H. Cole, 

♦From 1873 until this MSS. went to press we havehad news- 
paper files to refer to, so that we are able to give a more de- 
tailed account of the matters and events transpiring. We isive 
all items that may be of interest, referring to the tiles of the 
Paiitle's Pi-ess and the Journal and Herald as authority for all 
statements.— Editor. 



J. "W. Morford, James Patch, Julius Young, 
George B. Hall, S. M. Hastings, J. B. Soper, 
J. W. Hall, P. Brennen, E. W. Johnson, L. 
Bion, G. F. Albertus, M. A. Dailey, Howard 
Johnson, J. Oppliger, M. L. Deviny, E. Burk, 
H. W. Pratt, Herman Smith, Gilbert Potter, 
E. Tilden and Timothy Hennessy ; Havana 
— J. S. Cass, Andrew Cass, James Cotter and 
J. S. Austin. A few weeks later the follow- 
ing ticket was put into the field : County 
auditor, J. P. Jackson ; register of deeds, M. 
A. Dailey ; probate judge, James Cotter ; 
count}' attorney, Amos Coggswell; county 
commissioners, A. B. Clark and Geo. O. Han- 
kerson ; representatives, L. H. Lane and 
Hugh Murray. 

The Republican county convention for 
1874 was held at Owatonna on October 10. 
Geo. W. Green, of Clinton Falls, was elected 
chairman and C. C. Cornell, secretary. The 
list of delegates has not been preserved in 
the newspaper files from which this report is 
taken. Among those present, however, were 
Geo. W. Green, C. C. Cornell, E. Dart, H. 
EuUiffson, W. W. Wilkins, Moses Norton, T. 
H. Kelley, L. Mucky and W. Sherman. W. 
E. Kinyon, of Owatonna, was nominated for 
representative. The following county ticket 
was placed in nomination : L. S. Padgham, 
auditor ; E. A. Tyler, register of deeds ; L. L. 
"Wheelock, probate judge; J. M. Burlingame, 
■ county attorney. 

The People's Press, on the 9th of Septem- 
ber, 1874, contained the following item: 
" Of the many things worthy of comment is 
the enterprise shown by Messrs. Chambers 
and Mitchell in the erection of the fine build- 
ing that occupies the corner of Cedar and 
Vine streets. It is an honor to Owatonna, and 
speaks highly for some of its business men." 

" Three fights have of late enlivened the 
usual quiet of our city. No lives lost." — 
Press, September 3, 187 If.. 

Speaking of the condition of business in 
Owatonna, the same issue of the Press con- 
tains the following : " One of the surest in- 
dications of business is to see every house 

and storeroom in a town occupied. Conced- 
ing such to be the truth, we freely admit that 
Owatonna is equal to any city of like size in 
the State. Vacant rooms are scarcer than 
divines who support Theodore Tilton." 

Under the head of " Our Debut," the 
Press further says, in speaking of the ad- 
vantages here found : ""We consider the lit- 
erary field in which we are about to labor as 
extensive and as fertile as any in Minnesota. 
We beheve Owatonna is destined, enjoying 
as it does excellent railway communication, 
situated in the midst of the most fertile 
country in the world, and containing only 
one weekly newspaper and more than 3,500 
inhabitants, to offer an excellent opportunity 
for the establishment of a lively journal." 


Wheat per bu. $0 75 

Oats " 40 

Corn in ear " 50 

Potatoes " 50 

Onions " 75 

Tomatoes " 1.00 

Beef Steali per tb. 10 to 13 

Pork •■ •• 10 

Mutton Chops " 13 

Butter " 30 to 30 

Chickens each 35 

Eggs per doz. 13 

" The names of the teachers in the public 
schools of Owatonna are as follows : Super- 
intendent, C. W. Hall ; high school, Miss 
Henrietta FeUows; teachers, Miss A. M. 
Hathaway, A. A. Crandall, Miss M. E. Bear, 
Miss L. Prindle, Julia A. Clark, Ida G. War- 
ren, Mar\' E. Blood and Mary E. Mellen." — 
People^ s Press, Septe7)iber 9, 187 J/-. 

" Never in the history of Steele County 
have our farmers been so far advanced at 
the season of their plowing as now." — 
Press, Octuher U, 187 1^. 

In October Eric Ericson was found dead 
about four miles south of Owatonna. He 
had left town at about 4 o'clock in the 
afternoon for home. The wagon-box was 
found upset and he lying dead on his face. 
It was supposed his cattle (lie was driving 
oxen) had run away with him. 



October 30, a Jiremau uaiuedMaitiii Upper 
fell from the engine on a "Winona & St. Peter 
Railroad express train into a bridge about 
one mile west of Owatonna. Having been 
missed, the train was stopped and he was 
found hanging on to the bridge ties. He 
was terribly bruised, but recovered. 

The issue of the People^ s Press, November 
4, contains the following "Lost Notice": 
" Lost — A pocket-book containing a one-cent 
stamp. Value of the pocket-book, five cents. 
Anyone returning the same will be suitably 
rewarded. — Fi'ed Woodward.''^ 

In December, 1874, the freight rates from 
Chicago to Owatonna, per hundred pounds, 
were as follows : 1st class, $1.10 ; 2d class, 
$1.00 ; 3d class, 75c.; 4th class, 55c. 

During the latter part of 1874 and the 
year 1875, the citizens were treated to an 
old-fashioned newspaper war. The writers 
on both sides were able men, and they cut 
and slashed with their pens, shedding oceans 
of ink. A few samples of the courtesies ex- 
changed are here given for the amusement 
of the reader : 

The Journal of January 13, remarked: 
" The Bridge street sheet is the Despatch, 
and nothing else. To be sure, one side is 
dated here and besmeared with blackness, 
but it is of no interest to anybody, and is a 
disgrace to a city like this." 

On January 20 the Peoples Press retorts : 
" The fact is, the Press gives eight columns 
more reading matter, weeldy, than the 
Snorter, and as the Snorter has had a mo- 
nopoly of the printing, and oppressed and 
slandered the people for so long, it thinks 
it has a perfect right to do it. Besides, it 
has two pages, at least, which the people 
can read with no difficulty, which is better 
than to have four pages, as the Snorter has, 
that look like a hog which has just crawled 
out of a mud puddle." 

In another column one of the papers state 
that they are in one respect like 

" The mule that stood on the steamboat deck, 
The land he would not tread, 

When a very small man, exceedingly frail, 
Attempted to give it a gentle twist of the tail. 
When, to the bystanders' very great amaze, 
He flew, as a hurricane, before their gaze. 
Into the foamy waves." 


Late in February, the schoolhouse in dis- 
trict No. 51, Summit Township, was burned 
to the ground. In speaking of the matter, 
one of the local papers stated " that the 
ashes of an armful of burned hay was found 
among the debris, and it is supposed to have 
been set afire. An unsuccessful attempt 
was made some time ago to divide the dis- 
trict, and it is supposed some of the unsuc- 
cessful ones took this manner of revenge." 
A number of school books and the school 
furniture were destroyed. No insurance. 

In the issue of the Press, March 17, there 
appeared the following article : " I came to 
Owatonna a few days ago on business, and 
was obliged to stay a day or two on account 
of the irregularity of the trains. At the sta- 
tion I met a pretended friend, who robbed 
me of a part of the contents of my pocket- 
book. In the evening I was met by an offi- 
cer and ill-used and joked about having a 
place to keep me securely all night. I give 
said officer notice that the next time he will 
know what he meets me for. — T. Farley, of 

Early in the spring of 1875, it was dis- 
covered that the springs northeast of Owa- 
tonna possessed medicinal qualities, and a 
reporter for the Chicago Times visited them 
for investigation, and news matter. Shortly 
afterward an article headed "A New Sara- 
toga " appeared in that journal as follows : 

" For the benefit of such of our readers as 
are not yet acquainted with the geography 
of Minnesota, I will premise my remarks by 
stating that Owatonna is a thriving town of 
about 3,000 inhabitants, the county seat of 
Steele County, situated on the east bank of 
the Straight Eiver, at the crossing of the 
Winona & St. Peter, and the Iowa & Min- 
nesota division of the Milwaukee & St. Paul 



railroads, sevent}' miles south of St. Paul 
and ninety-one west of "Winona. Happening 
to be detained liere, I found the citizens 
greatly excited by the recent discovery of 
several mineral springs m a line natural 
grove near the town. Having received an 
invitation from Gen. Beers, the discoverer 
of the springs, to visit the future Saratoga 
of tlie West, I started, in company with him 
and two other prominent citizens behind a 
fine team, and thorougly enjoyed the ride of 
little more than a mile, in such an atmos- 
phere as Minnesota alone can boast, a fault- 
less blue sky and brilliant sunshine which 
made the particles of fine snow thrown up 
by our horses' heels glitter like diamonds. 
On i-eaching the grove in which the springs 
are situated, a winding track of about a 
quarter of a mile brought us to the first 
spring, which bubbled clear as crj'stal from 
the bank above a little creek formed by the 
overflow of this and other neighboring 
spring. I was struck at the first glance by 
the rust-like coating of the pebbles and 
twigs over which its water flowed, indicating 
the presence of iron in considerable quan- 
tities, while bubbles of carbonic acid gas, 
rushing continually to the surface, converted 
the little basin formed by the spring into a 
natural soda fountain. On tasting of the 
water I found it rather pleasant than other- 
wise to the palate, and although the flavor 
of iron was very predominant, it lacked the 
abominable combination of horrors inherent 
in some mineral springs, which renders it 
necessary to acquire a taste for them befoi'e 
it is possible to swallow even a single glass of 
the water without experiencing an inward 
qualm. This, on the contrary, was piquant 
and refreshing. I was informed by a farmer 
living in the neighborhood that he had used 
the water for some time, both for drinking 
and culinary purposes, and that both himself 
and wife liad derived great benefit from it. 
It has also been used by several citizens of 
Owatonna who have been troubled by dys- 
pepsia and kidney complaint, all of whom 

testify to a rapid improvement in their 
systems. There are, within the space of 
three or four acres, some seven or eight 
springs, all somewhat similar in character, 
except that some of tliem appear to have 
rather stronger alkaline properties than 
others, and one is so strongly impregnated 
with sulphur that it is apparent, not only to 
the taste, but to the olfactory organs at sev- 
eral feet distant. The waters have not yet 
been submitted to chemical analysis, but 
that will be done shortly, and the mineral 
properties fully ascertained. Whether they 
fully justified the anticipations formed of 
their healing qualities or not, the visiting 
pleasure seeker or invalid will be amply re- 
warded for the fatigue of a journey by the 
beauty of the surroundings. The springs 
are situated in an amphitheater, shut in by 
surrounding hills, the surface of which is 
broken by ravines running in every direction. 

A short time after the publication of the 
above, a mineral spring company was organ- 
ized at Owatonna, for the purpose of improv- 
ing the "plant," with a capital of $10,000. 
They secured qualitative analysis of the water 
from Pi'of. Sharpers, State Assayer and 
Chemist of Massachusetts. He pronounced 
it as closely resembling the Bethesda spring, 
at Waukesha, Wis., and found it to contain 
bicarbonates of lime and magnesia, sul- 
phate of lime, chlorides of soda, potassa, 
silica, alumina, and carbonates of iron. In 
April, 1875, Prof. Bodie, of Milwaukee, pro- 
nounced the water of the springs superior to 
the famous Bethesda spring of Wisconsin. 

At about this time the grasshoppers were 
devastating the western part of the State, 
although Steele County had so far been free 
from trouble on that score. The Press, 
however, on March 31, 1875, contained the 
following item : " Considerable curiosity, if 
not a little excitement, was caused yesterday 
by a man from Crane Creek, bringing in a lot 
of J'oung grasshoppers, supposed to be the 
species that have been devastating the fron- 
tier. But persons who saw those on the 



frontier readily distinguished them from 
these. So our citizens need not be at all 

On the 5th of May the cooper shop belong- 
ing to J. D. Holden, in Owatonna, was 
burned to the ground. Total loss, $1,500 ; 
insurance, $500. 

On Sunday, May 30, 1875, a sad accident 
occurred a few miles south of Owatonna, on 
Straight Kiver, by which John Windro, of 
Somerset Township, lost his life. It seems 
that a Bohemian, named Antone Slazek, 
started out hunting and went to the house of 
the deceased, who was of the same nation- 
ality. After fooling with the gun in the 
house for some time, he placed a cap upon 
it and pointed the muzzle toward "Windro, 
saying : " I will shoot you." Windro 
dodged, and in taking down the gun it 
was accidentally discharged, killing Windro 
almost instantly. Slazek was arrested by 
Sheriff Toher, but the grand jury, after ex- 
amining the facts and evidence bearing on 
the case, decided that the shooting was 
accidental and the j^risoner was discharged. 

As to the truth of the following account 
of a matrimonial purchase, the historian is 
unable to vouch. The article was clipped 
from the Aitsiin Begister, of 1875. It is as 
follows : " Two Norwegians living at Nor- 
wegian Lake, near the line of Steele and 
Freeborn Counties, became enamored of the 
same lady, and each had urged his suit with 
respective fervency. One of the suitors 
lived in Steele and the other in Freeborn 
County. The lady had no especial choice, 
the suitor to visit her last always thought he 
got the best of it, as he always thought she 
would never ' go back ' on him. So to des- 
ignate these lovers we will caU them Steele 
and Freeborn. As Steele lived the farthest 
away from his affectionate Dulcinea, Free- 
born rather had the inside track, and he 
accordingly took the girl home with him for 
a visit. The old gentleman was rather 
favorable toward Steele, and thought Free- 
born ought to have a little more respect for 

the feelings of Steele, so he di-opped a letter 
to Steele, informing him how things were 
going on, and told him he thought it would 
be necessary for him to make a pilgrimage 
that way soon in order to keep up with his 
rival, who was making sad havoc with the 
affections of his intended. Steele was a 
big-tisted fellow, and when he received that 
letter he couldn't contain himself, and 
accordingly started down to see about it. 
Freeborn, hearing of his coming, called in 
his friends and stationed a guard around his 
cabin, and swore by all above the sea and 
under the earth he would wade in blood to his 
knees but what he would have the girl. Steele 
went to the cabin of Freeborn under a flag 
of truce, and there met his green-eyed rival 
face to face, and but for the friends of both 
l^arties, would have clawed each other beauti- 
fully. In order to 'compromise' matters, 
Steele offered to take $100 for his interest in 
the girl, but Freeborn couldn't see it; then he 
offered to give $100 to Freeborn, which was 
refused he raised the offer to $125, then to 
$150, and upon being again refused, took a 
friend aside for counsel, and it was finally 
agreed to offer $160 for the girl and not 
another red. Freeborn said he would take it. 
Steele gave his note for the amount, and the 
father of the girl signed it. The young lad}'' — 
the prize for which they were contending — 
stood by a silent listener, all this time ready 
to go with either party. She is about eighteen 
years of age, speaks English, and for the life 
of her can't tell which of these gentlemen 
she likes best. It is said that the old gent 
and Steele afterward repudiated the note, 
claiming they had not got value received. 
The parties were afterward married at the 
Norwegian Church, in Steele County." 

The wet weather during the summer sea- 
son of 1875 proved disastrous to crops in 
Steele as well as in the balance of the State. 

On the llrth of November the old pioneer 
log residence of Elder Town was destroyed 
by fire ; loss, $500. 

The Peoj)le's Preff:, in its issue of Decern- 



ber 22, 1875, contains the following, under 
the head of a "Eow in Havana:" "John 
Johnson, a son of ' California ' Johnson, of 
Havana, was married to a Miss Christo- 
pherson, on the 13th, at which time a gal- 
lon of alcohol was diluted, and after several 
of them had imbibed freely, old ' California ' 
got on his ear, then took a gun down, and 
striking it on the floor, broke the stock, and 
it was then taken away from him and dis- 
charged. ' California ' then followed Amon 
Christopherson out of the house, and with- 
out any cause or provocation, drew a knife 
and struck him in the cheek. The knife 
went through the cheek, struck and broke a 
piece out of a tooth, cut a gash across the 
tongue, and cut the opposite tooth badly. 
Johnson evidently intended to kill Christo- 
pherson by stabbing liim in the neck, but 
missed his mark. A warrant was issued, 
but by the time the officer had reached 
Havana, Johnson had fled — it is thought 
to Colorado." Mr. Johnson afterward 
returned, reformed and became a respected 



''The house of Anuis Krat, on section 11, 
Aurora Township, neighbor of Cord King, 
was destroj'ed by fire a few days ago. The 
inhabitants narrowly escaped with their 
lives."— P«>/>Ze'.s Press, Jan. 26, 1876. 

The following sensational article appeared 
in the Peoples Press, in its issue of April 29, 
1876. It appears in connection with the 
Aurora news, tlie correspondent signing 
himself "H.:" "In order to tell my story 
and that it may be understood, I must go 
back to 1856. Among the firet settlers of 
Aurora was a man named Sargent, whose 
character was unspotted. He lost his wife, 
and lived until about four 3'ears ago, when 
he was taken sick, and though he had the 
best of care by kind friends, he died of old 
age. He was buried near A. B. Clark's. 
He had no relatives here and folks had 
about forgotten him, until last fall it was 
said h» could be seen on certain nights in 

the grove south of A. B. Clark's. I found 
out what kind of nights he was to be seen, 
and being sometiiing of a skeptic, I deter- 
mined to see for myself. So, I started, one 
of those foggy nights, and had gotten about 
half way through the grove, and heboid ! 
there he stood, cane in hand. I was startled 
at first, but put on a bold face and advanced 
to meet him. Now, I had heard in my 
younger days that when the dead returned 
to earth they had something they wished to 
say, so I stepped up and said : ' Uncle Sar- 
gent, what shall I do to be saved?' He 
raised his cane and his face was illuminated 
with a heavenly smile, and he said : ' Vote 
the Democratic ticket ! ' — H." 

In May, a band of four three-card-monte 
men, who had been operating in and about 
Owatonna, were captured. On the r7th 
of that month they had swindled J. Bower, 
of Brown County, out of $42, and he had 
put the officers on their track. The mar- 
shal took after them and found two in the 
vicinity of the old Owatonna House. They 
ran down Bridge street, followed by a large 
crowd, to the river, jumped in and endeav- 
ored to cross, but the river was very high 
and they were caught by men in a boat. 
Two more were afterward caught and locked 
up. When arraigned they gave their 
names as G. H. Richardson alias Top Ro- 
gers, John Manning and Edward Burke. 
They were sentenced to jail for sixty days. 

On February 20 , 1876, the house of 
J. Clark, of Somerset Township, was totally 
destroyed by fire. It was occupied by Wal- 
ter and William Kenyon. Loss, $700. 

In May, 1876, four head of cattle belong- 
ing to J. S. Bixby, of Aurora Township, 
were killed by lightning. 

May 16 , the stable and granary belong- 
ing to George Naylor, in Merton Township, 
were struck by lightning and burned, in- 
cluding contents, consisting of a span of 
horses, three cows, a calf, five hundred bush- 
els of wheat and one hundred bushels of oats. 
When Mr. Naylor discovered the fire, he sent 

-^A /w^ A^^y?^^7p>~p^ 



his little girl to a neighbor, Mr. Feastons', 
for help, but on arriving there a large dog, 
jumped upon her and bit and tore her in a 
dreadful manner. For several days the life 
of the little girl was despaired of, but she 
finally recovered. 

June 20, Christian Schuelke, a German 
in the employ of H. D. Lewis, in the 
northern part of Meriden Township, was 
struck by lightning and instantly killed. 
He was thirty years old and left one child- 
On examination it was found that the light" 
ning had struck him in the breast and 
]>assed through the body and out at the boots. 

Early in July, Abidan Eessler, a boy of 
fourteen, was drowned in Straight River, at 

Tuesday morning, September 12 , Mrs. John 
Bi'adshaw, living on the south line of the 
town of Owatonna, met with a serious acci. 
dent. Her son had a large horse-pistol and 
pointed it at her; she thinking it was not 
loaded did not notice, when the boy some, 
how discharged.the pistol and the contents 
struck along the left side of her neck and 
head. One shot pierced her left eye near 
the center, and another the corner of the 
right eye. Dr. Blood, was called, and after 
examination thought that she would lose the 
sight of her left eye. The wounds were 
very painful. 

The People^s Pi'ess, of September 30, 
contained the following in relation to grass- 
hoppers : "Reports from the western part of 
the county are to the effect that grasshop- 
pers are laying eggs, and that the eggs al- 
ready laid are in good condition. Small 
numbers have already hatched, but not 
enough to amount to anything. They are 
mostly in the towns of Lemond and Berlin. 
We have them, and there is no use worrying 
about it ; all we can do is to accept them, 
plow as usual this fall, plant next spring, and 
if the grasshoppers hatch in any gi'eat num- 
bers, as they probably' will, all that can be 
done is to fight them as potato bugs in former 
years. Every farmer in the county should 


take precaution and not burn a load of sti-aw, 
as the article can be made very useful in their 

The following account of a sad accident ap- 
])eared in the issue of the People s Press, dated 
Octol)er 14: "Last night Charles Dailey, while 
taking down his gun, by accident nearly 
fatally shot his sister Maggie. The gun was 
loaded, and as he took it down the hammer 
was pulled back, and falling on the cap dis- 
charged the load. The charge struck his 
sister Maggie (who was in range with the 
muzzle of the gun), between the neck and 
shoulder, passing obliquely downward, cut- 
ting out part of the collar bone. The main 
artery beneath the collar bone was un- 

One of Blooming Prairie's earliest settlers, 
Thos. Bray, died November 6, 1876, aged 
fifty years. He had been a universally kind 
man, and was esteemed by all who knew 

At the presidential election this year, there 
were 2,539 votes polled in Steele County, of 
which R. B. Hayes, Republican, received, 
1,581 ; and Samuel J. Tilden, Democrat, 958. 


Monday evening, January 9, the alarm of 
fire was sounded at Owatonna, and a crowd 
rushed to the Central Block, to find that the 
roof of the rear of Melvin & Fox's building was 
in flames. All the stores in the city being shut 
up at 8 o'clock, this was also closed, and no 
one there. The front door was soon forced 
open and the crowd took a lot of clothing 
out, but the fire being under the roof and 
under good headway when discovered, they 
were soon driven out. The building joining 
immediately on the west, occupied by Dow- 
nie Bros., was also soon in flames, as the wind 
came from the southeast and blew the flames 
directly against it. When it was seen that 
this building must also burn, the crowd 
rushed in and carried out goods until kept 
out by the heat. The building occupied by 
Melvin & Fox was owned by the Hon. Lewis 



L. Wheelock, and valued at $1,000 ; insured 
for $G00. The building occupied by Downie 
•Bros, was owned by E. Scannell, and was 
valued at $1,400, and insured for $800. 
Melvin & Fox had their stock insured for 
$2,500. The stock of Downie Bros, was in- 
sured for $3,000 ; loss, $-4,500. 

"It is said that a pretty school ma'am, 
teaching in Steele County, to prevent 
scholars from being tardy, ado])ted the plan 
of kissing the first scholar who made his 
appearance at the schoolhouse. All went 
well for a few days, when the nineteen-year- 
oldboys, anxious to participate in this fun, 
actually got to roosting on the fence all 
night, in order to be at the school first in the 
morning." — Peopled Press, January^!, 1877. 

Accident — Wednesday, February 21. — 
While down in a well, Mr. D. B. Potter met 
with an accident which came very nearly 
proving fatal. Over two hundred pounds of 
dirt and i-ock fell a distance of twenty feet, 
striking him on the shoulders and back. 
Good care brought him on the street again, 
though somewhat lame and sore. 

Mrs. Mary H. McAndrews died at the 
residence of Henry McAndrews, in Merton 
Townshij), on March 24, aged seventy-six 
years. She was born in County Mayo, Ire- 
Land, in 1801. 

Francis C. McAndrews died in Deer 
Lodge, Mont., January 25, 1877, of con- 
sumption. He was one of the old settlers of 
Steele Count}', having gone to Montana for 
his health. 

The funeral of Mrs. Wm. Pepper, which 
took place Sunday, April 25, was very 
largely attended. The Odd Fellows of both 
lodges in Owatonna turned out and honored 
the memory of their dear, departed sister. 
The funeral services were held at the Univer- 
salist Church, which could not accommodate 
the people that attended. ]\Irs. Pepper was 
greatly beloved by all who knew her, and 
left a large circle of mourning friends. 

"A Ghost Story. — One night as two men 
were returning to their homes in Aurora, in 

a sleigh, having previously imbibed a little. 
The nigiit was clear, and the sleighing all 
that could be desired. While driving along 
in good spirits, they were accosted by several 
figures, apparently human, dressed in white, 
who kept pace with the sleigh on either side 
of the road. The young men were some- 
what alarmed. All the ghost and goblin 
stories which they had ever heard now 
danced before their minds. One of the 
figures made a motion as if wishing to speak. 
The young men, too terrified to disobey, 
stopped and listened, when in a deep-toned, 
unearthly voice, the phantom said : " Get 


Mrs. J. W. Morford died at Owatonna on 
the 14th of May, 1877. Mrs. Morford was 
born in Luzerne Count}^ Pa., March 24, 
1827. She was married October 9, 1849, to 
J. W. Morford, and in 1856 moved to this 
county with her husband, thus being among 
the earliest settlers. The following incident 
of her life in the pioneer times of this coun- 
try will be read with interest, and give an 
idea of some of the trials endured: "Mr. 
Morford's claim was about three miles east 
of town. He lived on his claim, yet attended 
to his business in town, generally going 
home each night, when not detained too late 
by his business. Whenever he was detained 
in town, Mrs. Morford would spend the 
night at Mr. Odell's. On one of these oc- 
casions, in November, 1856, Mrs. Morford, 
having waited until somewhat late for his 
return, started for Mr. Odell's. After walk- 
ing, as she thought, far enough to reach the 
house, she looked about her but could not 
see the shanty. After wandering about 
some time, she concluded she was lost. She 
did not despond, for she knew daylight 
would set her right, and, coming to a thicket, 
she wrapped her shawl around her and laid 
down to sleep. Next morning she awoke 
and started for home. Seeing a shanty she 
stopped to inquire her whereabouts. No 
one answering her knocks, she went in. 
Things looked strangely familiar to her, and 



upon closer scrutiny found it was her own 
home. She had become so completely be- 
wildered tliat slie did not recognize it until 
she saw the familiar furniture. 

Robert Adair, one of the earliest settlers 
in Havana Township, died June 7, of par- 
alysis. He was seventy-one years of age. 

The Press, in its issue of June 9, contains 
the following article in relation to the de- 
vastation of the grasshoppers : 

" Last Saturday and Sunday the hoppers 
had hatched out so plentifully in the towns 
of Meriden, Lemond and Berlin, in this 
county, that the inhabitants lost no time in 
coming to town to secure tar and "dozers." 
Almost every farmer in the infested dis- 
trict had a machine and were successfully 
fighting them. But little damage has been 
done, and, by the use of dozers, the crops 
were kept in good condition." 

A serious stabbing affray occurred in the 
town of Somerset on the 31st of June, in 
which W. R. Knickerbocker and a man 
named Barker were badly cut by Frank 
Herdina and several other Bohemians. As 
the matter was afterward carried into court, 
a full account of the fracas is given in Chap- 
ter XI. 

The Journal and Herald, in speaking of 
the grasshoppers in August, said : " We ex- 
pect we shall not chronicle the departure of 
the hoppers until winter. Almost every 
pleasant, warm day, when the wind is from 
the northwest, they can be seen in large 
numbei's, sjoino: southeast. None alight, and 
none fly if the wind is from any other direc- 
tion. Where they go is a mystery. It is 
reported that a swarm lit down in Oakland 
County, Mich., and another swarm in the 
northern part of New York and Vermont, in 
both places devouring ever^ything." 

On Thursday, September 27, a destructive 
fire occurred at Blooming Prairie. The 
losses were as follows : The elevator of Pratt 
& Robinson, $3,500; insured for $2,800. 
Wheat in the same, 2,S00 bushels; 1,800 
bushels belonging to farmers, of which Ole 

Hie had 1,100 bushels, insured for full value. 
The warehouse of C. Whitton, valued at 
$300, containing (500 bushels of wheat, 1,000 
bushels of oats and 800 bushels of barley. 

In November Charles R. Pate, a traveling 
agent for the Atlantic Weekly, committed 
suicide at the Arnold House, Owatonna, by 
cutting his throat from ear to ear with a 
razor. Ill health was the cause assigned. 

On the 5th of December, 1877, Benjamin 
Arnold, an old and respected citizen of Owa- 
tonna, committed suicide by shooting himself 
in the head. Four pistol balls had pene- 
trated the brain. " Tired of living," was 
the cause assigned. He was one of the 
oldest settlers, having located in Steele 
County in 1855 with his wife, who died in 
1876. The Arnold House was at one time 
his property and still bears his name. 

On the 22d of January, Peter Ganser's 
brewery, at Owatonna, was burned to the 
ground. The loss was estimated at $20,000, 
on which there was an insurance of $6,000. 
It was supposed that the fire originated in 
the dry kiln. 

January 28, another disastrous fire oc- 
curred in Owatonna, by which Julius F. 
Young's jewelry store was totally destroyed. 
But little of the stock was saved. On stock, 
furniture and building there was an insur- 
ance of $7,000. 

On the 12th of February, 1878, a serious 
shooting afl'ray occurred at Owatonna, 
through which Thomas Langon lost his life. 
It seems that Langon, in company with sev- 
eral others, had been on a spree during the 
evening, and the city marshal, S. Stowers, 
attempted to arrest one of them, when Lan- 
gon kicked the marshal in the face and 
chest, and ran. Stowers started in pursuit, 
and after ordering Langon to halt several 
times, fired three shots which took effect, 
and he died several days later. A coroner's 
jury was convened, composed of W. A. 
Dynes, Charles Schoen, George B. Hall, 
James Thompson, T. H. Kelly and H. Harts- 
horn, which rendered a verdict in accord- 



ance with the above facts and exonerated 

On the 15th of February, Phocion Turte- 
lot was murdered at Owatonna by Claud 
V-an Alstyne, while they were engaged in get- 
tiner out ice on the Straight River. Van 
Alstyne was tried, convicted and sentenced 
to State's prison for life. See Chapter XI. 

A meeting of the old settlers of Steele 
County was held on the 13th of July, 1878, 
at Morehouse's opera hall, Owatonna, for the 
purpose of organizing an old settlers' associa- 
tion for Steele County. On motion of Dex- 
ter Smith, David Lindersraith was elected 
chairman, and J. W. Morford, secretary. It 
was resolved that the chairman appoint one 
or more from each township to draft a con- 
stitution and by-laws to govern the organiza- 
tion. After tliis, on motion of John Shea, 
the meeting was adjourned to September 14, 
but nothing further appears to have been 

At about 4 o'clock, Tuesday afternoon, 
September 10, a fire broke out in Paddock 
& Bickford's foundry at Owatonna, destroy- 
ing the building and most of tlie contents. 
Tiie stock and building were valued at $'d,- 
200 and insured for $600. 

On Wednesday evening, September 11, 
Fred AnJialdt, a German, in Meriden, com- 
mitted suicide by shooting himself. 

On Wednesday, September 18, a son of 
Mr. E. Norton disappeared. He was ulti- 
mately found drowned in about half a tub of 
water. The little fellow was suj)posed to 
have been leaning over the side, playing in 
the water, when, losing his balance, he fell 
in and it I'esulted fatally. 

Meriden station, on Tuesday night, Sept- 
ember 24, was the scene of a robbery. An 
unknown man entered the Ijar-room of P. G. 
Rosenau's saloon and called for a glass of 
beer, which was given him. At this time a 
masked man stepped in, supposed to be a 
confeilerate, holding out a large jjistol, which 
lie pointed directly at the bartender, and the 
two men soon transferred the contents of the 

money drawer to their pockets and took to 
their heels. 

On Wednesday morning, October 23, a 
shooting affray took place at the residence 
of Samuel Finley. It appears that E. A. 
Wilder, a son of Finley 's wife by a former 
husband, entered the room of Mr. Finley, 
and, on being ordered out, pulled out a 
loaded pistol and discharged two shots at 
the old man, one grazing the top of his head, 
cutting a furrow an inch long, the other 
taking effect in his right cheekbone, and 
l)assing through his ear, causing a bad 
wound. He also discharged a third shot at 
John P. Finley, who came to the assistance 
of his grandfather and who lived with him. 
The young man was arrested. The People's 
Press, in speaking of the affair, said : "After 
getting sureties and having the appeal papers 
ready, in the case of E. A. Wilder, those in 
charge of the matter finally concluded to let 
him sta}' in jail six months rather than carry 
his case to the supreme court or pay his 

On Sunday, December 15,Willard Wheaton 
was killed. While driving along the mineral 
springs road where it passes under the rail- 
road track, his hoi-se became frightened, 
throwing him out upon his head on the 
frozen gi'ound, so affecting his spinal cord 
as to paralyze his whole body, causing his 

Crops were very poor in Steele County 
in the year 1878, therefore money was scarce 
in 1879. 

In the fall of 1878 several highway rob- 
beries Avere committed in and about Owa- 
tonna, the victims being but little worse off, 
financially, yet put to considerable trouble 
in the way of holding up hands, etc. The rob- 
bers being too lazy to get into a man's wagon 
to search him, would make him get out, in 
this way saving their strength for future use 
should they be compelled to run. Some of 
the victims are mentioned as follows : Orrin 
Searle of $4 cash, watch and gold chain; 
C. B. Wilkinson of $5 ; Mr. McMillan of $2. 



Alois Kishavery was killed in Summit 
Township, Wednesday, December 5, while 
attempting to jump out of a wagon when 
the team was running away. 

George Robinson, aged seventy-two years, 
died December 16, of cancer. He was a man 
highly esteemed by all who knew him, and 
his death caused a feelino- of general sadness 
throughout the community. 

Statistics of Steele County for the year 
ending December 31, 18T8, show 405 births 
and 156 deaths, an increase of 249 over the 
previous vear. 


Dr. J. J. Aikin, of Owatonna, died Jan- 
uary 4, 1879, of paralysis. Aged sixtj^-four 

About two o'clock Sunday morning, Jan- 
uary 17, a lire broke out in G. W. Chesley's 
art gallery, and in a few minutes the entire 
roof was in flames. The room underneath 
was then occupied by Skinner & Jewett, 
grocery and boot and shoe dealers, and in 
trying to remove the stock from the store 
about half a dozen men were caught by the 
burning ceiling falling in upon them. All 
escaped, however, but one had his hands 
badly crushed and burned. The building of 
Mr. Chesley was valued at $4,000; insurance, 
$2,200. The stock of Messrs. Skinner & 
Jewett was valued at about $2,000 ; insured 
for $1,500. 

John Wamous, an aged Bohemian, met 
with a fatal accident Saturday, January 18, 
while going home with a load of bran from 
Owatonna. It is supjDosed that in going 
down the hill south of town, beyond the 
Catholic burying ground, he lost his balance 
and fell head-foremost from the load, killing 
him by dislocating his neck, and breaking in 
his skull. 

Mr. John Barney died very suddenly of 
apoplexy Friday morning, January 31. 

At 12:30 o'clock Sunday, February 8, a fire 
broke out in Hammond's building, on west 
side of North Cedar street, burning off the 
roof and the front of the upper story. 

Total amount of insurance on building and 
stock was $1,000 ; damage about $800. 

Sunday, February 16, 1879, a fire broke 
out in the rear of E. M. Morehouse's store 
building on Broadway, then occupied by a 
grocery firm — Sykora & Kaplan. 

On Thursday morning, March 13, 1879, 
Mr. Henry Keans had his left arm broken 
while digging a well. It appears that a hard 
piece of blue clay cleaved loose about thirty 
feet above him, and in falling struck his 
arm, causing the fracture. 

The house of J. C. Backus, of Owatonna, 
was burned March 14, destroying nearly all 
the furniture. The building was valued at 
$2,000, insured for $1,500 ; also $400 on fur- 
niture and $100 on wearing apparel. 

Died of pneumonia, March 24, Mrs. Ann 
Elizabeth Bixb3% eldest daughter of John 
and Christina Eichler, aged thirty-three 
years, five months and twenty-seven days. 
The deceased was born at Lafayette, Onon- 
daga County, N. Y., and came to Wisconsin 
with her parents in 1856. She experienced 
religion in her thirteenth year, being con- 
verted in a play-bouse where the school girls 
were accustomed to hold prayer-meetings. 
She afterward removed with her family to 
Freeborn County, Minn., in 1861. She was 
married to Mr. J. S. Bixby November 29, 

H. Reidell died April 8, 1879, aged sixty- 
five years and twenty-seven days. Mr. 
Reidell was born in Vermont and came to 
this State in the fall of 1855. In 1875 he 
came to Owatonna, where he lived until the 
time of his death. 

Saturday, April 5, Rev. Mr. Graves, 
Congregational minister at Medford, in step- 
ping on the train while in motion, fell 
between the cars. One of his feet was run 
over and crushed so badly as to require 
immediate amputation. 

Saturday, April 5, R. S. Hatley, of Ha- 
vana, had the misfortune of having his 
house burned, saving nothing to speak of. 
The house was valued at $500 ; no insurance. 



.April 13, 1879, Mr. Arad Jones, of Ha- 
vana, died of consumption, aged seventy- 
four years. The deceased was a very old 
settler of Steele County t>nd esteemed by all 
who knew him. 

Saturday, April 30, S. G. Lund, lumber 
dealer in Owatonna, had his safe blown 
open and the few doUars in silver which it 
contained was taken. The burglars effected 
an entrance by the window on the north- 
west corner, and on leaving, left a sledge, a 
number of wedges, two bits and several cold 

Mrs. Katie Siebold, wife of Mr. F. G. Sie- 
bold, died on the 9th of June, 1879, aged 
thirty-six years and nine months. She was 
universally beloved and respected. 

Early in June Dellie Quiggle, a child of 
Mr. and Mrs. M. S. or L. J. Quiggle, of Owa- 
tonna, was drowned in Straiglit Kiver. 

On the 10th of June burglars effected an 
entrance into the residence of L. Bion, in 
Owatonna, and carried off $180 worth of 
cash and jewelry. One of the burglars was 
afterward shot and killed, by an officer at 
Rochester, Minn. Part of the stolen goods 
were found on his person. 

Samuel M. Finley died of old age at Owa- 
tonna on the 30th of May, 1879, aged eighty- 
eight j^ears. 

On Saturday, May 31, 1879, over 86,600 of 
the taxes of 1878 were taken in at the court 

In June a disastrous storm passed over the 
northeastern part of Steele County, doing 
considerable damage to buildings in Merton 
Township. Among those who suffered loss 
were : P. Malone, Edward Bartley, Mike and 
Mark Henry, P. J. Tuttle, John Lane, P. R. 
Stout, and Dexter Carlton. 

A severe hail-storm passed over Steele 
County on the 2d of July. Especially did 
the farmers in Meriden Township suffer. 
Among others who lost heavily through de- 
struction of grain were G. Mudeking, G. F. 
Albertus, Chris. Schulke, J. P. Jackson, John 
O. Wuamett, Darius Cook, William Presby, 

Mr. Birkle, Archibald Warren, E. L. Scoville, 
P. Schuster, T. W. Irving, G. W. Buffura, C. 
H. Church, G. W. Knapp, and John Q. 
Ellis. It was stated that fully 10 per cent 
of the crops throughout the county was de- 

On July 4, 1879, the barn of Mr. Henry 
Moffatt, about two miles north of Owatonna, 
was destroyed by fire ; loss, $200. 

On Tuestlay evening, July 8, 1879, a terri- 
ble hail-storm passed through the township 
of Berlin, Steele County, cutting a swath 
over two miles wide, beginning at section 
18 and ending on 36. The following are the 
names of the farmers whose crops were 
wholly destroyed : Lewis Burns, D. Gordon, 
Dwight Gordon, E. Kinney, P. Dunnigan, 
Thomas Brown, James McCormack, William 
Lonergan, John Lonergan, Thomas Loner- 
gan, A. Anderson, J. Johnson, L. Peterson, 
H. Bradley, H. O. and Ole Thompson, Iver 
Oleson and John McGillicudy. The follow- 
ing is a list of the farmers whose crops were 
partly destroyed: Thomas McCormack, A. 
Quitbar, P. McGillicudy, M. McFarland, J. 
M. Sloan, J. Wolaski, H. G. Cusick, G. W. 
Giddings, Edward and Benjamin Wheeler, 
H. W. Rulliffson, J. Bohm, and B.Kingsley. 
The loss to the town of Berlin caused by this 
storm w^as estimated at $20,000. 

Joseph Hoffman, Sr.. aged seventy years 
and five months, died in Owatonna July 28, 
1879. Mr. Hoffman came to Steele County 

in 1858. 

Mr. Daniel Gross, aged seventy-eight 
years, died October 18, of old age. Mr. 
Gross had been long and favorably known 
in the vicinity of Owatonna. 

In Owatonna, on Thursday evening, Oc- 
tober 30, 1879, Vinzenz Nowotne was robbed 
by John Stransky of $8.45. Stransky was 

Andrew Oppliger, of Owatonna, died at 
the residence of his son, J. A. Oppliger, on 
Thursday evening, November 6, of apoplexy, 
aged sixty-nine years. 

In December, 1879, a board of trade was 



organized in Owatonna. The following offi- 
cers were elected : W. R. Kinyon, president ; 
E. Donaldson, vice-president ; A. Knobloch, 
second vice-president ; W. A. Dynes, secre- 
tary ; "William Leary, treasurer; directors: 
John Shea, Charles Schoen, C. N. Mc- 
Laughlin, M. A. Fredenburg, C. H. Eandall, 
Edward Downie, E. Ray Fenno ; committee 
on by-laws: E. Ray Fenno, H. H. Luers 
and F. T. Drebert. 

A fatal accident.— On Friday, December 
2, Joseph Ripkathen, a resident of Havana, 
was killed. While on his way to Owatonna 
his team became frightened, running on to 
some plowed ground, throwing him off the 
sleigh, fracturing his skull and killing him 

Mrs. Jemima Hartle, of Havana, died De- 
cember 12. She had been a resident of 
Steele County about nine years, and left a 
large circle of friends. 


The United States census of this year gave 
Steele County a total population of 12,460. 
The number of American born residents of 
the county was 8,576 and foreign 3,88-4. 

Steele County's total vote at the presiden- 
tial election, held in November of this year, 
was 2,646, divided as follows: James A. 
Garfield, Republican, 1,642 ; W. S. Hancock, 
Democrat, 944 ; Neal Dow, Prohibition, 60. 

Mary Jane Yust, aged thirty -three years, 
died inDeerfield Township, Sunday, January 
18. She was the wife of C. Yust. 

March 26, George Ca ward's barn at Owa- 
tonna burned with all its contents. One 
team valued at $500, and three other horses 
were burned. Loss about $2,000 ; no insur- 

John P. Johnson, of Owatonna Township, 
died of consumption, Wednesday, April 21. 
Mr. Johnson had always been a good citizen 
and had the highest'respect of all who knew 

The house of Henry Brasen, of Meriden, 
was burned May 29. The house was known 

as the Farmers' Home. The building was 
valued at $1,500, insured for $800 ; furniture 
at $500, insured for $200. 

On Thursday night, June 12, M. L. Dev- 
ing, of Meriden, had his barn struck by 
lightning and burned to the ground. It was 
valued at $1,000, and insured for $500. 

Joseph Chambers, of Owatonna, died Sep- 
tember 10, aged sixty-one years, three months 
and ten days. Mr. Chambers was born 
in Argyle, Washington County, N. Y., and 
had come to Steele County in 1864. He was 
a man highly respected by all who knew 


On Tuesday, October 13, a plank, to which 
was attached a pulley, hoisting a mortar 
cask, broke from its fastening on the top of 
Mr. Moore's brick block, then in course of 
construction, and fell, striking Hans Erick- 
son on the head, crushing his skull, thus 
causing his death. 

On Monday, November 1, five prisoners 
made their escape from the Steele County 
jail. They sawed themselves out of the iron 
cage, then pulled out one of the window 
casings, and dug enough brick out below to 
let themselves out. Sheriff Chambers im- 
mediately offered $25 for their arrest. 


On Friday, March 18, a fire broke out in 
John Lawler's house near the depot, destroy- 
ing the house and contents. The occupants 
merely escaped with their lives. No insur- 
ance on building. 

Died, on Thursday morning, March 26, 
Mrs. A. P. Riggs, aged forty -five years. The 
deceased was born in Cattaraugus County, 
N. Y., November 7, 1836, and came to Owa- 
tonna in 1868, where she had lived until 


Mrs. Hannah Moulton, aged eighty-six 
years and six months, died in Owatonna, 
April 27, having been an invalid for five 
years. She was born in New Bedford, Mass., 
in 1794. 

Dr. Edward Wallace Johnson was born m 



Vermont, on the 5th of May, 1813. He 
graduated at Willoughby Medical College, 
Ohio, and subsequently entered u])on an 
extensive and lucrative practice, and was so 
successful in his chosen profession that he 
accumulated a handsome competency. In 
1881 he retired from active practice and 
located in Owatonna, where he remained un- 
til the time of his death. 

Hon. Francis Coo-gswell, father of Judge 
Amos Coggswell, died at Goodwin, I). T., 
October 22, 1881. He was born at Dover, 
N.H., April 6, 1790, being over ninety -one 
years old at the time of his death. He was 
a graduate of Dartmouth College, and was 
in the defense at Portsmouth in the War 
of 1812. After the war he studied law, was 
admitted, and practiced at the Merrimack 
Count}' bar for thirty years, ranking high 
as an able advocate and criminal lawyer. 
He came west in 1868, and lived with his 
sons, Amos and G. W. Coggswell, both well 
known. His remains were brought from 
Dakota and placed for their last long rest 
beside those of his wife, in Aurora cemetery'. 

On the 29th of December, 1881, the resi- 
dence of Mr. M. J. Mooney, in Merton 
Township, was destroyed by tire. Loss, 
$800 ; insurance, $500. 


Mrs. John Cottier died at Owatonna, Jan- 
uary 16, of heart disease. She was born in 
Mansfield, Cattaraugus County, N. T., April 
1, 1826, her maiden name being Anna Grif- 
fin. She married Mr. Cottier at EUicott- 
ville in the same county, September 15, 
18i8, and they had seven children, all 
of whom were alive at the time of her 
death. She was beloved by all who knew 
her, for her many virtues. 

John Q. Ellis died of cancer, February 3. 
He was born at Sumner, Me., JSToveraber 13, 
1824, and came to Sparta, Wis., in 1856, 
Avhere he lived until coming to Steele 
County, in March, 1867. At the time of his 
death he was chairman of the board of 

county commissioners, wihch position he had 
occupied for several years. He was a man 
of good abilities, careful, painstaking and 
efficient in all his official duties, and his death 
was mourned sincerely, by not only his 
family but a very large circle of intimate 

Early in February, 1882, the schoolhouse 
in District JSTo. 13, Aurora Township — near 
Stapleton's — was burned to the ground. 

On the 11th of March, 1882, the house of 
John Pavek, Jr., located a short distance 
southeast of Owatonna, took fire and burned 
to the ground. The family had difficulty 
in saving their lives. The building and furni- 
ture were a total loss. The value of building 
and furniture was about $1,000 ; insured 
for $400. 

In February, 1882, a stock company was 
organized at Owatonna for the purpose of 
establishing a tow and twine factory. The 
following parties were first to subscribe 
stock : B. S. Cook, Neal Graham, W. E. 
Kinyon, A. Keynolds, L. L. Bennett, M. J. 
Toher, W. A. Dynes, J. E. Buxton, Whee- 
lock & Sperry, A. C. Hickman, N. C. Lar- 
son and B. E. Darby. The organization of 
the companj' was effected on the 11th of 
March, 1882, when $20,000 of stock had 
been subscribed. The name adopted was 
the " Owatonna Twine and Oil Company." 
The following gentlemen were duly elected 
directors for the ensuing year : W. R. Kin- 
yon, L. L. Bennett, B. S. Cook, L. Lord and 
W. A. Dynes. A. Reynolds was engaged as 
superintendent, at $1,200 per year. Quite 
an active effort was made to secure the 
cooperation of the farmers, but it was un- 
successful. In April, of the same year, a 
meeting of the stockholders was held, at 
which the directors made a full report, in 
which they stated : " We have earnestly 
and faithfully tried to induce our farmers to 
sow sufficient fiax to warrant us in the erec- 
tion of buildings, purchase of machinery, 
etc., in order to conlmence the manufactur- 
ing of twine this season, but find it impossi- 



ble to do so. In view of this state of facts 
we do not feel warranted in making tlie 
necessary expenditure tliis season. We can 
suspend furtlier operations for tlie present, 
dispose of flax seed on hand at a trifling 
expense to the stockholders, continue our 
organization and be fully prepared to resume 
operations next year, jirovided we can get 
the flax grown. We therefore respectfully 
recommend and advise that further opera- 
tions be suspended for the present ; that the 
secretary and treasurer be instructed to dis- 
pose of the seed, etc., belonging to the 
company, pay all obligations and return pro 
rata to the stockholders the balance of the 
money that has been paid in. Our largest 
stockholder and superintendent, Mr. A. 
Eeynolds, advises this course, and has can- 
celled his engagement with the company, 
which was made for one year at a salary of 
$1,200 per year." This report is signed by 
"W. E. Kinyon, L. L. Bennett, B. S. Cook, 
Lewis Lord and W. A. Dynes, directors." It 
was further explained that they had only 
been able to make contracts with farmers 
for raising thirty-five acres of flax, and that 
the mill would require at least eight hundred 
acres. They had conditional promises of 
farmers to sow 109 acres more. 

On Tuesday morning, April 3, 1882, the 
graded school-building at Owatonna was to- 
tally destroyed by fire, together with all fur- 
niture and contents. The building was in- 
sured for 15,000. 

Late in March, 1882, Mrs. Eaedel, a resi- 
dent of Deerfield Township, committed sui- 
cide by hanging. She had been sick nearly 
all winter and her mind was partiallj' de- 
ranged, so that it was necessary to keep the 
house locked, for fear she would run off in 
the night and freeze to death. She was fifty 
years old. 

E. B. Newhall died of consumption, March 
31, 1882. He had contracted rheumatism in 
the army, and it affected him until the time 
of his death. He was fifty-nine years old. 

Mrs. W. H. Ilolden died of heart disease in 

Owatonna on April 9, 1882, aged thirty 

April 15, 1882, a fire occurred in Lemond 
Township, which destroyed the dwelling- 
house owned by H. E. Johnson, which was 
occupied by Mrs. Eease. 

Mrs. Eliza S. Burns, an early pioneer, died 
at Somerset, on Thursday, April 23, 1882. 
Mrs. Burns was born in Stephentown, Mass., 
January 7, 1817, and was married to William 
Burns in Italy, Yates County, N. Y., March 
23, 18-10. They came to Minnesota in 1856 
and settled in what is now Havana Town- 
ship, being among the very first settlers. 
She was a generous, kind-hearted lady, a 
characteristic pioneer, and beloved by all 
who knew her. 

On the 18th of April, W. S. Melvin, a for- 
mer prominent resident of Owatonna, met 
with an accident at Brookings, D. T., which 
resulted in his death. It ajipears that he had 
stai'ted to cross a railway track obliquely, 
when an engine — coming swiftly from the 
direction toward which his back was turned 
— struck him. He was thrown half as high 
as the locomotive smoke-stack and fell on the 
side of the engine, rolling off on the ground 
seventy feet from where he was struck. After 
the accident he lay in an unconscious condi- 
tion for thirty-six hours, when he died. The 
remains were brought back to Owatonna and 
buried, with Masonic honors. At the time 
of his death he was thirty-five years old, 
having been born in Hallowell. Me., in 1846. 

Cornelius Moran died of cancer at his 
home in Lemond Township, on April 27, 
1882, aged fifty-nine years. He was a 
man respected by all who knew him, and a 
valuable citizen. He came from New York 
State to Wisconsin at an early day, and in 
1857 moved to Steele County, Minn., set- 
tling first in Meriden Township, but later 
moved to Laniond, wliere he lived until his 

Dr. Thomas Kenyon died at his residence 
in Somerset on the 17th of April, 1882, 
aged sixty-nine years. He was an old set- 



tier and for many years had taken a promi- 
nent part in all public and political matters. 

John M. Sloan died at his home in Berlin 
Township, on the 30th of April, 1S82, aged 
fifty-eight years and eight months. He 
was a man of many friends and stood high 
as a neiglibor and a friend. 

August Sayler died on the 16th of May, 
aged sixty-four years, universally respected, 
a hard-working man and a good citizen. 

June 3, 1882, a fire occurred in Merton 
Township, by which James Clark lost a 
barn and granary, together with several 
hundred bushels of wheat and oats, several 
tons of hay, two sets of harness, and other 
farming tools. Loss about $700, al)out half 
of the amount being covered by insurance. 

A few days later, the house of M. J. 
Toher, on his farm three miles south of 
Owatonna, was burned. Loss, $-±00 ; no 

William Shea died at the home of his son, 
P. Shea, in Berlin Township, on June 12, 
1882, of old age. He was born at Dingle, 
County Kerry, Ireland, in 1775, making 
him one hundred and seven years old. At 
the time of his death he was beyond doubt 
the oldest man west of the Mississippi, and 
possibly in the United States. He was one 
of the pioneer settlers of Steele County, 
having been a resident of Berlin Township 
for twenty -seven years. He was a good 
citizen and highly respected by all who 
knew him. 

Mrs. Dolly Kinyon died of old age at the 
reridence of her son, C. J. Kinyon, on the 
17th of June, 1882. She was seventy-two 
years of age. 

Herschel Titfany, aged seven years, a son 
of Oscar Tiffany, was drowned in the 
Straight River on June 15, 1882. 

On the 23d of June, 1882, a sad accident 
occurred on the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul Railway in Aurora Townsiiip. A stone 
culvert had been washed out, and the en- 
gine, tender and three cars containing stock, 
emigrant movables, baled hay and grain. 

were piled in a heap. Mr. Musser, the en- 
gineer, was instantly killed, having got his 
legs jammed between the engine and the 
tender, and Dr. Hawkins, of Blooming 
Prairie, was obliged to cut off his feet, be- 
tween the ankle and knee, before he could 
be taken out. Seventy head of cattle and 
forty hogs were killed. 

On the 1st of October, 1882, the county 
jail at Owatonna was broken open and four 
prisoners escaped. They were all (except 
one crazy man) in one cell, and succeeded in 
sawing or cutting a hole in the iron cage, 
througli which they crawled, and soon dug 
a hole through the brick wall and disap- 
]>eared. They were all from Dodge County. 
Three of them were awaiting trial for hav- 
ing robbed a man on a train near Dodge 
Center, and, after robbing him, threw him out 
of a box car. Tlie names of the parties who 
escaped were David Collins, alias James 
Prescott, Thomas Barrett, Michael Smith 
and John Snyder. 

Byron C. Holmes died at his home in 
Owatonna Township, November 25, 1882, 
aged thirty-two years. He was a well-to-do 
farmer, respected by all. He left a wife 
and four cliildren. 


Henry Borchert died at Owatonna on 
January 3, 1883. He had for several years 
previous to his death been living on the 
Clark farm, in Aurora Township, where he 
had been chairman of the townshi}) board 
and had taken a prominent part in local 
matters. He was among the early settlers 
of the county, having settled here with his 
father in 1858. He was forty-four 3'ears 
old at the time of his death. 

David "Wells died at Owatonna on the 
same day, aged nearly fifty-five years. He 
was a man universally respected. 

Robert Crosby, one of the sut)stantial farm- 
ers of Meriden Townsiiip, died at his resi- 
dence on the 8th of February, aged seventy- 
hree years and ten months. He had been a 



great sufferer for ten months previous to his 
death from a cancer to which he finally suc- 

Philip Jacob lunker died on the 2d of 
March, of inflammation of the lungs. He 
was born February 9, 1833, in Eisighofen, 
District Nastetlen, Prussia. He came to 
America when nineteen years of age, and 
came to Minnesota from Wisconsin in May, 
1867. At the time of his death he was the 
president of the Deerfield Farmers' Mutual 
Fire Insurance Company, and was univer- 
sally esteemed by all who had the pleasure 
of his acquaintance. He was buried with 
Masonic honors. 

A disastrou s storm s wept over Steele County 
on Saturday morning, July 21, 1883, the 
damage resulting from which was estimated 
at $20,000, although no lives were lost. The 
morning was sultry and very oppressive ; an 
easterly storm set in and everybody expected 
a rainy time. At about 11 o'clock the heav- 
ens north and west grew ominously dark, 
and shortly afterward the storm burst upon 
the city. Trees were bent almost double 
and broken off like pipe stems. The elevator 
and roundhouse on the C, M. & St. P. rail- 
road were partially unroofed. A. Simpson's 
wind flouring-niill was ground to kindling 
wood. A large new building, size 72x140, 
on the State Fair grounds, was flattened to 
the ground, and the grand amphitheater was 
blown down and broken up badly. The 
damage to the State fair grounds was fully 
$2,000; on Simpson's flouring-mill, about 
$6,000. The old Turtelott ice house was 
blown down and Potter's stock barn was 
unroofed. The north end of the Main street 
Methodist Episcopal Church was moved east 
four inches. Probably, two hundred chim- 
neys in various parts of the city were de- 
molished. The porches on the west side of 
the Nickerson House were badly Avrecked, 
and the roof of the upper one carried off. 
At Meriden Station the C4erman Methodist 
Episcopal Church was blown down, a part 
of the steam flouring-mill unroofed and 

the depot moved half a foot. The house 
and barn of "William Abbe were blown down, 
loss about $2,000. Frank Chambers' barn in 
Havana blew down, killing four of the five 
horses it contained. William Gowdie's new 
barn was blown down. The east end of 
George Chambers' barn was unroofed. Byron 
Holmes' barn, about three miles southeast 
of town, was demolished. T. H. Frazer's 
granary was destroyed. Levi Morehouse's 
barn was partially unroofed and Thomas 
Irving's barn blown down. Besides these 
were many smaller losses scattered over the 
north half of the county. But the most 
serious calamity was the effect of the storm 
upon the passenger train on the Winona & 
St. Peter Railroad, then due at Owatonna at 
ll:-48. Whilst nearing town at full speed, 
the coaches were caught in the clutches of 
the wind and whirled almost over and over. 
The baggage car turned a double somerset 
and landed right side up. The rear car was 
well filled with jiassengers and was hurled 
over and dashed against a stout wire post- 
fence. It is almost miraculous that none 
were killed, although quite a number sus- 
tained severe injuries. 

On the 30th of July, Frederick Punge, of 
Havana, was run over by his heavy lumber 
wagon, on which there was a load of lumber, 
and soon died from the effects of his in- 
juries. It appears that he had got off the 
load to fix something when the team made a 
sudden start, throwing him down, and the 
wheels passed over his body. 

People's Press, August 17, 1883: "Steele 
County never had better harvest weather 
than the past week afforded. The crops are 
remarkably fine and the farmers are jubilant." 

Mrs. Harriet Knowlton, wife of C. R. 
Knowlton, died of paralysis at their home in 
Lemond Township, September 1. She was 
fifty-seven years of age." 

On Sunday, the 8th of September, 1883, 
the house of Mrs. Smith, in Owatonna, was 
entered by burglars, and the inmates robbed 
of about $150 in cash and jewelry. No clues 



The death of Cyrus J. Heynolds occurred 
on the 29th of September. He was born 
in " Madrid, St. Lawrence County, N. Y., 
March 15, 1830. He removetl to Minnesota 
in 1862 and from that time until his deatli 
he spent most of the time in Owatonna. He 
was widely and favorably known as a man 
of integrity and an upright citizen. 

G. G. Oppliger died at his residence in 
Owatonna on Wednesdaj% October 10. He 
was a man whom all respected, a careful 
business man, and his death was a loss to 
the community. 

On the 22d of September, 1883, the Bryant 
house, about three miles southwest of Owa- 
tonna, was destroyed, together with all its 
contents, by fire; insurance, $600. 

It was stated on good authority that the 
average j'ield of the southern half of Steele 
County in 1883 was : Wheat, sixteen bushels 
per acre; oats, fifty-five to sixty. 

"William Goudie, of Havana, died on the 
20th of October. He was born in A^^rshire, 
Scotland, August 12, 1824. When seven- 
teen years old, he commenced his apprentice- 
ship at the carpenter and joiner trade. At 
twenty-two he married, and five years lat- 
er, in 1851, he removed to America, locat- 
ing at Waukesha, Wis., where he remained 
eight years, then removing to Vernon, 
in the same State. In 1861 he came to 
Minnesota, locating in the township where 
he died. 

William Jones, a highly respected resident 
of Havana Township, died on the 23d of 
October, 1883, of consumption. 

Matthew P. Hough died October 23, 1883. 
He was born in New York State in 1795, 
and was a soldier in the war of 1812. He 
was the father of B. S. Hough. 

The blacksmith shop and residence of F. 
A. Stebbins, at Meriden, were entirely de- 
stroyed by tire on the 23d of October. 
Loss, about $1,000 ; insurance, $550. 

Robert C. McClintock died at Owatonna 
on the Ith of November, 1883, aged fifty-six 


Wheat, No. 2 |0 80 

Wheat, No. 3 75 

Oats 35 to 30 

Corn 50 to 65 

Barley 50 

Potatoes 20 to 35 

Beans 2 50 

Butter 30 

Cheese 14 

Eggs per doz 30 

Hogs, dressed, per hundred 4 50 to 5 00 

Hogs, live, per hundred 3 50 to 3 00 

Wood, drj', soft, per cord 3 50 

Wood, dry, hard, per cord 5 00 to 5 50 

Wood, green, soft, per cord 3 50 

Wood, green, hard, per cord 4 00 

Cattle on foot, per hundred 2 50 to 3 00 

Hay, per ton 5 00 

Flour, straight, per hundred 3 00 

Flour, patent, per hundred 3 50 

Wool, unwashed 18 

Wool, fleece washed 34 

Wool, tub washed 37 

A serious accident occurred early in De- 
cember, at Owatonna, by which Fred. L. 
Burdick nearh' lost his life. A runaway 
team was the cause. 

December 19 Charles Early's house, just 
north of Owatonna, was burned to the 

A destructive fire occurred at Medford on 
the 20tli of December, 1883, destroying five 
stores and a doctor's office. The losses were 
as follows : Capt. Heath, building and pool 
table ; loss, $1,000 ; G. H. Butler, stock, loss, 
$550 ; insurance, $400 ; A. P. Bryant, drug 
store, loss, $800 ; insurance, $600 ; J. F. 
Curtis, drug store, loss, $1,500 ; insurance, 
$1,000; O. Lee's meat market, barber shop, 
doctor's office, store and hall, loss, $2,800 ; 
insurance, $1,350. John Bailey's loss was 
about $1,000 on store. This was the only 
fire that had occurred at IVIedford for over 
twent}'' years, except the burning of the 


January 5, 1884, Dr. Morehouse's building 
at Owatonna, occupied by Bennett's butter 
depot, was destro^'ed by fire. Loss about 



On the 18th of the same month another 
fire occurred at Owatonna, which destroyed 
several buildings. The losses were as follows : 
P. Mallinger, saloon, residence, stock, etc., 
loss $2,000; insurance, $800. Ole Hanson, 
owner of what was known as the Thompson 
building, loss $1,000; insurance, $700; James 
Thompson, loss on stock $500 ; insurance, 
$1,100, loss on household goods, $100. 

Elisha Smith died of consuniption at 
Blooming Prairie, January, 25, 1884. He 
was born in Vermont in 1809. He settled 
in Bloomington, Minn., in May, 1855, and in 
1870 settled at Blooming Prairie. 

John Warren died at Owatonna in Febru- 
ary, 1884:, of pneumonia. 

On Saturday, February IC, 1884, "William 
Davis died of cancer. He came to this coun- 
ty manj^ years ago and was one of the pio- 
neers in Meriden Township, where he had 
lived for some twenty-five years. In 1882 
he sold the old homestead and moved into 
Lemond Township, where he died. 

Patrick Collins, another of the pioneers of 
Meriden Township, died February 5, 1884. 

Nathan Sage died at the residence of his 
son-in-law, Alanson Holmes, in the town of 
Meriden, February 23, 1884. Mr. Sage was 
born in New Berlin, Chenango County, 
N. Y., October 11, 1800. He had been a 
resident of Steele County for about ten 
years, at the time of his death, and was well 
and favorably known. 

A fatal accident occurred on the Chicago 
& Northwestern Railroad on March 7, 1884, 
at Owatonna. A brakeman named Elmer 
Tooke fell under the wheels of a car he was 
coupling and was horribly mangled. His 
left leg and arm were so badly crushed that 
the bones were broken into short pieces. He 
was taken to the Nickerson House, where he 
died the following morning. He was twenty- 
three years old, and his relatives lived at 
Zumbrota, Minn. 

Ambrose Benjamin Tiffany died of old 
age at the residence of his son, Oscar Tiff- 
any, in Owatonna, March 31, 1884. He was 

born in Massachusetts, January 31, 1811. He 
moved with his parents to Cicero, N. Y., 
where he lived thirty-four years, removing 
to Wisconsin at an early day. He came 
from Wisconsin to Rice Lake, Minn., in 1855, 
where he kept hotel for a number of years 
and prospered. He was one of the first set- 
tlers there, and on his arrival found about 
three hundred Indians camped on its shore. 

April 2, 1884, burglars effected an entrance 
into the residence of P. Mallinger, at Owa- 
tonna, and stole $68 in money. Several 
other houses were broken into the same 

Thomas Foster died at his residence in 
Medford, on the 7th of April, 1884, aged 
sixty-eight years. He was one of the early 
settlers in that neighborhood, a good citizen 
and respected by all. 

J. H. McDaniels died on the 2d of April, 
1884, at his home in Blooming Prairie Town- 
ship, of paralysis. He was about sixty years 

Dr. R. W. Middaugh died among his rela- 
tives at Waupun, Wis., May 9, at the ripe 
old age of seventy-eight years. He was well 
known in Steele County. 

On the 3d of June, the dwelling house of 
William Siewert, in Deerfield Township, was 
destroyed by fire. He had a light insurance 
upon the property. 

Napoleon Seai'l died at his residence in 
Owatonna, June 10, 1884. lie was born at 
Whitehall, N. Y., June 8, 1823, and lived 
in New York State until 1860, when he 
removed from Cattaraugus County, N. Y.,to 
Owatonna. He was burietl witli Oild Fel- 
lows' honors. 

August MoUenhauer died at his home in 
Somerset Township on the 21st of June, 1884, 
aged sixty-two years. 

On the 28th of July, 1884, (Manser's brew- 
ery at Owatonna was destroyed by fire. 
The loss was estimated at between $15,000 
and $16,000 ; insurance, $7,000. 

SejJtember 3, 1884, Cornelius Hanson was 
killed by lightning while plowing in Lemond 



Township. The team was killed and the 
man's clothing was almost entirely burned 
off his back. Three stacks of grain which 
stood near by, were also struck and burned 
to the ground. 

On Friday night, September 12, 1881, at 
Owatonna, James Jacobs struck Policeman, 
John Blair with a club, from the effects of 
which he died the following day. Jacobs was 
tried, convicted and sentenced to four years 
in the penitentiary. (See chapter XL) 

Rev. T. Ware died at his residence in 
Owatonna on the 16th of September, 1881-, 
of inflammation of the lungs. He was fifty- 
eight years old, and had been a resident 
of Minnesota since 1861. 

Martin L. Blair died at his residence in 
Owatonna, October 9, 1884:. He was born 
in Massachusetts, February 11, 1801. He 
was a member of the Masonic fraternity and 
Avas buried by them. 

Rev. N. Olson, pastor of the Norwegian 
Church in Owatonna, died October 15, 1881. 
He was seventy years of age. 

A fatal accident occurred on the 13th of 
November, 1881. Ciiris. Behne, of Aurora, 
was run over and fatally injured, dying fr-om 
the effects a few days later. It appears that 
Mr. Behne had been plowing and, having 
attached his team to the lumber wagon, 
started home for dinner, when his team, 
becoming frightened, ran away, throwing 
him off, and the wheels passed over his body 
with the above result. 

George Hart died at the residence of his 
son, William Hart, in Havana Township, 
on the 18th of December, 1884. He was 
eighty-seven years old. Mr. Hart was born 
in Queen's County, Ireland. He had been a 
resident of Steele County for almost eight- 
een years.. 

December 21, 1884, Gilljert II. Russell died 
at his home, in Lemond Township, after a 
painful illness. He was fiftj^ years of 

In November of this year, another pres- 
idential election occurred ; 2,328 votes were 

polled in Steele County, as foUows : James 
6. Blaine, Republican, received 1,273 ; Grover 
Cleveland, Democrat, 1,006; J. P. St. John, 
Prohibition, 49. 


H. J. Robinson died at his home in Owa- 
tonna, January 4, aged forty -one years. He 
had lived in Lemond Township until about 
one year before his death. He was a mem- 
ber of the Grand Army of the Republic. 

In January, the cheese factory at Dodge 
City, Steele County, was destroyed by fire. 

On the 25th of the same month the farm- 
house of C. F. Ellis, in Aurora Township, was 
destroyed by fire Neils Ray and family, 
who occupied the house, narrowly escaped 
with their lives, and Mr. Ray was seriously 

S. E. Preiser, of the firm of Oppliger & 
Preiser, died of typhoid fever at Owatonna, 
January 30. He was born in Germany, 
January 1, 1859; was liberally educated, a 
fine accountant, and a good business man. 

On the 11th of February, a fatal accident 
occurred at Owatonna. John Labare was 
caught by his left arm on a belt which was 
revolvine: on a horizontal shaft in the machine 
shop of Howe & Co., and received injuries 
from which he died in about one hour. 

George Parsons died in Clinton Township, 
February 14, 1885, aged seventy-nine 3'ears. 
He was one of the pioneers of the county. 

Samuel M. Ring died in Medford, Minn., 
February 18, 1885. He was born in Salis- 
bury, Mass., February 28, 1806. In 1831 he 
married Lois W. Pike, who with four sons 
and three daughters were alive at the time 
of his death- — one son and one daughter be- 
ing dead. About the year 1845, Mr. Ring 
removed with his family to Chelsea, Me., 
where he resided until 1856, when he came 
to ]\Iedford, and made a home upon the farm 
where he died. 

J. S. Hamblin, of Havana Township, died 
on the 11th of March, 1885, of heart disease. 
Mr. Hamblin was born in Addison County, 
Vt., and was sixty-eight years old at the time 



of his death. He had been a resident of 
Steele County for about seventeen years. 

On the 13th of May, 1885, a terrible calam- 
ity befell Henrj'- Lewison, who then lived 
one mile north of Aurora station. His 
house was burned down about midnight and 
the following children were burned to death : 
Hans, aged seventeen years ; Lewis, aged 
fifteen; Barbara, aged nine; Berent, aged 
seven, and Samuel, aged four. It appears 
that they were all sleeping up stairs, and 
hearing a noise and crackling of flames be- 
low, Mr. Lewison and wife, hired man and 
the boy aged ten years went down carrying 
the baby. Mrs. Lewison was burned on the 
face and hands, but not seriously. When 
they got down they found the kitchen part 
entirely burned down, and the stairs by 
which they escaped were immediately en- 
veloped in flames. Their household goods 
were all burned. There was no insurance 
on the property. 

On the 9th of June, 1885, Mrs. J. J. 
Guthrie, wife of the station agent at Auro- 
ra, gave birth to three living children — all 
girls. The first child weighed 7| pounds, 
the other two each li pounds respectively, 
their aggregate weight being 22f pounds. 
Prior to their birth Mrs. Guthrie weighed 
155 pounds, after their birth 95 pounds. 
Lnmediately after the birth of the last child 
the mother went into a condition of pro- 
found colla])se, from the sudden removal of 
so great a bulk from the abdomen and con- 
sequent diminution in the blood pressure. 
This tendenc}^ to collapse continued for four- 
teen hours, and it was only by constant and 
continued attention that death was averted. 
At the present time these three little girls 
are all in a thriving condition. Their respect- 
ive names are Mary Kegina, Catherine 
Derina and Winnefred Lavina Guthrie. Dr. 
T. L. Hatch, of Owatonna, was the attend- 
ing physician. He also attended Mrs. Wenzel 
Boucker, at Blooming Prairie, on the 20th of 
October, 1878, when she gave birth to three 
boys, weigliing about three pounds apiece. 

On the 4th of July, 1885, three boys were 
drowned in the Straight River at Owatonna. 
The boys' names were : Milton Rhodes, 
adopted son of Lysander House ; Albert 
Lutgens, son of Henry Lutgens, of Meriden, 
and Edward Erickson. 

Early in Jul}', 1885, John Statler, a 
twelve-year-old son of Nicholas Statler, of 
Deerfield, was killed b}' lightning. 

R. A. Stoughton died of consumption at 
his home in Owatonna, September 19, 1885. 
His death was mourned by a large circle, 
and the community lost an upright and 
honoi'able citizen. 

On the 1st of October, 1885, an accident 
occurred about a mile northeast of Owa- 
tonna, by which John Larson lost his life. 
He fell from a wagon and received injuries 
from which he died. 

S. M. Hastings died of old age at the resi- 
dence of his daughter, Mrs. S. H. Stowers, 
on the 17th of October, 1885. He had been 
in feeble health for several years. 

John Fritze, of Havana Township, died 
on the 2oth of October, 1885, of heart dis- 
ease. He was sixty-seven years old, and 
the father of a large family. 

MARKET HEroRT, isio\t:eber 1, 1885. 

Wheat, per bushel $ 71 

Oats, per bushel 20 

Corn, per bushel 3.5 

Barley, per bushel 30 to 40 

Potatoes, per bushel 35 to 30 

Beans, per bushel 1 00 to 1 25 

Butter, per pound 15 

Cheese, per pound 12^ 

Eggs, per doz 17 

Hogs, dressed, per hundred 4 00 

Hogs, live, per hundred 3 00 

Wood, dry, soft, per cord 3 50 to 4 00 

Wood, hard, oer cord 4 75 to 5 50 

Wood, green, soft, per cord 3 50 to 4 00 

Wood, green, hard, per cord 2 75 to 3 00 

Cattle, on foot, per hundred 3 00 

Hay, per ton 5 00 

Flour, straight, per hundred 2 40 

Flour, patent, per hundred 2 80 

Sheep, per pound 03 to02K 

Wool, unwashed 12 to 15 

Wool, tleece washed 18 to 18 

Wool, tub washed 20 to 30 



Andrew Erdraann died at his home in 
Havana Township, on the 5th of Novem- 
ber, 1885, after an iUness extending over a 
period of two years. Mr. Erdmann was born 
at Strocewo, Posen, Prussia, May 12, 1837. 
He attended school from the age of six to 
fourteen ; was then a farm laborer for about 
four 3^ears, after which he came to Beaver 
Dam, Wis., in 1855. When the Civil War 
broke out he enlisted on the Union side, but 
was soon afterward discharged for failing 
health, and later came to Steele County. He 
was a member of the board of county com- 
missioners for several years. 

Natlian K. Hill died of heart disease at 
the residence of his son, J. H. Hill, in Ha- 
vana Townsliij), on the lOth of November, 
1885. He was born in Westbrook, Conn., 
July 28, 1814, and came to Steele County 
in 1874. 


On Thursdaj', February 4, Mr. Joseph 
Waurin, of Merton, committed suicide by 
hanging himself. Mr. Waurin had been 
more or less troubled with dyspepsia for 
about eight years, and it is thought he took 
this means of ending his misery. He was a 
man in good circumstances and iiighly re- 

Mrs. Mary A. Hill died February 12, 1886. 
Mrs. Hill was born in the State of New 
York, October 11, 1811. She was mar- 
ried in 1839 to Mr. Wm. Hill, wiio survives 

,0n Thursday, July 8, 1886, a terrible acci- 
dent took place in Medford Township. It 
ap])ears that Mr. P. J. Webber was mowing 
grass, and his two little children followed 
him for awhile, but finally disappeared. Mr. 
Webber inferred that thej^ had gone home, 
but instead of that they were in tiie tall grass. 
Pie drove along, not knowing that they were 
in so close proximity, and as little Eva, a 
a four-year-old girl, stood in the way of the 
siclvle, both of her feet were cut off. 

In Lemond, Saturday, March 20, 1886, Mr. 
August Jerger died at his residence, aged 

sixty-three years. Mr. Jerger was a man 
highh^ respected bj' all. 

Died in Owatonna, on Sunday, August 29, 
1886, Mr. J. B. Jensen, aged sixty years. He 
had formerly lived in Meriden Township. 

On Friday morning, September 3, 1886, 
Mrs. liuth Ann Partridge, aged about sixtj'- 
five years, died at the residence of her son- 
in-law, Mr. Kobert Lennon. 

Died of old age, at his home, in Meriden, 
on Friday, September 17, 1886, Hon. H. D. 
Lewis, aged eightj'-five years, six months and 
two days. 

Joseph Sawyer died of old age on Septem- 
ber 20, 1886, at tlie home of his son, J. A. 
Sawyer, in Owatonna, aged eighty-four years 
seven months and eighteen days. The de- 
ceased was born February 21, 1802, and at 
the time of his death was one of the oldest 
men in Steele County. He settled in Steele 
County early in the summer of 1856, and 
through all these years had held the respect 
and esteem of a large circle of friends and 

Mr. Dennis Dugan died in Owatonna, 
Friday, October 15,1886, of old age. Mr. 
Dugan was an old settler in Steele County, 
and at the time of his death was ninety 
years old. 

J. D. Holden, of Owatonna, died on Thurs- 
day, November IS, 1886. Mr. Hoklen 
was born in New Hampshire and was near 
fifty-eight years of age at the time of his 
death. lie came to Owatonna in 1859 and 
had always taken a prominent part in public 
matters. He was an estimable citizen and 
liis death was sincerely regretted by a large 
circle of friends. 

On December 26, 1886, Thomas Lee 
stabbed and severely wounded John Buttle- 
son in the thigh. His face was also badly 
cut. Lee was arrested. 

On Saturday, December 26, 1886, Mrs. 
Ellen Casidy, aged twenty-one j^ears, died 
at her residence in Summit Township. 

The Owatonna Packing House was built 
in 1886. 

/^^^-^it/ > 




Z. Henderson died at his home in Thojnas- 
town, Wadena County, Minn., January 12, 
1887, aged seventy-three years, two months 
and nineteen days. The deceased was born 
in Massachusetts, October 24, 1883. During 
his younger days he Hved in the East, and a 
portion of the time in Ohio. He was mar- 
ried in March, 18il, to Miss Carohne Myr- 
rick. In 1863 he was a member of the lower 
branch of the Vth Legislature from Roch- 
ester, Minn. Later he moved to Steele 
County and lived there until 1877, when he 
moved to Wadena County, Minn. 

M. A. Fredenburg died on Tuesday, 
March 29, 1887, of malignant erysipelas, 
aged sixty years. He was born in Schoha- 
rie County, N. Y., in the year 1826, settled in 
Owatonna in 1874, and a few years later be- 
came maj^or of the city. Mr. Fredenburg was 
one of those quiet, self-possessed, irreproacha- 
ble men who always win the respect of all. 

A fatal accident occurred in Owatonna 
Tuesday evening, April 19, 1887. Mr. 
Kuchenbecker, of Meriden, in company 
with Reuben Grubich and Geo Karth, were 
starting home, and when between Soper's 
wheat warehouse and H. M. Hastings & 
Co.'s flouring-mill, the tongue dropped 
down, frightening the team, which ran 
away, upsetting the wagon. Reuben Gru- 
bick was killed; the others were seriously 
injured but net fatally. 

In June the corner-stone of the State 
school was laid at Owatonna, the ceremo- 
nies being attended by a large concourse of 
people, including many of the most promi- 
nent men of the State. 

Early in October the elevator of the Wi- 
nona Mill Company at Owatonna, together 
with a large amount of grain, was destroyed 
by fire. It was said to have been the largest 
elevator on the Northwestern Railroad west 
of Winona. 



N the banks of Straight River, a 
little over three miles north of 
the geographical center of Steele 
County, is located the city of 
Owatonna. Its location is among 
the most beautiful, and its sur- 
roundings among the most pleas- 
ant of any of Minnesota's mau}^ 
beautiful cities. Nature seeming- 
ly designed this spot for the site 
of a city, with the broad table-land adjoining 
the clear, sparkling stream, and bounded by 
the range of hills on each side. The change 
from the primitive to the developed state has 
been constant and rapid, as it has been but 
a third of a century since the idea of build- 
ing a city here was first conceived; but 

it has been one continual change from the 
moment of its origin, until Owatonna of to- 
day stands forth, one of the brightest in the 
diadem of " Minnesota Cities." To those who 
have watched its progress from its earliest 
origin until the present time, the accom- 
plished results of bygone years seem like an 
Herculean task, and there is much that can- 
not fail to be of interest to those who have 
been connected and identified with the city 
in all the various changes that have occurred 
from year to year. 

Endowed with many natural advantages, 
aided by the strong arm of an enterprising 
husbandry, Steele County has assumed a 
position among the best and wealthier of her 
sister counties throughout the State; and 



Owatonna, as the first town within her 
boundaries, has kept jiace with the improve- 
ment and advancement of the country by 
which it is surrounded. The city is well laid 
out. There are many substantial brick blocks 
to be seen upon the business thoroughfares, 
and a stroll through the city discloses many 
handsome and costly dwellings. An abund- 
ance of shade trees adoi-n the streets, which 
in summer add greatly to the beauty of the 
place. The location is exceedingly healthy, 
the inhabitants are an educated and intel- 
ligent class, and society is of the most refined 
and desirable character. 

No locality could present more favorable 
opportunities for the employment of capital 
in industrial or manufacturing enterprises. 
Situated at the junction of the Chicago, 
Milwaukee & St. Paul and Chicago & 
Northwestern railways — two of the most 
important thoroughfares of the country — it 
is possessed of the most desirable shipping 

At the present writing the city has a pop- 
ulation of about 3,500. The name grew from 
an Indian word, " Wootcmna,^' signifying, 
straight. The latter name had already been 
applied to the river when the first settlement 
was made here, the river being given the 
English, and the city the Indian title, both, 
however, meaning the same. 


The first settlement on the present site of 
the city of Owatonna was made by William 
F. Pettit and A. B. Cornell in the summer 
of 1854. About the middle of May, of that 
year, William F. Pettit, George F. Pettit, 
A. B. Cornell and F. Wilbur Fisk left Spar- 
ta, Wis., for a visit to the far-famed prairies 
of Minnesota. George F. Pettit had been at 
Faribault some time previous, and made such 
a glowing report of the country that those 
who had families took them along, deter- 
mined to make their homes on the sunset side 
of the Mississippi. Seven wagon-loads of peo- 
ple, furniture, supplies, etc., set out, and 

were four weeks in reaching Faribault — a 
long journey, attended with toil, discomfort 
and fatigue, and one that none but strong 
brave hearts would undertake and success- 
fully accomplish. George F. Pettit settled 
at Faribault, F. W. Fisk on East Pi'airie, 
and William F. Pettit and A. B. Cornell 
located on the present site of the city of 
Owatonna. Mr. Cornell made his claim on 
the east side of the river and Mr. Pettit on 
the west. Cornell built a somewhat prim- 
itive dwelling, which was constructed of 
poles covered with prairie grass, but it was 
sufficient to protect them from the storm 
and the scorching rays of the sun, and they 
were all contented to wait patiently till 
a more commodious house could be erected. 
This was the first residence and the first 
building erected within what is now the city 
limits. Mr. Cornell soon commenced putting 
up a log house, just north of where the 
bridge now stands, and had the logs raised 
ready to put up on the roof, when he sold 
his claim to Mr. Pettit, who had, in the 
meantime, disposed of his own on the west 
side of the river to a Mr. Crehore. Some 
time in August, Mr. Pettit had contracted 
with Mr. Cornell to build a house for him, 
similar to the one he was building for him- 
self, but when he purchased Cornell's claim 
the contract was annulled and another made 
that he could finish the one. already com- 
menced. We give the contract in full, as it 
is probably the first ever made in the coun- 
ty. It is as follows : 

"It is hereby agreed by and between W. 
F. Pettit and A. B. Cornell, that A. B. Cor- 
nell shall, previous to the twentieth day of 
October next, build for said Pettit a log 
dwelling house on the foundation said Pettit 
has already commenced ; saitl house to be 22 
feet long and 18 feet wide ; puncheon floor 
below, two doors and five windows, shingled 
roof, logs hewn inside up to beams and mud- 
ded on the outside ; also, a cellar 14x18 
feet, dug so as to be 6 feet from bottom to 
sleepei's ; said house to be one and a half 



stories high and put up similar to said Cor- 
nell's, and the said Pettit is to furnish all 
nails, glass, sash putty and lumber for doors 
and the upper floor so as not to delay said 
job and to pay for said building $75. 

"W.F. Pettit, 

" A. B, COENELL." 

"August 3, 1854." 

These movements gave a material start to 
the growth of the embryo city. The first 
track made across the prairies is the pioneer 
of civilization, and the forerunner generally 
of a crowd of immigration, and this was no 
exception to the general rule. . Otliers fol- 
lowed the lead of Messrs. Pettit and Cornell 
and several houses were built that fall (1851). 
lion. G. "W. Green, of Beaver Dam, Wis., 
commenced the erection of a house which 
was raised on the 2d of October, all the set- 
tlers in the vicinity assisting. Interesting 
articles, Avritten by both Judge Green and 
A. B. Cornell, and giving a detailed account 
of the experiences of each will be found in 
Chapter XV. In the winter following, of 
1854-5, J. W. Park and S. B. Smith erected 
a log cabin near where the railroad tracks 
are now located. 

These were dreary, lonesome days to the 
settlers ; far from friends, marts and posts of 
trade, with no one save themselves to com- 
mune with, their lives must, indeed, have been 
" hermit-like." Sometimes, too, a little fear of 
what the Indians might do, crept into their 
minds to disturb their tranquillity, j'et the 
Indians were at peace with the whites, and 
at that time considered them their best 
friends. But at times circumstances would 
occur to arouse the suspicions of the people 
to a high pitch. The following instance of 
this was related to the historian : The first 
year of the settlement (1854) all the provi- 
sions and supplies of all kinds were brought 
from St. Paul, and at one time Mr. Cornell 
went with his team to that town to bring a 
load of provisions, etc., and was absent about 
a week, leaving Mrs. Cornell with only her 
children and a boy to keep her company. 

During his absence a party of Indians, a 
hundred or more, encamped for a time near 
Mr. Cornell's shantj'. Yet they were very 
respectful and civil to the white lady, and did 
not venture into her house. One evening they 
gathered material and lighted huge bonfires 
a little back of the shanty, and commenced 
an Indian dance with all its wild accompani- 
ments of songs and shouts, making night 
hideous with their antics and bowlings. Just 
at this time Mr. Cornell, with his load 
reached the hill about two miles north of the 
town, and, as he gained the summit, he saw 
the flames of the fires, and the dusky red- 
skins dancing in the lurid glare of light. 
His wife and children ! Had they become 
victims to the savage thirst for blood ? The 
thought came crashing through his brain 
with the rapidity of lightning. He did not 
stop long to gaze, but, unhitching his team, 
he stripped the harness from the fleetest 
horse, and mounting him, rode at the top of 
his speed, resolved to know the worst and 
save his loved ones or perish with them. 
Eeaching the ford, his ej'es were made glad 
at seeing his wife on the opposite bank 
awaiting his return, who assured him that all 
were well and glad to see him return as safe 
as they were. Thankful that he was the 
only one victimized, Mr. Cornell returned 
and got his load of provisions. 

When spring opened, in 1855, the settle- 
ment continued rapidly. During the spring 
and early summer the following named all 
came, many accompanied by their families : 
Addison Phelps, Nelson Morehouse, B. L. 
Arnold, Joel Wilson, Dexter Carlton, Parker 
Carlton, Alson Selleck, IST. Winship, John 
Wilcox, two Schimeks, David Lindersmith, 
Leonard and Simeon Case, Bazil Meek, Obed 
Gaines, Miner Prisby, Adolphus Town, Philo 
Sanford, Charles Ellison, John H. and Ezra 
Abbott, C. G. Hayes, John Moon and Mr. 
Ward. Possibly there were a few others. 
All of these parties settled within a radius 
of a mile or two of the present center of the 
city. Many at once erected cabins, while 



others selected claims and returned for their 
families. The only sign of business here 
w-as at the residence of A. B. Cornell, where 
the traveling public was fed and lodged. 
Early in May of this year (1855) Smith & 
Park began keeping a few groceries and pro- 
visions at their cabin near the present railway 
depots. About the first of July, N. Winship 
commenced hauling logs for his hotel. They 
iiKjved into it on the -tth of August, and it 
was opened for the accommodation of the 
traveling public. Tliis was the first hotel 
erected here, and, in fact, was the first build- 
ing upon what was tiien the village plat. In 
later years, however, the plat has extended 
so as to take in the site of Cornell's first 
cabin. In September, 1855, John Sweat put 
up a little cabin and opened a blacksmitli 
shop near where Deeg's wagon shop now 
stands. Later he sold to Joel Wilson, and left. 
In October, 1855, J. W. Park and S. B. Smith 
erected a log house just north of the Win- 
ship House, on Oak street, and filled it with 
a stock of goods which proved of great con- 
venience to the pioneers. Quite a number 
of young men came this year, who only re- 
mained a short time. 

In the summer of 1855 Mr. Pettit sold his 
claim to John 11. Abbott, and soon afterward 
bought an undivided half of Mr. Cornell's 
claim lying immediately south of the one 
just sold. All hands at once went to work 
to buikl up a first-class town. Koads and 
bridges, for the purpose of communication 
with other sections of the country, were the 
first things to be attended to, and with will- 
ino- hearts and stout hands they went to 
work and opened up the roads, bridged the 
sluices and water courses, and soon had the 
satisfaction of knowing that at least an 
important thoroughfare was opened through 
their town. Mr. Cornell, with true western 
energy and perseverance, built a bridge 
across the Straight Rivei- and travel was 
seemingly nearly constant. Not unfre- 
quently were there from twenty to tliirty or 
forty emigrant teams in the streets at the 

same time. Business flourished. Every set- 
tler whose house was large enough to accom- 
modate more than his own family had aU the 
spare room occupied with strangers and those 
seeking homes. Cornell, also, made several 
extended trips in advertising this local- 
ity. A village was platted, streets and lots 
marked out and speculation in city property 
was very active. In the autumn of 1855 the 
county was organized and Owatonna was 
made the county-seat. A postoifice was 
opened this fall ; mail routes were estab- 
lislied and stages were shortly afterward put 
on. In September Mr. Cornell and John H. 
Abbott laid out the town site, comprising 
about 120 acres — about sixt}' acres on each 
of their claims. In November they went to 
Winona and preempted the land, and on the 
26tii of December, 1855, filed the town plats 
in tlie office of Charles Ellison, register of 
deeds. A very I'espectable log schoolhouse 
was also built this fall, thougii the first 
school had already been taught. The old 
log schoolhouse performed a somewhat im- 
portant ])art in the early history of the 
place. Schools were held in it during all 
school terms ; each of the denominations 
used it in turn as a house of worship. All 
the political meetings and elections were 
held there ; singing schools, lyceums and 
prayer-meetings occupied the evenings, so 
that it was kept in almost constant use until 
it was removed and torn down. The town 
projjrietoi's donated about fort}' lots to tliose 
who would erect substantial and useful build- 
ings. During this summer (1855). Mr. Pettit 
l)ui]t the first frame house in the county, on 
the hill in the eastern part of the city. He 
was obliged to haul part of the i)ine lumber 
from Bed Wing, with which to complete the 
house, which cost $107 per thousand, and the 
roof boards, procured at Faribault, cost $60 
per thousand. Such were the disadvantages 
under which the pioneers had to labor. 

With 1856 came renewed activity in a busi- 
ness waj' as well as in emigi-ation, and the 
little settlement on Straight River increased 



rapidly. The winter had been a severe one, 
but had not depressed the spirits of the col- 
onists. In April of this year Messrs. Pettit, 
Abbott and Cornell bought of Park & Smith 
five hundred acres of land lying on the north 
side of the town for $8,000. This was after- 
ward known as the " Five Hundred Acre 
Tract." Early this year B. L. Arnold put up 
the Eureka House, the first frame hotel 
erected in the county. Philo Sanford during 
the same summer and fall put up what was 
then called the American House — now the 
Central. Elder Town, who had bought out 
Smith & Park, erected a small building on 
Bridge street — nearly opposite Hunnewill's 
hardware store — and moved his goods into 
it. Nathaniel "Winship built an addition to 
his hotel. John Dingman came and put up 
a building near where Rosebrock's furniture 
store is now located, and J. W. Morford, who 
arrived at about the same time, opened a 
stock of goods in it. A hardware stock was 
established by a couple of young men who, 
after a few weeks, sold to E. Y. Ilunnewill. 
Business took long strides forward. In July 
of this year J. W. Morford and John Odell 
opened a store on Bridge street, and some- 
what later in the season Dr. Harsha and 
Judge Donaldson a drug and general provi- 
sion store. Potwin & Stoughton — A. N. 
Stoughton and Geo. Potwin — opened busi- 
ness on Main street, in a building which stood 
where the jail now is located. J. B. Crooker 
came this year and a few years later opened 
a general store. Among those who came 
were M. A. Dailey, H. M. Sheetz, Willard 
Wheaton, Harvej'' Beardsley, Joseph Web- 
ster, James Moore, George Oulton, Eev. II. 
Chapin, D. Potwin, the Odells and others. 

During this year (1856) Town & Buroh 
(Loren Town and J. W. Burch) were engaged 
in the general merchandise trade. In the 
following year Mr. Burch sold his intei'est to 
A. Town, who afterwai'd secured the whole 
business and finally closed out the stock. 

In the spring of the same year (1856) Ezra 
Abbott, J. W. Park and S. B. Smith brought 

a steam sawmill from Walcott, where it had 
been in operation for a year or so, and this 
was set up just north of the bridge on the 
east side of the river. Building operations 
were greatly accelerated. The common lum- 
ber for most of the new buildings was manu- 
factured by it. This mill was in operation 
here for about three years, Mr. Abbott in the 
meantime having purchased his partners' in- 
terests, and it was then sold and removed to 

In the fall of 1856 Nelson Morehouse 
erected a building and put a sawmill into 
operation on the water-power on the west 
side of the river. He operated this for a 
munber of years, and it was finally remodeled 
into a flouring-mill. A live western news- 
paper was established in 1856 that did much 
toward making known to the outside world 
Steele County's advantages. During the 
same summer Melbourne Burr opened a cab- 
inet shop in a building near where the Epis- 
copal Church is now located. 

In 1857 the growth was not so rapid as it 
had been the preceding year ; consideralile 
railway agitation was had, although not 
more than had been the case in 1856. Dur- 
ing this year (1S57) G. W. True and Mr. 
Potwin brought a sawmill here from Mount 
Vernon, Ohio, a bonus being raised to secure 
it. The mill came in the name of True, 
although Pettit and Abbott were interested 
in it. It was set up just west of the Win- 
ship House. Machinery for a gristmill was 
also brought here, although this was never 
set up. The sawmill was run for several 
years and it was finally removed to Morris- 

In 1857, the first millinery store was 
started by Mrs. Lambert, in a building 
where the Brooks bakery is now located. 
Mrs. Magoon also started a millinery estab- 
lishment at an early day. 

N. Squires established a meat-market this 
year. William Wadsworth started a jewelry 
store on Main street where the jail is now 
located. The Sherwood brothers opened a 



saloon. Mr. Coburn started a general store, 
trusted the railway contractors and it soon 
ended in bankruptcy'. 

In 1858 and 1859 the financial depression 
which had commenced with 1857 was se- 
verely felt here. Business development was 
at a standstill. Money was very close ; pa- 
per money was almost worthless and every- 
one demanded gold or silver. The bank 
issue, based upon railway securities, also 
hurt this country sadly, and it is a trutli- 
ful saying that a hatfull of $100 bills of 
such currency would scarcely buy a meal of 

J. B. Crooker established a general store 
in 1859 and among other business interests 
which in early days clustered here should 
be mentioned : Tlie tailor shop started b}' 
Dresser & Goodwin in a building nearly 
opposite Hunnewill's hardware store ; the 
general store started at an early day by 
Bascom Bros, in a building near where 
Greeley's pump factory is now located. 

The same state of affairs, financially, con- 
tinued through 1860 and 1861, while in the 
latter year, the breaking out of the war 
made matters still worse. A great many of 
the able-bodied young and middle-aged men 
left during " '61 " and went into the service. 

In 1862 business began to pick up a little. 
The Indian massacre drove many from their 
homes west of here, and Owatonna, being 
upon a main thoroughfare and the first feas- 
ible stopping point, again became a scene of 
activit}'. The soldiers going through, and 
the fleeing settlers, besides the fact that the 
soldiers in the army began to receive their 
pa}' at about this time, made money matters 
easier, and its effect was soon felt in the 
channels of business. 

From 1863 to 1867 the city grew rapidly, 
and many substantial improvements were 
made. Two lines of railway reached the 
city in 1866, as is detailed elsewhere in this 
volume, and this added new life to the 
growth, although, to a great extent, the im- 
]ietus to business development given by rail- 

way connections had been anticipated,and the 
growth caused by it really began in tlie sum- 
mer of 1 865. From that time until 1S67-S many 
fine business buildings were erected, among 
them being Dresser's block, Kinyon's build- 
ing, Kelly block, Abbott block, Wadworth's 
building, Crooker's (now H. R. Moore's) res- 
idence ; Crooker, Kelly, Bixby and Dr. 
Morehouse erected the row of bricks on the 
south side of Bridge street. Dr. Harsha the 
First National Bank building, Odell & Pott's 
building, "Wadworth put up a brick build- 
ing, Ilunnewill a hardware store, and Soule 
erected the north sixty feet of the H. R. 
Moore & Co. block. The Arnold and Park 
hotels, Howe's foundry and machine shops, 
and other buildings erected and enterprises 

The business boom of these years was al- 
most without parallel in the history of Min- 
nesota. The population of the city more 
than doubled, increasing from a village of 
six or seven hundred to a city of two thou- 
sand durmg the years 1866 and 1867. 
Since that time the growth has been more 
gradual, but of a permanent and beneficial 
character. At the present writing the city 
has a population of at least 3,500. 


As a matter worthy of preservation we 
here present a full business directory of 
Owatonna in 1868 : 

Attorneys — Amos Coggswell, A. A. Har- 
wood, Searles & Hickman, Delos Higbee, 
Kinyon & "Wheelock, M. A. Dailey, J. J. 
Aiken, N. M. Donaldson (judge). 

Agricultural Implements — Lowth, Howe 
& Co., Allen & Dearborn, Fisk & Medal, G. 
W. Payne, J. E. Buxton, "Wm. Scruby. 

Boots and Shoes — Chase Bros., Lord 
Bros. & Co., Cooper Bros., Morford, Willsey 
& Co., G. F. Albertus, J. Lonergan, Frank 
Yaneck, J. E. Griggs. 

Books and Stationery — C. E. Seaton. 

Bankers — Easton & Kinyon, S. Mills, Jr., 



Barbers — Jerry Pope, J. A. Pierce, Louis 

Bakeries — Mrs. J. G. Cochran, George 
Chapman, M. J. "White. 

Blaclcsmiths — F. H. Cooper, M. S. Quig- 
gle, P. Scliuster, C. Hanson, Hiram Cart- 
wright, Sherman, King. 

Brewery — Mace & Co. 

Clothing — J. G. A. Denerline, Friend & 
JSTewsalt, G. F. Albertus, Soule Bros., Arm- 
strong & Cottrell, J. E. Griggs, Marble & 
Co., Lord Bros. & Co., Cooper Bros. 

Cooper Shop — Peter Hanson. 

Dry Goods — Lord Bros. & Co.. Cooper 
Bros., Arnston & Connell, Morford, Will- 
sey & Co., Armstrong & Cottrell, Siebold & 
Hortsman, Soule Bros., L. Andrews, G. F. 
Albertus, Jo. "Wilson. 

Dentists — G. H. Cole, Miss Kellogg. 

Drugs — Harsha & Donaldson, L. Bixby, 
Bennett & Hubbard. 

Eating Houses — Eailroad Eating House, 
C. F. McNamara, Mitchell Bros., Hiram 
Cartwright, Mrs. Cochrane, W. C. Bosworth, 
George Chapman, M. Lont. 

Earthenware Factory — C. C. Cornell. 

Express OflBces — Merchants' Union and 

Furniture — J. F. Hanna, H. & J. Hickox, 
Chas. Schoen. 

Flour and Feed Stores — Farmer Brothers, 
KeUy & Tyler, Marble & Co., J. P. Eequa, 
T. J. Clark, Arntson & Connelly, Newton & 

Foundry and Machine Shops — Lowth, 
Howe & Co. 

Groceries — Kelly & Tyler, S. S. Eussell, 
Soule Brothers, G. F. Albertus, Joos & Boll, 
L. Andrews, Siebold & Hortsman, Morford, 
Willsey & Co., Armstrong & Cottrell, Arn- 
ston & Connelly, Cooper Bros., T. J. Clark, 
"William Cleator, J. Chambers, H. Cart- 

Hardware — Cottrell & Hunkins, J. E. Bux- 
ton, Thomas & White, E. Y. Hunnewill. 

Harness Shops — O. M. Hammond, O. A. 
Albee, A. Bm-ch. 

Hotels — "Winship House, Barker's Ex- 
change, National Hotel, American House, 
Arnold House, Scandinavian Hotel, Steele 
Center House, Tilden House, Owatonna 

Hoopskirt Factory — "W. Holt. 

Jewelry — Ezra Abbott, J. F. Young, J. 

Lumber Dealers — Crocker Bros. & Lam- 
areaux, S. B. "Washburn, Backus Bros., Ster- 
ling & Searles, Dean & Co. 

Livery Stables — Twiss & Christie, C. W. 

MiUinery — Mrs. L. H. Kelly, Mrs. Magoon, 
Mrs. White, Mrs. W. Holt, Mrs. M. J. 

Meat Markets — J. A. Oppliger & Co., 
Kowietz & Eiedon, Truax & Savage. 

Physicians and Surgeons — E. M. More- 
house, L. H. Kelly, Dr. Blood, L. L. Bennett, 
D. Bodle, D. S. Harsha, J. G. Gilchrist and 
W. A. Ware. 

Photographers — G. W. Chesley, Mrs. J. 
P. Briggs, A. F. Simons. 

Painters — Hall, Beors & Co. 

Planing-mill — Lamonte Gilbert. 

Eeal Estate Dealers — W. H. Kelley, B. F. 
Melvin, John H. Abbott, Ezra Abbott, 
Searles & Hickman, Kinyon & Wheelock. 

Tailors — John Cottier, J. G. A. Dener- 
line, Christopher Fahriess, D. B. Marble & 

Telegraph Offices^ A. H. Lee, operator at 
C, M. & St. P. depot ; G. H. Merrill, at W. 
& St. P. depot. 

Wagon Shops — P. Schuster, Sherman & 





Owatonna's history in a mercantile point 
of view began in the spring of 1855, when 
Smith & Park opened their little stock of 
general goods in their log cabin, which had 
been erected for a residence. In the fall of 
the same year they put up a log cabin on the 
corner of Oak and Main streets, north of the 
Winship House, and moved their store into 



this. The stock was very small but was 
all that the trade demanded in those daj^s. 
The firm remained in business about a year 
when they sold to Elder Adolphus Town. 
Mr. Town conducted the business in the 
same building for a time and then erected a 
building on Bridge street, near where Gree- 
ley's pump factory now stands. He con- 
tinued the business for a time, when it passed 
into the hands of J. W. Burch and L. B. 
Town. Later Elder Town again became 
proprietor and finally closed out the stock. 

In 1856 J. W. Morford and John Odell 
started a store, stocking it with a full line of 
groceries, boots and shoes. In 1858 Mr. 
Morford bought out Mr. Odell's interest and 
ran the business himself until the spring of 
1859, when W. H. Willsey bought in. Im- 
mediately' after this they added dry goods 
and notions, making it a general store. This 
firm remained in business thirteen years. 
Mr. Morford then bought out Mr. Willsey's 
interest and ran the store with the same line 
for some time, but finally made it an exclu- 
sive boot and shoe store. In 1883 he closed 
out part of this stock and removed the bal- 
ance to Watertown, Dak. There, it is stated, 
he traded it for a farm. 

It a]ipears that the first hardware store was 
started in 1856, by two young men whose 
names have been forgotten. The building 
occupied was about 16x24 feet in size, and is 
stiU on the ground where it was built. The 
young men remained in business about four 
weeks, when the}' sold stock and building to 
Hunnewill & A.rmstrong — E. Y. Hunnewill 
and William Armstrong. These gentlemen 
remained in business together for about five 
years, when they divided their stock, each 
taking half. Mr. Hunnewill remained at the 
old stand for about eighteen j-ears ; during 
this time, however, he made several addi- 
tions to the building, as the trade demanded, 
and then put up the brick which he now 
occupies. William Armstrong erected a 
building on Main street and remained in 
business about four years, then sold to 

George CottreU, who was succeeded bj' 
Hunkins & Cottrell, the latter being a brother 
of George. They were succeeded by Searles 
& Dynes ; later Mr. Dynes sold to his part- 
ner. Mr. Searles remained in business until 
his death, May 24, 1885, which was the re- 
sult of an accident. While handling barbed 
wire a large roU fell upon him, inflicting 
fatal injuries. Parrot & Smith succeeded 
D. O. Searles after his death and are the 
present proprietors. In 1866 G. F. White 
started a hardware store, but only remained 
in business about two years, when he closed 
out his stock and went to California. The 
next was started by A. Knobloch and N. C. 
Larson in 1874. The same year they erected 
the building now occupied by Mr. Knobloch. 
In 1878 they divided their stock, Mr. Knob- 
loch remaining in the building, where his 
store is still located. Mr. Larson then bought 
the building he now occupies, and is still in 
trade. In March. 1879, Thon Brothers came 
here from Chicago and put in a full line of 
hardware in building near Julius Young's 
jewelry store, and are still in business. The 
building now occupied by Crandall & Nelson 
as a hardware store was built by W. H. 
Kelley in 1880. Shortly after this Mr. 
Crandall purchased it. P. Bliss then occu- 
pied it as a book store and the postoffice was 
also in same building until April, 1884. Mr. 
Bliss remained until Se])tember of the same 
year. Immediately after Mr. Bliss vacated 
the building Crandall & Nelson moved their 
stock of hardware into it from the building 
just north of Mork's boot and shoe store, 
where they had been doing business for 
about two years. 

The first drug store in Owatonna was 
started by Dr. D. S. Harsha and Judge Don- 
aldson in 1856. The store was stocked with 
a full line of drugs and was called the " Steele 
County drug store." In 1866 Dr. Harsha 
erected the brick building now occupied by 
the First National Bank, and into this moved 
the stock of drugs. Mr. Harsha remained 
in the drus: business until his death, which 



occurred in 1880, after which the entire stock 
was closed out. During this time Edward 
Donaldson was also a partner a portion of 
the time. 

In 1856 Melbourne Burr started a furni- 
ture store in a building near where the jail 
now stands. lie remained in business a 
number of years, when he sold to J. F. 
Hanna. He remained in business until about 
1870, then closed out his stock, and began 
farming. James Hickox in 1865 also started 
a furniture store occupying a building 
on North Cedar street. In 1871-2 he 
partly closed out his stock, and removed 
the balance to Eochester. The next was 
started by Charles Schoen in about 1866, on 
the corner of Bridge and Oak streets. He 
sold his stock to F. Kruschke, who con- 
tinued in business until 1870, when he sold 
to H. M. Brown. In 1877 Mr. Brown sold 
to Albert Hafeman who is still in busi- 
ness. In 1869 H. H. Rosebrock opened a 
stock of furniture in a building near where 
Julius Young's jewelry store now stands. 
He remained in this building about two and 
one-half years, when he purchased of J. W. 
Morford the building which he now occupies. 
S. B. Hunkins in about 1873 opened a line of 
furniture in the second story of the building 
occupied by H. R. Moore, Jr., & Co. One 
year later he closed out his stock to H. 
M. Brown and H. H. Rosebrock. A furni- 
ture store was started by P. S. Westburg in 
1874. In 1876 he sold to Ole Ecker who, in 
1877, sold to J. A. Cansdell. About one 
year later, Cansdell sold to Mr. Nickerson. 
D. C. Adams afterward purchased the stock 
and remained in business until 1882, when 
he sold to Fuller & Green. Fuller afterward 
bought Green's interest and in a short time 
sold it to Mr. Graraps. Fuller & Gramps 
remained in business until the winter of 
1886-7, when they failed. In 1879 S. Deutsch- 
mann started a second-hand furniture store 
and remained in this line about two years, 
when a new and complete stock was put 
in. These changes in this line of trade 

leave the furniture business at this writing 
in the hands of H. H. Rosebrock, A. A. Hafe- 
man and S. Deutsclimann. 

In 1860 a book store was started by Will- 
iam Seaton. He had run it but a short time 
when D. D. F. Brown bought an interest. 
Later Mr. Farmer purchased Seaton's inter- 
est and Mr. Spelman afterward bought out 
Mr. Brown's, leaving the firm Spelman & 
Farmer. In 1877 Mr. Farmer sold to P. 
Bliss, and the firm of Spelman & Bliss re- 
mained in business together until 1884, 
when Philo Bliss bought Mr. Spelman's 
interest and continued until tlie summer of 
1887, when the stock was purchased by 
Anson M. Kinyon, who still conducts the 

The first jewelry store was started by 
William Wadworth. In about the year 
1864 another was established by Burr & 
McClure (Richard Burr and Henry McClure). 
The building occupied was near the present 
postoffice building on Bridge street. These 
gentlemen remained in business together 
until 1866, when they dissolved partnership, 
Mr. McClure remaining in trade. Shortly 
after this Mr. McClure moved his stock of 
goods into a building on the corner of Cen- 
tral and Broadway, where he remained in 
business until his death, which occurred in 
October, 1866. Ezra Abbott then bought 
the stock and in a short time took in a jjart- 
ner, Mr. Richmond. Two years later Mi'. 
Richmond retired from business, and the 
firm became Abbott & Son. Later they 
sold to Henry Birkett, the jiresent proprietor. 
A few years later Mr. Abbott's son, Ed- 
mund Abbott, again started in the jewelry 
trade and remained in business until 1885, 
when he removed his stock to Minneapolis. 
In 1867 Julius Young started a jewelry 
store in a building where now stands the 
Farmers' National Bank. At this time he 
had but very little, if any, stock, simply 
doing repairing. He remained in this build- 
ing about six months, then moved into J. 
Newsalt's clothing store under the Opera 



House. Here he put in a small line of 
jewelry. In ISfiS he moved his stock into 
a 5Vooden building on Bridge street and en- 
larged his stock, remaining there about one 
year, when he bought a one-story brick, 
which stood on the site of his present build- 
ing. Shortly after purchasing this he en- 
larged it and arranged a fine store. In 1878 
this building burned with all of the fur- 
niture. A short time before the fire Mr. 
Young had let a $2,000 policy run out. The 
insurance he held was for $5,000 ; loss 
$11,000, leaving amount not covered by 
insurance, $6,000. Shortly after the fire 
Mr. Young began the large brick which he 
now occupies, completing it in the fall of 
1878. In 1876 C. F. Warner established a 
jewelry store. He is still in business, carrying 
a large line of jewehy and sportsmen's goods. 
It is stated that the first exclusive boot 
and shoe store was started by Chase Bros. & 
Co. in 1866. This firm remained in business 
until 1869. R. H. Johnson bought them out 
and remained in business until the spring of 
1873, then closed out the entire stock, and is 
now city marshal. The next was started by 
Gottfried Doufner in 1869. In 188-t he sold 
to Mr. Butsch, who is still in business. In 
1868 Wm. Mork came to Owatonna from 
Chicago and worked for Chase Bros. & Co. 
and li. H. Johnson until 1872, when he estab- 
lished a boot and shoe store, occupying a 
building which stood on the site of his present 
store. The structure he now occupies was 
erected in 1880. In 1876 Weber & Son came 
here from Sauk Center and started a boot 
and shoe business. They occuj)ied the Hig- 
bie building until 1879, when the}^ erected 
the two-story brick which they now occupy. 


The first banlc in Owatonna was estab- 
lished on the 1st of January, 1859, by a man 
who came here from St. Paul, whose name 
has been forgotten. It was opened in M. A, 
Dailey's office, a building which stood where 
Kelly's store is now located. It was estab- 

lished for the purpose of issuing a currency 
based upon the railroad bonds. After a few 
months the railway securities becoming more 
and more worthless, the banker packed up 
his few "traps'" and left. He had brought 
a little iron safe here, the first brought into 
the county, and upon his leaving Dailey kept 
it for office rent. W. R. Kinyon afterward 
jjurchased and moved it into a little building 
just west of where the First National Bank 
now stands. The safe was afterward removed 
to Waseca, when Mr. Kinyon established a 
bank at that place, where it was blown open 
and robbed of $3,000. 

During the year 1866 another bank was 
established by J. C. Easton and W. R. Kin- 
yon. Even before that time Mr. Kinyon had 
been doing a light banking business, but in 
that year the partnership was formed, and 
June 1, they opened their books for regular 
banking business. During the same summer 
they completed the brick building just west 
of the First National Bank, which is now 
used for a milliner^^ store, and in this build- 
ing the firm of Easton ifc Kinyon continued 
business for about five years, when they or- 
ganized the First National Bank with a caj)- 
ital stock of $50,000. The stockholders at 
that time were W. R. Kinyon, J. C. Easton, 
J. W. Morford, E. Y. Ilunnewill, Otis Lord 
and Lewis Lord. In 1874 the capital stock 
was increased to $75,000, and in 1876 reduced 
to $60,000, the present capital. The present 
stockholders are W. R. Kinyon, J. C. Easton, 

E. Y. Ilunnewill, Otis Lord, Lewis Lord, G. 

F. Albertus, C. J. Kinyon, Geo. R. Kinyon, 
R. H. Chapin, II. M. Hastings, Mrs. A. L. 
Higbie, Mrs. James Cooper, Mrs. N. M. Don- 
aldson and daughters, Mrs. M. S. Ilarsha and 
W. H. Kelly. The present officers are as 
follows : W. R. Kinyon, president ; C. J. 
Kinyon, vice-president; Geo. R. Kinyon, 
cashier ; directors, W. R. Kinyon, E. Y. 
Ilunnewill, Otis Lord, G. F. Albertus, Lewis 
Lord, W. H. Kelly and C. J. Kinyon. The 
building now occupied by the bank was re- 
fitted and occupied b}^ the bank in 1882. 



Hon. William Eiley Kinyon, president of 
the First National bank, is a son of Samuel 
and Dolly (Wheelock) Kinyon, dating his 
birth at Ellisburg, Jefferson County, N. Y., 
on the 3d of February, 1833. He comes from 
an early Rhode Island family. His grand- 
father, Joshua Kinyon, was in the War of 
1812-15. The Wheelocks are traced back 
to Vermont; hence, his ancestors on both 
sides are New Englanders. Samuel Kinyon 
was a farmer, d\'ing when William was sev- 
enteen years old. The latter had to work 
hard in his youth, being part of the time in 
a dairy. He had a strong thirst for knowl- 
edge, and gave to books every hour of time 
at his command. He supplemented a few 
terms at the Union Academy, Belleville, 
with much hard study in private, with 
almost every conceivable disadvantage, and 
yet, at the age of twenty-one (1854), entered 
the junior class of Union College, Schenec- 
tady, N. y., graduating in course and deliv- 
ering the valedictory of the Adelphic society. 
The two winters before entering college, 
and the winter before graduating, he taught 
school, following the college curriculum all 
the time and keeping up with his class. 
Soon after closing his studies, Mr. Kinyon 
came as far west as Juneau, Wis., where he 
taught a graded school one year, and subse- 
quently spent seven or eight months in the 
office of the clerk of the court, reading law 
all the time he was at Juneau. He was 
there admitted to the bar in the spring of 
1858; came thence directly to Owatonna; 
was here admitted to practice and continued 
it until 1870. In 1866, in company with 
Jason C. Easton, he opened a private bank, 
which has since become the First National 
Bank, as stated. He was a member of the 
House of Minnesota Eepresentatives in 
1868 ; chief clerk of the House in 1869 and 
1870, and again member and also speaker in 
1875 and 1876, the XVIIth and XVIIIth leg- 
islatures. Mr. Kinyon was originally a Doug- 
las Democrat, voting for the Little Giant in 
1860, and the Republican ticket since the old 

flag was dishonored by rebel hands at Fort 
Sumter. He is an active worker in Masonic 
circles, being member of the Blue Lodge, 
Chapter and Commandery. Mrs. Kinyon 
was Miss Mettie Gillett, of Juneau, Wis., a 
native of Wayne County, N. Y., their union 
taking place on the 31st of December, 1857. 
They have one son, George R., mentioned 
elsewhere. The family attend the Congre- 
gational Church, of which Mr. Kinyon is a 
liberal supporter. The life and character of 
Mr. Kinyon need no eulogy from the pen of 
a biographer. His career has ever been free 
from disreputable methods. His name has 
been prominent in the affairs of his county 
and State for nearly a quarter of a century, 
yet has passed through the gauntlet of 
political strife without a stain. 

Charles J. Kinyon, vice-president of the 
First National Bank, was born in Ellisburg, 
Jefferson County, N. Y., in 18'48. His early 
life was spent on a farm. When twenty-one 
years of age he entered Hungerf ord Collegiate 
Institute, at Adams, N. Y., and graduated 
from the business department. He came 
west in 1871, and in the fall of 1872 he en- 
tered the First National Bank as clerk, and 
in 1875 was made cashier. He acted in that 
capacity until 1883, when he was made vice- 
president. Mr. Kinyon was married in Sep- 
tember, 187-1, to Miss Charlotte E. Ward well, 
a native of New York State. Fayette C, 
Ward W. and Edna A. are the names of 
their children. Mr. Kinyon was city treas- 
urer from 1883 to 1886. 

George R. Kinyon, cashier of the First 
National Bank, was born in Owatonna, Minn., 
May 31, 1861, his parents being W. R. and 
Mettie G. Kinyon. George R.'s earlier edu- 
cation was obtained in the common schools 
of the city, and when the Minnesota Academy 
was opened he entered that institution, and 
was a member of the first class, graduating 
in June, 1880. The same spring he was ap- 
pointed teller of the First National Bank, in 
1881 assistant cashier, and in 1882 cashier, 
which position he now holds. He was mar- 



ried April 24, 1883, to Miss Alice Hall, of 

is. Mills, Jr., & Co. also established a bank 
in 1866. They opened in a little wooden 
building which stood where A. M. Kinyon's 
book store is now located, and the same fall 
tliey moved into the south end of H. E. 
Moore & Co.'s store building. A year or so 
later they removed to the building now oc- 
cupied by the Fai-mers' National Bank. S. 
Mills, Jr., & Co. remained in business until 
1871 or 1872, when they failed. 

Soon after the failure of S. Mills, Jr., & Co., 
the building occupied by them passed under 
the control of the Farmers' National Bank, 
and was partially rebuilt in 1872. In 1873 
the Farmers' National Bank commenced 
business, with capital stock, $50,000. The 
stockholders were: W. H. Burdick, A. C. 
Hickman, C. W. Plastings, W. H. Sherman, 
A. C. Gutterson, E. H. S. Dart, Hiram 
Backus, A. C. Dodge, W. H. Willsey, J. G. A. 
Denerline, A. L. Higbie, D. Higbie, T. B. 
Lawrence, J. C. Backus, L. L. Bennett and 
Amos Coggswell. In 1878 their capital stock 
was increased to .$60,000, and in 1881 to 
$75,000. The present stockholders are : A. B. 
Wood, J. B. Soper, L. L. Bennett, J. C. 
Backus, W. 11. Willsey, D. Freeman, M. W. 
Cooper, A. Backus, C. F. Backus, P. Bald- 
win, A. C. Gutterson, E. H. S. Dart, Neil 
Graham, D. Higbie, A. L. Higbie, E. C. 
Holden, Jesse Healey, D. D. Fenno, W. H. 
Kelly, T. B. Lawrence, Lillian M. Harlow, 
F. L. Murray, H. Birkett, Sarah II. Abbott, 
A. C. Searl, N. P. Jefferson, S. McNitt, O. 
Lindersmith and T. R. Medd. The present 
officers are : L. L. Bennett, president ; W. H. 
Willsey, vice-president ; A. C. Gutterson, 
cashier; C. F. Backus, assistant cashier. The 
present directors are : L. L. Bennett, W. H. 
Willsey, W. H. Kelly, Neil Graham, C. F. 
Backus, J. C. Backus and D. Higbie. 

Leonard L. Bennett, M. D., president of 
the Farmers' National Bank, was born in 
Will County, 111., in 1839. He received his 
earl}' education at Wauconda, 111., taking an 

academic course. He then studied medicine 
with his brother at Richmond, 111., and grad- 
uated from Rush Medical College, Chicago, 
in 1862. In 1861 he came to Owatonna and 
pursued the practice of his profession. Later 
he became connected with the Farmers' Na- 
tional Bank, of which he is president, and 
retired from the practice of medicine. On 
the 21th of May, 1864, he was married to 
Miss Arabella F. Brown, a native of New 
York State. Carl K. and Guy B. are the 
names of their children. Dr. Bennett is a 
Mason ; a prominent member of the Univer- 
salist Church. He has taken an active part 
toward building up city and county; is a 
man of the strictest integrity ; liberal, enter- 
prising, and widely and favorably known. 
He has been county commissioner, besides 
holding various other offices of importance. 

A biographical sketch of W. H. Willsey, 
the vice-president of the bank, appears else- 

Prof. A. C. Gutterson, cashier of the 
Farmers' National Bank, was born in Wind- 
sor County, Vt., March 10, 1830. He re- 
mained at home until about twenty-one 
years of age when he began life for himself. 
He had received thorough schooling in music, 
and that was his first avocation. Two years 
later he engaged in the general mercantile 
trade, following that for three or four years. 
In 1858 he came west and located at Mazo 
Manie, Wis. Eighteen months later he 
returned to his native town, and remained 
there two years, after which he again came 
west to Wisconsin, locating in Black Earth. 
In 1866 he came to Owatonna, and for 
about five years was a member of the firm of 
Lord Bros. & Co., after which, for several 
years, he followed his profession, music. In 
1873 he became connected with the Farmers' 
National Bank, of which he is cashier. In 
1873 he organized the Beethoven Musical 
Association at Owatonna, and in 1883 the 
orchestra, being director in each. Both of 
these organizations are a credit to the city, 
being well drilled, and composed of compe- 



tent musicians ; they handle the very best 
grades of music. As will be seen from read- 
ing the cliapter relating to Pillsbury Acad- 
emy, Mr. Gutterson has for years held the 
professoi'ship of music in that institution. 
Prof. Gutterson was married in February, 
1855, to Miss Nancy Stickney. 


Manufacturing industries are the most 
important of Owatonna's business interests. 
The following is a list of the principal man- 
ufactories now in operation : Hastings, Will- 
se\' &Edson, flouring-mill ; A. Simpson, flour- 
ing-mill ; McLaughlin, Sheldon & Co., manu- 
facturei's Diamond Feedmill ; T. J. Howe & 
Co., and C. W. Burdic, foundry and machine 
shops ; Schunian & Fenner, and C. M. Lo- 
rence, cigar manufacturers; Orrin Greely, 
pump factory ; Owatonna Creamery, Henry 
A. Holmes, su])erintendent ; P. Ganser's 
brewery ; L. Bion's brewery, and the wagon 
and carriage factories of Charles Schoen and 
John Deeg. 

Hon. Hector M. Hastings, of the firm of 
H. M. Hastings & Co., millers, was born in 
Horse Heads, Chemung County, N. Y., in 
1835. His father, Samuel M. Hastings, came 
with his family to Kendall County, 111., in 
1847. Hector M. came to Minnesota in 1855 
on a prospecting tour, and in 1856 he located 
in Le Sueur County, where he remained 
until 1863, then moved to Steele County, 
locating on section 14, Lemond Township, 
where he now owns a tract of 2,300 acres. 
He participated in the Indian wars of 1862 
and witnessed the hanging of the thirty- 
eight Sioux Indians at Mankato. He was 
married on April 2, 1853, to Miss Mai-y A. 
Eoberts, a native of Pennsylvania. George 
W., Ida and Fannie are the names of the 
children born to them. Mr. Hastings has 
taken a prominent part in all public 
matters, and all enterprises calculated to 
build up city or county have always had 
his hearty support. The enterprise of 
which he is the head is among the most 

important manufacturing industries of the 

William H. "Willsey, of the milling firm 
of II. M. Hastings & Co., was born in Scho- 
harie County, N. Y., in 1832. He came 
west to Walworth County, Wis., in 1848, 
and was engaged in various pursuits until 
1851, when he went to St. Paul and on 
reaching that village found Little Crow's 
band encamped on the west side of the river. 
During the winter of 1851-2 he worked in a 
sawmill and for five subsequent years he 
was engaged in the logging business, first on 
Rum Piver two years, then three years on 
the St. Croix and tributaries. He then came 
to Owatonna and was elected sherifl' in 
1858. After acting in that capacity for two 
3'ears, he embai'ked in the mercantile busi- 
ness being of the firm of Morford & Willsey. 
In 1885 he became one of the firm of H. M. 
Hastings & Co. Mr. Willsey is vice-presi- 
dent of the Farmers' National Bank. He 
was married January 1, 1863, to Emily V. 
Phelps, a native of Ohio. Maud is the 
name of their only child. He is a Ma- 
son, and Mrs. Willsey is a member of the 
Universalist Church. Mr. Willsey's name ap- 
pears very frequently through the pages of 
this volume. For nearly thirty years he has 
been intimately connected with the growth 
and development of the city and count}^ and 
his name is indissolubly connected with 
their history. 

O. E. Edson, of the firm of II. M. Hast- 
ings (fc Co., came to Owatonna in June, 1885, 
and bought a third interest in the mills and 
since that time has had charge of them. 
Mr. Edson is a native of Pennsylvania, born 
April 7, 1842. His parents wei'e Ilii'am S. 
and Mary (Van Dusen) Edson, both of 
whom were natives of New York, but who 
at an early day removed to Pennsylvania 
where O. E. was born. In 1855 they went 
to Illinois, where Mr. Edson, Sr., died in 1856. 
Later Mrs. Edson married again and in 
1876 went to Washington Territory, where 
she now lives. O. E. Edson remained with 



his parents until twelve years old, when he 
■went to Chicago to attend school, working 
out of school hours for his board and clothes 
for three years. When fifteen years old he 
went to McHenry County, 111 , and served 
three years at the miller's trade. When eigh- 
teen he went to Colorado, where he follow- 
ed mining for a year. In 1861 he enlisted in 
Company B of First Colorado Infantry, and 
served in the western army for four and a 
half years, receiving his discharge at Fort 
Leavenworth, Kan., in the fall of 1865. 
From there he went to St. Louis and was in 
a mill there for a year ; then went to Wiscon- 
sin and in 1867 married Miss Martha E. Smith, 
of Black Biver Falls. From there he ^vent 
to Eau Claire and took charge of a flouring- 
mill for three years. He was next located 
at Osseo, where he had charge of a mill for 
five years. From there going to Minneap- 
olis, he was engaged in the milling busi- 
ness until April, 1884, when he removed 
to Faribault. His next move was to Owa- 
tonna in 1885. He is a thorough master of 
the milling business in all its details. 

Adam Simpson, one of the enterprising 
millers of Owatonna, was born in Ontario, 
Canada, in 1844. He came to Owatonna in 
1870, and rented a windmill, which he ran 
for a number of years. In 1878 he bought 
the water-mill west of the cit}', which he still 
conducts. This mill has a capacity of 150 
barrels per day, and is doing a flourishing 
business. Mr. Simpson was married in 1870 
to Miss Emma L. Wheelock. They have 
seven children. Mr. Simpson is a member 
of the Christadelphian Church. He is a man 
who stands high among the many substan- 
tial business men of the city. 

C. N. McLaughlin, of the firm of Mc- 
Laughlin, Sheldon & Co., manufacturers of 
the Diamond feedmill, was born in Andierst, 
Ohio, in 1853 ; a year later the family moved 
to Fox Lake, Wis. His father was a rail- 
road contractor, and built a part of the 
Milwaukee road, in Wisconsin. Our subject 
went to New York State with his father in 

1869, and was there engaged in the construc- 
tion of railroads for some time. He came to 
Minnesota in 1874, locating at Plainview, 
where he was engaged in the farm machinery 
business. He came to Owatonna in 1877, 
and in 1881 embarked in the manufacturing 
business. He was married December 16, 
1876, to Miss Minnie S. Melendy, a native of 
Orange County, Vt. They have two chil- 
dren. Mr. McLaughlin is a member of the 
Congregational Church, and is also a mem- 
ber of a number of societies, including the 
United Workmen and Legion of Honor. 
The firm, of which he is the head, does a large 
business, and is among the most substantial 
business houses in tlie city. Mr. McLaugh- 
lin has been mayor of the city, and in many 
other ways been a prominent citizen. 

C. E. Sheldon, of McLaughlin, Sheldon & 
Co., is a native of Jersey City, N. J., born 
in 1854. His parents were Elisha S. and 
Camilla (Crofts) Sheldon. Mr. Sheldon re- 
mained in Jersey City until ten years of age, 
when with his father (his mother having 
died some time previous), he went to Bed 
Wing, Minn. In 1876, in company with a 
partner, opened a jewelry, book and station- 
ery store, remaining in that for about two 
years, when he sold his interest in the book 
and stationery department to his partner, and 
continued the jewelry business alone until 
1882, and during this time Mr. Sheldon was 
interested in the farm machinery business. 
In 1882 the firm of McLaughlin, Sheldon & 
Co. was formed for the purpose of manufact- 
uring the Diamond feedmills, with head- 
quarters at Bed Wing. In 1883 the whole 
business was moved to Owatonna, and Mr. 
Sheldon came here to devote all his time to 
the manufacturing of the mills. Mr. Sheldon 
was married in 1878 to Miss Carrie Brooks, 
of Red Wing. They now have three chil- 
dren : Harrriet P., AV alter B. and Chas. D. 
Mr. Sheldon is a man of remarkable force of 
character and energy, and as a citizen and 
business man holds the respect and confidence 
of all. 



E. W. Brooks, of McLaughlin, Sheldon & 
Co., is a resident of Red Wing, Minn., having 
lived there for the past t\vent3'-five years. 
At present he is general agent for the Piano 
Harvester Company, and previous to his 
connection with tliat company had charge 
of the McCormick Machine Company's in- 
terests, in Eed "Wing, for sixteen successive 

The first foundry in Owatonna was estab- 
lislied in 1865, by T. J. Howe and M. F. 
Lowth. They continued the business until 
1873, when Mr. Lowth sold half his inter- 
est to H. N. Labare, and the firm became 
Lowth, Howe & Labare. In 1878, Mr. 
Howe bought the quarter interest held by 
Mr. Lowth, and the firm became T. J. Howe 
& Co., as it still remains. 

Thomas J. Howe, of the firm of T. J. 
Howe & Co., manufacturers of broadcast 
seeders, was born in Lewis Count}', 'N. Y., 
January 15, 1827. When he was four years 
old his father's family moved to Black Biv- 
er, N. Y., where our subject learned the 
machinist trade. In 1854 he came west to 
Beaver Dam, Wis., and in 1865 came 
to Owatonna. Here he formed a partner- 
ship with Michael F. Lowth, in manufactur- 
ing seeders. He was elected mayor in 1873, 
and served three terms, and was alder- 
man from the third ward from 1868 to 1872. 
In 1877 he was elected a member of the 
school board, and served two years, and 
again, in 1884, was made president of the 
board, holding until 1886. Mr. Howe is a 
member of Blue Lodge, A. F. & A. M., at 
Owatonna, and also of the Chapter and 
Commandery. He is also a member of the 
Universalist Church. He was married May 
6, 1861, to Miss Sarah M. Chapman, a native 
of Jefferson County, N. Y. Jesse B. and 
Harry C. ai'e their children's names, both 
living at home. Mr. Howe is one of the 
patentees of the "Light-Running Owatonna 
Force Feed Broadcast Seeder," upon which 
some seven different jiatents have been is- 
sued. He has been active in all enterprises 

beneficial to the city, and has been, and is, 
among the most prominent business men of 
the city. 

C. W. Burdic, proprietor of City Iron 
Works, was born in Rockville, Tolland 
County, Conn., in 1835. He learned the 
machinist trade and went to Hartford, 
where he was engaged in the diffei-ent gun 
works in that city for some years. Mr. 
Burdic's first wife was Mary E. Hill, 
daughter Capt. John E. Hill, of Mystic, 
Conn. She died in 1864, and he was again 
married in 1866 to Miss Cevila V. Moon. 
Ella L. (wife of George N". Tapley, of St. 
Paul) is an onl}' daughter by his first wife. 
Mr. Burdic is an enthusiastic Mason, being 
a member of Blue Lodge and Chapter. 

F. G. Schuman, of the firm of Schuman 
& Fenner, tobacconists, was born in Mil- 
waukee, Wis., in 1859. He learned cigar- 
making in that city, and was in the employ 
of Gelz & Co. He came to Owatonna in 
1880, where he worked for Mr. Lorence for 
six years; then he formed a partnership 
with Mr. Fenner, and they are now doing 
a flourishing business on the south side of 
Bridge street. 

Prominent among the pioneer settlers of 
Steele County is Orrin Greely, proprietor of 
the Owatonna pump factory. His father, 
Ephi'iam Greely, and his mother, Sally 
(Clark) Greely, were natives of New Hamp- 
shire. His ancestry on both sides is Ameri- 
can as far back as can be traced. Our sub- 
ject was born in St. Lawrence County, N. Y., 
in 1824 ; when eighteen years of age the fam- 
ily' came west to Cleveland, Ohio, and from 
there to Racine, Wis., where the father died. 
May 28, 1846. Orrin remained at home 
until that time, and then moved to Waupun, 
Wis., following the same business as his 
fatlier, a millwright. Two years later he set- 
tled at Kingston, Wis., where he was engaged 
in the mercantile business for two years. 
In 1852 he went to Cleveland, Ohio, and for 
' aljout one year worked for the Cleveland, 
Columbus, Cincinnati & Lakeshore Railroad 



Company. After this, a number of years 
were spent in various portions of Wisconsin 
and Illinois, including six months s])ent in 
erecting windmills on the Illinois Central 
railway, south of Chicago, and three years 
in the mercantile business in "Waupun. On 
the 30th of October, 1857, Mr. Greely 
arrived at Owatonna, and during the first 
fourteen years of his residence he was en- 
gaged in mill work and carpentering. Since 
that time he has been manufacturing the 
Owatonna Star Pump, and dealing in iron 
pipes, fittings, brass goods, fanning mills, 
etc. Mr. Greely was married in 1846 to 
Sarah A. Speer, who died the following year. 
In 181:9 he was married to Emily T. McMul- 
len who died in May, 1854, of consumption. 
In June, 1856, he was again united in matri- 
mony, wedding Sarah A. McMullen. Their 
children are as follows : Harmon F., Eddy 
H. and Frank L. The first by the second 
wife, and the last two by his present wife. 
Mr. Greely is one of Owatonna's most enter- 
prising citizens. He has been connected 
with the Methodist Episcopal Church for 
twenty-seven years. 

Henry A. Holmes, superintendent of the 
Owatonna creamery, was born in Clinton 
County, N. Y., in 1828. He came west to 
St. Louis, Mo., in 1852 ; he remained there 
but a short time, after which he went to Chi- 
cago, where he remained fourteen years, 
engaged principally as salesman in different 
retail stores of that city. He came west to 
West Union, Iowa, and resided there eight 
years. While there he started the first 
creamery conducted on the gathered cream 
plan that was opened west of the Mississippi 
River. Subsequently he came to Minnesota, 
locating in Chatfield, having charge of the 
Chatfield and St. Charles creameries. By 
excellent management he brought those en- 
terprises up to a paying and thrifty condi- 
tion. He came to Owatonna in the spring 
of 1887, and now has charge of the Farming- 
ton, Eedwood Falls, Marshall and Owa- 
tonna creameries. His skill and energy 

have already been manifested, and the pros- 
perity of these creameries is now an assured 
fact. He was married in 1850 to Adeline A. 
Dow, a native of Vermont. Benjamin H., 
the only child, resides at Spring Valley. Mr. 
Holmes is a Mason, being a member of the 
Blue Lodge Chapter and Commandery. 

P. Ganser, proprietor of Ganser's brewery, 
came to Owatonna in 1865, and bought out 
the brewery of Knobloch & Manhaim. Mr. 
Ganser conducted this until 1878, when it 
was destroyed by fire, the loss to Mr. Gan- 
ser being about $12,000. He then, witli 
characteristic enterprise, rebuilt, and in 1884 
it was again burned to the ground. Mr. 
Ganser then erected his present commodious 
building, and is now doing a business of 
between 3,500 and -1,000 barrels per year, 
having an extensive shipping trade, as well 
as supplying the home market, and using 
about 11,000 bushels of grain per year. In 
1879 Mr. Ganser, in company with Jacob 
Glaeser, erected the Germania haU and bil- 
liard rooms, and put in one of the finest 
retail liquor stores in the Northwest. In 
July, 1887, Mr. Ganser sold his interest in 
that establishment, and now devotes his 
whole time to his extensive brewing busi- 
ness. During the present season he has put 
in improvements to the amount of $2,5U0. 
Mr. Ganser is a native of Prussia, born in 
1836. He remained in his native country 
until eighteen years of age, when he came to 
America and located in Wisconsin, where he 
lived for a time and then went to California. 
In 1863 he returned to Wisconsin and in 
1865 came to Owatonna, as stated. Mr. 
Ganser has extensive business interests here, 
employs a number of men, and is rated 
among the most substantial and solid cit- 
izens of the county. Enterprises, of what- 
ever nature, which tend to benefit city or 
county, have always received his support, 
and in many ways has he taken a prominent 
part in the affairs of the city. 

Louis Bion, proprietor of the Owatonna 
brewery, was born in Bavaria in 1845. He 



came to America in 1864 and worked for 
six months in Milwaukee. He came to 
Winona in September of the same year, and 
for six years was foreman in C. C. Peck's 
brewery in that city. He came to Owa- 
tonna in 1870 and purchased the brewer}' on 
Bridge street, which he has since operated. 
He was married in 1868 to Miss Katie 
Schrofer and they have three cliildren. Mr. 
Bion is an Odd Fellow and is also a member 
of the Ancient Order of United Worlcmen. 

Charles Schoen, manufacturer of wagons 
and carriages, was born in Prussia in 1828. 
In 18-1-7 he came to America, locating in 
New York City for one year. He then came 
west to Milwaukee, Wis., where he engaged 
in carriage-making, having learned his trade 
in Prussia. After remaining there for some 
time, he removed to Madison, then to Pres- 
cott. Wis., finally coming to Owatonna, 
Steele County, Minn., in 1862, where he 
opened one of the first carriage shops in the 
city. Mr. Schoen was married in 1859 to 
Miss Elizabeth Myers, a native of Germany. 
They have nine children, Phillip, Anna, 
Katy, Henry, Clementina, Louisa, Lorens, 
John and Frank. Mr. Schoen is a Democrat 
and also a member of the Catholic Church. 
His establishment does an extensive business. 

John Deeg, manixfacturer of wagons and 
carriages, was born in Germany in the year 
1843. In 1868 he came to America, loca- 
ting in Owatonna, Steele County, Minn., 
where he was engaged for one year in the 
carpentering trade. He then embarked in 
his present business. Mr. Deeg was married 
in 1874 to Minnie Staulke. They have six 
children : Lena, Leonard, John, Minnie, Ella 
and Alvin. Mr. Deeg belongs to the Goethe 
Lodge, Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 
and also to the Lutheran Church. 


This is one of the most important of Owa- 
tonna's business interests. The company was 
incorporated on the 2d of November, 1885, 
with a paid-up capital of $25,000. They at 


once erected a two-story brick building, 86x 
142 feet in size, which was completed in 1886. 
The present officers of the company are as 
follows: K J. Schafer, president; J. M. 
Schafer, vice-president ; L. L. 'Bennett, treas- 
urer ; B. E. Darby, secretary, and N. J. Scha- 
fer, L. L. Bennett, Neil Graham, J. M. Schafer, 
Henry Birkett, J. C. Backus and William 
Mork, directors. These were also the first 
officers of the corporation, except that Hen- 
ry Birkett was the first vice-president. The 
company have the capacity for handling and 
dressing five thousand hogs per day ; and 
during last season employed fifty -three hands. 
They have a branch house at Duluth, where 
most of their goods are sold ; a considerable 
amount, however, is shipped to Dakota. 

Hon. Nicholas J. Schafer, president and 
general manager of the Owatonna Packing 
Company, was born in Darien, Genesee 
County, N. Y., in 1854. When ten years 
old, his father, Phillip Schafer, moved with 
his family to Freeborn County, Minn. N. J. 
Schafer went to Dakota in 1867, locating at 
Big Stone City; from there he moved to 
Millbank, where he held the office of council- 
man and was otherwise prominent in local 
affaii'S. He was elected to the territorial 
legislature in 1881, from Grant County, and 
still owns large interests in Dakota. He 
came to Owatonna in 1886, and was made 
president of the packing company. In ma- 
sonry, Mr. Schafer is Master of the Blue 
Lodge, High Priest of the Chapter and Senior 
Warden of the Commandery. He was mar- 
ried September 5, 1882, to Miss Louisa Knob- 
loch. They have one girl — Gertrude Louisa. 


The first hotel in Owatonna was the Win- 
ship House, which was opened by N. Winship 
in 1855, on the site which it still occupies. 
The building then was a log cabin, 22x16 
feet in size, and from the travel which passed 
through here this little hostelry became one 
of the best known landmarks of southern 
Minnesota in early times. In 1856 an addi- 



tion, 12x22 feet in size, was erected and vari- 
ous changes and additions have since been 
made. Mr. Winship is still proprietor. 

Late in 1855 another hotel was opened in 
A. B. Corneirs' log cabin, by Philo Sanford. 
It was located on the bank of the river near 
where G. F. Albertus' residence now stands. 
In 1857 Mr. Sanford erected what was then 
known as the American House, now called 
the Central House, which stands just west 
of the Morehouse block, on Broad way. After 
a year or two A. Town purchased the prop- 
erty, and it has since changed hands a num- 
ber of times. M. A. McAndrews is the 
present proprietor of the hotel. 

In 1857, B. L. Arnold erected what was 
known as the Eureka House, located where 
John Shea's clothing store now stands. Mr. 
Arnold ran this for about five years, then 
rented it to D. W. Walbridge and finally, in 
1864, sold to David Barker, who rebuilt and 
rearranged the house, building a new front, 
and the place became known as " Barker's 
Exchange." Three or four years later he 
sold to J. Oppliger, who conducted a meat- 
market there for about one year and then 
sold to Parcher & Bryant, and tJiey fitted it 
aeain as a hotel. Two years later Parcher 
bought his partner's interest, and a few 
months afterward, John Shea became a part- 
ner. Finall3% the whole thing was rented to 
Parcher for five years, and two years later 
he sub-let to a Mr. Brown. He was followed 
by Charles Hastings, who conducted it until 
August 1, 1882, when he was succeeded by 
C. Tryon. Shortly afterward Mr. Shea, 
who in the meantime had become owner of 
the property, sold it to William H. Kelly, 
and its use as a hotel was discontinued. 

The Owatonna House was built and 
opened during the war by George Leick. 
Several years later it was purchased by 
Mr. Engel, and at the time of his death he 
was succeeded by his son, William Engel, 
the present proprietor. 

The Scandinavian House was Iniilt in 1866 
by John M. Joos. For a number of years it 

was rented, and finally came into the posses- 
sion of Olo Elton, the present proprietor. 

In 1866 John Bartsch erected and opened 
the German hotel, near the depots. He ran 
it until the time of his death, which occurred 
in November, 1881, and since that time his 
widow has conducted the business. 

The Arnold House was erected in 1866 by 
B. L. Arnold. Mr. Arnold sold to Charles 
Hastings, who conducted it until 1882, when 
the property was purchased by C. Tryon, 
the present proprietor. The hotel is a three- 
story frajne structure, well furnished and 
conveniently arranged. Mr. Tryon has built 
up the trade of the house until it is now one 
of the best paying hotels in this part of the 

In 186G Peter Lem started a Scandinavian 
hotel in the building now occupied as an 
office by Dr. Rossbach. It was only run as 
a hotel for a short time. 

The Tremont House was built in 1867 by 
Mr. Cory. He sold to John Parcher and 
later it passed into the hands of J. Oppliger. 
In 1876 W. Nickerson purchased the ])rop- 
erty, and his son Charles is the present pro- 

In 18G8 O. H. Wensell and Oliver Nelson 
erected and opened a house called the City 
Hotel. In 1869 it was purchased by E. B. 
Crooker, and in 1870 he sold to Appleton 
Hale. In 1875 James and George Peachey 
bought the property and the name was 
changed to the Peachey House. George 
Peachey, the present proprietor, bought the 
house in 1880. 

The American House was built in 1875 by 
James Connell. The property has changed 
hands several times. L. Robinson is the 
present projirietor. 

In 1880 Dr. E. M. erected a 
three-story brick building, which was openetl 
as the Commercial Hotel in 1884 by Elmer 
E. Cane. Various parties have conducted it 
since that time. O. E. Ed son is the present 

Church's hotel was built and opened by 



John Church in 1885. F. I). Albro is the 
present proprietor. 

In the summer of 1887, Dr. E. M. More- 
house began the erection of a magnificent 
briclv block, just north of the postoffice, 
which is to be opened as the Merchants' Hotel 
and it is fast nearing completion as this vol- 
ume goes to press. The building in size is 
one hundred feet front by eighty feet deep, 
four stories high, constructed of brick of Dr. 
Morehouse's own manufacture. Almost the 
entire front will be filled with plate glass, 
while massive iron pillars are used as sup- 
porters, and tiling will be used for office and 
hall floors. The house will be elegantly fur- 
nished and contain over a hundred sleeping 
rooms. The house will be equipped with 
steam-heating apparatus, fire escapes, eleva- 
tor and all modern improvements. In addi- 
tion to this, four stairways will open on the 
street. When completed it will have cost 
$50,000 or more and will be the finest hotel 
in the southern part of the State. 

In connection with this article we present 
biographical sketches of a number of the lead- 
ing hotel men of the city. 

Nathaniel Winship, the pioneer hotel man 
of Steele County, and present proprietor of 
the Winship House, was born in Weston, 
Windsor County, Vt., July 9, 1822, his an. 
cestors being Americans as far back as can 
now be traced. His parents were John A. 
and Amjr (Walker) Winship. Nathaniel at 
an early day settled in Milwaukee County, 
Wis., and in 1855 came to Steele County, as 
has been stated heretofore. He was married 
October 9, 1851, to Miss Emily P. MouJton, 
a native of Vermont. Her people were Eng- 
lish, her mother being a Tabor, a prominent 
family in the New England States in early 
times. Mr. and Mrs. Winship are members 
of the Baptist Church and hold the respect 
and esteem of a wide circle of friends. They 
have the following children — Henry M. and 
Ernest T., of Tracy, Minn. ; John E., proprie- 
tor of a job printing oflice in Owatonna ; 
Alice E. and Frank R. Mrs. Winship's 

mother came here in 1858 and resided here 
until her death, which occurred April 17, 

When Mr. Winship and family first ar- 
rived here they lived for a time in a little 
shanty located where the brewery now 
stands. Mrs. Winship states that many 
times when feeding her domestic animals, 
the gophers would come up and eat with 
them. Another time a rattlesnake came 
into the house and laid by the stove while 
the family were at dinner. A common sally 
was as to " whose floor should be kept the 
cleanest." Many families were then living 
in little log cabins with no floor save " Mother 

Cyrus Tryon, proprietor of the Arnold 
House, is a native of Cumberland, Me., born 
in the year 1831. He came West in 1853 
and, having learned the business of locomo- 
tive engineer, and followed it in the East, 
followed that business in the West until he 
had completed his twenty -eighth year on the 
road. He ran the first train into Madison, 
Wis., and for years was identified with what 
has since become the great Milwaukee rail- 
way system. From railroading he entered 
the hotel business, conducting leading hotels 
at both Prairie du Chien and Richland Cen- 
ter, in Wisconsin. In 1882 he came to 
Owatonna, and purchased the Arnold House 
which he still owns and conducts. In 1854 
he was married to Miss Emily Lawrence, 
whose father was a cousin of the famous 
Abbott Lawrence. She is also a native of 
the State of Maine. Mr. and Mrs. Tryon 
have four children, as follows : William E., a 
practicing physician of Minneapolis ; Frank 
v., proprietor of the Tryon Hotel, Austin, 
Minn.; Lillian M.,now Mrs. R. O., Philpot, 
of Owatonna ; and George W., a graduate 
of Pillsbury Academy. Mr. Tryon thor- 
oughl}^ understands the hotel business and 
has built up a lai'ge and increasing custom, 
while Mrs. Tryon, besides being an accom- 
plished musician, is an afl'able and courteous 
lady who, as ^ a hostess, has done much 



toward gainin<;- for the Arnold House the 
reputation which it sustains. 

Francis D. Albro, proprietor of the Church 
hotel, was born in Kent County, town of 
Coventry, R. I. When he was ten years 
old his fathers family moved to Scotland, 
Conn., thence to Norwich, where he learned 
the machinist trade. He was married in 
1856 to Miss Esther C. Arnold. In 1862 
he enlisted in Company C, Twenty -first 
Connecticut Volunteers. He was wounded 
in the battle of Fredericksburg and was dis- 
charged. His wife died in 1870, and he was 
again married in 1871 to Mrs. Abbie C. Fitch. 
He came to Owatonna in 18S6, purchased the 
Church hotel, and is its present proprietor. 
Mr. Church had two children by his first 
wife — Isadore E. and Susan H. — both of 
whom are living. By his second wife he has 
had three children : Frank E., born in Feb- 
ruary, 1871; Herbert E., born May 2, 187U, 
and Cressey A., born April 23, 1873. Mr 
Albro is a Republican in politics, and a mem- 
ber of the Sedgwick Post (Norwich, Conn.) 
Grand Army of the Republic. With his wife 
he belongs to the Congregational Church. 

Michael A. McAndrews, proprietor of the 
Central House, was born in Ireland in 1815. 
He came to America when two yeai-s old, 
with his parents, locating in Lake County, 
111., where he engaged in farming. In 1857 
he, with his father, Francis McAndrews, 
came to Steele County, Minn., locating in 
Merton Township, llis father died in June, 
1872. His mother died in 1878. Our sub- 
ject enlisted. August 23, 1862, in a company, 
and went to Winnebago Agency in August, 
1862. In January, 1861, he enlisted in Bat- 
tery L, First Minnesota Heavy Artillery, and 
was in service until September, bemg, most 
of the time, in Chattanooga. He came to 
Owatonna in ISSl, and in the spring of 1887 
took possession of Centra! House. Mr. Mc- 
Andrews was married in December, 1872, to 
Mary A. Hand, a native of Iowa. They 
have four children : Abbie A., Willie H., 
Frank J. and John H. They are members 

of the Catholic Church, and Mr. McAndrews 
belongs to the Grand Armj' of the Republic. 

Ole Elton, proprietor of the Scandinavian 
House, was born in Norway in 1812. In 
1866 he came to America, locating in Wa- 
seca, Minn., where he engaged in the mer- 
chandise business for two years. In 1876 he 
came to Owatonna, where he has since re- 
sided. Mr. Elton was married in 1S62 to 
Miss Mary Larsen, who died in 1872. He 
was again married in 1871, to Lefia Larsen. 
Agnes, born in Norway, October 2, 1861, 
Olof, born in Norway, June 6, 1866, Andrew, 
born in Waseca County, April 1, 1868, and 
Carrie, born in Waseca City, November 5, 
1875, are the names of their children. 

William G. Engel, proprietor of the Owa- 
tonna House, was born near Milwaukee, 
AVis., in 1858. In 1867 he came to Owa- 
tonna. His father. William L. Engel, worked 
one year in a brewery and then bought the 
Owatonna House, which he conducted until 
the time of his death, in December, 1872. 
William G. has been running the house since 
his father's death. 

John Bartsch, deceased, former proprietor 
of the German hotel, was a native of Ger- 
many. He came to America in 1851 and 
located in Dodge County, Wis., where for 
twelve years he was employed in an iron 
foundry. In 1866 he came to Owatonna and 
engaged in the hotel business, erecting the 
house referred to. He continued to conduct 
it until his death, which occurred November 
27, 1881. He had been married many years 
previous, and had four children : Charles, 
Hattie, AVilliam and Gusta. Charles now 
lives in Dakota and Hattie in Minneapolis. 
William and Gusta stiU live at home. The 
business is carried on by the widow and 

William Bartsch was born in Wisconsin 
on the 17th of December, 1863. He is a sin- 
gle man, of good business qualities, and a 
Democrat in politics. 

G. W. Peachey, proprietor of the Peachej' 
House, was born in Dodge County, Wis., 



in 1853. His father, James Peach}^, brought 
his family to Dodge County, Minn., where 
he was one of the pioneers of Ellington 
Township. Geo. W. Peachy came to 
Owatonna in 1876, purchased the City Hotel 
and has conducted it under the name of the 
Peachey House since that time. He was 
married in 187S to Miss Lillie Cole. He is a 
member of Lodge No. 14, Independent Order 
of Odd FeUows. 


The first physician to locate in what is 
now the city of Owatonna was Dr. E. M. 
Morehouse, who is still a leading physician 
of the city. During the third of a century 
that has glided by since the city was laid out, 
the number of physicians that have come and 
gone have been legion. At the present writing 
(1887) the medical profession is well rep- 
resented at Owatonna by the following 
named phj^sicians, viz.: Drs. E. M. Morehouse, 
Edward E. Bigelow, J. L. Harrington, J. H. 
Adair, G. A. Eossbach, T. L. Hatch, D. H. 
Eoberts and W. A. Ware. 

Eli Martin Morehouse, M. D., pioneer 
physician of Owatonna, was born at Warren, 
Trumbull County, Ohio, March 2, 1835, 
his parents being ISTelson and Sarah Johnson 
Morehouse. His father. Nelson Morehouse 
vi^as a mill-owner, and his grandfather, Eli 
Morehouse, participated in the second war 
with England. Eli M. received an academic 
education in WaiTen ; commenced reading 
medicine when a mere lad, his preceptor be- 
ing the celebrated Dr. William Paine, pro- 
fessor of the theory and practice of medicine, 
in the University of Medicine and Surgery, 
at Philadelphia. At seventeen he had grad- 
uated in medicine and at eighteen com- 
menced practicing at Warren, at seventeen 
having received his diploma from the Uni- 
versity of Medicine and Sui-gery, at Phila- 
delphia. In 1853 Dr. Morehouse crossed 
the Mississippi River and engaged in practice 
at Indepentlence, Buchanan County, Iowa. 
Early in 1855 he came to Minnesota and 

became the first and only physician at Owa- 
tonna, then, since that time he has been in 
practice here constantly, with the exception 
of a short time about the close of the war, 
when, in 1864, in order to have a respite 
from severe labor, he took a trip to Montana 
and other Territories, coupling a mild form 
of gold fever with a taste for adventure. 
He was absent for two years, in practice 
part of this time at Virginia City, Mon. 
After this trip he again resumed his large 
practice here and has since continued it. 
In May, 1871, he led off in the formation of 
the Minnesota State Eclectic Medical Soci- 
ety, of which he was the first president, 
and at the present writing again holds that 
office. He is also a member of the National 
Eclectic Medical Association, having years 
ago received diplomas from the New York 
and Cincinnati Eclectic Medical Colleges. 
In early days, as at the present writing, the 
Doctor was among the best known men in 
this part of the State. There were no rail 
roads for j^ears after he began practice here, 
and his ride extended from thirty to fifty 
miles in every direction, while the absence 
of roads and bridges, and the trackless prai- 
ries form the basis for enough incidents of 
danger and hardships to fill a volume. This 
brought him in contact with a vast range 
of country, and formed the foundation 
for the extended and lucrative practice 
which he has enjoyed ever since. He 
was chosen a member of the State Senate 
in 1877, and in the session of the fol- 
lowing year was upon seven committees, 
including those of public lands, Indian af- 
fairs, State university and library. In 
early days he was a Republican, but since 
the war has been a Democrat. He has held 
many other public offices of trust and has 
been offered many times the nomination of 
his party for others, but as a rule he has de- 
clined. The Doctor belongs to the Camp in 
Odd Fellowship, and is a Knight Templar 
among the Masons. Since locating in Owa- 
tonna no man has been more active and 



liberal in advancing the interests of the 
city. In 1867 he built the Morehouse 
block or Opera House ; later the Merchants' 
hotel and other important buildings, and 
now has nearly completed a four-story brick 
block opposite the postoffice, which will be 
the finest and largest building in the city. 
A full description of it is given elsewhere in 
this volume. He also owns hundreds of 
acres of improved and unimproved land. 
All matters tending to benefit the city or 
county have always received his hearty en- 
couragement — both with his influence and 
in a financial way. 

George A. Rossbach, M.D., has practiced in 
Owatonna since 1871. He was born m 
Moyenmoutier, France, in 1813. Graduating 
from the Strasburg Medical College in 1833, 
he went with a regiment of French troops 
to Africa in the capacity of surgeon. He 
came to America in 1851, locating in Sauk 
County, Wis. In 1861 he was made surgeon 
of the Third Wisconsin .Cavalry, serving a 
year and a half with the troops and two 
years at a hospital at Fort Scott, Kan. He 
came to Owatonna in 1871. He is an Odd 
Fellow, being a member of Goethe Lodge. 
He is one of the most skillful surgeons in 
the State. 

D. H. Roberts, M. D., homeopathic phy- 
sician, was born near Richmond, Wayne 
County, Ind., in 1824. He received his 
medical education principally in Indian- 
apolis. After practicing a short time he 
accepted a chair of natural science in the 
Whitewater College, and later he was made 
superintendent of the Farmers' Institute 
near Lafayette. Subsequentlj^ he located in 
Pendleton, Ind., where he resumed practice. 
In 1869 he came to Minnesota and located 
in Plainview. In 1872 he removed to Owa- 
tonna and has since been doing a lucrative 
business. The doctor is a Mason and also 
an Odd Fellow. He was married in 1S4S to 
Miss Elizabeth P. Austin, a native of Phil- 

Edward E. Bigelow, M. D., was born in 

Akron, Ohio, in 1841, where he spent his 
early life. In 18.50 removed witli his fath- 
ead's family to Lake Mills, Jefferson County, 
Wis., where he received an academical 
education and then began the study of 
medicine and surgery, which was interrupted 
by the War of the Rebellion. He enlisted in 
Gen. Fremont's body-guard, at Milwaukee, 
1861, but was rejected on account of being 
unfit for cavalry service. He re-enlisted in 
1862 and was appointed sergeant of Company 
D, Twenty-ninth Wisconsin Volunteers, and 
was discharged, on account of disability, in 
1863. He pursued the study of his pro- 
fession in the office of his preceptor till the 
fall of 1865, when he entered the medical 
college of the University of Michigan. 
Having received the degrees of doctors of 
medicine and surgery, in March, 1867, he 
immediately entered upon the duties of his 
profession at Milan, Mich. In 1873 removed 
to Manchester. On July 5, 1877, he was 
united in marriage with Miss Ella A. Eeles, 
of Waterloo, N. Y., and in the fall of the 
same year removed to Owatonna, ]\Iinn., 
and is now very actively engaged in his 
chosen profession, having a large and in- 
creasing practice. The doctor is a member 
of the Minnesota State Medical Association 
and of the American Medical Association. 
In Masonry he is a member of the Blue 
Lodge, Owatonna Royal Arch Chapter No. 
15, and of Cyrene Commandery No. 9 of 
Owatonna. He is an Odd Fellow and a 
member and surgeon of James A. Goodwin 
Post, Grand Army of the Republic, No. 81. 
The doctor and Mrs. Bigelow have two little 
girls — Edna Louisa, born December 17, 
1879, and Marian E., born August 13, 1884. 
Theodore L. Hatch, M. D., of Owatonna, 
was born in Broome County, N. Y., the 20th 
of January, 1848. When he was two years old 
his parents removed with him to Washing- 
ton County, Wis., where they resided till he 
was six years of age, when they moved to 
Plainville, Adams County, Wis. Dr. Hatch 
received a good common school education 



and at the age of twenty engaged in the 
avocation of teaching. In the spring of 
1867 he commenced the study of medicine 
at Neillsville, Wis., and took his medical 
degree at the University of Michigan on the 
29th of March, 1871. In the final examin- 
ation for the degree of doctor of medicine 
he stood at the head of his class in anatomy 
and physiology, and obstetrics and gynae- 
cology. He practised at Neillsville, Wis., 
during the summer of 1871, coming to Steele 
County in October of that year. During 
the winter of 1871-2 he taught school at 
Aurora station, engaging in practice outside 
of school hours. In the spring of 1872 he 
moved to Blooming Prairie and practiced 
medicine, engaging also with his brother in 
the drug business. In May, ISSO, he became 
a resident of Owatonna, where he has since 
resided. He is at present county physician 
of Steele County, this being the fourth term 
he has held that position. 

J. L. Harrington, M. D., was born in Wind- 
ham County, Vt., in 1810. From the age of 
nineteen to twentj'-two, he studied medicine 
and taught school alternately. He gradu- 
ated in medicine June 3, 1862, from the 
University of Vermont, and soon commenced 
to practice at Weston. In 1861 he enlisted 
in Compan}' I, Fourth Volunteer Infantry, 
and was subsequently promoted to assistant 
surgeon in the First Vermont Heavy Artil- 
lery. In 1866 he went to Halifax and 
resumed his practice, remaining there until 
1881. During his residence there he was a 
member of the State constitutional conven- 
tion in 1872. In 1878 was elected to the 
legislature, and was chairman of the State 
board of supervisors of the insane in 1879 
and 1880. In 1881, on account of failing- 
health, he came west and located in Owa- 
tonna. On February 2, 1867, he was married 
to Mrs. Catharine Tenney, a native of New 
Hampshire. William E. is the name of their 
only son. Mrs. S. E. Nelson, of Owatonna, 
is a daughter of Mrs. Harrington bj^ her 
former marriage. Dr. Harrington is a skill- 

ful surgeon and a splendid physician, and 
has a lucrative practice. 

J. II. Adaii", M. D., was born in Havana 
Township, Steele County, in 1858, his people 
being the first settlers in that locality. Dr. 
Adair received his early education at Owa- 
tonna, and later took a course at Carleton 
College, JSTorthfield. In 1880 he went to 
Chicago, entered Rush Medical College and 
graduated from that institution in 1883. He 
began to practice at Winnebago City, Minn., 
but a year later came to Owatonna, where 
he is now practicing. September 15, 1887, 
he was married to Miss Mary L. Davidson, 
daughter of William Davidson, of Owatonna. 


At the present writing (August, 1887) the 
general business of Owatonna, in the various 
lines of trade, is represented by the following- 
named gentlemen and firms : 

General Merchandise — G. F. Albertus, J. 
Oppliger & Co., A. Kasper, Soukup Bros., 
Nelson & Jefts, J. C. Jahreiss, Petrich & 
Speckeen, M. Leary, T. H. Kelly & Co. and 
W. Holt. 

Exclusive Dry Goods — H. E. Moore, Ji-., 
& Co. and J. L. Saxton. 

Groceries — Twiford & Sperr}', E. Downie 
& Co., A. Mudeking, Wm. Davidson, E. W. 
Piper, E. W. Clarke, Stowers & Jeiferson, E. 
F. Eequa. 

Clothing — John Shea, H. Katz & Co. and 
J. Schulein. 

Hardware — E. Y. Hunnewill, Thon Bros., 
Crandall & Nelson, Parrott & Smith, A. 
Knobloch and N. C. Larson. 

Drugs — F. M. Banter, Wm. Gauswitz & 
Co., C. Peterson and Luers ife Luers. 

Boots and Shoes — AVilliam Mork, Nichols 
& Hall, Weber & Son and J. A. Butsch. 

Jewelry — Henrjr Birkett, Julius F. Young 
and C. F. Warner. 

Lumber — Laird, Norton & Co. (George 
Clark, manager), J. Z. Barncard & Co. and 
Wisconsin Lumber Company (Mclndoe Alex- 
ander, manager). 



Saloons • — Emil Theimer. J. Glaeser, Chas. 
Kenmoth, Joseph Hoflfman, T. Fedder, Bion 
& Hoffman, W. Watowa, Joseph Kubat, M. 
Kyan, Mrs. Bartsch, Anton Belina and 
Thompson & Wightman. 

Flour and Feed — J. W. Gillett. Nearly 
all of the grocery stores also handle flour 
and feed. 

Marble Works — Webb & Hemingway, 
Byrne & McDonald and A. Meyer. 

Agricultural Implements — Buxton & 
Jones, McLaughlin & Larson, R. H. Chapin, 
M. S. Quiggle, Crandall & Nelson, Virtue & 
Co. and Hotchkiss & Co. 

Pump Factor}^ — Orrin Greeley. 

Diamond Feedmill Manufacturers — Mc- 
Laughlin, Sheldon & Co. 

Blacksmith Shops — Brown & McEostie, 
Homer Wardwill, C. Zannetti, Ben. Meix- 
ner, E. Deininger, H. Cartright, C. Hanson, 
M. S. Quiggle and C. F. Smith. 

Wagon Shops — C. Schoen, Ben Meixner, 
John Deeg, E. Deininger and H. Cartright. 

Liverjr — Fred Eosskopf and E. H. Chapin. 

Confectionery — Chas. Chenoweth, W. 

Bakeries — C. Chenoweth and Mr. Brooks. 

Harness Shops — H. F. Luce & Son, 0. 
Butsch, Meyer Brothers, C. Bowers and O. 
M. ILimmond. 

Shoemakers — J. Lee, O. Searle, J. E. 
McLeod and J. Bartosch. 

Merchant Tailors — John Cottier, N. W. 
Hanson and D. Banks. 

Barbers — Jerry Pope, Parker Brothers, 
Boggs & Essex, N. G. Frisco and Andrew 

Books and Stationery — A. M. Kinyon. 
Several drug stores also handle a light stock 
of this line of goods. 

Grain — Pratt & Co., Soper & Son, J. S. 

Photographers — G. W. Chesley and H. 

Dentists — Doctors Medd, Searle and 

Eeal Estate — B. S. Cook. 

Meat Markets — Owatonna Packing Com- 
pany, Charles Meschke, Gus Sckwanke, 
Boice & Forsyth and John Stranski & Co. 


In this connection we pi-esent a complete 
list of the officers who have managed the 
various departments of the city government 
from the incorporation of the city in 1865, 
to the present time, inclusive : 

OFFICERS, 1S05-6. 

Mayor, G. B. Hall ; recorder, A. M. Kin- 
yon ; assessor, J. W. Dresser ; treasurer, J. 

B. Hooker ; city marshal, W. Wheaton ; city 
justice, A.N. Stoughton ; city attorney, J. B. 
Searles ; city surveyor, L. Bixby ; official 
paper, Plaindealer. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, W. H. Willsey, 
W. E. Kin3'on ; justice, A. Chambers ; street 
commissioner, S. N. Sargent; constable, 
James Connell. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, J. A. Oppliger, 
J. B. Crooker; justice, I. P. Eequa; street 
commissioner, A. Odell; constable, Wm. 
Curtis. • 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, W. Scruby, J. 
Donaldson ; justice, Philo Bliss ; street com- 
missioner, M. H. Franklin ; constable, J. B. 

Board of Education. — At large, D. S. Har- 
sha, C. L. Tappan ; first ward, Seth Hotch- 
kiss ; second ward, A. Town ; third ward, D. 
W. Burch. 

OFFICERS, 1866-7. 

Mayor, A. N. Stoughton ; recorders, A. M. 
Kinyon, C. S. Crandall ; assessor, J. Cham- 
bers; treasurer, G. B. Hall; street commis- 
sioner, S. N. Sargent; city marshal, W. 
Wheaton ; cit}' justice, C. C. Cornell ; city 
attorney, J. B. Searles; city surveyor, L. 
Bixby ; official paper, Plaindealer. 

First IT a/r/.— Aldermen, W. H. Willsey, -, 
W. E. Kinyon ; constable, James Connell ; 
justice, A. Chambers. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, J. Newsalt, II. 

C. Eld red ; justice, I. P. Eequa ; constable, 
William Curtis. 



Third Ward. — Aldermen, William Scruby, 
H. J. Lewis, J. A. Oppliger ; justice, Philo 
Bliss ; constables, C. G. Smith, H. A. Tiffany. 

Board of Education. — At large, D. S. 
Harsha, C. L. Tappan ; first ward, Seth 
Hotchkiss; second ward, A. Town; third 
ward, D. W. Burch. 

OFFICERS, 1867-8. 

Mayor, S. B. "Washburn ; recorder, Isaac 
"W. Burch ; assessor, L. E. Kawson ; treas- 
urer, G. B. Hall; street commissioners, H. 
J. Lewis, C. L. Gardner; cit}^ marshal, M. 
J. Toher ; city justice, H. H. Johnson ; city 
attorney, J. B. Searles ; city surveyor, J. H. 
Abbott ; official paper, Joitrnal. 

First Wai'd. — Aldermen, W. R. Kinyon, 
Clarke Chambers, W. H. Willsey ; constable, 
Levi Frank ; justice, Addison Phelps. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, H. C. Eldred, 
N. "Winship, J. Donaldson ; constable, none ; 
justice, H. A. Beers. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, J. A. Oppliger, 
J. Donaldson, J. S. Fuller; constable, I. W. 
Hanks; justice, M. F. Lowth. 

Board of Education. — At large, D. S. 
Harsha, S. S. Eussell ; first ward, S. Hotch- 
kiss, I. J. Fuller ; second ward, A. Town ; 
third ward, D. W. Burch. 

OFFICERS, 1868-9. 

Mayor, J. W. Morford ; recorder, Isaac 
W. Burch ; assessor, E. Scannel ; treasurer, 
S. Hotchkiss ; street commissioner, A. 
Phelps; city marshal, I. W. Hanks; city 
justice, H. H. Johnson ; city attorney, J. B. 
Searles ; city surveyor, J. li. Abbott ; offi- 
cial paper. Journal. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, C. Chambers, J. 

A. Armstrong, Chas. Dennijes ; constables, 
none ; justice, Wm. Dean. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, N. Winship, D. 

B. Marble ; constable, J. B. Hooker ; jus- 
tice, H. A. Beers. 

Third Wa7'd. — Aldermen, T. J. Howe, K. 
D. Chase ; justice, Wm. Davidson ; consta- 
ble, I. W. Hanks. 

Board of Education. — At large, S. S. Rus- 

sell, S. B. Washburne ; first ward, I. J. Ful- 
ler ; second ward, P. S. Smith, John Odell ; 
third ward, Wm. Davidson. 

OFFICERS, 1869-70. 

Mayor, A. N. Stoughton ; recorder, Isaac 
W. Burch ; assessor, E. Scannel ; treasurer, 
J. Chambers ; street commissioner, M. J. 
Toher; city marshal, I. W. Hanks; city jus- 
tice, H. A. Beers ; city attorney, J. B. 
Searles ; city surveyor, J. H. Abbott ; offi- 
cial paper, Journal. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, J. A. Armstrong, 
Lewis Lord ; constable, James Cornell ; jus- 
tice, T. G. Patch. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, D. B. Marble, 
L. E. Rawson ; justice, L. B. Town ; consta- 
ble, H. A. Tiffany. 

TJdrd Ward. — Aldermen, K. D. Chase, 
T. J. Howe, H. Backus; constable, I. W. 
Hanks ; justice, Philo Bhss. 

Board of Education. — At large, G. B. 
Hall, M. F. Lowth ; first ward, B. F. Melvin ; 
second ward, John Odell, D. S. Harsha; 
third ward, D. W. Burch. 

. OFFICERS, 1870-71. 

Mayor, H. II. Johnson ; recorder, Isaac 
Burch ; assessor, Seth Hotchkiss ; treasurer, 
J. Chambers ; street commissioner, L. Gil- 
bert ; city marshal, I. W. Hanks ; city jus- 
tice, H. A. Beers; city attorney, J. B. 
Searles ; city surveyor, J. H. Abbott ; offi- 
cial paper. Journal. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, J. A. Armstrong, 
R. C. Olin, Lewis Lord; constable, James 
Cornell; justice, T. G. Patch. 

Second Ward. — -Aldermen, D. B. Marble, 
L. E. Rawson ; constable, E. R. Fenno ; jus- 
tice, Samuel Collins. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, T. J. Howe, 
H. Backus ; justice, Philo Bliss ; constable, I. 
W. Hanks. 

Board of Education. — At large, G. B. 
Hall, G. C. Tanner: first ward, Charles S. 
Crandall ; second ward, D. S. Harsha ; third 
ward, D. W. Burch. 



OFFICERS, 1871-2. 

Mayor, R. C. Olin ; recorder, Isaac "W. 
Burch ; assessor, Seth Hotchkiss ; treasurer, 
J. "Chambers; street commissioner, James 
Cotter ; city marshal, I. W. Hanks ; city 
justice, H. H. Johnson ; city attorney, Lewis 
L. Wheelock ; city surveyor, J. H. Abbott ; 
official paper. Journal. 

First IFa^Y/.— Aldermen, E. C. Olin, T. W. 
Irving, W. H. Sherman ; constable, James 
Connell ; justice, T. G. Patch. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, D. B. Marble, 
E. A. Tyler ; justice, M. L. Blair ; constable, 
R. G. Chittenden. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, H. Backus, J. E. 
Buxton ; justice, J. S. Austin ; constable, 
O. G. Evenson. 

Board of Education. — At large, G. C. 
Tanner, Lewis L. Wheelock; first ward, 
Charles S. Crantlall ; second ward, E. H. S. 
Dartt ; third ward, D. W. Burch. 

OFFICERS, 1872-3. 

Mayors, "W. II. Kelly, J. A. Oppliger; 
recorder, Isaac "W. Burch; assessor, Seth 
Hotchkiss ; treasurer, Joseph Chambers ; 
street commissioner, S. J. Loomis ; city mar- 
shal, D. Whipple; city justice, H.H.Johnson; 
city attornej', J. M. Burlingame ; city sur- 
veyor, B. S. Wheeler ; official paper, Journal. 
First Ward. — Aldermen, T. W. Irving, 
W. H. Sherman, W. II. Willsey ; justice, T. 
G. Patch ; constable, James Connell. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, E. A. Tyler, 
A. C. Dodge ; justice, C. C. Cornell ; con- 
stable, D. Whipple. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, H.Backus, J. E. 
Buxton ; justice, J. S. Austin ; constable, A. 
E. Simons. 

Board of Education. — At large, Lewis L. 
Wheelock, G. C. Tanner; first ward, Chas. 
S. Crandall ; second ward, E. H. S. Dartt ; 
third ward, D. W. Burch. 

OFFICERS, 1873-^. 
Maj'or, T. J. Howe ; recorder, Isaac W. 
Burch ; assessor, D. W. Burch ; treasurer, 
Joseph Chambers ; street commissioner, S. J. 

Loomis ; city marshal, E. L. Paddock ; city 
justice, T. G. Patch ; city attorney, J. M. 
Burlingame ; city surveyor, B. S. Wheeler ; 
official pa])er, Journal. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, T. W. Irving, 
Seth Hotchkiss ; justice, H. H. Johnson ; 
constable, Theo. Dean. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, A. C. Dodge, 
Titus Case ; justice, C. C. Cornell ; consta- 
ble, E. R. Fenno. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, H. Backus, J. 
E. Buxton ; justice, Wm. Davidson ; consta- 
ble, H. A. Tiffany. 

Board of Education. — At large, G. C. 
Tanner, John A. Spelman ; first ward, A. 
N. Stoughton ; second ward, E. H. S. Dartt ; 
third ward, D. W. Burch. 

OFFICERS, 187-1—5. 

Mayor, T. J. Howe; recorder, Isaac W. 
Burch ; assessor, Seth Hotchkiss ; treasurer, 
Joseph Chamljers ; street commissioner, P. 
Brennan ; city marshal, S. H. Stowers ; city 
justices, T. G. Patch, N^. M. Donaldson ; 
city attorney, J. M. Burlingame ; city sur- 
veyor, J. II. Abbott ; official paper. Journal. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, Seth Hotchkiss, 
Clarke Chambers ; justice, H. H. Johnson ; 
constable, P. R. Pike. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, Titus Case, N. 
M. Donaldson : justice, Isaac Howe ; consta- 
ble, G. F. Doolittle. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen J. E. Buxton, 
Geo. Wilson ; justice, Wm. Davidson ; con- 
stable, H. A. Tiffany. 

Board of Education. — At large, G. C. 
Tanner, John A. Spelman; first ward, A. N. 
Stoughton ; second ward, E. H. S. Dartt ; 
third ward, II. W. Pratt. 

OFFICERS, 1875-6. 

Mayor, T. J. Howe ; recorder, Isaac W. 
Burcii; assessor, Seth Hotchkiss; treasur- 
er, J. Chambers ; street commissioner, P. 
Brennan ; city marshal, S. H. Stowers ; city 
justice, N. M. Donaldson ; city attorney, J. 
M. Burlingame ; cit}' surve3'Oi', J. H. Abbott ; 
official paper, Journal. 



First Ward. — Aldermen, Clarke Cham- 
bers, A. Knobloch ; justice, il. H. Johnson ; 
constable, S. H. Stowers. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, N. M. Donald- 
son, E. Donaldson; justices, Isaac Howe, 
H. A. Beers ; constable, Wm. Furman. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, J. E. Buxton, 
Geo. Wilson ; justice, Wm. Davidson ; con- 
stable, H. A. Tiflfany. 

Board of Education. ■ — At large, G. C. 
Tanner, J. C. Ellis; first ward, A. N. 
Stoughton ; second ward, E. H. S. Dartt ; 
third ward, H. W. Pratt. 

OFFICERS, 1876-7. 

Mayor, N. M. Donaldson ; recorder, Isaac 
W. Burch ; assessor, L. E. Eawson, treasurer, 
J. Chambers ; street commissioner, P. Bren- 
nan, city marshal, J. B. Putney; city justice, 
N. M. Donaldson ; city attorney, J. M. Burlin- 
game ; city surveyor, J. H. Abbott ; oiBcial 
paper. People's Press. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, A. Knobloch, 
J. E. Fox ; justice, H. H. Johnson ; constable, 
George Van Dusen. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, E. Donaldson, 
J. C. Ellis ; justice, H. A. Beers ; constable, 
Wm. Furman. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, E. Easton, Jas. 
Thompson ; justice, Wm. Davidson ; consta- 
ble, H. A. Tifi^any. 

Board of Education. — At large, H. W. 
Pratt, J. C. Ellis ; first ward, W. A. Dynes, 
E. H. Chapin ; second ward, E. H. S. Dartt ; 
third ward, C. G. Earley. 

OB'FICEKS, 1877-8. 

Mayor, M. A. Fredenburg ; recorder, Isaac 
W. Burch; assessor, E. Easton; treasurer, 
Joseph Chambers ; street commissioner, P. 
Brennan ; city marshal, S. II. Stowers ; city 
justice, N. M. Donaldson ; city attorney, J. 
M. Burlingame ; city surveyor, J. H. Abbott ; 
official paper. Review. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, J. E. Fox, A. 
Knobloch ; justice, II. F. Luce ; constable, 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, E. Donaldson, 

J. C. Ellis ; justice, H. A. Beers ; constable, 
E. M. Arnold. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, James Thomp- 
son, C. H. Eandall; justice, E. C. Culver; 
constable, H. A. Tiffany. 

Board of Education. — At large, J. C. Ellis, 
J. E. Truesdell ; first ward, G. C. Tanner ; 
second ward, W. A. Dynes; third ward, T. 
J. Howe. 

OFFICERS, 1878-9. 

Mayor, M. A. Fredenburg ; recorder, I. W. 
Burch ; assessor, E. Easton ; treasurer, Joseph 
Chambers ; street commissioner, J. C. Ault ; 
city marshal, S. H. Stowers ; city justice, N. 
M. Donaldson ; city attorney, J. M. Burlin- 
game ; city surveyor, J. H. Abbott ; official 
paper, Oicatonna Journal. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, A. Knobloch, A. 
C. Gutterson ; justice, H. F. Luce ; constable, 
S, H. Stowers. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, E. Donaldson, 
C. W. Hadley ; justice, H. A. Beers ; consta- 
ble, W. C. Hadley. 

Third TT'flr^^.— Aldermen, C. H. Eandall, 
J. C. Backus, J. D. Holden ; justice, E. C. 
Culver ; constable, H. A. Tiffany. 

Board of Educatiori. — At large, J. S. 
Woodard, Lewis Lord ; first ward, G. C. 
Tanner ; second ward, W. A. Dynes ; third 
ward, T. J. Howe. 

OFFICERS, 1879-80. 

Mayor, J. C. Ellis ; recorder, I. W. Burch ; 
assessor, E. Easton ; treasurer, Joseph Cham- 
bers; street commissioner, J. C. Ault; city 
marshal, D. Whipple ; city justice, C. C. Cor- 
nell ; city attorney, J. M. Burlingame ; city 
surveyor, J. H. Abbott ; official paper, Owa- 
tonna Joivrnal. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, Lorin Andrews, 
A. C. Gutterson; justice, H. F. Luce; con- 
stable, W. C. Hadley. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, J. E. Buxton, 
G. W. Eockwood; justice, A. B. Barrett; 
constable, D. W. Williamson. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, J. C. Backus, 
G. F. Albertus; justice, E. B. Newliall ; con- 
stable, Geo. W. Peachey. 



Fourth Ward. — Aldermen, H. Schmidt, E. 
M. Morehouse ; justice, none ; constable, S. 
H. Stowers. 

Board of Education. — At large, J. C. Ellis, 
James Cotter, J. E. Truesdell ; first ward, 
L. L. Wheelock ; second ward, W. A. Dynes ; 
third ward, T. J. Howe ; fourth ward, Chas. 

OFFICERS, 1880-1. 

Mayor, J. C. Ellis ; recorder, Charles Daw- 
son ; assessor, E. Easton ; treasurer, Joseph 
Chambers ; street commissioner, J. C. Ault ; 
city marshal, D. "Whipple ; city justice, C. C. 
Cornell ; city attorney, L. L. "Wheelock ; city 
surveyor, J. H. Abbott ; official paper, Owa- 
tonna Journal. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, Lorin Andrews, 
A. C. Gutterson ; justice, H. F. Luce ; con- 
stable, W. C. Hadley. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, J. E. Buxton, 
Henry Birkett ; justice, A. B. Barrett ; con- 
stable, H. A. Tiffany. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, Gr. F. Albertus, 
E. M. Morehouse ; justice, R. B. Newhall ; 
constable, Geo. "W. Peachey. 

Fourth Ward. — Aldermen, Herman 
Schmidt, John Plamrael ; justice, H. A. Beers ; 
constable, A. Hafemann. 

Board of Education. — At large, James 
Cotter, A. C. Hickman ; first ward, L. L. 
"Wheelock ; second wartl, "W. A. Dynes ; third 
ward, T. J. Howe; fourth ward, Chas. Den- 

OFFICERS, 1881-2. 

Mayor, B. S. Cook ; recorder, Charles Daw- 
son ; assessor, E. Easton ; treasurer, R. B. 
Newhall ; street commissioner, J. C. Ault ; 
city marshal, I. U. Jones ; city justice, H. A. 
Beers; city attorney, H. E. Johnson; city 
surveyor, J. H. Abbott ; official paper. Peo- 
ple's Press. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, A. C. Gutterson, 
J. E. Truesdell ; justice, H. F. Luce ; consta- 
ble, W. G. Hadley. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, Heniy Birkett, 
E. Scannel ; justice, A. B. Barrett ; constable, 
H. A. Tiffany. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, G. F. Albertus, 
E. M. Morehouse ; justice, R. B. Newhall ; 
Constable, J. C. Johnson. 

Fourth Ward. — Aldermen, John Ilammel, 
H. Schmidt ; justice, H. A. Beers ; constable, 
O. Tiffany. 

Board of Education. — At large, A. C. 
Hickman, James Cotter; first ward, L. L. 
Wheelock; second ward, W. A. Dynes; third 
ward, A. Simpson; fourth ward, Chas. Den- 

OFFICERS, 1882-3. 

Mayor, B. S. Cook ; recorder, C. E. Luce ; 
assessor, E. Easton ; treasurer, H. H. Luers ; 
street commissioner, J. C. Ault ; city mar- 
shal, I. U. Jones; city justice, H. A. Beers; 
city attorney, H. E. Johnson ; city surveyor, 
J. H. Abbott ; official paper, Steele County 

First Ward. — Aldermen, J. E. Truesdell, 
John Chambers ; justice, H. F. Luce ; con- 
stable, W. C. Hadley. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, E. Scannel, S. 
S. Green ; justice, M. A. Fredenburg ; con- 
stable, H. A. Tiffany. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, E. M. More- 
house, G. F. Albertus ; justice, none ; con- 
stable, Ignatius Kremer. 

Fourth Ward. — Aldermen, Peter Ganser, 
Herman Schmidt ; justice, H. A. Beers ; con- 
stable, O. Tiffany. 

Boao'd of Education. — At large, James 
Cotter, A. C. Hickman ; first ward, L. L. 
AYheelock ; second ward, "W. A. D3'nes ; third 
ward, A. Simpson ; fourth ward, E. Y. Hune- 

OFFICERS, 1883- J:. 

Mayor, H. Birkett ; recorder, C. E. Luce ; 
assessor, E. Easton ; treasurer, C. J. Kin\'on; 
street commissioner, J. C. Ault ; city mar- 
shal, John Thorson ; city justice, M. A. Fre- 
denburg; city attorney, E. "W. Richter; city 
surveyor, J. H. Abbott ; official paper, Oiva- 
tonna Journal. 

First Wa/rd. — Aldermen, John Chambers, 
J. E. Truesdell ; justice, H. F. Luce ; con- 
stable, R. H. Johnson. 



Second Ward. — Aldermen, S. S. Green, J. 
C. Ellis, II. H. Luers ; justice, M. A. Freden- 
burg; constable, W. H. Shoemaker. 

Third Ward — Aldermen, G. F. Albertus, 
Frank Stimson, J. D. Holden ; justice, J. D. 
Holden ; constable, Ignatius Kremer. 

Fourth Ward. — Aldermen, Peter Ganser, 
Herman Schmidt; justice, H. A. Beers; con- 
stable, O. Tiffany. 

Board of Education. — At large, A. C. 
Hickman, James Cotter; first ward, L. L. 
Wheelock ; second ward, W. A. Dynes ; third 
ward, A. Simpson; fourth ward, E. Y. Hune- 

OFFICEES, 1884-5. 

Mayor, John Shea ; recorder, C. E. Luce ; 
assessor, E. Easton ; treasurer, C. J. Kinyon ; 
street commissioner, J. C. Ault ; city marshal, 
R.White; city justice, M. A. Fredenburg; 
city attorney, E. W. Kichter ; city surveyor, 
J. H. Abbott ; official paper. People's Press. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, J. E. Truesdell, 
M. J. Toher ; justice, H. F. Luce ; constable, 
R. H. Johnson. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, S. S. Green, J. 
Z. Barncard ; justice, O. Abernethy ; con- 
stable, W. H. Shoemaker. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, E. M. More- 
house, J. Glaeser; justice, O. M. Hammond; 
constable, Ignatius Kremer. 

Fourth Ward. — ^Aldermen, Peter Ganser, 
Herman Schmidt ; justice, H. A. Beers ; con- 
stable, O. Tiffany. 

Board of Education. — At large, J. A. 
Cotter, T. J. Howe ; first ward, W. A. Sperry ; 
second ward, W. A. Dynes ; third ward, Lewis 
Lord ; fourth ward, E. Y. Hunewill. 

OFFICERS, 1885-6. 

Mayor, C. N. McLaughlin ; recorder, C. E. 
Luce ; assessor, E. Easton ; treasurer, C. J. 
Kinyon ; street commissioner, J. C. Ault ; 
city marshal, P. White; city justice, A. N. 
Stoughton ; city attorney, E. W. Pichter ; 
city surveyor, A. M Mitchell ; official paper, 
People's Press. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, M. J. Toher, N. 

C. Larson; justice, H. F. Luce; constable, 
P. H. Johnson. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, S. S. Green, 
J. Z. Barncard ; justice, M. A. Fredenburg ; 
constable, H. P. Thompson. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, E. M. More- 
house, E. W. Piper; justice, William David- 
son ; constable, Ignatius Kremer. 

Fourth Ward. — Aldermen, Peter Ganser, 
Charles Schoen ; justice, C. C. Cornell ; con- 
stable, Herman Lee. 

Board of Education. — At large, George 
E. Peck, T. J. Howe; first ward, W. A. 
Sperry ; second ward, W. A. Dynes ; third 
ward, Lewis Lord ; fourth ward, E. Y. Hune- 

OFFICERS, 1886-7. 

Mayor, T. H. Kelly ; recorder, C. E. Luce ; 
assessor, E. Easton ; treasurer, G. D. Holden ; 
street commissioner, J. C. Ault ; city marshal, 
P. H. Johnson ; city justice, A. N. Stoughton ; 
city attorney, J. M. Burlingame; city sur- 
veyor, A. M. Mitchell ; official jjaper, Journal 
and Herald. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, N. C. Larson, C. 
W. Hadley ; justice, II. F. Luce ; constable, 
P. II. Johnson. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, Henry Birkett, 
James Brown ; justice, M. A. Fredenburg ; 
constable, H. P. Thompson. 

Third Ward. — Aldermen, E. W. Piper, 
Dr. E. M. Morehouse ; justice, William Da- 
vidson ; constable, Ignatius Kremer. • 

Fourth Ward. — Aldermen, Peter Ganser, 
Charles Schoen; justice, A. Moncrieff; con- 
stable, George Putney. 

Board of Education. — At large, T. J. 
Howe, G. E. Peck ; first ward, W. A. 
Sperry; second ward, W. A. Dynes; third 
ward, L. Lord ; fourth ward, E. Y. Hune- 

OFFICERS FOR 188 7-8. 

Mayor, M. B. Pratt ; recorder, C. E. Luce ; 
assessor, J. S. Austin ; treasurer, A. N. 
Stoughton ; street commissioner, John Quinn ; 
city marshal, P. H. Johnson ; city justice, 
J. Newsalt; city attorney, Amos Coggs- 



well; city surve^'or, A. M. Mitchell; official 
paper, People's Press. 

First Ward. — Aldermen, C. W. Hadley, 
N.'C. Larson; justice, H. F. Luce; constable 
E. H. Johnson. 

Second Ward. — Aldermen, Henry Birkett. 
James Brown; justice, M. A. FredenV)urg* ; 
constable, H. A. Tiffany. 

Third Fa^'t?. — Aldermen, Dr. E. M. 
Morehouse, G. F. Albertus ; justice, J. H. 
Soukup ; constable, John Ganser. 

Fourtli Ward. — Aldermen, Peter Ganser, 
Joseph Hoffman; justice, A. Moncrief; con- 
stable, IL Lee. 

Board of Fhication. — At large, T. J. 
Howe, H. Schmidt ; first ward, W. A. 
Sperry ; second ward, W. A. Dynes ; third 
ward, H. Cartwright ; fourth ward, E. Y. 

Hon. Merritt B. Pratt, present mayor of 
Owatonna, was born in Chautauqua County, 
N. Y., in 1835. He came to Minnesota in 
18.56, locating at Mantorville. At that place 
the Mantor brothers had just platted the 
village, and Mr. Pratt's father purchased a 
third interest and became one of the town 
proprietors. Twelve years later our subject 
moved to Blue Earth City, where he was 
for a number of years engaged in the mer- 
cantile business. During his residence there 
he served one term as sheriff of Faribault 
County, and was otherwise prominent in 
political and public affairs. In 1881 he came 
to Owatonna and embarked in the grain 
business as a member of the firm of H. W. 
Pratt & Co., whose principal office is in 

He was elected mayor in the spring of 
1887 on the Democratic ticket. Mr. Pratt 
was married in 1802 to Mrs. Gertrude F. 
Miles, a native of New York State. 


The earliest records relating to the fire 
department begin with a meeting held on 

* Mr. Fvedenburg died shortly after his re-election to this 
office.— Editor. 

the 4th of May, 1879. The i-ecords do not 
give a list of members present, but a list of 
those absent is placed upon the roll, and as 
a matter of interest we give the list, which 
was as follows : 

N. C. Larson, E. L. Muckey, S. K. Nelson, 
W. H. Montgomery, Daniel S. Stewart, G. 
F. Albertus, E. H. Johnson, L. Andrews, A. 
Knobloch, C. W. Hastings, S. W. Farmer, 
James Brown, J. E. Buxton, A. C. Gutter- 
son, D. G. Currier, E. Lilley, C. H. Eandall, 
W. A. Dynes, D. C. Adams, H. Birkett, 
Frank Murray, S. Downie and J. Easton. 
The records are signed by F. T. Drebert, as 
secretary. The name of the organization 
then was "The Spring City Fire Depart- 

In June, 1879, the following officers were 
elected : P. Winsor, foreman, "VV. W. Hub- 
bard, first assistant ; D. S. Stewart, sec- 
ond assistant ; D. G. Currier, third assist- 
ant foreman ; F.T. Drebert, secretary, and C. 
J. Kinyon, treasurer. C. "VV. Hadley at that 
time was chief engineer. During the same 
summer a new hook and ladder truck was 
added to the fire apparatus and a fourth 
section was organized to handle it. 

In June, 1880, the following officers were 
elected : P. W. "Winsor, foreman ; G. L. 
Foi'syth, assistant foi'eman, section No. 1 ; 
David Stewart, assistant foreman section No. 
2; John Shea, assistant foreman Hook and 
Ladder section ; J. W. Morford, assistant 
foreman Sack section; B. E. Darby, chair- 
man ; E. "W. Green, secretary ; C. J. Kin- 
yon, treasurer; Edward Donaldson and 
John Shea, trustees. At this meeting the 
record shows that there had arisen some 
dissatisfaction regarding the payment of 
fines and dues, and shortly afterward the 
organization was abandoned. In fact this 
was the last meeting of which there is any 

On the 2d of August, 1882, a- meeting 
was called by S. S. Green, who had been 
appointed chief engineer, for the purpose of 
organizing the "Owatonna Fire Depart- 



ment." It was attended hj^ John McMichael, 
E. D. Middaugh, G. L. Forsyth, Eobert 
White, E. M. Twiford, W. Dennis, P. Han- 
son, James Brown, J. Z. Barncard, A. G. 
Meyer, James Tliompson, C. J. Kinyon, H. 
H. Luers; J. M. Schafer, G. W. Elhott, B. E. 
Darby, J. F. Young and N. C. Larson. An 
organization was effected by the election of 
the following ofHcers. J. Z. Barncard, chair- 
man ; H. H. Luers, secretary ; N. C. Larson, 
treasurer; Eobert White, first assistant en- 
gineer; G. L. Forsyth, second assistant en- 
gineer; C. J. Kinyon. third assistant engineer. 
S. S. Green was chief engineer. A commit- 
tee consisting of S. S. Green, E. White, H. 
H. Luers, C. J. Kinyon and G. L. Forsyth 
was appointed to draft by-laws, which they 
did. Since that time the following have held 
the various offices: 

Elected May 2, 1883 — J. Z. Barncard, 
chairman ; B. E. Darby, secretary ; N. C. 
Larson, treasurer; E. White, first assistant 
engineer; G. L. Forsyth, second assistant 
engineer; C. J. Kinyon, third assistant en- 
gineer. S. S. Green was still chief engineer. 

Elected May 7, 1881 — C. E. Luce, chair- 
man; B. E. Darby, secretary; N. C. Larson, 
treasurer ; E. White, first assistant engineer ; 
G. L. Forsyth, second assistant engineer ; C. 
J. Kinyon, third assistant engineer ; C. M. 
Lorence, foreman water carts; E. M. Twi- 
ford, foreman force pumps; S. S. Green, 
chief engineer. 

Elected May 4, 1885 — S. S. Green, chief 
engineer ; C. E. Luce, chairman ; B. E. Dar- 
by, secretary ; N. C. Larson, treasui'er ; E. 
M. Twiford, first assistant engineer; G. L. 
Forsyth, second assistant engineer ; C. J. 
Kinyon, third assistant engineer ; C. E. Luce, 
foreman of hose cart and force pumps. 

Elected April 12, 1888 — S. S. Green was 
re-elected chief engineer, but declined, and 
E. M. Twiford was chosen to succeed him. 
Mr. Green had held this responsible position 
since the reorganization of the department, 
filling it with credit to himself and satisfac- 
tion to the entire city. Eesolutions were 

drawn and adopted by the department 
thanking him sincerely for his past services 
and regretting his decision to decline. The 
officers elected at that time were : E. M. 
Twiford, chief engineer; L. Peterson, first 
assistant; C. S. Austin, second assistant; 
W. J. Thompson, third assistant; Paul Mur- 
phy, fourth assistant; C. E. Luce, ciiairman ; 

B. E. Darby, secretary; C. J. Kinyon, treas- 
urer; Fred Cottier, property-man. 

Elected April i, 1887 — E. M. Twiford, 
chief engineer; L. Peterson, first assistant; 

C. S. Austin, second assistant ; W. J. 
Thompson, third assistant ; C. E. Luce 
fourth assistant ; C. E. Luce, chairman ; B. 

E. Darby, secretary; C. J. Kinyon, treas- 
urer. These are the present officers. 

The following is a list of the gentlemen 
who formed the various sections of the de- 
partment, September 16, 1887: 

E. M. Twiford, chief engineer. 

Engine No. 1. — L. Peterson, first assist 
ant engineer ; B. E. Darby, L. C. Berg, Fred- 
Cottier, Egbert A. Brown, JSTels Easmusson, 

F. H. Coon, J. H. Soukup, S. S. Green, Hans 
Eobertson, James Eobertson, Helga Helge- 

Engine No. 2. — C. S. Austin, second 
assistant engineer ; Jolin Thorsen, J. P. 
Thon, E. H. Johnson, W. Morgan, E. G. 
Nelson, John Knight, Louis Haramel, Eobt. 
Davidson, Ole Thorsen. 

Hook and ladder truck. — W. J.Thomp- 
son, third assistant engineer; John Diviny, 
C. J. Kinyon, Wyatt Murray, John Sher- 
bino, B. McClintock, J. D. Slonaker, A. 
Moncrieff, W. D. Snyder, Eugene Kelly, Mor- 
ris Cusick. 

Horse cart and force jiumps. — C. E. Luce, 
fourth assistant engineer ; Fred Scliuman, 
C. E. L. Greenwood, Philip Schoen, Max 
Hartwig, Louis Fenner, Perry Eolfe, Andrew 
Hendricks, Elias Eeese. 

The department is equipped with Cham- 
pion Chemical Extinguishers Nos. 1 and 2. 
Tliey have a hook and ladder truck with 
the usual outfit of ladders, pails, hooks, etc. 



The\' also bave a hose cart with about six 
hundred feet of hose arranged to attach to 
the city force pumps, of which there are four, 
located as follows : One on corner of Bridge 
and Oak streets ; one at city park ; one on 
corner of Eose and Cedar streets and one on 
Vine street, fifty feet west of Cedar. The 
members of the depai'traent are fitted with 
neat uniforms. 


The first school taught in Steele County, 
Minn., as well as Owatonna, was opened 
in July, 1855, by Miss Helen Ilolbrook. 
Park, Smith and A. B. Cornell had driven 
four posts in the ground and partiallj' cov- 
ered them with boughs ; and in this primitive 
structure the school was begun. Among 
the scholars who attended were Emily (now 
Mrs. W. H. Willsey) and Anetta Phelps, 
daughters of Addison Phelps, one daughter 
of A. B. Cornell and a couple of B. L. 
Arnold's children. 

At the present writing there are three 
public school buildings in the city ; the high 
school and the first ami second wards. Two 
of the buildings are costly structures. The 
schools are well graded and have been 
among the best managed schools in the 
State. There is not a city of the same size 
in Minnesota, where public schools are rated 
so high, or educational facilities and priv- 
ileges so excellent as in Owatonna, and the 
citizens justly feel proud of their educational 


The Owatonna postoffice was established 
in 1855, with S. B. Smith as postmaster. Up 
to that time the name of the town had been 
spelled " Owatonia," but at this time the 
" i " was changed to an " n," and the orthog- 
raphy became the same as it is to-daj^ M. 
A. Daih^ was tiie second postmaster, and 
he was succeeded in turn by John N. Kelley, 
William "Wadsworth and Twiford E. Hughes. 
On the 7th of April, 1870, E. Easton took 
possession of the oftice and remained until 

January 8, 1876, when he was succeeded by 
Charles S. Crandall. Mr. Crandall held the 
office until April 10, 1881, when he was re- 
lieved by Lewis L. "Wheelock, the present in- 

This office was made a money-order office 
in August, 18C6. The first three money or- 
ders were purchased by Twiford E. Hughes, 
Alverson & Graham and Dr. A. S. Mygatt. 
Up to August 1, 1886, there had been a total 
of 43,367 money orders issued. 


Star in the East Lodge, No. 33. — The first 
meeting of this lodge, while working under 
dispensation, was held on the Ifith of Decem- 
ber, 1859, with J. C. Whipple, R. W. G. J. W. 
of Faribault Lodge No. 9, presiding. John 
Kelso acted as secretary. The first stated 
communication held under dispensation was 
on the 23d of January, 1860. The first of- 
ficers elected were as follows : J. C. Whip- 
ple, W. M.; E. M. Morehouse, S. W.; Joel 
Wilson, J. W.; Nelson Morehouse, Treas.; 
John Kelso, Secy.; Thomas Thompson, S. D., 
and David Lindersraith, I. D. 

When the move was first agitated it was 
found that there were not enough Masons at 
and about Owatonna to form a quorum, and 
finally several citizens went to Wilton, and 
others to Faribault, where they joined the 
order, and enough members were thus se- 
cured. AVhile the lodge was working under 
dispensation, it does not appear that any per- 
manent set of officers was elected, but the 
records show that the following named acted 
as W. M. during that time : J. C. Whipple, 
S. C. Williamson, E. M. Morehouse, J. W. 
Morford, W. H. Willsey and W. R. Kinyon. 

A chaiter was granted to the lodge on the 
24th of October, 1860, naming the following 
as officers : S. C. Williamson, AV. M.; Dr. E. 
M. Morehouse, S. W., and Joel Wilson, J. W. 

Since that time the following have been the 
elected officers during the various years : 

Elected, October 29, I860, for 1861: W. 
R. Kinyon, W. M.; E. M. Morehouse, S. W.; 



"^x x^ , ^// ^u^/^>^^^n 



W. II. Willsey, J. W.; J. W. Morford, Treas.; 
John Kelso, Secy. 

For 1862 — E. M. Morehouse, W. M.; W. 
H. Willsey, S. W.; L. B. Tanner, J. W.; J. W. 
Morford, Treas.; J. N. Kelly, Secy. 

1863 — W. K. Kinyon, W. M.; J. W. Mor- 
ford, S. W.; J. N. Kelly, J. W.; E. M. More- 
house, Treas.; W. II. Wadsworth, Secy. 

1864 — J. W. Morford, W. M.; Joel AVil- 
son, S. W.; W. II. Willsey, J. W.; W. R. 
Kinyon, Treas.; W. II. Wadsworth, Secy. 

1865 — J. W. Morford, W. M.; W. R. Kin- 
yon, S. W.; W. II. Willsey, J. W.; Jacob Op- 
pliger. Secy. 

1866- J. W. Morford, W. M.; Wm. II. 
Kelly, S. W.; H. C. Eldred, J. W.; J. A. Op- 
pliger, Treas.; J. Newsalt, Secy. 

1867 — J. W. Morford, W. M.; II. J. 
Lewis, S. W.; A. B. Webber, J. W.; Addi- 
son Phelps, Treas.; S. II. Stowers, Secy. 

1868— J. W. Morford, W. M. ; II. J. Lewis, 
S. W. ; E. Scannel, J. W. ; A. M. Kinyon, 
Treas. ; J. A. Robey, Secy. 

1869 — H. J. Lewis, W. M. ; J. A. Robey, 
S. W. ; L. S. Padgham, J. W. ; James Mor- 
ton, Treas. ; A. M. Kinyon, Secy. 

1870 — J. W. Morford, W. M. ; J. A. Ro- 
bey, S. W. ; L. S. Padgham, J. W. ; R. C. 
Olin, Treas. ; A. C. Hickman, Secy. 

1871- J. W. Morford, W. M. ; A. C. Hick- 
man, S. W. ; Hiram Backus, J. W. ; R. C. 
Olin, Treas. ; J. W. Hall, Secy. 

1872— A. C. Hickman, W. M. ; II. Backus, 
S. W. ; L. L. Wheelock, J. W. ; H. II. Rose- 
brock, Treas. ; T. G. Patch, Secy. 

1873 — J. W. Morford, W.' M. ; J. D. 
Ilolden, S. W. ; D. Whipple, J. W. ; II. II. 
Rosebrock, Treas. ; M. L. Strong, Secy. 

1871— J. D. Holden, W. M. ; A. C. Hick- 
man, S. W. ; H. n. Rosebrock, J. W. ; G. F. 
Albertus, Treas. ; L. L. Bennett, Secy. 

187.5 — J. D. Ilolden, W. M. ; A. C. Dodge, 
S. W. ; A. C. Gutterson, J. W. ; G. F. Al- 
bertus, Treas. ; L. L. Bennett, Secy. 

1876 — A. C. Dodge, W. M. ; M. B. Chad- 
wick, S. W. ; N. C. Larson, J. W. ; G. F. 
Albertus, Treas. ; L. L. Bennett, Secy. 


1877 — A. C. Dodge, W. M. ; M. B. Chad- 
wick, S. W. ; W. S. Melvin, J. W. ; G. F. 
Albertus, Treas. ; H. H. Luers, Secy. 

1878 — J. D. Holden, W. M. ; M. B. Chad- 
wick, S. W.; J. M. Burlingame, J. W. ; L. L. 
Bennett, Treas. ; H. H. Luers, Secy. 

1879— J. M. Burlingame, W. M. ; C. H. 
Randall, S. W. ; George D. Ilolden, J. W. ; 
L. L. Bennett, Treas. ; H. H. Luers, Secy. 

1880 — L. L. Wheelock, W. M. ; H. H. 
Rosebrock, S. W. ; II. Birkett, J. W. ; L. L. 
Bennett, Treas. ; H. H. Luers, Secy. 

1881 — J. D. Holden, W. M.; I.'u. Jones, 
S. W. ; N. C. Larson, J. W. ; L. L. Bennett, 
Treas. ; II. H. Luers, Secy. 

1882— J. D. Holden, W.M. ; M. B. Chad- 
wick, S. W. ; H. S. Hill, J. W. ; L. L. Ben- 
nett, Treas. ; H. H. Luers, Secy. 

1883 — M. B. Chadwick, W. M. ; H. S. 
Hill, S. W. ; I. H. DeWolf, J. W. ; L. L. 
Bennett, Treas. ; H. II. Luers, Secy. 

1884— M. B. Chadwick, W. M. ; H. S. 
Hill, S. W. ; J. Z. Barncard, J. W. ; L. L. 
Bennett, Treas. ; II. H. Luers, Secy. 

1885 — Henry Birkett, W. M. ; N. C. Lar- 
son, S. W. ; C. W. Bardic, J. W. ; L. L. Ben- 
nett, Treas. ; H. II. Luers, Secy. 

1886 — N. J. Schafer, W. M. ; N". C. Lar- 
son, S. W. ; D. Moody, J. W. ; L. L. Ben- 
nett, Treas. ; M. B. Chadwick, Secy. 

1887 — K J. Schafer, W. M. ; C. W. Bur- 
die, S. W. ; D. Downie, J. W. ; M. B. Chad- 
wick, Secy. ; L. L. Bennett, Treas. ; II. II. 
Luers, S. D. ; N. C. Larson, J. D. ; L. An- 
derson, S. S. ; H. II. Rosebrock, J. S. ; G. 
AV. Shaw, T. 

This lodge now has over one hundred 
members. In early days the meetings were 
held in Morford's Hall, but in 1874 they 
moved into the present Masonic Hall over the 
Farmers' National Bank. The rooms are 
finely furnished, and the lodge owns hand- 
some and appropriate regalia. Regular 
meetings are held on the evenings of the 
second and fourth Wednesdays in each 

Owatonna Royal Arch — Chapter No. 15. 



—On the 28th of September, 186C, C. W. 
Nash, Grand High Priest of Eoyal Arch 
Masons forMinnesota, granted a dispensation 
to W. R. Kinyon, M. F. Lowth, L. II. Kelly, 
T. Ci. Patch, J. W. Morford, H. J. Lewis, I. 
F. Wliite, K Hubbard and R. M. Dunberry 
to establish a Chapter of Royal Arch ]Ma- 
sons in Ovvatonna, and appointed M. F. 
Lowth, H. P.; W. R. Kinyon, King; 
and L. H. Kelly, Scribe. The companions 
met for the first time in Masonic Plall on Oc- 
tober 15, 1860, for the purpose of effecting 
organization, and the High Priest appoint- 
ed the following officers : E. R. Lathrop, C; 
J. W. Morford, C. II.; II. J. Lewis, P. 
S.; J. F. White, Treas. ; T. G. Patch, 
Secy. ; Charles Case, G. M. 3d Vail ; N. Hub- 
bard, G. M. 2d Vail ; E. M. Hawley, G. M. 1st 
Vail ; and R. M. Dunberry, S. The code of 
by-laws was prepared by W. R. Kinyon, J. 
W. Morford and T. G. Patch. The first 
regular convocation was held on the evening 
of November 2, 1866, at which time the first 
permanent officers were appointed. They 
were the same as those already given, except 
that E. R. Lathrop was made C. H., and J. 
W. Morford R. A. C. The charter was 
granted on October 22, 186Y, and the follow- 
ing were nominated and duly installed as 
officers : M. F. Lowth, M. E. II. P. ; W. R. 
Kinyon, E. K. ; L. H. Kelly, E. S. ; H. J. 
Lewis, P. S. ; J. W. Morford, R. A. C. 

The following is a list of the officers who 
have been elected during the various years 
since that time : 

December 20, 1867— W. R. Kinyon, M. 
E. II. P. ; M. F. Lowth, E. K. ; L. 11. Kelly, 
E. S. ; J. W. Morford, C. H. ; II. J. Lewis, 
P. S.; A. M. Kinyon, R. A. C. ; W. F. 
Pettit, Treas. ; A. b". Webber, Secy. 

For 1870 — A. B. Webber, M. E. H. P.; 
W. II. Willsey, E. K. ; S. B. Washburn, E. 
S. ; W. T. Kittridge, C. H. ; II. J. Lewis, 
P. S. ; J. W. Morford, R. A. C. ; W. R. 
Kinyon, Treas. ; T. G. Patch, Secy. 

1871— W. R. Kinyon, M. E. H. P.; W. 
H. Willsey, K. ; S. B. Washburn, S. ; J. 

W. Morford, C. II.; H.J. Lewis, P. S. ; 
H. Backus, R. A. C. ; E. M. Morehouse, 
Treas. ; T. G. Patch, Secy. 

1872 — W. R. Kinyon, M. E. H. P.; W. 
H. Willsey, K. ; L. S. Padgham, S.; J. 
W. Morford, C. H. ; II. Backus, P. S. ; 
Thomas W. Irving, R. A. C. ; Thomas J. 
Howe, Treas. ; T. G. Patch, Secy. 

1873 — L. L. Wheelock, M. E. H. P. ; J. 
W. Morford, E. S. ; W. II. Willsey, K. ; 
A. C. Dodge, C. II.; T. W. Irving, R. A. 
C. ; E. M. Morehouse, Treas. ; T. G. Patch, 

1S74— W. R. Kinyon, M. E. H. P.; W. 
H. Willsey, E. K. ; A. C. Hickman, S. ; 
A. C. Dodge, C. II. ; II. Backus, P. S. ; T. 
W. Irving, R. A. C. ; L. L. Bennett, Treas. ; 
T. G. Patch, Secy. 

1875- W. R. Kinyon, M. E. H. P.; L. L. 
Wheelock, E. K. ; L. L. Bennett, E. S.; 
J. W. Morford, C. II. ; A. C. Dodge, P. S. ; 
S. II. Stowers, R. A. C. ; II. II. Rosebrock. 
Treas. ; M. L. Strong, Secy. 

1S76 — J. W. Morford, M. E. H. P.; M. 
F. Lowth, E. K. ; J. A. Opphger, E. S. ; S. 
II. Stowers, C. H. ; A. C. Dodge, P. S. ; T. 
W. Irving, R. A. C. ; II. H. Rosebrock, 
Treas. ; M. L. Strong, Secy. 

1877 — J. D. Ilolden, M. E. H. P. ; J. M. 
Burlingame, E. K. ; N. C. Larson, E. S. ; S. 
H. Stowers, C. H. ; J. R. Fox, P. S. ; H. H. 
Rosebrock, R. H. C. ; W. H. Willsey, Treas. ; 
M. L. Strong, Secy. 

1878 — J. M. Burlingame, M. E. H.P.; H. 
H. Rosebrock, E. K. ; A. Graham, E. S. ; L. 
L. Bennett, C. H. ; J. D. Ilolden, P. S. ; H. 
Birkett, R. A. C. ; W. II. Willsey, Treas. ; M. 
L. Strong, Sec'y. 

1879 — J. W. Morford, M. E. II. P. ; N. C. 
Larson, E. K. ; J. M. Burlingame, E. S. ; II. 
Birkett, C. II. ; J. D. Ilolden, P. S. ; H. II. 
Rosebrock, R. A. C. ; W. R. Kinyon, Treas. ; 
M. L. Strong, Secy. 

1880 — W. R. Kinyon. M. E. H. P. ; L. L. 
Wheelock, K. ; L. L. Bennett, S. ; H. 
H. Rosebrock, C. H. ; J. D. Holden, P. S. ; 
E. Downie, Secy. ; G. F. Albertus, Treas. ; 




J. W. Morford, E. A. C. ; G. W. Shaw, 

1881 — H. Birkett, M. E. H. P.; J. D. 
Iloklen, E. K. ; G. F. Albertus, E. S. ; IL 
II. Eosebrock, C II. ; L. L. Bennett, P. S. ; 
]Sr. C. Larson, E. A. C. ; W. E. Kinyon, 
Treas. ; T. J. Howe, Sec3^ 

1882 — L. L. Bennett, M. E. H. P. ; T. J. 
Howe, E. K. ; G. F. Albertus, E. S. ; W. E. 
Kinyon, Treas. ; H. H. Luers, Secy. ; H. H. 
Eosebrock, C. II. ; J. D. Ilolden, "p. S. ; J. 
W. Morford, E. A. C. 

1883 — J. D. Hoklen, M. E. H. P. ; T. J. 
Howe, E. K. ; H. II. Eosebrock, E. S. ; J. Z. 
Barncard, C. II. ; II. Birkett, P. S. ; J. W. 
Morford, E. A. C. ; W. E. Kinyon, Treas. ; 
II. II. Luers, Sec'y. 

1884 — J. D. Iloklen, M. E. H. P.; II. H. 
Eosebrock, E. K. ; H. S. Hill, E. S. ; J. Z. 
Barncard, C. II. ; II. Birkett, P. S. ; N. C. 
Larson, E. A. C. ; W. E. Kinyon, Treas. ; 
II. H. Luers, Secy. 

1885 — L. L. Bennett, M. E. H. P. ; J. Z. 
Barncard, E. K. ; T. J. Howe, E. S. ; N. C. 
Larson, C. II.; J. D. Ilolden, P. S. ; H. 
Birkett, E. A. C. ; W. E. Kinyon, Treas. ; 
II. H. Luers, Secy. 

1886 — J. Z. Barncard, M. E. H. P. ; N. J. 
Schafer, E. K. ; N. C. Larson, E. S. ; D. S. 
Coverdale, C. H. ; H. H. Eosebrock, P. S. ; 
E. E. Bigelow, E. A. C. ; L. L. Bennett, 
Treas. ; H. H. Luers, Secy. 

1887— N. J. Schafer, M. E. IL P. ; T. J. 
Howe, K. ; II. H. Eosebrock, S. ; E. E. Bige- 
low, C. H.; C. W. Burdic, P. S.; H. IL 
Luers, E. A. C. ; G. F. Albertus, Treas. ; J. 
W. Connor, Secy. ; G. W. Shaw, Sent. ; C. 
W. Burdic, 1st Vail. 

Cyrejie Commandery, No. 9, Knights Tem- 
plar. — The Knights Templar, in Masonry, is 
one step higher than the Chapter. Any 
member of the Chapter in good standing is 
eligible to membership in the Commandery. 
On the 17tli of February, 1874, a dispensa- 
tion was granted by II. L. Carver, of St. 
Paul, Grand Commander of Minnesota, au- 
thorizing the organization of Cyrene Com- 

mandery, and, accordingly, the first meeting 
was held on the 19th of the same month, at 
Masonic Hall, in Owatonna, at which an 
organization was effected by the election of 
the following named as first officers : C. H. 
Hathaway, E. C. ; J. W. Morford, G. ; Smith 
H. Stowers, C. G. ; H. Backus, P. ; H. E. 
Moore, Jr., S. W. ; Thomas W. Irving, J. W. ; 
Hiram J. Lewis, Treas. ; T. G. Patch, Eec. ; 
and H. H. Eosebrock, W. This list also 
comprises all of the charter members. The 
Commandery grew rapidly from the start. 
During the year 1874 the following Masons 
became Sir Knights of this-Commandery, in 
the order named : W. E. Kinyon, W. H. 
Kelly, E. M. Morehouse, A. C. Dodge, J. A. 
Oppliger, M. L. Strong, Thos. J. Howe, A. 
C. Hickman, L. L. Wheelock, C. W. Gard- 
ner, L. S. Padgham, G. F. Albertus, W. H. 
Willse_y, and T. H. Frazer. 

In 1875 J. W. Hall, N. C. Larson and 
Henry Birkett joined, and since then the 
membership has continually increased, un- 
til in August, 1887, it numbered sixty -two 
knights in good standing. This includes 
twenty members who are residents of Wa- 
seca and vicinity. Neai'ly all the balance 
are citizens of Steele County. Conclaves 
have always been held in the Masonic Hall, 
where the Commandery owns the full com- 
plement of furniture and paraphernalia. The 
knights all own tasty and handsome regalia, 
many of which are rich and costly. Con- 
claves are regularly held on the evenings 
of the second and fourth Mondays in each 
month. The Cyrene Commandery has al- 
ways been prominent in State Masonic 
circles. It has furnished two Eight Eminent 
Grand Commanders of Minnesota : Henry 
Birkett, who served two years, and E. L. 
McCormick, who held the office one year; 
and in June, 1886, the session of the Grand 
Commandery of Minnesota was held at 
Owatonna, attended by the most prominent 
knights in the State. The Commandery has 
at different times taken special train excur- 
sions to various portions of the State, includ- 



ing Minneapolis, Faribault, Ked Wing, 
Waterville, and Stillwater, at which enjoy- 
able times were had. The Comraandery 
now includes nearly all of the leading and 
wealthy business men of Owatonna, al- 
though its membership has suffered some- 
what from removal of members, and a few 
deaths have also occurred within the lodge. 
The last meeting under dispensation was 
held on the 22d of June, 1874. The charter 
was p-ranted on the 17th of Februarv, 1871:. 

The following is a complete list, as far as 
the records show, of the various officers wlio 
have served the commandery in each year, 
fi'om its organization to the present time : 

Installed, June 1874. — C. H. Hathaway, 

E. C. ; J. W. Morford, G. ; L. L. Wheelock, 
P. ; A. C. Dodge, S. W. ; T. W. Irving, J. 
W. ; E. M. Morehouse, T. ; T. G. Patch, E. ; 
J. A. Oppliger, St. B. ; W. H. Willsey, S. B. ; 
H. H. Eosebrock, W. ; L. S. Padgham, 1st 
G. ; Thomas J. Howe, 2d G. ; H. Backus, 
3d G., and G. F. Albertus. Sen. 

Installed, April 12, 1875.— C. H. Hatha- 
way, E. C; J. W. Morford, G. ; S. H. 
Stowers, E. G. ; L. L. Wheelock, P. ; A. C. 
Dodge, S. W. ; T. W. Irving, J. W. ; E. M. 
Morehouse, J. ; M. L. Strong, E. ; J. A. 
Oppliger, St. B. ; W. H. Willsey, S. B. ; H. 
H. Eosebrock, W. ; L. S. Padgham, Capt. G. ; 
G. F. Albertus, 2d G. ; H. Backus, 3d G. 

Installed, April 24, 1876.— C. H. Hatha- 
way, E. C. ; J. W. Morford, G. ; M. L. 
Strong, C. G. ; L. L. Wheelock, P. ; T. W. 
Irving, S. W. ; II. H. Eosebrock, J. W. ; G. 

F. Albertus, T. ; S. II. Stowers, E. ; J. A. 
Oppliger, St. B. ; W. H. Willsey, S. B. ; H. 
Birkett, W. ; A. C. Dodge, 1st G. ; T. J. 
Howe, 2d G. ; H. Backus, 3d G., and J. W. 
Hall, Sen. 

Installed, March 26, 1877.— W. E. Kinyon, 
E. C. ; T. W. Irving, G. ; M. L. Strong, C 
G. ; L. L. Wheelock, P. ; J. W. Morford, S 
W. ; H. Birkett, J. W. ; G. F. Albertus, T. 
S. H. Stowers, E. ; J. A. Oppliger, St. B. 
W. H. Willsey, S. B. ; H. li. Eosebrock, W. ; 
J. W. Hall, Sen. 

Installed, April 8, 1878. — W. E. Kinyon, 

E. C. ; E. L. McCormack, G. ; M. L. Strong, 
C. G. ; L. L. Wheelock, P. ; H. Birkett, S. 
W. ; T. W. Irving, J. W. ; G. F. Albertus, 
T. ; S. H. Stowers, E. ; J. A. Oppliger, St. 
B. ; W. H. Willsey, S. B. ; H. H. Eosebrock, 
W. ; G. F. Albertus, Sen. 

Installed, April 14, 1879.— E. L. McCor- 
mack, E. C; T. W. Irving, G. ; M. L. 
Strong, C. G. ; L. L. Wheelock, P. ; W. H. 
Willsey, S. W. ; J. W. Morford, J. W. ; G. 

F. Albertus, T. ; S. H. Stowers, E. ; J. A. 
Oppliger, St. B. ; W. H. Willsey, S. B. ; H. H. 
Eosebrock, W. ; G. W. Shaw, Sen. 

Installed, March 30, 1880.— E. L. McCor- 
mack, E. C. ; H. Birkett, G. ; T. W. Irving, 
C. G ; L. L. Wheelock, P. ; G. E. Buckman, 
S. W. ; W. II. Willsey, J. W. ; G. F. Al- 
bertus, T. ; W. II. Maes, E. ; J. A. Oppliger, 
St. B.; H. II. Eosebrock, S. B. ; S. G. Lund, 
W. ; T. J. Howe, 1st G. ; N. C Larson, 2d 
G. ; J. W. Morford, 3d G. ; G. W. Shaw, 

Installed, April 25, 1881.- Henry Birkett, 
E. C. ; A. C. Hickman, G. ; T. W. Irving, C. 
G. ; L. L. Wheelock, P. ; Henry E. Strong, 
S. W. ; W. C. Thayer, J. W. ; G. F. Alljertus, 
T. ; W. H. Maes, E. ; Clarke Chambers, St. 
B. ; T. J. Howe, S. B. ; N. C. Larson, W. ; 

G. W. Shaw, Sen. 

Installed, April 8, 1882.— H. Birkett, E. C. ; 
L. L. Wheelock, G. ; G. E. Buckman, C. G. ; 
A. C. Hickman, P. ; W. C. Thayer, S. W. ; 
W. II. Maes, J. W. ; G. F. Albertus, T. ; J. 
W. Morford, E. ; T. J. Howe, Sw. B. ; N. 
C. Larson, W. ; E. E. Bigelow, 1st G. ; H. H. 
Eosebrock, 2d G. ; L. L. Bennett, 3d G. ; G. 
W. Shaw, Sen. 

Installed March 26, 1883 — L. L. Whee- 
lock, E. G. ; G. E. Buckman, C. G. ; G. C. 
Tanner, P. ; W. H. Maes, J. W. ; G. F. Alber- 
tus, T. ; W. II. Donaldson, E. ; T. J. Howe, 
Sw. B. ; N. C. Larson, W. ; G. W. Shaw, 

Chosen March 24, 1884 — L. L. Wheelock, 
E. C. ; G. E. Buckman, G. ; L. L. Bennett, 
C. G. ; G. C. Tanner, P. ; J. D. Holden, S. W. ; 



N. C. Larson, J. W. ; G. F. Albertus, T. ; T. 
J. Howe, K. ; W. H. Willsey, St. B. ; J. Z. 
Barncard, S. B. ; H. H. Kosebrock, W. ; E. 
E. Bigelow, 1st G. ; J. M. Diment, 2d G. ; J. 
J. McDonald, 3d G. ; G. W. Shaw, Sen. 

Chosen March 23, 1884 — James M. Di- 
ment, E. C. ; D. S. Cunnnings, G. ; Frank 
Grant, C. G. ; G. C. Tanner, P.; J. D. Hol- 
den, S. W. ; IST. C. Larson, J. W. ; G. F. Al- 
bertus, T. ; L. L. Bennett, K. ; E. E. Bigelow, 
Std. B. ; W. H. Willsey, S. B. ; H. H. Rose- 
brock, W. ; D. S. Coverdale, 1st G. ; G. W. 
Shaw, Sen. 

Chosen April 12, 1886 — James M. Diment, 

E. C. ; D. S. Cummings, G. ; F. F. Grant, C. 
G. ; G. C. Tanner, P. ; N. C. Larson, S. W. ; 
K J. Schafer, J. W. ; W. H. Willsey, T. ; 
L. L. Bennett, E. ; D. S. Coverdale, St. B. ; 
T. J. Howe, S. B. ; E. E. Bigelow, W. ; G. 
W. Shaw, Sen. 

Chosen March 28, 1887 — Present officers: 

F. F. Grant, E. C. ; G. R. Buckman, G. ; N. 
C. Larson, C. G. ; L. L. Wheelock, P. ; N. J. 
Schafer, S. W. ; J. E. Truesdell, J. W. ; H. 
H. Rosebrock, Treas. ; T. J. Howe, R. ; J. 
A. Oppliger, St. B. ; G. F. Albertus, S. B. ; 
J. W. Conner, W. ; L. L. Bennett, 1st G. ; 
J. Z. Barncard, 2d G. ; J. M. Diment, 3d 
G. ; and G. W. Shaw, Sen. 


Star of the West Lodge, No llf.. — On the 
9th of August, 1864, J. ISTewsalt, then a 
member of Prairie Lodge No. 7, Winona, 
Minn., accompanied by E. K. Smith, P. J. 
Smith and R. C. Ambler, went to Rochester, 
where his companions were initiated by 
Rochester Lodge No. 13, and received all the 
degrees appertaining to a subordinate lodge 
of Odd Fellows. Through the kindness of 
the Rochester lodge the regular fees were 
refunded, with which a charter was jjrocured 
December 28, 1864, and Star of the West 
Lodge No. 14, 1. O. O. F., was duly instituted 
by M. W.G. M., C. D. Strong, assisted by P. 

G. M., O. J. Noble. The charter members 
were J. Newsalt, Wm. Hamburg, E. K. Smith, 
P. J, Smith, Eben Durham and W. H. Twi- 

ford. The first officers elected and installed 
were J. Newsalt, N. G. ; E. K. Smith, V. 
G. ; W. H. Twiford, Secy. ; and William 
Hamburg, Treas. On the evening of the 
organization of the lodge D. B. Marble, A. 
C. Hickman, and James Lee were admitted 
by card, and L. Bixby, G. W. Shaw and R. 
Joos by initiation. During the first term of 
six months three members were admitted 
by card and twelve by initiation. The of- 
ficers elected and installed for the second 
term, commencing July 1, 1865, were E. K. 
Smith, N. G. ; L. Bixby, V. G. ; A. C. Hick- 
man, Secy. ; D. B. Marble, Treas. ;and J. New- 
salt, D. D. G. M. During the second term, 
two were admitted by card and six by initia- 

The following is a list of the officers who 
have served the lodge from 1865 until the 
present time. The date given refers to the 
commencement of the term : 

January 1, 1866— L. Bixby, N. G. ; D. B. 
Marble, V. G. ; A. S. Mygatt, Secy. ; G. W. 
Shaw, Treas. During this term five mem- 
bers were admitted by initiation. 

July 1, 1866 — D. B. Marble, N. G. ; G. 
W. Shaw, V. G. ; P. J. Smith, Secy. ; Wm. 
Pepper, Treas. ; E. K. Smith, D. D. G. M. 
Four members were admitted by card, and 
four by initiation. 

January 1,1867 — L. Bixby, N.G.; P. T. 
Smith, V. G. ; G. H. Tyrrell, Secy. ; P. 
McRostie, Treas. During this term five 
were admitted by initiation and one by 

July 1, 1867 — G. W. Shaw, N. G. ; Wm. 
Scruby, V. G. ; J. J. Thomas, Secy. ; R. T. 
Smith, Treas. ; L. Bixby, D. D. G. M. Dur- 
ing the term J. J. Thomas resigned, and C. 
S. Crandall was elected secretary to fill the 
vacancy. Eight members were initiated and 
one admitted as an Ancient Odd Fellow. 

January 1, 1S68.— G. II. Tyrrell, N. G. ; W. 
H. Reynolds, V. G. ; C. S. Crandall, Secy. ; 
Alson Selleck, Treas. During the early 
part of the term G. H. Tyrrell resigned the 
office of N. G., and L. Bixby was elected to 



fill the office. Three members were admit- 
ted by initiation and two bj^ card. 

July, 1868 — William Reynolds, N. G.; 
William Pepper, V. G. ; J. W. Daniels, R. S. ; 
W. H. Sherman, Treas. 

January, 1869 — William Pepper, N. G. ; 
A. S. Mygatt, V. G. ; John Middaugh, R. S. ; 
Sydney Smith, Per. Sec. ; A. P. Requa (re- 
signed), E. B. Crooker, Treas. 

July, 1 869 — A. S. Mygatt, N. G. ; C. S. 
Crandall, V. G. ; E. T. Smith, R. S. ; George 
Mitchell, Treas. 

January, 1870 — C. S. Crandall, K G. ; J. 
D. Mitchell, V. G. ; A. A. Harwood, R. S. ; L. 
Bixby, Per. Sec. ; H. M. Brown, Treas. 

July, 1870 —J. D. Mitchell, N. G. ; George 
Mitchell. Y. G. ; H. N. Brown, R. S. ; J. C. 
Backus, Treas. 

January, 1871 — George Mitchell, N. G. ; 
J. C. Backus, V. G. ; J. Newsalt, R. S. ; 
William Pepper, Treas. 

July, 1871 — J. C. Backus, N. G. ; Geo. A. 
Black, V. G. ; E. K. Smith, R. S. ; George 
Mitchell, Treas. 

January, 1872 —George A. Black, N. G. ; 
John Cottier, V. G. ; E. K. Smith, R. S. ; 
A. C. Hickman, Treas. 

July, 1872 — John Cottier, N. G. ; James 
K. Price, V. G. ; William Reynolds, R. S. ; 
D. Lawson, Treas. 

January, 1873 — J. K. Price, N. G.; D. 
Lawson, V. G. ; A. S. Mygatt, R. S. ; G. W. 
Shaw, Treas. 

July, 1873 — D. Lawson, JST. G. ; J. P. 
Requa, V. G. ; E. K. Smith, R. S. ; G. W. 
Shaw, Treas. ; H. F. Luce, Treas. 

January, 1874 — P. McRostie, N. G. ; N. 
Searl, V. G. ; A. L. Harding, R. S. ; PL F. 
Luce, Per. Sec. ; George Mitchell, Treas. 

July, 1874 — George Mitchell, N. G. ; A. 
L. Harding, V. G. ; E. M. Arnold, R. S. ; E. 
K. Smith, Treas. 

January, 1875 — A. L. Harding, N. G. ; 
H. F. Luce, V. G. ; G. Peterson, R. S. ; W. H. 
Reynolds Per. Secy. ; H. M. Pepper, Treas. 

July, 1875— H.F. Luce, N. G. ; R. Lilly, 
V. G. ; G. Peterson, R. S. 

January, 1876 — R. Lilly, N. G. ; G. Peter- 
son, V. G. ; W. A. Dynes.'p. S.; H. F. Luce, 
Treas. ; E. K. Smith, P. S. 

July, 1876 — C. W. Burdick, K G. ; W. 
A. Dynes, V. G. ; E. C. Kinny, R. S. ; John 
Mitchell, Treas. 

January, 1877 — John Cottier, N. G. ; 
George Shaw, V. G. ; R. Lilly, R. S. ; T. R. 
Medd, P. S. 

July, 1877 — W. A. Dynes, N. G. ; E. C. 
Kinney, V. G. ; W. L. Winslow, R. S.; J. D. 
Mitchell, Treas. 

January, 1878 — E. C. Kinney, N. G. ; T. 
R. Medd, Y. G. ; F. C. Webb, R. S.; H. F. 
Luce, P. S. 

July, 1878 — T. R. Medd, N. G. ; E. R. 
Fenno, Y. G. ; R. L. Muckey, R. S. ; T. C. 
Webb, Treas. 

January, 1879 — E. R. Fenno, N. G. ; W. 
L. Winslow, Y. G. ; R. L. Muckey, R. S. ; R. 
Lilly, P. S. ; Geo. W. Shaw, Treas. 

July, 1879 — W. L. Winslow, N. G. ; 0. 
E. Parker, Y. G. ; R. LiUy, R. S. ; E. K. 
Smith, P. S. ; Geo. W. Shaw, Treas. 

January, 1880 — Geo. W. Shaw, N. G. ; 
H. F. Luce, Y. G. ; E. K. Smith, R. S. ; G. 
W. Peterson, P. S. ; W. H. Reynolds, Treas. 

July, 1880 — John Cottier, N. G.; Frank 
Webb, Y. G. ; H. F. Luce, R. S. ; E. R. 
Fenno, Treas. 

January, 1881 — F. C. Webb, N. G. ; W. 
Hughes, V. G. ; W. A. Dynes, R. S.; A. 
Simpson, P. S. ; E. R. Fenno, Treas. 

July, 1881 — T. R. Medd, K G.; A. Simp- 
son, V. G. ; Geo. H. Peterson, R. S. ; O. S. 
Boice, P. S. ; F. C. Webb, Treas. 

January, 1882 — A. Simpson, N. G. ; O. 
S. Boice, Y. G. ; Geo. Parrott, R. S. ; F. C. 
AYebb, P. S. ; E. R. Fenno, Treas. 

July, 1882 — O. S. Boice, N. G. ; Geo. Par- 
rott, Y. G. ; J. W. McKinny, R. S. ; John 
Cottier, Treas. 

Junuary, 1883 — Geo. Parrott, N. G. ; J. 
H. Hehvig, Y. G. ; J. W. McKinny, R. S. ; 
G. W. Peachy, P. S. ; A. Simpson, Treas. 

July, 1883 — F. C. Webb, N. G. ; J. H. 



Helwig, y. G. ; E. Fuller, R. S. ; O. S. Boice, 

Januaiy, 1884— J. II. Hehvig, N. G. ; E. 
Fuller, V. G. ; G. H. Peterson, K. S. ; H. F. 
Luce, P. S. ; John Cottier, Treas. 

July, 1881— E. Fuller, K G. ; George 
Peachy, V. G. ; F. C. Webb, II. S. ; Mr. 
Andrews, Treas. 

January, 1885 — George Peachy, N. G. ; 
James Brown, V. G. ; F. C. Webb, E. S. ; 
George Parrott, P. S. ; John Cottier, Treas. 

July, 1885 — James Brown, N. G. ; J. II. 
Dewart, V. G. ; F. C. Webb, E. S. ; John 
Cottier, Treas. 

January, 1886 — H. F. Luce, N. G. ; John 
A. Shaw, Y. G. ; F. C. Webb, E. S. ; T. J. 
Gillam, See}'. ; John Cottier, Treas. 

July, 1886— H. F. Luce, N. G. ; J. A. 
Shaw, V. G. ; F. C. Webb, E. S. ; John Cot- 
tier, Treas. 

January, 1887— John A. Shaw, N. G. ; E. 
H. S. Dart, V. G. ; F. C. Webb, E. S ; 
George Parrott, P. S. ; John Cottier, Treas. 

July, 1887— Mr. Wright, N. G. ; W. F. 
Barker, V. G. ; F. C. Webb, E. S. ; John 
Cottier, Treas. ; George W. Shaw, Warden ; 
Geo. H. Peterson, E. S. N. G. ; J. H. Hel- 
wig, L. S. N. G. ; Mr. McGillan, I. G., and 
Cliap. Eev. J. C. Ogle. 

The lodge now has Mty-Uve members in 
good standing. Its financial condition is ex- 
cellent, as it has money in the treasury, be- 
sides considerable loaned out. The first meet- 
ings of the lodge were held in Morford's 
hall, which is now occupied by Eosebrock's 
furniture store. A short time later, a room 
over what is now Mr. Holt's general store 
was used, and a couple of years later they 
occupied a room adjoining that one. Afier 
four or five years, a third story was added 
to the building which they now occupy, and 
for a consideration of ' $1,100 they secured a 
ninety -nine-year lease of it. The money was 
raised by the organization of a stock com- 
pan}' and the issuance of certificates. It is 
all paid, and the lodge is out of debt. The 
lodge-room is appropriatety furnished, and 

they possess a full outfit of neat and tasty 

Goethe lodge, JVo. 38, I. 0. 0. i^.— This 
lodge was organized at Owatonna, April 25, 
1873, by Grand Master E. K. Smith, of Owa- 
tonna, assisted by Eobert Smith, Y. G. M. 
The following is a list of those present : 
Past Grands J. Newsalt, William Pepper, 
A. S. Mygatt, W. H. Eeynolds, G. A. Black, 
and Brothers L. Bion, A. Butsch, G. Sie- 
bold, J. Deeg and A. Hafemann. At that 
time there were initiated John Ilammel, F. 
Mudeking and J. II. Ilartwig. The first of- 
ficers were elected at the same meeting, as 
follows : J. Newsalt, N. G. ; L. Bion, Y. G. ; 
Eichard Joos, P. S. ; G. Siebolt, Secy. ; A. 
Butsch, Treas. 

The following is a list of the officers who 
have served this lodge since its organization, 
as shown by the record of elections : 

Elected June 30, 1873 — J. Newsalt, N. 
G. ; L. Bion, Y. G. ; G. Siebold, E. Secy. ; 
Eichard Joos, P. S. ; A. Butsch, Treas. 

December 31, 1873 — Louis Bion, N. G. ; 
Adam Butsch, Y. G. ; John Deeg, E. S. ; J. 
Newsalt, P. S. ; J. Newsalt, Treas. 

June 30, 1874 — A. Butsch, N. G.; John 
Deeg, Y. G. ; John Hammel, E. S. ; J. New- 
salt, P. S. ; Albert Hafemann, Treas. 

December 31, 1871 — John Deeg, N. G. ; 
Albert Hafemann, Y. G. ; John Hammel, E. 
S. ; J. Newsalt, P. S. ; Fred Mudeking, Treas. 

June 30, 1875 — A. Hafemann, N. G. ; John 
Hammel, Y. G. ; L. Bion, E. S. ; Jacob New- 
salt, P. S. ; John A. Butsch, Treas. 

December 31, 1875 — John Hammel, N. G. ; 
F. Mudeking, Y. G. ; J. Newsalt, E. S. ; E. 
Deininger, P. S. ; Theo. Fedder, Treas. 

June 30, 1876 — F. Mudeking, N. G. ; 
Theo. Fedder, Y. G. ; Gustav Siebold, E. S. ; 
E. Deininger, P. S. ; John Deeg, Treas. 

December 30, 1876 — L. Bion, N. G. ; G. 
Siebold, Y. G. ; John Hammel, E. S. ; E. 
Deiningei', P. S. ; Geo. A. Eossbach, Treas. 

June 30, 1877— G. Siebold, N. G. ; Theo. 
Fedder, Y. G. ; J. Newsalt, E. S. ; E. Deinin- 
ger, P. S. ; L. Bion, Treas. 



December 31, 1877 — L. Bion, N. G. ; R. 
Deininger, V. G. ; AVilliara Scheele, E. S. ; 
John Deeg, P. S. ; John Hammel, Treas. 

June 30, 1878 — L. Bion, K G. ; Robt. 
Deininger, V. G. ; J. Newsalt, R. S. ; John 
Deeg, P. S. ; Geo. A. Rossbach, Treas. 

December 31, 1878 — R. Deininger, N. G. ; 
W. H. Scheele, V. G. ; John Hammel, R. S. ; 
John Deeg, P. S. ; G. A. Rossbach, Treas. 

June 30, 1879 — G. A. Rossljach, N. G. ; 
Charles Lorence, V. G. ; John Hammel, R. 
S. ; John Deeg, P. S. ; L. Bion, Treas. 

December 31, 1879 —Emil Theimer, N. G. ; 
John Butsch, V. G. ; John Hammel, R. S. ; 
John Deeg, P. S. ; Robt. Deininger, Treas. 

June 30, 1880 — John Butsch, N. G. ; 
Charles Lorence, V. G. ; L. Bion, R. S. ; John 
Deeg, P. S. ; R. Deininger, Treas. 

December 31, 1880 — C. M. Lorence, N. G. ; 
C. F. Hummer, Y. G. ; E. Theimer, R. S. ; J. 
Ganser, P. S. ; R. Deininger, Treas. 

June 30, 1881 — W. Scheele, IST. G. ; J. 
Ganser, V. G. ; E. Theimer, R. S. ; Jacob 
Thon, P. S. ; R. Deininger, Treas. 

December 31, 1881 — J. P. Ganser, K G. ; 
Jacob Thon, V. G. ; Louis Bion, R. S. ; Louis 
Bion, P. S. ; R. Deininger, Treas. 

June 30, 1882 — Louis Bion, K G. ; A. 
Schlesinger, V. G. ; E. E. Aukes, R. S. ; E. 
E. Aukes, P. S. ; R. Deininger, Treas. 

December 31, 1882- John Deeg, N. G.; 
E. E. Aukes, V. G. ; John Hammel, R. S. ; 
John Hammel, P. S. ; Robt. Deininger, Treas. 

June 30, 1883 — E. E. Aukes, N. G. ; Jacob 
Thon, V. G.; John Hammel, R. S. ; John 
Hammel, P. S. ; L. Bion, Treas. 

December 31, 1883— Robt. Deininger, N. 
G. ; Charles "Wiese, V. G. ; John Hammel, 
R. S. ; John Hammel, P. S. ; Theo. Fedder, 

June 30, 1884 — A. Schlesinger, K G. ; 
Charle}' Wiese, Y. G. ; John Hammel, R. 
S. ; John Hammel, P. S. ; Theo. Fedder, 

December 31, 1881 — Charles Wiese, N. 
G. ; Henry Sanders, V. G. ; John Hammel, 
R. S. and P. S. ; Theo. Fedder, Treas. 

June 30, 1885— Henry Sanders, N. G. ; 
Charles Moldenhauer, V. G. ; John P. Ganser, 
R. S. ; Theo. Fedder, Treas. 

December 31, 1885 — Charles Moldenhauer, 
N. G. ; J. P. Thon, V. G. ; J. P. Ganser, R. 
S. ; Theo. Fedder, Treas. 

June 30, 1886 — Jacob Thon, N. G.; Gustav 
Schwandlce, V. G. ; John Hammel, R. S. and 
P. S. ; Theo. Fedder, Treas. 

December 31, 1886 — Gustav A. Schwan- 
dke, N. G. ; AV illiam Wichlow, V. G. ; John 
Hammel, R. S. and P. S.; Theo. Fedder, 

June 30, 1887 — William Wichlow, N. G. ; 
John Thon, V. G. ; John Hammel, R. S. and 
P. S. ; Theo. Fedder, Treas. ; John Degg, 
Conductor ; F. Schuman, Warden ; Robert 
Deininger, R. S. of N. G. ; Matt Bion, L. S. 
of N. G. ; Henry Sanders, I. G. ; William 
Scheele, O. G. 

The lodge held meetwigs at first in the hall 
of Star of the West Lodge. Afterward they 
used Adam Butsch's building, on Main street. 
In 1879 they moved in the present lodge 
room, in the Morehouse block, on Broadway. 
The room is nicely furnished, they own neat 
regalia, and have money on interest. They 
now (June, 1887) have fifty-two members in 
good standing, of which number the follow- 
ing are Past-Grands: J. Newsalt, L. Bion, 
John Deeg, John Hammel, F. Mudeking, R. 
Deininger, Theo. Fedder, J. A. Butsch, Emil 
Theimer, Charles Lorence, William Scheele, 
A. Graffmlieller, John Ganser, E. E. Aukes, 
Charles Wiese, Llenry Sander and J. Thon. 
This lodge has furnished officers of the Grand 
Lodge of the State on two occasions: J. New- 
salt, Grand Master, and Emil Theimer, Grand 

Behecca. — During the first term of Star 
of the West Lodge in 1805, a Rebecca organ- 
ization was formed in which all scarlet degree 
members were entitled to membershij), also 
the wives of scarlet degree members. The 
object of this degree was for the especial 
benefit of the wives of members. The or- 
ganization was maintained on account of the 



beneficial social features which it embraced, 
until several years ago, when it was aband- 

Central Encampment, Mo. J/., I. 0. 0. F 
— On the afternoon of March 31, 1869, C. 
A. Strong, D. D. G. S. ; C. C. Comee, G. M., 
and theP's from the Rochester and Star of 
the West Lodges met in the hall of the Star 
of the West Lodge, Owatonna, for the pur- 
pose of organizing an encampment, a dispen- 
sation having already been granted. The 
following were the first members: C. C. 
Comee, D. B. Marble, Luther Bixby, E. K. 
Smith, J. W. Daniels, A. S. Mygatt, Wm. 
Reynolds and William Pepper. In addition 
to this list, the following named became 
members, either at the first or second meet- 
ing : E. B. Crooker, J. W. Dresser, C. W. 
Hastings, John Middaugh, H. M. Brown, C. 
S. Crandall and A. C. Hickman. 

The following is a list of the officers who 
have been chosen at the various elections 
held since the encampment was organized : 

Elected March 31, 1869: C. C. Comee, C. 
P. ; D. B. Marble, H. P. ; E. K. Smith, S. 
W. ; J. W. Daniels, J. W. ; A. S. Mygatt, S. ; 
W. H. Reynolds, Treas. 

June 16, 1869 — L. Bixby, C. P.; E. K. 
Smith, II. P. ; A. C. Hickman, S. W. ; John 
Middaugh, J. W. ; J. C. Backus, Secy. ; H. 
M. Brown, Treas. 

December 15, 1869— E. K. Smith, C. P. ; 
A. C. Hickman, II. P.; J. C. Backus, S. 
W. ; John Middaugh, S. ; W. M. Reynolds, 
J. W. ; H. M. Brown, Treas. 

August 3, 1870— E. K. Smith, C. P. ; J. C. 
Backus, H. P. ; O. M. Hammond. S. W. ; C. 
S. Crandall, J. W. ; E. T. Smith, S. ; II. M. 
Brown, Treas. 

January 4, 1871 — A. C. Hickman, C. P.; 
O. M. Hammond, H. P. ; Wm. Pepper, S. 
W. ; H. M. Brown, J. W. ; E. B. Crooker, 
S. ; W. II. Reynolds, Treas. 

July 5, 1871—0. M. Hammond, C. P. ; J. 
C. Backus, II. P. ; E. T. Smith, S. W. ; D. 
Lawson, J. W. ; E. K. Smith, S. ; A. C. 
Hickman, Treas. 

January 3, 1872— J. C. Backus, C. P. ; E. 
T. Smith," H. P. ; W. H. Reynolds, S. W. ; J. 
Newsalt, J. W. ; E. K. Smith, S. ; A. C. 
Hickman, Treas. 

June 19, 1872— L. Bixley, C. P. ; D. Law- 
son, H. P. ; J. Newsalt, S. W. ; George A 
Black, J. W. ; E. K. Smith, S. ; O. M. Ham- 
mond, T. . 

January 1, 1873- D. Lawson, C. P. ; W 
H. Reynolds, 11. P. ; Geo. A. Black, S. W. 
J. C. Backus, J. W. ; E. K. Smith, S. ; J. Iv 
Rice, T. 

June 18, 1873— W. H. Reynolds, C. P. 
G. A. Black, II. P. ; A. S. Mygatt, S. W. 
D. Lawson, J. W. ; E. K. Sm'ith, S. ; E. K 
Smith, T. 

December, 1873 — W. H. Reynolds, C. P. 
Wm. Pepper, H. P. ; J. Newsalt, S. W. ; G 
F. Doolittle, J. W.; L. Bixby, S. ; J. C 
Backus, T. 

June 17,1874: — Wdliam Pepper, C. P. ; J 
Newsalt, H. P. ; G. F. Doolittle, S. W. ; H, 
F. Luce, J. W. ; A. L. Harding, S. ; G. W 
Shaw, T. 

December 16, 1874 — J. Newsalt, C. P. 
A. L. Harding, H. P.; L. Bion, S. W. ; W, 
H. Reynolds, T. ; C. P. Lilly, S. 

June 16, 1875 — A. L. Harding, C. P. ; G 

F. Doolittle, H. P. ; H. F. Luce, S. W. ; R 
Lilly, S. ; G. W. Shaw, T. ; D. Lawson, J. W 

December 15, 1875 — A. L. Harding, C. P. 
H. F. Luce, II. P. ; R. Lilly, S. W. ; E. K 
Smith, J. W. ; G. II. Peterson, S. ; G. W, 
Shaw, T. 

June 2, 1876 — H. F. Luce, C. P. ; R. Lilly, 
H. P. ; G. W. Shaw, S. W. ; John Cottier, 
J. W. ; G. II. Peterson, S. ; J. Newsalt, T. 

December 20, 1876 — R. Lilly, C. P. ; P. 
McRostie,II. P.; W. A. Dynes, S.W.; John 
Cottier, J. W. ; John Hammel, T. ; E. K. 
Smith, S. 

June 20, 1877 — P. McRostie, C. P.; W. 
A. Dynes, II. P.; G. W. Shaw, S. W. ; W. 
H. Reynolds, J. W. ; E. K. Smith, S. ; John 
Hammel, T. 

December 19, 1877 — AV. A. Dynes, C. P. ; 

G. W. Shaw, H. P. ; John Cottier, S. W. ; R. 



Lilly, J. ^y. ; E. K. Smith, S. ; John Ilam- 
mel, T. 

June 19, 1878— G. W. Shaw, C. P. ; John 
Coftier, H. P. ; John Ilammel, S. W. ; W. H 
Eeynolds, J. W. ; G. H. Peterson, S. ; W. A 
Dynes, T. 

December 27, 1878 — John Cottier, C. P. 
John Hammel, 11. P. ; G. H. Peterson, S. W. 
E. K. Smith, S. ; G. W. Shaw, T. ; W. A 
Dynes, J. "W. 

June 18, 1879— John Ilammel, C. P. ; G 
H. Peterson, H. P. ; E. C. Kinney, S. W. 
W. H. Reynolds, J. W. ; G. W. Shaw, T. ; 

E. K. Smith, S. 

December 17, 1879 — Geo. H. Peterson, 
C. P. ; E. C. Kinney, H. P. ; P. McDonald, 
S. W. ; W. II. Reynolds, J. W. ; E. K. Smith, 
S. ; G. W. Shaw, T. 

August 4, 1880 — John Cottier, C. P. ; II. 

F. Luce, 11. P. ; A. Simpson, S. "W. ; John 
Ilammel, J. W. ; E. K. Smith, S. ; G. W. 
Shaw, T. 

Januarys, 1881 — J. Newsalt, C. P.; L. 
Bion, 11. P. ; A. Simpson, S. W. ; G. H. 
Peterson, J. W. ; E. K. Smith, S. ; John 
Plammel, T. 

January 3, 1882 — L. Bion, C. P.; John 
Cottier, H. P. ; J. H. Helwig, S. W. ; H. F. 
Luce, J. W. ; G. H. Peterson, S.; John 
Hammel, T. 

December 20, 1882 — John Cottier, C. P. 
J. H. Helwig, H. P. ; John Hammel, S. W. 
W. H. Reynolds, J. W. ; G. H. Peterson, S 

December 5, 1883 — G. W. Shaw, C. W. 
J. H. Helwig, H. P. ; W. H. Reynolds, J 
W. ; G. H. Peterson, S. ; H. F. Luce, T. 

December 17, 1881 — G. W. Shaw, C. P. 
J. H. Helwig, H. P. ; John Hammel, S. W. 
W. H. Reynolds, J. W. ; G. II. Peterson, S. 
H. F. Luce, T. 

December 16, 1885 — J. II. Helwig, C. P. 
John Cottier, II. P. ; E. Theimer, S. W. ; R 
Deininger, J. W. ; G. H. Peterson, S. 

December 15, 1886 — (present officers) — 
Emil Theimer, C. P. ; F. C. Webb, H. P. ; 
R. Deininger, S. W. ; J. A. Shaw, J. W. ; G. 
H. Peterson, S.; H. F. Luce, T. ; F. G. Shu- 

man, P. S. ; H. Sanders, O. S. ; J. JSTewsalt, 
G. ; John Helwig, 1st W. ; John Cottier, 2d 
W. ; II. F. Luce, 3d W. ; G. W. Shaw, 4th 
W. ; John Cottier, George H. Peterson and 
George W. Shaw, trustees. 

The Encampment meetings since its organ- 
ization have always been held in the Star of 
the West Lodge rooms, where the}" own 
the necessarjr furniture and paraphernalia, 
together with handsome regalia. The en- 
campment is in good condition tinancialty, 
and has been from the start. This order is 
in Odd Fellowship one step higher than the 
Subordinate Lodges ; and any "third degree 
Odd Fellow '" in good standing is eligible to 
membership in the camp. 


This organization is not an ancient one, 
being the outgrowth of the civil war. Every 
soldier who was honorably discharged from 
service is eligible to membership. The ob- 
jects of the organization are to preserve and 
strengthen the fraternal feelings which bound 
soldiers together upon the field and in camp, 
and to perpetuate the memory and history of 
the beloved dead. Also to assist, in their 
declining \"ears, such former comrades in 
arms as, from wounds and hardships, might 
need help and protection ; and to care for the 
widows and orphans of those who fell. It is 
non-political, and no discussion of partisan 
questions is allowed at their meetings. As a 
matter of interest we give a list of the present 
officers of the G. A. R. of the department of 
Minnesota, as the Commander is a citizen of 
Owatonna. They are as follows: L. L. 
Wheelock, of Owatonna, department com- 
mander; E. R. Jefferson, of Duluth, senior 
vice-commander ; J. H. Ege, of ilinneapohs, 
junior vice-commander; D. P. Kennedy, of 
Litchfield, medical director ; W. E. Stanley, 
of Austin, chaplain. 

James A. Goodwin Post, JVo. SI — Was 
organized at Owatonna on the 21st of March, 
1884, the first meeting being held at the 
Knights of Honor hall, on the evening of 
that date. R. A. Becker, senior vice dep't 



com., and Comrades Zeigbaum, Leibold and 
Waffle came down from St. Paul and 
assisted in effecting an organization. There 
were thirty-six charter members, as follows : 
L. L. AVheelock, J. W. Burch, John Helwig, 
E. A. Tyler, W. A. Dynes, C. W. Hadley, 
Oscar Gross, Frank L. Melvin, L. L. Inman, 
J. Z. Barncard, S. N. Lund, J. L. Harrington, 
W. W. Day, George E. Sloan, David Curtis, 
John R3'an, Oscar Murphy, R. H. Eeynolds, 
A. Hemingway, E. P. Norton, F. M. Banter, 
Eli I. Williamson, C. M. Williamson, William 
Gamble, C. W. Wilkinson, J. D. Backus, J. 
E. Teed, D. W. Williamson, W. H. Twiford, 
E. E. Bigelow, D. O. Searle, H. J. Robinson, 
J. Fredenburg, Horace Smith, J. D. Holden, 
and Orlando Lindersmith. 

The first officers were elected at the first 
meeting, and served until the following 
annual election, on the second Tuesday in 
Januarj\ The officers have been as follows : 

Elected March 21, 1884 — L. L. Wheelock, 
P. C. ; E. A. Tyler, S. V. C ; D. O. Searle, 
J. V. C. ; J. H. Helwig, A. ; W. A. Dynes, 
Q. M. ; J. L. Harrington, S. ; J. Newton 
Brown, C. ; J. Z. Barncard, O. D. ; E. P. 
Norton, O. G. ; C. B. Wilkinson, S. ; J. D. 
Holden, Q. M. S. 

Elected January, 1885 — L. L. Wheelock, 
P. C. ; E. A. Tyler, S. V. C. ; W. W. Day, 
J. V. C. ; J. Z. Barncard, O. D. ; J. H. 
Helwig, Adj. ; E. I. Williamson, Chap. ; E. 
P. Norton, O. G. ; J. L. Harrington, Sur. ; 
S. B. Wilkinson, S. M. ; W. A. Dynes, Q. 
M. ; J. D. Holden, Q. M. S. 

Elected January, 1886 — E. A. Tyler, P. 
C. ; F. M. Banter, S. V. C. ; W. W. Day, J. 
V. C. ;E. E. Bigelow, Sur. ; C. B. Wilkinson, 
O. D. ; D. W. Williamson, O. G. ; E. I. Will- 
iamson, C. ; T. W. Hanks, Q. M. ; D. S. Cov- 
erdale, Q. M. S. ; J. H. Helwig, Adj. ; C. W. 
Hadley, S. M. 

Elected Januar}^ 1887 — J. Z. Barncard, 
P. C. ; George E. Sloan, S. V. C. ; F. C. Berg, 
J. Y. C. ; E. E. Bigelow, Sur. ; Chas. Gid- 
dings, O. D. ; C. B. Wilkinson, C. ; F. M. 
Bauter, Q. M. ; E. P. Norton, O. G. ; J. W 

Burch, Adj.; C. H. Sterns, S. M.; W. A. 
Dynes, Q. M. S. 

Meetings were held in the Knights of 
Honor hall on Cedar street until August, 
1887, when they removed to their j^resent 
quarters — G. A. R. hall — over the post- 
office. The rooms are comfortable and well 
furnished and arranged. They hold a five- 
years' lease. The financial condition of the 
post is excellent. Socially and officially 
matters have run very smoothly in the post 
since its organization ; the best of feeling 
has and does exist between all the comrades, 
and no petty strife, jealousies or trouble of 
any kind has ever occurred to mar the fra- 
ternal feeling of the members, and for 
smooth sailing and competent, careful man- 
agement, the James A. Goodwin Post has 
made a record w^hich is known throughout 
the State. 

The meml)ership of the post increased 
very rapidljr from the start, and now its roll 
contains the names of 136 members. The 
following is a descriptive list of the mem- 
bers as shown by the books in August, 1887, 
giving the name of the member, rank at 
time of discharge from the army, his com- 
pany and regiment and date of discharge, 
viz : 

L. L. Wheelock, ciiptaia, C, 160th N. Y., Nov., 1865. 

J. W. Burch, major, 44th Ind., 1865. 

H. R. Thompson, private, E, 4th Minn., .Jan., 1865. 

Jchn Helwig. private, C, 35th Iowa, May, 1865. 

E. A. Tyler, lieutenant, E., 1st Minn., March, 1865. 

W. A. Dynes, com. ser., 72d cav., March, 18G6. 

L. C. Berg, musician, K, 28tli Wis., Aug., 1865. 

C. W. Hadley, corporal, H, 14th Iowa, March, 1863. 

Oscar Gross, private, G, 1st oMinn., Sept., 1861. 

Harvey Fletcher, wagoner, E, 4th Minn., .July, 1865. 

C. O. Easton, private, D, 33d Wis., Jan., 1865. 
Frank L. Melvin, private. A, 10th Jlinn., Aug., 1865. 
L. L. Inman, sergeant, F, Wis. cav., April, 1865. 
J. Z. Barncard, lieutenant., B, 2d Minn., Jan., 1864. 
Theo. Chambers, private, F, 95th 111., Aug., 1865. 

S. N. Lund, private. A, 3d Wis., July, 1864. 

J. L. Harrington, asst. sur., 4th Vermont, Aug., 1865. 

D. F. Betchen, private. Board of Trade bat., Chi- 
cago, Jan., 1865. 

W. W. Day, private, D, lOlh Wis., Dec, 1864. 
George E. Sloan, private, I, 142d N. Y., Jan., 1865. 
David Curtis, private, K, 3d Wis., July, 1865. 



John Ryan, private, F, 4tli Minn., Dec, 1804. 
Oscar Murphy, .sergeant, D, 3d Wis. cav., Feb., ISGo. 
Julius F. Young, musician, A, 30th Wis., July, 1865. 
M. A. McAudrews, corporal Hat. L, jNIian. 
L. H. Lane, captain, I, 33d Ohio, July, 1865. 
R. H. Reynolds, corporal, E, 10th Minn., Aug., 1865. 
A. Hemingway, corporal, B, 32d Wis., June, 1865. 
E. P. Norton, private, D, 9th Maine, Aug., 1865. 
P. M. Bauter, private, E, 11th Mich., April, 1863. 
W. C. McGowan, private, I, 142d N. Y., April, 1864. 
E. I. Williamson, sergeant, G, 3d Minn, cav., Dec, 
Oscar Tiffany, sergeant, E, 4th Minn., July, 1865. 
G. W. Buffum, captain, I, 1st Wis., Dec, 1865. 
C. M. Williamson, private, E, 1st Minn., May, 1865. 
William Gamble, private, D, 9th Wis., Oct., 1865. 

C. B. Wilkinson, captain. A, 3d Minn., Aug., 1865. 
J. D. Backus, private, D, 123d N. Y., Jan., 1865. 
J. Teed, musician. A, 10th Minn., Aug., 1865. 

D. W. Williamson, corporal, F, 3d Minn., Sept., 1865. 
W. H. Twiford, surgeon, 37th Ind., July, 1864. 

E. E. Bigelow, sergeant, D, 29lh Wis., 1863. 

W. H. Ilolden, private, E, 128th N. Y., Jan., 1865. 

Edward Kingsbury, private, F, 33d Wis., May, 1863. 

Samuel Ellis, private. A, 95th 111., Aug., 1865. 

Andrew Meehan, private, C, 1st Minn, heavy art., 
June, 1865. 

James Hannah, private, B, 10th Minn., July, 1865. 

J. D. Carter, private, K, 3d Minn., Sept., 1864. 

Jason Bemis, corporal, F, 3d Ohio cav., Sept., 18G4. 

D. H. Sutton, private, G, 17th HI. cav., Jan., 1866. 

D. R, Pike, musician, K, 137th N. Y., July, 1865. 

Wm. Rosenthal], private, I, 4th Minn., Jan., 1865. 

S. M. Kinney, private. A, 10th Minn., May, 1865. 

P. Leibold, private, D, 8th Minn., July, 1865. 

Jos. B. Tudor, private, F, 7th Mo. cav., Nov., 1865. 

G. Gross, private, C, 3d Minn, cav., Nov., 1865. 

Edw. Davis, private, C, 3d Minn, cav., Nov., 1865. 

J. M. Buriingame, private, B, 127th N. Y., May, 1865. 

Fred. Boll, private, G, 1st Minn., May, 1865. 

Jos. Cobb, private, H, 4th Minn., June, 1865. 

Thos. Coney, private, C, 3d Minn, cav., Nov., 1865. 

T. H. Kelley, 

John Lippert, private, E, 45th Wis., July, 1865. 

D. S. Coverdale, captain, K, 3d Minn., Aug., 1865. 

C. Batzel, private, E, 1st Minn., July, 1865. 

Ed. Garrett, corporal, B, 10th Minn., Aug., 1865. 

Geo. Naylor, private, H, 3d Minn., Nov., 1864. 

W. E. Martin, private, A, 10th Minn., July, 1865. 

T. C. Kenyon, private, C, 3d Minn, cav., Nov., 1865. 

John Reash, private, B, 1st Minn, heavy art.. June, 

0. V. Musser, private, H, 38th Wis., Jan., 1865. 

Andrew Fischer, lieutenant I, 143d N. Y., June, 1865. 

Henry Walter, private, K, 1st Minn, heavy art., Sept., 

A. S. Bragg, corporal, I, 4th Minn., Jan., 1865. 

Godfried Boshard, private, D, 9th Wis., Dec, 1864. 

R. H. Johnson, private, I, 11th Minn., July, 1865. 

Hugh Bradley, private, F, 7th Minn., Aug.. 1865. 

Warren S.. Reynolds, private, 48th Ohio bat., July, 

J. L. Roberts, private, 53d 111., Sept., 1863. 

AV. A. Hinchley, private, C, 16th Wis., July, 1865. 

S. N. Ilarter, private, F, 18th Wis., Jan., 1865. 

H. Ward well, private, K, 33d Wis., July, 1865. 

F. C. Berg, private, A, 28th Wis., Aug., 1865. 

H. A. Finch, sergeant, G, 16th Wis., July, 1865. 

Henry Rand, private, B, 32d Wis., June, 1865. 

J. N. Morrison, corporal, G. 2d Minn, cav., Dec. ,1865. 

T. Hennessey; private. I, 49tli Wis., Nov., 1865. 

T. W. Hanks, bugler, 3d Minn, light ar., Feb., 1866. 

Nis Nelson, private, E, Col. cav., Nov., 1865. 

C. H. Randall, private, F, 37th Wis , May, 1865. 

Martin Halley, private, C, 134th N. Y., Jan., 1865. 

John Blythe,private,C,lst Minn. heav. art.. June, 1865. 

J. C. Hemingway, private, I, 1st Minn., Jul}', 1865. 

Geo. H. Curtis, private. A, 10th Minn., August, 1865. 

W. G. Mason, private, I, 2d Jlinn., Sept., 1864. 

N. P. Thimsen, private, K, 2d Minn, cav.. May, 1865, 

W. H. Burns, private, C, 3d Minn, cav., Nov., 1865. 

J. S. Bixby, private, A, 10th Minn., Aug., 1865. 

C. B. Pettie, private. A, 10th Minn., June, 1865. 

S. R. Anderson, private, H, 1st Minn, heavy art., 
Sept., 1865. 

S. B. Hough, private, G, 9th 111. Cav. 

S. 11. Stowers, lieutenant. A, 10th Minn., ]\Iay, 1865. 

A. A. Famsworth, private, G, 17th 111. Cav., Jan., 

H. Rosenau, private, L, 1st Minn. heav. art., Sept., 

E. Austin, private, 3d Wis. cav., May, 1865. 
Mark H. Dunnell, colonel, 5th Maine, Aug., 1861. 
A. W. Reed, private, A. 10th Minn., October, 1864. 
Cha.s. Vose, private, F, 9th Wis., Dec, 1864. 

F. Zwiencr, private, E, 20th Wis., Jan., 1865. 

C. ri. Sterns, corporal, 1st Iowa bat., Sept., 1863. 
Mcrton Stanchoff, three years. 

George Gliechman, private, B, 26th Wis., Jiuie, 1865. 
Chas. D. Giddings, quartermaster, Ship Ouachta, 
January, 1865. 

D. Fuller, private, B, 34th N. Y. bat., Jan., 1865. 
A. M. Kinyon, private, K, 29th Wis., 1863. 
James Brown, farrier, D, 11th N. Y. cav. 

James Oleson, private; K, 8th Wis., Sept., 1865. 

L. O. Gaylord, private. A, 1st Minn, art., June, 1865. 

Ezra Town, private, E, 4th Jlinn., July, 186.5. 

Newton Parker, private, E, 1st Minn.. July, 1865. 

Aug. Kreger, private, E, 27th Wis., Aug., 1865. 

P. Mallinger, lieutenant, F, 9lh Wis. 

A. W. Jones, private, A, 10th Minn., Aug., 1865. 

L. P. Hall, private, G, 3d Minn., Nov., 1804. 

A. Colquhon, private, D, 11th Minn., June, 1865. 

Fred Yanke, private, G, 43d Wis., Feb. 




Owatonna Tunimrein. — This society was 
organized Jul}' 3, 1883, the first meeting 
being held at Butsch's hall. It was organized 
for gymnastic purposes, and at the start had 
fifteen members. The first officers elected 
were as follows : J. Newsalt, president ; C. 
Butsch, vice-president ; J. Glaeser, secretary ; 
Theo. Fedder, corresponding secretary; J. 
A. Butsch, treasurer ; J. P. and John Thon, 
teachers. ' 

The following named have filled the various 
offices since the society was organized : J. 
JSTewsalt, R. Deininger, J. Newsalt and Theo. 
Fedder, presidents ; C. Butsch, John Deeg, 
Peter Ganser, F. Rosebrock, John Thon, H. 
Sanders and F. Hagedorn, vice-presidents ; 
J. Glaeser, Theo. Fedder, J. Hammel, Jr., 
Peter Ganser, J. P. Thon, H. Sanders, John 
Hammel and J. P. Thon, secretaries ; J. A. 
Butsch and R. Deininger, treasurers ; J. P. 
Thon, John Thon, F. Schuman, C. Butsch, 
R. Bartosch, George Newsalt and L. Ham- 
mel, teachers. 

The present officers of the society were 
elected December 27, 1886, and are as follows : 
Theo. Fedder, president; F. Hagedorn, vice- 
president ; J. P. Thon, secretaiy ; John 
Hammel, corresponding secretaiy ; R. Dein- 
inger, treasurer ; John Thon and L. Hammel, 
teachers ; H. Rosebrock, warden. 

The society now has thirty-eight members. 
Meetings are held once each week in Twiss' 
building, on Broadway, but gymnastic or 
turning exercises are had every Tuesday and 
Friday evenings. 

G. S. P. S. — Society of Minnesota, Lodge 
No. G7, Bohemian Slovanik Benevolent 
society. This lodge works under the auspi- 
ces of the supreme lodge, which was institu- 
ted at St. Louis in 1854 ; and under the 
Grand Lodge of the State of Minnesota. 
The society at Owatonna is named Lodge 
No. 67, Bohemian Slovanik Benevolent So- 
ciety of Minnesota. This lodge was instituted 
on the 15th of January, 1881, by authority 
of the Grand Lodge of the State. It has 

for its objects friendship, benevolence and 
charity. The weelcly sick benefits are fixed 
at $3 for each week of sickness, and at the 
death of a member the sum of $1,000 is paid 
to his heirs. The charter members of this 
lodge were : Anton Zajic, Joseph Arsen, 
Vac. Kovar, L. L. Marek, Joseph Cepelak, 
Frank Sejkora, Eduard Bros, and Joseph F. 
Racek. The terms of membership are from 
$5 to $15. The principal officers elected are 
president, vice-president, secretary, treas- 
urer, financier and three trustees. The trus- 
tees are elected every two years, the other 
officers annually. Meetings are held month- 
ly. The annual dues are $5 per year for 
each member. On the 16th of July, 1885, 
the society was incorporated, Avith Joseph H. 
H. Soukup, president, and Frank Kovar, secre- 
tary. The present officers are as follows : 
Joseph "W". Kaplan, embassador; Alois L. 
Simon, president ; John Dusek, vice-presi- 
dent ; Joseph H. Soukup, secretary ; Frank 
Horak, financier; John Pichner, treasurer; 
Joseph Kubat, guide ; John Svir, outside 
guide; Joseph F. Vavrin, inside guide. 
The following is a complete list of the 
present members of the societj^ here: Joseph 
W. Kaplan, Joseph H. Soukup, John Dusek, 
A. L. Simon, Frank Horak, John Pichner, 
Joseph Kubat, Joseph Vavrin, John Svir, 
Anton Pirkl, L. L. Marek. Anton Belina, 
Anton Kasper, Joseph Tamshe, K. C. 
Tanishe, John Slavik, Frank Eipka, V. 
Mares, Joseph Krejci, Felix Svekla, V. 
Pichner, V. Kovar, A. Kovar, F. Simon, 
Fr. Kovar, V. Suchanek, V. Jirousek, 
Al. Kasper, John R. Soukup, V. Martinek, 
Joseph Martinek. The lodge started here 
with but very few members and has had a 
steady growth, now numbering thirty-one 
members in good standing, and its prospects 
for the future are bright. In all there are 
7,378 members of the society of C. S. P. S. 


The first organization of this order was 
inaugurated here in 1856. Among the mem- 
bers of this organization were the following : 




Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Sheetz, Levi Morehouse 
and sister, Mr. Burr, Geo. Oulton, Mrs. Loren 
Town and others. 

Owatonna Lodge, JSfo. 31, I. O. of G. T.— 
Was organized on the 12th of October, 1805, 
by Eev. Eeuben Gregg, District Deputy of 
the Grand Lodge of the State. There were 
seventeen cliarter members, as follows : H. 
C. Eldred, E. Durham, L. S. Padgham, Frank 
Dickinson, James D. Beers, T. E. Huglies, 
J. H. Donaldson, II. M. Brown, D. D. F. 
Brown, Daniel Thom, J. "W. Smith, Albert 
A. Crandall, Mrs. Mar}' Durham, Mrs. L. A. 
Eldred, Miss L. J. Kellogg, Miss Mary Blair 
and J. E. Busii. The following list of officers 
were chosen for the first quarter : L. S. 
Padgham, W. C. T. ; Miss L. J. Kellogg, 
W. V. T. ; Frank Dickinson, W. S. ; J. H. 
Donaldson, W. F. S. ; Miss Mary Blair, "W. 
F. S. During the first quarter there were 
six initiated and a clearance card granted to 
one, leaving twenty-two members. The 
second quarter increased the number of 
members to fifty-four, and during the third 
quarter ten more were added. At the close 
of the year the number had increased to one 
hundred and eight. Each quarter added to 
the list of members, until at the close of the 
second year there were one hundred and 
thirty members in good standing. This 
kept on increasing, until at the close of the 
third quarter of the third year, April 30, 
18CS, there stood upon the rolls the names 
of two hundred and forty-nine members in 
good standing. 

A number of changes have taken place in 
this society. An organization is still main- 
tained, however. The present officers were 
elected on the evening of August 1, 1887, 
and are as follows : Rev. J. C. Ogle, C. T. ; 
Mrs. A. M. Kelly, V. T. ; J. W. Ptowland, 
R. S. ; Miss Annie Kelly, A. S. ; Pt. G. 
Nelson, F. S. ; Mrs. L. A. Morehouse, 
treasurer ; P. J. Rolfe, marshal ; Mrs. P. J. 
Ptolfe, D. M. ; F. II. Coon, S. ; Miss Susie 
Gates, I. G. ; 0. B. McClintock, P. C. T. 

Musical. — The Owatonna Cornet Band 

was organized in 1875. The members and 
musicians at that time were as follows : W. 
H. Ilolden, leader ; P. McDonald, L. Mosher, 
G. D. Ilolden, J. E. Winship, John Seaman, 
E. T. Winship, W. B. Soper, G. F. Doolittle, 
John Blair and L. C. Berg. Several changes 
have taken place in the band since 1875, but 
the organization has been maintained, and 
the band now ranks among the best in the 
State. At the present writing the organiza- 
tion is made up of the following musicians : 
W. H. Holden, G. D. Holden, Miss Mabel 
Holden, Henry Huber, C. L. Buxton, J. T. 
Holden, E. E. Butsch, J. D. Slonaker, W. B. 
Soper, E. F. Requa, John Huber, L. C. Berg 
and J. E. Winship. 

In 1883, Prof. A. C. Gutterson organized 
an orchestra at Owatonna, which has become 
one of the finest in the state. The present 
members of the organization are as follows : 
Prof. A. C. Gutterson, director ; J. E. Engel, 
Emil Theimer, Ed. Burch, William Pope, 
Daniel Slonaker, George Ilolden, W. H. 
Ilolden, J. E. Winship and John Iluber. 

In 1873 Prof. Gutterson organized the 
Beethoven Association, an organization which 
is still maintained under his directorshiji. 

Business MenHs Association of the State of 
Mlniiesota. — Owatonna being the residence 
of the secretary of this association, it may, in 
a measure, be considered its headquarters ; 
and the association, while of but recent or- 
ganization, has attracted such wide notice, 
comment and commendation, it is well wor- 
thy a brief history in this connection. 

In the spring of 1887, in pursuance of a res- 
olution adopted by the board of trade of Fari- 
bault, a call, or invitation, was extended to the 
various boards of trades and citizens of the 
State, to gend delegates to a convention of 
business men to be held in the city of Fari- 
bault on the 12th and 13th of April, 1887. 

The object of this convention was stated 
as being the consideration of the inter-state 
commerce law, and to take action to secure 
to the people of the whole State all the 
benefits which it was believed would fol- 



low a strict and honest enforcnient of the 
law, as well also to consider any other mat- 
ters affecting the business interests of the 
State. This call was signed by John B. 
Parshall, president, and E. H. Loyhed, sec- 
retary of the Faribault Board of Trade. 

In accordance with this call, about fifty 
delegates met and organized by the election 
of Senator E. M. Pope, of Mankato, as chair- 
man, and E. H. Loyhed, of Faribault, as 
secretary. The delegates composed the most 
influential and prominent business men from 
twenty of the principal points in this portion 
of the State. After a discussion of various 
matters affecting business interests, a perma- 
nent organization of tlie Business Men's As- 
sociation was effected by the election of the 
following named officers : Hon. E. M. Pope, 
of Mankato, president ; W. P. Colburn, of 
Albert Lea, and J. F. JSTorrish, of tfastings, 
vice-presidents ; Hon. J. M. Burlingame, of 
Owatonna, secretary ; P. C. Bailey, of Was- 
eca, treasurer ; W. P. Sargent, of Albert Lea, 
J. R. Parshall, of Faribault, J. H. Mullen, of 
Wabasha, E. O. Hall, of Austin, C. P. Car- 
penter, of Farmington, O. F. .Perkins, of 
Northfield, and C. A. Erickson, of Red Wing, 
executive committee. 

The first annual meeting of the association 
was held in Mankato on the Ytli of June, 
1887, at which time tlie first officers were 
unanimously reelected. It was largely at- 
tended by business men from all parts of the 
State, and the organization has already at- 
tained an influence which is bound to prove 
beneficial to business, and all shipping in- 
terests. It has already called numerous ir- 
regularities and matters requiring investiga- 
tion to the attention of the railway commis- 
sioners, and several important cases are now 
pending under the management of Hon. J. 
M. Burlingame, attorney for the association. 

Insurance Societies. — Owatonna also has 
a number of societies devoted to social, fra- 
ternal and benevolent objects, with a princi- 
pal view to issuing insurance policies upon 
the lives of its members. Among these are 

the Knights of Honor, the Ancient Order of 
United Workmen, and Star Council of the 
American Legion of Honor. 

The Star Council of the American Legion 
of Honor was organized with thirty-four 
charter members at Owatonna, April 10, 
1880, and an organization has since been 
maintained. It now has a membership of 
thirt^'-eiglit in good standing. Two losses 
have occurred here by deaths of A. J. Sny- 
der and J. D. H olden. 


Preshyterian CImrch of Owatonna. — The 
first services of this denomination were held 
at Owatonna m the winter of 1855-6 by Rev. 
Harvey Chapin, who located here in Febru- 
ary, 1856, dividing his laboi's, however, be- 
tween this and several other villages, and 
organizing churches at Dodge City, East 
Prairieville and Ashland. On the 13th of 
September, 1857, he organized the Presby- 
terian Church with the following as the first 
members : Mrs. Judge Donaldson, Mrs. 
Jane Chapin, Mrs. Jane McCaslin, Mrs. 
Elisabeth Ashton and Mr. and Mrs. Robert 
Adair. They were joined by William David- 
son and wife and a few others witliin a year 
afterward. For several years Mr. Chapin 
preached in the old log schoolhouse, until 1863, 
when, principally through his own influence 
and indefatigable labors, a church was com- 
menced, he and AVilliam Davidson hauling 
the logs for timbers, and in 1864 it was com- 
pleted. In this small but neat church Mr. 
Chapin continued to preach until tlie spring 
of 1865, when he removed to Tipton, Mo. 
In that place his ministerial labors were 
brought to a sudden and mournful close. 
His house caught fire, and, in an effort, as 
was supposed, to save important papers, he 
perished in the flames. Mr. Chapin was 
succeeded in Owatonna by Rev. II. W. Nel- 
son. In the fall of 1865 Rev. I. Faries, who 
had come to Minnesota in search of health, 
became a temporary su])p]y, but in May, 1867, 
his faihng health deprived the church of 
ministrations which had been eminently use- 



ful. On the 22cl of July, 1867, Kev. K. II. 
Cunningham accepted an invitation from the 
church and continued his labors here for one 
year, when'he accepted a call to Eush ford. 
Since that time the following have served as 
pastors of this church in the order named : 
Eeverends W. S. Wilson, J. J. Ward, James 
McCauley, O. Thatcher, William Pelan, 
James McGowan and Kobert A. Ander- 
son. Eev. Anderson is the present pastor. 
He came here from Eedwood Falls, Minn., 
in December, 1885, and has many warm 
friends. He is an effective preacher, 

Servrces were first held in the old log 
schoolhouse, and then for one season, in 
Morford's hall. After this a frame school- 
house, which stood where the first ward 
school building is now located, was used 
until 1864, when the church edifice was com- 
pleted. It was a frame building, which still 
stands just west of the Arnold House. This 
building served as a house of woiship until 
1877, when the present church was built at 
a cost of $3,000. The old building was sold 
to J. G. A. Dennerline, and was used for 
some time by the German Eeform denomin- 
ation. The present Presbyterian Church is 
neatly furnished and cushioned throughout ; 
and the society is in thriving condition, being 
free from debt. The church was organized 
legally, with corporate powers, in 1859, the 
certificate of organization being filed May 
27, 1859. The trustees elected at that time 
were D. S. Harsha, W. F. Drum, Eobert 
Adair, W. F. Pettit and William Davidson. 
The present trustees were elected in May, 
1887, ami are as follows : li. Birkett, presi- 
dent ; C. E. Sheldon, vice-president ; J. M. 
Burlingame, clerk; G. E. Kinyon, treasurer ; 
D. Downie and Dr. J. H. Adair. 

During the first few years after this church 
was organized a Union Sunday-school was 
maintained by all the denominations, alter- 
nating in furnishing the superintendent and 
officers. At an early day, however, a Pres- 
byterian Sunday-school was organized, which 
is still in thriving condition. The present 

officei's are : C. E. Sheldon, superintendent ; 
William Davidson, assistant, and Miss Kate 
Donaldson, secretary and treasurer. 

The Method tst Episcopal Church of Owa- 
tonna was organized in October, 1856, with 
the following persons as members : William 
B. Norman, Sarah J. Norman, Amelia Oli- 
ver, James M. and Emily Soper. On the 
7th of August previous to this Eev. Solo- 
mon Wetzel had been appointed by the 
Methodist Ejiiscopal Conference to take 
charge of the Owatonna circuit, which at 
that time had just been organized. Mr. 
Wetzel was a man of untiring energy and 
perseverance, and finding, as was usually 
the case with the jjioneer churches, that the 
amount to bo received from his charges 
would not be suffiicient for his pro])er sup- 
port, he labored with his hands to su])ply 
the tempoi'al needs of himself and family, 
and with tlie active energies of his brain to 
meet the spii'itual demands of his congrega- 
tion. The meetings were first held in the 
schoolhouse, the Methodists and other de- 
nominations alternating with each other in 
the use of the house. At the next session 
of the conference, Eev. A. Mattison was 
appointed to take charge of the interests of 
the church on this circuit. Services were 
held for a time in the old log schoolhouse, 
and afterward in a ])ortion of A. N. Stough- 
ton's dwelling. StiU later, their place of 
worship was a store building, located on 
Broadway. The church prospered materi- 
ally under the labors of Mr. Mattison, and 
many members were added to it, not only 
to the class at Owatonna, but also to the 
other points under his charge. John Odell 
was the first class-leader of the church in 
Owatonna. In 1859 Eev. John Eogers was 
appointed to the pastorate of the cliurch, 
and tlie meetings were held first in the 
schoolliouse, afterward in Morford's hall. 
In 1860 Eev. Eobert Hoover became pastor, 
and was succeeded in turn by Eev. Mr. Corn- 
well, who remained something less than a 
year, when he was appointed chaplain of 




one of the Minnesota regiments and went 
into the service. This left the church with- 
out a pastor during the remainder of the 
conference year. In 1862 Eev. J. H. Eich- 
ardson was appointed pastor, and remained 
two years, when he was succeeded by Rev. 
T. McChiry, who also remained two years. 
After this Owatonna became a station, and 
Rev. E. R. Lathro^J was selected for the pas- 
torate charge. Succeeding Mr. Lathrop, the 
following have served as pastor in the order 
named: Revs. S. F. Sterritt, C. Hover, R. 
"Washburn, J. W. Martin, A. B. Bishop, H. 
G. Bilbie, M. S. Kaufman, J. Whisler, J. H. 
Dewart, G. R. Hair and J. C. Ogle. At 
various times meetings had been held in 
the schoolhouse, Morford's hall, the Baptist 
Church and Dresser's hall. In the summer 
of 1867 a neat chapel 26x56 feet in dimen- 
sions was erected on lots owned by the soci- 
ety, on the corner of Main and Elm streets. 
Its cost was about two thousand dollars. It 
was dedicated September 8, 1867. A par- 
sonage was completed at about the same 
time, since exchanged for another piece of 

The " Little Brown Church," as many of 
the older members call the old building, was 
used as a place of worship until the present 
handsome church building was completed in 
November, 1878. Rev. M. S. Kaufman was 
pastor at the time the building was erectedj 
and much of the success was due to his untir- 
ing efforts. No less, however, is due to the 
building committee, which was composed of 
Hon. A. C. Hickman, George E. Peck, J. Q. 
Ellis and S. W. Farmer. The corner-stone of 
the building was laid August 30, and it 
was dedicated December 1, 1878, by Chaplain 
C. C. McCabe, D. D. The edifice is 18x100 
feet in size, including a lecture room 25x55, 
handsomel}' furnished, and is among the 
finest church buildings in Minnesota. Its cost 
was about $6,000. 

The first M. E. Sunday-school was organ- 
ized in the spring of 1865 with the following ■ 
officers: A. C. Hickman, superintendent; 


/ ^ 

John Odell, assistant ; C. F. Andrews, secre- 
tary : Orin Greeley, librarian ; William T. 
Pettit, treasurer. The organization has been 
maintained ever since, and the Sunday-school 
is now well attended and in good condition. 
During all the years that have glided by, 
since the organization of the Methodist 
Church, it has constantly gained in member- 
ship, and it is now among the best attended 
churches in the city. The present officers of 
the organization are as follows : Trustees — 
Geo. E. Peck, president ; W. A. Sperry, sec- 
retary; A. C. Hickman, treasurer; J. W. 
Doolittle, Dr. E. E. Bigelow, Dr. J. L. Har- 
rington, O. E. Edson and John Thompson. 
Stewards— C. H. Webb, H. N. Labare, C. H. 
Gordon, C. B. Wilkinson, S. W. Farmer, John 
Cottier, F. M. Bauter, John Nichols, A. W. 
Rankin, W. A. Sperry, Prof. Merrill and S. 
N. Lund. 

Rev. Joseph C. Ogle-, pastor of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal Church of Owatonna, was 
born July 21, 1830, in Canton, Stark Coun- 
ty, Ohio. His ancestors came from England 
and settled in Maryland and Virginia, where 
many of their descendants stiU reside. Mr. 
Ogle's parents, William and Mary Ogle, 
cam6 to Ohio in 1820 and located in Canton. 
They had three children : the eldest being 
Carrie, the second George, and the third, 
and youngest Joseph C, the subject of this 
sketch. When he was two j'ears of age his 
father died, and his mother died when he 
was seven, the parents being both buried in 
the old cemetery at Canton, Ohio. When 
Joseph C. was ten years of age, he was 
brought by friends to Columbiana County, 
Ohio, and placed in the home of Benjamin 
McKai-ns, where he lived on a farm till he 
was seventeen years of age, working on the 
farm in summer and going to school in the 
winter. At the age of seventeen, with seventy 
cents in his pocket and clothed in a summer 
suit of home-made linen, he started out to 
make his own way in the world. Having 
up to this age received a limited common- 
school education, yet enough to give him a 






thirst for gi-eater attainments, liis great 
desire was to secure a good education. After 
leaving Mr. McKarn's he attended the com- 
mon school two winters. He taught his 
first school, a term of five months, in the 
winter of 1849-50, in Columbiana County. 
For this he received $12 per month and 
" boarded round. " After this he attended for 
two years an academy in Wellsville, Ohio, 
taught by Eev. Campbell ; he also attended 
two summers the academy at Poland, 
Mahoning County, Ohio, of which Dr. 
McMasters was principal ; and finally taking 
a classical and scientific course and graduat- 
ing from Jefferson College, then located at 
Cannonsburg, Pa., and an educational insti- 
tution of high rank. Being poor and having 
to depend upon himself, he often found it a 
hard struggle to find means to prosecute his 
studies; hence he was often comjielled to 
alternate between teaching and attending 
school, — often teaching a term of school 
and then attending school a term. During 
two winters he taught and also kept up his 
studies with his class. Mr. Ogle may be said 
to be a self-made man. Many of his prepar- 
atory studies were conquered by him with- 
out a teacher, with many of the great prob- 
lems of life to grapple alone, which accounts 
for much of his independence of thought 
and speech as a public speaker. During the 
years when he was pursuing his education, 
he taught several terms of school in the 
country and towns. He was for two yeai's 
principal of the graded schools in Manches- 
ter, Adams County, Ohio ; and after he left 
college he was two years principal of the 
graded schools in East Liverpool, Ohio. On 
the 25tli of October, 1859, he married Miss 
Annie C. Mast, of East Liverpool, Ohio, who 
was at the time a teacher in the grammar 
department of the graded schools of that 
city, a position which she had successfully 
filled for eight years. By this union they 
have liad five children, all of whom are now 
(1887) living : John B., George A., Charles 
S., Carrie E., and Howard E. In 1860 

Mr. Ogle was licensed to preach in the 
Methodist Church, to which profession he 
has devoted his life. In Ohio he served pas- 
torates in Cambridge. Zanesville, Penns- 
ville, Steubenville and Tiffin. In the fall of 
1875 he with his family removed to Minne- 
sota and settled at Worthington, Nobles 
County, where he at once became pastor of 
the Methodist Church, serving the first year 
as a supply. In the fall of 1876 he became 
a member of the Minnesota Annual Confer- 
ence. He remained in Worthington six 
years being pastor of the church three years. 
During two years while there he was 
l)rinci})al of the Worthington Seminary. 
This school was under tlie care of the 
Methodist Church, and had a successful and 
prosperous career until the building was con- 
sumed by fire in 1878. During the six years 
he spent in Worthington he served five years 
as county superintendent of schools, ])art of 
this time being pastor of tlie cliurch, prin- 
cipal of the seminary, and county superin- 
tendent at the same time. He was first 
appointed by the county commissioners to 
fill a vacancy, and afterward was elected 
twice by the people. During his residence 
there he was also editor and publisher of the 
Worthington Journal for two years. Since 
he came to Minnesota he has served pastor- 
ates in Worthington, Winnebago City, Man- 
kato, and now (1887) is filling a very pleas- 
ant pastorate with the Methodist Cliurch in 
Owatonna, to which charge he was appointed 
in the fall of 1886. Mr. Ogle has achieved 
the reputation of being among the most 
forcible and eloquent pulpit orators of his 
church in the State. He is a thoroughly' 
educated man, of extensive reading, and has 
a fine command of language. A portrait of 
Mr. Ogle will be found in another depart- 
ment of this work, //c d'te^cC tJiU^ 3. /s^/. 

First Baptist Church of Owatonna. — The 
Baptist Church of Owatonna was organized 
June 27, 1857, with the following members, 
who were admitted upon letters from other 
churches to which they had previously be- 



longed : Adolphus Town, Ann Town, Albert 
D. Low, N. O. Low, J. M. Finch, R. J. Tous- 
ley and Wm. H. Woods. Sometime in the 
fall L. B. Town, Daniel Burch and S. W. 
Breese were also admitted by letter. The 
first Baptist meeting held in Owatonna, or 
Steele County, was on a Sabbath about the 
last of April, 1856, at the residence of A. B. 
Cornell, about fifteen persons being present, 
and Rev. A. Town preached the sermon. 
Meetings were held in the little log scliool- 
house. In the autumn of 1857 Elder Knapp, 
one of the noted evangelists of that period, 
came to visit a daughter then residing here, 
and being invited, willingly consented to go 
into the little log schoolhouse, and there 
preached some of his wonderful sermons, 
with such power that many believed and 
were added to the church. In the winter of 
1858 the pastors of the dilTerent churches 
(Elder Town at that time being pastor of the 
Baptist church) decided to unite in union 
meetings, and a large number were con- 
verted. The services were held in the only 
public building in those early times — the 
little log schoolhouse, 1(3x26 feet in size ; but 
many were the earnest hearts that gathered 
there from day to day, and week to week. 
On the 11th of September, 1858, the churches 
of Ashland, Wasioji and Faribault met with 
the Owatonna church, and organized the 
Minnesota Central Baptist Association, 
which reported at that time 120 members. 
In 1859 Elder Town resigned the pastorate, 
and Elder Edgar Cady, of Lake City, was 
chosen to supply the place. He was fol- 
lowed in 1860 by Rev. A. D. Low, who act- 
ed as pastor until February, 1861, when in 
consequence of a difference of opinion among 
the members, a vote was taken in one of the 
church meetings to disband the organization, 
and a portion of the members left and ef- 
fected another church organization. Those 
who remained chose Elder Town as their 
pastor, and regular meetings were held until 
October, 1863. In the meantime in 1858 
preliminary steps had been taken toward 

building a church, and during this church 
difficulty it had been left untouched. Early 
in the "sixties," however, while Elder Town 
was pastor of the " First Church," the build- 
ing was completed, and on the 13th of Oc- 
tober, 1863, was dedicated ; the dedicatory 
sermon being preached by Rev. D. S. Dean 
of Illinois. Mr. Dean accepted a call to tlie 
pastorate of the church, and remained until 
April, 1865, when by mutual agreement the 
two churches united. 

On January 31, 1863, through the diffei'- 
ences of opinion wliich had arisen, the pres- 
ent Baptist Church of Owatonna was organ- 
ized with fifteen members, nearly all who 
had taken their letters from the old organiza- 
tion placing them here, and tliis organization 
was recognized as the "Baptist Church of 
Owatonna" by the council of the Minnesota 
Central Baptist Association, held at Wasioji, 
February 3, 1863. The society met once in 
two weeks for worship, being supplied by 
Rev. J. F. Wilcox. October 12, 1863, this 
church was first represented at the State 
convention, the delegates being G. W. Shaw 
and E. K. Smith. On the 8th of April, 1865, 
the two Baptist churches were consolidated 
with a united membership of sixty-four, and 
they took the name of " The First Baptist 
Church of Owatonna." For a time the 
pulpit was supplied alternately by Revs. 
J. F. Wilcox and D. S. Dean. The former, 
however, continued as regular pastor of the 
church until June, 1866, when his labors 
closed, and he was succeeded by Rev. A. L. 
Cole. After the union of the two bodies, 
the building which had been erected under 
Elder Town's direction had been purchased 
by the church, and used as a place of 
worship. In the autumn of 1866 it was 
sold to the school district for |1,250, the use 
of it for one year being reserved. In the 
fall a new church building was erected, size 
32x58 feet, with tower, in which was hung a 
1,000-pound bell. It was dedicated on the 
22d of December, 1867, Rev. Mr. Parker, 
from Austin, preaching the dedicatory ser- 



nion. The cost of the building was 8-I-,- 
152.64, which had all been provided for, 
leaving the church free from debt. The fol- 
lowing winter will long be remembered 
as a time of religious revival. There 
were forty-three baptisms, and many 
more united with the church by conversion 
and letter. Rev. Cole resigned in April, 
1S69, and Rev. E. H. Cressey succeeded 
him, remaining thirteen months. On the 1st 
of February, 1871, Eev. H. H. Beach came 
from Winona, and after serving a year and 
a half he also resigned. Eev. E. P. Dye suc- 
ceeded him as pastor and remained until 
June 28, 1874. Among the events recorded 
about this time is found the following inter- 
esting item : " June, 1873. — A deed was pre- 
sented to tiie trustees by Sister Reiggs (now 
deceased), on behalf of the ladies of the 
church, of a lot for a parsonage. On motion 
a vote of thanks was extended to Mother 
Hunkins for her untiring zeal and her effort 
in helping to pay for the lot." In 1878 the 
lot was sold, and the proceeds used toward 
paying for the present parsonage, bought at 
that time. The ladies have cheerfully helped 
to bear the burden. A sewing society estab- 
lished about this time is still faithfully at- 
tended, the proceeds from which have been no 
little help financially. Eev. W. W. Whit- 
comb accepted a call to the pastorate Septem. 
ber 20, 1874, and remained for three years. 
The Minnesota Academy was located here 
during his pastorate, and he was untiring in 
his efforts to attain that end. Eev. C. H. De 
Wolfe succeeded him in February, 1878, and 
after a service of nearly five years was, on 
account of ill health, compelled to resign Oc- 
tober 25, 1882. The church remained with- 
out a pastor until April 26, 1883, when Eev. 
J. H. Thompson accepted a call to the place, 
remaining about fifteen months. After his 
resignation they were again without a pastor 
until the autumn of 1884, when Eev. W. A. 
Spinney accejited a call from this church, 
and is still here doing effective work. He is 
a talented and educated gentleman, thor- 

oughly imbued with the importance of his 
calling and faithful to his work. During the 
summer of 1885 material improvements were 
made on the church properties in the way of 
])apering and painting, and a vestry, 16x26 
feet in size, was added, so that to-day the 
church is spacious, and being well furnislied 
abundantly fills the purpose for which it was 

The present officers of the Baptist Church 
are as follows : D. C. Adams, J. Holland, 
and S. S. Greene, trustees; L. C. Woodman, 
J. L. Ingraham and J. Holland, deacons ; 
Philo Bliss, treasurer and clerk. 

Rev. W. A. Spinney is a native of Nova 
Scotia, born June 12, 1852. When a child, 
his parents moved to Boston, Mass., where 
they died soon after, leaving their son AV. A. 
to fight the stern realities of life alone. At 
the age of sixteen he became a clerk in a 
wholesale and retail produce store, and, when 
nineteen, became a partner. Soon after, he 
entered AVorcester Acadeni}', and went to 
Colgate Academy of Hamilton, N. Y. After 
eraduatinff there he entered Madison Uni- 
versify. Graduating in 1877, he then entered 
Newton Theological Seminary and graduated 
in 1880. In the fall of 1879 he was called 
to a church in Massachusetts, and preached 
there Sundays while attending studies, until 
he graduated. He was ordained in March, 
1880. Mr. Spinney remained with the 
church referred to until October, 1882, when 
he was called to Duluth, Minn., and remained 
there until 1884, when he came to Owatonna. 
Mr. Spinney was married in June, 1880. 

First Congregational Church. — September 
26th, 1857, a meeting was held at the resi- 
dence of Alvin N. Stoughton, at wliich it was 
voted to organize a Congregational Church, 
to be called the "First Congregational Church 
of Owatonna." The proposed organization 
was effected October 23, 1857. The Fari- 
bault and Clinton churches were invited to 
sit upon the council, and Eev. Ozro A. 
Thomas, of Clinton, and Eev. J. C. Strong, 
of Bradford, Iowa, assisted in the public ser- 



vice of formation and recognition. Rev. O. 
A. Thomas preached the sermon. The fol- 
fowing persons, bringing letters from other 
evangelical churches, became members of the 
new church: Alvin N. Stoughton, LydiaH. 
Hall, George W. Danforth, Emeline Hall, 
Mary J. Stoughton, George W. Hall, Mel- 
bourne C. Burr, Charles A. Strong, Naomi 
L. Stoughton, Enior^' O. Walden, Wait 
Stoughton, Jesse B. Gaylord. 

The movement Avhich resulted in the new 
church organization was emphatically a pio- 
neer movement. The church held its ser- 
vices, at first, at the residence of A. N. 
Stoughton, in a wing of his house built for 
the use of the church ; subsequently it wor- 
sliiped in Morford's hall, and afterward in 
the district schoolhouse until the present ed- 
ifice was erected. 

Rev. Ozro A. Thomas was the first minis- 
ter of the new society. He began his labors 
with the church in the spring of 1858, and 
continued them until the fall of 1863. Dur- 
ing the period of his ministry he resided at 
Clinton, and ministered on alternate Sab- 
batlis to the Clinton and Owatonnachurcbes. 
He preached also both at Somerset and at Mer- 
iden once a month. Notwithstanding this 
division of his labors among these different 
fields, and the fact of his non-residence at 
Owatonna, the church had a good measure 
of prosperity while under the charge of Mr. 
Thomas, and received frequent accessions 
both by letter and by profession. 

The first deacon of the church was Alvin 
N. Stoughton, who was chosen to his office 
February 25, 1858. May 8, 1860, a second 
deacon was added, and the choice fell 
upon Fi'ancis Thom. The first clerk was 
Cliarles A. Strong. The first trustees were 
Alvin N. Stoughton, AVait Stoughton, and 
Richard Miles, chosen May 8, 1858. 

In the spring of 1864 Rev. Charles L. Tap- 
]ian became the mmister, and continued to 
hold that office till the spring of 1866. Dur- 
ing this time Mr. Tappan preached regularly 

at Somerset also, where sevei'al members of 
the church resided. 

In the spring of 1865 a Sabbath-school, 
with Dr. L. H. Kelly as superintendent, was 
organized under the immediate charge of the 
church. There had been, previous to this 
time, a union Sabbath-school of the four re- 
ligious denominations of the place. Baptist, 
Congregationalist, Methodist and Presbyte- 
rian. The new school flourished and became 
the nursery of the cliurch. The church has 
been largely recruited from it, and many of 
its members have been trained to habits of 
Christian activity by work performed in the 
Sabbath-school as teachers. The school has 
a present average attendance of 160, a,nd is 
under the superintendency of Hon. Lewis L. 

In August, 1866, Rev. Leverett S. Griggs 
began to labor with the church as its minis- 
ter. His ministry was peculiarly blessed of 
God, and the period was marked both by the 
temporal and spiritual prosperity of the 
church. Two considerable revivals occurred' 
during Mr. Griggs' ministry. 

In the spring of 1867 the society began to 
build a new house of worsliip. During a 
part of the time in which this building was 
in process of erection the Methodist society 
very kindly extended an invitation to this 
church to worship with them, and union ser- 
vices of the two denominations were held in 
the Methodist house of worsiii]). The new 
church edifice was completed in the spring 
of 1869. It was dedicated Sabbath, October 
17, 1869, during the meeting of the Gen- 
eral Congregational Conference of Minnesota. 
The sermon was preaclied by Rev. Charles 
Seccombe, of Northfield. The dedicatory 
prayer was offered b\' Rev. D. B. Coe. Early 
in 1869 Rev. L. S. Griggs was compelled by 
ill health to close his connection witli the so- 
ciety for which he had labored so faithfully 
and so successfully. In September, 1869, 
Mr. Charles C. Cragin was engaged to labor 
with the church as its minister. February 
16, 1870, he was ordained to the gospel 



ministry and installed as pastor of the 
cliui'ch, which position he still occupies. 

From this society three colonies have al- 
ready gone forth to plant other churches. 
The church at Somerset was organized No- 
vember 18, 186(), with eight members from 
the church at Owatonna. January 1, 1868, 
Waseca called for five members to assist in 
the organization of its new Congregational 
Church. July 13, 1869, Merton made a 
still larger demand, and thirteen were dis- 
missed to form a new church in that place. 
It is rare to see a church less than thirteen 
years old the mother of three churches. 

Kev. Mr. Ci-agin served as pastor until Sep- 
tember, 1869, when Rev. JST. H. Bell was in- 
stalled and I'emained until September, 1873. 
Eev. O. Dickerson commenced his pastorate 
in July, 1874, and served until October, 1876. 
In November, 1876, he was succeeded by Rev. 
D. A. Morehouse, who remained imtil June, 
1881. Rev. J. N. Brown, the present pas- 
tor, succeeded Mr. Morehouse, being installed 
November 1, 1881. The present deacons 
of the church are as follows : Francis Thom, 
Hon. Lewis L. Wheelock, A. N. Stoughton, 
J. W. Burch, and J. E. Truesdell. The 
church now has a resident membership of 200. 

Rev. Justus Newton Brown, pastor of the 
Congregational Church, was born' in Huron 
County, Ohio, in 184-1. In 1862 he enlisted 
in Company D, of the One Hundred and 
First Ohio Regiment, and spent three years 
in the service, after which he returned to his 
native county. In 1867 he graduated from 
01)erlin College, and in 1871 from the Ober- 
lin Theological Seminary. He then for two 
years edited the Lorain County JVews, at 
Oberlin. In 1876 — having in the meantime 
taught school several terms — he graduated 
from the Andover Theological Seminary, 
and since that time has been a minister of 
the gospel ; entering upon his duties as such 
at Wilton, New Hampshire ; thence to Char- 
lotte, Mich., from which place he came to 
Owatonna. Mr Bi-own was married in 1867 
to Miss Ilattie A. Sparhawk, a native of 

Ohio. The names of their children are 
Carleton F., and Wilton G. Mr. Brown is 
an able preacher and is justly popular. 

Episcopai — St. Paul's Parish. — The first 
Episcopal services in Owatonna were held 
early in the summer of 1858, by Rev. J. 
Lloyd Breck, D.D., and the Rev. D. P. San- 
ford. Services were kept up every other 
Sunday by the latter of these clergymen 
until the following spring, when, after a 
short interruption, they were continued by 
Rev. Solon W. Manney, D.D. At that time 
there was no church edifice in the village. 
The first services were held in the office of 
Maj. M. A. Dailey, on Mill street ; subse- 
quently services were held in the wing of A. 
N. Stoughton's residence ; afterward in the 
schoolhouse, and still later in Morford's hall. 
St. Paul's Parish was organized on the I9th 
of August, 1860, when David Potwin and 
John Crozier were chosen wardens ; and N. 
M. Donaldson, S. M. Yearly, John Odell, 
W. A. Ware, W. H. Kelly andM. A. Dailey, 
vestrymen. Services continued to be carried 
on by the Rev. Dr. Manney, and other clergy- 
men of the Bishop Seabury Mission, estab- 
lished at Faribault, as this had, from the 
first, been considered a station of the Fari- 
bault Mission. Dr. Manney was succeeded 
by Rev. George C. Tanner for a short time, 
when the work was placed under the charge 
of the Rev. S. S. Burleson. He resigned in 
the fall of 1864, and Rev. J. A. Babcock, of 
New York, removed here and took charge 
of the parish. In the fall of 1866 the parish 
again became vacant, and services Avere dis- 
continued for the winter, excepting the occa- 
sional visitations of the bishop. In March, 
1867, Rev. George C. Tanner resumed ser- 
vices, and in June removed his family to 
Owatonna. He remained in charge of the 
parish until December 31, 1886. 

During the rectorship of Rev. Mr. Bab- 
cock services were held every other Sunday 
in the Presbyterian house of worship. At 
that time there was but a small number of 
communicants, the church families with 



communicants being limited to about a half 
dozen. The only church property was the 
lot on Avhich the present church stands. 
Soon after Mr. Tanner removed to Owa- 
tonna the work of erecting a place of worship 
was begun. Three hundred dollars was 
subscribed bj^ the people of Owatonna; 
friends in St. Paul and Minneapolis con- 
tributed $300 more, and with this sum the 
erection of the chapel, now used for a Guild 
room, was begun, and during the summer 
completed by the contributions of friends 
in Owatonna and abroad, and especially by 
the untiring efforts of the ladies of the parish. 
The cost of the building and furnishing was 
about $1,400. The lot had been purchased 
by the Bishop Seabury Mission several years 
before at a cost of $25. The chapel was 
consecrated on Friday, November 15, 1867, 
by the Et. Rev. II. B. Whipple, D. D., Bishop 
of the Diocese of Minnesota, a large number 
of the clergy of the diocese being present. The 
2)ipe-organ at the present time in use was ]mr- 
chased in the year 1869 through the efforts of 
J. G. Gilchrist, M. D., senior warden of the 
parish and organist, to whose interest in the 
music very much of the success of the effort 
to keep up the service was due. In the year 
1883 it was decided to undertake the erection 
of a new church. A subscription paper was 
stai'ted and a building committee appointed 
by the vestry, consisting of Messrs. E. Y. 
Hunnewill, G. W. Chesley and B. F. Welch. 
The subscriptions were mainly secured by 
the rector. 

In the fall the foundation was laid, and 
the following summer completed, and the 
building was used for the first time for divine 
service in October, 18S4. The church whicli 
had been built with so much interest was to 
have been opened on Tuesday, October 7, 
and a large number of clergy had been 
invited to participate in the services ; but the 
sudden news of the murder of the daughter 
of the rector and her family in Nebraska 
postponed the matter indefinitely. 

The entire cost of the building and furnish- 

ing is not far from $5,000. A considerable 
part of the cost was raised by Mr. Tanner 
as the gift of personal friends. The con- 
secration of the church took place in August, 
1885, by the bishop of the diocese, a num- 
ber of the clergy of the diocese being present 
and assisting. Many beautiful memorials 
have been placed in the church, the gift of 
members of the parish and citizens in Owa- 
tonna. The church has also several memorial 
gifts of great beauty from Spencer A. 
Perceval, Esq., of England. Many sub- 
stantial contributions are from persons who 
have been members of the parish who have 
removed to other places. 

During the twenty years of Mr. Tanner's 
rectorship there have been 209 baptisms and 
124 confirmations. The number of com- 
municants in 1867 did not exceed ten. The 
present number is about one hundred. A 
large number of families and members have 
come and gone since the parish was organized. 
One hundred and sixty-nine funerals have 
taken place in connection with the parish, 
and 112 marriages been solemnized. 

Rev. R. E. Metcalf succeeded Mr. Tanner, 
assuming charge early in 1887. The present 
official board of the church is composed of 
G. W. Chesley and B. F. Welch, wardens, 
and J. A. Soper, clerk. A thriving Sunday- 
school is maintained, of which Rev. Mr. 
Metcalf is superintendent ; B. E. Darley, 
assistant ; Miss Nellie Chesley, treasurer ; 
and Miss Carrie Petersen, secretary. 

Ihiiversalist Society. — In November, 1866, 
Rev. S. Wakefield, then pastor of the Univer- 
salist Society in Rochester, visited Owatonna, 
and preached the first Universalist sermon in 
the countv. On the 20th of April, 1867, a 
society Avas organized at a meeting held in 
Dresser's hall. The first members were : S. 
B. Washburn, A, B. Webber, Mrs. F. C. 
Webber, H. J. Lewis, Mrs. D. B. Lewis, L. L. 
Bennett and wife, Kelsey Chase, Mrs. Bell 
Chase, Louis Lord, Sarah Philips, Nathan 
and Mrs. L. O. Hubbard, T. J. and Isaac 
Howe, O. H. Porter, Rev. S. and Ella Wake- 



field, John M. and Mrs. Hannah Houghton, 
T. J. Clark, Alonzo Brown, Miss D. Squires, 
William Pepper, A. C. Gutterson, C. C. Cor- 
nell, Setli Hotchkiss, T. C. S. Minthorn and 
Gordon Watson. In March, 1868, Eev. S. 
Wakefield became pastor. Succeeding him 
the following named have acted as pastor of 
this society, although at times there has been 
no pastor in charge : Eevs. E. W. Pierce, 
H. B. Butler, Mr. Spafl'ord, L. J. Dinsmore. 
The last named left in 1885, since which time 
the church has been without a pastor, al- 
though the organization has been maintained. 
The present officers are as follows : T. J. 
Howe, D. H. Eoberts and L. Lord, trustees ; 
W. A. Dynes, treasurer and collector ; L. L. 
Bennett, clerk ; A. C. Gutterson, moderator. 

Services were held in the early days of the 
organization in the schoolhouse in what was 
then the third (now second) ward. A few 
years later a church edifice was erected at a 
cost of $2,500. This building is still in use 
although in 1887 it was refitted and rebuilt 
at a cost of from $500 to $700. 

A Sunday-school was organized at about the 
time the society was, and this has since been 
maintained. Prof. A. C. Gutterson was su]). 
erintendent of this for about fourteen years. 
The present officers are as follows : L. L. 
Bennett, superintendent; Mrs. Ida Slade, 
assistant ; E. C. Helwig, secretary and treas- 
urer. The school is well attended. The 
society is in good condition financially, being 
wholly out of debt. 

Roman Catholic — Church of the Sacred 
Heart. — It is claimed that tlie first Catholics 
in Steele County were Thomas and John Ber. 
gan, Michael Barney, Joseph Kiesel, James 
McLaughlin and James Lonergan. Rev. 
Fatlier Keller was the first priest to hold ser_ 
vices in the county witli any degree of reg- 
ularity. At that time lie lived at Faribault, 
and had charge of the mission south of that 
point to the State line. At first services were 
held in private iiouscs, then in Dresser's and 
Butsch's halls until a church edifice was 
erected. In 1867 a church committee was 

organized to take steps for the erection of a 
building. It was composed of M. J. Toher, 
president and treasurer; James Lonergan, 
Joseph Kaplan and Charles Schoen, of Owa- 
tonna, and AVilliam Leary, of Merton. The 
building was ready for occupancy on Christ- 
mas day, 1868. It was 42x75 feet in size, 
and cost, exclusive of lot, $2,600, and is still 
in use. Three or fourj^ears later a parsonage 
was erected upon the same lot, which cost $1,- 
200. Father Keller continued to come here for 
a number of years, when hewas followed by 
Father Schave, who came here from Hastings, 
and became the first resident priest. Succeed- 
ing him came thefollowing named in the order 
mentioned: Eevs. Father Hurley, Father 
Wiesler, Father Pi-ybil, Father Ealeigh, Fa- 
ther Joy, and finally the present priest. Fa- 
ther J. M. Solnce. The present priest also 
has charge of parishes at Claremont and So- 
merset. Tlie Church of the Sacred Heart is 
in excellent financial condition, being entire- 
ly free from debt, with nearly $1,000 in the 
church treasury. The society has a large 
membership, which extends over the major 
portion of the county, and in every way it is 
in a thriving condition. 

Eev. J. M. Solnce, ]mstor of this church, 
was born at Smlednik, Carniola, Austria, 
June 7, 1861. He completed his theological 
studies at the Provincial Seminary of St. 
Francis of Sales, at St. Francis, AVisconsin, 
and took charge of this parish on the 2d of 
September, 1885. Father Solnce is a genial 
and talented gentleman, and is one of the 
most popular priests in this part of the State. 

School of the Sinter.^ of St. Francis of SaUs. 
— In connection with the history of the Ca- 
tholic Church should be mentioned the edu- 
cational institution which is located just 
north of their church edifice. This school 
was established a Owatonna in 1S76, and the 
same year a three-story brick building, with 
a stone basement, was erected at a cost of 
$8,500, upon a lot which was donated to the 
order by the Church of the Sacred Heart. 
The general management of the school is 



vested in the Order of Sisters, the general 
headquarters of which are at Joliet, 111. ; but 
they have also State headquarters at Ro- 
chester. The building is divided into school- 
rooms, furnished with first-class school ap- 
paratus. The school is maintained by tui- 
tion. The course of study here embraces all 
the ordinary branches, with the addition of 
music, drawing, painting, needlework and 
languages. To these, if desired, religious 
instruction is added. No teachers are placed 
here except those educated by the order and 
in their institutions, and they are especially 
fitted for, and educated in, the branches 
which they teach. 

St. John Congregation — German Evangeli- 
cal Lutheran Church. — About 1870 services 
of this denomination were held in private 
houses, and an organization was effected. 
Kev. Emmil came here occasionallv from 
Meriden and preached. The first regular 
pastor was Rev. Hauser, who came here in 
1876, and remained about one year. Rev. 
Wetzel succeeded him, and during his pas- 
torate in 1878 a neat church edifice was 
erected at a cost of about $2,000. After his 
removal the pulpit was vacant for a time, 
after which Rev. Schaaf, from Aurora, filled 
the pulpit until 1880. . Rev. Carl Mende was 
the next pastor, and remained until 1883, 
when Rev. Schaaf again occupied the pulpit 
for a short time. These pastors all belonged 
to the Synod of Missouri, but at this time 
controversies arose which resulted in this 
congregation withdrawing from that synod 
and becoming connected with the Synod of 
Iowa. Under this state of affairs Rev. F. 
"W. Klein was the first pastor, preaching his 
first sermon here on the 1st of March, 1881r. 
He is the present pastor. This circuit in- 
cludes congregations in Somerset, Lemond 
and Deerfield townships, Ijesides the city. 
There are now 46 families belonging to this 
congregration, besides many supporters who 
could not be termed reguhir members. The 
present trustees are William Kottke, Wra. 
Bubholz, E. Rosine and August Pitzke. 

Every winter the church maintains a day- 
school for six months. 

Rev. F. W. Klein, pastor of this church, 
came to Owatonna in March, 1884, and has 
been in charge of the church since. He is 
a native of Limburge, German}^, born 
August 10, 1856. His parents were Leopold 
and Helena Klein. When ten years of age 
he went to Wiesbaden and attended school 
there seven years, and from there to Erlan- 
gen Universitj', graduating when twenty 
years of age. After that he went into the 
regular Prussian army, and after serving his 
year became assistant pastor at Therlen- 
hofen for three years. When through there 
he came to America and located at Mt. Ver- 
non, Black Hawk County, Iowa, remaining 
there some eighteen montiis, when he came 
to Owatonna, where he now resides. Mr. 
Klein was married June 27, 1883, to Miss 
Louise Anna Fredrick Severin, of Cedar 
Falls, Iowa. 

German Methodist Episcojyal Church. — • 
The German Methodist Church was organ- 
ized in 1875, with the following members, 
including their families : August Mollen- 
hauer, C. F. Mathwig, August Meirke, 
August Soehler, Carl Sette, William Mundt, 
Mr. Kellar, William Mogler, John EUeson, 
Gustaf Buche and W. Wocker. At that 
time this circuit included Deerfield, Bloom- 
ing Grove, Owatonna, Somerset, Meriden 
and Aurora. Rev. H. Schnitker was preacher 
in charge, but Rev. Jacob Kellar served this 
portion of the circuit. Rev. Henry Roth 
was then presiding elder. Succeeding 
Revs. Kellar and Schnitker, Rev. F. W. 
Buchholz took charge of the circuit and 
remained one 3'ear, when he was succeeded 
by Rev. E. A. Borchardt, who remained a 
like period. In the meantime the circuit 
had been divided and the Owatonna branch 
included Owatonna, Somerset, Aurora and 
Meriden. Rev. H. E. Young was the next 
pastor, serving two years — until 1882, when 
he was followed by Rev. F. R. Hogrefe. 
After two years of service, he was sue- 



ceeded by Eev. H. F. Lange, who also 
remained two years. The present pastor, 
Rev. C. A. Borchardt, succeeded Rev. Lange, 
and is doing effective work. The present 
trustees are C. F. Mathwig, W. M. Soehler, 
H. Mundt, A. Mierke, C. Sette, F. R. Emke 
and R. Petrich. The organization has pros- 
pered, is out of debt, and now has a member- 
ship of over fifty. Part of each year the 
church maintains a day-school — when it 
does not conflict with the public schools. A 
Sunday-school was organized when the 
church started, that is still maintained. 
When the church was first organized servi- 
ces were held in the school-house. In 1877 
a neat church building was erected which 
now serves as a place of worship. 

The Seventh- Day Adventists. — An organiza 
tion of this denomination was effected at 
Owatonna in the fall of 1SS6. The first 
l>astors were Revs. Scram and Gregory, 
and the latter remained during the winter 
following its organization. There is now no 
resident pastor, althougii Rev. Dimmick, of 
Medford, occasionally fills the pulpit for the 
society. A Sunday-school was organized at 
the same time as the church. The society 
here now has about fifty members. They 
own a church building which was purchased 
from the Scandinavian Lutheran Society. 


The first white child born in what is now 
Owatonna was George K., a son to Mr. and 
Mrs. G. W. Green, which occurred on the 
6th of April, 1855. Dr. W. W. Finch at- 
tended, and went from Judge Green's house 
to that of A. W. Adams in Clinton Falls 
Township, where Frank, a son of A. "W. 
Adams, was born. These two were the first 
children born in Steele County. 

The first death at Owatonna occurred in 
August, or Se])tember, 1855, and was a child 
of Miner Prisby. The remains were buried 
in the woods north of town. 

The first marriage of residents took place 
at Faribault in the summer of 1855, the con- 
tracting parties being JoJin Wilcox and Clara 

Brooks, the ceremony being performed by 
Elder Town. The event was heartily cel- 
ebrated by the pioneers, especiall}' the young 

The first building erected upon the origi- 
nal town plat was the Winship House, built 
in July, 1855. 

The first building put up within what now 
constitutes the incorporate limits was A. B. 
Cornell's log cabin. 

The first store was opened Ijy S. B. Smith 
and J. W. Park in the spring of 1855. 

The first blacksmith shop was started by 
John Sweat. 

The first frame building was W. F. Pettit's 

The first brick building was erected by 
William Wadsworth in 1863. It was built 
for a store, but is now used as an engine- 


In this connection we present biographical 
sketches of all the most prominent citi- 
zens of Owatonna who have not received 
extended notice heretofore. It will be 
remembered that many of the leading citi- 
zens have already been mentioned at length 
in connection with the bar, medical, official 
and various other departments of this work. 
These sketches are placed here miscellan- 
eously, as the}^ come to the writer's hand, 
and if the reader desires to find any particu- 
lar biography, we would respectfully refer 
to the index. 

The men who take an active part in pub- 
lic affairs and still retain the universal regard 
of their fellow-citizens, without regard to 
party lines or prejudices, are very few. 
Among that fortunate few belongs the name 
of Hon. Charles S. Crandall. His infancy 
and early youth were spent among the rug- 
ged hills of the Buckeye State, where he was 
born in 1840. He came to Steele County 
in 1857 and for three years was engaged in 
farming. In 1861 he was appointed deputy 
auditor and register of deeds. Later on, 



owing to the resignation of the incumbent, 
he was appointed to fill tlie position and 
was elected two successive terms. In 1874 
he was elected to the Lower House of the 
Legislature, and in 1S86 was elected to the 
Senate. As editor of the Owatonna Jour- 
nal Mr. Crandall spent eight j^ears of his 
life in journalism, and iiis career in news- 
paper work was ever characterized by fear- 
lessness and unswerving devotion to party 
and principle. He was postmaster for eight 
years, and discharged the duties of that office 
faithfully and well. In 1882 he engaged in 
the hardware business, being the senior 
member of the firm of Crandall & Nelson. 
For a number of years he has been an Odd 
Fellow. In 1864 Mr. Crandall was united 
in matrimony with Miss Marietta E. Allen, 
a native of Oneida County, N. Y. Mary. E. 
and Georgia C. are the names of their chil- 

Adolph Knobloch, hardware merchant, was 
born in Germany in 1831. He came to 
America in 1847, and resided two years 
in Cleveland, Ohio. At the end of this 
time he came west to Sheboygan, Wis. In 
1853 he returned to Europe and was absent 
six months. In 1854 he returned to America, 
went to New Orleans, thence to St. Louis, and 
later he started a brewery at Hannibal, Mo. 
In 1855 he came to St. Paul, and afterward 
removed to Brownsville, Minn., where 
he established a brewery — the first at that 
place or in the southern part of the State. 
March 22, 1858, this establishment was de- 
stroyed by fire, and he then spent three 
years at Prescott, Wis. In 1861 he came to 
Owatonna and put up the first brewery 
erected in the city. In 1874 he embarked in 
the hardware business, in which he is still en- 
gaged. Mr. Knobloch is a Mason, an Odd 
Fellow, a member of the Legion of Honor, 
and attends the Presbyterian Church. He 
M'as married in March, 1857, to Sophia Myer, 
a native of German}'. Lorens H., Adolph 
and Louisa are their children's names. 

George Parrott, of the firm of Parrott & 

Smith, hardware dealers, was born in 
Schoharie County, N. Y., in 1852. His father 
William Parrott kept hotel at Schoharie Court- 
house for twenty-five years, and the leading- 
hotel there still bears his name. He died in 
1884. A brother of our subject, Hon. Matt. 
Parrott, of Waterloo, Iowa, is State Senator 
from his own district. Our subject learned the 
tinner trade in his native State and came west 
in 1879. He worked for some time for D. 
O. Searle, and at his death the firm of Parrott 
& Smith bought the stock. He was married 
in 1881 to Miss Mary Cole, a native of 
Owatonna. Alfred C. is their only child. 
Mr. Parrott is an Odd Fellow. 

John Thon, of the firm of Thon Bros., hard- 
ware dealers, was born in Milwaukee, Wis., 
in 1859. He learned the potter trade 
when thirteen years old, and worked in dif- 
ferent western cities. He came to Owatonna 
in 1883, and formed a partnership with his 
brother in the hardware business. Jacob P. 
Thon, senior member of the firm, was born 
in New York City in 1857, and came with his 
parents to Milwaukee in 1859. He learned 
the tinner trade at Milwaukee, and came to 
Owatonna in 1879. He was married in 1884 
to Miss Louise Hammel. Alvin R. is their 
only child. The Thon brothers are Odd Fel- 
lows, being members of Goethe Lodge, and 
also are members of the Owatonna Turn- 

Jacob A. Oppliger, dealer in general irier- 
chandise, was born in Switzerland in 1834. 
He came to America in 1853, locating in 
Rochester, N. Y., being engaged in the butch- 
ering trade. He came west to Bufl'alo 
County, Wis., thence to Galena, III., thence 
to St Paul, where he remained one year and 
a half, when he returned to Buff'alo County, 
Wis., and remained one winter. In 1858 
he came to Faribault, and opened a meat 
market. He came to Owatonna in the spring 
of 1861, and engaged in buying stock and 
running a meat market. Mr. Oppliger was 
elected alderman several terms, and in 1873 
was elected and served one term as mayor. 



He is a Mason, being a member of the Blue 
Lodge Chapter and Commandery of Owaton- 
na. Mr. Oppliger was married in 1859 to 
Mis's Mary Schultz, who died in 1864. In 
1867 Mr. Oppliger married Malvine Bur- 
chert. There are seven children : Hattie and 
William F., by the first wife, and Adolph G. 
Malvine, Edward, Emil and Ella by the sec- 

G. F. Albertus, dealer in dry goods, was 
born in Saxony in 1828. He came to 
America in 1812, locating in Sauk County, 
Wis. He was subsequently elected county 
treasurer, which position he held two years. 
He was also elected and served as county 
commissioner and justice of the peace. He 
came to Owatonna in 1866. Mr. Albertus 
was married in 1810 to Miss Mary E. Bart- 
lett, who died in 1862. In 1864 he was mar- 
ried to Miss E. W. Iloefer. Louise A., wife 
of John Kohr, of Montevideo, John 11., Mary 
E., wife of Frank Hollensworth, of St. Paul, 
and Gustavus A., are the children by his 
first wife ; and Minnie L., Kate E., Arthur 11., 
Lucy M., George F. (deceased), Charles, and 
Frank G., are the names of the children by 
his second. Mr. Albertus is among the best 
known citizens of the county. He has large 
property interests, and has in man}^ ways 
been prominently identified with the growth 
and development of the city. 

The dry goods house H. E. Moore Jr. & 
Co. was established in Owatonna by H. R. 
Moore, Jr., in 1870, who came at that time 
to close out the remains of a large stock 
which the firm had had in Beloit, "Wis. 
Previous to their coming here he had been 
to St. Paul, trying to close out with the 
intention of giving u]i business. Mr. Moore, 
however, liking the business jirospects of this 
city, bought their present building and put 
in a stock of goods, rebuilding and otherwise 
improving in 1880. In 1883 the firm estab- 
lished a branch store at Fergus Falls, which 
ran very successfully. It was finally closed 
out, however, and Mr. Moore, wishing to 
retire from active business, formed the pres- 

ent firm, which consists of H. P. Moore, Jr., 
John H. Ilelwig and James W. Connor, 
under the firm name of H. R. Moore Jr. & 
Co., the business being under the control of 
Messrs. Ilelwig and Connor. J. AV. Connor, 
junior member of the firm, came to Owa- 
tonna in the year 1869, and attended school 
until 1877, when he graduated from the high 
school. The same spring went to New 
Orleans, where he remained for some eight 
months. He then returned to Owatonna, 
and entered the store of H. R. Moore Jr. 
as a clerk ; in 1886 he was taken in as 

Joseph H. Soukup, of the firm of Soukup 
Bros., dealers in general merchandise, was 
born in Bohemia in 1857. In 1867 the family 
came to America, locating in Chicago. A 
year later they came to Hennepin Count}', 
Minn., and settled upon a farm near Minne- 
tonka. Our subject went to Waverly and 
was there engaged in the hardware business 
for a short time. He came to Owatonna 
in 1884. He was married in the same year 
to Miss Anna Watowa. Mr. Soukup is a 
member of the C. S. P. S., a society of which a 
history' is presented elsewhere in this volume. 

Hon. Henr}' Birkett, ex-mayor of the city 
of Owatonna, is a native of Ottawa, Canada, 
born July 4, 1848. His parents were Miles 
and Elizabath [(Wren) Birkett, natives of 
England, who settled in Canada in 1838. 
Ilis father. Miles, was engaged in the mer- 
cantile business and remained in Canada 
until his death m 1848. His mother died at 
Ottawa in 1886. Miles Birkett and wife had 
a family of six sons and four daughters, six 
of whom are now living, as follows: Will- 
iam, now a resident of Ottawa; Miles, a 
resident of Providence, K. I. ; Mrs. Maiy 
Rogers, of Ottawa, Canada; Thomas, of Ot- 
tawa, Canada ; Mrs. Elizabeth Fenton, of 
Ottawa, Canada, and Henry, the subject of 
this sketch. Henry received a common school 
education, and when fourteen years of age 
attended the grammar school at Ottawa, 
Canada, for one year. He then served an 



apprenticeship extending over a period of five 
years and two weeks with Young & Radford, 
in learning the watchmaker's and jeweler's 
trade, after which he remained for one year 
as a journeyman. In ISTO he took a trip to 
New York, where he spent the summer, 
woi'king at his ti-ade, and tlien returned to 
Canada, only, however, to remain one month, 
and then started for the west. Stopping for 
a short time in Minneapolis he made his way 
to Chicago, 111., where he worked at his 
trade for C. A. Morse for two months. On 
the 2d of November, 1870, he came to 
Owatonna and began working at his trade 
for E. Abbott & Co., remaining for two 
years. In 1872 he retui'ned to Ottawa, 
Canada, and in company with J. J. Iladford 
opened a jewelry store there, remaining one 
year. Selling out his interests there he re- 
turned to Owatonna in the fall of 1873, pur- 
chased the stock of E. Abbott & Co., and 
has since continued in this line, now con- 
ducting a well stocked jewehy store on the 
corner of Center street and Broadway, 
Owatonna. Mi*. Birkett served as mayor in 
1883-4:, and was alderman from second ward 
for ten years, and president of tiie board in 
1886. He stands high in the Masonic order, 
being a member of Star of the East Lodge, 
No. 33 ; Royal Arch chapter No. 15 ; and 
Cyrene Commandary No. y Knights Temp- 
lar. He has held all the official positions in 
these lodges, with credit to himself and lionor 
to its members. He has also served in the high 
Masonic office of Right Eminent Grand Com- 
mander of the Grand Commandary of Knights 
Templar of Minnesota, — the highest honor 
within the gift of the Knights Templar in the 
State. Mr. Birkett was married January 14, 
1875, to Claudia M. Abbott, daughter of 
Ezra Abbott, and they have three children 
now living : Harry E., Ethel S. and Miles 
W. In politics Mr. Birkett is a Republican. 
He has in many ways been identified with 
Owatonna's growth and development ; has 
taken a prominent part in all public matters 
affecting the city's welfare, and is to-day 

among the most prominent and influential of 
Owatonna's business men. 

C. F. Warner, jeweler, is a native of 
Dane County, Wis., born in 1854. Ilis par- 
ents were Franklin and Juliette Edwards 
Warner, both natives of New York, who had 
settled in Columbia Co., Wis., in an early 
day. They later moved to Dane County, and 
in 1865 came to Steele County, Minn., where 
Mrs. Warner died in 1867. Mr. Warner 
Sr. moved to Dakota in 1880, and still lives 
there. C. F. Warner remained with his 
parents until twenty years of age, when he 
went to Osage, Iowa, where he spent a year 
working at the jeweler's trade, having spent 
two years at it before leaving home. From 
Osage he came to Owatonna, and in 1876 he 
established the jewelry store which he still 
conducts. In 1885 he added a full line of 
sportsmen's goods, including guns, rifles and 
ammunition; and, in 1SS7, addeil the Stand- 
ard sewing machines and fixtures to his 
stock. He now handles a large stock, and 
does an extensive business. Mr. Warner 
was married in 1875 to Miss Mary Cusick, 
of Berlin Township, Steele County. They 
have two living children, Ada and Annie, 
and a third child died when a little over two 
years of age. 

Julius Young was born February 28, 
1845, in Baden, Germany. His father was 
a captain in the regular army. When, in 
1847, the legislative body of that state adopt- 
ed a Democratic form of govei'nment and 
deposed their autocratic Grand Duke, his 
father stood by the people and with Hecker, 
Bleuker, Sigel, Blind, and later, Carl Schurz 
and others, defended the state to the last, 
losing his life in 1849 in the liattles against 
the allied Prussian and monarchial forces. 
In the years of reaction that followed, his 
mother came to London, and there in the 
refugee families of Carl Blind and Prof. 
Hinkel, met Carl Schurz's father, and was 
induced by him to come to America. In 
April, 1859, being reared by his grand- 
mother, Julius went to Stillwater, Minn., 



where liis mother had emigrated and re- 
married, and there was ajiprenticed to 
"Wm. lUingsworth, of St. Paul, a noted 
watch and clock maker, finishing his time in 
May, 1862. An enemy to slavery, in any 
form, he wanted to enlist in one of the 
Minnesota regiments, but being only seven- 
teen years old could not get permission of 
his parents, and had to resort to deceit in 
going to Madison, Wis., working there for a 
jeweler at $40 per month. There lie enlisted 
in the Twentieth Regiment Wisconsin Vol- 
unteers, and being condemned to carry a 
drum discarded it and soon became assistant 
hospital steward of the regiment, and later, 
eager to carry a gun, currier to Gen. Her- 
ron, commanding a division in southwest 
Missouri and Arkansas. After being in sev- 
eral skirmishes against Mai'maduke, he was 
in the battle of Prairie Grove, Ark., Decem- 
ber 7, 1802, where they lost full}^ one-third 
of the command, and where he received a 
severe injur}' the niglit following, by Ijeing 
unhorsed. In January, 1863, he was in the 
capture of Yan Buren, Ark., the next day 
the capture of Fort Smith ; in February, 
when Marmaduke made an unsuccessful 
attempt to capture Springfield, Mo., in their 
raid they intercepted him and almost annihi- 
lated his command. In May, 1863, they 
went to Vicksburg, and being sent to report 
their arrival to the commander of the 
Thirteenth Army Corps to which they were 
attached, Mr. Young got into the battle of 
Champion Hill ; returning to Young's Point, 
crossed the Mississippi Eiver under heavy 
fire of the Yicksburg left wing, and stormed 
the heights of Warrington, and later took 
Fort Hill, just outside the main defense. He 
was in the siege of Yicksburg until the 
capitulation on the 4th of July, 1863. The 
same month was in the capture of Yazoo 
City ; got into a part of the Red River 
expedition ; was captured with the Nineteenth 
and Twenty-sixth Indiana at Morganza, La., 
and confined in the stockade at Tjdei', Tex.; 
escaped the third week, making his way to 

Fort Smitli, Ark., with others, and got to 
his command in time to go with the Gen. 
Banks' Rio Grande expedition ; in November 
of the same year, in crossing the Gulf of 
Mexico he was on the "Thomas Scott," 
encountered a heavy storm, the expedition 
losing two transport steamers and eighteen 
schooners with supplies. The flag ship, 
the "Thomas Scott," an armed transport, lost 
the use of the rudder for nearly eight hours; 
twenty four men, including three sailors, 
were washed overboard, and six guns were 
cut loose to lighten the vessel. Reaching 
Brasos Santiago Island, they surprised the 
pickets by wading through the water at 
low tide, and, effecting a landing on the main 
land, pressed on and took Brownsville, and 
later Corpus Cliristi, Tex. From Browns- 
ville Mr. Young made trips to Monterey and 
Tampico, Mex., to the American consuls. 
Receiving leave of absence for sixty days, 
he got on the ill-fated river steamei-, " W. R. 
Arthur," which at Columbia Bend, below 
Memphis, was so badly riddled by two 
batteries while passing the bend. In August, 
1864, he was on the Mobile Bay expedition, 
being sent to the flagship. He passed Forts 
Morgan and Gaines on the "Hartford," and 
got into the terrific naval fight, after 
passing, with the rebel rams, Morgan and 
Selma, which were captured ; saw the mon- 
itor, "Tecumseh," sink with 122 souls, not 
twent}' _yards distant, and the burning of the 
war sloop, " Tennessee," and heard the quick 
and decisive commands of Commodore Far- 
ragut, lashed to the rigging above him ; in 
the taking of Fort Gaines ; in the landing 
of our troops under fire at Mobile point ; the 
siege of Fort Morgan ; the capture of Pass 
Magula; and in March, 1865, in the siege 
and storming of Spanish Fort and sub 
sequent capture of Mobile, Ala. Mr. Young 
had a narrow escape at the explosion of the 
magazine at Mobile, Ala. He served three 
years and fifty-five days, until July, 1865, 
coming to Madison, Wis. He was employed 
by Mr. Burr, of Burr & McClure, jewelers 



of Owatonna, and remained with them from 
August, 1865, to June, 1866, when the firm 
dissolved partnership. He took a situation 
at St. Peter, and on learning of the death of 
his former employer, came in December, 
1866, to permanently locate in Owatonna, 
opening a shop in an old frame building on 
the corner now occupied by the Farmers' Nat- 
ional Bank. Later he moved to J. New- 
salt's store under the Opera House. In 1869 
he bought a one-story brick building on 
Bridge street, accumulating a large range of 
custom and fine stock. July 31, 1882, he 
was married to a daughter of C. Dinnijes, 
and has had children, two boys and two 
girls; only the latter are now living, one 
twelve years and one two years old. In 
1878 he lost his building with most of the 
stock and tools by fire, losing more than 
$6,000 over insurance. He rebuilt on a larger 
scale, planned and executed under his own 
supervision the building he now occupies. 
Young's block, on Bridge street. In build, 
ing on a large scale and restocking, buying 
nearl}^ everything new, and particularly 
the selling at auction of a competitor's stock 
during part of the holiday season, 1879? 
forced him to make an assignment in favor 
of his creditors. However, he again got 
control of his business in August, 1880, and 
since then he has not only done the principal 
repair work, but has enlarged his store to 
22x100 feet, adding increased accommoda- 
tions every year, until now he has a finely 
arranged store, second to none in Minnesota. 
He carries a large assortment of watches, 
clocks, jewelry, including diamonds, optical 
goods, silverware, china and fancy goods of 
various descriptions. Besides being the old- 
est watchmaker and jeweler, he is the pio- 
neer sewing-machine dealer, carrying since 
1868 the best machines; and since 1882 
pianos and organs of "leading makers, and 
also small musical goods and material. 

Hon. Benjamin S. Cook, ex-mayor, real 
estate dealer and loan broker, was born 
in Center County, Pa., in 1833. When he 

was still a child his parents moved to 
the western jiart of the State. At the 
age of seventeen he entered a mercantile 
establishment at Conneautville as clerk. In 
1854 he embarked in business for himself 
in the same town. In the winter of 1855 
he organized a party of five, of which he 
was the junior member, for the purpose 
of making a prospecting tour through the 
west. They arrived in Minnesota in June, 
1856, and located the town site of Concord, 
in Dodge County. He is now the only sur- 
vi\nng member of the party. In 1860 he 
went to Mantorville and engaged in the drug 
and grocery business. In the spring of 1873 
he removed to St. Paul, when he was made 
superintendent of the St. Paul Street Rail- 
way Company. He acted in that capacity 
until 1875, and in 1876 he came to Owatonna. 
Mr. Cook was married in October, 1855, to 
Miss Isabella Groger, a native of Hew 'i^ork 
State. Mrs. L. H. Knobloch, now of St. Paul, 
is their onl}' child. Our subject was elected 
mayor of Owatonna in 1881, and held that 
office two terms. He has been a member of 
the democratic state central committee, or 
congressional committee, almost continuous- 
ly since he has been in the State, and was a 
delegate to the National Democratic Conven- 
tion at Chicago in 1881: that nominated Gro- 
ver Cleveland. It is said that Mr. Cook has 
been present at every Territorial or State 
Democratic convention as a delegate (save 
two), since 1857, and while active as a party 
political manager has never sought office for 
himself. Since his residence here he has 
taken an active part in all public matters, 
and is among the most prominent business 
men in this part of tlie State. 

Edward W. Piper, grocer, was born in 
Monroe County, Ohio, in 1825. His father's 
given name was Lewis, and his mother's 
maiden name was Rogers. His people came 
to Elgin, 111., in 1836, coming the entire dis- 
tance by team. Shortly afterward they 
went to Mount Morris, where Mr. Piper Sr. 
was engaged in wagon-making. Lewis Piper 



died in Ogle Count}', 111., aged eighty-three. 
Our subject came to Ijaraboo,Wis. ,in lSil,and 
was one of the pioneers of that city. In 
ISfifi he came to Owatonna. and for thirteen 
years was engaged in the grain business. In 
1879 he embarked in the grocery business. 
He was married March 8, 1857, to Miss Cor- 
nelia Hill, a native of New York State. Ella, 
now the wife of Clinton Dunning, of Wis- 
consin, Ada I., deceased, Edward A., de- 
ceased, and Arthur W. , who is engaged in 
his father's store, are their children's names. 
Both Mr. and Mrs. Pi))er are members of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. Mr. Piper was 
a member of the city council in 1885-6, and 
has otherwise taken an active and prominent 
part in local affairs. 

Eri M. Twiford, of the firm of Twiford & 
Sperry, was born near Columbus, in Wa^'ne 
County, Ohio, in 1852. When two and a 
half years old his parents moved to Indiana 
where they remained till the fall of 1861-, 
when Eri M., in company with his father. 
Dr. William II. Twiford, came to Steele 
County, Minn. In 1879 he came to Owaton- 
na and worked for the Diamond Mill Com- 
pany. He then formed a partnership with 
W. A. Dynes in the hardware business, and 
later engaged in the meat and provision 
trade. In 188i he engaged in the grocery 
business, and the firm is now doing a thriv- 
ing trade. In 1881 Mr. Twiford married 
Miss Anna Howard, a native of Minnesota. 
They have two children, Edna and Guy. 
Mr. Twiford is a member of the Sons of Vet- 
erans ; is fii'st lieutenant of company E, 3d 
Regiment, State Militia, and is chief en- 
gineer of the city fire department. An ex- 
tended biography of Mr. Twiford's father, 
Dr. W, H. Twiford, is presented in chapter 

David W. Sperrj', grocer, of the firm of 
Twiford & Sperry, was born in Chautauqua 
County, N. Y., October 31, 1838. Forty-five 
years of his life were spent in that county. 
He learned the tinner's trade at an early 
age, and was for many years engaged in the 

hardware business. He came to Owatonna 
in 1884 and engaged in the manufacture of 
fanning-mills. In 1885 he engaged in the 
grocery business in company with Mr. Twi- 
ford. He was married January 6, 1863, 
to Miss Roxie O. Lazell. Albert L. and 
Rosa Bell are the names of their children. 

William Davidson, grocer, was born in 
Northumberlandshire, England, in 1828. He 
came to America in 1831, locating in Canada 
West, He was married in 1856 to Miss 
Ellen Hunter, a native of Canada. The 
names of the children born to them are 
Robert M., William H., Isabella J. and Mary 
L. Mr. Davidson came to Steele County in 
1856, and to Owatonna in 1858. He is now 
engaged in the retail grocery business. He 
is a prominent member and oificer in the 
Presbyterian Church, and has in many ways 
been intimately connected Avith the history 
of both city and county. 

G. W. Chesley, whose porti'ait will be 
found on another page, is the pioneer photog- 
rapher of Steele County. Mr. Chesley was 
born in Waterbury, Washington County, Vt., 
July 19, 1829, and remained there attending 
school most of the time, until seventeen years 
of age. His father was Enoch Chesley, and 
his mother Desire (Ayers) Chesley, the form- 
er of English, the latter of Scotch, descent. 
The father died when G. W. was seven years 
of age, and the mother in 1862, at Water- 
bury. G. W. Chesley began life for himself 
when seventeen, going to Geneva, N. Y., 
where he entered the gallery of a Frenchman 
to learn the old-time daguerreotype business. 
That was before the time of photography, 
when pictures were mounted on coi)per or 
silver plate. He continued in that business 
for one year, and then, in 1853, canie west, 
accompanied by a younger brother, who had 
learned the business at the same time. They 
located at Watertown, Wis., and fitted up a 
gallery with a chemical and apparatus sales- 
room in connection, remaining there four 
years. In the meantime G. W. had bought 
his brother's interest, and in 1857 he sold 



the establishment and removed to Monmouth, 
111., where he again opened a gallery. After 
about one year, being afflicted with ague, he 
sold out, and for nearly two yeai's gave up 
business and traveled extensively through dif- 
ferent parts of tlie Northwest to regain his 
health. In the fall of ISflO, he came to Owa- 
tonna and established the lirst gallery in 
either Steele or Waseca counties, since which 
time this has been Ills home. Shortly after the 
war broke out he arranged a photographic 
outfit and accompanied the army through 
the South, taking photogra]3hs of various bat- 
tle-fields, regiments and companies. When 
the war closed, in the spring of 1865, he re- 
turned to his home in Steele County, and lias 
since carried on an extensive business at his 
photograph gallery. In 1879 he erected the 
fine brick block of which he now occupies the 
second story, while J. L. Saxton's dry goods 
house occupies the first fioor. Mr. Chesley 
was married March 22, 1856, to Miss Ellen 
E. George, a native of Vermont. They have 
three children, : George L., Walter A. and 
Elouisa. In 1885 Mr. Chesley erected a 
building and fitted up a photograph gallery 
at Pipestone City, Minn., which his eldest 
son, George L., now conducts. Mr. Chesley's 
gallery at Owatonna now turns out some of 
the finest and most artistic photograph and 
cabinet work that can be obtained anywhere 
in the State. Nearlv all of the engravings in 
the Steele County department of this volume, 
were made from photos taken in his estab- 

Hon. John Shea, ex-mayor and popular 
clothing merchant of Owatonna, is a self- 
made man, and a true type of the western 
pioneer, standing six feet high and weighing 
225 pounds. He is always pleasant, jolly 
and agreeable, and one of the most generally' 
popular men in the county. He takes great 
interest in any enterprise calculated to ad- 
vance the interests of the city, and has in 
manjr ways taken an active part in public 
matters. Mr. Shea was born in Joliet, Will 
County, IlL, in 1839. When six months old 


his parents removed to Hartland, McHenry 
County, 111., then on the frontier, and there 
John was raised with an abundance of hard 
work, but with very poor facilities for school- 
ing. He had the misfortune of losing his 
mother at the age of ten years, but with the 
assistance of his eldest sister, his father was 
able to keep the family' — consisting of three 
boys and three girls — together until they 
were young men and women. In 1856 his 
father sold out, and witli his family removed 
to Berlin Township, Steele County, Minn, 
and located on a farm. After spending two 
winters there, John, being of an adventurous 
disposition, concluded to find a warmer cli- 
mate to winter in, and therefore managed 
to spend his winters in the South, and return 
each summer to help his father. When the 
Indian war broke out he enlisted in the First 
Minnesota Mounted Eangers, and partici- 
pated in all the battles and incidents of the 
expedition, until there were no hostile Indians 
left in the State. He was mustered out with 
the regiment, went home and helped his 
folks until the spring ol 1866, when he was 
taken with the -'gold fever," which was then 

raging throughout the West. 

Rigging up 

an ox-team, with a good supply of provisions, 
he joined Col. Holmes and other parties at 
the foot of the " Kotas," where they organ- 
ized in order to protect themselves from the 
Indians, and Mr .Shea was elected captain, a 
position which he filled competently, as lie 
was experienced in organizing against the 
redskins. The party was ninety-two days 
in reaching Helena, Mont., where they dis- 
banded. Mr. Shea being a " tenderfoot," 
encountered many adversities, but beins' 
possessed of sta^^ing qualities, he finally dis- 
covered a mine, from which he made a 
"stake." After spending eight years in the 
mines of Montano and Idaho, in 1874 he 
returned to the " States" to visit his folks; 
but upon reaching Steele County, the country 
had so developed, and l^ecome so attractive, 
he concluded to remain a few years. 
He bought a half interest in the Parcher 




House, at Owatonna, and, after running it 
for six months, bought the whole of the 
pi'operty, and rented it for five years. Then, 
being at hberty to trj^ some other business, 
the first thing to present itself was a stock 
of bankrupt clothing brought in from Beloit, 
"Wis,, valued at $15,000, He bought the 
stock and took W. L. Winslow in as a part- 
ner. This firm continued for three years, 
when Mr. Siiea bought his partner's interest, 
and has since continued the business, liaving 
become one of the leading clothing men of 
the State. ]\Ir. Shea was married in 1879 
to Miss Kate Deviny, who added to his hap- 
piness the comforts of a home. They have 
a famih' of two boys and two girls. Mr. 
Shea was elected maj'or in 1874, and served 
one term. When the reader visits Owatonna 
it will be to liis interest to call and make the 
acquaintance of Mr. Shea, as he is awake to 
the wants of the human family, and takes 
great delight in selling them clothing, cheap. 

A. J. Katz, of the clothing firm of Katz 
& Co., was born in Germany in 1866. He 
came to Baltimore ip 1881, where he clerked 
for his uncle in a dry goods establishment 
for a year and a half; thence to Washington, 
D. C, where he remained six months, and 
in 1883 went to Davenport, Iowa. In Jan- 
uary, 1887, he came to Minnesota, and in 
company with H. Katz, of Chicago, pur- 
chased the stock of A. Apple. By square 
dealing, and selling an excellent class of 
goods at the lowest living profits the firm 
have built up a large and increasing tratie. 
They are very reliable men to deal with. 

Michael S. Quiggle, dealer in farm ma- 
chinery, was Ijorn in Trumbull County, Ohio, 
in 183-1-, and in 1843 went to Green Lake 
County, Wis. He learned the blacksmith 
trade with his father. In 1857 he came to 
Minnesota, locating in Waseca County, and 
came to Owatonna in 1858. He was married 
in 1861 to Miss Lucinda J. Hammond. Lillie 
L. and Ettie M. are their children's names. 
Mr. Quiggle does an extensive business in 
his line. 

John E. Buxton, dealer in farm machinery, 
and member of the Minnesota Transfer 
Implement Company, was born in St. Law- 
rence, August 5, 1823. His parents moved 
to Grand Rapids, Mich., when he was 
twelve years old, and there his father died 
in 1843. In 1844 he moved to Columbus, 
Wis., where he was engaged in the manu- 
facture of wagons, carriages and plows. In 
1864 he came Avest to Winona, and three 
months later to Owatonna, where he has 
since been engaged in the machinery and 
liardware trade. He was married in July, 
1848, to Miss Eunice T. Ingrahani, a native 
of New York, who died on March 30, 
1877, of ajioplexy. Mr. Buxton has for 
years been closely identified with the business 
interests of the city, and is to-day among the 
most prominent and widely known citizens 
of the county. 

Rufus H. Cliapin, dealer in farm machinery, 
was born in Solon, Cortland Count}', N. Y., 
in 1826. In 1870 he came to Steele County, 
Minn., where he engaged in farming for four 
years. Mr. Chapin was married in 1849 to 
Miss Abigail S. Putnam, a native of Truxton, 
Cortlanil County, N. Y. They have three 
children: Byron P., Mary L. and Frank H., 
the two latter residing at present in Dakota. 
Mr. Chapin has been a member of tiie Bap- 
tist Church since 1855, and is one of the 
leading business men of the city. 

Jacob Newsalt, city justice, was born in 
Prussia in March, 1838. When ten years 
of age he came to New York Cit\', where he 
remained until seventeen, when he came 
west to La Crosse, Wis. In 1864 he came to 
Owatonna and embarked in the mercantile 
business. In 1878 he sold out and engaged 
in the real-estate business, which he still con- 
tinues in connection with loans and insur- 
ance. Mr. Newsalt is an Odd Fellow ; in 
1881 was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge 
of Minnesota, and in 1887 was elected Grand 
Representative to the Sovereign Grand 
Lodge. He is also a Mason, and is Master 
of Owatonna Lodge, No. 26, Ancient Order 



of United Workingmen. On June 2i, 1866, 
he was married to Miss Josephine Kubat, a 
native of Austria. George, Annie L., Mabel 
M., Jessie F. and Gracie A., are their chil- 
dren's names. Mr. Newsalt is the present 
city justice, and has made one of the best 
judicial officers the city of Owatonna has 
ever had. 

Hon. Herman H. Eosebrock, dealer in fur- 
niture, carpets and undertaking goods, was 
born in Hanover, Germany, November 10, 
1838. In 18.58 he came to America, locating 
in Brookl^'n, N. Y., where he clerked in a 
grocery store. He then came to Indianap- 
olis, where he was engaged in the grocery 
business for six years. He attended the 
Agricultural College at Ebstorf for some 
time. In 1865 he came to Owatonna, Steele 
County, Minn., and engaged in the butcher- 
ing business for one year, after which, in 
1869, he embarked in the furniture business, 
and now carries on an extensive business at 
his store on Bridge street. Mr. Eosebrock 
was married in 1864 to Miss A. Dinnijes, a 
native of Prussia. Carl is the name of their 
only child. Mr. Eosebrock is a member of 
Blue Lodge Chapter and Commandery in 
the Masons, and was a charter member of the 
Commandery. He has been a member of 
the Lower House of Legislature, serving two 
terms, from 1879 to 1882, and made a cred- 
itable and satisfactory record. 

Frederick Deutschraann, furniture dealer 
on Bridge street, was born in Germany in 
1825. He came to America in 1S54, locat- 
ing in Chicago, where he remained a short 
time. He then moved to Davenport, Iowa, 
then to St. Louis, where he engaged in mak- 
ing show-cases for two years. In 1860 he 
returned to Davenport, where he remained 
till 1879, when he removed to Colorado, 
locating in Denver. In 1880 he came to 
Steele County, where he has since lived. Mr. 
Deutschmann was married in November, 
1878, to Susana Letrig, a native of Germany. 
They have three children : Lilly, Ada and 

"William Mork, dealer in boots and shoes, 
was born in Denmark in 1844. He came to 
America in 1866, and imtil 1869 resided in 
Chicago. He then came to Owatonna and 
worked as a journeyman until 1871, when he 
embarked in business for himself. In 1880 
he erected the building which he now occu- 
pies and where he is doing a flourishing busi- 
ness. He was marrieil in 1871 to Miss Cor- 
nilia Oleson. The fruits of this union are 
the following named children: Annie, Lily, 
William and Ella. Mr. Mork is a Mason and 
also a member of the Lutheran Church. 

George L. Forsythe, of the firm of Boice & 
Forsythe, was born in St. Lawrence County, 
N. Y., in 1849. He came west to Steele 
County in 1877 and formed a partnership 
with Mr. Boice in the meat-market business. 
He was married on February 22, 1873, to 
Miss Delcina Boice, a native of New York 
State, who died December 6, 1883. Mr. 
Forsythe is a member of the Congregational 
Church. His firm do a thriving business, 
and is rated among the substantial business 
firms of the city. 

John Cottier, merchant tailor, was born 
on the Isle of Man in 1826. He learned 
tailoring in his native home and came to 
America when twenty-two years of age, 
locating in Cattaraugus County, N. Y. In 
July, 1865, he came to Owatonna and opened 
a tailor shop, which for a number of years 
was the only one in the village. He is now 
doing an extensive business. Mr. Cottier is 
one of the leading Odd Fellows of the city 
and a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. He was married in September, 1848, 
to Miss Ann Griffin, who was born in New 
York State. Their children's names are 
Elizabeth A., James B., Lilly V., Joseph P., 
Ellen S., Frederick G. and Eugene C. His 
wife died in 1882, and he was again married 
in February, 1884, to Mary Millner, a native 
of New York, born in 1834. They \v'ere 
married in Baraboo, Wis. 

N. W. Hanson was born in Denmark 
May 5, 1855 ; he lived there until twenty 



years of age, then went to Norway and 
Swetlen and worked at the tailor's trade for 
two }'ears. He returned to Copenhagen and 
there learned the cutter s trade, after which 
he went to Wadsoe, Norway, to take charge 
of a tailoring establishment. Tliere he 
remained a 3^ ear and a half; then returned 
liome, and six months later returned again 
to Wadsoe. Here he was married May 5, 
18S1, he being twenty-six years of age on 
this day. Eight days later he and his wife 
started for America and landed in Philadel- 
piiia June 25, 1881. From there they went 
to Rochester, Minn., where he worked at his 
trade for about three years, then came to 
Owatonna and started tlie tailoring estab- 
lishment whicli he still runs. The}' have 
had born to them three children : Engebor 
Marie, Ivnute Kare and Agnes Begito. 

Fridolin Coll, dealer in millinery goods, 
was born in Germany in 1838. His parents 
came to America with him in 18-18, stopping 
in New York City for a time ; thence to Day- 
ton, Ohio, and later to Indiana. They came 
to Minnesota in 1855, locating at Chatfield 
for a year. In 1856 he removed to Faribault, 
and in the spring of 1861 enlisted in Com- 
pany G First Minnesota Volunteer Infantrj'. 
With his company he participated in the 
battles of Winchester, Yorktown, Bolivar 
Heights, Ciiancellorville, under Hooker ; 
Bristow Station, Fair Oaks, Gettysburg and 
Antietam, the seven days' fight in falling 
back from Richmond, and also Malvern Hill, 
Virginia, and was discharged on the 19th of 
May, 186-):. He was married in September 
of the same year to Miss Margaret J. Deiahl. 
The names of the chiklren born to them are 
Albert T., Emma L. and Fridolin W. Mr. 
Boll is a prominent member of the Grand 
Army of the Republic, and takes an active 
interest in all matters of a public nature. 

Frank M. Bauter, druggist, was born in 
Steuben County, N. Y., in 18-ti; but his 
fatlier moved with the family to St. Joseph 
County, Mich., in an early day. Our sub- 
ject enlisted in 1861 in Company E, Eleventh 

Michigan Volunteer Infantry, and served 
twenty months in the war of the rebellion. 
During the battle of Stone River he was 
wounded in the right arm, which was sub- 
sequently amputated. In 1871 he graduated 
from the State Nornial School at Ypsilanti, 
Mich., after which he taught school for a 
number of years. He first began the drug 
business at Lawrence, Mich., and in 1880 
came to Owatonna. He was married in 1873 
to Miss Cornelia E. Rowe, a native of Iowa. 
Their children's names are Winnefred, Helen 
and Marion Francis. 

Christian Peterson, druggist, was born in 
Denmark in 1857, and came to America in 
1872. He resided three years in New Jersey, 
when he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, thence 
to Clinton, la. He entered the commercial 
department of the Ann Arbor University, 
also attended medical college one term there; 
then went to Detroit, and from there to 
Rochester, Minn., where he remained two 
years and a half engaged in the drug busi- 
ness. He then was located in Blooming 
Prairie for three years, and in 1884 settled 
in Owatonna, where he is still in business, 
carrying a large stock of drugs. He was 
married in 1883 to Miss Anna M. Johnson. 
Alvin C. and Ella J. are their children's names. 
Mr. Peterson was chosen county coroner in 
January, 1886, and stiU holds the office ; also 
has held the office of justice of the peace in 
the third ward for one year. 

William Gausewitz came to Owatonna 
October 18, 1884, and bought the drug busi- 
ness of Mr. Stoughton, and has since that 
time been engaged in the drug business here. 
Mr. Gausewitz is a native of Reedsville, Wis. 
His parents are Carl and Amelia Gausewitz, 
natives of Germany, who are now living in 
Milwaukee, Wis. William remained with his 
parents until thirteen years of age, when he 
learned the drug business and has since been 
engaged in his profession. 

George Clark, superintendent of Laird, 
Norton & Co.'s lumber yards, was born in 
Bradford County, Penn., in 1848. He was 



engaged in various pursuits until 1872, when he 
engaged in the lumber business. He went to 
Buffalo, N. Y., and was in the employ of 
Shaw & Co. until 1885, when he came to 
Owatonna. lie was married in 1879 to Miss 
Lucy A. Kiehle, sister to the State superin- 
tendent of public instruction of Minnesota. 
Their children's names are Walter and Mil- 

Mclndoe S. Alexander, of the lumber firm of 
Alexander Bros., was born in Portage County, 
Wis., in 1855. His father, John Alexandei', 
resides near Wausau, Wis., and furnishes for 
the Alexander Stewart Lumlier Company. 
Our subject came to Owatonna in 1883, where 
he in company with his brother carries on a 
branch yard for that company. He was 
married in March, 1887, to Miss Carrie A. 

Jacob Z. Barncard, lumber dealer, was 
born in Franklin County, Pa., in 1842. In 
1843 his parents moved with their family to 
Greencastle, Ohio, residing there three years ; 
thence to Decatur, Ind., where they remained 
ten years. Our subject came to Rochester, 
Minn., in June, 1855, where he remained until 
1867. In 18(51 he enlisted in company B, 
Second Minnesota A'olunteer Infantry, and 
after seiwing three j^ears he re-enlisted in the 
First Minnesota, and was made first lieu- 
tenant of Company I. He served six months 
in that regiment. In 1867 he came to Meri- 
den, Steele County, where he was engaged in 
the grain business, and later to Owatonna. 
He was married in 1870 to Miss Hattie E. 
McCall, a native of Wisconsin. Ora Z., 
Winnefred, Lois and Daisy are their children's 
names. Mr. Barncard is a Knight Templar 
and a prominent member of James A. Good- 
win Post, Grand Army of the Republic. 

Lars Peterson, foreman at J. Z. Barn- 
card's lumber yard, was born in Februarj', 
1842. He came to America in 1862, locating 
in Freeborn County, Minn., where he re- 
mained two years, then came to Owatonna, 
and was employed by Crooker & Franklin 
in the lumber business. He afterward 

worked for Graham & Co., then for C. H. 
Randall, and finally entered the employ of 
Mr. Barncard. Mr. Peterson was married 
in 1802 to Miss Sophia Christianson. They 
have four children : Annie, Emma, Walter 
and Adelia. Mr. Peterson is a member of 
the Baptist Church and also of the Ancient 
Order of United Workmen. 

George W. Caward, wood and coal dealer, 
was born in England in 1842. When he was' 
still a child his parents came to America, 
locating in Ontario County, IST. Y. He was 
in that State until 1867, when he came to 
Whitewater, Wis., where he embarked in the 
grain and stock business. For nine 3' ears he 
was conductor on the Milwaukee & Prairie 
Du Chien Railroad, and subsequently came 
to Cresco, Iowa, and was engaged in the dry 
goods business there for two years, after 
which became to Owatonna in 1875. After 
coming here he ran the omnibus line for 
eight years, and finalh^ sold out to Gage & 
Giddings. Mr. Caward was married in 1866 
to Miss Rosetta Kinney. Neil is the name 
of their only son. 

William A. Dynes, retired merchant, was 
born in Warren County, Ohio, in 1844. 
When only six years old his parents came to 
Delaware County, Ind. In 1863 he enlisted 
in Company B, Seventh Indiana Cavalry, 
and was discharged March 16, 1866, after 
serving nearly three years. He then came 
to Indianapolis, Ind., to attend Brj^ant & 
Stratton's Commerci;il College, from which 
he graduated. In July, 1866, he came to 
Steele County, Minn., locating in Somerset 
Township. He remained there five 3'ears, 
and then engaged in the hardware business 
at Owatonna. In 1876 he was elected a 
member of the Board of Education, which 
office he has since held with the exception of 
one year. In company with Mr. Burdick 
in 1878, he built the Diamond steam mill. Mr. 
Dynes is a member of the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, and also of the James A. 
Goodwin Post, No. 81, Grand Army of the 
Republic. September 10, 1866, Mr. Dynes 



was married to Miss Abigail E. Twifonl. 
They have live children : Willis M., Ina A., 
Ella B. and Eva M. (twins), and Albert. Mr. 
Dynesisamember of the Universalist Church, 
and is among the prominent citizens of the 

S. S. Greene, grain dealer, came to Owa- 
tonna in 186(>, and was in the employ of the 
Winona and St. Peter Eailroad Co., as clerk 
at the depot for some seven years. In 1875 
lie went into the grocery business, remaining 
in that for three or four 3'ears, and in 1ST8 
engaged in the grain trade, which he still 
continues. Mr. Greene's name appears fre- 
quently in these pages, particularly in con- 
nection with the histor}' of the city fire 
department, of which he was chief engineer 
for a number of years. 

T. R Medd, D. D. S., was born in Dane 
Conntv, Wis., in 1852. His father was a 
preacher of the Methodist Episco])al denom- 
ination, and has been stationed at various 
places throughout Wisconsin. T. R. Medd 
studied dentistry under a practitioner in 
Sparta, Wis., and in the fall of 1874 
came to Owatonna and followed his pro- 
fession for about one year. He then at- 
tended the Phihadelphic Dental College, and 
graduated, after wiiich he returned to Owa- 
tonna, where he iias since had a lucrative 
practice. Dr. Medd is a member of the 
Masonic Order, and the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows. 

Dr. Alexander C. Searl, dentist, was born 
in Cattaraugus County, N. Y., in 1850. 
When he was ten years old his parents 
came to Owatonna, Minn., and a year later 
moved upon a farm northeast of tiie 
city. His father lived upon that place two 
years, and then moved back to the city. In 
1878 he settled in Lemond, and remained 
there until 1882, when he returned to 
Owatonna, where his death occurred. Dr. 
Searl's mother is still living. In the fall 
of 1871 the subject of this sketch went to 
Sinclairville, N. Y , where he spent three 
years in the dental office of Dr. A. A. Stone, 

and in the spring of 1875 he opened a dental 
office in Owatonna in company with Dr. 
Mcintosh, now of Chicago. He later at- 
tended the Pennsylvania Dental College, 
graduatingand receiving his diploma in 1883. 
Dr. Searl was marrietl in May, 1884, to Miss 
Hattie Sewell, a native of Wisconsin. 

John N. Hammel, contractor and builder, 
was born in Wurtembui'g, Germany, in 1823. 
He came to America in 1854, and for a time 
made his home in Washington County, Wis. 
He learned the carpenter's trade in the old 
countrv, and has folloAved it all his life. He 
came to Owatonna in 18fi4, and has erected 
a large number of the linest dwellings and 
business houses in the city ; among these are 
Germania hall, high school building, Web- 
er's block, three cottages connected with 
the State Indigent School, W. H. Kel- 
ly's store building and Oppliger's resi- 
dence, Mork's store, Theinier's store, P. 
Ganser's brewery and residence, and many 
others. Mr. Hammel was married in the 
old country in 1853 to Miss Marj' Steigauf, 
a native of Germany. John, Matilda, Lou- 
isa and Louis are the names of their children, 
lie is a prominent member of Goethe Lodge 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, as will 
be seen by reading the history of that lodge. 

George W. Shaw, carpenter, was born in 
Ithaca, N. Y., July 30, 1823. He came west 
to Faribault, Minn., in May, 1856, and in Oc- 
tober of the same 3' ear came to Owatonna. 
lie erected some of the first buildings in the 
village, among them being the old Eureka 
House. He was married in 1849 to Miss 
Catharine J. Knapp, a native of New York. 
Their children are Elmer E. and Dell B. 
Mr. Shaw and wife are members of the Bap- 
tist Church. He is among the most prom- 
inent workers in the Masonic and Odd Fel- 
low orders in the city, and his name is indis- 
solubl}' connected with the histor}' of the lo- 
cal lodges of these societies. 

W. H. Burdick, contractor and builder, 
came to Steele County in 1865, and located 
in the then village of Owatonna, putting in 



a sash, door and blind factory and planing 
mill. Mr. Burdick ran that business for 
some time, and finally sold out,and has since 
followed contracting and building, chiefly in 
Owatonna, but in ISTO went to Minneajwlis 
and took contracts there. Mr. Burdick is a 
native of Vermont, born June 27, 1834^. His 
parents were William and Cynthia Burdick. 
They moved to New York when William 
was quite young, remaining until 1855,when 
they came to Monroe County, Wis. At the 
age of sixteen William was apprenticed to 
the carpenter trade for three j^ears, after 
which he followed contracting for two years, 
and in 1855 he went to Sparta, Wis., and en- 
gaged in contracting and building. While 
there he married Miss Mary E. Ingels. They 
have four children: Fred. L., Carl J., Ger- 
trude A. and Orvill H. 

J. D. Holden came to Owatonna in 1869 
and opened the first cooper shop in the city. 
He remained in the business until 1885,when 
his health failed, and he turned the business 
over to his son, G. D. Holden. J. D. Hol- 
den was a native of New Hampshire, but 
left there while young, and with his father's 
family went to New York, remaining there 
until twenty-eight years of age, when they 
removed to Appleton, Wis., and engaged in 
the cooper business. He remained there un- 
til the war broke out, when he enlisted in 
Company D, Twenty-first, Wisconsin, and 
served three years, being in twenty-one en- 
gagements, and following Sherman in his 
memorable march to the sea. Mr. Holden nev- 
er received a wound, nor lost a day through 
illness, during his long service. After receiv- 
ing his discharge, he returned to Milwaukee 
and remained there two years ; from thence 
he went to Winona,Minn., remaining one year, 
when he came to Owatonna and remained 
until the time of his death, which occurred 
in November, 1886. Mr. Holden was mar- 
ried, while in New York, to Miss Olive En- 
terton. She died some j^ears later, leaving 
two children, Laura and George. Mr. Hol- 
den was married again in 1865 to Mrs. Mary 

J. Howe, who still lives in Owatonna. 

George D. Holden was born in New York 
in 1857. He remained with his father until 
twenty-one years of age, when he went to 
Richmond, Ind., where he remained one 
year. The two succeeding years he trav- 
eled as a musician. Later he went to Elgin, 
111., and for three years worked in the watch 
factory, and from there came to Owatonna, 
where he has since lived. 

Hosea F. Luce, harness dealer, was born 
in Bridgewater, Windsor County, Vt., in 
1832. When twenty-nine years of age 
he came west to Wisconsin, locating in 
Ripon. In 1866 he removed to Steele 
County, Minn., settling in Owatonna, where 
he opened a harness shop. He is ward jus- 
tice of the first ward, which office he has held 
since 1877. Mr. Luce was married March 
13, 1855, to Miss Elizabeth A. Harding, a 
native of Vermont. Thev have five children: 
Chas. E., Frank F., Harry II., George W. 
and Grace V. Mr. Luce is an Odd Fellow. 

Charles E. Luce, son of Hosea F., was 
born in Woodstock, Vt., in 1856. He 
was married on the 12th of September, 1877, 
to Miss Elizabeth Y. Allen, a native of Wis- 
consin. He is the present recorder of the 
city of Owatonna. 

Charles Bower, harness dealer, was born 
in New York State February 16, 1850. 
He came west to Dane County, Wis., learned 
the harness trade at Cross Plains, and came to 
Minnesota in 1870. For a number of years 
he worked at journe}' woi'k in the differ- 
ent towns of the State. He opened business 
for himself in Owatonna in the spring of 
1875, and is still doing a good business. He 
was married in the spring of 1880 to Caro- 
line Erdmann. Their children are Mary, 
Wilhelmena, Caroline and_Laura. 

Carl Zamboni, gun and ammunition 
dealer, was born in Switzerland in 1811. He 
came to St. Louis, Mo., in 1868 and worked 
at his trade two years in that city. He 
came to Owatonna in 1870, and now carries 
a splendid stock of everything in his line. 

25 fi 


He was married in 1868 to Miss Mary Tome. 
Their children's names are Erail, Willie, 
Sylve and Eddie. 

William H. Hill, glove and fur dealer, 
was born in Lewis County, N. Y., in 184:2. 
He came to Illinois with his father's family 
in ISJrC), and in 18-t8 came to Baraboo, Wis. 
In 1861 he enlisted in Company F, Third 
Wisconsin Cavalry. This regiment partici- 
pated in the battles of Shiloh, Balls Bluff, 
Snow Hill, Ci'ooked Creek, Taperville, second 
Bull Ilun, besides many minor engagements. 
Mr. Hill was discharged October 14, 
186,5, and in the following year came to 
Owatonna, where he woi'ked at various pur- 
suits until 1873, when he engaged in his 
present business. He was married in 1865 
to Miss Carrie E. Sahlor, a native of Ger- 
many, who died in 1881. He was again 
married in 1886 to Miss Emma Dike. The 
names of his children are William H. G., 
Birdie L. and Lottie D. 

James W. Gillett, dealer in flour and feed, 
was born in Wayne County, N. Y., in 1850. 
In 1854 the family came west to Dodge 
County, Wis. Our subject came to Owa- 
tonna in 1862, and here received his educa- 
tion. When nineteen years of age he went 
into the dairy business, and followed it eight 
_years, and then embarked in the flour and 
feed business. He was married in 1871 to 
Miss Eliza Ring, a native of Maine. The 
names of the children boi'n to them are Ida, 
Ira, Wallace and Pearl. 

The Crawbuck brothers are natives of 
New York City. Both their father and 
grandfather were born there. Their grand- 
father was a sui'geon in the United States 
army during the War of 1812, and died in 
the South, of yellow fever. Their father 
served in the War of the Rebellion as a pri- 
vate in Company I, One Hundred and 
Seventy-sixth N. Y., of Brooklyn, and was 
killed in the battle of Brashears City. The 
brothers remained in New York until the 
spring of 1874, when they came to Owa- 
tonna and followed painting for two years, 

when they returned to New York City, 
remaining one year. They again came to 
Owatonna, and later went to St. Paul and 
pursued their business of ])ainting there 
for four years ; then returning to Owa- 
tonna, started a paint-shop, which they con- 
ducted for two years. They then removed 
to Oakland, Cal., Avhere they remained two 
years, returning to Owatonna in the fall of 
1886, since which time this has been their 

Fred. R. Rosskopf, liveryman, was born in 
Washington County, Wis., in 1853. When 
Fred, was twelve years old his parents moved 
to Waupun, AVis., and six years later to New 
Ulm, IMinn. Fred, came to Owatonna in 
1875, and in Ma3% 1887, succeeded George 
Gage in the livery business. His barn is 
opposite the Arnold House, and is a tii-st- 
class establishment in every department. 

R. Deininger came to Owatonna in 1874 
and woi'ked at the blacksmith trade until the 
following year, when he opened a sho)) for 
himself, and has continued in that business 
since that time, doing all kinds of custom 
and repair work. In 1886 Mr. Deininger 
]iut in a stock of plows, and added to his 
blacksmith shoji a wagon department, where 
he carries on the manufacture of all kinds of 
wagons for local trade and also doing repair 
work. Mr. Deininger is a native of Ger- 
many, born November 24, 1849. He re- 
mained in his native country until twenty- 
three years of age, when he came to Amer- 
ica, locating in Wisconsin for two years. 
From there, in 1874, he came to Owatoima. 
Mr. Deininger isamember of the Odd Fellows, 
both of Subordinate Lodge and Encamp- 
ment, having filled all the different offices 
in each lodge, and at present is S. W. of the 
Encampment. He was raai'ried in 1876 to 
]\Iiss IVIary Fritze, of Steele County. They 
have four children : Maggie, Amelia, Katie 
and Robert, all living at home. 

Charles F. Smith, blacksmith, was born 
in Saxony, Germany, in 1846. He caine to 
Milwaukee, Wis., in 1854, and to Owatonna 



in 1868, where he opened a blacksmith shop. 
He was married in 187-± to Miss Annie Engel. 
Mary is the name of their only child. Mr. 
Smith is a member of tlie Masonic order. 

Homer E. Wardwill, blacksmith, was born 
in Milwaukee, Wis., in 1847. When four 
years old he was brought by his parents to 
Sauk County. In 1861 he enlisted in the 
Sixth Wisconsin Artillery, serving eleven 
months with that regiment. He then reen- 
listed in Company K, Twenty-third Wisconsin 
Infantry, and was mustered out July 4, 1865, 
at Mobile, Ala. He was married in 1868 to 
Miss Eliza Wilson. The children born to 
them are Minnie E., Mary E. and an infant 
child. Mr. Wardwill is a member of the 
James A.Goodwin Post, Grand Army of the 

The job printing office of J. E. Winship 
was established in March. 1886, by J. E. 
Winship and others under the firm name of 
J. E. Winship & Co., and was carried on 
under that firm name until the spring of 1887, 
when Mr. Winship l)onght out the other 
partners and is now the sole proprietor. Mr. 
Winship does all kinds of job work, having 
as well a fitted office as is usually found in 
the large cities. The office is equipped with 
an engine of six-horse power to run the ma- 
chinery. J. E. Winship is a native of Owa- 
tonna, born here in July, 1863. His parents 
were Nathaniel and Emily P. Winship. 
When fifteen years of age J. E. Winship en- 
tered the printing establishment of Johnson, 
Smith & Harrison, in Minneapolis, where he 
remained for one \'ear, when his health failed 
and he returned home for a year. Later he 
went to St. Paul and took charge of the 
printing department of Noyes Bros. & Cut- 
ler, wholesale tlruggists, for three years. He 
returned to Owatonna in the fall of 1885, 
and in the spring of 1886 ojiened his present 

John Chambers came to Steele County in 
1856, in company with his brother Frank. 
They took up government land on sections 
29 and 32 in the town of Havana, each 

taking 160 acres. After securing their land 
they returned to Illinois and remained there 
until 1860, when thej' came back to Steele 
County, arriving here July 4. They brought 
with them from Kane County, 111., two 
hundred and forty head of sheep, forty head 
of cattle, twenty-one head of horses and three 
hogs, driving them all the way and being 
three weeks and four days on the road. In 
1861, they moved ujion their farms, Frank 
Chambers remaining on his until the spring 
of 1883, when he went to Puget Sound, Wash. 
Ter. John Chambers remained on his farm 
until 1876, when he lost his wife and moved 
into the city of Owatonna. He remained in 
the city for two years, \vhen he bought an- 
otherfarm nearthecity, and moved upon that, 
remaining four years, when he sold the farm 
which he lived on and again returned to the 
city. Since that time Mr. Chambers has 
been in the stone quarry and wood business. 
He is a native of Cattaraugus County, N. Y., 
born October 3, 1830. His parents were 
Alexander and Sarah Chambers. Mr. Cham- 
bers remained with his parents until twenty- 
four of age, when he went to New Or- 
leans and remained there for six months, and, 
then returned to his old home in New York. 
In 1855 he went to Illinois and remained there 
until 1860 (excepting his visits to this State), 
when he moved to this county. Mr. Cham- 
bers was married in 1859 to Miss Orinthia 
Babcock, of Illinois. She died in 1876. They 
had six children born to them : Gertrude, born 
September, 1860, died December 30, 1861 ; 
Andrew, born February 14, 1862, died Au- 
gust 1, 1868; Ella, born September 16, 1864 ; 
Sarah, born December 27, 1865, died August 
1, 1868 ; Alexander, born March 7, 1869, died 
February 7, 1871, and Laura, born April 
7, 1871. Mr. Chambers was married again 
March 14, 1877, to Amanda A. Patten, of 
Steele County. The}^ have one child, an in- 

Sylvester McNitt is a native of Jefferson 
County, N. Y., born August 27, 1822. His 
parents were James and Sarah (Lindsay) 



McNitt. Sylvester remained in his native 
State until twenty-two years of age, when 
he removed to Kane County, 111., remaining 
there about eleven years, when he again 
started west, traveling with team from Kane 
County, 111., to Steele Countj% Minn.; being 
two months on the way, and landing in 
Clinton Falls Township June 24, 1855. He 
claimed government land on section 24, 
where he remained from that time until 
1882, when he moved into the city of Owa- 
tonna, where he now lives. Mr. McNitt in 
company with Abraham Earnhardt cut the 
first road from what is called East Prairie, 
to Owatonna, in the winter of 1857, and 
made the first wagon-track from what was 
then called Elwood to the village of Clinton 
Falls, which is up to this day called the "old 
McNitt road." At this time Mr. McNitt 
kept a few sheep, and had to go to Decorah, 
Iowa, to get their carding done, that being 
the nearest mill. When he first located on 
the farm he built the kind of house so well 
known to all early settlers, of logs, and re- 
mained in that until 1866, when he erected a 
fine brick house, which still stands, it being 
the first and only brick house in the town- 
ship. To give an idea of prices in those days 
we give one of the incidents of Mr. McNitt's 
settlement. From Illinois he brought some 
potatoes to use on the way, thinking to find 
plenty for seed when he got here ; but this 
proved a mistake, so he hunted in his wagon- 
box and found a few snuiU ones that had not 
been used. These he jilanted, and from them 
raised eighteen Imshels of fine potatoes. 
The settlers of Owatonna hearing of his 
crop came and offered as high as $6 per 
bushel for them ; but he knowing the scarcity 
concluded not to sell, even at that price, and 
the would-be purchasers had to return as 
they came, empty-handed. Mr. McNitt was 
married March 30, 1841, to Susan Smith, 
whose parents were Oliver and Eebecca Van 
Patten Smith, of Jefl'erson County, N. Y. 
Their union was blessed with five children, 
three of whom are still living : Emelia J., 

now ]\Irs. N. Castle, of Wolcott. Rice County ; 
Henrietta, now Mrs. J. P. Atwater, of the 
town of Clinton Falls ; and Clara R. , now 
Mrs. Jos. Ring, of the town of Medford. 

L. C. Woodman came to Steele County, 
Minn., in November, 1859, and purchased a 
farm on section 5, in the township of Owa- 
tonna. He remained upon that for some 
six years, when he sold it, and, in company 
with M. Gould, purchased a tract of land 
on section 33, Clinton Falls Township, where 
they ran a lime-kiln for one year. Mr. Wood- 
man then sold his interest to his partner 
and removed to Owatonna. built a home, and 
lived there for one year ; then, purchasing the 
farm and lime-kiln referred to, he conducted 
that lousiness for a year, after which he gave 
his attention to farming, and remained there 
until 1882, when he sold out and again re- 
turned to the city of Owatonna and bought 
a home on Oak street. A year later he 
moved into the western part of the city, 
where he has since been living more of a 
retired life. For a time he was in the wood 
trade, and now, in addition to a light real- 
estate business, he loans money, having 
accumulated a comfortable fortune. Mr. 
Woodman is a native of New Hampshire, 
and was born March 1, 1825. He remained 
at home until twenty-one years of age, when 
he went to Massachusetts, remaining about 
seven months ; then went to Michigan, where 
he spent two years. Returning to New 
Hampshire and spending the winter, he then 
went back to Massachusetts, where he put 
in three seasons. In tlie meantime he had 
purchased a farm in New Hampshire and 
farmed it on his own account for three or 
four years, when he rented his place, and 
was in the employ of the town of Canaan, 
Grafton County, N. H., taking care of the 
poor for four years. The following sum- 
mer he spent in Massachusetts, and then, as 
has been stated, he came to Steele County, 
Minn. Mr. Woodman, during the many 
j'ears he has been a resident of the county, 
has always been active and prominent in 



public matters, and, in tlie heavy taxes 
which he pays, besides always being willing 
to contribute to worthy enterprises, does 
his full share in the support of public insti- 
tutions and in building up and developing 
the city. Shortly after he came here he was 
chosen supervisior of Owatonna Township, 
and held that office for two terms, and after 
moving to Clinton Falls he was elected 
supervisor a number of times, and held the 
office of assessor for four years, besides 
other local offices of trust, although he is 
not a politician. He takes an active interest 
in the cause of education. Having lived 
here for nearly thirty 3'ears lie has a wide 
acquaintance, and has many warm friends 
among the substantial old settlers of the 
counties. Mr. Woodman is a deacon in, and 
a member of, the Baptist Church, having 
joined that denomination some twent}' years 
ago. We take pleasure in presenting a 
portrait of Mr. Woodman elsewhere in this 

Oliver Abernethy came to Steele County 
in 1864 and rented a farm in the town of 
Meriden, remaining there for two years. In 
1865 he "claimed" eighty acres of govern- 
ment land, and in the spring of 1886 moved 
onto it. In 1868 he bought 141 acres adjoin- 
ing his original property, making a farm of 
221 acres. He lived there until 1879, when 
he rented his farm and removed to Meriden 
Station, where he was engaged in the hotel 
business for four years. In 1883 he sold liis 
farm and also the property at Meriden Sta- 
tion, and located in Owatonna. Mr. Aber- 
nethy was justice of the peace for twelve 
successive years while on his farm in Meri- 
den Townsiiip, and the first year in Owaton- 
na he was appointed to the same office to fill 
a vacancy. The next year he was elected, 
but refused to qualify. Since that time Mr. 
Abernethy has been dealing somewhat in 
real estate, but lives a rather retired life. Mr. 
Abernethy was born in Scotland July 19, 
1815, and lived in his native country until 
the age of sixteeen, when he went to Eng- 

land and made that his home until the fall 
of 1840. During this time he led a seafar- 
ing life. He then came to Canada, where he 
was laid up in the hospital for three months 
from severe injuries received. The next two 
years he spent in Montreal, fitting vessels 
for the sea, and in 1842 he came to Cleve- 
land, Ohio, where he lived for seven years. 
In 1849 he came to Milwaukee, and went into 
the mercantile trade, but was soon burned 
out, and, not having any insurance, was un- 
able to start again. He went to work at 
carpentering, remaining in Milwaukee for 
three years ; then was at Janesville for one 
3'ear ; thence to Belleville, where he remained 
until 1864, when he came to Owatonna as 
has been stated. Mr. Abernethy is an old 
settler and one of the substantial citizens of 
the county. 

J. C. Backus, retired business man, is a 
native of the State of New York, and was 
born in 1829. He remained in his native 
State until twenty -two years of age, when he 
came west and located in Columbia County, 
Wis., where he purchased a farm and devot- 
ed his attention to agricultural pursuits 
until 1865, when he came to Steele County, 
Minn., and located in the then village of 
Owatonna. In company with a Mr. Ward he 
opened a lumber yard. About one year 
later Mr. Backus purchased his partner's in- 
terest, and soon afterward formed a partner- 
ship with his brother, Hiram Backus. This 
firm was finally succeeded by Crooker 
Brothers. J. C. Backus then engaged in the 
grain trade, and after cai'i'ving' on a success- 
ful business for eight years, sold his elevator, 
and has since been retired from business. 

Hon. Myron A. Fredenburg, tleceased, was 
a native of Schoharie Count}^ town of Gil- 
boe, N. Y., born in 1826. He remained in 
his native State until 1874, when he came to 
Owatonna, Minn. AVas married in 1858 
to Miss Gertrude Major, of New Jersey. In 
1862 he went into mercantile trade in Jef- 
fersonville, Sullivan County, N. Y., and re- 
mained there in trade until he came to 



Owatonna. After Mr. Fredenburg came to 
this city he opened a grocery store and re- 
mained in that business for five years. In 
1877 was elected mayor of city, and held the 
office for two terms, and afterward was 
elected city justice two terms. He then 
held the office of justice for the second ward 
for five years, or until the time of his death, 
which occurred March 29, 1887. For some 
time previous to his death he had been in the 
msurance business. Mr. Fredenburg was 
an earnest Christian, having joined the 
Presbyterian Church while quite j^oung, 
and was appointed deacon of that church 
while still in New York. After coming 
here he joined the Congregational Church, 
and was deacon of that denomination 
at the time of his death. In his younger 
days Mr. Fredenburg followed teaching, 
making that his business for some six 
years. He was a poor boy when he be- 
gan life for himself, but by economy and 
frugality accumulated a competency, leavmg 
ample means for his family, which consists 
of wife and four children : Carrie, Milton, 
Gertrude and Hiram. Carrie married S. S. 
Hotclikiss, and now lives in Chicago. Mil- 
ton is married and lives in Minneapolis. The 
other two are still at home with their 

John N. Travis, a wealthy retired citizen 
of Owatonna, has led an eventful and active 
life. He was born in New London County, 
Conn., in 1826 ; came to Illinois in 1848 ; 
crossed the plains in 1849 as wagon-master 
of a train. Starting from St. Joseph, Mo., 
sometime in April, they crossed tlie Missouri 
about forty miles above St. Joe in a flatboat; 
were five days in crossing into Nebraska, 
there being at that time no white inhabit- 
ants on the route taken to Fort Kearney, 
about 200 miles distant, and only at the 
forts and Salt Lake City, between the Mis- 
souri River and the Sacramento Valley, 2,300 
miles. They were without water for almost 
two days between tiie Ilumbolt Rivei* and 
Black Eock Hot Springs. Mr. Travis saw an 

Indian shoot an emigrant's ox with arrows at 
Pitt River, and landed in the Sacramento 
Valley in October, having been alx)ut six 
months on the road. He was in the mines 
and valleys something over three years, and 
was once surrounded bj' Indians m the Sierra 
Nevada Mountains. He returned to Con- 
necticut by way of San Diego, Acajiulco, 
Panama and island of Jamaica to New York, 
in 1853 ; was taken with Panama fever after 
returning, Avhich broke him down, and he 
has been an invalid ever since. He returned 
to Chicago, and was in the mill-stone manu- 
facturing business with an uncle and brother 
for a year or more, ami then came to Minne- 
sota in 1855 on a prospecting tour. He re- 
turned to Illinois, and the next spring (1856) 
brought a nursery stock to Owatonna of 
60,000 root grafts, with cuttings and shrub- 
bery. He was in Hastings on this trip, and 
witnessed a "Sioux scalp dance" a few days 
after the Indian battle near Shakopee. Upon 
arriving here Mr. Travis took a claim a few 
miles from Owatonna, where he erected a 
house and did some breaking. His nursery 
was the first in Steele County. Then, as Mr. 
Travis afterward wrote : " Thinking I had 
tlie world by the he^Is in tlie nursery line, I 
thought it time to get married ; " and he 
therefore returned to Illinois in September, 
1857, and was married to Miss Martha A. 
Miller at Ottawa, 111. She was born in 
Huntington County, Pa., in 1827, and 
with her parents had removed to Illinois in 
1848. They have had four children, three 
of them now alive : Annie F., born in Chi- 
cago; Charles Jay, born in Milwaukee, and 
Mattie E., born in Owatonna. They re- 
turned to Owatonna in May, 1857, moved 
onto their land, and commenced farming. 
The AVinebago Indians were quite plenty in 
those days, and Mrs. Travis was very much 
afraid of them, especially as once in the 
night at about 2 o'clock tliey were awakened 
and found three big fellows standing by 
tlieir bed. The nursery proved a failure. 
The second year, in February, a thaw and 



violent freeze destroyed the whole outfit, 
and in the fall Mr. Travis and family re- 
turned to Illinois, and went into the mill- 
stone business again in Chicago. He saw 
the first four companies of thirty-day Illi- 
nois State troops, armed mostly with shot- 
guns (as the city had not enough rifles), de- 
part for Cairo. That year they removed to 
Milwaukee, and he took charge of the mill- 
stone department of the Reliance works of 
E. P. Allis & Co., and was witii tlie company 
some five or six years. He again lost his 
health, so that the doctors, as he states, " to 
get him ofl: their hands," sent him again to 
Minnesota, where he has since lived — eleven 
years on his farm and nine j'ears in town. 
He has invented twelve different labor-saving- 
machines, but has but few of them patented. 
He crossed the plains again in 1883, and was 
landed in four days at San Francisco from 
the Missoui'i River, making the distance 
in about 176 days' less time than in 1849, 
and returned in about two months by way 
of the Northern Pacific Railroad, Olympia, 
Portland and Spokane Falls, and staged it 
from Missoula to Helena over the Rockies, 
finally coming home by way of St. Paul. 
He has been in nearly all the States and 
Territories, and Canada, Mexico, Central 
America and the West Indies. 

D. C. Adams came to Owatonna in 
November, 1872, and went into the business 
of loan broker and real-estate agent. In 
1879, in addition to that business, he put in 
a stock of furniture, and remained in that 
line for about a year. Witliin the last few 
years he has invested considerable money in 
loans and real estate in Minneapolis, which 
is under the control of an agent. Mr. Adams 
is a native of Vermont, but when quite 
young- went to Massachusetts, and later 
became propietor of a large hotel at Hol- 
yoke in that State. He remained in that 
business a number of years, and when he 
gave that up came to Owatonna, Minn., as 
has been stated. Mr. Adams is one of the 
most prominent and wealthy citizens of the 

city, and has in man}'^ ways been jjrominent 
in the various projects and enterprises 
advanced to build up the city and county. 

J. S. Austin came to Steele County, Minn., 
in 1864, and located in Havana Townshij). 
He bought a farm on section 7 and lived 
there for three years, Avhen he sold out, 
came to Owatonna, and went into the grain 
trade. In 1870 he went to Havana Sta- 
tion, built an elevator, and in addition to his 
gi-ain trade engaged in the general mercan- 
tile business. He remained there until the 
fall of 1885, Avhen he returned to Owatonna, 
since which time he has been living a retired 
life. Mr. Austin is a native of New York, 
born in 1833. His parents were Wm. S. and 
Hannah Austin, — his father a native of 
Vermont and his mother of New York. Mr. 
Austin lived in his native State until seven- 
teen years of age, when, with his father's 
family, he removed to Green Lake County, 
Wis. Remaining there until 1856, he then 
went to Omaha, Neb., where he remained 
two years, when he again returned to Wis- 
consin, living there until 1864. Mr. Austin 
was made a Master Mason in 1856, and has 
always remained in good standing with the 

P. Brennan came to Owatonna in August, 
1866, at that time having charge of laying 
the track of the Chicago, Milwaukee & St. 
Paul Railroad. Later he moved his family 
to the city, where they have remained. Mr. 
Brennan is a native of Ireland, but came to 
the State of Ohio in an early date, and com- 
menced working for a railroad company in 
1850 at Cleveland, Ohio, as a track-layer. 
He remained there until 1855, when he went 
to Milwaukee and commenced on the Lake 
Shore ; later he came to Owatonna. He has 
been an extensive railway contractor, and 
been identified with many of the leading 
roads in the West. 

Andrew Bryson came to Steele County in 
1877, and bought a farm within tlie city limits 
of Owatonna, where he has since lived. Mr. 
Bryson is a native of Scotland, born in 1852. 



His parents were William and Eliza Brvson, 
who still live in Scotland. Andrew Bryson 
left home when fourteen years of age and 
came to New York, where lie learned the 
harness-maker's trade. Later he opened a 
shop for himself, but had to give up his 
trade on account of failing eye-sight. He 
then came west to get a farm and located in 
Owatonna. He now has a farm of 130 acres, 
seventy acres of which are in the city limits. 
Mr. Bryson was married in 1876 to Miss 
Ida J. Parment, of New York. 

Rev. Reuben Washburn was born in Essex 
County, N. Y., in 182-1. He entered the 
ministry in 1816 and labored in the Troy 
Conference until 1868, when he came west 
to Dundas, Minn., where he took the pastor- 
ate of that church. Since that time he has 
been stationed at Owatonna, Spring Valley, 
Eyota, Castle Rock, Zumbrota and Grand 
Meadow. He now resides in Owatonna, and 
has retired from the ministry after a long 
life of usefulness. He was married in 1849 
to Miss Harriet A. Wright, who died in 
March, 1870. He was married in July fol- 
lowing to Annie Bi'undige. Their chil- 
dren's names are Emma J., Wilbur W., Chas. 
D. and John W. 

Maj. J. W. Burch was born in Otsego 
County, N. Y., in 1833. When he was five 
years old his parents came to Steuben 
County, Ind., where he was brought u]) on a 
farm. He came to Owatonna in 1855 and 
engaged in farming. In 1860 he returned 
to Indiana and enlisted in Company A, For- 
t3'-fourth Indiana Volunteer Infantr3^ This 
regiment took part in the battles of Donald- 
son, Shiloh, Corinth, Perryville, Stone River, 
Chickamauga, Mission Ridge and Nashville, 
besides numerous skirmishes. Our subject 
was promoted to second lieutenant ; at Stone 
River, on June 12, 1863, was made cap- 
tain of Comi)any A, and in 1861 was made 
major of the regiment. He was mustered 
out September 25, 1865. He was married 
m 1886 to Miss Matilda Freygang. He is 
adjutant of James A. Goodwin Post, Grand 

Arm}' of the Republic, at the present time. 

William II. Montgomery, furniture dealer, 
was born St. Lawrence County, N. Y., in 
1834. When eighteen years of age he came 
west to Wisconsin, and came to Minnesota 
in 1853, locating near Hastings. When he 
arrived there, there were 500 Sioux Indians 
encam])ed on the river bottom. He was the 
fourteenth person (west of the river) in Min- 
nesota to preempt land, and was a jui'or at 
the first court held in Dakota County. He 
came to Steele County in 1865, and carried on 
a farm in Meriden Township until the fall of 
1871, -when he came to Owatonna; was 
engaged in the butcher business until 1880, 
when he embarked in the hardware business 
in company with W. A. Dynes. The firm 
closed out tlieir business in 1887. Mr. Mont- 
gomery was married in 1860 to Miss Diana 
Boice, a native of New York State. Nora 
I. is tiie name of their only child. Mr. Mont- 
gomery is now carrying on the furniture 
business, being located under the Opera 

Philo Bliss was born in 1830 in Groton, 
Tompkins County, N. Y., where he spent the 
early part of his life. He attended the acad- 
emy in Cortland County, N. Y., and was 
engaged in farming and milling until he was 
twenty-one years old. In 1858 he came to 
Steele County, Minn., locating in Owatonna, 
and was engaged in farming until 1871. In 
1877 lie engaged in the book and stationery 
business, and continued until the summer of 
1887. Mr. ]]iiss was married April 7, 1858, 
to Miss Charlotte E. Franklin, a native of 
New York State. 

Peter Mallinger, retired hotel-keeper, was 
born in Luxemburg, Holland, in 1836. He 
came to America in 1855, locating in Mil- 
waukee. In 1861 he enlisted in Company 
F, Ninth Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, and 
for- four and a half years was engaged in 
the frontier warfare which raged on the 
borders of the Indian Territory, Arkansas, 
Kansas, and Missouri. In 1864 he reen- 
listed in Company K, Forty-eighth Wiscon- 



sin Volunteer Infantry, and served until the 
close of the war as second lieutenant of his 
company. He was married in 1867 to Cacilio 
Buchstor. Their children's names are Annie, 
Minnie, Adolph, Gustaf, Charles and Mary. 
He is a member of James A. Goodwin Post, 
Grand Army of the Republic. 

Adolphus Town was born in Washington 
County, Vt., in 1805. There he lived with 
his parents until the age of twenty-eight 
years. When twenty-six j^ears old he mar- 
ried Miss Rebecca Simmons. They were 
blessed with eleven children, six boys and 
five girls, all of whom are living but three, 
and one is now a resident of Owatonna. Im- 
mediately after leaving home he went to 
Buffalo, N. Y., where he remained some 
time, then moved to Sandusky, O. After 
this he went to Mei'rian, Merrian County, 
Ind., and there bought a farm ; then sent to 
Sandusky for his wife and two children. 
While there the first winter he taught a sub- 
scription school. In 1835 he was ordained 
as Baj)tist minister, and followed this calling 
until a few years ago, when he met Avith an 
accident, being struck on the head with a 
stoae, injuring his brain. Mr. Town is one 
of Steele County's first settlers, having come 
here in August, 1855, and his name figures 
quite prominently in the early history of tlie 

H. C. Yarchow, traveling salesman for 
Buxton & Jones, came to Owatonna in May, 
1881, and since that time has been traveling 
for the above-named farm implement and 
machinery firm through Minnesota and Da- 
kota. Mr. Yarchow is a native of Prussian 
Germany, born in 1847. He came to this 
country in 1851 with his parents, who settled 
in Cook Countj^, 111., and remained there 
three years, when they went to Monroe 
County, Wis., where they now reside. H. C. 
Yarchow remained with his parents until 
the fall of 1875, and since that time has been 
in the machine business, making Winona, 
Minn., headquarters for several years before 
he came to Owatonna. 

George Mitchell came to Steele County in 
1857 and took up government land on section 
4, town of Summit, where he remained until 
1860, when he moved into the village of 
Owatonna. He remained here until the spring 
of 1865, when he enlisted in the second 
organization of the First Minnesota,Company 
F, and served until the close of the war. He 
then returned to Owatonna, and the follow- 
ing spring went into the lumber trade, and 
has remained in that business most of the 
time since. Mr. Mitchell now has a farm of 
sixty -six acres (all of which is in the city lim- 
its), which he cultivates in connection with his 
other business. Mr. Mitchell is a native of 
Scotland, born November 30, 1833. His 
parents were Alexander and Annie Murdock 
Mitchell. He remained in Scotland until 
twenty years of age, when he came to Can- 
ada, remaining there three years ; then start- 
ed for the West, arriving at Owatonna in 
April, 1857. He was married in 1860 to Miss 
Bolinda Watson. They have two children : 
George Alexander and Charles. Geo. A. is 
now married, and Charles is home with his 

Henry P. G. Sander was born in Hano- 
vei', Germany, in 1843. He came to Amer- 
ica in 1873 and located in Madison, Wis., 
where he workeil at his trade as a baker one 
year. In 1874 he started in business for 
himself at Columbus, Wis. He came to 
Minnesota a few years later, locating in 
Owatonna, where he carried on an extensive 
business in his line — baker and confectioner. 
He was married in 1877 to Miss Elizabeth 
Riekman. The names of their children in 
the order of their ages are Hieno, Dora, Ru- 
dolph and Hedwig. 


The first saloon in Owatonna was started 
in 1856 by a couple of brothers named Sher- 

We here present biographical sketches of 
all the most prominent liquor dealers of the 
city, at this writing : 



Emil Thoimor. liquor doalor. was born in 
Austria in IS.'>'_>. llo oauio to AVatorvillo. 
Lo Suour County. .Minn., in lS(>;{,\vith liis j>ar- 
onts, and tluMV sj>ont liis yontliful days on a 
l'ani\, attondinji' soiiool at St. IVtor iluring 
tlio wintor niontlis. Wlion sovontoon yoai's 
of aijo iio wont to Faril>ault ami ontorod a 
bixnvorv t"ortiu> |)nri>oso i>t loarnini; tlio ti-ade. 
lie thon went to Elysian and built a bivwery, 
wliioli was destroyinl by tiiv two yeai-s later 
Mr. riioinier then went to Faribault, and 
later to St. Paul, wlien> he aetetl as foivnian 
in Urui^Muan's bivwery until he eaiue to 
Owatonna. lie has just eon»|>letiHl a tine 
briek building on Cedar stivet. :*2x70 feet in 
size and two stories high, lie was niarriinl 
in 1S7.'> to Miss Anna Misgen, of Faribault. 
Their ehildivn's names aiv Imelda, Kuiil, 
(ieorgi\ .\llu\a, Carl ami Ilugi>. Mr. Thei- 
mer is a pi\>nuuent member of GiH^the 
lAHlgt\ hulepeuilent (.Mxler of OM Fellows, 
of the Ctnuul L<Hlgi\ and also of Eneuin^v 
nuM\t No. 4. 

.laeob Glaeser. liquor tlealer. is a native of 
Wiseonsin, Ihm'h theiv February 7. IS54. 
liis jviivnts weiv Jaoob and Klizabeth i^Sie- 
beu^ Clae.ser, both natives of Gennany, 
Jaeob ,Ir. start tnl for himself when sinen- 
ttvn yenj-s of agi\and olerktHl in a giwery. 
stoiv in Sun Prairie, ^Yis.. for four ami a 
lialf yeai-s. He then eaiue to .MlnM-t Lea. 
Minn., in NovenilHM". 1S74; and ivmaine<l 
theix" until he eame to C>watonna, in IS75. 
when he engjigtnl in his pivsent business, K^ 
ing in (.HMnjvmy with M. Miekelsen for one 
yeju*. Mr. (.ilaeser then sold his inten»st in 
that establishment to .Kvseph llotTman. ami 
forminl a iKutnei-ship with IVter Gansor. 
They eiwttnl the (.termania hall, a briek 
bUvk. anil put in the thuvt etiuipjHHl and 
furnislunl billianl hall in this pju't of the 
State. They we>v in )\\rtnership for a little 
over ton y«ir« when. July I. ISS7. Mr. 
Glaeser puix^liasetl Mr. Ganser's inten^st and 
is now sole pi\^prietor. 

M. Kyan. lujuor dwUer. eame to Sttvle 
(.\>untv. Minn., in ISS4, and KxnUe*l in Owa- 

tonna in 1SS6. o]H?ning a liquor store and 
billiard hall, and has eontinued in that busi- 
ness since. Mr. Kyan is a native of Indiana, 
and was born in 18r>8. His parents weiv 
.lames and Julia Ryan. He ivniained with 
them until twenty-six yea i"s of age, working 
on the farm, and then eauie to Steele County. 
Minn. Mr. Kyan was marrieil in 1SS2, while 
in Indiana, to Miss Hannah Jetfei-son. a na- 
tive of that State. They have two ehildren, 
Frank and Mabel. 

IVter Tetei-son. liquor dealer, was born in 
Denniark in IS4S>. He eame to Ameriea in 
1870, locating at Faribault. Minn. Fixim 
theiv he moved to Minneapolis, wheiv he iv- 
maintnl the yeai-s. In 1S7!> he ivnuneil to 
New Kiehland. Wa.>;ei"a County, and eame to 
Owatonna in May, 1SS7. 

Anton Helina. liquor dealer, is a native of 
Bohemia, wheiv he was born in 1S49. He 
eame to this country in 1S(>'2 with his p;ir- 
ents. who weiv "NVenzel and Jennie Belina. 
The family then includeil live ehildivn.: 
Frank, .\nton, ^Venzel. John (^who die*l 
December lo, lS8t>). and Joseph, all of 
whom, except John, still live in Stet^le 
County. The father pnivhastHl a farm in 
thetownsliip of Owatonna. and like many 
other early settlei"s found it a haul struggle 
to pivvide for his family and {>;iy for the 
farm ; but, by industry ami frugtility, he 
snectHHled in paying for his home, btvoniing 
one of the thrifty ami sul>stantial citizens of 
the township. He ivinaintnl on the farm 
until the time of his death in 1884. and his 
wife still survives him. All of the Iwys 
weiv musicians. Anton ivginning music 
when only nine years of age. Charles M.. 
one of the bivthers, is now studying meili- 
eine with Pr. M<.x>ivhouse. He l>egan in 
tlie spring of lS$i». and the following winter 
attend^ a course of Uvtuivs at Dos Moines. 
He intends completing a thonnigh course, 
and has gixnl pri>sjiects for the future. 
Anton, the subjtvt of this sketch, ivmainevl 
with his jKiivnts until sixteiMi yeai*s of agi>. 
when he learnetl the wsuron-maker s trade. 




following that until 18S3, when he opened 
his present establishment. 

Joseph Kubat, liquor dealer, came to 
Owatonna in 187-i and opened a butcher 
shop. He carried on that business for 
eighteen months. Later he opened a liquor 
store and billiard room, and has since con- 
tinued in that business. Mr. Kubat was 
born in Bohemia in 1848. llis parents were 
Anton and Annie Kubat, who came to this 
country in 1852, and settled in Illinois. 
There they remained until *1851:, when 
they came to Steele County, taking govern- 
ment land in section 2-4, Owatonna Town- 
ship, being among the eai'liest settlers in the 
county. There were at that time but one or 
two log houses where now stands Owatonna 
City. They still live on their farm. Joseph 
lived with his parents until twenty-four 

* [This is probably meant for " 1856 ' 

instead of " 1854.' 

years of age, when he started in life for 
himself and worked on a farm until 1874. He 
was married October 30, 1872, to Miss Annie 
Slezak, of Owatonna. They have six child- 
ren : "William A., born November 21, 1873 ; 
Milo A., born July 29, 1875 ; Otto A., born 
October 3, 1876 ; Emel S., born March 
16, 1879 ; Joseph A., born April 5, 1881 ; 
and Libuse A., born June 10, 1883. 

Theodore Fedder, liquor dealer, was born 
in Prussia in 1847. He came to America in 
1868, locating in Kichfield, Wis., where he 
remained four years, after which he came to 
Owatonna. Here he was for seven years in 
the employ of Louis Bion, in the brewery, 
and in 1878 he started in business for him- 
self. In 1867 he was married to Miss Eva 
Bartz, and their children's names are 
Matilda, All^ert, Theodore, Theresa, Katie, 
Dora and Louis. Mr. Fedder is a member 
of Goethe Lodge Independent Order of Odd 




[T the Baptist State convention held 
at Rocliester, in October, 1874, 
the committee on education, con- 
sisting of Rev. G. Cole, of Red- 
wing, Rev. J. W. Reese, of Man- 
kato, and Rev. J. Rowley, of Win- 
ona, reported in favor of early 
efforts for the establishment of 
an institution of learning, the ajj- 
pointment of a committee " to 
receive proposals for the location of a Baptist 
academy, and do such other work as in their 
judgment they ma^" deem necessary to advance 
the cause of higher education." Dr. Geo. IL 
Keith, of Minneapolis, Rev. S. Adams, of 
Hastings, and Rev. G. Cole, of Red Wing, 
were appointed the committee. 

At the State Convention held in St. Paul, 
in October, 1875, this committee reported 
proposals for location from Brainerd, Red 
Wing and O watonna, and among other things 
said : " We are of the opinion that the one 
from Owatonna, in view of all considerations, 
is the one it would be for the best interests 
of the denomination to accept." The report 
was referred to a special committee of live, 
as follows : Rev. E. AYestcott, Rev. J. Rock- 
wood, C. S. Bryant, Esq., E. N. Brown, Esq., 
and W. C. Durkee, Esq. That the character 
of the report may be better known, the fol- 
lowing extract from the minutes of the State 
Convention is here given : 

" The first of the recommendations is that 
a committee of seven — one from each asso- 
ciation — be appointed, with power to ex- 
amine the proposals received, and to decide 
the question ; having power also to extend 
the time for receiving such proposals, but not 

beyond January 1, 1876. This was adopted. 
The second recommendation, that the denom- 
ination in Minnesota endeavor to raise the 
sum of $5U,000 as an endowment of the pro- 
posed academy, was also adopted. The thii-d 
recommendation is that there be a finance 
Committee of seven — one from each associa- 
tion — who shall have charge of the whole 
work of endowment. This also was adopted. 
The fourth recommendation, proposing a 
committee of three, to have in charge the in- 
corporation of the proposed academy, was 
adopted. The fifth point is to the effect that 
the donor of $20,000 shall have the privilege 
of giving a name to the academv. This 
recommendation was likewise adopted. The 
report was then unanimously adopted as a 

The following committees were then ap- 
pointed : 

Committee to Receive Proposals and Select 
Location. — Rev. E. Westcott, Hon. W. W. 
Bilison, Dea. N. C. Gault, Dea. E. French, 
Geo. H. Herrick, Esq., Hon. John O. Milne 
and Rev. G. W. Fuller. 

Finance Committee. — Rev. J. E. Wood, 
Rev. E. Westcott, Hon. M. H. Dunnell, Rev. 
J. F. Wilcox, W. C. Durkee, Esq., E. Kim- 
ball, Esq. and Dea. T. W. Stebbins. 

Committee on Charter. — E. M. Van 
Duzee, Esq., Dr, Geo. H. Keith and Hon. W- 
W. Bilison. 

This convention voted to decline the offer 
of 815,000 from the city government of Owa- 
tonna. The committee on location took final 
action November 16, 1875, and through its 
chairman. Rev. E. Westcott, re])orted to the 
State Convention, held at Owatonna in Oc- 
tober, 1876, as follows : 




" Your committee on location of State 
Academy would report that they met at 
Owatonna on November 16, 1875, and found 
no new propositions fi'om localities awaiting 
their coming together. They did find the 
proposition from Owatonna necessarily modi- 
fied by the action taken by the convention 
held at St. Paul, in the rejection of the gen- 
erous offer of the citizens and council of the 
city of Owatonna, because it contravened the 
great principles of religious liberty for which 
Baptists have suffered so much and uniformly 
contended so long. The proposition as modi- 
fied was a subscription by citizens of Owa- 
tonna, amounting to $6,195, with the 
promise of more as the subscription should 
be f urtlier pressed. I may say in conclusion, 
the members of the committee who were 
present were unamious in their decision ; each 
ballot read Owatonna, and as far as I have 
heard the people express themselves, the 
unanimity is unbroken." 

On motion of Dr. Keith it was voted " that 
the action of the committee in locating the 
academy at Owatonna is hereby approved 
and confirmed." 

The finance committee organized at St. 
Paul, October 7, 1875, by electing Hon. M. 
H. Dunnell, president, Eev. E. Westcott, 
treasurer and W. C. Durkee, Esq., as secre- 
tary, and soon became incorporated under 
the laws of the State. The first regular 
meeting of the committee was held at Owa- 
tonna, November 26, 1875. There were passed 
over to the committee, at this meeting, the 
subscriptions of the citizens of Owatonna 
amounting to $6,195, together with the 
deed of the lots selected for the site of the 
academy, costing $2,000. The first payment 
on the lots was made by the citizens of Owa- 

The next meeting of the committee was 
held at Owatonna, May 3, 1876, at which the 
committee voted to adopt the dollar roll as 
one method of raising funds. 

Eev. E. Westcott was appointed to raise 
funds in the Zumbro Association ; Rev. W. 

W. Whitcomb in the Central, Rev. S. 
Adams in the Minnesota, and Rev. J. W. 
Reese in the Minnesota Valley Association, 
while Rev. J. F. Wilcox was appointed for 
the rest of the State, and to have a general 
oversight with power to appoint agents, also 
to secure a general agent in case he could not 
himself attend to it. 

The next and last meeting of the commit- 
tee was held at Minneapolis, July 11, 1876, 
when Rev. R. A. Clapp and Rev. J. M. Thurs- 
ton were appointed solicitors in the Minne- 
sota Valley Association. 

The finance committee through Hon. M. H. 
Bunnell, reported to the convention held at 
Owatonna, October, 1876, pledges to the en- 
dowment and building funds, including the 
dollar roll, to the amount of $12,313. 

The following resolution was offered by 
Dr. Keith : 

" Besolved, That the committee on incor- 
poration of the academy located at Owa- 
tonna, are hereby instructed to arrange for 
a board of trustees of eighteen, and not less 
than one-third of said board to be women. " 
On motion, the resolution was adopted. 
Under instructions from the State Conven- 
tion, the finance committee met in Owatonna 
in Ma}^, 1877, and I'esolved to take immediate 
steps to secure funds sufficient for the erec- 
tion of a building on the academy grounds, 
to the end that a school be opened in the 
coming September. Hon. M. H. Dunnell, 
Rev. E. Westcott and T. W. Stebbins were 
appointed a building committee. Funds were 
raised to the amount, in round numbers, of 
$4,100. Ground was broken July 8, and the 
building was dedicated September 10 — the 
school opening the next daj\ The building, 
including all its furniture and fixtures, was 
w^hoUy paid for at the time, and cost, as 
stated, the sum of $4,100. At the dedication, 
September 10, a minute report was read by 
Hon. M. H. Dunnell, president of the finance 
committee. Speeches were made by Rev. Dr. 
E. C. Anderson, of Lake City, Rev. E. West- 
cott, of Concord, Dr. Geo. H. Keith, of Minne- 



apolis, Kev. Mr. Thatcher, of Owatonna, Eev. 
A. P. Graves, of Concord, Eev. Mr. Arnold, 
of Kochester, Kev. E. K. Cressy, of Illinois, 
Prof. Pratt, of Faribault. Ptev. J. F. Wilcox, 
of Northfield, and Rev. H. C. Woods, of Min- 
neapolis. The president of the finance com- 
mittee, in a short address, delivered the kej's 
of the academy to Samuel H. Baker, B. A., 
the principal, to which he made an appro- 
priate response. Holden's cornet band and the 
Beethoven Musical Association, of Owatonna, 
furnished excellent music for the occasion. 
This building is still in use, although it is the 
intention at the present writing to erect a 
costl\- and commodious structui'e in the near 
future, and use the present building as chapel. 
At the Baptist State Convention held in 
Minneapolis in 1885, Hon. George A. Pills- 
bury proposed that if $25,000 could be raised 
and added to the endowment fund he would 
erect a ladies" boarding-hall and donate it to 
the institution. The amount was raised al- 
most immediately, and in accordance with 
his proposition in 1886, he erected what is 
known as Pillsbury Hall. The site for the 
hall, which is just north of the "chapel," 
was purchased in February', 1886 ; the corner- 
stone was laid June 1, 1886, and the hall was 
opened in October. It is a magnificent 
structui'e, occupying a commanding position 
on the hill in the eastern portion of the city. 
The cost was about is25,000. The name of 
the acadeni}' was changed from Minnesota to 
Pillsbury Academy by a vote of the Baptist 
State Convention in October, 1886, and rati- 
fied and legalized by an act of thelegistature 
in 1887. The academy has prospered finelj', 
now having students from all portions of the 
State. The average attendance is now about 
seventy-five. It has prepared many students 
for some of the most noted educational insti- 
tutions in America, including Havard Col- 
lege ; Madison (N. Y.) ; Rochester ; Am- 
herst ; Carlton ; Minnesota State University, 
and others. The control of the institution is 
vested in a board of eighteen directors or 
trustees — one-third of whom are ladies. 

The latter fact is due to Mrs. Silas Hillman, 
of Dodge County, who made a generous 
donation upon the condition that one-third of 
the board of trustees should be composed of 
ladies. Among so many who should be men- 
tioned as prominent workers in securing the 
academv and making it the success it has 
been, it is difficult to choose ; but a history 
of this institution that did not give great 
credit to Hon. George A. Pillslniry and Hon. 
M. II. Dunnell would be sadly deficient. 


The following is a list of the officers and 
instructors who have served in the various 
years since the academy was opened : 
FALL, 1877. 

Finance Committee and Acting Trustees — 
Hon. Mark H. Dunnell, of Owatonna, presi- 
dent ; Rev. Erastus Westcott, of Concord, 
treasurer ; William C. Durkee, Esq., of Man- 
kato, seci-etary ; Rev. John E. Wood, of De- 
troit ; Rev. James F. Wilcox, of ^N'orthfield ; 
Thomas W. Stebbins, of Rochester; and 
Edwin Kimball, Esq., of Forest City. 

Instructors — Samuel II. Baker, B. A., 
principal; Addie A. Sargent, B. S., assistant; 
Rev. Geo. C. Tanner, teachers' class ; Dora 
Williamson, instrumental music ; A. C. Gut- 
terson, vocal music. 


Instructors — Samuel II. Baker, B. A., 
principal (higher mathematics and classics) ; 
Addie A. Sargent, B. S., preceptress (modern 
languages); Jean C. Sherwood, B. S., 
(English literature and rhetoric); Rev. G. C. 
Tanner, A. M. (normal class); Dora A. Wil- 
liamson, and Prof. A. C. Gutterson, music. 

Officers and Trustees — Rev. E. Westcott, 
of Concord, president ; Dr. H. S. Hill, secre- 
tary; P. Bliss, of Owatonna, treasurer; Dr. 
G. II. Keith, Minneapolis ; Hon. M. H. Dun- 
nell ; Hon. H. H. Johnson, Owatonna ; Rev. 
R. A. Clapp, St. James ; John V. Daniels, 
Rochester ; E. M. Van Duzee, St. Paul ; M. 
A. Fredenburg, Owatonna; W. F. Ililiinan, 
Mantorville; W. P. Gibson, Mankato; Sarah 
P. Butler, Minneapolis; Lydia J. R. Gates, 



St. Paul; Lucy J. Ross, Kasson ; Nancy M. 
Farringtou, Winona ; Amy H. Wilbour, Aus- 
tin ; Lucy N. Allen, Lake City. 

Instructors — Samuel H. Baker, B. A., 
principal ; Addie A. Sargent, B. S. ; Jean C. 
Sherwood, B. S. ; Eev. Geo. C. Tanner, A. 
M. ; Lillie Lake, A. C. Gutterson. 

Trustees and Officers — Eev. Erastus West- 
cott, of Concord, president ; Dr. H. S. Hill, 
of Owatonna, secretary; Pliilo Bliss, of 
Owatonna, treasurer; Dr. George H. Keith, 
of Minneapolis ; Hon. Mark H. Dunncll, of 
Owatonna; Hon. H. H. Johnson, of Owa- 
tonna; Rev. Robert A. Clapp, of St. James; 
John V. Daniels, of Rochester ; E. M. Van 
Duzee, of St. Paul ; Myron A. Fredenburg, 
of Owatonna; William F. Hillman, of Man- 
torville ; William P. Gibson, of Mankato ; 
Sarah P. Butler, of Minneapolis ; Lydia J. 
R. Gates, of St. Paul ; jSTancy M. Farrington, 
of Winona ; Amy H. Wilbour, of Austin ; 
Lucy N. Allen, of Lake City ; and Maggie E. 
Morin, of Albert Lea. 


Instructors — Samuel II. Baker, B. A., 
principal (classics and higher arithmetic) ; 
Addie E. Sargent, B. S. (modei'n languages); 
Maria Burlingame, O. E. (English literature 
and rhetoric) ; Lillie Lake, instrumental 
music; A. C. Gutterson, vocal music. 

Trustees and Officers — Rev. Erastus West- 
cott. Concord, president ; Dr. H. S. Hill, 
Owatonna, secretary ; Philo Bliss, Owatonna, 
treasurer; Dr. G. H. Keith, Minneapolis; 
Mark II. Dunnell, H. H. Johnson, Owatonna ; 
Rev. Robert A. Clapp, St. James ; John Y. 
Daniels, Rochester ; E. M. Van Duzee, St. 
Paul; M. A. Fredenburg, Owatonna; W. F. 
Hillman, Mantorville ; W. P Gibson, Man- 
kato; Sarah P. Butler, Minneapolis; Lydia 
J. R. Gates, St. Paul ; Nancy M. Farrington, 
Winona ; Amy H. Wilbour, Austin ; Lucy 
K Allen, Lake City ; Maggie E. Morin, Al- 
bert Lea. 


Instructors — Israel H. DeWolf, A. M., 

principal (Latin and natural science) ; Addie 
A. Sargent, B. S., (mathematics and Ger- 
man) ; Maria Burlingame, O. E. (Greek, 
English literature, history); Lillie Lake, 
(instrumental music) ; A. C. Gutterson (vocal 

Trustees and Officers — Rev. Erastus West- 
cott, of Concord, president ; Dr. H. S. Ilill, 
of Owatonna, secretary ; Philo Bliss, of 
Owatonna, treasurer ; Dr. G. H. Keith, 
Minneapolis; Hon. M. H. Dunnell, Hon. 
Harvey H. Johnson, Owatonna ; Rev. R. A. 
Clapp, St. James ; Rev. R. W. Arnold, 
Rochester ; E. M. Van Duzee, St. Paul ; M. 
A. Fredenburg, Owatonna ; W. F. Hillman, 
Mantorville ; W. P. Gibson, Mankato ; Sarah 
P. Butler, Minneapolis ; Lydia J. R. Gates, 
St. Paul ; Nancy M. Farrington, Winona; 
Amy H. Wilbour, Austin ; Mary H. S. Pratt, 
Faribault ; Maggie E. Morin. 

Instructors — Israel 11. DeWolf, A. M., 
principal (Latin and natural science) ; Ad- 
die A. Sargent, B. S., (mathematics and 
German) ; Maria Burlingame, O. E. (Greek, 
English literature, history); Lillie Lake and 
Maggie Louise Dickson (instrumental music) ; 
A. C. Gutterson, vocal music. 

Trustees and Officers — Rev. Erastus West- 
cott, of Concord, president ; Dr. II. S. li. 
Hill, secretary ; Philo Bliss, Owatonna, treas- 
urer ; Rev. H. C. Woods, Minneapolis ; Hon. 
M. II. Dunnell, Hon. II. II. Johnson, Owa- 
tonna ; Rev. R. A. Clapp, St. James ; Rev. 
R. W. Arnold, Rochester ; E. M. Van Duzee, 
St. Paul ; M. A. Fredcnl)urg, Owatonna; W. 
F. Hillman, Mantorville ; Rev. L. C. Barnes, 
St. Paul ; Sarah P. Butler, Minneapolis ; 
Lydia J. R. Gates, St. Paul; Nancy M. Far- 
rington, Winona; Amy H. Wilbour, Austin ; 
E. A. Ellerbe, Mankato ; Maggie E. Morin. 

Instructors — Israel H. DeWolf, A. M., 
principal (Latin and Greek) ; Addie A. Sar- 
gent, B. S., (mathematics, German and 
botany) ; Maria Burlingame (English litei'a- 
ture and history); Clara M. Griffin (English 



department) ; Maggie Louise Dickson, (in- 
strumental music) ; A. C. Gutterson, (vocal 
music) . 

Trustees and Officers — Kev. Ei-astus West- 
cott, of Concord, president ; Dr. H. S. Hill, 
secretary; Philo Bliss, Owatonna, treasurer ; 
Rev. H. C. Woods, Minneapolis ; Hon. M. H. 
Dunnell, Hon. H. H. Johnson, Owatonna; 
Gr. H. Herrick, St. James; Eev. E. W.Ar- 
nold, Eochester; E. M. VanDuzee, 8t. Paul ; 
M. A. Fredenburg, Owatonna ; W. F. Hill- 
man, Mantorville ; Hon. Geo. A. Pillsbury, 
Sarah P. Butler, Minneapolis ; Lydia J. E. 
Gates, St. Paul ; Irene Wilcox, Northfield ; 
Amy H. Wilbour, Austin ; E. A. Ellerbe, 
Mankato ; Maggie E. Morin, Albert Lea. 

Instructors — Joshua L. Ingraham, A. M., 
principal (Greek and mathematics) ; Bela M. 
Lawrence, A. B. (Latin, German and 
sciences) ; Orinda P. Chollar (English litera- 
ture, history and rhetoric) ; M. Louise Dick- 
son (instrumental music) ; A. C. Gutterson, 
(vocal music). 

Officers and Trustees — Hon. M. H. Dun- 
nell, president ; Dr. H. S. Hill, secretary ; 
Philo Bliss, of Owatonna, treasurer; Eev. H. 
C. Woods, St. Paul ; Eev. Erastus Westcott, 
Concord ; Hon. H. H. Johnson, Owatonna ; 
G. H. Herrick, St. James ; Hon. A. C. Hick- 
man, Owatonna ; E. M. Van Duzee, St. Paul ; 
M. A. Fredenburg, Owatonna; W. F. Hill- 
man, Mantorville; Hon. G. A. Pillsbur}^, 
Minneapolis ; Mrs. Sarah P. Butler, Mineapo- 
lis; Lydia J. B. Gates, St. Paul; Irene Wil- 
cox, Northfield ; Anna II. Wilbour, Austin ; 
Maggie E. Morin, Albert Lea ; Mrs. G. M. 
Palmer, Mankato. 


Instructors — Joshua L. Ingraham, A. M., 
principal (Greek and mathematics); Bela 
M. Lawrence, A. B. (Latin, German and 
sciences) ; Laura E. H. Arey (English litera- 
ture, history and rhetoric) ; Emma M. Eich, 
(instrumental music); A. C. Gutterson, 
(vocal music). 

Officers and trustees — Hon. M. H. Dun- 

nell, president ; Eev. W. A. Spinnej^, secretary; 
Philo Bliss, of Owatonna, treasurer ; Mrs. 
Sarah P. Butler, Minneapolis ; M. A. Freden- 
burg, Owatonna ; Mrs. Lydia J. E. Gates, St. 
Paul; W. F. Hilhiian, Mantorville; Hon. H. 
H. Johnson, E. M. Van Duzee, St. Paul ; Eev. 
E. AVestcott, Concord ; Mrs. Amy H. Wil- 
bour, Austin ; Mrs. Maggie E. Morin, Albert 
Lea ; G. H. Herrick, St. James ; Eev. H. C. 
Woods, St. Paul ; Hon. G. A. Pillsbury, Min- 
neapolis ; Mrs. Irene Wilcox, Northfield ; 
Hon. A. C. Hickman, Owatonna; Mrs G. M. 
Palmer, Mankato. 


Instructors — Joshua L. Ingi-aham, A. M., 
principal (Greek, mathematics and mental 
philosophy') ; Bela M. Lawrence, A. M. 
(Latin, German and sciences); Mrs. Laura E. 
H. Lawrence (English literature, history 
and rhetoric) ; Emma M. Eich (instrumental 
music) ; A. C. Gutterson (vocal music). 

Officers and Trustees — E. M. Van Duzee, 
of St. Paul, president; Eev. W. A. Spinney, 
secretary ; Philo Bliss, of Owatonna, treas- 
urer; Mrs. Sarah P. Butler, Minneapolis; 
Hon. M. H. Dunnell, M. A. Fredenburg, Owa- 
tonna; Lydia J. E. Gates, St. Paul ; W. F. 
Ilillman, Mantorville ; Hon. H. H. Johnson, 
Owatonna ; Eev. E. Westcott, Concord ; 
Mrs. Amy H. Wilbour, Austin ; Mrs. Maggie 
E. Morin, Albert Lea; G. H. Herrick, St. 
James ; Eev. H. C. Woods, St. Paul ; Hon. 
G. A. Pillsbury, Minneapolis; Mrs. Irene 
Wilcox, Northtield ; Hon. A. C. Hickman, 
Owatonna; Mrs. G. M. Palmer, Mankato. 

Instructors — Joshua L. Ingraham, A. M., 
principal (Greek, mathematics and mental 
philosophy) ; Bela M. Lawrence, A. M. 
(Latin, German and sciences) ; Mi'S. M3'ra E. 
Call, A. B. (English literature, history and 
rhetoric) ; Emma M. Eich (instrumental 
music) ; Prof. A. C. Gutterson (vocal music). 

The following is a list of officers and 
trustees, giving the year in which their terms 
expire — Edward M. Van Duzee, of St. Paul, 



president; Rev. W. A. Spinney, secretary; 

Pliilo Bliss, of Owatonna, treasurer : 

Philo Bliss, Esq Owatonna 1889 

Mrs. Sarah P. Butler Minneapolis 1887 

Hon. M. H. Dunnell Owatonna 1888 

*Myron A. Fredenburg, Esq., Owatonna 1887 

Mrs. Lydia J. R. Gates St. Paul 1888 

William F. Hillman, Esq. . . .Cedar Rapids, Neb. . .1888 

Edward M. Van Duzee, Esq., St. Paul 1889 

Rev. Erastus AVestcott West Concord 1887 

Mrs. Amy H. Wilbour Austin 1889 

Mrs. Maggie E. Morin Alberta Lea 1887 

G. H. Herrick, Esq St. James 1887 

Rev. H. C. Woods, D. D....St. Paul 1887 

Hon. George A. Pillsbury. . .Minneapolis 1888 

Mrs. Irene Wilcox Nortbfield 1888 

Hon. A. C. Hickman Owatonna 1889 

Rev. W. A. Spinney Owatonna 1888 

William H. Kelly, Esq Owatonna 1889 

Mrs. T. W. Stebbins Rochester 1889 

Executive Committee (1887-8) — Hon. M. 
H. Dunnell, W. H. Kelly, Hon. A. C. Hick- 
man, Philo Bliss, and Rev. AV. A. Spinney, 
of Owatonna. 

Finance Committee — Rev. J. F. Wilcox, 
of Northfield, president; Hon. M. H. Dun 
nell, of Owatonna, treasurer ; W. W. Hunt- 
ington, of Minneapolis, secretary ; G. H. 
Herrick, of St. James ; T. W. Stebbins, 
Rochester ; Rev. E. "Westcott, West Concord ; 
Hon. George A. Pillsbury, Minneapolis. 

Instructors — Joshua L. Ingraham, A. M., 
principal (Greek, mathematics and mental 
philosophy); Homer J. Vosburgh, A. B. 
(Latin, German and sciences) ; Miss Myra E. 
Call, A. B. (English literature, history and 
rhetoric) ; Emma M. Rich (instrumental 
music) ; Prof. A. C. Gutterson (vocal music). 

Prof. J. L. Ingraham, the ])resent principal 
of Pillsbury Academy, is a native of Cam- 
den, Me., born in 1852. His parents were 
Joseph and Fanny Ingraham. Mr. Ingra- 
ham remained with them, receiving the 
advantages of a common-school education 
until twenty -one years of age, when he went 
to the Waterville Classical Institute and 
remained until entering Colby College in 
1S76, graduating therefrom in 1880. For 

* [Deceased.] 

two years after this he taught in Worcester 
Academy. Then, his health not being 
robust, he gave up work for a year, and in 
1883 came to Owatonna and took charge of 
the educational institution, which is still 
under his direction. Prof. Ingraham was 
married in 1880 to Miss Maria E. Page, of 
Camden, Me. They have one child, Fanny C. 


Class of 1878 — William Abbott. 

Class of 1879 — Mrs. Cornelia Tanner 
Perceval (deceased). 

Class of 1880 — A. W. Lane, A. J. Trues- 
dell, George R. Kinyon, Silas Middleton, 
James Haj'craft, Helen S. Evans, Dora W. 
Hunkins and Ina M. Gutterson. 

Class of 1881— Edward G. Adams and 
Eugene Case. 

Class of 1882 — Eugene P. Hickok, Frank 
Burnett, Frank A. Sebring, Mary Webber, 
Ellen Nelson, Libbie Crandall, Mabel E. Peck 
and Etta M. McBride. 

Class of 1883 — Carl Rosebrock, Carl 
Brown, Bertha C. Truesdell, Mabel E. Gut- 
terson, Nellie E. Fife, John B. Mitchell, 
Peter Koch, Luella Gould. 

Class of 1884 — George L. Carey, Agnes 
Brennan, Benton A. McMillen, Minnie 
Williamson, F. W. Meehan, Sadie Wilson 
and Wm. J. Leary. 

Class of 1885 — Arthur R. Albertus, Mary 
L. Bailey, Alzina Jones, Carl K. Bennett, 
Gertrude Kimball, Jefferson Brown, Minnie 
A. Pillsburjf, C. II. Christianson, Theo. 
Weber, May Fowler, Charles Mitchell, A. I. 
Reeves and Alvin Schuster. 

Class of 1886 — Carl D. Case, U. G. 
Weathersly, Lillian L. Abbott, Nellie Bren- 
nan, Frank F. Buffum, Maxwell II. Cusick, 
Willis N. Holland, Lawrence W. Parker, 
Frank L. Carey, Fred. E. Church, Ane 
Magrete Heegaard, A. A. Maloney, G. W. 
Tryon, Lucia M. Wolverton. 

Class of 1887 — Lavinia Mead, Alice Ken- 
nedy, Mary Schafer and Minnie Heegaard 
(first graduate from musical course). 



e)tate [niblic e^chool. 

The Legislature of Minnesota passed an act 
which was approved by tlie governor on the 
9th of March, 1885, establishing what is 
known as the State Public School for Depend- 
ent and Neglected Children, and making- 
provisions for the government of the same. 
In accordance with the provisions of this act 
the governor appointed five commissioners, 
for the purpose of selecting a location and 
erecting tliereon suitable buildings. The 
members of this commission were B. B. Her- 
bert, Anthony Kelly, C. S. Crandall, Wm. 
Morin and John Bvers, and the body was 
termed " Commissioners for the Location and 
Acting Board of Control of the State Public 
Schools of Minnesota. " This board held 
their first meeting in the governor's office, at 
the State capital, April 22, 1885, and elected 
from their members a secretary and treasurer, 
the governor acting as president ex-ojficio. It 
was decided that all applications for the loca- 
tion of the institution from the different ])or- 
tions of the State should be heard; but in mak- 
ing the final decision as to a site the interest 
and convenience of the school should be re- 
garded rather than the amount that might be 
offered in the way of a donation to the State, 
but that not less than eighty acres of land 
could be accepted as a site for the school. 
The commissioners then adjourned to meet 
June 1, 1885, for the purpose of visiting the 
several villao:es and cities offering sites. 

At the meeting on June 1, the secretary 
reported thatFarmington, in Dakota County '■, 
Northfield, Ilice County ; Owatonna, Steele 
County ; Albert Lea, Freeborn County ; 
Hastings, Dakota County, and Lake City, 
Wabasha Count\', had each offered a site 
of from eighty to one hundred and sixtv 
acres. A few other )ioints, including Way- 
zata and Redwood Falls, also submitted prop- 

After visiting the several ])laces and care- 
fully examining the different sites a meeting- 
was held at St. Paul on the 26th of June, to 

decide the matter. The offers for tlie dona- 
tion of sites as finall}' submitted in writing 
w^ere as follows: Farmington, 110 acres of 
land ; Northfield, 94 acres ; Lake City, 240 
acres ; Bed Wing, 145 acres ; Hastings, 116| 
acres ; Albert Lea, eighty acres ; Owatonna, 
160 acres of land with all necessary wells 
for the use of the institution, and all 
building material delivered on the grounds 
free of freight. The sites offered were 
each and all desirable and entirely suffi- 
cient for the wants of the sciiool, and when 
the size of the various places and the cost of 
the several tracts were taken into account, 
the offers might be said as to be equally gen- 
erous. The farm buildings were offered to 
be donated with the various sites. Bed Wing 
included fair buildings, stables and fences, 
costing over $4,000. Lake City added to her 
munificent offer of 240 acres of land, a stone- 
quarr}', the use of a brickyard for the manu- 
facture of the brick for the buildings, and 
$500 worth of trees and shrubbery to be prop- 
ei'ly set out under the direction of the com- 
missioners, also offering to furnish employ- 
ment to the inmates of the institution in the 
extensive nurser}' and fruit gardens adjoin- 
ing the land to be given as site, so far as 
should be deemed advisable by the school 
management. Litchfield, in Meeker County, 
also appeared before the commissioners at 
the meeting and made a like liberal offer with 
the other places named. The decision be- 
came a matter of much difficulty and delicacy. 
Sixteen ballots were had without any choice. 
An adjournment was taken unlil the twenty- 
seventh, when on the twentyfourth ballot 
Owatonna was cliosen as the })lace for the 
location of the scliool by three votes for that 
point to one for Red Wing and one for 
Hastings. The selection of Owatonna was 
then made unanimous. 

The site at Owatonna was finally selected 
under the advice of Supt. John N. Foster, of 
the State Public School of Michigan, and 
Secretary II. II. Hart, of the State Board of 
Charities and Cori'ections of Minnesota. The 



site consists of 160 aci'es of excellent farm 
kind, adjoining and overlooking the city and 
the beautiful river valley at that place. The 
land is rolling, well drained, and affords a 
most attractive site. The Chicago & North- 
western Railroad crosses the farm, and a 
switch has been built to accommodate the 
school, — the State only paying a small 
amount toward the grading for the track, — 
so that building materials and fuel are de- 
livered on the grounds without any cost for 
drayage, and the products of the farm may 
hereafter be handled in like manner. 

Among the reasons which influenced the 
commissioners in deciding upon Owatonna 
as the home for this institution were, first, 
the fact of its location, very near the center 
of the oldest and most densely settled por- 
tion of the State, affording a better oppor- 
tunity for placing the children in well-to-do 
families within easy reach of the institution 
which is expected to keep a watch over 
their care and education; second, its easy 
accessibility by different lines of railroads 
from any portion of the State. 

As soon as the title to the property was 
obtained, arrangements were commenced for 
laying off the grounds and the erection of 
buildings. The services of Mr. Pehrson, a 
landscape gardener in the employ of the State 
institution at Faribault, were secured and 
the buildings located and grounds laid off 
for future improvement. W. B. Dunnell 
was chosen as architect, and directed to pre- 
pare plans for the buildings. 

Prof. J. N. Foster, superintendent of the 
State Public Schools of Michigan, had 
already visited the State, on invitation of the 
commissioners, and given much valuable 
advice with regard to the choice of a site, 
the erection of buildings and the manage- 
ment of the schools. As the act passed by 
the Minnesota Legislature is almost an exact 
copy of the Michigan law, and the Michigan 
school at Coldwater was considered a model 
in every wa}% the architect, and Directors 
Anthony Kelly and B. B. Herbert, visited 

that institution, in order to be thoroughly 
informed as to the best building methods for 
such a school. Their report favored what is 
known as the cottage plan, and the commis- 
sioners decided unanimously to adopt that 

The Michigan school had, through its 
admirable management and the result of its 
work, become not only the model for several 
States of the Union, but for some of the 
countries in Europe that have sent commis- 
sioners to examine and copy its plans, and 
the commissioners thought it wise to benefit 
by the eleven j'ears of most successful experi- 
ence of that institution. To give the plans 
adopted there is to give in effect the plans 
deemed most practicable and in theory 
adopted by the Minnesota commissioners. 
The buildings of the model school at Cold- 
water, perfected after so many years of 
experience, consist of : 1. A main building, 
containing the superintendent's ofSce, recep- 
tion room, vault for jiapers and records, and 
the library, living rooms for the superin- 
tendent and family, children's and employes' 
dining halls, sewing room, sleeping apart- 
ments for the teachers and emploj'es, kitchen, 
bakery, store-rooms and pantries. 2. From 
six to nine cottages for the children. Each 
of these cottages is under a ladv known as a 
cottage manager. The children are divided 
by means of these cottages into families of 
twenty-five or thirty each, under the control 
of this lady, acting in the place of a mother, 
looking after the behavior, cleanliness, cloth- 
ing and instruction of the children out of 
school hours. 3. A school building with 
four rooms, also a building devoted to kin- 
dergarten instruction for the smaller chil- 
dren. L A hospital building for the care 
and separation of children when sick, and for 
keeping of new pupils supposed to have been 
exposed to infectious diseases until danger of 
contagion has passed. 5. An engine, boiler 
and pump house from which all Iniildings are 
heated and in which gas is manufactured for 
lighting purposes. Above the boiler room. 



in the same building, is also a laundry 
operated by steam for the accommodation of 
the entire school. 6. Extensive barns and 
stables for the accommodation of a well- 
stocked farm. All these buildings, with the 
exception of fewer cottages and a smaller 
main building, were needed here. The 
arrangement for water supply and sewerage 
is also excellent, and the adoption of a simi- 
lar plan was also recommended. 

Michigan has found it wise and economical 
to care for her dependent children. In the 
eleven years of the existence of their institu- 
tion, over nineteen hundred children had 
been received and put on the way to hap))y 
and useful lives. 

The appropriation made bj' the Legisla- 
ture for establishing this school was $20,- 
000. The commissioners decided that the 
amount could be most wisely expended in 
the erection of three cottages capable of 
accommodating thirty-five children each, one 
to be used temporarily as a main building 
for offices, living room, kitchen, dining halls, 
etc. In accordance with this decision, plans 
and specifications were drawn under the 
direction of the commissioners and bids 
taken for the building and completion of 
the same. These bids were publicly opened 
at a meeting of the commissioners advertised 
to be held for that purpose, and were found 
to range from a little over $24,000 down to 
$15,600 for the cottages, and the contract 
was let to John Ilammel and Silas Anderson, 
of Owatonna, at the last-named price, they 
being the lowest bidders. The foundations 
for the cottages were put in during the fall 
of 1885, and the walls built and the buildings 
completed during the summer of 1886. The 
buildings are of brick, 30x40 feet on the 
ground, two stories besides the basements 
and garrets. They are substantially built 
and covered with slate roofs. The basements 
have been plastered with water cement on 
the outside and especially finished with a 
view to permanent use for domestic purposes, 
sewing rooms, etc., to economize in the num- 

ber and size of other buildings. The garret 
in the cottage temporarily set apart for the 
superintendent's or main building, has been 
finished off into dormitories for employes, 
and the garrets in the other buildings could 
be in like manner utilized. 

The commissioners had many applications 
for the position of superintendent of this 
school. After careful consideration it was 
thought that the permanent success and use- 
fulness of the institution would depend very 
much on placing it in the hands of a gentle- 
man of practical experience at the very 
beginning. The position was accordingly 
tendered to Piof. G. A. Men-ill, of the Michi- 
gan State public school, who added to years 
of experience the highest qualifications, and 
had been most flatteringly recommended by 
his associates in this line of work. Nego- 
tiations were opened through a committee 
appointed for the purpose, and his services 
were secured, to commence as soon after the 
1st of October, 1886, as arrangements could 
be made for opening the school. For like 
reasons it was subsequently' decided to em- 
ploy one experienced cottage manager from 
the Michigan school, and an estimable, ex- 
perienced lady was secured. 

On August 18th the newly elected super- 
intendent met with the commissioners, and 
it was decided to attempt to open the insti- 
tution to the public October 10. This was 
afterward found impracticable. 

The funds appropriated Ijy the State had 
been exhausted, and it was found that unless 
other aid could be obtained the buildinsrs 
must stand empty, and the dependent chil- 
dren, clamoring for admittance, must go un- 
cared for, and the opening of the school be 
postponed to await the action of this Legis- 
lature. At this crisis, citizens of Owa- 
tonna who trusted to the good faith of the 
State in this attempt to care for the desti- 
tute children, stepped forward and advanced 
$5,000. The work Avas pushed forward, the 
buildings were furnished and the commis- 
sioners were enabled to notify the governor 



on November 30 that the buildings were 
in readiness, and on the second day of De- 
cember the first three children were received. 


The first appropriation was approved in 
March, 1885, the amount being $20,000. 
Three cottages were erected with this money, 
besides getting the grounds in shape, pur- 
chasing furniture, stock and incidental ex- 
penses. The cottages cost about $16,500, as 
has alread}' been stated. In these buildings 
the institution began its work, one of them 
being temporarily used as the administration 

The Legislature in 18S6-7 made an addi- 
tional appropriation of $70,000 for perma- 
nent improvements, besides an ap})ropria- 
tion for current expenses. The permanent 
improvements, such as the erection of suit- 
able buildings, was at once put under 
way, contracts let and building operations 
begun. The buildings in course of erection 
will be ready for occupancy by January, 
1888, and are as follows : 

The administration or main building 
at this writing, August, 1887, is fast near- 
ing completion. It will be 132x180 feet 
in size and practically three stories in 
height, and will cost about $50,000. The 
first floor of this building will be used for 
superintendent's offices, reception room, 
library, chapel, children's and employes' 
dining-rooms and the industrial departments, 
shoe shop, sewing room, etc. On the second 
floor will be the superintendent's family 
rooms, together with the private rooms of 
the teachers and employes. The laying of 
the corner-stone of this building was an 
auspicious event in Steele County's history. 
It was performed with ancient and imposing- 
ceremonies, thousands of prominent citizens 
from Steele County and all portions of the 
State being present. The ceremonies were 
conducted by the Masonic fraternity, al- 
though nearh' all the societies took part in 
the exercises. 

Hon. W. R. Kinyon was president of the 

day, and announced the jirogram. Mayor 
Pratt, ex-Mayor Birkett and President Al- 
bertus, of the City Council, were the city 
committee, and Mr. F. F. Grant, a leading 
Knight Templar, contributed largely to the 
success of the ceremonies. The architect of 
the building, Mr. W. B. Bunnell, Avas also 
one of the moving spirits. The ceremonies 
at the grounds were begun by an address of 
welcome by Hon. M. H. Dunnell. Hon. W. 
H. Braden, state auditor, represented Gov. 
McGill, and spoke a few words a]>propriate to 
the occasion. Rev. Dr. Dana, of St. Paul, 
made a fine address. He was followed by 
Rev. H. H. Hart, secretary of the State Board 
of Corrections and Charities. Ex-Gov. Barto, 
of Sauk Center, made a humorous speech and 
was followed by Hon. C. S. Crandall, of 
Owatonna, President of the Board of Control 
of the State Public School for Indigent Chil- 
dren, who made a good speech showing the 
purposes and benefits to Ije derived from so 
beneficent a State institution. Hon. B. B. 
Hei-bert, of Red Wing, followed by a few 
words from M. J. Daniels, of Rochester. 
Most "Worshipful J. II. Brown, Grand Master 
of the State of Minnesota, A. F. & A. M., 
then proceeded with the Masonic ceremonies 
of laying the corner-stone. He was assisted 
by C. H. Benton, D. G. M. ; Alphonzo Barto, 
G. S. W. ; Ambrose La Due, G. J. W. ; J. E. 
Getman acted as Grand Treas. ; A. T. C. 
Pearson, G. S. ; Thomas G. Crump, of Litch- 
field, Grand Orator. Rev. Geo. B. Whipple 
acted as Grand Chaplain. Hon. J. M. Bur- 
lingame, of Owatonna, acted as Grand Mar- 
shal. After the stone was laid, corn, wine 
and oil were put on it. The building was 
then turned over to the architect for com- 
pletion, who responded with a short, well 
chosen speech. The procession was then re- 
formed and returned to the city. The casket 
in the corner-stone contained a Bible, the 
names of the State, county and city ofiicers, 
a list of the officers of the Grand Lodge of 
Minnesota and of the Star of the East Lodge 
of Owatonna, and copies of the constitution 



and by-laws of both, the charter of Owatonna, 
copies of the Globe, Pioneer Press, Minne- 
apolis Trihune, The PeopWs Press, Jour- 
nal and Herald, and a copy of the first 
biennial report of the board of control and 
superintendent, and a copy of Gov. Hub- 
bard's message to the Legislature of 1886-7. 

Next to the administration Ijuilding comes 
the schoolhouse, which is also in course of 
erection. This is 57x41 feet in size, and will 
be divided into five school-rooms, one devot. 
ed exclusively to kindergarten work. The 
building will have cost, when completed, 
about §7,500. 

A large and handsome barn has been 
erected, to the west of the cluster of build- 
ings, at a cost of $2,200. 

The hospital is a one-story structure, size 
about 33x47 feet. It will be divided into 
sick-rooms, neatl}^ furnished, and will cost 
$2,200. The name implies the use to which 
it will be put. 

One building serves as the engine-house 
and laundr3^ It will be a one-story building- 
size 40x50 feet, with the boilers and machin- 
ery in the basement. 

A fourth cottage will also be erected, in 
1888, upon a similar ^^lan as those now in 
use, which will cost about $6,000. 

These improvements will exhaust all of the 
appropriation of $70,000, and wiU place the 
institution in good working-order and furnish 
comfortable and convenient quarters. The 
buildings will be well furnished, and the con- 
tract has already been let for electric lighting. 
Tlie buildings are all heated bj' steam. The 
cottages now in use are comfortably^ fur- 
nished, and are kept scrupulously clean and 


The institution was formally opened on 
the 2d of December, 1886, when three chil- 
dren from Steele County were received. 
From that time on they have continued to 
come. Twenty-one had been received up to 
the 1st of January, 1887. On the 1st of 
July, 1887, sixty-one had been received. 

although eleven of this number had been 
placed in families, leaving fifty at the schools. 
On the 1st of August, 1887, there were 
sixty in the schools and eleven in families. 

The following list shows the number which 
have been received from the various coun- 
ties : Steele, 8 ; Rice, 3 ; Dakota, 11 ; St. 
Louis, 7 ; Nicollet, 2 ; Freeborn, 5 ; Wabasha, 
3; Otter Tail, 2; Isanti, 3; Hennepin, 5; 
Waseca, 4 ; Sherburn, 2 ; Winona, 1 ; 
Wright, 1; Goodhue, 2; Becker, 2; Fill- 
more, 1; Olmsted, 1; Nobles, 3; Eamsey, 
1 ; Murray, 2 ; Houston, 1 ; Crow Wing, 1. 

The children admissible to the State pub- 
lic school are those within the borders of the 
State who are dependent on the public for 
support, over three and under fourteen years 
of age, and in suitable condition of body and 
mind to receive instruction. The children 
are placed under the care of the school 
through proceedings in the probate courts 
begun by count\^ commissioners. This pro- 
cess of law in the probate courts makes the 
child the ward of the State during minority, 
and cancels all parental control if the par- 
ents of the child are living. It is not in- 
tended that worthy families shall be unduly 
broken up, or that children shall be unneces- 
arily separated from their parents, but that 
those children whose parents have deserted 
them or have been rendered incajmble of 
supporting them shall be provided for and 
saved from leading the neglected lives they 
would naturally lead if left unprotected. 
As has been indicated, the children are not 
kept in the institution for a definite term of 
years, but are placed in good approved homes 
on indenture as soon as practicable. But the 
supervision of the State does not cease when 
the children are jilaced in homes. They are 
carefully and frequently visited in order that 
none shall be ill-trea.ted,and every indenture 
contract contains a clause reserving the right 
to tlie board of control, to cancel the con- 
tract and return the child to the school 
whenever the interests of the child require 
it. Thus the State assumes the care and con- 



trol of its dependent and neglected children 
that it may rear them to self-supporting and 
respectable citizenship. 


The present list of officers and employes 
is as follows : Prof. G. A. JVIerrill, superin- 
tendent ; Mrs. G. A. Merrill, matron ; H. 
W. Lewis, clerk ; Alma Herapel and May 
Donovan, teachers ; Mrs. Sarah Bailey and 
Miss Mary Considine, cottage managers. To 
this list will be added two teachers and two 
cottage managers as soon as the additional 
buildings are completed. There will also be 
a chief engineer, besides other assistants and 

An important office yet to be filled is that 
of State agent for the schools, whose duty it 
is to look after the important matter of locat- 
ing the children in families and visiting and 
watching their conduct and progress after 
they are so placed. It is an office which 
requires the keenest of judgment and 
abihty, and is among the most important 
features of the institution. Up to this time 
Prof. Merrill has tilled this position, together 
with attending to his duties as superintend- 
ent ; but with the additional capacity given 
by the buildings now in course of erection, 
the work of both offices will soon be beyond 
the ability of any one man, as there are 
already applications which will more than 
fill the increased capacitj^. Prof. Merrill 
served as State agent of the Michigan insti- 
tution for a number of 3'ears, resigning that 
to become superintendent here. As soon as 
the new buildings are opened the board of 
control will fill the office of State agent for 
the Minnesota school. 

The general supervision and government 
of the State public school is vested in what 
is termed a board of control, appointeil by 
the governor and confirmed by the State 
Senate. The first and present board of con- 
trol is made up of Hon. C. S. Crandall, of 
Owatonna, president (six-year term) ; Hon. 

B. B. Herbert, of Redwing, secretary ( four 
years ) ; and Dr. L. P. Dodge, of Farm- 
ington (two years). After the expiration 
of the terms for which they were appointed, 
one member will be appointed every two 
j'ears, and serve a six-year term. This board 
constitutes a body corporate, with the right 
of suing and being sued and of making and 
using a common seal. It has exclusive 
authority over the management and govern- 
ment of the school, establisli<es the system of 
government for the institution, makes all 
necessary rules and regulations for enforcing 
discipline, imparting instruction, preserving- 
health, and for the proper physical, intellect- 
ual and moral training of children. They 
appoint the superintendent and matron, and 
such officers, teachers and employes as shall 
be necessary, who hold during the pleasure 
of the board ; it prescribes duties and fixes 
salaries subject to the approval of the - gov- 

Prof. G. A. Merrill, superintendent of the 
State public school, is a native of Kalamazoo 
County, Mich., where he was born December 
27, 1859. His parents were George and Sabra 
Merrill. G. A. Merrill lived with his mother 
until fifteen years of age — his father having 
died when he was but eight years old — and 
he then started in life for himself, obtaining 
his education in common schools and by pri- 
vate study. He began teaching school when 
nineteen years of age and continued at that 
for some three years, when he was appointed 
assistant superintendent of Michigan State 
public schools and remained in that position 
for two years, when he was appointed as State 
agent of the same institution. He continued 
in that position for two years when he was 
appointed to his present position. Prof. Mer- 
rill was married October 6, 1886, to Miss 
Estelle Ogden, of Michigan. Prof. Merrill is 
filling his important office with credit to 
himself and satisfaction to all interested in 
the institution. 



Ills township forms the northeast- 
ern cqrner of Steele County, being 
composed of township 108, range 
lit. It is bounded on the north 
by liice County, on the east by 
Dodge County, on the south bv 
Havana Township, and on the 
west l)y Medford and Clinton 
Falls. The soil is a rather light 
loam, with a clay subsoil on the low lands, 
and on the higher or rolling prairie a gravel 
or sandy subsoil. The surface is mostly 
prairie, although there is a small patch of 
timber in the northern part. In the south- 
ern portion is a small amount of oak open- 
ings. Natural meadows are found on nearly 
every quarter-section, though the principal 
part of the land is entirely suited to agri- 
culture, and produces the best quality of 
crops of all kinds, and the township is not 
surpassed by any other portion of the county 
in productiveness. 


It is claimed that the first settlement in 
this township was made in 1855, by G. W. 
Dresser, who located in the southwestern 
portion of the township. 

Among others who came during the same 
year were the following : William and David 
Deets, Paul Williams, John Coburn, William 
Miller, J. W. Adams, David Casper, T. B. 
II. Brown, Thomas Hortop, Fred. Irwin, 
Andrew Reed and Lewmon G. Reed. 

A number of additions were made to the 
settlement in 1856, among them being 
A. Wilson, Charles Baker, James Clark, 
Hugh Mooney, Mr. McAndrew, George 
Norton, E. P.* Taylor, Thomas Stockwell, 

John Pierce, M. J. Kendall, L. E. Thom]v 
son, James Hurst, the Naylors, Oscar Searle, 
Mr. Deffenbacher, Daniel McNitt, S3'dney 
Smith Jr., Mr. Curtis and others. 

Among others who came at an early day 
were R. A. IMcDonald, Charles Wilson, Her- 
man Purfeest, the Lane family, Henry 
Maw, John Trask and others, 


The first birth in the township was that 
of Harriet Elizabeth, a daughter of Lewmon 
G. Reed and wife, who was born May 3, 

The first death was that of Sarah Jane 
(Reed) Irwin, who died November 1, 1856. 
Iler remains were interred at what has since 
been known as Rice Lake Cemeter}'. 

In 1862 that dreaded scourge of children, 
diphtheria, visited this townshi]). The first 
death from it occurred in February, in the 
family of Oscar Searle, and two daughters, 
Alice and Marion, were taken away. A 
number of children soon followed, among 
them being Adelaide and Bertie, children of 
Henry Maw, and three from the famil}' of 
Daniel McNitt. 

The first school in the northern part of 
the township was taught in what was after- 
ward known as the Rock schoolhouse. 

The first lady teacher in the eastern part 
of the township was Margaret Hunter. 
The school Avas held in Edward Naylor's 
house on section 26. Andrew J. Stickles 
was the second teacher in that district. 

In the summer of 1859 — sometime in 
June — considerable excitement was created 
in the settlement by the appearance of a 
large brown bear, which had made its way 




from the timber in the northwest part of 
the town, and was probably on an exploring 
expedition. The settlers turned out tn masse 
to give him a reception, and greeted him 
with pitchforks and such other implements 
of warfare as could most readily be found, 
and, after a weary march, in which the peo- 
ple undertook to keep up with his bearship, 
one sturdy farmer got a fair shot and killed 

In 1856 a Mr. Coburn opened a store in 
the northwest corner of the township and 
christened the village " Dodge City, " but 
the country was so sparsely settled he con- 
cluded that it would not pay, and sold his 
stock to O. T. Jones. Mr. Jones kept the 
store but a short time and then closeil it up. 


When Steele Countj' was organized in 1855 
the eastern tier of townships as it is now 
formed was connected with Dodge County. 
It remained in this shape until February, 

1856, when the Legislature changed the 
county lines, and Steele County was made to 
include this tier of townshij^s. On the 0th 
of April, 1857, the board of count\" commis- 
sioners set off township 108, range 19, and 
authorized its organization, giving it the 
name of Union Prairie. The organization, 
however, was not fully perfected until the 
spring of 1858. On the 11th of September, 

1857, the name was changed to Orion, and it 
thus remained until January, 1802, when it 
was given the name of Lyon ; this however 
was almost immediately changed to Merton, 
which it still bears. 


Lewmon G. Keed was one of the earliest 
settlers of Merton Township, having come 
here from Canada, in 1855, and located on 
section 25. lie was born in Canada, March 
11,1811. At the age of twenty-one years he 
left home to care for himself, and engaged at 
farming, in which he still continues. Mr. Eeed 
has been twice married, his first wife being 
Miss Jane Eichards (now deceased), a native 
of England. This union was blessed with two 

children, Mary Cornelia and Sarah Jane ; the 
former afterward became Mrs. Joseph Smith. 
Sarah Jane married Fred. Irwin; she died. 
November 1, 1856. Mr. Eeed's second mar- 
riage was to Miss Margaret Orrock,a native of 
Canada, born November 30,1832. Her an- 
cestors were Scotch. They have had seven 
children, as follows : Harriet, born May 3, 
1850 (killed by an accident in falling wheat) ; 
Sarah G., born August 23, 1858 ; Janet J., 
born Mai'cli 13, 1861 ; Caroline A., born 
April 15, 1864; Jessie L., born July 17, 
1866; Orrock G., born January 18, 1869, 
and Nellie L., born October 6, 1871. Two 
of these, Orrock and Nellie, are living at 
home. Sarah married James Naylor, and 
lives in Potter County, D. T. Janet married 
John Naylor, and now lives in Otter Tail 
County, Minn. Caroline A. married Ward 
Perkins, and now lives in Brookings county, 
D. T. Jessie L. married Joseph Miller. 
Mr. Eeed was the second settler who located 
in the eastern part of this township, and was 
among the very earliest settlers in Steele 
County. He has been prominent in local 
affairs. In 1859 he was elected justice of 
the peace, and held the office for two years ; 
has been road overseer, and held various 
other positions. He is Eepublican in poli- 
tics. He is a member of the Methodist 
Church, and was the first class-leader at Eice 
Lake, Dodge County, and was also Bible- 
class leader for a number of years. 

Edward Naj'lor came here with his parents, 
in the year 1850, from Illinois. Mr. Nay- 
lor is a native of Lincolnshire, Eng., where 
he was born January 6, 1833. He remained 
at home until he arrived at the age of 
twenty-four years,when he commenced farm- 
ing for himself on section 26, Merton Town- 
ship, and has remained there ever since, 
doing a general fanning and stock-raising. 
In the year 1865 Mr. Naylor enlisted in the 
First Minnesota Heavy Artillery, and was en- 
gaged in service for about nine months. He 
was discharged October 8, and came back to 
his farm. On February 29, 1851, he was mar- 



ried to Miss Marion Hunter, a native of Can- 
ada. They are the parents of five children : 
Wilham John and Margret Elizabeth, 
(twins), Minnie E., Nettie Marion, and 
Edwin H., three of whom are living at 
home. Margaret is at Warren, Marsliall 
County, teacliing school. Minnie E., is liv- 
ing at Warren, Marshall County, Minn. ; she 
married Wilber F. Powell, who is engaged in 
the machinery business. The other children 
are living at home. Mr. Naylor has been 
road supervisor and school director. He was 
elected in 1873 and held the offices several 
years. He is a Kepublican in politics, and is 
a member of the Presbyterian Church. Mr. 
Naylor engages quite extensively in cattle, 
keeping about one liundred head most of the 
time. He has a magnificent residence, and 
out-buildings, the house and barns having 
cost about $7,000. The house is surrounded 
by a beautiful natural grove of timber. ]\Ir. 
Naylor s market-place is at Owatonna, while 
his postoffice is at Kice Lake. 

A. Wilson was born in England in 1833. 
At the age of four years he came to America 
with his father. They first located in Oneida 
County, N. Y., where they remained for 
six or eight years, then removed to Dane 
County, Wis. The subject of this sketch 
remained at home until he was twenty-two 
years old, then went to Janesville, and 
ensjaged as salesman for a lumber firm. He 
only remained there during the summer, as 
he was taken sick in the fall and returned 
home for the winter. The following spring, 
on the 1st of May, 1855, he was married to 
Nancy E. Thompson. During the summer 
he remained at home, helping his father on 
the farm, and in tlie fall moved onto a little 
farm of his own near tiiat of his father's, 
lie remained there until 1850, when he sold 
out and moved overland to Steele County, 
Minn., arriving here May 31, 1856. In com- 
pany with Mr. Wilson were Lorenzo Muckey, 
Mrs. P. Wilkins and family, and L. E. 
Tliompson and familj'. Mr. Wilson im- 
mediately made a liomestead of the south- 

east quarter of section 17, put up a 10x12 
foot claim shanty, and did some break- 
ing to comply with the homestead laws. He 
still lives upon his homestead. The place is 
under a high state of cultivation, with fine 
Iniildings, and is among the best farms in the 
county. Mr. and Mrs. Wilson have had born 
to them five children, as follows : Adelbert, 
born August 7, 1859 (died when six weeks 
old) ; Frank Arthur, born October 28, 1864; 
Henry Ellsworth, born May 19, 1867 (died 
November 21, 1869) ; Lena Z., born Novem- 
ber 23, 1869 ; and Mary Mabel, born Septem- 
ber 27, 1876. 

Charles Wilson was born January 18, 
1835. His people were English, and he was 
but two years of age when they came to the 
United States. At the age of twenty he 
began life for himself and engaged in farm- 
ing in Wisconsin. In May, 1856, he came 
to Minnesota and settled in Merton Town- 
ship, taking government land and building 
a cabin. Mr. Wilson now has 240 acres of 
land on sections 8 and 18, and carries on 
general farming and stock-raising. He is 
a Republican in politics, and has held various 
school district and township offices of import- 
ance. In Februarj', 1864, he enlisted in the 
Second Minnesota Calvalr}^, and was dis- 
charged November 21, 1864. Mr. Wilson's 
present wife was formerlj' Miss Agnes J. 
Gibson. They were married December 24, 
1876. Mr. Wilson's family consists of six 
children : Jennie, Ida, Nettie, Fred., Minnie 
and Arthur, the five last named of whom 
are living at home. 

Thomas Stockwell, one of the most promi- 
nent farmers in Steele County, came here in 
May, 1857, and settled on section 28, where 
he has since lived. Mr. Stockwell was born 
in England, April 17, 1832, but from the 
time he was fifteen until 1857 he lived in 
Chicago. Mr. Stockwell married Miss Mary 
Conhn, a native of Illinois. Politically he 
is a Democrat, and has held various offices 
of trust in the township, including those 
of assessor, supervisor, etc. Mr. Stockwell 



has 500 acres of land, most of which is 
under a high state of cultivation ; he has line 
buildings, carries on an extensive farming 
and stock-raising business, and is one of the 
leading farmers in this part of the State. 
He is a member of the Episco])al Church. 

Dexter Carlton came to Steele County in 
April, 1855, and located in Owatonna Town- 
ship. After remaining there for eleven 
years engaged at farming, he came to Mer- 
ton and located on section 7. where he has 
since lived. Mr. Carlton was born in Ver- 
mont, June 29, 1819. At the age of twenty- 
one he left home to care for himself, first 
being engaged at farming, after which he 
worked in a miU for some time. Most of his 
life, however, has been devoted to tilling the 
soil. Mr. Carlton was married to Miss Caro- 
line Lord, a native of "Vermont, who was 
born April 30, 1820. They have had seven 
children : Maria C, born November 23, 
1844; Lowell D., born July 8, 1846; Chloe 
A., born January 2, 1849 ; Alma D., born 
April 3, 1851 ; Frank C, born September 26, 
1855; George L., born March 3, 1857, and 
Albert O., born October 16, 1859 (died July 
22, 1880). Mr. Carlton is a Eepublican in 
politics. With his family he belongs to the 
Universalist Church. In 1862 he enlisted in 
the Tenth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, 
and was honorably discharged in August, 

R. A. McDonald is a native of Aberdeen, 
Scotland, born December 25, 1834. He left 
Scotland in 1839, and came to America, set- 
tling at Jerse}'' City where he remained 
about one year He then removed to the 
town of Dover, near Eacine, Wis., and 
remained there a number of years. He then 
lived in Bremer County, Iowa, for two years 
and on the 27th of October, 1855, came to 
Steele County, Minn., and settled in Merton 
Township. Mr. McDonald married Miss 
Marion Gibson, who was born in Canada, 
September 7, 1834. Her parents were 
natives of Scotland ; the mother died Decem- 
ber 11, 1886; the father is now living in 


Merton Township. Mr. and Mrs. McDonald 
have five children, as follows : Maggie, born 
September 22, 1871; Asa, born July 15, 
1873; William, born May 22, 1875; James, 
born December 23, 1877, and Agnes, born 
November 23, 1879. Mr. McDonald is one 
of the prominent citizens of the township ; 
is a Eepublican in political matters and, with 
his family, belongs to the Congregational 
Church. He cari'ies on general farming and 
extensive stock-raising, devoting much atten- 
tion to breeding blooded horses and stock. 

W. A. Eggleston is a native of New York, 
born August 8, 1843. At the age of twenty- 
one W. A. Eggleston began life for himself, 
and followed the vocation of teaching during 
the winter and farming in the summer. He 
taught for a number of terms and in 1869 
pnrchased a farm. He now has 160 acres 
of excellent land on sections 17 and 18, 
where he carries on extensive farming anil 
stock-raising. Mr. Eggleston married Miss 
Lucinda Norton, a native of Green County, 
Wis. Her people came here in 1857, 
and were among the early settlers of the 
township, locating on section 19. Mrs. Nor- 
ton died in 1874, and Mr. Norton is still liv- 
ing. Mr. and Mi's. Eggleston have three 
children, living at home, as follows : Gertie 
H., born July 31, 1870; Ella M., born 
November 3, 1871, and Daisy M., born Octo- 
ber 24, 1877. Mr. Eggleston is a Eepublican 
in political matters ; he has held the office 
of county commissioner, was town clerk for 
nine years, justice of the peace for eleven 
years, school district treasurer, and is the 
present chairman of the township board. 
He is treasurer and one of the trustees of the 
Methodist Church. Mr. Eggleston received 
a classical education, attending for three 
terms the Academy at Antwerp, N. Y., and 
is among the most intelligent and prominent 
citizens of the county. 

John Lane came to Steele County in 1857, 
from Sheboygan County, Wis. He had be- 
gun life for himself when about twenty 
years of age, and engaged at farming, work- 



ing by tlie month for some two years. He 
then went to Wisconsin, where for about six 
years he was engaged in the lumber business, 
and in 1857, as stated, came to Steele County, 
and located on section 29, Merton Township, 
where he has since lived, having now a well 
improved and valuable farm. In 1862 
he enlisted in tlie Tenth Minnesota Vol- 
unteer Infantry and served for three 
years, pai'ticipating in the battle of Nash- 
ville, and in many other important en- 
orasements. He was mustered out on Au- 
o-ust 31, 18K5. Mr. Lane's first wife was 
Miss Mary Jane Shaw, a native of Vermont. 
In 1875 he married Miss Sarah Holmes, a 
native of Ohio. Mr. Lane's family consists 
of two children, Stella J., and Wykoff J., 
both living at home. Mr. Lane, in his early 
3'ears, received a common-school education, 
as schooling facilities were not as perfect as 
they are to-day. He is a Eepublican and 
belongs to the Methodist Church, with his 

Herman Purfeest became a resident of 
Merton Township, Steele County, Minn., on 
the 17th of April, 1857. He is a native 
of German}', and was born July 18, 1830. 
At the age of seventeen, Plerman left home 
to care for himself, and worked at wool- weav- 
ing for three years. In 185(i he caivie to the 
United States, and in 1857 came to Steele 
County, as stated. In 1857 he was married 
to Catherine Kiser, who died in the spring 
of 1871. In 1872 he was married to Mrs. 
Sherneing (formerly Miss Elizabeth Smith), 
a native of Germany. They have one child, 
and Mrs. Purfeest had four children by her 
former marriage. Mr. Purfeest has always, 
in the ]iast, been a Repuljlican in political 
matters, but is now Independent. He has 
been school treasurer of his district for five 
years, and taken an active interest in public 
affairs. He belongs to the Lutheran Church. 
Mr. Purfeest served during part of the war 
in the Second Minnesota Cavalry, and was 
discharged in November, 1865. 

"W. E. Martin came here in 1857 from Ad- 

dison County, Vt., and engaged in farming 
and teaching school. He was born on 
the 8th of December, 1836. On December 2d, 
1857, he was married to Miss Nancy Cady, 
who died September 8, ISfii. He was again 
married, on the 25th of September, 1865, 
to Miss Alice A. Barnes, a native of Wiscon- 
sin. They have six children, besides one 
which died in infancy, as follows : Frank, 
born April 11, 1868; George, born June 27, 
1870 ; Bessie, born November 8, 1871: ; Grace, 
born March 11, 1880 ; Ruth, born December 
29, 1882, and Harriett, born November 16, 
1885. Frank is in Marshall County, Minn., 
teaching school, and the others are at home. 
Mr. Martin and family are members of the 
Baptist Church. In political matters Mr. 
Martin has taken a prominent part, being a 
Proliibitionist. In 1879 he was elected asses- 
sor of Merton Township and still holds the 
office. He has been justice of the peace six 
years ; school treasurer two terms, and town 
supervisor two terms. On the 11th of Au- 
gust, 1862, Mr. Martin enlisted in Company 
A, Tenth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and 
served until honorably discharged, July 7, 
1865. At the present writing Mr. Martin is 
carrying on farming and stock-i'aising on 
section 32. 

E. P. Taylor was born on the 20th of 
August, 1835. He came to Steele County, 
from Franklin Count}', Mass., in 1857, 
and located on section 12, in Merton 
Township. August llth, 1862, he enlisted 
in Comi)any A, Tenth Minnesota Volunteer 
Infantry ,and was honorably discharged June 
2, 1865. After being mustered out he went 
to Massacliusetts, and remained a few 
months, then returned to his Steele County 
home. Mr. Taylor now has a valuable farm 
and lives on section 5, carrj'ing on general 
farming and raising Holstein and other 
blooded stock. Mr. Taylor was married 
Januar}' 1, 1869, to Miss Ellen Hulett, a 
native of Wisconsin. They have five chil- 
dren : Berthold W., born March 12, 1871 ; 
Lewis S., born November 17,1873; Eliza, 



born Septeiubei' 1-i, 1877 ; Ina, born Novem- 
ber 10, 1882, and Chester A., born July 17, 
1884. Mr. Taylor is a Republican in poli- 
tics and takes an active interest in public 
matters calculated to benefit town or county. 

John Young is a native of the State of 
New York, and was born ]\[arch 7, 1839. 
At eleven years of age he began caring for 
himself and followed farming for six years, 
when he came "West to Indiana. From 
there he Avent to Iowa and worked in a saw- 
mill for a number of years. lie then for 
four years was in Dakota County, Neb., 
part of the time carrying the United States 
mail from Dakota City to a point about 
130 miles distant. From there he went 
back to Iowa, and later settled at Canon 
Cit}", Eice County, Minn., remaining there 
six years, from where, in 1867, he removed 
to this township. In January', 18fi5, Mr. 
Young enlisted in the First Minnesota Heavy 
Artillery and was discharged at Chatta- 
nooga, Tenn., August 15, 1865. On the 
10th of March, 1861, Mr. Young M-as mar- 
ried to Miss Ruth A. Munger, who was born 
in Dorchester, near London, Canada, May 
31, 18i4. She had lived in Canada until 
twelve years of age and then removed to 
Waterloo, where she married Mr. Young. 
Mr. and Mrs. Young have four children, as 
follows : Minnie M. born May 17, 1862 ; 
Jared S., born August 15, 1870; Jessie D., 
born March 17, 1872, and Frederick W., 
born Sept. 9, 1874. Mr. Young is a Ke])ub- 
lican in political matters. He was one of 
the organizers of school district No. 41, and 
held the office of clerk of that district for 
sixteen yeare. He is one of the deacons in The 
Eichland Baptist Church, and all of the fam- 
ilj" are members of that religious organiza- 

Henry Maw is a native of England, born 
in the town of Darfield, December 15, 1828. 
His parents were James and Mai'y M. (Booth) 
Maw ; his father being a toll-gate keeper, his 
business kept him moving from one station to 
another about every year. When Henry 

was fourteen the family came to America 
and located in Jefferson County, Wis., 
where they claimed government land. At 
that time the townships of that county were 
not organized, but were the next spring, 
and their claim was in what became Palmyra 
Township. The parents remained on the 
place until their deaths some years later, 
the mother dying when Henry was nineteen 
and the father when he was twenty-four 
years of age. Henry remained upon the 
homestead until he was thirty years old, 
when he sold the farm and drove overland 
to Steele County, Minn., accompanied b}^ his 
brother-in-law, wife and children. They 
drove three teams, and the stock, all told, 
consisted of eight cows, one pair of oxen, 
and a team of horses. The}' were one month 
on the way and arrived here June 13, 1858. 
He had previously bought his present farm, 
on which was a " shell of a log house." It 
was moved to where his present residence is 
located, was repaired somewhat and in a few 
da^'s they were living in their own house. 
Mr. Maw at once commenced breaking land, 
and put in what crops he could that season 
He has lived on the place ever since, now 
having 400 acres of land, and fine build- 
ings, and carries on farming and stock- 
raising on an extensive scale. In the fall of 
1858, after getting through breaking, Mr. 
Maw retvxrned to Wisconsin and brought 
back a thrashing-machine, with an eight- 
horse power. They began threshing as soon 
as they crossed the Mississippi at La Crosse, 
and continued to do jobs all along the road, 
until the}' ai'rived at home in February, 1859. 
This was the first thrashing-machine brought 
into Steele County. Mr. Maw was married 
in April, 1849, in Jefferson County, Wis., to 
Miss Elizabeth Mosher, anativeof New York. 
Their union was blessed with children, as fol- 
lows: Charles N., born December 10, lb53; 
Henry, born December 13, 1855 ; Ellen J., 
born December 28, 1857; Rose M., born 
June 1, 1862, and Lilley Viola, born July 
15,1864; Mrs. Maw died August 1, 1866. 



On the 25th of April, 1867, Mr. Maw was 
married to Louisa O. Eeynolds. They have 
had two children : Frederick J., born July 
13, 18CS, and Flora Louise, born October 10, 
1876. Mr. and Mi's. Maw are members of 
the Methodist Church, he having joined 
forty-seven years ago ; she thirty-one years 
aero. Mr. Maw has alwavs taken an active 
interest in town affairs and educational mat- 
tei's, and has held an office in his school dis- 
trict for twenty years past. 

Henry Maw Jr. came to Steele County 
with his father in 1858. He was born in 
Jefferson County, Wis., December 13, 1856. 
When twenty-six years old he began farm- 
ing on his own account on section 22, Mer- 
ton Township, where he has since been en- 
gaged in farming and stock-raising, devoting 
considerable attention to breeding Norman 
liorses. On the 11th of November, 1881, he 
was married to Miss Ida Jane Burns, a na- 
tive of Steele County, Minn. They have 
two children : Pearl Eva, born October 13, 
1883, and Flossy M., born November 3, 1886. 
Mr. Maw is a Prohibitionist in political mat- 
ters, and is, with his wife, a member of the 
Methodist Episcopal Cluirch. 

W. H. Wilson was born in the State of 
New York, March 27, 18-12. At an early 
dav he became a resident of Dane Countv 
Wis., where for some eighteen years he 
followed agricultural pursuits. In 1863 
he came to Steele County, Minn., and pur. 
chased 100 acres of land in section 18, 
township 108, range 19. In 1864 he en- 
listed in the First Wisconsin Heavy Artil- 
lery, and was in the service about eleven 
months, being mustered out in 1865. After 
this he went to Wisconsin, and after a few 
months returned to Minnesota for the third 
time, bringing his family. Mr. Wilson was 
married to Miss INIary Partridge, a native of 
Nova Scotia. The_y have four children : Jes- 
sie E., Harry G., Dora M. and Mary E. In 
political matters Mr. Wilson is a Republican ; 
he has been school director and held vari- 
ous other local offices. He has now a large. 

well cultivated and improved farm, with 
magnificent farm buildings, and is one of 
Merton's most substantial and prominent cit- 

Edward Smith came to Steele County, 
Minn., from Dodge County, Wis., in 1863. 
His people were natives of Germany, l)ut 
he had moved to Wisconsin from New 
York State, and spent some thirteen years 
in farming in Dodge County, Wis. In his 
father's family there were four children : So- 
phia, Elizabeth, Frederick and Edward. So- 
phia married Frederick Ribstein. Elizabeth 
first married Mr. Scherneing (deceased), and 
afterward married Herman Purfeest. Ed- 
ward Smith began life for himself when about 
twenty -four years of age, and for three j'ears 
farmed in Wisconsin. ITpon coming to Min- 
nesota he located on section 11, in Merton 
Township, where he now has a splendid farm. 
He was married to Miss Maggie Putsch, a 
native of Germany. They have six cWldren : 
Anna, born October 1, 1869 ; Elizal)eth, born 
January i, 1871; Edward, born March 27, 
1873; Frederick, born June 1, 1877; Lucy, 
born May 30, 1879, and William, born May 29, 
1883, Mr. Smith is a Republican in politics, 
and is a member of the Lutheran Church. He 
has held the offices of school director and town 
supervisor, besides others of a local nature. 

Dexter Lane is a native of Cuyahoga 
County, Ohio, and was born November 1-1, 
1832. His father was a native of Pennsyl- 
vania, his mother (formerly Miss Elizabeth 
Hurlbut) of New York State. They came 
here at an earl}' day, and the Lane family 
figure prominently in the early history of 
the count}'. The father and mother remai ned 
until the times of their death, and are buried 
in the Merton cemetery. In the father's 
family there were nine children : Elias, Eliza, 
John, Licena, Dexter, Laurinda, Leander IL, 
Matilda and Louisa. John, Dexter, Leander 
H. and Louisa (now Mrs. C. B. Baker), are 
still residents of Merton Township. Dexter 
began life for himself when twent3--one 
vears of age, and was engaged chieflv at 



farming until the spring of 1862, when he 
enlisted as a private in Company C, One 
Hundred and Twenty-fourth Ohio Volunteer 
Infantry. He saw much hard service. On 
September 20, 1863, he was taken prisoner 
of war and was taken to Atlanta, Ga. ; 
thence to Eichmond, Va. ; thence to Dan- 
ville, where he remained until exchanged, 
and was then placed in the convalescent 
camp at Columbus, Ohio. From there he 
was transferred to the Chicago Invalid 
Corps, and was finally honorably discharged 
at Chicago in July, 1865. He then came to 
Merton Township, Steele County, Minn., 
where he has since lived. Mr. Lane was 
married February 21, 1855, to Miss Carrie 
Chamberlain, a native of Trumbull County, 
Ohio. She died July 18, 1885, being in her 
forty-ninth year. Her death was sadly 
mourned by a large circle of friends and 
relatives. They had three children: Eva 
Jane, born December IS, 1855; Arthur W., 
born December 12, 1859, and Bessie E., born 
October 23, 1871. The two daughters are 
at home. Arthur is practicing law at Lin- 
coln, Neb. Dexter Lane is a Republican in 
politics and has held various local offices, 
including that of school district treasurer, 
and is among the most prominent citizens of 
the township. 

Captain Leaniler H. Lane, who has been 
referred to, is a native of Cuyahoga County, 
Ohio, wliere he was born May 10, 1840. 
When the Civil War broke out, in the spring 
of 1861, Mr. Lane enlisted as a private in 
Company D, Twenty -third Ohio Volunteer 
Infantry, and remained in the service until 
April, 1865, when he was honorably dis- 
charged. Step by step he was promoted 
until when mustered out he had become cap- 
tain of Company I, Twenty-third Ohio 
Infantry. After receiving his discharge he 
came to Steele County, Minn., and located in 
Merton Township, where he still lives. He 
now has 500 acres of land, mostly under a 
good state of cultivation, with good im- 
provements, where he carries on general 

farming and stock-raising, devoting consid- 
erable attention to blooded stock. In poli- 
tical matters Capt. Lane is a Republican, 
and has taken an active interest in all 
political and public matters. He has 
held various offices of importance, including 
those of county commissioner, township 
supervisor, road supervisor, school director 
and others. He is a member of the Grand 
Army of the Republic, and may justly be 
termed one of Steele County's most promi- 
nent farmers. 

P. Lynch became a citizen of Merton Town- 
ship in 1865. He is a native of Ireland, born 
March 21, 1836. He came to the United 
States at an early day, lived for a time in 
New Jersey and then settled in Lafayette 
County, Wis., where he was engaged in 
farming for about eight years. Upon com- 
ing here he first located on section 34, but 
about two j'ears later he removed to section 
29, where he now has a splendid farm, and 
carries on extensive stock-raising and 
farming, generally keeping from thirty to 
forty head of cattle. Mr. Lynch was mar- 
ried to Miss Anna Gayner, a native of Ire- 
land. Her people were natives of the same 
country, who came to America in 1857 ; the 
mother died in 1880. Mr. and Mrs. Lynch 
have four children : May Ann, born in 
1864; Thomas A., born in 1865; Ally A., 
born in 1870, and Elizabeth J., born in 1872, 
all of whom are living at home except May, 
who married John Malone, now a resident of 
Berlin Township. Mr. Lj'nch is a Demo- 
crat in political matters. He and his wife 
are memljers of the Catholic Church. 

George Hunter, a prominent citizen of 
Merton Township, was born in Canada, on 
the 15th of April, 1834. At the age of 
twenty-one he left home to care for himself, 
and for several years followed farming near 
Northfield, in Rice Countj'. He then re- 
turned to Canada, and for two years was en- 
gaged in the lumbering business. His next 
move — in 1866 — was to come to Steele 
County, Minn., where he has since been 



engaged in farming and stock-raising. Mr. 
Hunter was married on the ISth of Decem- 
ber, 1866, to Miss Elizabeth Naylor, a native 
of England, who was born April 23, 1845. 
They have had nine children, as follows: 
Jessie E., born October 8, 1866; George F., 
born December 13, 1867; James F., born 
January 2, 1869 ; David R., born September 
9, 1870 ; Margaret E., born April 28, 1872 ; 
"William C, born March 2, 1874; Cora M., 
born November 18, 1876 ; Emma J., born 
November 25, 1879, and John E., born 
August 2, 1884. In political matters Mr. 
Hunter is a Republican. 

Frederick Ribstein was born in Germany 
July 13, 1821. He came to the United 
States in 1847, and lived in New York State 
for about eight years. He then removed to 
Wisconsin where he lived for a number of 
years. In 1867 he came to Steele County, 
Minn., and located on section 3 where he 
still resides. He now has a large amount of 
land, fine buildings and is among the most 
substantial and well-to-do farmers in the 
township. ]\Ir. Ribstein began life with 
nothing. At eighteen he left home and af- 
ter learning the carpenter's trade he worked 
at that n^ost of the time until he came to 
Steele County. He was married in August, 
1850, to Miss Sophia Smith, a native of Ger- 
many, and they have had nine children, as 
follows: Amelia, born March 2, 1851; 
Lewis, born April 7, 1853; Frank, born 
April 14, 1857; Matilda, born April 14, 
1855; Edward, born August 28, 1859; 
Fred, born September 27, 1861; Sophia, 
born January 5, 1864 ; Lizzie, born April 
27, 1866, and Flora, born November 10, 
1868. Two of the children are dead ; three 
are married ; one lives in Dakota, and the 
others are at home. Mr. Ribstein is a Re- 
jiuljlican in politics, and belongs to the 
Lutheran Church, with his family. He has 
been school director for several terms, and 
is the present school treasurer of his district, 
an oifice which he has held for ten years 

Thomas Williams, one of the most enter- 
prising farmers of the township, is a native 
of the Isle of Wales, being born in County 
Radnor, September 5, 1833. His people 
were natives of the same country. They 
came to the United States in 1853, and 
located, in Racine County, Wis. In his 
father's family there were eight children : 
John, Mar}^, Ann, Thomas, Susanna, James, 
Sarah and Rice. Three of them, Susanna, 
Ann and Rice, are dead. Thomas Williams 
came to the United States in the fall of 
1849. For a time he lived in Macoupin 
County, 111., and was then engaged 
chiefly at farming in Racine Count}', Wis., 
for a period of about twelve years. From 
there, in 1867, he came to Steele County, 
Minn., where he has since been enraged in 
general farming and stock-raising, now hav- 
ing 240 acres of land on section 22, in Mer- 
ton Townshi]), besides twenty acres of 
timber land in Medford Township. He is a 
Republican in politics. On the 23rd of 
December, 1872, Mr. Williams was united 
in marriage to Miss Sophia Maw, a native 
of Wisconsin, born in March, 1851. They 
had one child, Henry T., born November 21, 
1874. Mrs. Williams died July 23, 1876. 
Her deatli was a terrible blow to her hus- 
band and family, and was mourned by a 
large circle of friends, as she was beloved 
b}' all who knew her. 

J. H. Laughlin, another of Merton Town- 
ship's substantial and prominent citizens, 
came here in 1867. He is a native of Penn- 
sylvania, born December 14, 1843; but came 
here from McIIenry County, 111. Since his 
residence here he has devoted most of his 
attention to stock-raisino- and farmino- and 
now has one of the finest farms in Steele 
County. He was, however, on the road for 
a time for the Woods Harvester Works. 
On the 25th of Januar}', 1867, he was mar- 
ried to Miss Katie Conway, a native of St. 
Louis. They had six children : Edwai'd, 
George, James, Maggie, Milford and \'m- 
son. In political matters Mr. Laughlin is a 



Democrat, and is a member of the Catholic 

Philo J. Tuttle was born in St. Lawrence 
County, N. Y., April 10, 1821, his parents 
being natives of Vermont. "Wlien he was 
eighteen montlis old, his mother died. When 
eleven he began life on his own account and 
began work by the month on a farm, follow- 
ing this occupation for a period of nearly 
fifteen years. He then purchased a farm in 
his native county and for a number of years 
tilled it. In 1869 he sold out his interests 
there and came to Steele County, Minn,, 
and located on section 19, Merton Town- 
ship. He now has 240 acres of land on 
that section, besides thirt}^ acres of timber 
in Clinton Falls Township. He carries on 
farming and stock-raising extensively. In 
1864 Mr. Tuttle enlisted in the Thirty-ninth 
New York Volunteer Infantrv, and partici- 
pated in a number of skirmishes. In Octo- 
ber, 1845, he was married to Miss Tliesta 
Taylor, a native of New York State. She 
died in 1846, leaving one child, Thesta, 
which died in 1850. Mr. Tuttle was again 
married, on September 28, 1848, Miss Abi 
gail Rice becoming his wife. She was born 
in Vermont but had been raised in the State 
of New York. They have six living chil- 
dren, as follows : Frederick, Charles, Alice, 
Stella, Alton and Floy. Alton and Floy are 
still at home. Fred is clerking in a music 
store at Sioux City, Iowa. Charles is farm- 
ing near Flandrau, D. T. Alice married 
John Burgess, a carpenter at Spearfish, 
Lawrence County, D. T. Stella married 
James Gallea, of Clinton Falls Township. 
Mr. and Mrs. Tuttle have buried four chil- 
dren : Hattie, Florence E., Ernest L. and 
Eva A. Mr. Tuttle has taken a prominent 
part in public affairs, and has held various 
local offices, including tliose of chairman of 
the township board, overseer of roads, and 
school director a number of terms. 

George L. Merrill, Esq., was born in New 
Hampshire, August 7, 1820. He received a 
classical educatiou, graduating from Dart- 

mouth College in 1840. He then began the 
study of law, and pursued his studies for 
three or four years ; one year with Judge 
I. Perry, of Concord, N. H. ; tlien for 
about two years with M. N. Benton, 
county attorne}^, at Covington, Ky. After 
this he was examined by Hon. J. J. Mar- 
shall, State judge, and admitted to the bar. 
He then engaged in practice at Covington 
for three years, when he removed to Janes- 
ville. Wis., where he dealt in real estate and 
practiced his profession. In the spring of 
1854 he removed to Faribault, Minn., where 
he lived for some fifteen years, engaged in 
speculating and law practice. Then worn 
out by an active and eventful life, he located 
upon his farm on section 5, Merton Township, 
Minn., where has since been engaged at 
farming and stock-raising. Mr. Merrill was 
married November 16, 1847, to Miss Mary 
Young, a native of Alexandria, N. H., 
born January 1, 1827. They have had 
eight cliildren, only three of whom are still 
living. They were as follows: James C. (de- 
ceased), born July 17, 1849; Caroline, (de- 
ceased), born March 17, 1851 ; Ann, born 
April 30, 1853; George L., born March 25, 
1856 ; John E. (deceased), born August 13, 
1858; Mary F. (deceased), born January 21, 
1861 ; James J. (deceased), August 21, 1863, 
and Charles L., born September 18, 1865. 
Mr. Merrill is a Democrat in politics but has 
not taken an active part in political affairs, 
that of justice of the peace being the only 
office he has held since coming here. The 
family attends the Methodist Church. 

Anders M. Hansen is a native of Denmark, 
born April 3, 1845. At the age of fourteen 
he began life for himself. He learned the 
cooper's trade and followed that, at odd 
times being engaged at farming for a number 
of years. In March, 1864, he settled in 
Illinois, and a few months later went to 
Wisconsin where he was engaged in farming. 
In 1869 he came to Steele County, Minn., 
and ]iurchased eighty acres of land on sec- 
tion 34, Merton Township. He farmed this 



for about five years and a half, then rented 
it and moved to Owatonna, where for six 
3'ears he Was engaged in the machinery busi- 
ness. He then returned to his place, where 
he has since been engaged in farming and 
stock-raising. He has a fine brick residence, 
splendid outbuildings and one of the best 
farms in Steele County. On the 11th of 
January, 1867, Mr. Hansen was married to 
Miss Anna K. Hansen, a native of Den- 
mark. They have had four cliildren, as fol- 
lows: Molizzie F. (deceased), born JVIay 3, 
1868; Herman, born September 16, 1869; 
Ange Margaretta, born April 10, 1872, 
and Emma Patrina, born May 12, 187-1. ]Mr. 
Hansen is a Republican in politics. He was 
elected pathmaster in 1882 and held the 
office for two years; in 1885 was elected 
clerk of school district Xo. SO. Mr. and 
Mrs. Hansen are members of the Lutheran 
Church in Havanna, of which Mr. Hansen 
has been one of the trustees. 

Benjamin M. Northup was born in the 
State of New York, April 13, 1850. At the 
age of seventeen he began life for himself, 
and for about two years worked in a barrel 
factory. He then was engaged for two 3'ears 
at farming in Eice County, Minn., af- 
ter which he came to Merton Township, 
Steele County, and located on section 6. A 
year later he again resumed farming in Rice 
County. He was then engaged in the mill 
business atDundas for two years, after which 
he again became a resident of Merton Town- 
ship, purchasing the northwest quarter of 
section 3, of Hudson Wilson, of Fari- 

bault. He now has a well improved farm, 
and carries on general farming and stock- 
raising. Mr. Northup was married June 
16, 1870, to Miss Anna C. Edsall, a native of 
Waushara County,' Wis. They have three 
children: Benjamin Edsall, born May 30, 
1872; Ismay Temperance, born October 
31, 1876, and Arthur Truman, born July 11, 
1878 ; all of whom are living at home. Mr. 
Northup is a Republican in politics; in 1881: 
he was elected clerk of school district No. 
■11, and still holds the office. The family at- 
tends the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

Geoi-ge W. Strong, deceased, was born 
March 23, 1822. He came to Steele County, 
Minn., in 1856 and located in the town- 
ship of Medford. Nine years later he came 
to Merton Township. His death occurred 
at Medford, March 27, 1881. He was a Re- 
publican in politics and was well and favora- 
bly known throughout this portion of the 
county. Mr. Strong was married July 4. 
1853, to Miss Helen E. Thompson, a native 
of Monroe Countj% Mich., who survives 
liira. She has nine living children, as fol- 
lows: Avelys Z., born April 31, 1855 ; Helen 
R. born July 4, 1858 ; Mary I., born July 23, 
1860; George E., born June 7, 1862; William 
O., born July 6, 1864; Kitsy J., born Janu- 
ary 23, 18«)6;Fred A., born July 21, 1868; 
Fannie E., born February 1, 1871 ; Frankie 
E., born May 28, 1873, and Minnie E., born 
March 16, 1876. Three girls and one boy 
are living at home. In 1882 Mrs. Strong 
moved to section IS, Merton Township, 
where she still lives. 



HIS is one of the smallest town- 
ships in the count3^ containing 
only eighteen sections of land, the 
north half of township 108, range 
20. It is bounded on the north 
by Eice County ; on the east 
by Merton Township ; on the 
soutli by Clinton Falls, and on the 
west by Doertield. The Straight 
Eiver passes through the town- 
ship, just west of the center, on 
its way northward, and several 
tributary creeks join it in this 
township. About one-half of the 
surface of the township is covered 
with timber, nearly all of the land on the 
east side of the river being covered with a 
heavy growth of fine timber for lumber or 
fuel. A good man}' tine farms have been 
cleared in the timber, and the prairie lands 
are dotted with the fine buildings of the 
many thrifty farmers who have settled there. 
The soil of the timber land is of a black sandy 
loam, very deep, with a clay subsoil, adapted 
to all kinds of cereals or vegetables. On the 
west side of the river the soil is of a lighter 
loam, but is also very productive. 


The first settlement within the present 
limits of Steele County was made in Med- 
ford Township. The first claims were made 
in the summer of 1853, by A. L. Wright, 
Chauncey Lull, Smith and Orlando Johnson, 
and L. M. Howard, who staked off claims, 
and in September Mr. Howard turned over 

the first sod in what is now Steele County. 
The Messrs. Johnson commenced breaking 
on their claims that fall, but did not build 
their house nor remove their families to 
this place until the following spring. 

A. L. Wright took a claim on what after- 
ward became section 5, in Medford Town- 
ship, and then returned to St. Paul. In Sep- 
tember of the same year he hired a team 
and came back, accompanied by Chauncey 
Lull, and then erected a cabin on the claim. 
This was undoubtedly the first house put up 
within the limits of the county. In this 
cabin Messrs. Wright and Lull spent the 
winter, keeping " batch." There were no 
other whites in the county; but a band of 
Indians were in winter-quarters within 160 
rods of the cabin. This was the extent of 
the settlement during the year 1853. 

During the year 1851 a number of addi- 
tions were made to the settlement. Those 
who came were: W. W. Wilkins, William 
Allen, John Sanborn, William K. Colling, 
Edwin Drake, Orlando Bartholomew and 
David Sanborn. 

William Allen settled on section 10. He 
remained there for nearly twenty years, then 
removed to St. Paul, and has since gone to 
the Pacific coast. 

John Sanborn came with his family early 
in the spring of 1851 and located'on section 
16, Mrs. Sanborn, it is claimed, being the 
first white woman resident of the county. 
Mr. Sanborn remained for about fourteen 
years and finally removed to Missouri, where 
he has since died. 




William K. Colling was an Englishman. 
He located and selected government land, 
building a house near where the elevator 
now stands in the village of Medford. He 
remained here for seven or eight years and 
finally returned to England. 

Edwin Drake located ujjon what was after- 
ward a portion of the village plat, where he 
lived until the time of his death, which oc- 
curred in 1886. 

Sylvester Gillman, in April of this 3'ear 
(1854), settled upon section 33 of "Walcott 
Township, Rice County, just over the county 
line, where he lived for over twenty 3'ears. 

Orlando Bartholomew made a claim on 
section 8. He remained here until the time 
of his death in 1878. 

David Sanborn came this year, but first lo- 
cated in what is now the town of Clinton 
Falls. About fifteen years later he settled 
in Medford, finally removing to Owatonna, 
where he died in March, 1SS.5. 

In 1855 the settlement continued rapidly. 
The following were the arrivals during that 
year: G. O. Hankerson, Isaac and Jacob 
Heath, S. M. Freeman, A. Ring, L. Muckey, 
"William Reynolds, Charles Jones, Joel 
Pound, F. B. Davis, J. Sliaw, George Strong, 
Benjamin Freeman, James McDonald, Chas. 
Jones, A. L. Kinyon, Mr. Cotton, Robert 
McDonald, Charles Strong and Luther Lane. 

Biographical sketches of many of these 
pioneers will Ije found in another depart- 
ment of this work. 

Lorenzo Muckey settled on section 14, 
where he remained until 1885, when he sold 
out and removed to Montana. 

"William Reynolds located on section 11 
and remained here or about sixteen years, 
when he removed to St. Paul, then to Alma 
City, and finally settled in Owatonna, where 
he still lives. 

Charles Jones made his home on section 
10. After living there until 1883, he re- 
moved to the Mouse River countr}^ in Da- 

Joel Pound selected his piece of land on 

section 11, and remained there until the time 
of his death in 1865. 

F. B. Davis also located on section 12, 
After a residence of some fifteen years 
here, he removed to Meriden, and from 
there has gone to "Watertown, Dakota. 

J. Shaw settled upon a claim on section 
12. AVhen the war broke out he enlisted and 
remained in the service until death cut him 
off in 1864. 

George Strong selected a claim on section 
11, and remained there for nearly twenty 
years, when he removed to Merton. Later 
he returned to Medford Township, and died 
there in March, 1880. 

S. M. Freeman first settled on section 13, 
and remained there some ten years. In the 
meantime when the war broke out he enlist- 
ed in the Tenth Minnesota Volunteer In- 
fantry, and was discharged in 1864. After 
coming l)ack he farmed it one season, and 
then moved to Medford. 

James McDonald located on section 12. 
About ten years later he sold to J. Pike and 
removed to Merton Township. He is now 

Charles Jones settled on section 10. He 
remained there for about twenty years, then 
sold his place and rented farms until 1883, 
when he removed to the Mouse River coun- 
try, in Dakota. 

A. L. Kinyon settled to section 2. A few 
j'ears later he sold and went to Iowa. 

Mr. Cotton selected a claim in the north 
ern part of the town, but only i-emained a 
few years. 

Robert McDonald lived with his brother 
on section 12. He is now in Merton Town- 

Charles Strong took a claim on section 14. 

Luther Lane settled on section 4, remained 
there till 1880, and then located in Medford 

In 1850 the settlement was again in- 
creased b\' a large number of arrivals, and 
about all the remaining Government land 
was taken. Amono- those who came this 



year were : Samuel Ring, Wm. Robinson, 
W. ]Sr. Abbott, W. L. Abbott, Joseph Jaw- 
yer, Zacharias Scribner, Charles Scribner, 
Benjamin Livingstone, B. F. Melvin, W. P. 
Bissell, R. G. Lincoln and Richard and 
Chancy Carpenter. 

Samuel Ring settled on section 12 and 
remained tliere until the time of his death 
in 1885. 

The Richardsons located on section 1. 

W. N. and M. L. Abbott settled on section 
9. W. N. remained there until the spring 
of 18S7, when he moved to Lincoln, Neb. 
M. L. Abbott remained here until the fall of 
1869, when he removed to Tennessee, where 
he still lives. 

Joseph Sawyer first located on section 17. 
He died at Owatonna in August, 1886. 

Zacharias Scribner located on sections 
8 and 9, and lived there until 1863, when he 
moved to Faril^ault, and in 1866 to Water- 
ville, Minn. Charles Scribner remained here 
until the time of his death in 1867. Ilis 
widow afterward married II. B. Morrison 
and now lives at Britt, Iowa. 

Benjamin Livingston remained here until 
1866, when he went to Faribault. 

B. F. Melvin settled on section 9. He 
was later elected count}' treasurer and re- 
moved to Owatonna where he remained until 
the time of his death in 1880. 

"W". P. Bissell located on section 9. He 
is still a resident of the township. 


The first house in the township was that 
erected by A. L. Wright and Chauncey Lull 
in the fall of 1853. 

The first birth in the township was that of 
William Colling, a son of Mr. and Mrs. W. 
K. Colling. 

The first marriage of residents of the town- 
ship was that of A. L. Wright and Miss 
Phoebe Hayes. The ceremony was performed 
in Rice County. 

The first death was that of William Wohl- 
ford, which occurred July 29, 1859. The re- 

mains were buried in what is now known as 
Wolcott and Medford Union cemetery. 


When Steele County \vas organized, August 
1, 1855, all the territory in the west two- 
thirds of the county was organized as Owa- 
tonna Township, which included what is now 
Medford. On the 25th of the same month, 
however, Medford Township was created by 
the board of county commissioners and then 
included what is now known as Medford, 
Clinton Falls and Deerfield Townships. It 
was ordered that the first to\vn meeting be 
held at the house of William Colling, and 
F. F. Adams, Orlando Bartholomew and 
William Allen were a])pointed judges of the 
first election. On the 7th of April, 1856, 
the records state that Franklin Township 
was organized of township 108, range 19, 
and the east half of township 108, range 
20, • — which would take of the east half 
of what is now Medford and Clinton Falls 
Township. Many of the old settlers claim 
that this is a mistake, yet it so appears in the 
records of the board of county commis- 
sioners. On the 6th of April, 1857, a change 
of boundaries was made, and Medford was 
made to include the territory now forming 
Medford and Clinton Falls Township. Thus 
it remained until April 6, 1858, when Clinton 
Falls Township was set off', leaving the bound- 
aries of Medford Township as they still re- 
main. The organization of the township as 
it is now formed was not fully perfected until 
the 11th of May, 1858, when a complete list 
of township officers was elected as follows : 
F. B. Davis, J. D. Sanborn and O. Bartholo- 
mew, supervisors ; A. O. Francis, clerk ; W. 
P. Francis, assessor ; Edwin Drake, treasurer ; 
E. Sanborn, overseer of the poor ; K. Pres- 
cott and Joel L. Pound, justices of the peace. 

Among others who were prominent in 
township affairs in early days and who held 
leading offices were : B. F. Melvin, W. F. 
Lewis, Orrin Lee, W. P. Bissell, W. W. Wil- 
kins, R. Miles and Charles Pomeroy. 



The following are the present township 
officers of Medford, elected March 8, 1887 : 
N. "Webb, Charles Gardner and E. P. Ring, 
supervisors ; M. Skinner, clerk ; W. A. Bailey, 
treasurer ; L. R. Barlow, assessor ; Orrin Lee 
and G. H. Butler, justices of the peace ; G. 
F. Johnson, and S. Curtis, constables. 

In the spring of 1858 the town officers let 
a contract to B. F. Melvin and J. P. Ride- 
out to build a bridge across Straight River, 
for the sum of $900, the county to pay $600, 
on condition that the town should pay the 
other $300. O. Bartholomew and others 
were sureties that the town would pay this 
sum, and on the 19th of June, a special 
meeting was called to take formal action for 
the town to assume the liabilit3^ Tiie vote 
stood 4:2 for paying the debt to 38 against- 

In 1862 tlie report of the town treasurer, 
as to the liabilities of the town was as fol- 
lows : " The town owes not one dollar that 
we know of and there remains in the hands 
of the treasurer a balance of $218.68." 

In 1863 a special town meeting was called 
to vote on the projiosition to purchase the 
schoolhouse on the west side of the river 
for a "town hall,"' but the project failed, and 
in 1867 the building was bought by the Free 
Will Baptist Society and removed to the 
east side of the river and fitted up for a 
church, which by arrangement with other 
denominations was afterward used as a un- 
ion church. 

In 1862, at the time of the Indian massa- 
cres on the frontier, tlie people of Medford 
became somewhat excited in regard to their 
own safety and the town appropriated $5 to 
purchase powder. For some time pickets 
were stationed about the town, but as the 
Indians never came the powder was finally 
burned to celebrate the fall of Richmond or 
the capture of Jeff Davis. 

In 1866 the spring floods carried away the 
Ijridge across the river, and in May a special 
town meeting was held to authorize an ap- 
propi'iation to build a new one. A majority 
decided in favor of the pi'oject and a com- 

mittee consisting of Smith Johnson, L. M. 
Howard, George Hankerson, W. W. Wil- 
kins and Alfred Sanborn, was aj)pointed to 
select a location that would be the most fa- 
vorable and best accommodate the people. 
The committee selected a point about forty 
rods above the old site. The report of the 
committee was adopted and an appropria- 
tion of $1,500 made to pay the cost ; the 
county appropriating $1,000, made a total of 
$2,500. Another special meeting was held a 
short time later and the former location an- 
nulled, and it was decided to build upon the 
old site. On motion of Smith Jolinson, 
$500 was added to the fund. Tlie contract 
was let to Mr. Alden, who commenced the 
work, but as he failed to go through with it 
the town board finished it. Another special 
meeting was held in Jul}^ to add $650 to 
the bridge fund, and as this was not suffi- 
cient $500 more was ajipropriated in Novem- 
ber following, making a total of $-1,150, 
when a fine bridge was completed. 


The first schoolhouse at Medford was 
erected in 1856 near where the highway 
crosses the railroad south of town. The dis- 
trict was then known as the Sanborn school 
district. The building was moved into 
town in the spring of 1859. 

The second schoolhouse built in the town- 
shij) was a frame building erected in tlie fall 
of 1856, on the west side of the river. It 
was used for school purposes for about ten 
years ; was finally moved into the village and 
is now occupied as a dwelling by G. C. 
Moon. The first teacher in this building 
was George Lincoln. 

The present school building in Medford 
village was erected in 1867, at a cost of 
about $2,500. It is a neat and substantial 

School district No. 5 was organized in 1855, 
and the schoolhouse was ei'ected during the 
following year. It was a frame building 
whicli is still standing, and cost about 



$500. This was the first frame school build- 
ing in the county. The first school in this 
district was taught by Loduskey Wilkins, in 
an old claim shant}', which belonged to W. 
W. Wilkins. The present teacher in this 
district is Miss Yina Close. Religious services 
were held here as early as 185i. William 
Colling, a man of real practical piety, tiiougii 
not an ordained minister, frequently gath- 
ered his neighbors together and explained the 
Scriptures. Bishop Whipple held services at 
Mr. Ceiling's house in 1857, when a child 
was christened. 

The Walcott and Medford Union cemetery 
was first used for burial purposes in 1855, but 
was not platted until about the close of the 


Hon. W. W. Wilkins was one of the earliest 
settlers in Steele County, and is to-day among 
the most prominent citizens in this part of 
the State. He is a native of Vermont, born 
August 21,1833, his parents being Kendall 
and Polley(Laflin)Wilkins. W.W.Wilkins was 
first married in 1850 to Miss Mary E. John- 
son, a daughter of Smith Johnson, one of 
the most prominent figures in the earlj^ his- 
tory of the county. The}^ had two children, 
Mary E., and Florence E. Mary E. was mar- 
ried November 19, 1885, to W. C. Kern, and 
now lives in Dakota. Florence is still at 
home. Mrs. Wilkins died July 21 , 1807 ; and 
in Fel^ruaiy, 1871:, Mr. Wilkins married Miss 
Marilla Idell. Mr. Wilkins came to Steele 
County, Minn., in 1851, selecting a piece of 
government land in what has since become 
Medford Township, in October of that year. 
He has since lived here, taking an active in- 
terest in all matters regarding his town or 
county. Liberal and enterprising, every 
move brought to his notice which was calcu- 
lated to benefit his locality' or county, has 
received his hearty support, and his name is 
indissolubly connected with the growth and 
development of this portion of the State. 
In political Matters he has taken an active 

)3art, and besides offices of great importance 
has filled innumerable positions of a local 
nature. In the fall of 1872 he was elected a 
member of the lower house of the Legislature; 
in 1873 he was reelected, and in the fall of 
1878 was elected to represent his district in 
the State Senate. These were important ses- 
sions, and that Mr. Wilkins maile an influen- 
cial representative is attested by many flat- 
tering press notices of that time. He served 
upon a number of important committees, and 
made a record creditable to himself and sat- 
isfactory to his constituents. Since his offi- 
cial term expired he has devoted his time 
whollj' to his farming and stock-raising inter- 
ests, which are extensive. A portrait of Mr. 
Wilkins very appropriately ajjpears in tliis 

George O. Hankerson is another of Steele 
County's representative men. He is a native 
of Kennebec County, Me. ; a son of George 
and Celia Ann (Atkins) Hankerson. George 
O. came to Steele Countj^ Minn., in June, 
1855, and selected a government claim on 
section 14, in the township of Medford. His 
wife came in October of the same year. 
Mr. Hankerson has since lived upon his orig- 
inal claim. He now has one of the finest 
farms in Steele County, embracing 350 acres, 
150 of which is under cultivation. He also 
devotes considerable attention to stock-rais- 
ing:. Mr. Hankerson was married in Ken- 
nebec County, Me., in October, 185i, to Miss 
Eliza Ann Barker. They have had four 
children, as follows : George William, born 
in January, 1856; Alice L., born in Febru- 
ar3% 1858; John Frank (deceased), born 
November 1, 1801 (died February 7, 1872), 
and Charles F., born in December, 1863. 
George William, who lives in Medford 
Township, was married July 6, 1881, to 
Eliza Ann Gallea, who died May 5, 1887. 
Alice L. was married in March, 1885, to 
George Flinn, a resident of section 11, Med- 
ford Township. Charles F. is still at home. 
Mr. Hankerson has been a leading man in 
township and county affairs. He has filled 



a great many local oifices. In the fall of 
1871 he was elected a member of the board 
of county commissioners and served through 

Isaac Heath is a native of New Hamp- 
shire, born November 13, 1810. He lived 
with his parents, David and Tabothy (Clif- 
ford) Heath, until twenty years of age when 
he went to the State of Maine, where he 
lived for twenty-five years. He then, with 
a company of fourteen, started West and on 
April 14, 1855, ai-rived in Steele County. 
Mr. Heath selected government land on sec- 
tion 10, in Medford Township, where he has 
lived ever since. He was married in August, 
1836, to Miss Mai-y Clifford. They had a 
family of ten children, three of whom are 
now living: Isaac P., a resident of Grafton, 
D. T.; John A., a resident of Dodge County, 
Minn., and George, who still lives at home 
and superintends the farm. 

Samuel Ring was one of the pioneers of 
Steele County. He came to Medford Town- 
ship in 1856 from Kennebec County, Me., 
and located upon a claim which had been se- 
lected by his oldest son, Abner, in 1855. Mr. 
Eing remained upon the farm until the time 
of his death. He came to Minnesota with a 
family of seven children : Abner, Sarah, Na- 
thaniel. Eugene, Eumagene, Joseph and 
Eliza, five of whom are still residents of the 

Eugene Ring was born in Maine in 1840, 
and was, therefore, sixteen years of age when 
he came to Steele County with his father. 
When the war broke out he enlisted in Com- 
pany A, Tenth Minnesota Volunteer Infant- 
ry, under Col. J. H. Baker, and in the sum- 
mer of 1863 went with Gen. Sibley's 
Northern Expedition as far as where Bis- 
marck, D. T., is now located. In the fall he 
returned and joined the regular army and 
went South, participating in the battles of 
Tupello, Miss., Nashville, Spanish Fort and 
others. He received an honorable discharge 
at Fort Snelling in 1865. In the fall of 
1868 he settled upon his present place on 

section 18, Medford Township, where he 
has since lived. He was married in the 
fall of 1868 to Miss Sojjhronia Compton, 
who died in 1871. In the fall of 1872 he 
was married to Flora Shear. There are seven 
children in the family : Sarah E., Albert C, 
May E., Flora, John, Alice and Fred. 

Joseph Ring, who still lives on the old 
homestead, is a native of Maine. He came 
to Steele County in the summer of 1856, 
with his father, Samuel Ring, being then 
only six years old. He was married October 
17, 1872, to Miss Clara R. McNitt. They 
have four children : Merritt M., born March 
27, 1875; Randall O., bora June 12, 1877; 
Hiram W., born October 8, 1881, and Ar- 
thur S., born August 9, 18S4. 

William Ha^'es Avas bora in Essex County, 
N. Y., January 15, 1841, and came West 
with his father's family in 1856. His par- 
ents were Chester and Elizabeth (Sanders) 
Hayes. Chester Hayes came to Steele Coun- 
ty, Minn., and settled government land on 
section 16, in ]\Iedford Township, M'here 
he lived until the time of his death in the 
fall of 1S82. Mrs. Hayes' death occurred 
in 1879. Their family consisted of the fol- 
lowing named : Cornelius, Sanford A., James, 
William, Phebe A., Dorcas and Maria. Cor- 
nelius never came West. Sanford and James 
are dead. Phebe mari'ied A. L. Wright. 
Dorcas mari-ied Avery Kinney, and lives in 
Dakota ; Maria married C. A. Harris, of 
Dakota. AVilliam Hayes has lived on the 
old homestead ever since coming to Minne- 
sota. He was married Ajn-il 16, 1862, to 
Miss Lucy Anna Jeffrey. They have three 
children : Chester, Leonard and Lizzie. 

D. T. Eastman spent his early days at 
Clinton, Kennebec County, Me., with his 
parents, Henry and Lydia Eastman. D. T. 
Eastman remained in Maine until 1856, when 
he started west, arriving in Medford Town- 
ship on the 16th of October. He selected 
government land on section 7 and remained 
on it a few years. In the spring of 1857 he 
started a brickvard about one mile east of 



where the village of Medford is now located 
and manufactured the first brick made in 
Steele Count}'. The enterprise did not prove 
satisfactory, as he sustained heavy losses by 
fire, but with the energj' characteristic in 
those days he tried again, and, in the fol- 
lowing spring, established another yard at 
Geneva. Mr. Eastman has remained in the 
county ever since his first settlement, having 
purchased his present farm, on section 17, in 
1882. Mr. Eastman was first married before 
he came west, to Miss Charlotte K. Thomas, 
who died in May, 1856, leaving one child, 
Aliston L., who is now married and living 
at Faribault, Minn. On the 11th of October, 
1857, Mr. Eastman was mai-ried to Miss 
Hannah J. Fowler, who came to Medford at 
an early day with her father's famil3\ They 
were blessed with three children : Orient N., 
George and Edward M. 

H. C. Gillman, deceased, was one of the 
pioneers of Steele County. He came here 
in 1S56 and claimed government land in the 
timber, but did not build upon it. The fol- 
lowing year he purchased the homestead 
where he lived until his death, which occur- 
red March 20, 1882, and his family still 
occupy the place. Mr. Gillman was an active 
and prominent factor in the affairs of the 
township, and was one of Steele County's most 
substantial citizens. He left a wife and three 
children to mourn his loss. He was married 
November 18, 1858, to Miss Jane Babcock. 
They had three children : Carrie, William, 
and Fred. Carrie married Charles Headline, 
January 1, 1884, and lives in Warsaw, Minn. 
William and Fred are still at liome assisting 
their mother on the farm. 

W. li. Miner came to Steele County in 
October, 1863, from East Randolph, Colum- 
bia County, Wis., and bought his present 
farm on section 17, Medford Township, 
where he has since lived. He is a native of 
St. Lawrence County, N. Y., born May 25, 
1843. He went to Wisconsin with his 
parents when about nine years old. He 
started in life for himself when but eighteen 

years old, and followed farming in Wiscon- 
sin until he came to Minnesota. He was 
married to Miss Mary K. Wohlford Decem- 
ber 30, 1869. They have one child, George 
H., born in 1870, who is at home with his 

Merritt Webb is a native of Jefferson 
County, ]Sr. Y., born March 21, 1829. His 
parents were James and Wealthy (Hutchin- 
son) Webb, natives of Massachusetts. They 
removed to New York at an early day, and 
in 1849 settled in Sheboygan County, Wis. 
Merritt remained with his parents until 
twenty years of age, striking out in life for 
himself in Wisconsin. He followed farming 
in that State for fifteen years, then came to 
Minnesota, and lived in Wabasha County one 
year, after which for two j'ears he lived in 
Meriden Township, Steele County. He then 
purchased his present farm from John San- 
born, who had "claimed" it in 1854. Mr. 
Webb was married April 17, 1849, to Miss 
Mary C. Putnam, who was born December 
30, 1831, her grandfather being a "son of 
General Putnam, of Revolutionary fame. 
They have five living children : Frank C, 
born November 27, 1850; Charles N., born 
February 8, 1855 ; Edmund E., born March 
22, 1859 ; Mary A., boi'n September 29, 
1863, and Eva May, born January 16, 1870. 
Frank C. lives in Owatonna; Charles N. and 
Edmund E., in Watonwan County, Minn.; 
Mary A. married Homer Demick, of Owa- 
tonna ; Eva May is still at home. 

William Gibson is a native of Granville 
County, Canada, and a son of George and 
Jane Gibson. William lived with them un- 
til thirty j'^ears of age. He came to Steele 
County, Minn., in 1865, and rented farms 
in Medford Township until 1875, when he 
purchased his present farm, which consists of 
120 acres on section 10, where he still lives. 
He was married March 7, 1870, to Miss 
Mary Hunter, and they have had six children 
as follows : Jane, William, Mary, Margaret, 
Barbra and George. 

Alex. McDonald is a native of Canada 



West, where he was born in 1831. He came 
to Steele County in 1S66 and located on sec- 
tion 2, in Medford Townsliij), where he has 
since lived, carrying on general farming and 

John Hamilton is a native of Scotland, born 
March 20, 1821. When eight years of age he 
came to the United States with his parents, 
Gavin and Isabel (Douglas) Hamilton. They 
settled in Oswego County, N. Y., where the 
father died two years later, and the mother 
eighteen years later. John Hamilton lived 
with his mother until the time of her death, 
when he went to California, remaining for a 
short time and then returned to New York 
State. He was then for three years engaged 
in lumbering. Removing to Wisconsin he 
was there engaged in farming for about nine 
years. He then located in Goodhue County, 
Minn., where he remained two years, and, in 
the spring of 1868, came to Medford Town- 
ship. Steele County, where he has since 
lived. He commenced building on his pres- 
ent plate in 1883. He owns, however, a 
number of farms which he rents. Mr. Ham- 
ilton is a single man, and has but two relatives 
in America, a Mrs. Wilson, in New York 
State, and a ]\[rs. Dudley, in Iowa, both being- 
nieces of his. He is a Republican, but does 
not take much interest in political matters. 

J. S. Cory was born in Wisconsin, March 
24, 1848. His parents, Mr. J. H. and Mrs. 
M. J. (Palmerton) Cory, came to Steele 
County, Minn., in June, 1808, and settled upon 
the farm originally taken by A. L. Wright. 
J. H. Cory lived there until the time of his 
death, Januarj^ 1, 1872, and his widow now 
lives in Medford Village. J. S. Cory has lived 
upon the place ever since he came to the 
county. lie was married March 27, 1872, 
to Miss Jennie A. Bloss, a native of Iowa. 
They have live children : Jessie G., Jennie 
E., James E., George H. and Merton E. Mr. 
Cor3''s farm consists of 193 acres of land, 100 
oi which is under cultivation. 

Stewart Warren is a native of tiie town of 
Wholford, West Canada, born April G, 184.5. 

His parents were Matthew and Mary (Ervin) 
Warren. SteM'art remained at home, help- 
ing his father on the farm until twenty-one 
j'ears of age, and then went to New York 
State, remaining two years. He then came 
to Steele County, Minn., arriving here March 
3, 1869, and has since been a resident of the 
count}'. He purchased his present farm on 
section 10, Medford Township, in 1875, and 
has since devoted his attention chiefly to bee 
culture, which he carries on extensively. Mr. 
Warren was married March 5, 1875, to Miss 
Cora Heath. There are three children : Nel- 
lie C. (adopted) ; Bertha M., born February 
22, 1883, and Jennie M., born March 16, 

D. A. McKinlay was born September 29, 
1855; he came to Steele County, Minn., March 
30, 1875, and purchased his present farm on 
section 18, Medford Township. He was mar- 
ried September 24, 1884, to Miss Jennie 
Daniels of Waseca County. Mr. McKinlay's 
parents were natives of Scotland. They 
came to America in 1851, and located in the 
State of New York. In 1880 they came to 
Steele County, Minn., and are now residents 
of the village of Medford. 

D. Boynton is one of the pioneers of Blue 
Earth County, Minn., having located there 
in 1857, when the settlers were " few and 
far between." He is a native of Lower Can- 
ada, his parents being David and Betsy 
(Vinton) Boynton. When twent\' years old 
he went to Vermont and remained two years 
at work in the woolen mills. He then lived 
in Wisconsin for four years, when he came 
still farther west and located in Blue Earth 
County, taking up government land in the 
town of Mapleton. He lived upon his ori^- 
nal homestead for eighteen years, except 
while he was in the army. In July, 1804, he 
enlisted in Company B, Fifth Minnesota, 
and served a j^ear and a half, participating 
in the battles of Nashville, Montgomery 
and others, and received an honorable dis- 
charge in the fall of 1805, at Des Plaines, 
Ala He then returned to his home in Blue 




Earth County. Later lie sold his farm and 
moved to Clinton Falls, where he lived for 
two years. He then settled in Jredfoi-d Vil- 
lage and from there moved to his jiresent 
farm on section 4 in tlu^ town of Med ford. 
Mr. Boynton was tirst mari-ied at Manches- 
ter, N. II., in 1852, to Miss Julia A. Hancock, 
a native