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Full text of "History of Wright County, Minnesota"

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HISTORY OF 

WRIGHT COUNTY 

MINNESOTA 



BY 

FRANKLYN CURTISS-WEDGE 



ILLUSTRATED 



VOLUME I 



CHICAGO 

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

1915 



' V 

1 ^-^s -4 ir>,C' ^y^-TH 









TO THE 

STURDY PIONEERS OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

WUO, AMU) INXUMEKABLE HARDSHIPS, BLAZED THE WAY 

FOR THE PRESENT GENERATIONS; 

AND TO THEIR 

DESCENDANTS and SUCCESSORS 

THIS VOLUME IS DEDICATED 
BY ALL WHO HAVE ASSISTED IN ITS CONSTRUCTION 



FOREWORD. 

It is witli ;i iVi'liiifi; of I'onsidci'ahlc pride ami iilcasiirc tiiat tlir 
]iiil)iisiiiTs piTsi'iit this histoi'v I'lir tlu' approval of tile jK'opIc of 
Wi'iirlit t-ouii1y. Tiic iniiliTtal<iiiiir lias not liccii an easy one and 
the ditHeulties have been many, so many indeed that this pultlieation 
wouhl not have been possible without the liberal assistance of the 
citizens of the county. The chief contributors and editors have 
given freely of their time and talent; business men, ehnreh ofTfieials, 
fraternity, association anil corporation ofticials, inainifacturers, ])ro- 
fessional men anti bankers, often at great personal sacrifice, have laid 
asitle their regular duties to write of their communities and special 
interests ; educators have written of the scliools, and men and women 
in all walks of life have given the information at their conmiand. 
regarding themselves, their families, their activities and their locali- 
ties. To all of these the readers of this work owe a lasting debt of 
gratitude, and to each and every one the publishers extend their 
heartfelt tliaidcs. 

In handlint;' the vast amount of material gathered for this woi'k, 
it has been the aim of the entire staff to select such matter as is au- 
thentic, reliable and interesting. Doubtless facts have been inclniled 
that many will deem of little moment, but tht>se same facts to others 
may be of the deepest import. It may be also that some facts have 
been omitted that many readers would like to .see included. To such 
readers we can only say that to publish every incident in the life of 
the county would be to i.ssue a work of many volumes, and in choosing 
such material as would come within the limits of two volumes we 
believe that the matter selected is that wiiich will prove of greatest 
interest to the greatest number of readers, and al.so that which is 
most worthy of being handed down to future generations, who in 
this volume, in far distant years, may read of their lai'ge-souled, 
rugged-bodied ancestors and predecessors, who gave up their homes 
in older communities to brave the rigors of pioneer endeavor. 

A few omissions may be due to some of the people of the county, 
themselves, as in many instances repeated requests for information 
have met with no response. In such cases information gathei-ed 
from other sources, while authentic, may be lacking in copious detail. 
In other instances the indifference of persons who should have been 
interested has kept from us information which we have made strenu- 
ous efforts to secure and which we would have desired to include in 
this work. 

Before passing hasty judgment on apparent errors, one should 
consider carefully, not relying on tradition or memory. In man>' 
eases we have found that persons' memories are faulty and tradition 
erroneous when measured by the standard of official records, even 
in the case of comparatively recent events, while in many instances 
families are under the impression that their forebears arrived in 
the county long before it was possible for them to do so. We have 
endeavored to follow a uniform system of the spelling of proper 
names, although various spellings of even the most familiar names 
appear in the newspapers and records. 

V 



vi FOREWORD 

The liiographies have been gathered with care from those most 
interested, and with a few exceptions have been revised and corrected 
by the subject of the biography or by a relative or friend. As veri- 
fication of all the details is impossible, the editors disclaim responsi- 
bility for any errors therein, the opportunity having been given 
the various families for making any corrections desired. This, 
however, refers to the dates, incidents and serpience of events ; all 
personal esti)nates being the work of the editors and inserted in 
biographies only after consultation with the various members of 
the staff. 

Among the authorities consulted and in many eases (|uoted copi- 
ously are : History of the Upper Mississippi Valley ; D. R. Farn- 
ham's History of Wright County published in the "Delano Eagle" ; 
Minnesota in Three Centuries; the histories of southern Minnesota 
counties by the editor of the present work ; the various publications 
of the state of Minnesota and the United States government; as well 
as the pulilications of the Iowa, Wisconsin and IMinnesota historical 
societies, and w^iMt other biographical, historical, and archseologieal 
woi'ks of referm". The tiles of the newspapers of this and neigh- 
Iioring counties have been carefully perused, as have the coiiuty, 
township, village, city, and church records. Hundreds of minute- 
books have been scanned and thousands of letters and original manu- 
scripts carefully examined. To all those who have extended lis 
courtesies durin,g our research of these records we extend our thanks. 
The gentlemen at the courthouse. Clerk of Court Edward C. Tuttle, 
Sheriff Angus H. Grant, Auditor John A. Berg, Treasurer Orson C. 
Chanilierlain, Register of Deeds 0. J. Peterson, Judge of Probate 
Heni'y Spindler, and County Attorney S. A. Johnson deserve special 
thanks, for in many cases the completeness of our information is due 
to their luitiring efforts in their desire that the history should be 
worthy of the county whose officials they are. A. C. Heath has 
reviewed many of the proof sheets, and C. J. Buckley placed at the 
disposal of the editor the hies of the "Delano Eagle." The names 
of those who have prepared articles for us appear in many instances 
at the head of the chapters and in insertecl notes, I)ut to name the 
hundreds who have assisted us would lie impo.ssible. Their reward 
will be the gratitude that future generations will feel that these facts 
have been gathered and preserved. We have taken advantage of 
every available source of information, and have labored earnestly 
to secure conciseness and accuracy. The usual extended stories of 
the incidents of the early days have in some instances been omitted, 
the purpose of this history being to provide a ready book of refer- 
ence rather than a book of I'omance dealing with pioneer adventures. 

That the history is faultless, we do not presume ; it is probably 
not within the power of man to arrange a work of this kind witkout 
minor mistakes of one sort or another; that it will meet with the 
uni|nalified approval of all, we dare not expect; but we trust that 
the great merits ef the work will overbalance any shortcomings 
that may be discovered ; and our forty years of experience in this 
work assures us that the history will increase in value year after 
.year. 

Our association with the people of Wright county has been a 
most pleasant one. We have conscientiously performed our task, 
and in jJacing the history in the hands of those whom it most con- 
cerns, our hope is that we have done our work well. 

H. C. COOPER JR. & CO. 



TABLE OF CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 

NATURAL PHENOMENA. 

r.\GE 

Advantages — Location — Surface Features — Drainage — Lakes 
— Ice Formed Ridges — Topograjdiy — Soil and Timber — 
Geological Structun — Glacial and :\Iodified Drift— The 
Moraine — Fossiliferous Beds — Boulders of the Drift — 
Lignite Deposits — Explorations for Coalrv-Tvpical Till 
Exposure — Waterjiowers — Underground Waters — Yield 
of Water— Head of Water— Quality of the Water— Cre- 
taceous Rocks — Paleozoic and Older Formations — Water 
Sujiply in the Villages — Farm Water Supplies — Sum- 
mary and Analysis 1 

CHAPTER n. 

PREHISTORIC INHABITANTS. 

Nature's Paradise — The Coming of ilan — Tlie Eskimo — The 
ilound Builders — Purpose of the Mounds — Life and 
Habits of the Mound Builders — Location of the Mounds 
— Excavations and Discoveries — Relies 26 

CHAPTER TIL 
INDIAN OCCUPANCY AND TREATIES. 

The North American Indian — The Dakotas — Migrations — 
Occupancy of the Mille Lacs Region — The Ojibwas — 
The Ojibwa-Dakota Conflict- The Winnebagoes— The 
Sauks and Foxes — Indians in Wright County — Indian 
Treaties — Wright County Passes Into the Possession of 
the Whites — Coming of the Winnebagoes — Life of the 
Indian 39 

CHAPTER IV. 
GOVERNMENTAL HISTORY. 

Early Claims of Title — Spain, France and England — Treaties 
and Agreements — The Louisiana Purchase — Indiana — 
Louisiana District — Louisiana Territory — Missouri Ter- 

vii 



viii CONTENTS 

PAGE 

ritory — Northwest Territory — Illinois Territory — Mich- 
igan Territory — Wisconsin Territory — Iowa Territory — 
No Man's Land — Sibley in Congress — ^Minnesota Terri- 
tory — Minnesota State 60 

CHAPTER V. 
THE EXPLORERS. 

Groseilliers and Radisson — Hennepin and Duluth — Le Sueur 
and Charville — Carver — Pike — Ft. Snelliug Established 
— Cass and Schoolcraft — Beltrami — Nicollet — Surveys — 
Chronology 77 

CHAPTER VI. 
FIRST SETTLEMENT. 

Civilization Approaclies Wright County — Frenchmen Winter 
on Wright County Islands in 1805-06 — Settlements in Ad- 
jacent Counties — Edmund Brissett Establishes Trading 
Post in Wright County — His Historic Trail to Lake Pu- 
laski — Otsego and Monticello Settled — Early Census — 
Original Assessment Roll — Early Marriages 90 

CHAPTER VII. 
COUNTY REPRESENTATION. 

Minnesota Becomes a Territory — Territorial Legislature — 
Seventh Council District — Fifth Council District — Con- 
stitutional Convention — State Representation — Various 
Di-stricts That Have Included Wright County— Men Who 
Have Represented This County at St. Paul — Reappor- 
tionmeuts — Congressional Representation 97 

CHAPTER VIII. 
COUNTY GOVERNMENT. 

Original Comities — Dakotah County — Cass County — Sibley 
County — Nicollet County — Wright County Created — 
Naming the County— First Officers — Early Precincts — 
Early County Commissioners — Supervisors — Commission 
System Again — Doings of the Successive Boards — Coun- 
ty Officers — County Property — Courthouse — County 
Farm 114 



CONTENTS ix 

CHAPTER IX. 
THE SIOUX UPRISING. 

PAGE 

Indians Take Revenge For the Wrongs of the Centui'ies — 
Suniniary of tlie Tragedy — Wright County Terrified by 
Reports — Big Woods Deserted — Preparations For De- 
fense at River Points — The Dustin Massacre — Indian 
Agent Takes His Own Life — An Inilian KiUed — Indians 
Pursued — Death of Little Crow 141 

CHAPTER X. 
LAND OFFICE RECORDS. 

The Pre-emption Act — Tlie Homestead Law — The Railroad 
Grant— The Townsite Act— List of Those Who Obtained 
the Original Patents to Land in Wright County — The 
Roll of Honor of the Jlen Who First Broke and Devel- 
oped the Farms 15cS 

CHAPTER XL 
WRIGHT COUNTY WAR. 

Wallace and Jackson Arrive in Wright County — Wallace 
Wealthy, Popular and Gifted — Jackson Poor and ilorose 
— Settlers Find Dead Body of Wallace — Suspicion Di- 
rected Toward Jackson — Jackson Arrested and Brought 
Before Justice — Declares His Innocence — Prejudice 
Runs High — Jackson in Jail — Purported Confession 
From a Stranger — Jackson Tried Before District Coiu't — 
Declared Innocent and Acquitted — Prisoner Discharged 
— Friends of Wallace Seek Revenge — Jackson Returns to 
County After Short Absence — Betrayed by the Civil 
Authorities and Lynched By a Mob While Wife Pleads 
For His Life — Protests Innocence to the Last — Moore 
Arrested — Delivered From Custody By a Mob — Gov- 
ernor Takes a Hand — Troops Arrive — Rioters Arrested 
By St. Paul Police — County Ofificials Agree to Punish the 
Real Olfenders— Three Men Held— Grand Jury Fails to 
Indict — Excitement Subsides 194 

CHAPTER XII. 
PIONEER DEVELOPMENT. 

Pioneer Diseomfort.s — By Allen Reinmuth — Early Days at 
Rockford — By George W. Florida — Claim Seekers and 
Various Types of Early Arrivals — Ginseng — Grasshopper 
Plagues— The Fanune of 1867 20.', 



X CONTENTS 

CHAPTER XIII. 
COMING OF THE RAILROADS. 

PAGE 

Original Project — Minneapolis & St. Cloud — Land Grant 
Roads — Bond Issue — Minnesota & Pacific — St. Paul & 
Pacific — Railroad Reaches Wright County — St. Paul, 
Minneapolis & Manitoba — Great Northern — "Soo Line" 
— Railroad Tax Fiasco — Minneapolis and Central Minne- 
sota 222 

CHAPTER XIV. 
WRIGHT COUNTY HORTICULTURE. 

Original Conditions — Wild Fruit and Nuts — Pioneer Nursery- 
men — Difficulties Encountered — Progress Made — Some 
Valuable Advice — Wright County Members of the Min- 
nesota State Horticultural Society — Exhibitions and 
Prizes — Varieties Best Adapted to This County — Revised 
By W. H. Eddy * 229 

CHAPTER XV. 
AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT. 

Early Difficulties — Present Advantages — A Farming Com- 
munity — Dawn of Prosperity — Farm Names — Statistics — 
— Assessment Rolls — Wealth of the Farmers — Crops and 
Live Stock 246 

CHAPTER XVL 
BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW. 

Facts in the Early Career and Later Success of People Who 
Have Helped Make Wright County — Founders and Pa- 
triots — Names Whicli Will Live Long in the Memory of 
Residents of This Vicinity — Stories of Well Known 
Families Who Have Led in Public Life 263 



INDEX TO PORTRAITS. 



Abel, Jacob, ami Family 332 

Anderson, S. A., and Family. . . . 37-t 

Banuoehie, Frank 305 

Birkholz, August, and Family.. 4fin 
Blume, Herman, and Family... .502 

Bredt, Kobert, and Family 300 

Burkland, John L., and Family. 295 
Butler, Mr. and Mrs. Patrick... 209 
Covart, Mr. and Mrs. Geo. R... 297 
Cowett, Staven, and Family.... 272 
Crawford, R. O., and Family... 535 
Cronk, Samuel L., and Family.. 320 

Cronk, William A 409 

Davis, Mr. and Mrs. Davi.l N . . 4SS 
Demars, Louis, and Family.... 522 
Desmond, Mr. and Mrs. Tim- 
othy 520 

Dixon, Mr. and Jlrs. James.... 431 
Doherty, Jr., Mr. and Mrs. Pat- 
rick 277 

Dudley, Mr. and Mrs. 0. L 284 

Dunn, Mr. and Mrs. S. N 280 

Elletson, Levi, and Family 335 

Elsenpeter, Geo., and Family... 370 

Epple, John, and Family 447 

Fellows, M. E., and Family.... 477 

Ferrell, Jolin, and Family 381 

Flamant, Emil 338 

Geary, Mr. and Mrs. P. B 350 

Gordon, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel A. 356 
Haflfner, Anthony, and Family.. 434 

Hahnke, Carl, and Family 405 

Hannon, Jlr. and Mrs. Michael. 283 
Harrington, Mr. and Mrs. .Johiel 525 
Harrington, Mr. and Mrs. Hiram 525 
Haven, Mr. and Mrs. Joel N... 458 

Hayes, A. J., and Family 408 

Howard, Mr. and Mrs. Samuel 

B 271 

Indian Chief 39 

James, Henry, and Family 500 

Jewett, Charles, and Family... 439 
Katilinek, Mr. and Mrs. Albert. 496 



Kriedler, Mr. and Mrs. David C. 455 

Lamson, Frank B 310 

Lee, W. H., and Family 365 

Little Crow 141 

Log Cabins 77 

Log Cabins 90 

Longworth, Mr. and Mrs. O.,.. 345 

Lutz, Conrad, and Family 433 

McAlpine, Michael 361 

McEachern, Augen 391 

Marsh, Mr. and Mrs. Peter .f . . 290 

Merz, Chas. F 484 

Meyer, Mr. and Mrs. Geo 426 

Mooers, Sr., Mr. and Mrs. Calvin 533 
JIurray, Mr. and Mrs. Wm.... 492 

Norberg, Andrew 383 

Nugent, Sr., John C 326 

O'Laughlin, Mr. and Mrs. James 361 
Oelschlager, Mr. and Mrs. Emil. 275 

Ojanpera, Jacob 379 

Olson, John N 317 

Payne, Alexander and Family. 510 
Payne, Sr., Louis, and Family. . 450 
Pogreba, Andrew, and Family. . 388 

Powers, James M 541 

Fraught, Mr. and Mrs. A. P. . . 530 

Quinn, James 401 

Raiche, Mr. and Mrs. Sanniel... 273 
Rice, Willard, D., an.l Family.. 366 

Schroder, Peter 438 

Shattuck, C. D., and Family... 366 
Sturman, Mr. and Mrs. Riley. . . 403 

Sturman, Sr., Wm 404 

Svenson, Peter, and Family.... 444 
Taylor, Mr. and Mrs. E<lward.. 384 
Thompson, Thor, and Family... 325 
Varner, Mr. and Mrs. Lafayette 344 

Walter, R. M 394 

Wedge, F. Curtiss Frontispiece 

AVells, Geo. E., Residence 357 

Zachmaun, Jose]ih, and Family. 429 
Zeidler, August, and Family. . . . 461 



XI 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES. 



Abel, Jacob 332 

Abel, William 332 

AWricli, diaries 331 

Aldrich, John C 331 

Allen, Harry 268 

Ames, Aaron F 299 

Anderson, Charles 505 

Anderson, John R 477 

Anderson, Mons 278 

Anderson, S. A 374 

Arnold, Emil C 504 

Arnold, Henrv G 504 

Aydt, Frank T 427 

Baker, Joseph F 510 

Bannochie, Frank 305 

Barrett, Nelson W 363 

Baslongh, Edward G 297 

Bavthel, Mathias 425 

Barthel, Mathias J 435 

Barthel, Nicholas 425 

Bengtson, Nels 542 

Benner, Jefferson 523 

Berg, John A 137 

Berthiaume, Francis 375 

Bcrthiaume, Francis 374 

Berthiaume, James F 375 

Beutner, John H 304 

Biegert, Gottlieb 539 

Birkholz, August H 469 

Blume, Herman 502 

Bland, Joseph 451 

Bland, Martin 452 

Bland, Sampson T 409 

Borgstrom, Hjalmar Fritliiof... 372 

Borngesser, Andrew 539 

Borngesser, Andrew E 540 

Borthwick, Alfred E 530 

Boiiley, Jerry 531 

Bowman, Levi E 476 

Brabec, E<lward J 264 

Brandes, Fred L 389 

Brasie, Rowe 487 

Brasie, John A 486 

Bratt, Swan E 303 

Braun, John O 532 

Bredt, Robert 300 

Bremer, Henry 452 

Bremer, Louis W 453 

Brenk, Oscar 436 

Brumfield, William Lee 475 

Brun, Claphase 282 

Buckmaster, Amon H 506 

Burges, Nicholas 425 

Burkland, John L 295 

Burrows, George W 302 

Bushnell, Orlando H 310 

Butler, James 270 

Butler, Patrick 269 

Cantin, John 276 

Carlson, Carl M 376 



Carlson, Nels 449 

Carpenter, George C 314 

Chamberlin, Orson C 138 

Christopher, Isaac 377 

Cochrane, James E 376 

Co]ieland, Samuel 410 

Cotterell, Charles B 334 

Covart, George R 297 

Covart, William 29S 

Covart, William H 298 

Cowett, George 372 

Cowett, Isaac 371 

Cowett, Staven 272 

Cramer, George J 387 

Cramer, Joseph 387 

Crandall, Kit Carson 538 

Crawford, Richard 537 

Crawford, Robert W 537 

Crawford, Rallin H 407 

Crawford, Rollin 535 

Cronk, Samuel L 320 

Cronk, William A 409 

Darrow, James E 537 

Davis, David N 488 

Davis, George Alfred 489 

Davis, Orion L 529 

Davies, William 322 

Dechane, Matt 501 

Demars, Louis 522 

Dennev, Amos 333 

Denney, Willard 333 

Denzel, Oscar A 454 

Desmond, George E 501 

Desmond, Timothy 520 

Dircks, Pet<'r J 352 

Dixon, James 431 

Dixon, John 321 

Dixon, William J 535 

Dodd, George Parsons 139 

Doering, Anton 352 

Doherty, Sr., Patrick 277 

Dohertv, Jr., Patrick 277 

Dudlev, Orestus L 284 

Duerr', Peter 435 

Dunn, Sylvester N 280 

Dyer, Norman 301 

Eastlick, John 506 

Eckelberrv, Levi 439 

Ekberg, Fred 502 

Elletson, Levi ?,35 

Elsenpeter, Edward Daniel 368 

Elsenpeter, George E 370 

Elsenpeter, William 370 

Enghauscr, Frank W 515 

Engels, John K 286 

Enghouser, Joseph 368 

Epple, Gottlieb 446 

Epple, John 447 

Erickson, Andrew 467 

Erickson, Nels A. 448 

Ertel, Steven J T 517 



XIV 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES 



Fashaiit, John B 279 

Faue, Louis R 427 

Fellows, Martiu E 477 

Ferguson, John A 349 

Ferrell, Arthur A o80 

Ferrel], Charles H 453 

Ferrell, James Henry 380 

Ferrell, John ' 381 

F'lamant, August C 338 

Flamant, Emil 338 

Furtney, Aaron W 323 

Fyle, Sylvester 499 

Fyten, William H 497 

Geary, Frederick B 301 

Geary, Matthew P 331 

Geary, Patrick B 350 

Gee, Fred 483 

Gehreubeck, David A 481 

Gehrenheck, Ellis 482 

Geiser, John 494 

Gilmer, Edward 468 

Goelz, John -. . . . 513 

Goetzke, Lindsay C 498 

Gordon, Samuel A 356 

Gordon, William 355 

Gorman, John P 515 

Grant, Angus H. . . .' 135 

Guintire, Anthony 424 

Guintire, Anthony, Jr 423 

Gutzwiller Emil 428 

Hackbarth, Martin C 271 

Haefer, Louis 430 

Haefer, William L 431 

Haffner, Anthony 434 

Ilahnke, Carl J .' 405 

Hamlet, Milton T 528 

Hamlet, William D 500 

Hannon, Joseph P 275 

Hannon, Michael 283 

Hanson, Frank L 495 

Harrington, Johiel 527 

Harrington, Hiram Orville 525 

Haven, Joel Newton 458 

Hayes, Andrew Jackson 408 

Hayes, Edmund W 407 

Hayward, John W 526 

Heath, Arthur C 140 

Helmer, Samuel 324 

Henderson, Thomas 330 

Henneman, Anthony L 346 

Hillman, Andrew .' 282 

Hillman, Nels A 422 

Holzman, Jacob 432 

Horseh, Adam 388 

Horsch, Jacob 389 

Howard, Sanuiel B 271 

Hudck, Thomas 518 

Hyatt, Orange 363 

James, Albert B 496 

James, Henry N 500 

Jensen, Harry Ludwig 307 

Jewett, Adam A 263 

Jewett, Charles 438 

Johnson, John Julius 306 

Johnson, John A 464 

Johnson, Jonas 465 

Johnson, Tjuther A 499 

Johnson, William M 498 



Katilinek, Albert 496 

Katilinek, George L 518 

Kelly, D. D. S., Arthur J 308 

Kelsev, John Olif 412 

Kiebe'l, William 506 

Klatt, August 497 

Kleniz, Albert W 351 

Knickerbocker, Herman K 364 

Knickerbocker, William C 364 

Knight, Austin 309 

Koepke, Martin 268 

Koepke, Reinhold 281 

Koe|)ke, Rudolph 269 

Korl>, William 293 

Kricdler, Daniel 457 

Kriedler, David C 455 

Kricdler, George W 456 

Lambert, Jacob 267 

Lammers, George 442 

Lammers, Henry 442 

Lamson, Frank "B 310 

Larson, Andrew G 295 

Larson, Andrew N 336 

Larson, Peter 294 

Lee, Favette 378 

Lee, William H 365 

Leeson, John 339 

Leeson, Robert 339 

Lewis, Josiah F 485 

Liederbach, Paul 313 

Lind, Nels 471 

Lindbom, Peter 499 

Lindgren, John A 493 

Link, Conrad 337 

Lippy, William A 486 

Longworth, Octavius 345 

Longworth Resort 360 

Lowe, D. D. S., Martin F 288 

Lutz, Conrad 433 

McAlpine, James 517 

McAlpine, Martin J 362 

McAlidne, Michael 361 

McCardcll, William 314 

McEachern, Sr., Angus 391 

McEachern, Randall C 519 

McKinley, William 393 

IMcVeetv, David 463 

McVeety, S. D 462 

Mabus, Charles J 421 

Madigan, James 507 

Marsh, Peter J 290 

Martin, Philip 391 

Mears, Frederick S 354 

Merz, Charles F 484 

Mcrz, Joseph 484 

Mever, George 426 

Middagh, Gilbert 340 

Miller, George A 516 

Mitchell, Albert N 487 

Mitchell, Alexander 495 

Mitchell, Charles Fremont 495 

Moland, Halvor T 288 

Mooers, Sr., Calvin 533 

Mooers, Nathaniel 533 

Moores, Archie H 494 

Morrell, James W 524 

Morrell, William J 524 

Munsteuteiger, Arthur F 372 

Murphy, Ichabod 414 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES 



XV 



Murph}-, James 413 

Murray, Ira C 492 

Murray, William 492 

Naaktgeboren, Arie 353 

Xagel, Eberhardt F 328 

Nagel, Kdwanl M 329 

Nagel, Herman A 289 

Nellis, Conrad N 531 

Nugent, James G 512 

Nugent, Sr., .lolin C 326 

Nugent, Jr., John C 327 

Nolan, James 461 

Nolan, James Christoplier 460 

Northrup, Abel C 534 

Norberg, Andrew 383 

O'Brien, Rev. Fr. F. C 508 

'Loughliu, James 270 

'Loughlin, Patrick B 418 

O'Loughlin, Thomas 420 

'Loughlin, Thomas P 420 

'Neil, Patrick H 276 

Oby, Ernest 491 

Oelschlager, Emil F 275 

Ojanpera, Jacob 379 

Olson, John B 355 

Olson, John N 317 

Ordorff, Henry 341 

Parker, George J 347 

Payne, Alexander 510 

Payne, Sr., Louis 450 

Perkins, Asa M 492 

Perra, Ailrian 444 

Perra, Moses 443 

Perrault, Oliver L 523 

Peters, Frederick John 513 

Peters, John B 491 

Pettis, Jay W 441 

Pettis, Stephen 441 

Pettis, Willis S 440 

Peterson, Elmer B 327 

Peterson, Jacob 327 

Peterson, Olof 448 

Peterson, Oscar J 138 

Phillips, Andrew Jackson 418 

Pike, Allan Hale 485 

Pogreba, Andrew 388 

Powers, James Melville 541 

Fraught, Angus P 530 

Prestidge, Burton 343 

Prigge, Bernard H 471 

Prigge, Henry 466 

Prigge, Herman J 465 

Prohl, Frank T 466 

Provo, Thomas 521 

Quinn, James 401 

Rader, Jacob 392 

Rader, Washington 392 

Raiche, Samuel 273 

Raiche, John A 274 

Ransom, Henry 348 

Redman, Albert G 285 

Redman, William E 457 

Reems, Joseph 436 

Reems, Samuel 437 

Reid, David P 478 

Reinmuth, Lewis 474 

Rettke, Emil William 319 



Rettke, Gustavo 319 

Rhodin, V. J 462 

Rhodin, John M 462 

Rice, Willard D 366 

Robasse, Anfred 446 

Robasse, Beat 445 

Richards, John 320 

Koehrenbach, John B 514 

Rousseau, Emil A 417 

Rozenbcrg, Henne 347 

Rudolph, Phineas S 265 

Schaefer, Henry N 281 

Schaust, Sr., Mathias 411 

Schaust, Mathias 411 

Schever, Georae M 358 

Schmidt, Emil T 315 

Schmidt, Traugott 343 

Schmidt, Henry 344 

Schneider, Frank 359 

Schroder, Peter 438 

Schultz, Charles Fred 406 

Shattuck, Curtis D 365 

Shierts, Frank J 489 

Smithson, Thomas 330 

Sook, William 543 

Southerland, Charles L 504 

Southerland, Edwin John 505 

Spindler, Henry 138 

Sternberg, Fritz 288 

Stenberg, John Albert 463 

Stengelin, Conrad S 400 

Stengelin, Jr., Jacob J 490 

Stewart, Calvin 415 

Streeter, Levi W 409 

Stuhr, Albert 368 

Stuhr, Herman 367 

Sturman, Clark 402 

Sturman, Riley 403 

Sturman, Robert 405 

Sturman, Sr., William 404 

Sturman, Jr., William 405 

Svenson, Peter S 444 

Swanberg, August M 383 

Swanberg Magnus 383 

Swanson, John C 543 

Swarthout, Kramer 454 

Taft, Henry A 482 

Tavlor, Edward 384 

Thayer, Albert A 266 

Thompson, Andrew 479 

Thompson, Louis C 416 

Thompson, Raymond S 481 

Thompson, Thor 325 

Thompson, William J 480 

Tomlinson, Joseph R 470 

Tonilinson, Marion T> 470 

Townsend, Frank A 490 

Tubertv, John 520 

Tuelle," Henry M 360 

Turngren, John 401 

Tuttle, Edward Clark 136 

Varner, Henrv 312 

Varner, Sr., .I'ohn 287 

Varner, Lafavette 344 

Vorse, Charles H 319 

Verse, William 316 

Walker, Henrv T 296 

Walter, Rolla'ndo M.r 394 



XVI 



INDEX TO BIOGRAPHIES 



Walters, George 264 

Wanilersee, Emil 411 

Wandersee, Fred W 410 

Ward, John 511 

Washburn, Edson 525 

Washburn, Edson D 524 

Washburn, William W 439 

Watson, Sr., John C 386 

Watson, John C 386 

Watson, Leander 472 

Welker, Atwood 396 

Walker, Peter 395 

Wells, George E 357 



Welton, William 369 

Whipple, Harry S 483 

Woolley, Garrett F 292 

Wren, Joseph E 507 

Wright, Clark A 397 

Wright, George M 460 

Wright, William Hudson 459 

Ziebarth, William 398 

Zachniann, Joseph 429 

Zeidler, Albert 473 

Zeidler, August 461 

Zeidler, John Frederick 473 



CHAPTER I. 
NATURAL PHENOMENA. 

Advantages — Location — Surface Features — Drainage — Lakes 
— Ice Formed Ridges — Topography — Soil and Timber — Geo- 
logical Structure — Glacial and Modified Drift — The Moraine 
— Fossiliferous Beds — Boulders of the Drift — Lignite Deposits 
— Explorations for Coal — Typical Till Exposure — Waterpow- 
ers — Underground Waters — Yield of Water — Head of Water 
— Quality of the Water — Cretaceous Rocks — Paleozoic and 
Older Formations — Water Supply in the Villages — Farm 
Water Supplies — Summary and Analysis. 

Ou its splendid course from Itasca to the Gulf, the mighty 
Mississippi passes no fairer land than that which it touches in the 
central part of Minnesota, where, well tilled and populous, Wright 
county stretches away in sightly prospects. 

A fertile country of rich black soil, its surface divided into 
hills and rolling land and prairie, beautified by meandering 
streams and sparkling lakes, and interspersed with natural and 
domestic groves, the county has advantages of location and sur- 
face which have made it one of the best agricultural and dairy 
coimties in the state. 

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

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

1 



2 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

While there are no large cities, there are many thriving smaller 
places along the three lines of railroad. These places have had 
their share in the general commercial npbnilding of the commu- 
nity, furnishing excellent trading and shipping facilities for the 
rural districts as well as for their own people. 

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

It is indeed in its men and women, rather than in its creameries 
and commerce, its grains and vegetables, its live stock and fruits, 
that Wright county takes her greatest pride. From her hamlets, 
from her villages and from her farms have gone forth those who 
have taken an important jjart in the activities of the world, and 
who, whether in commerce or tliplomacy, in the professions or in 
the trades, have maintained that steadfastness of purpose, and 
staunchness of cliaracter, that mark true Wriglit county men and 
women wlierever they may be found. 

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

Wright county, surpassed by few lands in the state for the 
fertility of its soil ; its bountiful supply of timber and pure water ; 
its numerous water powers; its surface of hills and rolling 
prairies ; and its adaptation to every variety of agricultural prod- 
uct, has furnished to the citizens material wisely improved by 
them for substantial wealth, good homes and sound public insti- 
tutions, economically and prudently administered ; where law and 
good order, industry and sobriety have always been upheld and 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 3 

observed; where tlie comforts and provisions for the cnjoyiiieut of 
life are evenly ilistributed, and where, in the future, as in the 
past, "peace aiul happiness, truth and justice, religion and i)iety, 
will be establishetl throughout all generations." 

Wright county is situated in the east central portion of the 
state, on the right bank of the Mississippi river, by which it is 
separated from Sherburne antl Anoka eounti(>s on the north. Its 
eastern boundary is IIennej)in county, most of which line is 
marked by Crow river. Carver and MeLeod counties south, and 
Meeker and Stearns west, the latter partly marked by (Uearwater 
river, complete its boundary. With more than half its outline 
marked by streams, its shape is irregular. The length of Wright 
county from east to west is thirty-six miles, and its greatest 
width is thirty and a half miles. Its southern and western 
boundaries are straight lines, the former twenty-four miles and 
the latter twenty-two miles. The county includes fourteen whole 
Congressional townships and parts of eleven others, together con- 
stituting twenty organized townships, twelve of which are each 
six miles square. Its area is 713.97 square miles or 456,939.32 
acres, of which 32,585.50 is covered with water. 

The surface of the county is gently undulating, with occasional 
portions somewhat hilly. A few beautiful prairies are found 
mostly in the northern part; the remainder being originally timber 
and meadow land. 

It is dotted with numerous lakes, whose clear, lucid waters 
enrich the scenery and furnish unlimited enjoyment to sportsmen 
and pleasure-seekers. No town in the county is destitute of lakes, 
while myriad streams, which, as well as the lakes, are fed by 
springs, afford ample attraction to stock growei's and farmers, 
while serving the further purpose of drainage, thereby rendering 
its area free from the malarious intluenees existing in less favored 
localities. The soil is very fertile, and produces in abundance all 
the varied list of cereals and vegetables grown in the Northwest. 
Year by year the timbered area has lessened and fertile fields 
supplanted the primeval forests, as have pleasant rural homes the 
wigwam of the native, or the still more recent claim shanty of the 
early pioneer. 

The soil on the prairies is mostly a dark red loam, with a 
gravelly or sandy subsoil. In the regions originally covered with 
timber, the soil is mostly alluvial with a strong clay subsoil. The 
natural meadows or grass lands almost always rejected by the 
first settlers, came in time to be consitlered among the most valu- 
able on account of the production of large quantities of hay of a 
superior quality, and fertility in prodiicing the tame grasses such 
as timothy and red top. 

Flora and Fauna. The flora and fauna of W^right county is 
that of Central Minnesota and the Big Woods region generally 



4 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

and need not be treated at length in this work. The state of Min- 
nesota has issued many books and pamphlets on the subject which 
will well repay the thoughtful reader for a careful perusal. 

Birds. Wright county with its lakes and trees — its tempting 
fields and barn yards, has its full share of birds each season. The 
permanent residents and winter visitors find more food here than 
further south where the tree trunks are often covered with ice, 
while during the spring and summer seasons practically all the 
birds found in Minnesota can be found in these parts. 

As early as March before the snow has begun to melt many 
of the summer birds are seen. The meadow lark and the prairie 
horned lark, the blue-bird, robin, red-winged blackbird, phoebe 
and flicker come while we are still wearing our winter furs. These 
are followed in April by the yellow headed blackbird, tlie martin, 
grackle, cowbird, mourning dove, catbird and the vesper and 
song sparrow. 

Among the May birds are the rose-breasted grosbeak, the Bal- 
timore and orchard orioles, yellow warbler, red-start, northern 
yellow throat humming bird, swallows, thrush, house wren, bobo- 
link, king bird and pewee. Sometimes we have had snow storms 
in May and the birds have been fed with suet, bread crumbs and 
grain by the farmers and town people. In May the yellow bellied 
sapsueker taps the maple trees, riddling the trunks with holes not 
more than an inch apart, and it is often necessary to destroy the 
bird in order to save the tree. About the lakes are often found 
the great blue heron and the little green heron, the killdeer and 
sandpiper, while coots and loons are very plentiful. 

Some winter visitants are the tree sparrows, often seen in flocks 
with the junco in town and country, and the snow bird who lives 
on small seed and comes in barn yards when the fields are covered 
with snow. The most striking winter bird is the evening gros- 
beak, which is only seen occasionally and in small numbers near 
boxelder trees. It is large, with a buff, white and black color 
scheme, and is sure to excite comment, both because of its rarity 
and its beauty. 

With these winter birds are the permanent residents who re- 
ceive more attention then than in the summer months when the 
woods are filled with the brilliantly plumaged songsters. There 
are the two woodpeckers, hairy and northern downey, and the 
white-breasted nuthatch, who are easily attracted to our porches 
and window sills by suet or crumbs. The American gold finch 
loses its yellow color this time of year and looks like its buff 
female. The black capped chickadee is seen and heard through 
the entire year, as is the bob white or quail. It seems heartless 
to place these with gauu» birds, as they so trustingly respond to a 
little kindness and will feed in yards except during the breeding 
season. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 5 

Hunters find snipe, jirairic chickens, quail, i)lovri-, partridge 
and mallard, canvas back, teal, red licatl, spoon bill, blur hill and 
wood ducks, also wild geese. 

SURFACE FEATURES. 

The following notes are from Vol. 11, of the Geological and 
Natural History Survey of Jlinnesota, and einbotly the observa- 
tions of Dr. Warren Upham, taken in 1879 and 1881. 

Natural Drainage. The North branch of the Crow river enters 
Wright county near the nnddle of its west side, and crosses tlie 
county in a very mcanilering course, which has its general direc- 
tion a little to the south of east. The South branch flows north- 
erly through Franklin, the most southeast township of this county, 
aud iniites with the North branch at the east side of Roekford 
township, sixteen miles in a straight line southwest from the 
mouth of the Crow river at Dayton. 

Clearwater river, along tlu' last fifteen miles of its course, is 
the boundary of this county on the northwest. Near the nuddle 
of this distance it flows through Clearwater lake, four miles long 
and from a lialf mile to one and a half miles wide. 

The only considerable tributaries of the Mississippi river from 
Wright county, besides the foregoing, are a snudl creek at Otsego ; 
Otter creek, a mile above Monticello; and Silver creek, which 
flows through the township of this name. These, and the tribu- 
taries to Clearwater river, and tlie branches of Crow river in 
this county, are all small, only draining areas that reach five to 
twelve miles from their mouths. 

LaJses. The largest lakes of this country are Pelican aud 
Clearwater lakes, covering respectively about six and four square 
miles. Others worthy of note are ]\laple and French lakes, the 
former about tliree miles and the latter one mile in length, which 
give their names to the townships in which they are situated ; 
Pulaski lake in Buffalo, one and a half miles long from north to 
south ; Buft'alo lake, one and a half miles in diameter, lying mostly 
in Chatham ; Waverly, Howard and Cokato lakes, each about one 
and a half miles long; Granite lake in Albion, of similar length; 
Lake Ida and Limestone lake in Silver Creek, each about a mile 
long; Sugar and Cedar lakes, each two miles long from north to 
south, and Pleasant lake, one and a half miles long from east to 
west, in Corinna ; and Sylvia lake, about two miles in length, 
nearly divided by a peninsula one mile long, in South Side. About 
ninety lakes occur in this county with a length equal to or greater 
than a half mile, and more than a hundred and fifty of less dimen- 
sion appear on the map, while many others of small area are not 
delineated. 

In many instances, especially in the southwest part of the 
county, these lakelets are becoming silted up and are more or less 



6 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

filled with marsh-grass, sometimes being nearly dry in summer. 
They thus show the various stages intermediate between a lake 
and a slough. Throughout the whole county, sloughs or marshes 
are also frequent, varying from a few rods to a half mile in 
length, and in some cases they extend one or two miles. 

It has been obfserved by the older residents that the streams 
and lakes were gradually diminishing in volume during the two 
decades of years preceding 1880. Several lakes were noted in the 
exploration, in 1879, between Buffalo and Crow river, depressed 
five to seven feet below a high-water mark at which they had 
formerly stood. The three more rainy years from 1880 to 1882, 
inclusive, restored the lakes and sloughs of this region generally 
to their highest stage. 

Ice-formed Eidges. Many of the lakes in this county, as like- 
wise in most other parts of the state, are partially bordered by a 
ridge, heaped four to eight feet in height, of gravel and sand, in 
whicli boulders, from two to five or six feet in diameter, frequently 
occur. This formation, when composed principally of gravel and 
sand, is commonly from thirty to seventy-five feet wide, having 
moderate slopes and a rounded top which varies a little in height. 
Again, when consisting chiefly of coarse gravel or boulders, the 
ridge may be quite steep, sometimes sloping at an angle of forty- 
five degrees upon the side away from the lake. These accumula- 
tions are found mostly where lakes are bordered by lowland or a 
marsli, from which the water is divided by this low ridge, which 
often looks like an artificial rampart. The origin of these ridges 
is generally known to be from expansion of the ice upon the lakes 
in winter. Boulders lying in shallow water are frozen into the ice 
and pushed a very small distance each year toward the shore. This 
is repeated through centuries at the varying stages of the water, 
till the materials of these ridges, gathered from the lake-bed, have 
been piled along its margin. Such accumulations were noted at 
the east side of Dean lake in Roekford ; at the north side of Buf- 
falo lake ; and about Howard lake, west of which the road runs 
about a half mile upon a ridge of this origin, five to six feet high 
and three rods wide, composed of gravel and sand, so ancient 
that it is covered with the sanu^ dark soil which generally forms 
the surface of this region. 

The shores of the lakes of Wright county mostly have very 
gentle slopes, which are continued beneath the water's surface. 
The basin of Pelican lake is of this kind. Less frequently the 
shores have been worn away by the waves, and form bluffs ten to 
twenty feet high. Examples of such erosion are seen on the north- 
west side of Buffalo lake. Here, and usually at the foot of similar 
banks beside lakes, a pavement of large and small boulders 
extends several feet above the water. About a mile west of 
Buff'alo tliis margin of boulders, some of them six feet in 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 7 

diameter, lying at the foot of the bank undermined by llic lake 
is quite noticeable iu comparison with the usual scarcity of such 
rock-fragments. Most of these were contained in the mass of 
till that has been washed away at this place. A few of tlieiii 
may have been added from the lake-bed by tlu> expansion of ice, 
which has pushed back to the receding shore the boulders of the 
whole area upon which the lake has encroached, eroding its 
border of till. 

Topography. Nearly all of ^Vright county is included in the 
moraiiiic lirlt which extends from the Leaf liills soutii aiul south- 
east to this county and thence southward into Iowa, where it 
bends in a loop like the letter "U," thence taking a northwest- 
ward course along the Coteau des Prairies in southwestern Minne- 
sota and eastern Dakota. It is well known that this long, looped 
nuiraine marks the sides and termination of a great lobe or tongue 
of the ice-sheet, and that it was contemporaneous with the Kettle 
moraine, which Professors Chamberlin and Irving traced in a 
similar looped course across Wisconsin in the geological survey 
of that state. 

These hills within the limits of Wright county seldom exhibit 
the singularly rough, broken, and irregular contour, which may 
be called the typical development of a terminal moraine. They 
yet are very ditferent from the gently undulating smooth area, a 
hundred miles wide, which lies next southwest, between this belt 
and the Coteau des Prairies. In contrast most parts of Wright 
county consisting of hills forty to seventy-five and sometimes one 
hundred or one hundred fifty feet high. These in nearly all cases 
have only moderate slopes, seldom rising abruptly or having a 
notabl.y broken contour. No well-marked uniformity in trend is 
perceptible, though upon the average these elevations are more 
prolonged from north to south or northwest to southeast than in 
the opposite direction. In respect to material there is little dif- 
ference between the swells and hills of this county, or even the 
more roughly outlined Leaf hills, and the smoothed, slightly undu- 
lating expanse that stretches southwest from this moraine to the 
Coteau, all being the unstratified glacial drift, called till or boul- 
derclay, inclosing or rarely overlain by comparatively small de- 
posits of modified drift, that is, water-deposited gravel, sand, or 
clay. The till usually contains, however, a much greater propor- 
tion of boulders upon its morainic belts than on its smoother 
areas. 

The most conspicuous hills in this county occur at two points 
near the Mississippi, about two miles south of Clearwater, and 
about the same distance southeast of IMonticello. These rise one 
hundred to one hundred fifty feet above the surrounding land. 
Another notably hilly area is the region for five miles northwest 
of Crow river, from its mouth to Rockford and Delano. These 



8 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

hills are more massive, but of less altitude than the foregoing, 
rising seventy-five to one hundred twenty-five feet above the river. 

In the east part of Silver Creek township, a very rough area 
of till reaches north to the river-road in section 14, a mile south- 
east from the mouth of Silver Creek. It forms hills fifty to sev- 
enty-five feet high, averaging fifty feet above the plains of mod- 
ified drift at each side. The most uneven contour seen anywhere 
in Wright county is found in crossing this tract from Silver lake 
to Lake Ida, where the surface is as rough and irregularly thrown 
up in a profusion of knolls, hillocks and ridges as it is commonly 
in the most broken portions of the most typical morainic deposits. 
These accumulations are coarsely rocky till, and apparently include 
but little modified drift. The course and trend of the elevations 
are very irregular, and no prevailing direction or parallelism is 
noticeable. 

The contour about Bufl^alo is in gentle swells fifty to seventy- 
five feet high. These continue northwest and west through Maple 
Lake, Chatham and Albion, and southwest to Waverly and How- 
ard lake. These swells are round or irregular in form, trending 
in various directions. North of Cokato, massive, gently sloping 
hills rise forty to seventy-five feet or rarely one hundred feet 
above Cokato lake. The same rolling surface prevails northward 
through the west half of Fi-ench lake to\\aiship, and also extends 
westward into Meeker county. 

Stockholm, at the southwest corner of the county, and most of 
Victor, the township next east, are moderately rolling, the height 
of the swells decreasing from thirty to forty feet at the west to 
only ten or twenty feet at the east. From Smith lake to Waverly 
the south boundary of the hilly area is on the north side of the 
railroad, and the tract beginning here and extending southeast- 
ward to the south line of the county, including the east part of 
Victor, Woodland, and the southwest part of Franklin, is only 
sliglitly undulating or nearly level. It is, however, mainly com- 
posed of till, like the hilly land northward. 

With this exception, the only extensive level areas found in 
Wright county are those of modified drift which occur along the 
Clearwater and Mississippi rivers, consisting in large part, espe- 
cially along the Mississippi, of natural prairies. The topography 
of these tracts, and the erosion which has been accomplished by 
the Mississippi river and its tributaries, will be again and more 
fully spoken of in describing the glacial and modified drift of 
this county. 

The height of the Mississippi river along tlie northern bound- 
ary of this county, as determined by the United States engineer 
corps, under the direction of Capt. Charles J. Allen, is, at Clear- 
water, 938 feet above the sea ; at the head of Bear island, about 
one mile east from the mouth of Silver creek, 924 ; at Monticello, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 9 

893; at Elk River, 853; and at Dayton, 843 feet. The river-shore 
at Dayton is the lowest land of Wright county. Its higliest land, 
in Middleville, Cokato, Stockholm, and Victor, its southwestern 
townships, and the tops of the prominent hills mentioned near 
Clearwater and Montieello, are about 1,100 feet above the sea. 
Crow river, at the junction of its north and south branches, lias 
an elevation of about 900 feet; and the south branch of this river, 
where it enters Wright county, is approximately 915 feet above 
the sea. At the west line of tlie county, the heights, above the 
same level, of both the north branch of tlie Crow river and Clear- 
water river are estimated to be about 1,000 feet. 

Estimates of the mean heights of the townships of tliis county 
are as follows: Otsego, 925 feet above th(> sea; Montieello, 960; 
Frankfort, 9-10 ; Buffalo, 975 ; Rockford, 940 ; Franklin, 960 ; Silver 
Creek, 1,000: Maple Lake, 1,020; Chatham, 1,000; IMarysville, 
975: Woodland, 1,010: Clearwater, 1,020; Corinna, 1,020; Albion, 
1,025; Middleville, 1,000; Victor, 1,040; South Side, 1,030; French 
Lake, 1,025; Cokato. 1,040; and Stockholm, 1,075. From these 
figures, the average elevation of Wright county is found to be 
1,000 feet, very nearly, above the sea. 

Soil and Timber. All portions of Wright county have a very 
fertile soil, blackened by decaying vegetation to a depth that 
varies from one to three feet. Fully nine-tenths of its whole 
area are adapted for exdtivation, tlie only exceptions being the 
frequent sloughs, very steep knolls or hillocks which occur rarel.y, 
and the abrupt bluffs, twenty to fifty and rarely seventy-five or 
one hundred feet higli. which border the creeks and rivers and 
were formed by their erosion. The generally undulating and roll- 
ing surface has sufficient slopes to give excellent drainage. The 
water produced by snow-melting in spring is thus speedily carried 
off, permitting seed to be sown early ; and damage by excessive 
rains is prevented. The rainfall is usually quite uniformly dis- 
tributed through the successive seasons of spring, summer, and 
autinnn ; and from it the somewhat porous soil, which is the glacial 
and modified drift, readily absorbs the moisture needed by grow- 
ing crops. The water of wells and springs in this region is com- 
monly charged with the carbonates of lime and magnesia dis- 
solved from the drift through which it has filtered. Though this 
does not impair its excellence for drinking and cooking purposes, 
it is rendered less desirable than rain-water for use in washing 
with soap. The pulverized limestone in the drift, which thus 
makes the water that soaks through it hard, is one of the most 
useful elements of the soil for the production of wheat, corn, 
oats, potatoes, and hay, which, witli dairy products and stock, 
are the chief agricultural resources of this district. 

The "Big Woods" covered nearly the whole of Wright county. 
The only exceptions to this, before its settlement and the conse- 



10 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

quent clearing away of much of the timber to make farms, were 
Clearwater prairie, three miles long and one to two miles wide ; 
Sanborn's or Moody's prairie, in vSilver Creek; Monticello prairie, 
six miles long and three miles wide, including the portion of this 
which is commonly called West prairie, lying northwest of Otter 
creek ; small areas of modified drift in Otsego, all the foregoing 
being portions of the valley drift of the Mississippi ; a few small 
tracts bordering Crow river, as Butler and McAlpine prairies ; 
and Mooers' prairie, south of Cokato, three miles long and about 
a mile wide. The last-named prairies are undulating and in part 
even hilly, and consist mainly of till or unmodified drift. On 
Mooers' prairie the hills rise in moderate slopes, thirty to sixty 
feet high. To these tracts are also to be added the numerous 
small sloughs, covered by marsh-grass, valuable for hay, and also 
the many small natural meadows, which are scattered here and 
there throughout the wooded area. Though the principal prairies 
of this county are modified drift, it is yet to be noted that consid- 
erable portions of this formation, bordering the Clearwater and 
Mississippi rivers at the north side of the county, are covered 
by a natural forest. This is the case with large tracts of modified 
drift adjoining Clear lake and reaching from it southwest to 
Sylvia lake and east to Sugar lake, as also with much of the 
northwest part of Silver Creek township. 

At least nineteen-tweutieths of this county was once wooded. 
The greater part of this area was thick and heavy timber. The 
two species of trees which were usually most plentiful and largest 
were the white or American elm and the bass. Next in the esti- 
mated order of abundance are bur oak, ironwood, red or slippery 
elm, white and black ash, box-elder, black oak, the American 
aspen or poplar, and the large-toothed aspen, generally common ; 
sugar maple and red or soft maple, mostly occurring in groups ; 
wild plum, black cherry, June berry, balsam, poplar, and willows, 
plentiful in many places ; tamarack, common in swamps ; hack- 
berry, white oak, butternut, and canoe or paper birch, less fre- 
quent; bitternut, cottonwood, and red cedar, rare. 

Among shrubs the most common species are liazel-nut, prickly 
ash, Virginia creeper, climbing bitter-sweet, frost grape, sumachs, 
meadow-sweet, choke cherry, thorn, wild roses, bush cranberry, 
black currant, prickly and smooth gooseberries, high blackberry, 
and black and red raspberries. 

GEOLOGICAL STRUCTURE. 

Tlie only formation found in this county which can be referred 
to a date older than the glacial period consists of beds of sand 
and gravel, some layers of which have been cemented, apparently 
by tlie deposition of carbonate of lime from percolating water, 
so that they have become sandstone and conglomerate, nearly as 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 11 

compact and hard as tlie most imlurated rocks. Tlieso were at 
first tlu)Uf?ht to be portions of the drift, cemented since their 
accumulation, but it seems possible that they may instead be 
Cretaceous, being perhaps of the same age with the Cretaceous 
sandstone that outcrops in the jMinnesota valley, in Courthuul, 
Nicollet county, eight and eleven miles southeast of New Ulm. 

Two localities of this rock are exposed in Wright county, one 
being on the Crow river, and the other on its North branch. From 
the britlge east of St. Michael's, crossing the Crow river between 
Frankfort and Hassan, a conspicuous outcrop of it is seen in the 
left or northwest bank of the river, about twenty-five rods of this 
bridge. The bank here is some twenty-five feet high, and the 
cemented layer is in place near its top, from which position pieces 
five to ten feet in extent have fallen down and lie at or below the 
river-shore. This stratum of sandrock is three to five feet thick, 
nearly horizontal, of gray color, and was seen well exposed at 
two points some twenty-five feet apart. It is made up mainly of 
sand, with abundant fine gravel-stone, seldom so large as a half 
inch in diameter, but sometimes one and a quarter inches in diam- 
eter. Its lower portion incloses a layer of dark, irony sand, one 
foot thick. The bank fifty feet farther west is thirtji feet high, 
and appears to be composed wholly of stratified sand and gravel, 
having pebbles up to two or three inches in diameter. Three hun- 
dred feet east from the exposure of the sandrock or conglomerate, 
the bank or bluff of the river is fifty feet high, but exhibits no 
clear section. A well at the top of this blutf went twenty feet 
through "quicksand," then a foot or two through "an irony hard- 
pan," then through "clay," to a total of forty-four feet, where 
water was struck and rose immediately eight feet. This irony 
layer, which is partly black, is seen also in the adjoining l)luft", 
and probably corresponds to the layer of dark, ferruginous sand 
in the conglomerate. The cemented stratum is more or less ex- 
posed along an extent of thirty or forty rods, having a slight dip 
eastwartl which carries it in this distance from tlie height of 
twenty feet down to the river's edge. It has been somewhat 
quarried for use in underpinning. Numerous specimens collected 
near this place by C. L. Ilerrick, from other low outcrops of the 
same formation, in the southeast bank of the river south of the 
bridge, are rather fine, gray, quartzose sandstone, containing 
no intermixture of gravel. 

Mr. Herriek reports the discovery of a second locality of this 
rock in section 8, Jliddleville, where its outcrop rises only two 
feet above the north branch of the Crow river. This is a gray 
sandrock, mostly made up of fine quartzose particles, the greater 
part of which are white or gray, while some appear to be dull 
red jasper. It contains also a small proportion of granite and 
other pebbles, up to three-quarters of an inch, but mostly less 



12 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

than one-quarter of an inch, in diameter. This locality is about 
twenty-five miles west of that before described at the east side 
of Frankfort. No other exposures of this rock, or of any forma- 
tion, excepting the ordinary deposits of the drift, were observed 
by Mr. Herrick in a boat journey along the North branch and the 
Crow river, from Forest City in Meeker county to the mouth of 
this stream at Dayton. 

Glacial and Modified Drift. Wright is covered to an unde- 
termined depth, probably averaging more than a hundred feet, 
by drift. The sections exhibited by streams and wells prove this 
mantle of drift to be so deep that the scientist may safely attribute 
the generally hilly surface to movements of the ice-sheet which 
spread its deposits in unequal thickness. It has been shown that 
this area was at the east border of a great segment of the ice- 
sheet; and these masses of drift pushed up into hills, inclosing 
frequent lakelets, are found to be part of a very extended series 
of similar or yet more irregularly hilly deposits, which were ac- 
cumulated by the slow current of the ice along its fluctuating 
margin. By numerous short retreats and readvances, these ter- 
minal deposits were spread over an area from twelve to twenty 
miles wide ; but only very rarely in this county was the ice-front 
so long in one place or so loaded with drift as to heap up very 
abrupt and liigh, roughly-outlined hills, like those which make 
the most conspicuous parts of this formation. 

The Moraine. The moraine occupies all this county except the 
nearly level area of till southeast from Smith Lake and Waverly 
and the areas of valley drift along Cleai"water river and the Mis- 
sissippi. Its topographic features have already been sufficiently 
described. The material of which it is composed is mainly till, 
or a mixture of boulders, gravel, sand and clay, confusedly 
blended in one uustratitied mass. The principal ingredient is 
always clay, or very finely pulverized rock, unctuous and tena- 
cious, giving this deposit sufficient cohesion to remain as a vertical 
wall with little danger of falling during the jjrocess of excava- 
tion, as for a cellar or well. The proportion of rock-fragments is 
small, as compared with their usual abundance in the eastern 
states. Generally the till in New England contains twenty times 
as many rock-fragments as in Minnesota. Otlun- names for this 
deposit are unmodified drift, boulder-clay, and hardpan. 

In respect to color and hardness, considerable difference is 
perceptible between the upper and lower parts of the till. To a 
depth that varies from ten to twenty-five or thirty feet, it has a 
yellowi.sh color, because its iron has been changed from the pro- 
toxide to hydrous sesqnioxide or limonite, by weathering, that is, 
by exposure to the air and percolating water. Its iron is mainly 
in protoxide combinations as silicate or carbonate, or it is in the 
form of pyrites. At greater depths the till of central and western 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 13 

Minnesota is dark and usually bluisii. Furtlicr oxidation and 
hydration of this iron in the upper part of tlie till changes it to 
limonite, with a yellowisli brown color that is very effective to 
impart its hue to the wliole deposit, of wliicli, however, it consti- 
tutes only a small percentage. "When this disseminated ore of 
iron is deprived of the conibineil water, ehanf;in>i it from limonite 
to hematite, as occurs frequently in briek-burning, it imparts 
a deep red hue. In the more common cream-colored bricks of 
this region, the iron is usually present in as great amount, but, 
through the influence of carbonate of lime in the clay, is chem- 
ically combined as a silicate and has no important coloring eft'ect. 
The diti'erence in hue of the till appears thus to be brought about 
by causes operating since its accuunilation, which are still sending 
this zone of chemical change farther below the surface. 

The distinction in hardness between the upper and lower till 
seems, on the other hand, to be due to unlike conditions in its 
formation. Usually at the same depth with the change of color, 
a similarly sudden and equally definite change is noted in the 
hardness of the till, which below is much more compact and hard 
than above. Often the difference is such that the cost of excava- 
tion in the lower till is twice as great as in the upper till. This 
change is frequently found very well-marked at an exact and 
definite line, which is believed to mark the top of the till which 
lay beneath the ice-sheet and was subjected to its immense pres- 
sure, while the upper till was contained in the ice-sheet and 
dropped loosely when this was melted away. Because of the 
greater compactness and very impervious character of the lower 
till, the discoloration of weathering has been quite commonly 
limited to the upper till. 

Fossiliferous Beds. Possiliferous beds inclosed in till have 
been observed at numerous places in Minnesota ; but no examples 
of this are known in Wright county. The beds of stratified drift 
which occur beneath or inclosed between sheets of till, may have 
been deposited like the valley drift along the Mississippi, that is 
by the waters discharged from the melting of an ice-sheet, after 
which they have been covered by the till of a later glacial ad- 
vance ; or they may be the deposits of subglacial streams, during 
a period when this region was deeply buried by ice. The former 
explanation seems to be demanded by the thicker of these strati- 
fied beds under till, while the latter was probably true of many 
thin water-bearing veins of gravel and sand, which may be the 
tracks of sub-glacial torrents. 

Tlie Boulders of the Drift. The boulders of the drift in Wright 
county are principally granite, syenite, and gneiss. Fragments 
of quartzyte, similar to that near New Ulm and referable to the 
Potsdam age, occur rarely. Boulders of magnesian limestone 
are so common that they are collected for lime-burning, perhaps 



14 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

makiug Tip a twentieth part of the rock-fragments that exceed 
one foot in diameter. This rock is a much more abundant in- 
gredient of tlie gravel in the till and modified drift, and of the 
recent beach-formations of the lakes. The proportion of lime- 
stone pebbles at the northwest side of Howard lake and at the 
south side of French lake, is about one-tliird of all. The largest 
boulder of this stone noted in an examination of Wright county 
was beside the road in or near the northwest quarter of section 
17, French Lake. TJie amount exposed measured seven by four 
by one and a half feet in dimensions, perhaps an equal amount 
being buried. The surface of this block showed a section of large 
gasteropod shell, probably a Maclurea, seven and a half inches 
in diameter. The source of this limestone, forming a part of the 
glacial drift which here has been transported from the north- 
west, is believed to be the foi-mations that outcrop near Winnipeg 
in Manitoba and along the west side of Lake Winnipeg. 

Lignite Deposits. Fragments of lignite, an imperfectly formed 
coal, have been often encountered in digging wells in this county, 
and in some places have been found in such abundance in the 
beds of streams as to excite the hope that workable beds of coal 
might be discovered by proper search. These pieces are from 
thin layers of lignite in beds of Cretaceous age, such as have been 
found at several points near Richmond in Stearns county, which 
borders this on the northwest, as also near Redwood Falls and 
Fort Ridgely, and on the Cottonwood river. Some of these lig- 
nite-bearing deposits have been plowed up by the ice-sheets, and 
now form part of the glacial drift, in which through all south- 
western Minnesota, fragments of this coal occur sparingly, being 
usually only from one to three inches in diameter. A well or 
cellar sometimes yields a half dozen or more of such lumps, but 
oftener contains none or only one or two. None of the pieces 
found are of such dimension as to show that they were part of 
any thick coal-seam ; and it appears very improbable, judging 
from the small quantity of coal thus occurring in the drift, and 
from the character of the Cretaceous beds which have been ex- 
plored in the localities before mentioned, that any valuable de- 
posits of this lignite exist in Minnesota. Respecting this and 
other Cretaceous contributions to the drift, Prof. Winehell writes, 
on page 48 of his Sixth animal report, as follows: 

"Information having been received from Hon. William Pfaen- 
der of the existence of some evidences of coal in Wright county, 
an examination was made of the designated localities. On sec- 
tion 33, township 119, range 25, land of John Marth and Fred 
Wanderzce, along the north branch of Crow river, pieces of Cre- 
taceous lignite have been found in considerable quantities ; also, 
along a creek, section 2.5, township 119, range 26, on land of 
Joseph Plant. These are all flat pieces, exactly similar to what 



HISTORY (IF WRICHT COUNTY 15 

have btH'ii t'ouiul in iniinci'ons otlicr places, 11i()ii<;li ])erlia|is iiioi-e 
abimdaut. An exaininatioii was made in ediiipaiiy witli .John 
JIarth, of Delano. The banks of the streams are composed en- 
tii'ely of drift, and largely of blue hardpan. The lignite was seen 
in the bed of the creek, having been most obsei'ved at or neai- 
fording places, where it was most likely to i)e brought to the 
surface and seen by passing travelers. At no point could any 
Cretaceous beds be seen 'in situ.' Along the sti'eam arc numer- 
ous ])ieces of slate, or fissile slude, likcM'ise derived from the 
Cretaceous, though liere immediately from the hardpan drift. 
It is possible that Cretaceous beds wouhl be sti'uek below the 
di'ift, in sinking a shaft."" 

Explorations for Coal. Professor Winchell, in his tifth annua! 
report for the year 1876, tleseribes a former pi'o,]'ect for coal- 
mining, as follows: "Seventeen years ago there was some ex- 
citement in the vicinity of Dayton over a I'eported discovery of 
coal, about two miles west of the village, in Wright eonnty, by 
a man named Charles Williams. I'pon visiting the place, the 
excavation was found to consist of two shafts sunk in the drift, 
now nearl.y filled. About the i)lace the drift thrown out shows 
nothing but drift clay with pebbles of all kinds and colors. One 
shaft is said to have been about eighty feet deep. The general 
belief now is tluit all the coal tiiat was 'found" was brought for 
the purpose from St. Paul, as the owner, after vainly attempting 
to sell hi.s land, placed a heav.y mortgage on it and abandoned 
the country, allowing the sale of the land for the mortgage. 
There is certainly now no evidence of the existence of coal, or 
lignite, in the vicinity, though there are traces of the Cretaceous 
in the drift which point to the near proximity of its layers. There 
is also a reported exposure of 'slate" in a ravine a mile or so 
bej'ond, but it could not be found." The occasional occurrence 
of fragments of lignite in the drift has been noticed on a preceding 
page. 

Typical TiU Exposures. A very instructive section in the till 
is exposed in the right or east bank of the Crow river at Dayton, 
between the dam and the upper bridge. Tliis section is about 
500 feet long and from thirty-five to fifty feet high. On the left 
the till reaches to the surface and its upper one to two feet form 
the black soil, below which it has a yellowish color to a depth of 
fifteen feet, and is then directly underlain by reddish gray till, 
except that a layer of coarse ferruginous gravel, one foot thick, 
intervenes at their .junction. The same yellowish upper till is 
cut fifteen feet deep for the road at the north end of the upper 
bridge, about three hundred feet west from the northwest end 
of this section. There it shows in some portions an indistinct 
lamination, which was doubtless produced in its deposition from 
the ice-sheet, probably through the influence of the water set free 



16 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

by its melting. Southeastward in the section here shown, the 
yellow upper till thins out to nothing in a distance of 300 feet. 
A little farther on, it is seen again and attains a thickness of ten 
feet near the southeast end of this section. For the hundred feet 
at the northwest this till is covered only by the soil. Through 
the remainder of the section a layer of yellow sand, mostly from 
five to ten feet in thickness, overlies the yellow till. Next below 
this yellow upper till, throughout most of the section, is a deposit 
of dark bluish till, from thirty to thirty-five feet thick, like that 
which occurs generally throughout all southwestern Minnesota. 
Next below the last is the reddish gray till, which was noted at 
the northwest end of the section. There the thickness exposed 
of this lowest till is about seventeen feet; elsewhere it is partly 
covered by the talus which has crumbled from the bank above ; 
but at one place it was very plainly seen rising in a broadly 
rounded mass ten feet above the river-level. Professor Winchell 
has noticed this section on page 165 of his fifth annual report, 
and mentions that the blue till contains "many fragments of Cre- 
taceous slate, siderite, iron concretions (covered with gravel 
and cemented by iron-rust), granitic pebbles, and (Devonian?) 
limestone masses which have supplied a great deal of quicklime, 
and an occasional large granite boulder." The underlying red till 
has "a great many small greenstone and quartzyte stones, and 
but few that are large, also many granitic stones." 

On the north side of the Mississippi river, one and a half 
miles west of Otsego village, and about seven miles northwest 
from Dayton, the river-bank newly undermined along a distance 
of an eighth of a mile, having a height of fifty or sixty feet, con- 
sists of red till for all its lower half, while its upper half is yellow 
drift. A few miles farther west, David Bagley's well, in section 
16, in the east edge of Monticello township, found the following 
deposits of drift in descending order : soil and yellow till, seven 
feet; sand, twelve feet; very hard, red till, thirty-one feet; and 
quicksand, four feet, in which the well stopped, at a total depth 
of fifty-four feet. Water is found in this quicksand, but does 
not rise above it. 

Eastward from Monticello and Dayton, to the Saint Croix 
river, and to Minneapolis and St. Paul, the blue (or superficially 
yellow) till and the red till continued together, the latter under- 
lying the former, which gradually thins out ; and farther east, 
and northeast to Lake Superior, only the red till is found. These 
deposits were quite fully described in the Fifth annual report of 
this survey, pages 156 to 174, and in the Sixth report, pages 
84 to 87. The conclusion there announced is that the red till 
is the deposite of an earlier glacial epoch than the blue till which 
overlaps it. Another explanation is admissible and seems to be 
required by the distribution of these tills; for, while the red till 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 17 

covers the northeast part of this state and the most of Wiseoiisiii, 
the blue till is fouiul cverywliere upon tlie western two-thirds 
of Minnesota and in Dakota to the limit of the di'ift. 

Climatic conditions can hardly be supposed to have existed 
which sliould be capable of first pfoducin<; an ice-sheet over tlie 
northeast i>art of the state only, and afterward in another glacial 
epoch forming a similar ice-mantle spread only upon the west 
half of the state. Professor Ciuimberlin, in his reports as state 
geologist of Wisconsin, demonstrated tiiat the ice-sheet was 
partially divided at its front into vast tongues or lobes, each of 
wiiich had its center curi'cnt in the course of its longer axis, 
while the marginal ice-tlow was everywhere perpendicular toward 
its terminal edge. The presence of two such lobes of the ice-sheet 
upon Minnesota is indicated by the course of our terminal 
moraines, and affords an adequate explanation of the occurrence 
of these diverse kinds of till in the northeast and the west parts 
of the state, as also of the portion of one of them overlying the 
other. The ice-lobe tliat moved outward from the region of lake 
Superior toward the southwest spread a till derived in large part 
from red shales, sandstones and quartzyte, colored by the anhy- 
drous peroxide of iron, or hematite. The coloring power of this 
ore of iron, tliough it is onl.\- a proportionately small ingredient 
of these beds and of the drift, is sufficient to give a red or reddish 
gray hue to the drift wherever a considerable part of it has been 
obtained from this source, even when, being pulverized by tlie 
glacial grinding, it has become mingled with inucl) material from 
other formations. 

Western Minnesota was overspread by another ice-lobe whose 
current moved from the region of Lake Winnipeg to the south 
and southeast. Its drift was gathered from granitic and sedi- 
mentary rocks which have their iron mostly in protoxide combi- 
nations; and hence its color, below the weathered u]>per poi'tion, 
is dark bluish. 

During the last glacial epoch, anil pcriiai)s in those preceding, 
it appears that these two lobes and opposing currents of the ice- 
sheet met upon the area lying between Dayton and St. Paul. 
The current from the noi'theast reached to the farthest limit at 
wliich the red till occurs, which is in northeastern Wright county, 
if we except the few localities described in the report of Big Stone 
and Lac qui Parle counties, in the west jiart of this state and the 
east edge of Dakota. Afterward, a change of climatic conditions, 
probably by bringing an increased snow-fall at the northwest, 
caused the outflow of ice from tliat quarter to drive back the 
curi'ent opposed to it, until its blue till, derived from the north- 
west, had been sjM-ead over the edge of the red till. This over- 
lapping of the drift deposits of the last glacial epoch, measured 
from west to east, that is, perjiendicularly to the line of meeting 



18 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

of these currents, varies from twenty to seventy-five miles. The 
red and blue tills are regarded, in this view, as mainly contempo- 
raneous and similar in their formation, the northeast and the 
west parts of the state being covered by lobes of the ice-sheet 
which moved independently of each other. When the ice of the 
last glacial epoch liad its greatest extent, or nearly so, these ice- 
currents were confluent upon this area, the outflow from the 
northwest finally pushing back that from the northeast. 

The erosion affected by the Mississippi river along the north- 
east side of Wright county has been mostly in the stratified gravel, 
sand and clay of the valley drift, which at the close of the glacial 
period was swept into this depression by the floods discharged 
from the melting ice-sheet. A flood-plain was then accumulated 
which covered a width of five to ten miles or more, with an average 
slope southeastward of about three feet per mile. It was depos- 
ited in the same manner that additions are now being made to 
the bottomlands by the floods of spring, save that during the melt- 
ing away of the ice-sheet similar high water existed through the 
whole summer. The flood-plain therefore rapidly increased in 
depth and extent, the material of which it was formed as well as 
the waters by which it was brought being both supplied from the 
departing ice. Remnants of this plain, high above the present 
bottomland, attest the great supply of sediment during the preva- 
lence and withdrawal of the last ice-sheet, and the large amount 
of erosion that has been accomplished since then by the river 
acting under its present conditions. At Clearwater and Monti- 
cello the prairies called by these names are remains of this flood- 
plain, which extended with nearly equal height across the area 
now occupied by the river and its bottomland, to the similar high 
plains of modified drift on tlie northeast side of the Mississippi. 
The areas of the ancient valley drift that occur in Wright county 
are situated like bays on the side of the main valley, and have 
thus escapetl excavation. The height of Clearwater and Monti- 
cello prairies is about seventy-five or eighty feet above tlie river. 
Sanborn's prairie, lying between these, is regarded as a part of 
the same descending plain of valley drift, though it is not bor- 
dered by equally distinct bluff's and terraces upon the side next 
to the river. This prairie and its adjoining wooded areas of modi- 
fied drift are underlain at a small depth by till, the coarsely rocky 
boulder-clay or hardpan, which appears at the bridge across Silver 
creek on the river-road. The till rises so high along the river 
here that all of the overlying gravel and sand have been eroded. 
Where the modified drift extends deeper, it has been sculptured 
by the river in terraces and bluffs. Monticello village is situated 
on such a terrace, thirty-five to forty feet above the Mississippi, 
intermediate between the bottomland and the Monticello prairie. 

In the distance from Clearwater to Dayton, the Mississippi 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 19 

descends forty-nino t'ci-t. Its flood-plain of iiioditicd drift, dt'pos- 
ited during the melting of the iee-sheet, had a soniewliat more 
rapid slope, declining in its height southeastward to forty-five 
feet above the present river at Dayton, and to twenty-five oi' 
thirty feet at tiie head of the falls of St. Anthony. On the north- 
east side of the Mississippi river, adjoining Wright county, the 
valley drift covers a wide tract, reaching beyond the Elk river, 
wliieh for an extent of about thirty miles lies only two to five 
miles distant from the Mississippi, flowing nearly ])arallel with it. 

Crow river and its north and south branches in tins county 
have eifected comparatively little erosion. At Dayton and in 
many other places along this river, it has luidermined blufl's of 
till which extend from a few rods to a fourth or a half mile. A 
little moi'e than a nule east of St. Michael's, in Frankfoi't, this 
erosion shows a fresh section of till, sevcnty-flve to one hundred 
feet high, its upper twenty-five feet being yellowisli and all below 
dark bluish. Such bluff's, however, arc only of short extent, and 
in general this river has no defliute line of continiums bluffs 
inclosing it on either side. Instead, the stream is bordered by 
undulating lowland, usually till, of varying width up to oiu» mile, 
and rising in this distance to a height from thirty to fifty feel. 
above the river. Some portions of this valle,v have iloubtless 
been filled with fluvial deposits at the close of the glacial period 
or since that tinu', bridging glacial hollows, which nuist other- 
wise produce lakes in the river's course, but with thesi' exceptions 
no deposits of modified drift are found; so that this valley is 
very unlike that of the Mississip[>i, which was tilled deeply with 
stratified gravel and sand. 

Water Powers. In 1881, the following water powers had been 
used in Wright comity: Dayton flouring mill, on the Crow river 
at Dayton ; owned by Weizel & Hurlbut ; live runs of stone ; head, 
about seven feet. At Hanover : on the Crow river, about uine 
miles southwest from Dayton; head, about seven feet. At Rock- 
fort: on the Crow river; a woolen mill; head, eight feet. In 
Middleville : two powers, on the north branch of the Crow I'iver. 
In Cokato : a grist-mill, at the mouth of Cokato lake, on its outlet. 
On the west ijart of section '22. French Lake: a sawmill on the 
north branch of the Crow river; head, eight feet. Monticello 
mills on Otter creek, three-quarters of a nule northwest from 
IMontieello ; owned by Janney & Sons : three runs of stone for 
flour, and one for feed ; head, sixteen feet. On the Clearwater 
river, at Clearwater, are three powers, as follows : Thomas Tol- 
lington's sawmill and furniture manufactorj-, ten or flfteeu rods 
above the mouth of the river; head, five feet; can only be used 
when the Mississippi is at its low-water stage. Clearwater flour- 
ing mills; a short distance above the last; owned by C. F. Davis 
& Co. ; head, fifteen feet. Upper dam of C. F. Davis & Co. ; one 



20 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

mile above the inoutli of the Clearwater river ; known as the 
Fremont water-power ; formerly, but not now, used ; head, twelve 
feet. At P^air Haven : on the Clearwater river ; head, about ten 
feet. 

UNDERGROUND WATERS 

Surface Features. Wright county may be divided into three 
physiographic provinces — (1) the irregular inorainie tract occupy- 
ing most of the county, (2) the gently undulating area lying in 
the south-central part, and (3) the level plain bordering Clear- 
water and Mississippi rivers along the northern margin of the 
county. The Mississippi has cut a narrow gorge into this plain, 
and its tributaries have accomplished a small amount of erosion, 
but tlie surface of the county is still imperfectly drained and 
remains covered with numerous lakes and swamps. 

Surface Deposits. There are two distinct types of bowlder 
clay, the blue and the red. The red clay occurs chiefly in the 
northeastern part of the country, but has been found as far south- 
west as Waverly. Where both are present the blue lies above the 
red. The red is apparently derived from the rocks in the Lake 
Superior region, and the blue comes for the most part from the 
Cretaceous formations to the west. These two varieties of drift 
have been discussed by the state geologists, N. H. Winchell and 
Warren Upham. In addition to the sand and gravel that is inter- 
bedded with the bowlder clay, extensive deposits lie at the sur- 
face, forming the level plain referred to above. 

The glacial drift ranges in thickness from a scant layer to per- 
haps about 400 feet. It reaches its greatest development in the 
central and southwestern parts and is somewhat thinner in the 
northern and northeastern, but there are considerable variations 
within short distances. The following specific data will give some 
conception of the thickness in the different localities: (1) In the 
vicinity of Cokato depths of 150 to 300 feet have been reached 
without passing out of the drift; (2) in the village of Howard 
Lake one well is reported to have struck rock at a depth of 135 
feet and several other in the same districts at depths of 170 to 
218 feet, but on the other hand many wells in this region end in 
drift at depths of more than 200 feet; (3) at Waverly "rock" 
was encountered in one well at 190 feet below the surface, but in 
the mill well in the same village the drift deposit may be deeper ; 
(4) near Delano (in the NE. i^ sec. 24. T. 118 N, R. 35 W.) sand- 
stone was found at a depth of 211 feet, but there are deeper wells 
in the locality which do not reach this formation; (5) in the Buf- 
falo railway well 385 feet may be drift; (6) in the vicinity of the 
Mississippi river and Crow river, near its mouth, there are great 
and abrupt variations in the thickness of the surface deposits, the 
maximum probably being at least 300 feet. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 21 

Yield of Water. The numerous thick beds of sand and frravel 
provide aiiij>le and jieniianent supplies, and where they lie at the 
surface, as they do tlirouf^hout a (•onsi<lfrable section of tills coun- 
try, they commonly yield large (luantities of water even to very 
shallow wells. 

Head of the Water. Plowing wells are foinid in a nuitd)er of 
localities and could without doubt be secured iu other restricted 
tracts, such as stream valleys and depressions partly tilled by 
lakes. The chances of obtaining Hows are always best in low dis- 
tricts that lie close to high morainic belts. 

In the following areas the water from tht> drift will rise above 
the surface: (1) Along the eastern and southern margins of Buf- 
falo lake and ou the low ground southwest of this lake, the supply 
coming from sand and gravel beds at various depths. In the vil- 
lage of But^'alo the water is lifted fully thirty feet above the level 
of the lake; (2) Along both branches of Crow river and some of 
their affluents. A number of scattered flowing vcells with slight 
head have been obtained here, and probably many more could be 
had on the lowest groiuid bordering these streams. (3) On the 
■west side of Cokato lake, north of the village. This is a small area, 
and the wells thus far drilled have not been more than 100 feet 
deep. Flows are also obtained from the surface deposits in the 
valley of the Mississippi. 

Quality of the Water. The mineral constituents of the water 
from the drift consist chiefly of sodium, magnesium, and bicar- 
bonates, only small amounts of sodium, potassium, sulphates, and 
chlorides being present. This water, therefore, has a considerable 
temporary hardness (which can in a large measure be removed 
by heating) but will not deposit mucli hard scale in boilers. 

The water in this county is similar to that from the deeper por- 
tions of the drift farther west, but is less highly mineralized than 
the shallow drift water in that region. Thus far there is both a 
horizontal and a vertical variation in the composition of the water, 
the mineralization (especially the content of calcium, magnesium 
and sulphates) decreasing from west to east and from the sur- 
face downward. 

Cretaceous Rocks. About fifteen miles beyond the northwest- 
ern edge of Wright county, in southern Stearns county, there is 
an exposure of shales etc. in which Cretaceous fossils have been 
identified, but it is not known that deposits of this age exist at 
any point within the county. Two outcrops of sandstone and con- 
glomerate are described in the report of the state survey, one on 
Crow river east of St. Michael and the other on North Branch 
north of Howard Lake (sec. 8, township 119, range 27). The sug- 
gestion made by the state geologist that these may be Cretaceous 
in age, but there is no proof that they are so. It has already been 
mentioned that a number of wells in the vicinitv of Howard Tjake 



22 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

and Waverly enter "rock." This rock, which appears from the 
drillers' description to be light-colored water-bearing sandstone, 
may be the same formation as that which forms the outcrops, but 
this, too, is uncertain. The blue shales encountered in drilling 
along the Mississippi are certainly not Cretaceous. 

Paleozoic and Older Formations. Most of Wright county is 
underlain by stratified formations which are Paleozoic and per- 
haps in part pre-Paleozoic in age. Their combined thickness is 
probably great in the southeast, but mucli less in the northwest. 
Because of the dip of these strata and their apparent tendency 
to change in character and thickness from one locality to another, 
great caution is necessary in the interpretations of well sections. 

In the vicinity of Elk river, a village situated on the opposite 
bank of the Mississippi, numerous deep wells have been drilled, 
and these show the stratigraphic succession below the surface 
deposits to consist of blue shale, white water-bearing sandstone, 
and red shale and sandstone nearly destitute of water. Both shale 
and sandstone are so hard that they do not require casing; in this 
respect they differ from most of the Cretaceous strata of southern 
Minnesota. The total thickness of the red elastic series is not 
known. 

The same succession of blue shale, white sandstone, and red 
rock has been found in Monticello and at a number of points in 
the eastern extremity of this county. At Anoka drilling has gone 
to a depth of 420 feet without reaching the red elastic series ; this 
fact indicates the general thickening of the overlying Paleozoic 
strata toward the southeast. Near Dayton, which is situated at 
the confluence of Mississippi and Crow rivers, sandstone was 
encountered in several wells at a depth of about 50 feet below the 
river level, and on tlie opposite side of the Mississippi limestone, 
which probably lies higher in the series, is reported 100 feet below 
the upland level. 

At Buffalo the following section is reported for the railway 
well. The upper 386 feet is probably glacial drift. (The depth 
below the surface is given in parentheses.) Clay, 35 feet (35 feet) ; 
sand, 2 feet (37 feet) ; blue bowlder clay, 245 feet (282 feet) : 
sand, 37 feet (319 feet) ; quicksand, 6 feet (325 feet) ; sand and 
gravel, 31 feet (35.6 feet) ; sand and large stones, 30 feet (386 
feet) : clean sand, 9 feet (395 feet) ; sandstone, 158 feet (553 feet). 
These figures were taken by Joseph Greeninger, a well driller of 
Anoka. 

Light-colored water-bearing rock, which was encountered in 
the southern part of the county, has already been alluded to as a 
possible Cretaceous formation. 

Among such rock wells drilled in soutliern Wright county may 
be mentioned these owned and located as follows : J. Freden, 
N. E. 14, sec. 24, township 118, range 25, 211 feet to rock, rock 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 23 

penetrated nine Ifot. Doctor O'llair, Waverly, 190 feet to rock, 
rock penetrated seven feet ; Mart. Fleener, Howard Lake, 135 
feet to rock, roek penetrated five feet; J. lIcKee, N. E. '/i, 
sec. 34, township 119, range 27, 218 feet to rock, rock penetrated 
seven feet; F. Birkliolz, N. W. ^4, sec. 27, townsliip 118, range 27, 
169 feet to roek, roek penetrated three feet; C. Dangers, S. W. '/i, 
sec. 15, township 118, range 27, 170 feet to rock, rock penetrated 
three feet. 

A few miles north of Wright connty the granite rocks come 
to the snrface and form numerous outcrops in Slu'rburne and 
Stearns counties ; in Meeker county they liave been encountered 
in several wells. These facts indicate that in the nortliwesteru 
part of Wright county the granite is not far below tlu> surface, but 
the depth probably increases rapidly toward the southeast. 

Yield of Water. — The data given above show that water- 
bearing sandstone (perhaps belonging to more than one forma- 
tion) occurs throughout the southeastern part of the county and 
may extend to the northwestern margin. It has been encountered 
at depths ranging from 80 to 400 feet and in all wells yielded 
generously. Neither the red clastic series, which lies beneath the 
white sandstone in the eastern jiart of the county, nor the granite, 
which may be reached in deep drilling in the northern part, is of 
any value as a source of water. 

Head of the Water. — The sandstone will produce flows in the 
valley and on the lower terraces of the Mississippi but not on the 
uplands. In the village of Elk River the water is lifted about 
60 feet above the river level, or 904 feet above the sea, and at 
Monticello it rises about 918 feet above sea level, a considerable 
height above the river. 

Quality of the Water. — The water from the Paleozoic sand- 
stone is not highly mineralized. Its chief constituents are cal- 
cium, magnesium and biearbouates ; in this respect it is similar 
to the water from the glacial drift. 

Buffalo. — The village of Buffalo is picturesquely situated on 
the northeastern shore of Buffalo Lake. The glacial drift is here 
deep and contains several sand and gravel layers, from which 
the water rises above the level of the lake. The section given 
above shows that a thick stratum of water-bearing sandstone lies 
beneath the drift. The village has no system of jjublic water- 
works. 

Delano. — The glacial drift is here probably more than 200 
feet deep. Below the drift there is believed to be water-bearing 
sandstone, but it has not been reached by drilling within the 
village. In the valley deposits of sand and gravel lie at the sur- 
face. The public supply is obtained from fourteen three-inch 
wells, whose stratigraphic section is as follows, the depth below 
the surface being given in parentheses: Sandy loam, 6 feet 



24 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

(6 feet) ; blue clay, 13 feet (19 feet) ; sand (water first struck), 
17 feet (36 feet) ; blue clay (containing sand and a little water), 
4 feet (40 feet) ; coarse sand (impregnated with water), pene- 
trated 10 feet (50 feet). 

Tjie water rises virtually to tlie surface and is drawn from 
all the wells by suction. Pumping at the rate of 250 gallons a 
minute for several hours continuously has thus far produced no 
noticeable effect. The water is only moderately hard, and will 
not deposit much hard scale in boilers. It is used at the pumping 
station, mill, and printing house, and altogether about 30,000 
gallons daily is consumed. The railroad company takes water 
from the river. Many of the private wells are drilled and range 
between 50 and 150 feet in depth. 

Monticello. The village of Monticello is situated on the south 
bank of the Mississippi river. Tlie valley is narrow and nearly 
all the houses are built upon an elevated terrace. Alluvial depos- 
its and glacial drift occur near the surface, beneath which lie the 
Paleozoic strata. The thick beds of sand and gravel, as well as 
the Paleozoic sandstone, yield large quantities of water. The 
well which furnishes the public supply is 8 inches in diameter 
and 237 feet deep. The water rises to a level 5 feet below the top 
of the well, which is about 30 feet above the river, or approxi- 
mately 918 feet above the sea, and pumping at the rate of 275 
gallons a minute for five hours continuously is reported to lower 
this level only 2 feet. The water is only moderately hard and 
will not form much hard scale in boilers. About 25,000 gallons is 
consumed daily, but most of the people still use water fi'ora pri- 
vate wells. 

Howard Lake. — The glacial drift has a considerable thickness 
and contains water-bearing deposits of sand and gravel. Beneath 
the drift there is a light-colored water-bearing sandstone wliich 
is reported to have been penetrated at 135 feet below the surface, 
though generally occurring at a greater depth. The public supply 
is pumped from the lake without filtering, through an intake 
which is about 800 feet from the shore. This water has a relatively 
low total hardness, and is used by more than one-half of the 
people, approximately 25,000 gallons being consumed daily. The 
glacial drift and underlying rock will yield ample supplies of 
water that is only moderately hard. 

Cokato. — Drilling to a depth of 185 feet at Cokato has revealed 
nothing but glacial drift, as is shown by the following section of 
a well at the canning factory : Yellow boulder clay and blue 
boulder clay, 78 feet ; sand, thin (a little water) ; blue boulder 
clay, 50 feet; sand (impregnated with water), 2 feet; blue boulder 
clay, penetrated 55 feet. 

It is altogether probable that there are other water-bearing 
beds at greater depths. The public waterworks are supplied from 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 25 

a drilli'd well three inches in dianietei' and ILT) I'eet ileep, wliicli 
euds witli a sereen in a hetl of sand reporttnl to be at least six 
feet thick. The water rises to a h'vel about 45 i'eet below the 
surface or 1,020 feet above sea level. It is moderately iiai-d but 
has not nuich permanent hardness. .Most of the jieople use water 
from private drilled wells, none of which is much more than 100 
feet deep. Tlu' well at the canning factory, which is supplied from 
the sand layer 1'2S feet below the surface, has been tested at 
fifteen gallons a minute. The head and (|uality of tlie water are 
similar to those of the village well. 

Waverly. The following section for the well at Adam P.erknei''s 
flouring mill, which is the deepest well drilled in the locality about 
Waverly. Yellow and blue clay, 117 feet; "hardi»an," S feet; 
yellow sand (impreguatetl with water), 85 feet; I'cd clay, 215 
feet; coarse yellow sand impregnated with watei-, entered 19 
feet. The public waterworks are supplietl from the lake, but all 
the people tlepend upon private wells, most of which are of the 
two-inch ilrilled type and have an average depth of abotit 125 
feet. 

Farm Water Supplies. The most common type of farm wells 
found in this region are the 2-ineli or 'ly^-hich drilled wells. These 
range from about 40 to 300 feet in di'pth, their average depth 
being slightly more than 100 feet in the southern part of the 
county and somewhat less in the northern. Nearly all stop in the 
surface deposits and are finished with screens. In the south the 
screens are liable to become clogged after several years of serv- 
ice, but fiu'ther north they seldom do. As a rule the water is 
harder in the southern than in the northern part aiul there appears 
to be a relation between the hardness of the water and the ten- 
dency of the screens to become incrusted. 

Other types of farm wells are the driven, bored, or dub and 
drilled wells of larger diameter. In the past the bored and dug 
wells were the prevailing kind, but they are now being gradually 
replaced by the drilled types. W^here 6-inch wells are not to be 
pumped faster than the rate at which a windmill operates, they 
can be successfully finished with open ends, tluis obviating all 
difficulties with screens. 

Summary and Analysis. The siu'faee deposits contain large 
supplies of water that is only moderately hard, and in low areas 
they may give rise to flows with slight pressure. The southeastern 
part of the county, and perhaps the entire county, is underlain 
by water-bearing sandstone, which has been encountered at depths 
ranging from 80 to 400 feet, and which will usually yield large 
quantities of water of about the same hardness as that from the 
surface deposits. Near the Mississippi the water from this sand- 
stone is under sufificient pressure to rise to a level about 900 feet 



26 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

above the sea, and in the valley it will therefore be lifted above 
the surface. 

The red clastic series and the granitic rocks, which occur at 
greater depths, are of no value as sources of water, and should not 
be penetrated in drilling. 



CHAPTER II. 
PREHISTORIC INHABITANTS. 

Nature's Paradise — The Coming of Man — The Eskimo — The 
Mound Builders — Purpose of the Mounds — Life and Habits 
of the Mound Builders — Location of the Mounds — Excavations 
and Discoveries — Relics. 

Scientists declare that in the Glacial period this region was 
several times covered with a great ice sheet at recurrent inter- 
vals. When for the last time the glacier receded it left behind 
what in a few years became a wonderfully diversified and beauti- 
ful region. Verdure took the place of glaring ice, and a forest, 
known as the "Big Woods," nearly covered Wright county, 
leaving here and there, however, stretches of prairie. Thus lay 
Wright county, beautiful and virgin ; expanses of gently rolling 
prairies, in summer covered with grass and spangled with flowers ; 
park-like oak openings, verdant swells of land studded with a 
sparse growth of oaks ; dense forests of maple, oak, elm, linden 
and birch, poplar thickets and tamarack swamps, jungles of under- 
brush of hazel and dwarf beech, dwarf hickory, ironwood, alder, 
kinnikinic, as well as young trees of larger species, forming in 
some places almost as impenetrable a mass as the famous jungles 
of the Amazon, and finally, even in Wright, here and there a 
little guard of conifers, mainly white pine, outposts of magnificent 
forests of evergreens to the northeast. And this varied landscape 
was flecked and ribboned and jeweled by many a stream of water 
and by matchless blue and silver lakes. These waters, woods and 
prairies fairly q\iivered with animal life. The most notable early 
animal was the mammoth. From remains found, he seems to have 
been fairly plentiful in Minnesota. Later the leader in animal 
life was the American bison, generally known as the buffalo. In 
Wright county the most plentiful among the larger animals were 
the bears and the antlered animals, such as the deer and the elk. 

A country so bountiful and inviting to man, whether primitive 
or civilized, would remain uniidiabited only while undiscovered. 
At some period of the earth's history, mankind in some form took 
up its abode in what is now Wright county. How many ages 
distant that period was no one can tell. It is evident that nmn 
followed very closely the receding of the last glacier, if indeed 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 27 

lit' liad not existed here previous to tliat tiiiic. A iliseussioii of 
the possibilities of the existence of man in Minnesota during Cila- 
cial, Intei'-Glaeial and Pre-Glaeial ages is beyond the scope of this 
work. It has been made a special subject of study by several 
Minnesota savants, and many notable articles have been written 
concerning evidences that have been discovered. 

Jlany scholars are of the opinion that in all probability the 
first inhabitants of the northern [)art of the United States were, 
or were closely related to, the Eskimo. While the data is very 
meagre, they all point that way. The Eskimos seem to have 
remained on the Atlantic seaboard as late as the arrival of the 
Scantiinavian discoverers of the eleventh century, for their 
description of the aborigines whom they call "skriilingar"' (a 
term of contempt about equivalent to "runts'") is much more 
consonant with the assumi)tion that these were Eskimos than 
Indians. 

So possibly it is permissible to picture the first human inhab- 
itants of Wright county as a small yellowish-brown skin-clad race, 
slipping around nimbly and quietly in the woods and dells, sub- 
sisting mainly on tish, but also partly on the chase. Their homes 
were doubtless of the simplest descriptions, and their culture not 
above absolute savagery. 

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

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



28 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

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

The Mound Builders. Not so many years ago, there was a 
wide-spread belief that the Mound Builders were a mysterious 
people of high culture resembling the Aztecs, and diifering from 
the Indian in race, habits and customs. Now scholars are unani- 
mous in their belief that the Mound Builders were merely the 
ancestors of the Indians, doubtless, as already related, of the 
Sioux Indians, and not differing from them in any important 
characteristic except in their tendency to erect earthworks. These 
Mound Builders are the earliest race of whose actual residence 
in Wright county we have absolute evidence. Wliile Wright can- 
not boast of mounds of such gigantic proportions as some other 
parts of the United States, nor of such grotesque formations as 
the serpent mound of Ohio, yet the mounds of the county are 
plentiful in number, kind and distribution, and present a rich 
field for archaeological inquiry, as well as supplying evidence 
that Wriglit county was well populated by tliis ancient people. 

The larger groups are invariably situated near the water- 
courses and lakes, and usually on tlie lofty terraces that give a 
commanding view of magnificent pi'ospects. Such a distribution 
of the mounds finds its explanation in the fact that the lake and 
river banks afford excellent sites for habitations, and the lakes 
and rivers afford routes of travel in times of peace and war. 
Above all the streams and lakes furnish two substances absolutely 
necessary for the maintenance of life, namely water and food. 
The Mound Builder was not slow in picking out picturesque places 
as a location for his village sites. The distribution of the mounds 
bears ample proof of this. Anyone who visits the groups cannot 
fail to be convinced that the Mound Builders were certainly 
guided in the selection of the location for the mounds by an uner- 
ring sense of beautiful scenery and a high appreciation and in- 
stinctive love of nature as well as by other factors. A few of the 
smaller mounds in Wright county are found on the edges of the 
original prairies, but these probably served a somewhat different 
purpose than those nearer the water. 

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



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 29 

Undoubtedly t'iU'h mound was placed for some definite pur- 
pose on tlie spot where it is found today, but wliat the purpose 
of any particular mound was may be difficult to say. The spade 
often partially tells us what we want to know, but sometimes it 
leaves us as much as ever in the dark. When the interior of a 
mound reveals human bones, then the inference is that the mound 
served as a tomb, but intrusive burials, that is burials made long 
after the mounds were built, complicate the problem. But when 
a mound can be opened without revealing any trace of human 
remains or of artificial articles, it seems safe to conclude that not 
all the mounds were built for burial purposes. The erection of 
such a large nmnber of mounds as exist along the Mississippi and 
its tributaries in Jlinnesota must have required an enormous ex- 
penditure of time and labor. The tools with which all the work 
was done were probably wooden spades rudely shaped, stone hoes 
and similar implements which indicate a low degree of industrial 
culture. Where the whole village population turned out for a 
holiday or funeral, a large mound could be built in a much sliorter 
time than if tlie work was performed by only a few individuals. 
The surface of the land adjoining the mounds in Wright county, 
and in fact all the mounds of this vicinity, frequently shows plain 
evidences of where the material was obtained for the construction 
of tlie mound. All in all, the regularity, symmetry and even 
mathematical exactness with which the mounds are built show 
considerable skill and taste. The reader can picture to liimself 
the funeral scenes, tlie wailings of the sorrowing survivors, and 
the flames of the funeral pyres which were sometimes built. Or 
one can picture the mourning relatives waiting beneath the tree 
in wliich the body has been suspended on a scaffold while the 
elements are stripping the bones of flesh preparatory to their 
interment. 

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

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

We do not know what liuman beings first beheld the beauti- 
ful lakes and prairies of Wright county and claimed them as their 



30 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

home. We may never be able to look beyond the veil or penetrate 
the mists that enshroud the history of the past, yet we are not left 
in utter darkness. The relics tell us many interesting stories. 

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

All of these things tell us something of the habits and con- 
dition of the Mound Builders and are further evidence that the 
Mound Builders differed in no important manner from the Indians 
found here by the early explorei's. 

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

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

Mounds on Crow river, near Dayton, S. E. y,, sec. 1, T. 120-23. 
The land is cultivated about 30 feet above the river. This mound 
is 65 feet in diameter and 6 feet high. Surveyed April 28, 1887. 

Mounds two miles west of Dayton. E. V., S. W. 14. sec. 2. T. 
120-23. These are five in number and in cultivated land over- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 31 

looking the river and about 35 feet above it. The largest is 70 
feet in diameter, 511; feet high. 

Crow river iiioinuis, N. I-:. 14, S. W. 14, and N. W. i/4, S. E. '4, 
see. 29, T. 119-24. Here are l(i mounds, about 18 feet above the 
river, of whieh only four are eireular. The rest are simph' elon- 
gated mounds about 20 feet in width and li/o feet in height. They 
present the anomaly that, wiiile about parallel with each, they 
have tlieir greater surface dimension running perpendieuhir to 
the lin(> of the bluff on wliieh tkey are situated, instead of paral- 
lel with it. The largest eireular mound is 60 feet in diameter and 
6 feet higli. 

Crow river mounds, S. W. 14, S. W. %, see. 29, T. 119-24. 
This group inimbers 4, of which one is elongated ; 10 feet above 
the river. Surveyed July 13, 1887. 

A solitary eireular mound, 18 feet in diameter, is at N. W. eor. 
S. E. 14, N. W. 14, see. 29, T. 119-24. It is about 15 feet above 
the river. 

Crow river mounds, one mik' below Uelano. Ilei'e are four 
mounds, of wiiich one is elongated, parallel with the bluff. The 
largest eireular mound is 45 feet in diameter and 2V1; feet high. 
Another mound of this group is in the public road. 

A single mound, on cultivated land, is opposite Delano, about 
12 feet above the river. Some 12 or 15 other mounds have been 
destroyed. That which remains is KiO feet from the bank of 
Crow river. 

At two miles above Delano, N. E. 14, sec. 23, T. 118-25, are two 
mounds, and there ma.v be others in the neighborhood. 

Mouth of Pioneer creek, S. E. 14, S. W. 1/4, see. 26, and N. E. V4, 
N. W. 14, see. 35, T. 118-25. Here are 26 mounds, mostly circular 
The largest is also flat-topped, the base being 54 feet in diameter 
and the jilatform 20 feet. Its height is 7 feet. This mound also 
has two extensions, one of which is 24 feet wide and fi/o feet high, 
and the other is 30 feet wide and 4 feet high. From the extremity of 
the second extension is another extension in tlie same direction, 21 
feet wide and lfl> feet high, 66 feet long. These two enlargements 
of the main mound extend northerly, at an angle with each other 
of about 45 degrees. The longer are 10 degrees to the west of 
north. One other circular mound also has an extension 20 feet 
wide, 1 foot high. 

The most curious of this group is one which is square, with 
the corners at the magnetic points. The sides are 35 feet, the 
height 3 feet, and the top is 24 feet square. This group, therefore, 
presents four anomalies: 1. Extensions from a circular mound 
not on opposite sides of the mound, but forming an angle with 
each other of about 45 degrees. 2. An extension from an exten- 
sion, the former having less width and height than the latter. 



32 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

3. Square mound, with corners at magnetic points. 4. Flat- 
topped square mound. Surveyed Sept. 8, 1881. 

Foster lake mounds, on N. W. 14, N. W. 14, sec. 10, T. 120-23, 
25 feet above the lake. Many of these are situated in a cultivated 
field, along a bluff that face.s westward over the lake and over a 
marsh, through which passes a creek draining Foster lake. The 
total number is 33, of which only two are elongated. The largest 
is 68 feet in diameter and 8V2 feet high. It is not isolated from 
the line of the series. Surveyed April 28, 1887. 

Two and a half miles northwest of Pelican lake exists a soli- 
tary tumulus, on N. W. 14. sec. 34, T. 121-25, in cultivated land. 
It is 35 feet in diameter and 3 feet high. There were seven or 
eight others within a quarter of a mile, which have nearly disap- 
peared through cultivation. Surveyed August 8, 1891. 

Buffalo Lake mounds. The tumuli are on lot 2, see. 31, T. 
120-25, on the bluff of the lake, east side, in the woods. The road 
passes between them. They are 30 feet above the lake and about 
30 feet in diameter. 

There is a large group, numbering twenty mounds, on the 
south side of the lake, of which the largest had been excavated, 
but is 75 feet in diameter and 15 feet high. They are 60 feet above 
the lake. Here are also three circular embankments 2 feet to 3 
feet high. Of these two are united, but the other, which is 36 
feet in diameter, is alone. Five of the mounds are elongated, and 
one is wider at the center than at the extremities, having three 
sections, the central section being some longer than the end 
sections. Surveyed November 16, 1886. 

These circular embankments, having the same widths as the 
average circular mounds, and grouped with them, seem to be 
allied to the circular mounds. These embankments are from 
6 feet to 8 feet across and from 2 feet to 3 feet high. 

Another group is on the west side, W. Vi;, S. E. Vl (lot 5), 
sec. 35, T. 120-26, consisting of eight tumuli, of which the largest 
is 90 feet in diameter and 12 feet higli. This greatly contrasts 
with the one alongside it, which is 12 feet wide and 1 foot high 
(the smallest mound yet noted). 

According to the Delano "Eagle," of July 10, 1881, William 
P. Jewett opened a large mound in 1878, and at the depth of 
fourteen feet found ten or twelve skeletons. This was on sec. 35, 
and on the bank of Buft'alo lake, on laud then owned by Joseph 
Armstrong. Associated with this were four other mounds. The 
human bodies seem to have been buried in a circle, about five feet 
from the surface. 

Three-quarters of a mile south of Buffalo lake, on N. W. Vi, 
S. E. 14, sec. 1, T. 119-26, is a group of twelve mounds, two of 
which are elongated. One of the tumuli, in the line of the group. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 33 

reaches 65 feet in diametiT and 7I/2 feet in height. These are 
about 20 feet above tlie marsh. Surveyed November 16, 1886. 

On the west side of Buffalo lake are five mounds in a group, 
on S. E. 14, S. E. 1/4 (lot 6), sec. 35, T. 120-26; 60 feet above the 
water. One is 85 feet in diameter, 16 feet above the water. One 
is 85 feet in diameter, 16 feet high, and it is alongside of one which 
is 18 feet in diameter and 1 foot high. 

]Mounds of Lakes Ann, Mary and Emma. At the north end 
of Lake Ann, S. E. 1/4, S. E. 1/4, sec. 10, T. 118-27, about 15 feet 
above the lake, is a tumulus 20 feet in diameter near the road. 

On lot 4 (S. E. 14, S. W. Vt) sec. 11, T. 118-27, north end of 
Lake Ann, are two tumuli, 30 feet in diameter, on etdtivated land 
about 12 feet above the lake. 

On the west side of Lake Ann, on lot 3 (N. E. I/4, S. E. 14), 
sec. 15, T. 118-27, is a common tumulus about 25 feet above the 
lake, in a slight swale. 

At the south end of Lake Ann, on lot 5 (S. Vi;, S. E. I/4), sec. 
14, T. 118-27, is a group of seven mounds, all circular, 25 feet 
above Lakes Ann and Emma. 

On a creek near Lake Ann, on lot 4 (S. E. I/4, S. W. Vi) sec. 11, 
T. 118-27, are two mounds, the larger 30 feet in diameter and 
2 feet high ; the smaller 28 feet in diameter and 2 feet high, about 
12 feet above the creek. 

There are four large mounds half a mile south of Lake Ann, 
on N. E. V4, S. W. 1/1, sec. 23, T. 118-27. They are 40 feet, 42 feet, 
48 feet and 50 feet in diameter, and 3 feet in height. There are 
five or more further to the southeast that have been cultivated too 
much to survey, situated on a slight ridge. 

At the north end of Lake Mary, on N. E. Vi, N. W. Vi, sec. 25, 
T. 118-27, are two small tumuli, 22 feet in diameter and 1 foot high, 
20 feet above the lake. 

Along the Twelve-Mile creek, on the south and west sides of 
Lake Ann, sees. 15, 22 and 23, T. 118-27, are three groups of 
mounds. The first is on lot 4, sec. 23, and consists of 12 mounds, 
all circular except one, which is elongated, with dimensions 90 
feet by 50 feet, and 31/2 feet high. Toward the north this is 
abruptly connected with a circular mound, which is 55 feet in 
diameter and 5 feet high, by a narrower embankment 30 feet wide 
and 21/4 feet high. The smallest mound of this group is 30 feet 
in diameter, and the largest is 55 feet. Three are 50 feet in 
diameter. Surveyed September 15, 1881. 

A rare combination is witnessed in two of this group, viz.: 
An elongated mound is suddenly narrowed from 50 feet to 30 
feet, and again expanded as suddenly into a circular mound, the 
length of the embankment being 16 feet, or about one-half of its 
width. 



34 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Another group on N. E. Vij sec. 22, also embraces twelve 
mounds, and shows one rare feature, viz. : Two of the largest 
mounds, each 4 feet high, are connected by a short curving 
embankment 25 feet wide and li/o feet high. These two mounds 
have both been opened. This group of tumuli has an unusually 
large average diameter for the circular mounds. 

A group on the opposite side of Twelve-Mile creek contains 
eight mounds, three being elongated, one 150 feet long, 20 feet 
wide and IV2 ft^et high ; another 85 feet long, 40 feet wide, and 
31/2 f'^et high ; and the third 80 feet long, 20 feet wide and 1 foot 
high. This group also presents an anomaly, viz. : a spur-shaped 
extension is connected with a circular mound running to a point. 
At the base it is 20 feet wide and 2 feet high. It is about 30 feet 
long. Surveyed September 15, 1881. 

A solitary tumulus, 22 feet in diameter, is north of Lake 
Emma, S. W. 14, S. W. 1/4, sec. 13, T. 118-27, about 22 feet above 
the lake. • 

Howard Lake Mounds. The mounds above this lake are iso- 
lated except in one case. A grouj) of five tumuli is on the east 
side, lot 4 (N. E. 1/4, N. W. 1/4 and N. W. 1/4, N. E. 1/4), sec. 34, 
T. 119-27, near the lake, but in the woods, about twelve feet above 
the lake, all circular, mostly about 30 feet in diameter. 

According to the Delano "Eagle," June 13, 1878, one of the 
mounds on the south side of Twelve-Mile creek, about three miles 
south of Delano, was explored by a party of young men. At 
the depth of five feet they found two human skeletons, the size 
of which indicated sons of Amalek. The bones were in the last 
stages of decay. One "thigh-bone measured 20 inches in length 
and was proportionately large. The teeth were still sound, and 
double all around, though not of large size, but worn flat from 
long use." — Hill Rec. 

Two others are together, on the west side, lot 2, sec. 33, T. 
119-27; 30 feet in diameter; 13 feet above the lake and 125 feet 
from it. One tumulus is on lot 1, sec. 33, at 150 feet from the 
lake and 15 feet above it. One is on the east side on lot 2, S. %> 
S. W. 1/4, sec. 27, T. 119-27; 20 feet above the lake; 25 feet in 
diameter. Another is on the same section, on the N. E. i/4, S. E. 
14, sec. 34, T. 119-27; 16 feet above the lake; 30 feet from the 
bluff; 24 feet in diameter. 

Clearwater lake mounds, W. !/>, S. W. 14, sec. 12, T. 121-28, 
overlooking a ravine, on a high ridge, is a group of 47 circular 
mounds and embankments. The tumuli are generally small 
and low. Three are noticeably large, having diameters of 75 
feet, 70 feet and 60 feet, with heights of 8 feet, 61/0 feet and 51/2 
feet, respectively. The elongated mounds or embankments are 
of the usual type, their width about the same as the diameter of 
the smallest mounds, i. e., 18 feet to 20 feet straight and of uniform 



HISTORY OP^ WRIGHT COUNTY 35 

width from end to end. To this, liowi'vcr, there is one exception 
here, one embankment, ta|)erin<; fi'om a widtli of '20 feet at tlie 
north end to 10 feet at the sontliern, and from T- feet in heii^lit 
to 1 foot. This is an exeeedin^rly rare feature. Two of the tumuli 
are connected by a low embankment much narrower than the 
mounds connected. 

R. M. Van Dervort fiave information concerning the explora- 
tion of a mound of this group abotit the year 1885. It rose 3 feet 
above the level of the s\irrounding ground. The opening was at 
the top. about 3 feet by 6 feet. The material con.sisted of alter- 
nations of ordinary black soil ami hard, light gray, four of the 
latter, each about four inches thick. The bones were about three 
feet from the surface and consisted of six skeletons, each skeleton 
occupying a space about 18 by :!0 inches, leg and arm bones being 
directly on top of the chest, and the skull on top of all. The bones 
were generally very brittle, but some were well i)reserved. The 
lower jaw-bones were large, the teeth, so far as found, all double, 
the brow considerably receding backward, thigh-bone 22 inches 
long, upper arm-bone 14 inches long. These bones were taken to 
Chicago by a doctor some five years after they were discovered. 
This was evidently a regular Sioux burial of bundled bones. 

In the "Pioneer Press" of June 29, 1888, is an account of the 
discovery, twelve miles from Clearwater, N. E. Y^, sec. 21, T. 
121-27, by Charles W. Pinkerton, of the town of Corinna, of the 
remains of seven persons said to have been from seven to eight 
feet high. They were found in a kind of mound, and were buried 
with their heads down. The skulls indicated an inferior race of 
men. The teeth in the jaw-bones were mostly sound, "and not 
like the teeth of the present race of men." In the "Pioneer 
Press" of July 1, 1888, was published a more satisfactory and 
correct account of this discovery, abstracted as follows : The 
mound itself is about 50 feet across and some 12 feet high, of 
symmetrical shape. According to Prof. H. F. Nachtrieb, who 
visited the place and examined the bones, the skeletons were not 
of unusual size. They were deposited in the mound in a sitting 
posture, facing the lake. The skulls, when compared with Indian 
skulls in the possession of Dr. Thomas S. Roberts, of Minneapolis, 
showed some marked differences. The forehead was very low, and 
the brow prominent. The postero-anterior axis of the skull was 
very long. Judging from the external auditory meatus, this 
prehistoric man had a large ear. His jaws were heavy, his cheek- 
bones prominent. The ridges on his arm-bones indicated that he 
was very muscular. His front teeth, instead of being chisel- 
shaped like those of modern man, had their greater diameter at 
right angles to the jaw-bone, and all his teeth were quite large, 
and some with the enamel perfectly preserved. On the whole, 
the skulls seemed to be quite small, in proportion to the rest o,'' 



36 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

the skeleton. The remaius were evidently those of ancient mound- 
builders. The mounds were covered with a forest of large elms 
and maples. 

Enclosure and mound, lot 2, N. E. i/i, N. E. %, see. 21, T. 
121-27. These are on the bank of the lake but about 200 feet 
from it. The mound is 62 feet in diameter and 8 feet high. The 
enclosure is toward the northeast from the mound, on a knob 
about 35 feet above the lake, the mound being 22 feet above the 
lake. The enclosure consists of an embankment 13 feet wide and 
li/o feet high, the ends coming near together, but leaving an open- 
ing 6 feet wide. Surveyed August 1, 1887. 

On lot 5, N. W. 1/4, N. W. i/i, sec. 21, T. 121-27, at 40 feet above 
the lake and 450 feet south of it, is a group of six circular mounds 
and one elongated. The largest of the former is 80 feet in diam- 
eter and 41/4 feet high. The elongated mound is of a rare type, 
tapering from 26 feet to 10 feet in width and IV2 feet to 1 foot 
in height in a length of 80 feet. Surveyed August 1, 1887. The 
following letter of E. E. Woodworth is of interest. 

"St. Paul, Minn., May 31, 1907. In the year 1888, in company 
with Rev. Mr. Wigstead and my brother, Charles Woodworth, I 
opened a mound in Levi Dakin's field, cutting clear through it 
a ditch about eighteen inches wide and from top to bottom four 
and one-half feet deep, from north to south and from east to 
west. A peculiarity of formation was found. About two feet 
from the top surface was found a continuous layer of black mate- 
rial about four inches in thickness, which appeared to be earth 
mixed with some substance which rendered it impervious to 
water, as was evidenced by the perfectly dry earth below the 
layer. The soil above the layer was very wet, as it had rained the 
night before. When this substance was broken it presented occa- 
sionally small faces of shiny black. The material was very tough 
and resisted the pick like asphalt. About two feet below this 
layer was a second layer of the same substance, and a third layer 
was encountered perhaps not more than fourteen inches below 
the second layer. The earth had evidently been carried in recep- 
tacles which held about one-half bushel, as was evidenced by the 
different materials, as sand, clay or black soil. We found no 
bones, neither any cavities in this mound. Near the surface we 
found a stone ax weighing about five pounds, perfect except for 
a small spall from the face. In the woods just east of the field, 
perhaps ten rods from the mound which we opened in the field, 
were several mounds, the largest of which we dug into from the 
very top, making a hole five feet square and five feet deep, finding 
nothing until I was about to leave the hole. It was raining, and 
as we had nine miles to drive, and as it was nearly night, I caved 
the walls in, and in so doing opened a cavity on the west which 
was filled with dust. This I scraped out and we observed that 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 37 

the cavity had the appoaranee of having been filled with blankets 
or hides rolled closely, or i)Ossibly a body. It was so dark we 
could not examine as fully as we wished to do. We ditl not find 
the peculiar impervious layers in this mounil. — E. E. Wood- 
Avorth." 

On lots 3 and 4. N. W. lU, S. W. 1/4, sec. 18, T. 121-27, at 48 
feet above the lake, is a series of eighteen tumuli and one elon- 
gated mound. The line of extension of this series is away from 
the lake blutf, and the larger mounds are out of the line, the 
largest being 70 feet wide and 51/0 feet high. They begin at 60 
feet from the lake bluff and 150 feet from the water. Surveyed 
July 2, 1887. 

There is a solitary mound, 35 feet above the lake, 30 feet in 
diameter, at the center of the N. E. 14, sec. 13, T. 121-28. 

Pleasant Lake mound, a solitary tumulus, is at the center of 
the N. E. 1/4, see. 24, T. 121-28 ; 28 feet in diameter ; 50 feet above 
the lake. 

Clearwater River enclosure. This is on N. E. \(i, S. E. '4, 
see. 11, T. 121-28, at 35 feet above the river and 250 feet from it. 
This enclosure is of an oblong shape, with an opening of five 
feet at the east end. The embankment is 12 feet wide and ly^ 
feet high. A road passes across it. Its greatest dimension is 
102 feet. Surveyed August 3, 1887. 

Pulaski Lake mounds. Lot 3 of sec. 8, T. 120-25. Here is a 
group of fourteen mounds, of which five are elongated north 
and south, parallel with the direction of the series in which they 
lie; 30 feet above the lake. The largest circular mound is in the 
series, 65 feet by 7 feet. There are distinctly two sizes of the 
elongated mounds, viz.: 18 feet (or 20 feet) by 26 feet (or 30 
feet), and 30 feet (or 35 feet) by 40 feet (or 45 feet). Surveyed 
September 10, 1S81. 

"A party from Monticello dug through the largest of these 
mounds. JIany skeletons, buried in a horizontal position, one 
above another, were found, but it appears that no implements 
nor manufactured articles of any kind were discovered." — 
Upham, Geol. Sur. Rep., Vol. ii, p. 263. 

Silver Lake mounds. The group, as it now remains, comprises 
seven tumuli, although a number of others, probably about 12, 
have been plowed down. They are about 30 feet above the lake, 
on the S. E. 14, S. E. 14, sec. 5, T. 121-26. The largest mounds are 
isolated, 74 feet in diameter, 3I/2 feet high ; and 67 feet in diame- 
ter, 6 feet high. Serveyed Sept. 13, 1891. 

There is another tumulus, which is tlat-topped, and which prob- 
ably belong to the foregoing group, on the N. E. 14» S. E. 14, of 
the same section, about 20 feet above the lake. The top is 18 
feet in diameter, and the base is 50 feet, 'i\<2 feet high. It is 130 
feet from the brow of the bluff, which overlooks a meadow. 



38 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Mounds between Lakes Ramsey and Maple. On the N. W. i/^, 
sec. 8, T. 120-26, is a single tumulus, and the remains of five others 
belonging to the group can be discerned. Possibly others have 
been destroyed. They are about 60 feet above the lake. 

Mounds at Twin lakes (Silvia lake) on S. VL', N. W. %, sec. 
27, T. 121-28. Here are 19 earthworks, including 4 elongated 
mounds and one flat-topped, the last being the largest and out 
of the line of the series. Its base is 60 feet and its top 21 feet in 
diameter, 5V1> feet high. The longest moiuid is 265 feet in length 
and 18 feet in width, 1% feet high. This group is 60 feet above 
the lake, from 20 to 45 feet from the brink of the bluff, and about 
950 feet from the water's edge. Surveyed Aug. 4, 1887. 

Group at Waverly lakes, lot 3, S. E. 14, N. W. 14, sec. 32, T. 
119-26. In this group of 11 mounds 3 are elongated, 20 feet wide, 
the longest being 150 feet long, and one has a curving spur- 
shaped enlargement. The largest (58 feet by 5 feet), has an ex- 
tension 214 feet high, 35 feet wide, and 31 feet long. When it was 
opened it was found to contain many human bones. Surveyed 
Sept. 17, 1881. 

A solitary circular mound is on lot 6, N. 1/., S. W. i/i, sec. 32, 
T. 119-26, in the woods, 90 feet from the lake and 20 feet above 
it; 35 feet in diameter, 21/2 feet high. 

Fish lake mound, N. E. V^, sec. 13, T. 122-27. This mound is 
55 feet in diameter, 7 feet high, and 50 feet above the lake. It 
has been excavated. Surveyed Nov. 13, 1886. 

Cokato lake mounds, E. 1/0, N. E. 1/4, sec. 15, T. 119-28, at 200 
yards from the shore of the lake and 40 feet above it. The largest 
here is 96 feet by 9 feet, 100 feet back from the bluff, within the 
line of extension of the series. One mound is elongated 76 feet 
by 25 feet, 2 feet high. 

Grirashaw Creek group, W. 1/0, N. W. V_i, sec. 6, T. 118-25. 
consists of 7 tumuli, two of them being large, 60 feet by 3 feet 
and 56 feet by 8 feet, situated on a bluff overlooking a marsh. 
Surveyed Sept. 16, 1881. 

According to the catalogue furnished by Mr. Lewis when it 
was turned over to Mr. Mitchell, the Lewis collection, now in the 
custody of the State Historical Society, contained, from Wright 
country, 5 grooved axes, 6 arrow and spear heads, 2 war-points, 
1 grooved hammer, 1 celt, 1 stone roller, 1 hoe, 1 scraper and 1 
' ' chipped implement. ' ' 




INDIAN CHIKF 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 39 

CHAPTER III. 
INDIAN OCCUPANCY AND TREATIES. 

The North American Indian — The Dakotas — Migrations — Occu- 
pancy of the Mille Lacs Region — The Ojibwas — The Ojibwa- 
Dakota Conflict — The Winnebagoes — The Sauks and Foxes — 
Indians in Wright County — Indian Treaties — Wright County 
Passes into the Possession of the Whites — Coming of the Win- 
nebagoes — Life of the Indian. 

Tho arc'lit'oloiry and aiitliropolofry of the American Iiuliaii is 
still iu its infancy. ]5ut a few fundamental facts stand out in 
bold relief. We are told by scientists that man is of {jreat an- 
ticjuity in America: and that thout;h the aborigines' blood is 
doubtless mixed with later arrivals in many localities and tribes, 
still, barring the Eskimo, the fundamental race charactei'istics are 
the same from Hudson Bay to Patagonia. Hence a common 
American ancestry of great antiquity must be predicated of the 
whole Indian race. 

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



40 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

The Dakotas. As to how these stocks came originally into 
this territory, there is no certain knowledge but much uncertain 
speculation. Here we shall be content to start with the relatively 
late and tolerably probable event of their living together, in the 
eastern part of the United States, some five centuries ago. Algon- 
quians lived on the Atlantic slope, the Iroquois perhaps south of 
Lake Erie and Ontario, and the Siouaus in the upper Ohio valley. 
These Siouan peoples had possibly previously occupied the upper 
Mississippi region, but for some reason had left here. At any 
rate, a century or so before the arrival of Columbus, found them 
for the most part in the upper Ohio valley. What peoples, if any, 
were in the meantime living on the plains of the upper Mississippi 
is not definitely known. Of the Siouan peoples we are interested 
in the main division of the Sioux, more properly the Dakotas. 
Probably because of the pressure of the fierce and well organized 
Iroquois, the Sioux, perhaps about 1400 A. D., began slowly to 
descend the Ohio valley. Kentucky and the adjacent parts of 
Ohio, Indiana and Illinois were certainly at that time a primitive 
man's paradise, and the anabasis begun under compulsion was 
enthusiastically continued from choice. They reached the con- 
fluence of the Ohio and the Mississippi. Probably here they first 
encountered the buffalo, or bison, in large numbers. The spirit 
of adventure and the pressure of an increasing population sent 
large bands up the Mississippi. When the Missouri was reached 
no doubt some followed that stream. Those who kept to the 
Mississippi were rewarded as they ascended the stream by coming 
into what was from the viewpoint of primitive man a richer coun- 
try. Coming up into Minnesota a forest region was encountered 
soon after passing through beautiful lake Pepin. Soon a 
"wakan," a spiritual mystery, blocked the way of the Dakota 
canoes. St. Anthony Palls, of which now scarce a remnant is left, 
thundered over its ledge among the leafy boskage of banks and 
islands. Slowly but surely up the stream puslied the Dakotas. 
Rum river was reached, and its friendly banks were doubtless 
for many seasons dotted with the Dakota's tipis. But when the 
hunter-explorer's eyes first rested on the wide expanse of Mille 
Lacs, he rightly felt he had found a primitive paradise. M'de- 
wakan, the Spirit lake, the lake of spiritual spell, soon became 
the site of perhaps the largest permanent encampment or head- 
quarters of the Sioux. This with the Mississippi as their great 
waterway, Wright county must have become a famous hunting 
and fishing ground. Whether these Sioux, returning to wluit we 
believe to have been the home of their ancestors, found another 
people who had occupied the land during their long sojourn in 
the upper Ohio region, we do not know, though possibly there 
were scattering bands of Algonquin peoples here. These return- 
ing Sioux, it is believed, were the builders of all or nearly all of 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 41 

the Wright couuty mounds, though some may have been built 
by their ancestors before they were expelled many centuries 
eai'lier. Tlie Wright eoiuity mounds, though less in size and 
smaller in number, have the same interest as those found in Oliio, 
and which this same people are believed to have constructed. 

Wright founty lies in the western half of what was the most 
glorious hunting region in the world. In a zone extending north- 
northwest we have a series of beautiful lakes. The most south- 
erly is the jM'dewakan of the Dakotas, ]\Iille Laes, some twenty 
miles long, then Gull, Pelican, and Whitetish lakes, each from 
eight to twelve miles long, magnificent sheets of water, small only 
in comparison with such giants as Leech lake, which comes next 
in the series. This body of water has as close neighbors, Cass, 
Winibigoshish, and Bemidji, lesser but still very large lakes. Con- 
tinuing in the same direction, we come to Red lake, the largest 
body of fresh water entirely in the United States. Some eighty 
miles further north we find the largest lake of the series, the 
Lake of the Woods. This zone is two or three lumdred miles long 
and was, and to a great extent yet is, a magnificent natural park 
and game preserve. Well watered and with every variety of 
surface, spangled with lakes and covered with forests of all kinds 
and eombinatious possible in this climate, with here and there 
a prairie thrown in for good nu^asure, this indeed was the land of 
Seek-no-Further for the Indian. Of this region Wright formed a 
part and a favored part. 

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

The social structure of the Dakotas was the primitive tribal 
one, but of the simplest variety. Though many Siouan tribes 
have an elaborate tribal system, as for example the Omaha, the 
Dakota lived in bands of the loosest description. Chieftainship 
devolved on him wlio could grasp it, though in some cases, one 
dynasty maintained the chieftainship for several generations. 
Marriage was prohibited only within close blood relationships. 
No totem system or true clan system obtained. W^ar parties were 
made up by ambitious individuals very much the same as hunt- 
ing parties are among us. The word "Dakota" (variously 
spelled) means joined together in friendly compact, the Dakota 



42 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

nation consisting of many tribes, between whom for the most 
part, a mutual forebearance, if not an active alliance, seems to 
have existed. 

The religious cult and cosmic notions of the Dakotas were 
essentially the same as those of other primitive people. They 
explained all strange, mysterious, powerful, beneficent or malevo- 
lent beings, objects, or events, by assuming that a spirit lived and 
expressed himself in each of them. Every lake, waterfall, tree, 
animal, cloud or cliff that excited their wonder, admiration, fear 
or awe, was "wakan," a term that can scarcely be translated by 
any one English word. It means mysterious, elfish, bewitched, 
spirit-possessed, having supernatural powers. These spirits-in- 
things were conceived half as personal and half as impersonal. 
Like all primitive men they believed tliat these spirits coidd be 
controlled by magic. Some spoken formula, some symbolic cere- 
mony, some charm or amulet was supposed to ward off evil influ- 
ences or even secure active co-operation of spirit powers. 

The Ojibways. By far the most numerous of the Indian stocks 
referred to is, and was, the Algonquin. It was probably peoples 
of the Algonquin stock who had driven the early Mound Builders 
from Minnesota, and occupied Minnesota during their absence. 
But for some time previous to the coming of Columbus, Algon- 
quins were living on the Atlantic slope. Wlien the French came 
to Canada they found these Indians in possession of the St. 
Lawrence up to Lake Ontario, and of an indefinite region north of 
the Great Lakes. For centuries the Algonquin Indians worked 
their way westward, following the Great Lakes. Possibly they 
had previously worked their way eastward and in this westward 
migration were merely returning to the homes of their own 
ancestors, just as the Sioux Indians in coming up the Mississippi 
some five hundred years ago, probably likewise returned to the 
home of their own ancestors. In their westward migration, the 
vanguard of the Algonquin host was the large and gifted tribes 
known as the Chippewas or Ojibways. Many were the sanguin- 
ary conflicts they had with the Iroquois, the "Nadowe," or 
"Adders," who possessed the south shore of Lake Erie and other 
regions. Farther west they came in contact with the Dakotas, 
whom they called the "Nadoweisiv" (the French wrote it 
Nadowessioux or Nadowaysioux, from the last syllable of which 
we have Sioux) or "Little Adders," and some other Indian tribes, 
both Siouan and Algonquian, like the Sauks, Foxes and Winneba- 
goes. Some three centuries ago we find them in full control of both 
the south and north shore of Lake Superior. This is a region rich 
in fur bearing animals, and very early in the seventeenth century 
the Indian hunter of the Great Lakes and the white fur trader 
discovered each other, and maintained ever afterwards a contin- 
uous trade relation. Firearms, the iron kettle, the knife and 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 43 

hatcliet of steel, and the blanket and calieo were added I'roni the 
white man's prodnction to the red man's possessions. 

Early in the eighteenth century, so scholars believe, the Ojib- 
ways were in possession of even the western shores of Lake 
Superior, and liunted as far west as the St. Louis river could 
serve them as a highway. The Dakotas were in [)ossession of 
the wonderful lake-aud-river region we have described. The 
highway of this region was the ^Mississippi. Where the Missis- 
sippi in its great swing eastward comes nearest to Lake Superior 
we tind just east of the river a beautiful lake, called, from its 
sandy beach, Sandy lake. The Savanna river empties into this 
lake, and from this river to the East Savanim river which empties 
into the St. Louis river, is the jiortage between the Mississippi 
and the Great Lakes; and at Sandy lake, according to tradition, 
the two iiowerful tribes, the Dakota and tlii^ Ojibway, fiivst met. 

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

The Ojibways, while perhaps not the match of the Dakota 
in skill, strength and cunning, were the stronger because in their 
contact with the whites they had obtained a plentiful supply of 
firearms and iron implements. Slowly but surely they expelled 
the Dakotas from the great hunting zone of northern Minnesota. 
The great Dakota village at Mille Lacs fell into the hands of the 
Ojibway. J. Y. Brower thinks the date was about IT'jO. All 
of the Jlississippi region above Brainerd was in the hands of the 
Ojibways. Still they pressed southward. Stearns county, just 
north of Wright county, was for over a century in the frontier 
between the Dakotas and the Ojibways. An attempt was made 
by the treaty of Prairie du Chien in 1825 to stop the age-long 
feud between the Dakota and the Ojibway; and the United States, 
acting as a friendly conciliating and arbitrating power, got the 
hostile tribes to agree to a division of their territory. This boun- 
dary line ran diagonally across ilinnesota from the neighborhood 



44 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

of Marine, a few miles south of Tailors Falls on the St. Croix, in 
an irregular line to Georgetown on the Red river, the general 
direction being northwest. The portion of the boundary between 
the Dakota and the Ojibway, extending from Chippewa river 
to Otter Tail lake, was surveyed in 1835 by S. A. Bean. The line 
enters Stearns county where the Watab empties into the Missis- 
sippi, and according to treaty, follows this stream to its source; 
but by this surveyor, according to Winchell, in "The Aborigines 
of Minnesota," "the head of the Watab river was assumed to be 
a small lake located in the N. E. corner of T. 124 N., R. 30 W., 
which is in reality the head of a tributary to that stream, the 
actual main source of the river being a number of miles to the 
southwe.st." This lake chosen by the surveyor must be one of 
the lakes near St. John's College, at Collegeville, in Stearns 
county. From here the line runs almost parallel with the Great 
Northern main line, diverging, however, slightly from it, so that 
the boundary crosses the western edge of the county some three 
or four miles from its northwest corner. North of this line we 
have Ojibway Stearns and south of it is Dakota Stearns. The 
Indians were never known to respect this line to any appreciable 
extent, but in all its subsequent treaties with the Indians, the 
United States government religiously recognized this line as 
dividing the territorial rights of the "Sioux" and "Chippewa" 
"nations." 

In these raids of the two hostile tribes, the Mississippi was often 
the highway. Thus, about the time of the great French and Indian 
war, when the English and the French were fighting on three con- 
tinents, the Ojibways and the Dakotas imitated their civilized 
brethren as well as they could, but their slaughter was only a 
small affair in comparison. However, what they lacked in mag- 
nitude of slaughter they made up in ferocity and truly savage 
heartless cruelty. 

Let us trace briefly one series of attacks. Some time near the 
middle of the eighteenth century a gay and powerful flotilla of 
Dakota canoes paddled up the river, and leaving it at the Crow 
Wing confluence, went to Leach lake and began a cii'cuit of 
murder of women and children in the populous communities of 
Ojibways living on the great initial loop of the Mississippi. The 
expedition ended disastrously for the assailants, however, for in 
the battle of Crow river they were routed by their adversaries. 
As a result, the Dakotas thought best to evacuate the Rum river 
country and move their villages farther south. 

The belt of timber known as the Big Woods, extending south- 
west from the Mississijjpi about one hundred miles, and com- 
prising the greater part of what is now Wright county, was evi- 
dently, even in historic times, the scene of many a fierce conflict 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 45 

between the Sioux and the Chippewas. The Chipi)e\vas from 
their territory to the northeast of this county would watch for 
tlie Sioux when the hitter came here to hunt, fish and gather 
cranberries, and by sudden raids captured many a Sioux scalp. 
But the Sioux in turn would watch for the Chippewas at the 
Otsego, Clearwater and ]\Ionticello prairies, and wreak terrible 
vengeance. D. R. Farnham is responsible for the following: 

"In attemjiting to cross the Mississippi river, just above the 
present village of Montieello, at the head of the island in the 
river, in the year 1820, a large party of raiding Chippewas were 
overtaken by the enfuriated Sioux, when they were about to cross 
the river, and many were killed, the band of Chippewas being 
nearly annihilated. The bones of the victims of these Chippewa 
raiders are scattered through the timbers and on the edges of 
the prairie. The arrowheads and tomahawks are turned up by 
the plow in many places." 

The Sioux or Dakotas of the Spirit lake, the M'dewakanton 
(commonly rendered Medawakanton) Sioux as they are called 
in history, had nmde canoe trips as far south as the Illinois 
country even in the days of their residence at Mille Lacs. Con- 
sequently, after being driven from the Mille Lacs region, and 
later forced from the Rum river region, they were perfectly famil- 
iar with the desirable sites in southern Minnesota. Therefore 
these Medawakantons, with whom were probably mingled the 
Mantantons and otlu-r subsidiary bands, gradually established 
villages at various points from what is now Lake Calhoun in 
Hennepin county down the Mississippi nearly to the Iowa state 
line and up the Minnesota a considerable distance. Possibly in 
thus locating their villages they drove the lowas from around 
the region of the mouth of the Minnesota. This is not certain. 
Even when the Sioux were in the Mille Lacs region they hunted 
in Wright county, and when the Lake Calhoun band took up 
its residence in Hennepin county, Wright county was the scene 
of frequent journeys. Later the Lake Calhoun band moved to 
Oak Grove, eight miles up the Minnesota river from Ft. Snelling, 
but the region between the Crow and Clearwater rivers con- 
tinued to be a general hunting ground. 

In the time of Hennepin the Mantauton Sioux territory seems 
to have extended from the Crow river northward, and it is likely 
that they, as well as their kinsman of the Medawakanton and 
subsidiary bands, hunted in this region, before the tribes became 
commingled. 

So far as modern research has learned, Wright county con- 
tained no permanent Indian villages from the time when the 
aborigines ceased to build mounds up to the time that Minnesota 
was admitted as a territory. Its lakes and prairies and forests 



46 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

were favorite hunting grounds, the Crow and Clearwater rivers 
were well-known water-paths, and the Mississippi was a great 
highway of war and of the chase, but no band made its head- 
quarters here permanently, until the coming of the Winnebagoes. 
The vicinity of Buft'alo lake in particular in historic times was 
a famous camping ground of the Sioux where tliey came in sum- 
mer to fish and gather cranberries and in the winter to hunt deer. 
In still earlier times they came to hunt buffalo and catch beaver. 
Rockford was another favorite camping place. 

The Winnebago Indians actually occupied Wright county for 
a while, and had large villages in several localities. They made 
strenuous efforts to have the area along the northwest side of the 
Crow river in Wright county and westward assigned to them as 
a reservation. The Ho-tchun-graws, or Winnebagoes, belong to 
the Siouan family of aborigines. Champlain, although he never 
visited them, mentions them. Nicollet, who had been in his em- 
ploy, visited Green Bay about the year 1635, and an early Rela- 
tion mentions that he saw the Ouinipegous, a people called so, 
because they came from a distant sea, which some French erron- 
eously called Puants. Another writer speaking of these people 
says: "This people are called 'Les Puants' (The Stinkers) not 
because of any bad odor peculiar to them, but because they claim 
to have come from the shores of a far distant lake, towards the 
north, whose waters are salt. They call themselves the people 
'de I'eau puants,' of the putrid or bad water." The Winne- 
bagoes were many times removed by the United States, first from 
central Wisconsin to Iowa, then from Iowa to Minnesota, and 
subsequently from Minnesota to the Missouri river. The story of 
their subsequent wanderings is beyond the limits of this work. 

The Last Sioux Encampments. After the Winnebagoes were 
removed in 1855, tlie Sioux continued to roam through Wright 
county, hunting, fishing, trapping, making maple sugar, and gath- 
ering various fruits and berries. They established large tempor- 
ai-y villages at various places. Of their last villages in this 
county, George W. Florida, Secretary of the Wright County Old 
Settlers' Association, who as a boy was the playmate of the young 
Indians, has written the following: 

In December, 1857, Little Crow's band of Sioux Indians 
camped on the edge of Rockford village on the ground now occu- 
pied by the fifty feet embankment of the "Soo" line. In many 
ways this was an interesting experience, having this large en- 
campment of picturesque Indians, with their tribal customs, 
spending the winter only two village blocks from our house. We 
found them good neighbors at that time. The ice on the mill 
pond furnished good play grounds for the young Indians and the 
village boys. We were all equipped with moccasins and could 



HISTORY OV WRIGHT COUNTY 47 

keep our Tcet on tlic ii-c as well as thi' natives. Our favorite K'H'it^'!^ 
were Indian ball, ami sliinney, played by drivinj; a ball on the 
iee, with shinney clubs, within lunnuls ; liu' Indian boys a^rainst 
the Whites. 

We would visit their eainj) and wateli tlie jtow-wows and 
danees with <rreat interest. I think they were honest as a rule. 
Bishop Whipple, in speaking of the integrity of the Indians, said 
that he was visiting one of their most northern villages, and 
wished to go to a remote band, whieh lie eould reaeh only by 
eanoe and walking. He felt anxious about leaving his vestments, 
robes and jewels, fearing they might be stolen. He asked his 
Indian guide if it would be safe to leave them there. "Oh 
yes, Bishop," said his guide, "there is not a white man within 
one hundred miles of this place." 

Clinton Crandall, superintendent of the Indian srliools at 
Pierre, South Dakota, says he is acquainted with a number of 
Indian families who say that they were with Little Crow at Rock- 
ford in 1857. They have good farms and well educated and re- 
fined families. They say that they regret the outbreak of 1862. 
Catherine Cassidy, a teacher at the Sisseton Reservation, has 
talked with Indians who told her that they were in Rockford 
with Little Crow's band. She says that they are good citizens, 
and have educated families. 

In September, 1858, the Indians were to go to their reserva- 
tion on the IMinnesota river below the Redwood river, but Big 
Star, with his band of about ninety lingered in the vicinity of 
Bufli'alo. The white hunters were not willing to divide the game 
with them and took measures to remove them from Wright county. 
An order was secured, and taken to them by J. M. Powers. Their 
camp was near the site of Chatham. The order limited the time to 
ten days. As they still remained at the end of this time, the 
hunters, ten in number, from Buffalo, Rockford and Greenwood, 
armed with rifles, marched to the Indian camp to enforce the 
order. They found the camp broken up and the Indians moving 
west. The ultimatum of the hunters was that they should go 
through Hennepin county by crossing at Rockford. The braves 
were not in evidence when the hunters overtook the heavily 
laden squaws and ponies, and turned them back through Buffalo 
to Rockford. This town was reached just at sunset. During the 
afternoon, the braves, in war paint, carrying rifles, joined the 
band, marching haughtily behind the train in front of the hunters. 
Crow river was the county line. When the middle of the bridge 
was reached the young braves stopped and fired their rifles, skip- 
ping the bullets on the water up and down the county line. The 
squaws and ponies were tired from carrying their heavy packs, 
and all rested on the east bank. They made their camp on Edgar 
creek, one-half mile south of the village, near the big temple 



48 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

mound built by the Mound Builders, and overlooking the river, 
at the mouth of the creek. Fearing retaliation for this humilia- 
tion, our mother sat up all night. The Indians did not forget, 
and in 1862, at the time of the outbreak, promised to burn the 
village. We had the deepest sympathy for them in being obliged 
to leave the blue lakes and beautiful woods of this county. 

Sauks and Foxes. The Sauks and the Foxes seem at one time 
to have ranged the region of the Crow, Clearwater, Sauk and 
Watab rivers, and have left their names in such designations as 
Osakis, Osakis lake, Sauk river, Sauk Rapids and Sauk Centre. 
Possibly their period here was just before the Sioux left the Mille 
Lacs region, as there are traditional accounts of a battle in which 
the Chippewas defeated the Sioux and the Foxes combined, after 
which the Sioux never again attempted to live in the northern 
part of the state. Within historic times the Sauks and the Foxes 
lived south of Minnesota, and were bitter enemies of the Sioux, 
making many murderous attacks on their villages. 

Another theory as to the existence of Sauks in this region 
was advanced by L. W. Collins in a paper read before the Stearns 
County Old Settlers' Association in 1897. He said in part: 

"Five Sacs (Sauks), refugees from their o\\ti tribe on account 
of murder which they had committed, made their way up to 
what is now known as Osakis lake, and settled near the outlet, 
upon the east side. Three had wives of their own people, but the 
other two ultimately took wives of the Fond du Lac band of 
Chippewas. The men were great hunters and traded at the post 
of the Northwestern Fur Company, located on the lower Leaf 
lake, about six miles east of the eastern extremity of Otter Tail 
lake. This post was visited by bands of Sioux and Chippewas, 
and the traders were frequently entertained by deadly conflicts 
among their visitors. The Sac Indians were known to the Chip- 
pewas as 0-zau-kees. On one of the excursions made by some 
of the pillager bands of Chippewas to the asylum of the 0-zau- 
kees, it was found that all had been killed, supposedly by the 
Sioux." This story has the same flavor possessed by most of 
the tales told to the white questioners by the modern Indian. 
Even if it is true, the main body of the Sauks from whom these 
five are supposed to have fled might have been in this region. 
As to the location of the main band, Judge Collins' informant 
had no knowledge. 

Summary. Possibly Eskimos once lived in Wright comity, 
and followed the last retreating glacier northward. Possibly they 
were followed by peoples of the Siouan stock, who built a few 
of the mounds. The Siouan peoples were probably driven out 
by Algonquian peoples, and settled for the most part in the 
upper Ohio region. Some five hundred years ago, Siouan peoples 
returned to this region, possibly drove out such scattering Algon- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 49 

quian peoples as they found here, and built most of the mounds. 
These returning Siouan peoples, the Jlound Builders, were prob- 
ably the ancestors of the Sioux (Dakota) Indians, whom Ileuue- 
piu found ranging the upper Mississippi region with headquarters 
at Mille Lacs. After Hennepin's time, the Chiiipewas (Ojibways) 
drove the Sioux from Jlille Laes, and they established villages 
further soutli. Wright county, wliich thus lay between the two 
nations, became a battlegrmnid. In the fifties, after the arrival 
of the white settlers in IMiiuiesota, bands of Winnebagoes and 
of Sioux hat! villages in Wright county. 

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

But evil days came for the simjde child of the forest, when as 
scum on the advancing frontier wave of civilization came the 
firewater, the vices and the diseases of civilized man. Neither his 
physical nor his spiritual oi'ganization is pi-ej)ared to withstand 
these powerful evils of a stronger race, and the lu'imitive red man 
has often, perhaps generally, been reduced to a pitiful parasite 
on the civilized comnuniit.y, infested with the diseases, the vernun 
and the vices of the white man and living in a degradation and 
squalor that oidy civilization can furnish. 

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



50 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

COMING OF THE WINNEBAGOES. 

By various treaties, airioug which may be mentioned those 
of September 15, 1832, and November 1, 1837, the Winnebagoes 
reliuqnislied their lands in Wisconsin, and agreed to remove to 
a reservation in a certain portion of the "neutral strip,'' in north- 
eastern Iowa. The removal, in part, was accomplished. October 
13. 1846, they signed a treaty agreeing to remove from Iowa to 
Minnesota. In furtherance of this project the United States 
obtained land from the Chippewas immediately adjoining a part 
of the Sioux territory on the north. The land thus selected took 
in portions of Morrison, Todd and Stearns county, and generally 
speaking may be said to have been bounded by the Mississippi, 
Crow Wing, Long Prairie and Watab rivers. The tract became 
known as the Long Prairie reservation. The removal to this 
reservation was accomplished in 1848. There were many deser- 
tions from the main body of the tribe, and at Winona the Indians 
absolutely refused to go further. Bloodshed was narrowly 
averted. However, the danger passed, and by August 1, 1848, 
the main bod}^ of the Winnebagoes was encamped on the north 
bank of the Watab, within their new reservation. But there was 
still much dissatisfaction among them, and many more desertions. 
The seven years, 1848 to 1855, during which the Long Prairie 
reservation was supposed to be the home of the Winnebagoes, 
were filled with turmoil and discontent. The agency was located 
on Long Prairie river, forty miles from the Mississippi river. 
Only a few, however, located near the agency post. Many were 
scattered along the Mississippi, and some returned to Wisconsin 
and Iowa. Many roved about in Wisconsin, Iowa and Minnesota 
with no settled abode. 

The Sioux treaties of 1851 were no sooner negotiated than the 
Winnebagoes, aided by interested whites, endeavored to secure 
a part of the land ceded. October 26, 1852, Governor Alexander 
Ramsey presented to the government a proposition from the 
Winnebagoes that they would relinquish their Long Prairie res- 
ervation, with which they were dissatisfied, if the government 
would grant them a tract of some 500,000 acres "lying immediately 
north of the Crow river," that is, on the west bank of the Mis- 
sissippi river, including much of Wright county. In case this 
was granted, all the scattered Winnebago bands agreed to settle 
in Wright county. Governor Willis A. Gorman, ex-officio super- 
intendent of Indian affairs in Minnesota, reported in 1853 that 
by General J. E. Fletcher (who had come with the Winnebagoes 
from Iowa) and himself, an exchange had been eomplete<l by 
which the Winnebagoes' new home on the Crow river (in Wright" 
county) would yield them permanent satisfaction. He reported, 
however, that there were some whites who objected to the change. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 51 

as those whites tU'sired to inak<' liopns eliiiins in Wrifjht eouiily 
and cut olY tlie valuabh- timber with no intent of nialcinf^ their 
actual residence thei-e. The oeeupaney liy tiie Winnebaf^oes wonld 
prevent tliis profitable and dishonest luniheriii};. (JovH'rnor (lor- 
nian in his report further states that the huul north of tiie Crow 
river abonndrd in wild riec in atnindancr and was ]iientifully su])- 
plied with ^anie. lie also ileelared that except loi' strips alonj; the 
Mississippi and a few prairies, tht> land now einbraeed in Wrij^ht 
county was lit only for the Indians, and not adapted to white 
settlement. 

On September S, 1853, only 300 of the orij,'inal band of 2,r)00 
Winnebagoes remained on tiie Long Prairie reservation. Although' 
the government had not ratified the (lorman-Fletciier arrange- 
ment, many of the Winnebagoes liail already moved to Wright 
county. The principal village was established on the shores of 
ButValo lake, on the present site of the village of ButTalo, where 
as late as 1855, the cabins and tepees of the Winnebagoes covered 
a wide tract. Other imjiortant villages were in what are now 
Otsego and Rockford. Tlu're was mucli ob.ieetion on the ])art 
of the whites to allowing the Indians to remain here, and it was 
proposed that the Winnebagoes be again removed to the south- 
ern branch of the Crow river, to include the Red Cedar Island 
lake, or even to a location still farther west. Finally, however, 
another location was selected for them. So, on February 127, 
1855, another treaty was made with them, and that spring they 
removed to lands on the Blue Earth river. Owing to the panic 
caused by the outbreak of the Sioux in 1862, Congress, by a 
special act, witliout consulting tliem, in 1863, removed them from 
their fields to I\Iinuesota to the Missouri river, and in the words 
of a missionary, "they wer(>, like the Sioux, dumjied in the desert, 
one hundreil miles above Fort Randall." 

INDIAN TREATIES. 

FVora prehistoi'ic days up to the time of the treaty signed at 
Mendota, August 5, 1851, ratified and amended b.v the Unite«I 
States Senate, June 23, 1852, and proclaimed by President Millard 
Fillmore Februarj^ 24, 1853, the land now embraced in Wright 
county remained in the nominal possession of the Indians. Before 
this treaty, however, several agreements were made between the 
Indians of this vicinity and the United States government, re- 
garding mutual relations and the ceding of lands. The first of 
these was the treaty with Pike in 1805, by wliich land at the 
mouths of the Minnesota and St. Croix rivers was ceded to the 
government for military purposes. 

Visit to Washington. In 1816, the War of 1M12 having been 
brought to a close, the Indians of this vicinity made peace with 
the United States and signed treaties placing the Sioux of this 



52 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

ueighborliood "in all things and in every respect on the same foot- 
ing upon which they stood before the late war. ' ' Perpetual peace 
was promised, and it was agreed that "every injury or act of 
hostility committed by one or the other of the contracting par- 
ties against the other shall be mutually forgiven and forgotten." 
The tribes recognized the absolute authority of the United States. 
After Ft. Snelling was established, the officers at various times 
engineered peace pacts between various tribes, but these were 
usually quickly broken. 

In the spring of 1824 the tirst delegation of Sioux Indians 
went to Washington to see their "Great Father," the president. 
A delegation of Chippewas accompanied, and both were in charge 
of Major Lawrence Taliaferro. Wabasha, then properly called 
Wa-pa-ha-sha or Wah-pah-hah-sha, the head chief of the band at 
Winona ; and Little Crow, head of the Kaposia band ; and Wah- 
uatah, were the principal members of the Sioux delegation. When 
the delegation had gone as far as Prairie du Chieu, Wabasha and 
Wahnatah, who had been influenced by traders, desired to turn 
back, but Little Crow persuaded them to continue. The object of 
the visit was to secure a convocation of all of the upper Missis- 
sippi Indians at Prairie du Chien, to define the boundary line of 
the lauds claimed by the separate tribes and to establish general 
and permanently friendly relations among them. The party made 
the trip in keel boats from Fort Snelling to Prairie du Chien, and 
from there to Pittsburgh by steamboat, thence to Washington and 
other eastern cities by land. 

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

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

The eastern boundary of the Sioux territory was to commence 
on the east bank of the Mississippi river opposite the mouth of 
the "loway" river, running back to the bluifs and along the 
bluffs to th(> Bad Axe river, thence to the mouth of the Black 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 53 

river, and thence to half a day's march, below the I'alls of liie 
Chippewa. East of this line, generally speaking, was tiie Winne- 
bago country, though the Menominee country lay about Green 
Bay, Lake ilieliigan and the Milwaukee river, aiul the Menomin- 
ees claimed as far west as the Black river. The Chippewa country 
was to be to the north of the Winnebagoes and Rlenominees, and 
east of the northern line of the Sioux country, the line between 
the Chippewa and the Sioux beginning at a point a half a day's 
march below the falls of the Chippewa, thence to the Red Cedar 
river immediately below the falls, thence to a point on the St. 
Croix river, a day's paddle above the lake at the mouth of that 
river, and thence northwestward across the present state of 
Minnesota. The line crossed the Mississippi at the mouth of the 
Watab river just above St. Cloud. Thus both sides of the Missis- 
sippi during its course along Wright county were included in 
Sioux territory. 

The boundary lines were certainly, in many respects, rjuite 
indefinite, and whether this was the trouble or not, in any event, 
it was but a few months after the treaty when it was evident that 
none of the signers were willing to be governed by the lines estab- 
lished, and har<lly by any others. The first article of the treaty 
provided: "There shall be a firm and jierpetual peace between 
the Sioux and the Chippewas ; between the Sioux and the con- 
federated tribes of Sacs and Fo.xes; and between the 'loways' 
and the Sioux."' But this provision was more honored in the 
breach than the observance, and in a little time the tribes named 
were tlying at one another's throats and engaged in their old- 
time hostilities. 

Sioux Treaty of 1837. The second Treaty of Prairie du Chien, 
signed in 1830, and the Wabasha Treaty of 1836, were not impor- 
tant to Wright county, but were steps toward the final cession of 
the territory including this county. The treaty of 1837, however, 
ceded to the United States the islands lying in and along Wright 
county in the ]\Iississippi, and also the land across the Missis- 
sippi river from Wright county. Thus civilization was gradually 
approaching. 

In the spring of 1837, x\gent Lawrence Taliaferro was in- 
structed to organize an authoritative and reliable delegation of 
Medawakanton Sioux to proceed to Washington and make a 
treaty ceding all the lands claimed by them east of the west bank 
of the Mississippi. These lands were a strip on the east side of 
the Mississippi, varying in width from the mouth of the Bad Axe 
to the mouth of the Watab, and also the islands in the river. A 
delegation of about twenty Sioux chiefs and head men accord- 
ingly went to Washington, accompanied by various white men 
then living in the Northwest, and signed the treaty. The Sioux 
were to receive goods, and an annuity of goods and moneys. Cer- 



54 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

tain moneys were also to be expended l)y the government for 
civilization, that is for the support of a physician, farmers and 
blacksmiths, and for the purchase of medicines, agricultural im- 
plements, mechanics' tools, cattle and other goods. A part of the 
payment was to be withheld and expended at the discretion of 
the President of the United States. Certain annuities were to be 
paid for twenty years. 

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

Preliminaries to Final Session. After Minnesota was admit- 
ted as a territory the necessity of obtaining from the Indians 
the title to the land was apparent. The first territorial legisla- 
tiu-e, at the recommendation of Governor Alexander Ramsey, 
presented a petition to Congress in October, 1849, asking that 
measures be taken toward that end. But the government had 
already made efforts in the same direction. In June, 1849, Orlando 
Brown, Commissioner of Indian Affairs, had addressed an official 
letter on the subject to Thomas Ewing, then United States secre- 
tary of the interior. Secretary Ewing appointed Governor Ram- 
sey and John Chambei-s, the latter of whom had been territorial 
governor of Iowa, to conduct the negotiations. As Congress failed 
to make an ap[)ropriation for the puri)ose. Commissioner Brown 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 55 

determined to pay the expense out of tlie "small current appro- 
j)riations"' fund of his office. Coniniissioiier Hrown, however, 
had no true idea of tiie value of the land he wished the govern- 
ment to secure. 

The proposed treaty of 1849 was never made. A call was 
issued to the Sioux to meet at Ti'averse des Sioux and Mendota, 
but when ("ommissioners Ramsey and Chambers readied those 
places, the Indians were engaged in other parts of the country 
hunting after game and wild rice. 

At Jlendota, however, a treaty was nuide with some of the 
chiefs of the ]\Iedawakanton and Wapakoota bands for the pur- 
chase of the Half-Breed tract, which had been set asiile July 15, 
1830, for the Siou.x mixed bloods. This ti'eaty was forwarded to 
Washington but was not ratilied by the senate. However, the 
agitation for the opening of ilinnesota continued, and resulted 
iu 18")! in the treaties now so familiar to all students of history. 

Treaty of Traverse des Sioiix. In the spring of 1851 President 
Fillmore appointed Governor Alexander Ramsey and Luke Lea 
as commissioners to open negotiations with the Indians for the 
purpose of opening to settlement what is now the greater part 
of Minnesota. The conference was held at Traverse des Sioux 
(now St. Peter), between the chiefs and head men of the Sisseton 
and Wahpeton, or L^pper Bauds, as they were called, and the two 
commissioners. The Indians were accompanied by their families, 
and many prominent pioneers were also present. The meeting 
■was held under a brush arbor erected by Alexis Bailly, and one 
of the incidents of the procedings was the marriage of two mixed 
blood people, David Faribault and Nancy Winona McClure, the 
former the son of Jean Baptist Faribault, and the latter the 
daughter of Lieutenant James McClure. The treaty was signed 
July 22, 1851, and provided that the upper bands should cede 
to the United States all their land in Iowa as well as their lands 
east of a line from the Red river to Lake Traverse and thence 
to the northwestern corner of Iowa. 

Treaty of Mendota. From July 29, 1851, to August 5, IMendota 
was the scene of the conference which opened Wright county and 
so large a portion of ilinuesota to settlement. The chiefs and 
head men of the lower bands were thoroughly familiar with 
the proceedings of the Indians and the representatives of the 
United States at Traverse des Sioux and all were on hand that 
bright August day, waiting for the negotiations to open at Men- 
dota. The first session was held in the warehouse of the fur 
company at that place, but the Indians found the atmosphere 
stifling, and not in accord with their usual method of outdoor 
councils, so the consideration of the treaty was taken up under 
a large brush arbor, erected by Alexis Bailly, on an elevated 
plain near the high prominence known as Pilot Knob. Dr. Thomas 



56 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Foster was secretary for Commissioners Lea and Ramsey; the 
interpreters were Alexander Faribault, Philander Prescott and 
Rev. G. H. Pond ; the white witnesses were David Olmsted, W. C. 
Henderson, Alexis Bailly, Richard Chute, Henry Jackson, A. L. 
Carpenter, William H. Randall, A. S. H. White, H. L. Dousman, 
Fred C. Sibley, Martin McLeod, George N. Faribault and Joseph 
A. Wheelock. 

At the opening of the first day's session the white commission- 
ers explained the object of the gathering. Wabasha, the head 
chief of the Medawakantons, made a speech in which he said that 
the Indians had not yet received the money due them under the 
treaty of 1837 and that they did not feel inclined to make any 
new agreements with the United States until the government had 
kept its former agreements and paid for the land already obtained- 
The comnussioners explained to him that there was an agree- 
ment in the 1837 treaty that a portion of the money was to be 
paid them at the pleasure and discretion of the president, and 
that the president was withholding it. Colonel Lea said there 
would be no trouble about the money then due the Indians if they 
would sign this new treaty. Governor Ramsey said that the 
president thought that the money due the Indians should be 
expended for the education of the Indian children. There was 
some further discussion, and then the council adjourned for 
the day. 

The next day when the council opened, Wabasha, as head 
chief, rose and said that he would sit and listen that day and let 
the other chiefs talk. After a long silence Little Crow, whose 
band was at Kaposia, now South St. Paul, made a lengthy and 
eloquent speech, in which he reiterated Wabasha's demand that 
the money already due them be paid before they made any more 
treaties. There was then a long discussion, but Little Crow 
declared that the Indians would talk about nothing else but the 
money already due them. The council then adjourned until it 
should be called by the Indians. 

The next afternoon the Indians assembled at the council house 
and sent for the commissioners, but none of the red men would 
talk, and after going over the matter again the commissioners 
left, apparently in great anger. 

There was then an interval of four days spent by the whites 
in preparing a treaty whieli woidd be acceptable to the Lidians. 
In the meantime the Indians had become reconciled to a certain 
extent. Wabaslia still opposed the new treaty, but many of the 
others favored it. 

August 5, the council again assembled. After the opening 
ceremony, the papers were spread out for the Indians to sign. 
"Who will sign first?" asked Governor Ramsey. Colonel Lea 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 57 

iiulieatinl that Little ('row should be the first, but he smiled and 
shook his head. 

Then "Wabasha arose. Tie was the head eiiief of the IMedawa- 
kantons and the one who should pi'oiH'rly sign first. lie said: 
"You have requested us to sign these papers and you have told 
these jieople standing around that it is for their benefit; hut I do 
not think so. In the treaty you have prepai-ed you have said a 
lot about farmers, schools, i)hysieians, traders and half-breeds 
who are to be paid out of oin- monej'. To all of these I am op- 
posed. You see these ehiefs sitting around here. They — and 
some others who are dead — weut to Washington sonu' years ago 
and made a treaty in whieh the same things were said : but W(> 
were not benefited by them and 1 want them struck out of this 
one. We want nothing but cash for our lands. Another thing; 
You have named a place for our home, but it is a praii'ie country. 
I am a man used to the woods and do not like the prairie ; per- 
haps some of those who are here will name a place we will all like 
better. Another thing ; When I went to Washington to see our 
Great FaTlier, he asked us for our land and we gave it to him, and 
he agreed to furnish us goods and provisions for twenty years. 
I wish to remain in this country until that time expires. 

But Colonel Lee, knowing Wabasha's influence and recogniz- 
ing the truth of what he said made an indignant and severe reply 
to Wabasha. He declared that the chief was neither a friend of 
the white man nor the Indians, that he had been foolish in advis- 
ing the Indians to ask .$6,000,000 for their land, that he had been 
deceitful in wishing that the IMedawakantous should make a 
treaty of their own with the government instead of joining with 
the other tribes in making the treaty, and that the whites did not 
expect to be able to make a treaty that would suit his views, for 
he was opposed to any kind of a treaty at that time. 

Then there was another discussion in which the Indians en- 
deavored to secure acknowledgment for some papers by which 
they had given lands to certain individuals. The commissioners 
refused to consider this proposition. Then there was still another 
long discussion, especially as to the location of the reservation. 
After speeches by several chiefs, Wabasha asked if the chiefs 
and second chiefs were to be distinguished froTu the warriors, 
or if they were to receive more money than the common Indians. 
Colonel Lee declared that each chief ought to receive a medal 
and be provided with a good house. Wabasha then arose and 
turning his back to the commissioners spoke to the warriors. He 
told them that the young men among them had declared that they 
would kill the first man that signed the treaty, but that they had 
at the same time secretly agreed among themselves to sell the 
land. One of the young Indians denied that there was any inten- 
tion of killing any of the chiefs. He acknowledged, however, that 



58 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

the warriors had decided to sell the land and that they had a 
right to for the land belonged to them and not to the chiefs. Then 
there was another discussion. 

Finally after a speech to the warriors Little Crow signed the 
treaty. To the general surprise of all, Wabasha was the next to 
sign. He affixed his mark. Then the other chiefs, head soldiers 
and principal warriors crowded about and affixed their marks, 
there being sixty-five Indian signatures in all. 

At Mendota, as at Traverse des Sioux, when the treaty was 
concluded, each Indian signer stepped to another table where 
lay another paper which he signed. This was called the traders' 
paper, and was an agreement to pay the "just debts," so called, 
of the Indians, including those present and absent, alive and dead, 
owing to the traders and the trading company. Some of the 
accounts were nearly thirty years old, and the Indians who had 
contracted them were dead, but the bands assumed the indebted- 
ness and agreed that it might be discharged out of the first money 
paid them. Wabasha had asked that an itemized bill be pre- 
sented, saying that he wished to know what he owed for each 
article purchased. The territory ceded by the two treaties was 
declared to be: "All their lands in the state of Iowa, and also 
all their lands in the territory of Minnesota lying east of the 
following line, to-wit : Beginning at the junction of Bufi'alo 
river with the Red River of the North (about twelve miles north 
of Morehead, at Georgetown station, in Clay county) ; thence 
along the western bank of said Red river of the North, to the 
mouth of the Sioux Wood river; thence along the western shore 
of said Sioux Wood river to Lake Traverse ; thence along the 
western shore of said lake to the southern extremity thereof; 
thence, in a direct line, to the juncture of Kanipeska lake with 
the Tehan-Ka-Sna-Duka, or Sioux river ; thence along the west- 
ern bank of said river to its point of intersection with the north- 
ern line of the state of Iowa, including all islands in said rivers 
and lakes." 

The lower bands were to receive $1,410,000, to be paid in the 
manner and form following : For settling debts and removing 
themselves to the new reservations, $220,000, one-half to the 
Medawakanton bands, and one-half to the single Wahpakoota 
band ; for scliools, mills and opening farms, $30,000. Of the 
principal of $1,410,000, the sum of $30,000 in cash was to be 
distributed among the two bands as soon as the treaty was 
ratified, and $28,000 was to be expended annually, under the 
president's direction, as follows: To a civilization fund, $12,000; 
to an educational fund, $6,000; for goods and provisions, $10,000. 
The balance of the principal, or $1,160,000, was to remain in trust 
with the United States at 5 per cent interest, to be paid annually 
to the Indians for fifty years, commencing Julv 1, 1852. The 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 59 

$58,000 aiimiity iiiti-ivst was to \w oxpcndocl as the first install- 
ment— $30,000 in easli, $12,000 for civilization, $6,000 for educa- 
tion, and $10,000 for goods and provisions. The back aiumities 
under the treaty of 1837 remaining unexpired were also to he 
paid annually. Their reservation was to extend from the mouth 
of the Yellow Medicine and Hawk creek southeasterly to the 
mouth of Rock creek, a tract twenty miles wide and about forty- 
five miles in length. The lialf-breeds of the Sioux were to receive 
in cash $150,000 in lieu of lands allowed them under the Prairie 
du Chien treaty of 1830, but which they had failed to claim. 

The written copies of the Traverse des Sioux and the Mendota 
treaties, duly signed and attesteit, wore forwarded to Washing- 
ton to be acted ujion by the senate at the ensuing session of con- 
gress. An unreasonably long delay resulted. Final action was 
not had until the following summer, when, on July 23, the senate 
ratified both treaties with important amendments. The provi- 
sions for reservations for both the upper and lower bands were 
stricken out, and substitutes adopted, agreeing to pay 10 cents an 
acre for both reservations, and authorizing the president, with 
the assent of the Indians, to cause to be set apart other reserva- 
tions, which were to be within tiie limits of the original great 
cession. The provision to pay $150,000 to the half-bloods of the 
lower bands was also stricken out. The treaties, with the changes, 
came back to the Indians for final ratification and agreement to 
the alterations. The chiefs of the lower bauds at first objected 
very strenuously, but finally, on Saturday, September 4, 1852, at 
Governor Ramsey's residence in St. Paul, they signed the amended 
articles, and the following Monday the chiefs and head men of 
the upper bands affixed their marks. As amended, the treaties 
were proclaimed by President Fillmore, February 24, 1853. The 
Indians were allowed to remain in their old villages, or, if they 
preferred, to occupy their reservations as originally designated, 
until the president selected their new homes. That selection was 
never made, and the original reservations were finally allowed 
them. Congress on July 31, 1854, having passed an act by which 
the original provisions remained in force. The removal of the 
lower Indians to their designated reservation began in 1853, but 
was intermittent, interrupted, and extended over a period of 
several years. The Indians went up in detachments, as they felt 
inclined. After living on the reservation for a time, some of 
them returned to their old hunting groiuuls, where they lived 
continuously for some time, visiting their reservation and agency 
only at the time of the payment of their aniuiities. Finally, by 
the offer of cabins to live in, or other substantial inducements, 
nearly all of them were induced to settle on the Redwood Re- 
serve, so that in 1862, at the time of the outbreak, less than twenty 
families of the Medawakantous and Wahpakootas were living off 



60 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

their reservation. With the subsequent history of these Indians 
this volume will not treat in detail; the purpose of dealing with 
the Indians thus far in tliis chapter having been to show the 
various negotiations by which Wright and other counties came 
into the possession of the whites and were thus opened for settle- 
ment and development. 



CHAPTER lY. 
GOVERNMENTAL HISTORY. 

Early Claims of Title — Spain, France and England — Treaties and 
Agreements — The Louisiana Purchase — Indiana — Louisiana 
District — Louisiana Territory — Missouri Territory — North- 
west Territory — Illinois Territory — Michigan Territory — Wis- 
consin Territory — Iowa Territory — No Man 's Land — Sibley in 
Congress — Minnesota Territory — Minnesota State. 

The history of the early governmental jurisdiction of what is 
now central Minnesota is formulated with some difficulty, as, 
l)rior to the nineteenth century, the interior of the country was 
.so little known and the maps upon which claims and grants were 
founded were so meager, as well as incorrect and unreliable, that 
tiescriptions of boundaries and locations as given in the early 
treaties are vague in the extreme, and very difficult of identifi- 
cation with present-day lines and locations. 

The Hon. J. V. Brower, a scholarly authority upon this sub- 
ject, says ("The Mississippi River and Its Sources") : "Spain, 
by virtue of tlie discoveries of Columbus and others, confirmed 
to her by papal grant (that of Alexander VI, May 4, 1493), may 
be said to have been the first European owner of the entire valley 
of the Mississippi, but she never used this claim as a ground for 
taking formal possession of this part of her domains other than 
incidentally involved in De Soto's doings. The feeble objections 
which she made in the next two centuries after the discovery to 
other nations exploring and settling North America were suc- 
cessfully overcome by the force of accomplished facts. The name 
of Florida, now so limited in its application, was first applied by 
the Spaniards to the greater part of the eastern half of North 
America, commencing at the Gulf of Mexico and proceeding north- 
ward iiulefinitely. This expansiveness of geographical view was 
paralleled later by the definition of a New France of still greater 
extent, which practically included all the continent. 

"L'Escarbot, in his history of New France, written in 1617, 
says, in reference to this : ' Thus our Canada has for its limits on 
the west side all the lands as far as the sea called the Pacific, 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 61 

oil this silk' of tilt' Tropic of CaiieiT; on the soutli tlir islands of 
tlie Atlantic sea in tho direction of Cuba and the Spanish land; 
ou the east the northern sea which bathes New France; and on 
the north the laiul saiil to be unknown, towaril the icy sea as far 
as the arctic pole.' 

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

"Thus, in the most arbitrary manner, ilitl the Mississippi river, 
though yet unknown, become the property, successively, of the 
Iberian, Gaulish and Anglo-Saxon races — of three peoples who, 
in later times, by diplomacy and force of arms, struggled for an 
actual occupancy. Practically, however, the upjier Mississipjii 
valley may be considered as having been in the first place Cana- 
dian soil, for it was Frenchmen from Canada who first visited if 
and traded with its various native inhabitants. The further 
prosecution of his tliscoveries by La Salle, in 1682, extended 
Canada as a French possession to the Gulf of Mexico, though he 
did not use the name of ('aiiada nor yet that of New France. 
He preferred to call the entire counti-y watered by the Mississipiii 
river and its tributaries, from its uttermost source to its mouth, 
by the new name he had already invented for the purpose — Loui- 
siana. The names of Canada and New France had been indiffer- 
ently used to express about the same extent of territory, but the 
name of Louisiana now came to supersede them in being applied 
to the conjectural regions of the West. Although La Salle has 
applied the latter expression to the entire valley of the Missis- 
sippi, it was not generally used in that sense after his time; the 
upper part of the region was called Canada, and the lower Loui- 
siana ; but the actual dividing line between the two provinces was 
not absolutely established, and their names and boundaries were 
variously indicated ou published maps. Speaking generally, the 
Canada of the eighteenth century included the Great Lakes and 
the country drained by their tributaries; the northern one-fourth 
of the present state of Illinois — that is, as much as lies north of 
the mouth of the Rock river; all the regions lying north of the 
northern watershed of the Missouri, and finally the valley of the 
upper Missouri itself." This would include Wright county. 

But it is now necessary to go back two centuries previous 



62 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

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

In 1554 James Cartier, a Frenchman, discovered the St. Law- 
rence, and exi)lored it as far as the present site of Quebec. The 
next year he ascended the river to Mont Real, the lofty hill for 
which Montreal was named. Thereafter all the country drained 
by the St. Lawrence was claimed b.y the French. I\Iany years 
later the King of France granted the ''basin of the St. Lawrence 
and all the rivers flowing through it to the sea," to a company, 
wliose leader was Ghamplain, the founder of Quebec, which be- 
came the capital of New France, whose then unexplored territory 
stretched westward to well within the boundaries of what is now 
Minnesota. In 1C13-15 Champlain explored the Ottawa river, 
and the Georgian bay to Lake Huron, and missions were estab- 
lished in the Huron country. Missionaries and fur traders were 
the most active explorers of the new possessions. They followed 
the shores of the Great Lakes and then penetrated further and 
further into the wilderness. As they went they tried to make 
friends of the red men, established trading jiosts and raised the 
Christian cross. In 1641 Jogues and Raymbault, Jesuits, after a 
long and perilous voyage in frail canoes and bateaux, reached 
the Sault Ste. Marie, where they heard of a large river, the Jlish- 
is-ip-e, flowing southward to the sea, and of a powerful Indian 
tribe dwelling near its headwaters. Stories of vast fertile plains, 
of numberless streams, of lierds of buffalo, and of many people, 
in regions far to the west and south, roused missionaries and 
traders anew, and tlie voyages and trips of tlie explorers became 
more frequent. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 63 

In 1659-60 Radissoii ami (iroscilliiTs. in-occcdiiifj \\t'st\viir(l 
from Lake Superior, possibly entered what is now Minnesota. 
They spent some time in the "forty villages of the Dakotas, " 
possibly in the vicinity of Mille Lacs, and where, it has been con- 
tended, the tirst white men to set foot on the soil of this state. 
The contention that these adventurers spent a part of the years 
1655-56 on Prairie Island, in the Mississippi just above Red Wing, 
is disputed by some historians, but still forms an interesting 
subject for study and conjecture. 

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

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

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

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

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



64 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

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

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

The first definite claim to the upper Mississippi is embodied 
in a paper, still preserved, in the colonial archives of France, 
entitled "The record of the taking possession, in his majesty's 
name, of the Bay des Puants (Green bay), of the lake and rivers 
of the Outagamis and Maskoutins (Fox river and Lake Winne- 
bago), of tlie river Ouiskonche (Wisconsin), and that of the Mis- 
sissippi, the country of the Nadouesioux (the Sioux or Dakota 
Indians), the rivers St. Croix and St. Pierre (Minnesota), and 
other places more remote, May 8, 1689." (F. B. "Callahan's 
translation in 1855, published in Vol. 9, page 418, "Documents 
Relating to the Colonial History of the State of New York.") 
This claim was made by Perrot, and the proclamation is sup- 
posed to have been issued from Fort St. Antonie on the north- 
eastern shore of Lake Pepin, about six miles from its mouth. 

The previous proclamations of St. Lusson in 1671 at the outlet 
of Lake Superior, of De Luth, in 1679, at the west end of the 
same lake and at Mille Lacs, liad no definite bearing on the land 
now embraced in Wright county, but nevertheless strengthened 
the French claims of sovereignty. 

For over eight decades thereafter, the claims of France were, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 65 

tacitly at least, recognized in Europe. In 176;{ there came a 
change. Of this change A. N. Wincliell (in Vol. 10, "Minnesota 
Historical Society Collections"") writes: "The present eastern 
boundary of Minnesota, in part (that is so far as the Mississip[)i 
now forms its eastern boiuidary), has a history beginning at a 
very early date. In 1763, at the end of that long struggle during 
which England passed many a mile post in her race for world 
empire, while France lost nearly as much as Britain gained — 
that struggle, called in America, the French and Indian War — 
the Mississippi river became an international boundary. The 
articles of the definite treaty of peace were signed at Paris, on 
February 10, 1763. The seventh article made the Mississippi, 
from its source to about the 31st degree of north latitude, the 
boundary between the English colonies on this continent and 
the French Louisiana. The text of the article is as follows (Pub- 
lished in the "Gentleman's Magazine," Vol. 33, pages 1'21-126, 
March, 1763) : 

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

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

At the close of the Revolutionary war, the territory east of 
the Mississippi and north of the 31st parallel passed under the 
jurisdiction of the United States. By the definite treaty of peace 
between the United States and Great Britain, ratified at Paris, 
September 3, 1783, a part of the northern boundary of the United 



66 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

States, and the western boundary thereof was established as fol- 
lows : Conuueuciiig at the most northwestern point of the Lake 
of the Woods, and from thence on a due course west to the j\Iis- 
sissippi river (the Mississippi at that time was thought to extend 
into what is now Canada), thence by a line to be drawn along the 
middle of said Mississippi river until it shall intersect the north- 
ernmost part of the 31st degree of north latitude. (U. S. Stat- 
utes at Large, Vol. 8, page 82.) 

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

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

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

The Northwest Territory embraced all the area of the United 
States northwest of the Ohio river. By the provisions of the 
famous "Northwest Ordinance," passed July 13, 1787, by the 
Congress of the Confederation (the constitution of the United 
States not being adopted until September 17), tlie Ohio river 
became the boundary of the territory. The fifth article of the 
ordinance reads as follows: "Art. 5. There shall be formed in 
the said (i. e., the Northwest) territory, not less than three, nor 
more than five states, * « * tlu^ western state in the said 
territory shall be bounded by the Mississippi, the Ohio anil the 
Wabash rivers; a direct line drawn from the Wabash and Post 
Vincennes, due north, to the territorial line between the 
United States and Canada ; and by the said territorial line to 
the Lake of the Woods and the Mississippi." (See Executive 
Doeunu'uts, 3d session, 46th congress, 1880-81, Vol. 25, Doc. 47, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 67 

PiU't 4, pages 15o-ir)(); also riiitcd States Statutes at l^arge, 
Vol. 1, page 51, note a.) The Northwest Territory tool; in the 
eounties across the ]\Iississippi rivei' fi-oni Wright eouuty, hut did 
not inelude Wright eounty. 

Indiana Territory. The ordinance of 1787 provided lor the 
oi'gani/.ation of three "states" out ol' the Northwest Territory. 
Tliat same year the constitution of the United States was adojited. 
In 17!)!t, Ohio organized a territoi'ial government, hut tlie (pro- 
posed) middle (Indiana) and western (Illinois) "states" did not 
have, separately, s)ifificieut po|)ulation to warrant the estahlish- 
nient of two separate governments. Congress solved the difficulty 
hy uniting the two under the nanu> of Indiana. The act was 
passed May 7, ISflO, and its first section reads as follows: "Sec- 
tion 1 — Be it enacted, etc.. that from and after the fourth day of 
July next, all that part of tiu' territory of the United States, 
injrthwest of the Ohio river, which lies to the westward of a line 
beginning at the Ohio opposite the uu)uth of the Kentiicky river, 
and ruiniing thence to Fort Ket-overy, and thence north until it 
shall intersect the teri'itorial line between the United States and 
Canada, shall, for the pnrpose of temporary government, con- 
stitute a separate territory, and be called the Indiana Territory." 
(U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 2, page 58.) Indiana was admitted 
as a state in 1816. Wright county was a part of Indiana (as 
a part of Louisiana district) a little less than one year, 1804-05. 

Louisiana District. By an act of congress, approved March 
26, 1804, all of that portion of tlie country ceded by France to the 
United States under the name of Louisiana, l.ying south of the 
'.i'-id degree of north latitude, was organized as the territory of 
Orleans and all the residue thereof was organized as the district 
of Louisiana. The latter included Wright eounty. That act con- 
tained the follow'iug provision: "The executive power now 
vested in the government of the Indiana territory shall extend 
to and be exercised in said district of Louisiana." The area 
set off as the territory of Orleans was admitted as the state of 
Louisiana in 1812. 

Louisiana Territory. By an act of congress approved March 
3, 1805, all that part of the country embraced in the district of 
Louisiana was organized as a territory, called the territory of 
Louisiana. 

Missouri Territory. By an act of congress approved June 4, 
1814, it was provided that the territory hitherto called Louisiana 
should be called Missouri, and was organized as a territory. 
The struggles in congress which led to the Missouri compromise : 
the agreement that all territory west of Missouri and north of 
parallel 36° 36' should forever be free from the sway of slavery, 
and the final admission of Missouri with her present boundaries, 
by presidential proclamation, Aug\ist 10, 1821, are outside of th" 



68 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

province of this history. Sufficient is it to say here that this 
admission left the land to the northward, including Wright 
county, without a fountain head of territorial government from 
that date until June 28, 1834, when it was attached to Michigan. 

In 1809 settlers liad come in so fast that there were sufficient 
citizens in Indiana territory to support two governments. Accord- 
ingly, the territory of Illinois was established February 3, 1908, 
by the following enactment: "Be it enacted, etc., that from and 
after the first day of March, next, all that part of the Indiana 
territory which lies west of the Wabash river and a direct line 
drawn from the said Wabash river and Post Vincennes, due north 
to the territorial line between the United States and Canada, 
shall for the purpose of temporary government constitute a sep- 
arate territory, and be called Illinois." (U. S. Statutes at Large, 
Vol. 2, page 514.) Illinois was admitted as a state in 1818. 
Wright county was never a part of Illinois. 

Michigan Territory. By an act of congress passed June 11, 
1805, Michigan territory was formed. The boundaries were 
described as follows: "All that part of the Indiana territory 
which lies north of a line drawn east from the southerly bend or 
extreme of Lake Michigan until it shall intersect Lake Erie, and 
east of a line drawn from the said southerly bend tlirough the 
middle of said lake to its northern extremity, and thence due 
north to the northern boundary of the United States, shall for 
the purpose of temporary government constitute a separate terri- 
tory, to be called Michigan." (U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 2, 
page 309.) The population of Illinois continued to increase, and 
the people were eager for a state government. The southern 
portion was therefore granted statehood privileges in 1818, and 
the northern portion, mainly unoccupied, was cut off and added 
to the territory of Michigan, previously created. This transfer 
of territory was authorized in section 7 of the act passed April 18, 
1818, enabling Illinois to form a state government and constitu- 
tion. The terms of the act are as follows: "Section 7. And be 
it furtlier enacted, That all that part of the territory of the 
United States lying north of the state of Indiana, and which was 
included in the former Indiana territory, together with that part 
of the Illinois territory which is situated north of, and not 
included within, the boundaries prescribed liy this act (viz., the 
boundaries of the state of Illinois) to the state thereby authorized 
to be formed, shall be, and hereby is, attached to and made a 
part of the Michigan territory." Thus matters remained for 
sixteen years. 

Missouri, in the meantime, had been admitted as a state 
(1812), and the territory north of that state, and west of the 
Mississippi, was practically without organized authority from 
that year until 1834, wlien the increase of settlement made it 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 69 

advisable that the benefits of some sort of government should be 
extended to its area. Consequently, Michigan territory was 
extended to inehule this vast region. The act so enlarging 
Michigan territory passed congress June 28, 1834, in the follow- 
ing terms: "Be it enacted, etc., That all that part of the territory 
of the United States, bounded on the east by the Mississippi river, 
on the south by the state of Missouri, and a line drawn due west 
from the northwest corner of said state to the Missouri river; on 
the southwest aiul west by the Missouri I'iver and the White 
Earth river, falling into the same, and on the north by the north- 
ern boundary of the United States, shall be, and hereby is, for the 
purpose of temporary government, attached to and made a part 
of the territory of Michigan." This included Wright county. 
(U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 4, page 701.) In less than two years 
certain territory was set apart to form the proposed state of 
Michigan. This act passed congress April 20, 183(5, but Michigan 
was not admitted until January 26, 1837. (U. S. Statutes at 
Large, Vol. .'), pages 10-16.) 

Wisconsin Territory. When W^isconsin territory was organ- 
ized by an act of Congress, April 20, 1836, all the Louisiana pur- 
chase north of the state of Missouri was placed under its juris- 
diction. This included Wright county. The boundaries as given 
at that time Avere as follows: "Bounded on the east by a line 
drawn from the northeast corner of the state of Illinois through 
the middle of Lake Michigan to a point in the middle of said 
lake and opposite the main channel of Green Bay and through 
said channel and Green Bay to the mouth of the Menominee 
river, thence through the middle of the main channel of said 
river to that head of said river nearest the Lake of the Desert, 
thence in a direct line to the middle of said lake, thence through 
the middle of the main channel of the Montreal river to its 
mouth ; thence with a direct line across Lake Superior to where 
the territorial line of the United States last touches said lake, 
northwest, thence on the north with the said territorial line to the 
White Earth river (located in what is now Wood county. North 
Dakota). On the west by a line from the said boundary line, fol- 
lowing down the middle of the main channel of the White Earth 
river to the Missouri river, and down the middle of the main 
channel of the Missouri river to a point due west from the north- 
west corner of the state of Missouri ; and on the south from said 
point due east to the northwest corner of the state of Missouri, 
and thence with the boundaries of the states of Missouri and 
Illinois as already fixed by act of congress." This included 
Wright county. (U. S. Statutes at Large, Vol. 5, page 18.) 

Iowa Territory. The territory of Iowa was created by the 
act of congress, June 12, 1838, which act divided the territory 
of Wisconsin along the Mississippi river and named the western 



70 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

part Iowa. The act provided: "That from aud after the third 
day of July, nest, all that part of the present territory of Wis- 
consin which lies west of the Mississippi river and west of a line 
drawn due south from the headwaters or sources of the Missis- 
sippi to the territorial lines, shall, for the purpose of temporary 
government, be and constitute a separate territorial government, 
by the name of Iowa." The area including Wright county was 
embraced within these lines. 

Iowa remained a territory from 1838 to 184(). A convention 
of duly authorized representatives of the people remained in 
session at Iowa City from October 7 to November 1, 1844, and 
framed a state constitution. It was provided that the constitution 
adopted, together with any alterations which might subsequently 
be made by congress, should be submitted to the people of the 
territory for their approval or rejection at the township elec- 
tions in April, 184.^. The boundaries of the proposed new 
state, as defined in the constitution, were in part as follows : 
" * * * Thence up in the middle of the main channel of the 
river last mentioned (the Missouri) to the mouth of the Sioux or 
Calumet river ; thence in a direct line to the middle of the main 
channel of the St. Peter's (Minnesota) river, where the Waton- 
wan river — according to Nicollet's map — enters the same, thence 
down the middle of the main channel of said river to the middle 
of the Mississi]ipi river ; thence down the middle of said river to 
the place of beginning." This would have included in the state of 
Iowa all the counties of what is now Minnesota that lie south 
and east of the Minnesota as far as Mankato, also including 
Faribault county and nearly all of Martin, the greater part of 
Blue Earth and portions of Watonwan, Cottonwood and Jackson. 

Congress rejected these boundary lines, and March 3, 1845, 
in its enabling act, substituted the following description of the 
proposed boundaries: "Beginning at the mouth of the Des 
Moines river, in the middle of the Mississippi: thence by the 
middle of the channel of that river to the parallel of latitude 
passing thi'ougli the moutli of the Mankato or Blue Earth river: 
thence west along said parallel of latitude to a point where it is 
intersected by a meridian line 17° 30' west of the meridian of 
Washington City; thence due south to the northern boundary 
line of the state of Missouri; thence eastwardly follo\\'ing that 
boundary to the point at which the same intersects with the Des 
Moines river; thence by the middle of the channel of that river 
to the place of beginning." Thus the southern boundary of 
Minnesota would have been on a line due east from the pr(>sent 
city of Mankato to the Mississipjii river and due west from the 
same point to a point in Brown county. This would have included 
in Iowa all but a small fraction of the counties of Winona, Olm- 
sted, Dodge, Steele, Waseca and Blue Earth, portions of Brown, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 71 

Watonwan and Martin, and all of Faribault, Freeborn, Slower, 
Fillmore and Houston. This reduetion in its proposed territory 
was not pleasing to those citizens of Iowa who wished the state 
to have its boundaries to include the Minnesota river from the 
Blue Earth to the ilississippi and the Mississippi from the Minne- 
sota river to the Missouri state line. This changing in the bound- 
ary was really a political measure, a part of those battles in 
congress over free and slave states which preceded the Civil war. 
The boundaries as proposed by congress were rejected by the 
people of Iowa after a bitter campaign. August 4, 1S4(), congress 
passed a second enabling act, which was accepted by the peoi^le 
by a narrow margin of 456, the vote being 9,492 for and 9,0.i6 
against. This second act placed the northern boundary of Iowa 
still farther south, but added territory to the west. The northern 
boundary of Iowa, as described in the enabling act, was identical 
with the ])arallel of 48° 30' north, from the Big Sioux river east- 
ward to the ilississippi. This, with the exception of the short 
distance from the Big Sioux rivei' to the present western bound- 
ary of ^Minnesota, is the present sonthern boundary of our state. 
Minnesota's southei'n boundaiy. as thus described, was carefully 
surveyed and marked within six years of its acceiitance by Iowa. 
The work was authorized ^larch 'A, 1849, and two apjiropriations 
of "f^l.-'iOO each were soon made. The survey was completed during 
the years 1849 to 18r)2, at a total cost om !t;.S2,277.7:?. Although the 
work was done with the best instruments then known, an error 
of twenty-thi'ee chains, evidently due to carelessness, was dis- 
covered within a year. Iowa was admitted as a state Decembei' 
28, 184<i. 

Wisconsin State. Wisconsin soon wished to become a state. 
The northwestern boundary provoked considerable discussion 
both in congress and in the two constitutional conventions which 
were called. There were some who wished to include all the 
remaining portion of the northwest territory within the bound- 
aries of the new proposed state. The two prevailing coteries, 
however, were the ones between whom the fight really centered. 
One body wished the northwestern boundary of the new state 
(Wisconsin) to extend up the ^Mississippi as far as the Rum river, 
where the city of Anoka is now situated, thence northeastei-wardly 
to the first rapids of the St. Louis rivei' and thence to Lake Supe- 
rior. The residents of the St. Croix valley, and those living on 
the east side of the Mississippi, between the St. Croix and the 
Rum river, constituted the other party and objected to being 
included in the proposed state of Wisconsin. They declared that 
they were separated from the settled portions of Wisconsin by 
hundreds of miles of barren land, and still more greatly separated 
by a difference in the interests and character of the inhal)itants. 
They proposed that the northwest boundary of the new state 



72 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

should be a line drawn due south from Shagwamigan bay, on 
Lake Superior, to the intersection of the main Chippewa river, and 
from thence down the middle of said river to its debouchure into 
the Mississippi. Residents of the district affected, and also about 
Fort Snelling and on the west bank of the Mississippi farther up, 
joined in a memorial to congress, citing the grave injustice that 
would be done the proposed territory of Minnesota if it were left 
without a single point on the Mississippi below St. Anthony's 
falls, the limit of navigation. Among those who signed this 
memorial were H. H. Sibley and Alexander Faribault. The result 
of the controversy was a compromise adopting a middle line 
along the St. Croix and St. Louis rivers. 

The enabling act for the state of "Wisconsin, approved August 
6, 1846, provided: "That the people of the territory of Wiscon- 
sin be and they are hereby authorized to form a constitution and 
state government * * * with the following boundaries, to- 
wit: * * * thence through the center of Lake Superior to 
the mouth of the St. Louis river, thence up the main channel of 
said river to the first rapids in the same, above the Indian village, 
according to Nicollet's map; thence due south to the main branch 
of the River St. Croix ; thence down the main channel of said river 
to the Mississippi ; thence down the main channel of said river to 
the northwest corner of the state of Illinois, thence due east 
* * *." This is the first and incidentally the present descrip- 
tion of Minnesota's eastern boundary. (United States Statutes at 
Large, Vol. 9, page 56.) 

The convention that framed the constitution of Wisconsin in 
1847-48 strongly desired the Rum river as their western bound- 
ary. After accepting the boundary chosen by congress the con- 
vention recommended a line which, if agreeable to congress, 
should replace the one in the enabling act. The proposed bound- 
ary, which was rejected, was described as follows: Leaving the 
aforesaid boundary line at the first rapids of the St. Louis river, 
thence in a direct line, bearing southwestwardly to the mouth of 
the Iskodewabo or Rum river, where the same empties into the 
Mississippi river (at Anoka) thence down the main channel of 
the said Mississippi river to the aforesaid boundary. (Charters 
and Constitutions of the United States, Part II, page 2030.) 

Minnesota Territory. The events which led up to the estab- 
lishing of Minnesota as a territory can be given but brief mention 
here. Sufficient is it to say that for three years after the admis- 
•sion of Iowa (in 1846) the area that is now Minnesota, west of 
the Mississippi, was practically a no-man's land. December 18, 
1846, Morgan L. Martin, delegate from Wisconsin territory, gave 
notice to the house of representatives that "at an early day" he 
would ask leave to introdiice a bill establishing the territorial 
government of Minnesota. The name, which is the Indian term 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 73 

for what was then tho river St. Peter (Pierre) ami has now 
become its official desitrnation, was, it is believed, anplied to tiie 
proposed territory at the suggestion of Joseph R. Brown. During 
its consideration by congress the bill underwent various changes. 
As reported hack to the house, the name "Minnesota" had been 
changed by Stephen A. Douglas to "Itasca." Mr. Martin imme- 
diately moved that the name "Minnesota" be jilaced in the bill in 
place of "Itasca." "Chippewa," "Jackson" and "Washington" 
were also proposed. After many motions, counter motions and 
amendments, "Minnesota" was placed in the bill, which with a 
minor change passed the house. In the senate it was rejected. 
A second attempt was made two years later. January 10, 1848, 
Stephen A. Douglas gave due notice to the senate that "at a 
future day" he would introduce a bill to establish the territory 
of Minnesota. He brought in the bill February 2'i. It was several 
times read, was amended, referred to committee and discussed, 
but congress adjourned August 14 without taking ultimate action 
on the proposition. 

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

The people of this area were now confronted with a serious 
problem. As residents of the territory of Wisconsin they had 
enjoyed the privileges of citizenship in the United States. By 
the creation of the state of Wisconsin they were disfranchised 
and left without the benefits of organized government. Thus, 
Stillwater, which had been the governmental seat of a growing 
county (St. Croix), was left outside the pale of organized law. 
Legal minds disagreed on the question of whether the minor civil 
officers, such as justices of the ]ieace, created under the territorial 
organization, were still qualified to exercise the authority of their 
positions. At a meeting held at St. Paul, in July, 1848, the citizens 
of that (then) village considered the question of the formation 
of a new territory. August 5 a meeting of citizens of the area 
west of the St. Croix was held at Stillwater, and it was decided 
to call a general convention at that place, Aiigust 26, 1848, for a 
three-fold purpose : 1 — To elect a territoi'ial delegate to congress. 
2 — To organize a territory with a name other than Wisconsin. 
3 — To determine whether the laws and organization of the old 
territory of Wisconsin were still in effect now that a part of that 
territory was organized as a state. In the call for this meeting, 
the signers called themselves, "We, the iindersigned citizens of 
Minnesota territory." The meeting was held pursuant to the 
call. Action was taken in regard to the first proposition by the 



74 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

election of H. H. Sibley, who was authorized to proceed to Wash- 
ington and use such efforts as were in his power to secure the 
organization of the territory of Minnesota. In regard to the 
second proposition, a memorial was addressed to the President of 
the United States, stating the reasons why the organization of 
Minnesota territory was necessary. The third proposition pre- 
sented technical points worthy of the attention of the wisest legal 
minds. The state of Wisconsin had been organized, but the terri- 
tory of Wisconsin had not been abolished. Was not, therefore, 
the territory still in existence, and did not its organization and 
its laws still prevail in the jiart of the territory that had not been 
included in the state? If territorial government was in existence 
would it not give the residents thereof a better standing before 
the nation in their desire to become Minnesota territory? IMight 
not this technicality give the delegate a seat in congress when 
otherwise lie must, as simply the representative of an unorganized 
area, make his requests in the lobby and to the individual mem- 
bers? John Catlin, who had been secretary of the territory of 
Wisconsin before the organization of that state, declared that the 
territory still existed in the area not included in the organized 
state and that he was the acting governor. Accordingly, the 
people of the cut-off portion organized as the "Territory of Wis- 
consin,'' and named a day for the election of a delegate. In the 
closely contested election held October 30, 1848, Sibley won out 
against Henry M. Rice and accordingly made his way to Wash- 
ington, technically from the "Territory of Wisconsin," actually 
as a representative of the proposed territory of Minnesota. As a 
matter of fact, indeed, Sibley, living at Mendota, had ceased to be 
a citizen of the territory of Wisconsin in 1838, when loAva terri- 
tory was created, and was a resident of the part of Iowa territory 
which the organization of the state of Iowa had left without a 
government, rather than of that territory in ciuestion (between 
the Mississippi and the St. Croix) which the admission of Wis- 
consin as a state had left without a government. Sibley was, how- 
ever, after nuich opposition, admitted to congress and given a 
seat January 15, 184!). He at once set about securing friends for 
the proposition to create Minnesota territory. December 4, 1848, 
a few days previous to Sibley's admission to congress. Stephen A. 
Douglas liad annouiu'ed that it was his intention to introduce a 
new bill to establish the territory of Minnesota. Like the pre- 
vious attempt, this bill underwent various vicissitudes. As passed, 
Marcli 3, 1849, the act ci'cating the territory read as follows: "Be 
it enacted, * * * That from and after the passage of this act, 
all that part of the territory of the United States wliich lies 
within the following limits, to-wit: Beginning in the Mississippi 
river at a point where the line of 43° and 30' of north latitude 
crosses the same, theiice running due west on said line, which is 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 75 

tlie northern boundary of the state of Iowa, to the nort Invest 
corner of the said state of Iowa ; thence southerly along the west- 
ern boundary of said state to the point where said boundai'y 
strikes the IMissouri river; thence up the middle of the main chan- 
nel of the Missouri river to the mouth of the White Earth river; 
thence up the middle of the main channel of the White Earth river 
to the boundary line between the possessions of the United States 
and Great Britain; thence east and south of east along the 
boundary line between the possession of the United States and 
Great Britain to Lake Superior; thence in a straight line to the 
northernmost point of the state of Wisconsin, in Lake Superior ; 
thence along the western boundary of the state of Wisconsin to 
the Jlississippi river; thence down the main channel of said 
river to the place of beginning, anil the same is hereby erected 
into a temporary government by tlic name of the territoiy of 
Jlinnesota.'" 

State of Minnesota. The people of the territory of Minnesota 
were not long content with a territorial government. In the 
words of A. N. Winchell, "December 24, ]8r)6, the delegate from 
the territory of Miiuiesota introduced a bill to authorize the 
people of that territory to form a constitution and state govern- 
ment. The bill limitetl the proposed state on the west by the 
Red River of the North and the Big Sioux river. It was referred 
to the committee on territories, of which Jlr. Grow, of Pennsyl- 
vania, was chairman. January 31, 1857, the chairman reported a 
substitute, which tlitTered from the original hill in no essential 
respect except in regard to the western boundary. The change 
there consisted in adopting a line thi'ough Traverse and Big Stone 
lakes, due south from the latter to the Iowa line. The altered 
boundary cut off a narrow strip of territory, estimated by Mr. 
Grow to contain between five and six hundred square miles. 
Today the strip contains such towns as Sioux Falls, Watertown 
and Brookings. The substitute had a stormy voyage through 
congress, especially in the senate, but finally completed the trip 
on February 25, 1857." 

The enabling act, as passed and approved February 26, 1857, 
defined the boundaries of Minnesota as follows: "Be it enacted, 
* * * That the inhabitants of that portion of the territory of 
Minnesota which is embraced within the following limits, to-wit : 
Beginning at the point in the center of the main channel of the 
Red River of the North, where the boundary line between the 
United States and the British possessions crosses the same ; thence 
up the main channel of said river to that of Bois des Sioux river; 
thence (up) the main channel of said river to Lake Travers; then 
up the center of said lake to the southern extremity thereof; 
thence in a direct line to the head of Big Stone lake ; thence 
through its center to its outlet ; thence bj- a due south line to the 



76 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

north line of the state of Iowa; thence east along the northern 
boundary of said state to the main channel of the Mississippi 
river; thence up the main channel of said river and following 
the boundary line of the state of Wisconsin, imtil the same inter- 
sects the St. Louis river; thence down said river to and through 
Lake Superior, on the boundary line of Wisconsin and Michigan, 
until it intersects the dividing line between the United States and 
the British possessions; thence up Pigeon river and following 
said dividing line to the place of beginning ; be and the same are 
thereby authorized to form for themselves a constitution and state 
government, by the name of the state of Minnesota, and to come 
into the Union on an equal footing with the original states, 
according to the federal constitution." 

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

Summary. It will therefore be seen that the territorial claim 
of title to Wright county was first embraced in the paper grant 
to Spain, May 4, 1493. It was subsequently included in the in- 
definite claims made by Spain to lands north and noi'thwest of 
her settlements in Mexico, Florida and the West Indies ; by the 
English to lands west of their Atlantic coast settlements, and 
by the French to lands south, west and southwest of their Cana- 
dian settlements. The first definite claim to territory now em- 
bracing Wright county was made by La Salle at the mouth of the 
Mississippi, March 8, 1682, in the name of the king of France, 
and the second (still more definite) by Perrot, not far from the 
present site of Winona, May 8, 1689. This was also a French 
claim. France remained in tacit authority until February 10, 
1763, when, upon England's acknowledging the French authority 
to lands west of the Mississippi, France, by a previous secret 
agreement, turned her authority over to Spain. October 1, 1800, 
Spain ceded the tract to France, but France did not take formal 
possession until November 30, 1803, and almost immediately, 
December 20, 1803, turned it over to the United States, the Amer- 
icans having purchased it from Napoleon April 30 of that year. 

March 26, 1804, the area that is now Wright county was 
included in the Louisiana district as a part of Indiana, and so 
remained until March 3, 180.5. From March 3, 1805, to June 4, 
1812, it was a part of Louisiana territory. From June 4, 1812, 
until August 10, 1820, it was a part of Missouri territory. From 
August 10, 1821, until June 28, 1834, it was outside the pale of 
all organized government, except that congress had general juris- 
diction. From June 28, 1834, to April 20, 1836, it was a part of 
Michigan territory. From April 20, 1836, to June 12, 1838, it was 
a part of Wisconsin territory. Prom June 12, 1838, to December 
28, 1846, it was a part of the territory of Iowa. Prom December 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 77 

28, 1846, to March 3, 1849, it was again without territorial affili- 
ation. From March 3, 1849, to May 11, 1858, it was a part of 
Minnesota territory, and on the latter date became an integral 
part of that sovereign state. 



CHAPTER V. 
THE EXPLORERS. 

Groseilliers and Radisson — Hennepin and Duluth — Le Sueur and 
Charrille — Carver — Pike — Ft. SneUing Established — Cass and 
Schoolcraft — Beltrami — NicoUet — Surveys — Chronology. 

The Frencli explorers from the settlements in Canada and 
about the Great Lakes gradually began to penetrate toward Jlin- 
nesota. At various times traders, adventurers and priests dis- 
appeared from these settlements. What deaths they met or what 
experiences they luulerwent will never be known. What places 
they visited in the wilderness of the upper Mississippi remains 
a mystery. With the seventeenth century, however, the area that 
is now I\Iinnesota began to be known to the civilized Avorld. 

Groseilliers and Radisson. The meager accounts which these 
two explorers have left of their two expeditions which are sup- 
posed to have penetrated into Minnesota, are capable of more 
than one interpretation. Dr. Warren Upham believes that Gro- 
seilliers and Radisson, the first known white explorers of Min- 
nesota, entered it near the southeast corner, and proceeded up 
the Mississippi through Lake Pepin to Prairie Island. Here the 
French explorers and the Indians that accompanied them, to- 
gether with other Indians, spent the year 1655-1656. Thus when 
Cromwell ruled Great Britain and Ireland, when the Puritan the- 
ocracy was at the height of its glory in New England, and when 
the great emigration of Cavaliers was still going on to Virginia, 
Minnesota saw its first white man — unless indeed the Scandina- 
vians visited this region centuries before, as the Kensington Stone 
avers. 

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



78 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

the Indian band that was with them. Until this time the Stone 
Age had ruled supreme in the realm of Wright, but now we may 
well suppose that witliin a short time manj' an enterprising brave 
cherished as his most precious possession one of these magic 
knives that cut like a stroke of lightning. Very soon after meet- 
ing these Dakotas at Knife lake, Uroseilliers and Radisson went 
to the great Dakota village at Mille Lacs, and were there receivecT 
with every mark of friendship and respect. 

Now follows the story of a seven days' trip to the prairie home 
of the "nation of the Boefe" (buffalo), that is to say, the Dakotas 
living farther west and south. This story seems likelj' to be 
fiction, but if it is true, there is a fair chance that it was to the 
region just north of the "Big Woods," the journey went. This 
was the nearest and most accessible buffalo country from Mille 
Lacs. So it is possible that tiiese two Frenchmen were the first 
wliite men to approach Wright county. But the supposition 
favored by Winchell is that they went due south. However that 
may be, it is certain tliat with Uroseilliers and Radisson the first 
glimmer of European civilization reached Wright county. 

Hennepin and Du Luth. In journeying from the Mille Lacs 
region, down what is now the Rum river into the ilississippi 
river, Hennepin and Du Luth anil their companions in 1680 
passed within a few miles of Wriglit county. 

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

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



HISTORY OF WKIOirr COUNTY 79 

the Wisconsin, wlit-ic tlicy cxiu'uti'il tluit La Salle would semi 
them supplies. 

Oil their southward journey, aeeoiniuinied h.\' a Sioux ehiet', 
Ouasicoude (Wacoota) and a band of Indians, the Krenehmen 
descended the Rum river, and camped on an eminence ojiposite 
what is iiow the city of Anoka. Accault was left as a liostaii;e. 
Contiiiuini; down the river with the Indians, Hennepin ami 
Pickard came to St. Anthony Falls, which Hennepin named in 
honor of his jiatron saint. On July II, 1680, while huntin>i for 
the mouth of the Wisconsin river, the party was overtaken by 
Hennepin's savafje adopted father, Aquii)agiu'tin, with ten war- 
riors. The two Frenchmen and the Indians then spent some time 
in the vicinity of Winona, hidint; their meat near the mouth ot 
the Chippewa, and tlicn hunting on the praiiies further down 
the river, the old men of the tribe watching on the river blutt's 
for enemies while the wai-riors killed buffaloes. 

July 25, 1G80, the paj'ty encounteretl Daniel (iraysolon, Du 
Luth and five French soldiers. There is some doubt about the 
exact sjjot where this meeting took place, but it was probably 
near the southeast corner of JMinnesota, or possibly a little further 
south. After the meeting, the eight white men, accompanied by 
the Indians, went up the river. l)u Luth iiad been exploring the 
country of the Sioux and the Assiniboines, west of Lake Superior, 
for two years, and had secured the frienilshi]> of these ver.v 
Indians who had cajitured Hennepin. ('onse()uently, when he 
learnetl what had luippened since he last saw them, he rebidced 
them for their ti'eatnu'iit of the priest, saying that Hennepin was 
liis brother. The party reached tlie Issanti villages (the Mille 
Lacs region) August 14, 1680. No mention is made of the route 
which they took. 

Toward the end of September the Frenchmen left the Imlians 
to return to the French settlements. A chart of the route was 
given them by Ouasicoude, the great chief. Tlie eight Frenchmen 
then set out. Hennepin gives the number as eight, though it 
would seem that the number was nine, for Hennepin and Pickard 
had met Du Lutli with five soldiers, and when reaching the Issanti 
villages they must have been re,joined by Accault, though pos- 
sibly the last named sta.yed with the Indians and jnirsued his 
explorations. The party passed down the Rum river in the fall 
of 1680, and started the descent of the Mississippi. After reach- 
ing the Wisconsin they went up that river to the portage, thence 
up the Fox river, thence to Green Bay, and thence to the settle- 
ments in Canada. 

Thus Hennepin and Du Luth, in their trips in this vicinity, 
missed what is now W^right county. Accault, one of Hennepin's 
companions, had been left with the Indians near the present site 
of Anoka, when Hennepin and Arguille took the memorable down- 



80 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

the-river trip on which they met Du Liith. Accault took many 
journeys with the Indians, even visiting the Itasca region, and 
it is not improbable that he may have passed Wright county, or 
even hunted within its present borders. 

Le Sueur and Charleville. From 1681 to 1699, Nicholas Perrot 
made numerous trips to the country of the upper Mississippi 
river. Several of his posts were located in the vicinity of the 
lower end of Lake Pepin. From there he sent out numerous 
expeditions. One of these expeditions was probably that of Le 
Sueur and Charleville, who, with the possible exception of Ac- 
cault, are believed to have been the first white men who ever 
gazed upon the fair prospect that is now Wright county. This 
trip was taken about 1690. 

Le Sueur wrote an account of this trip to refute certain fic- 
titious narrations by Mathieu Sagean. Le Sueur passed Wright 
county, in his trip above the Falls of St. Anthony, and possibly 
went as far up as the outlet of Sandy Lake. Very probably 
Charleville, whose narration of a similar early expedition of a 
hundred leagues on the part of the Mississippi above St. Anthony 
Falls has been preserved, was a companion of Le Sueur, so that 
the two accounts relate to the same canoe trip. Charleville de- 
clares that he was accompanied by two Canadian Frenchmen and 
two Indians. It is of interest to note that Charleville and Le 
Sueur were relatives. As in Le Sueur's description of the sources 
of the great river, Charleville also states that the Indians spoke 
of the Mississippi as having many sources. 

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

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



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 81 

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

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

In September, 1700, Le Sueur and a party of Frenchmen, in 
a sailing and rowing vessel ant! two canoes, came up the ]\Iissis- 
sippi from its mouth, on his way to a place near the present site 
of Mankato, where he believed copper was to be found. He spent 
the ensuing winter on the Blue Earth river, and in the spring of 
1701 he started down the river with a part of his followers and 
with a load of green earth which he believed to be copper. In 
due time he reached the Gulf of ^lexico. The party whom he 
had left at the garrison on the Blue Earth followed him down the 
river soon afterward. The fact that seven French traders who 
had been stripped naked by the Sioux took refuge in Le Sueur's 
fort on the Blue Earth, and the further fact that those whom he 
left at the fort, encountered while going down the ^Mississippi a 
party of thirty-six Frenchmen from Canada at the mouth of the 
Wisconsin, shows that aside fi'om the explorers recorded in his- 
tory, various Frenchmen, now unknown, penetrated this region 
from time to time even at that early day. 

Carver. By the treaty of 1763 FYance divided its possessions 
in the Mississippi valley between England and Spain, England 
taking the land on the east of the river, nearly to the mouth, and 
Spain the land on the west. This ended FVench domain in the 
Mississippi valley, though the French traders still maintained 
their activities, some unlawfully and some under the pretense of 
having transferred their allegiance to the British. But the period 
of French exploration had ended. Jonathan Carver was born in 
Connecticut in 1732, served in the French and Indian wars and 
in 1766 was sent by the British government to explore the North- 
west. He reached Minnesota from the Great Lakes by way of 
the Fox, Wisconsin and Mississippi rivers. He was probably the 
first man of English blood to see Wright county. He was accom- 
panied by a French Canadian and several Mohawk Indians. He 



82 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

spent the winter of 1766-67 among the Sioux of the Northwest. 
In the fall of 1766 when he reached the mouth of the Minnesota 
he was compelled to leave his canoe by reason of the ice. With a 
young Winnebago chief he continued his trip on foot up the Mis- 
sissippi river as far as the mouth of the Elk river, in Sherburne 
county, opposite Otsego township in Wright county. He turned 
back November 21. In his travels he calls the Elk river the 
St. Francis river and confuses it with the Rum river which Hen- 
nepin had called the St. Francis. He remarks that no other white 
men but he and Hennepin have ever ascended the Mississippi 
river so far. In this he was mistaken and the trips of Le Sueur 
and Charleville were already on record. 

After various explorations. Carver, in the spring of 1767 
started for Prairie du Chien where he hoped to purchase goods 
and supplies. Failing in this object he gave up the idea of return- 
ing to the central Minnesota region and reached Lake Superior 
by way of the Chippewa river and the upper streams of the 
St. Croix. 

He afterward claimed that he made a treaty with the Sioux 
granting him a tract of land about a hundred miles wide along 
the east bank of the Mississippi from the Falls of St. Anthony 
to the southeastern end of Lake Pepin. Before he could get this 
deed acknowledged in England the Revolutionary war broke 
out. On the strength of this treaty many claims were from time 
to time presented to the United States government, but congress 
has always refused to recognize the claim of Carver's heirs and 
successors. 

Pike. The Revolutionary war coming soon after Carver's 
trip interrupted English exploration of the Northwest. The Span- 
ish government during its years of nominal possession of the 
upper Mississippi sent no explorers to this region. The Louisiana 
pui'chase was transferred to the LTnited States in 1803, and 
efforts were soon made to explore the new possession. Zebulon 
M. Pike was born in what is now Trenton, N. J., January 5, 1779, 
entered the army at fifteen, and became a first lieutenant at 
twenty. In 1805 Pike received orders to conduct an expedition 
to the upper rivers and lakes for several purposes. He was to 
negotiate treaties with the Indians, to secure a conformity with 
the laws of the United States by the agents of the Northwest 
company and others engaged in the fur trade and to extend geo- 
graphical exploration. He started from St. Louis, August 9, 180-5, 
with twenty soldiers. September 23, 1805, Pike made a treaty 
with the Indians ceding tracts of land for military purposes at the 
mouth of the Minnesota and at the mouth of St. Croix. He 
continued north, reached Pike Rapids in Morrison county, Octo- 
ber 16, stayed a part of the winter there, started again December 
10, 1805, went as far north as Sandy, Leech and Cass lakes, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 83 

explained the object of his visit to the fur traders and retunicd 
to Pike Rapids, JIareli .">, 180G. April 7, he started down the river 
and reached St. Louis on the last of April, ISOfi. 

Pike kept a diary of his adventures. In writiiif^ of tlie lirst 
few days above St. Anthony P''alLs, which included their trip past 
Wright county, Pike indites the following particulars : 

"October 4, Friday. Rained in the morning but the wind serv- 
ing, we embarked, though extremely raw and cold. Opposite to 
the mouth of the Crow river we found a bark canoe, cut to pieces 
with tomahawks, and the paddles broken on shore: a short dis- 
tance higher up we saw live more, and continued to see the wrecks 
until we found eight. From the form of the canoes, my inter- 
preter pronounced them to be Sioux ; and some broken arrows to 
be the Sauteurs. Tlie paddles were also marked with the Indian 
sign of men and woiiu'u killed. F'rom all these circumstances we 
drew this inference, that the canoes had been the vessels of a 
party of Sioux wlio had been attacked and all killed or 
taken by the Sauters (also spelled Saulters, meaning the 
O.iibways, likewise called the Chippewas). Time may di'velop 
this transaction. Jly interpreter was much alarmed, assuring 
me that it was probable that at our first <'ncounter with the Chip- 
pewas they would take us for Sioux traders, and fire on us before 
we could come to an explanation ; that thej- had murdered three 
Frenchmen whom they found on the shore about this place last 
spring; but notwithstanding his information I was on shore all 
the afternoon in pursuit of elk. Caught a curious little animal 
on the prairie which my Frenchman termed a prairie mole (a 
gopher) hut it is very different from the mole of the states. Dis- 
tance sixteen miles. 

"October 5, Saturday. Hard water and ripples all day. Passed 
several old Sioux encampments, all fortified. Found five litters 
in which sick or wounded men have been carried. At this place a 
hard battle was fought between the Sioux and the Sauters in the 
year 1800. Distance eleven miles. 

"October 6, Sunday. Early in the morning discovered four 
elk, they swam the river, I pursued them, and wounded one who 
made his escape into a marsh ; saw two droves of elk. I killed 
some small game, and .joined the boats near night. Found a 
small 'red capot' hung upon a tree; this my interpreter informed 
me was a sacrifice by some Indians to the 'bon Dieu.' I deter- 
mined to lay by and hunt the next day. Killed three prairie hens 
and two pheasants. This day saw the lirst elk. Distance 12 miles. 

"October 7, Monday. Lay by in order to dry my corn, clothing, 
etc., and to have an investigation into the conduct of m.y sergeant, 
against whom some charges were exhibited. Sent several of my 
men out hunting. I went towards evening and killed some prairie 



84 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

hens; the hunters wei'e unsuccessful. Killed three prairie hens 
and six pheasants. 

"October 8, Tuesday. Embai-ked early, and made a very good 
day's march, had but three rapids to pass all day. Some wood- 
land on the west side, oak ; but the whole bottom covered with the 
prickly ash. I make a practice to oblige every man who com- 
plains of indisposition to march, by which I had some flankers 
on both sides of the river who were excellent guards against sur- 
prise ; they also served as hunters. We had but one raccoon 
killed by all. Distance twenty miles. 

"October 9, Wednesday. Embarked early; wind ahead; bar- 
rens and prairie. Killed one deer and four pheasants. Distance 
three miles. 

"October 10, Thursday. Came to large islands and strong 
water early in the morning. Passed the place at which Mr. Rein- 
ville and Mons. Perlier wintered in 1797; passed a cluster of 
islands, more than twenty in a course of four miles ; these I called 
Beaver islands, from the immense sign of those animals, for they 
have dams on every island, and roads from them every two or 
three rods. Encamped at the foot of the Grand Sauk rapids. Dis- 
tance sixteen and a half miles." 

Dr. Coues, in the edition of Pike's Joui'ual, published in 1895, 
and edited by him, identifies the place of Pike's camp for the 
night of October 4 as "half way between Elk river and Monti- 
cello." The camp on the night of October 5 he places in the 
"vicinity of Monticello;" the camp on the night of October 6 
"about one-third of the way from Monticello to Clearwater," the 
camp on the night of October 8 in the "vicinity of the Clearwater 
river," and on October 9 only "three miles" further, between 
Plum creek and St. Augusta. 

In writing of the last few days of his return trip to St. 
Anthony falls during which he again passed Wright county. Pike 
says : 

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

"April 8, Tuesday. Were obliged to remain this day on 
account of some information to be obtained here. I spent the 
day in making a rough chart of St. Peters, making notes on the 
Sioux, etc., settling the affairs of the Indian department with 
Mr. Dickson, for whose coimnunications, and those of Mr. Paulier, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 85 

I am infinitely indebted. Made every ne('(>ssary pi-ejiaration I'or 
an early embarkation. 

"April it, Wednesday. Rose eai'ly in the morninf; and com- 
menced my arrangements. Havings observed two Indians di-nnk, 
during the night, and finding that the liquor had been furnished 
them by a Mr. Greignor, or Jennesse, I sent my interpreter to 
them to request that they would not sell any strong liquor to 
the Indians, upon which Mr. Jennesse demanded the restrictions 
in writing, wliieh were given to him. On demanding his license, 
it amounted to no more than merely a certificate that he had paid 
the tax recjuired by law of the Indiana territory on all retailers 
of mercliandisc, but it was by no means an Indian license: liow- 
ever, I did not tliink proper to go into a more close investigation. 
Last niglit it was so cold that tlie water was covered witli floating 
cakes of ice of a strong consistence. After receiving every mark 
of attention from ^Messrs. Dickson and Paulier, I took my depar- 
ture at eight o'clock. At four p. m. arrived at the house of 
Mr. Paulier, twenty-five leagiu's, to whose brother I had a letter. 
Was received with politeness by him and a Mr. Veau ; wintered 
along side of him on the very island at which we had camped in 
ascending. 

"April 10, Thursday. Sailed at half past five o'cock; about 
seven passed Rum river, and at eight were saluted by six or seven 
lodges of Fols Avoins, amongst whom was a clerk of Mr. Dick- 
son's. Those people had wintered on Rum river, and were waiting 
for their chiefs and traders to descend, in order to accompany 
them to the Prairie Des Chein. Arrived at the Falls of St. 
Anthony at ten o'clock. 

Ft. Snelling Established. With the establishment of Ft. Snell- 
ing, the area of Wright county became more widely known, as 
the soldiers, traders and visitors there made many trips up the 
river past the county, and also conducted many hunting expedi- 
ditions in the tracts lying between the Crow and the Clearwater 
rivers. 

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



86 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

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

Cass and Schoolcraft. Cass and Schoolcraft and their fol- 
lowers passed Wright county on July 29 or 'SO, 1820, on their way 
down the Mississippi river. On July 23 or 24, 1832, the School- 
craft expedition, after having explored and named Lake Itasca, 
passed Wright county in the same direction. 

General Lewis Cass was a remarkable man, having been a 
lawyer, brigadier general of 1812, governor of Michigan territory, 
minister to Prance, secretary of war in two cabinets, senator, 
and in 1848 Democratic candidate for the presidency. Henry 
Rowe Schoolcraft was an explorer, mineralogist, historian, author 
of some thirty books, and the holder of several Indian offices under 
the government. The Cass-Schoolcraft expedition left Detroit, 
May 26, 1820, accompanied by several distinguished men, and a 
number of Indians. The party reached the St. Louis river by 
way of Sault Ste. Marie, and the southern shore of Lake Superior. 
They made extensive explorations in the northern part of this 
state, and visited Red Cedar lake, now Cass lake, which they 
called the "source of the Mississippi." It was on their way to 
Pt. Snelling that the explorers passed Wright county. 

When Schoolcraft and his companions explored and named 
Lake Itasca, July 13, 1832, they had reached northern Minnesota 
by way of Sault Ste. Marie as before, but, as on the previous 
journey, they started home by coming down the Mississippi to 
Pt. Snelling, and thus passed Wright county. It is probable that 
on the night of July 24 the party camped in Wright county. They 
embarked at 5 o'clock on the morning of July 25, and reached 
St. Anthony falls at noon. 

Beltrami. Major Stephen H. Long ascended the Mississippi 
river to the Palls of St. Anthony in a six-oar skiff in 1817. In 
1823, Major Long, accompanied by William H. Keating, and 
others, as well as by a detachment of soldiers, made a trip to Lake 
Winnipeg under orders from the War Department. Ascending 
the Mississippi river from Prairie du Chien to Pt. Snelling. At 
Pt. Snelling the party received reinforcements. It was there that 
Beltrami joined the expedition. Beltrami, an Italian, was one 
of the most picturesque of the early Minnesota explorers. His 
Italian name was Giacomo Constantino Beltrami but this was 
anglicized into James Constantine Beltrama. He was six feet 
higli, of commanding appearance and high spirits. He traveled 
extensively in Europe, the United States and Mexico, and was 
the author of numerous books. The party ascended the Minne- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 87 

sota and the Red River of tlie North. At Ponibina there was a 
change in the make-up of the expedition. The main party went 
from there to Lake Winnipeg, np Winnipeg river to the Lake of 
the Wood.s, along the Rainy river to Rainy lake, and finally to 
Thunder bay on Lake Superioi-. Thus tiiey did not pass Wright 
county. But Reltrami, accompanied by Indian conipanion.s, left 
the party at Pembina and started back to Ft. Snelling. lie 
explored the sources of the IMississippi and then descended that 
river. He passed Wright county on September 29 or 30. 

Nicollet. Joseph Nicolas Nicollet was the author of a map 
published after his death in 1843. Nicollet acting undci- the 
United States War Department and Bureau of Engineers, made 
extensive exploring ti-ips in the Northwest, ami in 18.'56 made a 
canoe trip from Ft. Snelling up the Mississippi, ami by portages 
beyond Leech lake, to Itasca lake, thence descending down the 
whole course of the upper Mississippi to the fort. He thus passed 
Wright county twice. The Crow and Clearwater rivers and 
niinor Wright county streams appear on his map. 

Surveys- The Third Guide ileridian is a straight line from 
the Iowa state line to the Mississippi river near Monticello. It 
does not cross the river there onto the east side, b\it starts again 
on the west side of the ilississippi river at Pine Knoll, about six 
miles west of Aitkin, and I'uns thence north to the International 
boundary crossing the Mississippi river at White Oak Point, about 
ten miles northwest of Pokegama falls. 

This Third Guide Meridian, in its earliest part surveyed, from 
the state line north to near Monticello, was required to be run 
during the winter when the lakes and rivers were frozen, so that 
the distances could be measured on the ice and not be liable to 
the errors liable to triangulation. 

From near Monticello, the Fifth Meridian surveys were car- 
ried north along the west side of the Mississippi by offsets from 
the Third Guide Meridian past St. Cloud, Little Falls and Crow 
Wing as far as to the Ninth Standard Parallel. 

Hardin Nowlin surveyed five Congressioiuil townships in 1855. 
They were township 120, ranges 23 and 24; township 121, ranges 
23 and 24; township 120, range 24. 

John O. Brunius. in 1856, surveyed township 118, ranges 25 
and 26; and township 119, ranges 25 and 26. In 1857 he sur- 
veyed township 120, range 26. 

Ed. P. Abbott surveyed township 120, range 25, in 1858. 

A. H. Runyon in 1856 surveyed township 121, range 25; and 
townshij) 122, ranges 25, 26 and 27. 

Oscar Taylor, in 1856, surveyed township 121, ranges 26 and 
27; township 118, range 28; town.ship 119, range 28: township 
120, range 28; and township 121, range 28. 



88 HISTOKY OP WRIGHT COUNTY ■ 

E. N. Darling surveyed township 118, range 27, in 1856 ; and 
in 1857 he surveyed township 119, range 27, and township 120, 
range 27. 

Chronology. Following is a summary of the history of Min- 
nesota during the period of exploration : 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1728. Great flood in the Mississippi. 

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

1766. Captain Jonathan Carver visited St. Anthony falls and 
Minnesota river. He claimed to have made a treaty with the 
Indians the following spring, in a cave, afterward called "Carver's 
Cave," within the present limits of St. Paul, at which he said 
they ceded to him an immense tract of land, long known as 
"Carver's Claim," but never recognized by government. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 89 

1796. Laws of tlie Onliiiaiu-i' of 1787 I'stciulotl over tlio 
Northwest territory, including tlie northeastern tliird of Minne- 
sota, east of the ilississipjii rivei-. 

1798-99. The Nortliwestern Fur C'oiiii)any established itself 
in Minnesota. 

1800. ]\Iay 7, tliat jiart of Minnesota east of the ]Mississii)i)i 
became a part of Indiana by the division of Ohio. 

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

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

1805. Lieut. Z. M. I'ike visited ^Minnesota to establish gov- 
ernment relations there, and obtained the Fort Snelling reserva- 
tion from the Pakotas. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1835. Catlin and Featherstonhaugh visited Minnesota. 

1836. The territory of Wisconsin organized, embracing the 
part of Minnesota east of the Mississippi, the part on the west 
being attached to Iowa. Nicollet visited Minnesota. 



90 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

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



CHAPTER VI. 
FIRST SETTLEMENT. 

Civilization Approaches Wright County — Frenchmen Winter on 
Wright County Islands in 1805-06 — Settlements in Adjacent 
Counties — Edmund Brissett Establishes Trading Post in 
Wright County — His Historic Trail to Lake Pulaski — Otsego 
and Monticello Settled — Early Census — Original Assessment 
RoU — Early Marriages. 

Civilization and settlement gradually approached Wright 
county as the pioneers and fur traders began to scatter to the 
north and northwest of Ft. Snelling. 

As early as 1797, two traders, James Perlier (also written 
Paulier and Perlier) wintered on the Mississippi river somewhere 
below the present site of Sauk Rapids. 

In 1806, Col. Robert Dickson seems to have had a trading post 
below the present site of Sauk Rapids. Below him, probably 
on one of the islands adjoining what is now Wright county, Per- 
lier had an establishment in the winter of 180.5-06, and there 
Perlier 's brother and Veau spent the season. 

Throughout the period of exploration, traders operated at 
various times at the mouth of the Rvun river, a few miles below 
Wright county. 

In 1819 Ft. Snelling was established at Mendota. May 10, 
1823, the "Virginia," the first steamboat to reach Minnesota, 
arrived at Ft. Snelling. In time, settlements sprang up which 
have resulted in St. Paul and Minneapolis, and civilization began 
to approach still nearer to Wright county. 

On the western side of the Mississippi, adventurous souls 
began to take scattered squatter claims in Hennepin county out- 
side of the hamlet at St. Anthony (now a part of Minneapolis). 

On the eastern side, in 1846, two brothers, Peter and Francis 
Partoille, started a trading post in Anoka county, at the mouth of 
the Rum river. In 1848 they sold out to Anthony Roberts. Quite 
a colony arrived in Anoka county in 1850 and settled in what 
is now Ramsey township. 

In Shei'burne county, across the Mississippi river from Wright 
county, a number of early settlements were made. In 1848 Pierre 




OI.Ii L()(i CABIN 



HISTORY OF WKKillT COUNTY 91 

Bottineau built a tnuling post bctwet'ii Orono and EUc rivt'r. 
In 1850 he ereeted the Elk River House, a small tavern. Big 
Lake township was settled in 1S48 by James, Eli and Newell 
Houghton, from Vermont. Joseph Brown settled in the same 
township in 1849. At an unknown date, probably in the late 
forties, Nathan Myriek and J. Davis had a trading post in what 
is now Clear Lake township, on the east side of the river, a mile 
below what afterward became the Clearwater ferry. In the same 

township, Isaac Marks and White opened a trading post 

in 1848. It was near what is jiopularly known as the "Big 
Bend" in the Mississippi. John II. Stevenson and John Town- 
send located in the same township in 1850. 

Settlements were also made f>irther north, on both sides of 
the Mississippi, especially about the mouth of the Watab river 
and at Sauk Rapids. 

The first white man to establish himself in what is now Wright 
county was Edmund Brissett. Brissett was a Canadian who came 
to Ft. Snelling in 1832 and engaged in carpenter work and in- 
terior woodwork. It was in 1839 that Brissett gave to a part of 
what is now St. Paul the name of "Pig's Eye," by which it was 
so long known. In time, Brissett became a fur trader. His prin- 
cipal post was near Lake Harriet, in Hennepin county. When 
the Winnebagoes began to occupy parts of what is now Wright 
county, Brissett opened a trading post at the west end of Lake 
Pulaski, in 1850. It is possible that he had also traded here the 
previous year. In 1851 he and his associates cut a road through 
the timber from Lake Harriet and Lake Calhoun to the present 
site of Buffalo, and from thence a trail to the west end of Lake 
Pulaski. After leaving Lake Calhoun the road passed along the 
west shores of Medicine lake, Independence lake, and Lake Sarah, 
crossing Crow river at Rockford, then passing north of the pres- 
ent Rockford and Buffalo road, and crossing the creek between 
the marsh and the lake. It was a crooked narrow track, but 
the traders used it extensively. The early settlers found this road 
of much service. The Brissett post was abandoned in 1855 when 
the Winnebagoes were removed to a reservation on the Blue 
Earth river. 

In 1850 or 1851 Samuel E. Carrick established a trading post 
on the Mississippi within the limits of Wright county. It was 
located in Otsego township, on what is still known as Carrick 's 
prairie. In 1852 Carrick located on a claim at the same point. 
This was the first farm opened in Wright county. After living 
on tlie place some ten years Carrick enlisted in the Fourth Min- 
nesota Volunteer Infantry. He was captured in the advance on 
Atlanta, was kept during the winter in the Confederate prison on 
Belle island, and died at Andersonville in May, 1864. 



92 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

John McDonald settled on section 17, Otsego townsliip, on 
the site where the hamlet of Otsego was afterward located, July 
31, 1852. McDonald was born in Maine, assisted in building the 
dam at St. Anthony (now a part of Minneapolis) in 1847 ; spent 
a short time in the lumber regions of the Rum and Swan rivers, 
then went to what is now Hudson, Wis. ; returned to St. Anthony 
in 1849 ; assisted in erecting two mills there ; was joined by his 
family : spent the winter of 1849-50 at what is now Little Falls, 
Minn.; then went back to Minneapolis; and in 1852 came to 
Otsego township. He was a member of the first board of county 
commissioners in 1855. 

David MePhersoD also settled in Otsego township July 31, 
1852. McPherson's residence here was brief. The reputed wealth 
of the Pike's Peak gold fields induced his emigration thither, 
frojn which locality he afterwards removed to Wisconsin. 

While Carriek, McDonald and McPherson were making their 
first improvements in Otsego township, and Brissett was main- 
taining his post in Buffalo township, two young men, Herbert 
McCrory and Frederick M. Cadwell, settled in what is now 
Monticello township. They came in the summer of 1852 and 
located near the present townsite of Monticello. 

No beaten track or highway then existed between the Otsego 
and Monticello settlements — naught save the tortuous Indian 
trail winding along the margin of the river; and it was not until 
the spring of 1854 that a wagon road was cut between these points 
by Mr. McCrory and others. Five days were required to hew out 
this rough passage through the forest, which even then was a 
barely passable route. 

In 1852 or 1853 Archie Downie located at the mouth of Silver 
creek, in what is now Silver Creek township. He was connected 
with the Winnebago agency at Long Prairie, and looked after 
the Indians when they insisted on living in Wright county. In 
August, 1854, he took a claim in section 15. He was one of the 
first board of county commissioners in 1855, and in May, 1856, 
sold his claim to A. G. Descent, and left the country. 

All the settlers previous to February 24, 1853, except the 
traders who held licenses, were scpiatters. But though the treaty 
which relinquished the Indian rights was not in force until Feb- 
ruary 24, 1853, it had been signed August 5, 1851, and in anticipa- 
tion of the day when it should be proclaimed these pioneers 
"squatted" on the land and thus made preparations to properly 
file on the claims when the land should be legally open to 
occupation. 

In 1853 George W. and James A. Carriek settled on Carriek 's 
Prairie in Otsego township. Alva L. Cooley also settled in the 
same locality. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 93 

In 1854 uew settlors came to Otsego and Monticello and settle- 
ments were made in Clearwater and Frankford. 

In 1855 Franklin, Roekt'ord, Victor, Woodland and Chatham 
received their tirst settlers, and Hufi'alo and Silver Creek received 
their first permanent settlers. 

Maple Lake. Middleville, Stockholm, Albion, Marysville, 
Cokato, French Lake and Coriiina were first settled in 185t). 

It was not until 1857 that Southside received its first pioneers. 

After the influx was started it continued at a rapid rate, and 
at the time of the Sioux Uprising the county was fairly well 
settled. 

There were 598 people in Wright county wlien the census was 
taken in 1855, 385 males and 213 females. In Hig Hend precinct 
there were forty-two males and 20 females ; in Monticello precinct 
there were 146 males and eighty-four females ; while in Pleasant 
Grove precinct there were 197 males and 10!) females. 

Big Bend Precinct. (Bounded on the east by the west line of 
J. 0. Haven's claim, on the south by the south line of the county, 
on the west by the Clearwater river, on the north by the Mis- 
sissippi river.) Census taken June 27 and 28, 1855, by II. W. 
McCrory. First is given the name of the head of the family, 
next the number of males in the family, next tlie number of 
females in the family, and lastly the total number of inmates in 
the family. 

J. F. Palmer, 1, 0, 1 ; G. H. Palmer, 1, 0, 1 ; S. Oake.s, 4, 2. 6 ; 
J. S. Lowell, 1, 1, 2; Joshua Lowell, 1, 0, 1; Selah Markham, 
4, 5, 9; David Perkins, 1, 0, 1; William Vorse, 2, 2, 4 ; E. Chowan, 
1, 0, 1; Elias Chowan, 1, 0, 1; J. Dow, 2, 2, 4; O. E. Dow, 1, 1, 2; 
A. Loftis, 1, 0, 1 ; William McDonald, 1, 0, 1 ; John McDonald, 
1, 0, 1; A. McDonald, 1, 0, 1 ; Philo McDonald, 1, 0, 1; Newell 
McDonald, 1, 0, 1; Harriet McDonald, 0, 1, 1; John Farwell, 
1, 0, 1 ; S. Stevens, 1.0, 1 ; Orrin Laughton, 3, 3, 6 ; Luther Laugh- 
ton, 1, 1, 2; J. Laughton, 1, 0, 1 ; Nathan Laughton, 1, 0, 1 ; 
A. Thrall 1, 1, 2; A. Hulett, 1, 0, 1 ; James Hebbard, 3, 1, 4; 
E. Hebbard, 1, 0, 1 ; J. S. Locke, 1, 0, 1 ; J. W. Sanborn, 1, 0, 1. 

Pleasant Grove Precinct. (Bounded on the east by Crow 
river, on the south by the north fork of Crow river, on the west 
by the west line of L. Dimick's claim, on the north by the Mis- 
sissippi river.) Census taken June 23, 25 and 27, 1855, by Hiram 
Nickerson. First is given thf» name of the head of the family, 
next the number of males in the family, next the number of 
females in the family and lastly the total number of inmates in 
the family. 

Caleb Chase, 3, 1. 4: J. Carrick, 3, 3, 6; A. Bartlett, 4, 1, 5; 
William Mann, 2, 2, 4 ; C. W. Kelley, 1, 0, 1 ; William H. Kelley, 
1, 0, 1; J. H. Hyds, 1, 3, 4; William Butler, 1, 0, 1 ; S. Bream, 
7, 4, 11 ; E. Mitchell, 8, 1, 9 ; William Wilmont, 1, 0, 1 ; A. Steng- 



94 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

bein 3, 3, 6 ; F. Shrute, 1, 0, 1 ; H. Edger, 1, 0, 1 ; William Dean, 

1, 0, 1 ; William Foster, 1, 0, 1 ; Thomas Dean, 1, 0, 1 ; John Zack- 
mau, 2, 2, 4; Phoelix Wry, 1, 0, 1 ; B. Ilaskner, 2, 2, 4; H. Voonea, 

2, 2, 4 ; H. Demler, 2, 1, 3 ; Anthony Schaitiler, 1, 0, 1 ; Zosekey 
Sohler, 1, 0, 1 ; F. Bailing, 2, 0, 2 ; Martin Schooler, 1. 0, 1 ; Zoskey 
Aydt, 1, 0, 1; P. Schnider, 2, 5, 7 ; Z. G. Phuisillin, 1, 1, 2; A. 
Mayier, 1, 0, 1 ; W. Zisular, 1, 0, 1; F. Sangansomine, 4, 0, 4; 
E. Canigon, 1, 0, 1 ; Matthias Corole, 1, 0, 1 ; J. Voolbrugkt, 1,0, 1 ; 
August Woolf, 1, 0, 1; Henry Woolf, 1, 0, 1; Christian Woolf, 
1, 0, 1 ; Henry Snopaus, 1, 0, 1 ; Ezra Tubbs, 1, 0, 1 ; Philip Boyden, 

1, 0, 1 ; Henry Bradley, 1, 2, 3 ; Henry Heap, 1, 1, 2 ; William P. 

Grey, 1, 0, 1; Calderwood, 1, 0, 1 ; Rice, 1, 0, 1; 

Chapman, 1, 0, 1 ; J. Nickerson, 1, 0, 1; Belinda Spencer, 

2, 2, 4; J. McDonald, 4, 1, 5; L. Cooley, 5, 2, 7 ; Alvah Cooley, 
2, 3, 5 ; Charles Lambert, 1, 0, 1 ; D. P. Chase, 3, 5, 8 ; L. T. Car- 
penter, 1, 0, 1 ; D. W. Carpenter, 1, 0, 1 ; William Barnard, 1, 0, 1 ; 
J. Pipin, 3, 3, 6; William Heasley, 1, 0, 1 ; John Ileasley, 1, 0, 1; 
David Corban, 2, 4, 6 ; Charles Lapland, 2, 2, 4 ; J. A. Mallette, 
1, 0, 1; David McPherson, 3, 1, 4; William Corey, 1, 2, 3; L. Car- 
rick, 5, 3, 8; L. Dimick, 1, 1, 2; William Mabie, 1, 3, 4 ; 0. S. 
True, 1, 0, 1 ; 0. Lascho, 1, 0, 1 ; D. F. Ingersoll, 5, 4, 9; J. Stamps, 
1, 0, 1 ; E. H. Davis, 1, 0, 1 ; W. H. Rockief, 1, 0, 1 ; C. B. Jordan, 

1, 0, 1 ; W. H. Jordan, 1, 0, 1 ; Barnes, 1, 0, 1 ; Ham, 

1, 0, 1; J. Beekord, 1, 0, 1; L. Tubbs, 1, 0, 1 ; P. J. Beckord, 
1, 0, 1. 

Monticello Precinct. (Boinided on the east by the west line 
of L. Dimick 's claim, on the south by the south line of the county, 
on the west by the west line of J. O. Haven's claim, on the north 
by the Mississippi river.) Census taken June 21, 22 and 27, 
18.55, by D. B. Sutton. First is given the name of the head of 
the family, next the number of males in the family, next the 
number of females in the family and lastly the total number of 
inmates in the family. 

Thomas Anderson, 1,1,2; Thomas Melrose, 1, 0, 1 ; Joseph 
Brooks, 3, 3, 6; J. B. Locke, 1, 1, 2; J. O. Haven. 1, 1, 2; W. W. 
Sears, 1, 0, 1 ; Allen Descent, 1, 0, 1 ; Lewis Randall, 1, 0, 1 ; Will- 
iam Creighton, 1, 0, 1 ; J. B. Rich. 1, 0, 1 ; P. J. Barker, 1, 0, 1 ; 
William Hamilton, 1, 0, 1 ; F. W. Lisber, 1, 0, 1 ; A. L. Chick, 1, 0, 
1 ; C. B. Whitcomb, 1, 0, 1 ; J. Whitcomb, 1, 0, 1 ; Frederick Emory, 
1, 0, 1 ; B. Emory, 1, 0, 1 ; II. W. McCrory, 1, 0, 1 ; Henry L. Gla- 
zier, 1, 1, 2; R. M. Johnson, 1, 0, 1 ; William G. McCrory, 4, 5, 9; 
George W. McCrory, 2, 1, 3; J. C. Beekman, 1, 0, 1 ; J. Philips, 
1, 0, 1 ; J. W. Walker, 1, 0, 1 ; H. Nickerson. 1, 0, 1 ; J. Snow, 1, 0, 
1 : A. Ball, 1, 0, 1 ; I. Snow, 1, 0, 1 : J. Smith 1, 2, 3; J. W. Baker, 
1, 0, 1 ; Harrison Perkins, 1, 4, 5; James Perkins, 3, 2, 5; Polly E. 
Perkins, 0, 1, 1 ; J. Clifford, Jr., 1, 0, 1 ; A. W. Wood, 1, 0, 1 ; George 
Brown, 1, 6, 7; Joseph Brown. 1, 1, 2; C. S. Boyd, 4, 3, 7; H. Per- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 95 

kins, 3, 2, 5; Ira Hoar, 3, 3, 6; 0. W. Slafter, ], 1, 2; S. Hatch, 1, 

0, 1 ; A. Stewart, 1,0, 1 ; A. Bryant, 1, 0, 1 ; W. Leonard, 1,0, 1 ; 
Charles Wedgewood, 1, 0, 1 ; L. F. Flanders, 1, 0, 1 ; A. Mitehell, 

1, 2, 3; H. Hanaforil, 1, 0, 1 ; JI. Voorliees, 1, 0, 1 : R. Mareh. 1, 0, 
1 ; R. Voorhees, 1, 0, 1 ; William Smart, 1, 0, 1 ; J. W. Ilanaford, 1, 

2, 3 ; A. H. Hanaford, 1, 3, 4 ; D. Hanaford, 1,1,2; William Wedge- 
wood, 1,1,2; Ira Bailey, 1, 0, 1 ; Row Brasie, 5, 1, 6 ; David Mitch- 
ell, 1, 2, 3: Alexander Mitchell. 5, 3, 8; Jordan, 1. 0, 1 ; Ira 

A. Wamsly, 1, 1, 2; George W. Bertram, 3, 3, 6; Andrew Bertram, 
2, 1, 3; Silas Caswell, 1, 2, 3; J. D. Taylor, 1, 0, 1 ; Daiuel Worth- 
ing, 1, 0, 1; C. Marshall, 1, 0, 1 ; W. II. Van Ness, 1.1,2; John 
Lamb, 1, 0, 1 ; II. Downer, 1, 0, 1 : W. II. Proctor, 1,1,2; Carlos 
Caswell, 3. 3. (i ; D. B. Sutton, 1, 1, 2 ; W. II. Mann, 1, 0, 1 ; Wymau 
Elliott, 1, 0, 1 ; James Elliott, 1, 0, 1 ; F. M. Cadwell, 1, 0, 1 ; Lewis 
Cadwell, 1, 0, 1 ; J. W. Waterman, 1. 0, 1 ; C. Davis, 3. 2, 5; C. C. 
Savory. 1, 0, 1 ; Nathaniel Holmes, 1, 0, 1; E. Heath, 1. 0, 1; J. 
Galery, 1. 0, 1 ; J. A. Tibbetts, 1, 0, 1 ; J. W. Tibbetts, 1, 3, 4; B. F. 
Tibbetts, 1, 0, 1; J. W. Thompson, 4, 3, 7; A. C. Riggs, 1, 0, 1 ; 
Levi Choate, 1, 0, 1 ; S. J. Mason, 1, 0, 1 ; James Chambers, 1, 0, 1 ; 
J. W. Locke. 1, 1, 2 ; J. C. Oakes, 1,1,2; J. Given, 1, 0, 1 ; Charles 
Marples, 1. 0, 1 ; Thomas Shaply, 1, 0, 1 ; W. W. Burritt, 1, 0, 1 ; C. 
Blanchard, 2, 1, 3 ; William Murch, 1, 0, 1 ; Samuel Wilder, 1, 0, 1 ; 
^l. Slielliaveau, 3, 3, 6 ; J. M. Snow, 1, 0, 1 ; Hiram Crawford, 1, 1, 
2 ; Benjamin Bursley, 3, 3, 6. 

The meagre extent to whieli the county had been improved in 
1855 is shoM'u by the original assessment roll which is still pre- 
served. There was no real estate assessment, as the title to the 
land was still vested in the government. Land improvements 
but not the land, were taxed. Taxes were also levied on build- 
ings, stock, and goods held for sale. In the list published below 
there will be found under each name and following the eiuimera- 
tion, the total assessment, the amount of the tax to be paid for 
county purposes and the amount of tax to be paid for school 
purposes : 

F. Riley, 2 acres of breaking $12.00, 1 neat cattle $25.00, 1 
dwelling house $10.00; total value $47.00, county tax $0.80. school 
tax $0.12. II. Dimler, 11,2 acres of breaking $9.00, 1 neat cattle 
$25.00, 1 dwelling house $10.00; $44.00, $0.75, $0.11. J. Bingin- 
ginghimer, 6 neat cattle $337.00, 1 dwelling house $25.00; $362.00, 
$6.15, $1.91. E. Board, 6 neat cattle $280.00 ; $280.00, $4.76, $0.70. 
P. Snyder. 8 neat cattle $330.00; $330.00, $5.61, $0.83. A. Myer, 
2 neat cattle $125.00, 1 dwelling hou.se $25.00; $150.00, $2.55, 
$0.38. F. Ide, 4 neat cattle $250.00; $250.00, $4.25, $0.63. II. 
Bradley, 1 acre breaking $6.00, 1 dwelling house $40.00 ; $46.00, 
$0.78, $0.12. P. Boyden, 2 acres breaking $12.00; $12.00. .$0.20, 
.$0.03. L. S. Carpenter, 3 acres breaking $18.00; $18.00, $0.31, 
$0.05. C. Kelley, 1 dwelling house $100.00; $100.00, $1.70, $0.25. 



96 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

S. Kelley or Uncle, 1 dwelling house $100.00 ; $100.00, $1.70, $0.25. 
Charles B. Jordan, 9 acres breaking $54.00, goods on hand, $200.00, 
1 dwelling house $10.00; $264.00, $4.49, $0.66. John McDonald, 
Sr., 54 acres breaking $324.00, 16 neat cattle $425.00, 3 horses 
$300.00, 8 hogs $50.00, 1 dwelling house, barn and shop, $340.00 ; 
$1,439.00, $24.46, $3.59. A. L. Cooley, 20 acres breaking $120.00, 

1 neat cattle $62.50, 2 swine $12.00, 1 dwelling house $100.00; 
$294.50, $5,00, $0.73. D. P. Chase, 10 acres breaking $60,00, 3 neat 
cattle $150.00, 1 swine $5.00, 1 dwelling house $40.00; $255.00, 
$4.34, $0.64. David McPherson, 21 acres breaking $126.00, 6 neat 
cattle $225.00, 5 swine $40.00, 1 dwelling house $100.00; $491.00, 
$8.35, $1.23. Caleb Chase, 14 acres breaking $84.00, 1 neat cattle 
$25.00, 1 hog $7.00, 1 dwelling house $150.00 ; $266.00, $4.52, $0.66. 
Samuel Carriek, 14 acres breaking $84.00; $84.00, $1.43, $0.21. 
John Mallet, 20 acres breaking $120.00, 1 dwelling house $10.00 ; 
$130.00, .$2.21, $0.33. William Carsley, 12 acres breaking $72.00, 

2 cattle .$125.00, 1 dwelling house $10.00; .$207, $3.52, ,$0.52. 

The first marriage officially recorded with the clerk of court 
of Wright county was that of Herbert W. McCrory, of Monti- 
cello, and Harriet McDonald, of Clearwater. The ceremony was 
performed at Clearwater May 1, 1856, by Samuel Wilder, a jus- 
tice of the peace, and the witnesses were William McDonald and 
Frederick M. Cadwell. The record was entered May 2, 1856, by 
F. W. Merrill, clerk of court. 

Chaimcey Wilson, of Meeker county, Minnesota territory, and 
Eunice Caswell, of Wright county, married September 8, 1856, 
by Rev. Richard Walker, in the presence of William Randall and 
William M. Preston. 

Charles W. Lambert and Matilda Cooley, married at the home 
of Luman Cooley, in Pleasant Grove precinct, November 26, 1856, 
by O. H. Kelley, a justice of the peace. 

John W. Dow, of St. Cloud, and W. Elmira Oakes, of Big 
Bend precinct, this county, were married December 14, 1856, in 
the presence of John and Jane Oakes, by the Rev. E. H. Whitney. 

Abraham Descent and Maranda Chandler, botli of Monticello, 
married April 26, 1856, by Rev. Samuel T. Creightou. 

William Stinson and Nancy Harper, married at Monticello, 
August 19, 1856, by Samuel Wilder, justice of the peace. 

Lewis McDonald and Caramina E. Spencer, married Decem- 
ber 17, 1856, by 0. H. Kelley, justice of the peace. 

Asaliel E. Ilulett and Lucy Jane Thrall, both of Silver Creek, 
married January 1, 1857, by E. H. Whitney. 

Joshua Welch and Jemima Record, married at Norwood, 
March 9, 1857, by 0. H. Kelley, a justice of the peace. 

Charles W. Clarey and Margaret A. Seely, married at Mon- 
ticello, April 2, 1857, by Rev. Marcus Hicks, a Presbyterian 
clergyman. 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 97 

James M. Gilbert and Virginia M. , married at Mon- 

ticello, April 14, 1857. 

Ralph Voorhees and Frances Russell, married October 5, 1857, 
by the Rev. Marcus Hicks, in the presence of A. C. Russell and 
J. C. Howe. 

Frederick M. Cadwell, of Clearwater, and Elizabeth McCrory, 
of Monticello. The ceremony was performed at tlie home of 
William G. McCrory, in the town of Monticello, by Tobias G. 
Mealey, a justice of the peace, February 11, 1857. 

Frederick Barker and Kate A. Lewis, married in tlie fall of 
1857, by Rev. Marcus Hicks, in the presence of H. C. Coolbaugh 
and Elizabeth Coolbaugh. 

Augustus Merritt and Mary Iloar, married Noveml)er 19, 
1857, by Rev. Noah Lathrop. 

Edwin Jenks and Nancy Beebe, both of Rockford, married 
November 24, 1857, by Cyrus C. Jenks, a justice of the peace. 

Henry F. Walker, of Forest City, and Betsey A. Bryant, of 
Wright county, married January 1, 1858, by Rev. Noah Lathrop. 

Frederick R. Hettie and Wilhalene Ena (Wilhelmina) Shultz, 
married February 10, 1858, at the home of Gottlieb Ahl, Monti- 
cello. 

Moses Martin and Olive Cross, married at Monticello, Novem- 
ber 9, 1858, by Rev. Samuel T. Sterritt, a Methodist Episcopal 
clergyman, in tbe presence of Joseph Eaton and Matilda Cross. 



CHAPTER VII. 
COUNTY REPRESENTATION. 

Minnesota Becomes a Territory — Territorial Legislature — Seventh 
Council District — Fifth Council District — Constitutional Con- 
vention — State Representation — Various Districts that Have 
Included Wright County — Men Who Have Represented this 
County at St. Paul — Reapportionments — Congressional Rep- 
resentation. 

After Wisconsin had been admitted as a state of the LTnion, 
May 29, 1848, steps were taken to have that part of the former 
territory which was left outside the state boundaries organized 
into a new territory to be called Minnesota. This, however, was 
not the initial movement in that direction. The Wisconsin en- 
abling act was passed by congress August 6, 1846. On December 
23 following a bill was introduced in the lower house bj' Morgan 
L. ]\Iartin, the delegate from that territory, providing for the or- 
ganization of the territory of Minnesota. This bill was referred 
to the committee on territories, of which Stephen A. Douglas, of 
Illinois, was the chairman, who, January 20, 1847, reported in 



98 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

favor of the passage of the bill, but with the name changed to 
Itasca. When the matter came up again, February 17, there was 
much discussion as to the name. Mr. Wiuthrop, of Massachu- 
setts, proposed Chippewa; J. Thompson, of Mississippi, who didn't 
care for Indian names, wanted Jackson ; while Mr. Houston, of 
Delaware, spoke strongly in favor of giving recognition to the 
Father of his Country by calling it "Washington. The matter 
ended with the retention of the name originally proposed, Minne- 
sota, this being the name of the largest tributary of the Missis- 
sippi river within the borders of the new territory. It is a com- 
posite Sioux Indian word, and while there is some difference of 
opinion as to the exact meaning, that most generally accepted is 
"sky-tinted-water," which is a very satisfying and poetical, even 
if not accurate, interpretation. The real meaning is cloudy water. 

At the so-called "Stillwater convention," held at Stillwater 
August 26, 1848, at which sixty-one delegates were present, memo- 
rials were prepared addressed to the President of the United 
States and to congress praying for the organization of a new ter- 
ritory. It had been assumed that the territorial government of 
Wisconsin still existed over that part of the original territory 
excluded from the state boundaries, and for this view there was 
the authority of a letter from James Buchanan, then secretary 
of state of the United States. John Catlin, tlie territorial secretary 
of Wisconsin, who had removed to Stillwater, issued a proclama- 
tion in his official capacity as acting governor of Wisconsin (Gov- 
ernor Henry Dodge having been elected United States Senator) 
calling an election to be held October 30, to select a delegate to 
congress. John H. Tweedy, the territorial delegate from Wiscon- 
sin, who was in sympathy with the movement, resigned and Henry 
H. Sibley was elected his successor. Mr. Sibley proceeded to 
Washington and presented his credentials, but it was not until 
the fifteenth of the following January that he was admitted to a 
seat, there having been much discu-ssion as to whether excluded 
territory was entitled to continued political existence and repre- 
sentation. 

Mr. Sibley devoted himself assiduously to securing the passage 
in the United States senate of the bill for the creation of the ter- 
ritory of Minnesota which had been introduced at the previous 
session and met with gratifying success. His efforts in the house 
of representatives were less satisfactory, political questions enter- 
ing largely into the matter, and it was not until March 3, 1849, 
the very last day of the session — and then only with the aid of 
Senator Stephen A. Douglas, who having been in the meantime 
elected to the United States senate from Illinois, was chairman 
of the committee on territories in that body as he had previously 
been in the house — that he succeeded in securing the passage of 
the bill. This was finally done under suspension of the rales, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COl'NTY 99 

the ])rt'vious ojiposition liavinir biTii iiurx|H'ct<'<ll y \vi1liilr;i\vii. 
This beina; before the days of i-ailroails and telegraplis in Ilic 
"West, the pood news diil not reaeli St. I'aul until tliii'ty-seven 
days afterwards, when it was brouyrlit by the tii'st steamer eoining 
from the lower river. 

At the time of the orjianization of Minnesota as a territory 
the country was deseribed as beinj;' "littU- more than a wihler- 
uess." That wliieh lay west of the Jlississippi i-iver, from the 
Iowa line to Lake Itasea, had not yet been eeded b}' the Indians 
and was unoeenpied by the whites save in a very few instances. 
On the east side, in this more immediate vicinity, were trading 
posts with the eabins of a few employes at Sauk Rapids and Crow 
Wing. Away up at Pembina was the largest town or settlement 
within the boundaries of the new territory, where were nearly a 
thousaiul people, a large ma.iority of whom wei-e "Metis" or 
mixed bloods, French Crees or French Cliippewas. 

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

Alexander Ramsey, of Pennsylvania, then only thirty-four 
years of age, was appointed by President Taylor the first gover- 
nor of the new territory of Minnesota. His previous public ex- 
perience had been as a member of the Twenty-eighth and Twenty- 
ninth congresses, in which he had displayed the sterling qualities 
and the marked ability which characterized his long after-career. 
From the time of his coming to Minnesota until the close of his 
life he remained one of its most loyal and honored citizens, filling 
many important positions both in the state and the nation. He 
arrived in St. Paul, May 27, 1849, and the hotels being full to over- 
flowing proceeded with his family to Mendota, a fur trading sta- 
tion at the junction of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, where 
he became the guest of Henry II. Sibley, remaining there luitil 
June 26. 

On the first of June he issued a proclamation, said to have 
been prepared in a small room in Bass's log tavern which stood 
on the site now occupied by the Merchant's Hotel, making official 
announcement of the organization of the territory, with the fol- 
lowing officers: Governor, Alexander Ramsey, of Pennsylvania; 
secretary, C. K. Smith, of Ohio; chief justice, Aaron Goodrich, 
of Tennessee; associate justices, David Cooper, of Pennsylvania, 



100 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

and Bradley B. Meeker, of Kentucky; United States marshal, 
Joshua L. Taylor; United States attorney, H. L. Moss. Mr. Tay- 
lor, having declined to accept the office of marshal, A. M. Mitchell, 
of Ohio, a graduate of West Point and colonel of an Ohio regi- 
ment in the Mexican war, was appointed to the position and ar- 
rived in St. Paul in August. 

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

The census of the territory taken in 1849 by an order of Gov- 
ernor Ramsey issued June 11, although including the soldiers at 
the fort and pretty much every living soul in the territory except 
Indians, footed up the disappointing toal of 4,764 — of which num- 
ber 3,058 were males and 1,706 were females. Additional and re- 
vised returns made the population exactly 5,000 — males, 3,253 ; 
females, 1,747. 

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

The council districts were described in Ramsey's proclamation 
as follows: "No. 1. The St. Croix preciuct of St. Croix county, 
and the settlements on the west bank of the Mississippi south of 
Crow village to the Iowa line. 2. The Stillwater precinct of the 
county of St. Croix. 3. The St. Paul precinct (except Little 
Canada settlement). 4. Marine Mills, Falls of St. Croix, Rush 
Lake, Rice River and Snake River precincts, of St. Croix county 
and La Pointe county. 5. The Falls of St. Anthony precinct and 
the Little Canada settlement. 6. The Sauk Rapids and Crow 
Wing precincts, of St. Croix county, and all settlements west of 
the Mississippi and north of the Osakis river, and a line thence 
west to the British line. 7. The country and settlements west of 
the Mississippi, not included in districts 1 and 6. The territory 
now embraced in Wright county was included in the seventh dis- 
trict. The district included, generally speaking, all of the terri- 
tory south of the Sauk river and west of the Mississippi river, but 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 101 

iioue of the settlements on the west hank of the Mississippi except 
such as might be found uortli of the settlements near St. Anthony 
Falls and south of the mouth of Sauk rivei'. 

184!).— The first territorial legislature— called the territorial 
assembly — met Jlonday, September ;!, in the Cential House, St. 
Paul, a larjje log buildiufj: weatherboai-ded, wliieh served both as 
a state house and a hotel. It stood on i)r<ietically the present site 
of the Mannheimer block. On the first tlocn- of tiie main building 
■was the seci'etary's office and the dining room was oci-upied as 
the Representatives' chambei'. As the iiour for dinner oi' supper 
approached the House had to adjourn to give the servants an op- 
portunity to nuike the necessary preparations for serving the 
meal. In the ladies' parlor on the second Hoor the Council con- 
vened for their deliberations. The legislature halls were not to 
exceed eighteen feet srpiare. Governor Ramsey, during his entire 
term of office, had his executive office in his j)rivate residence, and 
the supreme court shifted from i)lace to place as rooms could be 
rented for its use. Although congress had appropriated $20,000 
for the erection of a capitol, the mom'y could not be used as "a 
permanent seat of government" for the teri-itory had not yet been 
selected, so the machinery of goveriunent iuul to be carted around 
in the most undignified nmnner. The seventh district was repre- 
sented in the council by Martin McLeod, of Lae qui Parle ; and in 
the house by Alexis Baill.v, of Mendota, and Gideon H. Pond, of 
Oak Grove. 

1851. — The second territorial legislature met January 1 and 
adjourned JIarch 31. Martin McLeod again represented the 
seventh district in the council ; while in the house were Alex- 
ander Faribault, of Mendota, and B. H. Randall, of Fort Snelling. 

The territory, having been divided into counties, it was ap- 
portioned by the second territorial legislature (1851) into seven 
districts. The north fork of the Crow river divided the present 
Wright county. The area south of that fork, as a part of Dakota 
county, was in the sixth district, while the area north as a part of 
Cass count.v was included in the fifth district which consisted of 
Benton and Cass counties. 

1852. — The third territorial legislature assembled January 7 
and adjourned March 6. The fifth district was represented in 
the council by S. B. Lowry, of Watab; in the house by James 
Beatty, of Itasca, and David Day, of Long Prairie. The sixth 
district was represented in the council by Martin McLeod, of 
Oak Grove ; and in the house by James McBoal, of Mendota, and 
B. H. Randall, of Ft. Snelling. 

1853. — The fourth territorial legislature assembled January 5 
and adjourned March 5. The fifth district was represented in the 
council as in 1852 by S. B. Lowry. David Day was in the house 
again. The new member from the district was J. McKee. The 



102 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

sixth district was again represented in tlie council by Martin 
McCloud. B. H. Randall was again in the house and the new 
member from the sixth district was A. E. Ames. This legislature 
changed the boundary lines of certain counties and created cer- 
tain new counties. The part of what is now Wright county lying 
north of the north fork of the Crow river still remained in Cass 
county. The part lying south of it was included in Sibley county. 
Possibly a small portion in the southwestern part of the present 
county was included in Nocollet county. In spite of these 
changes in county lines, the boundaries of the legislative districts 
remained the same. 

Franklin Pierce having been elected president of the United 
States in the previous November, promptlj' proceeded after his 
inauguration, in accordance with the good old Jacksonian doc- 
trine, to remove the Whig officeholders and distribute the spoils 
among the victors. The new territorial appointees were : Gov- 
ernor, Willis A. Gorman, of Indiana ; Secretary, J. T. Rosser, 
of Virginia ; Chief Justice, W. H. Welch, of Minnesota ; Asso- 
ciates, Moses Sherburne, of Maine ; and A. G. Chatfield, of Wis- 
consin. Soon after entering on the duties of his office, Governor 
Gornmn concluded a treaty at Watab with the Winnebago Indians 
for an exchange of territory. At the election in October Henry 
M. Rice was elected delegate to Congress. 

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

1855. — The sixth territorial legislature assembled January 3 
and adjourned March 3. S. B. Olmsted again represented the 
fifth disti'iet in the council, while James Beatty and Fred Andros 
represente(l that district in tli(> house. Joseph R. Brown again 
rejiresentt'd the sixth district in the council, and Henry H. Sibley 
and I). M. Hanson represented the district in the house. It was 
this legislature that created Wright cotuity. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 103 

By the .ipportioniiu'iit of IS'io, Wrig;ht county was iiu'luilod in 
the tiftli district. The other eounties in the distriet were Henton, 
Cass, Todd and Stearns. 

1856. — The seventh territorial h'j;ishiture assembled January 
2 and adjourned ^lareh 1. Tlie tilth distriet was represented in 
the couueil by Lewis Stone, of Rojalton, Benton county. In the 
house from this district the representatives were : John L. Wilson, 
of St. Cloud, Stearns county; anil William Stui'gis, of Little Falls, 
Bentou county. 

1857. — The eighth and last territorial legislatin-e asseiidded 
January 7 and adjourned ^larch 7. The extra session lasted from 
April 27 to JMay 20. The fifth district was represented in the 
council by Lewis Stone, as on the previous year. Samuel B. 
Abbe, W. W. Kingsbury and John L. Wilson represented the 
district in the house. At this session was the memorable struggle 
over the removal of the capitol from St. Paul to St. Peter, when 
"Jo" Rolette, the member who had charge of the removal bill, 
mysteriously disappeared with that document in his possession 
and remained in seclusion until the liour for adjournment arrived, 
to the great joy and relief of St. Paul, which thereby retained 
tlie eapitol. 

COiTSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION. 

ilarch o. 1857, congress passed an act authorizing the people 
of iliunesota to form a state constitution. Each council district 
was to be represented in this convention by two representatives 
for each councilman and representative to which it was entitled. 
The ninth district, which consisted of Winona, Olmsted, and 
Wabasha counties, was entitled to eight delegates, but for some 
reason ten members from this district were seated. The constitu- 
tional convention, consisting of 108 members, was authorized to 
meet at the capital on the second ]\londay in July, to fi'ame a 
state constitution and submit it to the people of the territory. 
The election was held on the first IMonday in June, 1857. July 13 
the delegates met. but, a disagreement arising in the organiza- 
tion, the Republican members organizetl one body and the Demo- 
crats another, tifty-nine ilelegates being given seats in the former 
and fifty-three in the latter, making 112 in all. Eacii of these 
bodies, claiming to be the legally constituted convention, pro- 
ceeded with the work of formulating an instrument to be sub- 
mitted to the people. After some days an understanding was 
eti'ected between them, and by means of a committee of confer- 
ence, the same constitution was frametl and adopteil by both 
bodies. On being submitted to tiie i)eople. October VA. 1857, it 
was ratified. 

The fifth district was rei)resented on the Democi'atic wing 
bv David Oilman, of Watab : Henrv ('. Waite, of St. Cloud; 



104 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

William Sturgis, of Little Falls; William W. Kingsbury; R. H. 
Barrett, J. C. Shepley and J. W. Tenvoorde. Frederick Ayer, a 
pioneer missionary, sat on the Republican wing as a representa- 
tive from this district. 

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

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

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

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



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 105 

porary organization, although in tlie uproai' ami confusion it was 
difficult to know what was done. 

■'The Democratic wing adjourned at once to tlie senate cham- 
ber and there effected a permanent oi'ganization. Tlie Republic- 
ans, being left in inidisturbed possession of the hall, perfected 
their organization, and the two factions set themselves diligently 
to work to frame a constitution, each claiming to be the legally 
constituted convention, and expecting recognition as such by the 
people of the state and congress. The debates in each were acri- 
monious. A few of the more moderate delegates in each recog- 
nized the absurdity and illegality of their position and questioned 
the propriety of remaining and participating in proceedings 
which they could not sanction. 

"The conventions continued their sessions inharmoniously 
enough. Each frameil a constitution, at the completion of which 
a joint committee was appointed to revise and harmonize the two 
constitutions, but the members of the committees were as bellig- 
erent as the conventions they represented. Members grew angry, 
abusing each other with words and even blows, blood being 
drawn in an argument with bludgeons between two of the dele- 
gates. An agreement seemed impossible, when some one whose 
name has not found its way into history made the happy sugges- 
tion that alternate articles of each constitution be adopted. 
When this was done, and the joint production of the two conven- 
tions was in presentable shape, another and almost fatal difficulty 
arose, as to which wing should be accorded the honor of signing 
officially this remarkable document. One body or the other must 
acknowledge the paternity of the hybrid. Ingenuity amounting 
to genius (it is a pity that the possessor should be unknown) 
found a new expedient, namely, to write out two constitutions 
in full, exact duplicates except as to signatures, the one to be 
signed by Democratic officers and members and the other by 
Republicans. These two constitutions were filed in the archives 
of the state and one of them, which one will probably never be 
known, was adopted by the people October 13, 1857." 

Mr. Folsom is slightly in error. The enabling act did not 
specify any hour for the meeting of the convention, nor did it 
designate any definite place in the capitol where the sessions 
should be held, both of which omissions contributed to the eon- 
fusion in organization. W. W. Folwell, in his "History of Min- 
nesota, ' ' narrates the preliminaries as follows : "To make sure 
of being on hand, the Republican delegates repaired to the capitol 
late on the Sunday night preceding the first Monday in June and 
remained there, as one of them phrased it, 'to watch and pray 
for the Democratic brethren.' These did not appear till a few 
moments before twelve o'clock of the appointed day. Imme- 
diately upon their entrance in a body into the representatives' 



106 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Jiall Charles R. Chase, secretary of the territory and a delegate, 
proceeded to the speaker's desk and called to order. A motion 
to adjourn was made by Colonel Gorman, and the question was 
taken by Chase, who declared it carried. The Democrats left 
the hall to the Republicans, who proceeded to organize the con- 
vention. Fifty-six delegates presented credentials in proper form 
and took their oaths to support the constitution of the United 
States. At noon of Tuesday the Democratic delegates assembled 
about the door of the hall, and finding it occupied by citizens 
who refused to give them place, met in the adjacent council 
chamber and proceeded to organize the convention. Heni-y H. 
Sibley was made chairman, on motion of Joseph R. Brown, and 
later became president of the body." 

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

STATE REPRESENTATION. 

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

As a means of relieving the state from the awkward predica- 
ment in which it was placed the legislature adopted March 1 
an amendment to the constitution authorizing the newly-elected 
officers to qualify May 1, whether the state was admitted by that 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 107 

date or not, this aiueiulnu'iit to be siiljiiiittcd to the voters at 
an eleetion ealled for April 15. A seeoiul aiueiidiuent, submitted 
at tlie same time, provided for tlie famous .'i!5,000,000 railroad 
bond loan, whieh was the cause of jjreat loss and f^reat bitterness 
to the peojile. Both amendments were overwhelmingly adopted, 
but in Novendier, 1S60, the bond amendment was expunged from 
the constitution, after $2.1i7r),U()0 bonds had been issueil. The 
legislature, ilareh 125, took a recess initil .lune '2. 

In the meantime the steps looking toward the recognition of 
Minnesota's statehood by Congress had lagged sadly. For some 
unknown reason President Buchanan had delayed until tlie nuddle 
of .laiuiary, 1858, transmitting to the United States Senate the 
constitution adopted by the people. A bill for the admission of 
Minnesota as a state was introducetl by Stephen A. Douglas, 
chairman of the committee on teiritoiies. When this bill came 
up February 1 there was a prolonged di^^■ussion, a number of 
the senators being in opposition because it would add another 
to the number of free states, thus disturbing the "balance of 
power'' between the free and slave states. Among those par- 
ticipating in the debate were Senators Douglas, Wilson, Gwin, 
Hale, Mason, Green, Brown and Ci'ittendeii. the latter being much 
more moderate in his expressions than most of his fellow senators 
from the South. The debate continued initil April 8, when the Eng- 
lish bill, which pi'ovided for the admission of Kansas as a supposed 
slave state having passed, the opposition ceased, and Minnesota's 
bill was adopted by a vote of 49 to 3. The bill then went to the 
House, where it met the same kind of objections as had been 
raised in the Senate, the English bill standing in the way until 
May 4, when it was passed. One week later. May 11, the bill 
admitting Minnesota passed the House by a vote of 157 to 38, 
the following day receiving the approval of the President, and 
May 12, 1858, Minnesota obtained full recognition as a state in 
the Union. Informal news of the action of Congress reached St. 
Paul, by telegraphic information brought from La Crosse, Wis- 
consin, May 13, but the official notice was not received until 
some days later, and May 24 the state officers elected in October, 
1857, took their oaths of office. 

By the apportionment of 1857 set forth in the state constitu- 
tion adopted October 13, 1857, Wright and Carver counties were 
constituted the nineteenth district, with one senator and three 
representatives. 

1857-58. — The first state legislature, as already noted, assem- 
bled December 2, 1857. On March 25, 1858, it took a recess until 
June 2, and finally adjourned August 12. The state was admitted 
May 11, 1858. It will, therefore, be seen that, although this 
legislature is called the first state legislature, nevertheless it 
assembled in territorial times. The nineteenth district was rep- 



108 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

resented iu the senate by Samuel E. Adams. Ernst Heyd and 
Ebenezer Bray (of Carver county) sat in the house. The district 
was entitled to three representatives, but apparently only two 
took their seats. Mr. Bray, one of the representatives from this 
district, revealed himself as one of the two members who had 
sensitive consciences. During the adjournment from March 25 
to June 2 there were sixty-eight days. The members did not 
dare to vote themselves pay for this period of idleness, so it was 
voted that each member could draw $75 from the state treasury 
"for stationery." Ebenezer Bray, from this district, and Robert 
C. Masters, from Dakota county, refused to be a party to this 
raid on the treasury and never drew the $75. All the rest received 
the money. 

1858-59. — No session was held in the winter of 1858-59. mainly 
owing to the protracted session of 1857-58, which was believed to 
render unnecessary another one following so soon, the legislature 
of that year having so provided by enactment. 

1859-60. — The second state legislature assembled December 7, 
1859, and adjourned March 12, 1860. The nineteenth district was 
represented in the senate by Samuel E. Adams, and in the house 
by John S. Letford, F. A. Renz and Jackson Taylor. 

By the apportionment of 1860, Wright county was placed in 
the sixth district, which was to have one senator and three repre- 
sentatives. The other counties in the district were Carver, 
Meeker, McCloud, Kandiyohi and Monongalia. 

1861. — The third state legislature assembled January 8 and' 
adjourned March 8. The sixth district was represented in the 
senate by Samuel Bennett and in the liouse by I. P. Kennedy. 
T. D. Smith and William R. Baxter. 

1862. — The fourth state legislature assembled January 7 and 
adjourned March 4. The sixth district was represented in the 
senate by Charles A. Warner and in tlie liouse by W. G. Butler, 
C. F. Davis and B. G. Lee. 

On account of the Indian outbreak in 1862, an extra session 
was called by the governor. It assembled September 9 and 
adjourned September 29. 

1863. — The fifth state legislature assembled January 6 and 
adjourned March 6. The sixth district was represented in the 
senate by Charles A. Warner and in the house by W. G. Butler, 
C. F. Davis and B. G. Lee. 

1864. — The sixth state legislature assembled January 5, and 
adjourned March 5. The sixth district was represented in the 
senate by Charles A. Warner and in the house by W. G. Butler, 
John S. Letford and Henry Hill. 

1865. — The seventh state legislature assembled January 3 and 
adjourned March 3. The sixth district was represented in the 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 109 

senate by G. D. George ami in tlie house by Frank A. Reuz, Henry 
Hill and C. F. Davis. 

1S66. — The eighth state legislature assembled January 2 and 
adjourned ^lareh 2. The sixtli district was represented in the 
senate by G. 1). George and in the house by Dana E. King, L. 
Harrington and C'hauneey W. Griggs. 

By the apportionnu'ut of 1886, Carver county was taken from 
the sixth distriet. Wright, Sleeker, MeCloud, Kandiyohi and 
Monongalia were left in the distriet. It was to be represented by 
one senator anil two representatives. 

1867. — The ninth state legislature assenibleil January 8 and 
adjourned March 8. The sixth district was represented in the 
senate by H. L. Gordon and in the house by Dana E. King and 
P. W. Savage. 

1S6S. — The tenth state legislature assembled January 7 and 
adjourned March 6. The sixth district was represented in the 
senate by H. L. Gordon and in the house by Lewis Harrington 
and J. B. Salisbury. 

1869. — The eleventh state legislature assembled January 5 
and adjourned March 5. The sixth district was represented in 
the senate by Dana E. King and in the house by W. W. Patterson 
and D. Pile. 

1870. — The twelfth state legislature assembled January 4 and 
adjourned March 4. The sixth ilistrict was represent(>d in the 
senate by Dana E. King and in the house by B. Abbott and 
A. H. Reed. 

1871. — The thirteenth state legislature assembled January 8 
and adjourned March 3. The sixth district was represented in 
the senate by W. T. Bonniwell and in the house by W. H. Green- 
leaf and Andrew Railson. 

By the apportionment of 1871 Wright county for the first 
time constituted a separate district. It was designated the thirty- 
second and was to have one senator and two representatives. 

1872. — The fourteenth state legislature assembled January 2 
and adjourned March 2. The thirty-second district was repre- 
sented in the senate by G. A. Ruekholdt and in the house by 
F. X. Lafond and C. B. Jackson. 

1873. — The fifteenth state legislature assembled January 7 
and adjourned March 7. The thirty-second distriet was repre- 
sented in the senate by G. A. Ruekholdt and in the house by 
J. E. Jenks and T. G. Mealey. 

1874. — The sixteenth state legislature assembled January 6 
and adjourned March 6. The thirty-second district was repre- 
sented in the senate by T. G. Mealey and in the house by Nathan 
Warner and Valentine Eppel. 

1875. — The seventeenth state legislature assembled January 5 
and adjourned March 5. The thirty-second district was repre- 



110 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

seDted in the senate by T. G. Mealey and in the house by Nathan 
Warner and Valentine Eppel. 

1876.^ — The eighteenth state legislature assembled January 4 
and adjourned March 3. The thirty-second district was repre- 
sented in the senate by J. N. Stacy and in the house by Nathan 
Warner and John Oakes. 

1877. — The nineteenth state legislature assembled January 2 
and adjourned March 2. The thirty-second district was repre- 
sented in the senate by J. N. Stacy and in the house by A. Peter- 
son and Elijah J. Cutts. 

1878. — The twentieth state legislature assembled January 8 
and adjourned March 8. The thirty-second district was repre- 
sented in the senate by T. G. Mealey and in the house by Nathan 
Warner and L. H. Rawson. 

1879. — The twenty-first state legislature assembled January 7 
and adjourned March 7. The thirty-second district was repre- 
sented in the senate by T. G. Mealey and in the house by J. N. 
Stacy and Henry Moores. 

1881. — The twenty-second state legislature assembled January 
4 and adjourned March 4. The thirty-second district was repre- 
sented in the senate by T. G. Mealey and in the house by E. J. 
Cutts and T. C. Porter. 

An extra session was called for the purpose of considering 
the legislation at the regular session relating to the state railroad 
bonds, which were declared unconstitutional by the supreme 
court. The session commenced October 11 and closed Novem- 
ber 13. 

By the apportionment of 1881, Wright and Sherburne counties 
were united as the thirty-third district. The district was to have 
one senator and three representatives. Beginning with 1881, 
the sessions of the legislatiu'e have been biennial. However, 
annual elections continued to be held until 1886. 

1883. — The twenty-third state legislature assembled January 
2 and adjourned March 2. The thirty-third district was repre- 
sented in the senate by W. II. lioidton and in the house by J. 
Smith, T. C. Porter and II. Holmstrom. 

1885. — The twenty-fourth state legislature assembled Janu- 
ary 6 and adjourned March 6. The thirty-third district was rep- 
resented in the senate by W. H. Houlton and in the house by 
T. C. Porter, II. Holmstrom and J. Smith. 

1887. — The twenty-fifth state legislature assembled January 
4, and adjourned March 4. The thirty-third district was repre- 
sented in the senate by A. Y. Eaton, and in the house by H. Kreis, 
F. E. Latham and E. F. Ilurd. 

1889. — The twenty-sixth state legislature assembled January 
8, and adjourned April 23. The thirty-third district was repre- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 111 

sentt'tl in tlu' si-iiate l>y A. ^'. I'^atdii ainl in tiir iioiisc 1)\- Henry 
Kreis, John X. Haven and H. Hohiistroin. 

By the a]iportionineut of 1889, Wripht and a part of Sher- 
burne county were eonstituted the Ihirly-eighth disti'iet with one 
senator and four i-ejiresentatives. 

1891. — The twenty-seventh state U'gislatiire assenil)h>d Janu- 
ary 6, and atljourned April 20. The thirty-eisriith district was 
represented in the senate by A. Y. Katon and in the house \>y -loin: 
A. Holler, J. L. Harwich, Henry Berninf; antl H. C. Bulh 

1893. — The twenty-eighth state k'gislature assend)h'd Januai'y 
3, and adjourned April 18. Tlie thirty-eighth district was repre- 
sented in tlie senate by A. Y. Eaton and in tlie house l\v II. E. 
Craig, S. J. Swanson, Wm. U. McDonald and John A. Holler. 

1895. — The twenty-ninth state legislature assembled January 
8, and adjourned April 23. The thirty-eighth district was repre- 
sented in the senate by W. E. Culkin and in the house by H. E. 
Craig, A. N. Dare, S. J. Swanson and C. C. Rice. 

1897. — The thirtieth state legislature assembled January 5, and 
adjourned April 21. The thirty-eighth district was represented 
in the senate by Wm. E. Culkin and in the house by A. N. Dare, 
J. M. Belden, G. P. Boutwell and Ole Mattsou. 

By the apportionment of 1897, Wright county again became a 
separate district. It was designated the forty-sixth, with one 
senator and two representatives. 

1899. — The thirty-first state legislature assembled Jaiiuar.v 3, 
and adjourned April 18. The forty-sixth district was repi'csented 
in the senate by E. Y. Chilton anil in the lious(> by Frank Swanson 
and G. P. Boutwell. 

1901. — The thirty-second state legislature assembled January 
8, and adjourned April 12. The forty-sixth district was repre- 
sented in the senate by E. Y. Chilton and in the house by John T. 
Alley and Frank Swanson. 

An extra session was called for the purpose of considering 
the report of the tax commission created by the act of 1901. The 
extra session convened February 4, 1902, and adjourned March 
11, 1902. 

1903. — The thirty-third state legislature assembled January 6, 
and adjourned April 12. The forty-sixth district was represented 
in the senate by George C. Carpenter and in the house by E. M. 
Nagel and C. J. Carlson. 

190,5. — The thirty-fourth state legislature assembled January 
7, and adjourned April 18. The forty-sixth district was repre- 
sented in the senate by J. T. Alley, and in the house by A. Hana- 
ford and A. J. Wood. 

1907. — The thirty-fifth state legislature assembled January 8, 
and adjourned April 24. The forty-sixth district was represented 



112 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

in the senate by Geo. C. Carpenter and in the house by E. M. Nagel 
and A. J. Wood. 

1909. — The thirty-sixth state legislature assembled January 5, 
and adjourned April 22. The forty-sixth district was represented 
in the senate by Geo. C. Carpenter and in the house by E. M. Nagel 
and C. J. Carlson. 

1911. — The thirty-seventh state legislature assembled January 
6, and adjourned April 19. The forty-sixth district was repre- 
sented in the senate by Geo. C. Carpenter and in the house by J. 
P. Lee and August Haiften. 

1913. — The thirty-eighth state legislature assembled January 
7 and adjourned April 2-1. The forty-sixth district was repre- 
sented in the senate by Geo. C. Carpenter and in the house by 
August Hafften and J. P. Lee. 

At several successive sessions of the legislature prior to that 
of 1913 attempts had been made to secure a new apportionment. 
The last had been in 1897 and a great change in the population 
had taken place in the meantime — the northern part of the state 
having increased while in the southern part the gain had been 
slight, in some counties an actual loss having taken place. At the 
1913 session, after a protracted struggle, a compromise bill was 
agreed upon, by which the number of senators was increased to 
67 and the number of representatives to 130, although tlie legis- 
lature was already one of the largest in the United States and 
altogether out of proportion to the population. By this appor- 
tionment, Wright county became the twenty-seventh district with 
one senator and two representatives. 

1915. — The thirty-ninth legislature assembled January 4 and 
adjourned April 22. The twenty-seventh district was represented 
in the senate by J. T. Alley, and in the house by August Hafften 
and J. E. Madigan. 

CONGRESSIONAL REPRESENTATION. 

Wright county has been represented in congress since Minne- 
sota became a state as follows: W. W. Phelps, Democrat (Good- 
hue county), May 12, 1858 to March 4, 1859; Cyrus Aldrich, Re- 
publican (Hennepin county), March 4, 1859 to March 4, 1863; 
Ignatius Donnelly, Republican (Dakota county), March 4, 1863 
to March 4, 1869 ; Eugene M. Wilson, Democrat (Hennepin 
county), March 4, 1869 to March 4, 1871; John T. Averill, Re- 
publican (Ramsey county), March 4, 1871 to March 4, 1875; Will- 
iam S. King, Republican (Hennepin county), March 4, 1875 to 
March 4, 1877; Jacob H. Stewart, Republican (Ramsey county), 
March 4, 1877 to March 4, 1879; William D. Washburn, Republi- 
can (Hennepin county), March 4, 1879 to March 4, 1883; William 
D. Washburn, Republican (Hennepin county), March 4, 1883 to 
March 4, 1885; J. B. Gilfillan, Republican, March 4, 1885 to March 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 113 

4, 1887; Edmund Eieo, DeiiuHTat, March 4, 1887 to March 4, 1889; 

5. P. Snider, Repuhlican, Maivli 4, 1880 to March 4, 1891; J. N. 
Castle, Democrat, March 4, 181)1 to .March 4, 1893; M. R. Bald- 
win, Democrat (St. Louis county), March 4, 189:5 to March 4, 
1895; Charles A. Towne, Republican (St. Louis county), March 4, 
1895 to March 4, 1897; Page Morris, Republican (St. Louis 
county), March 4, 1897 to March 4, 1903; C. B. Buckman, Repub- 
lican (Morrison county), Jlarch 4, 1903 to March 4. 1907; Charles 
A. Lindburgh, Republican (Morrison county), March 4, 1907 to 
March 4, 1911. 

Until Minnesota became a state it had only one representative 
in congress, a territorial delegate, who was not allowed to vote. 
The first territorial delegate from Minnesota was Henry H. Sib- 
ley, who was tirst sent ostensibly as a delegate from the territory 
of Wisconsin, though living on the present site of Mendota, at 
the nioutli of the Minnesota river. He sat as a territorial delegate 
from January 15, 1849, to March 4, 1853. He was succeeded by 
Henry M. Rice, who served from December 5, 1853, to March 4, 
1857. W. W. Kingsbury was elected to succeed him and served 
from December 7, 1857, to March 3, 1859. As has been noted, the 
United States senate, February 23, 1857, passed an act authoriz- 
ing the people of Minnesota to form a constitution preparatory to 
their admission to the Union. In accordance with the provisions 
of tliis enabling act, a constitutional convention was held July 13, 
1857. at the territorial capital. October 13, 1857, an election was 
held, when the constitution was adopted and a full list of state 
officers elected. Three congressmen were also elected at this time, 
George L. Becker, W. W. Phelps and J. M. Cavanaugh. But it 
was afterwards fouiul that Minnesota was entitled to only two 
congressmen and the matter was amicably adjusted by the with- 
drawal of Mr. Becker. By this election the Messrs. Phelps and 
Cavanaugh became the first members of congress from the state 
of iMinnesota. 

For a time the two congressmen were elected "at large," 
though in order to comply with constitutional requirements there 
was a nominal division of the state into two districts, one being 
said to represent the northern district and the other the southern 
district. 

By the apportioiunent of 1872, the state was divided into three 
congressional districts. Wright county was included in tiie third 
district, with Ramsey, Hennepin and various counties to the 
north. 

The apportionment of 1881 divided the state into five districts. 
Wright county was in the fourth district with Washingon, Ram- 
sey, Hennepin, Pine Kanabec, Anoka, Chisago, Isanti and Shur- 
burne counties. 



114 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

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

In 1901 the state was divided into nine congressional districts. 
Wright county still remained in the sixth district. The other 
counties in the district were: Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Doug- 
las, Hubbard, Meeker, Morrison, Sherburne, Todd, Wadena and 
Stearns. 

The federal census of 1910 gave Minnesota an additional mem- 
ber of Congress, who was elected at large at the election held 
Nov. 4, 1912. 

In 1913 the state was divided into ten districts. Wright 
county was placed in the tenth district. The rest of the territory 
in the district consisted of the counties of Pine, Chisago, Kanabec, 
Mille Lacs, Isanti and Anoka, and all of the county of Hennepin 
(except the town of St. Anthony), outside of the city of Minne- 
apolis, and the third, fourth and tenth wards of the city of 
Minneapolis. 



CHAPTER VIII. 
COUNTY GOVERNMENT. 

Original Counties — Dakotah County — Cass County — Sibley 
County — Nocollet County — Wright County Created — Naming 
the County — First Officers — Early Precincts — Early County 
Commissioners — Supervisors — Commission System Again — 
Doings of the Successive Boards — County Officers — County 
Property — Courthouse — County Farm. 

Alexander Ramsey, the first territorial governor of Minnesota, 
arrived at St. Paul with his family May 27, 1849. June 1, 1849, 
he issued a proclamation declaring the territory duly organized. 
June 11 a second proclamation was issued, dividing the territory 
into three temporary judicial districts. The first comprised the 
county of St. Croix. The county of La Pointe and the region 
north and west of the Mississippi and north of the Minnesota 
and of a line running due west from the headwaters of the Min- 
nesota to the Missouri river, constituted the second. The coun- 
try west of the IMississippi and south of the Minnesota, formed 
the third district. Judge Goodrich was assigned to the first. 
Judge Meeker to the second, and Judge Cooper to the third. 
A court was ordered to be held at Stillwater on the second Mon- 
day, at the Falls of St. Anthony on the third, and at Mendota 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 115 

on the fourth .Monday of August. \V right county was iticlu(h'<l in 
the second district, with Judge Meeker on the bench. 

I'ntil June 126 Ciovcrnor Ramsey and family had been guests 
of lion. II. II. Sibley, at Mendota. On the afternoon of that day 
they arrived at St. Paul in a bii-eh-bai'k canoe and became i)er- 
nianent residents at the capital. On Jidy 1 a land oilice was 
established at Stillwater, and A. \'an \'orhecs, after a few weeks, 
became the registrar. 

On July 7 a pi-oclaination was issiu'd, dividing the territory 
into seven council districts, and oi-dering an election to be held 
on tile fii-st day of August, for one delegate to represent the peo- 
ple in the House of Representatives of the United States, for 
nine councillors and eighteen representatives, to constitute the 
Legislative Assembly of Minnesota. Wright county was included 
in the seventh disti'ict. 

Original Counties. The first territorial legislature assembled 
September 3, 1849, and adjourned November 1. By an act 
approved October 27, 1849, the territory was divided into nine 
counties : Washington, Ramsey, Benton, Itasca, Wabashaw, 
Dakotah, Wahnahta, Mahkahto and Pend)ina. Oidy the counties 
of Washington, Ramsey and Benton were fully organized for all 
county purposes. The others were organized only for the pur- 
pose of the appointment of justices of the j)eaee, constables and 
such other judicial and ministerial offices as might be specially 
provided for. They were entitled to any number of justices of 
the peace and constables, not exceeding six, to be appointed by 
the governor, their term of office was to be two years iniless 
sooner removed by the governor, and they were made conserv- 
ators of the peace. The county of Dakotah, among others, was 
attached to Ramsey county for judicial purposes. The county 
of Ramsey was constituted the first judicial district and Aaron 
Goodrich was assigned as judge thereof. St. Paul was made the 
seat of justice of Ramsey county and the terms of the district 
court were appointed to be held there every year on the second 
Monday of April and the second Monday of September. 

Dakotah County. Dakotah county, as "erected" by the act 
of October 27, 1849, included what is now Wright county. Its 
eastern boundary was the Mississippi, its northern boundary was 
a line drawn due west from the mouth of the Clearwater river, 
its southern boundary was a line drawn due west from a point on 
the Mississippi opposite the mouth of the St. Croix, while the 
western boundary was the ilissouri river. 

The legislature of 1851, by Chapter I of th(! Revised Statutes, 
passed January 1, divided the territory into Benton, Dakotah, 
Itasca, Cass, Pembina, Ramsey, Washington, Chisago and Waba- 
shaw counties and defines their borders. 

Dakota (the final "h" having been drojoped) county was 



116 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

made to consist of all that part of the territory west of the 
Mississippi river aud lying west of the county of Wabashaw 
and south of a line beginning at the mouth of the Crow river 
and up that river and the north branch thereof to its source, 
and thence due west to the Missouri river. By this revision the 
part of what is now Wright county that lies south of the Crow 
river still remained in Dakota county. 

Dakota county was attached, as before, to Ramsey county 
for judicial purposes. 

Cass County. By the Revision of 1851 which left in Dakota 
county that part of the present Wright county that lies south 
of the north fork of the Crow river; that part of the present 
county which lies north of that stream was included in Cass 
county. The boundaries of Cass county are described in the act 
as follows: "Beginning at the mouth of the Crow river; thence 
up the Mississippi river to Itasca lake ; thence on a direct line 
to Otter Tail lake ; thence in a direct line to the source of the 
Long Prairie river ; thence south to the northern boundary line of 
Dakota (at the source of the north fork of the Crow river) ; 
thence along said line to the place of beginning. The northern 
boundary of Dakota county thus described was the north fork 
of the Crow river to its junction with the south fork, and thence 
to the Mississippi river. Cass county was attached to Benton 
county for judicial purposes. Court was to be held at or near 
Sauk Rapids. The northern part of what is now Wright county 
remained in Cass county until February 20, 1855, when Wright 
county was organized. 

Sibley County. By act of March 5, 1853, various counties 
were created. Among them was Sibley county. The county 
was bounded as follows : Beginning at the northwest corner of 
Hennepin (where the forks of the Crow river join near Rock- 
ford), thence up the north fork of the Crow river to its second 
fork, thence in a direct line to the mouth of the Rush river 
(near the present site of Henderson, in the present Sibley county), 
thence down the Mississippi river to Hennepin county, and 
thence along tlie line of said comity to the place of beginning. 
This includes that part of Wright county lying south of the 
north fork of the C-row river. To the east of Sibley lay Nicollet 
county, created by the same act. It is possible that the south- 
western part of what is now Wright county was included in 
Nicollet county. The exact location of the "second fork" 
described in the act is rather uncertain, and at this late date it is 
difficult to determine just where the lawmakers intended that 
the dividing line between Sibley and Nicollet counties should be 
located. Nicollet county was fully organized. Sibley county 
was attached to Hennepin county for judicial purposes and was 
not organized until March 2, 1854. 



HISTOKY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 117 

Wright County Created. By an act approved Fchi-iiary 1^0, 
1855, the territorial legislature ei'eateii a number of counties. 
Among them was Wi'ight county. The boundaries were desci'ibed 
as follows: "Beginning at the northeast coriu'r of Davis county, 
running thence south on the east line of said county to the nortli 
line of Carver county; thence east on the north line of said county 
to the township line between ranges 24 and 25, west of the fifth 
meridian; thence north on said line to the Crow river; thence 
down the center of Crow rivei- to the ]\lississii)]n rivei-; thence up 
the nuiin channel of the said i\Iississij)pi river to the mouth of 
the Clearwater river ; thence up the middle of the said Clearwater 
river to the place of beginning." These lines are the present 
boundaries of Wright county, ami have remained unchanged 
since that tinu'. The description of the boundary, however, is 
now obsolete, as there is no longer a Davis county, and Carver 
county has been cm-tailed. 

As late as 1855 there were only ninety-two men in Wright 
county who voted for delegates to Congress. Of these Rice 
received 11 votes, Marshall 6'i and Olmsted 18. 

Naming the County. Early in 1855 a meeting was held by 
the citizens of Jlonticello to take steps to organize a new county. 
W. G. McCrory, S. T. Creighton and Samuel M. McManns were 
appointed a committee to go to St. Paul and present the matter 
to the territorial legislature. The committee started on their 
mission, and as there was no road on the west side of the river, 
they went to Big Lake, in Shei'burne county, and took the Bur- 
bank stage for St. Paul. 

After getting aboard the stage, Mr. llcCrory said: "Well, 
gentlemen, our people failed to suggest a new name for the 
county last night ; now, I have in New York state a very particu- 
lar political friend whom I would much like to see honored by 
naming our county after him ; it is true that he is a Whig and 
you are both Democrats, but I hope that at this time you will 
lay aside all political animosities and agree to name the proposed 
new county Seward, in honor of Hon. William H. Seward." 

His companions, however, would not agree to that proposition, 
and ilr. McCrory proposed a second choice. He said : ' ' There 
is a man in Orange county, my native county in New York, a 
personal friend of mine ; you would probably have no objection to 
naming the county after him, and thus giving him lasting fame. 
He is a Democrat, not, it is true, my political friend, but a man 
whom I greatly respect. He is the Hon. Silas Wright." The 
other two gentlemen were willing, and thus the name of the 
county was chosen. 

First OflBcers- Soon after the establishment of the county, 
Governor Willis A. Gorman named as county commissioners John 
McDonald, Sr., Archie Downie and J. D. Taylor. Monticello 



118 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

was designated as the county seat, and there the board of com- 
missioners held their first meeting on April 9, 1855, the first- 
named commissioner being chosen as chairman. John 0. Haven 
was appointed clerk of the board and registrar of deeds ; Herbert 
W. McCrory, sheriff ; William Creighton, district attorney ; James 
C. Beekman, county treasurer; Israel Record, judge of probate; 
John 0. Haven, county surveyor; Row Brasie, coroner; Selah 
Markham, Joseph Brown and Dudley P. Chase, assessors. 

COUNTY GOVERNMENT. 

As previously noted, the first meeting of county commissioners 
was held April 9, 1855, at Monticello. John McDonald, Sr., 
Archie Downie and J. D. Taylor constituted the board. Mr. 
McDonald was appointed chairman, and a full list of officers 
was chosen. 

Three voting precincts were formed, with the following 
described boundaries : Big Bend precinct, bounded on the east 
by a line running due south from John O. Haven's northwest 
corner on the Mississippi river, to the south line of the covinty, 
south and west by the county lines, and north by the Mississippi 
river. Monticello precinct, bounded on the north by the Missis- 
sippi river, east by a line running due south from the northwest 
corner of L. Dimmiek's claim on the Mississippi river to the south 
line of the county, south by the south line of the county, and 
west by Big Bend precinct. Pleasant Grove precinct, bounded 
on the north by the Mississippi river, east and south by Crow 
river, and west by Monticello precinct. These somewhat imper- 
fect descriptions were due to the yet undeveloped region included, 
the lauds remaining unsiirveyed until July and August of that 
year. 

The dwelling house of Selah Markham was designated as the 
place for holding elections in Big Bend precinct, and Selah Mark- 
ham, John C. Dow and John Oakes appointed judges of election. 
John C. Dow and Archie Downie were appointed justices of the 
peace, and Oscar Dow and John Lowell constables. 

In Monticello precinct the place designated was the dwelling 
house of William Creighton. George Brown, William H. Van 
Ness and Samuel McManus were appointed judges of election, 
Samuel H. McManus and George M. Bertram justices of the 
peace, and Newell Houghton and J. B. Rich constables. A few 
months later, McManus removed from the county and Stephen J. 
Mason was appointed in his place as justice and James Phillips as 
judge of election. Phillips removed from the county and Van 
Ness refused to act, so James C. Beekman and D. B. Sutton were 
appointed in their places. 

In Pleasant Grove precinct the dwelling house of John McDon- 
ald, Sr., was designated, and Ezra Tubbs (soon followed by David 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 119 

McPhersou), Charles Lainbtnt and Caleb Chase appointed judges 
of election; John McDonald, Sr., and Ezra Tubbs were appointed 
justices of the peace; and William Casley and Otis S. True con- 
stables. Archie Uownie, Jonah B. Locke and D. L. Ingersoll 
were appointed assessors for this district. 

Each precinct constituteil a school district with officers and 
agents as follows: No. 1. Pleasant (irove precinct, Dudley P. 
Chase; No. 2, Monticello precinct, Nathan Fletcher; No. 8, Big 
Bend precinct. Selah ^larkhani. The boai-d of county coniinis- 
sioners gave the clerk permission to holii his ollice at his resi- 
dence until an office could be secured and fitted up foi- him. 

The next meeting of the county commissioners was held at 
Monticello July 12, 1855. McDonakl antl Taylor were present. 
A petition was received foi' a county road from Waterville at the 
mouth of the Crow river to ]\Ionticello. The petition was granted 
and Philip Boyden, D. L. Ingersoll and the county surveyor were 
appointed viewers to meet at the house of John JIcDouald on 
July 15, 1855, to lay out the road. A petition was also received 
for a county road from ^Monticello to El Dorado City at the 
mouth of the Clearwater river. The petition was granted, and 
Selah ]Markham, Frederick Emory and the county surveyor were 
appointed viewers, to meet at the house of James Chambers in 
Monticello on August 8, 1855, and lay out and survey the road. 
A petition was received from Davitl Ilanaford. Arthur B. Ilana- 
ford and others for a school district bounded as follows : Begin- 
ning at the northwest corner of J. W. Hanaford's claim, running 
thence to the southwest corner of Ball's claim, thence running 
along his line one mile and a half to a point one-quarter of a mile 
from the residence of 0. W. Slafter, thence north to a point 
parallel to J. W. Hanaford's east line, and one mile and a half 
from his northwest corner, thence along his east line to the place 
of beginning. 

A petition was received from Henry Heap, Henry Bradley, 
Philip Boyden and others for a road from McDonald's landing 
across the county to Crow river near Bigelow's, later the location 
of the townsite of Hassan. The petition was granted, and Henry 
Heap, Henry Bradley and the county surveyor were appointed a 
committee to meet at McDonald's on Moiulay, Jul.v 16, 1855, and 
survey and lay out the road. 

The following appointments were then made : J. S. Mason, 
judge of election in Monticello precinct, vice Samuel M. IMcMan- 
us. removed from the county; Joseph C. Walker, sheriff, vice 
Herbert McCrorj% resigned ; David McPherson, judge of election 
in Pleasant Grove precinct, vice Ezra Tubbs, who failed to qualify. 

On July 23, 1855, James C. Beekman resigned the office of 
county treasurer and Row Brasie was appointed to fill the office. 
He gave bonds and was duly qualified. During this session the 



120 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

assessment roll was completed, and a tax of eleven mills to the 
dollar levied on all taxable property. The assessed valuation, as 
shown by the completed and corrected roll, was $33,863, on which 
a tax of $575.67 was levied, $84.66 of which was for school pur- 
poses. The rolls were placed in the hands of Sheriff Joseph C. 
Walker for collection. Grand and petit jurors were selected. 

The board of county commissioners next met at Monticello, 
Sept. 3, 1855. A petition was received for a county road from 
Cedar street, Monticello, south through the prairie along the 
east shore of Voorhis and Bailey's lakes southwest to Big lake, 
now called Pelican lake. Row Brasie and E. W. Merrill were 
appointed viewers. Bills amounting to $126.52 were audited and 
allowed, $31.37 of which was for books and stationery, and the 
rest for viewing and surveying roads, assessing and taking the 
census. The taxes collected in 1855, for county and school pur- 
poses, amounted to $293.52. 

The commissioners of 1856 were: Dudley P. Chase, H. W. 
McCrory, and Selah Markham, the iirst of whom was elected 
chairman. Their first meeting was held January 7, 1856. At a 
subsequent meeting in June, $1,053.84 was levied for couuty taxes, 
$126.71 for territorial, and $319.28 for school purposes. The 
assessment by precincts was as follows : Big Bend, $23,299 ; Pleas- 
ant Grove, $22,255; Monticello, -$82,180. The fact that about 
five-eigliths of this amount was assessed to Monticello will serve 
to show the relative advancement in the precincts at that date, a 
fact largely attributable to the fertile prairie extending back 
from the river, which first lured the early settlers to the selec- 
tion and improvement of future homes. 

Northwood precinct was created June 9, 1856. The boundaries 
were described as follows : Commencing at a point on the Missis- 
sippi river where the line ends between sections 23 and 26 ; then 
running west to the corners of sections 29 and 28, sections 20 and 
21, thence south to a point where that line meets Crow river, 
thence down Crow river to its mouth, thence up the Mississippi 
to the place of beginning. Polls were established at the home of 
John Baxter. John Baxter, Walter Butler and A. Bartlett were 
appointed judges of election. 

At the close of 1856 ten school districts had been created. 

The commissioners for 1857 were Dudley P. Chase, H. W. 
MeCrory and Ambrose Bryant. The first meeting was held Janu- 
ary 5. H. W. McCrory was elected chairman of the board. Vari- 
ous road petitions were received for roads running into almost 
every part of the county from Monticello, south, west and north. 
January 6 a petition was received from G. D. George and others 
asking to be set off into a separate precinct, consisting of town- 
ships 119 and 120, range 24. The petition was granted, and the 
new precinct given the name of Rockford. The following officers 



HISTORY OF WRIUIIT COUNTY 121 

■were appointed; Justice ol' the pt><u-e, Cyrus C. Jenks; coiistabli', 
"William 0. Eldred; road supervisor, Joel Floi'ida. The elcrlion 
was to be held at the house of Cyrus C. Jenks. A petition was 
also received from George A. J. Overton and others to establish 
the precinct of Butfalo, consisting of townshiji ]20, range 25, and 
townships 119 and 120, range 26. The jictition was granted and 
the following oflfieers appointeil : -Judges of election, Amasa 
Ackley, Moses S. Calkins and S. B. Culver; justice of the peace, 
George A. J. Overton; constable, Amasa Ackley; oversell- of 
roads, Moses S. Calkins. The election was to be held at tlie home 
of Amasa Ackley. Tlie whole number of scholars in the coinity 
as reported were as follows ; District .S, 22 ; district 4, 14 ; dis- 
trict 5, 51 ; district 6, 31 ; district 7, 73 ; district 8, 25 ; district 9, 
22 ; district 10, 45. 

The board of county commissioners met again at Montieello, 
April 6, 1857. Various road matters were acted upon. April 7, 
185(5, a license was granted to G. W. and A. C. Riggs to operate a 
ferry from the foot of Washington street, town of lower ]\Ionti- 
cello, across the Mississippi river. The assessment rolls were re- 
ceived, examined and corrected. The total valuation of the prop- 
erty in the county was as follows; Big Bend precinct, $29,844; 
Montieello precinct, $135,675; Pleasant Grove precinct. $178,880; 
total, $344,399. Taxes assessed for the year 1857 were one and 
one-fourth per cent or twelve and a half mills on each dollar of 
valuation. The whole work of the county commissioners for the 
greater part of this year was the laying out of roads and the 
establishment of school districts. 

The commissioners for 1858 were Dudley P. Chase, II. W. 
McCrory and Joel Florida. The first meeting was held January 
4. Joel Florida was chosen chairman. At this meeting it was or- 
dered that a map of the county be furnished by the county sur- 
veyor, showing the boundaries of the county, section and town 
lines, roads and school districts. A settlement was made with 
the sheriif. The whole amount placed in his hands for collection 
was $1,500.03. The amount collected was $1,441. The amount 
returned as delinquent was $59.03. 

This, the last board of commissioners elected under the terri- 
torial organization, again assembled April 5, 1858. Minnesota 
was soon to become a state, township elections had been ordered 
for May 11, 1858, and the board therefore performed its duty and 
established the following towns: Albion — Township 120, ranges 
27 and 28. BuflPalo— South half of township 120, range 26, and 
township 120, range 25, and sections 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, in town- 
ship 119, range 25. Clearwater — Townships 122 and 123, range 
27, and township 121, ranges 27 and 28. Frankfort — To^vnship 
120, ranges 23 and 24. Newport (changed September 14, 1858, to 
Franklin) — Township 118, range 25. Montieello — West half of 



122 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

township 121, range 24, and townships 121 and 122, range 25. 
Middleville — Township 118, ranges 27 and 28, and township 119, 
ranges 27 and 28. Maple Lake — South half of township 121, 
range 26, and north half of township 120, range 26. Otsego — 
Township 121, range 23, and east half of township 121, range 24. 
Rockford — Township 119, range 24, and all of township 119, 
range 25, except that portion included in Buffalo. Silver Creek — 
Township 122, range 26, and north half of township 121, range 
26. Woodland — Townships 118, range 26. Marysville — Town- 
ship 119, range 26. 

Minnesota was admitted as a state May 11, 1858, and on that 
date the township elections were held. Under the new constitu- 
tion the county was to be governed by a board of supervisors 
consisting of the chairmen of the organized towns. This board 
of supervisors, or the Wright County Court, as it is sometimes 
called, assembled in the hall of the Academy, Monticello, Septem- 
ber 14, 1858, with the following representation: Albion, Robert 
S. Holmes; Buffalo, Jackson Taylor; Clearwater, Jared D. 
Wheelock ; Frankfort, John M. McAlpine ; Newport, C. A. Wright ; 
Monticello, Henry H. Helm ; Middleville, John L. King ; Otsego, 
Thomas Ham; Rockford, S. R. Workman; Silver Creek, John 0. 
Haven. The towns of Maple Lake and Woodland were not rep- 
resented, having failed to elect officers at the required time. The 
board elected John 0. Haven, chairman, and C. B. Jordan, clerk. 
Later, W. V. B. Holway, having been appointed chairman of 
Maple Lake, took his seat as a member of the board. October 14, 

1858, N. V. Streeter appeared as a member from W^oodland and 
was given a seat. Timothy Lowell applied for a seat as the mem- 
ber from Cokato, but his application was denied. January 3, 

1859, E. B. McCord was seated as the member from Maple Lake. 
The second board of county supervisors met at Monticello 

at 2 o'clock on the afternoon of May 7, 1859. Those present were: 
J. N. Barbour, Monticello ; Thomas Ham, Otsego ; G. W. Brook- 
ins, Silver Creek; R. S. Holmes, Albion; 0. L. Dudley, Buffalo; 
M. Jellison, Maple Lake; C. A. Wright, Franklin; J. F. Standish, 
Rockford; J. M. McAlpine. Thomas Ham was elected chairman 
and John 0. Haven was elected auditor and clerk of the board. 
Dr. J. D. Wheelock, from Clearwater, took his seat July 12, 1859. 
On September 13, Michael Jordan, from Woodland, took his seat. 
A question arose as to the legality of the organization. All but 
one voted that they were of the opinion that the board was prop- 
erly organized. Robert S. Holmes expressed the negative opinion. 
September 14 the town of Freedom was created from the towns 
of Buffalo and Rockford. September 15, M. V. Cochran took his 
seat as supervisor from Middleville. II. S. Brookens was ad- 
mitted as a member from Silver Creek, February 27, 1860. 

Minnesota having adopted the commission system of county 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 123 

goveinnuMit, tlic iiowly elected board of county coiiimissionera 
assembled June 4, 1860. Samuel Bennett, cliairman, of Monti- 
eello: Asa W. Lucas, of Kockford; Jolin A. IMailette, of Otsej^o ; 
Willis (i. Butler, of Clearwater and D. S. Calkins, of Butfalo, were 
present. Commissioners" districts were assigned as follows: 

1. Clearwater, Silver Creek, Delhi. 

2. Montieello. 

3. Buffalo, Maple Lake, Albion and Middleville. 

4. Rockford, Franklin and Woodland. 

5. Otsego and Frankford. 

November 13, 1860, the boartl was notified that the State 
Board of Equalization had added one hundred per cent to the 
assessed valuation of real estate in the county, making it $484,319. 
March 5, 1861, a motion was passed by the board attach- 
ing a part of Silver Creek to Clearwater, subject to the vote 
of the respective townships. Sej)tember 3, 1861, a resolution was 
passed accusing H. L. Gordau of fraud in substituting in the files 
a different resolution from the one which was passed. At the 
same session A. P. Jlooers resigned as cliairman of the board and 
J. B; Blanchard was appointed. 

The commissioners for 1861 were J. B. Blanchard, Montieello; 
H. L. Gordon, Delhi ; F. S. McDonald, Otsego ; A. P. Mooers, Mid- 
dleville ; G. A. Ruckholdt, Rockford. They assembled January 1, 
1861, and after nine ballots, named A. P. Mooers as chairman. 
January 2, 1861, a petition for and remonstrance against the 
proposition to set ofif a portion of the town of Silver Ci'eek and 
attach same to Clearwater were laid on the table. January 3 
it was voted to allow school district 7 sj!? for holding the district 
court terms of October, 1859, and March and September, 1860, 
in the schoolhouse. The second floor of Chambers' store building 
at Montieello was rented for several of the county offices. On 
September 3, 1861, the boundaries of several townshijis were 
altered. 

All of that part of townshi]) 119, range 25, lying uortii of the 
north fork of the Crow river was set ofif from Rockford and 
attached to Franklin. 

All that part of township 119, range 26, lying on the south 
side of the north branch of the Crow river was set ofil' from Buf- 
falo and attaclied to Woodlaiul. 

Townships 118 and 119, range 28, were ranged as Mooers' 
Prairie. An election was ordered held at the home of David 
GrifiBth, witk David Griffith, Daniel Rose and Luman Putnam 
as judges of election. 

In 1862 the board consisted of Isaac Eager, A. E. Oaks, E. B. 
McCord, Gerhard Ebben and D. R. Farnham. Isaac Hager was 
elected chairman. 



124 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

January 9 it was voted to set oft" section and fractional sec- 
tions 5, 6, 7, 8, 17 and 18, townships 122, range 36, from Silver 
Creek and attach same to Clearwater. 

It was this board that on August 12, 1862, voted a bounty 
to such soldiers as shoidd enlist from tliis county subsequent to 
August 1, 1862. 

Commissioners' districts were established September 2, 1862, 
as follows : 

1. Clearwater, Silver Creek, Delhi, Maple Lake and Albion. 

2. Monticello, Otsego and Frankfort. 

3. Rockford, Buffalo, Franklin, Woodland, Middleville and 
Mooers Prairie. 

It was voted that the town of Rockford should consist of 
township 119, range 25, and fractional township 119, range 24. 

Woodland was to consist of township 118, range 26, and the 
south half of township 119, range 26. 

The north half of township 119, range 26, belonged to Buffalo. 

The board for 1863 consisted of Samuel Bennett, A. E. Oaks 
and D. R. Farnham, the number of commissioners having been 
reduced from five to three. The board met January 6, 1863, and 
named Samuel Bennett as chairman. 

June 9 the town of Delhi was renamed Corinna. On the same 
day the county was divided into six military districts. 

In 1864 the board consisted of Samuel Bennett (chairman), 
A. E. Oaks and D. R. Farnham. March 2, 1864, this board author- 
ized the chairman to grant liquor licenses at not less than $50. 
April 7, 1864, the act granting bounties to volunteers was repealed. 

The board for 1865 consisted of W. W. Marvin (chairman), 
A. E. Oaks and D. R. Farnham. French Lake, consisting of town- 
ship 120, range 28, was created from a part of what had previ- 
ously been the town of Albion. 

In 1866 the board consisted of W. W. Marvin (chairman), 
A. E. Oaks and D. R. Farnham. January 4, 1866, township 118, 
range 27, was set off from Middleville and created as Victor. 
Township 120, range 26, was set oft' from Maple Lake and Buft'alo, 
January 5, 1866, and created as Chatham. A further account of 
this will be found under the history of Chatham. This board 
held office until March, 1866, when a new board came in. 

The board which went into office in March, 1866, consisted of 
A. E. Oaks, T. C. Shapleigh and D. R. Farnliam. This board 
organized March 13, 1866, and elected T. C. Shapleigh chairman. 
March 14 township 119, range 26, was created as Marysville, the 
north half being taken from Buffalo and the south half from 
Woodland. October 5, 1865, the board granted the petition of 
Daniel Kreidler antl others asking that Rockford be allowed to 
vote on the subject of granting licenses in that township. October 
9, 1866, township 101, range 26, was created as Maple Lake. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 125 

Maple Lake liail been created many years before, the 1866 peti- 
tion being one of the moves in tlie Chatliam-ilaple Lake (linienlty. 

In 1S67 the board assembled. Jaiuiary 1 U. K. Farnham was 
present from the third district. A. E. Oakes appeared from the 
first district with a certificate of election for three years from 
January 1. 1867. T. C Shapleigh appeared from the second 
district with a certificate of election for one year from January 1, 
1867. T. C. Shapleigh was appointed chairman. In the spring 
various measures were taken for the relief of the destitute in 
the western part of the county. 

The board for 1868 consisted of the same gentlemen, T. C. 
Shapleigh having been reelected for three years. He was chosen 
chairman of the board. February 19 all that portion of town- 
ship 121, range 28, south of Clearwater river was set oft" from 
Corinna and created as South Side township. This was the year 
when the railroad lands were taxed. II. L. Gordon was voted 
$400 to defend any suits which might be brought against the 
county by the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Company in this 
connection. March 23, 1868, the board met foi' the first time 
in Buffalo and the offices were established in that village a few 
days later. July 17 townshij) 119, range 28, was created as 
Cokato. The county seat having been removed to Buffalo and 
the jail property having reverted to the original owners, the 
commissioners made a contract with Z. 'M. Brown for renting the 
jail for a year. 

In 1869 the board consisted of A. E. Oakes from the first dis- 
trict, T. C. Shajileigh from the second district, and N. C. Ricker- 
son from the third district. Mr. Shapleigh was elected chairman. 
March 11 the name of Mooers Prairie was changed to Union. 

The board for 1870 consisted of Samuel Whiting, Jr., from the 
first district, T. C. Shapleigh from the second district, and N. C. 
Rickerson from the third district. Shapleigh was elected chair- 
man. March 8 Thomas McLeod was appointed a member of the 
board from the second district in place of T. C. Shapleigh, 
resigned. Samuel Whiting, Jr., was elected chairman. 

In 1871 the board consisted of Thomas McLeod from the sec- 
ond district, N. C. Rickerson from the third district, and Samuel 
Whiting, Jr., from the first district. Jlr. Whiting was elected 
chairman. Januai'y 6 the county was redistricted as follows : 

1. Clearwater, Corinna, Southside (previous to this the name 
appears in the records as two word.s — South Side), Silver Creek, 
and Maple Lake. 

2. Monticello, Otsego and Frankfort. 

3. Rockford, Franklin and Buff'alo. 

4. Woodland, Marysville, Chatham, Albion and French Lake. 

5. Victor, Stockholm, Cokato and Middleville. 



126 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

A vacancy was declared to exist in each of the districts, and 
the appointing board issued the following certificates of appoint- 
ment: District 1, Samuel Whiting, Jr.; 2, Thomas McLeod ; 3, 
James Sturges; 4, Horace J. Hill; 5, N. C. Rickerson. The new 
board assembled February 20, 1871, with Samuel Whiting, Jr., 
in the chair. 

The board for 1872 was constituted as follows: District 1, 
W. H. Phillips; 2, William Tubbs ; 3, P. M. Wright; 4, M. C. 
O'Donohoe; 5, K. 0. Molsterteigen. William Tubbs was chosen 
chairman. It was this board which clearly stated that the county 
would not at its own expense establish any section corners. It 
was this board passed on the claims for damages by fire and storm 
during the summer and fall of 1871. The board on October 16 
voted to bring action against A. F. Barker, former clerk of 
court, for failure to record marriage licenses while in office. It 
was this board that took up the matter of securing title to part 
of the present court house square and determined to go ahead 
with the building of a foundation for a court house. 

In 1873 the board was constituted as follows : District 1, W. 
H. Phillips; 2, William Tubbs; 3, P. M. Wright; 4, M. C. O'Don- 
ohoe ; 5, K. 0. Molsterteigen. William Tubbs was elected chair- 
man. This board took up the court house and secured deeds to 
the larger part of wliat is now the court house square. 

The board for 1874 consisted of the following members : Dis- 
trict 1, William H. Phillips; 2, William Tubbs; 3, Jonas Johnson; 
4, M. C. O'Donohoe; 5, K. 0. Molsterteigen. Tubbs was chosen 
chairman. 

In 1875 the board was the same with the exception that Will- 
iam Tubbs having been elected county auditor, Michael Jaeb, 
appointed by the auditor, judge of probate and registrar of deeds, 
served from the second district. Jonas Johnson was chairman. 
The state census having revealed a material difference in the 
population of the different commissioner's districts, a reappor- 
tionment was made as follows : 

1. Clearwater, Silver Creek, Maple Lake, Corinna, South Side 
and French Lake. 

2. Monticello, Otsego, Frankford and Buffalo. 

3. Franklin, Rockford and Woodland. 

4. Marysville, Middleville, Albion and Chatham. 

5. Cokato, Stockholm and Victor. 

The board for 1876 was constituted as follows: District 1, 
Thomas C. Porter ; 2, F'rank Weigel ; 3, Jonas Johnson ; 4, Odilion 
Berthiaume ; 5, K. O. Molsterteigen. Thomas C. Porter was chosen 
chairman. This board, startled at the increasing expense of unnec- 
essary litigation, notified the county attorney to correspond with 
the various justices of the peace in an eft'ort to prevent the bring- 
ing of trivial suits in the name of the state of Minnesota. Feb- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 127 

ruary 15, 1876, the board asktul for bids on the construction of 
a court house according to the plans and specifications of ('. N. 
Daniels, of Rice county, which had been accepted by the previous 
board. Bonds were issued, the contract let, an additional piece 
of land purchased and the work started. 

In 1877 the board was constituted as follows: District 1, 
T. C. Porter (chairman); 2, Odilioii Berthiaume ; 3, Abraham 
Ilstrup; 4, K. 0. Molsterteigen; 2, O. H. Buslinell. William 
Tubbs was employed to make an abstract of entries, for which 
he was to receive $100. 

The board for 1878 was made up as follows: District 1, T. C. 
Porter (chairman); 2. 0. H. Bushnell ; 3, Abraham Ilstrup; 3, 
Charles W. Bonniwell ; 5, II. E. Jones. Porter and Bushnell served 
as a committee to beautify the court house grounds. 

1879. — 1, Martin O'Laughlin; 2, O. II. Bushnell; 3, Abraham 
Ilstrup ; 4, Charles W. Bonniwell ; 5, H. E. Jones. H. E. Jones 
was named as chairman. 

1880. — 1. Martin 0"Laughlin; 2, Stephen Schumacher; 3, W. 
W. Crooks; 4, Charles W. Bonniwell ; 5, H. C. Jones. H. E. Jones 
was chosen chairman. 

1881. — 1, Martin O'Laughlin (chairman); 2, Stephen Schu- 
macher; 3, W. W. Crooks; 4, Joseph Bland; .5, A. P. Peterson. 
This board rearranged the commissioners' districts as follows: 

1. Chatham, Clearwater, Corinna, Maple Lake, French Lake, 
Silver Creek and Southside. 

2. Frankford, Buflfalo, Montieello and Otsego. 

3. Franklin, Rockford and Woodland. 

4. Albion, Marysville and Middleville. 

5. Cokato, Stockholm and Victor. 

1882.— 1, Martin O'Laughlin; 2, Stephen Schumacher; 3, W. 
W. Crooks (chairman) ; 4, Joseph Bland ; 5, A. P. Peterson. Under 
this administration E. B. McCord, county surveyor, established 
stone markers at the northwest corners of the various townships 
except those of townshij) 120, range 24, which lies in Pelican 
lake. 

1883.— 1, Martin O'Laughlin; 2. A. W. Hoar; .3, William Zie- 
barth; 4, Joseph Bland; 5, A. P. Peterson (chairman). 

1884. — Same as previous year, with the exception that the 
fourth district was represented by Henry Lammers. 

188.5.-1, D. H. Weir; 2, A. W. Hoar; 3, William Ziebarth ; 
4, Henry Lammers ; 5, A. P. Peterson. A. W. Hoar was selected 
as chairman. 

1886. — The board was the same as in the previous year. A. P. 
Peterson was chosen as chairman. 

1887.— 1, D. H. Weir; 2, Thomas McLeod ; 3. William Zie- 
barth ; 4, D. W. Flannigan ; 5, Ole Mattson. D. H. Weir was 
chosen as chairman. ]March 1, 1887, W. W. Webster succeeded 



128 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

D. H. Weir as member from the first district. Thomas McLeod 
was selected as chairman. 

1889.— 1, A. D. Kingsley; 2, Thomas McLeod; 3, D. R. Thomp- 
son; 4, D. W. Flannigau; 5, Ole Mattson. Ole Mattson was 
chosen as chairman. 

1891.— 1, A. D. Kingsley; 2, L. W. Haefer; 3, D. R. Thompson; 
4, D. W. Flannigan; 5, Ole Mattson (chairman). 

1893. — 1, George S. Ruscoe; 2, Louis W. Haefer; 3, Charles 
Bugbee; 4, D. W. Flannigan; 5, Ole Mattson (chairman). 

1895.-1, Thomas Hudek ; 2, August Hafften; 3, Charles Bug- 
bee; 4, John Buckman; 5, G. A. Kemper. 

1897.-1, Thomas Hudek; 2, Augu.st Hafften; 3, J. F. Lauzer; 
4, John Buckman ; 5, A. G. Johnson. 

1899.- 1, Thomas Iludek ; 2, Joseph Reems: 3, J. F. Lauzer; 
4, D. W. Flannigan ; 5, A. G. Johnson. 

1901. — 1, J. A. Ferguson; 2, Joseph Reems; 3, Charles Bugbee; 
4, D. W. Flannigan ; 5, A. G. Johnson. 

1903.— 1, J. A. Ferguson; 2, William H. Marvin; 3, Charles 
Bugbee ; 4, John Kelley ; 5, A. G. Johnson. 

1905.-1, C. F. Zimmerman; 2, W. H. Marvin; 3, Ezra W. 
Perrell; 4, John Kelley; 5, P. H. Johnson. 

1907. — 1, C. F. Zimmerman; 2, Prank Zachman ; 3, Ezra W. 
Perrell; 4, John Kelly; 5, P. H. Johnson. 

1909.-1, J. P. Baker; 2, Prank Zachman; 3, Ezra W. Perrell; 
4, John Kelley; 5, Bernard Nelson. 

1911.-1, J. P. Baker; 2, C. 0. Taylor; 3, Ezra W. Perrell; 
4, John Kelley; 5, Bernard Nelson. 

1913.-1, J. P. Baker; 2, C. 0. Taylor; 3, Ezra W. Perrell; 
4, John Kelley; 5. Bernard Nelson. 

1915.-1, J. P. Baker; 2, W. J. Elliott; 3, Ezra W. Perrell; 4, 
John Kelley; 5, Bernard Nelson. 

COUNTY OFFICERS. 

In the early days, the records were not as perfectly kept as 
now, and the early election retuims have not been preserved. 
After long research, however, a list of officials of the county has 
been prepared, and with a few omissions of a few holders of 
minor offices for the first few years of tiie county's existence, the 
list is believed to be correct. 

Auditor. Until January 1, 1859, the ofiSces of auditor, regis- 
trar of deeds and clerk of the board of county commissioners 
were combined. John 0. Haven took office April 9, 1855, followed 
January 1, 1857, by C. B. Jordan. Ed. P. Abbott took office as 
the first auditor under the new law, January 1, 1859. John O. 
Haven seems, however, to have performed the duties of the office 
after the first month, and on May 7, 1859, Mr. Haven became the 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 129 

regular auditor. Tlu'ii came James Chambers, .lamiary 1, ISGO; 
J. ^V. Miilvey, March 4, 18G1 ; H. Kreis, March 2, 1863, and J. R. 
Ames, ]\lareh 14, 1871. G. A. Kuckholdt, as deputy, had eharp;e 
of the otiice under ]Mr. Ames, and on .November 7, 187.'{, was duly 
appointed to tlie office of auditor. William Tubbs took office 
March 1, 1875. Durinjj his illuess, in 187'), his deputy, \V. H. 
Cady, had charge of tlu' ottice. Since ilr. Tubbs the auditoi's have 
been: J. N. Stacy, Manh 7, 1881; George E. Stacy, January 1, 
1887; Arthur C. Heath, January 1, 1891 ; Frank B. Jjamson, Janu- 
ary 1, ]89;{; II. S. Swanberg, January 1, 1897; Aaron Keinmutli 
(appointed), October 2, 1900; Henry C. Brasie (appointed), Marcli 
1, 1904: John A. Berg, January 1, 1909. 

Swanberg was deputy undei' Lamson and succeeded to the 
office. Reinmuth was depiit\- to Swaid)eig and succeeded lum. 
first by appointment and later by election. Brasie was deputy 
to Reinmuth and during Reinmuth 's illness was acting auditor 
for a while. Brasie was succeeded as deputy auditor by P. H. 
Fogarty, who was acting auditor during the latter part of Rein- 
muth 's illness. Reinmuth died February 27, 1904, and Bra.sie and 
Fogarty were candidates for his position. Brasie won by a 8 to 2 
vote, and was afterwards elected by the people. Berg was dei)uty 
to Brasie. Lamson served for some years as deputy under Berg, 
thus completing the circle. 

Treasurer. James C. Beekman became treasurer April 9, 1855, 
but resigned soon afterwards, and was followed by Row Brasie, 
July 21, 1855. Since then the treasurers have been: Nathan 
Fletcher, March 1, 1856: G. D. George, March 1, 1862; Alex- 
ander Ambler, March 1, 1864 (J. J. Smith tilled out the term from 
March 10, 1865) ; Frank M. Parcher, March 1, 1866 ; Cyrus Redlon, 
March 1, 1870; John Young, March 1, 1874; Nathan Warner, 
March 1, 1880; Gustaf Bodin, January 1, 1884; Frank McKnight, 
January 1, 1891 ; Ole Mattson, January 1, 1895 ; Ai. Hanaford. 
January 1, 1897; Thomas Hudek, January 1, 1901; August John- 
son. January 1, 1905; Orson C. Chamberlin, January 1, 1909. 

Registrar of Deeds. Until January 1, 1859, the oflfices of audi- 
tor, registrar of deeds and clerk of the board of county commis- 
sioners were combined. John 0. Haven took office April 9, 1855, 
followed January 1, 1857, by C. B. Jordan. After the offices were 
separated, Jordan continued as registrar of deeds. A. P. Mooers 
was appointed September 8, 1861, and W. C. Williams was chosen 
at a special election held October 8, 1861. William II. Iloulton 
took office January 1, 1866. George W. Carpenter was appointed 
January 2, 1867. Since then the registrars have been : January 
1, 1868: Joseph E. Warren; Ign. Gutzwiller, Jr., January 1, 1870; 
Frank W. Gorman, January 1, 1876: Fred Brandes, January 1, 
1880; James H. Hoover, January 1, 1887; Isaac S. Podas, January 
1, 1891 ; E. M. Nagel, January 1, 1895 ; August Hafften, January 



130 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

1, 1899; 0. M. Palmquist, January 1, 1903; Albert Hafften, Janu- 
ary 1, 1907; Oscar J. Peterson, January 1, 1909. 

Sheriff. Herbert W. McCrory was the first sheriff of Wright 
county. He resigned and Joseph C. Walker was appointed July 

2, 1855. Since then the sheriff's have been : George M. Bertram, 
January 1, 1856; W. Smith Brookins, January 1, 1860; Harvey 
S. Brookins, January 1, 1862; L. C. Pickins (appointed), Septem- 
ber 2, 1862; D. S. Calkins (appointed), February 12, 1863; Charles 
Judson, January 1, 1864; H. W. Brookins (appointed), March 16, 
1865 ; H. W. Fuller, January 1, 1866 ; Isaac S. Crooks, January 1, 
1868; W. H. Lord (appointed), February 16, 1869; John C. 
Nugent, January ], 1870; Mark M. Woolley, January 1, 1889; 
John C. Nugent, January 1, 1891; George C. Carpenter, January 
1, 1893: John C. Nugent, January 1, 1897; William G. Young, 
January 1, 1903; Angus H. Grant, Jan. 1, 1905. 

County Attorney. In the early days, the office of county at- 
torney was somewhat vague and uncertain. William Creighton 
took office April 9, 1855. He was followed January 1. 1857, by 
J. C. Parker. Charles King was appointed July 6, 1857. Janu- 
ary 13, 1859, the minutes of the county commissioners contain 
the information that "Edward Hartley is discharged from further 
service." January 4, 1860, the board decided that there was no 
such office as coiinty attorney. But on February 28, 1860, the 
members relented, recognized B. I. Hinman and voted him an 
annual salary of $150. Edward Wait, of Monticello, was ap- 
pointed March 5, 1861. Since then the attorneys have been: 
Edward Hartley, January 1, 1862; H. L. Gordon, January 1, 1864; 
Thomas R. Briggs, January 1, 1866; W. E. Hale, January 1, 1870; 
J. F. Dilley, January 1, 1872; J. IT. Wendell, January 1. 1876: A. 
Y. Eaton, January 1, 1882: W. E. Culkin, January 1, 1887; W. H. 
Cutting, January 1, 1891 ; W. E. Culkin, January 1, 1893 ; J. T. 
Alley, January 1, 1895; James C. Tarbox, January 1, 1897. Mr. 
Tarbox resigned in the spring of 1897 on being appointed district 
judge, and C. A. Pidgeon was appointed. Egbert S. Oakley took 
office January 1, 1901, and served until he resigned, in June, 
1903, on being appointed receiver of the land office at Cass Lake. 
William H. Cutting was appointed his successor. J. J. Woolley 
took office January 1, 1907, and Stephen A. Johnson, January 1, 
1913. 

Judge of Probate. In the early days, the judges of probate 
had but little work to do, the people for the most part were 
young, and there were few estates to settle. Isreal Record took 
office April 9, 1855, followed by: Perez T. Record, January 1, 
1856; James C. Beckman (appointed), Janxiary 7, 1856; S. J. 
Mason, January 1, 1857; and Franklin Wood (appointed), Octo- 
ber 6, 1857. In December, 1857, Charles King was acting as judge 
of probate. In the early and middle parts of 1858, J. G. Smith 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 131 

acted. In the latter jiart ol' 18,18, Edward Hartley aeted. Follow- 
ing him eanie: J. N. Barber (appointed), January 4, 1859; T. (!. 
Mealcy (appointed ~), January 8, 18G3; David Brooks, January 1, 
186C; George W. Carjienter, January 1, 18(JS; Thomas A. Perrine. 
January 1, 1870; H. Charles Jlorneau, January 1, 1874; Daniel 
Fish, January 1, 187C; John F. Dillev. January 1, 1878; Daniel 
Fish (appointed by Gov. John S. I'illsbiiiy 1o lill vacancy caused 
by death of Dilley), July 15, 187!); David Cochran, January 1, 
18S0; John T. Alley, January 1, 1887; John J. WooUcy, Januai-y 
1, 1895; William II. Cochrane, Jaiuiary 1, 1901. Mr. Cochrane 
died in i\Iarch, 1902, and J. J. Woollcy was appointed. Hcmi-y 
Spindler was elected January 1, 1907. 

Coroner. Row Brasie took office April 9, 1855. It has been im- 
possible to secure a complete list of those who served from that 
date until January 1, 1872, as the position seems to have been a 
haphazard one. J. M. Reilers seems to have been serving on 
August 1, 1867, and J. M. Keeler on July 15, 1871. Since the be- 
guining of 1872 the coroners have been: R. 0. Cady, January 1, 
1872; Elam S. Gibbs, January 1, 1878; S. E. Dean, January 1, 
1880; E. Y. Chilton, January 1, 1884; John S. Shrader, January 
1, 1887 ; Herbert Alfred Pinault. January 1, 1889 ; John S. Shrader 
(appointed). September 24, 1889; Henry E. Cassell, January 1, 
1891 ; Sidney R. Wakefield, January 1, 1893; E. A. Shaiuion, Jan- 
uary 1, 1897; C. B. Powell, January 1. 1899; A. G. Mottatt, Janu- 
ary ], 1903. 

Clerk of Court. E. W. IMerrill became clerk of court January 
1, 1856. When the state was admitted Thomas Chambers was in 
office, though James Chambers acted as his deputy much of the 
time. II. B. Hill took office January 1, 1862, but during the re- 
mainder of that year Samuel E. Adams and James Chambers 
appear to have been in charge of the office as deputies. Mr. Hill 
himself assumed the duties of the office in 1863. Since then the 
court clerks have been: James Chambers, January 1, 1865; A. F. 
Barker, January 1, 1866; W. W. Brasie. January 1, 1870; George 
A. Hoffman, January 1, 1872; W. W. Brasie, January 1, 1880; 
Oliver J. Steward, January 1, 1884; John O'Leary, January 1, 
1892; Charles H. Vorse, January 1, 1896; James J. Erickson. Jan- 
uary 1, 1901; Edward C. Tuttle, January 1, 1909. 

In 1884 and previously, there were annual elections. The 
county aiiditor was always elected in the even years, the otlier 
officers in the odd years. The clerk of the district court holds 
office four years under the constitution. Thus, all the officers 
that were elected in 1883, except the clerk of court, had thre(^ 
years to serve, the next election being in 1886. The auditor did 
not get an extra year as the others did because there was to be 
an election for auditor and court commissioner under the old 
law in 1884. The clerk of the court began his term in January. 



132 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

1884, and there beiug no election in 1887 (for the term beginning 
in January, 1888), the election for clerk of court was held in the 
fall of 1886, fourteen months before the person elected could take 
office. Thus the successive terms began in January, 1884, 1888, 
1892 and 1896. The legislature determined that there should be 
an election for the office of clerk of court in the fall of 1896, and 
every four years thereafter, the first successful candidate taking 
office in January, 1897. This left a year between the expiration 
of Mr. O 'Leary 's term, and the time when a new clerk could take 
office by election. The judges appointed Charles H. Vorse to fill 
the vacancy thus created. The feeling was running high, 'Leary 
beiug a Democrat and Vorse a Republican. The matter was taken 
to the courts and the Supreme Court (64 Minnesota, p. 207) held 
that Vorse was properly appointed, and gave him the office. In 
the fall of 1906 he was elected by vote for four years, thus hold- 
ing the position five years in all. 

Court Commissioner. Edward Hartley appears to have been 
court commissioner in 1862. Since 1870 the commissioners have 
been: Samuel Adams, January 1, 1870; Joseph II. Wendell, Jan- 
uary 1, 1874; John F. Dilley (appointed), March 10, 1876; Will- 
iam Van Eman, January 1, 1877 ; Samuel Porter, November 28, 
1877; David Cochran, Jan. 1, 1878; S. A. Putnam, June 2.5, 1881; 
C. H. Vorse, January 1, 1909. The court commissioner and the 
county auditor were elected in 1884, all the other in 1883. 

Superintendent of Schools. The list of county superinten- 
dents will be found in the chapter on County Schools, which ap- 
pears in this work. 

Surveyor. The first county surveyor was John 0. Haven, who 
took office April 9, 1855. In the early days various people not 
professional surveyors were appointed as viewers and surveyors 
of proposed county roads, and thus many county surveyors ap- 
pear on the early records. Mr. Haven was, however, the real 
county surveyor. May 4, 1857, A. W. Wood took office. E. T. 
Abbott became county surveyor April 6, 1858. E. B. McCord was 
appointed June 9, 1863. B. F. Miller took office March 13, 1866. 
Since then nearly all the surveyors have taken office in January. 
They are : 1870, James Jenks ; 1872, Josephus Alley ; 1878, James 
Jenks; 1880, W. W. Strong; 1882, E. B. McCord; 1884, Willis W. 
Strong; (March 17) 1885, E. B. McCord; 1889. Perry B. Fletcher; 
1891, E. B. McCord ; 1893, Halvor T. Moland ; 1897, Guy A. Eaton ; 
1899, Axel A. Bloom; 1905, E. J. Beedy : 1907, Edward Merz ; 
1909, Halvor T. Moland. Mr. Moland became postmaster at Buf- 
falo, and was followed as surveyor by D. C. Washburn, whose 
present term expires in 1919. 

Note. Arthur C. Heath, expert abstractor and former county 
auditor, who is jn-obably more familiar with the records of Wright 
county than any other man now living, has revised and amplified 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 133 

the above list of officers, assisted by .1. 'I'. Alley, and the list is, 
therefore, jirobahly as eorreet a one as eoidd be made. Tins is 
the first time that sueh a list of Wi'ii,'ht county otticers has ever 
been compiled, and its value is at once apiiai'eiit. 

COUNTY PROPERTY. 

Jail. As early as October 15, IS.'iS, the commissioners took up 
the nuittt'r of building a court house and jail. The supervisors 
inherite(l the problem. July 15, 185!), the matter was definitely 
decided and the building of a jail placed in the hands of a com- 
mittee. The cost of the jail was to be .$1,500 and county bonds 
were to be issued bearing: interest at 12 ]ier cent. During the dis- 
cussion it was suggested that as "Wright county was on the fron- 
tier, surrounded by more sparsely settled counties, considerable 
money might be made by keeping prisoners for other counties. 
On September 15, 185!), the board voted to issue the bonds, plac- 
ing them in the hands of the county auditor, (>xcept three hundred 
dollars advance payment to the contractor. The building was of 
hewed tamarack logs, clap-boarded outside' aiul lathed and i)las- 
tered inside. It was furnished with six cells, situated on either 
side of a hall running through the c<>nter. The size of the jail 
was about 20 by 24, and was built on laud a few rods northwest 
of the Academy building, deeded for that purpose by Smith & 
Brown so long as used for county purposes. When the building 
was completed it had cost the county •t2,500, instead of the sum 
before named, and when, in later years, the county seat was re- 
moved to Buffalo, the land reverted to the original owners, and 
with it the old jail, in which few prisoners had ever been confined. 

The county has now no jail. There are cells in the basement 
of the court house for temporary detention, but prisoners who are 
subject to imprisonment in a county jail are taken to Hennepin 
county and incarcerated there. This has proven a satisfactory 
arrangement, the cost being less than the expense of maintaining 
a jail. 

Court House. In territorial days the county seat of Wright 
county was located at Monticello. W^hen the state was admitted 
in 1858, there were several candidates for countj' seat honors, 
but Monticello was still the metropolis of the county, and the 
people of that village won an easy victory. 

As time passed and the county paid its outstanding debts, the 
propriety of building a court house was discussed. The county 
offices were kept in several places. The auditor and treasurer 
occupied a room together. The other officials had no offices, and 
the records were scattered throughout private homes. Before a 
court house was built, a permanent location of the seat of govern- 
ment must be fixed upon. 

September 3, 1861, Jackson Taylor, of Buffalo, presented a 



134 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

petition asking tliat the county seat be transferred to Buffalo. 
The vote came up in the fall, the ballots being marked "For 
Removal of County Seat to Buffalo," and "Against Removal of 
County Seat to Buffalo." The proposition was defeated. 

With the now more general distril^ition of settlers throughout 
the county, the question of removing the county seat from Mon- 
ticello to some more central point was more vigorously agitated, 
and in the legislature of 1867 a bill was passed submitting the 
matter to a vote of the people at the fall election of that year. 
As a result of this measure, the location was fixed at Buffalo. 
The last meeting of the county commissioner at Montieello was 
held March 12, 1868, and the first at Buffalo, iMarch 23, 1868. 
January 10, 1868, the legislature was asked to rescind an action 
which it had taken authorizing the people of Wright county to 
issue bonds for the court house, such an issue having been made 
unnecessary by the generosity of tlie citizens of Buff'alo. 

In accordance with a previous agreement, the citizens of 
Buffalo erected a building for court room and offices, which was 
furnished the county free of rent for a term of five years. This 
building was 24 by 36 feet, and two stories high. It was later 
owned bj' C. E. Oakley, tlie upper room being known as Oakley's 
Hall, and used for society and public meetings. A brick vault 
was also built adjoining the old court house on the east, during 
the construction of which a partial collapse gave Mr. Gardner, 
the builder, a temporary burial, from which, however, he was 
resurrected with slight injuries. 

In 1873 the five years' lease of the temporary court house 
expired and the building was purchased from Jackson Taylor, 
James Sturges and 0. L. Dudley for .^iOOO. But it was inadequate, 
and in tlie same year the legislature authorized the county to 
issue court house bonds. The proposition was submitted to the 
people at the township elections that spring, but the measure 
was defeated. In 187.'5 the legislature passed an act authorizing 
tlie board of county commissioners to issue the necessary bonds 
witliout submitting the matter to a vote of the people. 

Accordingly a committee was appointed, who, after examining 
several public buildings in difl'erent parts of the state, reported 
that a suitable and convenient buikling, with heavy brick walls 
and stone foundations, could be erected at a maximum cost of 
.^1^35,000. Plans and specifications were furnished by C. N. Daniels, 
and bids solicited. The contract was awarded to Bisbee, Bard- 
well & Moses, of Minneapolis, for .'(;26,640. A portion of the stone 
used in the foinidation was obtained near Buff'alo lake, the remain- 
der being brought from Minneapolis. The bricks were burned 
near by, thus lessening the otherwise heavy expense of building. 
The mason work was carried on under the supervision of Joseph 
Nelson, then nearly eighty years old. 



IIISTOHV OF WRIGHT COUNTY 135 

On Jamiai'v 1, ISTS, tlic lU'w voiirt house was oceupii'd liy tlii> 
county officers. The additioual expiiiditure of some .$ij,000 in 
feneinp;, erecting; outhiuldintts and ornamenting the grounds, 
adih^i mueh to its original a|)i)earanee. Viewed from tlie margin 
of the hdie on tlu' south, witli its teri'aeed gi-oinids, sightly walks 
and greenwood haekground, its imposing struetin-e alVords a per- 
s])eetive sueh as artists adnure, anil of wiiieli the eiti/ens of 
Wright county are ,justl\' proiid. 

After the legislature had authorized the board to issue the 
bonds without tiie vote of the pcoi)le, there was still nuieh oppo- 
sition to the building of tile eotu't house. Wiien the matter came 
to a vote before the county commissioners, those who voteii for 
the project were Jonas dohnson, Odilion Hei-thianme and Iv. O. 
Jlolsterteigen, and to these men the county owes the fact that 
it has a court house today. Thomas C. Porter and Fraid< Weigel 
voted against it. The buiUling committee consisted of Frank 
W^eigel, Jonas Johnson and Odilion Berthiaume. 

Alms House and County Farm. The county farm consists of 

tifty-six acres on Lake ('onstance. The house is modern in every 

respect, consisting of sixteen rooms, aside from the bath rooms, 

lialls, closets and the like. The jilaee is in charge of Burton 

Prestidge. 

BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW. 

Angus H. Grant, the capable and eflicient sheriff of Wright 
county, is a native-born son. lutving tii'st seen the light of day in 
Buli"alo townshij) October 'JiH, I860, son of Archibald and Eliza 
(Wilson) Grant, the jjioneers. lie was taken by his parents to 
Canada during the Indian scare of 1862-63, but aside from that 
has spent the span of his years in this vicinity. Aftei' receiving 
a good education in the district schools, he learned the carpen- 
ter's trade from his father, who, among otlier contracts, assisted 
in building the Wright county court house in 1877. The young 
man who in the future was to become the sheritf followed his 
trade for many years. About 1900 he became a grain dealer in 
Buffalo and followed this business for some four years. In the 
meantime he had become an auctioneer, and his work in this line 
won for him the coutidence and respect of the people throughout 
the county. In the fall of 1904 he ran for sheriff on the Repub- 
lican ticket, the party to which his father before him had adhered. 
He was elected, and on January 1, 1905, took office. Since that 
date he has served continuously. Sheriff Grant is an ideal officer. 
Commanding in appearance, courageous of spirit, diplomatic and 
shrewd in his handling of difficult cases, constantly attentive to 
duty and never found wanting when his presence is needed, he 
has administered the law without fear or favor, and has made 
Wright comity one of the most law-abiding counties in th(» state. 
W^ith his stern attention to duty he mingles a kindly tempera- 



136 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

ment, and no criminal ever leaves him vpithout receiving a word 
of admonition and encouragement for the future. In the admin- 
istration of the civil matters which come to his office he is dis- 
creet and prompt, and he is a general favorite with lawyers 
throughout the state. Sheriff Grant is a man of genial disposi- 
tion, with a ready smile and a warm handclasp. He is respected 
and honored by old and yoving alike throughout the county. In 
his hours of relaxation he is a delightful companion, and he 
numbers his friends by the hundreds. With his good fellowship 
and loyal friendships, it is natural that Sheriff Grant should be 
a prominent and popular fraternity man. He is a Thirty-second 
degree Mason, has been a member of the I. O. 0. P. for some 
quarter of a century, has belonged to the Woodmen of the World 
for some time, and in 1913 became a member of St. Cloud Lodge, 
No. 165, B. P. 0. E. Sheriff Grant was married, April 13, 1884, 
to Charity F. Walker, a daiighter of Henry T. Walker, who is 
elsewhere appropriately mentioned. Mrs. Grant is a member of 
the Eastern Star and of the Rebekah degree. The sunshine of 
the beautiful Grant home is a little girl, Medford Audrey, now 
four years old. Sheriff' and Mrs. Grant have one of the prettiest 
residences in the county. Conveniently designed, it is furnished 
with every comfort, and the good taste of the ones who planned 
it is everywhere apparent. It is surrounded by a beautiful lawn, 
and commands a picturesque view of Buffalo lake. 

Edward Clark Tuttle, clerk of court, was born in La Crosse, 
Wis., July 26, 1873, son of Birdsey N. and Helen M. (Bausman) 
Tuttle. Birdsey N. Tuttle was born in Boston, Mass., and became 
a merchant and contractor in La Crosse, Wis., where he died in 
1899. He was married in that city, and there his wife still lives. 
She was a native of Darmstadt, Germany, and came to America 
when she was fourteen years old. The children in the family 
were Laura, Fred, Jesse, Norman, Edward C. and Nellie. Edward 
C. received his education in tlie schools of La Crosse. In 1889 
he came to Minnesota and located at Howard Lake, where he en- 
gaged in the barber business. While there he served as village 
recorder and as justice of the peace. He also became a director 
in the German American bank, of that place, a position he still 
occupies. In December, 1908, he was elected county clerk of 
court, and in 1912 he was elected to succeed himself. At the 6th 
Congressional Republican Convention held in the city of Brain- 
erd, Minn., Mr. Tuttle was elected delegate to the National Re- 
publican Convention, held at Chicago, 111., June 17 to 22, 1912. 
Mr. Tuttle is a member of Howard Lake Lodge, No. 82, A. F. & 
A. M. of Howard Lake ; king of Buffalo Chapter, No. 71, R. A. M., 
of Buffalo; member of Howard Lodge, No. 136, K. of P., of 
Howard Lake ; was a clerk of Howard Lake Lodge, No. 2551, M. 
W. A., of Howard Lake; and belong to Buffalo lodge. No. 141, 



HISTORY OF WKUillT COUNTY 137 

1. (). 0. P. ami Paraii Eiu-aiiipiiu'ut, No. 42, I. O. (). F., of I\Ioiit- 
rose. Jlr. Tuttlc was inarried DcitihIici' LS, IS!).'!, to i\laric F. 
Thompson, of Howard Lake, born at Loj^'ansjjort, Ind. i\larir F. 
(Tii(>ni})son) Tnttli' is the daughter of Alexander K. Tlioinjison 
and Sarah Etta (Scott) Thompson. Ah-xander F. Tlioin|)son was 
boi'n in Cass County, Ind. lie was niari-ied in that eoiuity and 
nioveti by team in eovered wagon to Victor townslii|>, Wright 
county, in 1M77. He died May 5, 1779, and his wife now lives at 
Howard Lake, ilinn. The children in the Thompson family are 
Marie F., born July 22, 1876, at Logansj)ort, Ind., and (ieoi-ge F. 
Thompson, born April 8, 1878, in Victor township, Wright county, 
Minn. ilr. aiul Jlrs. Tuttle have had six childi-en. Stuai't and 
Cecil are deatl. Marguerite Helen, Lorna i\Iay, Frank Scott and 
Birdsey Norman, live at home. ]\lr. Tuttle is a splendid example 
of the success that may be attained through intelligence and hard 
work by a man of high aims and sturdy forebears. Ever inspired 
with the purpose of making the most of himself and at the same 
time to promote the best interests of his fellow man, he has well 
deserved the pleasant things of life that have come to him. He 
has demonstrated that when his rights are assailed he is a power- 
ful antagonist, and no less is he a staunch and loyal friend. As 
a man he occupies a position of probity and intiuence, as a citizen 
lie has always stood for progress, as an official he is thoroughly 
antl uniformly courteous. The popularity which Mr. Tuttle 's 
genial temperament and never-failing good nature have won for 
him is founded on a solid foundation of true worth, and although 
he has already achieved an enviable measure of prosperity and 
success, yet, being still a young man, his friends predict for him 
an even more notable future. 

John A. Berg, son of Andrew and Charlotte (Carlson) Berg, 
was born in ^Minneapolis, Minn., March 30, 1882. His parents 
emigrated to America from Sweden in 1873, locating in Minne- 
apolis; and in 1S82 removed to Cokato, Minn., where, in July of 
the same year, the father died. The mother was left with a family 
of six children to care for, but it was not long before the cares 
and worries of the home were lightened by the aid given her by 
the elder children. Mr. Berg's boyhood was spent at Cokato, 
where he found employment during the vacation period and at- 
tended the village school, where he acquired a thorough and prac- 
tical education in the common branches. As a youth he found 
employment in the Cokato creamery and later became assistant 
postmaster under A. Hammarsten. In 1904 he accepted the ap- 
pointment as deputy county auditor under H. C. Brasie and in 
the fall of 1908 succeeded to the office of auditor, which position 
he continues to hold. Mr. Berg's conduct of the office has met 
with general approval, as evidenced by the fact that he has been 
elected four consecutive terms and three of thes(> terms without 



138 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

opposition in the primary or general elections. Mr. Berg is re- 
garded among the best informed men in the county in the laws 
relating to taxation, ditching, roads and elections, by which his 
duties as county auditor are governed and is a rapid and accurate 
accountant. Mr. Berg is a member of the Baptist church. He is 
naturally gifted in music and shows a willingness at all times to 
use his talent by assisting in choral work in the churches and in 
directing the village band. Mr. Berg was married July 23, 1904, 
to Helen Bergstrom, daughter of Lars and Maria (Fryckstrom) 
Bergstrom, pioneers of Cokato. Mr. and Mrs. Berg are the parents 
of three children, Lillian, born December 29, 1906; Doris, born 
November 21, 1908; Carl, born October 19, 1912. 

Oscar J. Peterson. Wright county registrar of deeds, was 
born August 7, 1872, in Minneapolis, son of John M. and Lizzie 
Peterson. About 1875 Oscar came with his parents to Wright 
county, where they located a farm in Middleville township and 
here he attended the county school. Later he took a business 
course at the Gustavus Adolphus College at St. Peter, Minn. 
Then he engaged as a clerk in a mercantile business at Annandale 
and later at Cokato, continuing in this work for about five years. 
In 1897 and 1898 he was deputy for Edward M. Nagel, registrar 
of deeds. Next he engaged in the real estate and machine busi- 
ness until the fall of 1909 when he was elected registrar of deeds 
for Wright county, which office he has held ever since. Mr. 
Peterson belongs to the Knight of Pytliias, the Independent Order 
of Odd Fellows, and Modern Woodmen of America. He is also a 
member of the Swedish Lutheran church. Mr. Peterson was 
married November 18, 1912, to Alma Anderson. 

Henry Spindler, .judge of probate, of Wright county, was born 
in Waconia, Carver county, Minnesota, December 5, 1871, son of 
Gottlieb and Regula (Herman) Spindler, natives respectively of 
Germany and Switzei'land. Gottlieb Spindler died in November, 
1905, and his wife still lives in Buffalo. Henry Spindler received 
his early education in the public schools of Waconia, later 
attending the high school. He engaged in teaching for about 
three years in the district and public schools of MeLeod county. 
In the fall of 1896 he entered the University of Minnesota, grad- 
tiating from the law department in 1898. He then came to Wright 
county and located at Annandale, where he opened an office and 
began practicing law. He remained there until 1906, when he 
was elected judge of probate. He has been re-elected every term 
since and is the present incumbent. Mr. Spindler is a member of 
the BuiTalo Lodge, No. 141, I. O. 0. F. He was married, April 30, 
1908, to Emma Wolf!', who is his deputy. 

Orson C. Chamberlin, treasurer of Wright county, was born 
in Monticello, October 3, 1873, and is thus one of the few native- 
born sons who have held countv office here. He was reared in 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 139 

tile hoiiu' of his parents. Enmioiis and Alnicda (Foster) riiaiiilirr- 
lin, rccfivfd a j^ood I'ducation in the district schools, and as lie 
grew to manhood farnied on iiis father's old |)laee and clerked 
ill a store. In 190;! he and .1. H. Huston ent.'a'red in tlie hardware 
hnsiness at Montieello. In UK)(> the part nershi]) was dissolved, 
and ^Ir. Cliainherlin continned the business alone. In 1907 he 
sold out. and <'aine to BulTalo as deputy treasurer under A. (i. 
.Johnson. Here his ijood cheer and (il)li;4in>; 1eni|)eranient won 
the sincere regard of all witli whom he came in contact, and in 
1908 when he came before the jjcople as candidate for county 
treasurer he was electeil by a substantial majoi'ity. He took office 
January 1, 1909. antl has sinci' contiiuied to serve, with such 
credit to himself and with such satisfaction to his fellow citizens 
that in the fall of 1914 he was reelected for four years moi'c. 
The routine woi'k of the office is well attended to, and those 
who transact business there are made to feel that Mr. ("luiiiiberlin 
competently fills the position. As a fraternity man, Mr. Cham- 
berlin has assumed state-wide connections, and the Masons, the 
Odd Fellows, the Elks and the Woodmen count him as a valued 
member. He belongs to Buifalo Lodge, No. 141, Buffalo, and 
Paran Encampment, No. 42, Montrose, both of the I. 0. 0. F. ; 
to Nelson Lodge, No. 135, A. F. & A. M., Buffalo ; Galilee Chapter, 
Lodge No. 53, 0. E. S., and Buffalo Chapter, No. 71, R. A. M., of 
Bufl'alo; ilinneapolis Consistory, No. 2, A. & A. S. R. S. J.; St. 
Cloud Lodge, No. 516, B. P. 0. E., of St. Cloud ; and Monticello 
Camp, No. 3168, M. W. A., of Monticello, as well as to minor 
orders. Mr. Chamberlin was married, October 22, 1902, to Elma 
E. Barnett, of Monticello, daughter of W. P. Barnett, a pioneer, 
and they have two bright sons. Glen and Raymond. 

George Parsons Dodd, a leading citizen of Buffalo, is widely 
known as an authority on criminology. The best years of his 
life have been spent in maintaining the law and order of the 
state, and his influence on the penal institutions of Minnesota 
has been marked. Mr. Dodd was born in Quebec, Canada, Octo- 
ber 20, 1848, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Dodd, the pioneers. At 
the age of seven he was taken to what is now Ottawa, Canada, 
and in 1864 he came with the rest of the family to Chatham town- 
ship, this county. He spent his young manhood on the farm, 
and living near Butfalo, he early became identified with affairs 
ill tliat village. While scarcely more than a boy he assisted in 
putting up the first frame house to be erected in the western part 
of the present village. It was in 1876 that he went to the state 
prison, at Stillwater, as guard. His work attracted attention, 
and he was soon made the prison storekeeper. In all he spent 
twelve years at the prison, and during that time commended 
himself to the state authorities for his efficient service, good .judg- 
ment, bravery and ju.stice. In a period when modern prison 



140 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

reform had not become generally popular he assisted in inaugu- 
rating many reforms and became a valued member of the execu- 
tive force of the prison. He was influential in the starting of 
the "Prison Mirror," in 1887, the paper being the only one of 
its kind in the world at that time. The influence of the paper 
has been widely extended, and has done much toward cheering 
the prisoners while confined and giving them a new start in life 
when released. In the same year he assisted in organizing the 
prison choir, which has also been an important influence in 
improving the discipline and bettering the lives of the inmates. 
At the great prison fire of January 24, 1884, he proved his hero- 
ism in a way that will live forever in the annals of the state, 
and which saved Minnesota the blot of having dozens of its 
wards perish while in custody. At the time of the fire he was 
in charge of the prison fire department. The thermometer stood 
at twenty-seven below zero, and Mr. Dodd fought the fire stand- 
ing in the frigid water. He went to the female department, 
where his wife Avas in charge, and helped her to get the women 
prisoners into the cell department. At this time the fire was at 
its height, and word came that thirty-eight prisoners were cut ofi' 
on the fifth floor. Plunging through smoke, over slippery floors, 
at the risk of his life, Mr. Dodd reached the corridor and person- 
ally released the prisoners, taking them all to a place of safety. 
On his way from his wife's department, to release these men, 
Mr. Dodd was cut off by the flames, and in jumping over the ban- 
nisters he received injuries from which he has never recovered. 
The papers of the state joined in their praise of his valor. From 
Stillwater, in 1896, Mr. Dodd went to the Minneapolis Municipal 
Work House, where he remained until 1899. In 1901 he returned 
to Buffalo, and became deputy sheriff' under Angus H. Grant, 
a position he still retains. He is an able, brave, shrewd and 
conscientious officer, and has done most efficient work. From 
April, 1908, to April, 1914, he was village marshal of Buffalo, 
and in that capacity gave general satisfaction. Mr. Dodd is a 
member of Buffalo Lodge, No. 141, I. 0. 0. F., of Buffalo. He 
was married, June 27, 1883, to Anna L. Dowling, daughter of 
Christopher and Martha (Miller) Dowling, natives of Ireland, 
who were broiight to Canada as children. Christopher Dowling 
was a mason by trade. He died at the age of eighty-three and 
his wife at the age of eighty-two. Mr. and Mrs. Dodd have two 
children, John H. and Florence Leona, both at home. Before her 
marriage, and until the fire of January 24, 1884, Mrs. Dodd was 
matron at the Stillwater State Prison under Warden J. A. Reed, 
and in this capacity won general praise. She has been an able 
hel]iHie('t of her husband's in all his ventures. 

Arthur C. Heath was born at McKeesport, Pa., January 
12, 1857. He was educated at Colgate University, taking the de- 




"Ta - oyj> (e - <r( itt^- 



.-r^'o- 



LITTLE CEOW 



HISTORY OF WKKJIIT COUNTY 141 

gree of A. B. in 1879. In l.S.SO he caiui' to Wri);;lit coiintN-. tcacli- 
ing tlireo yoai's at .Montici'llo and one year at HiitValo. For scvt'ii 
years he scrvi'il in tlu' county anditors otKici', first as deputy and 
aftei'ward as auditor. After spi'uding two years in Seattle he 
returned to B\itt'alo in ISO.'i, anil ix'gan tlie work of abstracting 
the records of land tith>s. Having in IM'JS eonipU'ted his al)straet 
books, he engageii in the business of making altstracts of title. 
He was married October 24, 1898, to Mrs. Elhi Dean, who ilied 
Septendier 2'\ 1899. He was again married, .hine .'iO, 190.'!, to 
Stella il. Jacobs. From this union iiave been born three cliildren: 
Arthur C. Heath, .Jr., Harold E. Heath and Eleanor J. Heath. 



CHAPTER IX. 
THE SIOUX UPRISING. 

Indians Take Revenge for the Wrongs of the Centuries — Sum- 
mary of the Tragedy — Wright County Terrified by Reports — 
Big Woods Deserted — Preparations for Defense at River 
Points — The Dustin Massacre — Indian Agent Takes His Own 
Life — An Indian Killed — Indians Pursued — Death of Little 
Crow. 

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

The immediate cause of the outbreak, while it followed trouble 
at the reservation over deferred payments, occurred ou August 
17, 1862. 

The Rice Creek Indians were deserters from the bands to which 
they originally belonged, because they were discontented with 
conditions, and had grievances against their chiefs or others of 
their fellow-clansmen. They were, too, malcontents generally. 
They did not like their own people, they did not like the whites. 
A few were good hunters and trappers, though none of them were 
farmers. They depended almost altogether for provisions upon 
their success in hunting and fishing. Detachments from the band 
were constantly in the Big Woods engaged in hunting. 



142 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Four of this band, on a trip to Aeton township, August 17, 
1862, found a hen's nest in the corner of a settler's fence, and, 
against the remonstrance of his companions, one of them took the 
eggs. This resulted in a quarrel over the question of bravery, 
after which the four started out in angry mood to show how 
brave they were. They accordingly proceeded to settlers' homes 
and shot and killed three white men and two women, Mr. and 
Mrs. Robinson Jones, Howard Bakei-, Viranus Webster and Clara 
D. Wilson. Realizing that these murders would cause their arrest 
and severe punishment, they rapidly proceeded to Rice Creek, 
near the lower Sioux agency, informed their relatives, and an 
immediate uprising was decided upon. Little Crow was asked 
to lead ; he at first hesitated, and then consented, saying : "Trouble 
is sure to come with the whites sooner or later. It ma.y as well 
take place now as any time. I am with you. Let us hurry to 
the agency, kill the traders and take their goods." 

At this date there was a great deal of bad feeling among the 
Indians towards, and dissatisfaction with the Federal governmeut. 
Their annuity payments were long past due and they were suffer- 
ing for want of sufficient food. The fact that many white men 
had enlisted in the Union army and gone South, had led many 
Indians to the belief that they could drive the whites out of the 
Minnesota Valley and from their former hunting grounds. This 
was the situation when the young Indian murderers reached their 
band at Rice Creek near the lower Sioux agency, where the 
hidians had gathered some months before to await the annuity 
payment. 

In his "History of the Sioux War," I. V. D. Heard, an officer 
on General Sibley's staff, says of conditions early in 1862: 

"The Indians were grievously disappointed with their bar- 
gains. They had now nearly disposed of all their land, and had 
received scarcely anything for it. They were 6,200 in number 
and their annuities when paid in full, were hardly $15 apiece. 
Their sufferings from hunger were often severe, especially during 
the winter ])revious to the massacre." 

Agency Attacked — Country Devastated. The Lower Agency 
was located on the Minnesota river about twelve miles above 
Fort Ridgley — a small frontier post with a stone barracks for 
the troops and frame residences for offices, but no defences. Little 
Crow was a prominent chief and recognized leader. He had been 
well treated by the Indian agents and was regarded as a friend of 
the whites, but on this occasion was carried away by the wild 
fury of the Indians. When he gave the word, the savages rushed 
to the agency and the slaughter began. The Avhites were taken 
unawares and were easy victims. All men were shot down ; few 
women were killed. The stores proved such an attraction that 
the Indians poured into them, pillaging and looting, during which 



lilSTOKV OF WUlclIT CorXTV M:i 

time souit' i\-\y wliitcs inanai^'ftl t(i csi-apc across tlio rivi>r. I/ater 
in the day, the savages crossed the Minnesota river, scattered 
throughout the setth'iiients, and l)egaii their work of murder, 
rapine, unspeakabK' outrages, burning of houses and general de- 
struction and (h'vastation. Men, women an<l cliihlren were 
shiughteretl under tlie most hori'ihie circumstances, and theii- 
bodies slioekingly mutihited. For generations the wiiite man iiad 
snb,iected tlu' hulian and his family to hist, to greed, to wi'ongs 
and to avarice. Now the smouldering tii-es had broken loose. 
The unsuspecting settlers were taken eomi)letely liy sur])rise, and 
made no resistanci': indeed, very few had tircarms, and wei-e not 
even accustomed to using them. Though hundreds of whites 
were slain that day, not a single Iiulian was killed. In some 
localities, the whites, learning of the uprising, hurriedly assembled 
together, naturally thinking luimbers would add to their safety, 
and started for Fort Kidgley. 

In a German settlenu'nt in western Renville county, twenty- 
five families had thus gathered and were waiting for neighbors to 
join them, when a war ])arty of Shakopee's band suddenly aj)- 
peared, surrounded them, and slaughtered 100 men, women and 
children within an area of two acres. At a war dance that eve- 
ning. Chief Shakojiee exidtingly declared that he had tomahawked 
so many whites that day that his ;irni was hune. 

Down the ^linnesota river on both siiles below Fort Kidgley 
as far as New Ulm, and up the river to Yellow Medicine, the 
bloody slaughter extended that day. The fiendish butcheries and 
horrible killings beggar description. Here is one or many like in- 
stances : Cut Nose, a savage of savages, with half a dozen other 
Sioux, overtook a number of whites in wagons. He sprang into 
one of the vehicles in which were eleven wonuMi and children and 
tomahawked every one of them, yelling in fiendisli delight as his 
weapons went crashing through the skulls of the helpless victims. 
Twenty-five whites were killed at this jioint. Settlers were slain 
from near the Iowa line in Jackson county, as far north as Breck- 
enridge, including Glencoe, Hutchinson, Forest City, Manannah 
and other places, fourteen were killed at White Lake, Kandi- 
yohi county. The much greater number of whites were slaugh- 
tered, however, within the reservations, and in Renville and 
Brown counties. During the fii-st week, it is estimated that over 
600 whites were killed and nearly 200 women and children taken 
captive. Only one man escaped death — George Spencer, wounded 
at the Lower Agency, was saved by a friendly Indian, and became 
a prisoner. 

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



144 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

When the news of tlie outbreak reached Fort Ridgley, Captain 
John S. Marsh, with forty-six of his men of Company B, Fifth 
Minnesota, started for the Lower Agency. He was ambushed at 
Redwood Ferry, twenty-four of his men were killed, and he him- 
self was drowned in attempting to cross the river. The survivors 
of his command hid in the thickets and worked their way back 
to the fort at night. 

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

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

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



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 145 

Situation in the Minnesota Valley. Heard s liistoiy tlius viv- 
idly portrays (.•oiiditioiis in the iMiiiiuvsota \'all<'y at this period: 

"Shakopee, Belh' IMaiiie and llendi-rson were tiUed witli fugi- 
tives. Giiai'ds pat lolled the outskirts, an<l attacks were con- 
stantly apprehended. Oxen were killed in tlie streets, and the 
meat, hastily preparetl, was cooked over tires on the ground. The 
grist mills were sxirrendered by their owners to the publie and 
kept in constant motion to allay the denianil for food. All 
thought of property was abandoned. Safet.y of life prevailed 
over every other consideration. Poverty stared in the face those 
who had been afHuent, but they thought little of that. Women 
were to be seen in the street hanging on each other's necks, 
telling of their mutual losses, and the little terror-stricken chil- 
dren, surviving remnants of once happy homes, crying piteously 
around their knees. The houses and stables were all occupied by 
peojile, and hundreds of fugitives had no covering or shelter but 
the canopy of heaven." 

August 26, Lieut. -Gov. Ignatius Donnelly, writing to Gov. Al- 
exander Ramsey, from St. Peter, saitl ; 

"You can hardly conceive the panic existing along the valley. 
In Belle Plaine I found 60 people crowded. In this place leading 
citizens assure me that there are between 3,000 and 4,000 refugees. 
On the road between New Ulm and Mankato are over 2,000; Man- 
kato is also crowded. The people here are in a state of panic. 
They fear to see our forces leave. Although we may agree that 
much of this dread is without foundation, nevertheless it is pro- 
ducing disastrous consequences to the state. The people will 
continue to povw down the valley, carrying consternation wher- 
ever they go, their property in the ineaiitinie abandoned and 
going to ruin." 

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

Birch Coulie Disaster. August 31, General Sibley, then en- 
camped at Fort Ridgley with his entire command, dispatched a 
force of some 150 men, under the command of Maj. Joseph R. 



146 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Brown, to the Lower Agency, with instructions to bury the dead 
of Captain Marsh's command and the remains of all settlers 
found. No signs of Indians were seen at the agency, which they 
visited on September 1. That evening they encamped near Birch 
Coulie, about 200 yards from the timber. This was a fatal mis- 
take, as subsequent events proved. At early dawn the Sioux, 
who had surrounded the camp, were discovered by a sentinel, 
who fired. Instantly there came a deadly roar from hundreds of 
Indian guns all around the camp. The soldiers sprang to their 
feet, and in a few minutes thirty were shot down. Thereafter all 
hugged the ground. The horses to the number of 87 were soon 
killed, and furnished a slight protection to the men, who dug pits 
with spades and bayonets. General Sibley sent a force of 240 
men to their relief, and on the same day followed with his entire 
command. On the forenoon of September 3, they reached the 
Coulie and the Indians retreated. Twenty-eight whites were 
killed and sixty wounded. The condition of the wounded and 
indeed the entire force was terrible. They had been some forty 
hours without water, under a hot sun, surrounded by bloodthirsty, 
howling savages. The dead were buried and the wounded taken 
to Fort Ridgley. 

In Northwestern Settlements. After the battle of Birch 
Coulie, many small war parties of Indians started for the settle- 
ments to the Northwest, burning houses, killing settlers and 
spreading terror throughout that region. There were minor bat- 
tles at Forest City, Acton, Hutchinson and other places. Stock- 
ades were built at various points. The wife and two children of 
a settler, a mile from Richmond, were killed on September 22. 
Paynesville was abandoned and all but two houses burned. The. 
most severe fighting with the Indians in the northwestern settle- 
ments was at Forest City, Acton and Hutchinson, on September 
3 and 4. Prior to the battle at Birch Coulie, Little Crow, with 
110 warriors, started on a raid to the Big Woods country. They 
encountered a company of some 60 whites under Captain Strout, 
between Glencoe and Acton, and a furious fight ensued, Strout "s 
force finally reaching Hutchinson, with a loss of five killed and 
seventeen wounded. Next day Hutchinson and Forest City, 
where stockades liad been erected, were attacked, but the Indians 
finally retired without much loss on either side, the Indians, how- 
ever, burning many houses, driving ofi:' horses and cattle, and 
carrying away a great deal of i)ersonal property. 

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

Anxiety as to Chippewas. Tlu^re was great anxiety as to the 
Chii)pewas. Rumors were rife that Hole-in-the-Day, the head 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT {"OI'NTY 147 

cllii'f, hail smokfd the |ii|if of peace with his hei-edilai'.v enemies, 
the Sioux, aiul wouhl join tliein in a war ajjainst tin' wliites. 
There was good grouiul tor tiu'se appreluMisions, but l)y wise 
couiK'il and advice, Hole-iii-the-Day and his Chippewas remained 
passive. 

Want of Supplies Delays Movements. Ceneial Sihley was 
greatly' delayed in his movements a<::iinst the Indians liy insutli- 
eieney of supplies, want of eavalry and ju-oper sui>iily trains. 
Early in Sei)tember lie moved forward and on Se|itend>er '2'^, at 
Wood Lake, engaged in a spirited battle with ftOO Indians, de- 
feating them with considerable loss. On the twenty-sixth, (leii- 
eral Sibley moved forward to the Indian eami)s. Ijittle Crow 
and his followers had liastily retreated after the battle at Wood 
Lake and left the state. Several bands of frieiully hulians re- 
mained and through their action in guarding the captives they 
were saved and released, in all 91 whites and ir>() half-breeds. 
The women of the latter had been subjected to the same indig- 
nities as the white women. 

General Sibley proceeded to arrest all Indians suspected of 
murder, abuse of wonuni and other outrages. Eventually 425 
were tried by a military commission, 30:5 being sentenced to 
death and IS to imprisonment. President Lincoln commuted the 
sentences of all but 39. One of the 39 proved an alibi and was 
released. Thirty-eight were hanged at ^lankato December 2(5, 
1862. 

Sioux Driven from State. 'I'he Rattle of Wootl Lake ended 
the campaign against the Sioux for that year. Small war parties 
occasionally raided the settlements, creating "scares" and excite- 
ment, but the main body of Indians left the state for Dakota. 
Little Crow and a son returned in 1863, and on July 3 was killed 
near Hutchinson by a farmer named Nathan Lamson. In 1863 
and 1864 expeditions against the Indians drove them across the 
Missouri river, defeating them in several battles. Thus Minne- 
sota was forever freed from danger from the Sioux. 

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

Wright county suffered severely during the ujirising. for, 
though the Indians tliemselves brought harm to but one family, 
the people were swept by a panic of fright that left its effect for 
many years thereafter. 

August 20, 1862, soon after the departure of Company E, 
Eightli ^Minnesota Vohniteer Infantry, for Ft. Snelling, word 
came of the terrible revenge that was being taken by tiie de- 
frauded Sioux at Acton, Yellow ^Medicine and elsewhere. 

Added to the authentic reports of murders came rumors of 



148 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

widespread pillage, rapioe and massacre. Every settler believed 
that the region just to the west of him was swarming with the 
infuriated red warriors. The people along the Mississippi and 
Crow rivers were told that Waverly had been burned and that 
Buffalo was running red with blood. In the central part of the 
county, the western portions were supposed to be the scenes of 
carnage and ruin, while the people in these western portions in 
turn received news that every family in Meeker county had been 
wiped out. 

Then the exodus began. From every direction the pioneers 
started for St. Paul, Minneapolis, Ft. Suelling and St. Anthony, 
leaving their crops and sometimes their live stock, and taking 
only such household effects as could be hastily gathered together. 
In the face of impending and horrible death, material possessions 
were considered of little importance. 

In a short time scarcely a family was left in the Big Woods. 
Here and there a man braver than the rest stayed behind his 
wife and children, but such men spent their time in scouting in 
the timbers, going for days at a time without food, often not 
daring to look after their stock or crops, and sometimes afraid 
even to go near their own cabins. 

The Indian scare in Wright county was greater than in any 
other portion of the state except in parts of Hennepin and Carver 
counties — in fact, much worse than it was in the regions where 
hundreds of people were killed. In the Big Woods there was 
panic, uncurbed, and the words and admonitions of a few cooler 
and wiser citizens availed nothing. The clearings about the 
cabins were small ; unlike the people who lived in the prairie 
country, the pioneer in the Big Woods could command a view of 
the landscape for only a few rods from his home. The Indians, 
had tliey so desired, could have crept upon the isolated claims 
entirely unseen until making their last dash from the dark for- 
ests. The placing of sufficient guards around each home to pre- 
vent the Indians from approaching unawares was out of the 
question, and the people could think of nothing but flight. 

During the first maddened rush, measures were taken to stay 
the throng at Buffalo, but witliout avail. For a few days similar 
attempts in other places were no more successful. But after a 
while reason asserted itself, and stands were made at Monticello, 
Clearwater and Rockford. Stockades were erected at various 
points and an effort made to accommodate all who desired to find 
shelter. Every shop, house, store, shed and barn was filled with 
families from the western part of the county. Military law was 
established, and the men and boys took tlu'ir turn as guards. 
The state sent up some amiiuuiition, and some nmskets, which at 
the time were received as a welcome protection, but whose clumsy 
proportions were later a source of nuich amusement. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 149 

III tiiiif the fxcitciiiriit stilisidcd, ;i sriisi' of security asserted 
itself, ami jifople went hack to tlie |ilaces tliey had deserted. 
Many, however, had hdt permanently. Probably fully a third of 
the entiri' [jopulation never ajjjain eaiiie to the county. Some went 
to their former homes in the older states, some settled in the 
cities in this state, some took \ip pioneei- life in communities far 
removed from dandier of Indian raids. When the undaunted ones 
who deternnned to remain in the county returiK'd to their homes 
in the fall of ISti'J their claims were the scenes of desolation. No 
Indians had ravaged the land, but the tudiarvestetl crops were 
ruined, donu'stic animals had run wild or disappeared, ami a 
season of vacancy had set its hand upon tlie interior of the cabins. 

In the spring of 18615 a few more settlers returned, some new 
families moved in, a period of peace ensued, and the people were 
looking for the close of the Civil war to again bring })rosperity 
and happiness. Then, on June 30, came the news of the Dustiu 
massacre. The exodus was worse than that of the previous year. 
In the words of one old settler : 

"The whole population started at once, and it seemed for a 
time that nothing could stop the rush. The roads to St. Paul and 
Minneapolis were filled with a motley procession of human beings, 
interspersed with cattle, horses, sheep, swine and poultry, all in 
one seething mass, hurrying or actiuilly running, all anxious to 
reach a place of safetj'. Rumors had sent them forth the pre- 
vious year, this time five Indians luul actually been seen, murder 
had actually been committed, and thousands of persons were in 
flight." 

In a few days reason returned. The exodus was again stopped 
at IMonticello, Clearwater and Roekford, forts and stockades were 
erected in various places, and preparations for defense took the 
place of fleeing terror. But as before, the people returned to 
their cabins to find their crops ruined, and their prospects for a 
future happj' and prosperous home blasted. Facing a hard winter 
with no provisions, many were forced to leave the county forever. 

And thus, depoi>ulated first by the grasshopper ravages of 
1856-57, next by the financial inability of the pioneers to pur- 
chase their claims when the land was put in the market in 1859, 
and finally by the Indian scare and its consequent desolation, 
Wright county and its widely separated families, awaited the 
return of the soldiers and the dawn of prosperity. 

The Dustin Massacre. Four members of a Wright county 
family fell victims of the fury of the Sioux during the Indian 
uprising, and the story will ever live in the annals of Wright 
county events. So long as an old settler remains the tale will be 
told by evening firesides, and to younger generations for decades 
to come it will typify the dangers which their forebears braved 



150 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

in Older that Wright county might be reclaimed from the 
wilderness. 

Among the early settlers of Marysville were the members of 
the Dustin family, who arrived in 1857. In the household were 
Mrs. Jennette Dustin, a widow, and six children, Amos, Nathan 
M., Timothy, Dallas, Mrs. Amnion D. Kingsley and Belle. They 
established their home in section 24, township 119, range 26, and 
experienced the usual vicissitudes of pioneer life. They were 
friendly with the Indians, and did considerable trading with the 
braves of Medicine Bottle's band, who in 1858 or 1859 spent 
nearly all the winter near them on the north fork of the Crow 
river. 

In 1863, the Dustins determined to change their location. Ac- 
cordingly they sold their farm to David Beatle, and the sons 
went to Moores" prairie, now Stockholm, and took a claim in the 
southern part of the town near Collinwood. Amos then went 
back to Marysville after the rest of the family. 

June 29, the party set out for their new home. They had a 
yoke of oxen, a wagon, and the household goods, and on top of 
the load were seated Mrs. Jennette Dustin, aged fifty-four years, 
her son, Amos Dustin, aged about thirty, his wife, Mrs. Kate 
Miller Dustin, aged twenty-four, and their three children, Almeda, 
six, Robert, four, and Leon, two. 

They went by way of Waverly, and about noon stopped at 
the home of Aaron E. Cochran, on the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion 2, in what is now the town of Victor. Then they traveled 
west on the old Moores prairie road, which ran south of Smith 
lake. Late in the afternoon, when they were about two and a 
half miles west of what is now the village of Howard Lake, and 
near the east end of Smith lake, they encountered five Indians, 
in black war paint. They had no blankets, and to the terrified 
family appeared to be wearing black, shiny, tight, rubber coats. 
It is possible that the Indians had somewhere plundered the 
coats, but it is more likely that their black breech clothes and 
their painted black bodies gave them the appearance of being 
clothed in rubber. They were armed with bows and arrows, war 
clubs and knives, but had no fire arms. 

The marauders ranged along either side of the wagon, and 
the startled oxen ran the vehicle into a fallen tree, broke the 
wagon, and thus liberated, plunged into the forest. The fright- 
ened family made no effective resistance, though it is said that 
Amos Dustin had a loaded gun leaning against the seat in front 
of him. 

Then the arrows began to fly. Pierced through and through, 
Amos Dustin fell over, insensible ; horrible wounds from a war 
club coiii])leted the murderous work, and the man dropped dead 
to the bottom of the wagon, his stifl:'ening body protecting the 



IIIS;T0KY of WRKIIIT county 151 

ilaufrhttT, Almrda, who t'diuul slu'ltiM' bfiiratli him. In the iiioaii- 
tiinu others of tlif war pai'tN' hail \vrouf,'ht thrir unholy will on 
till' olil lady, whose vif^orous si'lt'-dclVnso with a caiu' availed 
nothing. They eiit otV her haiuls, her nose anil her lips, tore out 
her heart ami tlourished it as a trophy, then shot her quivering 
body full of arrows. The frigliteneil shriek of Robert, the fo>ir- 
years-old boy, had been stitied with an ari'ow that passed eoni- 
pletely through him, leaving his life blood to How over the uneon- 
seious form of his father, and the terrified sister who lay heneatii. 

I\Irs. Kate Dustin, with her husband and little boy dead, and 
with what was once her uu)thi'r-in-law a shapeless horror, shrieked 
aloud her terror, and an arrow pierced her baek, the head pro- 
jecting about half an inch below her l)reast bone, where it re- 
mained. Another ari'ow penetrated her shoulder. Then she was 
taken from the wagon and severely beaten. 

The Indians having for a time satisfied theii- blood-lust, tossed 
Leon, aged two, into a thicket, and started jilundering the wagon. 
They took the bed clothing, provisions, trinkets and a bed tick, 
which they first emptied of featliers. Then they departed. 

Sustained by that never-daunted courage of the pioneer 
mother, Mrs. Kate Dustin pulled her blood-stained daughter from 
under the body of Amos Dustin, picked up her baby from the 
thicket, and started back toward Cochran's. Sorely wounded 
and bruised, an arrow still piercing her body, blinded by blood 
and mosquitoes, intense agony shaking her frame, she stumbled 
on, carrying one child part of the time and guiding the other. 
In the gathering darkness she lost the road, and after wandering 
about nearly till sunrise, she committed her children to the care 
of Heaven and lay down to die. 

The oxen returned to Cochran's before nightfall. Sujiposing, 
as he afterward said, that the oxen had been turned out to feed 
and had run away, Cochran paid little attention to the matter. 
At Waverly, the next morning, he happened to mention the inci- 
dent to Henry Lammers and to A. 1). Kingsley, the latter of 
whom was married to one of the Dustin daughters. 

As the hours passed it was suggested that an investigation be 
made. The two men accordingly took dinner with Cochran, and 
about 2 o'clock in the afternoon started out on their search for 
the Dustins. The idea of Indians had been suggested, and the 
men proceeded cautiously. 

In the meantime the suffering Mrs. Dustin, having with the 
sunrise partly regained consciousness, lay sweltering in the heat, 
the prey to such agony of mind and body as few people ever 
experience. 

The Indians, possibly, were still in the neighborhood. About 
a mile west of what is now the village of Howard Lake, the atten- 
tion of the three men was attracted to an open space under a 



152 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

large oak, where the bent grass, still springing to an upright 
position, apparently showed that several persons had recently 
been sitting on the ground with their back to the trunk. Cochran 
interpreted this to mean that the Indians had just passed, the 
others suggested that hunters or travelers might have been there, 
or that some wild animal might have taken a nap there. A few 
minutes later, the men discovered in the rain-washed sand of the 
road what they believed to be the track of a moccasined foot. 

Tliere the three stood a short time in silence, fearing that from 
each thicket an unseen rifle might be pointed at their hearts. 
While thus they halted, there came a low moaning sob to their 
ears. The men were inclined to believe that it was a sound made 
by the Indians to decoy them into the bushes that surrounded a 
neighboring thicket. Cochran was convinced that the wail was 
a genuine voice of distress, and cautiously advanced toward the 
meadow. The other two, after going up the road a few rods and 
again listening, came to the same conclusion, and joined Cochran 
in his quest. Soon they sighted the two Dustin children running 
about in the tall grass a few rods from the timber. The suspicion 
arose that the Indians had placed the youngsters there as a decoy. 
But after another cautious wait, no Indians appearing, the men 
started toward the children. 

On their wary way around the meadow, Mr. Cochran encoun- 
tered the almost unconscious form of Mrs. Kate Dustin. She was 
unable to move, and could do no more than gasp : ' ' They are all 
killed in the wagon by the Indians." Cochran and Lammers 
carried her to the roadside, and as soon as Kingsley could get 
his wagon and oxen, she and the children were taken to Coch- 
ran 's home, where she received the tenderest care until her death 
on the morning of July 3. 

As soon as Mrs. Dustin was cared for, a general alarm was sent 
out. One man was sent to Watertown. Another went to Rock- 
ford to give the alarm and secure the services of a physician. 
Aaron E. Cochran and A. G. Sexton started for Moores' Prairie 
by way of Cokato Mills, to notify the settlers that the Indians 
were on the war path in the Big Woods. One of the first men 
to hear of the aft'air was D. C. Kreidler, whose account of the 
massacre appears in this work in the chapter entitled "Incidents 
and Events." 

The messenger reached Rockford at midnight, and at sunrise 
the party was ready to start for Smith Lake. An old settler 
has said that in this party were : John Knights, G. F. Ames, Dr. 
J. S. Richardson, John Woodward, Miner W. Shultes, Wesley 
Powers, Jason Edgar, J. R. Ames, N. D. Sperry, William Ruther- 
ford, Martin Bisky, Sr., Moses Ripley and others. At Waverly 
they met the people from Watertown. On arriving at the place 
of the massacre the men placed the dead bodies in rudely con- 



HISTOKV OK WKlCiri' CorXTV 15:? 

stnu'tcd caskets, and laid them to rest at Wavcrly. Jlrs. Kate 
Dustill was later tiurieil lieside the (ithel'S. 

G. F. Ames went to .Moores' Prairie and assisted in moving 
the settlers to Koeklord. Then bet;an the t'rif;litened rush that 
left that part of the eoiiiity deserted for many months. 

Tlie identity of the slayeis was never known. It was evident 
that a number of hulians had eamiieii for several days at a spot 
about three-(iuarters of a mile south of where the massaere took 
place. The settlers decided that tiiere were fourteen in the band. 
No sooner had this number been decideil upon, than stories of 
fourteen Indians having been seen liegan to come from various 
localities. Of the five Imlians who had attacked the Dustins, 
one had not jiarticipated in the orgie, but Juul appeared to be a 
chief. The dread name of Little Crow tiew from lip to lip, and 
there are many who still believe that Little Crow was present at 
this massacre. His baml is declared by several historians to have 
been not far from this general vicinity about the time that the 
crime was eomuutted. l>ut there are some who maintain that 
Little Crow was far away when the Dustins were killed. Others 
have declared the guilty chief was Medicine Bottle, and have 
purported to give liis exact route after leaving tliis county. As 
a matter of fact, several mai-auding bands were still at large: the 
dying, half-crazed woman and the terrified children could give no 
adequate description of the five painted savages wlio descended 
upon them, and any attempt to fix the responsibility or to tell 
whence the Indians came or where they went is largely in the 
realm of speculation. 

The little boj' and little girl who escaped the massaere became 
respected citizens of Minneapolis. Other members of the family 
were widely scattered, some renmining in Wright county and 
some going elsewhere. 

Indian Agent Takes Own Life. In relating his experience as 
a government surveyor in Minnesota for the ^Mimiesota Historical 
Society, Nathan Butler told of the following incident : 

"In 1862, I hired out with George B. Wright and Isaac A. 
Banker to go on a survey on Pine river, north of where Brainerd 
now is. The night we camped opposite Clearwater we heard that 
the Indians had killed Jones and Baker at Acton in the west part 
of ileeker county. Between Sauk Rapids and Watab we met the 
Ojibway Indian Agent, Walker, with his family leaving the conn- 
try. He left his wife at St. Cloud, telling her he was going out 
on business. As he did not return, she secured a conveyance at 
the stage office and went to St. Anthony Falls, which was their 
home. Mr. Walker had not been heard from there. He was 
found dead opposite Monticello, with a bullet hole through his 
head. His saddle horse was found grazing near by, with his 
saddle on. Walker had gone onto the ferry boat, cast off the 



154 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

lashings, and ferried himself across the Mississippi river. The 
ferryman hailed him and asked him to return, promising that he 
would set him over, but he refused, saying that there were three 
hundred Indians after him and he was afraid of them. He had 
evidently become insane and therefore shot himself." 

An Indian Killed. One Indian is believed to have been killed 
in Wright county during the Sioux uprising. Small bands prob- 
ably passed through the county in addition to the one which 
murdered the Dustius, but they kept to the trails and did not 
burn the cabins or devastate the crops, and with one or two ex- 
ceptions had no encounters with the scouts or settlers. 

After the Dustin massacre, troops were scattered throughout 
this region. Sixteen members of Company I, Eighth Volunteer 
Infantry, were stationed at the Holmes house in Albion township, 
with Andrew Hart as scout and guide. One morning in the latter 
part of July, the Holmes brothers and all but two of the soldiers 
started for Monticello, where a dance was to be held. After they 
were gone, Mr. Hart set out on an expedition along the old Indian 
trail to Lake Swartout. This trail was much used as a main 
route of travel. After reaching the outlet of the lake, Hart 
started hunting for bee trees. Then a flock of ducks alighted in 
the lake, and Hart fired at them, killing two from a shelter he 
had found among some ridges of sand. After reloading his gun 
and while waiting for the ducks to float to shore, a noise attracted 
his attention, and looking back along the trail he saw three In- 
dians approaching, a few rods distant. From his concealed posi- 
tion, he took deliberate aim with his double-barreled gun, and 
pulled the trigger of the rifle barrel. But the cap alone exploded. 
Then he pulled the trigger of the other barrel, which he had 
loaded with buckshot, and, according to Hart's version of the 
atfair, the foremost Indian fell dead. The other two Indians fired 
at Hart, but he was already fleeing in a zig-zag course toward a 
group of trees in the middle of a meadow. There he could com- 
mand the approach on all sides. An hour later. Hart ventured 
forth, and after reaching the Holmes house, where two of the 
soldiers were waiting, he sent one of them after the Holmes 
brothers and the other fourteen soldiers. About this time five 
scouts arrived from Stearns county. They stated that the Indians 
were accused of stealing two horses and a colt near Fair Haven, 
from which place the scouts had followed the trail. 

Soon after they had related their story, shots and the jingle 
of cow bells were heard a mile south, evidently on the old Indian 
trail which there had a southwestwardly course. Hart proposed 
that, with their now augmented forces, they follow the Indians 
at once, but the scouts from Fair Haven were rehictant about 
doing so. So Hart, with several soldiers, started out along the 
trail. After going about a mile, they came to a steer which the 



msTOKY OK WEKJIIT COUXTY lofj 

Iiuliaiis liiid cvidi'iitly killed. (^>uiti' ;i littli' meat had hccii w- 
niovi'd. Hart and his iiirii thi'ii i-ctunicd to tlic liousc, and he 
and one of thr llolnifs lirotlirrs wrnt to Kinjjcston to scciii'i' the 
aid of the e-avalr\-. 

The next morning the sixteen soldiers stationecl at the Holmes 
house, the live from Fair Haven, ami other seoiits starteil o\it 
about sunrise, came upon tlie Indians" camp, and finally', in the 
present township of Cokato, discovered the two Indians at rest 
under a tree, while their horses were feeding in a small meadow. 
Over seventeen shots were tired at the Indians froin ambush at 
shoi't range, but none took eft'ect, and the retl men .jumped on 
tlieii' horses and escaped through the woods, leaving behind sev- 
eral articles of dress, gun and aninumition. and a saddle and 
bridle. 

In the meantime the cavalry from Kingston had startetl out 
at suni'ise in the hope of intercepting the Indians at the point 
where the trail left the tinibei's for the prairies, near Rice City, 
now Darwin. But the horsemen were too late, so they followed 
the red men closely to Foot lake, near Will mar, where the Sioux 
abandoned their horses and escaped through a marsh. Some- 
thing like forty mi'ii, fully armed and ju'epared, had been in 
pursuit of two Sioux and had allowed them to escape. 

The body of the Indian which Hart believed he killed was 
never found. Some of the scouts suggested that the Indians had 
concealed the body in the marsh, while others believed that Hart 
in his excitement had overestimated the deadliness of his charge 
of buckshot. 

Indians Pursued. ■' Indians \\-ere seen in Silver Creek, in July, 
1863. Col. J. S. Locke declared he saw six one evening while 
looking after his cows near Sanborn Prairie. These Iiulians are 
believed to be the same ones who stole two horses belonging to 
Henry Ferguson. The trail was taken up by the citizens. Later 
the soldiers followed the band as far as Swede Grove, in Meeker 
county, where the horses were recovered after a fight with the 
Indians, in which ('apt. John S. Cady. of the Eighth Minnesota 
\'olunteei- Infantry, was killed."" 

Such is the story told by D. K. Farnham. It is probable that 
these Indians seen in Wright county were members of Little 
Crow"s immediate band. There has existed a conflict of testi- 
mony as to which raids Little Crow took part in personally, and 
also as to the exact identification of the Indians comi)osing the 
various wandering bands that were nuirauding throughout this 
part of the state in 1862 and 1863. As before stated, there has 
always been considerable doubt east upon the supposition that 
Little Crow was present at the Dustin massacre. So great was 
the terror this leader insi)ired, and so feverisii was the public 



156 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

imagination, that he was often reported as being seen in widely 
different places at the same time. 

"Minnesota in Tliree Centuries," however, credits Little Crow 
witli the Wright county raids in the following words: "In June, 
1863, Little Crow's band that recognized his authority, including 
his four wives and his children, did not nvimber more than fifty 
persons. In the first part of the month, he with fifteen men and 
one woman, set out on a raid in Minnesota. Two of his warriors 
were his sons, Wo-wi-nah-pa or the Appearing One, a boy of six- 
teen years, and his son-in-law, Hinkpa (or Inkpa) or The End. 
Below the Sheyenne river the party separated, eight warriors 
and the woman going northward, and seven men proceeding 
southeasterly into Meeker county. June 29, they murdered the 
Dustin family, as far east as Wright county. June 11, three of 
them shot and killed Capt. John S. Cady, of the Eighth Regi- 
ment, near Lake Elizabeth, in Kandiyohi county. July 1, Hinkpa 
the chief's son-in-law, killed James McGannon, a settler, between 
Kingston and Fairview, in Meeker county, stripped the body and 
gave the coat to his father-in-law. Two days later, or in the eve- 
ning of July 3, in a berry patch, west of Hutchinson, Little Crow 
was sliot and killed by a settler named Nathan Lamson." 

Beebee Island Encampment. In August, 1862, the news 
reached Rockford of the Indian outbreak and massacre of the 
Lake Slietee settlers. 

The whole countryside became panic stricken, the people, not 
knowing what to do or where to go for safety. The word soon 
became prevalent that the island in Lake Beebee offered the 
greatest security and protection. Lake Beebee is quite a large 
lake about six miles north of Rockford, and there is an island in 
it of about four acres which, at that time, was heavily timbered. 
There were quite a number of settlers then living around the 
lake, nearly all having boats. These boats were soon pressed 
into service and by nightfall the island was quite a popular piece 
of ground, upward of 150 souls having taken refuge there, with 
nothing but the stars for a roof. The people had taken scarcely 
anything from their homes except the clothes they wore. It was 
mutually agreed that no fires were to be made. In the morning 
the men took turns and ventured back to the mainland for food, 
also procuring quilts and blankets, making things more com- 
fortable for the second night. 

After three days and three nights on the island, word came 
that the Indians were checked in their march toward civilization, 
and that the danger had passed, so the people returned to their 
homes. 

July 3, 1863, the settlers of North Rockford were again thrown 
into a panic on account of the reported massacre of the Dustin 
family on the Waverly and Rockford road. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 157 

Again we sonirht rftugf on tlu' ishinii in Lake Becboo. This 
time the settlei's took tiie preeaution to provide themselves with 
axes and eross-eut saws, witli whieh they i'elleii trees and cut 
them into logs to ereet a fort. Of eoiirse there were no oxen nor 
any beasts of burden taken onto the ishmd, so tlie men had to 
haul, carry, or roll the logs to the site of the fort. In due time 
the fort was ereeted and named "Fort Steel,"" after Thomas Steel, 
the oldest man on the island. We spent about two weeks on the 
island that time. 

After gathering on the island they soon formed a regular 
military organization, with my father, Thomas Walker, as com- 
mander, and Thomas Steel and Amos Denncy as second officers. 
Disciplinary rules and regulations were rigidly enforcetl. At 
night, each man, in his turn, was assigned to so many hours picket 
duty. 

These pickets were placed in regularly designated positions 
on the shore of the island behind logs or brush, so that they could 
not be seen from the mainland. 

It was Tliomas Walker's duty to make the rounds several times 
during the night to see that the pickets were on duty and not 
asleep. On one occasion he found two of the pickets, a father 
and his son, had deserted their posts and were asleep in tl«?ir 
tent. The next day the two men were courtmartialed and sen- 
tenced to be shot. However, this part of the proceedings was 
never carried out, the officers postponing it under one pretext 
and another until we disbanded. Nevertheless the incident had 
a very salutary effect on the discipline of all the men from that 
day until we disbanded. 

One of the rules was that no guns were to be sliot off either on 
or off the island except at Indians, but on one occasion a settler, 
George Avery, living "on the south shore, who had moved to Rock- 
ford during the summer, came up to look after his crop and, find- 
ing a drove of hogs in liis field, began shooting to scare the hogs. 
He succeeded in scaring the hogs, sure enough, but he scared the 
occupants of the island more than the hogs, for the people were 
sure that the shooting was either by Indians or at Indians, and 
were every nunute expecting to see Indians making for the island. 
To make matters worse it was at a time of day when every man 
W'ho could get a "leave of absence" was away on the mainland 
for supplies or looking after his affairs at home, so that an attack 
at that time, when our forces were so weakened by absentees, 
would have made hard fighting for the few left to hold the fort. 
It was a great comfort to the women and children when the men 
began to return to the island and tell the cause of the shooting. 

A few days after this scare a detail of men was sent to Rock- 
ford for supplies and news. They were told of Little Crow's 



158 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

death, and the settlers were assured that there was uo further 
danger. Then began a regular stampede to return to our homes 
once more. — By John B. Walker. 



CHAPTER X. 

LAND OFFICE RECORDS. 

The Pre-emption Act — The Homestead Law — The Railroad Grant 
—The Townsite Act— List of Those Who Obtained the Original 
Patents to Land in Wright County — The RoU of Honor of the 
Men Who First Broke and Developed the Farms. 

The original patents to laud in Wright county, upon which 
all subsequent deeds and transfers are based, were obtained in 
four ways: under the pre-emption act, under the homestead law, 
under tlie townsite act, and from the railroads. The first settlers 
obtained their homes under tiie i)re-emption act, by the provisions 
of which they were required to make certain improvements, to 
live upon their land a certain length of time, and to pay $1.25 an 
acre. There were certain restrictions as to the size of the claim 
and as to the eligibility of those who filed. Instead of paying 
money the settlers often paid soldiers' script which they had 
purchased at a discount. This script had been issued to soldiers, 
entitling each veteran to a certain number of acres free. Few 
of the soldiers ever used this script to obtain land, and thousands 
of these papers fell into the hands of speculators, by whom they 
were sold to settlers. Under the homestead act, which replaced 
the pre-emption act, the government issued a patent after a person 
had lived on an eighth or quarter section (according to location) 
for a certain period, and made certain improvements. Many of 
the people obtained their land from the railroads, who had a 
land grant of each alternate township along their improved rights- 
of-way. There was also a townsite act under which villages could 
be entered, platted, and lots sold. 

The following transcriptions from tlie land office records gives 
the original owners of all the land pre-empted and homesteaded 
in Wright county. This is the roll of honor of those who dared 
the rigors of a pioneer country and started the first developments. 
The list is in the main accurate, though, through carelessness of 
the land office registers and their clerks, the original entries are 
often misspelled, and transcriptions of more or less illegible hand- 
writing since that date have distorted some of the names in vari- 
ous ways. But especial eff'orts have been made to insure accuracy 
in this printed list, and the names of thousands of old pioneers 
will be recognized. A few of the original claimants are still 
living, and many families are still residing on the original claim 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT TOUNTY 159 

of their father or •jraiulfather. For the most j^art, however, 
the original chiimants nioveil away, on aeeount of Indians, grass- 
lioppers and hard times. 

In the following li.st, where a person's farm lay in several sec- 
tions, or where a second claim was later taken in another .section, 
only the first section of the first filing is given, except in special 
cases, for a constant repetition of naim>s would neeiUessly cumber 
the rolls. 

Township 118, Range 25 (Franklin). The first claims in the 
Congressional township were entered in US.")7. Those who filed 
that year were: 1 — Samuel P. Spear. 5 — Susanna Bauman, Oc- 
tol),.r 9. S— Grace Wilson, October 31. 9— Wilford L. Wilson, 
October 31. 17— John Stewart, October 19. 22— William Bar- 
rett, October ti. 23 — A. J. Stevenson, November 9. 31 — Thonuis 
]\ladden, October 17. 33 — Henry Doyle, October 5. Those who 
tiled in 1858 were: 2 — M. Flakker, May 26. 7 — J. W. Moore 
February 18. 9— .1. H. Stewart, February 22. 17— C. F. Mahler, 
January 23; E. Field. June 11. 19— J. Fewer, February 9. 20— 
T. C. Field, January 23 ; D. W. Ingersoll, January 27 ; II. Wagner, 
February 9 ; E. R. Cramer, February 22. 24— F. P. Wallis. Febru- 
ary 20. 25 — N. B. White, October 11. 27— J. Briggs, December 
30'. 28— A. Wickert, December 30. 29— E. S. Allen, February 
27: P. Stone, October 4. 32— Eliza M. Anderson, October 29. 

1859: 2— C. Stewart, July 12. 8— F. Adicks, September 6. 
18— L. Kundle, May 2 ; L. Toi^inus, May 2 ; J. W. Benning, Febru- 
ary 26. 22— P. Martin, September 30. 26— C. A. Wright, Octo- 
ber 15. 30 — T. Dugan, July 17. 32—11. J. McKee, November 5. 
35_J. J. Wright, August 11 ; J. M. Waid, October 14. 

1860: 1 — W. McKinley, November 26; James Patten, Novem- 
ber 26 : J. Quinn, November 27. 3— W. /iebarth, October 6 : L. 
flatter, October 18. 4— C. Shroder, October 18; T. Strauch. No- 
vember 26 ; F. J. Bauman, October 20. 5 — F. Schwerin. October 
6; J. 0. Conuell, November 27. 6 — C. Crawshaw, March 2: Ezra 
Stacy, October 2. 9— F. J. Bauman, October 20. 10— J. :\Iatter, 
October 18 ; L. Matter, October 18 ; G. Geiger, November 26. 12 — 
James Finnegan. November 26. 13 — F. Sutton, October 16. 
14 — D. White, November 21. 17— A. Voelker, January 21. 19— 
V. Fautsch, October 3. 21 — L. Kespohl, November 27. 23 — R. 
Sturman, August 21. 25 — J. M. Depue, September 28. 26— P. 
Bark, November 21; J. Murphy, August 21. 28— W. Doyle, No- 
vember 22. 29— E. M. Munger, October 16. 

1861: 10— J. Dick. July 19. 

1864: 3— F. Ziebarth, December 16. 5 — lohn Bain, December 
26. 11— S. Patton, December 26; J. B. White, December 26; J. 
Bernick, November 10; J. E. Ellis, December 26; J. P. Lyle, De- 
cember 26. 13 — L. Walter, December 26. 23— G. Robertson, 
December 26. 25— P. Welker, December 26. 27— J. Martin, De- 



160 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

eember 26. 33 — C. Walquist, November 28; S. Halgren, October 
22. 35— W. A. Mara, December 26. 

1865: 3 — J. M. Dircks, April 19. 5 — J. Hartmon, January 
24. 22 — J. 0. Kelsa, August 14. 23 — Harriett Cunningham, No- 
vember 9. 28— C. Mayforth, May 23. 30— M. 0. Rourk, Septem- 
ber 7. 33 — J. Carlson, January 19. 

1866: 15— E. D. and F. A. Atwater, March 7; J. H. Kloss, 
27— J. Martin, April 16; I. Nason, April 10. 28— C. Mayforth, 
May 23. 29— M. Trohliet, March 5. 31— A. Noonan, April 21. 
32— W. Koran, February 23. 

1867 : 7— J. Alley, April 9. 9— F. I. Metzer, August 20. 19— 
J. Probst, March 2. 

1868: 2 — C. Stewart, January 14; S. Patton, January 14. 
4 — J. Horsch, February 6; J. Derrick, February 6; J. Houser, 
February 6. 6— H. Marshall, February 6. 8— P. Stoltz, Febru- 
ary 6. 9 — Minnesota Land Company, April 30. 10 — J. Greiger, 
April 29; J. Dick, July 19. 12—0. Stewart, January 14; E. 
Freeman, January 14 ; J. C. Ellis, July 1 ; J. P. Lyle, January 14. 
14_J. Bernick, January 22; T. Bernick, January 22. 18— J. 
Stoltz, February 6; J. Plattner, February 6. 19 — J. Dugan, June 
5. 22 — U. Martin, January 16 ; James Martin, January 16. 24 — 
J. Drody, December 9 ; Margaret Robeston, December 9. 26 — C. 
Stein, January 14. 27— J. C. Stunian, August 21. 30— M. Davis, 
January 1 ; J. Perry, January 1 ; 0. Early, January 24; A. Spikle, 
February 13. 32— E. F. Hainlin, February 18 ; F. Algner, Febru- 
ary 18; F. Stephens, February 18. 34 — S. Peterson, January 9; 
J. Peterson, January 9. 35 — J. C. Reihl, December 2. 

1869 : 6— J. Quinn, March 10. 14— M. Anderson, October 1 ; 
L. Cunningham, February 23. 19 — J. Platner, January 2. 34 — • 
T. J. Sturnian, February 1 ; S. S. Sturman, February 1 ; J. J. Mara, 
February 23. 

1870 : 25— P. M. Cooper, March 18. 31— A. Speckel, February 
10 ; J. K. P. Blacksetter, July 1. 

1871 : 4— C. Marth, October 27; F. Strauch, October 27. 10— 
G. Geiger, April 6. 13— N. Peterson, June 6. 30— J. P. Baldery, 
February 1. 34 — Isaac Nason, August 26. 35 — S. Murphey, Sep- 
tember 27. 

1872 : 12— J. Finnegan, August 10. 16— J. L. Dohl, May 31. 
27 — D. F. Justus, June 8. 31 — J. Dugen, June 16. 

1873: 24— J. Sutton, April 17. 28— P. Olson, March 5 ; Peter 
Church, March 5. 

1874 : 16 — M. Farnick, January 27. 24 — J. Nolon, December 
9. 29— J. Menth, July 13. 

LS76: .5— G. E. Stacy, May 29. 25— C. Swanson, March 27. 

Township 118, Range 26 (Woodland). The first claims in this 
Congressional township were taken in 1857. Those who filed 
that year were : 4 — Thomas Gargan, October 7. 5 — Jonah Davis, 



HISTORY OF WKIGIIT COUNTY 161 

October 24. B— Pat Hays, October 19. 8— Patrick Casey, No- 
vember 24. 9— Thomas Gargan, October 7. 25 — John Galviu, 
December 9. 29— Benjamin Cole, October 15. Those that filed in 
1858 were : 5 — C. II. Saw yer, January 6 ; E. A. Crumsie, February 
27. 9— John Whealen, December 9. 12— John W. Moore, Febru- 
ary 18. 23— J. II. Chandler, February 25. 26— John Baxter, 
May 24. 29— W. G. Flonseca, August 13. 30— Robert Eckford, 
January 15. 34 — William Dunn, February 16; Stephen Lambert, 
February 17. 

1859: 2— Andrew J. Stacy, October 25. 6— John Casey, Sep- 
tember 6. 13— Joseph A. Leiter, October 25. 20— Marcus Fosket, 
October 7. 22 — George R. Stearns, April 14. 

I860 : 1— Ezra M. Stacy, October 2. 2 — John Young, October 
27; Thomas Young, November 27: James N. Stacy, August 18. 
4 — James Broderick, October 5; Patrick Clemmens, October 5. 
6— Joseph Mee, September 27. 7— George Scott, October 31. 9— 
Miles McDermott, November 8. 10 — Catharine Hinds, October 
27; Miles McDermott, November 8; Nicholas V. Streeter, October 
17. 11— Nicholas V. Streeter, October 17. 13— Cramer Swar- 
tout, November 26. 22 — Thomas Quincannan, October 17. 24 — 
Michael Frohlick, October 16. 28— Amos F. Blanchard, October 2. 

1861 : 6 — J. K. Sidle, December 5. 20 — John Brabec, Decem- 
ber 6. 

1865: 1— -John Alley. June 28; Newton E. Harris, June 28. 
11 — John Alley, June 28; James Murphey, September 21. 13 — 
Peter Weiderko, December 26. 25— Ellen CroUy, October 23; 
Michael Dungeu, October 26. 26 — Patrick O'Brien, January 4. 
35 — Hezekiah Alley, December 16. 

1866: 1— George W. Stacy, June 28. 23— Patrick McNeily, 
March 17. 2.5— Patrick Rogers, July 12. 26— Patrick O'Brien, 
January 4. 

1867 : 35 — Hezekiah Alley, June 7. 

1868: 2— John Young, October 29. 10 — James Hinds, De- 
cember 16 ; Patrick Flannigan, January 28 ; Richard Burk, Janu- 
ary 28,- John Burk, February 19. 12 — Lorana Stacy, May 26. 
14 — Thomas Clarke, February 14; John Kennedy, February 19. 
20 — Mary Jordan, February 6. 21 — Thomas Jordan, February 
17; Austin Devitt, February 17. 24 — Patrick McNeiley, July 2; 
Michael Early, January 24; Thomas Craly, January 24. 25 — ■ 
Ellen McKierman, February 15; Patrick Rogers, February 17. 
26— Patrick O'Brien, January 24; James McGraugh, January 24. 
30 — Robert Porter, February 17. 

1869 : 2 — Adam Legier, January 21. 4 — Patrick Connery, 
July 14. 6 — Andrew Beck, June 5. 21 — Owen Devaney, Septem- 
ber 7; W. Brabec, August 11; Fred Doering, August 11. 24 — 
Michael Dugan, July 17. 30 — John Lauzer, February 20. 33 — 
G. Hoag, August 20. 



162 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

1870: 3— Richard Bennett, March 1. 8— Michael Derrig, De- 
cember 16. 12 — Joseph Harris, May 26. 15 — John Keyne, March 
24; Martin Boyle, March 24. 17 — Mathias Lauzer, Februai-y 17. 
18 — James Lindsey, October 21 ; Headley Pannett, October 21 ; 
John Pannett, October 21. 20 — Henry Ruckle, September 13 ; 
J. Joseph Brabec, September 13. 30 — John Peterson, June 20; 
Frank Lauzer, September 13 ; Joseph Brabec, September 13. 

1871: 2— Elisha Ferrell, February 1. 3— Patrick McKeon, 
October 3 ; Michael Clemmens, October 19. 8 — William Griswold, 
November 14. 14 — Patrick Brannon, February 5. 26 — George 
Ray, February 1 ; Thomas Haverty, February 1. 28 — James M. 
Halliday, November 14. 34 — The Heirs of Peter Gratton, Feb- 
ruary 1. 

1872 : 8— John Casey, March 22 ; John Green, March 22. 14 
—John Powell, March 22. 28— Ewen McDonald, August 2. 32— 
Albert Stacher, May 17. 34— Owen Gratton, March 22. 

1873: 5— John Casey, June 2. 12— Levi W. Streeter, Feb- 
ruary 5; Mary Bagley, December 22. 14 — Thomas Connelly, 
February 5. 24— Ignatius Prelinger, February 5. 28 — Joshua 
S. Bryant, March 17; William Eagan, January 1. 30 — Joseph 
Monroe, August 18. 32 — Silas W. Belt, January 1. 

1874: 7— Cord and Fritz Prigge, July 31. 10 — John Fitzpat- 
rick, March 27. 15 — Thomas Conconcon, February 4. 17 — C. 
Wildung, March 20. 22— William J. Griffin, October 25. 

1875: 7— Peter Miller, September 14. 11— Patrick Brice, 
June 8. 17 — C. Wildung, March 20. 19 — Herman Deirs, Janu- 
uary 8 ; Mrs. C. Wildung, January 8 ; Samuel Berg, June 30. 27 — 
F. Horn, November 3 ; George Ray, August 28. 31 — Nils Pierson, 
November 26 ; Louis Peterson, January 6 ; John Magnuson, June 
8 ; 0. Olson, May 31 ; Johanas Peterson, May 31. 32 — Louis Peter- 
son, May 10; F. Felipakp, March 10. 33 — Thomas Stackhart, 
June 15; Louis Johnson, September 24. 

1876: 9— J. K. Cullen, February 8; John T. Sungen, May 31. 
15 — John Kennedy, May 8. 17— M. Derrig, November 9. 27— 
M. Reed, March 30; Thomas Haverty, June 15. 31— Peter Blam- 
quist, March 8; A. G. Gustavson, December 11. 33 — John S. 
Johnson, March 22. 

1877 : 17 — Mary Grum, June 2. 27 — George Ray, November 
30 ; L. Conolly, August 28. 31— John Linquist, June 29. 33—0. 
Dahlquist, February 9; Peter Boylender, August 20. 

1878 : 5 — John Casey, May 13. 7 — John Fitzpatrick, Novem- 
ber 26. 9— A. Berkuer, April 29 ; A. Nee, February 18. 17— J. 
K. KuUen, July 16. 19— Owen J. Beal, July 24. 28— Francis M. 
Horn, January 1. 29 — John Anderson, June 3. 33 — Charles 
Oslund, March 14 ; Nils Swanson, February 1 ; E. Noystrom, Feb- 
I'uary 1. 



mSTOKY OF WHICIIT COUNTY lli3 

1879: 7— Pliilii) (iiTtluT, 1-Vbiuaiy 1]G. 27 — loliii McDoiiaUl, 
April IS. L>9— Xik's AiuUtsoii, :March 26. 

Township 118, Range 27 (Victor). 'Plir tirst clainis in tlii.s 
Congressioual township wcri- taken in 1857. Tliosc who lih'd that 
year were: 22— J. S. Smith, August 29; E. S. Smith, Augu.st 29. 
23 — Elias Unih^rwood, -Inly 2;i. 25 — Amos J. (Jardner, October 
2.?. Those that tiled in 1858: 11— Thomas Mitehell, August 11. 
24 — Abraham Freeman, November 18. 25 — -John Lewis, Janu- 
ary 19. In 1859: 13— A. V. Lobdell, February 18. 14 — A. V. 
Lobdell, February IS. 

18()0: 3 — M. v. Coehrane, November 24. 13 — lason B. Lob- 
ilell, September 1. 24 — George Holt, November 27. 

1862: 24— Marcus Fasket, February 26. 

1865: 12— August Streich, June 24; C. Steich, May 23. 14— 
Michael Folz, April 28. 28— George Gamble, April 1. 30— 
George Gamble, June 1. 

1868: 6 — Charles S. Graves, November 12. 10 — Michael 
Zieser. July 1. 12 — August Streich, March 24; Christoph Streich, 
July 1. 24— .Marcus Fosket. 26— David Irons, July 1. 2— Gott- 
lieb Gess, July 15; Jacob Shaft'er, July 1. 

1869: 2 — James Z. Cochrane, August 2; Michael Engel, June 
15. 4 — Noah Nilson, October 1 ; Peter Pearson, October 1 ; Peter 
Fritz, December 11. 6— Albert G. Pearson, April 29. 10— Will- 
iam Gess, December 11. 14 — Francis Shanley, December 7. 15 — 
Edwin Brewster, December 29 ; Sarah B. Brewster, December 29. 
25 — William W. Patterson, December 3. 26 — Parker Cole, De- 
cember 7 ; William Walters, February 20. 32 — Ezra Baker, Feb- 
ruary 2 ; Aaron Baker. February 2. 34 — Andrew McCormick, 
December 7; Alanson G. Butler, December 7. 

1870: 1 — J. Dunn and H. Tanner, July 13. 2 — Joseph Pear- 
son, April 27. 4 — Charles Goodsell; April 27; G. Pearson, April 
8. 8-^ohn Phillips, December 19. 10— William Gess, July 11. 
18— Laxley R. Wood. 24— Isaac S. Crooks, October 21 ; Ardell 
D. Pinkerton, April 26; John Q. A. Braden, January 19; William 
Walters, February 20. 

1871: 6 — William Oliver, November 6. 8 — Amos G. Strahl, 
December 4 : Anthony King, December 4. 10 — John C. Riebe, 
March 24. 12— Amias Streich, March 24. 22— Michael Folz, 
March 24. 

1872 : 4— Daniel C. Budd, January 5. 6— William B. Frank- 
lin, June 25. 8 — Charlotte Sumner, September 4; James M. 
Sumner, September 12. 10 — William Schumming, February' 10; 
Christopher Klucas, January 10. 11 — E. Streich, April 13. 14 — 
John Gremer, May 8. 18 — Sanford Huddle, December 2 ; Jessie 
Lyons, December 2. 20 — David Alexainiria, October 25; William 
Peterson, June 25; George Huddle, December 2. 22 — Albert 
Copeland, December 2. 30 — Herman Gee, January 1 ; Scarlet F. 



164 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Smith, January 1. 82 — Basdell D. Massay, February 3 ; Charles 
Duffee, February 3 ; Johu Kalble, August 26 ; Nathaniel Chaffins, 
January 1. 

1873: 4— Austin Merriman, July 9. 6— Walter Fisher, De- 
cember 15. 8 — Jabez Tuej', July 9. 9 — Thomas Montgomery, 
December 28. 10— Albert Riebe, April 10. 11— F. Wildung, 
March 5. 14 — John Goetz, April 3. 20 — James M. Corey, July 
10 ; William Montgomery, July 1 ; Cassel Thompson, July 9 ; Ste- 
phen Thompson, July 10. 22— James B. Nelson, April 10. 23— 
M. Fisher, February 15. 26— Jesse Christopher, April 10. 28— 
David Babb, April 10. 32— Johu Sherman, April 29. 34— Con- 
rad Griswold, July 11. 

1874: 3— Jones & Alguire, May 2; Thomas & Jones, May 8. 
5 — John F. Pearson, October 22 ; Peter Frykmau, July 31. 6 — 
Jonas Nelson, November 13. 11 — F. Wildung, August 4; W. 
Schumming, July 31. 13 — Fred Brose, September 25; William 
Krauel, September 25. 15 — Cliristopher Dangers, September 30. 
23— William Bokberg, October 1. 27— Fred Klamer, October 22. 
30— Elizabeth Wise, March 24; William E. Patrick, March 24. 
33 — Thomas Graham, January 26; I. Gulzog, October 8; John 
Schlagel, September 7. 34 — A. Larson, November 4. 

1875 : 3— F. G. & G. P. Gould, December 23. 5— Isaac Work- 
man, February 15 ; William Matchett, December 31. 9 — C. B. 
Carter, June 4; Thomas Montgomery, September 1. 13 — August 
Schumming, April 1 ; John Toger, October 12 ; S. Dahnbastel, 
November 5. 15 — Harriet Grenhagen, April 14. 17 — John Mont- 
gomery, December 28. 19 — John Klingenberg, December 31. 
21— Robert Workman, July 22. 32— Mike Schlogel, January 17. 
35 — Louis Peterson, October 8; Gilbert Middagh, April 15; Mag- 
nus A. Miller, March 12 ; Gottlieb Spindler, July 19. 

1876 : 3 — Lars Olson, Avigust 7. 5 — E. Boswell, September 
22; Isaac Workman, February 15; J. II. Dean, January 14; John 
D. Gulp, August 12; J. Z. Cochrane, September 16; Walter Fisher, 
August 4; C. E. Carter, April 13; A. G. Strahl, February 7. 6 — • 
William Reibe, March 7. 7— Isaac Biterman, March 24; J. R. 
Chamberlin, August 15 ; A. Martin, October 3. 9 — William Dewes, 
February 10; William Alguire, April 5; William Flemmiug, Jan- 
uary 14 ; Robert Flemmiug, January 14 ; H. E. Jones, February 7 ; 
Johu Battles, July 22; G. B. Tuttle, November 7. 15— D. M. 
Brooks, September 28. 17 — William H. Tuhey, January 10; 
Alfred Knowlton, August 28 ; S. Sleth, October 3 ; George Ruggles, 
January 10. 21 — S. Huddle, October 26 ; Robert Workman, Octo- 
ber 2. 23— M. Folz, August 9. 27— F. Reck, November 22 ; Will- 
iam Bier, November 2. 35 — Audrevi^ Swanson, February 7 ; A. 
Larson & L. Peterson, July 10; G. Spindler, September 11. 

1877 : 5 — Johu F. Pierson, November 30. 7 — W. Hip, Sep- 
tember 3 ; J. Biteman, February 6 ; L. Cyrus, April 21 ; Johu Eodes, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 165 

April I'l ; -lohii K. I'rarsdii. April .">. <) — lolm K. ("csar. Aiiril '^4. 
ll_j. ({eibtT, .March "J. 1.")— William Kiitz, March 124; F. B. 
Mt'ister. June 1. 17— A. \V. Jones, February 'S^: W. ({oodscU, 
April 2: (". Shanh-y, Aiif^ust 2S ; F. Shauley, Auf,'ust 2(): M. Battles, 
January 4. 19 — lessie Steth, Ai)ril 1. 'Jl— Robert Workman, 
March 29; A. Corbin, March 17; A. W. Jones. February 'J.i. 27— 
John Klukas. October 10. 29— Alvin N. Doyle. July K!; \V. F. 
Mosher, January 9; M. O.sterbaum, November 26; Robert A. Mor- 
rison, February 16. ;?1 — Martin Schlajien, May 'A. '.V.i — William 
Graham, May 2:5; Martin Ernhert, January 11 ; Thomas Graham, 
January 26. 36 — Ole Swonson, December 10. 

1878: August Kroklan, October 28. 1:5— F. Hasting, May 27. 
16 — Charles Goodsell, November 7. 19— Lathrop E. Reed, July 
22. 21 — Fritz Hewer, June 12; August Gerbcr, December 11. 
27— F. Jeger, fVbruary 21 ; William Birkholz, October 27. 29— 
P'red Birkholz, October 27; M. Schlager, February 21. :il — John 
Brachner, March 7; L. Armentrout, May 24. ■V.i — William Bier, 
January 10; Andrew Schlagel, April 9. 35 — Gilbert Middaugh, 
Jr., January 11. 

1879: 21 — John Gerbcr, Jaiuiary 16; August Gerber, Decem- 
ber 11. 27—11. E. Jones and F. Wilduiig. March 3. 

Township 118, Range 28 (Stockholm). The first claim in this 
Congressional townsiiip was taken in 1859. The one who tiled 
tiiat year was : 3 — Hugh McAuulty, October 8. 

Those who filed in 1860 were : 4 — August Moocrs, October 20; 
Henry Mooers, October 20. 

1864: 26— Sarah Gore, May 2. 

1865: 18 — Andrew Swanberg, August 23; James Laing, 
June 6. 

1868: 6 — Newton Carr, December IS. 

1869: 6— Roderick McLennon, December 2:i ; Henry C. Bull, 
September 20. 20 — M. V. Cochrane, August 2 ; C. E. Cochrane, 
August 2. 

1870: 4 — Andrew Jansoii, June 20. 6 — George Fredericks, 
May 19. 12 — Joseph Lane, Jiuie 17. 20 — lohn Brown, June 20. 
30 — James A. Martin, June 6. 34 — Jeremiah Cox, September 27. 

1871: 12— William G. Pettit, June 1; George W. Mainard, 
December 4; -Marshall Cyrus, Deceml)er 4. 14 — Peter Madig, 
October 20; Peter Halstenson, November 17; Nels Peterson, No- 
vember 17. 18 — Andrew Swanson, September 12; Ilalsten Pehr- 
son, July 18. 20— Peter Stefanson, July 18. 24— Michael Hen- 
driekson, November 17 ; Jons Nilsoii, November 17 : Andrew Olson, 
October 20; Ole O. Klingenberg, November 17. 26 — Jons Jons- 
son. October 20. 30 — Peter Hanson, July 18. 

1872: :5 — Joseph Kreinbring. June 11. 4 — Erik Johnson. 
8 — John Paulson, July 3; John Peterson, February 8; Peter Alm- 
quist, July 3: Hendrick Pallson, July 3. 10 — John Halstenson, 



166 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

February 8; Mathias Olesou, February 8. 14 — Oliff Erickson, 
July 10; John Erickson, July 10. 18 — Mary Johnson, February 
8 ; Andrew Peterson, February 8 ; Andrew Swanberg, January 16. 
20— John Pierson. 24 — Jacob Whitesel, March 11. 

1873: 2— Mark Tracy, March 20. 8— Swan Swansou, Janu- 
ary 3. 10— Nils Olson, August 18. 12— Cornelius C. Culp, July 
12 ; Cyrus Pettit, March 20. 14— Jons Madig, October 21 ; John 
Nelson, August 18. 18 — John Tack, October 21. 24 — Jessie 
Steth, January 25; C. P. Steth. 26— John Johnson, March 18; 
Franc Fifter, March 18 ; Nelson O. Bergstrom, March 18. 

1874: 3 — Amos Chambers, October 13. 5 — Peter Frykman, 
August 27. 9 — P. J. Eckman, October 13. 10 — John Glassca, 
November 30. 12 — Andrew Simpson, May 11. 13 — Fred Brose, 
September 25; William Krand, September 25. 14 — John John- 
son, October 21. 20 — John Shipp, October 21. 26 — Spencer 
Workman, January 19. 

1875 : 1— William G. Pettit, August 25. 2— Jonas A. Pettit, 
September 1 ; Charles Kreinbring, January 30. 3 — Otto Chrys- 
tous, October 28. 5 — Charles Eckman, July 12. 8 — P. Erickson, 
November 9. 9 — P. J. Eckman, October 13 ; Nils Larson, Decem- 
ber 1. 10 — Jons Erickson, March 18. 11 — S. S. Sigfridson, 
March 23 ; Ole Manson, December 30. 13 — J. P. Eckman, Decem- 
ber 18. 15 — Magnus Hawkinson, October 12 ; Peter Moody, June 
5; Nils Manson, December 30. 17 — Andrew J. Bergland, March 
5; Benjamin Brown, December 18. 19 — Oloff Titterund, Septem- 
ber 22 ; Peter Wicklund, November 30. 21 — Peter Nylson, June 
3; John Brown, March 5. 23— Erick Nelson, October 19. 26— 
Olof Johnson, March 18. 

1876: 1 — Ole Olson, February 10; John Norquist, August 4; 
L. G. Prendergast, June 15; A. A. McLeod, April 19; William 
Tenistel, August 4. 3 — James Z. Cochrane, October 27 ; H. Erick- 
son, August 4 ; Amos Chambers, October 3. 5 — Peter Lynstrora, 
January 10 ; Andrew Gundersou, June 27 ; L. G. Pendergast, No- 
vember 4. 7 — Lars Cardgren, July 11; J. Nordstrom, March 24; 
Louis Callgren, March 1 ; L. G. Pendergast, June 15. 9 — John 
Peterson, August 4 ; Ole Ilolenberg, March 8 ; E. Eliason, Febru- 
ary 7. 11 — Gustave Ring, February 22; Tulin Nelson, August 4; 
L. G. Pendergast, June 15; John Erickson, August 4; John Nyl- 
son, January 15. 13 — Peter Hanson, August 4. 15 — A. P. John- 
son, January 10; Magnus Hawkinson, August 4; John Erickson, 
March 25 ; Ole Manson, November 1 ; H. P. Upton, November 30. 
19— H. P. Upton, November 30. 21— P. E. Delone, January 10; 
Andrew Ship, August 4; Carl Carlson, October 5; L. P. Anderson, 
July 6 ; L. G. Pendergast, May 9. 23— Nils Nilson, February 15 ; 
Louis Harrington, December 18; H. P. Upton, November 30; Erick 
Olson, February 7 ; Lars Pierson, November 13. 25 — John Berg, 
October 28; B. Nelson, Noveiid)i'r 20; Louis Harrington. Decem- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUXTY 167 

ber 10; J. P. I<:.lmoii(i. .Iiiiif 1 : .lolm .1. Lof. AjH-il 20; -lohii .lolui- 
sou, August IS; 11. 1'. Upton, Xovt'iubcr ;U). '2.7 — Louis Harring- 
ton, Deeenibfi' IS; 11. P. Upton, NovcnibiT 30. 

1S77: 1 — loliii D.'balt, Marcii 2:!. ;i— A. Corbin, Ajuil 20; 
C. .1. Sahlenberg, November 20; II. Erickson. ;"> — A. and .1. Ilonl, 
Jiuie 27. 9 — Peter Palson, September If); Niles Larson, June 20. 
11 — A. P. Peterson, June 7. 13 — A. Cyrus, June 4; Albert John- 
son, September 10. 1.") — J. P. Lindquist, Februarj- 7: John 
Moody, I^Iareh U!. 17 — A. P. Aleuqui.st, April 2;'); Nils J. Donel- 
son, September 17; John Nilson, January 8; Peter Johnson, July 
10. IJ) — Peter Stepherson, January 12. 21 — Louis Harrington, 
November 28; Isaac Ship, November 10. 23 — J. Bocklund, Feb- 
ruary 10; John Bergman, April 11. 25 — B. Thurstenson, April 
27; George Artner, February 8. 27 — Louis Harrington, July 16. 

1878 : 1— B. Thurstenson, July 30. 5— Andrew Johnson. 7— 
A. A. JIcLeod, June 7; John Peterson, June 6. 9 — E. Eke, April 
2; Andrew Johnson, ilay 24. 11— Peter Moody, April 2; B. 
Thurstenson, July 31 ; Nels Peterson. 17 — H. M. Peterson, April 
2. 19— Olott' Titterund, October 29. 23— James Nelson, March 
2; Louis Harrington, June 15. 19 — Peter Wicklund, November 
30. 21— Swan .Maltherg, Aiiril 10. 

Township 119, Range 28 (Cokato). The tirst claims in this 
Congressional townsliip were entered in 1857. Those who filed 
that year were; 11— S. P. Lowell, October 12. 13— Sarah Mur- 
phy, October 21 ; Timothy Lowell, August 22. 24 — T. H. Arnell, 
October 19. 34 — A. Montour, September 1. 

1859: 12— D. Grifteth, October 8. 

I860; J. P. :\Ioores, November 26. 34—11. Moores, Novem- 
ber 24. 

1867; 12— E. N. Clark, July 12. 

1868; 6— N. Carr, Deeend)er 18. 14— N. I). Terrell, January 
30. 3— H. C. Bull, September 5. 

1869; 26 — William Lee, January 27; Amos Chambers, Janu- 
ary 27. 34 — D. Griffith, Jaiuiary 27. 

1870; 12— Heirs of S. Henser, November 12. 26— A. Jenks, 
September 1 ; M. Edgerly, October 8. 

1871; 12— G. C. Perkins, April 7; L. W. Perkins, April 7. 
26 — Heirs of J. G. Watson, November 15. 

1872; 7 — John Larson, September 3. 8 — John A. Christo- 
pherson, September 10. 13 — G. C. Perkins, December 25. 14 — 
Mary Larson, February 9. 15— -J. J. Williams. Ai)ril 22. 20— 
K. 6. :\lotsterbergen, May 21; II. J. Ilillond, May 21. 20— E. 
Frykstrom, September 10. 22 — W. Cofifey, October 17. 24 — A. 
Oleson, February 7. 26 — William Risley, Jr., May 2 ; A. Cody, 
May 21. 27— C. Wold, June 20. 28 — Jesse B. Miller, October 17 ; 
W. R. Sloughter, October 17. 3,2 — ;\I. Johnson. Febi'uai'y 1; 



168 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

J. G. Carlblonr, February 1 ; 0. Johnson, February 1 ; A. Peterson, 
February 7. 34— F. Griffith, May 21 ; B. Lee, September 24. 

1823: 4— A. Tack, October 22; C. J. Janson, October 22; A. 
Carlson, October 22; Swan Carlson, October 22. 8 — C. Sunberg, 
October 22; Lars Johnson, June 19; Nils Peterson, October 21. 
15— W. Greke and T. Talniou, December 30. 18— P. Johnson, 
May 5; A. Samuelson, October 12. 20— P. Falk, June 6; 0. H. 
Hellond, March 19. 22— John Miller, October 21 ; M. Swanberg ; 
Nels Johnson, March 19. 24— A. Bromfield, January 27. 25— L. 
Johnson, March 21. 26 — Jane Jeuks, July 2. 28 — C. Gustafson, 
October 21 ; H. Brooks, December 1 ; Andrew Johnson, October 21. 

1874: 3 — John Carlson, September 2; John Callonder, Janu- 
ary 10; Peter Bronsnas, June 25. 4 — Hans Aminson, October 21; 
0. Swanson, October 21. 5 — C. A. Smith and C. J. Johnson, No- 
vember 24; Fred Anderson, November 24. 7 — S. 0. Ororen, No- 
vember 24. 8 — P. Hoggberg, March 17. 10 — B. Johnson, March 
18; John Carlson, October 21. 15— M. Henry, July 7 ; Z. Grisher, 
May 8; H. Cuopolo, August 6; J. J. Williams, June 26; Peter 
Gunrie, July 17. 17 — Cabel Abrahamson, June 27. 18 — John 
Backstrom, March 19; John Jlill, March 19. 20— Ole Oleson, Oc- 
tober 21; P. Nilsson, October 5. 21— John Halland, July 28. 
22—0. Jansson, March 17; D. M. Jenks, January 5. 23— John 
Larson, September 25. 24 — A. J. Swedberg, October 21. 27 — 
M. Swonberg, July 21 ; N. and S. Eckstrand, July 25 ; Ellen M. 
Knights, March 27. 28— H. Enson, October 21. 33— Fred Peter- 
son, July 31 ; A. F. Johnson, October 13. 35 — Henry Henderson, 
August 20; Otto Chytrous, July 28. 

1875 : 4 — John Anderson, March 18. 8 — A. Carlson, March 
18. 9— E. Elisen, December 17. 10— J. H. Wink, October 5; 
H. Thompson, October 5; John Peterson, October 5; A. Link, 
October 5 ; Ole Westeberg, October 5. 14 — A. Larson, November 
8; A. Johnson, October 5. 15 — Peter Sallmon, January 5. 17 — 
J. M. Johnson, December 21 ; Carl Johnson, September 22 ; C. 
Abrahamson, June 27 ; J. 0. Snabb, December 21. 18 — Isaac 
Barba, October 3; Nils Johnson, October 5; A. Zachanason, Octo- 
ber 5. 19— H. J. Hilland, February 22. 20— John Artemon, 
March 18. 21 — John Nygren, June 2. 25 — E. Erickson, Janu- 
ary 5 ; L. Johnson, November 15 ; John Wallen, November 23 ; A. 
Mattson, December 18. 27 — William Kaflfy, December 31; Erick 
Hisort, May 4 ; D. Pierson, November 26 ; S. Halmquist, January 
22 ; Catherine Steele, May 20. 28—0. L. Askin, IMarch 18. 29— 
L. G. Pendergast, December 14 ; A. F. Johnson, November 23. 
31— N. P. Ryberg, July 12. 35— S. Johnson, August 21. 

1876: 3— E. Johnson, October 27. 5— John Sunberg, Septem- 
ber 1 ; H. P. Breed, August 24. 7— L. G. Pendergast, May 9; A. 
Salomonson, November 24; A. Hara, October 4; John Wagner 
and John Lindquist, October 7. 11 — H. S. Rustod, November 9. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 169 

15_Johii Ericksoii, March 15; V. Forcr. August 18. 17— N. 
Peterson, Deecmber 11 ; M. Ileiulrickson, April 7; S. .1. Anderson, 
March 2; L. Harrington, December IS. 19 — Isaac Borges, March 
16; A. P. Millar, November 30. 21— A. Anderson, March 21 ; E. 
J. Ecklund, -lamiary 19. 2:^—0. W. Edgerby, June I.''); Henry 
Johnson, September 13. 29 — John Peel, August 4; (). W. Carl- 
blorm, August 12. 31 — J. G. Swanson, November 2 ; S. A. Ring- 
ner, October 30. 33— 1j. Hoglund, Ai)ril 2"). 35— A. P. Peterson, 
March 24; M. Tracy, November 14; Charles Krinenburg, Febru- 
ary 8. 

1877: 3 — E. Johnson, October 27; John Carlson, November 
28; John Jlorris, February 16; John Collemler, January 10. 5 — 
Ole Noystrom, January 4; Peter Osttund, March 24; L. L. Church, 
Jlarch 24; B. Thurstenson, November 12. 7 — L. G. Pendcrgast, 
March 4; John Woglon, January 30; W. R. Merriman, January 
29; H. Matsin, December 20. 9— H. Olatta, December 21; 0. 
Swenson, March 24 ; A. Thompson, October 31 ; H. Hanson, May 
29; Grace Homer, December 6. 11 — A. Lonker, February 7; E. 
Hendrickson, December 24. 15 — A. Corbin, March 17. 19 — C. 
Duckening, May 21 ; A. Constonens, August 8. 21 — J. O. Motster- 
tergen, February 16; L. G. Pendergast, April 3. 25 — Erick Erick- 
son, January 5; H. Mattson, December 29. 27 — M. Miller, Feb- 
ruary 1; John Knights, March 27. 31 — J. F. Blair, January 31; 
Ole Manson, October 10; E. W. Carlblorm, June 26. 33— Lars 
Hoglund, August 12 ; Peter Anderson, February 23. 35 — H. Hen- 
drickson, January 30; John Johnson, February 23. 

1878: 1— Mark Tracy and C. Klenberg, September 14. 5— 
P. E. Osttund, May 28 ; S. Carlson, December 13. 9— H. Hanson, 
July 22. 11— Hans Mattson, July 22. 23— S. Greek, July 12. 
27— J. B. Johnson, March 25. 29— S. Westhind, July 2; Louis 
Peterson. 31— J. F. Plair, January 10 ; P. Schilt, April 5. 35— 
A. Anderson, September 13. 14 — A. Kyos, April 1. 33 — M. 
Paulson, April 25. 

Township 119, Range 27 (MiddleviUe). The first claims in 
this Congressional township were entered in 1858. Those who 
filed that year were : 22 — John Lang, April 7. 24 — Michael Me- 
Cabe, April 3. These were on the edge of the township. The 
next entries were made in 1860. Those who filed that year were: 
35— William P. Buck, November 19. 

1868: 10— H. Boa;p|J>^ June 19. 20— B. Thurstenson, March 
25. 22— L. Earth, June 19. 

1869: 6— J. J. Stanton, November 2. 10 — M. Swartout, April 
3. 24— M. Hayes, March 22; II. Hayes. July 9. 27— G. Reinmuth, 
September 4. 28— A. Enke, March 2 ; J. Hanson, May 11. 32— 
A. Christopher, July 6. 

1870: 6—1. White, September 13. 8— A. Meacham, Novem- 
ber 1. 14 — G. O. Copeland, September 1. 24 — M. E. Harnett, 



170 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

April 1. 26— J. Canoin, December 1. 28— J. Hanson, May 9. 
32 — George Lackett, April 8 ; A. Cochran, July 11. 

1871 : 4 — I. Hient, December 1 ; A. G. Patter, December 1 ; 
J. W. Hient, December 1. 5— M. J. Bayer, March 1. 8— J. Oliver, 
November 6. 10— D. A. Boam, June 12. 12— J. W. Mabrey, 
August 23. 24 — Ellen McMahon, October 18 ; J. Rierdon, October 
19. 26— M. Dorfler, September 26; B. Herbst, September 26. 
32— W. T. Boxell, November 6 ; C. W. Rickerson, May 5. 

1872 : 4 — E. Stout, September 2 ; W. Denney, January 5 ; D. 
C. Cook. January 5. 6— M. White, September 2. 8—0. H. Ben- 
son, October 9; 0. M. Allison, November 25; S. M. Meacham, 
October 9. 10 — H. Dodel, January 5; J. S. Peat, September 2; 
A. Carwin, September 2; G. S. Broomfield, January 27. 12 — J. 
Rafferty, June 10 ; W. H. Bailey, January 7 ; H. Joyce, January 7 ; 
C. M. Hiatt, October 23. 20— J. , May 14. 22— 

M. Taylor, February 8; J. Scheer, February 10. 24— T. McGuire, 
June 10. 28— F. Harsch, March 14; W. M. Garman, March 14. 
30— W. G. Williams, February 8 ; J. W. Blackburn, February 8 ; 
L. Watson, January 27. 32— J. McCalla, February 8 ; D. J. Mc- 
Daniel, January 5. 

1873 : 4— L. Bowman, July 11. 14— W. Hall, July 21 ; E. B. 
Hiatt, August 6 ; M. Ziegler, July 21. 20— T. Hartrich, October 
24. 25— J. Doefler, December 1. 29— W. Boxell, November 28 ; 
T. Henderson, December 1. 30 — E. Stenbaeher, August 26. 

1874: 4 — W. Bowman, January 1. 8 — A. Simpson, May 11. 
12— J. Dix, January 1 ; W. W. Parker, January 1. 14— J. S. 
Parker, January 1; H. H. Gray, January 1. 20 — L. Van Norden, 
March 5 ; L. Fogle, March 4. 23— J. Barrell, November 28. 25— 
J. Gardner, August 11. 26 — H. Lombort, February 23 ; B. Merz, 
February 23. 27— F. D. Predfleld, October 8. 28— P. Schenken- 
berger, July 13. 30— J. H. McGuire, January 26. 31— D. Gilmer, 
January 22 ; L. Ferrell, September 17. 33— W. Goodsell, July 6 ; 
J. F. Pearson, October 22. 35 — W. Wildung, August 4. 

1875: 5 — Jones and Alguire, September 24; E. A. Saughter, 
April 21. 7— G. Hyser, July 12. 8— E. Dable, July 22. 21— 
J. and C. Luhman, September 23. 22 — K. Ziegler, January 4. 
23— T. Daniel, November 3 ; P. Lafore, March 5. 25— N. Gooley, 
June 22; John Dorfler, December 22; B. Merz, September 14. 
27— H. E. Jones, November 9; W. Sonders, October 12; II. T. 
Cord, December 13. 29 — J. Cunningham, May 26. 33 — A. Chris- 
topherson, November 4. 

1876: 3 — F. Adams, September 15; W. Buclnnan, November 
28; C. F. Zimmerman, October 30; J. Plomtaux, August 14; C. J. 
Gardner, May 10; C. A. Cummings, June 6. 9 — G. W. Ilickney, 
October 3. 11 — A. E. Boyce, January IS. 13 — L. Hawkins, 
March 24; N. and 0. Hawkins, March 24. 15— G. P. Gould, July 
27. 17— C. C. Gulp, October 13 ; G. L. Peudergast, June 15. 19— 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 171 

A. Tlioiii[)soii, Octolirr :i : K. Halvcrson. ^laruh 27: S. .1. Mak-n- 
qiiist, October 28. 21— A. Eiike, Oc-tobcr 19; P. Boyle, October 
3; G. Reinnmtli, Kebniary S. 2:5 — J. V. Fleininiiig, October 7. 
25— F. C. IlolleiibacU, Mareli 24: .1. Stotz, March 18. 27— G. W. 
Lumer, February 7; 11. Luther, Auf^ust 7; \V. .). Hampton, Feb- 
ruary 10: .1. llussey, July 21 : F. A. Kerns, Auyust 4; .). Dcwees, 
October 20. 29— G. P. Gould, -hily 27; A. O. Dahlgren, October 
;50; W. P. lloolbrook, October 14; JI. McClay, November 1 ; .1. /. 
Cochrane, September IG; T. Ileudersou, October 9. ;J1— P. Dahl- 
gren, May 10; 0. Olson, August 8; J. O. and P. Peterson, August 4. 
33—11. Oby, ilarch IS ; W. T. Boxell, February 22 ; N. C. Ricker- 
son, September 28. 35 — G. Lutman, Jlay 31; F. llein, November 
29; L. Morgan, September 30. 

1877: 1 — G. K. Ghattein, January 4; C. Pommereike, Novem- 
ber 3. 3 — F. Andei'son, October 12. 5 — L. A. Towle, February 
15; E. A. Slaughter, ]\Iay 9; G. A. Magoon, September 24; N. A. 
Gray. February 27; A. K. Gray, January 16. 7 — J. F. Pierson, 
November 30; J. R. Tondinson, Jan\uu'y 29; H. Mattson, Decem- 
ber 6. 11 — J. Klenlund, Decendier 27; A. Corbiii, March 24. 
15 — S. Gray, November 9; J. Stahl, October 31 ; II. Preiggie, Octo- 
ber 31. 17— M. Falke, March 1; F. Wildung, September 17. 
19 — J. Johnson, October 12; E. Oleson, January 4. 21 — II. Gren- 
hagen, November 10 ; H. Habighorst, November 10 ; F. Greuhagen, 
November 10. 23— J. Zeigler, March 15. 27— L. Fallalsbee, Jan- 
uary 22. 33— J. Dewers, June 29 ; J. F. Pierson, :\Iay 26. 

1878: 1— H. Mattson, July 22. 9— J. M. Marcley, February 
20. 11— H. Kenland, February 4. 15—11. D. Horton, February 
26 ; W. Eggrsgluss, February 20. 17 — R. Workman, September 
2. 19 — G. Rodin, May 10; P. Henderson and A. Thompson, June 
12; K. Halverson, March 27. 21— P. Wildung, October 26; F. 
Kuno, October 26; J. Reinmuth, February 18. 29— H. Miller, 
April 1. 31— P. Dahlgren, November 25. 33— C. R. Richerson, 
June 17. 35 — G. Luhman, April 15. 

1879: 17— J. F. Chevalier, January 2. 19— H. Thurstenson, 
January 28. 21— F. Wildung, March 29. 

Township 119, Range 26 (Marysville). The first claims in this 
Congressional township were entered in 1857. Those who filed 
that year were: 14 — Anna Findley, July 26. 18 — William A. 
Findley, July 22 ; Orange P. Whitney, December 30. 20— Sarah 
J. Finley. July 22. 29— A. W. Hunt, October 6. 

1858: 26— M. Brown, May 6. 

1859: 31— H. Morris, May 6. 35— A. J. Stacy, October 25. 

1860: 24— S. Kreidler, October 6. 30— J. McGinety, Novem- 
ber 20; A. B. Caldwell, November 24. 32— T. C. Healey, Novem- 
ber 26; M. Glover, December 12. 

1861 : 24— J. Bcnttell, November 6. 



172 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

1865: 2— C. Flamont, August 9. 14— F. Berthiaume, June 
22 ; S. G. Kreidler, September 4. 23— J. B. Rounds, September 18. 
30— J. O. Connell, June 16. 

1866: 25— F. N. Stacy, April 16. 

1867: 23— J. Stephens, February 26. 

1868: 30— J. 0. Connell, March 5; T. J. McHugh, March 5; 
J. McHugh, January 28. 32— H. Bremer, January 28. 34— J. 
Cramsie, July 2 ; A. Froney, March 5 ; T. Muldoou, March 5. 

1869 : 8— P. Carroll, March 22. 18— T. Burmingham, March 
22 ; 0. Kelley, March 22. 24— D. Kreider, June 17. 26— Gather 
ine McKeon, July 20. 27— J. Gagnon, July 10. 28 — J. Robideau 
July 14 ; A. Gundro, July 14 ; 0. Miller, July 14. 35— P. Bannon 
May 12. 

1870: 2 — F. Berthenaume, October 2; P. Lafaire, October 3 
C. Flamont, October 3. 4 — Uzziah Berthenaume, October 3 ; Mar- 
garet Marcionet, October 3 ; L. Gerard, October 3. 8 — J. Crapo, 
October 8 ; A. H. Jewett, March 7 ; C. H. Jewett, March 7. 10 — 
P. Haley, October 1 ; N. Tight, October 1 ; E. Berthenaume, Octo- 
ber 3 ; M. BrouUette, October 1 ; J. Nicholaus, October 1. 12— J. 
Johnson, September 22 ; C. Arneson, September 22 ; E. J. Modig, 
September 22 ; H. Boener, August 13 ; S. Erickson, September 22. 
19 — H. Lommers, September 7 ; R. Borup, October 3. 26 — P. 
Fallihes, May 26; J. A. Conner, December 16. 28 — F. Sonders, 
June 29; Margaret Pilot, June 29; J. Robinson, Jr., June 29. 
29 — J. Casevoux, January 5. 31 — J. R. Rice, September 28. 32 — 
M. 0. Rearden, May 26 ; Heirs of H. Schultz, June 29. 

1871 : 10— B. Robasse, October 1. 18— T. Dustin, August 23. 
22—1. Gronger, July 14; J. Mee, March 20. 24— V. Stattz, Octo- 
ber 27 ; W. T. Jordon, June 22. 35 — A. Kehoe, November 24. 

1872: 4 — J. B. Christian, Jr., January 3. 8 — A. Jewett, 
March 7. 12— J. Carlson, July 24; P. Swenson, July 24. 14— 
J. Lattermou, April 4. 22 — I. Barr, March 7. 34 — T. Robin, 
March 18. 

1873: 2— J. Robarga, May 27; T. Pevnseia, May 27. 3— T. 
Olson, December 31. 5— P. S. Fortune, July 18. 6— A. Pettier, 
May 27. 8—0. Vea, May 27 ; J. Crapeau, October 8. 10— H. C. 
Morman, August 26. 14 — J. Luckman, August 13. 15 — P. Lar- 
son, November 28. 21— J. T. Nyleson, May 6. 22— H. Gronger, 
August 26. 31 — Griggs & Newcomb, January 3. 

1874: 2— L. Bedorc, March 12. 6— P. Mara, January 29; 
M. Hoffencistar, November 23; F. Rossett, January 20; P. Chapat, 
January 20. 8—0. Berthenaume, March 12. 10 — L. I. Carpen- 
ter, April 3. 18 — J. Cavalier, January 20; P. Peterson, Decem- 
ber 7. 24— A. Hayes, February 5. 29— J. Delboch, March 20. 
33— J. W. Griggs, May 21. 

1875 : 6 — T. Haverty, November 23. 7 — M. Hofmeister, July 
6. 9— J. Gungner, July 16. 1.5— C. Oleson, March 5; J. F. Blom, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 173 

MaiH'h 127. 1!)— II. Muster. July ;") ; ('. .Muster, -Inly (i. L'l— A. 
Stumbei-ir, August "_'. '_'G — J. Fleuiiiiiiif,', January L'L*. 

1S76: A. J. Obcrsoii, Auffust 12; J. Sobic, October 16; J. V. 
Nugent, Novenil)er 2!); L. Larson. ^lay 1 ; I. Out/.willer. Jr., Mareli 
29; A. Peiigue, August 4. .') — Z. Duuaris, August 4; F. Dunaris, 
August 4: II. E. Jones, August 21; (.'. Cardinal, October 27; A. 
\'eo, September 21 ; P. Grondois, August 4; A. Ciroiiibois, August 
12. 7—0. Vean, August 4; G. P. Gould, July 27. 9— A. Robasse, 
May 2:?; I. Bertlieuaunie, July 13; B. Rerthiei', September 21; 
P. Haley, January 10; X. Haehat, November 2!) ; O. Dohlin, Octo- 
ber 3. 15 — P. Larson, September 21. 17 — J. Crepan, September 
11; H. Henderson, October 28; T. Dustin, December 16. IS— L. 
A. Wood, January 27. 19 — T. Boengingham, March 21 ; II. Lom- 
mers, July 5. 21— J. Nelson, March 28; S. Oleson, January 24. 
27— J. A. Lindquist, Seiitember 17; F. Shaley, September 29; R. 
Bernard, October 24 ; M. Martiido, September 11. 29—1). Pareau, 
November 2; J. Carevoux, August 31. 

1877: 7 — J. Stumpf, March 6. 9 — T. C. Nugent, November 
17; J. B. Plont, April 5. 15— E. P. Larson, November 5; P. Lar- 
son, October 16. 17 — S. P. Peterson, January 4; J. A. Mattson, 
April 26. 19— C. G. Myers. 21— A. Buckman, January 7. 23— 
J. Stephens, February 26. 31— P. J. Deckers, April 30. 33— D. 
Justis, August 3. 5 — F. Heatin, March 7 ; I. Gutzweller, Jr., 
December 23. 9 — J. C. Nugent, February 2. 19 — M. Romola, 
May 7. 29 — J. Parean, June 21. 

1879: 6— J. Chatelain, April 1. 7— J. Stumpf, April 11. 
20— N. Dalbec, April 1. 30 — I. B. Lornbart, Ajiril 1. 

Township 119, Range 25 (Rockford and small part of Frank- 
lin). The tirst claims in this Congressional township vi^ere entered 
in 1857. Those who filed that year were: 10 — John IL Thomas, 
October 24. 11— John C. Jones, October 24. 24— David Cline, 
October 24. 26— Henry Luther, October 23. 27— Dorathea Hot- 
zel, December 1. 28 — Josiah Stuart, October 28; George Kech- 
nell, February 28. 29 — Henry M. Ketchum, December 14. 32 — 
Louis Vertum, October 24; Henry M. Ketchum, December 14. 
33— W. A. Coggeshall, October 31. 

Those that filed in 1858 were : 11 — John Atkinson, February 
18 ; John Moffit, January 22. 21 — Henry Y^oung, January 22. 
26— William Knoble, February 22. 32— Gottlieb Eppel, April 21. 

1859: 4— Heirs of E. J. Crawford, February 18; J. Ramsey, 
April 2. .5 — I. W. Freed, October 28. 6— J. Taylor, October 28. 
9— J. Leeper, September 29. 10— J. H. Thomas, October 24; 
George Holdship, May 5. 12— A. G. Thayer, April 19. 22— G. 
Ruckholdt, December 5. 31— J. Craw.shaw, March 26. 3.5— P. 
Christian, September 6. 

1860: 6— S. Bacon, April 5. 10— H. Mills, November 20. 
13— C. L. Angel, November 21 ; H. Leaderbach, August 29. 15— 



174 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

J. H. Dean, October 20; P. Lockwood, November 20. 19— H. 
Haskius, July 17. 22 — J. S. Fredericks, November 26; A. B. 
Fredericks, November 26. 24— W. H. Roberts, October 20. 25— 
S. R. Workman, May 14. 26— C. Barth, August 27. 31— j\I. W. 
Rew, November 26. 32 — J. 0. Connell, November 27; Fred 
Schwerne, October 6. 34— J. Dietz, August 21; T. Zeibarth, 
January 21 ; M. Schaust, January 21. 35 — G. Calodine, August 
27; F. Mayer, August 27. 



1861 
1864 
1865 



19— A. H. Knaeble, July 16. 



15— J. Mills, October 15. 

1 — C. Brown, September 1. 2 — P. Darrow, Sr., May 
12; N. E. Stewart, June 6. 5 — P. Boerner, September 6. 12 — 
S. Parmeter, April 12. 14 — J. F. Burmester, June 16. 15 — A. A. 
Sisom and G. D. George, March 14. 18 — E. Nagle, August 10; 
J. Menz, August 14. 23— A. A. Sisom, March 14. 25— L. Wens, 
March 16. 27 — L. Cook, September 16. 33 — S. Ziebarth, Janu- 
ary 24; T. Ziebarth, May 23; J. Siebel, December 31; T. Jigler, 
January 24. 

1866: 3 — A. H. Cooper, December 13. 7 — L. C. Ilstrup, 
August 28. 12— G. W. Parker, February 8. 

1867: George Sook, March 28. 17— C. Boumer, May 27. 

1868: 1— B. Palmeter, December 15. 18— W. A. Cronk, 
March 13. 20 — J. Samsell, Jr., March 13; Margaret Samsell, 
March 20. 23— J. G. Welch, February 12. 30— H. Sehultz, Feb- 
ruary 6; J. Kriedler, March 13. 31 — J. Quinu, June 17. 

1869: 2— E. D. Spaulding, September 15; E. S. Spaulding, 
September 15; W. F. Thompson, December 21; C. N. Cooper, 
December 21. 3 — C. Roberts, November 12. 4 — C. Barnzier, 
July 26 ; A. Rolotif, January 20. 8— C. Zimmer, February 1 ; W. 
Deckon, June 17. 10— N. Dyer, January 20. 14— W. Sook, De- 
cember 21 ; J. W. Silliman, December 21 ; J. Sheridan, December 
21. 18— E. Nagle, June 17; Mary Steinhiller, June 17. 22— C. 
Ebel, June 17. 24— W. Albitz, July 1. 

1870 : 2— J. T. Van Valkenburgh, November 15 ; W. F. Thomp- 
son, December 21. 6 — S. Ilstrup, April 11. 14 — J. M. Higgins, 
December 6. 16— S. H. Dean, January 7. 20— 0. W. Crawford, 
December 6 ; R. 0. Crawford, December 22 ; A. Bucklin, Decem- 
ber 6. 27— Julia E. Breed, June 2. 28— D. McCarter, Novem- 
ber 7. 

1871: 7— A. Ilstrup, April 25. 12— J. Crandall, April 20. 
16— S. H. Dean, February 4. 30— G. W. Kredler, August 10'; 
E. Allen, March 2; T. Ziebarth, May 23. 

1872 : J. Johnson, January 3. 6 — N. Anderson, Januaiy 
3 ; N. Peterson, January 3. 8 — N. Bengtson, January 3. 11 — 
H. Dyer, February 26. 20— J. Meier, March 7 ; H. Sehultz, March 
7 ; B. Peterson, January 3. 24— C. T. Coverdale, March 13. 26— 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 175 

J. Cook, D.'c.'inh.T 'I. 28— S. C. Kivdcii.-k, .Marcli 12. :!4— M. 
Ross, Jlareli 7. 

1873: 18 — I. lux'lilkc, .lanuary 2; (i. Locrson, -laiiuary '2. 
28— C. 1). Fieileriek, August 1"). ;iO— 11. Braiidt, .lanuary 2. 

1874: 1 — A. Hopkins, Deei'nibcr 1."). ;i — T. SoibtTt, Ajiril 27. 
20— C. Kiiall, October 15. 24— C. A. Sivuar, October 8. 3G— 
J. H. Thompson, July 15. 

187li: 12— A. :\Iattsoii, January 14. 

1877: :!:;— E. otto, February 21. 

Township 119, Range 24 (Fractional township — Rockford). 
The tirst claims in this part oi' the Congressional township were 
entered in 1856. Those who tiletl that year were: 5 — I. S. l?urn- 
side, October 2. G — David Cook. August 8. 7 — David Cook, 
August 8. 8 — Amasa S. Gordon, August 8; William Sleight, 
September 29. 9— Frederick Clark, February 4. 17— William 

B. Burrell, August 25 ; William Sleight, September 29 ; Isaac P. 
Harvey, September 15; Cyrus C. Jenks, September 15. 18 — 
Phebe Brownell, December 24. 20 — Cyrus C. Jenks, SepttMuber 
15; Cyrus Redlon, July 15; Isaac P. Harvey, July 15; G. 1). 
George, September 29 ; C. 0. Thomas, July IG. 21— Joseph Wolf, 
July 16 : C. A. Conistoek, July 19. 29— George F. Ames, June 23 ; 
Joel Florida. July 23. 30 — lames D. Young, October 20; Albert 
H. Taisey, October 30. 31— S. H. Morse, July 15. 

1857: 4 — lacob B. lliller, February 2; John Frederick, July 
15. 5 — Robert Godfrey, June 25. 6 — William Godfrey, June 25 ; 
Herman B. Cole, March 24; Gabriel T. Harrow, July 23. 7— 
Frederick Re<llon, October 21 ; Sally Woodard, August 31. 8— 
Thomas Prestidge, September 14; John ileisell, June 1. 9 — Ann 

C. Poolton, April 20 ; Casimer Geib, March 14. 10 — Prank Leider, 
August 3. 18 — Azenath Angel, July 8 ; (Jeorge L. Morse, Decem- 
ber 23. 19— John Kirk, May 2 ; Allen G. Sexton, July 25. 20— 
Enoch Miller, August 18. 29— John M. Buot, March 27. 30— 
Benjamin F. Bailey, April 13. 

1858: 4 — Ludwig Roloff, January 27. 

1859 : 8— Owen Davies, December 7. 

1860: .3 — Christian Woltf, October 9; Andrew Borngesser, 
October 8; William Volbrecht, October 9; Henry Snopeef, October 
26. 5— Thomas Walker, October 17. 17 — lackson Steward, Oc- 
tober 24. 18— Asa W. Lucas, March 1. 30— John F. Powers, 
October 18. 31 — Artemus W. Dorman, October IS. 

1861 : 2— Henry W^oli?, December 19. 

1862: 4 — Frank Wagner, April 11. 

1864: 7 — Jane Owen, December .30. 9 — Frederick Puckett, 
November 12. 

1870: 7— William S. Darrow, June 1. 

1871: .5 — James Sheridan, December 11. 



176 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Township 120, Range 23. Fractional (Frankfort). The first 
claim in this part of the Congressional township was entered in 
1856. Those who filed that year were : 1— John Baxter, Septem- 
ber 3; Samuel Reem, July 24; Alexander J. Borthwick, July 16; 
2_Patrick Burke, July 19. 3— Patrick Wood, July 28. 4— 
Francis Weaver, November 2; Daniel Carrigau, November 30. 
6 — John Humal, October 8. 8— L. Ayd, November 4. 9— Thomas 
Dean, September 2. 10— Patrick Ward, July 28. 

1857: 1 — P. Meddlestead, May 4. 2— Henry Dryer, Decem- 
ber 7 ; A. Stenglein, March 6. 3— W. Butterfield, April 28 ; F. 
Chute, May 7; F. Weaver, November 2. 4 — M. Kreimer, July 
30. 5 — J. B. Weidemau, July 6. 6 — A. Lindenfielsen, July 21. 
7— T. Reigling, October 19; John Schultz, May 15; X. Denier, 
March 4. 8 — J. McAlpiue, March 27; James Butterfield, March 
14 ; H. Dupsey. 9— R. Clarke, June 29 ; R. Quinn, April 28. 

1859: 6— J. Lydenfelsen, May 2. 

I860: 3 — E. Canigan, October 20. 4 — J. Campbell, Septem- 
ber 10 ; Neil McNeil, September 10. 5 — M. Kriemer, October 19. 
6— A. Barber, October 20 ; J. Nelles, October 18. 8— J. Zackman, 
October 18. 9— W. Dean, October 22. 10— Heirs of W. Butler, 
October 6. 

1865 : 3— W. Foster, March 23. 7— B. Raster, March 17. 

1870: 5— J. Darrack, July 25. 

Township 120, Range 24 (Frankfort). The first claims in this 
Congressional township were entered in 1855. The one who filed 
that year was : 3 — Anthony Clippen, July 11. 

1856 : 5— C. Keisner, April 11. 13— C. F. Woodman, June 24. 
14^S. Reiling, September 19. 24— Williams Dixon, July 12; 
A. W. Combs, August 27; P. Schneider, July 12. 25— John 
Bengenheimer, August 2. 27 — Joseph Arentz, July 16. 28 — M. 
Andrews, September 29; Thomas Steele, Jr., October 27. 32 — 
C. Tilburg, September 20. 

1857: 1— J. Guerin, September 7. 2— J. H. Schutter, Octo- 
ber 3; A. Treble, August 4. 4^F. Martin, May 14; John T. 
Auer, June 2; P. Baffirdung, July 17. 5 — John Keifee, June 12; 
H. Brewer, September 30. 9 — H. Servatius, November 4; E. 
Lenneman, March 20. 10 — P. Kayel, September 23; Henry 
Kayel, July 17; L. Winterhalter, June 4; J. Finn, March 17. 
11— B. Jessing, April 23. 12— J. Ebbing, March 12; G. Ebbing, 
March 12. 1.3— J. Reeling, March 20; H. Aydt, December 5. 
14 — A. Schutzler, August 10; F. Gohler, July 6. 15— C. Sicker- 
man, May 19 ; M. Guffart, April 11 ; W. Kent, December 31. 17— 
A. Kuber, August 11; N. Harris, June 26; F. Michaelis, Septem- 
ber 21 ; F. Geyenmeier, November 18 — A. Schumacher, June 8 ; 
W. E. Schumacher, May 25. 19— G. Fredrick, July 9; J. Gott- 
waldt, September 1; J. Hoffman; J. Dermot. 20— F. Schultz, 
November 19; C. Michales, September 8 ; F. G. Singlar, July 18. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 177 

21— M. Felts; N. Rassing, May 30. 22— C. Hens, August 17. 
1)3— C. Feeling, .May 25. 25— J. P. Marx, October 3; Heirs of 
Andrew JMarx, May 13; J. H. Meinliar.lt, Mareii 20. 26— N. 
Horopres, June 3; J. Klas, -luly 1-1; !-. Springer, .July 10; T. 
Meinhardt. Mareh 20. 27—1'. llauipris, June 3; P. Full, Octo- 
ber 22. 28— J. Thirlen, .July 7. 30 — ). Dernioutt, May 14; A. 
Elliott, Mareli 2.!; M. Kolui. .luly 29. 31— .1. Walbaeli, .luly 27; 
M. Surgis, .luly 31; P. .Miehaelis, October 27. 33— A. Wagner, 
February 5. 34—0. Thielen, May 12. 35 — J. G. Biektold, .June 
20; H. .Marks, .June 29. 

1858: 15 — J. G. Gluck, February 23. 25 — A. Mayer, Jaiui- 
ary 25. 33 — A. Wagner, February 5. 35 — S. Karger, Febru- 
ary 



•)■> 



1859 : 18— H. Nicholas, Mareh 30. 

I860: 1— V. Herman, October 19; A. Baker, October 20; M. 
Maus, September 28; -J. Vetsch, October 19. 3 — P. Schuniaker, 
October 19; S. Schumaker, October 19. 9— II. Dorcott, October 
18; .J. Servatius, October 24. 11— I. Gutzweller, October 19; .J. 
Igel, October 19. 12— .J. Ebbing, November 17; E. Ebbing, Oc- 
tober 18; J. H. Brokamp, September 18; .J. Ilogumeyer, Septem- 
ber IS. 13— .J. Dehmer, October 24. 14— S. Kasper, October 18. 
21—11. Grosser, August 22. 22— N. Neasan, October 25. 23 — 
F. Fry, October IS. 24 — M. Schuler, October 24. 26— ,J. Morris, 
October IS. 29— J. Buol, October 19. 32— J. Balls, October 17. 
33— W. Roloff, October 9; A. Roloff, October 9; 34— H. Wolf, 
October 9. 35— ,J. Vallbreeht, October 20. 

1861: 4^.J. P. Ohlert, September 14. 8— J. Weyman, July 
13. 22— C. Meyer, October 18 ; C. Uhl, October 25. 24— E. Aydt, 
July 30. 28 — N. Buriges, October 18. 32 — J. Dixon, Septem- 
ber 20. 34— C. Sutz, October 28. 

1864 : 7 — P. Barthel, December 7. 23 — J. Ganz, Novem- 
ber 14. 

1866: 23— Catharine Fry, December 24. 27—11. Barthal, Oc- 
tober 29. 

1867 : 5 — W. Ulman, September 4. 15 — S. Casper, March 2. 
25— J. B. .Marx, October 3. 

1870: 25— A. Scheter, March 8. 27— :\I. Barthel, January 10. 
29 — T. Cochrane, February 21. 

1872 : 15 — S. Casper, March 2. 

1874: 33— A. Wagner, October 13. 

1S76: 5— M. Ulman, December 23. 

1S77: 29 — C. Bechts, January 3. 

1878: 3 — I. Gutzweiler, .Ir., December 7. 

Township 120, Range 25 (Buffalo). The fir.st claims in this 
Congressiomil township were entered in 1858. Those who filed 
that year were; IS — N. X. Tavlor, October 5. 19 — Henry Var- 



178 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

ner, October 29. 26— E. J. Shumway, September 13. 29— Daniel 
Gray. 

1859 : 1— Jessie McCurdy, September 19. 3— J. R. Hill, May 
11. 5— S. Hatch, March 22. 11— A. J. Riggs, March 18. 15— 
E. Nagel, July 20. 18— B. Ward, July 19. 20— L. B. Colver, 
July 19. 29— J. F. Pickeus, May 9. 30— Jackson Taylor, in 
Trust, November 25. 31— Jackson Taylor, October 28. 33— 
W. H. Huggins, March 17. 

1860: 2— W. 0. Weston, October 18. 4— W. D. Leonard, Oc- 
tober 8 ; John E. Baker, April 27. 6— Peter W. Holmes, October 
22. 8— Joseph Goyette, October 19; C. W. Hudson. 10— Peter 
Glock, October 8. 11— Fred Stokes, October 20. 12— William 
Weldell, October 8; Peter Barthel, October 1. 13— G. Miller; 
V. Wind, October 20; Fred Bereshaber; Paul Fredericks, Feb- 
ruary 21. 14 — T. Machtell, October 18; August Newnert, Jr., 
October 20. 15— August Newnert, Sr., October 27. 17— C. 
Chamberlain, October 19; E. T. Tillotson. 18— Jacob Varner, 
October 9. 19— B. F. Thrift, October 6; Jolin M. Keeler, Octo- 
ber 6. 28—0. L. Dudley, April 5. 29— J. J. Odell, October 6; 
A. W. Dudley, October 18. 30— A. Ackley, October 6. 31— S. 
Bacon, April 5. 33— L. E. Dudley, October 18; T. W. Hughes, 
October 17. 

1861 : 2 — A. C. Fairbrother, January 6 ; Avon Stook, January 
22. 12— N. Beck, November 8. 18— S. D. Fuller, September 14. 
20 — James Gilbert, November 6. 22 — Thomas Wren, November 
18. 23 — W. Heilman, October 16. 24 — Henry Kersehte, Novem- 
ber 19; C. Hillman, October 16; M. Orth, October 8. 32— H. 
Stewart, December 21 ; D. Gray, November 13. 34 — J. H. Ded- 
rick, September 23. 

1864: 3— A. S. Gilchrist, October 22. 9— August Prince, 
September 22. 21— A. Lawson, October 3. 25— T. Schmidt. 

1865: 5— August McAehrin, July 18. 7— F. H. Wedstrand, 
March 22. 11— John Link, October 28. 23— Joseph Steffis, 
August 4. 27 — Henry Kerscht, August 15. 33 — R. J. Parker, 
January 30. 

1866: 13— Paul Fredericks, February 21. 

1867: 11— Jacob Abel, December 19. 21— T. Wren, April 13. 

1868: 6 — John Allen, January 1; L. Ryan, January 1. 14 — 
F. Silegren, December 17; John Weller, December 17. 22— K. 
Dorff, December 17. 

1869 : 6 — Thomas Hopkins, January 1. 21 — Peter Barring- 
ton, June 14. 22 — G. Marshall, January 6; John Steflfis, July 8. 
28— R. O. Cady, July 8. 34— William McPherson, January 6; 
M. Otten, January 6. 

1870: 12— J. Q. A. Braden, May 20. 15— J. T. G. 
January 22. 23— N. Orth, November 21. 25— Jacob Orth, Jan- 
uary 12. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 179 

1871: 1(>— F. iM. Elk-tsoii, .January '>. 22—1*. Ciimiiu^'liani, 
January 5. 28 — G. W. Mclnturf, Jainiary f). 

1872: 16— S. E. Adams, April VJ. 27— G. Polil. .Inly 8. 
28— LaFayette Melnturf. February 2:5. 

1873: 11— P. F. Ayder, Novcnibor 5. 

1874: Iti— S. E. Adams, .July 17. 21— T. Wren, March 2. 

1875: 21— W. H. Cady, February If). :?:>— N. Seliufr, .Janu- 
ary 24. 

1876: 4— A. Grant, February 22. 21— ,1. F. (!. OnlorfT. .hin- 
uary 5. 25 — T. Schmidt, IMay 8. 

1878 : 5 — George Covart, February 27. 

1879: 35 — Sarali Cannon, Marcli 31. 

Township 120, Range 26 (sections 19 to 36, inclusive, Chatham). 
The first claim in tliis i)art of tlie Congi-essional to\vnslii[) was 
entered in 1857. The one who tiled that year was John F. Foster, 
who on October 22 filed on the northwest quarter of section 20. 
Those who filed in 1858 were : 20— J. F. Foster, October 22. 11— 
S. P. Lowell, October 12. 13— Sarah Murphy, October 21 ; Tim- 
othy Lowell, August 22. 

1859: 19— Allen D. Libby, September 26. 24— M. S. (Jalkins, 
January 3. 30 — J. B. Arehambault, October 26. 

I860: 23— D. L. Calkins, October 19. 24— Heirs of William 
Blakely, October 6. 2;5— M. U. Tubbs, October 19. 34— B. 
Ambler, November 8. 

1861: 24— S. Varner, October 22; A. Boronian, October 22. 
26 — William Sullivan, November 5. 

1862: 22— A. Erath, Jr., February 7. 

1864: 35 — .J. Armstrong, November 15. 

1865: 24— P. L. Dudley, July 15. 

1868: 2,5— William Mann, April 21. 26— A. Munding, Octo- 
ber 26; W. Rettiek, December 27. 28^J. Mara, July 15; James 
Clary, July 15; D. Murphy, December 17; S. Chamberlain, De- 
cember 17 ; .T. Moore, -July 15. 

1869: 20— J. E. Elsonpeter, December 7. 22 — I. H. Elson- 
peter, December 7. 32 — James Nugent, December 7. 33 — G. 
Hong, August 28. 

1870: 30— W. P. Jewette, October 20; J. B. Arehambault, 
October 20. .34— W. W. Washburne, October 1; Francis Ber- 
thiaume, October 3. 

1871: F. Leak, February 1. 22— L. Lapi>in. December 1. 
32— A. H. Heaton, February 27; J. G. Nugent, Ai)ril 11 : .Jolm C. 
Nugent, April 11. 34— H. Erath, April 11. 

1872: 22— W. H. Cochrane, March 22. 27— W. Rettesch, 
June 22. 34 — T. Sobie, August 14. 

1873: 32— B. Peltier, May 27. 

1875 : 27 — James Mara, .June 5. 



180 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

1876: 21— John Sullivan, February 24. 33— J. C. Nugent, 
May 12; I. Gutzweller, September 2. 36— E. F. Drake, June 27. 

1877 : 35 — Joseph Armstrong, April 27. 

Township 120, Range 26 (Sections 1 to 18, Inclusive, Maple 
LaJie). The first claims in this Congressional township were 
entered in 1857. Those who filed that year were: 9 — Boyd W. 
Purdy, October 20 ; Trott Smith, October 20. 

Those who filed in 1858 were : 1 — Henry P. Robinson, July 6. 
2— John M. Carrier, July 6; Thomas Sexton, August 21; Timothy 
Planingau, January 1. 8 — Patrick Flarity, December 14. 9 — 
Michal Welton, December 14; William Welton, December 14. 
10— Henry McLane, October 7. 15— Charles Woodbury, May 27; 
John W. Phillips, July 21. 17— William Elsenpeter, January 12. 

1859 : 4 — J. E. Lewis, February 28 ; A. Ormsbee, February 6. 
11 — C. McCarty, August 6. 13— S. L. Fillmore, January 1. 14 — 
J. Shatter, September 6. 

1860: 3— G. Hamilton, July 13. 6— E. 0"Brieu, September 
20; James Madigan, September 20. 13 — P. Carr, October 9; G. 
Hays, October 26. 14 — J. Grieve, February 21. 

1861: 4— G. Hamilton, September 30. 6— S. Clark, Novem- 
ber 7. 8— T. Jude, July 1. 14— L. Laffin, May 2. 18— T. Gailey, 
December 18. 

1862 : 2— J. Vadner, February 17. 6— P. Butler, February 3. 
8— T. Cadnmn, May 16. 

1864: 3— C. B. Coleman, September 26. 

1865 : 7— P. Flahrety, April 29. 

1866 : 15— G. Marti, June 1. 

1868 : 2 — T. Flanniugan, January 1. 10 — J. Harrington, Jan- 
uary 1; J. Sullivan, June 6. 12 — D. Sheehan, January 1; D. 
Mullen, January 1. 18 — 0. Dailcy, July 15; H. Hinterthur, Octo- 
ber 6. 

1869: 8— R. Jude, February 6. 12— T. Jude, January 1; E. 
Flynn, May 18. 14 — J. Elsenpeter, December 7. 

1870: 1— T. Hopkins, March 9. 4— D. C. McCrory, April 27. 

1871: 10— M. Murphey, October 10. 23— J. Kotilineck, 
April 28. 

1872: 16— A. W. Hoar, December 28. 17— P. Flaharty, Feb- 
ruary 7. 

1873 : 11— M. Foran, September 30. 

1874: 7 — J. Maroney, July 17. 17 — P. Welton, January 6. 

1875 : 18—0. Dailey, July 15. 

1876 : 4— W. G. McCrorey, February 3. 

1877: n- C. Elsenpeter, May 2. 

Township 120, Range 27 (Albion). The first claims in this 
Congressional township were entered in 1858. Those who filed 
that year were: 10 — Patrick Golden, February 24. 27 — S. S. 
Titus, June 29; Jane Titus, June 29; Henry H. Titus, June 29. 



HISTOKY OF WRICIIT ("(H'XTY 181 

28 — Georgro Ilimter. Sf|)1cnibci- :! : Ij. D. Manly. Sciitciiihcr 3. 
34— A. llobsoii. May 17. 

1859: 4 — I. G. I\Ic('lu'siu'y. April I'M: Holxit .McClicsiicy, April 
28. 26— Charles .hulsoii. April 19. 

ISGO: 14 — J. P. Hoswortli. Octohtr 24. IS — lanus Curtis. 
22 — John Rogers, JiiiU' 10. 2() — -Joseph Duprc Feliiuaiy 12. 

1866: 15 — Jerome Maiigaii, Aiigusl 12. 

1868: 9 — Minnesota Lainl Conii)any, April :iO; 1\. S. Ihiliiies, 
September 25. 20— A. .1. riiillips, .May 2(1. :iO— I'eter Morris, 
Deeeinber 1(). 

1869: 14 — L. Dagjrert. February 6. 

1870: 1— G. Holmes, May 12. 2— A. R. Rus.sell, Sei)teiuber 
9. 6— L. R. Allen, Oetober 6. 8 — I. Porter, October 6. 11— 
John Holmes, May 12. 14 — F. La Cross, September 1. 19 — David 
Dykeman, October 12. 20— S. Libbey, October 6. 30— M. Palla, 
August 22; Andrew F. Morris, August 22. 

1871: 8— V. H Friend, December 11; L. Lambert, June 22; 
James Knotts, June 22; John Chevalier. 19 — A. Fashont, June 
7. 24 — J. Archambault, December 1 ; William Man, December 1. 
30 — Paul Schmidt, December 22. 

1872: 18— George Eagy, November 19. 24— P. Smith, Feb- 
ruary 25; James Donahue, December 2; B. McKeag, March 12. 
25 — John Smith, December 9. 30— J. Paket, March 12. 

1873 : 6 — A. De Chaney, October 28 ; Peter De Caney, Oetober 
28; Jacob Lombert, October 28. 

1874: 3— A. R. Russell, July 27. 19— George Morris, Sep- 
tember 18. 26— C. Gilligon, March 5; John Wolf, March 4. 30— 
I. Rahmme, August 31. 34 — John Buekman, March 4; William 
Buckman, March 4. 35 — Charles Buekman. 

1875: 18— J. Bonanue, July 20. 

1876: 12 — .J. F'. Spencer, February 17; A. Bullock, February 
17. 19— J. Rohier, March 9. 33— M. Burchett, October 2 ; J. A. 
Johnson, September 23 ; William Warrock, October 7. 

1877 : 19— A. Fashout, March 28. 

1878: 19— Paul Coshin, October 23. 33— G. W. Barley, 
August 30. 

Tow^nship 120, Range 28 (French Lake)- The first claims in 
this Congressional township were entered in 1860. Those who 
filed that year were: 10 — Thomas O. Laughlin, June 6. 12 — 
James Grimes, September 22 ; C. Grimes, September 22. 14 — Han- 
nah 0. Laughlin, July 7. 15 — Ernest Howart, Oetober 27. 

1862: 22— G. Mathewson, April 11. 

1866: 13 — J. Chevalier, P>bruary 14. 15 — Antone Guntire, 
October 12; P. Rasseau, Oetober 5. 

1868: 4— D. Mulqueeny, June 26. 10— M. C. 0. Donohue, 
February 21. 24— A. McDonald, June 19. 

1869: 2— JIary Brown, March 23. 



182 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

1870: 4— S. M. Dorman, October 16. 12— J. Meloin, Octo- 
ber 6. 24— D. McDonald, April 26 ; Margaret 0. Shea, October 6 ; 
P. Kennedy, October 6. 26— F. G. Foster, December 14. 

1872 : 15— P. Charlet, January 2. 34— C. A. Reed, September 
25; C. A. Paidey, October 17; J. G. Bogar, October 17. 

1873 : 2 — John Proctor, February 17. 4 — J. Blackburn. 
12— J. Capeon, April 11. 26— D. Dykeman, July 10; J. Z. Coch- 
rane, August 1 ; A. Peinceiuce, November 15 ; F. B. Ide, March 
28. 32— J. F. Sunden, October 23 ; C. F. Straw, October 22. 34— 
T. D. Groves, July 1 ; J. Ditty. 

1874: 2— P. O'Laughlin, March 18; P. Shorry, April 18; J. 
Hartnett, February 2. 3 — P. Mooney, January 6. 14 — J. 
O'Laughlin, February 2. 18— L. Borg, October 22. 20— J. Jack- 
sou, October 20; J. L. Lundberg, June 22; N. Nilsson, June 22; 
O. Peterson, March 20; P. E. Oslund, March 18. 28— J. Morris, 
May 20 ; 0. Nystrom, October 20 ; G. Jansson, March 17 ; 0. An- 
derson, March 17. 30— P. Skoog, October 20 ; E. E. Oslund, June 
22 ; J. Ash, March 18 ; 0. Palmquist, March 20. 32— J. Lonsdin, 
March 18. 33— J. Carlson, July 31. 34— S. Reed, July 14. 

1875: 2— M. Murray, February 17. 20— S. Lingblod, March 
18. 28 — A. Lind, January 1 ; J. Jonson, October 5. 30^E. Pe- 
terson, October 6. 32 — P. J. Bjorklund, October 5; C. J. Ander- 
son, October 5. 34 — F. Guin, January 1. 

1876: 2— M. Murray, February 17. 19—1. Gutzweller, Jr., 
November 27 ; L. G. Pendergast, May 19. 27— E. Boxell, March 
24. 29— P. Westtund, March 21. 33— J. Johnson, October 3; 
L. Harrington, December 18 ; B. Thurstenson, September 1 ; O. 
Swenson, April 30. 

1877 : 19— N. Nilson, March 10. 21— Ole Dohlgren, February 
6. 23— P. Norberg, October 31. 27— C. Isaacson, March 17 ; A. 
Corbin, August 7. 29 — P. Skoog, April 3. 31 — H. Mattsou, De- 
cember 28 ; W. R. Merriman, January 29. 33 — C. J. .Johnson, 
January 30. 

1878 : 25— J. F. Chevalier, December 18. 31— J. Floren, Feb- 
ruary 12; E. J. Anderson, April 25. 33 — T. Anderson, Jidy 24. 

1879 : 19— N. Nelson, February 20. 30— K. Johnson, April 1. 
33 — J. Morris, January 23. 

Township 121, Range 28 (Southside). The first claims in this 
Congressional township were entered in 1857. Those who filed 
that year were : 9 — A. A. Dean, August 27. 10 — A. Montgomery, 
August 27. 13 — Julia Prescott, June 23 ; L. Duraarce, June 27. 
14— J. S. Abell, October 2. 24— L. Dumarce, June 23. 27— C. H. 
Rogers, October 21. 29 — A. J. Brackett, November 6. 

1858 : 10— N. Bryon, January 7. 14— J. B. Mayhew, Septem- 
ber 8. 15— D. G. Keefe, June 7. 21— S. H. Lee, April 1. 22— 
William Vonderlinde, November 27 ; J. C. Dunn, February 27. 
24 — W. Warren, November 27. 



HISTORY OK WKU;iIT COUNTY 183 

1859. 4_V. W. Olds, .huu' 24; J. S. Noyes, Oc!tober 21. 8— 

Cyrus Root, May '28. 

I860: 4 — Town of Fair llaveii, J\iiu' 28. 10 — A. Nelson. 
20 — J. W. Goinles, NoviMubcr :>. 

1861: 120— John S. Weigond, July 12. 

1862 : 10— H. S. Bowen, February 3. 

186-4: 28 — W. A. Smith. November 18; J. 0. Smith, Novem- 
ber 18. 

1866: 18-11. G. Root, July 22. 

1867: 26 — John Shaft'ner, April 26. 30— A. Kilborii, Augu.st 
14. 14_C. A. Robin.son, October 18. 

1868 : 12 — J. R. Robinson, September 8 ; J. S. Noyes, Septem- 
ber 8. 24 — W. Warren, November 27. 30—11. L. (iordon, 
July 23. 

1869; 10— T. J. Woodward, October 1. 20— H. L. Gordon, 
March 13. 24— Charles Dally, March 9. 

1870: 13— Isabelle :\Iayhew, November 23. 20— J. Koekler, 
November 29. 21 — Abel Lombert, July 19; J. Krontz, August 
26. 34— P. Gould, June 24. 

1871: 2— A. W. Tucker, June 27. 8— William M. Tietjen, 
September 24. 15 — John Howard, March 11. 20 — H. L. Gordon, 
January 2. 22 — C. W. Partridge, August 22; Levi Rudolph, May 
31. 23— A. Banon. 26— M. Haywood, February 27. 28— John 
Cooper, January 27. 34 — J. Gould, July 11 ; A. P. Layton. 

1872 : 18— E. S. Shupe, August 29. 23— James Davis, May 14. 

1873 : 8— T. Ewing, November 18. 

1874: 8— W. M. Hathaway, October 12. 30— J. Goble, Octo- 
ber 12; J. S. Bower, October 12. 

1875 : 8— J. N. Brown, October 25. 13— S. B. Hoyt, October 
24. 26— S. A. Gordon, February 12. 

1877: 24— N. Dally, October 30. 30— Edward Marquett, 
December 4. 

Township 121, Range 27 (Corinna). The first claims in this 
Congressional township were entered in 1857. Those who filed 
that year were : 4 — Alvin Wilkins, September 6 ; 0. W. Butler, 
August 17 ; 0. W. Butler, Jr., Augu.st 17. 5—0. W. Butler, Jr., 
August 17. 9 — William B. Gordon, Augiist 31. 15 — Patrick 
Doiley, December 8. 17 — Elijah Doble, September 16. 19 — 
Elijah Doble, September 16. 20— Elijah Doble, May 7. 22— 
Patrick Dailey, December 8. 26 — William Qurik, December 6. 
27— C. E. Barber, October 10. 34— John W. Rude, September 
26 ; Charles G. Barber, October 18. 

1858. 4— Z. A. Luce, May 14. 10— D. Sharp, August 4; M. J. 
Hall, April 21. 12— H. B. Smith, June 21. 14 — .James Ahearu, 
July 24. 22— J. Farrel, September 2. 2.3— P. Preseott, January 
6. 25 — P. Preseott, January 6. 26 — P. Preseott, January 6. 



1862 
1863 
1864 
1865 



184 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

27— J. Farrell, September 11. 28— P. Prescott, April 10; Louis 
Dumarce, April 1. 29— Julia Prescott, April 29; L. T. Prescott, 
April 1. 1 — James Wilcox, May 14; John Fenklepaugh, Septem- 
ber 29 ; H. Ripley, June 4. 

1859: 18— J. F. Doble, April 22. 

1860 : 8—0. Longworth, October 10. 18— F. Teates, October 
3. 24— Thomas Mulholland, June 15. 

1861: 2— J. Maxwell, October 1. 4 — Henry Sherwing and 
William Dixon, May 4. 12— John Morris, November 12. 20— E. 
Doble, May 7. 

12— A. Andrews, March 13. 
28— M. H. Harmon, July 24. 
22 — John Townsend, December 19. 

9— C. M. Gordon, July 5; H. L. Gordon, June 29. 10— 
H. Wiegand, September 21. 12 — J. and F. Marion, October 28. 
20 — M. Ranson, February 15. 21 — Levi Dakin, August 25 ; 
Charles Darkin, September 18. 22 — W. B. Gordon, October 2 ; 
E. J. Hordon, December 4. 28— L. H. Reynolds, October 6. 30— 
L. G. Burr, November 10. 32 — E. Kavonaugh, August 12. 

1866: 10— II. Schaum, May 5; E. Whitlock, June 5. 

1867 : 9— Thomas Mulhollond, February 2. 15— David Heber- 
ling, June 11. 

1868: 14— W. W. Day, March 19. 18— C. G. Campbell, July 
3; M. S. Harrimon, September 8. 20 — M. Ranson, February 15; 
N. Ziegler, June 8. 24— C. G. Combell, September 25; W. A. 
French, November 28. 30— L. Doble, September 8; J. U. Pratt, 
September 8. 

1869: 8—0. Longworth, February 23. 9— C. Lott, May 22. 
14— Charles Bryant, July 22. 19— F. Teats, September 30. 30— 
M. Townsend, November 13. 

1870: 15— George Kulmley, November 24. 17— L. H. Dakin, 
November 3. 19 — M. S. Harriman, January 12. 26 — Robert Al- 
bertheny, June 24. 32— Ira Winget, March 22. 32— John A 
Bury, November 29. 

1871 : 15 — George Kulmley, August 24. 17 — John Town- 
sendy, January 16 ; M. Ronson. 28 — W. H. Warner, July 10. 
34 — W. Rogers, March 13; Sarah Rogers, March 13. 

1872: 6— Fred Carr, July 31. 16— L. H. Reynolds, March 18. 
30— S. B. Towle, January 13. 32— W. H. Towle, January 13. 

1873: 4— Catharine Lott, December 20. 9— C. M. Gordon, 
March 5. 13— G. T. Pullen, July 9. 14— C. Pullen, February 18. 
26— D. T. Allen, March 12. 28— W. Hall, September 27. 

1874: 15— A. Kulmley, February 28. 

1875 : 11 — Anthony Heneremon, November 3. 

1876: 9— H. L. Gordon, September 6. 11— J. A. Boohite, Oc- 
tober 26 ; Robert Barthweiler, October 26. 



IIISTOKY OF \VKU;ilT COIXTV 185 

1878: 5 — \V. W. Loii-rwortli, Kfbniary '). 7— W. W. Loiifj;- 
worth, Febniiiiy :>. ;)— II. Kversoii, .Maicli i:!. 128— E. Bartlctt, 
Febniarj- 8. 

1SS2: ()— W. \V. LoiiLMVortli, April 20. 

Township 121, Range 26, Sections 1 to 18, Inclusive (Silver 
Creek). Thr tii-.st I'laim in tliis part of thr townsliip was tilrd liy 
Henry 1). Wood, wiio, on Dfcenihcr L'L', 18.')8, sccnrrci a claim in 
stH'tions 5 and 6. 

18;")!): 9 — Ira 11. Stockwi'll, DciTiiiiicr S. 17 — lames W. Ham- 
ilton. April 22. 

1860: 5— Elizei- Ilibbai'd, Oetoiier !) : .lames Ilihiiard, Octo- 
ber 9. 6— John Mcintosh, May 29: E. .1. Land)ert, May 14. 7— 
W. Walker, Seineiuber 9. 8— Moses L. Ridley, October 29. 10— 
-lacob Ertel. November 1"). 1:5 — John W. Patterson, Aufjust 'M : 
Jackson J. Sniitli, Api'il :iO. 14 — John W. Patterson, Auf^ust :il : 
Conrad Schoniber, Novein])er ;i. 

1864: 15— John Marckart, September 29; G. Martie, October 
22 : Frederic Hitter, September 16. 

1865 : 5— Benjamin Wakefield, Augnst 19. 7— Panl Kannady, 
Jnly 28; J. B. W^alker, August 19. 8— H. E. Ridley, October 29. 
9 — Salsbury Rowell, November 17. 

1866 : 5— F. L. Porter, July 26. 

1867: 15— John Goltz, April 29. 

1868: 6— Levi M. Gaskill, March 19; E. J. Lambert, .May 14; 
Abram Simmons, October :}. 8 — J. S. Locke, July 3; George 
Coombs, May 19. 14— E. Ilolcher, Ai)ril 18. 18— Daniel McKin- 
zie, July 3; John Allen, October 3. 

1869 : 8— Levi Drew, June 15. 

1870: 4— E. B. Rowell, January 25. 12— M. A. Bailey, May 
30; Ira C. Wade, May 30. 18— Jacob J. Colvin, October 8. 

1871 : 2— Jonsen Olof, August 26. 

1873: 2— John G. Baker, December 1. 4— William Parker, 
January 25. 5 — P. Swab, December 18. 15 — G. Martie, Febru- 
ary 3. 18— A. R. Ridley, January 18; N. W. S. Day, January 18. 

1874: 10— G. A. Deisler, November 16; Jacob Flakuger, Oc- 
tober 30. 17— Charles II. Bryant, June 19. 

1875 : 14 — Valentine Gores, June 9. 

1876: 2 — Andrew Thurstenson, November 10; Ole Anderson, 
November 10; Ole Oleson, November 10; Andrew Erickson, Oc- 
tober 31 ; J. Swenson, October 2 ; T. Spence, November 12. 9 — A. 
H. Braat, March 21. 

1877: 4— Joseph N. Lock, Ajjril 14. 9— Peter Meyet, July 
17. 14 — Gatlieb Gerenbeck. 

1879. 2—0. Johnson, March 31. 12 — lulius Planer, March 31. 

Township 121, Range 26, Sections 19 to 36, Inclusive (Maple 
Lake). The first claim.s in this half of Congressional township 
were entered in 1859 : 20 — Nancy S. Taylor, April 22. 23 — 



186 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Phillip Schwab, January 11. 24 — Ernest Thomas, March 31. 
25 — Abby Russell, June 22; Eza Mclntire, September 7. 26 — 
Unborn Anselman, September 5 ; H. Carues, May 25. 27 — George 
Anshutz, September 5. 34 — James E. Somers, May 4. 

1860 : 20— S. H. Roads, September 21 ; Jacob Ertel, November 
3. 22— Henry Ertel, November 3; Michael Mickel, October 2; 
James Thomaun, April 18. 23 — H. Meier, September 16. 24 — 
Jacob Ertel, November 15; C. M. Otto, October 9. 28— Jacob 
Ertel, November 15; James Butler, November 13. 30 — Jacob 
Ertel, November 15. 33— Heirs of G. D. Morgan, June 22 ; Tov^n 
Council of Maple Lake, October 29; P. Woodling, October 30. 
34— S. H. Morgan, June 22. 35— L. B. Wade, June 22. 

1861: 22— Martin Kotilinek, July 19. 24— S. A. Hibbard, 
April 3. 32— L. Holgate, October 22 ; Michael Madden, Septem- 
ber 26. 34— Albert Bridges, May 12. 

1862 : 30— Patrick Butler, P^ebruary 8. 32— M. Mooney, Feb- 
ruary 11. 

1863 : 20— Henry Angel, April 19. 30— B. Connick, April 9. 
1864: 21— W. Volk, October 10. 26— George Dengel, May 
25. 27— G. Grest, October 10. 32— Patrick Connole, November 
19. 35— Joseph Rockliff, September 26. 
1865 : 32— L. Holgate, November 1. 

1866 : 27 — John Calpin, September 25 ; James Calpin, Sep- 
tember 25. 30— S. Shepard, May 7. 31— Asa Connick, July 19; 
Ernest Lahy, November 30. 36 — Timothy Desmond, Jr., De- 
cember 7. 

1867: 31— Patrick O'Loughlin, December 18. 
1868 : 21— Herman Blume, May 29. 28— Casper Ritzell, June 
25. 32— Patrick Butler, June 30. 34— John Hamilton, June 5. 
1870: 26— Martin H. Sprague, June 5. 

1872 : 21— John Kotilineck, August 26. 23— John Kotilineck, 
August 26. 

1873 : 33— John Ward, May 29. 
1875 : 24 — John Goalz, June 9. 

Township 121, Range 25 (Monticello) . The first claims in 
tliis Congressional township were entered in 1857. Those who 
filed that year were : 3 — Sarah Beekman, June 30 ; Samuel Wilder, 
June 30; William M. Corey, June 30; William Brown, June 10, 
1857. 4 — James Mealey, December 23 ; Samuel Wilder, June 30 ; 
Frederick T. Barker, July 30 ; Abraham G. Descent, June 2. 5 — • 
William S. Brookins, July 24; David H. Downer, August 30. 
6— William E. Griffith, June 12 ; Joseph HostUer, June 22 ; Will- 
iam S. Brookins, July 24. 7 — Daniel Worthing, June 23 ; William 
S. Brookins, July 24; Joseph Ilostller, June 22; William S. Rand- 
dull, June 27; Lawrenza Flanders, July 13; Elisha Stiles, June 27. 
8— Abram G. Descent, June 2 ; A. W. Wood, June 27 ; Jonathan G. 
Smith, June 18 ; William S. Brookins, July 24 ; Daniel Worthing, 



HISTORY OK WUICIIT (.'OIJNTV 187 

Juno 2:1: Elisha Stil.-s, .lunc 1^7: Hi'iiiy M. Ilartwcll, Juno 2)! ; 
Jonatliaii 0. Smith, Juno IS; Joliii D. Taylor, Juno 23. 9— Sani- 
uol T. Oroiirhton, .May 27: Row Urasii', Juno 2:5; O. A. Smith, June 
IS; Jonathan (i. Smitli. Juno IS; Joiiii 1). Taylor, Juno 2J ; Will- 
iam II. St. Clair. Juno 2:5. 10 — William Brown, J\uio 10; Josoph 
N. Barbor. J\nii' 11; Sanuiol T. CroiKhton, May 27; Klisha II. 
Leiluc. William II. St. Clair, Juno 2.'). 11— Stophon J. Ma.soii. 
June 12. i:5— Dolos C. Wolls, July :51 ; William Cluuuilor, Juno 
16; Henry II. Holm, .luiio 1(! ; Jool M. Town. Juno 1;"); Jamos h\ 
Bradley, Juno 12. 14 — losoph W. Walker, June 12; Hiram Nick- 
erson, June 12; Nathan Flotoher, Juno 22; (Joorgo W. Knowlton, 
October 20; Joel :\I. Town, Juno IT). 1.') — lohn Everitt, July 16; 
Martin Fox, Juno 10; Dudley P. Jordon. 17 — John D. Taylor, 
June 2:3; Abraham W\ Wood, Juno '2'.i; August Geisnuin, Ootober 
21 ; W^illiam Hamilton, Ausrust 14. IS — Lorenzo Flowers, Herman 
C. Coolbaugh, July 17. 19 — .\ndrew B. Bon.son, July 16; Harry 
Ely, Juno 12. 20 — William Hamilton, August 14; Daniel Hana- 
ford, June 29. 21 — John Whiteonib, Juno :50 ; Joseph W. Ilana- 
ford, Juno 29; David Ilanat'ord. June 29; Sanniol Iloidton, July 
6; John C. Howe. 22 — Sanuiel Iloulton, July 6. 2:} — Harrison 
Perkins, October 16; Samuel Bennett, September 15. 24 — James 
F. Bradley, June 12; Henry Whitney, December 29; Henry Kries, 
September 15; J. L. Jordon, September 18; Sanuiel Bennett, Sep- 
tember 15; Charles 0. Whitney, Doeomber 29. 25— Charles 0. 
W^hitnoy. December 29; Josoph F. Lewis, October 7; Theodore 
Brown, Augiist 27. 26 — Samuel Boiniott. September 15; Harri- 
son Perkins, October 16; Joseph Brown, .luly 6; John F. Callow, 
June 10. 27 — Joseph Brown, July 6; Henry Perkins, October 16; 
Ira Hoar, October 16. 28 — John C. Howe, August 22; Augustus 
Mitchell, June :30. 29— Augustus Mitchell, June 30; Martin V. 
B. Height, July 1:5. :30 — John C. Bailey, August 18. ;51— Stephen 
W^. Packard, June 25 ; Joseph Lee, September 18. ;32 — Charles 
W. Wedgwood, Juiie 25; Allen J. Sawyer, June 25; Ambrose 
Bryant, June 25; Joseph Leo, September 28; Alfred Stewart, 
June 25. 33 — Heirs of Arthur Smith, June 25; Albert W. Bar- 
stou, June 25 ; Daniel G. Sawyer, June 25 ; Ambrose Bryant, June 
25; Alfred Stewart, June 25. 34 — Ira Hoar, October 16; Alfroil 
W. Hoar, July 6. 35— Merrill D. Hall, August 7. 

1858: ;3—E. W. Merrill, May 21. 4— E. W. Merrill, May 21. 
1S_W. 0. Knight. 19— George Lowry, March 15. 20— George 
W. M. Drake, May 17; Harriet Felix, April 20; A. B. Hanaford, 
May 10. 21— A. B. Hanaford, May 10. 22— Charles B. Whit- 
comb, October 30. 23 — George Brown, May 6. 26 — George 
Brown, May 6; N. B. Steele, September 17. 28 — Ralph Voorhees, 
June 9 ; James M. Voorhees, March 4. 30 — George Lowry, March 
15; John Morgan, July 5. 33 — Joseph Stewart, May 17. 35 — 
N. B. Steel, September 15. 



188 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

1859: 5— David H. Dowiier, August 30. 8— David H. 
Downer, August 30. 10 — Jonathan Stinson, September 9. 15 — 
Jonathan Stinson, September 9. 16 — Jolni Hamilton, September 
30. 17 — George M. Bertram, June 10. 20 — George M. Bertram, 
June 10. 21 — John Hamilton, September 30. 23 — Joseph Per- 
kins, October 27. 

I860: 4 — John B. Rich, October 9; Isaac W. Gareelon, May 
30 ; William Murch, November 4. 5 — Thomas Murray, October 
9 ; William Murch, November 24 ; Barker Bailey, October 5. 6— 
Barber Bailey, October 5. 12— A. C. Riggs, June 27. 13— T. G. 
Mealey, October 9. 16 — Alexander Mitchell, October 5 ; Bradley 
Bailey. 17 — George W. Hamilton, September 22. 18 — Frederick 
Dressier, March 13; George W. Hamilton, September 22. 22— 
A. Nickerson, October 8 ; W. E. Wedgewood, October 8 ; Charles 
Whitney, October 10; C. G. Boyd, October 8. 23— J. Perkins, 
January 23 ; Charles Whitney, January 10. 25 — James Stokes, 
October 9. 26 — Levi Walden, October 8 ; A. C. Fairbrother, Oc- 
tober 12. 27 — C. S. Boyd, October 8 ; W. E. Wedgewood, October 
8; Royal Marsh, October 8. 28— W. E. Wedgewood, October 8; 
0. Prescott, September 27. 29 — Horace Randall, September 27 ; 
George B. Wedgewood, October 13. 30 — Patrick Desmond, Octo- 
ber 8; Timothy Desmond, October 13. 31 — Betsey Baston, Feb- 
ruary 2. 32— Patrick Desmond, October 8. 34^S. Walker, 
October 13; S. Corliss, October 12. 35— A. C. Fairbrother, Octo- 
ber 12; Levi Walden, October 8. 

1861: 11— Town of Monticello, April 20; Town of Moritzius, 
April IS. 12— Town of Moritzius, April 18. 

1862 : 18 — Jackson J. Smith, December 31. 

1864: 20— N. P. Clark, February 6. 34— A. W. and W. H. 
Hoar, July 5. 

1865: 31— Margaret O'Neil, January 12. 

1870: 18— Jackson J. Smith, May 30. 30— Jerry Desmond, 
December 19. 

1871: 18— Jackson J. Smith, November 22. 

1872: 18— William 0. Knight, January 3. 24 — John Patter- 
son, July 9. 

1873: 6 — Jonathan Crawford, June 20; S. Sykes, June 20; 
Martin Lord, June 26. 

1874: 6 — William Murray, January 2; James Edmunds, May 
20. 35 — J. Weibeu, December 15. 

1875: 20 — John Geiser, November 10. 32 — August Mabias, 
December 14. 

1876: 30— Tim Desmond, Jr., July 28. 

Township 121, Range 24, Fractional Township (Monticello). 
The first claim in this part of the Congressional township w-as 
entered on section 4, by Benjamin Bursley in 1855. Those entered 
in 1856 were : 7 — James C. Beekman, August 29 ; Richard Allen, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 189 

rluly 2."); Ahiior St. Cyr. 17 — Tlioiiias (). Xrvcrs, -hily 'J'). 18 — 
JaiiU's C. Bi'ckiiian. Auj,'ust 1*9. 19 — Samuel \V. Fuller, .luue 10; 
Alonzo Peck, Deeeiuber liT ; Henry W. Fuller, October 7; .lolm W. 
Copelaiid, June K). L'O— Thomas O. Nevers. July 2'); Samuel W. 
F\iller. June 10; 'i'lioinas Elsworth, Au<;ust .'> ; Simon l>\ilie.s, 
June 10. 

1857: 7— H. F. Elli.s, June 1^1 : J. N. Rigfjs, June 19; 14. P.ur- 
sley, August 4; 11. Crawfonl. January 10. 18 — ('. Davis and W . 
Davis, August 20; 1). Koseuhurg, Mareli 10. 19— E. II. Lord, 
March 17. 20 — lolni Crawford, Janiuiry 10. 

1859: 7— T. Snow, October 6. 

1860: 30— C. C. Chase, November 16. 

1868: 32— C. Orth, October 26; Jolm Arnold, February 17. 

1871 : 28— Charles Shallifoo, November 14. 

1S74: :)•'! — ]\ri's. Joseph File, November 4. 

Township 121, Range 24, Fractional Township (Otsego). The 
first claims in this part of the Cougressional township were en- 
tered in 1856. Those who filed that year were: 13 — Caroline E. 
Buel, July 16 ; George W. Barnes, June 14. 14 — William B. 
Mabie, June 27 ; John S. Leyerly, December 11 ; Obodish Inscho, 
June 27; Nelson Demiek, November 13. 15 — E. K. Harper, July 
31 ; Andrew J. Iloyt, July 31. 22— A. J. Hoyt, July 31 ; Leonard 
Choate, November 3 ; William Mathews, November 3. 23 — John 
M. Snow, July 31. 24 — George W. Barnes, June 14. 27 — L. W. 
Hamlin, September 26. 34 — 0. H. Porter, December 8. 

1857 : 23— Theodore L. Page, March 27; C. C. Bicknell, March 
21. 24 — John A. Combs, June 13 ; Richard Davis, April 27 ; L. D. 
Allen, July 20. 25— William Wind, March 24 ; Alexander H. Mor- 
rison, May 28; John C. IMorrison, August 26; John C. Flemming, 
March 24. 26— Hudson A. Gaskill, Jr.. March 25; Julius J. 
Brown, October 9; Arthur Douglas, June 26; John Peck, March 
25. 27 — Henry I). Southard, October 27 : Samuel M. Hammons, 
January 27. 35 — John N. Morris, April 23 ; Charles F. Scatney, 
August 3 ; Adam Steinberg, December 9. 

1S59 : 10 — Tilestou Snow, October 6. 15 — Hiram Harper, Oc- 
tober 6. 

1860: 10— William Shelefoo, October 16. 13— David L. In- 
gersoll, November 13; Andrew J. Hubbard, September 12; James 
McDermid, November 13. 15 — Dana Hamlet, November 20. 22 — 
O. M. Washburne, November 23. 23 — John W. Washburne, No- 
vember 20. 24 — James McDermid, November 23. 35 — Peter 
Jilles, September 28. 

1871 : 34 — Peter Columbus, November 14. 

1874: 22— Joseph K. Clark, .March 2. 

Township 121, Range 23 (Otsego). The first claims in this 
Congressional township were entered in 1856. Those who filed 
that year were : 15 — George T. Vail, May 31 ; David McPherson, 



190 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

May 15. 17 — John McDonald, Sr., June 19; Belinda Spencer, 
June 19 ; Charles T. Snow, June 25. 18 — Israel Record, December 
18. 19— Henry Heap, June 23. 20— John McDonald, Jr., Octo- 
ber 20 ; Charles T. Snow, June 25 ; William P. Gerry, June 23. 
21 — Dennis W. Carpenter, June 21 ; Caleb Chase, June 2. 22 — L. 
Carrack, July 18 ; John Carrack, September 5 ; Louis Osier, Octo- 
ber 17 ; John Papa, May 26 ; David Corbin, October 16 ; Charles 
Le Plant, May 26. 23— L. Carrack, July 18 ; John Carrack, Sep- 
tember 5; Charles Le Plant, May 26. 25 — C. W. Kelley, Decem- 
ber 13. 26 — Enos Doney, July 23 ; Thomas Newman, December 
13; C. W. Kelley, December 23. 27 — Redman Field, September 
5 ; Benjamin Gray, September 5. 28 — A. N. Chase, July 9 ; Cabel 
Chase, June 2. 29— William B. Gerry, June 23 ; John J. Everitt, 
July 5; Mark G. Chase, July 10. 30— Henry Heap, June 23; 
John P. Shumway, July 11. 31— E. W. Sweet, July 10; William 
Brown, October 10; John Humal, October 8. 34 — James Godfrey, 
July 23 ; Charles Williams, December 8. 35— C. W. Kelley, De- 
cember 13 ; Thomas Williams, December 13 ; Charles Williams, 
December 8 ; L. D. Babcock, July 24. 

1857 : 15 — S. S. Carrack. 16 — Lvnnan Cooley, July 17 ; Alva 
L. Cooley, July 17. 17— Joshua Welsh, March 5. 18— Winthrop 
Davis, March 27; George A. Patten, March 24; Thomas Ham, 
August 5 ; Joel Haskell, April 7. 19 — Joel Haskell, April 7 ; 
Thomas Ham, August 5; Ezra Craft, May 28; S. Porter, July 23. 
20— Phillip Boyden, June 10; John D. Copp, June 10. 21— Will- 
iam D. Carsley, Marcli 6 ; William F. Barnard, June 4. 25 — Oliver 
H. Kelley, May 4. 26— Argules Bartlett, May 4; Adam Wood, 
January 15. 27 — Argules Bartlett, May 4; Benjamin Bartlett, 
March 21. 28 — Frederick Worcester, July 16; Asa H. Jacobs, 
July 11. 29 — John L. Copp, June 10; Phillip Boyden, June 10; 
Patrick Smullen, March 20. 30— Miles G. Pratt, April 6 ; Moses 
L. Ridley, June 17 ; Seneca Porter, July 23 ; George E. Goodrich, 
March 28. 31— Moses L. Ridley, June 17 ; Miles G. Pratt, April 
6; George E. Goodrich, March 28. 32 — Patrick Smullen, ilarch 
20 ; Jefferson Osborn, April 13 ; David A. Davis. 33 — Asa H. 
Jacobs, July 11 ; Frederick Worcester, July 16 ; David A. Davis, 
April 13. 34 — George W. Carrack, September 2; John Baker, 
May 16. 35 — Adam Wood, January 15. 36 — Oliver II. Kelley, 
May 4 ; John K. Ayd, May 1 ; Nathan Hall, May 4. 

1858: 34— Clark Haley, February 24. 

1859: 8— Dudley P. Chase, July 8. 21— Dudley P. Chase, 
Jiily 8. 

I860: 7— Caleb C. Chase, November 16. 15— Caleb C. Chase, 
November 16; William E. Corey, November 16; John A. Mallett, 
November 16. 18 — David L. Ingersoll, November 23; Samuel 
Adams, November 20; Luther E. Tubbs, November 23. 19 — Lu- 
ther E. Tubbs, November 23 ; Samuel Adams, November 20. 22 — 



HISTORY OK WRIGHT t'OIiNTY I'Jl 

John E. Mallett, NovtMiihcr Ki. 29— Henry Bradley, Novenilier 
23. 33 — Albeit F. I'.aker, November 16; Martha Snow, Novem- 
ber 26. 

1869; 34 — James Easter, July 8. 

1871 : 27— Mrs. Eliza E. Stearns, July 17. 

1873: 27— William Thorpe, February 1. 3.3— (Jilbert F. 
Smith, Septembei' 12. 

Township 122, Range 27 (Clearwater). The first elaims in 
this Conyressional townshii) were entered in 18.^7. Those wlio 
filed that year were: 1 — F. P. Robinson, August 4; Horace Web- 
ster, August 7. Rebecca Wheelon, July 31 ; W. H. Fisher. August 
20. 2 — F. P. Robinson, August 4; Artemus Stevens, July 2 ; Town 
Council Fremont City, August 8; B. II. Luce, September 2. 3 — 
Town Council Fremont City, August 26; James Crombell, July 2; 
H. JlcCrory. July 2. 10 — I. L. Chase, September 29; Abel Kent, 
September 8: Emuui C. K. Stevenson, September 8; Henry Town- 
send. June 22; L. Loughton, August 31. 11 — ^A. T. Boyington, 
August 7: Charles Folsom, September 7; Solomon Thorlonder, 
July 12 ; E. II. Whitney, August 22 ; Albert F. Matzky, August 6. 
12 — W. H. Fisk, August 20; Elias Cowon; Horace Webster, Au- 
gust 7 ; A. T. Boyington, August 7 ; Samuel A. Hurd, December .'3. 
13 — Samuel A. Hurd, December 5; Nelson C. Draper, July 15; 
Samuel A. Hurd, December 5; Elisha Cowon, July 22; George R. 
Fuller, October 8. 14— A. F. :\Iatzky, October 6 ; E. II. Whitney, 
August 22; Albert Ilogemon, July 20; L. Loughton, August 31. 
15 — L. Loughton, August 31 ; A. W^. Williams, July 25. 21 — 
George W. McCrory, July 28. 26—1. H. Bates, July 25. 28— T. 
B. Titus. 33— F. Kothmon, September 24. 34 — M. II. Goodman, 
September 21 ; F. Kothmon, September 24. 3.5 — James A. Thur- 
lough, September 21. 

1858: 3— F. M. Cadwell, October 13. 10— N. L. Loughton, 
October 13; F. M. Cadwell, October 13. 11— F. M. Cadwell, Oc- 
tober 13. 12— W. W. Webster, June 2. 15— O. Laughton, Octo- 
ber 26. 22— S. N. Nixon, November 13. 24 — Thonms Tollington, 
June 17; G. W. Canney, May 17. 27 — James E. Spencer, May 
10. 33— G. C. Marshall, October 30. 

1859: 12 — James Stevenson, May 30. 14 — J. N. Laughton, 
September 21. 15 — O. Hyatt, June 7. 15— J. N. Laughton, Sep- 
tember 21 ; James Lee, September 20. 24 — E. Grant, June 25. 

1860: 2— J. Evans, October 13. 11— Heirs of R. II. Kirk, 
October 12. 13— G. B. Bradbury, July 21. 21— Cyrus Smith, 
October 13. 23 — James Maxwell, September 24. 27 — C. A. Wie- 
gond, February 13 ; James Conly. 28 — Louis Wiegond, October 
13; C. A. Wiegond, February 13. 22— Thomas Murphy, Octo- 
ber 16. 

1861 : 32 — Jennie L. Knickerbocker, P\'bruary 5. 

1862 : 26— J. P. Bosworth, September 22. 



192 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

1S63 : 32— C. Dalley, April 29. 

1865: 26— William Johnson, March 3. 

1866: 27— D. Connell, December 22. 

1867: 21— John M. Mitchell, October 26. 28— Joseph Pons- 
ford, March 13. 

1868 : Herman Niekerbocker, August 5. 

1869 : 14 — James Maxwell, September 6. 

1870: 30— John Conoly. 

1872: 11— William Dixon, April 12. 34— George Fetter, 
March 20. 

1873 : 22— W. J. Smith. 

1874: 22— Isaac Philo, March 28. 26— R. J. Shannon, July 
17. 34 — Charles Valldey, November 17. 

1875 : 24 — A. M. Connick, September 25 ; Hiram Conniek, 
September 15 ; Nelson Sheldon, December 27. 26 — R. Eccles, 
May 15. 

1876 : 23 — Joseph Johnson, October 16 ; Nelson Sheldon, Sep- 
tember 11; G. W. Trofton, November 16. 24— Richard Bell, 
June 17 ; John Dodds, March 4. 26— R. F. Anderson, August 28. 
32— J. N. R. Rodgers, December 20. 

1877: 23— S. Sheldon, April 24. 27— D. Connolly, April 26> 
33— M. Murphy, March 28. 

1879 : 32— D. B. Knickerbocker, March 31. 

Township 122, Range 26 (Silver Creek and Clsarwater). The 
first claims in this Congressional township were entci'ed in 1857. 
Those who filed that year were : 6 — William H. Fish, August 
20; Selah Markham, July 16. 7— Selah Markham, July 16; 
Charles F. Rugg, July 18; Elias Cowan, July 22. S — John Oakes, 
September 1 ; W. Elmira Lowell, October 22. 9 — W. Elmira 
Lowell, October 22. 13— J. Franklin Palmer, June 24. 14— 
Columbus C. Burns, June 24; Gideon Drake, June 24; J. Fletcher 
Palmer, June 24. 15 — Gideon Drake, June 24; Franklin Wood, 
June 27; Wesley Drake, June 24. 17— W. Elmira Lowell, Octo- 
ber 22; John Shaw, November 11; Amanzel D. Boyington, July 
9; Iscl E. Hulet, December 31. 18 — Amanzel D. Boyington, July 
9. 19 — Amouzel D. Boyington, July 9 ; Charles F. Simms, October 
22 ; Simon Ronkin, September 22. 20 — Amouzel D. Boyington, 
July 9; Peter Rolf, August 31. 21— Nathaniel M. Prescott, July 
16. 22 — Wesley Drake, June 24; John Drake, June 24; Nathaniel 
M. Prescott, July 16; Richard P. J. Dumington, June 29; Felix 
Rice, June 29 ; Henry E. Stevens, September 4. 23— Eli U. Mc- 
Allister, June 24. 24— John 0. Haven, June 24; J. Franklin 
Palmer, June 24; George W. Brookins, September 12; Jonah B. 
Lock, June 24. 25 — Joseph Brooks, June 24; Charles W. Ester- 
brook, June 24; Joel Haven, June 24; Charles H. Ilalkett, Octo- 
ber 12; Thomas Melrose, August 7. 26 — Joel Haven, June 24; 
Charles II. Halkett, October 12. 27— Henry E. Stevens, Septem- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 193 

ber -1; Felix Rice, .June "^9. 28— Thomas W. Sanborn, Juno 29; 
Louis C. Johnson, Ani;ust 4; Sanuu'l Ilaivcy, Auyu.st HI ; .Joshua 
15. Lowell, Xoveinber 2; Daniel Barton, June 27. 29 — Peter Rolf, 
August 31 : .Martin \'. Bartrow, August lil ; Isaac Van Horn, 
August .'il ; Donald McKenzie, August 12; Sannu'l Harvey, August 
4; Joshua B. Lowell, November 2. :iO— W. II. Cutting, April 9; 
Aaron Undei-wooil, Sei)tember 28; jMartin V. Bai-trow, -lanuary 
21 ; Donakl McKenzie, August 12. :!! — Donald JMcKenzie, August 
12. 32 — Joshua B. Lowell, November 2; Isaac X'on Horn, August 
4; Donald ]\IcKenzie, Atigust 12; John Parks, July (5. 33 — Louis 
C. Johnson, August 4; Daniel Barton, June 27; Joshua B. Lowell, 
November 2; K. \V. and E. G. E. Von Heekron, June 11. 36— 
Thomas Jlelrose, August 7. 

1858: 5 — James Shaw, June 21. 8 — James Shaw, June 21. 
17 — Andrew E. Oakes, March 30. 19 — Thomas Tollington, June 
17. 20 — James 1). Shaw, March 11. 21 — Joseph S. Lock, March 

30. 23 — Joseph I. Fisher, April 14. 26 — Erik Johnson, June 
24. 27— Albert Copley, May 7. 28— Joseph S. Lock, March 30. 
30— George L. Fuller, May 10. 

1859: 8 — Robert Shaw, July 7. 14 — William A. Mealey, June 
8. 17 — Robert Shaw, July 7. 19 — Earl S. Pinkham, November 
17. 25 — Henry L. Glazier, August 22. 27 — Ezra Landon, 
April 30. 

1860: 7— William X'orse, September 19. 15 — Chester Dunk- 
ler, October 13. 18 — Daniel Bradbury, September 19; William 
Vorse, September 19; George B. Bradbury, January 31; Otis F. 
Bradbury, October 5. 21— A. Thrall, October 10. 29— Dexter 
Collins, October 4. 32 — Henry Ferguson, October 4; John Parks, 
October 4 ; James Hibbard, October 4. 

1861 : 14 — Christian Delinger, October 9. 

1867: 33— K. W. and E. G. E. Von Hickron, June 11. 

1868: 23— Joseph L Fisher, April 14. 34— David Mathers, 
June 4. 

1869: 34— Peter Putnam, September 28. 

1871: 20— J. W. Johnson, May 3; Jessie Colby, May 4; 
Joshua Ferguson, June 8. 26 — Errick Johnson (Jonsson), August 
26. 34 — Sanford Hopkins, February 22. 

1872: 18— William Shaw, January 8. 20— Elkart Bowlby, 
June 18. 26 — Jessie C. Grant, September 6. 

1873: 34 — Alfred L. Brown, September 5. 

1874: 30— W. H. Cutting, April 9. 34— Thomas Maren, Feb- 
ruary 16; John W. Walker, February 14. 

1876: 30 — John Stewart, January 21. 35 — Peter Farley, 
March 29. 26 — Andrew Fatting, October 2. 

1878 : Erick Johnson, January 24. 

1879 : 20— W. Sutherland, March 31. 26— P. Peterson, March 

31. (Note. Sections 5, 6, 7, 8, 17 and 18 of this Congressional 



194 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

township are in Clearwater township, the rest are in Silver Creek 
township.) 

Township 122, Range 25 (Monticello) . The first claims in 
this Congressional township were entered in 1857. Those who 
filed that year were : 19— J. B. Locke, June 24. 30 — Joseph 
Brooks, June 24; Margaret E. Brooks, August 7. 33 — James E. 
Mealey, December 23; Amos Rich, November 9; Frederick F. 
Barker, July 30. 

1860: 30 — James J. Parker, November 22; Randall Smith, 
October 22. 31— Randall Smith, October 22; Isaac D. Emmons, 
October 20 ; John A. Smith, October 22 ; James J. Parker, October 
22; William Murray, November 24. 32 — Calvin Blanchard, No- 
vember 24 ; William Murray, November 24 ; James Elliot, October 
15. 33— James Elliot, October 15. 34^John Rich, October 9. 

1869 : 32— William M. Racklift', June 4. 

1875 : 32— August Mabias, December 14. 



CHAPTER XL 
WRIGHT COUNTY WAR. 

Wallace and Jackson Arrive in Wright County — Wallace 
Wealthy, Popular and Gifted — Jackson Poor and Morose- 
Settlers Find Dead Body of Wallace — Suspicion Directed 
Toward Jackson — Jackson Arrested and Brought Before Jus- 
tice — Declares His Innocence — Prejudice Runs High — Jackson 
in Jail — Purported Confession from a Stranger — Jackson 
Tried Before District Court — Declared Innocent and Acquitted 
— Prisoner Discharged — Friends of Wallace Seek Revenge — 
Jackson Returns to County After Short Absence — Betrayed 
by the Civil Authorities and Lynched by a Mob While Wife 
Pleads for His Life — Protests Innocence to the Last — Moore 
Arrested — Delivered from Custody by a Mob — Governor Takes 
a Hand — Troops Arrive — Rioters Arrested by St. Paul Police 
— County Officials Agree to Punish the Real Offenders — Three 
Men Held — Grand Jury Fails to Indict — Excitement Subsides. 

The Wright County War, so-called, starting with a murder 
which culminated in a lynching, marked by the forcible deliver- 
ance from the civil authorities of one of the alleged IjTichers, and 
resulting in the calling out of state troops to maintain the majesty 
of the law, constitutes an interesting incident in the story of the 
pioneer days of Minnesota. 

Among the many settlers who came into the county in 1857 
was Henry A. Wallace, who took a claim on the southeast quarter 
of section 2, township 119, range 25. A native of Antrim, N. H., 
about twenty-eight years old, unmarried, genial, well-educated. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COllNTY 195 

a gentli'iuan by birtli and trainiiifj:, and rcpntcd to bo woaltliy, lie 
soon became a general favorite. In the siiring of 1858 he had 
already made considerable progress in iaiining, had built a sub- 
stantial log house, and Inul quite a large clearing. At the organi- 
zation of the town of Rockford he was elected assessor. 

About the same time that Wallace settled in the county, Oscar 
F. Jackson and his wife arrived from Pittsburgh, Pa., located on 
the southeast quarter of section :{, in the same township, erected 
a crude house and made a small clearing. At the organization 
of the town of Rockford he was elected sui)ervisor and justice of 
the peace. Apparently a poor man, he often neglected his own 
farming in order to earn cash by working for the other pioneers. 
He and A. W. Moore each lived about a mile and a half from 
the Wallace place, but no roads had been built to it. 

In the early part of August. Wallace started haying in a 
meadow on the eastern line of his claim. He was assisted by 
Jackson, who for his services was to receive half the crop. So 
far as is known, Wallace was never again seen alive by any of 
the settlers. 

On September 8, the pioneers began to wonder as to Wallace's 
whereabouts, and search was at once instituted. His body was 
found in a clump of bushes in the hay meadow, the head bearing 
the marks of a severe blow with some blunt instrument. Near 
by was a drag, such as the settlers often made by nailing cross 
j)ieces onto slender poles. The drag was broken, and had evi- 
dently been used as a means of conveying the body to its place 
of concealment. The settlers buried the dead man and swore 
vengeance on the murderer of their genial comrade. 

Suspicion soon rested on Jackson as the guilty one. This 
feeling was strengthened by the fact that he had in his posses- 
sion certain bank notes on the Amoskeag Bank, of Manchester, 
N. H. At this time, on account of the financial stringency of 
1857, most of the settlers were without money, and unable to 
obtain an.y. Business was paralyzed, and many banks had sus- 
pended payment. Few bank notes were in circulation, as wild- 
cat currency had made the people wary. When a bank note did 
pass from hand to hand in a small settlement, it could r<>adily 
be traced to its source. Consequently the whole neighborhood 
knew that Wallace was the original owner of all the Amoskeag 
Bank notes in circulation in Wright county. Jackson explained 
his possession of the notes by saying that he had sold his half of 
the hay to Wallace. He declared that he had not .seen Wallace 
since he had been haying with him, and that he knew nothing 
about the murder. 

But the settlers believed him guilty. On September 16, 1858, 
Guilford D. George went to Monticello, and after relating the 
settlers' version of the affair, secured a warrant. James R. 



196 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Lawrence, of Minneapolis, prosecuting attorney for the Fourth 
judicial district, in which district Wright county was included, 
was not consulted. Tlie warrant was in the handwriting of 
Edward Hartley, afterward captain of Company E, Eighth Min- 
nesota Volunteer Infantry, and was signed September 27, 1858, 
by Cyrus C. Jenks, justice of the peace. It alleged that Jackson 
had murdered Wallace with an axe or other deadly weapon, on 
or about August 27. Jackson was arrested by Sheriff George M. 
Bertram, September 27, 1858. 

The justice court, with Cyi'us C. Jenks on the bench, was 
held at Rockford. No lawyers being present, Guilford D. 
George, the complainant, acted for the state, and Thomas R. 
Riggs, not at that time a member of the bar, made a nominal 
appearance for the defense. A large number of people was 
present, and prejudice against the prisoner was intense. Many 
witnesses were called for the prosecution. Their combined tes- 
timony was to the effect that in July and August, Jackson had 
repeatedly said that he had no money and had frequently tried 
to obtain credit, that l"j had later had in his possession several 
bills issued by the Amoskeag Bank, that he was known to have 
been haying with Wallace a few days before the body was found, 
that though he had been frequently with Wallace during the 
spring and summer he had expressed no curiosity as to Wallace's 
absence, and that when questioned about the matter he had 
shown an absolute indifference as to Wallace's fate, and had 
not joined in the search for him. The evidence for the state 
having been heard, Jackson presented no testimony in his own 
defense, but rested on his previous statement that he had received 
the bills as payment for his share of the hay, that he had been 
too busy with his work to interest himself in the Wallace matter 
and that, unlike the others in the locality, he was not in the habit 
of minding his neighbors' affairs. 

At the close of the hearing, Jackson was bound over to await 
the action of the grand jury. He was taken by Sheriff Bertram 
to the Ramsey county jail. Two months later he was taken to 
Fort Ripley, but was subsequently returned to the Ramsey county 
jail. 

In the meantime, Hiram L. Wallace, brother of the murdered 
man, came from Antrim, N. H., and had the body removed to 
St. Anthony. Search was made for a missing rifle, gold watch 
and blanket shawl which the dead man was known to have owned. 

While awaiting trial, Jackson exhibited to the authorities a 
letter which he claimed that his wife had forwarded to him. 
This letter alleged that the writer was then living on the Mis- 
souri river, that in August, 1858, he had been traveling through 
the Big Woods in Wright county, had come upon a man mowing 
in a meadow, had been moved with cupidity, had murdered him 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 197 

with an axe, and had then taken his ritle, watch and money, and 
made good his escape. His object, he said, in writing the letter 
was to save an innocent man from hanging. The letter was not 
presented at the trial, and was consequently not made a matter 
of judicial investigation. 

The district court convened at Monticello, March 27, 1859, 
with Judge E. 0. Hamlin on the bench. The grand jury indicted 
Jackson of murder in the first degree, and the trial began March 
29. James R. Lawrence, disti'ict attorney, appeared for the state, 
while the prisoner was defended by George E. II. Day, of St. 
Anthony, and Charles King and W. A. Gorman, of St. Paul. 
When only nine jurors had been selected, the panel was exhausted. 
A special venire was issued for six jurors and three were accepted. 
Almost all the veniremen from Rockford and Buffalo were chal- 
lenged for actual bias. J. W. Mulvey, Samuel Wilder and Will- 
iam Powell were appointed triers. The jury consisted of John 
W. Washburn, Calvin Blanchard, Benjamin Bursley, John Zack- 
man, John Black, John D. Taylor, Miranda R. Swartout, Alvah 
Cooley, Michael Kinna, John B. Rich, Alonzo T. Boynton and 
Hiram C. Colbough. 

The state had a large number of witnesses. Nearly half of 
the adult male residents of Rockford were put on the stand, and 
many from Buffalo, and from Greenwood, in Hennepin county. 
The defense also had a number of witnesses from Rockford and 
elsewhere. The able attorneys on both sides worked hard, and 
the trial was long and exciting. The evidence was a reiteration 
of that brought out at the justice trial, the state repeating the 
story of Jackson's poverty, his sudden possession of the Amos- 
keag Bank bills, his haying with Wallace, and his indift'erence 
as to Wallace's fate; while the defense endeavored to sustain 
Jackson's previous declaration that, while it was true he was a 
poor man, he had received the bills from Wallace as payment 
for his half of the hay, and that what the neighbors called indif- 
ference was merely an absence of meddlesomeness. 

The case was submitted to the jur.y at 3 o'clock in the after- 
noon, on April 2. Judge Hamlin followed the usual judicial 
procedure of instructing the jury that if in the minds of the 
jurors there was any reasonable doubt as to actual guilt, the doubt 
must be construed in favor of the defendant. During the evening 
session the jurors asked further instruction on the subject of 
"reasonable doubt." The judge explained at some length the 
legal meaning of the term, and again instructed them that they 
could not convict the prisoner if they found, in reviewing the 
testimony, a reasonable doubt as to his guilt. The jury again 
retired and at 9 o'clock on the moi'uing of April 3 brought in 
a verdict of "Not guilty." The prisoner was discharged and 
immediately left the county. 



198 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

He stayed a while in Stillwater, and, about April 12, went to 
Minneapolis. The men who had previously worked for his con- 
viction as a murderer and did not agree with the verdict of the 
court, were anxious to get him back to Wright county, where 
they could wreak their hate upon him unmolested. Accordingly, 
through an improperly issued warrant, they had him arrested 
and brought before a Wright county justice, who had been per- 
suaded to go to Minneapolis for that purpose, the charge being 
the larceny of molasses, flour and money from Wallace's house. 
But before the plans of the complainants were matured to the 
point of rushing him back to Wright county, his friends secured 
a writ of habeas corpus and he was released, the justice who had 
figured in the case having no jiu'isdiction or legal authority in 
Hennepin county. 

A few days later Jackson returned to Wright county of his 
own volition, with a view to looking after his property. On the 
night of Wednesday, April 21, he was seen near his claim, and 
before morning his house was surrounded by fifteen armed men. 
Before Thursday night, thirty men were on guard. The siege 
was continued for several days. In the meantime the rumor 
spread that Jackson was prepared to defend himself with fire- 
arms, so the thirty armed watchers determined to again call to 
their aid the support of the law. A. W. Moore went to Buffalo 
and swore out a warrant before Justice Jackson Taylor, charging 
Jackson with stealing flour and other articles from Wallace's 
house. Sherift' Beitram, with a posse consisting of Jackson 
Taylor, James Sturges and Abner Hinman, started for Rockford 
to serve the warrant. Jackson was foinid in his home totally 
unarmed. The sheriff assured him that he woukl not be harmed, 
that the posse would protect him, and that he must go to Bufl:"alo. 
Jackson still manifesting some doubt, the sheriff went outside 
and had a consultation witli the men who had been besieging 
the cabin. He then reported to Jackson that the mob had all 
left, that there would be no further trouble, and that all the 
neighbors desired was that he should leave the county. This 
Jackson agreed to do, and started for Buffalo in company with 
the sheriff and the posse. A short distance from the house, the 
sheriff" sent Abner Hinman ahead to give the alarm if there was 
any prospect of trouble. 

Of the tragic events that followed, Farnham once wrote: "If 
the mob had promised the sheriff' that they would not molest 
them on the way to Buff'alo, or if he had any faith in their prom- 
ises, why did he send Hinman ahead to look for danger? They 
had i)roe(H'ded about sixty rods and were just opposite the 
Knights house, afterward Roloft"s, when Hinman shouted, "Look 
out, they are coming." The sheritV tui'ued to Jackson and said, 
"Run for your life; save yourself." People have often asked 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 199 

why Jackson did not run, as he had at least thirty rods the start, 
and in a short time would have had the darkness to aid him in 
eluding his pursuers. But Jaekson knew very well the character 
of the men with whom he had to deal. They were nearly all 
practiced hunters, good marksmen, skilled by long practice in 
chasing swift-footed deer, and if he had separated hiuiself from 
those with him a bullet would probably have ended his life then 
and there. The sheriff, the posse and Jackson ran into the 
Knights cabin and closed the door. In a few minutes the door 
was broken open and the cabin was filled with armed men. While 
the sheriff and the posse quietly submitted to being held up 
by arms the leaders of the mob bound Jackson and led him away 
to a neighboring house to wait until morning. The sheriff and 
the posse returned to Buffalo. 

80 far as is known no effort was made in the hours that 
followed to assert the majesty of the county in behalf of the 
man who, having been taken into custody had the strongest of 
claims on organized society for protection and succor. 

All night long a wretched human being crouched in the pres- 
ence of his captors protesting his innocence, all night long the 
wife sobbed in her cabin, all night long the blood-lust ran like 
fire in the veins of wild-eyed, frenzied men. Constituted author- 
ity raised not its hand. The law had received its supreme test, 
and those who were sworn to support it had failed. All night 
long messengers went from town to town calling upon those 
who believed Jackson guilty to meet at Wallace's house in the 
morning. 

Mr. Parnliam continues : "On Monday, April 25, 1859, repre- 
sentatives from at least four townships were wending their way 
to the Wallace house. Those who had the prisoner in charge 
arrived with him about noon. A stick of timber about twenty 
feet long and six inches in thickness was put into the gable-end 
of the house, one end resting on the upper floor, and the other 
projecting about six feet. A rope was thrown over the end. 
In the meantime guards were placed around the small clearing 
to prevent any interference with their purpose. When all was 
ready, a hangman's noose was placed about Jackson's neck, and 
the leader said, 'Pull him up; we will make him confess.' After 
life was nearly extinct the victim was let down and revived. 
Facing Eternity as he was, Jackson was again asked, 'Are you 
guilty of the murder of Wallace?' and he answered 'No.' Then 
he was asked about the watch, the rifle and the blanket, and as 
before he declared that he knew nothing about them. About 
this time the stricken wife evaded the guards and rushed into 
the clearing. She was pinioned, and in a swooning condition 
was carried toward her home. Jackson was then hauled up 
again, nearly to the beam, and the leader fastened the end of 



200 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

the rope by windiug it several times around the projecting log, 
leaving several feet of slack rope in the hands of his assistants. 
This work had been hastened by a shot heard a short distance 
from the clearing, and the leader had shouted, 'The rescuers are 
coming; pull him up.' Scarcely had Jackson hung a minute 
from the end of the beam when the order 'Hands oft" was given 
to the men who held the slack. The body of Jackson fell about 
five feet, instantly breaking the neck. Then the lynchers fled, 
leaving the body hanging from the beam. 

"On the morning of April 26, Samuel Holdship, a brother of 
Mrs. Jackson, went to Buffalo to secure assistance in caring for 
the body. He was sent to Edward F. Tillotson, deputy coroner, 
then living on the Monticello road near Lake Pulaski. Tillotson 
summoned a coroner's jury, took down the body and held an 
inquest. The verdict was that the deceased had come to his 
death by hanging at the liands of some person or persons unknown 
to the jury. The body was taken in charge by Mrs. Jackson and 
the male members of the Holdship family, and taken to Stillwater 
for burial. The family did not return to the county." 

The hanging of Jackson by a mob after he had had an impar- 
tial trial and been acquitted, created quite a sensation throughout 
the state, and there was a demand all over the country that the 
guilty persons should not go unpunished. Lynchings had also 
taken place in other parts of the state, and the reputation of 
Minnesota suffered severely throughout the civilized world. 
Press and public demanded that this bloody overriding of the 
law must be stopped. 

"All lovers of law and order were anxious that the l3aichers 
should be brought to justice. On May 2, Govei'nor Henry H. 
Sibley, by proclamation, offered a reward of $500 for the arrest 
and conviction of the person or persons who participated in the 
hanging. 

"Thus matters rested until July 26, 1859. At this time there 
was a celebration by the Sons of Malta at Minnehaha Palls, and 
being a large aft'air, it was attended by many citizens, among 
whom was Aymer W. Moore, of Roekford, who was supposed 
to be one of the lynchers. One of the Holdship family, a brother 
of Mrs. Jackson, was also there, and when he saw Moore he at 
once returned to St. Paul and informed his sister, who went 
before a notary public and swore out a complaint. 

"Governor Sibley immediately issued an order on the com- 
plaint directing Chief of Police Corsely, of St. Paul, or the 
sheriff of Ramsey county, to arrest Moore and convey him to 
Wright county and deliver him to the proper authorities. The 
order also directed Attorney General Berry to proceed to Wright 
county and prosecute the case on behalf of the state. Accord- 
ingly Moore was taken into ciistody ; and the sheriff and Moore, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 201 

accompanied by Mrs. Jackson, Holdship, Attorney General Berry 
and District Attorney J. R. Lawrence, started for Wriglit county. 

"Upon reaching Monticello, they sent for Samuel Bennett, a 
justice of the peace who resided some three miles from the village. 
By the time the proper complaint could be made before him, and 
the warrant issued, night had fallen, and the hearing of the case 
was postponed until the following day. The prisoner was placed 
in the custody of Deputy Sheriff Blanchard, and as there was 
no jail in the county, Blanchard took Moore to his own home 
to await examination in the morning. 

"There were no telegraph lines at that time and no railroads, 
and the mail from Minneapolis to Rockford arrived but once a 
Aveek by stage. But in some manner the news of Moore's arrest 
traveled rapidly, so that in a few hours after he was apprehended 
at Minnehaha Falls, it was known all over Rockford and Buffalo. 
Great excitement prevailed, for Moore was believed to be easily 
frightened, and it was feared that he would expose all those 
implicated in the lynching. In the afternoon of the day that 
Moore was taken to Jlonticello, about thirty men from Rockford 
and Buffalo met at a house in the latter town, near the line of the 
former, and after arranging various disguises, and preparing a 
large quantity of charcoal and burnt cork for the purpose, started 
in squads of twos and threes for Monticello by different routes, 
a point of meeting after dark having previously been agreed 
upon. 

"Just after 9 o'clock that night a rap was heard at the 
Blanchard home, and upon the door being opened, the house was 
instantly filled with men with blackened faces. The deputy 
sheriff was quieted by threats, and Moore was released. A strong 
guard was left in and about the house for an hour, and then the 
mob left. The pursuit which the deputy sheriff' and citizens 
instituted availed nothing." 

A report was made to Governor Sibley, who at once issued the 
following state paper: 

"Proclamation. By the Governor of the State of Minnesota: 
For the first time in the history of the State it has become the 
stern and imperative duty of the executive of the State to employ 
a military force to suppress a combination against the laws in 
one of the counties in the State. Twice has an armed mob in 
Wright county outraged public sentiment, first by the unlawful 
hanging of Oscar F. Jackson after he had an impartial trial and 
had been acquitted by a jury of that county, and subsequently 
on the third inst., by rescuing an alleged participant in that 
crime from the civil authorities. To assert the majesty of the 
law and to subdue the spirit of ruffianism which has manifested 
itself by overt acts, prompt measures will be taken. 

"I, Henry H. Sibley, Governor of the State of Minnesota, in 



202 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

view of the fact that the civil officers of Wright county are per- 
fectly powerless to enforce and execute the laws, do hereby 
declare the said county of Wright in a state of insurrection, and 
I enjoin upon all the good citizens of that and adjoining counties 
that they lend their aid to suppress violence and disorder, and 
solemnly warn the actors in these outrages in Wright county, 
that any further attempts on their part to obstruct or resist the 
course of public justice will bring inevitable ruin on their own 
heads, and may be desolation and misery on their families. 

"In testimony whereof I have hereunto set my hand and 
caused the great seal of the State to be affixed this fifth day of 
August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and 
fifty -nine, and of the State the second. By the Governor, Henry 
H. Sibley. Francis Baassen, Secretary of State." 

"With the execution of justice seemingly in the hands of a 
mob, with the civil authorities apparently powerless to prevent 
gangs of armed men from lynching acquitted citizens and then 
delivering arrested alleged lynchers from custody, a display of 
the state's force seemed necessary for the preservation of life, 
decency and order. The regular civil officers of Wright county 
declared that they could neither curb nor punish these illegal 
acts. Governor Sibley saw that he must eradicate this defiant 
lawlessness or merit the censure of civilization for an abject 
surrender of the rights and protection of the people to a few 
rebellious citizens. 

"He at once ordered the uniformed and equipped militia of 
the state under arms, and on August 5 dispatched three com- 
panies to Monticello, to arrest the rioters and enforce the law. 
The Pioneer Guards of St. Paul, under command of Captain 
Western, started for Wright county by way of Anoka. The St. 
Paul papers of that day speak in great praise of Captain Western 
and his men and of the alacrity with which they got under way 
and started for the scene of the outrages. The guards numbered 
forty-two men, rank and file, and were dressed in regulation army 
uniforms and armed with United States muskets. Each soldier 
also carried a revolver. The trip was made in large army wagons 
furnished by the quartermaster general. The next day, August 6, 
the Stillwater Guards, consisting of forty-five men under Captain 
Looinis, and furnished with the same equipment as the Pioneer 
Guards, also started out in arniy wagons. The same day, the 
City Guards, of St. Paul, under Captain O 'Gorman, also started 
out in wagons. They were armed like the others, but in place of 
the regulation uniform wore a costume of black trousers and blue 
flannel shirts. A St. Paul paper of that date says, 'They were a 
hardy set of boys and went off in high spirits.' The three com- 
panies were under the command of Lieutenant Colonel John S. 
Prince. With them were Colonel Francis Baassen, acting adju- 



HISTORY OP WKIC4HT COUNTY 203 

tant general, and his assistants, Messrs. Simpson and Hunt. The 
adjutant general issued orders that there should be held in readi- 
ness: Company D, 25th Regiment, Captain Crooks; Company A, 
13th Regiment, Captain French; Company C, 25th Regiment, 
Captain Shaw; Light Cavalry, 25th Regiment, Captain Starkey. 

"Such preparations were sanctioned by public sentiment, and 
the newspapers and people were back of it. The newspapers 
said: 'Crush out the rebellion at once, wipe out these outrages 
to law and order, even if Wright county has to be wiped out.' 
The 'Miuuesotian,' which afterward strongly censured Governor 
Sibley for the expense of this trip, was one of the most bitter in 
its denunciations of the outrages, found fault with the governor 
for not offering a larger reward, and insisted that the rioters must 
be brought to justice regardless of who or what stood in the 
way. 

"While the military forces went up the river route, a police 
force of about thirty-tive men under command of Chief of Police 
Corsley, of St. Paul, was sent out by way of Rockford. They 
camped near Rockford one night, but did not make any arrests 
at that time. The rioters had again become ordinary citizens, 
and stealthily watched the police force from places of conceal- 
ment. From Rockford the force went to Montieello by way of 
Buffalo. Twenty-three persons, mostly residents of Buffalo and 
Rockford, were taken into custody by the police and special 
constables. The militia made no arrests but their presence had a 
salutary moral force. 

"Meantime the lynchers and rescuers were scattered all over 
the county, especially in the timbered portions. One spent a week 
under a haystack, another was hid in a cornfield, another in a 
tauuiraek swamp, another in the cellar of a deserted cabin, and 
others took refuge on an islaiul in Lake Beebee, in the southwest 
part of Frankfort, where their friends fed and guarded them. 
The excitement had died out, the guilty ones were thoroughly 
frightened and remorseful, and all began to realize for the first 
time that their hands were wet with the blood of a fellow being, 
and their reputations forever blasted among all good people by 
their defiance of the law. 

"Confronted by the moral and physical force of organized 
order, the county officials and other prominent men promised that 
the offenders should be arrested and punished, a promise which 
was never kept, for to this day no one has been brought before 
a bar of justice for taking part in these outrages. 

"To prove that they had the desire and the power to carry 
out their promise, the county ofificials and their backers agreed 
that if the state authorities would prepare to withdraw their 
forces that three of the real offenders would be arrested and 
delivered up to justice. Accordingly the sheriff went into the 



204 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

woods and went through the form of arresting Aymer W. Moore, 
Hiram S. Angell aud J. E. Jenks. At the justice court they 
waived examinations and were bound over to the October term of 
the district court under $500 bonds, which they easily obtained, 
and they were set at liberty. Thus the "Wright County War was 
ended. The troops and police returned to their homes August 11. 
The troops had been under arms not more than seven days at 
most. But it was universally acknowledged that had there been 
less force the rioters would have shown real resistance and 
bloodshed might have resulted. 

"The district court met at Mouticello October 2, 1859. After 
taking their solemn oath of office, the grand jury went into 
session. They failed to take any action in regard to the recent" 
disturbances. Two at least of the county officials were anxious 
that the jury should dissolve without finding indictments. Con- 
sequently, on the morning of October 4, the jury adjourned. 
Whether anyone appeared before it is not now known. But it is 
said that with the menace of antagonistic prominent officials it 
would not have been safe for any of the friends of Jackson to 
show themselves in the county, and probably no one appeared 
before the jury during the short time it was in session." 

The grand jury was constituted as follows: A. C. Riggs (fore- 
man), L. C. Pickens, M. A. Taylor, J. W. Kirk, 0. S. Boyd, Dana 
Hamlet, A. E. Oakes, 0. H. Sheldon, H. F. Lillibridge, Benjamin 
Ward, H. W. Brookins, Samuel Iloulton, F. Ileyetter, W. H. 
Helm, Joseph Perkins, Edwin Grant, H. Nickerson, John Spauld- 
ing, Charles Wedgewood, A. Nickerson and W. Gareelon. 

On October 4 the following order was issued : 

"Ordered by the Court, that Aymer W. Moore, H. S. Angell 
and J. E. Jenks be discharged from their recognizance ; for the 
said Aymer W. Moore, H. S. Angell and J. E. Jenks having 
appeared before the Grand Jury at the October term of the Court 
of the Fourth Judicial District at Monticello, Wright county, 
Minnesota, 1859, and they having appeared before said Grand 
Jury during the entire sitting of said Grand Jury and until said 
Court was adjourned. 

"Now, therefore, the said Aymer W. ]\Ioore, H. S. Angell and 
J. E. Jenks are discharged according to law and their recog- 
nizances are hereby released." 

Whether this action on the part of the officials and citizens 
was in accord with their solemn oath and promise to the state 
authorities is not for the historian to determine. 

Tlu^ cost of the expedition was necessarily' considerable, but 
no law-abiding citizen, in Wright county or elsewhere, failed to 
heartily sustain Governor Sibley in his prompt and determined 
effort to ujjhold the dignity of the law. The effect long remained 
in the county in the enormous expense incurred, which, with other 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 205 

criminal cases of less magnitude, created au indebtedness almost 
resulting in bankruptcy, and depreciating county orders to less 
than thirty-tive cents on the dollar. 

In the spring of 1877 August Roloff found a watch while clear- 
ing up au old fence near the place where Jackson's house for- 
merly stood. In May, 1880, Frank Warner plowed up the remains 
of a rifle near the same place. It was declared that these were 
the long-missing possessions of Wallace. 

Several other trials took place about this time. The trial 
of Casper Oehrlein for murder was a long and expensive one. 
But he was discharged, and though there was much testimony 
against him, the lynchers seemed to be satisfied with one victim, 
and Oehrlein was allowed to remain in the county. 



CHAPTER XII. 
PIONEER DEVELOPMENT. 

Pioneer Discomforts — By Allen Reinmuth — Early Days at Rock- 
ford — By George W. Florida — Claim Seekers and Various 
Types of Early Arrivals — Ginseng — Grasshopper Plagues — 
The Famine of 1867. 

The pioneer development of this part of Minnesota dates from 
1852, but the real impetus came in 1856 and 1857, when land in 
many of the townships was entered at the United States land 
office. The pioneers who settled in this great wilderness had to 
face many hardships and nerve-testing ordeals, and the experi- 
ences and privations they underwent should be related for the 
benefit of the countless generations yet unborn who will reap 
the fruits of the work done by their frontier ancestors and 
predecessors. 

People of the present day, and especially those who have never 
lived on farms, have no idea of the hardships a farmer encounters 
in a new country. By the time he has cleared, paid for. and 
established a standard model farm, he has used a great deal of 
vitality, patience and energy. 

Especially were difficulties encountered in the wooded por- 
tions, such as the "Big Woods," which included most of Wright 
county, where the timber had to be cleared off before a cabin 
could be built or a garden planted. The trees were so large and 
set so close together that a traveler could scarcely see a rod 
ahead, and in the summer the foliage was so thick that the sky 
was obscured. Many varieties were represented, such as the 
red, white and burr oak, hard and soft maple, white and black 
ash, hickory, basswood, box-elder, red and white elm, irouwood, 



206 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

Cottonwood and others. These trees varied in size, the white 
elm and the white oak being the largest and tallest. One old 
white oak measured six feet in diameter, and a white elm which 
is standing today is four feet in diameter and a hundred and 
twelve feet high. There were only a few maple trees then, but 
after the great cyclone ruined and tore up by the roots all 
the large trees, the maples took their place, so that today the oaks 
and elms are few and the maples predominate. 

The clearing away of the forest was no easy task. Saws were 
unknown, so the work was done with axes. There was no market 
for wood, and it had to be disposed of. The trees were felled, 
cut eight or ten feet long, then rolled into large heaps. This was 
done with the help of oxen when such could be secured, but those 
that could not afford oxen used wooden hand spikes, a slower 
and more difficult process. These heaps were then lighted, and 
since the wood was green and did not burn very readily, the piles 
had to be re-lighted time and again. The old pioneers, recalling 
the early clearing of the forest, have regretted many times that 
timber like oak, maple and ash had to be wasted by burning 
in such a manner, where today it would demand a good market 
and a high price. The process of felling trees was hazardous as 
well as tedious, for many a tree when falling would become 
lodged in the branches of a nearby tree, which would then have to 
be chopped also. Tliis was a very dangerous task, for the tree 
above might shake loose any time and fall and crush the man 
working beneath. Two acres was all that could be cleared by 
two men in one winter. 

The mosquitoes were plentiful, for the shallow pools were 
kept from evaporating by tlie shading forest, and myriads of 
insects hatched out daily. Screens were unknown, hence very 
little rest did the pioneers have day or night during the sum- 
mers of the tirst few years. After the timber was somewhat 
cleared away, the pools dried out and the mosquitoes became 
fewer in number. Some of the early settlers did not have the 
endurance to keep up the task they had begun, so left, driven 
away by discomforts in which the mosquitoes were an important 
factor. 

Railroads did not span this country until ten years later. 
The train service was not as convenient in the early days as it 
is at the present time. The cars were not ballasted and they 
often jumped from the track. The engines were small and the 
grades were steep, hence slow time was made both in passenger 
and freight service. There were no through freights, and fast 
mail trains and fliers were not put on until twenty-five years 
later. 

The population at that time was small, about one family to 
four square miles. The only company the families had to break 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 207 

the monotony was the howl of the wolves and the hoot of the 
owls and nighthawks. 

Industry was crude then, for the equipment was meagre. 
Labor was done mostly by hand. Horses were not to be had 
at that date. The oxen, though very strong, coidd not be handled 
like horses for several reasons. Tliey had no bridles, so they 
could go wherever they pleased, and sometimes they woidd even 
run away from their owners. They had not the intelligence 
horses have, therefore they could not be trained to do all the 
work horses do. 

The early pioners had crudely constructed shacks built out 
of logs, about twelve by twenty feet, on an average, in size. 
These log houses were covered with elm bark for a roof, occa- 
sionally limbs and twigs were used. When the weather was dry 
the roofs did not leak, but when it rained the discomforts were 
intense. Everything got wet and the only thing to do was to 
wait until the rain stopped and then dry the clothes and bedding 
by the fire. 

The chimneys were built of wood, plastered on the inside with 
clay to prevent them from burning, and like those of Lincoln's 
time, were small at the top and wide at the bottom. They were 
about six feet square at the bottom and three feet square at the 
top. Logs cut in suitable lengths were used as fuel, and as they 
were green a lai'ge fire had to be kept up. 

There were few matches in tliose days, so fires were kindled 
by friction. To do this two dry sticks were rubbed together 
until they produced a spark, which would be dropped into a pile 
of sawdust and shavings to ignite them, and the glow induced 
would then have to be blown into a flame. When matches finally 
came into use on the farm this disagreeable task was done away 
with. 

Implements of labor were also crude. Most of them were 
made of wood and progress with these tools was very slow and 
work could not be done either well or skillfully. The plows were 
made something like modern potato hillers with a beam, two 
handles and two braces to hold the handles in position. In the 
middle of this crude tool was a straight "four b.y four" with an 
iron plate one-half inch thick, fastened to the beam by old- 
fashioned screws. The harrow used was a brush taken from the 
top part of a maple tree. These harrows were drawn by two 
yoked oxen with a chain fastened to the yoke and the butt end 
of the harrow. This kind of a harrow was easily made and 
could well stand the jerks and jars it was exposed to while 
dragged over the stumps. The harrow was somewhat etfective 
in smoothing the plowed ground. The cycle half-moon grain- 
cutter was the tool used to cut the grain. This was swung by 
one hand and the grain was caught in the other, which was very 



208 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

hard and slow work. As soou as scythes and cradles were 
invented and purchased the farmers made better time and raised 
more grain. The threshing in the early days was done by means 
of a flail. The method of seeding was most interesting, looked 
at from a present-day viewpoint. There were first placed three' 
sharpened poles ten feet long, a few inches in the ground in a 
vertical position, and in a straight line with each other across the 
field. Each stick had a red flag tied to the top of it as a sight 
to go by. The man had a few sacks of wheat placed conveniently 
here and there so he could get more seed whenever he needed it. 
To sow he carried a sack on his side, fastened over his right 
shoulder. One part of the sack was partly left open so he could 
reach in and get a handful of wheat. This wheat was scattered 
to right and left and in front of him. He would never carry 
more than a peck of wheat in the sack at one time as more would 
be too heavy. 

The early settlers were very poor. Many had been here but 
a short time. Land was cheap under the preemption law, only 
costing about $1.25 per acre. Later, under the homestead law, 
the United States gave homesteads to any who applied and ful- 
filled the conditions. All that was required for a man who took 
a homestead was that he live on it five years, after which he 
could receive a deed for same. Each homestead had a hundred 
and sixty acres, except in certain cases (such as the immediate 
prospect of an adjoining railroad) where conditions made the 
laud of so much higher value that the claims were limited to 
eighty acres. No man could take more than one homestead. Al- 
though the land was cheap, tools and the other necessary articles 
were so high priced that farming was very expensive. The pio- 
neers paid their debts in two ways, first by digging ginseng and 
secondly by selling the produce they raised. 

The climatic conditions were more even and rains came at 
more regular periods than at present. The temperature was also 
more equitable, without the great and rapid changes known to 
the present time. The forest stopped the winds and kept the 
soil cool by shading it. Owing to those natural conditions the 
summers were not so extremely hot or the winters so extremely 
cold. 

Aside from a little pork and beef, most of the meat was 
secured by hunting wild game, which was plentiful in the forest. 
At that time anyone could shoot all the game that fancy dictated. 
But now the big game has all departed, and even small game is 
not plentiful. Fish were also Yery numerous in the early days, 
but the number has now beeii so depleted that there would be 
little fishing in the county were it not for the thousands of fry 
supplied by the state and government hatcheries. 

But the days of the pioneer are gone. Modern conditions 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 'J09 

liave replaced the days when the early settler lived with his little 
family in a eabin, painfully cleared his land acre by acre, and 
often knew what it was to lack for provisions. Now the county 
is a settled, prosperous area, surrounded on all sides by a high 
civilization, antl with all frontier conditions long since removed. 
— By Allen Reinnuith. 

Pioneer Days in Rockford. Let us go back to the fifties of 
1800 and join the procession of emigration moving from the 
East, from ilaine to iliiuiesota. There were two nutans of trans- 
portation : one by the water route that led to the West, on the 
surface of which tlu' birchbark canoe smootlily glided and the 
majestic steamboat plowed its way through the currents, to the 
Northwest ; the other route, over which the greater number came, 
by laud. On this the prairie schooner (the covered wagon), 
often propelled by the noble ox, gallantly sailed towards the 
setting sini. This mode of travel was used diu'iug the fifties, 
with the added assistance of the Burbank stage-coaches that fol- 
lowed the trail of the ox team. In this manner of travel the 
people of Wright county had the same experience as the people 
of other counties of the territory of Minnesota. 

It has been a great satisfaction that our mother came from 
Maine to Illinois in the early forties in a covered wagon drawn by 
one span of horses, with her father, her mother, five sisters and 
one brother. 

In the fall of 1855 our father, with his brother-in-law, George 
F. Ames, visited Minnesota. On the way up the Mississippi river 
they met G. D. George, a gentleman from Boston, also visiting the 
territory. The three were congenial companions, and Mr. George 
joined them in prospecting the territory for a location. They 
located the present town of Rockford, on the Crow river, twenty- 
one miles from its mouth and one and one-half miles from its 
north and south forks, at a place called by the Indians Big Rock, 
owing to the big rocks in the rapids at this place. 

In the spring of 1856 our family party, consisting of our 
grandparents, uncles, cousins and aunts, came to Galena and took 
passage on the "War Eagle" to St. Paul. The trip up the Mis- 
sissippi was most interesting, its scenery comparing favorably 
with the Hudson or the Rhine. We were treated to an exciting 
steamboat race through Lake Pepin, when our gallant War Eagle 
swung into the lake to pass a rival boat. All on board took a 
lively interest. The grates of the boilers were wide open and 
relays of firemen kept the furnace full of wood, and to increase 
the power, bacon, from a pile on deck, was thrown in. With the 
safety-valve tied down, we left our rival in the wake and cheered 
the War Eagle. 

Arriving in St. Paul, we were driven to Minneapolis over the 
beautiful rolling prairie to St. Anthony. On the elevated ground 



210 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

near where the university stands was Cheaver Tower. Over the 
door to the stairway to its top was "Cheaver Tower. Pay your 
dime and climb." From this tower one had a commanding view 
of the lakes and bluffs, with the smooth prairie stretching to the 
Minnesota river on the west side, the high, gradually ascending 
table land on the east, with the falls in their original grandeur 
plunging between. This view made a picture in my mind that 
fifty-nine years has not changed, though a teeming city has occu- 
pied the place. 

Our people brought a steam sawmill to Rockford in 1856, 
cutting the road from where Hamel now stands. This mill cut 
material for a number of houses built in 1856. Three are now 
standing. The mill burned in the winter. In 1857 the dam was 
built. A flour mill, a feed mill and a sawmill were put in opera- 
tion to accommodate the settlers that were then locating near the 
village in the Big Woods, as the belt of hardwood timber between 
forty and fifty miles wide was called. This belt extended from 
the Mississippi on the north side of the county in a circular form 
to the southeastern part of the territory, between Faribault and 
Mankato. 

In 1857 the settlers were confronted with an unexpected set- 
back. The wild land speculation of the previous years had pre- 
cipitated what was known as the crash of 1857, a time when the 
bottom had dropped out of the financial system and a general 
depression followed. The money in circulation was largely issued 
by private banks and as this could not be redeemed, one after 
another fell in the financial whirlpool. Settlers who had means, 
as they supposed, to make improvements, found tlu^ir money 
worthless, and it was given the name of wildcat currency. To 
add to tlieir misfortunes, the grasshoppers appeared in July, 
so thick that they darkened the sun, and when they had gone, 
the small fields of corn, wheat and potatoes were nearly bare. 
Fortunately for the settlers, they hail no means to return to the' 
older settlements, and during 1857 and 1858 did the best they 
could. 

Fish and game were plentiful. Material for building log 
cabins and barns was at hand. The spirit of the people was 
good. May 11, 1858, the territory was admitted as a state. The 
Indians were induced to remove to their agency on the Minne- 
sota river, five miles below the Redwood river, and with their 
removal the game was more plentiful. The settlers had a never- 
failing supply of venison, geese, ducks, pheasants, pigeons, fish 
and all kinds of fur-bearing animals. The Children of Israel 
were not better provided with manna in tlie Wilderness than the 
first settlers of this section. Deer was so plentiful that at Monti- 
cello, while Senator Sanuu4 Bennet was making his family prayer 
after breakfast, one of his little girls whispered that a deer was 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 211 

in tlie cabbage patch. Mr. Beiinet rose with alacrity, took a rifle 
from oviT tlie door, shot the deer, returned to his kneeling posi- 
tion and devoutly finished the prayer. 

From St. Anthony two small steamboats, "The Cutter" and 
the little "Time and Tide,"" plied between the falls and Crow 
Wing on the upper Mississippi, stopping at Dayton, Monticello 
and Clearwater. The landing in St. Anthony was at the head of 
Nicollet Island, opposite the old Tremont House. Louis Robare 
was the captain of the "Time and Tide."' He would stand at the 
little wharf and call the time of starting. He would shout : 
"Time and Tide starts at seven. Time and Tide waits for no 
man, but one-half hour for one woman."" The Wright county 
ladies had plenty of time if they took passage with Captain 
Robare ! 

While we were supplied with many comforts from the hand 
of Nature, there were other things necessary to complete the 
list of comforts formerly enjoyed by the settlers. Clothing and 
groceries required mone.y, and this was so scarce that many 
families were destitute- and in the spring of 1859 were discoiir- 
aged. On the evening of May 18 two gentlemen from Richmond, 
Va., Colonel Blaine and Major Goshorn, drove into the village. 
They asked if ginseng grew in the woods. They thought, from 
the maple and basswood, it would be plentiful in this timbered 
country, and they had come from Virginia to buy it. They would 
prepare it for the Chinese market at tliis place by washing, clari- 
fying and drying, a process used at that time in preparing the 
roots for the Chinese trade. 

On the morning of J\lay 19 Mrs. Beebe, my cousin, Prank 
Ames, and I went into the woods in search of ginseng. It was 
the writer's good fortune to find the first plant. We dug it and 
carried it to Colonel Blaine. He pronounced it a fine specimen, 
and said they would pay gold for all that could be dug. We 
passed the top and root from one to another, that they might 
know it in the woods. The digging was done with a narrow 
hoe made for the purpose. Agencies were established at Buffalo, 
Watertown and Hassen, for the convenience of the diggers. In 
a few days the chief occupation was digging ginseng. The price 
paid in the spring was five cents per pound, and eight and ten 
cents in the fall, for green roots. Whole families dug. Some 
good diggers would dig five dollars worth in a day. We dug 
like a lot of miners, with tlie expectation of finding rich digging 
every moment. Many of the settlers paid for their land with the 
money that came with the ginseng. 

The Fourth of July had been observed appropriately in 1857 
and 1858, but Minnesota now being a state over a year old, it was 
decided that July 4, 1859, must be celebrated in a royal manner. 
Invitations were sent to the towns of the county to join with us. 



212 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

We must have a band. Uncle Cyrus Redlon and his two sous 
were musicians. They were from Boston. Uncle Redlon had a 
fife. Fred and Frank Redlon were good drummers, but we had 
no drums. Amos Denney made fine pork barrels of white oak. 
We asked him for a barrel to uuike a bass drum. We sawed off 
the ends to give it the right proportion, and covered them 
with heavy buckskin and strung it in such a way as to make it 
tight. The drum was a great success. It was a heavy bass. 
We then took a fish keg and made a snare or tenor drum in the 
same way. That proved a success. We were provided with 
drums. 

When the war broke out in 1861, the Roekford drummers 
enlisted in the army, and each filled the same position in the 
military band that he had at the first celebration after the state 
was admitted to the Union. 

D. R. Farnham was from Massachusetts and was well trained 
in military tactics. He had organized a company of young men 
known as the Roekford Militia or Home Guards These he trained 
in marching and the manual of arms. The ladies of the village 
had made a fine flag for this occasiou, to be carried at the head 
of the procession. We had also taken two widths of sheeting 
with which we made a banner by stitching them together and 
tacking to two poles to be carried by two men. The banner was 
sixteen feet long. On this Frank Redlon, a good sign painter, 
painted a backwoodsman carrying a ginseng hoe on his shoulder 
with a bag of ginseng attached; behind him a young man of 
twenty, carrying a hoe and bag; following him, a younger mem- 
ber and a little boy and the baby, each carrying a hoe and bag. 
Over all, in good, large letters was, "Big pig, little pig, root hog 
or die." This was our motto. Our procession was headed by 
the flag and drum corps, leading the militia. The Sunday school 
in marching line followed the militia. The banner was carried 
at the head of the citizens' column. 

From all the country the people came to join this great cele- 
bration; from Monticello, Buffalo, Dayton, the Virginia settle- 
ment (now Montrose), Waveily, Marysville and Watertown, in 
Wright county ; Armstrong, Maple Plain, Long Lake, the Yankee 
settlement and Greenwood, in Hennepin county. 

Our mother had brought a small melodeon from Illiuois, which 
accompanied the chorus that sang patriotic songs. The Declara- 
tion of Independence was read. An address was given. Then 
the dinner, that the oldest settlers have not forgotten ! Roast 
pigs on china platters brought from former homes ; pyramid cakes, 
that to us small boys looked like haystacks ! The long table in 
the shade of the majestic elms was a triumphal monument to the 
glory of ginseng, and our motto, "Root hog or die." 

In the afternoon the Sunday school, under the care of our 



HISTORY OF WEIGHT COUNTY 213 

uncle, William Sleight, its superintendent, and later, president of 
the Old Settlers' Association, took the field with an exhibition in 
singing and speaking that to my knowledge has not been snr- 
passed since. 

The settlers were a very intelligent class, many from the New 
England states, and represented a cultivated people. It was 
these men that responded so nobly for the defense of the Union 
in 1861. I think all of Mr. Farnham's company enlisted. 

The most important factor in the development of Wright 
county's resources was the extension, in 186S, of the St. Paul and 
Pacific Railway, from Long Lake, in Hennepin county, to Crow 
river. This afforded transportation and gave ready market for 
hardwood liuuber, stave bolts, hoop poles and farm protluets, 
that for twelve years had been hauled to market by teams or 
down the river by boats oi' rafts. The state had settled a princely 
land grant for the construction and operation of the road, by 
giving it every other section six miles each side of the track. 
The road was chartered and built by a syndicate of English 
capitalists, who bequeathed their names to the new towns along 
the line. Mr. Delano, the first superintendent, gave his name 
to the Crow river crossing, Mr. IMontrose to the Virginia settle- 
ment, Mr. Dassel to Collinswood, Mr. Darwin to the edge of the 
Big Woods, Mr. Litchfield to Foot Lake, and Chief Engineer 
Morris to the town west of the Pomme de Terre. 

A large jiart of the money for construction and equipnu^nt was 
furnished by the Amsterdam bankers on first mortgage bonds. 
The company had sent samples of the soil to Holland by placing 
the stratas as they lay in the surface formation in casks, showing 
the rich loam at the top with the clay subsoil below. This had 
been analyzed as to its fertility, so they knew what they were 
secvu'ed with as to land. 

In the spring of 1870 the end of the track was at Benson. An 
invitation had been sent to the Holland bond-holders to visit the 
line. They came the first part of April, before the grass or leaves 
started. The country looked desolate. The prairie had burned 
in the fall. But few settlers had taken land west of Litchfield, 
and only a few dug-outs and sod houses with hay and sod stables 
could be seen. 

The day selected for the run from St. Paul out over the line 
was cold and rainy. Accustomed as they were to the highly 
cultivated land of Holland, these gentlemen, in their long blue 
coats and brass buttons, would stand on the back platform and 
gloomily scan this wide uncultivated landscape, then they would 
retm-n to the coach and offer their bonds to the more optimistic 
members of their party at a large reduction. When the bankers 
reached St. Paul on their return, they informed the company 
that they could not furnish any more money to extend the line; 



214 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

that in their opinion it would be fiftj' years before the road could 
pay interest on the bonds. 

The road found it hard to extend its line and keep up the 
repairs, but Wright county had the benefit of a good market for 
her wood, both east and west. In a short time rich fields of 
wheat and corn had taken the place where heavy timber had 
stood, and Wright county was made to "blossom as the rose." — 
By George W. Florida, Secretary of the Wright County Old 
Settlers' Association. 

Claim Seeking. During the early townsite days, not all of 
those who swarmed the country looking for claims really desired 
to establish permanent homes, though all pretended that such 
was their object. The actual settlers were often imposed upon 
by these seekers after quickly earned wealth. 

All who came had in their minds the picture of an ideal farm. 
They wanted a place consisting of seventy acres of prairie, level 
and clean ; forty acres of meadow, all timothy or red top, high 
and dry ; forty acres of thrifty timber ; ten acres in a lake with 
gravelly shores and clean soft water ; a running brook, and never- 
failing springs. 

One type of man would come into a community, live for weeks 
on the charity of the settlers, examine all the claims in the neigh- 
borhood, and impress the people with the fact that he was a 
man of wealth in the eastern states, and that he and his family 
would be valuable assets to the social, educational and business 
life of the community. Wishing to secure desirable citizens in 
their connnunity, the settlers would take him about free of charge 
until at last the critical one would find something that suited 
him — usually the best for miles around. As soon as he obtained 
possession his enthusiasm would wane. The roads were too bad, 
the mosquitoes were too thick, there were no schools or churches, 
and he was sure that his family could not thrive in such a com- 
munity. And the settlers who had labored so hard to secure 
for him a desirable claim saw him dispose of it at a handsome 
price to a speculator or non-resident. 

Another type of man would likewise represent himself as- a 
man of wealth from the eastern or middle states, but unlike the 
other type, he was in a great hurry. According to his story, his 
large family, his splendid household goods and his magnificent 
numbers of sheep, cattle, horses antl swine, were waiting at St. 
Paul, and he must secure a location immediately. Every settler 
in the neigliborhood would neglect his ovm work and turn out 
to find this citizen a location, erect his house, clear some of his 
land, make suitable roads and build bridges. They were to 
receive their pay upon his return. With two false witnesses he 
would obtain his patent to the property, and the neighbors would 
wait with interest the coming of his family and possessions. 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 215 

But in a few days they would fiud that their erstwhile friend was 
merely the agent of some speculator, and that their hai-d work 
had gone to enrich the pocket of a non-resident, while the alleged 
man of large possessions would change his name and operate the 
same swindle elsewhere. 

Another type was the grumbler and the fault-finder. A failure 
in his former home, he expected that Wright county was a land 
where wealth and ease were to be obtained for the asking. He 
found everything dilferent from his selfish dreams, and after 
making himself a nuisance and abusing the hospitality of the 
settlers, he would go elsewhere to spread unfavorable reports 
of this locality. This was the class of men who expected to 
receive free from the government, in a county less than two years 
old, 160 acres of land, surrounded by all the comforts and advan- 
tages of New England. 

In spite of these undesirable persons and their unsavory acts, 
families began to come who intended to make this their perma- 
nent habitation, and by the close of the year 1857 much land in 
the east, north and south portions of the county had been taken. 
But during that year the great financial crash came, and many 
claims were abandoned as the settlers became a prey to discour- 
agement. One reason for this was that many of the pioneers were 
poor, and had depended on their crops and day labor for others 
as a means of raising money with which to pay for their location. 
Consequently, when the land was put on the market and sold in 
1859, many had no ready cash and were forced to abandon their 
claims, with all the improvements that they had made. In some 
cases these settlers who were forced to abandon their homes 
were on the odd-numbered sections along the railroad right of 
way, and their places reverted to the railroad. Some postponed 
the day of their leaving by borrowing money at three per cent 
a month, but the final result was the same, as they were unable 
to raise the interest money. Others had borrowed money with 
which to make improvements and the mortgages were foreclosed, 
thus depriving the settler of the results of his hard and weari- 
some toil. 

Very few claims taken in 1856 and 1857 are now in the posses- 
sion of the families of the original settlers. The grasshoppers 
frightened many away. Others moved to the larger places to get 
work, finding that they were unable to support their large fam- 
ilies on the small amount of land that they could clear and culti- 
vate the first few years. They seldom returned. And even in 
after years they remembered with horror the sufferings of 1857 
in the Big Woods. 

The settlers of 1856 and 1857 were from all parts of the United 
States, Canada and Europe. The towns along the Mississippi 
were located on prairies, and the first settlers were for the most 



21(i HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

part Americans. But in the central and western parts it was 
quite different, all nations were represented, and homes were 
being made by the sturdy sons and daughters of the Old World. 
Society was in a chaotic state. In every community there was 
very great difference in manners, customs, usages and languages. 

In organizing towns or even school districts, there were almost 
as many forms as there were individuals. The eastern men did not 
agree with the settlers from the middle states in the manner of 
procedure. The southern men had a way of their own. So had 
the German, the Irish, the French and the Scandinavian. In 
social life it was the same, and in religious matters it would have 
required at least a dozen clergymen to satisfy the various relig- 
ious prejudices and opinions of a small settlement. It demanded 
a large amount of forbearance, patience and charity to harmonize 
all conflicting opinions. But the pioneers possessed these good 
qualities, and serious troubles on account of the varying opinions 
and customs were very few. The American soon learned to adopt 
some of the usages of the foreigner, and the European readily 
saw the advantages in following the superior skill and experience 
of the American in clearing land and building houses, and in 
many of the arts, customs and ways of New World civilization. 
A helping hand was extended to all and a new settler was assisted 
in building his house and in clearing his laud. Thus harmony and 
brotherly love prevailed to a large extent. Social parties, dances 
and "chopping bees" increased friendly communication, and 
warm neighborly intercourse was the result. 

The claim associations which had such an influence and took 
such a conspicuous part in settling disputes about claims in 
other parts of the state had very little work to do in Wright 
county. Disputes about locations were usually settled without 
expense or trouble, and without recourse to the courts. 

Before the county was divided into towns the laying out of 
roads and the assessment of taxes and nearly all other business 
of a public character was in the hands of the board of county 
commissioners. Every settlement and nearly every individual 
wanted a road, and much of the attention of the commissioners 
was devoted to the granting of petitions for these thoroughfares. 
The laying out of these roads entailed much expense, and resulted 
a few years later in the depreciation of the county orders to 
thirty cents on the dollar. When this depreciation came and the 
county was in financial straits, the early boards received much 
criticism, but later events have justified their course in covering 
the county with a network of these means of communication and 
commerce. Unlike many Minnesota counties where wagons could 
find a passage anywhere on the spreading prairies, the early 
settlers in Wright county could not easily reach the lands that 
were open to settlement, and trees must be felled, bridges built 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 217 

and tr'ails made before the Wright county pioneer could estab- 
lisli his home in the wilderness. 

Ginseng. The year 18.59 in Wright county is uuirked by the 
advent of the ginseng buyers. 

For a number of years the ginseng trade had been cai'rietl on 
with China by a few merchants in Philadelphia, and the supply 
of the article had been principally from western Virginia and 
eastern Kentucky. But the roots were growing less and less 
year by year. 

Several persons who had moved from Virginia into Wright 
county reported to friends at home that ginseng was quite plenti- 
ful here, and the information brought Colonel Robert Blaine, 
from what is now West Virginia, an old ginseng trader, who com- 
nuuiced to buy the root. He paid for it in cash, which in this 
locality had been rather scarce for two years. The settlers' crops 
had been small and very low prices were paid for all fai'm 
products. There was no home market, and no railroads or other 
means of transportation to an eastern market, there was very 
little lumbering or building, and no extensive public works or 
improvements. So it was almost impossible to support a family 
in the Big Woods, and it seenu-d that many settlers would be 
obliged to leave or starve. 

But as soon as the ginseng trade opened everything was 
changed. Prosperity and plenty followed the trail of the ginseng 
buyers. They had established agents in nearly every town, and 
men, women and children turned their attention to digging the 
roots. They paid up old debts, cleared up mortgages, paid for 
their laud, and in everything seemed prosperous and happy, 
when a few mouths before all had been dark and discouraging. 
It has often been said, since that time, that the ginseng busi- 
ness was not a benefit to Wright county but that it was an actual 
injury ; that the early settlers neglected their farms and stopped 
clearing land, and did not make the progress in developing the 
country that they would have made if there had been no ginseng 
trade. But those who reason in this manner are ones who did 
not experience the hardships of 1859. It is a fact, indeed, that 
many of the early settlers were without means and could not 
. have subsisted more than a short time, and many more would 
have abandoned their claims and farms if they could not have 
found temporary relief. That was not to be found in public 
funds, for there were none. Credit was gone, and ready money 
was necessary in working the farms. Ginseng supplied the need. 
The Locust Raids- August 19, 1856, is a date not likely to 
be forgotten by the early settlers of this county, for on that day 
arrived the advance guard of that all-devouring army of winged 
gourmands whose ravages spread terror and panic among the 



218 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

inhabitants, and almost depopulated the young settlements. The 
flying hoppers were seen going southeast about noon, and at 
2 o'clock in the afternoon they began their work of destruction, 
eating every green thing. In Otsego and Monticello, about the 
only places in the county where wheat, oats and rye were raised 
to any extent, the loss was greatest. In attacking the oats the 
grasshoppers trimmed off every green leaf and then cut off the 
small stems on the heads, leaving the bare stalk standing and the 
oats all on the ground. Much of the wheat was of the Rio Grande 
variety and was partly protected by the heavy beards, but every 
leaf was cut off'. The rye was hard and just ready to harvest, so 
to a large extent it escaped the general ravage. 

The hope of relief occasioned by the sudden disappearance of 
the hoppers in the fall was blighted by their appearance in largely 
increased numbers the following spring, and a number of families, 
overcome with fear and discouragement, gathered their personal 
effects together and took their final departure. 

The grasshopper invasion in 1856 and 1857 was confined mostly 
to the upper Mississippi valley. The insects appeared near the 
end of July in the northern part of the state. As they moved' 
southward along both sides of the Mississippi their progress 
grew noticeably slower and they did not reach their southern 
limit, in Hennepin and Ramsey counties, until some time in Sep- 
tember. Every crop except the pea vines was devoured, and 
the unharvested grain, with the exceptions already noted, was 
destroyed suddenly and totally. Where corn was too hard for 
them they devoured the blades and husks, leaving bare stalks 
and ears. They stripped the vines of potatoes, destroyed turnips, 
beets, onions, buckwheat and most garden vegetables. They 
nibbled clothing hanging upon lines, entered houses, attacked 
curtains and cushions, eating "tobacco, shoes and even thick 
cowhide boots." They probably deposited eggs in the fall of 
1856 in all the region visited. 

The following year the grasshoppers commenced hatching 
about May 10, and devoured the crops as fast as they appeared. 
Through May and the first part of June the number and damage 
increased, and in most cases the crops were entirely destroyed, 
so that in plowed ground not even a weed was seen. The time 
of hatching in 1857 seems to have been somewhat later than in 
other years. When they began to come out of the eggs the 
ground was fairly alive with them. Many settlers were discour- 
aged from planting and seeding. The little hoppers began to 
eat and nearly everything, including the grass in the meadows, 
was eaten as fast as it grew. About the first of June the ones 
in Wright county began to move to the southeast by hopping and 
in a few days they began to fly in the same direction. Crow river 
was full of the little hoppers, but they did not stop at rivers or 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 219 

creeks, but kept on their way, ami by the first of July, after hav- 
ing devoured about half the crops, the whole greedy swarm had 
left Wright county. Large numbers continued to linger in other 
places until about the first of August. The direction of the depar 
ture was generally southward; the flying swarms passed over 
southern ^Minnesota as far east as Winnebago City. No eggs 
were left behintl them, and the state was free from grasshoppers 
for seven years. 

In the early part of June, 1864, the grasshoppers were thick 
in the Red river region, and over the plains of the Northwest. 
In June, 1865, the Sauk valley was invaded and vegetation almost 
entirely destroyed. But the chief scene of invasion in these two 
years was the Minnesota valley. They did no damage in Wright 
county. As before, the grasshoppers left no eggs behind them. 
There were slight locust invasions in the state in 1868, 1871 
and 1872. 

There was another serious invasion in 1873 in the south- 
western part of the state. They deposited their eggs, and in 
1874 the ravages were extended still further north and east, so 
that Wright county was again devastated. This county was one 
of the districts where the eggs in separate localities were thickly 
deposited. The hatching of these eggs in the following spring 
did little damage, as the young hoppers were killed by cold and 
damp and parasites. But new swarms invaded the state, and 
Wright county again suffered in the summer of 1876. These 
swarms deposited eggs, and in 1877 Wright county once more 
appeared on the lists of the counties which suffered heavily. 
Many devices were tried to destroy the pests, but to little avail. 

The year of 1878 opened with still greater danger of crop 
destruction. But in April of that year the grasshoppers were 
totally annihilated by a frost. On the day preceding the frost 
the religious people of the state had engaged in prayer in their 
various churches, the day having been set aside as a season of 
prayer for deliverance. Governor John S. Pillsbury, who issued 
the proclamation calling for this observance, afterward said in 
relation to this day of prayer: "And the very next night it 
turned cold and froze every grasshopper in the state stiff; froze 
'em right up solid, sir; well, sir, that was over twenty years ago, 
and grasshoppers don't appear to have been bothering us very 
much since." Money was raised to relieve the distress, and once 
more Wright county started to repair its fortunes. 

Fajnine of 1867. The settlements were slow in recovering the 
numerical loss sustained during the Indian troubles, and it was 
not until the dawn of our nation's peace, and the return of her 
citizen soldiery, that material changes occurred. In the mean- 
time most of the odd-numbered sections had come into the pos- 
session of a railroad company. After the war, with the prospect 



220 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

of a railroad soon to be built through the county, these lauds 
found ready sale to actual settlers, and with the homesteads 
taken during 1865-66, the census of Wright county was materially 
increased. As most of the late comers of 1866 were men of limited 
means, it was not strange that the spring of 1867 found many in 
destitute circumstances. Added to this embarrassment was the 
farther evil of an unusually wet spring, rendering early seeding 
impossible, and the roads, as yet unworked, nearly, and in many 
instances quite, impassable. May was scarce ushered in before 
rumors of destitution were atloat, and the press of the state 
informed the reading public that families were starving; that 
many were subsisting upon elm bark. The county commissioners 
were appealed to for aid, and accordingly sent out a committee 
of investigation, to ascertain and report the actual condition of 
the settlements where suffering was reported. The investigation 
disclosed the fact that in several of the western towns great 
destitution prevailed, and that prompt measures were necessary 
to prevent actual want and starvation. 

The commissioners found it no easy matter to effect the neces- 
sary relief, with an empty treasury, and no time to arrange for 
the issue of bonds. Although the county was out of debt, its 
bonds, in the event of an issue, were not likely to be sought after 
by outside parties, and there was no surplus wealth within its 
borders. Something, however, must be done, and that, too, with- 
out delay. The only avenue of relief offered was the immediate 
issue of county orders, which was adopted, and a committee sent 
to St. Paul and Minneapolis to convert these into cash for the 
relief of the suffering. The banks, however, turned a deaf ear 
to the appeal of the committee, and utter failure seemed immi- 
nent. Just then W. B. Litchfield, prominent in railroad circles, 
hearing by a mere chance of the vain attempts on the part of the 
committee to obtain aid, volunteered the loan of the necessary 
amount, and thus secured to the committee the means of assist- 
ance. For this humane act Mr. Litchfield will ever be held in 
kindly remembrance. On May 18, at a special meeting of the 
county commissioners, it was voted : ' ' That a county bond be 
issued to W. B. Litchfield, of St. Paul, to the amount of five 
hundred dollars, payable one year after date, bearing interest at 
the rate of seven per cent per annum. The same being for money 
to be applied toward relieving the destitute persons in Wright 
county. Signed, T. C. Shapleigh, Chairman Board of Commis- 
sioners. Attest: Henry Kreis, Auditor." 

Pending the foregoing transaction, the governor had, upon 
appeal to him by some of the citizens, sent out eighteen sacks of 
flour and other articles of food, to meet the immediate require- 
ments of the distressed. But the difficulties of the county com- 
missioners did not end with the advance of money by Mr. Litch- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 221 

field. Flour in St. Paul was held at twelve dollars per barrel, and 
it was with great difficulty that a team was at last procured to 
take a load to Rockt'ord, the charge for transportation being two 
dollars per barrel. This seemingly extravagant price was, after 
all, a questionable speculation on the part of the carrier. Rock- 
ford was made tlu' distributing point, it being impossible to pro- 
ceed farther by team, but the settlers were glad of the provisions 
furnished, even though forced to carry them in some cases from 
fifteen to twenty miles upon tlieii- shoulders. Provisions, seeds 
and clotliing were also distributed from Monticello, and a few 
visited the cities and secured additional aid. Of the entire amount 
thus distributed, the county sustained an expense of about one 
thousand dollars. 

The so-called famine of 1867 in the western part of Wright 
county attracted wide attention. In 1866 there was a large influx 
of new settlers. Reports came that the railroad was to be built 
at once, and that employment would be given to all who desired 
it. Consequently many people came in, took forty acres of rail- 
road land, made small gardens and awaited the time when the 
railroad sliould be paying them wages. But operations were 
delayed, little work was done, there was no money to buy pro- 
visions, and suffering resulted. Much of the destitution was in 
Moores Prairie township (now Cokato and Stockholm), and in 
Victor and Middleville townships. 

From that day to this old settlers have disputed as to the 
extent of real need in that region. Investigators from other 
parts of the state claimed to have found many cases of actual 
suffering and discovered numerous persons on the verge of star- 
vation. Settlers in other parts of the county have been inclined 
to underestimate the privations which these new-comers experi- 
enced, and to brand the reports of suffering as sensational. But 
to those immigrants in a new and strange country, out of funds 
and provisions, and with little prospect of securing work, the 
need was very real. 

Measures were taken to relieve the suffering by extending 
county aid for the purchase of flour, corn meal, potatoes, seed 
corn and garden seed. A destitute person was required to secure 
from the town supervisors a certificate recounting the amount of 
property owned by him, and the number of people in his family, 
and containing the statement that the person named therein was 
destitute of means and in a suffering condition for lack of food. 
Upon presentation of these to the commissioners, county aid was 
obtainable. Between May 18 and 27, in the tovm of Mooers 
Prairie (now Cokato and Stockholm) alone, certificates were 
issued to thirty-three families embracing 151 persons. In 1865 
the census had shown only sixty-two persons in the township, but 
in the year following there had been many additions. 



222 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

In the summer of 1857 many of the new settlers raised good 
crops, some went to work on the railroad, and prosperity fol- 
lowed. The railroad reached Cokato village July 1, 1869. Since 
then Cokato has been a land of plenty. For many years wheat 
was raised almost exclusively on what had been wild prairie 
land. The farmers imported meat and butter from Minneapolis 
and other places. But the change gradually came, and the people 
are now engaged for the most part in diversified farming and 
dairying. 



CHAPTER XIII. 
COMING OF THE RAILROADS. 

Original Project — Minneapolis & St. Cloud — Land Grrant Roads 
— Bond Issue — Minnesota & Pacific — St. Paul & Pacific — Rail- 
road Reaches Wright County — St. Paul, Minneapolis & Mani- 
toba — Great Northern — "Soo Line" — Railroad Tax Fiasco — 
Minneapolis and Central Minnesota. 

Railroad projects for Wright county were set on foot as early 
as 1847, when Professor Increase A. Lapham, then a noted Wis- 
consin civil engineer, outlined a plan of two railroads, one from 
Lake Superior and the other from St. Paul, which were to meet 
on the Red River of tlie North, below where Fergus Falls now is. 
He made a map and studied the country with care. The three 
lines crossing Wright comity at the present time may be said 
in a general way to follow the route proposed by Professor 
Lapham, though nothing came of his plans at that time. 

The Minneapolis & St. Cloud Railroad Company was incorpo- 
rated by the legislature of 1855, to build a railroad from Minne- 
apolis to St. Cloud, also a main line by way of Mille Lacs, from 
St. Paul, in the direction of Lake Superior. It is upon this char- 
ter, which has been kept alive by vai-ious territorial and state, 
legislative acts, that the Great Northern now operates in Min- 
nesota. 

The Land Grant Roads- Before the admission of Minnesota 
as a state, many railroad companies had been chartered by the 
territorial legislature. The first recorded effort was by J. W. 
Selby, of St. Paul, who gave notive of the introduction of a bill 
on March 2, in the session of 1852, to incorporate the Lake Supe- 
rior & Mississippi River Railroad Company. It passed in the 
house but failed in the council. However, it actually became a 
law March 2, 1853, by act of a subsequent legislature. The second 
charter was granted to the Minnesota Western Railroad Company 
March 3, 1853, and the third to the Louisiana & Minnesota Rail- 
road March 5, 1853. Not less than twenty-seven railroad com- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 223 

paaies, including the Minneapolis & St. Cloud already mentioned, 
were authorized and chartered from 1853 to 1857. But there was 
no lite in any of tlieni until the lanti grants were made. 

On March 3, 1857, congress granted to the territory of Min- 
nesota lands amounting to 4,500,000 acres for the construction 
of a system of railways. This magnificent grant of lands caused 
the governor in 1857 to call au extra session of the legislature. 
An act was approved May 22, 1857, granting to four railroad 
corporations alternate sections designated by odd numbers, in a 
strip twelve miles in width, six miles on each side of the roads 
and their branches. 

These railroads were : The Miiniesota & Pacific, the Transit, 
the Root River & Southern Minnesota, and the Minneapolis & 
Cedar Valley. They became known as the land grant roads. 
Of these, the Minnesota & Pacific was to cross Wright county. 
This road was created by the land grant act. The others had 
been in existence previously. The four companies were to pay 
three per cent of their gross earnings in lieu of taxes and assess- 
ments, and the lands granted by congress were to be exempt 
from all taxation until sold and conveyanced by the company. 
The corporations were generally given ten years to construct 
their respective roads. The financial embarrassments of 1857 
retarded the progress of railroad building and it also became 
evident that the parties who had obtained the railway charters 
mentioned had neither the money nor the credit to complete these 
great higlnvays of internal improvement. 

The Bond Issue. The territory of Minnesota was admitted to 
statehood May 11, 1858. The constitution, ratified and adopted 
October 13, 1857, provided, in article 10, section 2, that "no cor- 
porations shall be formed under special acts except for municipal 
purposes," and it was still further provided that "the credit of 
the state shall never be given nor loaned in the aid of any indi- 
vidual, association or corporation." Notwithstanding the strong 
feeling worked up over the talk of getting bonds in the aid of 
railroads so badly needed in the state, the first act of the legis- 
lature, which was approved March 9, 1858, before the state was 
admitted, was to submit an amendment to the constitution, pro- 
viding for loaning the state's credit to the four land grant roads 
to the extent of .$1,250,000 each, or $5,000,000 in all, provided 
■$100,000 for every ten miles to be graded, and .$100,000 for every 
ten miles when the cars were running regularly. In return it 
required the roads to pledge the net income to pay the interest 
on the bonds and to convey the first 240 sections of land from the 
government grant to the state, and to deposit in first mortgage 
bonds an amount equal to the loan from the state for security. 
This occasioned much uneasiness among the most prudent of the 
citizens in the state ; and though public meetings were held 



224 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

denouncing the measure, it was, however, upon being submitted 
to the people, on the appointed day of a special election, April 15, 
1858, carried by a large majority, there being 25,023 in favor to 
6,733 against the amendment. Wright county voted almost unani- 
mously in favor of the proposition, for in the Big Woods railroads 
were greatly needed. The measure afterward became known as 
the Five Million Loan Bill. The state bonds were of i);l,000 
denomination, liad twenty-five years to run with interest at seven 
per cent, the railroad companies to pay the interest, and were 
to be delivered to the incorporators of the companies when ten 
miles of the road was graded and ready for the superstructure. 
Owing to technicalities and severe attacks on their validity, it 
was extremely difficult to market these bonds. Times were hard 
and the companies were unable to pay the required interest. 

On the assembling of the legislature in 1860 the interest on 
the state bonds having been defaulted, an amendment to the 
constitution was adopted and submitted to the people expunging 
the section sanctioned and approved by them, April 15, 1858, 
reserving only the state's rights. The electors of the state at 
the general election of November 6, 1860, with unanimity, by a 
vote of 27,023 to 733, approved of the amendment. 

Of subsequent developments, the Minnesota State Manual 
says : In 1887, a proposition setting aside the proceeds of 500,000 
acres for internal improvement lands in settlement of the repu- 
diated railroad bonds was by act of the legislature submitted to 
a vote at a special election called for June 12, and voted down 
by the decisive vote of 59,176 against, to 17,324 votes for, the 
proposition. This vote was largely owing to the fact that the 
state at that time had almost an entire new population that had 
come into the state long after the bonds were issued and had no 
definite knowledge of the history of the original indebtedness. 

In 1881 the legislature enacted a law providing for the adjust- 
ment of these bonds, and designating the judges of the supreme 
court as a commission to make the settlement. The constitu- 
tionality of this law was questioned, a writ of injunction was 
served, and the final determination of the supreme bench was that 
the law was unconstitutional, as also the amendment of 1860, 
prohibiting any settlement without a vote of the people. This 
latter act had previously been determined unconstitutional by the 
supreme court of the United States. An extra session of the 
legislature was called in October of the same year, when the final 
adjustment was authorized by act of the legislature, on a basis of 
fifty per cent of the amount nominally due, and, after a careful 
examination of all the claims presented, the bond question was 
forever set at rest by the issue of adjustment bonds, to the 
amount of $4,282,000, to parties entitled to receive them. For the 
payment of these bonds the proposition of setting aside the pro- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 225 

ceeds of the 500,000 acres of internal improvement lands was 
again submitted at the general election in 1881, and by a vote of 
82,435 votes in favor, and 24,526 votes against, the action of the 
legislature was ratified. 

The Minnesota & Pacific Railroad Company was to construct 
a railroad from Stillwater by way of St. Paul and St. Anthony 
to a point between the foot of Big Stone lake and the mouth of 
the Sioux Wood river, with a branch by way of St. Cloud and 
Crow Wing, to the navigable waters of the Red River of the 
North, at such a point as the legislature might determine. Breek- 
enridge was finally selected as the point between Big Stone lake 
and the Sioux Wood river. The line to Breckeuridge would 
cross Wright county, while the line to St. Cloud would be just 
across the river from this county. The company was also au- 
thorized to construct a railroad up the Mississippi valley from 
Winona to St. Paul, and also from a terminal point between the 
Big Stone lake and Sioux Wood river to any point on the Mis- 
souri river north of the fifty-fifth parallel of north latitude. Of 
the state bonds, this company received its share, having ready 
for superstructure nearly sixty-three miles of roadbed. This com- 
pany was organized May 22, 1857, with a capital stock of 
$5,000,000. It had the power to increase this to cover the full 
cost of its extension, but was not to consolidate with any railroad 
company owned or operated outside of the state without the 
consent of the Legislature. 

St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company. After the interest on 
the state bonds had been defaulted, and the bonds had been repu- 
diated, railroad matters in the state lay dormant for some two 
years. Then a new era of internal improvements commenced by 
the state making new grants of the old franchises and lands to 
other corporations. The first company to get the benefit of the 
new enactment were persons who had been interested in the Min- 
nesota & Pacific Railroad Company, which reappeared under the 
name of the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad Company. Among the 
incorporators were : Edmund Rice, Dwight Woodbury, Henry T. 
Welles, Leander Gordon, R. R. Nelson, E. A. C. Hatch, J. E. 
Thompson, William Lee and Richard Chute. In the act incor- 
porating the company, there was a proviso made by the state that 
certain portions of the road should be completed by specified 
dates. The company built a line from St. Paul to St. Anthony, 
and it was on this line on June 22, 1862, that the "William 
Crooks," the first locomotive in Minnesota with a train of cars, 
left St. Paul for St. Anthony. The other engine which was a 
part of the road's equipment was named the "Edmund Rice." 
Edmund Rice secured financial support in England, and the work 
continued. Slowly but steadily the St. Paul & Pacific Company 
laid its rails to the Red River of the North. 



226 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

In 1864 the line was completed to Elk River, thirty-four miles 
from St. Paul and across the river from Wright county. In that 
year the corporation was divided into two companies. The line 
from Elk River to East St. Cloud, seventy-four miles from St. 
Paul, was completed in 1866. This gave Wright county a rail- 
road lying only a few miles outside the course of its entire north- 
ern boundary line. 

When the separation was made in 1864, the proposed line 
from St. Paul to Breekenridge became the "First Division," 
under the presidency of George L. Becker. The right of way 
through the Big Woods was cut in the winter of 1866-67. The 
line was completed to Wayzota, in Hennepin county, twenty-five 
miles, in 1867; to Delano, in Wright county, in October, 1868; to 
Cokato, also in Wright county, in July, 1869 ; then beyond tlie 
county and to Willmar later in the year. Breekenridge, on the 
Red River of the North, two hundred and seventeen miles from 
St. Paul, was reached in October, 1871. 

During the financial panic of 1873, the St. Paul & Pacific 
Railroad Company became involved in a difficulty with its bond- 
holders, and Jessie P. Farley, of Dubuque, Iowa, was appointed 
receiver of its unfinished lines. It was at tliis period that James 
J. Hill came into the limelight. 

The St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railvi^ay Company. In 
1878, James J. Hill, who liad come to St. Paul from Canada in 
1856, and had been gradually working his way upward, formed 
a syndicate consisting of himself, George Stephen (afterward 
Lord Mount Steven), Donald Smith (afterward Lord Strathcona 
and Mount Royal), and Norman W. Kittson. The syndicate 
acquired all the bonds and stock of the bankrupt two divisions 
of the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad, the agreement with the Dutch 
committee of holders being made March 13, 1878. Foreclosure 
decrees were entered against the company iu May, 1879, and the 
St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba Railway Company formed with 
a capital stock of $15,000,000, and .$16,000,000 of first mortgage 
bonds were issued, there being at that time 565 miles of completed 
railroad, and 102 miles under construction. The lines of the 
company were leased on February 1, 1890, for 999 years, to the 
Great Northern Railway Company, which had been organized in 
1889, aud Imil taken over the cliarter of the Minneapolis & St. 
Cloud Railway Company. 

In the summer, or autumn, of 1878, a survey was made through 
the northern part of the county, passing through the villages of 
Clearwater and Montieello. The people along the route were 
jubilant in anticipation of its early construction, but the project 
was abandoned, and their hopes unrealized. Tims matters re- 
mained until the winter of 1880-81, when another survey was 
undertaken, following the general course of the former, and com- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 227 

monly called Rosser survey. Other routes were also surveyed, 
including one through Butt'alo. Propositions were submitted, aid 
extended from the towns of Monticello and Clearwater, and dur- 
ing the summer of 1881, the road graded as far as the latter 
village. Track laying began, from Minneapolis west, early in 
the season. 

This line of railway up the west side of the Mississippi, pass- 
ing through Wright county, and sometimes known as the Osseo 
branch, was constructed by the St. Paul, Minneapolis & Manitoba 
Railway Company, under the charter of the Minneapolis & North- 
western Railway Company. It was built as far as Clearwater in 
Januarj^ 1882, and completed to St. Cloud and opened for opera- 
tion December 17, 1882, the same date as the branch from St. 
Cloud to Milaca and Hinckley. 

The "Sod" Line. The Minneapolis, St. Paul & Sault Ste. 
Marie Railway Company — popularly known as the "Soo Line" 
— was organized and incorporated in the year 1884, under the 
laws of the State of Wisconsin. Diu-ing the years 1884-1887, lines 
were constructed and operated between Minneapolis and Sault 
Ste. Marie, Mich., a distance of 494 miles. 

A line consisting of 288 miles between Minneapolis, Minn., 
and Boynton, N. D., was constructed in years 1886-1887. 

In 1888, the Soo Line began to branch out slowly, but grad- 
ually, and fast became a powerful factor in the development of 
the Northwest. The mileage of the company in 1890 was 782. 

Three years later, in 1893, Portal, N. D., situated on the boun- 
dary between North Dakota and Canada, was reached, and a 
junction formed with the Canadian Pacific. 

By 1900 the company owned 1,278 miles of road, to which 108 
miles were added in 1902, and forty more in 1903. The year 
following the Winnipeg line was completed, from Glenwood, 
Minn., to Emerson, Man., a distance of 265 miles. The construc- 
tion in 1905 was forty miles, largely in North Dakota, and in 
1906 it was 149 miles. In 1907 and 1908 the Brooten-Duluth 
line was completed, being the second of its lines to traverse parts 
of Stearns county. The next year the entire system of the Wis- 
consin Central Railway, with a mileage of 1,412, was built, and 
is known as the Chicago Division. At the present time the "Soo" 
owns or controls 3,887 miles of railroad. 

The first line constructed through Minnesota, from the Twin 
Cities to North Dakota was in operation in Wright county in 1886. 

The Brooten-Duluth branch, begun in 1907, and completed in 
1909, gave the central and western part of the county an addi- 
tional outlet both to the Twin Cities and to Lake Superior. The 
line was completed from Brooten to the crossing of the Mississippi 
river, east of Bowlus in Morrison county, in 1907 ; from the cross- 
ing to Moose Lake, Carlton county, in 1908; and to Duluth in 1909. 



228 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

The road is a consolidation of the Minneapolis & Pacific Rail- 
way Company, organized under the general laws of Minnesota in 
1884, the Minneapolis & St. Croix Railway Company organized 
in 1885 under the Minnesota general incorporation laws, the Aber- 
deen, Bismarck & Northwestern Railroad Company organized 
under the general laws of the Territory of Dakota, the Menominee 
& Sault Ste. Marie Railway Company organized under the laws 
of Michigan, and the Minneapolis, Sault Ste. Marie & Atlantic 
Railway Company organized under the laws of Wisconsin, Sep- 
tember 12, 1883. The last two companies were consolidated in 
1886. William D. Washburn and other capitalists of Minneapolis 
were the principal financiers of the Minneapolis, Sault Ste. Marie 
& Atlantic Railway Company. 

The "Soo" line has 707.02 miles east of Minneapolis; 2,214.59 
west of Minneapolis; and a Chicago division (Wisconsin Central) 
of 1,017.44 miles, making a total mileage of 3,939.05. 

Railroad Tax Fiasco. One of the roads which benefited 
greatly by the land grants was the St. Paul and Pacific Railroad 
Company. By the line located through the southern part of this 
county, and the one just avoiding its northern border, a large 
acreage was secured within the county limits, the grant embrac- 
ing the odd-numbered sections within a limit of six miles on each 
side of the lines. This, with the large amount embraced in the 
lands afterward taken under the homestead law, reduced the area 
taxable by the county to a mere fraction, and in 1867, through 
some misinterpretation of the terms of the land grant, an effort 
was made to tax the railroad lands within the county limits, the 
same as ordinary non-resident lands. They were, therefore, 
placed on the assessment rolls, returned, and advertised for sale 
for non-payment of taxes ; but the sale was prevented by an 
injunction served by the railroad company upon the county audi- 
tor and treasurer. Litigation followed, the case coming before 
the June term of the District court, and resulting in a decision in 
favor of the company. In this contest, H. R. Bigelow appeared 
for the railroad, and H. L. Gordon for the county. The case was 
carried to the Supreme court, by appeal, and the action of the 
lower tribunal confirmed. It was, on the whole, a most unfor- 
tunate affair, the most serious aspect of which was not the imme- 
diate expense incurred in the suits. By returning a large assess- 
ment on real estate, a corresponding tax was required by the 
state, which, as it was never collected in the county, was never 
paid into the state treasury, and the state auditor's books long 
showed a nominal indebtedness from Wright count.y. 

The Minneapolis & Central Minnesota Railway Company has 
surveyed a line from Minneapolis, via Champlin, Monticello, Kim- 
ball Prairie, Fair Haven and Maine Prairie, to St. Cloud. The 
right of way has been secured for practically the entire distance, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 229 

and consitlerable preparatory work has been done at the southern 
end as far as Clianiplin. Late in the fall of 1914, work was begun 
on the section from St. Cloud to Kimball Prairie, and grading 
pushed as rapidly as possible until freezing weather forced a sus- 
pension of operations. It is the intention of the company to 
resume work as early in the spring of 1915 as the frost is suffi- 
ciently out of the ground to permit the use of scrapers, and push 
it rapidly forward to completion. The line passes through one 
of the richest and best settled parts of the state, and will be of 
great advantage to the people along the route. The power used 
will be gasoline motors, at least for the present, though at a later 
date electricity may be substituted. 



CHAPTER XIV. 
WRIGHT COUNTY HORTICULTURE. 

Original Conditions — Wild Fruit and Nuts — Pioneer Nurserymen 
— Difficulties Encountered — Progress Made — Some Valuable 
Advice — Wright County Members of the Minnesota State Hor- 
ticultural Society — Exhibitions and Prizes — Varieties Best 
Adapted to Tliis County— Revised by W. H. Eddy. 

Tlie larger part of Wright county was originally covered with 
a vast growth of timber, hard-woods of all varieties common to 
this region and climate. This great forest was broken here and 
there by splendid prairies, natural meadow lands, marshes, lakes 
and watercourses. 

The natural food supply of fruits, nuts, berries and saps was 
most abundant, and flowers and shrubs kept the landscape bril- 
liant with color from early spring until late autumn. Tlie shell- 
bark hickory, the black-walnut, the butternut and the hazelnuts 
yielded nuts in abundance, the hard-maple produced sap for the 
making of hundreds of tons of maple sugar, and barks, herbs and 
roots furnished the Indian with the ingredients for his simple 
medicines and compounds. Cranberries grew in the marshes in 
great abundance, and were gathered by the Indians to sell in St. 
Paul and St. Anthony, long before the white people had settled 
in this county. The ginseng growing among the trees also proved 
a welcome source of wealth in the early days. 

When the early settlers first came into this county it was be- 
lieved that no cultivated fruit would ever grow here, and that 
such fruits as the apple, pear and plum, which in the eastern 
states they had been accustomed to picking in their back yards, 
would now have to be obtained, if used at all, from far distant 
points at heavy transportation expense. The weather conditions 



230 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

were such that the raising of fruit iu Wright couuty seemed for- 
ever out of the question. 

The pioneers found liere, however, the wild apple, the wild 
grape, the black currant, the wild plum, the wild strawberry, the 
smooth and prickly gooseberry, the dwarf June berry, the sanji 
cherry, the choke cherry, the Buffalo berry and the high bush 
cranberry ; and as the trees were cut off, the red and black rasp- 
berry, and high bush blackberry increased in profusion. 

The native apple was fortunately a good keeper that could be 
stored and used for a considerable time into the winter; the largest 
and best flavored made passable sauce, and perhaps as fine a jelly 
as can be produced from any fruit whatever. The trees were 
found on the edges of the meadows. The wild grape was as abun- 
dant then as it is today, and while very small both in bunch and 
in berry, was found in sufficient quantity to be used largely in 
marmalades, jellies and home-made wines. The wild plum was 
undoubtedly the best of the native fruits, some select kinds having 
a flavor surpassed by few of the stone fruits of any climate. It 
was very plentiful among the thickets at the edge of the timber, 
and along the water courses generally. It was the first of the 
native fruits to enter the cultivated lists, and through selection 
and hybridization it has beconu' the basis of the cultivated varie- 
ties of the north Mississippi valley. The wild strawberry was 
abundant in favorable seasons, and while rather soft and difficult 
to pick, was of such excellent flavor as to be perhaps the highest 
prized of all the native small fruits. The wild gooseberry, both 
the smooth and prickly form, was found in considerable abun- 
dance throughout the country. A few thrifty farmers trans- 
planted some of these fruits to their gardens. 

For many years fruit suitable for eating was considered a lux- 
ury to be enjoyed only by people of means. Gradually, liowever, 
the heavy timber was cleared oft', and soil and climate conditions 
changed somewhat. But the country was new, nmch wild land 
unsubdued, and the elinuite still luicongenial to fruit trees and 
varieties from other jiarts of the country not yet adapted. To 
this must be added that the cultural methods of the east were 
unsuited for the healthy development of fruit trees in the North- 
west. New methods of cidture had to be developed by our pio- 
neers. Much time and energy were lost, and accordingly many 
years passed by before any permanent results were achieved in 
horticulture in the state. Western horticulture was given a new 
impetus by the United States Department of Agriculture with the 
introduction of Russian varieties of apples and other fruits to our 
country. It was confidently hoped that some varieties might be 
found among tlie many thus introduct'd that coidd be successfully 
grown in the Northwestern States. In the meantime, a dozen 
horticultural pioneers banded together and started the now great 



HISTORY OB^ WRIGHT COUNTY 231 

Minnesota State Horticultural Society in 1866 for their mutual 
assistance and exchange of iileas and experiences. They went to 
work with great enthusiasm to try these Russian importations. 
Although their high expectations were not realized, they found 
at least some varieties that were considered hardy enough for our 
northern country. These trees were propagated as rapidly as 
possible, but it took some years before a sufficient supply was on 
hand for the trade of the more northern counties. At this time, 
too, a few varieties of hardy crabapples had been originated, 
which could safely be planted. The varieties of apples were the 
Duchess, Tetofsky and Transparent; and of crabs, the Transcen- 
dent, Siberian and Hyslop. Now we had at least a few apples 
that could be tried, but we had no cultivated plums, as all eastern 
and European varieties failed entirely. What was to be done? 
Our own native varieties came to the rescue. The woods of Iowa, 
Wisconsin and Minnesota were searched for the best native kinds 
and brought under cultivation. The work was successful, and 
many varieties were now propagated for the trade. As for culti- 
vated grapes and other small fruits, they were still obtained from 
the east. 

From 1868 on, a little more attention was paid to fruit growing. 
Farmers and townspeople, seeing the possibility of at least being 
able to raise crabapples, freely bought from the agents who now 
came annuall.y to solicit orders for stock, and the more so, when 
in 1869 or 1870 trees bearing large apples were offered for sale. 
Nurserymen from the southern counties did quite a flourishing 
business in Wright and other central counties at that time. The 
varieties that were generally to be had were the Tetofsky, Duchess 
and Transparent apples, and the Transcendent, Hyslop and Sibe- 
rian crabs. But horticulture in Wright county, as elsewhere, had 
its drawbacks; the first venture of growing apples was on the 
whole not quite successful. For, although some crabs and apples 
bore well for a few years, blight and other diseases now appeared 
all over the coiuity and ruined many good trees. This was so 
much the worse, as the owners did not know what to do to save 
their trees. It was but natural that quite a number of farmers 
became discouraged and would not buy and plant any more fruit 
trees. Yet there were always some people in the county who kept 
right on trying against all odds. This setback lasted for a long 
time and not much progress was made in fruit-raising in Wright 
and surrounding counties for the first ten years. This may be 
seen from a report written by J. I. Salter of St. Cloud on June 21, 
1875, to C. Y. Lacy, secretary of the Minnesota State Horticultural 
Society. After speaking about the injury done to trees from the 
cold winter, he gives the following fruit list for the central coun- 
ties of the state : Apples, Duchess ; crabs, Transcendent and 
Hyslop; raspberries, Philadelphia, Brinckle's Orange and Doo- 



232 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

little ; blackberries, Kittatinny and Wilson ; strawberries, Wilson 's 
Albany, Jucunda, Charles Downing and Hovey's Seedling. With 
the exception of the apples and crabs, few fruits mentioned by 
Mr. Salter are now grown. He does not mention any currants 
and grapes, although they were grown at least to some extent in 
Wright and neighboring counties. 

One of the pioneer nursery salesmen, who labored long and 
earnestly to promote the culture of fruit in this county and who 
presented a striking contrast to the methods of many other nur- 
sery agents of that time, was Frank Shanley, who, from 1874 to 
1880, sold the Transcendent, Hyslop and Siberian varieties. Some 
of these trees flourished and gave delight to their owners, but 
many did not survive. It was believed, however, that these varie- 
ties represented the height of apple-growing in the county, and 
that these were the most suitable fruit trees that could be found 
for Wright county soil and climate. 

In the meantime, however, Peter M. Gideon, of Lake Minne- 
tonka, justly called the father of the Minnesota apple industry, 
had been pursuing his long and patient efforts in originating 
seedling apples suitable to growing in Minnesota. Among these 
varieties were the Wealthy, now at the head of the list for com- 
mercial planting in Minnesota, and the Peter, an apple similar 
in color and quality to the Wealthy. Through the work of Mr. 
Gideon it became apparent to the farmers that there were im- 
portant lessons to be learned if they were to make the apple a 
staple crop in Wright county. Trees must be grown that were 
adapted to the soil and climate conditions, among the necessities 
being hardness of tree, strong constitutionality to resist blight 
and sun scald and endure the sudden and severe changes of 
winter, and the ability to mature in time to avoid the early frosts. 

The progress of horticulture in Wright county from 1875 to 
1893 was slowly but steadily advancing. One of the main draw- 
backs was the many unscrupulous agents who palmed off their 
worthless stock on the unsuspecting farmers. These agents, who 
never saw the inside of a nursery and knew nothing about fruit 
trees, utilized their chances for making money. They bought 
their trees from eastern nurseries in quantities and paid perhaps 
ten cents a tree, but often sold them to the farmers for one dollar 
apiece. It would not have been so bad had the trees grown and 
borne fruit, but being of varieties not at all adapted to our con- 
ditions, they lingered for two or three years and then died. The 
people were simply cheated and humbugged by these sharps, 
called agents. While some still kept on planting apple trees, 
many determined not to throw any more money away uselessly 
on nursery stock. Another reason why we did not advance as 
fast as was desirable was due to the fact that our southern nurs- 
eries, on whom we were dependent for stock, made but little 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 233 

progress. It takes years to originate and test fruits adapted to 
our state. Witli the arrival, however, of our famous Wealthy 
and some very good crabs as the Whitney, real and lasting prog- 
ress was being made in horticulture. These ajjples were propa- 
gated as fast as possible and planted in almost every county of 
the state. A few years later found these apples in many places 
in the county, doing well and bearing excellent fruit. The 
farmers would point with pride to their tine, healthy trees with 
bent-down branches full of luscious apples. These two varieties 
have done much in removing the old indiiiference and in making 
horticulture more popular in our county. However, they were 
not the only varieties which were sent out during this period; 
many more Avere originated and introduced by our experimenters, 
but none of them ever enjoyed the popularity of our W^ealthy. 
This apple, as mentioned, was originated by Peter Gideon at Lake 
Minnetonka and is now grown east and west, from the Atlantic 
to the Pacific ocean. It has become a favorite with everj' fruit 
grower, and famous for its excellent qualities and has merited 
the distinction of being called the "Jonathan of the North." 

But man is never satisfied, nor is the horticulturist. Having 
been successful to some extent, he tried his hand in new experi- 
ments, and for that a good opportunity was offered to him in 
testing new fruits. The United States Department of Agricul- 
ture thought it well to try some more Russian varieties of fruits 
for our middle west. So in 1882 Professor Budd, of Ames, Iowa, 
made a trip of exploration into the interior of Russia, where the 
climate is more severe than in Minnesota. He imported many 
varieties of apples, pears, plums and cherries, which were all 
tested in the North Central States. Nurserymen and many mem- 
bers of our Horticultural Society were now in their full glory, 
trying and testing these importations to find some new varieties 
of fruits for the state, and although their expectations were not 
realized fully, yet quite a number of apples were found hardy 
enough for Minnesota, though in other respects they were not 
just what was wanted. The pears, plums, cherries and many 
apples did not find the climate of Minnesota congenial for their 
successful growth. The fruit list for Minnesota was now largely 
increased and in a few years these new varieties found their way 
into Wright county and were successfully grown in many towns. 

To show what was and could be grown in Wright county at 
the close of the year 1893, it is only necessary to mention some 
of the varieties which were recommended for planting in the 
southern half of the state by the Minnesota Horticultural Society. 
Of apples we had the Wealthy, Duchess, Hibernal, Tetofsky, Long- 
field, Christmas, Borovinka, Okabena, Peerless and Patten's 
Greening. Of crabs and hybrids were mentioned : Virginia, 
Martha, Early Strawberry, Whitney, Beecher's Sweet and Ar- 



234 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

lington. Of plums : Desota, Rollingstone, Forest Garden, Wolf, 
Weaver Oeheeda and Cheney. A similar large number of varie- 
ties of the smaller fruits were given. It is true, some of the 
above sorts were only considered hardy enough for the more 
southern counties, but all were tried even as far north as Stearns 
county, which is further north than Wright county, and found 
to be as hardy as any others that are successfully grown here. 

The greatest progress in horticulture has been made in Wright 
county since 1893, and especially since 1899. Many causes may 
be advanced for its long strides achieved in fruit culture. One 
of the main reasons was the educational work of the Minnesota 
Horticultural Society carried on throughout the state. Before 
1893 it scarcely had more than 300 members any given year, but 
from now on it made a most wonderful progress in its member- 
ship, and in 1914 more than 3,000 active horticulturists of the 
state belonged to this society. It is now the largest horticultural 
society in the United States. From the very beginning its mem- 
bers worked hard to test all the different varieties of fruits, 
foreign and native, for the purpose of finding out suitable sorts 
that could be safely planted in Minnesota. They sowed seeds 
from fruit trees annually to originate new hardy sorts and en- 
couraged everyone else to do the same, so that we might originate 
our own pomology which we could not possibly get from other 
states. Their work was crowned with wonderful success, not 
only in introducing many sorts from foreign lands but also in 
originating new varieties adapted to our county and state. It is 
only necessary to mention such native seedlings now grown in 
Wright county as the Wealthy, Okabena, Peerless, Patten's Green- 
ing and many other sorts not so well known. 

The people of Wright county, and for that matter of the state, 
were, on account of past failures in fruit-growing, to a great 
extent still in a mood of indifference. It now became necessary 
to educate the public in this art, to eliminate failures in the 
future as much as possible, to show the people in a practical way 
the possibility of more extensive fruit-growing in the state and 
to arouse a general interest for renewed eft'orts. There were 
many persuasive means, foremost being our State Fair. To most 
people who go there it is a revelation in horticulture, an exhibi- 
tion of horticultural success never expected to be seen in Minne- 
sota. Many times the visitors from all over the state could be 
noticed glancing over the long tables in admiration and saying, 
"Is it possible that these fine apples have all been grown in 
Minnesota?" Usiially they go home with the mental resolve to 
try again. Next in importance come the county fairs. They, 
too, are educating the masses and create new interest in horti- 
culture. For the many years of its existence the Minnesota Hor- 
ticultural Society has spread the gospel of horticulture in the 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 235 

state by its many publications, its reliable iuformation on horti- 
cultural topics aud its annual meetings. The influence of this 
society is now well recognized when one visits the many towns 
and farms and notices the many fruit trees or orchards bearing 
an abundance of luscious fruit. Finally, there is another factor 
that works well for the advancement of horticulture in our 
county. We mean the lecture corps which visits the principal 
towns and cities in our state. To this belong practical men who 
not only lecture on agricultural topics but also make it a point 
to instruct our farmers how to grow fruits successfully. All 
these means unite in producing the one desired effect — to edu- 
cate our people in the art of successful fruit-growing in our 
county, and we may say that this has been wonderfully accom- 
plished. Our people have now not only a reliable fruit list, but 
know how to grow these fruits to perfection. It is compara- 
tively but a few years ago that there was not an apple grown in 
Wright county; it was not even thought possible, and now the 
crop is both large and important. 

Herewith is appended the list of fruits which was adopted 
by the Minnesota State Horticultural Society December 3, 1914, 
for the guidance of planters : 

Apples. Of the first degree of hardiness : Duchess, Hibernal, 
Patten's Greening, Okabena. Of the second degree of hardiness: 
Wealthy, Malinda, Anisim, Iowa Iieauty, Lowland Raspberry, 
Jewell's Winter, ]\Iilwauke(\ Valuable in some locations: Wolf 
River, Yellow Transparent, Longfield, Northwestern Greening, 
Tetofsky, Peerless. Most profitable varieties for commercial 
planting in Minnesota: Wealthy, Duchess, Patten's Greening, 
Okabena, Anisim. Recommended for top-working on hardy 
stocks: Wealthy, Malinda, N. W. Greening, Stayman's Winesap, 
Grimes' Golden, Milwaukee, Mcintosh. Varieties for trial: East- 
man, Evelyn, Windsor Chief, Gilbert. 

Crabs and Hybrids. For general cultivation : Florence, Whit- 
ney, Early Strawberry, Sweet Russet, Transcendent. Varieties 
for trial : Faribault, Dartt, Success. 

Plums and Hybrid Plums. For general cultivation : De Sota, 
Forest Garden, Wolf (freestone), Wyant, Stoddard, Terry. Most 
promising for trial : Compass Cherry, Hanska, Opata, Sapa. 

Grapes. First degree of hardiness : Beta, Janesville. Second 
degree of hardiness: Moore's Early, Campbell's Early, Brighton, 
Delaware, Worden, Concord, Moore's Diamond, Wyoming Red. 

Raspberries. Red varieties : King, Turner, Miller, Loudon, 
Minnetonka Ironclad, Sunbeam. Black and purple varieties : 
Palmer, Gregg, Older, Columbian, Cumberland. 

Blackberries. Ancient Briton, Snyder, Eldorado. 

Currants. White Grape, Victoria, Long Bunch Holland. Po- 
mona, Red Cross, Perfection, London Market. 



236 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Gooseberries. Hovightou, Downing, Champion, Pearl, Carrie. 

Strawberries. Perfect varieties : Bederwood, Enhance, Lovett, 
Splendid, Glen-Mary, Clyde, Senator Dnnlap. Imperfect varie- 
ties : Crescent, Warfield, Haverland, Marie. Everbearing varie- 
ties for trial : Progressive, Superb, American. 

Native Fruits. Valuable for trial : Dwarf Juneberry, Sand 
Cherry, Buffalo Berry, High Bush Cranberry. 

Nut Fruits. Shellbark Hickory, Black Walnut, Butternut. 

Considerable interest has been taken in growing evergreens 
from seed. This is not so easy to accomplish as it may appear 
to many. Even with the closest attention to particulars, failures 
are unavoidable. In order that the seed shall sprout it is neces- 
sary to give it forest conditions. For that purpose something like 
an arbor is built over the seedbed, with laths excluding about 
half of the sunlight. On the well-prepared bed the seed may 
be sown broadcast or in rows. The seed is rolled down lightly 
and covered with fine sand one-fourth of an inch or with moist 
sawdust. The bed is now well watered and covered with clean 
hay or straw. The bed must never get dry. In three or four 
weeks the seed comes up and the cover is removed. The young 
plants should not get too much water or disease will set in and 
all may damp off. To avoid loss, weeding every week or ten days 
is necessary. In the fall the seedlings are covered with straw 
for protection during the first winter. When the plants are two 
or three years old they are ready for forest or grove planting. 
The best evergreens are the White, Norway, Scotch and Bull 
Pines ; the Norway, White, and Colorado blue spruces ; the Doug- 
las and Balsam firs, the European Larch, and the White and Red 
Cedar. All pines do better on sandy land and all spruces do 
better on good fertile soil if it is not too dry. For Wright county 
we would recommend the Scotch pine for a windbreak, as it is 
one of the fastest growers. If two or three rows of them are 
planted with the trees only six feet apart, they will give entire 
satisfaction. 

For lawns we would suggest to plant as single specimens, the 
Colorado blue or White spruce, the White pine and the Douglas fir. 

At the present time we do not know what Wright county has 
in store for us ; we do not realize its possibilities in fruit growing 
as yet. But Wright county, with its numerous lakes, with its 
open prairies and extensive forests, is one of the best adapted 
counties in Minnesota for horticulture. As it is now one of the 
foremost dairying counties, so it will bo one of the best fruit- 
growing counties in the state. Since we have accomplished so 
much in a few years, we may confidently and reasonably expect to 
accomplish more in the time to come. There is no doubt that we 
have the land for it. Are you skeptical? Walk out into the 
woods ; there you will find native varieties of all kinds : straw- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 237 

berries, raspberries, blackberries, gooseberries, cherries, thorn- 
apples, hazelnuts, grapevines and many others. Now all these 
native fruits would not grow there if the soil were not atlapted 
to their requirements. As for quality, it is a law of nature that 
fruits grown at their northern limits are better than the same 
fruits grown further south. This is why our Minnesota straw- 
berries, for instance, are much better than those from Louisiana. 
"But you cannot change the cold winters, which are so injurious 
to our fruits," it is said. Yes, this is very true, we cannot change 
the cold winters, but we can change the fruits so they will stand 
the winters. This is just the very thing that is now being done 
at the Minnesota State Fruit Breeding Farm at Zumbra Heights 
near Lake Miunetonka. And how is this to be accomplished? 
By trying to combine the hardiness of our native fruits with the 
good qualities of the cultivated varieties. Take, for instance, 
the plum. The flowers of the wild plum from the woods are 
crossed by hand with the pollen from a California or a Japanese 
plum. The resulting seeds contain now the qualities of both 
plums, hardiness to stand our winters and quality to suit our 
taste. By planting these seeds we may obtain what we want, a 
good hardy plum tree that will stand our winters and bear ex- 
cellent plums akin either to the California or Japanese plum. 
But many trials are necessary to find one plum in which both 
of these qualities are dominant. In this manner the work of 
fruit-breeding is carried on with all other fruits. Good results 
have already been obtained, although the work of fruit-breeding 
has only been carried on for six years. There are now originated 
new strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, grapes and plums. 
There are now thousands of hybrid trees and plants growing at 
the Fruit Breeding Farm; all are tried and only the few good 
ones will be propagated and sent out to the trial stations for their 
final trial before they are recommended for general planting in 
the state. Should this work be carried on for a sufficient number 
of years, it is very probable that Minnesota will be able to grow 
some of the choicest fruits in the United States. 

The following suggestions to the horticulturist are from the 
pen of Father John B. Katzner, 0. S. B., of St. John's University, 
who conducts the Experiment Station at Collegeville : 

The location of an orchard is of the greatest importance. The 
best place is the northeast slope of a hill. If not available, a 
northern or an eastern slope is all right. Should there be no hill 
close to the house a piece of level ground about the premises may 
be selected. The worst location for an orchard is a southern or 
western slope of a hill and low ground. Trees need water at all 
times and will not succeed on a dry hillside, nor can they bear 
wet feet in low places, where, too, they are exposed to all the 
early and late frosts and the greater difference of temperature 



238 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

between day and night. The orchard or trees in a farmer's 
garden need sufficient air drainage and at the same time protec- 
tion from the strong winds and cold blasts of winter, hence a 
good partial wind-break is much to be desired. We should aim 
to give the trees the best location available and sufficient pro- 
tection. 

The best soil is black loam with a clay subsoil of an open 
texture. The clay should contain about 20 to 30 per cent of sand, 
so that the water can percolate right down deep. Should the 
clay be so stiff that no water would go through it, but rather 
accumulate on top of the impervious clay, the trees would suffer 
from too much water. Some subsoils consist of a hardpan and 
will not do for trees. The hardpan should first be broken up 
by a charge of dynamite before the trees are planted on this soil. 
Some subsoils are rather sandy but contain some clay; this may 
make a fairly good location. Avoid all subsoils of pure sand and 
gravel ,for these soils hold no water, it goes right through as fast 
as it falls. If you must use such a soil, plow the top soil together 
in high reaches twenty feet wide. This may be the only way for 
you to grow apples on such a soil. 

The land for an orchard should have been in cultivation for 
a few years and its wild nature subdued. If you have a piece of 
sod land that would be handy for an orchard, break it up and 
crop it for two years, then plow it in the fall and make ready for 
planting in the spring. Order your trees in the fall and heel 
them in over winter. On a dry place dig a slanting hole two 
feet deep for the roots, tapering to six inches for the tops. Lay 
the trees in and put some soil on and between the roots. On 
these trees you may lay some more. When the trees are all in 
and the roots covered a little with ground, place some pieces of 
boards crosswise over the entire trees and fill in the hole with 
ground and somewhat higher, so that no water will stay there. 
It is good to put some straw on it for protection, which ought to 
be removed early in the spring. The trees will come out of their 
winter quarters in the very best coudition for planting and are 
far ahead of those ordered in the spring. Plant the trees twenty 
feet apart in rows running north and south and the rows should 
be twenty-five feet apart. If many trees are to be planted, plow 
crosswise the proper distance apart, and at the point of inter- 
section dig the holes large and wide enough for the roots. If 
only a few trees are to be planted the holes may be made with 
the shovel just as needed for planting, that the ground will not 
dry out. It is not impossible to plant trees in sod. On steep 
hillsides trees should be planted in sod to prevent washouts by 
heavy rains. Dig up the soil the size of a wagonwheel, spade 
the ground deep, make the hole in the centre and plant your tree. 
Set the trees about four inches deeper than they stood in the 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 239 

nursery, cut off any bi'okcn root in sucli a way that tlie cut looks 
downward. Spread out the roots the way they grew and worK 
the top soil anioug them. Fill in gi-adually till the roots are 
covered about four or five inches deep, then firm the ground 
solid with your boots and weiglit. The last two or three inches 
of soil are kept loose. The groiuul shoidd dish toward the trees 
to hold the water from the rains. No subsoil and no nuuuire are 
used for planting, nor is water necessary, when the ground is 
reasoiuibly moist; should the ground be dry, then of coui'se water 
would have to be applied. 

After planting, the tops should be pruned. Leave only four 
strong branches six inches long. The leader, too, should be cut 
back to grow a low-topped tree, anil this is of great ailvantage 
later. Trees coming from the nursery in the spring should be 
put in water over night or buried in moist ground for two days 
before planting. Trees shoukl be cultivated often ; should this 
be impossible, put a mulch of straw about them to keep the 
groiuid cool and moist. In planting, the trees should be well 
inclined towards the one o'clock sun, or should be staked so that 
they will not lean over to the northeast from the winds and get 
sunscalded. It is well to put on a wooden veneer or any other 
shade to protect the trees from the sun, mice and rabbits at all 
times. In the fall the trees may be whitewashed up to the 
branches. It is well to look over your trees sometimes, for bugs 
and worms might get in their work. 

This method of planting, which should be done in early spring, 
may be reconnnended for all fruit trees. For plums and their 
hybrids, if not originated from the sand cherry, we would sug- 
gest to use a richer and moister soil for their location. If it be 
a little sandy it would not hurt. For plums a somewhat lower 
ground may be used, provided it is not too wet and is free from 
late frosts, for plums flower early. Cherries delight in high sandy 
locations, but the ground should be fertile. Nothing more need 
be said about cherries, as we have no variety sufficiently hardy 
in our county. 

Grapes prefer a sunny location, a south slope of a hill is 
the best and should be well protected from the cold north and 
southwest winds. Only in such locations do they develop to 
perfection. They require a fertile but somewhat sandy, gravelly 
soil. Their propagation is quite simple. While fruit trees must 
be grafted, it is only necessary for the grape to cut off a well- 
grown piece of the vine from last year's growth about ten inches 
long, and stick it in the sandy soil up to the last bud. As a rule, 
many such cuttings will grow and make nice plants by fall. Pro- 
tect them over winter and in spring they may be transplanted in 
the vineyard or garden. The vines should be set apart at least 
eight feet each way. The grapevines should be pruned, laid down 



240 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

every fall and covered with ground for protection over winter. 
The first fall they should be cut back to two buds, the second 
fall to one foot above ground. The third year they will begin 
to bear. In the fall one shoot, or, if the vine is strong, two shoots 
may be cut back to three good buds, and all other shoots cut 
away entirely. Do this pruning every year and always in the 
fall. As the vines grow stronger more bearing wood may be left 
on, but remember that at least nine-tenths of the wood grown 
last season ought to be cut away, if you desire nice bunches with 
large berries. A trellis should be built for the vines, to which 
they are tied in the spring. A fence with three barbless wires 
set up along the rows of grapevines will do. 

Raspberries and blackberries may be propagated by suckers 
or root divisions. Currants and gooseberries are generally grown 
from cuttings just like the grapevines. But the cuttings are made 
as soon as the leaves drop off about the middle of August, and 
planted at once. They will be rooted by late fall and may be 
transplanted next spring or better grown another year. They 
should be planted four feet apart in rows and the rows six feet 
apart. Mulching is a good thing for them. Raspberries and 
blackberries should be laid down and covered. The land may 
be of a sandy nature but rich in plant food. 

Strawberry plants should always be obtained from nursery 
men, unless you want to grow them yourself from plants that 
were never allowed to bear fruit. The land for strawberries 
should be made extra rich, as they are great feeders. They prefer 
a sandy loam. The rows should be about four feet apart and 
the plants in the row about eighteen inches. Take care to spread 
out the roots well in planting, which may be done with a spade, 
and just so deep that the crown of the plant is on a level with 
the ground. Cultivate frequently, but do not allow them to bear 
the first season. When the runners appear, spread them out so 
that the new plants will grow about six inches apart. Keep the 
walk between the rows free from plants and weeds. The path 
should be at least a foot wide. Late in the fall the strawberry 
beds are to be covered with clean straw or marsh hay. In the 
spring this cover is raked off and partly left in the paths. The 
plants will now grow vigorously, bloom and ripen lots of fruit 
by the end of June. Strawberries need much water just when 
the berries are about ripening. Should it not rain frequently, 
water must be applied rather freely. After the berries are picked, 
the bed is mowed, and the leaves removed and burned. Straw- 
berries may bear a second year. For that purpose plow and 
harrow between the rows, leaving of the old bed only a strip one 
foot wide. New runners will soon grow new plants and the bed 
may be treated as the year before. After the second year it is 
better to plant a new bed. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 241 

There are many people in the county who like to experiment 
a little for themselves in growing fruit trees from seed. Some 
have already tried it, but for the greater part the results are not 
satisfactory, for the new fruits do not come true from the seed. 
As a rule they revert back to some of their worthless ancestors. 
But many times very good fruits may be grown that way and 
this work should be encouraged. The seeds should be taken from 
the finest, well-colored and best apples of its kind grown in 
Wright eount.v. Only the most perfect seeds should be planted 
one and a half inches deep in October. They will come n\) in the 
spring. When the little trees have grown five or six leaves, they 
should be transplanted at least a foot apart in rows and culti- 
vated. Those that grow a straiglit, vigorous, strong and clean 
stem with large, thick, glossy leaves are the ones to grow seedling 
fruit from. The others are no good, but may be used for root- 
grafting. As this work is of much value, the Plant Breeders' 
Auxiliary was started a few years ago and affiliated to the Min- 
nesota State Horticultural Society. Any one interested umy join 
it. To encourage this work many premiums are offered for new 
seedling apples and other fruits annually by the State Fair, and 
other premiums from $100 to .^1,000 by the Minnesota State 
Horticultural Society. 

Every one interested in horticulture should know how to graft 
and grow his own trees. This is easy to learn and saves him 
many a dollar for nursery stock. We would suggest to get Pro- 
fessor Green's Amateur Fruit Growing. You may have it for a 
premium, if you join the Horticultural Society. This book will 
teach you not only how to graft and grow your own trees, but 
everything a fruitgrower should know. We can give here only 
general directions. Sow the seeds from hardy crabapples in the 
fall for growing the seedlings. Late in the fall next year take 
out the strongest ones, cut back the top and roots a little, pack 
the roots in moist sawdust and keep them in a cool cellar. Cut 
the scions from apple trees you wish to grow late m the fall, too, 
but there should be no frost in the trees. The scions should be 
strong tips of branches grown last season and should be kept the 
same way as the roots. In February you may do the grafting in 
your room. This is done by making a slanting cut three-quarters 
of an inch long at the collar of the root, make a similar cut at 
the end of the scion, which should be four inches long, so that 
both cuts fit fairly well together or cover each other. Make a 
perpendicular cut in the center of the cut of the root and scion 
and interlock them by inserting the tongue of one into the slit 
of the other so that bark and wood fit well together, at least on 
one side. Wind a waxed strip of cloth over the entire cut part 
and the graft is finished. After grafting, put them back again 
in the moist sawdust in the cellar. In early spring plant the 



242 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

grafts in rows, open the ground with a spade, set down the graft 
to the last bud, firm tlie ground and cultivate. It will take but 
a week or two until the grafts start to grow, provided the work 
has been done well. Should small apple or plum trees already 
growing in the garden be grafted above ground it is necessary 
to put an extra coat of grafting wax over the tie, that the grafts 
will not dry out. There are many different methods of grafting, 
but the principle is always the same. A good grafting wax may 
be made by melting four ounces of yellow beeswax, three ounces 
of rosin and one ounce of pure tallow together. Mix well and 
run yarn or strips of cloth one-third inch wide through the wax. 
The strips should only be saturated with wax, and as too much 
wax will adhere, pull the strips through between two sticks. 

To rouzid out these gleanings, to make them more useful to 
the farmers, we should not omit to write about some of the worst 
menaces to our fruit trees. We do not mean bugs, worms and 
insects in general, for these can be controlled with chemicals, and 
in particular cases the proper remedies will be suggested by the 
State Entomologist, but we mean to say that blight has been and 
is still responsible for the loss of many of our fruit trees. Since 
the initial years of horticulture in Wright county many thousand 
trees have been planted. Where are they now? Gone, mostly 
killed by blight. It is not so much the cold, for we have trees 
hardy in top and root which are able with a little care to with- 
stand the cold and outgrow an occasional injury from frost. But 
it is blight, which is in evidence in so many of our orchards and 
gardens some years, that causes our trees to go down. In mid- 
summer, when everything is growing vigorously our trees are 
stricken, the leaves wither, turn brown, as if seared, the branches 
get dry, the infection spreads from tree to tree, and in a year or 
two the orchard is only a sad ruin of its former health and vigor. 
What can we do to save our trees? In the first decade of horti- 
culture our fruit growers were simply at a loss what to do, and 
even now we have no sure remedy for this condition. Yet we 
can do much to save the trees by cutting out the blighted branches, 
by being vigilant and ever ready to remove any jiart of the tree 
on which blight makes its reappearance. As blight is an infec- 
tion, it becomes necessary to disinfect the knife after every cut 
by the use of kerosene or other means. The infected branches 
should be cut off about six inches below the infection and all 
branches and leaves burned. Only thorough work will be suc- 
cessful in saving the trees and eradicating blight. 

Siuiseald also causes much danmge to our fruit trees. It 
cracks the bark on the south side of the tree, generally in early 
spring; in summer the bark drops oft", the wood is exposed and 
decay sets in. Many shade and other trees may be seen injured 
in that way on the south side from the branches down to the 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 243 

ground. Many apple trt-es may be observed leaning over to the 
northeast, with but a few green branehes on that side, while on 
the opposite side the stem and branches are dead. Such trees 
are an eyesore and will soon pass out of existence. With a little 
care this injury may be readily prevented by inclining the trees 
at the time of planting to the one o'clock sun, by shading the 
stems with anything handy except tar paper, by encouraging 
branches to grow on that side, by white-washing the stems in 
the fall. This latter treatment may also be recommended against 
many insects and mice. Always try to keep your trees in a health- 
ful, vigorous condition and they will reward you with bountiful 
crops. 

Now we have to pay a little attention to our large fruit list. 
A beginner in fruit growing, not knowing the different varieties, 
would find it very difficult to select the proper ones. Though 
they are all reconunended and may be planted, they are not all 
equally good in quality, in bearing, keeping and hardiness. For 
his little orchard the beginnei' wants the very best trees. We 
shall now assist him and mention only the best bearing trees in 
the order of their keeping quality, which is from one to five 
months. Should a man want to plant a half dozen apple trees 
on his town lot, we woidd suggest : One Duchess, one Okabena, 
one Patten's Greening and three Wealthy. For planting a dozen 
trees, double the above number. For an orchard of twenty-five 
apple trees and six plums we woidd select two Duchess, two 
Okabena, five Patten's Greenings and fifteen Wealthy. Should a 
few crabs be desirable, two Whitney, four Florence and two 
Transcendent crabs may be selected. Of plums, DeSota, Forest 
Garden or Wolf will be all right. If an orchard of 100 trees is 
to be planted, we would suggest five Duchess, five Okabena, 
twenty-five Patten's Greenings, ten Anisim, fifty Wealthy and 
five Malinda. Should crabs be planted, the above number may 
be reduced and Whitney, Florence and Transcendent crabs 
planted instead. For larger orchards, plant liberally of the 
Wealthy, as this apple may be kept till February with a little 
care and is the best one we can grow, and always sells for the 
highest price. For plums, every variety from the general list 
is all right. As grapevines, raspberries, blackberries and straw- 
berries should be protected over winter, it does not matter much 
which varieties are planted. Yet we would not plant the (Jon- 
cord, as it does not get ripe every year, but we would prefer the 
Janesville and the Worden, and of strawberries the Splendid 
and Dunlap. 

In conclusion we may suggest, not to plant many of other 
varieties if you desire to get nuich and fine fruit from a few trees. 
Protect the grapes and small fruits well over winter, except the 
currant and gooseberries, the bushes of which need only be tied 



244 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

together. Leave new sorts with high prices alone, if you don't 
want to be humbugged, but rather follow the advice of those 
having experience. 



The first nursery in Wright couuty was the Howard Lake 
Nursery, established in 1887, by E. J. Cutts and A. P. Ball. Two 
years later the partnership was dissolved, leaving Mr. Cutts the 
sole owner. Mr. Cutts came from Maine to Minnesota largely 
for the purpose of benefiting his health. Soon he became inter- 
ested in outdoor work as a nurseryman. A man of high ideals, 
a thorough lover of nature, conscientious in all his undertakings, 
and willing to sacrifice much for the benefit of his fellowmen, he 
set at work with a will, and soon became an extensive fruit 
raiser. At one time he had three and a half acres planted to 
grapes, then the largest vineyard in the county. He believed that 
the first place to try out a tree or a plant was the nursery. Thus 
year by year he labored. He was horticultural lecturer for the 
State Institute, and from 1892 to 1896 traveled with the Farmers' 
Institute Corps, and through lectures on horticulture, demon- 
strated in a practical way the things that he had learned from 
the successes and failure of plant life in this county, a subject of 
which he had a wide knowledge. He was editor of the horticul- 
tural department of the Northwestern Agriculturist and the 
Farmers' Institute Annual. He died suddenly, September 22, 
1897, at the age of fifty-three years. The nursery was then sold 
to W. L. Taylor. In 1906 it was purchased by W. H. Eddy, the 
present owner. 

The Wright County Nursery, with its splendid orchard, is 
located about four miles south of Cokato, and is owned by John 
Eklof. 

Wi'ight county people have taken a prominent part in pro- 
moting interest in fruit culture throughout the state. Among 
the residents of this county who are active in the affairs of the 
Minnesota State Horticultural Society may be mentioned : Harold 
Simmons, J. A. McVeety, A. N. Carter, A. W. Richardson, A. 
Engell, L. W. Terry, W. J. Wildung, W. H. Eddy, G. A. Koenig 
and Julius Stholl, of Howard Lake ; J. W. Beckman, Nels Muuson 
and John Eklof, of Cokato; Dr. P. O'Hair, of Waverly; Ells- 
worth Seranton, of Montrose; C. A. Brunkow, Walter Burrows, 
Albert Czanstowshi, Mrs. Freda Marki, P. R. Peterson, J. H. 
Quinn, Charles Sell and Rev. Mathias Savs, of Delano ; Anna L. 
Allen, Mrs. William Davies, Mrs. Kate Denny, Rev. Joseph A. 
Heinz, T. W. IngersoU, M. F. Lowe and Mrs. James IMulqueeney, 
of Bufl'alo; John A. Ferguson, Mrs. Emma Maddy, S. H. McGuire, 
R. Shannon and Fred Shadduck, of Annandale ; F. C. Erkel, 
John Wilson and J. L. Ludescher, of Rockford ; and S. Erickson, 
of Hastv. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 245 

Great interest has been taken in horticultural exhibits at the 
county fair, and the horticultural display takes up more than 
its share of the space in the agricultural building. Wright 
county people have also made extensive displays of fruit at the 
Minnesota State Fair, and have won many prizes. 

Through a careful testing out of the various kinds of fruit 
grown in the nursery of W. II. Eddy iu Howard Lake, it has 
been demonstrated that the following varieties are doing well in 
this county and can be grown successfully commercially : 

Apples. Wealthy, Duchess, Okabena, Patten's Greening, Ma- 
linda. Northwestern Greening, Eddy, Longfield, Anisim, Iowa 
Beauty, University, Jewell's Winter, Whitney No. 20, Virginia 
and Florence. 

Plums. DeSoto, Forest Garden, Wolf, Yyant, Surprise, Terry, 
Sapa, Opata and Hanska. 

Grapes. Beta, Hungarian, Janesville, Very Hardy, More's 
Early, Campbell's Early, Brighton, Delaware, Worden, Concord. 

Raspberries. King, Miller, Loudon, Commercial Red, Sun- 
beam, Ohta, Older and Columbian. 

Blackberries. Ancient Brittou, Snyder, Stone's Hardy and 
Eldorado. 

Currants. White Grape, Cherry, Victoria, Long Bunch Hol- 
land, Pomona, Perfection and London Market. 

Gooseberries. Houghton, Downing, Pearl and Carrie. 

Strawberries. Senator Dunlap, Bederwood, Splendid, Glen 
Mary. 

Everbearing Strawberries. Progressive, Superb and American. 

Native Fruits. Dwarf June Berry, Sand Cherry, Buffalo 
Berry and High Bush Cranberry. 

Nut Trees. Shellbark Hickory, Black Walnut and Butternut. 

Wright county has as good a soil as can be found for growing 
fruit, a fact that has already been fully demonstrated. At the 
present time there are over 8,000 bearing apple trees within a 
tract of land two miles square about Howard Lake. 

Horticulture, in its true sense, brings out the beauties and 
comforts of enlightened homes, and in this regard the progress 
made iu Wright county is worthy of admiration. 

In the past fifteen years a wonderful change has been wrought. 
Fruit is now one of the staple products of the county, and there 
is scarcely a farmer who does not own a few trees with which 
to supply his family. In fact, an ample supply of fruit is now 
at the command of every tiller of the soil in the county. 

Looking backward over the progress of fifteen years, the hor- 
ticulturists of the coxmty predict that the possibilities of the 
next fifteen vears are almost boundless. 



246 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

CHAPTER XV. 

AGRICULTURAL DEVELOPMENT. 

Early Difficulties — Present Advantages — A Farming Community 
Dawn of Prosperity — Farm Names — Statistics — Assessment 
Rolls — Wealth of the Farmers — Crops and Live Stock. 

Wright couuty is situated in the south central part of the 
state, about forty miles west of Minneapolis and St. Paul, being 
connected therewith by the Great Northern and "Soo" railroads. 
The soil is a black and sandy loam with a clay subsoil. The 
surface is gently rolling, interspersed with numerous lakes. The 
county is well drained by the Mississippi, Clearwater and Crow 
rivers, with their tributaries. The area of the county is 713.97 
square miles, or 456,939.32 acres, of which 424,383.82 acres are 
land and 32, 585. .5 acres are water. The land surface is divided 
into 3,814 farms at an average value per acre of $44.89. Nearly 
every farm home in the county is supplied with United States 
rural free delivery and local and long distance telephones. The 
population of the county is about 30,000. 

Wright county is located in what was at one time known as 
the "Big Woods" country. Nearly all the timber has been cut 
off and the land cleared up, luitil today it has the appearance 
of a prairie county, thougli forests still abound. The soil is of 
rich fertility and abundant crops of wheat, oats, rye, barley, etc., 
are harvested. Of late years corn has taken the lead and thou- 
sands of acres are successfully grown each year. Wright county 
is blessed with good roads, its population is of a thrifty, pros- 
perous class, and land values are advancing rapidly in this county. 

Wright county was generously endowed by nature with the 
elements most essential to the growth, development and pros- 
perity of a state, or any of its subdivisions. It has a rich soil — 
a warm loam which responds readily to the stimulating action of 
air and moisture, underlaid b.y clay which maintains the soil's 
durability. It has both groves and open land fairly distributed, 
by which the farmer is enabled to supply himself with timber 
for fuel and building uses and with open land for cultivation. 
It is well watered by rivers and creeks— the Mississippi rivei-, 
tlie Clearwater river and the Ch'ow river passing along its border 
or meandering tortuously tlirough township after township, as 
though purposeful to do the greatest good to the greatest number. 
Within its boundaries are more than two hundred beautiful lakes, 
most of which are fringed by woods, adding to the scenic attrac- 
tions of the neighborhood as well as affording food for the settler 
and rare sport for tlie angler, as all are abundantly stocked with 
fish — bass, pike, croppies, pickerel and other varieties. There 



HISTORY OF WRICxHT COUNTY 247 

are also a number of trout streams, which in the season attract 
those best skilled in tlie use of the rod and line. It is the policy 
of the state to furnish free of cost "fry" of the most desirable 
kinds of fish, so that the lakes and streams may always be kepf 
well stocked. 

The surface of the country is gently rolling, there being few 
high hills and very little waste land that cannot be made valu- 
able by drainage. There are thousands of acres of meadows from 
which nutritious hay is made, although most farmers are raising 
the tame grasses, both for hay and for the enriching of their land. 
The natural roads are fairly good, but an intelligent policy of 
road building has been adopted by the state which will be of 
great advantage. A liberal state fund, to be supplemented by 
local taxes, will provide means by which in a very few years these 
county roads can be made equal to the best. 

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

"Deep and wide 
The wheels of progress have passed on : 
The silent pioneer is gone. 



248 HIST0i4Y OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

His ghost is moving down the trees, 
And now we push the memories 
Of bluff, bold men who dared and died 
In foremost battle, quite aside." 

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

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

In the face of obstacles of which they had previously no knowl- 
edge they started to carve their fortunes in the wilderness. The 
country was new, there was no alternative but that success must 
be won from the soil, which was their only wealtli and their 
only help. There were among the early comers a few money- 
lenders, a few speculators and a few traders, but everyone else, 
even the lawyers, the doctors and the ministers, must wrest their 
living from the earth. And in spite of all the obstacles and in- 
conveniences, although the whole aim of the farming community 
has changed, and notwithstanding the fact that in the face of 
many disasters thousands of the pioneers left the county, those 
who stayed, and those who have come in since, have met with 
unbounded success. Nor is the end yet reached, for the county 
has in its agricultural and dairying resources a mine of wealth 
yet undeveloped, which when the years roll on, will grow more 
and more valuable as the people become, through scientific meth- 
ods, more and more able to utilize it. 

Most of the early settlers located in the Big Woods. Through 
the dense forest or over a winding trail they made their way, ford- 
ing brooks, passing through swamps, cutting away fallen trees 
and swimming rivers, until they reached their chosen location. 
There they lived in their wagons or in a temporary brush lean-to 
while they felled the trees and erected a cabin. Ofttimes an axe 
and a grub hoe were their only tools. The cabins were usually 
erected without nails or metal of any kind. Sometimes the win- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 249 

dows were covered with paper, soiiietiiues there wore no windows. 
The doors consisted of split poles nailed to a cross strip usually 
swung on leather hinges. The fire place was in one end, and as 
the ventilation was not always good the cabin was often filled with 
smoke. 

The floor was of trampled earth. Furniture was home made, 
bunks and tables usually being crude contrivances swung from 
the walls. A loft overhead was usually provided as a sleeping 
place for the children. The roofs were usually of brush or shakes, 
which in heavy storms freely admitted the wind and rain. 

Wild game was the principal food, corn was made into meal 
in a coffee-grinder, pork and bacon were luxuries, coffee was al- 
most unknown, and flour was obtained onl.y with the greatest 
difficulty. Often the pioneers walked to St. Anthony or St. Paul, 
and brought provisions home on their backs. 

The cabin erected, the next thought was to clear the land. 
Trees were cut down and burned, the stumps were left to decay, 
and the crops were put in among the stumps. Where brush laud 
was encountered, it was broken and grubbed. The natural mead- 
ows furnished hay. 

A few fortunate ones owned the oxen and the wagons with 
which they came. Most of them, however, hired some one to bring 
them here. Many of the men walked here, and lived alone until 
they had erected a cabin, and then hired someone to bring their 
families. Some were single men who as soon as their homes were 
established went back after their brides. Some continued to be 
bachelors, and kept house as best they could. 

Those who had no oxen had a difficult time in clearing away 
the logs. After a year or two some of them bought oxen, others 
bought calves and raised them until they were able to help with 
the farm work. Sometimes a cow and a steer would be hitched 
together. The people who had cows were fortunate in that they 
had a supply of milk for their children, and an oppoi'tunity to 
make butter. Some had a pig or two, and a few brought chickens. 
Sometimes in the winter the animals had to be brought into the 
cabins to keei^ them from perishing in the cold. 

The settlers on the prairies had somewhat different experi- 
ences, as instead of cutting the trees, they had to break the tough 
soil. Some of the prairie settlers were men of means who came 
to farm on a large scale, with a view to immediate profits. But 
the markets were far away, transportation was difficult, prices 
paid for farm produce at the trading points were low. Nearly all 
of these well-to-do prairie settlers soon lost their property on 
foreclosed mortgages, and left the country broken in spirit and 
in pocket-book. 

For the small farmer, the man who hoped for nothing more 
than that he might make a living while developing his farm, pros- 



250 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

perity seemed about to dawu, when there came a terrible set-back. 

In 1856 the grasshoppers devastated the county, leaving less 
than half a crop. By the close of the year 1857, settlements had 
sprung up in the central, southern and eastern portions of the 
county, but during the general depression of business following 
the financial crash of 1857, many of the early settlers were driven 
to the necessity of abandoning their claims, and seeking more 
favorable localities, where labor offered a reward commensurate 
with their wants. The settlers who remained went through the 
distressing hardships of the winter of 1857-58, when the grass- 
hopper raids, the financial crisis, and the cold weather all con- 
tributed to the privations of the pioneers. 

In 1858 and 1859 the crops were better, and when Gov. Alex- 
ander Ramsey issued his Thanksgiving proclamation in 1860, the 
soil of Wright county had brought forth its increase in abundant 
measure. 

But another disaster impended. In 1859, the lands came into 
market, and from inability to pay the usual Government price, 
many claimants were obliged to quit their partially developed 
homes, and seek locations elsewhere. With the meager opportun- 
ities for lucrative employment outside, and the difficulty attend- 
ing the opening of a farm in the dense woodlands, it is not strange 
that many found it impossible to maintain their families while as 
yet their scanty clearings furnished so little with which to keep 
the wolf from the door. And so they departed, and were suc- 
ceeded by others more fortunate, who reaped whatever of reward 
their toils produced. It was about this time, however, that the 
ginseng buyers arrived. Soon men, women and children were 
digging for the root, lands were paid for, provisions were pur- 
chased, everyone had ready money, and though to a certain extent 
farming operations were suspended, an era of prosperity dawned. 
Then came the darkest days of all. The outbreak of the Civil 
war called the able bodied men, and on the heels of this was the 
Indian uprising which twice nearly depopulated the county. 

In 1867 the settlers in the western part of the county suffered 
from a famine. Many of the settlers had come the previous year 
with the expectation of earning money on the railroad, but as 
the railroad work was delayed, the people for a while were in 
almost a starving condition. 

In 1871, a tornado swept a part of the county and did great 
damage, and it was not long afterward when the grasshoppers 
again ravaged the county. Then, too, at various times, the 
pigeons, the gophers, the blackbirds, the prairie chickens, the 
potato bug, the cut worm and other grubs and insects, the rats 
and the mice have all done serious damage. For many years also 
the climate presented many difficulties. Many crops had to be 
acclimated to this northern belt. Nearly all the settlers had been 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 251 

accustomed to longer suiiuners, and it was hard to adjust their 
farming operations to tiie changed conditions. 

But in spite of all these obstacles, Wright county is today, as 
stated, one of the foremost agricultural and dairying counties in 
the state. Gradually wheat has given way to corn, diversified 
farming now occupies the attention of the rui'al pojjulation, and 
dairying is the paramount occupation. 

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

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

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

FARM NAMES. 

Many of the farms in Wright county have been given names. 
In order that the names might be perpetuated, many of the own- 
ers have registered the names at the courthouse. The names al- 
ready registered are : 



252 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Oak Grove Farm, A. Thorp, section 21, township 121, range 23. 
Fairview Farm, Isaac A. Barberg, section 18, township 119, 
range 28. Oak Hill Farm, Eniil H. Ek, section 4, township 118, 
range 28. Lakewood, Gust Swan, section 23, township 119, range 
28. Spring Brook Stock Farm, Emil R. Olson, sections 10, 15 
and 16, township 119, range 26. The Midway Farm, John N. 
Nelson, sections 1 and 12, township 118, range 28. Sunset Park 
Farm, Ida N. Shadduck, section 21, township 121, range 27. Hazel 
Hurst Stock Farm, C. E. La Plant, sections 22 and 23, township 
121, range 23. Meadow Land Stock Farm, Julius Johnson, sec- 
tion 2, township 118, range 28. Lake Side Farm, August Ander- 
son, sections 33 and 37, township 120, range 27. Cedar Grove 
Farm, Gustaf Smedberg, section 36, township 118, range 27. 
Sunnnitcroft, Gustaf Olton, section 19, township 121, range 25. 
Hillcrest Farm, John Larson, section 33, township 120, range 25. 
North Star Farm, J. W. Beekman, section 3, township 118, range 
28. Maple Grove Stock Farm, William J. Graham, section 33, 
township 118, range 27. Pleasant View, J. V. Beers, sections 5 and 
8, township 121, range 25. Brookside Farm, Phiueas E. Eddy, 
section 17, township 118, range 27. East Side Farm, John A. 
Hoaglund, section 15, township 118, range 28. High View, Anton 
P. Moody, section 15, township 118, range 28. Shore Acres, Ed- 
son S and Louise M. Gaylord, section 21 and 28, township 121, 
range 28. The Linden Grove Farm, John R. Streich, section 1, 
township 118, range 27. Pinewood, N. 0. Monson, section 10, 
township 118, range 28. Plain View Farm, Andrew Carlson, sec- 
tion 33, township 118, range 25. Millstone Lake Farm, Cornelius 
Schermer, section 18, township 121, range 26. Maple Hill Stock 
Farm, Paul Kritzeck, section 29, township 118, range 27. Lake- 
side Stock Farm, M. M. Schlagel, section 32, township 118, range 
27. Groveland Farm, S. B. Berg, section 24, township 122, 
range 26. 

GOVERNMENT REPORT. 

The following report of Wright county agriculture, issued in 
connection with the thirteenth census of the United States, speaks 
for itself in regard to the present day agricultural conditions in 
the county. 

Population, 28,082 (in 1900, 29,157). 

Number of all farms, 3,814 (in 1900, 3,992). 

Color and nativity of all farmers. Native whites, 1,985 ; for- 
eign born whites, 1,829. 

Number of farms classified by size : LTnder three acres, 4 ; from 
three to nine acres, 119; from ten to nineteen acres, 120; from 
twenty to forty-nine acres, 460; from fifty to ninety-nine acres, 
1,376; from 100 to 174 acres, 1,295; from 175 to 259 acres, 328; 
from 260 to 499 acres, 109 ; 500 to 999 acres, 3. 



fllSTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 253 

Land and Farm Areas. Approximate land area, 442,240 acres. 
Land in farms, 399,328. (Laud in farms in 1900, 383,966 acres). 
Improved land in farms, 237,792 acres. Improved laud in farms 
in 1900, 215,436 acres. Woodland in farms, 90,687 acres. Other 
unimproved land in farms, 70,849 acres. Per cent of the whole 
county in farms, 90.3 per cent. Per cent of farm laud improved, 
59.5 per cent. Average acres to each farm, 104.7 acres. Average 
improved acres to each farm, 62.3 acres. 

Value of Farm Property. All farm property, $27,922,225. 
(In 1900 the value was $14,108,289). The percentage of increase 
in farm value in ten years was 97.9 per cent. Value of land alone, 
$17,927,368. (The value of laud alone iu 1900 was $9,493,540). 
Value of buildings alone, $5,730,905. ($2,414,470 iu 1900.) Value 
of implements and machinery, $994,202. ($553,970 in 1909.) 
Value of domestic animals, poultry and bees, $3,269,750. ($1,646,- 
309 in 1900.) Per cent of value of all property in laud, 64.2 per 
cent. Per cent of value of all property in buildings, 20.5 per cent. 
Per cent of value of all property in implements and machiuery, 
3.6 per cent. Per cent of value in domestic animals, poultry and 
bees, 11.7 per cent. 

Average values. Average value of all property per farm, 
$7,321. Average value of land and buildings per farm, $6,203. 
Average value of land per acre, ,$44.89. (.$24.72 in 1900.) 

Domestic Animals on Farms and Ranges. Farmers reporting 
domestic animals, 3,748. Value of domestic animals, $3,145,098. 

Cattle. Total number. 49,876. Dairy cows, 28,071. Other 
cows, 3,208. Calves, 7,391. Yearling heifers, 6,839. Yearling 
steers and bulls, 2,304. Other steers and bulls, 2,063. Total value, 
$1,153,173. 

Horses. Total number, 13,386. Mature horses, 12,197. Year- 
ling colts, 1,077. Spring colts, 112. Total value, $1,642,272. 

Mules. Total number, 43. Mature mules, 39. Yearling colts, 
3. Spring colts, 1. Total value, $4,215. 

Asses and Burros. Total number, 1. Total value, $25. 

Swrine. Total number, 49,109. Mature hogs, 19,060. Spring 
pigs, 21,049. Value, $326,646. 

Sheep. Total number 4,909. Rams, ewes, wethers, 3,502. 
Spring lambs, 1,407. Value, $18,709. 

Goats. Number, 17. Value, $58. 

Poultry and Bees. Poultry of all kinds, 251,171. Value, $119,- 
382. Number of colonies of bees, 1,837. Value, $5,270. 

Farms operated by owners, 3,252. (3,447 in 1900.) Per cent 
of all farms in the county operated by owners, 85.3 per cent. 
(86.3 per cent in 1900.) 

Land iu farms operated by owners, 333,230 acres. Improved 
land in farms operated by owners, 198,450. Value of lands and 
buildings in farms operated by owners, $19,889,112. 



254 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Degree of Ownership. Number of farms operated by owners, 
consisting of owned lands only, 2,675. Number of farms operated 
by owners which also include with the owned land, some hired 
land, 577. Of the men in the county owning and operating their 
own farms, 1,585 are native born Americans and 1,667 are foreign 
born. 

Farms Operated by Tenants. Number of farms operated by 
tenants, 551. (534 in 1900.) Of all the farms in the county, 14.4 
per cent are operated by tenants. (13.4 in 1900.) 

Land in Rented Farms, 64,279 Acres. Improved land in rented 
farms, 37,986 acres. Value of land and buildings in rented farms, 
$3,558,161. 

Form of Tenancy. Share tenants, 237. Share-cash tenants, 
55. Cash tenants, 248. Tenure not specified, 11. Of the people 
renting farms in the county 391 are native born Americans, and 
160 are foreign born. 

Farms Operated by Managers. Number of farms operated by 
managers, 11. (11 in 1900.) Land in farms operated by mana- 
gers, 1,819 acres. Improved lands in farms operated by managers, 
1,356. Value of land and buildings in farms operated by mana- 
gers, .$211,000. 

Mortgage Debt Report of Farms Operated by Their Owners. 
Number free from mortgage debt, 1,757. Number with mortgage 
debt, 1,478. Number on which no mortgage report was made, 17. 
Mortgage debt report of farms consisting of owned land only. 
Number reporting debt and amount, 1,122. Value of their land 
and buildings, $6,520,787. Amount of mortgage debt, $1,823,827. 
Per cent of value of land and buildings mortgaged, 28 per cent. 

Farm Expenses. For labor. Number of farms from which re- 
ports were obtained, 1,616. Cash expended for laboi' on these 
farms, $159,418. Rent and board furni.shed for labor, $61,6.54. 

For Feed. Number of farms reported on this question. 1,175. 
Amount expended, $59,464. 

Principal Crops. Corn, 37,207 acres ; bushels, 1,509,337. Com- 
mon winter wheat, 1,666 acres; bushels, 36,051. C'ommon sjiring 
wheat, 61,754 acres, bushels, 1,348,816. Durum or macaroni wheat, 
28 acres, bushels, 574. Barley, 11,258 acres; bushels, 335,546. 
Rye, 4,438 acres, bushels, 83,997. Flaxseed, 90 acres, bushels, 
1,146. Timothy seed, 114 acres, bushels, 620. Potatoes, 3,595 
acres, bushels, 476,389. Oats, 19,016 acres, bushels, 759,700. 

Hay and Forage. Total, 51,639 acres, tons, 107,533. Timothy 
alone, 6,983 acres, tons, 14,788. Timothy and clover mixed, 13,360 
acres, tons, 30,146. Other tame or cultivated grass exclusive of 
clover alone and alfalfa, 2,363 acres, tons, 5,018. Wild or prairie 
grass, 26,710 acres, tons, 52,017. All other hay and forage, 2,223 
acres, tons, 5,564. 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 255 

ASSESSMENT ROLLS. 

The assessment rolls of Wright county for 1914 are most in- 
teresting as they tell in unadorned figures the agrieultiiral condi- 
tions that exist in Wright county at the present time. 

HORSES, MULES AND ASSES. 

Under one year old, 877 ; average value, ^16.00 ; total value, 
.$14,0.36; one year old and under two years, 1,206; average value, 
.$24.2;^ ; total value, $29,223 ; two years old and under three years, 
1,250 ; average value, $33.63 ; total value, .$42,041 ; three years 
old and over, 12,201; average value, .$35.80; total value, .$436,820; 
stallions, tine bred mares antl race horses, 59; average value, 
$140.66, total value, $8,299. 

Cattle. Under one year old, 9,670; average value, $3.06; total 
value, $29,612; one year old and under two years, 8,225; average 
value, $5.14; total value, .$42,331; two years old and under three 
years, 5,402; average value, $9.22; total value, $49,797; cows, 
23,823, average value, $14.23; total value, $339,090; bulls, 874, 
average value, $12.47 ; total value, $10,898 ; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 62; average value, $18.40; total value, $1,141. 

Sheep, 2,996, average value $1.51, total value $4,529. 

Swine, 25,522, average value .$3.34, total value $85,212. 

Potiltry, total value $27,081. 

Dogs, 2,692, average value $1.93, total value $5,199. 

Equipment and Furniture. The value of farm implements 
and machinery is $128,627. The highest value is in Franklin 
township, $10,165. 

The total assessed valuation of household furniture and uten- 
sils and wearing apparel of members of the family is $210,498. 
The highest village is Buffalo at $11,101. The lowest is Hanover 
at $1,021. The highest township is Franklin at $10,697. The 
lowest is Southside at $4,601. 

The total valuation of rugs and carpets is $5,442, and of books, 
pictures, bric-a-brac and works of art $2,358. 

There are 3,602 sewing machines assessed at $11,153. The 
largest number in a village is in Butfalo where there are 180. 
The smallest number, 18, is in Hanover. The largest number in 
a township is in Franklin where there are 214. The smallest 
number, 55, is in French Lake. There are 4,150 watches and 
clocks assessed and the assessed valuation of jewelry, diamonds, 
gold and silver plate and plated ware is $1,667. 

The county has 1,071 pianos. Buflfalo leads among the villages 
with 98, while in Rockford village there are 7. Among the town- 
ships Middleville leads with 44. The smallest number, 15, is in 
Clearwater township. The total valuation of other musical 
instruments is $3,676. 



256 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

There are 7,887 wagons, carriages and sleighs, valued at $60,- 
958. The highest number is in Montieello township where there 
are 726. The highest valuation is in Buffalo township where it 
is $3,144. Tlie highest average valuation, $11.79, is in Howard 
Lake. The harnesses and saddles in the county are assessed at 
$27,050. 

No less than 620 automobiles are found in the county. The 
average valuation is $138.45 and the total value is $85,847. One 
hundred and four motorcycles and bicycles have an average val- 
uation of $12.42 and a total valuation of $1,292. 

Other assessments in the county are : Steam and motor boats, 
sailing vessels, barges and all other water craft, $1,461. Grain, 
grass seed and flaxseed in the hands of producers, $15,523. All 
other agricultural products in the hands of producers, $1,380. 
Threshing machines and outfits used therewith exclusive of en- 
gines, $9,100. Steam engines, boilers, gasoline engines, dynamos 
and electric motors, $241.54. Locomotives, steam shovels and 
other machinery used in mining, $134. Manufacturers' tools, im- 
plements and machinery not assessed as real estate, $18,399. Wheat 
flour, barley, malt, flaxseed, linseed oil and all other grain and 
grain products in hands of manufacturers, $2,046. Lundjer, lath 
and shingles, $39,263. Logs, poles, posts and railroad ties, $208. 
Brick, cement, lime, cement blocks and quarried stone in the hands 
of dealers or manufacturers, $541. All other manufacturers' ma- 
terials and manufactured articles not listed, in the hands of man- 
ufacturers, $3,204. Goods and merchandise of wholesale mer- 
chants-and jobbers, $2,756. Goods and merchandise of retail mer- 
chants, .$222,265. Typewriters, adding machines, cash registers 
and computing scales, $4,171. Safes, $2,030. Store furniture and 
fixtures, $9,676. Office furniture, including instruments, equip- 
ment and libraries of professional men, $5,362. Fire arms of all 
kinds, $1,330. Presses, typesetting machines, type cases and furni- 
ture, equipments, fixtures and stock on hand of newspaper and 
printing offices, $2,608. Machinery, furniture equipment and 
stock of creameries and cheese factories, $3,540. Machinery, fur- 
niture and equipment of laundries, $5. Stock, furniture, fixtures 
and equipment of saloons, sample rooms and bar rooms, $7,431. 
Stock, furniture, fixtures and equipment of restaurants, eating 
houses and cafes, $2,770. Stock, furniture, fixtures, equipment, 
tables and alleys of billard and pool rooms and bowling alleys, 
$1,544. Furniture, tools and equipment of barber shops, $604. 
All tools, implements and machinery not listed in the foregoing 

items, $16,292. 

OTHER PROPERTY. 

Elevators, warehouses and other improvements on railway 
lands, $21,560. Structures on lands entered under the United 
States land laws and on lands leased from the state, $333. Shares 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 257 

of bank stock, $170,572. Shares of stock iu all corporatious whose 
property is not assessed or taxed in this state, $2,564. All other 
personal property not included in the foregoing items required 
by law to be listed, $2,433. 

Totals. Total assessed value of personal property as equalized 
by county board, $2,313,186. Total assessed value of personal 
property as returned by assessors, $2,303,663. Total true and full 
value of all personal property as returned by county board, 
$7,129,189. 

TOWNSHIPS. 

Albion. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old 40, one 
year old and under two years 58, two years old and under three 
years 75, three years old and over 679. Cattle. Under one year 
337, one year old and under two years 379, two years old and 
under three years 296, cows 1,370, bulls 36, all other cattle three 
years old and over 2. Sheep 19. Swine 916. Value of poultry 
$1,164. Dogs 157. 

Automobiles 15, motorcycles and bicycles, 7. 

Buffalo. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 38 ; 
one year old and under two years, 47; two years old and under 
three years, 58 ; three years old and over, 577. Cattle, under one 
year, 482; one year and under two years, 422; two years and 
under three years, 297; cows, 1,190; bulls, 56; all other cattle 
three years old and over, 2. Sheep, 290. Swine, 964. Value of 
poultry, $1,297. Number of dogs, 141. 

Automobiles, 12 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 1. 

Chatham. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 15; 
one year old and under two years, 23 ; two years old and under 
three years, 26 ; three years old and over, 283. Cattle, under one 

r 

year, 332 ; one year and under two years, 210 ; two years and 
under three years, 144 ; cows, 582 ; bulls, 29 ; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 0. Sheep, 78. Swine, 1,132. Value of poultry, 
$413. Number of dogs, 75. 

Automobiles, 8 ; motorcycles and bicj'cles, 1. 

Clearwater. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
18; one year old and under two years, 24; two years old and 
under three years, 16; three years old and over, 346. Cattle, un- 
der one year, 257 ; one year and under two years, 269 ; two years 
and under three years, 146 ; cows, 558 ; bulls, 10 ; all other cattle 
three years old and over, 0. Sheep, 101. Swine, 568. Value of 
poultry, $681. Number of dogs, 56. 

Automobiles, 5 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 2. 

Cokato. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 38; 
one year old and under two years, 45; two years old and under 
three years, 50; three years old and over, 654. Cattle, under one 
year, 775 ; one year and under two years, 453 ; two years and 



258 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

under three years, 293; cows, 1,318; bulls, 69; all other cattle, 
three years old and over, 2. Sheep, 135. Swine, 746. Value of 
poultry, $1,218. Number of dogs, 135. 

Automobiles, 25; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

Corinna. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 16; 
one year old and under two years, 39 ; two years old and under 
three years, 43 ; three years old and over, 447. Cattle, under one 
year, 416; one year and under two years, 375; two years and 
under three years, 285 ; cows, 692 ; bulls, 33 ; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 13. Sheep, 215. Swine, 834. Value of poul- 
try, $1,124. Number of dogs, 104. 

Automobiles, 4; motorcycles and bicycles, 6. 

Frankfort. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
38 ; one year old and under two years, 69 ; two years old and under 
three years, 67 ; three years old and over, 521. Cattle, under one 
year, 483 ; one year and under two years, 366 ; two years and 
under three years, 244; cows, 1,070; bulls, 52; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 4. Sheep, 123. Swine, 1,440. Value of poul- 
try, $1,400. Number of dogs, 124. 

Automobiles, 11 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 4. 

Franklin. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 88; 
one year old and under two years, 84; two years old and under 
three years, 93 ; three years old and over, 724. Cattle, under 
one year, 633 ; one year and under two years, 525 ; two years 
and under three years, 327 ; cows, 1,879 ; bulls, 40 ; all other cattle 
three years old and over, 0. Sheep, 138. Swine, 1,783. Value 
of poultry, $1,689. Number of dogs, 195. 

Automobiles, 32 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 2. 

French Lake. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
31; one year old and under two years, 50; two years old and 
under three years, 43 ; three years old and over, 525. Cattle, un- 
der one year, 562 ; one year and under two years, 451 ; two years 
and under three years, 255; cows, 1,245; bulls, 35; all other cattle 
three years old and over, 0. Sheep, 65. Swine, 552. Value of 
poultry, $1,349. Number of dogs, 110. 

Automobiles, 19; motorcycles and bicycles, 11. 

Maple Lake. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
29 ; one year old and under two years, 39 ; two years old and 
under three years, 24 ; three years old and over, 420. Cattle, un- 
der one year, 313 ; one year and under two years, 387 ; two years 
and under three years, 188 ; cows, 969 ; bulls, 26 ; all other cattle 
three years and over, 3. Sheep, 150. Swine, 696. Value of 
poultry, $551. Number of dogs, 106. 

Automobiles, 3; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

Marysville. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 39 ; 
one year and under two years, 57 ; two years old and under three 
years, 77 ; three years old and over, 533. Cattle, under one year, 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 259 

285; oue year aud under two years, 555; two years and under 
three years, 386 ; cows, 1,381 ; bulls, 52 ; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 0. Sheep, 113. Swine, 883. Value of poultry, 
'$998. Number of dogs, 133. 

Automobiles, 6; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

Middleville. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
49 ; one year old and under two years, 75 ; two years old and under 
three years, 69 ; three years old and over, 758. Cattle, under one 
year, 610 ; one year and under two years, 417 ; two years and 
under three years, 240 ; cows, 1,411 ; bulls, 49 ; all other cattle 
three years old and over, 5. Sheep, 77. Swine, 1,493. Value of 
poultry, $1,807. Number of dogs, 183. 

Automobiles, 5; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

Monticello- Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
68 ; one year old and under two years, 95 ; two years old and un- 
der three years, 79 ; three years old and over, 723. Cattle, under 
one year, 791 ; one year and under two years, 476 ; two years and 
under three years, 378 ; cows, 964 ; bulls, 50 ; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 0. Sheep, 304. Swine, 3,254. Value of poid- 
try, $1,866. Number of dogs, 74. 

Automobiles, 11 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 16. 

Otsego. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 49; 
one year old and under two years, 65; two years old and under 
three years, 69 ; three years old and over, 527. Cattle, under one 
year, 483 ; one year and under two years, 365 ; two years and 
under three years, 236 ; cows, 988 ; bulls, 46 ; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 2. Sheep, 169. Swine, 777. Value of poul- 
try, $1,104. Number of dogs, 87. 

Automobiles, 10 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 5. 

Rockford. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 55 ; 
one year old and under two years, 76 ; two years old and under 
three years, 59 ; three years old and over, 647. Cattle, under one 
year, 648; one year and under two years, 535; two years and un- 
der three years, 333 ; cows, 1,536 ; bulls, 80 ; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 7. Sheep, 88. Swine, 4,104. Value of poul- 
try, .$1,091. Number of dogs, 164. 

Automobiles, 15 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 2. 

Silver Creek. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
29 ; one year old and under two years, 39 ; two years old and un- 
der three years, 43 ; three years old and over, 570. Cattle, under 
one year, 266 ; one year and under two years, 359 ; two years and 
under three years, 143; cows, 1,313; bulls, 60; all other cattle 
three years old and over, 0. Sheep, 78. Swine, 661. Value of 
poultry, $1,086. Number of dogs, 130. 

Automobiles, 15 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 4. 

Southside. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
33 ; one year old and under two years, 36 ; two years old and 



260 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

under three years, 51 ; three years old and over, 324. Cattle, 
under one year, 353 ; one year and under two years, 227 ; two 
years and under three years, 199 ; cows, 485 ; bulls, 15 ; all other 
cattle three years old and over, 0. Sheep, 535. Swine, 609. 
Value of poultry, $643. Number of dogs, 87. 

Automobiles, 6 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

Stockholm. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
52 ; one year old and under two years, 72 ; two years old and 
under three years, 68 ; three years old and over, 660. Cattle, 
under one year, 518 ; one year and under two years, 377 ; two years 
and under three years, 337; cows, 1,095; bulls, 24; all other cat- 
tle three years old and over, 4. Sheep, 94; swine, 1,361. Value of 
poultry, $1,614. Number of dogs, $130. 

Automobiles, 16; motorcycles and bicycles, 3. 

Victor. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 46; 
one year old and under two years, 88; two years old and under 
three years. 111 ; three years old and over, 609. Cattle, under one 
year, 356; one year and under two years, 404; two years and 
under three years, 220 ; cows, 1,328 ; bulls, 31 ; all other cattle 
three years old and over, 8. Sheep, 121. Swine, 767. Value of 
poulti-y, $2,063. Number of dogs, 156. 

Automobiles, 17 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

Woodland. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
59 ; one year old and under two years, 72 ; two years old and un- 
der three years, 73 ; three years old and over, 608. Cattle, under 
one year, 564 ; one year and under two years, 422 ; two years and 
under three years, 310 ; cows, 1,331 ; bulls, 64 ; all other cattle 
three years old and over, 0. Sheep, 44. Swine, 886. Value of 
poultry, $1,184. Number of dogs, 102. 

Automobiles, 12 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

VILLAGES. 

AnnaJidale. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 3 ; 
one year old and under two years, 7 ; two years old and under 
three years, 4 ; three years old and over, 89. Cattle, under one 
year, 15 ; one year and under two years, 21 ; two years and under 
three years, 43 ; cows, 53 ; bulls, ; all other cattle three years 
old and over, 0. Sheep, 0. Swine, 46. Value of poultry, $216. 
Number of dogs, 17. 
• Automobiles, 41 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 7. 

Buffalo. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 5; 
one year old and under two years, 2 ; two years old and under 
three years, 2; three years old and over, 109. Cattle, under one 
year, 36 ; one year and under two years, 8 ; two years and under 
three years, 5 ; cows, 94 ; bulls, 1 ; all other cattle three years old 
and over, 0. Sheep, 0. Swine, 23. Value of poultry, $309. Num- 
ber of dogs, 1. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 2G1 

Automobiles, 44 ; motorcyek's and bicycles, 21. 

Clearwater. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
0; one year old and under two years, 1 ; two years old and under 
three years, 1 ; three years old and over, 35. Cattle, under one 
year, 1 ; one year and under two years, 2 ; two years and under 
three years, 0; cows, 19; bulls, 0; all other cattle three years old 
and over, 0. Sheep, 0. Swine, 215. Value of poultry, .$61. Num- 
ber of dogs, 12. 

Automobiles, 16; motorcycles and bicycles, 1. 

Cokato. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 6; 
one year old and under two years, 3 ; two years old and under 
three years, 4; three years old and over, 90. Cattle, under one 
year, 10 ; one year and under two years, 10 ; two years and under 
three years, 11 ; cows, 89 ; bulls, 1 ; all other cattle three years 
old and over, 0. Sheep, 1. Swine, 28. Value of poultry, .$432. 
Number of dogs, 27. 

Automobiles, 40; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

Delano. Horses, nniles and asses. Under one year old, 5; 
one year old and under two years, 2; two years old and under 
three years, 4; three years old and over, 110. Cattle, under one 
year, 1 ; one year and under two j'cars, 1 ; two years and under 
three years, 3; cows, 74; bulls, 0; all other cattle three years old 
and over, 10. Sheep, 0. Swine, 32. Value of poultry, $200. Num- 
ber of dogs, 21. 

Automobiles, 28; motorcycles and bicycles, 1. 

Hanover. Horses, nudes and asses. Under one year old, 3; 
one year old and under two years, 3 ; two years old and under 
three years, 3 ; three years old and over, 56. Cattle, under one 
year, 23 ; one year and under two years, 27 ; two years and under 
three years, 31; cows, 118; bulls, 3; all other cattle three years 
old and over, 0. Sheep, 5. Swine, 273. Value of poultry, $200. 
Number of dogs, 14. 

Automobiles, 6 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

Howard Lake. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
1 ; one year old and under two years, 2 ; two years old and under 
three years, 4 ; three years old and over, 73. Cattle, under one 
year, 2 ; one year and under two years, 5 ; two years and under 
three years, 2; cows, 43; bulls, 0; all other cattle three years old 
and over, 0. Sheep, 0. Swine, 17. Value of poultry, $162. Num- 
ber of dogs, 16. 

Automobiles, 21; motorcycles and bicycles, 1. 

Maple Lake. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
4 ; one year old and under two years, 6 ; two years old and under 
three years, 5; three years old and over, 71. Cattle, under one 
year, 10; one year and under two years, 20; two years and under 
three years, 8 ; cows, 90 ; bulls, 1 ; all other cattle three years old 



262 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

and over, 0. Sheep, 0. Swine, 38. Value of poultry, $60. Num- 
ber of dogs, 8. 

Automobiles, 20; motorcycles and bicycles, 2. 

Monticello. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 3 • 
one year old and under two years, 2 ; two years old and under 
three years, 2; three years old and over, 83. Cattle, under one 
year, 3; one year and under two years, 4; two years and under 
three years, 1 ; cows, 34 ; bulls, ; all other cattle three years old 
and over, 0. Sheep, 0. Swine, 25. Value of poultry, $151. 
Number of dogs, 18. 

Automobiles, 50 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 2. 

Montrose. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 1 ; 
one year old and under two years, 4; two years old and under 
three years, 0; three years old and over, 44. Cattle, under one 
year, 11 ; one year and under two years, 8 ; two years and under 
three years, 2 ; cows, 87 ; bulls, 1 ; all other cattle three years old 
and over, 0. Sheep, 15. Swine, 130. Value of poultry, $177. 
Number of dogs, 26. 

Automobiles, 17 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

Rockford. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 0; 
one year old and under two years, 1 ; two years old and under 
three years, 2; three years old and over, 36. Cattle, under one 
year, 3 ; one year and under two years, 5 ; two years and under 
three years, ; cows, 32 ; bulls, ; all other cattle three years old 
and over, 0. Sheep, 0. Swine, 19. Value of poultry, $97. Num- 
ber of dogs, 6. 

Automobiles, 16 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

St. Michael. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 6 ; 
one year old and under two years, 7 ; two years old and under 
three years, 9; three years old and over, 79. Cattle, under one 
year, 37 ; one year and under two years, 31 ; two years and under 
three years, 13; cows, 162; bulls, 6; all other cattle three years 
old and over, 0. Sheep, 0. Swine, 252. Value of poultry, $225. 
Number of dogs, 23. 

Automobiles, 11 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 1. 

St. Michael Station. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year 
old, 3; one year old and under two years, 7; two years old and 
under three years, 7 ; three years old and over, 77. Cattle, under 
one year, 38 ; one year and under two years, 41 ; two years and 
under three years, 15; cows, 121; bulls, 4; all other cattle three 
years old and over, 0. Sheep, 0. Swine, 135. Value of poultry, 
$217. Number of dogs, 17. 

Automobiles, 6 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

South Haven. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 
3 ; one year okl and under two years, 2 ; two years old and under 
three years, 6; three years old and over, 69. Cattle, under one 
year, 9 ; one year and under two years, 60 ; two years and under 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 263 

three years, 6; cows, 77; bulls, 0; all other eattle three years old 
and over, 0. Sheep, 38. Swine, 41. Value of poultry, $105. 
Number of dogs, 14. 

Automobiles, 8 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 0. 

Waverly. Horses, mules and asses. Under one year old, 4; 
one year old and under two years, 4; two years old and under 
three years, 3; three years old and over, 45. Cattle, under one 
year, 7; one year and under two years, 8; two years and under 
three years, 5; cows, 25; bulls, 0; all other cattle three years old 
and over, 0. Sheep, 0. Swine, 14. Value of poultry, $127. 
Number of dogs, 23. 

Automobiles, 22 ; motorcycles and bicycles, 3. 

There are 59 stallions, fine bred mares and race horses in the 
county. They are distributed as follows : Buffalo, 5 ; Clearwater, 
2 ; Cokato, 3 ; Frankfort, 1 ; Franklin, 1 ; French Lake, 1 ; Maple 
Lake, 3 ; Marysville, 1 ; Middleville, 1 ; Monticello, 23 ; Otsego, 5 ; 
Rockford, 1; Southside, 2; Woodland, 3; Annandale Village, 1; 
Delano Village, 2; Maple Lake Village, 3; Waverly Village, 1. 



CHAPTER XVI. 

BIOGRAPHICAL REVIEW. 

Facts in the Early Career and Later Success of People Who 
Have Helped to Make Wright County — Founders and Pa- 
triots — Names Which Will Live Long in the Memories of 
Residents of This Vicinity — Stories of Well-Known Families 
Who have Led in Public Life. 

Adam A. Jewett, one of the prominent and energetic business 
men of Annandale, was born in Eau Claire, Wis., January 19, 
1863, son of Aaron H. and Jane E. (Emerson) Jewett. Aaron 
H. Jewett came to Wright county in 1862 and homesteaded a 
tract of land in section 8, Marysville township. A year later 
he was joined by the family. Adam A. was reared on this place. 
As he grew up he helped with the farm work and earned spend- 
ing money by digging ginseng, and cutting hoop poles, cord 
wood and ties. He received a good common school education, 
and in 1882 became a rural school teacher. In this profession 
he continued for six years. In 1888 he went into the grain 
business at Maple Lake, and so continued until 1903. From 1894 
to 1903 he did the village good service as postmaster. He went 
to Pasadena. California, in 1903 for the benefit of his wife's 
health. In 1905 he entered into the grain business in Barlow, 
North Dakota, and there remained until 1910. In that year he 
came to Annandale and became manager for the Osborne Mc- 
Millan Elevator Company. Aside from the splendid work he 



26-1 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

does in this line, he is extensively engaged in the implement 
business. In public affairs, Mr. Jewett has been especially active. 
At different times he has held all the village offices of Maple 
Lake, and for twelve years was on the school board there. For 
the past three years he has been village recorder of Annandale. 
For ten years he was to\\aiship member of the Republican Central 
Committee. He belongs to Buffalo Lodge, No. 135, A. F. & A. M., 
and Barlow (North Dakota) Lodge, No. 106, I. 0. O. F. For 
twenty-five years he has been a member of Maple Lake Lodge, 
No. 212, A. 0. U. W., and lias occupied all the offices in that lodge. 
Mr. Jewett was married in 1885 to Gertrude E. Past, daughter 
of John and Margaret Past. Mr. and Mrs. Jewett have seven 
children : Harry H., Calvin C. and Eva C, who live at home, 
and four who are dead. 

Edward J. Brabec, successful builder and contractor of 
Annandale, was born on section 20, Woodland township, Wright 
county, July 17, 1877, son of Joseph and Anna (Pesina) Brabec. 
He attended the district schools and was reared to farm pursuits. 
In 1901 he went to Renville, this state, and learned the carpenter 
trade from H. H. Wilkins, ai'chitect and builder. In 1904 he 
came to Annandale, and engaged in his present business as a 
builder and contractor. He is an expert in his line, he takes a 
deep interest in his work, and many of tlie best of the modern 
houses in this vicinity stand as monuments to his honor, ability 
and mastery of his trade. He is a designer as well as builder, 
and his ideas are embodied in such structures as the residences 
of A. A. Zech, John Herzberg, Octavius Longworth and many 
others. Mr. Brabec was married in 1903 to Edith Klucas, daugh- 
ter of Fred Klucas, a pioneer of Waverly, in this county. In 
the Brabec family there are two children : Myrtle, born in 1904, 
and Luella, born in 1911. The family attend the Lutheran 
Church. Mr. Brabec is a member of the Commercial Club. 
Aside from his activities as a designer and contractor he has 
quite an extensive cabinet and planing mill, fully equipped with 
the latest machinery, where he is prepared to turn out anything 
in his line. He erected this mill himself and it is adequate in 
every i)articular. 

George Walters, a veteran of the Civil war, and early settler 
of French Lake township, was born in Kent, England, in 1840, 
son of Mathew Walters, who brought his family to Ainerica about 
1846 and settled on a small farm near Cleveland, Ohio. At the 
age of fifteen, George Walters started out for himself. The 
outbreak of the Civil war found him still in Ohio. He enlisted 
September 5, 1861, in Battery B., First Ohio Light Artillery, 
under Captain W. E. Stannard and Colonel James Barrett. The 
regiment was assigned to the Fourteenth Army Corps. Among 
the battles in which Mr. Walters participated may be mentioned : 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 265 

Wild Cat Mountain, Ky. ; Mills Springs, Ky. ; Perry ville, Ky. ; 
Laverque, Tenii. ; Stone River, Tcnn. ; Chiekaniauga, Tenn. ; 
Lookout Mountain autl Missionary Ridge. He was discharged 
January 3, 186Jr, reeulisted January 4, 1864, and received his 
final discharge July 22, 1865. After the war he returned home, 
and then spent a year as a fur trapper near Manistee, Mich. 
Prom thei'e he came to Minneapolis. It was in 1867 that he came 
to the northern part of French Lake township and purchased 
forty acres of land. He farmed there about seven years, then 
he moved to Corinna township, bought forty acres and there 
farmed about twenty years. Then he came to Annandale, where 
he has since lived. Mr. Walters is a member of Buzzell Post, 
No. 24, G. A. R., at Annandale. Mr. Walters was married in 
January, 1871, to Julia Whitlock, daughter of Ervin and Mary 
(Abney) Whitlock, who were married April 30, 1849. Mr. and 
Mrs. Walters have had seven children : Lottie, now Mrs. J. P. 
Gornum, of Maple Lake ; James, of Annandale ; Nettie, wife of 
Tad Heaton, of Annandale ; Blanche, wife of Hugo Ernest, of 
Payuesville ; Gertrude, wife of R. S. Webber, of Paynesville ; 
and two that died in infancy. Mrs. Walters is a member of the 
Advent Church. Ervin Whitlock, the early settler, came to Min- 
nesota in 1866. He was a veteran of the Civil war, having served 
as fifer in Company I, 84th Illinois Volunteer Infantry. He is 
now living at Amuindale, at the advanced age of 94 years. 

Phineas S. Rudolph, early settler and veteran of the Civil 
war, was born in Jefferson county, Pennsylvania, December 1, 
1839, son of Abraham and Catharine (Rhoades) Rudolph. Abra- 
ham Rudolph was a farmer and sawmill operator. In 1876 he 
came to Wright comity and purchased 160 acres of wild land in 
section 14, South Side township. Phineas was reared on the 
home farm in [Pennsylvania. In 1861 he enlisted in Company A, 
105th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry, and served within forty- 
one days of four years. He went through the entire Wilderness 
campaign, and participated in the siege of Yorktown and the 
battles of the Wilderness, Spottsylvania Court House, North 
Anne, Cold Harbor, Deep Bottom, and the nine months' siege 
of Petersburg, and was present at the surrender of Lee at Appo- 
mattox. After being mustered out at Braddoeks, Pa., in July, 
1865, he returned to Jefferson county, Pennsylvania, and engaged 
in farming on a sevent>-acre farm which he had previously 
purchased. He was married December 27, 1865, to Letitia Groves, 
daughter of Daniel and Jennie (Cannon) Groves, farmers of 
that county. Mrs. Letitia (Groves) Rudolph died October 13, 
1881. February 13, 1883, Mr. Rudolph married Mrs. Mary E. 
Patterson, daughter of Solomon and Leah (Butler) Nolf, farmers 
of Armstrong county, Pennsylvania. Mr. Rudolph remained on 
the farm in Pennsjdvania until 1888. In that year he came to 



266 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

Wright county and settled on eighty acres in sections 13 and 14, 
South Side township. He developed this place and continued to 
reside there until 1907, when he bought the sightly village resi- 
dence in Annandale where he now resides. He also has forty 
acres of land in Stearns county. He has been justice of the peace 
several terms, town clerk one year and school director ten years. 
He is a charter member and Past Master of Fair Haven Lodge, No. 
182, A. P. & A. M., of Annandale, which he helped to organize 
when it was started at Pair Haven and before its removal to An- 
nandale. He is also a past commander of Buzzell Post, No. 24, 
G. A. R. By his first wife, Mr. Rudolph had eight children : 
William H. lives in La Crosse, Wash. ; Annie M. is the wife of 
I. H. Winget, of California; Jennie K. is now Mrs. Newton 
Larson, of Paris, Mont.; John C. lives at White Salmon, Wash.; 
Amy is the wife of Pay Pierce, of La Crosse, Wash. By his 
second wife Mr. Rudolph had four children : Charles E., a dentist 
in Minneapolis ; Effie, a nurse in Merrill, Wis. ; Larue, now Mrs. 
C. A. Larson, of Harlow, N. D.; and Cecil K., who is operating 
the home farm in South Side township. 

Albert A. Thayer, genial proprietor of the Annandale Hotel, 
was born in Adrian, Mich., December 28, 1848, son of David B. 
and Catharine (Warren) Thayer. David B. Thayer was born 
at Maiden Bridge, N. Y., being taken to Adrian, Mich., at the 
age of two years. There he attended school and grew to man- 
hood. In 1854 he came to Hennepin county, this state, located 
in Brooklyn township, near Osseo, and died in 1874. Albert A. 
Thayer was brought to Hennepin county at the age of five years, 
attended the district schools, and was reared to farm pursuits. 
As a boy he experienced all the rigors of pioneer life. During the 
Indian fright he kept the horse harnessed day and night in order 
that the familj^ might flee at the first alarm. In 1864, then only 
sixteen years of age, he enlisted as a musician in the Seventh 
Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and saw southern service for 
seven months. He was mustered out at Fort Snelling August 16, 
1865. After his father's death he operated the home farm until 
1878. Then he went to Fair Haven, in Stearns county, and took 
the contract for the star mail route between Fair Haven and St. 
Cloud, a distance of twenty miles. He operated a daily stage over 
this route for ten years. At the same time he conducted the 
Star Hotel at Pair Haven. In 1890 lie moved to Annandale. For 
four years he had charge of a livery, and in 1894 he went into 
the hotel business. In 1895 the hotel burned, and he at once 
erected the Annandale Hotel, which he still owns and manages. 
He has a good trade, conducts an excellent place, and is justly 
popular, both with the traveling public and with the people of 
the county. Mr. Thayer is quartermaster of Buzzell Post, No. 24, 
G. A. R., at Annandale. Albert A. Thayer was married in 1869 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 267 

to Mary Colbern, of Osseo, Minn. She died in 1875, leaving two 
children : William, now at McNaughton, Wis., and Le Roy, now 
at Clarissa, Minn. In 1880 Mr. Tliayer married Carrie Hill, 
daughter of Horace and Eliza Hill. Horace Hill was a pioneer 
and came to Forest City, Meeker county, in an early day. In 
1862 the Hill family moved to Monticello to take refuge from the 
Indians, who were killing settlers to the westward. Mr. and 
Mrs. Thayer have five children: Elsie May is at home; Effie is 
the wife of J. E. Walters, of Annandale ; Bert H. is cashier of 
the State Bank of Annandale ; Martha is in the postoffiee at 
Belgrade, Minn. ; Agnes is a student at tlie State Normal school 
at St. Cloud. 

Jacob Lambert, ])ioneer and veteran of the Civil war, was 
born in Switzerland, November 6, 1844, son of Snipes and Made- 
line Lambert. Jacob Lambert came to America in 1851, and 
spent his boyhood in New York state. He was there when the 
Civil war broke out, and loyal to his adopted country, he enlisted 
in the Third Battery, New York Light Artillery, serving from 
his muster in at Albany, in 1862, until his discharge in August 
of the same year. He participated in the battles of Beaufort and 
Marlsborough, and in minor skirmishes. After his discharge he 
moved to Fond du Lac, Wis., and lived there one year. Then 
he moved to Green Bay, in the same state. It was in 1866 that 
he came to Minnesota, and homesteaded seventy-five acres of 
land in section 8, Albion township. With him came his sister, 
now Mrs. Nancy Dechauey, of Annandale, who has reached the 
age of 81 years. When Mr. Lambert first took his land it was 
covered with woods. He moved into a log cabin and started to 
establish for themselves a home in the wilderness. As time 
passed, their farm contained 1-31 acres and became one of the 
best in tlie neighborhood. The place is fully developed in every" 
respect, the home is modern and the barns are commodious, 
while the equii)ment is of the best. Mr. Lambert has taken an 
interest in education, and served for some time as treasurer of 
his school district in Albion township. He was also roadoverseer 
for a considerable period. In 1898 he retired and moved to 
Annandale and built a good home. He is a member of the 
G. A. R., and attends the Catholic church. Mr. Lambert was 
married in S^eptember, 1876, to Eugenia Logeais, daughter of 
Eugene Logeais, of Albion township. She died in 1889, leaving 
one son, Eugene, who lives on the home farm in Albion. Like 
his father before him, he is an energetic, capable man, and is well 
liked throughout the community. He married Stella O'Brien. 
They have four children : Aaron, Sidney, Darius and Eugene H. 
In August, 1898, Jacob Lambert married Mrs. Mary Strom, born 
in Ramsey county, September 12, 1858, daughter of Joseph Pepin 
and JIatilda Morrisette. Her paternal grandfather, Pepin, home- 



268 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

steaded the land where a part of St. Paul bow stands, and her 
father, Joseph Pepin, was one of the first white children born 
in Fort Snelling. 

Harry Allen, soldier, traveler and guide, is one of the notable 
figures in Annandale life. He has done service on the bloody 
battlefields of two continents, and has had experiences such as 
seldom fall to the lot of man. He was born in Onondaga, N. Y., 
January 10, 1840, son of John and Sarah Allen. John Allen was 
a fisherman on the Great Lakes, and from the time he was able 
to handle a net until he was sixteen years old, Harry Allen worked 
with him. Then he started out for himself as a sailor on the 
Great Lakes. He was thus engaged when the Civil war broke 
out. He first enlisted in the First Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, 
and when his term there had expired, in the Seventeenth Wiscon- 
sin Volunteer Infantry. Among the engagements in which he 
participated may be mentioned the battles of Corinth, Champion 
Hills, Vicksburg, Trinity, Big Shanty, Kenesaw Mountain, 
Atlanta (July 21, 24 and 28), Jonesboro, Lovejoy Station, 
Millidgeville, Savannah, Columbia, Charleston, Kingston, Ben- 
tonville and Raleigh. He was wounded in the left leg at the 
Round- Away Bayou, Louisiana ; and at Atlanta he was wounded 
in the left leg and the left arm, and lost his left eye. In 1865 
he again became a sailor on the Great Lakes. This occupation he 
followed until 1880, when he opened a repair shoj) in Chicago. 
It was in 1882 that he went to Egypt and enlisted in the English 
army for seven months under "Chinese" Gordon. The fact 
that he had been sent with the sick to Cairo saved him from 
being destroyed with his company at the battle of Khartoum. 
After his term of enlistment expired he again returned to Chicago 
and conducted a repair shop. In 1887 he came to St. Paul and 
found employment in the lumber woods in the northern part of 
the state. His residence in Wright county dates from 1896, 
since which time he has been a guide and a keeper of a resort. 
Mr. Allen was married in 1891 to Viola Lee, daughter of William 
and Betsy Lee, of Cokato, this county. Mrs. Allen died in 1902, 
leaving three children : Caroline, Benjamin and Harry. 

Martin Koepke, now deceased, was for many years one of 
the respected and substantial citizens of Albion township. He 
was born in Germany, November 13, 1858, and was there reared 
and educated. In 1878 he set out for America to seek his fortune 
in the new country. By working hard and saving his money 
he was enabled in 1880 to purchase eighty acres in section 34, 
Albion township. He cleared all the land, built a log house 
16 by 24, with a shingled roof and board floor, and became in 
time a successful farmer. He died March 27, 1897, and his 
death was sincerely mourned. Mr. Koepke was married October 
27, 1881, to Caroline Schultz, who was born in Germany April 




MR. AND MRS. I'ATRICK Bl'TLER 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 269 

18, 1865, and canu- to America with Michael Perchmien, a family 
friend. JMr. and -Mrs. Koepke had eight children. Hukla, the 
oldest, tiled in infancy. Rudolph was born February 26, 1887. 
Reinhold was born January -8, 1889. Hedwig was born in 
August, 1893; Olga died in 1903; Martin was born July 27, 1897; 
Robert and Martha died in infancy. Rudolph and Reinhold are 
both successful farmers of this township. Iledwig was nuirricd 
January 1, 1911, to William Uecker, and they have two children; 
Edwin and William. J\Irs. Caroline (Schultz) Koepke was mar- 
ried in October, 1899, to Fred Uecker, and they live in section 27, 
Albion township. They have four children : Bernard, born 
August 6, 1900; Esther, born June 2, 1903; Olga, born May 15, 
1906. and Annie, born July 26, 1909. 

Rudolph Koepke, an energetic young farmer of Albion town- 
ship, was born on the old homestead in section 34, son of Martin 
and Caroline (Schidtz) Koepke. He attended the district schools, 
was reared to farm pursuits and remained with his parents, and 
after his father's death took charge of the home place with his 
brother Reinhold. In 1913 he bought his present place of 120 
acres in sections 26 and 23, where he carries on general farming 
and stock raising in a successful manner. Mr. Koepke was mar- 
ried, September 20, 1911, to Tina Elfmann, and they have a son, 
Alvin, born February 11, 1913. Tina Elfmann is the daughter 
of Edward and Molly (Kranz) Elfmann, of section 36, Albion 
township. Mr. Elfmann died February 26, 1915. 

Patrick Butler came to Wright county in 1860, and preempted 
160 acres in section 27, Maple Lake township. He erected a log 
house, 10 by 14 feet, with a bark roof and a board floor, and 
started to clear the land. During the maple sugar season the 
Indians camped around the house, their teepees covering many 
acres. When the news came of the Indian uprising the family 
tied to ilonticello for safety. So great was the fright that they 
left their lamp burning on the table. After the danger was over 
they returned and again took up their work of develoi)ing the 
farm. Patrick Butler died in 18S6 at the age of sixty-one. His 
wife, Catherine Malone, died in Maple Lake village in 1909. In 
the family there were seventeen children. James, Mary, Mar- 
garet, Elizabeth, Thomas, Catherine, Patrick, Delia, Jennie, Lucy 
and Ellen are alive, and William (first), Catherine, Patrick, 
Francis, John and William (second) are dead. James lives in 
Albion township. He married Julia O'Loughliu, and they have 
three children, Catherine S., Mary Lillian and Paul Francis. 
Mary is the wife of Henry Gorman, of Maple Lake, and they 
have eleven children : William, Joseph, Patrick, Annie, Mary, 
Virginia, Catherine, Lillian, Esther, Genevieve and Earl. Mar- 
garet is the widow of John Moore. Elizabeth is now the wife of 
G. A. Cunningham, of Spokane, Wash., and they have four chil- 



270 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

dreii: Luella, who is living, and Lillian, Clarence and Catherine, 
who are dead. Thomas lives in Spokane, Wash. ; Catherine, 
Patrick and Delia live in Maple Lake, the last named being 
assistant cashier in the Maple Lake State Bank. Jennie lives in 
Crosby, N. D., and Lucy lives in Maple Lake. Ellen is the wife 
of James Woodfill, of Maple Lake, and has two children, Francis 
and Catherine. 

James Butler, a respected farmer of Albion township, was 
born near Davenport, Iowa, July 22, 1857, oldest of the seventeen 
children of Patrick and Catherine (Maloue) Butler, the early 
settlers. He attended the district schools, learned farming from 
his father, and remained at home until twenty-seven years of 
age. In 1884 he started out for himself by purchasing eighty 
acres in section 1, Albion township. No house had at that time 
been erected. He developed the place and put up a frame house 
16 by 26, with a good basement, a barn 36 by 40, with eighteen- 
foot posts, several sheds and some neat fences. He can house 
twenty-four head of cattle, six horses and forty tons of hay. 
In 1891 he bought forty acres more, and this he has likewise 
developed. He carries on general farming, and makes a specialty 
of Poland China hogs and Plymouth Rock and Rhode Island Red 
chickens. Aside from being a successful agriculturist, Mr. Butler 
is a popular fraternity man and has been secretary of the Catholic 
Order of Foresters at Maple Lake. Mr. Butler was married 
January 6, 1897, to Julia O'Loughlin, daughter of James and 
Catherine (Shea) O'Loughlin, the pioneers, and they have three 
children : Catherine S., born October 24, 1897 ; Mary Lillian, born 
September 18, 1899, and Paul Pi-ancis, born November 18, 1902. 

Jajnes O'Loughlin, retired, now living in Maple Lake village, 
was born in County Claire, Ireland, February 15, 1836. In 1853 
he came to America, and was for several years employed on 
public works in Ohio, Illinois and Pennsylvania. It was in 1860 
that he came to Wright county and settled on eighty acres of 
railroad land in section 31, Maple Lake township. The land was 
covered with timber, and in its development Mr. O'Loughlin 
underwent all the toils and privations of pioneer life. He cleared, 
grubbed and broke the land and brought it to a high stage of 
cultivation. As time progressed he erected suitable buildings, 
and to his original eighty acres he added another eighty. For 
many years he successfully followed general farming and became 
a prominent man in the community. In 1911 he retired, purchased 
two lots in Maple Lake village, and erected the pretty cottage 
where he now resides. While living in the township he was 
supervisor of the town for two years. He also served on the 
school board of his district. His family faith is that of St. Tim- 
othy Roman Catholic Church. Mr. O'Laughlin was married in 
1864 to Catherine Shea. To this union there were born ten 




MR. AND MRS. S. B. HOWARD 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 271 

children: Mary (deceased), Annie, Cecelia, Catherine, Agnes, 
Julia, Sarah, John, James (deceased), and Bernard. Catherine 
(Shea) O'Loughlin died and Mr. O'Loughlin married Mary 
Sullivan. 

Martin C. Hackbarth, a substantial resident of Albion town- 
ship, was born in Germany, January 13, 1861, son of Wilhelm 
and Wilhelmina (Kistow) Hackbarth. He was reared in Ger- 
many, and came to America in 1879. For three years he worked 
in New York. Then lie came to Wright county and for one 
year lived in Howard Lake. It was in 1884 that he came to 
Albion township and secured sixty-eight acres in section 15. The 
tract was covered with timber, no clearing had been made, and 
no buildings had been constructed. He erected a log house, 
16 by 30 feet, with a shingle roof and a board floor. He also built 
a log barn 16 by 24 feet. He started with a cow, two pigs and 
ten chickens. He purchased a pair of steers and broke them to 
assist in the farm work. By hard work he has prospered, and he 
now has as good a farm as is to be found in the township. I\Ir. 
Hackbarth was married November 15, 1881, to Augusta Bobrow- 
ski, daughter of John and Sophia (Yonke) Bobrowski, farmers of 
Mctor townshiji. jMr. and Mrs. Hackbarth were the parents of 
fourteen children. Wilhelm assists in operating the home farm. 
He married Martha Newmann, and has two children. Marie 
married Peter Schoen. Emma married Benjamin Hartman. 
Bertha married Albert Neusteller, who died March 6, 1915. 
Henry is in South Dakota. Ida is at home. Emil, Martha and 
August are in North Dakota. Karl, Ernest, Lillie and Margai'ct 
are at home. One died in infancy. The mother of these children 
died March 3, 1905. 

Sajnuel B. Howard, an influential resident of Albion town- 
ship, was born near Brewer, Me., November 2, 1833, of English 
ancestry. His father, Jesse F. Howard, was born in Maine, June 
11, 1804, and devoted his early life to lumbering. In 1863 he 
came to section 2, Albion township, and took a homestead. He 
died in 1881. His wife was Martha Robishaw. Samuel B. How- 
ard was reared in Maine, and from his earliest childhood was 
interested in the lumber business. As eai'ly as when he was 
twelve years old he started work in a shingle mill, and from then 
until 1856 he was in the lumber business in Maine continuously, 
in the mills, in the woods and on the rivers. In 1856 he went to 
Forest, Mich., where he followed the same line of industry until 
1865. In that year to came to Minnesota and bought fifty-seven 
acres in section 2, Albion township, from his father, who had 
previously located here. Samuel B. Howard was a true pioneer, 
and was intimately acquainted with many of the prominent 
characters of the early days. At one time he was in the employ 
of Major Morrill, at the Crow Wing Agency, and frequently met 



272 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Hole-in-the-Day and other famous Chippewas. He had an under- 
standing of Indian character and never had any trouble with 
them. He cleared up his place in Albion township, using an ox 
team for seven years. His first home was a log house, 18 by 28 
feet, with a board floor and a roof of oak shakes. He still lives 
on his original claim. He has developed and improved it, erected 
good buildings and brought it to a high stage of cultivation. 
Mr. Howard is known far and wide as a hunter. In the early 
days he used a Smith & Wesson carbine. Now he uses a Henry 
rifle, a sixteen shot pump gun, and the young men eagerly come 
to him to learn the fine points of deer hunting. In the early days 
he usually killed from eighty to ninety-five deer each fall. The 
customary price he received from the saddles of venison was ten 
cents a pound. In recent years he has killed as many as the law 
allows. In the fall of 1913, at the age of eighty, he brought down 
a splendid buck which was the envy and admiration of the 
younger hunters. He has also taken a deep interest in township 
matters, and for twelve years served as road overseer. Mr. 
Howard was married February 13, 1862, to Christina Lansear, 
daughter of Joseph and Mary Ann Lansear, who came from New 
York state and located in Michigan. Mr. and Mrs. Howard have 
had ten children. Alice is the wife of William Perkins, wlio lives 
in South Side township, about three miles from South Haven. 
Jarvis lives at Lewis, Wis. William lives about three miles north- 
west from Annandale. Rolie lives on the home farm. Arthur 
also lives on the home farm. Dora married Milton Smith, and 
died in 1895 at the age of twenty-six, leaving two children. The 
other four died in infancy. 

Staven Cowett, a highly esteemed resident of Albion town- 
ship, was born in Hennepin county, this state, October 30, 1864, 
son of Isaac and Susan (Goodwin) Cowett. Isaac Cowett came 
to Minneapolis from Canada in 1852. In 1876 he came to Wright 
county, camping the first night on the present site of the court- 
house at Bviffalo. He came to Chatham township and bought 160 
acres on the banks of Rock Lake. The tract was entirely cov- 
ered with woods. He erected a cabin of hewed logs, twelve feet 
high, set on end. The roof was of "shakes," while the lower 
floor was of basswood slabs. The furniture was manufactured 
on the place. The plow used in breaking was brought from 
Minneapolis, a wooden-toothed harrow was improvised from 
small trees and saplings. Gradually, however, the country was 
settled up, the comforts and conveniences of life were available, 
and the family prospered. Twelve boys and ten girls were born, 
thirteen of whom are now living. Of these children, Staven 
was the fifth. With the rest of the family he went through the 
privations of pioneer life, and has many interesting tales to tell 
of tlie early days. He tells with special relish the story of the 



--3?f 




STAVEX (■u\v?:tt and family 



c 




MR. AND MKS. SAMUEL RAICHE 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 273 

time when as a fourteen-year-old boy, he and another boy, John 
Haverty, went to a dance witli but one pair of shoes between 
them, taking turns at using the shoes, while the other waited. 
Mr. Cowett worked at home until some time after attaining his 
nuijority. and then worked around on different farms for some 
four years. In 1891 he bought forty acres in section 25, Albion 
township. He cleared this land and erected a cabin 16 by 20 
feet, of hewed logs, with a shingled roof and basswood floor. 
The fia-niture was homemade. P'ortuuately he had a cow. But 
it was three years before he got a team and six years before he 
secured a wagon. By working early and late and giving to his 
farm work his best energy and intelligence, he has now reaped 
that measure of success that lu' so richly deserves. He owns 
165 acres of good land, has a house 16 by 24 feet, with fourteen 
foot posts, and a 16 by 24 feet ell, a large barn, and the usual 
sheds and the like. He carries about thirty-seven cattle through- 
out the year and does considerable dairying. In addition to this 
he devotes considerable time to raising Poland China and Jersey 
Red hogs, Plymouth Rock and Buff" Orpington chickens, and 
bronze turkeys. Mr. Cowett was married December 30, 1889, to 
Barbara Hessel, born in New York June 8, 1873, daughter of 
John and Barbara (Ertelluirdt) Hessel, early settlers. Mr. and 
Mrs. Cowett have had six children : Matilda, John, Mary, Rose, 
Helen and Joseph. Matilda lives at Plenty "Wood, Mont. She 
was born August 6, 1890; was married June 14, 1911, to James 
Crosby, and has one son, Gerald, born April 25, 1912. John was 
born January 9, 1892; Mary was born September 14, 1893; Rose 
was born May 24, 1894; Helen was bom April 24, 1897; and 
Joseph was born April 15, 1899. The family are members of the 
Catholic Church. 

Samuel Raiche, an extensive land owner and leading citizen 
of Albion townsliip, was born in Canada, October 26, 1844, sou 
of Amebic and Adelaide (Jutra) Raiche. He was reared and 
educated in Canada, and at the age of twenty-one came to the 
United States and secured employment making railroad ties in 
St. Joseph, Mo. Then he did railroad work out of St. Paul for 
a year. In 1867 he came to this county and lived three years on 
a farm one mile and a half east of Buffalo. At the expiration 
of this period he bought forty acres in section 35, Albion town- 
ship. He erected a log house, 16 by 20 feet, with a shingled roof 
and a board floor, and began to establish his fortunes. He worked 
hard early and late, he put his best energy and intelligence into 
his toil, from time to time he added to his possessions, and as his 
means permitted he erected modern buildings. He now owns 
400 acres of as good land as is to be found in the township. 
The land is well tilled, the fences and buildings are well kept, 
the live stock is of good breeds, and everything about the place 



274 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

bespeaks the thrift, hard work and modem ideas of the owner. 
Mr. Raiche was married July 22, 1873, to Bridget Doherty, daugh- 
ter of Patrick and Ellen (Flaherty) Doherty, of Minneapolis. 
Mrs. Raiche died October 14, 1906, leaving seven children : John, 
born January 17, 1876 ; Samuel J., born October 20, 1878 ; Francis, 
born June 8, 1880; Mary, born IMarch 12, 1882; Margaret, born 
October 19, 1883; Edwin, born October 30, 1885; Elizabeth, born 
December 15, 1887. The family worships at St. Charles Roman 
Catholic Church in Chatham township. 

John A. Raiche, an enterprising farmer of Albion township, 
was born in Canada November 2, 1855, son of Ameble and Ade- 
laide (Jutra) Raiche. At the age of sixteen John A.' came to 
Concord, N. H., and started work in a brick yard. It was in 1872 
that he came to Wright county. The following year he purchased 
forty acres in section 35, Albion township, but at once went north 
to the pine country and for seven years was engaged in the 
timber woods winters, and on the river, rafting, during the 
summers. Then he returned to Albion township, sold his farm 
to liis brother, Samuel, and bought 120 acres in section 23, Albion 
township. His father died in March, 1879, and John A. went to 
Canada and got his mother, who spent the remainder of her 
life with him and died at his home, July 8, 1903, at the age of 
eighty-four. When Mr. Raiche purchased the place in section 23, 
it was covered with timber. He erected a house of hewed logs, set 
upright, with a shingle roof and a board floor. He owned a 
stove, but most of the furniture was made on the place. With 
this beginning he has become a prosperous farmer. He has a 
well-improved place, with good buildings, and an excellent equip- 
ment, and successfully carries on general farming and stock 
raising, ilr. Raiche was married April 12, 1882, to Mary A. 
Archambault, daughter of Joseph and Julia (O'Shea) Archam- 
bault. Mary A. Archambault was the oldest of ten children. 
Her father came to Wright county during the Civil war, and 
located on section 13, Albion township, where he died in Novem- 
ber, 1909. Her mother now lives in Maple Lake village. Mr. and 
Mrs. Raiche have had eleven children. Joseph A. was bom 
March 11, 1883, was married October 3, 1904, to Catherine Mona- 
han, and has two children: Michael, born August 15, 1905, and 
Victor A., born November 22, 1908. Adelaide was born October 
28, 1884, and died January 21, 1887. John was born May 14, 
1886, and lives at home. Annie was born April 6, 1888, was mar- 
T-ied September 14, 1910, to Oscar Werneke, and has one child, 
Edna, bom June 22, 1911. Francis B. was born March 2, 1890; 
Auzebe A. was born January 22, 1892; Julia was born January 
22, 1894 ; Le Roy was born July 29, 1898 ; Walter was born July 3, 
1900; Loretta M. was born October 3, 1903; and Sidney L. was 
born January 13, 1911. Mr. Raiche has served as director of 




MR. AND MK'S. KMIL OKLSCHLAGEK 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 275 

school district 72 for eiglit yeare. The family are communicants 
of the St. Timothy's Catholic Church at Maple Lake. 

Emil F. Oelschlager, a well-to-do farmer of Albion township, 
was born in Germany, August 12, 1864, son of Ferdinand and 
Caroline (Wohlgemuth) Oelschlager, and was there reared. His 
stepfather, Peter Georke, and his mother, with the children of 
the family, came to Chatham townsliip, tliis county, in 1880, and 
purchased 120 acres of land. Emil F. came with tliem, and 
remained until he was twenty-four years of age. In 1888 he 
rented eighty acres of land in section 36, Albion township, and 
three years later he bought it. A log house, 16 by 20 feet, with 
a board roof, had already been erected. Not much clearing had 
been done. Witli a yoke of steers and an old farm wagon, he 
started the work of bringing the jjlacc to its j)resent high state of 
development. He has a sightly house, 18 by 22 feet, witli a 
story and a half kitchen, 14 by 16 feet, and a large basenu'ut. 
The new barn, 32 by 60 feet, with eighteen-foot posts, is built 
along modern lines, and has room for twenty cattle, eight horses 
and sixty tons of hay. The farm is well fenced and well tilled, 
and the livestock is of a good grade. Mr. Oelschlager was mar- 
ried February 11, 1890, to Minnie Morohn, daughter of Michael 
and Dora (Berg) Morohn. Mrs. Oelschlager died Dec. 15, 1910. 
In the family there are nine children : John, born February 5, 
1892; Walter, born October 24, 1893; Dora, born December 2, 
1895; Robert, born Dec. 20, 1896; Harry, born January 16, 1900; 
George, born February 7, 1902; Esther, born March 11, 1904; 
Jennie, born Dec. 25, 1905 ; Martha, born November 29, 1907. 

Joseph P. Hannon, a respected resident of Albion township, 
was born on section 23, in the township where he still lives, 
December 14, 1878, son of Michael and Bridget (McNulty) 
Hannon. He remained at home until twenty-six years of age. and 
then purchased forty acres in section 11, Albion township. Five 
years later he rented the home farm in the same section. He has 
a good farm of 160 acres, with good buildings and excellent 
equipment, and here he successfully carries on general farming 
and stock raising, paying especial attention to growing Minne- 
sota No. 13, Yellow Dent corn. In the affairs of the community 
he has taken his part, and he is well regarded throughout the 
township. For three years he was road overseer. Since 1905 
he has been a member of the school board of district No. 62, and 
in 1912 and 1913 was town assessor. He is a member of the 
Catholic Order of Foresters. Mr. Hannon was married Novem- 
ber 23, 1904, to Margaret O'Neil, daughter of Patrick H. and 
Catherine (Ryan) O'Neil, and they have the following children: 
Catherine A., born October 13, 1905; James O'Neil, born June 
16, 1907; Timothy W., born December 23, 1908; Thomas Milford, 
born November 3, 1911; and John Paul, bom January 5, 1914. 



276 HISTORY OF WRLGHT COUNTY 

Patrick H. O'Neil, of Albion township, was born in Ellsworth, 
Me., July 15, 1850, sou of Patrick and Margaret (Desmond) 
O'Neil, the pioneers. Patrick O'Neil was born in County Cork, 
Ireland, and was there married. As a young man he came to 
America, and took up lumbering in the state of Maine. It was 
in 1857 that he came to Wright county, and located on section 31, 
Monticello township, where he lived until his death in 1859. The 
members of the family erected a two-story log cabin and started 
clearing the land. In 1859, the year the father died, they had 
little to eat but corn meal. In 1862 they fled to the stockade in 
Monticello township to escape from the Indians that were sup- 
posed to be coming. Patrick H. O'Neil received his education in 
the district schools, and as he grew to manhood took charge of 
the home farm. In 1895 he took up his father's old occupation 
of lumbering, going for this purpose to the woods in northern 
Minnesota. Since 1903 he has lived with his son-in-law, Joseph 
P. Hannon, of Albion township. He is an estimable man, and 
has served as a member of the school board for four years. Mr. 
O'Neil was married April 19, 1881, to Catherine Ryan, daughter 
of Luke and Catherine (Smith) Ryan, natives of Ireland. Mrs. 
O'Neil died December 24, 1894, leaving six children: William, 
of Willmar, Minn. ; Frederick, of Drake, N. D. ; Margaret, wife 
of J. P. Ilannon ; Mary F., wife of George Welton ; Alice, wife of 
Conrad Behreubrinker, of Melrose, Minn. ; and Catherine, of 
Minneapolis. The family faith is that of the Roman Catholic 
Church. 

John Cantin, a prosperous citizen of Albion township, was 
born in Quebec, Canada, February 19, 1859, son of Louis and 
Lucy (Boucher) Cantin, the former of whom died in April, 1897, 
at the age of seventy-three years, and the latter in 1895 at the age 
of sixty-nine years. John Cantin left home at the age of twenty, 
and for thirteen years worked in the Iron river region in Michi- 
gan, as a miner and woodsman. In 1892 he came to Wright 
county, and for nine years rented various farms in Albion town- 
ship. In 1901 he bought 174 acres in section 24. A house, two 
stories, 16 by 22, with a kitchen 14 by 14, stood on the place. 
In 1913 he erected a good barn 32 by 50, with sixteen-foot posts, 
having accommodations for twenty-four cattle, seven horses and 
fifty tons of hay. Mr. Cantin carries on general farming, and 
makes a specialty of stock, fowl and fruit raising. Throughout 
the year he keeps about twenty-four cattle, four horses, thirty-five 
swine, seventy-five chickens and fifty turkeys, and his orchards 
contain many apple and plum trees, aside from a good quantity 
of berry bushes and th(> like. Mr. Cantin has been on the school 
board of district 116 for twelve years. He is treasurer of St. 
Charles Catholic Church in Chatham township, and belongs to 




s 

o 



Eh 



« 

s 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 277 

the Modern Woodmen of America. Mr. Cantin was married 
November 22, 1SS6, to Ovida Jolly, daughter of Eli and Filamen 
(Gravel) .Jolly. Eli Jolly now lives at Iron River, Mich., at the 
age of seventy-two years. Mrs. Eli Jolly died April 1, 1885, 
after a long illness. Mr. and Mrs. Cantin have liad nine children : 
Edward was born August 25, 1887, and now lives in Saskatche- 
wan, Canada. George was born January 5, 1889, was married 
September 12, 1911, to Rosa Uruins, and lives near his father. 
William was born January 20, 1891, and lives in Saskatchewan, 
Canada. Emma was born September 11, 1894, and was married 
September 22, 1914, to William Worm, Jr., of Corinna township. 
Peter was born May 23, 1896; Annie, July 22, 1898; Leo, July 12, 
1901 ; Louis, July 8, 1905; and Leona, October 30, 1906. 

Patrick Doherty, Jr., a scientific farmer of Albion township, 
was born on the homestead in section 26, in the township where 
he still resides, October 3, 1874, son of Patrick and Ellen 
(Murphy) Doherty, a sketch of whom appears elsewhere in this 
work. He attended the district schools, grew up on the home 
place, and was reared to farm pursuits. At the age of twenty- 
eight he bought eighty acres in section 22, Albion township, and 
farmed there two years. Then he sold out, and bought 130 
acres in sections 2 and 11, Albion township, where he still lives. 
He carries on general farming and makes a specialty of Poland 
China swine. He has been very successful in raising Marquis 
wheat, which yields twenty-five per cent, better than the common 
varieties. In 1900 Mr. Doherty was elected supervisor of Albion 
township, a position he filled with much credit for three years. 
In May, 1903, he became town clerk, and in that capacity he still 
remains, having ably occupied the office and given general satis- 
faction to his fellow citizens. He has also been a member of the 
school board for a time. The Catholic Order of Foresters at 
Maple Lake covints him as one of its valuable members. Mr. 
Doherty was married June 24, 1903, to Catherine Hannon, and 
they have had six children: Patrick Allen, born July 14, 1905; 
Catherine, born August 6, 1907 ; Malaehy, born March 10, 1909 ; 
Mathew, born January 16, 1911; Patricia, born July 26, 1913; 
and Mary Ellen, who was born May 27, 1904, and died July 26, 
of the same year. Catherine Hannon was one of Wright county's 
most popular teachers. She attended the district schools and 
the splendid schools of Minneapolis, after which she attended 
the St. Cloud State Normal school. Then she taught ten years 
in the schools of Wright county. She was born May 16, 1877, 
the third child of Michael and Bridget (McNulty) Hannon. 

Patrick Doherty, Sr., an honored resident of Albion township, 
was born in County Galway, Ireland, in March, 1839, son of 
Patrick and Ellen (Flaherty) Doherty. He came to America in 



278 HISTORY OF WEIGHT COUNTY 

1860, his first location here being at Summit, New Jersey. For 
about a year lie was in Louisville, Kentucky, but he soon again 
returned to New Jersey, and there remained some five years. 
Later lie lived about five years in Chicago. It was in 1871 that 
he came to Wright county, and purchased forty acres in section 
23, Albion township. He erected a log house, 18 by 24 feet, and 
cleared all the land. His first live stock consisted of a pair of 
steers and a cow. He raised a few potatoes and a little corn, 
but for the first two years he supported the family largely by 
working on the railroad. He is now one of the prosperous 
farmers of the township, and has a well improved place, the 
result of his hard work and untiring energy. He owns 120 acres 
in section 23, and successfully carries on general farming, with 
the assistance of various members of his family. 

Patrick Doherty, Sr., was married May 15, 1866, to Ellen 
Murphy, daughter of William and Ann Murphy, the former of 
whom was a shepherd in Ireland. Nine children were born in 
the Doherty family. Nellie was born February 26, 1867 and died 
January 4, 1875. Owen was born October 19, 1868, and died Jan- 
uary 28, 1875. Both died of diphtheria. William was born 
November 2, 1872. He married Mary Gorman, and their children 
are Bessie, Frances, Nellie, Catherine and Regiua. Patrick Jr. 
has already been mentioned. Owen was born December 20, 1876, 
married Margaret Scanlon, and has two children, Ralph and 
James. James, the next child of Patrick Doherty, Sr., was born 
April 19, 1878. Elizabeth was boi-n April 5, 1880, married Thomas 
Mooney, and has five children, Helen, James, Russell, Francis 
and Elizabeth. Nellie was born June 2, 1882, and married Ed- 
ward Scanlon. Ann was born June 14, 1886. The family wor- 
ships at St. Charles' Catholic church in Chatham township. 

Mons Anderson, now deceased, was a law-abiding, honest cit- 
izen, and his memory is still held in reverance throughout the 
community. He was born in Sweden in 1851, and was there 
reared. Upon coming to America he lived several years in 
Colorado. It was in 1878 that he came to Albion township and 
bought sixty-five acres in section 33, where he died January 8, 
1892, as the result of being kicked by a horse. Mr. Anderson was 
married June 27, 1879, to Annie Johnson, daughter of John and 
Mary (Anderson) Johnson, and this union was blessed with six 
children: August, who was born September 30, 1881, and oper- 
ates the home farm; Josephine, who was born July 17, 1886, and 
married Emil Wirsen, of Duluth ; Nels, born September 5, 1888. 
who lives at home, and three who died in infancy. Mrs. Annie 
Johnson Anderson was married November 17, 1893, to Andrew 
Marsch, and they have five children : Albert, born August 29, 
1894; Oscar, born January 22, 1897; Charles, born March 22, 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 279 

1899; Mabel and Frieda (twins), born May 1, 1903. John John- 
sou and his good wife, Mary Anderson, were born in Sweden, 
eaiue to Aiiierica in 187:?, and located on forty acres of land in 
section 28, Albion townsliip, in 1880. He died in October, 1910, 
while the mother died August 31, 1905. They were the parents 
of six children: Andrew, who lives in Spicer, Minn.; George, 
who lives in section 28, Albion township; John, tleceased ; Annie, 
now Mrs. Andrew Marscli ; Christine, living in New York; and 
Betsey, now !Mi-s. Andrew Dahlgren. 

John B. Fashant, a leading fai-nier of Albion township, was 
born in Eden, Wis., July 8, 1860, a son of Alexander and Mary 
B. (Terion) Fashant, the pioneers. Alexander Fashant was born 
in Belgium and was there married. In September, 1855, lie came 
to America, located near Eden, Wis., and farmed there for some 
years. It was in 1863 that he came to Wright county and located 
on seventy-two acres in section 19, Albion township. None of 
this tract had been cleared. On it, however, was the place where 
150 Indians had their maple-sugar camp, and from which tliey 
carted sugar to Elk River and Monticello. The old fire kiln 
which the Indians used is still standing on the place, and has 
been preserved as a historic relic of almost forgotten days. Alex- 
ander Fashant set at work and erected a log cabin 16 by 20 feet. 
The roof was of split logs and the floor was of trampled earth. 
He brought his fannly here in 1865. The Fashants were fortu- 
nate in having two horse teams, a plow and a harrow. They 
had brought good furniture with them from Wisconsin. Provi- 
sions, however, were scarce, and hardships were many. At one 
time the father hauled a barrel of flour from St. Paul, for which 
he had paid $16 in cash. Alexander Fashant died in Wisconsin, 
March 4, 1910, at the age of eighty-seven years. His wife died 
in Annandale, this county, March 27, 1904, at the age of eighty- 
five years. John B. Fashant came here with his parents and 
remained with them until their death. He bought the home farm 
in 1897. Only twenty acres had at that time been cleared. He 
has developed the land, added ten acres more to the original 
tract, and greatly improved it, and now carries on general farm- 
ing on an extensive scale. Aside from the usual crops he raises 
Jersey and Shorthorn cattle, Poland China and Jersey Red swine. 
Buff Wyandotte, Plymouth Rock and Black Minorca fowls. Sur- 
prise plums and Hybernal, Wealthy and Northwestern Greening 
apples. Mr. Fashant is a member of the Modern Woodmen of 
America and the Woodmen of the World. The family faith is 
that of the Christian Advent Church. Mr. Fashant wa.s married 
January 10, 1900, to Josephine Burchette, daughter of Merideth 
and Mary (McCoy) Burchette, of Albion township, and this union 
has been blessed with three children : Golden Tillou, born Decern- 



280 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

ber 26, 1900; Irene Josephine, born October 24, 1902; and Ailcy 
Elizabeth, born July 18, 1905. 

Sylvester N. Dimn, a leading farmer of Albion township, was 
born in Warren county, Ohio, April 24, 1850, son of James and 
Lucy Ann (Pairchilds) Dunn, who took him to Wells county, 
Indiana, in 1851. The father died in 1853. When the Civil war 
broke out, Sylvester N. desired earnestly to enlist. Finally on 
October 27, 1864, when he was but fourteen years of age, he swore 
that he was eighteen years of age, and enlisted in Co. H, 119th 
Indiana, under Captain John M. Moore and Colonel John Peter 
Clevershanks, one time governor of Indiana. Mr. Dunn jsartici- 
pated in the Cluntown raid, so-called, from Memphis, Tenn., to 
Guntown, Mo., lasting nearly a month. He also took part in the 
figlit with Ford's guerrillas at La Grange, Tenn. Although 
twenty-five out of the detachment of forty were killed, he escaped 
without a wound. In the winter of 1864 he was one of the 
command of 8,000 men who entered the great swamp near Gaines 
Landing, Ark. The troops were thirty days in crossing this 
swamp of seventy-five miles diameter, thus making less than three 
miles a day. During six of these days Private Dunn was without 
food. Portions of the swamp were seemingly bottomless, and the 
passage was most difficult, 1,300 men being lost during the 
thirty days. Of 1,500 negroes who followed after them, only 500 
survived. After his retiu-n from the war, Mr. Dium worked for 
a time as a farmhand. He was married at the age of eighteen, 
and then continued farming in the same neighborhood for two 
years. In 1879 he went to Clay county, Nebraska, and purchased 
a farm which he operated for seven years. In 1877 he sold out 
and moved back to Indiana. It was in 1879 that he came to 
Wright county and bought eighty acres in section 12, Albion 
township, where he now resides. This was all wild land, and he 
started as a pioneer. He built a one-story log house, 18 by 24 
feet. The roof was of shingles and the floor was made of boards. 
He cleared all the land, the only help he had being a man that 
he hired for one day. After he had cut off the trees, he put in his 
crops as best he could and allowed the stumps to crumble away. 
He now has a well-developed, well-improved place, with good 
buildings, and an excellent equipment, and carries on general 
farming and stock raising. He is a member of the G. A. R. The 
family faith is that of the First Day Adventist Church. Mr. 
Dunn was married in 1868 to Christina Gaskell, daughter of 
Samuel and Catharine (Glass) Gaskell, who were Indiana farm- 
ers. Mr. and Mrs. Dunn have had eight children. Nancy is the 
wife of J. E. Williams, of Frederick, Wis. Solomon lives in 
Minneapolis. Catharine is the wife of M. E. Smith, of Alexandria, 
Minn. Oscar lives near Maple Lake. Frank is attending the 







I. 

12 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 281 

University of Minnesota. Isaac livetl at iMelrose and died in 1909 
at the age of 06. Two ilied in infancy. 

Henry N. Schaefer, an extensive and prosperous fai'iner, 
dairyman and stock raiser of Albion township, was born in Hob- 
iusdale, Minn., November 20, 1868, son of John and Siisau (Orth) 
Schaefer, and grandson of Nichohis Scliaefer. Nicholas Schaefer, 
one of the worthy pioneers, was born in Germany, of a sturdy old 
famil.y, and came to America in 1853, locating on a farm in Hen- 
nepin county, this state, where he died in 1881. John Schaefer 
came to America in 1854 and drove overland to California, where 
he remained five years. In 1859 he bought his father's farm in 
Hennepin county, this state. There lie lived and labored until 
1892, when he bought 313 acres of land in sections 1 and 12, 
Albion township, this county, where he lived until his death in 
1896. He was a good citizen, and his loss was sincerely mourned. 
Henry N. Schaefer was reared in Hennepin county, and there 
remained until twenty years of age. Then he went to the state 
of Washington and remained there three years. In 1891 he 
came back to Hemiepin county and rented a farm for a year. 
After this he rented the home farm in the same county for five 
years. His next move was to purchase a farm of 280 acres in 
Mon-is county, Minnesota. In 1901 he sold out there, bought 
160 acres in Maple Lake township, this county, and farmed there 
six years. In 1907 he rented the home farm in Albion township, 
where he still remains. He carries on general farming along the 
latest improved lines, and is one of the leading men of the town- 
ship. His home is a sightly one, the barns and sheds are in the 
best of condition, and a special feature is the large silo with a 
capacity of 145 tons. Among other livestock on the place may 
be mentioned 109 head of cattle, of which thirty are milking 
cows; 100 Poland China swine, and six horses, as well as some 
sprightly barnyard fowl. Mr. Schaefer is a popular member of 
the M. W. A. and the A. 0. U. W. He was married November 14, 
1903, to Anna Gorman, daughter of Henry and Mary Ann 
(Butler) Gorman, pioneers of Maple Lake township. Mr. and 
Mrs. Schaefer have six children : Irving, born May 17, 1905 ; 
Evelyn, born November 4, 1906; Lillian, born September 11. 
1908; Albert, born December 4, 1909; John, born December 2, 
1911 ; and Melvin, born March 14, 1914. 

Reinhold Koepke, one of the active young agriculturists of 
Albion township, was born on the old homestead in section 34, 
Albion township, January 28, 1889, son of Martin and Caroline 
(Schultz) Koepke. Like the other boys of his age and time, he 
passed through the district schools, and worked summers on the 
farm. When his father died he and his brother Rudolph took 
charge of the home farm. In 1913 he bought the place and has 



282 HISTORY OF WllKIHT COUNTY 

since conducted it. He owns eighty acres, carries on general 
farming, and raises Holstein cattle and Poland China and Jersey 
Red swine. Mr. Koepke wa.s married November 12, 1913, to 
AInna Sandmann, the third child of Henry and Magdalena 
(Behneke) Sandmann, who own a farm near Webster, in Scott 
county, this state. 

Claphase Bnm, a substantial farmer of Albion towaiship, was 
born in Montreal, Canada, April 21, 18.59, son of Paul and Aurelia 
Brun, of French birth. Paul Brun came to St. Paul, Chester 
county, Province of Quebec, Canada, in 1861 and died there in 
1895. The mother died at Saco, Minn., in 1907. Claphase Brun 
was reared on the Iioine farm in Canada, and came to the United 
States in 1879 and secured work in the Michigan woods. In 
1888 he came to Minnesota, found his way to Wriglit county, and 
secured 104 acres in section 10. Eight acres of the tract had 
been cleared of trees, but the stumps were still standing. His first 
act was to build a log cabin. This was a primitive affair, but 
much better than the cabins of the earlier days. It was built of 
hewed logs, with a board floor and a shingled roof, and was 
24 by 26 feet in size. When lie came here, Mr. Brun had one cow. 
He bought six swine and a pair of oxen and thus began his 
farming operations. His trading point was at Maple Lake. With 
this beginning Mr. Brun has become a prosperous farmer. He 
has a well improved place, and carries on general farming, raising 
blue stem wheat, yellow dent corn. Shorthorn cattle, Poland 
China swine and Plymouth Rock fowls. Mr. Brun was married 
January 27, 1880, to Victoria Possion, daughter of Marcel and 
Mary Charity Possion, of Canada. In the family there are eight 
children. Paul was born February 5, 1881, and died April 8, 
1883. Delphine was born January 14, 1883. She wa.s married 
June 23, 1908, to William Gagnon, of St. Cloud, and they have 
two children, Philip and Bernice. Albert was born April 8, 1884. 
Clara was born April 21, 1886, was married September 24, 1912, 
to John Fouquette, of Chatham township, and died May 7, 1913. 
Annie was born November 14, 1887. Alphonse was born April 7, 
1889. Mary was born January 4, 1892, was married October 26, 
1910, to Joseph Jude, and lives two miles east of Maple Lake, and 
has four children, Catherine, Marvin, Frederick and John. 
Josephine was born September 17, 1894, and lives at home. The 
family faith is that of the Catholic Church. 

Andrew Hillman, a prosperous business man of Albion town- 
sliip, was born in Wester Jotland, Sweden, April 26, 1865, son of 
Jonas and Annie (Johnson) Hillman, who came from Sweden to 
America in 1873, lived in New York state a little over seven years, 
and in 1881 came to Wright county and purchased eighty acres 
in section 28, Albion township, erected a log house 16 by 20, 




MR. AND MRS. .MICHAKL HAXXUX 



HISTORY OF WEIGHT COUNTY 283 

cleared the land and devt'lojK'd a good farm, on which the mother 
still lives at the age of eighty-one, and where the father died 
November 6, 1910, at the age of seventy-seven years. Andrew 
Hillman was brought here by his parents and remained at home 
until about twenty years of age. Then for three years he worked 
at Lake JMinnetonka, in this state, and three years in Kansas 
City, Mo. Then he came home, bought the home farm and oper- 
ated it for two years. Then he and his brother, August, pur- 
chased a threshing machine and a portable sawmill which they 
operated in paitnersliip for fourteen years. In 1907 he bought 
his brother's interest, and since then he has successfully con- 
ducted the business alone. He also does considerable work in 
digging and drilling wells. He is a prosperous citizen in every 
respect and is one of the best known men in the community. He 
bought eighty acres in section 128, Albion township, in 1909, 
moved on this farm in 1910 and still resides there. For six years 
he has been on the school board of district 107, and since the 
spring of 1912 he has been a township officer. Mr. Hillman was 
married November 10, 1909, to Tillie Lundsten, and they have one 
son, Arnold V., born August 1, 1911. Tillie Lundsten was born 
October 15, 1877, the daughter of Andrew and Sarah Lundsten, 
who came to Wright county in 1878. Andrew Lundsten died in 
June, 1881, at the age of fifty-nine. His wife died in 1878 at the 
age of sixty-two. The family worships with the Herman Swedish 
Lutheran congregation in section 28, Albion township. 

Michael Hannon, for many years a leading farmer of Albion 
township, was born in Kings County, Ireland, February 24, 1842, 
and was there reared. In 1868 he came to America and took 
up his residence in New York City. It was in 1873 that he came 
to Wright county and purchased eighty acres of land in section 
23, Albion township. He cleared, broke and " grubbed " the 
heavy timber land, erected a good set of buildings, and there 
suecessfvilly farmed until 1885, when he sold out, and piirchased 
a farm of 120 acres in section 11, likewise in Albion township. 
Mr. Hannon has been a very prominent and influential cit- 
izen in Albion, taking his part in every move which he believed 
to be for the best interests of the people. He served 
as assessor continuously for twenty-four years, and later he 
served two more terms in the same office. For ten years he did 
good service as clerk of his school district. The family faith 
is that of St. Timothy's Roman Catholic Church at Maple Lake. 
Mr. Hannon was married August 15, 1873, at New York City, to 
Bridget McNulty, who throughout their married years has proven 
a devoted and capable wife. Mr. and Mrs. Hannon have had 
seven children : John died in infancy. Mary is the wife of 
Patrick Flaherty, of Tenny, Minn. Catherine A. is now Mrs. 



284 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Patrick Doherty, Jr., of Albion townsliip ; Joseph P. lives on the 
old farm in Albion township ; James F. is in the elevator business 
at Tenny, Minn. William F., twin brother of James E., is a 
banker at Hammel, Minn. Fi-ancis died in infancy. 

Orestus L. Dudley, one of the well-known men of Butfalo, has 
had an important part in the upbuilding of the Northwest. 
Whether as a veteran fighting for his country's honor, a railroad 
constructor carrying to the wilderness the means of rapid trans- 
portation, or a business man working for the progress of his 
village, he has done his duty as he has seen it, and now in the 
afternoon of life he is enjoying the fruits of his years of hard 
labor. 0. L. Dudley was born in Mt. HoUey, Rutland county, 
Vermont, October 3, 1S28, son of Asa W. and Mary (Sawyer) 
Dudley. The father likewise was a native of Vermont, and came 
to Minnesota in 1859. The children in the family were: Ferdi- 
nand, Ryland R., Orestus L., Lorenzo Edward, Mary Elvira, 
Leona A., Ellen and Alice. Orestus L., the third in this family, 
took up railroad work at the age of twenty, and thus had varied 
experiences in different parts of the covintr.y. At twenty-one 
years of age he helped string the first telegraph wire that ever 
crossed the Green mountains of Vermont. The years 1854-55 and 
part of 1856 found him in Delaware. His brother, Lorenzo, was 
at that time still in Rutland county, Vermont. Both agreed to 
meet at the town of St. Charles, 111. They met there in the month 
of October, 1856, and started for Minnesota on the famous old 
"War Eagle." The boat sank on the second day of the trip. 
But the passengers were transferred to another boat and in due 
time reached St. Paul. From St. Paul the brothers walked to 
Monticello, in this county, and after looking about for a while 
selected a claim of 160 acres in Buffalo township, about a mile 
and a half east of the village. They erected a small cabin, kept 
house themselves, and devoted their time to making a small clear- 
ing. There were many hardships to be overcome, and the walking 
trip from St. Paul was many times repeated when the brothers 
were out of provisions. In the fall of 1860, 0. L. Dudley married 
Mrs. Dorleski Blakely. When the war broke out, he sent his 
wife East for protection and in February, 1862, he enlisted in the 
Second Battalion, Minnesota Light Artillery. The command was 
assigned to the Army of the Tennessee. Private Dudley served 
two years and four days, and showed his courage at the Battle of 
Perrysville, the Seven Days' Fight of Stony River and the Battle 
of Knob Gap, as well as in minor skirmishes. He escaped injury 
in battle, but had his leg broken on a long march, as the result 
of which he was first sent to the camp hospital at Murfreesboro, 
transferred to hospitals at Nashville, Tenn., thence to Louisville, 
Ky., and thence to Jefferson Barracks, Missouri, where he was 
discharged. Upon his return his wife came back from the East 




Q 



O 






HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 285 

and they started farming on his ehiiiii. Jlr. Dudley worked with 
an ox team, and the place gradually began to assume the aspects 
of a cultivated farm. In 1866 he built in the village of Buffalo 
the house where he now nuikes his home. It was one of the 
first frame houses in this vicinity. In the spring of 1869 he 
became road master on the line of the St. Paul & Pacific Railroad 
Company from ^Minneapolis to Willnuir, with headquarters at 
Minneapolis. During this period he became a member of the 
Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce. In 1S72, while with the 
St. Paul and Paeitic Railroad Company, he was chosen by Super- 
intendent Charles Hathway, of Cleveland, Ohio, as forenuin in 
the construction at St. Paul of the first street railway built in 
the state of Minnesota. After fulfilling these duties he returned 
to the employ of the St. Paul and Pacific Company. In 1878, with 
A. P. Nelson as a partner, he entered into the lumber and general 
mercantile business at Grove City, in Meeker county. In 1885 
he returned to Buffalo. The same year he built a large building, 
the upper floor of which is occupied by the Dudley Opera House 
and the lower floor of which he used as a store. In 1889 he sold 
the stock of goods to Frank Crookshank, retaining the building. 
The theater is now managed by his grandson, John Walter Diul- 
ley. Mr. Dudley has now practically retired from active life, 
though he still retains his investments and handles stock to a 
certain extent. He has been an earnest friend of Buffalo and is 
highly respected. At one time he gave to the village the most 
beautiful block in the village limits as a public park. Trees 
were planted and it seemed that the park was established. But 
the authoi'ities neglected to care for it, the property reverted to 
Mr. Dudley, and several business blocks have been erected on it. 
Mr. Dudley is a Blue Lodge and Chapter Mason. Mrs. Dudley, a 
most capable lady who was deeply beloved by all who knew her, 
died in 1895. There was one child in the family, Lasa W. He 
married Susan McKnight and died in 1896, leaving two children. 
Frances Ina is a teacher and John Walter is manager of the 
Dudley Opera House. 

Albert G. Redman, until recently manager of the Farmers' 
Co-Operative Creamery, at Buffalo, was born at Albee, South 
Dakota, November 18, 1882, son of Michael and Margaret (Fri- 
day) Redman. Michael Redman was born in Posen, Germany, 
came to America at the age of seventeen years, and located in 
Green Lake county, Wisconsin, where he met and married Mar- 
garet Friday. They lived on a farm at Markesan, Green Lake 
county, Wisconsin, until about 1879, then moved to Lamberton, 
Minn., in 1879, farmed one year, and in 1880 moved to Albee, 
S. D., where Michael Redman died in March, 1893, and where 
his wife is still living. The children in the family were as fol- 
lows : Anna, wife of E. M. Gollnick, of Springfield, Mo. ; Mary, 



286 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

wife of J. A. Dauman, of Albee, S. D. ; Rose, wife of Henry Mar- 
quardt, of Albee, S. D. ; Laura, wife of Rowe Shaw, of Albee ; 
Clara, wife of Edward Marquardt, of Albee ; George G., of Albee ; 
Albert G., of Buffalo ; Lillian, who lives with Albert G. ; W. E., 
of Montrose ; E. W., of Howard Lake ; C. A., of Osseo, Minn. 
All the sons are expert butter makers, and all are masters in 
this branch of industry. Albert G. received his education in 
the public schools of Albee. At the age of sixteen he started 
working out among the neighboring farmers. At the age of 
eighteen he started to learn the art of butter making. He mas- 
tered this work thoroughly and remained until 1907. In that 
year he came to Wright county as butter maker at St. Michaels. 
Seven months later he went to Monticello, where he remained a 
month. It was in Jul.y, 1908, he came to Buft'alo, and took charge 
of the Farmers' Co-Operative Creamery. He has since continued 
to fill this position. In his chosen line he has few superiors. In 
addition to this he is a clever business man, an affable and ap- 
proachable gentleman, and a splendid musician. For the past 
five years he has been superintendent of the Methodist Episcopal 
Sunday school. So highly has his good judgment been regarded 
that he has been given a seat on the village council, serving five 
years. lu this capacity he has done excellent work. For two 
years he was vice president of tlie Butter and Cheese Makers' 
Association, of Minnesota, and for the past two years he has been 
president of that body, a position which he has filled with credit 
to himself, and to the satisfaction of the dairy workers of the 
state. Mr. Redman is a member of Buffalo Lodge, No. 141, A. F. 
and A. M.; Buffalo Lodge, No. 183, A. 0. U. W. ; and Buff'alo 
Chapter, No. 71, R. A. M. His wife is a member of the Woman's 
Relief Corps. Mr. Redman was married November 2, 1904, at 
Albee, S. D., to Addie B. Hall, born in that place February 12, 
1883. They have three children : Celestia A., born August 10, 
1905; Ruth M., born May 26, 1909; and James IL, born September 
3, 1911. Mrs. Redman is the daughter of James and Celia (Loiug) 
Hall, natives respectively of Antwerp, N. Y., and Amherst, Wis. 
They were married at Amherst, Wis., and from that place in 
1881 came as pioneers overland to Albee, S. D., where they took 
a homestead and farmed for several years. Mr. Hall died in 
1885, leaving three children, Egbert, of Albee, S. D., a painter 
and decorator; Addie B., now Mrs. A. G. Redman, of Buffalo; 
and Walter W., a farmer of Albee, S. D. After the death of 
her husband, Mrs. Hall married G. W. Friday. They conduct 
a hotel at Albee, S. D. This marriage has i-esulted in one son, 
Edward Friday. 

John K. Engels, a substantial business man of Buffalo, was 
born in West Seneca township, Erie county. New York, seven 
miles south of Buffalo, N. Y., July 1, 1864, son of Jacob and Mary 



fflSTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 287 

(Weasy) Engels. Jacob Engels was born in Germany in 1842, 
camo to the United States in 1855 and took up farming in Erie 
county. New York. He married Mary Weasy, who was born 
in Germany in 1838 and came to the United States in 1861. He 
died in 1903 and she is still living. The children in the family 
were John, Emma, Henry, Lottie, William, and David and Daniel, 
twins (deceased). John K. Engels was reared on the home farm 
and attended the district schools. For several years he worked 
as a teamster and in sawmills. In 1887 he came to Buffalo and 
located on a tract of ten acres, where he devoted his attention 
extensively to horticulture. In 1905 he established an ice busi- 
ness at Buffalo, and in this he has been most successful. He does 
a good business and stands in high favor with his customers. 
He is a member of Buffalo Lodge No. 134, I. 0. 0. F. Mr. Engels 
was married in 1898 to Adeline Varner, daughter of John Varner, 
Sr., and they have two children, Frances, born February 10, 
1900, and Evangeline, born April 6, 1901. 

John Varner, Sr., was born in Westmoreland county, Penn- 
sylvania, July 11. 1834, and was reared to manhood in his native 
state. At the outbreak of the Civil war, he enlisted at Sandy 
Creek, Pa., in Co. K, Fourtli Pennsylvania Cavalry, and served 
eighteen months, being mustered out at Pittsburgh, Pa. In the 
spring of 1866 he started westward with his brothers. At Prairie 
Du Chien they crossed the Mississippi river to McGregor, and 
came with teams and wagons to Buffalo, this county. This entire 
ti'ip of six weeks was made overland from Pennsylvania with 
mule teams. Mrs. Varner and two children came later by train 
to Monticello. Mr. Varner bought the eighty-acre homestead 
of Chandler Chamberlain for $400. At that time a small granary 
stood on the place. The family suffered the first winter from 
the severe cold, and provisions were very scarce. Sometimes 
the family existed for days on nothing but corn meal bread. But 
when the spring came, they managed to get in some crops, and 
with their team of oxen they continued to clear tlie land and 
develop a farm. As the years continued, success crowned their 
efforts, and they became substantial members of the community. 
Mr. Varner took a deep interest in education matters and served 
in school offices for many years. In 1863, John Varner, Sr., 
married Frances Hickman, born in Pennsylvania, January 9, 
1844, daughter of William and Sarah (Stover) Hickman. Mr. 
and Mrs. Varner had eleven children : William, Minnie, Letta, 
Reuel (deceased), Simeon, Charles, Adeline, Grace, Francis, John 
and Alice. William Hickman was of Scotch-Irish descent, and 
spent his life in Pennsylvania. His wife was of German descent. 
Their children were : Simeon, Christina, Priseilla, Francis, Will- 
iam (a veteran of the Civil war), Rebekah, Sadie, Elmira, Hannah 
and John. 



288 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Halvor T. Moland, postmaster at Buffalo, was boru in Nor- 
way, April 21, 1860, son of Thomas J. Moland, who died in 1900 
at the age of eighty-two, and of Mary (Halvorsen) Moland, who 
died in 1870, at the age of forty-three. Halvor T. Moland was 
reared in Norway, and graduated from the Military School at 
Kristiansand in that country. In 1881 he came to America and 
located in Mower county, Minnesota, where he worked for some 
three years. It was in 1884 that he came to Wriglit county and 
bought land in section 17. Silver Creek township, which he im- 
proved and developed. In 1902 he sold out and came to Buffalo, 
where he devoted his time to drainage engineering and surveying. 
From the time of his arrival until August 24, 1914, he was county 
surveyor and drainage engineer. On the latter date he became 
postmaster of Buffalo. Mr. Moland was married October 30, 
1894, to Alice M. Bryant, born October 25, 1875, daughter of 
Charles H. and Belinda Bryant, farmers of Silver Creek town- 
ship. Mr. and Mrs. Moland have had three children : Emily 
M., born April 17, 1896; now a junior in Carleton College, North- 
field, Minn. ; Thomas 0., born October 13, 1900, now attending 
high school ; and James I., boru November 3, 1904, and died 
September 8, 1905. 

Martin F. Lowe, D. D. S., a leading professional man and 
former mayor of Buffalo, was born in Dane county, Wisconsin, 
January 5, 1864, sou of Thomas and Barbara (Cleland) Lowe, 
of English and Scottish descent respectively. In the family there 
were two children, Martin F. and John W. The career of Martin 
F. Lowe has been typical of the many American youths who 
struggle to obtain an education, and then in after years reach 
the heights of success and comfort. First he passed through the 
district schools of his neighborhood, and then studied in the high 
school at Columbus, in the same state. In 1885 he came to Min- 
nesota, and secured employment three years as a bookkeeper in 
Minneapolis. Then he taught school one year in Wright county 
and one year in Martin county. Long before this he had de- 
cided what profession he was to make his serious life work. 
Consequently, in 1891 he entered the dental department of the 
University of Minnesota, and was graduated in 1894. Buffalo 
appealed to him as a suitable place for residence and business, 
and he consequently opened his office here. He has a well- 
equipped set of offices and enjoys the confidence of a large clien- 
tele. For four years he served proficiently as president of the 
village council of Buffalo. He is affiliated with the Masonic body 
at Buffalo. Dr. Lowe was married in 1903 to Ada M. Ponsford, 
daughter of William Ponsford, the Wright county pioneer, and 
they have two children, Doris Janet and Mary Elizabeth. 

Fritz Sternberg, popular and successful merchant, proprietor 
of the Daylight Store, the largest establishment of its kind in 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 289 

Buffalo, was born in East Prussia, Germany, April 3, 1860, son 
of John Georgo and Caroline (Krink) Sternberg. By his first 
marriage, John George Sternberg had three children, Wilhelmina, 
Augusta and Magdaline. By his second marriage he had five 
children, Leopokline, IMary, Ida, Bertha and Fritz. Of these 
children, Fritz was the only one to come to America. He was 
educated in his native country, and in 1881 came to St. Paul, 
where he worked five years for Bernard Mitchell. After this 
with a partner, under the firm name of Rothbauer & Sternberg, 
he had a grocery store on West Seventh street, St. Paul, for 
nearlj' seven years. After selling out his interests in 1891, he 
took an extended trip back to his old home in Germany, spending 
a considerable period in visiting his relatives. Upon his return 
in 1892 he engaged in business in Duluth for two years. In 1895 
he came to Buffalo and opened a small store. About 1897 he 
purchased his present place, where he cai'ries a large line of 
general merchadise. He has a large store, liis goods are of the 
best, he is known far and wide for honesty and square dealing, 
and he has been unusually prosperous and successful. Mr. Stern- 
berg married Ida iMarshall, a native of Wright county, daughter 
of Gotfried Marshall, tlie pioneer, and they have four children, 
Fred. Ida, Lydia and Abigail. 

Herman A. Nagel, a popular agriculturist, residing on the 
outskirts of the village of Buffalo, was born in Rockford town- 
ship, section 18, December 18, 1867, son of Eberhardt F. and 
Louisa fKeherbach) Nagel, the pioneers, who are appropriately 
mentioned elsewhere. He was educated in the district schools, 
and remained with his parents until their death. In 1898, when 
the old homestead was sold, he moved with his parents to the 
forty-acre tract partly in the village of Buft'alo, on which he 
still resides. When he came to the place only four acres had 
been broken. It is now one of the prettiest small farms in the 
county. Its well improved acres yield abundant crops, and its 
substantial buildings overlook beautifid Buffalo lake. Mr. Nagel 
makes a specialty of good stock and Plymouth Rock chickens, 
and his operations have been unusually successful. He is one 
of the prominent men of the community, and before coming to 
Buft'alo served as one of the officers of the school district in 
Rockford which his father helped to organize and in which he 
himself attended school as a boy. In Buffalo he has been a 
member of the board of education since 1907. He is a member 
of the A. F. and A. M. and of the M. W. A., while his wife is a 
member of the Eastern Star and the Royal Neighbors. Mr. Nagel 
was married July 2, 1895, to Mary Steinhilber, born in Rockford 
township, the daughter of George Steinhilber, who was born in 
Germany, came to Rockford in the early days, and died when 
his davighter was a small child. Mr. and Mrs. Nagel have three 



290 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

bright children : George, born October 22, 1897, who is follow- 
ing in his father's footsteps in his interest in farming, and 
Edward and Mary, twins, born July 30, 1906, who are in their 
third year in school, young Edward being named from his uncle, 
Edward M. Nagel, a prominent public man. 

Peter J. Marsh, one of the best known men in Wright county, 
was born in Manlius, Onondaga county. New York, May 2, 1851, 
son of Peter Smith and Mary (Swain) Marsh, and grandson of 
Nicholas Marsh and Horace and Catherine Swain. He was reared 
to boyhood in his native state, and at the age of twelve was 
taken to LaGrange county, Indiana. When he was sixteen he 
started out in life for himself as a farmer. In 1874 he was 
married, and in 1876 he and his young wife, with their daughter, 
Blanche M., now widow of Albert Denney, started westward 
with a team of horses, a pioneer wagon, and their household 
goods, to establish for themselves a home in the wilderness. 
Their intention was to locate in Wisconsin, but not liking the 
country which they looked over in that state they continued on 
their way until they reached Wright county, Minnesota. Thus, 
after a tedious journey of thirty days, they found themselves 
among strangers in a new country, with but $20 in their pos- 
session. But with courage sustained by their great faith in the 
future they set about to overcome difficulties and win success. 
They rented a small place, and Mrs. Marsh looked well after the 
household affairs, while Mr. Marsh threshed and worked at such 
labor as he could find to do. The grasshoppers partly destroyed 
the crops, and the severe pinch of poverty was felt throughout 
the county. Later better times came, and the family prospered. 
In the fall of 1878 they bought forty acres of wild land in section 
16, Rockford township. No buildings had been erected, and no 
clearings had been made. Mr. Marsh cleared a small tract, 
erected a log cabin, and with his wife and two children, Blanche 
M. and Prank, took up his home there. In this log building, 16 
by 26 feet, all the other children were born. Thus settled in a 
permanent home, Mr. Marsh set at work to establish his fortunes. 
Entirely by his own efforts he cleared and developed the land 
and brought it under cultivation. To the original tract he added 
eighty acres, which likewise had to be cleared. But he was 
hard-working and industrious, and in time he had transformed 
the wilderness into a fertile farm. In the barn-yard was erected 
the only octagon-shaped barn in the country, an innovation which 
has ever since justified the faith which Mr. Marsh put in its 
utility. Other buildings were also erected, good fences built, 
modern machinery purchased, and conveniences installed. Dur- 
ing these years the family gained a most admirable place in the 
community. Many children were reared, and out of the house- 
hold came seven daughters to teach in the public schools of the 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 291 

county as well as three sons to take their share in its work and 
progress. Mr. Marsh early took a lead in the affairs of the eoin- 
immity, and his genial disposition, his helpful spirit, and his 
trained ability made him a valuable asset to the township. For 
nearly two decades he held the office of school clerk, and for 
one term he assessed the township. He is now a member of the 
Buffalo village council. He also served on various committees 
at various times. Mrs. Marsh was a capable farmer's wife, care- 
fully reared her children, and was noted for her hospitality. 
The farming community in which they had taken so prominent 
a part felt its loss keenly when, in 1912, they sold their farm, 
retired from extensive agi'ieultural operations, aud moved to 
the village of Buffalo. They have a sightly brick residence in 
one of the picturesque localities in the village. All the modern 
comforts have been introduced and the home is an ideal one in 
every respect. In connection witli the home is a tract of thirteen 
and a half acres of good land, where Mr. Marsh still busies him- 
self with gardening operations. Mr. Marsh is a member of the 
Masonic body and of the Workmen. His wife belongs to the 
Eastern Star. Peter J. Marsh was married April 7, 1874, in La 
Grange county, Indiana, to Mary J. Barber, daughter of Jackson 
and Phoebe A. (Hawle.y) Barber, and gi-anddaughter of James 
and Hannah Barber. Mr. and Mrs. Marsh have had eleven chil- 
dren. Blanche M. was born August 25, 1875, and married Albert 
Denney, now deceased. Frank Henry was born March 31, 1877. 
Alma Bell was born October 16, 1878, and married Emil Leerssen. 
Dora Ella was born May 14, 1880, and married John Schefchik. 
Effie Augusta was born October 25, 1882, aud married John 
Walker. Mabel Zoa was born May 25, 1885, and married Oscar 
Sandstrom. Grace Edith was born May 27, 1887 ; and Myrtle 
Ena, May 28, 1891. Peter J., Jr., was born June 12, 1889, and 
died October 5, 1890. Clayton Fletcher was born April 8, 1893, 
and Ralph Leo, March 23, 1896. Mr. and Mrs. Marsh thoroughly 
believe in education. To educate this large family and at the 
same time maintain a large farm, has meant much toil and many 
sacrifices, but as the residt of their work they have reared a 
family that is a credit to them and a help to the community. 
The genealogical history on both sides of the family is most 
interesting. Nicholas Marsh was of New England stock, but 
spent the whole span of his life as a farmer in New York state. 
His wife was descended from the Hollanders who in colonial 
days settled in the Mohawk valley. Their children were : Peter 
Smith, Walter, Randall, W^illiam, Kleeber D., Angeline and Ada- 
line. Peter Smith Marsh was bom in Onondaga county. New 
York, November 30, 1818. He was reared in his native state 
and there operated a small farm. In the spring of 1863 he took 
his family to La Grange county, Indiana, and located in Mill- 



292 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

ford township, ou eighty acres, only eleven acres of which had 
been cleared. Later he sold this and purchased forty acres which 
he also cleared and developed. Later he moved to Belle Plaine, 
Sumner county, Kansas, where he engaged in the mercantile 
business. There he and his wife both died. He married Mary 
Swain, the daughter of Horace and Catherine Swain, and their 
children were as follows: Catherine K., wife of i\Irs. Philip 
Voorus, born January 2, 1843, died June 15, 1914; Charles R., 
born November 15, 1844, died in infancy ; Horace N., born De- 
cember 16, 1846, for a long time lived in Red Creek, Wayne 
county. New York, and died January 15, 1895 ; Augusta, born 
January 18, 1849, and married George Rowland ; Peter J., of 
Wright county, Minn.; Alice, born July 30, 1853, and died at the 
age of seven years ; Ilattie M., of La Grange county, Indiana, 
born November 22, 1864, and married George Clester (now de- 
ceased). Horace Swain was born in New England, of Puritan 
stock. He was a farmer and tobacco raiser, and also owned a 
cigar factory. By his wife, Catherine, he had five children, John 
(a California Forty-niner), Esther, Mary, Hannah and Lucinda. 
Jackson Barber was born in Stark county, Ohio, March 13, 1823, 
son of James and Hannah Barber, and as a young man came to 
Indiana and farmed in Millford township. La Grange county. 
He died June 13, 1902. In April, 1851, he married Phoebe A. 
Hawley, who was born February 17, 1831, and died in August, 
1871. The children born to this family were : Alice A., born 
February 17, 1852; Harriet P., born August 31, 1853; Mary J., 
born August 18, 1855; Laura, born October 26, 1857; Leonard, 
born August 4, 1859 ; Flora B., June 5, 1862 ; Sherman, January 
19, 1864 ; George Albert, January 8, 1867 ; Dora Bell, December 
7, 1869. 

Garrett F. WooUey, a successful and substantial business man 
of Buffalo, was born in Medina, Ohio, September 20, 1854, son 
of Williams and Ellen Ann (Amerman) Woolley, natives respect- 
ively of Pennsylvania and Ohio. For some years Williams Wool- 
ley farmed and operated an abattoir near Cleveland, Ohio, where 
he sold his meat wholesale. In 1862 the family went to Galena, 
and from there embarked on a Mississippi river boat, reaching 
Olmsted county, this state, in the fall. The part of the trip that 
was not made on water was accomplished by driving. In the 
family at the time were four children, William B., Garrett F., 
and Perry and Mary, twins. Upon reaching Olmsted county, 
they settled in Viola township, where the parents lived for many 
years until their retirenumt to Lamberton, in the same county, 
where he died. lie lived to a good old age, and had the great 
joy of celebrating liis golden wedding anniversary. Mrs. Woolley 
still resides in Lamberton, hale and hearty, at the advanced age 
of 84 years. In addition to the children they brought with them 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 29:5 

to the state, three more, John, Jennie and Roy, were born in 
Olmsted county. Garrett F. Woolley was reared and educated 
in Olmsted county, and farmed there for several years. He was 
also in Brown county, this state, tive years, and in LaMoure 
county, North Dakota, twelve years, the last five of which he 
conducted a meat market. In May, 189r), he came to Buffalo and 
opened a market which he has successfully conducted. He is 
vitally interested in the growth of Buffalo, and has done much 
toward its commercial upbuilding. Being of a frati'rnal disposi- 
tion, Mr. Woolley has allied himself with the Woodiiu»n, the 
Workmen and the Yeomen. The family faith is that of the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church. Mr. Woolley was married September 
11, 1878, to Maggie C. Cunningham, a successful school teacher, 
and they have had five children, Roy, Pearl, Edna, Lloyd and 
W^ayne. Roy married Nancy Smith, who died March 6, 1906, 
at the age of twenty-five, leaving two children. Glen and Myrtle, 
who since the death of their mother have made their home with 
their grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Garrett F. Woolley, of Buffalo. 
Both are students in the Buffalo public schools. For his second 
wife he married Celia Wall. They live near Bend, Ore. Pearl 
died at the age of ten. Edna is the wife of Edson 1). Washburn. 
He is a graduate of the agricultural department of the Univer- 
sity of Minnesota and a successful young farmer of Otsego. 
They have two children, Ennid and Annis. Wayne is a graduate 
from the dental department of the University of Minnesota, grad- 
uating before he was twenty-one years of age, and is now a suc- 
cessful dentist of Fairmont, iliiin. Mrs. Maggie C. (Cunningham) 
Woolley was the daughter of William 1. W. and Lucina (Sheeks) 
Cunningham, and the granddaughter of Robert and Rachael Cun- 
ningham and George and Artemicia (Crawford) Sheeks. Robert 
and Rachael Cunningham were both natives of Boone county, 
Indiana, and were the parents of fifteen children. They reached 
Minnesota in 1856 and located in Olmsted county, four miles 
uoi'th of what is now the village of Eyota. One of these children 
was William I. W. Cunningham. He was admitted to the min- 
istry of the Methodist Episcopal church, preached in many dif- 
ferent places in the Northwest, and spent his declining years on 
a farm in Brown county. He and his wife Lucina were both 
natives of Boone county, Indiana. George Sheeks moved from 
Ohio to Indiana, and from there came overland to Minnesota, 
locating in Olmsted county. The town of Dover is laid out on 
his farm. The children in the Cunningham family were : Maggie, 
George, Charles, Frank, Willis, Mary, Artemicia, Lucina, John 
and Alvin. Mr. Cunningham died April 8, 1880. Mrs. Cunning- 
ham now resides at St. James, Miiui. 

William Kerb, the energetic and capable manager for Osborne 
& McMillan, in their elevator at Buffalo, was bom in Venango 



294 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

county, Pennsylvania, May 10, 1861, son of Adam and Anna 
(Berry) Korb, who spent the span of their years in Pennsylvania. 
He attended the common schools of his native county and was 
there reared to manhood. In 1883 he came to Wright county 
and secured a farm in Buffalo township. In 1889 he became 
wheat buyer at the Buffalo Flour Mills for Thomas Hellier. In 
1893 he took his present position. In this capacity he buys wheat 
extensively and sells large quantities of fuel. He is an honest, 
straightforward and successful citizen, a good man both for his 
company and for the community. Interested as he is in the wel- 
fare of the town, he has served as a member of the council. He 
is a member both of the Masonic order and of the Odd Fellows. 
Mr. Korb was married, December '21, 1888, to Harriet Varner, 
daughter of the distinguished pioneer, Henry Varner, mentioned 
elsewhere in this work. Mr. and Mrs. Korb have five children, 
Sadie M., Beulah F., Anna R., Elizabeth B. and Howard W., all 
at home. Beulah is a teacher. 

Peter Larson, one of the early settlers who assisted in the 
general development of the county, was born in Warmland, 
Sweden, February 7, 1841, son of Lars Anderson. The other 
children were Lars, Andrew and Annie. In 1870, the brothers, 
Peter and Andrew, came to America, and in time reached St. 
Paul. From there, with three or four others, they walked to 
Duluth, where they secured employuunit on the railroad. In a 
few months, Peter Larson was made section foreman on the line 
between Duluth and Rice's Point. By industry and frugality, 
he was enabled in two years to send to the old country for his 
father and brothers and sisters. His mother had died many 
years before. Having thus provided for his family, Peter Larson 
shortly afterward married, and took 120 acres of timbered land 
in Marysville township. He erected a log cabin, and with a 
yoke of oxen started to prepare th(» land for farming. As the 
years passed he prospered, and from the wilderness he wrested a 
comfortable home and a profitable farm. About 1900 he retired 
and moved to the village of Buffalo, where he died December 19. 
1905. He had been a prominent man in his vicinity, and his 
death was sincerely mourned. A devout man in religious faith, 
he had helped to build the old Lutheran church in Marysville 
township and had attentled it for numy years. During tlie last 
two decades of his life he attended worship at the Swedish Mis- 
sion church, at Buffalo. He was interested in the development 
of the township, and his services as supervisor of IMarysville 
were greatly valued by the citizens. Mr. Larson was married at 
Duluth, to Betsey Bloom, who was born in Sweden, November 
21, 1851, and died in Minnesota January 21, 1877. She was the 
daughter of John Frederick Bloom, who came to Duluth from 
Sweden, and took up life in the woods. Mr. and "Sirs. Larson had 
three children, Andrew G., Anna and Charles. 




.iDiix I,. I'.rHKi.Axr) 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 295 

Andrew G. Larson, carpenter aud contractor, now living in 
Buffalo, was born in Duluth, July 8, 1872, son of Peter and Betsey 
(Bloom) Larson. lie came to Wright county with his parents, 
attended the district schools, was reared to manhood on the farm, 
and after his marriage continued to live thereon for six years. 
In 1898 they moved to Minneapolis, but after nearly a year there 
went to Kandiyohi county, where they spent about one and a half 
years farming. In 1902 they came to Buffalo, where they have 
since resided, and where he has followed his trade as a carpenter 
and contractor. He owns, in addition to his village property, 
eighty acres of land in Silver Creek township, which he rents. 
The family faith is that of the Swedish Mission church of Buf- 
falo. Mr. Larson was married, April 8, 1893, to Mary Olson, of 
Kandiyohi county, daughter of Aaron Olson. They have six 
children, Rudolph, Florence, Winnifred, Dewey, Gustave and 
Francis. 

John L. Burkland, whose establishment at Buffalo is one of 
the leading mercantile stores in the county, was born in Sweden, 
May 13, 1870, son of John and Anna (Swenson) Burkland. The 
other children in the family were Jennie and Hannah. John L. 
was reared in his native country, and there received his early 
education. In 1887 he came to America and located in Kansas, 
where he remained from April to November. Then he joined his 
uncle, Charles Burkland, in Missouri. In March, 1888, he moved 
to Ottumwa, Iowa, where his parents and sisters joined him. He 
took a business course in the Ottumwa Business College, after 
which he secured a position with the Globe Tea Company, with 
whom he remained until 1901. That year he came to Buffalo 
and bought out G. G. Friberg, a general merchant. The store 
was at that time a small one, and carried a stock valued at about 
$3,000. The stock has now been increased to a value of .$25,000. 
By hard work, courtesy, absolute honesty and good commercial 
ability, he has built up a large trade. He enjoys the confidence 
of the people of the city and country, and is a successful man in 
every way. He carries a splendid stock of dry goods, groceries, 
hardware, household utensils, clothing, shoes, and in fact every- 
thing usually carried in a first-class department store. A believer 
in progress, he became one of the first members of the Buffalo 
Commercial Club. He has served on the school board for several 
terms. For the past twelve years he has been secretary of the 
Swedish Mission church, of which body he and his family are 
members. Mr. Burkland was married, June 12, 1900, to Frida 
Risberg, who was born in Sweden November 23, 1870. To Mr. 
and Mrs. Burkland six children have been born : Ruth, born 
August 12, 1901 : Paul, born July 13, 1904; Evelyn and Evangeline, 
twins, born February 4, 1907; Carl, born July 17, 1908; and 
Gordon, born January 17, 1913. 



296 HISTORY OF WEIGHT COUNTY 

Henry T. Walker, whose pioneer experiences in developing the 
Northwest have been many and varied, was born in Ontario, 
Canada, September 14, 1831, a son of William and Agnes (Cun- 
ningham) Walker, grandson of John and Mary (Stewart) Walker, 
the landowners, and a descendant of John Walker, Bishop of 
Derry. The family came from County Down in the Ulster region, 
in Ireland. William Walker, with his wife, Agues, and one son, 
John, landed in Quebec, Canada, in 1819. His good qualities 
attracted the attention of a lumber dealer, who made him the 
manager of some extensive lumbering operations on the Ottawa 
and Sault Ste. Marie rivers, a capacity in which he was engaged 
for some thirty-four years. He died at the age of eighty-two 
and his wife at the age of eighty-one. Their children were : 
John (deceased), James, John, Henry T., William, Stewart, Robert 
(deceased), Robert, Mary Jane, Charity and Nancy. Henry T. 
Walker, now retired, was educated in Canada, there served seven 
years as apprentice and thoroughly mastered the trade of mill- 
wright. On September 15, 1855, he landed in St. Paul, prepared 
to win his way to success. As a carpenter he assisted in erecting 
many important buildings. He was prominently identified with 
the erecting of the earlier Wasliburn mills at Minneapolis. He 
helped to drive the first stake for the first Washburn mill, and 
assisted in the construction of the "A", "C" and Humbolt mills. 
He worked on the historic old Methodist Episcopal church on 
Jackson street, St. Paul. He also had charge of a carpenter crew 
on the St. Paul, Sioux City and Omaha Railroad. In 1878 he 
made an historic trip to the Black Hills in charge of an outfit 
for the purpose of delivering a mill at Deadwood. The mill had 
been shipped by rail to Breckenridge. Starting there witli his 
crew and four yoke of oxen, Mr. Walker made his way to Moore- 
head, on through Bismarck, across the Missouri river at Fort 
Abercrombie, on to Crook City, and then to Deadwood. Mr. 
Walker put up the mill, operated it until the autumn, and then 
with his oxen returned to Meeker county. After his return he 
managed a flour mill and saw null at Manannah, Minn. In 1882 
he came to Buffalo and followed his trade of millwright and car- 
penter for several years. Mr. Walker was married January 1, 
1858, to Betsy Ann Bryant, daughter of Ambrose and Narcissa 
(Merrill) Bryant, natives of Maine. Ambrose Bryant came to 
Minnesota in 1855 and in 1856 brought his family. His children 
were: Phoebe, Betsy Ann, Malissa, Helen, Flora, Oveldo, Adel- 
bert, Alonzo, Clara, Freemont, Herbert and Eugene. Eugene died 
in the East. Mr. and Mrs. Walker have eight children, all living. 
They are : Agnes, Malissa, Charity, Narcissa, Adelaide, Ambrose, 
William and Stuart. Mrs. Walker died March 7, 1913, at the 
age of seventy-eight. 




o 
-J 



o 
3 



'72 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 297 

Edward G. Baslough, a Buffalo business man, was born in 
Mendota, 111., April 1, 1875, son of Jesse and Sarah (Otto) Bas- 
lough. Jesse Baslough was born in Pennsylvania. He married 
Sarah Otto, a native of that state but of French ancestry. Their 
oldest child, Jennie, was born in Pennsylvania. From Pennsyl- 
vania they came to Illinois, and there the other children were born, 
Mary, Samuel, Harry, Minnie, Edward G., Theadore, Ida, Cora and 
Bertha. Jesse Baslough has always been a farmer. He is still 
living and is nearly ninety years of age. His wife died in 1900 
at the age of sixty-four. Edward G. was reared on a farm in 
Illinois, and attended the graded and district schools. At the 
age of nineteen he went to Iowa, where he learned general wood- 
working, including the carpenter and carriage-making trades. 
From Iowa he went to Portland, Me., where he worked as a car- 
penter for eight years. Then he returned to Mendota, 111., his 
home town, and with his brother, Harry, operated a livery stable 
for about four years. Subsequently he came to Minneapolis, and 
in a short time to Wright county. He seciu'ed a farm in Maple 
Lake township and engaged in stock raising. In 1909 he came 
to Buffalo and opened a livery stable. He has some splendid 
horses, and suitable vehicles, and his establishment enjoys a large 
patronage. In connection with his place, he operates an auto- 
mobile livery, which also enjoys a liberal patronage. 

George R. Covart, now deceased, for many years one of the 
most honored and respected residents of Wright county, was 
born in Sullivan county. New York, September 26, 1837, son of 
William and Anna Covart, natives of New York, and grandson 
of that Covart who fought in the Revolutionary war. The chil- 
dren in the family of William Covart were James, Joseph, Will- 
iam, Andrew, Harriett, Jane, Margaret and George R. George R. 
was the youngest in the family. He was educated in his native 
state and grew to manhood on the farm. As young men he and 
his brother, William, came to Wisconsin and took up farming. 
George was there married, and there lived until 1861, when he 
came to Wright county and located on 160 acres of land in Buf- 
falo township, four miles north of Buffalo. A small building had 
been erected and the place partially improved. The progress of 
developing this farm was interrupted for a short time toward the 
close of the Civil war, when he was serving in Co. B, Eleventh 
Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. But when he returned he again 
took up his farm work. A man of much strength and ability, 
very industrious, and honest and straightforward in all his deal- 
ings, he achieved a large measure of success. As time passed he 
added to his original holdings, until he owned a fertile, well- 
developed tract of 316 acres, a valuable place still owned by the 
widow. Throughout the farm, Mr. Covart 's thrift, energy and 
taste are everywhere apparent. Mr. Covart was a member of 



298 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

the G. A. R. post at Monticello. He was for some years one of 
the supervisors of Buffalo township, and also a member of the 
school board of his district. He died March 6, 1908, and his 
death was sincerely mourned throughout the community. Mr. 
Covart was married in Wisconsin, July 3, 1857, to Eliza Leonard, 
born in New York, December 5, 1838, a daughter of Hiram and 
Elizabeth (Sprague) Leonard, also natives of New York. Eliza 
was the youngest in the family. The others were William, War- 
ren, Walter, Webster, Mary, Olive and Jane, all now deceased. 
Mr. and Mrs. Covart have had six children: George, born April 
18, 1858; Adelaid, born October 4, 1859; Ella, born October 20, 
1860, died September 26, 1899 ; Ernest, born June 29, 1862, died 
in 1912; Smith, born March 23, 1867; and Bertha, born November 
3, 1868, died April 27, 1893. Mrs. Covart was the first president 
of the Women's Relief Corps and a charter member of the local 
Eastern Star. She is an active member of the Methodist Epis 
copal church and of the Ladies' Aid Society of that body. 

William H. Covart, a pioneer, was born in New York state, 
son of William Covart, a New York state farmer, and grandson 
of Andrew Covart, a soldier in the Revolutionary war. William 
H. Covart was reared in New York state, and was there educated. 
He married Isabella Clark, who was born in Scotland and brought 
to this country by her parents when she was two years old. In 
1857 the family, at that time consisting of William H. Covart, his 
wife, and two childi-en, Sylvester J. and William, left New York 
state and located in Dodge county, Wisconsin. There, another 
child, Annie B., was born. About 1860 the family came to Wright 
county and located on 160 acres of land in Monticello township, 
on Monticello prairie, two miles south of the village of Monti- 
cello. There their youngest child, Florence, was born. In a few 
years they moved to the village, bought a hotel, remodeled it, 
and gave it the name of the Covart House. A j-ear later it 
burned. Mr. Covart then retired and resided in Monticello, until 
he died in 1891, at the age of sixty-eight. Mrs. Covart died in 
1913, at the age of eighty-five. Sylvester J. died in Monticello 
at about nineteen years of age. Florence died in Monticello 
township at three years of age. 

William Covart, merchant, financier and man of affairs, was 
born in Sullivan county, New York, March 11, 1854, son of Will- 
iam II. and Isabella (Clark) Covart. In 1857 he was taken by 
his parents to Dodge county, Wisconsin, and about 1860 he was 
brought to Monticello township. He was educated in the district 
school, and early in life took up farming as an occupation. Since 
he was fourteen the speculative feature of agricultural operation 
has appealed strongly to him, and while he has never farmed 
extensively, he has owned many farms in succession, and has 
prospered exceedingly by every exchange that he has made. In 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 299 

1893 he engaged with a partner in the hardware business at 
Buffalo, under the firm name of Covart & Wickly. The same 
firm also has extensive sawmill and lumber interests in Carleton 
countj-, Minnesota, not far from Duhith. Mr. Covart was mar- 
ried, October 22, 1896, to Sarah Boerner, and they have two chil- 
dren, Helen and Marion. Both are students of the Buffalo High 
School. 

Aaron F. Ames, who, after a life filled with varied experi- 
ences, is now living in retirement in Buffalo, was born in Chitten- 
den county, Vermont, December 30, 1827, son of William and 
Polly (Brownell) Ames. William Ames was born and reared in 
Vermont and there spent a number of years in farming. After 
coming west he located in Boone county, Illinois, and kept a stage- 
line tavern at Amesville, now known as Garden Prairie. At one 
time General Winfield Scott was a guest at the hotel, and the two 
men became fast friends. William Ames had twelve children, 
as follows : Eliza, Caroline, Adaliue, Harriett, Adelia, Emily, 
Sereno, George, Alson. William, Aaron F. and Eben. Of this 
family, George was the first to come to Minnesota. He fir.st 
secured twenty acres near the present site of the Hennepin county 
courthouse in Minneapolis. He considered the tract of little 
value, and abandoned it to locate in Rockford township, in Wright 
county. Aaron F. Ames received his early education in Illinois. 
In May, 1852, before the gold craze of 1849 had subsided, he 
started out in an ox team for California, accompanied by his 
brothers, Alson and Eben, and by another man named J. R. Ames, 
but not a relative. It was the intention of the party to reach 
Sacramento, but in September it was decided to stop at the Yaba 
river, ninety miles east of that city. Aaron F. at first secured 
work at $5.00 a day. but soon discovered that it took more than 
that to live, so he went prospecting. For three years he fol- 
lowed mining in various places, and then started home, making 
the trip by way of New Mexico, on the line of the pony express 
from Sacramento to St. Cloud. He farmed for a while in Garden 
Prairie, 111., and then went to McGregor, Iowa. At the outbreak 
of the Civil war, he recruited Co. L, Sixth Iowa Cavalry, and 
was mustered in as its captain, at Davenport. He served two 
years and nine months, and saw much active service on the North- 
western frontier against the Indians. In one engagement he was 
thrown from his horse, causing a rupture from which he has 
never fully recovered. He was mustered out at Sioux City, and 
returned to his home in Illinois, but shortly afterward he again 
came to ]McGregor and again engaged in the mercantile business. 
From McGregor he went to Cresco, Iowa. From there, in 1872, 
he came to Wright county and located on a place of 130 acres, 
one half mile north of the village of Rockford. This was wild 
land, and no improvements had been made thei'eon. Mr. Ames 



300 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

broke the land, erected modern buildings and successfully farmed 
until 1901, when he retired and moved to Buffalo. He is a mem- 
ber of the G. A. R. Post, and while in the township served as town 
clerk and town assessor. The family faith is that of the Episcopal 
church. Mr. Ames was married at McGregor, Iowa, in 1866, to 
Sarah Forsythe, born in Waddington, N. Y., May 29, 1843, daugh- 
ter of John and Mary (Mathews) Forsythe. Mr. and Mrs. Ames 
have four children. Ros(^ and Frank were born in Iowa, and 
Polly and Edith in Minnesota. Rose lives in Buffalo. Frank 
died in 1876. Polly is now Mrs. Charles W. Lynd, of Medicine 
Lake, Mont. They have seven children, Edith, Ames, Milo, Lloyd, 
Roy, Vernon and Cleon. Edith is now Mrs. Irvin L. O'Meara, of 
Hennepin county, Minnesota. They have three children, Irvin, 
Edna and Lois. John Forsythe was a tailor by trade. lie was 
born in Scotland, came to New York at the age of sixteen, and 
married Mary Mathews, who was born in Montreal, Canada, of 
Scottish parents. P'roni New York they went to Wisconsin, and 
lived for a time near Watertown. Later they went to McGregor, 
Iowa, where they spent the i-emainder of their lives. John For- 
sythe enlisted at the first call for three months' men, and served 
throughout the Civil war. His son, William, served in the Sixth 
Wisconsin Cavalry, his son Robert in the First Wisconsin Cav- 
alry, and his son George in the Sixth Wisconsin Infantry. The 
other children were : Samuel, James, Eben, Margaret, Jane, Sarah 
and Emma. 

Robert Bredt, a successful farmer of Buffalo township, was 
born in Cologne-on-the-Rhiue, Germany, January 23, 1860, son of 
Titus and Agnes (Muller) Bredt. Titus Bredt was a man of 
considerable importance in his native city. A sugar refiner who 
had attained success in life, he was president of the local court 
of trade, and occupied other positions of trust and responsibility. 
He was bom January 28, 1813, and died June 30, 1885. His wife 
was born April 19, 1819, and died November 1, 1895. In their 
family there were nine children: Agnes, Titus, Marie, Henrietta, 
Caroline, Emil, Rudolpli, Helena and Robert. Of this family, 
Robert, the subject of this mention, was the only one who came 
to the United States. He had received a good education, had 
served the usual term in the army, and had worked in his fatlier's 
office. But desiring wider opportunities, he came to the United 
States in 1885, and upon reaching Wright county secured em- 
ployment at ]\Iaple Lake with Herman Blume, an early settler, 
whose wife was Matilda (jenbeek. On December 27, 1886, Mr. 
Bredt married their daughter, Matilda Helen. They lived on the 
home place for several years and to them were born four chil- 
dren, Titus Herman, George Paul and Maria Matilda and Helen 
Agnes, twins. Titus Herman was born November 16, 1887, mar- 
ried Dorothy Reynolds, and lives on his father's farm in Buffalo 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 301 

township. George Paul was born July 10, 1890, nuirried Eliza- 
beth Wegen, and lives in llinneapolis. The twins were born 
June 26, 1^92. Jlaria Matilda married Henry Arnold. They live 
in ]Montieello township, and have four ehildren : Evan, Helen, 
Clyde and Viola. Helen Agnes lives at home. Mrs. Matilda 
(Blume) Bredt was born in St. Louis, Mo., November 10, 1868, 
and died February 2, 1900. On June 5, 1901, Mr. Bredt married 
Anna Baker, born in Wright county, April 25, 1876, daughter of 
Joseph and Christina (Elseupeter) Baker, the pioneers. She has 
proven an able helpmate through all their married life, and has 
borne her husband two sons, Robert Rudolph, born March 23, 
1904, and Carl Frederick, January 22, 1909. In 1896, Mr. Bredt 
purchased a farm of 161 acres in section 5, Buffalo township, and 
there successfully farmed until June 15, 1914, when he and his 
family moved to the village of Buffalo. The farm is now occupied 
and operated by the son, Titus Hernuin Bredt. 

Norman Dyer is a name that is held in loving respect and 
regai'd by all the early settlers in the vicinity of Buffalo. One 
of Nature's own noblemen, he was endowed with a kindly, gen- 
erous disposition, and without his philanthropy many of the 
pioneers would have failed and left the county. The world is 
truly the better for his having lived in it, and his memory will 
be cherished by the sons and grandsons of those whom he be- 
friended. Norman Dyer was born in Trumbull county, Ohio, 
February 12, 1824. and was there reared and educated. In 1859 
he and his good wife came to Wright county and settled on a 
farm. The country was then wild. They made a small clearing, 
erected a log cabin, and established their home in the wilderness. 
Gradually the land was cleared and developed, suitable buildings 
were erected, and they were soon nvimbered as among the most 
prosperous people in the connnunity. From the very first they 
were noted for their hospitality and liberality. No one ever 
went hungry from their door, and many a side of bacon or beef, 
many a pound of butter and tea, or sack of corn or wheat were 
sent to some less fortimate settler. Throughout his long life, 
Mr. Dyer delighted in aiding the neighbors. He extended credit 
to those who had recently arrived, and especially during the 
grasshopper ravages did he make it possible for many of the 
pioneers to stay here, by giving some work, by standing good 
for their accounts at the stores, and by furnishing them witli 
seed. Aside from such material aid, he was always ready with 
a word of cheer and encouragement, and no one ever met him 
without feeling the better for having met him. He served in a 
number of offices, but his greatest pride was in his farm, and he 
did not seek political life. He died April 15, 1890, ripe in good 
deeds, wisdom and honor, and the influence of his noble nature 
still remains. His wife, who ably seconded him in all his efforts, 



302 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

was Keziah Leeper, to whom he was married in La Grange county, 
Indiana, April 14, 1851. She was boi-n in that county, August 
12, 1830, and died April 21, 1879. 

George W. Burrows, Buffalo lumberman, now deceased, had 
a most important part in the upbuilding of the commercial pros- 
perity, and in dying left the community the rich heritage of an 
unsullied name. He was born at Wyocena, Columbia county, 
Wisconsin, June 9, 1855, son of Henry D. and Emily H. (Britt) 
Burrows. This worthy couple were born in New York state and 
were there married, in 1853. Shortly afterward they came west 
and settled in Wyocena, Columbia county, where they secured 
280 acres of land. Henry D. Burrows became a prominent man, 
served on the official board of his township, and was a village 
officer of Wyocena. He died in Buffalo, Minn., in 1900, at the 
age of sixty-eight. His wife is still living in Buffalo, having 
attained the good old age of eighty-two years. In the family 
there were four children, George W., Homer, John and Edith 
(deceased). George W. Burrows was educated in the schools of 
his native county, and devoted his early life to farming. He 
began his commercial career in 1880 by locating in Wadena, 
Minn., where for some two or three years he devoted his atten- 
tion to grain buying. Mr. Burrows was married December 11, 
1883, to Lillian M. Morrison, at Wadena, Minn. Mrs. Burrows 
is the daughter of D. R. Morrison, one of Minnesota's pioneer 
settlers, who came from New York state and located near Owa- 
tonna, Minn., in the early fifties. He was a veteran of the Civil 
war, and a prominent man in his township. After their mar- 
riage, Mr. and Mrs. Burrows resided in Wyocena, Wis., for three 
years. In the fall of 1886, they came to Buffalo, and in partner- 
ship with George C. Carpenter, Mr. Burrows establislied the 
Burrows & Carpenter Lumber Company. They received the first 
two car loads of freight shipped into Buffalo, over the Sault Ste. 
Marie, and still retain as a memento, way freight bills Nos. 1 and 
2. In 1896, the firm dissolved partnership, Mr. Carpenter going 
into politics and becoming state senator, and Mr. Burrows re- 
maining as sole proprietor. He established and carried on a large 
and successful business, having lumber interests not only in Buf- 
falo, but also in Wisconsin for over twenty years. Mr. and Mrs. 
Burrows have two children. Myrtle Maude and Byron Chanue. 
Their daughter. Miss Burrows, is a graduate of the Johnson Con- 
servatory of Music at Minneapolis, and is an accomplished musi- 
cian. She has been a very successful teacher for the past tliree 
years. Byron C. is one of the leading young business men of 
Buffalo. He was manager of his father's lumber business two 
years previous to his death, and has since conducted it in a most 
able manner. After passing through the graded schools, he at- 
tended the Buffalo High School one year and St. John's LTniver- 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 303 

sity, at Collegeville, this state, one year. September 17, 1913, 
he married Marie Reinshardt, daughter of ilr. and Mrs. William 
Remshardt, of Red Wing, Minn. Mr. Burrows is a member of 
Buffalo Lodge No. 141, I. 0. 0. F. Mr. and Mrs. George Burrows 
occupied a position of much trust and respect. Mrs. Burrows 
has served on the board of education for the past six years, having 
the honor of being elected president of that organization five 
years in succession. She was also president of the Ladies' His- 
torical Club for three years, and a member of the Library Board. 
Mr. Burrows was leader of the Buffalo Cornet band for a number 
of years, and also took an active part in many home talent enter- 
tainments. Standing as he did in the community, it was natural 
that he should be called to serve three years as city recorder and 
two years as mayor. It was through his untiring efforts that 
the electric light plant was installed during his administration. 
His residence in Buffalo is one of the most sightly and best located 
homes in the city. Mr. Burrows was a great lover of music, of 
his home life, and of Buffalo. He died May 19, 1914, and his 
death was sincerely mourned. 

Swan E. Bratt, a prosperous contractor and carpenter of Buf- 
falo, was born in Sweden, June 3, 1862, a son of Bi-ick Erickson 
and Christina Larson, who spent the span of their years in the 
old country. Erick Erickson was a builder, and erected many of 
the dwellings in his native town. He was twice married. By his 
first wife he had two children, Erick and Peter, and by his second 
wife, three children, Carrie, Stena and Swan E. Swan E. was 
the only one of the family to come to America. He was reared 
in his native land, thoroughly learned the building trades from 
his father, and in 1886 came to Buffalo, where he has since re- 
sided. Times were hard and at first it was almost impossible for 
him to get work in the building line. In fact, it was nearly two 
years before he got started. But after he secured his first work, 
his rise was rapid. He is a thorough master of the building 
trades, being a general mechanic, woodworker and finisher. 
When he takes a contract for a house he starts with a hole in the 
ground, and turns the house over to the owner ready for occu- 
pancy. He has erected some of the best buildings in Buffalo 
and hundreds of more throughout the county. The buildings 
occupied by the Nelson hardware store, the Sternberg general 
store, the Rettke confectionery and jewelry store, the Ellis hard- 
ware store, the Fryburg general store, the Berkland store and 
the Smidt store all stand as monuments to his building ability 
and fidelity. He did the carpenter work on the postoffice build- 
ing at Buffalo and erected the Montrose Farmers' Co-Operative 
Store. He erected and at one time owned the Lamson, Ling- 
berg, Schmidt and Almes residences. Among other dwellings 
built by him may be mentioned those of the Messrs. Saiders, 



304 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Dahlstrom, Kirkpatriek, Adams, Nelson, Frisk, Viekstrum, Ber- 
qiiist, Sudines, Rettke, Templeans, Norman, Lingstrum, Grant, 
Peterson, Anderson, Swenson, Dickson, Illstrup, Westphal, Sunt, 
A. Nordberg, A. G. Nordberg, McCullongh and many others. 
The Methodist and Presbyterian parsonages and the Free Mission 
Church, of Buffalo, are also his work. Mr. Bratt was married 
in 1893 to Mary Olson, born in Sweden, March 12, 1861, daughter 
of Olof and Gertrude (Larson) Olson. Mr. and Mrs. Bratt have 
five children, Erick Hiram (deceased), Walter, Harold, Clarence 
and Leonard. Olof Olson died in Sweden, leaving a widow and 
three children, Walberg, Christine and Mary. The widow mar- 
ried John Erickson, who brought the family to Buffalo in 1868. 
He died here, but she is still living at the good old age of eighty- 
four, and lives with Mr. Bratt. The family are members of 
Swedish Mission Church, of which Mr. Bratt is one of the trustees. 
Mr. Bratt has a vei-y beautiful home, which he built in 1902, with 
all modern conveniences, and a large sloping lawn with a fine 
evergreen hedge, overlooking Buffalo Lake. 

John H. Beutner, proprietor of the Owl Drag Store at Buffalo, 
is one of the leading business men of the city. His selection of 
this place as a location showed his strong faith in its future, and 
that faith has been more than justified. John Beutner was born 
in Winona, Minn., February 27, 1878, son of Peter and Bertha 
(Klyce) Beutner. Peter Beutner was by trade a painter and 
decorator. He was born in Wisconsin, and there married Bertha 
Klyce, a native of the same state. In the seventies they located 
in Winona, where he died in 1914 at the age of fifty-nine years, 
and where she still resides. The children in the family were : 
John, Henry, Romey, Etta, Philip, Lillian and Herbert. John, 
the oldest of this family, was educated in the graded and high 
schools of Winona. After graduating from the latter institu- 
tion, he entered the drug store of J. W. Lauer, in that city, and 
worked for three years. Then he entered the School of Pharmacy 
in Minneapolis, graduating in 1896. With this preparation, he 
returned to Winona and entered the employ of Frank Pittman, 
wholesale chemist. Four years later he went to Minneapolis, 
and for five years was in the prescription department of T. K. 
Gray & Co., wholesale and retail druggists. During all of these 
years he kept in mind his resolve to enter in business for himself, 
and at last the opportunity was presented. He had heard much 
of Wright county, and decided that Buffalo was a coming busi- 
ness center. Accordingly he came here in 1907 and opened a 
drug store which he named "The Owl." His success was assured 
from the very start. His stock is large and well-selected, and 
consists of drugs, eheniieals and medicines of the best and purest 
nature, stationery, cigars, toilet articles, temperance drinks and 
novelties. He is a registered pharmacist, and prescriptions are 




1'|;a.\k i;a.\.\hohie 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 305 

compounded with the greatest care and accuracy. The store is 
housed in a sightly, sanitaiy, light and airy structure, most ad- 
mirably adapted to its purpose. The neat soda fountain does a 
large business. Aside from being skilled in his profession and 
a good business man, Mr. Beutner is a most pleasant and affable 
gentleman, and a general favorite among his friends. He is one 
of those men who have "made good," and his success is well 
deserved. Mr. Beutner is a member of the I. 0. 0. F., the M. W. 
A. and the Buffalo Commercial Club. Mr. Beutner was married 
September 20, 1900, to Mamie Myrtle Mulford, of Winona, daugh- 
ter of Charles and Emma Colviu. There are three children in 
the family, Harry, Rayburn and Marjorie. Mrs. Beutner is a 
member of the Buffalo Lodge of Rebekahs. Her father, Charles 
Colvin, is a druggist in Portland, Ore. 

Frank Bannochie, the popular and genial proprietor of the 
Lake Pulaski House, on the shores of beautiful Lake Pulaski, was 
born in Aberdeen, Scotland, March 19, 1863, son of Alexander 
and Agnes (Smith) Bannochie. Alexander Bannochie was a cattle 
buyer in Scotland. He was the father of eight children, Frank, 
Alexander, Jr., William, Agnes, Elizabeth, Alice, Nellie and Mary. 
Frank Bannochie was reared in his native land, and there re- 
ceived a good education and a good business training. His four 
years apprenticeship was spent in a wholesale drygoods house in 
Aberdeen, Scotland. In 1882 he came to America, having been 
sent to Providence, R. I., as a representative of a Scottish dry- 
goods syndicate. A year later he engaged with a similar con- 
cern in Buffalo, N. Y., and still another year later he became 
buyer for the John Taylor Dry Goods Company, Kansas City, 
Mo. In 1885 he returned to the land of his birth, and there 
married Helen Finley Thompson, a native of Scotland, daughter 
of James and Hannah (Kennedy) Thompson. Then he returned 
to Providence, R. I., and was thi-ee months with the Scotch house 
of David Ilarley, dealer in ilrygoods. Then for two years and 
three months he was with William Donaldson, of the Glass block, 
Minneapolis. Subsequently, after two years with M. B. Faulco- 
ner, of Omaha, Neb., he was with the Minneapolis Dry Goods 
Company until 1893, having entire charge of their furniture de^ 
partment. Then for six years he was liead decorator and draper 
for Field, Slick & Co., of St. Paul. April 6, 1900, he came to 
Lake Pulaski and purchased Ween Olson's summer home and 
four and a half acres of land for the purpose of creating an ideal 
summer resort. Bannochie 's resort is one of the most popular 
in the Northwest. Beautifully situated on the banks of a crystal 
lake, in the midst of a spreading grove, with the best of roads 
stretching in every direction, the place has advantages which 
keep it crowded with guests throughout the summer season, and 
also brings them at other seasons of the year. The main building 



306 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

is the Pulaski House, 25 by 42 feet, with a 22-foot addition, 
fitted in bungalow style. The rooms are all cool and comfortable 
and well furnished, while the dining room is constantly swept by 
the cool and refreshing air from the lake. Aside from the main 
hotel there are seven comfortable cottages where guests are 
accommodated. There is also a houseboat, fifteen rowboats, a 
large launch, several sailboats, and in the winter some excellent 
iceboats. The large wharf gives opportunity for diving and 
other aquatic feats, while the sandy beach adds greatly to the 
enjoyment of bathing. The large dancing pavilion has a stage 
for the giving of small plays and vaudeville entertainment, and 
the management furnishes a five-piece orchestra for the dances. 
A large steel fireproof vault provides shelter for automobiles, and 
a bowling alley provides indoor athletic recreation. The food 
served at the place is excellent, the vegetables being raised on 
the place, and the milk being obtained from the owner's private 
dairy. An electric light plant makes it possible to furnish illu- 
mination at all hours desired, and the flowing well furnishes as 
good water as can be found in the state. The lake is probably 
as clear a one as any in Minnesota. It has a sandy bottom, and 
being fed entirely by springs, the water is at all times wholesome 
and sparkling. It has been extensively stocked with game fish ; 
no obnoxious fish are found here, and as Mr. Bannochie has been 
made special game warden, he is enabled to prevent violations 
of the law in the way of the destruction of the fish out of season. 
The lake has a beautiful shore line of seven miles; it is about two 
and a quarter miles across, and in the deepest place about 300 
feet deep. It also connects with Little Pulaski lake, which covers 
about eighty acres. A lover of animals, Mr. Bannochie is an 
extensive breeder and importer of pure-blooded Scotch collie 
dogs, and has acted as judge at many bench shows. An affable, 
pleasant gentleman, and a believer in good-fellowship, Mr. Ban- 
nochie is a charter member of the Maccabees at St. Paid, and a 
member of the Elks at St. Cloiul, as well as several fraternal 
insurance orders. Mr. Bannochie and his wife have had four 
children. Two are dead. James Norville lives in St. Paul. He 
married Beronica Zahler, of St. Michael, and has a daughter, 
Helen. Helen, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Bannochie "s only living 
daughter, is the wife of Joseph Metzgar. of St. Paul. 

John Julius Johnson, owner and i)roprietor of the Buft'alo 
Flour Mills, Buffalo, was born in Carver county, March 11, 1871, 
son of John Henry and Mary (Bankson) .Johnson, natives of 
Sweden. John Hein\v Johnson was a skilled workman, a mill- 
wright by trade, and a general mechanic of much ability. He 
came to America at about the age of twenty, and secured varied 
employments. For a time he operated a sawmill at Muskegon, 
Mich. From there he came to Carver comity, Minnesota, where 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 307 

he operated a sawmill for many years. In the meantime he 
erected many flour mills, including those at Le Sueur, Belleplaine, 
Cokato, Delano, Paynesville antl Buffalo, in Minnesota, and Cala- 
mine, in Wisconsin. John Julius Johnson was educated at Belle- 
plaine, in Carver county, this state, and early took up the milling 
business with his father on the home farm. This mill was twice 
burned, but was each time rebuilt. In 1895, when his father, 
John Henry, erected the mill at Buffalo, John Julius Johnson 
and a partner, August Meline, took charge of the mill and oper- 
ated it until 1903, when Mr. Johnson bought out his partner and 
has since continued in business alone. He has made the Buffalo 
Flour Mills widely known for the excellence of their product. 
The mill itself is a substantial structure 36 by 52 feet, three 
stories high with a basement. The boiler and engine room is 
36 by 36 feet. The warehouse is 30 by 30 feet, one story with a 
basement. The establishment has a capacity of about ninety 
barrels daily. The principal product is the "White Lily Brand" 
flour, but the mill also turns out rye and graham flour and break- 
fast food. The venture has been a successful one in every par- 
ticular, and Mr. Johnson is one of the leading men in the com- 
munity. Mr. Johnson married Hannah Jackson, of Cokato, daugh- 
ter of Herman Jackson, an old settler of Wright county. Their 
children are: Raymond C, Edgar J. (died at four years of age), 
Harold, Julius Willard, Lloyd Emerson and Alvina, all at home. 
The family faith is that of the Lutheran church. Mr. Johnson 
is a member of the Woodmen. 

Harry Ludwig Jensen, an estimable citizen of Wright county, 
now living a retired life in lUift'alo, was born in Sweden, April 1, 
1845, son of John and Sophia (Nicholas) Jensen, who spent the 
span of their years in the old country. John Jensen was a man 
of high standing in his community, being a clergyman of the 
Lutheran faith. In the family there were four children, Ernest, 
Hilda, Esther and Harry Ludwig. Harry Ludwig was the oldest 
of this family. He was reared in Sweden, and in 1868 came to 
Cook county, Illinois, and took up farming. In 1883 he and his 
wife came to Wright county and secured 160 acres of land in 
Rockford township. There he farmed until 1904, when he retired 
and moved to Buffalo, where he still carries on farming on a 
small scale. The son of a pastor, it is natural that he should have 
taken an active part in the Lutheran churcli ; and being a man of 
ability, the people have availed themselves of his services as super- 
visor of Rockford township and as clerk of the school board of 
his district. Mr. Jensen was married in Cook county, Illinois, 
July 2, 1879, to Sarah Bennett, born in Wisconsin, the daughter 
of Caleb Bennett. She died in March, 1889, at the age of forty 
two, leaving two children, Lilly and Leah. Esther and Ella May 
are dead. Mr. Jensen married the second time in October, 1889, 



308 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

to Christina Piersen, a iiiative of Sweden, and by this marriage 
there are two children, Ernest and Elmer. 

Arthur J. Kelly, D. D. S., Buffalo, is one of the rising young 
professional men of Minnesota, and comes of one of the early 
pioneer families of the southern part of the state. He was born 
in Yucatan township, Houston county, December 13, 1889, on the 
farm of his father, and the homestead of his grandfather. The 
founder of the family in America was James Kelly, Sr. He was 
born in Scotland, but was of Scotch-Irish descent. His wife, 
Charlotte Carson, was a native of Scotland, a descendant of one 
of the substantial lowland families. The young couple came to 
America and took up their home in what was then the little 
handet of Chatfield, lying on the border between Olmsted and 
Fillmore counties. Here James Kelly, Sr., followed his trade as 
a carpenter, erecting many of the pioneer homes in that village. 
From Chatfield they moved to Yucatan township, in Houston 
county, and took a homestead. They built a log cabin, and expe- 
rienced all the privations of pioneer life. The nearest neighbors 
were miles away, provisions were scarce and the country wild. 
The ground had to be broken and the wilderness subdued. But 
with the years they prospered and became leading and substan- 
tial citizens. Sightly buildings replaced the old log cabin, and 
the farm was as well developed as any in the neighborhood. 
James Kelly, who was designed to serve an important part in the 
political life of southeastern Minnesota, was born in Chatfield. 
He was reared on the home farm, attended the district schools, 
and devoted his life to agricultural pursuits. He early won the 
confidence of his community by his honesty and ability, and he 
was elected to numerous school and township offices. In the fall 
of 1888 he was pursuaded to run for a seat in the lower house 
of the Minnesota legislature. He was elected, and in January, 
1889, took his seat. In the legislature he was a conspicuous figure. 
He easily won friends, and early in the session it was apparent 
that he was a force to be reckoned with. He served on important 
committees, and did most efficient work for his constituents and 
for the state. In 1890 his district elected him to a seat in the 
state senate, and here his influence and importance increased. 
After the expiration of his term of office he retired to the farm, 
where he still lives. He married Ellen Kelly, a native of Houston 
county, daughter of John and Mary (Conley) Kelly. Their chil- 
dren are : PVances M., Arthur J., Charlotte 1., Joseph J. and 
Mary V. Arthur J. Kelly was the second in the family. He 
was reared on the home farm, and acquired a good education in 
the district schools. His parents encouraged him in his deter- 
mination to enter upon a professional career, and with this pur- 
pose in view he entered St. Thomas College, at St. Paul, where 
he made an excellent record. In 1909 he entered the dental 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 309 

college of the University of Minnesota, from -which he was gradu- 
ated in 1912. While at college he was a member of the Delta 
Sigma Delta. Upon obtaining his degree he came to Buffalo, 
where he opened his oiifices. His success was assured from the 
start. A thorough master of his profession, and a pleasant and 
affable gentleman, he makes friends of all with whom he comes 
in contact, and his rapidly increasing practice embraces not only 
the village and its environs, but also the countrj'side for many 
miles in every direction. He has taken liis part in the life of the 
community, has won the esteem and companionship of the lead- 
ing men of the county, and is in every way a desirable citizen. 
His offices contain tlie most modern appliances, and are beauti- 
fully furnished as well as completely equipped. 

Dr. Kelly was married April 15, 1915, to Margaret D. Hill, 
who was born in Winnebago, Wis., .hnie 1, 1890, was brought 
to ilinneapolis in August, 1890, attended the graded schools, 
graduated from the East High school in 1909, and from the Col- 
lege of Science, Literature and Arts, University of Minnesota, 
in 1913. Her father, George E. Hill, was born in Michigan in 
1851 of Welsh ancestry and was a mechanical engineer. He was 
married in Oshkosh, Wis., in 1878, came to Minneapolis in 1890, 
and died in 1898. His wife, Mary (Neary) Hill, was born in 
Neenah, Wis., in 1860, and now makes her liome in Minneapolis. 

Austin Knight, for many years a well-known tigure in Wright 
county life, was born in Canada, May 24, 1839, and died at 
Minnehaha in 1903. He received his education in Canada, and in 
1856 came to the United States with his brother John. They 
located near Minneapolis and engaged in teaming. Later Austin 
Knight was a stage driver, carrying mail and passengers, in 
succeeding years, from Minneapolis to Wayzetta, from Wayzetta 
to Watertown, and from Delano to Rockford. The roads were 
bad, four horses were often required to make a short trip, and 
sometimes horses and stage were piled together in some swampy 
hole, from which they were with difficulty rescued. It was about 
1867 when Mr. Knight first settled in Wright county, coming from 
Wayzetta and taking up his residence in Rockford. While living 
in Rockford he operated a sawmill at Howard Lake. In 18 — 
he came to Buffalo, and with his brother-in-law, Orlando Bushnell, 
operated a sawmill near the site of the present creamery. A 
stave department was added, and Richard Knight became a 
partner. About a year later, Austin Knight and Orlando Bushnell 
sold out, and Austin Knight opened a livery stable at Howard 
Lake. A year and a half afterward, however, he returned to 
Buffalo and purchased the Winsor Hotel and livery barn. Sev- 
eral years later he sold the hotel but kept the stables. Subse- 
quently, however, he sold the stables and retired. During all 
these years he had been handicapped by poor health. On August 



310 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

20, 1862, he had enlisted in Company D, 9th Minnesota Volunteer 
Infantry, and had served until mustered out as a corporal, June 
9, 1865, and in this service he contracted disabilities that made 
him more or less of an invalid all his days. In his latter years his 
health became more and more feeble, and he died in the hospital 
of the Solders' Home at Minnehaha Falls. Mr. Knight was mar- 
ried July 9, 1866, to Elizabeth Buslmell, born in Beaverton, 111., 
September 30, 1839, daughter of Orlando and Abigail (Coe) Bush- 
nell. Five children blessed their tuiion : Helen, now Mrs. W. D. 
Secombe, of Minneapolis ; Archie A. ; Corinne E., of Minneapolis ; 
Sarah, now of Minneapolis, and formerly for seven years a teacher 
at Manila, in the Philippines; and John Harold. Mrs. Knight is 
a charming lady of many accomplishments, and is prominent in 
churcli, society and charitable work. Her beautiful home over- 
looking Buffalo lake is noted for its hospitality and good cheer. 

Orlando H. Bushnell, who was for many years connected with 
the official life of Wriglit county, was born in Illinois, November 
27, 1844, son of Orlando and Abigail (Coe) Bushnell, who were 
born, reared and married in Hartland, Conn., then lived succes- 
sively in New York and Ohio, and ended their days in Illinois. 
They were pioneers in Illinois, and often traveled to Chicago, 
then a small town fifty miles away, after supplies. Orlando H. 
came to Roekford in the spring of 1859 and engaged in farming 
and lumbering. In 1862 he enlisted in Company B, 6th Minnesota 
Volunteer Infantry, and served until mustered out, August 19, 
1865. He then returned to Roekford, and lived there until 1872, 
when he located in Buffalo, where he was engaged in the lumber, 
sawmill and stave business, with Austin and Richard Knight. 
He was prominent in public life and served as county commis- 
sioner, as well as assisting his township in the offices of town 
treasurer and town assessor, and his village as mayor. Always 
active in matters for improvement of the community, a friend 
to all in need, he was trusted and esteemed by all who knew him. 
In 1898 he moved to Utah, where he engaged in the lumber busi- 
ness and operated a small fruit farm. From there, in 1903, he 
went to Idaho, where he bought a ranch and planted an orchard. 
A few years later he moved to Eagle, Idaho, where he died 
January 14, 1911. Mr. Bushnell was married in 1872 to Ella 
Ackley, daughter of Amassa Aekley, who platted the village of 
Buffalo. She died in November, 1912. They had two daughters, 
Mary and Elizabeth. Mary is the wife of Charles Judson, of 
Eagle, Idaho. Elizabeth also resides in Eagle, Idaho. 

Frank B. Lamson, for many years a prominent figure in the 
official life of Wright county, was born at Mt. Carmel, Conn., 
October 14, 1867, son of Levi and Adelaide (Bailey) Lamson, of 
Colonial ancestry, and of Scotch, English and Dutch extraction. 
Levi Lamson was a department foreman of the Lamson & Sessions 




FRANK B. LAMSON 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 311 

Bolt Company, of Mt. Carmel, Conn. He i-emained in the East 
until 1886, when he came to Minnesota and located in Minne- 
apolis, where he still resides. Frank B. Lanison was left mother- 
less in infancy, and was reared by his maternal grandparents, 
Mr. and Mrs. Fred A. Bailey, with whom he moved to Sherwood, 
in Calumet county, Wisconsin, at the age of two years. There 
he saw something of pioneer life on a farm. When he was thir- 
teen years old he started out for himself by finding a place where 
he could work for his board while attending the Appletou (Wis.) 
high school. At the age of seventeen he left school to assume the 
support of his grandparents. They removed to Dassel, in Meeker 
county, where Mr. Lamson became a teacher, a profession he 
subsequently followed in Meeker, McLeod, Chisago and Wright 
counties. In 1891 he became principal of the schools at Cokato, 
in this county. In 1889 he purchased the Cokato "Observer," 
which he edited and published for two years. While in Cokato 
he served as village recorder and as justice of the peace. In 
1892 he was nominated by the Republican party as candidate 
for county auditor, was elected by a plurality of 169 votes, and 
in 1894 was reelected by a plurality of 1,563 votes. In September, 
1897, he established the Buffalo "Standard," a weekly publica- 
tion. The first number was issued September 8, 1897. The last 
issue was published April 25, 1900. Then it was sold to H. S. 
Saylor, and merged with the Buffalo "Journal." In the fall of 
1896 Mr. Lamson took an active part in the political fight in the 
Sixth Congressional district between Page Morris, Republican, 
and Charles A. Towne, Democrat. In recognition of his services 
he was appointed postmaster at Buffalo, a position he filled from 
October 4, 1897, to July 1, 1910. In the campaign of 1910, Mr. 
Lamson was one of the speakers in the field for the Minnesota 
Anti-Saloon League, and as such delivered addresses in support 
of the campaign of Rudolph Lee (son of William B. Lee, candi- 
date for governor in 1914) for state senator from the district 
comprising Todd, Wadena and Hubbard counties. Mr. Lamson 
also campaigned in Wright county, and did field work in Houston 
and Washington counties. At the conclusion of the campaign he 
accepted the secretaryship of the Minnesota Progressive Repub- 
lican League, and had charge of the work leading up to the first 
convention held in this state for the purpose of organizing the 
progressive element in the Republican party. He represented 
the organization before the legislature of 1911, and resigned at 
the close of the session. In July, 1911, he accepted the position 
of deputy auditor of Wright county. He is also a member of the 
Buffalo board of education. The Presbyterian chui'ch claims 
his religious alliance, and for some years he was a member of 
the official board of that organization. Fraternally he is also 
active, and has passed through the chairs in local lodges of the 



312 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Odd Fellows and the United Workmen, namely, Buffalo Lodge, 
No. 141, I. 0. 0. F., and Buffalo Lodge, No. 184, A. 0. U. W. Mr. 
Larason is the compiler of the Lamsou Geneology, covering the 
period from 1635 to 1908. In preparing this work, Mr. Lamson 
visited many historic points in New England, including the place 
of his birth in Connecticut. Mr. Lamson was married, January 1, 
1890, to Anna S. Nordine, born in the Province of Wermland, 
Sweden, April 24, 1867, daughter of Andrew and Agnes (Lind) 
Nordine, who brought her to America as an infant, and located 
first at Carver, in Carver county, Minnesota, and later in Dassel, 
in Meeker County, Minnesota, where her mother still resides, her 
father having passed away some years ago. Mrs. Lamson is au 
artist of more than usiial ability. Mr. and Mrs. Lamson have 
three children : Frank Vernon, born June 28, 1899 ; Ruth Marion, 
born March 24, 1906 ; and Edmond Herbert, born November 21, 
1908. 

Henry Varner, pioneer, a i-etired farmer now residing in Buf- 
falo, was born in Westmoreland county, Pennsylvania, Novem- 
ber 16, 1831, a son of John and Mary (Bitts) Varner, both natives 
of Pennsylvania, where they spent the span of their years as 
farmers. The Varner family in Pennsylvania dates back to the 
Revolutionary war, and the direct ancestors at one time carried 
on farming operations on the present site of Oil City. John 
and Mary Varner had twelve children: Solomon, Levi, Jacob, 
Daniel, William, Henry, .John, Jr., David, Susan, Polly, Katie and 
Lafayette. Of these, Solomon, Jacob, Henry, John, Jr., and 
Lafayette came to Wright county. The first to come were Henry 
and Jacob. They arrived in 1856. From St. Paul they walked to 
Monticello, where they erected a house and resided a year. In 
1858 they each secured a homestead of 160 acres in Buffalo town- 
ship. The land was wild, and no roads led past their claims. 
They erected a shack of poles, and started to prepare the land for 
farming. As time passed they purchased a yoke of oxen from 
traders passing on the old Red River trail. This is said to have 
been the first pair of oxen in the township. The two brothers 
lived alone until 1860, when Henry, on one of his frequent trips 
to Pennsylvania, married, and thus secured a mistress for his 
home. Henry Varner did not leave his claim during the Indian 
scare, but remained to defend his place. No Indians appeared. 
During the early years of their married life Henry Varner and 
his wife spent part of their time farming in the oil regions of 
Pennsylvania, alternating their work there with visits to the 
claim in Buffalo. In 1866 they located permanently on their claim 
and there resided forty-five years. He erected good buildings, 
made a success of farming, and did considerable dealing in real 
estate. For thirty years he operated a threshing machine. The 
respect in which he was held by his fellow citizens is shown by the 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 313 

fact that he served a miinber of years as chairman of tlie town 
board. In the kite nineties he retired and moved to the village of 
Buti'alo. Henry Varner, when a young man, owned and operated 
two coal mines in Pennsylvania. He sold one before coming to 
Minnesota and disposed of the other afterwards. He was married 
October 3, 1S60, to Anna Korb, born in Venango county, Penn- 
sylvania, February 20, 1841, daughter of Adam and Mary Korb, 
natives of Germany. Adam Korb was a tailor and farmer. By 
his first wife, Mary, he had five children, and by her sister, his 
second wife, he had thii'teen children. Henry Varner and his 
wife had eleven children, all of whom are married. Mary is now 
Mrs. Bruce Mills, of Buffalo, and has five children. Amanda is 
now Mrs. Levi Elletson, and has nine children. Harriet is now 
Mrs. William Korb, and has five children. John married Reka 
Wetzig. Henry married Minnie Moss. They have five children. 
Ruben married Jennie Keefe. Adam married Emma Bectel. They 
have five children. George married Christine Bectel. They have 
six children. Milbrey married Lena Moss. They have four chil- 
dren. Archibald married Lulu Retzlaf. Nettie is now Mrs. 
Walter Sehwietering and has two children. This makes forty 
grandchildren — and there are thirteen living great grandchildren. 
Henry Elletson, grandson of Henry Varner and son of Amanda 
Elletson, became the father of triplets and twins. The triplets 
all died, but the twins are living. In 1910 Mr. and Mrs. Varner 
celebrated their golden wedding anniversary. The health of the 
Varner family is worthy of note. Mr. Varner is a man of the 
most robust constitution, and has never found it necessary to 
consult a physician. Several of his children, also, have never 
been attended by a physician. The grandchildren also inherit the 
same robust constitution. Mrs. Varner died May 16, 1914. 

Paul Liederbach, Buffalo, extensive automobile dealer, was 
born on the old homestead in Rockford township, this county, 
February 26, 1875, son of Henry Liederbach, Sr., the pioneer. 
He was educated in the district schools of his neighborhood and 
in the graded schools of Minneapolis, after which he learned the 
carpenter's trade. He also became an expert operator of gas, 
gasoline and steam engines. Combining the two occupations of 
engineer and carpenter, he received extensive experience in North 
and South Dakota, Minnesota and Illinois. After this he was 
employed as a machinist and general repair man in Minneapolis. 
In 1913 he opened his present large place in Buffalo. Selecting 
a desirable location on the lake front, he erected a splendid 
garage, 36 by 70 feet, with a cement floor, and modern equip- 
ment. Aside from doing a large repair, storage and rental busi- 
ness, he has the agency for the Reo passenger cars and trucks 
and the Metz passenger ear. Mr. Liederbach still keeps his 120- 
acre farm in Rockford township, which he rents. He was married 



314 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

August 126, 1902, to Josie McCardell, daughter of William Mc- 
Cardell, and they have one son, Menzo Marvin, born September 
21, 1903. The family attend the Christian church. 

William McCardell, for ovei- thirty years a resident of Wright 
county, now deceased, was born in what is now Pleasants county, 
West Virginia, January 11, 1846. When the people of western 
Virginia failed to follow that state into the Confederacy, and a 
new state, called West Virginia, was organized, Mr. McCardell 
joined the home guards and was commissioned second lieutenant 
in one of the companies of the Ninth Regiment, Second Brigade, 
First Division, West Virginia militia. In 1881, being then a young 
man of thirty-five, he brought his family to Wright county. He 
took up his residence in Montrose Village, and there lived until 
1904, when he moved to Dickinson, Minn., and engaged in the 
general merchandise business until 1913, when he returned to 
Montrose. His life was an active and useful one, and his death, 
April 1, 1914, was sincerely mourned. Mr. McCardell was a sin- 
cere Christian, a whole-souled, honorable man who gave out 
brightness and good fellowship and brightened all the lives with 
which he came in contact. He was a noble husband, a kind father 
and a good neighbor. Mr. McCardell was married in 1874, at 
Shiloh, W. Va., to Emma J. Core. This union was blessed with 
three children, Cynthia, Effie and Josie. Cynthia is the wife of 
Robert Pryor, of Redwood Palls, Minn. Josie is the wife of 
Paul Liederbach, of Buffalo, Minn. Effie is dead. 

George C. Carpenter is one of Wright county's most dis- 
tinguished citizens. Widely known throughout the state, his 
ability, worth and genial temperament have won him extended 
recognition and a large circle of friends. As sheriff, business 
man, state senator and lumberman he has had his share in the 
progress of the state, and his loyalty and efficiency have demon- 
strated that he is more than worthy of the many honors which 
have been showered upon him. A self-made man, who as a boy 
encountered difficulties and discouragements, he is ever ready to 
lend a helping hand to all those who are in need of advice, assist- 
ance or cheer, and his opinions upon all subjects are accorded 
respect and consideration. George C. Carpenter was born in 
Columbia county, Wisconsin, March 22, 1855, son of Amsa and 
Ophelonia (Bushnell) Carpenter. Amsa was a man of some 
prominence in his community and served in a Wisconsin regi- 
ment during the Civil war. He was born in Wisconsin. His 
father, John Carpenter, came from near Syracuse, N. Y. Amsa 
Carpenter and his good wife had four children, Edward, George 
C, Charles and Lasira. George C. was next to the oldest child. 
At the age of eight years he lost his mother, and he was bound 
out by his father to the family of Hiram W. Roblier. In 1864, 
when twenty years of age, Mr. Carpenter came to Minnesota, 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 315 

worked on farms and taught school in Dodge county. Subse- 
quently he attended Waylaud College at Beaver Dam, Wis., two 
years. Then he was in the mail service four years. It was in 
1886 that he located in Buit'alo. With George W. Burrows as a 
partner, he engaged in the lumber business until late in 1892, 
when he was elected sheriff of Wright county. He served until 
the close of 1896. Sheriff Carpenter was a good officer, and 
under his capable direction law and order were admirably main- 
tained. When he retired from otSee he opened a drygoods and 
clothing store, which he still successfully conducts. In the fall 
of 1906 he was elected to the state senate, the position in which 
he served until January 1, 1915. He had been an influential 
member of that body and has attracted much favorable attention 
to the county. He has been a member of the Republican county 
and congressional committees, and of both of these he has been 
chairman. He served on the village board for several years and 
was village president for one term. Throughout his active service 
in Buft'alo he has been a prominent Republican, has served on 
various committees, and has been a delegate to many conventions. 
He is a member of the Odd Fellows, the Rebekahs and the Work- 
men at Buft'alo, and of the Elks at St. Cloud. Combining as he 
does true dignity and worth with a genial, affable disposition and 
a whimsical sense of humor, he is a welcome addition to any 
group of people, and his social connections are far extended. 
Robust and hearty of health. Senator Carpenter has made a 
hobby of outdoor life. He is fond of hunting and fishing and has 
done much toward the preservation of fish and game in Minne- 
sota. Mr. Carpenter married Mayme Jones, of Wisconsin, who 
has been an able helpmate in all his undertakings. She is well 
known in social circles and is a member of the Rebekahs aiul the 
Chautauqua Club and prominent in church work. They have 
four children : Alice, Keith, Zella and Clara. 

Emil T. Schmidt, druggist, proprietor of the Schmidt Phar- 
macy, is one of the most prominent business men of Buffalo. He 
is of the type that is knovra as a "booster" and he favors every 
move that has for its object the forward progress of Buffalo or 
Wright county. A native of this county, he was born on his 
father's homestead in Buffalo township, September 9, 1878, son 
of Traugott Schmidt, who is appropriately mentioned elsewhere 
in this work. Emil T. was reared on the farm, and like other 
boys of his neighborhood attended the ungraded district schools. 
Then he entered the Buffalo high school, where he made most 
commendable progress as a scholar. Thus prepared, he entered 
the College of Pharmacy of the University of Minnesota, from 
which he graduated in 1900. A short time later he entered the 
employ of the Schimmin Drug Company, of Buffalo. In 1904 he 
bought the establishment and gave it his own name. He carried 



31G HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

a complete line of drugs, medicines, chemicals, stationery and 
novelties. He has a splendid ice cream fountain and enjoys a 
large trade. As a compounder of prescriptions he has few equals 
in the county. Aside from operating his store, Mr. Schmidt has 
taken the agency for the P^ord automobile for this vicinity, and 
handles a full line of machines and accessories. Mr. Schmidt's 
abilities have commended themselves to his fellow citizens, and 
since 1908 he has served on the city council. He is a member of 
the Blue Lodge, Chapter and Eastern Star of the Masonic order, 
and his wife is also a member of the Eastern Star. He has taken 
a particular interest in the Buffalo Commercial Club. Mr. 
Schmidt was married September 12, 1906, to Alice Wheeler, of 
Mankato, a daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Andrew J. Wheeler. 

William Verse, the pioneer, was born in Chenango county. 
New York, October 14. 1808, son of Henry Vorse, who served as 
a private in the Revolutionary war under Colonel Burgess. Will- 
iam Vorse was reared in his native state, and as a young man 
found his way westward to Ohio, where he married Lois M. Hart, 
a daughter of Randall Wentlield Hart, who had come into the 
western country from Massachusetts. It was in 1855 that the 
Vorse family left McHenry county, Illinois, and started for Min- 
nesota. They made the trip overland to Galena, there took a 
steamer for St. Paul, and then came as far as the Boyanton 
stage house across the Mississippi river from Clearwater, by 
stage. From that point they were ferried across the river by the 
Winnebago Indians, and joined the family of A. M. Dow, who had 
previously located there. They at once erected a log cabin on a 
squatter claim in Clearwater township, and started to establish 
their home in the wilderness. In 1862 they moved to the village 
of Clearwater, where William Vorse died in November, 1883, at 
the age of seventy-five and his wife in the spring of 1869 at the 
age of fifty-six. Mr. Vorse was a member of the Masonic lodge 
at Clearwater. 

Charles H. Vorse, one of the best known men in the county, 
was born in Garden Valley, McHenry county, Illinois, March 22, 
1846, son of William and Lois (Hart) Vorse, the pioneers, who in 
1855 brought him to Clearwater township in this county. As a 
young boy Mr. Vorse attended what was, perhaps, the first school 
taught in Wright county. This school was held in the summer 
of 1856 on the Big Bend of the Mississippi river, some three miles 
below the village of Clearwater. The schoolhouse consisted of a 
sloping roof of brush and leaves, held up by a pole placed across 
two crotched sticks. When a hard rain fell, this roof was but 
little protection. The books used were such as the children hap- 
pened to have at home. The teacher, Mrs. Ellen Kent, was paid 
by a subscription taken among the parents. Among the pupils 
were Charles H. Vorse; Anna, Zell and Mannville Markham, 




,J(J1U\ X. ULSO.X 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 317 

Cyrus and Fred Thrall, George Oakes and Maria Boyantou. At 
the age of sixteen, in 1862, he enlisted in Company E, Eighth 
Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, under Captain Edward Hartley. 
He served on the frontier against the Sioux Indians, under Gen- 
ei-al SuUey, and afterward went south and saw service with the 
Army of the Ohio in the Twenty-third Army Corps. He took 
part in the Battle of the Cedars and the Battle of British Cross- 
I'oads, as well as in many minor engagements and skirmishes. 
After three years of service he was mustered out at Charlotte, 
N. C, July, 1865. Then he returned to his home and attended 
school for three months, for although a seasoned war veteran 
he was not as yet twenty years of age. His schooling completed, 
he learned the trade of wheelwright from his father and followed 
this occupation for several years. About 1883 he became pro- 
prietor of the Morrison House, at Clearwater, then one of the 
best hotels northwest of Minneapolis and St. Paul. In 1884 he 
went to Delano. After conducting the Danforth and Brown 
hotels there he was in 1889 appointed postmaster under President 
Benjamin Harrison and served until 1895. Then in 1897 he was 
appointed clerk of court of the Fourth Judicial District for 
Wright county. He succeeded himself by election, and served 
until the close of 1903. Since retiring from office he has retained 
his home in Buffalo and has devoted his attention to the fire 
insurance business. Having the progress of the village at heart, 
he has done good service as a member of the village council. He 
is now a justice of the peace and the court commissioner. Mr. 
Vorse became a Mason at Clearwater in 1867 and is now a mem- 
ber of the Nelson lodge of Buffalo. At one time he was an Odd 
Fellow. He is an active member of John Cochrain Post, G. A. R., 
of Buffalo. Mr. Vorse was married December 24, 1872, to Mai'y 
Ella Bogenrief, of Clearwater, and they have had three children, 
Lois, Nellie and Vivian. Lois married J. W. McDonald, of Min- 
neapolis, and they have one son, Russell. Nellie married Charles 
Carmen, of North Dakota, and they have a son, Ralph. Vivian 
is a teacher at Glenwood, Minn. She is a graduate of the St. 
Cloud State Normal. 

John N. Olson, proprietor of a popular summer resort on 
Olson's Point, Buffalo lake, is familiarly known as "Johnny 
Olson" to all the leading outdoor sportsmen of the Northwest. 
He has achieved success in life and has done much to advertise 
Wright county as an ideal place in which to spend a vacation. 
He was born in Sweden, August 2, 1862, son of Olaf Nelson and 
Mai-y Storfall, who brought the family to Goodhue county, this 
state, in 1868, and in 1869 secured a homestead in Renville town- 
ship, Renville county. They underwent many severe experiences 
as pioneers. During the hard winter of 1870-71, the cabin was 
completely covered with snow, so that they were unable to get 



318 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

out of the house for thi-ee days. Then they had egress only by 
tunneling through the snow. At the age of sixteen, John N. 
started in life for himself by securing employment herding cattle 
on the prairie for the neighbors. In the fall of 1881 he deter- 
mined to come to Wright county. He had a horse, but no harness 
or vehicle. But with the resourcefvilness which has ever charac- 
terized his career, he set to work, and with ropes and odd straps, 
and with pieces of rock elm from his father's woodpile, he in five 
days and nights had completed his outfit. Then he drove to this 
coxmty. He stayed all winter and in the spring returned home. 
But he was convinced that Wriglit county was the best place for 
him, so he came back to Buffalo and secured employment in a 
sawmill. After working for a whole season and spending his 
money freely he found that he did not have enough left to buy a 
postage stamp, which then cost three cents. This determined him 
to settle down in earnest and save his money. So well did he 
persist in this resolve that in five years, though he received but 
a dollar or a dollar and a quarter a day, he had taken in .$1,011 
and saved .$735. With this money he started a boat house on 
Buffalo lake at the edge of the village. He continued in the 
business of boat renting for four years. Then he operated a paint 
and paper store for four years. After that for eight years he 
followed the blacksmith trade. The next four years were devoted 
to a vacation. In speaking of this period, Mr. Olson often de- 
clared that idleness was more wearing than the most severe 
manual labor. In time Mr. Olson came to see the possibilities of 
Buffalo as a summer resort. He accordingly purchased the land 
on Buffalo lake, opposite Buffalo village, which has since borne 
his name. He built a stone house, and let it be known that his 
place was open for the entertainment of guests. Fishing parties 
immediately flocked there, sometimes as many as eighteen men 
being in the house at once. Mr. Olson did the work himself, and 
his cooking and baking became widely famed. But as the patron- 
age increased he was compelled to secure assistance and to erect 
new buildings. He now has a full corps of assistants, and is 
well provided to entertain all who may come. From a point 
eighty rods from his house seven good fishing lakes may be seen, 
and the duck hunting is also good. He has a large fleet of boats, 
and everything that goes to make up a successful summer resort. 
One of the especially attractive features is his spring of the 
purest water, constantly flowing. Mr. Olson is genial and cour- 
teous, is greatly liked, and well deserves the unusual success 
with which he has met. Mr. Olson was married March 12, 1888, 
to Augusta Swenson. Tlie Buffalo "Journal"" of January 25, 
1907, says: "Mrs. John Olson died Sunday, January 20, 1907, of 
tuberculosis. She had been a helpless invalid for seventeen years 
from the effects of a scald from hot water. Last summer she 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 319 

contracted tubercular trouble and was released from suffering 
by death. The funeral services were conducted by Rev. Saud- 
stroin Wednesday afternoon at the Mission Church. During these 
long years of suffering by this woman her husband, "Johnny" 
Olson, as he is generally called, has done his duty and has been 
highly commended. A tireless worker, never considering his own 
health or convenience, he was never too busy to perform acts of 
kindness for his invalid wife. His sunny disposition has been a 
wonder to the community, as he has never been known to com- 
plain of his difficulties and never found fault about anything. 
Such rare cases of fidelity and fortitude ought to have a good 
influence on grumbling humanity and help everyone to bear the 
burdens which appear heavy, but are light compared to the real 
afflictions of life." 

Gustave Rettke, one of the old settlers of Franklin township, 
was born in Germany, in June, 1842, and was there reared. As a 
young man he married Wilhelmina Senkel, who was born in 
October, 1839. In 1870 they left Germany with their child, Henry, 
and started for America. Another child, Emil William, was born 
on board ship. After landing, the family came on to Jefferson 
county, Wisconsin, where another child, Bertha, was born. In 
1872 they came to Wright county and located in Franklin town- 
ship. For a time they rented land, but in October, 1876, they 
obtained a homestead on Fountain lake in that township, where 
for many years they made their home. At the time of the pur- 
chase there were no improvements on the place. They erected a 
log cabin, cleared the land with the aid of an ox team, and in 
time had an excellent farm, with modern buildings and equip- 
ment. In the meantime Mr. Rettke followed to a certain extent 
his trade as a stone mason. The work which he donated in this 
line was one of the features which made possible the building 
of the German Evangelical Church of Delano Village, a church 
in which he was trustee for many years. In May, 1905, Mr. and 
Mrs. Rettke moved to Buffalo, where they now live. Their chil- 
dren born in Wright county are : Ernest, Aurora, Minnie, 
Matilda, Paulina (died in infancy) and Herman. 

Emil William Rettke, leading jeweler of Buffalo, is also one 
of its most progressive merchants. A man of genial temperament 
and a thorough master of his business, he enjoys a constantly 
increasing trade, and is highly regarded by all with whom he 
comes in contact. He has forged ahead by hard work and energy, 
and is well deserving of the full measure of success with which 
he has met. He was born on shipboard, on the Atlantic ocean, 
in May, 1870, son of Gustave and Wilhelmina (Senkel) Rettke, 
the early settlers. He was reared on the banks of Fountain lake 
in Franklin township, attended the district schools, farmed with 
his father, and learned the trades of carpenter and mason. From 



320 HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 

his youth, however, he had cherished a desire to be a merchant, 
and consequently, in November, 1895, he moved to Buffalo and 
opened a confectionery store. At times he sold jewelry, and in 
1905 he determined to install a full line. Consequently he opened 
a jewelry and repair store, wliich he has since conducted with 
such marked success. In politics, Mr. Rettke is a Republican. 
He is very active in public affairs and is a prominent man in every 
respect. In 1903 he was elected as a member of the council and 
did good work in that capacity. For many years he has occupied 
a foremost place in the local lodge of Modern Woodmen of 
America, in which he is a prominent member. On June 28, 1905, 
Mr. Rettke married Nellie J. Johusou, daughter of Christian 
Johnson, and they have one child, Donald Herbert. 

John Richards, a farmer living in Buffalo, was born in Toronto, 
Canada, January 3, 1864, son of Emmanuel and Eleanor J. 
(Wilson) Richards. Emmanuel Richards was born in England 
and there took up the meat business. As a young man he came 
to Canada, where he followed the same line at Toronto. He was 
married in Canada, and in 1867 came to Buffalo, bringing the 
following children : David, Susan C, John and Abraham L. 
(now deceased). One son, Emmaniu4, Jr., was born in Minnesota. 
The family located on a tract of 197 acres in section 20, Buffalo 
township, which they purchased from the Gilbert estate. The 
place was at that time badly run down. But by industry, thrift 
and hard work they brought it to a high degree of cultivation, 
adding eighty acres and equipping it with everything necessary 
for the carrying on of successful farming. Emmanuel Richards 
died in the winter of 1891 at the age of sixty-four years and Mrs. 
Richards now resides at Santiago, Cal., with her daughter, Susan 
C. McKee. John Richards was educated in Buffalo township, 
was reared on the home farm, and as his father's health failed, 
took general charge of the place. Later he bought out the other 
heirs and successfully followed general farming until 1913, when 
he moved to the village of Buffalo, where he now resides. He has" 
sold the old homestead but still retains land in section 20, Buffalo 
township. Mr. Richards has been a respected, hard-working man, 
and is highly esteemed by all who know him. On July 17, 1890, 
Mr. Richards married Kate McGary, a native of this state, and 
they have three children, Jolin Preston, of Belle Plain, Minn., 
and Edna and Elsie Helen, both at honu>. 

Samuel L. Cronk, veteran of the Civil war, and retired farmer, 
now living in Buffalo, was born in Steuben county, New York, 
son of Philip and Marj^ (Lawrence) Cronk, natives of Pennsyl- 
vania, who some years after the birth of Samuel L. moved back to 
Bradford county in their native state and there spent the remain- 
der of their days. Philip Cronk as a young man was a black- 
smith. Later in life lie took up farming. Himself a soldier of 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 321 

the Civil war, he gave tive sons to the service. The children in 
the family were as follows: Joseph, Adeline, Edgar (veteran), 
Malissa, Samuel L. (veteran), William (veteran), George (vet- 
eran), Josiah (veteran), Mariah (twin to Josiah) and Calvin. Of 
these sons, William came to Wright county in the fifties and 
located in Rockford township. Samuel L. came to Minnesota in 
1859 and visited his brother at Rockford, but spent the larger 
part of his time in the vicinity of Red Wing. In 1861 he enlisted 
in Company H, Third Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and served 
within a mouth of four years. He went south with the regiment 
and was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland. He was 
captured at Murfreesboro, but was soon afterward paroled and 
sent to fight the Indians in the vicinity of Wood lake. Later 
he was again sent south with the regiment and assigned to the 
Army of Tennessee. He was mustered out of the service in 
Arkansas, paid off at Ft. Snelling and discharged. After the 
war he came to Wright county and followed his trade as a 
carpenter wherever he could find work. He was one of those 
who assisted in erecting the Wright County Court House in 1877. 
He also built the first Presbyterian church in Buffalo. Later he 
secured eighty acres on the banks of Lake Pulaski, cleared up 
the land, erected buildings and did some farming. In 1896 he 
retired and moved to Buffalo, where he took up his residence in 
a house which he had erected about 1875. Mr. Cronk became a 
member of the Masonic lodge at Rockford, but when the lodge 
was organized at Buffalo, December 12, 1879, he became one of the 
charter members of Nelson Lodge, No. 135, A. F. & A. M., and 
was the first Tyler of the lodge. He is also a member of the 
G. A. R. His wife is a member of the Eastern Star and of the 
Relief Corps. The family worships at the Presbyterian church. 
Mr. Cronk was married, as a young man, to Matilda Stokes, a 
native of England, who died and left him one son, Arthur. In 
November, 1869, Mr. Cronk married Harriett Gilchrist, by whom 
he has two children, Willard and Irene. The parents of Mrs. 
Cronk were Archibald and Elizabeth Gilchrist, who brought her 
from Indiana at the age of eleven years and located on eighty 
acres lying on the township line between Buffalo and Monticello. 
John Dixon, well known in Buffalo and vicinity, was born on 
the old homestead in Frankfort township, April 2, 1857, son of 
James Dixon, the pioneer, who is appropriately mentioned else- 
where in this work. John Dixon remained at home until his mar- 
riage, January 17, 1889, after which he located on a farm in sec- 
tion 8, Rockford township, where he farmed 160 acres for fifteen 
years. His was a true pioneer venture. When he moved onto 
the tract it was entirely covered with timber. He cut off the 
wood and brought the land under cultivation, living in the mean- 
time in a smaU frame house and sheltering his stock in a log 



322 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

barn. Later these buildings were replaced with more modern 
structures. A barn, 44 by 80 feet, which he constructed, was, 
when it was new, one of the very finest in the county. It was 
on November 20, 1903, that Mr. Dixon and his good wife moved 
onto lot 24, which included lots 9, 10 and 11, on the picturesque 
banks of Lake Pulaski. A brick house which had stood on the 
place had been remodeled and renovated and put in proper shape 
to be opened as a first-class summer hotel. Guests began to flock 
to the place faster than they could be accommodated. Mr. Dixon 
enlarged his park to some eighteen acres by purchasing lots 8 
and 12, and provided for his increasing patronage by erecting 
six cottages, a good barn and a dancing pavilion 36 by 74 feet, 
with a garage underneath. Boats of various descriptions and 
other attractions were also secured. Business continued to pros- 
per until the venture assumed larger propoi'tions than Mr. and 
Mrs. Dixon cared to handle. Consequently on May 1, 1913, they 
sold out to other parties, retaining, however, a small tract of 
land on which to erect a private residence for themselves. This 
tract consists of lot 17 and seventeen acres besides, on which he 
has erected a building wliich he intends to equip with cottage 
apartments. Mr. Dixon, on coming to Buffalo village, purchased 
the Heiller property. He has remodeled the residence, installed 
a hot water heating plant and made other extensive improve- 
ments. John Dixon was married January 17, 1889, to Louise A. 
Elhardt, and they have five children : James, on the old farm, 
section 8, Rockford ; June, Chester and Francis, at home, and 
Charles, deceased. The daughter is a teacher. Louise A. 
(Elhardt) Dixon was born in Milwaukee, Wis., December 11, 
1862, daughter of Adam and Ernestina (Frederick) Elhardt, and 
granddaughter of Herman and Catherine Elhardt and Gotlieb 
and Sophia Frederick. Herman Elhardt was the head of a family 
that came from Hesse, Germany, and located in Milwaukee. He 
was a cooper by trade. His son Adam was nineteen years of age 
when the family ari'ived in this country. Gotlieb Frederick 
brought his family from Saxony, Gernumy, and located in Mil- 
waukee, where, after working for a while at his trade as a baker, 
he became a farmer. Adam and Ernestina (Frederick) Elhardt 
had thirteen children: Louise A. (Mrs. Jolin Dixon), Herman, 
Amanda, Emily, Emma, Jacob, Helen, Ida, Ella (deceased). Alma, 
Fred, and two who died in infancy. 

William Davies, an estimable citizen, now deceased, was born 
in Breckenshire, Glaseburg, South Wales, March 7, 1823, and 
was there reared and learned the trade of shoemaking. Later he 
became an extensive shoe dealer. In 1869 he came to America 
and located in Maryland. In 1877 he came to Wright county 
and engaged at his trade in Buffalo. After his arrival here he 
l)urchased two acres of land on Lake Pulaski, erected a log 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 323 

cabin, and walked to and from his work in the village. In time 
he remodeled the log cabin, and tliere he spent his declining 
years. He died in Jlay, 1895. He was a prominent member of 
the Methodist Episcopal church, and did much to materially assist 
in its growth and progress. Mr. Davies was married in July, 
1861, to Mary Ann Thomas, born in England October 20, 1836, 
daughter of Stephen and May (Davis) Thomas, and to this union 
eight children have been born: William Morley (deceased), 
Lillie (deceased), Clara, Edith and Elizabeth Gertrude, wife of 
Abram Richards, botli now deceased. Three others died in 
infancy. The four daughters named above all taught in tlie 
schools of this county. Stephen Thomas was born in England, 
and as a young man became a butler. When he moved to South 
Wales he became interested in mining, and by gradual promotion 
he became superintendent of supplies for an important mining 
company. Lake View House, conducted by Mrs. William Davies, 
is one of the most popular summer resorts in this vicinity. Situ- 
ated on the banks of beautiful Lake Pulaski, in a pretty grove of 
trees, and supplied with a splendid well two hundred feet deep, 
it lias many natural advantages, and the atmosphere of quiet and 
refinement, with the homelike comforts, attract a desirable class 
of people seeking rest and recreation. Cottages have been built 
in addition to the original home, and everything is done for the 
convenience and joy of the guests. Many years ago Mrs. Davies 
began by taking as boarders a few people who were attracted 
by the beauties of the lake, and gradually the demand for accom- 
modations became so great that Mrs. Davies established a regular 
summer resort. The food is of tlie best, the accommodations are 
adequate and there are ample provisions for outdoor recreation 
and sport. Mrs. Davies is the soul of hospitality, all her guests 
are made to feel like old friends, she has a hearty greeting for all, 
and is a cheerful, capable woman in every respect. 

Aaron W. Furtney, an estimable citizen now living in retire- 
ment in Buffalo, was born in Ontario, Canada, August 19, 1842, 
son of Joseph and Charlotte (Hilker) Furtney. Joseph Furtney 
was the son of Jacob and Elizabeth .Furtney, who brought the 
family from Pennsylvania to Ontario, Canada, at the close of 
the Revolutionary war. Charlotte (Hilker) Furtney was brought 
to America from Germany at the age of fifteen by her parents, 
Aaron and Charlotte Hilker. Joseph Furtney and his wife had 
eleven children : Aaron W., Josiah, Joseph, Henry, William, John, 
Henrietta, Lydia, Hannah, Elizabeth and Jacob. Aaron W. was 
reared in Canada, and mastered farm pursuits. In 1861 he 
located in Saginaw, Mich. At the opening of the Civil war he 
enlisted from Rochester, N. Y., in Company C, Eighth New York 
Heavy Artillery, and served until the close of the conflict. He 
was captured at the Battle of Petersburg and taken to Richmond. 



324 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

There he was put to work as fireman on an engine. But one day, 
beiug cut off from the guards, he and the engineer escaped to 
the Union lines after two months' captivity. He was mustered 
out at Louisville, Ky., and after the war worked as a fireman on 
Ohio river steamers. Later he returned to his home in Michigan, 
and entered the pine woods, having experience both at chopping 
and driving. From there he went to Decorah, Iowa, where he 
learned the trade of masonry. For a while he worked as a con- 
tractor in Austin, in this state. Then he worked in the "Soo" 
Railroad shops in Minneapolis. In 1896 he came to Frankfort 
township, in this county, and purchased thirty-four acres on the 
banks of Lake Charlotte. The land at that time was wild and 
covered with brush and had no buildings of any kind. He cleared 
the land into a park-like tract and erected a rustic log cabin. 
Later he sided over the cabin, built a large dining room, and 
opened a summer hotel known as the Furtney resort. In connec- 
tion with his hotel he kept twelve rowboats and a launch, and 
his place was very popular. In 1912 he sold out to a group of 
philanthropists, who use the place as a fresh air resort for city 
boys. Mr. Furtney now resides in Buffalo, where he has a com- 
fortable cottage home. After his life of interesting experiences 
he is now enjoying a well-earned rest from the pressing activities 
of life. At the age of twenty-nine, Mr. Furtney married Martha 
Hibbert, a native of Norway, daughter of Jacob and Dorondo 
Hibbert. Mrs. Furtney died in Minneapolis at the age of fifty- 
two, in 1891, just twenty years from the time she was married. 
She left four children, Dora, Edward, Minnie and Ella. In 1894 
Mr. Furtney married Albina Dupont, born in Canada, near Mont- 
real, daughter of Eli and Delima (Gardbois) Dupont, who settled 
near St. Anthony in 1865. In the Dupont family there were 
sixteen cliildren. 

Samuel 0. Hehner, an estimable citizen of Buffalo, now retired, 
was born in Wood county, Ohio, son of Philip Van Rensselaer 
and Hannah (Swain) Helmer. The Helmers are descended from 
a family that came from Holland in the seventeenth century. 
Philip was one of four brothers, Philip, Peter, John and James. 
Peter settled in Indiana and James in Wisconsin, while John 
remained in New York. Philip, after having married Hannah 
Swain (daughter of Horace Swain, of New York, who afterward 
located in Indiana, where he died), came westward about 1845 
and located in Ohio, where he hauled boats on the Miami canal, 
which had just been completed. About 1851 he located in 
LaGi-'ange county, Indiana, where he farmed. He died there 
about 1860. His wife died in 1902 at the age of seventy-four. 
Samuel O. was the only child in the family. He received a good 
education in the schools of Indiana and was reared to farm pur- 
suits. As a young nmn he learned the carpenter's trade. In 



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HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 325 

April, 1869, he came to Wright county and for a short time 
stopped at Dean lake, in Rockford township, some four miles 
south of Buft'alo. Later he purcliased 1(30 acres in section 29, 
Buffalo township. On this place there was standing at that time 
a small house, and seven or eight acres had been cleared. He 
moved into the little house, installed his mother as housekeeper, 
and witli a yoke of oxen started to clear the land. After his 
marriage his wife and he continued to improve the place. For 
many years they toiled together, working early and late, and by 
diligent endeavor attained success. Mr. Helmer was supervisor 
of the township for many years and chairman a part of that 
time. He was assessor for several terms, and served on the 
school board of his district a long period. In 1910 he and his 
wife took up their permanent home at Buffalo. Mr. Helmer was 
married in November, 1S70, to Margaret C. Smith, born in Licking 
county, Ohio, daughter of Harrison and Margaret Smith, natives 
of Virginia. Mr. and Jlrs. Helmer have had two children, Cora 
B. and Lloyd Harrison. Cora B. was born in 1872, married 
Charles H. Aldrich and has six children, John H., Helen, Frank, 
Alice, Florence and James. Lloyd Harrison was born July 3, 
1877, and married Helen S. Major. He was drowned in Lake 
Pulaski July 8, 1906. A son, Lloyd Major, was born after his 
death, July 21, 1906. 

Thor Thompson, a leading jeweler and music dealer, with 
headquarters at Buft'alo and branch stores at Maple Lake and 
Aimandale, was born in Pope county, this state, February 17, 
1877, son of Thomas and Guro (Hanson) Thompson, natives of 
Norway, who were married in Telemarken, Norway, came to the 
United States in June, 1872, and settled in Pope county, Minne- 
sota. In 1877 they homesteaded 160 acres in the town of Reno, 
Pope county, where they lived till their death. The mother died 
December 7, 1892, and the father January 21, 1902. Thor Thomp- 
son was reared on the home farm. He became a true Chi-istian 
at the early age of fourteen years and at the age of nineteen he 
felt he was called to devote his time to religious work. With 
this high ideal in view he became a member of the Scandinavian 
Mission Society of the United States of America, and as a member 
of this society he spent over thirteen years as a missionary. 
Doing missionary work, he traveled in Minnesota, North and 
South Dakota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, Colorado, 
Washington, Oregon and California. For a period of that time 
he served as settled pastor. Mr. Thompson was married in 1903 
at Windom, Minn., to Ida Mary Lundman, a native of Westbrook, 
Cottonwood county, Minnesota, daughter of Peter G. and Anna 
(Carlson) Lundman, who were born in Sweden and married in 
the United States. In 1911 Mr. and Mrs. Lundman moved to 
Buifalo, where they still reside. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson made 



326 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

their home in Clarissa, Minn., for a short time and from there 
they moved to Buffalo, this state, and later to Minneapolis. On 
account of spending most of his time as traveling missionary, Mr. 
Thompson's health commenced to fail and he was obliged to 
engage in some other line of endeavor. Consequently he returned 
to Buffalo, in the spring of 1910, and in the fall of the same year 
he opened a jewelry and music store, starting on a small scale. 
By his honest dealing and courteous and pleasant manners cus- 
tomers are made to feel their welcome, and owing to the fact that 
his goods are of the highest quality and his workmanship the very 
best, his establishment has grown to such an extent that there 
is not a business concern in Wright county that can show such 
a record. In the fall of 1913 Mr. Thompson established a branch 
store at Maple Lake, and placed his brother-in-law, Albin Lund- 
man, in charge. In May, 1914, he established a branch store at 
Annandale. Theodore Lundman, also a brother-in-law of Mr. 
Thompson, has charge of the store at this place. In all three 
stores is carried a full line of jewelry, pianos and musical instru- 
ments, typewriters, sewing machines, novelties and the like. Mr. 
Thompson is an authorized dealer in Edison phonographs in 
Maple Lake, and from his store in that place will fill orders for 
Edison goods to any part of the country. In need of anything 
in his line, everyone from a grown person to a little child can 
with confidence go to his store and be sure to get the right goods 
at the right price. He makes watch repairing a specialty, and 
he takes pride in repairing watches where others have failed. 
In addition to this Mr. Thompson is agent for the Twin City Fire 
Insurance Company, of Minneapolis. Mr. and Mrs. Thompson 
have four children, Stanley Rosswell, Archie Bernard, Myrtle 
Viola and Chester Irvin. 

John C. Nugent, Sr., for twenty-seven years sheriff of Wright 
county, was born in Medford, Middlesex county, Massachusetts, 
March IS, 1846, son of James Nugent, a native of Ireland, and 
Maria L. Nugent, a native of Masaschusetts. From Medford the 
family moved to Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., from there to St. Paul, 
and in September, 1858, to Chatham township, Wright county. 
John C. Nugent, Sr., received a good public school education, 
and upon arriving in Wright county took iip with his parents 
the duties of pioneer life. The place which they took was covered 
with timber. Though the)i a boy of but eleven years, the subject 
of this sketch helped in clearing the land and in getting in the 
first crops. In 1866 he started out for himself by securing a 
tract of land in Chatham township. He became a successful 
farmer and a most i)0]nilar num in the community. A natural 
leader, it was a matter of course that he should early take an 
interest in public affairs. He served in local offices and his pop- 
ularity grew rapidly, so that in 1867 he was elected sheriff' of 



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.70TTX C, XrOKXT. SR. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 327 

Wright county. He served thereafter twenty-seven years, and 
with the exception of a few intervals toward the close of that 
period, almost continuously. He was a good officer, fearless and 
able, and the law and order of the county, under his administra- 
tion, was most admirably maintained. Sheriff Nugent had a 
faculty of making friends, and of holding those that he did make, 
and his influence was widespread. After a useful life of busy 
activity he died January 15, 1905. Sheriff Nugent was a Blue 
lodge. Chapter and Conunandery Mason, and a member of the 
Knights of Pythias, and of the old Druid order. John C. Nugent, 
Sr., was married, in 1868, to Janette Washburn, born October 24, 
1851, of New England ancestry. She died July 29, 1907, widely 
mourned and deeply beloved. The children in the family were : 
Nettie (deceased), John C, Jr., Mabel (deceased), Maude, Prank 
and Loretta. 

John C. Nugent, Jr., one of the popular men of Wright county, 
was born September 11, 1875, on the old Nugent homestead in 
Chatham township, son of John C. Nugent, Sr., and Janette 
(Washburn) Nugent. He was reared on the home farm, attended 
the Buffalo school, and there grew to manhood. For six years 
he was deputy sheriff' luuler his father, and for two years under 
William Young. He has a good farm of 267 acres, and carries on 
general farming, making a specialty of raising good horses. For 
ten years past he has been rural mail carrier on route 5. He is a 
member of Buffalo Lodge, No. 141, I. 0. 0. F. Mr. Nugent 
married Bessie Ryder November 15, 1904, a native of Buffalo, 
daughter of James and Lena (Boomgard) Ryder, early settlers. 
James Ryder was born in Michigan and as a small boy was 
brought to this county by his parents, James and Anna Ryder. 
He nuirried Lena Boomgard, a native of Holland. 

Elmer B. Peterson, of the firm of Swensen & Peterson, lumber 
dealers, Buffalo, was born in Buff'alo township, August 16, 1883, 
son of Jacob and Anna Peterson, the early settlers. He attended 
the district schools and spent his life on the home farm until 
1910 when he came to Buffalo and engaged in his present business. 
A man of genial temperament, thoroughly competent in his busi- 
ness, he has made many friends and has built up a large trade. 
Mr. Peterson was married, in June, 1910, to Mabel Johnson, 
daughter of Gust Johnson, a pioneer of Roekford township. 

Jacob Peterson was born in Sweden, April 5, 1851, son of 
Andrew and Carrie (Olson) Erickson, and grandson of Erick 
Peterson, from whom the family name was derived. In 1868, 
Jacob Peterson's brother, Erick Peterson (who took his grand- 
father's name), and his half-brother, Ole Anderson, came to 
America. In 1869, Andrew Erickson, the father of Jacob Peter- 
son, came. In 1871, Jacob Peterson's half-sister, Christina, came 
with her husband, Erick Trogen, and two children, Andrew and 



328 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Anna. In 1870, Andrew Tating, another half-brother, came. It 
was on June 2, 1872, that Jacob Peterson himself landed in New 
York. He was followed in 1873 by the mother, and the remaining 
sister. They completed the family in America. All are now dead 
except Jacob Peterson and Christina Trogen. The father, Andrew 
Ericksou, the half-brothers, Jacob Peterson, Erick Peterson and 
Ole Anderson, and the brother-in-law, Erick Trogen, each secured 
homesteads of eighty acres in Silver Creek township. Later 
Jacob Peterson went to St. Cloud. There he learned the wagon 
and carriage-making trade. Subsequently he returned to Buffalo 
and worked in a shop here some five years. Then he moved onto 
a tract of eighty acres one and a half miles east of Buffalo. Pew 
improvements had been made on this land and the stumps were 
abundant. Mr. Peterson made many improvements, farmed at 
first with a yoke of oxen, gradually introduced modern machinery, 
erected good buildings and lived on the place twenty-seven years. 
He was active in church and Sunday school work of the Baptist 
denomination, and served as a deacon. In 1909 he returned from 
active farm work, moved to Buffalo, and erected a sightly home 
on Grant avenue, the most beautiful residence street in the city. 
Mr. Peterson was married in 1882 to Anna Peterson, born in 
Sweden January 6, 1859, daughter of Peter Olson and Carrie 
Erickson, his wife, who spent the span of their years on a farm 
in Sweden. Two daughters, Anna and her sister, Carrie, came to 
America in 1881. Mr. and Mrs. Peterson have nine children, 
Elmer B., Ellis, Albert, Esther, Minnie, Bartel, Helen, Jennie and 
Adolph. 

Eberhardt F. Nagel, a pioneer, was born in Germany and came 
to America as a young man. After living two years in Pennsyl- 
vania and two years in Ohio, he reached Monticello, in tliis 
county, where he met and married Louisa Keherbach, who was 
born in Germany, came to America with her brother, Louis 
Keherbach, and shortly before her marriage reached Monticello. 
May 15, 1858, the young people came to what is now Buffalo, and 
located three m.iles east of the present village on eiglity acres in 
section 15, Buffalo township. This tract was all wild land in the 
midst of a wilderness. They erected a log cabin and cut down the 
trees and broke up and planted the first acre with the use of an 
old-fashioned grub hoe. In about two years they were enabled 
to purchase a yoke of oxen. It was about 1863 when they moved 
to section 18, Rockford township. There they purchased a claim 
on which a small log cabin and log barn had been erected and 
six acres of land cleared. They developed this place into a 
splendid 200-acre farm, and here spent many years of their lives. 
They were substantial, God-fearing people, and no one stood 
better in the community than did they. In 1892 they moved to a 
farm of forty acres, which Mr. Nagel had previously purchased. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 329 

on the banks of Buffalo lake, within tlie present village limits of 
Buffalo. There they ended their days, Eberhardt F. in 1898 at 
the age of seventy, and his wife in 1909 at the age of seventy-four. 
Mr. Nagel was one of the organizers of his school district in 
Rockford township, and served as its treasurer until he removed 
to Buffalo. A devout Methodist in religion, he helped to establish 
the first church of that denomination in Rockford township. In 
the family there were seven children : Edward M., Laura, wife of 
Frank Crookshank, of Bellingham, Wash.; Herman, now on the 
forty-acre farm on the banks of Buff'alo lake ; Frank, a druggist 
of St. Paul, and three who died in childhood. 

Edward M. Nagel, for many years prominently identified with 
the public life of the county and state, was born on section 15, 
Buffalo township, March 21, 1863, son of Eberhardt F. and Louisa 
(Keherbach) Nagel, the pioneers. He was reared on his father's 
farm in Rockford township, attended the public schools, and 
remained at home for many years. For a considerable period 
he worked in a hai-dware store in Buff'alo. His public life started 
while he was still on the farm, where he served for several years 
as assessor of Rockford township. In 1893 and 1894 he was 
deputy sheriff' under George C. Carpenter. From 1895 to 1899 
he was register of deeds of Wright county. In 1905 and 1906 
he was deputy register of deeds under 0. M. Palmquist. In 1906 
he was elected to the lower house of the Minnesota legislature, 
where he served with distinction for two years, in the sessions 
of 1907 and 1909. During this time he was a member of the 
committees on Taxes and Tax Laws, Enrollment, Education, 
Compensation of Public Officials and General Legislation. In 
June, 1910, he was commissioned by President W. H. Taft as 
postmaster at Buff'alo. His work in this capacity gave general 
satisfaction. Always faithful to duty, he worked day by day, 
and built up as splendid a service as can be found in a town of 
its size anywhere. He retired August 24, 1914. and re-entered 
private life. Mr. Nagel has traveled extensively. A man of wide 
reading and pleasant personality, he makes friends of all with 
whom he has come in contact, and he is intimately acquainted 
with leading and influential men throughout the country. Reared 
on the farm, gardening and horticulture are his great delight, 
and his apples and garden vegetables have won first prizes at the 
local fair. Mr. Nagel 's special pride is his handsome cottage on 
the shores of Buffalo lake, well away from the center of the 
business activity but within the village limits. The beautiful 
cottage is set on a sightly lawn, and its interior is finished in hard 
wood. An orchard of prize-winning apple trees adorns the lawn, 
and here is also found a small garden. Stretching away to the 
lake is a picturesque grove, and at the foot of the grove is a 
beach where the conditions for bathing are ideal. Here Mr. 



330 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Nagel entertains his favored friends. Mr. Nagel is a member 
of numerous societies, including the Chapter and Blue lodge of 
the Masons. He was one of the organizers of the First State 
Bank of Buffalo and served as its first vice-president. In 1906 
he was a member of the Republican State Central Committee. 

Thomas Smithson, a pioneer, was born on Long Island, in 
New York state, was reared in that state, and as a youth learned 
the trade of machinist and engineer. He married Hannah 
Humphrey, a native of New York City, and there were born 
three children, Susan, George and Amelia. Susan died in New 
York state. In 1856 Thomas Smithson brought his family to 
Wright county, among the earliest pioneers, and located on 160 
acres on the west side of Lake Pulaski, in Buffalo township. 
There he erected a log cabin and began farming with the aid 
of an ox team. On this farm five more children, William, Sarah, 
Adelaide, Elizabeth, Adeline (twins), Katie and Emma, were 
born. Sarah Adelaide was but six weeks old when her mother 
died in 1861, at the age of thirty-three. Bereaved of his wife, 
Mr. Smithson went to St. Paul, and there for a time followed his 
trade. For his second wife, he married Harriet Clute, and re- 
turned to his farm on Lake Pulaski, where he added eighty acres 
of land to his original claim, erected modern buildings, and 
brought the place to a high stage of cultivation. Before coming 
west he had joined the Baptist church and the Odd Fellows at 
Hoboken, N. J. At Buffalo he joined the Masons. Mr. Smithson 
died December 19, 1896, at the age of seventy. It is interesting 
to note that while woi'king in a foundry at Minneapolis Mr. 
Smithson helped turn out the first car wheels ever made in 
Minnesota. 

Thomas Henderson, a retired farmer living in Buffalo, was born 
in Ontario, Canada, January 21, 1855, son of Thomas (Sr.) and 
Sarah (Robinson) Henderson, natives of Ireland, who came as 
children to Canada, married and became leading farmers. Thomas 
Henderson, Sr., died in the prime of manhood, leaving three sons, 
William, Joel and Thomas. Later the widow married Mathew 
McClay, and by this union had seven children, Sarah J., Samuel, 
James, John, Leslie, Margaret and Robert. Mr. MeClay, in 1873, 
brought the family to Minnesota and settled in Howard Lake, 
this county, where he and his wife spent the remainder of their 
lives. Thomas Henderson received his early education in Canada. 
After coming to this county he took up farming on eighty acres 
of land in Middleville townshij). He married at the age of twen- 
ty-three. In 1881 they went to Sherburne county, where they 
farmed until 1909. Then they secured five acres in the suburbs 
of Buffalo, where they now reside, the tract giving Mr. Hender- 
son just enough work to keep him busy, without proving the 
burden that a larger farm would be. Mr. Henderson is allied 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 331 

with the Masonic body at Mouticello. Mr. Henderson was mar- 
ried April 30, 1878, to Sarah Adelaide Smithsou, daughter of 
Thomas and Hannah (Humphrey) Smithson, pioneers of Wright 
county. Mr. and Mrs. Henderson have tliree children, Eva Jane, 
wife of H. H. Chilson, of Big Lake ; George A., of British Colum- 
bia ; and Mabel, wife of R. A. Marriage, of Big Lake. 

John C. Aldrich, one of the early settlers of Buffalo township, 
now deceased, was born in Deposit, Broome county. New York, 
March 2, 1828. At the age of eight he was brought by his par- 
ents to Ohio, and from that state, when he was thirteen, they set 
out by team for Jefferson county, Wisconsin, where he grew to 
manhood. After attaining maturity he returned to New York 
state and there married a Miss Tuttle, who died a year later, 
leaving him one daughter, Hattie. Then he returned to Jeffer- 
son county and took up farming for a while. There he married 
Mrs. Matilda (Whitney) Sexton. It was in 1864 that they came 
to Minnesota and located in Dakota county. In 1886 they came 
to Wright county and settled on 160 acres in section 28, Buffalo 
township, for which he paid $6 an acre. On the place was a log 
house built by the pioneer, George Davis, and some of the land 
had been broken. But the place was for the most part wild and 
timbered. Mr. Aldrich cut off the timber, broke the land, erected 
a frame house and suitable barns, and became a prosperous man. 
He was much interested in school matters, and took an active 
part therein, helping to build the first, second and third school- 
house in his district. He was also an active worker in the Meth- 
odist Episcopal church. Mr. Aldrich died in 1898 at the age of 
sixty-nine. His wife died in 1888 at the age of fifty-eight. They 
had three children, Elmer, Charles and Willis S. 

Charles Aldrich, one of the leading dairymen of Wright county, 
was born in Dakota county, this state, February 21, 1866, son of 
John C. and Matilda Aldrich. He was brought to Buffalo town- 
ship as an infant, was reared on section 28, and on attaining the 
years of manhood purchased the home place from his father. He 
now has 120 acres of good land. On it he has erected good build- 
ings and made many other improvements. While he does gen- 
eral farming and raises some Percheron horses, his great specialty 
is dairying. He has a splendid herd of full-blooded Guernsey 
cattle that yield him large returns. His average check, per cow, 
for 1914, was ^98.25. For a long period he has been an officer 
of the Buffalo Co-Operative Creamery. In 1912, he completed a 
service of fifteen years as town clerk, in which position he won 
much praise. He has served on the school board ever since he 
was twenty-one years of age. In fact, he has done whatever he 
had found of advantage to the township in which he has lived, 
and he is regarded as one of her most useful citizens. He is well 
known in the village and there belongs to the A. 0. U. W. Lodge. 



332 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Mr. Aldrich married Cora Helmer, and he has six children, John, 
Helen, Frank, Alice, Florence and James, of whom he may well 
be proud. 

William Abel, a prosperous farmer of Buffalo township, was 
born on the old homestead in the neighborhood where he still 
resides, March 1, 1871, son of Jacob and Christina (Eriekson) 
Abel, the pioneers, who are appropriately mentioned elsewhere. 
He attended the district schools, and at the age of twenty-two 
started out for himself by purchasing eighty acres of land from 
his father. By hard work and industrious intelligence, he has 
been enabled to add eighty acres more. He has erected modern 
buildings, and has good equipment. He raises general crops and 
makes a specialty of full-blooded Holstein cattle. Being of a 
fraternal disposition, Mr. Abel has allied himself with the Work- 
men. William Abel was married in 1901 to Florence Uenney, a 
pioneer, who is mentioned elsewhere in this work. They have 
five children : Ivory, Elmer, Edna, Blanche and Howard. 

Jacob Abel, of Buffalo township, is one of the few pioneers 
who are still living on the original claim that they took in 1858. 
Although he is over eighty years of age, he and his good wife are 
still hale and hearty, and he is able to read ordinary type with- 
out the help of glasses. He has fought for his country's liberty, 
has helped develop a new country, and now in ripe old age he is 
reaping a full measure of honor and respect. Jacob Abel was 
born in AVilliamsberg, Germany, February 7, 1831, son of Jacob 
and Riga (Grouse) Abel. In the family there were five children, 
Jacob, Riga, David, Christ and Christina. Of these, Jacob, the 
subject of this sketch, was the only one who came to America. 
He came in 1854, being on the water forty-two days. About four 
years he lived in Ohio. In 1858 he came to Minnesota and secured 
a claim on section 15, Buffalo township. Here he endured all 
the hardships incident to pioneer life. The land was covered 
with timber and had to be cleared before crops could be raised. 
But he was enabled to secure a yoke of oxen, and soon he had a 
cabin built on the present location of the house. Provisions were 
scarce, and comforts were few. At times the only food was corn 
bread made from corn ground in a coffee mill. In 1862 and 1863 
he was driven away by the fear of the Indians. After the Indian 
troubles were over the Civil war continued to rage, calls kept 
coming for )nen, and in 1864 he went to Ft. Snelling and enlisted 
in Co. B, Eleventh Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, serving until 
the close of the war. He was mustered out in Tennessee, June 
26, 1865. Then he returned to his claim, where he has since 
resided. As time passed he added to his farm, buildings of mod- 
ern construction were erected, and he became one of the substan- 
tial men of the community. He helped to build the Pelican lake 
church, served a long period as a school officer, and was town 




JA('OB ab?:l ami family 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 333 

supervisor I'or seven years. Mr. Abel was married in 1866 to 
Christina Ei'iekson, boi'n in Sweden, February 4, 1846, dautrhter 
of Swan and Anna Erickson, wlio came to America in 1850 with 
their family, and several years later located in Marysville, Wright 
county. Their children were Peter, Mary, Swan, Nels, Manuel 
Mr. and Mrs. Abel have had ten children: John, Anna, William, 
and Christina. Christina did not come when the rest of the 
family did, but remained several years in Sweden and came later. 
Christina (deceased), Nels, George, Edward, Emma, Albert and 
Fi-itz. 

Willard Denney, a leading farmer, living in section 27, Bufl'alo 
township, was born near Clinton, Mich., January 6, 1848, son of 
Amos and Emeline (Beckley) Denney, the pioneers, who in 1856 
brought him to Roekford township, and in 1865 to Buffalo town- 
ship, and located in section 26. He grew up on this place, and 
now owns a splendid farm in sections 26 and 27, seventy-two 
acres of which was in his father's homestead. He cleared most 
of this land, brought it under cultivation, and developed it to a 
high degree. His house and barns are substantial, and he is 
regarded as a desirable citizen in every respect. A pioneer him- 
self, and the son of a pioneer, he has watched the county grow, 
and has taken his share in its progress and advancement. He 
remembers the days when he cleared the wild wood with an ox 
team, and he also knows of the privations and trials of pioneer 
times. When he now looks over his 272 acres of spreading farm 
lands he contrasts it with the view which met his eyes when he 
first came here, and he is thankful for the strength and energy 
which has enabled him to bring these conditions about. While 
he has devoted his attention largely to general farming, he has 
made a specialty of good grade swine and Shorthorn cattle, and 
he possesses a good thoroughbred bull. Being interested in edu- 
cation, Mr. Denney has served as a member of the school board 
of his district. He was married at the age of twenty-four years 
to Kate Elliott, of Roekford township, a daughter of John Elliott. 
Their children are: Alice, Florence, Mabel (deceased), Albert 
(deceased), Walter, William and Frank (deceased). 

Amos Denney, pioneer, now deceased, was the son of a Revo- 
lutionary war veteran and was born in New York state. In that 
state he married Emeline Beckley, and shortly afterward moved 
to Michigan. From there they went to Illinois, and stayed about 
one and a half years. It was in 1856 that they started for Min- 
nesota in a covered wagon, bringing their household goods, their 
stock, and their children, John, Mark, Celar, Willard, Anna, Lydia, 
Goodeth, Mary and Adaline. Two of these children, Mark and 
Celar, served in the Civil war, and the latter gave up his life on 
a southern battlefield. It was well toward the fall in 1856 when 
the family reached Roekford township and located on 160 acres 



334 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

of wild land on the shores of Beebe lake. With the aid of his 
sons, Amos Denney put up a hewn log house, but it was burned 
before it was quite finished, and, somewhat discouraged, the 
family moved to the village of Roekford. Later they returned to 
the claim and put up another log house. Mr. Denney was a 
cooper by trade and secured considerable work in that line in 
Roekford and vicinity. At the outbreak of the Civil war he 
ofli'ered his services, but was rejected. After the war, he secured 
a homestead of 160 acres on Green Mountain lake in section 26, 
Buffalo township. Here he built a log cabin, cleared the land, 
and developed a good farm. A man of decided mechanical ability, 
he was fond of working about engines. This talent, however, 
cost him his life, for on February 14, 1878, an engine which 
he was repairing at Pelican lake exploded and killed him in- 
stantl.y. His widow died in 1914 at the good old age of ninety- 
three years. 

Charles P. Cotterell, a successful farmer of section 18, Buffalo 
township, has one of the neatest places in the county. The sightly 
house is surrounded by a well-kept lawn, the buildings are of 
the most modern construction, and the farm land, fences, and 
implements everywhere testify to the thrift and taste of the 
owners. While comparatively new comers, the members of the 
family have taken their part in Wright county life, and none are 
more esteemed and respected than they. A native of Wisconsin. 
Mr. Cotterell was born in Mineral Point, Dodge county, July 5, 
1850, a son of Richard Cotterell and his good wife. Richard 
Cotterell was a shoemaker by trade. He was born in England, 
and upon coming to this country located in Wisconsin. There 
his wife died, leaving him two small children, Sarah, now wife 
of Stephen Green, of Bnft'alo, and Charles P. After her death 
he brought his family to Olmsted county, Minnesota, where he 
farmed for many years and where he died at the age of seventy- 
six. By his second wife, he had four daughters and two sons. 
He was a most admirable man, and a prominent member of the 
Odd Fellows. Charles P. Cotterell was an infant of but one and 
a half years when he lost his mother. He was seven years old 
when he was brought to Olmsted county, this state. He was 
reared on a farm, and upon attaining young manhood secured a 
farm in Lyons county, also in this state. There he and his good 
wife, Isabella Crookshank, farmed for some thirty years. They 
were prominent people in their community and Mr. Cotterell 
served for some time as supervisor in Grand View township, in 
that county. It was in 1900 when they came to Buffalo township 
and located on the eighty aci-es which they now occupy. Here 
they made extensive improvements, and brought about its present 
pleasing appearance. Mr. Cotterell is now practically retired 
from active farm work. In the family there are four children : 







< 
Q 

o 

H 
-:) 

> 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 335 

Fannie, Frank, Elmei" and Walter. P'annie is the wife of Rev. 
J. H. Sellie, of Biitfalo. 

Levi EUetson, liiniself a pioneer, represents the third genera- 
tion of sturdj' men who have helped develop Minnesota, and he 
in turn has raised a fourth generation of splendid children who 
will still further take their part in Minnesota's progress. The 
founders of the family, Job and Marie Elletson, were born in 
England. About 1836, stirred with noble endeavor, they set 
sail for the new M'orld, and upon their arrival established for 
themselves a home in Canada. In his latter years. Job Elletson 
came to Minnesota, and located in W^abasha county, where he 
died. He was twice married and reared a large family. By his 
first marriage he had four children. Job, Frank, Elizabeth and 
Mary, and by his second marriage he had seven children, Albert, 
William, Daniel, George, Mariah, Mary and Hannah. Frank, the 
second son of this family, came to Wabasha county, Minnesota, 
in the earlj^ fifties, and there established for himself a home in 
the wilderness. But as the years passed he decided to venture 
still further into the wilderness. Accordingly, with his house- 
hold goods and his family, he set out for Wright county in an 
old-fashioned wagon drawn by a pair of oxen. They passed 
through St. Paul, continued their journey, and in time reached 
Buifalo township, where they secured 160 acres in section 10. 
There was an old shack on the place, and into this the family 
moved. No roads led to the tract, thick woods covered all the 
neighborhood, no other settlers were near, and provisions were 
scarce. But they set at work with a will, clearing the land, get- 
ting in crops, putting up a log house, and preparing for the 
future. They were well on the road to prosperity when the Civil 
war opened. Fired with the zeal of patriotic enthusiasm, Frank 
Elletson listened to the call of duty and enlisted in Co. H, Fifth 
Regiment Minnesota Volunteer Infantry. For three years and 
six months he followed the fortunes of that regiment, proving 
himself in every way a loyal soldier. At the battle of Gettysburg 
he received a slight wound. Returning home after the war he 
again took up the duties of farm life. Gradually he developed 
the farm, and attained a substantial prosperity. In his latter 
years he joined the G. A. R. and he delighted in telling of his 
experiences in the war. He died July 9, 1898. By his good 
wife, Permile Prindle, he had three children, as follows : Fannie, 
May and Levi. Levi Elletson, the third child of this family, was 
born on the old homestead in Buffalo township, June 2, 1861. He 
assisted his father in developing the home farm, and now owns 
the place where he was born. To the original claim he has added 
160 acres more. He is a successful fanner, and makes a specialty 
of blooded Hereford cattle. He also raised fine sheep and swine 
and a few horses. He has a pleasant modern home, and his well 



336 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

tilled acres are very productive. While interested in pubUc 
affairs and the intimate friend of many public men, Mr. Elletson 
has been too busy with his work to engage actively in political 
life. He has, however, taken a prominent part in fraternal mat- 
ters, being a charter member of Buffalo Camp No. 3926, M. W. A., 
of Buffalo, and a member of Buffalo Lodge No. 141, I. 0. 0. F. ; 
also the Encampment at Montrose. Mr. Elletson was married 
December 4, 1883, to Amanda J. Varner, born March 2, 1863, 
daughter of Henry Varner, the pioneer, who is elsewhere appro- 
priately mentioned. Mr. and Mrs. Elletson are the parents of 
nine children, all of whom are living. They are : Annie E., born 
April 2, 1885; Henry V., born April 11, 1887; Miles Francis, April 
9, 1889 ; James Adam, born April 27, 1891 ; Mark Eugene, October 
8, 1893; Susan Edna, January 21, 1896; Reuben Wesley, Septem- 
ber 18, 1899 ; Harry Golden, July 24, 1902 ; and Donald Morgan, 
February 6, 1905. 

Andrew N. Larson, supervisor of Buft'alo township, comes of 
one of the sturdy pioneer families, and as a boy knew what it 
was to endure the sufferings and privations of life in the wilder- 
ness in the early days. He was born in Sweden, September 25, 
1856, son of Nels and Marie (Anderson) Larson. In 1866 the 
parents and the three boys, Louis, Nelson and Andrew N., left 
their native land, and embarked on a sailing vessel. After a 
long and tedious voyage of seven weeks, they reached Quebec, 
and from there went to Montreal, and thence to Detroit, Mich. 
They were poor, and just starting in life in a new world, but 
by doing such work as he could find along the way, the father 
managed to get his family to the Mississippi river, where they 
took a boat to St. Paul. From there they went to Carver county, 
where the father worked in the woods during the winter of 
1866-67. In the spring of 1867, the family came by team to 
Wright county, where the father secured employment on the 
railroad. Later in the spring, the mother left the son, Louis, 
with his uncle, Nels Anderson, and walked with her other sons, 
Nelson and Andrew N., back to Carver county, shearing sheep 
and working by the day to earn a little ready cash. After the 
railroad came through, the father secured forty acres of land 
in section 32, Buffalo to^\^lship, and the family settled thereon. 
They first built a log shack, with a flat roof, sloping enough in 
one direction to partially shed the water. Later they erected a 
log cabin with a gable roof. With an ox team they began to clear 
the land, and in time had a well cultivated farm. Nels Larson 
was born June 10, 1826, and died March 5, 1914. He was a 
deacon in the Lutheran church. His wife died about 1902. 
Andrew N., the son, was reared on the home farm. After leaving 
his father's place he purchased 120 acres in sections 27 and 28, 
Buffalo township, eighty acres being on tiie west side. lie cleared 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 337 

off the woods, cleaned out the stumps and by hard labor brought 
the land under cultivation. After his marriage he and his wife 
lived in a log granary until they put up the house. Later, from 
time to time, a full set of buildings was erected. Mr. Larson is 
a Progressive in polities, having formerly been a Republican. 
He has been a delegate to numerous conventions, and has served 
for some time in his present position as township supervisor. 
He is a school officer of district 24, a trustee of the Lutheran 
church, and a shareholder in the Buffalo Co-operative Creamery. 
As a young man Mr. Larson married Christina Anderson, now 
deceased. She left three children, Malinda, Lambert and Nimrod. 
The present Mrs. Larson was formerly Lena Olson. 

Conrad Link, a substantial farmer of section 10, Buffalo town- 
ship, was born in New York city, May 24, 1853, a son of John 
and Mary Link, who were born in Germany, came to America on 
the same ship, and were married in New York city. After living 
in that city a year they moved to Marion, Ohio. In 1856 tliey 
came to Wright county and secured 120 acres in section 10, Buf- 
falo township. This tract was located in a stretch of wild woods. 
They erected a log cabin, and with the help of an ox team cleared 
enough land to put in the first crops. It was two years before 
they were able to buy a cow. Even then the dairy business pre- 
sented many difficulties. At one time the father walked to 
St. Michaels with twenty poundsi of butter and traded it for a 
three-tinned hay fork. Many traditions of the early days are 
related by the family. The old log cabin stood across the street 
from the present residence. Near it is the site of the field where 
the father raised potatoes by planting them in the unplowed 
ground and then cultivating around them. The hoe with which 
he did this work is still preserved. When the Indian uprising 
came, and the settlers fled, leaving their goods, stock and crops, 
he still stuck to his little place. The Indians did not come and 
no harm befell him. As the years passed the family prospered. 
Their efforts made possible the Pelican Lake Methodist Episcopal 
church, for the land for the church and cemetery were given by 
the son, Conrad, while a good deal of the work on the building 
was done by the father, John. John Link died November 22, 
1891, and his wife August 22, 1887. The children in the family 
were Conrad, John, Jr., Louise and Caroline. Conrad came with 
his parents as a baby from New York city to Marion, Ohio, and 
from Marion to Buffalo township. He attended the schools of 
the neighborhood, and as he grew to manhood gradually assumed 
the duties of the home farm. He did his share in the developing 
of the home place, and on the part which he now owns he has 
made many modern improvements. He is a hard-working pro- 
gressive man, the worthy son of a worthy father, and he is one 
of those people who are called the backbone of the nation, for 



338 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

aside from assisting in the development of the country, he has 
reared a splendid family of children, who have good pioneer 
blood on both sides of the family tree. Mr. Link married Mary 
Dorf, born in St. Paul, daughter of Carl Dorf, an early settler of 
Buffalo township. They have ten children: Mary, John, August, 
Harry, Mamie, Lillian, Lawrence, Elsie, Irene and Clarance, all 
of whom are living. Mr. Link has served on the town board and 
is a member of the Methodist Episcopal church of Pelican Lake. 

August C. Flamant, the pioneer, was born in Laisne, Prance, 
April 18, 1824. In July, 184,5, he was married to Catherine Vic- 
toria Martin. On October 31, 1851, they sailed for America, 
crossing the Atlantic, and reaching St. Louis by coming up the 
Mississippi via New Orleans. From there they went to High- 
land, Madison county, Illinois, where they engaged in farming. 
Of their four children, two died in infancy. In the spring of 
1862, Mr. and Mrs. Flamant, with their two children, a son and 
a daughter, moved to St. Paul, where they lived for four months. 
July 4, 1862, they reached Buffalo, this county, and settled on a 
homestead in Marysville township, Wright county. Some twenty- 
nine days later the first Indian outbreak occurred. Mr. Flamant 
took his family to Elk River, but he and Frederick Fletcher 
returned to the homestead and remained during the Indian 
troubles. In 1863, when the outbreak was renewed the family 
again went to Elk River. It is interesting to note that after the 
Dustin massacre Mr. Flamant and Mr. Fletcher walked six miles 
through the dense woods to Waverly Mills and saw Mrs. Dustin, 
who had been pierced through the breast by an arrow. But 
these exciting times passed, and with the years the Flamants were 
enabled to develop their place in peace, bringing it from a wil- 
deniess to a profitable farm. August Flamant now lives with his 
son Emil. His wife, who was born July 10, 1819, died in 1903. 
The daughter, Mrs. Josephine Gerard, died in 1898. 

Emil Flamant, who owns a beautiful fai'iti on the shores of 
Lake Pulaski, in Buffalo townshiji, was born in Highland, Madi- 
son county, Illinois, April 12, 1858, son of August C. and Cath- 
erine Victoria (Martin) Flamant. He was educated in the dis- 
trict schools and learned farming from his father. As a young 
man he purchased eighty acres of wild land in Marysville tovsTi- 
sliip, adjoining his father's. Like his father before him he had 
his experience in clearing and developing the timber country. 
In doing this he used oxen, five of six yoke of which he "broke" 
and trained himself. While occupied with Ins own affairs he 
also took an interest in the progress of the neighborhood, and 
being a friend of education he served for some time as clerk of 
district No. 25. In April, 1899, lie sold liis farm and bought 
eighty acres of land in section 20, Buffalo township, on the banks 
of Lake Pulaski, and here he now resides. His home is sur- 




EMIL KLAMAXT 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 339 

rounded with park-like grounds, while the farm, on which he 
has made many improvements, is well cultivated and productive. 
He carries on general farming, and makes a specialty of raising 
good stock. Mr. Plaraant married Mary Christina Johnson, a 
native of Sweden, the daughter of John Johnson. They have 
four children. Alice Mabel died in infancy. Helen Mabel is 
teaching school. Arthur Emil Richard is at home on the farm. 
Edgar is assistant cashier and stenographer in a bank at Mah- 
nomen, Minn. 

Robert Leeson, son of John and Elizabeth Leeson, was born 
in Canada May 24, 1857, and in 1861 came with his parents to 
Buffalo, where the family, then consisting of his father and 
mother, an older brother, Richard, and younger sister, Eliza, 
settled on a claim taken up by the father in the deep woods. 
Along towards the close of the Civil War, John Leeson, the 
father, entered the Union army, leaving the family on the claim, 
where young Robert and his brother Richard assisted their mother 
in the cultivation of the cleared land. Times were hard and the 
family suft'ered great hardships. Indians were in the country 
at that time, and were a constant menace to the settlers, who 
were few and far between, and many times young Robert's hair 
was made to stand on end by his meeting Indians in the thick 
woods. At that time the most of the men were in the army, and 
the women folks sometimes received warning that the Indians 
were on the warpath, when they, with the children, would go to 
the fort, Mdiich was built where the village of Buft'alo is now 
situated. Robert Leeson was married March 17, 1896, to Annie 
Fretag, and four children have been born to them, three of whom 
are still living, viz. : Marie Gladdis Leeson, aged 17 ; Alma Lee- 
son, 14 years of age, and Margaret Leeson, two years of age. 
Mr. Leeson has been farming all his life and is now the owner 
of a well improved farm of eighty acres in the township of 
Buffalo, upon which he resides with his family and which he 
successfully cultivates. He is also the owner of an undivided 
interest in another 160-acre farm owned by his father at the 
time of his death. Mr. Leeson is a successful and well to do 
farmer, and is a Republican in politics. 

John Leeson. In the middle of the past century there were 
living in Ireland two worthy families named Leeson and Wren. 
The Leeson family consisted of the jiarents, John Leeson, Sr., 
and his wife Elizabeth, |imd seven childi-en, William, John, 
Richard, Joseph, Sarah, Maria and Eliza. The Wren family 
consisted of the parents, Robert and Mary Ann (Thompson"! 
Wren, and two daughters, Jane and Elizabeth. Later, in Canada, 
two sons, Thomas and Robert, were born to the Wren family. 
Suffering under the various injustices to which Ireland was at 
that day subjected, the two families moved to Canada. At that 



340 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

time they were not acquainted. John Leeson, Sr., died on board 
ship, but his widow and children continued the journey. In 
Canada the son John, the subject of this mention, met and won 
Elizabeth Wren. In 1860 or 1861 John and Elizabeth (Wren) 
Leeson left Canada with their three children, Richard, Robert 
and Eliza, and after a long and tiresome trip reached Buffalo 
township, in Wright county, where they took a claim in the 
deep woods. They erected a log cabin, and with an ox team 
prepared the land for cultivation. Times were hard, provisions 
were scarce, and Mr. Leeson often had to walk many miles to get 
a sack of meal. During these trips his worthy wife was often 
left alone. At one time, when every one except her was away 
from home, Mrs. Leeson saw a savage bear approaching the 
Little clearing about the cabin. The bear took away the only pig 
they possessed, and then returned and made his way toward the 
caliin. Mrs. Leeson took her bed and went to the liole under the 
cabin, where she stayed until her husband returned. One day 
when she was churning, word came that the Indians were in 
the neighborhood, and leaving the partly-churned butter in the 
bowl she fled with the rest, remaining away until the danger had 
passed. The Civil War was now raging and repeated calls came 
for men to defend the Union. In the latter part of the conflict 
Mr. Leeson enlisted in Company B, Eleventh Minnesota Volun- 
teer Infantry and served until the close of the conflict. After 
the war he again took up the work of developing his farm, and 
with the years he attained prosperity, wresting a well-cultivated 
place from the wilderness. He made his home on the homestead 
until his lamented death, in May, 1896, at the age of seventy-six 
years and six months. His widow, who was born March 2, 1831, 
now lives in the village of Buffalo. Mr. Leeson was a Republican 
in politics, and held the office of assessor of Bulfalo townsliip 
for many years. He was a member of the Methodist church and 
of the G. A. R. A good, true man in every respect, he was highly 
regarded for his many sterling qualities. 

Gilbert Middagh, proprietor of Cedar Grove Farm, section 5, 
Buffalo township, is one of the leading farmers of the county. 
He was born in Mountain to\\mship, the province of Ontario, 
Canada, October 26. 1851, son of Gilbert Middagh, Sr., and Anna 
(Loucks) Middagh, his wife. He came with his parents to Iowa 
in 1865 and to Minnesota in 1868. As a young man he took up 
farming on a forty-acre tract near his parents' home in Winsted, 
Minn. With the help of an ox team he cleared this tract and 
brought it under cultivation. In 1901 he sold out and bought 
<'ighty acres of land in section 5, Buffalo township. This place 
was partly improved, but Mr. Middagh has developed it still 
further and erected some sightly buildings. He has been very 
successful, and carries on general farming and raises good grade 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 341 

stock. Mr. Middagh was married December 19, 1879, at Howard 
Lake, this county, to Sarah J. James, born in the Province of 
Ontario, Canada, August 18, 1858, daughter of Edward and Jane 
(Kinch) James. To this union have been born nine children: 
Mary, born September 2, 1880, died December 18, 1891 ; Gilbert, 
born August 2, 1882; Ira, born, November 14, 1884; Nettie, born 
September 10, 1886, died January 2, 1888 ; Ezra, bom December 
20, 1890, died in Februaiy, 1891; Morgan, born April ?,, 1892: 
Ralph, born May 12, 1898; Earl, born September 12, 1897, and 
Pearl, born August 24, 1903. Edward and Jane (Kinch) James 
were both natives of Canada, their parents having come to that 
country from Ireland. They came to the United States about 
1868 and located in St. Paul. Then they went to Howard Lake, 
Victor township, in this county, and farmed several years. Next 
they took a farm in Monticello township, near Pelican lake, 
Avhere they spent the remainder of their days, Edward James 
dying September 13, 1914, at the age of eighty-two, and his wife 
October 15, 1909, at the age of seventy-five. Their children were 
Sarah J., William B., Albert B., Elizabeth A. (deceased), Mary R., 
Isaac E. and Henry M. Edward James was the sou of William 
and Elizabeth (Chanley) James. The family combines both Irish 
and Scottish blood. John and Mary (Grauberger) Middagh were 
both natives of Holland, but were married in Canada, to which 
country they came as children. Their children were Harry, Gilbert 
(Sr.), John, Sarah and Elizabeth. Jacob and Jemima Loucks were 
also born in Hollaud and came to Canada as young people. Their 
children were Michael, Charles, Jacob, Eliza, Anna, Jemina, George, 
Mary and Sarah. Gilbert Middagh, Sr., was born on the banks 
of the Mohawk river in Canada, May 31, 1811. He worked as a 
farmer and as a blacksmith and was on the road to success when 
he joined in the Fenian uprising. As a result he was forced to 
flee to the United States in 1865. For a time he lived in Iowa, 
but in 1868 came to Minnesota and located on a farm near Win- 
sted, where he spent the remainder of his days. He died in 
1881.. His wife, Anna Loucks, was born in the Province of 
Ontario, Canada, in August, 1819, and died in 1901 at the age 
of ninety-one. Their children were : John, Rachael, Sarah, Jacob, 
Mary, Gilbert, Anna, Elizabeth, Dinah and Lucy. 

Henry OrdorfF, an honored pioneer of Buifalo township, 
now deceased, was bom in Westphalia, Germany, November 27, 
1832, a son of Reinhold and Mary Ordorff, who spent the span 
of their years on a farm in Germany. In the family there were 
two sons, Henry and Fred. Henry grew to manhood in Ger- 
many, and on April 26, 1885, was married to Margaretha Wieben, 
who was bom September 27, 1839, daughter of Jacob and Mar- 
garetha (Petersen) Wieben, also Germany farmers. In the 
Wieben family there were ten children : Margaretha, Hans, 



342 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

Christiua, Marie, Catherina (deceased), Catherina, Johan, Anna, 
Dorris and Sophia. Margaretha, as mentioned, married Henry 
OrdoriT; Hans resides in Germany; Christina is now Mrs. Koch 
of Germany; Marie married Fred Ordorff and after her death 
her husband married her sister, Dorris; Catherina is now Mrs. 
Petersen, of Iowa; Johan came to America but later returned 
to Germany, where he died ; Anna married Henry Hennerson, 
and they live in Germany ; Sopliia married Cornelius Hansen, 
of Osseo. In 1868, Henry Ordorff with his wife and daughter 
Mary, and Fred Ordorff witli his wife and daughter Mary, 
reached New York after a sailing voyage of eleven days. From 
New York by long tedious ways they reached St. Paul. From 
there they went to St. Anthony and took a boat for Monticello. 
After looking about for a while, Henry Ordorff bought 160 acres 
of land in section 15, Buffalo towaiship. The purchase was made 
from a Mr. Bodems, who had built a small shack on the place, 
but had done no clearing. Into this shack Henry Ordorff' moved 
his family, and with an ox team began to clear the land. A 
few yeai*s later he built a log house and a log barn. Year by 
year he toiled and gradually the place began to assume something 
of its present aspect. To the original tract he added another 152 
acres, and this he developed as fully as the other. In time the 
log cabin was remodeled into a modern and substantial dwelling, 
surrounded by a sightly windbreak of pine trees. The log barn 
has been replaced with a large barn, 40 by 70 feet with a base- 
ment, a three-story granary with a basement and other buildings. 
There has been a vast outlay of time and money on the place. 
There are tool sheds, workshops and a blacksmith shop, equipped 
with a full line of tools for blacksmith and carpenter work. The 
implements and machinery on the place are kept in the best of 
repair, and assistance is also rendered to the neighbors. A walk 
through the buildings and over the groiuids shows the place to 
be admirably equipped for modern farming along the latest 
approved methods. Since Mr. Ordorff 's death in 1902, at the age 
of seventy-two, the place has been operated by his sons. With 
all his busy life, Mr. Ordorff found time for church and school 
work. The first Lutheran meeting in this vicinity was held at 
his home ; he helped to build the first church of that faith in this 
vicinity and was one of its trustees. He was a good man, thor- 
oughly respected by his associates. There were six children in 
the family: Mary, born April 23, 1866; Christina, born February 
14, 1880; Henry C, August 22, 1871; Christolf, died in infancy; 
Theadore (first), died in infancy, and Theadore, who was horn 
August 25, 1877, and married Lena Hartfield September 24, 1914. 
Henry and Theadore were born on the home farm, educated in 
tlie district schools, reared to farm pursuits, and have always 
remained at home, being among the successful young men of the 
township. 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 343 

Burton Prestidge, the capable superiuteiulent of the Wright 
county farm, was born in Rockford township, this county. May 
5, 1874, son of the pioneer, Thomas Prestidge, appropriately men- 
tioned elsewhere in this work. He was educated in the district 
schools of his neighborhood, and at the Rockford High school. 
For some years he followed farming in Marysville township, and 
for a time he was in the livery busines in Montrose. It was in 
1911 that the county commissioners selected him for his present 
position, and he has more than proven his worth and ability. 
Everything about the farm and buildings is kept in the best 
of condition ; he makes the most of the land given him to operate ; 
he is considerate to the inmates placed in his charge, and all in 
all has demonstrated his value to the county. Mr. Prestidge 
was married October 17, 1912, to Mamie Hunt, daughter of 
Joseph Hunt. By a previous marriage she has one son, Joseph. 
The Wright county farm consists of fifty-six acres of good land 
on the shores of Lake Constance. The house is thoroughly 
modern, and contains sixteen rooms, aside from the bath rooms, 
halls and the like. There is a good water system, and everything 
possible is done for the comfort of the wards of the county who 
are here sheltered and cared for. Mr. and Mrs. Burton Prestidge, 
who are in charge of the place, have an average of from twelve 
to eighteen people in their charge. 

Traugott Schmidt, a pioneer of Buffalo township, was born in 
Dorgru, Germany, and was there reared. About 1858 he came to 
the United States and secured employment in Chicago. It was 
in 1860 that he came to Wright county and took a homestead of 
160 acres in section 25, Buffalo township. The tract was all wild 
land, and Traugott set at work with a will to bring it under 
cultivation. The first two years were especially hard. He had no 
oxen and no means of conveyance, so he had to walk to Minne- 
apolis whenever he needed provisions, bringing the supplies home 
on his back. Later he was enabled to secure supplies in Rock- 
ford, and by the time he had prospered sufficiently to purchase a 
pair of oxen conditions were a little better. About this time he 
married Marguerite Herman, who had been born in Germany, 
October 13, 1835. The young lady had come to St. Michaels to 
join her brother Valentine Herman, and here she met her future 
husband. Valentine Herman was an extensive traveler and 
before settling in St. Michaels had seen life in many lands, 
including Australia and the gold fields of California and Colo- 
rado. Not long after their marriage Traugott Schmidt enlisted 
in Company K, Fifth Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, and served 
until the close of the war. His good wife had her full sliare of 
pioneer hardships, and while her husband was fighting his coun- 
try's battles at the front she often picked gooseberries and black- 
berries, and putitng them in three-gallon pails trudged to Monti 



344 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

cello, where she exchanged them for groceries. When Mr. 
Schmidt returned he again took up farm labor. He was an 
honest, hardworking, industrious man, and in time acquired 
sufficient land so that he owned in all 600 acres. Faithful to 
church duties, he helped to build the Lutheran church in liis 
neighborhood and was one of its trustees. He also served for 
a long period as clerk of his school district. He died in 1907, at 
the age of eighty-two. His good wife died May 15, 1903. Their 
children were : William, Rheinhold, Oscar, Emil, Johanna, 
Denna and Henry. 

Henry Schmidt, a progressive young farmer of section 25, 
Buffalo township, was born on the old homestead, July 31, 1874, 
son of Traugott and Marguerite (Herman) Schmidt, the pioneers. 
He was educated in the district school of which his father was 
clerk, attended the Lutheran church of which his father was 
trustee, and grew to manhood on the farm. He has jjart of his 
father's homestead on the shores of Green Mountain lake, has 
a modern home and buildings, and a good equipment of 
machinery and tools, and is regarded as a successful man in every 
way. For some thirty years past he and his brothers have 
operated a threshing machine. He married Johanna Schumacher, 
who was born in Wright county, December 13, 1877, daughter 
of William Edward and Emma (Seheer) Schumacher, natives of 
Germany and pioneers of Wright county. William Edward 
Schumacher was a pioneer of Company E, First Regiment Minne- 
sota Volunteer Infantry. Mr. and Mrs. Schmidt have three chil- 
dren: Raymond, Almond and Melvin. 

Lafayette Vamer, now deceased, a pioneer of Buffalo town- 
ship, and a veteran of the Civil war, was born in Pennsylvania, 
April 10, 1841, a son of John and Mary (Bitts) Varner, who are 
appropriately mentioned elsewhere in this work. Lafayette 
Varner spent his youth and early manhood on a farm in his native 
state. At tlie outbreak of hostilities between the North and the 
South he enlisted in the dashing Co. K, of the Fourth Pennsyl- 
vania Cavalry, and served with valor throughout the war. In 
the spring of 1856 he came to Minnesota, arriving in Wright 
county May 15. After looking about for a time, he purchased 
eighty acres of land from James Washburn in section 18, and 
with an ox team started to carve his fortunes in the wilderness. 
In July his wife and her brother, William Hickman, came to the 
little pioneer home. Times were hard, but by dint of faithful 
work, Lafayette Vanier and his wife prospered. They labored 
early and late, and in time success crowned their efforts. Mrs. 
Varner, who is a typical pioneer woman, has many memories of 
the troubles and trials they faced together. Money was scarce, 
comforts and conveniences were few, there was a family to rear 
and send to school, and little time for rest or recreation. Mr. 




7. 




MR. AND MRS. OCTAVIUS LOXGWORTH 



HISTORY OF WRICmT COUNTY 345 

Varner became a substantial member of the community. He 
served in town and school olHce, and was a well-liked member 
of the G. A. R. post at Buffalo, as well as of the Odd Fellow 
lodge there. His death, June 2, 1909, was sincerely mourned. 
Lafa.yette Varner was married February 5, 1860, to Christina 
Hickman, born March 20, 1842, daughter of William and Sarah 
(Stover) Hickman, natives of Pennsylvania, the former being a 
veteran of the Civil war. Mr. and Mrs. Varner had nine chil- 
dren : Solomon, born June 19, 1863 ; Sarah Ida and Mary Ida, 
twins, born May 8, 1866; James F., born August 31, 1869, died 
October 1, 1887 ; Maude, born February 15, 1873 ; Etta Jane, born 
June 27, 1874; Marie, born April 9, 1878; Zachary Taylor, born 
September 29, 1879 ; Newton, born February 26, 1884. 

Octavius LongAvortli, an estimable and highly respected citizen 
of Corinna township, was born in New York city, March 22, 1805. 
He came of an old New York family. His father was a promi- 
nent publisher of that day, his residence and publishing house 
being opposite the old Astor home and City Hall park, the latter 
being called "The Shakespeare Gallery." On December 30, 1830, 
he was married to Miss Phebe Dean Wade, daughter of Col. John 
and Sarah Lyon Wade of Springfield, N. J. Mr. Longworth was 
a man of literary taste and for many years had a book and sta- 
tionery store in Brooklyn ; he was also postmaster of that city 
for several years. He had heard much of the northwest, and 
being fired with the spirit of his colonial ancestors, he determined 
to have his jjart in subduing the wilderness and in building up 
the counti-y. Accordingly, in the spring of 1856, he, with his 
wife and children, a brother and his family, twenty-one in all, 
and twenty-two trunks, arrived in Davenport, Iowa. As is usual in 
such cases, where experience in farm life is entirely lacking, failure 
was the result. After seriously considering whether to move to 
Minnesota or Cincinnati, Ohio, where his cousin Nicholas Long- 
worth resided, Minnesota won and on May 6, 1859, the family 
arrived in what was then Clearwater, but now Corinna. They 
located on Clearwater Lake, the present site of "Longworth," 
the famous summer resort, kept for many years by the famil.y, 
the last fifteen years of which by the youngest daughter, Jennie, 
but now by Mr. and Mrs. H. M. Tuelle. Mr. and Mrs. Longworth 
were true pioneers. There were only five families within a radius 
of five or six miles. They settled in the woods, a log cabin was 
erected, and a clearing made with the assistance of a yoke of 
oxen. The first crop was put in between the stumps. Times 
were hard, money scarce and provisions hard to obtain ; the 
hardships were many and comforts were few. Fortunately, about 
this time the ginseng buyers came along and by digging the roots, 
which were plentiful, the family were able to earn some ready 
cash. Then when prospects began to brighten, the Civil war 



346 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

broke out and the two older sons enlisted, the eldest one serving 
till tlie close of the war, the other one dying as soon as he reached 
the sonth. Thns the mainstays of the family were taken away, 
as the other two sons were very young. As the years passed, 
however, the family became more prosperous. They saw the 
county develop and they did their share by improving their farm. 
Good buildings took the place of log structures, and neatly fenced, 
well tilled lands took the place of the virgin forests. Mr. Long- 
worth was a public spirited man and his influence and wise coun- 
sels did much in the early days of Corinna. He was active in 
organizing the township of Delhi, now Corinna. The summer 
resort business started by admitting an invalid gentleman and 
his wife into the home circle for a few weeks. From this on the 
business grew luitil the place became most popular. A small 
Episcopal church was erected on land given by Mr. Longworth, 
by eastern friends, who thus reineinbei'ed the family so removed 
from all church privileges, and until the time of his death, March, 
1889, Mr. Longworth was lay reader in the little church. Mrs. 
Longworth was much beloved by all who knew her, always to 
be found by the bedside of the sick and the dying, helpful when 
a physician could not be secured, to her family, only what such 
a wife and mother can be. Slie died August 19, 1893. Of the 
family, only three remain, Mrs. Sarah W. L. Smith of Clearwater, 
and Octavius and Jennie W. Octavius, Jr., was a boy of nine 
years when he was brought from the city to take up his residence 
in the wilds. He was reared on the home farm, learned farm 
pursuits and attended the district school, though the greater part 
of his education was received from his father. He now lives 
near the old homestead, and is engaged in farming. He has 
never married and his sister Jennie keeps house for him. The 
worthy son of a worthy father, a man whose first thought is ever 
for the good of the community — he has taken his part in every 
movement that has meant progress. For some twenty years he 
has been treasurer of the township and for four years he served 
on the town board. He has also been a member of numerous 
committees and delegations. 

Anthony L. Henneman was born in section 11, Corinna town- 
ship, April 10, 1875. He remained at home until attaining his 
majority, and then started working for the neighbors. In 1902 
he entered the employ of William Reip, in the meat business at 
Annandale. In 1904 he engaged in a similar line in Minneapolis. 
From 1906 to 1908 he did farm work in Wright county. In 
1908 he rented the farm of Charles Matthew, in section 20, Corinna 
township, for three years. For nine months in the spring and 
summer of 1912 he engaged in the grocery and confectionery 
business in Annandale Then he rented a farm from Martin 
Ranson, in section 19, Corinna township. On this place he still 



HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 347 

resides, and successfully conducts general farming. lie raises 
Shorthorn cattle, Duroc-Jersey swine, Rhode Island Red fowls 
and Bronze turkeys. Anthony L. Ilenueinau was married March 
21, 1906, to Martha Klemz, daughter of August and Lena (Peske) 
Klemz, farmers of Corinna township. The father died in 1887 
and the mother in 1907. Mr. and Airs. Henueman have two 
bright sons, Richard L. and Earl J. 

Benne Rozenberg, an entei-prising farmer of Corinna town- 
ship, was born in Paterson, N. J., June 18, 1869, son of Henry 
and Dirky (Dykhausen) Rozenberg, who had come to America 
the previous year, and in 1873 moved to Fella, Iowa, where they 
still live. Benjamin Rozenberg received a good education in 
the schools of his neighborhood, and for several years worked 
out as a farm employe in the vicinity of Pella, Iowa. Then he 
rented various farms in Marion county, the county in which 
Pella is located. It was in 1908 that he came to Wright county 
and bought T20 acres of land in sections 13 and 14, Corinna town- 
ship, where he now resides. He has brought his characteristic 
energy to bear upon the problems of farm life, and success in 
abundant measure has crowned his efforts. He has remodeled 
and repainted the house, and has built a splendid new barn. 
This barn is 36 by 60 feet, with a basement, equipped with eight- 
een patent stanchions, a litter carrier, and other conveniences. 
The capacity is thirty-five cattle, eight horses and sixty tons of 
hay. Mr. Rozenberg carries on general farming and makes a 
specialty of Shorthorn cattle. While living in Iowa, Mr. Rozen- 
berg served as a member of the school board. Mr. Rozenberg 
was married March 9, 1896, to Jennie HuUeman, daughter of 
Rick and Henrietta (Mol) Hulleman, who lived on a farm near 
Pella, Iowa. Mr. and Mrs. Rozenberg have six children : Henry, 
born December 3, 1896; Hattie, born September 20, 1898; Rick, 
born April 12, 1902; Dirk, born November 7, 1904; Albert, born 
April 26, 1911 ; and Mary, born March 7, 1914. 

George J. Parker, a substantial farmer of Corinna township, 
was born in Dora, Ind., March 2, 1857, son of Jonah Parker, the 
carpenter, and Rachael (Rakestraw) Parker. George J. Parker 
started his career at the age of seven, when he received ten cents 
a day as helper to a gardener. When he was eight years old he 
was earning $8 a month driving a team. He also earned money 
during his boyhood by trapping ground hogs and other small 
animals. As a youth he worked five years with a ditching crew. 
It was in 1879 that he left Indiana and located in Olmsted county, 
this state, where he remained about a year. At the end of this 
period he married and went back to Indiana. Since 1881 he has 
lived in this state permanently. In that year he again came to 
Minnesota. For four years he rented farms in Olmsted county, 
and then he lived three years in the city of Rochester in the same 



348 HISTORY OF WRIC4HT COUNTY 

county. The next eight years of his life were spent on a rented 
stock farm near Taopi, in Mower county, this state. In 1896 he 
bought 160 acres in section 9, Clayton township, in the same 
county. Six years later, in 1902, he sold out and caiiie to Wright 
county, where he purchased 160 acres in section 9, Corinna town- 
ship. On this place he still resides. He successfully carries on 
general farming, and makes a specialty of Blue Stem wheat, 
Chester White swine and dairy cattle. He is grading his stock 
into Shorthorns, and is much pleased with the results. Although 
he is comparatively a new comer, he is a well-known man, and 
has served as school treasurer and as town supervisor. He was 
likewise a member of the school board of his district in Mower 
county. He and his wife attend the Disciple church. Mr. Parker 
was married September 2, 1880, to Lucinda Campbell, daughter 
of Stirling and Roukamma (Badgley) Campbell, the former of 
whom was a veteran of the Sioux uprising, having served in Co. 
D, Brackett's Battalion, Independent Cavalry, eighteen months, 
from December, 1862. Mr. and Mrs. Parker have had two chil 
dren : Harry, born August 14, 1882, and Ethel L., born September 
8, 1896. Harry was married December 21, 1904, to Bertha Schu- 
man, daughter of William and Minnie Schuman, and they have 
three children, Howard M., Ruth L. aud George M. 

Henry Ransom, an enterprising and successful resident of 
Corinna township, was born in section 20, in the township where 
he still lives, October 21, 1868, son of Martin and Minnie (Teatz) 
Ransom, the pioneers. He received his early education in the 
public schools, and in 1889 graduated from the German Meth- 
odist Episcopal College at St. Paul Park, Minn. Thus prepared, 
he taught country school for two years, 1890 and 1891. In 1892 
and 1893, in order to still further perfect his training, he attended 
the St. Cloud State Normal School. In the fall of 1893 he taught 
country school. He gained wide experience with the country in 
1894 and 189.5 by traveling extensively in Montana, Oregon, Wash- 
ington and California. This journey completed, he returned to 
Minnesota, and taught school and worked on his father's farm 
from 189.5 to 1898. It was in 1899 that he bought his present 
place of 148 acres in section 17, Corinna township. He has one 
of the best farms in this part of the township. His wide educa- 
tion makes him a valuable citizen, he is a profound student of 
farm conditions, and conducts his farm operations along the latest 
approved lines. His well-tilled fields, his neat fences, his sleek 
well-kept live stock, his excellent equipment, and his sightly build- 
ings all bespeak the thrift, hard work and intelligent care of 
the owner. Since 1907, Mr. Ransom has been town clerk, and 
for one year he served on the town board. Henry Ransom was 
married in 1899 to Mary Lyrenmann, born in Monticello, this 
county, December 9, 1869, daughter of Felix and Rosina (Hunig) 



HISTORY OP WRIGHT COUNTY 349 

Lyreumann, who came from Switzerland in 1869, and located on 
a farm near Monticello. Mrs. Ransom is a lady of many accom- 
plishments, and before her marriage taught school for several 
years in Wright county and in South Dakota. Mr. and Mrs. 
Ransom have four children : Esther E., born in 1900 ; Marjorie, 
born in 1901; Lyman, born in 1905; and Robert, born in 1910. 
Tlie family faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church. 

John A. Ferguson, an influential citizen of Corinna township, 
was born in section 36, Silver Creek township, January 10, 1862, 
son of Henry and Letitia (Campbell) Ferguson, the pioneers. 
Henry Ferguson was born January 14, 1826, in Loudon township, 
Province of Ontario, Canada. May 7, 1855, he arrived at Big 
Bend, in Sherburne county, Minnesota. At the time of his arrival 
there some seven hundred Chippewa Indians were gathered at 
the trading post of Asa White, whose wife was herself of Chip- 
pewa blood. From White's, Mr. Ferguson followed an Indian 
trail to what is now section 32, in Silver Creek. Here he 
"squatted" and staked out a claim of 160 acres. On this claim, 
on December 23, 1855, was born Richard T. Ferguson, the fir.st 
white male child born in tlie town of Silver Creek. Henry Fer- 
guson was one who suffered in the Indian raid of August, 1862, 
the details of which are related elsewhere. These Indians stole 
horses from the Ferguson claim, and were pursued by a detach- 
ment of soldiers under Captain John S. Cady, of the Eighth Min- 
nesota Volunteer Infantry. This is the Captain Cady who, on 
June 11, 1863, was shot and killed near Lake Elizabeth, in Kandi- 
yohi county, by three Indians, whose real identity is unknown, 
but who are sometimes said by old settlers to have been Little 
Crow, his son, the Appearing One, and his son-in-law, Hinkpa. 
During the Indian pursuit in 1862, Captain Cady stopped at the 
Ferguson cabin, and became well acquainted with the members 
of the family. During the pioneer days, the Fergusons suft'ered 
many privations. They had severe losses from Indians and grass- 
hoppers, and frontier life was beset with many difficulties. But 
in time they prospered and became leading members of the com- 
munity. Mr. Ferguson died November 3, 1912. Mrs. Ferguson 
was born November 3, 1830, in Middlesex township, Ontario, and 
died July 26, 1895. 

John A. Ferguson was born in a log cabin, and as he grew to 
manhood saw the country gradually develop. He attended the 
district schools and was reared to farm pursuits. Until he was 
twenty-three he remained with his parents and then he started 
out for himself. For many years he was employed on farms, in 
the woods and on the rivers. In 1891 he determined to settle 
down to farming. Accordingly he purchased eighty acres of 
land in section 19, Silver Creek township, and there lived until 
1907. In the meantime he had increased his holdings to 160 



350 HISTORY OF WRIGHT COUNTY 

acres. After selling this tract lie bought seventeen acres in sec- 
tion 19, Corinna township, where he now lives. Aside from his 
farm property, he has several business holdings, including stock 
in the Citizens State Bank of Annandale, of which he is vice 
president. From 1900 to 1907 he was president of the Silver 
Creek Dairy Association. As a raiser of high class stock he has 
been especially active. All his stock is well bred, and his horses 
include a registered Percheron colt. In 1902 he shipped the first 
lot of Wright county Poland China swine to the State Fair at 
Hamline, and in 1906 his swine won the first premium in the six- 
months class. From 1900 to 1904, Mr. Ferguson was a member 
of the County Board of Commissioners. FVom 1891 to 1907 he 
Avas clerk of school district 16. He is Worshipful Master of 
Fair Haven Lodge, No. 182, A. F. and A. M., of Annandale. The 
family faith is that of the Methodist Episcopal church. John A. 
Ferguson was married, January 5, 1892, to Katharine G. McKen- 
zie, daughter of Donald and Katharine (Quig) McKenzie, natives 
of Canada, of Scotch descent, who came to Silver Creek in 1855, 
and located on section 18. Mr. and Mrs. Ferguson conduct a 
popular summer resoi't on the farm on the shores of Pleasant 
Lake. In 1911 they started their resort by building four cot- 
tages. The following year they built four more. They also have 
two good tents. The cottages accommodate four people and are 
equipped with provisions for light housekeeping. The resort is 
well located, is well patronized, and the number of applications 
for accommodations is constantly growing. 

Patrick B. Geary, a respected farmer of Corinna township, 
was born in Ireland, January 17, 1839, son of Michael and Mary 
(Ilogan) Geary, who in 1849 came to America, and located in 
Port Hope, Province of Ontario, Canada, sixty miles east of 
Toronto. Patrick B. was brought to this coiintry when he was 
ten years of age, and grew to manhood on his parents' farm in 
Canada. It was about 1869 when he came to i\Iinnesota and 
bought eighty acres of school land in section 36, Corinna town- 
ship. This land was absolutely wild and was covered with elm, 
oak and basswood trees and a thick undergrowth of brush. He 
had $55 in ca