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« 1912 I. 





.;• 11 ic vy o {{ 

Probably uo historical work was ever put to jh-cfs whicli entirely satisfied 
its author. There are so many pitfalls in the path of him who seeks to record 
tiie events of the past; the human mind is so prone to err in recalling dates and 
names of a former day. So it happens tiiat the writer of local history, compiling 
his story from data of which only a part can be verified, knows that there must 
be errors in his work, albeit he may have exercised the greatest care. With no 
apologies, but with this brief explanation, and the realization tliat the work is 
not perfect, the History of Nobles County is put forth. 

With this volume is presented the first Nobles county liistory, and the ma- 
terial for its compilation is obtained from original sources. Friendly coadjutors 
have assisted materially in its preparation. To the editorial fraternity of Nobles 
county the author is under many obligations. The files of their publications 
have been of inestimable value in furnishing autlient'c data. Especially valuable 
were those of that pioneer journal, the Worthingtnn Advance, of wliich liberal 
use has been made, and without which much of historical importance must have 
remained unrecorded. Due acknowledgment is made to county* and village of- 
ficers, who assisted in the hunt for early day records, and to scores of citizens 
in private life, who interested themselves in the work to the extent of devoting 
time to the detailing of early day events. Special mention is due the assistance 
given by the late Judge B. W. Woolstencroft, who was one of the very first 
settlers of Nobles county, and who died at his home in Slayton, Minnesota, after 
this volume had been put to press. A large part of the history of the county's 
early settlement, of its organization and early political history was written from 
data furnished by Judge Woolstencroft. 

To Dr. George 0. Moore, of Worthington; Senator S. B. Bedford, of 
liushmore, and Mr. A. J. Kice, of Adrian, the committee of pioneer residents 
selected to review and revise the work, great credit is due. After the manuscript 
had been prepared these gentlemen devoted considerable time to the work of 
revision. Errors were discovered and corrected and suggestions for additions 
were made that resulted in a better Iiistory. In the work of gathering the data 
the author has been ably assisted bj Mr. P. D. Moore. 

The biographical sketches, forming the second part of the volume, were 
written, in nearly all instances, from facts obtained by personal interviews. 
Typewritten copies of the sketches were submitted to the subjects for correction, 
and nearly all made the necessary corrections and returned the manuscript to 
the publishers. This has resulted in reducing to a minimum the possibility of 
error in that part of the volume. 


Worthington, Minnesota, September, 1908. 


Worthington, Minn., Sept. 14, 1908. 

We, the undersigned, chosen as a committee to review the History of Nobles 
County written by ;\li-. A. P. Eose and to be published by the Northern History 
Publishing Company, of Worthing, jn, have read the historical part of the work 
in manusei'ipt. We bear testimony that the history gives evidence of extensive 
reading and careful research and tJiat it presents — to our best knowledge — an 
accurate, comprehensive and impintial record of events. As such we endorse and 
ccmmend it. 

S. P.. PKDKdlMi. 
A. ,1. RICE, 
Committee of Citizens. 



ABORIGINAL DAYS— 1834-1866. 

In Primeval State — An Imagery — Inhabited by Wild Beasts — And Wilder Red Men — 
A Contrast — The Sioux — Tribal Divisions — The M'daywakantons — The Lower Sis- 
setons Claimed Nobles County — Early Explorers — Nicollet Visits Nobles County — 
His Map — The Coteaus Des Prairies — '"Okebene" Lake — Ocheyedan Hillock, or 
Mourning Ground — "Karanzi" River — Surveyors Run Minnesota-Iowa Boundary 
Line — Nearby Settlements — Operations of Trappers — Jude Phillips and Brother — 
Effect of the Panic of 18.57 — Spirit Lake Massacre — Hostiles Retreat to Indian 
Lake — Southwestern Minnesota Depopulated — Incident of 1857 — Boom Days — Paper 
Railroads — Original County Divisions — Nobles a <y*art of Dakota, Blue Earth and 
Brown — Creation of Nobles County — Colonel W. H. Nobles — The Boundaries — Pro- 
visions for Organizaiion — Gretehtown Named County Seat — Organization Post- 
poned — Boundary Lines Surveyed — Settlers Return to Southwestern Minnesota — 
Census of 1860 — Names of Inhabitants — Their Conditions — The Sioux War — The 
County Deserted — Soldiers Established on the Frontier — The Military Road — Its 
Course — Trappers Appear — Evidence of Early Occujiation Disappear — Judge Wool- 
stencroft's Letter — First Railroad Survey — The Land Grant — Close of an Era S3 


Obstacles Overcome — Frontier Line Recedes — ^First Settlers Arrive— The Graham Lakes 
Country — Stephen and Joseph Muck — Planting Corn — Messrs. Woolstencroft, Drury, 
Rice and Barnett Arrive— Stake Claims — Build Shanties— Other Settlers of 1867 — 
Conditions Prevent Farming — Farmers Turn Trappers — Plentiful Small Game — Big 
Game — Bison — Elk— Deer— Township Lines Run — Mail Route Established— The 
First Postoffice— Settlers of 1868— First Birth — Andy Dillman Comes to Okabena — 
County Survey Completed — Indians Arrive — And Create Stir — A Scared Boy — 
Settlers on Indian Lake — Their Romantic Surroundings — Adventures in Blizzards — 
Three Perish — Indian Scare — Exciting Times — Company Formed — The Island For- 
tified — Cottonwood County Settlers Notified — No Indians — First Sunday School — 
Census of 1870 — Arrivals of That Year — Talk of County Organization — Decision 
Reached- — Governor Austin Appoints Commissioners — First Meeting — First Official 
Acts — Wandering County Seat — Organization Legalized — Court House Talk — Sad 
Death of Mrs. Palmer — Another Sunday School — Public Schools — Creation of Gra- 
ham I^kes Township — Its Organization — The Name — Indian Lake Settlers Peti- 
tion — Their Township Created — And Named — Settlers of 1871 — First Financial 
Statement 45 



A Remarkable Year— Birth of the Colony Idea— Miller, Humiston & Company— Visit 
Xobles County— Secure Control of Railroad Lands— Elaborate Plans — Thorough 
Advertising Carapaigu— Its Results — Hundreds Floek to Worthington- Their Char- 
acter — The Temperance Feature — Fate of the Colony Company — An Appreciatinii 
of Professor Humiston — Hard Winter — State Relief — First Jurors— Railroad Begins 
Operations — A\orthiiigton-.Siou.\ Falls Mail and Stage Route— Posloiriocs Esiali- 
lished — Dettald — llebbard — Westside — Mail Route Operated by Daniel Shell — A 
Beautiful Country — Kxperiences of Colonists— Roseate Prospects- Land Values - 
Worthington Township Organized — Petitioners — Bigelow Township— llersey — CranI 
— Name Changed to Ransom — Its History — Fairview— Renamed Lorain— Dewald — 
Early Settlers There — Little Rock — Elk — Conferring the Name — Seward — First 
Assessment — Real Estate— Personal Property — l^ivestock — Townships Compared — Li- 
cense Voted Down — Proposed Change in Boundaries — Xobles Votes to Add Four 
Townships — But Rejects Proposition to Cive Away Four — Vote by Precincts (il 


Days of Adversity — Professor Humiston's Charities — A Severe Winter — The Terrible 
Blizzard of January 7 — Samuel Small, Mrs. Jolin Blixt, John Weston and Taylor 
Perish — Weston's Ghost — School Cliildren Imprisoned — Joe Poots' Experience — 
Other Adventures — District Court Established — Jurors — First Grasshopper In- 
vasion — Relief Work — Wilson Township Organized — Petitioners — Name Changed 
to Akin — To Summit Lake — Hebbard Township Created — Petitioners — Name 
Changed to New Haven — Later to Olney — Grand Prairie Organized — Petitioners — 
Selection of Name — Wandering Life of County Seat— Located at Worthingfon-- 
Stephen Miller Fathers tlie Bill — The Act — Provision fur Permanent I-oeation — 
llersey Becomes a Candidate — Second Bill Provides for Vote on Question -County 
Offices Moved to Worthington — Buildings Rented — Railroad Company Donates 
Court House Square — Contest Between Worthington and Hersey — Former Wins 
Easily — Vote by Townships — Tax Levy — School Conditions -Social Conditions 71 



Large Acreage Sown — Fine Growing Weather — Ravages of Young Hoppers First In- 
vasion — Commissioners Appropriate Monej' for Relief - County Paper Sold — Flour 
and Pork Apportioned — Distributing Agents — Second Invasion — Fields Swept Bare — 
Discouraging Sight — Grasshopper Stories — Third Invasion-The Harvest — Average 
Y'ields — Auditor Bear's Estimate — Losses — A Prophesy — Rigid Economy — Hay for 
Fuel — Potatoes for Food— Preparing for Winter— Soliciting Aid— J. C. Clark Raises 
$1,800 — Solicitation for Private Account — Mass Meeting — Adopts Resolution Stat- 
ing Conditions — Three Hundred Destitute Families — Appeal to Governor — "No 
More Bonds" — Formal Ajipeal for Help — Clothing \\'orn to Rags — Bed Clothes of 
Prairie Hay — No Improvidence — Must Have Hell) — State Aid Received — Tax Paying 
Time Extended — Statement by Treasurer— Why Not Desert County?— Tax Levy — 
Reduced — Assessment— Schools in 1874 — New Mail Route— Posloffices — Matter of 
Taxes — State Furnishes Seed Wheat — Its Distribution --Anxious Days— Grasshop- 
l)ers on the Wing — Again Attack the Crops— Hersey, Graham Lakes and Seward 
Suffer Most — A Degenerate Breed— Census of 1875 —Assessed Valuation — First Dis- 
trict Court — Cases Tried — Jurors 81 



THE GRASSHOPPER SCOURGE (Continued)— 187G-1879. 

Kailroii'l Rumors — Soutliern Minnesota to Extend — Settlers Enthusiastic — $40,000 Sub- 
sidy Voted — ^Vote by Precincts — Project Fails — Sioux Falls Wants Railroad — Presi- 
dent Diake Favors \Yorthington for Terminus — So Does Sioux Falls — Nol)le<; 
Asked to Aid — Company Incorporated — Survey Made — Construction — Lively Times — 
First Train — Founding of Adrian — Miller Station — Grasshoppers Again — Myriads 
Appear — Crops Disajipear — Partial Wheat Crop — Damaging Setback — Relief Meas- 
ures — "The Indians Are Coming^' — Refugees Flock to Woriiiington — Cam]) on 
Public Square — Great Excitement — No Indians — Origin of the Scare — Scouting 
Party — Its Members — Lieutenant Plotts' Report — Settlement in West End — West- 
side Township Organized — Petitioners — First Town Meeting — Court House Elected 
— Thurber & Chandler, Builders — Hoppers Scarce in 1877 — Small Acreage — Weed- 
Grown Fields — Seed Grain Appropriation — Adrian Catliolie Colony — Bishop Ireland 
Visits Adrian Country — Decides to Locate Colony — Contract With Railroad C0711- 
pany — Father Knauf Arrives — Coming of First Colonists — Lands Sold — Rush in 
Spring of 1878 — Land, Land, Land — Grasshoppers — Partial Crop Failure — Organi- 
zation \^'illmont Township — Derivation of Name — Southern Minnesota Extends — 
Heron Lake-Pipestone Branch — Railroad War — Kinbrae and Dundee Founded — 
Last of the Grasshoppers — Organization Afton Township — Squabble Over Name — 
Plethora of Petitions — Name Changed to Bloom — Leota Organized — Petitioners — 
Named for Indian Maiden — Seney's Operations — Rushmore Founded — Activity in 
West End — Railroad Lands Bought — Improvements by Adrian Colony — Good Times 
Coming 91 


ERA OF PROSPERITV— 1880-189.'!. 

Rcconstructidu- Dawn of a Brighter Day — Adrian Colony Active — The 1880 Crop — 
Census of 1880 Lismore Township Organized — The Name — Signers to Petition — 
The Long Winter — An October Blizzard — Railroads Blockaded — Snow Boats — Out 
of Fuel — Schools Close — Burning Grain — First Train in Six Weeks — Blockaded 
Again — April 13, Thermometer Zero — Roads Opened — First Freight Train in Eleven 
Week.s — Floods Stop Traffic — Burlington Road Makes Proposition — Subsidy Voted — 
Road Built — Last Spike Driven — Round Lake Founded — A Bumper Crop — The 
"Park Proposition" — Plan to Sell Part of Court House Block — Strong Opposition — 
Scheme Defeated — County Seat Contest — Adrian to the Front — Exciting Days — 
Legislature Petitioned -But Fails to Respond — Larkin Township Organized — 
Petitioners — Selecting the Name — Fraud Charged — Tornado — Cora Graf Killed — 
Pioperty Destroyed — Burlington Extends — And Founds Ellsworth — A Year of Jubi- 
lee — Diversified Farming Begim — Exports of 1884 — Real Estate Values Soar — Census 
of 1885 — County Seat Removal Talk — Big Crops — Another Railroad — Blizzard of 
1888— Three Perish— Hail Storm— Census of 1890— Plan to Divide the County— 
Rushmore Sees a Conspiracy — And Protests — Plan Defeated 105 


CLTRRENT EVENTS— 1893-1908. 

Panic of 1893 — Dull Times^Plans for New Court House— And Jail — Work Begim — 
Opposition — Temporary Injunction — Commissioners \\'in in Supreme Court — 476 
Residents Remonstrate — Contract Let — Corner Stone Laid — Building Accepted — 
County Seat Removal Again an Issue — Census of 1895 — Prosperous Period — Land 
Values Increase — Spanish-American War — Nobles County Furnishes Company^ 


Jklustcrcd In — Typhoid Fever Kpideinic — Three Deaths — Camps Ramsey, Siielling, 
Meade, MeKenzic — Mustered Out — Roster of Company — Ixjsses — Burlington Road 
Extends — Wilmont and Reading Founded — l.ismore Started— Census of 1900 — 
Disastrous Year 1903 — Destructive Hail Storm — Big Losses — Stories of the Storm — 
The Floods — Okabena Overflows — Streets Traveled in Boats — Kanaranzi on a 
Rampage — Sweeps Everything Before It — Fury of the Little Rock — Freight Wreck 
— Record of Precipitation — All Records Broken — Crop Failure -Dull Times — Census 
of 1905^ — By Precincts — Native and Minnesota Born — Foreign Born — Countries of 
Birth— Good Crops of 1906 and 1007— Prosperous Times— In 1908 115 


POLITICAL— 1870- 1 874. 

Coveiiior .Viistin Ajiijoints First County Commissioners — The Missing Records— Other 
OtTicers Named — First County Convention — The Bolt — Violence Narrowly Averted 
at First Election — The Result — Auditor Harris Refuses to Canvass the Vote — 
Early Day Members of the Legislature- Difficulty Getting Officers to Serve — 
Election of 1871 — One Democrat in the County — List of Voters — Changed Condi- 
tions in 1872 — Voters of That Year — Polling Places — F^lection Officers — County 
Overwhelmingly Republican — Legislative History — Opposition to Republican Party 
in 187.'} — Republican Ticket ^^■ins — Politics Dull in 1874 -Democrats Put L'p a 
Ticket— It Meets Defeat : 123 


POLITICVL— 1875-1887. 

Passing of Pioneer Ways — Prohibitionists Enter Politics — Election of 1875— Big Vote 
in 1876 — Hayes Carries County — Republican Split in 1877 — Peculiar Conditions That 
Year — Result in Giving Democrats a Few Offices — Only One Ticket in 1878 — 
E.\citing Contests of 1879 — Republicans Bolt and Fuse With Democrats — Republi- 
can Ticket Defeated— Spectacular Contests for Sheriff, Auditor and Treasurer — 
Tie for Sheriff — Diumatic Scene When Lots are Drawn — Court Decides Two 
Contests — Garfield Gets Majority in 1880- Republican County Ticket Elected — 
Democrats and "Anti-Ring" Republicans Combine in 1881 — Crushing Defeat of 
Republican Ticket — Little Interest in 1882 — Fusion Forces Name Part of Ticket 
in 1883— Anrl l<;iect It— Blaine Carries County in 1884— New Element Enters Poli- 
tics — -Antagonism Between East and West Ends — Big Vote of 1886 Hepuljllcans 
Elect Majority of Ticket 131 


POLiriCAL— 1888-1908. 

Vote Increases — Passing of the Indepeiulents — Election of 1888 — Alliance Party Com- 
plicates Matters in 1890 — Democrats and Republicans Break Even — Birth of Peoples 
Party — Its Part in. Polities — Australian Ballot Employed in 1892 — Harrison Car- 
ries County — Result Locally — Fusion in 1894 — Republicans Win — Fusion Forces 
Take Three OITices in ISOO .McKinley Gets Majority — Death of Peoples Party — 
John Lind Carries the County in 1898 — Republican County Ticket Elected — 
Kccoril Breaking Vote of 1900 McKinley Again Carries County — Three Offices 
for Democrats — Primary Election Law — Revolutionizes County Politics — Primary 
of 1902 — Nearly Clean Sweep for Republicans — Interesting Primary of 1904 — 
Roosevelt's Record Breaking Majority — Republicans \\in in County — Primary of 
1906- Democrats Carry County for Governor and Congressman — Primary of 1908 — 
Summary 141 


WORXmXGTON— 1S7 1 - 1872. 

Location — Elevation— Population — A Bower of Beauty— First White Men Visit the 
Site— Infrequent Visits by Trappers— Andy Dillnmn's Sod Shanty— G. J. Hoff- 
man's Dug-Out— First Building of Wood — Railroad Construction— Original Town- 
site Abandoned — The Town Platted— Original Owners— Additions— National Colony 
Assumes Control — Professor Humiston and Doctor Miller Visit the Site — The 
Town Named — Incidents Connected with the Selection of the Name — The Historic 
Worthington Family— Kegrets that. "Okabena" Was Not Selected — A Hoax- 
Start of the First Building— Ceremonies When the First Nail is Driven — Business 
Houses Opened in 1871 — The 'Worthington Hotel — Postoffice Established — Post- 
masters—Winter of 1S71-72— Rush in the S])ring — Impressions Upon Early Day 
Visitors — The Town in August, 1872 — Building Improvements That Year — ililler 
Hall — ^Worthington Township Organized— The Temperance Feature — Petitions— Li- 
cense Refused 153 

WORTHINGTON— 1 873- 1889. 

Promises Fulfilled — Worthington Becomes Important Trading Point — 1873 Opens Aus- 
piciously — Okabena Flouring Mills — Their Importance — Incorporation — Provisions of 
Charter — Liquor Selling Prohibited — First Election — Those Who Voted — Charter 
Adopted — First Officers — First Acts of Council — Worthington Becomes County 
Seat — Grasshopper Days — In lS7-t — The Land Office— Election of 1874 — Voters Tliat 
Year — Census of 1875 — Big Business — Election of 1875 — Building Record for 1876 — 
Election That Year — Big Vote in 1877 — Immigiation in 1878 — The Town Lively — 
First Brick Block- Miller Hall Burns— Elections of 1878 and 1879— Census of 
1880 — A Comparison — Election of 1880 — Wrangling Over Temperance Question — 
Two Parties Born— Exciting Election of 1S81— Prosperous Times in 1882— A New 
Railroad — "The Elgin of Minnesota" — .\nnual Election — Boom Times in 1883 — 
Board of Trade — New Buildings — Repeal of Temperance Clause in Charter — Under 
Local Option — License Carries in 1883-^And .Again Next Year — Population in 
1885 — License Carries — Improvements in 1886 — Exports and Imports — Elections of 
188G and 1887— "Dry" in 1888— Likewise in 1889 165 


WORTHINGTON— 1890-1908. 

Steady Growth — Census of 1890 — License Again in Vogue — Water Works Plant In- 
stalled — Election of 1891 — Prosperous Days — Building Record — License Wins Again 
in 1892— The Panic— Its Effect— Election of 1893- Two Fires— Officers Elected in 
1894 — Big Gain in Population — Electric Lighting System — Temperance \\ave in 
1895— A Cyclone— Return to License in 1896— Elections of 1897, 1898 and 1899— 
A Prosperous Decadc-^Census of 1900 — Big Vote of 1901 — The Citizens' Movement — 
Three Years of DuUness^The Flood — Worthington "Dry" at tlio Time — Goes 
"Wet" in 1904— Census of 1905— Clean Sweep for License in 1905 and 1906— 
"Dry" in 1907— "Wet" by One Vote in 1908— The Contest 177 


I'liblic School — The First School — Early Day Teachers — The Attendance— Worthington 
Seminary — Its Promoters — Its Failure — Petition for Independent District — Formed 


— First Directors — First School Building — Bonds Issued — Robinson Gets Contract — 
The Hexagonal Building — Railroad Company Donates Land — High School Or- 
ganized — Alumni Association — List of Graduates — New School House — Present 
Condition of Schools — Fire Department — Early Day Protection — Cisterns — Bucket 
Brigades — Fire House — Department Organized — Chaitcr Members — The Tourna- 
ments — Xew Fire Station— Officers — Militia Company — Recruited — Mustered In — 
OlTicors — Knlistcd Men — State Bank of Wortliinston— Elilui Smith Starts First 
Bank — Thomas Parsons — George D. Dayton — Becomes State Bank — Later History — 
Worthiiigton Xational Bank — As Nobles County Bank — Founded by Thompson & 
Day — Evans &, Lynd Secure Control — Reorganised as National Bank — Citizens Na- 
tional Bank — Founded by C. T. Tupper — Changes in Management — First National 
Bank — Farmers and Citizens Bank — First County Fair — Association Organized — 
"Bull and Pumpkin" Story — (hounds Leased — Officers — W'orthington District Fair 
Association — Its Operations — Chautauqua Association — Organization- Officers — The 
Chautauquas — Commercial Club — Carnegie Library — The Directors — Bath House As- 
sociation — Bands — Gun Club — W'orthington Hospital 187 


"City of Churches" — Ten Organizations — Colony Christian Union — Union Plan Adopted 
— First Religious Service — Church Organized — Born in a Saloon Building — Union 
Plan Fails — Three Churches Founded — L'nion Congregational — Charter Members — 
House of Worship Erected — Destroyed by Fire — The New Church — Pastors — 
Sunday School Superintendents — Methodist Church — Rev. Crever — First Trustees — ■ 
Many Places of Worship — Early Struggles — First Church Edifice — The New One — 
Later Church History — Pastors — Presbyterian Cliurch — Charter Members — Elders — 
Trustees — First Church Building — Pastors — The New Edifice — Sunday School Su- 
perintendents — Swedish Lutheran Church^First Members — Incorporated — Church 
Building — Pastors — ^^Parsonagc — Episcopal Church — Rev. Gunn — Church Building — 
Di/Vh-ulties Overcome — Catholic Cliurch — First Steps — Building Erected — Incorpor- 
ated -Evangelical Association — Members —Trustees — Church and Manse — Pastors — - 
Baptist Church — Initial Steps — Organization— .Members — Council of Recognition — 
Incorporaleil -'I'rustces — Building — Pastors — Swedish Mission Church — Members 
Church ;iii(l Parsonage — Pastors — Christian Church — Lodges — Grand Army Post — 
Mustered ln--First Officers — Later Officers — largest in Minnesota — Disbiinded— 
Reorganization — Charter Members — Relief Corps — First in Minnesota — Charier Mem- 
bers — First Officers — The Masons — Blue Lodge Organized — Certificate — f barter 
Members — First Officers — Chapter Organized — Its Prosperous Condition -Eastern 
Star — Workmen — Degree of Honor — Knights of Pythias .Modern Woodmen Royal 
Neighbors — Odd Fellows — Miucaliccs \'pimiicm III!) 

ClIAPrER -W 11. 


Location — Its Attractive Site — Settlers in West End— Railroad is Coming Selecting 
the Site — Surveyed — The Dedication — -Additions — The Name — Mistakes as to Origin 
■ — George II. Carr Erects First Building — And Opens Store — Other Enterprises of 
187(1 — Poslolfice Established — Postmasters — Bright Prospect-s — First School — First 
Church Services- — New Enterprises in 1877 — Business Directory of 1878 — Prosperous 
Times— Census of 1880 — Incorporation - (^barter (Jranted- First Election— Officers 
1881 to 1908 — Adrian's Big Trade Territory — Improvements in Early Eighties — 
Liveliest Town in the County — Flouring Mill Burns — Building Boom in 1891 — 
Panic of 1893 — Census Figurcs^Loss of Trade Territory — Quiet Times — Assessed 


Valuations — Coiiditiniis in 1008 — First School — Held in an Attic — The Teacher — 
First School House — District Formed — Officers — The New Building — Public and 
Parochial Schools — City Hall — Water Works — Electric Lights — Fire Department — 
National Bank of Adrian — Adrian State Bank — First National Bank — St. Adrian's 
Catholic Church — Its History — Fine Church Edifice — Methodist Church — Norwegian 
Lutheran Church — Peoples Church — Fraternal Orders 217 


Nobles' Third Town — Kiili Trade Territory — The Site — Settlement of Grand Prairie — 
"Uncle" Stillwell— His Prediction— Selecting the Site— Platted— Additions— The 
Name — Prospects — Sale of Lots — Rush to the Site — First Building — Henry Tor- 
rance Opens First Store — Business Houses of 1884 — The Depot — First Lady Resi- 
dent — Postoffice Established — Postmasters — Lively Times — Selected as a Division 
Point — Census of 188G — Petition for Incorporation — Petitioners — Incorporation Car- 
ries — Officers Chosen — Political History — On a Normal Basis — Census of 1890 — Cy- 
clone — Brings Disaster — Fire — City Hall — Population in 1895 — In 1900 — Prosperous 
Years — Biylding Operations — City Hall Burns — New Citj' Hall — Water A\'orks — 
Electric Lights — Census of 190.5 — Fire De])artment — Cerman State Bank — First 
National Bank — St. ilary's Catholic Church — Organization — Church Building — 
Pastors — Parochial School — Congiegational Clnirch — Charter Members — Building — 
Pastors — Methodist Church — Its History — German Presbyterian Church — Knights of 
Pythias Lodge — Workmen — Degree of Honor — Foresters — Modern Woodmen — Royal 
Neighbors 227 



Wilmont — Fourth in Size — Location — Trade Tenitory — Site Selected — Platted — Addi- 
tions — The Name — First Train — Rush to the Site — First Resident — Prophesies — 
First Business Houses — A Town in a Day — First Lady Residents — Prosperous 
Times — Incorporation — Petitioners — Village Officers — After One Year — Population — 
First School — District Formed — Fire Department — Water Works — Churches — Lodges 
— Brewster — Location — A Substantial Village — Old Town of Hersey — Station Es- 
tablished — Depot and Cottage — Platted — Addititms — W. R. Bennett is Agent — Found- 
ing the Town — First Business Men — The Postoffice — Grasshoppers Bring Disaster — 
Retrogression — Change in Name — Origin of "Brewster" — Prosperous Days — Petition 
for Incorporation — Petitioners — Granted — Officers — Steady Growth — Population — 
Walcr W(jrks Troubles — Drainage System — The Park — Schools — Churches — Lodges. 237 


Round Lake— The Sixth Town— The Old Postoffice— Site Selected— Platted— Was First 
Indian Lake — Name Changed — Section House and Depot — E. A. Tripp C«mes as 
Agent — Postoffice — First Business Houses — Slow Growth — Replatted — Additions — 
The Awakening — Petitioners Ask for Incorporation — Municipal Life — Political His- 
tory — Building Boom — Small|)Ox Epidemic — Population — Cyclone — School — Church — 
Rushmore — Its Trade Territory — Business Houses — As Miller Station — A Quiescent 
Period — George T. Seney's Operations — S. M. Rushmore and Associates Arrive — 
And Found the Town — First Buildings — Pioneer Business Men — Name Clianged 
to Rushmore — Postoffice — Platting — Additions — Directory of 1879 — Flouring Mill — 
Slow Growth — Succeeded by Prosperous Times — Incorporated — Petitioners — Village 


Oirifcrs — Prosperous lX'cn<le — Population — The Schools — Ch\irches — Bigelow — An Old 
Town— I.oi-ntion— The First Buihling— S. O. Morse Becomes First Resident — 
Platted— The Name — First Business Houses— Cheese Factory— Slow Growth— Booms 
in 1892 — Activity During: Nineties Petition — Incorporated — Political History — 
Population — The First Church— Woodmen Lodge 2-17 

rnAT'TFR \XT. 

Dundee — Knterprises — As Warien Station — Surveyed — Founded — Postotlice— First Store 
— Slow Growth — Incorporated — Political History — Population — IJsmore — Youngest 
Town — Rich Territory — Railroad .\rrives — Selecting the Site — Farmers Donate $800 
— The Xarae — Platted — First Business Houses — Postoffice — Incorporated — Elections — 
Kinbrae — Location — In Early Days — Founded as Airlie — Later DeForest — Dundee 
Improvement Company — Enterprises— Platting — Postoffice — Quiet Times — 
Fire — Named Kinbrae— Boom Days — Replatted— Incorporated — Village Officers — The 
Decline — Reading — Centrally Located — Business Houses — Site Selected — Xamed^ — 
The Start — First Buildings Postoffice — Postmasters — Townsite Surveyed — Telephone 
Company — Bank — St. Kilian — A Church Town — Building the Church— .l^hn Mock 
Starts Store — Postoffice — Business Houses — Bright Prospects — Railroad Misses 
Town — Retrogression — Church History — Leota — Founded by llcllanders — Business 
Houses — Churches — Postoffice — Townsite — Org — Smallest Town -.Many Xames — As 
Sioux Falls Junction— N. A. Call— His Operations — Station Established — Named 
Org— Boom of 1899— Postoffice— Trent 259 



Over Tliirly Newspapers Established — Nine Now in Existence— Part Played by (he 
Colony Jounial — Founding the Western Advance — Changed to Worthington Advance 
— Estimate of A. P. Miller — Changes in Ownership- The Daily .\dvance — The Ad- 
vance-Herald- Claim Shanty \'indieator — Literary Triunijih — Romantic History of the 
Worthington .lournal — .-Vdrian .Advertiser — Adrian (iuardian— Its Veteran Editor — 
Worthington Record — Minnesota Home — Ellsworth News — Worthington (ilobe -Its 
Many Editors — Adrian Citizen — Nobles County Democrat — Outlives Its Rivals — 
State Line Sentinel — Nobles County Independent -Minnesota .Vllahanda — Kushmore 
f^azelte — Kinbrae Herald — Worthington Herald — Rvislinnirr Times — Mituicsota Sig- 
nal — Hound Lake Wave — Rushmore Magnet- Round Lake Craphic — Dundee 
.Advocate — Rushniorc' Knteri)rise- -Brewster Beacon — Brewster Tribune- Wilmnnt 
Initiator — Wilniont Tribune — Ellsworth Herald— Lismore Leader 27.'i 



Location — Boundaries — Area — Surface — Soil — Grand Prairie Plain — Geological History — 
Glacial Epoch — The Ridge — Forms Watershed — Elevations — Graham Lakes — Oka- 
bena — Ocheyda — Inilian — Summit — Creeks — Cliain|)epadan — Kanaran/.i — Little Rock — 
Ocheyedan— Okabena — Elk — Jack — An Agricultural County — Products -Average 
Yields — Live Stock — Numbers and Value — Dairying — Creameries and Their Output — 
Manufacturing — Banks — Schools — Churches — Railroads — Telephone Lines- Assessed 
Valuation — Prices of Land — Compared With Dakota and Canada — Proximity to 
Mai kets— Prospects— \\'anted, More Settlers 287 




The ]Jieadeil Piaiiiu Fire — Wiiat it \Vas — Methods of Figliting — The Fire of 187.5 — 
Origin — Damage — Pro.seeutioii — "The Wild Girl" — Her Aceoniplishments — Worthiiig- 
ton's First Saloon — Big Sale of Rainwater — Battle of Stony Point — Finding of Old 
Gun — Causes a Dream — Story Results — The Diagonal Road — Its Building — Early 
Day Importance — Petition for Abandonment — A Mirage — Produces a Fairy Land — 
The First Circus — Barnnm & Bail}' Draw Crowds — An Old Stove — Its Story — 
Early Day Trials — An Illustration — The First Democrat — Michael Maguire — The 
Father of Democracy — Incident of the Sixties — John Freeman Drowns 293 


N'oIjIps County Coviit House Fiiiiilis]iiece 

.losc|)li Xicolas Xicollet 3:i 

\\'i>ithington Street Scene, 1874 o4 

W'ortliington Street Scene, 1908 54 

l^'MCsimile Letter, flovernor Austin (i4 

Soil Shanty S7 

OliI Map of N'obles County 87 

Kailv Day Adrian Street Scene !)4 

Old 'Court House and City Park !18 

N'obles County in Spanish-American War. . 1 IS 

\\ orthiagton .Militia Conijiany 118 

Scenes on Lake Okabena 127 

Sports on Lake Okabena LJo 

Worthington Chautauqua Grounds 146 

Worthinglon 153 

Worthington Street Scene. 1880 157 

I'acsimile Letter, Professor Huniiston 157 

Panoramic View of Worthington. 1875. . . . Ifi'.J 

bllewild Pavilion .' 169 

\'iew- 0! Worthington. 1882 174 

View of Worthington, 1884 180 

\'iew of W orthington, 1895 180 

Worthingto'i in Holiday Attire 184 

Winter Street Scene. Worthington 184 

Worthington High Scliool 192 

W oi tliington Carnegie Library 192 

Worthington City Hall "...-. 192 

Worthington's Churches 206 

Adrian in 1883 217 

Adrian in 1887 217 

Main Street Adrian 218 

Adrian in Winter Garb 218 

City Hall and Opera House, Adrian 22.3 

Adrian High School 223 

Adrian's Churches 225 

Ellsworth Business Street 230 

Catholic Church, Ellsworth 230 

Methodist ( hurch. Ellsworth 230 

Wilniont One Year Old 237 

Wilniont's Residence District 237 

Scenes in Wilniont 239 

Brewster Business Street 241 

tity Park. Brewster 241 

Residence Street, Brewster ....241 

Brewster Public School 241 

Brewster's Churches 244 

Round Lake Street Scene 249 

Historic Indian Lake 249 

Views of Rushniore 2.54 

Lismore Street Scene 262 

Catholic Church, Lismore 262 

Leota Village 270 

Typical Pioneer Home 270 

(Jrand Army Post 280 

Miller Block, Worthington 280 

Swedish Baptist Church of Indian Lake .2S!l 

Catholic Churdi of St. Kilian 280 

The Raging Kanaranzi 296 

Relic of the Early Days 296 

Professor R. F. Huniiston 303 

Peter Thompson 321 

Judge B. W. Woolstencroft 349 

JJr. and Mrs. Charles Saxon 369 

John H. Scott 386 

Father C. J. Knauf 41)3 

Ste])lieii .Muck 421 

(Governor Stephen Miller 421 

Henrv Bravton 421 

William Dwyer 421 

Home of August Anderson. Indian Lake.. 439 

An Old Orchar<l 439 

Farm Residence of J. H. Scott 500 

Farm Home of J. C. Hoskins 500 



Abbott, A. A 373 

Abbott, L. W 4tj0 

Ackerman, Peter H 377 

Addington, James M 570 

Agei'. Wilson 540 

Albinson. John A 487 

Allen. Samuel 458 

Altlidtr. .Tohn 453 

Altlioir, William 60() 

Anderson, August 439 

Anderson, Carl A 572 

Anderson, Charles .1 607 

Anderson, Erick 428 

Anderson, Henry M 333 

Anderson, .lohn A 478 

Anderson, Oscar A 615 

.Ander-son, Peter (' 379 

.\nderson, Simon 476 

Anderson, S. J 593 

Anderson, Victor 397 

Andresen, D. .1 415 

Anton, Philip 418 

Antritter, Charles D 611 

Apel, Henry 526 

Asquith, Oeorge 410 

Haal. IJLnrv 637 

liahls, Theodore 604 

Haiid. .Tames 443 

liaker, Frank 44S 

Uaker, (!eorge W 535 

liaker, Thomas P 584 

Haiti win. James 600 

liarnanl. Charles 429 

I'.arron. Walter 50!l 

I'.assett, Edward H 359 

iieacom, (leorge 577 

lieeker. Casper 424 

liwker. C. W 431 

liicker, Henrv A 627 

Kecklev, L. H 453 

liedford, S. B 331 

Behr. Peter N 458 

Behrends, Hiram 580 

Behrens, K. K 558 

Beilke. A. R 569 

Beireis, Adam 577 

Bingham, Jonathan J 474 

Bird, C. A 420 

Bird. Robert 362 

Birkett. Miles 313 

Hixler, George C 631 

Blair, John S 430 


Blomgren. B. C 47!l 

Blood, Oscar F .592 

Bloom, William E 422 

BUuiie, Henry 1 600 

J'.liime. William H 601 

J'xjbt'ig, John A 495 

Boden, Sidney 529 

Boecker, Henry 632 

Bofenkamp. Theodore 376 

Bofenkamp, W illiani 435 

Booth. Charles C 3.5(i 

Boots. Ernest 033 

Boots, Henry 528 

Bovle. M. S 348 

Brace. F. C 585 

Brandt. Ole A 410 

Bratager. Ollis B 417 

Bratsberg. .John A 385 

Brayton, Henry 421 

Bra'vton! Matt 505 

Brickson, Edwin 571 

Brinkhous, Charles 624 

Britt, James F 591 

Brommer. Lambert 473 

Brooks, Albert 592 

Brown. Edgar H 502 

Blown. Frank 006 

Brnns. John B 440 

111 van. Madison J 451 

Bryan. Oscjir 1) -. ". .320 

Bui-han. Andrew .355 

Huchan. Edward F 442 

Bulick. George T , .323 

Bullerman. Theodore 571 

Burc-hard, William 028 

Burfcind. Ernest H 477 

Burgeson. Henry 4.50 

Busfhman. -Tohn 449 

( anipbell, .lames P 330 

Carpenter. Will 1 537 

Carstensen, Hans C 407 

Cass, J. F .364 

Cederblade. Charles A 503 

Chaney, Allen 351 

Chaney,- William 439 

Chepa, .John 467 

Chermak. James 563 

Christenscn, William H 484 

(hnte, Daniel W 401 

Clark. Loren 568 

Clark. William. 461 

Claussen. Peter 505 




Clinc, Western M 444 

Clower, I'Mwiird F 57S 

Comer. .Steplieii A 31- 

Conilon, .loliii 41() 

Coiilev. Timotli V ('• U13 

Cook," X. II 4(58 

Cook. I'aiil 317 

. 4()!» 






Crever. Beiijaiiiiii 11 340 

Crever. 'J'lioiiias II 488 

Cross, (.iraiit 381 

Crowlev. Dr. .Jay .M 32(i 

Crowley. John .' 403 

Criiit. '.MicliacI 371 

Cutler. Kiaiik W 5(14 

Cooper, Kilwaril 
Cory, Charles M 
Coughraii. Kraiik U. 
Cowin, Thomas (!... 
Cox, ,101111 S . . . . 
Coyoiir, .John. . . 
Cramer, Theodoir 
Cranilall. Charle.-^ M. 

Dalilheiin. Alli.-it 
Dalin. lail A... 
Darling'. Ai 
]>avey, VV. 

liavis. Henry 

Davton, (ieorge 1) 

Uealanil. (ieorge \\ 

Dean, Frank 

IJeBoer, .Tohn 

DeBoer. Xieholas... 
Denkmann, B. C. . . 
Denton, Charles II. 
DeV'aney. William. . 
Diilier. Alexander. . 
Didier. .lolin X 


. 3i)l) 


p (il2 

Albert 3fi7 

K. \. .333 

Stewart 542 

C 3!)() 



. 5(i(l 

Diekniann. Frank <>98 

Dierks. William...... 347 

Dillehav. Charles 311 

Dillman. W. A 322 

Dodge. Dr. Wilhert •) (i04 

Doe. Kufns K 447 

Doeden, Andrew 517 

Doedeii. Fred 524 

Doeden. 1 lerman G 335 

Dolan. Dr. C. P 340 

Diinniiifr. W. W fi35 

Durfec. Francis .\ 381 

Dnrfee. Howard L <'>1(; 

Diiwenhoefrfipr. 'I'heodore ,. . 488 

Dwvcr. William .32() 

, .(i20 
, .fi.3(i 
, ..308 

l*'ggleston, I'^rank 

Kide. Lars T. .-. . 

ICisele. Albert F . 

Klias, Christ 

Flliott. Xathan II 

IClIsworth. Frank 3G0 

Kly. John I) 380 

Kppers. Xick 404 

Friekson. Charles .\ 5(10 

Eriokson. John i: 5.33 


Eriekson. Kobcrt 502 

Krlandson, Xels 522 

Krskine, Arthur II 537 

Frskine, H. L '. 315 

Krwin, Charles C C20 

Ksser, Lawrence 570 

Kstes, (iardner 338 

Kvans, VV. M 481 

Kvenson. Andrew 452 

Fagan. Thomas J 514 

I'aragiu.r. J. A 531 

Faragher, William 1! .544 

Fau>kce. Xewlon 400 

Fauskee, Ole 314 

I'auskee. Ole A 335 

Featliers, A. .\I ; 404 

Feeney. .lohn B 403 

Fellow.s, (luy ( 3.37 

Fields, Fdwaicl K 345 

Fiistman, Henry B 542 

Fink. Fred A. ! 382 

rinnerty, Martin 483 

Fiiistuen. Hans II .5()() 

Firth. Arthur S 383 

Fischeiiich. X'erris 'y>{) 

Fi.scher, Leonard E 510 

Fischer, Louis K 4.32 

I'ish, .Matson E 530 

Fitcii. .John J 3,30 

Fitzgibbons, Daniel 518 

Fletcher, Thomas 503 

Flynn, John F 454 

Foehr, Joseph. . . 504 

l"oelschow, Charl('~ 407 

Fngarty, Fdward 573 

Forrest. E. F 547 

Fii.x. Charles J.. .32(i 

!■ lemmini,'. Fred . 4(i2 

I'rink. .Tohn S ,5fn 

( lalbraitli. Andrew T 400 

r.vM. Hans H .-)05 

( ifi>cl. .jolin 532 

( ieranly, .Matt 57(i 

( ieyeriiian. Peter 305 

(Jp'verman. Dr. Peter T 625 

Cil'l. Dr. C. A 492 

(lilonien. .lolm K 455 

( ilasgow. Frank 427 

Clovka, Charles 508 

(Uovka, Henry 615 

Clovka, William ,500 

(Mvnn. Patrick 457 

(loir. Alfred J 609 

Coodrich. George 545 

Cordon. Charles A 484 

(iolmer. Herman IT 617 

Craf. A. C 631 

Craf. EnnI 344 

Craf. Emil F .520 

Craves. Frank T 372 

(ireen. J. Frank 385 

Creig. .fames ,382 

Creig. James A 609 

Critrin. Father W. E. F 586 

Orote. .Antcm .377 



Grundsten, Olof G 426 

Gundermann. Leonard 394 

Giuidei'son. Thomas 341 

Hacker, George 406 

Haegle, Frank 456 

I lagberg. Andy 5(!0 

Hagberg. Gust A 482 

Hagljei g. Louis 546 

Hagei man, Asher ,M 370 

llagerman. -James M 483 

Hagge, Tliomas H 417 

Hah erson, C. H 490 

Hamstreet. Charles 437 

Hansberger. .John 335 

Hansberger, William L 5.53 

Hansen. Joseph P 463 

Haidekopf. William .587 

Harding, C. E 436 

Harrington, .James H 623 

Hart. A. E 530 

Hart. John 314 

Hartman, Joseph 404 

Hartinann, Ferdinand 616 

Harvev. Daniel E 506 

Hasenian. H. F 633 

Hawkins. Levi H 454 

Hawkins. O. H .525 

Heffran. Tim 5.'i4 

Hein, .1. -J .522 

Heise. Hans G 539 

Heling. Herman 575 

Heliiig. .Joseph 554 

Hendel, Nicholas .540 

Uennekes. Henry 500 

Hcnsley, Edward 602 

Herbert, -John 474 

Herlein. David 426 

Hesselroth. E. \V .307 

Higgins. William .567 

Hildred. Charles R .583 

I I i nricks. Tlieodore 476 

Hobson. Harry S 408 

Hocking. William E 564 

1 lofJer. .Jacob G 455 

Hotl'man. (jeorge 485 

Hoffman. .John II 518 

1 biffmeister, George 453 

Ilofkamp. .John .581 

Hokeness. Xels H 606 

Hollaren. Michael 441 

Holmes, Henry .328 

Ilonnef. .John 575 

Hornstine, Henrv 415 

Horton, Frank H 623 

Horton. Isaac 310 

Hoskins, .Josiah C .500 

Hovey . Melvin W 478 

Hubner. William 511 

Hulser. Fred D 517 

Humiston. Dr. Edwin Rav 407 

llumiston. E. R ' ; .308 

Humiston. Fred J> 444 

Humiston. Prof. R. F 303 

Tfumiston. W. 1 396 

Hurd. Minor G 625 

Tlurd. R. S 622 


Hutton. Thomas .588 

Hynes. James V 513 

Junes, George 556 

Isaacson. Isaac 464 

I\ ers. Henry 552 

•Tacobson. Severt A 353 

•James, .John F 510 

lay, George 375 

Jenkins. W. W 392 

Johnson. Albert .568 

•lohnson. Andrew 431 

■lohnson, August 588 

Johnson, Carl J 543 

.Johnson, Charles W 59(i 

Johnson, Frank J 585 

Johnson. Haken 410 

Johnson. J. H .566 

Johnson. L. W 48(i 

Johnson. Teeter G 617 

.Jones. Burgess 498 

Jones, Clyde S 608 

Jones, David; Jr 584 

Jones. David. Sr 553 

•Tones. Edw in .1 406 

•Jones. Xcd 520 

Jone>, Robert J 423 

■lorgensen, Jens .5.54 

•Joul. Gust ■ 432 

Joul. Ole B 380 

Kain. JIartiu 605 

Kallemven, Martin 448 

Kaufman. Nicholas 375 

Kellen, Dominick, Jr 629 

Kellen, Dominick, Sr 614 

Keller, G. A 6.32 

Kelley. Irwin F 627 

Kerr, Robert F 513 

Kerr, William 402 

Kiessling. Ferd .J .509 

Kiudlund. Svante 470 

King. Charles .526 

Kinsman. C. E .533 

Kizer. B. F 400 

Klenken. John B 473 

Klessig. Henry A .541 

Kleve, Henry .J .523 

Kleve. William J 506 

Kliffgard, A. A 303 

Klindworth. -John 408 

Kline. Henrv 575 

Klinkhammer. C. H 620 

Klontz. Math 580 

Kniese. B. F 479 

Ivnips. G 430 

Knowlton. Ed 561 

Kolp, Charles F 574 

Kopplow, Carl 635 

Kreun. La wrens 4.30 

Korgman. Herman H 598 

Kuhl, Charles .591 

Kuhl, Fi-ed .302 

Kunze, C. H 465 

Kunze, Henry 427 



Lais, Herman A 420 

l.uriiiioie, Wiiliam E 574 

l.arkiii, Tlioiiias 425 

J^aiooii, -Vxel E 4(il 

Larson, II. \V 44!) 

l^i'suM, Lewis 35li 

Latta, A. T 51li 

Lawrence, Allen H 559 

J^awton, .\L E 021 

Lc'bens, Peter 411 

Lcdine, Eriek 504 

Ledine, Peter 509 

Lees, a V 018 

LeGros, George H 501 

Lenz, John N 383 

Lenz, Peter. Jr 409 

Lenz, R. .M. V 583 

Lenz, Thomas, .)r 541 

Lenz, Tliomas, Sr 458 

Levine, Martin 510 

Lewis, Harry 11 013 

Lewis, (lorliard aSU 

l.inileiiiaiin. \\ illiam .595 

Liiidstroin, I arl A 559 

Little, Arthur \V 003 

Long, Uickson S 443 

Loosbrock, .lohn A 530 

Loveless, Capt. Charles B 310 

Loveless, William W 410 

Lovrien, Ernest E 528 

Liicht, Andrew l" 394 

Ludhiw, lloiaee .( 374 

Ludlow. J. Burr 440 

Luepker, L. H 034 

Lyon, Arthur W 491 

Lyon, Franklin II 37S 

Mackav. .lames 504 

Madison. William E 411 

Mahlberg, Alfred 482 

Mahlberg, Erick .'. .338 

Malcolm. William 4fifi 

Mangclson. .lohn L 579 

Mann. Milton 1' 418 

.Manson. Dr. F. .\1 523 

.\larr, Charles 554 

Marr. Thomas 599 

.Marten. \VilIiam F 472 

.Martens, Henry H 024 

Martin. Charles F 504 

.Martin. .Michael .1 024 

Mathcson, Klovd A 508 

Mathcson. Ilichard H 503 

Mauch. .Inhii 1 .529 

.Ma.\well, .lames II .' 358 

.McAulifle. Dennis 5.50 

McCann, .Martin M 442 

^McCarthy , .lohn 445 

MoChord, W. U. D 350 

MeConkey, .lames L 400 

McKenzie. John 471 

McLean, Francis E 399 

^lel.ean. Thomas 485 

McMaster. S. H 0.30 

Meester. Ike 555 

Meier, Fred 025 

Meier, John 550 


Metz, Eugene 499 

Metz, Jacob 014 

.Millard, Charles T 512 

-Miller, Stephen 304 

.Milton, Isaac A 548 

Mishler, Ira 508 

.Mitchell. G. S 634 

.Mitchell. Hugh 420 

.Mitchell, .lohn G 483 

.Mitchell. T. L 514 

.Moberg, J. E 530 

Moberg, Nels 471 

iloberly, R. W 339 

Modisett, C. F 389 

.Mohr, Fred 530 

.Mohr, Herman .465 

MontgonuMv. Alexander 474 

.Montgomerv. .lames 38(1 

.Moore, Dr." George 309 

.Moore, Stanley 590, Kobert 1 398 

.Morrison, Grant 555 

.Morrison, William II 440 

Moss, William F 388 

.Muck, Charles S 440 

Muck, Stephen 329 

.Mulrov, Joseph 008 

.Mulro'v, .Matthew 490 

.Murpl'iy . Frank 489 

.Murphv. .loseph G 450 

-Myers.' Howard S 596 

Myrum, Hans H 606 

Xash, Austin 480 

Nash, Christ 413 

Xaylon, James 360 

Nazareuus, .Vsmus 423 

Nazarenus, Joseph 517 

Xeff, James 443 

Xelson, Albert 515 

Nelson, .Anton 384 

Xelson, Francis 366 

Xelson, Hans 341 

Nelson, Henry 345 

Xels(m, John 448 

Xewell, Dr. Thomas G 353 

Xeyens, Nick H 434 

Xienaber. Charles 390 

Nienkerk. August H 494 

Nilsou. Andrew 520 

Xolan. P. F 412 

Nolle. Henry 346 

X'oonan. Thomas P 468 

Xystrom. Hans 316 

Nystrom, Ole .351 

Nystrom, Ole II 537 

Obele. A 1 688 

Oberman, .\ilolpli 545 

O'Connor, .lohn F... 435 

O'Connor. Patrick 468 

Oliver. Will E 447 

Olsen. OIc 391 

Olson. Adam 407 

Olson, Ed 543 

Ol.son, 429 

Olson, Henry 412 



Oppek, Florian J 522 

Osbon, Peter H 395 

Oxford, William 4.38 

Paine, Charles .1 489 

Paine, James il 472 

Paine, Walter H 500 

Palleseu, A. D 525 

Palm, Julius 542 

Palmer, Thomas A 559 

Pank, Frederick 347 

Pannell, Edwin C.....' 465 

Paradies, John 478 

Parry, William 312 

Pass, Hubert • 437 

Paul, Erick B .332 

Peterburs, Henry 543 

I'eters, Andrew 501 

Peterson, Charles .583 

Peterson, Charlie 596 

Peterson, E. L 541 

Peterson, John P 459 

Pettit, George V 635 

Pfeil, Henrv 377 

Pfingsten, H. P. W 475 

Pieper, .Julius 574 

I'ink, George 571 

Pint. Anton .536 

Pint, Matt 408 

I'loinp, Michael 597 

I'lotts, R. B 317 

Pridcaux. Tlinmas H 621 

Kaiiiage, John 614 

llamert, Adolpli 507 

Hamerth, .lohn 557 

Randolph, John S 495 

Uead, Henry H 334 

Itecker, Frank 480 

Recker, Ludwig .568 

Keekers, W. J 548 

P>cddy, .James 518 

Iteiter. Michael 365 

Roniackel, Jacob 618 

Renshaw, W. C 477 

Rice. Arthur J 318 

liichards, Frank D 552 

Riss, John .581 

Roetman, John 577 

Rogers, J. H 548 

Roll, Henry 376 

Rose, Arthur P 527 

Itose, Samuel N 521 

Roskain, Ollie J 496 

Ross, Perle C 593 

Ross. Robert 507 

Rowley. Charles L 482 

Rover. Lee W 538 

Rudman, E. R. L 613 

Ru|)recht, Harry 459 

Rusho, Charles 621 

Rust, Albert 506 

Rust, Arjen 357 

Sadler, A. M 486 

Sadler, F. M 466 

Sands. Charles A .432 


Sanger, Edward 491 

Savig. Thomas 602 

Saxon, Charles 309 

Saxon, Charles R 629 

Saxon, John 422 

Sa.xon, John A 462 

Saxon, Wallace 573 

Saxon, Walter A 541 

Scharping, Emil W 532 

Schechter, Joshua, .Ir .5.34 

Schels, Father Sebastian 576 

Scherlie, H. A 489 

Schinkel, Fred 395 

Schinkel, Henry 424 

Schmidt. Anton R 510 

Schmidt, Arend O 010 

Schmidt, Oltman 604 

Scliniitz, Fred 425 

Schnieder, Henrv 557 

Scholtes, Peter .' 452 

Scholtes. Peter B 619 

Schraan. Edward H 633 

Schreiber, (iustaf 532 

Schreiber. Rudolph 57(i 

Schuck. .hicob H 388 

Schutz, John 628 

Schwartz, E. L 605 

Schwartzkopf. Michael 515 

Scott. John 11 386 

Scott, O. H .523 

Scott, W. F 471 

Scri ven, James M 497 

Selberg. Albert 588 

Selberg, Gust 480 

Selburg, John P 610 

Selby, .James R 401 

Sell,' Rol>ert 354 

Sevcrson, Albert t'. .' 515 

Seward, Henry 019 

Shanks, William X 022 

Shaw, John W 389 

Shaw, William .535 

Shell, Daniel .304 

Shelquist, A .509 

Shore, f ;harles 434 

Shore. Henrv 554 

Shore. John "E 402 

Shore. Robert 311 

Shore, Robert W 573 

Sieve, August 601 

Sievert, William H .- .556 

Sipes, Charles W 398 

Sisson, De H ,540 

Skillicorn, James 582 

Slade, George 344 

Slater, Henry 342 

Smallwood, Charles J 405 

Smith. E. K 413 

Smith, George W 487 

Sniitli. John R 625 

Smith. Milton S , 433 

Smith. Robert R .562 

Smith. Stelle S 400 

Smith, Zeno M 611 

Soehner. William 603 

Sorem. Ben E .526 

Sorem, Louis M 512 



Soreni, Jliclmel 396 

Sorein, Severt M 02G 

Sowles, Louis \V . .595 

Spairord, John .\ . . ssf, 

Spartz. IVter ...5(i.T 

Stnii<;olaii<l, Nels . . .51(J 

Stanton. K. \V... ...44.> 

.Stfinnian. C A. . . . .520 

Sterling. Oscar 609 

Stevi-ns. Krancis A 406 

.Stewart, Sam .\[ 511 

Stoutemyer, William B 597 

Stramer. Charles J 627 

.Strand. Thomas T 582 

Si iintebeck. Henry 46."{ 

SnnJberg. Cli.irles A 32.5 

.Swanberg, Custavus 37O 

.Swedberg. .\I 48S 

Sweiison. Alfred L 62!> 

Synkersen, 1'. C 505 

Taylor, W. K 538 

'IVnHroeik. Kev. Robt. C 558 

TenCate. .lames 457 

Tentler, William 384 

Terry, Edwin S 337 

Tliom, Arthur C! .500 

i'lioni. Kobert tiuy 001 

riiom. Hoy 597 

riiiiiii. William 319 

Thom. William C 594 

Thomas, Knute 309 

Thompson. Albert A 3,54 

Thompson. Anthony 3,39 

Thompson. F. H .303 

Thompson. Peter 321 

Thouisen. .lohn C ^ 397 

Thnesen. Ole B 603 

Tliurber. Benjamin F ,328 

Tiemeiis, Fred H 378 

Tilnian, W. O .500 

rinm-s. Ceorge R 592 

Tinnes. Sy\ rrt D 347 

Titenberg. 1 lenry .393 

Torranee, F. A 301 

Tow. Samuel 589 

Town. .1. A 306 

Tregoning. W. B 589 

Trijip. Kdgar A ."567 

Tripp. Marry R 419 

Trunk. Fridoliu 572 

Turner, Frank 402 

I uriier. Fredoriek A 473 

iunicr. Ira 378 

Tweet. Hans R 584 

Ullrich. .Toseph F 454 

Ulveling, Frank . 



\'all. .\mos 47(1 

Nail, .bdin P ;j,;i 

\ersteeg. .Jacob sk; 

\'oii Holt\im, Ludwig 383 

\'oss, H, A 492 

N'oss, Herman OOO 

V'oss, .lolin .599 

Voss, S. A 444 

Wagner, .John ( Bigelow) 494 

Wagner, .John ( Ellsworth) ,548 

Wahl, William A 545 

Walker, Dr. F. E 50I 

Wallgren. Peter A 503 

Wallricli. Peter .J 03(i 

Walters. Truman 610 

Ward, Charles B 610 

Waril, \A"illiam E 552 

Wass. August 401 

\\;a,ss, A.\el 630 

Weidnian, George V 623 

Weitgcnant, Charles 483 

Wellhauscn. EdwanI H 540 

Wells. Charlie O '533 

Wells. Frank D ; ....4,33 

Wemple. Kdwin S 462 

Weuiple. E. L 319 

\\'est. Charles '. 555 

West, Christopher R 408 

West, Fred ,553 

\\estenberg, Derk 030 

Wheatley. \\ illiam ; 405 

Wheeler, George W 602 

W'helan, .John 47.^ 

Whelan, William 620 

Whipkey, Edwin S 595 

NVickstrom. Andrew P ; . . .,502 

Wiekstroui, Charles .J ,340 

Wiedow, Dr. Henry 57s 

Wigham. Capt. William 310 

Williams. Dr. A. B 544 

Williams. Frank E 43s 

Williams. Henry G .....582 

Wilson. Alexander 534 

Wilson. George W 303 

Winchell. G. C !!!!.!^031 

Wnlven. Edwin -T 502 

Wood. Sherman T 493 

Wooilford. A. .J 503 

Woolstencrofl. Benjamin W .340 

Wulf. William 514 

\a\e. Bruce 587 

^onng. Benjamin F 330 


Nobles County 






lhi_- lirsl \\liile Man to Set foe. I On thf Soil of 
Nobles County. 


ABORIGINAL DAYS— 18;54-18(>(J. 

Turn back, as it were, the leaves of deserl. The c-reeks flowed in tlie same 

'I'ime's great book to the period before cniu'ses as now; the lakes occupied the 

tlie all-conquering AYhite Man liad set same banks; the topography of the coun- 

foot on the soil of the present day county try was tlie same. But what a contrast ! 

of Nobles. We, of this generation, who Wild beasts and birds and wilder red 

play our part in the affairs of tlie pres- men then reigned supreme. Vast herds 

ent day, are apt to tliink of tliat lime as of bison, elk and deer roamed the open 

long jiast. Yet there are men and wom- ])rairies and reared their young in the 

en residing in Nobles county todav who more sheltered places. With that won- 

were living at tlie time of that event, derful appreciation of the beautiful 

B(>fore a civilized eye had gazed on the which nature has made an instinct in 

country we now call home, Lewis and H^e savage, the untutored Sioux had se- 

Clark, those intrepid explorers, had pen- lected the country as liis hunting ground, 

etrated ilie Rocky mountain regions If inanimate things could speak, what 

and pushed on to the Pacific coast, ob- wild tales of Indian adventure could be 

laining information of inestimal)le value; poured forth I 

Marcus Wliitman had planted his col- The country which such a short time 
ony in the wilds of Oregon and taken i'go was an uncharted wilderness is to- 
fhe first step to secure possession of the 'I'ly a prosperous land, fdled with an en- 
Northwest to the United States. While terprising, intelligent and liajipy people, 
knowledge was being gained of the far Cities and villages, the peer of those 
western country, southwestern Minnc- that were centuries in building, adorn 
sota, on the border of civilization, re- the former barren prairies ; civilization 
niained a terra incognita. and progress have supplanted savag- 

Let us imagine what this country was ^'^y '• schools, churches and libraries oc- 
in its primeval state, when all was as f^i'py the sites of the aboriginal's tepees, 
nature had formed it. The broad and That part of the North American con- 
rolling prairies stretclied as far as the tinent which is now designated on the 
eye could reach, presenting, in summer, map as Minnesota was occupied by the 
a perfect paradise of verdure, with its Dakota or Sioux Indians from the very 
variegated hues of flowers and vegeta- earliest days up to tlie time when the 
tion : in winter, a dreary snow mantled white man supplanted the red man in 

1 33 


till' iiiiiPtocnth c-t'iiturv. Indian trailition tlu' MiiuKsdla. not far Irom licllr I'laino. 

tells of no earlier inllal)itallt^;. (I'l'taJn Tlic lower Sissotons occupied the regions 

it i.< that when the first i'.\|ilorer,s, eeii- around Traverse des Sioux. Swan lake 

turies ago, eanie to the Northwest eoun- and the Cottonwood, extending to the 

try thev found the Dakotas or Sioux in ('otmn des Prairies. It was this hand 

possession. When • knowledge was first which claimed jurisdiction over the pres- 

gained of these people there were three ent day county of Xohles. The upper 

great tribal divisions, namely: 'J'he Isan- \\'ak]iaton tribe had its villages on the 

lis, I'cjiiding on the headwaters of the shores of ihe i|ni Parle. The u|i]ier 

ifississijipi ; the Y'anktons. who oecu- Sissetons were on Big Stone hiki' and 

pied the region north of the ]\[innesota lake Traverse. 

riv«r: and the Titonwans. wiio had their Portions of Minnesota had been vis- 
hunting grounds west of the Y'anktons. ited by whites at a very early day. i)ut 
The last named was the most powerful the southwestern portion was unvisited 
and numerous trii')e. uiilil long after other parts wcri' fairly 

Coming down to the year 1834, we well known. Catlin. Schoolcraft, Feath- 

find that definite knowledge had been erstonhaugh. Allen. Keating and Long 

gained of the tribal divisions of south- were early explorers to the wilds of 

ern ^^innesota, and that their ])laees of Minnesota, but they conlined themselves 

summer residence were known. Ceneral to the ready routes of travel. ])a.«sing 

IL II. Sibley, an authority on Indian (hrougli the lountry in a single season, 

affairs, described the Indian bands as he 15ut in the late thirties appeared one 

found them in lcS;j-l. There were seven who crossed the upper ilississi])pi c(uin- 

bamls of the Dakotas, known as the try in all directions, spending several 

M'daywakantons, or Peo]ile of the Tjcaf. years, winters included, in proeuring 

Their summer residences were in villages, data for his map. This was Joseph 

the lodges being built of clni bark upon Xicolas Nicollet.^ who. so far as T am 

a frame work of poles. These villages ahle to learn, was the first white nian to 

were situated at Wabasha Prairie, wliei'e ^et foot on the soil of Nobles county. 

the city of Winona now stands; at Red Jle gave names to many lakes inul phy- 

Wing and Kaposia, on the Mississippi; sical features or adopted those wliieb 

three bands on the lower Alinnesota, be- were current, and his map, issueil in 

low Shakopee; and the Lake Calhoun 1H42. shows the scope of his explorati(ms. 
hand, on the lake of that name. These The cfuintry of which .Nobles county 

bands could bring into the field about fornis a ]iart was labiled "Sisseton Coun- 

(!(I0 warriors. try" mh his iiki|i. he liruling that flint 

The Wakjjatootas, or Peo|iie of the ^I'-andi of (he Dakotas were in possession 

Shot Leaf, were in villages on Cannon '!(■ I'ound that the regicui west of the 

lake, a short distance from the present Mississi|)pi had several jilateaus. nv ele- 

city of Faribault, and at a few other vated praii-ies, which marked the limits 

jjoints. They lunnbered about 150 war- '<( the various river basins. The most 

riors. The lower Wakpatons, or People leni.-u-kahlc (jf these be called I'litli'iiu dii. 

of the Leaf, were located at Little |{a[)- Colriiii (/'v I'liiirii's (plateau of prairie 

ids, Sand Prairie and on the hanks of heights) and Colcdu dii (Irnnd Bois 

'Do not confound wUli Jean NicoUot. an counliy nearl.v 200 .years earlier. 
.Vmerlcan pioneer from France who visited the 



(wooded lieiglits). Nicollet deseribed 
the Coieau de-s- Prairies as a vast plain, 
elevated 1,91() feet above the level of 
the ocean and .SiK) feet above K\s. Stone 
lake, lying bet-ween latitudes 43 and 46 
degrees, extending from northwest to 
southeat^t for a distance of 200 miles, its 
width varying from 15 to 40 miles.- He 
described it as a beautiful country, from 
whose summit grand views were affordetl. 
and said that at the eastern border par- 
ticularly the prospect was magnificent 
beyond description, extending over the green turf tliat forms tlie basin 
of the Eed River of the North, the forest 
clad summits of tlie Baiilpurs des Terres 
that snrroiind flic sources of the Missis- 
sippi, the gigantic valley of the upper 
Minnesota, and the depressions in which 
are lake Traverse and Big Stone lake. 
That Nicollet visited Nobles county and 
other portions of tlie southwestern part 
of Minncsotn is evidenced by the fact 
that several physical features of the 
country with wliicli we are familiar were 
•given names and more or less accuratelv 
located. "Okcbene" lake has a place on 
the map, as also has "Spirit lake," 
"Ocheyedau bike.'" "Ocheyedan Hillock, 
or iMouruing Ground." "Okoboji river 
and lake," and "Karanzi river, where the 
Kansas were killed." 

For several years after the visit of 
Nicollet the future county of Vobles 
was visited by white men only occa- 
sionally. In fact the whole of southwest- 
ern Jlinnesotn remained the country of 
tlie red man up to the middle fifties and 
nearly to the time when Minnesota was 
admitted to the union as a state. Even 
then, although the settlements extended 
up to the liorders of Nobles county on 
the south, east and north, Nolilcs countv 

•On tlic map it is m;n-ked as exteiidinK 
from a point a short distance northwest of 
lake Traverse in a southeasterly direction into 

was without actual settlers. It was sev- 
eral years behind its neighboring coun- 
ties, and permanent settlement did not 
begin until 1807. 

While the settlement of the south- 
western part of the state-to-be was not 
attempted until a late day, other por- 
tions received some settlement, and Min- 
nesota territory was created in 1849. 
Tliree years later the boundai-y line be- 
tween the new territ(n'y and Iowa was 
surveyed. The territory from which, 
later, Nobles county was formed, being 
on the soTithern lioundary of Minnesota, 
was visited at that time by surveyors, 
and on August •"). LS.'iS, the first line 
was run that marked a l)oiindary of the 
county-to-be. That day the line along 
(irand Prairie township was surveyed; 
the following day that along Little Rock ; 
on the seventh the surveyors completed 
Ransom and part of Bigelow : on the 
eighth Bigelow was finished, and the line 
along the southern boundary of Indian 
Lake was completed, and the surveyors 
continued their way eastward.'' 

Altliough the perniani'iit settlement of 
llie western counties of s(nithwestern 
]\Iinnesota was backward, trapjiers oper- 
ated over liie whole couiilry for many 
years piior to actual settlement. The 
a.bundaiuc of game that roamed over the 
region drew hunters and trappers re- 
gularly to its lakes and streams. Some 
of these later took claims in the coun- 
try they had tra])]ied over and became 
the first .settlers. 

In 1856 there was a great tide of 
emigration "toward the setting sun" 
from the eastern states, and Jlinnesota 
territory grew rapdilv in population. 
This iii]>ouring of settlers continued dur- 
ing the following year. Then came the 

Iowa, and including: the present Nobles county. 
'Surve.vors' field notes. 



panic of 185T, and the influx nf set- 
tlers almost completely ceasitl. Titiies 
were very harcl all tlirougli the coiuitiv. 
and especially was this condition of af- 
fairs felt in the Northwest. It was dur- 
ing this activity in the settlement of 
Minnesota that the first settlement was 
made in tlie southwestern part of tlie 
territory. During the years IS.'j."), IS.ifi 
and 18.57, a few harily jiioneors found 
their way to and made settlements in 
territory which now forms Faribault. 
Martin, Jackson and Cottonwood coun- 
ties, in Jfinnesota, and the Spirit Tiake 
countn',* in Iowa. In some of tliese 
counties substantial settlements were be- 
gun; villages were founded; counties were 
organized: civilization took its first ad- 
vancing stride into the frontier. 

During tliis period of activity in 
south we.etern Minnesota the future Xo- 
bles county had no active part : it was 
just beyond tli(> "jumping off place." 
The gi-eater ])art of the settlers engaged 
in trapping for furs, and in the ])ur- 
suit of this avocation tlicy fre(|ucntly 
visited llie lakes of Nobles county. TTn- 
fortunately data of the doings of these 
men have not been preserved. Tliey 
were trappers, not historians, and tlicy 
left no record of their adventures. Only 
a few of tliese early day trappers are 
left. Of a nomadic temperament, when 
permanent settlement was begun, the 
majority of these frontiersmen pushed 
on to still unsettled countries to the 

One of these trappers who nperaled in 
what is now the western part of Noble< 
countv was .Tude Pliillips. and one of 
his adventures is worth relating. Tn 
company with a brother, he was trap- 
ping one season on Kanaranzi creek, his 

•The Spirit I.ak? settlemftnt was only twenty- 

camp being near the present site of 
.Vdrian. His l)rother's camp was some 
live miles distant, also on the creek. A 
terrii)le cloudburst raised the Kanaranzi 
to a raging flood. .Tude Phillips bare- 
ly escaped with his life. The morning 
after the disa.<ter he started out to 
look for his brother, but found no trace 
of liiiu. and never did. The raging 
Kanaianzi hail claimed its first victim. 

.Vs before stated, the financial panic 
of 18.57 retarded the growth of the ter- 
ritr)ry and brought to a st-md-lill the 
activities in southwestern ^linnesota. But 
there was another event of tliat year that 
changed the whole history of tlie country. 
That was the Inkpaihitali massacre. The 
Indians, under tlie leaderslii|) of Ink- 
paihitali. went on the war patli and 
^lthl^^.-l\ iiiiirdered settlers at Sjiirit 
Lake, Iowa, and along the Des Moines 
river in Jackson and Cottonwood coun- 
ties. Minnesota. Had tlie settlement at 
that time been, extended to Xobles coun- 
ty there can be no doubt that its soil 
would have l)een drenched in lilood, as' 
the savages operated in tlie county dur- 
ing the famous massacre. 

The women and childi-i'ii nf iid<padii- 
tah's band wvrt^ eain|ii'il on Indian lake, 
in the soutlieastern corner of the county, 
while the warriors were committing their 
deeds of violence. .M'ter the massacre at 
Spirit Lake part of the murderers re- 
treated to the northwest and made tlieir 
camping place at the same jioint. It is 
said that a force of soldiers, who were 
in pursuit of the redskins, came as close 
to this liaiiil as Iowa lake. Had they 
struck the Indians on Iinlian lake. No- 
bles county would doulitless have played 
an im]iortant pari in the hist(n-y of the 
massacre. When the first white settlers 

five miles from the Nubles county line. 



caiiie to the Indian lake eountn" in 18(59 
the remains of the Indian camp were 
plainly seen." 

The massacre proved to be a serious 
blow to the <jro\vth and development of 
this region. The counties in v\-hieh set- 
tlement had been made were depopu- 
lated. The pioneers fled for their lives; 
everything was aliandoned. Troops were 
soon stationed in the country, but it 
took time to restore confidence, and for 
some time all of those counties lying 
west of Faribault county remained al- 
most wholly devoid of inhabitants. 

During the iionm days of 1S.')() and 
the early part of 18.57 tlie people of 
Minnesota were optimistic. Thousands 
of people were pouring into the terri- 
tory and building themselves homes in 
the heretofore frontier sections. Elabor- 
ate schemes for big ventures were plan- 
ned ; nothing was done in a niggardly 
manner. Frenzied finance reigned su- 
]ireme. Ifailroad rumors filled the air, 
and it was indeed an out of the way 
place that did not look forward to the 
coming of the iron horse in the immedi- 
ate future. Paper roads covered the 
territory from one end to the other, and 
southwestern Minnesota was no excep- 
tion to the rule. The territorial legis- 
lature caught the fever, granted bonuses 
lo various conteniplatcd railways, and in- 
discriminately created counties in all 
parts of the territory — in many of which 
there was not at the time a single resi- 

And Nobles county came into exis- 

^An incident of these days was recalled by 
the finding of a revolver on the shore of lake 
Okabena in 1872. The Western Advance of 
Aug. 31. 1872. said: 

"A revolver was found on the shores of the 
lake last week, which was lost there fifteen 
years ago by A. H. Bullis, of Winnebago City. 
Minn. Mr. Bullis. in company with a friend. 
had been to Yankton on horseback, and while 
on their return stopped at the lake to cook 

fence under these conditions. It had no 
settlers at the time, but abundant pros- 
pects. Had it not been for the panic 
and the Indian outbreak, there can 
be no doubt that the county would 
have been inhabited and in a prosper- 
ous condition within a very short time 
after its creation in the spring of 
18.57. As it was, it was ten years 
later when permanent settlement was 
iiegun and thirteen when the organi- 
zation was perfected. Before consid- 
ering the creation of the county let us 
take a backward glance and trace the 
stiuctural history of Minnesota territory 
from the date of its creation, insofar as 
is relates to Nobles county. 

When the first legislature convened 
after the organization of the territory in 
1849 it divided ^linnesota into nine 
counties, named as follows: Benton, 
Dakota, Ita-sca, Cass, rembina, Iiamsey, 
Washington, Chisago and Wabasha. The 
whole of southern Jlinnesota was in- 
cluded in Wabasha and Dakota, and of 
these two. Dakota had the bulk of the 
territory. Wabasha included that part 
of the territory "lying east of a line 
limning due south fi'om a ]iiiint on the 
ilississippi river known as Medicine 
Bottle village, at Pine Bend," to the 
liiua line." Dakota county (created 
Oct. 27, 18-19) was -all that part of 
said territoiT west of the ilississippi 
and lying west of the county of Wa- 
ba.'iha and s(nith of a line beginning at 
the mouth of Crow river, and up 
said river and the north branch thereof 

and eat some fisli. M'hile the horses were 
c;uietly grazing Mr. Bullis espied a party of 
Indians approaching, and as this happened 
near the time of the Spirit Lake massacre, 
the white men were naturally shy of the 
Sioux, so they hastily mouted their beasts and 
fled. The revolver is silver mounted, but rust 
and decay have ruined it for use." ■ 

'Near St. Paul. 



to its source, ami tliciiee flue west to 
the Missoui-i river."' 

Although Dakota cuimiv was larger 
than many of the eastern states its iwp- 
ulatiou was almost nothing,', and it was 
declared '"oriranized only for the purpose 
of the appointment of justices of the 
peace, constahles and such otiier judi- 
cial and ministerial olficers as may be 
specially provided for." For judicial 
])urposes it was attached to the county of 

The future Nobles county rrmaincMl a 
part of Dakota county until March .■>, 
1853, wlu^ii thci-c was a rcadjustincnt of 
Wabasha and Dakota county ixtundaries, 
and Blue Earth county came into exis- 
tence. The boundaries of the latter 
were described as follows : "So much ter- 
ritory lying south of the Minnesota river 
as remains of Wabasha and Dakota coun- 
ties undivided by this act." As the 
boundaries of the two older counties 
as defined by this act was very indefi- 
nite, it is impossilde to state exactly 
what the dinu'Utions of Blue Earth coun- 
ty were. It is known, however, that it 
included all of southwestei-n Minnesota. 

For two years the unknown Nobles 
county country remained a part of Blue 
Earth county, and then come another 
change. By an act ii|i|ii>ived Feb. 20, 
185.5, the eo\inty of Blue l']arth was re- 
duced t(i it> present boundaries, Fari- 
bault was created with the l)i)undaries 
it now has, except that it then extende(l 
i/iu' lownshi|) rarther west than now, 
and the new couidy of Brown canu' in- 
to being. It was described as follows: 

'Minnesota torrllory then extendt-d west to the 
Missouri river. In this mainninth county of 
Dakota wi-re the followinK prcsint day foiin- 
tie« (or i>arts of counties) In Mlnru'sot.a. in 
addition to^ many in what Is now the state 
of South I)al<otn: Rock, Nobles. .lackson. 
Martin. Farlliaull. Freeborn. Steele. Waseca, 
Blue Karth. Watonwan. Cottonwood. Murray, 
ripestcjue. Lincoln. I.yoii. Keriwood. Brown, 
Nicollet. I.esueur. Kice. Dakota (pari), Scolt. 
Sibley. Renville. Yellow Medicine, Lac <iul 

"That SO much of the territory as was 
formerly included withiu the county of 
Blue Earth, and has not been included 
within the boundaries of any other county 
as herein established, shall be known as 
the county of Brown."" .\11 of the terri- 
tory lying south of the .Minnesota river 
and west of a line drawn south from the 
western boundary of the present day Blue 
Earth county now became Brown county, 
anil .Xobles remained a part of this un- 
til two years later, when it became a 
jiolitical division of itself." 

The conditions which led up to the 
creation of Xobles county and the many 
otliirs ill the soutliwesteru coiner of the 
territory have been briefly referred to. 
.Vmong the other contemplated enterpris- 
es of the boom days of 18.")6-'i' was the 
building of a railroad into the southwes- 
tern part of the territory. This enter- 
prise was, of course, arrested by tlu' paiw 
ic. But it had not prevented the build- 
ing of air castles in the young country 
prior to tlie liiiaiieial crasli. .Vlthough 
no survey for the railroad had been made- 
it iiad been learned that it was to be 
built tliroueh the (iraliain lakes ctuintry, 
and ,■111 imaginary town came into ex- 
istence there. This was known as 
(irctchtown. and in the very early days 
it found itself on the ma])s of the fron- 
tier country. It was located on the 
south bank of West (Iraham lake — on 
laml wbieli in time came into the ]ios- 
scssion of Hon. .1. I!. Waketield, of 
Blue Earth City. (Irelebtown was lit- 
erallv a ""'iiajier town." It was never 
even ]dalti(l. nor did it rise to the dig- 

Parlc, Chippewa. Kandiyohi (except small 
corner), Meeker (pari). Mel.eod, Carver, Hen- 
nepin. Wright (part). Stearns (small part). 
Pope (part). Swift. Stevens (parti, Big Stone 
and (part). 

"Brown county was not organized at once, 
but by an act of the legislature of Feb. 11. 
185C. it was permitted to organize. New I'lm 
was named as the county seat. 



nity of having a trapper's hut there- 
on. Yet it liecanie the county scat 
of a county — a county without inhabi- 

On the 23ti\ day of May, 18.37. the 
bill was passed creating the county of 
Xobles and eight others in the south- 
western corner of the territory." It was 
named in honor of Col. W. H. Nobles,'" 
of St. Paul. Section three of tlie act 
describes the boundaries : 

Sec. III. That so much of the territory 
of ilinnesota as is embraced in the followiiifr 
boumlaries be, and the same is herel)y, es- 
tablished as the 'ounty of Xobles: begin- 
ning at the siMitheas; corner of township 
101 north, of range 39 west; thence north 
to the northeast corner of township 104 
north, of range 39 west; thence west to the 
northwest corner of township 104. range 43 
west; thence .soiitli to the southwest corner 
of township 101 nortli. of range 43 west : 
thence east to the phice of beginninj;. 

Of the nine counties created by the 
act only Martin, Jackson, Nobles and 
Big Sioux were declared to be organized 
counties and "invested with all the im- 
munities to wliicji organized counties are 
entitled by law." They Avere attached 
to the thii-d judicial district for judi- 

'The territory at this time extended west 
to the Big Sioux river. The other counties 
created by the act were Martin. Jackson, 
Murray. Pipestone. Big Sioux. Cottonwood. 
Rock and Midway. The first three named 
were given the boundaries they now have. 
The boundaries of Pipestone county were de- 
scribed as including the present Rock county 
and the eastern portion of the present Min- 
nehaha county. S. D. The boundaries of 
Rock county were described as including the 
present Pipestone county and a small part 
of the eastern portion of the present Moody 
county. S. D. This transposition of the 
names Rock and Pipestone in the description 
of their boundaries in the original act of 1.S57 
may have been due to a lack of knowledge of 
the physical features of this part of the coun- 
try, or it may have been due to a clerical 
error. The mistake was corrected later. Big 
Sioux county took in part of the present 
Minnehaha county, S. D.. and extended from 
the Big Sioux river ea.stward to Pipestone 
(Rock) county. Cottonwood had the same 
boundaries as now, except that it did not 
then have three townshii)S in the northw'est 
corner which it now has. Midway count.v in- 
cluded that part of the present Moody county. 
S. D.. that lies beteen the Big Sioux river 
and the western boimdary of the original 
Rock (Pipestone) county. 

^^Col. Nobles was noted as the discoverer of 
the pass in the Rocky mountains which short- 

cial purposes, and to the tenth council 
district for elective purposes. Provision 
was made for the early organization of 
the four counties named. Commission- 
ers residing within the respective coun- 
ties were to be appointed by the governor 
to perfect the organizations." These 
commissioners were to meet during the 
first week in July, 185T, at the county 
seat and set in motion the machinery of 
the county government. The county seat 
of Xobles county was temporarily lo- 
cated at Gretchtown, that mythical city 
in Graham Lakes township, but provision 
was made for the selection of the per- 
manent seat of government by the vot- 

It is needless to say that the organi- 
zation did not take place as provided. 
Only a short time later, there were not 
only no settlers in Xobles county, but 
the wliole of southw-estern Minnesota -was 
deserted. County government was not 
begun in Nobles county until 1870; then 
it was organized under tlie provisions of 
the act of 18.57. The ])anic and Indian 
troubles had caused a setback of thir- 
teen years. 

ened the emigrant route In the Pacific side 
some 500 miles, and through which the Tnion 
Pacific now passes. The people of California 
raised a purse of §10,000 and presented it to 
Col. Nobles in appreciation of this discovery. 
During the year 1S61 he was president of the 
Minnesota Old Settlers' association. The late 
Daniel Rohrer is my authority for the state- 
ment concerning the naming of the coimty. 

"Section eleven of the act reads: "The 
governor shall appoint three persons for each 
of the respective organized counties, being 
residents and legal voters thereof, commission- 
ers for each of said counties, with full power 
and authority to do and perform all acts a;:d 
duties devolving upon the board of county 
commissioners of any organized coimty in this 
territory, the said board of co:nmissioners shall 
have power to appoint all other officers that 
may be retiuired to complete the organization 
of their respective counties." 

'-"On the petition of twent.v legal voters 
in any of said coimties at any time after the 
passage of this act It shall be the duty of the 
county commissioners to order the legal voters 
of any of the said counties to vote at any gen- 
eral election for the location of the county 
seats of said counties, and the point receiving 
the highest number of votes shall be the 
county seat of said county." 


it will be remeuihcivd that so early as sus July 16, 18()0. These were located 

1852 surveyors had established the line in the Graham Lakes coiuitn. :inil Jaik- 

between iliiinesota and Iowa, and lor a son was their postolliee address. 'i'lic 

Jew days had operated in A'obles county, enumerator stated that lu' had visited 

That was the only surveying done for eleven dwelling houses, and ihat there 

several years. But alter the territorial were the same number of families. On fol- 

legislature had divided southwestern lowing page are names of the inhabiants, 

Minnesota into counties, it was deemed their ages, occupations and places of 

advisable to establish their ijouudaries. birth as listed by Marshal Uruncr:'* 

A surveying j)arty visited the county in .\ll of these were white, free inhaiii- 

September, J.S.")S, and marked its bouii- laiits. Being squatters, they did not 

daries. Guide meridian No. o, along have tith,' to real estate, but four ol' the 

the eastern boundary of the county was numl)er had personal property, as fol- 

surveyed, as was also standard parallel lows: John Oleson, $200; Uriah Kush- 

No. 1, which was the county's northern man, $175; William Hertwinkle, $275; 

boundary. It was nine years later when John Hertwinkle, $100. Other informa- 

the county was divided into lownshii)S, tion contained in the schedule is to the 

and one and two years after that when ifl'ect that none had been married within 

the section lines wn-c run. the year, none had attended school with- 

So soon as coulidence was restored in the year, only one ])erson over twenty 
i\(Wv the Spirit Lake massacre, settle- years of age (Thomas Marks) could not 
ment was begun again in portions of read or write, and mini" was deaf and 
southwestern Minnesota, and in the late 'lumb, l)lind, idiotic, pauper or convict." 
fifties and very early si.xties quite a The development of this frontier re- 
number of settlers had founded homes in gion was destined to delay. It had only 
Martin, Jackson, Cottonwood, Murray faii-ly recovered fi-om the ell'eets of the 
and Nobles counties. Some of the conn- Inkpadiihili. or Spiril Lake, niassaere 
ties east of these had not been seriously and the hard times prrind when the 
affected by the Indian outbreak, ami bad outbreak of the c'ivil war in ISdl again 
substantial settlements.'^ set a brake on emigiation. Then in 

Eleven families, comprising thirty-li\e August, 1862, was inaugurafe(l the ter- 

people, had pushed out to the heretofore lihle Sioux war, which again depo|)u- 

unknown Nobles eoiiidy country. Thai lated the western |>art of Minnesota aiul 

was the numbei' found l)y Elias D. Brun- c rinisoned the fair soil witli the blooil 

er, assistant marshal, who took the ceii- of so many iniioeent men. women and 

"The- federal censu.s of ISGO show>-d thu fipl- "'It is greatly to be regretted that nothing 

lowing populations: further can be learned of this attempted early 

Faribault 1.335 settlement. AlthcmKh 1 have made extensive 

liUie I'larth 4.203 research for information ooncernlng it. I have 

Urown 2.339 been able to find little more than is contained 

Watonwan in the Ijare census returns. These people 

Martin • 151 doubtless came to Noljles county some time 

Jackson 181 after the Spirit Lake massacre, iind protiably 

Cottonwood 12 only a short time before llii' census was taken. 

Murray 29 This Is made evident from the fact that in 

Nobles 35 three different families were children of two 

Rock 23 years of age or younger, and none of tbem 

Pipestone was l)orn in Minnesota. How they happened 

to locate in this frontier land, stories of their 

"The list was obtained from the director of adventures, when and why they left, will 

the census at Washington through the kind- probably always remain a mystery. We can 

ness of Hon. W. S. Hammonii. only surmise. 







*John Oleson 




Barbara Oleson 


Maria Oleson 



Betsey Oleson 


*Uriah Kushman 


Betsey Kushman 


Hownis Kushman 


William Kushman 


Ann Kushman 



»John Bell 



New York 

*Thomas Marks 




Henry Jordan 


*George Wilkin 


Indian Trader 


*George Bumgardner 




Ann Bumgardner 


' ' 

Henrietta Bumgardner. 


* * 

WiUmetto Bumgardner. . 


' * 

Maria Bumgardner 


* William Hertwinkle 



< ( 

Julia Hertwinkle 


* * 

Thomas Hertwinkle 



Marie Hertwinkle 



William Hertwinkle .... 



•John Hertwinkle 




Joanner Hertwinkle 



Monnie Hertwinkle .... 



Thomas Hertwinkle 


Farm Laborer 


*George Evert 




Henry Hanson 




*William Eavens 



Maria Eavens 



Thomas Eavens . . 



•George McFarlane 



Henry McFarlane. . . . 



•Heads of families. 

cliililren. Fiendish atroi-ity, blood furd- 
ling cruelty and red handed murder ran 
riot. At New Ulni was enacted one of 
the most atrocious massacres recorded in 
(he annals of Indian warfare. At lake 
>Shetek, in Murray county, and other 
]>hices in southwestern Minnesota the 
murder crazed redskins fell upon tlie 
settlers and enact(Ml lesser tragedies — 
lesser only because tlie victims were not 
so numerous. Those farmers, trappers 
and traders who had builded themselves 
homes in Nobles cotmty had taken their 
departure, and so escaped the fate that 
befell so many in southwestern Minne- 
sota. Whether they had departed of 
tlieir own volition or taken alarm and 
retreated when the Indians went on the 

war])atli is not certain. It is certain 
tliat they were not in the country dur- 
ing the war, and nearly every trace of 
tlieir occupancy disappeared. 

The growth of Minnesota received a 
set back from wliich it took many years 
to fully recover. After the inauguration 
of this fiendisli warfare the western fron- 
tier line receded eastward, and the great- 
er portion of southwestern ilinnesota 
was again left in the midst of the hostile 
Indian couijtry, and for many months 
no white man trod its soil. After the 
settlements in tlu' eastern part of the 
state had partially recovered from the 
first rude siiock of tlie Indian outbreak, 
wliich fell like a thunderbolt from a 
clear sky, steps were at once taken to 

42 IIISTOin' OF N()l!l,i:s COUNTY. 

(Icl'ond till' ex]lo^;(■(l siiiliniriits, to con- suclion 18. Lisniore township was en- 
quer tlie ruil.-kiiis :iiiil drivu tla'iii IjiU-k. tercil at i^ectioi) 13; tln-nce the road cnii- 
Thc civil war wa^^ in jirofircss. and the tinned its way through sectiims 11 and 
majority oj] the alilc i)odied settlers were 1.") and on to the west. 'J'he road was a 
in the smith lijrhtiiii;- I'or the iinii)n. It fiond oiu'. anil in al'lcr years was used 
therefore re(|uired ^oine tinir to muster a- the mail route I'rom Blue Earth City 
troops and place llitin in advantageous and .(ackson to l.uverne, Sioux Falls and 
positions to cope with the wily red foe. Yankton. 'J'n this (hiy evidence of the 
In the meantime the Indians carried on ulij inad can he seen in places, 
their hrutal warfare, murdering men, 'riic savages were soon subdued after 
women and children, anil burning as ti'oops were placed in the Held, Ijut for 
they Weill. Alter considei'alile dehiy the a nuiiilier of veai's the settlers on the 
Indians were driven back, soldiers were extreme frontier lived in a state of con- 
placed all through this western country, stant fear and anxiety, not knowing at 
and tlie prairies weri' constantly patroll- whal time the scenes of ISIiv' might be 
III by com|)anies which wei-e detailed lepeated. Soldiers were kept on the 
for this service. frontier for some time, and some of 
'The expeditions against the hostile ihem uci-e among the first settlers to 
Sioux lesulted in Xobles county being take up tlieii- homes in the new country 
frii|uently visited by militarv |)arties. when peace was assured, not a few se- 
()n one occasion a roi-<-e under Ceneral beting their claims while here in the 
Thomas puisiied a baiiil of tlie liostiles service. \Mien peace was cstablislied on 
to the shm-cs of Okabena lake and be- ihc border, settlement again began — de- 
yond. For convciiieme in operating -tiiieil this time to be |)ermanent — and 
against the savages inilitar\ roads were ihe fi'iinlii f line moved westward very 
construdiil in iliirereiil paii^ ol' the rapidl). 

connlry. Due oi the nuiin thoroughfares During the first halt of the sixties the 
was through Xobles county, extending settlement did not extend so far west as 
from .lackson to the present site of Tni- Xobles county, if we ex])cct a few trap- 
verne and on to Yankton. .Vnother one. peis who regularly plied their trade heri'. 
coming fioin Blue Harth City, united .\ iVw ,,{ these Imill shanties, which 
with this oil section 'i', . (irabani Lakes thcv oi'i-npied during the trap|iing sea- 
township. The road rnmi .lackson cross- son. Tliev would llien de])arf to their 
ed [jersey township, tia\ersing it in a homes farther ea-t or south and dispose 
iioi lliweslerly il i reel ion. it ci-o>seil .lack oF lliiii' calcli. .Sometimes they would 
creek and entend Crabam Lakes town- vciuiii lo tbe trapping grounds of Xo- 
slii|) in section .'31, coiiliiiiied in a iimtli- Mes eountv the next season; sometimos 
westerly direction to its junction with Ibev would not. in no sense of the 
the other trail on section 'i'i. ami then wm-d cmild they he called permanent set- 
bore to the >outhwest. It passed tlirougli tiers, Tbev neither laid claim to land 
the nortbern part of V.Ik and Sumiiiit (cxcepi under the unuritleii law goverii- 
l.ake townships and entered Larkiii a ing trapping rights) nor intended to 
short distance southeast of the present make their homes here. On the other 
village of Wilmont. Fyarkin townsbip band, while those first settlers who came 
wa.s traversed, the mad leaving it at in tbe earlv summer of lSli7 also en- 



gageil principally in trapping for a liv- 
liliood, they were permanent settlers;, and 
the settlement of the eoimty may pro- 
perly be said to date from that time. 
They came to build permanent homes for 
themselves and engage in agricultural 
pursuits so soon as conditions would per- 
mit, and they all took land claims. Their 
trapping was done because of neeessitv, 
not because they \^•cre trappers. 

When the settlers of 18G7 a|)peared 
they came as pioneers to a new country. 
Practically all trace of the former occu- 
pation had disappeared, and the only evi- 
dence found were a few trappers' shacks 
and dugouts. These early settlers knew 
nothing, or very little, of the people who 
had preceded thiMii. .-d cniupletely had the 
efforts at ci\iliz:ition been oblitei-ated. 
and few pcx)ple today know that there 
were settlers jirior to LSGT. 

For evidence of occupation of .Xohles 
county prior to the arrival of the settlers 
of 1S()7 I am under obligations to Judge 
B. W. Woolstencroft, nnw <if Hlayton, 
who became a resident of the count v 
July 4, IStiT. In his occu])alions of 
hunter, trajiper and surveyor he visited 
nearly all parts of the county in the 
early da\s, and knows whereof he speaks. 
The evidence of this letter and other 
sources of information lead to the be- 
lief that e\'iden(i' of foi'iner occupation 
had almost completely disappe;ir<'d. 
Judge Woolstencroft writes: 

8lavti)n. .Minn.. .Innc 24. 1IM»7. 
Ifr. A. P. Roii*., 

Woithington. Jlinn. 
Dear Sir: — So far as 1 l<now, and am i)f 
the opinion that no one l<no\vs Ijetter, IIiitc 
was no settlement in Xol)les county prior to 
1807— no village laid ,ivit or platted. 1 re- 
member seeing an old maj). upon wliicli 

'•"Early settlers also report the tinding of 
evidence of a trappers' camp in Klk township, 
on Elk creek, which had probably been in 
existence from an early date. 

"Mtich confusion has resulted of the 
peculiar naming of this road, which was 

(iretchtown was marked as being located 
near llie south end of West Graham lake, 
but there was no evidence of a plat or set- 
tlement when I came to the county. 

There was a trapper's shanty on' section 22, 
on the southwest bank of West Graham, and 
one on what has been called "the Island." 
These were made by digging two or three 
feet ill the groun<l, the walls built uj) of 
logs and covered with brush, hay and earth. 

There was also a trapper's shanty on the 
east bank of Gcheyedan lake and one on 
Indian lake, but I do not know the e.xaet 
location of the latter. These were all the 
evidences of settlement prior to lS(i7. 

Yours truly. 


When the civil war closed, railroads — 
those great civilizers — began reaching out 
and intirlocking through the Northwest. 
For ilinnesota this was the starting 
jtoiut of. such an era of rapid gi-owtii 
ami . development as w as the marvel of 
the times. The iron bad ivached 
the eastern ]iart of southwrslern Minne- 
sota late in the sixties, and e.-iriv in the 
next decade railroads were built through 
and beyo7id these counties. It was in 
!sn that the (irst railroad was built 
into Nobles county, altliougli the road 
\ias projected and the preliminary sur- 
vey made as early as ISGG. This was 
done by the Minnesota Valley Uailrnad 
company, which later became the St. 
Paul & Sioux City and the Sioux Citv 
& St. I'aul.'' The line of tlie proposed 
road eniei'ed Nobles county in section 13, 
(iraliam l^akcs township, and passed in 
;i southwesterly dii-eetion between the two 
Graham lakes. It left the township at 
section ;il. passrd through the northwest 
corner of liersey and into Worthington 
township, enntinning its general south- 
western direction, going along the north 
and west side of West Okabena lake. 

the snuthern end was officially known as the 
Sioux City it St. Paul. They were to all in- 
tents one road, owned by the same people and 
managed by the same officers, 
luiilt from St. Paul to I.eMars. The northern 
portion was the St. Paul & Sioux City, while 

44 MisiMin- oi' \()i;i.i-:>; fDrxTV. 

The route thus surveyed wsi? nnirli Ion- A coiintiv through which railroad sur- 

ger tiian the one linailv (li'ti(k'il on. Af- vevs arc bt-ing made is not destined to 

tcr the hind grant hail Iw'en secured — al- remain long without settlers, and tiic 

ternate sections in a strip of counUv on year ISiW; marks the eh)se of an era. 

each side of the survey — the route was At that time there was not a settler in 

changed to the shorter one. over which tlie county. Xobles had not yet been 

tlie Chicago, St. Paul. Minneapolis & divided into townships and smaller di- 

Oinalia is now operated. visions, it was an untamed country. 


EARLY SETTLEMENT — 1807-1871. 

Facts supplying the context of tlic 
preceding chapter lead to the conclusion 
that the settlement of southwestern Min- 
nesota, and particularly Nobles county, 
was exceedingly slow. Obstacles to its 
development were encountered that tried 
men's souls. Few communities in these 
Ignited States have been called upon to 
pass through struggles such as were en- 
countered by the early settlements (or 
settlers, rather) of southwestern Minne- 
sota. The hardy pioneers would push 
their way to tlie frontier and establish 
themselves nicely when the war who<ip 
would resound over the prairies. Then ■ 
the country would have to be abandoned, 
and the savages would remain in control 
until ihe oncoming tide of iuunigrants 
would again force its way westward. 

After this civil war was brought to a 
close immigration to the western states 
was large, and it was during this ]ieri()d 
that permanent settlement was made in 
Nobles county. It was in the month of 
June, 18G7, that Nobles county received 
its tirst settler. There is always some- 
thing connected with the settlement of a 
country that interests. Often there is a 
tendency on the part of the ehronieler 
to paint, polish and varnish the stories 
of early days. Sometimes those who 
were the ]}rinfipal actors in the drauui 
enacted are unable to recognize them- 

'For sketch of the life of Stephen Muck see 

selves or their pai't in the play. It is 
my intention to steer clear of this error 
and avoid fiction in dealing with the 
eiU'ly day events, and to rely solely upon 
the facts to make the narrative interest- 

The beautiful (iraham lakes cduntry 
was the tir^t portion of the county to 
receive settlers. They were attracted by 
the natural beauty of the jjlace, as well 
as the fact that there were about sev- 
enty-five acres of timber on the lakes — ■ 
an important item to tlie first settlers. 
On the 19th day of June, 1SG7, Stephen 
and Joseph ^tuck (brothers) cauu' from 
Jackson and decided to nuike their 
homes in the beautiful lake country. 
Joseph Muck had resided at Jackson for 
many years, having been there at tlie 
time of the Spirit Lake massacre in 
18.57; Stephen Miick^ was a recent ar- 
lival. "I'he former had visited the Gra- 
ham lakes country prexiously and knew 
of its advantages. Arriving there, the 
brothers appropriated the old trapper's 
shanty on section 22, nu:'ntion of which 
has been made before. 

The land had not yet been surveyed, 
but these pioneers of pioneers were not 
to be deterred from becoming land own- 
ers because of that fact. Each laid claim 
to a homestead by "squatter's rights." 
Jose])h ^luck staked his claim on the 

biOErraphical section. 



llls■|■(l|;^■ oi-- Mii;i.i:s (dlXTV. 

south liaiik ol \\ i si (inilmiii hiko. wIulIi, 
when siirvfveil, proved to be llie soutli- 
tast quarter of section "21. Graham IjaUcs 
township. His hnitlicr laid claim to 
land on the cast hank of tlic lake, wliiili 
jnoved to he tlie northeast ((iiartcr of 
the northwest quarter and lots one and 
two. nf section 2'i. consisting of i:J3 
acres. TJie hrolhcrs al once plowed a 
(v\\ ai-i-cs of liiiiil. whii'li tlicy planted to 
corn.- Then tliev returned to Jackson 
to attdid to their harvest there. In the 
fall tlicy returned In their claims. Jos- 
e])h .Muck was accompanied by his fam- 
ily, and Stephen Muck by his five child- 
ren — Agnes, Klizabetli. .Iaiue>. flmina 
and Charles.^ 

Refnre the .Muck families cami' tliat 
fall, bowevir, a few other settlei's had 
come for llio pui-pose of aeqiiirinu' houies 
in the new couiitiT. While the .Miuks 
were at work on their <laims in dune. 
.Iiilin Hai-nctt and Mariiu llice. formcrlv 
of Fillmore county. Minn., arrived on 
the scene. Findinfi the land unsurvcyed. 
tlu>y were unwilling to locate lest they 
should happen to get on <ul(l ninnbered 
sections, which under the land grant bad 
become the property of the railroa<l cmn- 
pauy. 'rii(y starlcil oui with llic Mucks 
on their return trip tn .lackson during 
the first days oi' July. 

At the outlet o.f Heron laki' llii- parl\ 
was met by Benjamin W. Woolsteucrort.' 
formerly of Clayton counly. Iowa, aiul 
hi.- bi(ithcr-in-law. Charier- II. hrury. 
foi'iueriy of fillmiirc enunly. Minn., 
who were al-o nn llieir wav west lookinsj; 

for lumus in tlie unsettled sections. 
'I' two infoiined Messrs. Bariiett and 
I?ice that congress liad made provisions 
for the protection of "s(|uatters" who 
might locate on I'ailroad land. They 
were convinced, and all four set out 
for Graham lakes, while the Mucks con- 
tinued their journey to Jackson. The 
p:!rty (if four arrived on July I. and 
all immediately staked claims. 

ifr. Woolstencroft located on the 
northeast bank of the west lake, which 
was afteiwards found to Uv the soulh- 
ea>t quarter of section I'l. .Mr. Hrury 
lo-;k land on the east baidc of the cast 
lal<e. wbii'ji was the southeast quarter of 
-eel ion 'i'.i. l.alei' in the vear he brought 
in his family. Mr. liice took tlie east 
half of the northeast ipuirter of section 
IT), anil Mr. Ilaiiietl ihe noilheasl i|nar- 
ler of <eelnin H. I'^ach of these four 
creeteil log cabins.'' ))ut up a small 
aniinint of hay and did some little break- 
ing. .\ It lough ilessrs. Kice and Bar- 
nett had uutde improvements on their 
claims, they deserted them after a short 
time and did not relnin to tlii' countv'. 
r>. F. TanniT arrived in llic settle- 
nieiil in Jul) with bis faniilv ami se- 
lected the islaiul in Faist Ci' lake a:. 
his claim, imt made ii" improvements 
tliereon. .\ few iniii-i honu'seckers ar- 
rived in the fall, and the little settle- 
ment began to lake on Ihe aii's of civili- 
zatiiui. (). H. Lacy canu' and took up 
land in section 'i'i. but did not uuike 
inipri.\( menls. K. J. ('lark ai'riveil Xov. 
■.'(I. and II. M. Tanner Ihe same uKintli. 

'A (lUvstion lia.s \tvvn r.Uscd as to wlui was 
the lirst man It) put plow in Nobles count.v 
son. thf claim of one of the carl.v settlers of 
the IntHan lake coiintr.v ha\'iri^ been advanced, 
'rhere was no .settlement there whatever prior 
to 18651. and the fact that plowhiK was done In 
the Graham lakes <'Oiinty in 1S67 is beyond 
dispute. The honor belongs to the Muck 
brothers. If we leave out of the consideration 
the po.sslbillty that the carllei- settlers may 
have engaged in agricultural pursuits. 

■'Xow resiiles at Kinbrae. 

'See bioi;raphlcal section. 

■■■In the fall Mr. Woolstencroft learned that 
his house had been "removed" by one of his 
neighbors, and. therefore, he was eomiielled to 
delay the remr)val of his family until spring. 
at which time the neighbor "made kckhV by 
furnishing another and bettcj^ let .if lo^s than 
these he had taken. 



Jnlin T-eitz and family aiTiveil in tlio 
fall and .seltk'd on tliL- claim wliicli lia(T 
hreii deserted by John Barnett. An- 
ntluT arrival of tlio year was W. H. 
Ingles. This com])k'tos the list nf all 
who came to the settlement durinij the 
vear. .MI of these did imt [jass the 
wint<'i' in their now homes, as several 
went out to make arrangements for 
liringing in their families or to remain 
awav permanently. Those who pa.ssed 
the winter of 1SG7-8 in Nobles county 
were ("lias. II. Drury and family, Steph- 
en Muck am! ejiildren, Joseph iluek 
and family. B. F. Tanner and family. 
John Leitz and family and 0. B. Lacy. 
All of the early settlers of Nobles 
county took land with the idea of ulti- 
mately engaging in farming, and most 
of tliem did so. But conditions were not 
pi-opitious for carrying on agricultural 
pursuits in anything but a meagre style. 
Here was a mere handful of men gath- 
ered togetliei' a long distance from civ- 
ilization and all that goes to make life 
comfortable. The nearest market was 
.lackson. a little inland luunlet on the 
frontier itself. There the Graham lakes 
settlers had to -go for their flour and 
other necessities of life. There were no 
thi-e>liing nuuliines in the country, and 
the nearest flouring mill was miles away. 
It would have been uniirofitable business 
to raise small grain, which could not 

"Big game was also quite plentiful fur a few 
years after the first settlers arrived, and oc- 
casionally some of it would be bagged for 
food. The bison had nearly all left the coun- 
try by the time these settlers arrived, but 
Nobles county's prairies were thickly covered 
with his l>leeching bones, and his wallows 
were seen in all parts of the county, indicat- 
ing that this had been a favorite pasture 
ground. So far as I have been able to learn, 
only two bison in native state were ever seen 
in the county after settlers arrived. These 
two were seen by B. W. Woolstencroft on the 
pr.'nrie at a distance. But quite a band of 
them undoubtedly had their home here during 
the summer of 18fi8, On land in Seward town- 
ship which is now the farm of W. H. Booth 
was found evidence that a herd of forty or 
fifty had spent the season there. The camp- 

luive been threshed and could not have 
liceu taken to market except after a 
long and rough journey. 

So the pioneers contented themselves 
with raising potatoes, corn and garden 
truck for their own immeiliate needs, 
and that was the extent of farming op- 
erations the first four years. Countless 
hardships were endured during these 
\ears. Almost witlmut exception, the 
settlers were jiooi- men. who had been 
attracted to the new comiti'y because of 
the desire to hecomc the ijw iiers of 
lionu's. Without means to accomiilisli 
this in the settled portions of thV-, coun- 
trv. thev resolutely pushed out onto the 
frontier, where free homes could be se- 
cured under the homestead laws. 

Not being able to earn a livlihood at 
farming because of the inconveniences 
before mentioned, they tui'iu'd thiir en- 
ergies in another directitui. The conn- 
ti'V was literally alive with small fur- 
bearing animals, including niusl<i'ats, 
fo.xes, martens, mink, badgers and 
skunks, and the taking of their furs of- 
fered profitable employment.'' So the 
farmer settlers became trap])ers. Inex- 
perienced in the art of setting traps, 
they had no easy task. They were often 
cauiihl in tlie blizzai'd iinles from home, 
sometimes being on the prairie during 
an entire storm, where nothing but cour- 
age and physical strength could save 

ing place and wallows were foumi, tint if 
the herd itself was seen it not rt-portcd. 
Elk were here in more con.siderable numbers 
and remained for several years. In all parts 
of the count.v they were found. The first set- 
tlers in the Indian lake conntry saw many of 
them, and old settlers of that neighliorhood 
report h.aving seen them in bands of 100 or 
more, and they freriuently dined on elk 
meat. One of the Graham lakes settlers has 
told me that he counted a band of seventy- 
two at a point four miles north of the pres- 
ent village of Worthington. So late as 1.S72 
and 1873. after the settlers had begun i)onring 
in by the hundreds, elk were occasionally 
seen by the colonists who had made their 
homes on the prairies. Only on rare occasions 
were deer seen, a few having been reported 
seen in the Indian lake country. 



tlu'iii. Bin ill tiim- all bccaiiie expert 
trappers. Generally the market for I'ur 
was good, and thousands of dollars worth 
was taken during the season. 

During the months of July and Au- 
gust, 1867, the county was divided into 
townships by a party of surveyors. This 
|)roved of little benefit to the settlers, 
however: hut next year the section 
lines wcrr run. ami tlu'rcal'ti'r Jininrstead- 
ers were alili' Id deliiiitcly loi-atc llieir 

Dui'ing llic >iiiiinifi' of ISli; a mail 
route was estal)lisheil frnni Blue Hartli 
Citv to Yankton' over the old military 
trail, wliii'li ])a-;seil tlirougli the (iraliam 
lakes settlement. TIk" line was then 
complete from the ^lississippi In tlii' 
Missouri. I'liilo Ilawes was the couti-ai- 
tnr. and '"Stiu'ruy .Tack"" Grier was the 
mail carrier." In January. 18(iS, a post- 
olfice was estal)lislied for the benefit of 
the settlei's, and ('has. II. Di'ui-y became 
the county's first postmaster, lie was 
succeeded by TT. C. Ifallett. who also 
"kept tavern" in a log hut.'' In 1874 
the office was moved to tlir liome of X. 
IT. Smitli. on section iJ-l. and that gen- 
llrman served as postmaster until the 
office was discontinued in ISTll. Then 
the Graham lakes settlers were su|)]ilie(l 
from the Airlie (Kinbrae) office. 

There wore only a U'w additiims to 
the settlement in LSIIS. .lobu Woolsten- 
croft arrived in the Graliam lakes settle- 

''riii.s was an I'Xtetisitm u( th<- old i-out'» 
from R<'d VVlnK to Blue lOarth City, wliicli 
was oponed In IRSG. and of which Philn 
1-Iawes was the contractor. The ctmntr.v be- 
tween those towns wa.s ttien as wild as was 
Nobles county during ISfi". and there was onl.v 
one .stopping place along the route. 

•"One thing we must not forget to mention, 
and that is the mall route. I'nder the man- 
agement of Philo Hawes. It was one of the 
institutions of which we felt proud, and the 
many acts of kindness bi-stowed by the (•i)n- 
tractor will never be forgotten by Ih:it band 
of pioneers." — .\n lOarly Si'ttler. 

•A party of the National colony founders 
who spent the night there in 1S71 reported 
that Mr. Hallett Informed them that for- 

niiiit June ".; and settled on the claim 
that hail been deserted the year before 
by .Martin Ifiee. Jnl,,i .\nseiiiuli and 
family came that year, ami possibly a 
few others joined the band on (iraham 
lakes. Ill March the lirst white child 
born in the county arrived on the scene. 
She was Minnie licitz, daughter of Mr. 
and Mrs. John Leitz.'" 

'I'lie Okabena lake cduntry received 
Its lirst settlers on Se|iteinber 'il. ISGS, 
when W. .\. (Andv) Dillmaii." Frank 
l-i]iiiier and .Inlin WIImih. tra|i|iers came 
and erected a sod and log shanty on the 
east bank of East Okabena lake. Fortnor 
r'liiained (uilv two da\s, and then re- 
turned to Kliie l-;ailli City. Wilson 
staved a niiintli. and llien be. too. re- 
tiiiiieil 111 lllue I'lartli City. Dillman, 
biiwever. rrmaiiieil until Cbristnias. and 
be was rewarded with a tine catch of 
furs. .\round the Okabena lakes and 
the sloughs in the vicinity wei'e many 
kinds of fur bearing animals. During 
the three months be was there ^Ir. Dill- 
man secured about l.tmii miiskrat, Vi 
fox. fi\e mink and several other hides. 
Thesi' he ilis|iosed of at Jaeksnii and 
Spirit hake. lie then depart 'I I'nr the 
settlements farther east, but |-elurneil 
In Xiibles county early the ne.xt year.'- 

'I'lie running of the section lines dur- 
ing the fall of IStiS was an item of 
great importance to the ])eople then liv- 
ing in the county. Before that event the 

inerly he had kept the mail in his hat. but 
that recently the busini'ss bad grown so that 
a drawer was necessar.v. and that there was 
a prospect of his salary being raised to $10 
a year. 

"The first male child horn In the county 
was Arthur A. Woolstencroft. born July 20. 
18fi9. the son of Mr. and Mrs. H. \V, Wool- 

"See biographical section. 

'=Mr. Dillman Informs me that during his 
residence here in ISfiS his nearest neighbors, 
excepting the settlers of Oraham lakes, were 
two families who lived where 1 ake Park, Iowa, 
now is. and two or three families who were 
located on Rock Creek, in Rock county. 



settlers held their hind by "'squatter's 
rights;" now they were enabled to defi- 
nitely locate their lands and make their 
filings ill the goveniment land ofFice at 
Jackson. Under contract, dated Aug. 
3, 1868, Surveyors E. H. L. Jewett and 
G. G. Howe undertook the work of 
making the survey. Accompanied by a 
man named Howard, they at once en- 
tered upon their duties, and from Aug. 
27 to Oct. 29 they were engaged in sur- 
veying the section lines and marking 
the corners of all the townships except 
the western tier.^^ The foiir townships 
on the western border were surveyed by 
R. H. L. Jewett, under contract of July 
30, 1869, during the fall of that year." 

There is no evidence that Indians ever 
had their permanent villages located on 
Nobles county soil, but such may have 
been the case. For a few years after the 
first settlers came, however. Indians were 
liermanently domiciled here. In Sep- 
tember, 1868, a band of seven or eight 
families came down from tlie Pembina 
countrv (from the Minnesota side of the 
river), and spent the fall trapping on 
Graham lakes. Part of fhc Indians 
were full lilooded Sioux; the others' were 
Iiair l>rci'ds (English and Chippewa). 

Although perfectly friendly, tlieir ar- 
rival ci'oated something of a stir, and 
at least one young man will remember 
them during his lifetime. He was the 
son of .Tolm Anscomb, one of the set- 
tlers of Graham lakes. He was return- 
ing from the postoflFice when he came 
suddenly upon a number of teepees erect" 
ed immediately in his patliway. He had 
pas.sed over the road le^^s tlian an hour 

"The surve\'K of the towpshJDS v:(re 
riHde a.s follows: Hersey. .'Vus. 27-Sei)t. 1; 
Reward. Sept. 1-4; Blonii. Sent. 4-7: WIllTiont. 
Sept. S-10: Larkin, Sept. ll-l.^i: Summit Lake, 
Sent. 1.5-lS: Elk. Sept. 19-2.f; Worthingtoii. 
Sept. •23-2fi; Dewakl. Sept. 2B-.30: Olnev. Sept. 
•fO-Oct. 2; Little Rock. Oct. S-fi; Ransom, Oct. 
7-10; Bigelow, Oct. 12-16; Indian Lake, Oct. 

before, and his surprise was great. Ter- 
ror lent wings to his feet, and he lost 
no time in getting home. He left the 
road, waded the outlet of Jack lake, 
where the water was up to his chin, and 
came on a run to his father's place, his 
eyes bulging, and so out of breath that 
he could with difficulty tell of his find. 
.Messrs. Anscomb and B. W. Woolsten- 
croft set out at once to investigate. They 
found the Indians to be friendly and in 
possession of passes from the agent, per- 
mitting them to leave the reservation 
and to hunt and trap. 

The Indians spent a few months in 
the vicinity, and then returned to their 
northern homes. The next year they re- 
turned and made their camp on the west 
sliore of Ocheyda lake. They spent the 
winter of 1869-70 there. They were on 
very friendly terms with the whites, and 
more than one of the pioneer settlers 
could vouch for their hospitality. An- 
other band of Indians and half breeds 
made their home for a while on Indian 
lake. They had their tepees in the tim- 
ber of the lake when the first settlers 
located there in 1869, and were there 
two years. There were seventeen fami- 
lies of them, and they spent their time 
in trapping and hunting. Their rela- 
tions with the few whites there were al- 
ways friendly. 

More settlers arrived in 1869. In the 
spring of the year came H. L. Wallace, 
B. B. Brain and several others to the 
Graham lakes country. W. A. Dillman, 
accompanied by Aaron Fortner, returned 
(o the county in February to resume 
trapping operations. They took up their 

l.')-2(l: Lorain, Oct. 20-22; Graham Lakes. Oct. 

"The dates of survey of these four town- 
shiiis were as follows: Westside, Aug. 30- 
Sopt. 4; Grand Prairie. Sept. 6-11; Leota. Oct. 
l-K; Lismore, Oct. 7-13. 



abode on the east shore of Ocheycla lake, 
taking possession of an old trajipt'i-'s 
shanty which they found at that point. 
They remained there until llio close of 
tlie fur taking season in the S|)ring, and 
made a good cateli. Tiicy divided ter- 
ritory with tiio Indians in the vicinity, 
and were the only whit(> men in the 

To the Indinn iiiko eomilry, in tlie 
southeastern ))iu't of tlie county, came 
a few resolute pioneers in ISGO. who had 
ail the experiences and suffered all tlie 
hardships of first settlers. Although the 
Oraham lakes country had been settled 
for two years, it was some twelve or 
fifteen miles distant, with barren coun- 
try intervening, and there was no in- 
tercour-se between the two communities. 
The Indian lake settlement was as iso- 
lated as had liecn that of Graham lakes 
two years before. 

Isaac TTortoii was the first in take a 
claim in the Indian lake country. Tie 
had moved to Spirit Lake in 1867, and 
during that year had visited Indian lake 
while on a hunting trip. He liked the 
looks of- the country and decided that 
some day lie would make his home there. 
On May fi he filed on land on the east 
side of Indian lake, and on October .S 
he moved his family there. About the 
middle of May, Henry Brayton, accom- 
panied by his family, came to the same 
vicinity and selected land on the west 
side of the lake, on section HI. There 
was at that time not an iiihabilant 
within many miles, and Mrs. Brayton 
was the pioneer white woman of In- 
dian Lake towmship. dias. W. Bullis 
also came that, spring and took a liome- 
.stead. I?. L. Erskine and fainilv. con- 
sisting of a wife and five children, ar- 
rived in the fall and located on the east 
liank of the lake, on tlie northwest quar- 

ter of section 35. Soon after, however, 
lie abandoned that and filed on land in 
section tHj, just to the north of his first 
location. He built a sod house, in whieli 
the family lived for several years. His 
trading point was tlie old town of Mil- 
ford, Iowa. Asal Horton came the 
same year, but departed in 1870. Myrus 
Johnson came in the fall and located on 
the southeast quarter of section 26, and 
made his liomc there until about 1S75. 
A. O. Campbell also eanic that year. 

The surroundings of these few settlers 
were romantic. Surrounding their homes 
were the cam])s of the redskins, who 
were then in that locality. Wolves 
howled in the timber skirting the shore 
of the lake and made night hideous. To 
build their homes lumber had to be 
hauled fri.m ^lankato, iiearlv lOd miles 
away, ov else log and sod shanties had 
to sufl'ice. 

^fany stories of hardships and dan- 
gers encountered by the first settlers have 
been told. An incident of the year 18G0 
is worthy of being placed on record. The 
following is from the pen of B. W. 
Woolsteiicroft : 

Tn Feliniiii-y. ISfiO. a company ennsiitins of 
.Totiii Aii^conib and his son, William, Clias. 
Ilinrs and C. M. Tliompkins (a Quaker wlio 
IkuI Ijotli his fppt frozen off on a former oi'- 
cision) started ont to find a slouj;h in town 
102, range 40 (now Wortliington lownslii])). 
They M'ere not eertain of its whereabouts, 
and did not understand traveling by the sec- 
tion, and eonseqiieiitlv got lost. The second 
day in the morning tliey were overtaken by 
a storm of blinding fury and could only 
guess their course. After wamlering about 
for two days on the prairie they happened 
to find the corner of a section of whicdi I 
had given them a ))lot with the section, 
town and range marked thereon. They then 
knew wlicie they were for the first time in 
two days. They turned their team around 
(for they were going almost directly away 
from home), and, although the ])oor cattle 
had been three days traveling in the snow 
with no roads, nothing to eat but a little 
cornmeal, and were snow blind, they had to 
he driven home to save the livc^ nf the men, 
as thev, too, were -snow blind \\j.h one ex- 



ception, nnd that one nearly so. The won- 
der was that they were not all frozen to 

The siime writer gives anothei' instance 
of adventure in a blizzard the next win- 
ter in which he was personally inter- 
ested : 

The other case was Chas. Derby and the 
writer. We were camped on the bank of 
Summit lake in a small tent. On the ni>rht 
of the 17th of .January, 1 870, a severe storm 
arose and ra<;od for three days and nights. 
The snow drifted terribly, covering the tent 
and crowding it down so that we had no 
i-oom to lay down. On the third night at 
nine o'clock we started home, having been 
ejected, .-o to speak. We had no road, no 
guide, and the thermometer at 27 degrees 
below zero. We got along very well until 
we got into a large slough, where the snow 
was verv loose and deep, and we could find 
no way out for some time. When we did 
my feet were frozen almost solid. We fin- 
ally arrived home about three o'clock in the 
morning. I could enumerate a nnmlier of 
instances of like adventures, b>it these are 
enough to satisfy me. and I judge will sat- 
isfy the reader. 

That winter was an exceptionally se- 
vere one, and "lingered in the lap of 
spring." The settlers suffered severely, 
and many were the narrow escapes from 
death in the storms. Early in March 
occurred one of the big blizzards, which 
lasted six days. This was followed on 
the 21st and 22nd by another severe 
storm, in which three lives were lost — 
the first of several in the county's his- 

On Jfarch 21 there passed through the 
settlement at Graham lakes over the old 
trail two freighting outfits bound for 
Si(ui.x Falls. Three men were in charge 
of these outfits — two Johnsons, father 
and son. and a niari named Sharp. They 
hailed from Lesueur county and were 
freighting flour to the Dakota settle- 
ment. When the storm struck fear for 
the safety of the freighters was felt by 
the people of Graham lakes. On the 
23rd, the storm having abated, the whole 

community turned out to search for the 
strangers. That day the bodies were 

It appears that the storm had struck 
them when they had reached a point in 
Seward township, seven miles west of 
Graham lakes. They camped there that 
night, and the next day set out on their 
journey. Seven or eight miles farther 
„rest— in the township of Bloom— Sharp 
was stricken. His dead body was found 
beside those of his horses. Two miles 
farther on the Johnsons unhitched their 
team and tied the horses to the sled. 
Both were overcome by the blizzard and 
met death. The body of the elder man 
was found wrapped in bed quilts about 
two rods from the sled. The body of 
the son was discovered between that of 
the father and the sled. 

Two months after this disaster came 
another event of thrilling interest. In 
May, 1870, the settlers about Graham 
lakes were electrified by the rumor that 
the Indians were coming to "wipe them 
out," and although the rumor proved 
groundless there were exciting times 
among the little band. The scare was 
originated by John Leitz and Lyman 
Oaks, the latter from Cottonwood county, 
who went to New Ulm to dispose of 
their fur, the product of their winter's 
trapping. While there they were enter- 
tained with stories of the 1802 massacre, 
and on the way*liome they allowed their 
imagination to work to an extent suf- 
ficient to make them see Indians all 
over the prairie. Immediately upon 
their return they .spread the alarm and 
succeeded in creating considerable ex- 

Some were in favor of abandoning the 
settlement and leaving for a more civil- 
ized community, others to stay and fight 
it out. The latter prevailed, and a com- 


nTf^TOTJ^' ol' \<M!LES COUNTY. 

pany was organized to defend their 
homes. S. Hi. Harris was chosen captain, 
John Cnnninghani, first lieutenant; B. 
W. W'dolstencroft, second lieutenant; B. 
V. 1'anncr, sergeant. It was decided to 
fortifv the island in East Graham lake, 
and to accomplish this to builil a stock- 
ade acro.=s the two narrow strips ol' lund 
connecting it with the jnain land, and 
work was at once commenced to that 

The captain and first lieutenant de- 
tailed themselves to go to Jackson for 
aminiinition (which may not look very 
niiliiary: nevertheless it is true), leav- 
ing the command in the hands of Sec- 
ond Lieutenant Woolstencroft and Ser- 
geant Tanner. The officer in command 
was taken sick, the weather was exceed- 
ingly warm, and the men preferred sit- 
ting in the shade and telling stories to 
building stockades. So the work lagged. 
Lieulenant Woostencroft recovered some- 
what from his sick spell, returned across 
the lake, and took charge of the opera- 
tions. Work was at once resumed, but 
the hot weather had overcome the fright 
of the workers, and their work plainly 
showed that they were beginning to 
doubt the stories told by Oaks and Leitz. 

Their scepticism was short lived. 
About five o'clock in the evening Emma 
Muck, a girl of some fourteen years, 
who lived with her failicr on the east 
bank of West Graham lake, arrived on 
the scene and told the men she had seen 
five Indians on the west bank of tin- 
lake. The men required no one to urge 
them to work from that time, and more 
work was done from that moment un- 
til nightfall than during the whole dav 
previous to that time. B. W. Woolsten- 
croft and E. J. Clark mounted the only 

"Onp of the memtiPT's nt this plnni'i>r mili- 
tary company has facotioiialy remarked: "For 
this service we never received any pay; and 

horses in the place, except the team that 
had been taken to Jackson, and scoured 
the country west of the lakes, with the 
result that they found five sand hill 
cranes. This relieved the tension some- 
what, but that Indians might be in the 
country and on tiie war path had not 
liicn disproved. 

The suggestion that tlie settlers of 
Cottonwood county, living at liake Tal- 
ent t and nil the Dos Moines river, should 
1)0 notified was acted upon. .V courier 
took a horse, and, going first to lake 
Talcott, eight miles away, notified John 
Crapsoy's people, then rode down the 
river two miles and notified the Doore 
brothers. The latter came over the next 
morning, joined the company, and did 
excellent service in telling stories. By 
the time the Ciiptain and first lieuten- 
ant bad rcturncil frnm .Tacksnn the rest 
of the company bad worked upon Leitz 
and Oaks to a point wbei'e they were 
willing to admit that most of the story 
was imairinatiou. The stockade was 
never completed. The work was so ad- 
vaiici>d, liowever. that less than nne 
day's wcu'k would have put it in shape 
tn bnld it against niiv iiumbi'v of Jii- 
di:iiis. 'I"he coiii[)any was dislianded, 
lliiinkriil that tlic Indian scare bad 
been conducted without Indians.'"' 

Tlie ]ioople of Nobles county did imt 
put in all their time having experiences 
in blizzards ami |ilni)ning defense against 
Indians. bn\\e\cr. Most of the settlers 
were nf rrh'ginns and social disposition, 
:inil njir nf tlieir first cnnsidcratiniis was 
religious worship. In the spi-ing of 1S70 
John Crapsey, a Lutheran preacher who 
bad located on Crapsey lake in Cntton- 
\Miiiil comity — only a short distance from 
the Crahani lakes settlement — was in- 

I h;i\'e not heard of .-myone who received pen- 
sions for wounds I'ccelvod or Injm'les Incurred.",' 


Looking Down Main Street from Ttiird Avenue, Wliere the State Bank of Worlhini>ton 

Now Stands. 

\\c.M<iHI.\C.ION sjKl.iJ SCI-NL. 19UH 
Sfiowing ttie Same Block Tliirty-four Years Later. 



strumental in organizing the first Sun- 
day school in Nobles county. The school 
was held in a combination sod and log 
shanty on the island, the home of B. 
F. Tanner. Nearly all the settlers at- 
tended the meetings of the school, the 
average attendance being about 25 or 
30. John Crapsey was superintenderut ; 
Mrs. B. F. Tanner, assistant superin- 
tendent and primary teacher; S. E. 
Harris, bible class teacher. 

By an act of tlie legislature, approved 
March 7, 1870, the counties of Nobles 
and Eock were detached from the county 
of Martin, with wliich they had formerly 
been attached for judicial purposes. Pro- 
vision was made for holding court in 
Jackson county, and the two counties to 
the west were attached to that county'" 

The first federal census after settlers 
arrived in the county was taken in 1870. 
According to it there were 117 people 
residing in the county on the first day 
of June.^'^ Of these, 108 were native 
born ; nine were foreign born. Of the- 
108 native born, 2.5 were born in Min- 
nesota, 19 in New York, 14 in Wiscon- 
sin, eight in Illinois, one in Ohio, and 
41 in other states. Of the nine for- 
eign born, three were bom in Greait 
Britain, two in British America, two in 
Germany, one in Ireland and one in 
Sweden. Of the total population 63 
were males and 54 females. Of the 
adult population (over 21 years of age), 
the sexes were evenly divided, there be- 
ing 36 of each. 

Eumors that a railroad was to be 
built through Nobles county within a 
short time were responsible for a com- 
paratively large settlement during the 
year 1870. The Graham lakes and In- 

dian lake countries received the bulk 
of this immigration, but a few jjusheil 
out a little farther and made settlement 
in what are now Seward, Hersey and 
Bigelow townships. Being obliged to de- 
pend wholly upon the memory of the 
few surviving settlers of the early days 
(and memory is a fickle thing at best,) 
it is impossible to give a complete list 
of the arrivals. 

Among the first comers of tiie yrar 
were two parties from Eochester, Minn, 
both of whom arrived at Graham lakes 
on May 15. The p)arties were composed 
of J. II. Cunningham, E. W. Hessel- 
rotli, Eichman Morton, Chet. Cutting, 
Stephen Howell and a Mr. Stanfield. 
These men were on their way to Sioux 
Falls, looking for homes in the new 
western .country, and were traveling 
ovgr file old trail. When Jack creek 
was reached the party was met by 11. ('. 
Hallett, who advised them that ithey 
could do no better than cast their lot 
with the people about Graham lakes. Mr. 
Hallett, himself, had arrived only a 
short time before. The new arrivals 
decided to take a look at the country. 
They did so, and all except Stanlidd 
tiMik claims in what later became Gra- 
liam Lakes township. He remained in 
the s(.'ttlement about a monith and then 
returned to his old home. Capt. J. W. 
Miller came in June and settled near 
Graham lakes. A man named Bent 
came in the fall and located on section 
10 of the same township. Other seittlers 
of that year were Benjamin Harrison, 
S. E. Harris, Wm. H. Brown, W. G. 
Brown, .7. W. Palmer and John Hart.'' 
Nearly all these brought families with 
them. Three settlers, one of whom was 

"Nobles remained attached to Jackson un- 
til 1873. when a Nobles county district court 
was established. 

"Other nearby counties: Cottonwood, 5.'!4; 

Murray, 209; Jackson, 1,825. Aiken MiiiPr 
took the Nobles county census. 

""Took homestead in 1870, but did not make 
his permanent home there until the next year. 



\\ m. \V. Cosper, arrived in the fall and 
took claims in Seward towusliip. Ed- 
ward Jierreau toolv up a residuuce iu 
Hersey townsliip that year. 

To the southeastern portion of the 
county in 16 iU also came quite a num- 
ber oJ! settlers, many ol' whom were 
Scandinavians. The fiist of these were 
Ole Ellingson and John Christ Johnson, 
who came in the spring. Closely follow- 
ing these were two brothers, Ole Eauskee 
and Ule A. Fauskee, who filed on claims 
June 8. The former selected land on 
the north shore of Ocheyda lake (the 
northwest quarter of section U) ; tliu 
latter took a preemption claim on the 
same section. The brothers walked into 
Nobles county from a point iu northern 
Iowa, where they had left their families, 
then walked to Jackson, where they 
made their illings, and from tiiere back 
to where tlieir families hud been left. 
They constructed a combination log, sod 
and hay shanty, in which they lived live 
years. '° 

Henry Haggard arrived iu the same 
neighborhood on June 10, and became 
a permanent resident. Eric 15. Paul 
came to the county in May, and iu Au- 
gust took up land. Nelson Coyour located 
at the south end of ludiau lake ou sec- 
tion 34. John ljr<j\Mi took up laud in 
section 26, where he lived until about 
1874. Gundro Joul homesteaded on 
section 18, and lived there until tlio 
late seventies. Grove Lummis, a sin- 
gle man, located on the southwest quar- 
ter of section 20, Iniilt a cabiu, but soon 
after departed. A. A. Abbott took as 
bis claim the northeast quarter of sec- 
tion 28 and became a permanent settler. 
Samuel Barnes took land in tbe vicinity. 
Nels Gilson seftled just over llie line in 
Higelow townsliip. A. M. 'Mcrolhim 

"See biographical section. 

and two boys located at lake Ocheyda., 
just south of tlie isthmus, and Lived in 
a dug-out. Nearly all of these settlers 
in the Indian lake and Ocheyda lake 
countries brought families with them 
and became permanent settlers. Many of 
them are today living upon the land 
they took in that early day. 

The census taken in the spring of 
1870 had shown a population of only 
117 people, but during the remainder of 
the year the emigration had been large, 
and by fall the population had very 
nearly doubled. This large increase and 
the prospects of very rapid settlement in 
the near future, due to knowledge that 
the railroad was coming, brought up the 
question of county organization. The 
act of 1857 creating the county was 
still in force, and all that was necessary 
to bring about the organization was to 
secure the appointment of three com- 
missioners by the governor. 

The matter was first discussed by the 
settlers during the first few days of Oc- 
tober. Nearly all the householders of 
the Graham lakes community had gath- 
ered at the home of H. C. Hallett, who 
was conducting a "house raising." There 
for the first time the matter was dis- 
cussed. There was uo formal meeting, 
no "wliereases" and "therefores;" the 
question was talked over, and afterwards 
a vote on the question was taken. There 
was no opposition, and the settlers tiien 
named Ciias. 11. Drnry. B. \V. W'ool- 
stencroft and IJenjamin Harrison com- 
inissionei's, wlio slioidd take the neces- 
sary steps lo bring about the organiza- 
tion. Mr. Woolstencroft wrote to Gov. 
Horace Austin, stating the facts and 
asking that official to name commission- 
ers who should be empowered to set the 
machinery of county government in mo- 



Governor Aiffitin responded proinjjtly. 
He named as commissioners the three 
gentlemen who had been selected by the 
settlers, and these, in accordance with the 
provisions of section 11 of the act of 
185T, at once proceeded to name the 
other county officers-" and perform the 
other duties of their offices. On Oc- 
tober 27, 1870, the commissioners met 
for the first time at the home of Chas. 
H. Drury, in Graham Lakes township,"^ 
and the government of Nobles county 
was under way. The first acts of the 
board were to make provision for the 
general election to be held in Novem- 
ber, for which notices were ordered post- 
ed; to divide the county into three elec- 
tion precincts — one in Indian Lake and 
two in Graham Lakes; and to appoint 
the county officers. This organization 
was doubtless legal, but to avoid any 
possibility of future trouble, the legis- 
lature on Feb. 17, 1874, passed an act 
declaring the organization legal. -- 

Hardly had the county organization 
been perfected when talk of erecting a 
court house began. S. R. Harris, the 
county auditor, was the prime mover in 
the mattei-, and lie proposed that the 
county should erect a suitable building 
in Graham Lakes township. The com- 
missioners, as well as the people in gen- 
eral, did not approve the idea. They 
held that when the county became set- 

="Fc)r the early political history see chapter 

='Uncler the original act the county seat had 
been named as Gretchtown. But. as there was 
no such place when the organization was per- 
fected (and never had been), the commission- 
ers exercised considerable latitude in the mat- 
ter of selecting a county seat. ,^s a matter 
of fact, there was no county seat during the 
first few years. The county officers (what 
few had any duties to perform) transacted 
the coimtv business at their respective homes. 
T'ntil the' fall of 1871 the board met at the 
home of Chas. H. Drury. Then the residence 
of H. D. Bookstaver became the regular meet- 
ing place. There was no iron clad rule pro- 
viding that the "county seat" should be at 
any particular place, and the meetings of the 
board were held where it was the most con- 

tied, a more central location for the 
county seat would be selected, and that 
it would be folly to erect a county build- 
ing in Graham Lakes township, in the 
extreme northeastern part of the county. 
So no action was taken. 

The winiter of 18^0-71 was another 
one of hardship and suH'ering for the 
settlers of Nobles county. Again was a 
life sacrificed to the terrible blizzard. 
The one called was Mrs. J. \V. Palmer, 
of Graham Lakes township, one of ll;r 
county's most talented and highly re- 
spected women, and her tragic death 
was a terrible shock to the community. 
Mrs. Palmer, who was soon to become a 
mother, was alone with her small chil- 
dren in the family home when the bliz- 
zard struck. Her husband had been 
obliged to make a trip to Lake Sbetek. 
He had made arrangements to have one 
of the neighbor's boys come and stay 
with his wife during his absence, hut 
the boy did not put in an appearauce. 

Mr, Palmer was delayed and was ab- 
sent from home three days. WHien he re- 
turned he found the children in tlic 
house alone. Ho notified the neigh- 
bors, and a search was at once instituted. 
At daybreak the dead body of ]\Irs. Pai- 
mer was found, partly drifted ovci 
with snow, about one hundred rods from 
the house, By following 'the back track 
it was found that she had wandered 

venient. In the proceedings of Jan. 9, 1872. 
was an entry providing that the next meeting 
should be held at the home of J. H. Cunning- 

--".\n act to legalize tiie organization of the 
county of Nobles and to legalize the official 
acts of the officers of said county. 

"Be it enacted by the legislature of the 
state of Minnesota. 

"Section I. That the proceedings for the or- 
ganization of the county of Nobles be and the 
same are hereby declared legalized, and the 
county of Nobles is hereby declared to be a 
legally organized county, and the official acts 
of the officers of said county since its or- 
ganization are hereby legalized. 

"Section II. This act shall take effect and 
be in force from and after its pasage. 

"Approved Feb. 17, 1874." 



about in the storm lor a long time and 
had covered considerable ground. Alone 
and in distress, she had leit home i". 
search ol help, and had miserably per- 
ished in the storm.-" 

In the spring of 1871 a second Sun- 
day school was organized in the Gra- 
ham lakes country, the one started the 
preceding year having been discontinued 
during the winter. The school was held 
in a sod shanty, which had been used by 
surveyors, and which was located on the 
north shore of the east lake. W. if. 
Brown was superintendent and tnught 
one of the classes. E. W'. lies^clrotii 
was the other teacher. 

Public schools were also established, 
for a time supported by subscription. 
The first was held in the open, in the 
shade of a huge elm tree which stood ou 
the island in Cirahani lake. The ])eople 
of the Indian lake country also estab- 
lished a school. A log structure was 
built by the settlers at tlie inlet at tlie 
north end of Indian lake; Miss .Marv 
Jemerson was the first teacher. 

The communities about Graham lakes 
and Indian lake asked for township oi'- 
ganizatious in the spring of 1871, and 
favorable action was taken by the county 
commissioners. These were the only 
townships in tlie county with any con.-^id- 
erable settlement at the time. Graham 
Lakes township has the honor of being 
the first to be granted local government. 
A petition had been circulated and \)vc- 
sented to the board, and on April 11 
that body declared the township for- 
mally organized by Die followinji- pro- 

"An oulKi'owth of this death w.ts onn nf 
the most noted law suits ever originated in 
Nobli'H county, Mr. l^almer brouKht suit 
against AVarren Smith for slander, and after 
a prolonged trial Judgment to the amount of 
$1 was given the iilalnllff. 

"The lakes In the township furnished the 
name. Although 1 have made diligent search 

STATK OF MIXN'KSOIW. (i)unt.v of Nobles. 
Pursuant to the petition of the majority 
of tbe legal voters of township number 104, 
range 3'.1, in said county, we. ttie county 
commissioners of said county, did on the 
lltli day of April, A. D., 1871, at the house 
of W'ni.' If. Brown, in said enunty. proceed 
to fix and determine the boundaries of such 
new town and to name the same, and did 
then and there lay off said town and desig- 
nate the boundaries thereof as follows, to- 
wit: Commencing at the northeast corner of 
section one, township 104; thence west to 
the northwest corner of section si.x. town 
104; thence south to the southwest corner of 
section 31; thence east to the southeast cor- 
ner of section 3G; thenee north to place 
of beginning. 

The petitioners failing to designate the 
name of said town we, the commissioners, 
did name such town Graham I.«kes.=' In 
testimony wlicreof we have hereunto set our 
bands and caused the seal of said board to 
be alVixed this lltb day of April, A. D. 


Attesi : 

Wni. II. Brown, Clerk. 

The people were not slow in perfect- 
ing the township organization. A "town 
meeting" was held at the residence of H. 
(_'. llallett on Friday, April 2], when of- 
Jioers were elec-tcd, and touiishij) govern- 
ment began. The meeting was held in 
compliance with an order of the com- 

The people of the Indian lake country 
were only a few days behind their neigh- 
burs to the north. On March 14 the 
following petition was circulated: 

STAT'K OF MINXIOSOTA. County of Nobles. 
To the Board of County Commissioners of 
Said County: The undersigned legal voters 
of said town in township 101, range 30, in 
said county of Nobles, which said township 
contains twenty-tive legal voters, do hereby 
j.etition your lionorable board to be organ- 
ized as a town, and respectfully request that 
you forthwith proceed to fix and determine 
the boundaries of such town and to name 
the same as provided by law. 

for the origin of the name "Graham," I have 
discovered not the slightest clue. The lakes 
were known by the name they now bear when 
the settlers of IStiT arrived, and no one of 
them has been able to tell me for whom or 
what they were named. It is possiljle that 
they were named in honor of some trapper 
of the early days who operated in the vi- 



Dated this 14th day of March, A. D. 1871. 

[Signed | Isaac Horton, ,T. D. Brown, R. L. 
Erskine, L. \V. Brown, R. G. Brown. .James 
Christianson, Gunder 0. Joul, Frank H. Mosh- 
cr, Cha.s. B. Bullis, .John Haggard. H. M. 
Johnson, .John Haggard, Jr., Ole Ellingson, 
Albert L. Haggard. 

[Addenda] By reiiuest of above legal vot- 
ers we petition that said township 101, raiige 
39, be named Indian Lake. Also that said 
town 101, range 39, be organized with of- 
ficers elected. 

The commissioners acted favorably on 
the petition April 22, and the county's 
second township was organized and nam- 
ed Indian Lake."^ Soon thereafter the 
first town meeting was held and the or- 
ganization perfected. 

Following is a partial list of the set 
tiers of 1871, with the dates of arrival 
and place of settlement, when known :-'• 


A. L. J. Cornish. 
John Hart.-' 
Henry Holmes. 
Michael Maguire. 
Anton Nelson. 
Joseph Stone. 
Peter Swartwoiit. 

^This township also took its name from 
its principal lake. The lake was so named 
by the first settlers because of the fact that 
when they arrived there in 1S69 there was 
quite a band of Indians camped there, who 
remained in the vicinity for several years. 

^Data for the preparation of this list has 
been obtained from many sources — from per- 
sonal interviews, from .a register of early 
settlers prepared by the Nobles County Old 
Settlers' association, from an historical atlas, 
and from the Nobles county poll list for the 
election of Nov. 7, 1871. It has been taken 
for granted that the names on the poll list 
were of men who were residents of the 
county. A few of these may l^ive been set- 
tlers of prior years. A few of those on the 
list came to the county in 1871, took claims, 
but did not become permanent settlers until 
the next year. 

='Took claim in 1S71. Became permanent 
settler in 1872. 

'"Mr. Church came to the county early in 
September and took as a homestead the south- 
west quarter of section 32. His home was in 
Missouri, but during the summer of 1871 he 
had been harvesting in the neighborhood of 
Rochester. Minn. Hearing of the railroad 
building through this part of the state, he 
decided to come and take land. It was his 
intention to take a claim at a point where it 
was believed the Sioux City & St, Paul and 

11. D. Bookstaver. 
S. W. Laythe, May 25. 
Warren Smith. 
Frank Zeiner. 
Englebrith Zeiner. 


Herman Berreau. 

Otto Berreau, June 2. 

John J. Fitch. 

Erastus Church.^* 

Jonathan Gordon, =" May 28. 

William Cunningham. 

Cha.«. Frisbie. 


Will. Dwyer,"" June. 
Robert Firth,=i Sept. 30. 


John B]ixt.^= 

Lars Johnson. 

John 0. Larson^^ 

E. Nordquist, May 23. 

Ole N. Langseth,''* June. 

Nels N. Langseth, June. 

Henry Solomonson,^^ December. 

the Southern Minnesota would cross. He 

walked from Winnebago City to Jackson, and 

then caught a ride to Graham lakes, Mr, 

Church was here eight days in 1871, In 

May of the following year he returned and 
has since made his home here. 

-•Brought his family with him. 
land in section 2, 

Filed on 

^°Mr, Dwyer and his eldest son had come 
from Albert Lea to Nobles county to work on 
the new railroad. In June he filed on the 
southeast quarter of section 10, and that has 
ever since been his home. His family joined 
him in the fall, 

^Homesteaded the northwest quarter of sec- 
tion fi. With him were his wife and four 
sons, R, .-\., William, Joseph and Arthur, They 
came from Whitewater, Wis, 

'-Accompanied by a wife and three sons, 

^Did not become a permanent settler until 
the next year, 

^^Came from Wisconsin with family consist- 
ing of the following children: Nels, Jens. 
Martin, Martina and Olof, 

^'' .Arrived just before Christmas with- wife 
and three children. Settled on ,southwest 
quarter of section 18, 



Charles Saxon.'" 

August Anderson,'' September. 

Petor Xy#t 10111. 

John Nystroni. 

Gust Nystrom.'' 

Albert Haggard. 

.TaI^e^ WMlkcr.'" October. 
(_)tti) Burrotifilis/''-' October. 
Albert Pygall." 
Hosie Bryant." 
Ole Nystroni. 
Hans Nystroni. 
C. J. Wickstrom. 
Peter Wick.*troin. 
Erick :\[alill)org." 
Jonas Moberg,''- June 21. 
Peter Larson.^'' 
Lars Elofson," October 12. 
Lars Erickson.'"* 


J. T. Wliillock. 


W. A. Dillman." 
C. C. Whitney, June. 
E. F. Whitney, June. 

0. M. Wliitney," June. 
John Alley, August 12. 

Cyrus Clingensniith, August 13. 
B. E. Prince, August 12. 
L. B. Bennett, May. 
G. J. Hotfman.-' 
August Lang.^" 

Wdin'iTTXcrox yii,t,A( ;!•:.=" 

Prof. R. ¥. nuniiston.=i 

H. W. Kimball, September. 

S. C. Thayer, September. 

L. F. McLauriii. 

Levi Shell. 

Daniel Shell, December. 


Henry Davis. 

E. C. Pannell,'"- September. 

1. N. Sater. 

Peter Tliompson,^'' September. 

""Did not become 
following year. 

permanent settler until 

"'Came to reside permanently in 1S72. 

'•The Kystroms had arrived from 
Sweden. They settled on the western edge 
of Indian Lake township. 

^'Both these gentlemen were accompanied by 
their families and came together, and both 
settled on sei'tion 20. Mr. Burroughs died the 
following summer. Mr. Walkc'r threw up his 
claim and took another one in Indian Lake. 

"Came together and took homesteads near 
the Indian Lake line. Mr. Pygall proved up 
on his homestead and later was a stage 
driver on the line from Worthlngton to Sioux 
Fall.s. Mr. Bryant had a contest and lost his 

"A party consisting of Ole and Hans Ny- 
stroni. Charles J. and Peter Wickstrom. Krick 
Mahllierg and Elof Nord(|u!st In the spring of 
1S71 were engaged in working on the new 
railroad through southwestern Minnesota. 
They all left their work during the month of 
Ma.v. and. under the guidance of L. B. Ben- 
nett. Hied on homestead claims in Nobles 
county— all In BIgelow township except Mr. 
Nordciulst. who took his claim civer the line 
In Indian Lake. The Wlckstroms and Ny- 
Htroms took all of section 24; Mr. Mahlberg 
(lied on the southwest iiuarter of twelve. 
They took possession of their claims on 
Octobec 28. 

"Accompanied by his wife and two chil- 
dren. Jacob and Lewis. Took the northeast 
quarter of section 2G. 

"With wife and four children settled on the 
northeast quarter of 14. 

*^With his wife settled on the southwest 
quarter of 14. 

"Had been in the county since 1SG8. In the 
spring of 1S71 took a claim on section 34. 

*'The "Whitneys selected a quarter section 
each on section 30, and secured about as 
sightly locations as could be found in the 

*"Came very early in the year and was the 
first permanent resident in the township. First 
lived in a dug-out on the south bank of Oka- 
bena lake. Later he brought down a house 
from St, James, and started the now famous 
Ludlow grove, • 

"Mr, Lang took a claim on land that later 
came into the possession of Allen Chaney, 
He and Mrs, Lang lived in a dug-out about 
thirty rods from the house later erected by 
Mr, Chancy, He left the county In 1872. 

"Worthlngton was founded in tlu' fall, and 
nearlv all the residents of 1871 engaged in 
business or were there for the purpose of do- 
ing so In the spring following. 

'"Founder of Worthlngton, Was in the vil- 
lage only part of the time in 1S71, 

==H.Md visited the site early in the spring. 

"Took the northwest quarter of sec-lion 2(1. '-'Left soon after, but became a permanent 

Was later Joined by his family. resident the next sprmg. 




\Vm. B. Moore. 

E. E. Humiston, Nov. 3. 

A. P. Chamberlaic. 

C. C. Goodnow. 
J. C. Goodnow. 
Jerry Haines. 
Wm. F. Hibbard. 
Jerome Stewart. 

W. H. Booth, February. 
Pliilo Snyder. 

J. H. Scott, September 16. 

D. K. Gordon, September Hi. 
Joseph Hill,^'' September Ki. 


E. E. Fields. 
Kaute Thompson." 
Knute Thomas. 
Hans Paulson. 
Ole Gars. 

Hans Olson. 
Ole Peterson. 
Chris Peterson.^" 
J. D. Roberts. 
Henry Bostwiek. 
Anthony Thompson. 
Edward F. Erickson. 


S. 1). Tinnes,^' July. 

Miles Birkett. 

^^Messrs. Scott, Gordon and Hill came to- 
gether and took claims on section 24. Mr. 
Scott's family came about one month later. 
Hill left the county about 1S74; Gordon in 
1878; Mr. Scott is still a resident of the 
count.v. These three were the only settlers in 
the township in 1871. 

^Messrs. Fields and Thompson took their 
claims in July and were the first settlers of 
the township. 

=«A few days after the arrival of Messrs. 

Fields and Thompson, a party of six whose 

names are given above arrived in the town- 
ship and all took claims. 

James Walker. 
George Barnes.^' 
Oscar D. Bryan.^^ 
Oley A. Olson. 
Thomas Johnson. 
H. A. Swenson. 
John Butcher. 
C. C. Peterson. 


Hans Halverson. 

Wm. Travis. 

Clias. H. Weise. 

John Meyer, June 2. 

T. G. Bigelow, September 19. 

Thos. Wills, May 12. 

C. L. Peterson, September 12. 
Jas. Hazard, November, 22. 

D. A. Reynolds, June. 
G. K. Middleton, June. 
S. P. Middleton, June. 
L. A. Lytle, June. 
Carl Nelson. 

A. W. Burnham. 
Wm. M. Bear. 

E. J. Bear. 
Henry Fullweiler. 
Al Fullweiler. 
Eli Fenstermaker. 
Knut Holden. 

N. V. McDowell. 
Phil Reynolds. 
P. G. Swanson. 
Jolin Upstrom. 
Asher A. Alien. 
L. Allen. 

^^Vas the first to take a claim in Olney 
township. He filed on land in section 34, but 
did not become a permanent resident until 

^'The three settlers first named came to the 
township in the spring of 1871 and filed on 
claims on May 18. They were the first set- 
tlers of the township. 

'•"Took his claim on section IS in June and 
has resided there since. 

""Most of these settlers were in Graham 
Lakes and Indian Lake townships. 



Mark Amimdson. 
llartin Amundson. 
Rasmus Anderson. 
Caleb Blake. 
Orwen Blake. 
Alexander Clark. 
Nathaniel Co.x. 
Orange Chapman. 
Chas. 11. Cutler. 
Daniel Downy. 
Stephen A. Door. 
Selim Fox. 
TI. A. K. llesselroth. 
Hearth Bros. 

E. F. Jackson. 
Bennett Ivinderman. 

J. Parshal and brother. 
Joseph Stone. 
Irwin S. Swan. 

F. Umbrid. 
Isaac Waterhouse. 
Wm. Willcox. 
John Weston. 

J. Wcstiiighouse. 
Wolf brothers. 

Frank Tucker. 

Elihue Ellis. 

Ole Johnson. 

Jas. Christianson. 

Louis Sundburg. 

.'\ndrew Sundburg. 

P. S. Swanson. 

Hanson Estrom. 

T/juis Hardo. 

Henry M. Johnson. 

The county officers had neglected to 
make a tax levy for (the year 1871, and 
as a result the annual financial state- 
ment for that year is an interesting 
(liicuiueiit. l'"i)llowiiig is the statement 
as recorded by the board of county com- 
missioners at the meeting of March 13, 

(Iti motion (lie hnard proceeded to make 
tliciv annual statement, the following wliidi 
they certify to be full and correct for the 
year 1871:" 

Receipts during the year $ 0.00 

Expenditures ". 130.03 


Floating debt in county orders $130.03 

St.. Paul Pioneer Press Co., for books, 

stationery, etc 508.40 

Total indebtedness $038.43 

.\ssets $ 0.00 



A new epoch begins. 

We have seen Nobles county grow 
from an unpopulated and unknown coun- 
try in the early days of 1SG7 to a com- 
uuinity of some little importance in the 
closing days of 1871. Remarkable had 
been the changes wrought in less than 
five years. But how much more re- 
markable is the story of advancement 
we have to record for the year 1872. 
During that one year a revolution was 
accomplished. Where were found a pos- 
sible .300 or 400 men, women and chil- 
dren at the close of 1871, one year later 
were living nearly that many thousands. 
Nobles county had advanced from one of 
the least known and least settled coun- 
ties in southwestern Minnesota to a 
populous and the most talked of county 
in the state. Everybody was headed 
for Nobles county. In hundreds of 
liomes in New England, New York, 
Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and 
ether eastern and central states people 
were discussing the new county — its 
soil, its climate, its prospects — and plan- 
ning to cast their lot there. 

In- the office of the Toledo Blade, in 
Toledo, Ohio, was born the idea that 
brought about this abnormal interest in 

th<' heretofore unknown county of No- 
bles. It was during the year 1871. There 
were present when the matter was first 
discussed D. B. Locke (Petroleum V. 
Nasby), Prof. P. F. Humiston, of Cleve- 
land, Dr. A. P. Miller, editor of the 
Blade, and A. P. Miller, also connected 
with that publicaition.' The idea was 
to organize a company for the purpose 
of locating a colony of settlers in some 
western c-ountry. The name first pro- 
posed was Blade colony, but before an 
organization was perfected the name be- 
came National colony. 

^liller, Humiston & Company was 
the name of the company which con- 
ducted the colony enterprise. Prof. R. 
F. Humiston and Dr. A. P. Miller were 
the gentlemen who owned the maj(n-ity 
of the stock, and upon them devolved 
tiie management. These gentlemen had 
no place selected in which to plant their 
proposed colony, and they immediately 
set out to select one. They traveled 
over 20,000 miles,- examining the conn- 
try from Missouri to tlie Red River 
country, and from Iowa to Ftah. 

In a happy moment they wandered 
into Nobles county, and were so struck 
with the beauty of the location, the fer- 

'There were two men who took a prominent Miller, who was for many years publisher of 

part in the early history of Nobles county who the Worthington Advance, is referred to with- 

bore the name A. P. Miller, but who were not out any title, 
related. The one who asisted in establishing 

the colony is referred to as Dr. A. P. Miller -Worthington Advance, Sept. 28. 1874. 
in all places in this volume. The other A. P. 




tility o£ the soil and the prospect for 
an immediate and convenient market for 
the products of the soil that negotia- 
tions were at once opened with the 
Sioux City & St. Paul 'Railroad com- 
pany, with a view to securing the rail- 
road land? in Xobles county for their 
colonization purposes. An agreement 
resulted, by the ■terms of which Messrs. 
Miller and liumiston secured, upon ad- 
vantageous terms, control of the rail- 
road lands^ (odd numbered sections) in 
twelve townships in Xobles county and 
three and one-half townships adjoining, 
in Osceola county, Iowa. The contract 
was closed in the fall of 1871. 

Almost immediately settlers began 
arriving, as has been stated in the pre- 
ceding chapter. Most of these secured 
claims on government land, and then re- 
turned to their homes for the winter. 
The colony company laid its plans on 
an elaborate scale. Almost as soon as 
the contract was signed the village of 
Worthington was founded, as a base 
from which to operate. During the 
winter the company carried on an adver- 
tising campaign, which for thorougli- 
ness has seldom been equalled in the his- 
tory of colonization projects. It was 
lilicral. hut judicious. By tliis means 
the company came into correspondence 
with thousands of persons who were in- 
terested in tlie scheme.'' A few came 
on at once and wintered in the new 
settlement; the many waited until spring. 
Then came the deluge. 

In the spring of 1872 hundreds flocked 
to Worthington and took up adjoining 
lands. The government lands within a 

*Whlch had been acquired from the govern- 
ment under the land grant, 

'In making the personal Interviews for the 
preparation of this work I Invariably asked 
each pioneer settler how It happened that he 
came to Nobles county. In nine cases out of 
ten the answer has been that It was because 

radius of eight or ten miles of the town 
were soon taken, and many had settled 
at other more remote points in the 
county, ^fuch of the railroad, or col- 
ony, land was also quickly disposed of 
and passed into the hands of people who 
had come to make tlieir homes here. 
Miller, Humiston & Co. expended be- 
tween $40,000 and $50,000 in locating 
the colonists and in setting on foot en- 
terprises designed to found a prosperous 
community. An idea of the settlement 
of the year is gained when it is known 
that between 10,000 and 20,000 acres of 
raw ]ira!rie land were broken out. Be- 
tween fwo luindred and seven hundred 
families arrived during the year, and 
many others purchased shares, took 
claims, and made preparations to come 

The settlers were a homogenous class, 
being nearly, or quite, all American 
born, and with the current of their re- 
ligious failli tliiwing caliidy down be- 
tween the banks of an observably nar- 
row, but strikingly orthodox, stream. 
The evangelical denominations were all 
ie])resentcd. with Methodist, Presbyter- 
ian, Congregational and Baptist churches 
leading in point of numbers. The colony 
was organized upon a ti'in|)i'i'aiice basis. 
The authorities determined that no al- 
coholic or intoxicating beverages, nf 
wliatever kind or character, .ehould. un- 
der any circumstances, be sold within 
tlie limits of the purchase. This fea- 
ture was made a strong point in the ad- 
\i-rtising, ami aittracted a people who 
were strong in their religious and tem- 
perance beliefs. The standard of mor- 

of tlio National colony advertising. The ad- 
vertisements and "readers" had l)cen seen in 
tlie Toledo Blade or other papers patronized, 
or the settler had had his attention called to 
the project by some friend who had read 
the advertisements. 

'Minneapolis Tribune, Aug. 25. 1872. 



nlity wns hi<;li (particularly so for a 
new coirimuiiity), and the courage and 
pluck of the first settlers is beyond ques- 

The colony company operated in 
Nobles county until the spring of 1876, 
when it withdrew. The terrible grass- 
hopper scourge had practically bank- 
rupted its promoters. Litigation over- 
whelmed Prof. Humiston, and the earn- 
ings of a lifetime were swept 'away. 
When disaster overtook the company its 
liberal policy toward the settlers became 
a tiling of the past, and there was dis- 
satisfaction expressed in sonie quarters 
because of the policy of the National 
colony's managers. The conditions as 
they were during the active life of the 
company were summed up by tlie Win- 
dom Reporter of May, 1876, from which 
the following is taken : 

T.nriil jcalousv may have made some of 
us l(jok upon the colony enterprise with con- 
siderable prejudice, yet it is due to Prof. 
Humiston to say that he has accomplished 
a great deal for his town and county, and 
in a great measure his work and sacrifice 
are overlooked. Tie has spent probably not 
less than .$.'>0.flOO. the earnings of his life- 
time, and we infer has become seriously in- 
volve! in his attempts to develop Nobles 
county and build up a model commiuiitv. 
To aocomplish this end he has spared noth- 
ing. TTe been fir=t in most of the en- 
terprises inaugurated in Worthington. giving 
of his resources freely, if not lavishly, to 
make successful the numerous enterprises 
that have from time to time called for as- 
sistance: the more public enterprises, the 
mill, the church. Miller hall, and kindred 
projects have in him met with the same 
generous and unselfish spirit. No doubt that 
to him the three magnificent institutions are 
indebted for life and success. He has in- 
duced hundreds of dollars of capital to in- 
vest at Worthington. and we guess that 
hardly a citizen but has derived more profit 
from his expenditures than he himself. His 
time and money have gone to build up the 
material prosperity of "Okabena." with a 
prospective view of profit in the future, to 
be derived from the sale of railroad lands. 

Others have thrived and prospered, while he 
has become somewhat involved in litigation 
as the result of his personal enterprise and 
indomitable determination to either sink or 
swim with his colony. The professor has 
made many investments, and large ones, 
thought by many at the time to be injudi- 
cious and impracticable, but what would have 
resulted if the grasshopper had not visit-ed us 
no one can tell: probably he would have met 
with better success, but having started, he 
was determined to go through with the un- 
dertaking if it took the last dollar. He has 
not worked without opposition, encountering 
it at home and in the neighboring towns, but 
he has worked for his life's idol against it 
all with an energy and perseverance that we 
ceriainly respect, and no doubt this is often 
overlooked by many who have cause to re- 
member his devotion to home prosperity. 
I'l'ofessor Humiston has done more to build 
up a barren and wild country than any one 
man in this part of the state. He has been 
the direct means of drawing to Nobles county 
a great amount of wealth, a refined and in- 
lelligent community. . . . Had it not 
lieen for the three years of grasshopper vis- 
itation the growth of this part of the state 
would have progressed, and prosperity would 
have abounded on every hand; then we 
could have seen whether Prof. Humiston's 
schemes were practicable, but since devasta- 
tion has been our lot it is surprising that 
.\lr. Humiston has come out as lucky as he 

Li giving the history of the National 
colony and its operations the clironologi- 
cal order of events has been interrupted. 
To return to the early day.s of 1S7"-?. 

The winter was cpiite severe. \ heavy 
fall of snow in the early part of the sea- 
.son blockaded the railroads and it was 
very difficult to obtain provisions for 
the settlers, many of whom were poorly 
]irovided therewith ; in fact there were 
times wlicn money would not buy pro- 
visions, and the man with money was in 
no better position than his less fortunate 
neighbor.' The exigencies of the times 
were increa,sed because of disasters to 
some of the settlers during the year 1871 
from prairie fires and hail. Governor 
Austin, early in February, 1872, sent a 

'For sketch of the life of Prof. Humiston 
see the biographical section. 

'"It was no uncommon thing." a gentleman 
of the early days has written, "to see chil- 

dren of all ages running barefoot during the 
coldest days of winter. A gentleman who lived 
in Graham lakes informed me that he had 
seen a boy skating on the ice barefoot, and he 
seemed to enjoy the sport." 



check for $100 to tlie count)' commis- 
sioners to' be divided among tlic needy.' 
There were several applications for por- 
tions of this state relief fund, and on 
March 13 it was apportioned as follows: 
Nelson Coyour, $2 .5.00; John 11. Ans- 
comb, $21.30; Irwin S. Swan, $17.50; 
II. D. Bookstaver, $1,5.00. The remain- 
der rif the money, $22.00, was given to 
]{. L. Erskine on April 30. 

Nobles county was called upon for tlie 
first time, in 1873, to furnish jurors for 
the district court of Jackson county, to 
whicli it was attached for judicial pur- 
poses. The following were selected by 
the board of county commissioners on 
January 10 : 

Grand Jurors — Orange H. Chapman, 
Isaac Horton, IT. D. Bookstaver, Frank 
Tucker, B. W. Woolstencroft, A. A. 
Abbott, A. A. Allen. Warren Fish. Peter 
Swan\'ont, II. W. 7\imbal], J. W. Miller. 
II. Borrean. 

Petit Jurors — John Weston, Henry 
Brayton. H. C. Hallett. Albert Hag- 
gard. Byron Brain, E. W. Branch , H. 
L. Wallace, Henry P. Davis, Anion 
Nelson. William Rhinehart. W. H. Booth, 
John Hart. 

Although the railroad had been com- 
pleted to Worthington in the fall of 
1871, and it had been the intention of 
the company to begin the operation of 
trains at once, it was the spring of 1R72 
before regular service was established. 

The heavy snows kept the road covered 
nearly all winter. Occasionally during 
the winter a construction train would 
get through, but not often. The first 
passenger train arrived in Worthington 
April 16, and thereafter there was regu- 
lar service. The road was opened to 
Sioux City in the fall. 

The coming of the railroad brought 
about a change in mail facilities. In 
Die spring of 1872 the old mail route 
from Jackson to Sioux Falls, via Gra- 
liam lakes, was discontinued, so far as 
that portion cast of Worthington was 
conccrncil. The mail was now brought 
by rail to Worthington, and an overland 
route from that village to Sioux Falls 
was established. Philo Hawes, that pio- 
neer mail contractor, was given the con- 
trncf. and "Stormy Jack" Grier was 
employed to carry the mail. Along this 
route came into existence a number of 
country postofTiccs and stage station?. 
In Nobles cDimty were three such. Tlio 
first out of Worthington was Dewald 
postoffice, located on section 20, De- 
wald township, less than a mile from 
the present village of Bushmore. .T. B. 
Churchill was the postmaster." H('bl)ard 
])ostofrico was on section 30, Olney towu- 
sliip. one mile east of the present vil- 
lage of Adrian. It was known as the 
C'hilds' place. The third postoffice was 
linmcd Westside. and was on section 18, 
of what is now Westside township."* 
Renselear Simmons was postmaster. 

""Treasurer Board of Commissioners. Noble 

"Sir: Please find check for JlOO, a dona- 
tion from the relief fund to sufferers hy (Ire 
or hail in the county of Nolile. T rerommend 
the investment of this sum and .'in equal 
amount donated hy the rouiilv in such sup- 
plies as will afford to destitute seHiers the 
most relief. And that the county hoard dis- 
tribute the supplies at ojice. Trusting that 
every effort will be made to do Bood. aiid 
prevent abuses, I place the matter in their 
iiands. Please acknowledge receipt on behalf 
of the county. 

"Per Wallace." 

"Mr. Churchill located there in March, 1872. 
Early in 187.1 he established a small store and 
stoppinic: place, which was known as the 10- 
Mile house. 

"'Mr. Hawes retired Jan. 1. lS7i. when Dan- 
iel Shell secured the contract, and for five 
years thereafter he conducted the mail, ex- 
press ami passenger business over the line. 
l">urine: Ihe first two years he had only two 
ripTS, and made the trip tliree times a week. 
Tiiereafter trips were made daily, the 68 
miles being: made on a ten hour schedule. By 
the time the contract expired Mr. Shell had 
fifty horses on the route, and the rigs were 
drawn by four horse teams. He had barns 



Enclosing Check for SI 00 (or the Relief of Sufferers 

from Fire and Flail During 1871 in the 

County of "Noble". 



Because there was an eiiornious im- 
migration to the county in 1872 and the 
wliole order of things was changed, it 
must not be imagined that the country 
was changed in a day. Most of the set- 
tlors arrived too late to get a crop in 
the ground, and very little was raised the 
first season. Except for the fact that 
the prairies became dotted with the 
homes of settlers, it was largely the same 
virgin country it had always been. 

The game lover found himself in a 
paradise. Birds abounded. There were 
ducks, wild geese, brant, curlew, peli- 
can and prairie chickens. The local 
poet wrote: "Fleets on ileets of ducks 

float 'round the lake.' 


glimpses were caught of some of the big 
game that formerly roamed the prairies 
in vast numbers. The summer was fine. 
The days and nights were frequently 
glorified by tliunder sitorms of terrific 
and inefi'able grandeur. At night the 
colonists often sat till midnight watch- 
ing the frolic of sheet-liglitning playing 
over miles of cloud banks, vividly sug- 
gesting the possible glories of another 
world. Vegetation grew rank. The far- 
mer rode along the creek bottoms or on 
the edges of the lakes and sloughs 
through seas of wild bluejoint grass up 
to the horses' backs. 

Tt was the experience of a lifetime, 
this breaking up the virgin lands and 
building a community from the ground 
up, and many have been the probable 
and improbable stories told of those days. 
T^etters went back to the old homos in 
the east telling of how the colonists 

at Child'.s place, at Luverne. and at Valley 
Springs. S. D.. where chnnses were made. 
James McRobert, now of Ellsworth. and 
I eonard McClintock, now an engineer on the 
Omaha road, were drivei-s on this route dur- 
ing all the time Mr. Shell was the contractor. 
After trains were put in operation between 
Worthington and Luverne. the contract for 
carrying the mail between those two places 

planted corn with an ax and caught fish 
with a pitchfork, and how the pianos 
were set up in the shanty and the li- 
brary stacked up under the bed. 

Of the conditions and prospects, as 
viewed by those who were casting their 
lot in the new country, the following ex- 
tract from an article appearing in the 
Western Advance of Aug. 31, 1872, will 
give an idea : 

But. railroad center or not, we 
are in the midst of one of the finest agri- 
oiiltural regions on the globe. The vast 
prairie rolls out on every side, covered with 
luxuriant grass, and we have only to put in 
the plow and reap the crop, fo tickle it with 
the hoe. and it will laugh with the harvest. 
Xo clearing, ditching, grubbing or stone 
gathering to be done here, but simple, beau- 
tiful farming, where the improved agricul- 
tural implements can be used, and the farm- 
er can sit aloft in the shade and direct his 
team to a competence or a fortune. Of 
course hard work can and needs be done 
here as elsewhere, but the farmer can ac- 
r|uire an independence here with one-fottrth 
the labor and one-fourth the time required 
jn dvstrict?^ where (Hearing is to be done. 
.Tlie government lands have been nearly all 
taken, but there will be for the first year or 
two claims to be had at moderate figures. 
In some instances they have sold high, ac- 
cording to the value of the location or the 
judgment of the purchaser. In some cases 
thev are held as high for cash as the raJl- 
road lands are held on five years time. The 
railroad lands arounil the town are grad- 
ually selling off, and by next year a large 
amount will undoulitedly be sold to men of 

The advertisements of the colony company 
throughout the eastern states are daily at- 
tracting the attention of substantial men 
who are writing for information or visiting 
the colony in person. To show the estimate 
that is put upon the value of certain lands 
about Worthington, we may state that one 
gentleman has refused one hundred dollars 
an acre for land fronting on the shore 
of lake Okabena. and lands have been sold, 
n mile west from town, and fronting on the 
lake, for thirty dollars an acre. Another 
tract of ten acres has been applierl for, and 

was sublet to the railroad company. There 
was a big rush to Rock county and the Sioux 
Falls country after the railroad building was 
begtm. and during the time Mr. Shell operated 
his coaches only from the end of the rail- 
road at Luverne to Sioux Falls, he did an 
immense business. His passenger list some- 
times ran as high as 75 or 100 per day. 



tlie owner asks fifty dollars an ncro and will 
not take a cent less. Bnt abundance of 
good farming land can be had within from 
one and a half to three miles of town at 
from eight dollars to ten dollars an acre. 
In some instances government land may ho 
had for less. 

The bulk of tlie settlement of 1872 
was in the eastern and sonthern part of 
the county, in tliat portion most acces- 
sible to the railroad. In nine of the 
townships tlie population had readied a 
point wliore the residents desired town- 
ship organization. Each of the town- 
ships of Worthington, Bigelow. Horsey, 
Grant (Ransom), Fairview (Lorain). 
Dewald. Little Rock, Elk and Seward, 
in the order named, asked for the priv- 
ilege of organizing, and in each case 
the request was granted by the county 
commissioners. All held meptings. elect- 
ed officers, and entered upon township 

The greatest settlament in the county 
■was in and around the village of Worth- 
ington. and the people of that commu- 
nity were the first to circulate a peti- 
tion asking for the organization of their 
tx>wnship. The petition was filed March 
30, 1879, and was signed by the follow- 
ing residents: William B. Moore. E. R. 
Humiston. .T. B. Haines. .Tr.. J. C. Hood- 
now. T. A. Jones, W. B. .\kins. J. M. 
Brown, J. N. T^emon, R. J. Cunding. B. 
P. Wickerstam, L. P. McTjaurin. .T. "NT. 
Fron. C. r. Hewitt. A. L. Perkins. W. 
S. Stockdalo. E. D. Southy, V. J. Sdiiih. 
H. W. Kimball. H. P. Davis. .1. W, 
Stonaker, W. H. Willmarth. W. IJ. Lau- 
rence, Levi Shell, Daniel Shell, Samuel 
Ixislie, R. D. Barber, Erastus Chureli, V. 
C. Goodnow, H. G. Foster, C. H. Stew- 

On .\pril 30 the commissioners grant- 
ed the petition and named the new town- 
ship Worthington. al'tL-r the village .of the 
same name." On the 20th day of May 
following the first town meeting was 
held, and from that liine dates the offi- 
cial existence of the township of Worth- 

The roqueat for the organization of 
tlie township lying south of Worthington 
came on April 29, the petition being 
signed by James ilaloncy, Xels N. Lang- 
seth, Hans Nystrom, Charles John 
Wickstrom, Lars Elofson, P. A. Wick- 
strom. C. A. Tillander, Peter Larson, 
Ole Nystrom, Peter Nystrom, Erick Mahl" 
berg, Lars Erickson, P. G. Swanson and 
L. P. Hardow. Tliey asked thait it be 
called Oclicoda township, but the fol- 
lowing day. when the commissioners 
granted the petition, they named the 
township Bigelow. after the railroad 
station of that name in the township. '- 
The first town meeting was held May 
20. the same day that Worthington town- 
slii]) was organized. 

Hersey'^ was the next to begin lowii- 
sbip government. I^he pntition was 
filed ^lay 14. the board created the 
liiwnslii]) ^lay .30. and the first town 
mooting was held June 11. The signers 
to the petition were Geo. W. Pyne. Will- 
iam Grono. A. A. Parsons. D. Haffey. 
\V. R. Bennett. Joliii :\ranley. Ghas. 
Fri-bie. A. O. Gonde, A. J. Timlin. 
Matlliew Smith, Chas. Smith. Jos. S. 
Tlmrston. Wm. H. Berger, P. Haffey, 
Neil Mclhreavie and Matthew Smyth. 

The townships of Grant, Fairview, 
Dewald and Little Rock were all cre- 
ated bv the county commissioners on 

"For the history of the adoption of the H. Bigelow. of St. V'nul. 
name Worthington for the village sec chap- 
ter 12. "The township tnolc its name from the sta- 
tion of Horsey (now Brewster ». wliieh had 

"The station had been named in honor of C. been named in honor of General S. F. Hersey. 



September 3, and the dates for the first 
town meetings, as set by the commission- 
ers, were September 30. The people of 
Grant were the first to present the peti- 
tion. It was filed Jime 14 and was 
signed by the following settlers: John 
H. Scott, Joseph Hill, T. J. Belknap, R. 
H. Belknap. H. Nelson. Richard Pri- 
dcaux, Benjamin Midboe. A. C. Giiern- 
sev, Leroy Cole, B. F. Condgon, D. K. 
Gordon. Geo. M. Smith, S. I. W. Alen, 
M. S. Belknap. The first settlers of the 
township were mostly veterans of the 
civil war, and at their request the name 
Grant was given the township in honor 
of the great commander. For nearly a 
year that was the name. Then it was 
found that there was another township 
in the state with that name, and on 
Jnly 10, 187.3, the commissioners re- 

"Mr. Robert Shorp furnishes a number of 
items concerning the early days in Ransom 

"The first settlers in the town of Ransom 
were John H. Scott. D. K. Gordon and Joe 
Hill, who came tog;ether from Tama coimty, 
Iowa, in September. 1S71, and took adjoining 
claims on section 24. At that time there was 
not a settler within miles of them. Mr. Scott 
and Mr. Gordon, with their wives, spent the 
winter of 1871-72 in the same house; and dur- 
ing that dreary winter, in that lone shanty on 
the prairie, far from neighbors and friends, 
was born to Mr, and Mrs. Gordon their first 
borp, fi boy (Edward), — the first birth in 
what is now Ransom township. As this was 
before the town was organized, there is no 
mention of it in the town records. The first 
liirth on record is that of Mary Scott, daugh- 
ter of John H, and Sarah A, Scott, born Sep- 
tember 27, 1S72. 

"The first town meeting was held at the 
house of M. S. Belknap on section 14, Satur- 
day. September 21, 1872. Dr. Geo. O. Moore, 
justice of the peace, of Worthington, was pres- 
ent and sv/ore in as judges of election F. W. 
Burdette. M. S. Belknap and H. R. Gray, and 
l.eioy Cole ;'.s clerk, .A.t the election which 
followed sevent?'.>n vot ^s wfre cast b.v the fol- 
lowing named persons: A. C. Guernsey, X). K. 
Gordon. M. S. Belknap. John H, Scott, L, S. 
Roberts. F. W. Burdette. Anthony Mutter. Le- 
rov Cole. R. Prideaux. Cole Guernsey. J, R. 
Dewey. James H. Hill. Geo, M, Smith, H, R. 
Gray, Hiram Norton. B. F. Congdon, S. I. W. 

"When the votes were counted it was found 
tliat the following persons had been chosen 
as first town officers of the town of Ransom: 
H. R. Gray, chairman of the board of sup- 
irvisors; M. S. Belknap and A. C. Guernsey, 
^^^upervisors: Leroy Cole, clerk; D. K. Gordon, 
treasurer; John H. Scott, assessor; F. F. Bur- 
dette and B. F. Congdon. constables; F, W, 
Burdette and Geo. M. Smith, justices of the 
pence. Of the men who were elected town of- 
ficers at the first election, but one remains 
with us in Nobles county today, John H. Scott. 

named' the township Ransom, in honor of 
Prof. Ransom F. Humiston, one of the 
founders of the National colony. This 
was done by the commissioners without 
consulting the wishes of the people of 
the town.ship.^* 

The petition for the organization of 
Fairview township was circulated July 5, 
and was signed by Richard D. Bagley, 
Albert Haggard, Lafayette Strever, A. 
A. Burton, Wm. F. Hamilton, Alfred 
Small, William Madison, James Hazard, 
Jeremiah T^ynch, William Dedgon, P. 
Ulveling, Stephen Horake, Joseph Hor- 
ake, H. McCollum. The topogi-aphical 
features furnished the name Fairview, 
which it bore until June 1-^, 1874. Then 
the name was changed to Lorain, after 
the town of Loraine, Adams county. 111., 
the superfluous "e" being dropped." 

who may also be said to be the first settler 
in the township. Of the seventeen who voted 
pt th<» first town meeting four onlv are in 
Nobles county today: John H. Scott. Cole 
Guernsey. R, Prideaux and J, R. Dewey. What 
memories are called up by the mention of 
some of these names! Of the seventeen who 
voted at the first election in Ransom, four re- 
main; where are the rest? Some have gone to 
their long home, and the rest are scattered to 
the four winds. Many left us on account of 
the struggle and poverty of those early days. 
In those times of grasshoppers, of blight and 
of blizzards, no wonder that men's hearts 
failed them. 

"I have endeavored to make a list of those 
who were neighbors in Ransom during the 
very early days. The list I have no doubt is 
far from perfect, but it is the best I could 
make at present: Settlers of 1871 — John H. 
Scott. D, K. Gordon. Joe Hill, Settlers of 1872 
— Leroy Cole. A. C, Guei-nsey, Cole Guernsey. 
M, S. Belknap. R. H. Belknap. H. R. Gray. 
F. Vf. Burdette, F, F. Burdette. R, Prideaux, 
C, W, W, Dow. S. I. W, Alen, I. S. Roberts. 
Hiram Norton. Anthony Mutter. ,T. R. Dewey. 
Geo, M, Smith, B, F, Congdon, Robert Shore, 
Thomas Jay, Geo. Jay. Frank Lane. John 
Tane. D. Davis, Jerry Twomey. D. C. Holmes. 
Dan Twitehell. David Twitchell, W^aters. C. 
Chamberlain, H, Toms. Hoff. G. Rhone, Farn- 
ham, Lewis Larson, Hans Nelson, Gould, Bow- 
ers. Settlers of 1873— Geo. W. Dow, Geo. W. 
Miner, Settlers of 1S74 — I. N. Wilson, Wm. 
Clark. Other years— E. W. Goff. James Goft, 
P. McCann." 

^^"A communication from the state auditor 
was presented, stating that older towns in 
the state bore the names of New Haven. Wil- 
son and Fairview, and requesting that the 
names of said towns be changed in conformity 
to law. The foUowing names, by request of 
residents of towns, were changed by the com- 
missioners: New Haven to Olney; Wilson to 
.-\kin [later Summit Lake]; and Fairview to 
I^rain." — Commissioners' Journal, June 15, 



The Dewald township petition was 
filed July 15 with the following signers: 
Amos Dewald, Jos. S. Randall, Edmund 
Bedford Nathaniel Childs, Benjamin T. 
Ross, C. D. Snow, A. B. McChord, Jonas 
Bedford. R. W. Miller, N. O. Miller. 
Robert J. Daugherty, f. T. Shattuc. 
Thos. Wilson, Samuel F. Tepple. G. 
Grover Stoddard, P. A. Stoddard. J. B. 
Churchill, Iliram Dewald. Solon TTangh- 
ton, Wm. R. Lawrence. The name was 
given in honor of Amos and llirani De- 
wald. pioneer settlers.'" 

Tlie petition for the formation of 
Little Rock township was presented .\ii- 
gust 24 and was signed hy the following 
settlers: Ole C. Peterson, C. C. Peter- 
son. Knutc T. Thompson, Hans Paulson, 
P. Harrison, Hans Solherg, Hans Jen- 
sen, Edward E. Field, Christian Solherg, 
Hans N. Dahl, Gunder D. Tinnes. Will- 
am R. Queine, Gullick. T\nute Thomp- 
son, J. D. Roberts, Henry Paragher, W. 
H. Bostic. E. S. Wickerro. D. ^f. Sweet. 
W. R. Faragher. Wm. Cnlvin. Win. W. 
Jenkins. T. .\. Bunker. Sylvester Jen- 
kins, and (]. Gulliekson. The creek 
whieli flows through the township and 
its physical features furnished the name. 

Elk township was created September 
Ifi. the same day the petition was filed, 
and a short time afterward the govern- 
ment was begun. Those who asked for 
its formation were W. B. .\kins. T. L. 
Taylm-. R. B. Plotts. John P. Warner. 
Henry Baldwin. Chas. Wilkinson. Tsaae 
Allerton. M. L. Miller. T. D. Fowble. 
Gamaliel Scutt. Allen McLean. R. E. 
Covey and S. P. Bon. The noble ani- 
mal which once roamed the prairies of 
the future Elk township prompted the 
name. The creek which flows flirougli 

"The Dpwalds .ird John rhiirchlll ci'ti» tr 
the townshin toprother In April. 1R72, nnrt wore 
the first permnnent settlers. Thev wei-e fnl- 
lowed Immedintelv hv Messi's. Robert 
Daugherty, S. F. Peppio, Aaron Lambert. 

the township liad been named Elk by 
the early day trappers, and it was partly 
because of the name the creek bore and 
partly because of another event that 
caused the first settlers there to ask that 
the new town be called Elk. On the 
morning of September fi, 1872, a lone 
elk came across the prairie and close to 
the house of T. L. Taylor, sniffed at 
the unexpected sight, and bounded away. 
Ten days later when the petitinn was 
presented to llie board of couiitv com- 
mi.ssioners Mr. Taylor suggested the 
name Elk for the new township, and 
ii]i(ni a vote it was adopted. Several 
other names, including ^fcLean. were 

Seward was ilie last township or- 
ganized in 1872. The petition was filed 
September 28, and had the following 
signers: Wm. W. Cosper. M. Hill. 
TTiram Jankee. Jonas Parshall. Win. 
Sowles, Geo. Parshall, Philo Snyder, 
James Parshall. Julius Westinghouse. 
.Tnlin P. Tail. J. E. Walling. John Wes- 
ton. R. B. Tiinderman, C. Charles John- 
son. Horace Will. William H. Booth. II. 
N. Booth, Edward B. Cook and Phineas 
Gagcr. The commissioners acted fav- 
orablv in the matter, and the first town 
meeting was set for October -TO. The 
township was named in honor nf Wil- 
liam H. Seward, the noted statesman and 
spcrctarv of state under President Lin- 
coln during the civil war. 

The first Nobles county assessment 
was made in 1872. the officials having 
neglected to make a levy the year be- 
fore. .\ tax of fifteen mills was le^^ed 
for the use of the countv. of which ten 
mills was "for the general use of the 
countv." and five mills "for the payment 

Solon Pnu.ehton. Shevlie. Joe Mason. Joe 

Foots, W. R. n, MeChord, A. B, IVIcrhnrd. 

RIehard Berggraf, Tom Childs, S:im Child? 
and Chas. A. Sundberg. 



of the floating debt and interest of the of over $1.50,000, of which $6-3.815.1.3 
count}-.'"' The assessment as equalized was real estate, 
b}' tlie county board showed a valuation 

The real estate assessment was as follows: 


No. Acres 


Town Lots 



per Acre 

Aggregate Value 
Real Propertyt 

Value City 
Lots and 

Total Value 
of Real 



Graham Lakes 

Indian Lake 



Hersey . 

1st Assessment Dist* 
2nd Assessment Dist 






$ 8,197.00 







$35,200 00 

$ 8,197.00 


49,17n 29 











* At the time the assessment wa.s made only five townships had ijeen organized. The rest of the county 
vvasdi.vided into two assessment districts. 
+ Exclusive of town lots. 
J Of a value greater than $100. 

Tlie personal property valuations were Tlie other items of personal jiropcity 
divided among the several townships as asse.ssed, and their value, were as fol- 

f ollows : 


Graham Lakes 

Indian Lake 

Worthington .. 



1st Assessment Dist. 
2nd Assessment Dist. 


Total Amonnt Taxable 
Valuation Exempted Property 

10, .384 










$62,160 |$28,500 

The number and value of livestock 
by townships is shown in the following- 
table : 

lows : 

Sixtppn carriages $5!).) 

Sixt \ -nine watches ". . . . 057 

Three pianos 466 

.\ll personal property not inchuleil in 

foregoing 17. ('90 

Appertaining to merchandise 13,010 

Appertaining to manufacturing 711 

.Moneys, book accounts, credits, etc.. 2..i00 
Moneys invested in bonds and joint 

stock companies .300 

Gold and silver coin and bank notes in 

possession or on deposit 4,4!I4 

Value of improvements on and interest 
of tlie claimant in lands entei-ed un- 
der homestead act 1()..'!2,S 

















Graham Lakes 

Indian Lake. 


















$ 4 
















1st Assessment District.. 
2nd Assessment District. 







$1,020 30 




"Commissioners' Journal, Sept. 16, 1872. 



Under the provisions of a state law, 
townships were given tlie privilege of de- 
ciding whether or not license for the sale 
of intoxicating liquors should be granted, 
and at the general election on Nov. 5, 
1872, several of the Nobles county town- 
ships voted on the question. The class 
of people who came as members of the 
colony were such that it is not surpris- 
ing that nearly all the voters registered 
against the licensing of saloons, and that 
all townshps voting decided the question 
in the negative. Following is the vote: 
Dewald, Iv to 0; Little Hock, lo to I; 
Bigelow, 23 to 1; Ilersey, 8 (u i); In- 
dian Lake, 10 to 2. 

Another question decided at that elec- 
tion related to a proposed change in the 
county's boundaries. Tlie legislature on 
February 29 passed two bills — one pro- 
viding that range 38 (four townships on 
tlie western edge) sliould be taken from 
Jackson county and attached to Nobles; 
the other tliat range 43 (the present 
townsliij)s of Leota, Lismore, Westside 
and Grand Praii'ie) should be taken 
from Nobles and added to Eock county. 
Neither act was to be put in force until 
both counties interested in each cast 
should, by a majority vote, ratify the 

The proposition was almost a larto. 
Jn order to add the Jackson county 
townships to Nobles cinuity both {\\i- 
counties must vote in the alfirmative. 
Nobles county naturally favored the bill, 
but just as naturally Jackson county 
voted not to give, away any of its ter- 
ritory. In order to give to Rock county 
the western tier of Nobles county town- 
sliips, both these counties must so vote. 
Of course Rock county voted almost 
luianimosly to make the change, but in 
Nobles only eleven electors were found 
who favored the surrender of territory. 
The vote of Nobles county by precincts 
on these propositions: 



H in 

O M 

•1 tn 

C3 C 


Against Giving 
Range 4'i 


Little Rock 



Graham Lakes . 

























Indian Lake . . 
Worthington . . . 






* Vote not recorded. 



Xow come the dark days of Nobles 
county history — the grasshopper days. 
For a period extending from 1873 to 
18711 the people of Nobles county, in 
cdinnion with those of all southwestern 
J\IJnnesota, suffered as few pioneer set- 
tlers in any country ever suffered. Ad- 
versity followed adversity. The frowns 
of fortune overwhelmed those who had 
come with so much hope in 1872 and 
cast them into the slough of despond. 
The picture cannot be painted too dark. 

The colonists had come to Nobles 
county because they were poor people 
and believed that the new country of- 
fered opportunities for securing a com- 
petence. Some liad started with a rail- 
road ticket as their only asset, and even 
before the grassliopper days a few were 
in sorry plight.' All set to work witli 
a will to break out the raw prairie land, 
and great were the expectations for the 
first crop — a crop destined never to be 

The winter of 1872-73 was the most 
severe one in the county's known his- 

'Prof. R. F. Humiston in a letter to the press 
in July, 1875. described his part in relieving 
the situation. Seldom did he speak of his 
rharitable deeds, and this exception was called 
forth by rumors questioning his sincerity in 
certain m.atters. He wrote: 

"From the advent of the colony in 1872. I 
found that a number of persons had come 
with barely sufficient means to brin.g them 
here. To many of those I furnished employ- 
ment, paying out therefor sums to the amount 
of several thousand dollars, and to others I 
loaned money without interest and with very 
remote prospects of payment, amounting in 

tory, before or since, and the settlers re- 
ceived their first experience of hardships 
to be borne in the new country. Winter 
began November 13. The day had been 
tine, but toward night those who knew 
tlie IS'orthwest saw indications of a bliz- 
zard. At dark a gale from the north- 
west struck the houses with a whack as 
distinct as if it had been a board in 
the hands of old Boreas. One of the 
famous northern blizzards w'as on, and 
it continued until the afternoon of the 
third day. Thenceforth it was winter. 
Snow covered the prairies and blockaded 
tlie railroad most of the time until late 
in the spring. 

On January 7, 1873, came the most 
violent storm known in the Nortliwest 
for fifty years, as the records kept at 
Fort Snelling showed. It extended over 
the whole Northwest, and all telegraph 
wires west of Chicago refused to work. 
For three days the blizzard raged. The 
temperature was about eighteen degrees 
below zero during the whole period of 
the storm, and on tlie prairie the air 

the aggregate to many hundreds of dollars. 
During the first winter [1872-73] and before 
any relief committee was organized, anticipat- 
ing the danger of a snow blockade of the rail- 
road, and knowing that many of our people 
were unprovided with fuel for the winter. I 
ordered several hundred tons of coal. This 
coal was distributed over a radius of twenty 
miles from Worthington. a large proportion 
being donated and a gi-eater portion of the re- 
mainder is still unpaid for. Those who spent 
the first winter here are familiar with these 



was tilled with snow as line as Hour. 
'I'lu'ougli every crevice, keyhole and nail- 
hole the tine snow penetrated, puifing in- 
the house like steam. Seventy human 
lives were lost in Minnesota, and iour 
of these were lost in Nobles county. 
Innumerable were the narrow escapes 
from dealli iu the storm, and many resi- 
dents of the county had experiences that 
will never be forgotten. 

The morning of the lirr^i day of the 
storm was beautiful and brigiit. The 
sky was clear, and lliere was no wind. 
It seemed as tliough a "January thaw" 
was imminent, and the settlers set out 
for town on business or wl-uI to neigh- 
boring fannhouses with their teams. 
While the general indications were for 
fair weather, an aneroid barometer, own- 
ed by Professor Humiston, foretold a 
storm. The instrument had been falling 
for twenty-four hours, and it had never 
been known to fall so low before. 

Toward noon a change was apparent. 
The sky lost its crystal clearness and 
became a trifle misty. Between twelve 
and one o'clock a white wall was seen 
bearing down from the northwest. The 
front uf the storm was distinct ami 
almost as clearly outlined as a great 
sheet. In a few minutes a gale, moving 
at the rate of thirty or forty miles an 
hour, was sweeping the country. When 
the storm struck Worthington the farm- 
ers began to scatter for their homes. A 
number, however, did not take the 
chance of death, and remained in the 
village during the three days of the bliz- 
zard. Some residents of the village, 
who were not in their lioines when the 
storm struck, remained until it abated, 
not daring to venture upon the streets, 
although only a few blocks from home. 

One of those who perished was Sam- 
uel Small, of Indian Lake township, a 

man about forty years of age. Just af- 
ter the storm struck he started out from 
Worthington with his ox team and sled 
for his home, four miles southeast of 
town, lie drove within a few rods of 
his own door, but in the blinding snow 
failed to discover his house. He wan- 
dered over the prairie until he came to 
some hay stacks, ai-iuuid wliiuli a rail 
fence had been built. He evidently al- 
lemptod to climb the fence and seek the 
shelter of the stacks, but he was too neai' 
gone to accomplish it. lie was found 
the day after the storm, standing with 
one hand on the fence, covered with ice 
and as stilf as an icicle. 

There was another fatality in the 
same neighboriiood. Mrs. John Blixt, 
\s\\i> lived uith hfr husiiand and cliild- 
ren on section 2, Indum Lake township, 
met a very sad death. Mr. Blixt lunl 
gone fishing, and when the blizzard 
struck, his wife, fearful that he would 
lose his way, started out to meet him. 
She became blinded by the snow, wan^ 
ilert'd nir on the |)i'airie and pci'ished. 
Mi-. Blixt returned in safety. 

The third fatal ca.=e was that of John 
Weston, a fai-ni<'r who residoil in Seward 
township. On that fateful morning he 
hitched his oxen to a sled and set out 
for Graham lakes to get a load of wood. 
While returning to his home the storm 
caught him. He drove across his own 
I'arm, but in the blinding gale missed 
the house. Weston then turm>d and 
drove in a circle, making the same cir- 
cuit twice, as was shown by the tracks 
of the sled. Ih' liore to the north and 
reentered Graham Lakes township. lie 
unhitched and abandoned his ox team, 
and the animals, after wandering awhile 
turned the yoke and choked to death. 
They were fouiul later on the bank of 
Jack creek. From this point Mr. West- 



on evidently concluded to walk with the 
storm, for he made a bee-line for Her- 
sey station (now Brewster). After walk- 
ing about twelve miles he was overcome 
by the storm and fell forward on his 
face, clutching at the long grass where 
he fell. 

Immediately after the storm the set- 
tlers about Graham lakes organized a 
searching party and scoured the country 
for the missing man. They found the 
oxen and sled, but the search for Wes- 
ton was fruitless, and toward evening 
they abandoned their efforts and return- 
ed home. Late in the following April, 
when the snow had disappeared from 
the prairies, the dead body of the miss- 
ing man was found by another party of 
searchers at a jjoint one and one-half 
miles northwest of Hersey. 

As a result of the death of Mr. Wes- 
ton there was originated a ghost story 
which becaiiic famous all over the coun- 
try, due largely to its reiteration by Mr. 
A. P. Miller. The story is here given 
as it was tnld by Mr. Miller in the 
Worthington Advance of Jan. 13, 1881 : 

The story of .Tohn Weston's ghost was 
tiist piiblishcil ill the Aihance and widely 
co|)ied, so tlial it became known through- 
out the eouiiti-y. \A'eston appeared to Mr. 
Co.-per. who is still a resident of Seward 
township, and was an intimate friend of 
Weston. \ few days ago we caught Mr. 
( osjier in town and had the story from his 
oivii lips. He is a practical, nnimaginative 
man and gives the story in a circumstantial 

The day after the storm Mr. Gosper had 
been out with some neighbors searching for 
\\'eston's body. He had returned to his 
home and was at his stable feeding his stock 

^During 1907. in the Swastika Magazine. Den- 
ver, Mr. Miller retold the story of John Wes- 
ton's ghost, and therefor received a prize of- 
fered for the best verified and corroborated 
psychic and ghost experience or story. In 
article he says that Mr. Cosper came to his 
office to tell him the story, and that as 
as he can remember it was in these words: 

"I went into my stable after the l^ucket. in- 
tending to water my horses. I came out and 
turned the corner to go down the path. \Vh<!ii 
about h.ilf way down the slope to the well I 
was surprised to see John Weston coming up 

just before sundown. He came out of the 
stable, and, passing around to the east end, 
saw John \^'eston coming up the path from 
the creek. Weston had on the blue soldier 
overcoat \^■hich he usually wore. His hands 
were tucked up under the cape, and he ap- 
proached Cosper with his usual smile and 
usual salutation, saying, "How goes ii.'i" 
Cosper said, "Why, Weston, I thought you 
were frozen to death!" Weston replied, "1 
am, and you will find my body a mile and 
a half northwest of Hersey!" Saying this, 
he vanished. Mr. Cosper says that even_ 
after \\ eston had gone it took him some 
time to realize that he had seen a ghost, 
and to "feel queer."" 

Before this, Weston had evidently an- 
nounced his death to his wife. Mrs. Weston 
related the incident, and it was confirmed 
by her son. The second night of the storm 
she was awakened by a knock at the door. 
She dozed off again and was aroused by a 
second rap, when she asked what was wanted. 
A voice answered, "Did you know that 
.John was frozen to death?" The voice 
soimded like tiiat of her brother, Mr. l^ind- 
erman, who lived in the vicinity. The boy 
heard the voice, and raising up in bed, said: 
"Mother, did uncle say' that pa was frozen 
to death?" ]Mrs. Weston went to the door, 
but there was no one there, and no tracks 
could be found iu the snow. Mr. l.inderman 
had not been there, and it seems that Wes- 
ton, wishing to announce his death, and at 
the same time not to frighten liis wife too 
much, assumed the voice of his brother-in- 

Now for the confirmation of Cosper's story, 
lie told it at once, and it was published 
throughout the country before the winter 
was over. Search was made for Wes;on"s 
body, but in vain. When spring came, how- 
ever, and the snow began to melt ofl', Wes- 
ton's body was found near a slough, where 
the snow had been deep, a mile aiul a half 
northvr'est of Hersey. We believe that .Mr. 
Erickson, who now lives at Worlhington, 
was the first to discover the body. 

Another man who lost his life in this 
storm in Nobles county (but knowledge 
of which was not gained until a year 
later) was a man by the name of Taylor. 
His home was in Lake Benton, from 

the path to meet me. He approached with 
his usual familiar smile, and his hands were 
tucked under the cape of his blue soldier over- 
coat, just as I had seen him approach many 
times. I called to him and said: 'Hello, Wes- 
ton! why, I thought you were lost in the 
storm.' Weston replied: 'I was, and you will 
find my body a mile and a half northwest of 
Hersey!' He then began to melt or fade 
away, somewhat like smoke thiriniug out. and 
disappeared. I had not time to realize what 
was occurring till it was over, and then I be- 
gan to feel mighty queer." 



which phicc lie and four other men liad 
gone to mill. When the storm struck, 
Taylor became separated from his com- 
panions and the ox team which they 
were driving, and wandered afoot a 
distance of about tliirty-five miles. 

It was during the next winter that 
the body was found in the northern 
part of Seward township, in a ban-en 
country, by Andy Dillnian mid George 
T. Bulick, who were out trapping. Cor- 
oner Cliurchill was uotilied, who took 
possession of the body, and finally, 
through advertising, the body was iden- 
tified. Mr. Taylor was one of four 
members of a family who froxe to death. 

A few of the adventures in this mem- 
orable storm are worth relating. In the 
little log school house at the north end 
of liidJiui lake the teacher, Jliss Mary 
Jemerson, and the scholars were obliged 
to stay for three days and two nights. 
The snow drifted in through the crevi- 
ces and soon covered the floor. The 
supply of w'ood was soon exhausted, and 
then the furniture had to be split up to 
ki'cj) alive a meager lire, which barely 
kept them alive until the storm abated. 
To keep up circulation the children 
I'oriucil ill Indian file and marched 
around tiie stove through the dreary 
(hiys and long nights. Being without 
food, except what little they had left 
in their dinner hiickets. they suffered 
greatly, but all escaped without damage. 
Joseph Foots was caught in the sloriii 
in the western ])art of the county and 
lay for several days in a snow drift. 
His feet, becoming exposed, were frozen 
and had to be amputated. .1. 11. Max- 

^Jnrors wore cho.sen In 1873 as follow.*?; 

Oi-arul — O. II. Chapman, Peter Swartwoiit. 
WaiTi'n Srrjith. Henry Hraytnn. R. I,. lOrsUine. 
.Mljert Mansaril. J. ('. Clark, Peter Tliomiisiin. 
H. C. Rlee. A. A. Par.'^on.'^. Jnn.ithan (jordori. 
\V. S. Stockdale. J. H. Churchni, F, \V. Bur- 
(lette. D. S. Law, B. S. I-angdon. 10. S. Mills, 
W. B. -Akins, J. H. Barnflfcld, J. D. Roberts. 

well drove four miles against the storm 
and then took refuge with a neighboring 
farmer, not being able to reach home. 
Kcv. Jlr. Stone walked five miles facing 
the storm between Worthington and 
Jackson, and finally took refuge in a 
sod shanty. A party of Worthington 
men, among whom were Dr. Langdon 
and Cornelius Stout, w^ere caught on the 
road between Jackson and Worthington, 
and also remained snowed up in a sod 
liouse. A man north of Worthington 
was caught on the trackless prairie, driv- 
ing an ox team. He unhitched his oxen 
,nnd took off their yokes. Then he took 
one of the animals by the tail, and by 
twisting tlie tail, kept the beast on a 
trot. The other ox followed, and the 
man in time brought up against his own 
wiHiil |iik'. 

.\ii act of the legislature, approved 
Feb. 'v'l, 18T;5, provided for the estab- 
lishment of a district court in Nobles 
county, the law to go into effect on July 
4, of the same year, but for some reason 
no court was held in the county until 
two years later, liock county was at- 
tached to the new district for judicial 
|uirposes. but in 1874 it bt^came a dis- 
trict by itself.^ 

^iaiiy new settlers arrived in the 
spi'ing of 1873, and the colony was in- 
deed in a flourishing condition. Those 
«ho had ai-rived during 18T2 put in 
cro]is, which had come up and were 
growing beautifully. The faith in the 
soil liad been justified. Everybody was 
enthusiastic over the prospects. 

Then came the never-to-be-forgolten 
plague — tlie grasshoppers — and the coun- 

Potit— N. H. Smith. B. B. Brain. E. \V. Hes- 
selroth. .Tulins Westinghouse, J. A. Cosper. 
C. I.. Johnson. W. R. Bennett. Chas. Fris- 
liie. \V. G. Brown. B. W. Woolsteneroft, 
Chjis. Wilkinson, Peter Swetzer. J. P. War- 
ner. M. S. I''inii. Richard Bagley. A. A. Kim- 
ball, ICdward Hear. S. D. Sprague, B. F. 
Congdon, J, B. Haines. 


try that looked so bright and had been so 
prosperous was wrapped in gloom. Im- 
migration ceased ; farmers, mechanics, 
merchants, everybody became discouraged 
at ouce. 

It was on or about the 15th day of 
June that the people noticed something 
floating through the air from west to 
east, which some thought at first sight 
to be Cottonwood seeds. They seemed 
to be drifting with the wind, and some 
of them were at a great height. They 
kept increasing in numbers, and soon a 
few scattering ones began falling to the 
earth, where they were found to be grass- 
hoppers, or Rocky mountain locusts — 
forerunners of a scourge that for sev- 
eral years devastated this part of the 
country and resulted in the retardation 
of settlement for many years. 

The flight kept up for several days, 
and a gi-eat number of the hoppers came 
down and feasted on the growing crops, 
and deposited their eggs. They did 
great damage, but not so great as in 
later years, and a light harvest was 
gathered.-* Many families were left des- , 
titute, and in the early winter a relief 
committee was organized, which looked 
after the wants of those in greatest 

Three new townships were organized 
during the year 1873, Wilson (Summit 
Lake), Hebbard (Olney), and Grand 
Prairie. The petition asking for the 
creation of Wilson township was pre- 
sented May 9, and was signed by John 
Ward, Jas. F. Hollopeter, N. F. Gan- 
onny, Jas. Marden, Geo. W. Akin, J. ¥. 
Cannern, Henry C. Moore, John J. 
Weaver, Albert J. Ryan, A. B. Coe, D. 

Stone, S. Wass and Irwin L. Wass. The 
commissioners created the township May 
20, named the new township Wilson, 
and provided for holding the first town 
meeting at the home of J. ¥. Hollopeter 
on June 5. The state auditor notified 
the commisisoners that there was an- 
other township of the name of Wilson in 
the state, and that therefore it would 
be necessary to change the name of the 
Nobles county division. The name was 
changed to Akin, in honor of one of the 
settlers, on June 15, 1874. Upon re- 
quest of the settlers of the township the 
name was again changed, July 27, 1874, 
to Summit Lake. The name was given 
for the lake within the borders of the 
township, and the lake was named be- 
cause of its topographical location. 

The petition for Hebbard township 
was circulated January G, and was 
signed by R. C. Stillman, John John- 
ston, Jos. V. Bartow, John G. Culpm, 
R. W. Moberly, Benjamin F. Eenn, T. 
Thompson, Toor Anderson, Wni. V. 
Hebbard, Allen Simons, Alex Simpson, 
Chas. J. Fox, W. H. Forencrook and Ole 
Gunderson. July 10 the commissioners 
took favorable action on the petition, 
named the township Hebbard in honor 
of Wm. F. Hebbard, one of the settlers, 
and provided for the completion of the 
organization at the residence of Wias. 
J. Fox on July 29. The town meeting 
was not held at the appointed time, and 
the completion of the organization was 
postponed. October 14 Mr. Fox ap- 
peared before the commiss'ioners and made 
affidavit that up to that time no officers 
had been elected and no town meeting 
had been held. The commissioners then 

'Different from most of the accounts of this time, as tliere was not much crop for them to 

first invasion is that of G. L. Ellsworth, which eat. had they been so disposed. Their prin- 

was published in the Nobles County Demo- cipal business seemed to be the depositing of 

crat in 1896. Mr. Ellsworth wrote: "... their eggs, and after staying for a day or 

Although a great number of the hoppers came two, they all took flight again towards the 

down, they did not create much alarm at that east." 


diangecl the name of the township to 
Now Haven and made further provision 
for the organization of the township. 
June 15, 18i4, another name had to be 
selected, because of a prior disposal of 
the name New Haven upon a township 
in another part of tlie state, and Olney 
was tlicn bestowed upon the new town- 
siii]), after the county seat of Kichland 
county, HI.'' 

The people of the southwestern cor- 
ner township asked for organization on 
August 30, the petitioners being Miles 
Birkett, M. S. Merriss, ■\1. .1. Bryan, 
Oley Olson, Edmond Olson, 1'. J. John- 
son, Thos. Johnson, H. A. Severson, 
Paine Stilniets, J. Spalding, Robert 
Williamson, John Bootcher, 0. D. 
Bryan, \Vm. H. lugraliam, Geo. S. 
Barnes, Clias. A. Barnes, A. W. Walters, 
Jas. Walker, P. M. Merriss and J. 
Pride. At a meeting of the board of 
county commissioners on September 33 
the township was created, and on Oc- 
tober 30 the organization was perfected. 
The name Grand Prairie wa.s selected 
by the coiiuiiissioners out of a list of 
three suggested by the petitioners," and 
the name selected is not a misnomer. 

It will be remembered that during the 
fii-st few years of the county's history 
the county seat was officially located at 
Gretchtown, but that, as Gretchtown had 
no actual existence, the county seat bad 
led a wandering life. The commissioners 
transacted their business at the homes 
of the dilTerent members (always in 
Graham Lakes township), and tlio var- 
ious county officers attended to their 

'■The name wa.s suggested by R. W. Moberly. 
.Sevei-iil other numes well' siiggesled by the 
residents of the township, among others t)e- 
Ing Sprliiglleld. 

""The name of Colfax we thhik appropriate 
to call our township, or If that will not do. 
call It Grand Prairie or Union township." 

'"The question now stands. Firstly: Do 
the voters of Nobles county desire the re- 
moval of the county seat from Gretchtown? 

olTiiial duties at their homes, or where- 
cver was most convenient. 

When Worthington was founded agita- 
tion for the establishment of the seat 
of government in that village was be- 
gun.' Through the efforts of ex-Gover- 
nor Stephen Miller, who was at the 
time the representative of southwestern 
ilinnesota in the lower house of the leg- 
islature, a bill was passed, early in 1873, 
providing for such action. Following is 
the full text of the act: 

An act to establish ami loealc the emiiity 
seat of Nobles county. 

Be it enacted by the leorislaturc of the 
state of Minnesota: 

Section 1. That the county seat of Nobles 
eonnty is hereby established and located at 
the village of VVorthiiifrton. in said county 
of Nobles, on section number 23. town num- 
ber 102. and range number 40. 

Sec. 2. It shall be the duty of all 
county officers who are required by law to 
hold their respective offices at the county 
seat to remove their several offices, with all 
the books, records and papers pertaining 
thereto, to the said town of Worthinpton 
within sixty days after the passage of this 
:icl. without further no'i(e; and each and 
every officer who shall fail to conijily with 
the provisions of this section shall forfeit 
the county office held or occupied by him. 

Sec, .■?, In the event of the pa.ssage of an 
enabling iict, during the present session of 
the legislature, authorizing the electors of 
said county to vote upon the question of 
the removal of said county seat at the next 
general election, no indebtedness shall be 
contracted on behalf of the said county by 
(he officers thereof for the erection of county 
buildings at the said Tillage of Worthington 
until the location of such county seat at 
said village of Worthington shall be con- 
lirmed by the vote of a majority of those 
who may vote upon the question of remov- 
ing said county seat, in pursuance of such 
enabling net, at the general election in Nov- 
ember next. 

Sec. 4. All acts and parts of acls incon- 
sistent with this act are hereby repealed. 

See. 5, This act shall take effect and be 
in force from and after its passage. 

Approved March 6, 1873, 

Secondly: Where is Gretchtown,? Can anyone 
tell us where to find Gretchtown? Is it a 
."seaport or a railroad center? Is it a manu- 
facturing town or a rural district? Did it 
vote for Grant? .-Vny infoi'matinn under tli<' 
sun of this lost sister town will in* tearfniiy 
received by the mourning friends, as well as 
other members of the unhappy famii.v. Gretch- 
town, Gretchtown, thou long lost sister, re- 
turn, re-e-turn, return." — Western Advance, 
Nov, 9, 1872. 



It was not the intention of tlie legisla- 
ture to arbitrarily locate the county seat 
at Worthington permanently, and on the 
same day the act was approved, another 
one became a law which left the matter to 
the voters. It was in the form of a 
law removing the county seat from 
Worthington to Hcrsey, which was at 
tlie time just budding into a village. 
But provision was made that before the 
law became operative a majority of the 
voters of the county must ratify it at 
the general election in November, 1873. 
The effect of these two acts was to put 
before the people the selection of the 
permanent county seat, limiting them in 
their choice to the two villages of 
Worthington and Hersey. The second 
act reads : 

An act to remove the county seat of 
Nobles countv from the village of Worth- 
ington to the village [of] ITersey. in said 

Be ' it enacted by the legislature of the 
state of Minnesota: 

Section 1. That the countv seat of the 
county of Nobles, in the state of Minne- 
sota, be and the same is hereby removed 
from the village of Worthington, section 2.1. 
township number 102, of range number 40. 
where the same is now lo -ated in said county, 
to the village or town of Hersev. on section 
number 25, township number 103. range 3!1 
west, in said county. 

Sec. 2. At tlie time of giving notice of 
the next general election it shall be the 
ihity of the officers of said countv of Nobles, 
rcqiiircd by law to give notice of said 
election, to give notice in like manner that 
at said election a vote will be taken on the 
(|i.estion of adopting this act removing the 
counly seat from the village of Worthington 
to the village or town of Hersey. as is pro- 
vided in the first section of this act. But 
no failure of. or irregularitv in, siich notice, 
or the giving of such notice, shall in any 
wav vitiate the vote on such question. 

Sec. 3. At said election the electors of 
.said county in favor of the of the 
said county seat as provided in this act, 
shall have distinctly written or printed, or 
I-artly written and partly printed, on their 
ballots "For removal of county seat;" those 

opposed to such removal, "Against removal 
of county seat," and such ballots shall be 
received by the judges of election and can- 
vassed at' the same time and in the same 
manner, and be returned to the same office 
as votes for county officers. 

Sec. 4. The county canvassing board of 
said county, to whom said election returns 
are made, " shall canvass the votes on said 
ipiestion, at the same time and in the same 
manner as returns of votes for county offi- 
cers, and if upon such canvass being made 
it shall appear that a majority of the votes 
cast at such election were voted in favor of 
the removal of said county seat, an ab- 
stract of the canvass of said votes shall be 
made on one sheet, signed and certified in 
the same manner as in cases of abstracts of 
votes cast for the county officers, and shall 
be deposited in the office of the county au- 
ditor of said county, and the said county 
auditor shall immediately thereafter trans- 
mit to the secretary of state a copy of said 
:ibslract, duly certified by said auditor. 

Sec. 5. If "this act shall be adopted by a 
majoritv of the electors of said county of 
N'obles ' voting at the said election at the 
next general election, the governor shall 
forthwith make proclamation, as provided 
by law in such cases, and it is hereby made 
the dutv of all officers who are required by 
law to 'hold their ofl'ice at the county seat, 
to remove the said offices, books and records 
to the new county seat at Hersey within 
thirty days, without further notice, and any 
failure to so remove said ott'ices shall oper- 
ate as a forfeiture of their said offices. 

Sec. 6. All acts and parts of acts incon- 
sistent with this act are hereby repealed. 

Sec. 7. This act shall take effect and be 
in force from and after its passage, except 
as to section one. which is to take effect and 
be in force from and after the adoption of 
the same as provided herein. 

Ajijtroved March 6, 187.". 

Tlie county officials made jirepara- 
tions to carry out the provisions of the 
first act. Arrangements were made to 
secure a building at Worthington for 
court house purposes, and on ^lay 7 a 
contract was signed leasing the back 
room of the building known as the post- 
office building. This was leased for a 
period of one year from Charlotte E. 
Goodnow for $150.' 

By resolution of the county board of 
May 20, the auditor officially gave no- 

»A para^aph of the contract read: " . . in the morning until nine o'clock m the 

that they shall have free access to said evening of each day of the week, Sundays 

room by use of the back door at all times and excepted." 
access by the front door from seven o'clock 



tieo to the other officers that they must 
remove their offices at once to the 
county seat, and before the first ot June 
the county business was being transacted 
in Wortliingtou. On Jnne 10 the first 
meeting of the commissioners was held 

When Worthington was founded the 
railroad company gave to the county the 
block of land in the heart of the city, 
still used for court house purposes, and 
now worth many thousand dollars. A 
dear title was not given at first. It was 
provided that a court house should be 
erected thereon within three years (from 
1871), and that in case the property 
ever ceased to be used for court house it should revert to the railroad 
company. When the hard times period 
came on it was found impossible to 
erect a court house within the time 
specified, and the railroad company 
granted an extension of two years. In 
1876 another extension of time was 
given, ami in 1877 a court house was 

In accordance with the provisions of 
the second act of March H, the county 
seat question was decided at the general 
election on November 4, 1873. There 
was never much doubt as to the out- 
come, and the bitter animosities so of- 
ten engendered in county seat contests 
were lacking. Worth ington was the 
logical location. It was the center of 
population and the only town of any 
pretentions in the county. Hersey was 
on the extreme eastern edge of the 
county and a place of relatively small im- 
portance. Hersey and Graham Lakes town- 
ships returned majorities in favor of 

•After the first year the county rented of 
J. H. Johnson an orflce In a Uttlo building 
located on Ninth street, just west of the pres- 
ent court house, for a rental price of $37.50 
per quarter. There was only one room down 

the smaller place; in only two other 
precinets, Seward and Fairview (Lor- 
ain) did Hersey receive any considerable 
vote. The result in detail follows: 







2 >> 

-4.3 m 

<" £ 

2 " 


c (u 





Pairvifw 'T^iOraint 








Wilson 1 Summit Lake) 




Kigelow . . 








Grant i Ransom) 


Little Rock 


ll):i-4- lOlneyit 





Indian Lake 


Grand Prairie 





• Including.' township 104-41 (Bloom). 
+ A volinsr iirerint had been established, but the 
township oriiiini/.ation had not yet been perfected. 

.V lax of fifteen mills was levied in 
is;:i, of which eight mills was for the 
general ruml. two mills for road i)ur- 
poses. one mill for the poor ruml. ami 
four mills to be applied on tl'c ii;iyniciit 
of interest on the county's debt. 

The repoi't of school conditions during 
the year 187:) is very meager. From it 
we learn that there were fourteen dis- 
tricts in the county, in only three of 
which .sclbinls were held, however. The 
total number of pupils in Ihe county 
was 369. One frame school house was 
erected at a cost of $51.31. 

Despite the terrible times through 
which the early settlers of Nobles county 
passed, the pioneers made the best of 

stairs, and in that were gathered the principal 
functionaries of the county. There were two 
living rooms upstairs. Mr. Johnson later 
opened a harness shop in this building. 


their trials, and their social rehrtinns 
were always pleasant. I can give no 
better idea of the social conditions dur- 
ing these days of hardships than by quot- 
ing a letter written by Robert Sliore, of 
Ransom township, in 1901 1^" 

"Here in Nobles county some 27 or 
28 years ago the lonely settlers' cabins 
were few and far between, and in tjie 
long, cold winters of those early times 
the days often dragged heavily. . ■ ■ 

"In the rigorous winters of those early 
da3's there were no coal fires in the 
homes of the farmers on these prairies ; 
no carpeted floors : but few books and 
papers; and as for the luxuries or life, 
they were unknown. And yet people en- 
joyed themselves even then; ipdeed, I 
don't think I ever saw people enjoy 
themselves better than at some of the 
sociables, so-called, of tliose primitive 
times. It would be arranged that on 
some specified evening there was to be 
a sociable at the house, say, of Timothy 
Sharp or some other good neighbor, ancl 

at the appointed time people would coine 
from every direction for miles around to 
spend a pleasant evening together. And 
then would follow a time of as unre- 
strained enjoyment as I ever saw. It 
seemed as if all the pent up jollity o[ 
one's nature was let loose, and, as Byron 
says, 'joy was imconfined.' 

''One reason for this was, I think, 
that the little bickerings which too often 
disturb the peace of a neighborhood had 
not arisen ; people w^ere animated by a 
common purpose — the making of homes 
for themselves in this then new country. 
Then, too, people were all on an equal- 
ity ; there were no ricli and poor, con- 
sequently no social distinctions. Every 
man felt tliat he was as good as his 
neighbor, and his neighbor as good as 
lie. Then, again, people in those days 
were blessed, it seemed with abounding 
good health. People dived very plainly 
in those days — were obliged to — and 
plain living, we are told, is conducive to 
health. ..." 

"Published in thp Nobles Countv Democrat, 
of Dec. 20, 1901. 




] f llici-c had been a belief that the 
p;rassljo|)|)ev visitation of 1873 was only 
a temporary blight on the prospects, it 
was rudely dispelled. The story of the 
years to follow is one of heartrending 
misery. From Manitoba to Texas the 
grasshoppers brought desolation and suf- 
fering in 1874, the visitation being gen- 
eral along the whole frontier. Especially 
destructive were they in southwestern 
Minnesota and in Kansas and Nebraska. 

A large acreage was sown in Nobles 
county in the spring on land that had 
been broken the year before. Then the 
settlers commenced breaking, and plant- 
ing "sod corn.'' Wlien warm weather 
set in grasshoppers began to hatch from 
the eggs that had been deposited the 
summer before and began their ravages 
as soon as the first tender blades of 
grain appeared. Whole fields were strip- 
ped entirely bare in those portions of 
the county where the young hoppers 
were most numerous, principally in the 
northern and western townships. The 
southeastern part escaped almost en- 

Had this been the only damage, the 
county would have sur\'ived the inflic- 
tion. A fine growing season caused the 
crops in- many places to get ahead of 
the young hoppers. Wheat and oats 
were growing finely, "sod corn" was an 

* 81 

especially good crop, and all garden 
vegetables were growing as they seldom 
have since. Then on July 2 came a 
visitation of "foreign" hoppers out of 
the northeast, who made it evident that 
the country was not to escape with the 
ravages of the young, pests. 

Conditions were such in the early 
summer that the people realized that 
something must be done to assist those 
who had met misfortune. On July 1 
the board of county commissioners, com- 
posed of I. P. Durfee, chairman ; J. W. 
Miller and M. L. Miller, met at Worth- 
ington to consider the condition of the 
destitute and the sufferers from loss of 
crops by the grasshoppers, and to pro- 
vide for their wants. County Attorney 
M. B. Soule was present and offered the 
following resolution, which was adopted : 

Be it resolved bv the boarrl of county com- 
missioners of Nobles county anH state [of 
Minnesota] that an amount not exceeding 
two thousand dollars (.$2,000) be and the 
same is hereby appropriated for the immed- 
iate relief of those persons in said county 
who are in need of such relief, and that 
same be expended for this purpose alone, 
under the direction of said board of com- 
missioners, and in accordance with such rules 
and regulations as thev deem best. And 
that an order of said county be issued un- 
der the direction of said board, bearing in- 
terest at the rate of twelve per cent, for 
the amount of such part thereof as may be 

County Auditor William M. Bear went 
to St. Paul, and, through the influence 



of Governor Cushman K. Davis, sold 
one tliousanfl dollars woitli ol the coiin- 
t\'s paper at its face value to the Firs^t 
National Bank of St. Paul. It must 
not be imagined that this money was 
raised for the purpose of reimbursing 
the sufferers : it was to prevent actual 
starvation. One hundred barrels of flour 
and oightoen barrels of pork were i)ur- 
ehased and brought to the county for 
distribution. An informal meeting of 
the county board was held at the resi- 
dence of J. W. Miller, in Graham Lakes 
township, on July 7. when the following 
residents were named to act as distribut- 
ing agents in their respective townships: 

N. H. Smith,^ Graham Lakes. 

J. Westinghouse,' Seward. 

C A. Barrows.^ TTersev. 

W. B. Akins, Elk. 

S. Wass,' Wilson (Summit Lake). 

D. Fogo, Lorain. 

I. P. Dnrfce, Worthington. 
J. B. Churchill. Dcwald. 
R. Still man, 1 Olney. 
Jas. Atchcson, Indian I;ake. 

E. S. Mills, Bigelow. 
Leroy Cole, Ransom. 

■T. D. Polierts. -Little Pnck. 

H. S. Barnes, Grand Prairie. 

These gentlemen at once apportidncij 
the supplies among the most needy. 
They found many in a precarious con- 
dition: Ihc thousand dollars worth of 
provisions was only a drop in fhe 

The destruction to crops done by (lie 
young grasshoppers and those which 
came on July 3 was as nothing com- 
pared with what was to follow. .Miout 
ten o'clock on the morning of .Tulv I.") 
the grasshoppers were again seen coming 

'WfTP siinersedp(3 bv Jullii") Wp.stlnphouse. 

Graham I akps; Jnna.i Pnrshnll. Seward: A. A, 

Parsons, Hersp.v; J. J. Weaver, Wilson; .T. V. 
Bartow. Olney. 

out of the northeast. The sky was so 
full of them that the sun was darkened 
as with dense clouds, and the roar of 
their wings sounded like the approacli of 
a storm. This time they came down foi' 
good : and what havoc they wrought I 
Those tliat alighted on the prairies^ 
seemed to know where the grain fields 
and gardens were, and gathered in them 
from all directions. Every cornstalk 
lii'iil to the eartji with their wiiglit. The 
noise they made eating could lie heard 
for quite a 'distance and resembled tliat 
which might have been made by hun- 
dreds of hogs tliat had been turned into 
the fields. In fact, such was the de- 
struction that within four hours after 
ibev came down, wliole fields of corn 
and small grain were as completely har- 
vested as though they had been cut with 
a reaper and hauled away. It was a dis- 
couraging sight. 

After gorging themselves with the 
crops the hoppers became stupid and 
piled up in the fields and along the 
roads, often to a ■ depth of one or two 
feet. Horses coidd hardly In' driven 
tlirongl) ilieni. Stories have been told 
of railway trains becoming tdoekaded 
liv the pests, so as to be unable to move 
until the insects were shoveled fi-om the 
li'acks. After resting from tlieii- fensl. 
thev took their departure. 

0]i .\ugust 3 came anotliei- linrde, 
seeking to destroy what bad been left, 
and those settlers who had escaped with 
only a partial loss before were now 
called upon to go through the tortures 
of seeing their grain disappear, with no 
means of checking the disaster. It 
seems incredilde that any grain should 
have been left. Init such is the case.' 

=Th<> name applli'd lo these pests is a mis- 
noTner. They never ate grass. 

"" , . . We have stated that half a crop 
of wheat had been raised. Since threshing 



From a carefulh- prepared estimate 
made bv Auditor William M. Bear, we 
learn that out of a total of 16,410 acres 
planted to crop in 1874. only 83,183 
bushels of grain and vegetables were 
saved. Wheat averaged about five and 
one-half bushels per acre, oats seven 
bushels, corn two and one-half bushels, 
potatoes 3S biishels, while all other 
grain was nearly a complete failure. 
The old settled township of Indian Lake 
was the most fortunate, and escaped 
with small damage. The wheat average 
there was a little less than ten bushels.* 
The lowest wheat average was in Sew- 
ard, being less than two bushels. In 
Hersey and Graham Lakes the loss was 
also nearly complete. The largest acre- 
age sown was in Worthington township, 
where 1.46-5 acres were planted and 10.- 
916 bushels of wheat harvested. Fol- 
lowing is Auditor Bear's estimate of the 
number of acres sown, the number of 
bushels harvested and the average yield 
per acre of the different grains and vege- 
tables :' 




Per Acre 

38 12 





















Buckwheat . . . 


Flax Seed . . . 
Barley ....... 




this will have to be slightly changed, for the 
crop falls a little below half a crop. Nobles 
county raised this year two or three times as 
much wheat as it needed to bread the county, 
but. as we stated before, those who have any 
surplus must sell to pay debts and procure 
other supplies. Those wiio raised nothing are 
left destitute and must be carried through the 
winter." — Worthington Advance. Oct. 3, 1874. 

*When relief supplies were distributed later 
in the year the people of Indian Lake re- 
quested that no supplies be sent into that 

The Minnesota commissioner of sta- 
tistics prepared a report of the estimated 
loss in the principal grain crops in 
Minnesota due to the grasshopper raids 
of 1874. His estimate for Nobles county 
was as follows : 



Loss in 









The colonists had now been in the 
county over two years, and not a crop 
liad been raised. They were poor peo- 
ple when they came: not having realized 
a cent of income since their arrival, 
the result can well be imagined. The 
people were compelled to practice the 
most rigid economy. Hay furnished the 
fuel; potatoes, pumpkins and squashes — 
a few vegetables left by the grasshop- 
pers — furnished the food. Meat was 
not on the bill of fare, except for those 
who could use a gun and bag the prairie 
chickens and ducks that were in great 
abundance. In this manner a large 
number of the settlers were obliged to 
pass the winter. 

They bore their trials more cheerfully 
than might have been expected, and 
made preparations to try their luck 
again nest year. In preparing their 
land for the crop the following year, 
the farmers nearlv ruined their horses, 

'Said the Advance of Jan. 20, 1875: "These 
figures will be interesting to the future his- 
torian of the great grasshopper visitation. 
When Nobles county is annually turning out 
an average of from 17 to 25 bushels per acre, 
and when several more railroads will be de- 
manded to do the carrying for the fertile 
prairie regions of this latitude, these figures 
will be looked upon with a melancholy inter- 
est, and our children will wonder at the pluck 
and energy of the people who stuck it 



being without tlie necessary grain to 
feed them. About 18,500 acres of land 
was prepared that fall," which was 
more than had been sown in 1871. 

Many were left destitute and badly in 
need of aid. but during the summer and 
early fall the actual suffering was not 
severe. But a few realized what the con- 
dition wonlil be when cold weather set 
in. and steps were at onco taken to pre- 
pare for tlie time when food, clothing 
and fuel would have to be supplied to 
prevent starvation and freezing. It was 
apparent that such aid as the state would 
furnish would be wholly inadequate to 
meet the demands of the destitute. 
Several gentlemen concluded that the 
only safety lay in providing a fund to 
meet the emergency which was sure to 
arise in midwinter. To this end J. C. 
Clark was selected to visit the eastern 
cities for the purpose of soliciting aid. 
Assurances were given Mr. Clark by 
Professor Humiston and others that 
whether successful or not his expenses 
would be paid. He succeeded in raising 
about $1,800 in eastern cities, and, sub- 
sequently, about $300 in St. Louis. 
Others went nut soliciting on privnl'" 
account entireh-, and were more or less 
successful in relieving their own wnnts.'' 

Although precaution* had already 
been taken as outlined above, by the 
middle of October it was realized that 
a united and more thorouirh effort mu^-t 

Ijc made to secure funds to prevent ter- 
rible tragedies that otherwise would 
surely come with the wintry blasts. With 
this in view a mass meeting was held in 
Jlillcr hall, Worthington, on October K!. 
to devise means of meeting tlic emer- 
gency. I. P. Durfee was chairman of 
the meeting and J. A. Town was secre- 
tary. The following statement of condi- 
li(ms in the county, and the purposes of 
the meeting was adopted, one section at 
a ti me :' 

Whereas. There is iiigent and iimiiciliati- 
iieoessity for aid to many destitute families 
in our eoiinty; and 

Wlicrcas. The elVorts put fortli and .-u|i 
plies now on hand are totally inadequate to 
meet the demands wliich are eiinstantly made 
for help; and 

Whereas, We are fully eonvinoed that tlif 
nu)re favored portions of our own state ami 
other states do not appreciate the destitution 
in our midst; therefore 

I^esolved. That we appeal (1) to the ehari- 
talde of our own state for help; (2) to the 
p.eople of the I'nited Stales; (.3) to the state 
Rovernnu'nt; (4) to the government of the 
I'nited .States, for the preservation of wliii-h 
niauv of us offered o'.ir all during the late 
terrible cixil war. 

The conditions were discussed in de- 
tail. Estimates as to the possibh' num- 
ber of families that would re(|uire aid 
vai'ied from two liundrcd to llu-cc hun- 
dred. ]\lr. Durfee, who was cliairman 
of the county relief committee, reported 
tiiat 37,000 pounds of ihuir and a large 
(juantity of pork, furnished \)\ the coun- 
ty, had been distributed. Tie also stated 
that he liad appealed to the governor 

"Estimate by Auditor Bear. 

'It is possible that a few took advantnere of 
the terrllle eonrUtlons prevalllnpr. and. repre- 
sentlnpr themselves as dul.v authoi'lzod rol- for tilt' reUef fund, were In vonlltv 
working for their own benefit. The .\dvance 
of September 26. 1874, snifl: 

, "Our correspondent mentions the fact that 
some one from Horsey township hns f?oae to 
St. Paul bpRpingr. and hns serured ouite a 
sum of money and a good supi>ly of other 
artlrles. We jiidgo from the tenor of the 
statement that this was done on private ac- 
count entirely. Of course if people will go 
abroad and beg there Is no way of pre\'entlnK 
them, but these persons are brinKlnK reproach 
upon the whole region and giving us the rep- 

Titntion of chronic mendicants. A\*e heard a 
few days ago that one man fror.i Graham 
Lakes township hed recently been throviKli 
Wisconsin and Michigan begging. This is 
his second liegging tour, and no di>ul)t he Is 
realizing a handsome sum. We wish to warn 
the pul lie asainst all boggers from this region 
who profess to have letters from responsible 
parties In this county. Th° papers are gen- 
erally forged, and when it Is k?iown that 
tliere Is an organized method of olitalning 
and distributing supi>lles, people ou:;ht to re- 
fuse those who are begging on private ac- 

'Pulillshcd In the Claim Shantv Vindicator 
of Oct. 21, 1874. 



for state aid. Governor Davis replied 
that the county government ought to do 
something for the destitute and sug- 
gested tliat an additional $1,000 bonds 
1)0 is^'ut'd. Mr. Durfee informed his 
excellency that in his opinion the peo- 
ple of Nobles county would sooner leave 
the state than issue more bonds. This 
opinion was somewhat borne out when 
the mass meeting passed a resolution re- 
questing that the county commissioners 
do not issue more bonds for tJie purpose 
of relief. 

Warren Smith favored the immediate 
distribution of the $1,800 which had 
been raised by Mr. Clark, and suggested 
that the reason the governor did not 
favor rendering assistance was because 
that fund was as yet unapplied. Prof. 
Humiston said that he was satisfied that 
the governor was not cognizant of any 
such fund, that the money had been 
placed in the bank against the extreme 
suffering which parties foresaw would 
exist during the coming winter, but that 
if the time had arrived when it should 
be given out, it only awaited the order 
of the proper officers. 

A committee was appointed to draft 
an appeal for aid, and soon thereafter 
was issued the following entreaty, in 



A meeting of tlie citizens of Nobles county, 
Minnesota, was held at Worthington, Octo- 
ber 13. 1874, at which the undersigned were 
appointed a committee to draft an appeal 
to the charitable of our own state and to 
the friends in oiu' old home states, in be- 
half of the needy and destitute in our midsi:. 
Our people have suffered a calamity as real 
and overwhelming as if everything had been 
swept away by fire and flood. We refer to 
the raids of the grasshoppers during the last 
two years. Ours is a new country. Most 
of our settlers came here in the spring of 

1872 and since that time. The first year of 
settlement is necessarily spent in breaking 
the prairie in order to procure a crop the 
second season. . . Thus it will be seen 

that many of our people have raised no crop 
in the three seasons of their residence on 
these new lands. Their need is urgent and 

The question may be asked what things 
are needed. We answer: First, food. Many 
families have lived for weeks on such vege- 
tables as escaped destruction, and the sup- 
ply is almost exhausted. They have neither 
bread nor meat. Second. They need cloth- 
irg. They have raised nothing to sell, and 
the clothing they brought with them is worn 
lO rags. We would suggest that yirn for 
stockings, thread and material for children's 
clothing be sent. This will give help and 
employment at the same time — the best 
luiman charity. Third. They need beililing. 
There are tho-^e who are now sleeping under 
a covering of prairie hay, and winter is ap- 
proaching. Fourth. They will need seed 
grain next spring or another year will not 
relieve the destitution. 

Some may ask vrhy we do not abandon a 
country which is liable to such a plague. We 
answer: \^'e have seen enough in some 
favored portions of this and adjoining coun- 
ties to demonstrate the matchless fertility of 
the soil. In Mackson county, immediately 
east of us, more than fortv bushels of wheat 
and one hundred and ten bushels of oats 
per acre have been reaped in former years. 
Our climate is as agreeable as any in the 
world. We have a temperate, intelligent, 
induHtri()U>. moral class of people. Their 
misfortunes cannot be laid to any improvi- 
dence on their part. We came here to make 
homes for ourselves and our children, and 
most of us have invested our all here in 
improvements on our homesteads and have 
no means to get away, even temporarily, 
.^nd besides, where else can we go? Is 
there auv land on earth that is exempt from 
calamities of some kind? 

We feel that our destitution is only tem- 
porary. The grasshoppers did not deposit 
their eggs here the past season. They may 
not be seen here again in a genei-ation. We 
have faith that next year we will reap boun- 
tiful harvests. But in the meantime, many 
of our jieople must liave help or they will 
perish. Careful estimates warrant the state- 
ment that not less than half of the seven 
hundred families in the county are partially 
or wholly destitute. We call, therefore, upon 
our more fortunate brethren to help us in 
our distress. If this appeal should meet with 
a response, let the contributions be sent to 
[. P. llnrfee. chairman of the board of 
county commissioners. Worthington. Nobles 
county. Minnesota. He has the entire con- 
fidence of all our people, and will make ]n-op- 
er distribution of all that is sent. The 



receipt of all contributions will be promptly 

and tliankfullv acknowledged. 

J. A. '1X)\V"N,- 
T. C. BELL, 
\V. M. bi;ai{, 
1!. K. irOllSTON, 


To this appeal there was quite liberal 
response, but tlie neuds were not over- 
supplied by any means, and tiiere was 
some suffering during the winter. 

The state came to the aid of the grass- 
hopper sull'erers when the legislatuic 
convened during the winter. On Feb- 
ruary 12, 1875, General Sibley reported 
that he had turned over to Nobles coun- 
ty $1,952.82." The distribution was 
under the direction of the governor. In 
Nobles county the work of distribution 
was delegated to tlie board of county 
commissioners, and they left the details 
of the work to I. P. Durfee, chaiMan 
of the board, and W. M. Bear, county 
auditor. . ■'■'.• 

To relieve the situation, the legisTa- ' 
ture granted an extension of time for 
the payment of taxes in some of the 
counties, and, of course. Nobles was 
among the number. Times not improv- 
ing, the extension was of little benefit. 
People who had not money to buy food 
and clothing could not pay taxes. An 
interesting relic of this period is the 
following notice published in the pub- 
lie press of Nov. 20, 1874, by County 
Treasurer Ilumiston: 

To Tax Payers: 

The noble efi'orts wliiili are being made 
by many of our settlers to pay their taxes 
is worthy of a public acknowledgment. Some 
are still in arrears, and although the time 
granted by the legislature last winter is 
past and the personal property tax of 187.3 
became delinquent on the first day of Xov- 

•The total amount distributed was $15,551.56, 
divided among the devastated counties as fol- 

Plnewood $200.00 

Martin 1,363.87 

Rock 1,400 . 00 

Cottonwood 3,237 03 

ember, yet I am still receiving taxes at my 
olfice. I must very soon call on those who 
do not call on me, and I do not wish to 
make any unnecessary trouble or costs, but 
the laws compel me to make the effort, and 
it is hoped that it will not be necessary to 
perform this (to me) very unpleasant duty. 
Count}^ Treasurer. 

The question naturally arises: Why 
did the people of Nobles county stay in 
a country in which the grasshoppers 
wrought such damage? It is doubtful if 
they would have remained could they 
have looked ahead and foreseen what 
tliey still had to go through, for this was 
not the end of the scourge by any means. 
A few discouraged ones did depart for 
their former homes. All who could went 
away each summer to work in the har- 
vest fields of more fortunate communi- 
ties and earn enough to supply their ab- 
solute needs. 

The majority stayed with their claims 
.■ ancl . weatliered the storms of adversity. 
Hope was abundant that each year's visi- 
tation would be the last. The fertility 
of the soil had been demonstrated, and 
it was known that once tlie country was 
free from the pests, it would liccoine one 
of Die richest spots in the west. The 
settlers had invested all their accumula- 
tions of former years in improvements, 
and to desert the country meant that 
they must go as paupers. Many were 
literally too poor to pay transportation 
charges out of the country. 

.\ tax levy of 16 mills was made in 
July, 1874, divided among the several 
funds as follows: General, eight mills; 
poor, two mills; road and bridge, two 
mills; county interest, two mills; float- 
ing debt and county orders, two mills. 

Watonwan 1,808.83 

J.ickson 2.817.82 

Murray 1,902.82 

Nobles 1,952.82 

Brown 300.00 

Others 768.38 


Ttl.DFN ■' 


In Buildings Such as This Hundreds of Nobles Count\'s Pioneer Settlers 
Had Their Homes. 

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s rjiMiT LAKi-: 

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Ml ri.tiJ{pifK| Yj ^^ ,; s iigjM 1./ <; % I. « 

"I ,, '1 

^#^"Ii ' . --^ 

l: w 1 .N I 

AN Oil) ^i.W 01 NOliLLS LOUNi'> 
Reproduced from a Print Made in 1874. 



The levy was revised in November, be- 
ing cut down to 13 mills, divided as fol- 
lows: General, seven mills; poor, one 
mill; road and bridge, two mills; county 
mterest. one mill: floating debt, two 

The assessment showed a total valua- 
tion of $432,433, of which .$3oO,l-2.-, was 
on personal property and $182,308 on 
real property. The total number of 
acres of deeded and contracted land was 
37,444. Seven hundred forty-five per- 
sons were assessed. The population of 
the county, estimated from figures fur- 
nished by the assessors, was between 
3,000 and 3,500 — probably a slight over- 

Other statistics for tlie year 1874 
show that there were 86 births, 24 
deaths, 20 marriages, one divorce and 32 
first naturalization papers granted. 

Despite the prevailing hard times the 
])ublic schools showed a healthy growth. 
Ten new buildings were erected, and the 
attendance was greatly increased. The 
following items appear in the report of 
tlie superintendent of schools of Oct. 
31, 1874: 

Number of districts in county. .37. 
Nunibor persons five to 21 years, 7.51. 
Xuniber persons 15 to 21 years, 197. 
Xumber pupils enrolled in " winter schools 

.\verage daily attendance, 71. 

Average length of winter schools in niontlis. 

Number teachers in winter schools. 2. 

Number pupils enrolled in summer 7cliools 

Average daily attendance in summer 
schools, 221. 

Average length of summer schools in 
months, 3 1-7. 

Number teachers in summer schools, 16. 

Number pupils enrolled in schools within 
the year, ,311. 

School houses built during vear 1S74, 10 

Value of schools houses built durinc the 
year, ,$2,435. " 

Total number school houses in county, 11 

Value of all school houses in the county 
$2,485. •' ' 

Paid for teachers' wages in 1874, $875.81. 

Casli in treasurer's hands at close of school 
year. September 30, 1874, .$53.83. 

One improvement in this year of dis- 
asters was the establishment of a star 
Juail route in the southern part of the 
county. The route extended from Bige- 
iow to Ash Creek and passed through 
the townships of Eansom, Little iiock 
and Grand Prairie. This proved to be 
a great accommodation to the settlers in 
those townships. Two postoffices were 
established along the route in Nobles 
county. One was Little Rock, of which 
J. T. Green was postmaster;'" the other 
was Grand Rrairie, located first on sec- 
tion 10, Grand Prairie township, and 
conducted by a settler named Ayers." 

The legislature of 18:5 took prompt 
action to relieve grasshopper devastated 
southwestern Minnesota. An act approv- 
ed March 1, 1«;5, provided" for an' ex- 
tension of the payment of personal pro- 
perty tax in the counties of Martin, 
Jackson, Nobles, Rock, Murray, Cotton- 
wood, Watonwan, Renville, Lyon and 
parts of Blue Earth, Faribault and 
Brown to November 1. In order to se- 
cure this extension it was necessary for 
the residents to give proof that they 
were unable to pay their taxes because 
of loss of crop in 1874 from grasshop- 
pers or hail. 

Tlie commissioners of Nobles county 
also took action to relieve the hardships 
of taxation by abating the interest and 
costs on the delinquent real estate tax 
for 1874. All who should make satis- 

he hi w^ succeeded by W. T. Jones, and "Ayers was succeeded by Oscar Lund Geo 

nntif^^ t.^ „«.^'"'''-''' ^ho remained in charge Barnes. Oscar Bryan and John Butcher The 

until the office was discontinued Dec. 31, office was discontinued in 1884 when' Ells- 
worth yillag^e was founded. 



factory proof, on or bel'ore December 1, 
1875^ under oath to the county auditor, 
that they were unable to pay the lS7i 
real estate tax, should escape the penal- 
ties, providing the taxes were paid at 
the time of making proof.'- 

Notwithstanding the terrible exper- 
iences of the two preceding years, tlie 
people determined to put in a crop again 
in 1875. The ground had been prepar- 
ed, but the farmers were without seed 
grain and without the means to purchase 
it. The legislature came to their rescue 
witli an appropriation of $75,000, the 
act providing for the distribution of seed 
grain to that aiiiouiU, with certain jtro- 
visions for its repayment. A state board 
of commissioners was appointed to con- 
duct the distribution, and a local hoard 
was named in each of the stricken coun- 
ties to assist in the work. Daniel l?olir- 
er, I. P. Durfee and Peter Thomp- 
son served in Nobles county. The money 
market was tight, and the state was' not 
able, to procure the money to purcliii.«e 
more than $50,000 worth of grain. 

Applications at once began pouring in, 
there being between 250 and 260 in 
Nobles county. The state commissioners 
arrived in Worthington March 31 -and 
immediately began delivering the grain. 
Nobles county's share of the $50,000 was 
about $3,000, and to each applicant was 
given twelve bushels of wheat.'^ It was 
expected that po soon as the state could 
negotiate a luan for the other $25,000 
of the appropriation, it would be issued 
in corn, potatoes and other seed, but tiiis 
was not done. With the grain received 
from the state and that wliich was in tlie 
county there was enough to seed about 
I'igiity per cent of the prepared land. 
The seed grain liiniished by tlie state 

"CommlsfJlonera" Journal. June 10. ISTS. 
"The settlers were .slow In paying for IliLs 

was a Godsend. '"Our farmers never 
started with better prospects as to seed 
than they do the present year," said tlic 

The grain was sown; it germinated, 
and appeared above the ground. Then 
came anxious days. Would the grass- 
hopper scourge again come with its rum 
aud desolation? As the season advanced 
the people with deep concern scanned 
the skies for the appearance of the pests. 
Eggs had not been deposited in the 
county the preceding season, and thu 
only apprehension felt was in reganl lo 
another invasion. Tidings soon came. 
On Monday, June 28, it was reported 
that a vast army was on the way to the 
northwest from Iowa aud other states to 
the south, headed, it was said, for the 
Bad Lands of Dakota. They passed over 
Hioux City in great ntimbers, and ex- 
tended as far north as Sheldon. A few 
stragglers along the right Hank of the 
army were seen in Nobles county ami 
created some apprehension and caused a 
great deal of upward gazing. ISnt I hi.' 
settlers thanked Providence that, so far, 
they were in the suburbs of tlie move- 
ment. One curious feature of this move- 
ment was that it came from the south- 
east; before the hordes generally came 
out of the northeast. What few were 
seen passing over Nobles county did no 
damage whatever. 

But on Saturday afternoon, .luly ](•, 
the grasshoppers settled down in con- 
siderable nundjcrs in various parts of the 
comity. They came from the northeast, 
and as they were not full grown, it was 
believed they belonged to the Minnesota 
valley hateli, eggs having been deposited 
tiiere in great numbers the year before. 
Sunday morning they began eating in a 

^rain, and accounts were carried on the books 
of the county until November. 1303. when the 
last payment was made. 


few fields of wheat and barley, but most July 30," and worked from there slow- 
of them waited until Monday before they ly southward, depositing tlieir eggs as 
tested the merits of the growing grain, they went. They invaded Lorain and 
On Sunday Ransom and Bigelow town- Elk townships and on tjie 31st put in 
ships were invaded from the southwest, an appearance about Worthington in 
and a few fine stands of grain in eat-ii considerably numbers. They were not so 
of those townships were badly damaged, numerous as they had been the year be- 
Tuesday, July 13, the greater part of fore, however, and were only enough 
the hoppers took their departure, flying to cover one tier of townships at a 
in a northwesterly direction. The dam- time. Neither did they eat so raven- 
age in Nobles county was not general or ously as formerly. 

great. In no part was there total de- They continued their way southward 
struetion, and probably not over 100 and spread out over several Iowa coun- 
acrcs were seriously damaged. By llie ties, where- they did little or no dam- 
IGth the graisshoppers had not only dc- age to the crops. It has been a ragamuf- 
parted from the county, l)ut from the fin FalstafEin army, compared with that 
state. of the ISTl army. Their appetities ap- 
Tlie settlers kept track of the move- peared to be poor, and they were of a 
ments of the grasshoppers as they would degenerate breed; bushels died after lay- 
have those of an invading army of sol- ing their eggs, and the exhausted rem- 
diers. They knew that- only by chance nant left the county in the first half of 
would they escape. They felt as though August. 

the sword of Damocles were suspended Oats and garden vegetables suffered 

•over them, ready to fall at any moment, most. Outside of the. three northeas- 

The pests M'ere absent only a short time, iei-n townships, where the loss was nearly 

In the latter part of July they invaded total, the damage was slight, and an es- 

the townships of Hersey, Graham Lakes timate placed the crop at nine-tenths 

and Seward — communities which had of a full one. Probably twice the quan- 

suff'ered so greatly the year before — in tity of farm products ever before raised 

great numbers. For several days they was marketed in 187-5. 

were there destrojdng the crops and de- The population of tlie county in 1875, 

positing their eggs. Some of the farm- according to figures taken by the asses- 

ers lost everything, and all in the three sors in the different precincts, was 2738, 

townships suffered considerable loss. It divided by precincts as follows: 

is needless to say that the farmers there Wortliinslon village 419 

were discouraged. Some parts of the VVorthington township 207 

'^ '- Little Rook 204 

county had escaped without great loss Biselow 192 

in 1874 and most of the county did in Oyaham Lakes 192 

rjlK 1 Oa 

1875; but these townships in the north- Sowarri ■. 184 

eastern part of the county had now suf- | o"'ii'" 182 

^ •' Itansom 17o 

fered two nearly complete crop failures. Hei-sey 170 

The grasshoppers began leaving the ?'!'^'<'" ^^^''''^ .■ V^ 

" ' ' " '^ Oliiey 108 

northern tier of townships on Friday, Oraml Prairie 107 

""We were at Grabani lakes on Wednesday the county. At present they do not extend 
[August 4], and found there was snareely a more than three or four mUes north of Worth- 
grasshopper in the whole northern portion of ington. — Worthington Advance, Aug. 6. 1875. 


Uewald 103 '^'|ie Hist list diavvn was not signed by 

2nd Assessment District 67 ,, , . ,. ,, , ■, , ,, 

Summit Lake 62 '■'"^ cliairman oi tlie board, and the 

Kirst Assessment District 15 second list was not filed with the clerk 

Xotal 2,738 "f court. The grand jury was therefore de- 
clared not competent to find an indict- 
There was an increase in the as- ,),e„t^ an,] ^he prisoner was given his 
sessed valuation in 1875. The total was jjijerty. 

$65(j,363, of which $254,250 was lor o£ (lie seventeen civil cases on (lie 

personal property and $402,113 for real docket, several were (juite important, 

property. The levy was again placed 'j-),,-, only Jury case was that of Jesse 

at thirteen mills divided as follows: Gen- \v. Pahwcr against Warren Smith for 

eral, five mills; interest on bonds, etc., ijbel. 'J'he trial occupied several days, 

lliree mills; road and bridge, two and ,,„,i the case was decided in favor of 

one-half mills; floating debt, one and the plaintiff, who was given a verdict 

one-half mills; poor, one mill. of one dollar. 

The first term of court held in Following were the jurors who served 

-Nobles county convened at Miller hall, .^i ti,jg j[]-gj; term : 

Worthington, on Tuesday, Sept. 14, (jj-and jurors, .Michael Snyder, Jnlin 
1S75, and was in session until Saturday, 'r. Cwcu. A. Buclian, Charles Fake, T. 
Sept. 18. Judge D. A. Dickinson, of |>. Crowe, ('. H. Loveless, Coleman 
ilankato, judge (jf the Si.xth district, (luernsey, \V. (i. liandall, John D. Brown 
presided. Luring the term E. D. Had- B. F. Tanner, David Fogo, J. R. Dewey, 
ley, of Luverne, and Daniel Kohrer, of Alfred Tt-rry. James Tliom, .lolin De- 
WorthingtoUj- were admitted to practice. I'nos. W. B. Akins, (). A. Fauskee, (J. 
Besides the members of the Worthington M. riuml). G. T. Bnlick, A. W. Burn- 
bar there were present Daniel Buck, of ham, David Hates. William Cull', Otio 
Mankato; E. Clark, of Wiudom; Geo. Ik'rrcau. 

L. Otis, of St. Paul; Mr. Seegur, of IMit jurors — I'eter Sweil/.cr, J. Tar- 

St. James; J. \\. Knox, of Jackson, and bcrt, .lolm Alley, T. H. Parsons, Wil- 

Samuel Lord, of Mantorville. liani II. Parry, II. ('. Rice, H. M. John- 

Tiiere were two criminal cases on the son, Frank Densmore, E. W. Hesselroth, 

ilocket. One was against one Larson, Charles Peterson, Henry Brayton, B. D. 

charged with selling diseased nical. The Chui-cbill. Richard BergrafF, L. B. Har- 

grand jury failed to return a true bill, don, Itobcrt Firth, James Parshall. K. 

Andrew Jacobson, charged with burglary, J. Bear. A. O. Conde, Charles Driiry, 

was di.scharged, owing to the fact that William Ditty, V>. W. Lyon, L. E. Kim- 

thc grand jury was not properly drawn, hall. I!. !■'. Congdon. .hihu llail. 




The year 187G opened auspiciously. 
Despite the forpbodings of disaster from 
another grasshopper visitation, the peo- 
ple were in tine spirits. This was caiis- 
ed by tlie prospects of another railroad 
building into the county. Everybody 
was worked up over the matter, and the 
iK'lief WHS almost unanimous that upon 
the onming of another railroad depended 
the future welfare of the county. 

I'lie Soutlici'n Minnesota^ was the 
name of fhe road that caused the flurry 
in Nobles county. It had a road com- 
pleted and in operation as far west as 
Winnebago City and let it be known 
that till.' line would be extended to the 
west, provided sufficient money was rais- 
ed as a bonus. Nobles county was 
asked to vote bonds to the amount of 
$40,000 as a subsidy to be paid subject 
to the condition that the road be com- 
• ])lcted to Worthington and in opera- 
tion on or before September 1, 1877. It 
was also made known that the road 
would later be extended. Mass meet- 
ings and conventions were held to bring 

'A company formed by Chicago. Milwaukee 
& St. Paul Interests. The road is now a 
branch of that system. 

^In the light of present conditions. thi.s pre- 
diction is amusing. The Southern Minnesota 
did build north of Worthington; the point of 
crossing with the Sioux City road is at Prairie 
Junction, or Milonia; and anyone who has 
spent his time there waiting for ti-ains will 
corroborate the statement that it is not a 

about the desired condition, and very 
little opposition to voting the bonds 
developed. The Worthington Advance 
of Jan. 13, 1876. said of the necessity 
of having the new road, and thereby 
voiced the sentiment of the people of 
Worthington, at least : 

The Southern Minnesota is Wortliiiigton's 
oi.iportunity. If the road comes here, Wdrth- 
ingion becomes from that day a railroad 
center and an important inland city. If it 
goes north of us, the railroad center for 
this section of country will be at the point 
of crossing the Sioux City road.' Worth- 
ington can better afford to pay the whole 
bonus herself than to let the road go north 
of us. About one-half the tax will fall 
upon Worthington in any event, for aboiic 
that per cent of the realty on the tax list 
is in Worthington. . . . But of course 
Worthington will not be askeil to do this. 
The suiTOunding country will, if anyihing. 
be benefited more than the town, and will 
not hesitate to hear its share of the small 
burden lu^cessary to secure the road. 

A petition was presented to the board 
of county commissioners on February 
11), asking that the Nobles county law 
makers call an election to vote on the 
c[uestion of issuing bonds. ^ The same 
day the commis.sioners took favorable ac- 

'The petition was signed by Daniel Shell, H. 
W. Kimball, H. J. Grant, L. E. Kimball, Otis 
Bigelow, C. P. Hewitt, R. F. Baker, Geo. O. 
Moore, H. Davis, S. A. Davis, E. C. Hill. A. 
M. Smith, Elihu Smith, C. B. Loveless, C. T. 
Pope, B. N. Carrier. T. C. Bell. A. P. Miller. 
M. B. Soule. J. P. Moulton, 'V\^ S. Stockdale, 
R. D. Barber, H J. Ludlow, C. Z. Sutton, M. 
Grinager, L. B. Bennett, Daniel Rohrer. J. A. 
Town, C. Johnson and I. N. Sater. 




tion, and called a special election for 
the village of Worthington to be held 
>rarch 14. Provision was made for vot- 
ing on the question in the townships on 
the same day, that being the date of the 
regular township elections. Bj' a vote 
of 353 to 199 the bond issue was au- 
thorized. Following is the result by 
precincts : 





Worthington Village 

Worthington Twp 


Dewald . 











3 V 





Summit Lake . 


Indian Lake 


Little Rock 

Total :.. 



That was the end oi: the matter for 
the time Ijeing. The ro;ul was not ex- 
tended until three years later, and tlien 
it barely touched Nobles county, passing 
througli tlie northeastern corner of Gra- 
ham Lakes towrishi]). 'J'he bi)iiils for the 
subsidy voted were nut issued. 

But the Southern Minnesota was not 
the only railroad that showed activity 
in 187G. Simultaneous with the agita- 
li(]n for the extension of that line, the 
people of Siou.x Falls and vicinity were 
laying plans to have a road luiilt iulo 
that prosperous community. Jn the fall 
of 1875 several public meetings were 
held in Sioux Falls, the object of which 
was to secure a road, either by building 
one with local capital or by inducing" the 
Sioux (!ity & St. Paid Pailroad com|)any 
to constiMU-l a branch from some ])ciint 

on its main lino. The point favored 

was Sibley or some station in Iowa. 

Tiie wants of the Dakota town were 

made Icnown to the officials of the 

Sioux . City & St. Paul road. President 

E. !•'. Drake responded as follows: 

St. Paul, Minn., Oct? 28, 1875. 
Sir: Vour favor of the 21st duly reeeiveil. 
.\ljseiiie has prevented an earlier reply. It 
<ecni.s to me your proi)er line of road is 
from W'orihington, or a point on our road 
at the state line. The great product of your 
(ountry is to be wheat, ami our route to 
Lake Superior is always to be the best route 
for it. Had the west escaped grasslioppei ■- 
we would have long since taken up this 
project, but our stockholders have sunk in 
operating oin- road about as much as would 
be required to build to Sioux Falls. Foreign 
aid cannot be had until the state of Iowa. 
l>y some act of her legislature, can assure 
investors that they will be free from un- 
friendly legislation. I think, as matters now 
stand, our prcferonce will be to build from 
fonw. point in Minnesota. While we are not 
ready to begin to build, and would desire 
(in case we do) the cooperation of Siou.x 
Falls, still we are not losing .sight of the 
importance of the proposed route, and will 
give it every encouragement in our power. 
1 am of the opinion that the road can only 
be built by local aid liberally voted. It will 
not be in my power to be with you at your 
meeting, but whatever may be its result, 
and whatever route you may determine on, 
I shall wish you success. Your people are 
entitled to a road out in some direction, and 
when you develop your plans and determine 
what you wish to do, I shall be iilad to have 
further correspondence. 


E. F. l)i;.\KK. I'rcst. 

The information contained in the let- 
ter did not prove entirely satisfactory to 
the progressive people of Sioux Falls ; 
they wanlfid a road at once, and Presi- 
dent Drake had stated that the company 
was not in position to build at once. 
Tliey conliiiued tlie agitation, determin- 
ed to construct a road themselves if nec- 
essary, and an association was formed, 
composed mostly of people of Minne- 
haha county, Dakota territory. Presi- 
dent Di-nkc had given n hint as to the 
jiropcr place from which to build, and 
late in December. 1875, the Dakota 



boomers met and designated Worthing- 
ton as the eastern teriuimis of the pro- 
posed road. 

A preliminary survey of the country 
adjacent to Big Sioux river and Brown 
creek from Sioux Falls to the Minnesota 
line near Talley Springs was made. The 
surveyors reported a route favorable for 
construction as well as operating. The 
people of Minnehaha county very strong- 
ly urged the people of Eock and Nobles 
comities to unite with them in further- 
ing the work.* But the people of No- 
bles county were at the time too much 
iibsorbed iji the Southern Minnesota to 
be aroused in the interest of the Dako- 

During the month of January, 1876, 
tlie Sioux City & St. Paul Railroad 
company decided to build the road. This 
action was taken because of the evident 
intention of the Southern Minnesota to 
invarle the territory. The decision was 
reached, ostensibly, through the efforts 
of the Minnehaha county committee, who 
visited the officers of the railroad com- 
pany and secured from them the promise 
to Iniild the road.' Tlie railroad com- 
]iany asked that tlie three counties 

■"'Valley Springs. Dec. 27. 1875. 

"A. P. MiUer. Dear Sir: ... Of course 
it is idle for this co"jnty to attempt the enter- 
prise urless the Noble«; and Rock county peo- 
ple will unite with them. By solicitation of 
the committee appointed to forward the pro- 
ject. I write to ascertain if we may expect 
prompt action on the p^rt of your people. 
. T am confident that if Nobles and 
Rock counties will act with as much effect as 
our own people, and as promptly, we can be- 
fore the next harvest show a line three- 
fourths of the entire distance graded and 
ready for the ties. Of course this can only be 
done by the most active work in organization 
and in subsequent prosecution of the work. 

"I hope and trust that you will, with such 
others of your people as should enlist in the 
work, extend to us the hand of greeting in 
the most liberal manner, and aid in binding 
our little commmunitics together with bands 
of iron at the earliest day practicable. I verj' 
much wish a personal interview with you and 
your people, and will, if you desire, under- 
take to come to Worthington with some two 
or three of our Sioux Falls friends if by so 
doing we may reasonably hope to secure ac- 

through which the road was to run pay 
a bonus. 

The company was incorporated in 
March as the St. Paul & Dakota Rail- 
road company" by President E. F. Drake 
and his associates of the Sioux City & 
St. Paul. The capital stock was $600,- 
000, there being 6,000 shares of $100 
each. As told in the incorporation act, 
the company proposed to build a branch 
roTjd "from some point on the line of 
the Sioux City & St. Paul railroad, in 
Nobles county, state of Minnesota, to 
the west line of tlie state of Minnesota, 
in Rock county." 

The preliminary survey was started 
west from Worthington on March 31, 
the original lines being run on the 
north side of Okabena lake. Later this 
course was abandoned in order to avoid 
the heavy grade that would have to be 
overcome in building directly out of 
Worthington. It was decided to leave 
the main line at a point about three 
miles southwest of Worthington known 
as the summit, later known as Sioux 
Falls Junction. 

Preparations were ru,shed. funds were 
secured, bonuses wore voted in ^linne- 

tive cooperation. 

"Very truly yours. 

"M. S. WOOD. 
"Chairman Com. Sioux Falls R. R. Co."' 

'"'Editor Advance: Permit me through the 
medium of your verj' excellent paper to state 
to your people that as a result of a visit of 
the Minnehaha railroad ^committee we have 
the pleasure to state tha't our interview with 
the president and several of the directors of 
the St. Paul & Sioux City railroad was of a 
highly satisfactory character. 

"Briefly, let m.c say that as a result we 
bring with us a written proposition bearing 
the signature of president Drake, which we 
regard as highly reasonable, and we may say. 
liberal, which, by prompt acceptance and ac- 
tion on the part of Nobles. Rock and Min- 
nehaha counties, promises to give us a rail- 
io;id to Luverne in time to move the crops qf 
this year, and final completion to Sioux Falls 
before the close of the year 1S77. . . M. 

S. Wood, Chairman." 

"The name was changed to Worthing-ion & 
Sioux Falls Railroad company in July, 1876. 



halia auJ Kock counties, and in May 
grading was begun.' The work of eon- 
striietion on the branch made business 
lively. Nearly every train brouu;iit work- 
.nicii to Worthington, and the hotels there 
were filled to overtlowinji;. The lumber 
yardSjblacksniith shops and hardware stores 
also did a good business. It was the 
first time in several years that ready 
money had circulated in tlie county. The 
track was completed to the present site 
of Adrian in August, and October 2 the 
track had been laid to the crossing of 
Rock river at Luverne, and the first re- 
gular train was run over the line.' 

The stage line between Worthington 
and Luverne Avas discontinued. The 
village of Adrian was founded, and at 
once became an important trading 
point." A station named Miller, in 
honor of e.x-Govcrnor Stephen Miller. 
was established at i\\o ]m\nt where 
Euslmiore now stands. The postoffiee 
of Hebbai'd was moved to Adrian, and 
that at Dewald was discontinued. The 
road was extended from Luverne to 
Sioux Falls in the summer of 1878. 


The grasshoppers again brought des- 
truction to the crops in 1876. The de- 
posit and hatch was confined mainly to 
those townships which jiad been invaded 
tlie year before. The pests began to 
hatcli, and late in May commenced their 
ravages. They were quite tliick in Ora- 
ham Lakes, TTersey, Seward. Elk and 
Worthington townships, and there were 

"'LeMars, April 3. 1S7G. 
"A. P. Miller. Esq. Dear Sir: Upon ooncli- 
tion that we secure the stipulnted bonus in 
Rock county we have secured every dollar of 
the sum required to complete our branch 
road from yt)ur place to Luverne by or before 
the first day of October next, and If the t)onus 
liv voted It will be so completed. Col. Drake. 
Col. Merrlam and Horace Thompson. Esq.. 
teleKraph from New York that the money 
is I'eady so soon as the bonus is voted; and 
General Bishop writes that if the vote be 
favorable, he will Immediately thereafter 
finally locate the road, and will commence Its 
construction so soon as the frost is out of 

a few in Indian Lake, Dewald and Sum- 
mit Lake. For a time they ate quite 
ravenously: then during the fii*st week 
in June they appeared to become inac- 
tive. They scattered through the prairie 
grass, became apparently demoralized, 
and appeared to have lost their appe- 
tites. As usual, tlie three northeastern 
townships were the most severely hurt, 
and the other portions of the county 
were not damaged to any great extent 
by the early operations of the pests. 
About the middle of June the young 
lioppers recovered their appetites and re- 
turned to the charge. The local hatch 
was not considered numerous enough to 
do any extensive damage, and the great- 
east anxiety was the fear of another in- 
vasion. The Advance of June 22 said : 

In tliis county the damage is still slifrlit. 
We liear lioiu "Seward that nearly all tin- 
grain there is clestroyecl. Our Ilersey cor 
resiionclent writes that in that t(]wn the in 
jury is not great. ^Ir. .Xnie^. of this town 
ship |\Vorlhingloul. thinks his crops are 
half taken. .Mr. Kulweiler. of Bigelow. ha^ 
lest a good j)ortion of liis grain. 

The invading hosts appeared July 8, 
dropped down upon the county, ate a 
few days. :iiid disappeared. Then on 
July 22 they cainc in countless numbers. 
The country was invaded again I They 
extended as far east as Mai'tin county, 
south to Sibley, west tn '^'aiikton, and 
north an indefinite ilistance. They re- 
mained until July 29, when they nearly 
all migrated. Oats, barley, corn, vege- 
tables, and all crops except wheat, wore 

the ground, and will ohcorfully furnish em- 
ployment for all the men and their teams 
in your county and Rock that are desirous to 
labor. . . . — S. Miller. Agent." 

"The train consisted of one coach and a 
caboose, and carried a party of visitiuB rail- 
road officials. Peter Becker was conductor; 
Frank Swandollar, engineer; Matt Dulan 
fireman. John McMillan was roadmaster in 
charge of the branch line when it began 

'For the early history of .Vdrian see chap- 
ter 17. 

"*St *■' 
















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almost entirely destroyed in all parts of 
the county. For some reason the wheat 
was not so seriously damaged, the loss in 
that crop being no greater than it had 
been during the previous year.^" 

There was no disguising the fact tliat 
Nobles county had met another damag- 
ing setback. Tlie people were discour- 
aged, and some left the country. Tlie 
hoppers had again deposited their eggs, 
and there seemed no prospects that the 
country would ever be free from them." 
The majority of the settlers remained, 
determined to tight to a successful end 
or meet utter failure in the attempt. 
The result of the invasion of 187G was 
to change tlie tactics. Instead of stak- 
ing all on gi'ain farming, many now 
turned to stockraising. 

During the winter following the in- 
vasion, it was again necessary to extend 
relief. Early in January the county 
commissioners began issuing siTpplies to 
relieve actual suffering. Captain E. S. 
Mills distrilnited at Bigelow and Worth- 
ington, A. C. Eoljinson at Wortliington 
and A. 0. Conde at Hersey. This 
coimty aid was given only to bridge over 
the time until supplies could be received 
from the state, after an appropriation 
had boi<n made l)y tlie legislature. The 
]\rinnesiita law-niaking body appropriat- 
ed .$100,nOO to be used in bounties to 
pay for the destructioTi of grasshoppers 
and their eggs, $75,000 to furnish seed 
grain, and another sum as a common 
relief fund. A rule was e.?tablished in 
Nobles county that parties desiring re- 

""Ttiey [the grasshoppers] will of course the wheat next unless farmers can 
pret in ahead of them and cut their wheat. 
There is a bare possibility that the wheat 
crop, in the main, will escaoe. and we are 
sure of our cattle and other live stock. Really 
we shall be grateful if they do not eat the 
shirts off our backs. Our hope is that a 
friendly tornado or a three days' blizzard will 
come and blow them away. How long! — 
Worthington .\dvance. July 27. 1S76. 

lief should apply to the township super- 
visors and make their statement, no af- 
fidavit being required. These statements 
were then sent to the state authorities, 
and supplies were sent direct to the 
needy parties, thus dispensing with the 
need of a county distributing commit- 

During tlie days that the grasshoppers 
were feasting on Nobles county grain 
came the last Indian scare. It seems 
Iiardly creditable that such an event 
could take place so late as 18?(i, when 
the whole surrounding country had be- 
come cpiite thickly settled, but such is 
the fact, and those who lived in tlie 
northern part of the county at the time 
will never forget it. Needless to say, 
there were no Indians within a long dis- 
tance of Nol)les county, and no hostiles 
within several hundred miles. But it 
was only a short time after the fearful 
(\ister massacre in Montana, and the 
rumor that Indians were on tlie way to 
wipe out the settlements of southwest-- 
crn ^finnesota came to credulous ears. 

It was on the inoriiiug , nl' .July 12, 
ISTT), before daylight, that some settlers 
frniii the nnrtli liurricdly rude iutu 
Worthington and repoilcd that the In- 
dians were coming, ll was stateil that a 
baml of .-)rtfl was camped on one of the 
lakes of ^Iiirray county. The scare spread 
through the southern part of Murray and 
the northern part of Nobles counties, 
and the evil done to nervous woman and 
children (and some men) was great. 

Soon after the arrival of the first 

"There was really very little that the set- 
tlers could do to destroy or check the pests, 
although many schemes v/ere tried. N'othing 
availed against the invading hordes, but in 
the case of the young hoppers the farmers 
waged a more or less successful war by the 
use of tar. A sort of drag, made of sheet 
Iron and wood, would have tar spre-^d over it 
and would then be dragged over the ground. 
The young hoppers would be caught in the 
tar and destroyed, but if there was an in- 
vasion all the work would be for naught. 



refugees people began to pour into Worth- 
ington from tlie country to the north. 
They had been aroused from their slum- 
bers by the startling announcement that 
the Indians were coming, had driven 
all night, and were in a high state of 
nervous excitement. Tlie roads through 
Elk and Seward townships were lined 
with wagons, the occupants of which 
were all bound for the county seat. Ar- 
rived there, they camped on tlio public 
square. The same evening some of the 
settlers returned to their homes when 
it became evident there was no truth in 
the rumor. Others waited for more 
substantial proof than had been obtained. 

The scare had originated with a hoy 
named Hemphill, in southern Murray 
county. He had been sent out to rake 
hav, but not being of a very enterpris- 
ms nature, he conceived a plan to es- 
cape the work. He rushed to the house, 
crving that the Indians had attacked 
him. A man named Hampton, who was 
preparing to leave the country, spread 
the alarm, and within a short time a 
full fledged Indian scare was on. 

.\ scouting party was at once organ- 
ized at Wovthingfon bv Lieutenant K. B. 
Plotts. iiimle up of the following gen- 
ilcTiicn: Oco. Brant. Prof. P. P. Hum- 
iston, A. P. ^filler. Will Bus.hnell. Phas. 
Covey. Captain .Mken Miner and Alex 
Dickev." Thev scoured the country to 
the north looking for Indians or Indian 
signs. They found notliing but a lot 
of scared people. After the return 
Lieutenants Plotts made the the follow- 
ing report of the expedition. 

fiontlomon of tlvo Cniiiicil nf t)io Villafro of 


.\{;rocMl>lo to instiiiclioiis. I linvo tlio honor 
lo report the foHowiiip faots gathered by our 
party wliile scouting the country on Wednes- 

^*Sonie nf the scouts wore mounted, others 
went In buggies, and a few of them were 
prepared to meet Indians. Those with Prof. 

(lay, July 12, .xnd Thur.sday, l."ith. After 
leaving Worthington we proceeded north of 
the lake Shetek road, accompanied by a 
considerable party in wagons and on horse- 
back. The whole party proceeded as far as 
.Tack creek, wliero we found the first occupied 
house, but no news from occupants of In- 
dians. We next stopped at the house of Mr. 
Alexander, on the north edge of the county, 
where some men were gathered who had 
just returned from a scout around the coun- 
try a number of miles, and who had been 
i;nable to find anything. They informed us 
that they thought the whole thing had 
originated with a boy named Hemphill, of 
that neighborhood, and followed by the re- 
ports of a man named Hampton a few miles 
further north and in Murray county. The 
whole party then proceeded to the bank of 
Seven Mile lake, \inhitched. fed our teams 
and lunched, after which it was decided, in 
consultation, that I'rof. llumiston and his 
immediate party, with two of the horsemen, 
should return with the news as gathered. 

The remainder of the party then proceeded 
norih till we came to the house of Mr. King, 
town of Bondin, Munay county. Here is 
quite a large settlement, and most of the 
men were at Mr. K.'s house_. which contained 
the only woman in the township. Here we 
found that it was unnecessary to proceed any 
further north, as a man had just arrived 
from lake Shetek a short time before our ar- 
rival, and he re|iorted everything quiet north 
of this immediiio neighborhood. Scouts also 
came in from the surrounding country while 
we were there, and all reported that no In- 
dians or signs of Indians coiild be found any- 
where. The report of Hampton, following 
the report of the boy Hempliill lias caused 
the whole of the trouble, and no small 
amount of damage to us as a people. 

Having thus traced the alarm to its foiui- 
tain head. Messrs. Clark, Shirley and Chase 
leturned to town from this place, and ouv 
guide and interpreter, Afr. Brint, accompanie 1 
by two men from Bondin om herpes, and twn 
of my own neighbors from Elk, pushed out 
west lo lone Tree or Badger lake, where wt 
spent tlie night at the house of Mr. Ander- 
son. This place is close to the Beaver Creek 
settlement, which knew nothing of Indians, 
and were pursuing the even tenor of their 
ways, unalarmed bv Indian scares. 

From Badger lake we pushed west across 
the country to Cora Belle lake, one of the 
old camping grounds of the Indians, and 
here we found no trails fresh, or new camps, 
neither of them having been used at least 
since last Mav or .Time. From Cora Belle 
we pushed across to that trail leading across 
Sunken Timber, as that is the only place 
anyone can cross without going way north 
or coming in south by T.uvcme. Before 

Humlston were armed with para.sols, high col- 
lars and kid gloves. 



getting there we met a man just from it, 
who hail not been more than one hour's 
time awa}', and te informed us that he had 
seen notliing of any Indians, nor had heard 
of any until seeing us 

In conchision, I would add that should I 
ever be so unfortunate as to have another 
such duty as this to perform, I should cer- 
tainly like to have in my party such men 
as accompanied me through, and especially 
siich a one as our interpreter, Mr. Brant. 
And now. trusting this report may allay the 
fears of all our people throughout this coun- 
try, I beg to remain. 

Very truly your servant, 

Late in Charge of Scouting Party. 

Hail it not been I'or the terrible gras.'S- 
hopper scourge there can be no doubt 
that the whole of Nobles count}' woulrl 
have been rapidly settled during the 
first half of the seventies. A big set- 
tlement had been nutde in the eastern 
half of the county because of the prox- 
imity to the railroad and because of 
the activities of the National colony, and 
a ffw had pushed out to the fertile 
lands in the western portion. If the 
hard times had not come there is no rea- 
son to doubt that a railroad would have 
lieen built through the west end and that 
that portion of the county would have been 
as thickly settled as the east. But im- 
migration had ceased when the scourge 
came, with the result that the extreme 
western and the wliole of the north- 
western part of the county was left 
with a very small population. 

From 1873 to 1877 no new townships 
were organized. At the close of the for- 
mer year 14 of Nobles county's minor 
divisions had been granted local govern- 
ment : the otlier six were unorganized, and 
had but small population. When the 
braiuh road was built during the summer 
and fall of 1876, resulting in the 
founding of Adrian village, the lands 
along the new road were settled to a 
considerable extent. In township 103- 
4.3 was located part of the new village, 

and there also was the greatest farm- 
ing settlement in any of the unorgan- 
ized townships. 

A petition praying for the organiza- 
tion of that township was presented to 
the board of county commissioners Jan. 
24, 1877. It was signed by Thos. H. 
Childs, G. E. Otis, J. C. Ludlow, 0. 
Klock, E. Washburn, Horace Westbrook, 
H. M. Moffatt, David W. Hovey, Isaac 
Emerson, Matthew Emerson, Nils Elias, 
Thron Gunderen, Henry Myiees, Ira E. 
Crosby, J. V. Bartow, Wm. Wigham, 
John Ellsworth, Geo. L. Ellsworth, 
John Nesh, A. E. Calkins, M. 
J. Klock, Peter Doltsmark, S. K. 
Hovey, L. C. Long, J. W. Yost, 
John Misemas, F. W. Ellsworth. The 
•board took favorable action February 6, 
and named the township Westside, the 
name being given because of its geo- 
graphical location. The organization 
was perfected Feb. 24, when the first 
town meeting was held at the Childs' 
hotel in Adrian. 

Twenty-three votes were cast at this 
initial election of Westside township. 
Thomas Childs and J. A. Ellsworth 
were judges of election, and Ira Crosby 
was clerk. The following officers were 
elected: Chairman. J. A. Ellsworth; 
supervisors. John Wiseman and Isaac 
Emerson ; clerk, L. C. Ijong : treasurer, 
Ira E. Crosby ; assessor, J. V. Bartow ; 
justices of the peace, T. H. Childs and 
E. Simmons ; constables, Geo. L. Ells- 
worth and Thomas Baltuff. Another 
election for the selection of township of- 
ficers was held March 13, 1877, when 
eighteen votes were cast and the foU 
lowing officers were elected: Chairman, 
Ira E. Crosby; supervisors, John Wise- 
man and A. E. Harris; clerk, L. C. 
Long; treasurer, P. Voigtlaender ; as- 
sessor, J. V. Bartow; justices of the 



peace, J. A. Ellsworth and T. 11. 
Cliilds; constables, Geo. L. Ellswurth 
and Geo. Slade. 

Nobles county's first court house was 
erected in LS7?. Tt was ]iui \\\i :it that 
time in order to .secure title to tiie block 
of land which had been donated bv the 
railroad company willi the ]irovision 
that a county i)uilding should be erected 
thereon within a certain time. The 
l)uildin<j put up was intended to serve 
as a temporary affair, but the build- 
ing was destined to be used as a court 
house — with some modifications — for 
eighteen years. 

The question of its construction was 
first officially discussed by the board of 
county commissioners on Feb. 6, 1877, 
when CommissiQner A. C. T?obinson was- 
instructed to prepare plans." The plans 
submitted were accepted March 20, and 
the auditor was authorized to advertise 
for sealed proposals to furnish material 
and erect the building, which should 
be completed by .Tune 28. Several bids 
were submitted, and the contract was 
let to Thurber & Chandler (B. F. Thur- 
bor and S. E. riiandlc>r) on n bid of 
$1124.'* Tlie building was completed 
and accepted liy the commissioners June 
20, and on .Tune 27 the county officers 
took up their quarters in tlie court 

The annual dread of grasshopper visi- 
tation was again fell in tlie spring and 
summer of 1877 — and this time the set- 
tlers were agreeably disappointed. The 
season was admirably adapted fo two 
ends: the best possible development 
of small grain, and the worst pos- 
sible development of the locusts. 

"A. O. Condo movcci that A. C. Robinson bo 
and Is hereby Instnictod to prepare a plan 
and estimate the cost of a temporary building 
for eounty offices and report the same at the 
next meeting of the board." — Commissioners' 
Journal. Feb. C, IS77. 

The cool, rainy weather of the 
s])ring and early summer .seemed to 
have been sent on purpose to give wheat 
and other small grain a rapid and hcalthv 
growth, and at the same time giv( 
the grasshoppers a slow and feeble de- 
velopment. After the young grasshop- 
jjcrs hatched, here and there a field was 
somewhat damaged by them, but the 
people knew that unless raided again by 
the invading hordes there could not 
be universal destruction. And the inva- 
ders did not come. July 26 the Wor- 
thington Advance said : "The deeper we 
get into the magnificent harvest of 
1877, the more we realize that this is 
our year of Jubilee." 

Yet conditions witc not so rosy as 
one might imagine. The several years 
of grasshopper invasion had discouraged 
the farmers of Nobles county to such 
an extent that each year saw less and 
less grain sown. The spring of 1877 
witnessed the planting of a very limit- 
ed acreage, and the big yield per acre 
did not result in the bountiful time- 
that would have come had the farmers 
sown as in former years. 

The state of affairs in Nobles coun- 
ty is described by a gentleman who visi- 
ted it that fall. In XoveniUer he wrote: 

"The country around Worth ington, as 
well as for a long distance before reach- 
ing there along the line of the St. Paul 
it Sioux City road, gives evidence of 
the sad effects of the grasshopper plague 
in the thousands of acres of land that 
have ouee been broken ami ])ei1inps a 
crop or two taken from ii. and the 
owners have left it to grow uji to weeds, 
not daring to risk the chances of bar- 

'*'rhe liids submitted were as follows: 'I'hur- 
bi r & Chandler. $1124: Edwin Huniislnn. 
Ji:!.3n; G. Anderson. $1100. C. B. I.aiittdon 
offered to sell the I'armers hotel or si nne-h 
as might be needed and move It to er>unty 
grounds for $800. J. H. Johnson offered to 
.sell the building then in use for county pur- 
poses for $1,000. 














vestinc; their crops. Nothing so forcibly 
brings to the mind of the visitor the 
reality of the grasshopper scourge as 
the sight of these desolate, weed-grown 
fields, with occasionally a deserted home 
standing cheerless and lone in the midst 
of the broad prairie." 

The legislature of 1878 passed another 
appropriation bill (approved February 
13) providing for furnisliing seed grain. 
The Nobles county officials received 
■$l,6Sfi..')0 of tins appropriation in cash, 
purchased the grain, and made the dis- 
tribution. There were 91 farmers who 
made application for grain. They had 
prepared 3,344 acres of land and de- 
sired 2,374 bushels of wheat and 1,1 fi9 
bushels of oats.^° 

The population of the county in 1877 
according to an estimate made by the 
Minnesota conimi.'^sioner of statistics 
was 1,-596. This was undoubtedly an 
underestimate. The population was 
nearer 3,000. 

By far the most important event of 
the year 1877, and one of the greatest 
moment in the county's history, was the 
founding of the Adrian Catliolic colony 
and its beginning of operations in the 
western part of the county. It was 
to the west end what the temperance 
National colony had been to the east 
end five or six years earlier. The sav- 
ing of the 1877 crop was largely respon- 
sible for several leading Catholics se- 
lecting western Nol)les county as the 
place in which to plant a colony. 

It was in the first few days of Sep- 
tember, 1877, that Bishop .John Ireland, 
of St. Paul: Father C. J. Knauf, of 
Jordan: and Father A. I'hit. of Shako- 
pee, arrived in Xoljles county to look 
over the country with a possible view 
to selecting it as the place to establish 

their followers. These gentlemen were 
pleased with the location, and immediate- 
ly decided that they had found the place 
which they sought. Bishop Ireland and 
the railroad company entered into a 
contract, whereby the former was given 
the exclusive sale of the railroad lands 
in Grand Prairie, Little Eock, Westside, 
Olnoy, Lismore and Larldn townships,^" 
under the following plan : Wlien a mem- 
ber of the colony selected his land a 
permit was to be isued by Father Knauf, 
who at once took up his residence at 
Adrian and became local manager of the 
company and the resident priest. The 
settler was then to take his permit to the 
railroad company, which was to issue a 
contract for the sale of the land. 

The people who composed the colony 
were principally German and Irish 
Catholics from Minnesota, Wisconsin, 
Michigan and other central states. Be- 
fore the close of September several of 
the colonists arrived and contracted for 
land, and by October 5 Father Knauf 
had issued permits for the purchase of 
1.780 acres of land. Before the year was 
over this had been largely increased. 
The Worthington Advance of Oct. 4, 
said : "Tlie influx of people into tliis 
section of country reminds us of the 
first year of our settlement here. The 
hotels are full nearly every night." 
Only a few of these arrivals located per- 
manentlv that winter. They came, se- 
cured their permits, and then returned 
to their former homes to make prepara- 
tions for moving on in the early spring. 

To the Adrian colony, to northwestern 
Noliles countv, to eastern Nobles coun- 
tv, to the Sioux Falls country, to all 
parts of Minnesota, the settlers flocked 
in the spring of 1878. It was be- 
lieved that the graJishopper days were 

">Report of Count.v Cotnmis.sioners to State 
Auditor, March 5, 1S78. 

"'Thr' two last named hart not thon been 
named or organized. 



past, and out-e more the new country 
was the goal for thousands of immi- 
grants. They came by railroad and in 
the primitive prairie schooner. During 
one day in April 32 heavily loaded cov- 
ered wagons reached Worthington. The 
new settlors thus arriving had their 
families with them , and were ready to 
commence operations on their farms. Of 
the to the once more promised 
land Mr. T. McClcary in March wrote 
to the Mankato Eeview: 

T rame to Luvornp on Friday, March 1. 
All the war from Mankato the oirs woro 
rrowflcd with people hoinifl for the west. 
Manv of tliom were vonn"; men seekin? land 
at Worthinffton. The hotel was full, four 
of n« sloening in one room. The jn'eat ery seems 
to he for land, land, and the crowds are 
pnshinsf to Sioux Falls and . vioinity. One 
cannot have mueh idea of (he masrnitude 
of this prairie oountrv without a trip over 
it. What a population it can support, and 
how it invites the starving multitude that 
lianfT ahout the cities, to come and make 
themselves independent. 

The grasshopper days were not yet. 
over. Late in ihe season they appeared 
in small numbers and did some little 
damage in parts of the county, but the 
destruction they wroiight was as noth- 
ing compared with that of the early 
days. A partial crop failure also re- 
sulted frnni n.ntnral causes, and nftc. 
harvest, times wore not sn prnsnerous as 
thev had promised to be in the snrinsr. 

One more township w'as orsanized 
that year. Tn fbo fall a Tnainritv of 
the lc?al voters of that township which 
later became Willmont sin-ned a petition 
nslcin? for orjianization and sussrestiufT a 
name for the same. The name sus- 
ffested was not satisfacton' to some of 
the settlers, and a petition of remon- 
strance, simed bv 18 voters, w-as pre- 
sented, asldncr that the county commis- 
sioners do not name the town as su<r- 

gested, but that tliey select the name. 
One faction \vantcd the township named 
Wilhimet, the other Laniont. When the 
commissioners, on November 22, pro- 
vided for the organization, they named 
the town.ship Willmont," a combina- 
tion of parts of the names suggested by 
the two factions. The first town meet- 
ing was held at the residence of Wil- 
liam Moody Dec. 12, 1878. 

Two new railroads touched Nobles 
county in 1879, both passing through 
the extreme northeastern corner. One of 
these was the Southern 'Minnesota (now 
the ]\Iilwaukee), the proposed exten- 
sion of which caused so much stir in 
1876. The line of the road was defi- 
nitely located in the spring, and con- 
tracts for its construction were imme- 
diately let. The Sioux City & St. Paul 
road again resented the proposed en- 
croachment on what it considered its own 
lorritory. To head off the Southern 
Minnesota that road hurridly made a 
survey for a branch line from TTcron 
Lake to Pipestone, paralleling tlie sur- 
vey of the other road. 

Tlien began a lively race in construc- 
tion. Side by side the construction 
crews of the two roads worked. .\t 
times violence was narrowly averted be- 
tween the worlanen. so bitter bad be- 
come the strife between the two com- 
panies. It was admitted that it was 
a cut-throat policy to continue the 
work of buildin? the parallel roads, but 
neither would iriye in. Late in May a 
conference was held at St. Paul belwecn 
representatives of the Milwaukee and 
Sioux City S^ St. Paul interests, when an 
attempt was made to come to an un- 
derslandin? and to reconcile diflFerences. 
The conference served only to make 
matters worse, and the work of con- 

"Fnr the naming of the vlllapre of Wllmont word see chapter 19. 
and the change In the spelling of the original 



struction on both roads was rushed to 

Not only did they run their roads side 
by side; they laid out their towns 
almost within a stone's throw of each 
other. Two of these were in Nobles 
county, about a mile apart, Airlie (Kin- 
brae) was laid out on the Southern 
Minnesota; Warren (Dundee) was built 
on the Pipestone branch of the Sioux 
City & St. Paul. 

The grasshoppers reappeared in the 
summer of 1879 and ate their last No- 
bles county grain. They were not pres- 
ent in great numbers, but they re- 
iiiained several weeks. A few farmers 
lost whole fields, b\it the destrucllon 
was not general. The only crop damaged 
to any considerable extent was wheat, 
and the hoppers were generous enough 
to divide that with the farmers. About 
the middle of July they departed, never 
to appear again. The great grasshopper 
scourge was a thing of the past. 

The townships of Afton (Bloom) and 
Leota were organized in the spring of 
this last grasshopper year, both com- 
ing into existence at the same time. 

An abortive attempt had been made 
to organize township 104-41 (Bloom) 
during the summer of 1878. The meas- 

'*To the Honorable County 
of Nobles County: 


"We, the undersigned, do offer a remon- 
strance against the action of a certain meet- 
ing held at the residence of Peter Bloom, on 
the southwest quarter of section 22 in this 
town, on the 31st day of May, said meet- 
ing being called for the purpose of naming 
said town and signing petition to your hon- 
orable body for permission to organize. 

"Charge 1st. That there were no notices 
posted in the town giving due notice of the 

"Charge 2nd. That deceptive language was 
used at said meeting to induce certain per- 
sons to sign petition who had already signed 

"And as there is the town of Center in 
Murray county we are opposed to the name 
of North Center as a name for the town. 

"[Signed] G. Larchinger, Daniel Larchin- 
ger. Thos. J. Lynch, William Sanger, Paul 

ure was defeated that year largely be- 
cause of the inability of the settlers to 
agree upon a name. Prom the spring 
of 1878 until the township was organ- 
ized the following year, petitions and re- 
monstrances were poured in upon the 
county commissioners, urging the selec- 
tion of one name or protesting against 
the bestowal of some other. A meeting 
was held at the residence of Peter 
Bloom, May 31, 1878, when a peti- 
tion was drawn up and signed, asking 
the county commissioners to grant town- 
ship government and name it North Cen- 
ter. This at once brought forth a pro- 
test from those residents who were not 
in favor of the name, and on June o they 
presented a remonstrance to the county 
board.'* The commissioners, evidently 
concluding that they would wait until 
harmony should be restored, took no ac- 
tions on the petitions. 

The contest for the choosing of the 
name resulted in the formation of two 
factions, one favorable to the name 
North Center, the other to Hamberg. 
Early in the year 1879 the "Hamber- 
gers"' became active and circulated a 
petition. This was followed on .lan- 
uary 30 by a remonstrance fi-diii the 
"Xorth Centers.'"'" The opposition i-.iiiir 
to the front with anotlier petition .Mai-<'li 

Sanger, Jacob Sanger, Ernest Sanger, Stephen 
Naylor, Lemuel Eby, Aaron Eby."' 

'""To the Honorable Board of Commissioners 
of the County of Nobles and State of Min- 

"We, the undersigned, citizens of the town- 
ship 104, range 41. in the county and state 
above named, would respectfully remonstrate 
with your honorable body to a certain peti- 
tion that is said to be presented to you, re- 
questing ttiat you name the said town Ham- 
berg, and for the purpose of convincing you 
of the wishes of the people, we, a majority 
of the actual residents of said township, do 
respectfully pray that you wiU name said 
township North Center. 
"Dated January 30. 1ST9. 

"Signed: Geo. B. Fellows, Guy C. Fellows. 
S. C. Chrestenson, Charles Chrestenson, Levi 
H. Baxter, Byron Gage, V. Krier, John Krier, 
Sr., Nicholas Bertrand, John Krier. Jr.. J. O. 
Bathen, Thomas Murrey, Peter Krier." 



15j demaudiiig tlie seluctiou oi Hamberg.-" 
Ihree da)'S later a comproiuisu was 
readied, all jommg lu a peiiuou asiuug 
lliat tile lowiioUip De uauicd Aitou. lius 
was sigued by Geo. W. Cale, Geo. 15. 
fellows, i'eler Ivrier, Joliii i\.rier, br., 
\ aleutiiie Jirier, iS. C. Cliristenson, 
Jomi Krier, Casper iiloom, John Jiloom 
i'eter iJlooui, Lemuel Lby, Geo. Gage, 
btephen Najlor, Jolin II. Hall and G. 
C. li'ellows. The comiuissioiiers took la- 
vorable action the same day, named the 
township Alton, and selected April 5 as 
the date, and the home of Caspar Bloom 
as the place, i'or holding tlie hist town 

The new township was destined to have 
trouble in tiie matter ol a name. 
March 31 State Auditor 0. T. Whit- 
comb wrote to the Nobles county offi- 
cials, stating that Alton was inad- 
missable because of tlie fact that a 
township in Washington county liad 
been so named several years before. 
This put the selection of the name up 
to the commissioners, wlio on April tJ 
named the township Bloom, in honor 
of I'eter Bloom and family.-' The com- 
missioners had troubles of their own 
in making the selection. As the Blooms 
were the first settlers it was decided that 
the township should be named in their 
Iionor, and the names Bloomljerg, Bloom- 
villc, etc. were suggested. County Au- 
ditor Jaiues Walker advocated the droji- 
ping of the "bergs," "villes," etc., and 
suggested the name Bloom. The com- 
missioners accepted the hint. Fred Bloom, 
who was a rehitive of the Blooms of 
tlie new township, but who was him- 

""To the Honorable Count.v Commissioners 
of Nobles County, in the State of Minnesota: 

"We, the undersigned legal voters, being de- 
sirous of organizing said town, petilion your 
hf)norable body for permission to do so, and 
that It be known as the town of Hamlierg, 
Ijr-ing bounded as foiiows; 

"Signed; Caspar Bloom, Thomas J. Lynch, 
Horace G. Norman, Aaron S. Eby, Geo. W. 

self a resident of feeward, was a mcin- 
uer 01 tue county boam at iiie lime. 

ine petition lor tue orguuizaiioii ui 
Jjeota townsuip, was niea i.-eoruar\ ii 
auti was sigueu oy i'. A. bteveus, u. A. 
liolbrooli, iLtlward Gray, j. J^. licuows, 
lliram V\ . i'ordney, jolin Lay, C. 1'. 
\ argason, Warren ClarK, August Joseph 
ivmps, James llackett, G. l^uips, N. L,. 
iSellows, T. il. i'^ay, A. J. itice, ii. J. 
Uarber. The township was created -March 
18, and the commissioners named April 
5 as the date for holding the hrst 
town meeting, it was held at tlie home 
of Gerhard Knips. The name wa^s sug- 
gested by W. G. Barnard, one of the 
township's earliest settlers, it is the 
only township, village or pliysical fea- 
ture in Nobles county named in honor 
of an indian. Leota was an Indian 
maiden who figured in a story of indian 

There was a general feeling of dull- 
ness in the eastern part of the county 
during 1879, caused by the ijartial crop 
failure. in the central and western 
poriiuus events were taking place that 
bode well for the future, and quiet but 
steady progress was made in lliose por- 
tions during the season. A basis was 
laid for a large influ.v of sturdy set- 

In the central part of the county 
Messrs. I. N. Seney and S. M. Euslimore 
had the year before founded I he village 
of liu.shmore at Miller station, in the 
summer of 18?!) they broke out several 
thousand acres of prairie land and in- 
duced quite a number of settlers from 
New York and other eastern states to 

Cale, AVilliam E. Norman, Peter Bloom. Ijem- 
uel Eby, Peter Krier. Casper Bloom, carpen- 
ter; J. O. Bathen, John Krier, Jr., John Bloom, 
Stephen Naylor. 

"Petition filed March 15, 1879." 

='Peter Bloom and three sons, Casper, Peter, 
Jr.. and John, located on section 22 in 1S74, 
and were the first settlers in the township. 



locate in the vicinity. The}- cut up the 
railroad lands there into small farms 
and sold them to settlers of limited 

In the vicinity of Adrian the 
was more marked. Bishop Ireland, the 
head of the Adrian colony, visited the 
east and was successful in forming a 
stock company, the object of which was 
to purchase the railroad lauds in the 
west end. The company purchased out- 
right all the lands still owned by the 
railroad in Grand Prairie, Little Rock, 
Leota and tlic still unorganized Lis- 

more townships. Instead of inviting 
settlers to come onto these laud in their 
raw state the colony managers decided 
to improve them. On each of fifty 
quarter sections tliirty acres of break- 
ing was done and preparations were 
nuide for erecting fifty farm houses lui 
the lands. This was not done until the 
following spring, however. This ac- 
tivity made times lively in the Adrian 
country. The fact that at least fifty 
families were expected to arrive in 
the spring tended to create an optinus- 
tic feelinff regarding the future. 


EEA OF PKOSPERITY— 1880-1893. 

Henceforth the story of Nobles coun- 
ty is one of advancement. The dark and 
gloomy days are past. No longer do the 
grasshoppers tlireaten the very existence 
of the settlement; no longer is it found 
necessary to solicit aid for the relief 
of the inhabitants. The days of adver- 
sity have become a memory. 

Beginning with the year 1880 came 
the reconstruction period. People began 
anew the work of progress that had 
been interrupted when the first army of 
grasshoppers came and placed a mort- 
gage on the country in the summer of 
18715. In some ways the people were in 
better condition than they had been be- 
fore the scourge. Those who had taken 
government land now had title to their 
homes — and land began to have a value. 
Some had escaped with small loss dur- 
ing the three preceding years, and were 
already in position to begin the forward 
march. But others found it necessary 
to free themselves from debt before the 
effect of tlie prosperous times became 

Of vast importance during these days 
of reconstruction was the work of the 
colony under Bishop Ireland. Hun- 
dreds of settlers were brought into the 
county and located upon the lands in 
the western part, which otherwise might 
have remained unsettled for several 

years. In February, 1880, the colony 
company let the contract to John Tim- 
mons, of Adrian, for the erection of 39 
houses on the farm lands owned by the 
company. The cost of the houses was 
about $200 each. During March and 
April 50 families arrived from New 
York and other eastern states and be- 
came permanent settlers. The houses 
constructed were not enough to supply 
the demand, and several more were put 
up by the new arrivals. 

Nobles county harvested a good, 
though not a large, crop in 1880. Wheat 
and oats were not an extraordinary crop, 
but, taking the county as a whole, aver- 
aged pretty well. Corn and flax were 
unusually good. Here and there the 
crop of some one farmer was a com- 
parative failure, and some who had fair 
crops were not permitted to enjoy the 
fruits of their harvest because of the 
debts contracted during grasshojipcr 
days. But in the main crops were good, 
and tlie fact that hoppers did not put 
in an appearance led to a cheerful feel- 

The federal census showed a popula- 
tion of 4,43.5, a gain of 3,700 per cent 
in ten years. ^ This population was di- 
vided among the different precincts as 

'Population of adjacent counties according son. 4.795: Murray, 3,609; Pipestone, 2,093; 
to the 1880 census: Cottonwood, 5,554; Jack- Rock, 3,669. 



Bigelow 215 witli tliis one in duration, continued ?e- 

lj^.„,,l^l 210 verity, depth or snow and damage to 

KIk 170 property. From tlie middle of October 

(iialiiim I^ikcs 300 , n i . • , i ■, ■ t i . 

(;n.n,l Pniirie 301 ti'l l''^^' "^ -^^''1 '^ "a* ^viiiter nearh 

llcisey l!)'J every minute of the time. 

liidiim Lake 200 ,, • , ,-, j. i i- • ji I'l- „ .. 

j,„..,j„ 159 Friday, October 1-), m the alternooiu 

lA'oia 97 a heavy rain set in. Tlie downpour 

OInev ^^"'^'^ 2Si continued until evening, when a strong, 

Kaiisom ic.i chilling wind came down from the north, 

Summit i:ak>i'\y.\\V.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.'.^^ turning the rain into a fine snow. A 

Willmont Ill severe blizzard now took the place of the 

W'oitliinjrioii Tciwiiship ' 182 i i i i i ii i i n „„„ 

Wortl.initon Village C3C ^nnu and it lasted three days and three 

\\'c>tside 339 nights. It was tlic first and only bliz- 

lu:i-43 (Usmori) ';;';"!!""!1'""'''.'':: 119 ^^rd ever experienced in tlie country in 

— - October. The county fair, which was 

'^"°''"' *'"*^' being held at the time, had to be aban- 

Township 103 of range 43 received a doned. The railroads were blockaded, 
large settlement of Irish Catholics, due and there were no trains or mail until 
to the activities of the Bishop Ireland Tuesday, the ISJlh. When tlie storm sub- 
colony, and the summer of 1880 that sided great drifts of snow filled the 
township was organized. It was named roads and other places, which did not 
Lismore, after a village of that name in disappear until the following May. 
county Waterford, Ireland, the name be- Following this storm came a few 
ing suggested by Father Knauf. The weeks of nice weather. On Friday, No- 
petition for organization was filed July vember 19, a cold snap set in, the mer- 
17, and was signed by Geo. A. Beireis, cury getting down to 19 degrees below 
Gustave Frick, Alex Roach, Conrad zero on the night of the 30th. Anotliei- 
Beireis, James Orkney, Charles Lord, blizzard came up December 3, which 
M. S. Boyle, K. (>"l)ay. \\ . .T. Ileaney, blockaded trains from the cast uiilil the 
Joseph ITaegle, John Travis, Charles A. oth. Mondaj', December 27, came a se- 
Blako, Thomas McLean, Allen Pieason, vere cold spell, the thermometer regis- 
.\ustin Nash, William jjandes, William tering 30 degrees below zero. The fol- 
]f. Welch, John II. Sands, William lowing day it was 3-i below, and an- 
Wclch, A. A. Boyce, S. W. Swanman, other blizzard was raging. All trains 
Henry Carlson, Albert .V. Thompson and were stopped iiiilil the 30th. 
Peter Havican. The township was creaL- Thereafter the winter was an extreme- 
cd by the county commissioners July 21, ly severe one. Blizzard followed bliz- 
and the first town meeting was hold at zard. 'J'hc railroads were blockaded for 
the lious(,' of Moses Kurd on August 9. weeks at a time. Fuel and food wore 
One of the dates from which time is nearly exhausted. People burned hay 
reckoned in Nobles county is the winter and grain, and went without lights. In 
of 1880-81^tlu' time n[' the long, severe some jilaees there was suffering from 
winter. There have been worse storms lail< nf food. Itoads remained unbroken 
than any that occurred that winter, but all uiiiler, and tlie fanners obtained 
never was tliere a winter to compare their supjilies frmii the villages by means 



of liandsleds. Snow sail boats came into 
requisition, being employed to bring in 
supplies and for sport. - 

Following is the story of the winter 
from Jan. 1, ISSl, until tlie breaku]i in 
tjie spring, given in chronological or- 
der :^ 

Jan. 4. Eain. 

Jan. 7. Freight train breaks through 
Bigelow bridge, ditching cars and kill- 
ing some cattle. 

Jan. SI. Snow storm. Eoad blocked 
until 2.3rd. 

Jan. 26. Blizzard. Trains again 

Feb. 1. Eailroads again blockaded. 

Feb. 3. Longest snow storm of the 
winter sets in from the southeast. Con- 
tinues four days. Fifteen days' block- 
ade begins. 

Feb. 11. Another blizzard. Contin- 
ues two days. 

Feb. IG. First train from the east 
for fifteen days arrives at Worthington. 

Feb. 18. Blizzard. Last eastern train 

Feb. 22. Snow storm. 

March 4. Blizzard all day. Worth- 
ington schools close for lack of fuel. 

March 5. Fair weather begins, last- 
ing five days. Main line road opens ex- 

^"Hiram Allen arrived on Tuesday from 
Fulda. having made tile trip in about an hour 
and a half on a snow boat. The structure is 
a simi>Ie one. having: merely a pair of snow 
shoes for runners, with crosspieces, a board 
to sit on and a light mast to support the sail. 
Mr. A. tells us that he has made a half 
dozen trips, one of eighteen miles to Luverne 
in an hour and a half. Also that a few days 
ago a party of six left Fulda for Fairmont on 
one of these snow sail boats. They left Fiild.a 
about five o'clock in the evening and reached 
Fairmont at nine the next morning, a distance 
of seventy miles. 

"Messrs. Loveless and Day are now having 
one made of considerable size, and if the 
snow lasts a few weeks longer, men will be 
sailing over the prairies at the rate of seven 
knots an hour as easil.v as they can sail on 
our lakes." — Worthington Advance, March 24, 

^Compiled largely from newspaper accounts. 

cept strip between St. James and Win- 

March 11. Terrific blizzard, continu- 
ing two days. All roads blockaded 
\M)ive than ever. 

.Marcli 24. Fuel famine at Adrian. 
People burning screenings, tailings, hay, 
straw, oats, corn; rags and anything that 
will burn. 

March .30. Main line road shoveled 
out and train arrives from the east — 
iirst in nearly si.x weeks. West end and 
l)ranch roads still blockaded.'' 

April .5. First train arrives from 
Sioux City. Carries letters dated Feb. 
21. Eoad open three days.^ 

April S. Snowed again. Traffic stop- 
\K'd. Train from St. Paul tied up at 
Wiiidom. Train from Sioux City gets 
as far as Sibley. 

April 11. More snow. 

April 12. North wind drifts snow, 
making complete blockade. The block- 
ade has now been in force ten weeks, 
with only five trains from the east. 

.Vpril 1.3. Thermometer registers zero. 

April 16. First train in frcjin the 

.\pril IT. ^lain line opened. First 
freight train for 11 weeks readies 
Worthington and delivers 50,000 pounds 

^"The east end of the main line was cleared 
on Tuesday [March 29], and yesterday [March 
30] a train left here for St. Paul. A train also 
lett St. Paul and reached here last evening. 
Yesterday the road was clear on the west end 
from Bigelow west, and the forces doubled on 
the big cut this side, and today a train is ex- 
pected from Sioux City. The branch is open- 
ing up rapidly and will probably be open to 
T.uverne today or tomorrow and to Sioux Falls 
by Saturday. The long blockade Is over 

It lacked just two days of being six weeks 
since we had a train from the east." — Worth- 
ington Advance, March 31, 1881. 

""Our old friend Boreas sticks closer than 
a brother. We did hope that the Advance 
would miss it in predicting that we would not 
have regular trains before the middle of April, 
but it looks OS though we could extend the 
time somewhat and still be correct." — Worth- 
ington Advance, April 7, 1K81. 



of freight. Several freight trains pass 
during the day. That night first train 
to pass over the Sioux Falls branch for 
nine weeks makes its way from Worth- 
ington to Luverne. 

April 20. Worthington schools re- 

For four days there was fairly regular 
service on the railroads. Then came the 
floods, caused by the melting snow, and 
on April 20 traffic was again suspended. 
For ten days not a train ran over the 
line of the Siou.x City & St. Paul, and 
not until Jlay 2 was regular service es- 

Talk of the construction of another 
railroad into Nobles county was begun in 
1881, and the road was built the next 
year. In .May it was given out that the 
Burlington system was planning to build 
a branch line north into Minnesota. The 
first intimation the people of Nobles 
county had of this was when a pre- 
liminary survey was tnndo to Worthing- 
ton in May. 

This was followed in September by 
the appearance of agents of the road, 
who submitted a proposition to the resi- 
dents of eastern Nobles county. They 
asked that $15,000 and a free right of 
way be pledged, in which case the road 
would be built to Worthington during 
1882 and the depot located within a 
half mile of the business center of the 
village. The proposition was accepted. 
The amonnt was pledgeil, the agreement 
lieing signed by nearly all the business 
and raonied men of the county seat town. 

The railroad officials' were not jiroinpt 
in beginning the work, and there was 
much speculation as to whether or not 
the road would be built. In June, 1882, 

"In Worthlnston vMlage Ihe vote was 145 
to 2; In Worthington township 21 votes were 
cast, aU In favor of the bonus; Lorain town- 
ship was .solid for the bonus; and In Blge- 
low It liad two majority. 

the matter was definitely decided. Bur- 
lington officials came to Worthington 
and submitted a new proposition. They 
stated that the road would be construct- 
ed at once providing the people would 
vote a bonus of $21,300. Again did the 
people of eastern Nobles county agree 
to the terms. The bonus to be voted 
was divided among the several interested 
townships as follows: Worthington 
township, $5,500; Worthington village, 
$C,300.; Indian Lake, $3,000; Bigelow, 
$2,000; Elk, $2,000; Lorain, $2,500. 
The elections were held on different days 
in June, and the bonus was voted." 

Grading contracts were let for the line 
north from Spirit Lake in July, and an 
army of workers was' at once put in the 
field. The road was completed to Worth- 
ington October 7, and the driving of the 
last spike was made a memorable oc- 
casion. It was a gala day, and the peo- 
ple were present en masse. The driving 
of the spike that united the new road 
with the Omaha was driven with cere- 
monies by Rev. D. G. Gunn and ilayor 
C. H. Smith, of Worthington, amid the 
ringing of all the bells of the village 
and the firing of cannon and anvils. 
Regular train service was established 
October 18.' As a result of the build- 
ing of this load another Nobles county 
town. Round Lake, came into existence. 

But the building of the new road was 
not llif only thing that brought glad- 
ness to the hearts of the people of No- 
bles county in 1882. The farmers gath- 
ered the largest and best crop ever be- 
fore seen in the county, and as good as 
was ever grown anywhere. Said the Ad- 
vance on August 31 : 

"To sum up: \\'e have a big crop in 

'The road is now a branch of llir Rock Is- 
land system. 



the stack and a prospect of the best, 
briskest and livliest times we have ever 
seen in this county. We are sure of a 
lively fall and winter trade, and farm- 
ers, merchants, laborers, everybody, will 
feel like 'human bein's.'" 

An event of not great importance in 
itself, but which resulted in quite an is- 
sue, was the park vacation matter, which 
troubled the people of Nobles countv^ 
early in 1883. The prevailing good 
times had brought activity in business 
and improvements. All the towns in 
tlie county folt the effect of prosperity, 
and out of the good times grew the 
strife over the "park proposition." 
Messrs. Miller & Thompson, of Eock 
■Rapids, wanted to engage in business in 
Worthington and were prepared to" erect 
a handsome business block there. They 
could find no site suitable, and coveted 
the court house square. They submitted 
a proposition, agreeing to erect a brick 
block, 50x100 feet, with a public hall 
in the second story, providing the east 
corner of the public park (the property 
of the county) could be secured as a 

On December 29, 1883, a petition was 
circulated among the business men of 
Worthington, the prayer of which was 
that the county commissioners should 
lay off into lots 125 feet of the public 
square, facing Tenth street, and sell the 
;;ame. They were asked to take this ac- 
tion only on consideration that the Siou.x 
City & St. Paul Eailroad company, which 
liad conditionally donated the block to 
the county, would relinquish its rights 
for a small consideration, and that the 
building as outlined above should be 

erected during the year 1883. The peti- 
tion was signed by most of the leading 
business men of Worthington.^ 

The commissioners considered the peti- 
tion Jan. 2, 1883. The motion pre- 
vailed that the request of the petitioners 
be complied with. Commissioners Daniel 
Shell, Maurice O'Hearn and P. Blaine 
voting in the affirmative and T. L. 
Taylor and James Cowin opposing. Afr. 
Shell was directed to confer with the 
railroad officials to obtain their assent to 
tlie sale. The latter offered no serious 
objection. Many of the residents of the 
county did, however, and the inatter 
became a much mooted question. Those 
favoring the plan argued that the county 
would realize several thousand dollars 
from the sale of the lots and that Worth- 
ington would secure several himdred 
th.ousand dollars worth of improvements 
in a short time. Those opposed pro- 
tested from a sentimental viewpoint; 
they flesired not the abridgment of the 
beautiful public park. Strong opposi- 
tion developed, especially in the west 
end. and the park was kept intact. 

This was not the only question that 
troubled the people of the county in 
the earlv days of 1883. During the time 
the park vacation argument was at its 
licight, there came the agitation for the 
removal of the county seat to Adrian. 
The west end had been making vast 
strides during the few years preceding, 
and Adrian had become a town of con- 
siderable importance. When the peo- 
ple of the west end metropolis decided 
to have a try at the county seat they 
went at it in earnest. 

No satisfactorv county seat removal 

'The sigtiPi-.s were C. P. Hewitt. W. G. Mar- Twitchell. W. F. Thayer, W. A. Peterson. H. 

tine, Otis Bigelow. Geo. M. PtJmb. Henr\' 
Davis, C. H. Smith, Mons Grinager, J, A, 
Town. H. H. Anderson, H. E. Torrance, Azom 
Forbes, C. W. Smith, S. S. Hewitt, M. S. 

C. Shepard, R. D. Barber, A. S. Husselton, A. 
P. MiUer. E. S. Mills, F. H. Wells. Thos. H. 
Parsons. L. B, Bennett, B. F. Johnson and 
S. McLean. 



law graced the Minnesota statute books, 
and the residents of western Nobles 
roiinty set to work to secure the passage 
of a special law allowing the people to 
vole (in tiie question of removal to Ad- 
liiin. Excitement was at fever heat in 
the west end. Men witli teams scoured 
the western and central portions of the 
countv' securing signatures to a petition 
to be presented to the legislature, ask- 
ing for the passage of such an act. 
Something less than (500 signatures of 
voters were obtained. 

The plan for a special law, such as 
Adrian first ]jroposcd to advocate, was 
abandoned. But through the efforts of 
Nobles county pcoi)le a general county 
seat removal law was introduced and 
passed the senate. It failed to pass tlie 
house, and (lie legislature adjourned 
without complying witli the request of 
tlie citizens of western Nobles county. 
Tlie question was definitely settled for 
two years at least. 

Nobles county's last township was or- 
ganized in 1883. The following set- 
tlers of township 103-43 asked for its 
organization: Andrew Thompson, Jnlin 
J. Thompson, Geo. TTmbaugh, .\brnliain 
.Vbrahamson, Oundcr Hansen, AT. S. 
Conley, Oco. Kudge, TTcnry Slater, .\n- 
ton Titenberg. Franz TCurchel, TT. 1). 
TTosmcr, .Tojm W. Johnson, Peter Wiese, 
Samuel J. Hamilton, Sam Nelson. J. P. 
Hosmer, Timothy Conley. James Cowin, 
Tlios. Bamett, Ed. Cooper, Jos. Cowin, 
C. J. Swanson, Alphonso Spitz, .Joscpli 
O'Grady. John J. McCormack. The 
board granted tlic petition March fi, and 
on March 27 the first town meeting was 
held at tlie residence of .Xmlrcw Tlioiii|i- 
son on section 32. 

The new township was nainod fjiirkin. 
in honor of Joiin Larkiii, of New York 

city, one of the prominent workers in 
the Catholic Colonization association, 
and a brother of Mrs. Maurice OUIearn, 
who recently died at her home in Grand 
Prairie township. ^fr. O'Hcaru was 
county commissioner at the time tlie 
township was formed. As was the case 
witli several of tlie last townships or- 
ganized, a name was not selected with- 
out contention. Soon after the name 
was designated by the commissioners, a 
resident of the new town wrote : 

"Xow it is certain that a gross fraud 
has been committed in this case, as the 
petitioners requested it should be named 
Grove, and it was so stated in the peti- 
tion when signed by tliem. the name be- 
ing changed on the face of the petition 
by a certain party who has no authority 
to do so, and who makes his home and 
carries on his business in the village of 
Adrian. The petition has been tampered 
with, and criminal proceedings will be 
taken against tlir man for so doing. 
The only cDinn'clion lie liolds with the 
inwii is by liolding a quarter section 
hy sufrrance. As to .lohn T,arkin. 
Ill' ina\ 111' a vcrv good and chari- 
tablr man. luit a large majority knmv 
niitbing of him. never having heard lii> 
name liefore." 

.\ tornado visited tlie northwestern 
part of the county on Monday, July 21. 
1884, and did considerable damage. Miss 
Cora Graf, daughter of County Com- 
missioner Emil Graf, of Willmont, was 
killed, anil D. F. TTfTord, of Larkin. was 
.seriously injured. The storm was most 
severe in Larkin and Lismore townships, 
^fanv buildings were destroyed, stock 
was \()M and killrd. and cropR worf I'uiii- 
ed. The school house in district 43, con- 
laining teacher and students, was car- 
ried several feet bv the force of the 



wind, but fortunately no one was hurt. 
Of the results of the storm the Adrian 
Guardian said : 

Cora Graf, daughter of Emil Graf, county 
commissioner of Willmont. was Ivilled by be- 
ing struck on the head by a piece of heavy 
timber. She was at the barn and started to 
go to the liouse when the storm struck the 
large barn, 40x54, blowing off the roof and 
scattering the heavy timbers, one of which 
struck her, with the result recorded above. 
She was tliirteen years of age. . . An- 

other sad accident occurred at .Jas. Barry's 
in Larkin township. The new house which 
they recently moved into was completely torn 
to pieces, and D. F. Ufford, Mrs. Barry's 
father, was carried a considerable distance, 
and when found was unable to speak. Dr. 
Sullivan was immeiliately sent for, and upon 
his arrival found him in a critical condition — 
several ribs broken, shoulder dislocated, and 
shoulder lilades shattered; there was also 
severe bruises about his head, and at first it 
was thought that his injuries would prove 
fatal, but the doctor now lias hopes of his 

Another raih'iiail was built through a 
portion of the county in September, 
1884. The Burlington constructed a 
line northwest from Lake Park, which 
passed through tlie soutliwest cornel- of 
Grand Prairie township. The viUage of 
Ellsworth was founded tluit fall, and soon 
took its place as one of the best towns 
in the county. 

The year 1884 was one of tlie most 
prosperous in the county's history, and 
was a year of jul)ilee. Exclusive wheat 
farming had been found unprofitable, 
and only a limited acreage was sown. In- 
stead of raising only wheat, farmers 
raised flax and hay, and turned their at- 
tention to stock raising and dairying 
more than formerly. Flax growing be- 
came one of the big industries. There 
was an immense crop in this year of jub- 
ilee, and it commanded a big price, 
Hav was also a big price, and an un- 
usual quantity was put up, pressed and 
shipped. Flax, hay. butter and cattle 
were the principal exports; other pro- 
ducts shipped out of the county were 

wheat, oats, barley, wool, hides, eggs, 
potatoes and timothy. The following 
table shows the shipments (car loads) 
of principal exports during the year 
from tlie various railroad stations: 






Adrian . 

























The excellent crops liad a good ef- 
fect on the real estate market, which 
was more active than it had l)e(Ui at any 
time previous, with the jiossible excep- 
tion of 18T2. The value of lands sold 
during the year was $.549, G39. The re- 
sults of prosperous times were seen in 
building improvements in all parts of 
the county and in the prompt payment 
of debts. The farmers were at lasr 
firmly on their feet, and the high road 
to wealth was henceforth open. The re- 
covery from the grasshopper scourge was 
almost coin|)lete. 

The census of 188.5 gave the countv a 
population of .5.{)42, a gain of 1.207. 
or about 2.5 per cent, in five years. The 
population was divided by precincts as 

Adrinu Village !53.'? 

Biselow 2.52 

Bloom 115 

PewaM ISI 

Elk OS 

Grahnm Lakes 202 

Grand Prairie 580 

Hersey '. 1 9(t 

Indian Lake 2.'?4 

Larkin S4 

Lcota 174 

Lismore 182 

Little Rock .182 

Lorain lOfi 

Olney 204 


Ilaiisoiii' 208 eiglitic's with those of the decade before. 

slmunu Lake:::::::::::::::::::::::::: ^89 <^omp--^ve this item from the worthinj.- 

Ui-stMcl.. 228 ton Globe at the close of the vear 18s; 

w:!S.oMTo„.;ship ::::::::::::::::: i^ ^'th some of ten years eanier; 

\\iiitliiiii.'ton Vilhigc 997 "Tn our own iiiimodiate vicinity all 

,., I „- j.^., branches of industry have been unusu- 
ally prosperous. Mechanics have gener- 

The legislature of 1885 passed a ally been busy, labor has been in dc- 

county seat removal bill, providing for mand, and the weather has been favor- 

tlie submission of the question of re- able for all kinds of business, and the 

nioval to liie voters in any cnnniy in counU'v is very rapidly recovering fnmi 

the state after certain formalities had the grasshopper scourge, which impov- 

been complied with. The act provided erished so manv people a few years 

for till' r(>innval if the tnwn seeking the a"-o." 

honor should receive oo per cent of the During the history of the Northwest 

vote. There was some talk of the west there liave been a few winter storms of 

end metropolis entering flie race, but no such unn;itural severity tliat they stand 

formal action was taken. The rapid ad- out as events of historical importance, 

vancement of the west side during the -y^p ,nost severe of these awful storms 

early eighties caused Adrian to be hope- „:;,,, fbe blizzard of January 7, 8 and 9, 

ful of some day securing the honor. x87;5. an account nf which has been giv- 

The vigorous growth is shown by the (,j^_ Ranking second was the terrible 

census figures. In 1880 the eight wes- i,iij,zard of January 13, 1888, when scores 

tern tnwiiships had a |Mi|iulnli(in of only ,,f people perished in the country. In 

KUC, to '2,193 to the eastern eight, yobles county three lives were sacri- 

while there were '>2C, in the middle tier, j;,.,,,] .,„,] many iieople became lost in 

In 1885 the west end liad distanced tlic ,i„. ^j,,,.,,, .,„,] ^.g^e badly frozen, 

east end. Then there were 2,573 in the 'i'^^.,, Hollanders, Jacob DeYries and 

west, to 2,177 in the east, with 593 Dmiwe Postma, were caught in the 

in the middle tier. storm and froze to death, one in Bloom 

Another cxeclleni eniii was hnrvesteii fownsliip, the other iu Siiiiimit Lake. 

in 1885, and everyljody made money. As The tinrd death was iliat of Seselia 

a result there was a big innnigration ICnutsou. wife of Knui Knutson. She 

in the fall. New settlers jioured into perished in the enuiiiry near RuslniKH-e. 

the county, and the real estate transfers People caught in tlu' sinnii in dilferent 

«(!■<■ numerous. The iie.\l year was al- ])art of tlie edunti'v uand(i-ed fur n\iles 

s(i a |)i'os])orous one, the real estate over the prairies, not knowing whei-e 

transfers ainoiinting to $565,799. Tlie they were. Several were so htidly frozen 

Hurlington road that year built a branch tlial it was necessary to amputate hands, 

line from Ellsworth to Rock I'apids, feet or limbs. Even people in the vil- 

thus adding another railroad to the lages were, in some instances, unable 

.county, although only a short distance to reach home and took refuge in the 

of the road was in Nobles county. A nearest houses. 'Much stock was lost. 

.strange contrast were these days of the In August. 1S,S8. eanu' one of the 

. .^ . n D v most severe hail storms ever witnessed 

•Populations of other nearby counties: Rock, 
5,243; Murray. 4.216; Pipestone. 3,897. 



in the county, causing much damage ture convened that year when a num- 
to crops in the southwestern portion her of the representative citizens of 
of the county. In places the fall of Adrian requested a conference with a 
liail was remarkable.^" like number of the prominent citizens 
During the late eighties the people of Worthington for the piarpose of talk- 
were blessed with good crops and pros- ing over certain matters, about which 
perous times. The result was a big their interests and views were supposed 
increase in population. In 1890 the feder- ' to differ — notably the matter of the re- 
al census disclosed the fact that there moval of the county seat. It was made 
were 7,958 people residing in the county, known that it was the desire of the west 
This was a gain of 3,523 in ten years end people to arrive at an amiable set- 
and 3,316 in five years. The population tlement of the controversy, 
by precincts was as follows : The Worthington people accepted the 

Adrian Village G71 invitation, and a conference was held 

Bigelow 408 Saturday, January 14. The subject of 

Pg°"_"jj, 3.20 the division of the county was brought 

Klk 24S lip and discussed. In a neighborly wav 

cr!Zn Yles""' .:::::::::::::::;:::::: m the feasibility of dividing Nowes county 

Kersey 2S2 and creating another one was debated. 

Imlinn Lake 320 ^j^^^^ ^^^ ^^ inclination to take hastv 

i>a.rKiii xoo 

Leota. 185 action in the matter. The proposition 

llttlTllock '■ 438 ^^^ ''' ^^^ °^^' ^^^ ^^ "^^^ deemed best 

Lorain 234 to take more time for consideration. The 

^'""^y ?5n Rubiect matter was left in the hands of a 

Kansom 249 ■' 

Seward 324 committee for further investigation, and 

Snmmjt Lake 148 arrangements were made for future con- 

U estside 310 '^ 

wiiimont 329 ference." 

Worthington Township '289 j^ -^^^ j^^^,! ^^^ conference adiourned 

u orthington Village 1,164 • •' 

' — before the people of the central part of 

'^°^^^ '^-•"58 {.^^g county were up in arms against the 

TliG citizens of the west end of the movement. They saw what thev believed 

county adopted new tactics concerning to lie a conspiracy. Here were the 

the county seat question early in 1893. erstwhile rivals. Worthington and Adrian, 

Instead of agitating the removal of the in earnest and friendly consultation, se- 

seat of government to Adrian, a plan eretely planning to divide the county 

of dividing the county and forming a without consulting the wishes of the peo- 

new one, with Adrian as the county seat, p'e through whose country the boundary 

was fouceived. Hardlv had the legisla- 'i^P niust run." They arose in their 

'"An Ellsworth cUizen tells me that in that 
village he saw hail stones piled up to the 
depth of about four feet where they had 
fallen between two buildings. 

""Changes were spoken of which may. if 
they are oarried. add another county to the 
.state of Minnesota. The matter will doubtless 
be discussed for a considerable time before 
any measure will be matured to ask the con- 
currence of the people interested. We shall 
give further details when we are in posses- 
sion of further light. The committee to 

whom the matter is referred must consult be- 
fore any further movement is made." — Worth- 
ington Advance. Jan. 19, 1S93. 

'-The fact that such .a meeting was held was 
known, but the deliberations were not made 
public. The Worthington Advance resented the 
statement that it was a secret meeting and 
said: "There was no secret for anybody to 
keep. The Advance stated the substance of 
the talk in its next issue, nor was there any 
suggestion made from any quarter we 
should not make the matter public. There was 


might and denoiinced the iiroposed uarv 28." The plMii rrsultocl only in 

(lisnieiiibernu'ut, calling a mass moot- "tiilk,"' and no such inoasiire as pm- 

ing to be held at Kiishniorc Jan- |)(iscd was presented to the legislature. 

no conspiracy thoueht of against any portion tlio bpst interests of the county at large, and 

of oiM' county, and the Interests of the people call upon all honest men to oppose the .scheme, 

of all parts of the county were kindly and and b" it further 

thoughtfully spoken of. In fact, nothing was "Resolved, that all citizens of .^aid county 

said that anybody would be ashamed of." who are interested In their own welfare be, 

and they are hereby, requested to attend a 

""Whereas It has been announced that the mass meeting to be held in the Rushmore 

citizens of Adrian and Worthington are hoUl- " school house on Saturday, Jan. 28, 1893, at 

ing a .series of secret meetings for the pin-- two p. m. 

jtose of dissecting Nobles county for their own "A. SC'H.-MOI'^FKR. 

seihsh ends, be It therefore "W, DOflJ. 

"Resolved, that we, the citizens of the cen- "A. W, FERRIN', 

ter tier of town.ships, in council assembled, de- , "Committee." 
nounce such action as a conspiracy against 


CURRENT EVENTS— 1893-1908. 

Prosperous times continued up to the introduced in tlie legislature, the pur- 

suiiuiier of 1893. Then came the mem- jiort of which was to allow the people 

orabic panic and the few years of hard of the county to vote on the question of 

times. Two banks, one at Worthington bonding for the purpose of erecting a 

and one at Ellsworth, closed their doors; court house and jail, but tlie bill was 

several business houses failed; business killed in committee. 

w^as for a time paralyzed ; and a period In the summer of 1893 a majority of 

of dull times set in which was not en- the county board were in favor of erect- 

tirely broken until the late nineties, ing a building, and they took the matter 

The depression was not so keenly felt in their own hands and proceeded with 

in Nobles county, however, as it was in the plans. By a vote of three to two 

many of the less favored portions of it was decided, on Jan. 13, 1893, to 

the country. The panic was preceded by build a jail and sheriff's residence at a 

a decade of flourishing times. Every- cost not to exceed $10,000, and to issue 

body had prospered and was in position bonds for that amount.^ On the same 

to weather the financial crash and its day and by the same vote tlie following 

resulting period of depression. resolution was passed : 

The building of a suitable court house Resolved, we take immeiliate steps to 

had long been a mooted question. Time l^"'''' "■ "p^^' ^"rt house in the court house 

. jiark at ft orthington, and that the same be 

and again grand juries had investigated b„i]t without nnnpoossavy delay, and that $8.- 

the county building, made known its in- ™0 '"^''^ ^'' "'"^' levied" for that purpose, the 

~„,' work of buililiiig to be commenced this fall 

adequacy for the proper care of the re- if the money can be procured for that pur- 
cords and for the transaction of busi- l'"^''- 

ness, and recommended the building of a Six davs later it was decided to in- 
new court house. The jail, which was crease the lew from .$8,000 to $12,000. 
in the court house building, had often Commissioners H. M. Palm, John Mock 
been condemned by state officials as an nud Chas. L. Peterson were named a 
unsafe place for the holding of prison- building committee for both the court 
ers. Prisoners of very ordinary expert- house and jail. As a majority of the 
ness were able to break out almost at board of commissioners they instructed 
will. In the spring of 1891 a bill was ^themselves to proceed at once with the 

'July IS the resolution was amended. It was to the state for a Joan of $10,000. 
decided not to issue the bonds, but to apply 




construction of the jail and to employ 
an architect to prepare plans for the 
court house. 

Opposition developed so soon as the 
first steps were taken. The commission- 
ers had only fairly started with their 
work when a suit was brought against 
the county by D. J. Forbes, of Adrian,^ 
who asked for an injunction to restrain 
the county officials from proceeding with 
the erection of either the court house or 
jail. A temporary restraining order was 
granted, and work was necessarily sus- 
pended. The case was carried to the 
supreme court, the county being repre- 
sented by Geo. W. Wilson. The proceed- 
ings of the county officials were upheld, 
and the injunction was dissolved. 

.Vrchitect Geo. Pass drew the plans for 
the jail, which wore approved Jan. 3, 
1894. The contract for its erection was 
let to John D. Carroll, of St. Paul Park, 
on a bid of $9,6-55, and on October 19 
the building was accepted. 

A remonstrance against the building 
of the court house was presented to the 
county board Feb. 15, 1894. It contain- 
ed the signatures of 47G residents. Tlic 
commissioners responded by passing a 
resolution to tlio cfTect that application 
be made to the state for a loan of $30,- 
000 to help pay for the court house. ^ 
Albert Bryan was the architect selected 
to furnish the plans. May 5 the con- 
tract was let for the erection of the 
court house and the installation of the 
heating plant to J. D. Carroll on a bid 
of $42,469. Mr. Bryan, the architect, 
was employed by the county to superin- 
tend the construction. 

Work on the building was rushed. 
The corner stone was laid with interest- 
ing ceremonies August ]. In January 
the contracts were let for furnishing the 

'Entitled n. J. Forbes vs. J. J. Kendlen. 

building, and on May 28, 1895, the new 
court house was turned over by the con- 
tractor and accepted by the county. 

While the legal proceedings against 
the erection of the court house were in 
progress the talk of county seat removal 
was resumed, and the subject again be- 
came a live issue. Some preliminary 
work was done with a view to having the 
matter submitted to the voters, but those 
interested, not securing the encourage- 
ment necessary to guarantee the success 
of the movement, soon abandoned their 
efforts. This was the last lime the ques- 
tion of removal was brought up. Dur- 
ing the eleven years, 1883 to 1893, that 
the county seat question was an issue, 
the question was not once brought to a 

By 1895 the population had increased 
to 11,905, which was 3,947 more than 
it had been ten years before. Bv pre- 
cincts : 

.\rlrinn Village i 072 

Bijrolnw 577 

Blonni 325 

Dpunld 514 

KIk ."ifiR 

Kllswortli Villnge S'lj 

Craliam Lakes 6lfi 

Craiul Prairie 48" 

T fersey 4^)-, 

Tiuliaii T.aUe 47 1 

Larkin 3ns 

T.pota f 31,-, 

Li'iiiore 41s 

T.iltlp I^D.k W '' .5.-,ti 

T.ora i II oSS 

01 ney 394 

Ransom 30R 

Seward 4S0 

Summit Lake 9.50 

\Vcstside 43.'5 

Willmont .54.5 

Worfhiiifrton Township •^7,'^ 

WordiinpfJon Village l.Dls 

Total 11.00.-, 

The latter half of the nineties was a 
very prosperous period in Nobles county. 
Excellent crops brought hundreds of new 
settlers. Land values jumped several 

•Passed by the usual vote of three to two. 



hundred per cent; farm lands that had 
!<old lor $10 to $20 per acre now brought 
$30 to $;0. It was a time of unpre- 
cedented prosperity. The forward move- 
ment continued into the present decade. 

In 1898 Nobles county furnished a 
company of soldiers, who took part in 
the Spanish-American war, serving a lit- 
tle less than ten months within the 
United States. Alter the Minnesota mi- 
litia had been called out under the 
president's iirst call for troops, steps 
were taken in various parts of the state 
lo raise volunteer companies to be in 
readiness to enter the service should 
there be another call for troops. The 
first steps toward this end in Nobles 
county were taken April 19, when a 
inas.s meeting was held at G. A. R. hall, 
Worthington. The initial proceedings 
were then taken toward enrolling a com- 

When it became /evident that another 
call would soon be made further steps 
were taken. On May G another meeting 
of citizens was lield in Worthington, 
wlien forty names were enrolled. An- 
other meeting was held May 24, when 
the list of members increased to 60, and 
these officers were elected: Edward Dol- 
an, captain; Fred Bitner, first lieuten- 
ant; James McGee, second lieutenant.* 
Tlie company was quickly recruited, the 
villages of Worthington, Adrian and 
Euslimore furnishing the bulk of the 

President Mclvinley made the call on 
May 25, but owing to the necessity of 
recruiting the skeleton companies of the 

*Sooii after the election it wa.s made known 
I hat Gov. Cloujjh reserved the right to name 
ilie second lieutenant, and the name of James 
.\rcGee was dropped. 

'•Resigned Deo. 13, 1S9S. Was succeeded by 
Lucius V. Hubbard on Dec. 31, 1898. 

former Minnesota regiments, the troops 
waiting to respond under the second call 
were not mustered in at once. Finally 
Gov. Clough issued the long awaited or- 
ders for the mobilization of the Fif- 
teenth Minnesota regiment, and on July 
G the Nobles county company departed 
for St. Paul. There was a grand de- 
monstration at Worthington when the 
company took its departure. 

The Fifteenth Minnesota regiment, of 
which the Nobles county company be- 
came company H, was mustered into the 
United States service July 18. The 
commissioned ofEicers of company H 
were Edward Dolan, Worthington, cap- 
tain; Fred Bittner," Worthington, first 
lieutenant; Lucius V. Hubbard," Eed 
Wiug, second lieutenant. The company 
and regiment were stationed at Camps 
llamsey and Snelling, near St. Paul, 
until September 15. During that time 
the regiment went through a fearful 
typhoid fever epidemic, when about GO 
men of company H, out of a total of a 
few over 100, were ill with the disease, 
resulting in three deatlis in the com- 
pany' and several others in the regiment. 

From Minnesota the regiment went to 
Camp Meade, near Harrisburg, Pa., 
wjiere it was assigned to the third bri- 
gade of the first division of the second 
army corps. There it remained until 
Nov. 15, when the regiment was trans- 
ferred to Camp McKenzie, near Augusta, 
Ga. The regiment and company were 
mustered out at that camp March 2i', 
1899. Following is the roster of the 
company at the time of mustering out, 

"Was succeeded by James G. Kennedy, 
Adrian, who was promoted from first ser- 
geant Dec. 31, 1898. 

■Everett Calvert, of Plattsville, Wis., died 
Aug. 15. 1S98; George L. Michael, of Bigelow, 
Minn., died Sept. 5, 1S9S; Joseph R. Mottitt, 
of Burchard, Neb., died Sept. 5, 1898. 



with the rank of the soldier at that time, 
and his place of residence as given in the 
original muster roll : 


Edward Dolan (captain), W'oithingtoii. 

T.iicius V. Hubbard (llrst lieutenant), Red 

dames G. Kennedj- (second lieutenant), 


I>oren B. Town (first sergeant), Worthing- 

Samuel A. Copeland (ipiartermaster ser- 
geant), Adrian. 

Russell 15. Mobcrly, Worthington. 

Charles i'. Tinnes, Adrian. 

Arthur P. Rose. Wortliington. 

Howard Childs, Adrian. 

Leo A. Dewey, Worthington. 
William F. Xornian, Adrian. 
Henry M. Twitchell, Worthington. 
dohn W. Rogers, Worthington. 
Austin T.. Kindred, Worthington. 
dames D. Cummings, Worthington. 
Thomas ^Maloney, Worthington. 
John E. Bass, \Vorthington. 
John Butler, Dayton, Ohio. 
Cliarlcs 11. Johnson. Wortliington. 
John J. Soanlon, Worthington. 
Lee H. Wetherb}', Adrian. 
Ward A. York, Missouri Valley. Iowa. 
Bert H. Woolson (musician), Windom. 
Frank R. Marrs (ariificer), Lakefield. 
Hurr Randall (wagoner), Adrian. 

William Apel, Worthington. 
.lohn H. Ballard, Jackson. 
Henry Bassett, Rushmore. 
Andrew L. Bigelow, Worthington. 
John Bierman, I'nlda. 
Charles Blackburn, Worthington. 
William F. Brabetz, Adrian. 
Walter Briggs, Kushmore. 
Irving Briggs, Worthington. 
Henry Bruner, Bigelow. 
Carl Ruttschau, Worthington. 
James F. Byrnes, Worthington. 
Eugene Campbell, Adrian. 
Joseph Collins, Chicago, 111. 
Patrick Cox, Adrian. 
Timothy Cox, Adrian. 
John A. Dahlberg, Rushmore. 
Nelson DuBois, (iruceville. 
.loseph S. Eastman. Rrainard. 
William A. I<:astman, Braiiiard. 
Simon Ebaugh, \\'orthington. 
.lohn Edwards (Erickson), Worthington. 
Lincoln M. Erhardt, White Bear. 
t;larencc T. Faragher, Adrian. 
Henry W. Forder, Rushmore. 
.lames F. Gallagher. Waukesha, Wis, 
Garrick M, Green, Wdrthington, 

Olaf Hanson, Rushmore. 

Charles G, Ilawkinson, Wortliington. 

Louis H. Herzig, Kinbrac, 

Clarence C. Holton, Laketield, 

Geo. V. Hovey, Worthington. 

Frank Irwin, (Jracevillc. 

William H, Kilpatrick, Adrian. 

Charles Klunder, Toledo. Iowa, 

F'redcrick Knuth, Brewster. 

ICdward E. Libaire, Adrian. 

.\mos Lund, .\drian. 

Gust Lundquist, Worthington. 

Otto R. McChord, Rushmore. 

Vernon Markham, Bigelow. 

Morris V.. Miller, Worthington. 

Archie L. Moberly, Worthington. 

David L. Monroe, Adrian. 

Walter Mundweiler, Adrian, 

Hernuui J. Xaegeli, St. (loud, 

Roscoe B, Palmer, Worthington, 

William Panno, Fulda, 

Aubrey Patton, Memphis, Tenn, 

William A, Patterson, Worthington, 

.loseph Paulson, Adrian, 

Louis I'aulson, Minmapolis. 

Henry F, Peters, Browns \"alley, 

Charles Peterson, Laketield. 

Andrew Pierce, Worthington, 

Albert C, Pike, SpolTord, 

William Phrindable, Adrian, 

Ralph Richar, Worthington, 

Henry M, Roberge, St, Paul, 

Theodore Sundstrom, Worthington. 

Lionel Vought, Wind^ni, 

Robert G, Welsh, il.irris. 

Earl C, Wigham, Adrian, 

John A. Winchell, Jlaiion, Ind, 

Ivan .M. \V:irn'n, ()» atimiiii, 

Ju additiuu to tlie three deaths al- 
ready mentioned, the company sustained 
tlic following losses during the period 
of enlistment: 

Joseph E, Stearns, Brewster, Sept, -^d, 18U8, 
ordei' secretary' of war, 

Jidm F, Tinnes, Adrian, Oct, 24, 1898. dis- 

Edward Brooke (corporal), Owatonna, Nov. 
l;j, 18i),S, disability. 

.Icdni Fixenu^r, \\ uitliiugliin, l)cr, '.). ISD.S, 
transferred to hospital corps, U, S, army, 

Daniel O'Neil, Adrian, Dec, 12, 1898, dis- 

Walter E. Black, Pipestone, Dec, 17. 1898, 
transferred to company I. 

William J, May, Graeeville, Dee, 22, 1898, 
transferred to hospital corjis, U, S, army. 

James G. Kennedy (sergeant). Dec. 30, 1898, 
order of secretary of war. to accept commis- 

.lames J. Walsh, St. Paul, Jan, 2, 1899, 
transferred to company B, 

Harry K. Bonsall, Minneapolis, Jan, 6, 
1899, transferred to signal corps, U, S. army. 
















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llany H. Burmeister, Maukato, Jan. 15, 
isyy, order secretary of war. 

Guss Taylor, ilinneapolis, Jan. 27, 1899, 
order secretary of war. 

John F. Johnson, Red Wing, Feb. 10, 1899, 
order secretary of war. 

Jacob A. Glerm, Worthington, Feb. 15, 1899, 

Ciiarles F. Humes, Ues Moines, Iowa, Feb. 
15, 1899, disability. 

Fred E. Tuttle, Worthington, Feb. 25, 1899, 
transferred to signal corps, U. S. army. 

The Burliugtun brauuk road (uuw 
the Kock Island], the northern termi- 
nus of which had been. Worthington for 
so many years was extended northwest- 
ward in the fall of 1899. Grading on 
the line was commenced in October, 
tracklaying was begun the next month, 
and iu December regular trains were run 
to the temjjorary terminus at Wilmont. 
Two new towns were added to the coun- 
ty tliat fall as a result of the building 
of the road — Wilmont and Reading. Tlie 
former soon took its place as a prosper- 
ous village, and now ranks fourth in 
tlie county in population. Work on the 
road was resumed in March, 1900, and 
three months later the line was complet- 
ed to Hardwick, where it joined the 
main line. The village of Lismore was 
founded that spring. 

The census of 1900 sbowed a total 
jiopulation of 14,932, a gain of 3,037 in 
hve years. The population by precincts 
follows : 

Adrian Village 1.258 

Bigelow '^l" 

Bloom 51!' 

Brewster Village 234 

IJewald 654 

Dundee Village 217 

Elk 484 

Ellsworth Village 454 

( Iraham I..akes 485 

Crand Prairie 464 

Hersey 386 

Indian Lake " 373 

Kinlirae Village 137 

Larkin 49fl 

Leota -552 

Lismore 479 

Little Rock 532 

Lorain 378 

Olney 486 

Ransom 428 

Round Lake Village 226 

Seward 558 

Summit Lake 497 

Westside 438 

Willmont 699 

Worthington Township 393 

Worthington Village 2,386 

Total 14,932 

The year 1903 was one of disaster. 
The most destructive hail storm iu the 
county's history visited the western town- 
ships on July 20, and did awful damage. 
An estimate placed the damage to crops 
in western Nobles cotmty at $260,000, 
covered by abotit $100,000 insurance. 
Ellsworth people estimated the crop loss 
in trade territory of that town, which 
extends into Rock county and Iowa, at 
$350,000. The story of tlie storm is told 
iu the Nobles County Democrat of July 

Jlonday morning [July 20] the sky was 
clear with the exception of a long, low line 
(if dark looking clouds in the north. As the 
wind was from the south, it looked for sev- 
eral hours as if the clouds would be driven 
farther to the north, and few thought there 
was any <laiiger of the storm coming this 
way. But despite the south wind, the cloud 
bank moved slowly in this direction, and 
finally, about noon, it was evident that a 
terrific storm was apiiroaching. The dark 
clouds were tinged here and there with 
streaks of green — a sure indication of hail. 
-Vt one o'clock hugh raindrops began to fall, 
and a few minutes later the hail, driven by 
a strong wind, came thick and fast, cutting 
the leaves from the trees, breaking windows 
and beating giain to the ground. The hail 
was accompanied by torrents of rain, which 
aided in the work of destruction. But it was 
all over in ten minutes, and where the ruin- 
laden clouils had been, blue sky appeared, as if 
nature wished to show how quickly she could 
do the trick and smile at a man's misfortune. 
For some minutes after the storm had passed 
the roar of the falling hail could be heard 
far to the south — and then the sun .shone, 
not on fields of waving grain and laughing 
corn, but on flat masses of tangled, broken 
straw and corn blades cut to ribbons. Here 
and there on the north, west and south were 
patches comparatively uninjured — oases in 
the desolation. 

Leota, Lismore, Westside and Grand Prairie 
townships were hit hardest, while Willmont, 
Larkin, Olney, Little Rock, Dewald, Ransom, 



Jiigelow, Bloom and Summit Lake were dam- 
aged only in spots. So far as the Democrat 
lias been able lo learn, there was no loss to 
speak of in the other parts of the county. 

The general direction of the storm was 
from northwest to southeast, though it 
frequently changed its course for short dis- 
tances, and split up into several parts or 
streams. Its entire width here was more 
than twenty miles, the path of greatest de- 
struction being between here and Luverne, 
with Kenneth, Magnolia and Ellsworth in 
line for the worst of it. 

The Democrat qualified its previous 
article somewhat in the issue of July 
31. It said: 

According to reports there are many fine fields 
of grain in the counuy northeast, east and 
southeast of Adrian that escaped serious 
damage by hail. On the west there is not 
much that is worth cutting, but still there 
is some, and we are not so everlastingly 
wiped out after all. 

The Ellsworth News o£ July 24 told 

of the storm in that part of the county: 

The most destructive hail storm that ever 
visited this section struck here Monday at 
one o'clock in the afternoon, and half an 
hour later hundreds of thousands of dollars 
worth of grain and corn crops were w'orthless. 
As one fanner remarked: "Our harvesting, 
stacking and threshing was all done quickly 
and all together." Where but a half hour 
before stood magnificent fields of rich, waving 
grain and luxuriant coin, now only the 
broken straw and stalks, pounded into the 
ground by the ruthless hail and presenting a 
chaotic apearance, greeted the eye. 

The storm came from the north. It first 
appeared seven miles south of Watertown 
early in the morning and came on over Clear 
lake, going southeast to Woodstock and 
thence over Kenneth, Lisinore and Adrian. At 
the latter place much damage is reported. 
The most of Grand Prairie township suf- 
fered heavy loss; also the west part of Little 

There appeared to be two divisions of the 
storm here. The west division ajipcared first 
five miles northwest of Kanaraiizi and came 
on over that place. From the Ole Fostenrud 
and .Miller jilaces to the creek everything was 
hailed out. This branch of the storm passed 
just west of town and on south toward 
George. . . . From east to west the 
storm appeared to be about eight miles wide, 
and must have covered a tract of country over 
100 miles long from north to south. 
The hail fell in torrents and in many places 
are reported as large as hens' eggs. . . . 
This blow will be severely felt both by the 

farmers aud business men. A great many are 
uepeiiuing on this crop to pay debts iu- 
currea last year on account oi luc corn fail- 
ure. . . . i-ismoie ana w eslside tOMii- 
slups are nearly wiped out, as well as Grand 
rrairie and the larger portion ol l-illle Kock. 

The clemcuts seemed determined tiiai 
the crops should be a total lailurc in 
lyoa. 'ihc hail storm had been a ser- 
ious blow to the western halt ol lUu 
county, and the floods of rainfall that 
continued all season brought destruction 
to crops in all parts of tne county, par- 
ticularly in the eastern half. 

Ihe climax of llie long wet season was 
readied bcplembcr fl. During the after- 
noon aud evening of that day about 
six inches of water fell in as many 
hours. The ground was already thor- 
oughly saturated, and the precipilaliou 
of bUU tons of water to the acre iu su 
short a time made it look as though 
an ark might come handy. Every ditch 
and gutter became a raging torrent; 
every stream a raging river. At VVorth- 
iuutou Ukubena lake overflowed its 
banks, and many of the streets were 
covered with water, so that they had 
to be traveled in boats. Houses on low 
n-round were hlled with water, and sonic 
of the residents had to flee for then- 
lives. Thousands of dollars worth of 
]jroperty was destroyed.' 

Much damage was also done in the 
western portion of the county. The Jian- 
aranzi river rose so rapidly that before 
miduight it was running over the Oma- 
ha track just west of Adrian. So swift 
was the current that more than 100 feet 
of the grade was washed away, leaving 
the rails and ties hanging in the gap. 
Approaches to wagon bridges over the 
usually peaceful river were carried away. 
Heavy timbers were torn from their 
places, and even telephone poles were 

'For a more detailed account of the ttood In VVorthington see chapter 14. 



washed out of the ground. But the fury 
of the Kanaranzi was as nothing com- 
pared with the frenzy of the Little Koek, 
which swept everything before it. As 
a result of the flood there was a bad 
freight train wreck on the Omaha be- 
tween Worthington and Org. 

An idea of the dampness of the sea- 
son is gained from the following table 
of the rainfall for the eight months 
ending October 31, prepared by Weather 
Observer J. H. Maxwell: 

Month — Inches. 

March 2^/2 

April 1% 

May 12'/a 

June 6V4 

July 5% 

August 5Vi 

.September IOV3 

October 4 

48 Va 

The crop was a failure that year. Wet 
weather continued for two or three years 
afterward, and partial crop failures re- 
sulted. Depending almost entirely on 
its agricultural industries, Nobles coun- 
ty was hard hit. A period of dull times 
set in. Immigration ceased, and the re- 
sult is seen in the census figures of 
1905. The total population then was 
15,056, a gain of only 134 in five years. 
Worthington, Adrian and some of the 
small villages showed a small decrease. 
The population by precincts, according 
to this last census, was : 

Adrian Village , 1,184 

Bigelow Township 458 

Bigelow Village 194 

Bloom ■ 496 

Brewster Village 273 

Dewald 481 

Dundee Village • . . . 182 

Elk 464 

Ellsworth Village 537 

Graham Lakes 453 

Grand Prairie 476 

Hersey 421 

' Indian Lake 348 

i\inl>rae V'illage Ill 

Larkin 395 

Leuta 586 

Lismore Township 450 

Lismore Village 181 

Little Kock 594 

Lorain 370 

Uhiey 446 

Ransom 458 

Round Lake Village 245 

Rushiuore Village 228 

Seward 523 

Summit Lake 473 

Westside 417 

Willmont Township 645 

Wilmont Village 279 

Worthington Township 412 

Worthington Village 2,27G 

Total 15,056 

Of the total population 11,977 were 

native born — 5,845 born in Minnesota; 

6,132 born in other states. The foreign 

born population was 3,079, divided 

among the various countries as follows: 

Germany 1,311 

Sweden 570 

Norway 313 

Canada 138 

Ireland 145 

Denmark <)2 

England KK! 

Bohemia ; 11 

Scotland ; 48 

Wales 17 

.Austria 62 

All other countries 263 

Total 3,079 

The setback caused by the wet sea- 
sons was only temporary. A good crop 
was raised in 1906 and a bountiful one 
in 1907. Good prices prevailed during 
the latter year, and the financial flurry 
that came late that fall caused no anxi- 
ety among the people of Nobles coun- 
ty. The year 1908 opened with the 
people feeling happy and contented. 
They live in the best country the bright 
light of heaven, ever shown upon. 


POLITICAL— 1870-1874. 

The political history of Nobles coun- 
ty dates from the fall of the year 1870. 
When the settlers residing in the vicin- 
ity of Graham lakes determined that 
their needs warranted the organization 
of the county they asked Governor Hor- 
ace Austin to appoint commissioners, 
who should perfect the organization un- 
der the provisions of the act of May 23, 
1857, — the act of the legislature creat- 
ing the county. The governor complied 
with the request of the settlers, and in 
September, 1870, appointed Benjamin 
W. Woolstencroff, CUiarles H. Drury and 
P>enjaiiiin Harrison commissioners, giv- 
ing them authority to name the other 
county officials.^ 

The three commissioners met Oct. "27, 
1870, elected Charles Drury chairman 
and B. W. Woolstencroff secretary, and 

'Knfortunately the early county records have 
not been preserved, and the data for the 
poUtical history prior to the election of No- 
vember, 1871, is furnished by Judge B. W. 
Woolstenoroft. of Slayton, who gives the facts 
from memory. These are supplemented some- 
what by data obtained from a historical atlas 
of Minnesota, published in 1874, the compilers 
of which doubtless had access to the records. 
The early day commissioners' proceedings 
were kept on legal cap paper and were not 
transcribed into a permanent record. The rec- 
ord is complete from January, 1872. 

On January 9, 1872, the commissioners took 
official note of the fact that the papers were 
missing, as follows: 

"Complaints having been made to the board 
that Charles Drury, one of the former com- 
missioners, retained certain records of the old 
board of commissioners in his possession and 
refused to deliver them up on demand, the 
board passed the following resolution; 

" 'Whereas, One Charles Drury retains in 
his possession certain records of the board of 
county commissioners and refused to deliver 
them to the proper officer. 

appointed the following officers : Simon 
Jl. Harris, auditor and county attorney; 
John H. Cunningham, treasurer; Steph- 
en Howell, register of deeds; E. W. 
Hesselrotli, judge of probate; Kichard 
Morton, clerk of court; Captain Miller, 

Theso appointments were intended to 
be temporary, as the general election of 
November, 1870, was only a few days 
away. Active preparations were at once 
begun for this event, and a mass con- 
vention was called to be held at the 
lioiiie of Edward Berreau, on section 14, 
Hersey township. In the log house of 
that pioneer settler, in the closing days 
of October, gathered the voters, who 
put in nomination a complete county 
ticket. Then, as now, all was not har- 
mony in a political way. Because of 

" 'Resolved. That proper action be com- 
menced by the board immediately against the 
said Drur.v to recover the said records.' " 

The next day the journal records the fol- 
lowing proceedings: 

"Papers purporting to be the records of the 
board of county commissioners from Oct. 27, 
1870, to Jan. 5. 1871. inclusive, were presented 
to the board by the auditor as received from 
Charles Drury. On examination of the papers 
it was ascertained that they were not the 
original, but altered copies of the original rec- 
ords. On motion of Mr. Tucker the auditor 
was instructed to employ competent legal 
counsel and to proceed against the said 
Charles Drurj' immediately for unlawfully de- 
taining the property of the county." 

This is the last mention of the matter. If 
the original records were recovered they have 
di-sappeared again. 

=The historical atlas before referred to 
states that at this initial meeting Hiram L. 
Wallace was apointed sheriff and B. F, Tan- 
ner and William Hesselroth Justices of the 




llie nomination of S. E. Harris for au- 
ditor there was a bolt. A few days 
later the dissatisfied ones met at the 
home of B. W. Woolstencroft, in what 
is now Graham Lakes township. All of 
the nominees of the first convention were 
endorsed with the e.xception of Mr. Har- 
ris for auditor; the name. of B. W. Wool- 
stencroft was substituted for that of 
Mr. Harris. 

The election was only a few days 
away, and the contest between the two 
noiiiineiss for auditor became spirited. 
The board at its first meeting had di- 
vided the coimty into three election pre- 
cincts, the polling places for which were 
al the homes of S. Ji. Harris and H. L. 
Wallace, in Graliam Lakes, and the home 
of Isaac Hortoii, in Indian Lake. There 
was no red tape connected with lliis 
first election held in Nobles county. At 
tlie Harris home a cigar box with a slit 
cut in the top served as a ballot bo.x'. 
Into this opening a jack knife was 
stuck; wliou the polls were declared 
open the knife was withdrawn and vot- 
ing began. So bitter was the contest 
between the friends of the nominees for 
auditor that violence was narrowly avert- 
ed at the Harris polling place. Ecvol- 
vorg were worn conspicuously, knives 
were displayed, and intimidations were 
indulged in. Despite these manifesta- 
tions of hostility the situation was con- 
trolled by the cooler heads, and the day 
passed without bloodshed. The home of 
Isaac Horton — the Indian Lake polling 
place — was on section 34, on the east 
bank of Indian lake. Mr. Horton had 

'This was the case for several years during 
the county's early history, and was the cause. 
(loi;t)tlPss. for the many chanBCs during the 
early days. N'or were there duties attached 
to some of the offices, and some of the of- 
ficers did not qualify. Mr. E. W. Hcsselroth, 
stiil a resident of the county, tells me that 
during the time he was probate Judge he did 
not have a case; neither did he liave any 
duties to perform during the years he served 
as Justice of the peace. 

made a ballot box which was used at 
that election and for several electiouB 
thereafter. It was three and one-half 
inches deep by four inches wide, and 
was twelve inches long, fitted with a 
sliding cover in which was a slit for 
receiving the ballots. 

Thirty-two votes were cast, and there 
were possibly at the time twelve or four- 
teen other electors in the county who 
did not use their franchise. The party 
favoring Mr. Woolstencroft for auditor 
was successful. The officers elected 
were: B. W. Woolstencroft for auditor; 
John H. Cunningham, treasurer; Steph- 
en Howell, register of deeds; E. W. 
Hesselroth, judge of probate; Eicliard 
Morton, clerk of court; H. L. Wallace, 
sheriff; Stephen Muck, coroner. 

Dissatisfied with the result of the 
election, Mr. Harris as auditor (which 
he held by appointment) refused to can- 
vass the vote. While he was undoubted- 
ly wrong in taking such a course and 
could have been compelled to make the 
canvass, conditions were such that no 
action was taken, and for the time be- 
ing there was no change in the person- 
nel of the county officers. No salary 
was attached to any of the offices,^ and 
the officers-elect were not ambitious 
enough to compel the canvassing of the 
vote, which would result in placing 
them in office. There was a spirited 
contest between Messrs. Thompson and 
Whalen for state senator and Jlcssrs. 
Chamberlain and Patchen for represen- 
tative, and the votes for these offices 
were canvassed by Auditor Harris.* 

•While this was the first election In which 
the electors of Nobles county were permitted 
to vote for legLslatlvo candidates. It may be 
of Interest to know who our legislators had 
been previously. Under the legislative ap- 
portionment of ISGO southwestern Minnesota. 
Including the counties of Faribault. Martin. 
Jacljson, Cottonwood, Murray, Nobles, Pipe- 
stone, Roclt and Brown west of range 34. was 
designated as the Twentieth district. In the 
Icglslatines of 1861 and 1SC2 Guy C. Cleveland 



So the election of 1870 resulted in 
no change. But between the date of 
organization and the time when the of- 
ficers elected in the fall of 1871 took 
office there were numerous changes. It 
seemed difficult to find men willing to 
serve the county in an official capa- 
city,'^ and several appointments were 
made for some offices before men could 
be found who would qualify. Soon af- 
ter the organization Origen B. Lacy was 
named register of deeds, Henry Bray- 
ton, county attorney; S. E. Harris, 
judge of probate; Benjamin Harrison, 
coroner; Edward J. Clark, clerk of 
court ; Cliarles H. Drury and John 
Leitz, justices of the peace. At a 
meeting of the board in January, 1871, 
W'illiam H. Brown was appointed coun- 
ty attorney, James W. Miller, surveyor; 
Charles W. Bullis, Samuel Barnes and 
Ole Ellingson, constables. About this 
time there was a change in the board of 
commissioners, W. G. Brown being ap- 
pointed to fill the vacancy caused by 
the removal of Benjamin Harrison from 
the county. At a meeting on April 1.5, 
1871, there was a change in one of the 
important offices. S. E. Harris, who 
had held the offices of auditor and coun- 
ty attorney from the date of organiza- 
tion, resigned, and in his place was 
installed W. H. Brown, auditor, and J. 
W. Palmer, county attorney. These are 

was senator, and he was succeeded in the 
next four legrislatures by D. G. Shillock. The 
Twentieth district was represented in the house 
as follows: 1861. A. Strecker; 1862. B. O, 
Kempfer: 1863. J. B. Wakefield; 1S64, J. A. 
Latimer: 18i).5. J. A. Kiester: 1866. J. B. Wake- 
field, Another apportionment was made in 
1866, in which Nobles county was not men- 
tioned. It was doubtless intended, however, 
that it should still be a part of district No, 
20, In the legislatures of 1S67 to 1869, 
inclusive. J, B, Wakefield was senator, J, A, 
Latimer served in 1S70. and C, W, Thompson 
in 1871, During this period the district was 
represented in the house by A, Andrews, A, B, 

the only changes that resulted prior to 
the election in the fall of 1871." 

The election of Nov. 7, 1871, brought 
about an almost complete change in 
county officers. There were contests for 
only a few of the county offices, and 
for state offices there was almost an 
unanimity of choice. Almost without 
exception the first settlers of the coun- 
ty were republicans, and out of the total 
of 73 votes cast 72 were for Horace 
Austin for governor and one for Win- 
throp Young. This democratic vote was 
east by Michael Maguire, still a resident 
of Nobles county. There was no poli- 
tical division on county offices, the nomi- 
nees being put forward by independant 
conventions. There were only two town- 
ships organized at the time — Graham 
Lakes and Indian Lake. The polling 
place for Graham Lakes was the resi- 
dence of H. C. Hallett. The judges of 
election were E. W. Hesselroth, Asher 
Allen and C. H. Cutler, and the clerks 
were Henry D. Bookstaver and B. W. 
Woolstencroft. In Indian Lake the poll- 
ing place was the residence of Isaac 
Horton, where E. L. Erskine, Frank 
Tucker and Isaac Horton officiated as 
judges and Clias. W. Bullis and Henry 
Brayton as clerks. 

Following is the vote by precincts, as 
certified to by Auditor William H. 
Brown : 

Colton. J, W, Hunter. M, E, L, Shanks and A, 
L, Patchen, 

=It may not be out of place to note the 
fact that conditions have changed since then. 

'Although W. H, Brown was nominallj- 
county auditor for the rest of the term he 
had very little to do with the office. He neg- 
lected to have a tax levied for the year 1871. 
and in the summer H, D, Bookstaver took 
charge of the office and was. to all intents, 
cotmty auditor. He was formally appointed 
auditor Jan, 10, 1872, to serve until March 1. 
1872. when th*^ new officers qualified. 



OlJ ^J 1= 

Horace Austin (rep) 4.i 28 71 

Winthrop Young (dem) 1 .. 1 

Lieut. Governor- 
William H. Yale (rep) 43 ;"9 "2 

D. L. Buell idem) 1 .. 1 

Secretary of State— 

S. P. Jennison (repi 43 2'.i 72 

Eric Nelson Falk (dem) .... 1 1 

Treasurer — 

Wm. Seeger irep) 43 29 72 

Barney Vosberg (dem) 1 1 

Attorney General - 

F. R E. Cornell rep) 43 29 72 

John L. McDonald (dem). .. 1 .. 1 

Asso. Justices — 

S. J. R. McMillan (rep) 43 29 72 

John M. Berry (rep) 43 2li 72 

Daniel Buck idem! 1 ., 1 

Wm. Mitchell (dem) 1 .. 1 

Auditor — 

H. D. Bookstaver 21 29 51t 

Walter G. Brown 22 . . 22 

Treasurer — 

Henry Brayton 44 29 73 


H. C. Hallett 23 . . 23 

Charles W. Bullis 19 29 48 

Scattering 2 .. 2 

Register of Deeds — 

Selim Fox 44* 29 G9 

O. B. Lacy 4 . . 4 


B. W. Woolstencroft 31 28 59 

Chas, Frisbee 7 .. 7 

Scattering 3 . . 3 

Clerk of Court— * 

John H. Cunningham 44 29 73 

Probate Judge — 

E. W Hesselroth 41 29 70 

Court Commissioner — 

Warren Fish 23 28 51 

Stephen Muck :.. 41 29 70 

Scattering 1 1 

Senator — 

Wm. D. Rice 43 29 72 

C. C. Sylvester 1 . . 1 

Representative — 

Geo. C. Chamberlain 43 29 72 

O. Nason 1 . . 1 

Commissioner Dist 1 — 

Irving S. Swan 13 

Orange Chapman li 

Commissioner Dist. 2 

J. W. Miller 15 

John II Cunningham 4 

Scattering 1 

Commissioner Dist. 3 — 

Frank Tucker 28 

•Kvideiill.v a niist:iUe In luklltlon. 

+Iii the liruliain Lakes lownslilii abstract this voto 
Is jrlvcn as 10. and was incorrecll.v put on tlie county 

"Citizens of NiiWes county rosiidiuK out- 
side these two towHsliips were allowed to 
vote. A few citizens of llie new town of 
WorthiiiBton cast their ballots in Indian Lake. 
The few settlers of Hersey and Seward voted 
In Graham Lakes. 

The sevent^'-three voters who cast 
ballots at this election were as follows: 

Graham Lakes precinct' — J. Anscomb, 
A. A. Allen, L. Allen, II. D. Bookstaver, 
\V. 11. P.niwn, W. G. Brown, Byron B. 
[irain, W. H. Jiooth, Caleb Blake, Or- 
wen Blake, ICdward Clark, Nathaniel 
Cox, A. L. Y. Cornish, Orange (Tliap- 
man, .1. U. Cunningham, Chas. Cutler, 
Chas. Druiy, Stephen A. Door, Selim 
Fox, Chas. Frisbio, John J. Fitch, Hen- 
ry C. Hallett, E. W. Hesselroth, H. A. 
E. Hesselroth, 0. B. Lacy, Micliael Ma- 
giiirc, Joseph Muck, Stephen Muck, J. 
W. Miller, Stephen Muck, Jr., J. W. 
Palmer J. Parsliall, Joseph Stone, Ir- 
win S. Swan, Philo Snyder, B. F. Tan- 
ner, F. Umbrid, Isaac Waterhouse, B. 
W. Woolstencroft, H. L. Wallace, Wil- 
liam Willcox, J. Westinghouse, Frank 
Zeiner, Englebrih Zeiner.' 

Indian Lake precinct — K. L. Erskine. 
Frank Tucker, Henry Brayton, Isaac 
llnrton. C. W. Bullis, Albert Haggard, 
Henry Davis, Elihue Ellis, Erick Paul, 
Will. .\. Dillman, Ole Johnson, Moulton 
]\le(!olluns, .James Christiansen, Louis 
Sundberg, Gundro Joul, Ole N. Lang- 
seth, Ole Fauskee, N. N. Langseth. Ole 
\. Fauskee, Andrew Sundlnirg, P. S. 
Swanson, Hanson Estrom. Charles Wick- 
slrom, Peter Wickstroiu, Louis Ilanhi, 
l<h-ick Mahlberg, Tlniry 'S\. Johnson. 
John Pygall, Nelson Coyour. 

The officers elected in 1871, wiiii few 
exceptions, servi^d tlicir i'liil Iri-ms. ,T. 
W. Miller, who liad been elected com- 
missioner from the second district, did 
not qualify. in his place appeared 
.Toliii 11. Cunniiigliain. who had lieim his 

"Olhei-s i-egistered in Gi'aham Lakes town- 
ship, but who did not vote, were Mark 
Amundson. Martin .\mundson. Rasmus .\n- 
der.son, Edward Berreau. Alexander Clark. W. 
Cosper, Daniel Downy. Hearth. Hearth. 
.Johnson, H. F. Jackson, .1. Leitz, Bennett 
Lindcrman, Parshall, Terkins, Peter Swait- 
wout, Weston, Watlng, Wolf, Wolf, Younker. 




opponent at the polls. Mr. Cunning- 
ham was elected chairman of_ the board 
Jan. 2, 1872, he resigning the oifiee of 
treasurer to accept the position on the 
board. ■ He resigned the latter office, 
and on May 30 Irwin S. Swan was 
elected chairman. C. C. Goodnow took 
the oath of office as commissioner from 
the third district, replacing Frank Tuck- 
er, and M. L. Miller replaced Mr. Cun- 
ningham on the board. There had been 
no candidates for the office of county 
attorney, and J. W. Palmer continued 
to hold the office by virtue of a former 
appointment. He resigned the office 

°Those who voted in the several townships, 
excluding Little Rock and Dewald, were as 

Worthington. SH — S. F. Sheppard. W. K. 
Fish. Chas. Fletcher. R. H. I*utnam, Wm. 
Wallace, J. C. Clark, Chas. Newton. L. M. Geo. O. Moore. John Alley, J. B. 
Haines, L.. B. Bennett, Frank Stringham. 
Wm. E. Martin. A. P. Miller, L. F. McLaurin, 
Jas. Marden, L. Griswold, R. F. Humiston. 
David Bennett, H. C. Duggen. M. H. Stevens. 
E. Dilabangh, Otis Bigelow, T. C. Trimble, 
Daniel Stone, H. M. Farnam, Wm. H. Will- 
marth, T. C. Bell, James Gibson, Cyrus Kling- 
ensmith, J, T, Shaw, J. S. Shuck, C. B, Love- 
less, M. B, Odell, James S. Stone. I. N. 
Sater, C, P. Stough, I. P. Durfee. C. D. Will- 
iamson. B, R. Humiston, Chas. H. Stewart, S. 
D. Sprague, David Stone, E. S. Terry, A, J. 
Wilcox, Mons E. Distead, H. Davis, W. S. 
Langdon, E. W. Branch, C. P. Hewett, Jas. 
Gould, .\ndrew Buchan. John F. Humiston, 
H. W. Kimball, L. D. I-aythe. C. B. Lang- 
don, .\llen Cho.ney, Ole Hanson, Edward Gill- 
en, John Herzig, C. C, Whitney, C. W. Lewis. 
B. F. Thurber. Wm. N. Phillips, Chas. E. 
Tourtelotte. Oscar Whitney. C. C. Goodnow, 
A. C. Robinson, W. A. Dillman, Edwin F. 
Wliitnev, A. J. Manley, J. A. Town, A. L. 
Clarke, J. C. Goodnow. B, R. Prince, M. B. 
Soule, Peter Thompson, O, G. Grundsten, C. 
Hill, C. J. Miller, Cornelius Johnson. Geo, 
Cline. A. P. Chamberlain. Osmond Parkland. 

Indian Lake, 29 — R. M. Small. C. Saxon, O, 
Langseth, A. Anderson, John Haggard, Sr., L. 
Johnson, G, O, Joul, O. M. Skinner, O. 
Ellingson. O. Anderson, A. C. Lofstedt, John 
Blixt, E, Paul. J. Cristesson, John Saxon, L. 
Wheeler, G, Horton, R. L. Erskine, Henry 
Brayton A. A. Abbott, James Acheson, S. W. 
Bolton, J. D. Brown, H. M. Johnson, Andrew 
Sunburg, Lewis Sunburg, Charles Peterson, 
John Haggard, Jr., Nelson Coyour. 

Elk, 15 — T. D. Fowble, Cyrenius Alley, S. P. 
Bon, "W. B. Akins, M, L. Miller, Peter Swet- 
zer, John P. Warner, Chas. Wilkinson, R. B. 
Plotts, Peter Kleven. Andrew Nord, T. H. 
Barnfleld, Allen McLean. Elliott Covey, D. 
P. Baird. 

Hersey, 31— W, R, Bennett, Daniel Hoffy, 
A. A. Parsons, J, W. Dyer. Louis Gotthelf, 
Chas. Smith, W, G. Brown, John Myers, 
Jermeiah Lynch, Otto Berreau, John Polster, 

Sept. 16, 1872. Prior to Feb. 9, 1872, 
the county had been without a superin- 
tendent of schools, but on tliat date W. 
H. Cunningham was appointed. He 
served until September IG, 1872, when 
T. C. Bell was appointed to the office. 

There was a big change in conditions 
in Nobles county between the time of 
the elections of 1871 and 1872. From 
the seventy-three votes cast in 1871 the 
number at the election of Nov. 5, 1872, 
liad increased to 321 ;" the number of 
organized townships had increased to 
eleven, and in each of tliese, polling 
places had been established and elections 

Chas. Hartoon. Herman Berreau. Levi Wright- 
son, Erastus Church, Caleb Blake, Orwell 
Blake, Geo, Payne, Chas, Frisbie, W. H. 
Berger, O, B. Lacv. Jonathan Gordon, John 
Parsons, Pat Haffy, I. K, Cole, Wm. Grono. 
John Newberry, Wm. Ditty, A. J. Timlin. 
A. O. Conde, C. A. Barrows. 

Bigelow, 34 — J. Ruprecht. Wm. G. John- 
ston. N. McDowell, S. O, Morse, F. J. Peace, 
J. I'pstrom, E. J, Bear, Adolph .\nderson, Ole 
Lienquist, Wm. M. Bear, Ed. Sprague, T, T. 
Reynolds, H. B. Tripp, A. A. Kimball, Hugh 
Mitchell, A. C. Esker, P. Larson, Lars Erick- 
son, J. Moberg, E. Kain, H. Mitchell, S. 
Elofson, H. Nystrom, Erick Mahlberg. C. J. 
Wiekstrom, Oley Mastrom, John T. Preuett, 
E. S. Mills. P. G. Swenson. L. R. Hollenback, 
Cniarles A. Tellander, Thos. Wills, Robert 
Frothingham, Geo, M. Plumb. 

Fairview fLorain). 22 — Champlin Brown. 
William Hannah. H. D. Humiston. Dr. J. 
Craft. W. L. Shoemaker, B. S. Langdon. T. 
H. Parsons, David Fogo. Richard W. Eagley, 
William Madison, Crasey Key, Wm, F. Ham- 
ilton. Abram A. Burton, Rol^ert Firth, Alliert 
Haggard, James Hazard, Hamilton McCoilum, 
H. S. Finn, B. H. Crever, William Stockdale, 
Daniel Shell. Alfred Small. 

Graham Lakes. 32 — J. H. Anscomb, Jere- 
miah .\nscomb, H. D. Bookstaver. W. H. 
Brown. O. Briggs, Alexander Clarke, Edward 
J. Clark, A. L. Y. Cornish, O. H. Chapman, 
J, H. Cunningham. Chas, Drurv, A, L. Dun- 
lap, N. Erickson, Selim Fox, H. C. Hallett, 
E, W, Hesselroth, John Hart, E. F. Jackson. 
M. McGuire. Stephen Muck, J. W. Miller, A. 
Nelson, J. W. Palmer, Joseph Stone, Warren 
Smith. N. H. Smith, I, S. Swan, B, F. Tan- 
ner. H. L. Wallace. W. Willcox. F. Zeiner, B. 

Seward, 13— W. H. Booth, W. W, Casper. P. 
Gagoe, C. C, Johnson, James Parshall, James 
Parshall, Jr., Jonas Parshall, P, Snyder, J. P. 
Vail, J, Westinghovise. J. M. Weston, J, G, 
Walling, W. Sowles. 

Grant (Ransom), 14 — Richard Prideaux, 
Stillman I. W. Alen, F, W, Burdett, A, C, 
Guernsey, H, S, Belknap, J. H. Scott, Leroy 
Cole, Coleman Guernsey, Hiram Norton, H, 
R. Gray, D. K. Gordon, Geo. M, Smith. B. F 
Congdon, Anthony R. Mutter, 



were held." The count)' was overwhelm- 
ingly republican, as was shown by the 
vote for president and congressman. 
Following is the oflficial abstract of the 
vote : 

Presidential electors — republican 
(Grant), 276; democratic, (Greeley), 

Congressman — M. 11. Duiuiell (rep.), 
374; Morton S. Wilkinson (dem.), 43. 

Representative" — Stephen Miller, 2-57; 
H. Anderson, 55. 

"■The election officers of the several pre- 
cincts were as follows: 

Dewald (polling place at the house of 
Leander Shirley). Thos H. Childs. Andrew O. 
Miller and Wilson, judges: Leander 
S. Shirley and Samuel F. Pcpple. clerks. 

Little hock (polling place at the house of 
Ole C. Peterson). Sylvester Jenkins, J. D. 
Roberts and Ole C. Peterson, judges; J. T. 
Green, town clerk. 

Grant (polling place at the house of M. S. 
Belknap), H. R. Gray, M. S. Belknap and A. 
O. Guernsey, judges; Leroy Cole and Cole 
Guernsey, clerks. 

Seward Spoiling place at the house of Jos. 
Willing). John P. Vail. C, L. Johnson and 
Jonas Parshall. judges; Julius Westinghouse 
and Philo Snyder, clerks. 

Graham Lakes (polling place at the house 
of H. C. Hallett). O. IL Chapman. E. W. 
Hesseiroth and E. F. Jackson, judges; N. 
H. Smith and H. C. Hallett. clerks. 

Fairvlew, B. S. I.angdon. Thos. H. Parsons 
and W. L. Shoemaker, judges; R. D. Bagley 
and Wm. F. Hamilton, clerks. 

HIgclow (polling place at the house of Lars 
Elofson), E. S. Mills. P. T. Reynolds and P. 
G. Swenson. judges; William M. Bear and A. 
A. Kimball, clerks. 

Hersev. Walter G. Brown and A. A. Par- 
sons, judges; W. R. Bennett and Ira K. 
Cole, clerks. 

Elk. Samuel P. Bon, W. B. Akins and Allan 
McLean, judges; Chas. Wilkinson and Thos. 
D. Fowble, clerks. 

Indian Take (polling place at the house of 
C. W. Bullis), R. L. Erskine, Geo. W. Bottom 
and John Haggard. Jr., judges; James Ache- 
son and A. A. Abbott, clerks. 

Worthington (polling place at the village of 
Worthlngton), Benjamin R. Prince. M. B. 
Soule and Benjamin F. Thurber, judges; Jor- 
rle B. Haines and L. B. Bennett, clerks. 

"For the want of a better place I shall here 
give the legislative history of Nobles county. 
The legislature of 1871 reapportioned the 
state Into legislative districts. Nobles county 
became a part of the ."iSth. the other counties 
comprising the district being Martin. Jackson. 
Rock. Watonwan. Cottonwood, MvuTay and 
Pipestone. The district was entitled to one 
senator and three members of the house. The 
sen.ator was to be elected from the district at 
large; Martin county was entitled to one rep- 
resenlallve, Watonwan to one. and the rest of 
the district to the other. ITnder this ppor- 
tlonment the district was represented ,r\ the 
sevei-al legi.siatures as follows: 

lS72--Senalc, Wm. D. Rice; house, E. TBerry, 
W W. Murphy, G. C. Chamberlain. 

1873— Senate, W. D. Rice; house. J. W. 

County Attorney— M. B. Soule, 274; 
Ole Hansen, 22. 

Commissioner First District'^ — J. ^\'. 
^[illcr, 33 ; Scattering, 5. 

Commissioner Second District — M. L. 
Miller, 32. 

Commissioner Third District — I. P. 
Dnrfee,^' 113; John Alley, 91. 

Court Commissioner — J. S. Shuck, 
270; Joel A. Pegg, 20. 

Such were the election laws in the 
early history of Nobles county that elec- 

Seager, Edwin Berry, Stephen Miller. 

1871 — Senate. E. P. Freeman; house, J. F. 
Daniels. Ole O. How. N. H. Manning. 

1875 — Senate, B. P. Freeman; house, Chas. 
F. Crosby. E. Berry, Thos. Rutledge. 

1S7G — Senate. I. P. Durfee; house. J. A. 
Everett. Lee Hensley, W. H. Mellen. 

1877— Senate. I. P. Durfee; house, H. N. 
Rice. Lee Hensley, Christopher H. Smith. 

1S7S — Senate. Christopher H. Smith; house, 
Frank A. Day, L. H. Bishop. Alex FIddes. 

1S79— Senate, A. D. Perkins; house, M. E. 
L. Shanks. T. Lambert. P. J. Kniss. 

ISSl — Senate, A. D. Perkins; house, J. A. 
Armstrog, W. D. Rice. P. Kniss. 

A new apportionment was made in 1881. 
under which Nobles, Murray, Rock and Pipe- 
stone counties were made to form the seventh 
district, entitled to one senator and two rep- 
resentatives. In 1SS9 one more representative 
was given to the district. The seventh dis- 
trict was represented in the Minnesota legis- 
latures as follows: 

1S83— Senate. A. M. Crosby; house, W. H. 
Johnson. W. A. Crawford. 

1SS5 — Senate, A. M. Crosby; house, Peter 
Peterson. W. B. Brown. 

1SS7 — Senate. W. B. Brown; house. J. F. 
Shoemaker. B. M. Low. 

1889— Same as 1887. 

1891 — Senate, Jay LaDue; house. Larned 
Coburn, Wm. Lockwood. Patrick Glldea. 

1893 — Senate. Jay LaDue; house, Daniel 
Shell, Wm. Lockwood. Ole O. Holman. 

1S95— Senate. H. J. Miller: house. Daniel 
Shell. Wm. Lockwood. Ole O. Holman. 

1S97 — Senate. H. J. Miller; house. Daniel 
Shell, Ole O. Holman, .\. S. Dyer. 

In 1897 Nobles and Munay counties were 
m.ade one district, the fifteenth, entitled to one 
senator and one member of the house. The 
district has been represented as follows: 

1899— Senate, Daniel Shell; house, Henry C. 

1901— Same ns 1899. 

1903 — Senate, Daniel Shell; house George W. 

1905— Senate. Daniel Shell; house, S. O. 

1907 — Senate, S. B. Bedford; house, S. O. 

"On M.av 30. 1872. the county commissioners 
had redistrlcted the county. District one In- 
cluded the northern tier of townships and 
Hersev; district two Included the present 
townships of Elk, S\immlt Lake. Lismore, 
Larkln. Westslde. OIney and Dew.ald; dis- 
trict three included the southern tier of 
townships and the townships of I.or.Tin and 

"Served as chairman. 



tions were held every year. All the of- 
fices were for two year terms, but only 
part of the officers were elected each 
year. This condition prevailed until 1885, 
when a new law went into effect, making 
the elections only in even numbered 
years. During the seventies and early 
eighties the more important county offi- 
cers were chosen in odd numbered years. 

The election of Nov. 4, 1873, brought 
out a vote of 527, a big increase over 
that of the preceding year. A lively in- 
terest was manifested in the election, 
and for the first time there was organized 
opposition. The democrats, as a party, 
were not yet strong enough to enter the 
field alone with any prospects of a suc- 
cessful outcome, but conditions were such 
that quite a strong opposition party was 
formed, which went into the campaign 
with the hope of defeating the regularly 
nominated republican ticket. The ticket 
which was put up in opposition was 
labeled "peoples" and was made up of 
democrats and republicans. The re- 
gular republican nominees were generally 
successful. Following is the official vote 
of this election : 

Governor — Cushman K. Davis (rep.), 
371; Samuel Mayall, 40; Ara Barton, 

Senator— E. P. Freeman (rep.), 490; 
Scattering, 5. 

Eepresentative— Nelson H. -Manning, 
(rep.), 315; Warren Smith (dem.), 191. 

Auditor— W. M. Bear (rep.), 493; 
Scattering. 12. 

Sheriff— C. W. Bullis (rep.), 333; A. 
Miner (peo.), 174; Scattering, 4. 

Judge of Probate— Dr. J. Craft, 253; 
B. S. Langdon, 244; Scattering, 1. 

Clerk District Court— B. N. Carrier, . 
294; J. A. Town, 213; Scattering, 1. 

Surveyor— B. W. Woolsteneroft (rep.), 
355; Otto Berreau (peo.), 153. 

Treasurer — H. D. Humiston (rep.), 
263; Peter Thompson (peo.), 242; Scat- 
tering, 1. 

Eegister of Deeds— T. C. Bell (rep.), 
369; B. F. Thurber (peo.), 133. 

Court Commissioner — B. S. Langdon, 
242; Dr. J. Craft, 252; Scattering, 1. 

Coroner — J. B. Churchill (rep.), 350; 
Dr. LeM'is Gotthelf (peo.), 161; Scat- 
tering, 1. 

Commissioner First District — M. L. 
Miller, 23; T. H. Childs, 21. 

The grasshoppers and the prevailing 
hard times had an effect on the politics 
of the county in 1874. Owing to these 
causes and the fact that only a few 
officers were to be chosen, not a great 
deal of interest was manifested, and 
there was a falling off in the vote — 
only 448 votes being cast. To such a 
small extent did the people interest 
themselves in politics that it is said the 
republican nominating convention was 
attended by "eleven persons, including 
one little boy." Nor was there a much 
better sliowing at the democratic con- 
vention. For the first time in the coun- 
ty's history the voters met with straight 
republican and democratic tickets in the 
fichl. While the republicans were in 
each case successful, the democrats made 
a good showing, compared with the re- 
sults of previous elections. The vote: 

Congressman — Mark H. Dunnell 
(rep.), 336; Franklin H. Waite (dem.), 

Judge Sixth Judicial District — D. A. 
Dickinson (rep.), 345; Daniel Buck 
(dem.), 99. 

Senator — Niel Currie (rep.), 259. 

Eepresentative — Charles F. Crosby 
(rep.), 32G ; Leonard Aldrich (dem.), 

County Attorney — Martin B. Soule 
(rep.), 322; B. N. Carrier (dem.), 119. 



Commissioner Third District — I. P. 
Durfee" (rep.), 196; L. B. Bennett 
(dcni.), 80. 

Tiie only changes resulting before the 
next election were in the board of coun- 
ty commissioners, two members being 
legislated out of office by their own acts. 
The board on Oct. 19, 187"), redivided 
the comity into commissioner districts. 
The whole of the north half of the 
county was made district No. 1 ; tlie 
townships of Lorain, Worthington, Dc- 
wald, Olney and Wcstside were made 

"Was Plectcd chairman of the board. 

district No. 3; the southern tier of 
townships was designated district No. 3. 
This made vacancies in districts No. 2 
and 3, which were represented by Messrs. 
jr. L. Miller and I. P. Durfee, and 
those gentlemen withdrew. The regis- 
ter of deeds and probate judge filled the 
vacancies by the appointment of A. C. 
Eobinson from district 2 and Edward 
trills from district 3. They took office 
October 23, and Mr. Robinson was chos- 
en chairman of the board. I To served 
until Jan. 3, 1877, when Mr. Mills was 
chosen chairman. 


POLITICAL— 1875-1887. 

Pioneer days and ways were passing 
away. Cigar box ballot boxes with jack 
knife locks were out of date. In the 
middle seventies voting precincts were 
to be found in nearly all parts of the 
county. Salaries were now attached to 
the different offices, and no longer was 
it necessary for the offices to so besT- 

A temperance wave spread over Min- 
nesota in 1875. A' reform party was 
organized and made an excellent show- 
ing at the polls. Prof. E. F. Humis- 
ton, one of the founders of Worthing- 
ton, became the nominee of that party 
for governor and received a largo vote 
in the state at large, as well as in his 
home county. The temperance senti- 
ment had always been strong in ISTobles 
county and enthusiasm was unbounded 
among its adherents here. It was de- 
cided to enter the local field of politics 
and endeavor to capture the county of- 
fices. With this in view a reform or 
temperance party came into existence, 
which complicated the political situa- 
tion in the campai,cm of 1875. The 
party was known officially as the "in- 
dependent reform party." It held a 
convention on Oct. 9 and placed a ticket 
in the field. Nearly all the nominees 

refused to make the race, but a com- 
mittee appointed for the purpose placed 
another ticket in the field, made up of 
one republican, several democrats and 
a few of the reform party. The repub- 
licans had a complete ticket in the field, 
the democrats a partial one, and the en- 
trance of the new party added interest 
to the contest. 

The republicans were successful in 
electing all their nominees with the ex- 
ception of one commissioner, who had 
the support of both the other parties. 
Four hundred thirty-five votes were cast. 
Following is the result of the election': 

ftovernor — John S. Pillsbury (rep), 
243: D. L. Buell (dem), 77: R. F. 
Humiston (reform), 109. 

Senator^—!. P. Durfee (rep). 236; 
Ceo. S. Thompson (reform), lfi9. 

Representative — W. H. Mellen (rep), 
•?86: E. L. Brownell (reform). 137. 

Auditor — Wm. M. Bear (rep), '267; 
0. A. Fauskee (reform), 157. 

Treasurer — H. D. Humiston (rep and 
reform), 372; B. W. Lyon (dem), 52. 

Sheriff— J. A. Town (rep). 244: W. 
S. Stockdale (dem and reform), 177. 

Register of Deeds— T. C. BelP (rep), 
251; G. M. Plumb (reform), 172. 

■ ^l: ^"'■f'^? >"preivea a majority of the votes the senate. ,nnd in Januarv. 1876, was given 

in the district, but owing to the failure of the seat bv a unanimous vote, 
some of the county auditors to make return =Mr. Bell also served as superintendent of 

10 the state authorities Mr. Thompson was schools, receiving the appointment January 

seated. Mr. Durfee began a contest befprf) 4, 1876. 




Surveyor' — B. W. Woolstencroft (rep , 
222; Otto Berreau (dem and reform), 

Probate Judge — U. D. Barber (rep), 
269; L. B. Bennett (reform), 1.52. 

Coroner— J. V. Bartow* (rep), 25.3; 
Lewis Gottbelf (dem), 71. 

Commissioner First District — J. 
Westinghouse (rep), 63; A. 0. Conde 
(dem and reform), 75. 

Commissioner Second District — A. C. 
Kobinson (rep), 97; Peter Thompson 
(reform), 78. 

Commissioner Tliird District — E. S. 
Mills (rep). 73: A. A. Abbott (dem), 

Tlie presidential election of Nov. 7, 
1876, brought out the largest vote that 
had yet been polled in the county, 545 
votes being east. The county was again 
found to be overwhelmingly republican 
on national issues. The opposition to 
the republican ticket on county offices 
was slight, and the republicans had a 
walk away for the few officers chosen. 
The vote: 

President — Republican electors (Hay- 
es), 479; democratic (Tildcn). 63: pro- 
hibition (Smith), 1. 

Congressman — Mark TT. Dunndl 
(rep), 488; E. C. Stacy (dem), 57. 

County Attorney — M. B. Soulo (rep). 
508: Scattering. 10. 

Surveyor — Allen Chaney (rep), 117: 
Otto Berreau (dem), 121. 

Court Commissioner — Henrv D. 

Humiston (rep), 391); 1^. B. Bennett 
(dem), 140. 

Coroner — Asher Allen° (rep), 532. 

Commissioner Second District — A. C. 
Robinson (rep), 218. 

Representative — Christopher H. Smith 
(rep), 464; B. N. Carrier (ind), 78. 

A split in the republican party of 
Nobles county gave the democrats a few 
.iirices in 1877. The two factions of 
the majority party were very bitter in 
their denunciations of each other. Each 
declared the other to be a ring, which 
ought to be downed. To accomplish 
the downfall of the controlling faction 
alliance was sought with the democrats, 
with the result that party organiza- 
tions were badly demoralized." The 
cani])aign was the most exciting one 
that had been witnessed in the county 
up lo that time. The figlit was most 
bitter over the offices of auditor, sheriff 
and judge of probate. Personalities 
were indulged in. and the cry of "ring" 
was heard on all sides. Five hundred 
thirty-nine votes were cast on election 
day. The official vote: 

C.overnor — John S. Pillsbury (rej)), 
167: W. L. Banning (dem). 52; Au.s- 
tin ^Yiley (pro). 4. 

Senator— C. H. Smith (rep), 299: 
Wm. R. Bennett (dem), 232. 

Representative — Alex Fiddes (rep). 
466: A. A. Cliffor.l (dem). 55. 

.\udi tor''— James Walker (ind), 280; 
!•]. S. Mills (rep and dem). 241. 

'Mr. Woolstencroft did not qualify, and Jan. 
13. 1876. Mr. Borreau was appointed to fill the 

*Mr. Bartow did not qualify, and the office 
of coroner was declared vacant by the com- 
mlssioner.s Jan. 13, 1876. 1-. B. Bennett was 
appointed on that date. 

"Did not qualify. I.eroy Cole appointed Jan. 
3, 1877. 

""We have this campaiprn a peculiar state of 
affairs so far as county politics are concerned. 
Both the republican and democratic conven- 
tions Ignored party lines in their nominations. 

The republican convention put on a liemncrat 
for the leadlnp county office and also nomi- 
nated .1 democrat for coroner. The 
democratic county convention nominated 
three republicans, viz: for auditor, 

sheriff and reRlster of deeds. The result, 
therefore, cannot fail to be a mixed set of 
county officers for the next term."— Worthlng- 
ton Advance. Oct. 11. 1S77. 

'There was a holt In reptibllcan ranks over 
the nomination of Mr. Mills, and Mr. Walker 
was put forward as an independent niiididate. 
winning out over his opponent, who had the 
endorsement of bolb parties. 



Treasurer — Peter Thompson (dem 
and rep), 422; A. 0. Conde (ind), 52. 

Sheriff— J. A. Town (rep), 323; B. 
F. Johnson (dem), 191. 

Register of Deeds — Joseph Chadwick' 
(rep and dem), 505. 

Superintendent of Schools" — J. C. 
Ogle (rep), 30-1; N. ■ Jordan (dem), 

Clerk of Court — B. N. Carrier (dem), 
3:!2; (J. T. Pope (rep), 182. 

Probate Judge — E. D. Barber (rop), 
285; J. Craft (dem), 233. 

Coroner — L. B. Bennett (dem and 
rep), 485. 

Commissioner Third District — Rob- 
ert Shore!" (rep), 99. 

A. 0. Conde was elected chairman of 
tbe board of county commissioners Jan. 
1, 1878. On the last day of February 
he resigned the ofEice of commissioner 
and Jonathan Gordon was selected to 
complete the unexpired term by the 
probate judge, register of deeds and au- 
ditor. A. C. Robinson was elected 
chairman on March 1. 

There was not much interest taken 
in the election of 1878, and only 473 
votes were cast. The democrates did 
not place a county ticket in tbe field. 
Tbe vote : 

Congressnuui — Mark H. Dunnell 
(iv]i). 338; William Meigben (dem). 

Senator — A. D. Perkins (rep), 348; 
W. V. King (greenback), 125. 

Representative — P. J. Kniss (rep), 
282; J. H. Brooks (greenback), 171. 

County Attorney — M. B. Soule (rep), 
193; Daniel Rohrer (ind), 277. 

Surveyor — A. M. Chaney (rep), 467. 

"Took office Nov. 12. 1877. a few days after 
his election. T. C. Bell, former register of 
deeds, left the state and the office was de- 
clared vacant. Mr. Chadwick was then ap- 
pointed to fill the short unexpired term. 

'Prior to this date the county superintend- 
ents of schools had been appointed by the 

Court Commissioner — ii. D. ilumis- 
tou (rep), 405. 

Commissioner First District — Fred 
Bloom' ^ (rep) J 59; Jonathan Gordon, 
34; S. P. Bon, 28. 

The split in the republican party of 
Nobles county was in working order 
when the campaign of 18v9 began, and 
as a result the election of Nov. 4, 1879, 
was the most hotly contested and clos- 
est election ever held in the county. 
Seven hundred eighty-seven votes were 
cast, a gain of 248 over the vote of two 
years before. 

The democrats were the lirst to enter 
the field with a ticket, which was nom- 
inated at a convention held at VVorth- 
ington September 20. The republi- 
cans met in convention at Worthing- 
tou October 9, and nominated a ticket. 
The convention was controlled by the 
faction which was in oifice, and very 
little consideration was given to the 
wishes of the other faction. A bolt re- 
sulted, and there soon appeared another 
ticket, labeled "independent peoples tick- 
et." An understanding had been 
reached with the democrats which made 
po.ssible the success of the bolters. Many 
of the democratic nominees withdrew 
from the contest. Those that remained 
Vk'ere given assurances of support, and 
in turn, the democrats generally sup- 
ported the independent nominees. A 
merry campaign resulted. The offices 
of sheriff, auditor and treasurer became 
tbe center of strife, and the result was 
so close that it took the courts to de- 
cide who had been elected for two of 
the offices. The democrats and bolting 
republicans were generally successful ; in 

commissioners. Mr. Ogle took office Nov. 12. 
to fill the unexpired term of T. C. Bell, who 
had left the state. 

"Wa.s chairman in 1S80. 

"Served as chairman in 1881. 



oaly two cases did the straiglit repubii- 
eau uouiiuues win wliure lliciu wuru op- 
posing candidates. Thu olliciul vulu 
was as follows : 

(jovuruor — Jolm S. i'illsbuiy (rep), 
561; Edmuud itice (deiii), '^Oi. 

Auditor — Jas. Walker (repj, oSi); E. 
a. iiiils (ind peoj, 391. 

Treasurer — Wni. M. Bear (repj, 3lJU; 
11. U. She^iard (dem aud iud peo), 


Slierill — J. A. Town U'epj, 'M'S; 1\. 
1{. Miller (ind peoj, 393. 

I'jobate JudgL — E. D. Barber (rep), 
■iWi ; B. A'. Carrier (dem aud iud peo), 

Coroner — Geo. 0. Moore (rep), 381; 
L. B. Beuuelt (dem and iud peo), 397. 

Commissioner Second District — A. M. 
Crosby (rep), 199; \V. A. Turner (dem. 
aud ind peo), 176. ' '^ 

Superintendent of Schools — J. C. Ogle 
(rep and ind peo), 765. 

liegister of Deeds — Jos. Chad wick 
(dem, rep and ind peo), 786. 

The most spectacular contest was that 
between J. A. Town aud E. E. Miller 
for the office of sherill. From the day 
of election until Saturday, when the 
linal result was known, the interest was 
intense. Wednesday the suspense hung 
upon the result in Graham Lakes town- 
ship, which was the last to report the 
result. It was in favor of Mr. Town, 
and cut Mr. Miller's lead down to one 
vote, according to the unofficial figures. 
The official count was then made, which 
left the vote a tie, each having received 
393 votes. Saturday at four o'clock tlie 

"". . . The now became so In- 
tense as to be almost painful. The law pro- 
vides that In case of a tie on any county 
office thf board shall cast lots to di'cido who 
shall tai<e the cortlllcatp, Mr. Durfcc retired 
Into the treasurer's office and Mr. Ilumiston 
turned his back, while Auditor Walker pre- 
pared two ballots whericm wore written the 
names of the two candidates. The ballots 
were (flven to Mr. Ilumiston. who placed them 
In a hat and 'raffled' them up. Then Mr. 

matter was decided by lot by the board 
of coimty commissioners, Mr. Miller 

.\.ppeals from tlie decisions of the can- 
vassing board were taken by J. A. 
Town, coutesting the election of li. E. 
Miller for the office of sheriff'; James 
Walker, contesting the election of E. S. 
Mills, who had been declared elected 
auditor by a plurality of three votes; 
and \V. A. Turner, who doubted the 
election of A. M. Crosby, who had been 
tieclared elected county commissioner 
from the second district by a plurality 
of twenty-three votes. Tlie last named 
withdrew his contest before it came to 
trial, but the other contests resulted in 
more excitement than liad the election. 
The cases came to trial in district court 
at Wgrthiugtou in February, ISSU, be- 
••^f!Di?e. J udge; !£:- St. Julian Cox, of the St. 
i'eter district. Daniel Eohrer appeared 
for the' contestants, while Emery Clark, 
•of Worthin^ton, and James N. Castle, 
of Stillwater, represented the respond- 
ents. In the latter part of March 
Judge Cox handed down his decision in 
ilie contest for the office of sheriff". He 
licld lliat J!. E. Miller had been elected 
by twenty-six majority. A few ihi\-.s 
later he sustained the action of the can- 
vassing board in seating Mr. "Mills, hold- 
ing that that officer had received a ma- 
jority of thirty-eight. 

There was a large increase in the vote 
in 1880, nnd 945 ballots w'ere cast in 
the county for presidential electors. The 
two leading parties had tickets in the 
field for the few county offices to be 

Durfee was called in to draw one of the 
ballots. We suppose ever.v man In the room 
held his breath as Mr. Durfee's hand went 
down into that hat. But down it went, and 
up came a ballot. At this point the anxiety 
was absolutely painful. Mr. Durfee unrolled 
the paper with nervous fingers, hesitated a 
moment, and then read the name In a dis- 
tinct voice: 'R. R. Miller?' "— Worthlngton 
Advance. Nov. 13, 1879. 





filled, and again did the "peoples" party 
(opposed to the dominant faction of the 
repuLiliean party) enter the contest. 
That party nominated Moses A. Strong 
for representative and endorsed the dem- 
ocratic nominees for county offices, 
but the combination did not succeed in 
electing any of the officers. The vote: 

President — Kepublican electors (Gar- 
field), 093; democratic (Hancock), 227; 
greenback (Weaver), 25. 

Congressman — M. H. Dunnell (rep), 
543; Henry 11. Wells (dem), 180; W. 
G. Ward (ind rep), 118; C. H. Rob- 
erts (greenback), 23. 

Representative — 1*. J. Kniss (rep), 
474; Closes A. Strong (peo), 455. 

('(iiinty Attorney — Geo. W. Wilson 
(rep), GIG: L. S. Nelson (dem and 
peo), 320. 

Surveyor — Allen Chaney'^' (i'ep)j 584; 
Otto Rerreau (dem and peo), 359. 

Couif Comimssioner — H. D. Humis- 
ton (rej)), 617; Thos. H. Parsons (dem 
and peo), 320. 

Commissioner Third District — Miles 
Birkett (rep), 137; J. T. Green (peo), 

Although Nobles county has been 
stnmgly republican ever since its organi- 
zation, the dominant party has on sever- 
al occasions met disastrous defeat. One 
of the most remarkable instances was in 
1881, wlien the democrats, in combina- 
tii>n with one faction of the republican 
party, carried the county by big majori- 
ties, the republicans saving only two 
commissioners, one of whom was with- 
out opposition. 

No sooner had the republican conven- 
tion adjourned than there was a demand 
for a "peoples" ticket, as formerly, it 

"Resigned Jan. 1. 1882, and the office was 
vacant until after the election of 1882. 

"In 1S85 the district was divided and Nobles 

being alleged that the "ring" had again 
controlled the republican convention. A 
call was issued and the opposing forces 
met at Worthington Saturday, Oct. 15. 
The deliberations of the convention were 
participated in by the democrats and the 
■"anti-ring" republicans, so called, and a 
complete county ticket was put in the 
field. The campaign was a spirited one, 
enlivened by charges of mismanagement 
on the part of some of the officers who 
were seeking reelection. The Worth- 
ington Advance, as usual, took the part 
of the peoples ticket, wliile the republi- 
can ticket was supported by the new 
Worthington Journal. A perusal of the 
files of these publications lead one to 
the belief that the future welfare of the 
nation depended upon the outcome in 
Nobles county. When the ballots had 
been counted and it was found that the 
fusionists had been successful by decided 
majorities there was great joy among 
those who had been instrumental in 
bringing about the victory. Nine hun- 
dred thirty-eight votes were cast. The 
battle in detail : 

Governor — L. F. Hubbard (rep), 632; 
R. W. Johnson (dem), 281; 1. C. 
Stearns, 12; Scattering, 3. 

Judge Sixth Judicial District'^— M. 
J. Severance, 917. 

Auditor— E. S. Mills (peo), 603; 
Fred Bloom (rep), 334. 

Treasurer — H. C. Shepard (peo), 538; 
Robt. Shore (rep), 397. 

Sheriff— R. R. Miller (peo), 548; J. 
C. Thom (rep), 345; Chas. Chase (ind), 

Register of Deeds — B. F. Johnson 
(peo), 542; Jos. Chadwick (rep), 392. 

county became a part of the 13th di.strict 
A. D. Perkins was then appointed to fill the 
unexpired portion of Judge Severance's six 
year term in the new district. 



Surveyor— Otto Berreau'" (peo), 921. 

Clerk oj; Court — L. B. Bennett (peo), 
5G6; H. D. Humiston (rep), SCO. 

Probate Judge — L. S. Nelson" (peo), 
540; I. P. Durfee (rep), 380; Jonathan 
Gordon, 10. 

Court Commissioner — L. S. Nelson" 
(peo), 539; I. P. Durfee (rep), 375. 

Coroner— J. S. McManus (peo), 531; 
E. Coleman (rep), 398. 

Superintendent of Schools — M. A. 
Doane'" (peo), 526; Ira K. Cole (rep), 

Commissioner First District'" — P. 
Blaine (peo), 73;' John Upstrom (rep), 
30; Jonathan Gordon, 13. 

Commissioner Second District — T. L. 
Taylor (rep), 61; Emil Graf (ind), 44; 
J. W. Read (ind), 32; Thos. Wilson 
(peo), 27. 

Commissioner Third District — James 
Cowin (peo), 166; L. C. Long (rep), 

Conxmissidner Fourth District — Maur- 
ice 0'Hearn=° (peo), 120; Miles Birk- 
ett (rep), 75. 

Commissioner Filth District — Daniel 
Shell" (rep), 204. 

The only thing that kept the 1882 
election from being a very uninteresting 
affair was the legislative campaign. Be- 
cause of the nomination of W. H. John- 
Commissioner First District — A. E. 

'"Did not qualify, and owing to the refusal 
of Mr. Chaney to continue in the ofCice, there 
was no surveyor until after the election of 

"Resigned Nov. 13. 1882, to accept office of 
superintendent of schools. Wm. Wigham was 
appointed and filled the unexpired term. 

"Resigned Nov. 13, 1882, to accept office of 
superintendent of schools. Frederick Bloom 
filled the unexpired term. 

'•Died during his term, and I.. S. Nelson 
appointed by the commissioners Nov. 13, 1882, 
to complete unexpired term. 

'•In conformity with a new law, the county 
commissioners had on July 19, 1881, divided 
the county Into five commissioners' districts, 

Tuttle (ind), 16; P. Blaine (rep), 53; 
Jonathan Gordon, 33. 
son, of Murray county, for the house 
there was a split in the republican ranks. 
An independent convention placed T. D. 
M. Orcutt in nomination, and he was 
indorsed by the prohibitionists. Other 
independent candidates entered the race, 
but all withdrew before election day ex- 
cept Dr. J. Craft. Dr. Craft caiTied 
Nobles county but Mr. Johnson was 
elected. There was also dissatisfaction 
over tiie republican nomination for sena- 
tor, and C. C. Goodnow, of Pipestone 
county, became an independent candi- 
date. The regular nominee was elected. 
The olficial vote: 

Congressman — Jas. B. Wakefield 
(rep), 538; Felix A. Borer (pro), 97; 
J. A. Latimer (dem), 139. 

Senator — A. M. Crosby (rep), 465; C. 
C. Goodnow (ind), 211; Charles Sax- 
on (pro), 73. 

Representative — W. H. Johnson (rep), 
314; T. D. M. Orcutt (ind and pro), 
73; Dr. J. Craft (ind), 387. 

County Attorney — Geo. W. Wilson 
(rep), 750. 

Surveyor^^— J. W. Miller, 774. 

Again in 1883 did the republican 
ticket have opposition, although that 
party was practically the only one in 
tlie county with anything like an or- 

as follows: No. 1, Graham Lakes, Hersey, 
Lorain, Indian Lake; No. 2, Seward, Elk, 
Bloom, Summit Lake, Dewald, Willmont; No. 
3, OIney, Westside, Llsmore, Leota, Town 103, 
range 42 (Larkin); No. 4, Blgelow, Ransom, 
Little Rook, Grand Prairie; No. 5, Worth- 
ington township and village. 

*Dled July 14, 1S83, during term of offica 
No successor appointed. 

^'Served as chairman of the board from 1882 
to 1886, inclusive. 

-Surveyors wore elected in odd numbered 
years, but the county had been so unfortu- 
nate in selecting a surveyor who would hold 
the office that in 1882, by mutual agreement. 
Captain J. W. Miller, of Hersey, was put on 
both tickets and elected without opposition. 



ganization. But, as formerly, the inde- 
pendents decided to put an opposition 
tieliet in the field. The call was issued 
to '"all the independent voters of No- 
bles county, irrespective of party." The 
convention, which was held at Worth- 
ington September 29, was attended by 
the democrats and those republicans who 
were dissatisfied with the actions of the 
republican organization. A ticket, which 
included some of the republican nomi- 
nees, was put up, and a lively cam- 
paign followed. Personalities were in- 
dulged in, and for a few offices the fight 
was bitter, this being especially true as 
to offices of auditor and superintendent 
of schools. Every nominee of the inde- 
pendent convention was elected, and 
again the republican organization met 
defeat. On the state ticket the demo- 
crats made a better showing than they 
had done at any previous election. Nine 
hundred four votes were cast. The re- 
sult : 

Governor— Lucian F. Hubbard (rep), 
547; Adolph Biermanm (dem), 311; 
Chas. E. Holt '(pro), 41. 

Auditor— Fred Bloom (rep), 304; E. 
S. Mills (peo)," 589. 

Treasurer — Wm. Wigham (rep and 
peo), 556; A. Forbes (ind), 348. 

Eegister of Deeds— B. F. Johnson 
(rep and peo), 890. 

Sheriff— R. R. Miller (rep and peo), 

Superintendent of Schools — Maud 
Graves (rep), 357; J. Craft" (peo), 

Probate Judge— J. A. Town (rep), 
380; Emery Clark" (peo), 509. 

^Candidates so labeled were nominees of the 
nidependent, or people's, convention. 

=<Resigned Dec. 8, 1SS4. Albert Campbell 
was appointed Jan. 7, 1885, to complete the 

^Resigned Jan. 20, 1885. Gov. Hubbard ap- 

Court Commissioner — J. A. Town 
(rep), 389; Emery Clerk,-"^ (peo), 469. 

Surveyor — W. A. Peterson-' (rep and 
peo), 880. 

Coroner — L. W. Warren (rep and 
peo), 883. 

Commissioner Second District — S. 
Wass (rep), 54; Emil Graf (peo), 63. 

Commissioner Third District — Geo. 
Slade (rep), 54; Jas. Cowin (peo), 136; 
L. C. Long (ind), 62. 

Commissioner Fourth District — Rob- 
ert Shore (rep), 72; W. R. Faragher 
(ind), 103. 

Nine hundred thirty-seven votes were 
cast in the presidential election of 1884, 
which was within one as high as had 
ever before been voted in the county. 
For the few county offices which were to 
be chosen the democrats made no nomi- 
nations, but the prohibition party devel- 
oped some strength in county politics, 
as it also did in the state at large. A 
county convention was held, at which 
candidates were nominated for court 
commissioner and county commissioner 
from the fifth district. The nominees 
of that party for president, congressman 
and representative, as well as the county 
nominees, received much support. The 

President — Republican electors 
(Blaine), 491; democratic (Cleveland), 
246; prohibition (St. John), 131; green- 
back (Butler), 38. 

Congressman — J. B. Wakefield (rep), 
553; J. J. Thornton (dem), 238; Wil- 
liam- Copp (pro), 146. 

Representative-* — Peter Peterson 

pointed I. P. Durfee in March to complete the 

^''Resigned September, 1884, and J. A. Town 
was appointed to complete the term. 

^'Resigned July 26, 1886. 

^Mr. Shepard carried Nobles county, but 
Mr. Peterson was elected. 



(rep), 344; H. C. Shepard (dem), 437; 
W. J. McAllister (pro), 137. 

County Attorney — L. M. Lange (rep), 

Court Commissioner — I. P. Durfeo 
(rep), 753; C. C Christiansou (pro), 

Commissioner Fifth District — Daniel 
Shell (rep), 175; Peter Thomijson 
(pro), 77. 

Commissioner Fourth District — Wm. 
Parry (rep), 99; H. B. Tripp (ind), 54; 
Butcher, 37; A. W. Ferrin (pro), 9. 

In accordance with the provisions of 
a new state law, no county elections 
were held in 1885. After that date elec- 
tions were held every two years only, in 
even nmnbered years. An entire new 
set of officers was elected in 188G, and 
the campaign of that year was an excit- 
ing one. A new element entered into 
the political life of the county, a feeling 
of antagonism between the east and west 

The republicans were the first in the 
field with a ticket. Residents of the 
west end claimed that the convention 
was controlled by the Worthington 
"I'ing," and that the Adrian country 
was not given just recognition. This 
led to the calling of another convention, 
which was held at Adrian, participated 
in by democrats and many west end re- 
publicans. A few of I he republican nom- 
inees who were not from Worthington 
were endorsed, and the rest of the ticket 
was made up largely of democrats.'-" 
This ticket was supported by democrats 
from all parts of the county and almost 
solidly by republicans from the west end 
of the county. The prohibitionists en- 
tered the field witli nininpt a complete 

ticket, and there were a number of in- 
dependent candidates, making the cam- 
paign one of much interest and uncer- 
tainty. The republicans elected the ma- 
jority of their ticket, although the inde- 
pendents captured some of the import- 
ant offices. On state and congressional 
tickets the democrats made the best 
showing in the party's history in Nobles 
county up to that time, their nominee 
for governor being only about 250 votes 
boliind. Thirteen hundred eighty-six 
votes were cast, by far the largest ever 
recorded, being 449 more than the vote 
of two years before. The vote as offi- 
cially canvassed : 

Governor— A. E. McGill (rep), 758; 
A. A. Ames (dem), 503; J. E. Childs 
(pro), 122. 

Congressman — John Lind (rep), 7(59; 
A. H. Bullis (dem), 334;=*" Geo. J. 
Day (pro), 132. 

Judge Thirteenth Judicial District — A. 
D. Perkins'' (rep, dem and pro), 1,385. 

Senator — W. B. Brown (rep and pro), 
1,188; Fred Bloom (ind), 188. 

Representative — B. M. Low (rep), 
1,23G; A. E. Tuttle (pro), 144. 

Auditor— R. R. Miller (rep), 306; D. 
Ryan (dem), 431; T. Ji. Taylor (pro). 
48; E. S. Mills (ind), 58S; John O. 
Larson (ind), 3. 

Treasurer — R. AV. Moherly (rep and 
dem), 1,381: J. ('. Boddy (pro), 102. 

Sheriff— M. J. Bryan (rep), 326; Gil- 
bert Anderson (dem), 658; W. Tl. Li- 
graham (ind), 392. 

Register of Deeds — B. F. Johnson 
(rep), 570; A. R. Harris (dem), 522; 
A. O. Lofstedt (pro), 191; I. B. New- 
kirk (ind), 95. 

County Attorney — L. M. Lange (rep). 

"In glvlnR tho result of this flection I li.ive -'"Not inoUidfrl In this, were 150 votes cast 

markoci the nominees of this convention for H. C. Bnllls. 

democrats, although one or two of the luimi- -"Served until early In 1891, when he reslgn- 

nees never affiliated with that party. id. P. E. Brown was appointed to till the 

oiflce for the unexpired term. 



7.54; C. 0. Dailey (clem), o4G; C. B. 
Loveless (pro), 76. 

Surveyor — W. D. Smith (dem), 861; 
L. Foote (pro), 134. 

Clerk of Court — W. W. Herrou (rep), 
260; F. A. Stevens (dem), 452; A. 
Hamilton (pro), 344; L. B. Bennett 
(ind), 313. 

Probate Judge — E. L. Wemple (rep 
and dem), 1,103; J. W. Lewis (pro), 

Coroner — B. W. Lyon (dem), 575; 
L. W. Warren (rep), 680. 

Superintendent of Schools — A. Camp- 
bell (rep, pro and dem), 1,360; E. B. 
Plotts (ind), 59. 

^Was chairman of the board from 1SS7 to 
IS92, inclusive. 

Commissioner First District — ^ 0. 
Thompson (pro and dem), 64; J. H. 
Denton (rep), 91; William Firth (ind), 

Commissioner Second District — S. B. 
Bedford (rep), 89; C. Fritz (dem), 25; 
Emil Graf (ind), 20; W. IL North 
(pro), 48. 

Commissioner Third District — 0. S. 
Meliek (rep), 166; J. Blesius (dem), 
126; E. Copper (ind), 86. 

Commissioner Fourth District — J. De- 
Boos (rep), 112; E. O'Heai'n (dem), 
161; Wm. Wigham (ind), 74. 

Commissioner Fifth District — J. A. 
Town== (rep), 145; 0. G. Grundsten 
(dem), 84; S. S. Morton (pro), 66. ■ 


POLITICAL— 1888-1908. 

An index of the progress of retrogres- who had not received prior nomination 

sion of a community is the increase or in one of the other conventions declined 

decrease in the vote cast. That there to make the race. The independents 

was an advancement diiring the middle endorsed several of the republican and 

eighties in Nobles county is plainly prohibition nominees. The contest was 

shown. In 1882 the total vote was 774, very close for several of the offices, es- 

in 1883 it was 904, the next year 937, pecially for sheriff and auditor. The 

in 1886 it had advanced to 1,38G, and democrats captured both those offices, 

in 1888 the handsome total of 1,754 was while the republicans elected the rest of 

readied. The last named year marks the ticket. The result in detail : 

the passing of the strong independent President — Eepublican electors (Ben- 

moveinont which had been a power in jamin Harrison), 896; democratic eleo- 

the politics of Nobles county for so tors (G rover Cleveland), 682; prohibi- 

many years. Its place was taken by the tion electors (Clinton B. Pisk), 143; 

democratic party, which for the first union labor electors (A. J. Streeter), 

time in the county's history developed 34. 

enough strength to insure its perma- Governor — William E. Morriam (rrp), 

ncncy. That it had become a factor to 859; Eugene M. Wilson (dom), 710; 

be reckoned with in county politics is Hugh Harrison (jiro), 1.59; J. IT. Paul 

shown by the vote for president. Har- (union labor), 22. 

rison electors received 896 votes; Clave- Congressman— John Lind (rep), 896; 

land electors-, 683. Morton S. Wilkinson (dem), 673; D. 

The republicans, democrats and pro- W. Edwards (pro), 179. 

hibitionists had tickets in the field for Eepresentative — B. M. Low (rep), 

county offices in 1888, and an interest- 833; Thomas Johnson (dem), 674; C. 

ing campaign and close election resulted. S. Bond (pro), 236. 

Besides the regular parties there was an Auditor— 0. S. Melick (rep), 580; J. 

attempt made by the old independent J. Kendlen (dem), 694; H. W. North 

forces to get a ticket before the people, (pro), 193; E. S. Mills (ind), 374. 

A mass convention was held at Worth- Treasurer — E. W. Moberly (rep), 

ington for this purpose, and several 1.015; H. C. Shepard (dem), 612; Al- 

nominations were made. With the ex- bert Hector (pro), 135. 

ception of A. M. Thorn for sheriff, all Eegister of Deeds— E. E. Humiston 




(rep), S93; J. A. Kennedy (deni), 644; 
A. Hamilton (pro), 195. 

Sheriff— C. C. Peterson (rep), 713; 
Gilbert Anderson (dem), 777; P. A. 
Christianson (pro), 117; Alex M. Thorn 
(iud), 118. 

Probate Judge— C. W. W. Dow (rep), 
^64; J. W. Crigler (dem), 610; C. W. 
Hildreth (pro), 279; Daniel Rohrer 
(ind), 78. 

County Attorney — L. M. Lange' 
(rep), 866; H. E. Jeffers (dem), 654; 
E. B. Hall (pro), 287. 

Surveyor— W. D. Smith= (rep), 936; 
J. W. Abbott (dem), 661; Lewis Foote 
(pro), 153. 

Coroner — R. D. Barber (rep), 957; 
A. E. Tuttle (pro), 310; R. O'Hearn 
(dem), 48. 

Court Commissioner — C. W. Hildreth 
(rep), 1,075; J. W. Crigler (dem), 607. 
Superintendent of Schools — A. Camp- 
bell (rep), 1,039; Edward Mott (dem), 
423; J. W. Lewis (pro), 243. 

Commissioner First District — J. H. 
Denton (rep), 126; C. S. Bond (pro), 

Commissioner Third District — A. G. 
T^indgrcn (rep). 236; John Blesins 
(dem), 205. 

Commissioner Fifth District — J. .\. 
Town (rep), 190; R. H. Matson (dem), 
129; C. B. lioveless (pro), 44. 

State, congressional, legislative ami 
county politics were complicated in 1890 
by the entrance of a new party whicli 
was made up of members of the farmers' 
alliance and knights of labor. The for- 
mer had maintained an organization in 
Nobles county for a number of 3-ears 
and liad a large membership. When it 

'Resigned Oct. 16, 1S89, to accept the posi- 
tion of register of the Marshall land office. 
C. O. DallPy appointed to complete the term. 

'Milton S. Smith was appointed surveyor 
July 81, 1891. 

was decided to enter politics it was real- 
ized that the alliance was to be a factor 
of no small importance. A ticket was 
put in nomination, and it received added 
strength by the action of the prohibi- 
tionists, who endorsed most of the nomi- 
nees. Both the democrats and republi- 
cans put up strong tickets, and the elec- 
tion was an exciting one. The state 
ticket was carried by the republicans, 
but the alliance forces carried the coun- 
ty for congressman and state senator. 
For representative the race in Nobles 
(tounty was close; two republicans car- 
ried the county; the third member, who 
liad the support of both democrats and 
alliance, carried tlie county by a large 
pluralitA'. The alliance party fared not 
so well on the county ticket, and did not 
elect a single nominee. Six democrats 
and five republicans were elected to coun- 
ty offices. There was a falling off from 
tbe vote of two years previous, the total 
vote being 1,596. As officially canvas- 

(lovernor — William R. Merriam (rep), 
611; Thomas Wilson (dem), 498; Sid- 
ney M. Owen (all), 423; J. P. Pink- 
ham (pro), 57. 

Congressman — Jnlm LimI ( icp), 688: 
James H. Baker (all), S58 : Ira B. Rey- 
nolds (pro), 56. 

Senator— PI. J. Miller (rep), 604: A. 
51. Becker (dem), 111; Jay LaDue^ 
(all), 762. 

Representatives — Geo. W. Wilson 
(rep), 635; Larned Cobnrn' (rep), 630; 
William Lockwood' (rep), 038; E. L. 
Rork (dem), 404; C. P. Shepard (dem), 
526; Jolin Pemberton (all), 442; Pa- 
trick Gildea'' (dem and all), 877; C. 
Gustafson (all), 457. 




Auditor — Jolm J. Kendlen (on all 
tickets), 1,548. 

Treasurer— E. W. Moberly (rep), 757; 
H. C. Shepard (dem), 511; C. S. Bond 
(all and pro), 318. 

Register of Peeds— E. L. Wemple 
(rep), 582; J. A. Kennedy (dem), 6G5; 
0. G. Grundsten (all), 318. 

Sheriff — James P. Boardman (rep), 
511; Gilbert Anderson (dem), 735; 
Frank Ellsworth (all and pro), 304. 

Probate Judge— C. W. W. Dow (rep 
and all), 1,-533. 

Clerk of Court — F. A. Stevens (rep), 
661; L. B. Bennett (dem), 545; A. E. 
Tuttle (all and pro), 380. 

Superintendent of Schools — John W. 
Shaw (rep), 423; Thos. B. Maguire" 
(dem), 699; Mrs. M. J. Barron (all 
and pro), 679. 

Coroner— W. S. Webb (rep), 653; C. 

C. May, 341; M. Sullivan (dem), 517; 

D. L. Kenyon (pro), 63. 

County Attorney — 0. W. Freeman 
(rep), 586; C. 0. Dailey' (dem), 640; 
Daniel Rohrer (all and pro), 350. 

Commissioner Second District — S. B. 
Bedford" (rep), 104: John Mock (dem), 

Commissioner Fourth District — F. T. 
Graves (rep), 149; R. O'Hearn (dem), 
142; J. T. Green (all and pro), 80. 

An outgrowth of the alliance party 
was the peoples party, otherwise known 
as the populist party, which made its 
first appearance in Nobles county poli- 
tics in 1893. Now only a memory, the 
peoples party was an important factor in 
the politics of the county during the 
nineties. While it never became the 

'Mrs. Ban-on started contest proceedings 

against Mr. Maguire for the office, but they 

were dropped before the matter came up for 

'Resigned Nov. 22, 1892, and O. W. Free- 
man, attoi-ney-elect, was appointed to com- 
plete the short unexpired term. 

dominant party here, its strength was 
such during several campaigns that by 
forming alliances with, and endorsing 
nun)inecs of, other parties it was able 
to control the situation. 

In 1802 the new parly was the first 
ill the field with a county ticket, select- 
ing as its nominees several of the demo- 
cratic office holders. These the demo- 
crats promptly endorsed. Tlie repulili- 
cans put up a strong ticket and the 
prohibitionists selected a partial ticket. 
Tlie republicans were generally success- 
ful in the county field, although some 
of the most important offices were cap- 
tured by the opposition. The Austral- 
ian ballot system was employed for the 
first time in this election. Tlie hand- 
some total of 2,159 ballots were cast, 
which was a big increase, but the sys- 
tem being so poorly understood, not 
more than 1,991 were able to be counted 
for any one office, many voting for one 
presidential elector only. The vote: 

President — Republican electors (Har- 
rison), 886; democratic electors (Cleve- 
land), G;53; peoples party electors (Weav- 
er), 305; prohibition electors (RidwcU). 

Governor — Knute Nelson (rep), 810; 
Daniel W. Lawlei: (dem), C14; Ignatius 
Donnelly (pp), 373; Dean (pro), 126. 

Congressman — Jas. T. MeCleary 
(rep), 793; W. S. Hammond (dem), 
584; L. C. Long (pp), 446; E. H. 
Bronson (pro), 135. 

Judge Thirteenth District— P. E. 
Bi-own (lion partisan), 899. 

Eeprrecutatives'' — Daniel Shell (rep), 
1,003; Ole 0. Holmau (rep), 726; Wm. 

'Although two of the fusion candidates 
received pluralities in Nobles county the lead 
was overcome in other counties of the dis- 
trict, and the three republican nominees were 



Lockwood (rep), 753; J. H. Maxwell 
(dein and pp), 928; Patrick Gildea 
(deni and pp), 798; Geo. McGillivray 
(dem and pp), 839. 

Auditor — J. J. Kendlen (dem, rep 
and pp), 1,616. 

Treasurer — R. W. Moberly (rep), 959; 
E. W. Goff (dem and pp), 968. 

Register of Deeds — Wm. Parry (rep), 
707; J. A. Kennedy (dem and pp), 

Sheriff— J as. C. Thom (rep), 841; 
Gilbert Anderson (dem), 819; J. B. 
Green (pp), 325. 

Probate Judge — C. M. Cory (rep), 
766; C. W. Hildreth (pp), 578; C. W. 
W. Dow (ind), 401. 

County Attorney — 0. W. Freeman 
(rep and pp), 967; C. 0. Dailey (dem), 

Surveyor— M. R. Smith (rep), 1,192. 

Coroner- C. C. May, 37; W. S. Webb, 
20; R. B. Plotts, 53; M. Sullivan, 31. 

School Superintendent — Geo. W. Cale 
(rep), 782; T. B. Maguire* (pro, dem 
and pp), 1,193. 

Court Commissioner — C. M. Cory 
(rep), 53; L. B. Bennett (dem), 83. 

Commissioner First District — C. L. 
Peterson" (rep), 141 ; J. M. Paine (pp), 

Commissioner Third District — A. G. 
Lindgren" (rep), 303; Geo. Knips 
(pp), 198. 

Commissioner Fifth District — Peter 
Thompson" (rep), 290; 0. G. Grund- 
sten (p|i). 126. 

Fusion was accomplished between the 
democrats and peoples party on part of 
the county ticket in 1894, but the re- 

'Died during term. John Ireland appointed 
Oct. 19, 1894. to complete the term. 

'Served only part of term. The office was 
declared vacant hecauso of removal from the 
district, and Jan. 2. 1894. K. .\. Tiipp was 
chosen to complete the term. 

publicans captured the majority of the 
offices. There was another increase in 
the total vote, 2,283 ballots being cast 
for the office of governor. Following is 
the vote: 

Governor — Raute Nelson (rep), 1,112; 
Geo. L. Becker (dem), 632; S. M. 
Owen (pp), 427,; Hilleboe (pro), 112. 

Congressman — Jas. T. McCleary 
(rep), 1,094; Geo. H. Baker (dem), 
605; L. C. Long (pp), 453; Kollam 
(pro), 91. 

Senator— H. J. Miller (rep), 1,207; 
.1. C. Marsluill (dem and pp), 972. 

Representative — Daniel Shell (rep), 
1,179; Ole 0. Holman (rep), 947; Wm. 
Lockwood (rep), 988; John E. King 
(dem), 693; J. J. Ryder (dem), 675; 
J. T. McKnight (pp), 613; Norwood 
(pp), 366; Jayco.x (pp), 285. 

Auditor— R. W. Moberly (rep), 1,093; 
J. J. Kendlen (dem), 1,140. 

Treasurer — J. P. Peterson (rep), 
1,181; E. \V. Goff (dem), 1,015. 

Sheriff— J. C. Thorn, (rep), 1,014; 
Gilbert Anderson (dem), 1,000; B. G. 
Lagrange (pp), 258. 

Register of Deeds — Wm. Wigham 
(rep), 938; J. A. Kenncdv Clem), 

Probate .hidge — C. M. Cnry (rc])). 
1,469; M. E. Foley (dem), 707. 

County Attorney — 0. W. Freeman 
(rep), 1,325; Z. R. Cheney (dem), 848. 

Surveyor— M. S. Smith (rep), 1,660. 

Coroner— R. B. Plotts, 1,458. 

Clerk of Court— P. A. Stevens (rep), 
1,368; Chas. Fritz (dem), 704. 

School Superintendent — Maud Graves 

"Was chairman of the board from July 10. 
1893. to Jan. 1, 1894. 

"Resigned July in. 1S93. Had served as 
chairman up to that time. H. M. Palm chosen 
to complete the term. Mr. Palm served as 
chairman of the board from 1S94 to 1900, 




(rep), 1,459; Julia Hyland (dem), 

Commissioner First District — E. A. 
Tripp (rep), 205; Otto Berreau (dem), 

Commissioner Second District — B. W. 
Pope (rep), 197; John Mock (dem), 
82; Fred Pank (pp), 113. 

Commissioner Fourth District — Chas. 
Hallas (rep), 184; Eichard O'Hearn 
(dem), 193; Henry Nolte (pp), 56. 

Commissioner Fifth District — H. M. 
Palm (rep), 338; Walter Aagaard 
(dem), 138. 

The democratic and peoples party 
forces combined again m 1896 and elect- 
ed tliree officers on the county ticket. 
One independent candidate was elected ; 
The other offices were captured by the 
republicans. The free silver agitation 
was at its height, and Nobles county 
fusinnists brought out a large vote for 
William Jennings Bryan for president, 
coming nearer carrying the county for a 
democratic nominee for president than 
had ever been the case before or has 
been since. The state, congressional and 
legislative tickets of the fusionists were 
also given big votes. The total vote of 
the county had now reached 3,937. which 
was the number ca.=t for sheriff. The 
vote : 

President — Eepublican electors (Mc- 
Kinley). 1,568; democratic electors 
(Bryan)'. 1.201 ; prnhibition electors (Lev- 
ering) , 48 ; gold democratic electors 
(Palmer), 33: socialist labor electors 
(Matchett), 7. 

Governor — D. M. Clough (rep), 
1,430; John Lind (dem and pp), 1,315; 
W. J. Dean (pro), 54; A. A. Ames 
(ind). 9; Wm. B. Hammond (soc-lab), 

'-The three republicans were elected. 

Congressman — Jas. T. McCleary 
(rep), 1,558; F. A. Day (dem and pp), 
1,193; E. Price (pro), 71. 

Eepresentatives'- — Daniel Shell (rep), 
1,509; Ole 0. Holman (rep), 1,343; 
A. S. Dyer (rep), 1,373; M. Sullivan 
(dem and pp), 1,295; Thos. Lowe (dem 
and pp), 1,136; F, M. Payne (dem and 
pp), 1,117. 

Auditor— E. A. Tripp (rep), 1,609; 
J. T. McKnight (dem and pp), 1,254. 

Treasurer — J. P. Peterson (rep), 
1,862; B. F. Young (dem and pp), 

Sheriff — L. L. McCartney (rep), 929; 
Gilbert Anderson (dem and pp), 1479; 
J. G. Murphy (ind). 529. 

Eegister of Deeds — A. J. Lindgren 
(rep), 1,460; J. S. Blair (dem and pp), 
1,029; W. J. Parry (ind). 415. 

Probate Judge — C. M. Cory (rep), 
1,778; W. E. Kyle (dem and pp), 

County Attorney — C. M. Crandall 
(rep), 1,659; 0. W. Freeman (dem and 
pp), 1,217. 

Surveyor— M. S. Smith (rep), 2,047. 

School Superintendent — John Ireland 
(rep), 1,045: Wm. Finley (dem and 
pp), 1,017: Maud Graves (ind), 1,350. 

Court Commissioner — L. B. Bennett, 
34; C. M. Cory, 16: Scattering, 12. 

Coroner— E. B. Plotts (dem), 1,699; 
Scattering, 28. 

Commi.ssioner First District — F. D. 
Lindquist (rep) , 343. 

Commissioner Third District — M. S. 
Boyle (rep), 338; A. J. Eice (dem and 
pp), 375. 

Commissioner Fifth District — H. M. 
Palm (rep), 370; H. C. Shepard 
(dom), 169. 

There was a decrease in the vote for 
the off A'ear 1898, the total number poll- 



ed being 2,038, and the highest number 
east for any one office being 1,966 — for 
sheriff. In the election of 1896 the fu- 
sion ticket had been labeled democratic 
on tlic ballot.*. Under the election laws, 
therefore, there was officially no peoples 
party in Nobles county, and the nomi- 
nees of that party could not have their 
names placed on the official ballot ex- 
cept by petition. The third ]iarty hold 
a county convention, nouiinatod nearly 
a complete ticket, but only one nf the 
nominees, that for school superintendent, 
was able to obtain the necessary sig- 
natures, and that was the only one to 
appear on the ballot.' 

For the first time in the county's his- 
tory the democratic nominee for govern- 
or carried the county. The republi- 
cans carried the county for congressman, 
senator and representative by small ma- 
jorities and elected tlie whole county 
ticket except the nominees for sheriff 
and coroner. The vote: 

Governor— W. H. Eustis (rop), SI?: 
John Lind (dem and pp). 99:?; Tlig- 
gins (pro), 63; Wm. B. Hammond 
(soc-lab), 7: L. C. Long (middle of the 
road populist) , 77. 

Congressman — Jas. T. McClcary 
(rep), 9.54; D. H. Evans (dem), 874; 
T. P. Grout (pro), 103. 

Judge Thirteenth District— P. E. 
Brown (non partisan), 1,4)3. 

Senator— Daniel Shell (rep), 1,038; 
John Butler (dem), 857. 

Representative— H. C Grass (rep). 
1,067; Edward Mott (dem), 833. 

Auditor— E. A. Tripp (rep), 1,033; 
J. A. Kennedy (dem), 930. 

Treasurer— J. P. Peterson (rep), 

Sheriff— M. .1. I'.iynn (rep), 890; 
Gilbert Anflcrson (dem), 1,076. 

Register of Deeds — A. G. Lindgren 
(rep), 1,051; C. W. Schultz (dem), 887. 
Proliati' Judge — C. if. Cory (rep), 
1,210; John F. Flynn (dem), 712. 

County Attorney — C. M. Crajulall 

(rep), 1,283; J. J. Parsons (dem), 644. 

Surveyor — M. S. Siriith (rep), 1,526. 

Superintendent of Schools — Maud 

Graves (rep), 945; V. S. L. Owen 

(dem), 718; Clara Knips (pp). 396. 

Clerk of Court— F. L. Humiston 
(rep), 871; Jas. Co.x (dem). 785: V. 
A. Stevens (ind), 308. 

Coroner— J. N. ATallory (rep). 904; 
R. B. Plotts (dem), 970. 

Commissioner Second District — Fred 
Tiemens (rep), 230. 

Commissioner Fourth District — John 
W. Shaw" (rep). 208: 0. D. Bryan 
(dem), 180. 

High water mark was reached in the 
total vote cast in the presidential election 
of Nov. 6, 1900. Then 3,109 ballots 
were deposited in the ballot boxes, but 
the highest nunilier of votes cast for 
any one office was 2,963. This is the 
largest vote recorded in the county, be- 
fore or since. The republican national 
ticket polled a larger vote than it did 
four years before and the democratic 
ticket a smaller vote, with the same can- 
didates. .Tiilm Liiiil. the democratic-peo- 
ples party nominee for governor, who 
had carried the county two years lie- 
forc. now lost it by 58 votes, and Ihc 
fusion nominees for congressman and 
representative wove from 300 to 150 
votes behind. 'i'iie peoples iiarty was 
cliniinnlcd from county politics, and the 
two old parties lined up for the cam- 
paign. The republicans elected all offi- 
ces except treasurer, sheriff niid one 
commissioner. The vote: 

President — Repidilican electors ( Mc- 

•JWas chairman during 1901 and 1902. 



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1,614 ; 

Kinlcy). 1,709; democrat-peoples party 
electors (Bryan). 1.101; prohibition 
electors (Wooley). 137; socialist demo- 
crat electors (Debs), 14; socialist la- 
bor electors (Malloney), 2. 

Governor — -Samuel E. VanSant (rep), 
1,369; John Lind (dem and pp), 
1,311; Bernt B. Haugen (pro), 109; S. 
M. Fairchild (middle of the road popu- 
list). 5: Thos. H. Lucas (soc-dem), 26; 
Edward Kriz (soc-lab). 2. 

Congressman — Jas. T. McCleary 
(rep). 1.618; M. E. Mathews (dem and 
pp). 1.158; S. D. Works (pro), 137. 

Eepresentative — H. C. Grass (rep), 
1.592; L. C. Long (dem and pp), 

Auditor — E. A. Tripp (rep), 
I. T. Branigan (dem), 1,344. 
Treasurer — J. H. Denton 
1,355; E. W. (dem), 1,575. 

Eegister of Deed.s — B. L Tripp (rep), 
1505; C. W. Schultz (dem), 1,446. 

Sheriff— C. W. Slade (rep), 1,389; 
Mike Eoiter (dem), 1,495. 

Probate Judge — C. M. Cory (rep), 
1,836; Gilbert Anderson (dem), 1,109. 

County Attorney — C. M. Crandall 
(rep), 1.831; 0. W. Freeman (dem), 

Surveyor— M. S. Smith (rep). 2,133. 

Court Commissioner — F. A. Stevens, 
94; J. E. Jones, 3. 

Superintendent of Schools — L. W. Ab- 
bott (rep), 1,887; V. S. L. Owen 
(dem), 1.339. 

Coroner — G. E. Curran (rep), 1,551; 
B. B. riotts (dem), 1,244. 

Commissioner First District — Henry 
Haggard (rep) , 405. 

Commissioner Third 
Thorn (rep), 302; .7. 
(dem), 392. 

Commissioner Fifth 
Swanberg'^ (rep), 445. 

District — Wm. 
G. Murphy" 

District— Gust 

,„''Sfrved as chairman of the boara during- 


The primary election law went into 
effect in 1902, and thereafter party nom- 
inations have been made by direct vote 
of the people, in place of the old style 
county convention. This has resulted 
in revolutionizing county politics. No- 
bles county being normally strongly re- 
publican, the principal campaign is now 
for the republican nomination. Under 
the law anyone can become a candidate 
by filing his name and paying a small 
fee, and there have been as high as 
eight candidates for one office. Gener- 
ally there are only a few contests at 
the general election for county offices, 
but at the primaries there are more con- 

At the first primary, held Sept. 16, 
1902, the following were nominated on 
the republican ticket without opposition : 
Congressman. Jas. T. McCleary; treas- 
urer, J. W. Shaw; register of deeds. B. 
T. Tripp ; judge of probate. C. M. Cory ; 
surveyor. M. S. Smith ; clerk of court, 
F. L. Humiston. school superintendent, 
L. W. Abbott; commissioner second dis- 
trict, Fred H. Tiemens. The result of 
the election for officers where there was 
more than one candidate was as follows: 

Senator— H. C. Grass. 284; Daniel 
Shell, 767. 

Eepresentative — S. 0. Morse. 501 ; 
Geo. W. Wilson, 547. 

Auditor — Jas. Co-win. 260; H. M. 
Palm. 379; E. C. Pannell. 444. 

Sheriff — Newton Fauskee, 449; Chas. 
King. 133; L. L. McCartney. 263; Levi 
Eue. 219. 

Countv Attorney — C. l^f. Crandall. 
504; E. .T. Jones, 561. 

Commissioner Fourth District — P. C. 
Pratt. 142; Jas. H. McEobert. 37. 

The following were chosen for the 
democratic ticket without opposition: 
Con.srressman. Chas. N. .\ndrews ; audi- 

«Was chairman during 1903, 1904, 1905 and 



tor, E. L. Scliwartz: treasurer, E. W. 
Goff: ?herifT, ^like Peiter; probate jufljie, 
C. W. :\Iraci: clerk of court. II. .1. 
Bluine; .superintendent of .«cliool.=. A. J. 
SchaefTer: commissioner fourth rlistriet, 
Jos. Roll. For three nominations there 
were contests, as follows: 

Senator — I. T. Branitran. 14(5: .Tolm 
F. Flynn, 193. 

Register of Deed.« — TT. R. Kainp. 120: 
J. A. TCennedy. 201. 

County .\ttorney — John B. Gerpen. 
i:.T: J. J. Parsons, 164. 

At the jr^neral electiqp 2,602 votes 
^\'ere polled, although the highest cast 
for any one office was S..^.'?.?. The re- 
publican party was found to have re- 
gained some of the loss sustained dur- 
ing the previous campaigns, and car- 
ried the county by hig majorities. 
E. W. Goff. for treasurer, was the onlv 
democrat elected. The vote: 

Governor — Sa7iinel TJ. VanSant (rep). 
1.515; Leonard A. Rosing (dem), 871; 
"Nfeighen. 20: Scanlnn. 83: T^Tash. 4; 
Vanlear, 8. 

Congressman — Jas. T. McCleary 
frep), 1.506; Chas. N. .\ndrews fdem). 

Senator— Daniel Shell (rep). 1,183: 
John F. Flynn fdem). 1,020. 

Representative — Geo. W. Wilson 
(rep), 1,-109; Walter Sweetman (ind), 

Auditor— E. C. Pannell (rep). 1,628: 
E. L. Schwartz (dem). 927. 

Treasurer^ John Shaw (rep). 1.112: 
E. W. Goff (dem), 1,404. 

Sheriff — "NTewton Fauskee (rep). 1.310; 
Mike Reiter (dem), 1,215. 

Regi.ster of "Decd.s — B. T. Tripp (rep), 
1.483: J. A. Kennedy (dem). 1.037. 

Probate Judge — C. M. Cnrv (rep). 
1.701: C. W. ATend (dem). 804. 

'"Rpslenpfl July 13. 1003, and O. D. Drvan 
was named to complete the term, meeting 

County Attorney — E. J. Jones (rep), 
1.52G: John B. Gergen (dem), 996. 

Surveyor — M. S. Smith (rep), 1,929. 

Coroner — F. M. Manson. 40. 

Clerk of Court — F. L. llumiston 
(rep), 1,585; H. J. Blunio (dem), 900. 

Superintendent of Schools — L. W. Ab- 
bott (rep). 1,771; A. J. Schaeffer 
(dem), 1,211. 

( oiiimissioner Second District — Fred 
Tieniens (rep), 366. 

Commissioner Fourth District — P. C. 
I'nitf" (rep). ?.-)9: Jos. Roll (dem), 

The 1904 primary resulted iu many 
contests for the republican nominations, 
some of which were very cIqsc and hard 
fought battles. The following were 
chosen without opposition : Judge thir- 
teenth district, P. E. Brown; auditor, 
E. C. Pannell; superintendent of schools, 
L. "W. Abbott; commissioner fifth dis- 
trict, Gust Swanberg. The result where 
there was more than one candidate was 
as follows : 

Congressman — Jas. T. McCleary, 993 ; 
H. J. Miller, 615. 

Representative— S. 0. Morse. 831; Tf. 

C. Grass, 638. 

Treasurer— E. K. Smith. 7G0 ; E. C. 
Stit.ser, 709. 

Sheriff— Newton Fauskee, 1,120; M. 
J. Bryan, 3.51; W. TT. TTcitritter, 145. 

Register of Deeds— TT. Hawley, 338; 
B. T. Tripp, 288; J. M. Messer, 210; 
W. -Z. Newell, 210; Loren Clark, 168; 
J. C. Thorn, 166: C. H. TTah.Mvnn. 12.".; 

D. R. Chancy, 99. 

Probate Judge— C. M. fory. 1.012; 
TT. C. Carter, 515. 

County Attorney — C. M. Crandall. 
834 ; E. J. Jones, 769. 

Coroner — E. M. Manson, 879; TTcnry 
Wiedow, 556. 

wUli thi' iKi.nrd fi)r the first tiiiip Jul.v 22, 



Commissioner First District — J. L. 
McConkey, 158; Albert Hector, 115. 

Commissioner Third District — 0. W. 
Freeman, 160; G. Gulliek, 94. 

There were no contests for the demo- 
cratic nominations and candidates for a 
few only of the more important ofEices. 
The following were nominated: Con- 
gressman, Geo. P. Jones; representative, 
Wm. O'Neill; treasurer, E. W. Golf; 
register of deeds, Jas. F. Cox; sheriff, J. 
N. Holbrook; commissioner third dis- 
trict, J. G. Murpliy ; commissioner fourth 
district, 0. D. Bryan. 

Two thousand iive hundred fifteen 
votes was the liighest cast for any one 
office in the general election of 1904. 
President Roosevelt received a record 
breaking majority, but the republican 
nominee for governor carried the county 
by a bare plurality of 14 votes. The re- 
publicans carried the county for con- 
gressman and representative by big ma- 
jorities and elected every coimty officer 
with the exception of two commission- 
ers. The official vote: 

President — Republican electors 
(Roosevelt), 1,733; democratic electors 
(Parker), G";!l; peoples party electors 
(Watson), 21; prohibition electors 
(Swallow), 68; public ownership elec- 
tors (Debs), 12. 

Governor — R. C. Dunn (rep), 1,167; 
John A. Johnson (dom), 1,153; Chas. 
A. Dorsett (pro), 79; J. E. Nash (pub 
own), 6; A. W. M. Anderson (soc-lab), 

Congressman — Jas. T. McCleary 
(rep), 1.593; Geo. P. Jones (dem), 

Judge Thirteenth District— P. E. 
Brown (rep), 2,090. 

Representative — S. 0. Morse (rep), 
1,647; Wm. O'Neil (dem), 796. 

Auditor— E. C. Pannell (rep), 2,073. 

Treasurer— E. K. Smith (rep), 1,278; 
E. W. Goff (dem), 1,230. 

Sheriff — Newton Fauskee (rep), 
1,829; J. N. Holbrook (dem), 675. 

Register of Deeds — H. Hawley (rep), 
1,390; Jas. F. Cox (dem), 1,125. 

Probate Judge — C. M. Cory (rep), 

County Attorne}- — C. M. Crandall 
(rep), 2,076. 

Surveyor— M. S. Smith, 85. 

Coroner — F. M. Manson (rep), 1,888. 

Court Commissioner — F. A. Stevens, 

Superintendent of Schools — L. W. 
Abbott (rep), 2,068. 

Commissioner First District — J. L. 
McConkey (rep), 363, 

Commissioner Third District — 0. W. 
Freeman (rep), 279; J. G. Murphy 
(dem), 283. 

Commissioner Fourth District — 0. D. 
Bryan (dem), 281. 

Commissioner Fifth District — Gust 
Swanberg (rep), 387. 

At the primary election of Sept. 18, 
1906, there were many contests for the 
republican nominations. The result was 
as follows: 

Congressman — Gilbert (Juttersen, 
1.0;54; Jas. T. McCleary, 858. 

Senator— Daniel Shell, 717; S. B. 
Bedford, 1,201. 

Representative — S. 0. Morse, 1,418. 

Auditor— E. C. Pannell, 1,681. 

Treasurer— E. K. Smith, 1,668. 

Register of Deeds — Harry R. Tripp, 
958; H. Hawley, 903. 

Sheriff — Newton Fauskee, 1,327 ; 
Western M. Cline, 414; J. M. Scriven, 
] 56. 

County Attorney — E. J. Jones, 780; 
C. M. Crandall, 751; S. S. Smith, 362. 

Probate Judge— C. M. Cory, 1,643. 



(Jlerk oi (Jourl — i'". L. liumislon, 
1,-^UO; E. F. Clower, G3-i. 

iSchool iSuperintendent — L. \\. Ab- 
bott, 1,413; Maud Uraves, 9?7. 

Coroner — A. B. Williams, 1,543. 

(Joiuiiiissioner Second District — W. F. 
Moss, 147; Fred 11. Tiemens, 124; 
James Montgomery, 81; 11. J. Wcstrip, 

There were no contests for the demo- 
cratic nominations and only two candi- 
dates on the county ticket. The demo- 
cratic vote: Congressman, W. S. Ham- 
mond, 59;" senator, John F. Flynu, 58; 
register of deeds, J. H. Kew, 58; com- 
missioner fourth district, 0. D. Bryan, 

At the general election of 1906 2,133 
votes were cast. For the second time in 
history Nobles county returned a ma- 
jority for a democratic nominee for gov- 
ernor, and for the first time gave a ma- 
jority for a democrat for congress. The 
republican county ticket was endorsed. 
One democrat, for commissioner, who 
was without opposition, was elected. The 

Governor — A. L. Cole (rep), 769; 
John A. Johnson (dem), 1,855. 

Congressman — Jas. T. McCleary 
(rep), 911; W. S. Hammond (dem), 
1,123; Tucker (pro), 67. 

Senator— S. B. Bedford (rep), 1,100; 
John F. Flynn (dem), 1,033. 

Eepresentative — S. 0. Morse (rep), 

Auditor— E. C. Pannell (rep), 1,717. 

Treasurer— E. K. Smith (rep), 1,692. 

Register of Deeds — Harry E. Tripp 
(rep), 1,110; J. H. Rew (dem), 987. 

"The smallness of the democratic primary 
vote Is easily accounted for. There being 
no contests In their own party, the democrats 
a.«islsted the republicans in the selection of 
nominees, and under the primary law they 
are legally entitled to do .so. For instance: 
The law provides that a primary voter shall 
vote the ticket of that party, the majority 

Sherilf — Newton Fauskee (rep), 1,833. 

County Attorney — E. J. Jones (rep), 

Surveyor — M. S. Smith, 16. 

Frobate Judge — C. M. Cory (rep), 

Clerk of Court — F. L. Humiston 
(rep), 1,722. 

Superintendent of Schools — L. W. Ab- 
bott (rep), 1,717. 

Coroner — A. B. Williams (rep), 1,625. 

Commissioner Second District — W. h'. 
Moss (repj, '6b2. 

Commissioner Fourth District — 0. D. 
Bryan (dem), 287. 

The republican primary election of 
September 15, 1908, resulted as fol- 

Congressman, I'aul A. Ewert, 348; 
Gilbert Guttersen, 474; James T. Mc- 
Cleary, 479; representative, S. 0. Morse, 
524; Herman Nelson, 731; auditor, E. 
C. Pannell, 1,122; treasurer, E. K. 
Smith, 1,115; sheriff, Newton Fauskee, 
1,138; register of deeds, Harry Tripp, 
1,125; judge of probate, C. M. Cory, 
1,090; county attorney, C. M. Crandall, 
598; E. J. Jones, 762; coroner, A. B. 
Williams, 999; school superintendent, 
L. W. Abbott, 1,093; commissioner, first 
district, T. B. Maguire, 110; J. L. Mc- 
('onkey, 142; fifth district. Gust Swan- 
berg, 269. 

The democratic primary election re- 
sulted as follows: Congressman, W. 
S. Hammond, 55; commissioner third 
district, J. G. Murphy, 14. 

The prohibition primary election re- 
sulted as follows : Representative, H. L. 
Blake, 8. 

of whose nominees he supported at the pre- 
ceding general election. A democrat might 
have voted for every nominee of his party in 
the general election of IDOl (also voting for 
the republicans who had no opposition) and 
yet vote the republican ballot at the primary 
election of 1906. 



And now the political history of No- 
bles county is brought to a close. It 
covers a period from the time in 1870, 
w1r-ii the first county official took the 
uath of office — wlien there were '62 men 
iu Uie county who availed themselves 
of the privilege of voting — up to and 
including the last general election before 
the date of publication of this volume, 
during which time the total vote reached 
over 3,000. A brief summary of the 
conditions during this time may not be 
out of place. 

The county has always been normally 
republican. During the first year of 
its political history there was only one 
voter who registered against that party. 
Tliere has been an increase in the demo- 
cratic vote since. But, although the 
party of Jefferson polled over 1,200 
votes at one presidential election, it has 
never carried the county for the na- 
tional ticket. For many years the coun- 
ty was overwhelmingly republican, and 
it was not until the eighties that the 
democratic party nuiintained an organi- 
zation. But during this time there was 
a strong independent movement, kept 
alive by one faction of the republican 
party and the democrats, which opposed 
tlie republican organization and on sev- 
eral occasions gained control of the 
county offices. 

With the settlement of the west end 

of the county came a change. The 
democrats increased in numbers, and 
during the eighties the democratic party 
took its place as a factor in county poli- 
tics, which it has ever since retaineil. 
Ihiring the free silver days of the nine- 
ties the peoples party came into existence 
and for several years was a power in 
politics. When its power began to wane 
fusion was accomplished with the demoi 
erats, and for several years more, there 
was strong opposition to the dominant 

Since 188-t there has been quite a 
prohibition following. For many years 
a county organization was maintained, 
and county tickets were regularly placed 
in nomination. The socialists have nev- 
er had much of a following here, and no 
organization has ever been effected. 

While the county is strongly republi- 
can the voters are independent and not 
party bound, as the vote for governor 
and congressman at the 1906 election 
sbows. and as is made evident by the 
fact that in many instances tlie opposi- 
tion candidates have been elected. 

Nobles county has been fortunate in 
its selection of county officers. During 
its political history of nearly 40 years 
tliere has not been a defaulting county 
officer. Nor has there been a removal 
because of criminal action or incompe- 

3 ^ 

- O 



WORTHINGTON— 1871-1872. 

Worthington, the capital of Nobles 
county, is the oldest and largest town in 
the county. It is located on the east 
shore of lake Okabena, and its eleva- 
tion above sea level is 1,593 feet.^ It 
is in the eastern part of the county, the 
business center of the town being 16 
miles from the county's northern boun- 
dary, eight miles from the southern, sev- 
en and one-quarter from the eastern and 
twenty-two and three-quarters from the 
western. Otherwise described, it is 178 
miles southwest of St. Paul, the state 
capital, and is located on three lines of 
railroad — the Chicago, St. Paul, Min- 
neapolis & Omaha, the Worthington & 
Sioux Falls, and the Chicago, Eoek Is- 
land & Pacific. 

The population, according to the last 
census,— that of 1905— was 2,276. There 
has been an increase since that date, and 
tjiere are now about 2,500 people resid- 
ing in the village. It is one of the 
most progressive and prosperous towns 
in southwestern Minnesota. All lines of 
business tliat are to be found in the prai- 
rie communities of the Mississippi valley 
are represented. It is noted for its 
schools, churches and social organiza- 
tions, and in this respect it is the peer 
of anv town of its size in the state. It 

is the kind of town in which one pre- 
fers to live. 

The location of Worthington, consid- 
ered in its natural state, is one of un- 
usual beauty, and with the embellish- 
ments that have been added by the 
hands of its residents, it stands at the 
present time as one of the prettiest lit- 
tle cities of a state distinguished for 
its pretty towns. Especially is one 
charmed with its loveliness in the sum- 
mer season. Then the broad avenues 
and parks are clothed in emerald fol- 
iage. Trees are everywhere. Due to 
the foresight of the town's founders, the 
spot which was once barren prairie is 
now a bower of beauty. Picturesque 
lake Okabena, upon the shores of which 
the city is builded, is another beauty 
spot that adds charm to the location. 

One can hardly realize that less than 
lialf a century ago this spot was an 
uncharted wilderness; yet such is the 
case. Time was when the dusky red 
men pitched his tepee where now our 
churches are located; vast herds of 
bison moved about lake Okabena and 
made their wallows where now our 
courts are held; timid deer browsed 
where now the student studies his nat- 
ural history; elk in countless numbers 

'This is the elevation as given by tlie C. At the point of crossing of the two roads it 
St, P. M. & O. Ry. The elevation as given is 1.573 feet. 
by the B. C. R. & N. engineers is 1,585 feet. 




roamed the adjacent prairie and saw 
their antlers reflected in the cleai- wa- 
ters ol' Okabcna as they bent down to 

The lirst wiiite muu lu set foot on 
tlie site of the town, so far as shown 
b}- any records 1 ajii able to liud, was 
the party of explorers luider Joseph Ni- 
cholas Nicollet, mention of whose ex- 
plorations has been made in a previous 
chapter. On the map wliich he issued in 
1842 "Okebeue" lake is accurately lo- 
cated, showing that in the late thirties 
or very early forties the site of tlie 
town had been visited by white men. 
Between that time and the date of the 
permanent settlement of the country the 
site was visited infrequently by e.xplor- 
erers, military parties, scouts, and trap- 
pers. The latter were the more frequent 
visitors. During the late fifties and 
early sixties the country a short distance 
to the east and south was settled, to a 
very limited extent, by trappers. The 
abundance of game which overran the 
region drew hunters and trappers regu- 
larly to its lakes. The Okabenas were 
on the itinerary of these nomadic fron- 
tiersmen, and the site of Worthington 
was visited occasionally by these men 
long before there was any thought of a 
town there. Their permanent abiding 
places were further to the east in Min- 
nesota or in the settled portion of north- 
ern Iowa, about Spirit Lake, and until 
the late sixties none claimed even a 
temporary home within the limits of 
what is now Worthington. 

It was in the month of September, 
18G8, that the first building was erected 
iin hnul which is now within the cor- 
porate limits of the town. On the 34th 
of that month, there came to the Oka- 

bena Lake country, from Blue Earth, 
three trappers — W. A. Dillman- Frank 
Fortner and John Wilson. They erect- 
ed a combination sod and log shanty 
on the east shore of East Okabeua lake. 
Fortner remained only two days, Wil- 
son a month, but Mr. Dillman occupied 
. the shanty and engaged in trapping un- 
til Christmas, and became Worlhinglon's 
first citizen.' 

Although over 100 people became set- 
tlers of Nobles county during the years 
1867 to 1870, inclusive, on the site of 
the future village of Worthington not 
one established his permanent home. 
During the winter of 1870-1871 U. J. 
Ilofi'man engaged in trapping on lake 
Okabena and succeeded in taking $UUU 
worth of furs. He spent the winter in 
a dug-out on the south shore of the 
lake, a few paces to the west of what 
is known as the "swimming hole." In 
the spring of 1871 he walked to Osage, 
Iowa, and back again, carrying on his 
return trip a bundle of willow cuttings — 
the start of the now famous Ludlow 
grove. That summer Mr. Hoffman went 
to St. James, bought a small house there, 
and hauled it down to the future city 
of Worthington on wagons. That house 
constitutes a part of what has been the 
Ludlow home up to the present year. 
It was the first building of wood within 
rhe corporate limits of the town. Mr. 
Holl'man's f;imily, consisting of a wife 
and two children, came to the new 
home as soon as the building was ready 
for occupancy, and was Worthington's 
first family. 

Although both the Dillman shanty 
and Mr. Hoffman's house were within 
what is now the corporate limits of 
Worthington, they were located outside 

"Still a resident of Worthington. 

'A more detailed account of this event Is to 
be found In chapter 2. 



the present platted portion of the town, 
and the construction of those buildings 
had nothing to do with the founding of 
the village. 

Worthington came into existence as 
the result of the building of the Sioux 
City & St. Paul railroad.* The perman- 
ent survey was made early in 181 1. 
Immediately thereafter graders and 
bridge builders were put to work, and 
before the winter set in the grading was 
completed to LeMars, Iowa, and the 
track was laid as far as. the present town 
of Worthington. During the time grad- 
ing was in progress one of the camps 
was located at the point where the vil- 
lage afterwards made its appearance. 
The contractors erected a shanty just 
across the track from the present loca- 
tion of the freight depot, which was 
used as a boarding house for the grad- 
ers. Immediately after the grading was 
completed the shanty was torn down. 
It was early the intention of the rail- 
road company to locate a station and 
Imild a town on land at or ' near the 
point where the road passed Okabena 
lake. The site first selected was on the 
south side of the lake, where Mr. G. J. 
Hoffman luid taken his claim. That 
gentleman refused to sell his property 
to the railroad company for what the 
company considered a reasonable figure, 
and that site was abandoned.' 

The railroad company, of which E. F. 
Drake was president and guiding spirit, 

'Now the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis & 

"Worthington Advance, Nov. 29, 1S83. 

"The railroad company was the owner of 
the greater part of the original platted town- 
site (on section 23). which it had acquired 
through the land grant. A small three cor- 
nered piece of the original plat (on the south- 
west quarter of section 24) was the property 
of Mr. Drake, personally, he having come 
into possession of it by purchase. The quar- 
ter had been filed on by Geo. E. Stewart on 
Dec. IG, 1871, and that gentleman had secured 

then selected the site at the east end of 
the lake and made the sui'vey. Although 
the original townsite was surveyed in 
tiie summer of 1871, the plat was not 
put on record until the following year. 
The original plat extended from Eighth 
street to Fom-teenth street, and from the 
railroad track (along which ran First 
avenue) to Eighth avenue. Blocks two 
to 25, inclusive, were sm-veyed by Alex 
L. Beach, and blocks 26 to 45, inclu- 
sive, by T. P. Gere. The Gere certificate 
of survey was dated May 22, 1872. The 
dedication was in the following words: 

The Sioux City and Saint Paul Rail Road 
company by Elias F. Drake, its president, and 
the said J!,lias F. Drake, on behalf of him- 
self, proprietors, hereby acknowledge that so 
much of the plat of tlie town or village of 
W orthington, as is shown hereon has been 
made by said proprietors and is acknowledged 
and tiled in accordance with the requirements 
of "an act providing for the record of town 
plats" now in force. The streets and alleys 
indicated on said plat are dedicated to 
the use of the public for streets and alleys 
only and in case of the vacation of any such 
saeets or alleys b}- any competent authority, 
the reversion and title in fee of such vacated 
streets or alleys is hereby expressly reserved 
and declared to be in said proprietors, and the 
fee of any part of any street or alley is 
declared not to be included in or as part of 
anv lot herein. 

ELIAS F. DRAK:E, I'rest. 


The acknowledgement was made June 
24, 1872, before G. A. Hamilton, a no- 
tary public of Ramsey county. The in- 
strument was filed in the office of the 
register of deeds of Nobles county June 
27, 1872, by Selim Fox, register, per 
John II. Cunningham, deputy.' 

the patent from the government on May 20, 
1S74. The property was deeded to Mr. Drake 
the same day the filing was made. 

Clary's addition, which, however, was not 
platted until later, comprises parts of the 
northwest quarter of section 24. The east 
half of that quarter was filed on June 1. 
1872, by Elias D. South. The west half was 
filed on May 27, 1872, by Veeder J. South. 

'Additions to this original townsite have 
been platted as follows: 

Park — Surveyed by O. D. Brown June 12, 

'1876; dedicated by the S. C. & St. P. R. R. 

Co., by E. F. Drake, president, and G. A. 



Before the lots were placed on the 
market, before a building was erected 
on the townsite, an event occurred which 
vitally affected the liistory of the town- 
to-be. This was the formation of tlie 
National colony and the assumption by 
it of the control of affairs in Nobles 
county. It is not necessary here to re- 
peat the story of that organization, 
which has been told in a preceding chap- 

Hainilton. assistant secretary, Sept. 29, 1876; 
mod Oct. 4, 1876. 

Second — Surveyed by John O. Brunius; dedi- 
cated by the S. C. & St. P. R. R. Co., by K. 
F. Drake, president, and G. A. Hamilton, 
secretary, Nov. 1, 1879; filed July 8, 1S80. 

Anderson's — Surveyed bv T. Linus Blanlt 
Oct., 1882; dedicated by Henry H. Anderson 
Oct. 25, 1882; Hied Oct. 26, 1882. 

Clary's — Surveyed by F. L. Diserens Octoljer, 
1882; dedicated by Timothy F. Clary and Eliza 
F. Clary Dec. 2, 18S2; filed Dec. 12, 1SS2. 

Subdivision or Blocks 20, 21 and 22— Sur- 
veyed by Orrin Nason; dedicated by the S. C. 
& St. I". R. R. Co., by Elias F. Drake, presi- 
dent, and (3. A, Hamilton, secretary, Aug:. 24, 
1883; tiled Sept. 7, 18S3. 

Drake's — Surveyed by Wm. A. Peterson; 
dedicated by Ellas F. Drake Feb. 11, 1884; 
filed Feb. 20, 1884. 

Anderson's Subdivision of Blocks 1 and 6 
of Clary's addition — Surveyed by L. L. Palmer; 
dedicated by Daniel Shell, Henry H. Ander- 
son and Otis Bigelow April 23, 1884; filed 
April 23, 1884. 

Smith & Shell's—Surveved by L. ly. Palmer; 
dedicated by C. H. Smith and Daniel Shell 
June I. 1SS7; tiled June 1, 1887; corrected plat 
filed June 29, 1895. 

Moulton's Resurvey and Subdivision of 
Clary's Addition — Surveyed by Myron Shep- 
ard July, 18S7; dedicated by Minnesota I,oan 
& Investment Co., by Geo. D. Dayton, presi- 
dent, and Geo. O. Moore, secretary, Aug. 24, 
1887; filed Aug. 25, 1887. 

Lots A, B, D and E of Block 8— Surveyed 
by W. D. Smith; dedicated by Minnesota 
Loan & Investment Co. (by Geo. D. Dayton, 
president, and Geo. O. Moore, secretary), R. 
I-'. Baker, I.. Singer, W. S. Lewis and J. H. 
John.son Dec. 19, 1887; filed May 9, 1888. 

McLean's Subdivision of Block 49 and Part 
lit r,0, Second Addition — Surveyed by M. S. 
Smith; dedicated hi- Wm. McLean March 16, 
1892; filed March 18, 1592. 

Okabena— Surveyed by M. S. Smith; dedi- 
cated by Benjamin F. Johnson, C. H. Alford. 
Adella A. Prince, Alex Sterling, Gilbert An- 
derson and Wm. McLean Aug. 30, 1892; filed 
Oct. 7, 1892. 

East— Surveyed by M. S. Smith; dedicated 
by H. T. Drake, A. M. Drake and W. H. 
Llghtner, executors of the will of E. F. Drake, 
deceased, Oct. 16, 1894; filed Oct. 22, 1894. 

Nobles Street Crossing and Siilidivislon of 
Block 3 of East Addition— Surveyed by M. S. 
Smith; dedicated by H. T. Drake, A. M. 
Drake and Wm. H. Llghtner, executors of 
will of E. F. Drake, deceased, Sept. 17, 1895; 
filed Sept. 28, 1895. 

Southwest (luarter of section 24, Worthing- 
ton township, embracing all lands In that 
(luarter not already platted, including several 
additions and plats. Amended plat filed Sept. 
28, 1895. 
Smith & Shell's Division of Block A, of 

ter. With the purchase and subsequent 
manipulation of the railroad lands by 
tlie company, arose the necessity for a 
town in the new country to be used as 
its headquarters — a town builded in ac- 
cordance with the temperance beliefs of 
its founders, who had extensively adver- 
tised that the community to which they 
were to bring emigrants should be moral 
and temperate. Prof. E. F. Iluniiston 

Meander Lot 1, in Section 25. Worthington 
Township — Surveyed by M. S. Smith May 13. 
1894; dedicated by C. H. Smith and Daniel 
Shell July 6, 1895; filed Nov. 13. 1895. 

Hansberger's Subdivision of Block 39 — Sur- 
vei'od by M. S. Smitli March, 1896, by order 
of county auditor tor \V. I. & F. L. Humis- 
ton, Jas. S. Itamage, Susan Ditty, U. F. 
llansberger and Minnesota Loan & Investment 
Co.; filed Aug. 5, 1897. 

Shell's Subdivision of the Southeast 48 
feet of Hotel Lot, Block 1 — Surveyed by M. 
S. Smith; dedicated by Daniel Shell Dec. 30, 
1899; filed Dec. 30, 1899. 

Kraft's Subdivision of Block 11, Clary's Ad- 
dition — Surveyed by M. S. Smith Feb. 13, 
19U0; dedicated by Geo. Miller, Samuel N. 
Rose ahd John G. Kraft May 18, 1900; filed 
June 5, 1900. 

Barnes' Subdivision of Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 
Block 50, Second Addition — Surveyed by M, S. 
Smith April 21, 1900; dedicated by Nathan 
Barnes, Carl A. Anderson and Wm. McLean 
June 27, 1900; tiled July 26, 1900. 

Shell's Reanangement of Lot 26, Block 1, 
of Anderson's Subdivision of Block 1, of 
Clary's Addition — Surveyed by M. S. Smith 
July 20 and 21, 1900; dedicated by Daniel 
Shell July 23, 1900; filed Aug. 16, 1900. 

Paulson's — Surveyed by M. S. Smith; dedica- 
ted by Anna B. Paulson, S. A. Paulson, 
Mary Wass and J. E. Darling April 27, 1901; 
filed April 30, 1901. 

Clifton — Surveyed by M. S. Smith; dedicated 
by Minnesota Loan &. Investment Co., by 
Geo. D. Dayton, president, June 27, 1901; filed 
July 17, 1901. 

Scott's Subdivision of East Half of Block 
3, Clary's Addition — Surveyed by M. S. Smith; 
dedicated by Minnesota Loan & Investment 
Co., by Geo. D. Dayton, president, Aug. 
9, 1901; filed Sept. 9, 1901. 

Clement's— Surveyed by M. S. Smith; dedi- 
cated bv Walter L. Clement, Sept. 30, 1901; 
filed Oct. 14, 1901. 

Kamages Subdivision of Lots and -Mleys 
In Blocks 3 and 7— Surveyed by M. S. Smith; 
dedicated by Jas. S. Ramage Dec. 6, 1901; 
liic-d Dec. 26, 1901. 

Clement's Subdivision of Block 55, of the 
Second Addition— Surveyed by M. S. Smith; 
dedicated bv Walter L. Clement Sept. 30, 
1901; filed April 16, 1902. 

Block 1, N'orth Worthington— Surveyed by 
M. S. Smith; dedicated by L. M. Bliss 
May 31, 1902; filed June 4, 1902. 

Albinson it Boberg's Subdivision of Lots In 
Block 52, Second Addition— Surveyed by M. 
S. Smith; di'dleated by John A. Albinson and 
John A. Boberg June 4, 1902; filed June 

11, 1902. 

McLean's Subdivision of Block 47 Second 

Addition— Surveyed by M. S. Smith; dedicated 

• by Wm. McLean June 2, 1902; filed July 

12, 1902. 




■>€.« fOWNC*.rit'l>l», 


/ \ 


Cornor of Main .Street and Third Avenue. The'Building in the Center i.s One of 

the First Lrected in the City. To th<> Riglit iN Seen thi- Old Congregational 

Church. thejTown's first C hurih l.dificc. 


1 1 . 'I 


. c 



- ( 


, / 


\ ' 



.. . 

.-:./ ■ 

. ^ 

.'-.■' '' 


' 1 




C . ' 

? , 



' ' 



facsimile I cllcr. Written in 1888, From Professor R. F. lluniiston to t.lias \. I)raki>, 
in Which is I old the Story of the Naming of Worthington. 



and Dr. A. P. Miller, who were the 
leading spirits of the colony company, 
at once assumed the duties of founding 
the town, and late in the summer of 
18T1 they paid a visit to the site. The 
land upon which the town was built a 
few months later did not then have a 
sign of habitation on it, nor had it yet 
been definitely named. 

The party consisted of Professor 
Humiston, Dr. Miller, Mrs. Miller and 
Captain Aiken Miner, who made the 
trip by team from Jackson. They came 
to view the lake and the site of their 
future labors. As they stood on the 
shore of tlie lake they viewed the coun- 
try as it had been since time begun; the 
hand of man had not changed the work 
nf nature.' The two promoters made 
tlie trip around the west lake on foot on 
an exploring expedition. At the inlet 
at the west end of the lake they con- 
structed a raft and floated across the 
stream. It was nearly nightfall when 

they finished surrounding the lake, and 
the part}' then went to Graham lakes, 
fifteen miles away, to spend the night. 
Shelter was secured in the log hut of 
H. C. Hallett, who "kept tavern" and 
was the postmaster. 

During the time the railroad was be- 
ing graded through southwestern Min- 
nesota the site where afterwards tlie 
town of Worthington was built was 
known as Okabena. When the colony 
company became interested, and before 
the town was founded, the name was 
changed to Worthington, which was tlie 
name of Mrs. Mary Dorman Miller's 
(wife of Dr. A. P. Miller) mother be- 
fore her marriage. The name was sug- 
gested by Prof. Humiston." The Worth- 
ington family was a prominent one in 
Ohio. Among its members were Thomas 
Worthington, -once governor of the state, 
for whom the town of his name in 
Franklin county was named ; and Gen- 
eral .7. T. Worthington.^" Not alone is 

»"In tho early autumn of 1S71, in company 
with Piofe.ssor Humiston and my husb.nnd. I 
stood on the shore of lalce Okabena, loolfinp 
westward at the unaccustomed spectacle of 
the sunset on the prairie and its glorified re- 
flection in the water below. There was not a 
house then where Worthington now stands, 
and the professor, with his accustomed gal- 
lantry, jocosely iuvited me to baptise the new 
townsite with the crystal water sparkling 
at my feet. But with what I now sec to been an excess of modesty, I declined." 
— Extract from letter written liy Mary Dor- 
man Miller, dated New York, Deo, 11, 1888, 

"Although I haye a mass of data concern- 
ing the naming of Worthington, including 
letters written by eyeryone connected with 
the naming, I have been unable to learn the 
exact date the pame was conferred. Prof. 
Humiston. Mrs, Miller and Mr, E, F, Drake 
haye written detailed accounts of the eyent. 
but not one has mentioned the time the 
christening was made, 

"Correspondence in 18SS between Prof, R, 
F, Humiston, B, F, Drake, Mrs. Mai-y Dorman 
Miller and A, P, Miller of the Advance, has 
brought forth many incidents connected with the 
naming of the town, A St, Paul paper made the 
statement that the Minnesota town was named 
in honor of the Worthington family. of 
Toledo, Ohio, To this the Worthington Ad- 
vance took exception, declaring that it was 
in honor of that branch of the family residing 
at Chillicothe, Ohio, Mr. Drake defended the 
statement of the St. Paul paper and erron- 
eously declared that the name was given in 

honor of Prof. Humiston's wife's family, who 
lived at Toledo, Again the .Advance corrected 
the statement of Mr, Drake, The latter 
then appealed to Prof, Humiston for a state- 
ment concerning the naming of the town. 
Prof, Humiston, in a letter dated Boston 
Oct, 13, 1888, wrote: 

"Dr, Miller, my partner, wanted to name 
the town 'Doi-man,' after Mary Dorman, his 
wife. You [Drake] and the railroad directors 
obiected, saying that 'Dorman is a sleepy, 
dull, uneuphonius name," and asked me to 
select something else. Wanting to please Dr, 
Miller, I concluded that if I could not give 
the town Mary Dorman's father's name, T 
would give it her mother's maiden name, 
which was Worthington, her father being 
the brother of Gov, Worthington, I believe, 
and General Worthington, of Chillicothe. be- 
ing her first cousin. When I suggested the 
name of Worthington, it was satisfactory 
to you and the directors, you remarking that 
you had relatives by marriage of that name: 
so. then and there, the name of Okabena was 
changed to Worthington." 

Mr. Drake added the following to Prof, 
Humiston's letter: ' 

" , , , When he [Prof, PTumiston] pro- 
posed the name Worthington I said to him 
that I had relatives of that name, but 
neither he nor I supposed they were of the 
same family. You [Worthington AdvanccT 

were probably right that the person in whose 
honor the name was gi\'en related to the 
Chillicothe family, and I was right in say- 
ing that the name was not given for Governor 
Worthington or any of his descendants, all nf 
which I know intimately," 

Mrs, Mary Dorman Miller, in a letter to 



the name distinguished for its Ohio con- 
nections. It is one of the oldest in 
America. From a member of the Worth- 
ington family" it is learned that the 
name can be traced back of the time of 
the Norman conquest in England. It is 
a Saxon name and originated before the 
time of William tlie Conqueror. The 
Saxons bearing the name lived in Derby, 
and there was a town of the same name. 
Some member of the family came to 
.\merica on the Mayflower, and the 
.\nierican branch is founded from that 

The name was not entirely satisfac- 
tory, and several times in the early days 
suggestions were made that a change be 
made, but no action to that end was 
ever taken. Many regretted that the 
Indian name "Okabena" was not given.^- 

So soon as it was definitely settled 
tliat the colony company was to build a 
town on Okabt'na lake preparations were 
begun to start the town. Before winter 
set in quite a little town had made its 
. appearance on the spot where late in 
the summer there was not a sign of hab- 
itation. Construction on the first build- 
ing was begun on Sunday, the first day 
of September, probably only a few days 
after the Miller-IIumiston party had 
visited the site. It was a frame business 

house erected by TF. W. Kimball for a 
hardware store. A detailed, and appar- 
ently authentic, account of the building 
of this first structure is furnished by a 
letter written by S. C. Thayer, the car- 
penter who did the work on the build- 
ing, and it is here reproduced. The 
letter was dated Liberal, Mo., Jan. fi. 

Tho first nail was driven with I lie following; 

First I fjo back a little that you may under- 
stand it. .\t that time (August to September. 
1871) I was living on a claim in Jackson 
county and had been living in Jackson. Had 
done some work for one, W. S. Kimball, of 
that place. At this time said Kimball had 
a nephew come from Illinois, who was to 
start a kind of branch hardware store at 
Worthington. which at this time was an unin- 
habited prairie, not a stick or house within 
some distance, the railroad not yet completed 
to \\'orthington. 

So, on Saturday afternoon, Aug. 31, 1871. 
said nephew (Herb Kimball) came to my 
claim "shanty" with a span of horses and 
wagon loaded with lumber for the commence- 
ment of his new hardware store at Wortliing 
ton. He had with him a carpenter from .lack- 
son by the name of Stephen Ford, who was 
to assist me in the erection of the building. 
As it was getting late in the afternoon and 
I had some arrangements to make in order 
to leave my wife and one child comfortable. 
T prevailed on the "ship's crew" to stay with 
me over night, and take a fresh start on 
Sunday morning, which was done. 

On Sunday morning all was ready, and we 
set out for our long journey (some tliirtv 
miles or more) across the wild prairie, with 
shot guns, carpenter tools, lumber, wagons 
and horses, with plenty of the necessaries of 
life for a week or two. On we went. Noon 

the Advance, dated New York. Dec. 11, 18S8, 

"Tou and Mr. Drake are far 'at sea' in 
your attempt to give a historical account of 
the naming or Worthington: l>ut I come to 
.your rescue, thougli not as tht? traditional 
.straw to the drowning man. My mother's 
maiden name wa.s Worthington. Her father 
was Robert Worthington. of Chillleothe. Ohio, 
who was the l)rothcr of Thomas Worthington, 
governor of Ohio; and the now beautlfui. pros- 
perous town of Worthington. Minn., was nam- 
ed for 'the Chlllicothe family.' " 

Tile correspondence was clo.sed with tho 
following from Mr. Drake in the Advance 
of Dec. 27. 1888: 

"It will now be well enougli to consider the 
name of your thrlvjng village .settled, as to 
the question for whom it was named. Mrs. 
Miller, hy virtue of her sex. is entitled to 
the last word. An Rip Van Winkle .says. 
'We win not count this.' My memory was at 
fault In saying the name was in honor of 

Mr. Humiston's family, instead of Mrs. Mil- 
ler's. It was given, doubtless, in honor of her 
immediate ancestors, and not the family at 
large. So. it seems Mrs. Miller, you and T 
were nil right, only differing as to wliethnr 
the name was for the Worthington family 
.at large or her branch of it . . . The is ended. Let us have peace." 

"George E. Worthington, student of history 
at the Wisconsin University, 

"Some credence has been given to a hoax 
on the naming of Worthington. originated in 
the early days. It was said that when set - 
tiers first came here and the Question of a 
name for the town came up it was suggested 
that as the county had such a noble name, it 
■was but fitting that the first town in It 
shoiild have a name worthy of the county— 
and that Worthington was derived from the 
word worthy. Of course there is no truth in 
the statement. 



eame, and yet we were on wild prairie. 
Stopped and fed, took a lunch, and we went 
toward the New .Jerusalem. On, on, on until 
about five or half past we passed a kind of 
swamp lake, and a beautiful southern slope 
of another little sheet of water, and very 
close to it we stopped. It was a most beau- 
'liful evening and also a beautiful spot of 
ground. Nothing to be seen except land and 

Then aro.=e the question in what n^inner we 
could best fit up our temporary quarters un- 
til we could get our building enclosed, 
or partly so. I suggested the wedge shaped 
-hanty with ridge pole, which was adopt- 
• •d. Now for a couple of stakes to rest our 
ridge pole on. but lo! we were not in a tim- 
bered country. So we took a piece of 2x4x14 
and cut it in two, sharpened the ends of each, 
drove them into the ground. Then for the 
ridge pole took another of the 2x4. Here it 
rt-as found that it would take a 20d spike to 
fasten the ridge to the poles of our building. 
So out of the wagon was rolled a keg of 
spikes, and .Mr. Kimball suggested that, inas- 
much as I was a carpenter, I had better do 
the nailing. I took the hammer and nail and 
stepped upon the keg, which had been placed 
at the foot of the post, it being a little too 
high to reach. At this moment it occurred to 
me that I was to be the man to drive the first 
nail in the (what was to be) city of Worth- 
ington. So with these remarks I "sent the 
nail home" that fastened the ends of the 
two first pieces of wood together in vnvir 

"Be it recorded and liy these witnesses (H. 
Kimball and S. Ford) " remembered that I, 
Solon Cassiiis Thayer, who was born in 
Bloomfield. Ohio, on the 21st day of August, 
1S43, now a carpenter and joiner, and hav- 
ing no faith whatever in the popular Cliris- 
tian religion,. Gods or devils, but do believe in 
doing justice at all times and in all places, 
and for the purpose of the upbuilding of a 
little city that may bud and blossom for the 
good of its inhabitants, do on this beautiful 
Sunday evening, the first day of September, 
1871, drive the first nail that shall fasten 
the ends of two pieces of wood together for 
the protection of its inhabitants from the 

Ofl" and up went the three hats and cheers 
for the citv of Worthington. 

On the next morning we went at the frame- 
work of the new store, while Mr. Kimball went 
to Heron Lake for more lumber. About the time 
we got our frame up the lumber was on the 

"Extract from Mr. Thayer's diary. 

"'■I also built the first sail boat that sailed 
on lake Okabena (a.s it was then called), a 
little six- foot beam by about twenty feet in 
length, which I sold my interest in to Prof. 
Humiston. It was called the Pioneer. I did 
considerable in and about the village, and 
about June 25, 1872, I left there tor Jackson, 

ground for a large hotel and so on. and by 
the time we had ours done there was quite 
a village." 

The site of this first building was on 
Tenth street, where Devaney's billianl 
hall is now located. As stated by Mr. ■ 
Thayer, that fall there were a number 
of others who came, erected buildings, 
and added to the population of the town. 
The railroad was not yet completed to 
Worthingion, and the maierial for all 
the buildings erected in the fall of 1871 
was hauled from Heron Lake, then the 
terminus (temporarily) of the road. The 
building that fall was nearly all done in 
October and November. Nearly all the 
buildings were under way at the same 
time, and it is impossible to give the 
order in which they were completed. 

One of the first buildings started and 
completed was a store building put up 
at the corner of Tenth street and Third 
avenue by L. P. McLaurin,'^ who opened 
a general stock of goods, including dry 
goods, groceries, etc. A man by the 
name of Leslie erected a little building 
on Ninth street, between Third and 
Fourth avenues,'" where he opened a 
store and sold whiskey as a side line. 
Henry Davis & Brother opened a gen- 
eral store in a tent, carrying tobacco, 
.shoes, shirts and other articles, which 
found a ready market among the graders 
who were then at work there. This tem- 
porary affair was discarded that fall, 
when Henry Davis erected a one and 
one-half story building on Tenth street." 
Although their stock had to be hauled 
in on wagons from Heron Lake, tliree 
lumber yards were opened that fall. One 

and have never seen your city since." — Ex- 
tract from Mr. Thayer's letter. 

'■'"The McLaurin building still stands, and is 
iiwned and occupied by PtHer Thompson. 

''•On the lot upon which T. A. Palmer's 
house now stands. 

''Where the Davis brick block now stands. 



of these was in charge of I. N. Safer j 
another was owned by Crocker Bros. & 
Lanioraux, with a man by tlie name of 
Folsoni in charge; the third was owned 
by Henry Young & Co., of wliieli Levi 
Shell was the manager.'' 

The most pretentions building erected 
in Worthington in 1871 was the Worth- 
ington liotel. Excavation work was be- 
gun in October, the building was com- 
pleted that fall, and was opened during 
the winter. It was erected jointly by 
the railroad company and the National 
colony, and its management was vested 
in the latter. The cost is said to have 
been about $30,000. It was three stories 
high and was, practically, the front half 
of the present day Worthington hotel. 
Wm. B. l\roore was the first manager.'® 

Tlie postofTice was established in Dc- 
coriibcr, 1871, and TI. W. Kimball, the 
hardware merchant, was appointed post- 
master. Regular trains were not then 
running to Worthington, the mail being 
brought in by stage by "Stormy Jack" 
Grier, over the route from Jackson to 

Times were lively in the little village 
during the building days in the fall of 
1871. When cold weather set in some 
of those who were not in business left 
the town to spend the winter in their 

""The mt*ml)ors of this firm were Henry 
YouiiB. Levi Shell and Daiiii^l Shell. The office 
was opened in November, having temporary 
quarter.s with Crocker Bros. & Lamor.aiix. 

"Mr. Moore did not give satisfaction to the 
colony company, and after having been in charge 
about ten months he gave up the lease. lie 
was succeeded by Captain A. P. Lyon, who 
conducted the business only two or three 
months, working for a salary for the own- 
ers. W. S. Stockdale was the next landlord. 
He was succeeded shortly after by .Tonathint 
Ames, who leased the property and ran it 
about one year. On May 1. 1S7I. Daniel Shell 
took n. five years' lease on the piopert.v and 
became Its manager. At the end of the sec- 
ond year he purchased the properly, which 
had come Into the hands of Peter Thompson. 
who had secured a judgment against Miller, 
Huml.ston & Co. Mr. Shell conducted the 
laislness until ISS.S. Samuel Kspey then 
leased the propert.v. and after being Its man- 
ager ten months, died. He was succeeded 

old homes, and limes were dull during 
the cold weather season. A man who 
visited the town in January, 1872, said 
of the conditions at that time: 

"I counted thirteen buildings all told 
and was informed that there were thir- 
teen inhabitants at that time. It was 
one of the 'snow winters/ and drifts 
were piled all around the houses. I 
think tliere were seven snow steps lead- 
ing down to the depot platform. There 
was in the hotel one newspaper and a 
lot of greasy pieces of pasteboard with 
heart shaped devices on them and other 
devices. Several men boarders were 
waiting for spring to open." 

-Mmost all the inhabitants were men-' 
who had established business enterprises 
and could not leave them. They amused 
themselves with the newspaper, the heart 
shaped devices, and practical jokes. 
.\bout twenty men resided in the town 
during the whole winter. Among these 
was a "mess" of five — E. R. TTumiston, 
A. P. Chamberlain, C. C. Goodnow. J. 
C. Goodnow and Jerry Haines — who, 
soldier-like, went into barracks in a 
boarding house near the railroad and 
boarded them.selves. Besides those in 
the village proper were 6. J. ITofFniau. 
who spent the winter on his claim on the 
south side of the lake: Wm. E. Tlih- 

by John Fisher, who co]Klucted the business 
foin* >*ears imder a lease. Mr. Shell then sold 
the property to F. R. Coughron and others, 
.and Mr. Coughran was the landlord for .sev- 
eral years. The propert.v then passed Into 
the hands of Geo. W. Lear, who had charge 
of it personally for a short time. W. H. 
Doollttle became the leasee and was landlord 
for .a number of years. He was succeeded 
In recent yenrs by Geo. W. Lear, Thomas 
Dorgan and Stanley Moore. 

■'The Worthington office has been held by 
the following postmasters: H. W. Kimball, 
C. C. Goodnow. M. B. Soule, R. D. Barber, 
L, B. Bennett. Frank Lewis. K. L. Schwartz 
and F. R. Coughran. 

-■'Mrs. Herbert W. Kimball was the first 
woman to come to Worthington. She came 
here with her husliand in the fall of 1871. 
but retiu-ned to her old home for the winter. 
Mrs. Daniel Shell was the second lady to be- 
come a resident of Worthington. 



bard, wlio wintered in a small house on 
the east lake; and Jerome Stewart, a 
blind man, who lived in a shanty just 
across the track from the town. 

While times were dull during the win- 
ter it was known that with the opening 
of spring Worthington would be one of 
the liveliest towns on the frontier. As- 
surances were received from the colony 
managers that hundreds would pour into 
the country in the early spring. Some 
of the colony immigrants arrived be- 
fore spring set in, and even during the 
month of January quite a few came and 
took up their residence in Worthington 
in order to be in on the ground floor. 
Among these were some of the best 
known citizens of Worthington today. 
The people who were looking for the big 
rush were not disappointed. The first 
regular passenger train ran into Worth- 
ington April 29, 1872, bringing with it 
many settlers, and thereafter each day 
the train was filled with families who 
came to find homos in the new country. 
Mrs. Clark, who was among the advance 
guard of the colony, has written of the 
conditions in Worthington as she found 
them : 

"We were among the first members of 
a colony to arrive at the station of an 
unfinished railroad, which was to be the 
nucleus of the colony and the county seat 
of the coimty. There was a good hotel, 
well and comfortably furnished, one or 
two stories neatly furnished and already 
stocked with goods, several others in pro- 
cess of erection. A few rough board 
tenements, temporary shelters, to serve 
the occupants until better ' houses could 
be built. The streets, scarcely to be de- 
fined as such, were full of prairie schoon- 
ers, containing families, waiting until 
the masters could suit themselves with 
'claims,' the women pursuing their house^ 

wifely avocations meanwhile — some hav- 
ing cooking stoves in their wagons, 
others using gypsy fires to do their cul- 
inary work; all seeming happy and hope- 

Freeman Talbott, in a letter written 
July 20, 1886, tells of the impressions 
he received of the new town during the 
rush time in the spring of 1872: 

"Fourteen years ago last May I made 
my first visit to Nobles county, intend- 
ing, if the surroundings suited me, to 
make Worthington my future home. 
Quite a number of the first settlers had 
arrived. Some were living in comfort- 
able houses, some in rough board shan- 
ties, 12x14, others in tents, and still 
others on the bleak prairie, about to se- 
lect the site of future independence on or 
near the banks of the beautiful lake 

The arrival of the colonists had a 
magical efl'ect upon the village, and new 
business enterprises sprang into exist- 
ence. On the last day of August, 1872, 
there were 85 buildings on the town- 
site, where a year before the plat had 
been located. Of these nearly all were 
permanent and much more substantial 
than is usually the case during the rush 
of starting a new town. A list of tlie 
business houses in Worthington on that 
date is furni.shed by a directory publish- 
ed in the first issue of the Western Ad- 
vance. Certainly an excellent showing 
had been made in one year: 

A. P. Lyon, Worthington Hotel. 
C B. Loveless. 


Peter Thompson, Ninth street. 
L. F. MeLaurin, Tenth street, corner Third 
Davis & Brother, next door to postoffice. 
Davis & Morrison, "Colony Store." 

C, P- Hewett & Co., opposite the park. 



H. W. Kimball, near Worthington hotel. 
If. D. Humiston, "Colony Store." 

I. N. Sater, with Uarrison's, 
J. A. Town, with Crocker Bros. &. Ijinior- 

A. K. Vcitz, opposite Worthington hotel. 
• Barber & Lawrence, opposite park. 

Heilljurn & Pratt, Tenth street, ojiposite 
the park. 

S. D. Sprague, Ninth street, opposite park. 
P. B. Crosby. 

FLOUR AND i'i-:i;i). 
S. F. Shcpard, Tliinl avenue. 
Peter Thompson, Ninth street. 

Hugh & Porman, Ninth street, opposite 

Fred Hascall, Tenth street, near tlie post- 

C. P. Stough, Ninth street. 
Hugh & norman. Ninth .street. 

Daniel Slioll, Tenth street. 

Bigelow & Co., Third avenue. 
M. B. Soule. Tliird avenue, opposite park. 
J. S. Shuck, Tenth street, opposite jwrk. 

Geo. O. Moore, corner Fifth avenue and 
Tenth street. 
,T. Ciaft. 
U. 1). Barber, Tenth street, at drug store. 


C. C. Ooodnow, postoH'ice. 

M. B. Soule. Tliiril avenue, njjposite park. 


Millfr, Ihuiiiston & Co. 


A. Miner, at postoflice. 
C. C. Goodnow, at postoffice. 
Soule & Langdon, Tliird avenue, opposite 


L. F. Margrat and — . — . Shaw. 

Western .'\<lvanec. 

"A contributor to the Advance of Aug. 31. 
1872 said: "From frequent conversations with 
gentlemen of different parts of the state, 
we are assured that Worthington today has 


C L. .Tohnson, Ninth street, opposite park. 


C. B. I.oveless, Eleventh street. 
W. Hodgkinson, Eleventh street. 


C. Moore, Eleventh street. 
J. S. Stone, Fourth avenue. 


.\dvance Printing Co. 

The improvements for the year foot- 
ed lip to ^SO-.^i.^O. Tnclurled in this 
iiinouiil was the puhlic liall huildin?, 
known as Jliller hall, which wa.s erected 
hy the colony company at a cost of about 
.$7,000. The building was 48x80 feet, 
was two stories high, and had three 
large store rooms below. For several 
years the hall served the purposes of 
church building, lodge rooms, school 
room, and was the place of all social 
gatherings. It was destroyed by fire 
in 1878. The town was extensively ad- 
vertised, and during 1873 gained the 
reputation of being one of the be?t 
towns in southern Minnesota.^^ 

One nf the events of the year was the 
organization of Worthington township. 
A petition was filed on March 30, ask- 
inir the board of county commissioners 
to take action toward liringing about the 
organization, and on .'\pril 30 the peti- 
tion was granted. On May 20 the first 
town meeting was held, and the village 
was under township government for the 
first time. 

The temperance question was a very 
live issue in Worthington during the first 
year of its existence. One of the first 
things determined on by the founder? 
of the National colony was that the 
colony should be a moral community, 
and to secure this end it was decided to 

the best reputation of any new town in Min- 
nesota, and that grcnt expectations have been 
raised in the minds of the better class. 



exclude the liquor traffic from the town 
and country over which it had jurisdic- 
tion. This fact was emphasized in all 
the advertising, and the result was that 
the majority of the first settlers were 
temperance people, who had been drawn 
to the colony largely by the promises 
made. A large sum of money was set 
aside by Prof. Humiston and his asso- 
ciates to prosecute liquor dealers should 
the traffic be started in the new town. 
A large part of this fund was expended 
during the year 1873 in bringing actions 
against three men who made attempts to 
establish liquor saloons in Worthington. 
The saloons were promptly closed, and 
thereafter for many years there was no 
liquor sold in the village. 

The village government had not been 
organized in 1872, and license legisla- 
tion was enacted by the board of county 
commissioners. To that body the peo- 
ple of Worthington went with their re- 
quest that no saloons be licensed in 
Worthington township. A petition was 
circulated AugTist 30, and was worded as 
follows : 

To the Honorable Board of County Commis- 
sioners of Nobles County, State of Minne- 

We. the undersignefl. citizens of the town 
of Worthington. in said county, respectfully 
represent that we believe that a majority of 

^The petition was signed by the foUowing: 
John A. King, L. S. Roberts, Ed. Chandler, 
L. C. Chaney. James S. Stone, M. H. Stevens. 
E. T. Dillabaugh. M. B. Soule. W. B. Akins, 

A. P. Miller, Wellington Sherwood. John H. 
Johnson. I. N. Sater, M. E. Distad. H. "W 
Kimball. H. Davis. C. E. Tourtelotte. Z. 
Keller. A. P. Lyon. A. L. Perkins. B. s. 
T angdon, Otis Bigelow. W. Hodgkinson. I. 
.\llerton, Jas, McKirahan. John Alley. A. J. 
Willcox. D. S. Law. Benjamin R. Prince. C. 

B. Langdon, Stephen Miller. W. S. Langdon, 
R. D. Bagley. Daniel Shell. E. J. Bear, J. B. 
Haines. John V. Herzig. A. L. Clark. J. S. 
Goodnow. George. O. Moore. James Gibson, L. 
H. Farnham, R. D. Barber, D. Stone. C. B. 
T oveless. W. S. Storkd;'le. B. H. Crever, C. S. 
Newton. J. C. Clark. E. R. Humiston. Levi 
W. Chase. Benjamin F. Thurber, E. S. Terry. 

C. P. Hewitt. C. H. Stewart. R. F. Humiston. 
J. S. Shuck. J. P. Shaw. J. F. Humiston. A. 
C. Robinson. S. D. Sprague. H. M. McLean, P. 
A. Stoddard. C. P. Stough. Peter Thompson. 
T. L. Taylor, Hugh Kilpatrick. James Harden, 
John Ward, Benjamin Midboe, Chas. B. 

our citizens within our said township are op- 
posed to the granting of license for the sale 
of any kind of intoxicating liquors — either 
spiritous, vinus or malt — in our said town as 
a beverage. And whereas the statute authoriz- 
ing towns to vote on the question of license 
provides that such vote shall be taken at a 
general election. And whereas the next gen- 
eral election at which such vote can be 
taken will not be holden nntil November 5. 

We therefore petition your honorable board 
that they rescind the vote of the former 
board of eommisisoners so far as it affects 
the said town of Worthington, and that your 
honorable board refuse to grant licenses for 
the sale as a beverage of any kind of in- 
toxicating liquors within the limits of our 
said town of Worthington until after the next 
general election. 

Dated this .3r>th day of August. A. D.. isyi^' 

Attached to the petition was a memo- 
randuiji as follows: "Will Mr. Miller 
[county commissioner] please present 
this petition? Many more names could 
have been secured if there had been time 
to circulate it throughout tlie township. 
The wish is almost universal that no li- 
cense should be granted. I have asked 
but five to sign it who have refused. — R. 
F. H." 

At the same time the ladies of the vil- 
lage presented a petition of similar im- 
port^* with the following attached mem- 
orandum, evidently made by Prof. Hum- 
iston: "These are all from the village 
of Worthington, and there are other la- 
dies who would have signed the petition, 

Moore. C. L. Chandler. F. C. Ecker. A. J. 
Manley, E. B. Hull, J. E. Riley. Wm. M. 

=*Signed by Mrs. M. B. Soule. Mrs. Mary 
Herzig, Mrs. Harriett A. Lyon, Mrs. R. F. 
Humiston, Mrs. E. R. Humiston. Mrs. C. 
Davis, Mary H. Crever, Mrs. S. C. Crever. 
Mrs. L. J. Foster. Clara F. Moore, Sarah 
Humiston. Mrs. M Stone, Mrs. A. Taylor. 
Mrs. Daniel Shell. Mrs. H. M. Farnam. Miss 
Celia E. Farnam, Mrs. B. Morsdem. Almira 
Weaver. Jane Moore. Ann Miller, Mrs. Mar>' 
Chandler. Mrs. A. C. Robinson. Mrs. A. J. 
Manley. Mrs. A. S. Huff. Mrs. N. S. Roberts, 
Mrs. E. B. Akins. Mrs. A. Shuck. Mrs. M. D. 
Barber. Mrs L. H. McKirahan. Mrs. M. E. 
Bear. Emma Bear. Mrs. R. L. Langdon, Mrs. 

B. E. Parks. Mrs. Mary Shaw, Mrs. D. S. 
Law. Mrs. M. Stewart. Miss Mar>' Tangleson. 
Miss Susan B. Langdon, Mrs. Mahala Lang- 
don, Mrs. Olive Clark, Mrs. C. Stougle. Mrs. 

C. B. Loveless, Mrs. Mattie Johnson, Mrs. 
Mary E. Gould, Mrs, C. B. Davis. Mrs. Hattie 
H. Bigelow. 



but they were absent from home. Only malt liquors be granted to any person in 
two have declined to sign and they on the township of Worthington before the 
account of their husbands. — E. F. H." next general election." At the electioii 
This overwhelming sentiment on tin' in November only four votes were east 
part of the people of the village and in favor of the licensing of saloons. TIm 
township was not disregarded by tlie promises of the colony managers tn inn- 
commissioners, and at a meeting held vide a temperance town li;id liccn ful- 
September 3 they resolved "that no li- filled, 
cense for the sale of spiritous, vinus or 


WORTHINGTON— 18;3-1889. 

Worthington had come into existence 
under unique conditions. At the time 
ol its founding the surrounding country 
liad not been settled, nor was tliere any 
settlement until several months after the 
village made its ajjpearance. Such con- 
ditions were unusual, even in the early 
(lays, when town founding was an art. 
Other towns in southwestern Minnesota 
were built contemporary with the settle- 
ment of the country surrounding ; Worth- 
ington was builded on the promises of 
the National colony. That organization, 
which played such an important part in 
the early history of Nobles county and 
the town of Worthington, promised to 
bring large numbers of immigrants to 
its recently purchased lands, and tiie 
promises were amply fulfilled. During 
the year 1873 large numbers of home- 
seekers liad arrived at Worthington and 
taken claims in all parts of the county. 
'J'here was also a rapid settlement in 
Koek' county and farther out on thi.' 
frontier, in the Sioux Falls country. All 
that country was then tributary to 
Worthington. Owing to the favorable 
location of the village, from a railroad 
standpoint, Worthington was the supply 
point and grain shipping point for a vast 
stretch of country.^ 

Being the most convenient shipping 
point for this big country, Worthington 
advanced faster than its neighboring 
towns and faster than the needs of the 
immediate surrounding country demand- 
ed. In the summer of 1872, before tlie 
grain began pouring in from the out- 
laying districts, the advantages of the 
town, due to its location, were apparent. 
A writer in the first issue of the West- 
ern Advance, August 31, 1872, sized 
up the situation as follows : 

"Several warehouses, we learn, will 
soon be erected to accommodate the grain 
which is seeking this point for ship- 
ment. Worthington is the natural ship- 
ping port, if the term may be used, for 
Kock county, the Spirit Lake region and 
a portion of Jackson county. The Sioux 
Falls region, also, which now draws hnu- 
her and otlier supplies from here, should 
bring its grain here for shipment. By 
another year, therefore, we may expect 
to do a lieavy grain business. If the 
neighboring town of Windom shipped 
20,000 bushels last year, and will ship 
75,000 this year, which is the estimate 
of Windom merchants, we ought to do 
a large grain business next year. If the 
amount for one town reaches nearly 
100,000 bushels the first two years, what 

'"Worthington is the center of a large trade, tance of seventy or eighty miles from the 

and is destined to become a place of consider- west to market their grain, and to obtain 

able importance as an interior trading point. lumber and other supplies, Worthington be- 

Trade is now drawn from nine or ten of the ing their most convenient railroad point." — 

surrounding counties, and settlers come a dis- Minnesota Historical Atlas, 1874. 




may we not expect when all these lauds 
are under cultivation, as they will be in 
from five to ten years! We have the 
assurances o£ good judges of soil that 
ours is, of all soils, the soil for wheat. 
We anticipate, therefore, that in a few 
years the railroad will scarcely be able 
to transport the millions of bushels of 
grain which must flow into the ware- 
houses along the line of this road from 
Sioux City to St. Paul." 

The year 1873 opened auspiciously, 
and the prospects of the little village by 
lake Okabcna were bright. The colony 
company erected the Okabena flouring 
mill, at a cost of over $10,000, which 
had a capacity of manufacturing over 
100 barrels of flour a day. Its construc- 
tion proved to be one of the most im- 
portant events in the history of the town. 
It was the only flouring mill within a 
radius of many miles, and it did an im- 
mense business. It brought trade to 
Worthingtou that otherwise would not 
have come. From the Spirit Lake couu- 
try on the south, from Jackson county 
on the east, from Murray county on the 
north, and from IJock county and the 
Sioux Falls country on the wsst, came 
the golden grain to mill;- returning, the 
farmers would take with them lumber 
and supplies to their homes on the 
bleak prairies to the west. 

The year 187."^ was an important 
one in the history of Worthington be- 
cause of two events that took place. One 
was the incorporation of the village; the 
other the naming of the town as the 
county seat. 

A charter was granted the village by 
the legislature, the bill being approved 

'Pioneer settlers of Worthington tell me they 
have seen the roads to the west lined for 
miles with teams hauling grain to this mar- 

by the governor JIarch 8. All of section> 
23, 24, 25 and 26, of Worthington town- 
ship, were included in the limits of the 
town. It provided for the government 
of the city by a president of the council, 
a recorder (both of whom should be ex- 
od'icio trustees) and three trustees. Other 
elective officers provided for were a 
treasurer, an assessor, a justice of the 
peace and a constable. AU offices were 
to be one year terms, except justice of 
the peace and marshal, who were to serve 
two year terms. The charter named the 
third Tuesday in March of each year as 
the date for holding elections. The first 
election was to be held at Miller's hall 
on Tuesday, March 18, 1873, where at 
one o'clock the voters present should 
choose, viva voce, two judges of election 
and one clerk, who should conduct the 
election. Provision was made for voting 
at that election on the question of the 
acceptance or rejection of the charter. It 
forbade the granting of license for the 
sale of intoxicating liquors,' and provided 
tliat the act should go into efl"ect im- 
mediately upon its adoption by the 

The first election was held at Miller 
hall, in accordance with the provisions 
of the charter, on March 18, and the 
charter was adopted by a vote of 14 to 
2. Daniel Shell and S. D. Sprague 
were chosen to act as judges of the elec- 
tion, and C. C. Goodnow as clerk. Only 
sixteen votes were cast, the voters being 
M. H. Stevens, K. F. Humiston, S. D. 
Sprague, C. C. Goodnow, Daniel Shell, 
M. E. Distad, S. E. Chandler, C. B. 
Loveless, L. F. McLauriii, H. Davis, I. 
N. Safer, J. A. Town, John Humiston, 

^••No license for the sale of any wine, beer, 
or elder, or spiritous. intoxicating, aleoholic, 
vinous, fermented, malt or mixed Intoxicating 
liiiuors. liqiiid.s or drinks as a beverage shall 
be granted to any person within the corporate 
limits of said village." 



C. P. Hewitt, J. C. Craft and W. H. 

There was only one ticket in the field, 
and only two scattering votes were cast. 
Those who were elected and served the 
city during its first year of official ex- 
istence, with the votes cast, are as fol- 
lows : 

President— I. N. Safer, 13; H. C. 
Shepard, 1. 

Trustees— J. C. Craft, 16 ; B. S. Lang- 
don, 14; Pegg, 1; M. H. Stevens, 16. 

Kecorder — C. C. Gooduow, 16. 

Treasurer — Peter Thompson, IG. 

Assessor — Daniel Shell, 16. 

Justice — C. B. Loveless.* 

Marshal — Daniel Stone, 16.° 

Jluch difficulty was encountered in 
securing men to serve in the positions 
of the two appointive offices — street com- 
missioner and lire warden. A. S. Hus- 
Kelton was appointed street commissioner 
May 6; he did not qualify, and on May 
13 the office was declared vacant and L. 
F. McLaurin appointed. May 20 the 
appointment was reconsidered, and W. S. 
Stockdale was named. He resigned Sept. 
2, when C. B. Langdon received the ap- 
pointment and served the remainder of 
the term. Jonathan Ames was ap- 
pointed fire warden May 13, but a week 
later the action of the council was re- 
considered, and A. P. Chamberlain was 
named. The office was declared vacant 
Nov. 24, and C. B. Langdon, who had 
received the appointment of street com- 
missioner, was made fire warden, as well. 

The village council met for the first 
time on April 23, 1873, at the office of 
1. N. Safer. The charter was read, and 
then an adjournment was taken until 
April 26. There was no quorum at the 

meeting of April 26, and the next meet- 
ing was not held until Monday, the 28th. 
The first official act of the council was 
to pass an ordinance ordering a side- 
walk laid on the east side of Third ave- 
nue from Ninth street to Tenth street. 
The second ordinance of the village was 
passed at the same meeting. It pro- 
hibited "the use of firearms within the 
limits of the corporation in any manner 
whatever on Sunday." At a subsequent 
meeting (May 13) the ordinance was 
amended by adding "that the use of fire- 
arms upon the town plat is strictly pro- 
hibited." Thus the village of Worthiug- 
ton began its official existence. 

The county seat of Nobles county was 
temporarily located at Worthington by 
an act which passed the legislature and 
was approved March 6, 1873, which pro- 
vided for the removal from Graham 
Lakes township within si.vty days. The 
change was made in May, and Worthing- 
ton vins made happy over the event. By 
the action of the voters at the Novem- 
ber election the village was declared the 
permanent county seat. 

The boom times of the first two years 
of Worthington's history were not des- 
tined to continue. With the terrible 
grasshopper scourge, which devastated the 
country during the middle seventies, 
came a period of depression for Worth- 
ington. Business became dull, and the 
growth of the town was checked. Sev- 
eral business firms failed, and there was 
a general feeling of dejection. How- 
ever, Worthington suffered less severely 
than most of its neighbors. Being in a 
highly prosperous condition when the 
grasshoppers swooped down upon the 
country, and drawing its trade from a 

'The office of justice was declared vacant "The office of marshal was declared vacant 

Aug. 15, and B. N. Carrier was appointed to Aug. 15. to which Julius C. Goodnow was 

the office. He resigned Jan. 6. 1874, and L.. then appointed. 
B. Bennett received the appointment. 



larger area than the other towns of the 
vicinity, it withstood the awful calamity 
better than those less fortunately situ- 
ated. For the story of the grasshopper 
times the reader is referred to chapters 
five and six. 

A writer has described the town as it 
appeared to him in 1874: 

"It contains four hotels, a large pub- 
lic hall building, a large flouring mill, 
several grain warehouses, over twenty 
stores, two church buildings, and a num- 
ber of comfortable private dwellings. 
The principal buildings are the Okabena 
flouring mills, the Worthington hotel, 
Jliller hall, the Union Congregational 
church, and the Presbyterian church. 
Some of tlie lots are neatly fenced, and 
tlie principal streets are lined with young 
trees. The town has adopted the inde- 
pendent district plan, and has a good 
graded school. A seminary of learning, 
auxiliary to Hamline university, is lo- 
cated at Worthington, which is now, 
owing to the grasshopper visitation, tem- 
porarily suspended. The town contains 
three church organizations, viz. : Metlio- 

"An overestimate. 

'This building is now used as the freight 

"This office had been opened at Brownsville, 
on the Mississippi river, in 1S54, with Messrs. 
McKlnna and Welsh in charge. In 1856 it 
was moved to Chatfield, and in 1S61 to Win- 
nebago City. When the last named change 
was made Mr. Holle.v was receiver and Mr. 
ISullis register. In 1SC9 the office was moved 
to Jackson, and E. P. Freeman went in as 
register, and J. B. Wakefield as receiver. 
After tlie colony immigrants began to arrive, 
the bulk of the business was in the west end 
of the district and Nobles county settlers ex- 
perienced much Inconvenience in making their 
trips overland to transact their business be- 
fore the land office. It was not until the 
spring of 1874, however, that the government 
took action to have the office moved to 

Soon after the remowal Mr. Fi'ceman re- 
tired as register. Ho was succeeded by Dr. 
Leonard, of the Rochester Post, who took the 
ofriee and filled it for a lime. The latter's 
appointment was not confirmed, and Captain 
Mons Grlnager became register In August, 

1574. He resigned June 1, ISSfl, having hold 
I he office nearly twelve years. In January. 

1575. J. P. Moulton took the place of Mr. 
Wakefield as receiver, and held it until June, 
1881. C. H. Smith was the next receiver, 

dist, Presbyterian and Union Congrega- 
tional; a Masonic lodge, a post of the 
Grand Army, a public library, and a 
good newspaper. The population of the 
town is between 600 and 800."" 

The year 1874 passed without impor- 
tant events. A new depot was built by 
the railroad company in the sumiuer, 
which was said to have been the finest 
and largest on the line between St. Paul 
and Siou.x City.' The land ofl'ice was 
moved to Worthington from Jackson in 
the spring of the year, which event added 
somewiiat to the importance of the 

There was only one contest for vil- 
lage olfice at the election in the spring 
of 18(4, and the event was a tjuiet one. 
Thirty-tliree votes" were cast, with the 
following , result, scattering votes not be- 
ing given: 

President— J. C. Craft, 31. 

Trustees — Horace L. Lackor, 33; Otis 
Bigelow, 33 ; Jonathan Ames, 29. 

Becorder — Chas. C. Goodnow, 20 ; Bos- 
ton N. Carrier, 13. 

Treasurer — Peter Thompson, 32. 

occupying the office until Sept. 1, 1885, when 
August Peterson, of Albert Lea, took the 
office. He held it until after the removal 
from Worthington. C. P. Shepard succeeded 
Captain Crinagor as register in June, 1886, 
and held the ijosition while the office was lo- 
cated in Worthington. 

The land office at Worthington was closed 
Feb, 2S, 1,SS9, there having been a consoli- 
dation among the offices in Minnesota. Those 
at Benson, Worthington and Redwood Falls 
were discontinued and the papers turned 
over to the office at Tracy. The Tracy of- 
fice was then mo\'ed to Marshall. The land 
office was under democratic management from 
1S54 to 1861; the republieans were in charge 
from ISGl to ISS."). Then each party had one 
official In the office until ISSG, when Mr. 
Shepard took office; thereafter it was demo- 

"The voters were L. F. Mcl.aurln, William 
II. Wilmarth, Peter Thompson, Henry Davis, 
J. D. Tarbut, C. B. I.angdon, H. J. Grant, 
Morgan M. Jenkins. David Bennett, Julius 
C. Goodnow, Otis Bigelow, Julius A. Town, 
Akin Miner, S. D. Sprague, J. C. Craft, B. 
M. Hennetl, Jonathan Ames, Datus Stevens, 
J. l.ondy, Chas. C. Goodnow, L. B. Bennett. 
J. Moll. Liberty Bowen, Thos. Crever, W. R. 
netuiett, Peter Walpole, Horace L. Lackor 
Wm. Carroll. Boston N. Carrier, R. Ander- 
son, D. K. Williams, P. Qulnlin and John 
H. Johnson. 



^lLOf.^ f ovNo 

z. C 

o ^ 


(t < 

C _ 

2. O 



Justice — L. B. Bennett, 33. 

Assessor — Alcin Miner, 33. 

Constable — Morgan M. Jenkins,'" 

Wortliington's first census was taken 
in 1875. Tiie population, according to 
the figures of the assessor, was 419. Al- 
though then in tlie midst of the grass- 
hopper scourge and resulting hard times, 
from a business standpoint the town was 
fairly jjrosperous, due almost entirely to 
the fact that its trade territory was so 
large. Following is the wheat receipts 
for the year 1875: 

Buyer Before Harvest After Harvest 

Okabena Mills 12,479 bus. 1 14,000 bus. 

Bennett & Stone... 21,000 bus. 

Peter Thompson ... 4,929 bus. 32,216 bus. 

Henry Davis 3,Z00 bus. J5,70o bus. 

Totals 20,608 bus. 182,920 bus. 

Grand total, 203,528 bushels. 

The lumber and fuel business was 
also large. Bennett & Stone received 
127 cars of lumber after opening their 
yard in August, and I. N. Safer received 
a somewhat smaller amount. H. J. Grant 
shipped in and sold 288 cars of wood, I. 
N. Sater about the same amount, and E. 
S. Mills a small shipment. The two 
leading dealers each shipped in about 
180 tons of coal. 

There were no contests for any of the 
village offices in 1875, and only 30 
votes were cast. A violent storm raged 
"11 election day, which accounted in a 
measure for the smallness of the number, 
it being alleged that there were 100 vot- 
ers in the village. The result: 

President — Albert C. Eobinson, ' 30. 

Trustees — Isaac N. Sater, 29 ; Clias. 
B. Loveless, 28; Daniel Shell, 29. 

"The office was declared vacant Oct. 27. 
1874. and J. C. Goodnow was appointed to 
complete the term. 

".Appointive ofticers under this administra- 
tion were Akin Miner, street commission; r, 
and C, B. Langdon. fire warden, who were 
appointed April 9, 1874. 

Eeeorder — C. C. Goodnow, 29. 

Treasurer — Henry D. Humiston, 30. 

Assessor — Henry J. Grant, 30. 

Constable — J. C. Goodnow, 29.^^ 

The year 1876 was another quiet one, 
because of apprehension of another grass- 
hopper visitation. However, there was 
some building done in the village, the 
principal items being the following: 

\V. li. Bennett, residence $4,000 

II. J. Ludlow, residence 2,U00 

K. R. Jliller, residence 1,000 

H. E. Torrance, itore building, two 

stories, 32x40 1,200 

Otis Bigelow, store building, 20x40 1,000 

The election that year was the most 
exciting one yet held, and 9G votes were 
polled. There was some dissatisfaction 
with the result of the Peoples" caucus, 
and Ojjposition candidates for trustees 
were placed in nomination by another 
caucus. The contest was a spirited one, 
and was won by the regular Peoples' 
ticket. The result : 

President — Peter Thompson, 96. 

Trustees — Elihu Smith, 44; Daniel 
Shell, 90; C. Z. Sutton, 53; A. C. 
Kobinson, 22; I. N. Sater, 18; C. B. 
Loveless, 33; J. Craft, 34. 

Eeeorder — B. N. Carrier, 96. 

Treasurer — H. D. Humiston, 92. 

Assessor — W. S. Stockdale, 94. 

Justice — L. B. Bennett, 96. 

Constable — J. C. Goodnow, 82 ; ,'V. M. 
Carroll, 14." 

Probably every vote in the village was 
polled on March 20, 1877, when 98 votes 
were brought out as a result of a contest 
between I. N. Sater and W. E. Bennett 
for trustee. Mr. Sater was the caucus 

'^.Appointive otlicers who served during the 
term, and dates of appointment.": March 31, 1875. 
S. E. Chandler, street commissioner and fire 
warden: Oct. S, 1875. .\. Miner, assistant street 
commissioner; Oct. 8. 1S75. Frank H. Wells, 
city marshal, 

"Appointive officers: -April 6, C, B. Lang- 
don. street commissioner and fire warden; 
July 6, H. McMillen, night policeman. 



nominee, aud Mr. Bunnett, who ran in- 
dependent, was elected. For the other 
oft'iees there were no contests. Follow- 
iiig is the vote of that year: 

President — Peter Thompson, 98. 

Trustees — C I'. I-ovcless, 94; Daniel 
Shell, 91; W. II. I'.eunett, 62; 1. N. 
Sater, 38. 

Recorder— C. C. Lucky," 96. 

Treasurer — H. E. Torrance, 97. 

Assessor — A. C. Robinson, 96. 

Justice — Leroy Cole,'° 92. 

Constable— Wm. M. Carroll,'" 9G.'' 

I'ltiiaately, the building of tlie branch 
railroad westward from Worthington re- 
sulted in the cutting oil" of a large ter- 
ritory which had formerly relied upon 
Worthington for its market. But at 
the time it added much to the town's 
prosperity. Worthington was the gate- 
way through which all the settlement of 
the western country must come, and it 
was the chief supply point of the new 
settlers. The saving of the crop in 1ST7 
brought large numbers to the country in 
1878, and this immigration passing 
through Worthington made the little 
town lively.'* Considerable building was 
done during the year, including the first 
brick block. This was located at the 
corner of Tenth street and Second ave- 
nue (now known as Masonic block), and 
was put up during the summer by Ben- 
nett & Grisscll. Times became dull again 
during the fall bocausc of the failure of 
crops from another grasshopper visita- 

"Resigned Apiil 28. 1877. Geo. J. Day ap- 
pointed May 4, 1877. 

"Resigned March 18, 1878. when liP became 
a candiilate for the office of recorder. Jus- 
tices of tlie i)eace were elected for two year.s. 
B. N. Carrier was appointed Nov. 1, 1878. to 
complete the term. 

'"Resigned Aug. 21. 1877. Chas. Chase was 
then appointed. 

"Appointive officers: March 28, 1877, A. 
Miner, street commissioner and fire warflen; 
July 2, 1S77, IF. McMllliin. nighi policeman. 

t ion, and there were a number of busi- 
ness failures during the winter. 

Worthington's first fire came on Tues- 
day morning, Aug. 6, 1878, wlieu Jliller 
hall, one of tlie iii'st buildings erected 
in Worthington, was burned to the 
ground, causing a loss oi between $8,000 
and $10,000. The fire was undoubtedly 
of incendiary origin, but the perpetrators 
were never discovered. The fire started 
at about six o'clock. Not a breath of 
air was stirring, but neither was there 
any fire protection to speak of. Al- 
though the whole village turned out and 
fought the flames, within three-quarters 
of an hour after the blaze was discovered, 
the hall was a heap of blazing and smok- 
ing ruins. 

Owing to the fact there was no uiml 
the flames were confined to the hall, and 
nearby buildings were saved. For a time 
it looked as though the town was doom- 
ed,'" but when the last wall fell it fell 
inward, thus assuring the safety of the 
town. When the last wall fell the crowd 
sent up a ringing cheer. The building 
was the property of J. T. Hite and John 
P. Henry at the time of the fire. It 
had cost about $7,000, and was covered 
by only $1,000 insurance. Otlier losses 
were the Worthington Journal plant, $3,- 
000 or $4,000, covered by $2,500 insur- 
ance; and the library of Rev. J. C. Ogle, 
valued at $800 to $l-,000. 

One Inindrcd one votes wore cast at 
the election in tlio spring of 1878. There 

•"■•The rush for "the soil of the river bot- 
toms" continues. The trains are loaded every 
night, and our hotels are unable to furnish 
accommodations for the people. The hotel 
offices and iiarlor.i are called into service, and 
the depot affords shelter to numbers nearly 
every night. Send them along. All the region 
to the west of us lies out of doors, and Uncle 
Sam is rich enough to give us all a home." — 
Worthington Advance, March 7, 1878. 

""Had there been anything like a stiff 
prairie breeze blowing, no human effort could 
have prevented W'oriiiington from being laid 
in ashes." — Worthington .\dvance, Aug. 8, 



was no party contest, but several inde- 
pendent candidates appeared in the field. 
With the exception of the nominee for 
constable all the caucus nominees were 
elected. The vote: 

President — A. C. Eobinson, 50; C. B. 
Loveless, 44. 

Trustees— M. B. Soule, 80; J. Craft, 
94; L. E. Eimball, 82. 

Eecorder — Leroy Cole, 53; E. F. 
Baker, 41. 

Assessor — H. D. Huiniston, 96. 

Treasurer—H. E. Torrance, G8; D. S. 
Law, 33. 

Justice — L. B. Bennett, 64; B. N. 
Carrier, 34. 

Constable — Clias. Chase, 53 ; J. A. 
Town, 48.=" 

In 1879 there was another increase 
in the vote polled, the number reaching 
128. There was little excitement at the 
election and no organized opposition to 
the caucus nominations. There were 
fourteen scattering votes cast for the 
several offices which do not show on 
the following table : 

President— Daniel Shell, 124. 

Trustees— M. S. Twitchell, 121; John 
McMillen, 127; Azom Forbes, 98; Jos. 
Lowe, 28. 

Eecorder — N. A. Barlow, 125. 

Treasurer — H. E. Torrance, 126. 

Assessor — H. D. Huiniston, 123. 

Justice — H. D. Humiston, 103 ; Wm. 
Carroll, 21.=^ 

According to tlie federal census of 
1880 the population of Worthington was 

^"Appointive officers: H. D. Humiston. 
street commissioner and fire warden, appointed 
March 25. 1878; H. McMiUan, night policeman, 
appointed June 14, 1878. 

^Constable had been made two year term 
office. Appointive officers: March 29, E. C. 
Pannell, street commissioner and fire warden. 

''The populations of other towns in the vi- 
cinity were as follows: Windom, 443; Fair- 
mont, 541; Pipestone, 222; St, James, 434; 
Jackson. 501; Luverne, 697; Madelia, 489; Heron 
Lake, 226. 

636, a gain of 227 during five years. Al- 
tliough small, it ranked second among 
the towns of southwestern Minnesota.^^ 
The election of that year was not excit- 
ing, and there were no contests. The to- 
tal vote was 141. The question of licens- 
ing billiard rooms was submitted to the 
voters, and by a vote of 51 to 57 it was de- 
cided that such license should not be 
granted. The vote, not including 11 
scattering votes : 

President — Daniel Shell, 134. 

Trustees— M. S. Twitchell, 125; J. 
AIcMillen, 81 ; Azom Forbes, 80. 

Eecorder— N. A. Barlow,== 89. 

Treasurer — H. E. Torrance, 94. 

Assessor — B. W. Lyon, 120. 

Justice — A. C. Eobinson,^* 72. 

Constable— Frank Wells,^" 75.=» 

For several years during the late sev- 
enties and early eighties Worthington 
was divided into two factions because of 
the temperance question. There was con- 
tinual wrangling. Several arrests were 
made and prosecutions pushed against 
those who sold liquor in the town. Cider 
was placed under the ban, and there 
were several prosecutions for violations 
of the law forbidding the sale of that 
drink. One faction insisted that the 
other was fanatical in its temperance be- 
liefs; the temperance people insisted 
on the enforcement of the law against all 
offenders. Two parties came into e.\- 
istence which fought for the control of 
tlie village government at the polls. Each 
party put tickets in the field, and the 

="Resig-ned May 28, 1880, and R. B. Plotts 
appointed May 29. 

^'Resigned June 19, 1880. J. S. McManus 
appointed Feb. 5, 1881. 

=^Resigned Dec. 7, 1880. C. T. Shattuc ap- 

^"'Appointive officers: April 3, 1880, E. C. 
Pannell, street commissioner; Oct. 2, 1880, H, 
McMillen. night policeman. 



contest at the ISSl election .was very 
close and exciting. This was the begin- 
ning of the parties, later known as '"li- 
cense" and "against license," which have 
contended for supremacy ever since. 
Those who favored the more liberal pol- 
icy were successful at the polls, winning 
out by a narrow margin. In the follow- 
ing table of the vote the first named were 
the nominees of the "liberal" party; the 
second those of the temperance party. 
The total vote was 111: 

President — Daniel Shell, 78; Peter 
Thompson, 63. 

Trustees— M. 3. Twitchell, 74; J. 
ilcMillcn, 74; Azom Forbes, 75; R. F. 
J'.aker, (!7; H. B. Wisuer, 63; C. B. 
Loveless, 66. 

Kecorder— K. !'.. I'lotts, 76; E. F. 
Buchan, 64. 

Treasurer — IT. E. Torrance, 141. 

Assessor — Aiken Miner, 76 ; B. W. 
Lyon, 64. 

Justice^"— L. B. Bennett,^* 72; II. D. 
Ilumiston, 64; .1. A. Town, 64.=° 

One of the most prosperous years in 
the history of WorUiington was 1882. 
Several new business blocks and resi- 
dences were erected, new business enter- 
prises were started, and the town en- 
joyed a small boom. This activity was 
due, in part, to the construction of the 
('edar Bapids, Iowa Falls & Northwest- 

"H. D. Humistoii wiis nominated for ,a Iwo 
year term and J. A. Town for a one year 
term. The canvassini? board, after looking 
up the law. determined that the law did not 
provide for the election of a Justice of the 
pence for a one year term. The Ijoard threw 
out the voles of both Mr. Humlston and 
Mr. Town, except three for the latter, which 
had been voted on a scratched ticket. 

="Kesl&ned Jan. G, 1882. Fred Bloom ap- 

""Appointive officers: April 111. 1S81. Aiken 
Miner, street commissioner; May 14, 1882, 
Jidin Uahlstrom. night policeman; Aug. 27, 
1882. 1-1. McMilleii, nlKht policeman, John 
Dahlslrom havinR reslRned. 

"Stock In the railroad company was pur- 
chased with the money so voted, and the 
stock Is still held by the village. 

ern railroad into the village from the 
south, and in part to the prosperous 
times in the country at large. At a spec- 
ial election, held June 17, it was de- 
cided, by a vote of 145 to 2, to issue 
bonds to the amount of $6,300, to aid 
in building the road.^° When trains be- 
gan running into the town in the fall 
there was gi-eat rejoicing, and tlie pre- 
diction was freely made that Worthing- 
ton was to become a great railroad cen- 

Out of a total of 240 registered votes, 
189 were cast, the largest in the town's 
history up to that time. Although the 
two parties were again lined up for bat- 
tie, the election was not exceptionally ex- 
citing. The vote: 

President— C. li. Smith, 98; C. B. 
Loveless, 87. 

Trustees— H. E. Torrance, 113; 0. G. 
Grundsten, 108; Emery Clarke, 110; J. 
n. Johnson, 72; B. F. Thurbcr, 77; W. 
W. Herron, 72. 

Recorder— K. B. Plotts, 113; E. F. 
Buchan, 74. 

Treasurer— R. F. Baker, 186. 

Assessor — Aiken Miner, 113; H. D. 
Ilumiston, 76. 

Justice — J. S. McMaiius, 115. 

Constable — Josiah T. Lyons, 111 ; 
Frank Wells, 74.'= 

The prosperous times, which had be- 

•■"Prinled matter on the back of letter heads, 
endorsed by the WorUiington board of trade, 
referred to WorthiiiKlon as "the Elgin of 
Minnesota," slated that it now had three rail- 
roads and that five more were on the way. I 
(|Uote from the advertisement: "The C. St. 
P. M. & O., the B. C. R. & K. and the \V. & 
S. F. railroads run daily trains to Worthington. 
The B. C. R. & N. extension north to Join the 
Fargo Southwestern is in progress. Tlie "Wa- 
bash through Worthington to Bismark is 
proieeted. The Spencer branch of the C M. 
& St. P. road, now built to Spirit Lake, is 
bearing toward Worthington. A branch of the 
C. & N. W. east to Elmore is also projected. 
A branch of the B. C. R. & N'. to Deadwood. 
Dakota. Is in contemplation." 

»=H. McMlllen served as night policeman, re- 
ceiving the appointment May 18. 



gun in 1882^ continued during 1883. On 
April 25 a board of trade was organized, 
which was quite active in advertising the 
town and in bringing new business en- 
terprises to the village. The officers of 
the board were: President^ Geo. D. 
Dayton; vice president, J. S. McManus; 
secretary, W. A. Peterson ; treasurer, Geo. 
J. Day.^' The building operations for 
the year amounted to about .$40,000. In- 
cluded in this were three brick business 
blocks — the Masonic building, the Henry 
Davis store building, and the Singer 

Tliose favoring the licensing of saloons 
in Wortlungton were able to bring about 
an amendment to the charter in 1883 
which put the village under local op- 
tion. A bill was introduced in the leg- 
islature early in the session by Senator 
Crosby. It provided for the repeal of 
the temperance clause in the charter and 
placed the control of the sale of intoxi- 
cating liquors with the village council. 
Later the bill was amended and was 
made to provide that the matter of li- 
cense or no license should be decided by 
the voters at the annual elections. The 
temperance people at once circulated and 
presented a petition to the legislature, 
asking that the charter be left as it 
was. Friends of the repeal of the tem- 
perance clause also presented a petition, 
asking that the bill be passed. The bill 
passed and became a law Feb. 26 upon 
receiving the si.gnature of the governor. 
Worthington was placed under local op- 
tion law, and each vear since that date 

the question of license or no license has 
been fought out at the polls. 

Naturally the first election under the 
new law created considerable interest. 
The two parties went to work with a 
will — one party to continue the town 
under the prohibition feature and the 
other to bring about the licensing of 
saloons. By the decisive vote of 114 to 
62 the people decided to license saloons 
in the village for the ensuing year. 
There were only two contests for vil- 
lage offices, the two factions devoting 
their energies to the license question and 
not to the election of candidates. The 
total vote cast was 180. Following is 
the result, a few scattering votes for 
various candidates not being given: 

For license, 114; against license, 62. 

President— C. H. Smith, 130; T. H. 
Parsons, 60, 

Trustees— H. E. Torrance, 171; Otis 
Bigelow, 176; 0. G. Gnmdsten, 168. 

Recorder— E. B. Plotts, 170. 

Treasurer— R. F. Baker, 179. 

Assessor — Aiken Miner, 177. 

Justice— Fred Bloom,=* 93; f. B. 
Langdon, 82.^= 

The year 1884 was another prosper- 
ous one in Worthington. although verv 
little building was done. The issue be- 
tween the license and against license 
forces was sharply defined in the cam- of that year. Both parties had 
tickets in the field, and considerable cam- 
paigning was done before the election. 
Two hundred nineteen votes were cast, 
bv far the largest in the town's historv. 

^Ofher memhprs of the nreanizntinn were T. 
J. Simnson. Mons Grinasrpr. .Azorn "Forbes. 
Frank T. Knstman. K. C Shenard H. E Tor- 
ranee, C V. Shenarrl. Geo O Monro. TT. ,T. 
T.udlow. Frank 'Lewis S. V WveVoff. r. H. 
Smith. r>ias. Chase, 'naniel Shell. H. H. Hart. 
■R. P Miller, A. S. Hiisseltnn. L. B. Bennett. 
X\'. F. Thaver. Geo. W. Wilson. J. C. Robin- 
son. E. S. Mills. B. F. Thnrber, Geo M. 
Plumb, T.. H. Beckley. G. C. Hagman. C. E. 

Peabody. Fred BTnom. R. J. W. Bloom. R. B. 
Plotts. A. P. Miller. J. H. Johnson. 

"Resigned Jan. 3, 1884. I. P. Durfee ap- 

'"Appointive officers: April 5. B. F. Thur- 
ber. street commissioner: April i?i. B. F. 
Thurber. fire warden: May 23, Frank H. 
Wells, night policeman. 



Tlic license party elected every member 
of its ticket. The result: 

For license, 119; against license, 98. 

President— Geo. W. Wilson (for"), 
1-M : C. B. Loveless (ag), 97. 

Trustees— H. E. Torrance (for), 123; 
H. C. Shepard (for), 1S8; Burr W. 
Lyon (for), 119; A. S. Mitchell (ag), 
96; A. 0. Lofstedt (ag), 93; Geo. 0. 
Moore (ag), 9.5. 

Recorder— E. B. Plotts (for), 123; 
Geo. M. Plumb (ag), 93. 

Treasurer- R. F. Baker, 219. 

.\ssessor — 0. G. Gruudstcn (for), 123; 
W. W. Herron (ag), 95. 

Justice — Jonathan Gordon (for), 121; 
C. B. Langdon (ag), 98. 

Constable— R. E. Covey (for), 121; 
A. S. Husselton (ag), 97." 

The census of 1885 gave Wortlnngton 
a population of 997, a gain of 361 dur- 
ing the preceding five years, and of 
588 in ten years. 

There was a sliglit falling off in the 
vote of that year, only 201 ballots being 
east. The two parties again lined up 
for the fray, and again was the license 
party successful, carrying the mooted 
license question by a inajority of 40 and 
electing all its nominees by slightly larg- 
er majorities. The vote: 

For license, 119; against license, 79. 

President— Daniel Shell (for), 127; 
C. B. Ivoveless (ag), 66. 

Trustees— H. C. Shepard (for). 124; 
Azom Forbes (for), 128; S. S. Hewitt 
(for), 127; 11. H. Anderson (ag), 71; 
S. Kindlund (ag), 68; J. F. TTumis- 
ton (ag), 74. 

Recorder— R. B. Plotts (for), 120; 

""In slvlne the rpsiilt of this, ^ulrt succeed- 
ing electlorrs. I hiive labeled the nominees ot 
the license party ffor). and the nominee.s of 
the against license party (agl. Those who 
were on both tickets or hnd no opposition are 
not labeled. Party lines were not always 
clearly defined, especially for minor offices, 
and occasionally names of persons have ap- 

E. F. Buohan (ag), 79. 

Treasurer— R. F. Baker, 201. 

Assessor — 0. G. Grundsten (for), 119; 
C. W. Hildreth (ag), 79. 

Justice— L P. Durfee (for), 120; T. 
L. Taylor (ag), 79.'« 

Wortlnngton was very prosperous in 
188G. The building improvements for 
tlie year amounted to about $40,000, in- 
cluded in the list being the Bank of 
Worthington building, erected at a cost 
of $15,000 to $20,000; the Catholic 
church, depot, and many residences. 
Over 600 cars of freight were received 
and between 500 and 600 were ship- 
ped. Of these about 400 cars wore of 
bay, 82 flax and 40 livestock. 

The annual village election disclosed 
tlie fact that the temperance people had 
made gains. License was voted by only 
12 majority, and the majorities of the 
license nominees were cut down to an 
average of 27. Two hundred eleven 
votes were east. The result: 

For license, 107; against license, 95. 

President— Daniel Shell (for). 121; 
Azom Forbes (ag), 89. 

Trustees— n. C. Shepard (for), 119; 
S. S. Kewilt (for), 122: Frank Glas- 
gow (for), 121; J. W. Lewis (ag), 93: 
J. E. Hammerberg (ag), 91; T. 1.. 
Taylor (ag), 89. 

Recorder— R. B. Ploits (for). 119: 
E. F. Buchan (ag), 92. 

Treasurer— R. F. Baker (for), 120; 
Geo. 0. Moore (ag), 91. 

Assessor — 0. G. Grundsten (for). 121: 
Frank Lewis (ag), 88. 

Justice — Jonathan Gonlnn (for). 118; 
C. T. Pope (ag). 92. 

pearcd un tlu- tickets whose beliefs were not 
with the party nominating them. 

•■"Appointive officer.s: R. E. Covey, street 
commis.sioner; Frank Wells, night policeman. 

■'"■Appointive officers: S. M. Smith, night 
policeman; R. F. Thnrber. street commis- 




Constable— J. E. Wells (for), 120; A. 
S. Hnsselton (ag),. 91.=" 

The building improvements during 
1887 were not very extensive. Quite 
a number of dwelling houses were erect- 
ed, but the business part of town evi- 
denced little improvement. Times were 
fairly prosperous, however. 

There was a slight change in village 
politics in 1887. There were two tick- 
ets in the field, one put in nomination 
by the license party, the other nominated 
at a general caucus, participated in large- 
ly by the anti-license element. Two 
hundred forty-five votes were cast. Li- 
cense was carried by Gl majority, and 
the license ticket was elected. The vote: 

For license, 151; against license, 90. 

President— H. C. Shepard (for), 147; 
Peter Tliompson (gen"), 96. 

Tnistcer — Frank Glasgow, 243 ; Chas. 
L. Peterson, 241: S. McLean (tof;)', 
154; S. V. WyckofE (gen), 93. '>V; 

Recorder — Frank Lewis, 241. 

Treasurer— C. W. Smith (for), 14fi ;, 
I?. P. Baker (gen), 100. 

Assessor — 0. G. Grundsten (for), 1J6; 
S. Kindhmd (gen), 102. 

Justice— E. B. Hall, 244. 

Constable— W. I. Humiston (for), 
142; A. S. Husselton (gen), 102." 

In 1888, for the first time since lo- 
cal option went into effect, the anti-li- 
cense party was successful, defeating li- 
cense by 12 majority. The result came 
as a surprise to many people, as license 
■bnd carried the year before by 61. The 
vote for village officers was close, the 

^'Appointive officers: B. F. Thurber. street 
commissioner; S. M. Smith, night policeman, 
.succeeded by B. W. Lvnn. who was appointed 
Feb. 19, 18S7. 

"Nominated at the general caucus. 

"By resolution of March IS, 1887, the office 
of city attorney was created, and J. A, Tow!i 
was appointed to the office April 6. Other 
appointive officers; B, W. Lyon, nfght police- 
man; B. F. Thurber, street commissioner. 

license party capturing the majority of 
the offices. Two hundred fifty-two votes 
were cast. The result in detail : 

For license, 112 ; against license, 124, 

President— C, H. Smith (for), 120; 
J, W, Crigler (ag),'l22. 

Trustees— E, P, Humiston, 233; 
Frank Glasgow (for), 127; S, McLean 
(for), 117: S, Kindlund (ag), 124; E, 
S, Mills (ag), 122; C. L, Peterson," 20, 

Recorder — Frank Lewis, 231. 

Treasurer— C. W. Smith (for), 127; 
John Humiston (ag), 125. 
"Assessor — 0, G, Grundsten (for), 142; 
J, W, Lewis (ag), 107, 

Justice*^ — Jonathan Gordon (for), 
126; C, T, Shattuc (ag), 126," 

Again was the license question decid- 
ed in the negative in 1889, this time by 
a reduced majority of 6. While the 
.tickets- -ift- -the- field were tlie usual li- 
cense- . 'aS(f.\ "against license, they were 
Ifbeiefl ""¥6^pectively citizens and inde- 
pendent. The former elected all officers 
e.\cep_t'' .the nominee for treasurer. Two 
hundred eighty-six votes were cast. The 

For license, 138 ; against license, 144. 

President— Daniel Shell (for), 155; 
(', P, Shepard (ag), 129, 

Trustees- — Frank Glasgow (for), 160; 
Chas, W, Smith (for), 157; C, J, Sam- 
nelson (for), 154: E, S. Mills, (ag), 
124; W. H, Gilbert (ag). 130; August 
Falk (ag), 129, 

Recorder — Frank Lewis (I'nr), 152; 
M, P, Mann (ag), 132, 

"Mr, Peterson Had been nominated by the 
license caucus, but declined to make the race. 
E. R. Humiston. who hr^d been nominated at 
the against license caucus, was then placed on 
the license ticket -n his place. Twenty votes 
were vast for Mr. Peterson, despite the tact 
that he refused to be a candidate. 

*'C. W. Hildreth was appointed Justice on 
June 6. 1888, for a two year term. 

■".Vppointive officers: J. A. Town, city at- 
torney; B. F. Thurber. street commissioner: 
B. W. Lyon, night poUceman. 



Treasurer — F. L. Ilumiston (for), 
139; A. L. Johnson (ag), 147. 
Assessor— C. W. Hildreth, 253. 

"Jonathan Gordon appointed Justice Aug. 9. 
18S9, to mi an unexpired term. 

"Served one year and resigned March 15. 
1S90. His successor was chosen at the election 

.Fustice"— Wui. M. Boar, 255. 
Constable — W. I.. TTumiston.'" 

of 1890. Appointive officers: J. A. Town, 
city attorney; B. F. Thurber. street commis- 
sioner; Chas. A. Covey, night policeman; 
August Strom, police officer. 



WOETHINGTON— 1890-1908. 

The growth of Worthington during 
its early history was slow but continuous. 
At the annual elections each year a larg- 
er vote was polled than on the pre- 
vious year. Every five years the census 
showed an increase in population. In 
1875 the population had been 419;. in 
1880, 63G; in 1885, 997. When the 
census of 1890 was taken the number 
of inhabitants had increased to 1,164, a 
gain of 167 over that of five years pre- 
vious and 528 over that of ten years be- 
fore. From the time of the grasshopper 
visitation the village had been prosper- 
ous. From 1880 to 1890 there had been 
no boom, but a substantial gain in all 
branches of business was noticed. The 
town had advanced from a frontier vil- 
lage of the shack and shanty period to 
a well built, handsome and prosperous 

Three hundred six votes were cast at 
the annual election of 1890. Sen+imen'^ 
had turned back to the license idea of 
regulating the liquor traffic, and rho li- 
cense party carried the day by 33 majcr- 
ity. That party also elected its villagf; 
ticket. The vote: 

For license, 164; against license. 131. 

President— Daniel Shell (for), 163; 
C. P. Shepard (ag), 138. 

'Jonathan Gordon was appointed justice on 
Nov. 19. 1890, to complete a short unexpired 

Trusli-es — Frank Glasgow (for), Do; 
C. J. Samuclson (for), 156; C. \V. 
Smitli (for), 163; J. W. Crigler yag), 
131; Gust Swanberg (ag), 136; Frank 
Jlansberger (ag), 139. 

Recorder — Frank Lewis (for), 157; 
M. A. Nichols (ag), 143. 

Treasurer — A. L. Johnson, 282. 

Assessor— J. A. Town (for), 157; C. 
W. Hildreth (ag), 141. 

Justice'— L. B. Bennett (for), 163; C. 
W. Hildreth (ag\. 136. 

Constable — David Anderson, 300." 

A system of water works was installed 
by the city in 1891. The question of 
issuing bonds to the amount of $15,000 
for the purpose was decided in the af- 
firmative by a vote of 237 to 52 at the 
annual election in March. The contract 
fiT putting in the system was let to 
Harrison & Hawley on June 10, 1891, 
on a bid of $14,700, and the system was 
completed late in the year. "R. B. Plotts 
was inspector of construction. The total 
cost of the plant and system was $17,- 

The license party was victorious at 
the polls again in 1891, carrying the 
day by 7 majority. Three hundred nine 
votes were polled. The vote: 

For license, 150; against license, 143. 

^Appointive officers same as preceding year. 
"Recorder's annual report. March 21. 1893. 





President— Daniel Shell (for), If.S; 
C. P. Shepard (ag), 138. 

Trustees — Frank Glasgow (for), 164; 
J. P. Moulton (for). 170; Aug. Falk 
(for), 158; 0. G. Gnindsten (ag), 144; 
R. S. Hurd (ag),,; M. .\. ATichols 
(ag), 143. 

Recorder — Frnnk Lewis (for), 100; 
E. F. Biichan (ag), 142. 

Treasurer — A. L. Johnson, 307. 

Assessor— E. W. Goff (for), 157; L. 
B. Bennett (ag), 151. 

Justice (one year) — C. W. Hildreth 
(for). 153; Jonathan Gordon (ag), 143. 

Justice (two years) — W. M. Bear* 
(for). IfiO: L. B. Bennett (ag). 144. 

Constable— H. W. Fuqua (for), 151; 
B. G. Lagrange (ag), 147." 

One of the most progressive Tears in 
the town's history was 1892. Nobles 
county's land values were rising, real es- 
tate transfers were numerous, and set- 
tlers came into the country by hun- 
dreds. The population of the village in- 
crea.sed wondcrfnlly, and many new 
business enterprises were started. So 
great was the influx of settlers that resi- 
dence houses became scarce, and the 
town could not take care of all that 
came. Every available living room in 
the city was ntilized.' The sound of the 
hammer, the rush of the plane and the 
grind of the saw were beard in the 
streets, and new structures went up in 
all directions. The improvements for 
the year amounted to over $100,000, the 
largest expenditure ever made in a sin- 
gle year np to that time. With the 
exception of $3,000 the oxpenditnre was 

'DlPd during term. T.. B. Bennptt appnintod 
Jan. 4. ISM. 

'Appointive officers same as prcopdlngr year. 

""For months every room that a human be- 
injr could consent to dwell in has been oc-. 
cupled. Hotels and boardInK houses have 
been crowded to repletion by families who 
' would fain keep house for themselves. The 
old hoxaconal school house has given shelter 
within the last two months to about fifty 

all of a private character. Among the 
improvements were the brick store build- 
ings of H. E. Torrance, $12,000; Geo. 
W. Wilson, $7,000; and W. I. Humis- 
ton & Co., $4,500; and the water works 
building, erected at a cost of $3,000. 

The vote at the annual village election 
that year was 352, a gain of 43 over the 
preceding year, and the largest vote that 
had yet been cast. License carried hv 
4fi majority. The vote in detail: 

For license, 191; against license, 145. 

President— H. E. Torrance, 344. 

Trustees— E. W. Goff, 341: F. K. 
Durfee (for), 171: Fn-d L. Humiston 
(for). 183: Gust Swanberg (ag), 174; 
R. W. Moljerly (ag), 157. 

Recorder— E. E. Warren (for), 190; 
IT. M. Palm (ag), 152. 

Treasurer— M. P. Mann, 345. 

Assessor — 0. G. Grundsten, 343.' 

During the fir.«t half of 1893 the 
prosperous times continued ; tlien came 
tlie memorable panic and the resultant 
linrd limes period, and the village was 
pf a standstill for several years. One nf 
tlie banks closed its doors: business wa? 
for n time paralyzed; the town was witli- 
out life. Before the panic came, it liad 
been decided to install an electric light- 
ing system. On July 10 Hi,. f|uestion of 
issiiiiicr !f;s.000 bonds for that jiurpose 
was submitted to the voters at a special 
election. The matter was afl'irinatively 
decided by a vote of 203 to 24, but the 
lionds could not be disposed of. and it 
was two years later before the plant was 
]iiit in. 

Three hundred ninety-one votes were 

peisons. Though not at all adapted for resi- 
dence purposes, it has been a welcome refuge 
for many worthy people who have come to 
dwell with us." — Worthington Advance, April 
21, 1892. 

'Appointive officers: March 22, J. A. Town, 
city attorney; April 2, David Anderson, night 
policeman; April 2. O. G. Grundston. street 
commissioner. Mr. Grundsten resigned Aug. 
17. when Thomas Crever was appointed to 
complete the term. 



cast in 1893. License was carried by 
23 majorit)', and the whole license ticket, 
with the exception of the nominee for 
constable, was elected. The vote: 

For license, 198; against license, 176. 

President— Daniel Shell (for), 2.36; 
A. Rakestraw (ag), 1-54. 

Trustees— E. C. Pannell (for), 237; 
David Anderson (for), 23.'i ; Jas. Man- 
ning (for), 216; Gust Swanberg (ag), 
177; W. W. Loveless (ag), 140; E. W. 
Moberly (ag), 149. 

Recorder — A. L. Johnson (for), 232; 
H. M. Palm (ag), 1.57. 

Treasurer — M. P. Mann, 289. 

Assessor — L. B. Bennett (for), 226; 
C. W. Hildreth (ag), 1.50. 

Justices— C. W. Hildreth, 380; L. B. 
Bennett (for), 226; R. W. Moberlv 
(ag), 161. 

Constabl(^-H. M. Twitchell (for), 
158; H. W. Fuqua (ag), 221.' 

Worthington has been miraculously 
free from destructive fire losses, due 
largely, in recent years, to its excellent 
fire department. On only a few ocras- 
sions has serious loss been encountered 
from the fiery element. One of the most 
destructive blazes occurred early on the 
morning of June 30, 1894. The fire 
was discovered about three o'clock in the 
rear of two frame store buildings on 
Tenth street, between Second and Third 
avenues, occupied by Blair & Co., shoe 
and harness dealers, and W. S. Lewis, 
grocer. When discovered, the fire had 
a good start, but within one hour after 
the alarm was given, it was under con- 
trol, and half an hour later it was out. 
Both buildings were destroyed, and both 
stocks of goods were consumed. On 

'Appointive officers: B. F. Thurber, street 
commissioner; David Anderson, night police- 
man; J. A. Town, city attorney. 

•The vote of this election is not obtainable. 

'"Had been made an elective office. Ap- 

November 12, of the same year, Blair & 
Co., was again burned out in a new lo- 
cation. The latter fire was caused by 
the falling of a lamp. 

License carried by 92 majority in 
1894, . and the following officers were 
elected :" President, Daniel Shell ; trus- 
tees, E. C. Pannell, David Anderson and 
Frank Glasgow; recorder, A. L. John- 
son ; treasurer, A. H. Palm ; assessor, 
R. B. Plotts; street commissioner,^" B. 
F. Thurber. 

The gain in population from 1890 to 
1895 was 753, and in the last named 
year the census showed a population of 
1917. Worthington was again the me- 
tropolis of the southwestern corner of the 
state.^^ One of the events of 1895 was 
the installation of an electric lighting 
plant by the village. At a special elec- 
tion held June 11 the matter was sub- 
mitted to the voters. On the first pro- 
position submitted, that the village put 
in an electric lighting plant at a cost of 
not more than $15,000, the vote was 201 
in favor to 79 against. On the second 
proposition, that the village issiie bonds 
not to exceed $15,000 for the purpose of 
putting in the plant, the vote was 197 
in favor to 87 against. The contract for 
the system was let in September to 
Clausen & Bonwell, of St. Paul, repre- 
senting the General Electric company, 
of Chicago, on a bid of $8,099. The 
contract for the engines and boilers was 
let to Sioux City Engine & Iron Works 
on a bid of $5,005. The system was 
completed that fall, and the lights were 
turned on for the first time December 
10. The plant started with a patronage 
of 300 lights. 

pointive officers who served under this ad- 
ministration were R. P. Free, night police- 
man, and J. A. Town, city attorney. 

"Populations of other nearby towns: Lu- 
verne, 1.890; Pipestone. 1,668; Jackson, 1,356; 
Adrian, 1,072. 



The election of 1895 was a complttc 
victory for the against license party. 
License was defeated by 35 majority, 
and, with the e.xccption of nominees for 
one trustee, one justice of the peace and 
constable, all the temperance nominees 
were elected. Four hundred seventy-six 
votes were cast. Tlie vote : 

For license, 219; against license, 254. 

President— Daniel Shell (for), 231; 
C. J. Smallwood (ag), 245. 

Trustees — David Anderson (for), 247; 
Azom Forbes (for), 236; E. C. Pan- 
nell (for), 234; H. M. Palm (ag), 238; 
G. R. Curran (ag), 237; Marvin Ham- 
mond (ag), 231. 

Recordpr—C. M. Craudnll (for), 214; 
Gust Swanbcrg (ag), 2G0. 

Treasurer — A. L. Johnson (for), 233; 

A. H. Palm (ag), 242. 

Justices— C. M. Cory (for), 247; L. 

B. Bennett (for), 208; C. W. Hildreth 
(ag), 257; J. B. Green (ag), 225. 

Street Commissioner — R. E. Covey 
(for), 169; B. F. Thurbcr (ag), 30.i. 

Assessor— R. B. Plotts (for), 231; W. 
H. Buchan (ag), 242. 

Constable — Gilbert Anderson (f^jr)? 
238; H. W. Fuqua (ag), 232." 

Woi'thington was visited bv a hard 
wind slonu on the night of May 11. 
1896, when several houses and other 
buildings were partially destroyed. The 
worst damage was done in Clary's addi- 
tion. Roofs were torn off, buildings 
blown fi-om their foundations, and con- 
siderable loss sustained. No one was 
killed, and only one person, Wm. Guise's 
child, was injured, and that not ser- 

"Appointtvf officers: Samuol Gibson, iiiKht 
poMroman; Dnnitl Rohrci-. city attoi-noy; IT. 
W, Fuqiia, policeman; M. S. Smith, city clerk. 
The office of city clerk was established Dec. 
9, 1S95, and Mr. Smith was appointed on that 

"Died during term of ofTlce. 

The license people regained control of 
the city government in 1896, carrying 
tjie "question" by 61 votes and electing 
all except one member of their ticket. 
Four hundred sixty-three votes were cast. 
The result: 

For license, 260; against license, 199. 

President — Azoin Forbes" (for), 277; 
W. W. Loveless (ag), 181. 

Trustees— E. C. Pannell (for), 280; 
Frank Glasgow (for), 275; 0. G. Grund" 
sten (for), 260; H. N. Douglas (ag), 
199; E. F. Buchan (ag), ITN: J. D. 
Matteson (ag), 191. 

Recorder— C. H. Sibley'^ (for), 279; 
P. G. Johnson (ag), 178. 

Treasurer — H. E. Torrance (for), 
263; A. H. Palm (ag), 199. 

Street Commissioner — Robert Free 
(for), 228; B. F. Thurber (ag), 332. 

Assessor— E. ^Y. Goff (for), 256; J. 
H. Maxwell (ag), 200." 

There was a falling off in th(> vote 
in 1897. 399 being the liighesl number 
cast for any one office. With the 
exception of two minor ofTiees. (he li- 
cense party elected its ticket. The vote: 

For license, 204 ; against lieensi\ 189. 

President — Frank Glasgow (for), 213: 
n. M. Palm (ag), 186. 

Trustees— A. N. Douglas (for), 215; 
K. P.. P.eeson (for), 215; 0. G. Grund- 
sten (for), 206; E. A. Tripp (ag), 189; 
S. Kindlnnd (ag). 181; J. D. Matteson 
(ag), 182. 

Recorder— E. K. Smith (for), 220; 
W. W. Loveless (ag), 176. 

Treasurer — H. E. Torrance (for). 
213: Jas. S. Ramage (ag), 182. 

Street Commissioner — R. P. Free'" 

"Died during term. M. S, Smith appointed 
to (HI the vacancy on Nov. 13, IMd. 

'"'.Appointive officers: J. A. Town, citv al- 
torncy: T.. L. McCartney, nisht policeman; M. 
S. Smith, city clerk. 

'"Resiprned Anp. 27. ISftT, to accept office of 
night policeman, B, F. Thurber appointed 
Sept. 10. 


Loo'cinJ "Down Fourth Avenue from Main Street. The Building in the Foreground 

Is the Miller Block. 


t-* - ■ " '"~ ' ' ■' 







•^' -^P^' 


;. -^ 







w^ ^^ 







- ■■■^''- ' 

h i 




Looking North from the Corner of Fourth .Avenue and Eleventh Street. Showing the 
Site of the Present Fair Grounds and a Vacant Country Now Largely 

Built Up. 





(for), 213; B. F. Tlmrber (ag), 183. 

Assessor— E. W. GofE (for), 230; L. 
B. Bennett (ag), 167. 

-lustices— C. H. Schechter (for), 212; 
B. W. Lyon (for), 189; J. H. Majcwell 
(ag), 178; C. W. Hildreth (ag), 308. 

Constable— K. C. Dana (for), 314; H. 
W. Fuqua (ag), 177.^' 

Four hundred thirty votes were cast 
iu 1898. License carried by 31 majority, 
and nearly the whole license ticket was 
elected. The vote: 

For license, 21.5; against license, 209. 

President — Frank Glasgow (for), 237; 
11. M. Palm (ag), 193. 

Trustees — Walter Aagaard (for), 326; 
W. E. Madisou (for), 238; E. K. Smith 
(for), 213; Otis Bigelow (ag), 308; 
(iust Swanberg (ag), 209; J. D. Mat- 
teson (ag), 195. 

Kecorder— T. D. Palmer (lor), 231; 
II. Hawley (ag), 194. 

Treasurer — E. C. Pannell (for), 347; 
S. Kindlund (ag), 183. 

Street Commissioner — 0. H. Alford 
(for), 304; B. F. Thurber (ag), 324. 

Assessor— E. B. Plotts (for), 170; E. 
\V. Goff (ag), 2.51.'^ 

Again was the license party successful 
in 1899 by a small majority. All its 
nominees were elected with the excep- 
tion of the one for recorder. Four hun- 
dred fifty-seven votes were polled. The 
result : 

For license, 330 ; against license, 330 ; 
no license, 3. 

President— E. C. Pannell (for), 350; 
A. N. Douglas (ag), 206. 

Trustees— W. E. Madison (for), 351; 

"Apijointive officers: J. A. Town, city at- 
torney; M. S. Smith, city clerk; R. P. Free, 
nigfit policeman. 

'"Appointive officers: J. A. Town, attorney; 
M. S. Smith, clerlt; R. P. Free, nightwatch- 

"^Appointive officers: J, A. Town, attorney; 
M. S. Smith, clerk; S. A. Roshon, marshal; 

Walter Aagaard (for), 343; J. N. Gould 
(for), 348; Peter Thompson (ag), 212; 
H. M. Palm (ag), 203; Jas. Mackay 
(ag), 204. 

Recorder — C. M. Cory (for), 333; E. 
W. GofE (ag), 333. 

Treasurer — Aug. Palm (for), 339; C. 
L. Peterson (ag), 337. 

Street Commissioner — C. H. Alford 
(•for), 238; B. F. Thurber (ag), 319. 

Justices — F. A. Stevens (for), 338; 
II. S. Hobson (for), 338; A. E. Tuttle 
(ag), 190; C. W. Hildreth (ag), 332. 

Constable — S. A. Koshon (for), 351; 
11. W. Fuqua (ag), 304.1" 

The decade from 1890 to 1900 was 
one of advancement. Despite the few 
years of hard times, the growth was mar- 
velous. Land values rose several hun- 
dred per cent during the decade, and 
thousands of new settlers came to Nobles 
county. The effect on Worth ington was 
a healthy gi'owth in all lines of busi- 
ness. New enterprises came into exis- 
tence, and prosperity abounded. The 
census of 1900 gave the village a popu- 
lation of 2,386, an increase of 1,333, or 
over one hundred per cent, in ten years. 
During the last half of this ten year 
period the increase was 469."" 

Out of 456 votes cast in 1900 license 
carried by a small majority. Two mem- 
bers of the council and ■ treasurer went 
to the temperance party ; the license 
party was otherwise successful in elect- 
ing its ticket. The vote : 

For license, 333; against license, 330. -^ 

President— E. C. Pannell (for), 230; 
Gust Swanberg (ag), 223. 

M. J. Bryan, nightwatchman. 

-"Populations of other nearby towns, ac- 
cording to that census: Adrian, 1,258; Lu- 
verne, 2,223; Pipestone, 2,536; Slayton, 883; 
Jackson, 1,756; Windom, 1,944; St. James, 

^One vote east for "no license," and one 
for "against license — yes," is not included. 



Trustees — W. E. Madison (for), 225; 
J. N. Gould (for), 22G; Walter Aagaard 
(for), 220; H. N. Douglas (ag), 230; 
David Anderson (ag), 223; E. W. 
Golf (ag), 234. 

Keeorder — Jolin Boberg (for), 237; 
Geo. D. Palm (ag), 217. 

Treasurer — 1{. F. Pepple (for), 216; 
C. L. Peterson (ag), 238. 

Street C'ouiniissionur — Pat O'Connor 
(for), 251; B. P. Tiiurber (ag), 200. 

Assessor — J. J. Keudlen (for), 254; 
J. P. Vail (ag), 198." 

The village election of 1901 brought 
out 500 votes, the largest that had up 
lu that time been polled in the village, 
and tlie largest in the history of the 
\illagc up to the election of 1907. Li- 
cense caried hy 31 votes, and the whole 
license ticket, with the exception of 
president of the council, was elected. 
The vote: 

Por license, 2 05; against license, 231. 

President — J. R. Conway (for), 216; 
H. N. Douglas, (ag), 282. 

Trustees— W. E. Madison (for), 302, 
VV. B. Hibbard (for), 273; John Bo- 
berg (for), 310; John Kamage (ag;, 
198; Adolph Amondson (ag), 219; G. 
M. Walker (ag), 188. 

Uecorder — P. M. Hickman (for), 285; 
Jjoren Clark (ag), 215. 

Treasurer — Merle Hurlbert (for), 288; 
11. Hawley (ag), 312. 

Street Commissioner — Pat O'Connor, 

Assessor — J. J. Kendlen (for), 314; 
W. E. Stoutemyer (ag), 182. 

Justices — Gilbert Anderson (for), 
28G; P. A. Stevens^^ (for), 300; J. 1". 
Vail (ag), 194; J. 11. Scott (ag), 213. 

==Appolntlve oftlcers: J. A. Town, attorney; 
M. S. Smith, clerk; S. A. Roshon. marshal; 
M. J. Bryan, nlghlwatchman. 

^RfcslBiicd July 15, 1902. C. W. W. Dow ap- 
pointed to vacancy. 

Constable— S. A. Eoshon (for), 287; 
David Bergstresser (ag), 208." 

Municipal politics were conducted on 
slightly different lines in 1902. An ef- 
fort was made to have both parties unite 
on a ticket and do away with the bit- 
ter campaigning that had characterized 
former elections. Witli this in view a 
citizens' caucus was held, participated in 
by the no license party and some of the 
opposition, and a full ticket was put in 
nomination. The license party then put 
up a ticket, endorsing many of the 
nominees on the citizens' ticket, and was 
successful in electing two of the nomi- 
uces. The total vote was 405, and li- 
cense caried by 53. The vote : 

Por license, 256; against license, 203. 

President — Prank Glasgow (for), 214; 
H. M. Palm (cit), 251. 

Trustees — Walter Aagaard (for), 212; 
E. A. Tripp (cit), 265; J. N. Gould, 
453; A. E. Albertus, 430. 

Pecorder — J. M. Messer, 454. 

Treasurer — Merle Hurlbert (for), 
233; Loren Clark (cit), 231. 

Street Commissioner — Pat O'Connor 
(for), 207; B. P. Thurber (cit), 192. 

Assessor — J. J. Kendlen, 444."" 

For several years prior to 1903 Worth- 
iiigton had witnessed very prosperous 
times. Crops had been good, and the 
result was lively business in the county 
seat town. Then came three years of 
partial crop failures due to heavy rains, 
and during that time business was at a 
standstill. No building impi-oveiuents 
were made; no new business enterprises 
started ; there was a falling off in popu- 

The village was visited by a flood on 

"'Appointive offii-ers: J. A. Town, attorney; 
M. S. Smith, clerk; S. A. Hoshon, marshal; L. 
L. McCartney, nightwatchman. 

-■■'.Appoliilivt' officers: J. A. Town, attorney; 
J. M. I'lotls, clerk; S. A. Roshon, marshal; 
Ij. L,. McCartney, nightwatchman. 



Friday, Sept. 11^ 1903, and considerable 
damage resulted. It was due to an ab- 
normal rainfall that almost took the 
form of a cloudburst. Okabena lake 
overflowed, and every low part of town 
was covered with water. The Eock Is- 
land railroad was completely covered 
along its whole course through the city. 
Many houses were filled with water, side- 
walks floated away, basements and cel- 
lars were filled, and much livestock was 
lost. Many of the streets were navigated 
in boats, and rescue parties worked all 
night rescuing people who were in dan- 
ger from the flood. Thousands of dol- 
lars were lost as a result of the disaster. 

For the first time in several years the 
no license party was successful in voting 
out the saloons. Tlie majority was an 
e.\traordinarily large one — 68. Three 
tickets were in the field, one of them, 
however, being made up almost entirely 
of the nominees of the other two. The 
citizens' party, which had its origin the 
year before, placed a complete ticket in 
the field, and the no license party did 
the same. The license caucus was held, 
but adjourned without naming a ticket. 
Later another ticket appeared, labeled 
"peoples independent," which was an 
endorsement of nominees of the other 
two tickets. Four hundred seventy-nine 
votes were polled. The result: 

For license, 303 ; against license, 271. 

President— J. N. Gould (cit), 336; 
E. A. Tripp (peo^" and ag), 238. 

Trustees — W. E. Oliver (peo and cit), 
310; W. I. Humiston (peo and cit), 
266; 0. VV. Dieckhoff (peo and ag), 
226; M. P. Mann (cit), 248; David 

-"Peoples independent. 

^'Died during term. J. S. Kies appointed 
Dec. IS, 1904, to flU the vacancy. 

^Appointive officers: J. A. Town, attor- 
ney; J. M. Plotts, clerk; S. A. Roshon, niglit- 

Anderson (ag), 303; John Kamage (ag), 

Kecorder — J. M. Messer (cit), 313; 
Loren Clark (peo and ag), 2G1. 

Treasurer— Fred Wall (cit), 2U7; J. 
S. Tolversou (ag), 165. 

Street Commissioner — Pat O'Connor 
(peo and cit), 324; A. K. Bloom (ag;, 

Assessor — Harvey Eew (cit), 356; J. 
H. Maxwell (peo), 330. 

Justices— C. W. W. Low (all tickets), 
438; Gilbert Anderson'-' (peo and cit), 
316; J. W. Eead (ag), 169. 

Constable — E. P. Free (peo and cit), 
377; J. P. Loveless (ag), 196.=^ 

There was a change of many votes on 
the license question in 1904, and license 
v/as voted by 37 majority. Former con- 
ditions in politics were resumed, and the 
two old parties — license and against li- 
cense — again fought the battle. The for- 
mer elected every nominee. The total 
vote was 467. The result: 

For license, 350; against license, 313. 

President— J. N. Gould (for), 375; 
E. A. Tripp (ag), IBS. 

Trustees— M. P. Mann, 453; S. M. 
Stewart (for), 298; W. 1. Humiston 
(for), 363; 0. W. Dieckhofi' (ag), 197; 
W. O. Saxon (ag), 168. 

Eecorder — W. E. Madison (for), 2ii'J; 
Loren Clark (ag), 196. 

Treasurer— Fred WalP (for), 368; A. 
T. Latta (ag), 199. 

Street Commissioner — Z. M. Smith 
(for), 240; W. E. Bloom (ag), 333. 

Assessor — Ira Mishler (for), 274; J. 
H. Maxwell (ag), 191.=" 

The census of 1905 gave Worthington 

'•Resigned June 10. 1904. John A. Boberg 
completed the term. 

^"Appointive officers: J. A. Town, attor- 
ney; J. M. Plotts, clerk; H. A. Thurber, 
night watchman. 



a population of 2,27ii, which was a loss 
ol 110 ill live years, it was the hist 
census since the loiiudiug of the town 
that showed a loss of population, ilie 
population was divided by wards, as fol- 
lows: ij'irst, l,14;i; second, i,13i. Of 
the total population, Mi were Minne- 
sota born, l,Uia were born m other states 
of the union, and ,io'J were foreign born. 
Of tile last named, the countries of 
bath were as follows: Germany, OS; 
bweden, lUo; Norway, 'Z-i; Canada, 5ii; 
Ireland, lt>; Denmark, 21; England, 15; 
Bohemia, 1; Scotland, 7; Wales, 5; Aus- 
tria, (i; ail other countries, 8. 

four hundred thirty-seven votes were 
pulled La I'JUJ. License was carried by 
Ui majority, and the license party elect- 
ed every nominee on its ticket. The 

i-"ur license, 248; against license, 181. 

i'resideut— J. iSi. Gould (.for), 2-id; 
L. E. Fitch (ag), 188. 

Trustees — S. M. Stewart (lorj, 2] I; 
\V. E. Madison (for;, 2:2; W. 1. Hum- 
iston (for), 2oU; E. A. Tripp (ag), 
1?S; Wm. Chauey (ag), 173; Erauk 
Saxon (ag), 167. 

Eecorder — W. 1. Carpenter (for), 272; 
J as. Gibson (ag), 159. 

Treasurer — T. A. Palmer (for), 2U;i; 
A. H. Segerstrom (ag), 170. 

Street Commissioner — Z. M. Smith 
(for), 2G2; W. E. Bloom (ag), 174. 

Assessor — Ira Mishler (for), 250; S. 
Kindlund (ag), 187. 

Justices — J. S. Kies, 433; C. W. W. 
Dow, 424. 

Constable — Robert Free (for), 255; 
David liergstresser (ag), 182.^' 

Again in 1906 was the license party 
successful in electing every nominee. Li- 

"Appulritlve officers: S. S. Smith, attorney; 
(', I,. Mann, clerk; H. M. Twltchell, night- 

cense was voted by a majority of io. 
The total vote was 448. In detail : 

For license, 252; against license, 183. 

Fresident — W. E. Madison (for), 202; 
E. A. Tripp (ag), 183. 

Trustees— C. P. Dolau (for), 277; 
Ed. Stoltenberg (for), 275; S. M. Stew- 
art (for), 204; J. H. Maxwell (ag), 
106; E. V. Voak (ag), 177; L. E. Filch 
(ag), 177. 

Recorder — J. M. Addington (for), 
278; Jolin A. Sahlbom (ag), 167. 

Treasurer — G. H. Luehrs (for), 277; 
Carl Anderson (ag), 171. 

Street Commissioner — Z. M. Smitli 
(for), 286; W. E. Bloom (ag), 162. 

Assessor — Ira Mishler (for), 280; S. 
Kindlund (ag), 168.=*= 

in 1907 the no license party made al- 
most a clean sweep. Laceuse was de- 
feated by 43 majority, and the temper- 
ance party elected all its nominees with 
tlie exception of two minor officers. Five 
hundred twenty-six votes were cast — 
more than at any preceding village elec- 
tion. The result: 

For license, 238; against license, 281. 

President — W. E. Madison (for), 259; 

E. A. Tripp (ag), 266. 

Trustees— J. N. Gould (for), 252; C. 

F. Dolan (for), 258; Ed. Stoltenberg 
(for), 248; Ray Humiston (ag), 267; 
Fred GofE (ag), 279; E. V. Voak (ag), 

Recorder — Sam Swanson (for), 249; 
A. W. Fagerstrom (ag), 274. 

Treasurer — G. H. Luelirs (for), 256; 
James Mackay (ag), 268. 

Street Commissioner— Z. M. Smith 
(for), 269; Ed Cheatham (ag), 254. 

Assessor — Ira Mishler, 520. 

Justices— J. S. Ivies, 522; C. W. W. 
Dow, 517. 

'^Appointive officers: S. S. Smith, attorney; 
C. I/. Miinn. clerk; August Anderson, night- 








Constable— R. P. Free (for), 250; S. 
A. Roshon (ag), 272.^^ 

The election on March 17, 1908, was 
the most bitterly contested ever held in 
Worthington, and 529 votes were east — 
the largest vote ever polled. License 
carried by one vote, and with one ex- 
ception the whole license ticket was 

A contest was brought by members of 
tlie no license party, who alleged that 
illegal votes had been cast, that "in 
favor of license" had not received a ma- 
jority of the votes cast, and otlier rea- 
sons why the court should set aside the 
canvass of the election board, and de- 
clare the election void so far as it re- 
lated to the license question. The case 
was tried before Judge P. E. Brown, 

who held that there was no law on the 
Minnesota statute books which provided 
for the bringing of a contest of the kind, 
and the case was dismissed. 

The result of the election in detail: 

For license, 263; against license, 262. 

President— W. E. Madison (for), 289; 
E. V. Voak (ag), 237. 

Trustees— C. P. Dolan (for), 290; 
William Ronan (for), 282; C. B. Ward 
(for), 261; Fred Goff (ag), 247; Ray 
Humiston (ag), 239; Geo. Weidman 
(ag), 252. 

Recorder— R. H. Torrance (for), 270; 
Will Schrader (ag), 256. 

Treasurer — Sam Swanson (for), 271; 
Oscar Sterling (ag), 25,3. 

Assessor — Robert Reed (for" 
Mishler (ag), 271.^* 


"■■'Appointive officers; S. S. Smith, attorney; "Appointive officers: J. A. Town, attorney; 

C. L. Mann, clerk; S. A. Ro.shon, nightwatch- C. L. .Mann, clerli; Z. M. Smith, .street com- 
man. The latter resigned, and on Nov. 11, missioiier; Chas. Duel. nightwatchman. 
1907, Chas. Duel was appointed nightwatch- 





One of the very first institutions to 
be provided after the founding of a town 
is the public school. While Worthing- 
ton was founded in the fall of ISTl, the 
population during the first winter wab 
so small (and included no children) that 
no steps were taken to pro-vide for a 
school. With the rush of settlers in the 
spring and summer of 1873, however, 
the matter of providing a school be- 
came a live issue. 

While preparations were being made 
to organize a public school a private one 
was started in the summer by Mrs. M. 
B. Soule, who gave instruction to about 
twenty students for a few weeks. Sev- 
eral public meetings were held during 
the summer months, at which plans for 
the organization were talked over, and it 
seemed to be the general desire that the 
new town should make liberal provis- 
ions for its school.^ 

A district school. No. .5, was organ- 

'"So far as we can learn there is a very- 
general expression among property owners in 
favor of the ei-ection of a school building for 
a graded school to cost about $15,000. The 
meetings held upon the subject have been sur- 
prisingly harmonious and unanimous upon the 
point that nothing which the community can 
do to attract settlement and investment 
among us, and consequently, to facilitate the 
rapid enhancement in the value of real prop- 
erty, will be so eftective as first class school 
advantages. The first step is to organize first 
class common schools. In time, by which we 
mean in a few years at farthest, we feel con- 
fident the efforts we are making to secure the 

ized, but it was decided to postpone the 
erection of a building. In December, 
1872, Worthington's first public school 
was opened, and it continued four 
months. Seventy-five pupils attended, 
enrolled in two grades. Major T. C. 
Bell was the principal and taught tlie 
higher grade; Miss Kate Chauey (later 
Mrs. J. A. Town) was the teacher of 
the lower grade. The school was main- 
tained during the summer months and 
was attended by about forty students. 
Miss Clara Horton was the teacher. In 
November, 1873, the school opened 
again under C. C. Luckey and Mrs. Jen- 
kins and continued about five months, 
with an attendance of between seventy- 
five and eighty students. 

From the first it had been the desire 
and intention of the founders of the 
town and leading citizens to establish a 
school of higher learning. On Decem- 
ber 1, 1873, the organization of the 
Worthington Seminary association was 
perfected, the object of which was " "to 

location of a seminary of learning at this 
point will be sucessful; meantime we shall 
have excellent common school privileges. The 
best of talent can be secured to conduct the 
schools, and the contribution of apparatus 
for illustrating physical science, which Pro- 
fessor Humiston proposes to make to the 
public schools at a cost of $500 or $600, is 
only one among many other features which 
will tend to make our schools first class. The 
people who are settling here have been ac- 
customed to such pri\ileges elsewhere, and to 
the manifestation of a liberal spirit, and they 
will have the same facilities here." — Western 
Advance, Aug. 31, 1872. 




establisli a semiuary ol' learning lor the 
education of persons of both sexes in 
science, languages, arts and useful and 
polite literature."' The first board ot 
directors, chosen at the time of the or- 
ganization, was composed of Kev. B. 11. 
Crever, K. F. Huniiston, C. Z. Sutton, 
liev. J. W. Lewis, G. Anderson, Allen 
C'lianey, 11. 1). llumistou, of Worlliiug- 
ton; Kev. J. E. Fitcli, nf Wiudom; Kev. 
Bronson, of Luverne; ilcv. if. Webb, of 
Saint Peter; Levi Shell, of Sibley. The 
association was incorporated on Decem- 
ber 8,- and it was decided to ask the 
Minnesota conference of the Methodist 
church to assume the relation of patron, 
which was done. The seminary was es- 
tablished and had an intermittaut exis- 
tence of a few yeais. Had it not been 
for the disastrous times that came upon 
the country there can be no doubt that 
the institution would have become a 
prosperous school. 

During the summer of 1874 the pub- 
lic school was again niaintaiued and was 
attended by sixty or seventy pupils. Mrs. 
Jenkins and Miss Ary Grant were the 
instructors. Up to this time the schools 
liad been maintained under the ordi- 
nary district organization, but in the 
summer of 1874 the residents decided 
to adopt the independent district plan, 
which had been provided for by the leg- 
islature of 1872. A petition was cir- 
culated, asking the electors to assemble 
at the school room on August 13 to 
vote 'for or against the adoption of the 
new plan.^ At the election sixteen votes 
were cast in favor of the change and 
four against it. On August 25 a board 
of six directors was chosen, as follows: 

■Thp lncorporator.s were the same a.s the board of directors except that I. N. Sat- 
er's name appeared In place of that of Allen 

"The petition was signed by I. N. Sater, 

li. F. lliuniston, I. N. Sater, Peter 
Thompson, C. Z. Sutton, M. B. Soule 
aud .). A. Town. At the first meeting 
of the board Mr. Humiston was chosen 
])i'esident; Mr. Thompson, treasurer; and 
Mr. Town, clerk. The school under the 
new arrangement opened in October witli 
three departments and with 160 pupils 
in attendance. Miss Barbara Cosier was 
principal and George M. Plumb and 
Miss Phila Powell were assistants. 

For several years after the establish- 
ment of the school there was no public 
school building, and it had been con- 
ducted in rented buildings, part of the 
time at least in the famous Miller hall. 
Tile matter of erecting a building was 
taken up in 1875, and at a special meet- 
ing of the electors on April 27 it was 
decided to erect a school house at a cost 
of not more' than $5,000. Specifications 
were prepared and bids called for. A. 
C. Eobinson was the only bidder, and 
he was awarded the contract on August 
25, on a bid of $4,888. By a vote of 
20 to 5 bonds were voted August 23. 
Six thousand dollars worth of bonds 
were authorized, but only five tliousand 
dollars worth were issued. Mr. Robin- 
son erected the hexagonal building, which 
was in commission for so many years, 
and during the first week in January, 
1876, it was turned over to the school 
district, the event being accompanied by 
a public demonstration. Tlie block of 
liind iiiioii whicli the school building was 
erected, and which is still used for school 
purposes, was donated to the village of 
Worthington in an early day by the 
Sioux City & St. Paul Railroad com- 
pany and was later turned over to the 

Daniel Uolircr, ('. P. Stough. C. B. Loveless, 
John W. Smith, Geo. O. Moore, L. F. Mc- 
l.aurln, J. .V. Town. Daniel Shell. Oils BlRe- 
low, R, D. Barber, r!en.jamln F. Thnrber, J. H, 
Johnson, W. S. Stockdale, C, Z. Sutton, C. C. 
Goodnow, J. Craft and H. D. Humiston. 



school district, quit claim deeds having 
been given to the school district early 
in 1882 by both the village and the rail- 
road company. 

Until the fall of 1881 the Worthing- 
ton schools had been simply graded 
schools. Application was made in Octo- 
ber for state aid to the amount of $400, 
under a legislative act for the encour- 
agement of higher education, and on 
November 13 the organization in accord- 
ance witli the regulations of the state 
high scliool board was perfected. Since 
that date an excellent high school has 
been maintained, from which have been 
graduated 181 pupils.* An alumni as- 
sociation was formed in 1894, which has 
since held annual meetings. 

The old hexagonal school building was 
in service until 1889. At a school meet- 
ing held August 30, 1888, it was de- 
cided, by a vote of 19 to 0, to erect a 
new school building. That the cost 
thereof should not be less than $20,000 

•The graduate.*; or the Worthingtnii high 
school are as follows: 

18S7 — Jane Husselton, Alice Diiifee. 

ISSS— None. 

IRS 9— Dora Barber. Earl P. Free. Julia FTy- 
land. Kate Hovey. Grace B, Smith. Julia Van 

1890 — Alnna Covey. Laura Bingham, Mary 
Humiston. Mary Mitchell. George Foster Moore. 
Blanche H. Ramage. Winnifred Shell. Anna 

isni — T,e"i tc. Covey, Feme Bullis. Eva 
Oaks, Frank R. Pepplc. 

1892 — Jennie Covey, Nellie Stevens, Mar- 
guerite Wright. 

1893 — Loren Clark. Lura Moberly, Martha 
Covey. M^illiam Thurber, 

1894— Stelle Smith. Carrie Allen. Arthur P. 
Rose, Isabel Shanks, Warren A., Mary E. 
Moffat, Gertrude 01ive>. 

1S95 — Marv Dobner. William V. Kennedy. 
Fred Bedford. Susan H. Chaffer. Charles H. 

1S96 — Gertie Blair. Sadie Lewis. Susan Gib- 
."ion, Jennie M. Beckley, Martin Edgrr Barne!, 
Eureka Sahlbom, Cora Covey, W. B. Stoute- 
mver, J"nnie E. Torrance, Lulu L. Putnam. 

1S97 — Mary T-. Damon, Draper Davton, Maud 
Forbes, J. Burr Ludlow, Russell B, Moberly. 
Lee Shell, Robert R, Smith. 

1898 — Alma Anderson, Irving Bedford, lima 
Cale. George M. Damon. Rosa Dobner, Don 
Carlos Dow, Jessie Kerr, Leone McKeever. 
Louise Riley. 

1899 — Raymond Peterson. George Hurd. 
Horace Peterson, George M. Cale. Georgette 
Dow. Harold S, Tuttle, J. Manning Plotts, 
Harley Chaffer, Alta Beeson. 

1900 — Eva Pearle Barnes. Besie Bedford, 
Mabel Bryden, Anna Erickson, Roy V. 

was caried by a vote of 33 to 4 and was 
later made unanimous. The board of 
education was also authorized to issue 
bonds for not less than the same amount, 
and preparations for the construction of 
a suitable building were put under way. 
Architect T. D. Allen, of Minneapo- 
lis, furnished the plans, and the contract 
for its construction was let to S. Hackett 
& Son, of South Dakota, December 4, 
1888, on a bid of $25,990, not including 
the heating plant, which cost $3,100. 
Bonds to the amount of thirty thousand 
dollars wore sold April 3, 1889; the 
corner stone was laid with ceremonies 
June 8, and the new building was ac- 
cepted October 35, 1889. The handsome 
structure has been in use since. Every 
available part of the building is in use 
and the schools are overcrowded. In the 
summer of 1907 bonds were voted to 
build additional school room, but a con- 
test was started, and it was found tlinf 
the election was illeaally held. 

Lewis. Byron E. Smith, Susan A. Stoutemyer. 
Jen E. Stoutemyer. 

1901 — Maude .\ger. Walter Ager, Jeanette 
Bliss, Frank Bryden, Nancy Cl,ark. .\dd:e 
Crever, Edith Cale, Frances Clark, Carrie Day- 
ton, Alice Firth. Neta Harden, Dwight Har- 
den. Fioi-ence Maxwell. John Mosher. Reuben 
Oakr.=i. Jet Smallwood. Prue Town. 

1902 — Edna Goodrich, Eva Miller. Stella Wil- 
bern. Ella Cloud, John Glasgow. Robert Town, 
Fred Tripp, Harry Hawley, Elmer Johnson. 
Ella Wood, Amanda Sundberg. George Wyck- 
off. Mattie Bryan. 

190.'! — Harris Darling, .\lida Loveless. Harry 
"Wilbern, Louis Jones. Pearl Luehrs, Angle 
Erie, Clavton Bedford. Amelia Bliss. 

1904— Rosa C. Sather, Addie Ely, Nellie 
I yon, Mary Ella Morton, Amy Darling, Stella 
.Anderson, Mae Tupper. Ray Hawley. Helen 
T udlow. Clinton Mann, Luther M. Ramage, 
T^aur-a. Pepple, Herbert Frank. Lillian Webb. 
Esther Harding. 

1905 — Beulah Sam. Maggie Ackerman. Flor- 
ence Lyon. N'ettie Ely, Nellie Crever, David 
Tripp, Clarence Pannell, Eva Darling. Stella 
Gray. Clyde McConkey, OrA'al Tiipper, Flora 
Buchan, Lillian Morton, . Fanny Henricks. 
Clovd Comer. .Martlia Kindlund 

1906 — Alida Bedford. Jessie Ager, Rensie De- 
Boer, Amv Forbes, James Mott, Edward Law- 
ton, Mabel Kunzeman, Emma Ferguson, TJoyd 

1907 — Vergil Fellows, Harry Gray, Nell Ad- 
dington. Hazel Pepple. .\rlouine Loveless. 
Florence Lysle. Agnes Ryan. Charles Haggard, 
Ivan Pettit. Benjamin Hilyard. Emily McCon- 

190S— Oakley Tripp. Stanley Swanberg, War- 
ner Hubbard. Jay Voak. Florence Webb, 
Mabel Nichlas. Myrtle Turner, Anna Asman, 
Julia Town, Marjorie Shell. 



From the little private school of twen- 
ty students in 1873 the Worthington 
schools have advanced until today they 
rank among the best of the state. In 
the high school are enrolled 117 stu- 
dents; in the graded schools, conducted 
by a corps of thirteen teachers, are en- 
rolled 555 pupils. 

wnTJ'riirxr.TON ftt?e dep.vrt- 


During its history of thirty-seven 
years Worthington has not had a disas- 
trous conflagration. On three or four 
occasions fires have gained some head- 
way, but have genprally been confined 
to the building in wliich they originated. 
The loss at any one fire has never been 
over a few tliousand dollars, and the to- 
tal losses from the fiery fiend have been 
as small as any town of the size and 
*age in the state. In tlic early days this 
was due more to luck tlian because • of 
any organized fire protection. After the 
water works system was installed, and 
the Worthington fire department came 
into existence, the immunity was due to 
tliat efficient body of fire fighters. 

Nearly every town find village takes 
more or less pride in its fire depart- 
ment, and when writing of them it is 
customary to search a book of synonyms 
for high-flown adjectives to properly de- 
scribe the work of the department and 
(he heroism nf tlie fire fighters. Some- 
times such encomiums are deserved, and 
sometimes they are not. It is because 
of this custom' among newspaper writ- 
ers lo write only pleasing things of lo- 
cal institutions and men, that frequently 
sincere praise is taken with a degree of 
allowance. Let it not be so with regard 
to the Worthington fire department. T 
desire to state that, from a personal 

knowledge of the work of the depart- 
ment from the time of its founding, I 
know it to be an exceptionally capable 
organization. Thoroughly organized and 
drilled, it has always been able to con- 
trol any situation that has confronted it. 
Scores of times has the department been 
called upon to figlit the "lurid levcler," 
and on every occasion has it been vic- 
torious. It has fought fire in a syste- 
matic way, and its work has been equal- 
led by but few volunteer departments. 

At an early day steps were taken to 
provide fire protection. For several years 
during its early history Worthington's 
buildings were constructed entirely of 
wood. The danger from fire was real- 
ized, and in June, 1874, the first steps 
to minimize the danger were taken. The 
village council provided for the building 
of three cisterns on the court house 
square, two on Tenth street, at the in- 
tersection with Third and Fourth aven- 
ues, and one on Ninth street, where 
it intersects witli Third avenue. The 
cost of these cisterns was not to he over 
$3fi each. Each was to be filled with 
water and kept so, that in case of fire 
ii sup])]y would be always on liaml. A 
bucket brigade was organized, but no 
cause arising to give it em])loyment. it 
soon went out of existence. 

The council again bestirred itself in 
Pecemher, 1875, when action was taken 
toward providing means of fighting fire. 
T]\o business men also took a hand, and 
emphiyed IT. McMillen to act as night 
fire patrol. 'I'be cisterns, which had 
been out of use for some time, were 
filled witli water. A fire house, 24x30 
feet, was erected on tlie court house 
square, in which were kept a few lad- 
ders and buckets. A wagon, upon wliich 
were barrels filled with brine, was for a 
time kept at the fire house, to be used 




in case of fire. Of course the water 
froze in the winter time, and the town 
would have been at the mercy of the 
flames had serious conflagrations started. 
The futility of the fire fighting appara- 
tus, as it was in the early days, is shown 
by the result of the Miller hall fire in 
1878, when no headway could be made 
in controlling the fire. 

With this primative fire fighting ap- 
paratus the people of Worthington 
fought their fires for many years. There 
was no regularly organized company, but 
the buckets and ladders were kept on 
hand, and when a fire broke out they 
were at the service of those who wished 
to use them. In the spring of 1880 an 
effort was made to seciire better fire pro- 
tection. A meeting was called for March 
9 to consider ways and means, but no de- 
finite action was taken, and the village 
was without adequate protection until 

When the water works system was un- 
der construction, during the year 1891. 
preparations were made for providing 
adequate fire protection. The village 
council ordered 700 feet of hose, a hose 
cart and a hook and ladder truck, at 
an expense of $8.^.';. It then a«ked the 
citizens to organize a volunteer fire de- 
partment, and late in August the Worth- 
ington fire department came into exis- 
tence with ."^8 active members' and the 
following officers : .Tas. Manning, chief ; 
Frank Olasgow, assistant chief; IT. C. 
Crawford, secretary; C. W. Smith, fore- 
man hose department; .Tas. Mackav. as- 

'Thp charter members were F. G. Martin. 
.Tohn Mackey. J. C. Diirfee. F. J. Straka. E C. 
Wilson. M. A. Nichols. C. A. Cover. Geo. 
Shirck. C. TV. Smith. Jas. Manninir. H. r 
Crawford. H. H. Graham. Jas. Rnmaee. David 
Anderson. Jas. Mackav. Ernest Perr\-. A. T. 
.Johnson F. I.. Humiston. Henr\- Twitchell. 
■W. E. Madison. M. P. Mann, A. H. Palm. V\'ill 
Wrisiht. Merle Hurlhert. R. H. Bibbv. Will 
Clippenger. F. H. Day, Rav Humiston, Frank 
Glaseow. r. T.amb, C. W. Mitchell, W S, 
Webb. John SaWbom, M, S, Smith. Will Post. 

sistant foreman hose department; ^I. A. 
Nichols, foreman hook and ladder de- 
partment; J. C. Durfee, assistant fore- 
man hook and ladder department. 

Shortly after its organization the 
Worthington fire department became a 
member of the Columbian Inter-state 
Fireman association, an organization 
comprising departments in parts of Iowa, 
ilinnesota and South Dakota. For sev- 
eral years the Worthington department 
was represented by a team at the annual 
tournaments, and distinguished itself by 
winning more prizes than any other team 
in the organization. 

For many years the department was 
purelv volunteer, and received no aid 
from the village. Now the members re- 
ceive nominal fees for attending meet- 
ings and fighting fires. In the fall of 
190G the department gave $3,000 toward 
the erection of the handsome city hall 
and fire station, which is now its home. 
The total cost of the building was about 
$7,000. Elegant quarters, with bath and 
all modern conveniences, have been fit- 
ted up. and the Worthington fire de- 
partment now has as fine a home as any 
volunteer department in the state of 

Following have been the principal of- 
ficers of the department since the or- 
ganization ; 

1892— Frank Gla.sgow, chief; Robert 
Bibby. assistant: A. H. Palm, secretary; 
M. P. Mann, treasurer. 

189.3— H. C. Crawford, chief; R. H. 

Ira S, Mishler, R, P. Free and J, D. Humis- 

The following became honorary members at 
the time of organization: Daniel Shell. J, P, 
Mniilton, .August Falk and Frank Lewis. The 
following have been elected honorary members 
since organization: M, S, Smith. John R, 
Newton. L. E. Covey. H. C. Crawford, Jas, 
Manning, Leon Morris. F, R, Durfee, L., L, 
McCartney, Ray Humiston, Frank Glasgow. 
W, B, Stoutemyer and J. C. Durfee, 



Bibby, assistant; A. II. Palm, secretary; 
M. P. Mann, treasurer. 

1894— A. H. Palm, chief; Jas. Mac- 
kay, as.sistant; Vere Hurlbert, secretary; 
C. H. Babcock, treasurer. 

1895— A. IT. Palm, chief; R. H. 
Bibby, assistant; Harry S. Hobson, sec- 
retary; Jas. S. Ramage, treasurer. 

1896— J. C. Durfee, chief; W. E. 
Madison, assistant ; Harry S. Hobson, 
secretary; Jas. S. Ramage, treasurer. 

1897— R. P. Free, chief; C. H. Bab- 
cock, assistant; Loren Town, secretarj-; 
Jas. S. Ramage, treasurer. 

1808— Jas. Miiekay. chief; A. L. John- 
son, assistant; Uarry S. Hobson, secre- 
tary ; Jas. S. Ramage, treasurer. 

1899- Jas. Mackay, chief; Harry S. 
Hobson, assistant; Arthur P. Rose, sec- 
retary; A. R. Albertus, treasurer. 

1900— Jas. Mackay, chief; Harry S. 
Hobson, assistant; A. W. Fagerstrom, 
secretary; A. R. Albertus, treasurer. 

1901 — Jas. Mackay, chief; Harry S. 
Hobson, assistaiit; .\. W. Fagerstrom, 
secretary; A. R. Albertus, treasurer. 

1902- Jas. Mackay, chief; W. E. 
Madison, assistant; A. W. Fagerstrom. 
secretary ; A. R. Albertus, treasurer. 

1903. 1904 and 1905— Same as in 

1900— W. G. Ramage, chief; W. I. 
Humiston, assistant; A. W. Fagerstrom, 
secretary ; A. R. Albertus, treasurer. 

1907— W. 0. Ramage, chief; W. I. 
Humiston and T. A. Palmer, assistants; 
A. W. Fagerstrom, secretary; .\. R. .M- 
hcrtus. treasurer. 


One of the institutions in which the 
people of Worthington take pride is the 

militia company — company F, of the 
Second infantry M. N. G. — commanded 
by Captain Stelle S. Smith. 

The preliminary steps towards organi- 
zation were taken in the fall of 1905, 
when those interested met and took the 
first steps necessary to bring about the 
admission of a company to the Minne- 
sota national guard. The village coun- 
cil, by resolution of October 13, 1905, 
bound itself to furnish an armory build- 
ing, equip, light, heat and maintain the 
same. The company was quickly re- 
cruited, and on November 22 Adjutant 
General Fred B. Wood issued special 
order No. 60, directing Col. Charles A. 
Van Duzee, of the Third infantry, to 
muster in the Worthington company on 
November 28. The company was mus- 
tered in as directed with the following 
commissioned officers: Anton SchaefFer, 
of Rushmore, captain; Stelle S. Smith, 
of Worthington, first lieutenant; Charles 
B. Ward, of Worthington, second lieu- 
tenant. It was designated company F, 
of the Third infantry, of which Col. Van 
Duzee was the commanding officer. 

Following were the enlisted members 
at the date of muster-in : Oscar B. 
Blood, first sergeant;" .\rtliur .\lbertus. 
quartermaster sergeant; Tra P. Fox. 
Elmer H. Bassett, Morrill Ramage, J. 
T). Matteson, sergeants; Rolx-rt Smith. 
Edward Lawton. W. J. Dodge, Clyde S. 
Jones, Orville Tupper, J. M. Barron, 
corporals; Carl A. Anderson, Charles 
Ashbaugh, David Bear, .Vrba S. Bed- 
ford, Earl Black, Milton J. Black, Guy 
M. Borst, Bert B. Buck, Elmer Carlson. 
Charles M. Crandall, George E. Cun- 
ningham, Fred J. Deuth, Joseph P. 
Derlin, Vergil Fellows, John F. Glas- 
gow, Fred 0. Green. Charles H. Hag- 

"Thc non-commlssloned ofTlccrs were ap- 
pointed January 26. 1906. 














gard, Albert E. Hayward, Eay Humis- 
ton, Outhwaite Kumler, Sterling Law- 
ton, Charles Loveless, Earl McBride, 
James McGee, Bert Malmquist, Frank 
j\I. Manson, James G. Mott, Henry A. 
Nelson, Fred Wetter, Arthur Nieman, 
Robert Oberman, Lloyd Patterson, John 
H. Peterson, Walter Pfeil, Warren A. 
Rose, Thomas Rowe, John Seline, Or- 
val W. Tupper, Henry M. Twitch ell, 
Claude White, Gould Wilson. 

At tlie request of the company, on De- 
cember 9, 1907, Adjutant General Fred 

B. Wood transferred the company from 
the Tliird regiment to the Second, the 
company letter remaining the same, and 
it has since been a company of the Sec- 
ond regiment. 

Captain Anton Schaeffcr resigned Jan- 
nary 31, 1908, and on February 35 an 
election was held to select a captain and 
to fill otlier vacancies. First Lieuten- 
ant Stellc S. Smith was elected captain; 

C. B. Ward, first lieutenant; Oscar F. 
Blood, second lieutenant. The annual 
inspections show the company to be 
among tlie best in the state service. It 
attends the camps each year and has an 
Tini'.vrollcd rifle team. 


In Worthington are three banking in- 
stitutions, one state and two national 
banks. Tliese are tlie State Bank of 
Worthington, Wortliington National 
Bank and Citizens National Bank. 


The oldest bank in Nobles county is 

the State Bank of Worthington, which 

was founded as a private bank under 

the name Bank of Worthington bv Elilm 

Smith and his son, A. M. Smith, in 

1875. The former was president of the 
bank; the latter cashier. The Smiths 
sold the bank to Thos. H. Parsons July 
16, 1881, at which time C. T. Pope was 
installed as cashier. Mr. Parsons sold 
his interest in the institution April 1, 
1883, to Geo. D. Dayton, who operated 
it as a private bank in connection with 
the Minnesota Loan & Investment com- 
pany. Mr. Dayton erected the brick 
block at the corner of Tenth street and 
Third avenue, which has since been the 
home of the bank, in 1885. 

In 1893 Mr. Dayton incorporated the 
institution as a state bank, capital stock 
$50,000, under the old name. In June, 
1900, the name was changed from Bank 
of Worthington to State Bank of Worth- 
ington. Mr. Dayton disposed of his in- 
terests in August, 1898, when the pres- 
ent management took charge. The offi- 
cers now are G-eo. 0. Moore, president; 
Geo. W. Wilson, vice president ; Ned 
Jones, cashier. 


This institution is better known un- 
der the name of Nobles County Bank, as 
it was only during the present year that 
the reorganization which made it a na- 
tional bank took place. 

The Nobles County Bank was organ- 
ized as a private bank with a nominal 
capital of $50,000 by Petr^r Thompson 
and Geo. J. Day in 1879, the doors of 
the bank being opened on the first day 
of the year 1880. The institution was 
located in what was then known as the 
McLaurin building, at the corner of 
Tenth street and Third avenue, now 
known as the Thompson building. Mr. 
Thompson was president and Mr. Day 
cashier. The latter had practical charge 
of the bank from the time of founding 


IIIS'l'olIV OF \r)IU,K=^ rOT'VTV. 

until July, 1886, when he left to take 
charge of the Fii-st Xntionnl Rank, tlion 
just starting. 

After the departure of Mi-. I»:iv. Mil- 
ton P. Mann hecanie the ca.<liicr, in 
which capacity he served many years. 
The final breakup in the partnership be- 
tween Messrs. Thompson ami Dav cimo 
February 13, 1888, and Ihereafter until 
1894 Mr. Thompson was the solo owner 
of the Nobles County i^ank. The insti- 
tution closed its doors during the panic 
of July, 1893, but was later reorganized, 
and it paid all liabilities. 

Air. Thompson sold a half interest in 
the bank to W. M. Evans and E. A. 
Lynd Nov. 1, 1894, and the following 
year the other half was purchased by 
the same parties. Mr. Evans became 
cashier and manager, and has had charge 
of the bank ever since. The new man- 
agement erected the handsome brick 
block on Tenth street, which has since 
been the home of the bank, in 1899, 
and it was occupied for the fir?t llmo 
on December 23 of that. year. 

.\ reorganization was effected caily in 
1908, and the Nobles County Bank be- 
came the Wortbington National Eauk. 
The capital stock is $2.'5,000, all paid in. 
and is owned by twenty stockholders, all 
of whom are residents of Wortbington 
or the immediate vicinifv. The cliar- 
ter Avas dated Jan. 10. lOO.S, and the 
bank under Ibe new naiue began opera- 
tions Januarv IH. The first officers and 
directors were W. M. Evans, presidcnl : 
r>anicl Shell, vice president: \. W. Fag- 
erstrom, cashier: John ;\. "Robcrg, Sirlle 
S. Smith. 


The establishment op the Citizens Na- 
fi<]iial Bank was conceived in .\pril. 

\w\. ulien (.', T. Tupper came to AVorth- 
ington an<l succeeded in interesting ,1. 
I). Ilumi-^ton, Geo. W. Patterson, 0. (I. 
(irundstcn and W. W. Loveless in the 
jjroject. Stock was subscribed by the.^e 
gentlemen and by N. T. Burroughs, of 
Chicago, and W. A. Sanford, of Chero- 
kee, Iowa, who were president and vice 
president, respectively, of the First Nat- 
ional Bank of Cherokee. .Application for 
tJic charter of Ihc Citizens National 
Bank, with capital stock of $9."),00n 
($10,000 paid in), was made, and the 
treasury deparlmi'iit issued the document 
July 22, 1901. 

.Vugust 19 the bank opened its doors 
in a frame building, which was tempor- 
arily located in F(iurth avennc. .\ lot 
was purchased at the corner of Tenth 
street and Fourth avenue, and in Jan- 
u,-n-y. 1902. thr pr(>spnt home of the 
bank, a handsome brick block, was coni- 
]dctcd. The officers and directors at the 
time of founding were Ceo. W. Patter- 
son, president: J. Ti. TTuiniston. vice 
president: C. T. Tujiper, cashier: ^Y. 
W. Loveless, 0. 0. Orundslen. .Afr. 
Loveless disyx)sed (if his interests in 
1903, and was succeeded on the board by 
John F. Scott. 'Mr. Humiston sold his 
stock in 1901. and was succeeded bv 
Frank Olasgow. 'Mr. Tupper sold in 
May, 1907, and his place as cashier and 
director was taken bv S. 'M. Stewart. 
The liaids has relurned i-egular annual 
dividends since the date of organization. 


For over two years in the late eighties 
the First National Bank of Wortbing- 
ton had an exisienee. The bank was op- 
ened July 1. 1SSG, wilh Ceo. J. Day 
in charge. Among the stockholders were 
Messrs. Mendenball. of the Diamond 



State Iron Works^. of Wilmington, Ucl.; 
George W. Bush, president of a Wil- 
mington savings bank ; Capell and Pen- 
nypacker, capitalists of Wilmington ; and 
Anton Knoblanck, a banker of Carver, 
:\Iinn. In September, 1888, two of the 
principal stockholders appeared in 
Wortbington and' closed the institution. 
The accoimts and notes were placed in 
the hands of Geo. 0. Moore, of the 
Bank of Worthington, for collection, and 
funds were left with the same gentle- 
man to pay depositors. The affairs of 
the institution were soon wound up. 

The Farmers and Citizens Bank was 
a private banking house managed by 
Geo. J. Day for a short time during the 
nineties. It was closed as a result of 
legal proceedings brought against Mr. 


For nearly thirty years annual fairs 
have been held at Worthington, for many 
years under the auspices of the Nobles 
County Fair association, but in later 
years under the auspices of the Worth- 
iu:;(nii District Fair association, which 
took tlic place of the earlier organiza- 

So early as 187(1 the settlers of Nobles 
county decided to liold a county fair. 
Early in the summer of that year the 
grasshoppers had not put in their annual 
appcar'aucc. and liopes were entertained 
that they would not. It was then that 
an agricultural society was formed, and 
a few determined (n put forth efForts to 
liold a fair that fall. On Monday, July 
34, 187fi, five memlieis of the executive 
committee of the organization met at the 

■A stock joke is to the effect that at this 
tirsl fair the only exhibit.^ were a bull and a 
piiiniikin; that tlie liiill got loose during the 

Worthington hotel to consider plans for 
proceeding with the preparations. These 
gentlemen were C. A. Barrows, J. H. 
Cunningham, J. P. Vail. R. B. Plotts 
and W. S. Stockdale. They decided to 
hold the fair at Worthington on Thurs- 
day. September 7, and Messrs. Barrows, 
Stockdale and Plotts were named a com- 
mittee to pi'cpare a premium list. For 
very good reasons the fair was not held. 
Soon after the preparations were begun 
the hoppers swooped down \ipon the 
country again, and all thoughts of a fair 
wei-c given up. 

After this failure no further steps 
were taken toward holding a fair un- 
til 1879. Then there was organized the 
Nobles County Fair association, an or- 
ganization which had a life of many 
years, and was only succeeded by the 
Wortbington District Fair association in 
recent years. A. L. Eunyon was the 
first president of the pioneer organiza- 
tion, and C. T. Pope was the first sec- 
retary. The first fair was held at Wortb- 
ington October 10 and 11, 1879. There 
were no buildings, no race track. The 
fair was held in the open on grounds 
Iwtween West Okabena lake and the 
Sioux City & St. Paul railroad tracks — 
about where the Stoutemyer ice houses 
are now located. Tt was indeed a prim- 
ative affair. But while the exhibits 
were few and the attractions not many, 
everybody took a deep interest in this 
first exhibition of the county's resources, 
and it was a success." 

This was a start. Thereafter annual 
fairs were hold. The next year the fair 
was spoiled by the terrible blizzard which 
swept over the country October 1.5. Land 
was leased on the south shore of Oka- 
bena lake, buildings were erected, and 

night before the fair opened, ate the pump- 
kin, died from the effects, and that the fair 
waB necessarily declared off. 



for iiijiny years the county fairs were 
held tliere, about one mile from the city. 
The association was put on a business 
basis March 10, 1892, when the Nobles 
County Fair Ground association was in- 
corporated with a capital stock of $10,- 
000. The incorporators were W. E. 
Stoutemyer, Daniel Shell, John IT. Den- 
ton, John ir. Scott, H. M. Palm, L. B. 
Bennett and J. W. Read, and the first 
officers were W. E. Stoutemyer, presi- 
dent; J. B. Green, vice president: Frank- 
Lewis, secretary; II. M. Palm, treasurer. 
The annual exhibits were held on the 
fair orroimds of the old association until 
1909. In the summer of that year the 
Worthington District Fair association 
was incorporated. The capital stock was 
$15,000, and the first board of directors 
was composed of Geo. W. Patterson, E. 
A. Tripp. A. R. Albevfus. H. Pfeil, G. 
T. Bulick. n. N. Douglas and C. T. 
Tupper. Spacious grounds were pur- 
chased in the north part of the city, suit- 
able buildings were erected, and since 
that date the fairs have annually been 
held under the auspices of the nen' or- 


The Worthington Cliautauqua associa- 
tion is a comparatively new organization, 
hut it has done more to advance the in- 
terests of the city in which it is located 
than many an older organization. The 
assoeia+ion came into eristenco in 
March. 1900. Many Worthington peo- 
ple had realized for a long time that 
the city had everything necessary to 
make a chautauqua a success. Among 
the culture loving people the matter had 

'Thosf- who partlclpatpd In this first meet- 
Inir woro J. S. TIam.TeP. A. T. T.ntta. H. R. 
Edwards. Qpo. O. Moorp. Ned Jone.s. Jas, 

often been discussed, but no action was 
taken to crystalize the inovemenl until 
one day in March, 190G, when I'lof. C. 
IT. Warne, chautauqua organizer, of 
Waterloo, Iowa, arrived in the city, 
prepared to launch the movement. 

The stock was readily subscribed, and 
on ilarch 29 the stockholders met and 
organized the Worthington Chaiitautpia 
association' with the i'oldlwing officers 
mid board of directors: A. T. Laifa. 
lu-i'sident; J. S. Ramage, vice |ii-i-iilciit : 
A. Ii'. Albertus, secretary: li. I'.. Liar, 
treasurer; Thos. Dovery, William Chan- 
cy, A. J. Gotf, S. S. Smith and Gust 

The beautiful c'ity park on the north 
shore of Okabena lake was secured for 
the chautauqua grounds, and a more 
liciiulirul j>hu-e woidd be hard to find. 
Located on the higher banks of the lake, 
it is a beauty spot. It is convenient to 
ilic business center of tlie town, and af- 
lurds unequalled opportunity for camp 
ing, boating, bathing and fishing. Tiic 
grounds are lighted by electricity, air 
connected with the city by long distance 
telephone lines, and are supplied with 
city water. There the first annual as- 
sembly was held .August f! to 1 I. and 
the list of attractions was such that tin' 
chautauqua was a success from the start. 
A permanent assembly hall was erected 
in 190r at a cost of $2,500. The sctumd 
assembly was held July 4 to 14, 1907, 
and the association was then put on a 
paying basis. The third assembly \vn^ 
held in July, 190S. 


.Vn organization of great bcncni to the 
city is the commercial club, wliirli was 

Maokay. T,. R, Ghniz, William rhaiu'v. T. A. 
Palmer. H. Hawley. H. B. Lear and C. T. 



organized Jan. 15, 1907. The first of- 
ficers chosen were A. E. Albertus, presi- 
dent; A. T. Latta, first vice president; 
E. L. Morland, second vice president; 
Ned Jones, secretary ; Loren Clark, treas- 
urer. The whole of the second story of 
Ihe Loveless block was leased, and the 
rooms were fitted up for the convenience 
of the members; later quarters were es- 
tablished in the city hall. The club 
takes an active part in the affairs of the 
village, and is a strong organization. 


The Carnegie Library was completed 
in December, 1904, at a cost of about 
$13,000. Of this amount Andrew Car- 
negie gave $10,000; tlie balance was 
raised by subscription. Tlie city bound 
itself to expend $1,000 annually on its 
maintenance. Tlie library was opened 
March 4, 1905. Its management was 
vested in a board consisting of C. M. 
Crandall, president; F. L. Humiston, F. 
M. Manson, Frank Glasgow, A. T. 
T>atta, John Eamage, secretary; C. T. 
Tuppcr," C. P. Dolan and E. L. Mor- 
hiiid. Mrs. Emma Sibley served as li- 
brarian from the date of opening until 
190T, when she was succeeded by Mrs. 
Emma Mackintosh. 


This organization came into existence 
in 1905 with the following officers: J. 
S. Eamage, president; A. E. Albertus, 
secretary ; E. L. Nance, treasurer. The 
association now has about ninety mem- 
bers, owns a bath house, toboggan slides, 
boats, etc.. valued at over $1,200. The 

present ofl'icers and directors are J. S. 
Eamage, president; A. E. Albertus, sec- 
retary; W. M. Evans, treasurer; 0. W. 
Dieckhoft', Jas. Mackay. 


Worthiugton has two brass bauds. 
The Worthington band was organized in 
190G, when Prof. Wilson Abbott became 
the leader. The band now has nearly 
fifty pieces, and is one of the best bands 
in southwestern Minnesota. For many 
years the Scandinavians of the city have 
maintained an excellent band — the 
Worthington Concert band, Carl A. An- 
derson, leader. 


The Worthington Gun club was or- 
ganized in June, 1900, witli about forty 
members. Harvey Eew was captain of 
the club and 0. W. Dieckhoff was secre- 
tary. There have been several organiza- 
tions since the first club started. For 
some time the Mauga trap was used in 
the tournaments but in late years tlie 
club has been using tlic expert system. 


In tlie fall of 1906 Dr. F. M. Manson 
founded the Worthington hospital and 
lias since been its proprietor. The build- 
ing is a two and a half story structure,- 
located at the corner of Fourth avenue 
and Eleventh street. 

The hospital is provided with all mod- 
ern conveniences. It is perfectly ven- 
tilated, heated by steam, lighted by elec- 
tricity, and is furnished with sound 
deadeners and electric annunciators. 

'Upon the removal of Mr. Tupper from the by C. J. Smallwood. 
city in 1907 his place on the board was talcen been no change. 

Otherwise there has 



The arrangement of ilie building i.s 
admirable for tlie purposes for whicli it 
is used. On the lirnl lloor are a large 
reception room, a private consultation 
office, a dark room for optical work, a 
general practice office, a drug and sup- 
ply room, and a ward room, furnished 
with four hospital beds. All the wood- 
work of the lower floor is of Antwerp 
finished oak. 

On the second floor are the nurses' 

room, an operating room, sterilizing 
room, bath room, and private rooms for 
patients. All the woodwork of the sec- 
ond floor is wliite finished. The tiiinl 
floor is fitted up into a larj^e sun balli 

The institution has been liberally pat- 
ronized since its founding and is one 
of Wortliington's enterprises which has 
been of great benefit to the community. 



With more propriety can the title about the organization of a duirch so- 

'■t'ity of rhnrclu'"" lie given to Worth- ciety. Prof. li. F. Humistou, one of the 

ington than to I'.rnnklyn. Tliere are in founders of tlie colony, was a member 
Worthington ten cliurcii organizations- 

one for each "-i^O inhabitants. Of these 
all except one have churcli edifices, which 
range in value from .$-40,000 down. The 
societies maintaining organizations in 
the village are Congregational, Metho- 

of the "Union Church" on Cleveland 
Heights (Cleveland, Oliio), and was 
heartily in favor of a iinioii eliurch in 
Worthington. His plan was to have a 
ehurch organization which should be par- 
ticipated in by every evangelical chris- 

dist, Presbyterian, Swedish Lntheran, tian in the community, regardless of 
Episcopal, Catholic, Evangelical Asso- previous denominational affiliation. A 
cintion. Baptist. Swedish Mission and large majority of those on the ground 
Christ inn. Only the last named is with- exiH-essed themselves as favoring such a 

movement, and of tliose who were doubt- 
ful of its expediency no one was found 
who did not advise the proposed plan 

(lilt a rhurch building. 

'I'lic lii~t three named are the oldest, 
all having eomc into existence during the 
month of May, 18T;5. But for over a 
before anv of these were organized 


an organization, styled the "Colony 
Christian Union," a union of all the 
christian denoiniiiations represented in 
the village, worshipped regularly. 


for the first year, at least. 

For some weeks before a formal nv- 
ganizatiou was made services were hckl 
at different places in the little village. 
The first service was held in a partly 
finished store building on Fourth avenue, 
which was being erected by Wm. B. 
Akins. On Saturday evening the shav- 
ings w-ere swept up, the work bench was 
WTien the pioneers of the National brushed off, and planks were laid on 
colony began to arrive in Worthington boxes and nail kegs to serve the pur- 
in the spring of 1872 one of their first pose of seats. Here on Sunday morn- 
considerations was a place of worship, ing the first religious service was held 
and steps were at once taken to bring in Worthington. 

'For the data concerning the history of this Moore. The facts are secured almost wholly 
church, as weH as that of the Union Congre- from his pamphlet "History of the Union Con- 
gational, I am under obligations to Dr. Geo. O. gregational Church." 




Before the next Sabbath the buildiug 
was oucupied by Mr. Akiiis' hardware 
store, aud the worshippers were com- 
pelled to seek aecouiiuodatious else- 
where. One or two Sabbaths, services 
were held in a carpenter shop on the lot 
just to the east of the present location 
of tlie Citizens National Bank, and one 
Sabbath in the store building on Ninth 
street, now occupied by S. \'. Wyckoff. 
lu the uieautiiiie one Samuel Hilcy had 
]iurchased tlie two corner lots opposite 
the Worthiiigton hotel, and on one of 
them proceeded to erect a frame store 
building (where Sterling Bros." clothing 
store now stands.) Notwithstanding the 
well understood principles and wishes of 
the colony founders in regard to tlie 
sale of intoxicating liquors, a man had 
leased, in advance of its erection, the 
Hiley building aud had already made 
arrangements to open a saloon therein. 
Now, it so happened that there came a 
time when this was tlie only room open 
to tiie worshippers, and there a service 
was held before the building was com- 
pleted. The next Sabbath the room was 
completed and the bar in position, but 
as no liquor had yet arrived, the church 
people again assembled therein. One 
week later the saloon was in operation 
and tlie church had to seek other quar- 

Previous to tiie opening of the saloon, 
however, a church society had been or- 
ganized. The meeting was held in the 
saloon building on the twelfth day of 
May, 1872, at five o'clock in the after- 
noon, for the purpose "of organizing a 
society for the furthering of tlie wor- 
ship of God in the community." Prof. 
Ilumiston presided, and Dr. Geo. 0. 
Moore was the secretary. The chairman 
suggested the formation of a "union so- 
ciety," with one pastor. Remarks were 

made by Rev. David Bear, A. P. Miller, 
R. B. Plotls, G. Anderson. I. P. Dur- 
fee, R. D. Barber and Geo. 0. Moore in 
favor of the idea. I. N. Sater cordially 
favored the plan for the present, but 
thouglit the time should be left indef- 
inite. Rev. B. H. Crever, a Methodist 
preacher who was a resident of Wortli- 
ington at the time, was chosen pastor. 
\ committee, consisting of A. P. Miller, 
1. N. Sater, Dr. R. D. Barber, J. C. 
Clark and Dr. Geo. (). Mnnre, was ap- 
pointed to report for adoption a plan 
of organization, fix the salary of the pas- 
tor, and attend to other necessary mat- 
ters pertaining to the new church. The 
committee held two meetings in the of- 
fice of Prof. Humiston, and at anotlier 
meeting of the church held May 19 re- 
ported the following recommendations, 
in substance: 

That a society for religious purposes be 
organized under the name of the Colony 
Chrisliau Church, to be officered as follows: 
A pic'sident, secretary, treasurer and au 
executive eoniinitlee of five; that the pastor 
act <as president, and that the other officers 
lie elected annually; that any person believ- 
ing in the dectrines set forth in the Apostles' 
Creed should be eligil)Ie to membership; that 
the society continue until May 1, 187S; that 
the regular services consist of one preaching 
service on Sabbath morning bj- the regular 
jiastor, with Sunday school and Bible class 
in tlie afternorin, and that on Sabbath even- 
ing the free use of the house be tendered to 
any orthodox clergyman who may choose to 
preach to us; that Kev. B. If. Crever be our 
pastor; that a building be erected by volun- 
tary effort, 30x50 feet in size, 12 foot story, 
at a cost not to exceed $1,200. 

The report was adopted, article by ar- 
ticle, and the permanent organizatimi 
was completed by the election of Geo. 0. 
Moore secretary and I. N. Sater (reas- 
urer. An executive committee, composed 
of J. C. Clark, B. S. Langdon, I. I'. 
Durfeo, A. C. Robinson, II. D. Ilumis- 
ton, R. F. Humiston, I. N. Satet and 
Geo. 0. Moore, was named. 

lu the mi'atitiine I'rof. Humiston and 



Dr. Miller, the colony promoters, mind- 
ful of the needs of a place for public 
assemblage, took council together, and 
their deliberations resulted in the erec- 
tion of the structure known as Miller 
hall. The upper floor of this building 
was divided into one large hall, 48x55 
feet, and two small halls in front on 
either side of the stairway. It was the 
intention that the large hall should be 
used for public worship and other pub- 
lic gatherings, the Union church having 
the preference. The hall was subse- 
quently leased by the society for $250 
per annum, and the first services w-ere 
held there Nov. 17, 1872. 

It was the general understanding and 
wish that the organization be completed 
and that by vote the church place itself 
under the watch care of one of the de- 
nominational bodies, which event would 
place the church in position to receive 
aid in paying the pastor. Rev. Crever, 
notwithstanding repeated urging to com- 
plete the organization, for some reason 
neglected to do so. The first year ended 
as it had begun; all met together in one 
place for worship, but the organization 
was not perfected and there was no 
affiliation with any denomination. These 
conditions were unsatisfactory, and the 
discussion of the matter grew more earn- 
est as the first anniversary of the 
clmrch approached. Finally a meeting 
v.-as held at the hall on April 22, 1873, 
to which were asked all who were in- 
terested in a union organization, to 
comprise all of the evangelical elements 
of the place. J. S. Shuck was chairman 
of the meeting. Dr. Geo. 0. Moore has 
■written concerning the deliberations of 
that meeting: 

After a lengthy discussion an adjourn- 
ment was taken to allow the Presbyterians 
oportunity to consult as to their course. It 

had been agreed bj- tlie diflferent state sup- 
erintendents that we should not be inter- 
fered with by them, but should be allowed 
to consider and decide the question among 
ourselves, uninfluenced by outside help or 
interference, in conformance with this un- 
derstanding, Mr. Richard Hall, the Congrega- 
tional superintendent, studiously avoided this 
part of che field, but ilr. Lyon, Presbyter- 
ian, and Mr. AVright, Methodist, took active 
part in oui- deliberations, both by their per- 
sonal presence and by written communica- 
tions, and it was no doubt largely owing to 
their influence and advice that the union ef- 
fort was unsuccessful. 

Two or three general meetings and 
frequent private conferences made it 
plain that nothing could be accomplished 
in the matter of permanent organization 
along the lines already followed. Then 
a meeting was called of "all those spec- 
ially desiring union organization." The 
meeting was held April 26, 1873, and 
was presided over by Dr. E. D. Bar- 
ber. Twenty-nine residents had signi- 
fied their intention to take part in the 
deliberations of the proposed church or- 
ganization. A committee was appointed, 
consisting of C. S. Newton, Presbyter- 
ian; I. P. Durfee, Christian; E. F. 
Humiston, Congregational; Mrs. M. P. 
Manley, Baptist; and J. Ames, Independ- 
ent, to draft articles of faith for the as- 
sociation. This committee reported to 
an adjourned meeting on April 29 a 
platform, which was read article by ar- 
ticle, and referred back to the committee 
for further action. On Sunday, May 
24, 1873, the committee reported a con- 
fession of faith, and it was adopted, ar- 
ticle by article, without a dissenting vote. 
The committee was continued, with in- 
structions to report a covenant to be 
adopted at a future meeting. Arrange- 
ments were made to procure a room for 
a church and to .secure a temporary sup- 
Iily of preaching. It was at this meeting 
of May 4 that, on motion of Prof. Hum- 
iston, the members decided to ask the 



Congregatioual deuomiuatiou to take the 
uew oriiaiiizaUou uudcr its watch care. 


The idea of a uuiou church, embrac- 
ing ail deuominatious, was abandoned, 
and the three deuomiuatious having the 
greatest strengtli, Congregational, Metlio- 
dist and Presbyterian, each organized a 
church society. The Union Congrega- 
tional church was tlic first of these to 
perfect ;ui organization; in fact, its 
organization was simply a continuance 
of the temporary arrangement of those 
who desired a union of all denominations 
in one church. For some time corre- 
spondence had been carried on with l{ev. 
Richard Hall, Congregational state su- 
perintendent, in regard to church aiiairs 
in Wortiiington. On Sunday, Alay 18, 
18? 3, that officer was present, and the 
Union Congregational church of Worlh- 
ington was formally organized^ with the 
following charter members: Trof. R. F. 
llunii.-tnn, llaiTii-l lluiniston, Geo. 0. 
Moore, Clara F. Moore, John C. Clark, 
Lydia 11. Clark, (Uuirles 8. Newton, Sid- 
ney llanington, Cornelia L. Harrington, 
• ImIiii |')li)(_lg('tt; and on jirolVssion of I'aith 
li'. I ». iJarber, Mattie liarber, J. Ames, 
A. r. Miller and Jacob Neil Dow.^ 

The official title of the organization 
was "The Union Congregational Cliurrli 
and Sdiiity 111' W'lirthington." IJoyV nian- 
iicl furnished the new cliurrli with a 
const it ution, which was formally atlopled, 
with a code of by-laws, on June 24, at 

'"The Union church was 
fully orRanlzed on Sabbath last by Rev. 
Richard Hall, of St. Paul. This now organiza- 
tion starts out with favorable prospects. We 
understand that no delay will be made In se- 
curing a pastor." — Western Advance. May 24. 

"Others who became members of thi iluncb 
during 1873 were Mrs. J. Ames. H. U. Prince. 
Mrs. B. R. Prince, J. H. Maxwell. I. P. Dur- 

which time the first church officers were 

The urgent need of a church building 
was recognized by all, and on Aug. 24. a 
meeting was held, when the first steps 
were taken looking toward the erection 
of a church edifice. A building com- 
mittee, a finance committee and a comit- 
tee to correspond with the Congregatioual 
ilissionary societies, with reference to 
aid in building and in paying the sal- 
ary of a pastor, were appointed. These 
committees immediately set to work, 
plans were reported, and a lot was se- 
cured on the corner of Third avenue and 
Eleventh street. Bids were then asked 
on the construction of a building which 
it was estimated would cost about $3,300. 

Ground was broken early in Septem- 
ber, 18T3, and on Dec. 38, of the samo 
year, the edifice was dedicated. Rev. Rich- 
ard Hall, the state superintendent, offi- 
ciating. The building was 33x45 feet 
and had a 16-foot ceiling. The auditor- 
ium had a seating capacity of 200, and 
there was also a basement, which prov- 
ed an exceedingly valuable convenience 
I'm- Sunday school, prayer meeting and so^ 
cial purposes. This jiioneer eliureh build- 
ing of W'orthingtdii was entirely destroy- 
ed by hre on Jan. l."i, ino.'i. entailing a 
less of $4,000, with $1,2U0 insurance. 
A handsome and commodious new clninh 
uas erected during 190fi by the congre- 
.aation. Tlie cost wa? about $7,000, and 
it was (leilieateil in l'"eliruai'y, 1907. 

During tlie Slimmer of 1874 the first 
regular pastor was installed. Following 
is a list of the pastors who have served 

fee. J. F. Hollipcter, Ellon A. Weatherbee. 
Elmira Hollipcter. Mar.v IIumLston. Mrs. M. 
P. Manlcy. Rachel n. Rice. A. C. Durfee. Mrs. 
Miller. O. I.. Howard. James Mann. Jennie A. 
Mann. Klihu Smith. Cracia R. Smith. Alpheus 
.M. Smith. Mary R. Smith. Tleiirletl.l G. 
Smilli. Join- W. Smith. Calista Smith and 
Ilenry J. Grant. During 1874 the following be- 
cam<' members: Chas. 13. Loveless. Mary C. 
Loveless. Amy J. Miner, Mrs. R. B. Plotts, R. 
P. Plotts. Mrs. W. S. Stockdale. 



ihe church since its founding and tlii' 
dafes of their service : 

C. C. Foote, June 24, 1ST4, to Oct. 
1, 1874. 

H. B. Tuttlf, Dec. 1, 1874, to .fune 1, 

Chas. W. Ilanna, June 1, 1879, to 
June 1, 1880. 

H. H. Hart, Aug. S, 1880, to Aug. 
1, 1883. 

M. S. Crossvvell, Oct. 1, 1883, to Jau. 
1, 1884. 

David Henderson, Jan. 20, 1884, to 
Jan. 20, 1888. 

F. L. Fisk, May 13, 1888, to July 2.5, 

Piobert McCune, Aug. 3, 1891, to Aug. 
1, 1897. 

C. \V. Merrill, Oct. 3, 1897, to Oct. 
13, 1898. 

J. P. Dickerman, May 1, 1899, to 
Nov. 1, 1900. 

C. H. Curtis, Feb. 1, 1901, to Jan. 1, 

C. H. Mcintosh, May 1, 1904, to Sept. 
24, 1905. 

John E. Evans, Jan. 1, 1906, to De- 
cember, 1907. 

William Fletcher, Jan 1, 19U8, to date. 

Following is a list of the Sunday 
school superintendents in chronological 
order, th(^ dates of service being given 
of all but the earlier ones: S]liliu 
Smith, .}. Ames, E. F. Humiston, A. 1'. 
Miller. A. L. Eunyon, E. D. Barber, 
M. P. Maun, 1S82-3-4-5; J. W. Crigler, 
1886-7-8; R. W. McCune, 1889; J. W. 
Crigler, 1890; M. A. Nichols, 1891; 
John R. Newton, 1892 ; Eay Humiston, 
1893 ; M. E. Fish, 1894 ; Mrs. E. L. Por- 
ter, 1895 ; Geo. 0. Moore, 1896 ; Mrs. H. 
J. Ludlow, 1897-8-9; Dr. G. R. Curran, 
1900-1-2-3; Mrs. H. J. Ludlow, 1904; M. 
P. Mann, 1903-6; A. W. Fagerstrom. 


When the union church idea was aban- 
doned in the spring of 1873 the Metho- 
dists, under the leadership of Eev. 
B. H. Crever, who had been the pastor 
of the union church during the year 
of that body's existence, were among 
the first to take steps to bring about 
the organization of a denominational 
body. During the month of May those 
members of the union flock who were 
grounded in the faith of John Wesley 
banded tliemselves together and termed 
the first Methodist body in Nobles coun- 
ty. The first paper of record concerning 
the founding of the Jlethodist church of 
Worthington is the following certificate, 
which was filed in the office of the regis- 
ter of deeds of Nobles county on May 
21, 1873: 

Know all men that on the lOtli clay of 
May, eighteen hundred and seventli-three. I, 
B. H. Carver, pastor of the First Methodist 
Episcopal church of Worthington, county of 
Nobles and state of Minnesota, in the interim 
of the quarterly conference, and agreeable 
to the discipline and usage of the Metho- 
dist Episcopal church in the United States 
of America, and of the statutes of Minne- 
sota, have appointed the following named 
persons trustees of the said Methodisi Epis- 
copal church in the Vnited States of Amer- 
ica, namely: Henry Humiston. R. F. Hum- 
iston, Isaac N. Sater, C. Z. Sutton. (!. An- 
derson. Otis Bigelow, W. S. .Stockdale, Dr. 
A. P. Miller and Stephen Miller, in and for 
the said village of Worthington, they and 
their successors in ofi'ice to hold in trust 
the property of said church in said village 
of Worthington under the corporate name 
and style of trustees of the First Methodist 
Episcopal church in Worthington, Minnesota. 
Witness my hand and seal the name and 
vear above written. 

B. H. CREVER. [Seal.] 

Presiding Elder Wright met with the 
Worthington Methodists and completed 
the work of organization. There were 
about thirty charter members, among 
whom were the following : Mr. and Mrs. 
Otis Bigelow, Mr. and Mrs. I. N. Sater, 



Mv. and Mrs. Elias ypaulding, Mr. and 
ills. W . (Jliase, Mr. and Mrs. C Z. Sut- 
loUj Lruslus LhurL-li aud liciiry ILuuns- 
ton. iiuv. B. il. Crevur served as paslor 
two jears. Miller ball was rented during 
the lu'st year's lile ol tiie eliurcii. Then, 
in 1S74, the property was purchased, the 
Duildiug dedicated, aud services were held 
tliere regularly until the building was 
destroyed by lire in 1878. The loss of 
tlicii- place oi; worship was an almost 
insurmountable blow. The Presbyterians 
caiue lo their aid and tendered the use 
ol their church building. The oiler 
was accepted, and the Methodists worship- 
ped there a few months — until January 
1, 1879. From that time until July 
1880, the Nobles county court house was 
utilized as a house of worship. Bennett 
hall (now the Masonic building) was leas- 
ed at that time, and thereafter, until 
a home of their own was completed in 
the fall uf ISSv', the Methodists occu- 
jjied that building. The congregation 
was poor, and the struggles during the 
early days to continue the church organ- 
ization were severe.'' 

The fir.«t Jlethodist church building, 
located at the corner of Fourth avenue, 
and Ninth street, was begun in (he fall 
of 1881, under the pastorate of Rev. 
W. T. Ilobart, a missionary to China, 
'i'he laboi' was largely dunaled, and the 
pastor personally took a hand in the 
work, he doing the lathing. The work 
of building was slowly and steadily kept 
up until the fall of 1882. Under the pas- 
torate of Rev. B. F. Kephart the church 
wa.s dedicated. The co.«t of the building 
was about $2,000; of that a mil .$1,600 

•"A few words on the character of the 
foiinder.s of this church may be appropriately 
added. Of the e.'irly struKBles of the church 
none can have but .a faint eoneeplion of its 
many hard.ships except those who participated 
in tiiem. But be it said of ttie early meml>ers 
that, in their periods of depression, and in 
many and various difficulties they, like the 
Puritan fathers, never lost sight of their one 
purpose, to serve their God and their Master. 

had been paid or pledged and the re- 
maining $100 was raised on the day of 
dedication. The building was not en- 
tirely finished ■ until 1885, when Rev. 
W'm. Copp, who was then in charge, 
pushed it to completion. 

While the early day struggles of the 
church were severe, better times were 
ahead, and its recent history is one ol 
prosperity. The membersship grew and 
its wealth increased. The old church 
building, wliich had seemed so fine in 
the early days, was no longer large 
enough. It was during the pastorate of 
Rev. Carl A. Anderson that the erection 
of a new church building was first con- 
sidered. When Rev. Thos. Hambly was 
appomted to the charge in 1901 interest 
in the proposed building was revived. 
Generous subscriptions were received 
during the winter and spring, and in 
the summer of 1902, work was begun 
on the foundation of the new structure. 
The corner of Eleventh street and Fourth 
avenue was selected as the site, and the 
residence of Otis Biglow, which occu- 
]iied the site, was removed. Work pro- 
gressed rapidly, and on May 3, 1903, the 
beautiful modern structure was dedicated. 
II valuation is placed at $20,000. and 
il is one of the best church buildings 
in Minnesota. The auditorium ari'ange- 
nient, with the spacious gallery, makes it 
most convenient and desirable in pro- 
viding for large a.^somblages. Concerning 
llie iiiore I'ccent history of the church, 
a member luis prepared the following: 

In Uie middle of liis third year as pastor 
l{ev. Thos. H.amltly was, at his own request, 
transferred to tlie North Ohio conference by 
Bishop l<'owler, who at tlie same time ap- 

They were firm set in the principle of hon- 
esty and the practice of virtue. They were 
sober, industi'ious and frugal: resolute, zealous 
;tnd steadfast. In the school of adversity they 
Kained the discipline of patience. They were 
the children of adversity hut are becoming 
the fathers of renown. Their work Is done. 
Secred be the trust committed lo our care." — • 
D. B. Kumlor. in History of M. E. Church. 



pointeJ Rev. G. A. Cahoon to the pastorate 
of the Worthington church (February, 1904). 
But oue Svuulay iutervened between the clos- 
ing of Mr. Hambly's pastorate and the as- 
suming of the pastoral relations by Mr. Ca- 
hoon, who came here after a pastorate of 
•nearly six years at Goodhue, Minn., and who 
at the time of the preparation of this worlv 
is on his fifth year as pastor of the Worth- 
ington church. 

Duiing this latter pastorate the church has 
been strengthened both numerically and 
spiritually. The pastor was one of the lead- 
ers in arranging for and carrying through the 
famous tabernacle meetings, conducted by 
Kvangelist Wm. A. Sunday, and which con- 
tinued for nearly five weeks, beginning Dec. 
7. 1906. The Methodist church, in common 
with several other churches, was greatly 
strengthened by this series of meetings. The 
mcmlicrship was stirred to gi'eater activity, 
while about one hundred fifty persons united 
with the church, either on probation or by 
letter, as a result of the meeting. The larger 
number of the probationers later came into 
full membership, and among them are many 
of the substantial and active members of the 
church. The following description of the 
services held in the church Sunday morning, 
Jan. 13, 1907, and which apeared in the 
Wortliington Advance of .Jan. 17. 1007, is a 
matter of historic value, and will be of in- 
terest to many: 

"The Methodist church was tilled with an 
interested and happy company of people last 
Sunday morning. The large chorus clioir led the 
ringing of sonic of the old hymns and the 
audience took hold with enthusiasm. A male 
quartette sang a selection, and Dr. F. B. 
Cowgill preached an able sermon. The pastor 
Ker. G. A. Cahoon, spoke briefly concerning 
some cliaracteristics of Methodism and the 
conditions of membership, and extended an in- 
vitation to those who desired to do so to 
come forward and unite with the chinch. 

"Tellers were stationed at the end of the 
side aisle, down which the company came, and 
after the name of each had been recorded 
they were received by the pastor and presid- 
ing elder. A committee representing the var- 
ious activities of the church were at the 
altar to welcome tlie new members, who re- 
mained standing. Afterwards all those who 
had signed cards at the tabernacle meetings, 
and who desired publicly to renew their vous, 
were invited to stand, and many arose. The 
pastor extended a cordial welcome on behalf 
of the church, and Dr. Cowgill, the presiding 
elder, expressed his gratification at the results 
of the service and added words of wise 
counsel. The tellers were asked to report 
their lists, and it was found that ninety- 
six persons had identified themselves with the 
church at this one service. It was certainly 
a great day for the Methodist church in 

^Six months — June to December. 

Following is the list of pastors, with 
tlie dates of their service, who have 
filled the pulpit of the Methodist church 
of Worthington : 

B. H. Crever, 187.3-1873. 
J. W. Lewis, 1875.= 

J. C. Ogle, 1875-1878. 

C. H. Dixon, 1878-1879. 
Charles Sheldon, 1879-1880. 
T. H. Kinsman, 1880-1881. 
W. T. Hobart, 1881-1882. 
Geo. Merritt, 1882." 

B. F. Kephart, 1883-1881. 
Wm. C'opp, 188-1-1885. 

E. T!. Lathrop, 1885-1888. 
II. J. ITarrington, 1888-1890. 
Wm. Brown, 1890-1893. 
W. J. Eobinson, 1893-1895. 
W. A. Putnam, 1895-1896. 
J. M. Bull, 1896-1899. 

C. A. Anderson, 1899-1901. 
Thos. Hambly, 1901-1904. 
G. A. Cahoon, 1904 to date. 

The church has never been so pros- 
perous as at the present time, and all 
its members feel that the churcli lias 
entered upon a career of marked pro':- 
perity and splendid usefulness. E. W. 
Goff is chairman of the board of trus- 
tees, A. T. Latta is secretary, Wm. 
Schroeder is recording steward and A. J. 
Gnff is church treasurer. Several aux- 
iliary societies are maintained. 


So early as February 3, 1873, while 
the religious community was undecided 
as to tlie course to pursue in regard io 
churches, thirty residents petitioned the 
Presbytery for authority to organize a 
Presbyterian church at Worthington. The 
]\raidvnto Presbytery took favorable ac- 

"W. T. Hobart served nine months of this 
church year and Geo. Merritt three months. 


jiis'i'oiiv OF \oiuj-:s rorxTY. 

tion on the petition early in May, and. 
on the 35th of that month — just a few 
(lays after the birth of the Congregational 
and Methodist churches — the Westmins- 
ter Presbyterian church of TVorthington 
was duly organized. The organization 
was perfected by a committee appointed 
by the Mankato chnicli niitliorities. The 
committee consisted of Rev. Jacob* B. 
r.itllo. Hov. Edward Savage, Rev. T). C. 
Lyon and Rev. E. J. Hamilton. The fol- 
lowing were admitted as members at the 
time of organization : Allen Chaney, Miss 
.lulia Chancy, Andrew Buchan, Mrs. Pel- 
ia A. Buchan, J. S. Shuck, Mrs. Anna 
Shuck, Cornelius Stout, Joseph Tarbert, 
ilrs. Nancy Tarbert, Dr. Josephus Craft. 
Mrs. Clara Craft, M. H. Stevens, Mrs. 
Lydia A. Stevens. Mrs. Charlotte E. Cnod- 
npw, Richard Newman. Mrs. Sarah 
Xewinan. Daniel Rohrer, Mrs. Henrietta 
A. Lyon, Mrs. Otti N. McLaurin.^ 

Allen Chancy, Andrew Buchan and J. 
S. SJiiu-k were elected ruling elders,' and 
Mr. Chancy was chosen clerk of the 
session. A board trustees was chosen 
as the following certificate .shows:" 

Tliis is to certify that the mpiiibers of the 
eonijregation of the Westminster Tre-sby- 
teriiui chinch of Worthiiifrton did meet on 
the 21st day of June. A. D. 1873. at tlie of- 
fice of J. S. Shuck, in .said town of W'orth- 
ington, for the purpose of electing a board 
of trustees for said eliiirch pursuant to no- 
tice which had prcvioush- been given for at 
least two successive Sal)lmths at the place 
where said congregation steadily met for the 
public worship where said congregation had 
assembled. J. S. Sliuck and M. II. Stevens, 
members of said congregation, were nomi- 
nated and elected to preside at said meeting, 
to receive the votes and determine the quali- 
fic.-itioiis of voters. Tlie following named 
persons were then duly elected as a board of 
trustees: Daniel IbiliVcr, 11, 1). HooUstavcr, 

'"Accordinjf to i)rc\'ious anndiuu-oineiit. a 
Preahylerlan church was orKanizcd last Sab- 
bath. Notwithstanding the unfavoralile con- 
ditions of tlic weather and of the roads, 
twenty members were included in the or- 
ganization. It Is expected that there will be 
a considerable accession to the number at 
an earl.v day." — Western Advance, June 1, 

M. H. .Stevens, J. Craft and J. A. Town, 
they and their successors in oll'iee to be 
forever known by the name of the board of 
trustees of the Westminster Presbyterian 
church of Worthington. 

Given under our hands ami seals this 21st 
day of .June, A. D. 1873. 

l)elivered in the presence of E. T. Dilla- 

J. S. SlirCK [Seal. I 

M. II. STEVENS. I Seal.] 

The congregation worshipj)cd in tlie 
southwest room of the lower floor of 
Millir hall for over a year and a half. 
In Ihc summer of 1RT4 j)repar:\.tions were 
made for the rrci-lion of a rliiircii edi- 
fice, and enrly in September work ni, 
the building was begun, the jilans being 
furnished by L. W. Chase. Tlie building 
cost about $2,000, was occui)ied for the 
first time Jan. 2, 1ST5, and served as the 
liomi' of the church until ]\Iarch, 1900. 
.Vltiiough completed and occupied early 
in 1875, it was not dedicated until De- 
cember 31, lS7n. at which time all 
indebtedness had liecn ]iaid. 

Following is a list of the jiastors who 
have filled the Presbyterian pulpit since 
the organization of the church with the 
date of their service: 

W. I'. .lacksnn. July. 18T3, 

C. Otis Flctrhcr. .lau., is; I. In :\ray 

(J, is;:. 

lliraiii V. Wliiti'. .lulv S. isn, to 


I). K. Milhii-il, Aug., 1S;S, to 1880. 
J. ('. Robinson, 1880 to June 1, 

William 11. ll.irfzell, Sept. 1, 1S8.S, 

to tssn. 

Knlici-I :\l<'('imr. 188!) to 1890. 

II. I". Cni-y. Feb., 1892, to July, 189.1. 

"Other rulinii elders who have served the 
church since its organization have l>ei-n Dr. 
Josephus Craft. Geo. J. Day. (jco. D. Day- 
ton. K. F. Buchan, John Ramage, Henry M. 
Palm. W. W. Loveless. Dr. W. H. Gaugh, 
Geo. D. Palm. J. W. Read. G. V. Pettit, .C. 
DeBoer and William Chaney. 

"Fllril Juno 23, IS",'!, in the miscellaneous 
reenrd ill tlie oftice of the register of deeds. 




Wilson AuU, May, 1894, to ISnfi. 

F. C. Bailey, July, 1896, to 1898. 

WiLson Aull, Aug., 1898, to June 1. 

E. W. Lanhani, Sept. 1, 1904, to Oct. 
1, 1907. 

Grant B. Wilder, Dec. 1, 1907, to elate. 

It was during the pastorate of Rev. 
Wilson Aull that the handsome church 
edifice now in use was erected. It was 
occupied for the first time March 18, 
1900. and was dedicated March 25. The 
cost of the building was $16,.537. A pipe 
organ was installed at a cost of $1,118, 
and other improvements have broiight 
the total value up to about $20,000. It 
is one of the finest church buildings in 
southwestern Minnesota. The present 
membership of the Presbyterian church 
is over .300. 

The following have .served as superin- 
tendents of the Sunday school from the 
date of its organization to the present 
time: Dr. J. Craft. J. C. Robinson, 
Geo. D. Davton, E. F. Buchan. 
H. :\r. Palm. W. W. Loveless, Geo. 
D. Palm, AVilliam Chaney, Dr. Henry 



.\mong the early day settlers of Nobles 
county were quite a number of Scandi- 
navians, who settled mostly in Indian 
Lake and Bigelow townships. Nearly 

''"I. Peter Thompson, the secretary' ap- 
pointed at a meeting held by the member.s 
of the Swedish E\*angelica] Liitheran church 
of Worthington. Nobles county. Minnesota, on 
the fourth day of May. A. D. 1S76. as here- 
inafter mentioned, do hereby certify that the 
persons constituting and belonging to the 
Swedish E\'angelical Lutheran church of 
Worthingtnn, N'obles county. Minn., did on 
the fourth day of May. 1876, assemble at the 
house of Charles Rue, in the village of Worth- 
ington. Nobles county, Minn., for the purpose 
of incorporating. . . . that due notice of 
the time and place of said election was given 
to the persons entitled to vote thereat: that 
thirty-nine (39) duly qualified persons assem- 
bled at said place of meeting on said fourth 

all were members of the Swedish Evangel- 
ical Lutheran church, and it was but 
natural that the members, gathered to- 
gether in the new country, as Nobles 
county then was, should desire to band 
themselves .for the purpose of worship. 
So early as 1872 an informal organiza- 
tion was effected, and for several years 
services were held, more or less fre- 
quently, at different points in Worth ing- 
ton and in Bigelow township. There was 
no regular pastor, but the congregation 
met in regular worship, and occasionally 
a minister of their denomination would 
be present with them to assist. 

Thus matters continued until the 
spring of. ISTfi. On the fourth day of 
'Slay, of that year, the church was for- 
mally organized by the following charter 
members: C. J. Paulson, Piter Tliomj)- 
son, Oliver Thompson, C. W. Beck, Chas. 
Larson, C. A. Sundberg, Nels John- 
son, Sander Nelson, Casper Nelson, Swen 
Johnson, August Falk, C. A. Tellander, 
Nels Erickson, Erick Mahlbcrg, Lars 
Elofson, Peter Wickstrom, Peter Larson, 
Lars Erickson, Peter Nystrom, Sr., 
Peter Nystrom, Jr., Frank Sundberg and 
Nels Ellingson. On the date of this 
organization it was decided to incorpor- 
ate, but this was not done until eighteen 
vears later. ^^ The church was without a 
pastor for several years after its organ- 
ization and also without a church build- 
ing. Meetings were regularly held, how- 
ever, the pulpit being supplied part of 

day of Mav, A. D. 1876, duly organized and 
appointed Rev. L. .\, Hoeanzon chairman and 
said Peter Thompson secretary and then .Tnd 
there determined to incorporate for religious 
purposes . . and then and there duly 

elected Peter Thompson. C. A. Beck and 
Peter Wickstrom trustees of said corporation, 
and then and there determined that said trus- 
tees and their successors in office shall fore\'er 
be known as the Swedish Evangelical I^uth- 
eran church of Worthington, Nobles county. 

"In witness whereof I have hereunto set 
my hand and seal this 12th day of January, 
A. D. 1894. Peter Thompson. Secretary." — 
.Article.'? of Incorporation, filed Jan. 12, 1894, 



the time by students and other ministers ers spent their summers at Worthing- 

under the general church body. Varioub ton. Among these were 5Ir. and Ihs. 

places in tlie village served tlie pur- John Forsee and their mother and Miss 

pose of a church building. ]\Iinturn, members of the Episcopnl 

There was great activity among the church at St. Joseph, Mo. These friends 

members in 1883, and during that sum- *^ook the first steps toward the organiza- 

mer a church edifice was erected, the tinn of a church of their denomination 

first services being held therein in June, in Worthington. They raised $2.5. .50, 

The work on the building was all done which they placed in the hands of Rev. 

by the members, or donated. The outlay Gunn. 

was for materials alone, which cost about There were only a few Episcopalians 

$1,200. The pastor, Rev. A. H. Ran- in the village, and there was little 

dall, was a carpenter, and he did a large sympathy with the efforts to start another 

share of the work. clinroli. ^\r. Gunn, who took the mos< 

Before the church was built, however, active part in the plans to perfect an 

the congregation had been able to support organization, was at one time so discour- 

a regular pastor, and in 1880 Rev. J. aged that, after consulting with the bish- 

H. Randall was installed. The pastors op, he withdrew his regiilar appointments 

who have supplied the pulpit have been: and was about to retire. Then interest 

J. H. Randall, 1S80-1S82 ; A. H. Ran- was revived. Mr. Gunn stated that he 

dall, 1882-1884; S. C. Franzen, 1884- would erect the dmn-h if the members 

1890; Svante Anderson, 1890-1895; E. of the society, which had then been or- 

M. Erickson, 189.5-190.5: 0. 0. Swan, ganized, would build the foundation. 

1906 to date. W. A. Peterson look liiiii at his word. 

On Nov. 28, 1889. a parsonage was and after a determined effort, did 

purchased, which served as a home for ^'lo amount necessary, assisted by Miss 

the pastor until 1907. It was then ^f- Madison and Miss Maggie Chadwick 

sold, and during the same year a new as a committee of collection. The lum- 

one was erected at a cost of $4,000. On ''er for the building was purchased with 

January 1. 1907, the membership of the t^ree checks, one of $100, Edward Fer- 

church was 212. guson and sister. New York ; one of 

$100, Chas H. Contoit, of New York: 

ST. .TOHN'S EPTSrOPAL rniTRrn. ^^^ one of $14, Geo. W. Oass, ex-presi- 
dent of the Northern Pacific Railway 

This church was organized in the company. Tlic hardware, etc. was bought 

fall of 1881. and came into existence ^^it'i Hie check of Henry B. Renwick, 

largely through the efforts of Rev. D. N'ew York. 
Gunn. The church building, still used 
as the place of worship by the congre- 
gation, was erected that fall, and was 
opened for worship early in 1882. 


A meeting of ratliolifs was held in 

There is a pleasant little piece of his- Worthington in .\ugiist, 188.5, when it 

tory connected with the organization of was decided In organize a society and 

the church. For two years years prior erect a clnin-h edifice. TIu' Iniildiiig was 

to its establishment a party of southern- completed in ih(> snniiiici- of ISSn at a 



cost of about $1,5(10. The first service 
was held Aug\ist 1, and was conducted by 
Kdv. Father Ogulin, of Heron Lake. 
The clnircb was incorporated March 31, 
. 1902, by Bishop Joseph B. Cotter and 
Vicar General James Coyne, of the Wi- 
nona diocese, Father Joseph Sand, and 
Andrew Collins and Jlichacl Eeiter. 


Tlie Evangelical Association is an or- 
ganization which was founded by Ger- 
mans in tlie year 1800. Its principal char- 
acteristic is its missionary activity. The 
Worthin.ijton church dates its existence 
from the year 18S9. The year before 
that Eev. L. S. Stapf. who ministered 
to a congregation of GermaBS south of 
Luverne, came to Worthington in search 
of now preaching appointments. His ac- 
tivities resulted in the organization of a 
local society, which was organized in 
1899 with the following charter members: 
n. Apel, Heinrich Apel, Sr., Gertrude 
Apel, ^fargreta Apel, Louis Apel, Hen- 
ry Apel, Jr., William Apel, Kathcrina 
Apel, Philip Anton, Lizzie Anton, J. H. 
Shuck. Anna Shuck, J. Dohlheim, Louise 
r)ohlheim, Emilia Apel, Albert Dohlheim 
Fred Dohlheim. Ida Dohlheim, W. F. Moss, 
Mary ]\Toss. George Hacker, ThedaHacker, 
Maggie Hacker, Albert Wild, Anna M. 
Wild, Geo. Doeden, Gratia Doeden, An- 
drew Doeden, Tena Doeden, George 
Doeden, Jr., Fred Doeden, Maggie Doe- 
den, r. Hilke, Elondena Snyder, Mary 
Weis, John Apel, Frederick Kasdorf, 
.Johanna Xasdorf, Louise Kasdorf. 

The church was incorporated June 10. 
1891. under the name of Emanuel Societv 
Church of the Evangelical Association of 
North America. The trustees at the 
time were Philip AntoTi, Wt F. Moss 

and Heinrich Apel. Immediately there- 
after construction was commenced on 
the church building at the corner of 
Fourth avenue and Fourteenth street. 
The church was finished that fall, making 
the seventh church building then in the 
village. The cost was $1,650. It was dedi- 
cated Dec. 6, 1891. Prior to the build- 
iner of the church services were held 
in the hall over the Farmers' Store, on 
ilain street. In 1902 a commodioirs 
manse was erected beside the church at 
a cost of $1,837.88. 

Since its organization the following pas- 
tors have filled the pulpit of the Worth- 
ington church: L. S. Stapf, 1899; 
S. B. Goetz, 1889-1892; F. H. Draeger, 
1892-189.5 : C. W. Wolthausen, 189.5-1899 ; 
P. C. Schmidt, 1899-1902: J. H.Muel- 
hausen, 1902-1906: G. G. Schmidt, 1906 
to date. 

The present membership of the Evan- 
gelical Association's church of Worthing- 
ton is 103. The German language is 
being supplanted by the English, and over 
half the services are now conducted in 
the language of the land. From Worth- 
ington the societv reached out and did 
effective work in Wilmont, Fulda, Wild- 
er and Ewington township. In the last 
named place, known as Spaffords, the 
Methodist church was purchased and a 
mission established, which is being sup- 
plied from the Worthington church still. 
Tlie departments of the church are Sun- 
day school, Toung people's alliance, mis- 
sionary society and ladies' aid society. 


.\bout the first of .Tanuarv, 1893, Eev. 
,\. D. Tmmhnll. of Nebraska, came to 
Worthington. There he found a number 
of Baptists who reauested him to preach 
nnd try to organize a Baptist church in 



Wortliington. He agreed, ami an a]i- 
pointnient was made for January 1") in 
the old (Irand Army hall. After tlie 
service the iiieinbers of the Baptist faith 
were requested to remain for consultation, 
which resulted in organizini; a confer- 
ence, preparatory to the organization of 
a Baptist church. Twenty-one persons 
signified their desire to become mem- 
bers of the new church. 

The formal organization was made 
Feb. 26, ISO.'?, under the direction of 
Kev. A. D. Trundiull, with the follow- 
ing charter members: IJ. 1{. Smith, Julia 
A. Smith. Ta "M. Brooks, Sarah 
A. Brooks. ^\'illiam E. Stnute- 

myer, Emmogcne Stoutemyer, An- 
drew C. TTedberg, Mary TTedberg. John 
Tf. Moberly. 'Marv J. Moherly. Oust 
Swanberg, Hannah Swanberg, Belle Chaf- 
fer, Eric P. Johnson. TJ. H. Barnard, 
:\lilton S. Smith. John Staubus, :\rrs. 
John Staulnis. TJ. W. Moberly. .\nnie 
Moberly, Mrs. l^Torrison." The deacons 
elected were T?. Tt. Smith, A. C. Hedberg 
and W. E. Stoutemyer. A. C. Hedbertr 
was chosen treasurer and M. S. Smith 

A council of recognition met at Wortli- 
ington June 30, 1S03, hy invitation of 
the twenty-onr members of the now or- 
ganization, who asked that thev be recog- 
nized as a regular Baptist church. The 
churches named below wore represented 
liv the followinii: T-mcrne, 'Rev. C. W. 
Lisk and C. C. r)rew; Pipestone. T?ev. 
C. T. Knllowell : Windom. Pev. J. ^'[. 
Thurston and Pcv. W. S. Black: St. 
.Tames. Pev. E. M. Jones and .T. C. 
Putherford : Mankato. Pev. T. Berrr- 
strom and W. F. Jensnn : sunerintendent 
of missions. Pev. T. P. Peier=. D. D. 
There were added to the council Pev. .1. 
Hollstrom and Hans Nvstrom, of the 

Wdrliiiiiglon Swedish Lnthrraii rhiinli; 
I!i\. J. .'^rliultz. of Sibley; and b'ev. 
I'. \V. Pratl, of Sheldon. Favorable ac- 
tion was taken by tlu' council, and the 
First Baptist ehureli nf Wni-iliinutnn was , 
recognized by the general body. 

The clmrch was incorporated July 'il, 
189.5, the trustees at the time being Gust 
Swanberg, J. H. Ma.xwell and W. E. 
Stoutemyer. Kaily in 1899 stqw were 
taken to build a cliuivli edifice, services 
having been held for several years in the 
nld Grand .\rmy hall. A handsome and 
ciimfortable little church was erected 
that suminer at tlic corner of Fonrtli 
avenue and Fourteenth street, the total 
cost o£ which was $2,92r,..-,,3. It was 
dedicated Nov. 12, 1899. 

The following pastors liave filled tlie 
])iilpit since the date of organization: W. 
C. Pratt, 1891 ; W. J. :\lcCullom. Feb., 
189.5, to June, 1890: J. W. Fm-sythe, 
Xov., 189fi, to Dec, 1890: A. Y. Dahl. 
April, 1897. to July. 1898 ; C.F. Bronson. 
.Tan.. 1899. to Oct.. 1901: C. K. Bidwell. 
190? (i) Sept., 1901: C. F. Bronson. 
Nov.. 1904. to Dec. 190,-, : T. H. Harnell. 
July. 1900. to date. 


The Swedish ^fission eliureh was or- 
ganized March 12, 189.5, with the 
followin,<T charter members: N. J. Sandin. 
.\nna Sandin. Xels Fliuk. Katicrine 
Flink. C. F. Sahlbom, Martha Caro- 
line Sahlbom, John Wester. .\nna West- 
er and Ole .T. En<>-liind. .\ rhureh 
building was erected at the corner nf 
Vinth street and Sixth avenue in 1899. 
Tt was dedicated .Tidv 9. and the total 
(■n>t was $2,000. 

The followimr pastors have served the 
charge: 0. B. Stendin. six months in 

"All hprame members by letter except tl)e 
la.s^t three named. 



1895; (J. F. Pahiier, 1896-1S97; Carl 
Olson, two months in 1898; Eev. Sandin, 
six months in 1899 ; Aug. Berggren, six 
months in 1900; J. E. Ekstrom, 1901- 
190.3; 0. K. Moberg, 1904-1906; C. M. 
.Tohnson, Feb. 1, 1907, to rjate. A par- 
sonage was built in 1901 at a cost of 
$1,500. The present membership is 58. 


The Christian church of Worthington 
was organized in the summer of 1900 
by Evangelist G. F. Devol, with nine- 
teen charter members. Services are held 
regularly in A. 0. U. W. hall. Q. M. 
Walker has been pastor of the church 
since its organization. The present mem- 
bership is 58. 


Worthington is fairly well represented 
in secret and fraternal societies. There 
are organizations of the Grand Army of 
the Republic, Women's Relief Corps, An- 
cient Free and Accepted Masons, Royal 
Arch Masons, Eastern Star, Ancient Or- 
der of United Workmen, Degree of 
Honor, Knights of Pytliias, Modern 
Woodmen of .\merica, Royal Neighbors, 
Independent Order of Odd Fellows, 
Knights of the Maccabees of the World 
and Brotherhood of American Yeomen. 
All of these have lodges and are in 
flourishing condition. Many other se- 
cret organizations have had existence 
at one time or another, but in giving 
the lodge history of Worthington I shall 
confine myself to those now having or- 


It was only a few years after the close 
of the civil war when Nobles countv was 

settled, and a large percentage of the 
early settlers were soldiers of that great 
struggle who had come west to build 
themselves homes in the new country. 
Under the provisions of the homestead 
laws at the time the National colony was 
'oringing the settlers here, ex-soldiei-s 
were permitted to secure homesteads of 
KiO acres within the limits of the rail- 
road grant, while others were permitted 
to take only 80 acres. This vantage 
resulted in bringing many veterans of 
the war to Worthington and surrounding 
country, and it was but natural that 
the first lodge established in Worthington 
should be one of the Grand Army of 
the Republic. 

On the evening of June 29, 1872, 
about thirty-five or forty ex-soldiers of 
the Union army met at a building which 
was to become a carpenter shop, located 
where the Congregational church now 
stands, for the purpose of organizing a 
post of the G. A. R. Captain Henry A. 
Castle, of St. Paul, commander of the 
department of Minnesota, was present 
and fully explained the objects of the or- 
ganization. He then mustered in those as- 
sembled, and Stoddard Post No. 34 came 
into existence. It was named in honor 
of a man by the name of Stoddard, who 
had died in Worthington the previous 
winter, the first ex-soldier to be buried 
in Nobles county. The first officers 
chosen were as follows : William B. 
Akins, commander; J. S. Shuck, senior 
vice commander; T. C. Bell, junior vice 
commander; M. B. Soule, adjutant; C. 
C. Goodnow, quartermaster; R. D. Bar- 
ber, surgeon; A. B. Willey, officer of 
the day; J. C. Goodnow, officer of the 

During the summer of 1872 weekly 
meetings were held and a lively inter- 
est was manifested. When winter came 



the post was liandicappcd in tlic matter 
of a suitable l)uil(linj^ in wliich to meet, 
and as a consequence the post became 
snmewliat demoralizpfl. Owinp: to the 
fact that many of the members were 
scattered over the prairie, the meetings 
were thinly attended, and much of the 
interest died out. But a determined few 
decided to keep the orp^anization going 
and met as often as possible. At the 
first meeting in 1S7.'5 the following of- 
ficers were elected : E. T). Barber, com- 
mander; T. r. Bell, senior vice com- 
mander: n. W. Ehone, junior vice com- 
mander; M. B. Soule, adjutant: A. J. 
Manley. quartermaster: "R. D. Barber, 
surgeon: B. S. Langdon, chaplain: .T. 
r. Ooodnow. officer of the day ; •!. S. 
Stone, officer nf the guard : Daniel 
Stone, sergeant major; B. "R. Prince, 
quartermaster sergeant. These ofTicers 
were succeeded, as the result of an elec- 
tion at the last meeting held in J^87.3, by 
the following: J. A. Town, eommanf?- 
er: T, C. Bell, S(>nior vice commander: 
"M. TT. Stevens, junior vice commander: 
^L B. Soule, adjutant: A. .T. Manley, 
fiuarterniastcr : B. D. Barber, surgeon : 
J. W. Smith, chaplain: B. P. Havdon- 
burk. officer nf the dny: T-. B. Bennoft. 
officer of the guard. 

During 1873 the post had a member- 
ship of 12.5, and was the Inrcest in the 
state of TNTinnesota at that time. Then 
came the grasshopper days and the re- 
sultant disasters. So manv of the mem- 
bers moved away that the post was fin- 
allv disbanded. Not until 1883 were 
steps taken to bring about n reorganiza- 
tion. On .Tnlv 1 1 nf that venr the re- 
organization was perfected. The post. 
with the same name and number as the 
old one. was mustered in bv Samuel 
Bloomer, of Stillwater, adjutant general 

"The elcht last nampd wpro mustPrcil In 
July 28, fourteen days after the organization. 

of the departnu'nt. The officers chosen 
at that tiiue were: L. il. Lange, com- 
mander: ]J. Jl. ^Filler, .senior vice com- 
mander: ^[ons Grinager. junior vice 
commander; B. B. Plotts, adjutant: B. 
D. Barber, surgeon; C. P. Shepard. of- 
ficer of the da.y; A. S. Husselton, chap- 
lain: N, V. McDowell, officer of the 
guard : H. C. Sbepard, sergeant major ; 
C. T. Pope, quartermaster sergeant. The 
charter members were B. B. ^filler. C. 
P. Shepard, B. D. Barber, C. B. T.ang- 
don. G. W. Brant, J. IT. Maxwell. E. B. 
Paul, L. B. Bennett. L. M. Lange. Bob- 
crt Firth. J. F. Humiston, W, F, Thay- 
er, B. F. .Tolnison. B. R. Plotts, Geo. W. 
Crane, J. H. Johnson, I. J. Coons, Noah 
V. McDowell, H. C. Shepard, A. S. 
TTusselton, Mons Grinager, Geo. M. Bose, 
Peter Banks. S. F. Pepple, Wm. Mc- 
Lean. C. C. ^\^^itney. W. TV. Herron. 
Jonathan Gordon. C. T. Pope. A. W. 
Allen. H. nurlberf. J. J. Bingham. Wm. 
^fadison. J. J. Bunn. Fred Blonni. A. 
J. Torrance, J. B. Green, M. S. Twitch- 
ell. Douglas Cramer, E. S. Mills, J. T. 
Lyon and Joseph Kane.'- 

Tuder the first organization the head- 
quarters of the post had been at 'Miller 
ball, that fauKiiis liiiilding that sheltered 
so many of the early day organizations. 
When the new post came into existence 
in 18R.T the lodge rooms were moved to 
■Masonic hall. Later the hall over the 
store building now occupied by Chaney 
& Mackay was secured, and for many 
vears it was known as Grand .\rmy hall. 
Tn more recent vears the headquarters 
have been in the Baker block. Since its 
reorganizniion in 1883 Stoddard Post 
No. 34 has been an active body. an(1 
is today one of the most respected or- 
ders in the city. 

hut were designated as charter members. 




The Grand Army post at Wortlung- 
ton at one time had tlie distinction of 
being the largest post in the state, and 
its auxiliary, the Women's Relief Corps, 
also lias a distinctive lionor; it was the 
first corps established in the state of 
Minnesota. The corps was organized in 
December, 1883. The first officers were: 
Mrs. J. A. Town, president; Mrs. Cyn- 
thia McDowell, senior vice president; 
Mrs. Susan Wells, junior vice president; 
Miss Mary E. Madison, secretary; Mrs. 
Mary Bennett, treasurer; Mrs. Kephart, 
chaplain; Mrs. Eloise Brant, conductor; 
Miss Mary McDowell, guard. 

The charter was issued by the national 
officers on March 8, 1884, and the fol- 
lowing names appear on the charter. 
Eloise Brant, Mary McDowell, Susan 
Wells, May Thayer, Ida Limbert, Sarah 
McDowell, Sophia Torrance, Kate Hus- 
selton, Phoebe Millington, Kate R. 
Town, Lora Free, Kate Miller, Mary 
jMills, Anna Lange, Cynthia McDowell, 
Mary Bunn, Adaliue Bingham, Sarah 
Ilumiston, Martha DeWolf, Susan F. 
Bennett, Miss Mary Bunn, Margaret 
Chamberlain, Ilattie Smith, Harriet 
Smith, Kate L. Plotts. Hattie Barber.'^ 

& A. M. 

a subordinate lodge in Worthington, as 
the following certificate, filed in the of- 
fice of the clerk of court of Nobles coun- 
ty on September 27, 1873, shows: 

C'evtiticate. We hereby certify that a sub- 
ordinate lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted 
Masons has been authorized by '"Grand 
JjOdge" of Minnesota. 

That we, the undersigned, have been con- 
stituted said lodge by disposition of said 
grand lodge tovvit: Moses B. Odell, master; 
Martin B. Soule, senior warden; and Lach- 
lan F. McLaurin, junior warden. That the 
name of said lodge is Fraternity Lodge U. 
U., and that it is located in the county of 
Nobles, state of Minnesota. That the place 
of meeting of said lodge is in the town of 
Worthington, in said Nobles county. 

Dated the 27th day of September, A. ]). 

MOSF.S B. ODELL, Master. 

JIAKTIX B. SOULE, Senior Warden. 

LAC 'ULAN F. M'LALKIN, Junior Warden. 

The charter members of this pioneer 
lodge were Albert C. Robinson, L. F. 
McLaurin, H. C. Rice, J. Craft, C. C. 
Goodnow, B. F. Thurber, S. Ed. Chand- 
ler, I. P. Durfee, A. C. Ecker, Wm. M. 
Bear, John H. Johnson, Wellington 
Sherwood, M. B. Odell, Addison P. 
Lyon, A. J. Manley, Daniel Shell, H. 
D. Humiston and C. P. Stough. On 
October 5 a meeting was held, when the 
following officers were elected : B. F. 
Thurber, treasurer; A. C. Robinson, sec- 
retary; C. C. Goodnow, S. D. ; S. E. 
Chandler, J. D. ; Daniel Shell, S. S.; H. 
('. Rice, J. S.; Wm. Bear, chaplain; C. 
P. Stough, tyler. 

Worthington's second order was a LIVING ARCH CHAPTER NO. S8, 

Masonic organization. Fraternity Lodge R. A. M. 
No. 101, A. F. & A. M. The initial 

steps toward the organization of a Ma- This lodge of Royal Arch Masons was 

sonic order were taken late in August, organized Feb. 3, 1874, with the foUow- 

1872." One month later the grand lodge ing charter members: A. C. Robinson, 

of ^linnesota authorized the creation of M. R. Soule, I. P. Durfee, H. Webb, 

'■^Eloise Brant and Harriet Smith are the 
only charter meml>ers whose names are still 
on the membership list. 

^*"A meeting of the members of Free Ma- 
sons was held at Souie's law office last week, 
and necessary steps taken to org.inize a lodge 
at this place." — Western Advance. Aug. 31, 



\V. B. Cook, I. N. Sater, W. Smith, A. 
1". Lyon and W. II. Wilson. The order 
was incorporated March 27, 1882. The 
lodge is in a very prosperous condition, 
and owns the two brick buildings at the 
corner of Tenth street and Second a\- 
enue, valued at about $15,000. 

H.VNSFORl) CIlAi'TErt SO. 43, 0. 

E. S. 

The Masonic auxiliary. Order Eastern 
Star, was organized Dec. 19, 1891, with 
the following thirty-eight charter mem- 
bers: Mrs. Hannah Parker, Miss Win- 
nifred Shell, Miss Esther Torrance, Mrs. 
Josie L. Lewis, Mrs. Mary F. McCart- 
ney, Mrs. Mary S. Fellows, Mrs. Nellie 

D. Smith, Miss Irene A. Webb, Mrs. 
Louise Crane, Mrs. Mary E. Bennett, 
Mrs. Ellen Torrance, Mrs. Caroline A. 
Forbes, Mrs. S. E. Shell, Mrs. Maria L. 
Dean, Mrs. Mary K. Mitchell, Mrs. Mary 

E. Pannell, Mrs. Sarah C. Johnson, Mrs. 
Ida M. Darling, Mrs. Etta P. Webb, 
Mrs. Hattie H. Bigelow, Mrs. Viola E. 
Posenberg, Mrs. Adelia H. Covey, Mrs. 
Emma F. Kenyon, Mrs. Carrie J. John- 
son, Messrs. Wilbur S. Webb, Hcury E. 
Torrance, Azom Forbes, Lorenzo L. 51 c- 
Cartney, .Vbe L. Joinison, Edwin C. 
Pannell, lYank jjcwis, Luciau B. Ben- 
nett, Daniel Shell, II. C. Shepard, Ai 
J*. Darling, Benjamin F. Johnson, Chas. 
W. Smith, Howard Ij. Durfee. 

'J'he llrst olTieci-s of the lodge were: 
Mrs. Mary Mitchell, worthy matron; Dr. 
W. S. Webb, worlliy |iiiti'iiii: Airs. Dmu- 
iej Shell, associate matron; Mrs. Eltii I'. 
Wel)l), secretary; 51rs. Otis Bigelow, 
treasurer; .Mis. ilaiiiiah i'arker, conduc- 
tress; Mrs. !•;. ('. I'.-iiiMi'll. associate con- 

0. U. W. 

.Vniong the strong organizations of 
Wortiiiugton is the Ancient Order Unit- 
ed Work-men, which has had an existence 
for twenty-eight years. It was organized 
on May "21, 1880, with tiie following of- 
licers and charter members: Azom 
Forbes, past master; E. P. Miller, mas- 
ter workman ;. Geo. W. Wilson, foreman; 
W. A. Peterson, overseer; P. B. Plotts, 
recorder; Frank Lewis, financier; II. H. 
Anderson, receiver; Joseph Lowe, guide; 
C. T. Shattuc, inside watchman; A. S. 
Ilusselton, outside watchman; J. S. Mc- 
Manus, Alex Moir and J. Craft, trus- 
tees; W. H. Lyon, T. H. Parsons, Wm. 
Culbertson, A. P. Miller, John MciMil- 
lan, Peter Banks, Julius Moll, C. W. 
lianiia, \. E. Tuttle, J. H. Johnson, J. 
L. Sheeley, 0. G. Grundstcn, B. N. Car- 
rier, A. L. Clark, S. McLean and C. F. 
Ilumiston. The lodge was incorporated 
March 29, 1894, and is now the owner 
of the brick building at the corner of 
Tenth street and Fourth avenue. 

()K.\r.i:\.\ LODGE XO. IS. 1). 


The Degree of Hpuor lodge, auxiliary 
to the Workmen, received its c-harter 
Nov. 20, 1804. Following are the offi- 
cers named in the eJinrter: Mrs. Remus 
Moberly, P. C. of II.; Mrs. May Whit- 
ney, L. of n. ; Miss Launa Free, re- 
corder; Mrs. Lillian Curtiss, receiver; 
Mrs. Kdith Covey. I. W. ; Mrs. Cynthia 
S. Hullis, C. of 11.; Mrs. Susan R. Lowe, 
( '. of C. ; Mrs. Ellen S. Tjconard, finan- 
cier: Mrs. l.uella Harby, S. U. ; l\Ir. E. 
F. Whiliiev, (I. W. 




The Knights of Pythias lodge was in- 
stituted May 1, 1890, with the following 
otficcr^i and charter memhers: James 
Manning, P. C. ; W. S. Webb, C. C; E. 
]•:. Warren, V. C. ; Eobert McCune, P.; 
11. ('. Crawford, M. A.; Grant Mon-is- 
(111, K. R. S.; A. L. Johnson, M. F.; H. 
C. yhepard, M. E. ; J. Hammerberg, 1. 
G.; C. J. Samuelson, 0. G.; Chas. E. 
Savill, Henry E. Torrance, John T. 
Fisher, E. Pay Humistou, Geo. W. Wil- 
son, James W. Crandall, Erick K. Eam- 
fey, Jerome S. McMauus. The lodge 
was incorporated April 16, 1891. 

M. W. A. 

'I'lie ^lodcrn Wocidiiien have one of the 
strongest fraternal organizations in 
Worthington. Worthington Camp No. 
2294 was organized May 29, 1894, with 
the Inllowing charter membsrs: E. F. 
Kuchan, W. H. Buchan, Olof S. Degn, 
^\. E. Fish, M. Hammond. Theodore 
llinricks. .1. I'. Loveless, F. H. Lyon, 
l-liiiil Liu-he, Fred ilitchell, George 1). 
I'ahii. liigrenian Peterson, John Sulli- 
van. I'. W. Thorean, E. F. Wood, I. i>. 
Wass anil William E. Deyoe. 

The {{nyal \'cii;lili()rs, auxiliary to the 
MiidiTii WoMiliiiiiii, maintain a strong 

woirnii.XGTo.x lodge no. 219, 

I. 0. 0. F. 

So early as 1878 an effort was made 
to organize an Odd Fellows lodge in 
Worthington,''"' but it was unsuccessful, 
and it was not until Aug. 18. 1894, that 

'■'""rhe Odd Fellows of Worthington are re- 
que.sted to meet at the office of A. Forbes on 
Saturday evening, November 30, to take the 

a charter was granted by the grand 
lodge. The order was instituted Aug- 
ust 29 with the following charter mem- 
bers: E. W. Goff, E. M. Lumm, J.- B. 
Green, Barton Goodrich, G. C. Fellows, 
Joseph Lowe, John J. Lynch, Albert 
Bryan and P. B. Curtiss. For a time a 
liebekah lodge, auxiliary to the Odd 
Fellows, had an existence, hut it has been 

0. T. M. 

The applicants for a charter for a 
subordinate lodge of the Knights of the 
Maccabees of the World held their first 
meeting at G. A. K. hall Oct. 29, 1901, 
and a short time thereafter the charter 
was granted. The first officers and char- 
ter applicants were as follows: J. J. 
Parsons, P. C. ; II. V. Millar, C. ; Thos. 
Hutton, L. C; John S. Tolverson, F. 
K. and K. K. ; Guy 0. Bigelow, cliap- 
lain ; Henry J. Blume, sergeant ; F. E. 
Walker, physician ; Chas. Durling, mata ; 
Peter Heinl, M. of G. ; O. B. Cong- 
don, S. M. of G.; John K. IJaker, sen- 
tinel; Pobert Peed, picket; M. S. Smith, 
H. y. Millar and F. C. Stitser, trustees; 
Carl Arneson, Albert Durling. John 
Feldmaii. Fred Ji. Hubbard, \\v\i- Lect. 
Geo. Lewis, Chris Leef, Frank Prouty, 
Frank E. Scott, Oren R. Bartlett, F. 
B. McNair, Lawrence Potter, Geo. 
Smith. .Jeff G. Scott. 

22, B. A. Y. 

The charter for this lodge of Brother- 
hood of American Yeomen was granted 
May 22, 190.5, with the following mem- 

preliminary steps toward organizing a lodge at 
this place." — Worthington Advance, Nov. 28. 



beis: E. C. PanncU, Mary E. Pannell, 
Eugene Stanton, Etta P. Stantou, .1. J). 
Mattesou, Belle Mattesou, Flora Wooil, 
Ahna Peterson, Mary Loveless, Cathei- 
ine T. Glasgow, Wdter S. Aagaard, 
Louisa W. Aagaard, Ulysses F. Hansber- 
ger, Clara L. Hansberger, Will E. Oli- 
ver, Emma S. Oliver, L. L. AlcCartney, 
E. L. Nance, Katie McCartney, Emma 
May ivTance, E. 11. Dieckhoff, Win. H. 
Guise, Frances B. Dieckhoff, E. E. Day- 
ton, Cora A. Dayton, llanah L. Guise, 
E. W. Cutler, A. F. Collins, Mary J. 
Collins, Eulalia Garretson, Caroline A. 
McCune, Mattie M. Hastings, Mary E. 
Baker, Sophia M. Sterling, Edith E. 
Sclianck, Oscar H. Nebel, Leo. F. Nebol, 
David Bergstresser, Christine E. Berg- 
stresser, Lottie ^M. Frink, W. H. Har- 
rinirton. .Tona? A. Wickman. Frcdricka 

Wickman, Chas. 0. Barkelew, Catherine 
\. liarki'lew, Win. II. Barkelew, John 
B. Walters, Maurice I. Ma.xwell, Nclle 
May Ma.xwell, F. E. Walker, Joseph S. 
Firth, Byron W. Potter, Chas. J. Paine, 
Charlotte B. Potter, Maggie E. Paine, 
Mark C. Sharp, Clara F. Sharp, Geo. F. 
Hastings, Amelia M. Ilasting.s, Freder- 
ick L. Covley, A. W. Little, Ella A. 
Little, Frank II. Lyon, Effie I. Lyon, 
Clinton L. Mann, Wm. D. Boddy, F. C. 
Brace, W. W. Loveless, Grant Morrison, 
Chas. \'. Bryan, Svante J. Kail, Adolph 
Aniondsou, Arthur Borst, Fred Wall, 
Edgar E. Lanphear, Orin Carneross, 
Joscphus E. Norris, Jacob Gleim, Eliza- 
beth Gleim, Harvey Hawley, T. C. Ager. 
A. ]\I. Gregerson, Emma Gregerson, John 
T. Milton, Clark H. P;iniu<ll. 






Kanking second in size and importance 
and fourth in age among Nobles county 
towns, is Adrian. The village is sit- 
uated in the western part of the count}', 
in Olney and Westside townships, on 
Kanaranzi creek, and on the branch line 
of the Onudia railroad which extends 
from Worthington to Mitchell, South 
Dakota. It is eighteen miles west from 
Worthington and fifteen east from Lu- 
verne. The population of Adrian, ac- 
cording to the state census of 190.5, was 

The town is compactly built and pre- 
sents an attractive appearance. It has 
broad streets, lined with substantial busi- 
ness houses and handsome residences. 
No more beautiful site for a town could 
be found. It is on land that has a 
gentle slope toward the Kanaranzi, which 
flows along the northern border, afford- 
ing excellent dra'inage. All the improve- 
ments to be found in Minnesota towns 
of its size are here. It has an excellent 
water works system, electric liglit plant, 
public and parochial schools and 

For several years after the rapid set- 
tlement of eastern Nobles county (fol- 
lowing the building of the Sioux City 

^"We learn that there ai'e to be two stations 
on the branch between here and Luverne. One 
will be in Dewald near the farm of Mr. Bed- 
ford, and the other at the Kanaranzi. Parties 

& St. Paul railroad) Worthington was 
the only town in the county, if we ex- 
cept the railroad stations of Bigelow 
and Hersey (Brewster), in which only 
small pi'ogress had been made. From 
1872 to 1876 a number of settlers had 
taken claims and builded homes in the 
western part of the county, but, being 
far from railroads and market-*, the 
population was small, and, of course, no 
attempt had been made to found a town. 

Conditions were materially changed in 
the spring of 1876, when it was defi- 
nitely determined that the Sioux City & 
St. Paul Eailroad company would build 
a branch line westward from Worthing- 
ton. New settlers located in the west- 
ern townships of Nobles county, and 
when the railroad was built and the site 
of a new town to be called Adrian was 
selected, the indications were that the 
new town would ]ii-osper from the start. 

About the first of April a preliminary 
survey for the new road was begun and 
in May grading was commenced. The 
railroad officials early selected the sites 
for stations on the proposed road,^ and 
the townsite of Adrian was surveyed be- 
tween the 2.3rd and 29th of May, 1876, 
by 0. D. Brown for the St. Paul & Da- 

have already gone out to lay out a town on 
the Kanaranzi, part of which will fall on the 
claim of Mr. Campbell." — Worthington Ad- 
vance, May 25, 1876, 




kotii Railroad coiiiiiaiiv (lattT llie WDrtli- 
ington & Sioux Falls Railroad com- 
pany)." The original townsite consisted 
of si.xtecn blocks, evenly divided by Main 
street, which is the OIney-Westside l)oun- 
dary lino. Tlial |iart of Iho |ilal wliich 
was on the soutlieast quarter of section 
i;{, Westside township, was railroad land ; 
that on the southwest quarter of section 
18, Olney townishi]), was on land liome- 
steaded by Alljcrt Campbell, later bought 
by the railroad company. Although the 
survey had been made in May, the dedi- 
cation of the plat was not made until 
August 28, and the instrument was not 
filed until October 1. Horace Tliom])- 
son, as trustee for himself and others, 
made the dedication.-' 

The site was named Adrian in honor 

of .Vdrian Iseiin, who was the mother 
of Adrian t'. Iselin, one of the directors 
of the Siou.v City & St. Paul Railroad 
company. Mr. Iselin had requested the 
oificers of the road to name somi.' new 
town along the line in honor of his 
mother, and the re(iucst was conii)lied 
\\ith when the station on the Kanaranzi 
was established. It seems strange that 
there should be any question raised as to 
the origin of the name of a place of 
such recent liii'ih as the village of .\d- 
rian, but such is the case. The origin 
of the name is as stated, but it is only 
natural that the mistake should be 
made of giving the honor to the direc- 
tor of the road, which has heretofore 
been done* In some quarters the belief 
lias become current that the village was 

'A correspondent to the St. Paul Pioneer 
Press, writing in July. 1878, told a pretty 
story of the selection of the site. The only 
fault to be found with the story is that it 
cannot be true, for the selection had been 
made and the plat surveyed two months be- 
fore the time assigned. The correspondent 

"Two years ago. in the last days of July, 
the tracklayers on the Worthington & Sioux 
Falls railroad reached the .banks of the Kan- 
aranzi. It was midway between Worthing- 
ton and Luverne. The site was 'beautiful for 
situation.' 'I'he country siu'rounding it was 
rich and inviting. From the summit of the 
bluffs that bordered the river the eye turned 
north, south, east and west, over hill, 
prairie and stream — a vision of beauty. 
'What a grand site for a new town.' was tlie 
exclamation of the leader. And it was then 
and there decided that a town should be on 
the spot." 

'Additions to Adrian have been i»Iatted as 

First — Surveyed by I.eoiiidas I.. Palmer, 
civil engineer, for Worthington & Sioux Falls 
Uailroad company: dedicated .Inh- ti. liU-il 
July ■il. ISSl. 

South Side — Surveyed by M. S. Smith be- 
tween September 3 and October !). ISOl, for 
M. Sullivan. F. U. Robinson. K. H. Mylius. 
John Ireland. A. M. Hecker and A. T.lbaire: 
ilc-dicated Oct. 1), 1891; tiled Dec. S. 1891. 

Campbell's East Side— Surveyed by M. S. 
Smith in September. ]X!)1. in compliance with 
an order of the coianty auditor: dedicated by 
Albert Campbell. Frank K. iloskins. Fred 
Stelnkoening. Josiah Iloskins. lOdward Gray, 
Casper Becker and 'I'homas Tangleson Nov. 4, 
1891: llled nee. 8, 18!ll. 

Schneider's— Surveyed by M. S. Smith be- 
tween Nov. 9 and 18, 1891. for .\lbert Camp- 
liell, Anna Maria Schneider luui John Alley: 
dedicated Dec. 12, 18111; filed Jan. 2. 1S92. 

Faragher's — Surveyed by M. S. Smith In 
November. 1891, for John R. Faraghir; dedi- 
cated Nov, 25, 1891; filed Jan. 2, 1892. 

Lot 1 (neVi of nw'^, section 19, T. 102. R. 42) 
— Surveyed by M. S. Smith for John E. Far- 
agher and ^V'ilIiam R. Faragher; dedicated 
Dec. 31, 1891; Hied Jan. 2. 1S92. 

Porter & Mohl's— Surveyed by W. N. David- 
son June 2, 3 and 4, 1891. for F. J. Porter; 
dedicated June 13. 1891; filed .Vpril 14. 1892. 

Jones' — Surveyed by W. N. Davidson Aug. 
17. 1891. for James R. Jones and John R. 
Jones; dedicated Feb. 14, 1SU2: filed Dec. 11, 

Blocks 2 and 3. Original Plat Campbell's 
East Side .Addition- Surveyed bv M. S. Smith 
April 12 and 13, 1895, for George F. llallas, 
administrator of the estate of Albert Camp- 
bell; dedicated May 1, 1895; filed May 27. 1895. 

Blocks 4. 5. 6 and 7, Campbell's East Side 
Addition — Surveyed by M. S. Smith Nov. 14. 
15 and 16. 1895. for George F. Hallas. adminis- 
trator of the estate of .\lbert Campbell; dedi- 
cated Dec. 5. 1895; filed Dec. 7. 1895. 

Spartz's— Surveyed by M. S. Smith Nov. 8. 
1899, for Jacob Spartz; dedicated Dec. 23, 1899; 
Hied Dee. 20. 1S99. 

Block A — Surveyed by M. S. Smith March 
19. 19113. for Joseph Cowin: dedicated April 6, 
1903: filed April G. 1903. 

'.V history of the origin of jilace names 
connerti'd with tVie Northwestern railroad, re- 
centl.N' Issued in book form, says: "This town 
jAdrianl was started in 187ti and was named 
for Adrian C. Iselin. of New York city, who 
was a large holder of the earliest issued stork 
and bonds of a railroad that passes through 
this vicinity." 

E. F. Drake, who was the president of the 
Worthington it Sioux Falls road, wrote at 
the time of the fonndiiig: ".\drian is named 
for Adrl-in Iseliii. of New York, one of our 

The Worthington Advance of June S. 1876. 
said: "The village is named Adrian, the 
name being that of a heavy European stock- 









TiLOEN Fo'js'OAriom. 




named in lienor of St. Adrian.'^ Al- 
though I have made diligent search, I 
have been unable to find any authentic 
data that would lead to that conclusion. 

Adrian was not founded immediately 
after the selection of the site. The track 
laying crew reached the ijoiut about the 
middle of August, and during that fall 
the town came into existence. J. Smith, 
who had been engaged in the mercantile 
business at Heron Lake, and George H. 
Carr, who had been clerking for liim. 
were the first on the ground. They 
brought lumber and erected the first 
building on the site." Before the store 
was opened ]\Ir. Carr bought his part- 
ners interests and became the first busi- 
ness man of Adrian. Besides conducting 
his' store he bought and shipped grain, 
erecting a warehouse later in the season. 

A number of other business men were 
soon on the ground, and before tlie end 
of the year, the village boasted of four 
or five business enterprises. A , hotel 
liiiilding, .30x40 feet, two stories ' high, 
was erected liy the railroad company, 
and Thomas H. Childs, formerly pcst- 
mastcr of the Hebbard postofEice and 
proprietor of the "Half- Way House," 
moved down and became landlord of the 
Adrian liotel. William Wigham came up 
from his home in Little Rock township, 
erected a small building in which he 
opened a store, and built a warehouse 
and engaged in the grain business. 

A depot building (the cast end of 

'"Adrian was named on the suggestion of 
Rev. Fatlier Knauf. the first Catholic priest 
of that charge, in honor of St. Adrian. Cer- 
tain ones wish to give the honor to Adrian 
Iselin. of New York, but facts disprove their 
claims." — Ellsworth News, 1907. 

'The front part of the building on Main 
street now occupied as a restaurant by Ed. 

"Adrian's postmasters, with the dates of 
service, are: George H. Carr, 1S76-1S82; El- 
ton Clapp. 18S2-18S5; M. Sullivan. 18S5-1S89; 
S. J. McKenzie. 1889-1894; John E. King, 
1894-1899: S. J. McKenzie. 1899-1906; Joseph 
Cowln, 1906 to date. 

the present depot) was erected, and 
George H. Otis was installed as agent, 
being replaced soon after by Thomas G. 
Newell. About the first of October the 
Hebbard postoffice, which had been lo- 
cated a short distance east of the new 
town, was moved to Adrian. George PL 
Carr became the postmaster and kept the 
office ill his store.' Other buildings 
erected in the little town before the close 
of the year were a small shanty put up 
tor a place of residence by H. N. Hol- 
lirook, and a small house which was 
moved over from near the site of Rush- 
more by Mr. Carr. The few business 
houses had a prosperous trade, and the 
predictions that Adrian was to become a 
good business point were coming true.' 
The country roundabout was sparsely set- 
tled, but the new town drew trade from 
a vastjjrea, extending south into what 
is. now:^aiown as the Ellsworth country, 
and .iiQptli'''fo the county line, guarantee- 
ing the permanency of the village. 

■Du"ririg the winter of 187G-77 the 
town's first school was establishecl, being 
conducted by Mrs. McC'all in a room in 
I he hotel, and the first church service 
was held in February." Times were 
lively during 1877, and many new busi- 
ness enterprises were established. In 
January J. C. Ludlow erected a build- 
ing and opened a blacksmith, machine 
and repair shop, and a few months later 
erected a dwelling house. A. J. Rice, 
who had been clerking in a drug store 

'"Adrian starts off -very weU and is destined 
to excel the other stations between Worth- 
ington and Luverne . . . The Kanaranzi 
valley is destined to be one of the richest 
portions of the county, and Adrian will be a 
busy place." — Correspondent in Worthington 
Advance, Nov. 9, 1876. 

^"We had preaching services in our village 
last Sabbath for the first time. Mr. Eunce. of 
Luverne. was the minister. Quite a large 
company were present. The meeting was held 
in the office of the hotel." — Correspondent to 
Worthington Advance. Feb. 15, 1877. 



at Worthington, located iu the west end 
village and opened a drug store. Hans 
Dalil started in tlie i-lioe repairing busi- 
ness. Benjamin Midboe erected a busi- 
ness house on Main street, which he leas- 
ed to H. J. Ludlow. The latter opened 
a hardware store in it, which was under 
the management of John F. liumiston. 
A. 0. Conde Jiioved down from Hersey 
village, and, forming a partnersliip with 
Captain William Wigliam, engaged ii> 
the produce and commission business 
lli-nrv Davis, the pioneer merchant of 
Worthington, put up a iniilding in the 
latter part of the summer and engaged 
in the general merchandise business. His 
store was managed by Ulveling Bros., 
who later bought the store. Tliat the 
new town was in a prosperous way is 
evidenced by this activity iu starting new 
enterprises and by the fact tliat 100.000 
bushels of grain wore shipped from the 
station during the year ISTi. 

The activity continued during liie next 
year. Fourteen buildings were erected 
during the winter of 1877-78, and in 
May a correspondent wrote of the con- 
ditions in the new town : 

Hiisiiiess is lively now, ami (iiir streets are 
lull of teams nearly every day. Our merchants 
are nearly all selling agricultural implenieiils 
and are turning out a great many niaeliines. 
One firm has sold over one hundred breaking 
plows. . . . There are two church or- 
ganizations and one lawyer, hut no diutiir 
an<l only one resi<lenl minister. 

Ill .liiiie a \isi1iir Id tlie tnwii re- 
jiortud the following business houses in 
operation : fJeneral stores by William 
Wigliaiii, .\. M. Becker, Henry Davis (in 
charge of Mr. Iflveling), and George H. 
Carr; hotel by T. H. Cliilds, boarding 
house (Colony House) liy James Xav- 
litii, livery bam liy Ivl. (joofier. fiiriii- 
ture stores by F. W'egen and Benja- 
min Midboe, lumber yards by Small & 
Carr and .lames Cowin, hardware store 

by John Huraiston, feed mill by Bar- 
ber Bros., baker}', restaurant and meat 
store by L. S. Roberts. 

The rush of settlers to the western 
part of the county in 1878, due largely 
to the operations of the colony com- 
pany, made prosperous times in the town, 
and several new business enterprises were 
started tliat summer. Among others 
were a machine and implement hous. 
and elevator owned by Peter Thompson 
and managed by A. M. Crosby, and an- 
other general store started by Rue & 
Langseth. The building improvements 
for the year amounted to $19,300. 

For several years after 1878 there 
was not much progress made in Adrian 
in a business way. In the town were 
all the kinds of business enterprises 
necessary to take care of the trade of 
the surrounding country, and only a few 
new business houses were established in 
the following few years. The federal 
census of 1880 showed a population of 

in the fall of 1881 the residents of 
tlic town asked for incorporation, peti- 
tioning the legislature, then in special 
session, to grant them a charter. The 
legislature took favorable action, and on 
November 17, 1881, the bill granting in- 
corporation was ajjprovod by the gov- 
ernor. The act, in part, is as follows: 

.■\n act to incorporate the village of 

15e it eni.cted liy tlic Icgislatin-e of the 
state of Minnesota: 

Section 1. That the following descrilied 
territory in the county of Nobles and state 
of .Minnesota, to-wit: the west half of sec- 
tion 18 and the northwest quarter of section 
19, all in township 102, range 42, and the 
cast half of section 13 and the northeast 
ipiartcr of section 24. township 102, range 4.'!, 
be, an<l the same is hereby, set apart, eonsti- 
tuteil, incor])orated as the village of Adriiin, 
under and subject to the provisions of chap- 
ter l.'i!) of the general laws of 1S75. and the 
inliabitants of said territory shall form ami 
constitute a municipal corporation at com- 
mon law together with the power granted 


Adriau High School, Adrian, Minn, 




and conferred by said chapter 139 of the 
general laws of 1875 and all acts amenda- 
tory thereof and the further power herein 

Sec. S." That L. C. Clemons. E. Coleman 
and -John F. Humiston are hereby designated 
as the persons who shall give notice of and 
for a meeting of the legal voters of said 
territory to organize said village and elect 
officers pursuant to the laws of 187.5 afore- 

Sec. 4. The territory comprised within 
prescribed limits of said village shall be, 
and the same is hereby constituted, an inde- 
pendent voting precinct for all election pur- 

Sec. 5. This act shall take effect and be 
in force from and after its passage. 

Approved Xovember 17. 1881. 

' The first village election was held on 
Saturday, Nov. 2(i, 1881, when the fol- 
lowing citizens were elected to serve as 
Adrian's first officers: President of the 
council, T. G. Newell ; trtistees, John 
Blesius, James Navlon and John Tim- 
mons ; recorder, Isaac Small; treasurer. 
John Kra.^t ; Justice, IT. W. Weston; con- 
stable, H. P. Flanagan. They served 
until their successors were chosen on 
January 2, 188.3. 

Following is a list of those who have 
filled elective offices in the city govern- 
ment up to the present time : 

1883— President, T. G. Newell; trustees, A. 
G. Lindgren, Peter Ulveling, .T. T. Hosmer: 
recorder, Thomas .Johnson: treasurer. A. M. 

1884 — President, il. Sullivan; trustees. A. 
J. Rice, .Tohn Timmons, Thomas G. Xewell; 
recorder, Thomas .Johnson; treasurer. A. M. 
Becker; justice. George F. Ilallas; constable, 
E. Coleman. 

188.5 — President, M. Sullivan ; trustees, A. 
M. Becker, A. G. I-indgren, L. S. Roberts;" 
recorder. Levi Rue; treasurer, F. .T. Porter; 
justice, A. Campbell. 

1886 — President, Fred R. Robinson; trus- 
tees, Albert Campbell, .Jo.seph Roll. O. S. 
Melick; recorder, Thomas G. Newell; treas- 
urer, F. .J. Porter; justices, L. C. Clemons, 
George Ilallas; constable, George Slade. 

1887 — I^esident, .Tames R. .Jones; trustees, 
R. C. Thompson, E. Cooper. Daniel Ryan; re- 

"Section 2 granted five special powers to 
the village council. 

"Resigned. Albert Campbell appointed March 

12. 18S5. 

"Resigned and was succeeded by O. W. 

corder, C. E. Chamberlain; treasurer. .Joseph 

1888 — President. F. J. Porter; trustees, A. 
M. Becker, S. J. McKenzie, .James Cowin; 
recorder, Daniel Ryan; treasurer, .Joseph Roll; 
justices, .John Kendlen," George Hallas; con- 
stables. .John Reifenberger, George Slade. 

1889 — President, .John Blesius; trustees. 
.John R. .Jones, F. R. Robinson, Levi Rue; 
recorder, A. II. Feathers; treasurer, .Joseph 
Roll; justice, 0. W. Freeman; constable, Wil- 
liam Marr. 

1890— President. JI. Sullivan; trustees, R. 
C. Thompson. -John Faragher, A. M. Becker; 
recorder. C. A. Sands: treasurer, John Bles- 
ius; justice, George Hallas; constable, J. G. 

1891 — President, S. .1. McKenzie; trustees, 
W. R. Faragher. George Tinnes, Richard 
Sell; recorder. Geoi'ge S. Bell: treasurer, .John 
Blesius: justice. 0. AV. Freeman; constable. 
A. G. Mitchell. 

1892 — President, D. -J. Forbes; trustees, J. 
E. Faragher, A. Campbell, B. E. Smith; re- 
corder, G. E. Tinnes; treasurer, .John Bles- 
ius; justice. George F. Hallas; constable. Wil- 
liam Marr. 

1893 — l^esident, .John Blesius; trustees. 
.John E. Faragher. -James Boardman. George 
Ellsworth; recorder. C. A. Sands; treasurer, 
,J. C. Becker; justice. I..evi Rue; constable. .J. 
N. Rupner. 

lfi94M_.p,esident, 0. S. Melick; trustees. 
.James Boardman. John E. Faragher. G. S. 
Ellsworth; recorder, C. A. Sands; treasurer, 
J. C. Becker; justice, James F. Cox; con- 
stable. William ilarr; street commissioner, 
John McChord. 

1895— President, O. S. Melick; trustees, M. 
S. Boyle, J. E. Faragher, .James Boardman: 
recorder, C. A. Sands; treasurer, J. C. Becker: 
justice, George F. Hallas; constable, J. G. 
ilurphv; street commissioner, John McChord. 

lS9f)— President, J. T. McKnight; trustees, 
J. F. Timmons, A. Libaire, William Faragher; 
recorder, C. A. Sands; treasurer, George Ells- 
worth; justice, A. J. Rice; constable. Wil- 
liam Marr; street commissioner, S. Ostram. 

1897 — President, W. R. Faragher; trustees, 
George Eppers, A. Libaire. Thomas Dealtry; 
recorder, Charles Slade; treasurer, .Joseph 
Roll; justices. 0. W. Freeman, George F. 
Hallas; constable. J. G. Murphy; street com- 
missioner, .James Mitchell. 

1898— President, W. R. Faragher; trustees, 
George Eppers. A. Ubaire, Fred Mohl; re- 
corder, C. A. Sands; treasurer. Charles Li- 
baire; constable, William Marr; street com- 
missioner, .James Mitchell. 

1890 — President, W. R. Faragher; trustees, 
Fred Mohl. N. P. Hanson, W. J. Bauer; re- 
Freeman, who was elected at a special elec- 

"At this election a vote was taken on the 
license question. For license received 165 
votes; against license, 21. 



corder, C. A. Siinds; treasurer, Charles Li- 
baire; assessor, William Wigham; justices. 
George F. Hallas, 0. W. Freeman; constable, 
J. G. Murphy; street commissioner, J. J. 

moo President, Fred Sfohl; trustees. W. 
R. Mansel, \V. ,T. B.-iuer, \V. E. Timmons; 
recorder, C. A. .Sands: treasurer. II. K. Swan- 
man; assessor, William Wigham; justice, E. 
Goodenough: ccinstalile. William Marr: street 
commissioner, .lohn JlcCIiord. 

1001 -President. Fred Mold; trustees, W. 
It. .Mansel, W. K. Timmons. Daniel Fritz; re- 
corder. C. A. Sands; tn^asurer, IT. A. Swan- 
man:»ssor, William Wigham; justice, 0. 
W. Freeman; constahle. .T. (i. Murphy; street 
commissioner. F. W. Ellsworth. 

1002 — President, 0. W. Freeman; trustees, 
John K. Faragher, W. E. Timmons, Daniel 
Fritz; recorder, C. E. Libaire; treasurer. .T. 
C. Becker; assessor, William Wigham; jus- 
tice, .John G. Gergen; constable, William 
Jfarr; street commissioner, F. W. Ellsworth. 

LlO-^—President. O. W. Freeman; trustees, 
h E. Faragher, J. G. M\irphy. William Hitch- 
ens; recorder, G. Ij. Ellsworth; treasurer. J. 
A. Kennedy; assessor, William Wigham; jus- 
tice, E. Goodenough; street commissioner, F. 
W. Ellsworth. 

1004 — President. 1.. W. Marston; trustees, 
W. R. Mansel, R. H. Doe, Frank leveling; 
recorder, Daniel Fritz; treasurer, John Col- 
vin; assessor, William Wigham; justices, F, 
Goodenough, F. J. l\il])atiick: constable, Wil- 
liam Marr; street commissioner, Peter Pass. 

1905— President, L. W. Marston; trustees, 
W. R. Mansel. R. H. Doe, W. E. Timmons; 
recorder, .John .Mif'liord : treasurer. .Tolin ('ol 
vin; assessor. William Wigham; justices, F. 
J. Kilpatrick. (>. W. Freeman; constable 
.Tames Mitchell. 

1000- -President, Fred Mold; trustees, John 
Rcifeidierger, Daniel Fritz, Frank Ulveling; 
recorder, .lohn Metliord; treasurer, John Col- 
vin: assessor, William Wigham; justices, 
.Tames F. Cox, Jf. E. Carrigan; constable, 
William ^larr. 

1907 President. C. A. Sands; trustees, 
John Reifenberger, A. J. Sihaelfer, M. F". 
Carrigan; recorder, John Jlcthord; treasurer, 
John Colvin; assessor, William Wigham; jus- 
tices, .Tames F. Cox, F. J. Kilpatrick; con- 
stables, L. G. Chisum, .Tames Mitchell. 

1908 — President, C. .\. Sands; trustees 
John Reifenberger, M. K. Carrigan. .\. .T 
SchaeO'er; recorder. .Tolm McCliord; (reis 
urer, .Tolm Colvin; assessor. \\'illi:ini Wig- 

Diiriiif,' tlie early eighties .Vdriiiii took 
\)ig strides forward. Tlie grasshopper 
scourge \va.« a tiling o£ the; the 

Catholic colony company had been in- 
strumental in bringing hundreds of new 
settlers to the lands of western Nobles 
county; crops were good and the country 
was prosperous. All these things as- 
sisted in the building of a good town at 
Adrian, which, until the founding of 
Ellsworth in 1884, continued to draw 
trade from its original large territory — ■ 
a territory rapidly filling with settlers. 

The years 1883 and 1884 were espec- 
ially prosperous ones for the west end 
village. During tlie eighteen iiiontlis be- 
fore January, 1885, the building im- 
provements in the village amounted to 
the snug sum of $.52,530, of which $30,- 
000 had been expended in 1884. The 
to\yn became a shipping point of im- 
portance,'^ and business in all lines was 
good. New enterprises were started, .ind 
the population increased, reaching a to- 
tal of .533 in 1885, a gain of 340 in five 

By the building of the Burlington 
railroad (now the Eock Island) througli 
the southwestern corner of the county in 
ISS-! and the foumling of Ellswortli vil- 
lage, Adrian lost a part of its large ter- 
ritory, but this loss wa.s offset bv the 
rapid devejopnienl ol its reinaiiiiiig !;■:- 
ritory, and during the latter part of 
the eighties Adrian continued to be (he 
liveliest town in Nobles county. In 18!)() 
the federal census showed a |)opuhition 
of G71. 

.\drian has been remarkably free from 
fires during its entire history. Its most 
disastrous cnnnagrafion oceurred on ^fay 
33. 1889, when the Adrian flouring mill 
Mild a few nearby Imi Mings were burned, 
causing a loss of ab(uit $18,000. The 
fire is supposed to have originated from 

""DunuK the year 18X4 we forwanled Ifi.- charges accrued on our own road — no 

3)7,140 pounds of frclKht. on which the "advanced charges' being included therein."- - 

charges were $2S.B7!).SO; and received '.1.846.982 Adrian Guardian, January, 1885. 
pounds, on which the charges were $20,051,88, 



a spark from an engine. The Adrian 
Guardian of May 34 said of the loss: 

The mill property cost Gilbert & Nelson 
$10,000 less than six months ago. Xew 
mafhiner\- had been put in during the last 
spring to the value of .$.3,800. The proprie- 
tors hail three thousand bushels of wheat in 
store, with a new barn which went up in 
smoke with the rest, will swell the loss to 
$18,000. Cinders were carried all over town, 
and the residences of .John Blesius, George 
Slade, M. L. DeWolf and Peter Pass were 
several times on fire (tliey were over a 
block away) and only hard work saved them. 
Had the wind been stronger all of Park Hill 
must have been devastated by the fire fiend. 

Prosperous times continued up to the 
time of the panic of 1893. Most of 
the liouses had been built of 
wood before 1891. That year witnessed 
a buildino; boom, in which, among otliers, 
were constructed three handsome brick 
business l)locks — the A. M. Becker store 
building, at a cost of about $9,000; the 
Adrian State Bank building, and the 
Slade Hotel building. The panic of 
1893 resulted in only a temporary set- 
back, and during the late nineties Ad- 
rian again came upon prosperous times. 
The population in 189.5 was 1.072. a 
gain of 401 in five years. This was in- 
creased in 1900 to 1,258. 

When the Burlington railroail (now 
the Eock Island) extended northwest- 
ward from Worthington in 1900 it in- 
vaded Adrian's northern territory, and 
the founding of the towns along tliat 
line of road resulted in a cutting otf of 
a large and profitable trade. The town's 
trade territory was now reduced to its 
immediate surrounding farming country, 
which is the case with every other Nobles 
county town. A result of this loss of 
trade was that Adrian did not continue 
to advance as it had during its entire 
previous history. The census of 190.") 

'■"■This population was divided as follows: 
N'ative born. 434; Minnesota born. 567; for- 
•■it?n born. 183. The foreign born population 
was divided as to countries of birth as fol- 

gavo a population of 1,184,'^ a loss of 
74 in five years. 

The personal property assessment for 
the village as left by the board of re- 
view for 1907 was $99,.54.5. The in- 
crease in real estate values by reason of 
improvements was $1,385. This was the 
increase in assessed valuation only, the 
full value of improvements Iiaving been 
in tlie neigliborhood of $5,000. .V list 
of the business houses, made l>y the No- 
bles County Democrat in June, 1907, 
showed that there were 87 firms or [icr- 
sons engaged in professional and me- 
chanical work in Adrian. 

The year 1908 witnessed a more pros- 
perous condition of affairs in Adrian 
than had been the case for several years. 
A number of new business houses were 
established and all lines of business were 
in a prosperous way. 


Tt was during the winter of 1870-77, 
wlieii only a few families called .\driaii 
their home, that the first school was 
started in the little village. It was held 
in the attic of the hotel building and 
Mrs. McCall was the teacher. Thomas 
H. Childs and William Wigham were in- 
strumental in bringing about the estab- 
lishment of the school, those gentlemen 
hiring the teacher and paying her salary 
out of their own pockets. Eleven child- 
ren attended this first scohol in Adrian — 
three from the family of Mr. Wigham, 
three from that of Mr. Cliilds, and five 
from the family of H. N. Holbrook. 
The following spring more families came 
(o the town, and the matter of securing 
a school became a live issue. On April 

lows: Germany. 74; Sweden. 8; Norway. 41; 
Canada. 7; Ireland. 22; Denmark. 3; England. 
18; Scotland, 2; Austria. 2; other countries, 6. 



24 ,1 public meeting was held by those 
interested, at which it was decided to 
erect a building and have a school dur- 
ing the summer. Money was raised by 
subscription, and a frame building, 12x 
14 feet, wa.« erected, in which Mrs. Mc- 
Call conducted the scliool until the dis- 
trict was formed the next year. 

Wlien the district was formed in 1878 
it included territory extending from the 
county's western boundary line to the 
site of the present village of Eushmore. 
The district was bonded in the sum of 
$2,000, and a two story frame l)uilding 
was erected. Tlie first officers of the 
district were Benjamin Midhne, director; 
William Wigliam. clerk : and Tlinmas H. 
Childs, treasurer. In tliis structure the 
Adrian schools were conducted until the 
brick building was erected in 189.'), when 
it was sold to Eev. John Schwartz for 

On .Tulv 31. 180.3. a special election 
was held, at wjiich it was voted to issue 
bonds for the cnn'^truction of a new 
school house. Because of the panic and 
lirevailing hard times the matter of con- 
structing the building was not at once 
taken up. The next year bonds to the 
iimonnt of $21,000 were issued, and on 
.Tunc 1. 1804, the contract for the erec- 
tion of tlie building was let to Perrv 
Wysong. of Mankato, on a bid of $18,- 
81.5. The handsome structure \v:is com- 
pleted and occupied for the first time on 
February 26, 1805. Adrian maintains 
an excellent high school and good graded 

Besides llic public schools arc two 
parochial schools, one maintained liy the 
Catholic church, the oilier by the Nor- 
wegian Lutheran cliurch. 


-Xdrian's city hall was erected in 1888. 
It is a handsome building of brick and 
stone and cost $1.5,000. The upper story 
is used for an opera house and has a 
seating capacity of 400. The lower floor 
is taken up by the city ofEiees, the firt 
department and the jail. 

The water works and electric lighting 
systems, owned by the city, were in- 
stalled in 1894. The water system has 
both direct and gravity pressure. In 
the power house is installed a Dean com- 
pound duplex p\imp of 7.")0,000 gallons 
capacity. The water supply is inexhaus- 
tible, the water being of excellent qual- 
ity secured from a deep well. A reser- 
voir, 24x40x20 feet, with a capacity of 
4,.500 barrels, has been' built near the 
station, ■ The bottom of the reservoir is 
on a level with the base of the pump. 
Tlie gravity pressure is forty pounds, 
and tli(> fire pressure is one hundred to 
one hundred twenty-five pounds. .\n 
elevated tank of 1,000 barrels capacity 
is situated on the liill west of town and 
is (iiic liuiiilre(l feet above the grade of 
the main i>usiuess street. There are 
1,200 feet of four inch mains, ."i.OOO feet 
of six inch mains, and l.-")iiO feet nf 
eight inch mains, and there are twenty 
double fire hydrants. The electric light- 
ing plant is combineil wiili that of the 
water works. The cost of the systems 
was $26,4.57. 

A fire departnienl was organized in 
LSOT). and the village has first-class Hrc 
protectiriii. Tin' ilepartnient has a mem- 
bership oi: :U and is supplied with all 
the necessary liic lighting apparatus. 



..rsi«i^_— J 




In Adrian are three banking institu- 
tions, the National Bank of Adrian, the 
Adrian State Bank, and the First Na- 
tional Bank. 

The first financial institution of the 
town was the Bank of Adrian, established 
by James R. and John E. Jones in 1880. 
These gentlemen conducted the Bank of 
Adrian as a private institution until 
February, 1908, when it was reorganized 
as the National Bank of Adrian. The 
capital stock is $35,000, and bonds in 
the sum of $6,500 secure the circula- 
tion. The officers and directors are as 
follows : James R. Jones, president ; J. 
C. Becker^ vice president ; John R. Jones, 
cashier; E. J. Jones, Lelia A. Jones, 
Mary A. Jones, Samuel Jones. 

The second banking institution in the 
village was also a private bank. In July, 
1884, Mylius Bros. & Co. issued a cir- 
cular stating that they had opened a 
real estate and loan agency, being the 
agents for Close Bros. & Co. For sev-. 
eral years they engaged in the general 
banking business under the firm name 
of Mylius Bros. & Co., Bankers. In Oc- 
tober, 1880, application was made for 
organization as a state bank, and in 1890 
the Adrian State Bank took the place of 
Mylius Bros. & Co., Bankers. The capi- 
tal stock was $25,000, owned largely by 
Slylius Bros. The first officers and di- 
rectors, chosen at the first election, Oc- 
tober 7, 1889, were George C. Eyland. 
Jr., president; E. H. Mylius, vice presi- 
dent; H. G. Mansel, cashier; A. M. 
Becker, A. Schaeffer, A. G. Lindgren, 
P. E. Brown. In 190fi the capital stock 
was increased to $40,000. Edwin C. 
Rrickson is the present cashier. 

The third banking institution estab- 
lished in Adrian was the Adrian Ex- 

change BanJc, a private bank, which 
opened its doors on May 26, 1890. Its 
capital stock was $.35,000 and the first 
officers and directors were F. J. Por- 
ter, president ; James Cowin, vice presi- 
dent; 0. S. Melick, cashier; Emil Graf, 
George Slade. Besides those who held 
office,- Fred Mohl and 0. W. Freeman 
were stockholders. Temporary quarters 
were established in a frame building, 
but the home of the bank was made in 
the Slade building when it was erected 
in 1891. The Adrian Exchange Bank 
was reorganized as the First National 
Bank of Adrian on November 1, 1905, 
with a capital stock of $35,000. The 
first officers and directors were A. G. 
LindgTen, president; W. R. Faragher, 
vice president; Charles W. Kilpatrick. 
cashier; John E. Faragher, Phil Landes. 
Tlie officers and directors at the present 
time are C. A. .Sands, president; W. R. 
Faragher, vice president; Charles W. 
Kilpatrick, cashier; Phil Landes, Fred 


Four church societies are maintained 
in Adrian — the Roman Catholic. Metho- 
dist Episcopal, Norwegian Lutheran and 

St. Adrian's Catholic church has the 
Inrp-est membership and was the first 
established. It was founded in 1877 
with a small membership, and for many 
rears was under the pastorate of Father 
C. J. Knanf. A frame buildiuf was 
erected in 1878 at a cost of about $700, 
which was furnished bv Bishon Ireland, 
and this served as the house of worship 
until 1889. The societv was incorpor- 
ated Julv 24, 1882, the incorporators 
hning- Thomas L. Grace, bishop; Aucts- 
tin Ravaux, vicar general ; Christian J. 




Knauf. pastor; Michael Sullivan ami 
Mitliac'l Becker. 

In the fall of 1887 a iiioru cununoil- 
ious church edifice was commenced, and 
the building was dedicated by Bishop 
Ireland in July, 1880. It was a brick 
veneered structurr. and had a tower 
which extended far aliovc any othoi 
l)uilding in the lown. It had a seating 
capacity of 500 and the cost was about 
$15,000. The building was entirely de- 
.'^troyed by fire on December "^-1, 1899. 
Plans were at once made for a new 
house of worship, and in 1901 was coni- 
])Ieted the present niagidlicent edifice, 
which cost over $.'iO,000. It is one of 
tiie most attractive as well as costly 
structures of its kind in the state, and 
has a seating capacity of over 800. 

In connection with the church is the 
parochial school, taught by the sisters 
of St. Francis, of Rochester, ^linn. 'I'hc 
Catholic Order of Foresters and St. .Jus- 
t'ph's society are societies inaintain(d in 
connection witli the church. 

The Methodist Episcopal cliurch was 
organized in 1884, when the present 
church building was erected. The church 
society also has a parsonage, the value of 
the chuicli buildings being about $.3,000. 

The Norwegian Lutheran chitrch was 
dedicated June 10, 1900. 

The Peoples Church of Adrian was in- 
corporated November 29, 1898, with the 
following board of trustees: A. M. 
Feathers, D. J. Tinnes, Mrs. Clara B. 
Swanman, Mrs. Lucy A. Porter, C. C. 
^lay. The incorporators, in addition to named as trustees, were An tut M. 
Childs. Ottihe Hallas, Eva C. Tinnes, 
Lavina Libaire, G. E. Tinnes, Patience 
Tinnes, Eliza T. Wilkes, Laura Lind- 
gren. May G. Campbell, Byola A. Ean- 
dall, Kate Kilpatrick, Mamie Good- 
enough, Charles Kilpatrick. 

For a nninber of years the Baptists 
maintained a church organization at Ad- 
rian. The First Baptist church of Ad- 
rian was incorporated May .31, 1889, 
with the following officers. C. H. Max- 
on, supplying pastor ; Roger Jones, deac- 
on ; Lottie Swanman, clerk ; George Ells- 
worth, A. S. Meacham. John E. Jones, 
trustees. A church building was dedi- 
cated December 5, 1889, when Eev. Mr. 
Moore was installed as pastor. The or- 
ganization was maintained for several 


Adrian is a strong lodge town, and a 
great many secret and fraternal organi- 
zations inaiidain lodges. 



In point of size Ellsworth is Xobles celleut land in the southwestern corner, 

county's third town. As a business pushed out there and builded homes. A 

point it also takes high rank, for, be- few of these came as early as 1871, and 

yond question, it draws its trade from during the next few years quite a num- 

tho best farming country of Nobles coun- ber followed and established themselves 

ty. It is located in Grand Prairie town- in Grand Prairie township, 

sliip and is in tlie extreme southwestern Among the number who came in the 

comer of tlic county, tlie townsite being early days was "LTncle"' Stillwell, who 

only one mile from the Iowa state line took as his claim the land upon which 

and one and one-half miles from the the village of Ellsworth was afterwards 

Rock county line. It is on the Eock Is- built. He erected a dwelling at a point 

land railroad, of which road it is a di- one-half mile east of the present busi- 

vision point, and is the terminus of a ness part of the town, and to supply the 

l)ranch line of the same railroad which wants of the few settlers who were his 

runs to Rock Rapids. The population neighbors, Mr. Stillwell established a 

nf Ellsworth was .5.3~ in 190-5, when the small store and for a nmnber of years 

last census was taken. conducted it from his farm home, oper- 

There is no town in Nobles county ating a pedler's wagon in connection, 
which has a finer site. It is laid out on Although the country was very thinly 
a piece of high level ground, and there settled at the time and the greater part 
is not a foot of wet or low land on the of it was wild prairie land, Mr. Still- 
wjiole plat. The founders of the town well had confidence in its future and de- 
could not have chosen a finer location clared on several occasions that a town 
had thoy the making of it themselves. would some day be located on his place 

While the history of Ellsworth village or very near it, basing his judgment on 
does not begin until the fall of 1884, the quality of the land round about, 
we must go back of that date several The prediction, came true, but the man 
years to get a correct understanding of who made the prognostication was not 
the causes that led to the building of there to reap the benefits. He had 
such a prosperous town at this point, packed up his goods some two years be- 
During the early period of Nobles coun- fore and moved away, 
ty's colonization, settlement was con- Ellsworth came into existence as the 
fined largely to the eastern part of the direct result of the building of the Bur- 
county, but a few, attracted by the ex- lington railroad (now tlie Rock Island) 




tlirough tliat part of the country in the 
late suninior of 1884. The site was se- 
ieetecl by the agents of the Cedar Rap- 
ids, Towa Falls & Northwestern T^and & 
Town Ijot company during the first days 
of September/ and the survey of the 
townsite was made by Surveyor F. D. 
Kandall for the company immediately. 
The dedication of the plat was made by 
S. L. Dows, president, and James B. 
Close, secretary, of the town lot com- 
pany, on September 29, and the instru- 
ment, was filed in llio office of the re- 
gister of deeds on October 4.- The new 
town was named in honor of Eugene 
Ellsworth, one of the stockholders of 
the Burlington road.* 

Even before the' survey of the plat was 
completed the success of the proposed 
new town was assured. From all parts 
of the country came rpqncsts for lots so 
soon as they should be placed on the 
market, and many came personally to 
be in on the ground floor. C. TT. Dav- 
idson, of Rock Rapids, was named agent 
for the sale of town lots and opened an 
office of the site.* The state of affairs 
as they existed just before the start of 
the town was related in the Sibley Trib- 
une of September 11: 

Bpsidps liaviiis so finp a sitp. tlip 
town will lie. and is now, siirronndpd by tlip 
finpst farming onuntiv evpr tlip sun slioiir 
on, and even no-.v the farm Iionsps. snr- 

"•The new town on tho B. r. R. & N. In 
Grand I'l-airie town.shln. we lonrn. has at List 
been lopalpd. It Is on the southeast quarter 
of section 29. and Is named Kllsworth." — 
WorthinKton Advance. September 11. 1S84. 

-•.\dditlons have been platted as follows: 

Mvra— Surveyed hv H. G. Doollttle for Will 
G. Jones; dedicated Oct. 13. 1884; (lied Oct. 
16 1884. 

Riitler's— Surveyed by J. P. Gllman for 
John Butler a"d Zepherein Audet; dedicated 
Mav 30, 188S; filed July 11. 1885. 

Western land Comp-'nv's Rrsuhdlvlslon of 
Lots In Block 7— Dedicated by the Western 
Tj-Td To by Ephrla-n McMurtrle. nttorrey In 
fact, Juno IS, 1890; tiled June 21. 1890. 

goiilh— Surveyed by M. S. Smith for John 
F. Flynn; dedicated Dec. 24, 1901; filed Dec. 
28, 1901. 

roiindeJ by great stacks of grain, Ciin be 
counted by the hundrcdi^, and as the town 
grows the" country will develop and make it 
one of the finest shipping and trading points 
in southern Minnesota. 

Already the ground for an ISOO font side- 
track has been surveyed, and work will 
have been begun on the same ere this reaches 
our readers. 

One of the company's Xo. 1 depots, like 
the one at Sibley, will be put there, and 
the prospects are" that it will make a good 
town— one that will keep up with the growth 
of the country at least. 

Three elevator lots have already been spok 
en for, and the fourth is liable to be taken 
in a few days. A dozen or more of the 
business lots "(price from $2M) down to $400) 
have been sj)oken for, and one or two more 
buildings will spring up there before an- 
other issue of the Tribune. 

From the towns of Worthingtoii, Ad- 
rian, Sibley, Spirit Lake, Rock Rapids. 
Lmorne and other nearby points came a 
number of people to engage in business, 
some of them bringing lumber with 
which to ronstruct their buildings. By 
September 18 twenty-three lots had been 
sold, and the work of building the town 
had commenced. If. E. Torrance, of 
Worthington, was the first on tho ground 
wUh lumber for his store building, and 
John Buder, of Rock Rapids, was the 
second. The first slruclure begun, how- 
ever, was the saloon building of Lat- 
tenborgcr il- Stevens.-'' .Vlmost simultan- 
eouslv a dozen or more buildings were 
started during the latter part of Sep- 
temlier, and before the close of the year 
a flourishing little city had taken its 

■'■'Kugene Ellsworth . . . was n large 
holder of real e.stato. and his home was at 
Cedar Falls, Iowa. Me owned a large luimber 
of lots rin Kllsworthi and manifested a lively 
liUcrest In the town during his lifetime. KIls- 
wtu'th college, one of the leading educational 
Institutions of Cedar Falls, bears bis name 
and is a splendid monument to his liberality." 
—Ellsworth News. 1907. 

'Mike Fahv was on the site for two or three 
weeks liefoi'e the lots were placed on sale. 
waiting for a chance to get a desirable loca- 
tion His vigilance was rewarded, for he be- 
came the purchaser of the first lot. upon 
which he erected a saloon building. 

'•■Work on the first bidlding— Sam Stevens 
and Phil I.attenber^rcr's saloon -began Wed- 
nesday fSeptember 171 and by the time this 
reaches our readers will be up and enclosed. 
—Sibley Tribune, Sept, 18, 1884. 



place ou the prairie — a city of about 
150 iuliabitants. So great was the rush 
that it was with diificulty enough car- 
penters were secured to do the work. 

W hen the railroad had been completed 
to the site of the proposed town a box 
car had been set ott, and until the depot 
was erected a little later served in that 
capacity. A. J. Yorker served as the 
company's first agent at Ellsworth. 
Henry E. Torrance was the first to open 
a place of business. He erected a build- 
ing on Main street (on the site of the 
present First National Bank building) 
:ur1 opened a general store, which was 
in charge of John P. Peterson as man- 
ager and Art Tabler as clerk. He also 
engaged in the grain business, erecting a 
warehouse. D. L. Riley, of Spirit Lake, 
was early on the site with twenty car 
loads of lumber. He put up an office 
and became the first dealer in lumber 
and fuel. E. F. Newell, of Spirit Lake, 
opened the first hardware store, whicn 
was in charge of his brother, Thomas 
Newell. F. A. Fink, of Rock Rapids, 
opened the second hardware store a little 

A harness shop was opened by Mike 
Harrigan, of Spirit Lake, and a shot 
shop by Bernard Ball, of Mankato. Four 
saloons were in operation by November, 
owned by Lattcnberger & Stevens, of 
Sibley ;_ Thomas Fahy, of Adrian; Brazil 
Bros., of Faribault; and Mike Fahy, of 
Iowa. John Butler, of Rock Rapids, 
and Ezra Rice, of Lnverne, erected ware- 

°Mr. Garmer served about one year. He was 
succeeded hy Ferdinand Esser. who served 
until January 1. 1SS9. At that time James 
Walker received the .appointment, and he has 
held the office ever since. The Ellsworth post- 
oftice succeeded that of Grand Prairie, which 
was established about 1874, when a star mail 
route was opened between Bigelow and Ash 
Creek. Grand Prairie postoffice was first lo- 
cated on section 10, where a man named 
Ayers conducted the office and a little store. 
Other postmasters of the office were John 
Butcher, George Barnes, Die Lund and Oscar 

houses and engaged in the grain busi- 
ness. A. J. Rice, of Adrian, opened a 
drug store during the month of Novem- 
ber, and Grant & Hannan engaged in 
the implement business. A correspon- 
dent wrote to the Sibley Tribune in 
November, telling some items of inter- 
est of the town's early history: 

Ellsworth has so far been the boss place 
to .sell flax. . . . There have been fifty 
ear loads shipped up to date, and the aver- 
age is about three ear loads a day. The 
depot is not yet completed but will be soon. 

The business lots here are nearly all sold, 
the prices running from $150 to .$250. Resi- 
dence lots are held at from $50 to $100. 
Tliere are several residence lots sold. There 
are a good many buildings in contemplation, 
most of which will be commenced in the 
spring. . . . Ellsworth can boast of only 
one lady resident at present, Mrs. Hattie 
Stevens, formerly of Siblej', but she ap- 
pears to be quite happy in her new home. 

During the winter of 18S4-8.5 the 
Ellsworth postoft'ice was established with 
B. F. Garmer as postmaster," and a few 
new business enterprises were started. 
William Peck opened a hotel, Chris 
Blocklinger started a livery barn, and 
John Butler opened the second general 
store, carrying general merchandise, 
hardware, groceries, drugs, etc. 

Times were lively in the spring of 
1885, and there were several new business 
ventures.' G. H. Eastwood founded the 
Ellsworth News in April. H. J. Borget 
put up a building and opened the first 
furniture store in town. J. J. Lenz & 
Co. (J. J. and Peter Lenz) started an- 
other general store. J. G. Senenfelder 
established Ellsworth's second hotel, and 

'"Our neighbor. Ellsworth, is doing a rush- 
ing business in the way of building. A large 
.store room, a printing office and hotel are 
under way. besides a number of buildings 
which went up earlier in the season. 
Everything is astir and full of life." — Rock 
Rapids Reporter. April. 1SS5. 

"A Worthington gentleman who has just 
returned from Ellsworth informs us that he 
saw six new buildings going up and thinks 
there are from fifteen to twenty business 
houses in the place already." — Worthington 
Advance. April 30, 1885. 



a number of residences were erected that 
year, the first being that of George Wig- 
gens. Tlie Lyon County Keporter, in 
July, 1885, told of the business houses 
in die new town at that time: 

Tlicie are iiuw fuui yeueral stores, four 
saloons, two hotels, blacksmith shop, buteher 
shop, three grain warehouses, livery stable, 
three farm iinplenieiit esLablishmeiits, har- 
ness shoj), drug store, furniture store, lum- 
ber and coal yard, newspaper. They have 
now raised $0,0110 for the erection of a 
Catholic church. 

i'"ouudL'd as it was in the center of one 
of the finest farming sections of the 
Northwest, Ellsworth was from the start 
a prosperous village. Were it not for 
the fact tliat it was surrounded by such 
a rich farming country, there certainly 
woulil liavu been a retrogression follow- 
ing the boom with which it came into 
existence. Few towns having such a 
lively start and established with no 
other prospects than the trade of a lim- 
ited agricultural community have escap- 
ed a period of dull times soon after the 
founding. While the active building op- 
erations and the establishment of new 
business enterprises were not continued 
to any great extent for some time after 
1885, the town enjoyed prosperous times. 

An item of greatest moment to Ells- 
wortii was the selection of the town as 
a division point of the IJurlington road 
in the early fall of 188G. The company 
built a five-stall round house, put in a 
turn-table, enlarged the depot, and made 
other improvements. A branch road was 
built the same year from Ellsworth to 
Kock Eaplds. These operations of the 
railroad company made tlie town quito 
lively that fall. 

*The signer.s of the petition wore C. O. 
Dalley, C. C. Peterson, T. J. Anthony. C M. 
P:ir(lc)c. A. P. Arneson. J. P. I'ctorsoii. Ed- 
ward Kyan, A. Stubhs. G. A. Elton. John Biit- 
Ipr. P. ir. T.nttcntiiTKcr. James Malicr. K. 11. 
KnfKiit. Joiin tf. Ilratiender, Joiin O'Connor. 
M. J. Bryan, Fcrd Esser, S. B. CampbeU, G. 

On the eighth day of November, 18Sb, 
a census of the village was taken — tlit 
first step in a movement to bring about 
incorporation. The territory which it 
was proposed to incorporate consisted of 
1,440 acres and was found to have a 
population of 312 persons. On the same 
day the census was taken a petition was 
circulated and generally signed,** pray- 
ing the board of county commissioners 
for incorporation and asking that that 
body "appoint a time and place when 
and where the electors actually residing 
upon said lands may vote for or against 
such incorporation." 

At a special meeting of the county 
board held at Worthington on Decem- 
ber 10, 188(j, the necessary steps were 
taken to bring about the incorporation 
under the general laws of 1885. Jan- 
uary 1:3, 1887, was the date set for liold- 
ing the election and the store of John- 
son & Peterson was 'the place designated 
as the polling place. C. C. Peterson, 
Micliael Hollaren and James Condon 
were named inspectors, under whose su- 
pervision the election should be held. 

Tlie election was held on January 13, 
as provided, and "for incorporation" 
cai-ried. In February anotlier election 
was held, wlien eiglity-four votes were 
(^ast and the following village officers 
were chosen : President of the council, 
James Malier ; trustees, II. J. Borget, K. 
PI. Knight and James Condon; recor- 
der, C. M. Crandall; treasurer, G. If. 
Eastwood; justices, Ferd Esser and J. 
W. Abbott; constable, Edward Ryan. 

Those who have been elected to office 
in Ellswoifh since the first (Oectinn are 
iiiJ follows: 

H. Eastwood. J. M. nry.nn. M. C. Nelson, C. 
M. (^randall, P. K. Gnrnier. Thomas Johnson, 
G. Bollinper. J. Peter t"nzon. P. E. I'^nKiirtv. 
J. 1). Griffin. M. Fahy, J. G. Senoiifplder. 
Janus Abliott, Fred A. Fink, E. W. Knight, 
Mifhael Hollaren, W. G. Thayer and W. S. 








1888 — President, J. P. Peterson; trustees, 
F. M. Ryan, M. J. Bryan, H. J. Borget; re- 
corder, C. JI. Cranilall." 

1889— l^esident, F. M. Ryan; trustees, M. 
Harrigan, G. H. Eastwood, Bernard Ball; re- 
corder, Thomas Johnson; treasurer, M. C. 
Xelson; justice, J. W. Abbott. 

ISnO — President, F. M. Ryan; trustees, M. 
Harrigan, il. C. Nelson, Henry Roll; record- 
er. 1). F. Cramer; treasurer, J. P. Peterson; 
justice, \V. H. Peck. 

1891 — President, F. W. Bassett; trustees, 
B. H. Basing, Henry Roll, Xick Lenz; re- 
corder, D. F. Cramer; treasurer, J. P. Peter- 

1892 — President, James Maher; trustees, 
Henry Whalen, Bernard Ball, T. M. Williams; 
recorder, D. F. Cramer; treasurer, Nick 
Lenz; assessor, M. Hollaren; justice, G. W. 

1893 — President. James Burke; trustees, F. 
J. Schouweiler, Bernard Ball, Henrj' Whalen; 
recorder, D. F. Cramer;" treasurer, Nick 
Lenz; justice, M. Hollaren; constable, M. J. 

1894 — President, J. C. Morrison; trustees, 
D. F. Cramer, Henry Whalen, P. Barry; re- 
corder, G. H. Eastwood; treasurer, Nick 
Lenz; justice, Edward Fogarty; constable, 
M. J. Bryan. 

189.5 — President, James Montgomery; trus- 
tees, D. F. Cramer, Henry Whalen, .James 
Condon; recorder, G. H. Eastwood; treasurer, 
Nick Lenz; justice, Edward Ryan; constable, 
James Maher. 

189G— President, J. F. McNulty; trustees, 
J. P. Reihsen, P. F. Carroll, Edward Fo- 
garty; recorder, G. H. Eastwood; treasurer, 
Nick Lenz; justice, M. Hollaren; constable, 
Bernard Fischenich. 

1897 — President, A. E. Harrington; trus- 
tees. J. P. Reihsen, Edward Fogarty, P. F. 
Carroll; recorder, W. M. Finley; treasurer, 
Nick Lenz; justices, Edward Ryan, G. W. 
Smith; constables, William Jenkins, D. F. 

1898— President, M. J. Murphy; trustees, 
J. P. Reihsen, William Bofenkamp, John 
Crowley; recorder, William Finley; treasurer, 
Xick Lenz; justice, Lawrence Esser; con- 
stable, William Jenkins. 

1899— President, F. W. Stanton; trustees, 
\V. M. Finley, P. B. Scholtes, James McDow- 
ell; recorder, John F. Flynn; treasurer, M. 
B. Burke; assessor, D. F. Cramer; justice, 
Edward Ryan; constable, William Jenkins. 

1900 — President, M. J. Murphy; trustees, 
Edward Fogarty, P. B. Scholtes, James Mc- 
Dowell; recorder, D. F. Cramer; treasurer, M. 
B. Burke; assessor, Lawrence Esser; justice, 
L. W. Abbott; constable, T. A. Towsley. 

•James Walker was appointed recorder Oct. 
5, 18S8. to fill a vacancy. 

"Nick Lenz was appointed treasurer Sept. 
7, 1891, to fill the vacancy caused by the re- 

1901 — President, J. P. Reihsen; trustees, 
Edward Fogarty, L. B. Cancel], P. B. Schol- 
tes; recorder, D. F. Cramer; treasurer, M. B. 
Burke; assessor, Lawrence Esser; justice, S. 
H. Loveland; constable, William Jenkins. 

I'.nyi — President, J. P. Reihsen; trustees, 
William Bofenkamp, Edward Fogarty, L. B. 
Carvell; recorder, Charles Crowley; treasurer, 
M. B. Burke; assessor. B. H. Basing, Jr.; 
justice, M. Hollaren; constable, James Maher. 

1903 — President, William Bofenkamp; trus- 
tees, Edward Fogarty, Will Newell, P. B. 
Scholtes; recorder, C. C. Crowley; treasurer, 
M. B. Burke; assessor, B. H. Basing, Jr.; 
justices, G. W. Smith, Bernard Ball; con- 
stable, M. Finnerty. 

1904 — President, William Bofenkamp; trus- 
tees, Edward Fogarty, P. B. Scholtes, W. Z. 
Newell; recorder, Charles C. Crowley; treas- 
urer, M. B. Burke; assessor, B. H. Basing, 
Jr.; justice, Lawrence Esser; constable, Pat 

190.3 — President, William Bofenkamp; trus- 
tees, W. Z. Newell, F. M. Sadler, P. B. 
Scholtes; recorder, Charles C. Crowley; 
treasurer, M. B. Burke; assessor, B. H. 
Basing, Jr.; justices, G. W. Smith, A. A. 
Burns; constable, M. Finnerty. 

1906 — President, William Bofenkamp; trus- 
tees, W. Z. Newell, F. M. Sadler, P. B. 
Scholtes; recorder, Charles C. Crowley; 
treasurer, M. B. Burke; assessor, B. H. Bas- 
ing-, Jr.'; constable, P. Hefferan. 

1907 — President, William Bofenkamp; trus- 
tes, P. B. Scholtes, F. M. Sadler, E. F. Mur- 
phy; recorder, E. L. Tschirgi; treasurer, M. 
B. Burke; assessor, Nick Lenz; justice, G. 
W. Smith; constable, Theodore Beckers. 

1908 — President, P. B. Scholtes; trustees, 
F. M. Sadler, F. W. Stanton, John Crowley; 
recorder, E. L. Tschirgi; treasurer, M. B. 
Burke; assessor, Nick Lenz; justice, Vieker- 
man; constable, W. J. Reddy. 

There is very little of histoiic inter- 
est to record for the late eighties. Dur- 
ing those years Ellsworth settled down 
to a normal basis. The feverish excite- 
ment attending its founding and early 
day activities was a thing of the past. 
During those years the town made but 
little advance in the building line or in 
adding industries, but it grew into a 
substantial and sound municipality with 
a surety of permanence established. The 
census of 1890 — the first federal census 

mova! of Mr. Peterson from the village. 

"G. H. Eastwood was appointed recorder 
March 27, 18D3, to fill a vacancy. 



after Ellsworth's founding — gave the vil- 
lage a population of 258. 

On the evening of August 13, 1891, 
at half past five o'clock, Ellsworth was 
visited ))y a cj'clone of considerable force, 
which did a great deal of property dam- 
age, but which resulted in no loss of 
life. The story of the storm was told 
in the Ellsworth News of August 14 : 

The greatest damage was to the 
large 80,000 bushel elevator, wliieh was twist- 
ed nearly half arounil, smashing in the lower 
story, and coming down with a crash. The 
bnilding was eighty feet high, and the lower 
story was twenty feet. The roof was stove 
in and the building racked, so it will prob- 
ably have to be torn down. 

The Lutheran church building, which was 
recently purchased by the Congregational so- 
ciety, was nearly wiped out, and what few 
splinters are left are piled up against llenrv 
Roll's house, nearly a block away. ]). F. 
Cianier's house, which stood within ten feet 
of where the church stood, was badly dam- 
aged, the wing being twisted entirely out of 
shape and will have to be torn down. The 
damage to this propertv will probably reach 

The depot roof for .ibout sixteen feet on 
the west end was blown ofT and scattered 
over the country in pieces the right size for 
kindling wood. A piece of timber from the 
elevator was driven through the roof of 
(Jeorge Bolingcr's building and into the loof 
of Borget's furniture store, a block away. 
The front of Roll's blacksmith shop was 
taken outj and in falling it struck James 
l''aragher, who had just stepped out of the 
shop, knocking him down, and but for a 
number of plows standing in front, which 
held up the boards, he would have been ser- 
iously, if not fatally, injured. 

The stables of Messrs. Theodore Bofen- 
kamp. Cor}', Smith and Unzen, all having 
horses in them, were blown down, leaving the 
horses without a scratch. T. M. Williams 
had a new top buggy smashed to pieces. 
The Marshalltown Buggy company had a 
number of buggies back of the News office 
which were considerably damaged. Burke 
]3ros.' barn was racked out of plumb, but it 
did not go down. Thomas Kinney had the 
frame up for a granary, which was scattered 
to the four winds. .John llollaren's granary 
and barn were considerably damaged. Ed- 
ward Egan's sei)arator on James Burke's 
farm was turned over and damaged. A box 
car on the long track was overturned, and 
a tramp was seen to crawl out of it unin- 
jured. Some grain in the stack and in the 
shock belonging to T. J. Fagan and Mrs. 

O'NeJl was scattered by the wind and badly 
damagcu. A dozen or moie chimneys took 
a tumble, and several small buildings were 
blown down, some of them being carried 
nearly a block. Xo one was huri, and all 
are thankful that no lives were lost. 

Ellsworth was visited by a fire on 
the night of June 24, 1892, which re- 
sulted in a loss of about $5,000. The 
conflagration started in Joseph Fische- 
nicli's livery barn, which was destroyed, 
together with twelve head of horses 
therein. Henry Eoll's blacksmith shop 
and the office of the Ellsworth News 
and the residence of G. 11. Eastwood 
wore also burned. The fire had gained 
such headway when discovered that noth- 
ing could be done toward saving any of 
tlie buildings mentioned, and the at- 
tention of the citizens was turned to 
saving the buildings across the street and 
llie contents of the doomed structures. 
The losses were: Henry Eoll, $1,500, 
witlt no insurance; Joseph Fischenicn, 
$1,000, insured for $500; G. H. East- 
wood, $2,500, insured for $500. 

A city hall and opera house building 
was erected by the city during 1894 
and 1895 at a cost of several thousand 
doUai-s. The initial step to this public 
improvement was taken at a mass meet- 
ing- on March 25, 1893, at which it 
was decided to ask the city council to 
call an election for the purpose of vot- 
ing on the question of issuing $6,000 
bonds for the same. On April 15 the 
electors decided to issue the bonds by a 
vote of 44 to 24, but because of the 
panic, which soon held the country in 
its grip, it was necessary to postpone the 
improvaments. A year later, on Juno 
ti, 1894, the question was again decided 
favorably by a vote of 51 to 10, and the 
building was completed the following 
year. Bonds to the amount of $5,000 
were issued. 



During the first lialf of the nineties 
tliere was a slow but substantial advance 
in the town of Ellsworth, and the popu- 
lation increased from 2'jS ia 1890 to 
'ob2 in 1895. The last half of the dec- 
ade also showed marked progress, the 
census of 1900 giving the town a popu- 
lation of 454. 

The year 1899 was particularly one of 
progress, and about $40,000 were spent 
that year in improvements. Among the 
items of expenditure were $14,000 for 
the public school building, $3,000 for 
L-emeut walks, $6,000 for buildings by 
Porter & Aldred, lumber dealers, and 
$3,200 for a residence by William 

This record was eclipsed two years 
later, when over $60,000 were expended 
in building improvements. The princi- 
pal improvements that year were as fol- 
lows: Eoemer Bros., brewery, $20,000; 
First National Bank building, $8,500; 
Henry Eoll, residence, $7,000; M. B. 
Burke, residence, $4,500; W. Z. Newell, 
residence, $3,000; J. H. McEobcrt, two 
residences, $2,500; Methodist church, 
$2,500; Citizens Bank building, $3,000. 
A telephone system was installed during 
t)ie year, and there were a munber of 
new business enterprises started. The 
first few years of the twentieth century 
were prosperous ones for the little town. 

On Sunday morning, January 31, 
1904, the fire fiend again attacked the 
town, this time destroying the city hall 
and opera house. At about eleven o'clock 
the north side of the opera house block 
was discovered to be in flames. By that 
time the fire had gained such headway 
that the fire department could not get 
the fire engine and hook and ladder 
trucks from the burning building, in 
which they were located. Without the 

engine the town was at the mercy of the 
lire tiend, and had the wind been high 
or blowing from the south nothing could 
have saved the town. As it was, the 
people had the hardest kind of work 
saving the adjoining property. Bucket 
brigades were formed and valiant work 
was done. The loss of the building, to- 
getlier with the fire fighting apparatus, 
amounted to $10,000, covered by $4,000 
insurance. The losses to other property 
amounted to only a few nundred dol- 

Immediately after the fire steps were 
taken to rebuild the city hall and also 
to establish a system of water works. 
It was decided to bring the matter be- 
fore the voters at the annual election in 
March, 1904, and at that time the vote 
was almost unanimous to issue $7,500 
bonds for a water works system, and to 
rebuild the city hall. The same year 
a combined city hall and opera houBt 
was erected, and for its size Ellsworth 
has the finest public building in the 
state. An excellent system of water 
works was also installed. 

Another improvement of importance 
in the village was made during tlie year 
1908. On May 4 of that year the city 
council granted ' a twenty-five year fran- 
chise to F. M. Sadler for an electric 
lighting plant, to be installed within 
ninety days. Mr. Sadler completed the 
plant during the summer, and Ellsworth 
is now lighted by electricity. 

Of the 537 inhabitants of Ellsworth 
(census of 1905) 336 are native born, 
243 Minnesota born, and 59 foreign 
born. The countries of birth of the 
foreign born are as follows: Germany, 
24 ; Sweden, 1 ; Norway, 6 ; Canada, 4 ; 
Ireland, 13 ; Denmark, 1 ; England, 6 ; 
Bohemia, 1 ; Scotland, 2 ; Wales, 1. 




During tiiu moulli of ilay, iS'Jo, tho 
first steps toward the organization of a 
volunteer fire department in Ellsworth 
were taken, and ou June 1 the depart- 
ment was formally organized with the 
following otlicers: C. M. Crandall, 
thief; C. Loveland, secretary; M. J. 
Alurphy, treasurer; Al Cramer, George 
Senenfelder and Howard Cramer, exec- 
utive committee. E. L. Godfrey was 
foreman of the hose company and W. M. 
Fiuley was assistant; P. P. Carroll was 
foreman of the hook and ladder com- 
pany; Henry Koll was foreman of the 
engine company. For a number of years 
the department was an active organiza- 
tion. It was a member of the Columbian 
Inter State Eiremair's association, and 
won signal honors in tlie tournaments of 
the association. 

On April 2d, liJOl, the Ellsworth de- 
partment was reorganized. It now has 
a membership of 17 and is supplied with 
all the necessary fire fighting apparatus, 
including 2,500 feet of hose, a cart car- 
rying 1,000 feet of hose, a liook and 
ladder truck and a hand chemical. The 
niyiccrs and mcndiers of the <lepartmeni 
are: F. M. Sadler, chief; Tlieodore 
Becker, assistant chief; Charles Elynn, 
secretary; W. P. Marten, treasurer; Jo- 
seph Albrecht, E. II. Ilurtiend, N. II. 
Cory, John Crowley, E. E. Lovrien, E. 
P. Murphy, J. C. "l?eddy, W. J. Reddy, 
John MeCarren, J. P. Raabe, L. I). 
Shaw, E. L. Tschirgi. 


Ellsworth has two financial institu- 
tions, tlie German State Rank and the 
First National Bank. 

The former was founded as the Citi- 

zens Bank, a private institution, in 1893, 
and was owned by K. A. Brown and .\. 
E. Huntington, of Luverne. On .(uly 
2.5, li)04, the bank was reorganized an 
the German State Bank, with a capital 
of $15,000 and an authorized capital of 
$50,000. The officers are E. A. Brown, 
president; Poppe Hickman, vice presi- 
dent; P. W. Stanton, cashier; W. F. 
JIarten, assistant cashier. Tlie directors 
are E. A. Bi-own, Paul I'ntii'dt, Henry 
Nelson, Poppe Hickman, J. .\. ileyer, 
J. M. McRoberts, T. Ilefferau, Jr. 

The First National Bank opened its 
doors September 17, 1900, with the fol- 
lowing officers and directors: James 
Porter, president; J. V. Flynn, vice 
president; W. Z. Newell, cashier; P. F. 
r.evins, P. B. Scholtes, C. A. Bird. T. 
M. Williams, Joseph Klinkhammer. The 
present officers are James Porter, presi- 
dcid : T. ^I. Williams, vice president; C. 
A. Bird, cashier; E. L. Tschirgi, assis- 
tant cashier. 


The Catholic, Congregational, Metho- 
dist and German Presbyterian societies! 
have church organizations in Ellsworth.! 

The oldest of these is St. Mary's! 
Catholic church, and that church has thel 
largest membership. Many of the set-J 
tiers of Grand Prairie township had 
come to the county as members of the 
Catholic Colony company, and the Catlio- ' 
lie religion had a large following in the 
new town. In .'uly, 1885, within less 
than a year after the founding, $5,000 
were raised to build at Catholic church, 
and on November 7 the church of St. 
I\Iary was organized and incorporated. 
The incorporators were John Ireland, 
bishop of the diocese of St. Paul; .\u- 
"uslin Ravou.x, vicar general of the same 



diocese; C. J. Xnauf, pastor; and John 
iiutler and Ferdinand Esser, lay mem- 
bers. There were forty members of the 
eliurch at the time of founding, and 
Father Knauf was the first jjastor. The 
church was erected at a cost of about 
$.5,0(J0, and to this an addition was 
built in 1903, at a cost of $3,000. Pas- 
tors who have had charge of the church 
since its organization have been Fathers 
Knauf, Bowling, O'Kiefe, Ferron, Dyer, 
Engelbrecht, McDonough, Hartleill aud 

An excellent parochial school is main- 
tained in connection with the church of 
St. Mary. This institution was estab- 
lished in 1900, and during 190G and 
1907 a buildiug, costing $18,000, was 
erected. Tlie corner stone was laid Oc- 
tober 23, 190G, and the building was 
occupied early in the following year. 

The Congregational church was or- 
ganized and incorporated August 13, 
1890, with the following officers: Eev. 
G. Wadsworth, pastor; Mrs. M. C. 
Knight, clerk; F. B. B.issett, treasurer; 
M. Birkett and F. Bassett, deacons; J. 
M. Bryan, J. Walker and D. F. Cramer, 
trustees. The charter members were 
George Wadsworth, Mrs. Mary C. 
Knight, Mrs. Medora Bassett, E. W. 
Knight, B. Jones, F. W. Bassett, Mary 
Walker, Mrs. Mary Peck, Mary M. Jones, 
Josephine Ennor, L. Z. Anderson and 
Anna Anderson. 

During the first year services were 
held in a small church building belong- 
ing to the Lutheran church society. The 
church building was bought by the Con- 
gregational ists in the summer of 1891, 
and in August of the same year it was 
I'utirely destroyed by a cyclone. The 
loss was a severe blow to the church so- 
ciety, the members of which had made 
sacrifices to get a convenient place for 

worship. After the disaster the church 
members raised money aud erected a new 
house of worship, which was dedicated 
free of debt February 7, 1892. Its value 
is about $1,500. The following named 
pastors have tilled the pulpit of the 
Congregational church since its organi- 
zation in 1890 : Eevs. Wadsworth, Hous- 
ton, McAllister, Conrad, Upton, Anslin- 
ger, McClane, Downs, Wilson and Gall. 
The organization of the Methodist 
church society of Ellsworth was effected 
October 17, 1899. .The first board of 
trustees and organizers were Fred E. 
Clark, J. J. llyan, Joseph Midboe, John 
H. Skillicorn, A. P. Pratt, Koruell Sut- 
ter and F. W. Stanton. The church 
edifice was erected in 1901 at a cost of 
$2,250 and was dedicated November 10, 
of that year. The society is now practi- 
cally out of debt and has a membership 
of about twenty. A Sunday school, with 
a membersliip of sixty and an average 
attendance of forty-eight for the year, 
is maintained in connection. Following 
is a list of the pastors who have filled 
the pulpit with the dates of their ser- 
vice: C. S. Rouse, Oct. 1, 1899, to 
Oct. 1, 1901; J. J. Ramsey, to Oc- 
tober 1, 1901; J. A. Saunders, to Octo- 
ber 1, 1904; W. H. Putnam, to Octo- 
ber 1, 1905; Stanley H. Addison, to 
October 1, 190G; William Folleusbce, to 
October 1, 1907; Jesse Kinderine, to 
October 1, 1908. 


There arc in Ellsworth tlie following 
lodges : Jewell Lodge No. 49, Knights 
of Pythias; Ellsworth Lodge No. 182, 
Ancient Order of United Workmen ; 
Ellsworth Lodge No. 108, Degree of 
Honor; St. Mary's Court No. 1043, 
Catholic Order of Foresters; Ellsworth 



Camp No. 2380, Afodeni Woodmen of 
AuiLTica; MmjiIki Wasliington Camp, 
Koyal Neighbors of America. 

Jewell Lodge No. 49, K. P., was m- 
stituted Nov. 9, 1888, witii the follow- 
ing charter members: 1). 1". ('ramer, 
W. S. Webb, C. M. Craudall, J. P. 
Peterson, J. A. Elton, C. 0. Piatt, C. 
C. Peterson, .M. .1. lirvaii. <), !.. iieek, 
James Paul, B. F. Gamier, M. Pender- 
grast, C. J. Kern, Henry Knocli; E. W. 
Knight, George" Slade, W. S. Wygant, 
Thomas Johnson, W. S. Jones, G. P. 
llawley, A. Hiibbs. The lodge was in- 
corporated April 29, 1890. Tiie cliar- 
ter was surrendered in 1893, but the 
lodge was reorganized March 15, 1890. 

Ellswortli Lodge No. 183, A. 0. U. 
W., was organized May 3, 1894, with 
the following first officers: F. J. Asli, 
P. M. W.; F. M. Ryan, M. W.; J. F. 
McNulty, foreman ; M. Hollnren, over- 
seer; M. J. "Murphy, recorder; W. S. 
Ingraham, liiianeier; J. Condon, re- 
ceiver; P. F. O'Malley, guide; P. F. 
Carroll, inside watch; S. l\. Butcher, 
outside w-atch. 

The Degree of Honor lodge was in- 
stituted February 4, 1898, with fhc fol- 
lowing officers: (^lara J. TJutnii, I'. C. 

it.; Mary E. Hollaren, C. H.; Eva - 
L'nzen, L. IL; Belle Babcock, R. ; Bridgie 
Condon, financier; Annie M. Iteihsen, 
receiver; t.'ora Murphy, usher; Margaret 
Whalen, 1. W.; A. Thompson, 0. W. 

The lodge of Catholic Order of For 
esters was organized November 20, 1899J 
with thirty charter members and the fol-j 
lowing officers: J. P. Reihsen, chie^ 
ranger; William Bofenkamp, financial! 
secretary ; P. B. Scholtes, recording sec-^ 
retary; James Burke, treasurer; P. F.I 
Levins, past chief ranger; Nick LenzJ 
vice chief ranger; B. II. Basing, Jr.j 
inside sentinel; Matt Pint, Jr., outside 
sentinel; William Condon, M. B. BurkeJ 
John N. Lenz, trustees; Dr. CarterJ 
medical examiner. 

The lodge of Royal Neighbors waS 
organized early in 1900 and had a char-l 
ter membership of twenty. The first of- 
ficers were Mrs. P. F. Levins, oracle; 
Mrs. G. A. Pratt, vice oracle; Emily 
Johnson, recorder; Mrs. L. V. Carvell, 
past oracle; Mrs. Julia Mohr, receiver; 
Miss Ethel Pratt, chancellor; Minnie 
Nelson, inside sentinel; Mina Gilbert- 
son, outside sentinel; Mrs. J. P. Reihsen, 
marshal ; P. F. Levins, Marie Gilbert- 
son. Mrs. Colwell, managers. 












Altliougli Wilmont is one of the 
youngest of Nobles county towns, having 
been founded late in 1899, so rapid has 
been its growth that it now takes rank 
as the fourth town in size, the townt> 
of Worthington, Adrian and Ellsworth 
only liaving greater population. Accord- 
ing to the last census — that of 1905 — 
there were 279 people living within the 
corporate limits. 

The Wilmont townsite is located on 
section oG of Willmont township and 
section 1 of Larkin township, and is oti 
the Lake Park-Hardwick branch of the 
Eock Island railroad. It is fifteen miles 
northwest from Worthington. The vil- 
lage is spread out over considerable ter- 
ritory. Most of the business houses are 
located on Main street, a thoroughfare 
nearly a mile long. While there are a 
few brick structures, most of the busi- 
ness buildings are of wood. The town 
draws its trade from part of four town- 
ships — Willmnnt, Larkin, Summit I^ake 
and Eloom — a rich and populous ter- 
ritory. The founding of the town was 

'"This week partle.s purchased of R. Pritrh- 
ard the southwest quarter of section 3fi. 
Willmont township, for the Burlington road, 
where a townsite will be located. This will 
be about three and one-half miles from St. 
Kllian."— Worthington Advance, Sept. 8. 1899. 

^Additions to the original townsite have 
been platted as follows; 

Bremer's — Surveyed Jan. 20. 1900. for Henry 
B. Bremer; dedicated Feb. 12. 1900; filed Feb. 
28, 1900. 

a proceeding very acceptable to the fann- 
ing community nf the vicinity. Befort- 
the railroad was constructed and the 
town? along its line were founded the 
people of northwestern Nobles county 
were a long distance from market. WiV 
mont, coming into existence in the cen- 
ter of this territory, was assured a per- 
manent and prosperous trade. 

It was during the summer of 1899 
that the survey for the Burlington rail- 
road was made and during tlie fall of 
the same year that the construction of 
its line northwest from Worthington 
was commenced. During the first days 
of September Thoma- H. Brown, the 
Burlington right-of-way man, selected 
the site where a few months later was 
founded the town of Wilmont.' This 
was three months or more before the 
road was constructed to that point, and 
tlicre were no active preparations made 
for the building of the town for some 
time. The townsite was surveyed by M. 
S. Smith during the month of Decem- 
ber for Thomas IT. Brown ; the plat was 
dedicated January 22, 1900, and the 
instrument was filed the same day." Mr. 

Second — Surveyed for N. J. Lorge; dedicated 
Jan. 30, 1901; fiied Feb. 2. 1901. 

Keller's — Surveved for Gustav A. Keller; 
dedicated July 10, 1901; tiled July 31. 1901. 

First Railway — Surveyed for Thomas H. 
Brown in October. 1899; dedicated April 27. 
1901; filed .^ug. 20, 1901. 

Block 2 of Bremer's Addition — Surveyed for 
Barney Bremer; dedicated July 27, 1903; filed 
July 30, 1903. 




Brown selected the name Wilmont for and preparations were begun for the 

the townsite, naming it after the town- erection of the buildings. Before the 

ship. He desired that there should be close of December lumber was on hand 

a distinction between the two, however, and the erection of a few business houses 

and spelled the name of the townsite liad begun.* 

with onl)' one L.' January was a busy month. A cor- 

The railroad was completed to the respondent writing from the new tomi 

site December IG, 1890, and, although about the 23th of that month said that 

it was in the middle of winter, the Wilmout boasted of fifteen business 

building of the town was- commenced at liouses and one dwelling — an excellent 

once, and there was a rush of people to showing for a town of less than six 

the site — people who came with the in- weeks of age.° Among the very first 

tention of at once engaging in business, business men to establish themselves in 

The first arrivals found the site marked the town were C. W. Becker, w-ho camo 

by a straw pile, surrounded by a stubble in December and started the town's first 

field, but. they were men who liad himber yard ; TTumiston & Footh, who 

"studied tiie map" and recognized the engaged in the machine and implcmoni 

advantageous commercial position of the busitiess;" N. J. Lorgc, who engaged in 

proposed new town, and were not dis- the hardware business; IT. G. Gumming 

couraged by appearances, realizing that & Co., who also started a hardware 

a prosperous village was sure to result, store; W. H. Spong, who opened a res- 

From the day the first train pulled taurant January 18; Charles Emrich 
in all was activity. The first train t9ok:^aTid son, who engaged in the black- 
out a load of grain, which had bec'n smithing busincFs; Mimtgomery. T?oot S' 
liought for H. X. Douglas, of Wortliing- Co.. who opened a lumber yard and en- 
ton. A imiiibor of farmers had their gaged in the grain and implement busi- 
loads of grain on hand, backed up ready noss ; C. F. Yaeger & Co., who opened a 
to load into the first car, and W. J. Cor- liarncss shop; T. G. Connelly, who con- 
bett, buying for i\Ir. Douglas, was there ducted tlu! first meat market; Charles 
with his check book. He w'as the first and William Barkelow, who engaged in 
);csidGnt of Wilmont. The railroad com- tlie livery and draying l)u>in(ss: W. J. 
pany at once commenced the erection of Corbett, grain buyer; W. V. Devereaux 
a depot and stock yards and dug a well. & Co., who built an elevator and en- 
A. L. Phileo was installed as agent and gaged in the grain business ; the Daven- 
became the second resident of the town, port Elevator Co., who put up an ele- 
Several elevator sites liad been selected vator in Frlininry; George Baker, who 

'For the derivation of Itie name Willmont 
see chapter 6. 

•"When the town was first started there 
were a great many prophesies made l)y dif- 
ferent people. Some made the remark that 
the townsite would be for sale before two 
years for a sheep pasture; others asserted 
that within five years Wiimonl would be the 
second town in Nobles county. nut they 
were both exaggerations." — Wilmont Initia- 
tor, Dec. 14, 1900. 

•"There were certainly .some enthusiastic 
scenes In the town in those days. In one In- 
stance, of which we were an eye witness, 

a man jumped off the train at noon, and, 
rimning to a lumijerman. shouted In a loud 
voice what lie wanted in tlie lunil)er line, 
and then shouted for help (carpenter help), 
and. loading a sill on his shoulder, jiroceeded 
to the lot he had purchased, foilowed by b:ilf 
a dozen carpenters. At nightfall the build- 
ing was up. It was men of such get-up-and- 
dust that founded Wilmont."— Wilmont Initia- 
tor, Dec. 14. 1900. 

"The business was managed by Henry 
Tooth, who made his flrst sale January 9. 
Mr. Footh erected the first residence in Wil- 





was one of the first contractors to lo- 
cate in the town; C. W. Mead, who op- 
ened a real estate office; and several 
others.' The postoffice was established 
in February, Mr. C. W. Becker receiv- 
ing his commission as postmaster on the 
13th. He has conducted the office ever 

All those who engaged in business 
enjoyed a prosperous trade from the 
start. A correspondent to the Wortli- 
ington Advance of March 3 wrote: 

Despite the youthful appearance of our 
town, we are doing a business many an 
older town might be proud of. Forty-five 
car loads of the various commodities pro- 
duced in southern Minnesota represented the 
outgoing business for the short month of 
February, besides much incoming business. 

Tlie building operations and the estab- 
lishment of new business enterprises 
continued through the spring months 
and into summer. In March Scholtes & 
Poort opened a general merchandise 
store; L. 0. Long & Son founded the 
Wilmont Initiator; and D. A. Nye open- 
ed a barber shop. In April Mr. Ros- 
enthall. of Pipestone, established another 
general store, and Stuntebeck Bros, op- 
ened the town's first saloon. Among 
the other new enterprises that spring 
were the First National Bank, which be- 
gan business about May 1 with Edwin 
Brickson in charge; a drug store, which 
was opened by R. F. Pepple in June; 
and a restaurant by Mr. Morgan. Sev- 
eral residences were erected, and before 
the summer was past four large eleva- 
tors had been constructed. 

'The first lady to locate in the villaee was 
Mrs. Henry Fonth: the second was Mrs. A. 
L. Phlleo: the third. Mrs. N. J. Lorge: the 
fourth. Mrs. S. L. Long. 

^Included all of section 36 and the east half 
of section 35, Willmont township, and the 
north half of section 1 and the northeast 
quarter of section 2, Larkin township. 

"The petition was signed by Henry W. 
Footh, Sidney Long, C. W. Becker, W. M. 
Finley, Charles W. Mead, E. Latourell, Chris- 
tian F. Yaeger, V. G. Gumming, N. J. Tx)rge, 
Ed. G. Werner, C. W. Davis, G. V. Scholtes, 

In the latter part of April, 1900, a 
census of the village was taken, when it 
was found there were 196 people re- 
siding within the limits of a territory 
which it was proposed to incorporate 
into the municipality of Wilmont.' A 
petition was presented to the board of 
county coniniissiouers, asking that body 
to grant municipal government to the 
new towai," and on April 33 the county 
board took favorable action. It made 
l>rovision for holding a special election 
on May 29 at the harness shop of C. 
F. Yaeger & Co. to vote on the question 
of incorporation and named C. W. Mead, 
U. G. Gumming and William Finley 
inspectors to have charge of the election. 

Forty votes were cast for incorpora- 
tion and only one was registered against 
it at the election of May 29. Another 
election was held June 19, when the 
first officers of the village were selected. 
The judges of the election were Charles 
Emrich, S. L. Long and M. Churchill, 
and thirty-seven votes were cast. Fol- 
lowing is the result of this and subse- 
quent elections held in the village: 

1000 — President, C. W. Davis; trustees. N, 
.T. Lorge, IT. fj. Gumming, A. Shelquist ; re- 
corder, C. W. Mead; treasurer, .Tames Mont- 
gomery; jiistice, C. F. Yaeger. E. Latourell; 
constables, Charles Barkelew, .Tohn Reilly. 

1901 — President, .Jesse Bean; trustees, W. 
J. Corbett, A. Shelquist, .James Montgom- 
ery ; recorder, C. W. Mead ; treasurer, R. F. 
Pepple; justice, C. W. Mead; constable, Clem 

1902 — President, .James Montgomery; trus- 
tees, Jesse Bean, A. Shelquist, W. J. Corbett; 
recorder, S, Jj. Jjong;" treasurer, Thomas 
Hayes; assessor, William Tilnian; justice, 
James Currie; constable, H. Hentrich. 

M. Doty, J. S, Edelstein, William Emrich, 
Charles Emrich, John Reilly, John Miller, W. 
H. Spong. Hugh Reilly. W. H. Barkelew, 
William J. Corbett. M. N. Schares, Jerry 
Dirks, A. R. Priest, Henry Christianson. 
John Burke, Robert Walsh, J. J, Weitzel, A. 
Shelnuist, Gus Grant, George J. Backer, 
Joseph B. Mackay, Theodore Henner, Charles 
Alvord, George Geisel, J, P, Spartz, John 
Lebens, Peter Spartz. 

"S. L. Long and Edwin Brickson each re- 
ceived 33 votes in the election. The choice 
was then made by drawing lots. 



1903— President, C. W. Mead;" trustees, 
W. H. Sievort, Otto Vogl, II. F. Balgcman; 
recorder, Edwin Brickson; treasurer, Thomas 

1!KM — President, Otto Vogl; trustees, James 
Montpromcry, Peter Spartz, A. Shelquist; re- 
corder, A. B. Williams; trea.surer, U. G. 
Gumming; assessor. W. 0. Tilman; justices, 
G. W. Baker, J. P. Roerig; constables, John 
Lehens, Charles Emrich. 

190.5 — President, 0. H. Tilman; trustees, 
Thomas Hayes, Peter Spartz, A. Shelquist; 
recorder, Kdwin Brickson; treasurer, U. G. 
Gumming; assessor, W. 0. Tilman; con- 
stable, John I-ebens. 

190C — President. 0. H. Tilman; trustees, 
Thomas Hayes. A. Shelquist. Peter Spartz; 
recorder, J. J. Weitzel; treasurer, Xj. G. 
Ciimming; assessor, W. O. Tilman; justice, 
G. W. Baker; constable, John Lebens. 

1907 — President, O. IT. Tilman; trustees, 
Peter Spartz, A. Shelquist, Thomas Hayes; 
recorder, J. J. Weitzel; treasurer, U. G. Gum- 
ming; assessor, W. 0. Tilman; justice, E. 
W. Ager; constable, L. W. Sowles. 

1008 — President, W. H. Sievcrt; trustees, 
H. W. I^irson, Thomas Hayes, A. B. Wil- 
liams; recorder, J. J. Weitzel; treasurer, U. 
G. Gumming; assessor. W. 0. Tilman; juis- 
tice, G. W. Baker; constable, Emory Reese.- _• 

Til December, 1900, just one year after 
the first building had been erected on 
the townsite, we find a village of ahoxit 
two hundred people, in which were be- 
ing conducted the following business en- 
terprises:'- One bank, two general 
stores, one clothing stoi'n, one grocery 
store, two lumber yards, two hardware 
stores, two machine houses, two harness 
shops, one millinery store, one livery 
stable, two dray lines, four elevators, 
one drug store, one meat markot, three 
saloons, one blacksmith shop, one res- 
taurant, one real estate olTire, one print- 
ing office, one barber shop, one jewelry 
store, one paint shop and about a dozen 
men engaged in the carpenter business. 

There have been no backward stops in 
Wilmont's history. Since the year of 
its founding there has been no great ac- 
tivity in building operations or in the 
establishment of now business enterprises, 

"Resigned Ma.v 7, 1903, and was succeeded 
by James Montgomery. 

but the town has developed into one of 
the substantial villages of Nobles county. 
Of the 279 people living in Wilmont at 
the time the 1905 census was taken, 129 
were native born, 98 were Minnesota 
born, and 52 foreign born. Of the for- 
eign born the countries of birth were: 
Germany, 23; Sweden, 13; Norway, 2; 
Canada, 1 1 ; Ireland, 2 ; England, 1. 


When Wilmont was founded it was 
included in one of the country school 
districts, the school house of which was 
too far away to be available. So a build- 
ing in town was rented, and in Septem- 
ber, 1900, the first school was begun. 

A ngW district was organized in July, 
1901,; .anH-'jOa the twentieth of that 
month the "fir.sf school meeting was held, 
^t ,w;hich. C. W. Becker, H. W. Footh 
■-a'Tfd^'Gi 'Boort were chosen officers. By 
a vote of iforty to nothing the electors of 
the new district decided to issue bonds 
in the sum of $3,600 for the purpose 
of erecting a school house. A two story 
building was completed in the fall, and 
on January 6, 1902, was occupied for 
the first time. R. B. Moberly was the 
first principal. The school now em- 
ploys two teachers and has an atten- 
dance of seventy-five students. 


In 190/! a volunteer fire department 
was organized with C. W. Boekor as 
chief. The town liad no water works 
at the time, and tho apparatus con- 
sisted of a chemical engine only. The 
organization was continued up to tho 
sumnior of 190T. Then, water works 

'^Wilninut Inidnlor. Dec. 14. 1900. 


i»T--^v I CN- 

















having been installed, the company was March 3, 1903, with the following 

reorganized and new fire fighting ap- charter members: A. B. Williams, Otto 

paralus purchased. H. W. Larson, is Yogi, U. G. Gumming, W. 0. Tilman, 

chief of the department, which consists William Wulf, H. S. Johnson, A. S. 

of nineteen members. Shrauger. 


For the first six years of the town's 
existence it was without adequate fire 
protection and had been badly in need 
of a system of water works. On two 
prior occasions the electors had voted in 
favor of establishing a system, but for 
various reasons it had not been done. 
On June 2G, 1906, by a vote of 38 to 1, 
it was decided to issue bonds to the 
amount of $7,000 for the purpose. The 
bonds were sold, and on March 9, 1907, 
the contract for building a water works 
plant and installing a system was let 
by the village council to W. D. Lovell on 
a bid of $6,700. The work was com- 
pleted and accepted August 3, 1907. 


Wilmont has three church organiza- 
tions, all of wliich have church edifices. 
These, in the order of their organiza- 
tion, are Presbyterian. German Lutheran 
and Catholic. Prior to the construc- 
tion of the first churcli building relig- 
ious services were held in the depot. The 
Presbyterian church was dedicated, free 
of debt, on October 28, 1900. The 
Catholic church — Church of Our Lady 
of Good Counsel — was incorporated Aug- 
ust 27, 1903. by Bishop J. B. Cotter, 
Yicar General James Coyne, Pastor Jos- 
eph Zahner, Nicholas Lorge and Au- 
gust Sieve. 


A number of fraternal organizations 
have lodges in Wilmont. Wilmont Ijodgo 
No. 3.56; I, 0. 0. F., was instituted 


Eight miles northeast of Worthington, 
on the main line of the Chicago, St. 
Paul. Minneapolis & Omaha railroad, is 
tlie town of Brewster, a compact little 
city of 273 people, according to the 
latest enumeration. It is located on sec- 
tion 35, of Hersey township, and is only 
one-half mile from the Jackson county 
line. Of the smaller towns of Nobles 
county Brewster is the most substan- 
tiallv built. Many of the business houses 
are conducted in handsome brick struc- 
tures, and the main street of the vil- 
lage would be a credit to many a town 
of greater population. Surrounding the 
town on all sides is a level stretch of 
verv fertile farming country, from which 
Brewster draws its trade. 

It is as the village of Hersey that we 
must consider the early day history of 
Brewster, and Hersey was one of the 
very first towns founded in Nobles coun- 
ty. When the old Sioux City & St. 
Paul railroad was being constructed 
through this part of the coimtry in the 
summer and fall of 1871 the officials of 
the road selected three sites along the 
sixteen or eighteen miles of its track in 
Nobles county for stations. These were 
named Hersey, on the extreme eastern 
boundary of the county; Worthington, 
on lake Okabena; and Bigelow, on the 
right side of the Minnesota-Iowa boun- 
dary line. Hersey was named in honor 
of General S. F. Hersey, of Bangor, 



Maiiio, wlio was a director "f tlie Sioux 
Citv & St. Paul road." 

Wliile tlie railroad company liml made 
arraii)ft'inents with Miller, Huniiston & 
Co., the colony people, to build the prin- 
cipal town o£ the vicinity on lake Oka- 
bcna, it was decided that the country 
would develop sufficiently to warrant the 
i-stalilislinicnt of a ?niall town at Ker- 
sey station, also. In tlio niontli of Oc- 
tober, 1871, about the time the road was 
completed to that point, a side track 
wa> laid .inil a depot (the one now in 
.service) and an agent's cottaprc were 
erected on the site of the future town 
of Brewster. As the road was not in 
operation during the winter of 1871-72 
no agent was stationed there until the 
following spring and no further steps 
were taken to found the town of Hersey. 

Anticipating tbo arrival of tlip hun- 
dreds of colonists of 1872, the railroad 
company, early in the spring, had the 
survey of the townsite made. It was 
surveyed by Alex. L. Beach and was de- 
dicated by E. F. Drake, president of the 
Sioux City & St. Paul Railroad com- 
pany, on April 22, 1872 ; the instrument 
was filed in the office of the register 
of deeds June 10, 1872." W. T7. T!p7i- 
nett came early in the spring to take 
charge of the station for the railroad 
company," and before the summer was 
over quite a little town had spning up 
on the prairie. 

"General Hersey died In RanBor earlv In 

"Additions have been platted as follow."!: 

nern-au'.i Subdivision of Blocks 10 and 11 
-Snrvi'.ved by Kdward Borro.m for Otto and 
liudoli.h Hi-ireaii: dedicated Dec. 30, 1892: 
filed Sept. 9. 1893. 

Berreau's— Surveyed July 17, 1899, for Otto 
and Rudolph Berreau; dedicated Aug. 25, 
1899; nird Sept. 6. 1899. 

Beaton's— Surveyed May 28 and 29. 1900. 
for H. J. Beaton; dedicated June 28. 1900; 
(Ibd July 14, 191.0. 

Auditor's Subdivision of Blocks 1. 2. 8 and 
!i- Surveyed by nider of the county auditor 
for Otto Berreau. r;. W. Patterson and others; 
(lied Sept. 20. 1902. 

Tracts A to I In SWVi. Section 25, T. 103, 

The first building erected on the site, 
after the depot and agent's cottage, was 
a .store building put up early in the 
spring by J. T. Smith, of Heron Lake. 
A. J. Timlin had charge of the store, 
which had an existence of many years. 
\. 0. Conde moved to the new town 
about the same time and established a 
lumber yard, also engaging in the grain 
l-usinps.s. ^iMi'iin Hoiser opened the sec- 
ond general store in the spring, carrying 
a stock of hardware and farm machinerv 
in connection." A hotel was opened 
July 4, 1872, by a man named Hum- 
phrey,'^ and John Iverson started a 
blacksmith shop the same year. During 
the year the Hersey postofPice was es- 
tablished with A. J. Timlin as postmas- 
ter. He held the office for a time and 
then turned it over in Martin TIeiser. 
Before the establishment of the office 
the mail had been left regularly at the 
depot and had been distributed by W. 
I{. Bennett, the agent. This was the ex- 
tent of the improvements during the of its birth, but the prospects sceni- 
ed favorable for a rapid growth. Said 
a writer in the Western Advance of Aug- 
ust 31, 1872: "Hersey is becoming 
f|ui(e a village nr trading point, 'and 
undoubtedly has a fine future. The eve 
never looked upon a lovelier reach of 
level country than lies around Hersey 
and nearly every acre is as rich as a 

R. 39— Surveyed March 1. 1905. for John S. 
MeCarvel and Fr.nnk T-. Ha8:erm8n: dedicated 
March 11, 1305; filed March 19. 1905. 

"Mr. Bennett served until the sprinK of 
1S73. when he moved to WorthinRton and tool; 
charire of the station there. Ho succeeded 
at Hersey by Frank Weston, nnd ho l)y a 
man named Kenned.v. 

"The Reiser store was the predecessor of 
the present day Geyerman department store. 
Peter Geyerman purchased the store from Mr. 
Heiser In November. 18S1. 

"Goorpe Pony took the manascnent of the 
hotel in the fall of 1872. He was succeeded 
in the management bv Mrs. Watson, and she 
in 1876 by Dr. I.ouis Gotthelf. 



Alas for tiie prospects of anj- town of 
southwestern Minnesota of that day! 
Came the terrible grasshopper days, and 
Hersey, in common with all the neigh- 
boring villages, had its prospects blight- 
ed. For seven years, beginning with 
1873, there was no advancement in the 
country, but a retrogression. Settlers 
ceased coming, and many that had come 
departed. The trade territory surround- 
ing Hersey was especially hard hit by 
the grasshoppers, and the new town suf- 
fered as a result. For several years 
those who had established themselves in 
business in Hersey remained, anxiously 
awaiting better times, but there was ab- 
solutely no improvement of any kind 
until many years later. 

The name of the railroad station was 
changed from Hersey to Brewster in 
August, 1880. This was brought about 
as the result of the taking over of the 
old Sioux City & St. Paul road by the 
Omaha road. There was a station 
named Hersey on the line of the latter 
road in Wisconsin, and to avoid con- 
fusion the railroad changed the name of 
the Nobles county station. There is a 
conflict of authority as to the origin of 
the new name. E. P. Drake, who was 
the president of the Sioux City & St. 
Paul road, said : " . . .In con- 
sequence the village in Nobles county 
was changed to Brewster, after a direc- 
tor of the Omaha road." A booklet 
giving the origin of the names of places 
on the Northwestern system, recently is- 
sued by that corporation, gives another 
version. It savs: "The present name 
was given it in honor of Brewster, a 
town in Barnstable county, Massachu- 

'•The petitioners were F. R. Geverman. F. 
G. Myers. Ed. Manuel. George Nelson. P. T. 
Geyerman. Erl. Berreaii. Ed. Geyerman. "Leon McConkey, John Meyer. Otto Berreau, Ole J. 

setts, which was named in honor of 
Elder William Brewster, one of the 
first settlers in the Pl}'mouth colony.'' 
For a number of years the railroad sta- 
tion was known as Brewster, while the 
postoffice and village retained the name 
of Hersey. This unsatisfactory state of 
affairs was remedied in March, 1886, 
wlicn the postoffice name was changed to 
correspond with the name of the station. 
Even after the grasshopper days the 
little village did not advance. We find 
that in 1885 the business town consisted 
of only one general store, a hotel, depot 
and school house. No permanent ad- 
vance was made until the latter half of 
the nineties. ITp to that time Brewster 
u'as simply a little trading point, mak- 
ing no pretense of taking a prominent 
place among the municipalities of No- 
bles county. With the rapid develop- 
ment of Nobles county farm lands, be- 
ginning in the middle nineties, came 
prosperous times for Brewster. Then 
the country round about received the 
settlement and development that had 
been expected over twenty years before, 
and Brewster built rapidly into a town 
of importance. Many new enterprises 
were established and all prospered. 

In the fall of 1898 it was found that 
the village had a population of 180, and 
it was decided to begin municipal gov- 
■ ernnient. A petition was presented to 
the Nobles county board of commission- 
ers, asking for- incorporation.^' On this 
the county law making body took favor- 
able action and named December 14, 
1898, as the date for holding an elec- 
tion, when the voters might decide 
whether or not the village should be in- 

David v. Lees. John Meier. W. J. Adliins. 
Ross Nelson. R. J. Beaton. P. Nielsen. J. L. 

Morris. J. E. Geissel. John J, Gray. Otto 
Knuth. Peter Geyerman. Sr.. John Wnhl. W. 
H. Shively. John D. Weaver. B. T. McChes- 
ney. John .Silver. T. J. McCall. Frank Duba. 

Berg. Charles Ilogan. William Nielson. Pat 
McCall. F. L. Hagernian. Joseph Ebert. A. W. 
Ehert, J. P. Hein. Mike McCall and E. C. 



rorporatefl. Peter Gej'erman, Josepli 
El)ort and Otto Berreau were named 
judges of election. Of the twenty-eight 
votes cast on the question only one was 
against taking action that would bring 
about municipal government. The arti- 
cles of incorporation were filed with the 
register of deeds on December 10. ISOS. 
and on January 9, 1899, the first meet- 
ing of the village council was hold at 
TJ. .T. Beaton's hotel. Following is a 
list of Brewster's citizens who have held 
elective offices since incorporation : 

180n — Prpsiilpnf. Tonn Moiti*: friistees. F. 
L. TTnuonnan. Otto Bi-rrpaii. R. .T. Beaton: re- 
ooidor. B. T. ^rcTTipsnpv: troasurpr. F. B. 
Opvpniian: iiistipp«. Pptpr npvprtnan. .Tamps 
>r(roiikpv; ponstaWp. T. "M. ifeCall: assessor, 
J. T . Aloronk-pv. 

moo ■Prp=Mpnt. Cliarles W.nener: trustees. 
F. L. TTajierman. .1. L. MoConkev. .Tohn Sil- 
ver: repordpr. T>. V. T.ees; trpasiirer. .Tohn 
■R'alil: insticps, K. T.. Kpllv. .Mtiprt Sevprson : 
constablps. Frank T)uba. .Tohn Wcavpr. 

mm— Prpsidpnt. B. .T.' Bpaton; trustees. F. 
L. TTaeerman. .T. Tj. MeConker. .Tohn Silver; 
reporder, T>. V. Lees: treasurer. Leon ATorris; 
instirps. Otto Knnth. C. F. Boetteher; con- 
stnhles, T/. TT. Sphiiltz. -T. P. TTein: assessor, 

A. W. Weinandt. 

mn2— PresiHent. S. "SX. Stewart: tnistees, 
n. TT. MeKplIar. N. Weinandt. B. T. Afenhes- 
ney; reeorder. Tohn Rahonan; treasurer. 
nporpp Voik: insfiees. Cliarles Waarner. 
.Tamps Fbprt: constablps. .Tohn Sorenson, .Tohn 

mn.1 -President. D. TT. MpTCellnr; frnstees, 

B. T. MeHiesnev. A. P. .Taenbs, P.. F. TTiiser- 
man: recorder. .Tolin \V. Rabenan: treasurer, 
A. W. FHiert: jnstiees. .Tohn \Vev. T. T. 
Strand: constables. Dennis .Silver. John Tlnin: 
nsspRsor, A. W. Weinandt. 

mn4--Prpsident. D. H. MelCellar: frnstees, 
.Tohn Silver. .Tohn ATeier. T.pon ATorvis: rp- 
corder. C. R. West; treasurer. T. T. Strand: 
jlistipp. E. Y. Wilson; constable. Kniest 
PhilliriH; assessor, Michael MeCall. 

mo.")— President. C. R. West; trnslees, 
Frank Wells. B. T. McChesney, Leon AForris: 
recordpr. Otto Knnth: trpasiirpr. T. T. 
Strand: jnstires, .T. S. Randolph. .Tohn Wey; 
cnnslablpK. Charles TTarthnn. D. V. Lees; 
assessor. Michael McCall. 

moo— T'residcnt. D. V. Lees; tnistees, .Tohn 
ifeier. Frank Diiba, F. L. TTaffermnn; re- 
corder, Otto Knnth: trpasnrer. 0. W. Voak; 
justice, A. W. Kbert; constables. Charles 

"At the election of 1007 the question of 11- 
censInK naloonB was fieelded In the affirmative 
hy a vote of 46 to 22. 

TTarthnn. T. .T. McCall; assessor, Michael 

m07— President. 1). V. Lees; trustees. F. 
Tj. llagerman. Frank Puba. .Tohn Meier: re- 
corder. Otto T<niith; trpasnrer. G. W. Voak; 
justices. .T. S. Handnljih, B. T. McChesney; 
constables. Ed. (llsoii. V. R. Ceverman; as- 
spssor. Micluipl McCall." 

IflOR— IVesident. I). V. Lees; trustees. .lohn 
Meier, F. L. ITagernian. Xick Kaufman; re- 
corder. Otto T<nuth: treasurer. G. W. Voak: 
justice. .Tohn Wey; constables, Ed. Olson. 
.Tohn Meier. .Tr. : assessor, Ed. Tjo^sem. 

Since incorporation Brewster has liad 
a steady growth. The census of 1900 
gave the town a population of 334, and 
this was increased in 190.5 to 273. Of 
(liis latter OH were nntive lioi-ii, 13 1 were 
^linnesota born, and 43 were foreign 
born. Of the foreign born population 
Germany furnisliod 10: Sweden, 1; Nor- 
way, 1 : Canada. 1 : Ireland, 1 : Den- 
mark, 7; England, 1; Scotland, 4; Aus- 
tria, 7 : other countries, 1. 


For many years Brewster has wrestled 
with the que.iition whether or not to es- 
tablish a system of water works. Many 
times has the question been fought at 
the polls and each time lias the proposi- 
tion been defeated. Sometimes a ma- 
jority of the voters has decided in favor 
of bonding for water works, but the 
necessary five-eighths majority was lack- 
ing. On May 11. 1003, the vote was 3fi 
for to .''>0 against Imnding for $.5,000; 
March S. 1004. it was 39 for to 30 
against: .\pril 3S. 1004, it was 43 to 
31 ill favor of Jiouding for $7,000 for 
water works and electric lights: l\Iav 13, 
1004, the proposition to bond for $7,000 
for water works alone was carried, 45 
to 31: April 17, 100.5. $7,000 bonds for 
water works and a drainage system were 
defeated by 31 to 39; July 17, 1905, 



tlie proposition to bond for $7,500 for 
tlie same improvements was carried by 
;i; to 27; May 3.5, 1906, $9,000 bonds— 
$(_;,( 100 for \\ater works and $3,000 for 
a drainage system — were defeated by a 
vote of 29 to 31. 

A drainage system was fiually com- 
pleted in the spring of 1907. Bonds to 
the amount of $3,000 for the improve- 
ment were voted — 42 to 14 — at a spec- 
ial election held June 25, 1906. 

One of the village improvements in 
which the people take great pride is the 
jiublic park, located in the heart of the 
city. Tlie town's sidewalks are nearly 
all of cement, over a mile of that kind 
of pavement having been put in during 
the past year. 


For the size of the town Brewster 
has one of the best public schools in 
Minnesota. In the school are eleven 
grades, taught by five teachers. This 
gives a complete high scliool course with 
the exce])tion of the last year's studies. 


Brewster lias five church organizations, 
all of them having edifices of their own. 
They are Methodist, Presbyterian, Nor- 

wegian Lutheran, German Lutheran .and 

The German Lutheran church was in- 
corporated July 15, 1886, and the iirsl 
trustees were Charles Mortensen, Charles 
Leistico and Albert Leistieo. 

The Presbyterian church was incor- 
porated September 9, 1893, with the folr 
lowing board of trustees: 1). McNabb, 
Roscoe Williams, John Moffatt. Rev. 
Sulzer was the first pastor. 


Only one fraternal order, the Modern 
Woodmen of America, maintains an or- 
ganization at the present time. 

In the early days many of the first 
settlers of Hersey and the country sur- 
rounding were veterans of the civil war, 
and one of the first organizations there 
was a strong Grand Army post, whicli, 
however, went out of existence before 
many years had jjassed. Sibley post No. 
19 was organized February 15, 1875, 
with twenty-tliree charter members and 
the following officers: Post commander, 
Otto Berreau ; senim' vice commander, 
G. R. Perry ; cjuarterinaster. Martin 
Heiser; officer of the day, J. W. Mil- 
ler; officer of the guard, D. Haffy ; ad- 
jutant. C. A. Barrows; chaplain, 0. 
Chapman; sergeant majoi'. F. Fitzger- 
ald; quartermaster sergeant, Mr. Ebert. 




Nobles county's sixtli town is Round 
Lake, au incorporated municipality of 
245 jieople, according to the last census. 
It is on the Rock Island railroad, ten 
miles southeast of Worthington, and is 
in the southeastern corner of the coun- 
ty. More definitely described, the plat- 
ted town is on section 24, Indian Lake 
township, one-half mile from the Jack- 
son county line and two and one-half 
miles from the Iowa line. The trade 
territory of the village includes a part 
of Indian Lake township, extends a 
short distance into Iowa, and includes 
the southwestern corner of Jackson coun- 
ty. It is the last named territory from 
which Hound Lake draws its greatest 
trade. One may travel many miles 
eastward from the Nobles county town 
b(!fore one comes upon another trading 
point, and the l)usiness of tliis large 
farming country is all done at Round 
Lake. As a business point Round Lake 
takes hisch rank. It is a town that has 
a prosperous look. It is compactly and 
substantially built, many of the business 
firms occupying handsome brick blocks. 
In a business way it is represented by 

'"The Burlington folks, we learn, have de- 
cided to call the station in Indian Lake town- 
.ship Round Lake. Although in Indian Lake 
township it is near the county line and near 
Round lake. They will put a handsome depot 

all lines usually found in a town of its 

Prior to the year 1882 Round Lake as 
the name of a Nobles county village was 
non-e.xistent. Many years before that 
date, however, the name had been ap- 
plied to the lake just over the line in 
Jackson county, about two miles from 
the village, and also to a Jackson county 
postoffice. The Round Lake postoffice 
was established in an early day on the 
south bank of the lake, )iut later had 
been moved to the north side, where J. 
N. Dodge was postmaster at tlie time 
the history of the Nobles county Round 
Lake begins. 

Before the building of tlie Burling- 
ton railroad (now the Rock Island) into 
Worthington in the fall of 1882 the 
site of the present day village of Round 
Lake was unoccupied. Early tliat fall 
tlie Cedar Rapids, Iowa Falls & North- 
western Land & Town Lot company, a 
corporation connected with the Burling- 
ton railroad, selected the site for a sta- 
tion in Indian Lake township.^ The 
name first chosen was Indian Lake, after 
the township, but before the plat was 
made the name was changed to Round 
Lake. This change was brouglit about 

there, and a smart village will spring up 
which will be quite a center of trade from 
three counties." — Worthington Advance, Oct. 
5, 1882. 




through tlie influence of 0. II. Roelie, 
the Chicago board of trade operator, 
who owned a ranch of nearly 2,000 acres 
on Round lake in Jackson county. He 
donated twenty acres of land to the 
town lot company with the understand- 
ing that the station should be called 
Round Lake, and this was done, although 
there was general dissatisfaction with 
the change. 

In December, 1882, an eighty acre 
tract on section 24 was surveyed and the 
plat was filed in the office of the regis- 
ter of deeds. The tract was divided 
into one hundred lots. In making out 
the papers the platted townsite was not 
properly described, and the defect caused 
the company to replat the land in 1889. 
Under the original platting not a lot 
was sold, although two were given away 
— one to M. J. Barber and one to Johu 

Two buildings were erected at the 
Round Lake station during tlie fall of 
1882, both put up by the railroad com- 
pany. The first was a section house, 
which was occupied immediately by a 
man named Holland, who became tlie 
section foreman and Round Lake's first 
resident. The depot (substantially the 
depot building of today) was erected im- 
mediately after the completion of the 
swtion house, but it was a year later 
when a station agent was sent to take 
charge of the oiTiee. 

The efforts of the town lot company 
to found a town at the new station were 
not crowned with success, although the 
point seemed to offer advantages.^ Until 

'"Rounrl T.ake, the now station on the Bui- 
llnKtoii road. In Indian Lake township, is the 
best point- we know of in this section for a 
Bcnora] Htorc. Here is an excellent opening 
for a country merchant who can put In a 
KOod Block." — Worthlngton Advance. Feb. 8. 

'Fred A. Tripp, .son of Mr. and Mrs. E. A. 
Tripp, was the first child liorn In Round Lake 
village. He was born In the spring of 18S4. 

the fifteenth day of October, 1883, Sec- 
tion Foreman Holland and his crew 
were the only residents. Then E. A. 
Tripp came with his family to the sta- 
tion, moved into the living rooms over 
the depot, and became tlie station agent, 
a position he held eight and one-lialf 

Although no town had yet made its 
appearance at the station, in March, 
1884, a postoffice named Indian Lake, 
was established for the convenience of 
the nearby farmers. Mr. Tripp was 
the postmaster and liandlcd the mail in 
the depot.'' When the Round Lake of- 
fice, kept by J. N. Dodge in Jackson 
county, was discontinued a few y^ears 
Jatci- the name of tlie Indian Lake of- 
fice was changed to correspond with the 
station name. 

In the fall of 1884 the railroad com- 
pany erected a warehouse, which was 
leased to H. E. Torrance, of Worthing- 
ton, who bought and shipped grain. The 
business was managed by E. A. Tripp 
and M. J. Barber. The same fall Mr. 
Tripp put up a coal shed and added to 
jiis many occupations by becoming a 
cnal dealer.=^ In April, 1885, M. J. Bar- 
ber came up from JIarshall county, Iowa, 
erected a store building and ojjened a 
general store, engaging also in the lum- 
ber business. He became postmaster and 
had the olTicp in the store. In Jlay. 
188G, N. IT. Elliott joined the little 
community at Round Lake and erected 
the first resideiue there, which was lo- 
eatwl just iiDi-lli III" the depot. In tlic 
fall of llie same year John ;\tol erected 

'Round Lake's imstniasters ha\'e been E. A. 

Tripp. M. J. Barijer. lOlias Blakesley, M. J. 

Harlier. E. A. Tripp. J. I-. Hogan. A. F. 
Diehn, Elmer D. Tripp and J. L. Seeley. 

"There was no great demand for fuel, and 
Mr. Tripp sold only one car load tlie first sea- 
.son. and all of that was not disposed of until 
in the spring. 


,'< -*d*'. 




a little building on a lot which had 
been given him by the to\rn lot company 
;iud started a blacksmith shop, which he 
conducted about one year. 

The growth of Round Lake was slow, 
and in March, 1887, a correspondent 
claimed a population of 34 for the vil- 
lage. Only a few others located in the 
village during the late eighties. N. H. 
Elliott put up a barn and engaged in 
the livery business. Blackman & Mather 
opened a hardware store and erected the 
second residence in the village. R. W. 
Busby engaged in the blacksmithing 
business. Late in the year 1889 the Pet- 
erson Mercantile company erected a 
building and opened a general store, 
which was managed by C. L. Peterson. 

During the closing days of 1889 the 
Cedar Rapids, Iowa Falls & Northwest- 
ern Land & Town Lot company replat- 
ted the town. The survey was made by 
L. L. Palmer, the dedication was made 
by James B. Close, president of the town 
lot company, December 7, 1889, and the 
instrument was filed December 23 of the 
same year." 

Very little progress was made during 
the first half of the nineties. Round 
Lake during these years continued to 
hold its place on the map as a country 
hamlet, but no pretention had yet been 
made to take its place as one of the 
progressive towns of the county. A few 
business houses were maintained and 
supplied the wants of the farmers of the 
surrounding country. 

'The following additions have been platted: 

Tripp's— Surveyed June 28, 1892, for E. A. 
Tripp: dedicated July 30. 1892; filed .4ug. 1. 

Tripp's Second — Surveyed for E. A. Tripp; 
dedicated June 16. 1897; filed April 21, 1898. 

Cravens' — Surveyed December 6. 7 and 8. 
1898, for J. W. Cravens; dedicated Feb. 1, 
1899; filed Feb. 3. 1899. 

Boardman'.s — Surveyed for E. A. Tripp, 
John Davis. Richard Davis. Nels O. Ijangsetti. 
Charles Nienaber; dedicated Oct. 21, 1901; 
filed Dec. 28. 1901. 

'The petitioners were H. C. Moeller, C. J. 

With the progressive days of the late 
nineties and the boom in Nobles county 
land values, came a change in the stand- 
ing of Round Lake. It developed from 
a sleepy hamlet into a bustling little 
town. New enterprises were established, 
including a newspaper, founded in tlie 
summer of 1898, and the Bank of Round 
Lake, founded that fall. In August, 
1898, the population was found to be 

With the progress already made and 
with bright prospects for future ad- 
vancement the citizens of Round Lake, 
in August, 1898, decided to incorporate 
the town. On the tenth day of August 
a mass meeting was held, when this de- 
i-ision wa.s reached. A jjetition was cir- 
culated and generally signed by the resi- 
dents^ asking the county commissioners 
to take action in the matter. This was 
done at a meeting of the board Octo- 
ber 4, and on October 11 the first village 
election was held. Out of a total of 
twenty-five votes, only one was recorded 
against incorporation.^ On October 29 
another election was held, when the vil- 
lage's first officers were chosen, and the 
coimcil met for the first time on Novem- 
ber 14. Until 1901 the village was at- 
tached to Indian Lake township for elec- 
tion and assessment purposes. That vear, 
liy a vote of 31 to 1, the precincts wore 

Following have been the results of 
the annual elections since the village was 
incorporated : 

Reilly, James L. Hogan. Christ Schmidt, James 
Bixby, James Walker, David Bixbv, Fritz 
Toel, O. L. Bixby, E. D. Tripp. Ed. Edwards, 
E. J. Denkmann Martin Gregerson. Charles 
H. Hayes. H. R. Tripp, Charles Nienaber, A, 
Hayes, L. P. Gontjes, A. Freeman. John Ire- 
land. Herb Horton, Samuel Edwards. J. W. 
Rosenberg. John Marz, Samuel Mutton, A. F. 
Diehn, J. C. Thomsen. O. E. Dahl. J. L. 
Seeley, Frank B, Mitchell. F. H. Wells. Fred 
Fiero, Jacob Gregerson, C. E. Horton. C. E. 
Morgan. Frank Horton, Q. Barnes. 

"The inspectors of this first election were C. 
J. Reilly, J. D. Hogan and H. C. Moeller. 



1898 — President, A. F. Diehn; trusteeR, C. 
S<-liiiiiilt, {'. J. Reilly, D. Bixby; recorder, J. 
C. Tliomsen; treasurer, J. h. Slangelson; jus- 
tices, H. K. Tripp, A. Hayes; constable, F. 
H. Wells, .lames Walker. 

189lt--Preitident, A. F. niolin; trustees, C. 
Schmidt, C. J. Reilly, D. Bixby; recorder, J. 
C. Tliomsen; treasurer. .1. L. Mangelson; jus- 
tices, Jolin Ireland, ,1. ]j. Flint; constables, 
F. Horton, Kd. Edwards. 

lilOO — President, Charles Nienaber; trustees, 
H. C. Moeller, Ed. Uenkmann, C. Schmidt; 
recorder, J. C. Thonisen; treasurer, .J. L. 
Mangelson; justice, J. L. Flint; constable, 
Jacob liregerson.* 

1901 — President, Cliarles Xienabcr; trus- 
tees, H. C. Moeller, Ed. Denkmann. .John 
Marz; recorder, J. C. Thomsen; treasurer, .). 
L. Mangelson; justices, John Ireland, H. C. 
Carter; constable, Ed. Edwards. 

1002 — President, Charles Nienaber; trus- 
tees, II. C. Moeller, John Marz, S. W. Har- 
rington; recorder, J. C. Thomsen; treasurer, 
J. L. Mangelson; justice, J. W. Johnson; 
constable, E. H. \VelIha\isen; assessor, H. R. 

1903 — President, Charles Nienaber; trus- 
tees, S. W. Harrington, E. I). Tripp, H. 1). 

C. Katt; recorder, J. C. Thomsen; treasurer, 
J. L. Mangelson; justices, W. E. Thielvoldt, 
H. E. Harrington; constables, Steve Freeman, 

D. Sutherland; assessor, H. R. Tripp. 

1904— President, H. C. Moeller; trustees, 
John Marz, Charles Antritter, J. L. Man- 
gelson; recorder, J. C. Thomsen; treasurer, 
Charles Nienaber; justice, J. L. Flint; con- 
stable, E. H. W'ellhausen; assessor, H. R. 

1905 — President, J. J. Crowley; trustees, 
Charles Antritter, II. C. Moeller, E. D. 
Tripp; recorder, J. L. Flint; treasurer, Charles 
Nii-naber; jii<^tiees, W. E. Thielvoldt, F. E. 
Scolt; constables, D, Sutherland, J. Mercer; 
assessor, F. A. Tripp. 

1900 — I'resident, Ben Schwarting; trustees, 
J. L. Mangelson, E. H. Wellhausen, F. L. 
Hegardt; recorder, J. L. Flint; treasurer, 
Charles Nienaber; justices, J. L. Seeley, E. 
H. Richardson; constable, O. L. Bixby; as- 
sessor, IT, R, Tripp. 

1907 — President, B. C. Denkmann; trus- 
tees, E. 11. Wellhausen, W. H. Thomsen, 
Theodore Balils; recorder, Charles Antritter; 
treasurer, Charles Nienaber; justices, J. L. 
Seeley, Oscar Anderson; constable, 0. L. 
Bixby; assessor, W. E. Thielvoldt." 

1908— President, B. C. Denkmann; trus- 
tees, F. ]j. Hegardt, W. H. Thomsen. J. L. 
Mangelson; recorder, Charles Antritter; treas- 
urer, Charles Nienaber; justice, .1. L. Seeley; 
constable, J. F. Murphy; assessor, \V. E. 

After becoming an incorporated mimic- 
ipality liound Lake continued to ad- 
vance. The year 1899 was a particu- 
larly active one and there was quite a 
building boom. Several business blocks 
were constructed and many residences 
were built. A temporary set-back was 
occasioned in the fall of the year by a 
severe epidemic of smallpo.x. There were 
about a dozen cases in the village, tiud 
four or five deaths resulted. The town 
was placed under quarantine and during 
the period of the epidemic business was 

By the time the federal census was 
takun in 1900 the village had a popula- 
tion of 226. Since that date there has 
been no great increase in numbers, the 
census of 1905 giving the town a popu- 
lation of 245. Of this number 107 were 
native born, 93 were born in Minnesota, 
ami 45 were of foreign birth. The 
countries of birth of the foreign born 
population were: Germany, 25; Sweden, 
8 ; Norway, G ; Canada, 2 ; Denmark, 4. 
While there has been no decided in- 
crease in population during the last 
seven or eight years the town has made 
rapid strides forward and ranks among 
the most progressive towns of the county. 

On May 2, 1905, Eound Lake was 
struck by a cyclone. Several buildings 
were completely destroyed and others 
were damaged to a greater or less extent. 
'J"he properly damage was about $4,000. 
^Irs. ^larz was injured in the storm. 


Before 1887 the village of Round 
Lake was without a school. On May 16 
(if that year school district No. 77 was 
organized, and in tlic fall a building 

•At this election 86 votes were cast for 
license and 14 votes against license. 

"For ll(' received 36 votes at this elec- 
tion to 18 against license. 



was erected. Miss Lillian Tripp was 
the first teacher. The district used the 
old building until the fall of 1898, when 
the present two-story structure was erect- 
ed at a cost of $2,000. 


The Presbyterian church is the only 
one in Eouud Lake. The first religious 
services were held in the village in 1885, 
when Eev. Lonsbury, a Methodist minis- 
ter, conducted meetings in the depot 
waiting room on two separate occasions. 
Soon after Eev. E. E. Lathrop, then 
pastor of the Methodist church of 
Worthington, conducted services a few 
times. In ISSCi Eev. D. C. Holmes and 
Ered Graves came, and, at the request 
of E. A. Tripp, organized the Eound 
Lake Union Sunday school, which had 
an existence of several years. 

The Presbyterian church was organ- 
ized some years later and Rev. E. M. 
Lumm became the first regular pastor. 
For a time services were held in the 
school house, but later the church edi- 
fice was erected. The church was in- 
corporated in March, 1895, with the fol- 
lowing trustees: William M. Mosher, 
E. A. Tripp and John Ireland. 


Seventh in size and fifth in age of 
Nobles county towns is Eushmore, a 
village of 338 population located on 
section 19, Dewald township. It is on 
the Worthington-Sioux Falls branch of 
the Omaha railroad and is twelve miles 
west from Worthington and six miles 
east from Adrian. The geographical lo- 
cation of Eushmore is such that it has 
a large territory from which to draw 

trade, including the gi'eater portions of 
Dewald, Olney, Ransom and Little Rock 
townships and small parts of Larkin 
and Summit Lake tow'nships. 

Rushmore is noted as one of tlie best 
business points in Nobles county, and it 
has been during its entire history. With 
the exception of two large brick blocks 
the town is built entirely of wood. It 
has broad streets, which are lined with 
large shade trees — the result of the fore- 
sight of the founders of the town. The 
pavements of the business streets are 
nearly all of cement. Nearly all lines 
of business are carried on in Rushmore. 
There are two banks, four elevators, 
two lumber yards, two implement houses, 
three general stores, two hardware stores, 
hotel, meat market, newspaper, two mil- 
linery stores, two blacksmith shops, liv- 
ery bam, harness shop and a creamery. 
During its entire history of thirty years 
there has never been a saloon conducted 
in the village, and the sentiment is al- 
most unanimous against the granting of 

We must go back to the spring of the 
year 187G for the beginning of Rusli- 
more's history, although it was two years 
after that date when the town was 
founded. In previous chapters has been 
told the story of the building of the 
Worthington & Sioux Falls railroad and 
the selection of two sites in Nobles 
county for stations on the new road. 
The first mention, in print, we have of 
the Rushmore location was on May 25, 
1876, at the time the survey for the new 
road was being made. On that date the 
Worthington Advance said : "One [sta- 
tion] will be in Dewald, near the farm 
of Mr. Bedford." Two weeks later 
(.June 8) the same publication said: 
"There will be a sidetrack and flag sta- 
tion in Dewald, about the middle of 



section 1!), near the Churchill place."' 
When the road was completed the loca- 
tion was marked on the railroad map as 
a station, although no side track had 
hi'cn laid and no improvements what- 
ever made. Tiie site was laheled Miller 
Station, the name heing given in honor 
of iv\-governor Stephen ililler, who 
was at the time land agent for the Sioux 
City & St. Paul Kail road company, and 
who a little later became a resident of 
Nobles county. 

Miller Station, with no inhabitants 
and c-onsisting of nothing more tangi- 
ble than a name, was quiescent two 
years. Then an event of great impor- 
tance to central Nohjps county occurred, 
which resulted in the building of a town 
at Miller Station. hi tlio spring of 
1878 George 1. Seney, a New York 
capitalist, secured control of extensive 
railroad lands in the central part of the 
county and at once began the work of 
colonizing the lands, bringing out many 
settlers from New York city and other 
eastern points. In all colonization 
schemes it is necessary to have a base 
from which to operate, and to supply 
tills want Mr. Seney decided to build a 
town at Miller Station, the site of which 
he had bought. 

In the latter part of May S. M. l.' 
more and a party of New Y'ork gentle- 
men ari-ivcd on the site for the purpose 
of founding the town and paving the 

""On Monday evening last [May 27] Messrs. 
S. M. Riishmorc and Goorgp Rushmoie with 
their families arrived In WDrthineton and 
took train Wednesday morning for Miller, the 
new station on the lirnnch In IJewald town- 
ship. The Messrs. Uushmore were accompanl- 
I'd by Messrs. f'aiil Schmidt and Charles Grlf- 
lln. with their families, and by three other 
gentlemiMi. Messrs. William .\nthes. Charles 
Sears and Randall. All of these parties are 
from the vicinity of New York city, except 
Mr. Randall, who Is from St. Louis. They 
have secured the townsltc at Miller Station. 
expect to take lands In the vicinity, and will 
at once build a large store. 23x40, and begin 
business. The.v are mostly Methodists and 
say the.v expect to build a neat church there 
this season. Mr. Rushmore showed us sev- 

way for the future colonization opera- 
tions of Mr. Seney." Building opera- 
tions were begun during the first days >>( 
June, ami there was a great activity all 
summer. The first building ]iul lunlcr 
way was a two-story frame store IjuiM- 
ing, 22.\48 feet, for S. M. Rushmore & 
Co. A week later the railroad company 
began the construction of a depot. Hut 
before either of these buildings was com- 
pleted a dwelling house (the one now oc- 
cupied by C. J. Fox) was finished for 
Mr. Rushmore. The store was completed 
early in August and a large stock of 
goods was put in. Rushmore & Co. also 
erected an elevator ;iiiil engaged in the 
grain business, operating a feed mill in 
connection. Charles Griffin opened a 
meat market; Frank Peck, a hardware 
store; and I\fr. Ware, a blacksmith sliop.'- 
About the middle of Augiast the railroad 
station was opened and A. F. Horst was 
installed as agent. xVbout this time the 
name of the station was changed from 
Miller Station to Rushmore, the name 
being chosen in honor of the pioneer 
merchant. 'J'he jxistollicc was estab- 
lished about the middle of August and 
was named Kuslimore."-'' Jn the latter 
])art of .luly a Sunday school was or- 

The townsite plat was surveyed July 
20, .32 and 23, 1878, by D. J. Mac- 
pherson for George I. Seney; the dedi- 
cation was made August 20, and the 

cral plans for the church, which they ex- 
pect to build under the auspices of the 
Church Extension society. The railroad will 
build a small depot during the present 
season, and henceforth Miller will be known 
as one of the thriving vili.agcs of the county." 
— Worthlngton .\dvance, May 30, 1S7S. 

'^.Icilin Thompson was the contractor who 
put up most of the first buildings. He was as- 
sisted by C. J, Fox, who was one of the first 
settlers of Olney township, his homestead 
being only a short distaiuM* w'est of the vil- 

"The change in name was made because of 
the fact that there was a Miller postoffice 
in Minnesota. 



plat was filed August 2G." A number 
of lots were disposed of during the year, 
upon which were erected the buildings 
before mentioned. 

The building of the little village of 
Rushmore was continued during 1879. 
In llarch E. L. Wemple, who had been 
appointed agent for the sale of town 
lots, completed a hotel building and 
opened a hotel which he conducted for 
more than a quarter century. A church 
building was erected, a school house was 
built, and a number of new business en- 
terprises were established. A business 
directory of the little town, made in the 
fall of 1879, shows the following: 

S. M. Rushmore & Co., general store, feeil 
mill, elevator 

K. L, Wemple. Rushmore hotel 
W . A. Turner, hardware 

A. F. Horst, station agent, lumlier dealer, 
school teacher 

Frank Peckj tinware 

W. M. Lnckwood, grocery and notion store 

Thaddeus .Scherzinger, jeweler 

B. H. W'elzel, Idacksmith 
•Tonas Bedford, blacksmith'' 

The federal census of ISSt) gave the 
.new village a population of 99. An in- 
dustry of vast Ijcnefit was added to tlie 
town early in 1881, wlien Bedford & 
Co. started a flouring mill. 

During the first few years of its life 
Ruslmiore had made rapid progress and 
had grown into a village amply able to 

"Additions to the origin;U townsite have 
been platted a.s foUow.s: 

First — Surveyed in July, 1S78. for George I. 
Seney; dedicated Nov. 5. 1879; filed April 10. 

Wood & Bryden's — Surveyed for Wheeler 
Dowd and Wood & Bryden; dedicated June 
1, 1S93; filed June 2. 1S93. 

Bedford's— Surveyed Nov. 5, 1894. for S. B. 
Bedford; dedicated Dec. 21, 1894; filed Jan, 
3. 1895. 

'■■"'.About a year ago we visited Rushmore 
and fiiund a railroad station, a feed mill and 
elevator building and n store partly built and 
getting in a stock of goods. Now we find 
a brisk little town with a general merchan- 
dise store, a grocery store, a tin shop, a. lum- 
ber yard, a jeweler, two blacksmith shops, 
a neat school house, just completed at a 
cost of about $1,500. and the neatest little 
hotel building in Minnesota." — Worthington 
Advance, Sept. 11, 1879. 

take care of tlie trade of the surround- 
ing country. Thereafter for many years 
there was only a slight growth in size 
and business enterprises. During the 
eighties and early nineties the town con- 
tinued to advance slowly with the de- 
velopment of the surrounding country, 
occasionally adding to its business life 
by the esta])lishment of some new en- 
terprise. .Vfter the hard times period 
following the panic of 1893 came more 
prosperous times in Nobles county, and 
Rushmore again took rapid strides for- 
ward. During the closing year of the 
last century the population had reached 

It was at this time that the citizens 
decided on incorporation. A petition 
was presented to the county board in 
March, 1900,''' and, favorable action 
having been taken by that body, an elec- 
tion was held March 27, when, by a vote 
of 32 to 9, the electors decided to have 
village government.'* The first officers 
were chosen at an election April 14. 
and the village government began im- 
mediately after that e\ent. At a spec- 
ial election held May 1, 1900, the new 
municipality, l)y a vote of 22 to 0, de- 
cided that it should become a separate 
election and assessment precinct, thereby 
separating it from Dewald township. 

'Census taken March 


'■Signed by G. L. Gray, J. G. Bronk. George 
Smith. J. Burr Ludlow, .August Olson, A. W. 
Thompson, H. C, Constable, C. J. Fox, A. 
R. Beilke, B. S. Wemple, B. L. Wemple, H. 
C. Hanson, E. S. Whipkey. Olof Hanson, 
A. W. Ferrin, E. G. Edwards, W. H. Chris- 
tianson. C. E. Boddy. F. A. Carrell, John G. 
Mitcbell, J. .\. Dahlberg, E. P. Hermann, G. 
V. Pettit, J. B. Duel. J. Stoven, A, N. 
Peterson, Frank McCoy. B. Fagerness. Jacob 
Staib, William Warring, W. A. Putnam, W. A. 
Still, N. Feather, A. L. Daugherty, J. D. 
Pettit. W. J. Daugherty, George Weidman and 
S. Fageniess. 

'**The inspectors of this fii-st election were 
A. W, Ferrin, J. G. Mitchell and B. S. Wem- 



The results of the elections for village 
officers liave been : 

1000— PreRident. S. B. Bedford; trustees, 
A. W. Fcrrin, William Warring, F. A. Car- 
roll; recorder, W. S. Still; treasurer, J. G. 
Bronk; assessor, J. G. Mitchell; justices, E. 
G. Kdwards, K. S. Wemple; constables, J. 
Stnib, J. B. Ludlow. 

I!W1— President, S. B. Bedford; trustees, 
S. T. Wood, A. W. Kerrin, William War- 
ring; recorder, C. E. Boddy; treasurer, J. 
G. Bronk; assessor, J. li. Mitchell. 

11102 I'rosident. S. B. Bedford; trustees, 
William Warring! S. T. Wood, J. D. Pettit; 
recorder, C. E. Boddy; treasurer, J. G. 
Bronk; assessor, J. B. Ludlow; justices, E. 
S. Wemple, E. G. Edwards; constables, H. 
C. Constable. Henry Thompson. 

inort -President, "S. B. Bedford; trustees, 
.\. W. Ferrin, William Warring, S. T. Wood; 
recorder, C. E. Boddy; treasurer, J. B. Lud- 
low; assessor, .1. G. Mitchell; justice, A. A. 
Rankin; constables, Alfred Reese, E. G. Ed- 

1904— President, S. T. Wood; trustees. H. 
C. Constable, S. B. Bedford, F. A. Carrell; 
recorder, Thomas Prideau.v; treasurer, J. B. 
Ludlow; assessor, W. C. Tliom; justice, E. 
G. Edwards; constable, E. IL Bassett. 

1905— President, S. T. Wood; trustees, H. 
C. Constable, S. B. Bedford, F. A. Carrell; 
recordei', Thomas Prideaux; treasurer, J. B. 
Ludlow; justice, E. S. Wemple; constables, 
Jacob Stoven, Melvin Ilovey. 

190(i- President, S. B. Bedford; trustees, 
11. C. Constable, S. T. Wood, J. U. Bryden; 
recorder, A. J. Ehrisman; treasurer, J. B. 
Ludlow ; assessor, W. C. Thorn ; constable, 
Melvin Hovey. 

1007— President. J. B. Ludlow; trustees. W. 
C. Thorn, IT. C. Constable, W. H. Christian 
son; recorder, A. J. Ehrisman; treasurer, 
F. R. Bryden; assessor, S. Fagerness; justice, 

E. S. Wemple; constables, II. A. Nelson, A. 
T. L. Thompson. 

1008— President. J. B. Ludlow; trustees, 
W. H. Christianson, 11. C. Constable, W. C. 
Thoni; recorder, A. J. Ehrisman; treasurer, 

F. R. Bryden; assessor, S. Fagerness. 

Tlie present decade has been one of 
progress. From tlie little hamlet of 
early days it has grown into a prosper- 
ous village of considerable importance. 
The year 1903 was particularly prosper- 
perous. Two handsome brick blocks — 
buildings that would be a credit to any 
town of Nobles county — wore construct- 
ed, and several otlier structures were 
erected the same year. 

The population when the census of 

1905 was taken was 228. Of this num- 
ber 107 were foreign born, 93 were Min- 
nesota bom, and 32 were of foreign 
birth. Of the last Germany furni.slied 
9 ; Sweden, 6 ; Norway, 7 ; Canada, 4 ; 
Ireland, 1 ; Denmark, 4 ; Wales, 1. 


Outside of the large towns Rushmore 
lias the finest scliool building in Nobles 
county, and its schools are on a par 
with the building. Ten grades are main- 
tained, conducted by a corps of able 
teachers. There is a large enrollment, 
many children from the surrounding 
country being .=tudents of the Ttu.^limore 

One of the first institutions established 
in Hushmore was a public school. The 
town was settled by nien of culture, and 
one of their first considerations was a 
school. There were no unoccupied build- 
ings in the town in 1878, and the first 
school was lii'ld ill the waiting room of 
the depot. A. F. Horst, who was tlie 
station agent and lumber dealer, added 
ill liis duties by becoming the first teach- 
er. Tlie depot as a school room was 
soon Ml)andoned, and its place was taken 
by a little dwelling house. .\ district 
having been organized, the first school 
house of the town was completed in the 
fall of 1879 at a cost of $1,500. 

That building served for many years 
and was then piirrliased by a elnireh or- 
ganization. The demands of a growing 
])opulalinn resulted in the construction 
of the present handsome school edifice, 
in which the people of Rushmore take 
great pride. 


Rushmore is noted for its churches. 
Four organizations are maintained — • 




'., Lf.MJX AHO 
fOUH-7>, r ;- ' 



Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran Pres- 
byterian and German Lutheran. All 
have church edifices. 

Yearly all the first settlers of Eush- 
more were Methodists, and steps were 
early taken to bring about the estab- 
lishment of a religious society in the 
new town. For a time services were 
held in different buildings in the little 
village, but in the fall of 1879 a church 
edifice was erected. Eev. W. E. Means 
was chosen the first pastor, and the 
Methodist church of Eushmore has had 
an existence since that time. Those who 
were particularly active in founding the 
first church were S. M. Eushmore, A. F. 
Horst, E. L. Wemple and A. G. Seney. 
George I. Seney donated the lot at the 
head of Main street and furnished the 
material for the building: the congrega- 
tion donated the work and erected the 


The next Nobles county town we are 
to consider is Bigelow. With a popu- 
lation of 194 (census of IOO.t) it takes 
rank as the eighth town in size. It is 
located on the extreme southern boun- 
dary line of the county, and the state 
of Iowa adjoins tlie corporate limits. 
'Rie townsite is on section 31, Bigelow 
township. It is a station on tlie main 
line of the Omalia railroad, ten miles 
southwest from Wortliington. From 
portions of Ransom and Bigelow town- 
ships in Nobles county, and from quite 
a large territory in northern Osceola 
county, Iowa, comes the trade which sup- 
ports the town. Bigelow is a prosperous 

"One of the new arrivals at the little com- 
munity in Ransom township, whose knowledge 
of the new country was limited to the infor- 
mation fLirnished by his railroad map. declared 
his intention of going to Bigelow and passing 

looking village and is a good trading 
point. Nearly all lines of business are 

Bigelow was the third Nobles county 
town to come into existence. Although 
the location had been selected, the name 
Ijestowed, and it had been granted a 
place on the railroad map so early as 
the sites of Hersey and Wortliington (in 
1871), it was behind its sister towns 
in receiving inhabitants. The railroad 
had Ijeen constructed only so far as 
Worthington during 1S71, and it was 
not until the next spring that the rails 
were laid to the site of Bigelow. A 
little later came evidence of the begin- 
ning of a town. 

During the spring and summer of 
1872, when the colonists were flocking 
. to Nobles county by the hundreds, many 
settled upon the government and rail- 
road lands in Eansom and Bigelow town- 
ships, in close proximity to the future 
village. Bigelow then looked as large 
on the map as any other place, and 
some of those who came expected to 
find a town there, their knowledge hav- 
ing been gained solely from a study of 
the map. But until late in the summer 
of the year the site was occupied only 
by a tent, which furnished shelter to a 
construction crew.'^ 

The first building on the site was 
erected in 1872 and was tlie depot build- 
ing. S. 0. Morse, who now lives at 
Slayton and who has taken quite a 
prominent part in state politics, was in- 
stalled as the first agent. His duties as 
station agent were not great, and in the 
late summer he, in partnership with a 
man named Frothingham, opened a lit- 
tle grocery store in the depot, 

the night at a hotel. He was within sight 
of the tent that marked the location, and 
when a neighbor pointed out the "town" he 
was greatly surprised and decided to seek 
accommodations elsewhere. 



ing Bigelow's first business house. Mr. 
Frotliingliani did not remain long, but 
Jfr. Jforsc continued in tlie business 
several years. Later he also engaged in 
the flour and feed business in the new 
town. So far as I have been able to 
ascertain this was the only enterprise 
started in Bigelow in 1872.2° 

In 1873 the townsite was platted. T. 
]*. Gere surveyed the laud for the Sioux 
City & St. Paul Eailroad company, the 
dedication was made by Elias F. Drake, 
president of the company, September 24, 
1873, and the plat was filed in the of- 
fice of the register of deeds August 25. 
The townsite was named in honor of 
Charles H. Bigelow, who at the present 
time is the president of the St. Paul 
Fire and Marine Insurance company, of 
St. Paul. Two new stores were started 
in Bigelow the year the site was plat- 
ted. In April S. D. Tinnes moved to 
the new station and opened a general 
merchandise store, and the same season 
Jolin DcBoos and .Tolin Colvin started 
a hardware store. The partnership ex- 
isted only a short time, and after the 
dissolution Mr. DeBoos continued ilie 

James Cowin came lo the village in 
the summer of 1874, ami. in partner- 
ship with S. D. Tinnes, erected a ware- 
house, 20x40 feet, and engaged in the 
grain business. He also opened a lum- 
ber yard and sold fuel. A school house 
— the neatest in the county as the time 
— was erected in the summer, and thorn 
was an attendance of twenty-four stu- 
dents that fall. An historical atlas of 
ilinnesota, published in 1874, had this 
to say of Bigelow : 

Tliis is anothor railroad station, lying near 
the state lino, ten milos southwest of Worth- 
in^on. It is growing rapidly, and has an 

enterprising class of business men, among 
whom are hardware, hiniber and grain mer- 
chants, grocers, etc. Bigelow -is the center 
of a fertile region of beautiful rolling prai- 
rie, and will always have a lively business. 

There were a few new enterprises 
started during the latter part of the 
grasshopper period. E. S. Mills, who 
luiil located in the vicinity of tlie sta- 
tion in 1872, started a cheese factory. 
In March, 1876, James R. Jones moved 
to Bigelow and engaged in the mercan- 
tile business in the store building which 
had previously been occupied by S. D. 
Tinnes. A. V. Eandall came the same 
year from Philadelphia and started a 
blacksmith slinp. Times were anything 
but good during the perilous days of 
the late seventies and no advance was 
made during that period. The federal 
census of 1880 gave the village a popu- 
lation of only 28. 

During the next decade very little oc- 
curred that is worthy of being Tccorded. 
In 1885 a population of between 60 and 
70 persons was claimed, and we find that 
the business to^Ti then consisted of two 
general stores, blacksmith shop, ware- 
house, elevator and possibly one or 
two other small business enterprises. 
This was the condition up to 1892. 
On January 2.'). of that year. Charles 
L. Davidson, nf TTull. Tnwn. ]iurchased 
the Bigelow townsite and began to booj>i 
the town. Arrangements were made tn 
open a hank, found n newspaper and 
start a hotel. For several years there- 
after times were lively and Bigelow de- 
veloped inin quite a village. 

A population of about 150 was claimed 
in 1894, and that year was one of ad- 
vancement, despite the hard times. Ten 
new buildings were erected during the 
twelve-month. Again the next vear did 

""Bigelow begins to make a show of bust- fine trade and a prosperous future."— Western 
ncss houses, and like Hersey Is destined to a Advance, Aug. 31, 1872. 



Bigelow forge to tlic front, making many 
improvements. A new school house, 
clnircli, Iiotel, store building and several 
residences were added, and preparations 
were made for further additions the next 

The growth of Bigelow during the late 
nineties is shown by the census taken 
November 16, 1899, when 234 people 
were listed. Then it was the citizens 
believed the time had come for incor- 
poration, and at an election held Feb- 
ruary 13, 1900, by a vote of 37 to 6, 
it was decided to assume the responsi- 
bility of municipal government.^'^ The 
election to choose the village's first offi- 
cers was held March 14, 1900, and the 
machinery of the village government was 
started immediately after. 

Those who have held elective office 
under the village government and the 
years of their election are as follows: 

1900— President, W. C. Wyatt; trustees, 
E. I. Tripp. H. J. Rnprecht, J. A. Fialk.i; 
recorder. William Waterman; treasurer, P. 
C. Pratt; justices, R. H. Wicks. 0. M. Davis; 
constables. .Tohn Brink. L. A. White. 

1001— President, R. H. Wicks: tnistees, .T. 
A. Fialkfl. C. F. Modisett, C. A. Bacon; re- 
corder, William Waterman; treasurer, P. C. 
Pratt; justice, Charles Wilson; constable, 
r. N. Wood. 

1902— President, W. C. Wvatt; trustees, S. 
Wesby, H. J. Ruprecht, D. T. Cain; recorder, 
.T. A. Fialka; treasurer, P. C. Pratt; justices, 
P. L. Wvatt, E. H. Brown. 

1903 — President. .J. A. Fialka : trustees, C. 
W. Foote, S. Wesbv, C. F. Modisett; record- 
er, E. F. Glower; treasurer, .J. E. Salstrom; 
justice, E. F. Glower. 

• 1904— President, J. A. Fialkn ; trustees, G. 
W. Foote, S. Wesby, C. F. Modisett; recorder. 
E. F. Glower; treasurer, J. E. Salstrom; jus- 
tice, E. F. Glower. 

190.5 — ^President, .J. A. Fialka; trustees, J. 
P. Mitters, E. H. Brown, S. Wesby; recorder, 

E. F. Glower; treasurer, .J. E. Salstrom. 
190G— President. J. A. Fialka; trustees, 

George Foote, S. Wesby, Owen Hand; record- 

^Those who signed the petititon asking for 
incorporation were W. C. Wv.itt. R. H. Wicks. 
P. C. Pratt, H. J. Ruprecht, B. I. Tripp. C. 

F. Modisett, C. W. Hall, J. H. Cass. William 
Waterman. A. J. Strommer, Frank N. Wood, 
Herman J. Lester, John Steenback, P. L. 
Wyatt, J. K. Shaw, Ed. Pederson, J. A. 

er, E. F. Glower; treasurer, J. E. Salstrom. 

1907 — President, J. E. Salstrom; trustees, 
Charles E. Yates, Nels M. Sorem, W. C. 
Wyatt; recorder, C. F. Modisett; treasurer, 
A. E. Yeske. 

1908 — President, J. E. Salstrom; trustees, 
H. J. Ruprecht, Charles E. Yates, Nels M. 
Sorem; recorder, G. F. Modisett; treasurer, 

A. E. Yeske; assessor, Dick Reynolds; jus- 
tice, Pat Condon; constable, F. L. Lane. 

The first census after the incorpor- 
ation of Bigelow was taken in 1905, 
when there were 194 people living in the 
town. Sixty of these were born in 
^Minnesota, 106 in other parts of the 
United States, and 28 were born in for- 
eign climes. Of the foreign born six 
came from Germany, two from Sweden, 
ten from Norway, two from Canada, 
three from Ireland, four from England, 
and one from Wales. 

Bigelow's first church was the Metho- 
dist, organized early in January, 1874, 
The following certificate of organization, 
filed in the office of the register of deeds 
January 9, 1874, tells of the event: 

This is to certify that G. R. Hollenback, 
Horace Clemens. W. M. Bear, John DeBoos 
and S. 0. Morse and their successors in of- 
fice were constituted a board of trustees to 
be known imder the title and name of the 
Bii^elow Methodist Church, located at Bige- 
low, county of Nobles, and state of Min- 
nesota, in accordance with the several stat- 
utes of said state (See, 36) on religious 
societies and in compliance with the disci- 
pline of said church, paragraphs 500 to .504, 
edition of 1872. Done at quiirterly con- 
ference held in the town of Bigelow, in said 
county and state. .Januarv 4, 1874. 

HARVEY WEBB, Presiding Elder, 
V WILLIAM M. BEAR, Secretary. 

Bigelow Camp No. 4431, M. W. A., 
was instituted December 23, 1896, with 
the following charter members : Iver 
-Anderson, David C. Bear, John E. 
Shore, Edgar H. Brown, Charles C. 
Erwin, Charles Johnson, Lewis John- 

Fialka. A. P. Anderson, Monroe Beard, E. 

B. Forsyth. V. B. Smead. David C. Bear, John 
Brink. W. Schroeder. J. H. Harrington, C. M. 
Davis. Edward B. Blal<ev. F. E. Walker. Wil- 
liam Tahn. F. H. Millard, C. T. Millard, B. 
B. Michael, W. W. Runger and B. F. Cong- 


258 1 1 IS Till; V (\V XORLES COUNTY. 

son, Fred .S. Krcmpien, F. 11. \V. Knig- 11. Siott, Martin J. Scott, A. J. Stroiu- 

er, Henry W. Shore, Arthur G. \V. Lin- mer, Jlichael Sorem, Eobert H. Wicks, 

ley, Osval E. Madison, .Tolin PfcfTerlc, Willis C. Wyatt. The lodge was incor- 

^lartin J. Scott, Jolin K. Scott, Jr., A. poratcd June 30, 1902. 




Maiiv of the towns of Nobles county 
have their location just within the coun- 
t3''s boundary lines, and as a result the 
territory from which they draw trade is 
extended on all four sides beyond the 
county's confines. But in no case did 
any town come nearer getting outside 
the county than did Dundee, which is in 
the extreme northeastern comer, the 
boundary lines of Murray and Jackson 
counties defining the town's corporate 
limits on two sides. Dundee, located on 
section one, Graham Lakes township, is 
a station on the Pipestone branch of the 
Omaha railroad and is eight miles north- 
west from Heron Lake. Prom its old 
time rival, Kinbrae, which is on the 
Milwaukee road, it is only a mile and a 
half. The town had a population of 
182 in 1905. All lines of business us- 
ually represented in villages of the size 
are to be found, including a bank, de- 
partment store, hardware store, hotel, 
lumber yard, elevators, meat market, 
blacksmith shop, livery barn, saloons, 
barber shop, etc. 

*To the original plat have been added the 
following additions: 

School — Surveyed for F. D. Lindquist and 
H. A. Scherlie; dedicated September 5. isns. 

Lindqnist's Subdivision — Surveyed for F. D. 
Lindquist. B. N. Bodelson and H. A. Scherlie: 
dedicated June 14, 1898; filed June 20, 1898. 

It was during the summer of 1879 
that the land upon which Dundee was 
afterwards built was selected as a site 
for a town. The Sioux City & St. Paul 
Railroad company was then building 
wliat was at the time known as the 
Heron Lake & Black Hills railroad, and 
its first station out from the eastern 
terminus was located on that part of 
the road which ran through the north- 
eastern corner of Nobles county. War- 
ren was the name first applied to the 
.station, given in honor of the immortal 
.Joseph Warren, who fell at the battle of 
Bunker Hill. Early in August the rail- 
road company began the erection of a 
depot, and on the thirteenth of that 
month surveyors laid out the town. 

While the town was surveyed in 1879 
the earliest plat of record in the office 
of the register of deeds is dated 1891. 
It was surveyed by B. W. Woolstencroft 
for F. D. Lindquist and H. A. Scherlie, 
was dedicated July 31, 1891, and filed 
August 3.^ 

Great rivalry existed between the Sioux 
City & St. Paul and the Southern Min- 
nesota railroads at the time of the build- 

Johnson's Subdivision — Surveyed September 
21. 1S9S. for John Johnson: dedicated Oct. 22, 
1S9S: filed Oct. 25. 1898. 

Park— Surveyed Oct. 23 and 24. 1899. for 
H, A. Scherlie; dedicated Sept. 12, 1900: filed 
Dec. 31. 1904. 




iiig of tlioir respective lines, as has been 
related in a previous chapter, and each 
corporation determined to build the bet- 
ter town in northeastern Nobles county, 
the Southern Minnesota founding Airlie 
(Kiiibrae) and the Sioux City & St. Paul 
the station of Warren." The depot at 
the latter place was ooniiiloted about 
the first of September, and tlje company 
at once began the erection of a cottage, 
which was completed a little later.^ (J. 
Foils moved to the station and became 
the first agent. A postofTice was estab- 
lished about the first of November, of 
which Mr. Foils became the postmaster. 
The office was named Dundee, after the 
city in Scotland, and tlicrrafter the jilace 
was known by that name. Preparations 
were made for the establishment of a 
few lines of business. The station agent 
became a lumber dealer, and a store 
building was erected, which was ex- 
pected soon to be occupied. 

In the spring of 1880 F. D. Lindquist 
and H. A. Scherlio opened a store. Only 
a few other business houses were es- 
tablished in the little town in the early 
days, and its growth for many years was 
very slow. Until the arrival of the pros- 
perous times of the middle nineties Dun- 
dee was only a little trading point, rep- 
resented by a very few lines of business. 
'J'hen came the revival of business all 
over the country and (lie appreciation of 
Nobles county land values, and Dundee, 

"■Wnrron will no doubt be a rival of Air- 
lie. 118 they are but one and one-third miles 
from each other, but with the advanlaKc of 
neenery. etc.. Aiitllfe will eerl.Tlnlv outstrip 
her In the race. Hope they will both pros- 
ner."~H. W. Woolsteneroft In Worthlngton 
Advnnee, AuB. 21, 1879. 

'"The railroad comp.Tny has Just completed 
a better depot and eottat;c at this point 
there Is on tho main line between St. I'aul 
«nd Sioux City"— CorreHpondeiit to Worlhlnt;- 
ton Adviinee. Nov. 6, 1S7II. 

'The petitioners were F. D. Lliidiiulst. J, 
H. Johnson, John B. Moore, George B. Miller, 

in common with all the towns of Nobles 
county, took a new lease of life. 

By the first of the year 1898 tlie town 
had made such progress that incorpora- 
tion was deemed advisable. A census 
taken December 23, 1897, gave the vil- 
lage a population of 187. The citizens 
of Dund<'e then petitioned for the in- 
corporation of 1,244 acres of land,^ and 
on .Taiiiiary 4, 1898, the board of county 
(■iiiumissioncrs granted the petition and 
named February 15 as the date for hold- 
ing a special election to vote on the 
question. W. A. Fields, G. B. Miller 
and P. H. Eandall were named inspec- 
tors. By a vote of 35 to 2 the elector? 
decided to inc'orporate, and on ^larch 8 
another special election, presided over 
by C. W. Aldricli and P. U. Randall as 
judges and C. I'. Swaiismi as clerk, was 
held, when the first village officers were 
chosen. The council met for the first 
time Marcli 11, 1898. 

The results of the several village elec- 
tions since incorporation are as follows: 

1808 -Pre.sident. F. D. l.inil<|; trustees. 
A. R. Sehmidt. R. F. I.aytlic, K. P. Fricke: 
recorder, C. P. Swansoii; treasiuer, B. N. 
Bodelson; justices, .J. H. .lohn.son, C. B. Mil- 
ler; coiir^tables, P. H. Randal!, V.. II. Sam 

18!)!)— President, F. I), Linil(|uist ; trustees, 
K. F. Fricke, A. R. Selimidt, Sipnan Rii|i|i; 
recorclei-, C. P. Kwanson; (leasurer, B. N. 
Bodelson; justice. P. B. Herman; constable, 
E. .J. Sangreen. 

l!)f)0 -Piesident, G. B. Miller; trustees, K. 
S. Humble, A. R. Selimidt, R. 0. Morrison; 
recorder. P. B. lliTinnn; treasurer. B. X. 

Charles Trumbull. W. S. Miller, O.- E. Ran- 
dall, J. D. rfniwand. \V. P. Jones. C. W. 
Aldrlch. E. N. Soherlie. H. N. Bodelson. J. 
F. Burri.s. H. V. Gallasher, W. H. land.iiiist. 
W. W. Kane. F. A. Ross. A. R. Schmidt. 
Henry n. Johns. S. Rupp. Swan Eriokson. R. 
H. Samniiins. \V. (i. Clark. R. F. T.avthe, 
r.ottliel> W.-ihl. O. A. Nesset. W. R. Fields. 
M. J. Rstey, C. T,. Bork, C. S. Fuller, J. 
Wahl. O. P. Swaiison, R. 7 T. Sammons. A. 
HiiRlund, H. C. Moshka. E. S. Humble. Elias 
Swensoii. A. P. Smlthburs. I-. D. Randajl. P. 
H. Randall. C. A. Oallagher. C. M. Thomas. 
J. W. Sehield, Fred W. Lclstico and Oscar 




Bodelson; assessor, W. J. Drake; justice, 
G. B. Miller; constable, W. P. Jones. 

1901— President, G. B. Miller; trustees, J. 
H. Johnson, Theodore Hawkins, J. H. Kane; 
recorder, P. B. Herman; treasurer, F. D. 
Lindquist; assessor, W. J. Drake; justice, P. 

B. liernian; constable, H. A. Crosby. 
1902— President, V. I. Miller; trustees, R. 

O. Morrison, Theoilore Hawkins, A. R. 
Schmidt; recorder, Charles Hamstreet; treas- 
urer, J. H. Johnson; assessor, W. P. Jones; 
justices, Charles Hamstreet, O. E. Randall; 
constable, \V. P. Jones. 

190S— President, B. N. Bodelson; trustees, 

F. A. Pasco, A. R. Schmidt, S. H. Brown; 
recorder, E. S. Humble; treasurer, J. H. 
Johnson; assessor, Andrew Reuse; juslIccs, 

C. M. Atwood, James McDonald; constables, 
\v'. P. Jones, 11. A. Crosby. 

1904— President, B. N. Bodelson; trustees, 
A. R. Schmidt, Haken Johnson, Martin 
Leutchman; recorder, C. M. Atwood; treas- 
urer, J. H. Johnson; assessor, Andrew Reuse; 
jiistice, N. A. Dexter; constables, Andrew 
lleuse, W. N. Johnson. 

190,') — President, William Guthier; trustees, 
Theodore Hawkins, H. A. Crosby, F. J. 
Knott; recorder, C. M. Atwood; treasurer, 
J. H. Johnson; justice, E. H. Sammons; 
constable, Andrew Reuse. 

190U — President, F. D. Lindquist; trustees, 
A. R. Schmidt, O. H. Johnson, S. H. Nelson; 
recorder, C. M. Atwood; treasurer, J. H. 
Johnson; justice, Elmer Johnson; constable, 

G. H. Johnson. 

1907 — President, F. D. Lindquist; trustees, 
S. H. Nelson, A. R. Schmidt, Ole Johnson; 
recorder, C. M. Atwood; treasurer, J. H. 
•lohnson; justice, Elmer Johnson; constable, 
O. H. Johnson. 

1908 — President, F. D. Lindquist; trustees, 
A. R. Schmidt, Ole Johnson, George Torkel- 
son; recorder, C. M. Atwood; treasurer, J. 
H. Johnson; assessor, T. B. Maguire; jus- 
tices, C. S. Jones, M. A. Arens; constable, A. 

There were prosperous years following 
the beginning of municipal life, and in 
1S)00 the federal census showed a popu- 
lation of 217, giving Dundee sixth place 
among Nobles county towns. Then fol- 
lowed the period when many of the pre- 
cincts showed a decrease in population, 
and in 1905 the census figure was 182. 
One hundred four of these were bom in 
Minnesota, 36 in other parts of tlie 
United States, and 42 in foreign coun- 
tries. Of the foreign born Germany fur- 
nished 8; Sweden, 18; Norway, 3; Ire- 
land, 1; Denmark, 2; England, 2; Scot- 

land, 2 ; Austria, 4 ; other countries, 2. 

Dundee maintains one of the best 
schools to be found in the smaller vil- 
lages of the county, presided over by 
Prof. C. S. Jones. The town supports 
several church organizations, all of which 
are in a prosperous condition. 


Of Nobles county's eleven incorporated 
villages Lismore is the youngest. It is 
a town of 181 inhabitants, located on the 
Rock Island railroad and on section one, 
of Lismore township. Portions of Leota, 
Willmont, Larkin and Lismore townships 
comprise its trade territory, which, in 
my judgment, is the finest and most 
prosperous part of Nobles county, ex- 
cepting that surrounding the village of 
Ellsworth. The village itself is pros- 
perous and enjoys an excellent trade. It 
is built mostly of wood, but the build- 
ings are all permanent and substantial 

Lismore was founded as a direct re- 
sult of the building of the Burlington 
railroad, now operated as the Rock Is- 
land, through northwestern Nobles coun- 
ty, and came into existence during the 
summer of 1900. The road had been 
constructed a part of the distance it now 
covers during the fall and winter of 
1899 and the towns of Reading and Wil- 
mont, on tlie same railroad, had been 
founded. The work of laying the track 
was again taken ujj in the spring of 
1900, and the road reached the site of 
the present town of Lismore at three 
o'clock on Saturday afternoon, June 9. 
Immediately thereafter was commenced 
the building of the town. 

The story of the selection of the site 
of Lismore is an interesting one. To 
Emil Graf and Charles RieckofF, more 



than any others, belong the credit for 
the existence of the town. When Thomas 
Brown, the Uurliugtou rigiit-of-way man, 
was in the vicinity purchasing lauds for 
the road's right-of-way and locating his 
towusites he stopped one night at tlie 
farm home of Emil Graf, situated some 
two or three miles northeast of the fu- 
ture town of Lismore. The settlers of 
the vicinity, who for so many years had 
been such a long ways from market, 
were anxious to liave a town buildod 
nearby. So they inquired from Mr. 
Brown the company's intentions relative 
to the location of townsites on the new 
road. That official stated that his in- 
structions were to locate only one town 
between Wilmont and the junction of 
the road. Such a tieeision meant that 
the proposed town would he built some 
three miles further west. 

But the surveyors, who were then in 
the field, were having trouble running 
their lines and getting the grade they 
wanted. By making a detour to the 
south it was found that a good grade 
could be secured, although the mileage 
would be increased. This course was 
finally selected, and the lengthening oi 
the road mtide possible the location of 
two townsites. Mr. Brown decided that 
one site could be selected in the vicin- 
ity, and Messrs. Graf and EieckofE sug- 
gested the southwest quarter of section 
1, Lismore township, as a site. Mr. 
Brown agreed to locate the town there 
if the land could be bought for $30 [kt 
acre, and he, accoMij)aniod by the two 

''•The new town on the BuillnKton north of 
Adrian ha.s at last been dclhiltcly looatcil on 
the .'^onthWf'St (jviarter of sootlon 1. I^ismoiH* 
township. Thl.s week T. H. Hrown. the aeent 
of the company, olosfd thc^ deal for this 
land, and has located the depot. The site for 
the new town will be surveyed at once."— 
Nobles County Democrat, March 30, 1900. 

"Five additions have been platted since the 
orlKlnal site was surveyed, as follows: 

First — Surveyed for Thomas H. Brown; ded- 

gentlemen who were interesting them- 
selves in the matter, went to see Clar- 
ence Swanman, the owner. That gentle- 
man promptly demanded $35 per acre 
for the quarter. The Burlington agent 
refused to consider the purchase at that 
price, and negotiations ceased. 

Messrs. Graf and Eieckoff were de- 
termined to have the new town in the 
vicinity, and to raise money for the ex- 
tra $800 demanded they scoured the 
country for subscriptions to a fund. 
Tiiey were successful in raising the 
money, and under an agreement with 
Mr. Brown turned the cash over to that 
gentleman when the Lismore depot was 
completed. The property liad been 
bought by Jlr. Brown in the latter part 
of March. '^ The question of a name for 
the village then arose. Several names 
wove suggested, among others that of 
Liraf, in honor of the pioneer settler 
of the vicinity. Mr. Graf would not con- 
sent to be thus honored, and the name 
Lismore was finally chosen by Mr. 
Brown, named after the township. The 
township bad been named after a town 
in Ireland. 

County Surveyor ililton S. Sniilli 
surveyed the townsite April 23, 24 and 
25, 1900; the dedication was made July 
23 ; the papers were filed in the office 
of the register of deeds July 25." After 
the coming of the railroad in .Iiitio it 
was not long before the building of the 
town was under way, and in July the 
lirst business houses were opened. 

The St. Croix Lumber coiniinny was 

ii-atcd July 23. l!l"l: lilfd July 2:1, 1:mi1. 

Graves' — Surveyed for Thoma.s H. Brown; 
iledlcated June 7, U)02: Tiled June 14. 1902. 

Graves' Second — Surveyed for Thomas H. 
Brown; dedicated Nov. 22, 1902; filed Nov. 
20. 1902. 

Thompson'."! — Surveyed for Albert A. Thomp- 
son; dedicated May 27, 1903; filed May 27, 

Graves' South Side — Surveyed for Mark 
Graves; dedicated April 16, 1902; filed April 
in, 1906. 






the first on the site. Lumber had been 
liauled from Wihiiont and piled on the 
ground. A sign on the same gave forth 
tlie information that it was a luiuber 
yard. This enterprise was immediately 
followed by others, and before the close 
of the year quite a little town had taken 
its place on the prairie. James Beacom 
erected the first building in the town — 
now the Leader office — and opened a 
saloon. The second building completed 
was the 0. B. Bratager store building, 
and that gentleman opened his store on 
July (j. James Montgomery built a 
small elevator and a little dwelling. 
William Finley was installed as manager 
of the elevator and occupied the house. 
Mr. Montgomery also engaged in the 
lumber business. James IS. llamage 
opened a lumber yard and hardware 
store, which were under the management 
of Arch Priest. The Bank of Lismore 
opened its doors on September 1, its 
temporary home being in a lumber yard. 
Three months later the bank was in- 
corporated as the State Bank of Lis- 
more. Other business enterprises estab- 
lislicd in 1900 were a livery barn by 
Anton Halverson, a butcher shop and 
restaurant by Joseph Stadter, and a 
blacksmith shop by Andrew Peters. 

A number of residences were also 
erected during the year, and all the 
buildings of the new town were of a 
permanent character. The Lismore post- 
office was established September 23 with 
0. B. Bratager as postmaster, and that 
gentleman has since had charge of the 

'Those who petitioned for incorporation were 
C. N. Sawver. Emil Graf. George A. Eychaner. 
Oscar C. Olson, H. J. Schneider, Henry Hol- 
ton. William Finley. O, B. Bratager, S. A. 
Crosley, F. G. McVener. H. J. Kundel. F. J. 
Forltenhfock. Ludwig Johnson. John G. Van 
Rossum. Dirk D. Roelofs. John D. Roelofs, 
Charles Wvnia, A. C. Graf. Jacob Hendel, Kick 
Wester F'red Zeh, George Pope, John Duel, 

During 1901 there was a resumption 

of building operations in Lismore, and 

the town received many additions to its 

business life. A school house, churches 

and several fine residences were built 

during the year. On December 6, 1901, 

the Lismore Leader said: 

Li.smore, for a place only a little over one 
year old, has made good and substantial 
growth. . . . Lismore has one bank, two 
general merchants, one furniture store, two 
saloons, two pool rooms, two lumber yards, 
three elevators, four coal dealers, one hotel, 
one hardware store, two machinery firms, 
one blacksmith shop, one livery stable, one 
dray line and one newspaper. 

A census taken April 10, 1903, show- 
ed the new village to have a population 
of 186. After 1901 the growth of Lis- 
more was slow. That year it reached a 
size proportionate to the trade of the 
surrounding country. While there has 
not been increase in population, each 
year has witnessed improvement in Lis- 
more, and there is yearly increase in 
the amount of business done. 

Lismore was incorporated in the spring 
of 1903.' ■ Emil Graf. Jacob Hendel 
and Henry Bust were the inspectors of 
the first election, which was held May 
27'. Of 'the thirty-seven votes cast at 
that time, twenty-three were in favor of 
incorporation and fourteen were opposed. 
The town's first officers were chosen 
June 17. and that same evening the 
council met and set in motion the ma- 
chinery of mtmicipal government. 

Following is a list of those who have 
been elected to office during Lismore's 
political history:* 

1902— President, Emil Graf; trustees, 0. 
B. Bratager, Frank Hennekes, John Roelofs; 

M Johnson, Theodore Walenting, C. J. 
Hanning H. C, French, Gerhart Kirkeby, A. 
T Halverson, PhiUp Hendel, Will Wallace, F. 
Tiennekes, Hans Erickson and Albert Halver- 

•Nearly all the elections have been hotly 
contested affairs, and the vote between tho 
two tickets has often been close. 



recorder, C. N. Sawyer; treasurer, F. J. 
Korkciibrock ; jusUecs, R. W. Frankj Wil- 
liam Kiiilev; constiiljles, Kred AlcVenes, Jolm 

1903 — l>resideiit, Kiiiil Uriif; trustees, 0. 
b. lirutAger, Krcd ilcVciies, M. Pleiiij); re- 
corder, C X. Sawyer; treasurer, K. J. Fork- 
enbrock; uosessor, F. W. Vaugliiiii; justice, 
A. I'eters; constable, \V. IJuweiihoegger; 
street euniniisnioiier, Julin Duel. 

1904 — I'residoiit, Eiiiil Uraf; trustees. At 
I'lemiJ, William Teutler, A. N. Discli; record-. 
er, K. W. Frank; treasurer, F. J. Forkeu- 
brock; assessor, William Finley; justices, 
William Finley, C. E. Uargrow; constables, 
W. JJuwonlioegger, D. Koelofs. 

lyo.">— Pre-iident, Emil Graf; trustees, Wil- 
liam Tentlcr, J. A. (Jreig, M. Plemp; recorder, 
W. V. Uliii; treasurer, John Roelofs; as- 
sessor, William Jliggins; justices, C. A. Man- 
ning, Fred McVenes; constables, George Greig, 
Fred .McVenes. 

l!IU(j — President, William Tcntler;' trustees 
A. .1. (Jreig, .loliii (jlovka, M. Plcmp; record- 
er, W. Jl. llronek; treasurer, John Koelofs; 
assessor, William lliggins; justices, L. A. 
Uickman, O. 15. Bratager; constables, Joe 
Budde, Henry Clovka. 

1907 — President, William Tentler; trustees, 
Al. Greig, J. J. Bach, h. A. Dickman; re- 
corder, Emil Graf; treasurer, Joliu Koelofs; 
assessor, William lliggins; justices, J. E. 
West, Adulph Miller; constables, Nic Bach, 
William lliggins. 

1U0.S — President, William Tentler; trustees, 
J. J. Bach, L. A. Dickman, Al. Greig; re- 
corder, Nic Barron; treasurer, JI. Plenip; 
assessor, William lliggins; justice, George 
Cutler; constable, Jacob Hofer. 

Lisniore's population, according to the 
1905 census, was 181, of which 83 were 
native born, 71 Minnesota born, and 27 
foreign born. Of the last named the 
countries of birth were Germany, 14; 
Norway, 7; Ireland, 1; England, 1; 
other countries, 4. The town has a 
good school and a number of church 


Although one of the oldest, Kinljrae 
is the smallest of Nobles county's in- 
corporated villages. One hundred eleven 
[leoplo had their homes there when the 

last census was taken. It is located on 
section 11, Graham Lakes township, on 
the Milwaukee railroad, and is only a 
mile and a half from Dundee, its rival 
town on the Pipestone branch of the 
Omaha road. The business town con- 
sists of a few stores, elevators and shops, 
which draw their trade from the im- 
mediate country surrounding. 

Time was when Kinbrae was a larger 
and much more prosperous village than 
it now is. For years it lu-ld its own 
with the rival town of Dundee, and for 
a time was the better village of the two. 
All lines of business flourished and a 
big trade was catered to. But Dundee 
won out in the race for supremacy in 
northeastern Nobles county. While there 
has been a retrogression since the boom 
days of the nineties, Kinbrae still holds 
its place as a little trading point, and 
time may bring back its former prosper- 
ous days. The jealous rivalry of two 
railroad corporations was responsible for 
the founding of two towns so close to- 
gether, and the towns have been the suf- 
ferers ever since. 

When the line of the Southern .Min- 
nesota railroad (now the Milwaukee) 
was definitely located in the spring of 
1879, speculation was rife as to the lo- 
cation of the towns tliiif would be built 
oia it. A correspondent writing to the 
Worthington Advance of May 8, 1879, 
gives us the first information of the se- 
lection of the site on Clear lake for one 
of the towns. "Our Graham Lakes cor- 
respondent," says the Advance of that 
date, "gives further information concern- 
ing the road. The line passes about 
one-half mile north of flast Graham 
lake and one-fourth mile nordi of Cres- 
wcll. 'i'he conlvart for gr.-idini,' to Clear 

•Thcro were three camildates for president Bratager were tiid. and the former 
of the council. William Tentler and O. B. chosen by lot. 



lake has been let, and the contract to 
Seven-Mile lake will be let in a few 
days. We learn that the company design 
building up quite a town at Clear lake, 
and another at the south end of Heron 

Nothing further is learned of the pro- 
posed town on Clear lake from the pub- 
lic prints until late in the sumitier. 
Then it is learned that a Scotch com- 
pany has been formed for the purpose 
of founding the town, which is to be 
called Airlie. A company which has 
purchased a tract of land in the vicin- 
ity, it is announced, will make many 
improvements and start the town with a 
heavy expenditure of money. B. W. 
Woolstencroft, who resided there at the 
time, wrote of the current events early 
in September as follows: 

Our town [Graham Lakes] has the ad- 
vantage of two railroads now and two 
railroad towns, viz: Airlie and Warren. 

"Airlie" (named for the Right Honorable, 
the earl of Airlie, K. T., president of the 
Dundee Land and Improvement company, N. 
B., owner of the Clear lake townsite, in- 
closing with its annexed farm 400 acres of 
land) is .situated on the southwest bank of 
Clear lake, one of the most beautiful sheets 
of water in Jlinnesota. Mr. Easton in- 
formed us that the company intended to 
build a $10,000 steam elevator, a three story 
hotel, and that $15,000 was placed at his 
disposal for the above purpose, together 
with the improvements of streets, planting 
trees, etc. Plowing for tree planting has al- 
ready begun. 

On Friday the 29th a number of gentlemen 
and their ladies came up on the train to 
view the place and were decidedly pleased 
with the situation. .\mong those present 
we will mention John Cusson, of Glenallen, 
Virginia; Prof. S. W. .Tohnson, wife and 
daughter, Yale colege, Hartford, Connecti- 
cut; H. M. Blaisdell and wife, P. Walarton 
and wife, .T. M. Farrar, of Fairmont; J. C, 

""Airlie. This flourishmg-. rapidly growing 
town on the Southern Minnesota railroad, sit- 
uated t)n section It. Graham Lakes, only one 
and one-half miles from Dundee, is to that 
place what Minneapolis is to St. Paul. The 
numerous and substantial improvements that 
are in course of construction here are at- 
tracting the attention of business men all 
over the country. Its location is one of un- 
usual beauty, being on the high rolling banks 
of charming Clear lake." — Correspondent 
Worthlngton Advance, Nov. 6, 1879. 

Eastun and wife, L. F. Easton, of Lanes- 


The Dundee Improvement company 
was the name of the corporation which 
contemplated doing so much to start 
the towTi of Airlie. During September 
and October the company started a num- 
ber of improvements, and a few private 
enterprises were launched. The large 
steam elevator, with a capacity of 15,000 
bushels, was completed in November. 
Before the close of the year a hotel 
building had been erected by the com- 
pany and a two story store building, 
22x50 feet, had been put up by the same 
people. John Paul, of LaCrosse, Wis., 
opened a lumber yard, which was under 
the management of Ole Dalil, and E. 
B. HoUister opened a drug store.'" 

While Airlie had been the name first 
selected for the site, when the townsite 
was surveyed during the month of De- 
cember, 1879, it was as DeForest, and 
that became also the name of the rail- 
road station. W. G. Keller surveyed the 
DeForest townsite for John Paton, John 
B. Dumont, William Lowson and Wil- 
liam Mackenzie. The site was dedicated 
April G, 1880," and the instrument was 
filed May 31.'= 

A petition for the establishment of a 
postofPice had been sent in to tlie au- 
thorities at an early date, with the re- 
quest that it be named Airlie, and when 
the postoflice was granted early in 1880 
with Nat Smith as postmaster, that was 
its name. The name was changed to 
DeForest to correspond with the name 
of the townsite and station, in the lat- 

"The acknowledgment of the dedication 
was made by Messrs. Paton and Dumont be- 
fore J. C. French, a notary public of New 
York. Messrs. Lowson and Mackenzie made 
acknowledgment before Matthew McUougall. 
consul of the United States at Dundee. Scot- 

"South addition to DeForest townsite was 
surveyed by B. W. ' Woolstencroft for John 
Paton, William Lowson and William Macken- 
zie; was dedicated July 31, 1888; and was 
filed August 20, 1888, 



ter part vi Jamian-, IfSS'-'. While tlieiu 
hud bei'U a few futerprises started in 
tlie little town of Airlie, or DeForest, 
during 18T9 and early in 1880, there 
had been no rush to the new town, and 
the federal census of 1880 (June 1) 
showed a population of only 19. A de- 
pot was put up in the fall of that year 
and a young man named Isal was in- 
stalled as agent. 

So we find that during tiie first few 
years of its existence DeForest was a 
very small hamlet. What tnwii there 
was came near being wiped out by a 
lire on April 20, 1883, at which time the 
large elevator, together with its contents, 
was destroyed. Only by the greatest ef- 
fort on the part of the citizens was tlio 
depot saved. In .Vugust, 1883, the name 
of the DeForest station was changed to 
Kinbrae. For a time thereafter flio 
postofTice and townsite were known un- 
der the old name, l)ut Inter these were 

The Scotch coiiipiuiy lliat I'oiiiiiK'd 
Kinbrae soon ceased it? lal)or? in tlio 
little town, and the townsite passed itilo 
the hands of Hanson & Graeger, of (!lii- 
cago. During the eighties not much 
progress was made in Kinbrae, althougli 
a few business enterprises were started 
during that decade. When the Kinbrae 
Herald was issued for the (irst time nn 
September 20, 18!)-l, its editor claimed 
a po])ulation of ITiO for the town. There 

""There are a hnlf dt)zen letters at the 
WorthlriBton iiostoffloi- written from as many 
different pljices. addressed to Klrnljre.a and 
Kimbar. Nohles eoiinty. Charles I*ard<>e in- 
formB us that there Is no sueh postoffiee in 
the fnlted StaU's. ]low these letters eoiild 
(;ome from so many widely separated points. 
Home from men and some from womi-n, and 
all be addressed to KImhri'a or Kiinliar. this 
county. Is one of the mysteries. 'Suthln's 
Koln' to happen.' " — Worthlngton Advance, Aug. 
16, 1883. 

**We last week noticed the fact that there 
were a numlii'r of h'tters at the Worthlngton 
poHtftfflee .'iddressed to KImbrae. Nobk-s eomt- 
I.V. and that there was no such postofflee in 
the county. We have since had the mystery 
explained. 'I'he Milwaukee railroad company 
has changed the name of DeFoiest station to 

were tlien the following industries: Two 
general stores, one hardware store, one 
lumber yard, one blacksmith shop, one 
stock buyer, two grain elevators, one 
hotel, a po.-^tofl'ice, depot, newspaper, mil- 
linery store, Presbyterian church and a 


J 11 isy,-) W. A'. Jiickiey and W. E. 
I''letcher purchased the townsite and 
made preparations to boom the Town, 
Mild Kinbrae advanced witli rapid strides. 
The.-^e gentlemen employed M. S. Smith 
to resurvey the townsite in May, 181)C. 
The site was dedicated Dec. 23, 1896, 
and the plat was filed Jan. 4, 1897.'* 
lliiililing inijirovements during 189(5 
ainoiiiited to .$13,000. Among the new 
enterjtrises started were a bank, cream- 
ery, elevator, stores, and a Methodist 
church. A census taken December 7, 
1S95, gave the town a population of 178, 
and during the following year Kinbrae 
attained the height of its prosperity. 

.\ petition asking the board of county 
eoMiiiiissioiiers to provide for the incor- 
poration of the village of DeForest as 
lilalied and recorded in the office of the 
register of deeds, containing G-10 acres, 
\\as jiresented ; also a request that the 
name of the corporation should be Ban- 
brae was made.'"' The board took the 
retiiiireil action early in the year and 
iiained February IT, 189(), as the date 
for holding an election to decide the 
question. The election was held at Jack- 

Klnbrea, but the name of the town and post- 
office remains the same." — Worthlngton Ad- 
vance, Aug. 23, 1S83. 

"A corrected plat was surveyed by Mr. 
Smith for the village of Kinbrae and was 
dedicated In 1903. 

^■'''rbe petitioners were A. K. Holmberg, Ole 
Anderson. Nels Holm, N. W. Nelson, Ole 
r.uft, Charles Hamstreet, Bin'gess Jones, Jo- 
seph Hendy, K. C. Jackson. Fred L. Day, E. 
Jeffreys, T. II. Cole, Jan Janda, I.. T. Dow, 
T. K. Joubert. Solomon Johnson. F. Segar, 
'r. K. Cole, H. Poston. J. A. Salomonson, P. 
J. Fredrlekson, S. Heldln, Albert Suess, Olof 
Nllsou, K. L. Cochran, T. J. Larkin, F. F. 
Winkler, C. M. Thomas, F. F. Richards, E. 
If. .Mbright, H. Erie, James Hause, L. F, 
Miller, lO. J. Clark and Joseph Stone. 



son's hall and was presided over by T. E. 
Cole, Charles Hainstrcet and Nels Holm. 
Thirty-five votes were east, of which 38 
were favorable to incorporation and 7 
were opposed. 

The election to select the first village 
officers was held at the office of the 
Kinbrae Herald March 10, 1896. Charles 
Hamstreet and L. F. Miller were the 
judges and J. A. Salomonson was the 
clerk of election. Thirty-seven votes were 
cast. Following was the result of that 
and each subsequent election held in the 
village : 

189G— President, I.. F. Miller; trustees, T. 
E. Joubert. K. C. Jackson, Joseph Heiuly; 
reeorder, A. E. Holmbeig; treasurer, T. E. 
Cole; justices, J. A. Salomonson, E. L. 
Cochran; constables, 0. A. Anderson, T. J. 

1897— President, L. F. Miller; trustees, K. 
C. Jackson, S. H. McMaster, W. N. Bickley; 
recorder, J. A. Salomonson; treasurer, T. E. 
Cole; constables, J. J. Nimerfroh, Charles 

ISnS— President, S. \V. Lavthe; trustees, 
K. C. Jackson, E. M. Trenkley, T. E. Jou- 
bert; recorder, Charles Hamstreet; treasurer, 
T. E. Cole; justices, J. A. Salomonson, F. P. 
Wilson; constables, F. D. Richards, J. J. 

1890— President, E. M. Trenklev; trustees, 
W. N. Bickley, F. T. Winkler, C. A. Swan- 
son; recorder, Charles Hamstreet; treasurer, 
S. W. Laythe; justices, E. J. Clark, J. A. 
Salomonson; constables, F. D. Richards, Er- 
nest .Tones." 

1900 — President, Burgess Jones; trustees, 
K. C. Jackson. L. F. Miller, W. N Bickley; 
recorder, J. H. Clemons: treasurer, S. \V. 
Laythe; justices, J. H. Clemons, Solomon 
Johnson; constables, Nicholas Paulus, F. D. 

1901— President, S. H. McMaster; trus- 
tees, T. E. .Joubert, F. E. Ridgeway. Solo- 
mon .Johnson; recorder, H. W. Pinney; treas- 
urer, W. H. .Sanders; justices, H. Brigger, 
George Golden; constable, Vince Nimerfroh. 

1902— President. L. F. Miller; trustees, F. 
E. Ridgeway, Charles Muck. August Johnson; 
recorder, J. E. Bailey; treasurer, W. H. 
Sanders; justices, J. E." Bailey, Joseph Stone; 
constables, Vince Nimerfroh, George Golden. 

1903— President, L. F. Miller; trustees. F. 
E. Ridgeway, August Johnson. C. E. Fletcher; 
recorder, J. E. Bailey; treasurer, W. H. San- 
ders; justices, V. M. Lord, C. S. Muck; 
constables, F. D. Richards, 0. J. Swan.son. 

190-t— President, L. F. Miller; trustees, M. 
McGlin, M. F. Smith, F. E. Ridgeway; re- 
corder. S. H. McMaster; treasurer, W. H. 
Sanders; justices, J. H. Swan, Reo Morse; 
constable. George Golden. 

190.5— Pi-esident. L. F. Miller; trustees, M. 
:\reGlin, M. F. Smith, F. E. Ridgeway; re- 
corder, S. H. McMaster; treasurer. \V. H. 
Sanders; assessor, J. S. Cocks; justices, Jo- 
seph Stone, J. .J. Nimerfroh; constables, J. J. 
Nimerfroh. F. D. Richards. 

1900 — President, F. E. Ridgeway; trustees, 
Charles Hunt, John Coffitt, George Golden; 
recorder, S. H. McMaster; treasurer, M. F. 
.Smith; assessor, Burgess Jones; justices, L 
S. Swan, Frank Segar; constable. Wilson. 

1907 — President. S. H. McMaster; trustees, 
John H. Coffitt. F. E. Ridgeway, Anton Nel- 
son ; recorder, .J. S. Cocks ; treasurer, M. F. 
Smith; assessor, .J. H. Brigger; justices, Frank 
Segar, M. Wood; constables, C. A. Swanson, 
.Jolrn Nimerfroh. 

1908— President, S. H. McMaster; trustees, 
Charles Hunt, F. E. Ridgeway. Louis Schrieb- 
er: recorder, M. E. (iillson; treasurer, G. C. 
Winchell; assessor, H. I. Brigger; justice, E. 
W. Blettner; constables, C. A. Swanson, 
John Nimerfroh. 

For a short time only after incorpora- 
tion did Kinbrae advance. The federal 
census of 1900 gave the village a popula- 
tion of 137, which was a loss of 47 since 
1896. Another loss was shown in 190.5, 
when the returns gave a population of 
111. This was divided into the following 
classes: Native born, 43; Minnesota 
born, 56 ; born in Germany, 3 ; Sweden, 
7 ; Norway, 1 ; other countries, 1. 

A school and two churches are main- 
tained in Kinbrae. The Presbyterian 
churcli, the older organization, was 
founded January 10, 1890, with thir- 
teen charter members. J. H. Denton 
and N. H. Smith were the ruling elders. 


The largest and most important of the 
unincorporated villages of Nobles county 
is Reading, located on the diagonal 
wagon road and the Bock Island rail- 
road, ten miles northwest from Worth- 

"At the election of 1899 for license received 
29 votes and against license 8 votes. 



ingtoD. It is ou tlie southwest quarter 
of section 24, Suiuinit Lake township, 
and is nearer the geographical center 
of Nobles county than any other town- 
site, its distance from the central p.oint 
being three miles in a direct line. At 
Heading is found a community of about 
a hundred people and the following bus- 
iness : Bank, general stores, hard- 
ware .store, three elevators, two lumber 
yards, livery stable and blacksmith shop. 
Early in the year 1872, when Nobles 
county was receiving its first big immi- 
gration, the southwest quarter of section 
24, Summit Lake township, upon which 
the village of Reading is now located, 
was filed upon as a homestead claim by 
Jeremiah Pettus. A contest for the pos- 
session of the land was s.tarted by Joseph 
E. Read, who filed for his son, H. H. 
Read, and in 1873 the papers were se- 
cured. Two years later the filing was 
changed to a preemption. H. II. Read 
moved upon the land to reside perman- 
ently in 1876, and lias niiidc that his 
home ever since. 

The site of the present town was farm- 
ed by Mr. Read until the liurlin<,fti>n road 
was built through in 18'JU. That year, 
after the route had been selected, 
Thomas H. Brown, the Burlington right- 
of-way man, bought for townsitc pur- 
poses 2714 acres of the southwest quar- 
ter of 24 from ^Ir. Head'; five acres in 
23 from the same gentleman: and 20 
acres from George D. Dayton in 23. 
The site was selected in October, 1899. 
It was announced that it wiis not the 
intention of the townsitc company to 
Imild much of a town at the first station, 

""A location for anotlui- tnwn h.i.s been se- 
lected for a .station on the Hniliim'ton cxten- 
Hlon. near H. H. Read's in Summit l.ake 
lownHhlp. twelve acres of Bruund blind pur- 
chiiHed for thlH purpose. It Is claimed that 
It 1h not the Intention or expected that much 
of a town will be built here, but Just a 
HlopploK place for trains for the accommo- 
dation of passeiiKers. . . . The company 
will not refuse to permit the erection of nn 

but that the principal towns wouhl be 
built further out." 

The track was laid to the site of the 
town early in December and the station 
was named Reading, in honor of IL H. 
K'cad. the ]iioneer settler.'* 'I'lu' lirst 
train out took with it A. J. Keller, of 
Emmetsburg, Iowa, who became the sta- 
tion jigcnt. A tool huuse was taken to 
the site on a flat car, and until a depot 
was constructed, served in that capacity. 
Notwithstanding the determination to 
limit the business houses of the luw 
town, there were very soon (piite a niiiii- 
liii- cm the site. So so(jn as the track 
was built that far, although the survey 
of the townsitc had not been made, a 
number of locations were secured for 
business enterprises. H. N. Douglas and 
the D. Rothchild Grain company select- 
ed sites for elevators by tossing a co-n 
for choice of location. James S. Ram- 
age was given a location for a coal and 
lumber yard and had stock on cars at 
A\'orthington ready to be taken out at 
the first opportunity. 

Although it was in the middle of win- 
ter, (|uite a number erected hiiililitigs, 
and before the opening of spring engag- 
ed in business. Stock yards and a depot 
were erected at once. II. .\. Douglas 
and tile li'diliiliild (Jrain cniiipany bought 
gi-aiii iliii'iiig the winter, loading di- 
rect from the wagons into the cars. 
Wood worth & Jones erected the first 
business house and engaged in the hard- 
ware business. A. N. Cheney erected a 
building and opened a general store in 
February. H. N. Douglas put up his 
elevator during the winter and erected a 

elevator, and this being the case, there will 
probably be a store and n postoffice and a 
paper. ... It is reported the new town 
will be named Dias"nal and will be located 
nn the southwest quarter of section 24. Sum- 
mit Lake." — Worthinsjlon Advance. Oct. 20, 

'"Ileadville, Tleadburg, l)i;iKi>"aI ;iml ollur 
names had been proposed. 



six room house, which was occupied hy 
his grain buyer, Alex Thompson, and 
family — the first family to locate in the 
new town. James S. Eamage erected a 
lumber shed and a house. A. B. French, 
of Cedar Rapids, started a blacksmith 
shop and opened a restaurant in the sec- 
ond story of the Cheney store building. 

Building operations were continued 
during the early spring of 1!HJ0. A. R. 
Beilke moved a small house over from 
Rushmore in February, and a little later 
erected a building and opened tlie second 
general store. The Rothchild elevator was 
erected that spring. The postoffice was 
established in March with A. N. Cheney 
in charge.^" In May the Summit Lake 
Presbyterian church, which had been or- 
ganized October 4, 189.3, was moved in 
from the country, and the school build- 
ing was brought to the village that fall. 

The townsite was surveyed by M. S. 
Smith in .Tune, ]900, for Thomas IT. 
Brown. The dedication was made June 
IG and the instrument was filed June 21. 
In the fall cf 1001 First addition was 
platted by Mr. Brown. 

Several new business enterprises have 
been established in Reading since the 
founding of the town, and, although it 
has not yet grown to a size that would 
warrant its incorporation, it is a pros- 
perous little commTinity. 


One of the best known corporations of 
Reading is the Farmers' Mutual Tele- 
phone company, incorporated January 
2, 190.5, with an authorized capital of 
$25,000 and with .$9,000 paid in. The 
line is 1.50 miles in length and includes 
on its line the towns of Reading, Rush- 
more, Wilmont and Fulda. The officers 

arc Frank Baker, president; J. B. Lud- 
low, vice president; R. J. Jones, secre- 
tary; W. F. Moss, treasurer. The com- 
pany has three hundred subscribers. 


The State Bank of Reading was open- 
ed x\ugust 2, 1902, with a capital stock 
of $10,000 and the following officers 
and directors: Robert J. Jones, presi- 
dent; Ned Jones, vice president; A. N. 
Cheney, cashier; N. B. Cheney, Edwin 


On the northwest quarter of section 
27, Willmont township, three and one- 
half miles northwest of Wilmont village, 
is the little inland village of St. Kilian. 
In the town is one general store, con- 
ducted on the co-operative plan, a (Jatiio- 
lic church and school and a number of 
residences. For the size of the place St. 
Kilian is one of the strongest church 
towns of the country. The church 
building is an exceptionally fine one and 
tlie organization has a large membership. 
Almost the entire population of St. Kil- 
ian is made up of retired or active Ger- 
man farmers and their families. 

Willmont township was settled almost 
entirely by German Catholic farmers. In 
the early days these settlers were far 
from the church of their profession, but 
in the late eighties their numbers had 
grown until it was believed that a church 
could he supported. About forty mem- 
bers of the faith formed an organization 
and authorized Father C. J. Knauf, of 
Adr'an, to buy a forty acre tract of 
land (the northwest quarter of the north- 

''•Reading's postmasters have been A. N. 
Cheney, appointed March, 1900; W. H. Eiken- 

berry, February, 1903; R. J. Jones, February, 
1904; A. R. Beilke, February 25, 1907. 



west qunrter of section 27) for churcli 
purposes. I^ate in the year 1887 steps 
were taken to raise money for the erec- 
tion of a church thereon.-" Succeeding 
in this, they erected a building of wiiich 
the dimensions were 32.\48 feet. Patlier 
Knauf supplied the pulpit about two 
years, and was succeeded by Fatlier 

.\bout two years after this clnirch was 
built, Jolin Mock opened a general store 
on the site and a little later quiti' a vil- 
lage sprang up there. A postoifiec was 
established with Sir. ;Mock in charge, 
Andrew PachoU opened a blacksmith 
shop, John iroyer started a second gen- 
eral store, Hub Pass engaged in the sa- 
loon business, and later Joseph Budde 
opened the second saloon. The town of 
St. Kilian, named after the church, be- 
came a flourishing little inland trading 
point, and predictions of future greatness 
were freely made. It sccmod certain that 
some day there would lie a good sized 
town in northwestern Nobles county, and 
.St. Kilian believed that it was to he the 

When it became known tliat the Bur- 
lington railroad was to extend and sur- 
veyors appeared in the vicinity in 1899, 
certain it was that St. Kilian's day had 
arrived. But the building of the road 
proved the death of St. TCilian's pros- 
pects for future greatness. The town 
was passed by, and the railroad i)eople 
founiled, nearby, the town of Wilmnnt. 
.\f(cr that IJK-ro was general (Iccliiic. 
Some of the business houses were moved 
to the railroad town ; others were closed ; 
and today tlie only business enterprise 
left in tlic village is a store. The post- 
office was maintained until March, 1907. 
Then it was discontinued, and since that 

*"'W(' Iparn that there Is a movement on 
foot to buUd a CalhoHc church In WlUtnont. 
on section 27, where the eonereKation holds 
forty acres. Father Knauf, of Adrian, was 

dale the people of the village have re- 
ceived their mail by rural route from 

The St. Kilian townsite was surveyed 
by M. S. Smith for Father C. J. Knauf 
October 5 to 7, 1891. The plat was 
dedicated October 27 and was tiled De- 
cember 10, of the same year. 

Some ten years after the building of 
the church the edifice was burned. The 
congregation then erected the school 
liuilding, and for one year church ser- 
vices were held therein. The present 
handsome and substantial church build- 
ing was then erected. The Church of 
St. Kilian was incorporated February 27, 
189G, by Joseph B. Cotter, bii=hop of the 
diocese of Winona; Peter Pernin, vicar 
general of the same diocese; A. Hechcn- 
l)erger, pastor; and Charles Fritz and 
Balthaser Heck, lay members. 


In the extreme northwestern corner of 
Nobles county, in the center of a pros- 
]ierous settlement of Hollanders, is the 
little inland village of Leota, with a pop- 
ulation of about 100 people. Tlie ]>lat- 
ted town is on sections ."> and 8, of 
Leota township. The village consifts 
of two churches, a general store, postof- 
liee. harness sho]i, lilaeksniith slioj) and 
a nunilier of residences. 

It was during the year ISO! that 
Leota was founded. The lirst liuilding 
on the site was the Dutch Eeforuied 
eliuich, erected by the vanguard of Dutch 
settlers. In the Ijill of 1891 .lohn 
and Nick DeBoer and James TenCate 
ei'ceted a second building and establish- 
ed a store, whieh tliev have ever since 

Iiore on Sunday last and took a number of 
subscriptions for the new church. About half 
I he amount has been subscribed." — Worthing- 
ton Advance, Dec. 15, 1S87. 



The Original Home of Martin Kaliemeyn, Who was the First Hollander to Locate 

in Leota Township and Who Was Active in the Colonisation of 

that Township. The Building was 14x24 Feet. 




conducted.-' The postofFice was estab- 
lished in the fall of 1893, with James 
TenCate as postmaster. With the excep- 
tion of one year (190r-10"OS) when the 
office was discontinued he has ever since 
served in that capacity. 

Herman Hulstof started a blacksmith 
shop ini 1892. The Christian Eeformed 
church was erected in 1898. The same 
year Jake Kooiman opened an imple- 
ment house, which he conducted three 
years. Tlie business was then purchased 
by Mr. DeGrafif, who managed it until 
his death in 190-5. A harness shop was 
started by John Wassen in February, 

The Leota townsite was surveyed by 
M. S. Smith for James TenCatc. It 
was dedicated January 1, 1903. 


Org, the last Nobles county village we 
are to consider, is unique in many ways. 
It is the smallest community in the 
county that could be designated a vil- 
lage; it is said to occupy the highest 
point of land in Minnesota ; it has had 
more names bestowed upon it than any 
other Nobles county community ; and 
no one knows why it was burdened with 
the one it now owns. Org is located 
on the northwest quarter of section 4, 
Bigelow township, three and one-half 
miles southwest from Worthington, and 
at the junction point of the Sioux Falls 

^•The old store building burned down May 1, 
189S. but was immediately rebuilt. 

^"This place was originally called Iselin and 
was named for Adrian C. Iselin. a banker of 
New York city, who owned much land in the 
vicinity." — Origin of Place Names, Northwest- 
em Railroad. 

^Also sometimes referred to locally as "The 

""In short. Mr. Call and his neighbors 
around the summit expect before long to have 
a station, with telegraph office and all other 
facilities, at the junction, to be followed by 

branch with the main line of the Omaha 

Wlien the Worthington & Sioux Falls 
railroad was built in 1876 it left the 
main line at the top of the grade where 
Org is now located. It seems to have 
been the intention of the railroad offi- 
cials to name this point Iselin,"- but 
when the running of trains was begun 
it was designated as Sioux Falls Junc- 
tion. ^^ A section house was put up 
there, and for ten years was the only 
thing on the site. 

Not \intil 1886 was an effort made 
to make any improvement there. In the 
spring of that year N. A. Call, a farmer 
and hay shipper, decided to locate there 
and make it a point of shipment for his 
hay.-* The railroad company put in a 
Y that spring, and in the fall erected a 
depot. H. Sinclair was installed as 
operator and agent in November but was 
succeeded the following month by W. 
H. Vorhees. Mr. Call put up a large 
warehouse, and for several years was a 
large patron of the road. But after 
these improvements had been made Sioux 
Falls Junction remained quiescent for 
thirteen years. The only change during 
tliese years was in the name, which be- 
came Org in 1890.-^ 

In 1899 another attempt to boom the 
Junction was made, this time with bet- 
ter success. In July Caroline A. Forbes 
had the townsite platted, and that fall 
some improvements were made. An ele- 
vator was erected and James S. Ramasre 

a postoffice and a thriving village in due time. 
The summit has long been thought of as a 
point for a station and village, and its reali- 
zation has been considered only a matter of 
time. It seems now about to . be realized." — 
Worthington Advance, May 20, 1886. 

^"In 1890 the name was changed to Org by 
W. A. Scott, the then general manager of the 
railroad. No one now living knows why he 
so named the place, where he got the name 
or what it means, if it means anything. A 
legend connects it with 'org" (dorg). had 
.slang for the word dog." — Origin of Place 
Names, Northwestern Railroad. 



iiinl the Tutliill Liiiiil)or compiui}' eacli 
put up Ijuiltlinjfs and engaged in the 
hiinher and coal business. Charles King 
startitl a general store and became post- 
master of an office establisiied .soon 
after he began business. Since that event 
there has been no improvement in this 
smallest of Nobles county's villages. 

For reasons best known to itself the 
Omaha railroad has erected a sign board, 
upon which is the word "Trent," a few 
feet bcvond the junction point, on the 
branch side. Trent has been dulv in- 

corporated in the timetables and is a sta- 
tion. The most interesting thing about 
it is the origin of the name. Here is 
wliat the Northwestern railroad in its 
"Origin of the Place Names" says of 
Trent : 

There is a dispute as to the origin of 
the name that was selected for this phice. 
One faction asserts tliat it was nanicil for 
Trent in tlic Italian Tyrol of Austria-Hun- 
gary, where was held the famous Council of 
Client in 1545-03 and that fixed many re- 
ligious tenets. The other faction claims that 
the nanu! was taken from the river Trent in 


N n 


During its newspapei- history of thirty- 
six years Nobles county has, at one time 
and another, been the home of over 
thirty newspapers. Most of these have 
been weekly publications, one was a 
monthly, and several were dailies, run in 
connection ^vith the weekly editions, rang- 
ing in life from a few issues to five 
years. Of these thirty-odd publications 
started, nine weekly papers are in exist- 
ence at the date of the publication of this 
volume, as follows: Advance-Herald 
( Worthington), C'has. Hamstreet, pub- 
lisher: Worthington Globe, by Petei 
Thompson ; Xobles County Democrat 
(Adrian), by A. J. Schaeffer; Ellsworth 
News, by E. E. Lovrien; Eu.shmore En- 
terprise, by M. A. Mattison; Round 
Lake Graphic, by J. L. Flint; Brewster 
Tribune, by Jesse Hamstreet; Wilmont 
Tribune, by M. R. Berkhuner; Lismore 
Leader, by Leader Publishing company. 

Going back of the date of the sound of 
the first click of the type in Nobles 
county, we miist consider the Colony 
Journal, published at Toledo, Ohio, to 
make the history of the press complete. 
This was a publication issued by Dr. A. 
P. Miller, of the National colony, which 
was started for the purpose of advertis- 
ing the Nobles county lands owned by 

'"The Colony Journal . . has done more 

to spread abroad a knowledge of the advan- 
tages of Minnesota as a home for the emi- 
grants and the capitalist than any immigra- 
tion document issued at the expense of the 
state." — Western Advance, Aug. 31, 1S72. 

thp colony. It d'd excellent service in 
bringing settlers to the county, and 
many of the pioneers gained their first 
knowledge of Nobles county from that 
journal. "^ 

Nobles county's first newspaper was 
the Western Advance, the name of 
which was later changed to Worthing- 
ton Advance. In the summer of 1872 
the National Colony company, of which 
Dr. A. P. Miller and Prof. R. F. Humis- 
ton were the principal owners, purchased 
a printing outfit and issued a prospectus, 
stating that the new paper would begin 
an existence in June. The material 
was ordered in time to fulfil the 
promises of the prospectus, but owing to 
many delays it was impossible to get 
out a paper before the last day of Aug- 
ust. The name of the publication was 
selected by Rev. B. H. Crever, who at 
the outset was to have been connected 
with the editorial management". M. H. 
Stevens was finally selected to manage 
the paper for its owners, with the priv- 
ilege of buying the plant if his manage- 
mtnt proved satisfactory to Miller, Huiii- 
iston & Co. 

On the 31st day of August, 18r2, tlie 
first issue was taken from the press. - 
It was an eight column folio and the 

-The first copv that was taken from the 
press was given to Mrs. R. F. Humiston. the 
second to Dr. Geo. O. Moore. 




two outside pages were "patent." The 
subscription price was $2.00 per year. 
The editorial utterances were slrongly 
republican. TTly.«ses S. Grant for presi- 
dent, Henry Wilson for vice president, 
and M. H. Dunnell for congressman, re- 
ceived many favorable notices in the Ad- 
vance during the campaign that followed 
the establishment of the paper. T quote 
at length from the salutatory: 

We rommcnec the publication <if tlic West- 
em Ailvanee. believing that there is a suf- 
ficient demand for a paper of sneh ehararter 
as we intend to make it. to insnre its suc- 

Politically, the Advance will support re- 
|>nblican principles and such measures as we 
believe to be for the best interests of our 
country. Locally, while \vp shall be consis- 
tently republican, we shall countenance no 
use of the party's strength for personal mo- 
tives, but regard the good of the entire 
community as conducing to our own best 

We have not assumed the editorial man- 
agement of the paper without fully ajjpre- 
eiating the local difTerences. at the present 
time the subject of much discussion, but we 
shall steer clear of the personal phase the 
subject has assumed, deeming our duty to 
the public to he to advocate the carrying 
out of principles, but not to occupy our space 
in sprcailing abroad the details of every 
personal matter that may grow out of their 

We shall in .1 nianiicr consistent with our 
ideas of public policy freely and earnestly 
advocate the principles of temperance, be- 
lieving, as we do, that intemperance is un- 
dermining rapidly not onlv the social in- 
stitutions of onr country, but is destroying 
by its demoralizing power the strength of 
our dcmocr.itic form of government. 

But our main cfTints will be devoted to 
making a home newspaper, such as it will 
be the duty of every citizen of whatever 
opinion on local difTerences to support. In- 
stitutions to aid in building up tlic country 
cannot be maintained without . ' to 

'The only copy of the first Issue of the 
Advance known to be in existence Is consld- 
crnhly worn, and the few words omitted from 
the above paragraph cannot be made out. 

•"The Advance, with Its present Is.sue. drops 
the word 'Western' and substitutes Instead the 
name of the town, 'WorthlnRton.' ' This will 
be m^ire convenient fru" cxchnnpes In copying. 
and will tell at a Klance where the paper Is 
published, besides servlns a better purpose In 
artvi-rtlslnp the place." — Worthlngton Advance, 
Sept. 12, 1S74. 

be in perfect harmony, it must be acknowl- 
edged tliat a newspaper with no policy, and , 
drifted about by every local breeze, to 
endeaver to please all and displease none, ' 
would be but a sorry concern. In such we 
can have no part or interest. 

During the first year of its existence 
the Advance enjoyed prosperous times. 
Settlers were pouring into the country at 
a rapid rate, the little village of Worth- 
lngton was growing by leaps and bounds, 
and all lines of business flourished. Then 
came the disastrous grasshopper days, 
and the newspaper business suffered se- 
verely. Mr. Stevens presided over tlir 
destinies of the Advance until ilarcli, 
1874, when lie withdrew. The colony 
company then installed Mr. A. P. Miller 
as manager. A few months after that 
gentleman took charge the name of the 
publication was changed from Western 
Advance to Worthington Advance,'' ami 
about the first of the year 187.3 he br- 
came tlie owner (if the |i;i|ht. lia\iiig |iur- 
cliased it from ^Miller, lliiiiiislon & C'n.'' 

Mr. Miller, who is now in the new;;- 
[lapcT business at Los Angeles, Cal.. wa-* 
luuloubtedly one of the best news])a- 
per men tlial ever cundiicted a Nobles 
county jniirnal, and be was liiiaiicially 
sucee?sful. He lielmiged to the old school 
nf Journalism, and no subject was dis- 
cussed in an impersonal manner. He 
liad a large vocabulary, a good eommaml 
of tJie language, wrote his editorials willi 
vitriol, and neither a.sked nor gave qiini- 
ter in a word war. Whether he was 
berating bis subscriijcrs for not paying 
tlieir subscription dues, denouncing his 

""The question as to the ownership of the 
.■\dvance Is raised so frequently that scmie 
statement of the facts and of the position of 
the paper seems to be demanded. The Worth- 
ing-ton Advance, with all the material, good 
will, book accounts, etc.. Is the property of 
the underslBned. The purchase was made last 
summer and tlie necessary papers have been 
duly executed. Miller. Humislon & Co., the 
formei- owners, have no interest in the paper 
whatever and no more voice in its manage- 
ment than an.v other citizen or citizens. Let 
this statement once for all settle the ques- 
tion of ownership . . ." — A. P. Miller In 
Advance, Jan. 15, 1875. 



contemporaries as incendiaries, thugs and 
blackmailers, laying bare the personal 
history of political aspirants, or writ'ng 
poetry, his articles were always interest- 
ing and were always read. He succeeded 
in making an enemy of nearly every man 
in the community during his reign over 
the Advance. Eepeated efforts were made 
to start successful opposition papers and 
cause Irs retirement, but all such eiforts 
were fruitless, and he conducted the Ad- 
vance nearly fifteen years. Tie advocat- 
ed spiritualism, and for years he filled 
his paper with the teachings of tliat be- 
lief and berated those who did not agree 
with him. He once described his be- 
liefs as follows: 

'•'We are a free thinker and an agnos- 
tic. But we are also a Christian, a 
spiritualist, a communist, a socialist, and, 
if you please, an anarchist. They are all 
right in part. To sum it up in one 
word, we are an eclectic.'"^ 

The Advance continued to be republi- 
can in politics under Mr. Miller's man- 
agement, as it has ever since been. Dur- 
ing the grasshopper days the paper was 
reduced to a seven column folio, but 
on April 4, 1878, the old form of eight 
columns was resumed. 

The Advance was purchased Nov. 1-5, 
1888, by the late Eev. Robert McCune, 
who at one time previously had been edi- 
tor of tlie Toledo Blade, and he con- 
ducted the paper nearly five years. In 
.September, 1893, Carl S. Eastwood, who 
had previously been proprietor of, and 
who is at the present time conducting, 
the Heron Lake News, came to Worth- 
ington and purchased the Advance. He 
at once put in a large power press, added 
new type and material and made other 
improvements in the paper. He enlarged 
it to a six column quarto, and during 
part of the time printed it all at home. 

He attempted the publication of a daily 
Advance, which had an existence from 
Nov. 3, 1894, to Jan. 1, 189.5, but the 
venture was not a financial success. 

Mr. Eastwood sold his interests March 
5, 1896, to H. Hawley. The latter made 
many improvements in the equipment of 
the office, adding a Simplex type setting 
machine, a paper folder, ■ and a lot of 
other new material. During the first 
few years he was in charge the Advance 
was an eight column quarto ; in the spring 
of 1901 it was made a six column quarto, 
all printed at home, but on Dec. 2.5, 
1903, the "patent" features were re- 
sumed. Mr. Hawley demonstrated that 
a daily paper could live in Worthington 
Ijy publishing one over five years. The 
first issue of the Daily Advance was piib- 
lished in September, 1899, and was a 
three column folio. It was later en- 
larged to a four column paper, and in 
1903 to a six column. Mr. Hawley de- 
nied that the venture was a profitable 
one, and the daily was discontinued Nov. 
19, 1904. 0. S. Hawley was in charge 
of the Advance from Jan. 1, 1905, when 
H. Hawley took the office of register of 
deeds, to which he had been elected the 
preceding fall, till August 2G, 1905, 
wlien the plant was sold. 

Thos. Dovery, formerly of Barron, 
Wis., became the publisher on the last 
named date, and presided over its des- 
tinies unt'l July, 1908. Then the Worth- 
ington Advance went out of existence 
and was succeeded by the Advance- 
Herald. Mr. Charles Hamstreet, who for 
many years had been conducting newspa- 
pers in different towns of the county, 
anri who liad a short time before become 
the owner of the Worthington Herald, 
bought the subscription list and good will 
of the Advance, consolidated the two 
under the name of Advance-Herald, and 

'Advance. March 22, 1888. 



Ib now condiu-ting tlie paper. He lias 
miulo many adilitions and iniprovementf 
and is iiiiblisliino; the best local jjapcr in 
southwestern Minnesota. It is a six 
poluiiin (|uarto and is all piiblislied at 
home. Mr. Doverv removed the Advance 
plant to Idaho, where he i? now engaged 
in publisihing a paper. 

Niii)les eountv's second newspaper was 
a campaign publication, a two column 
folio, known as the Claim Sliauty \'in- 
dicator, which had an existence from Oct. 
7 to Nov. 4, 1874. It was published at 
Worthington by the central conunitlPe 
of the democratic and liberal republican 
parties, and the Bennett Bros, were tlie 
editors. The little plant upon which it 
was printed was owned by W. E. Bennett. 
The salutatory is so imiqun that ] re- 
produce ])nrt of it here: 

Believing that soiiictliiiifr slioulil be speed- 
ily (lone to coiinteiaot the haneful eirects 
proihiced by the ie|iul)li(an press U|)<)n the 
]i('opl(', it has been ileeined advisable to 
coninienee the pulilieation of a paper, that 
thereby some of the evils niipht be reme- 
died, and that truth might (ind its way into 
more remote localities. 

To that end the Vindicator will be ])vib- 
lished every week, and at so trifling a sum 
tliat all may have an opportunity to under- 
stand what is the best course to pursue at 
the apjjroaehing election. It will faithfully 
defend what its name implies, the interests 
of the settlers and particularly those who 
have pioneered their way into the wilds of 
the country to build themselves homes, and 
thereby |iut something away agains' the 
evening of life. In so doing such language 
will be used that can easily be understood. 
Xo attempt will be made at eloquence, but 
the political situation will be discussed in a 
fair, impartial and intelligible manner. 

So long as the present political party is 
in power, wrenching from the people their 
hard earned money. olTice holders can well 
afford to buy up repulilican editors anil send 
their papers broadcast throughout the coun- 
try, <Ieceiving the people and diverting their 
attention to some imaginary evil in some 
distant part of the country, while their 
suli'^tance is l)eing purloined, to again play 
their ''confidence games" and retain their hold 
upon the offices. 

A. p. Miller, the "bought up editor" 

referred to, facetiously announced the 

liirlh iif its rival: 

"The stafT we understand to be as fol- 
lows: Owner of material and presses, 
W. 1!. Bennett; principal stockliolders, L. 
B. Bennett, T.. F. Bennett aii.l W. S. 
Stockdale; editor in chief, L. F. Ben- 
nett ; associate editors, L. B. Bennett, W. 
n. Heimitl. \V. S. Stockdale, Warren 
Smith and others; city editors, L. F. 
Bennett. L. B. Bennett, W. R. Bennett, 
\V. S. Stockdale and others: foreman, B. 
Bennett ; business managers, L. B. Ben- 
nett, L. F. Bennett. W. S. Stockdale: 
subscribers. L. F. Bennett, Ti. B. Ben- 
nett, W. 1{. Bennett, W. S. Stockdale. 
.Major Tiitiiber. Thomas Crevi'r, I). 
Stone, 0. Bigelow." 

After the suspension of the Vindicator 
the little plant was purchased by two 
Worthington bnys, Will S. Langdon and 
Claybome llolirri-, who launched the ]jit- 
erary Triumph. Tlrs was in the same 
form and style as its predecessor, except 
that it was devoted to tlic interests of 
yninig people instead of the democratic 
party. The first luiinber was issued Nov. 
21, 1874, and it was llic intention \n 
make the Trimnph a weekly i)ublication. 
but for some reason publication was not 
very regular. In all eight innnbers were 
printed, llic Inst one being on ilarch 20. 
1ST."). Will W. Loveless, still a resident 
of Wiu1liiiig(on, was reporter for the 
Trium))li for a lime. After the suspen- 
sion the plant was purchased liy the .\il- 

The next |iulj|i(atinn to begin litV in 
Noble.s county was tlu- Wnrthinglon •'nur- 
nal — a ])aper ilestincd in play (piite an 
important part in the county's early his- 
t(n'y during its life of a little less than 
six years. There was uuire or less dis- 
satisfaction with the policy of the Ad- 
vance as conducted liy .\. P. Miller in 
187G, and promises of support were gixfii 
to anyone who would start a new paper 
in Worthington. ]\rr. Miller declared 



that there was no possible need for a 
>econil paper and that it was to be start- 
ed for spite work.' Nevertheless the 
liaper came into existence on April 29, 
18T(), witii good support. The Journal 
was under the management of Major 
T. V. Bell, who was its editor, and 
Thomas M. Gruelle, a former employe of 
tlie Advance, who had charge of the me- 
clianical department. At the end of the 
first year Major Bell sold his interests 
to his partner, and ilr. Gruelle conduct- 
ed the paper alone for a year and a half. 
In ilay, 1878, he enlarged the Journal 
to an eight column quarto, four pages of 
which were printed in the office of pub- 

In the fire of August C, 1878, which 
destroyed Miller hall, the Journal plant 
was destroyed, all that wa.s saved being 
a job press and the books and accounts. 
The loss to the newspaper was estimated 
at from $3,000 to $4,000, and was cover- 
ed with $2, .500 insurance. A new plant 
wa.s immediately installed, and publica- 
tion was resumed. A. S. Lindsay pur- 
chased the Journal in October, 1878, and 
was its proprietor until January, 1880. 
For a short time in the fall of 1879 
Paul Blount had charge of the paper dur- 
ing the absence of Mr. Lindsay, who was 
on a concert tour. About the first of 
January, 1880, Mr. Lindsay sold the 
plant and went to Pana, 111., to take 
charge of the Argus. The purchaser of 
the Journal was Eev. J. C. Ogle, who 
was at the time superintendent of 
schools of Nobles county. In October, 
1881, J. C. Ogle went to Winnebago 
City, Minn., to accept a call to fill one of 
the pulpits there, and the nianagcment 
was turned over to his son, George A. 

Its publication was continued until 
February, 1882, when a mortgage on the 
plant, which was held by Peter Thomp- 
son, was foreclosed, and the Worthington 
Journal became a thing of the past. The 
plant remained in Worthington, however, 
and a little over a year later it was used 
in publishing the Worthington Record, 
the liistory of which will be told later. 
Below is given Mr. Miller's account of 
the demise of the Journal. It is i-e- 
produced, not in the belief that it prop- 
erly tells the story of the Journal, but 
rather to illustrate Mr. Miller's style of 
dealing with a contemporary: 

Died— On Thursday, .Jan. 20, 1882, of finan- 
cial exhaustion, congenital scrofula and 
general moral, social and business leprosy, 
the Worthington Journal, aged five years, 
eight months and twenty-eight days. And 
of such is the kingdom of heaven. 

Funeral services from the house. Sermon 
by one of its fathers, the Rev. .J. C. Ogle, 
from the text — "It sprung up like a sparrow- 
grass, liopped about like a hoppergrass, and 
died like a ja — donkey." 

E])itai)h: "Here lies the Worthington .Jour- 
nal, a niishappen newspaper Caliban. It was 
conceived in ringism, born in a blaze of 
lowdyi.sni, and nurtured in spite and fraud." 

It never paid its taxes; it burned a $7,000 
building to get an insurance of $1,800 on 
its accursed life; and it led a career of 
fraud, dishonesty and strife. With a few 
upright and decent men for backers, it was 
nevertheless a rendezvous and mouthpiece 
of about all the sneaks, frauds, dead-beats, 
scandal jockeys, hy])0crites and white trash 
of the community. It died as it lived, phy- 
sically a Caliban, politically a Guiteau, and 
morally and socially a Kuloflf. 

Althoush Adrian liad been founded in 
1876 it was several years later l)efore a 
newspa])er made its appearance there. A 
little advertising sheet, called the Adrian 
Advertiser, was published for a short 
time in the spring of 1879, beginning 
early in March, by Geo. H. Carr. one 
of the merchants there. But no legitimate 
newspaper was issued there until May, 
188;), when the Guardian was started. In 

'".\ half dozen office seekers and a half demanding 
dozen men animated by personal feeling are 30, 1876. 
about all the men in Nobles county who are 

new paper." — .\dvance, March 



the fall of lsi!5',' \V. M. Patrick, editor 
of the McDclota (HI.) Imk'.x, decided to 
come to Adrian and establish a paper 
to be called the Adrian Press, and went 
so far as to issue a prosi)ectus to that 
effect. He expected to start before win- 
ter, but did not, and in the spring word 
was received that he had abandoned the 
project and was about to engage in tliu 
business in Lyndon, 111. 

The people of Adrian were determined 
to have a paper and opened communica- 
tion with S. S. Ilaislett, who had been 
publishing the Heron Lake Guardian 
since 1880, with a view to having him 
locate in the Nobles county town. ,Mr. 
Ilaisk'tt decided to make the change and 
moved the plant, issuing the first num- 
ber of the Adrian Guardian on Saturday, 
May 19, 1883. The motto of the Guard- 
ian, conspicuously displayed for so 
many years was: "While the Guardian 
will the people's rights maintain, we pub- 
lish it for bread and butter, not for 
fame." During the many years he was 
at the helm of the Guardian, Mr. Ilais- 
lett issued a creditable publication, and 
received liberal support from the people 
of Adrian. He retained the active man- 
agement until late in August, 1S9G, 
when he leased the plant to his son, Orrie 
il. Haislett^ and C. C. Spaulding. Later 
he again took charge for a short time, 
but on April 28, 1899, liis sons, Orrie 
M. and S. S., Jr., took the management, 
and the founder retired from newspaper 
work. In December, 189!), the firm of 
O. M. & S. S. Haislett, Jr., was dis- 
solved, the junior member of the tiini 
assuming entire charge. 

1). J. and C'has. T. Tinnes leased the 
plant a little later, and for a time con- 
ducted it under the firm name of Tin- 
nes Bros. Ill Apiil, 190-2, 1). J. 

'This Is the same A. K. Caldwell who In 
mori' recent years had charge of the Wortli- 
Ington Globe. 

Tinnes purchased the Guardian and con- 
ducted it over three years. Publication 
was suspended early in November, 1905, 
owing to lack of support, and Nobles 
county's second oldest paper went out of 
existence, after a life of over 22 years. 
During its early history it was a paying 
institution, and it assisted materially in 
making Adrian the prosperous town it 
has always been. The Guardian was re- 
publican in politics. 

After the suspension uf the Worthing- 
iiiii .louniai in January, 1882, the plant, 
wliich was the property of Peter Thomp- 
son, remained idle until the summer of 
llie following year. Then two Siou.x 
Falls printers, A. E. Caldwell" and R. .1. 
W. Bloom, were induced to come to 
Worthington and resuscitate the Journal. 
Parties in Worlliingtnn had given tiie 
jiartners considerable encouragement, and 
on Thursday, June 7, 1883, they got out 
the first number of their paper, which 
they named Worthington Record, hav- 
ing leased the plant from Mr. Thomp- 
son. A little over a month later !Mr. 
Caldwell gave up his interest in the pa- 
per and returned to Sioux Falls. 

.Mr. Bloom presided over the destinies 
of the Record until March 10, 1884, 
when lie relinqu'shed his interest in the 
[ia|ici- and turned the [ii-Dpcrfy hack to 
Mr. Thompson. The owner tiien sold 
to Geo. W. Penn, formerly of New Cas- 
tle, Pa., who took charge of tiie paper 
in April. The new editor chaugt'd the 
j)olitics of tlie Record from r(]nildican 
to democratic, and it was at the time the 
only democratic paper soutli and west 
of .Ahmkato in the state of JMinnesota. 
Mr. Penn remained in charge only until 
Nov. 26, 1884, but during this time he 
demonstrated the fact that he was an 
able and forcible writer and a good news- 



paper man. On the last named date F. 
M. jMcCormack, formerly of Sheldon, 
Iowa, leased the plant from Mr. Penn, 
made it a repulilican paper, and publish- 
ed it until Jan. 29, 188.5. Mr. MeCor- 
mack issued a good paper, but the neces- 
sary support was lacking, and he did not 
make a financial success of the venture. 
ilr. Penn returned to look after his 
interests, found the affairs of the Record 
in a bad way financially, and on Feb. 21,, 
1885, the plant was sold at sheriff's sale, 
be-ng bid in by Daniel Shell, who held 
a note against Mr. Penn for $325. The 
plant was then purchased by C. S. East- 
wood, who was the publisher of the Lake- 
field Citizen, and removed to Ellsworth, 
where it was used in publishing the Ells- 
worth News, which was established by G. 
H. Eastwood. 

The next Nobles county paper to be 
considered in the chronological order of 
founding was a monthly publication, the 
Minnesota Home, from which later 
sprang the Worthington Globe. The pub- 
lication came into existence as the result 
of a desire on the part of the real estate 
dealers of southwestern Minnesota to ad- 
vertise the country's resources. Originally 
it was proposed to raise $2,100 in the 
seven southwestern counties to be spent 
in printed matter to advertise the Blue 
Grass region. Peter Thompson and Geo. 
J. Day of Worthington, who were then 
partners in the banking and real estate 
business, conceived the idea of a publish- 
ing company for the purpose of issuing 
a regular monthly paper, to be the or- 
gan of the real estate men. 

The plan of the Worthington bankers 
was adopted, and on May 31, 1884, 
articles of incorporation for the Minne- 
sota Home Publishing company were 
filed, with the following incorporators: 
Joseph Flanders, of Madelia; E. J. 
Graves, of Heron Lake; Peter Thompson, 

of Worthington; Neil Currie, of Carrie; 
and Geo. A. Iselin, of Mountain Lake. 
The principal place of business was to be 
Worthington, the capital stock was to 
be $10,000, and the corporation was to 
commence June 1, 1884. 

The first number of the Minnesota 
Home was issued in October, and the pa- 
per was published until the spring of 
188G. Geo. J. Day was the editor. Five 
thousand copies were issued each month 
for free distribution. A Campbell print- 
ing press (the one now employed in the 
(ilobe office) was installed and other 
expensive machinery was purchased. A 
building was erected on Third avenue 
as tlie home of the new publication, and 
the building is still used as a printing 
office. In the spring of 188G publication 
of the Home was tliscontinued, and its 
place was taken by the Wortliington 
Globe, mention of which will be made 

The village of Ellsworth was only 
about six months old when its first news- 
paper came into existence — the paper 
which has ever since been publislied 
there. When the Worthington Eocord 
suspended in March, 188.5, the plant was 
purchased and moved to the new town in 
(irand Prairie townsliip, and there, early 
in April, the first number of the Ells- 
worth News was jiriuted. It was a seven 
column folio, republican in politics, and 
G. H. Eastwood was the owner and pub- 
lisher. The News celebrated its second 
birthday by reducing the form to a five 
column folio and taking in Fi-ank East- 
wood as a partner. Soon thereafter G. H. 
Eastwood became sole owner again. The 
paper was enlarged to an eight column 
folio, which form it retained many years. 

On June 23, 1892, the office of the 
Ellsworth News, together with the resi- 
dence of Mr. Eastwood, was almost en- 
tirely destroyed by fire, causing a total 



lofs of about $8,500, covered by only 
$500 insurance. Several hundred dollars 
were raij^ed by the people of Ellsworth 
to assist Mr. Eastwood in replacing his 
plant, which was done after the paper 
had missed two issues. On Aug. 'ii, 1811-i, 
the paper was enlarged to a five coluinn 
quarto, with four pages printed at home. 
After fourteen years satisfactory service 
as editor and proprietor of the News, Jlr. 
Eastwood in December, 1H98, sold to I'. 
F. lA'vins, formerly of Clare, Iowa. 

Mr. Levins made the News a demo- 
cratic paper. On ^huch 1. 1901, he en- 
larged it to a six column quarto, installed 
a new press, and otherwise added to the 
equi])nient and value of tlio paper. He 
retainetl possession about live years, and 
during that time built up a fine business. 
E. E. Lovrien, formerly of New Hamp- 
ton, Iowa, took possession of the News 
on August 1, 1905, having purchased it 
two months before, and has since directed 
its course. October 4, 190G, lie made 
it an all home print paper, and it is now 
one of the three Nobles county papers 
which is printed entirely in the ofl'ice of 
publication. Mr. Lovrien conducts the 
News as a democratic paper. 

Those who were opjioscd to the policy 
of the Worthington Advance under the 
management of A. V. Miller were ever 
on the alert to secure an opposition pa- 
per. When the Minnesota Home was 
launched there was a rumor that another 
local paper was to bo pul)Iished from that 
office," ]>ut the paper did not materialize. 
In the spring of 188(1 the rumor was 
again revived. It was said that induce- 
ments had been offered to the proprietor 
of a job office in Siou.x City to come to 

•'■\Vn hear talk of another paper to be Is- 
BUfd from the MInne.sota Home office, l)ut we 
doul)t whether WorthlnRton parties have any 
more money to waste In that way." — Advance. 
March 26. 1S85. 

'•"The Globe Job laintlnj; office, opened by 
K. tlltchcoek & Son, has been packed up and 

Worthington and launch a second paper. 
This rumor was verified,'" and on ilarch 
23, 1886, the first number of tiie Worth- 
ington Globe was taken from the press. 
The Sioux City job printing office had 
been combined with the Minnesota Home 
plant. The Globe was started as a re- 
publican paper by Edward Hitchcock 
& Son. It was an eight column folio, 
with two "patent" pages. 

The history of the Globe is a romantic 
one. Since its founding in 188() it has 
had no less than seventeen editors, and 
it has advocated the policy of every politi- 
cal party that has had an existence dur- 
ing that time. From its office was is- 
sued the first daily paper ever published 
in the county, oue being issued by Mr. 
Hitchcock during the holiday season of 
1886— Dec. 17 to 25. The founding of 
the Globe was not a financial success to 
the Hitchcocks, and they departed late in 

1887. The Globe Publishing company, 
of which Peter Thompson and Geo. J. 
Day were the members, became the owner 
after Mr. Hitchcock departed. In April. 

1888, when the dissolution of jiartner- 
ship between Messrs. Thomi).son and Day 
took place, the fcu'iner became the pro- 
]u-ietor, and he has luul an inh'rest in 
the plant ever since. 

When Ihe I'ouniler nf the Glolie left 
Worthington in tlie closing days of 1887 
l{e\'. E. P. T^atlirop, pastor of the Metho- 
dist church, was made managing editor, 
and he conducted it until Nov. 22, 1888. 
Then Frank G. Jfartin, who had been 
foreman ol' the office, assiinicd cjuirge 
and was at flie head of the paper until 
Nov. 19. 1S91. On the .late last named 
I. .1. Williains and l-lrncsl I'ei-ry linugiil 

will be shipped tomorrow to Worthlnston. 
Minn., where extra inducements have l>een of- 
fered the pi-oprietor.s to publish a paper. To 
the material shipped from this city will be 
added a large assortment of new t.vpe, and 
the paper will appear about the twentieth of 
March. It will be called the Globe." — Sioux 
CMty Journal. I'-eb. 28. 1886. 


CRAhD AK>n F05T 

This'Piclure.Was Taken About 1882 From a Window of the'Old Hexagonal School 

Building, Worthington. It Shows a Portion of the Town to the South 

of that Building. 


The Pride of Us Builder. A. P. Miller, Who Stands in Front of the Building. From a 

Photograph Taken Immediately After its Construction in 1882. To the 

Rear is Shown the Site of Several Present Day Flandsome 

Brick Structures. 



^"Oft, Lt.NBX A^f» 
'.-lEK f'>.<S->i.r(ON». 



the plant, and for a time published the 
paper under the firm name of Perry & 
Williams. Mr. Williams was the editor 
and Mr. Perry the business manager. 
They changed the form of the pa])er Dec. 
24, 1891, to a six column quarto, with 
four pages printed at home. The firm 
was dissolved May 20, 1892, ami ilr. 
Perry became sole publisher. 

The ownership liad returned to Peter 
Thompson, and on Sept. 1, 1893, Ernest 
Perry and E. K. Smith took the Globe 
on a lease. The first of the following 
year Mr. Smith became sole manager and 
conducted the paper until July 1, 1895, 
as a republican paper. John S. Blair 
took a lease of the plant when Mr. Smith 
retired and conducted it as a democratic 
paper uutil February, 1809. He issued 
a creditable journal and rendered his 
party excellent service. The Christmas 
edition of the Globe, published by Mr. 
Blair in 1895, was the largest paper ever 
issued in Nobles county, both as to nuiu- 
ber of pages and the amount of advertis- 
ing carried. A lease was taken in Febru- 
ary, 1899, by Dan Devaney and Harj'y 
Allen, who wore the publishei's until 
May 19, 1899, when the latter became 
sole publisher. ITc was succeeded Oct. 
1, 1899, by Deacon Donham, who liailod 
from St. Peter. ]\[r. Donham ran the 
Globe as a democratic organ until May, 
1900. Then John Watts, of Blue Earth 
City, took the management and ran tlie 
paper two months. 

A. E. Caldwell, of Sioux Falls, wlm 
for a short tinu> had been part owner of 
the Worthington Record in 1883, leased 
the Globe in July, 1900, and announced 
that he would run' a straight democratic 
paper. He did until June 27, 1902, 
when he announced that thereafter it 
would be independent in politics. Mr. 
Caldwell was a good newspaper man and 
made the Globe a creditable pubhcation. 

He retired from the management August 
21, 1903. For a short time thereafter 
ilr. Thompson was the publisher and 0. 
B. Congdon, who had been employed on 
the paper for the preceding three years, 
was nuide editor and nuinager. I. A. 
lioslion ■ conducted the paper under a 
lease from May, 1904, to Oct. 12, 1905. 
.V. E. Snialley was the next editor, he tak- 
ing it under a lease from Mr. Thompson 
when Mr. Roshon retired. He attempted 
the publication of a daily Globe, which 
had an existence from Dec. 11, 1905, 
of about one month. He retired Oct. 
14, 190(j, when the plant w^as jjurchased 
from Mr. Thompson by J. L. Berkhimer. 
A daily was issued, for a short time in 
December, 190(), by the new management. 
j\Ir. Berkhimer departed in the fall of 
1907 for other green pastures, and the 
ownership of the paper reverti d to Mr, 
Thompson. That gentleman is now the 
publisher, and Frank Duster is the editor 
and manager. 

For a period of five years, from the 
time of the establishment of the Globe 
in 188G until the starting of Adrian's 
second paj)er in 1891, newspaper found- 
ing was at a standstill in Nobles county, 
if we except the Independent, a cam- 
paign ]japer started in September, 1888, 
in the intercuts of sonie of the independ- 
ent candidates of that year. The sheet 
was printed in the office of the Worth- 
ington Globe and was fathered by E. S. 
31ills, indciiendent candidate for county 

The farmers alliance was quite a 
strong organization in Nobles county 
in the early nineties, and inducements 
■were offered W. 0. Lester to start an or- 
gan of that party at Adrian in opposi- 
tion to the Guardian. About the middle 
of April, 1891, he issued the first num- 
ber of the .Vdrian Citizen, a seven column 
folio. It was cnhij'ged earlv in the fol- 



lowing year to a quailu, bui carried six 
pages of "patent" matter. Jlr. Lester 
continued the publication, with indilTer- 
ent success, for two years, and then 
publication was suspended." 

Over a year before the Adrian Citizen 
suspended a third paper had made its 
appearance in tlic west end metropolis, 
making the si.xth in the county. This was 
the Nobles County Democrat, which was 
started in February, 1802, by John K. 
King, formerly of the Jinck Kapids Rv- 
view. As its name implies, it was demo- 
cratic in politics, and it was tiie only 
democratic paper in the county at the 
time. It was a six column quarto, w:i^ 
printed from new material, and present- 
ed a very neat appearance. Mr. King 
puldished the paper nearly ten years, ami 
during that lime issued one of tjic best 
papers ever published in I lie county. 
He made a financial success of the ven- 
ture, which is not always the case with 
counti-y newspapers. For a sluu't time 
soon after the establislimcnl F. II. Mill- 
ard was associated with him in llic puli- 
lication. From Dec. 1, 1891, lu July 1. 
1895, John S. Blair had an interest in 
the paper. 

A. J. ScluieU'er became the owner and 
editor of the Democrat on .\Ligust ;>ii, 
liitll, and he has since presided over its 
destinies. He has maintained the high 
standard set by the formei' owner, and 
today issues one of the lust count i-y 
newspapers in the slate. It is a six 
cohitnn quai'lo, and all eight ])agcs arc 
Iiublished at home. 

l^rior to 1892 there had not been a 
newspaper established in the county out- 
side of the three leading towns — Wortli- 
ington, .Vdrian and l''I!swiirtli. Tlip first 

""With this Is.Muo the CUlztii comi)lolcs Us 
Ff(U)iul ycjir. and oomi)h'tes Its labor.s. 
Thi' move l.i not now to our mliui.f; in fact 
w« huvp contcmplntod taking tliis stop ever 
Blnre the alliance people failed to fiiKll their 
agrcoments at the beginning. V.ut eireiim- 

of the smaller towns to support a paper 
was Jjigelow. In February, 1892, there 
came into existence the State Line Sen- 
tinel, bearing a Bigelow date line. Jt 
was founded by John A. Flower, and 
was printed in the office of the Sibley 
Gazette. H. L Tripp was the local edi- 
tor. The Sentinel was published for a 
short time only. 

Three papers were established in tl;e 
county in 1893. The third of these wns 
the Nobles County Independent, which 
first saw- the light of day April 19. The 
'ndependent was a seven column quarto, 
with six "patent" pages, was democratic 
■n politics, and was edited by Leon ('an-. 
It had a troubled existence of less than 
a year, and then Mr. Carr discontinueil 
llie paper and removed the plant finm 

.\notlier paper which had a short ex- 
istence in the county seat town was the 
Minnesota Allahanda, a paper printed in 
llu' Swedish language and catering to the 
whole state. Geo. Bylander was the 
foiimlei- of this publieation, which came 
into being during the hard limes period 
in the fall of 1893. It was independent 
in jiiilities. .Mthougli it gained a cireu- 
laliiin of rm or (Kid. it did not fill a 
long felt want, and about the first of 
-\|)ril, 1894, the last nuiidjcr was printed, 
its suspension is said to have been has- 
tened because of the inability of the 
publisher to I'cscue his ready prints 
IVoin the express office. 

Iiiishmore's first newspaper e.xjiei-ii lu-e 
was in 1894, when the Kushmore Gazette 
was founded by Fred II. Millard. The 
fli'st number was issued Feb. 9, 1894, 
and was a six column folio, two pages of 
which eonlaiued local news. The paper 

stances ha\e ne\'er soenied to warrant clo.slng 
until the present. U'c have never considered 
an alliance or peoples part.v pai)er at .-Vdrian 
as a paying institution unless It could have 
the active sui)port of its friends, and this ha.s 
never been given." — Adrian Citizen, .Vpril. 1S!13. 



was printed in the office of the Nobles 
County Democrat, at Adrian. Mr. Mill- 
ard ran the paper some months and then 
turned the management over to Emmett 
Carrell. Tuljlicatiou was discontinued 
early in 1895. 

On September 20, 1894, the Kinbrae 
Herahl was established by T. E. Cole and 
Chas. Hamstreet, under the firm name 
of Cole & Hamstreet. The plant upon 
which it was printed was brought from 
Caliope, Iowa. The Herald was a lit- 
tle four column quarto and was printed 
on a job press. Mr. Hamstreet was edi- 
tor and manager and had entire charge 
of the paper, whicli was republican in 
politics. After running it three years un- 
der tlie firm name of Cole & Hamstreet, 
the junior member purchased his part- 
ner's interest and became the sole pul)- 
lisher. In 1897 the paper was enlarged 
to a seven column folio, which form was 
maintained until its suspension. In 
November, 1899, Mr. Plamstreet leased 
the plant to the Misses Fuller and Lind- 
sey, who ran it till the following Febru- 
ary. Thereafter there were several dif- 
ferent people in charge, who conducted 
it for short periods under lease from the 
owner. Mr. Hamstreet obtained posses- 
sion in September, 1901, and ran it un- 
til February, 190:i, when he suspended 
publication ami n-moved the plant to 

One day after the birth of the Kin- 
brae Herald there came into existence at 
Worthington the Worthington Herald, 
founded by T. G. Nicholson. It was a 
six column quarto, four pages "patent," 
which form it always retained, and was 
democratic. Mr. Nicholson was a spicy 
writer, and the Herald at once leaped 
into favor. On Nov. 1, 1895, E. K. 
Smith, formerly editor of the Globe, 
houglit a lialf interest in the Herald, 
and the publishers became Nicholson & 

Smith. The former was business man- 
ager and the latter editor, and the poli- 
tics became independent republican. Mr. 
Smith purchased his partner's interest 
on July 17, 1896, and thereafter ran 
tlie Herald as a straight republican pa- 
per. For nine years he published the 
Herald and made it one of the leading 
county papers from a business and polit- 
ical standpoint. After his election to 
the office of county treasurer in tlie fall 
of 19U1, he sold the plant to Nicholas 
Wienandt, formerly of the Brewster 
Triljune, who continued it as a republi- 
can paper. Nov. 1, 1905, Harvey G. 
Beckley bought a half interest and was 
interested in its publication until Octo- 
ber 1, 1906, when Mr. Weinandt again 
liecame sole publisher. The latter made 
a financial failure of the venture, and on 
June 1, 1908, Charles Hamstreet, for- 
merly owner of the Rushmore Enter- 
prise, bouglit the plant. He conducted 
the Herald a little over a month and 
then consolidated it with the Advance, 
as stated -earlier in this chapter. 

\'cry soon after the suspension of the 
Iiushmore Gazette a newspaper man by 
the name of Brandon brought in a plant 
from Fulda, erected a building, and com- 
menced the publication of the Rushmore 
Times, the first number being issued 
during the closing days of April, 1895. 
l\lr. Brandon did not make his home 
in liuslnnoi-c, but liad a local manager 
named ]ial|)h Tiedens. After a life of 
about three months the paper was sus- 
pended and the plant removed. 

Tlie next Nobles county newspaper to 
come into existence was the Minnesota 
Signal, which was established at Bige- 
low in February, 1896, by C. M. Davis. 
That gentleman was the publisher until 
December, 1900, when E. F. Glower, 
formerly of Ireton, Iowa, purchased the 
plant. He published the Signal until 



July, 1007. when he ilisposed of the 
phiut, and Bigelow was witliout a news- 
))api'r for the (irst time in over eleven 

Koniiil Lake's hrst newspaper was 
huinehe<l in April, 1S97. This was the 
Hound Lake Wave and was founded hy 
Shepanl & Achcson. Harry Aeheson 
secured full control soon after, hut the 
l)aper was oonipelled to suspend be- 
cause of lack of support. It was pub- 
lished a few months only. 

For the third lime in its liistory 
IJushmore had a newsj)a|x'r in (he fall 
of 1897. It was the Kuslmioro llatrnet, 
and was published by A. i^ \iiu's, who 
hrought the plant from Beaver ('reek, 
where for some time he had published 
the Beaver Creek Magnet. Tliis third 
Buslnjiore paper was discontinued in 
July, 1898, and the plant was moved to 
an Iowa' town, where Mr. Vines is still 
publishing a Magnet. 

Tlie only Nobles county newspaper 
wliicli is now being conducted by the 
man who founded it is the Round Lake 
(iraphic, which was issued for the first 
time July 7, 1898, by J. L. Flint. At 
the time of founding, it was a six col- 
umn folio, but in 1900 was made a 
quarto, with two pages printed at home, 
and that has been its form since. The 
(Iraphic is an indojiendcnt republican 
jiaper. That Mr. Flint has given satis- 
faction to the peoplu of Kound Luke is 
attested by his long newspaper residence 

For several years tlic village of Dun- 
ihe iiad a newspaper. This was the 
Dundee Advocate, start<'(l in 1898 by 
(J. M. Miller, who put in a new plant 
and issued the ])aper as a seven column 
folio. He sold to B. F. Drake, and in 
September, 1901. the paper became the 
property of ('has. Ilamstreet. Mr. Ham- 
street was the ])nl)]ishiT until April. 

190.">, when he discontinued publication 
and moved the plant to liusiimore and 
added it to the etjuipment of the Enter- 

The fourth attempt at publishing a 
paper in Eushmore proved successfid, 
ami during the last nine years the little 
village has had a regularly issued news- 
paper.- The Hushmore Enterprise was 
started March 24, 1899, by W. H. Chris- 
ten.sen and Dr. F. A. Carrell. They had 
no plant from which to print the pajii i-. 
and the work was done in Siou.x Falls. 
It was a seven column folio, two pages 
being '"patent." The jjcople of Rush- 
more have always loyally supported their 
newspapers, ami as the Enterprise was 
issued for many years more from loy- 
alty to the town than l)i'causi' of any 
profit, the Enterprise has always been a 
good paper. Christensen & Carrell raii 
it a short time and then turned the 
management over to E. S. Wemple, who 
was its nuuiager until November, 1901. 
Tender his admin'stration the mechanical 
work was done, first in the office of the 
Nobles County Democi-at, and later in 
the office of the Worthingtoii .\dvance. 

On .Xovcmber 7, 190;?, the Knlerprise 
Publishing Co. was formed for the pur- 
pose of continuing the papei-. Among 
those who comprised the company and 
who agreed to assist in tin' Wdik (if ]ir('- 
paring "copy" were lluir IjIuIIow, S. 15. 
Hedlord. W. II. Christensen. \)y. F. A. 
Carrell and others. I'liirr Ludlow took 
the active management and did llie bulk 
(d' the work. Under this management 
the Enterpi'se was printed in the office 
of the Advance and was a seven column 
folio. Ill the sunnncr of 190:5 Clia^. 
iliimstreet, « lio had been in the newspa- 
per business at K'inln'ac ami Dundre 
for many years, cnini' to liiislnnoi-e with 
a plant, bought the subscript inn list and 
good will iif the paper, and cnnlinued its 



publication. lie pDt out liis first number 
June 4. He eondncted it as a .republi- 
can paper, and at first it retained the 
old form of seven column.*. On the first 
of October following he changed the 
form to a five column quarto, and print- 
ed four pages at home. Early iu IDOG 
he discarded the "patent" features and 
printed all at home. August 1, 1907, 
the form was again changed to a si.x 
column quarto, with four pages printed 
at home. A new press was added, and 
the ofPice was otherwise greatly improv- 
ed. Mr. Hamstreet built up an cxeelieiit 
business and had one of the l)cst paying 
newspaper offices of the county. Having 
bought the Worthington Herald, he leas- 
ed the Enterprise, on June 4, 1908, to 
M. A. Mattison, and a few weeks later 
that gentleman bought the jiaper. 

Brewster ha,s been the home of a 
newspaper since the summer of 1899. 
In June of that year Allen Flint, of Sib- 
ley, took a plant to the Nobles county 
town and launelied the Brewster Beacon. 
He ran the paper only a short time when 
the plant was jjought by E. L. Kelly, 
who cliaiiged the name to the Brewster 
Tribune and ran it until the summer of 
1900. On July 17 of tliaf year Nich- 
olas Weinandt, later of the Worthington 
Herald, purchased the pajx-r. He ran 
it until December, 1902, when J. S. 
Randolph became the publisher'. Mr. 
Randolph changed the form of the sheet 
from a six column quarto with two pages 
of home matter to a five column quarto 
w'th f(uir pages at home. He in- 
stalled a Prouty press and a new job- 
ber, and added lots of other material. 
Mr. Randol|)h snld the paper October •"), 
190S, to Jesse Hamstreet, who is now 
its editor. The Tribune is independent 
."•epublican in jiolitics. 

-Imong the first business enterprises 
of the new town of Wilmont was the 

Wilinout fnitiator, which at the lime of 
its founding was the thirteenth paper in 
Nobles county. It was started March 3, 
1900, by L. C. Long & Son, wlio brought 
the plant from Magnolia, where it had 
hi en in use many years in the publica- 
f-on of the Magnolia Initiator. While 
L. ('. Long was interested in the new 
])aper financially, the management of it 
was vested in Sidney L. Long, the son, 
who conducted it until January, 1903. 
At the start it was an eight column 
felio ; in January, 1902, it was made a 
six column quarto; in June of the same 
year a cylinder press was added, and the 
pa])(r was made a five column quarto. 

Mr. Long presided over the destinies 
of the paper until January, 1903, when 
W. H. S'evert purchased the plant and 
installed F. H. Densmore as editor, ilr. 
iJensmorc ran it for the owner till June, 
then leased the plant and conducted it 
for liimself until March 1, 1904. F. B. 
Duster then had charge of the paper for 
I\Ir. Sicvert until Nov. 1. 1904. He was 
succeeded by t'has. Sundberg, who ran 
it only until Jan. 1, 190.''). The Initia- 
tor was then purchased by J. I). Lass- 
well, who I'iin it ten months, and then 
announced that be had sold the subscrip- 
tion list and that the paper would sus- 
pend. It dill not. however, and Mr. 
Sievert regained control by foreclosing 
a mortgage against the plant. That gen- 
tleman then edited the paper until Dec. 
8, 1905. Mead & Geisel then took- pos- 
session on a lease and conducted the pa- 
per until Jlay 4, 1900. F. H. Densmore 
returned and took the lease from Mead 
& Geisel, operating the ])aper from May 
4, 1906, till Aug. 17, of the same year. 

On the last mimed date the plant was 
purchased by J. L. and M. R. Berk- 
himer, who changed the name to Wil- 
mont Tribune, and were its publishers 
until October, 190G. J. L. Bcrkhimer 



llicn moved to Worthington to take con- 
trol of the (ilobe, and since then M. 15 - 
Bcrkhiiner has been the publisher. 

A second paper was started in Ells- 
worth bv Ham Clay in June, 1901. This 
was tlic Ellsworth ITerald. It was 
broiifilit into existence at the instance of 
several Ellsworth people who were not in 
accord with the views of Mr. Levins, of 
the News. The field was not large 
mough to support two papers, and the 
weaker one went to the wall. Tlie last 
issue of the Herald was published in 
October, l!t03, and the subscription list 
was sold to the .Vdrian (Juardian. 

For a few innntlis in 1901 a second 
paper, known as the Kinbrae Chinook, 
was conducted at K'ubi-ae. It failed, 
was revived in October by (!uy X. Phil- 
lips, of Sioux Falls, but bad only a short 

The Lisniore Leader was founded Xov. 
V9. 1901. C. X. Sawyer was the pro- 
prietor, and be made the Leader inde- 
pendent in politics, a jjolicy it has ever 

since retained. It was started as a five 
column quarto, with four pages of home 
news and four pages of "patent" tnatter. 
It was run in that form till Feb. 13, 
1903, when it was enlarged to a si.\ col- 
umn quarto. Mr. Sawyer sold the plant 
June 17, 1901, to W. V. Olin, who con- 
ducted it until Nov. 3, 1905. Then E. 
J. Conrad leased the plant and was the 
publi.sher of the Leader till April G, 
190G, reducing it to a five column paper, 
C. N. Sawyer & Co. then became the 
publishers, Mrs. C. L. Wynia being the 
local manager iiiiiil Feb. 8, 1907, 
Charles Orsamus Sawyer, son of the 
founder, then took charge of the Leader, 
eidarged it to a six column paper, and 
nm it until Sept. (i, 1907. It was then 
decided by the owners to suspend pub- 
licat'ou and remove the plant, but sev- 
ei'al of the business men of Lismore, de- 
sirous of having the paper continued, 
formed the Leader Publishing Co., pur- 
chased the plant, and have since edited 
the paper. 



Xoblc'S county is situated in the south- a rich (larl< colored loam, almost en- 
eni tier of Minnesota counties and close tirely free from sand and gravel, except 
to the western boundary line of the in Grand Prairie township, and wonder- 
state, only one county intervening be- fully unir(n-m throughout the county, 
twecn it and the South Dakota line. 'On The depth of the soil is from two to 
the north is Murrav conntv : on the east eight feet, and this is underlaid with a 

Jackson ; on the south are the counties 
of Osceola and Lyon, Iowa; and on the 
west is Eock county. Nobles county lias 
twenty townships and its dimensions are 
34 by 30 miles. Its exact area is 
727.00 square miles, or 405,704.16 acres. 
Of this area 454,877.12 acres are land; 
10,827.04 acres are water. 

subsoil of porous clay, mixed slightly 
witli gravel. No soil is better calculated 
to withstand drouth or excessive rainfall, 
and it is very friable and easily subdued. 
There are no rock outcrops. The ex- 
ception to this general description of the 
soil is the gravelly plain of Grand Prai- 
rie township, in the southwest corner, 

A glance at the map of Minnesota and which, geologists tell us, was formed by 
at the political division in the southwest 
corner designated as Nobles county will 
furnish the information above given. 
But there will be found nothing to dis- 

abundant waters ilowing from the mo- 
raine at the time of the earl'er ice sheet, 
spreading the coarser materials of the 
drift over the lower lands. The ad- 

tinguish Nobles from the other divisions joming area of till rises from forty to 
in the vicinity, except that it may be seventy-tive feet above this plain. The 

noticed that it is covered with a network 
of railroads, indicating that it has su- 
perior transportation facilities, and tliat 
there are also many lakes and water 
courses, indicating possibilities for drain- 
age. The lithographed piece of paper 
does not convey much idea of the coun- 
try. A personal inspection is required to 
learn what it is and what it may become. 
The greater part of tlie county's sur- 
face is undulating or rolling prau'ie. 
The soil is made up of a drift deposit, 

■Geological and Natural History Survey of 
Minnesota, 1901. 

gravelly deposit is now covered by a 
fertile soil. 

Geologist N. H. Wihchell has written 
of the formation of the soil of Nobles 
and Murray counties as follows:'' 

The western morainic belt, constituting 
the crest of the principal Coteau des Prai- 
ries, rises, in the highest part, in Buffalo 
riflge, in Murray county, to 1,0.50 feet above 
the soa, and it susiains an altitude of 1.800 
to l.nOO feet through most of Cameron anil 
Chanar.ambie townships. Further south, 
through Nobles county, it has an average 
niaxinuini altitude of about 1.700 feet. The 
lowest land in Murray county is in the 




nortlicnt.1 part of Holly, 1.2r.O to 1.300 feet 
nbovr tlu- koii. the rxtremcs in tliis toiinty 
boiiig i^i'imratiMl, tliorcfore, about 700 feet. 
The lowest land in Nobles eonnty is at tlie 
point where -laek ereek ernsses itn eastern 
liounilary, about 1,420 feet above the sea, 
and ihiee humlred feet below the crests 
of the nioriinif bell. 

The eriiiled valleys are from 50 to la feet 
deep, and ■jenerally a half to thrce-(iuarters 
of a mile wide. 

The terminal moraines wliieh cross these 
counties denote the farthest limit of the 
ice of the last jjlaeial epoch, there having 
been a period of rest, and perhajis of rc- 
advnnee, at the place where the e:istern, or 
Inter, moraine lies. The drift which lies 
farther west and southwest, occupying Ne- 
braska. Kansas and Missouri, was the pro- 
duct of the earlier placial epoch. It can be 
inferred that llie till to the east of the 
C'otcan lies Prairies was of later dale than 
that to the west from the fact that nearly 
.ill draina<;e courses flowing westward take 
their rise along the eastern margin of the 
coteau and maintain deep channels through 
the coteau; while not one that flows east- 
ward rises in the western margin of the 
coteau. This gave the westward flowing 
streams an earlier date than the eastward. 
The latter could not begin until afler the 
withdrawal of the ice, which probably built 
all the country toward the east and rose 
.several hundred feet above the coteau. 
While the ice continued and brought for- 
ward its morainic materials, the water that 
resulted from its dissolution was drained 
off southwesterly, and the valleys tlien form 
eJ have existed until the present. 

While llic ciiiuitv'.s siirrace is (|uil(> 
uniforiiily iindiiiatinp, about one-.«i.\tli is 
inoro pi'oinincntly roll-ng. Tlie lanrl that 
may be so classed forms a ridge e.Meiid- 
ing across tlic eouuty iiorthwe.«t by soutli- 
oast, and includes a small ])art of Will- 
mont towiisliij), nearly one-luilf of Lar- 

'The elevations above sea level of the vil- 
lages of the county, as taken 1)\' the N'urious 
rallrnads, arc as follows: WorthiiiBtoii. 1.593 
feet: Adrian. 1.555: Wilmont, 1.7:i5: Brewster. 
1.490; Hound Lake. 1,558: Rushmore, 1,682; 
'Blgelow. l,6;iG; Dundee. 1.450; Klnbrae, 1.471; 
RoudluK. 1.72'.'. 

The altitudes (appro.tlmately) of points In 
the several townships, us pul)llshed In the 
GeoIoKlcal and Natural History Siu'vey of 
Mlnnesdla by Warren I'pham. are as follows: 
Graham lakes. 1.4511. 1.500; Seward. 1.550; 
Wlllmnnl. 1.700; I.eola. 1.500. 1.500, 1.600; Lis- 
more, 1,500. 1.5.10. 1,650; l.arkln. l.fiOO. 1.650; 
Summll Lake. 1.650, 1,700; Elk. 1,550, 1.600. 
1.650; lli-rsev. 1.500; I.njaln. 1.500. 1.550; 
WorthluKton. ' 1,650; Ilewald. 1.650; Westslde. 
1.500. 1.550 1.600; (irand Prairie, 1.450. 1.500; 
little Ilo<k. 1.5011. 1,550. 1.600; Ransom, 1.500, 
1.650. 1.600; UlRelow, 1.600 1,650; Indian Lake. 

kin, over one-lialf of .Summit Lake, over 
one-half of Dewald. nearly one-lialf of 
W'lirlhinglon, nearly all of Bigelow and 
al)out one-third of Indian Lake. The 
ridge is from one hundred to three hun- 
dred feet higher Ihaii the rest of the 
country and forms the watershed be- 
tween the Mississi|(|ii and ilissouri rivers. 
The highest jiiiiiit of elevation on this 
riilge is something over 1,700 feet; the 
lowest elevation in the county is about 
lA'iO feet, ill (irahaiii Lakes township. - 
Over ten thousand acres of Nobles 
county's surface is water, and there are 
forty to fifty lakes find ponds, great and 
small, ^laiiy nl' iliese arc beautiful bod- 
ies iif water. Ill (Jraham Lakes town- 
shi]), where the first settlement was 
made, are the InMut'l'iil Last and West 
(iraliam lakes and Clear lake. M 
Worthington is lake Okabena, one of 
the finest bodies of water in snutlieni 
Minnesota. In the early days anotiier 
body of water. Last Okabcua lake, \vas 
here also, separated I'lom the west lake 
liy a narrow strip of laud, Okabena is a 
1 lakota Indian word, meaning "divid(>d 
waters."^ The largest body of water in 
the cmnity is lake Ocheyda, located in 
Higelpw, Iiulian Lake and Lorain town- 
ships. The name is a Simix w(inl iiK-aii- 
iiig Boy lake. In Indian Lake townshi)) 
is I'mind Hie pretty littl(> lake with tlu! 
saiiu' name as the lowiisliip. On iti 

^"Editor Ad\'aiico; A correspondent express- 
ed a wish through your paper to learn the 
meaning of Okahena. the name of the two 
lakes at Worthinston. Okahena Is a Uakotah 
word and means literally, 'divided waters.' 

" Lol on a narrow neck I stand 

Twixt two unhuundi'd seas.* 

"The above Is from an old resident of the 
state who is well posted in names and 
knows whereof he speaks. The impressiiin 
has always prevailed here that 'Okabena' had 
about the same nieanini; as Chicago, or that 
Okabena lake m<'ant Sknnk lake. We agree 
with our correspondent who says in a pri- 
vate note: 'We ought io get rid of the 
abominable meaning Skunk lake, especially as 
It' has no foundation whatever.' "- Wcivthing- 
ton Advance, Aug. IS, 1881. 






banks gome of the first settlers built 
their homes. Summit lake is a small 
body of water in the township of the 
same name. 

Nobles county is well watered. The 
Kanaranzi and Champepadan creeks and 
Little Rock river form the main water 
courses for the western portion, flowing 
in a southwesterly direction and empty- 
ing into the Big Rock river, ultimately 
finding their way to the Missouri. The 
principal streams of the eastern portion 
of the county are Ocheyedan creek, whicli 
empties into the Little Sioux ; and Jack, 
Elk and Okabena creeks, which are trib- 
utaries of the Des Moines river. 

The Champepadan, rising in the soutli- 
western corner of Murray county, flows 
southwest through Leota townsliip and 
leaves the county from tlie western ])art 
of Lismore township. 

'J'he Kanaranzi has its source in Will- 
mont township at an elevation of 1,G70 
feet. It flows southwest through Larkin, 
Olney and Westside townships and leaves 
the county from the northwest corner of 
Grand Prairie. At a distance of about 
eighteen miles from its source "as the 
crow flies," it has an elevation of 1,427 
feet, giving it a fall in that distance of 
243 feet. It runs swiftly and has a 
good volume of water. Its water is clear 
and the bed of the stream is gravelly. 

The Little Rock rises in Summit lake, 
1,700 feet in elevation. Its course is 
southwest by south, and it flows through 
the townships of Summit Lake, Dewald, 
Ransom and Little Rock. At a distance 
of seventeen miles in a bee line from the 
outlet of the lake its elevation is 1,451 
feet, showing a fall of 249 feet. It is a 
rapid stream, has a gravelly bed and the 
volume of water is constant throughout 
the year. 

Ocheyedan creek rises in Ocheyda lake, 
flows south and leaves the county from 

tlie southern part of Bigelow township. 

Okabena creek rises in Worthington 
township, near the village, and flows east 
through Worthington and Lorain town- 

Elk creek has its source in the town- 
ship of the same name and flows out 
through Hersey township. 

The main fork of Jack creek rises in 
the southwest corner of Bloom township 
and flows east, draining Bloom, Seward 
and Graham Lakes townships. The other 
fork rises in Murray county and flows 
southwest through Seward township and 
unites with the main fork on the line 
between Seward and Graham Lakes 

Nobles is an agricultural county. Ac- 
cording to the latest statistics obtain- 
able there are 1,751 farms of an aver- 
age size of 260 acres. The principal 
products are corn, barley, oats, wheat, 
rye, flax, hay, livestock, dairy products, 
poultry, fruit and vegetables. The aver- 
age yield per acre of the cereal crops, 
according to the last statistics, is as 
follows: Wheat, 11.68 bushels; oats, 
31..58; corn, 29.16; barley, 28.16; rye, 
10.78; flax, 10.67. The hay crop aver- 
ages 1.63 tons per acre; potatoes, 105.84 
bushels; miscellii.neous vegetables have an 
average value of $47.16 per acre. It is 
universally conceded that intelligent cul- 
tivation would result in a large increase 
of this average. 

In the early days the settlers con- 
fined their energies almost exclusively to 
grain farming. Now diversified farming 
is the rule. Every farmer raises stock 
and many engage in dairying on a large 
scale. The live stock of the county in 
1907, with the average value per head 
according to the assessor's figures, was 
as follows: Horses, 12,395, value $53.86; 
cattle, 41,386, value $17.73; sheep, 27,- 
565, value, $2.60; swine, 36,804, value 



$1.40. Ill dairying, Noljles county is 
rapidly coming to the front. In 1906 
tlicre were six creameries in the county, 
the output of wbicli was 027,373 pounds 
of butter. Since tliat date several new 
creameries liave been started and the 
output has been greatly increased. 

While agriculture is the principal pur- 
suit, manufacturing occupies an import- 
ant place among the county's industries. 
There are fifty manufacturing industries, 
representing an invested capital of $138,- 

With financial institutions, schools and 
churches tiie county is well represented. 
There are seventeen banks, the deposits 
of which are approximately a million 
and a half dollars. There are one hun- 
dred rural schools, eighteen graded 
sciiools and several high schools. Forty- 
eight cliurches represent the following 
denominations : Methodist, Presbyter- 
ian, German Presbyterian. Catliolic, Ger- 
man Liithcraii, German Rvangclieal, 
Swedish Tjutlieran, Swedish ^ri>;sion, 
Swedisli Baptist. Xorwcgian Luthomn, 
Congregational, Episcopal, L'nihirian, 
Baptist, Brethren, Bethel Reformed and 
Christ ian Reformed. 

Willi transportation facilities Nobles 
county is well supplied. Of the twenty 
town.ships only four ilo imt have rail- 
roads pas.sing through lliein. There is 
not a farm in Nobles county that is iiioro 
than ten miles from market. 

'{'he main line of the Chicago, St. 
I'aiil, Minneapolis & Omaha passes 
through the eastern part nf th(> county, 
on which are the villages of Brewster, 
Wortliington, Org and Bigclow. A 
branch of this road extends west from 
Wortliington, on which are the villages 
of Rushmoro and Adrian. Another 
branch of the same road passes through 
the extreme northeastern part of the 
county and on this line is the village of 

Dundee. Extending diagonally across 
the county from southeast to northwest 
is the Chicago, Rock Island & Pacific, 
on which are Round Lake, Worthington, 
Reading, ^Yilmont and Lismore. A 
branch of this system also passes through 
the southwestern corner of the coimty, 
on which is Ellsworth. From that vil- 
lage the Rock Island has also a branch 
extending southward. The Chicago, Mil- 
waukee & St. Paul touches the county, 
passing through the northeastern corner. 
On its line is the village of Kinbrar. 

Rural and long distance telephone 
lines form a complete network over the 
county and every community is reached. 
There are about twenty rural free de- 
livery mail routes, and there are few 
farms (o wliirli innil is not delivered 

The total assessed valuation of the 
county, according to the figures for 1907, 
is .$8,G()9.14'>, of which $1.."ilO,(M8 is 
personal property. 

Land can In' purchased at from -tSO 
to -i^ 11)1 1 per acre, according to improve- 
ments and proximity to markets, and 
considering the r'clmess of the soil, tlie 
oxcelUait markets and the numerous cilu- 
cational and soc-ial advantages ofl'ered. ii 
is not easv to umlcrstaml why any home- 
seekers pass through this coiiuli-y (o llic 
bleak prairi(>s of the Dakotas or Canada. 
Nobles county lanil. at the price at which 
it can now be obtained, is cheaper, all 
things considcreil, than the Dnlcota (U' 
Canaila laml at the |)i-cscnt |iriccs. for 
the settlers there will be coinpcllcd to 
expend more than the diftcrence in pr'ce 
to bring those countries up to the con- 
dition of this. 

The farmer in tlie older states east 
and south can dispose of an eighty acre 
farm, and with the proceeds ]uirchase a 
(punter section in Nobles county, and in 
making the change he will lose none of 



the advantages and conveniences enjoyed. 
There will be no frontier hardships to 
endure, no years of lonely toil in a 
sparsely settled country, nothing lack- 
ing in tlie way of social pleasures or 
the advantages of schools and churches. 

Another advantage in Nobles county 
that must not be lost sight of is its 
pro.ximity to the great primary market. 
It is within easy reach of the great 
Minneapolis, St. Paul, Sioux City, Oma- 
ha and Chicago markets. Their near- 
ness and the low freight rates in effect 
insure high prices for farm products 
sold tliere and low prices for commodi- 
ties purchased there. 

Nobles county holds most alluring 
prospects for farmers who are in search 

of rich and productive lands close to 
markets, where they may establish homes 
amid schools and churches and congen- 
ial surroundings. There are some tracts 
of land yet to be put under cultivation, 
and there are large farms that may be 
subdivided, while other farms that are 
now in the hands of renters might be 
improved by resident owners. 

The county is capable of supporting 
more than three times as many farmers 
as it now has. The local creameries 
want more cream, the merchants want 
more eggs and poultry, the elevators 
want more grain, the stock buyers want 
more cattle and hogs, and all around is 
a demand for the products of Nobles 
ciiiinty that will never be filled. 



A PKALKIE FIKE. The few scattered settlers were in the 

greatest danger when one of these lires 

Those who lived in Nobles county approached. Many settlers lost thei, 

during the years of its early settlement whole belongings, and but few escaped 

will never forget the alarm caused by ivithout loss from this source. "Eire- 

the approach of a prairie fire. Many breaks/" made by plowing furrows aruiiud 

of tiie present generation are sceptical the buildings or hay stacks, sometimes 

of the dangers to life and property served as a check to the flames, but 

from this source. Otliers can but marvel with a strong head wind the flames 

at the conditions that made a prairie often jumped hundreds of feet, and in 

lire dangerous or even possible. But such ease the breaks were of no use. 

conditions in the early days ditfered The favorite method of hgliting fire was 

greatly from those of the present day. by "back-firing." When one of the tcr- 

Then there were vast stretches of sparse- rors of the prairie was seen approach- 

ly settled and unbroken prairie, covered ing with the wind, a fire would be set 

with a dense growth of rank grass, which near the property to be saved. This, 

in the low places often grew to a great small at first, could be controlled and 

Jieight. In the fall the grass died and wliipped out on the leeward side, leaving 

formed a thick covering of highly inflam- the flames to slowly eat their way 

mable material, which "burned like a windward to meet tiie oncoming lurid 

prairie fire" when it became ignited. destroyer. Sometimes a space of sufCi- 

When a heavy wind accompanied one cient width would thus be burned over 

of these conflagrations the eft'ect was in tinu' to ju-event the destruction. In 

thrilling. The flames would race over case of a big conflagration fire fighting 

the prairie witii the speed of the wind, companies would be organized to go 

leaping, bounding, rushing on its fiery out and contend with th(! flames, using 

way. By day the air would be filled dampened sacks, quilts, or whatever was 

with smoke and cinders and tlie atmos- luindy, to whip out the blaze, 

phere would become hazy; at niglit the Prairie fires continued a menace to 

heavens would be illumined by the blaze, the people of Nobles county many years 

and the bright lines of the raging fires or until the county had been settled and 

could be seen, often miles in length, subdued. Seldom did a fall pass in the 

After the passing the prairie wouhl be early days without one or more disas- 

left a blackened waste. trous conflagrations in some part of 




the county. The siuij ^jL urn.- of these 
lirt'S will be given as an illustration. 

On Saturday afternoon, Oetober IG, 
lSi5, a ilenjse smoke extending north- 
ward for several miles was seen rising 
above the prairie to the west of \\ ortii- 
ingtou, then practieally the only vil- 
lage of the eounty. It was evident that 
an extensive prairie lire was raging at 
some point miles away. As night came 
on the bright lines of tlie fire became 
visible, and by ten o'clock the iii'es had 
approached so near the town as to be 
thouglit dangerous. Several squads of 
men went out from Worliiiugton and 
fought the lire at points where the prairie 
in the immediate vicinity of town was 
exposed. The fire approached to within 
one mile of the village from the west. 

The lire had started on the west 
side of the Kanaranzi. It jumped the 
creek and burned the whole country 
from that point to Woj-thington, burning 
over the greater portions of Olney, 
Dewald, Summit Lake ami Worthington 
townships. The damage to property was 
about $5,000. The greatest loss was 
sustained by Mr. Thorn, who had about 
200 bushels of wheat in the stack 
burned. A number of persons lost hay, 
ranging in quantity from one to tw'enty 
tons each. 

In the early days the starting of a 
prairie lire, whether intentionally or 
otherwise, was a crime, and steps were 
at once taken to apprehend the guilty 
party. The origin of the lire was soon 
learned. Spencer Maxwell stated that 
he had come in from the west during 
the day and that he had seen the 
beginning of the fire. He had seen a 
teamster start a fire for the purpose of 
cooking ills dinner at a point just be- 
yond the Kanaranzi, that the fire got 
beyond his control and soon covered acres 
of ground. A stiff breeze was blowing 

from the west and the liames spread 
with great rapidity. 

John Alley, who did more than any 
other man in the community to im- 
2>ress upon the public the importance 
of pi'eventing prairie fires, insisted thai 
the party should be promptly arrested 
Sherill liuUis, accompanied by Spencer 
Maxwell, was soon on his way westward 
to seek the teamster. The officer went 
as far as Valley Springs, Dakota, where 
he learned that the man wanted wa- 
on the road south of the main traveled 
Sioux Falls road. He hastened in the 
direction indicated and arrested the iii:in 
ill Martin township, Kock county. 

A Norwegian by the name of Nels Nel- 
son proved lo be the man. He was tak- 
en to Worthington on the eighteenth and 
there arraigned before Justice of the 
Peace Bennett. Nelson pleaded guilty and 
was lined $60 and costs, bringing the 
total up to $90. Imprisonment in tlie 
Blue Earth county jail for ninety days 
was the alternative of paying the fine. 
Nelson's story of the start of the fire 
was as follows: He was engaged in team- 
ing for a Sioux Falls party, and on 
Saturday was returning to that town 
from Worthington. After crossing the 
J'ianaranzi he drove aside from the 
main road into a by-road and started 
a tire to cook a meal. He whittled 
some pine shavings and lighted them, 
when a gust of wind scattered them 
among the prairie grass, and in a nm- 
inent the fire was beyond his control. 

The story and tlie evi<l('n(e of others 
went to show that the fire was the result 
(if carelessness merely, and that the case 
was an unrnrltinate one. Nelson claim- 
ed that there was enough money due him 
in Sioux Falls to pay his fine and tlie 
costs, and the court did not impose sen- 
tence at (iiKi . Tie was permitted to go to 
work in Wm-tliinrrton with the under- 



standing that lie was to pay the fine as 
soon as the money could be collected. He 
wa^ pardoned by the governor in Novem- 
ber, upon the recommendation of a 
number oJi the citizens of the county. 
Mr. Maxwell received $100 offered by the 
county for information leading to the 
conviction of the guilty party. 


The history of Nobles county would 
be incomplete without a word about 
Caroline Harrison, "the wild girl," who 
came to the Graham Lakes country with 
the early settlers and there lived the rude 
life of the trappers for a few years. Many 
stories of her doings — most of them of 
imaginative origin — have been told, to 
the effect that she was in reality a 
wild girl, that she lived alone in the 
timber on the lake, and that on one 
occasion she drove a party of surveyors 
out of the country at the point of a 

Aliss Harrison was the eldest daughter 
of Benjamin Harrison, one of the com- 
missioners appointed by Governor Hor- 
ace Austin to organize Nobles county. 
Her mother died when she was quite 
young and Caroline became the com- 
panion of her father. Hunting and trap- 
ping, living on the frontier and denied 
the society of her own sex, she was at 
home in the company of the frontiers- 
men. She could play the violin, shoot, 
trap, chew tobacco and occasionally 
swear. While she was short in stature 
she weighed perhaps 180 pounds, and. 
notwithstanding her weight, could walk 
thirty or thirty-five miles in a day, lift 
a twenty-five pound sack -of shot froni 
one shoulder to the other, swim a mile 
or more without apparent fatigue, and 

was in fact an athlete of no mean pro- 

Her rough manners were the result 
of her association, as was demonstrated 
when she began her association with the 
neighbor women. Slie then began to 
check her rude habits, and l)efore she 
left the county she had given u\> all 
except the violin. She afterward fell 
heir to a small sum of money and had 
the good sense to use it in obtaining an 


All the old-timers are familiar with 
tlio elTorts put forth to make Worthing- 
tnn a tem])crance town, which efforts 
were successful for several years during 
the early history of the town. However, 
numerous efforts were made by several 
different parties to sell liquor, which ef- 
forts generally resulted disastrously. We 
have the story of the first saloon — if it 
mav be so termed — which opened in 
Worthington from one who was a resi- 
dent of the village at the time. From 
the facts regarding this first attempt we 
may form the opinion that this initial 
"(h-unk sho])" did very little harm. 

One of the enterprising business men, 
in the fall of 1871, shipped in a five 
gallon jug of whiskey. Then came the 
blockade, and no more could be procured 
until late the next spring, but this did 
not prevent the storekeeper from doing 
a thriving business in his side line. 
There were two residents of Worthing- 
ton who were regular patrons of this five 
gallou jug, who were wont to toss a 
coin several times a day to decide who 
should "buy." 

Knowing that it was impossible that 
any more should have been shipped in 
and that the supply at the start was 



limited as stated, these two gentlemen, 
along in the spring, began to make cal- 
culations and found to their great sur- 
prise that they must have consumed at 
least forty gallons of the liquor. This 
was a stunner and hard to reconcile with 
the facts. It began to dawn upon these 
gentlemen that perhaps the liquor liad 
been adulterated, and they called upon 
a friend to investigate the matter. The 
friend was one who did not drink, and 
his judgment was asked for that reason. 
They figured that, as they had been ac- 
customed to drinking the liquor, their 
taste might have become perverted, and 
that the non-drinking friend would be a 
better judge of the liquid than they 
who had become so accustomed to it. 

So they asked him to sample the li- 
quor and ascertain if he could find any 
trace of whiskey in it. This the friend 
consented to do. First he smelled the 
cork, and then tasted the contents of the 
bottle. After several trials he gave it 
as his opinion that the coi-k had a per- 
ceptible odor of whiskey, but that he 
could detect no trace in the bottle. And 
so it proved to be. When a quart of 
whiskey liad been sold a quart of rain- 
water had taken its place, and so grad- 
ual had been the change that the tastes 
of the cuslomei-s liad been educated up 
to drinking rainwater. 

This is a true story. 


In 1896 some Worthington gentlemen 
found in lake Okabcna an old-fashioned 
single-barreled shot gun of the style in 
use years ago. The barrel of the gun 
was deeply encrusted wilh rust, and tlie 
stock, which was of lilack wahiut, was 
badly eaten and washed lliin by inces- 

sant contact with the waves of more than 
a quarter of a century. How the old 
gun came to be there was of course an 
unsolved mystery, but the Wortlnngton 
Herald editor had a dream and printed 
it. Here is the story he wove about the 
old gun : 

"Away back in the early sixties, so the 
.-itory runs, a party of Siou.x Indians be- 
longing to tlie band of the ferocious and 
blood thirsty Inkpadutah, who conducted 
tlu' massacre at Spirit Lake, were cu- 
caiiiped at Stony Point [on West Oka- 
l)ena lake] laying in a supply of fish. 
This was but a few days after the Spirit 
Lake butchery, and United States cav- 
alry was scouring the country in search 
of the terrible chief and his band. 

"While the Indians were quietly fish- 
ing a detachment of soldiers suddenly 
appeared behind tliem, deployed in a 
semi-circle, so that escape to the north, 
south and east was impossible. In this 
jiredieament the Indians plunged into 
tlie lake, whicli was very deep in those 
days, and by swimming under water all 
l)ut one managed to elude the bulUts 
of their, pursuers and escape in safety 
to the other side. They took their weap- 
ons witli them. The one mentioned, 
ulicn aliout two hundred yards from the 
shoi'c, raised himself from the water to 
yell defiance at the troops on the bank. 
It was his last yell on earth. A sharp 
crack from a musket, a short struggle 
in the water, and the Sioux brave sunk 
to a watery grave. Finding it useless to 
continue ilic |)ursuit, the soldiers took 
the back ti'M'l to the eastward." 



One of tlic 'liosl known pnlilic tlior- 
oiigb fares of soulliwosti'rn Minnesota is 
the diagonal wagon road which extends 



The above is a picture of a pine box, five inchies v\ ide, six inciies long, and two inches 
deep, covered with a shingle, which for many years was the only piece of furniture that 
adorned the postoffice at Hebbard and later at Adrian. In it were kept the stamps and 
small change of the Hebbard office, and when the postoffice was moved to the new 
town of Adrian the primitive postoffice box was taken along. Many west end residents 
will recognize this reminder of pioneer days. The box is now in the possession of A. J. 
Rice, having been presented to him by Thomas H. Childs in 1891. The latter succeeded 
5am Hebbard as postmaster of Hebbard office and became Adrian's first postmaster. 



from Worthington due northwest, diag- 
onally across the sections, for a distance 
of about fourteen miles, ending a mile 
and a half east of Wilmont. To realize 
the importance of this road in the early 
days it must be remembered that up to 
recent years the whole of northwestern 
Nobles county — a rich and productive 
territory — was without a railroad and 
far from market. Until the Worthing- 
ton & Sioux Falls railroad was built and 
Adrian and Eushmore were founded the 
tiade oX this whole northwest country 
came to Worthington, and after that 
event much of it went to the county seat 
town. The building of the diagonal road 
shortened the route to market several 
miles and proved of great benefit to the 
farmers and the business men of Worth- 

To B. W. Lyou belongs, primarily, the 
credit for the making of the road_. It 
was he who conceived the ideaj ^^d he 
who drew up the petitions and- circulate " 
ed them. The county commissiquers^took 
favorable action and formally establish-, 
ed the road as county road No. 9. Sur- 
\eyor B. W. Woolstencroft laid out the 
road. 111 whicli he was assisted by Mr. 
Lyon. Tlic latter was the first to drive 
a team (an ox team) over the proposed 
roa(J, whicli he did witliout making a 
single detour from a straight line. The 
railroad company donated the land of 
its sections over which the road passed 
and took a friendly interest in the pro- 
ceedings. Efforts to make the diagonal 
road a thing of beauty as well as useful 
were made. The railroad company of- 
fered free of charge willow shoots to line 
the road if the farmers and others would 
plant them. Along only a short distance 
of the road were the trees planted. 

The diagonal road was kept in repair 
and became the most traveled thorough-- 
fare of the county. After the building 

of the Burlington road, however, and 
markets had been established at several 
points in northwestern Nobles county, 
the old road lost much of its usefulness. 
Then the northwestern end had little ex- 
cept '"through" travel on it, and it was 
kept in repair under protest. In 1903 
a petition was presented to the county 
board, signed by many farmers along the 
road who considered the land of more 
value for farming tlum for road pur- 
poses, asking that it be abandoned. Ee- 
monstranceS poured in protesting against 
any such action, as much from senti- 
ment, possibly, as from any other cause. 
The action of the board is related by 
the commissioners' jounial of Novemljer 
20, 190•^: 

"On motion the petition was rejected 
on account of the overwhelming remon- 
strances. The petition was not reason- 
able on its face." ' 


The year of the arrival of the Na- 
tional colonists to Nobles county was 
one of interest in many respects, and 
not the least item of interest were tlie 
juirages whicli occurred. The autumn 
of that year, from the middle of Sep- 
tember to tlie middle of October, was 
a geniiiric Indian Sumnirr. The nights 
were crisp and frosty, but the days 
were soft and crystal clear, and the 
liuiii of the thresher could be heard 
for miles. 

On some mornings the looming mir- 
age cast a glamour over the prairies 
and changed them into an enchanted 
land. People at first doubted their 
senses iind feared for their reason wJien 
tliey saw the country for fifty miles 
in all directions raised into view, lakes. 



groves, villages, not ordinarily visible, 
appearing like apparitions invoked by 
some enelianter's wand. 

Tiie most wonderful phenomenon of 
lliis nature occurred October 1, 1872. 
Tlie mirage lasted until nearly an hour 
after sunrise and was witnessed by many 
people. Ujjon those who saw it, it 
had almost a weird effect and threw a 
sort of poetic glamour over tiie whole 
region which lasted a long time after 
the vision was gone. So clear was the 
atmosphere and so distinct were remote 
objects that the houses in the village 
of Ilersey, not ordinarily visible from 
Worth ington, were revealed almost to 
their foundations. The timber on Gra- 
ham lakes appeared like a grove half 
way between Wortliingtfm and the hori- 
zon, and as far north as the eye could 
reach there were dim outlines of more 
tind)er, probably on lake Shetek, be- 
tween thirty and forly miles distant. 
The line of timber along Des Moines 
river could be traced from Jackson to 
Windom. Groups of houses stood out 
on the ])rairic in every direction, look- 
ing like snrall villages. Tt certainly 
was a fairy land upon wbicli the early 
.eltlers gaxed in wnmlir. 

■nil'. Kii.'s'i' (UMTS. 

Things of small ini|ii)rtaiue in Ihcni- 
sclves are .sometimes treasured in the 
meniory of as.sociation. So it 
hajjpens that the coming of a circus — 
the first in the county — is remembered 
by many of tiie early settlers. Tt was 
ill the summer of 1873 that Bai-niiin 
& Bailey's circus exhibited in the little 
town of Worthington and thereijy adilcil 
lo the early history of the village. 

That place was selected for an e.\hi- 
bition point for a two-fold reason — 
first, because the long "jumps" between 
show towns on the western frontier 
made necessary a stop at some smaller 
town, and second, of the fact 
that tile lake at W'oilliiiigton oU'ereil a 
splendid wallow for the animals of the 
menagerie. It was a big day for Wortli- 
ington, and the little village was tilled 
to overflowing. From Dakota, Iowa, 
and southern Minnesota points peojile 
by the hundreds came to see the cir- 
cus, many making a two and tliree 
days' trip. 

.\.\ ul.n ST()\K. 

In several places in this volume, 
mention has been made of a party of 
Scauiiiiiav ian railroad laborers wlio in 
1871 took claims near llie Bigelow-lii- 
ilian Lake township line and became 
early and permanent settlers. ■ Those men 
became identified with the part of the 
county in which they located, and near- 
ly all of tlu'iii are residents of the 
counly loilav. 

i''i)iii' iiieiniicrs of till' |iai'l\. Hans Xv- 
slniiii. I'lrick Malilbcrg. ('. .1. Wickstrom 
anil I'clcr Wickslroni, lia\c the honor 
id' having limigiit the first stove in Xo- 
bles county. In the fall of 1871 these 
gentlemen went to Wnrtbington and in 
|iiii'tu('i'slii|i in\cstcil lliirty dollars in 
a cook stove, buying fnmi 11. W. J\iiii- 
ball, who bad Just opened his hardware 
store, the lirst one in the county. Dur- 
ing the liisi winter all members of the 
party mail(> their bonii's at the bouse 
of Iv Xin-dquist, in Inilian Lake town- 
ship, anil there the stove was initiated 
to the rig(H-s of a 'Minnc>ota winter 



In till' spriug of 1872 each of the 
seUlers luovetl onto his own eiaiui, aud 
the stove was purchased by Hans Ny- 
strom. In his pioneer liouie it saw 
service many years, aud into its tire- 
ijox were stufted many thousand twists 
of hay — the fuel in gem ral use iu early 
days. Tlie old stove was on duty at 
the Nystrom home until three years ago, 
and tiien, its days of usefulness having 
passed, it passed into the hands of a 
junk dealer. 


Aiany stones — souic ol aniusiiig na- 
ture now, but of a serious nature a I li.e 
time — liave been told oi cariy day lite 
m .Noules county. Ouring tiie terrible 
grasshopper scourge tlie settlers suf- 
lered uurecordeit i rials. Tlie stories of 
sucli alone woulil hil a volume of this 

iiKiicative of the times, it has been 
related that a promiueut and, later, 
successful farmer of Suuimit Lake towu- 
siiijj was one winters day hauling a load 
of hay to Worthington, with tlie pro- 
ceeds from tlie sale of which he ex- 
pected to buy provisions. 'J'he weatiior 
was unpleasant and the snow was deep. 
Over miserable roads he was having 
anything hut a |ihasant time and suc- 
cessful trip, and on seveu occasions tiie 
load tipped over. On one such he was 
assisted 'in getting the load to rights 
by I). W. Chute, another Summit Lake 
farmer. The unfortunate owner of the 
hay was disgusted and exclaimed : 

"If we were not out of flour I would 
set fire to the d load." 

ucans. -LL "iaj oc saiii, t/t jjdo.ia.iiL, luat 
u.e LuuUiy lait^ nut goL over il to Liiis 
uu\, oul iu Liic eaiij Uaj & li^ Vvas oo 
Uiiaii».iioasij i^jjuuii^un LiiiiL tuc cast- 
ing oi a uuiiiOi-ianc \Oce vi its an ciCul. 
..-vt tlie election ot a.Oii, out oi a 
total \oie oi to, lucre was only one 
uemocratic ijadoi. iiouice Atisiui, rc- 
puoiicau, ior governor ic^civcu ,. \oies, 
tin.i \i iiiturop iouug, aemocrat, re- 
ceived one \ote, aud so on down the 
state ticket, for lieutenant governor, sec- 
retary Oi SLaiC, trcasdiVi, utioiiiev gen- 
eral and associate justices ot tne su- 
preme ujttrt. 'itie lone democrat was 
Jiicliaei jlagiiiie, of Graiuuu Lakes 
township, who then, and ever since has, 
"voted It straight." He is the father 
of the democratic party of Nobles 

Far from tue centers of political strife, 
the little community on Graham lakes 
took no great interest in anything but 
local politics, but a few of the leaders 
took it upon themselves to do a little elec- 
tioneering for the state ticket. Mr. Ma- 
suire at that time had no hide-bound 
party affiliation, but it was surmised he 
had leanings tow-ard democracy. A few 
of the influential men of the community 
argueil long and persistently with Mr. 
Ma<iuirr on the infallibilitv of the re- 
publican Jiarty and the shortcomings 
of the opposition. 

"They b.ounded me ahnost to death," 
said Mr. IMaguire when asked aliout the 
incident, "talking their politics, and 1 
finally made up my mind to vote the 
democratic ticket to spite them. They 
made a democrat of me for good. ' 


Almost without exception the first 
settlers of Nobles county were repub- 


The following account of an inci- 
dent connected with the earlv days in 



Graliuiii Lakes lowiisl.ip was writtt-u by 
JuagL' B. W. Woolstuncrolt in 1877, 
eight years alter the event described : 

"When we first came to Nobles county 
i.iir nearest market was Jaekson. thirty 
miles distant, and the neaivsl Hoiiriiig 
mill was at Garden City, eighty miles 
away. We were often on the road in 
sevtre weather and had many a narmw 
escape from the blinding snow or high 
water in the streams. 

"Karly in the sj)ring of lS(i!t John 
Freeman and E. .1. Clark staiiid tn 
Jaekson for provisions. They had a 
team of horses belonging to Stephen 
Muek. On arriving at Ih'ion lake out- 
let they found the stream terribly swollen 
with the recent thaw, but, nothing 
daunted, John took a 'fresh chew of 
tobacco to Hoat im" and drove in. When 
half way across the slre.uu the wagon 
turned over, preci])itating them into the 
water. Clark, though an iiiililferent 
swimmer, got ashore, but l'"rrciiian was 
drowned. His linily was found SDine 
days afterward about sixty rods dnun 
the stream, where he had cauirlil hobi 

of a willow, which must have been sever- 
al feet under water at the time he was 

"Thus perished one of Nobles coun- 
t\'s first .settlers. He was a comparative 
stranger to us all, having Ijeen with 
us but a few mnnllis, yet lie bad made 
friends of all by his joyous, joking, 
baj)py way. He was a native of \'er- 
mont, was an (>r])han, anil had a sis- 
ter sonunvhere in the states, bui we 
never knew where, and in all jiroba- 
bility she does not know of her broth- 
er's tragic end. Mv. Mui'k's horses 
were drowned, and it was a siul loss In 
liiiii inJeetl. Clark gave the fur they 
were taking to Jackson to a man by 
tl e name of Stone, to deliver to the 
l)uytr. Otiier parties si lU fiii- and mon- 
ey until the whole anmunled to about 
i^'i'itK It proved too big a tem])tation 
to till- fellow and we have never seen 
him, fur, i:r money siiu-e. This was lln' 
most disasterons trip to darkson we 
know of and was a terrible shock .o 
the sittlers," 

Biographical History 



PR0FF,S50R RANSOM F. HUMI5TON (1822-1889) 

IIc'ikI of tlie National Colony Company, Founder ol Worthington, 

and a Most Conspicuous Figure in the Early History 

ot NoLiles County. 


(1822-1889), guiding spirit of the National 
Colony company and founder of Worthington. 
was responsible, more than any other man, 
(or the rapid settlement of Nobles county in 
the early days, and during the years he 
made his home in the county was by far 
its most prominent resident. In the histor- 
ical par; nf this volume is to be found 
much of his life's history, which otherwise 
would have its place in this biography. 

Prof. Humiston was born at Great Bar- 
rington, Berkshire county. Mass., -July .3, 1822, 
and from that place the family moved, in 
May, 1833, to Hudson, Portage county, Ohio. 
Our subject was educated in the Western 
Reserve college and took up teaching as 
his life's work. While yet quite young he 
took high rank among the educators of Ohio. 
For several years he was superintendent of 
the schools of Cuyahoga Falls, an important 
manufacturing center of northern Ohio. From 
there he went to Cleveland, purchased build- 
ii'gs on "University Heights," then a sparse- 
ly .settled suburb of Cleveland, and es- 
tablished a classical school called the Cleve- 
land Institute. He there introduced a new 
feature which has since been copied in many 
of the colleges of the country, namely, a 
military training for the students. Prof. 
Humiston's school was successful and popu- 
lar. He was not only a wise manager, a 
good diciplinarian and popular educator, but 
also a public spirited and enterprising citi- 
zen. Around this school there grew up an 
educated and refined community. 

Selling his school property in 1867, Prof. 
Humiston started the next year on a tour 
of Europe, Asia and Africa, in which coun- 
tries he spent two years. Returning home 
and being possessed of a handsome com- 
petency and made sanguine and hopeful 
by his previous successes, Prof. Humiston con- 
ceived the idea of founding a colony some- 
where in the great west which should, so 
far as he could make it, be a center of edu- 
cational and moral influence. After visiting 
vaviour- localities, he selected Nobles county, 
Minn., as the place for making realities out 
of his mental projects. It was in 1871 
that he formed the National Colony company, 
secured control of a large tract of railroad 
lands in Nobles and adjoining counties, found- 
ed the village of Worthington, and began 
bis life in the new country. 

Amid the extraordinary trials of the grass- 
hopper period he was among the most un- 
daunted, hopeful and helpful. So far as 
the colony w'as successful, it was due to hia 
generous, wise and vigorous endeavors. The 
misfortunes of the colony were such that 
no human skill could forsee or prevent. For 
all the good he did. and for the larger good 
he meant to do for it, Nobles county 
owes him a meed of hearty praise and an en- 
during monument to fitly perpetuate his 
memory. He lost practically all his fortune 
in financing the colony company, and de- 
parted the county in the late seventies. 

After leaving Nobles county Prof. Hum- 
iston returned to the east and devoted his 
time to educational matters and to perfect- 
ing several patents. He died in April, 1889. 




STEI'IIKN MIU.KR (1810-1887). Among 
the distiiiguislicd mrn wlio have made No- 
bles county tliPir homo atone time or another 
since its settlement none was more highly 
honored than Stephen Miller, Minnesota's 
war govcrniir. who made his home at Worth- 
injjton from 187S nntil his death in 1881. 

Covernor Miller was' born in CunibcHand 
(now Perry) county, Pennsylvania, in 1818. 
He acquired a common school e:lucation and 
served an apprenticeship to the milling busi- 
ness, after which he engaged in nicicantilc 
pursuits, and for many years conducted a 
forwarding and commission house in Harris- 
burg, Pennsylvania. In 1839 he was united 
in marriage to Miss Margaret Funk, of 
Dauphin county. Pa., and to them were 
born tliree sons and one daughter, the lat- 
ter dying in infancy. The sons were Wes- 
ley F., who was killed at the battle of Oct- 
tysbnrg: Stephen C. and Robert D. 

In 1840 Mr. Miller was elected prothonotary 
of Dauphin county in his native state and 
hold the office until 185.5, when he resigned 
to accept the position of flour inspector of 
the city of Philadelphia, to which he was 
appointed by (Governor James Pollock. Dur- 
ing a part of the period of his incumbency 
of this office and befoi'e — including the excit- 
ing state canvass of 1854 — he edited and pub- 
lished the Pennsylvania Telegraph, a leading 
organ of the whig party. 

At the expiration of his term as flour 
inspector, in the spring of 1858, Mr. Miller 
came to Minnesota and located at St. (31oud, 
where ho established a grocery and commis- 
sion businejB, which he conducted until the 
commencement of the civil war, in April, 
1801. During these years he took quite a 
prominent part in Minnesota ] olitics. He was 
a delegate to the re])ublican national conven- 
tion at Chicago in 18(!0 and headed the 
electoral ticket in the fall of that year, 
when he and his associates were successful 
by nearly 10,000 majority. During that 
campaign he and C. C. Andrews, then a 
Douglas candidate for elector, later a brig- 
ailier general, held some fifty joint discus- 
sions in the principal cities and towns of 
the state. 

In March, 1801, Mr. Miller was commis- 
sioned receiver of the land office at St. 
Cloud, and in May of the same year was 

iiffered the position of captain in the Unit- 
ed States army, both of which appointments 
he declined. At the commencement of the 
civil war he and his son, Wesley F. Miller, 
enrolled themselves as private soldiers in 
the First Minnesota regiment. On April 
20, 1801. he was mustered into the service 
as lieutenant colonel of the First Minnesota. 
He was commissioned colonel of the Seventh 
regiment of Minnesota volunteers Sept. 26, 
1802, and was made brigadier general of vol- 
unteers by the president Oct. 26, 1803. He 
took part in nniny of the important battles 
of the civil war and played an important 
part in the Sioux war, serving under Gen- 
eral Sibley. He was in charge of the forces 
at Mankato on Dec. 26, 1862, which exe- 
cuted the thirty-eight Indians. 

Brigadier General Miller was elected gov- 
ernor of Minnesota on the republican ticket 
in November, 1863, and on Jan. 12, of the 
fiillowing year, resigned his command to ac- 
cept the office. He served until Jan. 8, 1866, 
being in the executive chair during the clos- 
ing days of the civil war. Tn many ways 
he showed his patriotic impulses and his 
zeal for the salvation of the country. 

After the expiration of his term as 
governor, President Grant, like President lin- 
coln, tendered him positions in the civil 
service, but he declined them all. Frony 
June, 1871, to September, 1878, Governor ]\Iil- 
Icv resided at Windom, being employed as 
field agent of the St. Paul & Sioux City 
li'ailroad company. He served one term 
in the Minnesota house of representatives 
(1873), having been elected to represent six 
counties in southwestern Minnesota. He was 
presidential elector at large in 1876 and 
was the messenger to bear the electoral 
vote to Washington. 

Covernor ^lillcr. while still in the em- 
ploy of the railroad company, came to 
Worthington to reside in September, 1878, 
and made his home there until his death, 
which occurred on Thursday night, Aug. 18. 
1881. His remains are buried in the Worth- 
ington cemeferv. 

DWIEL SHELL. No man in Nobles coun- 
ty has played a more important part in the 
political and business life of the county 



than has Daniel Shell, of Worthington. 
Coming to the county and village in the 
closing days of 1871, just ^fter the village 
came into existence, Mr. Shell, then a young 
man, at once became identified with the 
interests of his village and county, and has 
ever since been an important factor in the 
development of the community. 

Daniel Shell was born in St. Lawrence 
county, N. Y., Nov. 26, 1843, the son of 
David and Lamina (Kentner) Shell, natives 
of Canada and New York state, respec- 
tively. The Shells are of German ancestry, 
but settled in the United States at a very 
early day, and for several generations were 
residents of the Empire state. Daniel Shel', 
the paternal grandfather was a native of 
New York and an influential and pros- 
perous farmer. David Shell, the father of our 
subject, while a native of Canada, was raised 
in New York. The mother of Mr. Shell, of 
this sketch, was a daughter of Conrad Kent- 
ner, who was of German descent and a des- 
cendant of one of the pioneer families of 
St. Lawrence county. 

Mr. Shell was the fourth son and sixth 
child of a family of eleven children. His 
early boyhood was spent in attending the 
public schools of St. Lawrence county. When 
he was eleven years of age the family 
moved to Sauk county. Wis., and located 
on a farm, and there the subject of this 
biography grew to manhood. His educational 
advantages were such as the district schools 
of the locality afforded, although later he 
became a student in a hiijh school. 

On reaching his majority Mr. Shell started 
out in life on his own account. In the 
winter of 1865 he formed a partnership with 
two brothers. Conrad and Levi, and engaged 
in the lumber business in Wisconsin under 
the Arm name of Shell Bros. He went into 
the pine woods and engaged in logging 
and milling, the firm having purchased eighty 
acres of heavily timbered land. A retail 
yard was established at Salem, Wis., which 
the brothers operated until 1871, when Dan- 
iel Shell came to the new town of Worth- 

It was during the month of December that 
Mr. Shell came to Worthington. He was a 
member of the firm of Henry Young & Co., 
which established a lumber yard in the 
little village, and came to assist in the 
management of the yard. After the busi- 

ness had been conducted in Worthington a 
few months, it was moved to Sibley, Iowa, 
at which point Levi Shell became the man- 
nger. Before the change in location was 
made, Daniel Shell had (in March, 1872) 
erected a building on Main street and opened 
a livery stable, of which he was the proprie- 
tor for many j'ears. In 1873 he received the 
contract for carrying the mail from Worth- 
ington to Sioux Falls, S. D., and con- 
ducted the mail route five years. He oper- 
ated a stage line in connection, which he 
built up into a large and profitable busi- 
ness. He leased the Worthington hotel 
building in 1874, bought it a short time 
afterward, and was the landlord for thir- 
teen years. 

Mr. Shell embarked in the real estate, 
loan and insurance business in 1876 and 
has had an office in Worthington ever since. 
In June, 1S95, he forijied a partnership 
with M. P. Mann, and from that date to 
.Jan. 10. 1906, the business was conducted 
under the firm name of .Shell & Mann. Since 
the last named date he has conducted the 
business alone. In the early days he in- 
vested his money in Nobles county lands, 
and is today one of the largest landowners 
of the coimty. Besides the lines of business 
mentioned Mr. Shell has been identified with 
many other enterprises of a local nature. He 
was one of the organizers of the Minnesota 
Loan & Investment company and of the 
I3caver Creek Baids, of Rock county. When 
the Worthington Nationnl Bank was or- 
ganized early in the year 1908, he was made 
vice president and director of the new in- 

In politics Mr. Shell is a pronounced re- 
publican, and has taken a very active part 
in local, state and national politics. At the 
first village election, in 1S73, he was elect- 
ci! village assessor and served one term. He 
was elected member of the village council 
in 1874, 1375 and 1876, and served as presi- 
dent of the council in 1879-80-81-'85-86-89-g0- 
ni-93-94. From 1890 to 1904 he was a member 
of the Worthington school board. He was 
elected county commissioner in the fall of 
1881, was reelected in 1884, and served until 
the beginning of the yeir 1887. During 
these years he was chairman of the board. 
Mr. Shell was chosen a delegate to the re- 
publican national convention which was held 
at Minneapolis in 1892, and was a member 




of tlie committee tliat notifie.I Benjamin 
Harrison of his nomination. In the fall of 
1892 he was elected to the lower house of 
the Minnesota legislature from the district 
comprising the counties of Nobles, Murray, 
Rock ami Piiwstonc, and was reelected in 
1S04 anil again in ISSKi. In ISOS he was 
elected to the senate from the newly formed 
district comprising the counties of Nobles and 
.Murray, and served eight years in that 
body, receiving the nomination and election 
again in 1902. In the early nineties, when 
it was decided to build a new state eapitol, 
Mr. Shell was appointed member of the Cap- 
itol commission by the gnvpriior, and served 
about one and one-half year.-. During the 
time he was on the commission, the plans 
for the new building — one of the finest state 
houses in the United States— were drawn 
and accepted. Mr. Shell resigned upon the 
passage of a law which brought into doubt 
the legality of a member of the legislature 
holding another ofl'ic'c in tlio state admin- 

Mr. Shell was married in 1S67 to Miss 
Samantha McClintock, daughter of Hugh Mc- 
Clintock, of Salem. Wis. Mr. and Mrs. 
Shell are the |)aron(s of three children — 
Winnifred, Lee M. and Marjorie. Mr. Shell 
is prominently identified with the Masonic 
fraternity. He was a charter member of 
the lodge at Worthington. and is a Knight 
Templar and a member of the Mystic Shrine. 

.lUI.lUS A. TOWN, attorney at law, Worth- 
ington, 19 one of the pioneers of Worth- 
ington and Nobles county, and has taken 
a prominent part in the affairs of the vil- 
lage and county for the last thirtv-six 
years. He is a prominent member of the 
bar of southwestern Minnesota, is active 
in county, congressional and state politics, 
and is one of the best known G. \. R. 
men of Minnesota. 

.Tulins A. Town was born in Steuben 
loiinly. Indiana. September £7. 1844. His 
father, .\. Town, and his mother. Rebecca 
(Simmons) Town, were both natives of Ver- 
mont, as bad been their families for several 
generations. The Town family i.s English 
stock and emigrated to America in coloni- 
al days. Our subject's maternal grand- 
father was a veteran of the war of the 
revolution, serving as a volunteer under 

Oencral Stark, and took part in the battle 
of Bennington. 

(•'or the first eleven years of his life 
the subject of this sketch lived in the 
county of his birth. Then he came with 
his parents to the territory of Minnesota, 
locating at the new town of Owatoima 
October 5, 1S5.5. His father